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This mentality of OP wizards in 3rd, 4th, 5th...


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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Scott Betts wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
Scott, can I ask if you thought the Item creation rules were better or worse back in 3E when it cost XP as well as gold? It sorta delayed the fighters can't have nice things problem, but only because it took item crafters longer to get there if you see what I mean.

I disliked item creation xp costs, because they discouraged individual party members from taking on the responsibility of party crafter. The character is already making a significant investiture of resources just in selecting the magic item creation feats. Making the character sacrifice his own experience for the sake of his fellow party members' equipment is just adding insult to injury.

The game plays more smoothly when its underlying math assumes that a party of adventurers will have the capacity to enchant their own magical gear when necessary.

MAGIC ITEMS ARE FOR SUCKERS!

Just kidding; I run E8 games, so "when necessary" is fuzzy edged concept at best. I like XP loss cause it makes a great evener but ymmv.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
Realistically, very few dungeon crawls involve more than an hour of adventuring.

I really must ask where this realistic value comes from?


Stefan Hill wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Realistically, very few dungeon crawls involve more than an hour of adventuring.
I really must ask where this realistic value comes from?

Dungeons are not huge environments. They are, as presented in your typical D&D adventure, fairly compact. Combat encounters are so short as to be of meaningless length - a whole dungeon's combat encounters could be squeezed into ten minutes. And with a typical day's adventuring running about five combat encounters or so, even with five minutes of rest between each you're looking at another half hour just spent wandering between a handful of rooms. Dungeons occasionally include significant "time sinks" like puzzles, areas that need to be searched thoroughly, or rituals that must be cast, but by and large an adventurer's life is tremendous periods of inactivity and preparation punctuated by short dungeon crawls involving insane amounts of bodily peril squeezed into a very short time frame.

It's not terribly important, though. If your dungeon crawl goes another hour, that's just another 12.5 gold to keep yourself protected. Meaninglessly cheap by the time you hit mid-level.

Star Voter 2013

Sorry, nope, I still don't buy anything you are saying. The wizard losing his wand compared to the fighter losing his sword.. really? I can just pull out the wizard loses his spell book vs your sword.. now whose worse off?
Look it's pointless, you're a fighter/4th ed cheerleader. I get it. You're horrified that the wizard did 18-36 points with this limited resource 9th level wand. While the archer took 4 shots that can do 10+ points of damage each and can do that every round of all 10 of those encounters, the 2 hand wielder took at least 2 shots for 20+ points each, before even worrying about cleave or greater cleave or any other feats for that matter beyond simple power attack.
OMG wizards did damage.. NERF NOW! is all I am hearing from you. You think caster's should not do damage I get it. But 3 editions before you disagree.
And if the point of 5th edition is to convince us, that don't like 4th edition, to play it, then your way is not the way to do it.

Star Voter 2013

Scott Betts wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Realistically, very few dungeon crawls involve more than an hour of adventuring.
I really must ask where this realistic value comes from?
Dungeons are not huge environments. They are, as presented in your typical D&D adventure, fairly compact.

Where do you get this stuff from? Undermountain, Castle Ravenloft, Harrowstone, Dragon Mountain, The Tomb or Horrors, all say Hi just to rattle off a few. But then 4th edition is all about short encounters. So that makes more sense coming from you. But please... the statement that Dungeons are not huge environments is totally your opinion.


ralantar wrote:
Sorry, nope, I still don't buy anything you are saying.

I really don't care whether you do or not. You're not putting forth strong arguments in support of your claims, and you're not approaching this with an open mind, so you're not going to be treated as much more than a bunch of points to be refuted.

Quote:
The wizard losing his wand compared to the fighter losing his sword.. really? I can just pull out the wizard loses his spell book vs your sword.. now whose worse off?

The Wizard. But you missed my point: if the Wizard does not receive the appropriate amount of gold (and thus does not have that wand) or if he exhausts that wand before he can purchase another, he is still a dominant force. If the Fighter does not receive his steady upgrades of equipment, he becomes a vulnerable liability to the party and a drain on resources, and does not contribute enough to justify his presence.

Yes, the Wizard can conceivably lose a spellbook and be out of luck until he buys a new one. But Wizards are smart, and they don't let that happen. They ensure adequate protection for their spellbook - protection that is inexpensive and effective. And if your DM purposefully tries to screw you over by destroying or stealing your spellbook anyway, find a new DM because the one you have is terrible.

Quote:
Look it's pointless, you're a fighter/4th ed cheerleader.

Actually, I haven't played a Fighter in years. My Pathfinder character is a spellcaster. But sure, whatever reinforces your personal narrative of who you're arguing against.

Quote:
I get it. You're horrified that the wizard did 18-36 points with this limited resource 9th level wand.

Actually, the Wand of Fireball is a terrible choice on the Wizard's part. I only ran with it because you brought it up. A Wand of Glitterdust or Alter Self or Scorching Ray would be cheaper and just as or more effective. Wizards should not spend the majority of their time dealing damage. Wizards should be casting spells that reduce the enemy to ruin. Damage spells do not do that. Control spells do. Cone of Cold is nice. Black Tentacles is better.

Quote:
While the archer took 4 shots that can do 10+ points of damage each and can do that every round of all 10 of those encounters, the 2 hand wielder took at least 2 shots for 20+ points each, before even worrying about cleave or greater cleave or any other feats for that matter beyond simple power attack.

Which is really kind of sad - the best they can do is damage. And not even reliable damage; they lack the versatility to handle non-standard threats, like high-DR creatures, etherealness, magically-fueled ACs, flight/invisibility, etc. Well-played spellcasters have answers for all of these.

If you think damage is what's important, you are wrong. Go read LN's Being Batman guide, then come back and rework your arguments.

Quote:
OMG wizards did damage.. NERF NOW! is all I am hearing from you.

I have never once been of the position that the amount of damage a Wizard can do justifies reducing his power. On the contrary, in terms of raw damage output Wizards have a hard time competing. Of course, damage isn't really important, at all.

Quote:
You think caster's should not do damage I get it.

That is not even a little bit true.

Quote:
But 3 editions before you disagree.

You don't have the necessary proficiency with any of them to claim what you just did.

Quote:
And if the point of 5th edition is to convince us that don't like 4th edition to play it, they you're way is not the way to do it.

