D&D 5E Martials v Casters...I still don't *get* it.

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TheSword

Legend
By this logic a commoner is also just as capable as a spellcaster, since you're only metric appears to be "can they replicate some version of overlapping impact of a spell with enough time and effort." With enough time and effort, real nonmagical people have put men on the moon..all it takes is a few short centuries of aggregated scientific progress.

What it really boils down to is there are 78 pages (just in the phb alone) of specific narrative shortcuts, designed and incorporated in the existing action resolution mechanics requiring zero additional DM bandwidth for a player to select and use.

Also, thank you for again clarifying that you believe it is the martial player's lack of creativity and nonspecific DM intransigence that is the root cause for this feeling of imbalance here.. not that for one set of PCs, the designers have specified options for what a player may do and how they should expect for that action to be adjudicated and for the other set, the designers have said "yeah, you can grapple..and you can shove...and..et cetera I guess..your DM can figure it out".

Because here's the thing, by your metric for the bar that the designers needed to clear to provide adequate mechanical support, the entire spell section is unnecessary, you could just have the caster's players roll a contested check, have them describe a spell, and let the DM make it work.
Not going to engage with ridiculousness. If you are equating pulling a curtain down on someone’s head and flying to the moon, you’re not looking to understand but ridicule.

Spells have always been very specifically described. When you are altering the laws of physics it helps to be very precise. That’s why spells only do precisely what they say they do. It’s also the reason why there the 76 pages that you get so hung up. You don’t have to read them you know.

There are about a dozen actions a fighter can take in combat. The designers sensibly didn’t try to do what pathfinder did and game out every single possible action because they have GMs. Then they expressly encouraged GMs to use skill contests to adjudicate these.
 

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TheSword

Legend
On "Creativity", Here's the issue.

D&D has a concept of a caster level.
D&D doesn't have a concept of a martial level.

In 5e, characters should be rolling their Martial Level or referring to a Martial level chart when doing creative physical or mental martial actions.
Why? Why try and codify the unlimited rather than use common sense?
 



Asisreo

Patron Badass
One person's common sense is another's "Sneak attack is too powerful and rogues should be nerfed at all possible oppertunities"

Martials have to play "DM May I?", caster's don't
The sneak attack example is exactly the same for spells though. They're both class features and the both just do what they say.

If the DM is nerfing class features haphazardly, then the interparty imbalance is completely their fault.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The sneak attack example is exactly the same for spells though. They're both class features and the both just do what they say.

If the DM is nerfing class features haphazardly, then the interparty imbalance is completely their fault.
The issues is the martial characters are often missing a class feature that tells you how martially skilled they are.

In 5e, there is no Martial roll. There is an attack roll however the rules tell you not to do it on no attack actions like shoving.
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
Nobody can agree at which level or what DC most martial actions would be easy or hard at.
Well, we can use the baselines for context clues:

If I want to push a tree down, well I believe thats possible. Is it harder than breaking out of iron manacles while bound by them?

It sounds maybe a bit harder, so we'll say its DC 22.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Well, we can use the baselines for context clues:

If I want to push a tree down, well I believe thats possible. Is it harder than breaking out of iron manacles while bound by them?

It sounds maybe a bit harder, so we'll say its DC 22.
Depends. How old and big is the tree?

Usually people being "creative" are doing thing outside of or far from the baselines.
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
Depends. How old and big is the tree?
And this is why the DM is so valuable, because they have the context.

It would be the same thing if the Wizard player tried to step in and use Telekinesis. Specifically, how heavy is the tree? If I'm set on having this tree remain still, the Martial gets a DC to high to hit or is told its impossible. The caster gets told it weighs 1 imperial ton and is too heavy to use.

Thus, both are denied.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Guess which other classes can get "creative" describe an action and make an ability check if the DM is agreeable? That would be all of them, every class can do this. If you cannot understand the issue with that line of argument let me spell it out for you in a way that a 5 year old can understand: Spells + Described actions is greater then just Described actions.

Why is it so hard to get through some peoples skulls that saying fighters don't need any utility mechanics because they can describe and roll is a bad argument purely on the point that if that argument was correct no class would need such mechanics because THEY CAN ALL DO THAT.

I wonder if these people were picked on in their school years and this is some sort of vicarious payback against the jocks that deal in physical violence?
"Spells + Described actions " however falls far short of making up the combat disparity given the limitations on damage and non damage combat abilities. If that wasn't the case there wouldn't be a need for so many of the white rooms arguing against it to be contrived situations that exclude every method but a spell from handling it
 

Emerikol

Adventurer
This age old debate is pretty divisive. To the degree the people wanting to turn warriors into casters get what they want, they will force people like me out of their games. Despite what has been done to appease them in 5e, they aren't satisfied. 4e was perhaps the fruition of their philosophy. They want pure martials without any resort to magic to do things that the rest of us think can't be done without magic. We don't want spell like powers being performed by martials but everyone just winks and says it's possible without magic.

At this point, I don't really see how both groups can be happy with the same game. 5e has already pushed me out and it is unsatisfying to the other side. WotC is trying, somewhat successfully as 5e has been successful, to play both sides of the fence. The trend has been away from me and towards them but again it's never enough it seems until the differences between fighters and wizards is purely what things are named.
 

Isn't arguing that martials just have to be more creative arguing in a bit of a vacuum?

