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

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member

Ladies and gentlemen,

Using the #MeToo in that manner *was* inappropriate. Bad move, [MENTION=6688277]Sadras[/MENTION]. Please don't do it again.

But derailing the thread for 5 pages and a couple of days over it was *also* inappropriate. If you think someone has just violated our rules, or is otherwise out of line, we ask that you report the post to the moderators - there's a little icon of an exclamation point in triangle for you to click for that purpose. We have a fine case study here that, even if you may be technically correct, if you don't have the authority to back it up, people are unlikely to be swayed by you calling them on their folly. The resulting argument ends up as a useless clash of egos on the internet. So, please, let us handle it.

Oh, and the discussion of blocking - also inappropriate. If you are going to block someone, just do it quietly, and let it work - making an announcement is childish and petty. Similarly, if you realize that someone has blocked you (or someone else), please accept that this is probably for the best, and leave it be.

Thanks, all, for your time. Discussion here should now return to the topic of fighters, and non-combat options. If there are other lingering questions, please take them to PM or e-mail with one of the moderators. Thank you.
 
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5ekyu

Explorer
If the fighter came with 3-4 tool proficiencies, would that make sense? Does "tool user" fit the fighter theme in people's perceptions of that class?
Nah.., because "class" in this case is deliberately amorphous. Maybe you are soldier in infantry. Maybe archer. Maybe royal guard.

Not on the fighter nerds more myself but if I did anything along these lines it might be expertise with one background or racial tool or skill.

But adding that to first level would require moving something back. Maybe move fighting style and second wind back a level each.

After all, the purpose of this is not to make a first level dip in fighter even more appealing for multi-class builds than it is now, right?
 

Saelorn

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.
That comes down to how you determine whether the outcome is in doubt, which is one area of the rules which is left deliberately vague.

If auto-success of auto-failure is going to come into effect, then it would be based on outside factors which are not covered by talent or training, because we know exactly how those factors work. If the NPC in question won't talk to women, for whatever reason, then that's a situation where it might be useful for the (male) fighter to give it a shot, but it's not really something you can base a character around. It's a very shaky argument, that the fighter should learn how to Intimidate in case the objectively-superior intimidator is sidelined due to un-related issues; and it is just as likely that the reverse situation would apply, and the NPC in question won't talk to men (or fighters, or whatever).
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.
If you change the rules of the game, then you change the reality which those rules reflect. When you open up that optional rule, then suddenly it becomes the case that the fighter is objectively better than the warlock. But optional rules are optional, and can't be assumed. If the fighter class is worthless in the social pillar unless you rely on optional rules, then that is still an issue worth addressing, because not everyone uses those optional rules.
 

Saelorn

Explorer
By additional rules you mean the rules in the DMG on pg. 244? Last I checked they weren't "additional rules".
I don't mean that you're adding rules to the book. I mean that you're altering the situation under discussion, such that certain rules would now apply where they previously did not. If you change the situation such that it favors one character over another, then that changes how the characters will approach dealing with the situation, but it doesn't address the underlying factors in a generalized environment.
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.
Cultures, and how they interact with various social classes, are an aspect of setting. There is no basis for assuming that fighters are the most common occupation, because those details are expected to vary between settings. At most, you might be able to generalize about some published settings; but even then, setting-dependent evaluations are no reflection on class mechanics.
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.
Okay, but whether or not they should be, the fact of the matter is that (at many tables) they are. You might consider that to be a problem with the basic rules of the game.

Personally, I'm fine with those rules being what they are, but I take issue with how the rules interact inconsistently with other rules. For example, the rules governing initial attitudes are completely independent from the rules governing skill modifiers, which means that the outcome of a situation can depend on how the DM chooses to apply the rules at hand. Whether an NPC is friendly toward one PC and unfriendly toward another; or neutral to the party, with Advantage or Disadvantage depending on who does the talking; the choice of model can be more important than the underlying reality which the model is trying to represent. One of the biggest issues is how a DM decides whether or not the outcome of a check is uncertain, and I have my own interpretation which is internally consistent, but other DMs are free to rule differently, and it can completely change the course of events.
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.
The OP's complaint would still be valid if the DM really was "inhabiting" their game world, unless the nature of that world provided a social benefit to fighters. And since we have no way of knowing about any game world they might be using, the setting details are as likely to hinder fighters as it is to help them.
IMHO, the way to fix this "problem" is remove the skills Deception/Insight/Intimidation/Persuasion as they have become crutches for real RP.
That is one solution, although it would have significant ramifications on the values of tertiary stats. It's hard enough for a fighter to justify putting anything in Charisma, as it is, even if it fits their concept.
 

