Meepo

Pedantic's page

64 posts (65 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


RSS

1 to 50 of 64 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Raspberry wrote:
The 8th Dwarf wrote:

This thread is rapidly turning into a "yes it is" - "no it isn't " thread as both sides dig in and refuse to give ground.

no it isn't

Yes it is.


Vinland Forever wrote:
Because criminals always obey weapons carry laws.

The problem with gun control laws is that the middle ground is unfortunately the least safe. It's been a while since I've had to talk about the topic, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong and you have some stats handy, but the last time I looked at numbers, the areas with the laxest gun control laws tended to have few gun related criminal deaths...as did the areas with the strongest gun control laws. If you cut availability down to almost nothing and make the market so small that it's difficult to sell any sort of gun, then you see less people get them and therefor less people shoot them.

On the other hand, if you make them easy to acquire and build up an ethos and culture that encourages everyone to get their hands on guns, then the guns themselves serve as a deterrent factor.

I'm in favor of the first case, mostly because the second one, while having similarly low crime numbers, has much higher accidental death numbers. At the end of the day, I'm for whatever laws show me less dead people.


Tacticslion wrote:
Pedantic wrote:
The biggest conclusion I drew is that spears are so unfairly shafted.

Eye C Wat U Did Thar!

So relieved someone noticed.

Arishat wrote:
Better tell Achilles, Cuchullain and Guan Yu. Or if they're too fictional, the Zulus, Samurai, Greek hoplites, Roman triarii, assorted medieval knights, etc who actually dueled in single combat with spears as well as fighting in formation.

For a more modern fantasy example, Kalladin from Brandon Sanderson's "The Way of Kings" is a complete badass with a spear.

In fact, he pointedly and specifically outdoes a bunch of noble types trained to use the swords they get, despite his low birth and lowly weapon. :p


It was, and it hasn't yet shown up in a PF product to my knowledge. To be fair, it wasn't a spectacularly useful or often relevant ability.


The Shaman wrote:
Pedantic wrote:
The biggest conclusion I drew is that spears are so unfairly shafted. :(
Yep. Even among simple weapons, the basic shortspear is about as good as a club, and the two-handed versions aren't exactly great either.

This calls for a movement for spear equality. If we're lucky, we might get a few tax-feats to allow effective spear wielders. :p


Sounds alright, though I'd go for a different method of acquiring grit than removing it altogether. But then, I think most fighter-types should have some kind of resource management mini-game. I like resource management.

If you want to encourage players to alternate between using deeds and attacking, how about you gain 1 grit every round in which you make a successful basic attack?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Actually, I tried to run a game more or less without swords a while ago. The biggest conclusion I drew is that spears are so unfairly shafted. :(


Darkwing Duck wrote:
Which was what I was attempting and its not worth the effort on these messageboards. You'll end up with people who think its a legitimate reply to paint your comments as "concerns" - emotional reactions - and others who are unable to figure out the difference between "didn't" and "don't".

Bring me a spreadsheet and we'll talk. Until you've done that absurd amount of work, your point is still "I dislike these changes and didn't dislike these changes, so category A changes are 'big' and category B changes are 'small.'"

The first part of the sentence is valid and some exploration of which changes caused the appropriate reactions is probably worthwhile. Arguably it's the entire point of the L&L article line that's floating around right now (or maybe Monte's up to something more persuasive with those incredibly biased polls, but I digress).

It is not self-evident that 2e-3e was a smaller change than 3e-4e. You're either going to have to back that up...which will be exhausting...or go for a less ambitious premise. "2e-3e didn't alienate me and 3e-4e did, here is what think was the cause," is a pretty valid one. Heck, I'll come to your defense when someone attacks one of the reasons you propose as a retrospective empty justification, which always seems to happen, but the first premise isn't a place you can ground an argument on.


Actually, all this talk of comparing changes across editions could be useful if we removed it from the edition warring context.

What if we took a variety of tasks at varying complexities that the rules can be expected to adjudicate and compare the resolution methods across the various editions? If we could come up with a relatively representative sample of different rules tasks, it might actually provide some insight into the mechanical feel of each edition. If we were really ambitious, we could come up with ever non-corner case rules resolution possible in each edition, then trace back how other editions would handle the same situation.

Which would intrigue me, though I'm not sure where to start. It'd be a good way to trace the emergence of specific rules at the very least and might raise some interesting questions about what each wave of design ideas thought was important.

...On the other hand it sounds like a lot of work for a lot of largely self-evident data, so probably a waste of time.


Mostly 3.5, though I technically started with a few random forays into late 2nd and played with one of those awkward 3.0-3.5 transitional groups for a while.

I've also played a lot of nWoD (mostly changeling, but I've tried very system) and now I try to talk my group into playing every last game I've read. They mostly sigh, shake their heads and then shake me until I run another PF game. I think it's the earliest stages of creeping grognardism.


Revan wrote:
I'm just curious why ciretose feels that a Gunslinger in the mold of an Eastwood character or Roland Deschain would be better modeled as a 3/4 BAB class. To me, the level of precision shooting suggested by those archetypes demands a full BAB. Sure, throwing out a wave of hot lead is part of that, too, but the really iconic moments to me are the impossible shots--Mal Reynolds making a head shot on the guy with a gun to a hostage's head, without breaking stride, for example.

Mostly because higher BAB isn't strictly about precision. In fact, it's mostly about getting extra attacks, because the core of PF fighting men is "stack static damage bonus, stack opportunities to apply static damage bonus, ensure chance to hit enemy is high enough to apply many static damage bonuses". It's why trying to play a fighter without Power Attack or something similar simply isn't done.