Frankly, I'm of the mindset that 5th Edition is probably going to be just fine without you. The only person who will end up losing sleep over you not liking 5e is you.


ralantar wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Realistically, very few dungeon crawls involve more than an hour of adventuring.
I really must ask where this realistic value comes from?
Dungeons are not huge environments. They are, as presented in your typical D&D adventure, fairly compact.
Where do you get this stuff from? Undermountain, Castle Ravenloft, Harrowstone, Dragon Mountain, The Tomb or Horrors, all say Hi just to rattle off a few. But then 4th edition is all about short encounters. So that makes more sense coming from you. But please... the statement that Dungeons are not huge environments is totally your opinion.

Those dungeons are all remarkable for their size. They are the exception rather than the rule. Go open a Pathfinder adventure path, and flip through the dungeons. Most of them would only take a few minutes to walk through.

Which is, of course, why I couched what I said with "typical". Those that are larger are designed for multiple days of adventuring, and so are much more accurately viewed as multiple periods of adventuring stretched out over multiple days. So, again, casting Mage Armor from a scroll (or, even better, a wand!) before you head out is a smart idea. It's insane that you're trying to argue against this.

I just opened up one of my AP adventures (Howl of the Carrion King). Every internal area in there can be crossed in a couple minutes of normal walking. Even the only external encounter area in the adventure - the town of Kelmarane - can be walked through in less than ten minutes. That's how most adventures are. Megadungeons are not the norm.


ralantar wrote:


Again this mentality that this class must do this and that class must do that is not what this game is about. That line of thinking comes from computer games, not the historical rules of DnD that fostered your imagination.
DnD is not supposed to be a set of rules that regimented what you had to do, or how you had to play if you wrote down a specific class on your character sheet. THAT mentality is what brought us the obnoxiousness of roles, like striker, controller, tank, etc.

Actually the roles of classes has always been build into the core mechanics of the game, regardless of Edition. A v3.5 Fighter has d10 HD, the best base attack bonus, proficiency with ALL martial and simple weapons, and all armors and shield (except Tower) in addition to specific features that pertain to combat. None of these scream hide and shank your foe, fight from the back of the lines with spells, pick locks, or aid your allies with support. It screams Hit people with sharp, pointy things and stand in their way so your allies don't get squashed in 2 rounds. That's a role, and it's primarly defender.

What 4E did was say "hey, people generally stick to the core elements of classes so lets make it easier for them to achieve these goals!" Fighters get cool benefits to do something they're naturally designed to do (ie. protect their buddies and make monsters focus on them). Rogues are awesome at shanking foes, but not so much in straight-up fights (by moving a lot and using Sneak Attack). Clerics can provide a LOT of support to his allies, heal them, and provide a smaller bit of combat capability that helps the Fighter and Rogue. And the wizard has the ultimate power of controlling the battlefield and placing nasty conditions on monsters. They have the biggest plethora of spells for every single situation. Need to compel/control someone, they got a spell for that. Need to knock a guy over a cliff? They got a spell for that. Need a giant mire of acid to keep the enemies at bay while the party retreats, they got it covered.

Perhaps the terminology wasn't well received, but really that was terminology my group (and many others) were already using before 4E came out. Meat Shields and Tanks, Heal-bots, Skill Monkey were all used to describe what a class was defined as. 4E just labeled them better.

ralantar wrote:


Now the concept of limiting magic items that replicate spell casting (scrolls and wands) isn't that terrible on paper. But I think it is already controlled by the DM well enough, simply by how much treasure you hand out. Scrolls and Wands are very expensive once you start getting into higher level spells. A 9th level character with a wand of fireballs (9th level-9d6) has 1/4 his entire wealth (if you are militant about the WBL tables-which I am not)invested in that wand. And when it's depleted it's gone! For the same price the melee can have a weapon with +3 worth of bonuses and it never runs out.

I don't see the problem here.

The wand your referring to does a total amount of 450 d6's (9 at a time, 50x). That's nothing to balk at. That'd be the same as giving the fighter a longsword that did 9d6 damage per swing, but once you hit that limit (50 swings), the weapon breaks. And I don't see that being liked by anyone but fighters, lol. The way I see it is that scrolls were meant to help a wizard in his versatility. They function as spells on "hold" until you might have need of it. We don't know if they're consumed and we don't know how many a wizard can have of each spell. Same applies to wands, though I really hope they adopt the 4E idea of it being a Foci for wizard to cast spell through for better effects. And have the wands tie into a very specific spell list, not everything under the sun should be used in a wand IMO.

What worries me the most (and really, this is my only concern with the Wizard article) is that they didn't mention Rituals. This one aspect of 4E has really made me want to adapt it across more than one edition. I like rituals because it invokes the sort of image one might think of a Wizard. I like them as they are in 4E, but they can do them even better. For an example, the ritual Knock provides a great way of getting past locked doors while NOT supplanting the Rogue (or other character that has Thievery). Here's why:

A party comes to a locked door. They make a perception check and determine that there are guards on the other side. They have 3 options to by-pass the door:

- Option 1: Have the guy with Thievery attempt to unlock the door, quickly and quietly but it's not an auto-success and failure could have bad implications.

- Option 2: The wizard uses the Knock ritual to by-pass the lock. This is quiet and has an auto-success, but it takes a longer time in which the guards could open the door or perhaps they get caught.

- Option 3: The Fighter kicks the thing down, which is quick and easy (nearly an auto-success) but it alerts everyone in the room and no one gets suprised.

This helps show that while magic is a great options to use, it's not the default option everytime. So hopefully they'll keep Ritual Magic somewhere in the rules of D&D:next and have them play a great role where magic is an awesome option, but not the always option.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
ralantar wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Realistically, very few dungeon crawls involve more than an hour of adventuring.
I really must ask where this realistic value comes from?
Dungeons are not huge environments. They are, as presented in your typical D&D adventure, fairly compact.
Where do you get this stuff from? Undermountain, Castle Ravenloft, Harrowstone, Dragon Mountain, The Tomb or Horrors, all say Hi just to rattle off a few. But then 4th edition is all about short encounters. So that makes more sense coming from you. But please... the statement that Dungeons are not huge environments is totally your opinion.

Those dungeons are all remarkable for their size. They are the exception rather than the rule. Go open a Pathfinder adventure path, and flip through the dungeons. Most of them would only take a few minutes to walk through.

Which is, of course, why I couched what I said with "typical". Those that are larger are designed for multiple days of adventuring, and so are much more accurately viewed as multiple periods of adventuring stretched out over multiple days. So, again, casting Mage Armor from a scroll (or, even better, a wand!) before you head out is a smart idea. It's insane that you're trying to argue against this.

