5E Why different HD types for classes? (Another HP thread...)

dnd4vr

Hero
I really can’t wrap my head around what the issue even is, here.

The fighter is always better at beating things with sticks, and the wizard is always wasting their time trying to do so, unless they don’t have a melee spell of any kind. (And even then, disengage or dodge might be a better Action)

Even if the wizard has 1 point better attack bonus, so what? The fighter has Action Surge and a Fighting Style, at level 3 they get a significant boost to weapon-based combat efficacy from subclass.

Meanwhile the wizard knows at least half a dozen spells, plus cantrips, and their only proficient finesse weapon deals 1d4 damage.

If they’re a Bladesinger, then being more accurate but doing less damage without burning slots is exactly thematically correct.

If they aren’t, then they’re just a wizard who trained with very few weapons but is pretty damn accurate with those few, and that should be something the player thinks about when determining their backstory. 🤷‍♂️
First, despite my vehemence, the original issue was on HD. At this point, I don't even recall how I started about wizards and my attack bonus.

NUTSHELL: a level 1 fighter and wizard, with equal stats, both have the same attack bonus with weapons. IMO, that makes not sense due to all the training in various weapons and armor a fighter gets prior to starting his adventuring career as where a wizard would train enough to have an idea of what to do with a handful of weapons, but spent the majority of his time mastering his art of magic.

Warriors should hit more often in combat with weapons than non-warriors and there is little support for this, especially at lower levels.
 

dnd4vr

Hero
Why? What is it about a level that correlates with overall skillfulness?
Well, I've gone over this in other threads so I will try to be brief. Consider a character with stealth and how often they use it over the course of hundreds of thousands of XP and use, how many rolls the player makes for its use. Now, 20 levels later, against the same orc they snuck by a level 1, they are only 20% better (the 4 point increase from +2 to +6) than they were all that experience and uses before. True, their DEX might increase a +1 or so depending on class, feat selection, etc. but that is another failing as I see in 5E since to my mind skill should trump ability at higher levels. I know in 5E, the bonus from ability can represent some skill, and not just natural talent, but that is also sort of a band-aid solution IMO.
 

dnd4vr

Hero
Finding twice the openings in a round is allot better I think they wanted the first levels to support multiclassing so that being a fighter you didnt get all of the fighter awesome immediately at level 1. This plus the multi-attacking... makes a bumpy progression
Yes, Extra Attack becomes a great equalizer, but that is several levels after 1st and not the point in contention. If we consider overall combat ability, of course warriors have other things that makes them superior to a wizard, but my issue is solely concerned with the attack roll and that a fighter is no better than a wizard in this regard assuming equal ability scores.
 
NUTSHELL: a level 1 fighter and wizard, with equal stats, both have the same attack bonus with weapons. IMO, that makes not sense due to all the training
It also makes no sense that they'd have the same HD, for the same reason.

I think the reason, though, was that there was no point in making characters dramatically inferior in combat, when every class would need to have its own way of contributing meaningfully in combat.

For instance, in 3e, the wizard had half BAB, so her (generic/hypothetical 3e Wizard is Mialee, remember) crossbow/staff/dagger rapidly became useless, but her Touch Attack spells were easily able to hit because of monsters' very high natural armor being ignored.
Similarly, in 4e class features, stats, feats &c would make each class's good at hitting with their own things, be they weapon or spell.

5e doesn't do delicate balancing acts like that - also BA doesn't leave room for them - so it just gives the same level-based proficiency progression to everyone. Ability scores make the difference - in random generation that can get a little whacked, of course, but that's part of the point (of random generation).
 
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dnd4vr

Hero
It also makes no sense that they'd have the same HD, for the same reason.

I think the point, though, was that there was no point in making characters dramatically inferior in combat, when every class would need to have its own way of contributing meaningfully in combat.

For instance, in 3e, the wizard had half BAB, so her (generic/hypothetical 3e Wizard is Mialee, remember) crossbow/staff/dagger rapidly became useless, but her Touch Attack spells were easily able to hit because of monsters' very high natural armor being ignored.
Similarly, in 4e class features, stats, feats &c would make each class's good at hitting with their own things, be they weapon or spell.

5e doesn't do delicate balancing acts like that - also BA doesn't leave room for them - so it just gives the same level-based proficiency progression to everyone. Ability scores make the difference - in random generation that can get a little whacked, of course, but that's part of the point.
Well, getting back to the OP, the idea of them having the same HD (e.g. flat d8 for medium, d6 for small, as per all other creatures) was because although a fighter might have more HP due to skill and physical endurance, a wizard might have more due to sixth-sense, will-to-live, etc. This issue has been resolved to my satisfaction by removing the max HP at level one and insisting players roll for HP thereafter. It is the set HP that created the case where a fighter (given the same CON at least) will always have more HP than any d8 or d6 class. By re-introducing randomness, the problem goes away.

