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

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ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
Not everyone finds joy in making decisions.
Then playing a game with tactical combat probably isn't for them.

Shouldn't there be a complex decision tree martial for people that want it? There isn't one. And if there were, given how everything else in 5e tends to work, most of those abilities would have to be essentially magic to compete with the other high-complexity classes.

Anyway, if your default position is "I don't like decisions" you'll probably never grok why people like wizards and find them strong.
 

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Stalker0

Legend
Athletics becomes a bit of a joke unless one builds for grappling.
I think people really underestimate how powerful grappling is in 5e. It only takes 1 attack, no OA no crazy weird mechanics. Its an opposed athletics, which a trained fighter with good strength will be better out than the vast majority of monsters they face. Even large creatures rarely have athletics proficiency.

Now they can't move, and now you can just move them around where you want them to go, drop them off a cliff, once they are grappled, you can just do that. Or prone them....they can't move so they can't get up from prone....wail on them all day.

My party recently "discovered" the power. Heck I have characters with only 14 strength doing it, because it can be great and its cost is low.
 

Shadowedeyes

Explorer
Such as? Not being flippant, serious question.
A valid question, and one that I'll admit can be tricky to answer. Off the top of my head I'd say spells enhancing physical combat seem fairly obvious to start, but even that eventually leads to things like Paladin smite spells, which fit for that character. Still, something like Tenser's Transformation seems like maybe not a great idea?

Jump and Spider climb also just do better than equivalent martial abilities. In earlier editions Invisibility was like becoming a master at sneaking, although by rules in 5e it doesn't actually do that anymore. And I'm not sure I would want to get rid of all these abilities, as they are very iconic, but they do make having an equivalent skill feel less awesome.
 

Don't mean to harp but would you mind providing a sequence of 6 spells that you believe would be good for the description of the creatures I proposed?
I think that even using specific monsters in the experiment is inherently “white-roomy”. Inherent in my post is using context clues to identify monsters, something that is lacking in a white room analysis.

What is the context for my wizard fighting them? This might provide context for resistances and immunities.

Where are we? If we are in say, Mt Celestia, this gives me an idea of the creatures and their likely abilities.

Was I aware that I might come across this type of monster? I might have performed research as to the likely defences of what I might face.

As a DM, do you allow knowledge checks for information about monsters? As a wizard, I’m likely trained in the appropriate knowledge skills.

How far away are they? This might impact my choices.

What is my goal? I might be able to trivially “win” the encounter by teleporting away or by evading the monsters.

Have I fought these monsters before or monsters of the same type? This might provide information about their abilities, immunities and tactics. As a level 17 spellcaster, I presume I have fought a large portion of the 11+ creatures in the monster manual.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
Or prone them
In a party with only one other melee-preferred character, this is actually a benefit to the proned, unless you have a large field of adversaries, in which case grappling one might be a waste of your time. It can be really good, but it depends entirely on the encounter and party.

Further, that's one trick. Grappling and shoving and positioning are essentially it. It isn't like you get a new thing you can do that replaces grappling to do some completely other thing in Tier 3.
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
You are focusing on the wrong point.

The joy is making the decisions at that moment; and that your short list of options may be different than the one you had yesterday.

You are deliberately not making it a batman encounter, because one of those involves a day of planning, and those aren't solo - the planning involves picking spells around the capabilities of the party.

A fighter just casts sword.

I should add that single target damage is already well within the fighter's wheelhouse, too. That should be clear, but perhaps it is not.
you nope'd right off when @Flamestrike gave you the opportunity to show the real strength of the 5e batman wizard the last time you had a chance in the long rest vrs short rest thread where you were making these kinds of claims & again avoided it when the little adventure he made was forked into it's own thread. Coincidentally the wizard defender who did participate in the prewritten adventure is not doing so well in it using a spell list chosen before seeing the already written adventure.

It seems like your complaint here might be better represented by "I would prefer a whiteroom with full disclosure where I could prepare spells at a metagame level to trivialize it rather than needing to balance or even consider the needs of adventuring in a party where the players will not generally know everything they encounter".
 

Asisreo

Hero
Then playing a game with tactical combat probably isn't for them.
I enjoy tactical combat. I play JRPG's almost exclusively. But there's a huge difference in that I have time to take 10-30 minutes to decide my next move on a JRPG, or if I make a mistake I don't cost someone else's character.

