I've made a Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple build around Shocking Grasp before, and it was a lot of fun.
A spell that has no saving throw and can be part of a full round attack? Yes, that sounds lovely.
Magical Lineage and Spell Perfection are a requirement. The fact that Draconic Sorcerers get Quickened Spell (metamagic) as a bonus feat is a big plus.
As a draconic sorcerer, you can choose a dragon color to add +1 to every damage die, so I choose blue dragon to get that extra boost.
Because of the level 9 limit for spells after metamagic feats, I've found you can do more damage with Shocking Grasp than you can with Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning on a single target, and on average it's a close call on 2 targets. Once you get 3+ targets, you should certainly be using the other spells. However, you need to remember that saving throws can also give you diminished returns for your average output (also, the ability to deliver touch attacks affects your damage return).
Because of this, it depends on the types of encounters you expect from your GM when choosing.
Quickened Intensified Empowered Shocking Grasp + full round attack in Form of the Dragon III = 67.5 + full attack dmg average
Quickened Intensified Empowered Shocking Grasp + Intensified Empowered Shocking Grasp = 135 dmg average
The real infinity gems are kinda' overpowered for all rules everywhere, considering that they represent absolute control over everything in the universe.
I take it you want to represent them in idea but not in power? More of a control of the planet (the entire material plane still seems a bit overpowered)?
Maybe you can keep them in scope simply by having a mechanism for your abilities with the gem itself. An "attunement" rating that they increase through feats or a mythic path. At low attunement, they gain some fairly impressive supernatural abilities (+2 Strength and DR 10/- for Power or Teleport as a spell like ability for Space). At high attunement, they get the epitome of prowess as represented through powers/spells (+10 Strength and DR 40/- with 50 regeneration for Power and Plane Shift with precise accuracy for Space).
Because honestly, only Thanos can control all gems at once. Most others seems to fail at even controlling the limitless power of one of them. It should be difficult to unlock the full potential of the gems.
Magda Luckbender wrote:
I've seen a funny Sorcerer build that aims to boost strength to ridiculous levels and fight with claws. I've not seen anyone actually do this. I believe the theory-craft build got a STR of 50+ by about 10th level. I believe this person was aiming for a PFS legal build.
If you include Dragon Disciple as part of it, then it's fairly common to build Sorcerers that focus on claws and strength. I did this in my Kingmaker campaign and enjoyed it immensely. I didn't optimize strength as ridiculously as I posted above, but it still gets pretty high.
Also quickened touch attack spells combined with a Form of the Dragon III full attack is a beautiful thing.
In fact, the build I posted above could easily do 500 DPR on a full round attack.
I had a fun time with this thought experiment once. As a player PC I came up with:
Controlled by Party PC: 69
The breakdown can be found here.
18 untyped Base
+4 untyped Racial: Orc
+5 untyped from leveling
+4 untyped from Dragon Disciple
+6 Inherent from Eldritch Heritage: Abyssal
+6 Enhancement from Belt of Giant Strength
+8 Morale from Rage while using Amplified Rage feat
+10 Size from Form of the Dragon III
+6 Alchemical from Mutagen
+2 Profane from a Succubus' Profane Gift
This is a total of: 69
Now, if we are counting things that the party cannot control, which is a circumstantial damage due to combat totaling 50:
If we are counting very circumstantial and GM controlled:
Now, this is with normal humanoid starting races and some of the older templates, which means that this can get higher still.
So to add in the additional allowed CR 6, I will do the above and make it a Half dragon/Half Celestial Ogre.
Allowed Templates: 87
18 untyped Base
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
Anyone else notice the irony in the OP's username?
I was wondering if anybody would point it out and almost asked if this account was made specifically to ask this question.
As written in the AD&D 1st edition rule book by good old Gary Gygax himself.
Gary Gygax writing about being a GM is like Bill Gates explaining how he invented the mouse.
Nobody ever gives Dave Arneson proper credit...
Oops, I gave the Sorcerer 4/Monk 1 troglodyte full attack too much BAB.
It should be:
Smite is awesome no doubt about that. With 2 lvls of paladin though you will just not have enough of it.
Well it's all about flavor and what you prefer though, since casters already have a great deal of daily resource management. I mean, you save your Mage's Disjunction casts for the BBEG instead of wasting all your 9th level slots on his minions. The same is true for Smite.
One of my players started as a paladin for going eventually DD. At his 5th lvl he was frustated with the low spellcasting progression and simultaneously amazed from the paladin class features that he dropped the concept and made a pure paladin instead.
Yeah I'd probably feel the same way. 5 levels of Paladin is not a great spot to be in. I usually would only do a 2 level dip and not worry about my pathetic/useless channeling or spellcasting. That level of spellcasting just does not have longevity.
