# Frank Trollman's page

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Reckless wrote:
Frank Trollman wrote:

We just hit a stop codon. You claimed that you could hit 2 Stone Giants with each of your Fireballs (which may or may not be true, but we'll give it to you), and thus that in 2 rounds you could deliver 154 damage total between both of them. But neither Stone Giant has actually taken 154 damage or even 119 damage - one has taken more damage than the other, but both are still standing and fully effective.
-Frank
Actually, If he hits two Stone Giants, with a maximized (by rod) fireball, he does 103 damage to each stone Giant that fails its save each fireball. Given that a Stone Giant will fail the save (DC14+stat Mod~+3=17 vs Reflex +6) on a 10 or less, I make the mathmatical assumption that the Stone Giants will save 1/2 the time, for a total of 154 points of damage to each Stone giant over the course of 2 maximized fireballs. If both Giants make both their saves, he has done 102 damage to each, in which case, yes, he is likely fubared.

You're going to have to use small words. A Maximized Fireball only does 60 damage on a failed save. A maximized, empowered fireball does 77 on a failed save. I don't see how you get to 103 damage. Like, at all.

-Frank

Lich-Loved wrote:
Exactly, though I would like to add (and this is important for the overall point of this thread): since CR is undefined

Dude, no. It's not undefined. We pick up an Ogre. He doesn't have an undefined CR. He doesn't have a variable CR. He has a CR of three.

If it's Wednesday, his CR is 3. If he's fighting a 17th level Archmage his CR is 3. If he's fighting two dozen 1st level commoners his CR is 3. In fact, if he isn't fighting anyone at all, his CR is still three.

And if he is defeated by a larger party, they get less total XP. His CR doesn't go down, the XP just gets divided up. If he faces a smaller party, they get more XP. His CR again doesn't change, they just get more according to the formula in the DMG.

The Ogre's CR is always 3. It's not undefined. It's a number. It's a constant. It's three.

-Frank

Chris, the Strong Case is a given. Seriously, CR is defined as a constant value. There should be no argument about that. Many of LL's comments only make any sense if you assume that he's talking about EL and not CR - something he himself has admitted to doing on occasion.

Seriously. CR is a constant. It's not a derived variable that is treated as a constant, it's a constant. It's like a monster's Base Saves. They don't really change even if the monsters come in larger numbers or the PCs come in smaller numbers.

-Frank

Chris Mortika wrote:

If Challenge Rating were to act as a constant, then the following statements would be equivalent:

"A well-balanced party of 3 PCs can barely vanquish 8 hobgoblin fighters."
"A well-balanced party of 9 PC's can barely vanquish 24 hobgoblin fighters."

That hasn't been my experience.

That doesn't make any sense. CR is the strength of an individual monster, not of the strength of the entire group of enemies. So the CR of each Hobgoblin is fixed.

-Frank

That's a bad reference point, because the default assumptions are that such a group should win just about all the time with minimal expenditures of resources against CR 10 opposition. Your reference point should be at a point where the players are supposed to be substantially taxed, or you won't be able to tell the difference between "somewhat weak," "just right," and "crazy overoverpowered." Those will all look the same to you.

-Frank

Lich Loved wrote:
Those that believe this have forgotten CR is not a constant except for parties of 4 core characters.

Um... CR is a constant. All the time. That's what a constant is. Encounter Level is a variable, one which varies according to all kinds of inputs such as numbers and position.

If you encounter a group of monsters with a smaller or larger party, the relative Encounter Level to the Party Level goes up and down. But the CR of every single monster in the opposition group is still exactly the same.

-Frank

I don't see how CR wouldn't apply. There are many classes which are currently capable of going 1:1 vs. monsters of their level as predicted by the original authors. These characters have a tendency to be near the top of the list power-wise, so a global bid to power creep everyone else up to the high end (excluding Druids and Beguilers) wouldn't require trashing CR at all - quite the opposite.

Now you can pick any balance point you want. But if you choose one other than the Blink Rogue, the Pounce Rogue, the Conjurer (excluding Chain Binding), the Illusionist (Excluding Shadowmist's Fire), and the Cleric (excluding the Shadow Over the Sun), then you'll have to reformat CRs.

-Frank

Chris wrote:

I hold an M.S. and some of a PhD. in Mathematics, including several courses in Numerical Analysis, and I've taught A.P. Statistics.

Really, the discussions we're having here are probability, not statistics, and are at a highschool / undergraduate level.

