Raise Dead and the Diamond Thing


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Pax Veritas wrote:

Just so I'm clear...

Sean popped in and said the reason it's 5k not 10k nor other is due to the WBL chart... with the implication that it consumes an appropriate amount of wealth the character can have, with the intimiation that he always ensures all characters have the WBL at each subsequent level, thus replacing the expenditure?

Did I hear that correctly as the answer?
I just need to understand since I was vested in this thread.
Thanks,
Pax

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

For people who can teleport across the world, literally travel to Hell and back, and conjure deadly fire and stone out of thin air, death is a trivial obstacle.

In terms of game math, the 5000gp cost for the spell also encourages metagaming, which is bad. See, if you have a party of 3 live PCs and one dead PC, they have two options:

1) Scrounge up 5000gp (either from the dead PC's stuff or from a group donation) and have the dead PC raised. Net result: party has 5000gp less than before and two more negative levels than before.
2) Leave the PC dead, divide his stuff among the PCs or sell it, have the dead PC's player bring in a new character (who has full gear for his level, and no negative levels). Net result: party has X more gp than before (where at worst X is half the expected wealth for a character of their level) and no extra negative levels.

In other words, it's better for the party to bring in a new PC than to resurrect the old one. Which is lame. In a "roleplaying" game that barely encourages roleplaying at all, costly PC death actively DIScourages roleplaying someone who's compassionate about a fallen ally, and ENcourages you to be a mercenary metagaming player who's only interested in the wealth and damage output of the group.

I don't like the expensive material component for a spell that is critical and necessary to the typical game experience, and I don't use it.

In a later post he said that:

- if you follow WBL (that he explain is a hard rule, not a suggestion) the 5.000 gp will be replaced and so the expense will be moot;
- if you don't follow WBL and the raised person or the party will be forever poorer by 5.000 gp there is a evens stronger incentive in not raising the dead and instead share his possessions between the other party members and get a new character with full gear in the group.

He didn't replied to my comment that I see the 5.000 gp as part of the consumables or cash reserves that the WBL assume you have and consume while adventuring.
The loot in published adventures and the loot tables is weighted in a way that will replenish those reserves during your normal gameplay if you don't overuse them.

Silver Crusade

Diego Rossi wrote:
Pax Veritas wrote:

Just so I'm clear...

Sean popped in and said the reason it's 5k not 10k nor other is due to the WBL chart... with the implication that it consumes an appropriate amount of wealth the character can have, with the intimiation that he always ensures all characters have the WBL at each subsequent level, thus replacing the expenditure?

Did I hear that correctly as the answer?
I just need to understand since I was vested in this thread.
Thanks,
Pax

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

For people who can teleport across the world, literally travel to Hell and back, and conjure deadly fire and stone out of thin air, death is a trivial obstacle.

In terms of game math, the 5000gp cost for the spell also encourages metagaming, which is bad. See, if you have a party of 3 live PCs and one dead PC, they have two options:

1) Scrounge up 5000gp (either from the dead PC's stuff or from a group donation) and have the dead PC raised. Net result: party has 5000gp less than before and two more negative levels than before.
2) Leave the PC dead, divide his stuff among the PCs or sell it, have the dead PC's player bring in a new character (who has full gear for his level, and no negative levels). Net result: party has X more gp than before (where at worst X is half the expected wealth for a character of their level) and no extra negative levels.

In other words, it's better for the party to bring in a new PC than to resurrect the old one. Which is lame. In a "roleplaying" game that barely encourages roleplaying at all, costly PC death actively DIScourages roleplaying someone who's compassionate about a fallen ally, and ENcourages you to be a mercenary metagaming player who's only interested in the wealth and damage output of the group.

I don't like the expensive material component for a spell that is critical and necessary to the typical game experience, and I don't use it.

In a later post he said that:

- if you follow WBL (that he explain is a hard rule, not a...

He probably didn't respond because he knew you are right. Material components are apart of consumables no matter what anyone says. What you choose to do with your gold you get is up to you and it's not the DMs job to replenish your gold if you decide to spend most of it on potions and other consumables. The WBL is a bit of a joke to he honest.


You're allowed to have an opinion on WBL. Your opinion isn't RAW though.

Silver Crusade

Irontruth wrote:
You're allowed to have an opinion on WBL. Your opinion isn't RAW though.

Really?

Thanks for the advice.

Liberty's Edge

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Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

Take all this to the other thread please...

Liberty's Edge

I think what Sean was saying was that the game assumes characters of a certain level have a certain WBL, so that they can be competitive. And that if they don't, the GM should be correcting this so the CR matches up.

Which is why he is saying a gold penalty is just a loan against your future self.

This is, to me, why an XP penalty makes more sense (If your table is unwilling to use a risk based or max death system). As it causes a lasting penalty without messing with the CR system.

But who knows, SKR seems to have been run from the thread.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
shallowsoul wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

He didn't replied to my comment that I see the 5.000 gp as part of the consumables or cash reserves that the WBL assume you have and consume while adventuring.

The loot in published adventures and the loot tables is weighted in a way that will replenish those reserves during your normal gameplay if you don't overuse them.
He probably didn't respond because he knew you are right. Material components are apart of consumables no matter what anyone says. What you choose to do with your gold you get is up to you and it's not the DMs job to replenish your gold if you decide to spend most of it on potions and other consumables. The WBL is a bit of a joke to he honest.

Or he could feel that my comment is following WBL exactly.

What we write can be easily misread.
I read SKR posts as saying that the GM should always take steps to maintain the "right" WBL balance while to me it seem something that adjust by itself if the players don't "push" against that using a lot of expendables that the GM "should replace".
It is possible that he mean the same thing and so feel that there is no need to address my point.

Sovereign Court

Joana wrote:
Pax Veritas wrote:

Just so I'm clear...

Sean popped in and said the reason it's 5k not 10k nor other is due to the WBL chart... with the implication that it consumes an appropriate amount of wealth the character can have, with the intimiation that he always ensures all characters have the WBL at each subsequent level, thus replacing the expenditure?