But even still, I think the fact that these players actually do not have to just not play 5e is the entire strength of Martials.
Shouldn't there be a complex decision tree martial for people that want it? There isn't one. And if there were, given how everything else in 5e tends to work, most of those abilities would have to be essentially magic to compete with the other high-complexity classes.
There is, and its the EK. And it does use spells but I still don't see a mechanical reason why this is bad. I mean, that just means that a player that never touched EK's can still hop in without having to learn a completely separate subsystem if they've been introduced to magic and vice-verse.

Adding more subsystems are adding more headaches to a player's end and can ultimately turn them away.
Anyway, if your default position is "I don't like decisions" you'll probably never grok why people like wizards and find them strong.
I don't think many of my friends like game-deciding decisions because its too much pressure. When the heat is on them and only them, they say they aren't enjoying it. I'm also an introvert, so stepping up and saying "This will fix it." Only for the creature to heartily resist is almost a nightmare.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
gave you the opportunity
I gave them the opportunity to tell me which half of that short spell list was 86'd. They didn't take it.

And this after they had already cherrypicked the encounter entirely on their terms.

It seems like your complaint here might be better represented by "I would prefer a whiteroom with full disclosure where I could prepare spells at a metagame level to trivialize it rather than needing to balance or even consider the needs of adventuring in a party where the players will not generally know everything they encounter".

No, and if you had actually read the post you quoted you'd get the point.

Playing a class like a wizard does not mean you have the absolutely best set of choices each and every time. In fact, sometimes you have the worst possible spell list for that encounter. This is the point.

Playing a fighter is like American Gladiator. Playing a Wizard is like Iron Chef.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Coincidentally the wizard defender who did participate in the prewritten adventure is not doing so well in it using a spell list chosen before seeing the already written adventure.
With respect, we have had a couple of encounters so far. Lets not start using that as the posterboy for any debates until we actually finish the adventure and see what happens.
 

Stalker0

Legend
In a party with only one other melee-preferred character, this is actually a benefit to the proned, unless you have a large field of adversaries, in which case grappling one might be a waste of your time. It can be really good, but it depends entirely on the encounter and party.
Of course, just as everything in dnd does. But you had made the claim that "athletics is a joke", and I feel I have effectively countered that criticism.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
I enjoy tactical combat. I play JRPG's almost exclusively.
That isn't even remotely the same kind of tactical depth.

There is, and its the EK.
And I am here to tell you that you are flat wrong. The EK is not, let me stress this, is not anywhere nearly as flexible as a full caster - any full caster, even a warlock. Particularly with their school restrictions.

Your combat routine is pretty much set in stone from Tier 1 onward, with only minor changes. A Haste or a Shadow Blade is not that mechanically interesting, and other gishy types roll that out long before you do.


I don't think many of my friends like game-deciding decisions because its too much pressure. When the heat is on them and only them, they say they aren't enjoying it. I'm also an introvert, so stepping up and saying "This will fix it." Only for the creature to heartily resist is almost a nightmare.
I don't think a wizard will be desirable in that environment, and 2e/3e wizards even more so. I will happily argue that I think wizards should go back to real Vancian prep-each-slot-per-day style casting, which is an even heavier decision burden. That said, warlocks and sorcerers have far fewer choices, and that set of choices changes less often.

But - that's caster to caster, and if someone wants to play a claymore-wielding melee type, their options are somewhat limited - unless they play a paladin, of course.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
Of course, just as everything in dnd does. But you had made the claim that "athletics is a joke", and I feel I have effectively countered that criticism.
Put another way, how many other classes need to invest a proficiency just to open up one of the handful of combat maneuvers available to them? And how many tables treat athletics as fully replaceable with acrobatics for everything but the initiation of a grapple? One that can be defeated by a second level spell as an afterthought?
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I gave them the opportunity to tell me which half of that short spell list was 86'd. They didn't take it.

And this after they had already cherrypicked the encounter entirely on their terms.



No, and if you had actually read the post you quoted you'd get the point.

Playing a class like a wizard does not mean you have the absolutely best set of choices each and every time. In fact, sometimes you have the worst possible spell list for that encounter. This is the point.