This is very importantly true. The math we are talking here is not higher math. It's simple math. No one here should honestly be being confused by anything mathematical that is being tossed around in this discussion. And while Lich Loved is throwing a lot of the math around, his actual argument is completely non-mathematical. It's that the Encounter Level rules are not applicable to parties with less than four people. And the fact is that the Party Level/Encounter Level/CR rules are explicitly written to include "larger and smaller parties." His fundamental claim that the rules were never intended to allow for parties larger or smaller than four is flat false.

Nor is the concept being introduced in Pathfinder. The new XP charts list a party size of "1" as an available option. All of the math is a smokescreen for an essentially indefensible argument that the game of D&D is irreducibly complex and that we should not attempt to examine its underpinnings in order to gain information.

Where have I heard that argument before?
Right Here.

-Frank

So, if we're debating the math of the CR system, let's debate the math.

But we aren't doing that. Lich Loved isn't really debating the math behind the game at all, he's essentially just calling Skip Williams a liar. Not a failure (which many people have honest reasons to do), but liar - which is pure conjecture on his part.

Cook and Williams ran through their projected math for what high level combatants should accomplish. Lich Loved alternates between the argument that he doesn't like those standards and the argument that these standards were not met. And while I am willing to grant both of his arguments, neither one actually leads us to the conclusion that they did not intend to meet those standards.

That something IS does not imply that it OUGHT. That something OUGHT does not imply that it IS. Lich Loved arguing that he thinks the standards ought to be different does not mean that they are. Lich Loved pointing out places in the game where the results are not the same as what the original designers said they should be does not mean that they should be that way.

Lich Loved has rejected the power scale that the original designers said they were trying to operate under. But he hasn't provided for the creation of one he wouldn't reject. All he has done is prevaricated and conducted smear campaigns.

That those smear campaigns are directed at me personally makes me an interested party of course - but he's still wrong. He's still not actually offering any evidence to support his views or even articulating what his views are. He has made himself immune to logical debate by virtue of not actually having a position to be debated. Basically, he's just a jerk.

-Frank

Any system that gets rid of Knowledge (Dungeoneering) and Knowledge (Nobility) is a system which I would support. Those Knowledges annoy the crap out of me.

Especially Dungeoneering. What does identifying a Sky Bleeder have to do with Cave Survival?

-Frank

Lich Loved, you are a terrible human being and a terrible scientist. Not only have you created not one, but now at least two (or more?) threads specifically to flame me, but there were seriously already threads on exactly this concept that you had already been linked to. You deliberately created a flame thread in a place I rarely go and then didn't link to it in any of the ongoing discussions. You are a lousy debater and a morally decrepit individual.

But you are also just like Ben Stein. You argue against reason and science, but you don't even have a testable model to replace things with. Seriously, you offer absolutely nothing to this or any other discussion. You have no clue how to design an experiment to test whether something is balanced to your entirely subjective and unreasoned liking, and have not even proposed a methodology by which anyone might be able to do so.

I vote that this thread be locked, and with prejudice. It was created in bad faith by a person of no character for the explicit purpose of flaming another person. Lich Loved, and everyone who aids him in any way in his pathetic project should be ashamed.

-Frank

I honestly don't care if everyone gets themselves a +5 inherent bonus to all stats. I do care if people get a +5 bonus to their prime stats or worse, move 5 points from their dump stats to their prime stats. The first one just upshifts the numbers, balance isn't altered because everyone is moving the DCs and Bonuses together. The second and third though push characters farther apart. Attacks get bigger and defenses stay the same or even shrink. This means that the game becomes less of a game and more of a Rocket Launcher Tag scenario, where the guy who wins initiative just wins outright.

Two thumbs down.

-Frank

Reckless wrote:

Actually, he easily kills two or more Stone Giants in 2 rounds using up 2 3rd (mid-level) spells enhanced by an item. (154 damage in a 20' spread) And this leaves him with all of his higher level daily slots. But by the 2nd fight of the day, it will take him 3-4 rounds, and by the 3rd or 4th fight, he starts to become a liability to the rest of the group.

We just hit a stop codon. You claimed that you could hit 2 Stone Giants with each of your Fireballs (which may or may not be true, but we'll give it to you), and thus that in 2 rounds you could deliver 154 damage total between both of them. But neither Stone Giant has actually taken 154 damage or even 119 damage - one has taken more damage than the other, but both are still standing and fully effective.

