|Jiggy RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32|
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I don't see a problem here.
That's fine. Just a few posts back I was talking about how the existence of the disparity doesn't have to mean everyone's fun is ruined. Heck, some people want the disparity. That's totally fine.
What's the problem with Endure Elements? Its a REALLY handy spell for GM who wants to introduce interesting extreme environments but endless fortitude saves can be too much of a chore. This is a good thing for the group to have. Wouldn't that be cool? Going into an underground level with Lava flowing everywhere or a completely frozen ice palace.
The issue is not that endure elements exists, the issue is that it's the only way to enable the things it enables; there's no martial option to become a badass who doesn't fear the air temperature. Either you get a caster to supply Spell X, or you face hazards on the same level as a Commoner with better numbers.
Someone said Overland Flight, the 5th level personal only spell? Nah. It's only good for Wizard to scout ahead, and if he goes ahead without fighter cover then he's going to get munched.
You think O.F. is a scouting spell? That explained some of your confusion; let me try to clarify.
The issue with O.F. is that it alters the nature of the adventure. The flying wizard can ignore geographical obstacles like cliffs and chasms, and in any combat against non-flying enemies, he can keep his distance and fight on his terms (this also relates to the non-importance of wizard AC, which I'll discuss more later). Overland flight's strength is not about scouting (though it can be used for that too), it's about the ability to set the terms of the game, in a way that no martial character can come close to (up to and including sometimes just deciding whether or not to even have a given encounter at all). It neutralizes whole swaths of monsters and enemy types, bypasses innumerable obstacles, and invalidates entire story tropes; simply by virtue of letting the caster ignore the state of the terrain and operate in three dimensions while others must operate in two.
Teleport is the same level, I guess the wizard has to fly there, get very familiar with the teleport target area, fly back all while avoiding the quest stuff to teleport the rest of the crew.
Once again, we're envisioning different uses of the spell, so I'll elaborate.
The most basic use is to leave a dungeon. You go adventuring, gradually expending the party's resources... and instead of having to trek back to a safe location to rest (and having to save resources for the return trek itself), you just adventure until you're down to mostly just teleport, then POOF! The party is whisked away to wherever you were already planning to rest that night. Additionally, if things go south and you need to bail out in an emergency, teleport is gonna be way better than just running.
There are other uses as well. I was playing an 11th-level adventure, and it included some kind of airship chase with custom mechanics for trying to catch up to the enemy and so forth. Instead, our party just teleported onto the enemy airship (not very risky when you can see the destination). So much for the pages of airship chase mechanics.
Really, the potential uses for instantaneous, long-distance, group transportation is limited only by your imagination. Try some games with a couple slots prepared and look for ways it could influence the situation, and I guarantee you'll start to see the power.
This just seems amazingly salty, I've never experienced this bitterness in any other game nor media. It's like a soldier hitching a ride in a helicopter and b+%%%ing the whole way about how a helicopter is so much faster and more convenient than walking. Oh give me a break.
All I did in my last post was disagree with your ideas. I'm going to go ahead and try to politely explain my ideas. You can feel free to choose how you're going to react to contrary points of view: to discuss them, to ignore them, or to lash out at them. It's up to you.
Infiltration is a team game as well, come on, haven't you heard of the Wookie Prisoner routine? Someone disguised as a guard, another apparently a prisoner and wizard nearby and invisible. The wizard can't just leave everyone else behind. And if EVERYONE is going to get invisibility cast on them then GOOD, considering how verboten party-splits are, it's no damn good if Rogue can sneak in but others cannot, you just tell the rest of the players to leave the table because they can't do anything and they can't actually see or hear what's going on.
I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here. I agree that infiltration is supposed to be a team game. That's part of the issue: unless the entire party builds for Stealth, the only way to make infiltration happen is with magic (such as the invisibility spell). The wizard can make sure Sir Clanksalot gets included. The rogue can only cover himself. That's part of the issue.
