Martial vs Caster: Removing the "Magical Dependencies" of high level.

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B/X Known World
The goal in this discussion is how to make the world and magic elements more "martial friendly"
Do what they do in superhero stories. Give everyone something to do. The reason the group is together is because no one of them could tackle the problem on their own.

If you make a simple encounter with only a magical solution, casters feel awesome and martials feel lame.

If you make a simple encounter with only a martial solution, martials feel awesome and casters feel lame.

So make a slightly more complex encounter that requires both martial and caster solutions, so they both feel awesome.
Force Effects - Overcome with Damage
Huh. I guess I've used that so long I forgot it's a house rule. Not sure about the regeneration though. It would just draw things out needlessly, cause frustration, and result in the party reaching for a magical solution.
Flying - More tools to beat flying creatures
Targeting wings and/or treat flying like a spell, i.e. you can break concentration and cause the target to fall. A lot of this comes down to the group focusing on melee rather than having martial ranged characters or melee-focused martials having no ranged options. That's mostly an own goal.
Teleport Circles - Anyone can use
Sure. Or make it a password, verbal component thing. If you know the word, you can use the circle. This is something I loved about 4E and miss a lot. Anyone could perform rituals.
Plane Shift - Portals/A way to back track
I definitely prefer open portals to bamf versions of these spells. But then I prefer everything to have a cost or risk attached.

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Mind Mage
Make "rituals" a separate mechanic from "spells".

Spells use slots. Rituals dont.

Let anyone try to perform a ritual correctly.

Use ability (skill) checks to perform a ritual. Persuasion for an Enchantment ritual. Deception for an Illusion ritual. Nature for an Evocation ritual. Actually, Survival for a Transmutation ritual. Or so on.

Rituals have a DC, and powerful rituals have level prerequisite as well.

And spellcasters need to make the ability (skill) checks too in order to perform a ritual.

Rituals can even have critical success and fumbles, for very high or very low rolls.


Mind Mage
When magic can be operated by anyone, and enchantement break by pure strength, it is no more magic it is Tech. Welcome to DnD 40k!
For me, what turns D&D magic into mundane tech is if it gets bought and sold like a commodity. Then I feel like I am walking into a reallife department store.

But so far, 5e uses "attunement" like a personal relationship with magic, and keeps items away from the shops, generally. I like this. Sometimes magic simply doesnt work because a person isnt in tune with it, or lacks the proper intention.

When anyone can attempt to perform a ritual, a ritual might require ... anything. Maybe one can only perform it during a full moon. Maybe one can only perform it after finding a rare flower. Maybe one must fast for three days before attempting it. Maybe meditate for 8 hours. Sometimes a ritual really does require an expensive jewel worth many gold pieces because the gemstone is symbolic and the prestige is relevant and happens to make sense for a certain ritual. A ritual can be anything. After meeting whatever requirement, the character − any character − rolls an ability check to determine the success of the effort.

In some ways, these rituals that any can attempt can feel more like the "magic" of reallife folklore than anything else in D&D.

Note, in D&D, most of the religious rituals would be ... actual magical rituals.

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 a nice idea and it will help a little. But don't think it can go far enough to bridge the gap per the other comments.


If magic does cool stuff, I need a compelling reason for a character not to be doing it, and the martial classes rarely present one. We should just go find new fantasy traditions to draw from, where you obviously learn to use swords and fly on bolts of lightning, because those are both valuable skills.


Mmm... sounds a bit like to solve the problem that spellcasters have the edge over martial then let's make all martials spellcasters :D
Isn't that pretty much what 5e did? There's like what, 2 classes (maybe three if you squint) that don't actually cast spells at some point? Even many fighter subclasses get spells or spell like effects.

D&D has solved the divide by just making everyone a caster.

I haven't seen a straight up non-caster character in the game in so long I almost forget what it looks like.


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.
This is not the D&D game I want to play. Why not just play a superhero game if that's your thing?

Conan isn't awesome because he can throw cars and leap hundreds of feet.


Mind Mage
Isn't that pretty much what 5e did? There's like what, 2 classes (maybe three if you squint) that don't actually cast spells at some point? Even many fighter subclasses get spells or spell like effects.
I like the 4e solution. All classes use "powers" − but flavor them differently.

So Arcane classes and Martial classes really are mechanically equal − but still feel quite different from each other.


The problem is, Conan is effectively Black Widow in the Avengers.
Are high level martials really struggling to succeed, though? I know that’s the ongoing thesis that a few posters push in a gazillion threads, but I don’t see it.

Conan certainly had no trouble handling the archmages of his world. The Goku fantasy belongs in another game. It’s not D&D. And it is not happening in OneD&D; we already basically know what fighters will look like: 5e.


i think part of the answer lies in making skills not be so impotent, especially by letting them accomplish beyond mundane actions with skills at higher levels, just remember to balance the checks so everything isn't all riding on a single d20 roll, my preferred idea is the 'X successes before Y failures' method of rolling skill checks, going more for consistency of checks than a single sky-high roll.
or you can use 3d6 instead of d20?

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