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In my mind, Gygax is kind of like Freud.
He pioneered something that people weren't really doing before, and thereby opened the door to wonderful things. Yet at the same time, the way he actually did it was unrefined, underdeveloped, and full of downright terrible ideas. His greatest gift was not the thing he originally came up with, but the starting point he created that other people could work from. He's more or less responsible for pioneering the field, and some of his ideas were pretty solid and worth keeping, but a lot of it was awful and served no greater purpose than to get the ball rolling and later be replaced by better models developed by the people he inspired to start thinking about the subject. Meanwhile, those who don't know the field very well still erroneously assume that the nature of the field is closely associated with his original ideas.
Gygax is basically the Freud of fantasy roleplaying.
I was following up until the point where you mentioned people referring to their own characters/parties as murderhobos. I thought the term was generally used by people pointing out a method of playing that they don't like.
This one's complicated; there's more than one type of situation that can sometimes be lumped into this category:
1) Poster asks for help making (for example) a magical swordsman who can fight and cast, and someone says that if you're going to be a caster anyway just focus on spamming summons, or maybe play a summoner to have the eidolon fight and the PC cast. Completely fails to help advance the poster's goal.
2) Poster asks for help making (for example) something kinda vague like "a rogue". First few replies ask for more specifics of what they actually want, and the reply is to be a lightly-armored melee combatant who can disable traps. Posters then suggest ways to build an effective lightly-armored melee combatant who can disable traps, but doesn't involve the word "rogue".
Personally, I've seen #2 a lot more than I've seen #1, and in a LOT of threads containing #2, I see people come in and accuse the helpers of having committed #1.
And I just got reminded of another: really extreme views of "munchkin" or "powergaming". Just saw an example where it included taking a feat to increase your damage or number of attacks. They listed iteratives as a type of munchkinism.
I mean, it's bad enough to belittle people. But when the complaint is literally that the player is doing exactly what the system offers them? Cripes.
Oh, just got reminded of another one:
Arturus Caeldhon wrote:
1) As if the game wasn't poisoned enough by munchkins and minmaxers, the Forge of Combat further reduces game concepts to board game/MMO status. I appreciate build threads - I really do - but I have found that munchkin types often infect non-maximization threads with rules lawyering and other powergamer nonsense. This is a roleplaying game, not a rollplaying game, after all. The Forge of Combat makes this even more obscene.
1) It grinds my gears when someone describes other people's fun with terms/expressions like "poisonous", something to be "reduced" to, something that "infects", "nonsense", or "obscene".
2) It grinds my gears when someone says "roleplay/rollplay", as it implies that being interested in rolling dice is the wrong way to play a game in which every endeavor is resolved by rolling dice. Seriously, damn near 90% of the actual content of the Core Rulebook is either opportunities to roll dice or ways to modify the dice you're rolling. Maybe we need to start a new phrase, like "this is a roleplaying GAME, not a roleplaying SCRIPT" or something.
Michael Brock wrote:
Is that a disclaimer for the next version of the Guide, or the title of the first volume of his shadowcaster's backstory?
Maybe encourage the existing players to spend some of that gold on gear for their new comrades? Makes sense in-character as your team is more powerful if a couple of new people have +1 weapons/armor/cloaks versus spending even more money on taking your own weapon from +1 to +2. And out of character, it's a good way to let the existing players' reward feel "real" (i.e., not cheapen it by handing the same to others for free) and simultaneously make the newbies feel welcomed and empowered/excited. Seems like an all-around win to me.
I played an EK from 1 to almost 14, then the very next character I played was a melee cleric.
They were in different leagues. It is not "just a point or two here or there". The cleric is noticeably, tangibly, experientially superior.
Maybe it's different with the polymorph guy you keep bringing out (but given your record so far on accurate theorycrafting, I doubt it), but if the only way that an EK works is as a shapeshifter, then the design of the EK has failed.
When you play an EK as the thing that the class description sets him up to be, you have a gameplay experience in which you can really feel the shortcomings.
Your numbers are exclusively at 9th level. That's more than halfway through most PCs' careers, and therefore can't be taken as a representation of how the character plays out. Single-level snapshots are often misleading.
