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5th Edition - put Hit Point caps back in... please


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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Ah, sorry. Flaming sphere or fountain of flames... still it would roughly place the hero on lvl 3 then. The point was that average PC in 4E is more powerful than it used to be before. It's because of the elated sweetspot where the game was most fun according to the designers probably (at least I think it's that way). Scorching burst is a reserve feat rebuilt as power ;)


I guess you seem more powerful from the get go with more Hp... The attacks don't seem to do as much damage though when you compare 3e Fireball with 4e fireball. But I don't know. I have still managed to TPK a 4e party of 5th level ish PCs quite by accident with a level appropriate encounter. The monsters have cool abilities as well. All in all it's kind of hard to compare the two games as they are balanced very differently. If you pitted a 1st level 4e Pc against a 3e 1st level Pc my bet would be on the 4e guy. If you pitted a 4e Goblin against a 3e Goblin my bet would be on the 4e Goblin.

The thing I liked about 4e was that while Dming I never experienced the 15 minute work day due to encounter powers and between fight self healing the players were able to explore whole dungeons without resting. But each fight could still be brutal enough that the Pcs were scared. Once after fighting a Dragon they had barely scraped through to the point where only one Pc was still up and the last guy to be stabilised was down to his last death saving throw.

I also loved that the party I Gmed was completely martial. No arcane or divine casters. I just happen to think that makes for a cool change.

Anyhow, any system can be made brutal as its really up to the Gm to set the challenges. I hope the new system has a flatter numbers progression with a wide array of options to choose from.

Diffan wrote:
Flat math is fine. It's something I'd like to see, where AC doesn't reach ridiculous levels or HPs in the 100s just because everything else increases. More lateral progression is the way to go. As a chracter advances, I'd like more options and more versatility than just number increases. But I'd like to be able to fight in more than 1 or 2 battles a day. I don't think that's really possible with a really low HP value, at least not without some good healing aspects from classes.

+1

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Zmar wrote:

Exactly - 4E is not made to keep things deadly. A conscious decision to make PCs grow beyond mortal threats. Lvl 5 hero is annihilated, lvl 15 hero is badly burned screaming in agony, but alive, lvl 30? You thought THAT will stop ME? An optional, I need to ephasize the optional part, hp cap (and perhaps a cap on damage and other abilities) would keep that feature for those who want it and install E6-like gritty option for those who don't within that system. For those that want hp bloat, but ot keep things deadly there could always remain the DM fiat solution, but if things are to be deadly there have to be damage values that either could match hp levels for environment OR perhaps massive damage rule (roll save or DIE could be a nasty option).

And yes, that is how sphere of utter destruction is represented in 4E. With epic destinies called godling and other such stuff the PCs are expected to survive even that sort of peril. And it's a fixed thing (as lvl 29-ish damage) made so that lower level PCs are sitll in mortal peril on heroic tier and they can enjoy the feeling of ascension as it becomes... well.. epic. Also note that lvl 1 4E wizard casts fireballs, flaming spheres and other such stuff - yes, you are about lvl 5 from previous editions right from the start. 4E works on somewhat higher levels of power and from that stems lower deadliness than 3E player expects at the same character level (not to mention previous editions).

You misunderstand that table. In 4e you won't just be facing that amount of damage, take it, move on. A hazard/trap or whatever is an element in a single encounter, which is based on a baseline of five creatures/hazards of a particular level making up a single encounter. Because hazards are treated as part of the make-up of an encounter like a creature, that table tells you how much damage a single element - i.e. 1/5 of the encounter - would do to you. So if your encounter boils down to "You fall in some lava", the table is not necessarily going to help you just by looking at the damage. If it is a single aspect of the encounter there may be four other monsters trying to kill you as you wade in the lava, to take a simplistic approach. Alternatively, you could create an elite hazard or build something quite different for a solo trap or hazard, but the guidelines there are hazy. It could easily be "roll a saving throw, fail and you die" if you really want it to, though that much more 1e than 4e in conception. However, the point is, you could technically, and quite reasonably, attack a character who falls in some lava five times with fire damage from that table, not just the once, and be well within guidelines. That could prove to be quite deadly, depending on how it is set up. 4e has no objection to killing characters, it just doesn't want it to be a binary event on a single die roll.

As for the sphere of annihilation: it's not even an elite trap in 4e. In a single encounter at 29th level (it's a 29th level trap), you won't be just facing that - there are four more lvl 29 elements to fit in to that encounter to make it level appropriate. If it was a solo trap, like the one in Tomb of Horrors, it'd look a lot different (you could argue, therefore, whether that version in the 4e DMG is really doing justice to such an iconic item). (I also notice it's in the DMG, which is of course one of the earliest 4e releases - in earlier iterations they generally handed out too little damage in encounters, which they corrected in later books. This change was largely done with the monsters, probably not with the traps so much.)