Additionally, infiltration usually involves gathering information about the location ahead of time, and once again, magic is the best way to do it. Magic can let you look through the walls, scry, or otherwise investigate at little to no personal risk and with much better odds of success than nonmagical methods. To use a real example, my party (same party as in the airship chase) wanted to scout out a mansion where we expected trouble. The druid turned into an earth elemental so she could glide silently through all the stone walls, another caster made her invisible so she wouldn't be seen doing it (at this point she's both silent and invisible, thus virtually undetectable), and I cast telepathy so that she could soundlessly communicate with us in real time. We were able to discover a deception and also investigate a later encounter area, letting us go into the situation already knowing that which the baddy wanted to conceal, and also already having appropriate buffs in place (resist energy, etc). A nonmagical team couldn't have managed that in a million years.
Charm Person is VERY much appreciated as the unpleasant alternative that appears without it, and that is for the desperate players to start torturing whatever poor sap they caught alive and it all gets way too unpleasant. And Charm Person just simplifies a tedious step. It puts them in a good position but you need the whole crew Role Playing and backing with with good diplomacy rolls to get the desired result.
Charm person isn't really on my list of spells that are an issue, and I haven't seen many complaints about it from others. I'm not sure why you're bringing it up.
Wizard AC does matter.
I have explained how it does.
You have simply scoffed that is doesn't.
Explanation vs hollow allegation of "flawed". People can make their own judgements on that.
I re-read your post and couldn't find your explanation of how wizard AC matters. Perhaps you meant to explain but forgot?
In any case, you're correct that I didn't explain why wizard AC doesn't matter. I was trying to be brief (as you can see, I can get longwinded if I'm not careful). Here's my explanation:
A wizard's AC doesn't matter (past very low levels), because AC only matters when it's the primary thing getting between a target and an attacker, which tends not to be the case with a wizard (again, outside very low levels).
For one thing, there's the aforementioned overland flight. In any battlefield other than a low-ceiling dungeon, the wizard is just straight-up immune to non-flying non-archers' attack rolls. That's a sizable chunk of encounters in which his AC is literally irrelevant.
So that leaves us with those encounters where the wizard is actually reachable: either there's no room for altitude, or the enemies can fly/shoot. (I'm not counting enemy casters, because we're talking about AC, and they won't be targeting AC.) Now the wizard is at least capable of being attacked, but his AC is not his only defense: blur, mirror image, displacement, stoneskin... just in the Core Rulebook, the wizard has a number of buffs (some low enough level to carry on scrolls or in wands if he prefers) that give him comparable—or even superior—odds of being missed by an attack regardless of his AC.
Now, you did point out that some of his AC (maybe you meant his defenses in general?) don't work if he gets ambushed. This very fact is probably the reason the Divination school is so popular: that wizard literally can't be surprised. He can throw up a defensive buff before the ambushers themselves even get to act. But hey, that's just one build, right? Well, the rest of the wizards can still max out Perception (they have lots of skill points, and can spare more wealth for skill-boosting items than martials can) and can pump their initiative higher than most martials thanks to init-boosting familiars.
And even if you do have a situation where (1) the monster is capable of making attack rolls against the wizard and (2) the wizard hasn't been able to put up a defensive buff yet, wizards typically have almost as much HP as a fighter: from hit dice, the wizard averages only 2 less HP/level than the fighter, the relative significance of which decreases as they level up due to steady increases in CON due to stat-boosting items and effects (which, ironically, the wizard can obtain more cheaply than the fighter). Thus, one bad round won't drop the wizard, and then he can use a turn establishing himself to make his AC not matter.
Put it all together, and 99% of the time (outside of very low levels), the wizard's AC does not matter.
There, now I've explained it. :)
I don't want to power-down the Wizard, that's the problem, Wizard SHOULD be powerful, but that class has SERIOUS limitations if he tries to direct attack a group who has a bit of sense of how to counter Wizard.
Wizard should be good, and he is.
That isn't a bad thing.
Sorry if I miscommunicated; I'm not saying (and I don't think anyone else is either) that the wizard shouldn't be a good, strong class. I love me some good spell-slingin' as much as the next guy. I'm just saying he shouldn't be BETTER than other classes. It's about relative power. Don't necessarily need to power-down the wizard; you could power-up the fighter, or maybe meet in the middle (5E did this to some degree).
