Fighter Complexity

So in the www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/esc..." title="www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/esc...">Escapist Expo James Wyatt had an interview. I haven't seen any threads specifically about this interview (if they are there, sorry for the duplicate topic), but one point here particularly irked me.

He said basically "We don't want the Fighter to have as many options as the Wizard because "it's magic". It's a world full of magic and magic is the stuff that can do all this stuff...over the life of the edition, maybe there will be as many Fighter maneuvers as there will be Wizard spells at launch." 


Seriously, this is the sort of thing that alienates players like me who want Fighters and Wizards on equal footing. Vertical power is not enough. Options, both in and out of combat, are necessary to compete. Telling us up front the Fighter is going to get fewer options, and Wizards get more options because "magic" is basically telling anyone who wants a Fighter with a real breadth of options to go take a long walk off a short pier. Seriously, saying a Fighter after years of splat book support might have access to as many abilities as a Wizard has in core at launch is downright insulting. 

I can only hope this is a point they backtread on, and very quickly. Because this current design concept runs directly counter to the idea of wanting to make a game that can please all players.  
I would honestly expect fewer options for the fighter-types, just because it's... just... harder to come up with lots and lots and lots of different options for that kind of stuff, than it is to come up with "magic can do anything, ever, at all" spell ideas.

I mean, I don't like the attitude toward Fighter options (and I'm going from what you said here), but I think the reality is that it may just be too much harder for them.

*shrug*
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Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
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  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
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Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

But number of choices is not what matters, rather the nature of those choices.
Also CS is more multiplicative in its use and application than spells.

You can possibly string together multiple CS moves into a single round. Every combination of such CS abilities constitute a different move.

Also, spells are much more dependant of variable effects than fighter attacks, since the attacks can more easily be shaped by the context.

This was seen very clearly when some players in out 4e group made the new Essentials fighter, that almost exclusively uses basic attack. The roleplaying and variation in attacks skyrocketed. Suddenly all kinds of interesting attacks started to happen, and not just the same boring powers over and over.

"Bah, I backhand the orc at the door with the mace!" - Basic attack
"I lunge!!" - Basic attack
"I shove the sword into its mouth!" - Basic attack

There just needs to be more spells to measure up both in fun and combinatory effect, because magic missile or fireball is just much more defined than a vague attack of some kind.

Then there is also that thing about magic.
Everything does not have to be equal. To say the fighters does not have the variety of a magic user does not screw fighters over, it just makes magic more like magic.

As the spells and CS works right now, fighters are far ahead when it comes to real round to round options (note that wizards do not have the real option to cast every memorized spell at any round, their choices are much more limited)
I would honestly expect fewer options for the fighter-types, just because it's... just... harder to come up with lots and lots and lots of different options for that kind of stuff, than it is to come up with "magic can do anything, ever, at all" spell ideas.

I mean, I don't like the attitude toward Fighter options (and I'm going from what you said here), but I think the reality is that it may just be too much harder for them.

*shrug*



The attitude regarding it really is the worst thing. Not "We can't really think of enough options that won't alienate the other half of the player base, expect to see optional quasi-magical martially geared classes you can use to get more options while playing a martially focused character", which would be almost reasonable though still disappointing. But no, his explanation was literally that the Wizard gets more spells because it's magic. That's not something I made up or am exagerating, it's literally what he said, and the fact that that is the mindset and attitude of the developers at the moment blows my mind. 
But number of choices is not what matters, rather the nature of those choices.
Also CS is more multiplicative in its use and application than spells.

You can possibly string together multiple CS moves into a single round. Every combination of such CS abilities constitute a different move.

Also, spells are much more dependant of variable effects than fighter attacks, since the attacks can more easily be shaped by the context.

This was seen very clearly when some players in out 4e group made the new Essentials fighter, that almost exclusively uses basic attack. The roleplaying and variation in attacks skyrocketed. Suddenly all kinds of interesting attacks started to happen, and not just the same boring powers over and over.

"Bah, I backhand the orc at the door with the mace!" - Basic attack
"I lunge!!" - Basic attack
"I shove the sword into its mouth!" - Basic attack

There just needs to be more spells to measure up both in fun and combinatory effect, because magic missile or fireball is just much more defined than a vague attack of some kind.

Then there is also that thing about magic.
Everything does not have to be equal. To say the fighters does not have the variety of a magic user does not screw fighters over, it just makes magic more like magic.

As the spells and CS works right now, fighters are far ahead when it comes to real round to round options (note that wizards do not have the real option to cast every memorized spell at any round, their choices are much more limited)




Yet the wizards have infinitely more options day to day. Seriously, I did the math a few weeks back, and Wizards at the start of the day have literally millions of options right now at only level 5, as to what they will prepare each day.  Even if you take all of the Fighter's possible options each round and factor it out for each combat round of the day, the wizard has exponentially more options before you consider his actual in combat ability usage.

Also nothing you said addresses that martial characters have practically no options out of combat. The skill system in the game is practically non-existent, and we already see plenty of spells available that completely subvert the need for skills.



As for removing options increasing roleplaying, that's a false dichotemy. If you can't think of how to describe your action because you are using an ability with that action you aren't trying hard enough. Conversely, if you do think it is necessary to strip things down to the bare minimum to allow the greatest amount of freedom, the logical counterpoint to that is to also strip the casters down to that same level. Don't give them full defined effects like Fireball and Magic Missile. You want to cast charm person? Make a charisma check against their wisdom. Have a basic spell damage and let the casters cast damage dealing spells based on that, and describe it as they wish. Make casters have to improvise everything as well.

Giving one subset of classes a fully fleshed out system with lots of individual clearly defined options and another class far fewer options to encourage roleplaying makes more sense. If you genuinely believe that improvisation allows for better roleplaying you should have spellcasters reduced to the bare minimum so they can improvise as well. 


And for your last point, magic does not need more effects to be like magic.  That is the exact attitude I have a problem with. 
But no, his explanation was literally that the Wizard gets more spells because it's magic. That's not something I made up or am exagerating, it's literally what he said, and the fact that that is the mindset and attitude of the developers at the moment blows my mind. 



Im sorry if it feels condescending if I say so, but I think you are overreacting here, and putting the wrong emotional content on something not intended that way.

Their intention is not to make fighters less fun than wizards! It just isn't.

