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Kobold

Jiggy's page

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32. RPG Superstar 6 Season Marathon Voter, 7 Season Dedicated Voter, 8 Season Dedicated Voter. FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 19,754 posts (23,016 including aliases). 17 reviews. 4 lists. 1 wishlist. 13 Pathfinder Society characters. 29 aliases.


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Alex Trebek's Stunt Double wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

Stunt Double, I would be happy to give thorough replies to every single point from your long post, just as soon as you choose to present them in a manner that doesn't involve treating me like dirt. If instead you choose to keep behaving the way you've chosen to thus far, I can spend my time better elsewhere.

Choose.

Please, tell me exactly where and how I treated you like dirt and I will immediately amend it and you will get any apology you deserve.

I'm not here to cause trouble, I am here to find solutions.

It's only going to be "trouble" to someone who has a particular agenda about how casters must be seen rather than finding solutions.

It is not treating you like dirt to say that scrying rules are being abused.

The rare occasion I directly address you as a person:

"But how can you dismiss archers? I mean you bring them up then forget it."

How is this treating you like dirt? It's not even sarcastic. Do you find it condescending?

Did you just forget that you wrote the following things?

Quote:

Ohh but I know what people are going to be complaining about next, ... please I can't stand this any more.

...

But no, some people have to ruin it with crazy Luddite ideas.

Some people have to complain with negative weasel words...

...

Are we really going to be so petty...

And that's to say nothing of all the "yelling", where you unnecessarily end your questions with multiple exclamation marks.

I find it greatly discouraging that you could write all those things, and then even when your manner is brought to your attention, you still can't see it, to the point that you would honestly think that line about archers could be what I'm talking about.

I would highly recommend that you recruit someone you trust (such as a close friend) to have a very frank discussion with you about the way you handle disagreements and see if they can help you sort things out. Best of luck to you. :)

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Stunt Double, I would be happy to give thorough replies to every single point from your long post, just as soon as you choose to present them in a manner that doesn't involve treating me like dirt. If instead you choose to keep behaving the way you've chosen to thus far, I can spend my time better elsewhere.

Choose.

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3 people marked this as a favorite.
Alex Trebek's Stunt Double wrote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:

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. :)

Quote:

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. :)

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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. :)

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Like so many before you, you're still just thinking in terms of combat, which is not the lion's share of the issue. The countermeasures you list are completely irrelevant to traveling, infiltrating, investigating, predicting the future, raising the dead, spying, mind control, and so forth.

And even just in the context of combat, most of your assessments are horrifically flawed: thinking that a wizard's AC matters, or that not being able to use "direct attack spells" is somehow a power-down, or that golems actually present a problem for casters, etc.

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Fighter McSteelPants is still reliant on the casters to let him keep going.

Which makes the oft-cited "but fighters can go all day!" thing absolutely hilarious. He can go all day... as long as a caster (either in his party or in the item shop) keeps healing him.

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Zilvar2k11 wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
The disparity exists objectively. The fact that casters can fly, turn invisible, travel the planes, cure HP damage, foretell the future and summon fantastical minions is not subjective; it's objective fact, written right there on the page in black and white. The fact that martials can't do those things is similarly objective, not subjective. The disparity exists.
That's like saying it's objectively true that a low level/high level disparity exists. It's an objective truth, but by itself it isn't a useful one.

The key difference, though, is that the game doesn't present high and low levels as being equivalent PC choices, and it doesn't tell GMs to award the same amount of experience for defeating high or low level NPCs. The game does those things for casters and martials.

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@Haladir: It sounds to me like you've fixed the C/MD in your games by inflating the encounter per day expectation, which I admit I wouldn't have guessed would be sufficient. If I may ask, what sorts of stories do you tell in which a 15-encounter day makes sense narratively? Do you struggle to justify them? Also, what do you do about using scrolls and wands for utility spells so that spells per day is less of an issue (especially for wizards, who get Scribe Scroll for free)? Inquiring minds want to know. :)

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Zilvar2k11 wrote:
As I see it, at its heart, CM/D is about one group of players getting to have more fun than the others.

