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5E [Poll] Are any of the base classes too weak?

Which of the classes are too weak / too underpowered?


  • Total voters
    132

ad_hoc

Hero
Until level 5, Monks have a +10 to movement. That's what the spell Longstrider gives. It's okay, but not exactly game breaking. Monks get +15 ft. for level 5-9, which is a tad better but hardly game changing.

Monks pretty much have to be in melee to attack. To get in and out of combat and make use of their mobility, they need to burn 1 Ki point and spend a bonus action each time they want to do it. This brings down their DPR considerably.

Honestly if you want a high priority target taken down, you are way better off attacking at range. A Samurai, Battlemaster, or Gloom Stalker archer with Sharpshooter is going to do more damage more reliably than a Monk can ever hope for.
I think you're doing it wrong.

One thing is that you're making the implication that simply stepping outside of melee with enemies means they cannot attack you. That's silly. It's very easy for enemy creatures to move around, many even have extra movement capabilities.

Spending a bonus action and a ki on disengage is usually not a good idea. Spending it on dodge however is good. If you are attacked you are at least using up the enemy's attacks. And if they don't attack you well that's fine too.

Spending a bonus action on an unarmed strike or flurry of blows gives the Monk many chances to stun. A stunned enemy cannot attack.

Another flaw with your reasoning is that you're assuming a white room with vanilla creatures. There are all sorts of weird situations with weird creatures that pop up in D&D. Monks get a lot of choice on how they want to move around and interact with their environment. Ranged attackers also have the issue of either attacking with disadvantage in melee or eating an OA to get out. Ranged attacking is only perfect in a white room.
 

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favored Foe is also an exploration feature as it gives advantage on Perception and Survival for tracking the target if it escapes the battle.

It can also be casted out of combat of you want to track a target more easily.
I.E. for following.
You see the target, but it would get suspicious if you would follow it closely for more than a minute. So you cast that on it and give it a good head start before you start your track.
Not enough tables have rangers that use HM for tracking.

Many tables don't do tracking.

That's the issue. Ranger leans to a legacy of play that many people don't do or trivialize these days. Also the main images of rangers come from video gaming where rangers have their role linked to damage dealing and protected for combat balance.

So when you make fighters masters of all combat and skip the wilderness, rangers look very weak. Instead of slightly underpowered.
 

The ranger class abilities are situational but the paladin can't replicate a ranger...

...unless the idea of a ranger to the player is just a warrior with Stealth, Nature, and a green hood.

The issue with the ranger is different from the issue with the sorcerer.

The problem with ranger is that many want to play "Fighters in green hoods". The 5e ranger is closer to the skilled wilderness warrior who uses nature and arcana to best beasts, monsters, tribal raiders, and the supernatural beings of the wild.

Favored Enemy and Natural Explorer aren't the best but they aren't as terrible as people say. The issue is some table don't run wilderness encounters in depth and some people just want to play Fighters.

The main issue with rangers is their number of small spell known. If Hunters Mark and Cure Wounds were free, it fixes a lot.
Perhaps groups don't run wilderness travel because the Ranger seems designed to trivialise it and make it skippable?

"Ok Ranger. Your time to shine. Roll three navigation checks to see if you can find your way throuh the perilous forest"
"It's my favoured terrain. I can't get lost"
"Oh, okay then. But it's difficult going to find a path. Make roll to see if you can find an easy path - otherwise it will be a slow journey".
"Difficult terrain doesn't slow us".
"Oh, ok then. But since you are so busy finding the path, someone else will have to forage for food. Who else has Survival?"
"Actually I can do that at the same time".
"Oh, ok. I guess you arrive at the dungeon then. A big stone ruined tower looms..."
 

Perhaps groups don't run wilderness travel because the Ranger seems designed to trivialise it and make it skippable?

"Ok Ranger. Your time to shine. Roll three navigation checks to see if you can find your way throuh the perilous forest"
"It's my favoured terrain. I can't get lost"
"Oh, okay then. But it's difficult going to find a path. Make roll to see if you can find an easy path - otherwise it will be a slow journey".
"Difficult terrain doesn't slow us".
"Oh, ok then. But since you are so busy finding the path, someone else will have to forage for food. Who else has Survival?"
"Actually I can do that at the same time".
"Oh, ok. I guess you arrive at the dungeon then. A big stone ruined tower looms..."
True. Rangers are designed to trivialize basic wilderness travel.

