Who agrees with me that the base classes are too complicated?


General Discussion (Prerelease)

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Moff Rimmer wrote:
LN has a tendency to get under your skin pretty easily.

Heh. Score one in honor of alignments being retained. I always thought of myself as CG!

Moff Rimmer wrote:
Anyone remember the days when a "bard" was a 10th level fighter, 10th level rogue and 10th level wizard before they could become a 1st level bard?

I thought it was druid, not wizard, with variable levels (5th-7th fighter? Something like that). Dunno. I never had a PC live long enough in 1e to become one. I sure loved it when they brought that old bard back as the Fochlucan Lyrist!

LogicNinja wrote:
Some are "pure" concepts (Wizard) while some are hybrids (Paladin).

You know -- with respect to Rgr = ftr/drd, etc. -- I just realized I always preferred the Unearthed Arcana Prestige Bard, Paladin, and Ranger to their base class incarnations. Hmmm... Pathfinder prestige paladins, with the new auras? Sweet! How best to convert them?


LogicNinja wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Yeah, they grappled with the broad vs. narrow concept with the "sub-classes" in earlier editions. I certainly feel that your viewpoint is equally as valid as mine here. I guess it's a matter of personal preference, as to what degree of similarity to an existing class, vs. narrow focus on a specific idea, constitutes justification for a new class as opposed to a different build of a broader class.
What I'm trying to say is that regardless of your personal preference, D&D has chosen a model (a base class can be narrow *or* specific) and stuck with it, from the PHB on. If you don't like that model... well, tough luck, I guess, but complaining that they're still sticking to that model in splatbooks seems just like complaining that D&D isn't Warhammer Fantasy RP.

Yes, I see that. The "incredibly broad" or "narrowly specific" seems a bit arbitrary, but as you correctly point out, there's nothing to be done about that.

That said, of course I like what Paizo is doing -- sticking with the 11 core base classes from 3.5 for the sake of tradition and continuity, and then allowing more options to make splatbooks full of "new base classes" pointless.


Kirth Gersen wrote:


That said, of course I like what Paizo is doing -- sticking with the 11 core base classes from 3.5 for the sake of tradition and continuity, and then allowing more options to make splatbooks full of "new base classes" pointless.

I don't see how Paizo is allowing more options (except by adding a few feats, which splatbooks do too) or how it makes new base classes pointless.


LogicNinja wrote:
I don't see how Paizo is allowing more options (except by adding a few feats, which splatbooks do too) or how it makes new base classes pointless.

Well, look at the rogue talents, or the sorcerer bloodlines, for one. Instead of designing a "demon-tainted spontaneous spellcaster with claws," as a new class, you can just play a sorcerer and take the abyssal bloodline. Some of the rogue tricks can already allow the Thief-Acrobat (a prestige class, but a splatbook class nonetheless) to be subsumed into the rogue base class. That sort of thing. It doesn't make all new base classes pointless, but it cuts down on the need for many of the narrower base (and prestige) class constructions.

Scarab Sages

LogicNinja wrote:
I don't see how Paizo is allowing more options (except by adding a few feats, which splatbooks do too) ...

Huh? Maybe I don't understand...

Barbarian -- rage powers are nothing but more options.
Clerics -- Domain powers are more options again -- and actually something more than a few extra spells.
Fighters -- weapon training and armor training -- again more options.
Paladin -- Divine bond is more options.
Rogue -- rogue talents -- more options.
Sorcerer -- Bloodlines -- more options.
Wizard -- arcane bond and school powers -- more options.

I guess that these things could be rewritten as feats, but I think that they work better as class abilities (and options).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Moff Rimmer wrote:
I guess that these things could be rewritten as feats, but I think that they work better as class abilities (and options).

The Barbarian powers WERE feats.. from a books that are NOT open content and now out of print.. it's a good thing Paizo is finding a way to preserve them. :P

Scarab Sages

Moff Rimmer wrote:
Anyone remember the days when a "bard" was a 10th level fighter, 10th level rogue and 10th level wizard before they could become a 1st level bard?
Kirth Gersen wrote:
I thought it was druid, not wizard, with variable levels (5th-7th fighter? Something like that). Dunno. I never had a PC live long enough in 1e to become one.

Ok, this was only about 20 years ago for me, so my memory may be a little rusty...

Illusionist was a subclass of Wizard. Illusionists had their own spell lists and didn't get access to Wizard spells until at least 10th level.

There were a number of other subclasses. Paladin, cavalier, assassin, druid, ranger and a few others (that escape me) were all subclasses of a core class.

Bards were different. And like you mentioned -- I didn't know anyone to make it that far to become one.


From the 1st Edition Player's Handbook, page 117...

Bards begin play as fighters, and they must remain exclusively fighters until they have achieved at least the 5th level of experience. Anytime thereafter, and in any event prior to attaining the 8th level, they must change their class to that of thieves. Again, sometime between 5th and 9th level of ability, bards must leave off thieving and begin clerical studies as druids; but at this time they are actually bards and under druidical tutelage...

D&D's first prestige class and in my opinion, inadequately redone as a base class from 2nd Edition on.

Scarab Sages

John Fajen wrote:

From the 1st Edition Player's Handbook, page 117...

Man, my book's in storage. Thanks for the quick clarification.


LogicNinja wrote:
I told you why, for example...

Actually, you simply listed your personal griefs against the way those base classes work mechanically without taking into account that they have the potential to come in handy in completely different ways than the base classes.

I have absolutely no need to "prove" that tome of battle was a blatant attempt to one up the other classes, or that warlock is a clear violation of universal game constants (up to that point) simply because it was someone's personally favorite idea. The math is sitting right there for you to view. While you're waving your arms in the air complaining that wizard has the ability to cast invisibility six times a day but warlock ONLY has the ability to make 5d6 ranged touch attacks each and every round you're missing my original point, that you can b$~%& all day about the classes mechanics if you refuse to look at the fact that many of them were designed from a role playing/role players perspective. You far too often seem to confuse what you would and wouldn't play because you're unable to stack the numbers a certain way with what will actually happen in any given game session. Wizard and Cleric certainly have spells that give them situational advantages, but you poo poo the situational advantages of Fighter and Barbarian, saying that unless they can iron heart surge, have the highest hit dice and refresh their "spells per day" constantly they "are unbalanced". This and this alone is why I continually feel your reviews are made "from the bench" so to speak and that you simply haven't experienced playing a high level fighter or barbarian, or perhaps just haven't had situations where the casters didn't prepare sixteen castings of time stop that day, and fighter saved the day again. Situational advantages are the name of D&D. If you sit there complaining that "Well, if the barbarian is on the other side of the field and needs to approach the wizard for four rounds, and the wizard specifically has all his will save spells prepared and manages to get them off THERES NOTHING THE POOR BARBARIAN CAN DO" you're missing every single time the barbarian dives into the lake to fish out his friends and the treasure with his mighty STR and CON, or is the one who fights on despite being blinded and poisoned to crush the evildoers, or simply is the first one into the room and rips into the enemy cleric with a full attack, causing him to need to heal instead of casting miracle sixty five times. Perhaps the wizard, properly prepared, could have potentially known and cast the correct spells to get his friends out of the jam. Perhaps not. But if you don't consider these situations, you won't have an accurate picture of the game as played and will be complaining about the potential outcome of a rule without testing it.

And in response to the future "I HAVE TOO TESTED IT!!" I'd simply say "Sorry man, the barbarian in my game kicks ass. Not sure why you can't make it work."

Edit: This is coming from the point of view of a PFRPG barbarian, by the way. I've heard you complaining about the "needless complexity" of the rage points system and how you "don't see how paizo is adding more options" and yet again, I suggest you actually come play in the mud with us before you chastise us from your ivory tower. The point mechanics are easy, and allow many benefits to the barbarian that he lacked before, including your ever lauded tome of battle-esque situational abilities (without the purely mathmatical one up-manship that the 4.0 beta book of nine swords offered). But of course, you don't have to take my word for it. Just ask anyone else who's used the rules in a campaign.


Wow threads have really gone off topic lately.

To the OP, I initially thought as you did, and you are correct. But since these are core classes they will be played and the new parts will quickly become part of common knowledge. The alternative is having 101+ prestige classes, often multiples for each character. That causes problems for GMs, who have to try and regulate what she allows into the game.

The problem I have seen in many of the "accessory books" is the dip/feat abuse. Swashbuckler is fine but combined with duelist it takes things to a whole new level.

High level will be addressed. I have am putting together my suggestions to present when Jason asks for that chapter.


The Authority wrote:
Actually, you simply listed your personal griefs against the way those base classes work mechanically without taking into account that they have the potential to come in handy in completely different ways than the base classes.

In what ways can, say, the Samurai come in handy "in a completely different way" than a Fighter could, only better?

The Authority wrote:
I have absolutely no need to "prove" that tome of battle was a blatant attempt to one up the other classes, or that warlock is a clear violation of universal game constants (up to that point) simply because it was someone's personally favorite idea.

Really? Both of those seem like pretty unsubstantiated claims to me. Tome of Battle DOES raise the bar for combatants. It was supposed to. The Warblade is one of the few classes that stands a chance, however, remotely, of not being rendered completely irrelevant by a caster at higher levels. And as for the Warlock? Yes, you're right, it was a deliberate attempt to experiment with balance per encounter rather than balance per adventuring day. Guess what? In most cases, the straight up Wizard is better off than the Warlock. Heck, a decent Rogue can whip out as much or more damage than a Warlock can in most situations. In fact, if pure damage out put per round is what you want, then the Warlock still ain't got nothing on the metamagic specialized Wizard. How many Empowered Scorching Rays can you handle? How about Twinned Scorching Rays? Split Ray? Quickened? You see the idea.

Warlocks really only come into their own when you face a LARGE number of encounters per day--- say, at least 5. I played a warlock through the first two acts of the Red Hand of Doom campaign, and there were an awful lot of back to back fights. I didn't really begin to see the potential of the class until the other guys began to run low on spells. Up until that point, I was purely support artillery. Laying down cover fire for the mages, if you will.

The Authority wrote:
The math is sitting right there for you to view. While you're waving your arms in the air complaining that wizard has the ability to cast invisibility six times a day but warlock ONLY has the ability to make 5d6 ranged touch attacks each and every round you're missing my original point, that you can b&&~! all day about the classes mechanics if you refuse to look at the fact that many of them were designed from a role playing/role players perspective. You far too often seem to confuse what you would and wouldn't play because you're unable to stack the numbers a certain way with what will actually happen in any given game session.

Projecting much? You should look into the Stormwind Fallacy. (It's the second post in this link, for your convenience: http://forums.gleemax.com/wotc_archive/index.php/t-822626)

If, as you say, we approach things from a role perspective (as opposed to a "roll" perspective) then who is to say my Warblade/Swordsaint isn't a samurai? After all, they use a bastard sword/katana and are very bushido oriented. Wait-- did I say warblade? I meant Psychic warrior. Did I say Psychic Warrior? I meant Ardent. Who is to say my fighter who has taken power attack, shock trooper, and melee weapon mastery isn't a barbarian? After all, I roleplay him to be really easy to anger, and he hits like a Mack truck.

The Authority wrote:
Wizard and Cleric certainly have spells that give them situational advantages, but you poo poo the situational advantages of Fighter and Barbarian, saying that unless they can iron heart surge, have the highest hit dice and refresh their "spells per day" constantly they "are unbalanced". This and this alone is why I continually feel your reviews are made "from the bench" so to speak and that you simply haven't experienced playing a high level fighter or barbarian, or perhaps just haven't had situations where the casters didn't prepare sixteen castings of time stop that day, and fighter saved the day again. Situational advantages are the name of D&D. If you sit there complaining that "Well, if the barbarian is on the other side of the field and needs to approach the wizard for four rounds, and the wizard specifically has all his will save spells...

