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Kelarith I know that your just giving advice... but what if you said you had an accident any my response was "a good driver knows how to pay attention to the road and avoid threats" I dont know why you had an accident but i immediatly imply that its obviously because you were not paying attention to the road.
My point is this. I DO talor to different members of the group. My entire issue is that the paladin has too many things to talor to.
combination of the two.
I was running the same campaign for 2 different groups and kept running into paladin problems. I then started examining WHY I was running into paladin problems and it mostly boiled down to the 3 reasons above. not that the paladin had one of those things... but that he had all 3.
so the debate raged in the groups and I decided to come here for an outside opinion.
to be honest I have been swayed that my opinion is not only the minority but the other side is completely valid in its point of view.
amazed to see the thread hijacked by my little comment.
for me its simply a balance issue. I like to see trade offs. focused archers get to do huge amounts of damage due to the benefit of pretty much always getting a full attack without regards to positioning. the trade off should be that when they get caught in melee they are in greater danger of getting hurt.
Melee has to work much harder to full attack but they get to benefit from more defences.
its really just a pet peeve. bassed on my personal idea of balance.
While I agree that the pally has lots of decent abilities, nearly all of them are situational though. As mentioned by only one poster so far, the pally comes with his Lawful Good and Code of Conduct baggage, which I tend to think as a balancing factor for having so many differing abilities.
This is, along with the "only works against evil" defense are pretty meaningless in my eyes.
basically the paladin code of conduct baggage is pretty much a trap that leads to argument. Most players will always argue some kind of justification for their moral actions. And if the GM not only dissagrees but wants to punish the player for having a different moral view things do not end well. In the end I think most GMs just tend to let players put on the thinnest veneer of LG and call it a day.
and the Only works against evil defense is moot because no matter how many creatures you list from the bestiary that are not evil the fact of the matter is most baddies in most adventure paths are going to be evil. even if its a home brew that paladin is going to be rightfully upset if every big baddy is taylor made to negate his ability. besides, I dont want to take away the paladin smite... i just think it, combined with all of the other abilities, is a bit much.
Chris O'Reilly wrote:
I think what makes a pally seem overpowered might be that everything they have is pretty... obvious. You dont have to work to make a good pally, everything good they get is just handed to you. There arent really many choices or ways to "mess up" a paladin. Compare a pally to an optimzed (other martial) and they may look similar, but compare two completely new players, one making a pally and one a barbarian and the situation will probably look pretty favorable on the paladin side.
OUTSTANDING POINT. I had not thought of this.
it also explains a lot of the missunderstanding in the debate on the matter. people may say something like
Ranger 'smite' > paladin smite
and consider the point made... but i look at that and say "do you realize you just specialized 3 different classes to out do the standard issue abilities of every paladin?
but at the same time people defending paladins are trying to point out that other a bow focused vengeance paladin they really dont get much more powerful than that same standard issue paladin.
but... still... is that a good thing or a bad thing for the paladin? that their standard issue build is so good that they cant really come up with any horizontal growth.
I have discovered a new one... though its not a rule but a lack of a rule.
The fact that a guy in full armor can fire a bow with all of the speed and accuracy of some one in light or no armor.
New home rule for the next game I GM. some form of penalty to shooting bows while wearing medium or heavy armor. something like an additional penalty to all iterative shots or you can only fire a bow as a standard action while wearing heavy armor.
Hey I really appreciate all of the comments. As I respond to them I want to remind everyone that my personal focus here is group dynamics. I am not comparing level X paladin to level X (insert class here) I am speaking to the balance of the class in a group dynamic, how much do i have to modify the world to balance for any specific class, in this case the paladin.
Im going to try and collect a lot of points here pointing out why paladin is NOT overpowered.
Smite: Most people say something to the effect of
what that argument means is that as a GM I should buff out most bad guys to counter the smite, I think if I find myself doing that its a sign that something is wrong.
Resists: this one few people comment on but when they do its something like
True, resists are not devastating but from a GM perspective they do skew the balance. as mentioned above the majority of the time things that bother the group are "fail on a 1" for the paladin or in order to make it interesting for the paladin I have to make it too dangerous for the rest of the group.
