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Thread: melee or magic?

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    Default melee or magic?

    What is better at low level,mid level,and high level.Melee or magic?I've been lurking for a while but i have never really seen the answer.

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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by sir collino View Post
    I've been lurking for a while but i have never really seen the answer.


    Er, well, melee can do okay in the lowest levels, especially with fancier toys to play with (Tome of Battle, rage, etc.), but after that magic wins. I'll let others explain it better, but basically, if it can be done by a non-caster, then there's a spell that lets a caster do it better, faster, harder, cheaper, and easier.
    Last edited by RTGoodman; 2009-08-17 at 08:22 PM.
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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    ToB Allowed: Low-Melee, Mid-Probably Even, High-Magic(though not as much so as below)

    ToB not allowed: Low-Melee, Mid-Magic, High-Most Definitely Magic

    Of course this is just my opinion and is assuming 3.5 DnD is the system.
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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    With just Core, it's probably Low: Arcane = Melee > Divine, Mid: Arcane > Divine = Melee, High: Arcane > Divine >>> Melee.

    With non core, including ToB, it's probably Low: Melee > Arcane = Divine, Mid: Arcane = Divine > Melee, High: Arcane > Divine >>> Melee

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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    A fighter can kill an enemy in one turn, but a wizard can just end the encounter with the right spell(s), at any level of play, keeping the fighter around to go through the formality of actually slaying the crippled or incapacitated enemies. It's a partnership: the wizard does things that matter, and the fighter saves the wizard spell slots so he doesn't have to summon fighter-equivalent monsters.
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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sanguine View Post
    ToB Allowed: Low-Melee, Mid-Probably Even, High-Magic(though not as much so as below)

    ToB not allowed: Low-Melee, Mid-Magic, High-Most Definitely Magic

    Of course this is just my opinion and is assuming 3.5 DnD is the system.
    You mean

    "ToB not allowed:
    • Low (1-5): Even
    • Mid (6-10): Magic
    • High (11-20): Core has 3 classes, rest fillers"
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-08-17 at 08:32 PM.
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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    You mean

    "ToB not allowed:
    • Low (1-5): Even
    • Mid (6-10): Magic
    • High (11-20): Core has 3 classes, rest fillers"
    No because at low levels Barbarian is most definitely better then Wizard and is slightly better than Cleric(just slightly).
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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    Well, Sorcerer can almost be competitive in core if he's specced right, so 4 classes. And divine classes aren't nearly as strong until you go out of Core and they have huge spell lists and ways to put new twists on existing spells (Holy word at CL +10, anybody?) But other than that, I agree with the above.

    EDIT: At low levels, a barbarian is not better than a wizard. They are even. Why? Both of them can kill an encounter in one turn. If the wizard gets a sleep off on the Barbarian, it's CDG city; even a wizard can CDG well enough to kill a level one character. If the barbarian passes his save (about a 50% chance) there's a pretty good chance he kills the wizard in one shot.
    Last edited by Milskidasith; 2009-08-17 at 08:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanguine View Post
    No because at low levels Barbarian is most definitely better then Wizard and is slightly better than Cleric(just slightly).
    Are you sure? I don't know what I'd do without Sleep, Color Spray, Grease, Enlarge Person, Ray of Enfeeblement, Silent Image, Glitterdust, Web, Fog Cloud, Invisibility, Silence, Detect Magic & Prestidigitation.

    Having access to True Strike to accurately throw Tanglefoot Bags doesn't hurt either. Really, a Barbarian is good to have on low levels for sure (especially one with reach weapon, tripping-line feats and good Con), but so is a Wizard and I'd even wager a Wizard can solve more nearly-unwinnable situations than a Barbarian.
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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    While I tend to agree with magic is better, remember, melee has its uses. Even at higher levels. Even the lowly fighter at high levels can potentially to do hundreds of points of damage in a round. While a mage can negate a fighters ability to do damage, or even act at upper levels, both a meleer and magic user has thier place in a party.

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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    Wow I've been convinced the two are evenly matched at low levels without ToB.
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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    Even though it's been said by ... well, everyone, after level 5, your wizard turns into an engine of pure destruction that keeps the fighter around so the monsters don't attack his squishy butt, and, well, the fighter keeps all the monsters off the wizard's squishy butt (unless your DM is a meta-gaming D-Bag).

    If you include non-core, there are some melee classes and feats that can keep the warriors relevant (sort of) until about 10th level, but it still ends up as:

    Wizard: "I end the encounter, you go chop there heads off our something."

    Warrior: "But, I didn't even get do anything!"

    Wizard: "You know, Gate doesn't complain, just saying."

    Warrior:

    Okay, I'm using hyperbole here, but not that much.
    Last edited by AshDesert; 2009-08-17 at 08:46 PM.

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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith View Post
    EDIT: At low levels, a barbarian is not better than a wizard. They are even. Why? Both of them can kill an encounter in one turn. If the wizard gets a sleep off on the Barbarian, it's CDG city; even a wizard can CDG well enough to kill a level one character. If the barbarian passes his save (about a 50% chance) there's a pretty good chance he kills the wizard in one shot.
    You're talking about level one class-vs-class, not low levels and real encounters in general. Sleep isn't useful in your hypothetical situation, either, because of its casting time of 1 round. Color Spray is what you're looking for, and the barbarian has a much lower than 50% chance to make a will save against a wizard's normal spell DC at that level. And that's the best situation - things go the wizard's way with increasingly favorable odds and power from there.
    Last edited by FMArthur; 2009-08-17 at 08:55 PM.
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    • Warlock Power Sources [3.5]: Making Hellfire Warlock part of the base class and providing other similar options for Warlocks whose powers don't come from devils.

