D&D 5E [+] Ways to fix the caster / non-caster gap


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James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Or give prof bonus to AC just to martials. Makes sense. Monk and barbarian already have something like that. Give it to rogues and fighters, too. Skin it however you want. Armor prof or parrying or whatever. This also helps with the wizards are almost as tanky as fighters problem.
I'm not sure, I mean, first, you have to decide "who's a martial?". Ok, a Fighter is? Does that include Eldritch Knights? Rogues? Does that include Arcane Tricksters?

Then you have to decide "hey Paladin, because you can cast some spells, you lose out on 6 AC." Clerics? Designed to be in the front lines? Naw, son, they lose out on 6 AC too.

I think that wouldn't solve anything, just make the game more lopsided. Some classes would have the AC to deal with high level threats, and some would....not.

Really this whole situation exists because of the promise of bounded accuracy- the game says "oh yeah, weaker enemies are still a threat". But only because AC kind of plateaus out. If characters generally had the actual AC so that a CR 17 only has a 55% chance to hit (AC 25), then you run the risk of becoming invincible to the hordes of weaker foes the developers say is supposed to still be a challenge.

But hey, eventually WotC will just cut out the middle man and do end runs around AC entirely so their monsters always hit...

Oh, right. Inevitables.
 

Scribe

Legend
Really this whole situation exists because of the promise of bounded accuracy- the game says "oh yeah, weaker enemies are still a threat". But only because AC kind of plateaus out. If characters generally had the actual AC so that a CR 17 only has a 55% chance to hit (AC 25), then you run the risk of becoming invincible to the hordes of weaker foes the developers say is supposed to still be a challenge.

It (BA) still doesnt sit well with me. Its a core aspect of 5e so I dont think its ever going away, but it just nags at the back of my mind as flawed.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
i kinda feel like rather than giving the fighter an unarmoured defence feature it would be more thematically apropriate if they would just get a flat bonus to the AC on any armour they wear, entirely separate from any fighting styles or suchlike, fullplate is 18 AC, but the fighter can eek out an extra +2 from it for a total of 20, a shield is +3 rather than +2.
 


Scribe

Legend
i kinda feel like rather than giving the fighter an unarmoured defence feature it would be more thematically apropriate if they would just get a flat bonus to the AC on any armour they wear, entirely separate from any fighting styles or suchlike, fullplate is 18 AC, but the fighter can eek out an extra +2 from it for a total of 20, a shield is +3 rather than +2.

Now theres an elegant and simple fix.

Fighter - Level 1
"Master of Arms and Armor"
Any Weapon you wield gains a +1 bonus in addition to any other bonus to attack it would normally grant. - Improved at Levels X, Y, Z.
Any Armor you equip gains a +1 bonus in addition to any other bonus to AC it would normally grant. - Improved at Levels A, B, C.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
It (BA) still doesnt sit well with me. Its a core aspect of 5e so I dont think its ever going away, but it just nags at the back of my mind as flawed.
The idea has some merit, but the execution has a problem. Like, if you want attack bonuses and AC to scale at a given rate, they both have to improve at the same time. But instead what happens is, some 1st level characters have 18-19 AC and other 1st level characters have 14 AC. And then, subject to the whims of fate, at some point the top end AC's jump to 21-20 AC and the bottom tier might go to 15 at the same time?

Which really creates a problem for encounter design, when you have lots of low level foes with +4 to hit, as if everyone is a Rogue or Barbarian.

Then at higher levels, when AC plateaus because there's nothing more you can do to improve it without the DM deciding magic items won't ruin his game (or the optimization everyone says 5e doesn't require), CR 9 Fire Giants are hitting AC 21 50% of the time and it only gets worse from there.

Of course, AC is weird for monsters, too. The Adult Red Dragon with +14 to hit only has...19 AC. Which is a real head scratcher because attack bonuses do scale for all characters, so you really have to wonder who is fighting this thing who won't be hitting it on a 5 or so?
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Or go whole hog and give martials “expertise” in AC, attacks, and damage. They gain prof bonus to all three, double in the case of attacks. They are supposed to be experts in combat after all.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Now theres an elegant and simple fix.

Fighter - Level 1
"Master of Arms and Armor"
Any Weapon you wield gains a +1 bonus in addition to any other bonus to attack it would normally grant. - Improved at Levels X, Y, Z.
Any Armor you equip gains a +1 bonus in addition to any other bonus to AC it would normally grant. - Improved at Levels A, B, C.
Well, simple for one class. Not sure what all the other melee classes are supposed to do, lol. From what I've seen:

Rogues could disengage as a bonus action, but then they can't dual wield to ensure they get their Sneak Attack!
Monks could disengage as a bonus action, but then they run out of ki and can't attack more times!
Paladins could....uh....heal as a bonus action?
Rangers...wait, does anyone play melee Rangers?

And worst of all, the poor Barbarian, who despite what everyone seems to think, can't Rage in every fight, and whose natural armor won't be better than half-plate until he has +7 split between his Dex and Con scores. I guess he could tank his damage by using a shield?
 

Scribe

Legend
Well, simple for one class. Not sure what all the other melee classes are supposed to do, lol. From what I've seen:

Rogues could disengage as a bonus action, but then they can't dual wield to ensure they get their Sneak Attack!
Monks could disengage as a bonus action, but then they run out of ki and can't attack more times!
Paladins could....uh....heal as a bonus action?
Rangers...wait, does anyone play melee Rangers?

And worst of all, the poor Barbarian, who despite what everyone seems to think, can't Rage in every fight, and whose natural armor won't be better than half-plate until he has +7 split between his Dex and Con scores. I guess he could tank his damage by using a shield?

One step/class at a time. :D
 

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