Using Beta in RotRL (Stop buffing the fighter class)!!!


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Crusader of Logic wrote:
It'd be half decent with Pounce, which is a requirement for basic competence. Notice how on the only editions Fighters worked they had full attacks as standard actions at their full THAC0/BAB? Yeah, that let them move more than 5' and still hurt things. Pounce is the closest approximation to that. Still takes iterative penalties, but at least you can move and not suck.

This matches my assessment exactly. Before the fighter can do almost anything else useful, we do need a Pounce feat, or at the very least something like this:

Mobile Combatant (Combat)
Prerequisites: Dodge, Mobility
Benefit: You can trade iterative attacks for movement. Each attack traded in (usually beginning with the one with the lowest attack bonus) allows you to move 10 ft. instead. You can choose to interspace your attacks and movement freely: e.g., an 11th level fighter with this feat could take a 5-ft. step, attack once (at BAB +11), move 10 ft., and attack again (at BAB +6).
If you also have the Spring Attack feat, you can use the two in conjunction: i.e., move half your speed, make a full attack using all iterative attacks, and then move half your speed again.
Normal: You can take only a 5-ft. step when making a full attack.
Special: Attacks with your off-hand weapon (if any) cannot be traded for movement.

Scarab Sages

Crusader of Logic wrote:


1st edition strongest dragon.
Huge Ancient Red Dragon
11 HD, 88 hp, dmg 1d8/1d8/3d10, breath weapon 88 or 44 dmg, spells 1st through 4th level

Fighter does his 1d8+6 a hit or whatever, but gets... what was it? 6 attacks a round, no penalties to hit, and can still move? If it flies he pulls out his bow, maybe loses a damage point or two which sucks but not that big a deal. 10.5 * 6 is 63. Do the math. Meanwhile dragon attacks Fighter, it's doing 5-46 (25.5) which was a fair bit then, but not nearly enough to kill it. The party will need fire warding as 88 damage is a lot, but I think breath weapon damage was based on HP then so beating it up also weakened the breath weapon. Fighter's fine and can contribute.

2nd edition strongest dragon.
Great Wyrm Red Dragon
23 HD, 104 hp, dmg 1d10+12/1d10+12/3d10+12/1d10+12/1d10+12/1d10+12/2d10+12 (claw,claw,bite,wing buffets, kick,and a tail strike to everyone), breath 20d10+10 (avg 120 or 60), spells 1st through 3rd

This one's a bit tougher. Its HP aren't much higher, but look at that damage. Breath weapon is a bit stronger. Melee attacks are far stronger. Hell, he does 116 to whoever he's meleeing and another 23 to everyone. Spells are a bit weaker though at least. Still, this was a lot of damage back then.

3rd edition?
Great Wyrm Red Dragon
40 HD, 660 hp,...

the diff is that in 3rd the monsters are built to be fought by 4 PCs of same CR, in 2nd they where not, they were build then xp assigned for each power/effect they had(rememebr the +2 to HD if flys, +1 if uses posions ect) so u got a xp value based on mod HD, what 2nd didnt really do was tell you what lvl pcs could fight what creatures, most DMs had to learn with using the HD of creatures as a basis.


Crusader of Logic wrote:
What makes a Tier 1 Tier 1 is the gamebreakers. Planar Binding for infinite cash for example, which you yourself admit is not changed.

So my questions are:

1) What are the gamebreaker spells?
2) And how do we fix them?


Rizzen the unkillable wrote:
what 2nd didnt really do was tell you what lvl pcs could fight what creatures, most DMs had to learn with using the HD of creatures as a basis.

To be quite honest, I find this still to be true with 3.5 and Pathfinder, but that's another thread.


The difference is in 2.0 you had to guess how monsters fit, and in 3.x you had a system that helped a little but you still had to guess a lot.

Case in point:

Party of 3 level 15s, 1 level 14. 2 cohorts in the mix as well. Numbers alone say a CR 19 encounter is CR 4.2 and is going to kick their asses, especially since these enemies are smart and prepared.

When you consider everyone has more wealth (yay Artificers), every PC is a caster, and everyone is also pretty prepared... what actually happens is that Marilith + Nalfeshnee + Hezrou * 3 + Vrock * 5 encounter is hard, but quite beatable. Even if the demons are all Hasted, Unholy Auraed, and affected by various other buffs. They also don't have the standard (read: sucky) skills and feats so they have some tricks up their sleeve. And they don't come out all at once.

Anyways, the gamebreakers are simply the ones that give you infinite cash, or otherwise create an infinite loop. Wish is fine, getting it for free isn't. That's the primary example. There's plenty of others, but I keep coming back to ones that aren't in the PHB because I can't think it through at the moment.

A save or die, that instantly wins vs a single creature is not a gamebreaker (try using multiple creatures). It's pretty damn good if it works, but it's not a gamebreaker.


Crusader of Logic wrote:

The first miss chance feat is 20% vs ranged. And again, no full attack. It doesn't help at all vs melee, and it's almost too easy to become highly resistant to ranged. It's also at least two feats down. It might have been more. I forget if there was anything besides Dodge involved.

It'd be half decent with Pounce, which is a requirement for basic competence. However, even then 20% miss vs ranged only is bleh. Notice how on the only editions Fighters worked they had full attacks as standard actions at their full THAC0/BAB? Yeah, that let them move more than 5' and still hurt things. Pounce is the closest approximation to that. Still takes iterative penalties, but at least you can move and not suck.

<snip>

2nd edition strongest dragon.
Great Wyrm Red Dragon
23 HD, 104 hp, dmg 1d10+12/1d10+12/3d10+12/1d10+12/1d10+12/1d10+12/2d10+12 (claw,claw,bite,wing buffets, kick,and a tail strike to everyone), breath 20d10+10 (avg 120 or 60), spells 1st through 3rd

This one's a bit tougher. Its HP aren't much higher, but look at that damage. Breath weapon is a bit stronger. Melee attacks are far stronger. Hell, he does 116 to whoever he's meleeing and another 23 to everyone. Spells are a bit weaker though at least. Still, this was a lot of damage back then.