Of note is new errata from ultimate combat on feral combat training.
It's a great errata, but if I were focusing on Feral Combat Training I'd have much more than simply a monk dip. Flurry would quickly become a poor option as only a level 1 Monk compared to Form of the Dragon which can grant you Claw/Claw/Bite/Wing/Wing/Tail, making Feral Combat Training moot.
If I were focusing on Feral Combat Training, I'd probably only do a Dragon Disciple dip to 4th level to maintain decent casting and get the strength modifiers, then put a lot more levels in Monk.
Check the bonuses that you can have if you transform into a Troglodyte and tell me who is going to be the best melee fighter at 5th lvl.
Yes, but you'll have a lower base attack bonus and a slightly frustrating progression of it as well. :) All of these options work and as I said I actually like the monk dip variant as well.
Some of these builds have different levels where they shine and come into their own, but they all get there and do it without any major struggle levels.
Comparing a Trog attack of
The results depend upon AC and smite type. Both results vary depending upon fights per day and resource allocation as well. They all work and each is fun in it's own way. ^.^
By the way, I do like your 7th level feat progression. Basically what I would have done with those classes.
Sorcerer 11/Dragon Disciple 8/Monk 1 is a pretty good combination, but make sure you're going all the way to level 20 for this build. Otherwise I think you're worrying about caster levels that may never happen regardless.
For example, I only went to Sorcerer 5/Dragon Disciple 10/Paladin 2 because I knew the game was going to 17th level at maximum. Normally the last 2 levels of Dragon Disciple are not worth it, but the only way I could get much higher caster level was to ditch Paladin and go more Sorcerer (Sorcerer 9/Dragon Disciple 8). The main difference here is the addition of 7th level spells. However, this was weighed against a lower base attack bonus, worse saves, the loss of Smite, and I would actually have to use my spells per day to cast Form of the Dragon II instead of using my 2/day.
To me, a few 7th level spells per day were not worth that. To others they might be. The build you are looking at for monk is trying to squeeze those last spell levels out. Just make sure you're going to level 20 or you may have made a choice you don't get to play with.
In my opinion ranger is not right for you, but I am no expert. It's a lot more focused on melee combat with no real synergy with your casting. You can always take those same feats if you desire without being a ranger.
I feel like Paladin synergies with the casting stats nicely because of the focus on Charisma, and Barbarian not only is good for natural attacking, but rage/pounce is a good mix for a lengthy full attack (Form of the Dragon) with the additional strength being great for your bite.
Optimizing natural attacks can be tricky, but the most interesting thing is that Dragon Disciple is already one of the best ways to optimize natural attacks.
You get a 1d6 claw and a bite that uses 1 1/2 strength modifier as a primary natural attack. There's ways to make these better, but I think you'll get more out of optimizing your generic prowess in combat (Smite, Rage) than focusing entirely on your natural attacks which are already pretty good.
Also, if you take Magical Knack, a Sorcerer 12/Dragon Disciple 8 will be at a caster level 20 able to cast 9th level spells as spells per day of an 18th level Sorcerer.
I played Dragon Disciple and REALLY enjoyed it a great deal. I also went for natural attacking primarily and the incredible strength you can get makes this quite fun.
The most important thing to realize is that the Magical Knack trait is key. It makes the caster level losses barely matter.
Now I know people are tossing Barbarian in there as a great melee option, but also you may want to consider Paladin instead. Smite evil can wreck a bad guy, but also Divine Grace makes your saves decent.
I ended my game as Sorcerer 5/Dragon Disciple 10/Paladin 2.
This was not a fully optimized build, but I was able to solo a CR 20 black dragon without even taking half my HP in damage.
Also I had a great deal of fun with touch spells. Natural attacks can be used to deliver touch spells, which make your Form of the Dragon II full attack routine even deadlier with a bit of Quickened metamagic feat usage (which is a bonus feat for dragon sorcerer's anyway).
Oh it's back! This conversation has happened at least five times already with the EXACT same points being made!
I'm not sure I need to link all of the relevant posts again like I usually do since I see some have been on the ball and already done so.
I swear this argument is like my warm fuzzy home.
The Morphling wrote:
You're saying that you can roll spellcraft to identify a componentless, silent spell cast by an invisible creature which produces no observable effect?
Yes I am saying precisely this!
Can you counter-spell? No, but not for reasons you're probably thinking. You need to pinpoint an invisible creature before you can ready an action against him. He still has the upper hand due to his invisibility.
It seems you are quite convinced of what the words "see the spell" mean. I usually think of them as seeing a spell, but you are very confident that it means seeing their components or effects. One of these being dismissed by Jason Bulhman and the other required the spell to have already completed casting before it exists therefore rendering counter-spelling impossible by it's own definition.