Did I hear that correctly as the answer?
I just need to understand since I was vested in this thread.
Thanks,
Pax

I believe Sean's point was that the financial price isn't a sacrifice at all, since a level X party that has paid to have a party member or two raised is expected to have the same amount of treasure when they reach that level as a party that hasn't had any PCs die. That is, a 7th-level character that has paid for a raise dead (for himself or another party member) is expected to have 33,000 gp at level 8 just like a PC that hasn't paid for raise dead, not 28,000 gp.

His point, as I understand it, is that there is no game-mechanical reason that raise dead costs 5,000 gp. It's an arbitrary number, and whether it was 500 gp or 50,000 gp, the WBL chart means it all evens out by the next level so a party that has raised dead comrades has no less wealth than a party that hasn't.

Thank Joana -

So, Sean is saying that the number was arbitrarily made up and therefore he doesn't use it?


Lumiere: there is another thread for it. I made it to control the damage that occurred when I mentioned possibilities that people seemed to jump all over. You can use the link I made above in this post to get there.

Pax: more or less. He also feels that it unjustly punishes players in the short term, that it fosters a sense of "GM v. players" (being inherited from that mentality), and interrupts the flow of the game, in addition to being an arbitrarily made up number. For all those reasons (and maybe a few others I've missed) he doesn't use it.
I grant that I, not being SKR, could have either misread, misremembered, or misunderstood his posts and his points, but that's what I got out of it.


shallowsoul wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
You're allowed to have an opinion on WBL. Your opinion isn't RAW though.

Really?

Thanks for the advice.

WBL is the wealth you're supposed to have at any given time. Fluctuations are going to happen, but as the PC's spend money, it gets replaced. Consumables and material components aren't lost wealth when used, because future treasure replaces it and should bring them back up to WBL.

You can disagree and use a different play style if you like. Your claim that he was wrong and failed to respond because he knew it, is wrong as far as RAW though.

Shadow Lodge

WBL is communism.

Silver Crusade

Irontruth wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
You're allowed to have an opinion on WBL. Your opinion isn't RAW though.

Really?

Thanks for the advice.

WBL is the wealth you're supposed to have at any given time. Fluctuations are going to happen, but as the PC's spend money, it gets replaced. Consumables and material components aren't lost wealth when used, because future treasure replaces it and should bring them back up to WBL.

You can disagree and use a different play style if you like. Your claim that he was wrong and failed to respond because he knew it, is wrong as far as RAW though.

WBL is not what you are supposed to have at all times because consumables are counted amongst the WBL and once they are consumed then they are gone. There is no where in the book that states WBL is what a PC is supposed to have at all times.

From the WBL: It is assumed that some of
this treasure is consumed in the course of an adventure
(such as potions and scrolls), and that some of the less
useful items are sold for half value so more useful gear can
be purchased.

Not sure where anyone got the notion this is what your PC is supposed to have at all times because the evidence in the book makes that false. WBL is the total amount that your PC is supposed to have gotten.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It is assumed that some of the treasure that the PCs find is consumed in the course of the adventure (such as potions and scrolls) and that some of the less useful item are sold for half value so more useful gear can be purchased and that after those items have been used/sold this is what the PCs have at various level thresholds.

That's how I read that sentence. Not that a 10th-level character should have received treasure equal to 62,000 gp but will have less than that depending on what he's spent it on. Otherwise, if a new PC came in at WBL, he'd be overpowered compared to the rest of the party because he gets to spend all his WBL on what he needs now, whereas they've had to sell weapons no one in the party used and buy wands and potions and so on and now only have, say, 52,700 gp worth of gear.

Quote:
The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game assumes that all PCs of equivalent level have roughly equal amounts of treasure and magic items.

PCs have roughly equal amounts of treasure and magic items, not have gotten roughly equal amounts but those who don't blow their money on consumables or use what they find instead of selling items to buy more customized gear will end up wealthier.

Quote:
Character Wealth by Level lists the amount of treasure each PC is expected to have at a specific level.

They are expected to have this amount of treasure at a specific level, irrespective of what they've received and spent. WBL is for use by GMs to determine if their party is overpowered or underpowered in relation to the average party vs. a given CR; it's not a value judgment on how wisely they've spent their money.

So, to circle back on topic, the assumption of the game is that the PCs will have the same amount of treasure and gear whether they've paid to have allies raised or not; thus the 5k price tag is mere window dressing and has no lasting effect on the party, which is what SKR was saying.

Shadow Lodge

I think the idea is that the treasure awarded in an adventure should be slightly above what would be predicted by WBL (by 10%?) and that the excess is expected to go towards consumables of some sort. If the consumable in question is 5,000 gp of diamond dust, that means that the party now doesn't have the gold for, say, two 5th level scrolls (2250gp apiece), which could hurt next time the party needs Break Enchantment now.

Of course, if the party doesn't have a strict "consumables fund" then they are just as likely to skip upgrading a +2 Cloak of Resistance to +3 rather than risk not having a key scroll, which means that the party's nonconsumable wealth does indeed drop. WBL assumes some amount of consumable use but parties often deviate from the assumed amount.

The thing is, many GMs will increase the treasure in an adventure if they think the party is having more difficulty than desired due to lack of gear. WBL was just designed to indicate the standard assumed amount of gear. If you're doing that sort of treasure adjustment (whether or not you actually "follow WBL"), treasure tends to sort itself out and a cost in treasure will rarely hurt for long.

Silver Crusade

Weirdo wrote:

I think the idea is that the treasure awarded in an adventure should be slightly above what would be predicted by WBL (by 10%?) and that the excess is expected to go towards consumables of some sort. If the consumable in question is 5,000 gp of diamond dust, that means that the party now doesn't have the gold for, say, two 5th level scrolls (2250gp apiece), which could hurt next time the party needs Break Enchantment now.

Of course, if the party doesn't have a strict "consumables fund" then they are just as likely to skip upgrading a +2 Cloak of Resistance to +3 rather than risk not having a key scroll, which means that the party's nonconsumable wealth does indeed drop. WBL assumes some amount of consumable use but parties often deviate from the assumed amount.

The thing is, many GMs will increase the treasure in an adventure if they think the party is having more difficulty than desired due to lack of gear. WBL was just designed to indicate the standard assumed amount of gear. If you're doing that sort of treasure adjustment (whether or not you actually "follow WBL"), treasure tends to sort itself out and a cost in treasure will rarely hurt for long.