Sure, anyone can set up a one sided fight. The point is, the Barbarian's idea of a one sided fight is vastly different from a Wizard's. From the Barbarian's perspective, a one sided fight might be one where all his enemies are cowering thanks to a friendly Wizard casting Fear on them. From the Wizard's side of things, a one sided fight is encountering... nearly anything, with the right preparation.

Wizards, when properly warned, can tailor their spells to fit the situation they will face. It is one of their primary advantages. It is the same principle that leads warrior types to stock up on silver ammunition when facing lycanthropes and grab those acid flasks when hunting trolls. The Wizard simply has vastly superior acid. Options available to spellcasters will almost always trump options available to noncasters. In fact, I have to work hard to come up with a situation where a caster WON'T make a significant impact on the outcome of a battle. The reverse of that is just not true.

Look at the example Wizard LN posted. There are multiple copies of certain spells memorized, but he doesn't rely on any one spell to carry the day. Spells are only as useful as the player who decides how to use them. Even with your exaggeration (sixteen castings of Time Stop? You'd need an Intelligence of well over 200 to get enough 9th level spell slots. ;-P ) the case you present is a corner case. Why not throw in a reference to antimagic fields while you're at it?

If, as you say, situational advantages are the name of DnD, let me present a corollary to that statement:

If you are a properly prepared and intelligently played Wizard, the situation is almost always to your advantage.


The Authority wrote:
stuff

The boards just ate my long reply, and I've got to get up early for work, so I'll get to it again tomorrow night. But let me just say this: for all your talk about in-game situations and situational advantages, the ONLY example you provided is a barbarian getting some loot out of a lake.

(a) I've never, ever had that happen in any of the many, many games I've played in. This is INCREDIBLY situational. I'm not sure why you think it shows the barbarian is worthwhile (especially since anyone with Swim ranks and a decent CON could have basically done the same thing).
(b) Your party had no other, better way of getting some treasure out from under the water? Really?
(c) How is being able to get some treasure out of a lake supposed to be able to compensate for things like Fly, Charm Person, Invisibility, Detect Thoughts, etc in terms of out-of-combat utility... much less for in-combat inferiority (given that it's a combat class)?

Also, I've never suggested anything like "barbarian starts four turns away", so stop building that strawman. As for "wizard has some Will save spells memorized", it's not exactly a major assumption. It's like "the barbarian has a weapon."

Baramay wrote:
The problem I have seen in many of the "accessory books" is the dip/feat abuse. Swashbuckler is fine but combined with duelist it takes things to a whole new level.

Please explain how a Swashbuckler/Duelist "takes things to a whole new level". As far as I've ever seen or been able to determine, the only advantage the Duelist offers is to eventually grant a high AC, at the expense of absolutely everything else. As far as I can tell. Swashbuckler/Duelist doesn't do much damage, doesn't have good saves, and generally contributes lit

If you're going to say that Swashbuckler/Duelist is powerful, please support this, especially as compared to a charging power-attacking Barbarian or a wizard throwing around save-or-lose/die spells while flying and invisible.

"Dip abuse" is much-derided, but in most cases not much of a problem--it benefits melee characters most, and they need the help.
The most powerful characters around are either going to stay pure-classed (Druid 20, Pathfinder Wizard 20) or are going to finish a prestige class or two (3.5 core Wizard 7/Loremaster 10/Archmage 3, Cleric/Church Inquisitor/Contemplative, etc).

The bigger problem with dips is the existance of "front-loaded" classes and that many classes are pointless to take the whole way through (which Pathfinder has commendably tried to address).

Edit: you're welcome to make a Pathfinder Barbarian 11 to display (preferably without the obviously-completely-broken Devastating Blow, just as I'm not including anything game-breaking); I've already made a wizard. Alternatively, you're welcome to provide some situations a level 11 party might face, non-combat and combat alike.

Baramay wrote:
High level will be addressed. I have am putting together my suggestions to present when Jason asks for that chapter.

I'm kind of worried as to what they might be, if you think Swashbuckler/Duelist is a powerful combination.


Evanta wrote:
I love how the combat rules (...) are simplified. I playtested with the new combat rules (it rox)

I know this is a bit off topic, but can you clarify how the new combat rules change gameplay and "rock" ?

I read through them and barely noticed any difference (except in channeling positive energy and regarding some combat maneuvers).

Posting a link regarding this topic would also be fine, thanks


LogicNinja wrote:
If you can't use class mechanics to prove that the swashbuckler is able to do as many things as the cleric or wizard, then I WIN AND TOME OF BATTLE WAS JUSTIFIED.

I've said twice now that if you assume the wizard has fly, charm person invisiblity, detect thoughts, major creation, wish, planar binding, peewee's playhouse and all the other spells all memorized, and he's actually able to apply them to the situation, he's probably got it covered. However, the sheer number of times in actual play that the wizard doesn't have a g~##$~n thing he needs and stands there going "s~&*, man" is outstandingly huge. It happens all the time. It's been like that the entire time. And the one time the wizard actually has charm monster when the 3 will save kobold fighter chief comes around, or the one time the wizard rolls max damage on fireball and everyone blows their reflex save, someone goes "JESUS CHRIST MAN, THAT WAS IMPRESSIVE." And for every time that happens, there's at least another time when one of the melee classes rends someone in twain, and the other players go, "Well that wasn't as good as a psion. Sure wish we had a warblade and then you wouldn't be affected by diseases. Sure wish you were a warlock, because warlocks get infinite ranged touch attacks for more damage than sneak attack and damage reduction. Sure wish you were another class, because I enjoy discounting what you, the lowly barbarian have achieved, and when you do well, I refuse to acknowledge it. I am The Authority."

And to that I say humbug sir. Humbug. I refuse to recount the ages of playtime that I've enjoyed where the fighter or barbarian or god help him the ranger have bloodily dragged the party to victory, by any means necessary, while the caster's corpses sat in the bag of holding because it was undead this time and s%#@ man, they're immune to whatever. Or any other situation, such as the time the fighter had an argument online about how warblade is really balanced because he's got seven god forsaken intelligence and doesn't realize that magic invincible fighter simply isn't a good way to deal with your Major Creation penis envy.

Let me know how your next game of dungeons and dragons treats you. The next time you've got a dungeon master, a storyline, a party and a situation that isn't "Lets set up nickelodeon GUTS on our crappy little DND minis tactical board here and prove that wizard with jump and fly can jump and fly well".

Scarab Sages

Here's a recollection of a lowly level 9 Barbarian owning the game:

The party is climbing a necromancer's tower to recover some ancient artifacts. Said party includes:

  • CN male drow battle sorcerer 8 with worg familiar
  • CN male kobold rogue 9
  • CG male aasimar cloistered cleric 8/paladin of freedom 1
  • CG male dwarf barbarian 9

    Note there are 2 casters in the party. So the party gets to the top of the tower, unaware of the enemy they face. They descend some stairs (wierd tower design) and round a corner.

    4 grimlocks (level 4 fighters) rush up the 5ft corridor to block the path. A bloodhulk fighter (140 hp) approaches as party members prepare their positions and begins pounding on the sorcerer. Finally, the enemy reveals itself - a medusa peers around the corner.

    - sorcerer turns to stone right away
    - rogue comes down the stairs on his turn and is turned to stone
    - worg escapes the gaze by hiding behind a statue, out of combat
    - cleric turns to stone as he moves forward into line of the gaze

    At this point the players start thinking of new characters. That is, until the raging barbarian jumps heroically into battle with 136 hit points of his own and dealing 2d6+16 damage per attack. On the third round he slaughtered the medusa, with 3/4 his hit points remaining then turned on the bloodhulk and slaughtered that in a few rounds. The grimlocks got some extra muscle as the worg re-entered the fray.

    The players all took a breath and said "Holy Crap! That was awesome. Now, how do we get turned to flesh again?" The barbarian then carried the statues out of the tower one at a time and sold the loot from the medusa to pay for everyone to be returned to normal.

    That is what play experience tells me about fighters vs spellcasters. D&D isn't just about PC class versus PC class in ideal hypothetical scenarios.


  • The Authority wrote:
    I've said twice now that if you assume the wizard has fly, charm person invisiblity, detect thoughts, major creation, wish, planar binding, peewee's playhouse and all the other spells all memorized, and he's actually able to apply them to the situation, he's probably got it covered.

    You've said it twice now, and it's STILL an enormous strawman. If you're actually interested in a discussion, stop doing that.

    I posted a link to a wizard's character sheet, with a combat-oriented spell list (to compare him to a sorcerer in combat). You should be able to see for yourself that there's a wide variety of spells that apply to a very wide variety of situations. From dragons to demons to undead to humanoids, the wizard has it covered.
    I've already suggested that you create some situations a group of adventurers might face.

    The Authority wrote:
    However, the sheer number of times in actual play that the wizard doesn't have a g@@!&$n thing he needs and stands there going "s#@!, man" is outstandingly huge. It happens all the time. It's been like that the entire time.

    Only if you don't know how to prepare spells well. A good spell list will almost *always* be useful. Quit pretending that a wizard having a relevant powerful spell is an oddity. The same Suggestion that takes out a kobold fighter chief can take out any one of fifty other monsters, up to and including dragons.

    The Authority wrote:
    And the one time the wizard actually has charm monster when the 3 will save kobold fighter chief comes around, or the one time the wizard rolls max damage on fireball and everyone blows their reflex save, someone goes "JESUS CHRIST MAN, THAT WAS IMPRESSIVE."

    A CR 10 dragon has a +12 Will save. Compare this.

    Nobody except you is talking about lopsided situations like the 3-will-save kobold fighter chief. Nobody but you is building these strawmen. You are making this stuff up because you don't actually have any reasonable arguments.

    The Authority wrote:
    And for every time that happens, there's at least another time when one of the melee classes rends someone in twain, and the other players go, "Well that wasn't as good as a psion. Sure wish we had a warblade and then you wouldn't be affected by diseases. Sure wish you were a warlock, because warlocks get infinite ranged touch attacks for more damage than sneak attack and damage reduction. Sure wish you were another class, because I enjoy discounting what you, the lowly barbarian have achieved, and when you do well, I refuse to acknowledge it. I am The Authority."

    Again, quit with the strawmen. Also, quit thinking that "infinite ranged touch attacks" is somehow impressive (or comparable in damage to a rogue's multiple sneak attacks per round).

    Every time you complain about how OMG POWERFUL warlocks or psions are, you show that you don't understand the numbers behind D&D very well.

    The Authority wrote:
    And to that I say humbug sir. Humbug. I refuse to recount the ages of playtime that I've enjoyed where the fighter or barbarian or god help him the ranger have bloodily dragged the party to victory, by any means necessary, while the caster's corpses sat in the bag of holding because it was undead this time and s#@! man, they're immune to whatever. Or any other situation, such as the time the fighter had an argument online about how warblade is really balanced because he's got seven god forsaken...

    In other words, "I've got nothing".

    You talk a good game, but so far the only example you've provided to back up anything you say is "well, the barbarian got some loot out of a lake."

    The Warblade is not immune to magic, or even close. He can prepare all of one Diamond Mind maneuver and Iron Heart Surge, if he wants to have room for the rest. And he can't Iron Heart Surge his way out of offensive spells that deny him the ability to take actions. Is IHS still a bit too good? Yes, and poorly written. It's one of a handful of things in ToB. Is the Warblade some sort of overwhelming battle-god who renders the rest of his party irrelevant? No, you're thinking of the Druid.

