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The 'big six', are they really needed?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


Ok so rather then continue to derail another thread, I thought I might take this out. I want to devote this thread to a numerical comparison of published monsters vs pcs with and without 'level appropriate' gear that is mostly made up of the big six. We've talked this to death, I'd like to actually look at numbers here.

I think we can all agree that at the lowest levels it doesnt matter at all (how much bix six gear is a level 3 character going to have anyway?). So points of comparison: Level 6, level 10, level 14, level 18.

For the purposes of this encounter I'd like to look at single monstry type encounters. Namely 2 monsters of CR party level -1, and 4 monsters of level - 3. Never do it vs a single monster, pick several (I like 5 but feel free to deviate) for the CR, and average their saves, AC, CMD/CMB, attack bonuses, and the DC's for their offensive abilities (things like a dragons breath weapon, a vampires dominate etc).

I'd like to look at 15 and 20 point buy characters.

My first example cut from another thread:

Human wizard 15 point buy - no big six items.

Str: 10 Dex 14 Con 12 Int 16 (+2 racial)18 Wis 10 Cha 8

Presumably at 4 and 8 the wizard increased his int. Bringing it to 20 natural.

His spell DCs are:
level 5 - 20
level 4 - 19
level 3 - 18
level 2 - 17
level 1 - 16

His saves are
Fort +4 Ref +5 Will + 7

Lets look at some of the CR 9 monster's saves and abilities shall we?

Greater Air elemental:
Fort: +12, Ref +18, Will +6
wirlwind: DC 23

Young Blue Dragon:
Fort: +10 Ref +8 Will +8
Breath Weapon: DC 18

Greater Fire Elemental
Fort +12 Ref +16 will +6
Burn: DC 20

Vampire: Fort +13 Ref +11 Will +12
Dominate: DC 22
Energy Drain DC 22
Fireball DC 21
Web DC 20
(yes i am leaving out 1st level spells as I think given their tendancy to be BBEGs and not minions vampires generally are not forced down to their lower level spell slots for offense.)

T-Rex
Fort +15 Ref +12 Will +10

All these monsters have an average strong save of:
14.4
Moderate Save of
11.2
Weak save of
8.2

The average of their offensive abilities is 20.85

That unmodified wizard has a best DC of 20. For their average strong save these monsters need an average of 6 or better to get it. 9 or better to get it with their middle save and 12 or better with their weak save. That means on their best spell slots vs the monster's weakest saves the wizard still has a 45% chance of failure. Let alone against strong saves where they have a whoping, 75% chance of failure. And this is their limited top spell slots.

Now lets look at those offensive abilities from the monsters shall we?
The wizard needs to get a score of 21 or better (with an average dc of 20.85) to save against them.

For fort thats a roll of 17 or higher. For Ref that is 16 or higher on the die. For their best save, will, 14 or higher. Mr Big Six lacking wizard is in trouble here if you ask me.

Now you can up the point buy to 20, and things will edge a little bit in the wizards favor, but he probably still only has a 20 or 21 int (buying a straight 18 in pathfinder point buy is pretty crippling if you ask me). His saves might improve a little if he puts his points into wis, dex or con, but you are talking 1 or 2 here. He is still crazy outgunned by the monster abilities and their saves.

I think each of these monsters assume that Mr. Wizard has some stat improving and save boosting items.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards Subscriber

I think your numbers are fine... but you have to remember to add in 3 other characters not just the wizard. Going from best to worst on your saves you have 75% to 45% success on a spell failing. Throw in the three other party members and make them all wizards that are the same and make that monster roll those saves four times a round and the odds are that one of them will fail.

Depending on the spell that will either end the fight or the cumulative damage even on a made save for half will wear the monster down.

In a more realistic party this basically means the wizard will decisively end the a fight once or twice a day when the bad guy fails his save. Leaving some room for the cleric, fighter, or thief to "win the day" the other fights.

Not too bad if you consider you gave the wizard no magic items, and no feats to increase his spell DC's. The fight will be more challenging... but a full party should be able to walk away with a win a few fights in a row before they need to rest.


Screw the other 5... I just want my 200,000 gp weapon and I'll be fine, at least for my non-spellcasters.


Well I am going to use THIS house rules for reducing magic item frequency in a campaign. Help is appreciated in this THREAD.