But none of that are wilderness encounters. That's just wilderness travel and just the basics.

Again, if you don't run wilderness encounters in-depth nor frequently and just make it supply checking, then the ranger looks weak.
 

True. Rangers are designed to trivialize basic wilderness travel.

But none of that are wilderness encounters. That's just wilderness travel and just the basics.

Again, if you don't run wilderness encounters in-depth nor frequently and just make it supply checking, then the ranger looks weak.
Dude. This is the part where you give us examples in the interest of actual communication.
 

jmartkdr2

Explorer
True. Rangers are designed to trivialize basic wilderness travel.

But none of that are wilderness encounters. That's just wilderness travel and just the basics.

Again, if you don't run wilderness encounters in-depth nor frequently and just make it supply checking, then the ranger looks weak.
What wilderness encounters are the ranger really helping in? It's not the terrain, and not the occasional monster or npc, so... example, please?
 

Perhaps groups don't run wilderness travel because the Ranger seems designed to trivialise it and make it skippable?
In a way, 'enabling,' like that is a legit contribution. Some spells/rituals are like that, too, or have been. It's not like casting water breathing or something puts the spotlight on the caster for a long time or is all dramatic or overtly powerful, but it can enable an encounter or a whole exploration scene or even adventure.
 

EzekielRaiden

Explorer
Fighter and Ranger, without question. Barbarian and Sorcerer, with some minor caveats.

That is, Fighter and Ranger are, from multiple not-too-difficult analysis perspectives, designed in ways that work well with neither the way the designers intended 5e to be played, nor how it is actually played. Frex, the numbers were meant to work out for even Champions once you hit about 8 actual combat encounters a day, as long as you had ~2.5 short rests/long rest, and Fighters were supposed to have a clear albeit flexible identity. Two things that....didn't quite work in practice, both of which have been recognized to one degree or another. And none of that jives with the actual practice of 0-2 (avg ~1.5) SR/LR and six-or-less encounters of any kind that is much more typical of 5e play experience. (Hence why we got that "class feature variants/upgrades" UA. They're using errata by another name to patch issues without ruffling feathers.)

Sorcerer and Barbarian are not in nearly so bad a position. Both have areas where they can be quite powerful, even uniquely so. The bigger problems are an extreme pigeonholing; they're close to one trick pony classes and subclasses don't really change that that is true, they just change which thing(s) it's true of. I would mind a lot less if (frex) Sorcerer subclasses granted on-theme spells, or if Barbarian subclasses offered more than microscopic/token noncombat utility (and if the Champion-equivalent didn't punish the player for using it as intended...)

So...yeah. Fighters and Rangers, to a lesser extent Barbarians and Sorcerers. Certain specific subclasses also could use a touch-up (most notably Four Elements Monk) but in terms of the overall class chassis, the listed four are where some TLC is either very or at least somewhat needed.
 

What wilderness encounters are the ranger really helping in? It's not the terrain, and not the occasional monster or npc, so... example, please?
Dude. This is the part where you give us examples in the interest of actual communication.
The DMG gives basic examples of wilderness hazards like ice and water. But in the worlds of D&D, you might see some sorts of supernatural hazards. Floating bodies of water. Wild animals acting strangely due to magical auras, diseases, or spells. The signs of monster lairs and where to go to avoid them. Knowledege of the local fey courts or elemental councils. Supernatural weather localized to same areas. Large packs of animals.

Rangers have 3 choices of Insight, Investigation, Insight, Nature, Medicine, Survival, terrain and enemy bonuses to them, and access to a few nature and arcane spells. Plenltyto help solve puzzles and curiosities a DM can throw out in the wilderness.

Imagine if a group of the native hooved animal was charging the parties way. Well someone recognize it to avoid being run over. And when it still comes their way, someone might realize that this isn't normal behavior for deergnuyaks. And if they still don't escape the mild stampede, someone might need to track down the fighter's sword that mysteriously disappeared. Possibly contacting a bird for a lead. Then someone has to convince the fey lord to give the sword back.