    You need to stop pretending that you're the only one who has ever played D&D. Your talk about how in your game the Wizards are useless and the Barbarians kill everything carries absolutely no weight, because you apparently can't provide us with any examples. Also, because apparently your group's wizard is played by someone who intentionally memorizes all the wrong spells.

    I've offered to tell you about examples, including from published modules at various levels (like Red Hand of Doom and Bastion of Broken Souls) as well as non-homebrew games. But apparently, you don't want to hear it.


    Jal Dorak wrote:

    Here's a recollection of a lowly level 9 Barbarian owning the game:

    The party is climbing a necromancer's tower to recover some ancient artifacts. Said party includes:

  • CN male drow battle sorcerer 8 with worg familiar
  • CN male kobold rogue 9
  • CG male aasimar cloistered cleric 8/paladin of freedom 1
  • CG male dwarf barbarian 9

    Note there are 2 casters in the party. So the party gets to the top of the tower, unaware of the enemy they face. They descend some stairs (wierd tower design) and round a corner.

  • Note that the two casters are intentionally nerfed.

    -The drow Battle Sorcerer has level adjustment, and isn't just casting level 4 spells at ECL 9--I'm assuming he's bought off his LA--but is a Battle Sorcerer, which means he's getting 1 spell less per spell level and is probably going to spend them on buffs. For comparison, he knows 1 4th-level spell. A Wizard 9 would have three 5th-level spell slots and 4 or 5 fourth-level ones.
    A drow Battle Sorcerer just can't fill in for a primary arcanist like a wizard or a sorcerer with a good spell selection.
    -A Cloistered Cleric is a variant cleric, intentionally nerfed to not be able to fight unless he's casting Divine Power. The player also took cleric 8/paladin of freedom 1, meaning he doesn't have ability to cast 5th-level spells (like Righteous Might, or Greater Command (the Medusa's Will save is +6) or Flame Strike (a medusa has 33 HP) or Wall of Stone (use here is obvious) or Summon Monster V (Achaierai that makes people go crazy, teleporting raging Bearded Devil, fiendish giant crocodile for grappling...).

    Jal Dorak wrote:
    At this point the players start thinking of new characters. That is, until the raging barbarian jumps heroically into battle with 136 hit points of his own and dealing 2d6+16 damage per attack. On the third round he slaughtered the medusa, with 3/4 his hit points remaining then turned on the bloodhulk and slaughtered that in a few rounds. The grimlocks got some extra muscle as the worg re-entered the fray.

    In other words, the Barbarian got lucky with his saving throw, while everyone else got really unlucky (the medusa's gaze DC is 15, not that high).

    Then, the barbarian got a little more lucky with his dice (to not die with the bloodhulk and grimlocks grimlocks pounding on him).

    Yeah, being lucky can really make you shine. I'm not seeing how barbarians specifically rock, though. A dwarven barbarian has a nice Fort save? Sure. But a level 9 wizard could have +10 or 11 himself.

    Also, what no one in the party had any way of blocking Line of Sight to use once the poor, CON-penalty Battle Sorcerer got turned to stone?

    Jal Dorak wrote:
    That is what play experience tells me about fighters vs spellcasters. D&D isn't just about PC class versus PC class in ideal hypothetical scenarios.

    I have a feeling that this scneario stands out to you so much because it's so unique. I mean, I can list dozens of encounters from memory that casters have trivialized or been the MVP of, from "hydra in a swamp" to "group of enemy soldiers" to "oh s--, dragon!" at mid-levels to "buffed-up Marilith just teleported in" at high ones.

    Scarab Sages

    LogicNinja, come off your throne for a second please.

    It doesn't MATTER what spells or BAB the sorcerer or cleric had, they would have the same Fort save as a Wizard or Cleric of their level (+1 to the wizard in the case of the level adjustment), and they all turned to stone in the first round.

    This Medusa's DC was 16.

    Sorcerer: Fort +4
    Rogue: Fort +6
    Cleric: Fort +8
    Barbarian: Fort +13

    So the Sorcerer needed a 12, the Rogue a 10, and the Cleric an 8. Only the Cleric was "unlucky", and since they had to save every round, it was only a matter of time. The Barbarian, on the other hand, needed to roll a 3 to survive.

    The point is they had no idea what they were facing and had no way to adequately prepare, especially given the Medusa's other precautions, like always wearing a hood and a disguise.

    I am ably demonstrating how actual play determines the quality and usefulness of a character. For example, you say a wizard "could" have a +11 Fort save, but at what expense and for how long? They were fighting in this tower for several hours. Sitting around postulating that your wizard is the greatest proves nothing.

    You keep talking about all these "examples" of play - please do us a favour and describe those scenarios so we can understand where you are coming from. Thus far, all I have seen from you are vague references and a bunch of math.

    Finally, I'm not sorry if this post is a little hostile. I'm getting tired of people dismissing playtests as "lucky" or "ill-prepared" or "not playing the game correctly".


    LogicNinja wrote:
    You can't prove that swashbuckler can cast spells, so book of nine swords is really balanced.

    Well done. Like I said earlier, there's a reason you've got that nickname, and it's because you join boards and get angrier and angrier while you post the same thing over and over again, insisting that unless someone can dispute your class mechanic comparisons that have been poured over on gleemax until everyone is well satisfied that they can quote them while they wax their mustaches that no situational issue has any bearing.

    After you've actually played a pathfinder fighter, barbarian or ranger (ranger being the least powerful of the new core classes) in a campaign, please come back and post your EXPERIENCE. Until then, let the people who are PLAYTESTING the product talk.


    Jal Dorak, I'd written a long post for you, with rundowns of the combats from my Red Hand of Doom game.
    The boards ate it. I'll work on redoing it, but damn, that's annoying.

    The Authority wrote:
    LogicNinja wrote:
    You can't prove that swashbuckler can cast spells, so book of nine swords is really balanced.

    Why would you post that when it doesn't resemble anything I said?

    The swashbuckler is a very weak class because none of its abilities make it particularly good at anything. It's got unremarkable defenses (and a weak Will save), very little damage output and no really useful class abilities right up until the CON-lower criticals (which it gets at the point where enemies are more likely to be immune to crits than ever, and where full attacks are rare).

    The Authority wrote:
    Well done. Like I said earlier, there's a reason you've got that nickname, and it's because you join boards and get angrier and angrier while you post the same thing over and over again, insisting that unless someone can dispute your class mechanic comparisons that have been poured over on gleemax until everyone is well satisfied that they can quote them while they wax their mustaches that no situational issue has any bearing.

    This isn't 4chan. Stop trolling. I've provided plenty of backup for my opinions. Meanwhile, all you do is say "the swashbuckler is balanced, really!" and "Tome of Battle is broken, I swear, it's true because I said so! Now stop posting!"

    The Authority wrote:
    After you've actually played a pathfinder fighter, barbarian or ranger (ranger being the least powerful of the new core classes) in a campaign, please come back and post your EXPERIENCE. Until then, let the people who are PLAYTESTING the product talk.

    The Pathfinder barbarian is much-improved, but in ways that aren't always good. The Pathfinder Fighter is exactly the same, except for flat bonuses to attack bonus and damage (which was never the problem) and the addition of the new feats (whose effects are obvious). The Pathfinder ranger is weaker than the 3.5 Ranger-with-splatbook-access.

    Please stop pretending that I have to personally play a Pathfinder fighter to be able to say anything relevant about how Fighters work in D&D and in Pathfinder. The only thing the Pathfinder fighter really has on the core fighter is +1-4 AB/damage, the same feat increase everyone else gets, and Devastating Blow (which is broken and creates a new problem rather than truly repairing any old ones--all it does is add "non-crit-immune melee enemies" to the same list that "low-Will-save enemies" and a few other types are already on).

    Scarab Sages

    LogicNinja wrote:

    Jal Dorak, I'd written a long post for you, with rundowns of the combats from my Red Hand of Doom game.

    The boards ate it. I'll work on redoing it, but damn, that's annoying.

    I'd appreciate the effort. I'm very familiar with RHoD, so it would be a good common ground to share experiences.

    Sovereign Court

    hogarth wrote:
    LogicNinja wrote:


    The Tome of Battle classes weren't "power creep" so much as an intentional fix for what's wrong with melee characters (both power/versatility-wise and fun-wise).

    It's power creep for those people who think that spellcasters should be nerfed instead of melee classes getting better.

    Personally, I don't have a problem with the Tome of Battle (other than one or two small items, and some flavour I don't like).

    Well, I basically meant powercreep as in they are better than any base melee classes that came before. They aren't overwhelmingly powerful, just better than a fighter, paladin, monk, etc. and way better than samurai, swasbuckler, etc.


    Jal Dorak wrote:

    LogicNinja, come off your throne for a second please.

    It doesn't MATTER what spells or BAB the sorcerer or cleric had, they would have the same Fort save as a Wizard or Cleric of their level (+1 to the wizard in the case of the level adjustment), and they all turned to stone in the first round.

    My mistake; I thought they all rounded a corner one by one or something of the sort.

    Jal Dorak wrote:

    This Medusa's DC was 16.

    Sorcerer: Fort +4
    Rogue: Fort +6
    Cleric: Fort +8
    Barbarian: Fort +13

    So the Sorcerer needed a 12, the Rogue a 10, and the Cleric an 8. Only the Cleric was "unlucky", and since they had to save every round, it was only a matter of time. The Barbarian, on the other hand, needed to roll a 3 to survive.

    The point is they had no idea what they were facing and had no way to adequately prepare, especially given the Medusa's other precautions, like always wearing a hood and a disguise.

    The Barbarian's high fort save is a good thing about the class, yes.

    But the chance of everyone except the Barbarian all failing is 55% (Sorcerer) * 45% (Rogue) * 35% (Cleric) = 8.6something %. Less than 10%. So, yes, the barbarian was the Last Man Standing Who Saved The Day by virtue of luck.

    Jal Dorak wrote:
    I am ably demonstrating how actual play determines the quality and usefulness of a character. For example, you say a wizard "could" have a +11 Fort save, but at what expense and for how long? They were fighting in this tower for several hours. Sitting around postulating that your wizard is the greatest proves nothing.

    You aren't, really.

    +11 was miscalculated from assuming a base save of +4; at level 9, not 10, it's still +3.
    But that wizard can have a +*10* base save, at the expense of 8000 GP (4000, if he crafts, which pathfinder wizards have no reason not to). +9 would be at the cost of 4000, 2000 if he crafts. Cloak of Resistance +2 is 4000 gp (everyone in the party should probably have one, or at -least- a +1). Starting with a 14 CON and buying/making a +2 item gives the wizard a 16 CON.
    3 base + 3 CON + 2 cloak + 2 Rat familiar = +10 Fort save, all day, every day. Maybe he has 14 CON and a +1 cloak, or maybe he has no rat familiar, which is why I said +8 is going to be more common.

    Jal Dorak wrote:
    You keep talking about all these "examples" of play - please do us a favour and describe those scenarios so we can understand where you are coming from. Thus far, all I have seen from you are vague references and a bunch of math.

    Like I did last time I tried to respond to this post, I'll include my experience with the first part of Red Hand of Doom.

    Jal Dorak wrote:
    Finally, I'm not sorry if this post is a little hostile. I'm getting tired of people dismissing playtests as "lucky" or "ill-prepared" or "not playing the game correctly".

    It's not that you're not playing the game correctly--it's that contrasting well-played/built melee characters with poorly played/built spellcasters isn't helpful.

    Now, Red Hand of Doom examples (again, sigh). Spoilers for the RHoD module, and I’ll be listing encounter levels and such from the book for clarity, so if you plan on playing this sometime soon, don’t read this. Or do, whatever.