You can survive in this situation, but only by casting additional defensive spells like displacement or improved invisibility. That's more spell slots and more rounds that it takes this character to kill anything.

Your own math showed him not killing any Stone Giants in the time it would take any one of them to bash his brains out with a club.

-Frank

Virgil wrote:
Where is the source material that states that thrown objects stop blinking once they leave your possession? I have a DM trying to say they have a chance of 'stopping' while ethereal, and thus maintain the miss chance.

It's in Skip William's masterpiece on Incorporeality, Ethereality, and Gaseous Form. It's archived Here.

-Frank

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
In 1e, the stated goal was that a 10th level fighter was equal to 10 first-level fighters.

Your memory is wrong. A 9th level AD&D Fighter got "an army" as a class feature. Not only was a 10th level Fighter supposed to be able to hack his way through dozens of men by himself, he actually had dozens of men under his command who were themselves the equal of a man each by definition.

10th level adventures like Expedition to the Demon Web Pits had you fight humanoid warriors in the literal hundreds and then fight an actual god in hand to hand combat.

-Frank

Things you may not have noticed:

• Blink does not apply a miss chance to thrown items, because they stop blinking when they stop being attended objects.

• If Paizo goes through with their plan to nerf blink into the Rogue wastebin, then people will stop using it. But that doesn't get rid of wands of greater invisibility, or the plane old standard of wearing a blindfold of true darkness and keeping a rock with deeper darkness cast upon it in your mouth.

• Even if the Evoker can run through his high end spells/items/whatever to kill a Stone Giant in three rounds, that's still not even impressive and it's using up a lot of high end daily abilities.

Remember the guy with the sword doesn't even have to kill the giants faster. He just has to, on average, not kill them any slower to make the Wizard into something of a hobo if he's using up top spell levels.

This is why I support reducing the spell levels on Evocations rather than changing the damage. With the right feats and equipment you seriously can kill things in reasonable numbers of actions with Evocations. It's just that using up your top spells to kill an opponent in a reasonable number of actions is itself only reasonable if the enemy isn't fighting back during this period - and that's not how Evocation rolls.

-Frank

A genuine possibility is to provide encounter guidelines whereby people fight more stuff, especially before going up in level. The rubric where one 11th level PC is supposed to be roughly equal to one CR 11 monster is certainly an understandable and workable design goal. But you could just as plausibly have a setup in which a CR 11 Monster was defined as a "challenge" for an 11th level character (that is: 4 CR 11 Monsters would be equal to a single 11th level character). You wouldn't have to recalculate anything except the CRs of NPCs made off the new rules (and it would be a trivial calculation at that).

Power creep doesn't have to be annoying to calculate or difficult to implement, so long as it keeps a known and fixed ratio with the power level ideals of the original system. A new Experience Awards system has to be written in any case, and I would just assume that the default assumption involved a lot more accomplishment between level gains. It's kind of frustrating for 1st level characters to achieve Epic standing in between major holidays.

To say that we have to power things up or power things down is facetious. If we want to keep the D&D power assumptions we have to cut a few broken spell effects off the top of the tree, power the crap out of most of the non-casters, and call ourselves good boys. But if we also adjust our expectations of what constitutes a "standard" encounter we could jolly well weaken everything to the power of a Monk or power up every class to the level of Druid and beyond and still stay closer on mark than the original 3e printing ever was.

-Frank

Ah indeed you did. Things you overlooked:

• The maximized Evoker doesn't have enough spells to take on a group of Stone Giants if he's using 5th level spell slots for the purpose. He only has 3 (2 for level, 1 for Int bonus).

• The Mounted Charger gets to use Ride-by-Attack with a Lance.

• A 10th level Halfling Hurler can and will invest in a ring of blink and a pile of Acid Flasks.

-Frank

THERE IS ALREADY A G#% D#%NED THREAD! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

-Frank

I posted a link. If you want to yell at me, do so in the thread supplied for exactly that argument. Do not stalk me from thread to thread demanding long arguments that require a fair amount of algebra and quote mining. This is not the first thread that you have derailed, stop doing it.

-Frank

Reckless, do you care to respond in any way to the numerical analysis that I posted on this very thread?

Many of us are already in the convinced pile as we've gone over the numbers hundreds of times, several times on this very board. What do you have to offer or claim here?

-Frank

Lich-Loved wrote:
Frank Trollman wrote:

I made a copy of the email I sent to the Malformed, and I put it Here.

