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

Status
Not open for further replies.

Incenjucar

Legend
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.
Can we please stop doing the silent majority thing? None of us have the numbers one way or the other, we don't need to call upon the unknown quantity of people. We all represent only our own opinions and the anecdotes from our own tables.

There are people who want X from martials, people who want Y from martials, and people who don't care, and we will never know how many of any of these there are.

I, Incenjucar, want non-magical characters to be more effective and nuanced and to be able to feel what I feel would make them as epic as wizards. There may be a million people who agree, or like five people who agree, but I'm speaking for my own tastes.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

TheSword

Legend
The debate of Martial vs Casters at high levels continues!

While we can argue how "effective" martials are versus casters at high levels, I think one of the lingering narrative issues is the notion that high level scenarios often require magical solutions. No matter how cool your martial is, when the sacred key is protected by a wall of force.....you need a wizard. It leads to the notion that casters are "essential" at high levels, whereas martials are "optional". Now of course a DM can always tailor their game for a martial only group should they need to, but if you look at the standard spells and "common dangers" of high levels, they often require the use of magic to overcome. An improvement to the game might be in redesigning these spells and dangers with more mundane solutions, so that martial can contribute to the narrative of the dungeon crawl more equally to casters. Lets take a look.

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.

Flying - More tools to beat flying creatures
5e already started the ball here with the prone condition, which lets you ground a flying creature. Perhaps other tools could be added here, make a proning type weapon like a bola more usable at distances, or alchemical devices that can disrupt flying, etc.

Teleport Circles - Anyone can use
A simple change to the narrative, have it where anyone who knows that right symbols can use a teleport circle to go to another location (aka more stargate than magic circle). This gives martials a few more long distance options. It obviously doesn't replace caster teleporting but its a step in that direction.

Plane Shift - Portals/A way to back track
Similar to the teleport circles, narratively creature general ways to travel the planes that don't require the plane shift spell. This already exists in many worlds and narratives, so it could be made more ubiquitous.

Also for the plane shift (maybe banishment spell), perhaps it leaves a tear for a few rounds that the person who went through could pry open with damage or a high skill check and return where they came from. This allows a martial who has been plane shifted or banished a possible return path without having to use their wizard buddy to save them.


so that's a few starting ideas. What else do you think would make the high level world less insurmountable for martials?
I understand where you’re coming from but it feels like you have two very different approaches to magic… one is to negate it (cutting through a Wall of Force, stopping a creature flying) or coming up with an alternative (using a portal). Really point 3 (anyone using teleport circles) is just a variant of point 4 (more portals) with trigger methods.

To my mind flying and walls of force are tactical questions and I’m not a big fan of just negating these. How you can tempt a flying creature to land is more interesting that tying the creatures wings up with a special attack. Similarly what you do for the 1 min while that wall of force is up is more interesting that just destroying it.

More portals is a story issue. If you look at the Forgotten Realms there are portals all over the place. When it comes to the DM choosing to plane shift one PC to another realm. It’s no different to having a portal to another realm shut down after only one PC has gone through, That’s just a bit of a douche move. I wouldn’t do it. It’s save or suck by another move. Don’t play with a DM that does it. Unless it has very specific story reasons that get revised and the players are on board.
 


CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
or you can use 3d6 instead of d20?
well, no.

i think you misunderstood what i intended by consistency, i didn't mean getting more consistently 'average' numbers on your dice themselves but setting more DC's which aren't a single roll with a high difficult to achieve check but multiple more managable ones,

that super secure bank vault isn't just one impossible-without-magic DC:39 check but three hard-but-achievable DC:30 checks, when you've got a slight of hand expertise +14 bonus 30 is achivable by skill alone, sure three 16+ rolls is hard to achieve but you don't need bardic inspiration and guidance just to have a chance of reaching the bar in the first place, it means your martials aren't dependant on magic for success at high levels, sure magic can make it easier for them to get there but they don't depend on it.
 
Last edited:

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
One of the Houserules I use is

"Magic Weapons are magical"

Magic swords can cut throw walls of force. Magic swords can cut through reality to open impromptu portal to overlapping planes. Magic weapons if big enough can block magic attacks. Magic weapon can disrupt magic defences or natural actions supported by magic (ie sight or flight of magic creatures).

But you have to be a skilled warrior to use magic weapons this way.
 

You don’t need to tailor high level adventure to give a fighter boots of flying or a flying mount, or a returning throwing weapon that can allow multiple attacks. A high level party should be able to find or hire npcs or some ally to make long distance or planar travel. It‘s the DM job to allow the party to go through an adventure whatever the party composition or even level,
 

Horwath

Legend
well, no.

i think you misunderstood what i intended by consistency, i didn't mean getting more consistently 'average' numbers on your dice themselves but setting more DC's which aren't a single roll with a high difficult to achieve check but multiple more managable ones,
Well, with 3d6 you do get multiple dice rolls and a similar result in one roll.

other solution could be, roll certain number of d20s, half(round up) must be a successful roll.

I.E. craft something. You need skill check of 20. you have +8 to that skill/tool. Roll 6 d20 dice. 3 of them must be 12 or higher.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
You don’t need to tailor high level adventure to give a fighter boots of flying or a flying mount, or a returning throwing weapon that can allow multiple attacks. A high level party should be able to find or hire npcs or some ally to make long distance or planar travel. It‘s the DM job to allow the party to go through an adventure whatever the party composition or even level,
soooo... your solution is 'if none of your martials can do the thing then they can just hire a spellcaster to solve it for them!'? that doesn't sound like actually giving martials viable problem solving methods for high level play you're just adding another step between you and actually playing a caster,
 

the Jester

Legend
The debate of Martial vs Casters at high levels continues!

While we can argue how "effective" martials are versus casters at high levels, I think one of the lingering narrative issues is the notion that high level scenarios often require magical solutions.
I think this is a bit of a "carriage might be before the horse" issue. The notion that high level scenarios often require magical solutions is there to give those high level resources a reason to exist and a challenge to overcome. One solution to the problem might simply be to ensure that there are other solutions available; maybe a given high or epic level adventure just doesn't require traveling across the world and plane hopping (or maybe the journey is the adventure), and the secrets can be obtained by intimidating npcs instead of requiring a contact other plane.

This is an approach that doesn't actually solve anything in principle, though.
 


Status
Not open for further replies.

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top