    ---

    We ran through the Red Hand of Doom module from ECL 5 to ECL 10. The party started as an aasimar monk, a tiefling rogue (who seemed to roll a totally unreasonable ratio of 15+ on d20s), a human cleric, and my whisper gnome wizard. The cleric died in the second combat encounter and didn't come to the second session; we got a bard, instead. Right at the entrance to the Ghost Lord's lair (about 2/3s of the way through the campaign) the Rogue bit the dust; the player rolled up a melee-smashy cleric that was a lot more effective, and a new player joined us—he was newish to D&D, and at his request I built him a fairly optimized smashy Warforged Juggernaut.

    We rolled our stats, despite my protests, but everyone rolled well.
    -The monk was a regular ol’ monk, taking Weapon Finesse, Stunning Fist, and so on and raising Dex and Wis. Being a monk, he pretty much sucked.
    -The rogue focused on sneak attack. The cleric he rolled up later was a typical melee cleric, with Power Attack, Quicken Spell, and buffs.
    -The cleric would’ve been pretty good but he did something really stupid and got himself killed.
    -My wizard was a Diviner, banning Evocation (people protested at first, but soon realized it was better). He took the Escalation Mage PrC from Faiths of Eberron. I still have his character sheet from near the end of the campaign.
    -The Warforged I built was a Psychic Warrior 2/Fighter 2/Barbarian 1/Warforged Juggernaut, with the Expansion power, Power Attack and Shock Trooper for feats, as well as Pushback (for synergy with his slam attack and Warforged Juggernaut armor spikes/bull rush abilities, and for shoving people around—his battlecry was “do you have stairs in your house?!”
    -The Bard was an archer who went into War Chanter. Joined us at some point after the cleric died, but stopped coming to game towards the end.

    ---

    Encounter 1: a hobgoblin ambush, close to town. 6 “hobgoblin regulars” (Warrior 2s), 2 hell hounds, a “Hobgoblin Bladebearer” (Fighter 4 with TWF and magic shortswords) and 1 hobgoblin priest (cleric 3), with 6 more regulars showing up later as a second wave. Encounter Level 8.
    We spotted the ambush, and I took to the woods, using Hide (what with the cross-classing it and being a Whisper Gnome). The others mostly moved into the woods, engaging hobgoblins. Grease and Glitterdust made mopping them up much easier, even the bladebearer and the hellhounds. Color Spray took out hobgoblins left and right. The rogue got ambitious and dropped to 0 once, but was saved by the cleric. I used See Invisibility to locate the invisible cleric, and Bonefiddle to make him easy to hear and to interrupt his summoning (he was using a summon monster scroll).
    When the second wave came charging up the road, one Glitterdust took out five out of six of them. The last surviving hobgoblin would have escaped, but Ray of Exhaustion stopped him from running away. We interrogated him, and the next day, we got detailed info out of him (as much as he knew)… thanks to Charm Person, Detect Thoughts, and Suggestions.

    Encounter 2: small social encounter with the guards and mayor. No big deal. Only the cleric had diplomacy. We spent the night in town, went shopping, sold the hobgoblins’ gear, talked to people, etc. The next day we set out for Vraath Keep.

    Encounter 3: we stopped by the cabin of Jorr, a ranger who lives in the woods. We didn’t attack his dogs (in fact, I used Prestidigitations to flavor some food to smell like juicy meat and tossed it to them) so convincing him to come along and help us with the goblins, guiding us to the keep for a bit of pay, wasn’t hard.

    Encounter 4: random encounter, Grey Render. CR 8, so EL 8.
    The cleric was stupid and charged in, got hit by the AoO, got Improved Grabbed, and was torn apart shortly. After that, I hit it with Unluck, then Ray of Enfeeblement, which basically took it from a devastating melee threat to a pretty easily beaten one.

    Encounter 5: a hydra on the causeway across a watery swamp. We spotted it and shot at it from the bank; it came surging out and did a little damage. I cast Haste, everyone backed off and shot at it. It tried to pursue, but with a 20-foot move speed it couldn’t reach us without taking run actions, which meant we were able to move-and-shoot until it tried to get back to the water, at which point we full attacked it to death with bows (aasimar and tieflings are outsiders and so can use bows).

    Encounter 6: a couple of trolls, EL 6 or 7. A Glitterdust got one out of two, and a Ray of Enfeeblement hit the other. After that, they were softened up enough for the flanking monk and rogue. I got careless and got grappled (I stood too close, to help finish them off with Storm Bolt), but there was no way it could kill me before it went down.

    Encounters 7, 8, and 9: Vraath Keep. The monk was stupid and rushed in, getting into a tower and attacking a guard. Who survived, of course, and raised the alarm. Basically, the two EL 5, EL 6, and EL 7 encounters were all smooshed together into one long, often overlapping one. Control spells like Grease and Web and Stinking Cloud were the only thing that saved us from being overwhelmed, and without Glitterdust and Haste we’d have been killed anyway. I got too close to a minotaur and had to step off a roof, failed my tumble check and took falling damage, but then I climbed up onto the roof of the nearby building and cast from there. There was a manticore who I hit with Slow (along with some hobgoblins), which meant he couldn’t both fly and be a threat; he smacked into a wall then descended and got killed. Eventually Wyrmlord Koth came out; I was prone at the edge of the building I was on, taking cover from archers while still being able to spellcast. The rest of the party went out to meet him. His lightning bolt missed both the monk and the rogue. The monk grappled him, but he escaped and pulled out a potion. The monk tried to disarm the potion (it was Fly, IIRC) and failed; the rogue succeeded. We killed him to death; I was out of spells at that point, having spent my last two slots (True Strike + lesser orb of electricity). We holed up in Vraath Keep for the day. I could’ve kept myself safer if I’d prepped Fly, but the Slow/Stinking Cloud helped more overall. From questioning prisoners and reading Koth’s notes, we got a bunch of information. Party leveled up to ECL 6.

    Encounter 9: Old Warklegnaw, an old giant. We gave him the giant gauntlet we found in the keep as a present, and convinced him to get the remnants of his tribe to attack the Red Hand horde.

    Encounter 10: Skull Gorge Bridge! EL 10. Eight hobgoblin veteran warriors (Warrior 4s, four in towers as archers, four more across the bridge in a camp), a hobgoblin sergeant, two hell hounds, and a Young Green Dragon.
    Before we tackled it, I tossed up Resist Acid spells (I’d made scrolls) on myself and the Rogue, and cast Haste (extended via a lesser rod) on the party. We rushed in, and were met by the hellhounds, which ate a Grease and got pummeled. The green dragon swooped in with Flyby Attack, breathing on the monk (who Evaded) and the Rogue (who ate it, but resisted a lot)—I was out of range. The hobgoblins came rushing across the bridge. I moved up to catch them with a Web. The sergeant set it on fire, but the hobgoblins then took the time to chug some potions, so I slowed them down for a couple of rounds. The dragon came back in and breathed on me, but I was resistant. I hit it with Suggestion, but it saved; the party engaged the hobgoblins, the dragon came down and bit the rogue for a bunch of damage, and I hit the dragon with another Suggestion, which worked and took it out of the fight. We mopped up the remaining hobgoblins (another Glitterdust worked wonders), and then we coup-de-graced the dragon. Then we broke the bridge.

    There might’ve been another couple of random encounters in there that I don’t remember, but that was basically how the first part went—my wizard was consistently the MVP of the party and was in the least danger (due to defensive spells like Mirror Image, the ability to hang back and cast spells from range, and so on), and while I occasionally didn’t do the most optimal thing, I was never useless. I’ll cover the other parts later; they’ve got more variety (undead at the Ghost Lord’s lair, for example; lots of encounters in sequence at the Battle of Brindol), and better-optimized other characters. However, the basic gist remains the same—my wizard was consistently the most valuable member of the party, often turning encounters that couldn’t be won otherwise or would be really tough into easy ones (and smashing a few with a single spell; the next Hydra we ran across, I hit with Ray of Stupidity and that was that, for example). In fact, I don’t really see a party getting through RHoD very smoothly without a competent arcanist of some stripe (my friend had good results with a Beguiler).

    Scarab Sages

    LogicNinja wrote:

    Jal Dorak, I'd written a long post for you, with rundowns of the combats from my Red Hand of Doom game.

    The boards ate it. I'll work on redoing it, but damn, that's annoying.

    The boards here can get a little quirky. Its often best to compose in word and paste into the forum here. At the least regularly hit the preview post button as that tends to help prevent the thread Slaad from munching your post.

    btw I'd like to see this info, too.

    EDIT: and its up already. there you go.

    Dark Archive

    LN: I read part of your post, seeing as i'm at work, i didn't read all of it. I noticed that you said you made a Diviner, banning Evocation. Now, i come from a group of players that really has no interest in min/maxing, and to our group that sort of thing would be bewildering. Could you explain why you chose Divination and what benefits it has over Evocation (just blowing sh*t up, i know)? I ask this honestly and humbly.

    Scarab Sages

    Ok LN, a couple of questions.

    What suggestion did you use on the drake? Did you suggest it take a nap during a battle? It would seem to be something similar to have allowed a coup. How did you justify getting around the 'will not do something obviously harmful' clause of the spell?

    Also, what are the stat bonuses for the whisper gnome, and where do your temporary stat bonuses on the sheet come from? With stats like those, I'd imagine that you kicked some serious rumpus. Was he is scale with the rest of the party, or were these stand out stats?

    This is what I meant about core assumptions. This character would do substantially better than any point buy character would. It may have been an assumption on some people's part that point buy was in use.

    Scarab Sages

    LogicNinja wrote:

    The Barbarian's high fort save is a good thing about the class, yes.

    But the chance of everyone except the Barbarian all failing is 55% (Sorcerer) * 45% (Rogue) * 35% (Cleric) = 8.6something %. Less than 10%. So, yes, the barbarian was the Last Man Standing Who Saved The Day by virtue of luck.

    You are ignoring cumulative rounds here. Individually the character's probability of failure applies to each one; once they fail one save they are removed from the equation and the odds of the remaining two both failing increase dramatically in subsequent rounds, until eventually everybody fails.

    Even at your very concentrated attempt to achieve +10, that wizard still would have failed given the rolls of the battle sorcerer or cleric.

    LogicNinja wrote:
    It's not that you're not playing the game correctly--it's that contrasting well-played/built melee characters with poorly played/built spellcasters isn't helpful.

    And neither is contrasting poorly-played/built melee characters with well-played/built spellcasters. It is your opinion of the casters not being well-played/built. When that battle sorcerer was mounted he had an AC of around 28. If he had focused on Fort instead of AC, then something could have killed him in melee, and you would complain that he didn't focus enough on AC.

    What I see from your playtests is your party members facing down creatures in melee in order to give you the chance to cast your spells. Your enemies conveniently cluster up for glitterdust which helps. The Red Hand isn't stupid, eventually they learn the PCs tactics and adjust accordingly.

    I am also curious how suggestion allowed you to coup-de-grace a dragon? Also, there appears to be some friendly DMing, as Ozyrrandion's tactics specifically state that when his breath weapon doesn't work, he switches to melee attacks, targeting vulnerable PCs, and flying out of range of short-range spells.


    LogicNinja wrote:


    Baramay wrote:
    The problem I have seen in many of the "accessory books" is the dip/feat abuse. Swashbuckler is fine but combined with duelist it takes things to a whole new level.

    Please explain how a Swashbuckler/Duelist "takes things to a whole new level". As far as I've ever seen or been able to determine, the only advantage the Duelist offers is to eventually grant a high AC, at the expense of absolutely everything else. As far as I can tell. Swashbuckler/Duelist doesn't do much damage, doesn't have good saves, and generally contributes lit

    If you're going to say that Swashbuckler/Duelist is powerful, please support this, especially as compared to a charging power-attacking Barbarian or a wizard throwing around save-or-lose/die spells while flying and invisible.