If you want a class that's about big damage on single shots, then you're better off with a lower BAB to ensure you get less attacks and therefor can afford to hand out bigger static damage bonuses (or maybe "on-hit" status effects) to simulate those big hits. Then you can make up for the decreased chance to hit with some other mechanic...like possibly targeting touch AC. :p

Oddly, a full-BAB class would be better suited to the "waves of lead" model than someone all about impossible shots, because they'd have more attacks and would therefor be better suited to shooting over and over again. This is sort of a good microcosm of the Gunslinger rules and lot of PF rules at large. More concern is spent on what the mechanics look like the [i]should[/] do, or how they feel upon cursory examination, than how they actually function.


Blackborn wrote:
Pedantic wrote:
Being Lawful Good doesn't require much agony of decision in a standard D&D world with it's very sharply black and white creatures.

I'm sorry that your DM's have placed you in sharply black and white settings.

I do agree that decision making is relatively easy for LG, CE, and CN; however, for the first two, the stakes are very high. Unless the DM is incredibly accommodating, a LG or CE character will quickly find themselves in trouble, and will have a difficult time surviving in a well-crafted setting.

Is there a master alignment thread? I'd like to continue this conversation there. I also have some questions for others DM's regarding N characters. I did a brief search but the most recent thread I found was last posted to in 2010.

Actually, I've been running a game that has a largely Evil party stuck trying to save the world. They've ended up being pretty ruthless to get things done. A few characters slid from LE to CE as they got more desperate, and there's been some interesting attempts to keep the only good character in the dark about some parts of plans to try to preserve his morality.

The oracle is keeping a secret diary of everything and planning to publish it if they succeed, sort of as an apology.


Blackborn wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I have to say I would see televised gaming sessions being a lot more along the lines of televised poker rather than sports.

I was probably joking, mostly.

To stay relevant, I'm disappointed by all the paladin-hate. I think they are one of the more flavorful classes, and when roleplayed correctly are quite a treat to DM. Obviously they cause trouble in the wrong parties, but a DM should never allow a LG character in a morally flexible party.

Also, it's disappointing to see all the disrespect for LG. Anyone can play CN: do whatever you want, no consequences. Don't even get me started on evil characters. LG is the toughest alignment to play (besides N, but N is a joke anyway), because it has the highest stakes and the most limitations. One could argue it's easy to make decisions as LG, and that may be so, but it's no easier than CN (when it comes to making decisions). CN has more options, but there are no personal stakes to any decision, whereas LG has fewer options, but the highest stakes.

Disagree entirely. Lawful good behavior is easy unless your DM goes out of his way to take advantage of you. Evil characters are far more difficult to play compellingly. It's easy to go the CE, "rape and pillage" type every other player will look askance at, but there's so much more ground to cover. Evil characters have their motivations in far more detail than good characters do, and have to consider moral choices in the context of outside factors. Being Lawful Good doesn't require much agony of decision in a standard D&D world with it's very sharply black and white creatures.

Evil characters have to decide what they want, what they're willing to do to get it, struggle with their desires vs. their friendships and so on. Plus, if they decide to go good or neutral, redemption stories are way more fascinating than fall ones.


The Speaker in Dreams wrote:
Pedantic wrote:
The Speaker in Dreams wrote:
Roughly: "Bardic performance should be a unique mechanic and cover the entirety of effects bards can produce."

I have to agree here, to be honest. The closest thing that ever came out was the Seeker of the Song prestige class, and that was almost insultingly positioned next to the much more effective Sublime Chord. And, I suppose there's the bard masterpieces, but we all know that any alternative spell abilities must be strictly worse than spells. It's apparently a law of game design that was inherited all the way back from 3rd. I've always wanted a bard that didn't feel like he borrowing everyone else's shtick with some slightly reflavored trappings.

Admittedly, the bard only spells helped, but the recourse to the standard spell format just ruins the whole thing.

nothing says they must always remain here. We can even run a pet project through the suggestions/house rules forum to make exactly this. Since the bardic "casting" is being traded off whole sale, why couldn't similar, but pointedly rsstricted to in theme abilities be granted to them instead?

More fitting for a different thread, though.

:shrugs:

When I break down and start my own inevitable pet RPG project, I'll be right there. Meanwhile, I'm holding out vague hope that I'll merely have to pay someone to play the game I want to. :p


Mike Schneider wrote:
Quote:
Therefore my question is: what does those powers add to the roleplay of a character? How is the character with powerful sneak more roleplay than the one without?

Lots of whining about how much you suck in combat will hopefully get your character killed so you can make a new one who is much better at math.

;-P

The most important combat ability.


The Speaker in Dreams wrote:
Roughly: "Bardic performance should be a unique mechanic and cover the entirety of effects bards can produce."

I have to agree here, to be honest. The closest thing that ever came out was the Seeker of the Song prestige class, and that was almost insultingly positioned next to the much more effective Sublime Chord. And, I suppose there's the bard masterpieces, but we all know that any alternative spell abilities must be strictly worse than spells. It's apparently a law of game design that was inherited all the way back from 3rd. I've always wanted a bard that didn't feel like he borrowing everyone else's shtick with some slightly reflavored trappings.

Admittedly, the bard only spells helped, but the recourse to the standard spell format just ruins the whole thing.


Axl wrote:

What's a "Godwin post"? :/

Back on topic: deadly sneak does indeed increase damage by 0.5 points per sneak attack die. But the rogue spent two talents to get it.

Deadly sneak is slightly better than powerful sneak. But deadly sneak is still crap.

Deadly sneak is the second worst class feature in the game.

