D&D 5E Wizards Do Suck;)

ECMO3

Hero
You are conflating "skilled" with "thematically appropriate."

No I am not. Your idea of thematically appropriate is different than mine. I think it is appropriate for Gandalf to use his sword all the time in LOTR. I think a Wizard sailor is appropriate and will go a step further and point out that they have been in a published campaign since the 80s (Saltmarsh) and in the D&D novels.

The player, and ONLY the player, decides what is thematically appropriate for his character within the bounds of the rules.

Sure you can give a fighter a 20 intelligence, proficiency and expertise at arcana, but that will never make it appropriate thematically for the Champion or Battlemaster that does it.

Why not? If he has a 20 intelligence and has trained in the Arcane he is by definition an expert in it. The Wizard who took Warcaster, a Constitution feat and history and investigation needs to get over it and stay out of the Fighters way when talking about things Arcane or at least recognize she is second class at it as it comes to the party and defer to the Fighter on it.

Where in the PHB does it say that players can just swap out class or background skills like they want to?

Page 125, under Proficiencies and as I said it is not listed as optional. It also applies to tools, so if your Rogue has a criminal background she can take proficiency in say Cooks Utensils instead of Thieves Tools.

No dude. You get history and arcana as a sage because that's where you got those skills. You do not get "skulking" and "explaining yourself" from being a sage. You get it from being an urchin or something.

You get it from the rules and the player decides the thematics around it. This is the rules of the game as written and IMO as intended.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Customizing a background is indeed in the PHB as a base option:

2H5jeu2.png
That's creating a custom background, which I covered already.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
No I am not. Your idea of thematically appropriate is different than mine. I think it is appropriate for Gandalf to use his sword all the time in LOTR. I think a Wizard sailor is appropriate and will go a step further and point out that they have been in a published campaign since the 80s (Saltmarsh) and in the D&D novels.
Wizard is wizard. Sailor is background. It is not thematically appropriate for wizards to have sailing. It IS thematically appropriate for sailors to have sailing. It is not thematically appropriate for a battlemaster to have arcana. It IS thematically appropriate for a sage to have arcana. You're still conflating one thing for another.

So yes, a Wizard Sailor can be thought to have sailing, but only because sailor.
The player, and ONLY the player, decides what is thematically appropriate for his character within the bounds of the rules.
Ahh, so spellcasting is thematically appropriate for my single class champion with no feats, racial abilities or any other way to cast so much as a cantrip or ritual, just because I've decided so?

No. Theme is built into class, background, feats, etc. The player is the one who decides theme, but he is required to have the mechanics(if necessary) and/or appropriate fluff(applicable background, etc.) to achieve it, or else it isn't there.
Why not? If he has a 20 intelligence and has trained in the Arcane he is by definition an expert in it.
Yes he is. It doesn't not become part of the battlemaster or champion theme, though. A player cannot alter the theme of the class or subclass as it is described in the PHB. He CAN alter the theme of the character by selecting an appropriate background, like sage, though. A battlemaster sage who takes arcana is thematically appropriate, but NOT because of battlemaster.
The Wizard who took Warcaster, a Constitution feat and history and investigation needs to get over it and stay out of the Fighters way when talking about all things Arcane or at least recognize she is second class at it.
Wrong. High bonus does not equate to "this is my thing and not yours." At no point, even if the battlemaster took sage, is it appropriate to tell the wizard to stay away from things arcane.

Wizards are thematically the masters of the arcane. All else is secondary, even if appropriate via background like the battlemaster sage, even if the fighter gets a higher bonus.

Though why the player of the fighter would antagonize another player by deliberately stepping on the toes of the wizard is beyond me. It strikes me as a pretty crappy thing to do.
Page 125, under Proficiencies and as I said it is not listed as optional. It also applies to tools, so if your Rogue has a criminal background she can take proficiency in say Cooks Utensils instead of Thieves Tools.

You get it from the rules and the player decides the thematics around it. This is the rules of the game as written and IMO as intended.
The theme is not the background, though, unless it also meets the background theme. For instance, if you replace the sage arcana skill with investigation, something librarians and sages do, that still meets the sage theme. Sneaking around, deceiving and theft will never be thematically appropriate for sages, though.

