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


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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Look... this post is a rant. I realize that. You've been warned.

This article here
5th edition wizards pretty much guarantees I will not touch 5th edition.

rant on:

I am sick and tired of these developers telling me that for the past 20 years I have been doing it wrong, not been having fun and that they know better then all of the developers that came before them. That only the players who played wizards at my table had fun in my games and that fighters and rogues cried themselves to sleep at night over the injustice of it all.

I am sick to death of this fighter fan base that was beat up by a wizard in kindergarten and has dedicated their life to getting revenge by nerfing(to use an mmo phrase) wizards into the ground.

It annoys me to no end that this mentality has crept into pathfinder (by the way blasting spells have suffered) to some extent and is proselytized on the boards here almost daily.

I'm tired of it. It's called resource management. Wizards spells are the most powerful in the game and should do more damage then melee attacks because they are limited in resource. Letting your players get away with 15 minute adventuring days so the melee characters never shine means you're doing it wrong as a DM NOT that the system is flawed.
But no one ever looks at it this way, oh no, it's all the big bad wizard's fault. The class must be OP.

But it's this mentality that has led to 4th level archers in pathfinder doing 30+ points of damage per round, every round, all day while a 4th level wizard is lucky if he can pull off a 15 point damage spell 2 or 3 times the entire day.

This entire article is nothing but a massive nerf to wizards.
Scrolls should require a spell slot to use? So lets reduce the 15 minute adventure day to 10 minutes.

Reduced number of spell slots.. spells don't scale with level..BUT hey you can cast cantrips all day!!
This is like saying.. okay Mr. Fighter.. you can have 4 swings of your greatsword per day but then you have to switch to your dagger.

Haste is for fighters.. anyone else with a haste spell shouldn't get as many attacks as an unbuffed fighter... WTH... why does this sounds like SUMMMON FIGHTER I-IX should be the most powerful spell in the game?

The article has more examples of this.. grease to help the rogue. web to entangle the villain's horse but not the villain himself. Heaven forbid the wizard actually do something to win the encounter. That's everyone else's job. You should be happy we let you cast light. Not that it was necessary. The fighter just used a power and can see in the dark now silly wizard.

I grow weary of this. Leave the wizard alone or they aren't going to be worthy of the name for much longer!

/rant


If you read the article closer, you'll see that the developer in question states quite clearly that many groups probably didn't see any problem with the wizard, and that whatever changes are made hopefully won't impact those groups negatively.

That said, I think some of the proposed changes are good, while others don't particularly strike me as necessary. In any case, I'll wait for the playtest before complaining :)


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yeah but if you read it closely, no offense intended, he doesn't care if it does. He's going to do what he thinks is best and those groups are out of luck.
The only good thing he mentions is trying to come up with a way to give wizards something to fall back on other then crossbows and darts once their spells are used up. But his answer is non-scaling cantrips? Even if said cantrips do 1d6 elemental damage (and i can't see them allowing them to do more then that.) you're in the realm of throwing daggers and darts.
Now, that said. I don't have a problem with wizards falling back on sub-par attacks after their spells are used up. As long as those spells were impressive to begin with.
But honestly read that article then read the one he wrote about fighters. It's night and day. Fighters it's all about cool powers and new stuff. The wizard article is 90% nerfs talked about as if they are great!


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I like the idea of limited number but very powerful spells. I don't think any wizard or sorcerer could complain about pathfinder being to harsh on them. Also at lower level, sleep kicks ass more than any rapid shot.
I think the balance here in pathfinder (3.75) is pretty solid and should be more or less kept this way.


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ralantar wrote:
yeah but if you read it closely, no offense intended, he doesn't care if it does. He's going to do what he thinks is best and those groups are out of luck.

I'm sure he does care, but irrespective - what else do you think he should do besides "what he thinks is best"?

Sovereign Court

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I totally understand where your coming from for that ralantar, though perhaps your rant might do better on the comments of the article. Then again it'd probably just get shrugged off sadly. Maybe its in there already? 84 pages of comments is not something I'm going to look through. The Anti-Wizard mentality keeps cropping up even though "caster dominance" has a hell of a lot more to do with Druids and Clerics then Wizards historically.

Some of this is like, Okay whatever Mearls. Most spells historically haven't scaled with level anyway, only a couple of the damage spells really. Character level has more to do with spell reach and durations then anything else, and I assume that isn't what they mean by scaling as I assume they'll keep to board game style spaces for measuring distances and you'll never need more then a range of like 10 and time units being based upon encounters or something. I could be wrong of course.

Then he goes into examples of how annoying it is that the wizard got to do anything in the encounter with the magic immune iron golem by maybe giving it a rather minor penalty and the fighter in the party a chance to actually hit it, or was able to actually do anything at all in 4th edition. Sorry but I've actually been that wizard and it didn't actually do much to slow the iron golem down and people still died. Those are the spells that make the game interesting, don't call out those spells when broken stuff like Orb of Force or Arc of Lightning were actually the things being ridiculous.

A lot of this is just a part of how they want to develop the brand in the end though. They want roles to fill rather then classes to build a character out of and it looks like they're going to keep wizard stuffed into the support roll from 4th edition. Whatever though, not as if I was suddenly going to start playing it again. I have a lot of fun systems already and its up to them to sell to me, not for me to fix their product.


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Well I'll be the one and say that I thought the article was pretty good. I still play v3.5 (and Pathfinder) pretty regularly and at high levels when Wizards, Sorcerers, Clerics, and Druids all have wands and staffs and rods and magical items X/day then they rarely rely on their actual spell slots (and no, that's not a Monty Haul type game either). The wizard might have a bit harder time of full filling most of the roles at once, but a smart player knows what feats to pick up and what spells to cast in order to create pretty strong combos that rarely need other party members.

Need someone to scout the corridor for traps? Don't use a Rogue, he might mess it up. Instead, i'll cast Unseen Servant and have him drag this 50 lb rock down the corridor to set off any pressure plates.

We don't need the Fighter to climb the rope to get to the top of this 40 ft. ledge. Here, let me use this scroll I prepared 10 days ago called Darkway. No problem.

Wait, there's a dragon about to eat us all? Well it's our lucky day because I rememberd my Explosive Rune-Bomb paper with 10 castings on it (dealing a minimal 60d6 force damage). That dragon won't know what him him.

Need to be sneaky? Sure, here's some invisibility I scrolled up the other day. Better let me do it, I have tenser's floating disk so I won't even need to touch the ground, just float right on top.