Action Economy the gist is
I think that many people are misunderstanding or underestimating the power of paladin action economy.
I have no problem with action economy where there is a trade off. in many cases the paladin makes no such trade off.
Again my focus is this: individually the paladins signature abilities are great but not overpowered. but the paladin gets SO MANY signature abilities all of which are very powerful. They dont need any one in the party to heal or buff them. They have high resists AND high AC, AND high damage when it matters AND can be the "Face" during role play.
thus as a GM I find myself working most often to work around the paladin in order to give other players a chance to shine.
stat roll d6 + d4 +8 range is 10 to 18 but average is 13. reasonable stats.
XP removed- players level by GM fiat at a time appropriate to the story
flat footed in the first round removed as a general rule
PCs get 2 free skill points at first level to place in a profession or perform.
feats and spells
All Resurrection and reincarnation effects short of wish or direct acts of a god removed universal wide (NPC cant be resurrected either).
alignment alignment as written on a character sheet is the characters views of himself with the understanding that true alignment is decided by the opinion of the gods (GM) only players whos class is reliant on their alignment will get any particular warning before a change in alignment.
some classes and races banned or modified (with player approval)
but isn't that like 90 percent of the game? pally saves takes spells out of the equation so heal if it hits me is the healer job negated by the pally ability.
murder if its evil is basically the entire story of the game world... your normally playing a more or less good group of people taking on the forces of evil. the only time your not facing something evil is when its a plant or construct... usually created by some one evil.
when is the last time you played in a campaign that was an epic struggle against the overwhelming forces of neutrality?
Phantom, I don't really have an opinion on caster vs martial balance. I think that both are necessary in a group and thats whats important to me. the GROUP dynamic.
I feel that the GROUP needs both casting and tanking. its like asking whats more important Infantry or artillery? they are both important to the war effort.
Tholomyes, i am not comparing the paladin to the fighter. I know that the fighter dishes out more damage than the paladin on an average round. but the paladin does not NEED like the fighter does, the pally does not need the fighter to defend him like the caster does, and the pally deals more damage than the healer does.
by too many options i mean that the paladin has the least need to actually be in a group and tends to schew encounter balance.
for example... as a GM i create a series of encounters
when building an encounter for a group I, as a GM, find the paladin the most consistantly difficult to work around. And the lease dependent on group support.
more often than not the encounter is either overwhelmed by paladin offense or ignored by paladin defense.
often making the encounter work for the paladin can make it overwhelming for the rest of the party.
NOTE: Its my personal belief that the game SHOULD be difficult. if every character was simply a god in every encounter it would be a little boring to me. in other words if every character in the group has all of the answers that a paladin has it would be boring OR one would just have to buff the encounters to make them more interesting. Thus a class that has too many answers to too many situations is not that much fun to me personally as a GM or as a player.
NOTE: This is not a troll or fishing for arguments. Although I know debate will happen I am asking an honest question.
My friends and I debate this and I wanted to get a community perspective. some people love the pally and others hate them.
from both a player and GM perspective I find the Paladin to be overpowered.
there are 3 primary reasons for this.
Smite, Resists, Action Economy.
NOTE THESE ARE MY OPINIONS ON THE CLASS. I PRESENT THEM SO THAT YOU CAN COMMENT, AGREE OR EXPRESS YOUR DIFFERING OPINION I ASK THAT YOU NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY. IM NOT TROLLING OR FISHING FOR TROLLS
1) SMITE: Smite is pretty straight forward. Huge burst damage, bonus to hit, bypass DR, and extra bonus damage to undead, evil dragon and evil outsiders not to mention bonus to AC.
Smite is not a huge problem. its very powerful bordering on over overpowered when used and it can turn BBEG battles into 1 or 2 round slaughters. I don't believe its balanced by "the only works on evil targets" because the vast majority of what you face will be evil, and many are undead, dragons or evil outsiders. having said that every class needs its awesome sauce and smite certainly fills that role.
2) resists paladins are hugely resistant.
again these resists are pretty awesome sauce but great flavor for the incorruptible paladin. not overpowering in and of itself but...
