[POLL] Save or Die


Combat & Magic

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RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Kirth Gersen wrote:
For beginning players, the powered-up Pathfinder PCs will be fine with level-appropriate pre-printed 3.5 adventures. More experienced players will expect greater challenges in the future, though, which means that Pathfinder adventures written using the new rules will likely be no place for inexperienced players. (And they'll kill 3.5e characters in droves, regardless of the skill of the players, but that's a matter for a separate thread).

You and me have very different thoughts on how powered up the PCs have become. They did not get a sudden burst of the abilities people say are needed to keep the party alive.

I'm not sure how they go from doing fine to dying in droves just because the adventures expect them to have one or two less feats and a few other minor abilities.

Dark Archive

You say.... stay... Oh god I hate that song, but I love save-or-die effects!!


I say thee STAY!

Silver Crusade

Zynete wrote:


What I am concerned about is one of the things that turned me off about WoW. I don't want a gang of other people telling me how to build my character and critize me for every choice I make until I relent and do exactly what they say. I want to start playing and not worry that the DM is going to blame the death of the party on me because I decided to play a fighter that used two weapon fighting or other things like that.

I want to be able to play my character like it is my first time playing and not worry about the other players and DM blaming me for the lastest TPK when they just ask to prepare for things my character hasn't even seen yet.

I have to agree that that attitude has no place at the table. Players should never be shoehorned into builds.

Players should focus on making their characters fun for them to play, not optimised to "win the game". That's the same thing for a lot of people, but it decidedly isn't for many others. Any DM that gets testy over that is missing out on a lot of what makes the game special.

Also, voting for Save or Dying, except in extreme circumstances when the players genuinely can knowingly bring it on themselves.


Die!

Wait... Isn't that one of the choices?

Silver Crusade

Ashkecker wrote:

Die!

Wait... Isn't that one of the choices?

I believe cake was.


Mikaze wrote:
Ashkecker wrote:

Die!

Wait... Isn't that one of the choices?
I believe cake was.

Is it too late to change my vote?

Silver Crusade

Ashkecker wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Ashkecker wrote:

Die!

Wait... Isn't that one of the choices?
I believe cake was.

Is it too late to change my vote?

As long as there is still cake.

And if we're out, there's always chicken.


Stay.

We now have much friendlier raise mechanics in Pathfinder.


K wrote:

Stay.

We now have much friendlier raise mechanics in Pathfinder.

Which still can't raise people killed by death effects.


I vote OUT.

As a DM, I prefer to destroy a weapon, maim a character, or outright kill a familiar/animal companion/cohort rather than killing a character with one die roll. As someone said earlier, I wouldn't allow a Colosal Red Dragon to die on a roll, so neither should I allow a PC to die because his d20 failed him.

That's why when I run an adventure and there's that kind of situation (save or die), I find something permanent that is still a threat to the player, but will not kill the momentum of the game (a character death does that).

- Zorg


Speaking in my capacity as a a player, they should go. "You can't play anymore" mechanics are a very real thing; I don't buy "it's not a problem if your DM is good" arguments, because nothing is a problem if your DM is good, and not everybody has the privilege of having a good DM. Some of us are stuck with mediocre DMs.

"It's fine as long as your DM is good" isn't much of an answer unless you can propose a system to create more good DMs in the world.


Error101 wrote:
K wrote:

Stay.

We now have much friendlier raise mechanics in Pathfinder.

Which still can't raise people killed by death effects.

There are plenty of save or dies that aren't death effects. Sleep and hold monster, for example, have killed more monsters and characters than finger of death and wail of the banshee by a long shot.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

While I note that I think that there are better ways to produce the fear for your character than a save or die ability.

I care less about the save or dies because of the characters I've lost most of them went down in a single round where I could do practically nothing and none of them were caused by any sort of save or suck ability.

I don't mind if they stay because currently there are monsters that produce the same effect without them.


Stay - but in the save or dying version [least it gives characters a chance to stabalize before the "Last Bus to Valhalla"]


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

unequivocally must stay


Super stay.


Regarding effects like "Paralyze": stay...
...but it's true that removing one or more PCs for minutes from a combat
can be the difference between TPK and victory.

So, I'd include a save each round after a failed initial save,
that allows to act as if disabled and with some additional big penalties.

Regarding effects like "Finger of Death": don't stay

At least make it save or dying.

Otherwise combats at high level depend too much on luck.

