Fighter vs. Wizard: Running the Numbers Take 2

Hey everyone. So, for the last playtest I ran the numbers of a 5th level fighter vs. a 5th level wizard. This time I am going to do the same for the 1st level fighter vs. 1st level wizard, 5th level fighter vs. 5th level wizard, and 10th level fighter vs. 10th level wizard. To do this, though, I need some help from the community. First of all, we need to come up with some reasonable estimates for a number of targets per 60 foot cone and per 20 foot raidus. Second of all, we need to come up with a reasonable average saving throw bonus and AC of enemies at 1st, 5th, and 10th level. In the meantime, this is the spell list I will be using at level 10:

Level 10 Fighter vs. Level 10 Wizard (academic tradition), both with 20 in Str/Int Respectivly


Wizard Spell List:


3 Magic Missile (as a 5th level spell): 10d4+25 (50)


2 Ice Storm: 5d6+5 (22.5) (1/2: 11.25) (20 foot radius)


2 Fireball: 5d6+5 (22.5) (1/2: 11.25) (20 foot radius)


2 Scorching ray: 20 damage


2 Magic Missile: 2d4+5 (10)


At-will; Ray of Frost: 1d6+8 (11.5)


Fighter At-Will Attack (great sword): 2d6+3d10+5  (28.5)

 

The 5e of D&D: its like a more balanced version of 2e, but with the character customization frills of 3e and 4e. I love it!

Problem is direct damage is weak and boring. The real question is how do you compare 2d6+3d10+5 damage vs Dominate Person (take that guy and put him on your team. Who needs more than one spell per fight when that spell gives you something to do for the whole fight?), Cloudkill (take that section of the battlefield, nobody goes there. If they do, take damage and can't see), Polymorph (choose one enemy, turn him into your new pet. Alternatively turn yourself into whatever beast you can dig out of the MM), and so on. Comparing the two classes based on damage done completely misses the basis of most of the complaints about imbalance.

There is no wholesome way to analyse that on the basis of raw math. I leave that to playtesting data Seerow. At the moment, both the wizard and the fighter have something that the other does not have. The fighter has survivability, and the ability to protect his team (via hit points, armor, parry, and protect). Via Mighty Exertion and things like grapple, push, trip, or grab he also has very decent single target control. But, how well these things compare against each other, and how good one is vs. the other, is a matter of subjective value response. WotC will have to collect playtesting data, and we will have to speak up about our experiences in game, to evaluate how well the wizard's magic control and the fighter's survivability, protective capabilities, and single target control balance out against each other. In the meantime, this sort of number crunching can still help…


P.S. How “weak” damage is depends on what other options are on the table. At the moment, while the wizard has some interesting spells, I have not seen anything that invalidates damage as of yet...


 

Assuming an 80% hit rate and a 30% save rate (I don't know that those numbers are accurate, I am guestimating), and 6 targets hit with a 20' radius AoE spell:


Level 10 Fighter vs. Level 10 Wizard (academic tradition), both with 20 in Str/Int Respectivly


Wizard Spell List:


3 Magic Missile (as a 5th level spell): 10d4+25 (50)--(50x3=150)


2 Ice Storm: 5d6 5d6—17.5 (1/2—8.75): (20 foot radius)--(14.875x2x6=178.5)


2 Fireball: 5d6 5d6—17.5 (1/2—8.75): (20 foot radius)--(14.875x2x6=178.5)


2 Scorching ray: 20 damage (20)--(20x2=40)


2 Magic Missile: 2d4+5 (10)--(10x2=20)


At-will; Ray of Frost: 1d6+8 (11.5) : Critical Hit 14+6d6--10.375
At-will; Burning Hands: 1d6+5 (8.5) (1/2: 4.25)--(7.225x3=21.675)


Fighter At-Will Attack (great sword): 2d6+5 (12): Critical Hit (38)--(10.9x2=21.8)
Damage Add from Deadly Strike per Round: 3d10 (16.5) :Critical Hit (30) -- (18.39375)
Average Damage Per Round: 40.19375 

 

Total Daily Damage AoE in 11 Rounds: 567
Wizard AoE Damage in 16 Rounds (5 rounds of burning hands): 675.375 
Wizard AoE Damage in 20 Rounds (9 rounds of burning hands): 762.075 
Total Daily Single Target damage in 11 rounds: 239.75 
Wizard Single Target Damage in 16 rounds (5 rounds of Ray of Frost): 291.625
Wizard Single Target Damage in 20 rounds (9 rounds of Ray of Frost): 333.125
Fighter Damage in 11 rounds: 442.13125
Fighter Damage in 16 Rounds: 643.1
Fighter Damage in 20 Rounds: 803.875

This looks quite fair to me! Hell, the fighter might be doing a little too much. Then again, a wizard gets some very powerful control spells that might balance that out. 


