D&D 5E Wy to level playing field for martials with alternate ability score generation.

GreyLord

Legend
I would not be a fan of this.

Sorry I misunderstood.

I was wrong in in understanding what you were suggesting then. I don't see how you don't see what the others are saying then. I thought that MAYBE it was a difference in what you said vs. what they understood you to be saying, but if they are right...then I think they are saying why simply higher ability scores (limited to 20) are not really the solution. It doesn't do anything really better as long as they are still limited to 20.

All classes then get feats easier, not just martials, spellcasters STILL have more options and don't even have to roll to see if many of their spells are successful (vs. martials always needing to roll for an attack), and once a spellcaster knows the stat to target, it becomes easier for them just to target the weak saves to be more succesful than martials in whatever they decide to cast. I don't see your solutions really solving any of these disparities.
 

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ECMO3

Hero
Sorry I misunderstood.

I was wrong in in understanding what you were suggesting then. I don't see how you don't see what the others are saying then. I thought that MAYBE it was a difference in what you said vs. what they understood you to be saying, but if they are right...then I think they are saying why simply higher ability scores (limited to 20) are not really the solution. It doesn't do anything really better as long as they are still limited to 20.
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Absolutely they do because they have more 20s.

I am not a fan of higher than 20 because I think it was awful in 3e. I mean really awful.

That said, if you have a 20 strength and a 20 Contstitution, and a 20 Dexterity then you do a lot of things better than someone who has a 20 strength and an 18 Constitution and an 8 Dexterity.
 

ECMO3

Hero
That's not really more ways to engage. It's failing less at the meager ways I already have to engage.
There is a world of difference between a tank with an 8 dexterity shooting a longbow and a tank with a 16 dexterity and sharpshooter.

The first is nearly irrelevant in tier 2 combats. Sure you "can" do it but not well, .... which means in terms of opportunity cost you can't really do it.

If you boost multiple stats more things are viable options in combat.

Further maxing abilities earlier means you can bring feats into the game that do give you other things to do without hurting what you do well- spell casting feats, telekenetic, tavern brawler, charger plus a bunch of racial feats.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I'd rather prefer if spellcaster got to generate a 7th ability score (Power? Magic?) linked only to their magical abilities and no skills. This would mean that they would need to split their ASI thinner if they want to boost their spellpower AND their skills.

No longer are all sorcerers more socially inclined just because their spellcasting ability happens to also affect 3-4 skills.
Didn't Ars Magica have this? I know there was a system like this.

But an ability score that a whole range of classes could reliably dump seems off. And if rolling instead your six non-magical ability scores for all martials effectively come the best six scores of seven rolls, leading to ability score inflation.

Also hits half-casters fairly hard - at least for a ranger their Wisdom is useful elsewhere.

Still, I think there's some merit to the idea - like perhaps that modifier also affects healing, potions, and your saves vs. magic, so it can be a useful ability score for others if they want it.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I don't see it as ADDING ASI, but unlimiting them.

Thus, a Fighter no longer is limited to a 20 STR, they can have a STR that goes up to the max of 30 (or a DEX). A fighter that can do +10 damage from their STR is a lot better than one that can only do +5.

Sure, it helps a Spellcaster's DC's as well, but that's not as lacking (not as big a return I think) as the damage a Fighter does from the STR/DEX each round).
Because of the nature of good vs. bad saves, every foe will have 1-4 bad saves. Ones without proficiency or a good ability score modifier. So a caster always has the possibility of picking spells to target bad saves.

Unlike AC, where it is expected to climb with level, you will have those 1-4 saves per foe that won't. An even higher modifier to the DC will climb faster against bad saves than Attack bonus vs. climbing AC. So this has the potential to help casters land spells a lot more than martials.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
There is a world of difference between a tank with an 8 dexterity shooting a longbow and a tank with a 16 dexterity and sharpshooter.

The first is nearly irrelevant in tier 2 combats. Sure you "can" do it but not well, .... which means in terms of opportunity cost you can't really do it.

If you boost multiple stats more things are viable options in combat.

Further maxing abilities earlier means you can bring feats into the game that do give you other things to do without hurting what you do well- spell casting feats, telekenetic, tavern brawler, charger plus a bunch of racial feats.
For example, if a fighter spends 90% of their time using archery and making ranged attacks, and has taken several feats to back that up, the fact that they have a high STR so they can use a different weapon than the rapier has very little impact on the game.

And, of course, that added "you can do more" still does the reverse of what you want.

A fighter with 20 STR, 20 DEX and 20 CON - are attacking at any time with a STR weapon or a DEX weapon. Are wearing light armor OR heavy armor. Have some extra HPs on top of d10s.

A caster with 20 casting ability, 20 DEX and 20 CON have a lot better AC if limited in armor proficiencies. The bonus HPs are a larger percentage because they are only starting with d6 or d8. The CON (and potential greater AC) make it less likely to lose Concentration.

