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

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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
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.
But is that the best solution? Or just the easiest?

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
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.
Whether or not they feel different from each other is very much a matter of personal opinion, and often revolves around one's opinion of 4e as a whole.

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
it's not reliable, there are things called spell attack rolls and saving throws.

sure, there is some completely reliable spells, but most is RNG.
Those things don't make the spell unreliable, they just mean that sometimes it misses, or the target withstands the effects. The spell itself goes off just fine, every time.

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
40k and it’s off shoot Warhammer fantasy have very much unreliable magic… but I know what you mean.
Big fan of Warhammer magic here. Powerful but dangerous to use. DCC is another example. Shame that nearly all versions of D&D are apparently convinced that players wouldn't accept a chance of bad effects when using their toys.

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
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,
Money is usually a viable problem solving method.

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.
it depends on what you consider succeeding. If you mean you CAN deal the most melee damage as long as no caster is trying to one up you with melee damage, and you will always have the highest HP (and 70ish% of the time the best tank ability's overall) but have none of the other options that any other class can't do as well or better... then sure you succeed.
However when you play in a team based game with even a lopsided toward combat balance (say 1/2 of the game is combat 1/3 of the game is exploration/puzzle solving and the last 17% of the game is social interactions) you are not struggling, you just can't succeed as well as you could if you had been a caster.
Conan certainly had no trouble handling the archmages of his world.
no archmage in his world could be a bladesinger that went toe to toe with him with a 20+ AC 2 attacks or a cantrip+attack but still have 9th 8th 7th 6th and 5th level swiss army win buttons.
his archmages look more like super specialized 9th level warlocks.
if the best caster in the game was a 1/2 caster that had spells known equal to 1+prof bonus spells and had d6s for hp and no armor then you would be on the right track (although I would give them eiter more skills or maybe even expertise though)
infact a slightly weaker version of the playtest warlock or artificer would maybe do it... if those were the most powerful archmages.
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.
god I hope they make them better then that. I don't want goku but I want beowulf hercules and odysseus as the base floor of 11th level.

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,
I think the artificer abailty to make magic weapons and armor through the infusions should be an optional thing for fighters... like "hey I killed a manticor and took it's tail spikes to make +1 returning throwing knives" but also "I forged this armor and the liquids to quench the steel was the blood of dragons so now it is +1 and grants resistance to fire"

The archmages I recall him fighting, at least in the movies, used magic to turn into a snake, and to turn into a man ape, and to open a door.

Conan had cool adventures, but that stuff can all fit at low level.
one of these days I would like to see someone go through books and movies and figure out every magic thing that conan every went up against, then suggest instead of upping the martials limiting the casters to that list... how well do you think THAT would go over.


Mind Mage
Whether or not they feel different from each other is very much a matter of personal opinion, and often revolves around one's opinion of 4e as a whole.
Sure. The mechanics are also a kind of "flavor".

For me, it is extremely important that the flavor and the mechanics cohere with each other.

If the flavor makes a claim that the mechanics are unable to actualize, it becomes highly unpleasant.

Oppositely, there are situations where the mechanics do something that the flavor doesnt really explain well. This can be problem for Martial flavor, such as forcing the decision-making of a target, without explaining how a nonmagical character who is unable to Charm, is able to do this. There needs to be a convincing explanation, such as a plausible psychological trick, or physical maneuver.

In my view, these situations concern a specific power. The specific power can be clarified or rewritten for a fix. Meanwhile, the general approach of powers with different flavors works well in 4e.

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