I disagree immensely because you aren't always going to have the right tool for the right occasion. If you go and look at WBL they have it at 100% and they break it down to what they think a PC should have and let's face it, sometimes you have to choose to have either that certain item or that certain consumable. If you die and you have to pay 5,000 gp to come back then that's 5,000 gone and depending on your level actually matches up to the percentage for consumable. The DM is not obligated to make sure you are compensated for having to spend money to come back to life. Some DM's will make up for the loss while others do not. It even states that Wizards would be known for spending their money on consumables than weapons and other items but it says nothing about making sure they get that money back.

Silver Crusade

WBL is a bit bogus because the math of Pathfinder isn't as tight as it is in say 4th edition. In 4th edition that +1 matters a lot because it's designed to where your to hit stays around the 50% range all through your career with chances to improve it a little. In Pathfinder this is not the case. Your fighter is still going to have no problem hitting you with a + 3 sword than a + 5 one. The only difference is you aren't hitting the maximum that you possibly could get but when you have no trouble at all hitting with the +3 then the +5 is just gravy, and that's a difference of 32,000 gp.

Shadow Lodge

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There's also the DR issue - a +5 sword gets through DR/adamantine and DR/alignment while the +3 sword doesn't.

I've heard too many people complaining about "the tyranny of WBL" and the problems characters in low-wealth games have with meeting standard challenges to believe that WBL is meaningless.

shallowsoul wrote:
The DM is not obligated to make sure you are compensated for having to spend money to come back to life. Some DM's will make up for the loss while others do not.

Which is where SKR's point came in.

If you are (or play with) one of the GMs who adjusts character wealth to some expected level, then the 5,000 gp penalty is going to disappear in a level or two anyway.

If you are (or play with) one of the GMs who does not adjust character wealth to some expected level, then there exists an even more powerful incentive to take the dead character's gear and bring in a new PC rather than spend the 5K on a raise - even if the new PC doesn't come in with replacement gear, the party won't be down 5K.

Either way, the 5K penalty is flawed.


The problem is essentially the following:

If you use WBL - average wealth per level stays pretty much level. This ensures that the PCs have the proper amount of magical gear to tackle level appropriate challenges.

So a 5k death tax is just absorbed by selling off some of the PCs gear (which he'll get back sooner or later anyway because the game math assumes WBL).

But in reality it's not just a 5k penalty. It's actually larger than that.

Assume that we have 5 PCs. One dies, the PCs could pay for the hero to receive a raise dead spell (-5k GP) or they could loot his body and the player could bring in a new PC of the same level and same WBL. In general it's almost always going to be preferable to loot the body instead of raising the dead. Yeah the WBL guidelines mean that you'll probably have a bunch of no treasure encounters until WBL stabilizes again but essentially you are always going to prefer a new PC to a raised PC.

Now you can bring in new PCs at average party level -1 but that's generally seen as an unfair penalty to the Player these days. Hell you could even go old school and have replacement at 1st level :(

But in generally we've tried to get away from being punitive and adversarial in D&D so maintaining a death tax is kinda counterproductive, I think it's much better to use the death of a PC to create more storytelling hooks.

So ditch the financial penalty and if you have to have a penalty make it be relatively transparent to the player so that it's not perferable to just bring in a new PC instead.


shallowsoul wrote:
Not sure where anyone got the notion this is what your PC is supposed to have at all times because the evidence in the book makes that false. WBL is the total amount that your PC is supposed to have gotten.

WBL is not a shopping spree, it is a measuring stick.

Quote:
Table 12-4 lists the amount of treasure each PC is expected to have at a specific level.

You're right in that magic item prices are not as precise as 4e, but the method is a rough approximation of power due to magical gear. If a character's value is significantly different, they are probably going to be at a different power level, which makes the CR system less useful.

WBL is a measuring stick, not a shopping spree.

Silver Crusade

Weirdo wrote:

There's also the DR issue - a +5 sword gets through DR/adamantine and DR/alignment while the +3 sword doesn't.

I've heard too many people complaining about "the tyranny of WBL" and the problems characters in low-wealth games have with meeting standard challenges to believe that WBL is meaningless.

shallowsoul wrote:
The DM is not obligated to make sure you are compensated for having to spend money to come back to life. Some DM's will make up for the loss while others do not.

Which is where SKR's point came in.

If you are (or play with) one of the GMs who adjusts character wealth to some expected level, then the 5,000 gp penalty is going to disappear in a level or two anyway.

If you are (or play with) one of the GMs who does not adjust character wealth to some expected level, then there exists an even more powerful incentive to take the dead character's gear and bring in a new PC rather than spend the 5K on a raise - even if the new PC doesn't come in with replacement gear, the party won't be down 5K.

Either way, the 5K penalty is flawed.

That depends on if the DM let's you bring in another PC. I allow another PC if there is no other way to bring the previous PC back from the dead. I don't allow PC's to get rich by going through PC after PC collecting the gear. If you would drop a character over something that stupid then I wouldn't invite you back to my table. We are there to play Pathfinder, not Merchants, Accountants, and number enthusiasts.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
vuron wrote:

The problem is essentially the following:

If you use WBL - average wealth per level stays pretty much level. This ensures that the PCs have the proper amount of magical gear to tackle level appropriate challenges.

So a 5k death tax is just absorbed by selling off some of the PCs gear (which he'll get back sooner or later anyway because the game math assumes WBL).

But in reality it's not just a 5k penalty. It's actually larger than that.

Assume that we have 5 PCs. One dies, the PCs could pay for the hero to receive a raise dead spell (-5k GP) or they could loot his body and the player could bring in a new PC of the same level and same WBL. In general it's almost always going to be preferable to loot the body instead of raising the dead. Yeah the WBL guidelines mean that you'll probably have a bunch of no treasure encounters until WBL stabilizes again but essentially you are always going to prefer a new PC to a raised PC.