On their way up to 9th level, the bard and cleric in your examples would have maintained 3/4 BAB the entire time, while the EK build dips as far down as 1/2 BAB. Outside of levels 1, 2, and 5, the EK has lower BAB than bard or cleric until... you guessed it, 9th level, where you made your comparison.
Also, the bard and cleric have had access to their buffs (Inspire Courage and divine favor) from level 1. So even at the levels where EK has the equivalent of 3/4 BAB, the cleric and bard have the ability to buff while the EK doesn't get to buff until 6th level.
But of course, you only looked at 9th level, after the EK finally got to join the buffing club, five levels later than everyone else.
And then even at 9th level, you just assume everyone has equal access to the buffs that your comparison depends on. You assume that the 9th-level EK has heroism running, but he's only got three spell slots of that level (and that's after accounting for INT). You really think that's the same level of reliability as Inspire Courage, or the cleric's 1st-level divine favor, or even the bard's 5/day on-demand version of heroism?
And then even with all those flaws in your comparison, you still misrepresented the (already skewed) data that you gathered: you said the three builds' buffs all "averaged" to +3/+3, but didn't post the individual totals, which show that the cleric is +3/+3, while the bard is +4/+4 and the EK is +2/+2.
That's right, even in a scenario that was skewed heavily in favor of the EK, you still found data showing that the EK is the weakest, then declared that they were all about the same.
I don't think "waiting 9 levels to finally get UP to the point of being at -2/-2 behind the bard" is a reasonable definition of "about the same".
I feel that battle clerics and bards are fully capable of pulling their own weight, and then some.
They sure are! That's why I've been comparing to them. The next character I played after my EK was my battle cleric, and I could feel the difference very strongly.
I really don't care what classes are 'best' at something,
Nobody is asking for "best". We're talking about "in the same ballpark". And the EK isn't in the same ballpark as other "fight/cast options" until you get to 9th-level or higher, and even then he has to spend more daily resources to do so.
especially when people start using optimized wizards as their base.
Has anyone actually been doing this? Granted I haven't read every post, but the general path of conversation that I've been seeing is this:People like me: The EK is worse than other fight/cast options.
People like you: Well sure, anything looks bad when you compare it to a straight wizard!
Many people have made claims that the EK is garbage, or worthless, or whatever, but nothing has shown the class unable to function at its APL.
Plenty has shown that. Math has shown it. My experience has shown it. Heck, your own numbers hinted at it, and that was looking at it just as it was starting to finally hit its stride. If you actually looked at the bigger picture instead of a best-case-scenario endgame snapshot, you'd see it. Just because you're not looking doesn't mean it hasn't been shown.
I would say that if your goal is to create a "magical swordsman" EK would not be your best option.
Which is part of the problem. When someone's looking through the CRB, trying to find a way to play their magical swordsman concept, the EK is there screaming "Pick me! Pick me!"And then delivers the worst magical swordsman in the game.
This is bad.
I would also say, that if you like being a wizard, but would like to be a lot better at attacking things, a EK is pretty decent.
Wrong, and here's why:"A lot better at attacking things" is not really a thing until it's at least on par with classes that attack things.
Or to put it another way, if the thing you're better than is so bad that you can be better than them while still sucking, then it's not a true benefit.
Being "better at attacking than a wizard" is like being less fat than Jabba the Hut or being smarter than Simple Simon or having a bigger nose than Voldemort. Technically an improvement, but doesn't mean you're not still a fat, flat-faced idiot.
So yeah, an EK is (for most, but not all, of his career) "better at attacking than a wizard", but he's still bad at attacking!
And just to be clear, by "bad at attacking", I don't mean "not on par with full-BAB classes", I mean not even on par with 3/4 BAB classes. You know, the classes that are designed to be worse at attacking things than fighters? That's who the EK spends most of his career trailing behind.
Yes, you are LESS powerful then a single class SAD full caster. Just like EVERY OTHER CLASS in the game. However less powerful does not equal "garbage" or unplayable.
You are correct in your assertion that "less powerful than full caster" is not necessarily unplayable garbage.You are incorrect in your apparent belief that that's as far down as these PrCs go.
To use my EK example again: you're allegedly someone who can both fight and cast; neither as well as a specialist, but (theoretically) decently enough.
So compare it to other classes that can both fight and cast: bards, inquisitors, magi, clerics, etc.