What do you mean our fighter got dropped? Here, I'll just summon 5 more "meat shields" as they're tougher (via feats) than the fighter is and we won't care when they die anyways.

No we don't need to set a watch. I'll just cast Rope Trick (or any other conveinent camp-site fixer upper) and we can sleep in peace. Sorry if you wasted your skill ranks, backgrounds, themes on being able to see at night and set up a camp.

The list goes on.....

I'd like to see the playtest before we start judging how good (or bad) a class is. I felt that the best possibly apsect of a Wizard isn't how much damage he deals (damage dealing spells usually were bad in 3E, v3.5, and Pathfinder anyways) but how equipped he was for the mission or adventure at hand. Scrolls as spells-in-waiting really add to a Wizard's repertoire without giving them the ability to cast spells ALL day long. Additionally, low-level spell slots we're still being used as Go-Tos for combat well into the mid-levels of adventuring. Can the fighter just blast 5d4+5 damage with no save, no attack, and from 50 ft. away?


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I'm just curious about others' experiences, but does it matter (in actual sessions of play, not in theoretical terms) if the classes arent balanced?

We've always thought "spellcasters are better eventually", in just about any RPG we've tried, but it doesnt bother us. I understand the argument that players of other classes might feel 'disenfranchised' or something if the spellcaster treads on their turf. Similarly the spellcaster might be having more effect on battles - but does that actually impact on other groups' games or is it more a theory thing?


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ralantar wrote:
I'm tired of it. It's called resource management. Wizards spells are the most powerful in the game and should do more damage then melee attacks because they are limited in resource.

This is terribly short-sighted thinking.

"It's okay if once per day I can kill anything because it's only once per day!"

Quote:
Letting your players get away with 15 minute adventuring days so the melee characters never shine means you're doing it wrong as a DM NOT that the system is flawed.

So you're saying that, as a DM, it is my responsibility to ensure than some force is propelling my party along at a breakneck pace, and that if I ever allow them to tackle a challenge at a pace they find comfortable, I am doing it wrong?

The system, as designed in editions prior to 4e, rewards parties for adventuring in short stints. If you adventure after your party is out of limited resources, you are acting in a less-than-optimal manner.

And don't you dare tell me that this is a role-playing game, and acting optimally is somehow metagaming. It's not. At all. If you were a professional adventurer, you would do everything in your power to give yourself the advantage in your chosen profession. You would train constantly. You would mitigate your risks. You would pack for every contingency. And you would do all of that because one misstep means you die. Adventurers are foolhardy people, to a man, and most adventurers are suicidally foolhardy for the unnecessary risks they take, because they are controlled by players who have far less concern for their characters' well-being than their own.

So yes, the system was flawed. It gave some characters once-per-day WIN buttons and the rest of the characters got swords. And everyone sat down and thought for all of thirty seconds and realized that if they handled it properly, they could use that WIN button every fight.

Stop acting like spellcasters aren't the gods-incarnate that they are. Hell, even the idea that spellcasting resources are limited is stupid. Past a certain point, you have more spells per day than you can conceivably use! Oh, and because you don't have to waste your gold on the fool's rat race that is the weapon-and-armor money sink necessary to keep up with the game's ever-advancing math for non-spellcasters, you can instead spend your gold on relatively inexpensive extra WIN buttons, so that you're definitely not going to run out.

Quote:
But no one ever looks at it this way, oh no, it's all the big bad wizard's fault. The class must be OP.

That's right. The Wizard is OP. The Druid is OP. The Cleric is OP. The sorcerer is a little less OP but is still totally OP. Welcome to D&D.


Steve Geddes wrote:
I'm just curious about others' experiences, but does it matter (in actual sessions of play, not in theoretical terms) if the classes arent balanced?

Yes.

I had the privilege of knowing LogicNinja (for reference, the guy who wrote the Wizard's Guide to Being Batman) in person while in school, and had him in my Red Hand of Doom campaign. That was an extended lesson in the strength of full spellcasters.


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I wasnt disputing they are good, but did the players in your campaign actually not enjoy themselves? That's what I meant (I'm genuinely curious).

It seems to me that these discussions often get both heated and bogged down because people are talking at cross purposes - one side arguing that wizards are overpowered and presenting lots of case studies to back that up, whilst the alternate view is considering the enjoyment of a system including powerful wizards and advancing more aesthetic based arguments to support that. They each consider the other to be obtuse because neither is actually trying to address the opposing position. (Those who think wizards are overpowered presume the people who like OP wizards disagree with that premise and those who think OP wizards are fun presume the OP-wizard crowd are trying to declare the right way to have fun).

For me (for example) magic-users should be more powerful that non-spellcasters because that's how 'real magic' would be. Hopefully it's clear that isnt intended as a compelling argument (any argument based on 'what magic would be like' is clearly a silly one), but is rather a statement of aesthetic preference.

My gaming group is pretty much of the same view and it doesnt really do any damage since we let the thief do the traps, we let the fighter run in and go toe-to-toe with the baddy and the magic-user generally fires at the monsters from the back (while the cleric unoptimisedly heals everyone). Your point about players not having the same incentive to survive as the characters would is well made, but waved by in our games without a hint of broken verisimilitude. Our general approach to solving the 15-minute adventuring day is that the spellcasters jealously guard their WIN spells "just in case". Our constraining resource is generally healing, I would guess.


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I have played wizards and fighters and clerics and paladins and druids and rangers for over 30 years. I have with all these characters been the one to shined and been the one to stand aside while someone else shone at many different levels. I have used all my spells and only a few in various encounters. I had a fighter tonight hit and do over 60 points of damage in one round (without a crit) and watched the wizard cast an 8th level spell and only do 48. Each class has its role and abilities and for the most part I find the core classes to have been well balanced. Its the supplemental classes that were often unbalancing and poorly designed. There is nothing to fix about the wizard in "5th edition" and there was nothing to fix about it in 4th edition.


Steve Geddes wrote:
I wasnt disputing they are good, but did the players in your campaign actually not enjoy themselves? That's what I meant (I'm genuinely curious).

Yes. Some of the players in the game felt marginalized due to the sheer encounter-ending power of the party spellslingers (note: this was not the result of any malicious behavior on LN's part, or neglect on mine; my stated intention was to run the campaign as written and see how an optimally-played spellcaster affected the experience). I have also felt the same way playing non-spellcasting characters in the past. There's a certain amount of challenge in playing a non-spellcaster, in the sense that you have to work to come up with ways to meaningfully contribute, but that's not a challenge everyone is interested in contending with.

