D&D 5E Spellcasters and Balance in 5e: A Poll

Should spellcasters be as effective as martial characters in combat?

  • 1. Yes, all classes should be evenly balanced for combat at each level.

    Votes: 11 5.3%
  • 2. Yes, spellcasters should be as effective as martial characters in combat, but in a different way

    Votes: 111 53.9%
  • 3. No, martial characters should be superior in combat.

    Votes: 49 23.8%
  • 4. No, spellcasters should be superior in combat.

    Votes: 8 3.9%
  • 5. If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

    Votes: 27 13.1%

  • Poll closed .

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Magic is an option. Not a base of the class.

And I already explained the concept: the adventuring scholar or aristocrat.

A major problem with D&D is that the non-magical experts are all thieving, backstabbing murderhobos who know the secret language of the Thieves Guild.

I want to play Lord Green: a highly educated man know knows a little bit of fencing.
So the only difference between them and every other non-magical class is that they speak the secret language.

I mean, I sometimes have my fighters steal things, stab people in the back and be murderhobos. ;)
 

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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I've admittedly been skimming a lot of the posts, but I didn't get the impression that the suggestion was for a fighter that is worse at fighting and gets nothing else.
From that poster that I was replying to, for combat yes. They added in a lot of skill bonuses at the expense of combat ability. I specifically asked what such a character would do in combat differently than a fighter hoping I was missing something - but there was nothing.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Might as well make everything MAGIC and Spells then! The game is already 75% Spell per volume so might as well go all in... Right?
Kinda sorta. I really liked how the Book of Nine Swords did it. Some maneuvers were just really awesome mundane skill, but some took your martial skill to a level where it became supernatural and you could do effects that transcended what pure mundane skill could accomplish.

You want a mundane pure skill maneuver to be able to punch through the Tarrasque's hide? Sure. Go for it. You want one to be able to slice a castle in half, you need to be able to tap into the supernatural with your skill, essentially making it magical.
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
And they are still casting spells with all that implies. What you are saying is that two different types of spellcasters with overlapping spell lists are pretty similar. Which, duh, yes.

The warlord is not a spellcaster by default any more than the rogue, monk, barbarian, or fighter are. Some may cast spells, just as there are eldritch knights and arcane tricksters. But warlording is fundamentally not about casting spells and any attempt to say "casters exist and you can do a lot with magic therefore you have a warlord" is a failure.
No class is fundamentally about casting spells except for the wizard and maybe the sorcerer. Otherwise, all other classes cast spells but their identity is not tied to their ability to cast spells. A martial who has the distinction "is a paladin but not with spells" is kinda lazy and it makes the paladin feel less distinct.

I'm sensitive to these types of things. I don't like when two classes have the same gameplay loop because it feels like a non-choice or bloat depending on how much there is.
Might as well make everything MAGIC and Spells then! The game is already 75% Spell per volume so might as well go all in... Right?
I mean, sure. If WoTC said Barbarians are magical but they still have the simplicity of build and design, I'd be 100% okay with that. Rage is a spell with Verbal Component and centered on self? Cool.

Action Surge is a magical effect? Great.

I'm not at all offended or in-love with the fluff of magic/nonmagic in D&D but I do have a sensitivity to redundant abilities, features, and mechanical playstyles.
 

Undrave

Legend
No different way was offered for the hypothetical noble/scholar classes.
Fighters aren’t better at combat than wizards. Roughly equivalent - they are just good at different aspects of combat.
Fighters are way better at using weapons than Wizards.

A Noble/Scholar class would probably be just as good at the basic attack than a Valor Bard or a Rogue without Sneak Attack enabled (but with like, the same single extra attack the Paladin and Ranger get).
From that poster that I was replying to, for combat yes. They added in a lot of skill bonuses at the expense of combat ability. I specifically asked what such a character would do in combat differently than a fighter hoping I was missing something - but there was nothing.
They'd get some kind of tactical element to help their allies be better at what they want to do, but they'd never be able to match the damage of the other specialists. Like if a Ranger had Bless instead of Hunter's Mark and his Fighting style was more based around support rather than damage/to-hit bonus.

I made a whole class on the subject but I don't think it'd be fine to post the whole thing in this thread.

I would love to see what creatives could do with 4e if they also had likewise been handed the keys to the kingdom.
Aye... that's really the saddest part of the whole thing. If someone could be allowed to Pathfinder 4e I bet there would still be ppl playing it...
 


Fanaelialae

Legend
From that poster that I was replying to, for combat yes. They added in a lot of skill bonuses at the expense of combat ability. I specifically asked what such a character would do in combat differently than a fighter hoping I was missing something - but there was nothing.
Is it safe to assume that this is the post you are referring to?
Nah.

It's having a class with

  • Light armor and shields
  • simple and martial weapons
  • Expertise with 2 skills
  • All the INT, WIS, CHA skills as class skills
  • Bonus languages
  • Extra Attack at level 5 or 6
  • Ability to add one of their mental score modifiers to common combat rolls or defenses
  • Can reroll skill checks
  • Advanced skill checks.
  • Subclass to get heavy armor and fighting style.
  • Subclass to get Inspiration.
  • Subclass to magic if must
That seems like it does get substitute combat capabilities, just from the subclass.

You've got one subclass that pretty much makes them a fighter without action surge and second wind, but with a lot of skills and the ability to use a mental stat for art/def (which shouldn't be underrated).

You've got one that grants inspiration, which is a buffing ability that works in and out of combat.

You've also got a possible magic using subclass, which obviously would have combat applications.

I don't think that Mini was suggesting that's all they get. It's a little anemic for a full class (only one subclass feature). It's more like a rough sketch of what such a class might look like. There's certainly room to add more features in the actual design.
 

Undrave

Legend
I mean, sure. If WoTC said Barbarians are magical but they still have the simplicity of build and design, I'd be 100% okay with that. Rage is a spell with Verbal Component and centered on self? Cool.

Action Surge is a magical effect? Great.

I'm not at all offended or in-love with the fluff of magic/nonmagic in D&D but I do have a sensitivity to redundant abilities, features, and mechanical playstyles.

So you should love 4e then, where everything was a 'Power'?

The big problem with 'spells' as they are now is how easy it is for a class to nab them from other classes, making it possible to do a lot 'pick and choose' optimized builds nonsense, and the fact that many spell are on multiple spell list means that the best spells always get picked so you get a lot of homogeneity.

Powers were all formatted the same, but you had to really jump through hoops to be able to snag some other class' powers. And the difference power sources usually had certain keywords more often than other so they was a flavor emerging from the mechanic.

If Divine, Primal and Arcane spells had been far more distinct in 5e, I think it would have been for the best.
 

The big problem with 'spells' as they are now is how easy it is for a class to nab them from other classes, making it possible to do a lot 'pick and choose' optimized builds nonsense, and the fact that many spell are on multiple spell list means that the best spells always get picked so you get a lot of homogeneity.

If Divine, Primal and Arcane spells had been far more distinct in 5e, I think it would have been for the best.
Yeah, that's true. Well, I don't necessarily agree with that specific way of categorising them, but in general it would be better if class spell lists were more distinct.
 

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