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

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Minigiant

Legend
As well as any other 20th level barbarian with a 20 strength. Which is not at all. I think you want to play mutants and masterminds with Superman instead of dungeons and dragons.
Or..
Or..
Conan is level 13-15 and not on the level of a time stopping wizard or a walking saint.

The base system of D&D often stops working after level 13 or so. That might be why old versions of the game had level caps or diminishing returns. Especially since popular fantasy of those days didn't have high level PCs. Aragorn was level 14.
 
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Sithlord

Adventurer
There's always been this thing that certain characters are 20th level because that's the highest level you can be.

Like the king of the Barbarians in Greyhawk or Scarred Lands is 20th level just because of the idea that barbarian kings could be overturnned by a challenge by combat.

Or the archmage is 20th level because that's how far the dial goes.

If the dial went to 10 then they'd all be 10th level. In BECMI there were more levels (36) in which case the most powerful wizards were that level.

The only reason to make Conan 20th level is because you want him to be the biggest badass in the world and that's how you measure badassness.
Pretty close to how Howard wrote him.
 

Dm may I. When the fighter whines that he can’t part water or teleport.
More like "I would like to use my 18 strength to kick this door in" and being told "lol no" despite the door being described as a weak, flimsy thing

Frankly the other discussions in the thread are showing it as well. Martials are constrained by reality despite having killed monsters and at the level they can kill the gods and shatter their thrones, yet they're supposed to be constrained by reality still.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Or..
Or..
Conan is level 13-15 and not on the level of a time stopping wizard or a walking saint.

The base system of D&D often stops working after level 13 or so. That might be why old versionsof the game had level caps or diminishing returns. Especially sense popular fantasy of those levels didn't have high level PCs. Aragorn was level 14.
Gygax once said he assumed anyone interested in the long haul D&D would gravitate towards playing a wizard.

Elric was his worlds sorcerer supreme but most sorcerers in his world only did rituals. In a world where everyone is limited even people with only a handful of power are potent
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
More like "I would like to use my 18 strength to kick this door in" and being told "lol no" despite the door being described as a weak, flimsy thing

Frankly the other discussions in the thread are showing it as well. Martials are constrained by reality despite having killed monsters and at the level they can kill the gods and shatter their thrones, yet they're supposed to be constrained by reality still.
That’s an idiot DM problem. There Have been established rules since 1974 on busting down doors.
 

Pretty close to how Howard wrote him.
The point is that it's completely arbritrary to how you set the scale.

Conan cannot canonically do the things that Thor can do, or the Hulk. You can stop the advancement at any point where Conan is skilled enough to basically do Conan stuff (which realistically is probably about 5 - the point at which he can slaughter level 1 oponents and beat down people who could reasonably be described as skilled). The only reason to go higher is relative ability - you don't want someone to be better than Conan. (But in order to achieve this you also have to always have the scale stop at Conan level and no higher - basically the only reason for Fighters not to become ever more increasingly godlike is that it wouldn't allow Conan to stand on the peak).

If you want Conan to one day progress from where ever he is ability wise to someday become even more powerful, (a future Conan who doesn't lead armies but just takes on whole armies singlehandedly) than he can't currently be the maximum level in the game.

If Conan is level 20 just because that's the highest level in the game, then you have to look at whether the wizard character at level 20 is equivalent to conan, both system wise and fictionally. And the answer would seem to be "no". Conan can beat any one person in single combat, can take on relatively beatable monsters (he never fights the Tarrasque or even a dragon) and can lead armies but has nothing like the godlike abilities of a 20th level wizard.

Or to look at it from another direction. If a 20th level Fighter was someone like Cuchulain who actually can take on whole armies singlehandedly, would such a character overshadow the Wizard player and what they can do (or the Druid, or the Cleric)? I don't think so.

A lot of weird stuff has come about because of the fact high level play was originally more aspirational than anything. I believe that the highest level PC in Gygax's game was 14th level. Ninth-level spells were not really intended for players.
 
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While I get your point, I want to disagree with the severity here.

Getting Persuasion in 5e is really not hard. Its not a big cost. Oh I'm a noble instead of a solider....done. Just that simple. Backgrounds are mainly about skills, so if you want a skill, take a background that has it. Done. Skills are pretty easy if you want a specific one, its just hard if you want a LOT of skills.

Choosing one manuever to be really good at something is not a huge investment. Maneuvers can be spammed, there is nothing that stops a BM fighter from just using say.... Parry and Precision attack all day every day and be perfectly, wonderful fine in combat. If you want to take the last maneuver for a persuasion bump....your really not reducing your combat effectiveness all that much.
Maneuvers aren't exactly spammable. The point at which a wizard can cast as many spells as the BM gets SD is only 5th level.
And that assumes a two short rest 'ideal' adventuring day, which many groups do not achieve.

Having the skill training is a first step. However assigning points to a tertiary or worse stat in order to get a good total bonus is a big cost, compared to a caster, who gets a big chunk of their utility (spells) from their primary ability score.
Furthermore, and this is also important, at base a caster can generally get a higher bonus in more skills than a non-caster. There are simply more skills that key off casting stats than physical stats. A caster can pick 4 or 5 skills that use their primary stat. Even a Dex-based fighter only gets three. (and or course Sre-based only get 1.) Outside of actual class features specifically boosting skills (like the Rogue), martials not only only get just skills at base compared to casters getting skills + spells, they are actually worse at skills.

So basically u want the abilities of magic without the limitations of magic like not being dispelled or countered and functioning in antimagic areas and other limitations that magic has. That sounds fair.
Has anyone actually suggested that martial abilities that do the same things as spells not have limitations? Seriously?

I think it likely that martial maneuvers will have their own limitations For example one of my Warlord hacks was mostly a Valor Bard with a limited "spell" list. These didn't count as magic, but they did require line of sight, the "caster" to be visible and audible to the target, including throughout the duration if a concentration spell. These actually ended up as more restrictive than magic spells would have been.
 



As well as any other 20th level barbarian with a 20 strength. Which is not at all. I think you want to play mutants and masterminds with Superman instead of dungeons and dragons.

Now that I'm looking at the encounter guidelines, a dozen T-Rexes at the same time would be too much for a 20th level barbarian. A 20th level character can handle 40,000 xp worth of monsters in day. T-Rexes are 3,900 xp each. According to the XP threshold table, fighting one T-Rex would be a bit below a normal encounter and two would be hard. So based on encounter guidelines, A 20th level character should be able to defeat 10 T-Rexes in a day if they split up the T-Rexes into pairs or singles. Now if there some favorable factors like good terrain, more short rests, magic weapons and the like, 12 T-Rexes in day is feasible for a single 20th level character.

So a dozen T-Rexes at the same time is beyond a 20th level character, but 6 T-Rexes in a singe day should be quite doable. Something like that could be in Conan's ballpark...
 

Shadowedeyes

Explorer
Conan is definitely not level 20. Him and Valeria had trouble with one dinosaur in Red Nails. If he was 20th level, he should have been able to deal with it easily.

As for the topic, I'm not sure if there is much else I can say. I think martials(well, except the Rogue) need some out of combat boosts. I wish magic was a little bit less do anything, although that ship has pretty much sailed. Maybe give the martials some more varied options in combat, although I think they don't really need much of a power boost in that area.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Mod Note:

Some pages later, and still going in the same circles. I suggest folks find more fruitful pastures. Thread closed.
 

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