"Let's Change Pathfinder!" Threads


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
seekerofshadowlight wrote:
Shackled city adventure path

Thank you!

TriOmegaZero wrote:
*highfive to Jess* You still going to be available if I get to run SCAP in Houston?

Hmm...I honestly don't know. It depends on my time. I'm running a nine player Kingmaker starting next week, and I have some side projects I'm starting that I've been meaning to get to for forever.

Quitting WoW has really opened up some opportunities. :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Oh, it's not anytime soon. Just wanted to make sure you're still available for the Monday game in the future.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Oh, it's not anytime soon. Just wanted to make sure you're still available for the Monday game in the future.

I will have to give you a definitive "Possibly". :)

Dark Archive

Jess Door wrote:
I find playing a character that can't carry their weight in the party a burden, and I don't have fun.

Seriously? Talk about being "goal" oriented.

"You! Fighter." *points at fighter's player*.

"You're not fighting at optimal efficiency! Comply or this will reflect badly on your quarterly evaluation!"

Because that's what I'm hearing. You know some people play this game to relax and just enjoy adventuring. They don't need to be some kind of Pathfinder special forces alpha team.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

What I heard was "Damn, the party nearly TPKed again! My fighter isn't doing his job properly!"

And you can drop the condescending 'I play it the RIGHT way' attitude.

Dark Archive

TriOmegaZero wrote:

What I heard was "Damn, the party nearly TPKed again! My fighter isn't doing his job properly!"

And you can drop the condescending 'I play it the RIGHT way' attitude.

TPKed' again? Ya right, then the DM isn't adjusting challenge to compensate for party composition and ability.

There is no right way. You want to play the game like a first person shooter, feel free.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

And yet you condemn other groups playstyle. No Right Way indeed.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
+1 to mdt. Which feels weird as I thought I was a poster he ignores. Now I don't know how to react.

Nope,

You're not on my list. You irritate me sometimes, but you usually listen to reason, and reason in return. :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Oh, well that's a relief. You're no seeker to me either. ;)


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Oh, well that's a relief. You're no seeker to me either. ;)

LOL

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Alex Draconis wrote:
Jess Door wrote:
I find playing a character that can't carry their weight in the party a burden, and I don't have fun.

Seriously? Talk about being "goal" oriented.

"You! Fighter." *points at fighter's player*.

If I am not at least doing the job I'm expected to do in my party, my character is a failure - usually, in that case, my character is a detriment. If you have fun playing a character that either has to be constantly rescued because he can't stand up to appropriate challenges or is an active detriment to the team, and you still have fun and the party doesn't drop you like a hot potato, then great. You have good friends, and you're having fun. I don't have fun in that situation - and if another player in my group is that way, then I will not go out my way to rescue that player's character either. If it doesn't cost me anything to keep you up, great. But I won't risk my character's life to rescue you becuase you can't keep up. *shrug* Say what you want, I think that's generally going to be not only the better choice for me, but the more accurate choice from a role playing perspective.

Alex Draconis wrote:

"You're not fighting at optimal efficiency! Comply or this will reflect badly on your quarterly evaluation!"

Because that's what I'm hearing. You know some people play this game to relax and just enjoy adventuring. They don't need to be some kind of Pathfinder special forces alpha team.

Then you need to see a doctor about your synesthesia. :D

But seriously, then you didn't read what I wrote. At all. I can't be held accountable for someone else refusing to read the full context of what I wrote, having poor reading comprehension, or refusing to approach understanding someone else's preferences and priorities with an open mind.

Dark Archive

Jess Door wrote:
Alex Draconis wrote:
Jess Door wrote:
I find playing a character that can't carry their weight in the party a burden, and I don't have fun.

Seriously? Talk about being "goal" oriented.

"You! Fighter." *points at fighter's player*.

If I am not at least doing the job I'm expected to do in my party, my character is a failure - usually, in that case, my character is a detriment. If you have fun playing a character that either has to be constantly rescued because he can't stand up to appropriate challenges or is an active detriment to the team, and you still have fun and the party doesn't drop you like a hot potato, then great. You have good friends, and you're having fun. I don't have fun in that situation - and if another player in my group is that way, then I will not go out my way to rescue that player's character either. If it doesn't cost me anything to keep you up, great. But I won't risk my character's life to rescue you becuase you can't keep up. *shrug* Say what you want, I think that's generally going to be not only the better choice for me, but the more accurate choice from a role playing perspective.

Alex Draconis wrote:

"You're not fighting at optimal efficiency! Comply or this will reflect badly on your quarterly evaluation!"

Because that's what I'm hearing. You know some people play this game to relax and just enjoy adventuring. They don't need to be some kind of Pathfinder special forces alpha team.

Then you need to see a doctor about your synesthesia. :D

But seriously, then you didn't read what I wrote. At all. I can't be held accountable for someone else refusing to read the full context of what I wrote, having poor reading comprehension, or refusing to approach understanding someone else's preferences and priorities with an open mind.

