D&D General The Linear Fighter/Quadratic Wizard Problem

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The Fighter class − in order to be "nonmagical" − needs to become a prestige class that only has levels 1 to 12. There is no level 13 Fighter. Because level 13 is inherently magical.
Technically no.

The Tier 3 and Tier 4 fighter isn't magical. It's just not simple. The desciptions and depictions of master swordsmen and archers ad details that are not simple.

The Captain America Winter Soldier Elevator Fight scene starts with Cap
  1. Defending a grapple check with 10 guys using the Help action
  2. Beating the STR Saving throw on a high tech magic handcuff
  3. Making 8 unarmed strike. Each causing a knock down.
  4. Doing 2 again
  5. Dropping 3 Tier 2 warriors
And all this without his magic weapon/armor (the shield) and one handed due to the cuff. And 3-4combat rounds.

That's more that the +1 more to Proficency and extra use of Indomitable you get at level 13. The Fighter can't level up and stay both simple and mundane. That's one of the core problems. It's easier to make a Mythic Warrior stay simple that a Mundane Warrior.
 

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FireLance

Legend
I've been pondering on a Special attack System: The Dragonstrike system.

If you chain X number of nondamaging attacks (Shoves and Disarms) in a row, your last attack can be converted into a Dragonstrike. There are 10 Dragonstrikes, one for each dragon. It's a risk and reward system as if you miss, you lose the opportunity to Dragonstrike AND dealt zero damage.

DragonstrikeChainEffect
White23d12 damage
Brass2Knocked out (aka Sleep)
Black3????
Copper3Hamsturng (aka Slowed)
Green4Poisoned plus XdY damage per turn
Bronze4Knocked back 50 feet and stunned for 1 turn
Blue5????
Silver5Paralysis
Red6????
Gold6Stunned then Weakened
I've never played Iron Heroes, but I hear that it has a token system that does something similar.

I think a simpler implementation could be: every time a fighter hits with an attack roll, they gain a token. (If you want to impose a cost, the fighter can reduce the damage done by 1 point to get one token). This can be flavored as the fighter taking in details about the current battlefield and their opponent's fighting style that they can exploit later.

On any subsequent successful attack, the fighter can spend 2 tokens to activate a battlemaster maneuver. Or, if the fighter doesn't want to do anything fancy, they can trade the tokens for extra damage dice (2 tokens = 1d4, 3 tokens = 1d6, ... , 6 tokens = 1d12). One viable strategy is to keep accumulating tokens, then spend them all on a critical hit.

For simplicity, tokens expire at the end of an encounter.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
What bonus do you think an insect has to a climb check?
+1 or +2. Giant Spiders have +3 due to dex and no proficiency, because insects don't use skill. They have tiny hairs designed to grip surfaces. That and they weight one bazillionth of an ounce. Giant spiders have a spider climb ability that allows them to climb surfaces at their weight, allowing them to climb surfaces without making an ability check.
So it has to be more than humanly possible, but in the real world probably there are no more than like 5th or 6th level characters at most. So the level of what is humanly possible is pretty low.
Level doesn't determine what is humanly possible. Race does.
Are giant flies in your campaign world able to cling to sheer surfaces?
I wouldn't allow it due to size and I take away the spider climb ability of giant spiders for the same reason. They use webs and holes(trapdoor spiders) or roam around like Tarantulas. They would need a supernatural power to do so at their size.
If they are, why not a 15th level rogue or fighter?
Too heavy and the lack of all the specialized hairs that would allow it to happen.
Why do they have to be epic before their skill can do more than is humanly possible? By the time you get to double digits, why can't you climb as well as animals, jump as well as kangaroos and do all the other things that mundane creatures can do
Because they aren't those other creatures with their physiological developments that make it possible. A 15th level fighter isn't going to suddenly have his bones, muscles and body structure shift from human into kangaroo to enable it to happen.
that are just a little bit more than what is realistically possible for a human? In a fantasy.
It's not a little bit more. It's a whole lot more. Even in a fantasy words mean something. These are humans, not fandangos with a body structure closer to kangaroos than human. We may not try to mirror reality when we play them, but they are reasonably realistic as humans.