3rd edition?
Great Wyrm Red Dragon
40 HD, 660 hp,...

The big change, and the key reason casters utterly dominate 3.0 and its derivative systems, is that in 1st and 2nd edition, a round was a full minute. The spells haven't changed too much in what they can do, despite taking 20x less time to cast. Since we cannot within the scope of a 3.5 based system even begin to consider gutting the spells, extending casting to a full round action, or extending casting time to a full 10 round turn, what we are left with is evaluating which spells are high value and benchmarking feat utility off of those spells.

We generally have guidelines as to what is useful and balanced for a spell of x level. I do not think it at all unreasonable to approach feats in a similar fashion, although the "levels" for feats should be somewhat broader, due to the fact that feats are fixed and circumstantial. A 1st level character should be able to pick up the equavalent utility of what would be a 2nd level spell in a two feat chain, since he will never be able to switch it out, as opposed to a caster, who can have any one of a number of 2nd level effects at level 3. One second level spell equivalent circumstantially isn't going to break balance.

I would like Wind Stance to go back to the way it was in Alpha 3, which was a plain 20% concealment if more than 5 ft moved. For a BAB 6+ Dex 15 requirement, it's not going to break things at level 6 to give Fighters a 2nd level spell effect. 20% isn't all that great, but it is useful, and level appropriate, since when moving is a pretty broad circumstance.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Crusader of Logic wrote:
Dryder wrote:
Crusader of Logic wrote:
(...) Which means either you do not know what you are talking about(...)
What makes you thinking that?!

You claim he is buffed. He has not been buffed. Therefore clearly you are either mistaken in thinking he has been buffed, or know he hasn't but are arguing against him anyways so that he will continue to be ineffective aka Fighters Do Not Get Nice Things. I'm leaning towards the former (honest mistake) until given reason to believe otherwise.

I am ignoring Void Eagle on the grounds I was not insulting Dryder, I was calmly stating a fact, something that Dryder himself realizes. He (Void) is however insulting me which *wait for it* makes him a troll.

Ok, now I get it. The title of this thread might be irritating. What I meant with "buffed" is, indeed, that he's better than the 3.5 fighter. Sure, stuff like the Rogue talents might come handy for a fighter as well. As I pointed out in my original post, we are just hitting leve 4 (back then), and yes, I don't know exactly how he will be playable in the higher levels. I think he's good as he is (with enough stuff out there to buff him further during play). If you guys who have played the fighter beyond level 12 tell me he will be too weak up in those levels, I have to believe you. I just want to make sure, that everybody of us can find an pretty good example in the D&D universe to underline point X or point Y. And those examples might not always be the standard.

I've read a lot in this thread, and just ordered the Bo9S to have a look at that stuff.
I am far from not being convinced, and I am open for any thought - which playtesting is all about, btw. ;)


Crusader of Logic wrote:
DeadDMWalking wrote:

I would disagree with you, Crusader of Logic.

The fighter has been 'buffed'. He has more features now than he did in 3.5. On an absolute basis, he is more powerful.

Now, his feats may not be more powerful. Everyone else may have been buffed more. On a relative basis he may actually be weaker. But to say that he has not been 'buffed' is patently untrue.

The Fighter got some small number boosts to various areas, similar to those granted by the many failed Fighter fixes regularly posted on House Rules subforums in forums for D&D discussion. If that was all there was to it this would be a buff. A small buff that missed the point, but a buff nonetheless.

His class features are still feats, which are specifically designed to be far inferior to class features. Further, everyone gets feats. He gets more of them, but that only matters if there is lots of good stuff to take.

Even for builds made with every book under the sun, you very quickly run out of stuff worth taking. Perhaps you dip Fighter for 1, 2, or 4 levels to get 1, 2, or 3 more feats on top of the 7 or 8 you got before. But that's about it.

In Pathfinder, everyone gets 3 extra feats. Everyone else also gets other stuff. Oops.

In Pathfinder, the only two tricks the Fighter ever had (Power Attack, Improved Trip) got nerfed. Oops. The short list of worthwhile core/PF feats to take just got shorter.

Yeah, there's new stuff there. But it's blatantly inferior. When you are at rock bottom you need to go up, not further down. And if you are going to be reliant upon precision damage you are clearly better off as a Rogue where you can both do it better, and do something besides hit the thing with the other thing. Oops.

Net result? Fighter loses. Horribly. Along with anything else with Full BAB in Pathfinder. Casters got further buffed for some illogical reason. Yeah, I dunno either.

I am quoting myself as a response to Dryder, since he has clearly missed this.

Dryder, if your guy is at level 4 and he's just a BSF (that is to say, Big Stupid Fighter, since there are no tricks left in Pathfinder it is not as if he has a choice) he is now at the maximum upper limit of his effectiveness. Any level after, he will start dropping. Hard. Why? Hit the thing with the other thing only works when battles are very simple. Fine for the first 4 levels, not applicable beyond that. He will become increasingly obsolete very fast.


And yet my players frequently play fighters anyway. Why? They like them.


blope wrote:
And yet my players frequently play fighters anyway. Why? They like them.

I suspect they'd still like them if additional feats were added to expand their usefulness at higher levels. Currently, some groups don't have an issue, the DM can make slightly easier encounters (or use more PCs in a party), and no one points fingers at people. However, given a "traditional" 4-person party (fighter, rogue, cleric, wizard) playing prewritten APs, at higher levels most players will eventually begin wondering why the fighter seems more and more redundant, and why the cleric and wizard have to carry him on their backs and spend their time babysitting him. It's embarrassing.

Expanding the fighter's usefulness would eliminate that concern, and wouldn't in any way affect the people who already like fighters -- indeed, they might even come to like them better. It's a win-win deal all around, except for the few people who strongly believe that fighters should be useless compared to wizards.

Sovereign Court

blope wrote:
And yet my players frequently play fighters anyway. Why? They like them.

