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

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
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.
It’s to see how a fighter and wizard damages compare under our reasonable set of assumptions.

For me this exercise helps explore the limitations and merits of the arguments that fighters are strong enough at combat that they are justified in missing out on out of combat features. Or alternatively that they are strong enough at combat that they can sacrifice some combat prowess while still remaining good at it and gain some out of combat capabilities.
 

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TheSword

Legend
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.
I’m confused. Why is this?

Variant race puts both on 1 feat, plus a fighter gives an additional ASI/Feat at 6th over a wizard.

Plus with variant race and one of the half ASI feats a character can start with 18 in one stat. So only needs +2 more to max out their primary. So the 6th level and 8th level ASI could both go on additional feats.

I might be missing something though. Apologies if I’m not following things.

Edited to change variant human to variant race.
 
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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
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.
I think alot depends on whether you are a caster or a martial.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
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.
I wouldn't call 10% a drastic increase. Excepting variant humans, feat usage starts at 32% at under 12th level and rises to 42% post 12th level.

Now, those numbers could be off. How many non-feat PCs created on d&d beyond are for convention usage and it's easier to not worry about feats? There are other reasons that ot might not be entirely accurate as well.

My personal belief is that a simple majority of tables allow feats and that the numbers are low. I don't believe that it's the overwhelming majority you suggested earlier, though.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
I’m confused. Why is this?

Variant human puts both on 1 feat, plus a fighter gives an additional ASI/Feat at 6th over a wizard.

Plus with variant human and one of the half ASI feats a character can start with 18 in one stat. So only needs +2 more to max out their primary. So the 6th level and 8th level ASI could both go on additional feats.

I might be missing something though. Apologies if I’m not following things.

With standard point buy? How?

15 to the stat, +1, +1 half feat = 17. How do you get to 18?
 


FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I wouldn't call 10% a drastic increase. Excepting variant humans, feat usage starts at 32% at under 12th level and rises to 42% post 12th level.

Now, those numbers could be off. How many non-feat PCs created on d&d beyond are for convention usage and it's easier to not worry about feats? There are other reasons that ot might not be entirely accurate as well.

My personal belief is that a simple majority of tables allow feats and that the numbers are low. I don't believe that it's the overwhelming majority you suggested earlier, though.
To me the data indicates that at least 42% of players will eventually choose to take a feat (including games where they are banned). Probably a bit higher than 42% in reality but without the data we can’t get a breakdown for characters of level 17+ (for example) and how many of them have feats.

*ignoring issues around potential selection bias
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
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.

Shouldn't be a problem as long as both only get one feat.
 

TheSword

Legend
Is it me or is. Bigby’s hand a really solid bonus action damage spell at higher levels… scaling to 10d8 as a bonus action by level 8. Dealing Force damage. With spell attack bonus. Plus it gives you the defensive options as alternatives while you need them. I like that!
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
By level 11 a Wizard can cast Animate Objects four times per day, so Fighter boi might be in for a challenge.

Animate objects is SO situation dependent. In the right conditions - it's a devastating spell. But there can be vast swaths of time where there is no opportunity/point in casting it! I suppose the wizard can carry around a bag of knives (10+) and that could get pretty nasty.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Shouldn't be a problem as long as both only get one feat.
As I just explained. That’s not even needed. If you are worried about the feat discrepancy from custom lineage just assume the character is a non custom lineage at character level 12. Hardly anything changes. Definitely not enough to invalidate the exercise.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Is it me or is. Bigby’s hand a really solid bonus action damage spell at higher levels… scaling to 10d8 as a bonus action by level 8. Dealing Force damage. With spell attack bonus. Plus it gives you the defensive options as alternatives while you need them. I like that!
It depends on if the GM rules magic resistance applies to the grapple save or uses a legendary resist after maybe failing. With a level 5 slot it's only 2d6+casting mod with an extra 2d6 per slot level above 5. I've seen players think it was going to be a serious win button only to have it go over as kinda meh compared to something like web. At the levels that 5th level & higher slots are being thrown around 2d6+5 (avg12) is one point shy of what the fighter's getting on one swing with gwm & a +1 greatsword with 1-3 more swings. It might make a wizard feel good, but alongside things like GWM/SS or agonizing repelling blast it's not especially noteworthy,
 


TheSword

Legend
Animate objects is SO situation dependent. In the right conditions - it's a devastating spell. But there can be vast swaths of time where there is no opportunity/point in casting it! I suppose the wizard can carry around a bag of knives (10+) and that could get pretty nasty.
Well it is until you come up against something with an area attack, or resistance/immunity to non-magical weapons, or a very high AC.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
While we await the final set of assumptions that go into the this comparison it might be interesting to talk about expected results.

I expect that with low to no investment in feats and magic items the wizard comes out ahead. I expect that with moderate feat and magic items they will be really close. I expect that with strong magic weapons and feats that the fighter will be substantially better at damage.

Outside the exercise I expect that as the PCs approach level 20 that the wizard would start to catch up and eventually overtake the fighter regardless of what the fighter does.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
It depends on if the GM rules magic resistance applies to the grapple save or uses a legendary resist after maybe failing. With a level 5 slot it's only 2d6+casting mod with an extra 2d6 per slot level above 5. I've seen players think it was going to be a serious win button only to have it go over as kinda meh compared to something like web. At the levels that 5th level & higher slots are being thrown around 2d6+5 (avg12) is one point shy of what the fighter's getting on one swing with gwm & a +1 greatsword with 1-3 more swings. It might make a wizard feel good, but alongside things like GWM/SS or agonizing repelling blast it's not especially noteworthy,

2d6+5 is only if the target is being grappled, which also makes it's movement 0 - a decent effect.

Assuming the hand just punches damages is 4d8 - avg. 18. Not super amazing, but not bad either.

Plus the hand has several effects it can do, making it decently versatile - even outside of combat in a pinch.

And that's really the point. Damage is fine, if not spectacular but it's really versatile too. Kind of like the wizard!
 

TheSword

Legend
It depends on if the GM rules magic resistance applies to the grapple save or uses a legendary resist after maybe failing. With a level 5 slot it's only 2d6+casting mod with an extra 2d6 per slot level above 5. I've seen players think it was going to be a serious win button only to have it go over as kinda meh compared to something like web. At the levels that 5th level & higher slots are being thrown around 2d6+5 (avg12) is one point shy of what the fighter's getting on one swing with gwm & a +1 greatsword with 1-3 more swings. It might make a wizard feel good, but alongside things like GWM/SS or agonizing repelling blast it's not especially noteworthy,
That would be harsh! It’s pretty explicitly an opposed check rather than a save. I was thinking more that Clenched fist doing 4d8 force and scaling by 2d8 per level. I’ve not seen a damaging spell in 5e scale by 2d8 per level. Albeit starts relatively high at 5th level.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Well it is until you come up against something with an area attack, or resistance/immunity to non-magical weapons, or a very high AC.

Hence me saying that there are vast swaths of time where it's completely pointless/useless. It's REALLY campaign/DM dependent. Because it depends both on setting AND on the monsters/opponents the DM favors.
 

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