    "Dip abuse"...

    Not looking to heap on, I just read the posts put out in the last hour, but I am a bit confused by your post. You ask me to please explain, then you insult me at the end. I have read most of your posts, many times you take offense at people attacking you. Why did you do this to me?

    I am going to compare to the barbarian rather than the mage, because both he and swashbuckler/duelist are melee types. The swashbuckler and duelist are two dip classes they work as gateways to creating other more powerful characters. Better than the core. Using your character with a 26 int, as an example a swashbuckler 3/ duelist 1 would have +8 damage to each attack and +8 AC. The boost in AC would mean the power attacking barbarian would have a better chance of missing than hitting. The bigger issue is that the melee types best job is to keep the enemy occupied and this combination does that quite well. Add in max skill from the high int and you are hardly every surprised (as well as being very capable of spotting moving invisible mages), and have a +10 initiative.

    In my eyes the PathfinderRPG does a better job of fixing issues than the ToB, because it addresses every class. Also having a 7th level manuever, (swooping dragon strike) use the jump skill as a DC or be stunned for 1 rd, does not fill me with confidence. There is a stance that give you +10 to jump, rings give +5 or +10, the 1st level jump spell gives +10,+20, or +30 and the thri-kreen has a +30 racial bonus to jump. I don't like to use the word broken but what else can you say?

    LogicNinja wrote:
    WotC's Nightmare wrote:
    I agree. The only base classes guilty of power creep were the Book of Nine Swords classes and maybe the duskblade. The main power creep from splatbooks came from feats, spells, and PrC's.
    The vast majority of PrCs are terrible, too--people just tend to not remember those.
    LogicNinja wrote:

    The Swashbuckler and Samurai are not "fighter builds"--they are vastly inferior to the Fighter.

    There are some really powerful PrCs outside of core

    I am looking at these two comments and thinking you might have said PrCs vary in power from strong to weak. Do you agree?

    This is off topic but you in another post you mentioned about see invisibility not being appropriate for a magic item, comparing it to dimension door and some 9th level spell being usable all day with magic item if that was the case. Well, there are two magic items in the Magic Item Compendium that allow casting of see invisibility. They are the Corsair's eyepatch-3,000gp and dragon mask-4,000gp.

    LogicNinja wrote:

    Spellcasters should be nerfed *and* melee classes should get better. You gotta understand--stuff like a very weak Will save, dependency on the Full Attack, etc are problems for melee characters not because of spellcasters (except NPC ones), but because of monsters.

    Also, ToB classes are vastly more fun to play, in combat and out of it.

    I addressed the weak saving throw issue at high level in an earlier post, it seems we are in agreement. Also I brought up the problem of save or lose spells, before I every heard of a Logic Ninja. Again a subject you feel very strongly about, so why insult my input. I have read many, many post of you complaining about something being broken or wrong but never once have you chosen to voice a solution to the problem. Is this not your strong suit or did some rival company hire you to heckle the Paizo boards? I am sorry if this sounds harsh but I cannot understand why you spend so much time repeating yourself, yet have held back contributing.

    Here is what I learned from Logic Ninja...

    We agree that there are spells that make casters too powerful and they are the save or lose spells.

    We agree that poor saves are too weak.

    Ray of enfeeblement should be changed as divine favor was. (Max +3)

    Metamagic Mastery still needs work. I suggest prepare a spell at (-1 spell level) if metamagic is applied. You may do this X times per day based on your caster level.

    The magic item creation process still needs work.

    What is a MW Tool (tumble)?

    Sovereign Court

    I think I would like to see more options and greater diversity of of the core classes. I wouldn't mind seeing it stop there, with a few core classes and a ton of options. Several domain trees per domain, several class power trees to chose from, more weapon style options, etc., etc. Do away with the prestige classes and give us enough options with the core classes that we can build our character powers as we see fit. I don't like the way prestige classes seem to tell you how and why your character is how he is, that's the fun to role playing, finding your role. I always seem to either find the prestige class that has the perfect skill/power options for me only to be disappointed to find I am the wrong race, alignment, etc to chose it. Either that or I find the perfect prestige class profile, only to find it lame skill and power wise. Give me balanced powers, feats, skills, etc and I will tell you why I got them.
    Cleric
    Fighter
    Magic User
    Rogue
    That's all we need, if you want a bard, there should be skill and power trees for you to grab from a core class, giving you the power tree you like. Maybe a fighter bard tree, wizard bard tree, cleric bard tree, etc, etc.... Why do rangers excel at either 2-weapon fighting or ranged weapons? No rangers excel at spears? Why are druids and clerics separate classes? Divine spellcasters, with different abilities could easily be the same core class with different power trees... Anyway, I am sure you all get the gist. I do want it simplified but less restrictive. I can handle a ton of options, that's 1/2 the fun, but make them fairly simple& easy to understand. Half the fun in building a character is finding those useful combinations of classes, feats and other powers that make your character powerful, unique and 100% what you envision.
    Thanks for reading and I oh so look forward to being blown out of the blog!!

    Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

    I apologetically don't get why all the fuss over the class balance. LN is somewhat right, that the non-core classesa ren't as strong, but then they shouldn't be. Despite constant nagging about too many books or only changing x to sell more books, WotC has done a great job of keeping the game where you can really enjoy it with just your core books.

    The other classes are different, but I don't completely agree they are quantifiably worse. The swashbuckler might have a lower damage output than a half-orc barbarian or fighter, but then he also has greater skill points, a better Reflex save, better initiative, and some interesting class features. If you're a real power gamer, swashbuckler is just as good for qualifying for some prestige classes as fighter, and comes with more skill points. It's different, not worse.

    DnD characters aren't evaluated - by me anyway - based on one or two key features. I don't play a fighter to cause massive damage. Any character I build will be capable of that. I play a fighter for more technique feats, for some flavor,or sometimes if I don't have time to manage a more complicated character. Like the malconvoker I keep hoping I'll get to play. Tremendous fun, very complicated, unsportsmanlike damage output - but very math and mechanics intensive. Depends on the game and schedule.

    You two fellas should realize you're both partly right, and no gaming forum is worth the time you waste saying "but you didn't prove anything".

    Anyhoo..no part of this game is "too complicated" to me. I can make anything I want. I played a game run by Tim Hitchcock at gencon where we made up characters on the fly and had little, or in Logue's case, NO character sheet. He doesn't know the rules anyway. : } The game was legendary fun.

    Conversely, I played a version of the malconvoker Saturday morning and did more damage than the epic centaur frenzied berzerker. Complicated or not...the 3.5/Pathfinder game is darn near perfect as it is.

    Scarab Sages

    I would rather have the classes be "provably" underpowered than overpowered. You can always improve something, but it is a lot harder to tone something down once it already exists.


    Jason Beardsley wrote:
    LN: I read part of your post, seeing as i'm at work, i didn't read all of it. I noticed that you said you made a Diviner, banning Evocation. Now, i come from a group of players that really has no interest in min/maxing, and to our group that sort of thing would be bewildering. Could you explain why you chose Divination and what benefits it has over Evocation (just blowing sh*t up, i know)? I ask this honestly and humbly.

    I choose Divination because in base 3.5, it requires you to ban only one school, rather than two. On top of that, we were playing with a wide array of splatbooks, which meant that there was always at least one Divination spell that would be useful anyway (True Strike, See Invisible, Unluck, etc). Basically, Divination specialization is just a way of acquiring bonus spell slots while giving up as little as possible.

    I banned Evocation because it's overwhelmingly the weakest school, with only a couple of really good spells (Contingency comes to mind)--which can be emulated with Greater Shadow Evocation.
    On top of being full of lackluster spells, Evocation is focused around doing damage, which, 9 times out of 10 (or more) is not an efficient idea for the wizard. A group of enemies you Fireball will survive and will have no more trouble hurting you than they did before. Meanwhile, Glitterdust dramatically reduces their combat effectiveness and makes mop-up easy, and Haste gives your party bonuses *and* does more damage than Fireball will over the course of the fight.
    When you do want to do damage, Conjurations are better at it than Evocations (being no-SR and often no save, like the Orb of Fire/Ice/Force/etc spells) ever since the Complete Arcane.
    On top of inefficiency, everyone in the party can do damage: meanwhile, there's tons of things only the sorcerer/wizard can do. It makes sense to focus on those and leave the damage to anyone and everyone else.

    underling wrote:

    Ok LN, a couple of questions.

    What suggestion did you use on the drake? Did you suggest it take a nap during a battle? It would seem to be something similar to have allowed a coup. How did you justify getting around the 'will not do something obviously harmful' clause of the spell?

    I don't remember the exact suggestion, but I typically use ones along the line of "I'm your commander, obey my orders" or "lie down, close your eyes, and don't move!"

    I interpret... and I've never had a DM question this... "will not do something obviously harmful" to mean that the creature will not undertake an action that will actively harm it, not that the creature won't do anything that *might* lead to it getting harmed. Jumping into lava is obviously harmful; standing at the end of a cliff near a pool of lava isn't.
    This makes sense to me (and to that DM, and to every other DM I've played with), and it keeps the spell balanced with Deep Slumber, which can affect multiple enemies and has fewer restrictions (it isn't language-dependent, you don't have to come up with a suggestion, etc).

    underling wrote:
    Also, what are the stat bonuses for the whisper gnome, and where do your temporary stat bonuses on the sheet come from? With stats like those, I'd imagine that you kicked some serious rumpus. Was he is scale with the rest of the party, or were these stand out stats?

    The stat bonuses on the Whisper Gnome are -2 STR, +2 DEX, +2 CON, -2 CHA. I rolled good stats, but so did the rest of the party (and we were starting the campaign at level 5, rather than 6--and also had 3 people).

    I would still have been better off as a Grey Elf, since INT is really the biggest deal for a wizard, but I was going for a concept (the DM adapted the campaign flavor for Eberron, with the Red Hand worshipping Khyber instead of Tiamat; my gnome was a secret agent from Zilargo).

    Yes, everyone else had stats to scale (about the only thing that saved the monk from dying horribly). They didn't matter as much for me as they did for others (WIS almost never came in handy, the higher-than-normal DEX was just a point or so of AC/init, etc), and everybody hadhih stats.

    underling wrote:
    This is what I meant about core assumptions. This character would do substantially better than any point buy character would. It may have been an assumption on some people's part that point buy was in use.

    I agree, and I very much prefer point-buying stats to rolling them myself, but rolling is what we did. We all happened to roll well.

    Jal Dorak wrote:
    You are ignoring cumulative rounds here. Individually the character's probability of failure applies to each one; once they fail one save they are removed from the equation and the odds of the remaining two both failing increase dramatically in subsequent rounds, until eventually everybody fails.

    I'm ignoring cumulative rounds because basic tactics when confronted with a medusa's (or Bodak's or etc) gaze is to cut off line of sight ASAP and then kill the thing. For example, if the cleric had survived, he could've thrown up a wall around the thing (and maybe a couple of the grimlocks too). An arcanist could've used any number of spells. On top of that, the next tactic is "kill it ASAP", which shouldn't be hard with a Medusa, even a slightly advanced one.

    Jal Dorak wrote:
    Even at your very concentrated attempt to achieve +10, that wizard still would have failed given the rolls of the battle sorcerer or cleric.

    Sure, low rolls will bring anybody down. The Barbarian goes down just as hard and more often when his Will save is targeted (and in my experience the melee guys make Will saves a lot more often than the casters make Fort saves--and versus more potent effects, poison being the most common for Fort; the medusa is an obvious exception)

    Jal Dorak wrote:
    And neither is contrasting poorly-played/built melee characters with well-played/built spellcasters. It is your opinion of the casters not being well-played/built. When that battle sorcerer was mounted he had an AC of around 28. If he had focused on Fort instead of AC, then something could have killed him in melee, and you would complain that he didn't focus enough on AC.