I will not clutter this particular thread with the ongoing argument.

-Frank

Great. Then I would suggest not using the argument (a CR8 fighter should be able to defeat a CR8 monster 50% of the time or the fighter is broken), which has its flaws as I have pointed out, as a basis for anything you post here.

No.

-Frank

Here in the Czech Republic it's like 18:30 right now.

-Frank

I made a copy of the email I sent to the Malformed, and I put it Here.

I will not clutter this particular thread with the ongoing argument.

-Frank

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Reckless wrote:
Burrito Al Pastor wrote:

I think you're misreading Frank here. He's not saying that any given person's experience of a problem doesn't mean it exists; indeed, it very well proves that it's come up at least once. Frank is talking about the notion that the absence of personal experience means that the problem doesn't exist at all. You can say, having experienced a problem, that it exists. You can't say, having not experienced it, that it doesn't exist.

And I would say that this is also false reasoning. Just because "George" has a problem with a rule, does not mean the problem with the Rule exists. Maybe the problem is "George" and the way he is looking at the Rule. If "George" comes on here and says "Everyone knows that the Light spell is broken, because it lets you see in darkness, and I don't think you should be able to do that.", people have every right to express a different opinion. The idea that people cannot refute a perceived problem within the rules is ludicrous.

No.

NO.

NO!

I'm really getting short tempered with you, so I'll keep this extremely bare.

Not experiencing a problem is not the same thing as experiencing a non-problem.The fact that you haven't experienced a problem may mean that it doesn't exist. But it also may mean that you simply haven't experienced it for any of a thousand other reasons (characters selected other spells, players never read spells in question, spells were never cast in the manner that breaks the game, or whatever).

If you think that something isn't a problem, you'd better back that up with analysis or relevant personal experience or your supposition is worthless. Experience is relevant not merely because it involved playing the game, or even that it involved using the parts of the game that are being claimed as broken. It's relevant only if it included using the game elements cited in the manner predicted to break the game and it did not break the game.

So a relevant response to someone complaining about light might be "Our game has used light to see in the dark. We found that it had similar effects to the use of Torches, which our characters also had. As such, I do not find the use of cantrips to be out of line to save on materials which cost copper pieces." An irrelevant response would be "I've played a lot of D&D and I've never bothered casting light, so it's not broken." The first is an experience of the power being used in the way that was supposed to be unbalanced, the other was not. And way too often people come on this board to offer the second kind of critique.

If someone says that Rule X is broken because Y, you could make any of the following statements in response:

• The use of Rule X in conjunction with Y is in line with using Rule M in conjunction with N, I believe this is balanced.
• You are correct, I propose the following modification to Rule X or Y in order to fix the problem.
• You are incorrect, as you are reading Rule X and/or Y incorrectly.
• You are incorrect, Rule Z already accounts for this.

And the following are bad responses:
• Rule X is not broken because the DM could change the rules.
• Rule X is not broken because I have personally never experienced Rule X with Y.

If you make one of these bad responses, you are wrong. You are a bad person at this point. Your arguments make the world a worse place to be in.

-Frank

Keldarth wrote:
No doubt about it, but wouldn't it be better if we tone down the unneeded aggressivity?

Wouldn't it be even better if people didn't flame me in passive voice on threads that I'm actually participating in? Or if people didn't repeatedly use "Common" when they mean "Come on!"?

Yeah. That would be better.

By the way, the email is sent.

-Frank

No Aubrey, the DMG really does extend itself to parties of one character. The default party size is four, but the game has never claimed to be exclusive to four player characters. Nor should it be.

I've explained logs several times on this board and it is beginning to sound shrill and annoying. If you seriously don't understand it, you are welcome to email me on the subject, and I'll write out the math in long form and short words.

-Frank

Hogarth: you get two spells of your highest level of your choice. You get one 4th level spell at level 8, and one 4th level spell at level 9. Also you get the three preselected.

And no, the Draconic Heritage is not selected at random from the SRD. Those are the spells that Tiamat can actually cast. They are not the spells that make you glow funny colors and sprout scales - dragons don't get any of those spells. Dragons create water, control plants, control the weather, summon djinn, and so on. Those are the powers that Dragons in D&D really get.

From a conceptual standpoint, I find it blatantly obvious that if you get your magic from Dragons, that you should be getting the spells that Dragons cast, and not other spells that Dragons do not cast. Apparently you feel differently. You are welcome to make an extra heritage called Wyrm Power or something that gives you magic that look like they come from dragons as opposed to the spells that actually do come from dragons under the 3rd edition rules.