That's not a datapoint without merit -- the group I'm playing in is similar -- but for game design I think that there are different criteria than "some players can enjoy it as it is". The question for me is what other stuff gets broken to fix it -- I don't like 4e, for example, so that fix isn't for me -- but buffing the fighter (say, denerfing the feats that got nerfed and adding a shedload of new ones or else powering-up the old ones) means that it's still pretty much 3.5 thus at the same time not ruining the game for the people who like it already and also making the game more enjoyable for those that did have a problem with the old fighter.

So yeah, I don't agree with the thread OP. Indeed, I want significantly more Nice Things. I would also add that if nothing much was to change, well, we'll always have the SRD and a raft of cheap second-hand 3.5 material. However, we want more than that, we want this game to sell and go forward as a viable commercial product and I have to agree with the general opinion that a fighter that holds his or her own for longer is an attractive commercial property for those people that like 3.5 but didn't want it to be spellcaster's champagne crazy-time.

However, that may also mean that the spellcasters need to take a nerfing of some sort and given that the spells and spell progressions are pretty much classic and unchangeable, the new goodies may have to go (at least somewhat) and, hmmm, you got me.

Scarab Sages

Tagging on to Bagpuss, who sums it up succintly:

Another area of the game that Jason can tinker with more is the stuff that doesn't affect backwards compatability - namely the function of certain combat mechanics. I'm talking about the basic stuff, even more basic than Combat Maneuvers (and Jason went through that with a scythe and came up with a good clean field).

As some of us have been discussing, there seem to be certain effects on the battlefield that make spellcasters lives easy. These effects at first seem to be the result of their spells being overpowered, and fighters being unable to keep up. But it is not necessarily the case.

What Jason should consider looking at (and this belongs in the Combat playtest forum when it opens):

1. 5ft steps. Although I suspect they were originally introduced to allow warriors to move while making full attacks, their true utility is in allowing spellcasters to side-step the need to make a Spellcraft (nee Concentration) check to cast defensively. Coupled with the ease of these checks, it means spellcasters are hardly ever threatened by opponents. A simple fix might just be a feat that allows you an attack of opportunity against 5ft-steps.

2. Difficult terrain. 1/2 speed is hell for melee warriors, especially those in heavy armor. The rogue got some nice ability to Stealth without losing speed, the casters have spells, and the druid/ranger can overcome most, while the monk/barbarian have extra speed to compensate. The bard, fighter, and the paladin are the only classes that cannot deal with hindered movement. I would suggest a mechanic that allows a character to use Acrobatics or a Strength/Con check to overcome difficult terrain.

3. Cast defensively. Perhaps this unsuccessful mechanic should just fall by the wayside? There is no "sheathe weapon defensively" or "pick up item defensively" and those actions are far less complicated than spellcasting. Not only is the mechanic far too beneficial to already powerful casters, but the feeble challenge they face in making the check means some casters never fail. Add in the disparity between Int-based casters and the others (where Con used to be a balanced stat requirement for all) and the half-casters (paladins and rangers) who need to cast defensively sometimes but have no hope of making the check, and you have a nice little chunk of the game that could be served by getting the axe.

4. Casting times. This is a fairly big reverse engineering, so I leave it last because I am not as confident it can be done. In essence, too many spells have a casting time of "1 standard action". Not only does this make the spell list pretty bland, it creates overlook when a spell that doesn't fit the mold comes up (like call lightning), and makes it far too easy for spellcasters to accomplish their "big gimmick" while maintaining mobility, whereas the warriors need to sacrifice a large chunk of time in order to use their full attack. Any spell that has a save-or-suck effect should have an increased casting time to compensate.


Jal Dorak wrote:
1. 5ft steps. Although I suspect they were originally introduced to allow warriors to move while making full attacks, their true utility is in allowing spellcasters to side-step the need to make a Spellcraft (nee Concentration) check to cast defensively.

Not just 5-ft. steps, a wizard can move fully 30 ft. and still cast a spell as a standard action in the same round. That's insane. Casting should be a full attack action, allowing only a 5-ft. step.

Scarab Sages

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:
1. 5ft steps. Although I suspect they were originally introduced to allow warriors to move while making full attacks, their true utility is in allowing spellcasters to side-step the need to make a Spellcraft (nee Concentration) check to cast defensively.
Not just 5-ft. steps, a wizard can move fully 30 ft. and still cast a spell as a standard action in the same round. That's insane. Casting should be a full attack action, allowing only a 5-ft. step.

Kirth - I totally agree. #4 makes this suggestion in a constructive manner, but to be honest I would prefer a massive overhaul making it a full-round action minimum.


Jal Dorak wrote:
Kirth - I totally agree. #4 makes this suggestion in a constructive manner, but to be honest I would prefer a massive overhaul making it a full-round action minimum.

You'll get no disagreement from me! Some spells (e.g., magic missile, mirror image) can remain standard-action or they lose much of their utility. Others (wail of the banshee) really need to be full-round actions.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jal Dorak wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:
1. 5ft steps. Although I suspect they were originally introduced to allow warriors to move while making full attacks, their true utility is in allowing spellcasters to side-step the need to make a Spellcraft (nee Concentration) check to cast defensively.
Not just 5-ft. steps, a wizard can move fully 30 ft. and still cast a spell as a standard action in the same round. That's insane. Casting should be a full attack action, allowing only a 5-ft. step.
Kirth - I totally agree. #4 makes this suggestion in a constructive manner, but to be honest I would prefer a massive overhaul making it a full-round action minimum.

Actually, I'd prefer a sliding scale where most early spells (1-3) are a standard action, mid-level (4-6) spells are a full-round action, and high level spells take a full round or more to cast. Low level wizards are not a threat to the Fighter. It's the high-level world we need to really figure out. There would obviously be exceptions as the various Power Word spells should only be standard actions. After all, they're just one word!


Paul Watson wrote:
Actually, I'd think a sliding scale where most early spells (1-3) are a standard action, mid-level (4-6) spells are a full-round action, and high level spells take a full round or more to cast. Low level wizards are not a threat to the Fighter. It's the high-level world we need to really figure out.