    The "caster" was a drow battle sorcerer. Drow are a very weak race (+2 level adjustment!) and Battle Sorcerer is a weak class variant (because it pares down the Sorcerer's small list of spells known even further, while making him require more spells known to be buffs).

    An AC of 28 isn't all that impressive, and doesn't justify a +4 fortitude save--covering up gaping weaknesses is important.

    Furthermore, a caster has a more limited need to focus on AC: he can use spells like Greater Invisibility, (Greater) Mirror Image, (Greater) Blink, and so on to keep himself safe in melee. If he's got non-core spells there are also long-term spells like Dragonskin

    The wizard I mentioned doesn't focus on Fort exceptionally--he wants a decent CON for HP, too. The Rat is the Fort focus, and that's because it's really better than the other familiar bonuses.

    Jal Dorak wrote:
    What I see from your playtests is your party members facing down creatures in melee in order to give you the chance to cast your spells. Your enemies conveniently cluster up for glitterdust which helps. The Red Hand isn't stupid, eventually they learn the PCs tactics and adjust accordingly.

    You see the melee characters engaging in melee, which is their prime and desired tactic, while the wizard avoids melee and casts spells, which is his prime and desired tactic. They did not go out of their way to block enemies from getting to me.

    On the contrary: it wasn't my party members facing creatures just so I'd get some spells off--it was me casting spells just so that they could survive in melee (tons of monsters would've killed them without it). I kept myself safe by hiding when possible, using defensive spells (I don't mention all the scrolls of Mirror Image I went through), and staying away (a troll isn't smart enough to attack something standing 40 feet back instead of the guy in its face).

    I wasn't saying, and I wouldn't say, that the wizard can do just as well as he does without a party. But I was consistently and definitely the most important party member; I wasn't alone in this opinion (everyone from the DM to the other players shared it).

    Jal Dorak wrote:
    I am also curious how suggestion allowed you to coup-de-grace a dragon? Also, there appears to be some friendly DMing, as Ozyrrandion's tactics specifically state that when his breath weapon doesn't work, he switches to melee attacks, targeting vulnerable PCs, and flying out of range of short-range spells.

    I don't remember the exact Suggestion, like I said above. Perhaps it wasn't a coup-de-grace but just something that kept him from fighting back (letting us kill him at our leisure)? I seem to recall a CdG (so it might've been a "lie down on the ground and close your eyes, have a nice nap" thing).

    There was no friendly DMing, that DM doesn't really believe in it.
    Ozyrrandion did indeed switch to melee attack when his breath weapon doesn't work (he hit the monk and the rogue, noting the rogue was resistant, then hit the monk and me, noted I was resistant, and switched to melee).
    He did use Flyby Attack to try and stay out of range, but I readied an action for when he got within range with the second Suggestion (after getting closer to him with the Haste move speed bonus).

    The hobgoblins only really clustered together when they had no choice (path through the woods, bridge, etc). I've found that getting 2-3 opponents with a 10' burst is very, very likely in encounters that have groups of enemies.

    Without my spells, many of the encounters we faced would have absolutely shredded the party. Meanwhile, replacing the monk or the rogue with a different class wouldn't be a very big deal (and replacing the monk with a barbarian would be a significant improvement; replacing one of them with a cleric or druid would be huge).
    The hardest part of my job was keeping the (often rash) melee characters alive, which fortunately buffing, debuffing, and battlefield control are much better at than blasting.

    I'll post again (maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow night, more probably Monday--busy busy) with the next arc of RHoD and its encounters.

    ---

    ancientsensei wrote:
    I apologetically don't get why all the fuss over the class balance. LN is somewhat right, that the non-core classesa ren't as strong, but then they shouldn't be. Despite constant nagging about too many books or only changing x to sell more books, WotC has done a great job of keeping the game where you can really enjoy it with just your core books.

    "They shouldn't be"? The monk and the Fighter, for example, are already highly weak in core; new classes should be even weaker?

    As for enjoying a core game, I more or less can't anymore, on a mechanical level.

    ancientsensei wrote:
    The other classes are different, but I don't completely agree they are quantifiably worse. The swashbuckler might have a lower damage output than a half-orc barbarian or fighter, but then he also has greater skill points, a better Reflex save, better initiative, and some interesting class features. If you're a real power gamer, swashbuckler is just as good for qualifying for some prestige classes as fighter, and comes with more skill points. It's different, not worse.

    It's worse. A slightly higher Reflex save isn't comparable to the swashbuckler's *miniscule* damage output. Basically, the class can't do its job, and its "interesting" features are notably not very useful.

    A fighter can at least be a party's Melee Guy. A Swashbuckler can't. Even against fleshy humanoid opponents, he'll be contributing a handful of points of damage a round, and won't be able to make the enemies focus on him--and the two more skill points/level and better selection don't really help with that. The Swashbuckler doesn't really contribute anything to a party, and that's a problem.

    ancientsensei wrote:
    Anyhoo..no part of this game is "too complicated" to me. I can make anything I want. I played a game run by Tim Hitchcock at gencon where we made up characters on the fly and had little, or in Logue's case, NO character sheet. He doesn't know the rules anyway. : } The game was legendary fun.

    Saying "it's not too complicated because we can ignore the rules" is not a good argument if you don't know or aren't using the rules, you're not using the system anymore. The system remains complicated.

    ancientsensei wrote:
    Conversely, I played a version of the malconvoker Saturday morning and did more damage than the epic centaur frenzied berzerker. Complicated or not...the 3.5/Pathfinder game is darn near perfect as it is.

    A summoner doing more damage than what is basically the most damage-focused melee class out there sounds like a bug, not a feature.

    ---

    Baramay wrote:
    Not looking to heap on, I just read the posts put out in the last hour, but I am a bit confused by your post. You ask me to please explain, then you insult me at the end. I have read most of your posts, many times you take offense at people attacking you. Why did you do this to me?

    Sorry, I didn't mean to--I was just incredulous. It's kind of like hearing "Druids are weak!"

    I wasn't taking offense at people attacking me, BTW; I was taking offense at people who were complaining loudly about *implied* insults turning around making them, because of the hypocrisy.

    Baramay wrote:
    I am going to compare to the barbarian rather than the mage, because both he and swashbuckler/duelist are melee types. The swashbuckler and duelist are two dip classes they work as gateways to creating other more powerful characters. Better than the core.

    Calling a class a "dip" class is basically acknowledging that most of the class is bad--that is, that it only has one really good feature. This is true of Swashbuckler (Insightful Strike), which is why I've almost never seen it taken past 3; Duelists have no really good features at all.

    Baramay wrote:
    Using your character with a 26 int, as an example a swashbuckler 3/ duelist 1 would have +8 damage to each attack and +8 AC. The boost in AC would mean the power attacking barbarian would have a better chance of missing than hitting.

    My 26 INT character is a level 11 wizard, thus focusing on INT basically to the exclusion of all else. There's no chance of a Duelist having the same int (DEX, not INT, is still the primary stat--or else you'll rarely hit!).

    You wouldn't get +8 AC--the Duelist gets +1 AC/duelist level from INT. Unarmored, you'd get a mere +1 AC!
    Also, note that a +1 Mithral Chain Shirt and a +1 Animated heavy shield (11k, together) give the same +8 AC as even a 26 INT... and the armor and shield can be improved with Magic Vestment!
    Meanwhile, a 24 STR barbarian rages to get to 30 (Greater Rage), and has a massive to-hit and damage bonus. (11 BAB, +10 to hit from STR, + let's say 2 weapon = +23 attack bonus. He does 1d12 + 2 + 15 (STR) damage... +2 damage for every 1 point he power attacks by. That's a lot more than the duelist (who might have 24 DEX, but isn't likely to have more than 18 or 20 int--build one; you'll see how hard it is to keep both DEX and INT that high)

    Baramay wrote:
    The bigger issue is that the melee types best job is to keep the enemy occupied and this combination does that quite well. Add in max skill from the high int and you are hardly every surprised (as well as being very capable of spotting moving invisible mages), and have a +10 initiative.

    Actually, this combination has absolutely no way of keeping an enemy occupied. It's not a significant threat (even with the +8, its damage is minor).

    INT doesn't help you spot, WIS does. Furthermore, just max ranks in Spot won't help you find an invisible enemy at all.
    The Duelist gets an initiative bonus, yes, but that alone doesn't make it anything other than a terribly weak class.

    Swashbuckler has one decent ability, at 3. It's still not great (it doesn't add that much damage, STR fighters still do a whole lot more and don't have to rely on a second stat), but it's decent. It's a "dip class"--if that doesn't show it's a very weak class, what does?

    Baramay wrote:
    In my eyes the PathfinderRPG does a better job of fixing issues than the ToB, because it addresses every class. Also having a 7th level manuever, (swooping dragon strike) use the jump skill as a DC or be stunned for 1 rd, does not fill me with confidence. There is a stance that give you +10 to jump, rings give +5 or +10, the 1st level jump spell gives +10,+20, or +30 and the thri-kreen has a +30 racial bonus to jump. I don't like to use the word broken but what else can you say?

    Yes, the DC is unmakeable, but that maneuver stuns for one round,it doesn't take a creature out of the fight. It also requires a melee hit.

    Still, it's definitely problematic.

    I'm not saying Tome of Battle is perfect (and it doesn't address every class--it was never meant to): it has a handful of issues. Iron Heart Surge is poorly written, Divine Surge does twice as much bonus damage as it should, White Ravne Tactics should be way higher-level, Swooping Dragon Strike and White Raven Hammer are too good (auto-stunning), and Greater Divine Surge lets you pretty much make something explode by sacrificing all your CON (which a Heal will give back). But that's a very small number of issues compared to the ones in the PHB, and those maneuvers certainly don't compare to spells like Shapechange and Miracle and Forcecage and Irresistible Dance. They don't compare to Pathfinder's broken bits, either (many of the spells remain, plus stuff like Devastating Blow).

    Baramay wrote:
    I addressed the weak saving throw issue at high level in an earlier post, it seems we are in agreement. Also I brought up the problem of save or lose spells, before I every heard of a Logic Ninja. Again a subject you feel very strongly about, so why insult my input. I have read many, many post of you complaining about something being broken or wrong but never once have you chosen to voice a solution to the problem. Is this not your strong suit or did some rival company hire you to heckle the Paizo boards? I am sorry if this sounds harsh but I cannot understand why you spend so much time repeating yourself, yet have held back contributing.

    I've made a number of suggestions, including for fixing melee types (remove Devastating Blow, allow standard-action attacks to do double-damage). I've also authored a Fighter fix a couple of years ago, and I'll link it if anyone cares. Individual spells can be nerfed to help keep casters in chcek. I'm hesitant to make suggestions when people don't even accept there's a problem, though.

    I expressed concern about your feedback because you basically said "swashbuckler/duelist is overpowered", which is very, very wrong. I'm sorry for snarking at you about it, though.

    Baramay wrote:

    Here is what I learned from Logic Ninja...

    We agree that there are spells that make casters too powerful and they are the save or lose spells.
    We agree that poor saves are too weak.
    Ray of enfeeblement should be changed as divine favor was. (Max +3)
    Metamagic Mastery still needs work. I suggest prepare a spell at (-1 spell level) if metamagic is applied. You may do this X times per day based on your caster level.
    The magic item creation process still needs work.
    What is a MW Tool (tumble)?

    -1d6+3 instead of 1d6+5 won't really fix Ray of Enfeeblement. Making it offer a Fortitude save for 1/2 penalty should fix it, but would take it from "top tier" to unremarkable.

