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5E yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options

Saelorn

Explorer
NPCs have a starting attitude of friendly, indifferent, and hostile. That attitude isn't going to be the same for every PC in the group. In many situations, the Warlock will be looking at a hostile reaction compared to a fighter looking at a indifferent or even friendly attitude. In many cases having certain PCs present might sour the social interaction.
As I said, if you introduce additional rules, then the decisions of the characters would reflect those rules, because everything in their reality supports that. If the enemy henchperson you're about to interrogate is a member of the fighter's fan club, then that would be a relevant factor, which the characters should take into account.
However, with all other factors being equal, a fighter is going to have a better starting attitude with most NPCs than a warlock.
This is the sort of thing that's going to vary significantly based on the setting. Sometimes, everyone likes paladins, or sometimes they hate them. Sometimes, everyone important is a wizard. Sometimes, there was a war going on, and now people look down on professional fighters. Unless you give them a codified class feature, declaring that people are nicer to them, class is a non-factor here.

Additionally, as far as 5E is concerned, your place in society is really supposed to depend more on your Background than on your Class. A warlock Folk Hero, or Entertainer, is probably going to be received better than a fighter Criminal.
Stats are just not the whole story. Backgrounds, NPC attitudes, Roleplay by the player all are much more important than Deception/Intimidation/Persuasion rolls.
To the extent which that's true, it's not relevant to the topic at hand, which is how the fighter class does not offer support for those things. Unless you're playing in a setting where everyone likes fighters, which is tantamount to house-ruling them a new class feature, there's nothing in the class which helps a fighter do something other than fight. Which would be fine, if nobody else had anything like that (because nobody really needs those things in order to contribute), but it leaves the fighter coming up short in any direct comparison.
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
It's not a matter of characters actively tallying their own successes and failures. The entire world works this way, so the characters would have been passively absorbing that for their entire lives. It should be common sense, for everyone in the world, that skill and training are no match for natural talent.
You do know that it's also the way the real world works, right? People are better than other people at speaking, and some are more charismatic than others. And you having experienced the real world with those facts being the same as the game world have not passively absorbed the ability to know who has a slightly better chance of success than someone else. Now, I know you're going to say, "But the game world isn't the real world." You're right, and that's not the point. The point is that a person in the game world, there is no ability for PCs to passively absorb such information. That's just your way of justifying your metagaming so that it doesn't bother you.

The game world is a different place from the real world, and you're ignoring that fact. There's nothing "realistic" about having your character act based on real-world physics rather than game-world physics.
There are no physics, game or otherwise, involved with what the PCs know or don't know about charisma and speaking. There is also no rule that gives the PCs the ability to know that the warlock has +2 over the fighter at conversing. That's metagame information.
 

cfmcdonald

Villager
The real world is a more complex domain than the game world is. In the game world, Charisma applies equally to all charisma-based skills, so you can judge how well a warlock persuades someone based on how well they can dance (or more-to-the-point, how strong their spells are); just as you can estimate someone's ability to climb or swim, based on how well they swing an axe.
This is the part I disagree with. To my mind, the real world and the imagined game world have the same level of complexity. The players play the game using a very simple model for interacting with the game world. Characters have neither knowledge nor experience of that model, which is an artifice that exists to make a fantasy world simulation playable, not to express the fundamental physical laws of that fantasy world.

If we assume the D&D rules are supposed to model the world as experienced by the characters, it raises all sorts of odd questions. Do PCs notice that they follow different physical laws than NPCs? Like what is a "guard"? Why doesn't it follow the rules for a "fighter"? How does it become a "veteran"?
 
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Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
I think this gets metagaming completely backwards. Metagaming is using OOC knowledge for IC decisions. IC the characters due not know the rules of the game they inhabit. The rules of the game are an intentionally hyper-simplified abstraction of their reality. The characters are presumed to live in a 'real' fantasy world that is vastly more complex and 'noisy' than the simulation, and basically like our world, except magic. Saying "I have a +5 and you only have a +3, so I should make the check" is exactly what metagaming is. Saying "I am a renowned warrior, I will deal with this leader, he will not respect a scrawny dealer in dark secrets like yourself", is the opposite of metagaming, i.e. acting like your character, irrespective of what the 'best' result is in the outer game model.
Correct. What [MENTION=6775031]Saelorn[/MENTION] is doing is metagaming.
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
The real world is a more complex domain than the game world is. In the game world, Charisma applies equally to all charisma-based skills, so you can judge how well a warlock persuades someone based on how well they can dance (or more-to-the-point, how strong their spells are); just as you can estimate someone's ability to climb or swim, based on how well they swing an axe.
The game world is ALSO more complex than you are giving it credit for. Good ideas will give circumstance bonuses, and bad ones circumstance penalties. The game environment will also affect NPC attitudes, such as those noted with different starting attitudes. It's not as simple charisma vs. a DC.
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
This is the part I disagree with. To my mind, the real world and the imagined game world have the same level of complexity. The players play the game using a very simple model for interacting with the game world. Characters have neither knowledge nor experience of that model, which is an artifice that exists to make a fantasy world simulation playable, not to express the fundamental physical laws of that fantasy world.
Correct. The game world is every bit a complex as the real world, but the game rules simplify the resolution. To the PCs, nothing is different in complexity than we here experience.
 

