I don't think Summoners are overpowered.
I also have an old 3.5 houserule where any form of summon spell is creature specific, where MSIV doesn't summon a variable critter, it summons a Bralani named Ted, Ted has a character sheet. If the summoner wants to summon something else he needs a different spell, with all the costs for a different spell, as well as slots and memorization requirements.
I allow Leadership.
I do ban the Pit spells.
I did ban Echo Spell.
No one has actually played a Gunslinger in a group I've participated in. I can't decide if I like the firearm mechanics. Touch AC is kinda odd to me since I know from a Principles of Engineering class in college that the Spaniards put that ridge along the centerline of their breastplates to deflect musket balls.
I lock out high level play by preference.
I try to encourage E8 games, but that's not always an option.
Agoraphobia is the fear of being in a wide open space.
Hating gays is not a phobia, it's a prejudice.
Gays are becoming more accepted almost daily in the Western World through exposure. Exposure breaks down prejudices, it also helps with phobias. But a true phobia is very different than a prejudice.
I think Bolka offers some significant opportunities to explore the nature of Dwarven Society.
Others have touched on it.
They are also seemingly "Traditional" or "Conservative".
Dwarves are almost universally participants in the "Clan" structure. I think the implications of that are lost somewhat on gamers that exist in a society where having 4 generations of a family under one roof is an exception rather than the norm. Neither do most of us live in neighborhoods populated by blood relatives.
For Dwarves, marriage is likely, less a social contract that promotes stability than a mechanism that generates genetic diversity. Clan structures are already incredibly stable by design yet it offers the added complication of isolationism (particularly given traditional dwarven homesteads).
Dwarves need babies, but they probably don't lack for parents. Clans can provide multiple, closely related members to mentor the younglings. It's the generation of young that is key to dwarven society. A goddess of Mariage would certainly prefer heterosexual pairings as it would facilitate future generations however pairing opposite gender homosexual members of the race could provide complex, interlinked familial ties that serve to strengthen the traditional Clan Structure as well as generate much needed genetic diversity. Moreover this structure could lead to situations where polygamy would be desirable.
The built in desire to procreate is well established in the Human species. Most of my lesbian friends feel their " biological clock's ticking ". More than a few of my gay guy friends occasionally wish for kids. A large number of both groups have gone against their basic natures to facilitate having kids. It's common among us.
It should be common among Dwarves, perhaps dwarves even having stronger inborn impulses than humans considering their low birth rates.
I'd think it interesting if Bolka encouraged more complex Marital Constructs to facilitate the continuation of the Dwarven Race. Put aside our prejudices towards sexual orientation and polygamy. Also set aside the notion of polygamy being detrimental to women.
One factor that would make this practical, it's likely that the ovulation cycle of dwarven females is measured in months, if not years. Constant cohabitation isn't necessarily needed, given their long lifespans, cohabitation could be problematic in some instances. The traditional "DwarfHold" is a very communal existence in practice. Such a system would allow for small, isolated groups to remain viable over long time periods.
It also allows for interesting familial relationships for PCs.
As an odd aside, one of the peculiar features of Golarion; the nations on the Inner Sea are very stable, at least in name. While all of them have undergone changes in leadership and political philosophy the actual borders of Andoran, Cheliax, Taldor, Ossirion and Rahadoum are relatively static. Nex, Geb and Nidal are literally millennia old and pitifully static.
I blame High Magic as a stabizational force with no real world equivalent.
I think monks are great.
I think PCs should occasionally die. Mine do, sometimes in spectacular fashion.
I think that the multitude of anamorphic PC races is stupid and distracting.
I feel that if you play a Wizard, expect to do some serious accounting.
I steal spellbooks, sunder component pouches and target animal companions.
I think games should start at level 1, advance leveling is for weak players who lack SKILLZ.
I don't believe that 5 new weird monsters are as good as the sorely neglected old beast that has been forgotten.
I like rolling for stats.
I think that SAD classes + point buy is incredibly poor game design.
I think PC paladins are completely justified in killing other PCs that are obsessed with making them fall.
