As stated, there have been some developer comments that more or less state that they're happy with balance. The part of me that reads into things and tries to read between the lines believes that they're more or less suggesting that we're largely Doin' It Wrong, and a lot of the people posting in favor of caster-martial disparity and/or class power concerns are concerned with the wrong things.
That is 3 additional rounds per encounter to factor in. ;)
You don't know the strength and location of each aura until the third round of concentration, after all. Plus any actions required to loot.
We could move faster if we didn't loot after each fight, true, but that's more murder than hobo, and that might be a hard sell for the group! :) :)
The minimum time to listen at a door is a round (or StdAction). My groups do not believe that's enough time to determine residence. It's too much of a crapshoot. Typically time spent is on the order of 3-5 rounds, depending on what we've encountered.
That's paid off for us multiple times. What works for you, at your table, by what you perceive to be a strict reading of the rules, would very likely end up with you rolling new characters at our table. So, I'll repeat, 1 min/lvl buffs are, At My Table, typically single encounter buffs and do not often last long enough to be considered top-tier spells to learn (protection from evil being an exception, only because it's ridiculously good against some types of enemies). In a shameless appeal to popularity, I'd suspect that my experiences are far closer to the norm than yours based off my experience in this and other forums, but that's pure supposition. Feel free to laugh and ignore, of course.
So, to further return to my original points, no, I don't think you'd fare well against the ghost. And no, I don't think that you can adequetly cover for the high save DCs present on CR-appropriate encounters (through level+3) without magic item support. All of this caveated by 'at my table' and 'in my experience'. But continue to have a great time at your table, because that's what the game is really about...having a great time. :)
Depends on the hallway. In our last game, for example, we ran into a trap early in one of the hallways of a temple. That trap did significant damage to the party paladin. The paladin was healed and we moved on, but at a slower pace because we ended up spending a lot more move actions search for traps. There are no specific rules in the perception skill (at least not on the srd) to indicate How Much Area is searched and our DM ruled that it caused us to move at half-speed. We spent a lot of time moving because of that, as well as time spent listening at doors (and some really ill-advised time spent waiting while the halfling went off on his own to explore...)
The point is, a lot of stuff happens, and just moving forward has always been a good way to get good and dead. The end result is that our 40-minute buffs were running on empty by the time we reached the end of the temple. Also, our fights tend to 8-10 rounds rather than 3-5. Only one person in the party can roll worth a squat. :/
i never mentioned AD&D, nor am I interested in bringing it into the discussion. The spell durations for all of the stat boosting spells were 1hr/level in 3.0 and that was changed in 3.5 and PF.
The move from 3.0 to 3.5 saw an overall drop in the perceived usefulness of those spells. This is an artifact of the communication issues I alluded to in my previous post. We are not even talking on the same subject here.
irrelevant to anything I have attempted to discuss with you.
Sure, my DMs might have all been fast and loose with time, but I can't help but feel that you're being far too generous the other direction.I was simply showing you how far a party can travel and spend 20 rounds in round-to-round actions within 8 minutes - such as spending 10 rounds to get all these buff spells in place, walking around the ruins for a couple of minutes, having a...
Searching, looking around, listening for creatures, moving cautiously/quietly/probing for traps all take signicantly longer over the course of your explorations. Merely being able to move across a straight line distance equivalent to a football field while looking at a few select points along the way is not a good representation of how I've ever seen or heard of anyone (before now) approach the game or any form of exploration.
This is another example of differing experiences causing problems with communication. Mi literally cannot comprehend of anyone approaching the game like you apparently do. It sounds reckless and would get me and my friends a good case of dead really quick.
I had forgotten the save bonus for protection from evil...we don't usually benefit for long since cloaks of resistance are more reliable and readily available in a typical game.
I fail to see the relevance of 90% of your post? I was specifically commenting on the spells that are now minute/level and used to be hour/lvl. My experience, and the experience of everyone I know, was that the stat spells became bottom tier choices when they just didn't last long enough to be reliably available in a variety of situations.
From your comments below, I can only shake my head at the distinctly different playstyles. Sure, my DMs might have all been fast and loose with time, but I can't help but feel that you're being far too generous the other direction. 3-20 minute durations really aren't that long, especially when you're losing almost a minute of duration casting them on the party. It feels like you're speed-running dungeons/encounters like a bunch of overgeared 90's in Deadmines. I suspect our experiences are too different to reach a good open discussion on the subject.
I get +2 from the stat boosting spells that we're already disputing effectiveness of. Where's the other +2?