More spells/CS abilities are not neccessary a good thing. Some people are talking about decision paralysis. I can just imagine the decision paralysis of a fighter with 4 CS dice and 100 abilities to choose from each round.. it just would not work.

Also, CS abilities are purely mechanical. Spells are not.

These fictional spells: "Ice shard - make a magical attack to deal 3d6 frost damage" and "Flame bolt - make a magical attack to deal 3d6 fire damage" just are not comparable to two CS abilities that each constitute a mechanic.

And magic is magic, if it does not feel like magic, then it is not magic.
Conversely fighter abilities must feel like fighter abilities, they don't if there is hundreds of convoluted things to choose from.

I compete in Kendo. The martial art in its entirety probably contains less than five CS moves.
Given the nature of CS, I think Sesdun has a point - Fighters have options that go beyond the number of spells they have, since they can mix-and-match abilities to create new combinations. This means that the total number of Fighter Maneuvers is less important than how distinct the maneuvers are, and how well they synergize (HA! I'm actually using the word in the right context!). My personal thinking is that the Fighter probably wants to end up with in addition to the starting three, about 10-12 maneuvers, with 3-5 of the total being conditional maneuvers like Glancing Blow or Riposte. 

10 abilities to choose from as your go-to active abilities on a round-to-round basis would avoid analysis paralysis, while still maintaining distinctiveness between each of the maneuvers. And the number of combinations is enormous, when you consider how the dice pool and the ability to apportion dice across multiple maneuvers adds complexity.


Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.

Also nothing you said addresses that martial characters have practically no options out of combat. The skill system in the game is practically non-existent, and we already see plenty of spells available that completely subvert the need for skills. 



This I'm more worried about, although I think it's less true for Rogues than for Fighters atm. 

Fighters need distinctive and engaging options in Exploration and Interaction. 
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
 Suddenly all kinds of interesting attacks started to happen, and not just the same boring powers over and over.

Basic attack
Basic attack
Basic attack


Look 3 repeats of a boring power.... Any ability is subject to descriptive variation. 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

But no, his explanation was literally that the Wizard gets more spells because it's magic. That's not something I made up or am exagerating, it's literally what he said, and the fact that that is the mindset and attitude of the developers at the moment blows my mind. 



Im sorry if it feels condescending if I say so, but I think you are overreacting here, and putting the wrong emotional content on something not intended that way.

Their intention is not to make fighters less fun than wizards! It just isn't.

More spells/CS abilities are not neccessary a good thing. Some people are talking about decision paralysis. I can just imagine the decision paralysis of a fighter with 4 CS dice and 100 abilities to choose from each round.. it just would not work.



I would be fine with Fighters having a dozen abilities available at any given time, but be able to switch it up, to help reduce option paralysis. Something like different stances that open up different options. So the Fighter might have 100 different CS abilities, but the 

Also, CS abilities are purely mechanical. Spells are not.

These fictional spells: "Ice shard - make a magical attack to deal 3d6 frost damage" and "Flame bolt - make a magical attack to deal 3d6 fire damage" just are not comparable to two CS abilities that each constitute a mechanic.



Implying that most spells are just reflavorings like that? Even in Evocation (probably the most samey spell school out there) you have a half dozen different options in terms of blast shapes, ranges, etc, even if you do consider two identical attacks with different damage types the same. (Incidentally, I'd be willing to bet if I wanted an ability to let a Fighter hit someone with the blunt of his sword, ie changing damage type like that, it would be suggested to be implemented as a CS use)

Also, in CS we already have a lot of similar effects despite them only giving us a handful. Seriously Jab and Snap shot are the exact same thing, one for melee and one for range.

And magic is magic, if it does not feel like magic, then it is not magic.
Conversely fighter abilities must feel like fighter abilities, they don't if there is hundreds of convoluted things to choose from.



Having lots of abilities does not magic magic feel magical. Having lots of options does not make it no longer a Fighter. These things may be traditional to D&D, but they are representative of an old and flawed design that has resulted in severe imbalance in every edition it made an appearance in. The "magic is magic so it needs more" is the argument that James Wyatt presented that I am explicitly taking issue with, yet you have now tried twice to use that exact same arument that I am already disagreeing with to convince me to stop disagreeing with it. It makes no sense at all.

I compete in Kendo. The martial art in its entirety probably contains less than five CS moves.



And a black belt in Kendo is probably a 1st or 2nd level Fighter or Monk. A 20th level character is far beyond a normal person, and certainly well beyond any weekend warriors on these forums.
Yet the wizards have infinitely more options day to day. Seriously, I did the math a few weeks back, and Wizards at the start of the day have literally millions of options right now at only level 5, as to what they will prepare each day.  Even if you take all of the Fighter's possible options each round and factor it out for each combat round of the day, the wizard has exponentially more options before you consider his actual in combat ability usage.



It's not about math. Just calculating the number of permutations says NOTHING.
It's about real choices. A wizard is constrained by a large number of factors, mainly the limited resource of spells and not knowing the future. There just does not exist in their minds to use some spells on some encounters.

A fighter has several distinct choices almost every round, and that's level 1. After level 5 is reached, the number of real options for the fighter greatly increases.

I am not saying the wizards have less options, but the difference is not much.


Also nothing you said addresses that martial characters have practically no options out of combat. The skill system in the game is practically non-existent, and we already see plenty of spells available that completely subvert the need for skills.



A martial character has unlimited options out of combat. You can almost do anything, except magic. You are certainly not limited to skills. Then of course, the most powerful out-of-combat class at the moment is the rogue, a martial class.

Also, those spells 'subverting the need for skills' have a cost, skills don't.

As for removing options increasing roleplaying, that's a false dichotemy......//...Make casters have to improvise everything as well.



No, it actually is not. There are significant differences in the matters that are described and attempted to envision, they work differently. It is much easier and more consistent when players describe their melee attacks than if they would improvise their spells. This is partly because there is no real world experience to draw on, and partially because spells are much more open ended (there are infinitely more varied ways to deal 1d6 damage to something with magic than it is by hitting someone).


Giving one subset of classes a fully fleshed out system with lots of individual clearly defined options and another class far fewer options to encourage roleplaying makes more sense. If you genuinely believe that improvisation allows for better roleplaying you should have spellcasters reduced to the bare minimum so they can improvise as well. 



