D&D 5E Truly Understanding the Martials & Casters discussion (+)

DND_Reborn

Legend
that the devs play the game differently than many/most players.
Maybe you mean how the devs designed (and did their own playtesting) the game? How they play it outside of work could be anyone's guess...

They may not use feats personally, but they are included because they are generally popular.
Of course they are fairly popular as they increase your character's power and/or utility. I don't recall if they were optional in 3E, but I don't think they were? They were baked in and part of the design IIRC.

Regardless, they are optional in 5E, some tables don't allow them (I've considered that myself TBH), so some of the analysis should include work without feats IMO.

Let's just face it: 5e wasn't designed for balance. It was designed for nostalgia and flat math.
I wasn't part of the design team, so I really can't say. I am not sure what you think is "nostalgia" about it, and the flat math part has been an issue with d20 D&D since 3E came out. Bounded accuracy is a different issue IMO.
 

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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
My biggest concern with this modelling exercise (and I’ll say it now before I’m accused of being sore), is that it becomes about min-maxing. It tells you how one optimized character plays against another optimized character. While we all know there are far more terrifying optimized builds out there (I’m looking at you sorcadin) than either fighter or wizard.

What we really want to know is how does a typical fighter compare to a typical wizard. But I think we would only get this by looking at mass data in play like from D&D beyond or some such. I.e. ever going to happen.

To be clear in my questions/suggestions I don’t doubt @EzekielRaiden or @FrogReaver are acting in good faith. Just that this kind of modeling will have some flaws.

It will still be interesting though.
That’s a valid concern. Part of my goal is to provide multiple Fighters at various optimization levels for the comparison. While it’s not a complete solution it should help minimize this concern.
 



DND_Reborn

Legend
When I think about class balance I fall back to SW and the Jedi. Pretty much most players want to be a Jedi because they are (or were at least) a large focus of the media/stories. Also, with their Force powers they are more powerful in many ways.

Now, it has been decades since I played WEG d6 SW, so honestly I don't remember much about it as far as balance goes, but I do remember about d20 SW and in many ways it was more balanced in power because the Force abilities of Jedi were not nearly as powerful as magic can be in D&D. So, IME balance was easier in d20 SW than it is in D&D when it comes to comparing difference classes. Of course, different classes had features which more emphasize different foci/ niches in d20 SW.

Every franchise's worst enemy is its fan base.
And, paradoxically enough, its strongest ally. ;)
 



TheSword

Legend
At level 11, that is just one feat to the fighter as they max out.

Adding feats makes calculation of wizards easier as Elemental Adapt cuts out the need to adjust for resistance. Though they will only have 18 INT.
Not if feats provide greater benefit to fighter than they do to wizards (I firmly believe this is the case).

Don’t forget Elemental Adept is only going to affect one energy type.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Feats must be high on the list of ‘most used’ optional rules. Important enough that they take up several pages in the books. If the exercise doesn’t include feats then it just leaves open the argument that ‘well none of this would apply if you included feats’ better to include them and run it without if you think it would provide a better result.
It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation, because if you use feats, it destroys any sort of comparison of design balance between the classes. The design balance does not include feats, magic items or multiclassing. Period. Therefore any inclusion of any of those voids any design balance comparisons.
 

Undrave

Hero
I don't know if I'd go that far. I play with several people who consider it obvious that casters should be stronger than martials, and they're all very good players. It really does come down to an aesthetic difference.
If D&D wants to be that unbalanced it should come out and say it and not pretend that all classes are equal. If all classes are meant to be equivalent choices then they should commit to it. You quite literally can't be both.

When I think about class balance I fall back to SW and the Jedi. Pretty much most players want to be a Jedi because they are (or were at least) a large focus of the media/stories. Also, with their Force powers they are more powerful in many ways.

Now, it has been decades since I played WEG d6 SW, so honestly I don't remember much about it as far as balance goes, but I do remember about d20 SW and in many ways it was more balanced in power because the Force abilities of Jedi were not nearly as powerful as magic can be in D&D. So, IME balance was easier in d20 SW than it is in D&D when it comes to comparing difference classes. Of course, different classes had features which more emphasize different foci/ niches in d20 SW.
I've played a couple of Star Wars SAGA games and the balance was way better in those games between Jedi and non-Jedi (though, Dex was still the god stat :p ). Jedi were pretty strong, but the characters are all squishier than in D&D as a basis so you only need a good hit or two to disable a force user, and when you start at level 1, you're not a Jedi Master, so your power is actually limited in uses. Also, any role a Jedi can have during a fight and anything they can do in an action scene can usually be replicated using technology. A Force-powered leap? Get a Jetpack! Block a blaster bolt? Get some armor! Kill a fool in melee? Vibro Axe got you covered! The Force is at its most unique when dealing with the more psionic-like ability like pre-cognition and sensing motives type stuff.

Also, one of the Scoundrel class's talent tree is essentially an aura of bad luck and one ability you can get is a minor action penalty to a Skill to a creature within a specific range... and 'Use Force' in that game is a Skill so a mundane character can totally gum up the Force user's abilities by just being there. It's a pretty fun ability.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Yep. And I would also assume that overwhelming majority of people who actually play high level games and care about this sort of balance in the first place use feats.
Not if WotC is to be believed about the numbers of tables that don't use feats and Crawford's statement that a majority of PCs don't use feats at all.

Edit: The D&D beyond data shows that only 9% of level 1-3(variant humans)PCs use feats, 32% of 4-11th level PCs use feats, and 42% of PCs of 12th or higher use feats.
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Not if feats provide greater benefit to fighter than they do to wizards (I firmly believe this is the case).

Don’t forget Elemental Adept is only going to affect one energy type.
My point is that at level 11, both fighters and wizards would only have 1 feat.

After level 12, it changes but depending on build.
 

Not if WotC is to be believed about the numbers of tables that don't use feats and Crawford's statement that a majority of PCs don't use feats at all.

Edit: The D&D beyond data shows that only 9% of level 1-3(variant humans)PCs use feats, 32% of 4-11th level PCs use feats, and 42% of PCs of 12th or higher use feats.
Notice how the feat use drastically increases higher the level goes. I’d wager most of characters are in campaigns that allow feats but many of them simply choose to take ASIs instead. Feats only become attractive once you’ve maxed your main stat, and that tends to indicate high level.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Notice how the feat use drastically increases higher the level goes. I’d wager most of characters are in campaigns that allow feats but many of them simply choose to take ASIs instead. Feats only become attractive once you’ve maxed your main stat, and that tends to indicate high level.
FWIW my experience is very different. Once you have a 16, increasing scores fall to the wayside compared to the features you can get from most feats. Many feats players take are half-feats, allowing them to increase an ability score over two half-feats and gain other cool features to go with it.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
So is the current "challenge" with @FrogReaver and @EzekielRaiden to see if the Fighter can out damage the Wizard over the typical adventuring day?

It's a long thread!

If so, I would hope the fighter does (out damage the wizard) and does so decisively! It's the fighters main and mostly only schtick (outside of a few small other tricks).

For a wizard, damage is but one of multiple options, and often - especially when part of a group, far from the best one. And that's only talking about combat.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
My point is that at level 11, both fighters and wizards would only have 1 feat.

After level 12, it changes but depending on build.
Okay. But if that’s the complaint there is a simple solution.

A level 12 pc gets the same number of feats as a variant human pc at level 11. All else stays pretty similar for damage purposes. So still should be a useful comparison for non-variant humans.
 

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