D&D 5E Poorly thought-out “respec moments.”

Fauchard1520

Explorer
By and large, 5e rewards specialization. If you’re a grappling dude, you’re not going to be nearly as good at archery. When you’re an archer, you probably aren’t going to be as effective on the front lines. And when you’re a front line melee combatant, hopping on your newly-summoned mount and pretending to be a stick-and-move equestrian is going to result in disappointment.

So here's my question to the board: Have you ever tried a combat style that was better left to the professionals? And are there any combat styles that actually are easy to pick up on the fly?

(Comic for illustrative purposes.)
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Most games I play are very simple with inexperienced players. Inexperienced players just look at the attack modifier to determine where they get the best odds to succeed on an attack. And they ignore their possible low AC and HP, and happily join the melee fray as a rogue, bard or even sorcerer (the latter usually by accident, but then unable to escape it). I actually have never played a game where everybody played an optimal game. It's always barbarians with terrible charisma doing negotiations, metal clad paladins stealthing around, and rogues tanking in the front lines.

I think all combat styles are easy to pick up. What's important is that the game feels balanced. All players get some time to shine. So, if you are going to be the only suboptimal PC among a group of experienced min-maxers, you might want to reconsider. But if everybody is trying out things or learning the game, you really cannot go wrong as long as your DM adjusts the difficulty level of the encounters.
 

Stormonu

Legend
In white-table theory, D&D rewards specialization.

At the game table, I find it punishes builds and if the DM isn't playing to a certain style, the player may end up sitting on their hands quite a bit.
 

ECMO3

Hero
By and large, 5e rewards specialization. If you’re a grappling dude, you’re not going to be nearly as good at archery. When you’re an archer, you probably aren’t going to be as effective on the front lines. And when you’re a front line melee combatant, hopping on your newly-summoned mount and pretending to be a stick-and-move equestrian is going to result in disappointment.

So here's my question to the board: Have you ever tried a combat style that was better left to the professionals? And are there any combat styles that actually are easy to pick up on the fly?

(Comic for illustrative purposes.)
I think this is higly dependant on the size of the party and how you generate ability scores.

If you play large parties (4+) and you use point buy or standard array then specialization is rewarding.

If you roll ability scores and play in small parties (3 or less) then generalization is generally rewarded.

I have played a Human Fighter in a 3-person party with a 16 dex and an 18 strength at 6th level who had both GWM and Sharpshooter and the party was a lot better for her being able to switch back and forth. She also went with a breastplate instead of heavy armor and had proficiency in stealth too. If I had to do it again I probably would give her a strength ASI instead of GWM at 4th level but she still would have been very good at melee and been in melee more than she was in ranged combat. The other characters in that party were a Ranger-Swashbuckler and a Bladesinger. All of them would qualify as generalists that had more than one role and it hard to imagine a more specialized party being better equipped to handle as many situations.
 

ECMO3

Hero
It's always barbarians with terrible charisma doing negotiations
I think this happens with experienced players too.

IME charisma is a character trait used for arbitrating negotiations but doing negotiations is much more dependant on player personality. Generally regardless of the scores it is going to be the outgoing, extroverted players that are going to be negotiating, regardless of charisma and it takes a dedicated effort by the party to let the high-charisma characters do this ..... and then even when the party recognizes it, a lot of times int introverted players are not comfortable doing it.
 

Fauchard1520

Explorer
I think this happens with experienced players too.

IME charisma is a character trait used for arbitrating negotiations but doing negotiations is much more dependant on player personality. Generally regardless of the scores it is going to be the outgoing, extroverted players that are going to be negotiating, regardless of charisma and it takes a dedicated effort by the party to let the high-charisma characters do this ..... and then even when the party recognizes it, a lot of times int introverted players are not comfortable doing it.
Is there a reason that high-CHA characters have to be the ones doing the diplomancing? I mean, can't a low-CHA character have fun at the negotiating table?
 

By and large, 5e rewards specialization. If you’re a grappling dude, you’re not going to be nearly as good at archery. When you’re an archer, you probably aren’t going to be as effective on the front lines. And when you’re a front line melee combatant, hopping on your newly-summoned mount and pretending to be a stick-and-move equestrian is going to result in disappointment.

So here's my question to the board: Have you ever tried a combat style that was better left to the professionals? And are there any combat styles that actually are easy to pick up on the fly?
I have seen more then a few melee combatants take archery as a fighting style as a back up (since they are not often high dex)
 


With 5e at least, you're usually no more than a feat away from being good at a new way of fighting. So if your game features bonus feats, it's not hard. Mounted combat is a great example - with one feat and a mount tough enough to survive a little AoE, you're good to go.

Back in 3X this was an issue - you could build a cavalier who was devastating on the charge but not very impressive on foot, which means you're only any good when you can fight mounted. If you know that's going to be doable it's great, but if you don't know there's a good chance you've accidentally built an npc.
 

Is there a reason that high-CHA characters have to be the ones doing the diplomancing? I mean, can't a low-CHA character have fun at the negotiating table?
Not if you are interacting with the system. The system rewards specialization, which leads to shopping around for whoever has the highest modifier - stuff like background or sense doesn't matter. The courtier from a noble court is just better at negotiating with illiterate sailors than the actual sailor, since the system is also heavy on power stats vs dump stats.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top