ad_hoc

Explorer
If we assume the D&D rules are supposed to model the world as experienced by the characters, it raises all sorts of odd questions. Do PCs notice that they follow different physical laws than NPCs? Like what is a "guard"? Why doesn't it follow the rules for a "fighter"? How does it become a "veteran"?
They're not supposed to do that.

They are there to facilitate a narrative based game. The characters are special because they are the protagonists in a story.

The rules are written with story/narrative in mind first. Then comes game balance. Simulation is not a goal of the rules in 5e.

If action movies try to model the real world the hero would be dead in the opening scene.
 

Saelorn

Explorer
Correct. What [MENTION=6775031]Saelorn[/MENTION] is doing is metagaming.
I take offense at the accusation, as I hope you would. The quoted text clearly describes meta-gaming as using OOC knowledge for IC decisions, and that's not what I'm doing.

Our fundamental disagreement is over which specific information is considered in-character information, and which information is out-of-character information. At my table, the actions I describe are considered to be based on in-game knowledge, because it's assumed that the rules in the book reflect the rules of the game world; because the alternative would be unplayable. If the rules in the book don't reflect how that reality really works, then we have absolutely no idea how it does work, and we have no idea what our characters might believe.

As a very simple example, consider slitting someone's throat as a method of execution. In the real world, such an act has a very high likelihood of being lethal. In the game world, it's an automatic critical hit that deals ~10 damage, and is trivially survivable by almost anyone you would want to kill. So what does your character do, when they finally capture the traitor who murdered their family? Do you 1) slit their throat, and leave them to "bleed out", only for them to come back the next day for you to repeat the process? Or do you 2) acknowledge the truth about how the world really works, and do something that would actually kill them? Or do you 3) go through with it, under the expectation that the DM will conveniently house rule the move to be lethal regardless?

To my mind, only the second option could possibly be in-character. The first option is clearly at odds with the character's perception of their reality (why would they think that it should work, in the first place, if it almost never works in practice?), and the third one is a matter of DM discretion whose only support relies on out-of-character knowledge about how things work in some other world.
 

Saelorn

Explorer
This is the part I disagree with. To my mind, the real world and the imagined game world have the same level of complexity. The players play the game using a very simple model for interacting with the game world. Characters have neither knowledge nor experience of that model, which is an artifice that exists to make a fantasy world simulation playable, not to express the fundamental physical laws of that fantasy world.
If the rules of the game do not reflect the reality of the game world, then what good are they to us? Why even have a chart for what happens when you fall out of a tree, if someone falls out of a tree, and the DM arbitrarily decides that something happens which isn't even on the chart?

Something is seriously wrong if the outcome of an action depends on whether or not you decide to use the rules which exist to determine the outcome of that action. At that point, the deciding factor has nothing to do with the action itself, but on the extremely meta-game decision of whether or not to apply the rules. There is no path down that road which does not rely on extensive meta-gaming.
If we assume the D&D rules are supposed to model the world as experienced by the characters, it raises all sorts of odd questions. Do PCs notice that they follow different physical laws than NPCs? Like what is a "guard"? Why doesn't it follow the rules for a "fighter"? How does it become a "veteran"?
First of all, no, PCs do not follow distinctly different physical laws from NPCs. That was a mistake of 4E which (if there's any Good in this world) will never be repeated. The stat differences between any two characters, whether PC or NPC, all reflect real differences within the game world. NPCs gain their abilities in a manner which is comparable to PCs, differing only in the specifics between their situations and the abilities in question.

Second of all, it doesn't actually raise very many odd questions. Mostly, it just results in situations which are hard for some people to accept, because they aren't firmly rooted in the real world. For example, some people can (reliably and repeatably) survive falling a great distance. You might think that's weird, but it's not really more weird than dragons or giants or magical elves. It's internally consistent, which is the important thing.
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
I take offense at the accusation, as I hope you would. The quoted text clearly describes meta-gaming as using OOC knowledge for IC decisions, and that's not what I'm doing.
It is, though. The numbers and mechanics of conversing and charisma are pure OOC knowledge. The PCs have no way of seeing those things and passively picking it up.