3) Action Economy This one seems hardest to quantify but many of the paladins special abilities cost very little to use.
The action economy of a paladin is (to the best of my knowledge) unmatched by any other class. they simply have way more things that can do that are both powerful and have little impact on their ability to apply full attacks or movement to a round.
Again as with the other abilities they are all very powerful and a class needs very powerful things to make them fun. but the paladin simply gets too many of them. (IMHO)
MY OPINION is that If the Paladin didn't get ALL of these abilities or if each ability were more reasonable I would feel better but I find that more than any other class the paladin just has too many answers and too many options making it skew party dynamics and too much of a show stealer.
How do you feel about the class in terms of balance?
EDIT: I would like to further add that my opinion is based on a group dynamic perspective not a solo or dualist perspective.
The way I have always felt that the detect traps issue is fine.
Perception is normal everyday general use.
Perception sees that there is a door along the wall.
perception can also be used for seeking specific things. Looking for secured doors for example... or searching for small wires or levers which may spring a trap.
a large pink bear trap does not require a perception check unless its covered in leaves. even then a regular perception may find it by DM fiat. but if its a small wire that crosses the path to trigger a dead fall. the person would have to be Looking for things out of the ordinary.
The way I have always felt that the detect traps issue is fine.
essentially perception is normally used to notice general things while search for traps is looking for specific things.
in other words a big pink bear trap in the woods would be seen naturally probably no check needed but at most perception... but the small wire set to make the huge net buried in the leaves spring up when you try to disarm the bear trap would require search for traps.
LOL, I dropped XP so long ago I forgot to mention it. Its not that I HATE XP... just think its useless and tends to skew the game play. it encourages players to skip things because they dont provide XP or go out of their way to kill stuff purely for the XP bump.
Magda Luckbender wrote:
How are you using your move to quickchannel AND taking a 5 foot step?
As for the rest.... Your fishing kind of hard for it.
Im not going to get into the whole paladins are over powered debate, thats not what the thread is about. Just making a point.
It makes a degree of sense to me. It's like when two gunfighters square off ... just because you go for your gun first doesn't mean you're going to fire first.
Are you seriously comparing the act of drawing and firing a supersonic projectile at the pull of a finger.... to the act of running 60 feet waving a sword? Only i. Anime my friend. ^-^
Anyway the point here is not who gets to go first. Initiative works fine for that. The point is why does going secong mean that you are automaticaly incapable of an active defense.
Headfirst has the rights of it. People can argue specific examples. But the RAW remains that if two people are standing 60 feet apart weapons drawn and hurling death threats at each other, then when they begin to fight the one who looses the initiative will, by raw, stand calmly while his opponent charges 60 feet screaming bloody murder and tries to run him through with something sharp and heavy.
I think that in general flat footed in the first round should be a special exception. Not a rule
People should not take a specific example too far just
this is why alignment is such a pain.
if you say alignment is objective then most of the actions a paladin takes on the average adventure can be considered evil.
On the other hand if alignment is subjective than that same paladin can gleefully slaughter for any reason that fits his rational and be continually blessed by their god.
In my games the GM is the sole arbiter of alignment... however a GM cannot punish a players alignment without warning, either prior to the action that the act will be considered counter to their alignment for xyz reason OR after the action that the act, if continued or repeated, will affect alignment.
OH and I forgot... the entire rule set for illusions...
basically I dont get why you get an automatic will save for all of the senses except sight.
doesn't that essentially negate the value of illusions
(note this is a GM perspective complaint)
.... and while i am in the GM mind set... Paladins, completely annoying, almost always broken in one way or another class as writen.
the flat footed in the first round of combat rule always gets my goat and is the first thing waved in my games (although I give sneak attack classes a special rule to compensate)
a large portion of the prereqs for feats: why is it only elves of ALL races, can stabbing shot?
and a few others but these are the ones that would be easiest to fix.
I also dislike:
The spell Shadow Walk allows the caster to travel great distances quickly it also says.
Shadow walk can also be used to travel to other planes that border on the Plane of Shadow, but this usage requires the transit of the Plane of Shadow to arrive at a border with another plane of reality. The transit of the Plane of Shadow requires 1d4 hours.