Quote:
It seems to me that these discussions often get both heated and bogged down because people are talking at cross purposes - one side arguing that wizards are overpowered and presenting lots of case studies to back that up, whilst the alternate view is considering the enjoyment of a system including powerful wizards and advancing more aesthetic based arguments to support that.

I think it's more that they don't see any problem with a game that offers choices that aren't just stylistic or aesthetic, but which are actually superior or inferior relative to one another in the typical course of play. I see that as a problem, for a number of reasons. I think a lot of other players do, too. And, clearly, so do the game's designers.

Quote:
For me (for example) magic-users should be more powerful that non-spellcasters because that's how 'real magic' would be. Hopefully it's clear that isnt intended as a compelling argument (any argument based on 'what magic would be like' is clearly a silly one), but is rather a statement of aesthetic preference.

Right, and I believe that what "should" or "shouldn't" be the case is something that needs to slide when you're designing a game that is made to be enjoyed by a number of different people. When you create a game, you do not have the creative freedom that a storyteller does. You have mechanical concerns that need to be addressed.

Quote:
Our general approach to solving the 15-minute adventuring day is that the spellcasters jealously guard their WIN spells "just in case". Our constraining resource is generally healing, I would guess.

And that's an interesting choice for the spellcasters, but not an optimal one. And if you're okay justifying that to yourself, or to your players, that's fine. But from both a gameplay perspective and from an in-character perspective, tackling challenges with the best choices from your (considerable) pool of resources is the optimal way to approach the challenges of D&D.


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Yeah - anyone moderately good at optimizing would tear their hair out at our table.

I'm not clear that you're correct that an rpg designer should, when faced with conflict, always favor mechanics over aesthetics (if that's a fair summary of your view). I think it's fine to design a game which happily creates inferior choices in the name of flavor. I think it would be prudent to state that somewhere in the rules though (and ideally to spell out the suboptimal choices).

Such a game is not going to suit everyone, but that's an impossible goal anyhow.


Steve Geddes wrote:

Yeah - anyone moderately good at optimizing would tear their hair out at our table.

I'm not clear that you're correct that an rpg designer should, when faced with conflict, always favor mechanics over aesthetics (if that's a fair summary of your view).

I think that getting the mechanics right first is important. Making cool things to fit the mechanics is easy. Making cool - and balanced - mechanics to fit the flavor is hard.

Quote:
I think it's fine to design a game which happily creates inferior choices in the name of flavor. I think it would be prudent to state that somewhere in the rules though (and ideally to spell out the suboptimal choices).

At a bare minimum. Without it, you get the trap choices of previous editions - rules options (or even entire classes) presented as both legitimate and cool but without the mechanical power to back up that flavor with agency over the game world.

Quote:
Such a game is not going to suit everyone, but that's an impossible goal anyhow.

Impossible goals are not unimportant goals.


Steve Geddes wrote:

I wasnt disputing they are good, but did the players in your campaign actually not enjoy themselves? That's what I meant (I'm genuinely curious).

It seems to me that these discussions often get both heated and bogged down because people are talking at cross purposes - one side arguing that wizards are overpowered and presenting lots of case studies to back that up, whilst the alternate view is considering the enjoyment of a system including powerful wizards and advancing more aesthetic based arguments to support that. They each consider the other to be obtuse because neither is actually trying to address the opposing position. (Those who think wizards are overpowered presume the people who like OP wizards disagree with that premise and those who think OP wizards are fun presume the OP-wizard crowd are trying to declare the right way to have fun).

For me (for example) magic-users should be more powerful that non-spellcasters because that's how 'real magic' would be. Hopefully it's clear that isnt intended as a compelling argument (any argument based on 'what magic would be like' is clearly a silly one), but is rather a statement of aesthetic preference.

My gaming group is pretty much of the same view and it doesnt really do any damage since we let the thief do the traps, we let the fighter run in and go toe-to-toe with the baddy and the magic-user generally fires at the monsters from the back (while the cleric unoptimisedly heals everyone). Your point about players not having the same incentive to survive as the characters would is well made, but waved by in our games without a hint of broken verisimilitude. Our general approach to solving the 15-minute adventuring day is that the spellcasters jealously guard their WIN spells "just in case". Our constraining resource is generally healing, I would guess.

This is kind of how I play also. The casters could do other people's jobs if they focused on it, but you never know when you needs those spells for something else. That is why I consider it to be a bad idea to do so.

As far as an incentive to survive I alway try to make a good character, but I don't make the best character possible.

I also think magic should be stronger(be able to accomplish more wondrous things) than a sword. It does not make much sense otherwise.I also believe that a game can have magic do this without having the weapons users overwhelmed.


Jarleth wrote:
I have played wizards and fighters and clerics and paladins and druids and rangers for over 30 years. I have with all these characters been the one to shined and been the one to stand aside while someone else shone at many different levels. I have used all my spells and only a few in various encounters. I had a fighter tonight hit and do over 60 points of damage in one round (without a crit) and watched the wizard cast an 8th level spell and only do 48. Each class has its role and abilities and for the most part I find the core classes to have been well balanced. Its the supplemental classes that were often unbalancing and poorly designed. There is nothing to fix about the wizard in "5th edition" and there was nothing to fix about it in 4th edition.

I am sure that if that wizard had been really trying he could do more than 48 points of damage, especially at level 17.

The issue is not so much the classes, but players that will step on another player's toes, and make the 2nd player's class feel useless. It does not take a caster to do that though.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
that's an interesting choice for the spellcasters, but not an optimal one. And if you're okay justifying that to yourself, or to your players, that's fine. But from both a gameplay perspective and from an in-character perspective, tackling challenges with the best choices from your (considerable) pool of resources is the optimal way to approach the challenges of D&D.

But intelligently managing the resources that one has available to him (e.g. a finite list of spells available per day) IS an optimal choice! An intelligent magic-user cannot count on there being anywhere within a "dungeon" to rest and recoup spells. If such an opportunity presents itself, fine, but that should never be a given. So an intelligent magic-user in such a situation isn't going to blow his top hitting spells on a band of wandering orcs; he's going to wait for something bigger...

*Note that I did NOT say the above was THE "optimal choice", I was just refuting your claim that it wasn't an optimal choice...


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Scott Betts wrote:


Quote:
Such a game is not going to suit everyone, but that's an impossible goal anyhow.
Impossible goals are not unimportant goals.

