Fighters/Rangers/Rogues - why use them...

frost
Level 2
2 months ago (edited)

The solution is indeed a nerf + nerf to rests/make tiem important. You shouldn't be able to cast arcane spells with armor and the cleric needs clearly a nerf in spell choice and uses (specially at early levels) + rebalance of subclasses.


Also, I like that this game is truly good making dungeons feel like dungeons (darksness, obstacles, ambushes, etc...) but there's too much variety in spells to solve that and they come in the 5 first levels. These spells should cost materials/money or be given in higher levels.

picklesgrr
Level 9
2 months ago

It is a 5e problem at heart and mainly at higher level but Solasta makes it worse. As noted before wizards etc gain far more from access to medium armour and martial weapons than fighters do to crafting proficiencies and fighters have lost their best subclass and also access to the best feats. Wizards and clerics meanwhile get very solid new subclasses. 

Either  - ie anyone - can cover for rogue with high Dex and the low life background.

Fighters really need this rectified both to make them interesting and able to hold down a spot in a party that is not deliberately sub optimal. Paladins and Rangers are a bit better off - they have spells already. Rogues are in the same boat as fighters really. I found the caster sub class for both these classes worked and made them more effective and fun but it is "wuxia cultivator" slippery slope. We are playing D&D though not a remotely realistic game so I have no problem with these classes existing but functional, active, purely martial classes would be good.

TomReneth
Level 9
2 months ago

I have to say I am a bit disappointed with them bothering to include the ranger at all with the limited selection of classes. While I do like the ranger in terms of flavor, all three of its traditional betters are in the game. Rogues are better skill-focused utility characters, fighters are better all-purpose martial characters and paladins are better offense oriented martial/divine hybrids. Add in that the Greenmage now also lets the wizard be a better ranger than the ranger and it is starting to get a bit silly.


Typos happen. More so on the phone.

The1Kobra
Visitor
2 months ago (edited)

The irony is, in my first playthrough, my Ranger was consistently my highest damage dealing PC in my party. Dual wielding style, Colossus Slayer, and Hunter's Mark mean that they can dish out the damage. Take the lowlife background and they can double as a rogue for your lockpicking duties. If they dual wield they don't have good defense, but I found that manageable. Admittedly, the difference between getting a natural 20 in DEX and working with a 16 from point buy is a pretty huge gulf in difference. Maybe I wasn't using my spells as best I could, but the nice thing about a lot of Ranger's stuff is that it doesn't need use/day abilities to boost, like the Colossus Slayer. 

Dual wield style probably isn't as good at higher levels, when you get more mainhand attacks but no buffs to the offhand.

I haven't tried a rogue yet, though I suppose if you need someone to cover rogue skills, you could also double a wizard as one with the lowlife background if they have a high enough DEX. They probably won't be optimal at it later on due to DEX not being their primary stat, but they should still be able to function. Though I prefer taking the sellsword background on a wizard, since medium armor proficiency is hugely helpful on them, especially if you stick to pointbuy and don't start with a 20 DEX. (20 DEX + greenmage + light armor means you get 16 AC with leather, not quite as much as you do with half-plate, but still decent)

I suppose another bit on the caster/melee divide is also the availability of resting. On my first playthrough I kept rushing through and only once rested mid-dungeon crawl, the casters definitely have an edge if you meet every battle fully rested. 

Admittedly I do find sellsword/wizard a bit OP of a combo. It's pretty crazy when my sellsword/wizard could tank really well with the shield spell and do plenty of damage in melee with dual wielding daggers, or shortswords if you go high elf.

Reylliam
Level 4
2 months ago (edited)

I am more cleric oriented, personally, but I agree: Fighters should have melee and armor expertises over and above non-fighters into their normal play.  Here are some examples I can think of, and let me know if these are good or horrible ideas... LOL!

* Weapons have a baseline of intended damage, such as 1d4, 1d6, or 1d8 per strike, and an inherent crit range (such as just 20, or 19-20).  This is based on the average user such as a cleric or rogue or whatnot using them.  Fighters, however, upon crit, get to use the next higher die (so 1d6 becomes 2d8) and count 1s as 2s for their crit dice, as they bring out the best the weapon can actually offer in the right hands.  (If a weapon already uses d12, do not jump to d20, just add an extra d6 or something.) Stack with the improved critical features of subclasses, extra proficiencies, etc....  Optionally, Fighters could have the dice upgrade as part of normal play, so 1d6 weapon is actually always 1d8 in their hands (which then crits as 2d8 as normal, no need to dice upgrade again to 2d10 unless that's a feat they take...)