1. It's not just the player that must have imagination - it's also the DM. Sure the player can ask for a skill contest to model something he wants to do - but the DM has to both say yes and then provide a realistic chance of success. I've too often seen DMs who either flat say no or essentially say no by making the player roll at disadvantage or some other penalty. And sure, that's on the DM - but that's the point.
There is a third requirement as well. Back when I was playing 4e, the adventure designers were really good about including terrain options you could interact with. Too bad they generally were less effective than a straightforward attack.

I don’t think the designers were against these options, they just tended to overestimate their effectiveness.

Also, once again many DMs are constrained by verisimilitude. If falling 10’ does 1d6 dmg, and hitting someone with a sword does 1d8 + Str dmg, is toppling a bookcase on someone going to do 4d10 dmg?
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
There is a third requirement as well. Back when I was playing 4e, the adventure designers were really good about including terrain options you could interact with. Too bad they generally were less effective than a straightforward attack.

I don’t think the designers were against these options, they just tended to overestimate their effectiveness.

Also, once again many DMs are constrained by verisimilitude. If falling 10’ does 1d6 dmg, and hitting someone with a sword does 1d8 + Str dmg, is toppling a bookcase on someone going to do 4d10 dmg?
For improvised damage, there actually is a table in the DMG chapter 8, combat.
 

TheSword

Legend
There is a third requirement as well. Back when I was playing 4e, the adventure designers were really good about including terrain options you could interact with. Too bad they generally were less effective than a straightforward attack.

I don’t think the designers were against these options, they just tended to overestimate their effectiveness.

Also, once again many DMs are constrained by verisimilitude. If falling 10’ does 1d6 dmg, and hitting someone with a sword does 1d8 + Str dmg, is toppling a bookcase on someone going to do 4d10 dmg?
No but it’s probably going to restrain the person until they break or wriggle out.
 

For improvised damage, there actually is a table in the DMG chapter 8, combat.
I was using XGE’s trap guide myself. But you didn’t answer my question. If falling 20’ does 2d6 dmg, and hitting someone with a sword does 1d8 + Str dmg, does it make sense that pushing a bookcase on someone does 4d10 dmg?

Many DMs will say no. Some will allow it, but the fighter is going to have to make an Ath check to topple it, and the creature will get a Dex save to avoid it. And even at 4d10, a fighter attacking twice with their swird is comparable damage.
 

No but it’s probably going to restrain the person until they break or wriggle out.
If we are talking about 4e adventures, it seemed to me that in most cases, straight attacking with your martial powers was better, since you could do equal damage and add the rider effect of your power as well.

In 5e, if the DM was going to allow a character to pin an enemy under the bookcase, they would probably require a Str or Ath check by the fighter and allow a Dex save by the enemy. Now you have two possible failure points, for an effect that may or may not be stronger than a straightforward attack.

Which is also part of the problem. If I am trying to decide whether to tip the bookcase or not, instead of attacking, I want to know how effective its going to be, and IME, a DM rarely responds “Well, it’s a DC 13 STR check, the enemy will have to make a DC 13 DEX save (half on a success), but if you succeed, the creature will take 3d10 (b) dmg and be prone”.
 

TheSword

Legend
  1. Common sense isn't common.
  2. Most D&D fans aren't trained warriors.
  3. Nobody can agree at which level or what DC most martial actions would be easy or hard at.
What level are the real life middleweight, light heavyweight, or heavyweight MMA champions?
I think all three of the reasons explain why it is much better to allow DM and their players to set the tone for their table rather than a one size fits all rule setting.
 

TheSword

Legend
Guess which other classes can get "creative" describe an action and make an ability check if the DM is agreeable? That would be all of them, every class can do this. If you cannot understand the issue with that line of argument let me spell it out for you in a way that a 5 year old can understand: Spells + Described actions is greater then just Described actions.

Why is it so hard to get through some peoples skulls that saying fighters don't need any utility mechanics because they can describe and roll is a bad argument purely on the point that if that argument was correct no class would need such mechanics because THEY CAN ALL DO THAT.

I wonder if these people were picked on in their school years and this is some sort of vicarious payback against the jocks that deal in physical violence?
Sure. But wizards don’t need to get their hands dirty and can do it easier, so the ability to pull a curtain down on someone’s head isn’t that practical. Particularly if it involves standing next to the target.

As usual the argument relies on white room theory crafting not practical sense.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
This age old debate is pretty divisive. To the degree the people wanting to turn warriors into casters get what they want, they will force people like me out of their games
It's not about turning warriors into casters by default.

It's about giving martial characters options for certain groups or creating a separate class that does for those players.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
There is a third requirement as well. Back when I was playing 4e, the adventure designers were really good about including terrain options you could interact with. Too bad they generally were less effective than a straightforward attack.

I don’t think the designers were against these options, they just tended to overestimate their effectiveness.

Also, once again many DMs are constrained by verisimilitude. If falling 10’ does 1d6 dmg, and hitting someone with a sword does 1d8 + Str dmg, is toppling a bookcase on someone going to do 4d10 dmg?

Per the DMG (chapter 8) a falling bookcase is suggested at 1d10. It would take a characters entire action, require a strength check and (depending on DM) allow a Dex check to avoid, if the DM is generous or might restrain the target until they succeed on a check to escape.

But overall, dropping a bookcase on a target, per the DMG guidelines, is almost always going to be LESS effective than simply hitting the target with a weapon (especially if multiple attacks, maneuver dice or sneak attack damage are involved).
 

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