But I for one find continuity of abilities between Dragons and people who get their power from Dragons to be a lot more flavorful than having a total disconnect where Dragons get one set of powers and their flunkies get an entirely different set of powers that does something else. Even, neigh especially if the Dragons cast spells that take the form of clouds and the non-dragons with nominally dragon derived power are shooting giant dragon heads at people.

-Frank

But that's The Game. The game is that parties come in various sizes, with larger parties fighting more and stronger enemies and smaller parties fighting less and weaker enemies. The book extends all the way down to parties of just one person. The game tells us that a party of just one character should be so challenged by a monster of their level that they win and lose half the time (on average). So if you're saying that a single 20th level character should not be able to fight a CR 20 monster, you are telling us that the game is supposed to break down for smaller parties.

It sounds like you are just unhappy with the 3e D&D challenge rubric - which holds that characters beat the crap out of monsters (and vice versa) really fast, and longer combats are made by stringing these fast smackdowns together to form bigger battlefields.

4e has a challenge mechanic where combats take a long time and everyone has to beat on monsters together for several rounds before they drop. Is that what you want? They are seriously making a game for people who want combats to be like that.

-Frank

Giving selections is granting Variety. It costs Simplicity.
Giving direct abilities is Simple. It costs Variety.

Feat and Spell Selections are easy to write, but not easy to play with. Every time you tell people that they get a bonus feat, they have to look through literally thousands of feats to determine what all that ability could do. That's not simple. Every time you give someone a spell selection, you are having them look through thousands of spells just to determine your options. That's not simple either.

Giving fixed bonus feats ad fixed spells is a massive reduction in character production complexity.

-Frank

Gurubabaramalamaswami wrote:
For reasons of backwards compatibility, I think the simplest sorcerer fix is simply a bonus feat progression. Eschew Materials at 1st level and some form of metamagic or heritage feat every 4 or 5 levels.

That is the simplest bonus to write (though by no means the simplest bonus to actually implement on a character). But do you have any evidence that this would fix the characters in any meaningful way?

Because right now, Metamagic feats and Heritage feats are usually in the "not good" pile. Having more of them won't change your life much.

-Frank

Item Creation takes time. A fair amount of it in fact. While you do make a 27,600 gp profit on making a 120,000 gp magic item and reselling it to abstract buyers, that also takes 4 months. Per week of down time, you're only making about 1700 gold. And while that's non-trivial, it's also not something that most 12th level Wizards are going to wipe themselves with.

Characters really can make money much faster than that by any of a number of means.

-Frank

Viktor_Von_Doom wrote:
Frank Trollman wrote:

1. Victor: What do SLAs have to do with anything? There are no SLAs in this sorcerer writeup.

-Frank
I meant spells, all your fix did was just give them bonus spells and I find that pretty boring and uninteresting.

Yes. My only fix for the problem of Sorcerers not having enough spells was to give them more spells. My fix for them not being interesting enough in other ways was to give them more skills and abilities that they could actually use.

Do you have an "interesting" way to get around the fact that Sorcerers don't have enough high level spells? I'm genuinely curious.

Edit: Oh, and Martin, do you have anything constructive to add on this or any other topic? Or do you seriously just wander around flaming people whose tone you don't like?

-Frank

Summon Djinn is in the SRD. It's in the Monster Manual, but it's in the SRD.

In any case, you get those spells in addition to Radiant Assault. You don't lose anything out of your top level spells. You just pick up thematically appropriate versatility. You still get to pick two spells out of the spell compendium from the level below and one or two from this level - and that's as much as a Sorcerer in the basic rules was ever allowed anyway. The only freedom you give up is the extremely difficult to remember late selections of low level spells that come at incredibly random and arbitrary times. Instead, you keep getting new spells of high level and always have spells to select from at every spell level you have.

I am unmoved by your tears.

-Frank

Reckless wrote:

My preference is that we do not change the damage of damage spells unless we can show they are suboptimal only compared to the damaging abilities of other classes at the same level.

El Burito handled the rest of this post beautifully, so I'll leave it there. But this part is extremely easy.