Eh, not exactly. There's an important distinction you're failing to make.

The existence of the disparity is entirely independent of who is (or isn't) having fun.

The disparity exists objectively. The fact that casters can fly, turn invisible, travel the planes, cure HP damage, foretell the future and summon fantastical minions is not subjective; it's objective fact, written right there on the page in black and white. The fact that martials can't do those things is similarly objective, not subjective. The disparity exists.

How the disparity affects (or doesn't affect) people's fun at the table? That is the part that's subjective. Some people are bothered by it, some don't care, some actually like it and would be upset if it were gone. The fun varies; the fun is subjective.

The disparity exists. It just doesn't negatively impact the fun for everybody.

Now, I realize this isn't quite pertinent to your post, but I felt it was worth bringing up in general, and in fact I wish I could go back and edit the OP to include it. Very often, when someone tries to discuss the C/MD, others will use an argument that's along the lines of "My games have been fun, therefore there isn't a disparity." From there it escalates to the accusations of non-teamwork or only-in-theory or whatever else, because some folks just can't accept that a game they're having fun with could simultaneously have a major design flaw. :/

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ginganinja wrote:
I'm pointing out that you are/were underselling yourself. You give the impression that this martial was highly optimised to beat the wizard, while you, yourself, was entirely unoptimised for this fight, and did no preparation, and then mention in an earlier post that you had specific contingencies in play for dust of appearance (being Hold Person ---> CDG) or immunity to Magic Missile (Necklace of Fireballs)

You misunderstand. Those weren't contingencies in case he brought XYZ to the fight, I was just chatting about which of my other spells/items I might have used if circumstances had been different. Those were there for him, they were there for all the other things I might encounter in an average adventuring day (AoE damage for swarms, hold person for things that might kill the party if I took the time to just plink away at them from a distance, and so forth).

Those options were not selected for this fight, they were selected for general adventuring. It just so happens that what a wizard brings for general adventuring is all he ever really needs to bring. Which is part of the point.

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The Sword wrote:
I find it interesting that sometimes all casters are lumped in together. Casters are talked about as if they have the abilities of all casters when in fact they each have their specialities. If clerics want to be casting knock or invisibility then they need to be built specifically to do that, which means they are giving up other powers.

I'm struggling to figure out how the distinction you're pointing out is significant enough to really make a difference.

Sure, the wizard can't make CLW wands or ask God a question and expect a useful answer, but he can still teleport, fly all day, have breakfast in heaven, and summon extraplanar beings to do his bidding. Sure, the cleric can't fly all day or teleport, but he's the only reason fighters can claim to go all day, he can walk on air, he can have breakfast in heaven, he can ask God a question and get an answer, and he can raise the dead.

But yeah, when comparing to a martial who can do none of those things, let's make sure not to accidentally blend those two lists, amirite?

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knightnday wrote:
Technology can be quite useful if you have experienced players or those who don't need hands-on help or a close eye. I've had a few players over the years that I'd prefer to keep an eye on when they are working out their characters, especially if we are rolling stats instead of using point buy. Their "miraculous" rolls are a little less miraculous if there are witnesses I've found.

Why are those people even in your game?

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Neal Litherland wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

Why is "communicate about expectations/boundaries" tied to having an actual "Session 0"? The last two times I've joined a face-to-face D&D campaign, all the parameters were established via email so that people could make their characters on their own time and show up to the first session ready to play.

Maybe it's different for others, but I find that actual time together at the gaming table is scarce and difficult to schedule; therefore, getting character creation taken care of beforehand saves precious session time. Why spend a valuable game night doing things that could've been done BEFORE game night?

It seems that your REAL message (and one I agree with) is to communicate the parameters of the campaign prior to getting started. Great idea. But unless you all live in caves with no means of communicating except in person, why in the world would you spend a session on it?