Again - this is because D&D seems to have (d)evolved into 'encounters' rather than what I would call 'adventures'. This I put forward allowed the 15 minute adventuring day, and even modern DM's are convinced that you have an 'encounter' and then you 'rest' and then you have another 'encounter' - everyone on full hp and full spells is a MUST before letting players near another 'encounter'.

My opinion of this advancement in D&D... Hogwash.

Players need to harden up, boo-hoo you died because your fall back position was 'the rules make this encounter balanced' so thinking/planning/or running away is not required.

Bring back a Finger of Death that actually causes death!!!

They want 5e to be old school feel then they should do it and stop pandering to the bleeding heart balance brigade.

High level Wizards being a problem are the fault of 3e (and started in 2e).

WotC be brave!

S.


Stefan Hill wrote:
Again - this is because D&D seems to have (d)evolved into 'encounters' rather than what I would call 'adventures'. This I put forward allowed the 15 minute adventuring day, and even modern DM's are convinced that you have an 'encounter' and then you 'rest' and then you have another 'encounter' - everyone on full hp and full spells is a MUST before letting players near another 'encounter'.

I don't know of any DMs who operate like that. Most accept that players will want to plow through a few encounters - anywhere from 2 to 7 - and then rest up because they'll be low on resources.

Quote:

My opinion of this advancement in D&D... Hogwash.

Players need to harden up, boo-hoo you died because your fall back position was 'the rules make this encounter balanced' so thinking/planning/or running away is not required.

Bring back a Finger of Death that actually causes death!!!

Why? Because it's more hardcore? It doesn't really improve the game experience much; it just introduces the un-fun kind of risk (the sort that is decoupled from challenge) and potentially leads to certain players feeling disenfranchised and disconnected from the game.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
Again - this is because D&D seems to have (d)evolved into 'encounters' rather than what I would call 'adventures'. This I put forward allowed the 15 minute adventuring day, and even modern DM's are convinced that you have an 'encounter' and then you 'rest' and then you have another 'encounter' - everyone on full hp and full spells is a MUST before letting players near another 'encounter'.

I don't know of any DMs who operate like that. Most accept that players will want to plow through a few encounters - anywhere from 2 to 7 - and then rest up because they'll be low on resources.

Quote:

My opinion of this advancement in D&D... Hogwash.

Players need to harden up, boo-hoo you died because your fall back position was 'the rules make this encounter balanced' so thinking/planning/or running away is not required.

Bring back a Finger of Death that actually causes death!!!

Why? Because it's more hardcore? It doesn't really improve the game experience much; it just introduces the un-fun kind of risk (the sort that is decoupled from challenge) and potentially leads to certain players feeling disenfranchised and disconnected from the game.

I would say the opposite (which is what makes WtoC so hard), it can enhance the game far more than the wigget of CR of monsters. Having the 'reset the board' and begin again with each encounter never gives me the feeling of what I would do when the chips are down. Resting shouldn't always be an option and shouldn't be seen as a right. It needs to be consistent with the adventure/story, not some invulnerability bubble that pops up when the casters are down to 3 spells. That is the mentality I'm think about is being pushed - they even gave rest types names in 4e.

It is not about killing the PC's, it's about challenging them to think beyond 'trip fighter' etc. Players react quite differently when faced with not a full hand of cards (as it were). Not that you can't do this to players under say 3e, but under 4e it becomes trickier in that they can always do something cool and WotC proscribed (At-Will stuff).

Back onto Wizards - WotC are left fixing what 3e broke. Melee casting should be hard/nearly impossible and learning spells should take time PER spell. Those two factors alone tone down Wizards without removed the fact they can blow stuff up.

We will see I guess, but WotC have a lot of feedback regards 3e & 4e to go on - unfortunately to to lack on net in the 'good ole days' feedback on 1e/2e is likely harder to come by.

S.


Stefan Hill wrote:
Back onto Wizards - WotC are left fixing what 3e broke. Melee casting should be hard/nearly impossible and learning spells should take time PER spell. Those two factors alone tone down Wizards without removed the fact they can blow stuff up.

I can't see either of these things happening to any significant degree.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just to play devils advocate, with myself...

In the 1e DMG there is the idea that players have a home base (say a town) and they go out adventuring and then return home once 'resources' are low. Mega-dungeons came out later in the piece and perhaps precipitated the complaints about lack of spells per day and the such like?

i.e. Scott's point earlier.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
Back onto Wizards - WotC are left fixing what 3e broke. Melee casting should be hard/nearly impossible and learning spells should take time PER spell. Those two factors alone tone down Wizards without removed the fact they can blow stuff up.
I can't see either of these things happening to any significant degree.

Sadly I don't disagree with you. WotC has long had the idea that if it was in the old books it is likely wrong and unfair and as such has no place in the modern D&D*. I still hold you could to wonders to address balance issues by bringing the old concept of casting kicking and screaming into the d20 era.

Lots of voices will decide at the end of the play-test. I still own my 1e PHB/DMG/MM so ultimately if 5e fails to provide an old-school experience it won't overly concern me. Likewise I have my 4e D&D Essentials that I will continue to play for that 4e style game. Still I would, in my la-la land, love to be playing old-school with a new engine of sure.

*Edit: This is a slightly unfair comment on my part. Each new author has attempted to stamp their mark on D&D, it is only natural. But sometimes I think they got a little carried away.


wraithstrike wrote:
I am going to have to disagree. Of course I could be lucky enough that players realize the consequences of their actions.

I have never once seen players that do not try to improve their chances of survival if they can. But yeah, maybe if you play 1e style with throwaway characters, it doesn't matter. I know that my players fight for every advantage they can get (and they have to, as I am an evil DM :) ).

wraithstrike wrote:
I will also that at high levels there are spells like Mage's Magnificent Mansion to allow the caster to rest without being bothered most of the time. At lower levels there is rope trick.

Yes, that's why I mentioned it's a low level problem. At higher levels, caster are going to dominate no matter what.

wraithstrike wrote:

Summon monster, even with augment summon added is not as good as a fighter(insert other melee class as needed) that is in the party, if it is decently built.

Most fighters can fight things of an equal CR in melee combat, and summoning spells summon things below the party's CR so I don't see how someone thing that is CR=APL-2 or APL-3 is keeping up with the fighter in terms of damage output.