The only issue I have here is that those aren't all long term buff spells and haven't been since 3.0.
In every game I've played, those stat boosting spells are largely a waste of effort because the 8 minutes those spells are active isn't long enough to last for more than 1 encounter plus the time to get to the next encounter. Nobody would ever expend a valuable spell slot on something like that because it's seldom a fight winner by itself. Even in a low-magic campaign they're hard sells (again, in my experience).
Even with your (more reasonable) encounter, the save DCs are so high that it seems ridiculous to believe that you'd have any chance at all to make them without magical assistance (cloaks, stat boosters). I mean, it's incorporeal, and your first inkling of attack could well be when it comes up through the floor and possesses the fighter. Sure, it wouldn't last long, but it could last long enough to power attack the wizard into pasty goop. :)
Adding base healing back to the spells puts you back into the cognative dissonance world where a 1st level character can go from dying to full whereas a 10th level character does not. It wouldn't necessarily have to be a bandolier of potions. It could be jars of healing ointment with 4 or 5 uses. It could be a flask of CLW with 3 swigs. It could be caffeine...err...herbal patches that you slap on with the same effect. You're already talking about house-ruling healing. Having a few unusual healing items (or even an early wand) available to replace or support your healers isn't much more of a stretch.
I see your point and your problem. I'm just feeling like this is the best-of-all-worlds solutions from how you've described your table.
It takes more than descriptive color though. It takes a further suspension of disbelief above and beyond, in my opinion, because there are no penalties for being Really Hurt, and there should be. You're asking your players to accept that someone is just as effective at using a shield/sword/magic fingers with a broken arm (I believe that was a specific example of an injury you described earlier in this thread or the other) as they are without.
It's more likely that when an injury is truly disabling, someone's really out of the fight (barring Diehard), and everything up to that point is ActionHeroSuperficial. Bruised, bloodly, painful, but when it comes right down to it, you can grab that ledge and pull yourself up, or you can jump up and high-kick David Caradine in the head, or you can do any of a hundred other iconic last-stands and then walk off into the sunset. But in the end, if it works for you and for your players, cool. More power to you.
But if I was sitting at your table, I'd be asking the question why my mojo/PEP is harder for CLW to knit together than my bones. I still believe that your best -narrative- option is the bare-bones natural healing alternatives that I layed out, but make sure that your players have a lot of access to low level potions and such at levels 1-3 to make up for the generally lowered effectiveness that your healer classes will carry. Don't count it against them, just make sure they can heal as much as they need to. There's no cognative dissonance involved since the healing is exactly proportional to the power of the person healed.
Some portion of that heroic zing must also be physical damage or you have equally difficult to answer questions about why you had to make a Fort saving throw when the only thing that was hurt was your pride.
IMO, it's much easier to believe and narrate that the part of your HP that indicate you've taken an epic beating is 0 to -Con. Everything else is action movie, fake blood, I-can-keep-going, that-didn't-hurt awesomeness :)
Part of the disconnect here is you want two different and incomparable things. You want the idea of proportional damage to work (it does), with healing that respects that (it doesn't). But you also don't want to hose your low level players. You cannot have both of those things without increasing hit points at low level or making the spells disproportionally effective for lower level characters
I do not understand your rebuttal. Caster level is meaningless to Option 3. If you want to be meaningful, use Option 1. Overall, the impact of caster level goes down as the target gains hit dice, but the proportion of hit points healed should remain constant throughout the life of the target (barring increases to CON). Both options 1 and 3 deal with you complaint about lower level healing not being good enough (option 3 shifts the impact to early levels more or less at the expense of higher levels, whereas option 1 is a more even distribution). A level 1 character will heal 2 (no option), 3 (option 1), or, probably 6 (option 3) hp when hit by a level 1 caster's CLW. A level 10 character will receive 20 (no option), 25 (option 1), or 25 (option 3) hp when healed by a 10th level caster's CLW.
I believe option 3 perfectly reaches for what you've been requesting. Given the swing and average die rolls, it's entirely possible that option 3 is an overall buff to low level healing, as well as the obvious buff to higher level healing.
Blarg. Th3 intarwebz 8 mah post!
Anyway. rgrove, in the eaten post, I suggested that low initial healing is a feature, but if you don't like it then try option 3. Add a flat healing bonus to the end equal to the caster's casting stat bonus, capped at the same point the spells' flat bonuses are already capped.
The bonus will be very significant through level 4 or so, and then will taper off. Doing this, however, makes the cure spells again very disproportionate toward lower level characters and monsters, as the flat bonus will almost certainly start off at twice the base healing.