But I do think monsters are created expecting the PCs to have two or more of the Big Six around.


Thazar wrote:

I think your numbers are fine... but you have to remember to add in 3 other characters not just the wizard. Going from best to worst on your saves you have 75% to 45% success on a spell failing. Throw in the three other party members and make them all wizards that are the same and make that monster roll those saves four times a round and the odds are that one of them will fail.

Depending on the spell that will either end the fight or the cumulative damage even on a made save for half will wear the monster down.

In a more realistic party this basically means the wizard will decisively end the a fight once or twice a day when the bad guy fails his save. Leaving some room for the cleric, fighter, or thief to "win the day" the other fights.

Not too bad if you consider you gave the wizard no magic items, and no feats to increase his spell DC's. The fight will be more challenging... but a full party should be able to walk away with a win a few fights in a row before they need to rest.

I am not really trying to prove anything here. We all have to decide on our own what is a 'fair' chance of success. I want to present numbers so people can actually SEE what those chances are. It is up to you to decide if a spell succeeding only a few times a session (my group generally gets through 3-4 fights per session accounting for roleplay and other time spent so that is basically a days worth of fights) is good enough for you and your group. It is up to you to decide if the wizard has a good enough chance to succeed on a save. I just want to show the numbers here.

And yes i didnt give him magic items because part of the point here is, do pc's actually need the big six. In order to see that you have to see them without it.

Certainly there are tons of feats and abilities that change things, spells focus, and greater spell focus changes things. But certainly those 2 feats should not be required for success should they? Nor do they apply to all the wizards spells. I am trying to limit variables here or we end up back in the realm of subjectivity.

Are people actually interested in this kind of analysis. If so please post your own samples.

Silver Crusade

Dwarven 15 point Buy Wizard
Transmutation School (Level 10)

Str 8 Dex 8 Con 16 (+2 racial)=18 Int 17 Wis 8 ( +2 racial )= 10 Cha 6
Physical Enhancement(su) +2 Con = Con 20
Levels 4 & 8 ( +1 Int ) = Int 19 (+2 enhancment ) = 21
geting a +2 item by level 10 should be easy to do
Avrage HP for level 10 ( 110 HP avrage 90 HP min 140 HP Max )

Feats : Toughness ( X 3), Spell Focus Transmutation, Empower Spell

Bouns Feats : Scribe scroll, Extend Spell , Greater Spell Focus Transmutation

Yes Wizards need that meny HP if thay want to live to see the next adventure. Yes your DC are one better for 2 more levels then thay become the same.

Your DC are corect. There are spells that have bad effects.Even if you do save. Most of my arcane casters live off Web and Haste. In that order control the area buff the party. You need to take out some one fast? The chicken spell works best over all ( Baleful Polymorph). And after the fight is over you have diner!

Andoran

Kolokotroni wrote:
Certainly there are tons of feats and abilities that change things, spells focus, and greater spell focus changes things. But certainly those 2 feats should not be required for success should they? Nor do they apply to all the wizards spells. I am trying...

Actually, given that melee characters are balanced around them having weapon focus in their specific weapon... yes. Spell focus at least should matter. Pure casters don't have an incredible amount of feat taxes outside of the Spell Focus feats.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I've been playing D&D for only a few years (5). What are the big six? I can probably guess...Cloak of Resistance, Stat Boost item for main stat...then what?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Quelian wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
Certainly there are tons of feats and abilities that change things, spells focus, and greater spell focus changes things. But certainly those 2 feats should not be required for success should they? Nor do they apply to all the wizards spells. I am trying...
Actually, given that melee characters are balanced around them having weapon focus in their specific weapon... yes. Spell focus at least should matter. Pure casters don't have an incredible amount of feat taxes outside of the Spell Focus feats.

Are melee characters assumed to have weapon focus? At what level? Its the first I have heard of this. I have seen many effective characters who do not take weapon focus, its just a +1 to hit after all. Besides, spell focus will change that 45% against their weak save to a 50/50. IME, less than half the wizard's spells will be effected by it. It doesn't change the numbers much.

Kolokotroni, I am really interested in this. I will post some stuff later. Perhaps someone should take a look at some of the DPR Olympics builds and recalculate them without their magical gear. Its ~-5 to hit and -2~3 to damage for a lot of them.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Todd Morgan wrote:
I've been playing D&D for only a few years (5). What are the big six? I can probably guess...Cloak of Resistance, Stat Boost item for main stat...then what?

