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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    In terms of how to make the Fighter more interesting, I would start by throwing the current chassis in the bin and instead taking notes from the classes in Book of Nine Swords.

    To put it another way, make Manuvers the core feature of the class and build the rest of the class around them. Don't just make a really boring class and then slap Manuvers onto just one of its subclasses as an afterthought.
    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Surely there is no other reason why they would hire a charismatic and intelligent if scandalous infernal-blooded pretty boy to steal an high-ranking woman's clothes.
    “Plot” is what the DM does to amuse himself when the players aren’t talking.

  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    I would be so much more interested in playing a fighter if they worked like the Tome of Swords classes. I think they're some of the best designed classes DnD has ever had, and for sure the best designs that don't have spellcasting, and if you want to fluff them as being magical that works absolutely fine too.

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    I'm curious what edition started unlimited cantrips (I really don't know).

    In my experience playing 5e, I still can't get my head around spellcasters just being archers that cast eldritch's blast each turn like arrows. That just seems wrong from a person that comes from the 1980's like me.

    We used to play you had to protect your spellcasters a bit. Yes, that meant them not being important for the mundane battles, but when things got tricky, they had huge battle-changing abilities.

    I know the game wanted to go away from that. I think they always wanted spellcasters to be more involved per round and more equal to the martial classes on a round-by-round basis. But when you give spellcasters good mundane abilities while trying to keep the "wow!" spells and big battle-saving outs (which is in D&D roots), it is hard not to make spellcasters overpowered.

    And then the answer to that is to give ALL the classes a dip into the every round bonuses magic can offer.

    If I notice anything, that's how the "power creep" of PC's started because PC's today are very powerful as compared to original D&D and AD&D. Just the tool boxes are so much bigger and specialized.

  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by deljzc View Post
    I'm curious what edition started unlimited cantrips (I really don't know).
    4e. They were called "at-will powers" because they weren't just spells. They also included the lowest power maneuvers for martials.

    I believe that's also when they got rid of opportunity attacks for casting a spell. But 3e introduced concentration checks to avoid loss in that case, making it very hard to impossible to disrupt a spell at higher levels. And I think 2e introduced he possibility magical spells weren't last in the round, meaning you didn't always get hit mid-casting if you declared a spell but were attacked. And it definitely sped up the memorization process.

    Powering up casters by removing limitations has been going on for a long time. The problem was powering down spells to compensate didn't start until after they were effectively broken.

  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Cliché View Post
    In terms of how to make the Fighter more interesting, I would start by throwing the current chassis in the bin and instead taking notes from the classes in Book of Nine Swords.

    To put it another way, make Manuvers the core feature of the class and build the rest of the class around them. Don't just make a really boring class and then slap Manuvers onto just one of its subclasses as an afterthought.
    Agreed - though you'd want to be careful to not fall into the "feeling trap": You want the fighter to not just feel like a caster re-skin. I would think that you'd want fighters to have lots of at-will abilities and maybe a handful of signature once-a-combat-encounter (or pick your duration) abilities.

    I don't think WotC would take this following approach, but if I was a game designer I would: You could even rank abilities based on the power level of the campaign: Sword-and-Sorcery being the default, followed by genres with increasing tolerances for what a martial ability can be, (i.e.: wuxia).
    Last edited by FilthyLucre; 2020-05-21 at 09:00 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #126
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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by deljzc View Post
    In my experience playing 5e, I still can't get my head around spellcasters just being archers that cast eldritch's blast each turn like arrows. That just seems wrong from a person that comes from the 1980's like me.
    I can live with wizards throwing fire bolts, but clerics shooting sacred flame instead of using their warhammers, shields, and medium to heavy armor in close combat is what really isn't feeling right.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

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  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by deljzc View Post
    In my experience playing 5e, I still can't get my head around spellcasters just being archers that cast eldritch's blast each turn like arrows. That just seems wrong from a person that comes from the 1980's like me.
    To be fair, the only caster whose cantrips are significant are warlocks. (Who, granted, work very well as a dip for other Cha casters.) For pretty much everybody else, they're a fallback option roughly on par with the crossbow that older edition casters used. You're still having just one big effect per combat, concentration enforces that now. The main difference nowadays is that you have to be protected to sustain your concentration instead of being protected to keep your spell from getting interrupted.

    Although on the topic of older edition casters, I've seen spontaneous casting houseruled in for more games than I haven't. I don't mind WotC developing around the ways that their games will be played at real tables.