Saelorn

Explorer
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.
What I'm getting from this is that you, personally, are very bad at understanding how the world works around you; and you're extending this trait to all PCs. You may be the exception, but the vast majority of other people in the world have a pretty decent sense of how common situations resolve around them. We can look at common objects, weighing 2 lbs and 5 lbs, and tell which one is heavier. When two people are talking about a topic, we can tell if either one sounds like they know what they're talking about, even if we know very little about that topic. We aren't completely blind to our world, as you would suppose we are.
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.
According to the book, the description of HP damage is expected to vary between DMs, so I won't say that your description is wrong; but it is far outside the realm of anything I've ever seen at any table ever. At most tables, a balor will bleed fiery blood when they take 10 damage from an arrow, even if the same damage to a human is described as a fatiguing near-miss. The balor isn't ninja-dodging away from every arrow and every blade, only to die from a tiny pin-prick when it hits zero. Part of the reason why the balor has so many HP is because it's so big and tough, after all.

I would be interested in hearing how, exactly, you manage to fail at slitting the throat of a restrained human. It's not like they can move out of the way. Even an unconscious, bound, and paralyzed creature will survive anything you can possibly do it, until you get through its HP; so what, exactly, is stopping you from slitting their throat?
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.
Do your characters have a lot of experience with slitting the throats of harmless peasants? Because the only consistent argument you could possibly be making is that they've seen so many peasants die to slit throats, that they're subconsciously making a connection between slit throats and instant death, without regard for the innate differences between a peasant and a combatant with even a marginal amount of experience.
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.
I would not say that's a reasonable position. I would say that you're going out of your way to justify meta-gaming, by assuming that characters are blind to how their world works around them; but that they aren't blind to how our world works, even though they don't live here.
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
What I'm getting from this is that you, personally, are very bad at understanding how the world works around you; and you're extending this trait to all PCs. You may be the exception, but the vast majority of other people in the world have a pretty decent sense of how common situations resolve around them. We can look at common objects, weighing 2 lbs and 5 lbs, and tell which one is heavier. When two people are talking about a topic, we can tell if either one sounds like they know what they're talking about, even if we know very little about that topic. We aren't completely blind to our world, as you would suppose we are.
I'm very good at it actually. It's just that with all of the variables, it's not possible for people to just pick up the small difference between a +3 and +5 here in the real world when it comes to social interactions, which is what we are talking about. Shifting to weight to try and score a point is a bit shady. :)

According to the book, the description of HP damage is expected to vary between DMs, so I won't say that your description is wrong; but it is far outside the realm of anything I've ever seen at any table ever. At most tables, a balor will bleed fiery blood when they take 10 damage from an arrow, even if the same damage to a human is described as a fatiguing near-miss. The balor isn't ninja-dodging away from every arrow and every blade, only to die from a tiny pin-prick when it hits zero. Part of the reason why the balor has so many HP is because it's so big and tough, after all.
This is what the book says. Note the bolded portions.

"Dungeon Masters describe hit point loss in different ways. When your current hit point total is half or more of your hit point maximum, you typically show no signs of injury. When you drop below half your hit point maximum, you show signs of wear, such as cuts and bruises. An attack that reduces you to 0 hit points strikes you directly, leaving a bleeding injury or other trauma, or it simply knocks you unconscious."

So you will rarely show any signs of injury when above half hit points, so that Balor won't be just taking tons of direct hits right off the bat. He'll be knocking the weapon away with skill and other different ways the DM chooses to describe non-damaging injury. At just under half he will start taking scratches and bruises, but nothing serious. It's not until 0 hit points that anything major like a slit throat can happen to the Balor.

I would be interested in hearing how, exactly, you manage to fail at slitting the throat of a restrained human. It's not like they can move out of the way. Even an unconscious, bound, and paralyzed creature will survive anything you can possibly do it, until you get through its HP; so what, exactly, is stopping you from slitting their throat?
Every year I read about people who were restrained and survived a slit throat because the attacker doesn't do it right. Also, you only roll when the outcome is in doubt. If the creature has no chance of getting out of the paralyzation or binding, then the DM should just narrate the slit throat and have it done. It's an auto success. If the DM is making you roll, he's not engaging that rule properly.