I was looking at the Sphere of Annihilation from the Essentials DM book and it's just like that. Even if you use it on PCs which would have it as solo encounter it isn't that deadly. I wanted to point out that there aren't any real guidelines for really deadly things (those of more binary nature). It's also easy to guess why. They have the damage and other things projected for use in encounters - they expect them to appear in fights. Level appropriate damage is dealt by hazards that you expect to be used in the fight where every third power can relocate a PC or monster in said hazard and thus the game is made to offer a possible interesting tactical feature rather than unballancing thing. All challenge ratings and other such game mechanics are about predictability of the fight and binary things make the game swingy and thus unpredictable. I'm quite aware of the fact that there is nothing strictly forbidding you from assigning damage outside of the table, but it's still hazy as you say. I'm defending fixed damage for the same reasons as falls are defined as progresively deadly but have the length of the fall attached and traps as well. Deadly things are high in the table, but no matter what the PCs get over that eventually. Scaling is the arbitrary death solution. It depends whether you want the PCs to become godlings or not... hp cap can conserve game at wu-xia or mortal hero level. Arbitrary death could be another possbility of something in between. Now...what of that will be core? :D

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I really disliked traps in 4e, the characters could just waltz through the traps in the tomb of horrors adventure and maybe have to spend 5 minutes afterwards expending a healing surge. HP loss really meant virtually nothing because PC's outside of combat had basically unlimited healing potions in the form of surges.

In 1/2e, traps were deadly...that's why they're traps. To be caught in one (or fall in lava, swallowed whole etc.) are meant to be deadly. First level should be deadlier still because only the best and brightest and luckiest in this GAME survive and don't lose.

I like the opportunity to play the game with all of the randomness and luck it was designed around. My choices in game can affect my luck somewhat, but ultimately, I can critically miss. I can roll a 1 for HP at first level and have to deal with it. It is quite the accomplishment to survive to 10th level when you started with 1 HP. I have a player that is already bragging that he has made it to 3rd level even though his thief has a low CON and started with 2 HP's at first level.

HP bloat is not fun IMO.


The thing is that the traps are subject to CR and encounter building mechanics. If you want adeadly trap in 3E or 4E, then you'd better fired several at once or make them fire repeatedly. Single crossbow trap might not be impresive, but four of them make low-level PCs cringe, one lightning is a nuisance, three...

Try to build nasty traps as if they were a full encounter concentrated to one spot.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Warrant wrote:

I really disliked traps in 4e, the characters could just waltz through the traps in the tomb of horrors adventure and maybe have to spend 5 minutes afterwards expending a healing surge. HP loss really meant virtually nothing because PC's outside of combat had basically unlimited healing potions in the form of surges.

In 1/2e, traps were deadly...that's why they're traps. To be caught in one (or fall in lava, swallowed whole etc.) are meant to be deadly. First level should be deadlier still because only the best and brightest and luckiest in this GAME survive and don't lose.

I like the opportunity to play the game with all of the randomness and luck it was designed around. My choices in game can affect my luck somewhat, but ultimately, I can critically miss. I can roll a 1 for HP at first level and have to deal with it. It is quite the accomplishment to survive to 10th level when you started with 1 HP. I have a player that is already bragging that he has made it to 3rd level even though his thief has a low CON and started with 2 HP's at first level.

HP bloat is not fun IMO.

Depends. Personally, that's not a style of play which I like, or which my players like. It's not exciting to kill of character with a single die roll, and can be annoying (or even depressing) for a character played with for a couple of years to simply be killed "just like that". I don't find it flavourful, and a lot of the time those sort of challenges are challenges to the players, not the PCs - which is old school in a Gygaxian sort of way, but seems a bit skewed to me. If my character was tricked into jumping into a sphere of annihilation I'd think it was more a con than a good bit of adventure design. I dragged one PC into the elemental plane of fire through a portal and cooked him - seemed fine and dandy to me as DM, the player looked upset, left early and didn't come back for six months. So super-lethality maybe has its place, but I'm at a loss as to how it genuinely improves the gaming experience given how arbitrary it can be. So I actually favour most of the removal of "save or die" or even just "die" effects from 4e. Stuff like the sphere of annihilation in 4e is maybe a bit limp from the perspective of previous editions, but then again I'd say it was rather bad, throw-away design in the 4e DMG and can be vastly impoved within the context of previous expecations without necessarly violating the basic design principles of 4e.

And healing surges are not an unlimited source of healing - they are limted by the number you have per day. If they seem unlimited, you are probably having a 15 minute adventuring day or something, which again isn't an issue of hp bloat. That said - and I haven't looked in any detail at the 4e version of the Tomb of Horrors - that adventure pretty much goes against pretty much everything that 4e stands for, so if they did a sloppy job of translating it I'm not surprised it comes of badly.


Lethality should offer a warning. Either to the DM (high CR, do you really want to do this?), to the players (a lot of statues in painful positionsaround petrifying monsters) or both.


Kthulhu wrote:

Completely agree. The fact that you have 20 HD at 20th level makes you able to do completely ridiculous things. Hell, using strict RAW, you can wade across a pool of lava with a decent chance of survival as a 20th level character.

And why bother with ladders. Just jump! The worst that can happen is 10d6 damage...that's like a papercut!

A 20th level Fighter is superhuman. It is generally accepted that she left any realism at abut 6th level. With that being the case, why shouldn't she be able to survive that? She's almost a god, after all.


I'd like to see 20th level be just as "real" as 1st level. Certainly a 20th level character is going to be able to walk all over 1 and 2 HD monsters, but even they should be able to give him a workout. The crux of the matter is scale.