Our fundamental disagreement is over which specific information is considered in-character information, and which information is out-of-character information. At my table, the actions I describe are considered to be based on in-game knowledge, because it's assumed that the rules in the book reflect the rules of the game world; because the alternative would be unplayable. If the rules in the book don't reflect how that reality really works, then we have absolutely no idea how it does work, and we have no idea what our characters might believe.
You can't see the numbers of gravity, even though there are rules in our world for it. You can't see the numbers of how charisma affects people, even though there are rules for it in the real world. You can't see the numbers for the strength and endurance of two boxers in a fight, even though there are rules for it in the real world. PCs are similarly unable to see the rules for the game world. The rules are purely for the players and DM so that they can play the game.

As a very simple example, consider slitting someone's throat as a method of execution. In the real world, such an act has a very high likelihood of being lethal. In the game world, it's an automatic critical hit that deals ~10 damage, and is trivially survivable by almost anyone you would want to kill.
In the game world it's lethal virtually every time. If you don't do enough damage to kill outright, you failed to slit the throat. Unless the victim is unconscious, then it's 2 failed death saves which will doom the victim most of the time. Failing the prior situations, the victim moved, escaped your hold, blocked the knife, or some other reason why the throat was not slit. That's how hit points and death work in the game world.

So what does your character do, when they finally capture the traitor who murdered their family? Do you 1) slit their throat, and leave them to "bleed out", only for them to come back the next day for you to repeat the process?
You cut their throat and they end up dead. You just have to set things up so that you can cut the throat, which means removing hit points first.

In any case, hit points work differently than the vague stat/skill bonuses that the PCs are completely unable to see or "passively pick up."
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
This is just not true in an ingame sense. I think a lot of this discussion forgets the Social Interaction section in the DMG pg. 244. NPCs have a starting attitude of friendly, indifferent, and hostile. That attitude isn't going to be the same for every PC in the group. In many situations, the Warlock will be looking at a hostile reaction compared to a fighter looking at a indifferent or even friendly attitude. In many cases having certain PCs present might sour the social interaction.

The reason this topic is even an issue is that the GM isn't doing their job of creating interesting NPCs. If all of the NPCs are 1-dimensional and that a simple CHA check will determine the interaction, then yes the fighter is at a disadvantage.
Interesting and thoughtful response. Thank you. What you say is true.
 

Saelorn

Explorer
It is, though. The numbers and mechanics of conversing and charisma are pure OOC knowledge. The PCs have no way of seeing those things and passively picking it up.

You can't see the numbers of gravity, even though there are rules in our world for it. You can't see the numbers of how charisma affects people, even though there are rules for it in the real world. You can't see the numbers for the strength and endurance of two boxers in a fight, even though there are rules for it in the real world. PCs are similarly unable to see the rules for the game world. The rules are purely for the players and DM so that they can play the game.
The PCs see the actual game world, of which the mechanics of conversing and Charisma are only a pale reflection. They have significantly more information than the players do, about virtually everything which happens in their world. They don't see the +3 and +5, but they see every aspect of their reality which corresponds to those numbers; in the same way that you can see the effects of gravity all around you, even if you never stop to consciously quantify it.
In the game world it's lethal virtually every time. If you don't do enough damage to kill outright, you failed to slit the throat. Unless the victim is unconscious, then it's 2 failed death saves which will doom the victim most of the time. Failing the prior situations, the victim moved, escaped your hold, blocked the knife, or some other reason why the throat was not slit. That's how hit points and death work in the game world.
Ah, so your amazing epic hero of destiny, who can defeat ancient dragons and balors in melee combat, is just fantastically incompetent at slitting the throat of a restrained human. You're going to stand there and slice for a couple of minutes, before you can get one to take. That is to say, you acknowledge that the rules of the game determine what actually happen in the game world, so you modify your actions to something that would actually work.

In any case, hit points work differently than the vague stat/skill bonuses that the PCs are completely unable to see or "passively pick up."
So you're saying that PCs can understand the reality behind some of the mechanics, but not others. And there's no real explanation or logic behind which ones they can or cannot see.

