The acceptance of forced genre shifts. You cannot play published D&D content and stay gritty, nor can you play action hero stuff without slogging through grit.
I don't see how you can play the same game at 20th level that you are playing at 1st. A 20th level fighter can fall off a cliff, walk across lava, or fight an army of 10,000 orcs and survive. You can't do that with a 1st level character and that doesn't even take into account the reality shattering possibilities of a 20th level wizard compared to a 1st level wizard.
The game changes as your characters level and I can't see how you get away from that. Sure, things can be difficult, challenging, and life-threatening at level 20, just like level 1, but you're characters aren't facing the same challenges and difficulties that you were facing at level 1.
Care to explain? Especially about what you find toxic?
This is my biggest problem with trying to stat up characters from books in D&D/Pathfinder, the whole class system doesn't always work well or fit.
For Rand al'Thor I would honestly just use the D&D 3.0 Wheel of Time book to create his character. It definitely needs some fleshing out with regards to weaves and powers but I like the overall approach.
Aaron Bitman wrote:
No worries. I lucked out and happened to be working from home on a slow day with the books nearby.
I find it depends on the mood of the players and whether or not they have a character in mind. When players don't have anything particular in mind, rolling for stats in order can be a good way to get the creative juices flowing and provide them with inspiration for a character.
If you have a specific character in mind then I think point buy is the way to go.
Which had the added benefit of removing its ability to turn someone to stone. So at that point the basilisk is essentially a giant venomous snake.
I don't know if DCs changed much between 3.5 and Pathfinder but in 3rd edition I think the DCs were designed with the assumption that skill ranks would be spread around to multiple skills instead of maxed out. In 3.0/3.5 a commoner would have 8 ranks at first level which they could spread around to be proficient in lots of things but not hyper-focused (which matches up with most people in real life). A 1st level commoner with a single rank in Craft would need high quality tools, assistants, and high quality materials to be able to get enough bonuses to routinely make masterwork items. Which makes sense when you think about history and reality. Most craftsmen had apprentices and assistants to help with their work. For the commoner who focused in just one or two skills they would be really good at that one thing but not be able to do anything else.
The DCs would start to get wonky and not make sense if you go the Pathfinder route and assume everyone is super focused in a smaller number of skills.
The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings is a perfect example of what happens when you take low level characters and give them artifacts and/or powerful magic items. There are artifact rings (Bilbo/Frodo/Sam and Gandalf), magic/artifact swords (pretty much all of them except Legolas and Gimli), magic/legendary armor, magic cloaks, vials of magic, and lots of other stuff.
I think people over-simplify the encounter and treat it like a straight up fight between Aragorn and the wraiths. I'm sure the Ring Wraiths original plan was to walk up, kill them all, and take the ring. However, there was a lot about the situation they hadn't planned on or anticipated. First, the group was prepared for them with a rather large bonfire and remember, the wraiths are weaker in light than in the dark, hence the reason Sauron later sends great clouds to cover the world. Second, all of the hobbits were armed with essentially minor to major artifact weapons. The barrow weapons being specifically made to fight the Witch King and his armies. Third, the wraiths were not at full power at this point and were intentionally trying to keep a low profile because Sauron wasn't ready to start his war. Fourth, both Frodo and Aragorn speak, essentially words of warding/power at the wraiths. As Aragorn says, the name of Elbereth was probably the most powerful counter-measure they employed as it inflicts pain on them to hear the name spoken. Lastly, once they stab Frodo with the dagger, why stick around to fight when you don't have to? Now, if this was an encounter between just Aragorn and the fully powered Ring Wraiths and Witch King from the end of the book, then they would have mopped the floor with him. Even fully powered Gandalf was barely a match for the Witch King.
As for Merry and Eowyn, keep in mind that Merry is wielding a magical dagger specifically designed to kill the Witch King. They state that his stabbing the Witch King in the leg with a Dagger of Westernesse broke the spells of protection surrounding the Witch King.
Essentially, killing the big bad uber powerful undead is possible for low level characters when you have the specific McGuffin needed to kill them.
Don't get me wrong. I certainly prefer the 3.0/3.5 version of the rule (which incidentally enough was what we used anyway), but upon reading the Pathfinder rules, I came to the same conclusion as DM_Blake. Which only served to reinforce my decision to start with 3.0 and add the things from Pathfinder I liked as opposed to starting with Pathfinder and working the other way.
Isn't that what the skill Spellcraft is for? To be able to look at the different ingredients and figure out what is being cast?
That interpretation doesn't make sense to me. If there is no spell prior to completion then what is the spell caster doing? If they are casting the spell then doesn't that imply some kind of build up?
I think a better analogy would be walking into a kitchen and seeing the ingredients on the counter and the oven on.
If you walk into the kitchen and see milk, eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pans on the counter and the oven is on you can't figure out that something is about to be baked?