Would it really make you happy if fighters got a TON of attack abilities on the style of.
"High swing"
"Left swing"
"Right swing"
"low swing"
"Brawlers slam"
"Roaring slam"
"Backhand swing"
"Offhand swing"
"Angry swing"
"High slash"
"Left slash"
"Right slash"
"Low slash"
.... etc etc

And most are just variations of similar mechanics with different damagetype slashing, bludgeoning, piercing, etc.
Would that improve anything?


And for your last point, magic does not need more effects to be like magic.  That is the exact attitude I have a problem with. 



It does not have to have MORE effects than anything. It is not a competition or a comparison. But it has to have a huge amount of effects or combinatorial mechanisms to account for the extreme span of possibilities that comes from the concept of magic.

Melee combat just does not have the same requirement on variety (especially not on the fluff side)
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />And a black belt in Kendo is probably a 1st or 2nd level Fighter or Monk. A 20th level character is far beyond a normal person, and certainly well beyond any weekend warriors on these forums.



That's interesting. So might you suggest some of these CS abilities that might be a valuable addition to Kendo?

Also, not only is a 20th level fighter far beyond a normal person, they are also far above this playtest and it is quite hard to determine how they would be to play from our current perspective.
Given the nature of CS, I think Sesdun has a point - Fighters have options that go beyond the number of spells they have, since they can mix-and-match abilities to create new combinations. This means that the total number of Fighter Maneuvers is less important than how distinct the maneuvers are, and how well they synergize (HA! I'm actually using the word in the right context!). My personal thinking is that the Fighter probably wants to end up with in addition to the starting three, about 10-12 maneuvers, with 3-5 of the total being conditional maneuvers like Glancing Blow or Riposte. 

10 abilities to choose from as your go-to active abilities on a round-to-round basis would avoid analysis paralysis, while still maintaining distinctiveness between each of the maneuvers. And the number of combinations is enormous, when you consider how the dice pool and the ability to apportion dice across multiple maneuvers adds complexity.



On available options.

First, I want to point out that having a whole crapload of options means absolutely nothing if most of the options are bad. You can point out that the Fighter right now has 25 different options to use his CS dice by level 5, but in 3.5 I worked it out a while back and the level 1 Fighter had something like 200 different options every round, and that was with spending only one of his 2-3 feats. This as a level 1 character of the class most frequently derrided for its lack of options relative to other classes and widely accepted as being limited. At higher levels and with more feats used, that number could jump dramatically. Where do all of these options come from? From options that are bad.  Stuff like taking two weapons, and making multiple attacks with different combat maneuvers for each attack, while fighting defensively and/or power attacking. Options increase multiplicitively, so they look like they get really big really quickly.  But the fact of the matter is that only a couple of abilities will be pertinent to the task at hand, and the funny thing is, humans are actually really good at heuristics. We can pretty much instantly rule out options that aren't suitable for the scenario and focus on ones that are important, as long as you know what your abilities actually do.


Because in my experience, more than anything else, what slows down the game is the Wizard sitting there looking at his 40 prepared spells agonizing over which one would be most effective right now. Or worse, at the start of the day, trying to second guess the DM and figure out what to actually prepare. Both of these are especially true if he's been copying down a lot of spells recently and doesn't know offhand what each of their effects is, and spends time flipping back and forth through the books looking them all up.  


Anyway, I'm getting a bit off topic here. The point is that yes, option paralysis happens. It typically doesn't happen with the Fighter, because despite his combinatorial abilities, most of the base building blocks are extremely simple and easy to eliminate. It most frequently happens when the character is a Wizard. If you think this is a real problem, rather than just using it as an excuse to keep the martial characters limited, you should be out campaigning for similar limitations on Wizards. Give them 3 spells + 1 spell per 2 levels as well. It will speed up the game, limit option paralysis, and bring us a whole lot closer to balanced.

But chances are you don't want that. You're willing to suffer through a player occasionally not knowing exactly what everything does and figuring out what to do in exchange for making magic feel more magical by giving the wizard all his cool spell effects. Thats well and good, but remember the same arguments could be made for non-casters as well. (Not wanting magic to feel magical, but wanting the fighter to feel fightery or whatever) 




As a separate but related point: A very easy way to increase number of distinct options, without exponentially increasing options via combinatorix, and allow for more potent cool effects-Just make higher level abilities take more dice. It really is that easy. If a 10th level character has 5 CS dice, make that awesome 10th level ability take all 5 dice, so you don't have to worry about it being combined with 4 other abilities at once right away. 

I would be fine with Fighters having a dozen abilities available at any given time, but be able to switch it up, to help reduce option paralysis. Something like different stances that open up different options.



I don't think they need different stances. I think the different options comes from the effect of different permutations of the dice pool across the dozen abilities. For example, if you have 12 at-will abilities and 5 dice, that gives you 792 different 5-maneuver combos; however, since you can dump multiple dice into individual abilities, you actually have 4,368 different combinations. 
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.

A martial character has unlimited options out of combat. You can almost do anything, except magic. You are certainly not limited to skills. Then of course, the most powerful out-of-combat class at the moment is the rogue, a martial class.

Also, those spells 'subverting the need for skills' have a cost, skills don't.



A Fighter's two primary stats are the two stats that are not tied to any skills at all in the playtest package.  There's also the fact that as is the skill system is practically non-existent. It is more or less the definition of GM fiat. The modifiers you get to your skills are so small that the game even admits that for the most part the DM can just ask for a d20 roll and judge success or failure based on that regardless of the character involved. That is bad.

 
Would it really make you happy if fighters got a TON of attack abilities on the style of.
 *snip*
And most are just variations of similar mechanics with different damagetype slashing, bludgeoning, piercing, etc.
Would that improve anything?



No I would not. Any more than you would want a wizard restricted to nothing but the evocation spells I described.

What I want is for fighters to get options equivalent in number and power level to casters' spells. I want a Fighter who can buff himself. Who can burn CS dice to boost his movement speed, jump higher, or gain reach. I want the Fighter to be able to use his options to debilitate enemies, not just distract or manipulate, but I want actual debuffs on the target. Attacking a target and reducing movement speed, bashing them to nauseate, or daze. I want a Fighter with aoe abilities that are not absolutely terrible, such as a cleave that lets him actually attack two targets, rather than potentially waste a CS die in hopes that he kills something without his bonus damage.