    Quote Originally Posted by FilthyLucre View Post
    Agreed - though you'd want to be careful to not fall into the "feeling trap": You want the fighter to not just feel like a caster re-skin. I would think that you'd want fighters to have lots of at-will abilities and maybe a handful of signature once-a-combat-encounter (or pick your duration) abilities.
    Lots of other games go all in on the idea that everybody is magic, and whether you want to express that magic by being able to chuck fireballs or hit things really hard with a sword is up to you.

    I don't mind something like the champion fighter existing for new players, which has a power ceiling lower than other options but also a higher power floor, and is pretty easy to autopilot so the ceiling and floor are pretty close to each other. But the idea that fighters should default to "I attack again" with maybe some minor flair seems like an open embrace of the idea that only mages should get cool toys.

  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by FilthyLucre View Post
    Agreed - though you'd want to be careful to not fall into the "feeling trap": You want the fighter to not just feel like a caster re-skin. I would think that you'd want fighters to have lots of at-will abilities and maybe a handful of signature once-a-combat-encounter (or pick your duration) abilities.
    I quite liked the Book-of-Nine-Swords Manuvers because whilst they were limited-use, there were ways to refresh them even in combat. e.g. the Warblade could get all his spent Manuvers back by using a Swift Action and then following up with a basic attack. And of course they refreshed automatically outside of combat.

    To my mind at least, they were sufficiently different from spells.

    You could also take additional steps, for example removing some of the actual magical Manuvers (the ones that healed, did fire damage, let you teleport etc.) and limited those to appropriate subclasses.

    Incidentally, I think Rogues would also benefit from Manuvers, perhaps taking some inspiration from the Swordsage.


    Quote Originally Posted by deljzc View Post
    I'm curious what edition started unlimited cantrips (I really don't know).

    In my experience playing 5e, I still can't get my head around spellcasters just being archers that cast eldritch's blast each turn like arrows. That just seems wrong from a person that comes from the 1980's like me.
    I mean, casting Eldritch Blast was a Warlock's central function in 3.5. The class was literally built around it.

    For other cantrips, I think the idea is that playing a wizard and having no basic attack other than normal weapons can be quite depressing. Hence, Cantrips exist so that wizards et al. still have something magical to do even when they've either run out of spell slots or the situation doesn't warrant them spending them.

    However, I do think they might have gone a little too far with scaling Cantrip damage. Eldritch Blast notwithstanding (which shouldn't be a Cantrip anyway - it should be a core class feature of the Warlock), I do wonder if Cantrips shouldn't scale as much as they currently do. This would make them more a way to pass a turn (a bit better than firing a crossbow but still significantly weaker than using a spell slot), rather than a credible source of damage.
    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Surely there is no other reason why they would hire a charismatic and intelligent if scandalous infernal-blooded pretty boy to steal an high-ranking woman's clothes.
    “Plot” is what the DM does to amuse himself when the players aren’t talking.

  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    I find the "nuance" of the Fighter extremely, painfully, regrettably, infuriatingly flat. The Battlemaster--supposedly the most "interesting" fighter--is incapable of doing even something so simple as "help an ally shrug off a condition," let alone anything really tactical or engaging. Its design falls even MORE prey to the "spam the best option" perverse incentive than caster classes do! As someone who was legit intrigued by some of the directions 4e enabled, like the staff fighter or brawling style, I find 5e Fighters blander than unflavored, overcooked oatmeal. And I'm not alone in this; some time back, Mearls explicitly discussed how one of the team's regrets was how little flavor the Fighter possesses.

    It also *really* doesn't help that the vast majority of Fighters get *zero* features that depend on their mental stats, and what they do get is usually crap/super boring (tool proficiency? Persuasion expertise? Try again, WotC.) Choosing to play a high Charisma Fighter effectively means taking a handicap to your proper Fighter stats at early levels. Oh, sure, you'll eventually come out 2 ASIs ahead, but it takes a while to get even one, let alone two.
    "help an ally shrug off a condition" could mean flushing poison out of their system. You can't do that in a six second action, and if you could it would be a medicine check or something similar. And actually, if it is a poison that grants saves, you could use your action to give them an antitoxin to grant them advantage.

    A lot of other conditions would be harder, like petrification. I guess if you wanted to use your action to grant them advantage on a fear save, by trying to get them to see it is an illusion that could work, but here's the problem. That is something anyone can do. The wizard could also take that exact same action, why should it be a special ability?

    Now, in my personal remake of the Banneret, they actually have an ability similar to what you are talking about. It is a high level ability, but they get to use their reaction to let an ally remake a save, and if they are within the "banner aura" (a mechanic I made to represent the banneret wielding a flag of battle, which inspires their allies and makes all of their abilities stronger) then the reroll gets to add the Banneret's charisma to the roll. The Banner also gives bonuses to fear and charm saves equal to the same amount as long as you are holding it to allies within a certain distance (10/20/30 depending on level) and you can make a speech as an action to give your allies a more save bonuses and fear enemies.

