D&D 5E Should martial characters be mundane or supernatural?

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Acolyte Rogues are not better than the best clerics at religion. They are equal. :)
Knowledge clerics are the best clerics at the religion skill and get:

BLESSINGS OF KNOWLEDGE
At 1st level, you learn two languages of your choice. You also become proficient in your choice of two of the following skills: Arcana, History, Nature, or Religion.
Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of those skills.

So add knowledge clerics to those potential top tier arcana experts who could theoretically hit higher DCs than straight 5e wizards. :)

Those of you familiar with 2e specialty priests may be having flashbacks.
That's not clerics in general. We are discussing classes here, not subclasses. For example, I wouldn't have an issue with an Eldritch Knight or Arcane Trickster being as good as the best wizard. Joe typical cleric should be able to be as good as it gets without having to go with knowledge.
 

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Voadam

Legend
It'd be a less profound difference in 5e (+4 to +12 vs +2 to +6) than it was in 3e (+1 to +20 vs +0 to +10) or under THAC0 or the old attack matrices.
I think it could be more impactful.

Everybody has basically the same attack bonus in 5e, either from dex weapons or spells using primary casting stats to modify attack rolls (when spells don't target saving throws) and the game is built around that a bunch.

It would be a fairly big deal boost to fighters in fighting over what barbarians and rangers and so on can do in the bound accuracy environment and throw off the challenge threat of high AC opponents depending on class makeup in a party.

In 3e the low BAB classes (sorcerer, wizard, warlock) just did not attack straight ACs. Mid BAB ones either had magic to boost them (Bard, Cleric, Druid) or were considered bottom tier power classes (rogue, monk) who fell pretty short at their combat role. The 3e game is in part built around these discrepancies with rogues hitting less than fighters but doing more damage when they do hit.

In AD&D clerics had midling THACO but could wear any armor with decent hps and be a useful front liner even if they did not hit as often as a fighter. Thieves could be OK back row short bow archers with two dex modified attacks a round, which was not great but about OK. MUs had spells or magic items for back row artillery and weirdness or were fairly useless civilians.

In 3e the full BAB bonus classes were all pretty even.
 





Pedantic

Legend
I miss touch AC
Yeah, I don't love where the implementation went, but differentiating in the AC structure "attacks that just need to touch you" and "attacks that hit but didn't make it through to deal damage" with flat-footed AC was clean and interesting design space. A little more clarity around what bonuses went with which ACs and more discipline around bonuses in general and then broader access to attacks that cared about the different types would have been great.
 

Irlo

Hero
@Maxperson
I don't think that the arcana skill is what you think it is.

It's not the foundation for the wizard's mastery of magic, it doesn't effect spellcasting or the power of spells, and it doesn't affect spell acquisition. A wizard with expertise in arcana will be no more powerful -- no more of a master of magic -- than a wizard who is not proficient in arcana. It's not a prerequisite, and it doesn't provide any benefits to spellcasting.

Note that the arcana skill relates to spell lore. Not wizard spell lore, but all spell lore. A wizard with expertise in arcana will know more about druid spells that the most knowledgable druid (for example). Is that okay?

For those who feel this is problem, the solutions are trivial to implement. We could slice up arcana into separate skills based on spellcasting classes. Or, better IMO, we could create class features that apply double proficiency bonuses to arcana checks that relate to their particular spellcasting tradition. That's all a bit fiddly for my tastes for a game that paints with such wide brushstrokes, but it would be easy to apply.

Your desire to restrict rogues from expertise in arcana isn't unreasonable. Arguments that it's necessary to do so aren't compelling, but it makes sense and it's easy to do.

I would object to rule changes that make the arcana skill essential to a wizard's effectiveness. That just makes the arcana skill essentially mandatory, at which point there's no reason for it to be a skill at all but rather a class feature. (IMO, as always.)
 

Voadam

Legend
I would object to rule changes that make the arcana skill essential to a wizard's effectiveness. That just makes the arcana skill essentially mandatory, at which point there's no reason for it to be a skill at all but rather a class feature. (IMO, as always.)
There would still be the same reasons that exist now for anybody else to take arcana as a skill.

It would be easy to make proficiency in arcana a class feature of wizards instead of a choice of class skills.
 


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