The name "Session 0" is just for convenience sake. It doesn't have to be an actual session. You could do it over dinner with some friends, or over Skype, or a FB group chat if you want to. For my group, we often have it as a brief 15-minute talk when we're nearing the end of one campaign, or a DM won't be available on the same schedule, and so we're looking for something different to fill the time.

That's what I would have guessed had I not read the blog and seen you talk about sitting down with your group and how it's important that the GM is present and so forth.

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Saldiven wrote:
This kind of thing could be done via e-mail or text, but would take dozens, if not more, such communications over (probably) multiple days to achieve what an hour or two sitting together at a table would do.

Yes, it will take dozens of emails over the course of multiple days to get everything settled. And in my experience, a few days of everybody checking their email whenever THEY have the time, without having to wait until everybody else can synch up with them, is waaaay easier to make actually happen than to schedule and coordinate six busy people into a single place all at the same time.

If it's seriously no harder for you and your friends to all get to the table for a couple of hours all at the same time than it is for each of you to hit "Reply All" at your leisure, then count your blessings because you're living a truly charmed life.

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Seannoss wrote:
How much would limited spellcasting from Unchained help?

That would help somewhat, but primarily only with combat, which was always the smaller element of the disparity. Even with limited spellcasting, overland flight still lasts longer than an American workday, endure elements is completely unaffected, wands of CLW are still relied on by martials in order to "go all day" like people keep trying to point out they can do, teleport still carries a party of four with the same consistency it's always had, plane shift still lets the caster decide that the party's gonna have breakfast in heaven today, and divination's new 77% chance of getting a useful answer from God is still infinitely superior to the martial's 0% chance.

It's a step in the right direction, but a very small one.

Quote:
Would the Simplified spellcasting option expand power or limit a caster's power do to less spells?

This would actually make things worse. Casters have lots of low-level spells available that neutralize obstacles so efficiently that the use of the martials' skills is completely overshadowed. Normally, the caster has to at least go to the trouble of scribing scrolls for some of the more situational utility spells, but Simplified Spellcasting removes even that cost, small as it was.

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Why is "communicate about expectations/boundaries" tied to having an actual "Session 0"? The last two times I've joined a face-to-face D&D campaign, all the parameters were established via email so that people could make their characters on their own time and show up to the first session ready to play.

Maybe it's different for others, but I find that actual time together at the gaming table is scarce and difficult to schedule; therefore, getting character creation taken care of beforehand saves precious session time. Why spend a valuable game night doing things that could've been done BEFORE game night?

It seems that your REAL message (and one I agree with) is to communicate the parameters of the campaign prior to getting started. Great idea. But unless you all live in caves with no means of communicating except in person, why in the world would you spend a session on it?

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...at 5th level.

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ginganinja wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Caster-Martial Discussion DM wrote:
However, from what I read in these battles and builds, it's optimization that won fights, not classes.

Not true. My wizard was decidedly (and deliberately) un-optimized. Didn't take a specialty school, never found any magic items as loot or available for purchase, wasn't even made exclusively for combat. The fighter he beat was far more optimized (and even specialized against the known opponent, while my wizard was not).

The only thing true to both fights was that the character with access to the highest-level spellcasting won. There was a weird cross-class bleeding of that access to magic, but it's still more true that it's a contest of magic than that it's a contest of optimization.

He couldn't have been that specialized against wizards if he lost to the simple tactic of Fly + Greater Invisibility. Like seriously, the entire fight was just the wizard slamming Magic Missile while the fighter wasted his time spamming Perception checks with nothing else to do. I wouldn't really call that a highly optimised martial that specialised himself against beating a Wizard.

He had dust of appearance, knowledge of my starting position, and haste to give him enough movement to get in range and use the dust in a single turn. (In fact, I suggested the starting distance specifically so that the martials would have the possibility of reaching the casters in the first round.)

But he lost initiative, and was incapable of ever doing anything to come back. He lost with a single d20 roll.

