Every GM will rule how they rule, but as a player I think you should be asking "What does my character know" when you are playing if you are roleplaying rather than tactical combat simulating.
Exactly. Your character shouldn't be just stats on a sheet.
Anyone with even an inkling of combat knows that bludgeons are better for smashing bones than blades are. Exhibit A: me! Again, I'm barely combat-aware, and even I know what's better for breaking bones. If you don't believe me, ask your grandfather if his cleaver was good at cutting bone, or if it would've been easier to smash the bones with a specially-made bludgeoning tool. (Butchers don't bludgeon meat simply because customers won't buy meat with bone shards embedded in it.)
Ask Freehold DM. He's never fought real skeletons; I don't think he has any particular knowledge of religious mythologies which include undead skeletons. But I bet he can tell you whether it's easier to smash bone with a blade or crowbar. This isn't a metagaming issue. It's got nothing to do with anything that Knowledge (religion) covers, and everything to do with basic combat training. I.e., maybe a 1st level wizard (or ironically, a 1st level cleric) wouldn't think to bludgeon a skeleton, but any PC with a +1 BAB would know these kind of combat basics. Maybe there should be a Knowledge (strategy) to cover this type of thing, but there isn't, so I think BAB is a good stand-in.
I also noticed you haven't answered oceanshieldwolf's question about how long it took your party to try bludgeoning weapons. After the first combat with them? After another level was reached, and another knowledge check could be rolled? After an NPC mentioned his handy trick for smashing skeletons? I'm curious just how far you take your character stats.
Similarly, if you have no foreknowledge of golems, and you see a fireball do nothing against one, you wouldn't necessarily assume magic immunity. It might be immune or highly resistant to fire, or maybe just fireball itself. So summoning a flying critter to attack from a safe distance is a perfectly reasonable tactic. You don't know that the flying critter counters the golem's magic immunity, but you also don't know the golem is immune to magic to begin with. No metagaming necessary. It's just good strategy.
I suspect that if BloodyViking had been a more savvy player on his own, and had simply known to summon the archon to beat the golem in the first place, nobody would have blinked. As others have pointed out, summoning a flying ally to beat down a mindless land-bound foe from safety doesn't require any special insight into the archon's abilities. Just good strategy.
(Chaotic clerics illegally summoning lawful outsiders, aside.)
I further suspect that his DM's response was really a knee-jerk reaction to BloodyViking's mention of google, and his DM's disappointment that what he thought would be a tough encounter (for the second time) turned into a cakewalk. I've seen this kind of thing happen before, when a PC manages to trivialize an encounter; "Your ranger used animal empathy to avoid combat with my dire tiger! Too easy, half xp for you!"
The whole notion of WBL and CR and the like seem to be in an attempt to conventionalize play across the entire player base.
Perhaps it is, but more importantly, WBL and CR are attempts to make the DM's job easier and the game run smoother. On the DM side, the CR system is an attempt to create predictable and fun encounters. (Assuming the DM generally follows the game's other rules and guidelines, including WBL.)
On the player side, WBL gives the PCs -- at least nominally -- the bonuses appropriate to their level. Think of WBL as a second layer of base attack bonus, base save bonus, ability boosts, and the base AC bonuses that classes don't grant. Is this a weird way to give PCs what the game assumes they have? Yes, but it's very much how the game currently works.
Unless your playing semi-competitively with other gaming groups its all really mute. All the talk about players feeling constrained or even cheated by the GM doesnt apply if your game is the only one they are playing or familiar with. Each game is different, each GM lending a different feel to his campaign. There is no such thing as a typical handling of a game or even a normal one.
There are standardized guidelines and rules which help new DMs and players enjoy the game until they learn enough of its ins and outs to deviate from them. As you say, they provide structure for the story while everyone -- especially the DM -- is feeling out the game.
And as I've said before, saying things like "there is no such thing as a typical game" may be true, but you're also giving any new DMs who may be reading this thread the wrong impression. It's like leaving someone at the edge of a rapid river, and telling him "There's a bridge to get to the other side, but there's no typical way to cross so it's your call." Sure, you may be right, but he's not going to thank you when he finds himself caught on hidden stones halfway across and drowning.
