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

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That's because anyone who wanted a cool martial left to play another game, so the martial players that are left either simply don't care about the game aspect or have some weird impotence fantasy where they want to play a town guard +1 alongside Dr. Strange. The people who like the current fighter just don't care much about effectiveness or driving the plot through character abilities.
Come play Dungeon Fantasy RPG!
That seems part of the conflict between Fighter fans.

Fans who like the "mundane" Fighter, prioritize mundane flavor, and dont care about effectiveness or class balance.

So fans who do care about effectiveness are left less effective − in the sense of being shut down by certain narrative scenarios that happen at high tiers.

At the same time, it is probably the mundane Fighter fans who start to ... end the game ... after reaching level 8 in the mid tier. So these Fighter fans rarely see the tiers when magic narratively changes the game.
Mundane flavor isn't inherently in tension with high effectiveness. I abandoned 5E for Dungeon Fantasy RPG (Powered By GURPS!) a while ago, and one of the awesome things about it is that warriors and wizards are both extremely attractive and fun to play. ("Knights are OP! Wizards are also OP! It is awesome!") And they synergize well together too.

But DFRPG wizards have a different feel than 5E wizards, and DFRPG warriors have a different tactical menu. Instead of Fireball or Evard's Black Tentacles to take out whole roomfulls of mooks at a time, round after round after round, a DFRPG wizard might be able to glue a 10 yard diameter of mooks to the floor but then he's tapped out until he gets at least a few minutes' rest (DFRPG combats are usually over in a few seconds), so it's up to the warrior to walk over to the trapped enemies, approach them from behind, and stab them in the kidneys for triple damage without them getting a chance to parry/block/dodge. Since the opportunity to defend is DFRPG's equivalent of 5E's ever-increasing HP totals, it's sort of the equivalent of replacing 5E's Fireball with a save-or-lose spell that both immobilizes and multiplies incoming damage by x10. As you can imagine, warriors are much better at exploiting that kind of spell than wizards are. And again, the fact that wizards can cast spells in every fight but can't really cast multiple big spells in any given fight is also a big factor in making fighters fun; ditto the fact that wizards (and bards, druids, and clerics) have some amazing buff spells they can cast on their buddies in advance, which again work better on mighty warriors than they do on casters (or hirelings, or summoned monsters or illusions).

If anyone out there is interested in experiencing DFRPG combat or class balance ("profession" balance), I'd be happy to run you through some practice fights. It's so much fun.
 
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The issue I find is that any answer on how and why magic works gets immediately countered with " But in MY campaign...". A good example of that is the weave sidebar being pointed to when the nature of magic is discussed only for people to point out its Faerun origin does gel with Dark Sun, Eberron, or the DM's personal homebrew. Which is the conflict of D&D as a shared universe and D&D is a toolkit.
Sure. I absolutely understand that using and implementing actual mechanics for magic would be limiting and likely a headache.

My point is more that when you boil it down, the argument winds up at..

"I have no idea why magic stuff should work, but I know that mundane stuff shouldn't work"
 


From the perspective of a non-magic user, even in a fantasy setting, do casters interact with reality in a predictable way, at the same scale those non-magic users would be accustomed to?

Yes, actually, they do.

The perspective of an uneducated dung farmer is entirely irrelevant.

Saying reality warping effects cannot warp reality because they are reality is an argument eating its tail.

Only because you're starting from the assumption that it is reality warping instead of the question of whether or not it is.

As said, a meteor storm no more consequential than a plane crash puts this into perspective. Both have the same relative effects in their respective worlds and neither is inherently unnatural, supernatural, or what have you relative to their worlds. Most high level magic is like this, and even the ones that have no real world equivalent do not just suddenly become something more than what they are.

If you wouldn't allow such a check..tell me why.

Because anyone whose not being disingenous recognizes that that isn't a reasonable request that can be run through an improvised skill check.
 

Yes, actually, they do.

The perspective of an uneducated dung farmer is entirely irrelevant.



Only because you're starting from the assumption that it is reality warping instead of the question of whether or not it is.

As said, a meteor storm no more consequential than a plane crash puts this into perspective. Both have the same relative effects in their respective worlds and neither is inherently unnatural, supernatural, or what have you relative to their worlds. Most high level magic is like this, and even the ones that have no real world equivalent do not just suddenly become something more than what they are.