I'm quibbling now, but I think any given impossible goal is strictly inferior to at least one possible goal. Much better, in my view, to put the work in and identify what you're actually trying to achieve.

In my experience (predominantly business) "setting impossible goals" is often an excuse for lazy strategic thinking.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
ralantar wrote:
It's called resource management. Wizards spells are the most powerful in the game and should do more damage then melee attacks because they are limited in resource. Letting your players get away with 15 minute adventuring days so the melee characters never shine means you're doing it wrong as a DM NOT that the system is flawed.

Unfortunately not everyone has the same desire for a campaign as yourself. When I was running my Eberron campaign (in 4e) I usually only had one combat every day or two.

It was not a dungeon crawl with multiple encounters, but rather a mix of exploration, interaction and some combat (the three pillars as they are being called in D&D Next). As it was set in Eberron the adventure crossed the continent on lightning rails and airships (imagine the Indiana Jones red arrow going across the map cut scenes) and so travel time necessitated a day or two between combat encounters.

My problem with 4e with this type of campaign was that Hit Points and Healing surges all reset overnight (a problem 3.5 doesn't have), however I didn't have an issue with the magician's Daily powers being "I win" buttons, or overshadowing the other characters' powers.

So whilst you may feel a 15 minute adventuring day is a DM doing it wrong, for me it wasn't and was actually part of the campaign structure. Mind you it wasn't actually a 15 minute adventuring day, it was a 15 minute combat day with the rest of the day spent on exploration and interaction.

So WotC are trying to please as many people as they can, but they simply cannot please everyone. If this is an issue you feel strongly about I suggest you download the playtest stuff this Thursday, play it and then give your feedback - and continue to give it through the later iterations of play test as well.


My opinions (for your information I am great fan of wizards and casters, the only character that I like more than a decent wizard is a decent gish... too much Kane in my early years).

Keeping and expanding on at-will cantrips is a good idea, hopefuly the higher level wizard will get extra cantrips.

Reducing total number of spells prepared at higher levels: I like that one, it would reinforce the resource management style of play that should be part of playing wizard. the number of spells per day grews too much. myself I thought about reworking the system to have wizard two spell slots plus one per two levels (yep, a maximum of 12 slots for regular spells at 20th level)

Not scaling with level: with this I disagree, the spell should scale. Fighter attacks scale with level after all. There should not be spell level, only minimum wizard level to learn more advanced spells.

Spellcasting is dangerous: one of my first reaction to AD&D casting was "uh, there is no roll to cast a spell? how one produces a spectacular casting failure then?"

Keep magic item under control: It's not a wizard issue specifically. The 3rd edition was quite successful in depleting magic items of their magic by making magic items found a source of money to buy or craft actually desired magic items. The 4th edition wasn't improvement in that matter for me.

Keep buffs under control: Yes, could help. There are too much buffs now making them a real mess.

Creativity not dominance: To paraphrase friendly AD&D GM that couldn't stomach 3rd edition "Making wizards balanced with fighters? Why would anyone do that?! They are wizards, why the hell fighters should be equal to them?!". Personally I always tried to creatively use the magic/psychic powers/whatever and rewarded players doing so in my games and I know that creativity allows for dominance and dominance does not exclude creativity. On the other hand too easy access to mystic powers may renders mundane characters obsolete (it was customary in our Fading Suns campaign to advise new players to get at least one level of Psi or Theurgy at the start to be able to expand it later as it grew extremely vital part of our setting).

Dark Archive

This is probably the first article about D&D Next that pleases me.

The only point I disagree 110% is the "Keep Spells Under control", or at least I disagree with the example proposed (you high level cleric is not so good with balance checks and vulnerable to the effect of a non damaging, low level spell? Your bad, pal!).
It's part of the "I'm the hero, I'm good at everything" attitude that puts me off SO MUCH.


Frustaro wrote:
I think the balance here in pathfinder (3.75) is pretty solid and should be more or less kept this way.

Wait - are you serious?

Jarleth wrote:
I have used all my spells and only a few in various encounters. I had a fighter tonight hit and do over 60 points of damage in one round (without a crit) and watched the wizard cast an 8th level spell and only do 48.

Well, obviously. If you use your wizard to do hit-point damage, you are not playing it to his strength.

Jarleth wrote:
Each class has its role and abilities and for the most part I find the core classes to have been well balanced. Its the supplemental classes that were often unbalancing and poorly designed.

That has not been my experience. +1 to BAB and a feat is strictly less powerful than getting two new highest-level spells. If your wizard uses it's valuable spell slots for bolt of lightning or cone of cold, that doesn't mean the wizard is balanced, it simply means that you do not take advantage of the potential the class has.

Jarleth wrote:
There is nothing to fix about the wizard in "5th edition" and there was nothing to fix about it in 4th edition.

DMs and players who have experienced well-built wizards in play tend to think that there is something to fix - namely the huge power imbalance between the wizards and the pure melee classes. 4e did try to fix that problem, but they didn't really. While the power disparities are way smaller than in 3.5/PF, the wizard is still one of the best classes. PF unfortunately fixed this in the wrong direction, by making wizards even stronger. Oh well...


Digitalelf wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
that's an interesting choice for the spellcasters, but not an optimal one. And if you're okay justifying that to yourself, or to your players, that's fine. But from both a gameplay perspective and from an in-character perspective, tackling challenges with the best choices from your (considerable) pool of resources is the optimal way to approach the challenges of D&D.

But intelligently managing the resources that one has available to him (e.g. a finite list of spells available per day) IS an optimal choice! An intelligent magic-user cannot count on there being anywhere within a "dungeon" to rest and recoup spells. If such an opportunity presents itself, fine, but that should never be a given. So an intelligent magic-user in such a situation isn't going to blow his top hitting spells on a band of wandering orcs; he's going to wait for something bigger...

*Note that I did NOT say the above was THE "optimal choice", I was just refuting your claim that it wasn't an optimal choice...

An intelligent magic user prepares ahead of time in such a way that his arsenal of spells is far greater than any expected level of challenge would require of him. Again, because of the huge gold surplus spellcasters enjoy due to not having to compete in the weapon-and-armor race, characters like wizards can afford silly amounts of magic consumables that give them both longevity and flexibility. A well-played full-caster should never have to choose whether to use spells in a given encounter. He should be using spells every encounter, and should be using a couple of powerful spells every encounter, to boot!


