Enga Keckvia

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RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter. 196 posts (413 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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oh how about a kitchen sink world where everything is a rip off of either some historical earth society or someone else's well known fiction? And we can cram them all together so that they practically overlap and come up with weak justifications why each group doesn't conquer their neighbors.

Negative levels are for chumps. Real undead drain Xp.

He needs to carry around cans of spinach that act as Bulls strength potions.

I read it waiting for the funny to start...
Perhaps if you put in <laugh here> tags?

Don't forget Man-bear-pig. He lives in Colorado too.

I question if this really "Has to be done"

Ratpick wrote:
I think I should elaborate on my position why I think advantage/disadvantage is actually preferable to simple modifiers: Advantage/Disadvantage makes it so that a highly trained character gets more mileage out of advantage.

I'm don't think I'm understanding your point here. You're saying a highly trained character has a better chance if he gets to roll twice with no modifiers then if he only got to roll once and add his modifiers too the roll?

Ratpick wrote:

With simple modifiers on a d20, a simple +1 is always equal to a 5% greater probability of success. That means that an untrained character and a trained character with the same advantage would gain an equal boost from advantage.

which advantage? the new roll twice mechanic? not that it matters. If an untrained and trained character have the same advantage (irregardless of them being either roll twice or pluses) the the training isn't worth anything in this situation.

Ratpick wrote:

However, with advantage in use, a character with a higher bonus gets more out of advantageous circumstances. For an example: http://anydice.com/program/1281
This program shows the probabilities of rolling a certain number with advantage, but the first character has a +2 bonus to the roll while the other character has no relevant bonus. What you should be looking at is the At Least section, which shows the probability of hitting at least the given number.

Picking an arbitrary DC for our example, for an example 15, we can see that the character with the +2 bonus on the roll has a 64% chance of success, while the character with no relevant bonus has only a 51% chance.

Okay.. wait what? I'll confess statistics isn't my strong suit. But this doesn't look right. If the Dc is 15. That means you have a 6 in 20 chance of success. or a flat 30% chance. If you have a +2 bonus to the roll you now need a 13 or better on the D20 which is a 8 in 20 chance or 40%.

Ratpick wrote:

The difference between the two characters' chances of success is 13%. While the character with no training has a pretty good chance of succeeding on checks with low DCs, the character with the +2 bonus is gaining increasing returns. For an example, on a theoretical DC 20 check, the character with the +2 bonus has a 27.75% probability of success, while the character with no training whatsoever has only a 9.75% chance.

Um no I don't think so. The +2 = 10%. and that's it.

Ratpick wrote:

The fact is, while simple numerical modifiers always increase your probability of success by 5% for each +1 to the roll, advantage favors those with training. While a character with no relevant modifiers can quite comfortably succeed at checks of up to DC 15 more than half of the time assuming they have advantage, their returns start diminishing by the time they get beyond that point.

okay wait no, the die rolls aren't linked. You roll a d20, you've got a +2 you need a 15, you have a 40% chance of success. You roll it a second time.. You're still only at 40% chance.

this is starting to remind me of this

Ratpick wrote:

Also, advantage/disadvantage puts a cap on what types and DCs of checks a character actually has a chance in succeeding. This means that a character can't just stack situational modifiers in order to fake a greater degree of ability.

Okay, i wouldn't call it faking, but I get your point in that you can't just stack mods if there are no mods and you can only roll twice. But that seems to over simplify all situations into granting the same "Advantage/Disadvantage" rather then being more representative of the situation. As someone else pointed out.

looks like a 2 month delay between the announcement of 4th and the start of gleemax. If the internet is to be believed anyway.

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I wish I could say I see what you are. But I don't
I don't see nearly enough information in the play test to make that kind of call.
The rules look simplistic because you're looking at maybe 10% of them.

^ here here.

You know what I don't understand. Considering how different 4th edition is from this "next" and how different it was from 3rd. Why they feel the need to kill off previous editions and can't just support both. I can understand maybe not printing new material for older editions in book format. But maintaining the edition on the web should be easy enough.

actually If i recall correctly, it was shortly after they announced 4th edition that they started up that Gleemax nonsense and had everyone move to new forums.
So forgive me, but i'm not going to humor you and go look through some dead forums from 5 years ago. If they are even accessible anymore.
They were trying pretty hard to kill off 3rd edition after all.

