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My handle comes from a nickname given by a family member, based on shortening "Jacob" to "Jake", then turning it to "Jakey", then slang-ifying it to "Jiggy". Nothing to do with Will Smith at all, interestingly enough.
I originally didn't bother with an avatar, but noticed that sometimes I'd scroll past the posts of folks who didn't have one because they're harder to spot, so I decided I'd better get one. Kinda just picked one that I hadn't seen used a lot.
The newish player, Theresa, is not actually complaining about it.
If you came to my home to play some game you'd never tried before with a group of total strangers, and my old friend of 20 years was kind of annoying you but everybody else took the behavior as normal, would YOU speak up right away?
A lot of people would feel like they were the troublemaker if they said something in a group like that, and so instead they'll either just stop showing up, or suffer in silence for a while in hopes it goes away and THEN just stop showing up.
Remember, every time Josh does something and you don't intervene, you are announcing to everyone (including both Josh and Theresa) that the behavior is normal and acceptable. Speaking out to say that you're bothered by behavior that the group you're in is labeling as normal and acceptable is not something most people will do.
The text says that it can penetrate barriers, but what defines a barrier in the rules?
The same freaking sentence that says it penetrates barriers wrote:
The spell can penetrate barriers, but 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt blocks it.
The spell can detect magical auras in the next damn room.
Detect Magic wrote:
3rd Round: The strength and location of each aura. If the items or creatures bearing the auras are in line of sight, you can make Knowledge (arcana) skill checks to determine the school of magic involved in each.
The only thing that's contingent on line of sight is ID'ing the school. But you've already determined the strength and location, even without line of sight.
You can literally walk up to the outside of a brick house and, after three rounds, know how many magical auras are in the living room, where they are, and how strong they each are.
My first Pathfinder character to get as high as 9th level was a fighter. And not even the basic 2HPA guy, but an intelligent fighter who could trip and disarm very well, and therefore had more options than is standard for a fighter. Once he got Greater Trip and Combat Reflexes, he could declare a full-attack, replace the first with a trip, then do a disarm on the AoO, and then spend his iterative whacking the prone guy. Then if he stands up or grabs his weapon, I whack him with another AoO. If he does both, then the first AoO whacks him and the second undoes whatever he did with the first action. (That is, if he grabs his weapon then stands up, I go whack/disarm. If he stands up then grabs his weapon, I go whack/trip.)
Unfortunately, more and more enemies either weren't affected by trip/disarm (such as monsters) or didn't care about being tripped/disarmed (casters don't have a weapon, don't care about the AC penalty because it doesn't affect mirror image/displacement, and don't care about the attack penalty because magic), so I was still usually relegated to session after session of "I full attack it; is it dead yet?" Meanwhile, I was surrounded by casters who could do entirely different tactics every fight if they wanted.
And that's just combat. Out of combat, I had all these extra skill ranks (at least, compared to the INT-dump stereotype) and couldn't accomplish a damn thing with them. If there was an obstacle, there was usually a (fairly high) DC to overcome it. If I didn't have the skill, or if I did but didn't roll high enough, then a caster just goes "I pull out my 25gp scroll of bypass obstacle" and that's that, typically auto-succeeding.
So my intelligent and talented fighter with a nice backstory and everything was irrelevant out of combat and boring in combat. It got so frustrating that I quit playing him at 9th and decided my next character would have magic.
Then there was my cleric. I didn't even focus on his spellcasting that much: he was a melee cleric. He typically (this was in PFS) had the highest AC at the table, the highest attack bonus at the table, enough damage per hit that you couldn't just ignore him, and could do things in combat besides full-attack. Oh, too dangerous to go toe-to-toe with (like a fiendish Titan Centipede, or an ooze that deals CON drain when you hit it)? I can literally just send you to hell. Oh, the guy's in the air? I can just walk up the air to hit you. Oh, you're trying to spam deeper darkness? I can completely negate it (Sun domain). Oh, somebody took a nasty poison/disease/affliction? I can just tell it to go away. Oh, there's harpies? Silence. Oh, someone got trapped behind a wall of stone? Good thing I have stone shape prepped. And that's before we even get to my scrolls. Seriously, I had such an easy time being as good a fighter as a fighter, that I had spell slots left over to carry answers to all kinds of nasty situations we might encounter.