I would not say that's a reasonable position. I would say that you're going out of your way to justify meta-gaming, by assuming that characters are blind to how their world works around them; but that they aren't blind to how our world works, even though they don't live here.
Not one thing I have said involves bringing out of character knowledge into the game, so there is no metagaming involved. Your method on the other hand has PCs using player knowledge of the game numbers to choose how to act. You are the only one here involved with metagaming.
 

Sadras

Explorer
At our table whether there is a NPC or PC who is paralysed, unconscious...etc a slit of the throat or similar type action is usually an automatic success barring any other in-game narrative that needs to be taken into account (armour removal, immunity to normal weapons, size of the creature...etc).
Rolls are almost never required in a situation like this.
 
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Sadras

Explorer
Saelorn said:
When two people are talking about a topic, we can tell if either one sounds like they know what they're talking about, even if we know very little about that topic. We aren't completely blind to our world, as you would suppose we are.
Debatable.

Nobody knows more about player bitching than I do. I know more about linear stories than anybody. Nobody in the history of this hobby has ever known so much about fudging as Sadras. I know the AC. I know the DC. Nobody knows it better than me. I know more about railroading than railroaders do, believe me. I understand things, I comprehend things very well. Ok? Better than, I think, almost anybody. And by the way who knew the other side of mother may I better than me? I knew it. I understand the power of cheating, maybe better than almost anybody. I know more about TPKs than any human being on earth. I know more about player denial than any DM that has ever run a game. I understand about screwing your players better than almost anyone. Who knows more about player loss than I do. I'm the king. I know more about easy encounters and deadly encounters than they will ever understand. Nobody understands it but me, it's called rule 0. I understand withholding treasure better than anybody. I understand the system better than anybody. Nobody knows the game better than me. Who knows the other side better than me? I think I know more about the other side than almost anybody. And I understand the other side. Perhaps I understand it better than anybody else. I know a lot. I know more than I am ever going to post in this thread.
 
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Satyrn

Villager
Debatable.

Nobody knows more about player bitching than I do. I know more about linear stories than anybody. Nobody in the history of this hobby has ever known so much about fudging as Sadras. I know the AC. I know the DC. Nobody knows it better than me. I know more about railroading than railroaders do, believe me. I understand things, I comprehend things very well. Ok? Better than, I think, almost anybody. And by the way who knew the other side of mother may I better than me? I knew it. I understand the power of cheating, maybe better than almost anybody. I know more about TPKs than any human being on earth. I know more about player denial than any DM that has ever run a game. I understand about screwing your players better than almost anyone. Who knows more about player loss than I do. I'm the king. I know more about easy encounters and deadly encounters than they will ever understand. Nobody understands it but me, it's called rule 0. I understand withholding treasure better than anybody. I understand the system better than anybody. Nobody knows the game better than me. Who knows the other side better than me? I think I know more about the other side than almost anybody. And I understand the other side. Perhaps I understand it better than anybody else. I know a lot. I know more than I am ever going to post in this thread.
Disappointing!
 

Saelorn

Explorer
At our table whether there is a NPC or PC who is paralysed, unconscious...etc a slit of the throat or similar type action is usually an automatic success barring any other in-game narrative that needs to be taken into account (armour removal, immunity to normal weapons, size of the creature...etc).
Rolls are almost never required in a situation like this.
And that is one valid option, but it relies on the assumption that the DM will change the rules of the game in order for it to happen. Because we have existing rules to model that exact situation, and those rules say you need to get through the HP first.

Whatever decisions our characters make, they are always informed by the actual rules that are applied by the DM, rather than just what's in the book.
 

