Solauren wrote:If the wizard keeps using Knock, I toss more locks at them to deal with. He'll run out eventually.
Stealth is handled by traps (doesn't matter if you're sneaky when you stop on a preasure plate), which Wizards are horrible at finding
Scout better then a Ranger - If you mean via familiar, well, familiars make good eating
Punch better then a fighter - More combat encounters. Drain the wizard of offensive spells.
Eventually, the wizard will figure out 'huh, I better save my spells for when I need them'.
Like when they run into the creature that's 3 or 4 CRs above the group level, and they could have really used that Fireball he wasted on a small group of orcs.
By medium levels (8 or 10), you're going to have to throw an obscene
number of locks at the party to have any hope of draining a single caster's low-level spell-slots... and you're going to have to do that every single day. And the caster is still at an advantage, since it would take a Rogue hours to take 20 enough times to pick all those locks, whereas a caster can unlock any non-absurd number of locks in minutes. If you can find a solid justification for throwing a dozen fake locks at the party for every real lock - day after day after day of adventuring - then I applaud you, but I doubt that that's a feat that most DMs could replicate.
Much like locks, it's going to be difficult to consistently invent justifications for traps in every situation where stealth is appropriate. Additionally, simply casting Fly (or some similar spell) before casting Invisibility makes a Wizard immune to the vast majority of traps.
For scouting, I was thinking more of scying spells than familiars, though familiars are good too (that size bonus on Hide checks makes a big difference). Why should you spend hours scouting out the ork village when a simple Augury spell will give you a decent idea how well the assault will go? If that's not sufficient, Arcane Eye can explore faster, more accurately and with less risk than any Ranger could hope to.
A medium-level Druid can stay wild shaped into the most combat-capable form they can imagine all day, every day, and if the Druid was smart enough to take Natural Spell, they can keep their spellcasting capabilities as well. With even average choices, the Druid can possess the melee combat abilities of a Fighter, an animal companion who is just as good as a Fighter and full spellcasting. How a Fighter is supposed to compete with 2 Fighters and a caster, I don't know.
For those of us who aren't fortunate enough to play Druids, there's always Polymorph. Turn into whatever super-powerful monster you prefer and proceed to be better than the Fighter at their own job for several major fights per day. Sure, the caster won't have enough spell slots to Polymorph for every fight, but if you're throwing more major fights at the party than the caster has spell-slots every day, then all you're going to succeed in doing is killing the party, not balancing the caster (and if they're minor fights, well... it's not an especially stirring recommendation for the Fighter to take on some rats unaided, while the caster is saved for the real threats).
Spoonist, you appear to be contending that the DM is fundamentally responsible for the quality of the game - irrespective of the quality of the system they are using - which is not something I can agree with. If I buy a toaster that spontaneously catches fire occasionally during normal use, then that failure rests entirely on the toaster manufacturers, not with me, the end user. It is not the user's responsibility to pick through the innards of a toaster in order to produce a product that functions as advertised straight out of the box, just as it is not the DM's responsibility to fundamentally overhaul a system in order to produce an RPG without 3.5's level of accidental imbalance. A certain amount of adjustment to taste is perfectly reasonable, but the number of changes that must be made even to Core 3.5 is simply staggering*.
*That's not to imply that I dislike 3.5 or wish to start an edition war, or anything like that. All of my DnD experience rests in 3.5, and I am quite fond of the flexibility of the system, and have no real wish to change to 4th ed. That, doesn't mean that I'm going to refrain from calling 3.5 out on its terrible, terrible balancing, however (as I said before, a system being unbalanced in the face of deliberate optimisation is not a particularly significant problem in my eyes. Being able to significantly unbalance a system with routine choices, however, is a major issue).