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D&D 5E Martial, Magic or Mundane? What can X do in 5e

Greg K

Martial, but I want the use of Book of Iron Might maneuver system

Among the things they can do:
They can push, pull, trip
They can do ability score damage (lasts 1hr or until the target is fully healed whichever happens last)
They can inflict penalties to opponent's rolls
They can inflict conditions (e.g., daze, stun, blindness, deafen)
They reduce a foes movement
Disable supernatural attack (e.g, with a strike to beholder eye stalk)
Disable natural attacks

The above can be riders to damage or do no damage depending upon how you describe the maneuver.
They are also all things that can be done by knowing where to strike an opponent. There is no per encounter or daily limit. However, you may risk a penalty to hit attack, risk attacks of opportunity, etc, and the opponent may get a save.

And to anyone based their opinion of the BOIM maneuver system based upon the to hit penalty for the Called, Shot: Arm sample maneuver, the penalty was an error. They, accidently, listed Ability Damage as the base Effect rather than Inflict Penalty. The error resulted in a Net Effect penalty of -10 to hit after drawbacks. The Net Effect Penalty after drawbacks is, actually, 0.
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First Post

I am not sure some dude walking up and going toe to toe with a dragon and matching it blow for blow is mundane. Fighters in 3e have the best BaB get a ton of feats and this really sets them away from the pack on the battlefield. In PF they got even more tools int he form of extra armor train and weapon group training that really helped once again to give the fighter types an advantage at their 2 trade skills: murdering things, and getting hit in the head. In 4e they are just like everyone else.

I don't see anything wrong with having fighters that just fight. There should be options for toons who want to be from Mt. Olympus. But they should give up some of that raw fighting ability to get their superpowers as an act of balance.

But I don't see why a fantasy game can't have both.




I would like to see physical attacks being able to do some of the things Greg K suggests as well; perhaps there should be some kind of called shot system.

But I don't want to see supermen with no rationalization. Many will not agree, but I think adding actual supernatural powers to certain fighting classes is a good way to go. The monk already does this to some extent. If you want a warlord who can heal, let him use healing magic.

That said, it is important to first have a baseline so we know what is the source of what.


However a level 1 human warlord should not be healing
It would be nice if 5e made it clearer that what a warlord does is to restore a PC's fighting spirit or allow him to tap on his reserves of vigor. It restores hit points, although it is not actually healing in the sense of closing physical wounds.

Mind you, even in 4e, you can usually describe a warlord's restoration of hit points in those terms, if you don't describe the physical effects of hit point loss as anything beyond minor scratches and bruises. Granted, several years of playing D&D with nothing but magical healing to restore hit points quickly may have led many players to adopt the habit of describing hit point loss as serious injury.

I guess the problem arose because warlord powers also have the Healing keyword, so the solution could be as simple as a change in terminology, although there is a certain elegance in defining "Hit Points" as "anything that keeps you from dying" and "Healing" as "anything that restores hit points".

A more complex solution may be to have separate physical and non-physical hit points as one option, and players who don't want to deal with the complexity can simply merge them into a single pool.


First Post
So... Wizards get to reality warping gods Cause Magic, but Fighters shouldn't exceed the main character of Burn Notice? That's pretty much asking people to play two completely different games just because of what class they picked.

The funny thing is, no one is disputing that there should be mundane martial characters - that's what low levels are for. But when we get to high level, and the Wizard is wrapping the fabric of the cosmos around their fingers, I better damn well be Hercules and not Michael Westen. Or else if Fighters can never exceed Michael Westen, then Wizards should never exceed the power of the magic wielders in the Conan movies (or some other similar low-power threshold).

There should be equal opportunities to be epically powerful (or not be epically powerful, if that's the game you want) for all characters, regardless of class.

Also, again, hit points are not wounds so there is nothing magical about a Warlord inspiring another character to make a dramatic comeback (spend a healing surge).

So... Wizards get to reality warping gods Cause Magic, but Fighters shouldn't exceed the main character of Burn Notice? That's pretty much asking people to play two completely different games just because of what class they picked.

Yea "fighters cant have nice things" I love burn notice I even have an assasin based off him. I hate the idea of limits though. How many wizaards are all powerful in fantasy or myth and fear no warrior?

I want to play oddessys or Datalyse and not have to be second fiddle to your merlin or harry.


Wow, am I the only one who enjoys characters who feel like they stepped out of legend?

I can jump a couple of feet, I know athletes could do yards, so I guess under 20 feet is within my mind possible.
The world record is close to 30 feet. And that is without wind assistance or being a demigod.

Wikipedia tells us that there is an ancient Greek "source that claims there once was a fifty five ancient foot jump done by a man named Phayllos".

This suggest to me that maximum non-magical jump should be 25 or 30 feet per tier.