I also consider the nerf wands of cure light wounds that this would cause a feature (the casting stat bonus will always be the minimum required to cast the spell).
Would the target feel refreshed afterwards as well, as if actually resting a day? Not that they could memorize spells or anything but essentially it would be a day of rest, healing up soreness, fatigue and such. Right?
I would not include any secondary effects from natural rest. Only what the spell normally provides (stabilizes wounds, etc). The natural healing reference is only to suggest the framework that the spells work under...instead of making up a healing amount on the spot, they work within an existing framework and extend it as needed.
I'd still advocate for the Cure line to be like this:
CLW -> heal as if you rested for 1 day (2hp/lvl)
If you wish to account for the power of the caster or the person being healed, there are a couple of options (all of which are thematically appropriate)
Option 1: Apply the same flat +lvl bonus to healing at the end. It's a pretty small bonus overall, but it fits the overall game theme where a higher level caster just Does It Better.
Option 2: Apply a bonus based off the CON bonus of the person being healed. I think it's not an uncommon house rule that natural healing is level+con bonus/day. If you use this, these healing spells might be too powerful...but it's again in theme. Tougher, healthier people heal faster.
It wouldn't be, except he's not fine. He's Stallone in Expendables, or Arnold in Predator, or Statham in (..anything?), walking around with cuts and scraps and blood maybe running down the side of his face, but even though he's hurt, it's not enough to stop him or slow him down. He can still fight, because he's the Big Damn Hero ;)
Of course, all action heroes also have the Diehard feat, for the extra tense moments.
Anyone who supports the 'no hits' paradigm, including UC, really doesn't know the rules. It can't work that way, because if it does then you can be asked to make Fort saves against effects that didn't hit you....which is even more nonsensical than D&D already is.
You cannot keep up with all saves without magic items at any level of play where they can be expected to be on your character sheet (per WBL) (and I often wish I had them before). At best, you can shore up a weakness and spread out your stats to mitigate your chances..but even that is a short duration solution.
I don't understand how you can hold this position when you move onto the last paragraph and admit that the monster designs are such that poor saves are 'near-auto-fail (...) no matter what you do'.
Obviously YMMV, but unless I misunderstand your post completely you're not even agreeing with yourself.
Matt Thomason wrote:
That just wouldn't make sense...the latter, I mean. 10 hp of damage is nearly instantly fatal to a low level human. It couldn't possibly look the same to a higher level character (unless you subscribe to 'hit points don't do real, physical damage', which disagrees with game mechanics)
I believe your former description is the more accurate, and also, no wound is dire unless and until you cross the 0 hp boundary.
Yes. That'd be a start for my ideal cure spell rewrites.
I would also factor in the level of the caster and/or the wisdom bonuses. I lean toward 'your daily healing rate increases by your con bonus up to the wisdom bonus of the caster (max based on spell, obviously)'
'you channel positive energy that restores hit points to the target as if they had rested for a whole day. The target's daily healing rate is increased by the greater of your wisdom bonus or their con bonus, to a maximum of +5 hp. The spell will do 1d8+level damage to undead' etc etc
Cure Moderate could be 2 or 3 days, and so on. It's probably too wordy, but I like the image it suggests, where a hardy person heals more, or a really good caster heals more, but there are limits.
This, at least, has not been my experience. Save DCs and frequency of saves, especially in APs, combine to more or less assure that they will be failed. And often.
A fella could write entire essays on hit points and damage and get into huge, distracting arguments with haters and lovers the world 'round. Of course it would be one of my favorite subjects ;)
Everyone's really covered hit points damage and the descriptions of it very well. There are two things I like to say about hit points that have already (more or less) been stated. The first is, of course, that hit points are cinematic. It sounds like the OP has it right on with descriptions of damage and such. Just think of your favorite action movies where the protagonist takes a beating (Predator, First Blood, Daniel Craig Bond movies..you know the type) and keeps on going despite the audience grunting and wincing in empathetic pain. You get that sense of 'Wow, they're running on empty' but they still pull it through.
The second, and less obvious thing, is that hit points scale so that damage doesn't have to be fractional. If we want the cinematic hit points, we can't have a longsword being just as dangerous to Ahnold as it is to his plucky sidekick. Ahnold is a higher level! Instead of having to break out the calculator to figure out that the 7 points of damage that were rolled only did .411 hp, it's a lot easier just to add 160 hit points to the hero's total. You COULD just make it harder to hit him, but if you did that you'd get swingy results, especially with waves of cannon fodder.