So multiple high scores give martials more options, and give casters directly more power.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I have played with the higher scores house rule, not to nerf martials but because that particular group wanted to have "herioic" stats and I did not find this to be the case. As a matter of fact it makes more feats useful because players have high abilities across the board.

The thing this does it puts all feats on the table at any level. For example if you play a fighter it is very likely after racial bonuses you will have a 16+ in both strength and dexterity at 1st level (and as likely as not a 20 in one of them). Such a character can get BOTH sharpshooter and GWM and they both pay out. Similarly if a character starts with a 16 Dex and a 20 strength he can take ASIs in Dex to get both of these to 20 at the same point a regular point-buy fighter would be hitting 20 strength. You can take medium armor master and your tank can sneak awesome in half plate because he is rocking a high dexterity. You can move back and forth between light missile guy and front line tank guy and give up nothing in either role.

So for example you have a level 4 front line tank fighter with a 20 strength GWM. At 6th he can take sharpshooter. Keep a bow on his back as a backup weapon for long range engagements or to start a fight until enemies get close and maybe have a few darts to throw if he downs someone in melee but is too far to get to the next guy that turn. IF you come across a flying dragon he rains EFFECTIVE missile fire on it with his bow and 16 dexterity until it lands. Having played such a fighter, I ended end up using backup weapons a lot, because even though my greatsword was my best weapon it was often better to do something with another weapon. So I would end a fight with weapons dropped all over the battlefield. I would start hacking a guy with my greatsword, drop him then pull out my bow and take down the caster on the other side of the room. Then drop that and pull out my warhammer to help the cleric clean up the last bad guy.
Or that 20 STR fighter with GWM could take Sentinel, or Polearm Master, or specialize - since D&D 5e rewards specialization. You will inherently do better with two feats that overlap and focusing so you are in that mode more than 50% of the time, than with two feats that have no overlap so you have one feat worth all the time.

There is a strong mechanical incentive not to build like you are suggesting.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Or that 20 STR fighter with GWM could take Sentinel, or Polearm Master, or specialize - since D&D 5e rewards specialization. You will inherently do better with two feats that overlap and focusing so you are in that mode more than 50% of the time, than with two feats that have no overlap so you have one feat worth all the time.

There is a strong mechanical incentive not to build like you are suggesting.
Which does not however apply to Wizards - who can generalise and be effective across many different options
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
There is a world of difference between a tank with an 8 dexterity shooting a longbow and a tank with a 16 dexterity and sharpshooter.

The first is nearly irrelevant in tier 2 combats. Sure you "can" do it but not well, .... which means in terms of opportunity cost you can't really do it.

If you boost multiple stats more things are viable options in combat.

Further maxing abilities earlier means you can bring feats into the game that do give you other things to do without hurting what you do well- spell casting feats, telekenetic, tavern brawler, charger plus a bunch of racial feats.
Choices remain: 'I attack' and 'I attack' only now the numbers --the boring part of the game -- are bigger.

Feats are only going to be a solution if we got more and varied feats than the meager offering we've been given to pick over (frankly its the same with the 'let eat cake... I mean get magic items' solution). There's like 3 feats per character concept if you're lucky right now. but adding feats aren't part of 'make big numbers'; its a separate solution.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
There is some merit in having high ability scores other than, say, Str/Dex and Con, but you get less benefit from a 20 than you do from proficiency by endgame. Bulking up Wisdom and Charisma for better skill checks and being able to save against the effects that matter (to a lesser extent, Intelligence) is where classes like the Barbarian and the Fighter, especially, need the most help.

By Tier 4, if you have a Wis save of +1 or +2, you're toast. You need to get Resilient for that save. You're still going to be absolutely nuked by Charisma saves, but at least those are less common. I started to see this trend in Tier 3, so I can't even imagine what a Tier 4 game without the DM being very selective with foes, or casters to mitigate status conditions is like (heroes' feast alone can turn a TPK against a dragon into a winnable combat).

What your non-casters need, really, is more ways to get proficiencies or advantage on rolls as they level up. It's telling that the "masters of warfare", the Fighter, can't even get reliable advantage on attack rolls, something Barbarians get for most of their career.

And Indomitable really needs to be better. At the level you get it, you can reroll a save, but the DC might be nearly impossible to hit, depending on what it is- once per day. A level after this, a Monk gains immunities. At 13th level, the Fighter can use Indomitable twice a day. One level later, the Monk gains proficiency in all saves, and can spend a ki point to get the same benefit as Indomitable!

I'm not saying Monks are better than Fighters, they have their own problems, but still, one of these things is not remotely like the other!

And even if this covers the numerical weaknesses of the class, WotC has deliberately designed narrative power to be skills > spells, and not just in a minor way. Sure, you can use skills more often than spells, but spells can do way more than what a skill check can accomplish. And it's not like casters don't get skills either! Plus they get things like guidance as a friggin' cantrip to boost chances of success- what at-will methods of increasing chances of success do other classes get that aren't wholly situational?*

A real problem is that Backgrounds, which should be able to obviate or buff skill checks a lot, lack any mechanical "bite" and get ignored in a lot of games (maybe not your game, but it happens), which is why WotC is now looking to overhaul them completely.

