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

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
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!
Yea there's a lot of things it could do one of, but those things are still trading a high level spell slot for the thing (or part of it) that someone is doing every round without consuming anything but their action. I think that it's versatility doesn't come up often because it's such a high level spell & it competes with everything else that also uses concentration. If it was fire & stack something else 3.x style instead of concentration it's versatility could really shine in spotlight grabbing ways when combined with things like web/slow/haste/wall of x/etc, but using concentration means it needs to be able to really grab some spotlight time & a selection of "decent" "not bad" "versatile" "not spectacular" effects don't do that
 

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Mort

Legend
Supporter
Yea there's a lot of things it could do one of, but those things are still trading a high level spell slot for the thing (or part of it) that someone is doing every round without consuming anything but their action. I think that it's versatility doesn't come up often because it's such a high level spell & it competes with everything else that also uses concentration. If it was fire & stack something else 3.x style instead of concentration it's versatility could really shine in spotlight grabbing ways when combined with things like web/slow/haste/wall of x/etc, but using concentration means it needs to be able to really grab some spotlight time & a selection of "decent" "not bad" "versatile" "not spectacular" effects don't do that

I'm Truly happy that it's not fire off and stack and that instead it's concentration.

That means the wizard actually has some hard choices to make as to the effect he has going (and also unlike 3e can't just have multiple scrolls with effects that make the rest of the party near superfluous).

I've seen it used to decent enough effect to justify it's existence - which is enough for me. I don't really want spells that are SO GOOD that their use is a complete no brainer.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
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 the fighter to be ahead in tier 1 by a little bit. At this stage, wizards run out of spells quickly if you have a long adventuring day and without ability bumps to cantrips in most cases, casters can't keep up via cantrips along.

Tier 2 when large AoE spells come online, cantrip damage increases to keep pace with Extra Attack (mostly), and more spell slots become available, I expect the wizard to begin edging out the fighter in some cases. A lot depends on scenario set up, how much GWM and other feats might make an impact, and so forth.

Tier 3 the wizard has enough spells to beat out the fighter in many (not all) scenarios. By this point they also have spells and a good enough save DC that can turn the tide of an encounter, allowing them to utilize for damage better.

Tier 4 there is no contest IMO. Wizard wins out with so many spells and options. With Extra Attack (3) not coming online until level 20 (it should be level 17 IMO), the fighter suffers. With Action Surge their burst damage can be great given a more optimized build, but they just can't maintain it. The fact a wizard will typically only get 1 spell per turn at this point helps them by preserving their spells and keeping them from truly novaing.

Summary: Fighters should be supreme when it comes to combat IMO, but after tier 1 they have moments but struggle to keep pace over all. For me, the answer isn't to make fighters better, but to give them some options to contribute outside of combat as every other class can (for the most part) and rein in casters a bit (and others) to not be as effective in combat.

That's my prediction, anyway.

My post above about Jedi really got me thinking. The jedi are more powerful in many ways certainly, but IME d20 SW kept things balanced enough that non-jedi never really felt outclassed completely. Two things helped in this respect I think. 1) Jedi has much more limited force abilities (both in scope of utility and power) and 2) Jedi had to spend hit points (i.e. vitality) to empower their force use.

If D&D casters had to spend hit points instead of having spell slots... they might not be as eager to cast (provided the idea was adopted correctly, a "direct transfer" doesn't work).
 
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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I'm Truly happy that it's not fire off and stack and that instead it's concentration.

That means the wizard actually has some hard choices to make as to the effect he has going (and also unlike 3e can't just have multiple scrolls with effects that make the rest of the party near superfluous).

