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I think the rarity even made the problem worse -- because now, once you've played a 1E/2E melee character who had a girdle, every melee character you play thereafter is going to mechanically pale before them until the next time you find one. It's such a huge bonus that it really skews the balance of the game.
You'll think, "Oh, my 16th level fighter can handle this, my last 13th level fighter could beat these enemies." Not while doing half the damage despite being several levels higher he can't.
Don't forget favored class bonuses and Toughness. And full HP at first level, for that matter.
This is also assuming that we're just talking base HP and glossing over the fact that wizard or sorcerer can pretty quickly keep False Life up permanently, etc.
Between those and being able to craft a +CON item for cheap it's not uncommon for me to play something like a wizard and have the highest HP total in the party quickly. Not that a barbarian or whatever couldn't be built to go higher but more that they tend to have different item priorities.
I go with your reading of it, but that's mostly because
1) This is only really worth a feat if you have Sneak Attack, and
2) Rogues are reasonably feat starved, and
3) I personally view Combat Expertise as a punishment feat. (That is, it forces you to have a stat high on a character that you probably don't want to have to spend the points on, it forces you to take a feat that is also weaker than most other feats, and it's a feat you need for other feats which actually are cool).
So I look at this and think: semi-auto flanking at the cost of two feats on a rogue? Yeah, that's not breaking the game.
The Soulcatcher and the Howler are interesting, fun characters, or Shivetya. I don't remember others that well. I think Malazan surpassed its inspiration considerably.
Man I soooo disagree with that.
If anything I think Malazan took the wrong lessons from Black Company and not the right ones.
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
None of which hurt you as much as 20 INT helps you.
If we are talking about optimization, which in this case we are.
Okay, then why did you ask a question you already knew the answer to? :P
I go the opposite way on that one: the human favored class bonus for sorcerer is so good you'd have to be crazy to not pick it (from an optimization perspective, anyway), which means you're potentially a very low HP character, relatively -- even the party wizard's probably taking an extra HP every level. To slightly offset that and milk the sorcerer's versatility, you pick False Life and pretty much keep it up for life.
Why would you ban one of the most flavorful classes in the game?
More than just about any other class, you need to build encounters specifically to challenge a summoner. That pretty much means you can't run any of the older APs (for example) with a half-competent summoner player unless you feel like rewriting huge swaths of the adventure.
If you're a GM with a limited amount of prep time or energy it's easier to just ban the class and call it a day.
One angle that works pretty well as long as you don't overuse it is to introduce encounters where winning or losing isn't precisely about the PC's survival. That is to say, they can all survive and still lose the encounter.
Maybe the PCs encounter an enemy first as part of a tournament or contest with combat that isn't to the death.
Or, maybe the bad guys' henchmen beat the PCs to the dungeon and they're trying to run off with the loot. The challenge isn't not to die -- the henchmen are mostly just trying to make a run for it -- but to keep them from escaping.
Or, maybe the PCs are trying to rescue children from a burning orphanage with fire elementals and the like inside torching the place. They're in some danger, sure, and they'll do some fighting, but winning or losing that encounter isn't really about their survival, it's about the children's survival. For more mercenary PCs, maybe they're trying to rescue a guy with information they want instead. Oooh, I'm sorry, as the burning building fell on him because you were too slow, it crushed his skull beyond Speak With Dead being possible.
You get the idea.
You can have a different opinion. What you can't typically do (or, at least, and get away with it) is assert your opinion as fact when other information contradicts it.
I was always partial to Jacqueline Carey's "The Sundering", which is a two novel series, Banewreaker and Godslayer which is kind of the standard fantasy trope told from the bad guys side and leaves him as a rather sympathetic character force by the "evil" good gods to be the antagonist.
I was thinking the same, although depending on your point of view it doesn't fit the bill.
Basically, it's Lord of the Rings told from the side of Sauron's guys. Carey isn't exactly ripping off LotR a la Sword of Shannara; she makes it so obvious she clearly wants you to know and make the connection that she's riffing on it.