Yep, I know how BA limits 5E and was designed to do so, but it creates issues of sense for me and others I play with because IMO they bound it too tightly. The separate progressions in prior editions makes more sense. I know they strove for simplicity and they succeeded in that respect, much to my lament.

I am also aware that many players took issue in earlier editions with wizards once their spells were spent. To me that was never a problem. Choosing when to use their powerful magic during the adventure was part of the challenge of playing them. In such a way they did contribute meaningfully. Also, wizard could always use the weapons they knew well enough to help out in combat. For purposes of 5E, giving warriors a slight boost to attack rolls or reducing other classes a point or two is all I am really talking about to make things a bit more sensible to my thinking.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
First, despite my vehemence, the original issue was on HD. At this point, I don't even recall how I started about wizards and my attack bonus.

NUTSHELL: a level 1 fighter and wizard, with equal stats, both have the same attack bonus with weapons. IMO, that makes not sense due to all the training in various weapons and armor a fighter gets prior to starting his adventuring career as where a wizard would train enough to have an idea of what to do with a handful of weapons, but spent the majority of his time mastering his art of magic.

Warriors should hit more often in combat with weapons than non-warriors and there is little support for this, especially at lower levels.
But the fighter is still better at beating people up than the wizard. They get to choose how, via Fighting Style, but that isn’t any less valid a measure of “how good at beat up” they are than to-hit.
 

dnd4vr

Hero
But the fighter is still better at beating people up than the wizard. They get to choose how, via Fighting Style, but that isn’t any less valid a measure of “how good at beat up” they are than to-hit.
I will make this clear: forget everything else.

For this discussion, I am only concerned wit the attack roll in weapon combat and a fighter is no better than a wizard at this given equal ability scores since their proficiency bonus is equal. The sole exception is the archery style granting a +2 on attack rolls. That is ranged weapons only, so doesn't include melee or thrown weapons.

Yes, that is all I am looking at as far as I am concerned because it doesn't make sense for the game to operate this way.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I will make this clear: forget everything else.

For this discussion, I am only concerned wit the attack roll in weapon combat and a fighter is no better than a wizard at this given equal ability scores since their proficiency bonus is equal. The sole exception is the archery style granting a +2 on attack rolls. That is ranged weapons only, so doesn't include melee or thrown weapons.

Yes, that is all I am looking at as far as I am concerned because it doesn't make sense for the game to operate this way.
No, I know what you’re focused on. I’m saying that it doesn’t make sense to focus on that.

Your attack bonus isn’t what determines how good you are with a weapon in 5e.
 
Your attack bonus isn’t what determines how good you are with a weapon in 5e.
In a very basic sense, that's exactly what it does. Can you hit that target down range? Attack bonus.

I'm not sure why the reliance of stat over class/level is a big deal, though, for someone on the verge of going back to 1e. In 1e, your fighter hit 1 better than the next guy (including the MU), unless he had a 17 STR, then he didn't hit any better than the next guy with 17 or 18 STR.

Only when the fighter got a lucky 18 and rolled % STR - /and/ rolled better than 50 on that - statistically, if you were rolling 3d6, that'd've been 1 in 800 fighters, 1 in 20k with the coveted 18/00 (that you'd probably get later from Gauntlets of Ogre Power, anyway). Even then, 18/00, you were +3 on a 1-better combat matrix vs +0 on a lesser one.

Now, at higher levels, I get the point: you're not progressing faster than everyone else, so you're just, well, on a treadmill, really. ;P
 

Ashrym

Adventurer
The fact that a Fighter and Wizard at first level with equal strength (or Dex) have the same bonus to hit and possibly to damage is a little weird, no matter what happens at later levels. In a featless game the fighter has very few options to increase his hit and damage bonuses too. Yes, he gets actions surge, and eventually a bunch of extra attacks, but that wasn't really the point. I get why the example of number of weapons trained in came up too, but that also misses the point. That first level fighter should be better with a dagger than a Wizard with equal stats, or indeed better with any of the weapons he has in common with the wizard, but he isn't.
The fighter is better because fighting styles improve that ability. The only thing proficiency gives is knowing how to use a weapon.

The first tier was called the apprentice tier at one point for a reason.