    However, this is all tied to the idea that the Fighter understands the power of banners in the battlefield. Now, maybe this fixes a bunch of issues for you, but this ties back to my original point. This class is the Banneret Fighter, not some new class, not some spell-less bard. It fits as a fighter

    So, we don't need more non-magic classes, the fighter, rogue, barbarian and monk have the conceptual space they need to cover us. Maybe they need to have better designed subclasses, but the concepts are there.


    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    Why would auras have to be magical? They just represent a radius of effect. You can boost the morale of those near you with your incredible grit, panache, or acumen without it needing to be magical. You're just that awesome, and inspiring/leading others with incredible skill is a documented thing in real history. (Can't give examples because the modhammer hates meaningful discussion of anything in the real world, but I can PM you if you care enough.)
    I was thinking of Paladin auras, since they are the only auras usually in the game. And they are magical in my mind, the basic aura gives up to a +5 to the ability to dodge lightning, resist poison, rip free of vines, and resist mental attacks, at the same time. I fully agree that the there are incredibly skilled and inspiring leaders in real-life, but no matter how inspiring you are, you can't prevent someone from dying due to rattlesnake venom with your words alone in real life.

    Now, this seems at odds with my Banneret, which does exactly this. I never called it out as magical (nothing is enchanted after all) but I run deeply magical worlds, where symbolism matters. The symbol of the banner and what it means to the people draws on something. It could easily be a very subtle magic. I don't make a judgement either way with it, but aura's as presented so far in 5e are all magical, and I think the designers intend to keep that going, because that would explain why being 15 ft away removes the bonus at low levels, when otherwise you can see and hear the source of the aura just fine. I mean, I can see someone 15 feet away pretty easily.



    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    Beyond that: Gambits and Tactics, Training, Prediction of Foes. There's a lovely 3PP supplement for Dungeon World called Grim World, which has a Battlemaster class. It *actually* rewards investing in Intelligence, and sometimes other mental stats (depending on what moves you take). Most DW combat is a little too crunch-avoidant for my taste, but the Battlemaster seems actually interesting. (Didn't get to play one when I was a player, but now that I'm a DM there's one in our group and he's pretty damn effective at leveraging party resources.) Gambit is a resource acquired by taking risks, getting hurt, or otherwise suffering a setback (all part of the plan!), and is spent on various useful benefits that Just Happen. Tactics are a group of benefits, some more passive (Cautious = better saves/avoidance, more or less) and others more active (Reckless = deal more damage but *take* more damage), that one can switch between by spending 1 Gambit or making an INT roll.

    "Training" includes things like getting cheaper, better hirelings; preparing the group for an ambush, whether sprung upon or sprung by the enemy; coordinated assaults with an ally; sharing the benefit of one's current Tactic with a specific chosen "student" PC; and outfitting defenders of a location with better equipment and training so they have buffs when the fighting starts.

    "Enemy prediction" includes class-specific benefits for observing the world through the lens of a tactician, and reading body language/subtle cues to know what your opponent desires of you (though not, of course, exactly why they desire that).

    So no, I don't think the space has been exhausted yet.
    That all sounds amazing, but I think I've been unclear.

    Does that up above really need a new class? Or just a new system for fighters or a new subclass? I could see that Enemy prediction ability being a feat or a rewrite of the Battlemasters "Know your enemy" feature.

    One thing I forgot to mention from the first part of this post is that you scoffing at the Tool Proficiency isn't a problem with the fighter, it is a problem with the crafting system. I'm playing a rogue thief that fairly consistently throws alchemical items in combat, makes them himself, I had to find a 3pp supplement for crafting items though, because the crafting system is busted. But, fix that crafting system, and I don't think you need an "alchemist class" because everything they are doing is something that you should be able to do with the alchemist kit (I am also growing more and more convinced that alchemy and herbalism need to be combined, they overlap too much)

    So, it sounds like the solution isn't "we need more non-magical classes" it sounds to me like we need more non-magical systems.




    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    No, they aren't. Ask someone who's just come off the field from a marching band show, or just run a marathon, or any number of dramatic physical feats. "Mundane" does not equate to "infinitely repeatable without rest."
    As someone who was in marching band, I get that. But, assuming the weather isn't boiling hot, I'd say that about an hour after the end of a short parade I could have done the parade again. I certainly could keep walking after, since we generally had to walk back from the end of the parade route back to where the pick-up area was.

    But, take something like disarming an opponent. One of the big problems people had with 4e, and have with the battlemaster, is that you can't disarm an opponent every single round. Why not? I knocked the weapon out of his hand once, but now I forgot how to do it?