HP Bloat, Attack Rating Bloat, Iterative Attack Bloat, Healing Surges, Area-effect Healing, monsters with one hit point.... All of these point to an expectation of effortless reward that I think is a detriment to the game, and to players who never learn what it's like to survive by the skin of their teeth. Or learn what it's like to actually lose a character.

"Modern gaming" is like avoiding a loss in tic-tac-toe. The only challenge is paying attention.


I think that we have different definitions of level 20, then. I've always seen it as one step away from godhood, and far, far beyond anything as flimsy as 1 or 2 HD.


It's the expectation of instantaneous gratification that I'm talking about. If 20th level is so easy to get to, why should the character be that powerful?

Before anyone tells me that 20th isn't that easy to get to, please remember that in previous editions the same number of experience points--the same amount of game-time--would get you to about 8th level.

8th level characters were more than a match for a single orc. But multiple orcs could pretty much insure an 8th level character's death.

I look at the game with that in mind. It shouldn't be that easy to be that powerful. This isn't a game for pre-schoolers who'll cry if they don't get their XP lollipop.


So, because it was harder in an earlier edition means it still isn't hard now? Getting to level 20 takes months at the standard system.

Also, not hating the XP system like you do does not make me a whining preschooler.


I never intended to imply you're a whining preschooler. If I came across like that, I apologize. That comment wasn't directed at you, but at certain people I game with.

And I don't hate the XP system. What I have a problem with is a game with no challenge to it. And people who do whine when they're presented with a real challenge. It's become a sore subject in my gaming group.

I apologize for bringing my at-home situation to the boards.


The issue is that 2E was just too hard for a lot of us. Many, including me, find that sort of challenge frustrating. Granted, I started with 3.5 and was introduced to 2E though Baldur's Gate, so I may have some wrong impressions.

As for challenge, I do find 3.5/PF challenging. I just don't find it frustratingly challenging unless I am gaming with people I don't like.


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Characters at 20th level are still human beings. Conan and Drizzt don't go jumping off cliffs and swimming in lava just because they're "high level". They're still constrained by real world physics barring magical assistance. I don't think it's too much to ask that the rules reflect that.


KA wrote:
As for challenge, I do find 3.5/PF challenging. I just don't find it frustratingly challenging unless I am gaming with people I don't like.

I can definitely agree with that. Gaming is a social pasttime, after all.

As far as the challenge of the game is concerned... I don't think I want the game to go back to 2E's rate of advancement, but 3E's rate seems much too fast to me. I like PF's variable advancement table. Of course, I lean toward the slow column, but my players have bullied me into using the medium column.

But it doesn't matter that much. As a DM, I try to challenge my players no matter what level they are. Ever run into a 15th-level orc sorcerer? Protected by a few 10th level orc warriors, he's quite a challenge even for a 14th level party.

As a player, my favorite part of the game is that all-to-brief period when a character is 1st-3rd level, and even a pack of wolves is a hell of a fight. Skin-of-the-teeth.


Sebastrd wrote:
Characters at 20th level are still human beings. Conan and Drizzt don't go jumping off cliffs and swimming in lava just because they're "high level". They're still constrained by real world physics barring magical assistance. I don't think it's too much to ask that the rules reflect that.

Oh, gods, no. High level martials are not constrained by realism. If they were, combat would suck so much. You wouldn't be able to hack through monsters, you wouldn't be able to take much damage, you wouldn't be able to do as much with Acrobatics, and swords would be crap against heavy armor.

Real world physics make for boring games. D&D is about action movie style heroics, not gritty realism. Furthermore, if martials have to be completely realistic and spellcasters don't, you get massive caster-martial disparity, and we have enough problems with that with martials not being realistic. Yea, you can survive jumping off a cliff or swimming in lava. You are also capable of fighting and beating a demon lord who can slaughter entire armies single handedly, or slaughtering such armies yourself. You are emphatically not still a human being, because a human can't bloody well do that. You're on the level of, say, a mythical Greek hero.


Conan could have easily been lvl 10. In a world without cleric to heal instantly he certainly wasn't jumping off some cliffs, but he would have survived some thing like that IMO. Drizzt as portrayed in FR book was as he looked AFTER most of his books. And if I recall it correctly it was Bruenor who survived a rather long fall with Shimmergloom after hacking on it's wings.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

To be fair the Drizzt books have only a very tenuous connection with actual D&D. I think there is a fair balance between "realism" and "fantasy" in the context of the rules. Unfortunately, where that balance lies appears to be a personal thing, as this thread seems to indicate. The designers always will have a problem when they lean from one side to the other in their design approach.


Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:

Oh, gods, no. High level martials are not constrained by realism. If they were, combat would suck so much. You wouldn't be able to hack through monsters, you wouldn't be able to take much damage, you wouldn't be able to do as much with Acrobatics, and swords would be crap against heavy armor.

Real world physics make for boring games. D&D is about action movie style heroics, not gritty realism. Furthermore, if martials have to be completely realistic and spellcasters don't, you get massive caster-martial disparity, and we have enough problems with that with martials not being realistic. Yea, you can survive jumping off a cliff or swimming in lava. You are also capable of fighting and beating a demon lord who can slaughter entire armies single handedly, or slaughtering such armies yourself. You are emphatically not still a human being, because a human can't bloody well do that. You're on the level of, say, a mythical Greek hero.