My question is, what planes border the plane of shadow?
I am running a campeign in which one of the adversaries wants to cast a spell on the players which is greatly improved by having a pit of the target (hair, nails, etc.)
If the group fights some minions and are injured and then the minions run away I can always just say that the enemy has their blood to use in the spell.
but I was not sure if that would be too trolly so I wanted the players to experience the bad guys actually taking things from them even if they dont get why.
thus I want some minions to attack them and cut off a piece of hair or take a literal bite out of some one ripping off a bit of flesh.
my question is... how should I handle this... does the bad guy SUNDER a characters hair? do a GRAPPLE then bite? should i just say the bad guys are acting strangely "After cutting you he looks at his dagger smiles and runs away" etc etc.
problem with using the next turns standard is that you then dont get to respond.
when you have the person burn their next turn MOVE action then next turn they can choose to move.. or respond... possibly with another spell... which the enemy then uses their next move to counter... then they respond and you use your next move to counter.
it leads to really fun wizard battles where 2 wizards are in the back lines countering each others spells and trying to take each other or individuals of the group out.
I cast shield and watch the enemy caster
when your burning your next move to do it each caster still gets to participate fully in battle I have also found that players tend to spread their spells more... instead of 4 fireballs and 2 haste they spread out their schools in order to cover the basses. or use more quickened spells to get around counters. it makes quickened magic missile and shield way more powerful in the late game.
more fun IMHO...
The way I run it in home brew is as follows.
~Primary casters ( wizards, sorcerer, oracle, etc) have improved counter spell as a class ability. Other casters like magus, bard etc have to take the feat as normal.
When that opponent or any opponent within 5 feet of the target starts casting a spell with a casting time of standard or longer you can give up the move action of your next turn to attempt to counter the spell. Countering the spell in this way works as written in the rules in all other ways.
I will generally also allow someone to burn a spell with a reasonable excuse to counter a spell as a counter spell. For example if the player sees an opponent casting magic missile but he has no evocation spells to use as a counter he can chose to burn shield instead though the shield spell does not have any other effect beyond countering the magic missile.
This last bit has lead to some fun and inventive excuses for why one spell can counter another... I once had a wizard attempt to counter a level 4 summon spell with teleport... The idea being he redirected the summon with the teleport, the demon was summoned, Just 100 miles away. Since it was clever and he was using a level 5 spell to counter a level 4 I let him do an opposed spellcraft to see if he succeeded.
On a side note you don't have to go too far to trick your players. If they are mature players they should know how to divorce player knowledge from character knowledge. If not don't be afraid to remind them.
Suppose your bad guy cast the illusion of a troll standing in a combat stance with a wicked grin on his face occasionally making threatening gestures. The runs away.
The players come around the corner and see the image described above. If one of your players who usually plays a Mage but is currently playing an int/wiz 10 barbarian says, Oh that could be an illusion I roll a will to disbelieve.... Ask him why knuckles would think that, ask him to explain why his character is acting completely out of character. Force him to at least spend a round using some skill to come to the conclusion
.....unless his natural reaction would be to scream and leap at anything in his path..... In which case you let him do it and chalk it up to good roll play and a bad choice by the bad guy.
I would have given the players a huge bonus if not an auto success the first time they came within 5 of hitting the target. This represents making contact with the image and realizing you just passed through it (note the within 5 idea comes from the magic missile deal where coming within 5 of hitting the target may still pop an image.
Having said that... Silent image is not intended as a combat spell in any way. It's great for putting up illusory walls and objects or non interactive creatures but not really combat.
I think the better way to have handled that would have been to create a silent image of something really dangerous but believable... Like an ogre or troll standing in the hall ready to fight them. It would have reasonably taken them a round or two to get will saves bassed on knowlage checks or noticing a lack of sound or smell. you could have even let it 'dodge' ranged attackes in order to extend the effect.
But once they engage it the jig is up because above all else the image should not be smart enough to engage complex tactics and interactions like combat.
I agree with the OP. counter spelling as designed by raw is weak and unfun.