Which one is the worst? My money is on that banishment power that paladins are forced to use at later levels that trades out their amazing damage bonuses.


wraithstrike wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Yea, so I dun smurfed the math. The average of 1d6 (1,2=3) is 4, not 4.5.

So it's 2.5 extra damage per sneak attack, not 5. And the Sap Master will only add +5.

How are you getting that?

The average of any of the a d6 is 3.5

Powerful sneak makes it so that when you would have rolled a 1 you get a 2 instead which only pushes it to 3.6666...., but with the -2 to hit you lose DPR.

You're missing Deadly Sneak. Upping 1s and 2s to 3s nets you an average of 4 damage per die.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
I believe this the part where I just quote myself with "The only people who feel Pathfinder is well balanced are those that felt the same with 3e; even if you enjoyed 3e, if you felt 3e had balance issues, Pathfinder has not fixed anything."

Yeah, I more or less agree. It'd be nice to see some other attempts at salvaging the 3e chassis. PF is really the best hope for doing so on a grand scale in some indeterminate future. I think there's potential to build up a strong enough player base to go through such a change intact. Plus, I think you could fix a lot of the underlying problems in 3e without alienating whole batches of players the 3e-4e transition did. Perhaps that's just optimism.


LazarX wrote:
Yes 3.5 had inherent balance flaws and yes, some of them were inherited by Pathfinder. I've never...

You know, I would have agreed wholeheartedly with this up until recently, but the more I play around with PF, and look back over my old 3.5 books...it could have been better.

Right at the end of 3.5's run we had a bunch of efforts to try to fix up some of the most egregious flaws in the system. Alternative casting systems had risen in prominence, both as less powerful alternatives to the wizard, and as a recognition of how adventurers actually used resources instead of how initial encounter design had planned for them to do so. Things like the Dragon Shaman's free healing up to half-life, the ToB classes.

Later, we saw the Complete Scoundrel, Mage and Champion, which all addressed specific other problems. Reserve feats gave mages things to do without expending limited class resources, particularly at low levels. We sort of saw that in pathfinder with sorcerer bloodline abilites, domain powers and wizard schools, which was encouraging. Skill talents gave feat starved classes ways to acquire new powers and upped the combat versatility of the rogue quite a bit, though, not nearly enough. Finally the hybrid class feats like Swift Tracker patched a bunch of the games weaker melee classes and made a bunch of previously unintuitively bad class combinations viable.

The point is, the assorted problems of 3.5 were starting to become well understood and in retrospect, it's pretty easy to see WotC was just throwing out potential solutions willy-nilly as they prepared to abandon ship. Pathfinder could have picked up where they left off. It made some changes, and fixed a few corner cases, but, we already knew that things like, tying iterative attacks to base attack bonus led to problems at high levels, that skills dropped off hard in usefulness once spells hit a certain point, and that skill DCs could use rebalancing.

If PF had been more ambitious, a better game could have resulted. I suppose that's my ultimate point.


GâtFromKI wrote:
Pedantic wrote:
What threads like this actually want is either an admission of failure by designers responsible for this sort of content, or some sort of justification for those options.

Designer won't admit a failure in this sort of thread.

Actually, this thread is here to explain why powerful/deadly sneak are mechanically awful, and try to skip the part of the discussion "it exists for roleplay reasons/not every option have to be mecanically optimal/etc". Because I already had this discussion many times, and it's a boring discussion, be it in French or in English.

Therefore I directly ask what those talents add to the game; what you can do with them and couldn't do without (is there any character concept reliant on doing 22 sneak damages instead of 21?). I'm a bit more specific and I ask what it adds to the roleplay, but if the talents adds to something else than roleplay, I'm also interested.

But responses like widowmaker's "it add something I guess, but not to the numbers" doesn't interest me. That's the part of the discussion I want to skip, I prefer no discussion than such an answer.

...yes, but we all know there's no roleplaying benefit to dealing slightly more sneak attack damage occasionally at the cost of overall DPR, or we don't understand (or want to understand) the math that points it out.

It's a design failure, pure and simple, and arguments to the contrary will rely on avoiding the math or anecdotes.

What would actually be useful is a list of all such abilities. We should hunt them down so we can at least warn players about them, or make an effort to fix them.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
WidowMaker wrote:
I have a crazy thought. Don't like it? leave it alone. This game is not all about numbers you know. If you wan't to get bogged down in the number side of the game, go ahead. Just let people choose what they want. I mean it won't spoil your game will it?

I'll try to rephrase it less abrasively than the OP. What's actually being asked is, "why are there character options which provide no benefit, substantially less benefit than apparently equal options, or actively hurt your character?"

Not using them is elementary. What threads like this actually want is either an admission of failure by designers responsible for this sort of content, or some sort of justification for those options.

Neither of the two will be forthcoming.


lastblacknight wrote:
Black Knight wrote:
TOZ wrote:
It just looked like needless complication that didn't actually accomplish anything to me.

I liked it. It broke up the monotony of "stand there and full attack till it dies" that pretty much every 3.5e non-caster experiences.

Plus, combined with the stunt rules and "action zones" the combat was far more exciting and dynamic.

Wasn't it the precursor to 'Book of Nine Swords' and then 4E? and aren't some of those similar concepts now found in Pathfinder?

I will slaughter kobold children by the thousands in the name of whoever gets around to using ToB style martial alongside PF style spellcasting and extrapolates other systems for other classes from there. I want that game so badly. >.<


ProfessorCirno wrote:

See, this strikes me as the opinion of someone who started in 3e.

The idea that everything needs to be codified in the rules is a bizarre 3e-ism. It wasn't present in any other edition of D&D.