That doesn't matter. The critical difference is that you can have three summons die in a combat and no one cares. You don't have to get the cleric close to the summons to cure it, and you can let them block a passage until they die, or whatever. It's perfectly ok to waste their hit points as they are gone in a few rounds anyway.

Yes, lower level summons might not be as good as a melee PC - but their hit points are free, some of them can even cast some spells, and you can summon creatures with just the right resistances and spell-like abilities etc.

I was playing in a runelords campaign, and I played an optimized summoner wizard for a few sessions. I retired the character because the summons were too powerful and made the paladin and the fighter feel useless.


Scott Betts wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Using mage armor to go into a fight is a playstyle thing, and not a system error. It is also not one I have seen or heard of being used commonly in any forum or in real life.
That said, there is practically no reason, at higher levels, to go without Mage Armor while adventuring. A 25 gp scroll (or 12.5 gp if you're packing Scribe Scroll) will net you a full hour of +4 AC for you no-armor characters. Realistically, very few dungeon crawls involve more than an hour of adventuring. A pittance of gold for a very noticeable up-tick in survivability just in case you do stray into melee.

At higher levels that +4 AC is a nonfactor*

*Yes I am aware that a caster can get a decent AC if he sinks enough resources into it, but it is not efficient to do so since using miss chance and improving his offense are normally going to be the better option.


Malaclypse wrote:


I have never once seen players that do not try to improve their chances of survival if they can. But yeah, maybe if you play 1e style with throwaway characters, it doesn't matter. I know that my players fight for every advantage they can get (and they have to, as I am an evil DM :) )

Fighting for an advantage is not the same as bickering when you don't get your way. If you sleep inside the bad guy's occupied stronghold you should expect that you might get disturbed, especially when Monster C does not show up because he is dead. I see your point. I just have not had or seen players like that which is probably why I think it is a minority.

wraithstrike wrote:

Summon monster, even with augment summon added is not as good as a fighter(insert other melee class as needed) that is in the party, if it is decently built.

Most fighters can fight things of an equal CR in melee combat, and summoning spells summon things below the party's CR so I don't see how someone thing that is CR=APL-2 or APL-3 is keeping up with the fighter in terms of damage output.
Quote:


That doesn't matter. The critical difference is that you can have three summons die in a combat and no one cares. You don't have to get the cleric close to the summons to cure it, and you can let them block a passage until they die, or whatever. It's perfectly ok to waste their hit points as they are gone in a few rounds anyway.

Yes, lower level summons might not be as good as a melee PC - but their hit points are free, some of them can even cast some spells, and you can summon creatures with just the right resistances and spell-like abilities etc.

I was playing in a runelords campaign, and I played an optimized summoner wizard for a few sessions. I retired the character because the summons were too powerful and made the paladin and the fighter feel useless.

Well that is a different argument. Summons can be dispelled and/or killed quickly. Summoning generally takes one round to cast also so there should be a few spells that get disrupted. I GM'd an all caster party once. Until they got to much higher levels things were really hard for them. Once they got to high levels the difficulty decreased, but it was not as easy as it could have been.

If the casters are being allowed to just hang out while they cast spells, and there is nothing to stop the monsters from getting to them that is on the GM. I understand not all monsters are smart enough to interfere with spell casting, but summoning is not something that can always be assumed to work without barrier in place until you get the spell up.


wraithstrike wrote:
Well that is a different argument. Summons can be dispelled and/or killed quickly. Summoning generally takes one round to cast also so there should be a few spells that get disrupted. I GM'd an all caster party once. Until they got to much higher levels things were really hard for them. Once they got to high levels the difficulty decreased, but it was not as easy as it could have been.

If you can spend a round casting a Dispel Magic that might get rid of a summons, you can spend that round casting Hold Person that's got a pretty good chance of taking the fighter out of the combat. And an all-caster party can include clerics and druids, who are hardly fragile flowers that die as soon as they're exposed to a weapon. Given the other things the cleric/druid bring to the party, that the fighter certainly doesn't, I know who I think is more useful.

Shadow Lodge

Scott Betts wrote:
Dungeons are not huge environments. They are, as presented in your typical D&D adventure, fairly compact.

Tell that to:

Castle Greyhawk
Castle Blackmoor
Undermountain
Castle Whiterock
Rappan Athuk

...and dozens upon dozens more.

Shadow Lodge

ralantar wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Realistically, very few dungeon crawls involve more than an hour of adventuring.
I really must ask where this realistic value comes from?
Dungeons are not huge environments. They are, as presented in your typical D&D adventure, fairly compact.
Where do you get this stuff from? Undermountain, Castle Ravenloft, Harrowstone, Dragon Mountain, The Tomb or Horrors, all say Hi just to rattle off a few. But then 4th edition is all about short encounters. So that makes more sense coming from you. But please... the statement that Dungeons are not huge environments is totally your opinion.

Tomb of Horrors is medium-sized at best. It's just a whole lot of deadly crammed into a relatively small area.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

I think one of the points that is trying to be made is that in 1e, wizards had fewer spells per day, no easy access to scrolls or wands, no free spells as they level up, and longer memorization times.

Yet there was no 5-minute adventuring day. Why is that?

I have a couple guesses. One is that wizards did not used to adventure with their spellbooks if they could help it - that thing stayed safe at home, becasue it was irreplaceable. If you lost that thing you had to find a new one (by "find" I mean kill an enemy wizard and take theirs), not just spend some money and downtime.

The other is random encounters. Resting in a dungeon generally meant 8+ hours of a random encounter chance once every 10 minutes. With the standard 1 in 6 chance, that's about 8 wandering monsters per rest period, not counting the 10 min per spell level per spell to re-memorize. Sure, you could use things like rope trick if you wanted to use up a valuable level 2 slot on the spell, but be prepared to have half the dungeon's critters on alert and ready for you when you get up.

Unless you are exploring an area entirely filled with unconnected unintelligent monsters, circumstances should change for the worse every time you rest. Your enemies are active and moving and will change tactics to deal with you. You are giving them 8+ hours to prepare however they want while you do literally nothing.

Dungeons took longer when you only went 120 feet every 10 minutes. It was assumed you were being that careful as you explored.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think Scott's notion that dungeons are small comes from the 5-room dungeon concept that has been popularized with 4E.

I've used it myself for many years, in small adventures like a raid on a tomb or a temple treasury.