Now you can bring in new PCs at average party level -1 but that's generally seen as an unfair penalty to the Player these days. Hell you could even go old school and have replacement at 1st level :(

But in generally we've tried to get away from being punitive and adversarial in D&D so maintaining a death tax is kinda counterproductive, I think it's much better to use the death of a PC to create more storytelling hooks.

So ditch the financial penalty and if you have to have a penalty make it be relatively transparent to the player so that it's not perferable to just bring in a new PC instead.

If that is the logic with which the players are operating, why they don't go just outside the town with that new PC, kill him and loot him, then use the profit to raise the old character?

Way more efficient, especially if the new character come with the right gear to benefit all the group members.

Alignment problems?
Well, then the new character can take some "bad" tactical decision while the older characters are "busy" elsewhere during the first encounter. And then: "Ohh, poor Bob replacement is dead. Well, lets divvy his equipment end use his money to rise Bob the first."


ciretose wrote:

[...]

SKR seems to be currently arguing that the 5k is functionally pointless, as it will be removed by WBL eventually. In addition, he has said

"1) Has no game mechanical justification (as in, if this cost isn't in the game, the rules break down here, here, and here),
2) Encourages players to metagame dealing with death (because the party's net wealth increases if you bury a dead PC, keep his gear, and bring in a new PC with full gear),
3) Is disproportionate to the cost of other 5th-level spells such as teleport plane shift, which achieve similarly "impossible" effects with no gp cost, and
4) Is disproportionate to the cost of breath of life, which can accomplish the same effect as raise dead but without the unrealistic 1-round-and-you-stay-dead mechanic of that spell."

1. This is arguably true if you follow the WBL argument he is making, in that it would fail to have a cumulative effect if WBL equalizes over time. However if the intent were to continue the historic cumulative effect of death that existed in the prior versions, the issue is not that the gold doesn't serve a purpose, but rather that it fails to accomplish the role it is intended for.

2. I don't see how it encourages metagaming anymore than the fact that if you don't bring the party member back you can just steal all the party members stuff and roll someone new with fresh WBL + the loot from the body. Add to this that the argument for point 1 is that WBL is going to eventually self-regulate, and ostensibly if the party just lets the dead guy stay dead, they get an advance on WBL vs bringing them back, gold cost or no gold cost.

They still have more cash in between levels, when/until WBL is regulated(?). They also cash in if the GM interpret Wealth By Level as the amount a character receives, rather than the amount she always has.

ciretose wrote:


3. Teleport and plane shift have some degree of failure, and the benefit of being able to quickly change locations is not greater than being able to avoid not longer being able to play the game at all.

I think you missing his the point. Some spells cost 5K some don't. Why Raised they should cost 5K and other such as Arcane eye, Dimension door or Time Stop don't 'has no game mechanical justification'.

BTW, personally I wouldn't mind some degree of failure, see below.
ciretose wrote:


4. Breath of life has a huge number of drawbacks and limitations relative to Raise Dead. It is functionally a heal spell that works even when you are at negative hit points as long as it is used in the same round. It does not automatically succeed, can't be used on death effects, etc...that is not a comparison of like spells, and if anything demonstrates how much more powerful Raise Dead is relative to a spell of the same level.

Raise dead has drawbacks too. 1 minute casting time so no casting in battle. Body most be whole, 50 % of losing spells/ unused spell slots, can't be used on death effects, 2 negative levels, etc.

ciretose wrote:


In short, death historically has had a cumulative penalty or a failure risk. This meant that players who died frequently would need to change their character, because the character wasn't able to stay alive, relative to the rest of the party or the expectations of the game.
Is that enough of a game mechanical justification?

No not really. The argument "we have always been doing it this way" isn't really valid.

ciretose wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:

Would it be fair to sum up the conflicting schools of thought into the following generalizations?

  • Camp 1 is advocating a 'free res' No gp cost, just pop off a 5th level spell and he gets better.

  • Camp 2 feels there should be some level of 'death tax'. Whether it be gold, diamonds, vestal virgins. Pay it, cast your spell, he gets better.

  • Camp 3 feels the powers over life and death don't take Amex, don't take Discover and don't take cash. Bill the Bard Bit the Bullete? You need to do X to 'earn' Bill getting better.

  • Camp 1 seems right, but I'm not in it so...

    Camp 2 seems ok I guess, but I'm not in it so...

    Camp three is not correct (or at least there should be a camp 4...)

    Camp 3 is "Death should have an effect that lasts longer than a week, be it XP loss, level loss, possible failure, etc..."

    Camp 4, I believe, wants some ice cream.

    I guess I'm in camp 1 and 3. I like to see the GP cost removed but don't want death to be just a one minute sleep with a one week hangover. If death becomes trivial I think there is a risk you lose the tension in the game.

    I don't like "the quest" as the solution. I agree with Diego Rossi

    Diego Rossi wrote:


    1) Making good side quests to "pay" for a rise dead require a lot of work from the GM, they are extremely variable depending on the character (and to repeat again, they can be against the player idea of the character) and can be a pain in the ass for the characters that aren't involved/interested.

    [....etc]

    Also a quests isn't really a cost/punishment. In the end you get more XP and probably more gold and magic items.

    In our games the 5K messes up the wealth for the whole party since we usually are far below WBL anyway. This mean that once you raise someone the risk is high that more characters will die due to the party being under equipped. This has forced us at times to use reincarnate, something I can recommend. The spell makes the process of raising the character exciting. I wouldn't mind something similar with raise dead. Roll the die and see what happens. Come back as another race, get -1 to you Charisma score, or -1 to str, or blind on one eye (blindness that can only be cured unless you use limited wish, wish or miracle), get an eye in the forehead, lose hearing on one ear, get -5 ft on your move, etc.

    Perhaps treat Raise dead a bit like Lesser Planar Ally. It isn't really the caster that raises the character but an outsider and you have to haggle with him/her/it.

    I can see the benefit of the 5K in one aspect as pointed out by LazarX: Purchase Limit. you can't get a single diamond worth 5K in every little Village.

    LazarX wrote:


    The 5,000 gold piece diamond isn't going to be found in the Village of Hommlet. It becomes possible to find one in a small town with increasing probability as the towns get larger. This becomes the other factor in the availability of the spell. If the material components were less or could be a mound of cheaper items, then they become universally available.

