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D&D 5E Martials should just get free feats

I'm not sure what you caonsider a martial. Fighter, Monk, Barbarian and Rogue? In any case they already have their thing. Fighters get an extra ASI already, Barbarians have their Rage and a bunch of cool subclass abiltiies and Rogues are just all around useful with a crap ton of abilities and like Fighters they also get an extra feat. Monk is the only one that really seems to need another feat and not many combat feats are great for a Monk.

If I did this I would give it to all PCs. If you give it only to martials then Gish and Melee casters won't be able to keep up. At 13th level for example a fighter will have 4 more feats than a bladesinger or a Paladin and will blow them out of the water in melee.
. . . and how about out of melee? Out of combat?
A fighter should not be way better at melee than other characters designed for melee. Just because they decided to play a class without magic buffs does not mean you should make them more powerful.

A Paladin with smites or a Bladesinger is going to be WAY behind a fighter with 4 extra feats when it comes to melee and they shouldn't be. I wouldn't mind a little bit behind in melee (and both of those are already are with the current RAW) but it should be close, the fighter should not be running away with it. If a figther takes 3 rounds to kill a particular bad guy in melee without using limited resources a Bladeinsger or Paladin with the same strength should be able to do it in 4 rounds, also without spending any limited resources.
Would you care to explain this claim?

By 13th level, the Fighter will probably have run out of feats that are going to actually improve them in melee quite a while ago, and both the Paladin and Bladesinger will likely have caught up. You rapidly hit a point of diminishing returns after perhaps the second feat where each extra feat improves you less.

A bladesinger who really feels like pulling out all of the stops is quite capable of blowing most fighters out of the water within a melee fight at 13th level. Even restricting the comparison to "melee attacks only" a 13th level bladesinger can still cast 7th level spells and if they decide to go absolutely beastmode, a mere mundane fighter isn't going to keep up.
 

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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I think we are running into one of the larger issues with the Fighter class and it's identity. The Fighter should be the King of Combat, but the class really can't be, lest all other combatants be relegated to second-tier, and one of the fundamental design decisions in 5e is that everyone has fairly equal fighting ability.
Not as long as everyone's weapon attack bonus is the same, no.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
A fighter should not be way better at melee than other characters designed for melee. Just because they decided to play a class without magic buffs does not mean you should make them more powerful.

A Paladin with smites or a Bladesinger is going to be WAY behind a fighter with 4 extra feats when it comes to melee and they shouldn't be. I wouldn't mind a little bit behind in melee (and both of those are already are with the current RAW) but it should be close, the fighter should not be running away with it. If a figther takes 3 rounds to kill a particular bad guy in melee without using limited resources a Bladeinsger or Paladin with the same strength should be able to do it in 4 rounds, also without spending any limited resources.
So...

The Fighter shouldn't be significantly better at combat than other, fighting-focused (sub)classes. Including the fighting-focused Wizard subclass.

Yet the Wizard, and to a lesser extent partial spellcasters like Paladin, should be FAR AND AWAY superior to Fighters at things that aren't combat? AND actually have the option to use those spells to boost their combat instead?

That seems pretty grossly unfair to me.
 

ECMO3

Hero
. . . and how about out of melee? Out of combat?

Without using limited resources yes. A Bladesinger should not be WAY better out of combat without using limited resources and neither should a Paladin.

I would argue a Bladesinger is actually going to be worse than a fighter out of combat without using spells because with the same rolls she is typically going to have a lower Wisdom and Charisma. A Paladin will probably be about the same out of combat as a fighter without using limited resources.

Would you care to explain this claim?

What is there to explain? A fighter should not be WAY better at melee than other characters designed for melee. They should be close to the same at doing what they are designed to do.

By 13th level, the Fighter will probably have run out of feats that are going to actually improve them in melee quite a while ago, and both the Paladin and Bladesinger will likely have caught up. You rapidly hit a point of diminishing returns after perhaps the second feat where each extra feat improves you less.

No they won't. To start with the fighter is getting three attacks and 3 extra feats at 13th level means 4 ASIs and 3 feats. At least one of them can be a fighting style and with the wider number available there is ALWAYS going to be a very good one to take.

Between Defense, Archery, Thrown Weapon Fighting, Dueling and Unarmed combat there are at least 2 fighting styles for every fighter style you want that will be a significant boost, meanwhile a Bladesinger does not get any fighting style and a Paladin has fewer good choices.