* Armor has a baseline of protection AC for the average wearer, but fighters inherently know how when the fit is wrong while wearing it, how to maintain it properly, etc., and thus gain +1 AC for light, +2 AC from medium, or +3 AC on heavy armors.  I believe the scaled improvement is better than generic +2 AC since that better reflects the capabilities of the armor material, thickness, and so on.  

* Fighters gain a new line of protection selection called Countertraining (or whatever other word suits your fancy; it's not trademarked.)  Countertraining is learning fight maneuvers specific toward warding against the weapon types used against the fighter.  Defending someone wielding a spear poking at your heart from afar is much different than defending someone wielding a sword slashing at your face, or dodging volleys of arrows, for example. Ultimately, a fighter can learn up to three, and only one can be in effect during a given round. Countertraining modes are selected at 1st, 8th, and 15th levels.  At each stage, the fighter selects from the below list and gains an additional +2 AC and crit mitigation versus the form of attack.  

Optionally, Countertraining could also double the AC bonus from a round spent using full dodge from foes using the mode.

Crit mitigation means that the fighter is already amid moves (dodges/blocks/parries) that anticipate the incoming blows the way those blows have to be struck, so when an attacker crits the fighter using the defense mitigation specifically against their form of attack, it negates the use of the next higher die if the above die increase option is used and reduces any maximum rolled values as one less. (so 1d6 does not upgrade to 2d8 but rather stays 2d6, and any 6s are treated as 5s, so maximum is 10, not 12, on the crit dice.) An additional optional benefit could be that if a fighter has so much AC using the countertraining that only crits from the attacker can strike, and no normal blows, then the crits are at -2 penalty, and not just -1, on each of the damage dice.  Once multiple modes are known, at the begining of his turn of a round, a fighter can switch which countertraining he is using until the beginning of the next round. 

  1. Piercing - daggers adjacent to you, for example, good when flanked by rogues.
  2. Slash weapons
  3. Bludgeoning weapons - not fists, though
  4. Weaponless & Improvised items
  5. Reach weapons - ranged spears by combatants not in adjacent squares but using reach weapons, and so on.
  6. Ranged assault (debate as to whether thrown (darts/stars/javelins) vs fired (bow/xbow) should be split)
  7. Special - optional natural weapon-based defense for specific creature classes - some races may have this versus specific things

* If countertraining is used, the next stage is Redirect Melee Blow.  When countering a melee mode of combat, upon a critical miss on the part of the attacker using said mode, the fighter can use their reaction for the round to force the blow to land on another adjacent enemy,  The fighter rolls an attack roll using their own AC as the target value and exclusively a 20 as the crit range, and adding their own strength bonus.  If the fighter should land a hit, the opponent's attack hits their own ally instead of just missing the fighter.  If the fighter also rolls a crit, the opponent's hit is treated as a crit on their ally.  There is no penalty if the fighter rolls a critical miss on this roll; it just misses.

Thanks!


Daelen
Level 4
2 months ago (edited)

I feel this discussion has leaned too heavy on function over flavor. The main problem is that the Fighter/Rogue/Ranger archetypes are boring (minus the ones that add spell lists - go figure!). For the casters its easy, give them a new line of spells and they have different feel. If anything, Green Mage should be a Ranger archetype, perhaps add a Bardly-Rogue instead of just three types of assassins. There is a lot of design space left if these are the classes we're getting.

2 months ago

A party of 4 Clerics in tabletop 5e is legitimately unbalanced. That's how the basic rules are. It is impossible to design an asymmetrical game that is perfectly balanced, and D&D has a very long history of unbalanced combinations that are discovered by clever players.

I think instead of adjusting any of the classes, you'd be better off by limiting the number of any class that can comprise a party. Like, no more than 2 of any one class or something like that. This would reflect the tendency for players at the table to figure out what roles aren't filled before embarking on a game - yes, many people like to do things like "OK this game we're a band of rogues," but in standard typical exploration/delving D&D, you have characters who each occupy separate niches and work together. That is the quintessential D&D experience.

I think it would absolutely be in keeping to enforce this mechanically, to represent a "typical" dungeoneering experience.