1) All of those classes have 3/4 BAB. For multiple levels, the EK has less than 3/4 BAB.
2) Every 3/4 BAB class (except the rogue) has a built-in way to boost attack rolls (Inspire Courage, Arcane Pool, Judgment/Bane, FlurryBAB, etc). The EK has no such boost.
The issue is not "this is weaker than a full-caster". The issue is "this is weaker than other options meant to fill similar roles". The eldritch knight is the weakest way to play a magical swordsman.
Chris Mortika wrote:
I guess I don't understand how such characters are "crippled", thejeff. A PC with a SLA is a perfectly legal, valid, PC; if it was a fun character last month, it still is.
...until they level up a few times.
The affected PrCs (EK, MT and AT) are ones which synthesize a multiclass combination which, on its own, doesn't work. At level 2, the difference between a good build and a bad one is pretty small, but it's the nature of the Pathfinder system that disparities get bigger with level. Continuing to level up without the synthetic aid of the PrC actually makes the character worse.
A fighter and a wizard with the same STR have almost the same attack bonus. It's only a difference of +1 in the fighter's favor.
So if a player made a frontliner wizard to stab people with, he wouldn't see much of an issue at first level. And if it was a fun character last month, it still is... right? He'll still be doing just as well with his stabby-mage concept at 10th level... right?
It just doesn't work that way.
Oh yeah, very-low levels were sweet! Up through 3rd level, I was only at -1 to hit compared to a full-BAB character, and on-par with 3/4 BAB characters. I was still a dude with a STR bonus and armor, and therefore viable. I hit 5% less than a full fighter, in exchange for a handful of nifty magic tricks.
It starts losing its shine for the next couple levels, then starts really getting rough when you get to about 6th level (wizard5). You're at half-BAB, so hitting like a strong wizard.
By comparison, I was at:
The list goes on. For a character allegedly blending might and magic, I had sacrificed some magic for a level of might that still didn't go beyond what the wizard already had.
It's not very fun to miss on a 7 with your frontliner, while other people are hitting on a 4.
It wasn't until 9th level that my BAB caught up with 3/4 BAB, but even then I was missing the built-in attack buffs that real 3/4 BAB classes had, so I was still 2-4 points below par for a "half-caster/half-frontliner" class. (Forget about any full-BAB classes.) I could cast heroism, but that's a 3rd-level spell and my progression (which includes slots per day!) was two levels behind. So at 9th when my BAB got up to 3/4, I had 3 slots per day of that level (including the bonus slot for INT). How many of those is it appropriate to have to use on buffs to still be a point behind 3/4 BAB classes?
If I had a string of good rolls, I could feel relevant. The rest of the time... not so much.
EK is still viable. F1/wis5/EK10/wis4 = 9th level spells, 18 levels of casting, and 15 BAB. Switch that to F1/wis5/EK10/wis3/F1 for 17 levels of casting, and 16 BAB.
Did your campaign start and end at 20th level? Because there are levels where you have less-than-3/4 BAB.
Also, even at 20th level, base classes who land at 15 BAB will have higher to-hit than the EK, because every 3/4 BAB class (except the rogue) has a built-in attack bonus.
I played a traditional-entry EK from scratch to almost 14th level, and it was rough.
GM Aram Zey wrote:
1) I didn't even start this thread. I just participated, just like you did.2) Of the two of us, you were arguing overpoweredness while I was arguing acceptability. If "blame" for getting it all taken away was going to go to either me or you, it'd be you.
I have to admit, though, I don't understand why I'm seeing eldritch knight being put up as a problem child alongside mystic theurge and arcane trickster. The only issue I can really see with EK (the capstone) isn't a problem that early entry will fix; otherwise it looks like a more caster-focused version of the magus, and has similar stats to one pretty much all the way through. Early entry looks like an attempt to get almost-full-BAB and almost-full-CL, which may not be overly powerful, but certainly bends the PrC in the wrong way from its intentions.
EK purports to be a class that can hit things with weapons, but can't. For a huge portion of your career, you have less than 3/4 BAB, and unlike actual 3/4 BAB classes, you don't have a built-in way to boost to-hit. A magus can enhance his weapon, a bard has Inspire Courage (and more accessible buff spells), a cleric/oracle has better buff spells, inquisitor has Judgment and Bane, even the monk can boost his BAB while flurrying. The EK has none of that, while also having lower BAB.