At first level, you have the choice between:

• Magic Missile - that does 3.5 damage that automatically hits unless your opponent has full concealment or Spell Resistance. That takes like 2 shots to drop an Orc Warrior, while a Fighter with a warhammer does over 5 damage (dropping an enemy orc warrior in one hit), and hits 65% of the time. Both characters will stop being able to deliver this attack if the Orc Warriors bring them down with damage (which takes 1 hit for the wizard and 2 for the Fighter, and the Fighter gets a better AC), and the Wizard also has to stop when he runs out of magic missiles.

Conclusion: Magic Missile is terrible. The Fighter swinging a basic martial weapon and using a shield is still 30% more offense against the rubric of orc warriors dropped per round, and the Fighter has a lower marginal cost and takes less personal risk spending a round doing that. We can similarly compare anyone capable of using a decent basic melee weapon such as a morningstar - meaning that anyone except a Monk likewise beats this by default.

or

• Burning Hands where multiple Orcs have to save for half against 2.5 damage. Taking 3+ hits at close range to drop however many Orcs you can get into the pile, not only do you not have that many spell slots, but you also are physically unlikely to survive in a melee environment with pissed off orcs for that long while they beat on you with Falchions (+4 to-hit and one hit drops a mage).

Conclusion: Burning Hands is even worse. The Fighter outshines this so horribly that it isn't even funny. So does literally everyone else, no matter what their attack plan is, because there isn't any other playable character whose battle plan involves them not expecting to win a fight against a single Orc.

Moving on up. Let's go to everyone's favorite level for these comparisons: 10th. At this point the Wizard has lots of options available. But basically it comes down to doing 35 damage (save for half) or half that with no save (which is just like they automatically made their save, but whatever). So now the the equivalent to the Orc Warrior is the Stone Giant. Your party is encountering them in small groups. It's also high enough level that the basic warriors in your party are doing things more complex than "swing a non-masterwork longsword," so we'll be focusing in on those as the "options." A Stone Giant has a crap reflex save, but a formidable 119 hit points - so it takes an average of four 10-die spell attacks to drop one. Wizards can also have a lot more hit points at this level, so it probably takes the Stone Giant three hits to drop the Wizard instead of one for the first level Orc against the appropriate Wizard. The Stone Giant gets 2 attacks a turn up close and personal (and maybe attacks of opportunity), but only one at range. Getting four spells off is possible.

But the Other Classes:

• Charge Build You're tenth level. You have a magic Lance, a Griffon Mount, and Spirited Charge. You can seriously charge for over 60 damage, killing a Stone Giant in just two hits. The Stone Giant's AC of 25 is paltry compared to your Attack Bonus, and you probably hit on a 7+ or even better. You'll drop a Stone Giant in 3 attacks and you are a lot more resilient than the Wizard while doing it.

• Halfling Hurler You're a 10th level Rogue who gets an extra 5 d6 of damage on every attack. You have Rapid Shot, so you can throw 3 vials a turn. Each vial hits on a natural 2+, and does 6d6 + equal damage next turn unless the target washes themselves. You can mark both Stone Giants for death in two rounds. Actually, between misses and the damage delay it will take you 3 rounds to kill both. Which is still amazingly better than 4 rounds to kill one or both depending upon where they stand.

• Berserker Everyone loves those berserkers. First off, you can't even die from Hit Point damage unless the battle goes on for more than 8 rounds. You used to be able to get into a situation where you were slated for death but you'd also attack the Cleric coming to save your life, but between Righteous Wrath and Moment of Clarity that no longer happens. Any Stone Giant attacks against you merely use up healing resources, they won't actually put you down. They'd actually be better off grappling you, except that your CMB is so high that they can't. In the meantime, you swing your giant sword into giants for about 38 points a shot, so you'll go through a Stone Giant (and an enormous amount of required healing) in 3 or 4 rounds.

Right. First and tenth, the Evoker comes up short when placed against anyone else that is seriously being sent in to kill things with damage.

-Frank

Kevin Mack wrote:
Problem is its not just me thats saying it several players have said that this isent a problem. I also love how people also presume to know what i do or dont do for my games.

It was a hypothetical that didn't mention you at all. If you feel that it applies to you, then it may. You should work on that.

-Frank

If people are making grand statements about balance and they "aren't power builders" to the point where they are in all seriousness telling us that you get larger bonuses to skills from Charisma than from Intelligence - they are showing that they don't know what they are talking about. And that's both dangerous and sad.

Dungeons and Dragons is a collected work that is over five thousand pages long. Chances are, any particular thing that is being talked about is something that your group hasn't run into during play. But that does not mean that the thing in question is not problematic.