To climb like a spider or fly, or jump like a kangaroo, they would need some sort of supernatural ability that makes it possible. Level alone isn't going to do it. I don't mind that supernatural ability coming from high level fantasy training, but without some sort of "magic," it's not happening.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
That said, yeah, 5e doesn’t support elemental themed character that well. Except maybe if you’ll looking for Radiant, Fire or Lightning damage (Clerics, Sorcerers AND Barbarians all have a storm themed subclass!)
That's what "The rules serve the DM, not the other way around" in the DMG is for. If someone came to me and wanted a cold themed sorcerer, I'd have no problem pulling a spell from this list and two from that list to add to the sorcerer list for that PC. Further, that sorcerer could pick icebolt(firebolt) as a cantrip, iceball(fireball) as a 3rd level spell, and so on. The feat let's you switch the energy type of a spell known to another one, so it's not necessary for a cold themed caster. There are a billion different spells, so every elemental spell is going to have an identical version that is of other elements.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Technically no.

The Tier 3 and Tier 4 fighter isn't magical. It's just not simple. The desciptions and depictions of master swordsmen and archers ad details that are not simple.

The Captain America Winter Soldier Elevator Fight scene starts with Cap
  1. Defending a grapple check with 10 guys using the Help action
  2. Beating the STR Saving throw on a high tech magic handcuff
  3. Making 8 unarmed strike. Each causing a knock down.
  4. Doing 2 again
  5. Dropping 3 Tier 2 warriors
And all this without his magic weapon/armor (the shield) and one handed due to the cuff. And 3-4combat rounds.

That's more that the +1 more to Proficency and extra use of Indomitable you get at level 13. The Fighter can't level up and stay both simple and mundane. That's one of the core problems. It's easier to make a Mythic Warrior stay simple that a Mundane Warrior.
Cap in the movies can also flip 2 ton cars. Let's see. 4000/30...... he has like a 133 strength.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Haven't you heard.
You auto succeed ability checks on a Nat 20 now.
You don't need it when you have 133 strength. You also don't get rolls when the DC is higher than 30, which flipping a 2 ton car is for a normal human.

Edit: No. Athletics is irrelevant to an impossible attempt.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I've never played Iron Heroes, but I hear that it has a token system that does something similar.

I think a simpler implementation could be: every time a fighter hits with an attack roll, they gain a token. (If you want to impose a cost, the fighter can reduce the damage done by 1 point to get one token). This can be flavored as the fighter taking in details about the current battlefield and their opponent's fighting style that they can exploit later.

On any subsequent successful attack, the fighter can spend 2 tokens to activate a battlemaster maneuver. Or, if the fighter doesn't want to do anything fancy, they can trade the tokens for extra damage dice (2 tokens = 1d4, 3 tokens = 1d6, ... , 6 tokens = 1d12). One viable strategy is to keep accumulating tokens, then spend them all on a critical hit.

For simplicity, tokens expire at the end of an encounter.
The point of the Dragonstrike system is that the only part that scales for martials are damage and HP.

Fighters and Barbarians just deal damage. Not real control, single target nor crowd. No breaking a dragons arm or poking a giant's eye.

Rangers and Paladins don't have exclusive scaling exploration and social spells. Their spells don't have scaling effects either..No wounding arrows or slowing smites. Just damage.

Edit: No. Athletics is irrelevant to an impossible attempt.
Impossible DC is 30.

Captain America just rolled a 20. Don't be a mean old DM with no sense of imagination or fun 🤪

(I'm kidding btw but this is my point back in the 1DND discussion)
 
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DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I've been pondering on a Special attack System: The Dragonstrike system.

If you chain X number of nondamaging attacks (Shoves and Disarms) in a row, your last attack can be converted into a Dragonstrike. There are 10 Dragonstrikes, one for each dragon. It's a risk and reward system as if you miss, you lose the opportunity to Dragonstrike AND dealt zero damage.

DragonstrikeChainEffect
White23d12 damage
Brass2Knocked out (aka Sleep)
Black3????
Copper3Hamsturng (aka Slowed)
Green4Poisoned plus XdY damage per turn
Bronze4Knocked back 50 feet and stunned for 1 turn
Blue5????
Silver5Paralysis
Red6????
Gold6Stunned then Weakened
Nice and all but this didn't answer my question you quoted.

Why does it matter? After all, cantrips scale.
Cantrips scale, sure, and fighters get more attacks, so it works out to about the same damage. But it is just damage. Most people seem to want more in these features than damage (see the above).

A 20th level fire bolt is almost as strong as a fireball to a single target.
4d10 avg 22 vs 8d6 avg 28 is a 27% difference, which I would not say is almost as strong, but YMMV.

It is also a single target vs. the possibility of many, many more.

As a side note, I don't think cantrips should scale that much, personally, and we've capped them to just a single increase in our own game.