I believe most people on the interwebz who argue that casters rule and Martians drool, fail to adequately follow rules for Line of Sight/Effect and somehow don't comprehend that everyform of PC flight is slow their AC is subpar and that most opponents should have ranged weapons. Also few "dungeons" have 30 foot high ceilings.
One thing that hasn't come up in a month of debate is the ROLE of spellcasters in these fantasy armies.
A great many assumptions are being made as to spellcasters as support troops or artillery. Perhaps as communications and logistics.
More likely they would be in charge.
The magical arms race would have far more drastic ramifications on a campaign world than the complexity of the military.
Nex and Geb, in Golarion went to war. They used Golems and Undead and permanently damaged the ecology of the world along their border.
In Greyhawk, the Invoked Devastation and the Rain of Colorless Fire left a huge chunk of the Continent uninhabitable.
Historically, spellcasters are aware of what happens when spell battles reach the scale of military engagements. It's bad for all involved. In 4 of the most popular game worlds, arcane magic breaks down. Divine magic, has a far more dangerous consequence. Direct intervention of the divine. Proxy wars are fine but once the Flamestrikes start it's a worse scenario when Iomedae and Gorum get personally invested.
These are literary cop-outs maybe; but nations that can field large contingents of spellcasters are going to have large groups of spellcasters that know their history. I'm not saying that militaristic mages are unlikely, just hat they are unlikely under some mundane King. Also there would be divisions between Divine and Arcane casters that are politically complex once the egos of 5th level plus casters come into play.
Magical Detent. it's an obvious outcome.
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Not at all.That list isn't bad, in context.
This featless system would somewhat hinder TWF in nearly all classes, even fighter as most TWFighter builds are using more than just bonus feats to pursue that path.
Mages would suffer. Improved Inititive is gone, so is Dodge. Crafting is a serious deliberation now.
This would be a different game. Feats are that integral.
TWF would be Monk/Ranger territory.
Going first, largely the Rogue/Ranger.
I'd wager PCs crafting would Vanish. Beyond Potions and Scrolls anyway.
I think the Scorpion Whip was originally just a feat tax added to the regular Whip to allow lethal damage.
That tax was totally worth paying.
You lost 5' of reach though.
Whips are like spears in that weapon size is kinda meaningless if you think about it.
It's never come up but I'd houserule whips to not be usable with Power Attack. And to take a to hit penalty for 2 handed use. I'd just kill the strength bonus on damage all together.
Given equal skill; a whip wielded by a 9 year old girl would do the same damage as Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. It's about speed and precision not strength.
Yes I know, I'm of no help to you here. 8)
I'd be willing to play this game.
I think fighters, rogues (talents are feats) and monks would be better comparatively.
Barbs, pallys are gonna hurt.
Druids get acceptably powereddown.
Clerics and mages have to start making some tough decisions.
This is not a horrible idea for an experiment.
A LOT of stuff will all but disappear though.
That never happens at tables IMObservafion.
Players tend to expect a certain social standing. Even if they are seedy adventurerers, they expect to be treated like dangerous exotic animals, and get cranky when they get politicked by the faceless masses.
You do point out an aspect of the game that is intriguing, one where being a spell aster has a significant downside in social settings. But that's gm fiat on flavor. Players don't usually like being the pariah. Unless it's a moody, emo, dark elf pariah, then it's cool.
As a house rule try this;
Allow CE to be reversed.
I guarantee people would use it.
Not that it's needed. The secret to CE is that it stacks. It works in under water combat. While squeezing etc.
One of the things I see in low level games is that people PUMP AC early on. They do it with magic, armor all kinds of stuff but the defensive stack on CE, def Fighting and Crane is silly effective.
You can trip, disarm, dirty trick or whatever WithOut taking taking Combat Exp.
You're just better if you take CE.
Ever try to disarm someone for real? It's dangerous. The ability to buff up your defensive fighting abilities is invaluable in that situation. Thats CE.
The game over favors attack, since some twerp with a CLW spell/wand is always standing behind you.
But seriously? The ability to perform a combat trip in a defensive fashion shouldn't require the ability to just do combat in a defensive fashion? That's counterintuitive.