If the PC subs in stealth, he needs to write some other piece of background outside of sage to explain it, the way you did in your prior post. Your explanations were good for explaining how the sage got stealth and deception, but neither of those two skills, nor the explanations, were of a sage. They were sage background plus other background to explain those skills.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Wizard is wizard. Sailor is background. It is not thematically appropriate for wizards to have sailing.

There are published WOTC adventures with sailor Wizards and WOTC monsters who are sailor Wizards.


It is not thematically appropriate for a battlemaster to have arcana.

Actually it IS thematically appropriate for a battlemaster to have Arcana. Just as appropriate as having Athletics in fact.

So yes, a Wizard Sailor can be thought to have sailing, but only because sailor.

Nope. And the monsters published by WOTC that are WIZARDS and sailors do not have the sailor "background"
Ahh, so spellcasting is thematically appropriate for my single class champion with no feats, racial abilities or any other way to cast so much as a cantrip or ritual, just because I've decided so?

No being an expert in spell casting is appropriate. That does not mean they can cast spells. Those are not the same things.

IRL I have a masters degree in Engineering. I am an expert in Kinematics, Aerodynamics and control theory. I can tell you more about how a raceecar works than most racecar drivers. Yet I can not drive a racecar nor am I as proficient with firearms as a professional special forces operator.

Same thing here - just because a Wizard is able to cast spells, does not mean he knows more about how they work or function.

An example from 5E: Smoekpowder is magical in the official D&D fanatasy worlds and as such a Wizard with a high Arcana would know more about how it works than the Battlemaster fighter, even though that Battlemaster can use guns effectively when the Wizard cant.



No. Theme is built into class, background, feats, etc. The player is the one who decides theme, but he is required to have the mechanics(if necessary) and/or appropriate fluff(applicable background, etc.) to achieve it, or else it isn't there.

He is required to have the mechanics and fluff as required by RAW. A Battlemaster with a 20 Intelligence who gets Arcana proficiency by switching out proficiencies from the Soldier background meets both of those criteria.

Yes he is. It doesn't not become part of the battlemaster or champion theme, though. A player cannot alter the theme of the class or subclass as it is described in the PHB. He CAN alter the theme of the character by selecting an appropriate background, like sage, though. A battlemaster sage who takes arcana is thematically appropriate, but NOT because of battlemaster.

A battlemaster Soldier who takes Arcana is thematically appropriate too. It just is.

Wrong. High bonus does not equate to "this is my thing and not yours."

The high bonus means I am better than you at it and if I say it is my thing you are stepping on my toes if you try to make it your thing and act like I should not be doing it. If you are worse than me at it, this is being an uncooperative team player.

While it is possible for me to take my +12 Persuasion and defer to your Paladin with a +6 it is not required and in a team game it makes no sense.

At no point, even if the battlemaster took sage, is it appropriate to tell the wizard to stay away from things arcane.

Not saying he should stay away, just saying he should recognize that I am better than him at it, just like if the Wizard has a 20 strength to my 16, he should be the one trying to hold open the portculis while we all scurry under it.

If it gets down to a debate on the particular arcane properties of a certain flower or the effects of a spell neither of us have ever seen or how to operate a portal, I am generally going to know more than he does about that. That is just fact and if the party wants to succeed they will defer to me on such matters.



Wizards are thematically the masters of the arcane. All else is secondary, even if appropriate via background like the battlemaster sage, even if the fighter gets a higher bonus.

There are mechanic at play in this. A non-Wizard with a higher Arcana score than a Wizard is better at being a master off the Arcane. They just are.

This is no different than my low level Wizard who rolls well is going to be much better at melee combat than my fighter who rolls poorly .... even though the Fighter is supposedly a "master" at this.


Though why the player of the fighter would antagonize another player by deliberately stepping on the toes of the wizard is beyond me. It strikes me as a pretty crappy thing to do.


