D&D General The Linear Fighter/Quadratic Wizard Problem

Marcotic

Explorer
I would rule that Insects don't use any skill checks to climb unless like someone blows on them or something. They stick to things, mechanically the have a listed climb speed and/or permanent "spider-walk" ability.
"Epic" is just a word I use to introduce the concept of allowing players of non-magical characters can do psuedonatural super human things. No reason at all you couldn't have an "Epic Climber" ability available at say 6th level that grants permanent climb-speed and the ability to climb sheer surfaces. It depends on what makes sense mechanically.
I remember one time in 4e, level 24 or so my character was proficient in athletics and made a check. Compared to real world athletes, he was middling at best. Dude was literally a demigod and could only jump like Mike.
What I may do as a house rule is, as characters gain levels/ proficiency mulitply the math a bit. So a level 1 character making a jump check and getting a 20 looks like it does now, but a proficient level 8-12 character hitting that same number goes further or can break the movement speed caps or something, and then a level 12-20 character be able to jump over the moon or something nutso.
 

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Marcotic

Explorer
Very interested in your thoughts on this, and those three items in particular.

I feel very strongly that "skill monkey" is a game mechanic and not an archetype. Either skill use is a part of the game system or it isn't, and I don't see why one class should have more skills than the other. I think I'm pretty alone in this regard, however.
Actually I often tack on a few extra skills for classes depending. Like sorcerers may gain automatic training/ use cha instead of int for arcana because they can just "feel it" fighters get the choice of athletics or acrobatics for free, that sort of thing.
 

a) Feats are a fighter’s spells.
b) All martial classes in D&D are skill monkeys.
c) The important martial skills tend not to be of the pass/fail sort, but the sort that add to the character in a quantitative way (in a way few or no skills in D&D yet does).
d) Any spell that duplicates a skill needs to be balanced against having that skill.
e) Combat balance problems are easy; exploration balance problems are hard.
f) If you want real balance, spell-casters need to be made to feel the pain.
These all make sense to me. Especially C&D, which are so often overlooked as part of the solution. Binary pass/fail is a huge problem for skills when most spells which don't target creates automatically succeed (something more or less unique to D&D-derived systems, I note - with stuff like Shadowrun or Mage: The Ascension that is absolutely not the case). If you make it more nuanced, and especially if you give martials the ability to have stuff like Take 10, skill floors/roll floors, the ability to auto-succeed occasionally, and so on, things look very different.
 

Very interested in your thoughts on this, and those three items in particular.

I feel very strongly that "skill monkey" is a game mechanic and not an archetype. Either skill use is a part of the game system or it isn't, and I don't see why one class should have more skills than the other. I think I'm pretty alone in this regard, however.

IMHO it's because Skills are a means to solve problems. The more skills, and the better you are at them, the more well equipped you are to handle a variety of problems. Now, certainly it's possible to be skilled in things and have them literally never come up. Or, like 3.5, you could have broad categories of skills broken into an insane amount of specifics, such that you need 6 different ones to solve a specific problem. Thus, someone with a huge amount of 'skills' would lack the requisite depth to handle a huge amount of 'situations'. But the general principle behind giving more skills to one class than another would be to balance against other abilities which might allow the other class to solve a higher amount of situations with means beyond just skills.

For example, you need to get past a guard and into a chest. A wizard might knock the guard unconscious with sleep, bypass the lock with knock, and get it done that way, with their spells. A fighter might challenge the guard to a duel and get it done that way, via his martial prowess. A rogue would need to leverage skills to achieve the same end result. Certainly it's been discussed (in this thread and others) the problem of spells just inherently being a Better Solution than skills for a lot of problems, and an asymmetry between the quantity and type of situations solved with each. But at the very least I can get the design intent behind using skill distribution as a balancing mechanic.
 

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.

Yeah, I don't get it at all. I recently took a look back at high level Fighter powers from 4e and they were actually more mundane that I even remembered them being!

I certainly could get behind not having the exact same mechanical structure for every class as a kind of variety and differentiation (for players), but it's seems uncessarily straight jacketing design by not considering limited use/narrative control abilities for martials when it easily allows some of the stuff everyone talks about wanting.
 