Well, I've gone over this in other threads so I will try to be brief. Consider a character with stealth and how often they use it over the course of hundreds of thousands of XP and use, how many rolls the player makes for its use. Now, 20 levels later, against the same orc they snuck by a level 1, they are only 20% better (the 4 point increase from +2 to +6) than they were all that experience and uses before. True, their DEX might increase a +1 or so depending on class, feat selection, etc. but that is another failing as I see in 5E since to my mind skill should trump ability at higher levels. I know in 5E, the bonus from ability can represent some skill, and not just natural talent, but that is also sort of a band-aid solution IMO.
Yes, you have told us how your opinion is righter than other people's opinions (which are flawed because they differ from your opinion) who like the design. ;)

A different philosophy or approach isn't wrong or needs fixing. It's just different. The scale is there so lower CR monsters keep relevance longer and at one point skill proficiencies was considered to be optional at all. (edit: also to not significantly outweigh ability scores)

Skills also focus on ability checks predominantly. Also bt design.

All you are doing when you point out these "issues" is show you wanted 5e to be designed with a different set of premises than WotC determined from their feedback.

Yes, Extra Attack becomes a great equalizer, but that is several levels after 1st and not the point in contention. If we consider overall combat ability, of course warriors have other things that makes them superior to a wizard, but my issue is solely concerned with the attack roll and that a fighter is no better than a wizard in this regard assuming equal ability scores.
Which is still flawed reasoning. Proficient is knowing how to use, not knowing how to use better. Knowing how to use better comes from other features so ignoring them defeats the purpose of an overall comparison.

You're creating head-context for proficiency that only needs to exist because you believe it needs to exist because of the context you've added. It's circular.
 
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Well, getting back to the OP, the idea of them having the same HD) was because although a fighter might have more HP due to skill and physical endurance, a wizard might have more due to sixth-sense, will-to-live
Well, by the same token the Wizard might use his sixth-sense and awakened will to slip his dagger past an opponent's guard.

The fighter's d10 HD has always been a non-trivial part of his being 'bettter' at combat than the wizard, with his d4 or thief with his d6. Though that's now d6 and d8, respectively.

,Yep, I know how BA limits 5E and was designed to do so, but it creates issues of sense for me and others I play with because IMO they bound it too tightly. The separate progressions in prior editions makes more sense. I know they strove for simplicity and they succeeded in that respect, much to my lament.
The ironic thing is, that, they were trying to fix a problem that 3e caused by having too-rapid progression, to too-big numbers, that was too varied (+1/level BaB v half-BAB, 3+1/level ranks, vs half cross-class ranks, etc), that was fixed in 4e with less-varied progression (still fast & to big numbers), and 'fixed it harder,' as it were, by making it identical progression, very slow, to very low numbers. Kinda overkill, really. Just smaller numbers, alone, would've covered it.
Heck, giving fighters some sort of expertise in combat wouldn't exactly break the game. Like trade in one of your extra attacks to gain doubled proficiency with one of your other attacks - that'd be simple enough, and it'd make the superiority implied by extra attack more broadly meaningful.

I am also aware that many players took issue in earlier editions with wizards once their spells were spent. To me that was never a problem. Choosing when to use their powerful magic during the adventure was part of the challenge of playing them. In such a way they did contribute meaningfully.
It still is, it just becomes meaningful over a longer day - 6-8 encounters, is the party line - and doesn't leave the wizard 'useless,' just under-contributing.

Also, wizard could always use the weapons they knew well enough to help out in combat. For purposes of 5E, giving warriors a slight boost to attack rolls or reducing other classes a point or two is all I am really talking about to make things a bit more sensible to my thinking.
Proficiency starts at +2 across the board. It could be +0, 1, or 2, instead. (or +1, 2, or 4, I suppose...) But, yeah, just enough of a difference that you can conceptually be 'better' at fighting than the class traditionally worst at it.
Y'know, just like the wizard is really only a little better at casting spells than the Fighter.
 

Ashrym

Adventurer
Y'know, just like the wizard is really only a little better at casting spells than the Fighter.
I can totally turn the argument around, however. Make a 1st level fighter and give him spells and 16 INT. There a few races that allow for it. Now the argument turns into the fighter using x cantrip just as well as the wizard. Ignore everything else and only look at 1st level. The DC is the same for any given spell the fighter knows and wizards should be able to cast it better than fighters because they spent more time learning other spells too. Obviously the fighter is just as good at magic as the wizard at 1st level. ;)

However, magic is described the same way regardless of class. Therefore, the game should convert to spell points and all spells casters should have the same number of spell points. Because of how magic is described. Every eldritch knight should have the same spell points as every wizard. ;)
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Hmm... I am a wizard, an elf, and have low hp and can't wear armor... I guess I WON'T put my second highest score in DEX... yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
Players should arrange their scores how they like. I think though what would be typical, for the sake of argument, would be highest Int, second highest Con, for a wizard. The payoff of good Concentration saves and somewhat better HP.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Well, by the same token the Wizard might use his sixth-sense and awakened will to slip his dagger past an opponent's guard.