Steve Geddes wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


Quote:
Such a game is not going to suit everyone, but that's an impossible goal anyhow.
Impossible goals are not unimportant goals.

I'm quibbling now, but I think any given impossible goal is strictly inferior to at least one possible goal. Much better, in my view, to put the work in and identify what you're actually trying to achieve.

In my experience (predominantly business) "setting impossible goals" is often an excuse for lazy strategic thinking.

Then tone back your impossible goal into one that is difficult but achievable, like pleasing a significant majority of D&D fans while creating a game that is appealing and accessible to those who have never played.


Malaclypse wrote:
Well, obviously. If you use your wizard to do hit-point damage, you are not playing it to his strength.

It's startling how many people are convinced that there's nothing wrong with full casters, and then to discover that they've never seen one played effectively.


I swear, sometimes I wonder if some of you actually play this game or just read the books.

Scott Betts: Every thing you said is an exaggeration or filled with assumptions, and not the way things actually play out on any sort of regular basis.

Quote:
So you're saying that, as a DM, it is my responsibility to ensure than some force is propelling my party along at a breakneck pace, and that if I ever allow them to tackle a challenge at a pace they find comfortable, I am doing it wrong?

Is that what I said? really? Is that the only way you know of to keep the party from stopping to regain spells after every encounter? I'm so sorry for your players. I could come up with 5 ways in about 2 minutes. Your games must be so one dimensional. (see I can make assumptions too)

Diffan: that's why it's called magic, and that's why it is a limited resource for casters. If the wizard could do all the things you mentioned all day. That would be a problem. But for each one of those things he does he loses the ability to do something else. Sure he might cast invisibility and sneak ahead (though it's not like that makes you silent, since 1st edition you were better off casting it on your rogue buddy.) or drag the rock across the traps(did you as a DM really let that trick work more then a handful of times?), But then those spells are gone for the day. A smart wizard saves his spells for the beast at the end of said trap filled hallway otherwise he is going to be chucking darts at it when they finally get there.
Since 1st edition the game has been about resource management. That's a big part of what made it DnD. 4th edition shattered that and lost enough of it's player base to cost the owners of the brand their place as the industry leader.

Quote:

digitalelf: But intelligently managing the resources that one has available to him (e.g. a finite list of spells available per day) IS an optimal choice! An intelligent magic-user cannot count on there being anywhere within a "dungeon" to rest and recoup spells. If such an opportunity presents itself, fine, but that should never be a given. So an intelligent magic-user in such a situation isn't going to blow his top hitting spells on a band of wandering orcs; he's going to wait for something bigger...

*Note that I did NOT say the above was THE "optimal choice", I was just refuting your claim that it wasn't an optimal choice...

Halleluiah someone who gets it!

I really feel like a lot of people look at the classes and insist on trying to balance them in a one encounter bubble. I think that really does a disservice to the game. It dumbs the game down and removes the complexity that has been inherent since the game was created. It also leads to trying to pigeon hole the classes. You're the striker, you're the tank, you're the healer and that's all you can be because you might step on the other classes toes. Bleck! That mentality is not the DnD I know. It's a different game entirely.
The classes are not supposed to be balanced. The group works together as a team to overcome multiple encounters.

Wizards are supposed to be feared, magic is supposed to be terrifying. Trying to reduce the class down to the same level as the fighter or saying you can't deal damage as a caster, kills the wonder of magic. I'm not saying melee shouldn't be impressive. I think 3rd edition-pathfinder fixed the weakness of those classes dramatically with the introduction of feats. But that's enough, There is no need now to keep pushing this agenda that casters must suffer because too long were we melee classes forced to dwell in darkness!

But apparently Mike Mearls is not of this mindset as the article clearly points out.


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Scott Betts wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


Quote:
Such a game is not going to suit everyone, but that's an impossible goal anyhow.
Impossible goals are not unimportant goals.

I'm quibbling now, but I think any given impossible goal is strictly inferior to at least one possible goal. Much better, in my view, to put the work in and identify what you're actually trying to achieve.

In my experience (predominantly business) "setting impossible goals" is often an excuse for lazy strategic thinking.

Then tone back your impossible goal into one that is difficult but achievable, like pleasing a significant majority of D&D fans while creating a game that is appealing and accessible to those who have never played.

Yeah, that's my point. You were the one who suggested impossible goals were somehow important. I think they're unhelpful, at best.

To return to my comment, I think it's fine to create a game where flavor is king and balance is a secondary concern (shadow run would be one example, imo as would dark heresy and co). It's just a mistake to think everyone is going to like it. (and similarly with games where mechanical purity is put first).

The two are not necessarily in conflict, of course, so often no choice has to be made. But it's not automatically bad game design to rank either of them as preeminent.


Scott Betts wrote:


An intelligent magic user prepares ahead of time in such a way that his arsenal of spells is far greater than any expected level of challenge would require of him. Again, because of the huge gold surplus spellcasters enjoy due to not having to compete in the weapon-and-armor race, characters like wizards can afford silly amounts of magic consumables that give them both longevity and flexibility. A well-played full-caster should never have to choose whether to use spells in a given encounter. He should be using spells every encounter, and should be using a couple of powerful spells every encounter, to boot!

What on earth.. where do you come up with this stuff?

What level are you starting play at? 18th?
Arsenal of spells greater then any challenge? Really? You're keying your encounters wrong if the casters are able to memorize spells "far greater than any expected challenge" Never mind how they pulled off the ability to know what all the encounters are going to be in the adventure and prepare accordingly.

Huge surplus of gold that casters have? Dude.. what game are you playing? is it pathfinder? Between the cost of expensive components, the cost to scribe spells into spellbooks, the cost to make this wealth of magic items wizards supposedly have, the cost of making magic items for their party mates... most wizards I know are scraping every copper. Melee.. they find their flaming long swords in the treasure hoard. The wizard needs the gold.


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ralantar wrote:
I swear, sometimes I wonder if some of you actually play this game or just read the books.

I don't wonder about this anymore. I now just assume most posters on the boards primarily just read the books, or more accurately the PRD, and don't actually play the game much if at all. It really does explain a lot of the "controversies" that exist. I don’t really think of it as a bad thing though. I just try to keep in mind that most rules based discussions are theoretical with little or no actual game play backing.

Just look at how prolific (with regard to number of posts per day) many of the regulars are. They don’t even have enough down time in their post history to be away from the boards and actually playing the game!