I don't think that's any reason to dismiss the viewpoint. As I'm becoming increasingly fond of saying, 3rd edition happened. A bunch of players picked up the game there, a bunch developed attachments to that edition's foibles, and a bunch of new expectations and tropes were injected into the convoluted DNA of D&D.

ProfessorCirno wrote:

I see a lot of people who talk about what D&D should be and then list a lot of stuff that didn't exist in D&D. To reiterate - if you want total rules codification, you want GURPS.

I'd say that 3e Core didn't support a wider variety of character concepts. It made the illusion that it did, when in reality most of those concepts were not very supported in the slightest. Coming off of 2e, neither of my two multiclassed characters felt supported at all once I actually got into the game.

I think it'd be better to say 3rd edition didn't support a lot of concepts well. I mean, looking back it's far easier to see all the problems that iterative attacks and the entire base attack bonus system caused, how sharply differentiated scaling skills struggle with the limited granularity a d20 roll offers and just how awful it feels to be entirely stripped of relevance by CoDzilla, but that those are problems with the system, doesn't mean that the underlying basis couldn't be salvaged. I'm sure that no small part of the initial backlash against 4e came from players who were expecting that sort of change, not a return (or emergence depending on one's perspective and understanding of old-school D&D) of different underlying design principles.

Personally, I was absolutely thrilled for 4e when I heard it was going to make ToB style melee classes the norm. If every class had a spell-like adjustable power system with different recovery mechanics, I would be ecstatic. Of course, I was expecting increased complexity and options relative to what ToB offered and needless to say, was not thrilled with what I got.

While it seems to make the retro crowd want to spit fire, I really think that heavy rules codification ala 3rd edition can claim a piece of the D&D pie without judgement at this point. There's plenty of players who expected that sort of design from their fantasy gaming and use it as a litmus test for "D&D/not-D&D" and that's a reasonable perspective to hold if you came in at 3rd. Any holistic consideration of the entire D&D fanbase across all editions is going to have to consider them too.

That all being said, I don't really think there's anyway to simultaneously make them and everyone who doesn't give a damn about strictly codified objective rules (or actively dislikes them) happy. That's pretty much a binary design choice that someone will have to make early in 5e's development, and someone is going to get screwed. It's why I'm not holding out any hope for 5e as a grand reconciliation.


Darkholme wrote:

Something else occurs to me: Benefits on an Eidolon are equivalent to benefits on a player.(fav class)

It would take a little more work, but I think you could tie the value of evolution points to feats, and figure out the conversion rate. Off the top of my head, it looks like 1 EP is worth 2 feats, which would put the evolutions on a 4-16 scale.

But I could be wrong. Its a weaker connection, and maybe the skill bonus for eidolons is underpriced (thats where I'm connecting it right now.), and its possible that the eidolon pricing scheme wont connect at all. Maybe there will be a drastic difference in value, maybe they will be priced wonky. So far its an idea I haven't looked into much.

And some animal companion stuff too, which raises some interesting racial options. Could we do a pet based on race? Say, a race of humanoid that store their spiritual essence inside animals, or bond with them at birth or something.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

This is one big differences between the "feel" (to me) of 3.X against 4E. While third felt like it was a single, consistent world in which you could do things, and all creatures great and small worked the same way, fourth feels like a game: there's the player characters, and player characters function differently from NPCs, which function differently from monsters, despite the fact that monsters can be PCs, except when they can't, and NPCs are monsters, except when they aren't.

... and you have a game that looks and feels like a game first and story (not-nearly-as-distant) second to me, regardless of which side of the screen I'm on. The world is arbitrary and divided in ways that don't make sense. (Again, I'm fully aware that people will disagree with me, and that this is subjective, however, I'm getting to the point eventually, I promise).

I can't really disagree with how it feels, but I'm curious as to whether you can expand on that feeling as a player?

Personally, I dont have any 'feel' for how the NPCs are operating as a player in an RPG - I say what I want to do, do various mechanical things, then the DM tells me what happens. At various points he tells me what the NPCs do. I dont see any disconnect there (as a player) even if the two rules systems were to be totally disjoint and wonder where it comes from. Is it just that you know what's happening behind the screen and it prevents you from 'getting into it' or is there some actual break in the immersion stemming from the way the game plays?

I spent a long time arguing about this over on RPGnet, particularly about how it influences worldbuilding and GMing. I tend to call what Tacticslion is referring to as "story immersion" as "objective rules." If you want to hear my ramble on about it for 17 pages* and get yelled at a lot, take a look. :p

Basically, the rules function as a computer that underlies all actions and are entirely impartial to the source of data that comes through it. Even if the crafting rules don't produce any sane results, anyone using them gets the same end product. That matters to my sense of established world, and as a GM, I like to play around with extrapolating situations that can happen based on rules interactions. There's a few good well known examples of that sort of worldbuilding. On the extreme gonzo edge, you've got the K explorations of the "Wish-based economy" or on the less extreme side, you've got Eberron. The whole underlying concept of an economy built on spell-like abilities and the magecraft spell is exactly the sort of extrapolation from underlying rules to setting that I think is fascinating.

On the other hand, as that linked thread clearly demonstrates, the sort of objective, immersive rules that I and tacticslion enjoy do not universally appeal. Plus in many ways, they're unique to 3rd edition/PF; they weren't really a part of earlier versions of D&D. In the sense that you have to turn to your GM to figure out anything that isn't covered by the basic conflict resolution system, 4E is far closer to earlier editions than 3.5 ever was.