Ring of Protection

Cloak of Resistance
Stat Boosts
Weapon Enhancements
Armor Enhancements
Amulet Nat Armor?


Caineach wrote:
Quelian wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
Certainly there are tons of feats and abilities that change things, spells focus, and greater spell focus changes things. But certainly those 2 feats should not be required for success should they? Nor do they apply to all the wizards spells. I am trying...
Actually, given that melee characters are balanced around them having weapon focus in their specific weapon... yes. Spell focus at least should matter. Pure casters don't have an incredible amount of feat taxes outside of the Spell Focus feats.

Are melee characters assumed to have weapon focus? At what level? Its the first I have heard of this. I have seen many effective characters who do not take weapon focus, its just a +1 to hit after all. Besides, spell focus will change that 45% against their weak save to a 50/50. IME, less than half the wizard's spells will be effected by it. It doesn't change the numbers much.

Kolokotroni, I am really interested in this. I will post some stuff later. Perhaps someone should take a look at some of the DPR Olympics builds and recalculate them without their magical gear. Its ~-5 to hit and -2~3 to damage for a lot of them.

That is a good idea, i'll take a look at some of them later.

Edit: Ofcourse I imagine all or most of those characters are optimized for damage, which is good and bad, as not all characters will be built for that. That is why i was hoping to limit feats, which is obviously not practical.


Caineach wrote:
Todd Morgan wrote:
I've been playing D&D for only a few years (5). What are the big six? I can probably guess...Cloak of Resistance, Stat Boost item for main stat...then what?

Ring of Protection

Cloak of Resistance
Stat Boosts
Weapon Enhancements
Armor Enhancements
Amulet Nat Armor?

Yep. For the record, they're mentioned and discussed in this WotC article:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dd/20070302a

Cheliax

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Caineach wrote:
Todd Morgan wrote:
I've been playing D&D for only a few years (5). What are the big six? I can probably guess...Cloak of Resistance, Stat Boost item for main stat...then what?

Ring of Protection

Cloak of Resistance
Stat Boosts
Weapon Enhancements
Armor Enhancements
Amulet Nat Armor?

Cool thanks! I should have guessed on the weapon and armor enchantment. I guess maybe the big six are assuming melee characteristics? For my Greyhawk wizard and sorcerer, they never bothered with the ring, armor or amulet of nat armor, as they were never really in melee (although the sorcerer did bite the big one to a black dragon...). Maybe for arcane casters, it would just be the big two? Cloak and Stat boost?


So to start off that tapping the DPR olympics well lets have a look.

Please keep in mind these characters are built using the elite array, so its a slight diversion from my original plan (the elite array still adds up to a 15 point buy), but lord knows it saves alot of work.

Here is a modified version of Man In Blacks Jack B Nimble

Jack B. Less Nimble, human rogue 10 without big six items
Ability Scores:
STR: 14 (+2) (13 base, +1 level)
DEX: 18 (+6) (15 base, +1 level, +2 racial)
CON: 14 (+2)
INT: 10 (0)
WIS: 12 (+1)
CHA: 8 (-1)

HP: 78 HP (10d8+30)

Saving Throws
Fort: +5 Ref: +11 Will: +4

AC: 20 - Touch 15, Flatfooted 15 (+4 mithral shirt, +1 Dodge, +4 dex, +1 TW Def)

Attacks: +2 shortswords +10/+10/+5/+5, d6+2 dmg (19-20/x2)

Special Attacks:
Sneak attack +5d6, 2 Str damage

Class Abilities:
Evasion
Improved Uncanny Dodge
Finesse Rogue, Weapon Training, Surprise Attack, Combat Trick
Crippling Strike
Other non-relevant stuff

BAB: +7 CMB: +9 CMD: 24

Feats:
Weapon Finesse (bonus)
Weapon Focus (shortsword) (bonus)
Power Attack (bonus)
Improved Initiative
Dodge
Two-Weapon Fighting
Double Slice
Two-Weapon Defense
Improved Two-Weapon Fighting

Using the same set of cr 9 monsters(young blue dragon, greater air and fire elementals, vampire, and t-rex):
The average dc of their abilitis is again over 20.
Their average AC is 22.6 (pretty close to the standard CR+13)
Thier average attack bonus on primary attacks: 16.166 (Only the blue dragon has secondary attacks with an average of 12). This is ofcourse brought down by the vamps relatively low attack bonus, but fair is fair we are doing averages of different kinds of enemies here.

