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I could list off more stories of real, actual gameplay, but what's the point? Everyone who says that a caster/martial disparity exists has played and/or GM'd Pathfinder. We're not talking about a group of people who read the CRB but haven't played, and declared that they know what's up better than the actual players. Those who acknowledge the disparity ARE actual players, whether others can accept it or not.
And those who have NOT seen the disparity in their games are also actual players.
Let us not attack the other side, nor even take sides. What we are seeing here is that some players see a disparity and others don't. I am trying to see why. Both sides have a lot of experience.
This is why I'd like to keep this to actual game play, instead of theorycrafting. We have quite a few threads about that already, we don't need to continue the same debate here.
One reason I have seen is that those who dont think there's much of a disparity look upon PF/D&D as a TEAM game, and if the martial is super at dealing DPR- and the player playing that PC is happy doing that- then there's no disparity. The TEAM is strong, all the players are happy.
In other cases, the disparity doesnt happen much as the players are friends, and try to get along and "play happy".
Many seem to say the disparity only shows up at higher levels, levels beyond most AP;s and beyond where most games are played. This seems to be my experience as well.
Car we keep the discussion on a friendly level, please, less antagonistic posts? More helpful discussion. Please.
ElyasRavenwood's interesting thread go me thinking. Many people here talk about the Martial/Caster disparity as if it is a obvious thing, and ask 'why can't martial have nice things?"
But I have played in three PF campaigns now, going to 7th, 11th and 15th level. No sign of the Martial/Caster disparity- except at the very lowest levels where martials win out. Hmm. Also playing in a number of PFS games. Not there either (but all rather low level, 7th is highest).
True, I did play in a 3.5 campaign where once we hit the point where the two casters could toss around 9th level spells (Shapechange!) my martial did feel rather useless. So, I saw it myself, but at a very high level.
Reading what the devs say, they also say that in their games there is little or no Martial/Caster disparity.
But clearly some others have experienced it, commonly.
So, I'd like to know that at your actual IRL gaming table, in a real Pathfinder campaign- did you actually experience Martial/Caster disparity, and if so (or if NOT) why? Not theorycrafting, please. Nothing wrong with theorycrafting but let us stick to actual played games for this, please.
Now, we didn't experience it, and once reason might be is that we always had at least one PC that was a Buffer. At a certain level, Bardsong and/or Haste was a given. Both boost martials more. Could that be the reason? Teamwork?
We did have two dedicated optimizers, but one ALWAYS played spellcasters, the other ALWAYS martials (for this I am counting a Magus as a martial, but yes, they can cast spells, but other big killer PC was a straight fighter).
So, if you have or have not experienced Martial/Caster disparity at your table, let us hear why (or why not).
Real Life. Not Theory. Please.
James Jacobs wrote:
Have we thanked you recently for all your hark work and this thread?
Cap. Darling wrote:
Well, in a 3.5 game, once we got to the point where the casters could toss 9th level spells around (Like Shapechange) yes, we found that more or less made martials useless.
My martial actually dominated the table until about level 13, when he got lost in a plane shift gate (he got back safely, but couldnt rejoin the party so I had to bring in another).
In our RotRL game, the Fighter dominated until we ended the campaign around lvl 15. If someone tells me that commonly in 20th level games, Martials have a issue due to 9th level spells, I will accept that.
In Combat healing was a must.
The rogue player wasn't around half the time and half the time didnt update his PC, so i can't really say how well a rogue would do in RotRL. In other games, played only until level 7, the rogue was just fine. I am willing to accept a Core only rogue might lag in higher levels.
I have never seen a PF game that allowed 3.5 stuff willy-nilly, only by special request and DM Ok.
We only had one guy that dumped stats.
We tried a Master Summoner- the issue was spotlight hog, not really that OP. he was running 2-3 monsters plus himself every combat, it got old fast. We banned it. Regular Summoner was fine, but the DM had to check and recheck the math.
No 15 minute days.
Yeah. My Ex was a ASL interpreter, and she watched Koko "talking" to her friends, who then interpreted what Koko "said". My Ex than said their interpretations were extremely generous, Koko never seemed to form a sentence, just said several words. Now, while it's true then that Koko knew some words, it's seems doubtful she could actually form sentences. Her 'friends" were forming the sentences for her.
We would need to see outside peer reviewed testing, which afaik, never happened.
I have never seen a PC character that was "an obvious liability". So what if my PC isn't DPR maximized?
And parties all the time get stuck with dudes that steal or lay back or hide or spotlight hog......
