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Hey, just reference some popular media for examples. I'll use Hajime No Ippo because it's got good examples of all of these.
Power Attack: Literally any punch thrown by Ippo
Doomed Hero wrote:
Feat Chains need to be done away with all together.
I don't agree with this completely.
I think that it fits within the various source materials to have to train to learn a new Special Move, and that some moves build on the things that the hero has learned before.
Feats just set the bar too low. These are the 'spells' of the martial classes...the abilities they gain in order to balance the scales between martial and caster. And so many of them are 'add +2 to your schtick'. It isn't surprising that people develop issues with that.
Doomed Hero wrote:
Combat Feats should just scale with level.
Yes. IMO, it's disingenuous to claim that, oh, Improved Trip, scales with level because that +2 remains and your ability to trip continues to grow when the effects of spells are typically caster level dependent and get more impressive over time (even if it's just lasting longer).
Feats need the same sorts of considerations. In some fashion, the effect should scale up and combat feats that rely on other combat feats should be rolled into a single scaling feat. I don't think Cleave should turn into Whirlwind Attack, but Weapon Focus scaling up by BAB makes sense to me.
]And it's bypassing the magical protection, which is MY point you're completely missing.
The piece of this that the idea of 'magical ablative/protection hit points' ignores is the unlikely, but rules-possible scenario of being attacked by a whole bunch of young vipers (apply as many templates as required to make the damage line be (1-1+DC 10 poison))
I don't care if you have 2 hit points or 200,000,000. You MUST make a saving throw for each successful bite. Ergo, every hit point of damage taken involves real injury. You're not ever 'just missed'. If your hit point model cannot explain that, then your hit point model is, by nature, flawed.
If I were really going to try on a rule like that, then those extra results would probably be the result of a failed reflex save, with the DC based on the distance fallen. Some fraction of the CON damage would be unavoidable.
So 0-20 ft, 0 con damage on save, failed save, 1 CON, 1 DEX
But this is all just off the top of my head. The end result is that falling becomes dangerous again...at least until you can spam lesser restoration :)
I usually think in terms of Con damage, actually, but you could make a good argument for hits to almost every stat.
In The Ghost King by Salvatore...he has a passage of a high level monk, Danica, falling off a cliff. She does her monk thing of slowing her fall and then backflipping into a large pine tree off the wall, using it to slow her fall the whole way then tries to roll with it and os left near death, broken but still alive. I guess that damage could be somewhat explained like sword damage can be (graze, or small cutd wearing them down). Dunno about the lava though.
Systemic problem, IMO. I think that someone got lazy and decided that environmental damage should be handled with hit points. Lava shouldn't be hit point damage. Falling shouldn't be hit point damage. They should be sliding scales of stat damage and saving throws based on how cinematic you want the game to be.
But hit point damage is what we have, so I just sigh and ignore it. :)
Personally, I prefer to think of HP it as a mix of luck, skill, fatigue, physical toughness, etc. It's more cinematic and, IMO, more interesting. But from a rules perspective, hp is treated as if it were plain physical toughness.
I prefer to refer to the idea of proportional damage implied in the 3.0 PHB. IMO, environmental damage is the only thing that really isn't covered well.
We already know (as you agree with) that every single hit does real damage. It has to, or fort saves vs poison don't work anymore (what, I gotta make a poison save but my Magical Awesomeness kept me from taking damage? wtf?) We also have a couple lines of text that say that 4 hp of damage to a level 1 fighter is about as damaging as 40 hp of damage to a level 10 fighter.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
That's a high-level martial.
Awesome visuals, but I do have one problem..well, maybe more than one, but I think it boils down to one problem with this.
Martials already fight well enough (*). Almost everything that you ascribed to Cú Chulainn is a feat of amazing martial prowess, and it's been demonstrated that with a PhD in System Mastery (SYM-603 Making Monks Rock is an optional course for the degree) you can make martial characters of any class that can already perform feats of amazing martial prowess.
I don't need my fighter to fight better (**), because if he fights better, then there's less incentive to make him useful in any other situation. He's the Best Damn Fighting Class There Is, and if you expand outside that role, you start to run into possibility of the cleric/wizard/druid problem that we face, just in reverse.