Hey everyone. So, for the last playtest I ran the numbers of a 5th level fighter vs. a 5th level wizard. This time I am going to do the same for the 1st level fighter vs. 1st level wizard, 5th level fighter vs. 5th level wizard, and 10th level fighter vs. 10th level wizard. To do this, though, I need some help from the community. First of all, we need to come up with some reasonable estimates for a number of targets per 60 foot cone and per 20 foot raidus. Second of all, we need to come up with a reasonable average saving throw bonus and AC of enemies at 1st, 5th, and 10th level. In the meantime, this is the spell list I will be using at level 10:

Level 10 Fighter vs. Level 10 Wizard (academic tradition), both with 20 in Str/Int Respectivly


Wizard Spell List:


3 Magic Missile (as a 5th level spell): 10d4+25 (50)


2 Ice Storm: 5d6+5 (22.5) (1/2: 11.25) (20 foot radius)


2 Fireball: 5d6+5 (22.5) (1/2: 11.25) (20 foot radius)


2 Scorching ray: 20 damage


2 Magic Missile: 2d4+5 (10)


At-will; Ray of Frost: 1d6+8 (11.5)


Fighter At-Will Attack (great sword): 2d6+3d10+5  (28.5)

 



Well the Wizard isn't going to use an area spell on less than 2 targets and probably not on less than 3. If at all possible they would likely aim for 4 or 5. So I'd say around 3 for smaller area spells like burning hands and probably 5 for larger ones.

There is no wholesome way to analyse that on the basis of raw math. I leave that to playtesting data Seerow. At the moment, both the wizard and the fighter have something that the other does not have. The fighter has survivability, and the ability to protect his team (via hit points, armor, parry, and protect). Via Mighty Exertion and things like grapple, push, trip, or grab he also has very decent single target control. But, how well these things compare against each other, and how good one is vs. the other, is a matter of subjective value response. WotC will have to collect playtesting data, and we will have to speak up about our experiences in game, to evaluate how well the wizard's magic control and the fighter's survivability, protective capabilities, and single target control balance out against each other. In the meantime, this sort of number crunching can still help…


P.S. How “weak” damage is depends on what other options are on the table. At the moment, while the wizard has some interesting spells, I have not seen anything that invalidates damage as of yet...


 




Actually you could compare it. First you calculate out what would happen if the Wizard didn't use that spell or tactic, then you calculate out what would happen if they did. Then you take the difference and that's the DPR.

For instance a spell like Hold Person. If a Wizard uses other spells they get the DPR you calculated. Then look at average hp for monsters of a level and then figure out the difference if they use hold person in one of their spell slots. Since it only targets humanoids this time around it should be pretty easy to figure out.
What measurement do you use to calculate the side effects of Fireball and Ice Storm? Or are you looking strictly at damage per round?
What measurement do you use to calculate the side effects of Fireball and Ice Storm? Or are you looking strictly at damage per round?



Side effects? Are you talking about setting unattended flammable objects on fire and difficult terrain? Difficult terrain has little or no effect except to reduce the damage the party takes if it is used to slow creatures down. In itself it doesn't end fights quicker. Burning objects really only affect the story. Maybe they create difficult terrain, maybe not. This is a DM fiat issue.

Actually you could compare it. First you calculate out what would happen if the Wizard didn't use that spell or tactic, then you calculate out what would happen if they did. Then you take the difference and that's the DPR.

For instance a spell like Hold Person. If a Wizard uses other spells they get the DPR you calculated. Then look at average hp for monsters of a level and then figure out the difference if they use hold person in one of their spell slots. Since it only targets humanoids this time around it should be pretty easy to figure out.



Sorry, what? How do you calculate the DPR for a spell that has a variable overall effect based on the HP of the monster you use it on? And, how do you calculate a spell with a super swingy binary effect, like dominate person, reasonably? If you want to show me an example of what you mean I am all ears. Maybe I am wrong. It happens often enough. But, I don't really understand what you are proposing as written...
Heh. I just thought I would put the rogue up so people could see just how bad it really is. Rogue, using a 1d8 finesse weapon or ranged weapon, with a 20 in Dex, at level 10:
 
Rogue At-Will Attack: 1d8+3d10+5 (26) : critical hit (64)
Average Damage Per Round: 21.4.

So, the rogue does 53% of the fighters damage per round. Here are the fighter numbers for comparison in a single post:

Fighter At-Will Attack (great sword): 2d6+5 (12): Critical Hit (38)--(10.9x2=21.8)
Damage Add from Deadly Strike per Round: 3d10 (16.5) :Critical Hit (30) -- (18.39375)
Average Damage Per Round: 40.19375 
First of all, we need to come up with some reasonable estimates for a number of targets per 60 foot cone and per 20 foot raidus.



There's a flaw in this kind of reasoning when comparing AOE attacks to single-target attacks. It's not as simple as multiplying the average damage by the number of targets hit.

I'll illustrate this with an example.

The wizard can attack 4 targets each round and deal 5 points of damage. All the others classes deal 20 damage. On average, it's the same damage.