With all that said, there are a couple of places where I think things are a little kludgy. The cure line, as implied, is one of them. I love the description of wounds knitting closed but the fact that the spells scale inversely bothers me. That is, a CLW will bring a commoner back from death's door to full health, but won't do much of anything to a barbarian with a few levels under his belt. It's not curing a light wound to the commoner, and it certainly is as you level. My dream line of cure spells would be based off natural healing with bonuses for high wis and level.
The other thing that bothers me is when people apply hit point damage when they probably shouldn't. The coup de grace is a good idea, but you shouldn't have to have a hella-high damage bonus to slit someone's throat and generate a high enough save DC to be a problem.
This was my experience as well. People got even more locked into what was directly written on the sheet. Nobody even believed they COULD improvise.
(I can't stay away!!!)
Ooooh. I see why I failed to understand. I didn't associate it that way. IME, people with a strong personality (high charisma) are harder to influence. That explained the higher DC. OK. Thanks for the reference.
...What are you arguing again?
I think that some arguements have gotten crossed here (and I might also be to blame).
I am not arguing to use diplomacy to set baseline attitude. I don't care about diplomacy and am barely able to exercise it. I am arguing..or I think I am arguing..that Charisma has no place in establishing a baseline attitude. Now, apparently my argument is weakened if you use Ultimate Campaign, since your initial fame score includes Charisma, but I have not read those rules and do not know how much impact it has beyond Day 1, Level 1.
Because it never says, in the sections you've quoted, anything related to what you claim.
IMO it's not only a house rule, it's a poor one.
At any rate, Ultimate Campaign has taken the wind out of my sails and shown me, again, that it's difficult to hold an argument if you don't keep up with the published material. Peace...I'm out.
Interesting. Had to go hit the pfsrd to see where this is from. I am unfamiliar with UC and it's impact on a game world...However....(and, shoot..I wonder if I dreamed that post). Well, I swear I'd posted a throwaway line about player's previous actions having possible impact on NPC reactions, but I'm not seeing it.
Yes, I acknowledge that reputation should have an impact...past a certain point, perhaps the biggest impact. But reputation isn't charisma. Past second or third level, charisma is probably just a minor footnote in the overall score. But sure...it's there. I will have to read these rules and see what they're about, actually.
The NPC's initial attitude towards you is definitely affected by its own Cha modifier. Why then does the PC's modifier mean nothing?
Can you clarify what you mean here? I failed my comprehension check. Is this an artifact of the reputation rules you're talking about prior? An NPC's inital attitude toward you (baseline) is set by the GM and is based on whatever factors he or she deems appropriate. I, personally, don't think Charisma should be one of them. Charisma is what comes into play after you start interacting with the other party. Both party's modifiers are very relevant at this point.
Except...I am not ignoring words in the book, but neither am I reading stuff that is not present. NOTHING written into the Charisma writeup suggests, to me, any gameplay element that would influence your immediate reaction to any given player, BEFORE you've had a chance to interact with them.
There is a solid example of a charisma check that falls under the category you are pointing at...Charm Person checks, and similar checks from related spells. There is no example, or implication, of using charisma to provide (or influence) a baseline NPC attitude. You're making that up.
Already edited to include the better example.
Pretty sure that's an Acrobatics check that can be used untrained.
It is nothing like the wording under dex.
Whatever. I disagree. Move on.
Your argument ignores what the words in the book say.
I am not ignoring words in the book, but neither am I reading stuff that is not present. NOTHING written into the Charisma writeup suggests, to me, any gameplay element that would influence your immediate reaction to any given player, BEFORE you've had a chance to interact with them.
(edit: improve quote breaking, unintended asshattery in final paragraph)
No it doesn't.
You apply your Charisma modifier to:
Checks that represent attempts to influence others
You know...like bluff checks. Or diplomacy checks. Or inimidate checks. Or Charm Person-like checks.
You know..social checks.
I guess I see where you're coming from now, but I believe that's a very misguided read of the language.
(EDIT: better example)
I think everyone thought you meant a flat charisma check since all the non-flat checks were skill checks like Diplomacy. If you mean charisma based skill checks, then most [all?] of the debate goes away.
Upon rereading his response to me for a third or fourth time, I'm not sure he means a check at all.
He seems to be talking about eyeballing it. 'higher charisma bonus, yay for you...lower charisma bonus, you suck'.