    I think this is an important point, but I guess this can be fixed if the rules are rewritten.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Diego Rossi wrote:

    n a later post he said that:

    - if you follow WBL (that he explain is a hard rule, not a suggestion) the 5.000 gp will be replaced and so the expense will be moot;
    - if you don't follow WBL and the raised person or the party will be forever poorer by 5.000 gp there is a evens stronger incentive in not raising the dead and instead share his possessions between the other party members and get a new character with full gear in the group.

    Not following WBL doesn't mean the second part is inevitable. When I run groups in my campaign I always keep a dynamic look at party resources when I place treasure and all factors are considered on a case by case basis. If I think the party can suffer the wealth loss, they do. If I think they need a resource boost (for whatever reason), I adjust things appropriately.

    Digital Products Assistant

    Removed two posts. Leave personal insults out of the discussion, please.

    Liberty's Edge

    @Zark - Some spells have mechanical failure chance and some don't. Some spells have somatic, etc...spells vary based on limits you want to put on them.

    As I have said, many, many times, all seem to be in agreement the functional 5k gold isn't a good limiting tool, even as a carry over from 3.5. They removed the XP penalty, which was a good limiting tool, presumably because they also changed the XP system that allowed characters behind in level to catch up.

    But I think since we agree on the fail system, we are arguing at the margins of something we both disagree with toward a solution we largely agree on.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    ciretose wrote:


    As I have said, many, many times, all seem to be in agreement the functional 5k gold isn't a good limiting tool, even as a carry over from 3.5. They removed the XP penalty, which was a good limiting tool, presumably because they also changed the XP system that allowed characters behind in level to catch up.

    But I think since we agree on the fail system, we are arguing at the margins of something we both disagree with toward a solution we largely agree on.

    Ciretose, just because several people state an opinion as loudly as you can, doesn't mean we're "all in agreement". I for one don't see a problem with the material component of raise dead. It keeps the spell from being commonly used, which I consider proper for a world of the default tone that D20 was built for.

    Remember that most threads aren't representative of general opinion, just those of the more discontented. Most people who don't have a problem with the way things are set up, won't post at all.


    LazarX wrote:
    It keeps the spell from being commonly used,

    I think this is central to the benefit of having a gold cost and why it's more important on raise dead than plane shift. Being able to plane shift 15 times during an adventure doesn't make it that much easier compared to doing it once or twice, being able to raise the dead 15 times during an adventure does make it much easier.

    Also, I don't really buy the whole "it's just to make a copy character otherwise", because typically, at the level where raising the dead more commonly occurs, most characters have connections to the world in question. They are known, they have trusted allies around them in the adventure, they have intimate knowledge of the plot in question. Replacing Abdi the Archer with Armani the Archer might get the same stats with no GP penalty, but Armani the Archer isn't the lover of the heir apparent and has not passed the ritual of Deus and thus cannot enter the McGuffin's Valley, unless the DM explicitly allows that in it's background (which would not be any kind of house rule not to)

    Silver Crusade

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    Ilja wrote:
    being able to raise the dead 15 times during an adventure does make it much easier.

    except that what you just said is impossible. It's impossible for Raise Dead to make the game EASIER. It's possible for Raise Dead to make the game less TEDIOUS, but being tedious and being difficult are not the same thing.

    Raise Dead does not:

    Make it easier for you to hit a monster
    Make you better at any of your skills
    Make you faster
    Make any of your ability scores increase
    Make you deal more damage with attacks/spells
    Make your spells more difficult to resist
    Make your saves better.

    Those are the things that make the game "Easier." Raise Dead does NONE of those things.

    If Bob, Sally, Marco, and Felicia are adventuring in the woods, and an Owlbear kills Bob, if the party spends 5,000 gold to Raise Bob:

    The party is no stronger than it was before Bob died.
    Bob is weaker than he was before he died.
    The party is 5000g poorer than it was.

    If they then spend the 2,000k gold to get Bob's negative levels removed:

    The party is STILL no stronger than it was before Bob died.
    Bob is EXACTLY as strong as he was before he died.
    The party is now 7,000g poorer than it was.

    Neither one of these scenarios have made the game easier for the party


    Elamdri, the adventure is going to be a lot easier for me as a player if I don't have to create 15 new characters during the campaign.

    Silver Crusade

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    Adamantine Dragon wrote:
    Elamdri, the adventure is going to be a lot easier for me as a player if I don't have to create 15 new characters during the campaign.

    Incorrect. The adventure will be less TEDIOUS. It's a common mistake to equate tedium with difficulty.

    Just become something takes a long time or is boring doesn't mean it's difficult or requires some exceptional amount of skill.

    Creating a character is time consuming, not difficult.

    Not to mention that whether or not it's difficult to create a character shouldn't really have any bearing on the calculus of game balance. Character creation is something that's done above table, outside of the game. The rules are there to facilitate gameplay at the table.


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    Making 15 characters is difficult because it means I have to make time to do it. Which is "difficult" to do, not "tedious". But this is just a semantic pissing contest now.

    Silver Crusade

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Adamantine Dragon wrote:
    Making 15 characters is difficult because it means I have to make time to do it. Which is "difficult" to do, not "tedious". But this is just a semantic pissing contest now.

    Well, without getting into "a semantics ******* contest*

    The game rules aren't supposed to take into account how often or how long you have to make new characters and then somehow incorporate that into the rules as a tax on a certain spell. It just doesn't make good sense.

    It takes me 10 minutes to build a new character on Hero Lab. I've also played in a campaign where I only had to make one new character. Should the rules take that into account as well?

    No, to suggest so would be a bit silly. The rules should exist to facilitate the gameplay and character creation is not a part of the gameplay.

    Lets compare wish with raise dead for a moment.

    With a spell like wish, it makes sense to have an expensive material component because wish has the ability to significantly increase the party's power. With wish, I can permanently increase my ability scores or outright slay a foe.

    Raise Dead CANNOT increase the party's power. It can only restore power that the party has lost. The very best it can do is restore the status quo that existed before the death.