4 wizards vs. 4 creatures that each have 21 hit points; each enemy deals D damage per round:
Round 1: 4 wizards attack 4 creatures; all creatures are down to 1 HP. The creatures attack and deal 4D damage.
Round 2: 4 wizards attack and kill all the creatures.
Total Damage: 4D

4 fighters vs. 4 creatures that each have 21 hit points; each enemy deals D damage per round:
Round 1: 4 fighters attack and kill 2 creatures. The remaining creatures attack and deal 2D damage.
Round 2: 4 fighters attack and kill 2 creatures.
Total Damage: 2D

In this scenario, both the wizards and the fighter deal the same average damage but it has a very different result at the encounter level. Againt a group of creatures with 20 hit points, the wizards are more effecient because they can wipe them out in one round. Single-target attacks are better against multiple strong opponents and AOE attacks are better against groups of weaker opponents (I know, we already knew that).

I tried very hard to modelize AOE attacks to find something satisfying but I failed miserably (I have a 5 year degree in mathematical modelling). There is no easy mathematical model to compare AOEs to single-target attacks. The only ones I came up with rely on computer programs that run sample battles. And there are so many factors that come into play: the number of monsters, how mobile the monsters are, does your AOE attack affect your friends, the number of spells you use in that encounter (casting only 1 AOE attack is usually a waste of time), initiative, etc... All that to say, it's not just Average Damage x Number of Opponents.

In 4th edition, they used some kind of empicial formula. They multiple the damage of an AOE attack by 1.2 to compare it with a single-target attack (or 1.4 for a miss half attack). This might feel wrong, but I think most 4th edition players will agree that blaster type wizards aren't that good in 4th edition. But if you use a the formula Average Damage x Number of Opponents, 4th edition blaster wizards are overpowered.

Bottom line, play-test the wizard. If overall, it feels like they are better than others most of the time, something is wrong and they should be toned down. It's very unlikely you'll be able to make a point with math alone.
I'd be interested to see how the cleric compares.

Danny

To be honest, if you want to break the game down to average damage per round and for all classes to be perfectly balanced in that respect... I really think you will be dissapointed in the in end.

You can't compare the Fighter and Wizard as such... why? because the Wizard is Limited, he eventually runs out of spells and the Fighter doesn't, therefore it is very much logical to assume that while the Wizard is at 100% capacity, he will do more damage. As for the Rogue, well his focus is skills, so its also logical to assume that his damage output would be less.

Talk about taking the mystery and flavour out of the game, its D&D, not Mathematics 101.

I really think you should just play the game and let the numbers speak for themselves, get into character and have fun - I guarantee, the minute you stop looking at your character like a calculator, you will likely fine that the mechanics are more balanced then you ever could of imagined... especially when the wizard is down to using his signature spell every 10 minutes and the rogue's talent for stealth and intrigue is taking down enemies by the dozen.

To be honest, if you want to break the game down to average damage per round and for all classes to be perfectly balanced in that respect... I really think you will be dissapointed in the in end.

You can't compare the Fighter and Wizard as such... why? because the Wizard is Limited, he eventually runs out of spells and the Fighter doesn't, therefore it is very much logical to assume that while the Wizard is at 100% capacity, he will do more damage. As for the Rogue, well his focus is skills, so its also logical to assume that his damage output would be less.

Talk about taking the mystery and flavour out of the game, its D&D, not Mathematics 101.

I really think you should just play the game and let the numbers speak for themselves, get into character and have fun - I guarantee, the minute you stop looking at your character like a calculator, you will likely fine that the mechanics are more balanced then you ever could of imagined... especially when the wizard is down to using his signature spell every 10 minutes and the rogue's talent for stealth and intrigue is taking down enemies by the dozen.

While I largely agree with you, it's important to recognize and respect the fact that the Mathematics 101 aspect of the game is what draws many of our fellow community members to the hobby. It's a valid interest, an acceptable means of enjoying the experience, and the efforts of those who care about such things ultimately enrich the game for all of us.

Danny

I understand that, I play with some technical players as well, and power crunching is something they love to do.

But D&D Next isn't 100% combat orientated anymore as 4th edition was, so there's aspects to the game that can't be mathematically determined (such as non-combat abilities and limited abilities)... so I really think doing the math is the wrong approach, because the math will be off (its supposed to be)... I think the only way to test the balance is to actually play the game.
I understand that, I play with some technical players as well, and power crunching is something they love to do.

But D&D Next isn't 100% combat orientated anymore as 4th edition was, so there's aspects to the game that can't be mathematically determined (such as non-combat abilities and limited abilities)... so I really think doing the math is the wrong approach, because the math will be off (its supposed to be)... I think the only way to test the balance is to actually play the game.



Please shove the edtion war.. crap...where crap belongs -  4e is no more combat oriented than any edition and having bad math just makes it a bad game... not good roleplaying.
  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."

 

Yea, look, I never said the math is everything. It is only a part. It is ONE part. There are many other parts. This helps one assess balance, it does not assess balance in and of itself. It is, however, something that I consider an important part of assessing balance. And, I realize the game is not all about combat. that is neither there nor there. What is more, if you actually look at the numbers I calculated, I calculated for 11 rounds (a wizard using all of its daily spells in a nova), 16 rounds (4 rounds of the wizard using only at-will spells), and 20 rounds (9 rounds of the wizard using only at-will spells) of combat. In the end, asking people not to perform this math, and asking them to look at things only holistically, amounts to asking them to be ignorant. I agree with Marvin Minsky on this. That request is an anesthetic to ignorance. It doesn't seem like good advice to me. As long as people see this for what it is, and aid, then math like this is very helpful in assessing the game.   