And at higher levels, I do want to see the Fighter doing things that are truly superhuman. I want to see him capable of burning CS dice to get a big enough boost to grappling to put that dragon in a headlock. I want to see him able to jump high enough to catch that flying Wizard and bring him down to earth. I want to see him deflect a single target spell back at the caster, and throw off compulsion spells targetting him.

Most of all, at all levels I want to see him with abilities that help him out of combat. This may need to be resolved outside of CS dice, but ideally having options for other areas of play that tap into the same resource pool would go a long way to make the Fighter feel less one dimensional.


I think the main problem we're running into here is you see CS and think "Different ways a Fighter attacks someone", whereas I see CS and see "All the cool things a Fighter potentially can do". No I don't want 50 different abilities describing a normal damaging attack. But I want the Fighter doing far more than that as well.

I would be fine with Fighters having a dozen abilities available at any given time, but be able to switch it up, to help reduce option paralysis. Something like different stances that open up different options.



I don't think they need different stances. I think the different options comes from the effect of different permutations of the dice pool across the dozen abilities. For example, if you have 12 at-will abilities and 5 dice, that gives you 792 different 5-maneuver combos; however, since you can dump multiple dice into individual abilities, you actually have 4,368 different combinations. 



Did you see my post directly above yours discussing why number of combinations isn't a good measurement?
 

A martial character has unlimited options out of combat.  



Except every other class has more. 



I did say, you can do anything, except magic.

But well, that's not entirely true. Fighters may have skills that a wizard dont, ability scores that a wizard dont etc.
The 'out of combat' options are so many and diverse for just about every character that a number of spells is just a drop in the sea.

But really, I really don't get this...  I have been playing all kinds RPGs for 20+ years and been part of all kinds of rpg commuinities... and nowhere else are people so obsessed with that everything must be equal between every character as in D&D...

It's a roleplaying game, who cares if a wizard has more 'options' 'out of combat', and why does this matter?

We have played great campaigns where on player is a experienced warrior and one is a frightened little girl.

Will every player want to play a wizard..?   no, not likely. So what exactly is the problem?

On available options.

First, I want to point out that having a whole crapload of options means absolutely nothing if most of the options are bad. You can point out that the Fighter right now has 25 different options to use his CS dice by level 5, but in 3.5 I worked it out a while back and the level 1 Fighter had something like 200 different options every round, and that was with spending only one of his 2-3 feats. This as a level 1 character of the class most frequently derrided for its lack of options relative to other classes and widely accepted as being limited. At higher levels and with more feats used, that number could jump dramatically. Where do all of these options come from? From options that are bad.  Stuff like taking two weapons, and making multiple attacks with different combat maneuvers for each attack, while fighting defensively and/or power attacking. Options increase multiplicitively, so they look like they get really big really quickly.  But the fact of the matter is that only a couple of abilities will be pertinent to the task at hand, and the funny thing is, humans are actually really good at heuristics. We can pretty much instantly rule out options that aren't suitable for the scenario and focus on ones that are important, as long as you know what your abilities actually do.


Agreed that the quality of options is key - I was using the phrase distinctive, to emphasize that the different maneuvers should have very distinctive effects. Hence why I've suggested improvements to spice up some of the more lackluster maneuvers in my threads. I also think the ability of maneuvers to scale with additional dice is key - right now, Push isn't that exciting given that you can only use one dice to push a creature only 1 category bigger back 10 feet. But if I could throw 3 dice in there to push a creature back 30 feet, all of the sudden, the ability shines because now I can play a Fighter who can knock enemies all over the place like he's playing golf...hmmm, that gives me an idea, a Greathammer wielding Fighter with a retainer carrying his bag of slightly varying greathammers. 


As a separate but related point: A very easy way to increase number of distinct options, without exponentially increasing options via combinatorix, and allow for more potent cool effects-Just make higher level abilities take more dice. It really is that easy. If a 10th level character has 5 CS dice, make that awesome 10th level ability take all 5 dice, so you don't have to worry about it being combined with 4 other abilities at once right away. 


Agreed, although I'd like to preserve plenty of room for combinations. Going back to my ideal, let's say the 20th level Fighter has about 10 at-will abilities, and around 3-5 reactive abilities. I'd like the Fighter to have a 2-dice/3-dice/4-dice/5-dice maneuver as about half of their abilities and that all of their single-dice maneuvers can scale, so that they can still experiment with combinations and choose between combinations, special attacks, and going all-in on one maneuver.

Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.


Did you see my post directly above yours discussing why number of combinations isn't a good measurement?



Posting lag; I was still working on mine when yours went up.
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
 

A martial character has unlimited options out of combat.  



Except every other class has more. 



I did say, you can do anything, except magic.

But well, that's not entirely true. Fighters may have skills that a wizard dont, ability scores that a wizard dont etc.
The 'out of combat' options are so many and diverse for just about every character that a number of spells is just a drop in the sea.

But really, I really don't get this...  I have been playing all kinds RPGs for 20+ years and been part of all kinds of rpg commuinities... and nowhere else are people so obsessed with that everything must be equal between every character as in D&D...

It's a roleplaying game, who cares if a wizard has more 'options' 'out of combat', and why does this matter?

We have played great campaigns where on player is a experienced warrior and one is a frightened little girl.

Will every player want to play a wizard..?   no, not likely. So what exactly is the problem?




The problem comes when you have a system as fundamentally unbalanced as 3e, where playing a Fighter feels like you are holding your group back, because rather than contributing meaningful resources of your own, you are sucking up theirs.

Sure if you want to play a game where one character is the experienced veteran and another is helpless and totally dependent on them, you can do that. You just have to realize, in D&D it's far more likely the experienced warrior is going to be the helpless one who is relying on that little girl who is a sorceress to get him through. 
A difference that makes no difference is no difference.
If there are only a few situations where mixing the core abilities are valuable at any given time you dont see that much, then using permutations gives too much weight. 

I think every weapon should be able to make atleast 2 types of damage (since those have returned) and let the martial types choose it at the time of the attack
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I have been playing all kinds RPGs for 20+ years and been part of all kinds of rpg commuinities... and nowhere else are people so obsessed with that everything must be equal between every character as in D&D...


No one here is seriosuly arguing for everyone to be equal in everything. What we want if for Fighters to ahve something to do out of combat.