But I've never called it a 5-room dungeon. I've always just called it a tomb or a temple treasury, or whatever.

But a real dungeon has always been a multi-level, multi-room complex peopled (either sensibly or not) with various denizens and treasures. Some are small (20 rooms or less), but most are much bigger (upwards of 30 rooms per level).

The "dungeons are small" notion is just another example of the "gaming didn't begin until I picked up the dice" attitude I see a lot.


Bluenose wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Well that is a different argument. Summons can be dispelled and/or killed quickly. Summoning generally takes one round to cast also so there should be a few spells that get disrupted. I GM'd an all caster party once. Until they got to much higher levels things were really hard for them. Once they got to high levels the difficulty decreased, but it was not as easy as it could have been.
If you can spend a round casting a Dispel Magic that might get rid of a summons, you can spend that round casting Hold Person that's got a pretty good chance of taking the fighter out of the combat. And an all-caster party can include clerics and druids, who are hardly fragile flowers that die as soon as they're exposed to a weapon. Given the other things the cleric/druid bring to the party, that the fighter certainly doesn't, I know who I think is more useful.

You are missing the point being made. The other poster said a summon could replace the fighters. I countered with a reason why they could not.

This thread is also about wizards, and the party I GM'd only had 1 cleric. The rest were all squishy.

It is no secret that casters are generally more useful than the melee types though.

This is also not a pvp between the fighter and any caster.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

I think Scott's notion that dungeons are small comes from the 5-room dungeon concept that has been popularized with 4E.

I've used it myself for many years, in small adventures like a raid on a tomb or a temple treasury.

But I've never called it a 5-room dungeon. I've always just called it a tomb or a temple treasury, or whatever.

But a real dungeon has always been a multi-level, multi-room complex peopled (either sensibly or not) with various denizens and treasures. Some are small (20 rooms or less), but most are much bigger (upwards of 30 rooms per level).

The "dungeons are small" notion is just another example of the "gaming didn't begin until I picked up the dice" attitude I see a lot.

Most mega-dungeons are empty - if you look at the maps for them, they are full of empty rooms in which the PCs can rest. So the notion that somehow they prevent resting isn't really true. Individual parts where the action happens are often quite discrete. Or the PCs hack in a certain distance, and then turn round and walk back out again the same way through cleared corridors and rooms. And a lot aren't that huge - Castle Ravenloft, for example, is a castle, not a city. Likewise Castle Greyhawk. Or the Temple of Elemental Evil. Some are, of couse, very big - Undermountain, for example - but like I said it is mostly empty rooms. It's quite easy to design a dungeon with nothing in it.

Plus, in my experience, mega-dungeons can be very boring. Some groups like the grind but personally I don't, and the move from 1e hack-fests and player puzzles under Gygax to being more plot-driven and focussed on the capabilities of the characters has also driven the move away from big dungeons. Generally speaking, if you see a big dungeon, it is either a refresh of an pre-existing site from an earlier edition or the spiel is that it's explicitly carrying on the flavour of "old-school" D&D. The way I'd look at a big dungeon is that it's linked to the campaign goals, not that it's a big hole in the ground for them to run amok in, and that probably wouldn't have any real impact either way on where or when I allowed them to rest. It's the only real way I, as a DM, could stomach one. Sandbox makes me prostrate with boredom, yet sandbox also gives the whip-hand to the players much more in what they do - including when they rest. And most published products don't really go that way anymore because big dungeons are a pain to design well. Greg Vaughn is a master at dungeon design but most designers don't seem to have his feel or enthusiasm for it. The effort seems to go into encounter design now, which is something I would support anyway.


Can't argue with taste. If you don't like dungeons, that's okay. But the point was, dungeons tend to be very big environments, and in a properly-run campaign, they have their own ecologies.

I don't run empty dungeons.


It is an interesting dicotamy between large dungeons that take a while to explore and populous dungeons.

The larger the dungeon the more time it takes to explore, therefore less 15 min adventuring day. However there can be more and easier resting places. In a densely populated dungeon, adventurers can move between fights quicker and thus make more use out of limited duration spells.

A problem is adventurers generally 'clear out' an area to rest. There are many ways a GM can stop this.

And well said Aubrey.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

Can't argue with taste. If you don't like dungeons, that's okay. But the point was, dungeons tend to be very big environments, and in a properly-run campaign, they have their own ecologies.

I don't run empty dungeons.

Sure, and a well-designed dungeon is the thing of beauty. But simply being big and dark doesn't really address the issue of the adventuring day, unless it is arguably a story-driven element. And then you run the risk of railroading if over-used.

Shadow Lodge

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Most mega-dungeons are empty - if you look at the maps for them, they are full of empty rooms in which the PCs can rest. So the notion that somehow they prevent resting isn't really true.

Mega-dungeons are also meant to be run as "living" systems. If you cause a bunch of racket fighting a battle in room 12, then the monsters in rooms 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, and 15 are gonna wanna know what's going on.

I'm backing TWO megadungeons on Kickstarter at the moment. One is Dwimmermount, and I'd wager most here people could guess the other. (Hint: Toad Diety Entertainment)


Railroading exists only if the decisions are taken away from the party.

I never tell my PCs what their characters are thinking or doing (unless one of them gets possessed, or something).

And I've never had a dungeon in my campaign that didn't exist for a reason. I use an old-school design philosophy. Dungeons are part of the environment because they're ruined strongholds, cavern systems, interconnected barrow-mounds, or some other organic part of the game world.

As far as the adventuring day is concerned... well, I have my own opinions of that. Let's just say that in my campaign, the day is 24 hours long, regardless of PC resources. :)


Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

I think Scott's notion that dungeons are small comes from the 5-room dungeon concept that has been popularized with 4E.

I've used it myself for many years, in small adventures like a raid on a tomb or a temple treasury.

But I've never called it a 5-room dungeon. I've always just called it a tomb or a temple treasury, or whatever.

But a real dungeon has always been a multi-level, multi-room complex peopled (either sensibly or not) with various denizens and treasures. Some are small (20 rooms or less), but most are much bigger (upwards of 30 rooms per level).

The "dungeons are small" notion is just another example of the "gaming didn't begin until I picked up the dice" attitude I see a lot.

That's simply not true. First, I've been running exclusively Pathfinder adventures for the past few years, so the idea that this is influenced by 4e adventure design is unfounded. Second, they don't need to be 5-room dungeons to be small. Even a twenty-room dungeon isn't an all-day exercise to explore. Those dungeons that are larger than a single day's adventuring can tackle are designed to allow rest, anyway.