I have to disagree with looking only at spell level (although it is a nice nod to 1st ed.); Tasha's laughter targets the fighter's weakest save and is only 2nd level, so by 3rd level wizards are a serious threat to fighters. Prismatic sphere, on the other hand is defensive-only, and probably can remain single-action or no one would ever cast it.

Scarab Sages

What if we looked at spell schools?

Abjuration, Divination, Illusion: Standard action

Evocation, Necromancy, Transmutation: Full round action

Conjuration, Enchantment: 1 round

The biggest change would be an overhaul of Quicken Spell to drop the casting time of any spell, with up to a 1 round casting time, by 1 category.


Jal Dorak wrote:

What if we looked at spell schools?

Abjuration, Divination, Illusion: Standard action
Evocation, Necromancy, Transmutation: Full round action
Conjuration, Enchantment: 1 round

That might work for many spells, especially if we make some sensible reassignments (e.g., mage armor becomes abjuration). One thing, though: things like fire trap and contact other plane should take a lot longer than 1 standard action. I really think we'd need to re-evaluate each spell individually. It'd be a pain in the neck, but would work better than a blanket declaration based on school or spell level or first letter of the name or time of year or whatever.

The alternative would be to make abjuration and divination subschools. Abjuration (protection) and divination (scan) spells have a casting time of 1 standard action, but abjuration (ward) and divination (ritual) spells have a casting time of 10 minutes, for example.

The Exchange

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:
1. 5ft steps. Although I suspect they were originally introduced to allow warriors to move while making full attacks, their true utility is in allowing spellcasters to side-step the need to make a Spellcraft (nee Concentration) check to cast defensively.
Not just 5-ft. steps, a wizard can move fully 30 ft. and still cast a spell as a standard action in the same round. That's insane. Casting should be a full attack action, allowing only a 5-ft. step.

I fully support this statement Kirth. Its one of the big flaws with higher level play. Fighter types are punished for moving more than 5 feet. MAgic users aren't.

I'm not sure into the whole increasing casting times with subschools or level though, this seems to be a very big change and gives me as DM alot more ot worry about in already very intense encounters (I already struggle to recall all the subschools and which spell belongs to which when running encounters with up to 6 players and a bunch of critters including casters). Throw this new level of compplexity into the mix and I reckon I'd be a gibbering wreck.

I much prefer to see spell casting more easily disrupted (damage taken any time in casters turn, means a readied action for when caster takes a 5 foot step means the damage they take can disrupt spell casting, currently it won't) and defensive casting more difficult (add BAB or half HD to DC of spellcraft to cast defensively). These are simple changes to already existing mechanincs that will have a more profound effect. I'm pretty sure these have both been proposed before (by Kirth or Reumere). I'll be throwing my support behind those when the combat section rolls around.

Scarab Sages

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:

What if we looked at spell schools?

Abjuration, Divination, Illusion: Standard action
Evocation, Necromancy, Transmutation: Full round action
Conjuration, Enchantment: 1 round

That might work for many spells, especially if we make some sensible reassignments (e.g., mage armor becomes abjuration). One thing, though: things like fire trap and contact other plane should take a lot longer than 1 standard action. I really think we'd need to re-evaluate each spell individually. It'd be a pain in the neck, but would work better than a blanket declaration based on school or spell level or first letter of the name or time of year or whatever.

The alternative would be to make abjuration and divination subschools. Abjuration (protection) and divination (scan) spells have a casting time of 1 standard action, but abjuration (ward) and divination (ritual) spells have a casting time of 10 minutes, for example.

I was thinking of those as the minimum casting time - certain spells that already exceed that casting time would retain their current values. To use your example, in abjuration shield would still require a standard action, while fire trap would still require 10 minutes. In the evocation school, fireball would increase to a full round action, while call lightning would remain 1 round.

Liberty's Edge

just a quick thought. if we can, by using 3x type ideals with a 1e sensibility, get fighters back on a level playing field with spellcasters (make spell disruption easier, make fighters more mobile without a zillion feats, etc) it would remove much of the need to nerf arcane/divine casters. spells would still be powerful if the caster can get them off before the meat grinder pounds them into jelly...


Full attack as a standard action. Then see readied actions, and Immediate action moves. No need to apply poorly thought out blanket stuff (come on, an entire round to cast Fireball? No need to make already crappy spells suck even more).

Mage casts spell, Fighter Immediate action moves and gets some disrupting attacks in.

To put this into perspective, imagine you have a gun in your belt, and a guy 10' away has a knife. If you try to go for the gun and shoot him, he's going to have at least a coin toss chance to get to you first and perhaps get the weapon away and/or stab you. Outside that range, you have the advantage but just because knife boy can't stab you right now does not mean he can't stab you before you get to try to kill him.

In D&D, daggers have a 5' reach. Mage 10' away is perfectly safe and laughs while owning the Fighter. This mechanic simulates the fact that oh noes, he can react to stuff.

Call it a soft threat range.


The last two posts should be considered as required reading on the issue.
Now, if only we can get the designers to see it that way...


houstonderek wrote:
just a quick thought. if we can, by using 3x type ideals with a 1e sensibility, get fighters back on a level playing field with spellcasters (make spell disruption easier, make fighters more mobile without a zillion feats, etc) it would remove much of the need to nerf arcane/divine casters. spells would still be powerful if the caster can get them off before the meat grinder pounds them into jelly...

Not just fighters. All close combat types.

I could see it as a feat which adds powers with levels.

Combat Reactions
Benefit: During your turn may save up to 1/2 speed. As an immediate action you move up up to saved distance.
If you have Base Attack Bonus of 6 or more, you may also use one of your attacks of opportunity to attack immediately after performing the saved movement action.
If you have Base Attack Bonus of 11 or more, you may save your whole move action.
If you have Base Attack Bonus of 16 or more, you may use all your attacks of opportunity after performing the saved movement action.

regards,
Ruemere


More like... you may move a distance equal to secondary attacks sacrificed/total attacks available as a move action (so if you have two attacks, and only take your primary, you can move half your speed as an Immediate action) or better yet and more clearly written just make it 10 feet per secondary attack you choose not to take which doubles with haste. You can also save attacks, which is what someone else here said.