I totally agree with you that wizard should be a good class. :)
It does not leave other players left out of the game, what's the point in all these spells to trip, disarm or blind if the there's no one to exploit this?
Oh absolutely, I like the spells that simply create opportunities that the martials can exploit. That's good fun teamwork, and I love it. :) Those aren't the types of spells in question here. Really, that's where I wish more magic was designed to be.
It's only a bad thing when he can destroy as well as Fighter can, well he can't. Most GM's can easily stop such blasting.
You're correct that "blasting" can't destroy things as well as a fighter can. However, two things:
First, as I've said before, C/MD is primarily a non-combat issue. Yes, the fighter is good at depleting enemy HP. However, that's basically all he gets to do. Whenever you encounter an obstacle that isn't a creature whose HP needs to be depleted (and that's a lot of situations, unless your games are mostly hack-and-slash dungeon crawls, which is fine, just not something that can be universally assumed), then martials generally can't contribute. Some of them have skills, but usually there's a cheap-and-easy spell that the caster can whip out at trivial cost (especially with scrolls and wands) which handles the situation better. That's the bulk of the C/MD: out-of-combat narrative options.
Second, even in combat, "blasting" is often considered the weakest thing a caster can do. If a caster needs to end an enemy, he can summon an extraplanar minion that fights just as well as (sometimes better than) a fighter. Or in some cases, he gets such a creature by default (druid with companion). Some casters can actually do the fighting themselves: I've played a cleric who, starting at a very early level, was just as effective on the front lines as a fighter, while still getting to dispel the darkness and walk on air and raise the dead in addition to his melee combat capability. So, yes, the casters can destroy things just as well as the fighter in some cases; they just won't be doing it with fireball.
Golems are totally immune to all spells with any sort of spell resistance which is... almost all of them. One relevant exception is Disable Construct specifically spells out relevant penalties. They present a huge problem for.
Once again, summoned creatures are a good answer. The wizard can take a nap on a cloud while his summoned monster fights the golem. Or he can blind it with glitterdust, drop it in a create pit, or even just decide not to fight it and just fly away. Non-SR spells may be a minority, but they still include a lot of very strong spells, many of which the wizard would have prepared anyway.
And that's just a traditional wizard; there's also the shapeshifting druids (and their animal companions), the battle oracles, clerics like mine that I already mentioned, and others who can just stab the golem and use their magic on the next fight instead. No fighter required.
Serious talk now: why do Tabletop RPGs have this prejudice when other games do not?
Couple of things:
First, "prejudice" means making a judgment before looking at the evidence. If you ask the folks who complain about the C/MD, you'll find that they encountered it in actual play. This is not some phantom idea that got into people's heads but doesn't match reality. This is how the game actually goes in practice. This is not prejudice.
Second, this isn't something that appears in tabletop RPGs in general (as you suggest), but rather something that's mostly present in 3.X and PF systems. D&D 5E has much less of a C/MD issue, I've gotten the impression that it was very differently balanced in AD&D and 2E, and many non-D&D-style tabletop RPGs don't have the issue at all.
So this is not a "prejudice" that exists with "tabletop RPGs", this is an experience-based critique of a couple of specific games' design flaws.
So why doesn't this issue come up in other games? Because other games are other games. Why would this games design flaws show up in other games? They wouldn't, just like those other games' design flaws wouldn't show up in Pathfinder.
This is classic dynamic class roles, different classes with radically different capabilities and strengths and weaknesses. Wizard is great for enabling magic in other non-magic characters.
That's the ideal, and some games (both tabletop and otherwise) achieve it beautifully. Other games, such as Pathfinder, have design issues. Would you really expect every fantasy game to achieve the same balance ideal? Should it really surprise you that one or two of them missed the mark?
Hopefully this post helps elaborate on the subject. I'd be happy to continue discussing it with you. Sorry for any previous miscommunications. :)