I might also add R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing to the list; things go rough for the only character I could make a serious argument for having a Pathfinder-style Good alignment, and mostly it's like a sociopathic character scheming against other sociopathic characters, evil political opportunists, and, hey, some monsters that are like Cthulhu monsters, if Cthulhu monsters had an overdeveloped sex drive, with a psychopathic murderer as one of his closest allies.
This will be controversial... I really think A Song of Ice and Fire has gotten its death toll on characters overhyped.
A Game of Thrones Spoilage:
I can't think of anything else I've read where the author sets you up to see a character as the protagonist of the series, then abruptly kills him 2/3 of the way through the first book.
I've yet to meet anyone who read AGoT when it first came out, i.e., before anyone or anything or internet memes or HBO could spoil it ahead of time for you, and who didn't get to the chapter where Ned Stark died and actually believed he was dead right there and that it wasn't some kind of crazy trick or plot twist. Because the protagonist obviously can't die right there...
There are other kind of shocker moments, of course, but that one I think remains the biggest gut punch because you just don't see it coming.
Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about fighting one guy with your primary hand and another with your off hand. For some reason, the guys I game with think it's cool.
Okay, so: the problem isn't that two weapon fighting is inherently silly, it's that the guys you game with are inherently silly. :)
Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
All those examples are of people wielding two weapons against one target. I'm not talking about that. That's fairly realistic. What I'm talking about is the nonsense of some guy with two swords or two pistols fighting two guys at once. I see it in films all the time, and it's usually how I see the fighting style used in D&D, and it just isn't happening. Concentrating on one opponent is one thing, but on two simultaneously? No. Even IRL fighting styles that teach fighting multiple enemies teach you to go after one at a time.
So what you're saying is... people play D&D and take one hand's attacks against one enemy and the other hand's attacks against a different enemy rather than focus fire on one until they're down?
I can honestly say I've never seen someone do that, and I've seen hundreds of 2WF characters across multiple editions.
The base game should be as balanced as we can make it. If individual groups want to deviate from that and let people play crazy crap, more power to them, but the baseline should be a game in which all the players get to contribute without the GM having to go out of his way to make it happen.
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Smite's a really good ability, and the Pathfinder paladin may be the first version of a D&D paladin class that isn't either A) a trap or B) really, much better as a dip than a straight class or both -- but it's still not like it's always the paladin's time to shine.
As number of encounters per day goes up, the value of smite goes down. As the number of non-evil or morally ambiguous (e.g., casting detect evil in combat is not worth your time) enemies goes up, the value of smite goes down. As the number of enemies per encounter goes up, the vlaue of smite goes down. Etc. etc. etc.
If I was trying to find things I thought were too good or gamebreaking, the paladin wouldn't even make the list.
I have to say Wizard just because they have that much broader of a spell list (even factoring in that Witch gets some nice things that aren't on the Wizard list). There's just too much good stuff that's only on one or two Patron lists, and you only get to pick one.
I don't think the Witch is in any way a weak class and in many encounters I wouldn't be surprised to see it outperform the Wizard -- but when push comes to shove I think the Wizard is still king..
Jeranimus Rex wrote:
I would like to mention that any DM who has issues w/ hitting AC should just start rolling behind the screen and then say hit or miss depending on the die roll and not the modifiers.
Maybe "if the DM has to cheat to make it competitive, it's overpowered" should be the threshold. :P
Paul McCarthy wrote:
FWIW, I struggled a bit with TDTCB but pushed through it for some reason, and sometime through the second book I was hooked.
Paul McCarthy wrote:
The thing that gets me about Erikson is this:
If you've ever gone to a major gaming con (say, GenCon or Origins) for the full duration, at some point, a gamer you haven't met before or at least don't know well will try to relate the events of their home campaign to you. It is clear to you that, to them, this campaign is the coolest thing ever, but, to you, it just kind of sounds cheesy and lame. These PCs died, but came back as gods for no good reason? And X, Y, Z ridiculous things? Okay, whatever.
That's Gardens of the Moon for me: a thin novelization of someone's RPG campaign that probably seemed cool as hell to the people in it but doesn't have the same charm for me.
Luminiere Solas wrote:
The point isn't that the bestiary races are truly overpowered; the point is that with a much wider variety of races to pick from, you're more likely to find a race with +2 to two stats that you care about and -2 to a stat that you don't care about.