I've gotten in trouble for the phrase before, but the tendency I developed after coming into D&D at 3rd edition was a sense of the "rules as gameworld physics" and obviously there's all kinds of ways they break down and present crazy results, but the underlying concept of consistently applied objective rules is central to any sort of D&Desque fantasy game I'd want to play. Took me forever to figure out why the FATE systems and certain other narrative games felt so off to me as a result.

*Edit: Actually, we're up to 19 pages. :p


I'll spend some more time on this when I have a few hours. Meanwhile: dot.


Black Knight wrote:

Stuff like the Assassin, Duelist, etc. are fantasy archetypes that gamers want to be able to play. Then there were some other cool Prestige Classes like the Exotic Weaponmaster.

But when they started putting out stuff like "Greenstar Adept" where you turn into a green emerald statue from space, it seemed like they were running out of ideas. At that point a lot of the PrC's felt like filler.

I have to disagree. It was only when 3.5 was coming to a close that we started to see "patch" feats and classes that tried to fix many of it's problems. The martial hybridizing feats were fantastic and skill tricks offered a sensible way to give characters additional powers they often needed at a resource cost they could afford.


Black Knight wrote:

The ridiculous amount of stupid and pointless paragon paths published later in the 3e/3.5e life cycle was a symptom of this.

Paizo is going to have to evolve, or get left behind.

Hehe. You called them "paragon paths." I think if you consult your Complete Champion, you'll notice we were still using "prestige classes" back in the day, even at the end of things and I can find you at least two players who would have kept paying for more of them.

Three if you count me. :p


bodrin wrote:

Evey rogue I've had in my campaigns always offset the BAB discrepancy by utilising delay, tumble, spring attack, magic weapons and flanking. Possibly benefiting from a bulls strength effect or weapon finesse.

Fighters just hit things. Sneaky types ought to be nimble and sneaky!

Absolutely. The problem is, spring attack doesn't offer to-hit bonuses, flanking only ups their percentage of success by 10%, and magic weapons/enhancements are an assumed sunk cost for everyone in the game. Those numbers assumed reasonable base stat modifiers. A rogue's Dex isn't 10 points higher than a fighter's strength, so just using the other modifier doesn't really help.

The model just doesn't hold up quite the way it should.


Kthulhu wrote:
Black Knight wrote:

IMO the whole idea of BAB differences between classes is pretty terrible.

Having the different BAB progressions introduces severe imbalances in the system. A monster who is easy to hit for a fighter with full BAB can be very difficult to hit for a rogue. When you get to level 20 you have a 5 point difference in BAB between a fighter and rogue, which is a pretty huge spread.

Er, that's kinda the point. Fighters are supposed to be better at fighting stuff than rogueus are. That's why they're called rogues. It's also why rogues are better at being sneaky in general.

Maybe using your logic we should give a fighter the sorcerer spell progression, because by the time you get to 20th level there's a massive difference between the spellcasting ability of a wizard and a fighter. :P

The problem is, rogues still need to hit monsters to do their sneaky backstab damage. Reflecting "better at fighting" with an 80% chance to hit vs. a 55% chance is problematic. Worse, fighters get more chances than rogues to hit, making their odds of hurting the monster way higher than the rogue's. The rogue has to struggle hard to stay relevant at all in combat. Perhaps he should be less impressive than the fighter unless he's got the drop or better positioning on his opponent, but he shouldn't be hard pressed to fight at all.


GeneticDrift wrote:

Doesn't the D mean it is dismissible and the Druid could just dismiss the spell?

That is correct. Having your staff stolen is a pretty minor setback.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

...I'm sorry, this thread is just like a perfect microcosm of the internet. The initial topic is rapidly upstaged by a semantic discussion defining the terms of the topic, which devolves into an argument about a hypothetical and entirely unrelated situation, which is really an analogy for subjective etiquette.

My mind is blown.


It's really less a spell and more a class feature. Druids get an extra spell/day once they hit 11th level. :p


I've always treated it as simply an extra spell slot that the druid can only use if he's got the staff handy.


If Legends and Lore is anything to go on, I'd say it's the editions before 3rd and 4th that are getting pandered to the hardest. I've run across a few posts by diehard 4E fans who feel a little slighted by the tone of those articles to date.

Frankly, I think anyone hoping for 3rd style play from 5th is going to be really disappointed and anyone looking for 4Es influence is going to find it but not be entirely pleased.


There is also the economic question to consider. I realize it may or not be a concern for a lot of games, but I'd like to play in a world that doesn't use +1 swords as the real currency of note. Because treasure was used as the balancing factor to control magic item access, through either purchase or the creation rules, the vast majority of wealth seems to have to go through adventurer hands and leads to all kinds of weirdness.

Decoupling magic items from advancement is one way to solve that problem.

The question then becomes, is it worth the trouble of having to individually balance encounters around magic item access that can vary from player to player across the same level? The answer depends entirely on how complicated the math behind encounter dynamics is. If it's fairly predictable 4E stuff, that's more doable (and is arguably already accomplished by the inherent bonus system). PF is a whole other bucket of snakes, and it's impossible to say with some unknown future system.

Frankly, I'd prefer to keep the benefits of both setups. If you figure the assumed bonuses from items ala 4E, then you can either ignore them, or hand them out for free alongside the other facets of items. That is, any magic sword you find has the appropriate bonus for your level, but is magical primarily because it glows in the presence of orcs or what have you. That still leaves you with some problems surrounding utility and wondrous items, but at least it offers several different ways to handle the most mathematically significant items.

I've got a more elaborate idea for trying to fuse the two systems and fix the economy problem in one fell swoop, but it's lengthy and off-topic enough that I'll spoiler it.