Meanwhile, I could buff any of my or a teammate's social skills through the roof via a domain power, I could ask Iomedae what's coming up today and actually get an answer, I could bypass all those obstacles that made my fighter feel silly. I got to do all the fighting my fighter did without ever being sidelined like I was with the fighter. There was no challenge my cleric couldn't face. (And before you ask, no, I wasn't being a dick and deliberately trying to sideline other people's characters. I always made sure to give other people the chance to do stuff first, then stepped up if they couldn't do it. People liked, requested, and cheered for having this character at the table.)
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.
Seriously? You're not accusing anybody of lying, you're just saying that people's claims don't match reality? I'm pretty sure that qualifies as accusing people of lying.
Its difficult to say "I don't like the way you play the game, I think it is silly and I have no interest in playing it that way," without coming across with a negative tone.
Well, that's because the part where the speaker says "the way you play the game is silly" is a negative statement. A listener would be quite reasonable to take offense at that.
Now, if you just removed that part about their way being silly, and the speaker just said "I don't like the way you play the game, and I have no interest in playing it that way," then it becomes a little more ambiguous. It could come across as a bit condescending, or not. That's the limitations of text.
But your original version, where the speaker literally name-calls the listener's playstyle? Yeah, that speaker's being a jerk. Nothing to do with misunderstanding text.
...and tried having a civil discussion that centred around facts and game rules rather than defaulting to the ever so human desire to always be right.
Unfortunately, trying to do this is often what triggers an elitist's rant, as they very often are against giving any significant weight to "facts and game rules".
Let me attempt an analogy:
Suppose you were at some kind of hobby store and found a product that said it contained multiple sheets of clear plastic (like the trasparencies for those old overhead projectors) and instructions for painting blotches of different colors on different sheets. Then you would stack the sheets on top of each other in a certain order to discover a picture that you had just painted all by yourself.
Neat! It sounds fun, so you buy it and try it out. You follow the instructions, paint the blotches, stack the sheets, and voila! You have a painting of a jockey riding his horse, jumping it over a hedge. Cool!
So you go and show your friend. You tell him what you bought, and he excitedly exclaims, "Oh yeah! They make those every year or so, they're super fun!"
So you say "Nice! Here's the one I made; I don't have a very steady hand, but I think you can still tell it's a horseman jumping a hedge."
Then your friend replies, "No no no, these things are jungle pictures. Always have been. Started with a tiger in 1985, sometimes the general pose or the exact animal changes, but it's always been a big cat in the jungle."
"Really?" you ask, confused. "I thought I followed the instructions pretty close..."
"Well, that's the problem," your friend says. "Quit being such a rules-lawyer. This is a TOY made to have FUN. Quit trying to 'win' by sticking rigidly to the written instructions. Just because you can do something within the rules, doesn't mean you should."
Bewildered, you stammer, "But it's a horse, the package even said it would be a horse, I—"
Your friend cuts you off: "Sometimes the package and the instructions are ambiguous, and you have to apply common sense. That's why the painting is left for a human to do, instead of having a computer just print the picture for you. Trust me, I've been painting these since they started in 1985, and they were always meant to be jungle animals. I know this probably goes against the MMO mindset, but try not to forget what the point of this is. It's time to grow out of this juvenile 'rules' phase you're in so that animal-painting can finally mature as a hobby."
A week later, you find out that your friend has been using you and this incident as an example of how petulant children can act so entitled these days.
Now, to be clear, not everyone who's been playing a long time is like this. There's some pretty cool folks among the veterans' ranks. Unfortunately, every terrible line in the above story is taken from real experiences, both in person and here on the forums.