Impossible DC is 30.
Technically, it is only "Nearly Impossible." ;)
 



Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
A bit clearer. Using your idea, could you provide a concrete example?
A level 15 party is fighting a pair of fire giants.

The fighter runs up to the frontmost giant and uses his 3 attacks to disarm, shove down, and shove back the monster. All three attacks hit the giant's 18 AC due to the cleric's prebattle buffs.

The fighter opts to upgrade the last shove to a Copper Dragonstrike. His greatsword hits the giant's leg and head armor hard. The giant is now slowed and must beat the fighter's DC at the end of turn to end the slow. The giant was also disarmed, knocked prone, and is 5 feet from his weapon.
 

A level 15 party is fighting a pair of fire giants.

The fighter runs up to the frontmost giant and uses his 3 attacks to disarm, shove down, and shove back the monster. All three attacks hit the giant's 18 AC due to the cleric's prebattle buffs.

The fighter opts to upgrade the last shove to a Copper Dragonstrike. His greatsword hits the giant's leg and head armor hard. The giant is now slowed and must beat the fighter's DC at the end of turn to end the slow. The giant was also disarmed, knocked prone, and is 5 feet from his weapon.

This is a perfect representation of the problem with the system as it stands. Here's how that goes all too often, unfortunately:

The Giant is slowed, so he doesn't get a reaction until his turn, folks have advantage on melee attacks since he's prone, and his AC is -2, but that only impacts melee attacks received between the fighter's turn and his and may or may not come into play at all. Ranged attacks being prone actually caused to be Disadvantaged, and spells are not impacted, so there's a decent chance most of the party can't or won't capitalize on that. On his turn though, he stands up, spending half his movement (now all his movement because he's slowed). He grabs his weapon back with a free object interaction, since he has reach. He takes his action as normal to multistrike and hits both times, dealing 56 damage. He easily makes the Wis save to end the slow.

On the fighter's next turn, he realizes that his 3 attacks which disarmed, shoved down, and shoved back the monster didn't really do anything, and he traded 3 attacks and dealt zero damage for some effects which didn't really impact combat and a slow, and all of those things were "wasting" attacks which beat the AC and could have been dealing damage. He thinks (or maybe someone says aloud) he can't be messing around with these guys. Subsequent turns, he just stands next to the Giant, and his turns go something like "I roll to attack it 3 times with my longsword".

And this is WITH the special, upgraded system. In order for disarms to matter, someone needs to subsequently get rid of the weapon, which often doesn't happen. For trips to matter, the enemy needs to have a cause to move more than it can with half its movement. Those things aren't guaranteed and success at those maneuvers is not guaranteed so just standing there mindlessly attacking is often superior. The things you described are cool, and feel like things a fighter Should be doing in a fight, instead of mindlessly whacking away at HP pools. But for them to be worth it, they need to be happening as part of attacks, -with- dealing damage instead of -in lieu of- dealing damage.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
This is a perfect representation of the problem with the system as it stands. Here's how that goes all too often, unfortunately:

The Giant is slowed, so he doesn't get a reaction until his turn, folks have advantage on melee attacks since he's prone, and his AC is -2, but that only impacts melee attacks received between the fighter's turn and his and may or may not come into play at all. Ranged attacks being prone actually caused to be Disadvantaged, and spells are not impacted, so there's a decent chance most of the party can't or won't capitalize on that. On his turn though, he stands up, spending half his movement (now all his movement because he's slowed). He grabs his weapon back with a free object interaction, since he has reach. He takes his action as normal to multistrike and hits both times, dealing 56 damage. He easily makes the Wis save to end the slow.

On the fighter's next turn, he realizes that his 3 attacks which disarmed, shoved down, and shoved back the monster didn't really do anything, and he traded 3 attacks and dealt zero damage for some effects which didn't really impact combat and a slow, and all of those things were "wasting" attacks which beat the AC and could have been dealing damage. He thinks (or maybe someone says aloud) he can't be messing around with these guys. Subsequent turns, he just stands next to the Giant, and his turns go something like "I roll to attack it 3 times with my longsword".