Well, in the Hobbit they ran into a nice cache with two or three relic swords, then looted Smaugs hordes for more good stuff.
In LotR, they were given gifts and boons.
And, in OD&D and AD&D "Ye Olde Magik Shoppe" was hard to find and had limited selection. Sure, you might start with cheap armor and upgrade into really good NM armor- which is fairly realistic (if we can use that term) but the idea of building a PC around getting certainly magic items at certain points would be laughable. I mean sure, the bog standard +1 stuff would be found, or even bought. But assuming you'd have a +4 stat item for your "Prime Requisite" was hubris.
I think that was a mistake that 3.0 made and PF hasnt bothered to undo it. And it may not be undoable. I
try to just have really cool, semi-personalized loot drops, but when AP's assume you'll have the "Christmas tree" by such and such a level, it gets hard.
pH unbalanced wrote:
The thing about 'cis' is that it fills a needed language niche. I remember when the term was first coming into use and the only real competition it had was non-trans, which IMO is worse. (It's bad form to describe people by what they *aren't*.) 'Cis' being a term from organic chemistry was a short, elegant word that didn't have any baggage associated with it. It really was about as good as you were going to get.
All those things are true, but especially the words "*WAS*. "Cis" has now been hijacked by haters and bigots, it's become a pejorative that should not be used on these message boards or in polite conversation.
I know, it was a good term, but it's no longer usable in polite society.
Jessica Price wrote:
Well, if Jessica is here, perhaps we're not headed for immediate lock-down city, but let's be nice folks, please. This has been fun.
Biggest source of E. coli outbreaks is lettuce. Veggies also have pesticides and other chemicals and are often GMOed.
But you are right about Ovo-Lacto veg, you can get a full spectrum of nutrients there.
but I have seen broken classes on the weak end, like the rogue. Every single one of my players who has played one ended up hating how useless their character was for the majority of the game (we play APs). In the Iron Gods game I'm running right now, our rogue player ditched his character at 5th level so he could play something that actually contributed to the party. He had such high hopes for his character, and he was very disappointed with how it worked out. Nearly useless, always going unconscious, barely do enough damage, couldn't find traps, and more.
Couldnt find traps? Then he built his character wrong. Sure, early rogues had issues with DPR and staying up, but they could find traps better than any, even after they allowed Trapfinding to other builds. Unless you had Perception as a Class skill, enuf skP to max it, Trapfinding and the ability to get the talent "Trap Spotter " then you couldnt equal a rogue for trapfinding. Mind you, yes, many AP's simply do not feature the kind of devious Gygaxian traps from earlier editions. In many you could just take the damage and heal, with hardly a slow down. (Try that in ToH!). This is the fault of the AP, not of the class.
And I also blame the devs there in not telling us upfront on a AP that a specialized trapfinder wasnt required. This was expected int he past, so to see it almost never really important was a paradigm shift.
So yeah, it's true- a bog standard Rogue from the Core RB was inferior in everything BUT finding traps. Still, if he couldnt do that- that's his fault, not the class.
You are right and wrong here. I do that a lot, having been around as long as anyone in the business. But having played dozens and dozens of systems with hundreds and hundreds of players, I can tell you that certain things carry over from any system- things that are just universal to RPGs.
So, for example, if I tell you to "Never try to solve a OOC problem IC" - it will work even if I have never heard of that RPG, let along played it.
However, if I tell you that "xxx class is overpowered and needs nerfing" then yes, I needs must have played that class and played WITH that class- in a couple of games. Simply reading it once doesn't really cut it. Watching one guy cream everyone in one session is not proof either.
So, I really dont know more about PF than any of the other experienced posters here. Despite my deep experience, as far as PF game mechanics go, my opinion is worth no more than anyone else's- and less than quite a few. But if you tell me you have a certain problem player- then yes- my 40 years of experience will likely be of value. *
* and if you compare PF to other legacy systems, then I have dropped several ranks in that skill.
No, even Cugel knew that many.
Iucounu the Laughing Magician knew dozens and dozens.
The fourth chapter of a "basic book" of magic contains a dozen spells, per Rhialto the Marvellous.
Turjan knew exactly 100 spells. He was not counted the most powerful.
wiki: "The most powerful wizards of the 21st Aeon of the Dying Earth are banded together in an association, and mostly reside in the territories of Ascolais and Almery. Unlike other wizards of the Dying Earth, such as Turjan and Mazirian, these wizards possess nearly godlike power. With little effort, they can travel to the distant past or the furthest reaches of the universe, freeze time (a popular dirty trick), prolong their lives for eons, change their shape and appearance, summon useful objects, and call forth numerous spells of protection, destruction, investigation, or simple amusement and experimentation. Much of their power comes from their ability to bind and control potent genie-like beings called sandestins, while they also derive power from their large stores of magical relics. The most highly prized are IOUN stones, mystical stones which they take as the spoils of their battles with the archveults. Their conduct toward one another is governed by a set of rules called the Blue Principles, because they are inscribed upon a blue stone which displays them through a sort of projector."