    -Metamagic abilities are dangerous ground in general. Metamagic Mastery aside, the Universalist is noticeably stronger than any of the specialists, with the lack of restrictions and the +2 DC ability.
    -The magic item creation does indeed need work. As is, the only way to stop characters from basically doubling their wealth is to deny them time. It shouldn't be up to the DM to force a certain kind of campaign in order to keep something balanced.
    -A MW Tool(tumble) is a Masterwork Tool (it's in the PHB/SRD) designed to help a character Tumble. I typically say it depicts a special, non-restricting outfit with padded joints, which makes tumbling easier. You can, as per the rules, make a Masterwork Tool for any skill you can justify the tool boosting.

    Liberty's Edge

    Regarding complexity in general, needless complexity is still a bad thing.

    I can handle the D&D ruleset just fine. I can handle more complex games as well. For an example of what I'm talking about, try Aces & Eights by Kenzer Co. That is a complicated game. And the complications just make it more difficult, not more fun.

    The base classes aren't complicated - but they make play more complex. For example, as written a barbarian could spend 1 round in Greater Rage, 1 round in Mighty Rage, 1 round in 'regular' Rage and then another round in Mighty Rage (assuming high enough level). That means their bonuses to Str and Con will change each round, which means their hit point total and their bonus on attack and damage will change each round.

    Now, I look at complexity like that and I mark up my character sheet so I'm prepared in advance. I know what my bonus to attack and damage is at each 'rage level'. But most people don't. They try to start figuring modifiers in their head. Needlessly complex.

    And that specific situation has at least a couple of 'easy' fixes that reduce the complexity and keep the flexibility of the new rage powers.

    So, I'm going to disagree with most of the posters ahead of me and say the new classes ARE too complex - at least overall. I favor keeping expanded abilities but making sure that there is no math to do on the fly. Because even if I can handle it, my experience is most people cannot.


    DeadDMWalking wrote:
    For example, as written a barbarian could spend 1 round in Greater Rage, 1 round in Mighty Rage, 1 round in 'regular' Rage and then another round in Mighty Rage (assuming high enough level). That means their bonuses to Str and Con will change each round, which means their hit point total and their bonus on attack and damage will change each round.

    That's the one thing that gripes me the most about the new barbarian. I'd like the "rage stage" (regular/greater/mighty) to be dependent on class level alone, and not on some kind of optional point expenditure. Other than that, I don't find that the new classes are needlessly complex -- if a new player doesn't want to keep track of bleeding damage as a rogue, for example, it's simple enough to take one of the other talents instead of bleeding attack -- he can pick up the more complicated tricks later on, after he's become more comfortable with the base class mechanics.

    Scarab Sages

    LogicNinja wrote:
    I'm ignoring cumulative rounds because basic tactics when confronted with a medusa's (or Bodak's or etc) gaze is to cut off line of sight ASAP and then kill the thing. For example, if the cleric had survived, he could've thrown up a wall around the thing (and maybe a couple of the grimlocks too). An arcanist could've used any number of spells. On top of that, the next tactic is "kill it ASAP", which shouldn't be hard with a Medusa, even a slightly advanced one.

    As I have pointed out, the party did not know they were facing a Medusa, even after one person turned to stone (they assumed it was a spellcaster, after two, they clued in). Your arcanist or cleric couldn't have used "any number of spells" because:

    A) They had already been through 5-6 fights that drained resources.
    B) They did not have any clues to aid in selecting their spells.

    Finally, and this is the biggest point, the Medusa was hiding. With a +20 modifier. Nobody knew where she was even after they knew there was a Medusa. Even if the party threw up a wall, the Medusa could have taken a minute to leave the tower and re-enter from a lower level.

    We did "kill it ASAP" - the Barbarian killed it, with two whacks of his greatsword.


    Jal Dorak wrote:
    Finally, and this is the biggest point, the Medusa was hiding. With a +20 modifier. Nobody knew where she was even after they knew there was a Medusa. Even if the party threw up a wall, the Medusa could have taken a minute to leave the tower and re-enter from a lower level.

    If the medusa was hiding, how did it turn people to stone? And how did the barbarian find it?

    Liberty's Edge

    Evanta wrote:

    See the above.

    I mean, why is it that they simplified some things, and made the rest awfully more complicated?

    The 11 classes alone take up way more space than they used to. This also means that there are a LOT more rules you have to read through. I for one could do with a sorcerer with just maybe 3 bloodlines (maybe leave infernal to the warlock for example)

    Not an option. Warlocks are closed content, and so Paizo cannot use them. Same goes for Mind Flayers, Beholders, Displacer Beasts, Carrion Crawlers, Slaad, Kuo-Toa, and Tuan-Ti.

    Evanta wrote:

    , or a standard barbarian with just a few changed abilities.

    As it stays the amount of stuff for the classes are overkill.

    Respectfully disagree. The fighting classes and sorcerer have needed a shot in the arm for quite some time now. This gives them that.

    Evanta wrote:

    I love how the combat rules and skill rules and feats are simplified. I playtested with the new combat rules (it rox), but none of my players were willing to read so much crunch to playtest the classes themselves.

    Please continue in that vein for the classes please, keep it to 3 pages per class...

    Again, we disagree. I love the new classes.

    Dark Archive

    LN: Thank you for your reply! I'd never thought of it that way before. Everyone generally expects me to be the blaster, so this will be a very much needed (and welcomed, for me at least) change.

    Scarab Sages

    LogicNinja wrote:
    Jal Dorak wrote:
    Finally, and this is the biggest point, the Medusa was hiding. With a +20 modifier. Nobody knew where she was even after they knew there was a Medusa. Even if the party threw up a wall, the Medusa could have taken a minute to leave the tower and re-enter from a lower level.
    If the medusa was hiding, how did it turn people to stone? And how did the barbarian find it?

    You can still target people with a gaze attack while hiding, you just use the gaze actively. She took a -20 to hide while doing so, so it came down to a roll off to detect her. She eventually revealed herself in the second round after 2 characters had turned to stone (one in the surprise round and one in the first round, it's been a few months).

    SRD wrote:

    Sniping

    If you’ve already successfully hidden at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack, then immediately hide again. You take a -20 penalty on your Hide check to conceal yourself after the shot.
    SRD" wrote:
    A creature with a gaze attack can actively attempt to use its gaze as an attack action. The creature simply chooses a target within range, and that opponent must attempt a saving throw. If the target has chosen to defend against the gaze as discussed above, the opponent gets a chance to avoid the saving throw (either 50% chance for averting eyes or 100% chance for shutting eyes). It is possible for an opponent to save against a creature’s gaze twice during the same round, once before its own action and once during the creature’s action.

    Basically, the Medusa hid, sniped in the first few rounds (one person failing each round), and on round 2 it sniped again and then revealed itself, forcing everyone to save again on their turn (this is when the Worg hid), allowing the Barbarian to charge in. If this conflicts with what I described earlier, it is because I was not remembering it accurately.


    Thanks for replying LN.


    LogicNinja wrote:
    My DM likes to have groups of low will save monsters run towards the party from the front, and my party likes to let me rest between every encounter to regain my spells. I AM THE MVP OF THE PARTY.

    I applaud your reasoning. Now that I can see what passes for a campaign over your way, I completely understand how you feel overpowered compared to the melee classes. I mean, they charge directly down a hallway every single encounter and engage the monsters, while you stand in the back and use the gleemax favorite 3.5 diviner build (notice that you're playing 3.5 , not PFRPG in all of your really great examples) to shoot at monsters with +6 will saves from the back of the football field.

    You're OWNING! I'm sure all the party members really appreciate your help too, running a character with superhuman stats, the "approved" minmax build and a completely sheltered casting position, then taking the time to stop, jump on the pathfinder RPG betatest forums and start b~+$$ing about how powerful your 3.5 gleemax character is while the party rests for eight hours to allow you to be prepared for the next encounter with humanoids who serve simply to crash against the "tanks" so you can play "controller".

    That sounds kinda familiar actually. Like a board game I've read about recently. I hope you're having fun and I very much wish you the best.

    Well kids? What have we learned. "When one jerk minmaxes a character and his buddy the DM sets up encounters that never upset the S.O.P. of the party dynamic, he'll probably be really effective."

    I feel enlightened, s~~#ninja, I really do. Thanks for the information.


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    The Authority wrote:
    LogicNinja wrote:
    My DM likes to have groups of low will save monsters run towards the party from the front, and my party likes to let me rest between every encounter to regain my spells. I AM THE MVP OF THE PARTY.

    I applaud your reasoning. Now that I can see what passes for a campaign over your way, I completely understand how you feel overpowered compared to the melee classes. I mean, they charge directly down a hallway every single encounter and engage the monsters, while you stand in the back and use the gleemax favorite 3.5 diviner build (notice that you're playing 3.5 , not PFRPG in all of your really great examples) to shoot at monsters with +6 will saves from the back of the football field.

    You're OWNING! I'm sure all the party members really appreciate your help too, running a character with superhuman stats, the "approved" minmax build and a completely sheltered casting position, then taking the time to stop, jump on the pathfinder RPG betatest forums and start b#&**ing about how powerful your 3.5 gleemax character is while the party rests for eight hours to allow you to be prepared for the next encounter with humanoids who serve simply to crash against the "tanks" so you can play "controller".

    That sounds kinda familiar actually. Like a board game I've read about recently. I hope you're having fun and I very much wish you the best.

    Well kids? What have we learned. "When one jerk minmaxes a character and his buddy the DM sets up encounters that never upset the S.O.P. of the party dynamic, he'll probably be really effective."

    I feel enlightened, s!#@ninja, I really do. Thanks for the information.

    Or actually, he played a caster well, used the ground to his advantage, had prepared spells appropriate (by using a good selection of multi situation spells) to the encounters, and had enough spell slots and materials to last an adventuring day.

    And in 3.p warriors have no other role that they can do in a sustained manner other than meatshield, in some limited circumstances yes, they do spectacular things, but less often than the casters can, and far less reliably. Thats the issue I have.

    Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

    ...I don't find that the new classes are needlessly complex -- if a new player doesn't want to keep track of bleeding damage as a rogue, for example, it's simple enough to take one of the other talents instead of bleeding attack -- he can pick up the more complicated tricks later on, after he's become more comfortable with the base class mechanics.

    This is precisely the point I was making before. The game isn't too complicated. It's as uncomplicated, or as management-intensive as a player wants it to be.

    We have in this thread been told that the noncore classes are weaker than the core. When I posted that the swashbuckler is different, not weaker, we were told "so, what? the fighter is a weak class, too!"

    I feel the system is such that I can make anything I want, and I'm not gonna end up with a weak character. Grant, I am a big multiclasser, and I'll dip for more skill points at first level sometimes, but that's the rules of the game.

    My prior testimony about not having character sheets wasn't that we circumvented the rules. It was that we played a totally basic set of characters with no flash, and no splat books, and had a great, uncomplicated time. And earlier, without breaking any rules, I outdamaged the centaur with summoning spells. If I had played almost any other wizard, I might have done the same thing. The game can be as complicated as I need it to be to compete, or get my powergame on, or survive and epic campaign. It can be as simple as I need it to be to joke with friends, explore great scenes, and enjoy the company of my friends as much as I enjoy the performance of my character.

    I haven't played it yet..but so far I kind of like the new barbarian.


    The newer splatbook base classes are a mixed bag. Sure, there's some things in there like the CW Samurai, Swashbuckler, Hexblade... that I'd prefer to make a Will save to disbelieve. There's also some stuff in there like the Beguiler, Duskblade, and Dread Necromancer. Will the Big Five utterly overshadow them in every way? Of course. However, they are good enough to work, and have options without practically being broken by default. In other words, they work without working too well. When I say things like non core is more balanced, it's because of things like this.