Celebrim

Legend
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.

D&D does not attempt to explain the physical nature of the universe or how magic works in any great detail, any more than it attempts to get you to calculate the number of newtons that a person undergoes after falling before calculating the damage.

I don't know what the intent was. All I'm doing is looking at what is provided and trying to come up with some coherent description of it. If we accept four elemental planes and wizards can cast magic by chanting words to say nothing of giant spiders, then the universe that D&D exists in is not the real universe because the laws of physics prevent that.

What is natural to an inhabitant of that universe would be very unnatural to us.

What I think we would find is that at different points, different writers have provided different ideas about how the D&D universe worked because D&D never has undertaken to set out a coherent description of how it works. We all agree that there is some sort of gravity, but there is no reason to assume it obeys the law G*m1+M2/r^2. D&D doesn't specify, so if you want to think it does, then fine, but then you are left with the problem that how does the magic work.

Look at it this way. I think we all agree at some level that as a fighter levels up, his reflexes, his evasion, his speed in combat, and so forth are increasing incrementally. We know that because if we've done any real fighting at all, we know that there is a limit to how "good" you can be without increasing in fitness. You can do a lot with skill in tennis, but at some point if your ability to cover ground and strike the ball hard doesn't increase, you won't get any better and you'll be destroyed by people with more speed and faster reflexes.

So there is exists some point in the progression of a fighter leveling up incrementally where they are as fast and skilled with the blade as it is possible for a real person in this universe to be. If they at that point gain one more level, then what they are doing is at that point superhuman. After that point, they can do things like wrestle 2000lb grizzly bears with their bare hands and the bear is at a distinct disadvantage. This is something D&D fighters can already do, that real world people cannot. The point where it happens may differ between systems, but it eventually happens in any system. The fighter's hit points and combat ability eventually drown out the bears obvious natural advantages over a human.

So if that is "magic" then in D&D it is already happening. But here is the real crux of it. The people within the D&D universe already live in a universe where some humans get to the point they can wrestle a bear and beat it to death with their bear hands and come out of it with just a few scratches. Our idea that this outside the realm of the limits of human ability comes to us from our bias as outside observers talking about what humans can do in this world. But a commoner in the D&D universe doesn't describe wrestling a bear and beating it to death with your bare hands as outside the limits of human ability. In his world, people can already do that.

I'm putting it to you that historically, D&D has typically assumed that our ideas as outsiders of what is the limits of human ability are reached at about 5th level. Then D&D just keeps going from their incrementally. In the real world, the peak human ability in the long jump is about a meter less than what a kangaroo can do. Whether or not the two things are comparable isn't really the point. If the triple jump is more your measure of comparable jumping ability, then the D&D universe is still one where peak human jumping ability might incrementally reach and exceed real world peak human jumping ability as characters level up in skill in jumping in the same way that the D&D universe is a universe where peak human combat ability levels up so far past peak real world combat ability such that if we were to watch a D&D fighter in combat moving with uncanny reflexes and blinding speed we'd think it was supernatural.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
@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.
Indeed.

If I was in charge of 5e or if 1DND didn't have to be backwards compatible, I'd give all the martials 1 die of bonus damage on every attack. Then they would like 4e, trade that bonus die for a shove, disarm, or slow and whatever effect is tier appropriate. You'd still get the weapon dice and mod damage. Just how in 4e you got 2W+Mod or 1W+Mod+Effect.

Like you could maybe to it as losing your STR mod to damage
 

Celebrim

Legend
Can you prove that?

You go into a long list of things that you claim prove me wrong that I feel are terribly tangential. But of course I can't prove that. D&D has never set out to try to explain how a universe with magic, four elements, dryads, nymphs, giant spiders and 20th level fighters actually works, mostly I imagine because the designers don't know and to a lesser extent don't care.

"Deep in D&D's roots are elements of science fiction and science fantasy, and your campaign might draw on those sources as well."

How you think that proves me wrong I have no idea. Science fiction and even more science fantasy has a marked tendency to ignore physics in favor of story tropes and simple easy to imagine things and treat technology as magic. Explain FTL drives and lightsabers without recourse to magic.