I want to thank those willing to do the number crunching (Cyber-Dave and Lokiare both), its something I appreciate and can make a lot of difference to me. I think multi-target effects are under estimated by many but the general gist and motivation for the analysis I approve of.
  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 understand that, I play with some technical players as well, and power crunching is something they love to do.

But D&D Next isn't 100% combat orientated anymore as 4th edition was, so there's aspects to the game that can't be mathematically determined (such as non-combat abilities and limited abilities)... so I really think doing the math is the wrong approach, because the math will be off (its supposed to be)... I think the only way to test the balance is to actually play the game.

Given that the math is the only concrete and irrefutable aspect of the game that we can debate, there's a lot riding on it being solid and respectably implemented.

Danny

Number crunshing is allways helpfull if you know how to interpret these numbers correctly.

Most of the problems arise from seeing it in a vacuum.

For the fighters this means:
You have to take into account that the fighters stand toe to toe with the enemy
but have the option of variable, concentrated fire.

The wizzard has the option of dealing areal damage and will usually stay back to the best of her/his possibilities.
However, the wizard will not be allways able to do so.
The enemies will hardly allways be in fireball formation and even less often stay in fireball formation if the are not complete maroons.
Usually enemies and friends get mixed up pretty soon  as soon as the fight starts and so the wizard has to be careful with friendly fire.

According to my experience the average target number of the wizard is something between 2 and 3 and especially solo fights are very difficult for the wizard of 4th edition.

So, while the math is sound it is, IMHO swayed in favour of the wizard who is seen stronger than really is.

I think the wizard as was, was o.k but a bit lack luster. However, gimping it with the last playtest was much over the top.

And keep in mind I never played a wizard untill 4th edition, but I am allways looking for the challenge to make something work others do not consider workable. So I produced a stealthy wizard for 4th edition, which was a great success and a great annoyance to my DM.

So could somebody please do the math taking firendly fire and other impacts, such as terrain etc., into consideration?


___________________________________________________________

A little bit of good will is a big step towards making this planet a better place

Dave: have you run the numbers with the wizard blasting away with magic missile in every slot. Unless I am reading things wrong it does a ton of damage single target. I think by level 10, 20 rounds of magic missile might out single target damage the fighter.
A wizard's area spells also tend to only be good for the first round of combat until his friends get in the way. Also another issue is going to be with damage being overkill.

Actually you could compare it. First you calculate out what would happen if the Wizard didn't use that spell or tactic, then you calculate out what would happen if they did. Then you take the difference and that's the DPR.

For instance a spell like Hold Person. If a Wizard uses other spells they get the DPR you calculated. Then look at average hp for monsters of a level and then figure out the difference if they use hold person in one of their spell slots. Since it only targets humanoids this time around it should be pretty easy to figure out.



Sorry, what? How do you calculate the DPR for a spell that has a variable overall effect based on the HP of the monster you use it on? And, how do you calculate a spell with a super swingy binary effect, like dominate person, reasonably? If you want to show me an example of what you mean I am all ears. Maybe I am wrong. It happens often enough. But, I don't really understand what you are proposing as written...



For dominate person calculate the average damage of monsters at each level, then remove one of the Wizards daily spells from your other calculation, then calculate the damage that the dominated monster would cause multiply it by the percent that the spell is effective at dominating (I think you estimated 70%?) Then if it allows a save every round you reduce the effect by the chance to save each round. Looking it up the target only gets a save if it does something against its alignment, so evil Kobolds or Goblins dominated should have no saves attacking allies.

Average Damage 1st level
Beetle, Fire: 15 AC, +0, 1d6 (3.5)
Centipede, Giant: 13 AC, +2, 1
Crab, Giant: 14 AC, +2, 1d8+2 (6.5) or 10
Demon, Quasit: 14 AC, +3, 1d4 (2.5)
Dinosaur, Pteranodon: 13 AC, +2, 1d10+1 (6.5)
Goblin: 13 AC, +1, 1d6+1 (4.5)
Hobgoblin: 14 AC, +2, 1d8 (4.5)
Horse: 12 AC, +2, 1d6+2 (5.5)
Human Berserker: 11 AC, +1, 1d12+2 (8.5)
Human Commoner: 10 AC, +0, 1d4 (2.5)
Human Warrior: 12 AC, +2, 1d6+1 (4.5)
Kobold: 11 AC, +1, 1d4+1 (3.5)
Kobold DragonShield: 15 AC, +1, 1d6+1 (4.5)
Kobold, Winged (Urd): 11 AC, +1, 1d6+1 (4.5)
Lizardfolk: 12 AC, +1/+1/+1, 1d6+1 (4.5)/ 1d6+1 (4.5) / 1d6+1 (4.5)
Monkey, Carnivorous: 12 AC, +2, 1d6+2 (5.5)
Phanaton: 12 AC, +2, 1d4+1 (3.5)
Phanaton Warrior: 13 AC, +3/+3, 1d4+2 (4.5) /  1d4+2 (4.5)
Rakasta: 13 AC, +2, 1d6 (3.5)
Rat, Cave: 12 AC, +1, 1d4+1 (3.5)
Rat, Dire: 13 AC, +2, 1d6+2 (6.5)
Stirge: 13 AC, +2, 1.5 every round for 2 rounds
Wolf: 11 AC, +1, 1d6+1 (4.5)
Zombie: 8 AC, +2, 1d4+2 (4.5)