For example: The Extreme Cold rules. Do you even know what they are? What about the Hellish Cold rules? Did you know that Cocytos is apparently so cold that the frickin Ice Devils all freeze to death? Neither did the folks who wrote Fiendish Codex 2! Ice Devils in 3.5 aren't Cold Immune and the environment is so cold that they will all die in their own homes - of cold. That's a real game mechanical problem, which has real solutions (capping Hellish Cold damage at 10 or giving Ice Devils back their historical cold immunity would work).

But you probably never experienced that problem. You probably didn't even know it existed, because it's obscure. And you're on perfectly fine ground to ignore people complaining about it because you never intend to run an adventure in Cocytos and don't care what the rules say about the place. Or even to chime in and say that you intend to ignore Cocytos because you don't care what Fiendish Codices say about that or any other topic. But if you honestly come out of the woodwork and tell people that they are wrong to say that it is a problem on the grounds that you personally have not noticed this problem while gaming - then it is you who are are wrong. You are so incredibly wrong at that point that your input into the game is actively detrimental. It would be objectively better for the project and the game at large for you to say nothing at all.

An argument from personal incredulity, from a personal lack of experience, is a bad argument. And if you make it while people are attempting to get things done then you are a bad person.

-Frank

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Yeah, Fighters aren't good. But Rogues are. They cover the vast majority of heroes in modern fantasy writing. They have a decent in-combat technique (massive burst damage), and decent out-of-combat stuff to do (skill ranks, rogue abilities). And that works. That apple cart should stay where it is.

The Fighter doesn't work. He has nothing to do outside of combat and his in-combat abilities come up lacking pretty quickly as well. The Fighter needs an out-of-combat shtick, he needs an in-combat shtick, and most of all he needs to let the Rogue be, because it isn't the Rogues who are examples of crap design.

-Frank

Hogarth, your character would have to swap some of their lower level spells for spells that Dragons get in D&D. This would make him more thematically appropriate. At most levels he would trade 2 spells for 3 thematic spells. Then he would flat gain 3 extra thematically appropriate spells at both his highest spell levels, trading out literally nothing at those levels.

He'd be more versatile and effective with the spells that are level appropriate and less scattershot and more thematic with his lower level spells. Yes, that's the entire point of the spell packages for heritages. It's a power up, but it's not completely free money.

-Frank

The Rogue is one of the few classes which actually pulls its weight as things currently stand. Why would you kick over the apple cart of one of the most popular and effective pieces of design in 3rd edition?

-Frank

Heaven's Agent wrote:
Frank Trollman wrote:

Let's image search Google, shall we? We type in "Dragon" and take all the ones which have a human in there for scale.

Huge
Huge
Colossal
Huge
Gargantuan

OK, that's three pages of Dragon pics off of Google, and of the ones with a human in for scale all of them were Huge sized or larger. Even the one that happened to be a D&D miniature.

In order, I see those as follows:

Large
Large
Colossal
Huge (Barely)
Huge

Keep in mind that each size category is a range. A horse is on the lower end of the Large category, with some Large creatures being noticeably greater in size. In addition, all of these are modern examples of dragon art. And by looking only for examples with humans included for reference, of course you'll find a scarcity of small dragons; even in modern fantasy art, young dragons associate most frequently with other dragons, not humans, elves, dwarves, etc.

You have to go back to remedial size adjudication school. Let's take the first one. He's riding on its shoulders. Assuming that this powerful knight is only 5'6" tall, the dragon is still over 20' long. Even wrapping its tail around itself and rearing its head as shown it extends beyond a 10' square. A huge creature is only elephant sized, as is that dragon.

So if your basic claim is that it's OK for dragons to be Medium and Large because in your personal fantasy world Large creatures have space for five adult humans on their backs - then yeah, whatever. You are totally off base and I no longer value what you have to say on this matter.

-Frank

Benimoto wrote:
Orion Anderson wrote:
15d6 is 53 points of damage. It's a single target spell. What do you think you're shooting with it?
You've picked a lot of the harder targets there. You're ignoring monsters like the Beholder, who would die in two hits.

Good luck hitting a Beholder with one. And for that matter, even if killing a Beholder in two hits was sufficient to keep it from killing you, your family, and your dog, we're still talking about a CR 13 monster vs. a 15th level character.