Prove that.

You're so much wanting to have your cake and eat it to here.

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

Prove that. Where is your long and concrete experience with curses and evil spirits to suggest that they aren't transmitted by rats and don't incubate. This is a world where we have dryads, nymphs, water elementals, and pixies and you think you can assert that evil spirits don't incubate? Prove that they don't.

You're saying all of their special abilities are magic.

I'm saying that in the D&D universe magic is physics, and that in the D&D universe magic is mundane and mundane things have their own magic. I'm saying that from within the D&D universe a fire elemental isn't any more magical than a rat, and that a dryad isn't any more supernatural than a cat. The distinction drawn between the two is a product of external bias because one also exists in some form in this universe and in your experience and the other doesn't. I'm saying you are using "magic" and "supernatural" to mean "things that don't exist in the real world", but that that is a meaningless distinction within the D&D universe where "magic" probably means something closer to "products of mortal technology" as opposed to the "mundane everyday sort of magic" (to quote Tolkien) of being stealthy or a bubbling brook or a green growing field.

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.

In the D&D universe, fighters already train physically and perform acts that are beyond any real world human achievement and all real world human limits. You just seem OK with them when they are feats of combat, and not OK with them when they are anything else.
 

Marcotic

Explorer
D&D does not attempt to explain the physical nature of the universe or how magic works in any great detail, any more than it attempts to get you to calculate the number of newtons that a person undergoes after falling before calculating the damage.

I don't know what the intent was. All I'm doing is looking at what is provided and trying to come up with some coherent description of it. If we accept four elemental planes and wizards can cast magic by chanting words to say nothing of giant spiders, then the universe that D&D exists in is not the real universe because the laws of physics prevent that.

What is natural to an inhabitant of that universe would be very unnatural to us.

What I think we would find is that at different points, different writers have provided different ideas about how the D&D universe worked because D&D never has undertaken to set out a coherent description of how it works. We all agree that there is some sort of gravity, but there is no reason to assume it obeys the law G*m1+M2/r^2. D&D doesn't specify, so if you want to think it does, then fine, but then you are left with the problem that how does the magic work.

Look at it this way. I think we all agree at some level that as a fighter levels up, his reflexes, his evasion, his speed in combat, and so forth are increasing incrementally. We know that because if we've done any real fighting at all, we know that there is a limit to how "good" you can be without increasing in fitness. You can do a lot with skill in tennis, but at some point if your ability to cover ground and strike the ball hard doesn't increase, you won't get any better and you'll be destroyed by people with more speed and faster reflexes.

So there is exists some point in the progression of a fighter leveling up incrementally where they are as fast and skilled with the blade as it is possible for a real person in this universe to be. If they at that point gain one more level, then what they are doing is at that point superhuman. After that point, they can do things like wrestle 2000lb grizzly bears with their bare hands and the bear is at a distinct disadvantage. This is something D&D fighters can already do, that real world people cannot. The point where it happens may differ between systems, but it eventually happens in any system. The fighter's hit points and combat ability eventually drown out the bears obvious natural advantages over a human.

So if that is "magic" then in D&D it is already happening. But here is the real crux of it. The people within the D&D universe already live in a universe where some humans get to the point they can wrestle a bear and beat it to death with their bear hands and come out of it with just a few scratches. Our idea that this outside the realm of the limits of human ability comes to us from our bias as outside observers talking about what humans can do in this world. But a commoner in the D&D universe doesn't describe wrestling a bear and beating it to death with your bare hands as outside the limits of human ability. In his world, people can already do that.