I believe that's pretty misguided because I don't think that 'charisma' is something that should be immediately apparent. We're no longer playing the old 1st edition game where a high charisma was a passive Charm Person spell to every weenie in the area ;)
Of course, the stat no longer contains the verbage about how a person could be attractive, but abrasive (dunno, your typical jerkoff sports star), or unattractive, but compelling (Hitler is the ur-example here, I think).
Objection! (insert ob Phoenix Wright picture here) If you're going to say that middle line is an arguement for using a flat Charisma check to determine initial reaction, you might as well be arguing that a ranged attack roll is a flat Dex check, since the language is the same.
(you apply your dex mod to:
ranged attack rolls..yadda yadda)
I won't go so far as to say it's fluff, but it seems clear to me that the intent of the ability score section provides direction on which ability score might apply to various skill checks. But since we have three skills that handle our attempts to influence others we should defer to those skills...just like we have a more specifically defined check for determining how to generate a ranged attack bonus (and Dex plays a part in it...just like you'd expect).
For the sake of completeness, I'll repeat my argument. Initial NPC attitude is something that is defined by the GM based on conditions that have nothing to do with the PCs or players (unless word of the PC's previous depredations or triumphs has reached this location, I suppose). There's no rule construct that tells you want the initial attitude should be. It's just part of the story.
Personality and personal magnetism are covered by your charisma modifier to a diplomacy check. Ability to lead is important, but not something that's (typically) visible in a few seconds of interaction...for short term that would be covered by the previous ones. Someone pointed out in another thread that your threads can provide modifiers to social checks (or something of the sort)...so already covered.
None of that would have any bearing on initial attitude, IMO. That's a situation thing. 'Melords taxes are harsh!'. 'The childrens keep vanishing in the night!'. 'Those gypsy bastards made off with our bread again!' 'Hey..we just had some strangers come through and they really saved the day!'...you know..background stuff about the world that is established by the GM.
Why would the rules say anything about the initial attitude? Wouldn't that be a story element that would be established by the GM?
You know. I don't even think that should be a question, so I'll restate it. Initial attitude is a story and game element that should be established by the GM as appropriate for the circumstances and story. That's not something you need a rule for. Feels too much like common sense to me.
Isn't that a two part game though?
If I am playing the uncharismatic rogue who thinks he's pretty pimp with the ladies, but every time I try to do something with them, I fail...because the DM called for that diplomacy/bluff check and the good lookin' ladies all have a higher sense motive (for obvious reasons) and I get slapped.
I can still play that guy. I can still try to step up and be the face, and the party is welcome to put a bag over my head when I put my foot in my mouth. Again.
I'm just saying, players don't have that much narrative control (unless they're some kind of god wizard, maybe?). If someone's trying to force it, it's really the job of the other players (including the DM) to respond accordingly, right?
Then again, I'm not quite sure how the next bit of the quote ("or otherwise move into full cover to break line of sight") affects things, so maybe this is not the best quote to go on, but it's something
I think that might be the most important part of the quote, actually, with regards to this tit-for-tat.
It flat out states that a bluff check isn't required.
Though this is getting WAY off topic, I'm going to have to say that I, for once, agree with shallowsoul. I've never seen Schrödinger God Wizard in my many years of playing.
Not Wizard, but I am surprised at how many people don't do this.
Last campaign I played a full caster in, I was a shaman arch druid. I had 4 spell lists, and I pulled them up and out based on his description of the areas we were in.
I had an 'overland travel' spell list, that had some generally useful spells like Eagle Eye (or whatever..the eye in the sky) and Plant Growth (I left soooo many square miles of lush terrain and farmland behind), and Ant Haul.
I had an 'underground travel' spell list that popped up whenever we started travelling in caves. If I rested underground, I swapped lists.
I had an 'I expect trouble' list, which popped up whenever I felt like we were heading for a specific destination that I felt might need more of a combat focus.
I had a 'wow, this forest looks REALLY diseased' spell list that I made up on the fly when we were travelling one time and ended up doing one of the little encounters Paizo sells, because the DM gave us 2 days warning before we actually found the diseased grove.
There was no Schrödinger Druid, but more often than not I could burn an entire spell list in a useful fashion. From the DM's standpoint though, I'm sure I did seem that way. But it was just a matter of forethought.
In what world is that not still a willing decision?
I don't want to go to work every morning, but when I pull my lazy rump out of my computer chair and turn off the game of the day, it's still my choice.
If I'm presented with two unpalatable choices, and I choose the one that I dislike more, but has fewer ramifications, I'm still choosing of my own free will...even if it is the lesser of two evils.
