D&D 5E The Fighter/Martial Problem (In Depth Ponderings)

jgsugden

Legend
That's tge DM being an idiot and funneling sone of the vest items to the best builds...
The game was well run, enjoyed by everyone, and featured balanced items across the board. The items I referenced were well within expectations based upon DMG suggestions. Your rude assumption is inaccurate.
 

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jgsugden

Legend
Unlike your DM the DM did not give him a magic polearm and very few DMs I have played with would do that sort of thing.
There are rules for how to craft magical items in the DMG and other books. It is the default option in the game. Some DMs remove these options, but I've played with a lot of DMS - and it is rare, and usually setting specific, when it does.
... I think the play style "beat someone with my stick" is generally boring too. But if you invest the feat (or in this case 2 feats) that only make you better at beating someone with a stick, you are kind of inclined and incentivized to beat him with a stick. Doing cool things in combat, through improvise an action, or grappling or shoving, using caltrops or oil or holy water or a net ..... All that stuff is far more viable and has less opportunity cost if you don't lose 30 damage and waste two feats by trying it.
These feats add to your tool belt. They do not restrict it. They also do not stand alone. They combine with your subclass abilities, and present other options. When I use a polearm, I am very cognizant that I am holding a long metal rod that can manipulate the environment up to 10 feet away. While people till continue to tend towards attacking with good attacks, you also need to consider the control elements this combo brings. It has been lauded, since the start of 5E, as one of the only real 'defender' control tricks out there (especially when combined with sentinel). You're assuming this has to limit options when that remains entirely in player hands.
If you think about in terms of "doing something cool" - if you take both Superior Technique and Martial Adept instead of GWF and PAM, then pretty much you can use a battlemaster maneuver and "do something cool" once a battle.
Superior Technique is not an alternative to a feat - it uses a different resource. Regardless, having two superiority dice from these approaches can be fun for 2 attacks per short rest. That is a real big investment, especially at higher level when you're making at least 20 - and as many as 80 attacks - between short rests. I'm not saying it isn't a good idea ... just one that diminishes in utility over the phases of the class. I've seen Battlemaster be popular at lower levels, but it is common for higher level players to struggle with 5 or 6 superiority dice when they're making so many attacks. At low levels it may be that one third of your attacks use the superiority dice. At high levels it drops to 5%. This is one reason that as a reward for a divine quest I gave a higher level battlemaster the ability to 'recover' all of his superiority dice once per LR (can't be done in combat). The 15th level ability does give you a few extra ... but in general, getting to use your sublass primary feature only once per combat is ... a struggle. And, yes, I am amongst the DMs that make sure warlocks have options for magic outside of their 2 spell slots at levels 2 to 10 so that they don't feel like one trick ponies.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
Superior Technique is not an alternative to a feat - it uses a different resource.
there is a feat that allows you to gain a fighting style from the fighter's list of them, so what they're saying here isn't technically incorrect, you can choose to use your feat resource to pick between superior technique vs PAM, especially if you desire more than the default 1 fighting style
 

Trasvi

Explorer
Doing cool things in combat, through improvise an action, or grappling or shoving, using caltrops or oil or holy water or a net ..... All that stuff is far more viable and has less opportunity cost if you don't lose 30 damage and waste two feats by trying it..
Is your argument really "if you gimp yourself so much that everything is bad, the bad options look comparatively better?"
 

ECMO3

Hero
Taking GWM is specialization.

I know, and it was presumably before he had a great magic Longsword

That's the point. By level 8, at a table with magic weapons, you will have one. And now you can take feats for it.
Taking feats before level 8 is not the power move unless you are V-Human. Before level 12, it's a flavor choice.

You will probably have a magic weapon at 8th level, but it is early to "lock in" on a specific weapon.

  1. MAX STR or DEX
  2. Take Resilient Wisdom or Your Weapon feat
  3. Take whichever of Resilient Wisdom or Your Weapon feat that you didn't already take
  4. MAX STR or DEX or CON or take Skill Expert or Fighting Adept or Damage feat

I've played a lot and I don't see this a lot. After resilient Wisdom the feats I see fighters take at high level are things like Fey Touched, Shadow Touched, racial feats, tough, the Dragon Feats and occasionally Warcaster.

Of those the Dragon feats are the most common after Resilient-Wisdom I think.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I've played a lot and I don't see this a lot. After resilient Wisdom the feats I see fighters take at high level are things like Fey Touched, Shadow Touched, racial feats, tough, the Dragon Feats and occasionally Warcaster.

Of those the Dragon feats are the most common after Resilient-Wisdom I think.
Those are still flavor picks..

After ASIs to Max attack stat, your weapon feat, and Wis save, the raw power you can eke out is low.

At that point you can go flavor with a Dragon, Giant, Magic, FS, Skill, Race, or Versatility feat or inch out a tiny bit of power.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Honestly PAM and GWM are at the most powerful in the early game. Even at lv4, it provides a consistent use of bonus action AND a relatively reliable reaction, for +100-200% damage. Dueling PAM is legit.

It is not close to +100% damage unless you started with a 20 in strength.

At 4th level GWM+PAM on 16/17 strength requires a 1st level feat. With a 17 strength and GWF Fighting style and both these feats you will average 9.15 DPR against a 16 AC foe. The same fighter who took a half feat (say HAM) and a strength ASI and has a 20 strength and is doing 7.2 DPR with the same Pole Arm (or more with different options).

