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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%

  • Total voters
    206
  • Poll closed .

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I remember an outpouring of love over bounded accuracy, advantage and proficiency and no brooking of argument that these were all genius.
It was a mixed bag. People loved bounded accuracy, but many(myself included) felt that they bounded it too far and +10 would have been a better cap. People loved advantage, but many argued(accurately) that it was too easy to get advantage AND that the lack of stacking was an issue. 10 things grant advantage, not only was there not a super advantage, but one disadvantage negated everything. I don't recall any problems with proficiency itself, but I do recall expertise complaints. Arguments ensued.

It wasn't a kumbaya a period as you are remembering. There WAS a lot of love of the system as a whole, though, so in that regard it was kumbaya.
 

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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
yeah but that has no bearing on what game I get to play, you can say a good thing exists but I have no access to it so it is irrelevant to me plus Like be able to lever the things on my sheet to my advantage it feels right some how.
Now matter how good the game is you never will because it’s the players and dm that make it good or bad.

my playstyle allows the things on your sheet to matter. So I don’t get that criticism at all.

look it is like pizza it is not the best but few truly hate it that is 5e plus if you want a game it is by far the easiest to get into both material and an active game and in some areas, it is the only game, so play it or have nothing.
Sure. But if we fundamentally change it as you wish would it still be the most popular? Would it still be a game very few truly hate.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
It was a mixed bag. People loved bounded accuracy, but many(myself included) felt that they bounded it too far and +10 would have been a better cap. People loved advantage, but many argued(accurately) that it was too easy to get advantage AND that the lack of stacking was an issue. 10 things grant advantage, not only was there not a super advantage, but one disadvantage negated everything. I don't recall any problems with proficiency itself, but I do recall expertise complaints. Arguments ensued.

It wasn't a kumbaya a period as you are remembering. There WAS a lot of love of the system as a whole, though, so in that regard it was kumbaya.
The concepts were loved - the specific implementations them was hotly debated. Yea.
 

Now matter how good the game is you never will because it’s the players and dm that make it good or bad.

my playstyle allows the things on your sheet to matter. So I don’t get that criticism at all.


Sure. But if we fundamentally change it as you wish would it still be the most popular? Would it still be a game very few truly hate.
then we might as well never have ever had more than the prototype version of dnd by that logic, people are uncontrolled able plus a good game does not require you to fight the system to do something real people do every day.

who can say, none of us can see the future so why not try anyway it can't be worse than what is behind us?
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
then we might as well never have ever had more than the prototype version of dnd by that logic, people are uncontrolled able plus a good game does not require you to fight the system to do something real people do every day.

who can say, none of us can see the future so why not try anyway it can't be worse than what is behind us?
IMO. Your recommended fixes are worse for a whole lot of people.
 


FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
in what way?
One of your fixes was to overhaul the entire stat and skill system because wisdom and perception don’t make sense because you could have someone wise and not perceptive.

There is no skill and stat system where things that don’t make sense like that won’t be possible. Skills and stats are crude approximations of the real world and will never support all the nuance and diversity we find in the real world. It’s a solution that changes tuff that works reasonably well that doesn’t actually solve anything.

or take the position about breaking athletics up into more skills for ‘realism’. That makes it impossible to be an athletic fighter and anything else - when many real world fighter concepts are athletic and something else. Such a change would prevent those concepts. Makes it a very bad change.

All your recent change arguments boil down to what I call simulationism. But when that notion is unchecked you get the awful 3e skill system - or something even worse than it.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
All your recent change arguments boil down to what I call simulationism. But when that notion is unchecked you get the awful 3e skill system - or something even worse than it.
The main issue with 3e was that the number of skill points a lot of classes received was low. If you just gave Fighters(and other classes that only got 2) a base of 4 skill points, instead of 2 and got rid of the whole cross-class skill idea, the system was pretty good.
 

One of your fixes was to overhaul the entire stat and skill system because wisdom and perception don’t make sense because you could have someone wise and not perceptive.

There is no skill and stat system where things that don’t make sense like that won’t be possible. Skills and stats are crude approximations of the real world and will never support all the nuance and diversity we find in the real world. It’s a solution that changes tuff that works reasonably well that doesn’t actually solve anything.

or take the position about breaking athletics up into more skills for ‘realism’. That makes it impossible to be an athletic fighter and anything else - when many real world fighter concepts are athletic and something else. Such a change would prevent those concepts. Makes it a very bad change.

All your recent change arguments boil down to what I call simulationism. But when that notion is unchecked you get the awful 3e skill system - or something even worse than it.
I want to move 8 stats personally but the problem is stat always beats skill, where I would rather base stat and being skilled in it, are equal but if you have both you crazy good at it.