I do get concerned though when I think this is happening to the game developers and authors . I’m pretty sure a lack of actual gaming time has caused some questionable design choices over the years in many games I play.

Grand Lodge

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ralantar wrote:

yeah but if you read it closely, no offense intended, he doesn't care if it does. He's going to do what he thinks is best and those groups are out of luck.

The only good thing he mentions is trying to come up with a way to give wizards something to fall back on other then crossbows and darts once their spells are used up. But his answer is non-scaling cantrips? Even if said cantrips do 1d6 elemental damage (and i can't see them allowing them to do more then that.) you're in the realm of throwing daggers and darts.
Now, that said. I don't have a problem with wizards falling back on sub-par attacks after their spells are used up. As long as those spells were impressive to begin with.
But honestly read that article then read the one he wrote about fighters. It's night and day. Fighters it's all about cool powers and new stuff. The wizard article is 90% nerfs talked about as if they are great!

Quite frankly no matter what is done, including no change at all, someone is still going to be pissed off about it. So it's pretty much an acknowledgement that no one can please everyone.

And much of the article isn't about what they're going to do it's about the planning frame of mind they have here and it raises some good points. I've seen a lot of posters here state how wizards make everyone else irrelevant as the game levels rise. While I think the claims are somewhat overblown there are some merit points to them.

As far as the changes to scrolls, this might portend that scrolls themselves are reusable and would open up spells that the caster himself might not have learned in their spellbook.

Point is... it's a bit early to get into nerdrage over rules that haven't even begun to be written yet. If you've already put yourself irretrievably into the I HATE WOTC BECAUSE THAT'S HOW I LOVE PAIZO frame of mind, you might has well just stop following the 5E news. As 5E itself won't have much of an effect on whether the Pathfinder ship keeps sailing, as the Pathfinder folks are pretty much a different market now.

Grand Lodge

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ralantar wrote:

I really feel like a lot of people look at the classes and insist on trying to balance them in a one encounter bubble. I think that really does a disservice to the game. It dumbs the game down and removes the complexity that has been inherent since the game was created. It also leads to trying to pigeon hole the classes. You're the striker, you're the tank, you're the healer and that's all you can be because you might step on the other classes toes. Bleck! That mentality is not the DnD I know. It's a different game entirely.

The classes are not supposed to be balanced. The group works together as a team to overcome multiple encounters.

As I recall, roles and complaining about class balance has been part of the game since First Edition. Venting your complaints simply became viral once the Internet became something other than a DARPA experiment sponsored by an eager US Senator.


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LazarX wrote:


As I recall, roles and complaining about class balance has been part of the game since First Edition. Venting your complaints simply became viral once the Internet became something other than a DARPA experiment sponsored by an eager US Senator.

Yes you have a point. The problem is that, as with most things, those that scream the loudest and most often (no matter how much of a minority) have a tendency to be the ones that get heard. And are the ones developers wind up listening to. And therefor the ones that wind up getting the rules shaped they way they want.

So unfortunately if you don't like something you have to raise your voice and make a fuss, even if it's obvious to the majority that the rules should be written one way. If they just assume it will, the minority crying for change will be the ones that get their way. And then you wake up one day and realize... where did my game go? This isn't what we wanted.

Dark Archive

@Diffan: i think most of your example assume a stupid opposition that does not anticipate what a spellcaster can do.
That might be true for an Orc Chief but it won't be true for the evil Lich King you fight in High Levels.

Diffan wrote:
Need someone to scout the corridor for traps? Don't use a Rogue, he might mess it up. Instead, i'll cast Unseen Servant and have him drag this 50 lb rock down the corridor to set off any pressure plates.

So? Unseen Servant is not able to trigger the trap in a locked door or magical traps that are triggered by living beings.

Or you use the old string-as-trap-trigger. Unseen Servant goes right through it, rock rolls underneath it. But the Pcs...

Diffan wrote:
We don't need the Fighter to climb the rope to get to the top of this 40 ft. ledge. Here, let me use this scroll I prepared 10 days ago called Darkway. No problem..

I see no issues. In high Level you seldom have to climb anywhere.

Diffan wrote:
Wait, there's a dragon about to eat us all? Well it's our lucky day because I rememberd my Explosive Rune-Bomb paper with 10 castings on it (dealing a minimal 60d6 force damage). That dragon won't know what him him.

I want to see a swallowed caster able to get a scroll out of his backpack and then cast it. How will he read in the dark gizzard of the dragon? How will he use the verbal component while drowning in the digestive fluids of the dragon? And lastly, how will he use the somatic components in the gizzard?

Diffan wrote:
Need to be sneaky? Sure, here's some invisibility I scrolled up the other day. Better let me do it, I have tenser's floating disk so I won't even need to touch the ground, just float right on top.

Antimagic Zone and some Guards...Ooops

BTW you can not stand on Tensers Disk.
And you still have to pass a move silently check. Your wizards cloak rustles, the familiar sqeaks or some paraphernalia crackle. Whatever. So even then simmple Guards can detect the Wizard.

What do you mean our fighter got dropped? Here, I'll just summon 5 more "meat shields" as they're tougher (via feats) than the fighter is and we won't care when they die anyways.

Diffan wrote:
No we don't need to set a watch. I'll just cast Rope Trick (or any other conveinent camp-site fixer upper) and we can sleep in peace. Sorry if you wasted your skill ranks, backgrounds, themes on being able to see at night and set up a camp.

Yeah, an no one in the group has any Bags of holding or handy haversacks. Will they leave them unatended outside?

Or someone looking for the group uses a wand of detect magic and then casts dispel magic. Even better if he puts a portable hole under the rope trick.


Steve Geddes wrote:
For me (for example) magic-users should be more powerful that non-spellcasters because that's how 'real magic' would be. Hopefully it's clear that isnt intended as a compelling argument (any argument based on 'what magic would be like' is clearly a silly one), but is rather a statement of aesthetic preference.

I get it, I really do. And in novels and films, I've got no problem with magic being an outright superior force. I've been known to rave about the Wheel of Time series, and how awesome it is.

And I absolutely believe that it's possible to write a balanced game where magic is superior to non-magic. Which is why I'm writing a fantasy heartbreaker rpg. (Who isn't, right?)

But for D&D, where wizards are supposed to adventure side-by-side with fighters of similar level, I find that class balance creates more fun than more 'realistic' casters. Wow, never thought I'd use that adjective with that noun. :)

YMMV, IMO, yadda yadda...