I would neither want to run nor play in such a game. Your idea of D&D and mine differ greatly it seems.


I think both styles (high-fantasy/anime and realistic combat) have their place in D&D. Hopefully the devs of D&D:NExt can understand that and satisfy both aspects. Personally, I enjoy both styles for different sorts of play experiencs. Gritty realism has it's place, as I think it rewards people who like to think outside the box and approach situations differently instead of straight up fights where you rely in your HP and Attacks to win the day (which are fine too). But there is the understanding that death is a very real factor, something that can come with possibly limited healing resources.

As for high-fantasy, Drizzt is hardly the best example of this. For the most part, his party "Companions of the Hall" rarely (if ever) rely on healing magic. Sure, they've fought some strong opponents (Frost Giants, Demons, and evil wizards) but that's not really outside the realms of "realistic" with the understanding that magic is real in that world. Drizzt doesn't fly 50 feet into the air and kill a dragon with one swing. He doesn't teleport to a specific spot on the battlefield and slay everyone within 10 feet in 6 seconds and teleport out. Hell, a group of Orcs would've killed him in a ravine (The Lone Drow) had it not been for some elves riding on Pegasi to save him. Now, fantasy with huge weapons and crazy martial-art styles that allow a person to shatter a tree with a punch with the likes of Dragon Ball Z are ok too, and should be allowed to exist in D&D. They (the devs) just need to undestand how to incorporate both asepcts within the rules.


Which currently is done by having high and low level games.

If you want gritty realistic fantasy, don't play high level. It's really that simple.


thejeff wrote:

Which currently is done by having high and low level games.

If you want gritty realistic fantasy, don't play high level. It's really that simple.

Or even better yet-- play a different RPG-- there are plenty of systems out there that handle gritty and realistic fantasy better than even low-level D&D does.


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Prior to 3E, D&D handled gritty and realistic fantasy just fine.


Yeah, those 1st edition games where my 40th level paladin and his friends leapt from plane to plane slaughtering evil gods were so gritty and realistic.

Sure, the hp cap (and less hp in general) may have made falling or lava safer, but you still laughed at guards with crossbows long before name level.

At low levels, you were very vulnerable. At high levels, you were far beyond gritty.

At low levels, it can still be gritty. You're not quite so vulnerable to a single bad hit as in 1/2E, but a good crit from a fighter type can still drop any 1st level character.


D&D is about getting from zero to hero, from griity to god. Why should we remove this feature when optionally stopping the advancement is far easier than adding it later?

Andoran

Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:

So, because it was harder in an earlier edition means it still isn't hard now? Getting to level 20 takes months at the standard system.

Also, not hating the XP system like you do does not make me a whining preschooler.

Months. It took YEARS to get to 20th level back in the day. I had an 18th level paladin that took me seven years to get that high, playing just about every weekend. That was a feeling of accomplishment. And he had to be raised twice, with the resulting Con loss.

Taking a few months to reach 20th level is exactly the kind of "instant gratification" stuff that turns a lot of us old schoolers off about new jack players.

That's what I love about Kirthfinder. I've been playing my rogue/fighter for almost three years now, and we're just up to eighth level. If we played all the time, I'd probably be about twelfth.

So, no, really, taking "months" isn't hard. You don't even have tome to really know you character. And anyone that attached to a piece of paper (this is for Malbrey) really should find another hobby. Taking a role playing game so seriously that the death of a character causes a mini "Blackleaf" episode and drives someone away for six months indicates some serious perspective issues.

Andoran

Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
The issue is that 2E was just too hard for a lot of us.

2e was D&D on "easy mode". Seriously? :-)

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
houstonderek wrote:
So, no, really, taking "months" isn't hard. You don't even have tome to really know you character. And anyone that attached to a piece of paper (this is for Malbrey) really should find another hobby. Taking a role playing game so seriously that the death of a character causes a mini "Blackleaf" episode and drives someone away for six months indicates some serious perspective issues.

Dreck, you don't know the situation, so please don't offer unwanted advice. And please lay off the "In my day blah blah blah" - it's pretty sad trying to lord it over a discussion for playing a nerdy game from yesteryear like you stormed Omaha Beach.

Andoran

I don't need to know the situation. Anyone that takes a silly game that seriously needs a shrink.

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
The issue is that 2E was just too hard for a lot of us.

Any version that is 'too hard' is the fault of the DM, rarely the game...

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:


Real world physics make for boring games.

The best lies have the largest portion of truth...


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I can understand character death being a bummer, something that you've worked hard on just *poof* gone isn't a fun feeling. Hence why I hate one roll life-or-death effects. I can understand if it took 2 or 3 rolls (like Death Saving Throw in 4E) or Effects that build over a few rounds (like the Medusa in 4E). But not instantly and/or without provocation. When a DM sets this precident, I instantly go to "Broken-Combo, Char_Op munchkinism" and it's becomes a game of 'How bad can I screw this guy's encounters over while remaining within Rules as Written?' mentality.

