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

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Asisreo

Fiendish Attorney
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.
Uhm. Could you help me with what this means? Are you saying a wizard is good at not participating or that they don't have to? If that's it...that's almost my point but not exactly.

I mean, the number one answer for this combat encounter seems to be to...run? I feel like that still says Wizards are great at Utility but Fighters are good at fighting.

They're naturally going to lean into what they do good at. So I can accept that they will flee but I'm curious how that proves Wizards have any good amount of power in this scenario.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
I mean, the number one answer for this combat encounter seems to be to...run?
Voadam assumed, as did I, it was a solo encounter.

If it is a trivial team encounter, why waste resources when a nontrivial encounter may be around the corner? These decisions, too, are part of what makes a wizard fun. Firebolt is pretty boring, but it is boring on purpose. In a well balanced adventuring day, a wizard isn't able to let loose with high level spells every single round or encounter.

If they are able to use upper level spells every round, then the deck is well stacked in their favor.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
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.
what part of choose spells are you getting lost on. Does he need to say that they need to be choices that the rules allow you to select? He made a stipulation about spells that require components, that leaves you with spells wotc published for fifth edition as this is a fifth edition within the selection limits for a wizard f the given level within the 5e rules as written as this is a 5e discussion & no other limitations have been put in place.
 

Asisreo

Fiendish Attorney
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.
The creatures are law enforcement type for Sigil and would not be refused access.

And the information pertaining to your location can be provided by an ability in their statblock.

Also, let's take a step back...which spells are you using for your escape?
Voadam assumed, as did I, it was a solo encounter.

If it is a trivial team encounter, why waste resources when a nontrivial encounter may be around the corner? These decisions, too, are part of what makes a wizard fun. Firebolt is pretty boring, but it is boring on purpose. In a well balanced adventuring day, a wizard isn't able to let loose with high level spells every single round or encounter.
It isn't "trivial." Its just not "deadly." If your answer is to not cast any high-level spells in search for a more dangerous encounter, then the martials were still useful as they were able to stand a bit more stalwartly against the creature's attacks.

Plus, it was a single encounter. They just follow you if you don't follow through with their defeat. If you defeat them here and now, you don't have to worry about it. (You had this feeling when you encountered them).
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
what part of choose spells are you getting lost on.
Please generate the encounters and wizards that routinely fail at those encounters.

I do not believe they routinely fail level appropriate encounters, and I require no convincing that they don't.

It isn't "trivial." Its just not "deadly." If your answer is to not cast any high-level spells in search for a more dangerous encounter, then the martials were still useful as they were able to stand a bit more stalwartly against the creature's attacks.

Plus, it was a single encounter. They just follow you if you don't follow through with their defeat. If you defeat them here and now, you don't have to worry about it. (You had this feeling when you encountered them).
Again, picking a list of spells for a specific encounter is boring, as are most whiteroom scenarios.

The point is you might have the absolute worst list for that encounter, and you might (for all you know) be alone.

McGuiver wouldn't be terribly interesting if he always got to pre-select tools tailored for his encounters that day.
 


Shadowedeyes

Explorer
I'm not sure a combat encounter is really the best test anyway. Martials are pretty decent in a fight, at least at doing single target damage and taking a few hits. It's that spellcasters are not slouches at contributing to combat themselves, and have ridiculous capabilities outside of combat compared to most martials that tends to be the sticking point.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
I'm not sure a combat encounter is really the best test anyway. Martials are pretty decent in a fight, at least at doing single target damage and taking a few hits. It's that spellcasters are not slouches at contributing to combat themselves, and have ridiculous capabilities outside of combat compared to most martials that tends to be the sticking point.
Indeed. Even with the given example - If the extradimensional creature successfully escapes, the martials will be hard pressed to track and follow it.

It might take a wizard a day or two, but it's gonna take an eldritch knight a heck of a lot longer than that.
 

Asisreo

Fiendish Attorney
I'm not sure a combat encounter is really the best test anyway. Martials are pretty decent in a fight, at least at doing single target damage and taking a few hits. It's that spellcasters are not slouches at contributing to combat themselves, and have ridiculous capabilities outside of combat compared to most martials that tends to be the sticking point.
I do not disagree that casters can contribute. I just want to see by how much. Because if casters contribute but martials contribute much more and much more often, then the balance may be asymmetrical but its existant.

Its because I want to experience this. Because I've yet to experience it over my years of high-level play and I just can't actually see what it is. Its like everyone's going "Look at this elephant in the room!" But someone's head is in the way. I can't really believe it wholeheartedly unless I actually see it.
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
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).
I agree that spells will be more impactful. Just pointing out that it's possible to make a martial with a round-by-round decision tree of similar complexity to that of a wizard.
 

Stalker0

Legend
So here's an example from my last game.

The Gnome Wizard had the spell "Contact Other Plane". With a high int save + advantage on magic saves as a gnome + his buddy paladin's aura, the wizard could only fail the insanity save 1 in 400 times. As a ritual, this spell effectively became "at-will" during downtime. (within some reason, obviously the paladin had things to do as well, and I utilized fatigue to basically allow for 8 hours a day of divining).

I did a two week downtime, and I went out with the Wizard player for lunch. He spent the whole lunch just asking me divination questions. Probably went through 300 questions all said and done (for those curious I used an auto-roller, he did fail once after like the 200th question, so had to see the cleric to get fixed up).

Now obviously not every wizard could pull that off, but you give players hooks and they find ways to make things happen. This is just one such example.
 

ehren37

Adventurer
All you need to do in order to balance Martials versus Casters is to have long adventuring days so that Casters have to manage their resources!
Because an adventure ends. And in the three weeks between adventures, the casters get to rewrite reality each day without begging the DM to make a skill check. And they can also make a skill check if they want to slum it.