The fighter's d10 HD has always been a non-trivial part of his being 'bettter' at combat than the wizard, with his d4 or thief with his d6. Though that's now d6 and d8, respectively.
Agreed, although in a weird way I think bumping wizard to d6 made more space for fighters. It meant that wizards didn't have to be so powerful at higher levels, because their low levels were that bit more survivable. At-wills also helped out.

What I'm getting at is that a large flaw tends to need balancing with a large payoff, to be appealing to play. If the flaw is too large the payoff gets to the point it overshadows others.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
In a very basic sense, that's exactly what it does. Can you hit that target down range? Attack bonus.
The game doesn’t care about target practice, in literally any way. Hell, I don’t even exclusively or mainly use attacks when I’ve run archery competitions as part of tourneys or faires. I used Perception as the primary skill, and ask for a Dex check with proficiency (so basically a ranged weapon attack, but not if it ends up mattering at all, like for Enhance Ability), and sometimes I’ve allowed other skills for trick shots, ignoring stress to keep a steady hand (avoid disadvantage), etc.

In a fight, your skills is determined by a host of factors, most of which are class features.
 
The game doesn’t care about target practice, in literally any way.
Well, it cares enough to have BA, and keep everyone on the same +2 to +6 proficiency bonus page, for attacking with weapons, but not for using skills, thanks to Expertise, and not for making 4-out-of-6 of your saving throws.

I guess part of the issue may be that non-proficiency with an attack just about never comes up, while non-proficiency with a skill or save very well can come up, quite often.

In a fight, your skills is determined by a host of factors, most of which are class features.
Not denying that. A wizard's cantrips are more important than his facility with weapons, and his spells render both moot by comparison., that he has the same proficiency bonus as a fighter hardly matters to him when he's forcing a save.
 

Ashrym

Adventurer
Well, it cares enough to have BA, and keep everyone on the same +2 to +6 proficiency bonus page, for attacking with weapons, but not for using skills, thanks to Expertise, and not for making 4-out-of-6 of your saving throws.
Bounded accuracy could have been given almost any limit. I think the +2 to+6 proficiency bonus range has a lot more to do with the comparison to ability score modifiers than bounded accuracy itself. It's the DC spreads to match those bonuses where we see the BA connection.

That's just the result of the previous arguments on ability scores being largely pointless given the bonuses from skill checks that we saw in past editions.

I guess part of the issue may be that non-proficiency with an attack just about never comes up, while non-proficiency with a skill or save very well can come up, quite often.
*nods.

It's quite the hedge case to consider non-proficient weapon use. It's the focus on casting stat instead of weapon attack stat where we see the differences a lot more often. It's just easy to get both to 16 at first level.

Not denying that. A wizard's cantrips are more important than his facility with weapons, and his spells render both moot by comparison., that he has the same proficiency bonus as a fighter hardly matters to him when he's forcing a save.
That's part of the point. The fighter has the same proficiency bonus with weapons as the wizard has with spell attacks. That's the important take away here. The wizard who can hit things well enough with a limited selection of weapons is just a distraction from the real effect of the mechanic.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
I will make this clear: forget everything else.

For this discussion, I am only concerned wit the attack roll in weapon combat and a fighter is no better than a wizard at this given equal ability scores since their proficiency bonus is equal. The sole exception is the archery style granting a +2 on attack rolls. That is ranged weapons only, so doesn't include melee or thrown weapons.

Yes, that is all I am looking at as far as I am concerned because it doesn't make sense for the game to operate this way.
I think I understand your point (and relatedly have argued Bladesinger is a bad archetype for somewhat similar reasons). Yet I feel what you say here is too narrow to form a satisfying argument.

Say we take a High Elf and because we have the Dex bonus as well as Int we're interested in weapon combat. After all, our attack roll with a decent weapon (longsword from Elven Weapon Training) will be as good as a fighters. If we make this character and compare it with a fighter at say level 4 (because by intent and design, the first few levels go quickly and it is around this power level that much of play occurs), we can see that so far as melee combat goes the fighter has all kinds of other relevant benefits that are not captured purely by the proficiency bonus.