HP caps are an "OPTION" I'd like to have rules for, but have it 1.) Not be Default and 2.) Not be horrendious if I choose to use it. The gaming system can and should be able to adapt enough to allow both styles of play for a campaign (not individually). It shouldn't force someone to go to another system. Nor force people to stick to a certain level (like E6, which I think is fantastic BTW). If I want to play a 20th level Fighter, I should be able to making one that's like an armored Tank (literally, with firey explosions) or a supreme warrior that, while strong and powerful, isn't above the rules and laws of nature like surviving a swim in lava (hell, even Anakin couldn't do that).

As for the speed of gaining levels, it's not about instant gratification as I'm fairly certain no one's gained 20th level in a month or two with regular 1-week gaming times averaging a few hours with XP values what they are. But honestly, why does the game have 1 set speed for this? What if I'm running a weekend end game 1-month at a time and I wish my players to advance pretty quickly? Or a 1-shot adventure where they start out exploring a farm as 4th level characters and end up at the end of the game as 20th level heroes that take on Demons? I'm not saying this should be the way all the time, or even within Core rules, but something added on or (da-ta-da-DA! Modular!) be used in conjunction with the ruleset? Seems perfectly viable option to me.

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I personally have little problem with hp's, save or suck, save or die, etc. These are all things under the control of the DM. There is no need for me to give my Evil Cleric of Complete Evilness spells of Save or Die unless I choose too. Conversely players who go in with the mentality, well it is in the adventure therefore with little/no pre-planning we can win the encounter annoy the hell out of me (and WILL die).

I also have no issues with the older method of magic weapons required to hit (ala 1e/2e). So with no silver or +1 or greater weapon - then you are screwed against a Werewolf. In this case a Plan B other than direct assault would seem order of the day, or dying. Seems reasonable to me. As harsh as this sounds but with good character op under 3.5e+ you can turn off your brain once the game actually starts. Due to the character op, your character is basically going to be doing the same thing in every battle. Boring (to me).

In the Werewolf example with no magic or silver weapons;

1e/2e = Crap, we have to think.

3.5e+ = hmmm, I should optimize to increase damage output.

Looking forward to the 'older play style' with a newer front end (i.e. 5e).

S.


Stefan Hill wrote:
I personally have little problem with hp's, save or suck, save or die, etc. These are all things under the control of the DM. There is no need for me to give my Evil Cleric of Complete Evilness spells of Save or Die unless I choose too. Conversely players who go in with the mentality, well it is in the adventure therefore with little/no pre-planning we can win the encounter annoy the hell out of me (and WILL die).

I'm a bit confused by your response here. You don't have to give Clerics save-or-die spells unless you choose to. Ok, I get that. Depending on what kind of adventure the DM has, he may choose to have lots of save-or-die effects/spells. When a PC dies from that, there's more of a penchant to not let that happen again. Hence the whole "fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." I can guarantee you that my next character (if at approx level as the last) won't fall to that and will make the character more powerful to combat such things. This might be a character who's just a stronger class, with better mechanics and feats. Could be a character that more offensive and makes it his/her job to go first and unleash a consistant barrage of Save-or-Die spells on enemies. Suffice to say, PC don't enjoy their character dying and should take measure so that happes under the most extreme cases.

Stefan Hill wrote:


I also have no issues with the older method of magic weapons required to hit (ala 1e/2e). So with no silver or +1 or greater weapon - then you are screwed against a Werewolf. In this case a Plan B other than direct assault would seem order of the day, or dying. Seems reasonable to me. As harsh as this sounds but with good character op under 3.5e+ you can turn off your brain once the game actually starts. Due to the character op, your character is basically going to be doing the same thing in every battle. Boring (to me).

First, I hope they abolish the +1 enhancement bonus to weapons/armors/items all together. I've hated them for just this reason "It has to be THIS-big (enchanted) to kill this monster." This, again, relates back to the fighter toting around a big golf-club bag of weapons. "Vampre?! Oh, *rummages in back-pack* yea I've got a weapon for him. We're good. Wait, it's not a vampire, it's a shadow-demon? Yea *more rummaging*, I've got some cold-iron swords in here, we're good. What do you mean, it's got a werewolf companion?!! (sigh) hold on, got 12 silver daggers in this pouch, everyone grab one."

It's one thing to make a specific weapon more beneficial to killing a monster, a silvered weapon greatly hurts werewolves and vampires. A cold-iron weapon hurts ghosts and demons, or a water dipped in holy water damages undead. But to make them specifically required to kill these monsters, I just don't like that design philosophy. Perhaps it's there as an option or an adjusted style that's added on to the game.

Stefan Hill wrote:


In the Werewolf example with no magic or silver weapons;

1e/2e = Crap, we have to think.

3.5e+ = hmmm, I should optimize to increase damage output.

Looking forward to the 'older play style' with a newer front end (i.e. 5e).

S.

I think that's a pretty big generalization. I think 3E had more options for character to handle creatures and encouters that still allowed for a direct assault tactic. I don't feel the rules should promote meta-gaming, but if thats your style, perhaps with this edition being modular it should have something like that for DM's who enjoy that type of game.


Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
Oh, gods, no. High level martials are not constrained by realism. If they were, combat would suck so much.

Most of the time, it isn't a matter of realism, its a matter of believability; things that wouldn't make it in a Hollywood summer blockbuster shouldn't happen at my gaming table.