This is a perspective and an interpretation, but FAR from a fact. None of us will ever have even any remote amount of proof about this one way or the other until it is verified in a FAQ or official ruling.
So, like usual, I am requesting that people stop saying that they have the RAW answer as definitive. You do not. Neither do I. Your interpretation is a house-rule as well.
i proved you wrong.
Actually you just said that he was wrong. Saying something and proving something are very different things.
I doubt that in a thread comparing effectiveness of a class you're ever going to find any proof of any sort for any viewpoint.
3a) Given the level of descriptive thought on both parts in this, you seem to be a) presuming the player just plain made a mistake, or b) are arbitrating that someone beat them. You may not be. Regardless of whether or not you are, this part of the post kind of comes off, "Oh, yeah, well, I've got BIGGER guns!" which is kinda "eeeeehhhh...," and never ends well in thread debates. This does apply to both groups to a point.
Yeah, I fully agree with you. My post that said this exact thing was deleted unfortunately and I didn't feel like re-iterating. I tried to point out that bringing up examples and anecdotal evidence was meaningless, because every situation can be countered, which is what I was demonstrating.
Wraith Shadar wrote:
The point of the discussion is to show how a non-caster can go against a caster without his own caster to help him.
I never viewed this as the point of the discussion. I simply stated that casters are not more powerful than martials. This is a very broad range of situations, including full party dynamics at high level play.
Every single one of those spells can be used by a martial using items.
I never once said magic is pointless, but that casters are not simply better. Martials can use magic too, but that's barely the point. High level play involves a mixed party and I don't know why this solo 1v1 situation is even relevant (though we can continue to do pointer/counter-point if you insist, I just don't see a reason).
Wraith Shadar wrote:
As in show that casters and martials are equal in ability.
They are not EQUAL per se. They operate differently. A caster has more options and potential. To get this, he becomes more vulnerable and variable in effectiveness. Consistently pointing out his strengths with his range of capability does not help. His weaknesses are still being ignored.
A simple midnight ambush in a party situation usually pulls this out fairly well. Let's say the watch was late in alarming his allies; the character who is most screwed is the wizard who didn't get to sleep, followed immediately by the martials who rely on donning armor and don't have the feats to sleep in it.
These are actually situations in which the monk shines, by the way. All he needs to do is stand up and he's at full fighting capacity.
Demiplanes aren't subject to attack unless you leave a gate up.
I'm not sure why you say this? I might be missing something, but I have never seen anything about this spell that makes it safe.
Creatures can only enter the plane by the use of planar travel magic such as astral projection, etherealness, or plane shift.
Leaving your clones behind in your demi-plane while you go off adventuring eh? Heh, that sounds like an easy mark. Just go to the wizard's plane when he's not there and destroy his work.
Also, Permanency can be dispelled. It requires a higher caster level, but considering all factors (are we ONLY talking level 20, what level did you cast it at, does your enemy have access to epic caster levels) it is not unlikely.
Raith Shadar wrote:
Why do you keep assuming I'm going to show up to an encounter unprepared for what is there. Why do you keep insisting on thinking I'm going to operate like a regular dungeon party wandering around the place meeting the encounters head on? Why are you making this assumption?
I haven't made those assumptions, my assertion is that there is no proof, not that I can prove otherwise.
Why are you making assumption that you CAN prepare for an encounter? When you do these campaigns, your GM has every enemy you come across simply let you leave/rest/prepare all the time? Your enemies are fools, which is fine sometimes because some enemies are fools, but to treat it like you have "the solution" is simply wrong.
I think Wizards/casters HAVE strength and can shine, but the assertion that they are BETTER is so extraordinarily circumstantial and anecdotal that I find it dismissable.
My point is that it's random. That's what casters are. They forgo consistency for power and options, but the inconsistency and reliance on preparation is a weakness and it seems that it is often overlooked.
Raith Shadar wrote:
I don't see why you have trouble accepting that this is the current reality of 3rd edition/Pathfinder at high level.
Because it's not. It's subjective. I can guarantee that these factors change drastically from table to table, just like the monk versus fighter experiences.
Also I don't ~see~ it because I have been tabletop role-playing for a very long time and have seen no evidence aside from online anecdotes that I can always work out a way that they got lucky.
only on different days each.
Yes, that was what I said in the beginning. A caster who can prepare can do a great deal, which is why I don't think a Wizard is weak.
However, this is like saying that there's never a sense of urgency. I've certainly seen a LOT of stories in which going away to rest is not an option.
In pre-made campaigns, there's a sense of urgency like 80% of the time.
Raith Shadar wrote:
Unless the DM is trying to kill you by setting up very specific encounters to do so, this isn't the case.
In my experiences, this is not remotely true. I've played a great deal (and GMed) of pre-made campaigns. Random dungeon themes that the wizard didn't prepare for is basically the most common thing.