Playing a fighter is like American Gladiator. Playing a Wizard is like Iron Chef.
That list would have taken 17 levels to accumulate & it was a level 7 test. When was the last time you ever heard of a wizard handing the gm their class spell list with a demand the GM tell them which spells will be useful on the adventure? Even the most overprepared 3.x scry & die didn;t have it as good as you seem to expect wizards to have it. do you

@Stalker0 I mentioned it mainly because Everyone in agreement with ph0rk in that thread along with ph0rk himself avoided it like the plague. NOting it seemed like a good way to check if it was still going on since it's been a couple days :D
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
In my experience the players would rather spin their wheels for an hour or more in game trying every single skill and pixelbitching to the ends of the earth rather than spent one spell slot they don't have to outside of combat that's not a preparation for later combat (mage armor) or to avoid combat during a rest (tiny hut).
If your casters aren't casting out-of-combat utility spells at your table, then why do the players of martial classes feel left behind in utility?
 

Asisreo

Hero
I think that even using specific monsters in the experiment is inherently “white-roomy”. Inherent in my post is using context clues to identify monsters, something that is lacking in a white room analysis.

What is the context for my wizard fighting them? This might provide context for resistances and immunities.

Where are we? If we are in say, Mt Celestia, this gives me an idea of the creatures and their likely abilities.

Was I aware that I might come across this type of monster? I might have performed research as to the likely defences of what I might face.

As a DM, do you allow knowledge checks for information about monsters? As a wizard, I’m likely trained in the appropriate knowledge skills.

How far away are they? This might impact my choices.

What is my goal? I might be able to trivially “win” the encounter by teleporting away or by evading the monsters.

Have I fought these monsters before or monsters of the same type? This might provide information about their abilities, immunities and tactics. As a level 17 spellcaster, I presume I have fought a large portion of the 11+ creatures in the monster manual.
Then I impart upon you context:

You've been on the run for a while because a previous adventure required you to travel to Sigil and retrieve the "Item of McGuffin" which is important because it has the power to move the plot forward but is otherwise a trinket.

This retrieval was explicitly a crime in the multiverse and after a few minutes of investigation, the trail leads to your group.

Now these two creatures appear and telepathically say "Return the McGuffin, you have committed crimes against the multiverse. Surrender yourselves."

Besides the descriptions, you know nothing about the creatures but I'll permit you to make an Intelligence skill check to know their lore. I'll let you have proficiency too at a DC 20. So you'd have around a 55% chance to figure out what type of creature it is. But its abilities are unknown to you anyways.
 

Asisreo

Hero
I gave them the opportunity to tell me which half of that short spell list was 86'd. They didn't take it.

And this after they had already cherrypicked the encounter entirely on their terms.
I don't know what 86'd means, if its referring to me, but I'm allowing any spells from the wizard's class list. You can also use the context I recently posted.
 

Voadam

Legend
Without looking in the MM

I would think the
Planetar as the #2 top celestial is a tough opponent with magic resistance, legendary resistance, and a couple energy resistances. No real obvious weak save to target either.

Therefore if I was alone I would go with a self buff like shapechange.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
That list would have taken 17 levels to accumulate & it was a level 7 test.
Again, they got to pick which half of that list I did not have.

If they can't bother with that level of detail, they aren't sincerely engaging in the question - because that is exactly what the DM of a wizard must do, at every level up.

I don't need to engage in someone else's cherry picked whiteroom combat scenario to "prove" wizards are strong and flexible - because it is true.

On the contrary, someone who thinks that wizards are not strong and flexible needs to provide a wealth of such scenarios demonstrating that they are not.

It should be quite easy, if they are as weak as you claim.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
I don't know what 86'd means, if its referring to me, but I'm allowing any spells from the wizard's class list. You can also use the context I recently posted.
This was in another thread, where I offered to meet Flamestrike halfway and they wouldn't engage; and I even offered to let them restrict the list. They wouldn't.


But, like I've stated here - the point isn't that the wizard always wins or always kills the monster first (though once we're at a tier that include force cage, wish, foresight, plane shift, and teleport, they probably have a pretty good win rate). It is that the wizard has the opportunity to approach the monster a different way each time; or at least a multitude of different ways - on a long enough time line they will run out of new combinations, but that is a very long time indeed. The fighter runs out of new options very quickly.

Some fighter builds are defeated by something as simple as a flying creature.
 

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