It doesnt have to be music. Henry the V's St Crispins day's speech is an example of Oratory. It can be dance. It can even be ime, but then The Patrician would have you thrown in the scorpion pits, so.....
Bards are part of Celtic and Irish myth and legend, they inspired with Song, oratory and yes, even Satire.
I know I am going to be shunned when I say this, but I was so scarred by the Munchkin horror that was AD&D Psionics, I still cant get myself to want to play it. I know recent versions are much better balanced, but it's like a snake phobia, I have a terrible and unfair knee jerk reaction.
Please try to forgive an Old Grognard for this and don't shun me too much. ;-)
But if you played that version you'd understand.
Simon Legrande wrote:
Matrix I was a great special effects action film, as long as you didnt stop to think about the silly concept.
Foghorn Leghorn: "It was a joke, son, a joke."
Not really. People take that entirely out of context. Nor does Monte design for Paizo.
"It raises some very important points, but over the years I’m afraid I’ve come to find it deeply annoying because whenever somebody links to it or quotes from it, I can almost guarantee you that they’re about to completely misrepresent the essay’s entire point.
What Cook basically says in the essay is, “Instead of just giving people a big toolbox full of useful tools, we probably should have included more instructions on when those tools are useful and how they can be used to best effect.”
But the vast majority of people quoting the essay instead snip some variant of “we wanted to reward mastery of the game” out of context and then go ape-s@#@ because D&D3 deliberately included “traps” for new players.
The methods of selective quoting vary, but they all basically look something like this:
“Toughness [is] not the best choice of feat.”
OMG! WHY WOULD THEY INCLUDE A SUCKY FEAT LIKE THAT?
There are two problems with this.
First, the full quote is actually, “Toughness, for example, has its uses, but in most cases it’s not the best choice of feat.” And then the essay goes on to further clarify its meaning: “To continue to use the simplistic example above, the Toughness feat could have been written to make it clear that it was for 1st-level elf wizards (where it is likely to give them a 100 percent increase in hit points). It’s also handy when you know you’re playing a one-shot session with 1st-level characters, like at a convention (you sure don’t want to take item creation feats in such an instance, for example).”
In other words, Toughness is a special purpose tool. When used properly, it’s a useful tool. When used improperly, it’s a wasted feat slot. The designers felt like people should be smart enough to figure that out for themselves, but the point of Cook’s essay is that it probably would have been better to include more usage guidelines."
Oddly I used to scoff at this, as my experience has shown the more optimized the less roleplaying. But then I remember a few noteworthy exceptions.
However, what I have noticed is that in games where there is more NEED to optimize, where combat is emphasized and tactics are critical- Roleplaying TENDS to fall by the wayside. Note this is a tendency only not a hard and fast rule.
I think this is because us mere mortals can only concentrate on a few things at once. And when you must move precisely there, and remember all your bonuses, and think of what you and or your foe is going to do next - it's hard to also act out in character.
This is why sometimes I remember my AD&D games fondly. Not that there weren't groups who said "the hell with RP, I wanna kill something", but that combat movement was rarely important, bonuses might be one or two and thinking like a chess master was largely irrelevant.
So yeah, you certainly can do both- many people dont do both.
As I have posted before:Players: “Hey Bob, we have to go on a quest for about 4 nites of gaming in order to raise you, so I guess you can just stay home or you can play my Mount.”
Bob: “yeah, sounds like real fun. Look, instead- here’s Knuckles the 87th , go ahead and loot Knuckles the 86th body. He's got some cool stuff."
The whole idea of “death should mean something” becomes meaningless when we all realize that D&D is a Game, Games should be Fun, and in order to have Fun you have to Play. Thereby, when a Player’s PC dies either you Raise him or he brings in another. Raising is preferable story-wise, and costs resources. Bringing in another costs continuity and actually increases party wealth. Not to mention, instead of an organic played-from-1st-PC we have a PC generated at that level, which can lead to some odd min/maxing.
The third alternative is “Sorry Bob, Knuckles is dead. You’re out of the campaign, we’ll let you know when the next one is starting, should be in about a year or so.’ Really?