That's not a very useful position to take. You lose all of the benefits from choosing either side.
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
The PCs see the actual game world, of which the mechanics of conversing and Charisma are only a pale reflection. They have significantly more information than the players do, about virtually everything which happens in their world. They don't see the +3 and +5, but they see every aspect of their reality which corresponds to those numbers; in the same way that you can see the effects of gravity all around you, even if you never stop to consciously quantify it.
Which again is no different from you and I here in the real world. We can't do it here, so absent an explicit rule saying otherwise, there's no reason to think that they are better at it than we are. What you are doing is coming up with a justification for metagaming.

Ah, so your amazing epic hero of destiny, who can defeat ancient dragons and balors in melee combat, is just fantastically incompetent at slitting the throat of a restrained human. You're going to stand there and slice for a couple of minutes, before you can get one to take. That is to say, you acknowledge that the rules of the game determine what actually happen in the game world, so you modify your actions to something that would actually work.
There's no difference between a Balor and a restrained human when it comes to hit points. You want to slit the throat of a Balor? Get rid of its hit points first.

So you're saying that PCs can understand the reality behind some of the mechanics, but not others. And there's no real explanation or logic behind which ones they can or cannot see.
There is a logic and/or explanation for it. It's easy to measure strength, but difficult to measure intelligence for example. They aren't going to be able to measure hit points by the way. Hit points are a measure of luck, skill, physicality, and more. All the PCs will know is when they cut the throat, the human dies.

A normal human in 5e has 4 hit points. With a dagger doing an automatic crit and the strength bonus, you need to do 8 points of damage to auto kill by slitting the throat. That's feasible with one slice. With any larger weapon, it's pretty darn easy.

That's not a very useful position to take. You lose all of the benefits from choosing either side.
It's the reasonable position to take. There's no rule in D&D that would allow PCs to pick up how good they are at something to that degree of accuracy. The difference between +3 and +5 is miniscule and they have no ability to measure which is better with all the complexity involved.
 

Quartz

Explorer
One of the issues with 5E is that, for most of the game, your ability modifier is more important than your proficiency bonus.

If the fighter wants to intimidate something, and they have a +3 bonus because they're actually trained in it, then they're still better off letting the untrained warlock do it, because the warlock is at +5 from Charisma.
I've thought about this some more and I forgot that you only roll when the result is in doubt. So your unskilled warlock might not even get to roll - she auto-fails.

Alternatively, remember the scene with Bishop and the dagger and the hand in the mess hall of the Sulaco in Aliens? That's Intimidation using Dex, not Cha. You don't have to use Cha for Intimidation. The fighter can flex her muscles (Str), down a bottle of whisky or refer to the pain of childbirth (Con), display an uncomfortable knowledge of human anatomy (Int), or something else.
 

not-so-newguy

Explorer
I've thought about this some more and I forgot that you only roll when the result is in doubt. So your unskilled warlock might not even get to roll - she auto-fails.

Alternatively, remember the scene with Bishop and the dagger and the hand in the mess hall of the Sulaco in Aliens? That's Intimidation using Dex, not Cha. You don't have to use Cha for Intimidation. The fighter can flex her muscles (Str), down a bottle of whisky or refer to the pain of childbirth (Con), display an uncomfortable knowledge of human anatomy (Int), or something else.
I was thinking of giving fighters proficiency in intimidation using strength or Dexterity at 3rd level. Other martial classes could attempt the same, but only fighters are allowed proficiency. The intimidation would involve some type of physical display of prowess and/or threats if violence.
 

WaterRabbit

Villager
As I said, if you introduce additional rules
By additional rules you mean the rules in the DMG on pg. 244? Last I checked they weren't "additional rules".

This is the sort of thing that's going to vary significantly based on the setting.
Not exactly setting. This would be more related to culture and social class. So unless the setting is a mono culture...Also, fighters are the most common occupation in most D&D cultures.

Additionally, as far as 5E is concerned, your place in society is really supposed to depend more on your Background than on your Class.
Here we are in agreement and it is here that the most relevant social interactions should have their basis. A warlock with a hermit background should not be better at social interactions than a fighter with a noble background, regardless of the CHA stat. This goes back to my first point about starting attitudes of NPCs. This is why the OP is seeing a problem -- poorly fleshed out culture and poorly fleshed out NPCs. This has very little to do with the specific class the PC has chosen.

To the extent which that's true, it's not relevant to the topic at hand, which is how the fighter class does not offer support for those things.
It is totally relevant to the extent the fighter class does not offer support for those things in games in which the DM does not inhabit their game world. If every social interaction/skill challenge is solely dependent upon a die roll for its resolution, then the OP's premise is correct.