    Now, it might save you time, and that might be fantastic. But the time it saves you does not confer an in game benefit. It doesn't make you hit harder or better. You're not a better spellcaster. You don't jump, or swim, or stealth or bluff any better. Therefore, there's no reason to have such a heavy tax on the spell.

    To put it another way:

    Lets say that I have 20 dollars. Now, lets say I wake up one day, and have lost my 20 dollars. Raise Dead is the equivalent of getting my 20 dollars back. I haven't GAINED anything, I've just restored what was lost to me.

    Now, lets say instead that I had 20 dollars and then I wiggle my hands a bit and create another 20 dollars. That's wish. I am now wealthier than I was before I casted the spell.


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    Elamdri wrote:
    Ilja wrote:
    being able to raise the dead 15 times during an adventure does make it much easier.

    except that what you just said is impossible. It's impossible for Raise Dead to make the game EASIER. It's possible for Raise Dead to make the game less TEDIOUS, but being tedious and being difficult are not the same thing.

    Raise Dead does not:

    Make it easier for you to hit a monster
    Make you better at any of your skills
    Make you faster
    Make any of your ability scores increase
    Make you deal more damage with attacks/spells
    Make your spells more difficult to resist
    Make your saves better.

    Those are the things that make the game

    I disagree. Say two parties are going for the mcguffin. One party gets a wand of raise dead (ignore that those dont exist) and the other does not. Do they have exaxtly equal chance of getting the mcguffin? If not, then one group has an easier time. Supposing otherwise identical, mymoney is on the party with the raise dead wand. Being able to freely raise dead enables new strategies, speeds up the party and allows them to take risks they otherwise wouldn't.


    I mean, it sounds a bit like you can't actually fail a quest so it has consequences, like it's just "the dragon killed you, roll up a new char and try again." in my games, that would be "the dragon killed you, in the weeks your party is looking for someone to fill in for you the dragon roams freely, torching villages and eating people."

    The rules themselves do not say that you can always just roll up a new character, that's just something most games have. Exactly how easy it is to get that character in the game differs from table to table, and I guess if you run a "Catarina the Copy is just around the next bend in the dungeon, ready to join up with you!" game I can see raise dead not increasing the effectiveness of your party.

    And yes, removing heavy debuffs such as _death_ is increasing party power, or there'd be no reason not to remove all those debuffs in the first place.


    Elamdri wrote:


    The game rules aren't supposed to take into account how often or how long you have to make new characters and then somehow incorporate that into the rules as a tax on a certain spell. It just doesn't make good sense.

    Really?

    Though oddly enough as characters became more difficult, or tedious if you prefer, to create they became more difficult to kill and easier to raise from edition to edition. :)

    And I assure you the probability of character death and the time needed for character creation time in 3.x had a lot to do with how "dangerous" encounters were supposed to be, how difficult it was to kill PCs and the ability to raise them. In PF the character creation time required has increased with the options / complexity, and, at the same time, the characters got tougher and the barriers to raise them were lowered...


    R_Chance wrote:
    In PF the character creation time required has increased with the options / complexity, and, at the same time, the characters got tougher and the barriers to raise them were lowered...

    Actually, I feel it's quicker (at least for me) to create characters in PF than in 3.5 (don't remember that clearly from 3.0). Skill points has become much simpler to distribute, especially for multiclass characters, and I feel I can make a competent character of most classes without using massive splat. That was more or less required in the later stages of 3.5 where the games usually had to be adjusted for high-powered characters and thus you where often forced to optimize too. It's somewhat true for PF too, but I feel I can make a much more competent character (relative to the other's power) by just using core material and a few easy to remember feats than I was in 3.5.


    Ilja wrote:
    R_Chance wrote:
    In PF the character creation time required has increased with the options / complexity, and, at the same time, the characters got tougher and the barriers to raise them were lowered...
    Actually, I feel it's quicker (at least for me) to create characters in PF than in 3.5 (don't remember that clearly from 3.0). Skill points has become much simpler to distribute, especially for multiclass characters, and I feel I can make a competent character of most classes without using massive splat. That was more or less required in the later stages of 3.5 where the games usually had to be adjusted for high-powered characters and thus you where often forced to optimize too. It's somewhat true for PF too, but I feel I can make a much more competent character (relative to the other's power) by just using core material and a few easy to remember feats than I was in 3.5.

    I would agree with you for just core material. How many base classes / archtypes etc. have been added since then? Entire new subsystems? Lots of option / choices. All of which add complexity / time. I suspect the core book was designed with additions in mind.


    Well, the amount of pf splat is still humbled by the amount of 3.x splat.


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    Ilja wrote:


    Well, the amount of pf splat is still humbled by the amount of 3.x splat.

    True, but I suspect the number of groups using the bulk of the material Paizo has produced is higher than those using the innumerable piles produced by WotC. But that's annecdotal, based on the groups I know locally. Short of sales information from Paizo we'll never know just how much penetration PF non core material has (and we would need the same from WotC to make a comparison) among the player base.

    Silver Crusade

    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Ilja wrote:

    I mean, it sounds a bit like you can't actually fail a quest so it has consequences, like it's just "the dragon killed you, roll up a new char and try again." in my games, that would be "the dragon killed you, in the weeks your party is looking for someone to fill in for you the dragon roams freely, torching villages and eating people."

    The rules themselves do not say that you can always just roll up a new character, that's just something most games have. Exactly how easy it is to get that character in the game differs from table to table, and I guess if you run a "Catarina the Copy is just around the next bend in the dungeon, ready to join up with you!" game I can see raise dead not increasing the effectiveness of your party.

    And yes, removing heavy debuffs such as _death_ is increasing party power, or there'd be no reason not to remove all those debuffs in the first place.

    Well, here's the problem with "The dragon pillaged the village while you were gone."

    The player response is: Ok, we failed, new game.

    Because frankly, there's no point is sticking around and playing a game in which there is no chance for success. No one is going to play a game they can't win.

    Which means that as a DM, you have to build in some way for the heroes to fix the problem. Which ultimately means that you've just padded out the length of the adventure.

    I mean, I get that failure of a mission needs to have consequences, but they need to be consequences that the players can RECTIFY, otherwise there's no point in continuing the adventure.