I want to have a non-caster like Zemo, Batman, Joker, etc. Where the player just gets to narrate how events play out, similar to casters get to do.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Because an adventure ends. And in the three weeks between adventures, the casters get to rewrite reality each day without begging the DM to make a skill check. And they can also make a skill check if they want to slum it.

I want to have a non-caster like Zemo, Batman, Joker, etc. Where the player just gets to narrate how events play out, similar to casters get to do.

Many people have a really hard time characters being so good at something that they can transcend real world limitations - unless magic is involved, then it's totally fine - because magic.

A bit ago there was a long thread where a decent number of people were arguing that the 11th level rogue ability reliable talent was just too good for gasp a mundane person. That it's ridiculous to believe that a rogue could do that without magic.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
So here's an example from my last game.

The Gnome Wizard had the spell "Contact Other Plane". With a high int save + advantage on magic saves as a gnome + his buddy paladin's aura, the wizard could only fail the insanity save 1 in 400 times. As a ritual, this spell effectively became "at-will" during downtime. (within some reason, obviously the paladin had things to do as well, and I utilized fatigue to basically allow for 8 hours a day of divining).

I did a two week downtime, and I went out with the Wizard player for lunch. He spent the whole lunch just asking me divination questions. Probably went through 300 questions all said and done (for those curious I used an auto-roller, he did fail once after like the 200th question, so had to see the cleric to get fixed up).

Now obviously not every wizard could pull that off, but you give players hooks and they find ways to make things happen. This is just one such example.
So the paladin used his very combat pillar useful aura & spent a few days of game time watching the wizard cast a ritual spell to ask a bunch of questions consisting of "On a successful save, you can ask the entity up to five questions. You must ask your questions before the spell ends. The GM answers each question with one word, such as "yes," "no," "maybe," "never," "irrelevant," or "unclear" (if the entity doesn't know the answer to the question). If a one-word answer would be misleading, the GM might instead offer a short phrase as an answer."

How often do those answers come up in play during the average session?
 

Asisreo

Fiendish Attorney
Again, picking a list of spells for a specific encounter is boring, as are most whiteroom scenarios.

The point is you might have the absolute worst list for that encounter, and you might (for all you know) be alone.

McGuiver wouldn't be terribly interesting if he always got to pre-select tools tailored for his encounters that day.
But I'm giving you the opportunity to demonstrate how powerful casters are and giving you "cheat codes" to help. The challenge is to show that casters have absolutely 0 problems engaging in combat.

I don't contest that Wizards have great utility, but that utility is only out-of-combat. Wizards have a breadth of options in-combat as well, but how powerful are those options actually when you just don't know if the game works.

But it seems like you really want me to provide you a sample list. Here's one you can use, but you're not bound to it:

Cantrips: Firebolt, Minor Illusion, Light, Prestidigitation, Mage Hand.
1st: Shield (Spell Mastery), Mage Armor
2nd: Invisibility (Spell Mastery), Mirror Image, Misty Step
3rd: Counterspell (Signature Spell), Fly, Haste, Dispel Magic (Signature Spell
4th: Polymorph, Greater Invisibility, Dimension Door, Banishment
5th: Animate Objects, Wall of Force
6th: Arcane Gate, Globe of Invulnerability, Disintegrate
7th: Delayed Blast Fireball, Finger of Death, Teleport
8th: Demiplane, Maze,
9th: Wish, True Polymorph, Meteor Swarm, Time Stop

Is this a fair spell list? You can use these spells and list the spells you wish to cast in-combat against these enemies.
 

ehren37

Adventurer
I'm not sure a combat encounter is really the best test anyway. Martials are pretty decent in a fight, at least at doing single target damage and taking a few hits. It's that spellcasters are not slouches at contributing to combat themselves, and have ridiculous capabilities outside of combat compared to most martials that tends to be the sticking point.
This. Casters need to really be gutted to make martials work, and as we saw with 4E, gamers will pitch a hissy fit if their caster cant rule over the "jocks" in their D&D. There's a modicum of parity in things like savage worlds, where a caster needs to spend the equivalent of a feat to learn two new spells (on top of making a roll to cast), but sadly D&D has always been dedicated to making magic far too easy and available.

Really there should be no "mundane" non-caster in D&D, given how gonzo casters are. The fighter past level 5 should be modeled after Captain America, Thor, Hercules, etc.
 

ehren37

Adventurer
Many people have a really hard time characters being so good at something that they can transcend real world limitations - unless magic is involved, then it's totally fine - because magic.

A bit ago there was a long thread where a decent number of people were arguing that the 11th level rogue ability reliable talent was just too good for gasp a mundane person. That it's ridiculous to believe that a rogue could do that without magic.
Lots of gamers have garbage imagination and make disingenuous appeals to "realism" (in D&D of all things!) to justify it. I personally have trouble understanding how there are non-casters in a world where magic works more reliably than my cell phone coverage and player characters violate the laws of reality more times a day than they poop. There's nothing magical about D&D magic.
 

ehren37

Adventurer
I do not disagree that casters can contribute. I just want to see by how much. Because if casters contribute but martials contribute much more and much more often, then the balance may be asymmetrical but its existant.

Its because I want to experience this. Because I've yet to experience it over my years of high-level play and I just can't actually see what it is. Its like everyone's going "Look at this elephant in the room!" But someone's head is in the way. I can't really believe it wholeheartedly unless I actually see it.
I don't feel tis thread wont change your mind, when it was started with a specific premise.
 
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Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
Out of curiousity, how often do people actually see grumbling from the other players when someone brings a utility-focused caster to the table? In my experience, the other players are usually thrilled, because the utility caster's spells give the entire party many more strategic and tactial options.
 

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