I've seen this clash happen a great many times, but the vast majority of the time, the thing being labeled as "RAW rules interpretation that allows for broken chicanery" is just someone reading in good faith and doing what the game plainly tells them they can do (sometimes even backed up with the author and/or Design Team reaffirming that that's exactly what they meant), and the "wise old DM" can't tell the difference between "broken chicanery" and "has a result that doesn't feel like what I played 30 years ago".
For every "smite says all attack rolls so it buffs everyone in the world," there's half a dozen "My player's being cheesy by having a hands-free light source"/"Not wanting to take TWF penalties on iteratives made with different weapons is munchkin nonsense"/"When the rules say that ability damage doesn't actually reduce your score like drain does it really means that it DOES reduce your score and you're a language-twisting rules lawyer for thinking it means what it says"/"If you try to Take 10 at my table I'm going to watch you like a hawk to see what you're trying to get away with"/"The FAQ is wrong, it actually works like this".
(All of the above are real examples, BTW.)
I'm not sure I'd turn down any of them, aside from whatever unrelated logistical concerns might get in the way, plus the fact that Pathfinder really isn't my system of choice anymore. That said, I'm curious about good ol' Rise of the Runelords, as that one seems to be "The One" among the Paizo community, so I'd like to see what it's like if I had the chance. With a sufficiently good GM/group/schedule, I might even play it under Pathfinder rules.
To be fair, in this case the person very explicitly made a blanket statement that anything nonmagical needs to be realistic in his fantasy. Thus, in THIS case, the "But DRAGONS!!!" thing is perfectly valid.
It's very often misused, but this time it was an appropriate response.
5E does have fewer options than Pathfinder. However, if you discount the Pathfinder options that are so incredibly sub-par as to not actually be options (you know, the pages and pages of feats and spells that have never once been on any of your group's character sheets), and then look at what's actually left, then the gap is much smaller than it first appears.
If you then further pare it down by taking the usable stuff but eliminating the terrible combinations that nobody will ever use, so that now you're only looking at the meaningfully-different character types that you actually produce in Pathfinder, you'll find that the gap between 5E and Pathfinder shrinks even more.
So really, it looks like far more of a drop in customizability than it really is. It had me fooled at first.
Perfect example of a person not only preferring the "reality + magic" type of fantasy, but of not quite grokking that fantasy can be something else and still "make sense" without requiring that the viewer doesn't care about suspension of disbelief and so forth.
Fantasy that doesn't require magic/divinity to do the impossible is old and well-established around the world. Just because it's not your preference or default assumption doesn't mean it requires its audience to have a "near infinite suspension of disbelief" or that any sort of internal consistency or "sense" must be thrown out the window.
If something happens in a fantasy story/game that "doesn't make sense", it's more likely that you just made a wrong assumption about what type of fantasy you were looking at than that there's anything lacking in that fantasy's "sense" or "logic".
Has anyone ever directly addressed the big question of "why do Martial characters in a fantasy rpg have to adhere to realism?" Isn't this fantasy?
In the linked post, I wrote:
So you see, the "big realism question" is not "Isn't this fantasy?", it's "Which type of fantasy is this?"
This is a situation where while technically I am using a house rule, its an unwritten one, and I've never had anyone complain about it.
Had you originally presented it as "I use this houserule" instead of "this is the correct way to interpret the published rules", this would have been a very different discussion.
Yep, and your options in response to that are these:1) Just say "groovy, that's how it works."
2) I dislike that result, but oh well.
3) I dislike that result, therefore houserule.
What I don't consider an acceptable response (whether conscious/deliberate or not) is "I dislike that result, therefore I'll not only houserule it, but tell people that my houserule is actually the correct interpretation of the actual rule".
See, I had plenty of houserules of my own (prior to abandoning the system altogether), for precisely the same reason you houserule things like extreme falls: there are certain products of the ruleset that I dislike. I'm all for doing that. The only thing I'm against is if I were to go around telling people that those houserules are the correct interpretations of the published rules.