It's a roleplaying game, who cares if a wizard has more 'options' 'out of combat', and why does this matter?


Because a Wizard can roleplay just as well as a Fighter can, and he still has hundreds of spells to back him up.

But well, that's not entirely true. Fighters may have skills that a wizard dont, ability scores that a wizard dont etc.
The 'out of combat' options are so many and diverse for just about every character that a number of spells is just a drop in the sea.

But really, I really don't get this...  I have been playing all kinds RPGs for 20+ years and been part of all kinds of rpg commuinities... and nowhere else are people so obsessed with that everything must be equal between every character as in D&D...

It's a roleplaying game, who cares if a wizard has more 'options' 'out of combat', and why does this matter?



Because players like a chance to shine. And the game is supposed to be balanced around Combat, Exploration, and Interaction, so if the Fighter doesn't have utility in 2/3 pillars, they're not going to shine as much as classes that have utility in all 3.

It's especially problematic, because the Wizard in past editions has had spells that trivialize entire pillars. The Rogue and Ranger might have a lot of exploration utility (heck, even the Fighter had a niche as the guy who was good at knocking open doors, climbing, jumping, etc.), but once the Wizard gets his hands on teleportation and scry, it doesn't make sense anymore not to "scry and die" if you're trying to take down a bad guy. Likewise, if the Bard has a chance to fail in his Diplomacy check, but the Wizard can effortlessly Dominate Person, it's bad for the party to let the Bard try to do his thing.  
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
What I want is for fighters to get options equivalent in number and power level to casters' spells. I want a Fighter who can buff himself. Who can burn CS dice to boost his movement speed, jump higher, or gain reach. I want the Fighter to be able to use his options to debilitate enemies, not just distract or manipulate, but I want actual debuffs on the target. Attacking a target and reducing movement speed, bashing them to nauseate, or daze. I want a Fighter with aoe abilities that are not absolutely terrible, such as a cleave that lets him actually attack two targets, rather than potentially waste a CS die in hopes that he kills something without his bonus damage.

And at higher levels, I do want to see the Fighter doing things that are truly superhuman. I want to see him capable of burning CS dice to get a big enough boost to grappling to put that dragon in a headlock. I want to see him able to jump high enough to catch that flying Wizard and bring him down to earth. I want to see him deflect a single target spell back at the caster, and throw off compulsion spells targetting him.



While I completely agree that some of these are things that should be in the game, I don't think this has much to to with the number of CS abilities. And it has nothing to do with the wizard at all (if the fighter can do all this or not is not dependent on the wizard being in any particular way or even existing as a class in the game).

Many of these things should be core rules, such as skills or just the core combat ruleset (grappling rules for instance).
Some I agree should be CS abilities but the goal when designing CS abilities should be on diverse and useful mechanics, not on mere fluff. Contrary to spells, if the resulting utility is equal, fewer CS abilities to do the job is better.

Putting much of this stuff into the CS mechanic (in case it's fighter only) destroys the non-fighter melee classes and harms the system as a total. Rangers, Rogues, Barabarians etc. also need to be able to do some of these things.


 
Putting much of this stuff into the CS mechanic (in case it's fighter only) destroys the non-fighter melee classes and harms the system as a total. Rangers, Rogues, Barabarians etc. also need to be able to do some of these things.





Hence the current jive going round that Martial should use a consistant mechanic... ie CS dice the details of which establish the fighting style of the character and making everyone easier to multiclass without nerfdom.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Because players like a chance to shine. And the game is supposed to be balanced around Combat, Exploration, and Interaction, so if the Fighter doesn't have utility in 2/3 pillars, they're not going to shine as much as classes that have utility in all 3.

It's especially problematic, because the Wizard in past editions has had spells that trivialize entire pillars. The Rogue and Ranger might have a lot of exploration utility (heck, even the Fighter had a niche as the guy who was good at knocking open doors, climbing, jumping, etc.), but once the Wizard gets his hands on teleportation and scry, it doesn't make sense anymore not to "scry and die" if you're trying to take down a bad guy. Likewise, if the Bard has a chance to fail in his Diplomacy check, but the Wizard can effortlessly Dominate Person, it's bad for the party to let the Bard try to do his thing.



Having an equal number of special abilities does not mean equal utility.
As for shining.. it is more often than not the fighter types that shine in out of combat interaction and exploration in campaigns I have played...

It appears as you are doing skill checks and general roleplaying situations quite differently than I am. In my opinion a high Diplomacy skill is enormously more useful than Dominate Person. And also, fail the diplomacy and you might sound like a fool. Fail (or succeed) on Dominate and you have just attempted a very insulting and invasive attack on someone... (and consumed resources)

But now a lot of this is about spells we have no idea what they will look like in 5E.


By pure nature of game design, even if the fighter had 300 different options at level 1, some of them will simply be better than others. Some will be worse. Some will be redundant. This has been proven over and over with RPGs throughout the years. The OP wants more options, which is fine. He also wants those options to all be "good" options, not "trap" options, which is also fine. I agree with this as well.

Simply stated, though, there are going to be better options than others, and those better options will be the ones spammed by players of the fighter because, let's face it, cherry-picking powers is like shopping for fruit. Why pick the apple that has the black spot on it when there are others that don't have it? Even if you know that black spot is just a smudge that is easily removed, you aren't going to pick it over one that doesn't have it. It's part of our nature to pick the better of available options.

My point is you could have 300 options available for fighters at level 1, and players will still pick the most-damaging / most opportunistic / most fitting for their character concept ones and ignore the others. The OP says he is annoyed by the wizard's player spending 20 minutes on his turn trying to figure out which spell to use because he has so many options. I agree. It's annoying. The same thing would happen to the player of the fighter, were he to have as many options...especially if they found a way to make them all amazing. We saw some of it with 4E. Players scratching their chins, looking at their available powers, wasting everyone else's time while they chose which one to use. This applied to all of the classes, though.

I like the idea of complex fighters. I love the thought of fighters being just as diverse as spell-casters. In practice, though, it tends to fall flat. If the devs (not just of D&D, but any RPG with "fighters") could figure out a way to make fighters richly diverse without simply offering up 12 dozen ho-hum options that all boil down to different ways to swing their sword, and be able to avoid the 20-minute-turn issue, it would be quickly embraced. 