    The newer splatbook base classes are a mixed bag. Sure, there's some things in there like the CW Samurai, Swashbuckler, Hexblade... that I'd prefer to make a Will save to disbelieve. There's also some stuff in there like the Beguiler, Duskblade, and Dread Necromancer. Will the Big Five utterly overshadow them in every way? Of course. However, they are good enough to work, and have options without practically being broken by default. In other words, they work without working too well. When I say things like non core is more balanced, it's because of things like this.

    Bad baseline to aim for:

    Spoiler:
    Tier 1: Capable of doing absolutely everything, often better than classes that specialize in that thing. Often capable of solving encounters with a single mechanical ability and little thought from the player. Has world changing powers at high levels. These guys, if played well, can break a campaign and can be very hard to challenge without extreme DM fiat, especially if Tier 3s and below are in the party.

    Examples: Wizard, Cleric, Druid, Archivist, Artificer.

    Bad baseline to aim for by a lower margin:

    Spoiler:
    Tier 2: Has as much raw power as the Tier 1 classes, but can't pull off nearly as many tricks, and while the class itself is capable of anything, no one build can actually do nearly as much as the Tier 1 classes. Still potentially campaign smashers by using the right abilities, but at the same time are more predictable and can't always have the right tool for the job. If the Tier 1 classes are countries with 10,000 nuclear weapons in their arsenal, these guys are countries with 10 nukes. Still dangerous and world shattering, but not in quite so many ways.

    Examples: Sorcerer, Favored Soul, Psion, Binder (with access to online vestiges)

    Good baseline:

    Spoiler:
    Tier 3: Capable of doing one thing quite well, while still being useful when that one thing is inappropriate, or capable of doing all things, but not as well as classes that specialize in that area. Occasionally has a mechanical ability that can solve an encounter, but this is relatively rare and easy to deal with. Challenging such a character takes some thought from the DM, but isn't too difficult. Will outshine any Tier 5s in the party much of the time.

    Examples: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, Crusader, Bard, Swordsage, Binder (without access to the summon monster vestige), Wildshape Varient Ranger, Duskblade, Factorum, Warblade.

    Dubious baseline:

    Spoiler:
    Tier 4: Capable of doing one thing quite well, but often useless when encounters require other areas of expertise, or capable of doing many things to a reasonable degree of competance without truly shining. Rarely has any abilities that can outright handle an encounter. DMs may sometimes need to work to make sure Tier 4s can contribue to an encounter, as their abilities may sometimes leave them useless. Won't outshine anyone except Tier 6s except in specific circumstances that play to their strengths. Cannot compete effectively with Tier 1s that are played well.

    Examples: Rogue, Barbarian, Warlock, Warmage, Scout, Ranger, Hexblade, Adept, Spellthief, Marshal, Fighter (Dungeoncrasher Varient), Psionic Warrior.

    Bad baseline:

    Spoiler:
    Tier 5: Capable of doing only one thing, and not necessarily all that well, or so unfocused that they have trouble mastering anything, and in many types of encounters the character cannot contribute. In some cases, can do one thing very well, but that one thing is very often not needed. Has trouble shining in any encounter. DMs may have to work to avoid the player feeling that their character is worthless unless the entire party is Tier 4 and below. Characters in this tier will often feel like one trick ponies if they do well, or just feel like they have no tricks at all if they build the class poorly.

    Examples: Fighter, Monk, CA Ninja, Healer, Swashbuckler, Rokugan Ninja, Soulknife, Expert.

    Horrible baseline:

    Spoiler:
    Tier 6: Not even capable of shining in their own area of expertise. DMs will need to work hard to make encounters that this sort of character can contribute in with their mechanical abilities. Will often feel worthless unless the character is seriously powergamed beyond belief, and even then won't be terribly impressive. Needs to fight enemies of lower than normal CR. Class is often completely unsynergized or with almost no abilities of merit. Avoid allowing PCs to play these characters.

    Examples: CW Samurai, Aristocrat, Warrior, Commoner.

    And then there's the Truenamer, which is just broken (as in, the class was improperly made and doesn't function appropriately).

    This is also important:

    Spoiler:
    It is interesting to note the disparity between the core classes... one of the reasons core has so many problems. If two players want to play a nature oriented shapeshifter and a general sword weilder, you're stuck with two very different tiered guys in the party (Fighter and Druid). Outside of core, it's possible to do it while staying on close Tiers... Wild Shape Varient Ranger and Warblade, for example.

    Scarab Sages

    That medusa sniping thing, that's just a lame interpretation of the rules for the DM to use...kind of like throwing a gelatinous cube in a 40' pit trap with an anti magic shell around it...the rules say I can do I'm the DM darnit!

    I love some of the new classes, and some others still need more tweaking to bring them up to snuff...I'm looking at you Monk...more options like the Rogue please Jason.

    Sovereign Court

    ancientsensei wrote:
    ...I don't find that the new classes are needlessly complex -- if a new player doesn't want to keep track of bleeding damage as a rogue, for example, it's simple enough to take one of the other talents instead of bleeding attack -- he can pick up the more complicated tricks later on, after he's become more comfortable with the base class mechanics.

    This is precisely the point I was making before. The game isn't too complicated. It's as uncomplicated, or as management-intensive as a player wants it to be.

    We have in this thread been told that the noncore classes are weaker than the core. When I posted that the swashbuckler is different, not weaker, we were told "so, what? the fighter is a weak class, too!"

    I feel the system is such that I can make anything I want, and I'm not gonna end up with a weak character. Grant, I am a big multiclasser, and I'll dip for more skill points at first level sometimes, but that's the rules of the game.

    My prior testimony about not having character sheets wasn't that we circumvented the rules. It was that we played a totally basic set of characters with no flash, and no splat books, and had a great, uncomplicated time. And earlier, without breaking any rules, I outdamaged the centaur with summoning spells. If I had played almost any other wizard, I might have done the same thing. The game can be as complicated as I need it to be to compete, or get my powergame on, or survive and epic campaign. It can be as simple as I need it to be to joke with friends, explore great scenes, and enjoy the company of my friends as much as I enjoy the performance of my character.

    I haven't played it yet..but so far I kind of like the new barbarian.

    I like the new classes as well, except for the bewildering choice to give barbarian's and monks the equivalent of power points. That is unneccessary complication. Why not just give them rage talents and ki talents similar to the rogue's talents. It's far simpler and fits the classes better. If I want to keep track of points to use my abilities, I'll play a psychic warrior or a psion. Apparently the universalist wizard is broken, so it might need to be changed as well.


    The Authority wrote:
    I'm going to pretend that a "real" party never fights enemies with +8 and lower Will saves at level 6, that a wizard can never drop back and cast from range, and that it's impossible for a wizrd to make his spell slots last over three or four encounters a day. Then I'm going to pretend that I scored a point of some kind.

    This still isn't 4chan. If you feel that you're up to the enormous task of actually making some points like a reasonable person, rather than making something up that sounds vaguely kind of almost like what I posted and then setting that straw man on fire, I'll be here to talk to you.

    Until then, keep on making these posts. I'm sure I'm not the only one getting a head-shake and a chuckle out of them.

    Rob Godfrey wrote:

    Or actually, he played a caster well, used the ground to his advantage, had prepared spells appropriate (by using a good selection of multi situation spells) to the encounters, and had enough spell slots and materials to last an adventuring day.

    And in 3.p warriors have no other role that they can do in a sustained manner other than...

    Exactly. "Low will save"? Warrior types have a low will save. If groups of warrior types aren't a viable challenge for a party because of that, that's a problem--they're supposed to be a threat. A number of enemies (like the dragon) had a good Will save--but with a good Will save progression, the green dragon still had +8 with its WIS (+10 total--the DM gave it Iron Will).

    It's not like I just stood there and the DM politely didn't send any enemies after me--that's what all those disabling and battlefield control spells are for. That, and the fact that a wizard can cast, then move.

    Maybe Authority thinks a "normal" game is one where all the enemies have +12 Will saves at level 6, and ignore the enemies right in front of them, instead rushing through Greases and Webs right to the wizard who is always totally chargeable, and there are six encounters per day no matter what anyone does. Somehow, I don't think that's standard.


    Jason Beardsley wrote:
    LN: Thank you for your reply! I'd never thought of it that way before. Everyone generally expects me to be the blaster, so this will be a very much needed (and welcomed, for me at least) change.

    Enjoy. I find well-placed disabling and controlling spells to be more satisfying than blasting, myself, effectiveness aside (and tended towards them even in a 2E game).

    Here's a guide to that kind of wizard I wrote a few years back. A bit outdated, and written for 3.5 not 3.P (so keep track of the changes--Glitterdust stops being useful earlier, for example), but it might still help.

    Jal Dorak wrote:

    You can still target people with a gaze attack while hiding, you just use the gaze actively. She took a -20 to hide while doing so, so it came down to a roll off to detect her. She eventually revealed herself in the second round after 2 characters had turned to stone (one in the surprise round and one in the first round, it's been a few months).

    Basically, the Medusa hid, sniped in the first few rounds (one person failing each round), and on round 2 it sniped again and then revealed itself, forcing everyone to save again on their turn (this is when the Worg hid), allowing the Barbarian to charge in. If this conflicts with what I described earlier, it is because I was not remembering it accurately.

    You can't do that. If you're hidden so that someone can't track you, you're invisible to them. Invisible creatures can't use gaze attacks. Besides, think about it--if averting your eyes lets you have a chance to avoid the gaze (active or not), how would not being able to see the gazer not prevent it?

    Basically, the medusa should have been able to hide *or* use its Gaze, not both.

    BTW, the sniping rules apply to ranged attacks, not (Su) ability use.

    (Also, a party with no one with any Spotting ability? Ouch.)

    ancientsensei wrote:
    This is precisely the point I was making before. The game isn't too complicated. It's as uncomplicated, or as management-intensive as a player wants it to be.

    But if everybody's having to track a bunch of things, the game does get bogged down.

    ancientsensei wrote:
    We have in this thread been told that the noncore classes are weaker than the core. When I posted that the swashbuckler is different, not weaker, we were told "so, what? the fighter is a weak class, too!"

    No, you were told "no, it's not different--it's actually weaker. It's bad at the thing it's supposed to be good at."

    ancientsensei wrote:
    I feel the system is such that I can make anything I want, and I'm not gonna end up with a weak character. Grant, I am a big multiclasser, and I'll dip for more skill points at first level sometimes, but that's the rules of the game.

    That's just not true. Your monk/wizard isn't gonna be good, no matter how you slice it. Furthermore, now that the classes get new abilities, multiclassing can hurt you even with classes like the barbarian.

    ancientsensei wrote:
    My prior testimony about not having character sheets wasn't that we circumvented the rules. It was that we played a totally basic set of characters with no flash, and no splat books, and had a great, uncomplicated time. And earlier, without breaking any rules, I outdamaged the centaur with summoning spells. If I had played almost any other wizard, I might have done the same thing. The game can be as complicated as I need it to be to compete, or get my powergame on, or survive and epic campaign. It can be as simple as I need it to be to joke with friends, explore great scenes, and enjoy the company of my friends as much as I enjoy the performance of my character.

    Being able to outdamage the dedicated top-of-the-line melee character with your summon spells is not a feature. It's a bug. Especially because you still have all your OTHER spells.

    Furtermore, the "as complicated or as simple as you like" thing applies from group to group. If I make a character that rolls a bunch of attacks both on his turn and on everyone else's, and turns each attack into a trip check and another attack or etc, I'm going to slow down the game for everyone in my group, not just myself.

    I haven't played it yet..but so far I kind of like the new barbarian.

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