I notice that your Schrödinger's wizard has an odd metamagic rod (I bet he also has the expensive Quicken and Maximize ones too because of course he can afford all gear), lots of dominate spells including the control undead spells, polymorph, plagues, he's a good blaster, very specific sun based spells, can summon like crazy, and has contingency setup?
Yeah... you're out of spell slots there big guy. You can't have all that, and if you DID you are aiming for versatility and cannot keep up a consistent slew to be effective.
You'll only convince me if you can show me a full build with all spells. The only real way to manage a wizard is to do what Justin Rocket said and create a series of spell-sets... which of course are ONLY useful if you knew where you'd be and your assumptions about encounters are correct (which they're not).
I have a working theory that holds true fairly often in life (particularly with politics). When somebody tells you that solving a problem is easy, they're often the worst person to try.
To me the biggest thing you're missing is Eldritch Heritage so you can toss in another bloodline and get the inherent strength bonuses (Orc, Abyssal).
I've done this character myself in a way. What level are you going to? You'll start off struggling, but it pays off late game very well. Around level 14 I was unstoppable (and this was with claws only, so a claw build IS viable).
I have settled on Human, and im considering Paladin 4, Sorcerer 2, DD 8, EK 5 at the moment.
That's a good mix. I've never done Eldritch Knight, and I went with much more Sorcerer for better casting, but I'm willing to bet that this works great.
Though this is getting WAY off topic, I'm going to have to say that I, for once, agree with shallowsoul. I've never seen Schrödinger God Wizard in my many years of playing. I can only imagine a summoning specialist for adventuring alone, the rest would be ripped to shreds.
Not only is it possible that you did not prepare the very specific spells that would help you in an encounter, most of the time it is likely unless you know precisely what's coming.
Mind control some meat shields and decimate with spells? Well, that kinda' falls apart in high level undead or construct dungeons. The GM doesn't even have to do this on purpose, it just happens that way in real play.
Wizards are far from weak, FAR from it, but I've yet to see how they are SO much better than martials. I can actually imagine Lorymyr's monk beating the crap out of most people's wizards.
Don't forget that Perception modifiers apply to Spellcraft rolls made to identify a spell as it's being cast.
Yup, if the spell is in concealment, at long range, etc, then all appropriate modifiers affect the roll. The discussion above was about invisible casters specifically, in which the caster is unseen but that says nothing for the spell.
Well.. er... it always was true, and always was a casting time? These two things are not mutually exclusive. You are correct that they are a standard action. It is a casting time of 1 standard action. I dunno if you missed the SRD quote above but this has always been this way:
A spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description.
Functioning like a spell =/= being cast like a spell
A spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description. In all other ways, a spell-like ability functions just like a spell.
Well, it certainly has a casting time, so you can't say that it isn't cast.
Other than that, the line "In all other ways, a spell-like ability functions just like a spell." is very vague. People can debate what that means (and have) for weeks. If you don't think identification counts as "in all other ways", then fine, but I do feel like the language ~ALL other ways~ leans towards acceptance instead of exception.
I usually tend to follow the trend that the specific overrides the general, but in anything else the general holds true. I would consider this statement to be a general one, and therefore the omission from Spellcraft as a specific is meaningless.
Since you must be able to see the spell "as it is being cast" then you must be able to see the caster. I do not see any other way to interpret this because until the spell is finished, which is before "as it is being cast", the spell effect does not exist.
There are two things wrong with this statement.
1) You said spell "effect" and not spell. These two things must be viewed differently. The spell effect is never in place until casting is completed. This is necessary to distinguish for all counter-spelling. The spell is identified before the effect. This is a given for counter-spelling to work.
2) Even replacing the text, the statement "until the spell is finished, the spell does not exist" is entirely presumptuous to the rules. Nowhere is this laid out.
If you follow your logic, then identification of a spell as it is being cast would be impossible under any circumstances, since you must see a spell as it is being cast. If you believe that the term "spell" is inconclusive until casting is completed, then all identification is impossible.
So for identification to make sense using the statements laid out by Jason; A spell is a thing; a spell is not its components; a spell is not its effect. It must be observable DURING the casting process and not only after completion. All of these things must be true in order for identification and counter-spelling to be reasonable.
If a spell is not its caster, then what are we observing? I have always explained it as a glowing mass of magic, an aura, or hovering magical pattern (depending upon the spell). However you decide to describe it or make sense of it, you must use something that fits in the rules as they are written. This is ONE way that fits in the rules, but it is NOT the rules. If you need your own explanation, then please come up with one, then continue to apply the same logic.
Now, regardless if you are using my glowing magic theory or your own explanation, why would the caster being invisible affect it? Following the rules as they are written, there would be no reason that I can find that the spell would not be visible, observable, identifiable, and counter-able.