I like the idea of complex fighters. I love the thought of fighters being just as diverse as spell-casters. In practice, though, it tends to fall flat. If the devs (not just of D&D, but any RPG with "fighters") could figure out a way to make fighters richly diverse without simply offering up 12 dozen ho-hum options that all boil down to different ways to swing their sword, and be able to avoid the 20-minute-turn issue, it would be quickly embraced. 



Take a look (if you can) at the Swedish RPG Eon, there the fighters/melee characters have vastly more interesting options and abilities than the spellcasters, and that despite a quite complex and interesting spellcasting system. It is not hard at all to make melee combat more fun than spellcasting (despite spellcasters having powerful spells in huge numbers), it's just really hard in the D&D context.

A wizard is constrained by a large number of factors, mainly the limited resource of spells and not knowing the future. There just does not exist in their minds to use some spells on some encounters.


Save-or-die, save-or-suck, mass disabling and debilitation and, worst of all, no save spells render most of the "not knowing the future" part useless, and I haven't even begun with Divination.  Limited resources?  Please, by level 12 and up it'd only happen when the DM either stretches the adventure or actively neuters the wizard one way or another, like anti-magic shells and adamantium walled castles and such.

A fighter has several distinct choices almost every round, and that's level 1. After level 5 is reached, the number of real options for the fighter greatly increases.

It's "hit harder", "survive longer", and "something else".  At level 3 it's "something else PLUS", then at level 5 -- where the "real options" increase" -- it's "something else 3.0" and the ability to combine two of them together.

At this rate, by level 20 we're looking at a fighter who can combine 5 abilities (less if he decides to deal more damage or take less damage) from a pool of 11 total abilities excluding Deadly Strike and Parry.  This excludes multiclassing and theme influences on character options.

Nope, no option paralysis indeed.

I am not saying the wizards have less options, but the difference is not much.


On the contrary, wizards by level 10 have 16 options to choose from, excluding cantrips (which increases their options to 19), Wizard specialization and theme.  Of course wizards have the issue of "crap I'm down to at-wills once the day is over, better make sure I choose the right spell", which has often plagued many a table, regardless of edition (but mostly to those times where dailies were too much of a highlight I think).

By level 20 we're looking at a wizard who has a total of 34 spells to choose from.

I'm fairly certain 5/round vs. 34/day (or to be more accurate, 31/day + 1/round) isn't much of a difference.


A martial character has unlimited options out of combat. You can almost do anything, except magic. You are certainly not limited to skills. Then of course, the most powerful out-of-combat class at the moment is the rogue, a martial class.

You aren't limited to skills yes. You're also limited to
* ability checks
* DM adjudication

Spells don't outright prevent the second, but the ability to say "but, magic!" does help the DM decide in the players' favor.  Plus, only the DM (via story or direct DM intervention) prevents spellcasters who have almost the exact same stats as a warrior (but with INT instead of STR) to do exactly what warriors can out of combat: be it Nimble Warrior/Caster, Wary Warrior/Caster, Tough Warrior/Caster, or Charismatic Warrior/Caster, as long as the stats and the story lines up, it doesn't matter who is doing what.

Except wizards also have 12 spells to choose from -- 3 of which are at-will, not to mention specialization and theme -- and some of them work fine out of combat.

Also, those spells 'subverting the need for skills' have a cost, skills don't.


The problem is that we're not talking about incomparables: we're talking about comparables.  Regardless if it has a cost or not, the fact that spells can do exactly the same thing but better basically means one of two things:
* we keep that spell around no matter what, because we'll never know if there's a situation that can come up that'll make it useful <- wasted spell slot, force player to metagame and focus on system/campaign mastery, player might end up stuck doing nothing for the entire encounter
* we use the spell, then find a way to get it back immediately <- force DM to find ways to prevent 5 minute workday, force player to metagame, other players might end up stuck doing nothing for the entire encounter

Either way, it's an unfun option in general.

Spells should never circumvent the need for skills, especially not for such a silly reason as "because magic". Every system and novel and movie has defined and twisted magic one way or another... and frankly, I see no reason why Charm Person couldn't be an at-will cantrip that allows you to use Intelligence or a lore skill instead of Charisma for Charisma-based checks, with the ability to sacrifice its use for the day to be able to render a single creature "friendly in the generic gist of the term, not loyal retainer sort of friendly" within a hundred feet.  That way, it would be both comparable and incomparable, because instead of "close to auto-succeed in social encounters", you have a more balanced-and-makes-sense sort of wizard who knows how the spell works and takes advantage of the parts of the spell that can influence but not release the spell from his mind, but in a pinch can release the spell to alter the situation as needed without having the ability to memorize it multiple times a day (the stickler here being that as printed, the wizard can memorize just one or two spells multiple times a day and potentially dominate a combat-less campaign).

Frankly not only is the current playtest TOO CLOSE TO 3.5E-LEVEL MECHANICAL.

There are significant differences in the matters that are described and attempted to envision, they work differently. It is much easier and more consistent when players describe their melee attacks than if they would improvise their spells. This is partly because there is no real world experience to draw on, and partially because spells are much more open ended (there are infinitely more varied ways to deal 1d6 damage to something with magic than it is by hitting someone).


Hmm, I know you can have multiple ways of dealing 1d6 damage to a bunch of creatures -- target type, range, area of effect alone can make for a high number of variations -- but last I checked there's only one way to deal 1d6 damage:

"I deal 1d6 damage."

I know it sounds snarky, but to be honest the game doesn't really expound on how the world works: even in the playtest, the best you get is "unattended flammable objects catch fire".  Nothing about how casting a ray of frost would cause it to freeze a river or lake, nothing about how, by treating a lake as a single creature, you could use Shocking Grasp and electrocute every creature in the lake (assuming it's conducive enough for such an attempt).

In comparison, dealing damage is just that: dealing damage.  Doesn't matter if it's via spell or blade or arrow or bolt, as long as it's damage, it's damage.  If we insist that it is reflective of actual wounds or what not, then 1) we would have the problem of porcupined adventurers with arrows filling their backsides but no real harm done (especially at high levels), and 2) we'd need to pull out our houserules, make new ones, or wait for WotC to release their rules regarding Called Shots (does eye-shotting a Kraken deal extra damage?) and loss of appendage rules (what happens if I attack one of the Beholder's eyestalks, how much hit points does it have? Because I want to cut it off).  It's a whole lot of rules/rulings issue that I'd rather not get into.

