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

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Asisreo

Fiendish Attorney
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.
I'm not asking for proof, this isn't a science, its a demonstration. Sure, you don't have to participate, but I'm curious to know what you'd pick. Even if it doesn't wholly prove my point, it might at least show where I'm coming from.

My point isn't that casters are weak, either, its that they must be careful or else they could easily be ineffective in practice.
Therefore if I was alone I would go with a self buff like shapechange.
Interesting. Which creatures would you change into, if you don't mind?

Edit: Actually, this spell is off-limits because of the single restriction of "no costly spell components." You actually could have done it with Wish if it was 8th-level or lower, but since it requires a spell component, its in the realm of "DM fiat."
 

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ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
Sure, you don't have to participate, but I'm curious to know what you'd pick.
A wizard's spell list depends entirely on what happened to them for the previous 16 levels. No, I'm not interested in being baited into an exhibition match. But know that the Wizard is the Billie Jean King in this metaphor.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
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.
You realize we are talking about d&d 5e where the caster picks their own spells not ad&d2e when there were rules that could be used to have the GM choose what spells the wizard learns & guidance for ignoring it. I can't think of a single rule in any fifth edition book that supports your claim that a wizard's GM "must" be involved in the wizard's spell selections as you are claiming. Can you cite the rule?... preferably book & page number too
 

Asisreo

Fiendish Attorney
A wizard's spell list depends entirely on what happened to them for the previous 16 levels. No, I'm not interested in being baited into an exhibition match. But know that the Wizard is the Billie Jean King in this metaphor.
I can't force you to do it. But I'm not entirely sure why you're reluctant since I'm giving you the assumption of a schrodinger's spell list which means you can just choose the spells you think are best and I won't contest your spell choice (unless there's a component).
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
You realize we are talking about d&d 5e where the caster picks their own spells
The DM decides which spells on the list exist.

There are a range that don't at my tables.

If you've not read through the list and struck any you don't like, have you even DMd for a clever wizard before?


But I'm not entirely sure why you're reluctant

Because it's a showboaty exhibition match and picking a tailored list of spells for a specific encounter is boring - it's like unlocking all the choices in a video game. If you are certain they aren't strong, you do the work. Pick a range of encounters and build a range of wizards that fail at those encounters - with regularity. Flamestrike was trying to build an encounter based on the daily prepared list, which is absurd. Yours isn't absurd, but it is missing the point. It is just as easy to come up with an encounter a great many fighters would utterly fail at. What's more, they would fail at it with rough regularity across the level range, with the encounter appropriately scaled. Because there are some things they cannot easily do. The few things a wizard cannot easily do they can summon disposable monsters to do for them.

What makes playing a wizard enjoyable, and where martials truly fall down (outside of not being able to teleport and dominate) is this set of choices, that may be different for each character, and in the case of wizards, is different each day.

What people want is a martial with a similarly large and varied bag of tricks (why can't a martial have a training montage where they prepare a bunch of leap and AoE sweep attacks?). Ideally, one that doesn't equate to just slapping a coat of caster paint on the fighter chassis. This complex martial doesn't exist in 5e right now.


In fact, I'd argue that the very fact people that want to set up such an exhibition match demand that I provide the wizard's prepared list for them means they don't get it. If they can't assess the list and make reasonable choices, they don't get wizards in the first place and are arguing from a naive premise.
 

It’s a debate that concern mostly forum sneaker.
It concern those who see the game as competitive rather than a cooperative one.
So it’s perfectly normal to don’t get it.
 

Voadam

Legend
I'm not asking for proof, this isn't a science, its a demonstration. Sure, you don't have to participate, but I'm curious to know what you'd pick. Even if it doesn't wholly prove my point, it might at least show where I'm coming from.

My point isn't that casters are weak, either, its that they must be careful or else they could easily be ineffective in practice.

Interesting. Which creatures would you change into, if you don't mind?

Edit: Actually, this spell is off-limits because of the single restriction of "no costly spell components." You actually could have done it with Wish if it was 8th-level or lower, but since it requires a spell component, its in the realm of "DM fiat."
I don't know without looking in the MM if upgrading to
a solar
is above the CR limit but something strong that can still cast would probably be a decent choice, perhaps a dragon.