    Look how the healer feat or Inspiring Leader feats are limited. You can do them infinitely, but the recipient can only benefit from them once per short rest. A healer doesn't forget how to heal after doing it six times, but the bodies of the people they have healed have already been treated as best as they can for now. An Inspiring Leader can give an hour long speech and inspire 60 individuals, but you can't inspire the same person over and over again without giving them a break to rest and renew that inner resource you are calling up.

    So, if you added a bunch of 3/day abilities to the fighter or rogue, people are going to get upset. And, if you do things like give out feats that allow them to use their skills in "new ways" you run into the same problem we had with the Menacing feat, "now that it is a feat, I can't let my players use the intimidation skill to give someone the frightened condition, this should just be something you can do with the skill, not a feat"

    But, alternatively, if you just make this type of stuff an artifact of the skill system, then it doesn't help fighters and barbarians who don't have a as much interaction with that system as the rogues and bards.

    Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying that people shouldn't try to make these systems and expand the game, but I am pointing out that it is a tricky needle to thread.




    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    Beowulf manages to live for hours after being mortally wounded because it dying when you don't have a huge pile of treasure around you is for chumps and squares-
    ROFLOL, I'm dying over here. That is such a perfect description of that moment.

    Reaper: Dude, it has been hours, you literally have no blood left in your body, it is all poison.
    Beowulf: Is the gold piled up to the ceiling?
    Reaper: .... no
    Beowulf: I ain't dying yet then.



    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    4e. They were called "at-will powers" because they weren't just spells. They also included the lowest power maneuvers for martials.
    I know it was most common in 4E, but I remember seeing "at-will" abilities and spells in 3.X as well. Was it just monsters who had that or were there a few late edition magic classes that had it too?

  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosmancer View Post
    I know it was most common in 4E, but I remember seeing "at-will" abilities and spells in 3.X as well. Was it just monsters who had that or were there a few late edition magic classes that had it too?
    It was commonplace for monsters in 3.5 to have at-will spell-like abilities.

    The Warlock class also had mostly at-will powers.

    (The use of "at-will" seemed to be limited to spells and spell-like-abilities IIRC, as I don't think that terminology was used for abilities not relating to spells.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Surely there is no other reason why they would hire a charismatic and intelligent if scandalous infernal-blooded pretty boy to steal an high-ranking woman's clothes.
    “Plot” is what the DM does to amuse himself when the players aren’t talking.

  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by AntiAuthority View Post
    [Snip]
    For an added bonus, take it as you will, OD&D Fighters were called Heroes at Level 4 and Superheroes at Level 8, take it as you will. Maybe it was just thrown in without thinking about the implications or whatever, I don't know what the original designers were thinking with that, but it's in there.[Snip again]
    The intent behind OD&D was to let you play individual characters from the Chainmail wargaming ruleset on adventures rather than battlefields.

    Chainmail had characters called "Hero" and "Superhero". The level 4 fighter fought as a Hero if you used Chainmail to resolve combat (which was actually supposed to be the standard rule, the D&D combat system was referred to as the alternate combat system), and the level 8 fighter fought as a Superhero.

    Chainmail: The hero fought as four "figures" (a figure represented IIRC 20 guys, so that means he had the strength of 80), killing him required that you kill everyone else in the unit, and then add in a hit strong enough to kill four more figures (i.e. 80 more guys). The superhero was twice as strong. There was an alternate combat table for single figure characters (like heroes and wizards and dragons) using a matrix of 2d6 rolls for single shot kills. The Hero was fairly strong, the Superhero was IIRC the single best entry on the table, harder to kill than anything else, and better at killing absolutely everything else in the game one on one (the wizard and dragon and giant were all better at killing hordes of mooks, but the superhero could kill them)

    The superhero in chainmail did not fly around with laser eyes, but he was a one man army, and if he had a bow a favorite to win one on one vs. absolutely anything else in the game as he had a fair chance to one shot a dragon or wizard with his bow. And OD&D you were supposed to be playing that same guy if your fighter made it to level 8.
    Last edited by Doug Lampert; 2020-05-21 at 10:55 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by FilthyLucre View Post
    I don't disagree with you in premise, but I do disagree that there is sufficient content to make a party of 5 characters, all nonmagical, where there isn't significant class or feel overlap. In a perfect world, (IMHO), there would only be three classes (fighter, rogue, mage) and just many many subclasses/specialization opportunities.