For some characters you can do this with the core races; for example, if I'm a non-melee bard, I care about my CHR and CON and I don't care about my STR, so gnome looks pretty good. For all of the characters where the stat setup of elf/dwarf/halfling/gnome doesn't give you +2 to two stats you care about and -2 to a stat you don't care about, the human (and half-elf/half-orc, to some degree) setup of +2 to whatever stat you want and no negatives looks better, especially when you factor in that their racial abilities/penalties tend to be better for most characters as well.
The RAW never once says that a fighter cannot cast spells. It never says that a wizard cannot channel energy. Obviously, this is because pathfinder is a permissive ruleset. Just as obviously, we need to read the rules with some common sense, or we end up with the interpretation that you cannot use any feats when you're mounted (which, by the way, I did not claim). That's where the disagreements show up, of course (and that's, by and large, a good thing. Everyone in lockstep makes for a poorer game, I think). But when you require two different sides of an argument to adhere to different standards, you remove the point of the discussion. We have a couple of mechanisms in Pathfinder for that, too: developer rulings/errata and GM fiat. However, neither of these (yet) applies to this discussion, so we're left with either no discussion, or all sides agreeing on a set of rules for the discussion.
To be clear, when people point out what you're saying is ridiculous, the correct response isn't to try to make arguments that are more ridiculous.
Nope. There's lots of ways to fix that. Honestly, a level 20 martial character that doesn't is intentionally choosing to play a mechanically weak character -- like the guy who rolls up a pacifist fighter or the cleric that doesn't like metal. Which, hey, it's a roleplaying game and that's fine, but let's not pretend he's not intentionally gimping himself.
Laziest two solutions: mounted skirmisher or a sorcerer cohort with spells like teleport. (The now-iconic AM BARBARIAN has a mount cohort, so it's not like we're comparing apples to oranges here.)
Silver smite bracelet. He did call that out specifically.
IMHO: the value of channeling depends a lot on the size of your group.
4 PCs, including you? Channeling becomes mostly a way to save spells or wand charges between combats.
9 PCs including you? Channeling starts to look really good a lot of the time, and Selective Channeling starts to look like a must.
Noir le Lotus wrote:
Th'at's right, but there's a lot of 3rd level spells that are still useful, even when you can cast 9th level spells. If Ring of Wizardry I & II are not so great, Ring of Wizardry III is a must have to every wizard/witch/sorcerer.
Eh... I don't agree with that.
You might convince me that a Ring of Wizardry III is worth a ring slot to every wizard/witch/sorcerer, but 70,000 gold? There are so many better ways to spend that much cash. To put it in perspective, that's basically what a Vorpal weapon or a Cube of Force costs. A couple extra third level spells just isn't on par with a chance to instantly slay most enemies each time you swing or the ability to keep out all things.
I guess that works if you encounter trolls while mounted and prepared for combat while on a featureless plain, but in something like a forest? I just don't see it happening. They can literally run you out of arrows.
The thing that I would hope people would get out of it is: generally you want to try to deal with a game as it is rather than soft-banning things you think are "too good", because:
1) They're not perfect, they do make mistakes, but generally speaking, the game designers know more about what balances the game than you do. Trying to "patch" the game on your own, you're usually at least as likely to break things worse than fix things. For example, all the people arguing in another thread a month ago that rogues would be crazy broken if you let them sneak attack more than once per round, which they disallowed in their games.
Even if you correctly identify something that's too good, it's very easy to lose sight of the bigger picture or issues around changing it. To keep with Sirlin's Street Fighter example, maybe you decide to soft-ban throws, but you've completely lost sight of the issue that throws were meant to address/fix.
2) The only way to learn how to deal with something is to play with it. If you knee-jerk ban lance pouncing, you'll never realize the dozen reasons it's actually not as good as you first thought it was. Meanwhile, other people have moved past it to figuring out what beats it to figuring out what in turn beats that.
And maybe you're a person who doesn't like the tactical side of the game at all, but then at that point, where do you draw the line? Maybe in those games the PCs win all the time and it doesn't really matter. I don't even know.