Here is a dumb question: can you tell me where it says in the rulebook that the magical bonuses are included in the calculation of CR?
The books don't outright say it, and that's the problem. It presents WBL as a guideline, but doesn't say which items PCs are supposed to have, or what happens when a DM radically deviates from the guideline.
The answer is there if you put 2 and 2 together, either via experience (how I figured it out) or via algebra.
Fact of the matter is ... there is no inherent need for magic items.. save that set up by the GameMaster in setting up challenges. It is incumbent on that gamemaster to provide his players the options of getting ready for those challenges. And there are a lot of ways to make that provision. Mass magic item purchase by order isn't the only tool in that particular box.
The fact of the matter is that there are ways around the game's reliance upon magical items, but to say that "there's no need of magical items" in a place where inexperienced DMs may be reading is very misleading, at best. At worst, it's downright disingenuous.
Very experienced DMs can be stingy with magical items by relying on their own assessment of PC vs. monster capabilities rather than on CR, but the result is glass cannon combat. Which may be what you're looking for, but it's very different from standard combat. WARNING: Attempting this without enough DM experience is likely to result in frequent TPKs.
Or a DM can institute some kind of inherent bonus house rule to take the place of the Big Six items; there are a few of these floating around the forums, so this is viable for inexperienced DMs. Regardless of a DM's experience, this is the solution I personally advocate, because it doesn't change combat dynamics or much of anything else.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Oh, I agree; I just wanted to add a proviso.
There are ways to make magic rare and precious in games of the D&D family, but the hard truth is that you have to fight the system to do so, no matter how you do it -- and the results are often unsatisfying in one way or another.
W E Ray wrote:
Planescape is probably the best starting point for someone who wants a ready-to-use cosmology, but a lot of the details feel like round pegs forced into square holes. And no wonder -- PS is an effort to cram the creative work of, as Todd mentioned, many different authors and several decades of haphazard creativity into a single coherent setting. It works for the most part, but I'm sure you'll agree that it could be better.
W E Ray wrote:
I never thought I'd say this, but I'm with Sissyl on this. Tony is without a doubt the best artist D&D has ever had.
And if you disagree, you're just wrongity-wronger-wrongest.
Some people here feel that of your scenes are setup for you to succeed then you are not a hero.
And lots more people in the real world would find it hilarious that we're here debating the best way to play make-believe heroes in the land of improbable dungeons and harmless-to-real-people dragons. Let it go, dude. Not everyone wants to play your particular brand of magical elf tea party, and that's okay.
Assuming your OP question was in good faith, you've had eleven pages of responses to help you wrap your head around the answer. And if you haven't by now, you never will. And that's okay, because you don't have to understand; you just have to play and let play.
Mythic +10 Artifact Toaster wrote:
Epic fail on his part. Smart move on your part; no gaming is better than bad gaming.
Immortal Greed wrote:
He must have read this, and applied to his poorly-built PC. ;)
Josh M. wrote:
Good luck getting your 3e game!
On my more lucid days, I think that all edition fans must feel some degree of the abandonment-paranoia that I mentioned. We notice the fans of other editions who rant against our own favorite, swearing never to play such 'video game TTRPGs' or whatever. Meanwhile, we hear the most vocal fans of our own favorite edition, and think "They're not really serious," or we figure that such crazy fans of our own favorite edition are rare because "We're more reasonable than the other guys, overall." So we forget about our own loudmouth fans, and worry that the other guys' loudmouth fans are more populous than they actually are.
...But on days I forget to take my medication, I think that I'm just fooling myself. :P
I feel like this is a good place for a blog link: Revenge of the Realism
It's a general post about 3.x, but most of remains relevant to PF.
Funny how if you sell someone a 600 page book of house rules, they're likely to play it without blinking. But give someone a 600 page book of house rules, and they're likely to turn their nose up at it.