And this is WITH the special, upgraded system. In order for disarms to matter, someone needs to subsequently get rid of the weapon, which often doesn't happen. For trips to matter, the enemy needs to have a cause to move more than it can with half its movement. Those things aren't guaranteed and success at those maneuvers is not guaranteed so just standing there mindlessly attacking is often superior. The things you described are cool, and feel like things a fighter Should be doing in a fight, instead of mindlessly whacking away at HP pools. But for them to be worth it, they need to be happening as part of attacks, -with- dealing damage instead of -in lieu of- dealing damage.
This is why I never completed the Dragonstrike system. Barring causing lasting or lingering injures like broken limns or ever severed limbs by bypassing the HP system, the 5e system doesn't have the design space within the bounds of the fighter class not the design space afforded to subclasses to duplicate the impact of high level magic EXCEPT in damage.

And because of massive HP inflation due to Bounded Accuracy, any monster over CR 2 has too many HP to OHKO with a single attack. You can't ever roleplay taking out multiple threats a turn past level 3.

Bounded Accuracy sounded cool but it ended up screwing up the fighter by shifting the game too far into HP and damage. This makes the fighter's damage just too important and robs it the leeway to move into other combat roles or afford noncombat ones (while being balanced with the pure combat fighter).

Part of me things that WOTC should give every class Expertise in 1 Skill or Tool by level 4. Rogues, Bards, Rangers, Artificers, Fighters, and Monks being the only ones with 2 or more Expertise. But that's another discussion.
 

Hussar

Legend
@Minigiant - that's kinda where 4e glistened really. Because not only would you get that knock down, disarm and slow effect, you'd also deal damage. It was never an "either/or" sitatution.

And as far as 4e powers being "spells", well, that's just not true. I mean, Hammer and Anvil - an encounter power where you hit a target, which sets up a free shot from an ally. How is that magical in any way, shape or form? It's perfectly understandable in the context of the game and in no way evokes anything magical. "But, you can't do it round after round" so it's maaaaagic. Which is again, completely ridiculous. Of course you can't do it round after round. It's a special thing that you only get to set up once in a while.

But, again, because it allows the player to have any sort of control over the narrative, it must be magic. :erm:

Like I said, we know exactly how to fix the problem. We don't need fifteen thousand pages of house rules or anything like that. We only have to accept that handing over a tiny bit of narrative power to the players so that they can choose when a cool stunt goes off fixes all the issues.

But, since that idea has 4e cooties on it, we will never, ever be allowed to have it in the game. So, we have to have everyone in the game play casters instead. Problem solved.
 

Celebrim

Legend
+1 or +2. Giant Spiders have +3 due to dex and no proficiency, because insects don't use skill.

Why is whatever insect do not translatable to skill?

Level doesn't determine what is humanly possible. Race does.

Ok, I get where you are going here. You want a world that obeys the laws of science as you understand them. In the world you know, spiders climb walls because of tiny hairs and the laws of physics.

That world is not D&D's world. I put it to you that spiders climb walls in D&D because they are magic. Which is why ingesting a spider and saying the right words temporarily gives you the ability to climb walls like a spider despite not growing tiny hairs and your body mass and center of gravity making it impossible even if you did.

You've given a very coherent description of the real world. But it's an incoherent description of the D&D world. If we take your description seriously, it means that a fighter at 20th level has obtained peak of what is humanly possible and he can never do more than that because he's limited by his race and the laws of physics. But a wizard at 1st level is already doing things that aren't humanly possible, breaking the limits of his race and the laws of physics.

That's a pretty stark contrast. In the real world, doing magic is not humanly possible, yet you concede that in the D&D world a mere 1st level human can do it. So it is not true to say that a wizard is doing what is not humanly possible. A wizard of 1st level is doing things that are in the D&D world both humanly possible and indeed mundane within that world. And that's because the D&D world is magical. The D&D world is not the real world that happens to also have magic in it. The D&D world is a magical world. All the knowledge you have of this world's physics does not apply to the D&D world. Energy is not conserved. The laws of thermodynamics can be violated, because in the D&D world they don't exist in order to be violated. People can think things into being in the D&D world without dealing with E=mc^2 implying that requires enough energy to blow up a continent being channelled through the persons mind, because E=mc^2 isn't a thing in the D&D universe. Light doesn't have constant speed in the D&D universe. Matter in the D&D universe is made up of 4 elements and not the periodic table. If you submerge a cannon in water in the D&D universe and grind it, it probably stops producing heat at some point because you got all the Fire out.
If you drop balls into clay from various heights, there is a good chance in the D&D universe you find kinetic energy is linear with velocity, not the square of it.

I wouldn't allow it due to size and I take away the spider climb ability of giant spiders for the same reason. They use webs and holes(trapdoor spiders) or roam around like Tarantulas. They would need a supernatural power to do so at their size.