    TL;DR I want to be able to have a party of 5 mundane characters that are all thematically quite different.
    Two Frontline fighters:
    - Barbarian (for DPS)
    - Fighter ( sword and Board, knight theme)

    1 Scout/Rogue
    - Scout Rogue, fights with throwing knives, tanks Cha. Expertise in Stealth, Perc, Investigation, Nature, Sur and Arcana (for magical traps)

    Backline:
    - Archer (Fighter);
    - Healer (Thief Rogue with Healer Feat, high Cha, also serves as Faceman)

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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosmancer View Post
    I know it was most common in 4E, but I remember seeing "at-will" abilities and spells in 3.X as well. Was it just monsters who had that or were there a few late edition magic classes that had it too?
    mid-late 3.5 had the reserve spell feats - if you had a spell of X type of Y level uncast, you could produce an X-related spell-like ability.
    Pathfinder made their cantrips and orisons (because they kept the separate names) at-will and crappy - generally worse than using a dart, much less a crossbow.

    Warlock was not just Eldritch Blast, it was At-Will Magic, the Class. With a few exceptions, everything they did was repeatable. EB was just an always available, modifiable, Spell-Like resource.
    (As an aside, I would love it if they added more of the Shapes and Riders, or if Ray-splitting was the class feature, and XBlast invocations were pasteable onto other attack cantrips - but I find three-way thorn whip a hilarious visual.)
    Why yes, Warlock is my solution for everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by obryn View Post
    Active Abilities are great because you - the player - are demonstrating your Dwarvenness or Elfishness. You're not passively a dwarf, you're actively dwarfing your way through obstacles.

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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I can live with wizards throwing fire bolts, but clerics shooting sacred flame instead of using their warhammers, shields, and medium to heavy armor in close combat is what really isn't feeling right.
    Counterpoint. If in order to play a character empowered by a god, my character’s main attack is hitting people with a weapon, the game won’t feel right to me.

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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I can live with wizards throwing fire bolts, but clerics shooting sacred flame instead of using their warhammers, shields, and medium to heavy armor in close combat is what really isn't feeling right.
    Eh, I kinda think this is a somewhat natural split of class concepts. Holy Man Who Predominantly Uses Weapons and Armor has been covered by both the Cleric and Paladin for awhile. In 3.5 we get a situation where the Cleric was basically just a better Paladin if you ever had even a slight head for optimization. 4e and then 5e creating a stronger thematic differentiation between the two is fine by me. I'd probably go even further to make the Cleric more of a priestly role.

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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    This is a really long argument whose central premise rests on this set of claims:

    "But if you want to avoid magic – or anything that feels like magic – you’ve got three classes to choose from: fighter, barbarian, and rogue. And two of them cover the same basic team position. You literally can’t create a four- or five-person party without any magic unless you’re willing to overlap."

    So first of all, he says that if you want low-magic you can play an earlier edition of D&D. Does he mean 4e? Because pretty obviously none of the core classes in any other previous edition were "nonmagical" other than these three (and I'd say monks both then and now).

    He also mentions being "willing to overlap," which seems to me like a non-issue. Fighters and rogues (especially fighters) can be built a lot of different ways and shouldn't feel redundant in a carefully-designed party.

    But I think the most interesting claim here is that "two of them cover the basic team position." He's clearly talking about the core "roles" here - tank, striker, leader (healer), and controller, in 4e terms. And I'd argue that if your goal is to play a low-magic game, this is a really important part of that! You SHOULDN'T be able to heal easily or pop up your friends a dozen times when they get knocked down in combat - that's clearly magical! You SHOULDN'T be able to "control the battlefield" by nuking a dozen goblins at once! There's no magic, so all those hordes of weak monsters are a lot scarier! That's what you're signing up for in a low-magic campaign, isn't it?

    Now, I like the 4e warlord and wish it were better represented in 5e, but frankly I'd imagine most groups who wanted a low-magic campaign wouldn't be too inviting to a class that could "encourage" allies back from the brink of death to full health. It worked in 4e and would work in standard 5e precisely BECAUSE the overall world was so suffused with magic and the supernatural that crazy stuff like that doesn't seem too weird. (Like in Avengers movies when Black Widow is able to survive against monsters that are able to hurt The Hulk because she has, like, karate.)

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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    These issues can be addressed in a variety of ways. You can limit access to spells by putting in spell lists. Domain/deity-specific for Clerics and Warlocks, schools/colleges for Wizards and Sorcerers. But the moment you talk about reducing access to spells the players start to whine. You can stop using stock monsters but, again, players start to whine. You can create non-magical capabilities that serve as substitutes for magic. Players whine. You can make spell-casting more dangerous in general by requiring a skill check and putting in consequences for failure. Players whine. Reduce the number of magic items available (across the board, not just for players). Players whine. Honestly, it sometimes feels like the 4th leg of D&D is character-building and if you change any of the mechanics related to this people get upset.