So if you have 3 attacks you can swing once, save two. Then as an Immediate action move 10 feet and attack again. Something like that.


Crusader of Logic wrote:

More like... you may move a distance equal to secondary attacks sacrificed/total attacks available as a move action (so if you have two attacks, and only take your primary, you can move half your speed as an Immediate action) or better yet and more clearly written just make it 10 feet per secondary attack you choose not to take which doubles with haste. You can also save attacks, which is what someone else here said.

So if you have 3 attacks you can swing once, save two. Then as an Immediate action move 10 feet and attack again. Something like that.

Yes; those were my recommendations exactly.

Scarab Sages

I'd still prefer a simpler solution, like how Crusader's presentation of the idea from the opposite point of view (full attack as standard action) elegantly solves several problems at once without any equations or considerations - it should require only a rewording of the full attack action.

At the same time, having a way to overcome difficult terrain means a warrior can ready a charge against a spellcaster that is further away than 5-10 feet.

Finally, combine this with higher Spellcraft DCs to maintain concentration on a spell, and suddenly the mage isn't ruining everyone.

Aside: Crusader, it would be a full turn (not a full round) to cast a fireball, there is a difference. It prevents mages from maneuvering into the perfect position every turn to launch damage-based attacks.


No need to raise DCs. That just risks double fixing. If he can move in and interrupt casting he shouldn't have any problem forcing a high enough DC check. Unless of course he sucks.

Further, there is no need to nerf the already weak spells. Full round action means can't move yes. We're talking about a spell that barely even does anything. One round is even worse, as it can be interrupted by anything and everything, therefore if it's not the best it will never even be considered. Let the mage move more than 5' and still cast the pathetic thing. Hell, let him have Fireball and other Evocations as a Swift action. That might actually make them worth using. Now if we were talking about slowing down the real spells that actually do something to influence combat you might have a point. Though that again may just cause double fixing so I'd say let's see what sort of effect letting fighter boy be mobile has before seeing what effect making the other guy not mobile has.

Double fixing is where you try to fix a problem by adjusting both sides when it is only necessary to fix one. A good example of this is how 3.0 Vorpal worked on any critical, therefore Falchions tore things up with their 9 wide crit range. 3.5 Vorpal only works on a confirmed natural 20 regardless of potential threat range. That's enough to fix the whole 42.75% auto kill on every hit thing. But they double fixed it by also making Improved Critical and Keen not stack which just served to make critical focused characters go from nice to crappy.

Scarab Sages

Ach. Crusader, I agree. I actually misworded my post. I meant to say "Spellcraft DCs to cast defensively." You are right - if the fighter unleashes a full attack, that damage will either be cumulative or require a series of checks to maintain concentration.

As to the now less relevant discussion about the spell times, I agree that Evocation doesn't need to be a full round action. In fact, they could probably swap with Illusion (although I had Illusion as a standard action to allow a mage to move after creating a distraction). I am in complete agreement that the "devastating" spells are the ones that need increased casting times.

The reason I was advocating for a generic approach is that it allows a player/DM to fix splatbook spells as well using the same rule.

The Exchange

Crusader of Logic wrote:

More like... you may move a distance equal to secondary attacks sacrificed/total attacks available as a move action (so if you have two attacks, and only take your primary, you can move half your speed as an Immediate action) or better yet and more clearly written just make it 10 feet per secondary attack you choose not to take which doubles with haste. You can also save attacks, which is what someone else here said.

So if you have 3 attacks you can swing once, save two. Then as an Immediate action move 10 feet and attack again. Something like that.

These were recomended very early in this discussion I believe. It's good to see everyone coming around to the same page. Now all that has to be done is convinve the designers its a good idea.

I also think much can be accomplished if you merge the held action and ready action into the same rule.

Hold your turn until a trigger action occurs then use your full turn to act. That opens up a whole bunch of new options for fighting types without impacting on too many rules. I've never understood why a fighter in their prime who had situational advantage (higher initiative) couldn't respond more fully to a threat. I am willing to be convinced otherwise though, if this particular fix is a bad idea.


Probably unrelated to what you're saying, but it is worth pointing out at this point mages have very high initiative, often better than anyone else, even the archer guy with his super Dex. Though the archer could get a competitive modifier if he sunk enough resources into it.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Crusader of Logic wrote:
Probably unrelated to what you're saying, but it is worth pointing out at this point mages have very high initiative, often better than anyone else, even the archer guy with his super Dex. Though the archer could get a competitive modifier if he sunk enough resources into it.

What gives Mages a Bonus to initiative that other classes can't get?

Must be a spell I can't think of off the top of my head.

Most of my Games the Rogue has the best initiative.

Scarab Sages

Dragnmoon wrote:
What gives Mages a Bonus to initiative that other classes can't get?

They don't tend to neglect their Dex, the way classes who wear full-plate do. A low-Dex wizard is a dead wizard, at early levels, plus, they like to hit with their ray attacks.

That, and Cat's Grace. For which they make sure they're first in line (being the caster, and all).

Though, I agree, the Rogues will tend to have high Initiative, probably the highest. The key phrase above was 'often better than anyone else'.

Liberty's Edge

ruemere wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
just a quick thought. if we can, by using 3x type ideals with a 1e sensibility, get fighters back on a level playing field with spellcasters (make spell disruption easier, make fighters more mobile without a zillion feats, etc) it would remove much of the need to nerf arcane/divine casters. spells would still be powerful if the caster can get them off before the meat grinder pounds them into jelly...

Not just fighters. All close combat types.

I could see it as a feat which adds powers with levels.