Otherwise, if the DM inhabits their own world and NPCs, 90% of this "problem" goes away. As I mentioned before, this was never a problem in 1e/2e because CHA was a dump stat and there really wasn't a "face" type of class.

IMHO, the way to fix this "problem" is remove the skills Deception/Insight/Intimidation/Persuasion as they have become crutches for real RP.
 

Satyrn

Villager
This is just not true in an ingame sense. I think a lot of this discussion forgets the Social Interaction section in the DMG pg. 244. NPCs have a starting attitude of friendly, indifferent, and hostile. That attitude isn't going to be the same for every PC in the group. In many situations, the Warlock will be looking at a hostile reaction compared to a fighter looking at a indifferent or even friendly attitude. In many cases having certain PCs present might sour the social interaction.
I was skipping past the metagame discussion so I only noticed this because [MENTION=2525]Mistwell[/MENTION] quoted it later. I'm glad he did, because this is an excellent point to be reminded of as the social encounters ramp up in my megadungeon. ( I probably won't inflict that last sentence on my players, though, as I don't want too make rulings that encourage the players to split up)
 

Ratskinner

Adventurer
I agree, to justify fighter's utter lack of out of combat benefits they do need to be better at combat than they are. (at least the non-feated version does). Or more fun would be to just give them some out of combat options IMO.
I think my only concern with giving them OoC abilities is that "Fighter" has come to encompass quite a bit in peoples' minds.* So that makes it harder to nail down a good mechanical ability to add without either a) "locking down" the class to a particular OoC role or b) giving it such a sweeping OoC ability that it starts stepping on other classes toes as well. (Of course, an OoC role that isn't stepping on other classes might be possible...I don't know what it would be but still...)

Of course, this leads me to question the whole premise. If the fighter won't rogue (or bard or whatever) because he won't be as good (mechanically**) as the rogue (or bard or whatever)....can you even create an ability that makes him confident enough to attempt it without rivaling the rogue (or bard or whatever)? Perhaps there is a serious question as to how much of this is "fighters can't do OoC" and how much is "fighter players hate to miss rolls too much." ::shrug:: Conversely, as in my previous, does the fighter not outshine the others in combat sufficiently to make up for being outshone OoC?

A broader way of looking at the problem is the possibility that the whole traditional D&D class system is flawed in this regard from the beginning. Perhaps every character needs to effective in and out of combat roles (maybe even to the point of having two progressions/classes), and the idea of balancing across pillars is ineffective/unworkable out of the gate.

*I think this started way back in AD&D 2e times, when, IIRC, the followers tables died. That opened the fighter for more than "the man who will be king"

**often by only a few points of bonus.
 

Elfcrusher

Explorer
Saelorn "takes offense" at being accused of metagaming, yet he thinks it's fine to continually accuse others of "not roleplaying"?

Hmmm....
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
I think one area that's ripe for a fighter is tool use (and yes I know everyone can gain tool usage, but the incentive for the Fighter to gain them so they have more to do when out of combat is higher than for other classes). It's something which can be learned in downtime, and which has potentially much wider application than I suspect a lot of games use/exploit to their most advantage. Xanathar's Guide went a long way to helping out with this.

For example at level 3 a Battle Master gets "Student of War", where you gain proficiency with one type of artisan’s tools of your choice. I picked Carpentry Tools, and this is on my Character Sheet with all my other abilities:

Carpentry: Enables a character to construct wooden structures; house, a shack, a wooden cabinet, or similar items. Components. saw, hammer, nails, hatchet, square, ruler, adze, plane, chisel. Xanathar's Pg 78
History. Aids you in identifying the use and the origin of wooden buildings and other large wooden objects.
Investigation. Additional insight when inspecting areas within wooden structures, because you know tricks of construction that can conceal areas from discovery.
Perception. You can spot irregularities in wooden walls or floors, making it easier to find trap doors and secret passages.
Stealth. You can quickly assess the weak spots in a wooden floor, making it easier to avoid the places that creek and groan when they’re stepped on.
Fortify. With 1 minute of work and raw materials, you can make a door or window harder to force open. Increase the DC needed to open it by 5.
Temporary Shelter. As part of a long rest, you can construct a lean-to or a similar shelter to keep your group dry and in the shade for the duration of the rest. Because it was fashioned quickly from whatever wood was available, the shelter collapses 1d3 days after being assembled.
And then the list of four DCs listed in Xanathar's.

What this means is I now essentially have proficiency in History, Investigation, Perception and Stealth when those checks are made concerning certain activities over or with wooden structures, objects, floors, walls, etc.. And I can help block a door during short and long rests, and help out with shelters. All good stuff for out of combat activities.
 
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