I want to see fighters shake off spells by sheer force of personality (reliably!). I was to see a paladin consecrate the ground he walks on, just by virtue of his grace. I want to see a ranger that is all but undetectable in his element (by any means). I want to see a rogue/ranger make a staircase out of arrows and run up a wall (not anime...LEGO games :) ) A martial built for intimidate should be able to manifest the same kind of terrifying aura that a dragon can....I mean, why not?! He's probably wearing armor taken from a dragon's hoard! I want a barbarian to be able to grab ahold of reality and rip it open (or pull it closed). Or a monk to deflect a dragon's bite (well, they used to be able to...).
What I want is cool, meaningful, options that are available to all classes so that no player ever has to feel useless unless they deliberately set out to be useless.
Don't try to tell me that's the way it works now. It's not. Untrained skill checks and non-class skills do not keep up with level appropriate DC's IN MY EXPERIENCE. Either a skill check is balanced so that everyone can do it (DC 10), or it's setup so that someone specialized in the skill will be challenged (and nobody else even need bother to try) (DC >=15+level, varies depending on the targetted class...IME, DMs just point to the skillful person and say 'roll 15+' and nobody else is even permitted a chance without argument). Failed saves and stupid monsters (ghouls) put people out of fights completely. In order to cover the PROBABILITY of being dead weight, you have to expend character resources in an attempt to patch holes, and the amount of resource expended varies greatly based on the class, from LOTS to very few, and those resources have to be taken from the pool of 'wow, I want to do Neat Things' when it comes to any feat-based class.
EDIT: oops, forgot my footnotes
(*) Remember my previous post that 'we're doing it wrong'. The game is not balanced around hyperspecialization. It's balanced around filling holes and actually taking some time to realize those feat combos and not trying to break or game the system.
(**) I would like to see martial combat, at least for specialist classes, divorced from the full attack paradigm. I think that it contributes to less-fun table time. That said, the full attack is arguably well supported by fiction and source material. I just no longer believe that it's good for the game.
I don't know about that. If martials could be able to do that, why would anyone play a caster? I look at it in the opposite direction. Martials should be so antimagic, they bust down Walls of Force no problem. Or at least get bonuses to save against magic effects because come on.
I sat on this thought for a little while, but there are a few obvious answers to your question.
People will play casters because that's the type of character they want to play.
People will play casters because they bend reality over and spank it like a bad little child. This is a separate function from influencing narrative at the table. Casters make wishes come true and call down the very stars from the sky to punish their foes! Rawr! Bend over, reality! I've got you right where I want you!
And finally, in a game where narrative control is somewhat balanced between classes, people will play casters because there are, and SHOULD ALWAYS BE, things that they can do better than everyone else (or good enough as to not matter...remember what I said about the game being balanced in the player's favor in an earlier post)...as long as that list of things isn't 'everything that (x) other class can do today, and a different list tomorrow'
I believe that a fighter, or a barbarian, or a paladin, or a rogue, should be able to rival the legendary characters that we've been told that they were made to model. I believe that NO MATTER WHAT, a straight wizard shouldn't be able to be a better sneak than a straight rogue. I believe that NO COMBINATION OF SPELLS should enable a cleric to lay down the righteous smackdown that a paladin or fighter can bring. I believe that when a high level fighter steps up, he should have the option (because this is a game, and options are good) to be so awesome in his own right that people who have never heard of his name or deeds will realize, immediately, that they are in the presence of a great warrior, and that should have an impact on the story and the dice rolls. You know why? Because those are the things I grew up reading off my parents (and later, my) bookshelves, and watching on TV and Saturday morning cartoons.
And, by jove, yes, a fighter should get some better saves. Because!
I won't argue with intent, because I generally believe that the paizo devs believe we (most players, definately most forum-goers) play the game wrong.
The game is already so weighed in the players direction as far as they are concerned, that gaming the system to be low-level demigods is 'badwrongfun'.
Doesn't change my fundamental 'want' though. I want martials to be able to influence the narrative in the same fashion casters can, as a function of the class, because otherwise you are applying inequity of expectation amongst the players, where casters are expected to be able to solve more and more varied problems than martials, and that's, IMO, badwrongfun.
You're both missing and strengthening my point.
You list things that should be done to counter various high level spells. I already know all of those things. That's not the point. The point is that, as I said, STEPS MUST BE TAKEN. And every time a new splat book comes out (assumption: and is permitted at the table), NEW spells must also be dealt with. I also didn't say that these are overpowered spells. I said that they were game-changing. Fireball IS a game-changing spell, for both players and GMS, because once you expect it to be available, you orient your groups differently, so that not everyone can be caught in the blast. Events at the table change directly because of the existence of burst damage spells (of which fireball is simply the most iconic).