I posted this in another thread, but I think this part really belongs here instead.


I'm finding there are too many rules missing to make a judgement call on the game as a whole. But individually:

The advantage/disadvantage stuff is just going to result in more die rolls. Oh I'm A/D I have to roll twice (and there are a lot of spells, abilities and monsters that inflict this).

Backgrounds and Themes: These smell like cookie cutter builds that remove options from players. "Oh well i'm a 5th level guardian so I get this power" and really sounds like a way for them to sell more booster packs.. I mean books.

No skill points to choose. Your background dictates them. More over-simplification/cookie cutter that I don't care for.

I need to take a second look but it seems like the pcs deal out way more damage then the monsters. I also can't tell if they have removed HD for monsters so you have a formula to vary Hp or just left that off for now.

The goblin king does not sound like david bowie.

I'm really mixed on the short rest stuff. At lower level it seems fine, but two strong once you level up perhaps.

The fighter doing damage on a miss is cheese.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
There are a lot of people who won't trust them no matter what (tries to avoid looking at anyone in particular) and knee-jerk but then that's just life and this board. And Paizo have certainly played their hand well to date.

Why would you ever trust them? They lied to our face. Not two weeks before 4th edition was announced (and well into development) their employees were on their own boards swearing up and down that there were no plans yet for a 4th edition. Their claim to fame was a card game designed to be addictive. Trust? why on earth would you ever? I can see liking their products, but trust them? really?

Now as for the play test. I'm finding there are too many rules missing to make a judgement call on the game as a whole. But individually:

The advantage/disadvantage stuff is just going to result in more die rolls. Oh I'm A/D I have to roll twice (and there are a lot of spells, abilities and monsters that inflict this).

Backgrounds and Themes: These smell like cookie cutter builds that remove options from players. "Oh well i'm a 5th level guardian so I get this power" and really sounds like a way for them to sell more booster packs.. I mean books.

No skill points to choose. Your background dictates them. More over-simplification/cookie cutter that I don't care for.

I need to take a second look but it seems like the pcs deal out way more damage then the monsters. I also can't tell if they have removed HD for monsters so you have a formula to vary Hp or just left that off for now.

The goblin king does not sound like david bowie.

Scott Betts wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Then I do not see how the wizard always win in two rounds for 5+ battle per day.

Not always, just a lot of the time.

No it doesn't

Scott Betts wrote:

And it's important to note that winning an encounter is not the same as ending the encounter.

Yes it is, unless you're just running away to end it.

Scott Betts wrote:

And while the Fighter is blowing his gold on magic items to be able to compete, the Wizard is spending his gold on things that enable him to win encounters, because he doesn't need magic items to accomplish the above.

totally your unfounded and unproven opinion

Scott Betts wrote:
The wizard is stronger than the fighter at higher levels, but is far from being the unhitteable guy.

At higher levels, a Wizard is basically invulnerable.

No he isn't

Scott Betts wrote:
Not to mention than a single critical hit from the fighter ends the fight.

The Fighter will never get the chance. If the Wizard allows the Fighter to attack him, the Wizard is being played incorrectly.

No it isn't

Scott Betts wrote:

Also, since when is this about the Wizard and Fighter going at it? This is about which one is able to meaningfully contribute, and which one is relegated to mop-up crew.

No actually you turned it into that when you came into the thread and got on your soap box. This was about how an article for 5th edition was all about nerfing wizards.

Scott Betts wrote:


There are hybrids builds Blaster/Controller wizards. The hybrid do (a lot of) damage when is convenient and do some other thing if is a better strategy. Wizar do not do damage IS a extreme statement.

No, it's not. If your priority as a Wizard is to deal damage, you're doing it wrong. Anyone can deal damage. Leave that to the guy with the pointy stick. Wizards have better things to spend their time and resources on.

Why do you think you have the right to tell us how to play this game? It's really offensive the way you run your mouth insisting we are doing it wrong if we don't play the way you think we should.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

edit.. or what DSXMachina said :)

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

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



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

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

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

ryric wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ross Byers wrote:
I removed some post and the replies to them. Really, folks. Be nice.

