D&D 5E The core issue of the martial/caster gap is just the fundamental design of d20 fantasy casters.

Zardnaar

Legend
I crushed souls and made my enemies intimately attracted to fire with little recourse.

Then I use the Song and Silence feats to do that to things without minds. Or souls. I crushed souls that didn't exist until the moment I crushed them.

I don't recall those fears. We ysed words of creation and various other things to buff their song.

Came close to the 3.0 cleric archer but whole party vs 1 character.

Ranger, scout, bard were all archers. Ranger had power shot ability via deep wood sniper iirc.
 

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Voadam

Legend
3.5 martials could make fantastic archers that were devastating through high level with enough archery appropriate feats to keep going. Melee they could do their job decently or master a specific trick chain (spiked chain, improved trip, chain buff feats). Out of combat they usually were mechanically terrible.

3.5 feats would have benefited significantly for fighters to have access to tiered powerful feats so that at high levels they could get something closer to the equivalent of high level spells (both in power and flexibility of choice) instead of a bonus feat that could be the same they could get at first level (+1 to hit in another individual weapon) or something that had to be at the end of a feat chain with very specific high prerequisites that you had to build around and still be fairly moderate in effect.

3e Feats had a general design problem of pick the good ones for your build early on then each one after that (except for specific chains) was things that were second then third choices so less and less addition of power compared to spells of higher levels getting better and better in effect.
 

Staffan

Legend
It really wasn't.

It was the skeleton of an elegant and customizable design, but they were so afraid of what they made that they then immediately designed feat trees to put any decent feat on a high shelf so that event he fighter who only got feats as class features, couldn't reach them in a reasonable time and instead had to settle for 'you no longer suck at this basic maneuver they teach children in karate class'.
I'd argue the opposite: the problem with the 3e fighter (and to a lesser degree other martials) was that they could only get low-level abilities. There were very few feats that you couldn't take by 6th level.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I‍t's usually not a good thing to starve a large chunk-- apparently the most popular chunk that everyone loves and doesn't have any problems with-- of content.
No one is being starved. It just isn’t a glut, which is a good thing.
Kinda feel tgat way about the 3.5 bard. Good class wrong edition
Agreed.
It really wasn't.

It was the skeleton of an elegant and customizable design, but they were so afraid of what they made that they then immediately designed feat trees to put any decent feat on a high shelf so that event he fighter who only got feats as class features, couldn't reach them in a reasonable time and instead had to settle for 'you no longer suck at this basic maneuver they teach children in karate class'.

you just desscribed an elegant design in the wrong edition.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
No one is being starved. It just isn’t a glut, which is a good thing.
Then the glut of spells is a bad thing, right?
you just desscribed an elegant design in the wrong edition.
There have been three editions with feats. One split them up too far, one had the feats be extremely weak, and the last doesn't have nearly enough for a class to take 15 of them as class features.

Which edition would that have been elegant?
 


Tony Vargas

Legend
Which edition would that have been elegant?
Ironically, the fighter's design elegance would have been functional in 3e, if the other classes hadn't all been messy and OP. ;)
It came closest to working well with 3e's level-by-level multiclassing. If you're a full class fighter, and you take your, say 12th level of fighter, your bonus feat is worth more than it was at 1st level, because you can have met any prerequisite by that time (probably long before). OTOH, if you're multi-classed and you take your 13th level as fighter 2, that bonus feat is... just as good. :geek: OTOOH, if you take your 13th level of wizard, that's 7th level spells, whatch out, but, if you take you're multi-classed 6/6 cleric/wizard, that 13th level as wizard only gets you 4th level spells. :oops:

3e/5e style MCing demands classes where each level of each class is equally effective regardless of the character level you take it at. No other class was close to that. The fighter didn't really do it, either, since it's odd numbered numbered levels after first were just "take me so you can have a feat next level," but it came closest.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Ironically, the fighter's design elegance would have been functional in 3e, if the other classes hadn't all been messy and OP. ;)
If everyone is more powerful than you, they're not all OP, you're just weak. see also Krillin Yamcha.

Except again and as always, Ranger. At least the Monk for PrCs and the most powerful feat via the worst book ever published for 3e.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Then the glut of spells is a bad thing, right?
I really don’t know why it’s so hard to get that they’re different things. Having 300 spells in the PHB to split between all the Spellcasting classes is great. Having 300 feats in the PHB would make me not want to play the game. Because they serve different purposes in the game. There are more feats than subclasses, is that a problem? Of course not, because they aren’t like objects. It’s apples to mushrooms.