Or there could be sudden upside down blizzard that blows away and freezes supplies. Or a rope bridge is half tied and needs someone to get to the other side to fix it. Or some animals are interrupting your longrest or ruining your campsite. Or clearing leads to a field of flowers. Or one of many indifferent beast, plant, monster, and tribal encounters.

If you teleport fromtown to the dungeon then of course the ranger looks terrible. The real issue with the ranger is its spell known and few ranger nondruid or unique spells it gets.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
The DMG gives basic examples of wilderness hazards like ice and water. But in the worlds of D&D, you might see some sorts of supernatural hazards. Floating bodies of water. Wild animals acting strangely due to magical auras, diseases, or spells. The signs of monster lairs and where to go to avoid them. Knowledege of the local fey courts or elemental councils. Supernatural weather localized to same areas. Large packs of animals.

Rangers have 3 choices of Insight, Investigation, Insight, Nature, Medicine, Survival, terrain and enemy bonuses to them, and access to a few nature and arcane spells. Plenltyto help solve puzzles and curiosities a DM can throw out in the wilderness.

Imagine if a group of the native hooved animal was charging the parties way. Well someone recognize it to avoid being run over. And when it still comes their way, someone might realize that this isn't normal behavior for deergnuyaks. And if they still don't escape the mild stampede, someone might need to track down the fighter's sword that mysteriously disappeared. Possibly contacting a bird for a lead. Then someone has to convince the fey lord to give the sword back.

Or there could be sudden upside down blizzard that blows away and freezes supplies. Or a rope bridge is half tied and needs someone to get to the other side to fix it. Or some animals are interrupting your longrest or ruining your campsite. Or clearing leads to a field of flowers. Or one of many indifferent beast, plant, monster, and tribal encounters.

If you teleport fromtown to the dungeon then of course the ranger looks terrible. The real issue with the ranger is its spell known and few ranger nondruid or unique spells it gets.
I get what you are saying, but at the same time, those challenges are not necessarily places for rangers to shine. Sure these are ''exploration challenges'' but most of them can be better countered by a druid, a cleric or a bard or even some rogue with specific expertises, or a wizard. In those challenges you cited, the ranger itself is not really more helpful than any other party member, to be honest.
 

Undrave

Hero
Perhaps groups don't run wilderness travel because the Ranger seems designed to trivialise it and make it skippable?

"Ok Ranger. Your time to shine. Roll three navigation checks to see if you can find your way throuh the perilous forest"
"It's my favoured terrain. I can't get lost"
"Oh, okay then. But it's difficult going to find a path. Make roll to see if you can find an easy path - otherwise it will be a slow journey".
"Difficult terrain doesn't slow us".
"Oh, ok then. But since you are so busy finding the path, someone else will have to forage for food. Who else has Survival?"
"Actually I can do that at the same time".
"Oh, ok. I guess you arrive at the dungeon then. A big stone ruined tower looms..."
Basically it's a feature that makes you play less...
 

I get what you are saying, but at the same time, those challenges are not necessarily places for rangers to shine. Sure these are ''exploration challenges'' but most of them can be better countered by a druid, a cleric or a bard or even some rogue with specific expertises, or a wizard. In those challenges you cited, the ranger itself is not really more helpful than any other party member, to be honest.
That mostly comes down the the overall "spells known/prepared" problem in D&D.
Nature clerics, lore bards, and land druids just have way too many spells prepared that their additional spell slots can be tossed out more frequently than the average ranger.

Luckily most of the exploration spells are low level and rangers can afford a few by level 5. So by level, rangers can compete with druids and clerics with their combination of skills, spells, and class features.

The fact that it takes 5 levels to known speak with animals without halting combat ability is a problem.
 

Team Monk is doing a good job, and I agree with the points made. Qi points and Unlimited bonus action unarmed strikes makes them Energizer bunny like. More importantly I have seen a monk played in every edition that had them, and the players always seem to be having a blast!
40+ years of smiling faces must mean something.

