Martial classes have long gotten the short shrift compared to their spellcasting counterparts. While 4th Edition D&D attempted to balance this by controlling the action economy, balance concerns have taken a back seat to narrative in 5th Edition.
Though the effect of linear fighters vs. quadratic wizards most often manifests in class design (mostly due to spell access), there’s an interesting reflection of this design in the 5e feats, which we expect to be balanced against each other.
Let’s compare the Martial Adept feat and the Magic Initiate feat. While both feats are available to any class, they are typically more useful to their kindred classes, in that they open additional options within the class’s existing playstyle. However, when we examine these feats in depth, we see that the Magic Initiate feat has a much greater impact on both playstyle and damage output than Martial Adept.
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