I'm putting it to you that historically, D&D has typically assumed that our ideas as outsiders of what is the limits of human ability are reached at about 5th level. Then D&D just keeps going from their incrementally. In the real world, the peak human ability in the long jump is about a meter less than what a kangaroo can do. Whether or not the two things are comparable isn't really the point. If the triple jump is more your measure of comparable jumping ability, then the D&D universe is still one where peak human jumping ability might incrementally reach and exceed real world peak human jumping ability as characters level up in skill in jumping in the same way that the D&D universe is a universe where peak human combat ability levels up so far past peak real world combat ability such that if we were to watch a D&D fighter in combat moving with uncanny reflexes and blinding speed we'd think it was supernatural.
I think that is a really interesting idea and one worth fleshing out. I wish that DND not only made that more explicit, also leaned into those conceits further so that we could have "mundanes" that could compete with magic.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I'm saying that in the D&D universe magic is physics, and that in the D&D universe magic is mundane and mundane things have their own magic. I'm saying that from within the D&D universe a fire elemental isn't any more magical than a rat, and that a dryad isn't any more supernatural than a cat.
And in your game this can be true.

In every edition of D&D to date, by default what you propose is not true. Mundane(normal) and magic(supernatural) are distinctions that every edition, including 5e makes.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
D&D does not attempt to explain the physical nature of the universe or how magic works in any great detail, any more than it attempts to get you to calculate the number of newtons that a person undergoes after falling before calculating the damage.

I don't know what the intent was. All I'm doing is looking at what is provided and trying to come up with some coherent description of it. If we accept four elemental planes and wizards can cast magic by chanting words to say nothing of giant spiders, then the universe that D&D exists in is not the real universe because the laws of physics prevent that.

What is natural to an inhabitant of that universe would be very unnatural to us.

What I think we would find is that at different points, different writers have provided different ideas about how the D&D universe worked because D&D never has undertaken to set out a coherent description of how it works. We all agree that there is some sort of gravity, but there is no reason to assume it obeys the law G*m1+M2/r^2. D&D doesn't specify, so if you want to think it does, then fine, but then you are left with the problem that how does the magic work.

Look at it this way. I think we all agree at some level that as a fighter levels up, his reflexes, his evasion, his speed in combat, and so forth are increasing incrementally. We know that because if we've done any real fighting at all, we know that there is a limit to how "good" you can be without increasing in fitness. You can do a lot with skill in tennis, but at some point if your ability to cover ground and strike the ball hard doesn't increase, you won't get any better and you'll be destroyed by people with more speed and faster reflexes.

So there is exists some point in the progression of a fighter leveling up incrementally where they are as fast and skilled with the blade as it is possible for a real person in this universe to be. If they at that point gain one more level, then what they are doing is at that point superhuman. After that point, they can do things like wrestle 2000lb grizzly bears with their bare hands and the bear is at a distinct disadvantage. This is something D&D fighters can already do, that real world people cannot. The point where it happens may differ between systems, but it eventually happens in any system. The fighter's hit points and combat ability eventually drown out the bears obvious natural advantages over a human.

So if that is "magic" then in D&D it is already happening. But here is the real crux of it. The people within the D&D universe already live in a universe where some humans get to the point they can wrestle a bear and beat it to death with their bear hands and come out of it with just a few scratches. Our idea that this outside the realm of the limits of human ability comes to us from our bias as outside observers talking about what humans can do in this world. But a commoner in the D&D universe doesn't describe wrestling a bear and beating it to death with your bare hands as outside the limits of human ability. In his world, people can already do that.

I'm putting it to you that historically, D&D has typically assumed that our ideas as outsiders of what is the limits of human ability are reached at about 5th level. Then D&D just keeps going from their incrementally. In the real world, the peak human ability in the long jump is about a meter less than what a kangaroo can do. Whether or not the two things are comparable isn't really the point. If the triple jump is more your measure of comparable jumping ability, then the D&D universe is still one where peak human jumping ability might incrementally reach and exceed real world peak human jumping ability as characters level up in skill in jumping in the same way that the D&D universe is a universe where peak human combat ability levels up so far past peak real world combat ability such that if we were to watch a D&D fighter in combat moving with uncanny reflexes and blinding speed we'd think it was supernatural.
That assumption has never been stated in the history of D&D, to my knowledge. Do you think that every development team for the game for the last 48 years just assumed everyone knew that so there was no point in spelling it out? It is far more likely to me that the default assumption is that D&D is like the real except as expressly specified otherwise.
 

Celebrim

Legend
I would rule that Insects don't use any skill checks to climb unless like someone blows on them or something.