Re: Sorcerer, I think the class plays better than people are giving it credit for on the conceptual level. That said, thematically there is no heavy lifting that the class does that could not be done by the Wizard class with some cosmetic changes. If the most ardent supporter, feels the class does not have enough spells/ Sorcery points...lets roll it into the Wizard class...(along with
metamagic and Sorcery points)...between votes for Wiz and Sorc, the total stands at 22. Combine the two classes.

I also am pro Gondwanaland!

As for the Ranger, sigh.....reset and restart. Add scouting features that are fun, and more than limited Expertise on Int and Wis checks. Add Ritual Magic to harken back to 1e days when a Ranger could have some magical power thru Wiz and Druid spells.
Give it some Ranger Lore, maybe similar to Bardic Inspiration, or bonus action based Help actions to aid the group in Athletics checks and Survival based checks...you know like how real wilderness survivalists do.

Or just add a Divine Strike equivalent for the class and call it a day.

Just do something
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Or just add a Divine Strike equivalent for the class and call it a day.
If WotC would do the same move as Paizo and change the name of the paladin to the more generic ''champion'', I think the ranger could be a cool ''oath of the wild'' champion.

As of now, I think a dex-based avenger or ancient paladin with a custom background to add prof in survival and perception + 1 language and cartographer tools can make for a nice ranger replacement.

Same with the new variant feature for the barbarian that gives expertise in two exploration skills + some of the totems makes an awesome ranger.
 

As someone who enjoys playing monks a great deal, I think that most of the criticism is misplaced.

They are amazing for what they do, but they aren't a front-line, exchange blows-type class like a Barbarian or a Fighter.

They are skirmishers. They use mobility to their advantage.

It's also not true that they "lose out" on feats. Sure, a feat that upped damage would be great. But feats like Alert and Mobile (with the ability to prevent opportunity attacks) are amazing on a monk.

TLDR; monks are great and not underpowered at all, but the constellation of abilities are not for everyone.
I think you're missing my point entirely.

My issue is with the claim that Monks would be overpowed BECAUSE they entirely theoretically could out-damage a BM Fighter. You even seem to agree with that comparison being bad, because you point out that they fill a different role.

So that is all lovely but Monks should, frankly, be significantly out-damaging a BM Fighter if they're blowing all their resources on DPR.
 

More importantly I have seen a monk played in every edition that had them, and the players always seem to be having a blast!
40+ years of smiling faces must mean something.
Oh buddy... you just nuked your own argument from orbit. Was it the only way to be sure?

The cold fact is that in most editions where they've appeared, Monks have been mechanically pretty awful, so what you're proving is that the people you've played with have enjoyed the hell of terribly-designed classes. Which I'm sure is true, I too have seen pretty awful character classes provide fun, but it utterly invalidates any claim that they are mechanically fine on that basis.

Re smiling faces, my own experience is that upbeat and generally positive players tend to be far more willing to select mechanically dubious classes, and far less upset when they can't perform mechanically. If I look at all the people I've played with, this holds true. The most depressive or grumpy players tend to carefully select effective classes and races. Upbeat and grinning guys and girls tend to select ones that seem cool, regardless of whether they work.

Monks are okay, certainly not as bad as Rangers, in 5E, but they're not perfect.
 


Ummmm. You really don’t see what is wrong with that stance?
No, I don't.

Monks are a mobile DPR oriented character. BM Fighters are more versatile and survivable, but you apparently think they should not only be vastly tougher than Monks (higher AC and HP) but also do more damage and benefit more from magic items, and in any game with Feats, the BM Fighter already likely does significantly more damage.

Really hoping you blow my mind with some kind of mechanical insight here, don't just double down on Fighters should do more damage! ;)
 
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When it comes to base class being weak, a lot of of it is nailing down the image and seeing if the class can do those things.

  1. What is the image of the class?
  2. What are the actions and roles that image performs?
  3. Can the class perform those actions or roles?
  4. Can the class perform those actions and roles well?
You have to get Part 1 nailed down before you get to Part 4. And it seems a lot of issues with class'l power is people talking about Part 4 while having vastly different ideas of Part 1.

So it makes sense that the most talked about classes here are the ones with the most changes over editions and vastly different nonD&D media portrayals.
 

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