Quote:
The issue is, its actually pretty hard for your average martial to handle invisible opponents without specifically optimising himself to do so. You could be a ranged Paladin, with See Invisibility to and then call it a day,

Note that the fight in question was specifically fighter versus wizard. What would you have done differently in the fighter's build? Something that you would "call a highly optimized martial that specialized himself against beating a wizard" (at 7th level). What should he have done?

Quote:
but beyond that, flight + method of dealing with Invisibility usually requires high feat and/or level investment, by which time the wizard has moved on to better and scarier tactics.

That's kind of the point.

EDIT: Also, what I was saying in the post you replied to was pointing out not just how specialized he was, but how big of a GAP in specialization there was. He built his whole character around this one fight, while my wizard was built like he was planning to do some generalized adventuring afterward. I beat a specialized opponent using only what I would have already had on hand anyway.

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"Here's some ideas for martial narrative power" probably deserves its own thread, eh?

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SmiloDan wrote:

There are a lot of spells that affect "a target you can see."

Does this mean blind spellcasters (or those effectively unable to see due to darkness, mist or fog, invisibility, stealth) cannot use those spells?

Would you ask the same question about spells that affect "a target with X creature type" or "a willing target" or any other targeting restrictions?

If a spell only affects targets with a given quality, and there are no targets available with that quality, then you can't use that spell. If the quality in question was to be a fiend or an undead, or to be a willing recipient, or to be a creature with 0 HP, there wouldn't be a thread here asking if you really can't use those spells without a qualifying target available.

Why is it different when the qualification is "target you can see"?

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

The real use lies in conveying that you aren't exaggerating, even if you're using a metaphor.

"They literally kicked me out of the club." <-- This statement doesn't literally mean you were kicked, but it does mean you aren't exaggerating when you say you were forced to leave. It adds some good emphasis onto the point of the statement. It also makes it clear you aren't joking.

That's the ideal and clearest use of the informal "literally".

Derail:
Except that then if you DO get expelled from a location by means of physical force delivered through someone's foot, and you want to say so without listeners thinking you're using "kicked me out" as a figure of speech, you now no longer have a word available to denote that the forthcoming phrase is not meant figuratively.

It's one thing if a word picks up a new meaning that's distinct enough from the original that context will almost always make it clear which meaning you're using. It's quite another thing if a word starts getting used in exactly the same contexts as its original meaning but just means something completely different. The former broadens our options for communication, while the latter instead works against good communication.

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Tormsskull wrote:
As in, once they became immersed in the hobby, they became aware of what the term means what a lot of folks actually mean when they use the term, despite it not being what the term actually means.

Fixed that for you. There's a difference between "learning what a term means" and "becoming familiar enough with others' misuse of a term to be able to communicate with them in spite of their error".

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Tormsskull wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Granted I think the "roleplay=talking in character" definition is common on the boards, I just don't think it's terribly useful.
It's incredibly useful in setting expectations. If I'm recruiting for players and I intend on a heavy in-character dialogue component to the campaign, stating RP required helps prospective players know what the campaign entails.

You're still making assumptions that the people hearing your "RP required" parameter have the same idea of what "roleplay" means as you do. As soon as a listener (or reader, if it's a PbP recruitment) knows what roleplay actually means and doesn't know what you mean by it, then no, it's not "incredibly useful in setting expectations," and in fact works against that goal.

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thejeff wrote:
In this case when someone says "a roleplaying heavy roleplaying game", he means something and we all have at least a vague idea what that is.

Only because of inferences made after hearing lots of remarks about "roleplaying" in a variety of conversational contexts. I did originally think that "a roleplay-heavy roleplaying game" was redundant (sorry for the earlier miscommunication; the idea that maybe people meant "not metagaming" was merely my first theory, my first attempt at making sense of the apparent ridiculousness of the statements).

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thejeff wrote:

If there is a clear, official definition, can you point to it? Preferably one for it's use as jargon within the hobby, rather than a general English dictionary sense.

I was actually hoping to find that when I brought up the early D&D intros before, but they really don't clearly address it.