    My experience is that players don't want magic. They want to win the game and the game is set up to accommodate this desire with the video game pacing and mechanics. And the game is currently more successful than it has ever been so it's arguably a very successful strategy that delivers what players want.

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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Cliché View Post
    Incidentally, I think Rogues would also benefit from Manuvers, perhaps taking some inspiration from the Swordsage.
    Rogues need maneuvers even more desperately than fighters do. Most rogue subclasses pretty much run on autopilot once combat starts. The only tactical choice to be made is to when to use their reactions... if there's more than one opportunity to use them in a given round.
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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Rogues need maneuvers even more desperately than fighters do. Most rogue subclasses pretty much run on autopilot once combat starts. The only tactical choice to be made is to when to use their reactions... if there's more than one opportunity to use them in a given round.
    That's very true, actually.

    You'd think rogues would a Batman-type class, with a dozen different tricks up their sleeves. But instead they've only really got one trick.

    I think Cunning Action is a nice improvement over prior editions, as it at least makes them feel a bit more agile/mobile, but when it comes to actually attacking they've only got the one trick and it's not a particularly interesting one.
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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    The intent behind OD&D was to let you play individual characters from the Chainmail wargaming ruleset on adventures rather than battlefields.

    Chainmail had characters called "Hero" and "Superhero". The level 4 fighter fought as a Hero if you used Chainmail to resolve combat (which was actually supposed to be the standard rule, the D&D combat system was referred to as the alternate combat system), and the level 8 fighter fought as a Superhero.

    Chainmail: The hero fought as four "figures" (a figure represented IIRC 20 guys, so that means he had the strength of 80), killing him required that you kill everyone else in the unit, and then add in a hit strong enough to kill four more figures (i.e. 80 more guys). The superhero was twice as strong. There was an alternate combat table for single figure characters (like heroes and wizards and dragons) using a matrix of 2d6 rolls for single shot kills. The Hero was fairly strong, the Superhero was IIRC the single best entry on the table, harder to kill than anything else, and better at killing absolutely everything else in the game one on one (the wizard and dragon and giant were all better at killing hordes of mooks, but the superhero could kill them)

    The superhero in chainmail did not fly around with laser eyes, but he was a one man army, and if he had a bow a favorite to win one on one vs. absolutely anything else in the game as he had a fair chance to one shot a dragon or wizard with his bow. And OD&D you were supposed to be playing that same guy if your fighter made it to level 8.
    That's why I said take it as you will and that they might not have thought of the implications, my apologies.

    That said, taking out that title they threw in without really considering it... My point to that poster was that D&D wasn't just a swords & sorcery game that lost its way like the poster I was quoting was implying when Psionics, Monks, one of the (if not the very) first D&D BBEGs possibly being an alien, spaceships and robots (these last two come from something published under Gygax's name for example). All this in OD&D. D&D was pretty much always its own thing, as you wouldn't see aliens in folklore, robots in Lord of the Rings or Conan and such... John Carter of Mars is pretty much the first superhero and his books inspired D&D. D&D deviated from what came before from the near beginning (except the aliens bit, that's from John Carter I suppose), unlike the game gradually changed into being a Fantasy Kitchen Sink over several editions/generations like the poster was implying, it was always just going to resemble itself from near the beginning with all these things in it from the first edition. That said, my point was that there's no reason to say something is too anime (like Monks) or superhero comics (which John Carter pretty much is in book form) for D&D beyond personal preference.




    Quote Originally Posted by ZRN View Post
    Now, I like the 4e warlord and wish it were better represented in 5e, but frankly I'd imagine most groups who wanted a low-magic campaign wouldn't be too inviting to a class that could "encourage" allies back from the brink of death to full health. It worked in 4e and would work in standard 5e precisely BECAUSE the overall world was so suffused with magic and the supernatural that crazy stuff like that doesn't seem too weird. (Like in Avengers movies when Black Widow is able to survive against monsters that are able to hurt The Hulk because she has, like, karate.)
    Well, it depends on how literally they're willing to take Hit Points as an abstraction or not. I think they're literally meat points myself, but playing Devil's Advocate here... If HP represents plot armor, luck, deflecting blows, the will to live and such then yes, you can give your allies a motivational speech or something to boost their morale that should, in theory, recover their Hit Points (or will to live) and it could easily be given to martial characters as a class feature without giving them magic.
    Last edited by AntiAuthority; 2020-05-21 at 03:15 PM.

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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    I think there was supposed to be a lot more tough decisions between using that bonus action to disengage or fight with two weapons (doubling the chance of at least one attack getting through to deliver the sneak attack damage), hid or use XBE-induced extra shot, thief-aided use items, uncanny dodge or a SA-enhanced OA, etc. On paper, the rogue has a lot of competing uses for their action economy.

