D&D 5E Running Tier 3 D&D 5e

ECMO3

Hero
why the hell would it be that? paladins don't even get 6th level slots. it'd only ever come up with multiclassing, and WOTC didn't take that into account when originally balancing the 2014 classes.

That is just how I read it. I'm not saying I don't believe you as it could be interpreted either way. But if you think that is the total it really nerfs Divine Smite against undead and Fiends if you interpret the next sentance the same way.

Also note I did have an error in my earlier math, I forgot to account for the PAM attack.
 

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MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
We have just reached level 10 in our campaign ( playing through Odyssey of the Dragonlords, so Greek themed )

I am struggling to make combat feel challenging, PCs do walk through most encounters, I have tried some environmental items, but now they have a lot of abilities they negate most of them. As you can see PC1 is a super nova class ( average of 70 points of damage per round with Smites )

the PCs are
  • PC1 - Paladin 6, Sorcerer 4
  • PC2 - Rogue 2, Wizard 8
  • PC3 - Ranger 10
  • PC4 - Sorcerer 2, Fighter 8

Don't want to nerf characters so I am wondering how best to run Tier 3 encounters so that they pose some threat. Thanks in advance
Smite is at its most effective against solo foes. The more foes there are, the more slots need to be expended.

I've run a lot of Tier 3 and above combat, and one way of challenging players is to use monsters from Kobold Press. Which tend to hit harder and be more offensively focused than most of Wizards of the Coast's.

That group seems weak against multiple foes - it's got only one area of effect character, and their multiclass means they're a lot more limited than a level 10 Wizard.

The other aspect is that novaing only works if the scenario structure allows rests. If you've expended all your resources and you need to keep going, due to scenario constraints, you start failing a lot more.

Cheers,
Merric
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
That does not mean the class is broken though
My position isn't that Paladins are broken. :unsure:

I think the Paladin using Dispel Magic for example on a Rogue under the effect of Hold Person in an earlier encounter will save more party resources than the 18 damage he is going to get by holding that slot on the big bad.
That's not nearly as clear cut as you imagine. High damage can end a hold person just as easily as a dispel magic (failed high dc concentration save). The caster may not be able to last longer than another turn or so anyways. The dispel magic attempt may fail if the effect is a higher level spell effect (it's not 100% successful against every spell effect).

And more importantly by trying to save the slot for dispel magic in the hopes that some spell will need dispelled is a very high opportunity cost. At some point in the adventuring day the opportunity cost ceases to be worth it even if it otherwise would have been a good idea.

I think using Wrathful Smite will save far more resources than the 5.5 damage he gives up vs using that slot for Divine Smite.
Very situation dependent. Wrathful smite has alot of stuff that can go wrong with it.
1. You lose concentration on it before you land an attack.
2. The targeted creature passes it's save.
3. The creature dies shortly after wrathful smite is applied or to prevent the creature from dying shortly after it's applied the party focuses on another enemy (meaning some degree of the focus fire effect is lost).
4. The enemy is already controlled with a more debilitating effect from the Wizard.
5. *You also are forgoing any other bonus action - a bonus action attack being the most common.
6. You lose concentration on it shortly after you've applied it.

Now don't get me wrong, i'm a big fan of wrathful smite, but when an encounter is probably lasting 3-4 meaningful rounds at most, and given all the probabilities above, it's likely that on average not causing all that many rounds of fear in the first place. **It will feel great when you land it on turn 1 against a big solo melee attack only enemy and never lose concentration on it. I think people remember things like that more often. Like the time I cast Hold Monster on the BBEG and it failed the first 3-4 saves against the spell. If I remember correctly it had one round where it got to do something before we killed it. But things like that are very much not the norm.

We have 1000 threads on this forum about how Wizards are overpowered and they are among the worst classes when it comes to dealing damage. The reason they are powerful is because they have spells that can tackle many different situations both in and out of combat. The Paladin has that ability as well (not to the same degree), but if he uses his slots for smites he is trading that away.
Paladin's don't get the spells Wizards do and the opportunity cost for using them is higher - cantrip vs attack action with fighting styles/improved divine smites/magic weapons/melee buffs/etc.