And, again, megadungeons are the exception rather than the rule.


Scott Betts wrote:
Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

I think Scott's notion that dungeons are small comes from the 5-room dungeon concept that has been popularized with 4E.

I've used it myself for many years, in small adventures like a raid on a tomb or a temple treasury.

But I've never called it a 5-room dungeon. I've always just called it a tomb or a temple treasury, or whatever.

But a real dungeon has always been a multi-level, multi-room complex peopled (either sensibly or not) with various denizens and treasures. Some are small (20 rooms or less), but most are much bigger (upwards of 30 rooms per level).

The "dungeons are small" notion is just another example of the "gaming didn't begin until I picked up the dice" attitude I see a lot.

That's simply not true. First, I've been running exclusively Pathfinder adventures for the past few years, so the idea that this is influenced by 4e adventure design is unfounded. Second, they don't need to be 5-room dungeons to be small. Even a twenty-room dungeon isn't an all-day exercise to explore. Those dungeons that are larger than a single day's adventuring can tackle are designed to allow rest, anyway.

Of course not, what do you have 3-5 encounters in those 20 rooms?

Star Voter 2013

ryric wrote:

I think one of the points that is trying to be made is that in 1e, wizards had fewer spells per day, no easy access to scrolls or wands, no free spells as they level up, and longer memorization times.

Yet there was no 5-minute adventuring day. Why is that?

I have a couple guesses. One is that wizards did not used to adventure with their spellbooks if they could help it - that thing stayed safe at home, becasue it was irreplaceable. If you lost that thing you had to find a new one (by "find" I mean kill an enemy wizard and take theirs), not just spend some money and downtime.

The other is random encounters. Resting in a dungeon generally meant 8+ hours of a random encounter chance once every 10 minutes. With the standard 1 in 6 chance, that's about 8 wandering monsters per rest period, not counting the 10 min per spell level per spell to re-memorize. Sure, you could use things like rope trick if you wanted to use up a valuable level 2 slot on the spell, but be prepared to have half the dungeon's critters on alert and ready for you when you get up.

Unless you are exploring an area entirely filled with unconnected unintelligent monsters, circumstances should change for the worse every time you rest. Your enemies are active and moving and will change tactics to deal with you. You are giving them 8+ hours to prepare however they want while you do literally nothing.

Dungeons took longer when you only went 120 feet every 10 minutes. It was assumed you were being that careful as you explored.

Very true. There also wasn't a WBL table that would tell you, you were doing it wrong, if your pc had a +3 sword at 7th level.

Star Voter 2013

Diffan:

Quote:

What worries me the most (and really, this is my only concern with the Wizard article) is that they didn't mention Rituals. This one aspect of 4E has really made me want to adapt it across more than one edition. I like rituals because it invokes the sort of image one might think of a Wizard. I like them as they are in 4E, but they can do them even better. For an example, the ritual Knock provides a great way of getting past locked doors while NOT supplanting the Rogue (or other character that has Thievery).

I think you are on to something here. It really goes back to the old speed factors for spells and weapons. Longer then 1 std. action casting time for some spells wouldn't be bad. It preserves the versatility of magic while allowing the skills to be more useful on a regular basis.

But then again my groups always like speed factors for weapons too.
The other option, which wouldn't be horrid, is to make wands and scrolls simply have full round casting times.


DSXMachina wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

I think Scott's notion that dungeons are small comes from the 5-room dungeon concept that has been popularized with 4E.

I've used it myself for many years, in small adventures like a raid on a tomb or a temple treasury.

But I've never called it a 5-room dungeon. I've always just called it a tomb or a temple treasury, or whatever.

But a real dungeon has always been a multi-level, multi-room complex peopled (either sensibly or not) with various denizens and treasures. Some are small (20 rooms or less), but most are much bigger (upwards of 30 rooms per level).

The "dungeons are small" notion is just another example of the "gaming didn't begin until I picked up the dice" attitude I see a lot.

That's simply not true. First, I've been running exclusively Pathfinder adventures for the past few years, so the idea that this is influenced by 4e adventure design is unfounded. Second, they don't need to be 5-room dungeons to be small. Even a twenty-room dungeon isn't an all-day exercise to explore. Those dungeons that are larger than a single day's adventuring can tackle are designed to allow rest, anyway.
Of course not, what do you have 3-5 encounters in those 20 rooms?

How long would it take to walk through 20 rooms in the average dungeon? Assuming no monsters, traps etc. 15-20 minutes? A fight in each room won't take more than a couple minutes each, lets say that adds up to an hour of actual combat.

I suppose you can say you spend 15+ minutes resting and searching each room, but that allows time for intelligent enemies to alert each other and prepare for you. Fine if you're looting an ancient tomb with traps and undead guarding each area, more problematic if you're attacking the BBEG's lair.

The limit isn't time, it's how many encounters you can deal with without resting. If you want that to be 20, you're going to have to make most of them very easy. Easy enough that they're not really interesting to play out.

It's going to be very rare, in any kind of dense indoors setting that you're going to have 8+ hours of active adventuring. No one can keep that kind of pace up. In the wilderness, most of that can be travel time, interspersed with encounters.


ryric wrote:

I think one of the points that is trying to be made is that in 1e, wizards had fewer spells per day, no easy access to scrolls or wands, no free spells as they level up, and longer memorization times.

Yet there was no 5-minute adventuring day. Why is that?

I have a couple guesses. One is that wizards did not used to adventure with their spellbooks if they could help it - that thing stayed safe at home, becasue it was irreplaceable. If you lost that thing you had to find a new one (by "find" I mean kill an enemy wizard and take theirs), not just spend some money and downtime.

The other is random encounters. Resting in a dungeon generally meant 8+ hours of a random encounter chance once every 10 minutes. With the standard 1 in 6 chance, that's about 8 wandering monsters per rest period, not counting the 10 min per spell level per spell to re-memorize. Sure, you could use things like rope trick if you wanted to use up a valuable level 2 slot on the spell, but be prepared to have half the dungeon's critters on alert and ready for you when you get up.

Unless you are exploring an area entirely filled with unconnected unintelligent monsters, circumstances should change for the worse every time you rest. Your enemies are active and moving and will change tactics to deal with you. You are giving them 8+ hours to prepare however they want while you do literally nothing.