Spoiler:
What if we gave each player a pool of "attunement" points, something like essentia from Magic of Incarnum. In order to use magic items, you have to invest some personal essence and that essence slowly increases over levels. For standard + items (swords and armor and what have you) you could just pump more points to upgrade something at the appropriate levels and then "utility" items would all have a fixed point cost.

really like this direction, but it has a few problems that come to mind immediately. If you're still using magic items as a reward system, players will still run into rings of invisibility, even if they need to spend a different "attunement" resource to use them. While that new resource system can be used as a balancing mechanism in place of monetary value, why shouldn't the ring still be valuable? If anyone with an appropriate attunement pool can use it, then there's going to be demand for it among those people.

The other option is to obviously make magic items entirely crafted by the players within some defined limits, which has all sorts of potential to aggravate the christmas tree effect and lead to ever more precisely optimized characters. Those problems aside though, the real issue is that you lose the "treasure as reward" feel, the excitement of running across new and diverse magic items, often with unexpected powers, and you lose out on one major motivation for characters to go adventuring in the first place.

I think the first option is still better. My solution would be to simply play up the limited market for magical gear. How many adventurers are there who actually can use rings of invisibility? If that number isn't very large, how likely are shops that specialize in what is a really a tiny niche of the economy? If those shops don't exist, then your only option for trading out treasure is actually finding other adventuring parties.

To prevent characters from feeling cheated by worthless gear and to avoid the Fellowship of the Ring problem (never stopping anywhere even vaguely civilized to buy or sell your items), you could offer some sort of repurposing method for magical gear. Say, some sort of ritual that allowed players to change one kind of magical ability into something of a similar power level? You could then limit the list of what these transmutations could accomplish to still make questing for items beyond the basic lists (or finding them randomly) more exciting and compelling.

Or, you could use them as a justification for consumable items. You can break the underlying enchantment down to make potions or scrolls. I like the idea of making limited amounts of consumable items as a basic class feature of the caster classes, while using a different limited resource than gold. Something like a very limited form of alchemist extracts perhaps; each caster can prepare X amount of spell-levels worth of potions or scroll at any one time. Breaking down extraneous magic items would allow them to expand on those limits temporarily.

You could do away with strict item creation rules pretty easily under this sort of system, and go back to storyline/quest based creation systems. The 5 great swords of Sargon were each crafted from the bones of the different dragons he slew and then enchanted by consecration in the five streams that flow between the planes, that sort of thing. Then players who want specific items can either go for the historical route and track down such a sword via myth and legend and slaying ancient tomb guardians, or get to dragon killing and extraplanar stream bathing to make their own.

Either way, the limitation on character power remains consistent and magic items can live comfortably outside of the spellcasting and economic systems and have a strict basis in the rules. Magic item creation becomes the purview of questing and storytelling, offering plot hooks without seriously disenfranchising players (not to mention shifting that power away from spellcasters).

Even better, this totally allows for magic item fluff to vary easily between various genres of fantasy. If it's high magic these rituals can be pretty easy. For worlds with strong gods, maybe a blessing by a priest is all you need. For dark and gritty worlds, maybe nothing will do but human(oid) sacrifice.

You could then reflavor magic item abilities to exist independent of items as talents characters possess, sort of like flexible class abilities. Your fighter is just so damn tough he doesn't need to sleep more than a few hours a night or eat for weeks on end instead of wearing a ring of sustenance. You could capture a sort of Iron Heroes feel that way, or do something along the lines of 4E style boons.

Now that I consider it, this would be a totally awesome economic excuse to set up adventurer conventions, specific adventuring guilds and towns/institutions that specifically cater to and attract adventurers. You'd have crazy businessmen chasing huge profits by going to the most dangerous parts of the world to set up temporary outposts as hundreds of insane adventurers stumbled through, most of them getting eaten. Totally interesting world-building fodder there.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Roman wrote:
Here is the latest Legends & Lore article to fuel more speculation. "Live Together, Die Alone" is about party cooperation: http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20111011

Monty does better this time around, but I think he's misidentified the problem here:

Quote:
They say that using an action to help someone else is a waste of that action. They'd rather use all of their own game time inflicting damage and being the star—and that's fine. There's certainly nothing wrong with wanting to be powerful and cool. That's a big part of the game. But what people who criticize "action wasting actions" don't realize is that there are people who actively enjoy helping others.

Healing is inefficient if it decreases your overall damage output, not because it's not interesting. The 3.5/PF cleric is nearly always better suited to thwacking a monster in the face than casting a healing spell, because if he can kill the monster, it stops dealing damage and he's thereby prevented more HP loss than his healing would have fixed. That criticism isn't a matter of game style, it's an entirely mechanical point. Unless healing outpaces incoming damage, or buys more actions from the biggest damage dealer, it's not the best use of your time.

Support character design needs to take the efficiency of the action economy under advisement to be meaningful.


Zaister wrote:

Why would you want to do that?

Because it's a role-playing game.

Because the game is not about winning.

Because the game is not about creating the most effective character.

Because the game is about having fun.

Because playing a wizard with a new flavor can be more fun than the umpteenth incarnation of what is basically the same character tuned for effectiveness.

That's why.

It may not be that way for you, but for many other players it is, and the game not made for you alone.

Can we just assume this sort of disclaimer is a given in these sorts of discussions? Yes, yes, flavor, flavor, the point is clearly a mechanical comparison.


The scrollmaster is the only one I'd consider potentially worth the sacrifice. The familiar is a big loss, but all those full DC, full caster level scrolls effectively push your spell/day up nearly infinitely high for a wildly reduced gold cost.