For example, our Elven longsword is a strength weapon, so we are likely on +3 attack, d8+1 damage compared with the fighters +6 attack, d8+4 damage. Our AC is likely 16 (mage armor) spiking to 21 (shield) while the fighter's could be a constant 20 (or they will have benefits elsewhere). Those could both be 1 point closer if we decide to use our level four ASI on Dex rather than our primary attribute, which I think would prove questionable if we end up adventuring into fifth level and up where we are casting more because - not having extra attacks - our melee damage-dealing will drop off sharply!

Our spells pull some of this back because even after an assumed minimum of two or three defensive casts, we have at least three slots for things that could include mirror image or hold person. The fighter could be a blade master with four "casts" of menacing attack and a couple of relevant features like second wind and action surge.

Where hit dice come into this is the fighter likely has 40 hp and our elf has 22. And on a rest our fighter recovers in d8s while our elf does so only in d6s. Fighter advantages in melee are about the whole package, not funneled purely through the proficiency bonus. But even looking narrowly at that, once we think about what weapon we could actually wield, the fighter is in a better place... until we decide that casting spells really is what we do best!
 
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dnd4vr

Hero
I think I understand your point (and relatedly have argued Bladesinger is a bad archetype for somewhat similar reasons). Yet I feel what you say here is too narrow to form a satisfying argument.

Say we take a High Elf and because we have the Dex bonus as well as Int we're interested in weapon combat. After all, our attack roll with a decent weapon (longsword from Elven Weapon Training) will be as good as a fighters. If we make this character and compare it with a fighter at say level 4 (because by intent and design, the first few levels go quickly and it is around this power level that much of play occurs), we can see that so far as melee combat goes the fighter has all kinds of other relevant benefits that are not captured purely by the proficiency bonus.

For example, our Elven longsword is a strength weapon, so we are likely on +3 attack, d8+1 damage compared with the fighters +6 attack, d8+4 damage. Our AC is likely 16 (mage armor) spiking to 21 (shield) while the fighter's could be a constant 20 (or they will have benefits elsewhere). Those could both be 1 point closer if we decide to use our level four ASI on Dex rather than our primary attribute, which I think would prove questionable if we end up adventuring into fifth level and up where we are casting more because - not having extra attacks - our melee damage-dealing will drop off sharply!

Our spells pull some of this back because even after an assumed minimum of two or three defensive casts, we have at least three slots for things that could include mirror image or hold person. The fighter could be a blade master with four "casts" of menacing attack and a couple of relevant features like second wind and action surge.

Where hit dice come into this is the fighter likely has 40 hp and our elf has 22. And on a rest our fighter recovers in d8s while our elf does so only in d6s. Fighter advantages in melee are about the whole package, not funneled purely through the proficiency bonus. But even looking narrowly at that, once we think about what weapon we could actually wield, the fighter is in a better place... until we decide that casting spells really is what we do best!
Sure, of couse I would lose the longsword and go with shortsword. As a finesse weapon, the wizard becomes +6 attack (same as your fighter) and d6+3 damage, which is a better average than d8+1 and means I don't have to invest in STR at all really.

Also, if this character goes Bladesinger as you mention, then while in Bladesong the AC would probably be 19 assuming INT 16. If you boost INT with the level 4 ASI then the AC would be 20 (same as the fighter). On the other hand, the fighter if a Battle Master can boost damage output and has other options as well.

So, yes, Fighter as a "whole package" is fine (well, sort of), but that is why I am just talking about attack bonus, which with the swordsword is the same +6 as the fighter.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Sure, of couse I would lose the longsword and go with shortsword. As a finesse weapon, the wizard becomes +6 attack (same as your fighter) and d6+3 damage, which is a better average than d8+1 and means I don't have to invest in STR at all really.

Also, if this character goes Bladesinger as you mention, then while in Bladesong the AC would probably be 19 assuming INT 16. If you boost INT with the level 4 ASI then the AC would be 20 (same as the fighter). On the other hand, the fighter if a Battle Master can boost damage output and has other options as well.

So, yes, Fighter as a "whole package" is fine (well, sort of), but that is why I am just talking about attack bonus, which with the swordsword is the same +6 as the fighter.
Wizard isn't proficient in short sword, so no proficency bonus. Advantage, fighter.

If you're a bladesinger, then the training argument is out the window as bladesingers get their 1 weapon proficiency as part if extensive martial training in it.

Your example high elf wizard vs lizardman ranger actually only exceeds the martial character with a dagger, the bow selected for elven training, or light c-bow -- it falls behind on all other weapons, including other finesse or ranged weapons. Your argument is very narrow but you're trying to limit the discussion to your narrow point to hide the deficiencies. This is called special pleading. And that's only looking at attack bonuses. Expand to a broader look at combat and it's worse.
 

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