Super speed- at basic marines are made to do a 4-5 minute mile. I believe there are records around half that. However these are short 1-5 mile runs, not all day.
All D&D PCs tend in fact to be fairly slow compared to real world sprint records, or even marathon records. Running 40 miles in 2 hours, for instance, requires running 1760 feet per minute, or 176 feet - or slightly over 35 squares - in a 6 second round.

Non weapon damage- never should a non magic attack deal anything but weapon damage. There may be few exceptions (wielding a torch) but they are rare.
The real question is - where do augments to that weapon damage come from? A martial PC should, in my view, be able to draw upon deep reserves of spirit, passion and "oomph" when striking with a weapon.

Healing- Martial healing should take time. I am fine with a 1 minute first aid, and hours of care bringing back hp, but standard action heals should be magical.
This depends on what "healing" means. If healing is, as per 4e, recovery of heroic reserves and morale, then there is no reason why a martial PC can't do this.

Strength and endurance- I think attributes should have non magic caps. If I was going to put this into 4e I would make it 22. If you start with a 20, and up it twice, you are maxed. If you start with a 16 and up it 6 times you are maxed. (I would then bring back magic ways to up them) That would even help with balance.
I don't quite see how this helps with balance, but that is probably a secondary point.

In 4e, maximum lift is 20lb times STR. The world record for a clean and jerk lift is 580 lb, which correlates to a STR of 29. And that person was not a demigod (he was Hossein Rezazadeh of Iran).

Enhancing others- No bonus you give should last longer then a turn or two. Warlord powers that last the entire encounter kinda bug me, but fighter and ranger onse really bug me.
I'm not sure what sorts of powers and bonuses you have in mind here. The ranger power Skilled Companion (Utility 6), for example, grants allies who can see and hear the ranger a skill check bonus until the end of the encounter. Presumably, the ranger is talking to his/her friends (hence the see/hear requirement).

IN general I will go with the Burn Notice idea. Michael Westen does things that a normal person can dom he has skills anyone can learn. He get lucky (man the DM is on his side) a lot, and the amount of skills he has would never be mastered to that level in one person, but that is where the fantasy angle comes in.
The standard mechanical device for representing "luck" in an RPG is to give the player some sort of metagame power. This is what many of the 4e martial powers do.

Anyway, I think that your suggested limitations for martial power don't really do justice to the capacities of actual human beings in our own world, let alone actual or incipient demigods in a fantasy world. Tolkien's Numenorians, for example, had lifespans of 100s of years (as did Aragorn) without being magical.


First Post
Honestly, I see no point in asking Martial characters to be limited to real-world limitations. Doing so not only breaks with almost every one of the traditions of fantasy and myth D&D is based on, it causes D&D's own world to stop making sense. It is also a lot less fun.

I mean, look at the monsters a mid- to high-level character has to fight in D&D. Sphinxes, Chimeras, Dragons, Demons... A real-world human would be very hard-pressed to safely fight off a lion or bear with a melee weapon, but those creatures are quite low-level D&D opponents, and the monsters a D&D Fighter has to stand toe-to-toe with make lions and bears look like lazy kittens. A D&D Fighter is expected to use a sword to stab towering beasts with ironlike hide and ludicrously unnatural strength. Beyond that, they're expected to win.

By the very nature of the game and the foes they must face, D&D Fighters (and other Martial characters) are in the same league as the great heroes of myth, not average real-world people. They're in the company of people like the heroes of ireland, whose battles are given as the origin for much of that country's geography. Or King Arthur, who kills dragons using nothing more than sword, spear, and a good horse, and can fight off the Roman Empire while exhausted from a previous battle (at the age of nearly 100, no less). And those characters would only be mid-level in D&D terms! The true Epic Tier heroes of myth (the ones who actually fight Demon Lords) are more inclined to perform feats like jumping the length of a country while carrying a mountain on their backs.

Anyways, I see no point in using real world physics or physical limitations to describe D&D characters. After all, doing so is little more than a double standard. According to real world physics, gryphons couldn't fly, giant insects would die of oxygen deprivation, and giants would shatter their own bones with their body weight. None of these creatures use magic to justify their existence in D&D, so why should powerful Fighters?


First Post
Diomedes bloodied and chased gods off the battlefield at Troy. Gods, mind you. He was an angry Greek Soldier of Legend with a big spear having survived 9 years of siege warfare (and raking in massive XP from slaughtering an entire camp of Trojan allies in their sleep alongside Odysseus too, come to think of it).

Yet he was still an also-ran to Achilles, Hector, and Agamemnon in terms of commanding the battlefield - never-mind heroes of non-Homeric legend like Heracles or Perseus.

Seriously. Most of these guys didn't even have +1 weapons (bronze garbage outside of the stuff Achilles got) or anything better than leather armor and a bronze helmet.

- Marty Lund

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