That's why I was interested in early citations as well; if the game itself specifies a meaning for "roleplay", then we use that meaning instead of the normal English meaning (just like with "attack" or "check" or "bonus"). But if the game does not provide its own special definition of "roleplay", then we use the normal English meaning.

In other words, for any given term used in the hobby, the default is to use the normal English meaning, and to do otherwise requires that the game give us an alternative.

Therefore, if "roleplay" is to mean something other than playing your role in the normal English sense, the burden of proof is on the proponent of that idea to find us the alternative definition from an authoritative source.

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
That's why the term "free-form roleplay" exists—it's roleplaying without the rules that accompany a "roleplaying game".

Free-form roleplay doesn't have rules?

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Irontruth wrote:
So, when a term consistently has large amounts of disagreement about what falls within it's definition and what doesn't, would you consider that term well defined? Or poorly defined?

I submit that a term's definition can be entirely clear while the term still generates large amounts of disagreement about what it means.

To phrase it more sourly, lots of people being wrong doesn't mean a term is unclear.

For example, consider the use of "literally" and other qualifiers as intensifiers. The fact that lots of people think "literally" means something similar to "very" does not mean that it's poorly defined.

Doesn't help the current situation much, but still.

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Tormsskull wrote:
thejeff wrote:
And I still say that's not the root of the problem. I've never seen, for example, someone shocked at the idea of "roleplay heavy" session.
This is my experience as well. I've never actually had someone confused when I advertised for a role-playing required campaign.

*raises hand*

Used to be when I heard people talk about "requiring roleplay" or some such, I thought they just meant not doing metagamey things (like automatically recognizing people because they're PCs, or communicating during battle without expecting the enemies to hear you). Eventually, from enough contextual examples, I figured out that a lot of people meant "talking to NPCs", and my internal reaction was "Huh? That's not all roleplay is, and it might even be the OPPOSITE of roleplay, if your speech doesn't match the character."

So now you've both encountered such a person.

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knightnday wrote:
So a degree of acting was certainly suggested.

Nobody was suggesting that acting was not included, just that first-person speech is not the entirety of what roleplaying means.

Anyway, were there any headings or anything to suggest that the excerpt you provided (thanks, by the way) was an explanation of what it is to "roleplay"? It refers to the other players as "fellow role players", but that doesn't really mean much in the context of the question at hand.

Assuming for a moment that this is that book's "definition" of roleplaying, there's quite a lot of stuff included beyond in-character speech: drinking/gambling (i.e., non-speech social interaction), adventuring (that's gonna include a lot of dice!) and even combat. It even describes the acquisition of gold and gear as part of the process of "becoming" your character.

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Krensky wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Hmmm. Maybe I'll go back at look at the intro in the original PHB, just to see if roleplaying is actually given a definition in there anywhere.
Oooooh, you have the means to do that? Please do! That would be fascinating. :D
I can help, how far back should I start? Original? Chainmail?

Wherever it talks about "roleplaying", I guess?

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Tormsskull wrote:
simply provide another viewpoint.

Providing another viewpoint would be the part of your post where you said that you see roleplaying as meaning in-character speech.

However, that's not all you did. You then went beyond simply providing your viewpoint, and actually declared that viewpoints besides your own are fabrications, and then went even further and assigned motives to the holders of those viewpoints.

Just because your post includes the presentation of your viewpoint does not mean that's all you did, and does not excuse your other behavior.

Moving on from that:

Quote:
The question is what is role-playing? I contend that the term was fairly unambiguous during the eighties and early nineties within the hobby. The term became muddied as some sought to redefine it in later years.

What if what happened "in later years" was not that some sought to redefine a previously unambiguous term, but rather that you finally got exposed to other ideas (which may even have dated back as far as your own)?

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thejeff wrote:
Hmmm. Maybe I'll go back at look at the intro in the original PHB, just to see if roleplaying is actually given a definition in there anywhere.

Oooooh, you have the means to do that? Please do! That would be fascinating. :D

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Tormsskull wrote:
That's short and sweet - when I was taught how to play D&D, role-playing was defined as talking in character. That's it.

So you believe roleplaying means talking in character because the people you played with said so?

