HeHateMe wrote:The common argument against that is that people have no real world frame of reference for how dragons work, so it's okay if they do impossible things. But they do have a frame of reference for how swordsmen work, so they need to at least be recognizable to the audience or else the work breaks verisimilitude.
I'm not sure why only anime is being discussed here in reference to martials. Forget anime for a second, if you watch literally any action movie or tv show ever made, you can see why martials are so disappointing in PF.
The biggest reason is those gamers who persist in the absurd double standard that casters can break reality however they want, but martials can't do anything cool cause they're not magic and it's not realitic. This, in a campaign world that features giant flying, fire breathing lizards. Realistic?? F**k that argument. Earthdawn had a great solution to this issue: ALL character classes had magical powers. Some were more martial in application and others resembled spellcasting, but every class could break reality cause they were all magic. No disparity there.
Clearly we need to educate the gaming population that the last vestiges of realism disappear from the game around level 9, and martial characters have been violating the laws of physics to some extent from very low levels [in some cases as low as level 1.]
In general, though, my preferred high-magic settings take it as a given that magic suffuses everything and therefor everything (and by extension everyone) is magic. Saying that someone in that kind of setting doesn't use magic is like saying that they don't use air (which is to say that the assertion raises some serious questions about how the person in question even exists). How a person uses magical power is entirely dependent on what they're good at. Some people ritualistically shape it into supernatural phenomena through occult rites and ancient pacts, and some people exercise until they can jump over walls and knock down trees with their fists.
It works, I prefer a story element where this is a more natural evolution of power that explicitly is not magic, but this does work as well.