The only game object that is the same type of object as spells are manuevers, and those are limited because it would be absolutely pants on head irrational to have the same number of unique items to choose from for one class and one feat, as for several feats, 8 classes, and at least one subclass for each remaining class.

And it would still be just as pants if the 4 non-caster classes had no subclasses with spells and there were no feats that granted them, because 8 classes is obviously and objectively vastly more important than one subclass of one class. Tbh it was buck wild to see so many additional manuevers in a supplement.

And they have tried to expand manuvers beyond that subclass and feat, and the community has shot it down every time. The majority of players who care at all about what martial characters have don’t want anyone else to get manuevers, because they see that as entirely the BM’s thing.

So…what do you think would be in supplements as a balance to more spells? More expansions on individual martial subclasses? Even more maneuvers for an already over supported subclass? Even more feats in a game that could stand to stop adding more feats? I guess more fighting styles could be cool if they have good designs in mind, but when they tried to get weird with fighting styles people hollered “power creep” and they stepped back.

And if none of that makes sense to add, for whatever reason, would you just arbitrarily shrink the spell list in order to serve some misguided sense of symmetry? Because it isn’t balance. 100 spells could be just as powerful as the current number, if those spells are the 100 most powerful spells. The number of spells isn’t a balance issue. It’s just symmetry. It’s no different than making the “ardent” and “battle mind” so that the psionic power source had a leader and a defender, in 4e.* Design symmetry is the enemy of good design in TTRPGs. You don’t need there to be neutral outsider descended people, just because there are tieflings and aasimar. Having fiendish blood and having celestial/angelic blood are both concepts that exist outside of D&D, that D&D is modeling. If you have a concept for fire people, you don’t have to force water people into the game to stand opposite them. You don’t need to have 8 martial classes just because the phb has 8 Spellcasting classes, and you don’t need more feats or other singular options just because you add more spells. Balance is important (up to a point), symmetry is not.

*what it isn’t like is a hypothetical martial controller, which had several strong archetypes but got shot down constantly as people very flalsely claimed it was just grid filling. No, f the grid, we wanted it because there were concepts that could only be approached with existing classes, never actually fulfilled, that a martial controller would have been able to fulfill.
There have been three editions with feats. One split them up too far, one had the feats be extremely weak, and the last doesn't have nearly enough for a class to take 15 of them as class features.

Which edition would that have been elegant?
4e or 5e. 4e has tons of great feats to take, plenty for 15 feat slots, though you’d have to have feats that give powers, too, but you could go pretty wild with fighter class feats. A lot of the most interesting feats in 4e are class feats. 5e has plenty as well.

First, all fighters benefit from a handful of feats like toughness, and the fighter class features could be fighter specific feats with level requirements where necessary. And then stuff like action surge can be more variable in the feats, or a few features could be in the class at 1st, 2nd, and 5th, level, and you could add feats that add to them.

Champion super simple guy takes maybe 2 or 3 active feats and the rest are either ASIs or something like toughness

the BM gets more manuvers, multiple weapon type specialization feats to be just as deadly with a glaive as with a longbow, with room for more odd stuff like skill expert, alert, actor, skulker, (skill expert stealth and skulker makes you Dex BM basically an alternate take on a stealth rogue) or go all genius swordmaster and take keen mind because you have room to do that with no loss anywhere, and still takes a couple ASIs

ignoring CharOp here we got the Cavalier who can take martial adept for the social manuevers, skill expert and/or skilled, dip toes into magic with magic initiate cleric maybe, some of the same stuff as BM but more focused, inspiring leader, maybe healer, etc

Eldritch Knight is taking Fey Touched and/ Shadow Touched, maybe a Stryxhaven feat, Warcaster, sentinel, ritual caster: wizard, on top of normal weapon spec stuff, etc

Some stuf like arcane archer could just be a feat chain with like 4 feats, and advice on what general feats will support the archetype further

And that isn’t even getting into the idea of making all fighter subclasses just be feat chains that require XYZ levels of fighter for each feat, so the class is just literally exactly the 3.5 fighter. (Aside from bab and other stuff that works differently)

Damn I kinda wish this is what they’d have done…
 

Clint_L

Hero
Not quite my assumption though.

If you want a simple caster, there’s the warlock right there. Plus a variety of half casters.

If you want a complex non-caster, you are SOL.
I don't entirely agree - there are subclasses that give you plenty to do. Battlemaster turns sometimes seem to go on forever, as do monks, though the latter don't always accomplish that much.
 

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