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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    I have to say, beginning at about third level, spellcasters beat melee warriors. Now, a medium-optimized wizard at low or mid levels won't beat a muchkin-sized uber-warrior, but at high levels even someone only competent, as opposed to highly skilled, at character building wins with magic.

    At low levels, they're equivalent.

    At mid-levels, magic is pretty definitely better, though not by too much.

    At high levels, the wizard is dancing on the corpses of fallen enemies singing "Anything you can do, I can do better!" while the druid destroys hordes of foes, the cleric works miracles, and the fighter makes coffee for the rest.
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    At level 1, everyone sucks, but melee sorts can suck all day long. When anything you do has a roughly 50% chance of failure, the ability to keep on going is invaluable. By level 3... eh.

    Level 1-2: ToB > Divine > Melee > Arcane
    Level 3-7: ToB = Divine > Arcane > Melee
    Level 8-12: Arcane > ToB = Divine >>> Melee
    Level 13-20: Arcane > Divine > ToB >>> Melee
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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    It really depends on your character. If you are playing a character that fears, or for some reason doesn't use magic, then it will be useless to them at all levels.

    If you are playing a character that focuses solely on magic due to frailty or just ineptitude at hand-to-hand, then melee will be useless to them at any level.

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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    Whats so good about spells?I know its a stupid question,but a high level fighter can do hundreds of damage,what can spells do compared to that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkblust View Post
    Whats so good about spells?I know its a stupid question,but a high level fighter can do hundreds of damage,what can spells do compared to that?
    Look up Tenser's Transformation(or whatever the srd name for it is) or the Clerics Version which is better and lower level Divine Power. Those two spells render Fighters oblivious and those aren't even the worst things in core.
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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    Tenser's? Don't make me laugh.

    "I'm going to go into melee without any feats to support me! Yay!"

    Quote Originally Posted by darkblust View Post
    Whats so good about spells?I know its a stupid question,but a high level fighter can do hundreds of damage,what can spells do compared to that?
    Hundreds of damage.

    Crippling the enemy.

    Grab the non-reality of anti-spacetime and tear it a new one.
    Last edited by Pharaoh's Fist; 2009-08-17 at 09:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkblust View Post
    Whats so good about spells?I know its a stupid question,but a high level fighter can do hundreds of damage,what can spells do compared to that?
    1) Completely remove the ability of what you're facing to damage you (Fly, Invisibility, Solid Fog, Etherealness, Forcecage, Wall of Force, etc)

    2) Render it useless (maximized twinned Enervation, split ray Ray of Exhaustion, Baleful Polymorph, Power Word: Kill, Cloudkill, Dominate Monster, Antimagic Field)

    3) Beat it at its own game (Tensor's/Nightstalker's Transformation, Polymorph, Shapechange, Iron Body)
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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharaoh's Fist View Post
    Tenser's? Don't make me laugh.

    "I'm going to go into melee without any feats to support me! Yay!"
    Okay Tenser's suck I will admit. Really I have always hated that spell don't know why I mentioned it.
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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    You can also generate your own, far superior, Fighter with Planar Binding-line. Lesser Planar binding gets you one of those swell Nightmares as a Mount. It's a ****ing kickass mount, btw. (otherwise, get one with Phantom Steed - that's actually faster, but Etherealness is nice).

    Planar Binding gets you a Glabrezu-tank that easily outperforms most tanks of its level with slight magical buffing.

    Greater Planar Binding gets you a Pit Fiend. I needn't tell you why they're pretty good.


    This is without abusing Efreeti or similars for stupid amounts of Wishes and what-not. I guess you could get that Pit Fiend's Wish, but bleh. Oh, and how do you win the Charisma-check? See Circlet of Persuasion, Cloak of Charisma, various Debuff-effects while the creature is bound (such as Bestow Curve), and ultimately Moment of Prescience to guarantee your victory.
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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    Seriously, in core, melee is obsoleted by a wand of greese at any level until they get a ring of freedom of movement.

    I'm not kidding, compare the following:

    Lvl 10 party consisting of 2 fighters and a barbarian.

    Lvl 10 party consisting of 1 barbarian and an apprentice level wizard that has a wand of greese (that's had its DC meta-magiced to be competitive to this level).

    Fight takes place in a narrow hallway.

    If you don't believe me, try to play it out.

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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    If the fighter invested in balance, then it might not be that tough for the fighters to stay up.

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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith View Post
    If the fighter invested in balance, then it might not be that tough for the fighters to stay up.
    The fighter’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), and Swim (Str).



    Poor fighters and their crossclass skills.

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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    No. The fighter didn't invest in balance. None of your fighters ever have, and don't pretend that they did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodenbandman View Post
    No. The fighter didn't invest in balance. None of your fighters ever have, and don't pretend that they did.
    No but plenty of my Warblades have.
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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by woodenbandman View Post
    No. The fighter didn't invest in balance. None of your fighters ever have, and don't pretend that they did.
    Your games have clearly never gone anywhere near a boat. Balance is important for a naval campaign.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanguine View Post
    No but plenty of my Warblades have.
    One of the many thing that makes warblades > fighters.

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    Default Re: melee or magic?

    My current Barbarian has 5 ranks in balance, precisely because I'm aware of how easy it is to screw yourself otherwise.
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