5E The imbalance of ASI levels in non-spellcasting classes

Quartz

Explorer
If you look at the spellcasting classes, their spellcasting improves at every level, including the levels that get ASIs. Contrast that with the classes that don't cast spells: apart from the Monk getting Slow Fall at 4th level the non-spellcasters (Barbarian, Fighter, Rogue, Monk) don't get anything apart from ASIs at those levels.

Does this need correction?
 

Aebir-Toril

std::cout << "Hi" << '\n';
No, because non-spellcasting classes have unique ways to compensate, including but not limited to:

  • Fewer to zero 'dead' levels
  • More ability score improvements
  • Extra Attack abilities
  • Consistent abilities (those which are either unlimited, such as the Rogue's Sneak Attack, or consistent, such as the Barbarian's Rage)
  • The classes don't need to gain major abilities at the same levels because of how 5e's class design functions.
 

Quartz

Explorer
More ability score improvements
The Fighter gets one at level 6. How many campaigns reach level 10 for the Rogue's extra ASI or 14th for the Fighter's second extra ASI?

Extra Attack abilities
Gained at 5th level, not 4th. Like the extra die gained by cantrips.

Consistent abilities
Cantrips.

The classes don't need to gain major abilities
Who said anything about major abilities?
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
A little correction or imbalance maybe, not nothing so major as to warrant changing IMO.

I've been "compressing" the classes into 10 levels instead of 20, so casters gain access to new spell levels at every level (9th level spells at 9th level). Now, I am slowing down progression of course, so don't think that...

Anyway, I've noticed nearly all levels for non-casters get something this way, but many of the casting classes don't get anything on some levels (all but bards and clerics). But, they get access to new spell levels, so it works out well.
 
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dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
@Quartz :

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Here is the draft for my idea. The yellow levels will be uniform sublcass award levels (making fighter into 4 and expanding bard to 4). Everything in bold, italics is a new feature added to the class. I am still working on this, but this is the current incarnation.

As you can see, bards and clerics can easily be granted something at each level, in addition to new spell level access, but the other casters have little granted to them other than their core thing: spells.

Meanwhile, the battler non-caster classes typically have enough features to spread them out and award something at each level. Paladin was a bit lacking, as was Rogue, but those could be fixed easily.
 

NotAYakk

Adventurer
@Quartz :

View attachment 115881

View attachment 115883

Here is the draft for my idea. The yellow levels will be uniform sublcass award levels (making fighter into 4 and expanding bard to 4). Everything in bold, italics is a new feature added to the class. I am still working on this, but this is the current incarnation.

As you can see, bards and clerics can easily be granted something at each level, in addition to new spell level access, but the other casters have little granted to them other than their core thing: spells.

Meanwhile, the battler non-caster classes typically have enough features to spread them out and award something at each level. Paladin was a bit lacking, as was Rogue, but those could be fixed easily.
I assume you are banning multiclassing.

Note that subclass features are supposed to fill some gaps for various classes; your decision to make that uniform causes issues.

Druid/Sorcerer/Wizard was using "gain a level of spells" as a "awesome level feature".

Mystack Aracnum is a level of spells.

Also you are missing Warlock invocations.
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
I assume you are banning multiclassing.

Note that subclass features are supposed to fill some gaps for various classes; your decision to make that uniform causes issues.

Druid/Sorcerer/Wizard was using "gain a level of spells" as a "awesome level feature".

Mystack Aracnum is a level of spells.

Also you are missing Warlock invocations.
Yes, I would be banning multiclassing if I tried to implement this. As usual, for me, this is also an exercise in "could it work".

There are no issues with the subclasses as I see, especially when I am done. ;)

Yeah, i know the spellcasters getting spell is an awesome level feature, so anything I add will be helpful, but not an awesome feature. For instance, fighters and clerics both get more of the same sort of stuff. To me, that is fine and all, but sort of boring. I'm hoping to change that at the end.

Yep, Mystic Arcanum "are" spells, but they are also a feature so listed as such. And invocations are there at level 1. The new 10-level table would include the number, as in the current warlock table in the PHB. I DID forget Eldritch Master, however, but have updated my spreadsheet. :)
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
That looks pretty interesting, actually.
Thanks. I like the idea and it makes certain characters gain something at each and every level besides filling in gaps with ASI or subclass features.

This idea is also to remove ASIs, probably completely. Feats might still be awarded, I haven't decided yet to be honest. The proficiency progression will advance sufficiently so that boosting ability scores is not essential to remain competitive at higher levels.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Would you mind creating a thread of your own where we can see the development of these?

A note on druid, I'd give them elemental shapes a higher level maybe at 9th or 10th level.

Take some class features and change them into feats that you award as boon based on character development at higher level, like Epic Feats from older editions.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
If you look at the spellcasting classes, their spellcasting improves at every level, including the levels that get ASIs. Contrast that with the classes that don't cast spells: apart from the Monk getting Slow Fall at 4th level the non-spellcasters (Barbarian, Fighter, Rogue, Monk) don't get anything apart from ASIs at those levels.

Does this need correction?
Not really. The "spellcasting improves at every level" is a misnomer, because on even levels, the caster only gains 1 spell slot, and maybe a new cantrip. While on the level of an ASI, they gain slightly more than non-full casters, the benefit is fairly minor.
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Would you mind creating a thread of your own where we can see the development of these?

A note on druid, I'd give them elemental shapes a higher level maybe at 9th or 10th level.

Take some class features and change them into feats that you award as boon based on character development at higher level, like Epic Feats from older editions.
I plan to, but it wasn't ready yet. I just presented the draft version of this for the OP to show that non-casters get quite a bit really.

It will be up eventually. I'll bookmark your comment to make sure you are aware of it when I start the new thread. Thanks for your interest.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I've been "compressing" the classes into 10 levels instead of 20, so casters gain access to new spell levels at every level (9th level spells at 9th level). Now, I am slowing down progression of course, so don't think that...
Side note -13th Age (a d20 game) already does 10 level and does some very interesting things with casters and upcasting. You may want to look at it for inspiration.
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Side note -13th Age (a d20 game) already does 10 level and does some very interesting things with casters and upcasting. You may want to look at it for inspiration.
Thanks. I've looked into 13th Age and I am not a fan of it at a glance. In a lot of ways it seems more complex, but perhaps I just haven't given it a fair shot? I should have some time this afternoon so I might give it another look.
 

Mistwell

Hero
Perhaps you're forgetting the damage-dealing cantrips like Firebolt and Eldritch Blast?
The dirty little secret is, these things do mediocre damage. At even mid levels, you should not be using them. Not even EB with buffing stuff on them. They should be a last resort, or for easy encounters. They just don't keep up, in any meaingful way, with even ordinary attacks from fighter-types at those levels.
 

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