If you can't hit things, the entire martial half of the PrC isn't actually a thing, which leaves you as a wizard with less spellcasting and no actual class features.
I speak from experience on this one: I played a traditional-entry EK from 1st to almost 14th.
Mike Bramnik wrote:
"If you think it's a loophole, use it at your own risk, for it may close without warning"
If you're trying to apply this to something explicitly spelled out in an official, binding FAQ, then you're not being reasonable.
There's a difference between reading two different rules in two different places and making a fuzzy connection in one's own mind, and reading an explicit FAQ that just flat-out says that something is legal.
EDIT: Or what Shisumo said.
Now, see, this is a post that expresses favor toward the new FAQ, and even a dislike of the old one, without attacking anybody or trying to establish some kind of superiority. Thanks, CraziFuzzy. :)
When it's FAQ Friday or I expect an update to come soon I tend to check http://paizo.com/people/PathfinderDesignTeam/posts every couple of hours. It's a nice way to keep up to date. :)
The reason it's an example of terrible GMing is not so much because of the conclusion you reached, but how and why you got there.
If a GM is unfamiliar with a wrist sheath, and I show him the text, and the GM—remembering his primary goal is to provide a fair and fun experience—tries to wrap his head around the idea of forearm-length arrows and comes to the above conclusion, that's one thing. I might just accept it and move on, I might present a counterargument once and then drop it, but in either case it wouldn't ultimately be a huge deal.
But that's not what's going on.
You're not making an honest, good-faith effort to understand what the rules really mean and apply them in a fun and fair way. Instead, you're motivated entirely by petty revenge, a desire to get back at a group of people you have a beef with.
You're weaponizing a game.
You're taking satisfaction in hurting people.
You even admit this in a later post, stating that you're completely aware that what you're doing is bad, but that you think a GM "has no option" but to play the toddler's got-you-back game.
And that is terrible GMing.
^ Example of terrible GMing.
Mark, I think I'm going to crack, and it's your fault. Well, it's half your fault.
I have a coworker whose last name is Seifert.
And you use different vowel pronunciations than each other.
MAKE IT STOP!!!
Zach Klopfleisch wrote:
I want players to be creative, I don't want them to exploit plot holes just to skip over challenges without expending effort.
On the contrary, I love it when my players do that! I had a player trying to figure out how to get his tablemate's tiger down a cliff safely, and came up with the idea of taking several feet of rope and tying a kind of harness to "attach" the cat to the main rope that everyone else was climbing down. I didn't call for any Craft skill checks, I didn't give any chance of failure, and no resources were expended; I congratulated him on the clever idea and gave the tiger access to the Climb DC for "rope against a wall", which was low enough it could make it down safely.
Personally, I'm of the firm belief that a player who has X should always have an advantage over someone who doesn't. Whether X is a spell, a class feature, or a clever idea; if it's relevant to the situation at hand, that situation should play out more favorably (and noticeably so) than it would have if they didn't have X.
Now I at least have them give me a roll of some sort, which largely serves to give me some time to think about how to handle the situation, and if they flub the roll they often assume they failed and move on before I say anything either way.
That's definitely progress! Keep it up!
Also, if they've spent resources in equipment or build decisions, I want those to be meaningful.
Oh hey, you know what I just realized? Out of the dozens of threads I've seen where someone doesn't like how Take 10 removes the risk of rolling, I can't think of a single time when anyone's popped in to defend it by reciting the old "ROLEplay/ROLLplay" line.
I mean, there are enough Take 10 threads and enough posters who like that line that the two must meet occasionally, so why the silence? Make a thread showing a PC's awesome dice and the mantra immediately pops up to tell everyone that this isn't a dice game. But when dicelessness is in the PC's favor via T10 and someone tries to essentially argue "But this is a dice game!" (I've even seen it in those words more than once), those ROLE/ROLL posters are suddenly nowhere to be found.
When I'm playing, I have fun when we all discover together what story's being told (even right down the the individual scene level), instead of the GM already having one in mind and enforcing it. If I wanted to ask "But why wouldn't [protagonist] just do X?" and be unable to do anything about it, I'd watch a movie or read a book. Same with watching a classic and familiar story unfold as expected.