Now if the PCs are supposed to be superhuman, that has to be explained an integrated in the system. Mythical Greek heroes usually are demi-gods for example, improbable things are a bit easier to swallow when your daddy is called Zeus, or when you are actually an orphan from planet krypton.

I think D&D has the potential to give us a system where hps are a measure of how a character can avoid injuries, as opposed to withstand injuries, thus keeping human frailty behind a veil of improved skills. 4th ed got almost there by simply avoiding to define what is an injury, but 5th ed could do better IMO.

At any case, I hope that high level characters, martial or otherwise, don't get above "human" constraints.

'findel

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Diffan wrote:
Valid points

I guess the counter to the 'golf bag' is the 'one size fits all'. Monster A, use Sword Y and Spell Z. Monster B, use Sword Y and Spell Z. Monster C, use Sword Y and Spell Z, etc. The only challenge is the moving the little plastic miniatures about the game board and thinking what Sword Y and Spell Z will be replaced with when you go up a level.

Save or Die spells/effects. When you have an opponent capable of such dire magics there are the dead and cautious. That aside at the level these spells appear Raise Dead also is available so it's not the end of the world (well depending on your CON based res. roll*). Everything in D&D has headed towards a 'you slap - they slap' type of affair in battle. For me, as both DM and player, walking into a room and suddenly either you or another party member is a fine mist of grey dust really makes you think about the events that lead to this happening (usually consisting of blaming the party leader, assuming they aren't the grey mist). Hard to build a sense of danger/suspense when the only outcome of an encounter is hit point damage.

3.5e+ promotes individualism, even 4e used a tagline to show it was trying to reverse this consequence of the 3.5e+ rules. None of the 1e/2e specific forums bother doing DPR competitions, why, because that stuff really doesn't matter when working as a team.

As for Vamps and Werewolves - hurting them to the point of death by hitting them really, really hard just doesn't line up with the mythology they are based on. Damage reduction just means players focus on more damage output, because it's ALL you need in EVERY situation - back to DPR competitions. Unless we want to start having angst virgin Vamps sparking in the sunlight like in the Twilight series - in this case I'm all for hitting them really hard and having them die.

So in brief DR = I need more damage output, +x to hit without +x available = How do we do this? Perhaps a trap or other weaknesses? No sword for that Vamp, running water trap, sunlight trap, other cunning arsed plan. All more fun and rewarding for players and DM than, collect 1000's gold, make weapon, beat up vampire.

If by meta-gaming you mean in-game research, where PC's may have to understand their foe after perhaps a failed frontal assault, then I agree with you. In 3.5E+ if you can bring enough DPR to bear you win, full stop. In 1e/2e (actually 3e also I seem to remember) this was not the case.

When I first saw 3e I thought this was great that players could adapt to the adventure, picking new skills (read as classes) as made sense. By the time 3.5e hit I was jaded, players weren't looking at the rules in this way. They were meta-gaming to the extreme, pre-making characters from levels 1 to 20. Suddenly becoming Wizards or Fighters when there was no logical way they could have trained these skills in the middle of nowhere (and going up levels so fast they never really get to 'be' there character). So for me d20 D&D failed because it didn't have a enough DM hand-brakes. The D&D Cyclopedia for example states 100% that the DM chooses spells that Magic-Users & Elves have in their spell books. Even stating, if you as DM don't want Charm Person in the game - don't give it to a player. Try that these days and there will be a DM-buring out back.

As you say, depends on the game wanted. I liked the Nancy Drew / Scooby Doo of 1e/2e vs the A-Team of 3.5e+. In 1e/2e running away was a good thing, in 3.5e+ it seems if you need to run away the DM buggered up the CR of the encounter and should be stoned to death.

But if done right WotC may make us all happy campers.

S.

*Can we at least bring back -1 CON every time you are brought back from the dead?

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Laurefindel wrote:
Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
Oh, gods, no. High level martials are not constrained by realism. If they were, combat would suck so much.

Most of the time, it isn't a matter of realism, its a matter of believability; things that wouldn't make it in a Hollywood summer blockbuster shouldn't happen at my gaming table.

Now if the PCs are supposed to be superhuman, that has to be explained an integrated in the system. Mythical Greek heroes usually are demi-gods for example, improbable things are a bit easier to swallow when your daddy is called Zeus, or when you are actually an orphan from planet krypton.

I think D&D has the potential to give us a system where hps are a measure of how a character can avoid injuries, as opposed to withstand injuries, thus keeping human frailty behind a veil of improved skills. 4th ed got almost there by simply avoiding to define what is an injury, but 5th ed could do better IMO.

At any case, I hope that high level characters, martial or otherwise, don't get above "human" constraints.

'findel

+1 and may I add very well said. You can take off the Helm of Telepathy now...


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Sebastrd wrote:
Prior to 3E, D&D handled gritty and realistic fantasy just fine.

Gritty? Maybe. At low levels. Also depends on how dark and dangerous you want the world to seem.

Realistic? No. I find it remarkable that anyone would even try to make this claim: that ANY edition of D&D has ever done realism well.

PF, D&D, and other derivatives have their strong points... but realism was never one of those strong points, in spite of the obsessive window-dressing dumped into some features of AD&D. One thing I do not expect 5th edition to do, is change that track record for staying far away from realism.