Combat Reactions
Benefit: During your turn may save up to 1/2 speed. As an immediate action you move up up to saved distance.
If you have Base Attack Bonus of 6 or more, you may also use one of your attacks of opportunity to attack immediately after performing the saved movement action.
If you have Base Attack Bonus of 11 or more, you may save your whole move action.
If you have Base Attack Bonus of 16 or more, you may use all your attacks of opportunity after performing the saved movement action.

regards,
Ruemere

i agree, not just fighters. i just narrowed it to them to stay with the topic of the post.

rangers, paladins, barbarians, and, to an extent, rogues, should benefit from more aptitude on the field of combat, more effectiveness as mobile melee and ranged damage dealers, and more ability to disrupt spellcasting.

and i agree with CoL: if the melee classes are properly given their due, there is no need to nerf spellcasters or 99% of their spells.

there are a couple of spells that are a tad wacky (and most have been talked over to exhaustion on other threads), but most of them, as long as the melee types aren't irrelevant after, say, eighth level, do not need to be toned down, as they will actually "go off" a little less often than they do now. and, yeah, the general evocation spells (i.e. direct damage for the most part) could benefit from a more workable casting time, reseving the "full action" casting time to the more devastating spells (glitterdust, et al).

this could all be accomplished with the application of a little common sense, without creating a ton of feats to make fighters "wuxia ginsu uber-wins" (or whatever - these kids with thier slang... ;) ), letting us old school guys still have competent melee types without losing the old school feel.

my 2cp.

The Exchange

Crusader of Logic wrote:
Probably unrelated to what you're saying, but it is worth pointing out at this point mages have very high initiative, often better than anyone else, even the archer guy with his super Dex. Though the archer could get a competitive modifier if he sunk enough resources into it.

True actually, my sorceror has a higher initiative mod than most of the fighters in my group. But if this rule were implemented that may change.

Dex fighters are undervalued in my opinion.

Cheers


Mage wins initiative because:

Dex is tied with Con for general importance, due to those first strikes that tend to end encounters. Which is to say it is second only to Int. Fighters are practically forced to use heavy armor, which is counter intuitive to a high Dex (and your stats likely cannot support it anyways). Fighter boy has to sink all his feats into his trick to perhaps remain relevant. Wizards don't need any particular feats, they are options and not requirements (which is what they are supposed to be). Fitting in Improved Initiative therefore is easier to do, and easier justified because if Wizard goes first, he gets a spell off that turns the tides in his favor at the very least. Fighter goes first... what? He closes the distance, or moves and attacks (but gets a full attack in return next round)? There's actually a fairly strong case for them wanting to be slow based on that alone. Let the enemy come to you, then you counter them with a full attack.

Then you figure spells (obviously Wizard only), items (not Wizard only, but the Wizard both needs less gold to get them, and has less of his gold tied up on required stuff) and so forth. I had a guy running +23 init at level 12 once. I could have done better with more stuff. He was both a mage and an anti mage, because 'magic must defeat magic'. Suffice it to say he tended to end a lot of fights before they began. And yes, this character was deliberately made overpowered, but you could get +23 initiative without backing it up with uber stats across the board and still be fine in a regular game.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Snorter wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
What gives Mages a Bonus to initiative that other classes can't get?

They don't tend to neglect their Dex, the way classes who wear full-plate do. A low-Dex wizard is a dead wizard, at early levels, plus, they like to hit with their ray attacks.

That, and Cat's Grace. For which they make sure they're first in line (being the caster, and all).

Though, I agree, the Rogues will tend to have high Initiative, probably the highest. The key phrase above was 'often better than anyone else'.

oh ok...

To me it seemed that he was saying there was something Specific to Mages that made them act faster then others..

In my experience any class with a High dex and Improved Initiative the has a tendency to go first..

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Crusader of Logic wrote:


Then you figure spells (obviously Wizard only), items (not Wizard only, but the Wizard both needs less gold to get them, and has less of his gold tied up on required stuff) and so forth. I had a guy running +23 init at level 12 once. I could have done better with more stuff. He was both a mage and an anti mage, because 'magic must defeat magic'. Suffice it to say he tended to end a lot of fights before they began. And yes, this character was deliberately made overpowered, but you could get +23 initiative without backing it up with uber stats across the board and still be fine in a regular game.

I must be missing something... This is not How I normally see things work out.. But I don't allow everything..and Don't Own everything.. To keep this thread on topic.. can you email me how a Wizard could get that high Bonus to Initiative, if you find the time, if not no worries. I have not seen much that specifically adds to initiative other then a few Feats and some Dex buffing spells that in general are Touch not self only.

dragnmoon(at)gmail(dot)com

The Exchange

Crusader of Logic wrote:

Mage wins initiative because:

Dex is tied with Con for general importance, due to those first strikes that tend to end encounters. Which is to say it is second only to Int. Fighters are practically forced to use heavy armor, which is counter intuitive to a high Dex (and your stats likely cannot support it anyways). Fighter boy has to sink all his feats into his trick to perhaps remain relevant. Wizards don't need any particular feats, they are options and not requirements (which is what they are supposed to be). Fitting in Improved Initiative therefore is easier to do, and easier justified because if Wizard goes first, he gets a spell off that turns the tides in his favor at the very least. Fighter goes first... what? He closes the distance, or moves and attacks (but gets a full attack in return next round)? There's actually a fairly strong case for them wanting to be slow based on that alone. Let the enemy come to you, then you counter them with a full attack.

Then you figure spells (obviously Wizard only), items (not Wizard only, but the Wizard both needs less gold to get them, and has less of his gold tied up on required stuff) and so forth. I had a guy running +23 init at level 12 once. I could have done better with more stuff. He was both a mage and an anti mage, because 'magic must defeat magic'. Suffice it to say he tended to end a lot of fights before they began. And yes, this character was deliberately made overpowered, but you could get +23 initiative without backing it up with uber stats across the board and still be fine in a regular game.

I've seen intitiative bonuses close to that high in play. The Dm wasn't happy but it was legal stuff.

Yeah, the current build of fighters tends to see them focus on big strength and then heavy armour. However, you can get great AC from Dex and medium armour plus a few itmes. Makes your Touch AC better as well (which is important against those ranged touch spells the magic types are always throwing around). It also makes Monks seem very attractive all of a sudden as a hinderence to spell casters.

However, there is a trade off somewhaere (either strength or Con), I'd probably go Con on the assumption that if I can max my AC using dex and items then I'll get hit less and the hitpoint bonus may not be so advantageous. That theory gets fairly wonky after level 12 though, when things start doing really big damage and the extra 24 hitpoints from bonus con might be useful.