So Mr. B. Nimble is hit on a roll of 4 or better on average by these monsters (and 8s for the dragons wings and tail). Several of them like the t-rex or the elementals basically need to roll not a 1 to hit him. Talk about squishy. [for reference his ac is 6 less then what it was with big six items]

He also needs to roll a 13 or better on his attack rolls to hit for his first 2 attacks and an 18 or better on his iterative attacks.

To put that in dpr terms. The loss of big six items drops his DPR without sneak attack from 15.90 to 6.05 and with sneak attack (presuming flanking) to 37.425 dpr roughly. This is a drop of about 33.6% from the 56.39 he is doing while flanking with his big six items.

Edit
Just to put this into context:
The t-rex for instance, will kill Mr Rogue in 2 hits. The t-rex hits on anything more then a 1. This is a level 10 character who is supposed to get into melee and a CR 9 monster.

The rogue will also be failing the vast majority of will and fort saves vs these monsters (needing 17 or 16 respectively to pass the average dc). On Reflex saves he passes on a 10 or better. Yes the dex based rogue has a 55-45 shot of passing REFLEX saves vs level appropriate opponents...

Cheliax

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Rogues also aren't the best of tank classes, I'd be interested to see how your math looks when you use a Fighter or Paladin, those classes have that heavy armor and are looking to take the brunt of an attack.


This thread is an interesting and important analysis.

I notice that in addition to not wearing Big Six items, these characters you are building also have no buffs.

I think you've proven that characters with neither Big Six items nor buffs are behind the power curve. If they had the buffs, though, the items are unnecessary.

Cat's Grace & its ilk, Magic Vestment, Greater Magic Weapon, Protection from Evil, Barkskin and spells of this nature would make up the difference. Using them all would add 4 to saves, probably 6 or 8 to AC, 4 to attack and maybe damage. A Bard could improve attacks and damage further.

If the money spent on these items was instead put into wands, pearls of power for extra casting, or maybe a homebrew staff, then the Big Six are optional.

I believe it is expected that 50% to 75% of all wealth is poured directly into the Big Six. Would you be curious if that would be enough money to keep characters in pearls, staves* and wands?

*Weird trivia: The plural of staff for numbers 1 through 5 and 9 is staffs. Otherwise, staves.


I am not going to account for buffs in this. Parties differ. They may have buffs they may not. The game doesnt assume they do because the classes that buff are putting their power INTO buffs. That character that is buffing is sacrificing some of his own offensive potential (in the form of class features or offensive spells) to boost others. Buffs are also inconsistent. Sometimes you have time to buff, others you dont. Sometimes your caster has the buff available (or bard song rounds remaining) sometimes you dont.

Arguing that a well rounded party where characters devote resources to buffing eachother is going to be ok without the big six is a separate and far more complicated argument.

I will be doing the fighter next when i get a chance, hopefully both the 2handed and sword and board variety.

And no rogues are not great tanks, but I think one of the major draws of the big six is not only increasing strengths but suring up weaknesses. That is something a rogue can do with a cloak of resistance, ring of protection, magic armor and amulet of natural armor.


Buffs are part of the "big six" anyways, if it's buffing one of those stats.
All you accomplish is changing from "I *need* that item" to "I *need* that buff".

.

Your breakdown really shows what's going on here.

I think the problem came from game design. If the option for all these bonuses are available, then creatures who want to be strong at something (like attack or defense or their spells), need to assume the PCs will have them and have stats that accommodate them.

This in turn, means that the PCs are now forced to having these bonuses if they want to survive better against the monsters... it's a catch-22.

.

I've seen a lot of options for "fixing" this "problem" (I quoted those because even the premise that there is a problem can be debated), however it really boils down to two things:

1. Give the players the bonus in some way (inherent, xp purchase, etc).

2. Reduce the monsters stats in some way (rewrite monster blocks, or just cut out the high levels and play E6, etc).

Either option is a pretty grand deviation from the core rules (and would be a huge factor on backward compatibility after a certain level). I can see why it wasn't fixed for the Pathfinder core rules.