I've seen it used to decent enough effect to justify it's existence - which is enough for me. I don't really want spells that are SO GOOD that their use is a complete no brainer.
I don't disagree that the buff/debuff/control spell stacking of 3.5 was a bad thing, but that also means that concentration spells need to carry more weight than "decent" "not bad" "versatile" "not spectacular" because they all conflict with each other. It's ok for fire & forget spells like cloud of daggers ray of frost & so on to just be "decent" "not bad" "versatile" or "not spectacular" because they are fire & forget. o5e too often misses the mark & that missed dart is made worse because magic resist/energy resist is so common on the commonly encountered monsters at higher levels where 5th level spells are being thrown around.
 

The Old Crow

Explorer
Yea there's a lot of things it could do one of, but those things are still trading a high level spell slot for the thing (or part of it) that someone is doing every round without consuming anything but their action.
This does bring up the question about how taking damage is being modeled. A spell that allows a ranged attack or grapple seems safer in some situations than having to be in melee range with a foe.

So FrogReaver had a GWM fighter doing over 800 hp of damage during an adventuring day. My question is how much damage is the melee fighter taking? Are they healing some way besides HD?
 

This does bring up the question about how taking damage is being modeled. A spell that allows a ranged attack or grapple seems safer in some situations than having to be in melee range with a foe.

So FrogReaver had a GWM fighter doing over 800 hp of damage during an adventuring day. My question is how much damage is the melee fighter taking? Are they healing some way besides HD?
That is an interesting point considering that one of the main points in the fighters favor is low investment survivability and many of the wizard's spells are used for damage mitigation.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
This does bring up the question about how taking damage is being modeled. A spell that allows a ranged attack or grapple seems safer in some situations than having to be in melee range with a foe.

So FrogReaver had a GWM fighter doing over 800 hp of damage during an adventuring day. My question is how much damage is the melee fighter taking? Are they healing some way besides HD?
Impossible to model to any degree of accuracy.
 


FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Well, at least not without an ungodly amount of work to even approximate it, so I can't blame anyone for not even trying.

But if one runs out of hp, one's Damage Dealing Day is over.
Its not just the work hard. I don’t think I could even give you reasonable assumptions on that from my games because who gets targeted the most and the deadliness of the attacks they face tends to change session to session and campaign to campaign. Often drastically.

The best I think I can say is that if the DM decides to focus someone in combat they are in for a bad day. But I can’t tell you anything about who that someone is going to be.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
That is an interesting point considering that one of the main points in the fighters favor is low investment survivability and many of the wizard's spells are used for damage mitigation.
To me it falls under the same consideration process as enemy control effects (more likely to impact the fighter).
 

To me it falls under the same consideration process as enemy control effects (more likely to impact the fighter).
I don't know how specifically you all are planning to build out potential encounters, but if you are using actual monster statblocks then those monsters could have an aggregate outgoing average dpr. Assume a party size of 4(or whatever) and divide evenly or apply a weighting?

It'd be a cludge, but might be a decent litmus in a "if x% of damage per round goes to the wizard they go down in y rounds vs the same for the fighter" kind of way.

Edit: though assuming on demand healing and no lost actions to unconsciousness isn't really that unreasonable for a D&D party.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I don't know how specifically you all are planning to build out potential encounters, but if you are using actual monster statblocks then those monsters could have an aggregate outgoing average dpr. Assume a party size of 4(or whatever) and divide evenly or apply a weighting?

It'd be a cludge, but might be a decent litmus in a "if x% of damage per round goes to the wizard they go down in y rounds vs the same for the fighter" kind of way.
There’s issues with that but instead of going throw them I think there is a better way to get closer to what you want to see.

Given an enemy making an attack at X damage at Y chance to hit, how much magic does the wizard have to use to be as survivable as the Fighter.
 

There’s issues with that but instead of going throw them I think there is a better way to get closer to what you want to see.

Given an enemy making an attack at X damage at Y chance to hit, how much magic does the wizard have to use to be as survivable as the Fighter.
Makes sense and serves as a decent gut check for the wizard damage output projections.
 


Mort

Legend
Supporter
There’s issues with that but instead of going throw them I think there is a better way to get closer to what you want to see.