I don't recall the air velocity of the African versus European swallow or of the various winged outsiders versus dragons off the top of my head.

This was my gut reaction of what it was and what would be useful against it, I'd have to look over specifics of high level wizard spells for no component self buffs. My recent 5e wizard experience has been with Curse of Strahd levels so a different spell selection power range.

If a non consumable component is off limits though the fighter with no magic weapons is going to be hard off against a lot of opponents. :)

Since the situation developed narratively more while I was answering I might go for a straightforward escape spell with counterspell ready to counter their possible counters instead of a combat spell selection. As a wizard I have a few more options in this regard than the fighter too.
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
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.
5e doesn't make it easy, but with multiclassing, feats, and careful subclass choice one can make a martial with a complex decision tree, rivalling that of a full caster.

In particular, any martial with 3+ levels of Thief and a large supply of consumables (oil, alchemist's fire, caltrops, acid, the DMG poisons, etc.) can easily have a dozen or more options for what to do with their bonus action each turn. Sure, only a few will be relevant in any given situation, but that's just as true for casters' spells. Combine the Thief with the built-in choices of a Battlemaster or Echo Knight and the round-by-round options start piling up. And if that still isn't enough, feats with in-combat options like Healer can add even more decision points.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
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.
The other thing that casters get is the ability to dictate the terms of an encounter - and to get the heck out of dodge if the conditions/terms are not favorable.

Take @Asisreo 's scenario. If a martial is caught in it they can parlay (likely futile), fight (likely futile) or try to run (almost certainly futile unless the martial happens to have specific gear - escaping in 5e isn't easy). Why do I say likely futile? Because, clearly, the encounter was picked to be so.

A Wizard on the other hand, might still be hosed, but at least has a chance to prepare. So when faced with the "come with us or die" scenario the wizard dimension doors away, then teleports/or plane shifts away in peace. Why is the first spell a dimension door? because if the enemy being has counterspell prepared, the wizard still has higher level slots to get away. In fact the , likely, smart play is to cast contingency "If my dimension door is successfully counterspelled then contingency: dimension door." Then after the dimension door, get the heck out of dodge. Can this be foiled? Sure, but it takes a heck of a lot of "The DM REALLY wants to shut down the wizard" to do so.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
The DM decides which spells on the list exist.
You do realize that is a sort of completely undocumented houseuled system change ntcommonly used and that more importantly it actually weakens your case?
There are a range that don't at my tables.
and we are talking about 5e not "Ph0rk's huseruled fork of 5e where new problems exist" right?
If you've not read through the list and struck any you don't like, have you even DMd for a clever wizard before?
So when faced with an inability to cite anything more recent than ad&d2e in a d&d fifth edition discussion you divert to a git gud fallacy?. Shall we take tat as you are knowingly clinging to a "the gm must" straw that has no support within the rules then
Because it's a showboaty exhibition match and picking a tailored list of spells for a specific encounter is boring - it's like unlocking all the choices in a video game. If you are certain they aren't strong, you do the work. Pick a range of encounters and build a range of wizards that fail at those encounters - with regularity. Flamestrike was trying to build an encounter based on the daily prepared list, which is absurd. Yours isn't absurd, but it is missing the point. It is just as easy to come up with an encounter a great many fighters would utterly fail at. What's more, they would fail at it with rough regularity across the level range, with the encounter appropriately scaled. Because there are some things they cannot easily do. The few things a wizard cannot easily do they can summon disposable monsters to do for them.

What makes playing a wizard enjoyable, and where martials truly fall down (outside of not being able to teleport and dominate) is this set of choices, that may be different for each character, and in the case of wizards, is different each day.

What people want is a martial with a similarly large and varied bag of tricks (why can't a martial have a training montage where they prepare a bunch of leap and AoE sweep attacks?). Ideally, one that doesn't equate to just slapping a coat of caster paint on the fighter chassis. This complex martial doesn't exist in 5e right now.
You don't seem to have any problem with quantum spell lists where the perfect spell happens to be prepared for some niche edge case white room that ignores the way spells known/prepped works. Having some of the whiteroom predefined but unknown to you is less "showboaty" than "reflective of the way the game is actually prepared"
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
5e doesn't make it easy, but with multiclassing, feats, and careful subclass choice one can make a martial with a complex decision tree, rivalling that of a full caster.