Of course you could. I am going to assume that you're responding to this message, in this fashion, to make a point rather than directing at me given my post history in this thread.
The point I would make in response is simple...this is why it is important to maximize fun for as many parties as possible, and this is why it is ...hmm...yeah, I'll go there...badwrongfun for Any One Person to dictate unilaterally to the group The Way It Has To Be without accepting the possibility of input or change from others.
In the case where you might be stuck with a decision for a really long time, it's important that everyone be content with the decisions that have been made.
Charlie Bell wrote:
Besides, campaigns don't last forever
While this is an obviously true statement, it's also a little bit disingenuous. For people who get to play once every 2 weeks, at best, even something as relatively simple as an AP can last for years before the party gets tired of it, wins, loses, or events conspire to end it against the will of the players.
If I make a decision about a character, short of trying to arrange for a suicidal or heroic death (that hopefully doesn't wipe out the party), I could be stuck with that character for a Very Long Time.
I've been playing with the same group of guys for...7(?) years, and we've managed a total of 5 campaigns, I think. And 3 of those were in the first 2 years when we were younger and had more free time.
Just sayin'...it might not be forever, but in practical terms, it can feel that way.
And that's the point that I (and I think Kirth and probably a few others) have been trying to argue.
It's about the group, not any one person. Even in my example of the 'Bad Player', it only flew because it was the desire of the entire group that we be able to accomodate him so that he would join us at the table.
In this scenario, nobody's a jerk yet. (Well, neutering the divine caster on continent B wanders close to a personal flashpoint, but that's not objective enough a measure to bring into the conversation).
In this scenario, more negotiation is required. You don't have a concensus against anyone, unless I misread the post. If all of the players had said 'oh, hey, that 'bringing the gods back to the land' thing sounds fun...let's all do divine casters!', then the DM has a couple of options ('OK, but it's not going to be easy. The following house rules will be in effect.' [the above argument then starts], 'You aren't progressed enough in the world to attempt that', 'let's start on continent A and I'll get you to C with that goal in mind about the time you're read for it', 'I don't want to play that game right now...I'm not ready for it'.)
Negotiation is part of the social contract, right? The point isn't that people get their way, the point is the whole group should have a say in what goes on at the table. If the majority of players come down on the side of the Special Flower, and are immutable, then try to find a way to accomodate, because it's a game, ultimately, and not worth pages and pages of butting heads.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Yes. And we all knew it, but for the majority of the group it was more important to include our friend at the table, regardless of how much we all panned his character, than it was to fight with him to the point where he took his ball and went home.
And I really can't see how a player can be that stuck upon one race that they can't just move on, accept the premise and chose one of the other many, many options available
I provided an example of that upthread. For the player in question, it was 'I want to play the character represented by this miniature, which I have just purchased and will lovingly paint this weekend, or I won't play.'
I cannot imagine that this sort of thing is all that isolated.
Maybe it's me, and I'm wrong, or this is something that's obvious to everyone and it somehow doesn't matter...but are you arguing specifics versus generalities here?
(Group Centric) 'No one person should have the power to unilaterally limit the setting such that one or more players could have less fun.'
(DM/Story Centric) 'In this campaign I restricted XYZ for a good reason, so players should just trust me and choose accordingly'
Seems to me those two positions aren't mutually exclusive 100% of the time, and also they're not arguing the same point.
I've never had a player tell me that they can't play in any RPG unless they play one particular race. It is nothing I would ever see from anyone I know.
I have seen it, or a variation of it.
The group wanted friend R to play, because he was in the subset of people that included Friends and RPG. R wasn't keen on the system (one of those crazy 4e lovers), and had trouble with character concept. Decided, for whatever reasons, that the only character he was willing to play was one that would allow the use of a recently purchased miniature. Thus, goblin gunslinger with Hat of Disguise joined group. Nobody liked it, really, but it was more important to the group that R join us.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
At level 4? No, of course not. But with my druid, I was not built for wild shape and his effectiveness as a tiger dropped off pretty quickly after level 8 or so. But level 7 or 8, though, I won more fights with a well-placed spell than I did with another pounce (a pathetic one at that).
Seriously, being able to custom tailor spell lists to a variety of conditions did more to dominate the table than any amount of damage my wild shape could bring to the table. You don't have to be Schrodinger's Druid to see 'oh, we're going to be underground tomorrow, maybe I should prepare spike stones', or 'hmm, this forest looks blighted unnaturally, I'm going to prepare some plant killing spells tomorrow just to be safe'.