If you walk in and the oven is on, the ingredients aren't on the counter but there is a bowl full of batter you can't figure out that baking is about to happen?
On a similar note, why are we even rolling or buying a number that then is only used to determine another number? That 10 WIS vs 13 WIS is meaningless. The +0 WIS bonus vs +1 WIS bonus is meaningful. It tells you something that is mechanically represented by the rest of the system.
If all the system ultimately cares about is the bonus, why not skip the step of rolling/buying attributes and just directly determine what the bonus is for each attribute?
If his goal is for everyone to have fun and enjoy the game, then why didn't he provide a list of the rule changes in advance? Dropping rule changes on people like that in the middle of the game is pretty detrimental to the whole fun thing.
My issues with the rules are the dumb way its presented.
"So here is how you determine cover. This is what cover means. Oh, and here is a different type of cover with different rules. And here's another type of cover. Oh, and here's a third type of cover that is sort of like the first type but different. Oh, and here's the rules for large creatures and cover."
Cerberus Seven wrote:
Nope, they are completely different. The 3.0 rules are much clearer and simpler to apply.
EDIT: removed the actual rules list since the formatting was terrible. Check here for the rule instead (under Combat Modifiers).
I'm not arguing that swinging wouldn't have an effect. Just not as effective as thrusting.
A lot of it comes down to the quality of the plate armor which obviously ranged from older steel armors through later hardened steel plate armor. Some of it comes down to where they have maile vs. plates and much of it comes down to fit. Punching a hole in a breastplate? Not a big deal. Punching a hole in your greaves? That will hurt.
With plate armor the thing to keep in mind is that pretty much all breast plates had space between the breast plate and the body due in one part to shape (the armors weren't flat but globe shaped to reflect blows) and to the fact that something was worn underneath. Early on maile was worn underneath and later a quilted doublet was worn. Both of which provide good protection against whatever gets through the plate armor. For helmets, it really depends on what kind of helmet. Most soldiers in plate armor are likely wearing a great helm of some sort which is worn over another helmet. So denting or piecing it isn't going to be a huge inconvenience.
Greaves, however, and some of the armor on the extremities, were pretty much shaped to the individual wearer and so punching a hole would leave a wound.
The effect of dented armor on a user (even a helmet) is highly overrated.
You also have to be careful with William Wallace since there is a lot of myth, legend, and propaganda included in the writings (from both sides of the conflict) and the Wallace Sword that hangs in a museum is a Frankenstein monster of a weapon. The handle is 16th century (since according to records it was re-hilted) and the blade, as far as metallurgists can determine, is actually three blades forged together. Swords of that size pretty much didn't exist or weren't used at that time. That said, Wallace did use a two-handed sword, it's called a longsword.
If you watch anything produced by the History Channel or The Learning Channel with regards to historical weapons, you can ignore most of what they say. The shows are highly dubious.
Mid to late plate armor was really really good. There's a reason everyone switched to polearms and guns.
EDIT: If you find the Wallace article I would love to read it. I've been reading a bunch of stuff about him recently and its been fascinating to see all of the different ways he was portrayed by different groups in different periods of time.
Weren't large two-handed swords like the great sword specifically used to fight people in heavy armor? It had enough heft that it could cleave right through an arm or a leg even in full plate.
Actually, large two-handed swords (like the montante or zweihander) were used more like polearms, mostly for thrusting when facing plate armor. Against less armored foes you could cut and chop but with plate armor, you pretty much need to get them on the ground and then drive the point through one of the gaps.
Mana Chicken wrote:
This is the same guy who doesn't believe in Monks because "realistically speaking" if you punch someone in heavy armor you're going to break your hand....this is a freaking game. Filled with dragons and people burping fire (one of my party members can actually do that. it literally says "belching").
Stuff like this is BS. Has the DM given you a list of houserules in advance? Ask him/her for a list if they haven't so you can actually prepare and have fun.
Here are a few of my basic ones.
7ft - 8ft spears can be used easily and quite effectively one-handed with a shield (either overhand or underhand). That's how spears were primarily used throughout history. Granted an 8ft spear would not have been called a "longspear" but just a spear. A longspear would essentially be a pike which would absolutely be used two handed.
D&D/Pathfinder weapons are not terribly accurate from a historical perspective.
[sarcasm]That's not a longsword, that's a bastard sword.[/sarcasm] According to the rules at least...
October 29, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. PT
I think he is referencing this portion here:
Ineffective Weapons: Certain weapons just can't effectively deal damage to certain objects. For example, a bludgeoning weapon cannot be used to damage a rope. Likewise, most melee weapons have little effect on stone walls and doors, unless they are designed for breaking up stone, such as a pick or hammer.
TELL THEM! I repeat, TELL THEM! I had this happen to me twice and it sucked both times (not so much for me but for everyone else at the table).
If they have no chance of winning then what's the point of playing out the fight? What does it accomplish?
What kind of post-apocalypse are we talking about? No magic? No gods? Primitive technology? Everything is ruled by an evil overlord?