Now, this is all for an invisible caster casting a spell, the specific rules for spell-like abilities would make it not counter-able, but certainly I see no reason why it would not be identifiable.
To make things interesting, the rules say:
Identifying a spell as it is being cast requires no action, but you must be able to clearly see the spell as it is being cast, and this incurs the same penalties as a Perception skill check due to distance, poor conditions, and other factors.
You must be able to clearly see the spell as it is being cast, not the caster. In the case of an invisible caster, it could be debated that as long as his location is pinpointed you may be able to identify his spells. This is where rules are unclear and a bit hairy though. Invisibility has a habit of bringing up odd complications to the rules.
Also, there are some that believe that a spell-like ability is not cast because the description uses "mentally activated":
Spell-like ability wrote:
I personally don't view these things as mutually exclusive, but I'm trying to make sure that other opinions are represented. I always figured that a casting time and the fact that it functions just like a spell in all other ways means that it is cast and can be identified. However, language is not perfect after all, and you can claim some ambiguity on the rules for this.
As for illusions, I say that it is a good idea to cast those from unseen locations most of the time anyway. However, there is this:
A character faced with proof that an illusion isn't real needs no saving throw.
Some could argue that identifying the illusion spell would count as proof.
Wow, this is back again so soon!
This is the most quoted and relevant post by Jason Buhlman.
Now to add in my 2 cents (which at this point is adding up to a lot of dollars), a spell is not the casting components in the same way that a cake is not an oven or the heat. You use the casting components to cast the spell, but they are not the same things. In fact, I don't even view casting components as the ingredients. Magic itself accounts for the ingredients, the casting components are your tools to cast with.
When you must be able to see a spell in order to identify, they are talking about the spell, not the casting components, not the caster. ~The-spell~
Back to the point really:
Negative energy isn't inherently evil any more than fire is. It is a force of nature more than anything. Fire (and acid) are forces of absolute entropy, of destruction. They are still not inherently evil.
However, negative energy is essentially a force of anti-life. Now, this doesn't mean that the energy itself is evil, but I think it shows why undead are. Undead are an expression of willpower, even if it is not their own. You are giving a force of life-destruction a will of it's own? Yes, that is inherently evil.
I would also think that living fire should be inherently evil too, but I don't have the bestiary on hand to see. A force of absolute destruction with a mind certainly sounds evil.
Finally, James Jacobs points out that there are exceptions to every rule, so I think it's fine to play with that. I mean, it's not even that hard to think of a back-story for an undead that is striving for good despite his heart being filled with the destruction of life. It can't be a very happy unlife though. A great deal of opposition.
That is like comparing the deadly weapon potential of a ball point pen to a gladius, though.
Yeah, and everybody knows that the pen is mightier than the sword.
By the way Lormyr, I would love to see you write a guide.
Ah okay I see, thank you. You basically tossed out the sword and shurikens and added some ioun stones and jingasa. Otherwise, you kept every single magic item, but just changed their bonuses.
When you said you couldn't comprehend those items, I thought you meant a much more drastic change, but it seems you were thinking the same as I. I appreciate you taking the time to explain.
I stand flatly baffled by the magic item selection of that monk...
Could you further explain what you mean by this? At a glance, that is the most generic item selection I've ever seen for a Core monk.
He has a temple sword, a Bracer's of Armor, an Amulet of Mighty Fists, a belt, a headband, a Monk's Robe, a Cloak of Resistance, and Ring of Protection.
That's the most standard fare thing I've ever seen. I suppose you could question the shurikens, or how much of a bonus goes into each item, but I'm still curious what your expectations are.
Peter Steward posted the build in a link above, before you even posted yours so he obviously wasn't simply trying to best you at specific numbers:
I am having difficulty understanding why this is a problem.
His build doesn't make him particularly good at killing the enemy, it makes him particularly good at staying alive. Why is this bad?
Are you worried that his method of survivability will make the other characters get killed because he is not a potential target? Is this even a problem? Personally, if he is risking the other characters I'd say my solution is to play it out. Kill the other players, or at least incapacitate them.
Then the enemy can focus on that insect that kept shooting arrows at them. There are MANY options on tracking down a stealth sniper that have already been presented to you.
I am just having difficulty understanding why you think you need a special solution to this type of character. If you play the game realistically, he's not creating any problems that don't solve themselves, and he's far from overpowered.
To OP: I don't think mixing real world issues with gaming world issues is a good idea.
I would disagree with this statement fairly strongly. Some of the greatest works in literacy involve real world issues (eg. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Fahrenheit 451, Animal Farm, Diary of Anne Frank, etc). Moral complexity and ethical dilemmas are powerful tools to make your audience sympathize and relate to your characters. It is used to build a complex narrative.