There's a limit to the number of ways you can describe "I attack" and not get tired because of the lack of actual mechanical effects.  There's also a limit to the number of ways you can combine 2 of 5 expertise moves without getting tired.

There's also a limit to the number of ways you can describe "I cast..." and not get tired because of the number of spells you have to peruse.


Would it really make you happy if fighters got a TON of attack abilities on the style of.
"High swing"
"Left swing"
"Right swing"
"low swing"
"Brawlers slam"
"Roaring slam"
"Backhand swing"
"Offhand swing"
"Angry swing"
"High slash"
"Left slash"
"Right slash"
"Low slash"
.... etc etc

And most are just variations of similar mechanics with different damagetype slashing, bludgeoning, piercing, etc.
Would that improve anything?


I'd say just describing a direction of attack wouldn't be an improvement.  However, the ability to influence the battlefield in a more direct function -- penalizing an enemy's attack roll or damage roll by an amount equal to the expertise dice you spend on the ability, potential decapitation or fear effect, etc. -- as well as expertise dice maneuvers that have more out-of-combat use (like being able to use expertise dice to gain advantage with Intimidation checks, or spending expertise dice to gain a boost to either Climb checks or Speed) would be a great help.


And for your last point, magic does not need more effects to be like magic.  That is the exact attitude I have a problem with. 



It does not have to have MORE effects than anything. It is not a competition or a comparison. But it has to have a huge amount of effects or combinatorial mechanisms to account for the extreme span of possibilities that comes from the concept of magic.

Melee combat just does not have the same requirement on variety (especially not on the fluff side)

Magic, by its very nature, is deus ex machina.  As an author/DM, this is fine...but for a PC -- a protagonist that's supposed to be on relatively equal footing as other protagonists (unless they are supporting characters) -- to have that ability is basically saying "here, you're bound to be screwed up at first, but congratulations on choosing to be a mini-DM!".

Magic in the DM's hands is natural.  Magic in the PC's hands is *supposed* to be very restricted.  That's why you have spell slots in the first place, instead of Jack Vance's ultra-powerful-daily-level-encounter-power magic scheme, wherein you needed only to re-memorize and prepare spells once you cast them, none of that X/day stuff.  It's just that even in D&D Next, the scaling just lets you get more and more options at a MUCH faster pace than martial classes.


Although in an ironic twist of fate, Fighter complexity in D&D Next is literally quadratical, as the Fighter gets more options AND gets better at them by virtue of Expertise Dice.  While so far there hasn't been mention on how (or if) Wizard spells would get better as you place them in higher level spell slots, making them rather linear (steep in scaling, but still linear) in development.

- - - - -
I think the problem here is that there's still a lot of bad blood with regards to 3.x's caster supremacy (which was there prior to 3.x, but pre-3.x casters at least had some pretty powerful limitations... that were removed in 3.x).  I mean, the release of Tome of Battle -- regardless of what people feel about that book -- presented us with the Warblade; basically, the Fighter done *right*.  However, even then, with the options bloat that spellcasters had in general, especially the ability to cast spells while in Beast Form + beast forms that were downright baffingly overpowered (among other things), there simply was no one to challenge the supremacy of the "Big Five" except for the DM himself, and even that sometimes can be put to question.

There was simply too much power in spells, while no matter how valiant the effort, only the most extremely built characters were even worthy of being next to a half-decent (much less an ideally-built) spellcaster.

The solution is simple: they're already giving us the D&D Next version of the Warblade in terms of Fighter Combat Superiority, so what has to be done is simply prevent the "overpowered caster" stupidity.  Two options:
* make it harder to cast spells
* weaken PC spells

NPC/monster spells being more powerful than PC spells can be justified in the "you can take it, but you won't be able to cast it as proficiently" and "the spell is currently too powerful for you at the moment, using it can kill you" sort of way, depending on the scenario and what not.  And although I'm not a fan of "make it harder to cast spells", circumventing the already-existing ways to hamper spellcasters (namely, giving them low defense stats to the point where they'd want to keep as far away from the fight as possible, and cannot cast while wearing armor) will probably merit these additional restrictions.
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This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
It's a roleplaying game, who cares if a wizard has more 'options' 'out of combat', and why does this matter?

We have played great campaigns where on player is a experienced warrior and one is a frightened little girl.

Will every player want to play a wizard..?   no, not likely. So what exactly is the problem?


When that frightened little girl can wiggle her nose and render every ability of the experienced warrior as "can be used for later, when I run out of spells or the situation doesn't need my spells", I think that's when it matters.

Not every player wants to play a wizard, but I doubt that every player would like a wizard -- PC or NPC -- joining the party and rendering them near-useless from time to time, with those intervals between being able to do useful stuff stretching more and more as the campaign progresses, until maybe you could watch an entire episode of American Idol while waiting for your turn to come up. 
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
Yes. There were problems with 3.x.

It is not yet known if those or any similar problems will exist in 5e.

The number of spells in the game was not the problem.

It is likely that the developers knows about all these issues, give them a chance.
When that frightened little girl can wiggle her nose and render every ability of the experienced warrior as "can be used for later, when I run out of spells or the situation doesn't need my spells", I think that's when it matters.



Well she could not, she was basically useless in most practical matters. It was still fun.
Yes. There were problems with 3.x.

It is not yet known if those or any similar problems will exist in 5e.

The number of spells in the game was not the problem.

It is likely that the developers knows about all these issues, give them a chance.



Actually the number of spells was a very large part of the problem. Particularly the number of them and the virtually unlimited access to them.

You'll note that among the optimization community, caster classes that had access to more limited spell lists are generally considered weaker than ones like the Wizard, Cleric, or Druid, that got full access to very large spell lists.  The Sorcerer, despite having access to all of the same spells as a wizard, and then some, got knocked down a tier just by being stuck with a single set of the spells. The Beguiler/Dread Necromancer got knocked down another tier for having their spells known set within a relatively narrow field, even though both of them get some of the best spells in the game. The Warmage got knocked all the way down to Fighter levels because the poor schmucks have hardly any spells besides damage.