(There actually is a term for this psychological phenomenon, but I can't recall it.)
Someone on ENworld came up with a great house rule during the 3.5 era: instead of being completely binary, magical weapons bypass 5 points of DR per (actual) bonus.
So if you hit a monster with DR 10/magic with a +1 sword, you only deal 5 less damage than normal.
If you're really asking why someone thought your opinions are funny, I don't know because I'm not him.
If you're beating around the bush as a means to ask 'Why do others find it difficult to appreciate arbitrary character death and heavy character investment at the same time?,' perhaps an anecdote will help:
I grew up in rural NY, with lots of pets. Cats, dogs, fish, mice, you name it. I even caught a couple snakes to keep. (Fun fact: they tend to poo when scared.) And until The Incident, I gave them all names, cared for them, and was deeply invested in them. To the extent that a boy can love his pets, you can certainly say that I did. But then one day I adopted a cute little kitten from a friend who had an unspayed cat, and brought it home.
Within a few hours, it got out of my arms -- I can't remember if he squirmed out, or if I put him down to explore his new home. In any case, one of the family dogs noticed the little guy at that point, and the chase was on. Scared for my new kitten, I managed to catch up with the two of them, and intended to scoop up the kitten out of harm's way.
But when a kitten sees a large dog and an even larger boy with reaching hands, it acts on instinct and takes its own chances. And that's how I ended up watching the family dog crush the life from the kitten I had adopted only hours earlier. Now I had seen family pets die before, after living long and full lives. But after The Incident, I never really got attached to an animal again.
Anyhow, with characters, it's the same concept: It's difficult to care about things that you've seen be destroyed in the blink of an eye, and for no good reason. Not impossible, but difficult. Now don't get me wrong; I can get invested in a character, and I can take PC death in stride. But a DM who expects me to do both is going to be disappointed.
Keeping characters alive just so the next book can come out is something I get tired of. I don't know how many times I wanted Artemis Entreri to kill Drizzt.
When I found myself wanting the same thing, I stopped reading Salvatore and found better authors. ;)
You either need to write in an exception to how a pole arm threatens, OR you need to write in an exception changing threatened squares to a threatened "Area" that doesn't show up well on the grid.
Hex grid FTW. :)
Ross Byers wrote:
That's not quite how 2e Detect Evil works. A 2e paladin who scans a pub full of rapists, murderers, and tyrants might not get a single ping...so long as none of them are doing or thinking of doing horrible things at that particular moment. Doesn't matter how many HD they have. And if one of them is thinking of doing something horrible, he scans as Evil, even if he's a 0 HD peasant. And IIRC, that applies to fiends and other Always Evil types too.
I agree it's ridiculous. But to be fair, it's no more ridiculous than Small people having natural 5 foot reach despite having half-length limbs.
Ah, the things we swallow to keep hobb, er, I mean halflings playable!
Careful, you two. You're getting dangerously close to 4e ideas!
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
FYI, the 4e 'encounter' is a concrete amount of time -- 5 minutes. It's just that 'encounter' takes less space on the page, so they buried this detail in the combat chapter of the PHB.
I love how hit points are abstract. (Like the description of hit points says.) Except when they're not. (Like the Sneak Attack description, and like a million other descriptions.)
And when I say 'I love' I mean 'it destroys any meaningful sense of immersion until I completely redefine what hit points mean.'
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Yeah, I'm always surprised when a DM expects me to put a lot of thought into my PC and to care about him/her, and at the same time insists on things like "Let the dice fall where they may!" and "All real PCs start at level 1!"
'Cause unless we're playing 4e, those things are mighty hard to do all at the same time. And even in 4e, sometimes the dice just don't go my way...
Matt Thomason wrote:
Great example, and I couldn't agree more.
Non-neutral alignments require more than intent, but intentions are nevertheless very relevant.
As to the topic at hand...
Alignment is a spectrum, or rather a pair of crossing spectrums. Alignments are not a set of nine little boxes that anyone, except possibly outsiders, can neatly fall into. Also...