Lazar it's not that there are no feats, it's that the entire mechanic is wrong.
A caster duel should be as active and interactive as melee combat and has the potential to be more so without vast revamping of the game system.
As it is now countering a single spell requires too many random rolls, too many variables to match and on top of that the caster has to give up its turn just for the chance to try.
As it is now holding action to cast a damage spell is a much more effective method but does not have the right flavor in my book.
but again i use the spit example...
no matter how smart and old I am when I spit i know that it will take a given amount of time to have enough spit in my mouth to spit again.
and when I have enough spit I know that pretty instinctivly.
but i dont necessarily know how long it will take to get enough spit going.
does that mean I am siting there dry spitting to understand how much spit it available?
also when a monster does something the dice roll is not ment to think for the monster. the DM does.
thus when the dragon breaths he is breathing his normal attack. not holding back half intentionally for some tactic that the DM has to adjust to.
the dragon breaths... then he realizes he has enough breath stuff to do it again which he does next round.
then he realizes he does not and it will take a bit of time to get it back.
so he does other things... melee attacks... fly away to charge up... cast spells etc.
after 2 rounds he realizes that he has recharged just enough to be able to breath it again on the next round so next round he does so.
On a side note... if something gave a player a breath weapon would they know the cool down time? I dont think they would and the "ancient and wise dragon" argument would not fit in that respect... nor would it if the dragon were made stupid, if the dragon was young.. or if it was not a dragon but some other monster thats relatively stupid but has a breath weapon mechanic.
I agree with what your saying but I think its a little bit of over thinking and chalking it up to the dragon knows all concept... which i dont think applies here.
I used to do that also... but now it feels like kibitzing.
if I toss in a flash bang and it dazzles you... you know that you will recover in a few seconds... but you dont know how many seconds.
if I know that i will be ok in 12 seconds... i will act differently then if I think it will take 24.
i may let a player know its d4 as opposed to 3d4. but i wont tell them 2 rounds exactly... but thats just me.
when the players effect the monsters in the same way I am very carefull to treat the enemy as if they do not know the roll either. I have on many occations used completely useless attacks against a PC knowing in my mind that the PC has a counter to this attack but also knowing that the NPC does not have that knowlage.
i extrapolate from other rules and traditions in the game.
this specifically talks about spells but its reasonable to assume its not hard coded to spells only... for example Blinding Critical has a d4 dazzle effect if you fail. I assume that this duration is NOT known to either the dazzled or the one who got the crit.
also its kind of fundamentally understood that if I roll 2d6 to damage something... I know that i did 8 damage because I rolled the dice... but my CHARACTER does not know that he did 8 damage except by the DMs vague description.
in other words... its not a hard writen rule but seems to be the intent.
wait... so your saying that he DOES suddenly get 2 extra attacks?
what i am REALLY getting at here is does the polymorph effect now grant extra attacks per round.
does he go from 3 attacks to 5 due to the transformation or is he limited to his 3 attacks per round but now has new options for how he uses those attacks.
and if he does get extra attacks how do they factor into his attack penalties.
I think quantums explanation makes sense... except I want to make sure that BlueBear now gets 5 attacks per round
sword, sword, sword, claw, bite.
Totally understand your point there Ninten.
however... in the game random rolled options are supposed to be more or less unknown to the best of my knowlage.
I am not putting this debate in Rules because I am not looking for a RAW answer. but I am also not trying to toss it all out for flavor.
since there is really no hard fast rule for it I think looking at it the following way works best
the idea is this.
i know enough about my body to know when I have enough spit to hauk a lugi.
I happen to know that I can hauk one up every 10 to 30 seconds which in game terms translates roughly into D4 + 1 rounds.
after hauking one at you I may not know exactly how long untill i have enough phlem to cough up again... but when it is there I can tell.
I think that is a fair way to interpert the fact that by RAW the effects of random cool downs and durations are unknown but by reason a being would have a pretty reasonable idea knowledge on the matter.
whats important is when my players are fighting a dragon does he make a decision about this round of combat KNOWING that he will have his breath weapon in 3 rounds or THINKING it will return in the next 1d4 rounds.