There are two definitions being discussed here. You want to assert that yours is the real definition, and that the other is a fabrication that was invented in order to achieve a specific goal. The one you're asserting is a fabrication is the product of looking at the actual components of the word. You are asserting that your definition is somehow more primary than that.

And the reason we should believe that your definition is more primary than the one based on delving into the roots of the word itself is because that's what you were told when you started playing?

Really? That's what you're going with?

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Tormsskull wrote:


The thought path goes like this:

  • Role-playing is defined as talking in character.

Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear. The thought path I'd like to see is how you get to the idea that roleplaying is defined as talking in character, not the thought path that goes from there to your other points about ensuing arguments.

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Tormsskull wrote:

I think role-playing is the talky part. ....

So now we've endured years of people trying to redefine role-playing so that they can prove the snobs wrong.

And here I thought I was just defining it based on what the word actually says: playing a role. Made sense to me, from a linguistic standpoint, that the meaning of a compound word would be strongly linked to the meanings of its component parts. How did you arrive at the conclusion that it instead meant "the talky part"? I'm curious to follow the thought-path that makes "talking" the true definition and "playing a role" the forced re-definition of the word "roleplay".

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The question of "How important is a +1 bonus?" has a different answer depending on the context of the question.

At the macro level, looking at the role of +1 bonuses in general, they're more important in PF than in 5E, because the PF math assumes that you're building your mathwall out of a bunch of +1 bricks. They're central to the system's expectations. If you neglect them, you'll fall behind the curve. But in 5E, the things that grant +1 bonuses lie outside the scope of the baseline math (the baseline consists of stats and proficiency), so the +1 bonuses are kind of just gravy. Not that important.

But at the micro level, where you're looking at a given roll/check and asking whether a single extra +1 bonus. In any given check (assuming that in either system the existing bonus isn't so big or small as to auto-succeed/auto-fail), then the value of one more +1 is actually identical in both systems. In both systems, that +1 means one more possible d20 result that gives a success instead of a failure. Thus, the value is equal.

It depends on the context of the question.

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Aeshuura wrote:
@Jiggy, how are you doing on your character?

All done, unless there was something I missed. Here is a fresh link, in case you missed it the first time. Name's Ander Meliamne; let me know if I've overlooked something.

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I've not experimented with extremely large or small groups, but I've been finding 5-6 to be pretty good.

Regarding maps, are you planning to run Pathfinder or another system? That can make a lot of difference. For instance, I've been running 5E strictly mapless and it's been a breeze. I tried going mapless in Pathfinder, though, and I frequently had to type up a rough map anyway because the system is just so dependent on precise positioning (flanking, the difference between a 5ft step and a 10ft move action, overly picky cover rules, etc). If I were to attempt a mapless Pathfinder game again, I'd be writing up some clear houserules that I would put in the Recruitment thread so people would know that some abilities would work significantly differently. (Though the houserules would have to be so thorough that I'd be scratching my head why I'm not just running another 5E game...)

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graystone wrote:

Note that the Consolidated Skills Optional Rules has a listing for Search Locations. It SURE sounds like more than sitting in the corner and not moving while you make the check. Intent seems pretty clear when they spell out that "Search Locations" means "thoroughly comb an area" and it takes a "move action spent allows you to search a 10-foot-by-10-foot area." Add to that James Jacobs' comments...

"Search Locations

You can thoroughly comb an area, looking for hidden traps, doors, and the like. The same modifiers that apply to Perception DCs to notice (see above) also apply to Perception DCs to search.

Hidden Object Perception DC

Find an average concealed door 15
Find an average secret door 20
Find a hidden trap Varies by trap

Action: Move. Each move action spent allows you to search a 10-foot-by-10-foot area."

Yeah, but that's the Consolidated Skills Optional Rules. The discussion hasn't been about that. So what's your point?