All of that was off topic though, if the held action was changed to the suggestion above, it gives fighters a greater reason to invest in improved intitiative, opens up a whole new build which can be quite effective. Hell, it might even make the swashbuckler you're so set against more useful CoL :)

cheers


Crusader of Logic wrote:

More like... you may move a distance equal to secondary attacks sacrificed/total attacks available as a move action (so if you have two attacks, and only take your primary, you can move half your speed as an Immediate action) or better yet and more clearly written just make it 10 feet per secondary attack you choose not to take which doubles with haste. You can also save attacks, which is what someone else here said.

So if you have 3 attacks you can swing once, save two. Then as an Immediate action move 10 feet and attack again. Something like that.

Sounds elegant, I think they introduced something like that for iterative attacks in 1st ed Warhammer RPG at some point.

My only problem is: How would that affect monsters with multiple attacks? In my own RotRL playtest it became quite obvious that monsters with multiple attacks (Grauls with character levels, most of the giants, lamias) have to be dealt with by keeping range, forcing them to make standard action single attacks and to use feats or abilities which stagger or stun. If we are to give the option above to monsters (or to monsters with Fighter levels, which are not unusual for the big humanoid melee types), we may be increasing challenge levels of encounters in a big way and hindering some range-based party tactics.


Dragnmoon wrote:
Crusader of Logic wrote:


Then you figure spells (obviously Wizard only), items (not Wizard only, but the Wizard both needs less gold to get them, and has less of his gold tied up on required stuff) and so forth. I had a guy running +23 init at level 12 once. I could have done better with more stuff. He was both a mage and an anti mage, because 'magic must defeat magic'. Suffice it to say he tended to end a lot of fights before they began. And yes, this character was deliberately made overpowered, but you could get +23 initiative without backing it up with uber stats across the board and still be fine in a regular game.

I must be missing something... This is not How I normally see things work out.. But I don't allow everything..and Don't Own everything.. To keep this thread on topic.. can you email me how a Wizard could get that high Bonus to Initiative, if you find the time, if not no worries. I have not seen much that specifically adds to initiative other then a few Feats and some Dex buffing spells that in general are Touch not self only.

dragnmoon(at)gmail(dot)com

Since I'm replying to some other stuff anyways, it's pretty simple. On top of the expected 2-5 Dex, and 4 Improved Initiative there is also the Eager enchantment (get +2 initiative), the Warning enchantment or alternately a 1st level immediate action spell for +5 insight to initiative, and the Roaring enchantment which gives +4 to initiative. That's 20 for a +1 enhancement, a +1 enhancement or low level spell, and a +3 enhancement. There's also the Belt of Battle for +2, and anything that says it gives a boost to ability checks since that is what initiative is such as a Green Ioun Stone and a Luckstone, as well as the spell Focusing Chant (which you would have to persist to benefit from in this way). +23.

Now sure, Fighter boy can get a +3 weapon (+1 eager warning) and +4 armor (+1 roaring) just to make himself faster, and burn about 40-50k on top of that for the same reason (Belt of Battle does other stuff, so it's good anyways). But now he's having to hold such a weapon to benefit from it, or at best try slipping properties onto his armor and shield spikes as well as getting +1 Bracers just so he can get more properties on the cheap (his armor will overlap the armor bonus, but the special properties will still work). Wizard does it cheaper, and has more spare cash.

There's also stuff like elf wizard sub levels which give double familiar benefits, followed up by that familiar that gives... I believe it's +4 initiative? Oh and another 1st level spell called Sign. I think that's for clerics though, but it's 10 minutes a level or until you make an initiative check. Fighter can't come close to that. I don't like elves, but it's there nonetheless.

Wrath wrote:

I've seen intitiative bonuses close to that high in play. The Dm wasn't happy but it was legal stuff.

Yeah, the current build of fighters tends to see them focus on big strength and then heavy armour. However, you can get great AC from Dex and medium armour plus a few itmes. Makes your Touch AC better as well (which is important against those ranged touch spells the magic types are always throwing around). It also makes Monks seem very attractive all of a sudden as a hinderence to spell casters.

However, there is a trade off somewhaere (either strength or Con), I'd probably go Con on the assumption that if I can max my AC using dex and items then I'll get hit less and the hitpoint bonus may not be so advantageous. That theory gets fairly wonky after level 12 though, when things start doing really big damage and the extra 24 hitpoints from bonus con might be useful.

All of that was off topic though, if the held action was changed to the suggestion above, it gives fighters a greater reason to invest in improved intitiative, opens up a whole new build which can be quite effective. Hell, it might even make the swashbuckler you're so set against more useful CoL :)

cheers

You aren't going to get a high enough touch AC to bother the mages. You might be protected if you get a Ring of Entropic Deflection and a speed boosting item (put the 4.5k property Quickness on your armor).

Monks are not a valid anti mage. They cannot even pose a credible threat to an unoptimized one as they have a max 20% chance to hit, a max 20% chance to stun with their hit (assuming non immunity), if they do hit they have the lowest damage attack of anyone except perhaps a Swashbuckler. As in even sword and board, as weak as it is hits harder and has other benefits so Monks are even weaker than it is.

You get a few more AC, you still get hit (check out enemy attack bonuses sometime), and now you take it less. Net loss. This is one of the reasons why elves fail at life. (literally) Losing Con to get Dex is an uneven tradeoff resulting in a net loss for yourself.

Swashbucklers are simply not a valid archetype in D&D. Fighters do it horribly, the Swashbuckler class is marginally better but is still only three levels long, the Duelist is simply utterly and completely ineffective... yeah. Poking it with your little 1d6 + small number just isn't good enough.

Andreas Skye wrote:

Sounds elegant, I think they introduced something like that for iterative attacks in 1st ed Warhammer RPG at some point.

My only problem is: How would that affect monsters with multiple attacks? In my own RotRL playtest it became quite obvious that monsters with multiple attacks (Grauls with character levels, most of the giants, lamias) have to be dealt with by keeping range, forcing them to make standard action single attacks and to use feats or abilities which stagger or stun. If we are to give the option above to monsters (or to monsters with Fighter levels, which are not unusual for the big humanoid melee types), we may be increasing challenge levels of encounters in a big way and hindering some range-based party tactics.