But when I play a roleplaying game, that's my chance to just go ahead and do the thing that seems like what I think someone would actually do in XYZ situation. GMs who disallow that (whether explicitly or by requiring excessive numbers of d20 rolls at DCs that essentially guarantee eventual failure) are GMs I don't want to play with.
When I'm GMing, I have fun when a player has exactly the kind of clever idea that would make the above-described GMs drop their monocles.
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
As long as you disseminate all relevant information, I have no complaints.
My comments are mainly centered around the idea that some people think "all relevant information" MUST include class. I contest that idea, because in my experience, mentioning my class often results in the listener retaining LESS of the "relevant information".
Look if I sit down to a table of PFS and somebody refuses to even tell me what class they're playing, I might not know what class the character is, but I'm pretty sure that the player has class levels in jerk. I'm not asking for your fricking social security number, lighten up. It's a social activity to have fun, not an excuse for you to get off on calling rudeness an air of mystery.
Tell you what: if I tell you my class you can still remember the other things I said in the same sentence, then I'll keep telling you my classes in future games. If you can't, then you're the jerk, not me.
Glad you're having fun! I haven't had a chance to try out a Core game yet (in fact, between a funeral and skipping a local convention in favor of Valentine's day and a few other scheduling issues, I haven't been able to play at all in weeks), but I'm curious to see what it'll be like.
I don't understand what you're "proving" here. I mean, it sounds like you're looking to disprove the claims of the usual "rogues and monks suck" crowd, but...
Well, you took the rogue and mixed it with what that same crowd calls the most powerful class in the game, then took the monk and (at no small cost!) UMD'd your way into a druid spell, then put them in a party with three classes that range from "decent" to "one of the strongest".
If your method of making a rogue work is to replace half of it with the strongest class in the game, and your method of making a monk work is to spend a feat, a trait, and some wealth to reach into another of the strongest classes in the game, then I think you're proving a very different thing than you think you are.
Maybe focus less on the retributive witch-hunt and more on the awesome fun you're having, eh? I gotta say, I grin every time I think about that flurry-of-shillelagh build; one of the cleverest things I've seen in a long time. :) Super cool, and I'm very interested in hearing more about her experiences through the levels.
I used to tell people my PCs' classes.
With my first character, I used to say "I'm a fighter". But then people kept assuming he was stupid, despite his 13 INT and 12 WIS.
With my kitsune arcane duelist bard who has no ranks in any Perform skills, I used to say "bard". But then people would keep getting in front of me and blocking me from attacking. I switched to saying "arcane duelist bard", and it helped a little, but I'd still have people ask "And are you still singing?" even though the character has nothing to do with music at all and I literally howled out loud at the table to initiate Inspire Courage. Eventually I switched to just saying "arcane duelist" and hoped they didn't ask what that was.
With my melee cleric of Iomedae, I used to say "cleric", but then (like with the bard), people kept trying to relegate me to the back rank, even when I had the highest AC and attack bonus at the table (which did happen sometimes). Then I tried saying "melee cleric" or "battle cleric". Not much changed. A couple of times, I tried just introducing him as "Thomas the Tiefling Hero!" and giving a physical description with emphasis on armor and weapons, and relying on short attention spans to get people to move on without noticing I hadn't mentioned his class. Those were sometimes my smoothest games, despite occasionally being referred to as a paladin.
I'm still trying to decide how best to introduce my bloodrager, so I've been defaulting to "bloodrager". Then I get weird looks when I act like a human being and have the best Diplomacy at the table, and occasionally even have people preemptively trying to protect NPCs and/or their personal property against the reckless destruction they seem to assume will be coming out any second.
Some of the people in this thread say it's not "cooperative" to withhold your class name from your tablemates, but my experience says that only applies if you're playing the same tired cliches that people lazily associate with each class. Play anything else, and telling your class name can actually be disruptive.
Bob Jonquet wrote:
Correct me if I'm misunderstanding you, but it sounds like you're saying that name-calling is fine as long as it's accurate.
I'm really hoping that's not what you're saying, though, so please explain what you really meant.
Kevin Ingle wrote:
Something explicitly NOT an evil act somehow violates the "don't commit evil acts" code? How do you figure?