My apologies Ross, I'll try to tone it down.

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Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Mage Armor?
Mage armor helps to obviate the need for a fighter type to protect the mage while he is casting. It encourages wizards and sorcerers to engage in melee combat.

Come on now, this is just silly talk.

If the wizard wants to cast mage armor and start flailing about with his staff then let him.
It's the same as the fighter trying to use Use Magic Device and zap stuff with a wand.
Again this mentality that this class must do this and that class must do that is not what this game is about. That line of thinking comes from computer games, not the historical rules of DnD that fostered your imagination.
DnD is not supposed to be a set of rules that regimented what you had to do, or how you had to play if you wrote down a specific class on your character sheet. THAT mentality is what brought us the obnoxiousness of roles, like striker, controller, tank, etc.

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

I don't see the problem here.

Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

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

That argument is only about 30 years old. :)

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

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LazarX wrote:

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

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

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

Scott Betts wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Halleluiah someone who gets it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

rant on:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


We don't allow auto-resizing of weapons and armor.
When rolling up treasure I roll to see what size it is.
The rules makes the distinction that armor and weapons of size other than medium have a cost adjustment. If these items auto re-sized then everyone would craft stuff sized for tiny creatures.
That really comes off as a munchkin move.

Thomas Long 175 wrote:

Thats their racial trait. They're fast learners as 3.5 put it. They learn faster than other races. Thats the one leg up they get is they adapt quickly to the new lifestyle due to the background reading of humans. If you look at background reading of humans their one pride is their adaptability and thats what shows up in that feat.

Here's my problem with that. The other races are all longer lived.

So the 17 year old human picks up a bow and is automatically better at it then the 80 year old elf, that has proficiency with the long bow because of his alleged 30+ years of training and racial affinity.
I'm not looking to change that though. That tidbit of warped verisimilitude has been around for decades.

As do I, having played 2nd ed. for years. But this isn't really a question of power gaming from my perspective. It's about the fact that humans, through their extra feat, get to:

a.) be better then all of the races even at what are supposed to be the other races niches.
b.) effectively make any other choice a poor one mechanically if you want to play a variety of classic character types.

Thomas Long 175 wrote:

Generally characters are supposed to suck at level 1.

Thats why they're level 1. They're brand new and it takes a few levels to figure out all the tricks of the trade. Saying they suck just because they're level 1 and cant bash with their shield yet is like saying a wizard is level 1 omg he can't cast level 5 spells yet. Yet no one here is trying to rework casters so they don't suck compared to melee at low levels (Yes at low levels Fighters, Barbarians, and Paladins are the most powerful thing out there)

In short if you want something obscenely powerful late game the general rule is you have to give up something early. If this is just about rp and how you envision your character why change the mechanics? I feel that changing in game functional mechanics for flavor reasons is generally a bad idea but thats just me

So why should humans be exempt from sucking (as you put it) at level 1?

Yes Atarlost, that's exactly it!
and stated more eloquently then I was managing.

It is a little bit of a power creep. I can't argue that it isn't. But that extra feat at first level give humans a boost in power the other races don't get. And honestly open up a lot more cosmetically cool builds that the other races have to sit around and wait to pull off.
At 1st level, because of that extra feat,

The human can be firing (be it ranged weapon or spell) into combat better then any elf. Never mind try using guns with the new rules as a non-human.

Which leads to the fact Humans can be wielding exotic weapons in general faster and better.

Is changing it really necessary? no not at all, there's just something that seems OP about that extra feat, or that makes my players pick human 8 times out of 10 because that extra feat lets them create a guy that fits the image in their head without having to wait until 5th level for it to not suck.

mmm, you're kinda stepping on the half elf's toes then Thomas
The class skill of your choice and the extra trait together don't seem bad at all.

Flak: Yes the change I was leaning towards was granting everyone the extra feat humans get to compensate for the feat tax in a lot of trees.
But in doing that Humans need something in return.

I like Cheapy's trait idea but I am not sure that is enough and would like to hear some more ideas.