Feel free to take it however you want.
I'll say again: pick a level at which the spirited charge / full attack combo is possible. If you can't come up with ten more game-breaking characters at that level, you aren't really trying.
It may be errata'd. It may not be errata'd. That's pretty meaningless to the discussion. If you don't understand why, maybe we'll have to agree to stop talking past each other and disagree.
If there's a less arrogant-sounding way to tell you that you're completely out-in-left-field wrong, feel free to suggest it and I'll consider it in the future. I think I can gracefully argue with someone who's wrong in a "I think black is white" sense but not someone who's wrong in a "I think black is pickle" sense -- the latter case seems so orthogonal to the topic to me that I honestly don't know how to respond to it in a non-condescending way.
That's just it -- you don't need to "spend weeks to find gamebreaking cheesy character concepts." If it's a big stretch for you to put together, "Hmm. Melee characters do a lot of damage if they can full attack, and not so much damage at higher levels if they can't full attack. If I put together a character that can full attack a lot, that'll be way more effective than one that can't." then... yeah, mechanically, you don't really understand the game. That's 3.X/PF Martial Characters 101.
Lots of people play Monopoly without the auction rules and putting all the cash on free parking and believe that's how the game is supposed to be played. Whether or not they have fun doing so in no way speaks to how well they understand the game.
Also, while I understand that Pathfinder is generally not a competitive game, I'm still going to leave this here, because I think you can learn something from it.
The disconnect is this: you think this is the only build that can put out ridiculous damage at those levels, so you think that one thing needs to be nerfed to put it back into line.
Whereas the people disagree with you realize that:
1) Lots of other builds can do damage that's on that order of magnitude at the same level, and,
2) If you made a list of the top ten most ridiculous characters you could make, ragelancepouncing barbarian might not even make the list.
Basically you're arguing about the balance of a game that you don't really understand, and like a guy arguing that baseball stadiums need to be twice as big because home runs are overpowered, you seem silly to people with a stronger understanding of the game.
General Discussion is a MinMaxers paradise and this would seem to detract form having fun and role-playing. Is this a bad or good thing? Lol
That's because it's an internet forum, and it's interesting to talk about what does and doesn't work, mechanically, whereas nobody wants to hear about your campaign and how your half-elf rogue became a god by bluffing the forces of the universe.
Mechanical RAW is one of a very few things that's pretty campaign agnostic.
Honestly, if we're going to look at something like the absurdity that is level 20 to make the case for pounce brokenness... it's just silly.
You could easily make a whole party's worth of different characters who all can potentially move and then full attack in a round. A melee character that can't do it (and also doesn't have some other trick that massively jacks their single-attack damage up to compensate) has ceased to be relevant to combat a half-dozen levels earlier.
I don't recommend allowing summoner -- LoF skews dungeon heavy, it skews melee enemy heavy, and it skews light on enemies with DR. This means that your typical eidolon (big, high damage, high AC, terrible saves) can spend an awful lot of the AP essentially soloing half the encounters. That is to say, there are a lot of encounters that can only physically attack the eidolon, can't realistically get to any other party member if the summoner is smart, and need to roll a nat 20 to hit the eidolon while it's pouring massive damage out.
To be clear, I think summoner in general is a little (not a lot) too good -- probably it either should have less built in AC or the summoner shouldn't have mage armor and shield it can cast on the eidolon, and that would neatly fix every general problem I've seen -- but LoF's setup really highlights its strengths and avoids its weaknesses.
Yup. That reason is the Constitution. If you look at the way the POTUS election process is set up and think about it for a few minutes it's obvious that it's always going to be a two party race.
Note that I'm not making a case that this is a good thing, but it is what is and ever shall be for so long as the law remains as it is.
My players hit on the idea of using Nefeshti's wishes to counteract Jhavhul's wishes. That is to say, they would burn her wishes to wish that Jhavhul not be reborn in Xotani to try to keep his thousand-wish count stalled.
This seems kind of anticlimatic (it removes the time pressure) and contrary to the spirit of the adventure (high fantasy slinging wishes around) but I can't think of a good reason this wouldn't work other than "because I say so." Am I missing something?