How about the following idea:
When you fail your save against such effects you drop to
a number of hp = -20 + your level.

LL

Sovereign Court

stay, for save or suck, stay for a portion of save or die


Zynete wrote:

You and me have very different thoughts on how powered up the PCs have become. They did not get a sudden burst of the abilities people say are needed to keep the party alive.

I'm not sure how they go from doing fine to dying in droves just because the adventures expect them to have one or two less feats and a few other minor abilities.

So far, you're correct, but the Pathfinder rules aren't done yet. What they do with the ranger might require another power-up for the fighter, for example. They could potentially start handing out boatloads of skill points to everyone, as some posters in another thread are pushing for. The rogue now gets combat feats and a sneak attack that affects undead and constructs. Sooner or later, all of these "gimmes" have an effect on game balance.

Sovereign Court

Error101 wrote:

I couldn't find another thread dedicated to save or die effects so i thought i would start one up to get an idea on the general feel about them.

So simply put, save or die effects, should they stay or should they go?

Stay !!!


I think they should stay.

I grew up with fantasy-esc stories in which, when angered, a powerful sorcerer who just happened to be the main antagonist would always punish his/her followers by uttering a word and making a hand gesture. This, in turn, caused the follower to die in a horrific manner displaying just how evil the sorceror is. You just don't get the same effect when said sorcerer has to run 20ft away from the follower just to not get caught in his fireball radius (which the followerer would easily survive anyway if he/she is a mid-level character).

Where it up to me entirly, direct damage spells would be the first to go.

Sovereign Court

Nero24200 wrote:


Where it up to me entirly, direct damage spells would be the first to go.

Well I'm certainly glad it's not entirely up to you :)

Sovereign Court

The outcry for "Save or die" to stay are so great in number I feel defeated. Even though I grind my teeth to see Finger of Death, Imprisonment, and such stay, I'll probably never have to trouble myself with them.

Dark Archive

Out. Or at least change them to save or dying. I dislike the way that death, especially at higher levels, becomes more of an inconvinience than a real tragedy.


CAKE or DEATH?!?

Stay.

My players usually bring back ups anyway. As apparently I hate my players. In the current campagin no one has died perm.

When I ran Shackled City.. I had what I called the "Wall o'Death" I had a good 15 - 20 (exact count escapes me) of character sheets taped to the wall.

A lot of the deaths were simple player error... I had one guy that went through characters like toilet paper. Mostly because of his own error. Not because of save or die. I have had players die because of this however.

I've had players get up and storm out. But, it's part of the game. I don't pull punches and if you tick off the local noble and he hires someone to kill you.. they're going to use everything they can to do the job. If that's buying a couple potions of invisibility, watching you closely for half a minute and then slitting your throat while you sleep.

Hey.. thems the breaks. Shouldn't have ticked off the noble. Point is.. if my players could force a "Death Attack" to use the same example... they would.. as much as possible. Such is the way of players.

I don't fudge rolls. I use everything in my arsenal.. not to kill my players. I hate character deaths. But, I don't and can't understand or believe why a BBEG wouldn't use everything within his arsenal.

Below is yet another example from my current Red Hand of Doom campaign;

Spoiler:
After Drellins Ferry the group went south to deliever the gold to the dwarves. Trying to lure the party away from just going straight to brindol (that way they didn't waste too much time) I had the dwarves having sent a group to investigate the Ghostlord. So, the party took over this contract and checks it out.

Here they fight the Behir - it eats the NPC Monk I had sent along with them as a frontline fighter as they really had none - and flies away. As such... it reports to what it has encountered.

Also, right before they went in.. a group from the main army was heading to the GL to demand more ghostly uglies. It had a captive - the parties new cleric PC - and battle ensued. I was very close to a TPK. But, the party was starting to recover and win. The 8th level Ogre Cleric of Tiamat goes invis. watches the fight and leaves to report. Yes.. he also gets away.

These two baddies report about the party where they're going.. and what they can do. The ogre cleric is sent towards rhest in the road block to watch for the party and to send word daily to make sure the party hasn't broken through. The Red Hand is ofcourse trying to protect the phylactery and doesn't want it returned to the lich. The party spends about two weeks doing other things before heading north.

Plenty of time for these events to happen.

Heading north.. they kill the cleric. They continue north, meet the elves, clear out rhest.. camp etc.