.

I think the best we can do is learn from this information, and take it into account when leveling and equipping our characters for gaming.
For example, if you aren't going to invest in armor, deflection and natural armor bonuses, then you know you are going to get hit easily at higher levels, and will need to compensate (high hitpoints and healing, miss chance, etc).


Falchion Fred, human fighter 10. (originally posted by Man In Black, Modified to lack magic items)

Ability Scores:
STR: 18 (+4) (15 base, +2 racial, +1 level)
DEX: 14 (+2) (13 base, +1 level)
CON: 14 (+2)
INT: 10 (+0)
WIS: 12 (+1)
CHA: 8 (-1)

HP: 89 HP (10d10+30)

Saving Throws
Fort: +9 Ref: +5 Will: +6

AC: 22 - Touch 13, Flatfooted 19 (+9 full plate, +2 dex, +1 Dodge)

Attacks: Falchion +16/+11, 2d4+19 dmg (15-20/x2) (with power attack)

Class Abilities:
Weapon Training +2 (heavy blades)
Weapon Training +1 (bows)
Armor Training 2

BAB: +10 CMB: +14 CMD: 26

Feats:
Weapon Focus (falchion)
Weapon Specialization (falchion)
Power Attack
Improved Critical (falchion)
Critical Focus
Improved Initiative
Iron Will
Improved Iron Will
Greater Weapon Focus (falchion)
Dodge
Lunge
Step Up

So he needs to roll a 7 or better to hit with his first attack, 12 or better with his second.

you are looking at about: 35.88 damage per round as opposed to 59.25 damage per round (from MIB's calculations in the dpr olympics). Thats a BIG drop.

Also despite taking 2 feats to sure up his weakest save (will) its a +6 only with a once per day chance to re-roll. He is still very likely to fail will saves and reflex saves (vs an average dc of over 20). And his strong save, fortitude is less then a 50% chance of success.

On the flip side the monsters have the same average rate to hit (7 or better) however monsters like the 2 elementals or the T-rex are hitting on a 2 or 3. This is not a good thing for the fighter who in theory should be up front taking hits. Without the big six it really looks like 2handed fighters or two weapon fighters(those not using a shield to up AC) will have alot of trouble standing up to brute monsters.


So there was a request to do a paladin, and I think the paladin is hurt less then some of the other classes when lacking the big six, or at least he is when he's smiting. So here is a sword and board style paladin written up using the same method as the characters above)

Str: 18 +4 (15 base, +1 level +2 racial)
Dex: 12 +1
Con: 14 +2 (13 base +1 level)
Int: 8 -1
Wis: 10 +0
Cha: 14 +2

HP: 89 HP (10d10+30)

Saving throws
Fort: +11 Ref: 8 Will: +9
AC:
AC: 23 - Touch 11, Flatfooted 19 (+9 full plate, +1 dex, +3 Heavy Sheild)
25 when smiting

Attacks:
Longsword
+13/+8 1d8+10 (with power attack)
+15/+10 1d8+20 (when smiting)

Class abilities
Smite evil 4/day (+2 to hit +10 damage)
Aura of good
Detect evil
lay on hands
Divine Grace
Aura of courage
divine health
mercy (x3)
channel positive engery
divine bond
aura of resolve.

BAB

Feats
Weapon Focus (longsword)
sheild focus
Power attack
Lightning Reflexes
Improved Critical Longsword
Critical Focus

This character is certainly more survivable when smiting, his AC is up to 25 with smite (using the sheild) leaving him at almost a 50% chance of not getting hit by the average monster attack (16ish)

His to hit and damage will be notably less then the fighter posted above even when smiting, but that is expected given he is using a shield instead of a 2handed weapon. But at least he can probably last a few rounds in combat with some of the brutes. I however couldnt up his damage or his ac much as I couldnt figure out a way to get him in a position to qualify for feats like 2 weapon fighting (and use improved sheild bash) or dodge, as I felt the 14 in con was important, and that meant his dex wasnt going to be high enough.

The noticable thing here is saves. Even though the paladin has the much vaulted divine grace, 2 good saves and a feat to sure up his weak save, he still is at only slightly better then 50-50 for his best save (fort) and a little bellow 50-50 on his other save. So a character that is supposed to have really strong saves is still right around the 50-50 failure mark when it comes to saving throws.