Because anyone whose not being disingenous recognizes that that isn't a reasonable request that can be run through an improvised skill check.
So we disagree. I think the perspective of the general population within the setting would be relevant. Note this isn't just "dung farmers". It's every nonmagical merchant, farmer, teacher, monarch, etc. in the setting who cannot, on a daily basis blow up office buildings and create illusory hellscapes.

Fine, our fighter wants to reflect the sunlight off his blade to blind the pilot of one of the (presumably) many jet-fueled passenger aircraft that exist in the setting to cause that pilot to crash his aircraft into the castle. Perfectly mundane.

I'm thinking a Performance check.

If this doesn't suit, perhaps that reflected sunlight could be used to ignite all the strategically placed kindling everywhere within the aforementioned castle simultaneously.

I dunno..maybe..Acrobatics?
 

though I wonder if you can ever express a thought like this without acting superior or putting people down.

Unwanted behavior is unwanted behavior, and ultimately when said behavior starts being used as anything other than a personal preference you can't really express its undesirability without stepping on toes.

Its kind of like Jimbo taking a dump in the towns water supply. We can argue over whether or not a response goes too far, but at the end of the day Jimbo still left a turd in the well and he's started arguing about why he should be allowed to do so. You can't really emphasize how bad that is and not eventually hurt Jimbos feelings.

And considering there was no actual Jimbo here I don't think we need to be that concerned with tone policing.
 


Pedantic

Legend
We really have to stop equating spellcasting and magic in these discussions. 5e has, unfortunately, doubled down on specifically using casting spells, verbal, somatic, material components and all, as the only real means of doing magical stuff, and that's probably driving that false equivalency.

Spellcasting has a lot of upsides as a method of gating powerful abilities. The nature of the power source is amenable to limited, precise techniques that do exactly what they say they do and no more, and the method of action doesn't require outside conditions beyond the caster's control. You don't need the fictional situation to be any specific way (i.e. there's a boulder perched on the edge of the cliff all the way to "you find a magic sword"), and the effects maintain an internal logic without being flexible. The standard "martials should get cool stuff" model is your Charles Atlas superpowers, just "be very strong" and throw castles at your enemies, swim for days, dash so fast you effectively teleport and so on. The problem is that those abilities don't take well to technique gating. Sufficient strength to throw a castle can't just give you access to a 1-mile wide 40d6 damage ability, it implies a bunch of other powers that you must reasonably have if you're capable of that.

I don't care for that as the basis of martial abilities as a result and I don't think we should be defining martials in direct opposition to doing things that have particle effects or violate the usual order of the skill system. We should find other power-sources and other subsystems than specifically moving your hands precisely and chanting just so to change the universe, but still give them the ability to fly and move to other planes, and ignite the rage inside them so their blood literally starts burning and so on.

There's space for "everyone is doing magical stuff" that isn't "and everyone knows 3 3rd level spells," and that's where we should be looking. 5e's move to give everyone some access to magical abilities, frankly is a pretty solid recognition of how modern fantasy has gone. The mistake is running them all through the legacy spell system with its weird limitations and gimmicks.
 
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It's every nonmagical merchant, farmer, teacher, monarch, etc. in the setting who cannot, on a daily basis blow up office buildings and create illusory hellscapes.

And their ability to do something has no bearing on their ability to recognize its a consistent part of their reality.

I actually do know how to fly a plane and have done so myself, but even if I didn't, I don't need that knowledge and experience to know planes exist and aren't some supernatural thingamajig.

Likewise, unless we're talking a low magic setting where magic is both low key and relatively obscure (which is not what DND is) your average person doesn't need to be a wizard to recognize magic as a thing. But even those low magic settings, the apparent supernatural nature of it only extends as far as ones direct knowledge of magic does.

A Muggle in Harry Potter would see magic as reality warping at first, but given enough time and exposure its just reality, because of course it is. The Muggles ignorance of the existence of such things in their reality does not put those things outside the bounds of reality.

Not all that different from the trope of modern technology being effectively magic to people from earlier ages if you could travel back in time. An ancient Egyptian would have no context or even language to begin to describe a cell phone, nevermind the intracacies of how one works, but that doesn't make the cell phone supernatural.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Sure. I absolutely understand that using and implementing actual mechanics for magic would be limiting and likely a headache.

My point is more that when you boil it down, the argument winds up at..

"I have no idea why magic stuff should work, but I know that mundane stuff shouldn't work"
Yeah. It's easy to say "mundane" is something that a real person can do, but magic can do everything mundane and everything that isn't. And "magic" has become so big and encompassing that it's impossible to define or control for.
 

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