Well, firstly, your actions determine your alignment, not the other way around.
...this. I actually consider a player's entry into the little alignment box on his character sheet to be what alignment his character aspires to. Non-neutral alignments require consistent action, not just intent.
Anyhow, my definitions are simply:
Good characters care about and act on behalf of others. Everyday example: Helping an old lady cross the street, or giving a few bucks to charity. Extreme example: Sacrificing yourself to save others, or dedicating one's fortune and/or life to charity.
Neutral characters make up the majority of humanity. Most believe themselves to be Good, but don't act on behalf of others often enough to deviate much from the center of the Good-Evil spectrum.
Evil characters disregard the well-being of others to achieve their goals. Everyday example: Stealing a few bucks from the church collection plate. Extreme example: Use your imagination.
Lawful characters believe in a particular faith, code, or lifestyle, and believe that the Way is best practiced by everyone. So a lawful character leads by example, proselytizes, or conquers in order to Spread the Word.
Neutral characters make up the majority of humanity. Most believe themselves to be Lawful, but lack the conviction to cleave to their beliefs when it becomes inconvenient.
Chaotic characters believe that everyone is best left to their own devices. So a chaotic character speaks out against or strikes against homogenizing forces such as tradition, religions, and rulers.
The Hitler Question: Note that plenty of Evil folks do good things, and most of them firmly believe that they're fighting the Good fight. But whenever I find myself asking "Well this character does some Good things and some Evil things...," the Evil acts take precedence and so the character defaults to Evil.
Otherwise, the game becomes a bad Disney story with mustachio-twirling villains and morally perfect heroes, or else alignment becomes meaningless because everyone is subjectively Good.
True enough, and Paizo APs have a reputation for being located squarely in Awesome Town. :)
But silver dragons have never been immune to...*scratches head*...Well I'll be damned.
You know, this is the kind of thing that makes me believe in the Matrix. Either I'm going senile at 29, or the machines just rewrote some bit of obscure code, and left behind a glitch.
I liked the first two seasons of BSG, but after that it was obvious that the writers were pulling stuff out of thin air and really had no idea what was going on. The season finale so ticked me off I ended up selling all the seasons I had bought on DVD to Hastings.
I've got to rewatch the series sometime, because the sequence of quality is fuzzy in my head. I do agree that the finale is kinda weird...
Sending all of their stuff into the sun with Anders, really? I give 'em two weeks before every last one of them desperately regrets giving up those little modern luxuries like beds, coffee, toilets, underpants, condoms, and well everything they know and just didn't notice until they don't have it anymore.
But all in all, it tied everything up and was very emotionally satisfying.
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
The Walking Dead gets pretty dull during the second season, but it really picks up after that; 3rd season was a blast. I had to force myself to endure the part about the farm, but eventually came to enjoy the series again.
I'm glad to hear it; I was kinda nonplussed with season 2, particularly the last episode...
Seriously, what was with Rick getting all angsty? I kept expecting someone to tell him "Dude, killing your best friend must have sucked, but he was an a~%@*%*. So we don't blame you for doing what you had to do..." But nobody did, and then Rick gets all DEMOCRACY IS OVER! The whole scene felt very forced.
But I'm looking forward to season 3 on Netflix!
New BSG is the same way. Great first season or two, then at some point the cylons fade into the background and the show becomes 'Domestic Tensions & Labor Crises.' But then sometime during the last season or two it picks up again, and becomes the best space opera EVAR! I think it was the scific channel's pressure to definitively end the series that made it spectacular again.
A pressure which, incidentally, I think the Supernatural writers could really use. 'Cause otherwise, it's never going to end. Season 72 will feature the heads of Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles in Futurama-style glass head-cases, punching out God with robotic arms for being "Such a dick," as Dean will say.
And then the cybernetically-immortal duo will take on the Great Old Ones in season 73.
Yes, I could have included an exhaustive list of which groups are and aren't minorities. If I ask the same question in future polls, I will do so.