By virtue of existing, these spells influence the narrative of the game. By virtue of being available, you have to make rulings, mortar your castles with gorgon blood, spend bajillions to magically protect your borders, or whatever. You, as the GM, have been forced to make concessions to the narrative-changing power of one or more spells. That's what spells DO. And that's awesome!
And that's what I want martials to be able to do.
Spells very much are the 'make the GM do this' class feature. By virtue of the existence of Plane Shift, Greater Teleport, Scry, Commune, Dominate Monster, Fireball, Simulacrum, Blood Money, or any of a host of other game changing spells, the GM must either deal with or plan around their existence. The only thing he has to do to plan for a fighter is put down a bad guy.
By virtue of spells, the GM must change the narrative, adapt the narrative, or accept that, whoops, the 15 'random' encounters I had planned to provide an awesome buildup to my story climax won't happen because the wizard just teleported the party from San Diego to New York and, <insert profanity here>...
No martial can do that. The more supernatural a martial is (magus, paladin, ranger, barbarian), the more potential they might prosess to move in that direction, but they never really possess the same game changing power of 'well, <insert profanity here>, I didn't think of that spell.'
Also, your last paragraph emphasises my point. Sometimes players can overcome these limitations, but the classes do nothing to help with that.
Me, I know there are some crazy spells when I play a higher level caster. But isn't part of the game to play together? Shouldn't the philosophy be to play strengths instead of deliberately showing up everyone else with broken mechanics? If someone's playing a glory hog, maybe they're the problem more than the class is.
There are probably 99,999 different points of view in this thread, but in my opinion the problem with martials has a lot less to do with someone being a glory hound than someone being dead weight in anything other than a stand up fight.
This is about players as much as classes for me, and it's really easy to see that with new players. My experience with new players is that if it's not listed on the character sheet, they won't think to try it without prodding. If you sit down and look at a fighter, you'll see 'hit it in the face with a hammer' all over the place, and you'll be really good at hitting it in the face with a hammer (as long as it's on the ground, standing still). But what does he do when the king asks him a direct question he maybe doesn't want to answer? (Probably) untrained bluff? (Maybe) trained Intimidate? Or just say something stupid?
What does he do when the obstacle is a cliff, a pit, an ocean, or a mystery? Hope he has just the right magic item, wait for a buff from the friendly neighborhood caster, or just wait for someone else to come up with a solution.
What power does the martial have to assist the party in getting from point A to point B (or Plane A to Plane B)? What power does the fighter have to strip the magical defenses from an opponent? What power does a martial have to inspire his comrades to do greater and better things? What form of martial awesome allows Billy BA to grab ahold of the fabric of reality and rip it open (or closed!)
What power does a martial have to alter the narrative of the story rather than being swept along by the flow?
That's what I want to see a martial character do. Experienced players can get around some of these problems in various ways, but that's the power of the PLAYER imposing his will on the game. That's got nothing at all to do with the classes. And that's my problem.
Just to be clear, your arguement is that the RULE BOOKS do not support E6/E8/E(whatever) play because there are no published ADVENTURE PATHS that cater to it?
Regardless of my stance on the issue, you do realize that you're comparing apples and kumquats, right?
(fwiw, I agree, the core books do not support E# play, where # is a value less than 20, since house or optional rules must be enacted to continue character advancement. The only form of E# (#<20) play that is supported is ending a campaign at that level.)
gustavo iglesias wrote:
I never thought I'd say this..but I am sad I cannot like this post more than once.
We're seeing evidence, presented in game terms, and taken from the source material, that suggests the common trope 'fighters are fine' examples (Aragorn, Conan, etc) are E6 range heroes, and the classic fighters of mythology (the ones even Gygax referenced) are amazing. And that, while fighters can still be impressive, they're not standing up to the referenced heroes very well.
Sweet. I can't wait to see the rebuttal for this.
I'll steal a flag from Kirth here. Everyone should have the capability to have narrative defining powers of equivalent potency at equivalent levels.
Since we're now running into the requirement for definitions, I'll simplify by saying that martials, as a rule, lack -and need- some ability to alter or manipulate the campaign narrative.