Steve Geddes wrote:
I'm just curious about others' experiences, but does it matter (in actual sessions of play, not in theoretical terms) if the classes arent balanced?

I've experienced how the LFQW phenomenon can really throw a wrench into everyone's fun, yes.

I like casters, and I can see how "sucks now, awesome later" might work out for some gamers. Unfortunately I've never played a campaign for more than five levels, due to various real life obstacles. And given that DMs always want to start at 1st level -- or sometimes 3rd if they're feeling really generous -- "sucks now, awesome later" translates to "just sucks" for me. And that's no fun for me.

As a DM, I often start at higher levels because that's the only way I can experience them. And from my position behind the screen, I've seen casters absolutely dominate high level games, effectively turning the muggle PCs into side kicks. The campaign that sticks out most in my memory is a low wealth epic level 3.x campaign. The sorcerer player knew how to pick his spells, and was able to out-perform the other PCs in almost every way. For example, this player's gf was playing the party rogue; and at one point the two nearly broke up after the sorc player pointed out that she could attempt to disarm a magical trap...or he could just cast dispel magic from a safe distance.

If two SOs nearly breaking up doesn't demonstrate the consequences of class imbalance -- for some gamers, at least -- I don't know what does. ;)

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Ah the old is wizards more powerful thread. Oh how you have been missed...

I still believe the defining part of if a person thinks a wizard is OP is based on style of play.

In my group everyone agree's a caster at full power is more powerful than melee types. With that said though none of the melee types feel overpowered by the casters. In my current group this is fairly normal with 6 players.

1 wizard - summoning spec
1 cleric
1 witch
1 rogue/ranger
2 fighters

Our last play session went something like this towards the end. The wizard was down to cantrips. The cleric had 1 spell and cantrips left. the Witch still had half her spells and hexes of course left. The melee's where all healed up near max(that is where the last couple of channels went). The group decided they had the resources to press on for at least one more fight maybe two. The witch was instructed not to use her final spells as they was crowd control types unless the group needed to doing a fighting withdraw and then she and the melee types would act as a rear guard.

They ended up pressing on for 3 more encounters with the melee's doing virtually all the heavy work, the cleric helped melee and the wizard just cast cantrips and the witched just hexed things. After the 3rd encounter the cleric had no spells and the witch ended up using a couple at the end of the fight. The fight was coming down to the wire but the group felt confident they could win and with her casting they did. All the melee types and cleric was down to half or less hp and they was out of healing potions. Then they withdrew to go rest up.

The above is and always has been how our games go. The caster shine more early on but the longer it goes and they get low on spells they start to save more of them until eventually the melee types start to shine for awhile. *shrug* I know everyones play experience is different but then again that's my point.


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Our group just doesn't see the overpowered caster issue come into play at all, and we've run games that typically stretch up to about 16th level.

If anything, we see exactly the opposite: casters are glass-jawed and often dropped by tough melee opponents. Layers and layers of defenses such as spell resistance, elemental resistance, and magic immunity typically nullify the really good high-level spells, and oftentimes creatures have sufficiently good saving throws that negate spells right off the bat.

Additionally, the complexity of being more or less unable to cast within reach of anything that deals significant damage shuts down a lot of good spells before they even start. Heck, it doesn't just ruin the casting - you lose the damn spell slot for the whole day.

By contrast, melee and ranged warriors have to worry about two things and two things only: armor class and damage reduction. If they can bypass those two qualities easily, and ramp up their base damage bonus high enough that even minimizing means eating away at 5-10% of an enemy's hp with a single hit, they overshadow the efficacy of the caster every time in a fight.

Now, I've read the optimization guides that talk about how to play a wizard or sorcerer as if he were a god, and I realize dealing damage isn't everything. But in practice, I find that spells often sound a lot cooler in concept than they end up being in execution - and it seems to me that it's a result of an inherent designer-developer bias against casters in game resulting from the complaints of people who think their warriors are the ones being overlooked. I can't count the number of times I read the name and description of a spell and go, "Oh, that's cool" - and then look at the mechanical specifics and realize that there are so many limitations on the actual application of the spell that it makes it almost completely useless.

Maybe other groups have this problem, but ours don't now and never have before. Our fighters, barbarians, and rangers are consistently more effective than our clerics, sorcerers, and witches, and the warriors' over-optimized builds often force our GM to make creatures so tough that we casters go from being just mediocre to downright useless.


I have been playing D&D for over 20 years and have enjoyed many aspects of 1st and 2nd ed. I mostly play a fighter type. I have never been offended by wizards who bust out thier nasty spells. I have enjoyed the game without the wizard needing to be nerfed in order to bring balance to the world. I find that when " people" try to bring balance to the game we end up with these splits and now look at the game.... The old saying still holds true. If it aint broke don't fix it. In my humble opnion the wizard was broke , but yet we still feel the need to fix it


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Power Word Unzip wrote:

Our group just doesn't see the overpowered caster issue come into play at all, and we've run games that typically stretch up to about 16th level.

If anything, we see exactly the opposite: casters are glass-jawed and often dropped by tough melee opponents. Layers and layers of defenses such as spell resistance, elemental resistance, and magic immunity typically nullify the really good high-level spells, and oftentimes creatures have sufficiently good saving throws that negate spells right off the bat.

Additionally, the complexity of being more or less unable to cast within reach of anything that deals significant damage shuts down a lot of good spells before they even start. Heck, it doesn't just ruin the casting - you lose the damn spell slot for the whole day.

By contrast, melee and ranged warriors have to worry about two things and two things only: armor class and damage reduction. If they can bypass those two qualities easily, and ramp up their base damage bonus high enough that even minimizing means eating away at 5-10% of an enemy's hp with a single hit, they overshadow the efficacy of the caster every time in a fight.

This describes the experience of my group almost exactly.


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As a DM, I don't concern myself if the wizard is over-powered or not. What bothers me is if a wizard has spells or other abilities that let him do what has been reserved for other classes.

If a wizard can out-melee the fighter, out-sneak the thief, or out-heal the cleric, then I have problems. I don't want the munchkins in my group to be able to make the other character classes superfluous.

The way I run D&D, it's a team effort. If any one of the basic roles is overlapped by any of the others, I take steps to fix that.

I've heard a lot of things from WotC about 5E that seem self-contradictory, like the most recent "we've gone back to the core" but "instead of using hit points in the traditonal way, we're focusing on non-magical healing".

