D&D (2024) Martial vs Caster: Removing the "Magical Dependencies" of high level.

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Li Shenron

Force Effects - Overcome with Damage
A simple start that is already a common houserule in many games, make it that force effects can be taken down with damage. Maybe you give the effect some kind of regeneration or minimum damage threshold to prevent teh "rif raf" from breaking it, but a high level martial can break down a wall of force or a resilent sphere with just raw power.

All are good interesting ideas but I would rather change this one to be based on a strength challenge instead of damage, because spellcasters can typically deliver a higher peak damage, but don't have a higher strength.

Then of course spellcasters can also acquire higher strength through spells or shapechanging, but maybe something can still be done to reward the basic strength.

One of the best suggestions I have is to do what 4E did with rituals: put ritual casting up as a feat and let anyone who takes that feat cast rituals from one spell tradition. Let them have a ritual book to put them in.

Mmm... sounds a bit like to solve the problem that spellcasters have the edge over martial then let's make all martials spellcasters :D

So this points to a very important division in this discussion. My goal is this discussion is not to change the PCs as much as the environment in which they operate.

Otherwise we are back to just the standard debates, make Martials stronger, make them more epic, etc etc. The goal in this discussion is how to make the world and magic elements more "martial friendly"

It's probably too cheap, but there is also always the old option of using areas where magic just doesn't work or monsters immune to spells.

All that said, I still can't brush off the idea in the back of my head, that if we had the courage to forsake the mantra that everyone must be equally good at combat, and a warrior character would be allowed to be effectively much better in combat than everybody else, then we'd have less pressure to rebalance the out-of-combat parts of the game.

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Just do what Gygax did and have every high level dungeon automatically counter the high level magic that would bypass it.

And don't forget anti magic zones! Throw a dozen or more of those around to cramp up those spell casters!

And don't forget my personal favorite, having spells require expensive and rare components!


Turn "Indomitable" into a Legendary Resistance effect, let the Barbarian burn rages to effectively Counterspell attempts to affect them with magic, and give the Rogue the ability to use magic items without meeting the prerequisites to attune to them.

Create an Epic Boon feat for anyone with proficiency in all martial weapons such that enemies have disadvantage on concentration checks against your damage, and the DC they have to beat increases by half your level (round down).

Allow high level warriors to perform feats of athleticism that are flat-out superhuman without the use of magic. Think Captain America or Batman, such as jump, swim, climb, lift and throw, punch through walls, etc.

Give the Fighter and Barbarian features that, at high levels, allow them to cleave through magical barriers like walls of force, mage armor, shield spells, etc.

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I always felt that dead magic zones should be more common. I mean, why does magic require a source than is omnipresent and omnipotent ? There's so many situation where cold steel dont work, why isnt this the same with magic?

Put zones where the air is thick with spellcasting residue poisoning the spellcasters. Or zones where the Weave is too thin to support spellcasting of X level or higher. Or zones where the power source is just broken and plain doesnt work!

Just because there's air everywhere doesnt mean you can breath everywhere.

I just watched Across the Spider-Verse, and a lot of the stuff the various Spider-Folk do ought to be attainable by high-level martials. Leaping and swinging hundreds of feet in a single bound? Grabbing giant crumbling buildings and holding them for a moment so bystanders can escape? Throwing vehicles as weapons? Instinctively dodging deadly beams?

If there's a monster flying overhead, the high-level fighter should just be able to, y'know, get to it. And likewise, flyers shouldn't be able to attack from more than 60 ft away.


One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
Golems often would say, "Here are two spells that matter. Nothing else does anything to me."
so they'd no-sell everything magic that wasn't their vunerability meaning you'd end up burning spells trying to find what actually worked? otherwise i don't see how they'd be eating up your caster's slots (beyond indirectly by you buffing and healing your frontliners)

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