I have a hard time finding any aspect of literature that cannot be applied to good storytelling.
Yup, a person. Every definition I could find related to humans only. I read this one as well before posting.
Apparently animals do not get the same rights in most countries. You can not murder an animal as far as most definitions are concerned.
As somebody who truly adores animals, I would hope for change to be considered, but until then... murder is for people.
Technically the definition of murder in most dictionaries is between humans, so unless vegetarianism somehow becomes a large collection of crows, it is not technically murder.
However, I take it that the question is not technical. So let's look at the intent if we can.
I believe people understand murder to mean the taking of life (not the true definition, but there it is). If you look at it this way, killing a plant is murder.
I doubt this is the intent of the question. That was too easy.
So what ARE you asking? Most people are horrified at the delivered pain to other creatures. This is both an empathic and sympathetic response. In fact, to not feel this response is sociopathic. As creatures of reason and remorse, we have made it a social understanding (ethics) to expunge this behavior.
This is all a part of our mammalian conditioning. Sympathy is an evolved response to keep the race going. We feel personal pain when we ignore the pain of others, and will resolve to correct it for the betterment of ourselves and thus the species.
What counters this is when this response is in contradiction to other natural responses, such as hunger. We feel much greater empathic responses to human pain than to the pain of a cow, but that doesn't mean the trauma is imperceptible. So why do we kill our bovine companions? Well, for their meaty bits! Our carnivorous instincts are present as well, and evolutionary responses will always lean towards the one that favors the species survival the greatest.
So I would think that any society of creatures that are not quite human must resolve this issue similarly. If there is an empathic or sympathetic response, it will be weighed against other criteria such as hunger or fear of reprisal. If one side wins with a wide enough margin, it will most likely conclude to be a social norm and ethically sound.
Now, with that in mind I tried to issue the same logic to Golarian specifically. I think that SOME plants would be frowned upon for consumption, but not all of them and not by all species.
It will probably be most related to how intelligent the creature is, and my opinion of Golarian would be that any creatures with above animal intelligence would be considered murder by most races.
Races that are less intelligent, less plentiful and therefore in more need of food would have lower standards (I'm looking at you Goblinoids).
Give her a brain-scrambling stick and a desire to kill, and I pity her target.
Heh, my favorite Shadowcat moment is when she pulled Emma Frost into a cave with her head in the rock just to make a point. Not many people can leave the White Queen completely helpless, and certainly not so easily. I wish I could find a photo of this one. >.> It reminded me of Age of Apocalypse Nightcrawler.
He's honestly one of the most variable heroes (or villains, which he has been) in Marvel.
You are amazingly accurate with this statement.
He has had more writer's than any other character mostly because fans love him and he's simple to write for (this does not mean he cannot have good writing).
Also his healing factor has been getting more and more powerful. It was not a big deal back in the day, now he can have his skeleton ripped from his body and still recover. The same thing happened with Deadpool.
The only character I can think of that is quite so variable is Hulk, and that's more the nature of the Hulk to BE variable. Oh, and Molecule Man, but most of that is just bad writing.
Even at his best though, his VERY best, I still only place him in the top 20 when it comes to raw skill. If we were playing it off of everything... well, being hip tossed by Cyclops earns you bottom rung, but I usually give Wolverine more credit than that.
Go ahead and give me a list of 10 people that outclass Wolverine in skill.
Captain America, Iron Fist, Black Panther, Elektra, Mister X, Gamora, Taskmaster, Shang Chi, Kitty Pride, Nick Fury, Mantis, Karnak, The Cat, Gorgon, Stick, Kraven, Deadpool, maybe Daredevil... Oh I shoulda' stopped at 10.
The dude has beaten Iron Fist. >_>
The victor of a fight is not a measure of skill. A lot goes into a match-up than just skill. Power is always a factor, and Wolverine is nigh invulnerable... which is a pretty impressive power.
In fact, I give more credit to Wolverine's tenacity and willpower than his fighting prowess, which I think weighs MUCH more heavily than his skill.
If you were simply to say who could win a fight (not about skill)? Then Wolverine can (and has) beaten just about everybody on that list.
Wolverine, on the other hand, can do this tactic with every opponent. This fighting style is what makes him one of the most powerful melee fighters in the Marvel omniverse. In other words, getting impaled all the time is his fighting style. It encompasses several benefits at once. When someone is attacking, they are not defending, and thus leave themselves open. Additionally, it gives him a psychological advantage when he ignores massive wounds and keeps attacking, making his enemies doubt themselves.
True, and I appreciate that about him truly. I wonder if we can say that throwing caution to the wind is a matter of skill though. Sure it's a great tactic and an exceedingly effective one, but considering his original berserker style (which is how he defeats Mister X by no longer thinking about his moves), I would argue that he isn't even using this tactic on purpose. It is simply how he fights; reckless, even when he was young.