Given an enemy making an attack at X damage at Y chance to hit, how much magic does the wizard have to use to be as survivable as the Fighter.

At mid-high levels mirror image is a HUGE combat survivability boost for the wizard. Non-concentration, low enough level to not be ridiculously resource draining and virtually guaranteed to soak up 2-3 hits that would otherwise have done damage, by the conclusion of the combat. Heck, by 11th+ level have it as part of a contingency and it's even less of a resource drain (as far as the adventure day and encounters go).

Of course if we're talking survivability, the wizard has one of the few really consistent ways to flee too (with contingency). Contingency a dimension door and unless something truly, truly drastic happens - the wizard will escape. Of course, he'll probably leave the rest of the party in the lurch - but that's a different issue.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Makes sense and serves as a decent gut check for the wizard damage output projections.
My initial reaction was that it would be easy for the wizard to match the fighter but initial test scenario is proving more difficult to approach the fighters level of survivability.
 

TheSword

Legend
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.
I meant to quote the person you quoted. I am in total agreement with you.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
At mid-high levels mirror image is a HUGE combat survivability boost for the wizard. Non-concentration, low enough level to not be ridiculously resource draining and virtually guaranteed to soak up 2-3 hits that would otherwise have done damage, by the conclusion of the combat. Heck, by 11th+ level have it as part of a contingency and it's even less of a resource drain (as far as the adventure day and encounters go).

Of course if we're talking survivability, the wizard has one of the few really consistent ways to flee too (with contingency). Contingency a dimension door and unless something truly, truly drastic happens - the wizard will escape. Of course, he'll probably leave the rest of the party in the lurch - but that's a different issue.
Mirror image suffers a major issue though. It only lasts 1 minute and takes a pretty significant number of attacks to exhaust its duplicates on average.

In our adventure day of 8 3 round encounters I’m not sure that mirror image is a particularly good defensive investment, even when it can be precast.
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
This does bring up the question about how taking damage is being modeled. A spell that allows a ranged attack or grapple seems safer in some situations than having to be in melee range with a foe.

So FrogReaver had a GWM fighter doing over 800 hp of damage during an adventuring day. My question is how much damage is the melee fighter taking? Are they healing some way besides HD?
To be honest those numbers were a waste of time using a level 20 with a nonmagic starting weapon & no feats illustrate why there is skepticism. The buff fighters crowd not being willing to point out things like that kind of faulty whiteroom throughout the thread adds to the skepticism.

On the topic of your questions though that gets into the limits of statistical modeling & ensuring useful data can be drawn from results. Any time you model something statistically there are simplifications put in place for the model, using the average damage for a die rather than choosing between running thousands of tests to get that average with more work vrs running fewer tests with a margin of error too great to draw any meaningful results from might be a simple one. Those simplifications extend to things like "what if they moved like so" "what if they did x" "what if they did y" etc. That doesn't mean that other questions like the damage one can not be estimated, it just means that it is an entirely separate test that gets modeled on its own & the two are considered based on their various merits rather than adding a bunch of noise to the original model.

"how much damage is bob taking" is not a useful metric because there are so many variables (armor worn, positioning, group composition, availability of healing, party role, etc). It's also not a metric relevant to a question like "is the disparity between what bob brings to the table in damage compared to Alice combat after combat worth the disparity in some other noncombat situation like exploration/social pillar stuff time after time." Questions like the risk of taking damage & such might be relevant when considering if bob should be improved in some other area, how much they should be improved, if that improvement needs to come with a cost, & how big or small the cost should be. How much damage does Bob the GWM greatsword fighter take vrs Beth the longbow SS fighter & bill the sword & board heavy armor master fighter might be a useful collection because so many aspects of the test can be assumed the same or similar enough, but in o5e you are either unconscious/dead or "perfectly fine thank you" with nothing between.
 

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