    You are correct in that the rules don't say that you just always get to roll up a new character when one dies, but think about it this way.

    You've got a person who's playing the game, and they die. What now? Do you force them to sit there with their thumb up their bottom while the rest of the party has fun? Because that's boring and a bit mean on the behalf of the others if I do say.

    As for debuffs: Removing a Debuff, any debuff, including death, can NEVER, ever INCREASE party power.

    Let me be clear about this:

    Party has a certain level of power, where power is X.

    Party suffers a debuff, -1 to power

    Party power is now X - 1

    Party removes the debuff

    Party power is now once again X

    Party power is NOT X + 1

    Removing a debuff results in a restoration of power that was LOST, not an increase in power.


    Ilja wrote:
    LazarX wrote:
    It keeps the spell from being commonly used,

    I think this is central to the benefit of having a gold cost and why it's more important on raise dead than plane shift. Being able to plane shift 15 times during an adventure doesn't make it that much easier compared to doing it once or twice, being able to raise the dead 15 times during an adventure does make it much easier.

  • a) How does it make it much easier?
  • b) and is easier bad? should all spells and abilities "that make it much easier" have a price tag?
  • c) there are spells out there that prevents you from dying in the first place that don't come with a 5K price tag. Surely 'help you not dying' is better than 'raise the dead'. If I could swap raise dead for arcane eye and dimension door or Black Tentacles, I would do it any day. Heck give me a 'lesser heal spell' or make the healing concept viable and remove raise dead from the game. Reactively is better than proactively. This brings us to d)
  • d) Getting killed is something you might fear, but getting a TPK is something you, the other players and the GM fears. Once a PC goes down in a fight the risk increases the whole party goes down. If all are dead who is going to raise them? Lot a work for the GM and a bunch of unhappy players. Getting killed is already a penalty is a way. Again: 'help you not dying' is better than 'raise the dead'. Not only for you, but for the rest of the party (and for the GM). Fighter Bob would rather not die than getting raised so would the rest of his friend. Especially if they are in the middle of a fight when they need Bob.
  • e) There are other options that could keep the spell from being commonly used. ('commonly used' meaning abused?)Raise dead can only be use X times on a character, or whatever.

    To me it is not about easy or not. Nor is it about commonly used. It is about tension. Remove death from the game and it loses the tension / excitement. There are other ways of doing this than hitting the character/healer/party with a spell tax.

  • Silver Crusade

    Ilja wrote:
    I disagree. Say two parties are going for the mcguffin. One party gets a wand of raise dead (ignore that those dont exist) and the other does not. Do they have exaxtly equal chance of getting the mcguffin? If not, then one group has an easier time. Supposing otherwise identical, mymoney is on the party with the raise dead wand. Being able to freely raise dead enables new strategies, speeds up the party and allows them to take risks they otherwise wouldn't.

    That's not really a fair comparison because of the nature of wands. A better comparison would be a party where raise dead is free, and a party where it isn't. Raise dead is still limited by the number of castings in a day, wands are limited by charges, so to give a wand is a bit unfair in the comparison.

    As for the rest of the hypo, it depends on the game.

    Pretty much the only time raising matters is when:

    A: The DM won't let you put in a new character as soon as you can draw one up (Which I think is bad DMing because you're forcing a character to sit out while everyone else has fun, which I find rude.)

    or

    B: Taking time to get a new character if one has died will result in a failure of the mission. In which case you either quit the game and start a new one, because the party failed, or the party has to undo their screw up, which just pads out the game.

    If neither A or B (Both of which I don't find particularly good practices in RPGs) apply, then what's the big deal with making Raise Dead free? You're still limited by castings per day. Now it's just not a drain on the party's resources (Which SKR says you should give them back anyway).

    I think a tax on death is a relic from an older period of gaming and doesn't really make sense, but we cling to it because it's tradition. Same thing with XP.


    and
    C: When you and the rest of the gaming group love their characters and don't want to draw new one up if one dies.


    Looting the corpse to pay for being raised is also going to have moral issues for some PCs plus it's kinda uncool. It's much more in keeping with the source material for the dead character to be buried with his gear rather than looting his corpse for all available value.

    By removing the financial penalty associated with raise dead and other spells you enable parties to either bury the hero (if the character doesn't want to be raised) or the hero is taken to town (which can help the BBEG advance his/her plot) to be raised and the character can return to action relatively quickly.

    If you want there to be some penalty associate with raise dead then simply make it so that the PC has to spend x amount of days recuperating rather than just spamming a couple of restoration spells.

    That way you have 1 day for memorizing raise dead (most PCs don't keep raise dead memorized and spell scrolls of raise dead aren't that cheap), and x number of days of full bed rest (basically negating the rapid recovery possible with restoration spells) and viola you have a penalty that can cause the PCs some discomfort (the BBEG's plot advances) but doesn't force the party to take time to recover the lost wealth and hunt down a diamond.

    The main problem I see with eliminating the financial penalty associated with raise dead as it becomes less of a barrier for NPCs to be raised which can have some interesting impacts on world design as death is less of an impediment. Yeah it's still heavily dependent on somewhat powerful clerics to cast the spell but I'm not sure we necessarily want every merchant with the ability to hire a cleric to be able to come back from the dead.


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    Elamdri wrote:

    Well, here's the problem with "The dragon pillaged the village while you were gone."

    The player response is: Ok, we failed, new game.

    Because frankly, there's no point is sticking around and playing a game in which there is no chance for success. No one is going to play a game they can't win.

    Or they try to better the situation as much as they can. But, am I getting this right?

    1. Having to redo stuff due to failing does not make a game hard, just tedious.
    2. Losing makes you redo stuff.

    So then what's the point of making it possible to lose? Why not simply make the campaign so easy there's no risk of losing - that way, no tediousness!

    Quote:
    I mean, I get that failure of a mission needs to have consequences, but they need to be consequences that the players can RECTIFY, otherwise there's no point in continuing the adventure.

    Or they're losses that can't be rectified, but can be lived with though they feel like actual losses. Alderaan is blown up and Theoden is dead, losses that are never coming back, but the war goes on.