Average
Damage: 4.77083
Crit Damage: 7.39583
Attack: +1.5
AC: 12.375

Against AC 12.375 attacks that are made at +1.5 have a 45.625% chance to hit.
Hit 40.625% * 4.77083 = 1.9381496875; Crit 5% * 7.39583 = 0.3697915; Total Average DPR: 2.3079411875

So a Wizard that takes one Dominate spell lowers their DPR based on the spell they don't have and then increase it by 2.3079411875 which is pretty much horrible for 4-5 rounds or 11.5397059375 for a 5 round combat. At 1st level. Someone with more initiative can run the numbers for other levels.
But then you have to account for the fct that the dominates monster is effectively removed from combat so it is a) auto killed and b) reduces total party damage taken allowing for the party to press on longer and lose less resources overall.
But then you have to account for the fct that the dominates monster is effectively removed from combat so it is a) auto killed and b) reduces total party damage taken allowing for the party to press on longer and lose less resources overall.



That's a function of hit points and survivability which I think we all agree goes to the fighter hands down.

However I did forget to calculate in the the spell save chance. So that 11.5397059375 just went down to 8.07779415625 for 5 rounds. Wow, the Wizard is just about better off taking magic missile at that point. 10 * 5 = 50 for spell slot level 5 magic missile.

Actually you could compare it. First you calculate out what would happen if the Wizard didn't use that spell or tactic, then you calculate out what would happen if they did. Then you take the difference and that's the DPR.

For instance a spell like Hold Person. If a Wizard uses other spells they get the DPR you calculated. Then look at average hp for monsters of a level and then figure out the difference if they use hold person in one of their spell slots. Since it only targets humanoids this time around it should be pretty easy to figure out.



Sorry, what? How do you calculate the DPR for a spell that has a variable overall effect based on the HP of the monster you use it on? And, how do you calculate a spell with a super swingy binary effect, like dominate person, reasonably? If you want to show me an example of what you mean I am all ears. Maybe I am wrong. It happens often enough. But, I don't really understand what you are proposing as written...



For dominate person calculate the average damage of monsters at each level, then remove one of the Wizards daily spells from your other calculation, then calculate the damage that the dominated monster would cause multiply it by the percent that the spell is effective at dominating (I think you estimated 70%?) Then if it allows a save every round you reduce the effect by the chance to save each round. Looking it up the target only gets a save if it does something against its alignment, so evil Kobolds or Goblins dominated should have no saves attacking allies.

Average Damage 1st level
Beetle, Fire: 15 AC, +0, 1d6 (3.5)
Centipede, Giant: 13 AC, +2, 1
Crab, Giant: 14 AC, +2, 1d8+2 (6.5) or 10
Demon, Quasit: 14 AC, +3, 1d4 (2.5)
Dinosaur, Pteranodon: 13 AC, +2, 1d10+1 (6.5)
Goblin: 13 AC, +1, 1d6+1 (4.5)
Hobgoblin: 14 AC, +2, 1d8 (4.5)
Horse: 12 AC, +2, 1d6+2 (5.5)
Human Berserker: 11 AC, +1, 1d12+2 (8.5)
Human Commoner: 10 AC, +0, 1d4 (2.5)
Human Warrior: 12 AC, +2, 1d6+1 (4.5)
Kobold: 11 AC, +1, 1d4+1 (3.5)
Kobold DragonShield: 15 AC, +1, 1d6+1 (4.5)
Kobold, Winged (Urd): 11 AC, +1, 1d6+1 (4.5)
Lizardfolk: 12 AC, +1/+1/+1, 1d6+1 (4.5)/ 1d6+1 (4.5) / 1d6+1 (4.5)
Monkey, Carnivorous: 12 AC, +2, 1d6+2 (5.5)
Phanaton: 12 AC, +2, 1d4+1 (3.5)
Phanaton Warrior: 13 AC, +3/+3, 1d4+2 (4.5) /  1d4+2 (4.5)
Rakasta: 13 AC, +2, 1d6 (3.5)
Rat, Cave: 12 AC, +1, 1d4+1 (3.5)
Rat, Dire: 13 AC, +2, 1d6+2 (6.5)
Stirge: 13 AC, +2, 1.5 every round for 2 rounds
Wolf: 11 AC, +1, 1d6+1 (4.5)
Zombie: 8 AC, +2, 1d4+2 (4.5)

Average
Damage: 4.77083
Crit Damage: 7.39583
Attack: +1.5
AC: 12.375

Against AC 12.375 attacks that are made at +1.5 have a 45.625% chance to hit.
Hit 40.625% * 4.77083 = 1.9381496875; Crit 5% * 7.39583 = 0.3697915; Total Average DPR: 2.3079411875

So a Wizard that takes one Dominate spell lowers their DPR based on the spell they don't have and then increase it by 2.3079411875 which is pretty much horrible for 4-5 rounds or 11.5397059375 for a 5 round combat. At 1st level. Someone with more initiative can run the numbers for other levels.