Dungeons took longer when you only went 120 feet every 10 minutes. It was assumed you were being that careful as you explored.

Doesn't being that careful also lead to the problem of giving your enemies time to prepare for you? Taking 10 minutes to go 120' really only works in "an area entirely filled with unconnected unintelligent monsters" or before you encounter anyone. And wouldn't it also give the 1/6 chance of wandering monsters for every 120'?

If resting is a killer, so is being slow and careful.

You get in one fight, make some noise, take 10 minutes to walk down the next corridor and the entire enemy force ambushes you in the next room?

Star Voter 2013

It really depends on the type of dungeon doesn't it though? A simple open cave of 3 rooms, sure 5 encounters and done and out in an hour.
Now imagine it's the ruins of a grand library, or museum and you have to find something in. You could be there for days dealing with wandering monsters.
Trying to say that every dungeon is going to take X amount of time and have X amount of encounters is trying to force the game into a formula.
And formulaic adventures stifle creativity.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
ralantar wrote:

It really depends on the type of dungeon doesn't it though? A simple open cave of 3 rooms, sure 5 encounters and done and out in an hour.

Now imagine it's the ruins of a grand library, or museum and you have to find something in. You could be there for days dealing with wandering monsters.
Trying to say that every dungeon is going to take X amount of time and have X amount of encounters is trying to force the game into a formula.
And formulaic adventures stifle creativity.

Exactly, although don't discount how long it takes to go through a cave, lighting is tenuous with niches and shadows. You necessarily want to rush through them unless you know you are on the clock.

Yes, the limiter is resources, but with magic time is a resource. Your spells have a time limit, that eats resources. So you have to have a balance between caution and expediency.


Sure if you're just searching and dealing with random monsters then it can take days. It'll also be boring and probably break my sense of disbelief. Too many wandering monsters without a particularly good justification rarely works for me.

And frankly, unless it's a really huge library or museum, like ruined city sized, what I'm going to do is secure the area, clear any monsters out and then start searching. The initial phase isn't going to take days.
Probably set up traps, alarms or at least post someone to watch the entrances, so we won't be surprised by wandering monsters.

I'm not going to go in, get in fight in the first room, spend several hours searching through the stacks then go look in the next room, deal with the encounter there, etc etc.

I find it really hard to conceive of a situation where I'm going to spend a lot of time in any one area when there is a potential threat right next door. I'll keep moving until the area is cleared or I'm weak enough that I have to retreat (or hole up if retreat isn't possible). If I know there are going to be lots of random encounters while trying to get out or rest, I'll have to do it sooner, since I'll have to worry about not just "Can I handle one more fight?", but "Can I handle one more fight, plus whatever happens while I'm trying to get out?"


1 person marked this as a favorite.

So you assume that all the creatures are level appropriate? That you can clear them all out?

Also the rooms with creatures should not necessarily be directly linked, they should be a few rooms apart. But creatures should move around the area, goblins don't live next door to orcs but they might come round to borrow a cup of sugar.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

Railroading exists only if the decisions are taken away from the party.

I never tell my PCs what their characters are thinking or doing (unless one of them gets possessed, or something).

And I've never had a dungeon in my campaign that didn't exist for a reason. I use an old-school design philosophy. Dungeons are part of the environment because they're ruined strongholds, cavern systems, interconnected barrow-mounds, or some other organic part of the game world.

As far as the adventuring day is concerned... well, I have my own opinions of that. Let's just say that in my campaign, the day is 24 hours long, regardless of PC resources. :)

Telling your characters what they are thinking or doing isn't really the definition of railroading (or railwaying, as we like to say in this country). Pushing them blatantly to do stuff, or do things a certain way, is railroading. So if everything is a race against time, in every adventure, so the players can never rest, that can be seen as the DM imposing his schedule on the players. From time to time challenging plyers like that is perfectly legitimate but if you are doing it for metagame reasons (to stop rest) then it's a bit different.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

I think Scott's notion that dungeons are small comes from the 5-room dungeon concept that has been popularized with 4E.

I've used it myself for many years, in small adventures like a raid on a tomb or a temple treasury.

But I've never called it a 5-room dungeon. I've always just called it a tomb or a temple treasury, or whatever.

But a real dungeon has always been a multi-level, multi-room complex peopled (either sensibly or not) with various denizens and treasures. Some are small (20 rooms or less), but most are much bigger (upwards of 30 rooms per level).

The "dungeons are small" notion is just another example of the "gaming didn't begin until I picked up the dice" attitude I see a lot.

That's simply not true. First, I've been running exclusively Pathfinder adventures for the past few years, so the idea that this is influenced by 4e adventure design is unfounded. Second, they don't need to be 5-room dungeons to be small. Even a twenty-room dungeon isn't an all-day exercise to explore. Those dungeons that are larger than a single day's adventuring can tackle are designed to allow rest, anyway.

And, again, megadungeons are the exception rather than the rule.

This is definitely a Paizo thing. I remember their guidelines for Dungeon submission tended to militate against big dungeons and in favour of more discrete sites and plot. And they haven't really stepped back from that with PF APs and adventures. There were exceptions, but they stood out as exceptions. And it wasn't under the influence of WotC either - they just didn't like most big dungeon submissions, and when they designed their own they preferred to do small sites rather than big dungeons as they were easier to fit into the schedule.

Star Voter 2013

Really? how about said library has a creature that lives there and wanders about every so often. He's too tough for the party to take on. You have to avoid him. Now you have to navigate the area and find the item while avoiding said creature.
Or perhaps the creatures live in the walls and keep popping up to harass the party.
We can continue but we'll be writing an adventure here. :)

edit.. or what DSXMachina said :)

The point is there should be no formula of actions that the players can rely on to "win" the game. The point of DnD is creativity. The pcs should not know how many encounters there will be before they can rest or even get back to town. Trying to force the game into such a formula is what 4th edition did in a way. It's just a unnecessary restriction on creativity and a way for other people to tell you , you're doing it wrong.

Star Voter 2013

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

I think Scott's notion that dungeons are small comes from the 5-room dungeon concept that has been popularized with 4E.

I've used it myself for many years, in small adventures like a raid on a tomb or a temple treasury.

But I've never called it a 5-room dungeon. I've always just called it a tomb or a temple treasury, or whatever.

But a real dungeon has always been a multi-level, multi-room complex peopled (either sensibly or not) with various denizens and treasures. Some are small (20 rooms or less), but most are much bigger (upwards of 30 rooms per level).