    Quote:
    You've got a person who's playing the game, and they die. What now? Do you force them to sit there with their thumb up their bottom while the rest of the party has fun? Because that's boring and a bit mean on the behalf of the others if I do say.

    When one of our character dies and isn't saved (which as I've noted before has happened about a halfdozen times in as many months) the player gets to play NPC's and monsters for the rest of the session - often the party has a bunch of friendly NPC's in their vicinity and then the player gets to play one/a few of them. Sometimes they take over a cohort.

    After the session, I talk to the player about if they want to have one of the NPCs brought up to PC status, gaining the levels inbetween, or if the player wants to create a completely new character. If the player wants to create a new character, we go through what kind of character that would be and where it would fit into the story - however, usually the players have some NPC they'd prefer to play as NPC's already are in the story and thus can jump in quicker. If it's a new PC, it might take a session or three before they're in a situation where they can meet this new character, and during that time, the player plays NPC's or monsters (or can sit out the sessions, but that's only happened once)

    Quote:


    As for debuffs: Removing a Debuff, any debuff, including death, can NEVER, ever INCREASE party power.

    Let me be clear about this:

    Party has a certain level of power, where power is X.

    Party suffers a debuff, -1 to power

    Party power is now X - 1

    Party removes the debuff

    Party power is now once again X

    Party power is NOT X + 1

    Removing a debuff results in a restoration of power that was LOST, not an increase in power.

    It cannot increase the power beyond maximal capacity, but since they're not at maximum capacity it increases their power towards it.

    Just like how I can say "oh, my car runs much better now since I was at the mechanic, they fixed all the broken stuff!".
    That doesn't mean I think my car runs better than a brand new car, it means it runs better than before I went to the mechanic. Thus, the mechanic made my car run better by removing the "broken" condition.

    Your argument only makes sense if the party is always full of maximal capacity characters. Our party right now consists of a fallen druid, a fighter and a rogue who's both suffered Bestow Curse and has no easy way to remove that for at least two sessions, and a bard (who's fine!). Since they're in a situation where turning back risks losing their quest causing bad stuff to happen, they have to go with those numbers at the moment, and for them, getting all those debuffs removed would be seen as greatly increasing what they're capable of (granted, the druid's going to have to spend some time getting it's powers back).


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    Elamdri wrote:


    A: The DM won't let you put in a new character as soon as you can draw one up (Which I think is bad DMing because you're forcing a character to sit out while everyone else has fun, which I find rude.)

    I think spawning Catarina the Copy in the middle of the Volcano of Doom is completely shattering to verisimillitude, but I get that for some people that works fine so I'm not throwing about "bad dm".

    Elamdri wrote:


    B: Taking time to get a new character if one has died will result in a failure of the mission. In which case you either quit the game and start a new one, because the party failed, or the party has to undo their screw up, which just pads out the game.

    So... Does this mean the party shouldn't be able to fail missions?

    Look, I'm not arguing that raise dead should be free (in my games it doesn't exist), I'm saying that the gold cost makes a difference. The gold cost limits how much you can use the spell, and thus it limits how much more power the party gains through it.


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    Ilja wrote:
    good stuff

    Yes, parties should be able to fail missions, and failure should have consequences.. ..and now I'm all of a sudden agrees with you. LOL.

    Liberty's Edge

    LazarX wrote:
    ciretose wrote:


    As I have said, many, many times, all seem to be in agreement the functional 5k gold isn't a good limiting tool, even as a carry over from 3.5. They removed the XP penalty, which was a good limiting tool, presumably because they also changed the XP system that allowed characters behind in level to catch up.

    But I think since we agree on the fail system, we are arguing at the margins of something we both disagree with toward a solution we largely agree on.

    Ciretose, just because several people state an opinion as loudly as you can, doesn't mean we're "all in agreement". I for one don't see a problem with the material component of raise dead. It keeps the spell from being commonly used, which I consider proper for a world of the default tone that D20 was built for.

    Remember that most threads aren't representative of general opinion, just those of the more discontented. Most people who don't have a problem with the way things are set up, won't post at all.

    I get the impression that the consensus is that a better tool would do the job better.

    But I could be wrong.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Joana wrote:

    It is assumed that some of the treasure that the PCs find is consumed in the course of the adventure (such as potions and scrolls) and that some of the less useful item are sold for half value so more useful gear can be purchased and that after those items have been used/sold this is what the PCs have at various level thresholds.

    That's how I read that sentence. Not that a 10th-level character should have received treasure equal to 62,000 gp but will have less than that depending on what he's spent it on. Otherwise, if a new PC came in at WBL, he'd be overpowered compared to the rest of the party because he gets to spend all his WBL on what he needs now, whereas they've had to sell weapons no one in the party used and buy wands and potions and so on and now only have, say, 52,700 gp worth of gear.

    I wonder how Sean exactly sees the issue of magic item crafting for the character who has the feat and furthermore, crafting for the rest of his party, in regards to how WBL should be adjusted ( or not adjusted ) for that eventuality.

    Sorry for the OT, but it's a pet peeve of mine with the current system we have.


    Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    Well, since WBL measures the value of the gear + treasure a PC has at any given time, it doesn't matter whether the PC crafted his +4 sword for half-price, looted it off the body of an enemy for free, or paid full market value in a shop; for the purposes of measuring what he has, they all count the same, no matter how much gold he spent to acquire it.

    A PC who manages, through luck or compromise, to equip himself solely with gear found in encounters will come off even better than the crafting PC and never have to spend any monetary treasure he finds at all. Looting is an even more cost-effective way to equip oneself but no one asks how it "breaks the game" if people pick up their fallen enemies' weapons and armor and magic items instead of paying full market price. (And as someone who often plays Small races and thus rarely finds any useable gear, the gap between those who can use found items and those who can't grows pretty widely, in my experience.)

    That said, WBL is a much more useful tool for a GM running a homebrew, imo, as he's in a better position to adjust upcoming treasure and/or encounters to match the party than a GM running an AP who is in the position of having to make encounters more difficult or remove treasure (which often results in making encounters easier when it's gear used by NPCs against the party) when a party gets too much stuff. It's easier to make up encounters organically that drop the right amount of treasure than to adjust a pre-existing statblock to do so, or at least I find it easier.

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