Combat Maneuvers are harder than just hitting something with a stick.
The only issue I've ever had with CE is the Int. Req. It should have a prereq that's kinda doable across classes regardless of the available point buy. Maybe allow a Dex sub or Wisdom?
Or just pick, or write up, an archetype that gives up something for a free feat.
Feat Tax/ n.
Combat Exp is a good feat. Just because you never use it is not an indicator of it being lame. It represents a characters ability to do more than just club stuff to death in battle. To use style and finesse to alter combat. Much like tripping or disarming. It's also awesome in those rare instances where you get ambushed in the middle of the night and all you have on is smallclothes. Unless you sleep in armor (which requires a feat).
Improved Inititive is one of the 5 best feats ever. It isn't strictly necessary ever, but who doesn't take it eventually?
Weapon Finesse is a solid feat but can be completely ignored if you like. Folding it into a weapon is ok I guess but it's also power creep. Look at Dervish Dance and it's near ubiquity in certain optimizer threads. I understand the urge to have all combat abilities be ruled by a single stat but it's bad design.
Now an actual feat tax is needing to take Skill Focus; diplomacy to enter a PrClass. It's there to deliberately stall entry past 3rd level or some such but it usually fits in thematically so it's "tax" value is questionable. Actually it's only questionable if you think skills are dumb and useless.
I think the term is overused and wildly inaccurate.
Sorry but 90% of all of the mechanics are combat focused. In most RPGS actually.
The other stuff doesn't need rules.
It's near heresy to say so but you can play twice a week for 20 years with just the CRB and scratch paper if you're good at the "other stuff".
I do like your post above about green sprites, I may steal that.
I'm not a huge fan of Vancian Magic, yet I think it is a necessary "evil".
One of the great killers of spell point/mana systems is that there are no fundamental rules for magic beyond Spells Known/Slots per day. Anything is possible via magic in D&D. Scaling power levels are also "off" as some splashy abilities are available at relatively low levels.
Death/Gravity/the Vacuum of Space heck even the basic laws of Matter and Energy are only minor inconveniences in the face of a D&D spellcaster. That lack of limitations leads to an assumption that no barrier could be imposed and you get "Rocket Tag".
Spell Points/Mana systems just exacerbate relative power inequities in the system. There can be no balance between classes when you have characters that can just go nuts at every encounter. Up thread someone pointed out that in Dying Earth, Vance's spells were "auto wins"; this is true of D&D in most circumstances.
The Spells are to Powerful.
Most systems with a point system recognize this and power down the magic. Sadly these systems fail to capture the wider player base because they want the potency of D&D magic. It's just that some also want the handicap that goes with them to vanish. The true God Wizard.
I've played lots of variant systems. Some good, some not so great. Over and over I find that balanced systems where the Mage just spams "magic bolt" for 1d6 damage fails to capture the players sense of the dramatic nature of spells. very few of these systems have spell lists even 10% of the size of the standard d20 system, much less the add ons.
On the other end of the spectrum; Allowing players to spam Lord Voldemort's Death Curse or "Sectum Sempre" is a terrible idea in a game that requires some degree of challenge to keep players engaged.
I've yet to see a game where spamming spells is a good thing, story wise. The CLW Wand is a possible exception, yet without it, the "15 minute" adventuring day would be just the adventuring day. Everyone would be beat up enough in most campaigns to call it for a few days of rest. Rememorizing would be a non issue.
"The Blade is Faster than the Spell"
With the current action economy, most fights are over pretty quick. Would the spellcasters be satisfied only getting off 1 or 2 spells in a typical encounter and likey doing nothing but casting a spell for the first 3 rounds? If so great you can ditch the Vancian system and spontaneous casting all together. Everybody knows everything. The spellcaster auto wins and the rest of the party just blocks until he gets off his Wish or whatever. The other players become very important and melee is fundamental to most encounters which become capture the flag (enemy spellcaster).
None of my players want to be the wizard in that scenario. they want to "do something" every round. That's the essence of D&D, which is where the Spell Slinger comes from I think. Sure we have some literary battle mages but most of the rapid fire spellcasters are post D&D fantasy.