The inability/unwillingness (depending on the person) of many GMs to make that distinction is also part of why I left organized play (where you're supposed to simply interpret the actual rules, not make houserules to sculpt the results to your taste).
Wow. Loaded title is loaded.
Anyway, your response to me seems to have missed my point.
Look at the things you said in your reply:
I believe that the mechanics are in place to support a certain type of game.
That's just one example, but the entire theme of your post is that you knew before even opening the book what "type of game" it was supposed to end up being, and that everything in the book should be read as supporting that preconceived notion, no matter how hard you have to twist it. It's like if you asked for a picture of a cat but were handed a picture of a dog, you'd say "Oh, it must be an abstract representation of the feline experience" instead of "Hey, this isn't a cat!" But you know what? That's not even the biggest issue.
You then call this "common sense", which means that anybody who takes issue with it is clearly against people using common sense. You've pre-emptively demonized and challenged the intelligence of anyone who doesn't agree with you.
You see, if you simply say "I think the rules should be read in the context of trying to support X type of game" and stop there, then people can challenge your points: they can say that X isn't the type of game it's trying to support, or challenge the notion of it being appropriate to read the rules with a preferred end result in mind. But if you say "common sense says that the rules are trying to support X type of game", then anyone who challenges it is preemptively labeled as being an opponent of using common sense. You're then able to dismiss them without having to judge the merit of their thoughts or face possible flaws (even glaring ones) in your own beliefs.
You're using "common sense" as a shield against contrary opinions, replacing an honest and brave assertion of your beliefs with an "anyone who doesn't think so too is stupid and that's all I need to say".
I guess you are one step ahead of most users of the "common sense" shield: you actually responded to a prod for more (by defining your "common sense" as actually meaning a specific thing: that the game rules were intended to come to X result, and if a rule says not-X then the reader is just being "too literal"). But then you turn right around and dive back into the "common sense" anti-challenge bunker, so I'm not sure how much credit you really get there; I'm having trouble picturing someone critiquing your actual belief without them just getting dismissed as being against "common sense".
TLDR — Own your opinions, people. Calling your ideas "common sense" is almost always just a way to shield yourself from scrutiny by dismissing any dissenters as being stupid and/or malevolent. Adults don't fear having holes poked in their beliefs and possibly having to abandon them.
Some more forum problems that don't occur at my table:
Spending a couple of minutes describing the scene, only to realize that the words ceased to exist after leaving my mouth, never heard by my players, so I have to repeat the whole thing.
Having conversations with a few different people at once, then accidentally speaking to one of them while voicing a reply to another's idea.
Having strangers from overseas suddenly burst into the room and start offering me authentic-looking passports and marriage-saving love potions, yammering so loud I can't hear my players.
Explaining an idea to someone and then hearing a reply that shows they heard the first two words and then stopped listening and guessed where I was going with my idea (and guessed wrongly, possibly to the point of being a completely different topic).
People turning blue if they say the word "smurf".
There's a difference between "applying common sense" and "making the necessary adjustments to align the game with my preferences".
That which you label as "common sense", you attach a certain weight to. That is, by labeling something as "common sense", you effectively call anyone who disagrees with you an idiot. Sure, you technically give them room by saying that everyone's common sense is different, but I'd wager a guess that if you made a ruling at your table that one of your players contested, and (as with your own example) the ONLY rebuttal they could offer was that you were failing to "apply common sense", you'd be insulted.
Because to tell someone that the difference between their conclusion and yours is the application of common sense is to tell them that they're behaving stupidly. You ought not look at people's good-faith readings of game rules and say "You're just being stupid."
Exactly! You have an expectation based on something outside the ruleset, and every time you discover a place where the ruleset and your expectation diverge, you (like most gamers, in my experience) conclude that "Oh, the rules must not really mean what they say," rather than "Oh, maybe this ruleset and my expectations deal with two different settings".