Dead wizards cast no spells.
(at least not at 1st level)

Did you figure that into the calculations?
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
 Looking it up the target only gets a save if it does something against its alignment, so evil Kobolds or Goblins dominated should have no saves attacking allies.



Hmm... no.

First, all creatures should get saves (although I would expect Goblin and Kobold saves to be relatively low).

But, second? Your rationale is all wrong. Attacking allies is NOT a good/evil axis trait, it is a lawful/chaotic axis trait. And Kobolds, as Lawful creatures, are considerably less likely to attack allies than Orcs who are Chaotic.

Think about it this way-- if a person suddenly perceived their allies as evil?

The Chaotic Good character would turn on the evil allies and take them down for the greater good.
This is a fairly regular occurance in comic books which feature vigilantes who flip off the democratically run institutional law enforcement agencies to do their own thing in the name of good. Think about the scene in the Dark Knight where Batman takes down a SWAT squad. He certainly didn't hold back any more than he does with the badguys.

The Lawful Good character would protest their actions, but likely not raise arms save in self defense (and even then try not to harm his evil allies) as attacking them would be breaking his vows.
This one is more likely to appear in Wushu or Samurai dramas. The noble knight continues to serve the evil king because as much as individual people may suffer under the king's evil, taking down the king would just cause a power vaccuum where many others begin warring with one another to be the new king and so many more will suffer so much more-- better to serve the evil king and hope his offspring will be more well-adjusted.

 Looking it up the target only gets a save if it does something against its alignment, so evil Kobolds or Goblins dominated should have no saves attacking allies.



Hmm... no.

First, all creatures should get saves (although I would expect Goblin and Kobold saves to be relatively low).

But, second? Your rationale is all wrong. Attacking allies is NOT a good/evil axis trait, it is a lawful/chaotic axis trait. And Kobolds, as Lawful creatures, are considerably less likely to attack allies than Orcs who are Chaotic.

Think about it this way-- if a person suddenly perceived their allies as evil?

The Chaotic Good character would turn on the evil allies and take them down for the greater good.
This is a fairly regular occurance in comic books which feature vigilantes who flip off the democratically run institutional law enforcement agencies to do their own thing in the name of good. Think about the scene in the Dark Knight where Batman takes down a SWAT squad. He certainly didn't hold back any more than he does with the badguys.

The Lawful Good character would protest their actions, but likely not raise arms save in self defense (and even then try not to harm his evil allies) as attacking them would be breaking his vows.
This one is more likely to appear in Wushu or Samurai dramas. The noble knight continues to serve the evil king because as much as individual people may suffer under the king's evil, taking down the king would just cause a power vaccuum where many others begin warring with one another to be the new king and so many more will suffer so much more-- better to serve the evil king and hope his offspring will be more well-adjusted.



Ok. Well they all get the initial save, but the save each round is only for those that go against their alignment. If a monster is evil and they attack their buddies over food or whatever without the dominate on, I don't see how it would matter if they are dominated. What if its lawful to kill your goblin ally if they get in your way? Its all pretty situational.

Generally though I don't think too many monsters are going to get saves based on alignment. There may be some exceptions with neutral and lawful aligned monsters, but in general they aren't going to get a save each round.

Even assuming they get a save it looks like this:
Round   Chance to have saved by now
1          70%
2          91%
3          97.3%

It gets progressively worse after that. Even then it only lowers the DPR and starts to look ridiculous. Magic Missile is better.
So, I have some major problems with your idea vegetakiller. I don't think it works. I will expail later, when I have some time, but now that I have seen what you mean I stick to my original summation. 
Generally though I don't think too many monsters are going to get saves based on alignment. There may be some exceptions with neutral and lawful aligned monsters, but in general they aren't going to get a save each round.

Even assuming they get a save it looks like this:
Round   Chance to have saved by now
1          70%
2          91%
3          97.3%

It gets progressively worse after that. Even then it only lowers the DPR and starts to look ridiculous. Magic Missile is better.



Hmm.. I would have thought the DC of the Wizard's spell would be higher than that, so even if they got saves every round it would start off at a much lower chance of success of saving and increase from there. And that would only be if you bothered having lawful/neutral creatures kill their own allies. If you told them to just sit in a corner, then they wouldn't need to be doing saves.

But if the DC of Dominate Person is so low that one should expect it to fail 70% of the time, I don't see it ever being a a reasonably better option than direct damage. It does seem like a fun tool to introduce for political intrigue or similar stories though, just not dungeon-crawling.

Generally though I don't think too many monsters are going to get saves based on alignment. There may be some exceptions with neutral and lawful aligned monsters, but in general they aren't going to get a save each round.

Even assuming they get a save it looks like this:
Round   Chance to have saved by now
1          70%
2          91%
3          97.3%

It gets progressively worse after that. Even then it only lowers the DPR and starts to look ridiculous. Magic Missile is better.