As for Fighters: Fighters get more Feats or ASI's than any other class, period - but if you don't have the available Feats to make it work, then they will absolutely be lackluster. The fix is more Feats, and some more interesting subclasses. Champion is legitimately bad in tabletop as well, but it's the only one in the SRD. Quite honestly, I would just not include it at all and design a new subclass from the ground up to replace it. Or add some Battle Master flair to it, perhaps.

WaterD
Level 3
1 month ago

I agree for the most part and I think the solution should come in two areas.
A) Make resting harder so spells are more valuable
B) Make spells duration shorter so prebuffing is harder non existant.
C) Give non casters more "abilities"

1 month ago

Ok, we all agree that fighters suck, but I'm baffled as to all the hate shown towards the Paladin/Rogue/Ranger.  I would argue that Rangers are the most deadly class in Solasta.  The key is to make them a pure archer.  

Sylven Elf Str-12, Dex-16,Con-14,Int-8, Wis-16, Cha-8.  At level 2 they already have an attack of +7 (higher odds of hitting than any other class except for magic missile).  At Level 3 you take hunter horde breaker which allows you to shoot again if you kill the enemy with your first shot.  At level 4 you attack at +8 (prior to any item or spell bonuses).  When I reached level 5 I had a +1 Bow and was attacking at +10.  Each shot averaged 10 damage, and usually turned 2 shots per turn into 3 by killing someone with the first or 2nd shot.  All things considered, I probably ended up averaging 28 damage per round.

Make the Ranger your thief and pick the goodberry spell (free food traveling), and they are an indispensable party member.

Now, I realize that the wizard and cleric can dish out more damage with fireball, lightning bolt, and a few other spells, but they eventually run out of spells.  They're going to be very hard pressed to average 28 damage per round.  The ranger never runs out of arrows (unless you're a poor planner).

Paladins can increase their defense by +1 at level 2.  Add a shield, and plate armor, and most enemies have to roll an 18 or higher just to hit them.  Their primary role is to stand between the enemy and the rest of your party, but in the more difficult battles you can use smite which is quite deadly.

While I have eliminated Rogues from my power build, I do find them to be pretty deadly as well with their sneak attack. If I had a 5th spot I'd take the Rogue over another Cleric or Wizard. Even if they weren't more powerful they'd be a lot more fun to play.

My Paladin/Cleric/Ranger/Wizard would wipe the floor with a team of Cleric/Wizards any day of the weak.

TomReneth
Level 9
1 month ago (edited)

Ok, we all agree that fighters suck, but I'm baffled as to all the hate shown towards the Paladin/Rogue/Ranger.  I would argue that Rangers are the most deadly class in Solasta.  The key is to make them a pure archer.  

Sylven Elf Str-12, Dex-16,Con-14,Int-8, Wis-16, Cha-8.  At level 2 they already have an attack of +7 (higher odds of hitting than any other class except for magic missile).  At Level 3 you take hunter horde breaker which allows you to shoot again if you kill the enemy with your first shot.  At level 4 you attack at +8 (prior to any item or spell bonuses).  When I reached level 5 I had a +1 Bow and was attacking at +10.  Each shot averaged 10 damage, and usually turned 2 shots per turn into 3 by killing someone with the first or 2nd shot.  All things considered, I probably ended up averaging 28 damage per round.

Make the Ranger your thief and pick the goodberry spell (free food traveling), and they are an indispensable party member.

Now, I realize that the wizard and cleric can dish out more damage with fireball, lightning bolt, and a few other spells, but they eventually run out of spells.  They're going to be very hard pressed to average 28 damage per round.  The ranger never runs out of arrows (unless you're a poor planner).

Paladins can increase their defense by +1 at level 2.  Add a shield, and plate armor, and most enemies have to roll an 18 or higher just to hit them.  Their primary role is to stand between the enemy and the rest of your party, but in the more difficult battles you can use smite which is quite deadly.

While I have eliminated Rogues from my power build, I do find them to be pretty deadly as well with their sneak attack. If I had a 5th spot I'd take the Rogue over another Cleric or Wizard. Even if they weren't more powerful they'd be a lot more fun to play.

My Paladin/Cleric/Ranger/Wizard would wipe the floor with a team of Cleric/Wizards any day of the weak. 

Part of the problem is that we get enough rests etc. for that to not be an issue. Another is that burst is usually more valuable than sustain. A dead enemy takes no action, after all.

Greenmage has the utility and archery style of Rangers, coupled with the wizards spell selection. 