And typically, they don't even realize they're doing that, as the notion of their own expectation being off the mark never even enters their minds. This is of course why so many people in various threads often respond to plain-english readings of the rules as being "hyper-literal" or otherwise biased toward one thing or another. After all, I know the result is supposed to be X, so if the words say not-X, then the words must be wrong (which is what "you're reading it too literally" actually means).
Readers enforce their expectations, and clash with those who have different expectations to enforce, as well as with those who simply read the text as plainly as any author would expect their words to be read. This is the root of a large proportion of rules debates.
1. You've set your standard for fantasy warriors on the basis of Anime. If you want to see what Gygax had in mind for Fighters, and Rogues for that matter, you should be reading Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series of books.
What if we want to see what Gygax had in mind for casters? I bet they look a lot different than Pathfinder ones.
2. Casters level into "gods" only in campaigns and DMs that let them. Since I enforce the rules regarding magic very strictly, I've never seen that happen in either my home campaigns or the PFS tables I judge, and I'm far from the only GM that I know who judges that way. Magic DOES have limits and they are clearly defined. If you're looking for anime fighters, the Magus is probably one of the classes you really want to play.
I'm really curious what built-in limitations you're enforcing that prevent the kinds of things that people actually complain about in terms of outshining martials or becoming "gods". Or to phrase it another way, I'm really curious what you think people are complaining about with casters such that enforcing the spellcasting rules would prevent it.
Hence why it's worth pointing out. :)
Interestingly, you provided two very good examples of (unknowingly) forcing a certain fantasy paradigm onto a ruleset that doesn't support it.
As an example, when I read the description of the fighter class, I come away with the idea that this is a normal person who is really good at fighting. He's not supernatural in how good at fighting he is, he's just very skilled. That matches my expectations of my previous encounters with people in books, movies, and games that I would consider to be a fighter.
If you read the fighter, you'll see that he gets 1d10+CONmod HP per level, and can advance as far as 20th level. Since being lit on fire deals 1d6 damage per round, and since HP loss doesn't hinder your activities at all until you hit 0, that means that every level of fighter is about 5-10 seconds (so, in the 2-3 minute range by 20th level) that you can just sit there ON FIRE before you're actually in real danger.
I'd hazard a guess that this does NOT "match you expectations of your previous encounters with people in books, movies, and games that you would consider to be a fighter". Thus, you've forced a match between a fantasy paradigm and a ruleset that doesn't support it.
Another person who reads the class description may imagine some anime character that can fly through the air, shout out names of abilities and unleash magic sword attacks and such.
If you read the fighter, you'll not only see a lack of any flight-granting abilities, but also that he doesn't get
Thus, just like your first example, this person has forced a match between a fantasy paradigm and a ruleset that doesn't support it.
Yep. And becoming aware of the thought processes going on "behind the scenes" and recognizing that "rules support X" is not the same as "rules support a concept from somewhere else that I could see giving the same name as X", can be quite freeing and remove lots of conflict, both external and internal.
John Kretzer wrote:
Depending on a couple of other key variables, the answer might be yes.
So level progression does not mean nearly as much in 5th edition as it does in Pathfinder? I have been designing my games around 1-12 levels.
More like level progression means something different, not less.
In Pathfinder, leveling up mostly means (outside of learning new spells) your numbers just get bigger. Outside of your spellcasting, you very rarely actually get new abilities.
In 5E, the actual incrementing of numbers is very slow (doesn't happen every level), but you learn new abilities at most levels.
So, in Pathfinder you get stronger by raising your numbers, while in 5E you get stronger by getting more toys.
I also like to think of the players as superhuman by level 5, doing things that most other people can only dream of. It seems that you are telling me 5th edition does not allow for such a feel.
Yeah, outside of HP and magic, 5E characters stay relatively static.
If you hand identical bows to a 1st-level and 20th-level fighter, the 20th only has maybe like a +6 over the 1st as far as his odds of actually hitting his target with any given shot. The difference is that the 20th can fire 3 shots in the time it takes the 1st to fire one, he can TAKE a whole lot more arrows to the face, and he has a bunch of cool abilities for handling situations other than target-shooting that the 1st-level guy doesn't have.