Just one old guys opinion but given the Standard Action casting time and Vancian Magic system D&D is sorta stuck. You can't ditch one without the other unless you want a game that's all spellcasters, players and monsters.
Callous Jack wrote:
I've said this before regarding other applications........
The DUNGEONS & DRAGONS brand name is only worth a nickle outside of the gaming hobby. In truth, I feel that putting D&D into the final title of any live action film is a bad decision on a studio's part.
It carries connotations of high cheese and pre- pubescent silliness. We may hold the name D&D dear, but we are a TINY minority.
It was a good deal, at the time, for TSR to let Soloman have a continual license to make films branded as D&D. In context; the company was failing, the hobby was flooded and the former player base were writing their own stories only slightly influenced by the game. Those stories were just as likely, even more likely to be turned into celluloid. There was a real chance for the brand name to be circulated and recirculated in a different medium at NO COST to the company other than having their brand name attached to yet another bad "B" film.
No, Hasbro would never allow such a deal. Which is why Hasbro still hasn't made a film or allowed a film to be cut of any serious work. They slacked off on Dragons of Autumn Twilight, which Should have been a money maker, they've yet to do a Drizzt movie or adapt a single one of their enormously successful novels into a feature film.
Prior to LotR (which is a D&D movie, since D&D is a LotR ripoff at it's core). The idea of a well produced, Oscar caliber, sword &sorcery film was a pipe dream. Now with the insane success of Jackson and Columbus with the Harry Potter films and Martin with GoT, the studios will greenlight anything for preproduction just to have something that could be a hit.
A film based on D&D is silly, since D&D has mined (or robbed) everything. I'm not sure that you couldn't make any generic fantasy film and use most of the basic elements without stepping on any legal toes. A film based on The Icewind Dale trilogy or Dragonlance maybe has merit though DL is probably too big in scope.
If Hasbro/Universal wants to make a movie let them. If WB/Soloman wants to make a movie, let them. Heck if Paramount wants to make a Blackmoor game movie let them. Let them all vet realeased at the same time ( like Armageddon/Deep Impact, Mars/Red Planet, or the 2 Snow White movies). No film is going to be good unless they take it seriously and the D&D name pretty much GUARANTEES that it won't get taken seriously, not even by Hasbro. Who hasn't learned from their mistakes and seems to think that their IP covers everything, it doesn't.
Ahhhh, another meme I've managed to cut out.
It's hardly a tax. Most of the BSF's skill points would otherwise go to either Perception or Intimidate? They still do, it doesn't take max ranks to mend chain mesh. A single point investment in either Craft (arms and armor) or Profession (Soldier) will do.
And yes there are benefits for the wizard in harvesting body parts Knowledge (biology) or Heal.
Not being able to buy "cool stuff" in an equal manner is already written into the core rules with the default crafting system and the wizards free bonus item crafting feats. The cost of the feat is far less of a hit for a caster, who's real class feature is spellcasting, than a fighter whose class feature is combat feats. Rogues are even worse off, though they could steal magic items for free I guess, but that'll blow the WBL guidelines out of the water pretty quick.
Except, in practice, this seldom seems to happen.
Perhaps because the Fort Saves have a better chance of outright killing a character where will save just make them suck.
Thats not quite fair.
Also not everyone is convinced that the component rules are "flavor text". They are mechanically grounded rules. That the M is handwaived but the S is not is part of the reason for the thread. With each edition of the game the spellcasters get more powerful. But how much of it is a lack of system balance and how much of it is player base laziness?
If players disagree with a relative magic level they are welcome to do so, but if they aren't volunteering to run games as a GM then they can only complain so far. I play with a guy who outright bans spellcasters in any form. I like wizards but I still play with him because his games are fun.
I'd actually agree with the availability of odd items issue.
I also practice a theory that spell components are one of the best impetuses to an unforeseen adventure. After years of it it's pretty rare that the fighter doesn't opt to tag along with the wizard as he scrapes poo off rocks:
The Spell Component Pouch is a glaring Achilles Heel for the prepped caster. I don't think it's a douche move to target it as such. It's not considered a douche move when you hit the fighter with Will Save Effects every other encounter (which happens in every game I play in as a pickup).