Andoran

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

First, I agree wholeheartedly that the Big 6 are not only crucial, but fundamentally assumed into the core mechanics of the game - the more one is involved w/ min/maxer players/DMs, the more true it is part of the needed equation. An encounter/module of a certain level assumes that these bonuses are somehow incorporated into the character. Even if perhaps the creature doesn't have ALL of the 6; they couldn't survive without any of them.

This creates 1_) a blah sense of magical gear 2_) this creates a breakdown in mechanics when a player-character among a party of 5 opts to craft/purchase/wear items that are flavor based and substandard on the mechanics being portrayed here.

A DM who wants a magic lite game will need to compensate by lowering the CRs of creatures being used. One of the easiest fixes (for a DM) is to use a more quantity of creatures, but of less CR each. Three ogres instead of 1 troll for instance.

Another fix is if we assume that these bonuses are fundamentally implied at a given level and are dependant on equipment to be effective at a particular level, then provide the benefits sans equipment as part of the character's normal progression. Which is precisely what I and my group has been doing for the past couple years. I detailed it further in THIS THREAD.

Robert


The good folks at Bad Axe Games did a thorough statistical analysis of the Big 6 as they relate to 3.5 and determined that they aren't really as vital for success/balance as folks tend to think they are. The Big 6 can be removed from play entirely and replaced with Action Points and a few minor tweaks to the combat rules, all of which they laid out quite admirably in Trailblazer.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Did anybody consider inherent "big 6"-like bonuses on magic items? I mean that a magical item, for example, in addition to its normal effect grants a slot-typical bonus equal to half its gold value in addition to its stated effect.

By this system:

Ring of Evasion (25000gp)
- additionally grants deflection bonus to AC equal to half its gp-cost, i.e. 12500gp rounded down to nearest deflection bonus of 2. In other words a ring of evasion also grants +2 deflection AC.

If items conferred inherent bonuses like this, then they'd be a much sweeter deal for characters to look at.

What isn't clear is how things like weapons, armor and shield could be incorporated in such a system.


LoreKeeper wrote:

Did anybody consider inherent "big 6"-like bonuses on magic items? I mean that a magical item, for example, in addition to its normal effect grants a slot-typical bonus equal to half its gold value in addition to its stated effect.

By this system:

Ring of Evasion (25000gp)
- additionally grants deflection bonus to AC equal to half its gp-cost, i.e. 12500gp rounded down to nearest deflection bonus of 2. In other words a ring of evasion also grants +2 deflection AC.

If items conferred inherent bonuses like this, then they'd be a much sweeter deal for characters to look at.

What isn't clear is how things like weapons, armor and shield could be incorporated in such a system.

Well if you dont increase the cost of these items over their normal counterparts it really skews the wealth system. But then the question becomes how much do you increase the price. If it drives the items out of the reach of the players at the levels they could normally get them, it defeats the whole purpose and players will gravitate back towards the big six.

@Mark Chance 476 - I guess it depends on your definition of neccesary. I dont like my games ultra deadly, and I dont like consistent failure when playing to my characters strengths. If either is the case I wont enjoy the game. And both are very much the case with a lack of the big six. And I definately agree that if you tweak the system with things like action points and adjusting AC/saves/attack bonuses you can balance the system. I wouldnt dispute that, just that without some kind of adjustment the game just plain doesnt work without them.


Kolokotroni wrote:
I dont like my games ultra deadly, and I dont like consistent failure when playing to my characters strengths. If either is the case I wont enjoy the game. And both are very much the case with a lack of the big six.

Not really, and I think Trailblazer's analysis of the math demonstrates this rather nicely. Of course, we're talking about big tables with lots of decimals that can't be translated into a forum with ease, so, you know, whatever. I'm easy. :)


Mark Chance 476 wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
I dont like my games ultra deadly, and I dont like consistent failure when playing to my characters strengths. If either is the case I wont enjoy the game. And both are very much the case with a lack of the big six.
Not really, and I think Trailblazer's analysis of the math demonstrates this rather nicely. Of course, we're talking about big tables with lots of decimals that can't be translated into a forum with ease, so, you know, whatever. I'm easy. :)

I will have to take your word for it as i've not read their analysis, so untill I do, i'll go with the numbers i've seen for myself.