Definitely different from each other. They don't produce the same setting.
I am not a fan of all the numbers in Pathfinder, especially when they are tied to items.
5E has WAY less loot dependency than Pathfinder. Heck, a monk with the outlander background could go adventuring stark naked with no equipment at all.
I like the concept of advantage and disadvantage. I believe there are other systems that use this concept and do it better. Am I mistaken? And if not, what systems are they? I would like to see if I can incorporate some of these thoughts into Pathfinder for my homebrew campaign.
Advantage/disadvantage as a mechanic sort of require's something like 5E's bounded accuracy to work. That is, with the limited scope of number-scaling in 5E, advantage doesn't guarantee success and disadvantage doesn't guarantee failure. In Pathfinder, it'd be another story entirely (which is why Misfortune type effects are so powerful in Pathfinder).
What are the Thematic and Genre staples that constitute the Standard from where your games are derived?
I don't take my RPG and try to retrofit it into a different setting from a different author in a different medium. In fact, I'd wager a guess that people's tendency to do so probably contributes to a nontrivial number of internet arguments.
Instead, I take the ruleset itself as being the "standard" for that game's fantasy setting.
For example, if the ruleset says I can reach a point where the same stab-wound that would have laid me out at first level is now barely relevant, then that's how that setting works. No need to try to twist the HP system into being split between "meat" and "heroic dodging" in order to make it fit some other fantasy setting's paradigms. I can just take it as it is: a 1st-level thug's stabbing becomes less and less relevant to my physiology as my badassery increases.
Seriously, gamers could save themselves a lot of headaches by just accepting the ruleset as actually describing that setting, rather than trying to force it into a different setting's mold.
I've never seen the (probably mythical) "character so optimized, he/she can solo the adventure."
Somewhat related: Of all the characters I've seen that were more powerful than my own, not once did the player seem to have "forgotten that this is a GAME played for FUN", or seem to be "trying to win Pathfinder", or "trying to outshine everyone else at the table". Not once. Every time I've been at a table with someone who had a stronger character than I did, they've just wanted to play the damn game.
To me, the more the game mechanics push you toward needing to coordinate party roles in a pre-defined way (such as fighter/mage/thief/cleric) in order to succeed, the more strain it puts on the narrative potential. Every combination of skillsets that a party can assemble has the ability to tell a different set of stories than other combinations are able to tell. The more of those combinations that are viable (whether mechanically or socially), the more narrative possibilities there are.
That was actually one of the nice things about organized play when I was involved in it: you could sometimes get bizarre party compositions that allowed the telling of certain story types that can't be told with more traditional make-ups.
Perfect example: there's a PFS scenario where you have to go to an inn, beneath which some VIPs are captive; you're supposed to rescue them. One group happened to be all (almost all?) bards, so they decided they'd form a rock band. They went to the inn and convinced the staff that they were famous and were on tour. They held a concert and, amid all the adrenaline and excitement of the show, threw a party in which they seduced the woman who happened to be the BBEG. While she slept it off, they scouted the area. Next night, same deal: show, party, sex, satisfied slumber, and they do a sneaky rescue. When they finally leave and finish the scenario, the BBEG is a smitten fangirl waving goodbye, not realizing that her captives are all gone.
Wanna guess how a well-balanced party handles that scenario? Wanna guess how many well-balanced parties' stories you'd be able to tell apart from one another?
Now, some amount of coordination makes sense narratively: if you have a swordsman and an archer, it makes sense for the archer to target the guys the swordsman can't reach so you can both be doing what you do best. But deciding prior to character creation that the party even needs to have both an archer and a swordsman and it's just a matter of who plays which one this time around? That just sounds so constricting, from a narrative point of view.
Reebo Kesh wrote:
...so if this thread makes players think more about who their character is more than how many arrows they can fire in a round at 12th level then that's a good thing.
What makes people want to do something is seeing happy people doing that thing and having fun with it.