I would not call that skill... I would call it a crutch, albeit a useful one. True tacticians like Captain America would use it against him.
Perhaps more to the point, his reckless style you described is exactly why Cyclops can toss him on his back with ease. I don't think that was skillful, nor do I think a single person on the list I gave above would ever be tossed on their back by Cyclops.
I love that you take a single part of my post and turn it into a strawman.
You need to be attempting to refute a point in order to be straw-man. I wasn't trying to refute what you said, which is specifically why I grabbed only one sentence. I was making a side observation, and also being slightly off topic.
Wolverine has beaten virtually every one of Marvel's best fighters and stomped the hell out of Shang-Chi.
I thought the point was that he was a good martial artist? This is fairly irrelevant to that point. Hulk has beaten just about everybody in a fight but is not a skilled fighter. Raw power, invulnerability, and other factors go into becoming the victor. Sometimes skill isn't a requirement to win.
A character that has a virtually indestructible skeleton and can heal almost any wound does not need skill. He HAS skill, and he is well trained, but his victories are not a measure of his talents.
He's pretty much equal with Captain America. I can post fights, or just link you to threads on Comicvine where this is WELL covered if you like.
I already did. The article I posted is, more than once, referenced as the bible for this fight in many Comicvine conversations. You'll even notice how the primary Comicvine article that is referenced calls Captain America "perhaps the most skilled and versatile hand-to-hand fighter in the Marvel Universe". He punched Thanos. However, once again, a comparison of combat success is not a qualifier for skill. Captain America has beaten Wolverine more than once, and he does NOT have much in the way of powers. That speaks volumes of the skill difference to me.
Wolverine is powerful because he has powers. He also is a great fighter. I'd place him in the top 20 in Marvel probably, arguments could be made for the top 10 in fighting skill. I never said he was bad. However, one of the best? I suppose if you count a dozen people as being one of the best, sure. I usually take the top three as "one of the best" however (I do not know who the top three are and this is VERY up for debate).
Wolverine is WELL established as one of Marvel's premier martial artists.
One of the premier? Sure. It depends on how large your sample set is. I'd call him one of Marvel's premier martial artists as well. One of the best? Not a chance. Best is a strong word, and he is easily outclassed.
Make a Summoner and name him Stan Lee. Now summon your Eidolon (Wolverine) into every story possible and that's about what Marvel does.
Also there's a lot of Eidolon evolutions that seem more like Wolverine than character feats/abilities. Grab Claws, Fast Healing, Scent, and maybe Damage Reduction and what else is there to him?
Wolverine is one of the best martial artists in the entire Marvel Universe.
People love to make this claim. I think it's mostly that he's a fan favorite. There are MANY martial artists in the Marvel Universe that are supposed to be the best trained, but only Wolverine gets impaled by swords every time he fights. Way to go Wolvy.
You don't see Iron Fist, Captain America, Taskmaster, etc. constantly getting impaled (okay Electra has been impaled a few times, but she's still probably a better martial artist).
Well, I do post a lot about balance on a game design forum, and one major thing that comes up is losing asymmetry vs better balance. Obviously, symmetrical games are perfectly balanced, but those types of games are pretty boring.
This is very true, but it is also two fold. You don't actually have to become directly symmetrical to achieve greater balance. This is essentially where designer intent on game design should be stepping in. I completely agree that pure symmetry is often less fun, though this is itself a different problem.
A complex problem that is relational, but different. Trying to determine the best course of action is what separates good game designers from bad.
Also I'm glad you used Guilty Gear as an example, as I specifically love that game as my favorite fighting game ever. :) Specifically if you ban Sol Badguy and Ky, Guilty Gear XX tournaments were a fantastic example of balance and asymmetry.
Kirth Gerson wrote:
"Class balance -> 4e -> not fun."
(This is not directed at Kirth despite his quote, but merely the direction this conversation is going with Kirth's quote being the most pointed statement)
There are several problems with this line of thinking, with two principal fallacies:
Class balance does not lead to fourth edition and fourth edition is not the primal example of class balance. In fact, the removal of social interaction skills could be argued as an imbalance in the system. Fourth edition simply has better balanced combat, and that is all.
Fourth edition is not objectively accepted as not fun. It has fans like every other game system. It has less fans than 3.5 for more reasons than a balance issue. I actually believe Chengar spoke much closer to the heart of the issue.
This entire argument is rendered fairly illogical. You cannot say that class balance is not fun based off of these criteria.
Bill Dunn wrote:
The way I read it, he's holding up 4e is an example of how pursuing class balance doesn't necessarily make for a better game.
This presents another problem though, because class balance does not necessarily make for a worse game. Generally speaking, an objective improvement is a positive trend but certainly we can debate that more balance has negative value. I think you'll find very little proof of this however.