Much more so than 5e, 3e was focused on being able to use its rules to simulate things at a casual level. So insects might have a "natural climb speed" that gave them a +8 bonus on climb checks and various other benefits like the ability to "take 10" on a climb check whenever someone wasn't blowing on them or something.

5e abandoned that when it went to the bounded model and made the variable part of the fortune - the D20 - inherently bigger than the range of bonuses (say +1 to +7). This works fine for combat, but it doesn't work very well for skills if you are wanting to simulate things at a casual realistic level. As a result, to simulate ordinary things you'd have to silo out ordinary or even mundane ability as a feat, class ability, racial ability or other thing that no amount of skill would ever allow you to do.

That in my opinion is a problem and it violates what I think is good design.
 
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Celebrim

Legend
In every edition of D&D to date, by default what you propose is not true. Mundane(normal) and magic(supernatural) are distinctions that every edition, including 5e makes.

They are useful distinctions for me as well, but the existence of these distinctions doesn't make what I say untrue. The trouble is that I can coherently explain what those distinctions are and you can't. You're still thinking the distinction is "exists in the real world" which is incoherent.

An example of this is that a fire elemental that wasn't summoned by a spell can step into an anti-magic field and doesn't wink out of existence. Because the fire elemental is as mundane in D&D as it is magical in the real world. Likewise a ghoul doesn't stop moving despite being obviously "magical" in the sense you use it. And ironically, in 3e the ghoul loses the ability to spread disease (suggesting it is a curse) but retains the ability to cause paralysis by touch (suggesting it is "mundane magic").

So yes, there is a distinction, but that distinction doesn't prove me wrong. You are using the words mundane and magical incorrectly. Mundane in the D&D universe isn't mundane in his universe. Supernatural is a term I inherently dislike as at best it just means "something I don't understand" and at worst it means "impossible thing", but applied to the D&D universe it certainly can't be judged on the basis of whether or not it can happen in this world.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
They are useful distinctions for me as well, but the existence of these distinctions doesn't make what I say untrue. The trouble is that I can coherently explain what those distinctions are and you can't. You're still thinking the distinction is "exists in the real world" which is incoherent.

An example of this is that a fire elemental that wasn't summoned by a spell can step into an anti-magic field and doesn't wink out of existence. Because the fire elemental is as mundane in D&D as it is magical in the real world. Likewise a ghoul doesn't stop moving despite being obviously "magical" in the sense you use it. And ironically, in 3e the ghoul loses the ability to spread disease (suggesting it is a curse) but retains the ability to cause paralysis by touch (suggesting it is "mundane magic").

So yes, there is a distinction, but that distinction doesn't prove me wrong. You are using the words mundane and magical incorrectly. Mundane in the D&D universe isn't mundane in his universe. Supernatural is a term I inherently dislike as at best it just means "something I don't understand" and at worst it means "impossible thing", but applied to the D&D universe it certainly can't be judged on the basis of whether or not it can happen in this world.
Again, show me in any D&D book where confirm your point of view. As I said above, this is your personal opinion of how things work in D&D. It is not supported by the text.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Again, show me in any D&D book where confirm your point of view. As I said above, this is your personal opinion of how things work in D&D. It is not supported by the text.

I feel like the anti-magic field example is in fact above the level of "personal opinion on how things work in D&D" and very much on the level of "any D&D book". If you aren't conceding that, then I'm not sure what evidence I could provide.

But since I'm feeling like explaining myself, lets return to the larger point.

Both of us surely concede that there is a level at which a D&D fighter can take on a 40 ton fire breathing lizard whose "teeth are like swords, armor is like ten-fold shields, wings are hurricane, it's tail a thunderbolt, and it's breath death" using only a sharped bit of metal, and by virtue of the fighter's reflexes, hardiness, strength, and fight intuition come out the victor. Further, I think you'll have to agree that that degree of reflexes, hardiness, strength, and skill with a sword is pretty much impossible if we mean a real world human bound to the laws of physics as we know it. Beating a tiger with a sword is one thing (mundane skill), but it's near enough impossible to beat an angry elephant in melee combat, and a dragon is beyond the bounds of credulity. But of course, if we accept the dragon as real, then we are accepting along with that the hero whose skill in combat exceeds any of ordinary experience as well (the real meaning of mundane, by the way). But to the inhabitants of the D&D universe, both the fire breathing dragon and the hero that defeats are mundane, even though neither could exist in this world. Real world dragons couldn't fly. Real world heroes couldn't move fast enough with enough precision and enough strength to kill a dragon.