The "dungeons are small" notion is just another example of the "gaming didn't begin until I picked up the dice" attitude I see a lot.

That's simply not true. First, I've been running exclusively Pathfinder adventures for the past few years, so the idea that this is influenced by 4e adventure design is unfounded. Second, they don't need to be 5-room dungeons to be small. Even a twenty-room dungeon isn't an all-day exercise to explore. Those dungeons that are larger than a single day's adventuring can tackle are designed to allow rest, anyway.

And, again, megadungeons are the exception rather than the rule.

This is definitely a Paizo thing. I remember their guidelines for Dungeon submission tended to militate against big dungeons and in favour of more discrete sites and plot. And they haven't really stepped back from that with PF APs and adventures. There were exceptions, but they stood out as exceptions. And it wasn't under the influence of WotC either - they just didn't like most big dungeon submissions, and when they designed their own they preferred to do small sites rather than big dungeons as they were easier to fit into the schedule.

Well schedule and cost. Those maps and words cost money when you are in the printing business.


DSXMachina wrote:

So you assume that all the creatures are level appropriate? That you can clear them all out?

Also the rooms with creatures should not necessarily be directly linked, they should be a few rooms apart. But creatures should move around the area, goblins don't live next door to orcs but they might come round to borrow a cup of sugar.

I assume that if I'm going to spend days there searching through the place, I'm going to have to. I'd rather attack (or find and hide from) the not level appropriate creatures when I'm prepared and them not than have them stumble upon us unexpectedly or come looking in force after some of their minions go missing.

If I can't clear them out, I'm not going to spend days living next door to them.

Though a thieves adventure living and hiding in the enemy's lair while searching for the McGuffin could be fun, it wouldn't work for most parties.

Even if the inhabited rooms aren't right next to each other, sound carries, creatures move around, etc. The less time and warning I give them the less time they have to prepare.

Again, if the area is big enough you're not going to be able to secure the whole thing. You'd still want to work through by sections, try to seal off existing chokepoints and deal with each section separately as much as possible.

Sovereign Court Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Diffan wrote:
What worries me the most (and really, this is my only concern with the Wizard article) is that they didn't mention Rituals. This one aspect of 4E has really made me want to adapt it across more than one edition. I like rituals because it invokes the sort of image one might think of a Wizard.

Well I dont think they mentioned rituals yet because they wont be in the first playtest. Since Many classes will be able to cast them I think they will show up at a later playtest. The designers may still be kicking around the idea of how to implement them at this point.

However I disagree about the 4E way of rituals. I really hope utility magic isnt banished to rituals. I would like to see the longest and most powerful spells made rituals. For example, you could cast an undead spell in combat that makes a pet that last for a certain time during combat only. To raise an army or have an undead minion that would be a ritual. Thats how I would like it anyways. Cant wait to see what they do with them.


ralantar wrote:

Really? how about said library has a creature that lives there and wanders about every so often. He's too tough for the party to take on. You have to avoid him. Now you have to navigate the area and find the item while avoiding said creature.

Or perhaps the creatures live in the walls and keep popping up to harass the party.
We can continue but we'll be writing an adventure here. :)

edit.. or what DSXMachina said :)

The point is there should be no formula of actions that the players can rely on to "win" the game. The point of DnD is creativity. The pcs should not know how many encounters there will be before they can rest or even get back to town. Trying to force the game into such a formula is what 4th edition did in a way. It's just a unnecessary restriction on creativity and a way for other people to tell you , you're doing it wrong.

Sure, there are situations where you can't control the environment.

You can certainly come up with odd scenarios where the PCs have no control. Though both of those (unbeatable roaming monster and creatures in the walls) look like TPK to me: You're going to have to spend days searching an area with the chance of being attacked at any time and no safe place to rest. Eventually the critters will whittle you down or the big guy will trap you. By then you'll all be exhausted and out of resources.

I agree there should be no formula. At the same time, "The pcs should not know how many encounters there will be before they can rest or even get back to town" seems to take all agency from them. Do they have to just keep pushing doggedly on until the GM gives them a place to rest? Should they turn around and head back to town early enough that no matter how many random encounters the GM throws at them on the way they'll make it?

Sure a strictly formulaic X regular encounters followed by a boss fight is going to far, but having some rough idea what a party can be expected to handle before needing to recover is not a bad thing.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
ralantar wrote:

Really? how about said library has a creature that lives there and wanders about every so often. He's too tough for the party to take on. You have to avoid him. Now you have to navigate the area and find the item while avoiding said creature.

Or perhaps the creatures live in the walls and keep popping up to harass the party.
We can continue but we'll be writing an adventure here. :)

Actually, this is what I've always considered ludicrous about dungeon adventures and supposed "dungeon ecology" - dangerous monsters just wandering about between other dangerous monsters, maybe a thirty second walk away, yet somehow they manage to live in relative harmony until a bunch of guys show up to kill them. How many top predators do you really think can fit into a couple of rooms underground with no food other than stray beetles? Gah! It's such nonsense. Not really pertinent to wizards and so on, but a real annoyance for me.

Quote:
The point is there should be no formula of actions that the players can rely on to "win" the game. The point of DnD is creativity. The pcs should not know how many encounters there will be before they can rest or even get back to town. Trying to force the game into such a formula is what 4th edition did in a way. It's just a unnecessary restriction on creativity and a way for other people to tell you , you're doing it wrong.

This isn't a 4e thing at all. I'm not aware of what formula you are talking about - certainly there's none in 4e. There is greater balance between classes at all levels in 4e, which you seem to feel is unnecessary, but to be honest what you are saying runs counter to a lot of optimisation opinion from 3e (which can be summarised as "Only play a wizard, only use Save-or-Die or Save-or-Suck spells, dealing damage is for n00bs"). Some of the most obvious expoits have been addressed in PF but it involved nerfing casters and boosting non-casters, which suggests that these issues certainly existed.

If the issue is that you don't like such explicit balance between classes, that's a respectable position (though not one I agree with). But denial of the problem may simply come down to not taking the time to obsessively winkle out every advantage from the PHB. I'm sure plenty of home games get by fine (my 3e games did, by and large) but then again if these exploits exist and affect other games why shouldn't they be addressed. My gaming experience, and yours, is not the totality of D&D.


thejeff wrote:
Interesting; Well thought out stuff.

Fair enough, good points. Just a wizard has limitations.

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