In any case, even if Scott's statistic is inaccurate, you may want investigate the definition of minority groups, because it's not really about the numbers.
For example in the U.S., a nation founded by Christians (without exception, I believe), Christianity is a recognized religion (the first in fact), every president to date has been a Christian, the vast majority of our politicians are Christian, the default 'swear on this...' article is the Bible, we have "In God we trust" printed on every bill (and that's not referring to Yahweh or Allah), nobody bats an eye when someone claims to be a Christian, and nobody worries whether the Christian they're talking to is a suicide bomber.
(I mention suicide bombers because Muslims in the U.S. might make a case for being a minority group, ever since 9/11.)
I'm not blaming you for misunderstanding the question, mind -- I should have been more clear -- but no Christian group in the U.S. constitutes a minority. Unless maybe you're a Mormon who feels marginalized because U.S. law allows you only one wife.
Charlie Bell wrote:
Doesn't have to be BROM style cheesecake, either... see, for instance, diTerlizzi's cat lord or tiefling from the 2E Planescape MC Appendices.
I consider DiTerlizzi the best artist D&D has ever had, nay, one of the best artists EVER, right up there with Monet, Waterhouse, and DaVinci.
And those two cheesecake pieces are still favorites of mine, despite how absurdly proportioned they are.
Double ditto. I actually like to get a bit of that burnt flavor.
I'm not a japanophile so I'm not going to shun you, but imagine me saying "WHAAAAAAAT?" with a dropped jaw in response to the one thing you appreciate about modern Japan. Naruto is just about the last thing I'd ever recommend to anyone over the age of 9.
On a related note; I don't care how healthy it is, I refuse to eat sushi. My grandfather 700 generations removed tamed fire so that I can eat cooked meat. Not raw, or lightly smoked. Cooked.
You have proven me wrong, here's a cookie!
I'd been listening to the Eagles for years before I discovered that a tequila sunrise is something I could drink.
And I still vastly prefer the one I listen to.
Lincoln Hills wrote:
Thank you, Lincoln Hills.
Certain spells radically shift the game world away from the image that many DMs and players come into the game expecting, based on the fairytales and fantasy fiction they've previously enjoyed. That is, they expect a world that is essentially medieval Europe with uncommon and isolated magic-users, with plot device spells. They don't necessarily expect every king to need his castle warded with seven different protection spells 24/7, because their enemies are capable of all kinds of spell-based tactics.
If, if, if. Yes, there are a hundred ifs, and the DMG doesn't walk anyone through even all of the big ones.
Yeah, and this kind of vague advice is about as useful as telling a teenager "Your new car will get worn down and stuff as it ages. So...good luck with that." Mentioning the existence of a couple vaguely-described problems isn't the same as identifying specific problems and their remedies. Maybe if you had written the DMG, it would've been more useful.
I really cannot imagine how a game could give you as much as Pathfinder gives everyone and give it in a nicer package other than releasing a strategy-guide for core. But that's just the thing. I'm not asking that a GM know every spell ever, but you really should at least be familiar with spells in a given level range. If your party has the capability to scry and teleport, why would you not spend a few minutes to see what those spells do and if there are any basic methods to deal with them?
Because it gets to feel like homework for many DMs? Step outside of your own head, where prep work is fun. Now imagine that prep work is like homework...homework for a game that's supposed to be fun.
Also try imagining that you don't want a game with 3.x's range of stuff. Try imagining that you don't want campaigns to go from the grimly comedic adventures of bumbling apprentices to the details of tactical spell espionage and warfare.
If you can't make this simple leap of imagination, I suspect you're full of bologna, because...you're a DM! You imagine all kinds of things in a pretend world, so you're absolutely capable of imagining how 3.x gets to be a hassle for some DMs.
You might just not want to imagine 3.x being less than ideal.
The biggest problem I know of is purely one of encounter design, which doesn't lay so much with the system usually as the people using it. I tend to have combats that are big with lots of stuff involved. Rarely is action economy not even or even against the PCs (the first rule that GMs should learn is no single-opponents unless those opponents have something special to bring to the table to tilt action economy back in their favor).