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James Jacobs wrote:
The intent of taking 20 is to keep gameplay going and not bog it down between encounters by forcing the players to specifically describe each and every specific action they take when searching an area (or doing whatever it is they're taking 20 on). It speeds game play and lets you get on with the story and the adventure. Spending hours of real time forcing players to describe every step they take in searching a room or disarming a trap or whatever is kind of missing the point of having skills for characters in the first place... because if you do that, it's not the character who's doing the work, it's the player.

See, that's how I like skills to be.

"Oh, you want to do [TASK]? Sure, that sounds like it's primarily a matter of [COMPETENCY], so go ahead and roll a [SKILL] check."

Boom. Summarized, resolved, done.

That's how 5E's skill system is written. That's not how Pathfinder's skill system (including T20) is written. But I guess until this thread moves to the Rules Questions forum, it makes a good suggestion for the OP. :)

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Bill Dunn wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Why would you assume that opening the drawer or lifting the mattress has to be part of T20 on Perception instead of being their own actions like the rules say they are?
How else are you going to find the hidden compartment or letter unless you're actually moving things about and searching as part of the search - stare at it with increasing intensity?

By spending the actions to go over there and open the drawer (or whatever) and then (if necessary) use more Perception checks.

I notice you keep saying things like "as part of the search" and "the point of a search check". I think your frame of mind is tripping you up. Perception (as it's written in Pathfinder) is not a summary of all the activity involved in the process of searching. It is just taking a couple of seconds (or longer for T20) to resolve which observable stimuli you're picking up on. The process of thoroughly searching a room is not all rolled into the Perception skill. (Again, at least as far as Pathfinder rules are concerned; and Pathfinder isn't exactly known for its smooth and robust skill system...)

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Ravingdork wrote:

Jiggy, can you further backup that your interpretation is the correct and intended-by-the-developers one?

Our group had a GM who withheld vital information from the party (a sign) even though we beat the room's Perception DC, all because the sign was on the back of the door we entered from. The lack of that information lead to mass confusion and a TPK later on. We reamed him out for it.

I simply can't believe that adding that level of complexity to a simple search check is the intent of the designers. So in short, please prove it.

Did you guys specify that you were leaving the door open as far as it would go? Because if not, then that has literally nothing to do with getting something wrong in the Skill rules, it's just the GM looking for an excuse to screw you. He'd have found a way to do it regardless of how he was running Perception/T20.

As to your stated question, yes, I can back it up. It's a simple matter of action costs.

You can't spend the same action to do two things that cost that action (unless you have a special exception). You can't spend the same full-round action to both perform a full-attack and pour a potion down an ally's throat. You can't spend the same move action to both stand up from prone and move your speed. Action costs must be paid separately.

Taking 20 on Perception explicitly costs you 20 move actions. Manipulating an object explicitly costs you a move action (each time that you do it).

Do you know of some rule I might have overlooked that gives you a special exception (like getting to deliver a touch spell as a free action in the round you cast it, or getting to draw a weapon as a free action while moving if you have +1 BAB)? Because if not, then the foundational rules of the action economy are pretty explicit that Perception and opening doors are different things that cost their own actions to perform.

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Bill Dunn wrote:
I would also assume that taking 20 actually does incorporate opening things up and manipulating things contrary to Jiggy's interpretation. That's one of the reasons it does take so long - it's more than a cursory overview, it's really digging in to things that can be searched. And in some cases, that means being in the right place as well as spending the time. Imagine someone taking 20 from the doorway - they get a good score, -1 for the desk 10 feet away (due to perception's range penalty) and -2 for the bed in the corner that's 20 feet away. But are they going to find the hidden compartment in the desk drawer or the letter stuffed under the mattress? No, they aren't because those require that the bed and desk actually be manipulated in the search. They need to be in the right place to really succeed at taking 20 on those areas and really expect to get the hidden compartment or letter.

Why would you assume that opening the drawer or lifting the mattress has to be part of T20 on Perception instead of being their own actions like the rules say they are?

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Ah, I see. So a whole series of games, eh? I might check back after The Courting of Fire, then.

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KingOfAnything wrote:
It takes 2 minutes to thoroughly search a 5ft square (take 20).