The fighter with a 20 strength also has bonus actions, better ability checks, better strength saves and is taking less damage.

I think the highest available white room damage at 4th level with a free 1st level feat would be using 2 fighting styles. Either Thrown Weapon Fighting and Two Weapon Fighting or Dueling and Two Weapon Fighting with an 18 strength.

Also using your free feat for Magic Initiate with Hex, Booming Blade and possibly Green Flame Blade with a strength ASI is going to be competitive in raw damage at 4th level although that brings a lot more variables into it. If you bring race into it; Goblin, magic initiate and nimble escape I think beats any possible GWM/PAM build at 4th level. Even with another race it is going to be competitive in damage while having a lot more control.

Even better, it starts letting you have a fun turn early on. Instead of "I hit it with my sword, next player", it's "I stab it with my spear, I whip around and bash with the blunt end, and i set to defend so I can stab the next one who approaches". It's not just a white room power build, it's a fun build.

Sure if that is what is fun for you. It is not for most players I see play fighters. I think most of them would rather use a bonus action to throw a net on an enemy once a fight, even if they are sticking to non-magic stuff.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
When you roll stats, you're specialising in a certain subset of weapons. Melee for STR, Ranged/Finesse for DEX. The game explicitly tells you to make eone of the two your highest stat.

If you are rolling stats you can often be good in both. If you can manage a 16 in both Strength and Dexterity you can be both a long ranged and close range combatant all the way to 20th level and do both of those very well as a fighter.

The classic 1E fighter with a Greatsword and a Longbow. I played one of these in my first 5E campaign as a player in Hoard of the Dragon Queen. She started with an 16 Dex and an 18 (I think) strength. She started with a Longbow, Leather Armor, a Greatsword and a Warhammer I think. That game eventually petered out.

Key here is 16 without any feats is good enough all the way to 20th level on the Fighter platform with a good subclass. Meaning you can be good (not great) at both ranged and melee. You can do this on point buy too, but it is a bit more difficult and you are really hamstringing the social and exploration pillars to do it. I would suggest a Half Elf or Mountain Dwarf if you do this on point buy.

In one fight I started with my Greatsword, switched to my Longbow after I downed a foe and then switched to my warhammer. We joked about my weapons being strewn all over the battlefield at the end of the fight.

She also had stealth and Thieves tools proficiency.

At lv1, you clhave to choose a Fighting Style. They're all presented equally as equivalent choices, and all bar 1 in thr phb enhance fighting with a particular subset of weapons, but you can only take one*. You're encouraged to specialise.

If you pay attention to the mechanics they are not equivalent. I can understand a newbie thinking they are, but not someone with experience. There really are only 4 viable choices (5 if you are playing exclusively tier 1):

Defense
Superior Technique
Dueling
Archery
If it is a low level campaign you aslo have two-weapon fighting.

Of these defense and superior technique are the most versatile. If players are new and don't understand that others at the table should help them. IF they do understand it and choose a weaker fighting style then they are making a choice.


At lv4 you can choose a feat, and you read through and see that for most combinations of weapons there's an equivalent feat. They take what you're supposed to be doing (weilding weapons) and make you better at one of them. Theyre all presented as equal, and most of these are mutually exclusive. They also match well to your fighting style: and you think, if i take both ill be even better! If I team up Archery style with PAM, then I might be diverse...but at every stage you'll have a feature not being used. You're encouraged to specialise.

Archery and PAM will not make you diverse. Archery and a strength ASI, on an already good strength, will make you diverse.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Those are still flavor picks..

After ASIs to Max attack stat, your weapon feat, and Wis save, the raw power you can eke out is low.

At that point you can go flavor with a Dragon, Giant, Magic, FS, Skill, Race, or Versatility feat or inch out a tiny bit of power.

The dragon feats are almost never flavor IME. They are doing it for the damage resistance and damage boost (chromatic), bonus to AC (Metallic) or they are topping up an odd Int/Wis/Cha (gem ..... maybe the Wisdom you took Resilient with last feat)

As a matter of fact the Dragon feats are the most often reskinned feats in terms of flavor. I am getting gift of the Metallic Dragon, but I want it to be tied to fiends and the wings that come out are devil wings, not dragon wings.

Feats also change value at low and high level. Tough for example is a poor feat at low level, but a good feat at high level. Gift of the Metallic Dragon is the same: +2 bonus to AC twice a day at 4th level and a single cure wounds spell is pretty meh. +6 bonus to AC six times a day at 19th level is pretty darn awesome
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The dragon feats are almost never flavor IME. They are doing it for the damage resistance and damage boost (chromatic), bonus to AC (Metallic) or they are topping up an odd Int/Wis/Cha (gem ..... maybe the Wisdom you took Resilient with last feat)

As a matter of fact the Dragon feats are the most often reskinned feats in terms of flavor. I am getting gift of the Metallic Dragon, but I want it to be tied to fiends and the wings that come out are devil wings, not dragon wings.
Maybe Metallic because the wings are busted. But even then, you don't have enough uses until high levels.Taking it low levels is flavor.

But Gem and Chormatic don't give massive power boosts over an intended adventure day.. Especially until high levels.
 

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