This is the kind of info that new and even somewhat-experienced DMs need from their DMG. Admittedly I haven't read the PF version of it so maybe it's an improvement on the 3.5 DMG. Does it explain things like action economy, or mention 'Oh and fyi, the best way to increase encounter difficulty is with more enemies, not one stronger enemy'? Are the encounter guidelines any more decipherable than 3.5's?
Does it give DMs the list of Spells Your Dungeon and BBEG Need to Counter PC Spells? 'Cause at mid- to high-levels, 3.x turns into a Wheel of Time kind of world, where the existence of teleportation and other setting-changing magic demands countermeasures. And unless you enjoy reading through the spells chapter for fun, it's not particularly obvious where those countermeasures are.
(I'm not bashing WoT, btw. I enjoyed all fourteen books, but it's not the kind of setting everyone wants to DM.)
If you're intent on assigning blame, there's plenty to go around: the game for creating legwork for the DM and failing to mention the relevant details, the module for showcasing a high-level foe without X, Y, and Z protections just in case, and the DM for not having the time/energy/experience/patience to make up for the details which the game and module lack.
Hmmm, I'm not sure how to put this eloquently, so I'll be blunt.
Don't sweat it. Based on your previous posts, nobody expects you to be eloquent. ;)
I always find it messed up that the sorcerer, who gets magic for free, is just as useless at anything that isn't magic as the wizard, who must study extensively. What are sorcerers doing? They're not studying. They're not learning to fight. They're not practicing skills. And everything is practicing skills.
They're getting laid.
I'm ok with class bloat.
The number* of options was never one of my issues with D&D, and I still scratch my head whenever someone complains about it. Bloat is a feminine problem, this stuff is icing on the cake!
*Although the quality of those options sometimes leaves much to be desired.
Josh M. wrote:
Someone on ENworld came up with a house rule for standard DR that I like better than any RAW ever:
For every [actual] +1 bonus that your weapon has, you bypass 5 points of DR/magic. So for example if you're hitting something with DR 10/magic (aka 10/+2) with a +1 flaming sword, you deal 5 less damage. This house rule goes with the DM tweaking monsters with DR so that its value is about (CR / 4) x 5.
This makes DR less binary, while at the same time making those enhancement bonuses beyond +1 actually matter. It's a win-win!
I had great fun with 3.x for eight years, but the legacy holdovers and many of the details of the rule set, great and small, drove me crazy. I was in/famous around here for trying to hammer the system into the play experience I wanted, and I ended up with a seven-page pdf of my essential 3e house rules. And those are just the must-haves, among a tome of changes that I'd prefer. And all that was still just good enough.
When 2008 hit, I promised myself I'd never go thru the self-torment of DMing 3.x again...but once in a while I think about doing it again anyway.
3.x is like the crazy ex-girlfriend who I still sometimes want to leave my good-girl for.
I find play-by-post to be the worst way to play the game, and would much rather not play. If I had the choice between a pbp that would let me play my desired character, and a vtt or real tabletop game that only let me choose between a human fighter, rogue, wizard, or cleric... I would choose the non-pbp game.
I really want to like php games. Gods know I don't game nearly enough as I'd like due to the logistical constraints of face-to-face gaming. But I just can't maintain focus. After a couple weeks of agonizingly slow action which makes me feel like I'm watching bad anime from a scratched dvd, my interest evaporates and I have to quit.
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
This is not a debate thread.
If you have an axe to grind, I suggest you start a new thread to rehash the arguments we've all heard a hundred times.
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
On behalf of everyone else in this thread who've restrained themselves from turning this thread into a cesspit of petty bickering, I'm suggesting that you retract your strawman.
(I'm actually doing you a favor because frankly, it's not even a halfway subtle strawman.)
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
You have an account in the Gaming Den, don't you? ;)
Personally, I like moderation in moderation. I think the Paizo mods are fairly even-handed, though I recently wrote a post and then thought "That was flag-worthy?" when it disappeared a day later. Can't remember what it was though.