In particular, any martial with 3+ levels of Thief and a large supply of consumables (oil, alchemist's fire, caltrops, acid, the DMG poisons, etc.) can easily have a dozen or more options for what to do with their bonus action each turn. Sure, only a few will be relevant in any given situation, but that's just as true for casters' spells. Combine the Thief with the built-in choices of a Battlemaster or Echo Knight and the round-by-round options start piling up. And if that still isn't enough, feats with in-combat options like Healer can add even more decision points.
So, I've not played a thief but I have messed around with caltrops and battlemaster maneuvers. These grow stale; particularly by Tier 3. I'm not saying they aren't better than a champion or samurai - they most certainly are, but the list won't ever approach any particular wizard's list, not will they have the "what do I prepare today" moment, either.

There are whole threads where people gripe about the sorcerer relative to the wizard for this very reason - it is the flexibility, more than particularly explosive power that they want (as a sorcerer actually has just a bit more of that than a wizard).
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
You do realize that is a sort of completely undocumented houseuled system change ntcommonly used and that more importantly it actually weakens your case?
It is entirely documented because this is the system of rulings, not rules.

And, as in the other thread I offered to meet them halfway and they bailed.


You don't seem to have any problem with quantum spell lists
Again proving that you only read enough words to begin to formulate a reply.

Please read the entire post.

Picking a new list day by day is part of the wizard experience. It is part of the fun bit.

Trying to carve it out only underscores that someone does not "get" wizards in 5e, or previous editions for that matter.
 

Asisreo

Fiendish Attorney
It is just as easy to come up with an encounter a great many fighters would utterly fail at. What's more, they would fail at it with rough regularity across the level range, with the encounter appropriately scaled. Because there are some things they cannot easily do. The few things a wizard cannot easily do they can summon disposable monsters to do for them.
I feel like you still believe I chose this encounter specifically to counter casters. But I didn't. I didn't want to say it but Martials won't be proving too hot in this encounter either. I just think its a level appropriate encounter.

It might be a little theatrical but I'm doing it to understand.

I mean, if you could do it and most other players here in this forum could do it, I may change my mind. But I can't understand just because you keep saying its "obvious."
is above the CR limit but something strong that can still cast would probably be a decent choice, perhaps a dragon.
Well, the creature you chose is above the available CR so that's gone. The highest CR dragon you could transform into would be an Ancient White Dragon or an Ancient Brass Dragon, though you can't have a monster that has the spellcasting trait anyways.

But, digging that out, the monsters chasing you do have access to abilities to chase you through the multiverse via plot. Because they have access to Sigil and the one responsible for chasing you is wholly capable of getting them to-or-from different planes/dimensions.

Although, I'd be okay if that's your choice in ending the encounter, I wouldn't consider that a win and they'd continue after you. Their ability to transport was somewhat hinted at by the fact that they Sigil has to do with it.

Actually, let me clarify. Sigil is a setting in the FR which has portals to other planes in the multiverse. So I'm not just giving them their ability to change planes just out of nowhere.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
I feel like you still believe I chose this encounter specifically to counter casters.
No, I'm saying I wouldn't engage on Flamestrike's terms, so I won't engage on yours, either.

Because any one particular encounter does not prove wizards are weak, or strong. They prove the player was clever or not or perhaps that the DM was being tough (as is always the case when a DM tailors an encounter to a wizard's prepared list - which is utter garbage. You did not attempt that).


But, digging that out, the monsters chasing you do have access to abilities to chase you through the multiverse via plot. Because they have access to Sigil and the one responsible for chasing you is wholly capable of getting them to-or-from different planes/dimensions.

The very fact that you have to think about how to chase down the wizard while the martial is already a greasy stain on the ground is the entire point.

Wizards have options. Did they bring the right options that day? Who knows. Finding out is the fun part. As is making an on-the-spot choice given that list of options.

A DM probably already knows more or less exactly what a martial is capable of after a few sessions.
 