While this isn't the forum for criticizing D&D for what it isn't-- still, for gritty, there are other RPG systems that are better choices. For realistic, there are lots of better choices still on the market. For (unrealistic) heroic, extravagant, beyond the ordinary human, high fantasy-- D&D and PF are still arguably among the best, but "desires for realism" need not apply...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Laurefindel wrote:
Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
Oh, gods, no. High level martials are not constrained by realism. If they were, combat would suck so much.

Most of the time, it isn't a matter of realism, its a matter of believability; things that wouldn't make it in a Hollywood summer blockbuster shouldn't happen at my gaming table.

Now if the PCs are supposed to be superhuman, that has to be explained an integrated in the system. Mythical Greek heroes usually are demi-gods for example, improbable things are a bit easier to swallow when your daddy is called Zeus, or when you are actually an orphan from planet krypton.

I think D&D has the potential to give us a system where hps are a measure of how a character can avoid injuries, as opposed to withstand injuries, thus keeping human frailty behind a veil of improved skills. 4th ed got almost there by simply avoiding to define what is an injury, but 5th ed could do better IMO.

At any case, I hope that high level characters, martial or otherwise, don't get above "human" constraints.

'findel

It's hard to know what you mean by "human" constraints. I don't know a lot of people who cast fireballs. Does that count? Is it okay if characters get above "human" constraints with the aid of magic?

If so, how do martial characters stay useful when they're limited but the superhuman casters are not? Only with buffs and magical support?

Or are we just talking about the extreme cases? Long distance falls, lava and the like?

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:

(1)Is it okay if characters get above "human" constraints with the aid of magic?

(2) If so, how do martial characters stay useful when they're limited but the superhuman casters are not? Only with buffs and magical support?

(3) Or are we just talking about the extreme cases? Long distance falls, lava and the like?

(1) Yes, that is why it is magic.

(2) Magic gives the superhuman part not the caster per se - throw a caster into lava without magic aid then like a fighter without magic aid they are toast.

(3) If we take the 1e take on hp then one could conclude that Fighters have more hp not because their 'human' body can take more stabs to the heart than a Wizard, rather the Fighter trains to be in combat more - hence knows more about getting themselves into a position to minimize the injury etc. So given this, then lava is lava and flesh is flesh - and bad things happen when flesh meets lava (sans magically protection).

S.

PS: Sorcerers are a silly class that should have been strangled at birth...


Wow me and my friends must really suck at DnD in all the years I've played I've only ever made it to level 11 :(

houstonderek wrote:


I don't need to know the situation. Anyone that takes a silly game that seriously needs a shrink.

this made me laugh... Who would get so worked up over a silly game? <_< ... >_>


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Stefan Hill wrote:
thejeff wrote:

(1)Is it okay if characters get above "human" constraints with the aid of magic?

(2) If so, how do martial characters stay useful when they're limited but the superhuman casters are not? Only with buffs and magical support?

(3) Or are we just talking about the extreme cases? Long distance falls, lava and the like?

(1) Yes, that is why it is magic.

(2) Magic gives the superhuman part not the caster per se - throw a caster into lava without magic aid then like a fighter without magic aid they are toast.

(3) If we take the 1e take on hp then one could conclude that Fighters have more hp not because their 'human' body can take more stabs to the heart than a Wizard, rather the Fighter trains to be in combat more - hence knows more about getting themselves into a position to minimize the injury etc. So given this, then lava is lava and flesh is flesh - and bad things happen when flesh meets lava (sans magically protection).

So, you think high level martial characters should only be useful when they've got magic items or caster friends to back them up?

Or are we just talking about lava and other silly things? Cause I don't really care about the lava thing. GM fiat, depending on situation.
I do care about martials being limited to "human" constraints while casters break the laws of physics at a whim. I want all characters to be able to pull their weight at all levels.

Stefan Hill wrote:
PS: Sorcerers are a silly class that should have been strangled at birth...

This seems like a total non sequitur.

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:


So, you think high level martial characters should only be useful when they've got magic items or caster friends to back them up?

Stefan Hill wrote:
PS: Sorcerers are a silly class that should have been strangled at birth...
This seems like a total non sequitur.

Define useful?

3e+ broke, in some ways, D&D by trying to balance out things in classes while perhaps missing the whole point of classes. Here in is the biggest issue, under 3e+ rules I can't but agree with your statement that fighters need demi-god status to play the game.

But this wasn't the case in previous editions - a fighter/paladin/ranger were critical to any magic-user (to a lesser extent cleric/druid) ever getting a spell off. In fact Gygax recommends that casters use wands in combat rather than even try to cast a spell.

Now fighters are just another party member that in many ways have trouble 'competing' with their casting friends. This has only been offset by resorting to silliness and cartoonishness (is that a word). Trying to make a MUNDANE person equal to a MAGIC person only succeeds in turning the MUNDANE person into another type of MAGIC person. So if magic is about as powerful as mundane, then why is magic magic again?

Question. I study the arcane arts and unlock powers from beyond the normal realms. It would seems fair enough that I can do crazy, unbelievable things right? Now, I pick up a sword and swing it lots, I train with the local weapon trainer. Other than getting darn good at hitting my target and not being hit, should I ever be able to 'break the laws of physics'?