The crazy scroll-weapon wielding is really just fluff you'll only employee if you're entirely out of options, which will probably never happen because of your insane amount of scrolls.


I always saw peach as a really incompetent sorceress. What with the mystic vegetables and flying and all.

Toad struck me as more of a bard than a monk. :p


Helaman wrote:

There is something to this idea but go back to the fantasy novels of the early days like Sprange LeCamp, Howard etc the good magic items become infamous or famous and give their possessor a certain prestige.

So the ring of Ebon shadowform (ring of invis)?

While there are rumours that there were as many as 100 rings were created during the Reign of King Anband III(the Window Peeker), many have been lost to the ages. Five are known of or rumoured of within Kingdom - the Most famous being with Yvess the Sorceress, otherwise know as Yvess the Cruel.

Characters wanting specific items need to beg, borrow, buy, steal or kill to get them from specific places or people.

Now Yvess the Cruel is likely pretty hardcore... what if someone had a map and some concrete legends leading to one of the other rings that presumably doesnt have an owner?

Bingo! Adventure...

You could probably do away with creation rules as they exist right now pretty easily under this sort of system. Then you could go back to storyline/quest based creation systems that would make that whole train of thought way more significant. The 5 great swords of Sargon were each crafted from the bones of the different dragons he slew and then enchanted by consecration in the five streams that flow between the planes, that sort of thing. Then players who want specific items can either go for the historical route and track down such a sword via myth and legend and slaying ancient tomb guardians, or get to dragon killing and extraplanar stream bathing to make their own.

Either way, the limitation on character power remains consistent and magic items can live comfortably outside of the spellcasting and economic systems and have a strict basis in the rules. Magic item creation becomes the purview of questing and storytelling, offering plot hooks without seriously disenfranchising players (not to mention shifting that power away from spellcasters).

Edit: Oh hey! Even better, this totally allows for magic item fluff to vary easily between various genres of fantasy. If it's high magic these rituals can be pretty easy. For worlds with strong gods, maybe a blessing by a priest is all you need. For dark and gritty worlds, maybe nothing will do but human(oid) sacrifice.

Plus, if we quantify the bonuses you're supposed to be getting from magic items with some sort of "attunement" system (along the lines of 4Es boons and inherent bonuses), you could then reflavor those abilities to exist independent of items as talents characters possess, sort of like flexible class abilities. Your fighter is just so damn tough he doesn't need to sleep more than a few hours a night or eat for weeks on end instead of wearing a ring of sustenance. You could capture a sort of Iron Heroes feel that way.


moon glum wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Though this was posted in the Race Builder thread, I am reposting it here for discussion purposes. Do you think this is a good example of what the new races subsystem can do? Does it appear balanced? etc.

** spoiler omitted **...

If spore speech allows communication with any race with a language, then it is actually a powerful ability and needs to be worth a fair number of points. If it only allows communication with other creatures that have sporespeech, then OK. But that will mean that myconid player characters will have to have at least a 12 intelligence to communicate with the other members of the party.

Sporespeech is just an alternative mode of speaking in the first place. The languages communication is possible in are still limited to what a given myconid knows.

So, you can only speak, say, common and undercommon, but you're using tiny slightly telepathic spores to do so rather than your nonexistent mouth.


Zmar wrote:
Magic items could then be just doing something unique, like making a character invisible for a time, and serve as an item you can attune to instead of the standard mwk item. It wouldn't matter much that they are less common for mechanics don't depend on them. Another possibility is to leave items completely in PC hands with a limit they can spend on stat boosting and some overflow they may use for things like ring of sustenance.

I really like this direction, but it has a few problems that come to mind immediately. If you're still using magic items as a reward system, players will still run into rings of invisibility, even if they need to spend a different "attunement" resource to use them. While that new resource system can be used as a balancing mechanism in place of monetary value, why shouldn't the ring still be valuable? If anyone with an appropriate attunement pool can use it, then there's going to be demand for it among those people.

The other option is to obviously make magic items entirely crafted by the players within some defined limits, which has all sorts of potential to aggravate the christmas tree effect and lead to ever more precisely optimized characters. Those problems aside though, the real issue is that you lose the "treasure as reward" feel, the excitement of running across new and diverse magic items, often with unexpected powers, and you lose out on one major motivation for characters to go adventuring in the first place.

I think the first option is still better. My solution would be to simply play up the limited market for magical gear. How many adventurers are there who actually can use rings of invisibility? If that number isn't very large, how likely are shops that specialize in what is a really a tiny niche of the economy? If those shops don't exist, then your only option for trading out treasure is actually finding other adventuring parties.

To prevent characters from feeling cheated by worthless gear and to avoid the aforementioned Fellowship problem, you could offer some sort of repurposing method for magical gear. Say, some sort of ritual that allowed players to change one kind of magical ability into something of a similar power level? You could then limit the list of what these transmutations could accomplish to still make questing for items beyond the basic lists (or finding them randomly) more exciting and compelling.

Or, you could use them as a justification for consumable items. You can break the underlying enchantment down to make potions or scrolls. I like the idea of making limited amounts of consumable items as a basic class feature of the caster classes, while using a different limited resource than gold. Something like a very limited form of alchemist extracts perhaps. Breaking down extraneous magic items would allow them to expand on those limits temporarily.

Off-topic idea:
Now that I consider it, this would be a totally awesome excuse to set up adventurer conventions, specific adventuring guilds and towns/institutions that specifically cater to and attract adventurers. You'd have crazy businessmen chasing huge profits by going to the most dangerous parts of the world to set up temporary outposts as hundreds of insane adventurers stumbled through, most of them getting eaten. Totally interesting world-building fodder there.