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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I can live with wizards throwing fire bolts, but clerics shooting sacred flame instead of using their warhammers, shields, and medium to heavy armor in close combat is what really isn't feeling right.
    Neither is a game without clerics. (But IIRC you do have druids, so close enough)

    Note: my first 5e character was a life cleric. I had not played D&D in some years. It took me a while to deal with the fact that when I turned undead, I couldn't do it again next round. That sucked. Our whole group had no clue how to manage a short rest - that mechanic was more or less ignored by our DM. My undead turning was a non helpful ability until I dug into the rules a bit and began pushing the DM about the short rest recharge for that. (And his dungeons was filled to the brim with zombies and ghouls and skeletons).

    Clerics feel different in this edition than than did in the older editions.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2020-05-21 at 02:58 PM.
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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Developers probably wanted to streamline the game, once class features became spells like summons of Find familiar and Find steed or augmented damage in form of Hunters mark or Hex. A lot of spells could be reflavored as non-magic, at least those low level ones, some would make more sense with higher casting time. Good example is how they presented spellless Ranger where they added even Conjure animals effect.

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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by FilthyLucre View Post
    I don't disagree with you in premise, but I do disagree that there is sufficient content to make a party of 5 characters, all nonmagical, where there isn't significant class or feel overlap. In a perfect world, (IMHO), there would only be three classes (fighter, rogue, mage) and just many many subclasses/specialization opportunities.

    TL;DR I want to be able to have a party of 5 mundane characters that are all thematically quite different.
    I mean I could make a party of 5 Battlemaster Fighters who are all thematically quite different.

    • A tank who takes Sentinel feat and mostly uses maneuvers for Riposte attacks and/or Maneuvering Attack to help protect the backline.
    • A leader/tactician who didn't dump Charisma, and uses Inspiring Leader, Commander's Strike, Rally to support teamates
    • A grappler who uses Disarming/Trip Attack Maneuvers
    • A GWM/PAM who stays behind the front line
    • An archer



    And you can do similar things with Rogue
    • The ranged rogue who Cunning Action hides every round
    • The melee rogue who either uses Mobile or BA Disengage to dance in and out of melee
    • The strength based rogue with expertise in Athletics who grapples/shoves
    • The gadget rogue who uses Fast Hands to use Ball Bearings, Caltrops, Poison, Alchemical Fire, Oil, Holy Water, in addition to his normal attacks


    And that's just from PHB with no multiclassing.

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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorinth View Post
    I mean I could make a party of 5 Battlemaster Fighters who are all thematically quite different.
    • A tank who takes Sentinel feat and mostly uses maneuvers for Riposte attacks and/or Maneuvering Attack to help protect the backline.
    • A leader/tactician who didn't dump Charisma, and uses Inspiring Leader, Commander's Strike, Rally to support teammates
    • A grappler who uses Disarming/Trip Attack Maneuvers
    • A GWM/PAM who stays behind the front line
    • An archer


    And you can do similar things with Rogue
    • The ranged rogue who Cunning Action hides every round
    • The melee rogue who either uses Mobile or BA Disengage to dance in and out of melee
    • The strength based rogue with expertise in Athletics who grapples/shoves
    • The gadget rogue who uses Fast Hands to use Ball Bearings, Caltrops, Poison, Alchemical Fire, Oil, Holy Water, in addition to his normal attacks


    And that's just from PHB with no multiclassing.
    yeah, the PHB provides a lot of customization options for those willing to put in the effort. Well played.
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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    I read this just now and was steaming for a page and a half until ezekielraiden's comment at the end of page 4.

    Here's a description of using magic"
    You slog out into the wilderness to gather specific components, or take long and dedicated pains to figure out how to produce them in your immediate vicinity. You prepare them in a a very specific manner that has been developed decades ago by trial and error, after which they can be stored for future use without wasting away. Each component has specific functions, which a person must be trained to know about, and they can't simply be replaced with each other. When someone needs help with a specific problem, you expend a particular component in a very specific method that results in the component having a particular effect that helps in the current situation.

    That's magic. It's not different from magic. It doesn't start being different from magic when I call it "herbalism." Because that's what I just described; I just wrote out how herbalism works. It only stops being magic when we invent "naturalism," and decide the things it can explain are no longer "magic."

    The big thing here is that the real world had magic. Magic is just whatever you can use but have no clue why it works. Herbalism was Magic. Producing one compound from another --then alchemy, now chemistry--was Magic; we didn't know how or why it worked. Oaths were sworn by sacred objects, because they were Magic. Purify Food and Water was no less Magic in our IRL past than a curse was. The only difference is that we've explained how our Purify Food and Water works, and so it stopped being mystical, while we figured out curses don't work and so they aren't mystical.