But what, specifically, are we measuring when you say we're measuring "balance"? For that matter, what metric are we using to do it?
Your question prompted me to find a short resource to cite from, and though wikipedia is not a final arbiter of information, it is a good starting point:
Primarily when looking at the techniques that are mentioned and the methodologies I was attempting to discuss, I refer to Symmetry and Statistical Analysis as the best discourse to balance as I was describing it, although we have discussed the styles in such a way to equate to Gamemaster as well.
I'll see your thanks regarding this, and raise you a statement of gratitude for keeping the discussion very polite. It's always a pleasure to debate something with someone without it becoming disagreeable (especially on the internet).
You're welcome. I do enjoy a debate, but I dislike arguing.
See, this is where you lose me. You say that balance is objective, but that the metrics used to measure it are subjective. Given that the methods used to measure (and, by extension, define) it are subjective, the idea that balance is itself objective seems to be, at best, an academic argument (at worst it seems to undercut the idea of objective balance altogether).
I did not say that the metric is subjective, I said that the metric becomes subjective due to fallacy. An imperfect metric creates noise in a resultant which makes a proof impossible. This may seem like a semantic difference, but when using the scientific method, semantics can matter on documentation and procedure.
For example, I am stating standards that exist at all levels of balance design, not just tabletop RPGs. Tic-Tac-Toe has a very limited set of rules and permutations, and therefore the metrics of balance are very easy to define. Because of this, you can formulate an actual proof (the result being that the game is not balanced for each player due to turn order).
Checkers is more complicated, but also has been analyzed to a proof. Chess however has created enough complexity that there are still ambiguities and, last I checked, still being examined.
To reiterate, what this means is that you simply need to do many tests with many subsets. Procedurally you need to change the metrics and retest until you are satisfied with the results (this does not mean balance was achieved).
I'll not speak to your credentials, since I think that this is necessarily a difference of opinions rather than a debate over facts.
Interestingly enough, I did not truly wish to use credentials but opted to do so because of laziness. Traditionally, this is a logical fallacy known as Appeal to Authority and is a mistake to use a logical fallacy in such a way. I simply was so lazy I did not wish to track down true evidence to my claims because a large portion of design methodology is not open source or readily available on the internet.
I point this out because I commend you for noticing that an appeal to authority is not even remotely important, and I thank you for keeping me honest.
I'm not sure what you mean by "game design world," since game designers operate in the same world as everyone else.
It is an industry and there are specific intellectual communities focused entirely on game design. It is hard to be less vague than that, but this is what I mean.
That said, the rest of your paragraph seems somewhat contradictory, since it says that game balance must be measured objectively, but then says that this is an exceptionally difficult problem (which I agree with; I just take it further to say that it's a problem that can't be solved, since it has no objective definition to begin with).
I did not say that game balance "must" be measured objectively, I said that it always "can". The point I was trying to make is that something that is difficult or improbable are not impossible. That distinction is very important when using logic based methodology.
I'm not suggesting that theory-crafting for the purposes of game design is a bad idea. It certainly has its place. But saying that a game has "failed" or is "broken" because it's "unbalanced" fails to take into account not only the inherent limitations of such design, but also the role that the end-user must necessarily play in creating balance.
Interesting. I consider this a slightly different topic, but I can appreciate what you're trying to say here.
Likewise, having a "style" of gaming (for GMs) usually means that some degree of interpretation is already going on.
Interpretation is a bit different than what I consider style. A GM who uses a large amount of undead simply because they like undead versus a GM who has a plot-line based upon dragons are using the same rules interpretations. However, their style will make some characters more effective than others. Some GMs have more social interactions than others as well, yet still operate within the exact same interpretations.
Game rules, at least insofar as RPGs go, can't be "balanced" simply because no one can agree on what "balance" actually is, let alone find a method that has universal applicability within the context of an infinite range of scenarios during game-play.
Actually I was following through with my primary point, which you just disagreed with. Balance is not subjective. It is a fully objective idea. It is NOT an opinion and does NOT require agreeance. It is as factual as math. Something is either balanced or it is not, and this is not an opinion.
The metrics to measure balance become subjective. An imperfect metric essentially makes a logical proof impossible. This is how we convince ourselves that balance is an opinion because of the flawed metrics. This is a clear distinction, and this distinction must be made to keep design methodology clean.
If it means anything, I am operating with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Game Design and Development. I do this for a living. Respecting the difference between objective fact and imperfect metrics is how you setup valuable test data. The scientific method must remain objective, so you have to understand where that line is drawn. You can't let a paltry thing like impossibility shake your resolve to try.
Just because you don't know the truth does not mean that truth is a lie (or cake). Convince yourself that there is no truth, and you've made all effort meaningless.