Andoran

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Kolokotroni wrote:
Mark Chance 476 wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
I dont like my games ultra deadly, and I dont like consistent failure when playing to my characters strengths. If either is the case I wont enjoy the game. And both are very much the case with a lack of the big six.
Not really, and I think Trailblazer's analysis of the math demonstrates this rather nicely. Of course, we're talking about big tables with lots of decimals that can't be translated into a forum with ease, so, you know, whatever. I'm easy. :)
I will have to take your word for it as i've not read their analysis, so untill I do, i'll go with the numbers i've seen for myself.

And it's worth noting that - by Mark's own admission - the system "CAN WORK" without the big 6 IF you tweak the system in a few places and add action/hero/fate points to the mix.

Thus - the system as written does not work with the removal of the Big 6 without providing other interventions/changes to compensate.

Which is the very essence of the point of this thread I think.

I don't feel the system I use is overly-complicated at all. It does remeove the big 6 and it compensates well for it; and the tweaks are minor indeed. The game as written with using CR appropriate creatures is no impossible - but only players who enjoy truly struggling and never being "heroic" in flavor would enjoy the game.

The Midnight Setting by Fantasy Flight Games was a very good and solid representation of a magic-light 3rd edition game. But the removal of the magical items was compensated by character races, classes, and heroic paths adding a lot of extra umph to the characters. And the Midnight specific creatures were not as powerful as the Beastiary creatures of the same CR. However, this is an example of wholesale changes to the rules to adjust for the lack of magic in the game. Darksun did this as well - but replaced magic with a heavy dose psionics.

Robert

Andoran

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
LoreKeeper wrote:

Did anybody consider inherent "big 6"-like bonuses on magic items? I mean that a magical item, for example, in addition to its normal effect grants a slot-typical bonus equal to half its gold value in addition to its stated effect.

By this system:

Ring of Evasion (25000gp)
- additionally grants deflection bonus to AC equal to half its gp-cost, i.e. 12500gp rounded down to nearest deflection bonus of 2. In other words a ring of evasion also grants +2 deflection AC.

This is a good thought, LoreKeeper. Indeed I have thought about how to do that very thing. You provide an excellent example of how this could be balanced.

However - I agree with the person who cautioned against it - it does create a derivation from the WealthByLevel concept.

Even if you're not increasing the cost/value of the ring, if you're not getting a ring worth that much until 10-12th level or so, then you're well past the time a +1 and even +2 ring would be readily found/available and needed in a standard game/campaign.

At higher levels, it wouldn't make too much of a difference; it's those 2nd through 10th levels where it's common to spend 4-10 k on items such as rings of prot, cloaks of resist, and amulets of nat armor. And most tables spend the bulk of their games at 2nd - 10th level.

The other problem that comes with this idea is this: players will resort to picking up / crafting / or gravitating towards the highest costing items that they can have. The more one min/maxes, the more he'd be apt to do this. Cloak of Arachnida (14k) will be discarded for a cloak of the bat (26k) - since the resistance bonus is 1 higher for the latter. Suddenly the primary functions of the cloak/amulet/ring is not as vital. And one of the reasons for looking for ways to eliminate the Big 6 (which is to provide a way for players to have more flavorful magic items that take up those slots) becomes moot.

I'll admit this is a cynical way of looking at it - but I am not the craftiest smartest min/maxer by far - and yet it was the first thing I thought of; so I know if I came up with it, there are others who would have complete spreadsheets showing the best cost analysis for what items provide the best ancillary abilities at the lowest cost to obtain the plus you're needing/wanting.

Aside from that; I do think that your idea has merit and makes good sense.

For me - I'd rather just make the "implied" mechanics part of the character advancement. Like BAB or base saves.

Robert

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Kolokotroni wrote:


Well if you dont increase the cost of these items over their normal counterparts it really skews the wealth system. But then the question becomes how much do you increase the price. If it drives the items out of the reach of the players at the levels they could normally get them, it defeats the whole purpose and players will gravitate back towards the big six.

That assumption is that you're going to get the bulk of your magic items by purchase as opposed to the traditional means.... found treasure. Because there are two sides to magic items... items players want to get and items dms want thier players to have.

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