My point is that they have it. And trees have supernatural ability. And everything has that supernatural ability because supernatural is a meaningless word. If it can happen, it's not supernatural. There is only things you understand and things you don't understand, but nothing is supernatural. In the D&D universe, a wizard makes a fireball and nothing supernatural happened. It was magic, in the same sense that the internet is magic. The wizard is an applied physicist in the D&D universe. He understands the world around him, like how spiders have the power to cling to glass, and he knows how to harness that power and use it for himself the same way a miller knows how to harness a river to to power a waterwheel that powers his millstone. The wizard isn't violating the laws of nature because he isn't in our world where those laws apply. He's utilizing the laws of nature of his world. Otherwise, magic wouldn't work, like it doesn't work here because things like energy conservation prevent it from happening.

Because they aren't those other creatures with their physiological developments that make it possible. A 15th level fighter isn't going to suddenly have his bones, muscles and body structure shift

Why not? If you look at the source material for the world of D&D, it's the beliefs of people living in the pre-scientific world. And they would have no problem believing that a mighty warriors thewes, muscles and body structure changed and allowed him to do mighty feats.

To climb like a spider or fly, or jump like a kangaroo, they would need some sort of supernatural ability that makes it possible.

Only in the sense that to walk and talk like a human requires supernatural ability to make it possible.

I don't mind that supernatural ability coming from high level fantasy training, but without some sort of "magic," it's not happening.

It's all magic. Everything is magic. The clouds moving across the sky is magic. The wind that blows them is magic. What it isn't in D&D is thermodynamic heat exchange.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Why is whatever insect do not translatable to skill?
Because it's purely physiological. They don't need to worry about where to place their arms and legs or all legs(I don't know). They just stick to the surface due to their physical make-up.
Ok, I get where you are going here. You want a world that obeys the laws of science as you understand them. In the world you know, spiders climb walls because of tiny hairs and the laws of physics.
Sort of. I don't want to mirror science or physics, but I want it to be a reasonable approximation. I want people to fall and take some damage when the floor drops them into a pit. I don't need to figure out their velocity upon impact. :p
That world is not D&D's world.
It absolutely is. Humans breathe air, have two arms, two legs, one head, etc. Swords cut or stab. Spears pierce. When you throw something the effective range is short, but bows have longer range due to their draw. Fire burns. Gravity exists. Poison is poison. There are diseases.

D&D involves much more realism than people give it credit for.
I put it to you that spiders climb walls in D&D because they are magic.
That doesn't match D&D's set-up. Spiders climb walls and spin webs because that's how spiders are built in the real world. D&D scorpions have tail poison, not because of magic, but because real world scorpions do. Sharks have blood frenzy, because sharks do that in the real world. Frogs are amphibious because real world frogs. Eagles have keen eyesight, because real world eagles.
Which is why ingesting a spider and saying the right words temporarily gives you the ability to climb walls like a spider despite not growing tiny hairs and your body mass and center of gravity making it impossible even if you did.
No. The magic simply confers the non-magical climbing ability to the caster. Or are you suggesting that sulfur, diamonds, oak bark, bat poo, a sliver of glass and a pinch of sand are all magical as well?
If we take your description seriously, it means that a fighter at 20th level has obtained peak of what is humanly possible and he can never do more than that because he's limited by his race and the laws of physics. But a wizard at 1st level is already doing things that aren't humanly possible, breaking the limits of his race and the laws of physics.
This is D&D. In D&D unless you become supernaturally good at something, you are limited. A fighter should be capable of some amazing things, but if they surpass human limits, it is by definition supernatural(magic), because those limits are natural. You can't have it both ways. You can't exceed human limits and then want it to be a mundane ability.

So by all means, give a 20th level fighter the ability to chop the top off of a mountain, but don't pretend it's not a quasi-magical ability.
My point is that they have it. And trees have supernatural ability. And everything has that supernatural ability because supernatural is a meaningless word.
Not in any D&D edition that has been put out to date. Everything is in fact NOT supernatural/magic.
Why not? If you look at the source material for the world of D&D, it's the beliefs of people living in the pre-scientific world. And they would have no problem believing that a mighty warriors thewes, muscles and body structure changed and allowed him to do mighty feats.
It doesn't matter what they believe. It matters that humans are human, not something else. Barring actual magic/supernature, humans cannot do those things. Read through the entire human entry in the PHB. Not once will you see them described as magical, spiderlike, or kangaroolike.
Only in the sense that to walk and talk like a human requires supernatural ability to make it possible.
Not in D&D.
It's all magic. Everything is magic. The clouds moving across the sky is magic. The wind that blows them is magic.
Not in D&D.
What it isn't in D&D is thermodynamic heat exchange.
Yes it is. Touch something hot and the PC will get burned.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Because it's purely physiological. They don't need to worry about where to place their arms and legs or all legs(I don't know). They just stick to the surface due to their physical make-up.