You forgot to switch editions.

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DM_Blake wrote:
It's a bit unfortunate. I cannot, ever, hide something from them as a challenge. Either the DC is low enough that they automatically find it or the DC is high enough that they never do. But that's the rule.

This is part of what I like about 5E's less heavily-codified skills. Instead of defining the exact actions and parameters of a single check and then having to add a subsystem for variants/different circumstances (T10/T20), the skill rules are generalized enough that a check can just represent the entire endeavor. Thus, searching the room can be generalized into a single check (and 5E's math makes this more reasonable than it might be in Pathfinder) and there's no need for T20 rules or their consequences.

Similar benefits exist for things like Stealth, but that's another topic.

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Steel Forged Games wrote:

So I have some questions from you vets out there. There is a debate that rages in my group and it is tearing us apart. It is all about taking 20 on a skill check such as perception.

So we are currently running the 'Hell's Rebels' AP and they want to search the room. The perception check is like a 24 to notice something. They 'take 20' to searching the room. So now they automatically find anything in the room.

Is that correct?

If this is correct why put a DC at all on perception check? After combat everyone is obviously going to take 20 to search the room.

Please help with this debate.

Steel Forged Games.

Core Rulebook wrote:

Taking 20: When you have plenty of time, you are faced with no threats or distractions, and the skill being attempted carries no penalties for failure, you can take 20. In other words, if you roll a d20 enough times, eventually you will get a 20. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, just calculate your result as if you had rolled a 20.

Taking 20 means you are trying until you get it right, and it assumes that you fail many times before succeeding. Taking 20 takes 20 times as long as making a single check would take (usually 2 minutes for a skill that takes 1 round or less to perform).

Since taking 20 assumes that your character will fail many times before succeeding, your character would automatically incur any penalties for failure before he or she could complete the task (hence why it is generally not allowed with skills that carry such penalties). Common "take 20" skills include Disable Device (when used to open locks), Escape Artist, and Perception (when attempting to find traps).

So, yes, you can absolutely use the Take 20 rule to search.

A couple of practical notes on actually doing so:

First, remember that it's not instantaneous. A deliberate Perception check costs a move action, and T20 costs twenty times that. Do they have buff durations ticking down?

Second (and this is important), remember that T20 is not shorthand for "thoroughly search the entire map in every conceivable way". It means standing there and making twenty move-action Perception checks. You are not walking around, you are not doing other things that require their own actions (like opening doors/drawers, squatting down to look under furniture, etc). When a character uses T20 on Perception, they stay in one spot and spend 20 move actions doing a "Sherlock Scan" of what they can perceive from that position. Things that can't be perceived from where they're taking 20 from (such as vision-only stimulus that's not in line of sight) will be automatically failed against. Many GMs fail to apply the T20 rules properly in this regard, which in turn leads to them thinking T20 on Perception is waaaay more powerful than it is, then they either ban it or do a lot of mental gymnastics to convince themselves it can't be done at all. Don't fall into that trap.

In effect, T20 on Perception means pick a spot, spend about a minute there, and detect anything that (1) is detectable from that spot and (2) has a DC that they can hit with their T20 result, remembering to account for distance modifiers and so forth.

It's actually a somewhat reasonable system... if you take the trouble to learn it and apply it properly.

EDIT: Also, this should be in the Rules forum.

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I... did not follow the first half of that opening post.

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Ah, okay, I thought you were replying to me. Nevermind then. :)

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Meaning...?

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Aeshuura wrote:
@Jiggy: Yes, you should put your DCI in your alias profile.

Done.

Quote:
The story origin is for what resources you have used. If you have the Princes of the Apocalypse origin (Genasi, Svirfneblin, Goliath, or elemental spells listed in the companion PDF) you cannot use the Sword Coast Adventurers Guide, for example. If your origin is Out of the Abyss, you may use the Sword Coast Adventurers Guide.

Hm, I only used the PHB, so I guess it doesn't really matter. Let's say Out of the Abyss.

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