Saelorn

Explorer
I'm very good at it actually. It's just that with all of the variables, it's not possible for people to just pick up the small difference between a +3 and +5 here in the real world when it comes to social interactions, which is what we are talking about.
When you're dealing with a d20 system, any variable large enough to model is significant. You're trying to tell me that you can't tell the difference between someone with (effectively) Charisma 14 and Charisma 18, after extensive interaction in a social context. I'm not saying you can instantly spot the stats of anyone walking down the street, but these are your fellow party members. Ross has a pretty good idea of what Chandler and Joey are capable of.
This is what the book says. Note the bolded portions.
You bolded the wrong part. The relevant bit is that DM's describe damage in different ways, which means everything after that is just one possible suggestion. Besides, how a DM describes damage to your character is not necessarily the same as how they describe damage to a meaty beast. You're making far too many unfounded assumptions here.
Every year I read about people who were restrained and survived a slit throat because the attacker doesn't do it right. Also, you only roll when the outcome is in doubt.
Right. The outcome is in doubt, because we don't know how much damage the attack will deal, which means the roll is necessary. It's possible for someone to not die instantly, whether or not your character believes it is likely, and Hit Points are the metric by which we determine that. We don't even know if you'll hit successfully; you could miss, because the rules for whether or not you hit are based on math in the book, and not your personal opinion.
If the creature has no chance of getting out of the paralyzation or binding, then the DM should just narrate the slit throat and have it done. It's an auto success. If the DM is making you roll, he's not engaging that rule properly.
You clearly don't understand the concept of what's required for automatic success. You just said that people have survived this, even in the real world! Now you expect the DM to implement a house rule going against the rules which are clearly spelled out in the book. Pick a side!
Not one thing I have said involves bringing out of character knowledge into the game, so there is no metagaming involved. Your method on the other hand has PCs using player knowledge of the game numbers to choose how to act. You are the only one here involved with metagaming.
For one thing, you seem to be suffering under the belief that slitting someone's throat is automatically lethal, which is simply not a true fact about how the game world works. You're meta-gaming, based on your understanding of how the real world works! Even after admitting that you're wrong about how the real world works!

My characters, to contrast, are only making their decisions based on things that they can observe within the game world. That's what role-playing is all about.
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
Since Saelorn apparently posted and then blocked me to get in the last word, I'm going to respond off of my phone email due to the poor form involved with that sort of tactic.

Point 1: While it's possible to tell the difference between an 18 charisma and a 14 charisma, those are not the only things involved in an interaction between PCs and NPCs. There will be proficiency, starting attitudes, the NPC maybe getting up on the wrong side of the bed that morning or not liking elves or many other variables. That combination of variables makes it impossible for the PCs to know whether a bunch of successes and failures are due to one PC having a +3 total, and the other a +5 total. They just can't plot out all interactions in enough detail to figure out which of the two PCs is better at talking to people.

Point 2: If you take the sentence "DMs describe damage in different ways." out of context you are correct. However, the context of the rest of that paragraph shows that the "different ways" are just different ways to describe hits for creatures with more than half hit points, less than half hit points, and zero hit points. For example, a sword swing that hits for 10 points of damage against a PC with max 80 hit points can be described as follows, DM 1) The priest of Bane swings his sword at your head and you duck at the last second, losing a few hairs in the process, or DM 2) The priest of Bane swings his sword at you and the firm hand of Tyr, your god, slows the swing down just enough that it fails to penetrate your armor, or DM 3) The priest of Bane swings his sword hard at your middle, you step backwards involuntarily and luckily stumble to your left, causing the sword to glance off of your armor.

Point 3: The outcome, death by slit throat, is not in doubt in the slightest. Whether it takes you one cut, or you have to saw your way through the neck, it's going to happen 100%. Just declare it a success and move on.

Point 4: See above.

Point: 5: Skipping, because it's just not worth trying to teach you what metagaming is anymore.
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
When you're dealing with a d20 system, any variable large enough to model is significant. You're trying to tell me that you can't tell the difference between someone with (effectively) Charisma 14 and Charisma 18, after extensive interaction in a social context. I'm not saying you can instantly spot the stats of anyone walking down the street, but these are your fellow party members. Ross has a pretty good idea of what Chandler and Joey are capable of.
You bolded the wrong part. The relevant bit is that DM's describe damage in different ways, which means everything after that is just one possible suggestion. Besides, how a DM describes damage to your character is not necessarily the same as how they describe damage to a meaty beast. You're making far too many unfounded assumptions here.
Right. The outcome is in doubt, because we don't know how much damage the attack will deal, which means the roll is necessary. It's possible for someone to not die instantly, whether or not your character believes it is likely, and Hit Points are the metric by which we determine that. We don't even know if you'll hit successfully; you could miss, because the rules for whether or not you hit are based on math in the book, and not your personal opinion.
You clearly don't understand the concept of what's required for automatic success. You just said that people have survived this, even in the real world! Now you expect the DM to implement a house rule going against the rules which are clearly spelled out in the book. Pick a side!
For one thing, you seem to be suffering under the belief that slitting someone's throat is automatically lethal, which is simply not a true fact about how the game world works. You're meta-gaming, based on your understanding of how the real world works! Even after admitting that you're wrong about how the real world works!