Hmm.. I would have thought the DC of the Wizard's spell would be higher than that, so even if they got saves every round it would start off at a much lower chance of success of saving and increase from there. And that would only be if you bothered having lawful/neutral creatures kill their own allies. If you told them to just sit in a corner, then they wouldn't need to be doing saves.

But if the DC of Dominate Person is so low that one should expect it to fail 70% of the time, I don't see it ever being a a reasonably better option than direct damage. It does seem like a fun tool to introduce for political intrigue or similar stories though, just not dungeon-crawling.



Sorry its the opposite. Have to recalculate the math.
Round   Chance to have saved by now
1          30%
2          51%
3          65.7%
4          75.99%
5          83.193%
6          88.2351%
7          91.76457%
8          94.235199%
9          95.9646393%


That should be correct.
Number crunshing is allways helpfull if you know how to interpret these numbers correctly.

Most of the problems arise from seeing it in a vacuum.

For the fighters this means:
You have to take into account that the fighters stand toe to toe with the enemy
but have the option of variable, concentrated fire.

The wizzard has the option of dealing areal damage and will usually stay back to the best of her/his possibilities.
However, the wizard will not be allways able to do so.
The enemies will hardly allways be in fireball formation and even less often stay in fireball formation if the are not complete maroons.
Usually enemies and friends get mixed up pretty soon  as soon as the fight starts and so the wizard has to be careful with friendly fire.

According to my experience the average target number of the wizard is something between 2 and 3 and especially solo fights are very difficult for the wizard of 4th edition.

So, while the math is sound it is, IMHO swayed in favour of the wizard who is seen stronger than really is.

I think the wizard as was, was o.k but a bit lack luster. However, gimping it with the last playtest was much over the top.

And keep in mind I never played a wizard untill 4th edition, but I am allways looking for the challenge to make something work others do not consider workable. So I produced a stealthy wizard for 4th edition, which was a great success and a great annoyance to my DM.

So could somebody please do the math taking firendly fire and other impacts, such as terrain etc., into consideration?





Dave is pretty conservative on the numbers he allows in an are of effect attack more conservative than I would be..

The wizard has abilities to lock enemies in to place so they very well could get more than one fireball formation attack... even better than 4e.

  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."

 

Problem is direct damage is weak and boring. The real question is how do you compare 2d6+3d10+5 damage vs Dominate Person, Cloudkill, Polymorph, and so on. Comparing the two classes based on damage done completely misses the basis of most of the complaints about imbalance.

That's a real question, but comparing DPR is also a real question.  As you point out, direct damage is weak and boring.  But, it is a real baseline contribution, and the only real contribution a fighter has to make in combat beyond taking up space until he runs out of hps.  In theory, that contribution is supposed to make the fighter 'best at combat.'   So if the wizard beats out the fighter in direct damage, then there is obviously a very large problem.  OTOH, if the fighter beats out the wizard, any problem may be less obvious, and you have to start trying to puzzle out how whatever edge the fighter has in "weak & boring" direct damage stacks up to the wizard's "real" power and versatility.

Assuming an 80% hit rate and a 30% save rate (I don't know that those numbers are accurate, I am guestimating),

Why is the fighter assume to have an edge, here?  Attacks go against one defense: AC.  There are six different saves, and a cunning or lucky or experienced wizard could choose spells that target one of the victims' lower defenses pretty consistently.

 

 

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Problem is direct damage is weak and boring. The real question is how do you compare 2d6+3d10+5 damage vs Dominate Person, Cloudkill, Polymorph, and so on. Comparing the two classes based on damage done completely misses the basis of most of the complaints about imbalance.

That's a real question, but comparing DPR is also a real question.  As you point out, direct damage is weak and boring.  But, it is a real baseline contribution, and the only real contribution a fighter has to make in combat beyond taking up space until he runs out of hps.  In theory, that contribution is supposed to make the fighter 'best at combat.'   So if the wizard beats out the fighter in direct damage, then there is obviously a very large problem.  OTOH, if the fighter beats out the wizard, any problem may be less obvious, and you have to start trying to puzzle out how whatever edge the fighter has in "weak & boring" direct damage stacks up to the wizard's "real" power and versatility.




Yes, the problem is with the assumption that "fighters are best at combat" as opposed to "fighters are best at confrontational weapon and armor use"
Seerow, direct damage is not boring to a great many of us. In fact, I find it FAR more interesting than status effect spells.
Color me flattered.

LIFE CYCLE OF A RULES THREAD

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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

Why is the fighter assume to have an edge, here?  Attacks go against one defense: AC.  There are six different saves, and a cunning or lucky or experienced wizard could choose spells that target one of the victims' lower defenses pretty consistently.



Click on the comparing the fighter to the wizard thread in my sig, read through it, and you will see. Long story short, that is what some math crunching came up with as realistic probabilities on the basis of the last playtest. Things may have changed a bit since then. In fact, by level 10, assuming that the average defence of your foes has not gone up, fighter will hit a little more often and things will save a little less often...

Yes, the problem is with the assumption that "fighters are best at combat" as opposed to "fighters are best at confrontational weapon and armor use"

Well, the fighter class has nothing going for it at interaction, and only feats of strength in exploration, so if it's not 'best at combat' to make up for being worst at interaction and poor at exploration, it's going to be a pretty worthless class.  I know there's a real faction out there that is extremely insistent on fighter inferiority (or the inferiority of non-casters, in general), but I don't think its reasonable for 5e to try to cater to that faction. 