I want more social abilities at low level and more general customisation of classes as not everyone gets new spells to take and I like some more dynamism to characters.
I want more strength skill I myself never spoke of breaking up athletics, you must be thinking of someone else.
I do what it checked I just want a better one than we have, plus a guide on what most of them are for overlap being allowed.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I want to move 8 stats personally but the problem is stat always beats skill, where I would rather base stat and being skilled in it, are equal but if you have both you crazy good at it.
Proficiency starts at +2, which means you need a 14 in the stat to even equal skill. 16 to surpass it. It only takes a few levels for it to take a 16 to equal skill. Given that most characters will only have 1 or 2 stats at 16 or higher, skill is going to outdo stats the vast majority of the time. Once the PCs hit 13th level, virtually no stat will beat skill.

Skill is king with skills in 5e, not stats.

I want more strength skill I myself never spoke of breaking up athletics, you must be thinking of someone else.

There aren't many skills that are strength based that Athletics doesn't already cover. One thing I do, though, which does end up helping Fighters, is to allow Intimidate(strength). I've been doing that since 3e. If a not very personable body builder pretzels a steel bar while staring at you, you're probably going to be intimidated.
 
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Minigiant

Legend
there’s things to be critical of 5e for. But I don’t think The caster/martial ‘issue’ is one. It has been primarily resolved. Both complaints from 3e and 4e were heard and fixed. The only complaints left are from people that want fundamentally mythic fighters - while slot don’t want that at all.

and while casters and martials aren’t perfectly balanced especially in higher tiers, through tier 2 it’s mostly close enough.

The martial/caster balance issue is really an ability score imbalance issue.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I want to move 8 stats personally but the problem is stat always beats skill, where I would rather base stat and being skilled in it, are equal but if you have both you crazy good at it.

I want more social abilities at low level and more general customisation of classes as not everyone gets new spells to take and I like some more dynamism to characters.
I want more strength skill I myself never spoke of breaking up athletics, you must be thinking of someone else.
I do what it checked I just want a better one than we have, plus a guide on what most of them are for overlap being allowed.
That’s neither better or worse, just different.
 





Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
This is something 5e does as a default, but does a piss-poor job of explaining or giving example thereof.
It's an option as it's listed explicitly as a variant, not default. And I agree that it does a piss-poor job of giving examples. If I see where an alternative stat is best, I'll call for a check using it. Also, if a player can make a quick, reasonable case for why I should use an alternate stat, I will allow that as well.
 

Undrave

Hero
Proficiency starts at +2, which means you need a 14 in the stat to even equal skill. 16 to surpass it. It only takes a few levels for it to take a 16 to equal skill. Given that most characters will only have 1 or 2 stats at 16 or higher, skill is going to outdo stats the vast majority of the time. Once the PCs hit 13th level, virtually no stat will beat skill.

Skill is king with skills in 5e, not stats.
The concepts were loved - the specific implementations them was hotly debated. Yea.
I think a few minor tweaks to the skill system would have been beneficial:

- Codify 'Expertise' as a thing, and just have it be a flat bonus. Rogues get a bunch of them, the Champion gets Expertise in Athletics or Acrobatics, the Wizard gets Expertise in Arcana, some subclass could give it out, etc. It'd be pretty useful. I dunno if the bonus would be a flat 2 or a flat 3 (like it was in 4e)... Heck, you could even replace the Archery Fighting style as 'Expertise in X weapons with a specific property' or something like that. So you could have a true Swordmaster who has better attacks than anybody else while using a Longsword and stuff.

- Better skill use examples in the PHB. Maybe help get people to stop declaring what skills they want to roll for before they explain what they want to do?

- Better emphasis on the idea that Stats and Skills aren't always linked and that sometimes your DM will call for a different roll like Strength Intimidate or Intelligence Insight. Give ACTUAL examples of how that would work. Really lean into the concept for more than a fleeting paragraph ya know?

- Not skill related, but mention that more tools than those listed in the PHB can exist. Emphasize that 'tool proficiency' can sub for almost any profession or craft you can think of. Then introduce a few setting specific ones as time goes on. Like if there's a setting where you need to use a special kind of compass and coded map to navigate parts of it, etc.

Just those would have helped smoothed out a lot of rough edges of the skill system IMO.
 


FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
90% of the game is half mental? :p
It’s more that mental skills apply to a diverse set of problems. Social ones tend to as well. These kinds of skills can help in any situation including physical situations.

The physical skills apply to very specific situations. Jumping/running/climbing etc. These are useful tools to have. But they tend to only solve very specific problems.
 

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