I believe it was 1 hour/level in 3.0.
That said, since playing 4e, I've come to be irritated at all the niggly little /level details of traditional D&D spells. For example, I don't care whether a spell X lasts 1 minute or 20. Why are we tracking this BS? As a general rule, only three durations are relevant to the game: instantaneous, 5 minutes (1 encounter), and 24 hours (1 day). Everything else is usually bookkeeping for the sake of bookkeeping.
Salazzar Slaan wrote:
Speaking for myself, it's not that they're mutually exclusive. It's just that tech, particularly that of the post-industrialized world, tends to ruin the mystique of the fantasy world I want to game in. The more tech there is, the less the PCs matter, the less magical the game world is.
Or maybe I just don't want to immerse myself in a world that in any way resembles the hum-drum world I really live in. Take that for what you will.
I think that many PFers would ultimately be happier playing 4e, but I find comments to the effect of "Go play 4e if you want game 'balance'!" to be incredibly narrow-minded.
I like Eberron. I think it's a cool setting. Unfortunately, it's associated with 4E, so I may as well have just shoved rabid weasels down my underpants.
*whispers* Eberron began in 3.5.
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
I'm still amused that you're sitting in a Chucky Cheese's, trying to tell everyone that "Less loud games and joyful screaming is good all around."
Again, I actually agree with you, but you're fighting your environment.
2e AD&D in...'94ish. I'd never DM it again, but the artwork and settings beat the pants off of anything that I've seen since.
This may be the wrong forum, if you're looking for the most long-time gamer; Old Geezer on RPGnet played in some of Gary's original games. I've read a few very funny, interesting, and revealing stories about D&D's first days from him.
Justin Rocket wrote:
Given that the game designers don't care about game balance, why are there so many posts on these boards about game balance? Isn't that like complaining that a B1 Bomber makes a terrible submarine? If you're concerned about balance, why not play a game for which balance is a design goal?
These threads are so cute.
Sure, the PF team obviously doesn't prioritize game balance the way that say, the 4e team does. But balance is on their to-do list, even if it's behind eleven other concerns.
Frankly, I'm sure that some PFers would be happier playing a better-balanced game -- like the 4e clone that I DM. But who am I to judge? There are plenty of reasons to care about balance and play PF, including...
1. "My DM and/or group love PF, and I love gaming with them."
2. "I don't have the time to write my own adventures, and Paizo's APs are top-notch."
3. "PF is the only in-print game that hits my nostalgia G-spot."
And that's just off the top of my head.
The only Disparity comes from poor DMing. No amount of house rules can fix it.
Let's apply this kind of attitude to any game which doesn't have the weight of D&D history behind its gameplay:
Imagine you decide to GM another fantasy rpg. As it is in D&D, magic is a versatile tool that's fairly easily accessible. One of your players decides to play a magic-type who proceeds to trivially solve many in-game situations which you had put considerable time into crafting into interesting predicaments. He's not a dick out to ruin the game, he's just using the game's classic spells as intended. After all, the magic is there to be used, right?
But you're not in love with all of this game's magic-related quirkiness, so you head to the game's online forum to ask other GMs/players how to place a few reasonable restrictions on the game's magic, who proceed to tell you...
"It's a FANTASY rpg, with MAGIC. To use magic is to PLAY THE GAME. Keeping players from abusing magic is what a GOOD GM does, and no amount of house ruling is going to fix poor GMing. Don't you trust your players, and didn't you pick non-jackass players for your game?"
Would you go back to the drawing board, doubling your prep time in order to implement their varied and circumstantially-relevent "Well just do..." suggestions? Or would you, just maybe, think that these gamers take themselves and their game a little too seriously, and that fixing the SOURCE of your problems with a house rule or two would be preferable to treating the symptoms with their snide suggestions? And that maybe their posts should be flagged for all-but outright calling you a bad GM?
The difference between the OP and this hypothetical is that D&D has the weight of tradition behind it, and classic spells that you've been gaming with and around for probably many years.