5e's stated intent is to give each class a sort of 'best at..' niche, and to protect that niche to protect the balance/viability/fun of that class. 

As the recent Rogue controversely illustrates, coming up with even 4 meaningful niches is not proving easy...

If those niches get defined in meaningless ways (like best at using tweezers in a foreign film involving iguanas), then there is plenty of room for classes to be strictly inferior.  "Confrontational weapon and armor use" is not much more meaningful than tweezing iguanas if it turns out to be a terrible way of winning a fight.  For instance if, as is sometimes asserted about certain prior eds which can remain numberless, a single spell might 'win' many fights.  Similarly, 'best at casting spells,' when the most effective solution to any problem is having the right spell, could be functionally pretty close to 'best at everything.' 


To drag it back to the fighter v wizard comparison, the only thing "confrontational weapon & armor use" can deliver in the game is DPR contests.   The weapon user grinds out damage and takes up space until he runs out of hps.  If his DPR output isn't greater than that of a class that does other things besides, he's strictly inferior.  The real question is how much of a margin is needed to balance those other things?  That's a very difficult question to answer, but the spot check to assure the margin is there is a good idea.




 

 

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Well, at least damage is not a concern with the Fighter. Now we just need to convince the devs to give that class (far more) things which don't relate to that (especially non-combat).

Now, if Clerics can compete with Fighter damage, then we'll be in serious trouble.

Why is the fighter assume to have an edge, here?  Attacks go against one defense: AC.  There are six different saves, and a cunning or lucky or experienced wizard could choose spells that target one of the victims' lower defenses pretty consistently.



Click on the comparing the fighter to the wizard thread in my sig, read through it, and you will see. Long story short, that is what some math crunching came up with as realistic probabilities on the basis of the last playtest. Things may have changed a bit since then. In fact, by level 10, assuming that the average defence of your foes has not gone up, fighter will hit a little more often and things will save a little less often...


So the idea of using spells that target low stats, or at least not 'wasting' spells against obviously very high stats, is just excluded?  What about taking the average, but excluding at least those monsters from the caclulation for whom DEX is the highest stat? 

 

 

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Yes, the problem is with the assumption that "fighters are best at combat" as opposed to "fighters are best at confrontational weapon and armor use"

Well, the fighter class has nothing going for it at interaction, and only feats of strength in exploration, so if it's not 'best at combat' to make up for being worst at interaction and poor at exploration, it's going to be a pretty worthless class.  I know there's a real faction out there that is extremely insistent on fighter inferiority (or the inferiority of non-casters, in general), but I don't think its reasonable for 5e to try to cater to that faction. 

5e's stated intent is to give each class a sort of 'best at..' niche, and to protect that niche to protect the balance/viability/fun of that class. 

As the recent Rogue controversely illustrates, coming up with even 4 meaningful niches is not proving easy...

If those niches get defined in meaningless ways (like best at using tweezers in a foreign film involving iguanas), then there is plenty of room for classes to be strictly inferior.  "Confrontational weapon and armor use" is not much more meaningful than tweezing iguanas if it turns out to be a terrible way of winning a fight.  For instance if, as is sometimes asserted about certain prior eds which can remain numberless, a single spell might 'win' many fights.  Similarly, 'best at casting spells,' when the most effective solution to any problem is having the right spell, could be functionally pretty close to 'best at everything.' 


To drag it back to the fighter v wizard comparison, the only thing "confrontational weapon & armor use" can deliver in the game is DPR contests.   The weapon user grinds out damage and takes up space until he runs out of hps.  If his DPR output isn't greater than that of a class that does other things besides, he's strictly inferior.  The real question is how much of a margin is needed to balance those other things?  That's a very difficult question to answer, but the spot check to assure the margin is there is a good idea.



Yeah, completely mischaracterized my argument.

The Fighter right now is awesome at "confrontational weapon and armor use", they can deal extra damage, hit a second target when they down the first, offset disadvantage on weapon attacks, get a hit in even when they aren't focusing on attacking, deal a little damage even when they miss (currently broken, but good idea), parry incoming weapon attacks, ignoring cover with ranged attacks, protect an ally with their shield, get a hit in when they disengage, dodge incoming attacks while moving, hit multiple targets with ranged attacks, and hit everyone around them with their weapon.

When you say they can only deliver DPR contests, I say they can bounce around the battle field destroying their enemies and doing some pretty cool stuff.

As to a Wizard ending an encounter with a single spell. This was broken in any edition. If they fix that the Fighter can do great. He doesn't need to dominate an entire pillar of the game and have the Rogue dominate the other two. That's just not a game many want to play.

Now you are correct when you say the Fighter doesn't have much to do outside combat, but that is where the Backgrounds should take over. If the Rogue doesn't get 8 skills and only gets to use their Skill Mastery on specific Rogue like skills, then they could focus more on what they are supposed to do like deception and trickery.

Skill Monkey is not a class at best its a specialty that enhances a background.