I'm not the OP, but I'll answer.To a certain degree, yes I do. It encourages Skill Usage. Specifically Craft, Profession which are kinda ignored in some games. My players tend to take them and I ensure that there are benefits beyond just not having gear degrade. In the end my goal is not to punish players but to leave them with more well rounded characters. *
I do use a variant magic item crafting system, that doesn't require spellcasting and also offers some non magical masterwork mechanical advantages. So there are strong reasons for non casters to take craft skills without getting feat taxed into obsolescence. .
I'd actually suggest dipping some kind of monk if the zen archer is too close to your no supernatural clause.
3 levels of base monk gives you the save bonuses that replicate all 3 save feats.
Grappling, casters suck at grappling. Even Druids who might, might be ok at it will be at a disadvantage if you focus on it. Defensive Casting is not hard to pull off, but doing it grappled is near impossible.
Gold is expensive for us.
One of those precedents is the Money Changer, a guy in town who converts foreign currency to the local currency for a small fee. Not uncommon in Old Europe. One of the reasons we no longer use precious currency is that it too easily can exit a state, which is bad for the (small)
Yeah I occasionally use some money fluctuation in my campaign worlds, it's a great way for characters to keep up with the wider world with an actual impact on them as residents.
Yeah I do (but I was in the other thread so you knew that). I wanted to point out I'm not a nazi about it though.
I too tend to slack off on the high strength guys but focus on the STR dumpers.
I usually require a weight/ encumbrance balance between sessions but only get serious in game where large loot ends up in someone's hands.
I also try to balance loot between high value, light items (jewelry, art, rare books, magic etc.) and heavy trade goods (bolts of cloth, raw ore, booze, manufactured goods). I keep coins to a much more manageable level. I also use some higher value coins that ive liked since Forgotten Realms, analogs of the Harbor Moon.
In this, when loot is found, the characters can take the quick portable stuff and move on if they want, or they can work out the logistics of transporting the big score. Both choices have upsides and downsides.
As an aside, my players are pretty resourceful in having spare mounts and pack animals when needed. In our Kingmaker campaign, the Alchemist went straight to the Rich Parents trait to completely outfit for a long term expedition including 2 covered wagons. They came in very useful as that campaign progressed.
Coins are 50 to the pound, so that is only 240 pounds of gold.
Yet another abstraction. And significantly lighter that previous editions. Basically all coins are now the equivalent of a US Quarter. Though that means that gold coins are even smaller, like dimes maybe.
Yuck, how underwhelming.
This is the type of stuff that gets handwaived and drives me nuts. It may be tedious to keep track of a wagon full of loot, but getting a dragon horde to market, 100 miles from the lair is an adventure in and of itself.
Now it's pretty much assumed that Bags of Holding, Haversacks and even Portable Holes are ubiquitous. It's also not likely that said horde is all gold. The copper coins are exponentially more difficult to get home.
This stuff may be "unheroic", but it's not really heroic for there to be no real challenges to adventuring. Every year the game "abstracts" more of the mundane stuff that actually made up a lot of the old game.
The cost may be irrelevant, but the actual space that's taken up by 80 arrows is quite significant.
Now an Effecient Quiver is a must for a Zen Archer. But at 15th level, that's not even adequet.
I usually like my Town guards to have cheap weapons. And less messy ones. Swords are messy.
To the OP.
I've never understood why the hand crossbow is an exotic weapon at all. The principle for firing one is pretty much the same as the big ones. Unless it's also a repeater, which also is a weird choice for exotic. These are easy to use.
But have you ever tried to use a stone age sling? That thing is a pain in the butt. It makes Nunchuks look like a huntin knife.
This thread does show an interesting facet of the game. At some point the economics fail. After what the 5th level? The only thing that matters is the secondary magic item economy.
Shallowsoul has been defending me all day. I do enforce material component rules, and I make players re purchase component pouches as they adventure and power up. The pouches have an increasing cost.