I do not mean this as a caster vs martial post, but it is inevitiable that some of that comparison be made, so please bear with me.
At 3rd level, some casters get the ability to either derail the current adventure with a quick short-circuit, force the GM to take the ability into account, or take the adventure completely off the rails and go do something else entirely. The ability? The spell "Create Treasure Map". The untimely death of a single underling housed at Hidden Base #2 suddenly puts a great big X on the map...literally.
Are there similar narrative defining abilities available to non-casters at 3rd level?
At 5th level, a druid could take a vacation from adventuring and make sure that his kingdom of choice will have fewer food issues over the next year, possibly bringing a whole new level of prosperity or freeing up people from farming to do other things, or maybe even helping a war-torn country recover.
What's your 5th level non-druid doing that has that potential level of impact on a campaign world?
IMO, this is what's lacking from martial characters. They can fight. They can fight better than anyone (well, maybe rogues and monks excluded but I don't want to open th...oops). They need ways to twist the campaign around into a pretzel and make it beg for mercy, like a wizard or druid or cleric does just by virtue of existing.
A rogue should be able to make a 'get inside the GM's head' check and get a straight answer about something every now and then, using his extensive contacts to piece it together. A bard, maybe something similar with obscure knowledge.
A fighter could snap his fingers and rally all of the peons around him into a rousing song and turns them into brave little zealots (/~ No one hits like Gaston ..... ~/). A paladin (who is already darn good) should be able to make people want to be better just by being himself and presenting a good example.
I'm afraid gunslingers should still be verbally abused though. :) No help for those guys. :)
My experience with Crang Wing was that it was a very good feat and it saved my bacon (and annoyed the DM to no end) on a few occasions...but I still have concerns about this errata.
I'm afraid that at any table, it's going to slow down combat a bit more, by forcing anyone attacking a target with Crane style to stop and ask questions about attack styles, or force the attacker to roll a single die at a time (which never happens IME).
I think it will also force some passive rerolls at more lax tables ( 'no, wait...I was going to crane wing that bite attack! I was just ...' ). It seems socially abuseble and not friendly to a smooth flow of activity.
There are some good alternatives here, but I think that anything that calls for a 'before roll' solution isn't a great idea.
All that said...as has been pointed out, it was a multi-feat chain and taking it away just feels too much like 'martials can't have nice things' on the surface.
My first thought would be to adopt a second-wind like effect from 4e and allow players to suck it up and keep fighting (or, after combat, take a breather and get some hit points back, depending).
My second thought would be to have a profession/craft skill that gave relatively inexpensive access to stims. Replace alchemy with this and let your doctor make stims for the party out of radioactive moss and rat droppings (or whatever).
My third thought would be a series of specialized feats that allowed someone to perform a Heal check (with an easily approachable DC) to replicate the effects of various potions of cure (x) wounds, perhaps requiring the use of reagents that you could replace as loot drops. Something like 'I'm a doctor...', prereq: Heal 2 ranks, whatever, effect: Can use 1 bandage and 1 bullet to close wounds and heal damage. Make a DC 13 Heal check. If you pass, heal 1d8+(ranks in heal, max 5) damage.
I think the main problem with the Rogue class is that too many people have played too many MMOs or other RPG's where Rogues are on of the top damage classes.
Can't speak for anyone else, but my main problem with the rogue is how difficult it is for an iconic rogue (dex, light weapon) to do the things that people seem to believe he should be able to do handily. Some of this is playstyle, some of it is expectation, and some of it is just not getting it.
See, most of my groups' combats happen in two general battleground types. Doorways/constrained areas, and long range.
In a breaching fight, a rogue cannot reliably flank in my experience. IF he can SOMEHOW manage to defeat the CMD of multiple targets to move through them safely, he'll find himself behind enemy lines where the next wave of fodder (or miniboss) is ready to reduce him to slimy paste, because he's now the first or only viable target.
In an open fight, rogues can sometimes flank. Circumstances depend on the actual fight and the tactics used to approach it. Most of the time, the rogues I've dealt with, just can't get to the target before something else (usually some kind of summoned creature) has charged or pounced into range and is blocking access.