My characters, to contrast, are only making their decisions based on things that they can observe within the game world. That's what role-playing is all about.
Since Saelorn apparently posted and then blocked me to get in the last word, I'm going to respond off of my phone email due to the poor form involved with that sort of tactic.

Point 1: While it's possible to tell the difference between an 18 charisma and a 14 charisma, those are not the only things involved in an interaction between PCs and NPCs. There will be proficiency, starting attitudes, the NPC maybe getting up on the wrong side of the bed that morning or not liking elves or many other variables. That combination of variables makes it impossible for the PCs to know whether a bunch of successes and failures are due to one PC having a +3 total, and the other a +5 total. They just can't plot out all interactions in enough detail to figure out which of the two PCs is better at talking to people.

Point 2: If you take the sentence "DMs describe damage in different ways." out of context you are correct. However, the context of the rest of that paragraph shows that the "different ways" are just different ways to describe hits for creatures with more than half hit points, less than half hit points, and zero hit points. For example, a sword swing that hits for 10 points of damage against a PC with max 80 hit points can be described as follows, DM 1) The priest of Bane swings his sword at your head and you duck at the last second, losing a few hairs in the process, or DM 2) The priest of Bane swings his sword at you and the firm hand of Tyr, your god, slows the swing down just enough that it fails to penetrate your armor, or DM 3) The priest of Bane swings his sword hard at your middle, you step backwards involuntarily and luckily stumble to your left, causing the sword to glance off of your armor.

Point 3: The outcome, death by slit throat, is not in doubt in the slightest. Whether it takes you one cut, or you have to saw your way through the neck, it's going to happen 100%. Just declare it a success and move on.

Point 4: See above.

Point: 5: Skipping, because it's just not worth trying to teach you what metagaming is anymore.
You can both see me, right?

:)
 

Elfcrusher

Explorer
Since Saelorn apparently posted and then blocked me to get in the last word, I'm going to respond off of my phone email due to the poor form involved with that sort of tactic.
It's possible Saelorn really has no idea how offensive he is being when he dismisses everybody else as "not roleplaying" because they don't adhere to his very narrow, specific, and frankly oddball* version of roleplaying.

Then when people, justifiably irked, respond with a similar level of dismissiveness, he thinks they are being uncivil and mean so he blocks them.

That's my theory, anyway.

*Example: wood elves "would" behave in specific ways simply because they are, you know, wood elves. And I guess all wood elves are exactly alike.
 
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Satyrn

Villager
It's possible Saelorn really has no idea how offensive he is being when he dismisses everybody else as "not roleplaying" because they don't adhere to his very narrow, specific, and frankly oddball* version of roleplaying.

Then when people, justifiably irked, respond with a similar level of dismissiveness, he thinks they are being uncivil and mean so he blocks them.

That's my theory, anyway.

*Example: wood elves "would" behave in specific ways simply because they are, you know, wood elves. And I guess all wood elves are exactly alike.
You've been spelling it wrong. They're "Would Elves"

How much would would a would elf would If a would elf could would wood?
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
It's possible Saelorn really has no idea how offensive he is being when he dismisses everybody else as "not roleplaying" because they don't adhere to his very narrow, specific, and frankly oddball* version of roleplaying.

Then when people, justifiably irked, respond with a similar level of dismissiveness, he thinks they are being uncivil and mean so he blocks them.

That's my theory, anyway.

*Example: wood elves "would" behave in specific ways simply because they are, you know, wood elves. And I guess all wood elves are exactly alike.
I would have left his metagaming alone if he hadn't incorrectly accused me of metagaming while doing it himself. I really don't have much sympathy for him getting upset at being told he's metagaming when he is the one who leveled the charge it me first.
 

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