Think about this - Thrown Weapon Fighting Style, Feat-Archery Fighting Style, Feat-Sharpshooter, Feat-GWM, Feat-Slasher, Feat-Crusher, Feat-Heavy Armor Master, Feat-Pole Arm Master

This character would gave a 20 strength on point buy and DESTROY any bladesinger or Paladin possible at both melee and ranged combat with weapons (throwing darts) and that is before we even consider the subclass abilities. Heck that character would dominate melee while also outruning a Ranger XBE-Sharpshooter in ranged fights without even using a bonus action!


A bladesinger who really feels like pulling out all of the stops is quite capable of blowing most fighters out of the water within a melee fight at 13th level. Even restricting the comparison to "melee attacks only" a 13th level bladesinger can still cast 7th level spells and if they decide to go absolutely beastmode, a mere mundane fighter isn't going to keep up.

That is a silly comparison. A fighter is not designed to be a spell caster. They should not be able to cast spells as well as a Wizard.

On the other hand a Bladesinger is a melee designed subclass though and they should be able to melee pretty close to what a fighter can do without resorting to spells.

Basically your arguement here is the Bladesinger can cast spells so it should not be nearly as good at using weapons. That argument has no basis. A Bladesinger should be nearly as good at melee in addtion to being able to cast spells and "blowing most fighters out of the water". A Bladesinger should be able to do both because that is what it is designed to do. That is what the theme is. A fighter is only designed to do one of those things, should only do one of those things and should not do it heads and shoulders better than other builds designed to do it.

IF the fighter is going to get another 3 feats to get better at melee than other melee builds should get that as well so they can keep up.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
So...

The Fighter shouldn't be significantly better at combat than other, fighting-focused (sub)classes. Including the fighting-focused Wizard subclass.

Yet the Wizard, and to a lesser extent partial spellcasters like Paladin, should be FAR AND AWAY superior to Fighters at things that aren't combat? AND actually have the option to use those spells to boost their combat instead?
YES Exactly! That is part of the class design.

That seems pretty grossly unfair to me.

There is nothing unfair at all as long as players pick their class. Play what you want to play! Just because one build is objectively more powerful than another does not make it wrong to play the weaker build.

Now if you are forcing a player play a certain class, then absolutely it could be unfair, but that practice itself is unfair IMO.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I think we are running into one of the larger issues with the Fighter class and it's identity. The Fighter should be the King of Combat, but the class really can't be, lest all other combatants be relegated to second-tier, and one of the fundamental design decisions in 5e is that everyone has fairly equal fighting ability.
Pick two:
  • Meaningful balance
  • No second-rate combat-focused (sub)classes
  • Fighters are effectively only about fighting
If the game is meaningfully balanced and Fighters effectively don't bring anything to the table but "ME FIGHT GOOD," then non-Fighters must be distinctly behind it, especially if the Fighter has minimal resources to make them stronger.

If there are no second-rate combat classes, but effectively the only thing Fighters contribute is fighting, you must shortchange the Fighter. They don't get non-combat things, but aren't allowed to be any better at combat than the folks who do get non-combat things.

If the classes are meant to be actually balanced with one another and no combat-focused (sub)class is second-rate compared to any other, then Fighters need to go beyond "effectively only fighting" and actually bring meaningful tools that aren't fighting-related.

And (as I have had to say far too many times), if it's a resource everyone gets, it doesn't count. Everyone gets a background and four skills and racial/species features. In "One D&D," everyone gets a background feat. If it's something legitimately everyone gets, it does not count as an advantage addressing the gap in what the Fighter itself brings to the table.

YES Exactly! That is part of the class design.
So..."you get to play 3/4ths of a class, while everyone else gets to play a full class" is "part of the class design"?

There is nothing unfair at all as long as players pick their class. Play what you want to play! Now if you are forcing a player play a certain class, then absolutely it is unfair, but that practice itself is unfair IMO.
Absolutely not. This is like saying, "There's nothing unfair about offering only a six-inch chicken teriyaki sandwich while all other sandwiches are footlongs, so long as the customer chooses the six-inch. Which costs the same amount as a footlong."

These options are presented to us as commensurate. They are not equal, but they are meant to be peers. You should not be punished for choosing to play Fighter instead of choosing to play Wizard. (Or, if you prefer, "you should not be specially rewarded for choosing to play Wizard instead of playing Fighter.") But by your own description, a Bladesinger Wizard brings 3/4ths of the combat capacity of a Fighter without spending a single spell slot. The Fighter brings none of the class-derived non-combat capacity of the Wizard, regardless of what resources they might spend. That is the unfairness. Why is it okay to punish people who just prefer Fighter flavor/feel/story over Wizard flavor/feel/story?
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Without using limited resources yes. A Bladesinger should not be WAY better out of combat without using limited resources and neither should a Paladin.