If the game fits what I want in D&D, I'll play it. If doesn't quite fit, but it's easier to houserule into a game I want to play than 3.5 has been, I'll still play it. If it falls into neither category, I won't play it. I'll still have 3.5 no matter what.

But the playtest is due to begin in just a little while. Everybody needs to chill, and wait and see.

Stop arguing about a game we haven't even seen.

Dark Archive

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Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
Stop arguing about a game we haven't even seen.

This is the internet if we all stopped arguing and talking about stuff we have no idea about, then no one would be posting at all. :)


Let's argue about which is better--a d20 system or a d% system.

That argument is only about 30 years old. :)


Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

Let's argue about which is better--a d20 system or a d% system.

That argument is only about 30 years old. :)

But it isn't one that is shaping the next version of DnD. Nor is it an argument that actually has anything to do with DnD.

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Scott Betts wrote:
An intelligent magic user prepares ahead of time in such a way that his arsenal of spells is far greater than any expected level of challenge would require of him.

An intelligent magic-user would indeed prepare ahead of time. But one can prepare only so far...

Preparation is limited on the availability of funds and information...

One can know that they are about to enter so-and-so's tomb, but they are limited to what information is available. And this information is rarely accurate down to the last monster or trap, much less the layout of the place...

Scott Betts wrote:
Again, because of the huge gold surplus spellcasters enjoy due to not having to compete in the weapon-and-armor race, characters like wizards can afford silly amounts of magic consumables that give them both longevity and flexibility.

This depends greatly upon the level of the magic-user...

Scott Betts wrote:
A well-played full-caster should never have to choose whether to use spells in a given encounter. He should be using spells every encounter, and should be using a couple of powerful spells every encounter, to boot!

This depends greatly upon how magic and its use is viewed by the player. It is but only ONE way of imagining how magic should work...

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Wow, I am not usually an alarmist but this is exactly what should not be happening. Penalizing a class because it can creatively use its abilities. "A 1st level spell should not be able to neutralize a 15th level cleric" Hey you choose heavy armor and don't take any ranks in acrobatics and don't prepare any spells to allow you to escape at 15th level it is your fault, not the fault of the grease spell.

In my mind one thing great about D&D/pathfinder is that you cannot be good at everything. Nerfing every spell/ability that can be used creatively to defeat a more powerful opponent is a horrible design philosophy. Why not just make flaming oil illegal because it always hits (touch attack) and it negates swarms. By Mike's way of thinking only fighters should always hit so every other ability/item that allows other classes to hit frequently should be done away with.

As someone who has played D&D closer to 4 decades than 3 decades I don't know whether to be worried or disgusted.

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Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

Let's argue about which is better--a d20 system or a d% system.

That argument is only about 30 years old. :)

I say d%!!! Role Master for me even if I was once defeated by a hill because I could not walk up it in armor!:)

Waits expectently,...

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

I'm sorry I just can't get over this.

"I want creativity not number crunching!"..."Hey! you can't use grease like that!"


Pyrrhic Victory wrote:
Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

Let's argue about which is better--a d20 system or a d% system.

That argument is only about 30 years old. :)

I say d%!!! Role Master for me even if I was once defeated by a hill because I could not walk up it in armor!:)

Waits expectently,...

Misguided souls... Roll & Keep beats them. Storyteller beats them. BRP beats them (ok, that one is d% based system). And GURPS with 3d6 is supreme over every other form of game mechanic except my fiat.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

I did like me some gurps back it the day...kind of like Savage Worlds today. but what is BRP??


Ugh, quoting's a pain, but referencing DigitalElf's response to Scott:

1. The efficacy of thorough preparation for prepared casters is also limited by situational results. For example, if I just happened to prepare ONE glitterdust spell today, and we just happen to fight ONE really nasty enemy with the equivalent of greater invisibility active, and no one else can see invisible things, and that enemy has nasty little creatures standing in its way that the meat shields can't block or puree, chances are bad that I'm going to get a shot off with it. I can lose that spell to provoking because I don't know the reach of the henchmen due to an aberrant physical quality and even Combat Casting didn't give me the oomph I needed*. Or my enemy could just roll a really high saving throw. Twice, if he has Improved Iron Will (although so few builds do).

Glitterdust doesn't allow for SR, but say it's a banishment spell and I know our enemy is an outsider (because I took Knowledge [Planes] like a good boy). I could lose the spell to a bad SR roll, even with Spell Penetration.

And if Combat Casting and Spell Penetration took the place of Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot in my feat tree and I'm casting a touch spell, I'm pretty much fubar'd if things are standing in the way or someone is unknowingly in melee with the target.

And so there goes my preparatory measures, and our shot at defeating this enemy - or even possibly at surviving the encounter. We could teleport away, but we were fighting on an airship. No clue where the thing'll be in an hour.

2. Some GMs (the good ones, in my experience) limit what you can walk into a store and buy and how much time you have to eliminate a threat before it grows out of control. In our high-level game, I know exactly what my archenemy is and what I need to trump it, and it's possible I could commission the right arsenal to take him out. I'd go broke doing it, but it could be done.

You know why I haven't? Because the world is gonna basically blow up in nine days. There's a time limitation in the story, and a scarcity of goods represented by the mechanics for crafting magic items. It takes a lot of time once you're level 15+ to get level-appropriate gear made from scratch, even if you're a mastercrafter yourself (which I am - nearly every party member is wearing a piece of magic armor or wielding a magic weapon I made, at another feat tax cost).

3. But sometimes, especially for prepared-slot casters, even if you CAN use a spell in every encounter - heck, in every round of every encounter - doing so isn't the most effective thing you can do. I play a witch. Sure, I lean on some hexes (Spell Hex/Ill Omen is a particularly nasty combo) and I keep certain spells prepared to meet party demands, but occasionally, what I need to do - and can't reliably - is to HURT something. (Until I level up and take Arcane Blast, anyway.) Fighters, rogues, rangers, paladins, barbarians et. al. unequivocally can far more often than me.

There are MANY layers of power-check between casters and the game already in D&D 3.5 and its descendants and predecessors. The idea that warrior types are at a disadvantage is just not well-founded, even if those core classes could be mechanically "sexier". The solution is not to water down casters, but to make fighters more interesting. I think a lot of warrior-minded players like 4E for that reason, and I can see why. 4E is probably the first edition of the game where I might actually prefer to play a single-classed fighter over any other PC type. And that is an interesting and surprising observation to me as I write this.

*Spell check didn't flag this. First spell check win ever.

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