Obviously I would answer Yes to the first and No to the second. In the first case I can justify it in terms of magic. In the second, without a spell cast on the fighter or a magic weapon why/how could the person ever do things outside of the realms of natural experience?

By upping the fighter to the lofty heights of demi-god (Hercules) for me we have strayed a long way from the 'feel' of D&D as was obviously intended. Fair enough 3e+ D&D is a different game and I don't expect it to be any other way.

The current rule-sets (and I include PF in this) promote a superhero type RPG experience - with is fine. Just not my cup of tea. However, comments from WotC lead us to believe perhaps the older style of play will be viable once again. That I look forward to.

S.

PS: Sorry about the sorcerer comment - spontaneous casters were one (of many things) that devalued the fighter (and thief).

Lantern Lodge

Sebastrd wrote:
Characters at 20th level are still human beings. Conan and Drizzt don't go jumping off cliffs and swimming in lava just because they're "high level". They're still constrained by real world physics barring magical assistance. I don't think it's too much to ask that the rules reflect that.

most of the "Human Beings" are under 5th level and NPC classed

20th level is like endgame disgaea. fighters are punching craters into the ground, monks are leaping thier way across the galaxy and back with a single move action, rogues are stealing artifacts from the first vault of abadar, and paladins are smiting demon princes.

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Luminiere Solas wrote:
Sebastrd wrote:
Characters at 20th level are still human beings. Conan and Drizzt don't go jumping off cliffs and swimming in lava just because they're "high level". They're still constrained by real world physics barring magical assistance. I don't think it's too much to ask that the rules reflect that.

most of the "Human Beings" are under 5th level and NPC classed

20th level is like endgame disgaea. fighters are punching craters into the ground, monks are leaping thier way across the galaxy and back with a single move action, rogues are stealing artifacts from the first vault of abadar, and paladins are smiting demon princes.

All of which would be fine in a superhero game, but comes across as silly in terms of where D&D came from. I mean given the PC's live in a world were others would have reached level 20th - why wouldn't the world be devoid of demon princes, all artifacts owned by thieves, and huge craters covering most of the planet surface? Oh and Monk fragments raining down on everyone from explosive decompression of leaping into a hard vacuum.

Lantern Lodge

Stefan Hill wrote:
Luminiere Solas wrote:
Sebastrd wrote:
Characters at 20th level are still human beings. Conan and Drizzt don't go jumping off cliffs and swimming in lava just because they're "high level". They're still constrained by real world physics barring magical assistance. I don't think it's too much to ask that the rules reflect that.

most of the "Human Beings" are under 5th level and NPC classed

20th level is like endgame disgaea. fighters are punching craters into the ground, monks are leaping thier way across the galaxy and back with a single move action, rogues are stealing artifacts from the first vault of abadar, and paladins are smiting demon princes.

All of which would be fine in a superhero game, but comes across as silly in terms of where D&D came from. I mean given the PC's live in a world were others would have reached level 20th - why wouldn't the world be devoid of demon princes, all artifacts owned by thieves, and huge craters covering most of the planet surface? Oh and Monk fragments raining down on everyone from explosive decompression of leaping into a hard vacuum.

D&D has never been realistic, and it has always defied the laws of physiscs.

if you really don't like the absurdity of 20th level. play E6 with a lower point buy.


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Problem here is that current editions allow superheroics and some people like that and some don't, which is fine.

Hp cap and some other strategically placed handbreaks would allow the players to keep the gaming style as deadly and human-like as they would have wanted without forcing the players who don't want to be restrained that way to play more invulnerable characters. But lo! The human limits crowd wants the number bloat as well without challenge escalation? What for? E6 has already shown that a cap system that wrks fine for this. Why should the D&D throw the superhuman abilities out of the window when it's already proven that they can be restrained pretty easily?

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Luminiere Solas wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
Luminiere Solas wrote:
Sebastrd wrote:
Characters at 20th level are still human beings. Conan and Drizzt don't go jumping off cliffs and swimming in lava just because they're "high level". They're still constrained by real world physics barring magical assistance. I don't think it's too much to ask that the rules reflect that.

most of the "Human Beings" are under 5th level and NPC classed

20th level is like endgame disgaea. fighters are punching craters into the ground, monks are leaping thier way across the galaxy and back with a single move action, rogues are stealing artifacts from the first vault of abadar, and paladins are smiting demon princes.

All of which would be fine in a superhero game, but comes across as silly in terms of where D&D came from. I mean given the PC's live in a world were others would have reached level 20th - why wouldn't the world be devoid of demon princes, all artifacts owned by thieves, and huge craters covering most of the planet surface? Oh and Monk fragments raining down on everyone from explosive decompression of leaping into a hard vacuum.

D&D has never been realistic, and it has always defied the laws of physiscs.

if you really don't like the absurdity of 20th level. play E6 with a lower point buy.

My point was, the 'new' D&D hinges on the characters existing without a world. They live in a bubble somehow removed from the world around them. All the things you described means that pretty much everything would have been done by those who came before you, or you have a world balanced between superheroes and supervillians or your characters are the first and only people to ever reach high levels on the planet.

S.

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