Asisreo

Fiendish Attorney
The very fact that you have to think about how to chase down the wizard while the martial is already a greasy stain on the ground is the entire point.
The martial isn't dead. They could fight back. Remember, I said that the fight doesn't even count as a deadly encounter, so an all-martial team could probably be completely fine if they just fight back.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
Remember, I said that the fight doesn't even count as a deadly encounter, so an all-martial team could probably be completely fine if they just fight back.
Then a team of five martials and one wizard can result in the wizard making tea while the brutes engage in their labors. No need to expend resources because it is not necessary to win the encounter. Perhaps a firebolt or two so the lads know you're still on their side.

If we are to consider a team of five or six casters, though - you might need a 45 minute conversation just to get through the first round.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
It is entirely documented because this is the system of rulings, not rules.

And, as in the other thread I offered to meet them halfway and they bailed.



Again proving that you only read enough words to begin to formulate a reply.

Please read the entire post.

Picking a new list day by day is part of the wizard experience. It is part of the fun bit.

Trying to carve it out only underscores that someone does not "get" wizards in 5e, or previous editions for that matter.
The wizard can only choose spells from spells present in their spellbook. Contrary to your implications they can not choose from their entire class list like cleric druid paladin & ranger. Rulings not rules at best supports the idea that a gm could make massive changes, not that a gm must show the kind of involvement in wizard spell selections you are putting forward as standard.

The kind of extreme houserules you are suggesting as the wizard baseline are far beyond the scope of any reasonable discussion.



No, I'm saying I wouldn't engage on Flamestrike's terms, so I won't engage on yours, either.

Because any one particular encounter does not prove wizards are weak, or strong. They prove the player was clever or not or perhaps that the DM was being tough (as is always the case when a DM tailors an encounter to a wizard's prepared list - which is utter garbage. You did not attempt that).




The very fact that you have to think about how to chase down the wizard while the martial is already a greasy stain on the ground is the entire point.

Wizards have options. Did they bring the right options that day? Who knows. Finding out is the fun part. As is making an on-the-spot choice given that list of options.

A DM probably already knows more or less exactly what a martial is capable of after a few sessions.
If one particular encounter doesn't prove anything why are you so quick to bring up & cling to niche edge case spells in contrived one off isolated examples? @Asisreo's encounter seems to be a fairly standard sounding combat encounter... those are the sort of thing that can be expected as normal in nearly any session.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
The wizard can only choose spells from spells present in their spellbook.
Yes, and I offered to let Flamestrike tell me what that list would be. They refused.

As I said above - the burden of proof is upon you. If you are convinced wizards are that weak, generate a range of encounters and a range of wizards that fail at those encounters.
 

Kurotowa

Legend
  • Ways to counter magic
I want Conan style, able to bash magic away with a big blade. Resilient Sphere should be breakable. I should be able to flex my way out of a banishment. 5e added a great counter to fly through the use of prone effects, I can inflict prone effects to knock them out of the sky. That's great...I want more of that. Teleports leave a ghostly image for just a few seconds that I can grab on and pull you back with raw awesome, etc.

Heck, it'd be a big improvement to just reestablish the 1e and 2e era save dynamic. For those who don't know, back then the save DC was based on the target instead of the caster. You had a personal "Save vs XXX" target number you had to beat on a d20 roll, and that number improved with levels based on your class. And Fighters had one of the better progressions. At 15th level they had a Save vs Breath Weapons of 4 and a Save vs Spells of 7. That means a 15th level Fighter had a 70% chance to successfully save against every spell in the game, no matter who cast it.

Compared to the current setup, where a Fighter is almost never going to beat the DC of an important Dex or Wis save? That's night and day. Sure, Fighters get Indomitable, but it's just a reroll with no higher odds of success. And even if it was an auto-success it's still just one or two saves per day. Nothing that really lives up to the class fantasy of an iron will and body that can shrug off anything.
 

Voadam

Legend
Although, I'd be okay if that's your choice in ending the encounter, I wouldn't consider that a win and they'd continue after you. Their ability to transport was somewhat hinted at by the fact that they Sigil has to do with it.

Actually, let me clarify. Sigil is a setting in the FR which has portals to other planes in the multiverse. So I'm not just giving them their ability to change planes just out of nowhere.
Sigil's portals aren't go anywhere any time for any reason, they are generally specific places under specific conditions but there are ones to most everywhere and there are lots of them, not everyone has access to them and I would not expect a bad guy to follow me to a place they did not know I was going.
 

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