Alienfreak wrote:
Sean FitzSimon wrote:

The last thing we need is a slew of races which upon cursory glance we can remark "Oh look, an entire race of wizards."

Elves? :D

But for the grace of a con penalty, there went the core races. :p


Sounds a hell of a lot more honest at least. I'm ready to stop pretending Charisma is on the same playing field as the other ability scores.

I'm a little suspicious of the high value of the half-elf, but all in all it sounds about right. I think "additional favored class" is awfully campaign/group specific. No one in my game has seriously considered multiclassing, and that half-elf ability receives no attention or value as a result.


Oh god yes. I can use him as a colossal sized miniature when my players get cocky. :D


Kaisoku wrote:

I think the point here is that the Domain strength can be lower, that is not the problem. The entire archetype strength is lower when another option (building a cleric with the core rules) gives the same effect at no cost.

The class archetype as a whole would have been received better by those criticizing it if the class got something else in return for having lower power on one Domain.
Perhaps, gaining three Domains in total (two of the deity's, and a third outside of the normal choices), but they all are at -3 or more levels in power, as an example.

.

However, from my understanding, this is being done for similar reasons to the way Pathfinder handles Exotic Weapon Proficiency. A certain understanding of the fluff gives reason to addressing it in a certain way with mechanics. "Fluff-driven", so to speak.

I will treat these archetypes and rules additions similar to the exotic weapon proficiency stuff, and ignore them once I recognize them. I even won't mind playing in a game that enforces the rule instead of playing the house rule that I prefer (it's really not that big a deal for me).

However, my not pitching a fit, or being highly vocal over it, doesn't mean I'm okay with the design method. I feel a happy medium could be reached with striving towards balanced mechanics where we can while still addressing fluff in other ways.

Basically, leaving behind the idea of "system mastery". It's good for competitive games, but for storytelling and cooperative play, it's not as good.

Well, that about summarizes it. Picking a deity is a setting concern, an in character roleplaying decision; fluff. Not to denigrate those sorts of decisions as unimportant or less vital to the experience, but they aren't issues of game balance. Look at the progressive generalizing of the Paladin's code over time for an example as to why they aren't and shouldn't be (not to mention the endless desire for holy warrior classes tied to the other alignments).

The point that we've belabored and insulted each other over is whether or not that sort of thing is something we want in our game design. Should entirely fluff choices within the framework of an existing class have mechanical consequences that put a character either ahead or behind other characters performing the same role in the game. Clearly, many of us believe that should not be the case, and others firmly do.

I'm in the first camp. Modeling fluff differences with mechanical effects is more or less what the entire game is about. On a macro level, it's the difference between a fighter and a rogue. I think that the design of the game should generally be geared toward maintaining the same character effectiveness when choosing to exercise a fluff option, even if that fluff option is supported through differing mechanics.

Is that really too much to ask? I'm not expecting designers to succeed all the time or even consistently. Just that a sense of balance be the goal when introducing new content. The separatist, for example, could easily have recieved an additional skill point at every level to represent its worldliness and the new talents its had to pick up without a church hierarchy to nestle comfortable in.

I'm not sure that's perfectly balanced, but it keeps the same flavor and at least then you're not penalizing a class for what amounts to entirely subjective reasons that could vary wildly from game to individual game.


Zombieneighbours wrote:
Pedantic wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Still waiting on why you think all the options in the Core Rulebook are mechanically equal.

...while I can accept they aren't, is there some reason that without undermining the core mechanical features of the assorted classes that they shouldn't be?

Particularly as an idealized design goal?

Because its impossible.

No two groups have entirely identical play styles, and play style influences effectiveness of character options.

I'll accept that as true, but that hardly means it should be discarded as a general goal for game design.

Zombieneighbours wrote:

The best they can honestly go for is generalised balance for games which closely follow the core assumptions of the game.

'balanced, four(or was it five) man part with love levels of optimisation undertaking ten(I think, off the top of my head) encounters a day with a range of CRs.'

I'll give you the encounter balance assumptions, but I don't think character optimization is as much of an impossible to guess quantity as you're making it out to be, particularly with Paizo's history of playtests, nor do I think Pathfinder requires you to build characters with so little concern for their mechanical choices before it tears open at the seams.

Zombieneighbours wrote:
You can play a separatist in a game like that, using other fairly optimal choices to make up for the weaknesses, and be maintain performance. Its only an 'inferior choice' in a game where every character is pushed to breaking point to be optimal, and every encounter is pushed to breaking point to keep up with the PCs.

Well, no, it's always suboptimal. It just presumably matters less in the scenario you've suggested. The thing is, I don't at all see why it has to be that way. Even if we accept that game imbalance is probably inevitable, that isn't a justification for creating obviously imbalanced choices. To analogize, we're all going to die someday, but that's not a justification for stabbing the person next to me on the bus.

Your argument seems to be, if the other characters in your party aren't intentionally optimized, then it's acceptable that you're using an obviously subpar option. I suppose that's true, but why does there need to exist subpar options in the first place? It's still playable, but it could be playable and not mechanically inferior.

Is there any reason it must be mechanically inferior at all? And, presuming there isn't, why would you want it to be?


deinol wrote:
Pedantic wrote:
If that's the case, I wonder if they'd do something along the lines of what White-Wolf is up to right now?
Dying a slow death?

Publishing cleaned up anniversary editions of their old game lines alongside the new ones. Though admittedly, probably that too if this tactic doesn't turn things around for them.

1 to 50 of 64 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>