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

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.
 

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Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
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.
 


Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Solution to martial/magic disparity: apparently just get rid of martial entirely and make them magic.

"Bob, have you ever just tried... not being martial?"
/shrug

I enjoy martials, whatever the perceived disparity.

But, yes, for people who struggle with it, playing a caster is always an option.
 



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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