Or, alternatively, they just stick to their surface because of their spidery-ness.

Sort of. I don't want to mirror science or physics, but I want it to be a reasonable approximation. I want people to fall and take some damage when the floor drops them into a pit. I don't need to figure out their velocity upon impact. :p

Yes, we both want falls to cause damage and we both want the observed universe of D&D to casually approximate lived in real world experience, because that makes it more approachable to the players and easier to run. But saying that doesn't contradict anything I said.

It absolutely is. Humans breathe air, have two arms, two legs, one head, etc. Swords cut or stab. Spears pierce. When you throw something the effective range is short, but bows have longer range due to their draw.

None of that proves me wrong about what I just said. You aren't in fact demonstrating that the physics of D&D are identical to the physics of the real world. You are only demonstrating that on the level of casual observation they look similar enough. But things get weirder the closer you look.

Fire burns.

Yes, but not because fire is heat energy from the agitation of molecules at a sub-microscopic level, but because fire is an element and it's nature is to burn. When fire burns in D&D, it's not chemical combustion with oxygen being bound to some other element with an exothermic release of energy causing the fire to continue. We know that because there is a whole plane where fire comes from that isn't made of air and things to burn at all, but yet burns. Fire is in D&D a physical element, like the ancient belief in phlogiston.

Gravity exists

Does it? Things fall, but that doesn't prove gravity exists. Things fall in a way that is sort of similar to what we would casually observe in the real world, but the mechanism for that is undisclosed and probably not gravity as we know it.

Poison is poison. There are diseases.

Yes, but they almost certainly aren't microscopic living organisms because the universe of D&D is the universe as imagined before germ theory. Diseases in D&D are curses and evil spirits that shamans can do battle with to drive off and heal through chirugic magic. You aren't giving enough thought to what the existence of magic implies about the world. If magic happens, it's not this world.

D&D involves much more realism than people give it credit for.

Here's the thing. The ancient people of the world weren't stupid. They didn't generally believe that the sun rose and set because they were idiots, but because casual observation of the world matched the theories that they concocted about it quite closely. Those theories sufficiently explained the surrounding universe that those theories were believable. It took considerable observation to realize that the sun doesn't rise and set but rather the Earth rolls its shoulder over to cover or uncover the sun. And if you don't believe that, why do you say "the sun rose" when it didn't? So we can have very much casual realism and yet still have a universe that doesn't run on the physics that we know, but instead is a universe we would think of as "supernatural". Supernatural though is just a word for things that don't happen. If you really saw a ghost, it wouldn't be supernatural. Your definition of natural would just have to expand to include things you previously didn't think were.

That doesn't match D&D's set-up. Spiders climb walls and spin webs because that's how spiders are built in the real world. D&D scorpions have tail poison, not because of magic, but because real world scorpions do. Sharks have blood frenzy, because sharks do that in the real world. Frogs are amphibious because real world frogs. Eagles have keen eyesight, because real world eagles.

All of that is true but none of that contradicts what I'm saying.

No. The magic simply confers the non-magical climbing ability to the caster.

How? Sympathetic magic doesn't work in the real world, but does work in the D&D world. Why? Because in the real world a spider's ability to climb is based on those tiny hairs and it's surface area to body weight and the fact that it's center of gravity is close to the glass, and so forth - none of which is conferred by the spell 'spider climb'. It's works in D&D because it's sympathetic magic, in that it steals the aforementioned spiritual spidery-ness of the spider that let's it climb and not because it gives you tiny hairs and a miniature body.

Or are you suggesting that sulfur, diamonds, oak bark, bat poo, a sliver of glass and a pinch of sand are all magical as well?

Absolutely that's what I'm saying. Why is that hard to believe? I'm not the one here that is actually in conflict with the world of D&D as written. You are the one asserting that the designers just didn't get it, that gargantuan spiders shouldn't be able to climb shear surfaces because the physics are against it and therefore they should act more like tarantulas and be basically land bound. Never mind that a spider much bigger than a St. Bernard shouldn't be able to support it's body weight in a world that worked on physics as you know them or that even if it could using magical exoskeletons and musculature it couldn't pump enough oxygen through its skin via diffusion to power itself. It's that selective blindness that I'm talking about where you want to apply some physics but only when it suits you. You aren't really accepting the implications of a world where magic works.