I have actually played in a game from 1-20 with a Minotaur Rune Knight (another player) who crafted a headband of Intellect and take skill expert to get a freaking awesome Arcana. It was the best I have seen in play in terms of Arcana. It did not come on until medium level, but at end of game I think it was +16 and he rolled with advantage.

There were many times in that campaign where we had to make an Arcana check and it would have been foolish to let anyone else do it. He was making near impossible checks at the end of the game with party members supporting him with Guidance.

I don't know why the Wizard who did not make decisions to invest like this would think he shouldn't have been making those checks and at our table we were all happy that we had someone who could reliably make a DC25 Arcana check.

By the way, in that same campaign I played a Shaddar-Kai Fighter (Zhetilar's Finest)-Ranger (Fey Wanderer) who finished with a +26 Intimidation and +18 in Deception and Persuasion and +6 in Performance, while only having a 12 Charisma. And yes, after level 4 the party let me do every single Charisma check.

The theme is not the background, though, unless it also meets the background theme.

The rules say you can replace it with another skill. If the rules limited you to a certain set of skills fit would say so and they don't.

For instance, if you replace the sage arcana skill with investigation, something librarians and sages do, that still meets the sage theme.

And if you replace it with Stealth and Deception, it meets the Sage theme.

Sneaking around, deceiving and theft will never be thematically appropriate for sages, though.

According to RAW, they are always apprpriate for any character who already has Arcana and History.

Finally, if I am a Half-Elf Sage-Wizard I get any two skills as part of my race. If it is "thematically appropriate" for a half-Elf sage-Wizard to take any two skills, why is it not thematically appropriate for a character of a different race with the same background?


If the PC subs in stealth, he needs to write some other piece of background outside of sage to explain it

No he doesn't. There is no requirement for this, just like he does not have to write in something on how he got perception as an Elf or Intimidation if he is a Half-Orc.

This requirement is homebrew, which is fine. But it is not RAW.
 
Last edited:

MuhVerisimilitude

Adventurer
I hope this is not a rude request, but can someone explain to me (this is not a rhetorical question I might add) why we are discussing whether or not the wizard is a scholar? I've been trying to backtrack in the discussion to figure it out, but I find myself lost in the tangles of this cryptic exchange.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
I hope this is not a rude request, but can someone explain to me (this is not a rhetorical question I might add) why we are discussing whether or not the wizard is a scholar? I've been trying to backtrack in the discussion to figure it out, but I find myself lost in the tangles of this cryptic exchange.
i think it started with being able to take skill proficiencies outside the thematic niche presented by your class? though the relevance of why that is relevant escapes me too.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
I hope this is not a rude request, but can someone explain to me (this is not a rhetorical question I might add) why we are discussing whether or not the wizard is a scholar? I've been trying to backtrack in the discussion to figure it out, but I find myself lost in the tangles of this cryptic exchange.
I think it started something about how 5e's design (skills especially) causes problems for the concept of an educated spellcaster somewhere around page 4 or 5 (maybe earlier). That lead into discussion on if educated meant a self educated sage/scholar/learned individual or formal education is more fitting for wizard. Some of the posts since keep weaving back in bits about mechanics & you keep seeing posts about 4 & 5 player groups because of this post, the post it quotes, & the next couple posts after it.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
There are published WOTC adventures with sailor Wizards and WOTC monsters who are sailor Wizards.
Which just proves my point as they ALL have the sailor background, or would if they were PCs. NPCs have backgrounds built into who they are.
Actually it IS thematically appropriate for a battlemaster to have Arcana. Just as appropriate as having Athletics in fact.
o_O
Nope. And the monsters published by WOTC that are WIZARDS and sailors do not have the sailor "background"
Yes they do. It's built into them as sailor wizards.
No being an expert in spell casting is appropriate. That does not mean they can cast spells. Those are not the same things.
You cannot be an expert in doing something that you cannot do. Arcana =/= spellcasting. There is no spellcasting skill, so to be an expert at spell casting you have to be able to cast spells.
IRL I have a masters degree in Engineering. I am an expert in Kinematics, Aerodynamics and control theory. I can tell you more about how a raceecar works than most racecar drivers. Yet I can not drive a racecar nor am I as proficient with firearms as a professional special forces operator.
Yep. You are just proving my point. You are an expert at those things. They are not. They are experts at racecar driving, you are not. Same with firearms and those who are expert marksmen.
Same thing here - just because a Wizard is able to cast spells, does not mean he knows more about how they work or function.
Spell casting is the act of casting spell. Just as shooting is the act of firing a gun and racecar driving is the act of driving a racecar. Being an expert at the THEORY behind spell casting is arcana skill. Being an expert at spell casting is casting spells.

