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 .

Undrave

Legend
I don't quite understand why this cannot be done. Game mechanics cannot really be copyrighted.
Mechanics cannot, game terms and specific wording can. It's why no other game but Magic: the Gathering can use 'tap' as a game term to describe rotating your card 90º to one side. The basic Power block, for exemple, is probably a specific design element you can't copy, same for all the keywords.

The 4e game licence was basically crafted specifically to avoid a Pathfinder situation.

It wouldn't be easy for people to use their existing 4e collection and you wouldn't be able to lean on it for content. You'd have to basically rebuild EVERYTHING from scratch, which would mean a LOT of work for a indy company. It's just not a realistic proposal.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Undrave

Legend
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.
I think it would have given more flavor to the types of magic if there were, if not completely siloed by class, at least by 'class family' and more exclusive spells. I can understand a few basic ones being common (like the Light cantrip, for a random example) but, especially at later level, they really should have their own specialties.
 

Mechanics cannot, game terms and specific wording can. It's why no other game but Magic: the Gathering can use 'tap' as a game term to describe rotating your card 90º to one side. The basic Power block, for exemple, is probably a specific design element you can't copy, same for all the keywords.

The 4e game licence was basically crafted specifically to avoid a Pathfinder situation.

It wouldn't be easy for people to use their existing 4e collection and you wouldn't be able to lean on it for content. You'd have to basically rebuild EVERYTHING from scratch, which would mean a LOT of work for a indy company. It's just not a realistic proposal.
Ah right, if it needs to be backward compatible with the existing 4e material then that's different. But I'm not sure that's really that important, especially as even a lot of 4e fans seemed to think that the system could use a throughout overhaul. Just use the mechanics that you want from 4e and reword and rename things. Should be doable.
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
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.
I was ambivalent towards the 4e's power system. It really didn't bother me that every class had access to powers. What bothered me was that the complexity from one class was exactly the same as another and there was no escape.

My fighter had to engage with the power system at the same depth as the other player's wizard. I don't like having to play with the same complexity depth every campaign because I get tired of reading and applying all these descriptions, keywords, bonuses, and conditions every segment of the game.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Fluff isn't important when it comes to class design because players can easily and freely change that fluff.
This... is really missing a crucial element of what makes D&D go. A D&D class is a package: A fictional concept, plus mechanics that support that concept. You can sever concept from mechanics, but you are then taking on all the mental work of holding the two apart in your head and mapping the new concept onto the mechanics on the fly.

Most players don't want to do that, and much of the appeal of D&D is that it doesn't ask you to. Indeed, a well-designed D&D class has mechanics that don't just support the concept but actively evoke it in play.
 

I think it would have given more flavor to the types of magic if there were, if not completely siloed by class, at least by 'class family' and more exclusive spells. I can understand a few basic ones being common (like the Light cantrip, for a random example) but, especially at later level, they really should have their own specialties.
Yeah, sure. I just don't like dividing primal from divine. When you get to shamanism and nature spirits and whatnot there's a lot of overlap. And it kinda seems a bit uncomfortable to me if we categorise certain religious elements often associated with "primitive" or tribal societies as 'primal' and not 'divine.'
 

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.

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.
Dude.

You are literally in a thread where people are talking about the difference in type and feel between invocations and spells, and how sorcerers would be a far better match for their fluff if they had invocation style magic. There is a clear conceptual and thematic difference between even spells and other types of magical ability.

And if you think this is redundant this speaks not so much to your sensitivity as to your lack of understanding the way game mechanics create the shared fictional universe. And that you think any of your spellcasting alternatives plays like a warlord (especially my favourite bravura warlords) to the point that it makes them redundant means that at best you have never played one so you have no actual conception of how they feel in play. Because the choice is not redundant.
 

Undrave

Legend
Yeah, sure. I just don't like dividing primal from divine. When you get to shamanism and nature spirits and whatnot there's a lot of overlap. And it kinda seems a bit uncomfortable to me if we categorise certain religious elements often associated with "primitive" or tribal societies as 'primal' and not 'divine.'
I'm just a big fan of the 4e cosmology is all. In this case the 'Divine' would mean 'from the Astral Sea' and 'Primal' wild mean the Primal Spirits that reside in the Material World (and maybe also its reflections, the Feywild and the Shadowfell)... but I understand your point totally.

Maybe 'Spiritual' or 'Shamanic' would be a better term than 'primal'?

In my ideal system 'Arcane' would have a more precise and solidify origin and identity than it does now in 5e. It can do too much if you ask me.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
Mechanics cannot, game terms and specific wording can. It's why no other game but Magic: the Gathering can use 'tap' as a game term to describe rotating your card 90º to one side. The basic Power block, for exemple, is probably a specific design element you can't copy, same for all the keywords.

The 4e game licence was basically crafted specifically to avoid a Pathfinder situation.

It wouldn't be easy for people to use their existing 4e collection and you wouldn't be able to lean on it for content. You'd have to basically rebuild EVERYTHING from scratch, which would mean a LOT of work for a indy company. It's just not a realistic proposal.
There are games that have kind of done it.

Strike! is more of a deconstruction rather than a reconstruction of 4e, but the DNA is evidently there.

MonsterPunk is focused on running games with themes like those you'd find in Shin Megami Tensei games, but aside from the change in focus it actually does feel like a nicely done overhaul of 4e.

Edit: I knew I was forgetting one.

Unity also feels like it shares a lot of DNA with 4e. It isn't a reconstruction of 4e per se, but it is the closest thing that I'm aware of.
 
Last edited:

Undrave

Legend
Ah right, if it needs to be backward compatible with the existing 4e material then that's different. But I'm not sure that's really that important, especially as even a lot of 4e fans seemed to think that the system could use a throughout overhaul. Just use the mechanics that you want from 4e and reword and rename things. Should be doable.

Well, Pathfinder managed to find success because it was backwards compatible, no? So I would think a 4e clone would have needed the same thing to be more attractive.

Starting from scratch is possible but I think it becomes a harder sell? Heck, I don't think you can't even use the 6 D&D Attributes if you're not using one of their licence.

There are games that have kind of done it.

Strike! is more of a deconstruction rather than a reconstruction of 4e, but the DNA is evidently there.

MonsterPunk is focused on running games with themes like those you'd find in Shin Megami Tensei games, but aside from the change in focus it actually does feel like a nicely done overhaul of 4e.

Interesting! Thank you for the info.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top