You are the one trying to have it both ways.

So by all means, give a 20th level fighter the ability to chop the top off of a mountain, but don't pretend it's not a quasi-magical ability.

What does that even mean?

Yes it is. Touch something hot and the PC will get burned.

Yes. Because fire burns. Not because of the laws of physics as you know them, but because of whatever physics makes the D&D world go.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
Or, alternatively, they just stick to their surface because of their spidery-ness.



Yes, we both want falls to cause damage and we both want the observed universe of D&D to casually approximate lived in real world experience, because that makes it more approachable to the players and easier to run. But saying that doesn't contradict anything I said.



None of that proves me wrong about what I just said. You aren't in fact demonstrating that the physics of D&D are identical to the physics of the real world. You are only demonstrating that on the level of casual observation they look similar enough. But things get weirder the closer you look.



Yes, but not because fire is heat energy from the agitation of molecules at a sub-microscopic level, but because fire is an element and it's nature is to burn. When fire burns in D&D, it's not chemical combustion with oxygen being bound to some other element with an exothermic release of energy causing the fire to continue. We know that because there is a whole plane where fire comes from that isn't made of air and things to burn at all, but yet burns. Fire is in D&D a physical element, like the ancient belief in phlogiston.



Does it? Things fall, but that doesn't prove gravity exists. Things fall in a way that is sort of similar to what we would casually observe in the real world, but the mechanism for that is undisclosed and probably not gravity as we know it.



Yes, but they almost certainly aren't microscopic living organisms because the universe of D&D is the universe as imagined before germ theory. Diseases in D&D are curses and evil spirits that shamans can do battle with to drive off and heal through chirugic magic. You aren't giving enough thought to what the existence of magic implies about the world. If magic happens, it's not this world.



Here's the thing. The ancient people of the world weren't stupid. They didn't generally believe that the sun rose and set because they were idiots, but because casual observation of the world matched the theories that they concocted about it quite closely. Those theories sufficiently explained the surrounding universe that those theories were believable. It took considerable observation to realize that the sun doesn't rise and set but rather the Earth rolls its shoulder over to cover or uncover the sun. And if you don't believe that, why do you say "the sun rose" when it didn't? So we can have very much casual realism and yet still have a universe that doesn't run on the physics that we know, but instead is a universe we would think of as "supernatural". Supernatural though is just a word for things that don't happen. If you really saw a ghost, it wouldn't be supernatural. Your definition of natural would just have to expand to include things you previously didn't think were.



All of that is true but none of that contradicts what I'm saying.



How? Sympathetic magic doesn't work in the real world, but does work in the D&D world. Why? Because in the real world a spider's ability to climb is based on those tiny hairs and it's surface area to body weight and the fact that it's center of gravity is close to the glass, and so forth - none of which is conferred by the spell 'spider climb'. It's works in D&D because it's sympathetic magic, in that it steals the aforementioned spiritual spidery-ness of the spider that let's it climb and not because it gives you tiny hairs and a miniature body.



Absolutely that's what I'm saying. Why is that hard to believe? I'm not the one here that is actually in conflict with the world of D&D as written. You are the one asserting that the designers just didn't get it, that gargantuan spiders shouldn't be able to climb shear surfaces because the physics are against it and therefore they should act more like tarantulas and be basically land bound. Never mind that a spider much bigger than a St. Bernard shouldn't be able to support it's body weight in a world that worked on physics as you know them or that even if it could using magical exoskeletons and musculature it couldn't pump enough oxygen through its skin via diffusion to power itself. It's that selective blindness that I'm talking about where you want to apply some physics but only when it suits you. You aren't really accepting the implications of a world where magic works.

You are the one trying to have it both ways.



What does that even mean?