With UC and 'Ooh, I'm a prancing pony' Performance Combat, maybe you can do neat things in combat with a rogue, but I believe it's still easier to mess up and make a useless rogue than it is to make one that's interesting and useful. Out of combat, the utility of any given rogue is constrained or boosted by the GM. I can't say much about out of combat utility because my GMs tend to make omg-deadly traps that only the party rogue can solve, if one exists, or not so much if there is no rogue.
Silver, I'm sorry you ran into one bad rogue who either didn't know how to build his character, or didn't know how to play it.
Thank you for agreeing with my point. It's too easy to screw up when playing a rogue, and lots of those screw-ups happen at creation or level-up time.
Besides, saying the role is two-weapon fighting is stupid. What do you want him to accomplish with the two-weapon fight? If it's melee damage, that can be better accomplished in other ways. If it's something else, state what it is and don't hide behind the straw man of two-weapon fighting.
Nit pick much? The character was built, and spent his feats, skills, and stats, to do the things I listed. It's stupid to nitpick minor quibbles in terminology when you apparently understood exactly what I was saying.
That said, I didn't run into one bad rogue. I've never run into a good one. I've never successfully played a good one. I've never actually shaken hands with a player who has admitted to playing at a table with a good one (though, to be fully honest, nobody ever asks the question). I just used that story because it was the most recent and clearest in memory.
I wouldn't presume to speak for anyone else, but, ok.
This is from a now-dead campaign. Had a group with Lion Shaman druid, Cleric, off-again, on-again gunslinger (mostly not there), wizard, and straight rogue.
The rogue was setup to be trapfinder (marginally useful in the duration of the campaign), scout (not useful at all unless the rogue was far enough ahead of the party to get killed when he was spotted due to the Very Noisy cleric, underworld face, and TWF in combat.
He did his face thing pretty well, I guess. 3/4 of what he did was under the table and most of the party had no idea how much he actually shared. Trapfinding was kinda useful at times. But then, the DM was tossing out 15d6 lightning bolt traps just to encourage us to use him. Scouting was a mixed bag. He got destroyed once or twice, and set off alarms that made subsequent combats harder more than once. The odds are really against the rogue. All it takes is one screwy roll to set things off.
But in combat, he was useless. Utterly and completely useless. He couldn't ever flank. Most combats took place in enclosed quarters and CMD's were too high to deal with, and in the two or three rounds it took him to actually work around the fights, he lost all chance at flanking when summoned monsters (cleric and druid) ate up all of the available space. I deliberately tried to leave spots for him a few times, but it was useless. His chances to hit and his damage and his AC were all bad in comparison to anything else on the board.
So, yeah. That's my story. Maybe rogues rock royally if you know exactly what to do, but there are so many more ways to permanently screw up the class that it's just not worth the effort. Pick an easier, just-about-as-good class and win. (Same player did a similar Ranger in our next campaign, seemed much more effective overall. Not so much of the underworld face aspect, but since that had no notable impact At The Table, the rest of us never knew the difference)
No it's not. What it is, is contrary to your expectations because the system has already beat into your head that Magic > Martial. 'Of course Magic should trump non-magic...It's Magic!' or 'It's a limited resource!', or 'because Lina Inverse can destroy planets and Goury can't!'
But that doesn't make it silly. It's not silly in books, games, or movies when Ezio vanishes into thin air by getting out of sight and blending with a crowd, or when Tom Cruise climbs up incredibly tall buildings, defying reality, or when ... gah...total brain fart, can't spew out a good book example without research!
The point is, these superhuman, non-magical feats of acumen and BadAssery are already part of our collective conscience. Why is it silly that a highly-skilled non-caster, if he rolls Really Well, and puts a significant portion of his character development into being able to do something Really Well, should be able to perform feats that are on-par with what a magical character can do? The Magical Guy gets to do it if he wants to, and can actually make that decision from day to day (in many cases), or even minute to minute (scrolls/wands/whatever). The non-magical guy doesn't get to un-pick his skills and feats (well, without retraining). Despite that it's not a limited resource Per Day, it's very much a limited resource Per Build. He should be able to ThatWasTotallyWicked! things without having to pretend to be a Magical Guy.
It's just...right. It fits with source material. It fits in game..and it's just fair.
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. :)
I seem to recall a 3PP 3.5 supplement that did a lot for Craft: Alchemy, and so did the d20 version of the Iron Kingdom rules. In fact, IK did have exactly that sort of non-magical healing potion since magical healing was kinda bad.
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.