If we accept both of those things with respect to combat, why is it hard to accept that the heroes above real world human capabilities in combat might also translate to above real world human capabilities outside of combat. I'm not saying that on the scale we are talking about we are talking about lifting the sky on your back, or drinking the ocean down, or what have you. I'm just saying somewhere above what we would expect real humans to do, but somewhat less than what the gods of stories do. If a real person can jump a meter shy of what a kangaroo can, why can't a guy that can kill a dragon without "magic" jump a meter more than a kangaroo can? If a real person can run at like 28mph, why can't a guy that can kill a dragon in melee combat run at 30mph without claiming that is "magic"?
 
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Celebrim

Legend
Read the Bushi class from Adventures in Rokugan. It’s the martial class you’ve always wanted.

I'd have to buy the pdf, but you might not be entirely wrong. It would depend on the implementation. I've toyed with maneuver systems and combat currency, but I've never come up with our seen one I'm fully happy with. I don't think it impossible though there is one.

However, I'm worried that a maneuver/currency system that I'd be happy with would turn combat into playing chess and either make playing a fighter intimidating to the novice or slow down play too much. Sometimes there are things you think you want, but any implementation you'd be happy with brings drawbacks you hate more.

Also, eastern and western martial arts use very different language to describe the principles of combat. The martial class I've always wanted would be able to describe the full range of cultural approaches while grounding them in the less mystical approaches. The mystical approaches while fine for fantasy, to me represent either a different class or more likely if implemented well, multiclassing.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
They are useful distinctions for me as well, but the existence of these distinctions doesn't make what I say untrue. The trouble is that I can coherently explain what those distinctions are and you can't. You're still thinking the distinction is "exists in the real world" which is incoherent.
I have explained it clearly. In the world mundane items and creatures are NOT magical. They just aren't. Magic in the D&D universe is like the force. It flows in and around all things, but only those who can actually use the force have magic. Some creatures can do this innately. Normal Giant Spiders are not one of those creatures.
An example of this is that a fire elemental that wasn't summoned by a spell can step into an anti-magic field and doesn't wink out of existence. Because the fire elemental is as mundane in D&D as it is magical in the real world.
So is the one that was summoned. None of them are magical. They are simply creatures. The magic is in the summoning, not the elemental.
Likewise a ghoul doesn't stop moving despite being obviously "magical" in the sense you use it.
A ghoul is not magical. Some of them can be created through magic. Others arise spontaneously. The result, though, is an undead creature connected to the negative plane.
And ironically, in 3e the ghoul loses the ability to spread disease (suggesting it is a curse) but retains the ability to cause paralysis by touch (suggesting it is "mundane magic").
Ghouls have some innate magical ability, but that does not make them magical. Their attacks will not go through the resistance of a creature that is immune to normal weapons.
So yes, there is a distinction, but that distinction doesn't prove me wrong. You are using the words mundane and magical incorrectly. Mundane in the D&D universe isn't mundane in his universe. Supernatural is a term I inherently dislike as at best it just means "something I don't understand" and at worst it means "impossible thing", but applied to the D&D universe it certainly can't be judged on the basis of whether or not it can happen in this world.
I am using them correctly. Your coherent explanation is anything but. Creatures are not all magical just because magic(the force) is everywhere or they originated magically(undead animation). Create Food and Water makes entirely unmagical food and water.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I feel like the anti-magic field example is in fact above the level of "personal opinion on how things work in D&D" and very much on the level of "any D&D book". If you aren't conceding that, then I'm not sure what evidence I could provide.
Your anti-magic example proves OUR position, not yours. That the elemental doesn't wink out is because it is NOT magical, not because it is. If your position was correct, an anti-magic field would instant annihilate everything in its area. All dirt, rock, creatures, everything would go.
 

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