I'll go look at the alternate racial stuff for humans.

Personally I feel that the bonus feat humans get at first level is too powerful a racial perk. Specifically because there are too many feat chains that have some sort of feat tax. That extra feat is just too appealing if you are trying to make your pc fit a concept.
For example: Technically no one but a human or a fighter can use a ranged weapon reliably in combat before 3rd level.

So, if the extra feat wasn't a human racial, what could Humans gain in return to keep them appealing as a choice?

Just my two cents..
If you want to make benders that model the Avatar characters. You might want to look at making a sorcerer archetype.

Create a bloodline that incorporates the unarmed combat feats.
And make some new spells that mimic the bending abilities.
Something like:

Armor of Earth (Like when Toph creates a shell around her)
School Abjuration; Level Druid 2, Sorcerer/wizard 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, DF/F Contact with the ground
Range Self
Effect: Earth moves to protect you
Duration 1 round/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
The very ground moves to protect you. A form fitting shell of earth and rock slides up around you that shifts to absorb blows.
While in contact with the ground you gain Damage Reduction 3/-. The armor can absorb 5 points per level of the caster before collapsing.

Whip of Water (Katara's common attack)
School Evocation; Level Druid 2, Sorcerer/wizard 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, DF
Range 0 ft
Effect: Whip of Liquid
Duration 1 minutes/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
A whip of water springs from your hand. The whip can be conjured to be either 5’, 10’ or 15’ to provide reach when the spell is cast. Changing the length of the whip after the initial casting is a move action. The whip only threatens squares at its end.
The water forms a razor like edge that deals 1d6 slashing damage +1 point per level (max +10)..
The whip can be used to make trip attacks or disarms.
If released the water of the whip evaporates instantly

A little more exotic
Plinth of Earth
School Transmutation; Level Druid 3, Sorcerer/wizard 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, DF
Range Close (25’ + 5’/level)
Effect: A 10’ tall 5’ wide pillar of earth bursts from the ground beneath the target. 1 plinth for every 3 levels.
Duration: instant, 1 round per level then the plinth crumbles
Saving Throw see text; Spell Resistance no
You cause the ground beneath the target to erupt upwards into an earthen pillar. The pillar can be a max of 10’ tall + 10’ for every 3 level above 5th. To a max of 50’ at 17th level. Against large or smaller creatures the pillar raises the creature up into the air. Creatures of size huge or larger cause the pillar to crumple under their weight. A reflex save allows the creature to retain its footing atop the pillar or step off before being lifted to dangerous heights. Creature's Choice. Failure results in the creature being knocked prone atop the pillar. Failure by more than 5 causes the creature to fall off the plinth at max height.
If used on a friendly target an Acrobatics check DC 15 allows the target to remain standing atop the growing plinth. If the target is lifted to a height that would force them against the ceiling they take 1d6 crushing damage for each 10' traveled. The plinth will then crumble and collapse from the impact. Possibly resulting in falling damage for the victim.
The plinths may be used for cover by those on the ground. The plinths have an AC 10 and 5 hp per 2 caster levels

This is actually a topic my group has been discussing lately. And I would like to point out I have seen some of Raving Dork's blasting builds. And while they are impressive... it isn't until the mid-teen levels that they really become so. And they seem reliant on Fire based damage from what I recall (I could be totally wrong on that)

Sub level 12 is really what I would like to see him address. After all that's where most of the AP's dwell and where I think a lot of people's campaigns spend time.
Where you don't have the slots to quicken anything beyond a Magic Missile and certainly can't stack much in the way of meta-magic feats without losing valuable high level(4th and 5th) spell slots, if you even have more then 1 or 2 meta-feats to begin with.

Basically in our group the caster's spells are very weak compared to the melee. Our game last night was a good example.
Without buffs our 4th level archer was shooting 2 arrows a round for 1d8+10 points of damage each. So consistently he was dishing out between 25-30 points of damage a round.

Meanwhile our 5th level cleric cast a spell that required an attack role, granted a save and then wound up doing 9 points of damage.

The wizard cast Spontaneous Immolation (Dc-16) and through a failed save did 11 points of damage (that would have been 5 whole points! if the creature saved)

Then the ranger went and through feats and power attack did 17 points of damage with his Falchion.