Rogues can gives Rangers a run for their money on sustain, but does so in both melee and ranged combat on top of their excellent mobility and skill expertise. Uncanny Dodge also make them surprisingly tanky for a light armor d8 class. They typically scale better, since Sneak Attack continues to increase all the way to lvl 19. They can't AoE as well as the Ranger, but the Wizard and Cleric certainly can and more.

Rangers aren't inherently terrible, but they do feel like a needless addition to the class roster. With such a limited selection and the Greenmage subclass in the game, it feels a bit like wasted space. Of the 7 planned classes, 3 of them are d10 martials. Druid would've been a welcone class in its place, for example.

A possible way to fix that would be to introduce/alter a sublass or two to be more unique. Only Hunter seems worthwhile at the moment and it's pretty boring in terms of flavor. Shadow Tamer is more interesting, but seems too niche to be useful in the EA, at least. 


Typos happen. More so on the phone.

1 month ago

Yeah, I do think the Greenmage steps on the Ranger's niche a bit too much, but I don't know how to fix it.

picklesgrr
Level 9
1 month ago

The ranger gets better than the Greenmage, at archery at least, at level 5. There have been people asking to give green mages a reason to use bows over cantrips from level 5 but there is not much design space as they are so strong already. 

Archery is really effective in the game and ranger is the best - Hunter's Mark works really well with archers as opposed to say dual wielders as their bonus action is not otherwise used.  My last play through my paladin was sometimes using Divine Favour as a second rate Hunter's Mark as it was so much easier to shoot than melee despite how potent smite is. Meanwhile in an earlier playthrough my dual wielder Ranger fired a lot of arrows. 

I tried the shadow hunter ranger - their bonus is fantastic + proficiency to attack and damage but you only get it when the game wants you to rather like favoured enemy which is a characteristic that I loathe.  I do think Ranger is the best damage dealer in Solasta at low levels before Fireball & Spirit Guardians. Even then they do the most sustained single target damage.

Paladins are as tanky as fighters but their spells are better even if they miss action surge.  Mind you at level 4 both fighters & paladins cast the same though so the magic using fighter is OK even if their spells are maybe a bit worse - they can't just smite. Shield and Expeditious Retreat are very good though for making your fighter get where he needs to be and extra defence. 

Anyhow my only real issue is with the fighter - maybe the rogue but I did not play one so much especially at 5th level+. More particularly it is with melee. Fighters are pretty boring and lack actions that are not just hit it, or often chase after it and hope you get to hit it next turn. This is not a big problem for me in Solasta as I get to play all the other characters too.  I feel they are also the weakest class - if melee specialised although the magic one is OK, both in terms of power and of having more options. 

picklesgrr
Level 9
1 month ago

Yeah, I do think the Greenmage steps on the Ranger's niche a bit too much, but I don't know how to fix it.


Someone mentioned that they thought Green mage should have been Ranger subclass. I think it might be interesting to do that - though there is no reason the mage version could not exist too. This subclass would boost casting with an ability like arcane recovery plus more spells known either fixed per level or just a bigger pool. I would much prefer a proactive class like this rather than the shadow guy who is at the mercy of what the DM/Game throws at him. (or than the third ranger subclass which is just dysfunctional) . 

1 month ago

I feel like the Greenmage could focus on arrows that confer status effects, as opposed to straight damage output, and that would create a compelling reason to take arrow shots instead of cantrip shots.

I really feel like it needs maybe one well-placed tweak to get it just right. It's almost there.

Skryia
Level 8
1 month ago

My experience and party composition is pretty much exactly what Scott said - Paladin/Cleric/Ranger/Wizard, with the Ranger bringing lockpicks, archery (I went Colossus Slayer rather than Horde Breaker), and free food to the table. Very dependable with very little resource management required. And she can throw a Cure Wounds if things get desperate. Wizard is Shock Arcanist because that subclass perk is just too good compared to pass up, IMO. I thought about the spell-casting fighter, but it seems to me you get a slightly better spell list and group support out of Paladin than the EK. The Light Clerics is really good, and I bet the Battle and Fire Clerics would be really good as well. The Rogue... I’m not sold on. I feel like if I brought a Rogue it’d just take the Ranger spot and I’d have to work out another way to ignore rations, which I am loathe to do. The winter patch definitely seemed to make rations more freely available but the weight of rations is crazy oppressive given that the game nerfs carrying capacity.