If the people who smile and laugh and treat them like human beings and show up just wanting to have a good time are the people who plan out specialized characters, then they're going to want to plan out specialized characters too because that's what they see good fun people doing and having a blast with.
If (as is rather common on these forums) their only exposure to the idea of an organically-progressed character is from posters who immediately jump to name-calling, put-downs, toxicity and one-upmanship? Nobody wants to move toward that.
People would be much more interested in building their characters your way if they just saw you having a blast with it. Attacking people for having a different path to fun does not make them want to switch over to your path.
Look at it this way:
Have any of these planners ever talked to/about you the way you're talking to/about them? Things like "your playstyle is nothing to wear a badge of honor over" and "if this thread makes you think more about what I like than what you like that's a good thing" and so forth. You said those things about them. Have they said things like that about you? Did it make you curious to try things their way? Or did it make you want to not ever game with them again?
114: You think that regardless of differences in time investment, experience, aptitude, style, etc; as long as two given people both have the goal of just "having fun", then they will somehow magically always produce comparably-powered characters to each other. Therefore, you figure as soon as you hear someone call out damage number or save DC that's higher than yours by any significant margin, you immediately conclude that they must obviously be trying to 'win' Pathfinder, or trying to compete with you, or don't understand how the game was intended to be played, etc. You believe that two people who are both just there to have fun roleplaying with friends will always have about the same numbers on their sheets, so his is bigger than yours, he's clearly done something wrong and earned at least three places on this list.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
It's easy to have fun with an unbalanced class. Heck, I had quite a bit of fun in one game where my PC died early on, and for the rest of the session I was playing a commoner NPC who'd been dragged along with the party. Mechanically awful and horribly unbalanced, but I still enjoyed playing a farmer who was in over his head and just hoping to make it out alive.
Sure, I wouldn't deny that.
I'm just saying that a fun experience as a commoner doesn't prove that commoners and adepts are at equal power, and certainly doesn't give anyone the right to mock those who discuss the difference.
Fun aside: Compare a fighter of a given level to a commoner of twice that level; compare their BAB, HP, saves, number of feats, and just generally what they're capable of. You'll find they're actually startlingly similar, suggesting that a level of commoner is very nearly equivalent to half a level of fighter. Now make the same comparison between adepts and wizards. It's a little less precise (adept doesn't have school powers, but has twice the BAB and way more HP), but you could still reasonably consider a level of adept as being about half a level of wizard. Which means that the relationship between fighter and wizard is like the relationship between commoner and adept. Which really says something.
Prior to realizing how the game math worked, I made my first organized play character: a CRB-only halfling headed toward Eldritch Knight. First level was barbarian, with Weapon Finesse as my first feat. I attacked with a handaxe for 1d4 damage. I could rage to add +2 to damage, but no bonus to hit. Second level was sorcerer, which got me claws a few rounds per day. So now I had a choice of attacking once with a handaxe for 1d4 (rage 1d4+2), or attacking twice for 1d3 each (rage 1d3+2 each), or even casting burning hands for 1d4 (save for half) against multiple targets. Woohoo! :/
Tin Foil Yamakah wrote:
I've had fun with games I didn't fully understand too. Doesn't mean I wasn't wrong and/or ignorant, and doesn't mean it wouldn't have been rude to point at everyone who had looked at the game more closely than I had and call their conclusions "fallacies".
You're able to have fun with a game whose inner workings you've stayed happily ignorant of? More power to you. Doesn't mean you're not being a dick when you make fun of people for understanding the system better than you do. Be nice.
Tin Foil Yamakah wrote:
It's weird, I have been playing since 81 and it wasn't until I discovered this site that I'd been wrong the whole time and my poor pathetic fighter had been useless the entire time. #caster/martial fallacy
Nah, you haven't been wrong the whole time; you started out correctly assessing the necessity of martials, then you failed to notice when different rulesets had different balances. You just assumed that decades of changing rules would never result in a change of balance. ;D