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D&D 5E Why the claim of combat and class balance between the classes is mainly a forum issue. (In my opinion)

Halivar

First Post
That's a fair point, the TTRPG and the novel are very different mediums. However, given that, I would not expect you to cite Middle Earth/LotR as a reference for game design if you feel that way.
Yeah, I can understand that; I didn't make the reference, and wouldn't. Quite frankly, I don't see anyone at my table having fun playing Sam or Frodo. Now Merry and Pippin see some action, but still.

I know a lot of people don't have much truck with Joseph Campbell's "hero's journey", but I ascribe to it and I think it's a good example of something that is great in literature but does not make the transition to gaming well. The whole first act is usually best left to backstory; the PC's begin the campaign already having emerged from their former mundane lives and are ready to embark on adventure.
 

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Derren

Hero
Those are NPC classes, so I see you agree with me that Frodo isn't a PC, but an NPC (pssibly a DMPC).

And yet nothing prevents a player to use NPC classes if he wants.

Yes, becasue D&D is a game primarily about combat, whether you like it or not, just like football is about running with a ball and not dancing.

Yo mean your game is primarily about combat, right?

"Not as good as the Fighter" isn't the same as "completely ineffective".

So you already consider rogue with a focus on mental abilities and skills as completely ineffective?
 

Balanced combat ability is normal, non combat clearly labeled if people want it...


No non combat at all.. I want combat balanced... So the default is that weapon useing classes don't get hosed

I want all the game balanced non combat too I want fighters to have interesting things in jon combat too



And from the swashbuckler example we know that things like "not as good as the fighter", like in the description of the 3E rogue, is not clear enough for you.

No it is not!!! A new player looking at the book or a long time player with low to mid system mastery looks at that and says "so if I take all combat feats I can be second best to the fighter and my swashbuckler can at 7th level go for duilist from the DMg"

Then finds out that in game the Druid is not only better at combat but so is his pet...
 

ImperatorK

First Post
Regarding swashbucklers, there is absolutely nothing that requires that the concept be expressed by taking a rogue and maxing Charisma. It is entirely possible to play any martial character in a manner that is worthy of that term, and there is even a swashbuckler base class for 3.5 (admittedly a poorly designed and front-loaded one). The thug fighter variant and a reasonably charismatic ranger or barbarian can all be perfectly good "swashbucklers".

If you're playing a rogue and putting your best ability scores on the mental side, you're making a conscious decision that your non-combat skills are more important than your combat skills. This choice is clear and explicit, and anyone with a rudimentary understanding of the rules should be able to understand it. It is a perfectly fine choice, but if you want your swashbuckler to be a rogue, you then can't complain that you are't quite as good at fighting as a fighter.
The problem here is that the Rogue makes a better swashbuckler, flavor-wise, than the actual class. It sucks that you have to sacrifice effectiveness for flavor. Not to mention that you lose out on flavor, because what kind of a swashbuckler are you if yo suck at an important part of being a swashbuckler (combat)?
 

Derren

Hero
N

No it is not!!! A new player looking at the book or a long time player with low to mid system mastery looks at that and says "so if I take all combat feats I can be second best to the fighter and my swashbuckler can at 7th level go for duilist from the DMg"

Then finds out that in game the Druid is not only better at combat but so is his pet...

And yet, that doesn't change that the skillfull rogue is a adequate combatant who also brings a lot more to the table than the druids pet, which is as much a hindrance than a boon depending on the location.

The problem here is that the Rogue makes a better swashbuckler, flavor-wise, than the actual class.

And why is that?
 

pemerton

Legend
No, this is completely and utterly wrong. A swashbuckler is, if you want the iconic image, someone using light armor, a finesse weapon like a rapier and having a more carefree attitude. It is in no way tied to how many D6 you roll for damage.
I'm not 100% sure how to parse your sentence, but it seems to me that "a finesse weapon like a rapier" is within the cope of "using".

Read this way, you say that "a swashbuckler is . . . someone using . . . a rapier". What does "using" mean in this sentence? I posit that I don't turn my 5 year old child - who I can assure you is very charming and has a carefree attitue - into a swashbuckler simply by sticking a rapier into her hand. "Using" implies a certain competence, a capacity to use that rapier to genuine effect. And in D&D this is utterly tied to how many dice you roll for damage (plus your to hit bonus, your critical range, your static damage mods etc - if you want a summary expression, you could say it is wrapped up in your DPR).

For instance, if the typical duelist my swashbuckler will be facing has (say) 40 hp and deals 1d6+8 hp on a hit, and my swashbuckler PC has (say) 30 hp and deals 1d6+1 hp on a hit, then I have basically no chance of winning a duel with a typical duelist: assuming equal to hit chances, they will take me down in 3 blows, at which point I will have eliminated around one third of their hit points.

Under these conditions, within the fiction my character will be regarded - rightly - as a poor fencer, who is better than 5 year old children but nevertheless not very good with a sword. Certainly no one, either imaginary people in the fiction or real people at the gaming table, would look upon my character the way that we think of Robin Hood or Zorro.

At least at many gaming tables, and I think at those where D&D is being played in its default mode, the mechanics express the relative capabilities of characters. This is why a character concept cannot be divorced from its mechanical expression.
 
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ImperatorK

First Post
And yet nothing prevents a player to use NPC classes if he wants.
And nothing prevents a player to play a Wizard wih 8 Int and no spellbook.

Yo mean your game is primarily about combat, right?
No, the game. D&D. Do you even know the rules of D&D? Because you're talking like you don't.

So you already consider rogue with a focus on mental abilities and skills as completely ineffective?
In combat, yes.
 

Derren

Hero
And nothing prevents a player to play a Wizard wih 8 Int and no spellbook.

Correct.

No, the game. D&D. Do you even know the rules of D&D? Because you're talking like you don't.

I might have forgotten the rule which says (and trumps rule 0) that you have to spend a majority of game time in combat. Can you quote that one for me?

In combat, yes.

And thats the only things that counts according to you, right?
 
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So proposed middle ground:


Take the fighter and rogue out of 3e then replace with 4e essential verson with optional rules to use main 4e powers instead of power strike /backstab

Then take 10 levels of fighter and rogue and put them in the back as optimal classes with the suggestion of taking level dips may be better but use them if you want?
 

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