I'm with you that optimizing Paladin play is about learning when to divine smite and when to cast another spell, it's just most other spells on the paladin list aren't clearly better - or are only clearly better in a niche circumstance that probably will not even arise this adventuring day.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
That's not nearly as clear cut as you imagine. High damage can end a hold person just as easily as a dispel magic (failed high dc concentration save). The caster may not be able to last longer than another turn or so anyways. The dispel magic attempt may fail if the effect is a higher level spell effect (it's not 100% successful against every spell effect).

Dispel magic is one spell used as an example and the idea is not to save it, but to use it instead by casting a spell instead of saving it.

Also very few enemies that are going to cast hold person are also going to be downed by 18 extra damage. You would need multiple hits and multiple smites and now you are talking about multiple spell slots.

Very situation dependent. Wrathful smite has alot of stuff that can go wrong with it.
1. You lose concentration on it before you land an attack.

Sure, but then you would not have been able to Divine smite either.

2. The targeted creature passes it's save.

In which case you are out 5.5 damage on average.

3. The creature dies shortly after wrathful smite is applied or to prevent the creature from dying shortly after it's applied the party focuses on another enemy (meaning some degree of the focus fire effect is lost).

In which case Divine Smite would have done nothing more. If using Wrathful Smite kills an enemy or if it dies shortly thereafter then it would have been killed or died shortly thereafter with Divine Smite as well.

4. The enemy is already controlled with a more debilitating effect from the Wizard.

Sure, but then do you really need to use Divine Smite either? If you need to divine smite that means there is a good chance the Wizard will lose that control, in which cast Wrathful Smite is huge.

Also it is MUCH easier to shake most Wizard control spells than it is to shake wrathful smite and it is easier to shake all of the 1st level ones.

5. *You also are forgoing any other bonus action - a bonus action attack being the most common.

I don't think a bonus action attack is the most common bonus action on a Paladin. I think a racial ability or a bonus action spell is the most common, occasionally a Channel Divinity.

There are very few Paladins that do TWF or have the Crossbow Expert. Some have PAM, but not many.

6. You lose concentration on it shortly after you've applied it.

Sure and you are out 5.5 damage.


Now don't get me wrong, i'm a big fan of wrathful smite, but when an encounter is probably lasting 3-4 meaningful rounds at most, and given all the probabilities above, it's likely that on average not causing all that many rounds of fear in the first place. **It will feel great when you land it on turn 1 against a big solo melee attack only enemy and never lose concentration on it.

Wrathful Smite is best with good tactics. Ideally you attack with reach and then the enemy can't attack you in melee at all after you hit (on a failed save). If you can't attack with reach you typically take an AOO (with disadvantage) to get out of his reach after you land it. This gives him one attack (with disadvantage) instead of typically 2 or more with multiattack.

At higher levels against enemies with Legendary actions and resistances is when it really becomes even more effective because on a fail the DM either has to use a Legendary resistance on it or he really has his mobility effected, with loss of attacks and often losing legendary actions with little chance of breaking free from it, and that is with a first level spell.

I think people remember things like that more often. Like the time I cast Hold Monster on the BBEG and it failed the first 3-4 saves against the spell. If I remember correctly it had one round where it got to do something before we killed it. But things like that are very much not the norm.

Wrathful smite is different though, because there is no further save after you fail the first. It is a check and it takes an action to try.

I'm with you that optimizing Paladin play is about learning when to divine smite and when to cast another spell, it's just most other spells on the paladin list aren't clearly better - or are only clearly better in a niche circumstance that probably will not even arise this adventuring day.

Most other spells are generally a better use of a spell slot IME. I would reverse this and say using a slot for a smite is better in niche circumstances (in particular like you said when you want to use a lot of resources to do a lot of damage to one enemy).
 

So does the example I replied to. Someone brought up a Paladin 9/Echo Knight 3 and I went over several other multiclasses that can do comparable or more in melee.





It is not a comparison to a single class. It is a comparison to a multiclass Paladin 9/Echo Knight 3 that allegedly would do "300+" damage in a single turn (but more like 90). If you go with a single class Paladin the damage they do is much, much lower and the single class counter examples would also be much, much lower.

The poster I replied to said "Every nova build in the game takes at least 2 fighter levels for Action Surge, so pretending like multiclassing somehow doesn't count is pretty silly."

Take your pick are we talking about single class builds or multiclass builds? It is one or the other but it is intellectually dishonest to talk about what a Paladin can do in an optimized multiclass build and then throw out other multiclass combinations used as a counterpoint.
Those are all fair points. It had been long enough time between posts that I accidentally shifted the argument. My apologies.
 

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