Yes. Because fire burns. Not because of the laws of physics as you know them, but because of whatever physics makes the D&D world go.
You could both be right about the specifics, but the fact is that no version of D&D espouses the claim you're making, which is i suspect why you didn't respond to any of those points in your posts. What you're saying is that you'd prefer to think of the D&D worlds as following that philosophy, because it aligns with your desires for the game. And that's fine, great even. Just don't pretend that was ever the intent.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Or, alternatively, they just stick to their surface because of their spidery-ness.
Can you prove that? Because I can prove that they are normal animals and giant versions of animals, which means they use normal spider means to climb.
Yes, we both want falls to cause damage and we both want the observed universe of D&D to casually approximate lived in real world experience, because that makes it more approachable to the players and easier to run. But saying that doesn't contradict anything I said.
It does. We don't fall in this universe because magic and you've claimed everything is magic, despite things in D&D 5e explicitly being mundane. And making a distinction between mundane and magic.
None of that proves me wrong about what I just said. You aren't in fact demonstrating that the physics of D&D are identical to the physics of the real world. You are only demonstrating that on the level of casual observation they look similar enough. But things get weirder the closer you look.
D&D itself proves you wrong. Just read the 5e PHB and DMG.
Yes, but not because fire is heat energy from the agitation of molecules at a sub-microscopic level, but because fire is an element and it's nature is to burn. When fire burns in D&D, it's not chemical combustion with oxygen being bound to some other element with an exothermic release of energy causing the fire to continue. We know that because there is a whole plane where fire comes from that isn't made of air and things to burn at all, but yet burns. Fire is in D&D a physical element, like the ancient belief in phlogiston.
This is in the 5e DMG

"Deep in D&D's roots are elements of science fiction and science fantasy, and your campaign might draw on those sources as well."
Does it? Things fall, but that doesn't prove gravity exists. Things fall in a way that is sort of similar to what we would casually observe in the real world, but the mechanism for that is undisclosed and probably not gravity as we know it.
Um. Reverse Gravity is a spell. And...

"For example, you don't provoke an opportunity attack if an explosion hurls you out of a foe's reach or if gravity causes you to fall past an enemy."

There are more examples, but that is sufficient to prove what I said.
Yes, but they almost certainly aren't microscopic living organisms because the universe of D&D is the universe as imagined before germ theory. Diseases in D&D are curses and evil spirits that shamans can do battle with to drive off and heal through chirugic magic. You aren't giving enough thought to what the existence of magic implies about the world. If magic happens, it's not this world.
Prove that.

Because, curses and evil spirits don't "incubate" and aren't transmitted by things like rats.

"Sewer plague is a term for a broad category of illnesses that incubate in sewers, refuse heaps, and swamps and that are sometimes transmitted by creatures that dwell in those areas, such as rats and otyughs"
Here's the thing. The ancient people of the world weren't stupid. They didn't generally believe that the sun rose and set because they were idiots, but because casual observation of the world matched the theories that they concocted about it quite closely. Those theories sufficiently explained the surrounding universe that those theories were believable. It took considerable observation to realize that the sun doesn't rise and set but rather the Earth rolls its shoulder over to cover or uncover the sun. And if you don't believe that, why do you say "the sun rose" when it didn't? So we can have very much casual realism and yet still have a universe that doesn't run on the physics that we know, but instead is a universe we would think of as "supernatural". Supernatural though is just a word for things that don't happen. If you really saw a ghost, it wouldn't be supernatural. Your definition of natural would just have to expand to include things you previously didn't think were.
Ancient beliefs aren't really relevant. We're talking D&D rules and the D&D rules don't match your claims of "everything is magic."
All of that is true but none of that contradicts what I'm saying.
You're saying all of their special abilities are magic. I'm saying they are normal, because the game calls them normal animals and they get those normal abilities from normal real world animals. It does contradict you.
Absolutely that's what I'm saying. Why is that hard to believe? I'm not the one here that is actually in conflict with the world of D&D as written. You are the one asserting that the designers just didn't get it, that gargantuan spiders shouldn't be able to climb shear surfaces because the physics are against it and therefore they should act more like tarantulas and be basically land bound. Never mind that a spider much bigger than a St. Bernard shouldn't be able to support it's body weight in a world that worked on physics as you know them or that even if it could using magical exoskeletons and musculature it couldn't pump enough oxygen through its skin via diffusion to power itself. It's that selective blindness that I'm talking about where you want to apply some physics but only when it suits you. You aren't really accepting the implications of a world where magic works.
It's hard to believe because it's objectively wrong. D&D 5e does differentiate between mundane and magic.

"The Material Plane is the nexus where the philosophical and elemental forces that define the other planes collide in the jumbled existence of mortal life and mundane matter."
What does that even mean?
It means that a fighter can't train physically and perform an act as some sort of human achievement. Such an act will surpass natural human limits and be a supernatural(magical) act.
Yes. Because fire burns. Not because of the laws of physics as you know them, but because of whatever physics makes the D&D world go.
I didn't say fire. I said hot. A hot object will burn, even if it is not on fire.
 

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