You are conflating skills now. One does not equal the other.
The high bonus means I am better than you at it and if I say it is my thing you are stepping on my toes if you try to make it your thing and act like I should not be doing it. If you are worse than me at it, this is being an uncooperative team player.
o_O

No. You don't get to bully a player out of their theme by picking up a bigger stick and then insisting you are right.
While it is possible for me to take my +12 Persuasion and defer to your Paladin with a +6 it is not required and in a team game it makes no sense.
And this is also wrong. This is a roleplaying game. The role does not simply become yours just because you have a bigger stick. In any case, in a roleplaying game, all the PCs have to talk, not just the one with the highest bonus. When the king summons you to discuss what your party has seen, he is going to be highly insulted if everyone else refuses to talk to him just so that you can use your +12.
If it gets down to a debate on the particular arcane properties of a certain flower or the effects of a spell neither of us have ever seen or how to operate a portal, I am generally going to know more than he does about that. That is just fact and if the party wants to succeed they will defer to me on such matters.
This is not RAW by the way. RAW does not allow only one player to roll for a PC to know something. There's zero reason for the wizard to defer to you on those things. He gets to know things, too.
There are mechanic at play in this. A non-Wizard with a higher Arcana score than a Wizard is better at being a master off the Arcane. They just are.
You forgot the "not" at the end of the last sentence. Being a master of the arcane is more than just the arcana skill.

And basically, all you are proving with all of these arguments is that WotC bungled in a huge way by removing "trained" as a requirement for certain skills. I corrected their blunder a long time ago.
This is no different than my low level Wizard who rolls well is going to be much better at melee combat than my fighter who rolls poorly .... even though the Fighter is supposedly a "master" at this.
Exactly. The wizard doesn't get all the other abilities that make the fighter the master at it. Rolling well doesn't make the wizard better at combat.
I have actually played in a game from 1-20 with a Minotaur Rune Knight (another player) who crafted a headband of Intellect and take skill expert to get a freaking awesome Arcana. It was the best I have seen in play in terms of Arcana. It did not come on until medium level, but at end of game I think it was +16 and he rolled with advantage.

There were many times in that campaign where we had to make an Arcana check and it would have been foolish to let anyone else do it. He was making near impossible checks at the end of the game with party members supporting him with Guidance.
Again, this is not RAW. RAW anyone and everyone can check.
I don't know why the Wizard who did not make decisions to invest like this would think he shouldn't have been making those checks and at our table we were all happy that we had someone who could reliably make a DC25 Arcana check.

By the way, in that same campaign I played a Shaddar-Kai Fighter (Zhetilar's Finest)-Ranger (Fey Wanderer) who finished with a +26 Intimidation and +18 in Deception and Persuasion and +6 in Performance, while only having a 12 Charisma. And yes, after level 4 the party let me do every single Charisma check.
I'm not sure what you are trying to show here? That you can make a PC with a high skill bonus? Sure. That doesn't make the skill in theme with the class, though. High bonus =/= theme.
The rules say you can replace it with another skill. If the rules limited you to a certain set of skills fit would say so and they don't.
Okay. So what. Yes you can replace it with another skill. That does not automatically make the replacement in theme with the background.
And if you replace it with Stealth and Deception, it meets the Sage theme.
False. Perhaps you need to look up what a theme is. You have literally just said that if I make a wizard with the theme, "Fire wizard who only casts fire spells," it's in theme to choose and cast ice storm because by RAW I can still pick it. Ice is now in the fire theme!!!