But regardless, I vastly prefer the option of reducing Damage Spells in Spell Level rather than pumping up the damage die. It's less disruptive to the game and preserves a lot more backwards compatibility.

-Frank

The Black Bard wrote:
I'm content with dragons being the size they are in D&D, but I gotta ask, what fantasy art are you citing when you mention "bigger" dragons? Cause classical artwork of dragons barely ever puts them larger than a horse, with a few exceptional ones approaching elephant size, like the french Tarrasque.

Let's image search Google, shall we? We type in "Dragon" and take all the ones which have a human in there for scale.

Huge
Huge
Colossal
Huge
Gargantuan

OK, that's three pages of Dragon pics off of Google, and of the ones with a human in for scale all of them were Huge sized or larger. Even the one that happened to be a D&D miniature.

Now let's crack open the Draconomicon ad find pictures there where we can see a human for scale:

P.5 - Colossal
P.6 - Colossal
P.56 - Gargantuan
P. 64 - Colossal
P. 67 - Colossal
P. 72 - Large (note: shown fighting a Halfling)
P. 91 - Colossal
P. 98 - Gargantuan
P.101 - Gargantuan
P.127 - Colossal
P.130 - Gargantuan (note: pictured with Gnome)
P.141 - Small (character is playing with a wyrmling)
P.142 - Large (note: creature is supposed to be a wyrmling gold, and thus medium, but the author drew it larger than horse sized anyway).

Right. So what have we learned? We have learned that in the iconic fantasy art, Dragons are really big. Like all the time. In the iconic D&D Official Art, Dragons are really big just about all the time. No one wants to kick around dragons that are the size of large dogs. It's embarrassing whether you win or lose.

-Frank

A decentish spell for size changing is giant size. It's not open content, but the size modifiers it applies certainly are.

-Frank

Skrapsan wrote:
well just to have said what I feel should be said. I really like the feel of the old fashioned paladin.

So... you want him to be incapable of hording money or owning more than he can presently carry and to be surrounded at all times by an abjuration effect 20 feet across that creatures of evil literally cannot cross?

-Frank

Very roughly, a D&D3 Level 6 character is the equivalent of an AD&D Level 9 character in terms of bad assery and comparison to normal humans. So giving the 6th or 7th level Ranger a unicorn to ride and some pixie assistants would be entirely historically reasonable.

-Frank

The objection is not to the strength of the dragons - they are actually grossly overpowered for their CR and adventures like The Red Hand of Doom have quite scary fights against dragons. The objection is that these dragons that you actually fight are much smaller than the ones pictured in fantasy art. Even, neigh especially D&D art. When was the last time you saw a D&D artist's rendition of a dragon vs. dwarf fight where the Dragon was clearly smaller than the Dwarf against whom it was fighting? And yet, that's basically true unless the Dwarven warrior is like 8th level. The Dragons he is supposed to fight before that are smaller than he is.

It feels unheroic.

-Frank

It doesn't matter how much a material component could potentially be sold for. If it doesn't have a listed cost it is not a "costly material component." Eschew Materials will let you bypass the need for keeping live spiders (spider climb), fresh snake organs (acid arrow), or the underwear of 10th level Fighters (Heroics).

And no, I'm not making those up, those are actual components that don't count as "costly" components and are supposedly contained in a Component Pouch.

-Frank

I will agree with you that the primary use the spellcasting has is that people with even a single Ranger level are allowed to activate wands of cure light wounds. While you get some amazing spells (entangle and polymorph, for example), you get too few of them to make it a major part of your character, and you get them too late to base your character concept on. It's like a mandatory Prestige Class if you stay Ranger.

Meanwhile, the animal companion doesn't even have much of a use in the basic rules. Since it advances at half your level, it falls behind something that actually makes much difference really fast. And while having a pet wolf or a pet hawk is conceptually awesome, it's never been mechanically a major part of the class.

Back in the old days, you used to get a literal army of random forest creatures joining up when you hit 10th level. You rolled on a chart, and got some panthers and badgers and stuff. But the important stuff was that you got actually decent forest creatures as followers: unicorns, pixies, and so on. The Ranger Companion revision for D&D3 really nerfed it into unusability. As is, the class wouldn't particularly suffer if you just gave them a bonus to Handle Animal and left it at that - the hunting hounds you can get as your bonus animal companion don't exceed the regular beasts that you can purchase and train in utility or survivability.

-Frank

Paladin Playtest Reports are as unencouraging as the OP suggest that they might be.

-Frank

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