I would argue a Bladesinger is actually going to be worse than a fighter out of combat without using spells because with the same rolls she is typically going to have a lower Wisdom and Charisma. A Paladin will probably be about the same out of combat as a fighter without using limited resources.



What is there to explain? A fighter should not be WAY better at melee than other characters designed for melee. They should be close to the same at doing what they are designed to do.



No they won't. To start with the fighter is getting three attacks and 3 extra feats at 13th level means 4 ASIs and 3 feats. At least one of them can be a fighting style and with the wider number available there is ALWAYS going to be a very good one to take.

Between Defense, Archery, Thrown Weapon Fighting, Dueling and Unarmed combat there are at least 2 fighting styles for every fighter style you want that will be a significant boost, meanwhile a Bladesinger does not get any fighting style and a Paladin has fewer good choices.

Think about this - Thrown Weapon Fighting Style, Feat-Archery Fighting Style, Feat-Sharpshooter, Feat-GWM, Feat-Slasher, Feat-Crusher, Feat-Heavy Armor Master, Feat-Pole Arm Master

This character would gave a 20 strength on point buy and DESTROY any bladesinger or Paladin possible at both melee and ranged combat with weapons (throwing darts) and that is before we even consider the subclass abilities




That is a silly comparison. A fighter is not designed to be a spell caster. They should not be able to cast spells as well as a Wizard.

On the other hand a Bladesinger is a melee designed subclass though and they should be able to melee pretty close to what a fighter can do without resorting to spells.

Basically your arguement here is the Bladesinger can cast spells so it should not be nearly as good at using weapons. That argument has no basis. A Bladesinger should be nearly as good at melee in addtion to being able to cast spells and "blowing most fighters out of the water". A Bladesinger should be able to do both because that is what it is designed to do. That is what the theme is. A fighter is only designed to do one of those things, should only do one of those things and should not do it heads and shoulders better than other builds designed to do it.

IF the fighter is going to get another 3 feats to get better at melee than other melee builds should get that as well so they can keep up.
I'm going to counter this with the Eldritch Knight.

If the Bladesinger can be nearly as good at melee in addition to being able to cast spells and "blowing most fighters out of the water" because that is what it was designed to do, and that's what it's theme is, shouldn't it follow that the Eldritch Knight should be nearly as good as being able to cast spells as the Wizard?
 

ECMO3

Hero
I'm going to counter this with the Eldritch Knight.

If the Bladesinger can be nearly as good at melee in addition to being able to cast spells and "blowing most fighters out of the water" because that is what it was designed to do, and that's what it's theme is, shouldn't it follow that the Eldritch Knight should be nearly as good as being able to cast spells as the Wizard?

I don't think an Eldritch Knigth is designed and intended thematically to be a powerful caster. Mostly because the spell selection is limited and the design elements focus on weapons. If they wanted the EK to be a full caster they would have made it a full caster.

On the other hand a Bladesinger does have the same proficiency bonus as a fighter, they do get extra attack and they do get the same base attack and damage bonuses with the same ability scores. They are gimped a little because of limited weapon selection and no fighting style, but clearly they are intended to be close to a basic fighter in melee with weapons and they get a lot of what the base fighter gets, some of it not quite as good and some a little later in level but it is mostly there.

Bottom line - a Bladesinger is meant to be close to a martial in combat, and EK is not meant to be close to a full caster when it comes to casting.

Moreover if you disagree and want to "fix" this, the way to do it is to give the EK more spells, not to give him more combat feats. Giving an EK an extra 3 feats will not make him a better caster. Making his spell progression to be close to a Wizard would be the appropriate fix here.

I have a problem with a homebrew that gives a fighter 3 more feats for no reason and lets him pull ahead of every other class. I have no problem making an EK full caster progression starting at level 3 to bring him closer to other classes when it comes to casting. Not something that is needed in my game but not a terrible idea either.
 
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James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
I don't an Eldritch Knigth is designed thematically to be a pwoerful caster. Mostly because the spell selection is limited and the design elements focus on weapons. If they wanted the EK to be a full caster they would have made it a full caster.

Certainly I don;t think the design intent for an EK is to be able to cast game-breaking 9th level spells at high level. I do think the design intent for a bladesinger is to be able to wade into combat using weapons and at least be capable at high level.

Moreover if you want to fix this, the way to do it is to give the EK more spells, not to give him more combat feats. Giving an EK an extra 3 feats will not make him a better caster.
So what is the Eldritch Knight supposed to be?

And why is it ok that the Bladesinger accomplishes the goal of being "caster + almost as good melee fighter" so well, but Eldritch Knight can't be a "good melee fighter + almost as good caster"? Does balance have no place in the game?
 

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