I do not require a spreadsheet that states:
Yet I have 0 issue with requiring a recurrent cost for components. Just as I have 0 issue with requiring a recurrent cost for arrows. Or a recurrent cost for stabling horses. Or eating. The cost of living rules are an abstraction to prevent micro management. But I've met players who own one set of clothes, have worn them everyday for 2 years of in game time and then think they can start talking to the local lord and be taken seriously. Because there is no rule that says otherwise. Someone upthread asked if there was a mechanical requirement to eat. Seriously? Is that needed?
There is no mechanical downside to be being dead either. But try it my table.
It's often stated that the game is about resource management. Those resources are actions, HP and per day abilities. Somehow, somewhen it stopped being about equipment. Apparently characters never have to face poverty or deprivation. Which is funny, since poverty and deprivation are one of the few things that would get me motivated to get into the situations my characters find themselves in.
Why do Rich adventurers keep going?
As a flavor bonus, material components are a great reason for wizards to leave their towers, stop crafting, and travel the world. Doing stuff.
Alice Margatroid wrote:
This isn't a case of deliberate irritation. It's one of natural selection. Magic Missle, has no M component. Both Sleep and Colour Spray do.
Which is the better spell?
There are literally hundreds of posts on this forum discussing how much better Color Spray (my favorite spell incidentally) is than Magic Missle. Yet the difference, and value, of NOT having a M component is never figured in to those mental calculations. Yet that component and the component rules are there for a reason.
I always have Magic Missle as a player. Frequently Spell Mastery for Magic Missle. So I can always cast it.
If you pull out your CRB and go through all the "no brainer" spells you'll find that most of the better ones have a M component. Some of them have weird or not necessarily cheap or readily available components. Ground Mica? Gem Dust? Dragon Scales and Demon's Blood, these are but in limiters to more powerful spells. It's subtle but it's there.
On a completely different note there are a bunch of good spells that have no S component, so you can cast them in full plate without risk of ASF. That's there for a reason too.
It depends on who I'm playing with.
Yeah I enforce the M components.
All of which has led to me being called a jerk by certain "types" of players.
I'm old school.
While I appreciate players not wanting to play "Ledgers and Accountants", my suggestion is to not automatically go for the classes where that's necessary at some level.
I have a player who always, always plays a wizard. I've learned over time that he has to provide me with a spell list, each game day or I have to refer to him as Schroedinger.
If I don't check encumbrance, in a point buy game at creation, he will have dumped his STR to 7 and be wandering around with 45lbs of gear. He'll always be lightly encumbered, even after he just looted a small fortune in rare books.
And Spellbooks, are heavy and awkwardly sized.
Spell component pouches, are NOT infinite. They have everything a 1st level caster needs. As he levels up the pouch gets more expensive. Expensive Focus items aren't free (after 1st level), they have to be purchased.
Pouches are 10gp at Lvl1, that price doubles at every caster level. I don't generally go after the pouch, but it happens. I usually leave familiars and bonded items alone, it'll be rare that I go after one (familiars especially).
Profession and craft skills ranks can be used to supplement your pouch.
We also use a variant houserule for components, sometimes other stuff works. Weird components can actually duplicate meta magic. Ex. A Solar's arrowhead makes a Magic Missle spell Maximised for free; a Leonal whisker makes Cat's Grace function at +5 cl.
Bingo, this is the single truest statement I've ever seen regarding Caster/Martial disparity in several years of reading this forum. Most people have just come to accept that Wizards have no down side. It isn't true.
Now I don't require constant ledgers, but my regular group knows full well that some aspects of the game are actual parts of the game. If I ask for something pertaining to THEIR character, they need to know the answer. Like how much their gear weighs or if they have the ability to start a fire.
No one has mentioned it.
The Madu is remarkable in combination with CE and Fighting Defensively or both.
Now you need an Exotic Profeciency, which is a tax, but think about what this actually gives.
Shield Bonus +1
It can be combined with Crane Style.
But yeah you're right it's worthless for ranged attackers. Unless they are vulnerable when they get "based", where it becomes pretty handy. (Like a character that is so ranged focused that he has no melee abilities at all).
And no, Touch Spells don't qualify for Power Attack.