The 5th level paladin was in a smite fest with and anti-paladin. They were trading blows that were on average doing 20-30 points of damage.

I really think one of the main problems with blasting/Evocation spells is that they are a limited resource compared to melee attacks. The limited resource should do a lot more damage or at least have the potential to than the usable all day melee swings/shots. Or be much harder to resist.

Not to be a smart-arse but:

in·tim·i·date [in-tim-i-deyt]
verb (used with object), in·tim·i·dat·ed, in·tim·i·dat·ing.
1.to make timid; fill with fear.
2.to overawe or cow, as through the force of personality or by superior display of wealth, talent, etc.
3.to force into or deter from some action by inducing fear: to intimidate a voter into staying away from the polls.

Yes it's a fear effect. This is really just common sense people.

Do you really try to play this way? I can't imagine the legalese and minutia you must waste time arguing over in your games.

The players make the rolls for their skills in our games. I don't have the desire to book keep that much when I am dm'ing.
It does unfortunately lead to meta-gaming.
But I would rather deal with that then, heaven forbid, forget to add in some circumstance bonus they might have. The wailing and gnashing of teeth that would ensue is not worth it.
The whole... "why did we just trigger that trap? how come I didn't see the bugbear in the bush? ...don't I get a roll to see it ahead of time, well did you add in this,, and this and this...this .. this...
Aaargh... just make the roll your damn self already!

And there-in lies the problem with spell casters trying to deal damage with the current rules. On top of the impact of most damage dealing spells being greatly reduced by the increased amount of Hit points everything has.
You have to deal with the fact that a lot of creatures have a 50/50 shot at resisting or at least reducing further the impact of your spells.
Pair that with the fact that your spells are a daily finite resource (as apposed to a melee character's weapon swings) and you can see how lopsided in favor of martial weapon based characters the game has become.

Personally since spells are a finite resource they should be doing more damage then melee attacks which are reusable every round all day. OR the Dc's of spells should scale better with the level of the caster to at least make them harder to resist.

Have you heard of Sigil from the Planescape setting?
That might be a direction you could explore for ideas.

The restrictions on how often this would be useful really relegates it to "cool sidekick Npc" status in my eyes rather then an idea for a PC.

Personally I look at it this way. You're the DM, You're the one doing 95% of the work crafting the adventure, the story, the world, the encounters.

All the players have to do is show up with their character. They really should be the ones to bend their character concepts to match the adventure you are running and not the other way around.

Minor encounters here and there to appeal to their specialties are fine but major story arcs, I avoid.
Simply because characters come and go.
Nothing is as annoying as wrapping a story around a specific pc and having it completely derailed when they drop dead, miss a bunch of sessions or the player suddenly can't make it for the next X months. I've just seen it happen to many times that I just avoid doing that now.

war-ready person, well-fed, 5% chance of failure is a person terrible at their job...
You assume way too much.

I didn't realize all pc's were highly trained soldiers.
My groups don't play all of their characters as military trained.
Trying to say all pcs are and should never fall asleep on watch totally ignores the Pc's backstory.

My games run under a different style. Where most of the posters here think that having the label PC makes the character automatically a hero, we don't subscribe to that philosophy.
Becoming a hero is accomplished through the character's actions and achievements as they level. Not some magic PC title that automatically grants you superhuman status.

So falling asleep on watch after a hard day of fighting I would usually set a fortitude DC of 15. A light day of travel: DC 5-10

~Sigh, It's so hard to find a good thread on these forums anymore. Most of them are people ranting and screaming atop their own little soap box in self-righteous indignation.

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I don't get it. Why are you concerned your players are dumping stats, or min maxing?
All that does is give you a weakness to exploit as the DM.
Oh you dumped your str down to a 7 because your a wizard and have your int boosted to a 20. Well say hello to my friend the shadow. Let's see how many rounds you survive.
oh your a warrior and boosted your str to stratospheric numbers, but you ignored your dex? hmmm centipede poison says hi.
It usually only takes one or two encounters for pcs to stop dumping stats and there are a ton of creatures that focus on this sort of thing.

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