Seriously, number of options available has a pretty much direct correlation to power levels. Having one really powerful option doesn't make for a good class. Having a handful of distinct powerful options is a passable class, but not when held up next to the class that has dozens of options just as powerful, if not moreso, and in more areas of the game. Daily limitations are not justification for for infinite flexibility. Magic is not a justification for infinite flexibility. All classes need to have limits.  
Yes. There were problems with 3.x.

It is not yet known if those or any similar problems will exist in 5e.

The number of spells in the game was not the problem.

It is likely that the developers knows about all these issues, give them a chance.



That was always my point concerning the spellcasters rule/fighters drool mindset. It wasn't the amount, it was the overpowered effects.

Spells like Alter Self, Enlarge Person, Freedom of Movement, Gate, Knock, Mirror Image, and many more should be nerfed to a major degree. Spells like Permanency, Wish, Polymorph Any Object, Planar Binding, and Time Stop (and a few choice others) should never have existed in the first place.

I honestly hope the devs have realized this and will try to at least cap some of the worst offenders. 
Not to mention if the party really needs a tough guy, the Wizard cna simply summon another one who is at least equal, sometimes BETTER than the Fighter, who doesn't require any resources to keep in top shape after the fight.
Yes. There were problems with 3.x.

It is not yet known if those or any similar problems will exist in 5e.

The number of spells in the game was not the problem.

It is likely that the developers knows about all these issues, give them a chance.



That was always my point concerning the spellcasters rule/fighters drool mindset. It wasn't the amount, it was the overpowered effects.

Spells like Alter Self, Enlarge Person, Freedom of Movement, Gate, Knock, Mirror Image, and many more should be nerfed to a major degree. Spells like Permanency, Wish, Polymorph Any Object, Planar Binding, and Time Stop (and a few choice others) should never have existed in the first place.

I honestly hope the devs have realized this and will try to at least cap some of the worst offenders. 

I think the problem of the fighter mentioned earlier extended to the wizard, except the wizard didn't have the limitation of "you're stuck with this feat/ability forever or until the DM lets you retrain or something": too many spells, the ability to determine which is consistently and normally the best, with a spell or two for emergencies (typically in the form of scrolls)... that sort of makes it difficult to not point out how the presence of many spells -- and likely the attempt of future spell contributors to get a "one up" on previous spell contributors -- can in fact be a hindrance towards ensuring that one can't render the other useless, even for a moment.

From what I can tell, Seerow is basically saying that the developers are intentionally powering up wizards again "because magic", with no real incentive to keep the fighter relevant, save perhaps by granting them magical equipment of sorts.  And I think that's a very bad idea, if only because yes we know magic can potentially do anything -- heck, 4E's wizards might not have been the most powerful nova-wise, but the sustainability AND ability to cast ritual spells ad infinitum meant that 4E wizards were, in the long run, the most powerful spellcasters in D&D history (yes everyone had access to rituals, but only wizards had the ability to acquire those rituals for free AND most likely had the skills for them) -- but that still doesn't validate a player resource (in this case class & spells) being able to downplay or hamper another player's ability to participate in the game one way or another.

Not to mention if the party really needs a tough guy, the Wizard cna simply summon another one who is at least equal, sometimes BETTER than the Fighter, who doesn't require any resources to keep in top shape after the fight.

And sometimes, five creatures that are slighly inferior to the Fighter individually, but can do stuff that he can't ever do due to limitations in numbers, is better.  I do believe that in Icewind Dale 2 I had this habit of summoning a bunch of large skeletons with blades for hands and having them sent in before the fighters, so that the warriors don't have to die from what is likely a poison cloud-filled room with a spellcaster who is wasting his spells on two summons.  Meanwhile, the warriors do nothing until the coast is clear (because you know, magic), then all they do is cleanup stuff.  Because a daily spell or two versus hauling someone's corpse back to a temple for resurrection or "conveniently" finding someone who joins them inexplicably is... well, a far better option.
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
OP, The fighter's powers let him mix and match maneuvers to adapt to any given strategy. It's meant so you can shift, tumble swing, jab, parry or potion snap shot protect or just pour all of your d12's into one deadly strike. There don't need to be that many maneuvers. I want more than this packet but as long as I get a good bunch and they scale well I don't need another spell list sized portion of combat maneuvers. And yeah, gimme a couple new one's in supplement books if you think them up.
I'm working on a longwinded post dealing with some issues with the fighter's manuevers as they currently exist.  I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that they really don't work as they are currently written.  They are a good start - but not a finished idea.


The short version is this:   More damage is not more fun; more damage is more effective.   Yes, you need to be effective - but if what you do most of the time with your expertise dice is just do more damage you aren't doing anything more than you were in AD&D.  


Yes - the fighter has the option to do many other things.  But most of the time, his best option is to just do more damage.  And due to the slow pace at which the fighter gains more manuevers  and the specialized role of many of the manuevers - this isn't likely to change anytime soon.  


Step one of the solution is to take Glancing Blow away as a default manuever.    Leave it associated with the Slayer - but don't make it the default.  I'd also probably take away Parry for largely the same reasons.


Put less focus on making them awesome killers (they'll be that soon enough and their damage output is too high anyway)  and focus on giving them lots of tricks and tools.  Instead of more damage given and less damage taken - give them a push and a shift; Of instead of more damage and less damage, give them a slow and a pull; or whatever.


Take a look at the range of options available to fighters in 4E - and ask how those can all be converted into expertise dice.  But make Deadly Strike just one among many - and not the default.    Maybe even look at the thread on weapon properties = and the various options from the 4E expertise feats - and make the default "You can use the manuever associated with your chosen weapon".

More variety - and less focus on just being bluntly effective.

(and yes, this is the short version)

Carl
Unfortunately I haven't playtested the fighter that far but as I played mine levels 1-3 the best option always seemed to be: just do normal damage and save the die for parry. I'd only deadly strike when I knew it was time to just take the last one down.
Unfortunately I haven't playtested the fighter that far but as I played mine levels 1-3 the best option always seemed to be: just do normal damage and save the die for parry. I'd only deadly strike when I knew it was time to just take the last one down.



How often did you actually get hit and use that die?



More importantly, however, did being able to negate damage make the class more fun to play - or was it just a useful mechanical advantage.  


Did you feel like you were making significant and relevant choices each round  - or just doing what you saw as 'the one best thing'.  

Carl
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