    Any sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic. Any insufficiently understood science is indistinguishable from magic. Compare comic book radiation, which is basically a way of saying "it's not magic," while getting magic powers all the same.

    The problem with the feel here is the mundane/magic split that doesn't exist in the old material like Journey to the West, or Beowolf, or old mythology. It's just been slowly reduced as we explain things in the macro world and say "that's just herbalism; that's just chemistry; that's just nonsense." Summoning the spirits of your ancestors wasn't something intrinsically different; it just required specific material, somatic, and verbal components. The only difference for the Path of the Ancestral Guardian is that we agree their method works. Unless you say it doesn't work in your world, in which case you ban the subclass for being based off something that doesn't work.

    "Low Magic," vs "High Magic" is how widespread this stuff is to use, and how well understood it is. If magic isn't understood, or only understood by like five people who learned it from studying that one godly text and getting magic is very slow and very painful, it's Low Magic. If organizations of people can explain the methodology to you and there's crafting or looting magic items in a practical manner, then it's High Magic. If the average person could look it up in a library, it just stops being magic altogether; whether the knowledge of the "impossible" is nonexistent or commonplace doesn't change it.


    The actual problem D&D has is that "slot magic" (that is, the casting of spells using the mechanism of spell slots) is one of the very few subsystems shared between classes. Wizard, Cleric, now the warlock too. So it's difficult to get remotely robust rules for anything else, because the ones you don't have the make from scratch are all the main magic system.

    What's missing are thorough rules for all that other stuff that's Magic but isn't slot magic. So magic items default to working like slot magic, because it's the fastest way to write out an item is to go "it works like [spell]" if the item doesn't outright cast the spell. And a bunch of class features are "you can cast [spell]" by whatever method, because that's the way they avoid having to set up a separate ability governed by separate rules.

    One of the reasons I like psionics, actually. There's enough material there to (at least theoretically) introduce at least a full psionic class,a half psionic class, and some subclasses using a system entirely parallel to traditional spellcasting.

    The issue isn't so much that there's a lot of magic but that having gameplay rules gives us a very clear picture of what is and isn't possible. A picture that didn't exist in a lot of the ancient stories or even most of human history. So a lot of those character concepts you might want to knock off get dumped in the "high magic" bucket for being useable, even when those "low magic" stories fit it in just fine.

    TL;DR: Hulk is someone hit with a permanent spell, change my mind.

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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by sandmote View Post
    Magic is just whatever you can use but have no clue why it works.
    And here I thought that was the engineers job.

    Edit: also,
    One of the reasons I like psionics, actually. There's enough material there to (at least theoretically) introduce at least a full psionic class,a half psionic class, and some subclasses using a system entirely parallel to traditional spellcasting.
    Nah psionics should just be spells, subclasses of existing classes, and maybe some spells as bonus restricted spell lists for those subclasses or features that allow you to cast them however often.

    A single magic subsystem is a feature, not a bug.

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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    And here I thought that was the engineers job.
    You're not wrong. We use a fair many models that we know aren't completely right, but they're close enough to right to evaluate the situation in the range of conditions it's expected to be in.

    Unified theories of everything are scientists. Turning that into something practical is engineering.
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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Cliché View Post
    That's very true, actually.

    You'd think rogues would a Batman-type class, with a dozen different tricks up their sleeves. But instead they've only really got one trick.

    I think Cunning Action is a nice improvement over prior editions, as it at least makes them feel a bit more agile/mobile, but when it comes to actually attacking they've only got the one trick and it's not a particularly interesting one.
    I blame Sneak Attack, really. It's such a strong source of single-target damage that it eclipses everything else rogues might do. While I'm certainly glad that 5E lets rogues deal SA without much fuss, especially at range... that is all they will ever do.

    Cunning Action is a very good feature, giving rogues superior mobility (well, before casters start teleporting around, anyhow). But that's all it does, so it doesn't help much with diversity of options.
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    Default Re: Has magic become so abundant it's not magical anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Rogues need maneuvers even more desperately than fighters do. Most rogue subclasses pretty much run on autopilot once combat starts. The only tactical choice to be made is to when to use their reactions... if there's more than one opportunity to use them in a given round.
    Earlier editions had thieves and fighters have access to much fewer abilities (and wizards limited to much fewer spells) and that was widely considered enough, and still is by many people.
    I think the problem is the approach to put all the options a character has into the class, while a great number of options could be coming from the environment, that can be widely different in every room.
    Giving players options in fights can be as much part of encounter design than classes.
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