The following did not happen as I decided I should not play the bad guys as I believe a real army would react. The army not getting their report sends a "platoon" of 50 hobgoblins north to deal with this meance. The Red Hand army has over a thousand soldiers minimum. A group of 50 is not a big deal.

My party:
9th level fighter/rogue 5/4 or something like that.. finesse fighter.
9th lvl rogue
9 level wiz
8 level fighter/rogue 7/1
7th level wiz - co-hort of the finesse fighter.. mainly counterspeller
9th level cleric/scion. 7/2 (scion is a class from a mongoose book.. so.. nice and powerful.)

All the PCs are humans except the 9th level rogue and 7th level wiz. they're elves.

The Badguys:
all are hobgoblins...

Ahead on the road is a "greeting party" of five. all have fighter levels
8, 2, 2, 2, 2

They demand the party leave the area and hand over a vital item. (The phylactory ofcourse) If they do they can leave with their lives.. if not.. they threaten death.

On the left and right side of the road hidden behind an illusion and further behind the 'greeting' party also behind an illusion are three forces.
Each force has the following.
5 6th level melee fighters.
5 6th level ranged fighters.
2 7th level sorc.
3 7th level clerics.

That's a total of 50 hobgoblins with class levels. They have knowledge of the party and have prepared as such.

Ofcourse I didn't do this because most parties are ego-maniacs and wouldn't back down. Even though I thought that my party could handle this.. I also knew there was a chance I'd destory them.. very quickly.

My long-winded point (other than to tell a gaming story...) is to show that BBEG *should* use everything in their aresenal... if that's a save or die or save or stop spell.. so be it. You're not going to take your players wizard Sleep spell away are you?


Save or die needs to stay around. Its part of the more traditional feel of D&D, and I'd hate to see it go.

Scarab Sages

Paul Ackerman 70 wrote:
...Red Hand of Doom info...

While I don't disagree with your strategy (after all, for the final battle my group faced a fully buffed BBEG) I do think your numbers were perhaps a bit excessive. Even amongst 1000 warriors, it is unlikely an army would spare that many class-levelled goblins to deal with one problem.

I know this isn't the thread for this discussion, if needed we can discuss it elsewhere, I am curious to hear about other peoples RHOD experiences, as I have run the campaign twice with different groups.


As a player I hate "save or die" and I am annoyed when affected by "save or stop". However, I don't mind using "save or stop" on the bad guys.

Having your character die is bad enough, but I always feel that "save or die" robs my character of a heroic death. It is the ultimate anti-climatic way to go. I normally announce my dislike against "save or die" early in the campaign and vow that my character will never use those affects. I've been lucky enough to have GM's that follow my lead.

I have recently decided that most "save or stop" effects are best left as "PC only" powers. I came to this conclusion while running a game recently. My NPC's knocked half of the party out of combat using "save or stop" effects. As a GM, I could tell immediately that I had failed in my obligation to provide my players with an enjoyable evening. I won't do that again. As the GM, I always get to play no matter how many monsters are killed or slept or paralyzed.

I don't happen to play with people who don't mind sitting out of the game for a while (luck of the draw, not a refusal on my part). I don't happen to play with players aren't bothered that their friends are sitting next to them unable to participate in the game.

However, in the past I have played in groups that did enjoy the challenge of having a character survive in a very deadly campaign.

So, my vote goes to "stay & go". Some spells/effects should be labeled as "Hardcore Mode" to alert the GM & players that their use is inappropriate for some groups but not for others. One sidebar proposing some of the alternate rules discussed here could be include to suggest ways to incorporate some hardcore effects in your game in a toned down manner. At conventions, a module could easily be labeled as "hardcore" or "non-hardcore" so everyone signing up knows what they are getting into.


Most people are looking at this from the players perspective...

I find that save or die effects is what causes the biggest imbalance in power level between spellcasters and non-spellcasters. It also tends to make wizards/sorcerors who don't rely on them suboptimal.

I am not saying nay to save ror die effects but in regards to spellcasters the casters who rely on them shouldn't trump other styles of spellcasting.

Nope.. don't have an answer to the problem...

Scarab Sages

Stay. The game needs to have some situations that are perilous in the extreme.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Stay

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Stay.

Because without them we lose dozens of iconic spells:
No sleep, no dominate, no flesh to stone, no polymorph, no ghouls, no medusae, etc..

Not worth it, IMHO.

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