These are melee brute enemies. That is to say they are the least threatening foes you can potentially face. Making them a bit more scary via full attacks as standard actions means they can start being worth their CR. This is a good thing. Staggering and stunning still works. It's not like you couldn't just do the same thing with Pounce and perhaps Twisted Charge (which is more dangerous) anyways. Dunno about you but I'd be pretty reluctant to want something like say... an Elder Earth Elemental anywhere near me. Especially while casting.


Crusader of Logic wrote:
Swashbucklers are simply not a valid archetype in D&D. Fighters do it horribly, the Swashbuckler class is marginally better but is still only three levels long, the Duelist is simply utterly and completely ineffective... yeah. Poking it with your little 1d6 + small number just isn't good enough.

You can do OK with a rogue as a swashbuckler, focusing on mobility (acrobatics, etc.), as long as you have a "designated flanker" (a monk cohort does fine: he just moves around a lot and has no purpose other than to provide you flanking bonuses, becuse the Flurry of Misses is useless even if you're static, and can't be used while moving). Then you're poking for 1d6 + 1d6/2 levels + bleed, and you're probably taking TWF as well.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Crusader of Logic wrote:
Swashbucklers are simply not a valid archetype in D&D. Fighters do it horribly, the Swashbuckler class is marginally better but is still only three levels long, the Duelist is simply utterly and completely ineffective... yeah. Poking it with your little 1d6 + small number just isn't good enough.
You can do OK with a rogue as a swashbuckler, focusing on mobility (acrobatics, etc.), as long as you have a "designated flanker" (a monk cohort does fine: he just moves around a lot and has no purpose other than to provide you flanking bonuses, becuse the Flurry of Misses is useless even if you're static, and can't be used while moving). Then you're poking for 1d6 + 1d6/2 levels + bleed, and you're probably taking TWF as well.

Stupid freakin' forums.

With that out of the way...

First, TWFer =/= Swashbuckler. Second, depending on a very weak class doesn't go well, especially when he's also a cohort and therefore requires some of your resources. Now, if you can always catch enemies flat footed (items), SA through blanket immunities (items), SA through individual immunities (feat), and have PTWF because they have a class feature that allows it pre epic... now we're getting somewhere. But at this point you're a blender.


Crusader of Logic wrote:
These are melee brute enemies. That is to say they are the least threatening foes you can potentially face. Making them a bit more scary via full attacks as standard actions means they can start being worth their CR. This is a good thing. Staggering and stunning still works. It's not like you couldn't just do the same thing with Pounce and perhaps Twisted Charge (which is more dangerous) anyways. Dunno about you but I'd be pretty reluctant to want something like say... an Elder Earth Elemental anywhere near me. Especially while casting.

Your assessment makes sense, but I have a couple qualms about it, one is based on monsters' "realism", the other on game balance:

1) Monsters' BAB comes out of HD. Some hulking monsters which are not the paragon of swiftness would get the quasi-full attack as standard action. That would be against portraying some monsters "in character": compare your said Elder Earth Elemental, devastating but pondering and slow, with swifter foes. Perhaps the option should be implemented as a feat.

2) In the end, that means that monsters get to land more attacks on PCs (PCs on monsters too, but PCs tend to be inferior in a numeric ration) in one round, that means faster HP loss and hence the need of either: a) recalculating encounter compositions per EL/CR; b) boosting healing abilities once more, already a problem if we heed other threads in the forums.

I would personally implement your proposal connected to a feat or to a Fighter class feature (it is a feat which automatically escalates with each level, so not a bad investment), in order to avoid making it a free buffet for monsters, especially because, as you noted, monsters seen as good at swift multiattacking already have feats to handle it.


That elemental? It has two slam attacks. Is it really that hard to envision it bringing both arms down on you hard? The slow, plodding enemies tend to have few attacks.

It's also not that slow seeing as it moves as fast as a human, and is only slightly less nimble despite being about 5 times taller and exponentially heavier.


Well getting back to the very first post. I think part of the problem lies in the fact that he had the players use the beta rules without modifying the monsters in the adventure. If I may call your attention to page 298 of the beta rules about straight conversion with no modifications. It states "Monsters and NPCs will be slightly less powerful than their Pathfinder RPG counterparts." I would recommend that you go through the adventure and modify all the creatures.
I would also further recommend that you put a maximum on attributes for starting characters. Some might argue that this limits character creation but I've generally found that the only ones that complain about this are the ones who are wanting to ROLL play rather than ROLE play, i.e. combat twinks.


First, Stormwind. Second, what does capping attributes (beyond the standard 18 before racial stats) do exactly aside from commit a fallacy?


Crusader of Logic wrote:

That elemental? It has two slam attacks. Is it really that hard to envision it bringing both arms down on you hard? The slow, plodding enemies tend to have few attacks.

It's also not that slow seeing as it moves as fast as a human, and is only slightly less nimble despite being about 5 times taller and exponentially heavier.

Elemental... quite extreme. Also, with only 2 slams, move would mean only 1 attack afterwards, if I get the proposal above right.

But I still don't see a fat heavy Ogre or Hill Giant fighter with 3 or 4 attacks moving around the battlefield and wielding several times in a single round. Not my idea of a "hulking brute".

Also, damn big monsters have Reach. They are more likely to land a full attack on you because they do not *need* getting that close to get you. Reach already gave monsters an edge over medium-sized PCS in some tactical situations. Stacking reach with move and get full attack in 1 round (thus making reach effectively more "reaching") might be toughening up some monsters too much...


So we simply make the extra mobility a feat; fighters will take it, because they have plenty of feats and will get a lot of use out of that one; other martial characters will think twice, but many will invest in it, and monsters (especially the stereotypically slow ones) won't get it.

This is an especially attractive solution because Jason Bulmahn seems opposed to too much tinkering with the core combat rules (CMB aside), but he also seems amenable to new combat feats.

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