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 .

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Asisreo

Patron Badass
It could do plenty, with just a little imagination.

I've offered my own version and gotten some good comment about the mechanics. It's not perfect (I'm already working on a new version) but it shows there's plenty that can be done.
Your class is pretty good. It does slide into the areas of design that I feel is reminiscent of an illusion of choice, though.

To illustrate what I mean, Radiating Confidence is made better when the Warlord uses a different feature that grants temporary hit points but in order for the Warlord to actually have that feature, they must take the Inspiring Presence feature. This means an Ardent Soul Warlord is so highly incentivized to have Inspiring Presence that it may as well not have a choice at all.

But Inspiring Presence grants the Strike! shout a bonus. This would be okay on its own but Strike! has a pretty heavy implication that one player in your party is playing a character with a good Attack action. So the result is that Ardent Soul feels like a suboptimal subclass based on whether your other party members chose a different martial character. A whole subclass that is made better or worse based on the other player's choices gives me bad vibes.

I do like the Insight pool and the fact that it uses a more randomized resource. I would probably have the max pool a bit more understandable since at a glance I wasn't sure if the maximum was supposed to be randomly generated each fight, if the maximum was the dice maximum, or if the maximum was 2 dice.

It also has alot of moving parts that a newbie has to immediately balance around. They might get confused about when they roll the insight dice, how they expend their insight pool, when they can actually use it, etc. Its spelled out plainly but I've seen new players struggle with easier concepts. It might be, in some ways, wiser to have the insight pool be introduced at level 2 or 3.
Well good for you! As far as I'm aware you are literally the only person who thinks that a collection of things explicitly called spells, given their own chapter, that use special, specific, and exclusive mechanics, and that have distinctive interactions is just fluff.
I recognize the differences but they're so rare and minute that its hard to just say that they're so wildly different that a whole class might be needed to bridge this gap.

I can honestly say the amount of times I've been stopped from spellcasting because of their specific rules or counters (components, dispel, counter) were less than the amount of times I completed campaigns. Probably even less than 20.
 

A mechanical niche my own take on the Warlord takes is that of reactions. They get more reaction options and they gain additional reactions as they level up. This has the effect that a Warlord HAS to pay attention to what their allies are doing around them and not just think of themselves, just like the in-universe characters does. I think it's a design space that is not explored by any 5e class and, if done well (so as not to overwhelm the player and cause too much option paralysis), could be a signature aspect of a Warlord.

Kind of the Blades in the Dark Flashback 5e Warlord class that force-multiplies Team PC/allies by way of interacting with action economy; Immediate Actions in a “this was all part of the plan” kind of way.

That actually skirts the “ordering the PCs around” X-Men conversations during battle meme that some folks find unpalatable (which I find easily enough resolved…but whatever), but introduces the TIME ONLY FLOWS ONE WAY canard.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Kind of the Blades in the Dark Flashback 5e Warlord class that force-multiplies Team PC/allies by way of interacting with action economy; Immediate Actions in a “this was all part of the plan” kind of way.

That actually skirts the “ordering the PCs around” X-Men conversations during battle meme that some folks find unpalatable (which I find easily enough resolved…but whatever), but introduces the TIME ONLY FLOWS ONE WAY canard.
I tend to view the reaction kind of the way interrupts used to work in MtG. They break initiative and modify a current and unresolved action. So, shizz like (just to spitball) the Warlord shouts duck and move left and the recipient gets a d6 added to their armour class. There's enough temporal anomalies with initiative that this isn't immersion breaking for me.
 

I tend to view the reaction kind of the way interrupts used to work in MtG. They break initiative and modify a current and unresolved action. So, shizz like (just to spitball) the Warlord shouts duck and move left and the recipient gets a d6 added to their armour class. There's enough temporal anomalies with initiative that this isn't immersion breaking for me.

I’m not the dude that you need to convince!

It’s that other dude!

And that dude over there!

And some dude dressed like another dude pretending to be some other dude!
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
I should also clear up that its not that I don't think there isn't design space for a Warlord. I just don't think there's design space for 4e's Warlord.

The Warlord could make use of mechanics that rarely get used in play, but I'm still looking for that oomph. Hmmm...if I were to go about it, I would have Warlords have 3 main mechanics: allowing immediate rests, letting a player's action ability (casting/attacking/etc) cost only a bonus action, and making a monster temporarily lose resistance/immunity or gain vulnerability from a damage type (including nonmagical damage types).

So maybe the key level 1 feature would be some forms of shouts that the warlord can choose that makes a single creature do their action as a bonus action and the number of creatures they can shout at increases as they level.

Level 2 feature allows them let allies immediately rest and that scales on Charisma.

Level 3 feature is a DC 8+prof+cha save spell that causes the enemy to have vulnerability to certain elemental damage or lose resistance/immunity to BPS damage.

I'm just throwing stuff out there, though.
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I should also clear up that its not that I don't think there isn't design space for a Warlord. I just don't think there's design space for 4e's Warlord.
I'd agree with that. Because 5e tookout what the 4e Warlord did to prevent 3e:
5e took out Buff Spamming.

Lets say you were to turn the 4e warlord into a spellcaster and turn its powers into buff spells. A 5th level magic Warlord could have

Inspiring Word (a heal)
Warlord Favor (an attack roll buff)
White Raven's Onslaught (an attack rider buff)
Knight's Move (a movement buff)
Hold the Line (an AC and immunity buff)
Villain's Nightmare (a movement debuff)

You go you play some D&D and Whomp Whomp! You can only concentrate on one spell at a time.
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
I'd agree with that. Because 5e tookout what the 4e Warlord did to prevent 3e:
5e took out Buff Spamming.

Lets say you were to turn the 4e warlord into a spellcaster and turn its powers into buff spells. A 5th level magic Warlord could have

Inspiring Word (a heal)
Warlord Favor (an attack roll buff)
White Raven's Onslaught (an attack rider buff)
Knight's Move (a movement buff)
Hold the Line (an AC and immunity buff)
Villain's Nightmare (a movement debuff)

You go you play some D&D and Whomp Whomp! You can only concentrate on one spell at a time.
As a buff player, this was both a detriment but also a great relief. Not just for me as a llayer, but for the DM as well. In 5e, there's already quite a few times the DM has to remember which buff/debuff is in effect and to be quite honest, they mostly slip my mind. Now, if I'm playing 5e, I keep my concentration token on top of the spellcard that I'm concentrating on and I can easily keep track of who's being buffed because either the buff affects everyone (AoE/3 creatures) or it affects one player. I don't have to worry about if my attack buff was on the Barbarian or if I'm thinking about my AC buff.

You have to understand that when it comes to actual play, I'm very very intimidated by myriad of moving parts. I'd rather avoid features that require remembering what I did last turn because my memory dissolves before my next turn.
 


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