Just because you can pick something, does not make it meet a particular theme.
According to RAW, they are always apprpriate for any character who already has Arcana and History.
No. That's false. There's nothing in that rule that says that it meets the theme of the background. Not one word. According to RAW you can pick another skill. Nothing more and nothing less. That doesn't cause it to meet the theme of the background.
Finally, if I am a Half-Elf Sage-Wizard I get any two skills as part of my race. If it is "thematically appropriate" for a half-Elf sage-Wizard to take any two skills, why is it not thematically appropriate for a character of a different race with the same background?
There's no theme with that race. half-elf is not a theme. The skills chosen are not a part of a theme. I refer you back to all of my posts where I very deliberately don't claim that race is part of any theme. I give class and background ;)
 

ECMO3

Hero
Yep. You are just proving my point. You are an expert at those things. They are not. They are experts at racecar driving, you are not. Same with firearms and those who are expert marksmen.

A Wizard is an expert at CASTING spells. The fighter with a much better Arcana is more of an expert ABOUT spells. It is exactly the same as the racecar driver or the marksman.

Spell casting is the act of casting spell. Just as shooting is the act of firing a gun and racecar driving is the act of driving a racecar. Being an expert at the THEORY behind spell casting is arcana skill. Being an expert at spell casting is casting spells.

Exactly, so the fighter can be better at the theory behind spell casting, about how it works.

No. You don't get to bully a player out of their theme by picking up a bigger stick and then insisting you are right.

He doesn't get to bully me out of MY THEME either. Why does he own this theme and not me?

As a point of fact I am better than him and we on a team. Use your best man. If I am on a soccer team and it is a tie and comes down to a shoot out and the goalie is better at that than one of the forwards the goalie is going to take the shots and the TEAM should want him taking the shots.

And this is also wrong. This is a roleplaying game. The role does not simply become yours just because you have a bigger stick.

I decide what my role is, it is not decided by my class and if I am better than one of my TEAMATES they should defer that role to me in the spirit of teamwork.

In any case, in a roleplaying game, all the PCs have to talk, not just the one with the highest bonus

Sure and that happens often.
. When the king summons you to discuss what your party has seen, he is going to be highly insulted if everyone else refuses to talk to him just so that you can use your +12.

I agree and I won't be. But on the other hand if we are petitioning the king and only one of us can get an audience and talk it should logically be me and it should not be the other guy just because he has "Paladin" written on his character sheet.

This is not RAW by the way. RAW does not allow only one player to roll for a PC to know something. There's zero reason for the wizard to defer to you on those things. He gets to know things, too.

Sometimes and sometimes not. Sure if everyone can roll then the guy with a -2 should give it a shot as well.

You forgot the "not" at the end of the last sentence. Being a master of the arcane is more than just the arcana skill.
Not really I don't think.

Exactly. The wizard doesn't get all the other abilities that make the fighter the master at it. Rolling well doesn't make the wizard better at combat.
At low level it absolutely does make him better at it.

A 1st level Wizard with an 18 Dex or Strength is going to be better at fighting with weapons than a Fighter with a 14 strength or dexterity. He just will be. Make that Wizard a Dwarf with weapon and armor proficiencies and he will be a lot better than a fighter.


Again, this is not RAW. RAW anyone and everyone can check.

That is not true. It depends entirely on what you are trying to do.

Activating a magic item is a common Arcana check and that can usually only be done by one person at a time. When we tried to activate a portal it was one person that did it and if he failed something bad would happen (he never actually failed), to include both.

My character (who had I think a -1 Arcana) did actually try and fail once in a split party situation.
I'm not sure what you are trying to show here? That you can make a PC with a high skill bonus? Sure. That doesn't make the skill in theme with the class, though. High bonus =/= theme.

Yes it does. If you put the points there it is by definition in theme with the character regardless of what class or classes that character is.

Okay. So what. Yes you can replace it with another skill. That does not automatically make the replacement in theme with the background.

Yes it does. If you can replace it, then it becomes part of that characters theme.