I would first check and see if the players are even interested in playing a post-apocalyptic wold.
Do what you were going to do before and just see how it plays out. Talk to them about their characters and see what their plans are. Building a character from five different books doesn't mean they can't roleplay. It might mean that in Pathfinder, it required five books for them to create the particular character with the flavor and background they wanted.
Also, keep in mind that the characters are who they are while playing. Not just a pile of numbers on paper.
Well, whose to say they are the only adventurers in the area? Maybe the next time they come back to town there are other heroes there who ask them to leave?
EDIT: reread the OP and answered my own question...
Have you asked them about why they dump the stat and don't use the skills?
All depends on the game. When you have an open sandbox game, all of the players have 3+ characters to use, and there is not giant meta-plot then characters can come and go. Some retire because they made their money and want to live comfy lives for what time they have left, another might finally have the funds and opportunity to start a church, and another may have just decided that after having his soul sucked on by a shadow he/she doesn't want to adventure anymore.
Sometimes players just want to try something new or get bored with their existing character.
I look at it this way. Retired characters are features of the game world. They are a known entity that I as GM can use to pull the players in more and engage them. Retired players don't just disappear.
Are the players having fun? Is the fighter bored? If no one is bored and the players are having fun then don't worry about it.
On the other side, the player did spend a feat to be good at something. Why not let them be good at it? How good are they at ranged combat? There is always a trade off with specialization.
I would also aim to mix up the encounters. Having a mix of ranged, melee, and magical opponents should keep things interesting. Don't forget the use of difficult terrain for slowing movement, pits and obstacles to funnel movement, and hazardous environments.
Anyway, back to the thread at hand!
I think Bill Dunn hits the sacred cows as I would see them.
Bill Dunn wrote:
Of this list about half of them I wouldn't mind if they change and for the rest I would want them to be the base option with other options available.
Ultimately my biggest concern with healing isn't whether it makes sense in the great abstraction that is HP, but how its effectiveness and availability.
I'd like magical healing to be more effective and for there to be more sources (mundane and otherwise) for healing that are flavorful and interesting.
Yes it is a significant boost to healing, which I don't have a problem with.
That said, that change doesn't stand alone as I've made several others.
First, I reduced the dice rolled from d8 to d6 which seems to work a little better.
Two, I've reduced the number of healing spells down to three: CLW, CMW, and Heal. Heal is updated to work more like the 2E version of the spell. This change I could probably scrap due to the change below.
Three, clerics do not spontaneously cast cure spells but domain spells instead. If you want to play a cleric who is about healing you take the healing domain.
My main reason for wanting to boost healing is that my friends NEVER play clerics. Over the last 20 years I've seen my friends play 2 clerics and only grudgingly because they felt someone needed to heal. Most of the clerics in the party have been NPCs. So boosting healing means someone who plays a bard or druid can provide adequate healing without having to dedicate themselves to it.
It also allowed me to introduce alchemical potions that heal 1d8+1 or 2d8+1 which helped to make Alchemy a more interesting skill.
Maybe I'm an idiot but I'm not seeing the comparison.
Are we assuming they are receiving the exact same physical injury? If so why? That 5 HP hit on a wizard is 5/6 of his HP while on the fighter it is 5/12. I don't think I would consider them the exact same injury. It also doesn't make sense to me since the HP loss could be from multiple attacks.
I don't have an issue with higher level characters healing more hit points than a lower level character its that the healing spell becomes less effective compared to bed rest as you go up in level.
Mostly this is due to the abstraction of what HP represent.
Yeah, that was the direction I was heading in as well except I realized I didn't want to rewrite a whole bunch of the system and just went with the number rolled representing the number of days of natural healing you receive.
Wait, we watch TV shows for the theme songs?
Catchy theme songs off the top of my head:
I think a big difference with regards to TV shows is that the theme song is no longer needed to sell the show and is no longer needed to fill space while the opening credits run. It is also not needed as an auditory queue for when the show starts since people can just record the show and watch it when they want.
I think it's more than that though. Why is CLW (1d8+1 at first level) more effective when cast on a wizard than a barbarian? Assuming it heals 4 points on average that's half a first level wizard's hit points (assuming 6 to start plus 2 from Con) but less than a third of a barbarian's hit points (assuming 12 to start plus at least 2 from Con). That seems strange to me.
Now compare that 4 hit points of healing to natural healing. At first level it is 4 days worth of natural healing or 2 days of full bed rest. At 4th level it is 1 day of healing or 1/2 day of full bed rest. Why the change?
My inclination would be to fix the healing spells to make them better match with the rest of the HP system. Either make them 1DX+1 where X is the hit die type of the recipient, which gets wonky and complicated with multi-classing, or make it provide 1d8+1 days of natural healing.
I like the idea that more powerful characters require more powerful magic but it would be nice if the spells were a little more consistent with other types of healing.