*Other than the Rogue, obviously.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
I would start by not banning the best combat feats.

Then continue by controlling which magic items appear in the game, so that they don't expand spellcasters option even further. Have more magic items boosting out-of-combat skills that spellcasters already have through spells, and less scrolls/wands that grant spells they don't have yet.
 

There is some merit in having high ability scores other than, say, Str/Dex and Con, but you get less benefit from a 20 than you do from proficiency by endgame. Bulking up Wisdom and Charisma for better skill checks and being able to save against the effects that matter (to a lesser extent, Intelligence) is where classes like the Barbarian and the Fighter, especially, need the most help.

By Tier 4, if you have a Wis save of +1 or +2, you're toast. You need to get Resilient for that save. You're still going to be absolutely nuked by Charisma saves, but at least those are less common. I started to see this trend in Tier 3, so I can't even imagine what a Tier 4 game without the DM being very selective with foes, or casters to mitigate status conditions is like (heroes' feast alone can turn a TPK against a dragon into a winnable combat).

What your non-casters need, really, is more ways to get proficiencies or advantage on rolls as they level up. It's telling that the "masters of warfare", the Fighter, can't even get reliable advantage on attack rolls, something Barbarians get for most of their career.

And Indomitable really needs to be better. At the level you get it, you can reroll a save, but the DC might be nearly impossible to hit, depending on what it is- once per day. A level after this, a Monk gains immunities. At 13th level, the Fighter can use Indomitable twice a day. One level later, the Monk gains proficiency in all saves, and can spend a ki point to get the same benefit as Indomitable!

I'm not saying Monks are better than Fighters, they have their own problems, but still, one of these things is not remotely like the other!

And even if this covers the numerical weaknesses of the class, WotC has deliberately designed narrative power to be skills > spells, and not just in a minor way. Sure, you can use skills more often than spells, but spells can do way more than what a skill check can accomplish. And it's not like casters don't get skills either! Plus they get things like guidance as a friggin' cantrip to boost chances of success- what at-will methods of increasing chances of success do other classes get that aren't wholly situational?*

A real problem is that Backgrounds, which should be able to obviate or buff skill checks a lot, lack any mechanical "bite" and get ignored in a lot of games (maybe not your game, but it happens), which is why WotC is now looking to overhaul them completely.

*Other than the Rogue, obviously.

Fighters could always use one of their bonus feats to learn guidance.

Which is another reason Fighters could simply get more feats.
 





Not to be a bother, but I see this topic coming up repeatedly and I have to ask: Does the perceived disparity between martial and caster classes actually impact play? Has anyone been playing a fighter and get miffed when their teammate wizard drops a big ole fireball and cleans house of all the goblins? I have never experienced this as a DM or a player and I tend to stick with martial classes.
Yes. Maybe accept people's word that the low class based utility, limited narrative agency, and unimpressive combat performance outside of a few specific "builds" (ugh) negatively impacts people's experience.
 

Yes. Maybe accept people's word that the low class based utility, limited narrative agency, and unimpressive combat performance outside of a few specific "builds" (ugh) negatively impacts people's experience.
I don’t have to accept anyone’s word and you can’t make me because you aren’t my real dad.
I was sincerely asking whether or not it impacted play for people as I have not had an issue with this particular problem at any time during my illustrious 20+ year D&D career.

As someone has pointed out to me, I believe this comes down to how I prefer to play the game. I’m not looking for deep story telling or a whole lot of character development, nor are the people who play at the table I DM. So I don’t think anyone is all that concerned with the power disparity between some martial and spell casting classes. We let the bards do the talking, the paladins do the smiting, the fighters do the stabbing, the wizards do the blowing things up, and the barbarians do the drinking.
 

ECMO3

Hero
For example, if a fighter spends 90% of their time using archery and making ranged attacks, and has taken several feats to back that up, the fact that they have a high STR so they can use a different weapon than the rapier has very little impact on the game.

But the thing is they don't spend 90% of the time making ranged attacks, in part because melee weapons due more damage than ranged weapons across the board.

A greatsword with an 18 strength does more damage than a Rapier with a 20 dexterity, or for that matter a Longbow with a 20 dexterity. There is no reason not to use it if enemies are in range and all else is equal.



So multiple high scores give martials more options, and give casters directly more power.
They give everyone both options and power.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
But the thing is they don't spend 90% of the time making ranged attacks, in part because melee weapons due more damage than ranged weapons across the board.
First, when you spend multiple feats or features on one type of play and not the other, that type becomes a lot more useful.

Second, damage is far from the only point favoring ranged. Being able to target opponents you can't reach (fliers, terrain, etc.), being able to focus fire, not being a front-liner to get attacked, much less chance of missing an action due to having to move, not having to disengage or risk an opportunity attack if you want to change targets for whatever reason.

They give everyone both options and power
I gave examples showing this was not true. If you wish to debate it, please do the same.
 

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