Nope. But I do know older systems, having been around when they were played and even helped write them. You likely know PF better than I do.
However, since I do know the older systems I can tell you that Pathfinder is in no way unique or unusual in players finding ways to circumvent encounters in a ridiculously easy fashion, they always have, ever since OD&D. This is nothing new just to Pathfinder.
There's a story about and experiment with a chimp put into a room with a nice bunch of bananas out of reach. The scientist placed two boxes and a stick in the room.
He made the experiment so that the chimps could either stack the boxes and get the fruit, os stand on one bow with the stick. He'd then let in 1 or 2 chimps and recorded on his checklist whether the chimps did:
A. Two boxes
In every case the chimps got the reward, but in no case did they go for A or B. Sometimes they jumped with the stick. Once they threw the box at the bananas. With two chimps they often got on each others back.
Adventurers are like those chimps. And, since I have been DMing since 1974 i can tell you this has nothing at all to do with Pathfinder, the chimps have been outsmarting the DM and doing the unexpected for 40 years.
Expect the unexpected. Go with it.
The Food babe uses totally wrong science. Try reading the Science babe, who has thrashed the Food babes ridiculous wrongheaded pseudo-science ideas .
Hari's rule? "If a third grader can't pronounce it, don't eat it."
My rule? Don't base your diet on the pronunciation skills of an eight-year-old."
I want to eat at that sub shop. Add in balsamic or good red wine vinegar and olive oil, and you have made me a very happy Evil Overlord.
Actually that's not at all how I Define the term. It means you MAXimize your Strengths while MINimizing everything else not critical to those Strengths.
I have seen no one defining the term how you do the first line:
Min-maxing has a history of controversy among players and game designers. Game designers may dislike min-maxing because it discourages variety in play through extreme specialization. It can also 'break' the difficulty balance of a game--making parts of a game too easy or too hard--since games are usually tuned with the goal of providing a reasonable (and thus enjoyable) level of challenge throughout for all normal character builds. A min-maxed character build can often puncture the intended equilibrium of difficulty by being unreasonably good at one thing and unreasonable bad at many others.
Furthermore, if the one thing that a min-maxed character is good at is overall more useful (e.g. combat) than other character abilities (e.g. talking or environmental exploration), the player is likely to rely heavily on that one thing they're good at to solve all situations in the game (e.g. killing everyone instead of talking to them). Game designers often attempt to limit the success of min-maxing by including challenges in their games that cannot all be met by any one specialized character build or by incorporating limits into the rules of character building to prevent overspecialization (e.g. point costs to raise an attribute increase the higher the attribute is, or a character's highest level skill cannot be increased more than 5 levels above their lowest, etc.).
Game designers may also dislike min-maxing by players if it means the player sees their character in starkly mechanical terms rather than as a fictional person. As a result, a min-maxing player may be less likely to roleplay their character or to engage with the game's story or other characters in a way reasonable for an imagined inhabitant of the game world."
In fact, note that I dont even say Min/maxing is bad. Certainly some degree of it is normal, and even to be desired.
But like anything else it can be taken to extremes.
Here's the real problem- the Min-Maxer often punishes his fellow players, and that's where the real issue lies. You love doing damage so you dump wis to 7, which mean you fail your will save, are dominated and have to/ get to kill the party. For some players, that's actually fun- they love showing that their PC is so powerful he can take out the rest of the party. It is NOT fun for the rest of the players, some of whom may be rather attached to their character and have put days of work into them, backstory, etc. Of course the Min/max tank is one of those like Soilentc mention- not even bothering with a name. Being killed by a fellow party member who wanted to do a little more DPR is annoying.
Most often it's some guy who wants to do combat and only combat. His PC has no social skills- heck, with a 7 INT no skills at all... forcing the other players to design PC's to make up for his deficiencies.
And maybe he is a decent roleplayer- who then RP's his 7 CHA to get the party INTO as many fights as possible- since that's all he wants to do anyway.
In reality, such a PC would simply be kicked out of a group. But since D&D is a game, we let him play.
So it's not Mix/maxing that's the problem- it's that a lot of jerk players use min/maxing to be bigger jerks.
Why is requiring training such a horribly bad sign? I don't like it myself but I don't see the horror here...
It's another way for the control-phreak DM to control the PC's in every little way.
For example- let's say you level during a quest. Well, you know the quest is super difficult, and the fate of the world hangs on it- so getting better will help you succeed. But then the DM has a time requirement on the quest so that you cant take the time to level.
Or the training costs so much you are stuck at one level for much longer than you should be.
Adventuring *IS* training.