False. Perhaps you need to look up what a theme is.

Theme: the subject of a talk, a piece of writing, a person's thoughts, or an exhibition; a topic.

I think you are the one who needs more understanding of what it means.

You have literally just said that if I make a wizard with the theme, "Fire wizard who only casts fire spells," it's in theme to choose and cast ice storm because by RAW I can still pick it. Ice is now in the fire theme!!!

EXACTLY! You are finally starting to get it. The player defines the theme.

Just because you can pick something, does not make it meet a particular theme.

It absolutely does, as long as it applies within the definition above.

No. That's false. There's nothing in that rule that says that it meets the theme of the background. Not one word.

According to RAW you can pick another skill. Nothing more and nothing less.

Page 125. "Your background reveals where you came from, how you became an adventurer, and your place in the world"

The skills you select are part of the background and the background specifically does what it says above according to RAW. It is all in there, you just need to read it.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Exactly, so the fighter can be better at the theory behind spell casting, about how it works.
If he wants to waste his time and double up, sure. Why bother when you already have an expert?
He doesn't get to bully me out of MY THEME either. Why does he own this theme and not me?
He's not. He didn't pick awesome fighting stuff to bully you out of your theme. You are still conflating high numbers with a theme. High numbers are not a theme.
As a point of fact I am better than him and we on a team. Use your best man. If I am on a soccer team and it is a tie and comes down to a shoot out and the goalie is better at that than one of the forwards the goalie is going to take the shots and the TEAM should want him taking the shots.
If you're on a soccer team and all you do is field your best man, you lose. You are a team, so ALL of you get to go out and use all of your skills, not just the best guy.

I agree and I won't be. But on the other hand if we are petitioning the king and only one of us can get an audience and talk it should logically be me and it should not be the other guy just because he has "Paladin" written on his character sheet.
Just out of curiosity. If the king was known to be partial to wizards and who knows you have a wizard in your group, would you send the paladin with his +12 or the wizard with his +2.
A 1st level Wizard with an 18 Dex or Strength is going to be better at fighting with weapons than a Fighter with a 14 strength or dexterity. He just will be. Make that Wizard a Dwarf with weapon and armor proficiencies and he will be a lot better than a fighter.
Right, because 1d4+4 or 1d6+0(wizards tend not to be strong) is going to be soooo much better than 2d6+2(re-rolling 1s and 2s).

The little extra to hit is not going to be noticeable in combat. +2 is 2 extra hits out of 20 swings. At 4 rounds for a combat, it will 2.5 combats on average to see an extra hit. It's even less noticeable with only +1 extra to hit.

The fighter will fight better, because he's going to be hitting very nearly an identical number of time for a LOT more damage. And he can take a hit. Your wizard goes down very quickly with a low AC and low hit points, with the exception of a Bladesinger, but those are the rare exception to the rule and are basically a gish in any case.
Yes it does. If you put the points there it is by definition in theme with the character regardless of what class or classes that character is.

Yes it does. If you can replace it, then it becomes part of that characters theme.

Theme: the subject of a talk, a piece of writing, a person's thoughts, or an exhibition; a topic.

I think you are the one who needs more understanding of what it means.
No. That proves my point nicely. You left off the example, though, and the other definitions that in context show what is meant.

Here is the example you left off of the above definition.

"the theme of the sermon was reverence"

Note how the theme is reverence. That means that picking poop and inserting it into the sermon would be.....................out of theme.

When the them is knowledge and learning(sage), stealth is out of theme no matter why you pick it.

Here's the second definition

Theme: an idea that recurs in or pervades a work of art or literature.

"love and honor are the pivotal themes of the Hornblower books"

Again, note how the theme is specific. If you insert humor into the book, that is out of theme.

And while it isn't being used as a verb here, the verb example also shows the same, well, THEME!

"the amusement park will be themed as a Caribbean pirate stronghold"

Again, note that the theme is specific and does not include any old thing you pick to put into it.
EXACTLY! You are finally starting to get it. The player defines the theme.
🤦‍♂️
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top