Oh that's cute, doctor comment and all. I'm sure someone, somewhere is impressed. I read your little rant and it's easily rebutted.

Have you won Pathfinder yet? Because you're trying awfully hard to.

Now feel free to compose some witty retort. I'll never see it, but I'm sure it'll make you feel better.


Successful Troll is proud of the work going on in this thread.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Alex Draconis wrote:
Have you won Pathfinder yet? Because you're trying awfully hard to.

Yup! I win every time I play, because I get to have fun with my friends!


People who like math are all socially inept bone-thin nerds who must minmax every single +.1 and never actually play the game because they're too busy nerdan it up with MATHS

People who dislike math are all socially inept earth-sized nerds who don't know how any of the actual mechanics work and never actually play the game because they're too busy freeform LARPing.

Hey look at that those opinions are both stupid and wrong.

Lets shy away from them, yes?

I'm not seeing so much of the latter, but the idea that "liking the way the game works" is somehow playing it wrong is just bizarro logic. Yes, boo on you, people who are doing tabletop gaming in my tabletop game!

I think some people want to open both the PHB and the DMG and read nothing but "Just BS something"

Liberty's Edge

LilithsThrall wrote:
no system is perfect

Well except may be the distalled wisdom that is BRP from Chaosium. But I figured you meant to say that but forgot. Don't worry, I got your back.

S.

Liberty's Edge

ProfessorCirno wrote:

People who like math are all socially inept bone-thin nerds who must minmax every single +.1 and never actually play the game because they're too busy nerdan it up with MATHS

People who dislike math are all socially inept earth-sized nerds who don't know how any of the actual mechanics work and never actually play the game because they're too busy freeform LARPing.

Hey look at that those opinions are both stupid and wrong.

I was going to give you +1 and then I read the last line. I really thought you were on to something there. You tease.

S.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

So you think those antagonistic and insulting opinions are reasonable and acceptable?


Alex Draconis wrote:

Oh that's cute, doctor comment and all. I'm sure someone, somewhere is impressed. I read your little rant and it's easily rebutted.

Have you won Pathfinder yet? Because you're trying awfully hard to.

Now feel free to compose some witty retort. I'll never see it, but I'm sure it'll make you feel better.

*sniff*

I smell a troll.

Liberty's Edge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
So you think those antagonistic and insulting opinions are reasonable and acceptable?

I try not to think, tried it once and decided I didn't know what all the fuss was about?! Now I leave all thinking to my cat.

S.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Sorry to bother you then.

Grand Lodge

Malaclypse wrote:


While I appreciate that the developers take their time and are active on the board, they are humans too. They make mistakes like everyone else, and sometimes are too defensive of their creation. It's just normal human behavior. A developer's word on the intent behind some rules is great, but when it comes to mechanics, 'even they' make mistakes. So I think putting them on a pedestal is not the right thing.

Yes it is normal human behavior to defend ones work and they should do so. No one here is putting the developers up on a pedestal by commenting or defending the company and it's works either. They are defending the game they love.

BTW... it is not necessary to tear someone down from an imaginary plateau either. By being constructive in criticism is NOT putting them up on a pedestal either. But just ranting and raving saying such and such rule sux or this game mechanic does not work for me and should be either removed right now or fixed to the way "I" want it to be. The examples are just plain arrogance and have no place in a debate about rules or mechanics because they provide no actual feedback other then a displeasure in said rule or mechanic.

Grand Lodge

Alex Draconis wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:

What I heard was "Damn, the party nearly TPKed again! My fighter isn't doing his job properly!"

And you can drop the condescending 'I play it the RIGHT way' attitude.

TPKed' again? Ya right, then the DM isn't adjusting challenge to compensate for party composition and ability.

There is no right way. You want to play the game like a first person shooter, feel free.

Okay so let me get this straight...there is no wrong way to play the game but if you run an AP and don´t spend lots of time to re-do the encounters for your group then your doing it wrong?!? I´m sorry, but all those groups who buy all those APs because the DM doesn´t have the time are playing all wrong...oh news to me. Hey lets all stop buying APs and cut off what paizo is making is steady stream of money from and kill the company so we REALLY don´t have pathfinder anymore.

Grand Lodge

Deanoth wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:
Agamon the Dark wrote:
I know. Sheesh. Just house rule it. I swear, the d20 generation wants everything spoon-fed to them. Just because there's rules for everything, including removing the kitchen sink, doesn't mean you can't change them up to your liking...
Of course. But that is no reason to let devs off the hook for badly written/ambigious or just plain broken rules.

Why should they be put on a hook to begin with?? Just because you can gripe about something that YOU might see as broken might NOT be to someone else.

I loved the 2nd ed rules for one reason, They simply stated that if you do not like the rules DO NOT USE THEM THEN. They are set up as a guideline and nothing more. If the rules get in the way then do not use those rules. The main thing is consistency. As long as you are consistent on how you arbitrate the rules then the game should run smoothly.

The developers are there to give us guidelines and it is up to us on how we interpret them. We all have our own way of doing so and hence the boards here being rife with commentary. But if you want the developers to actually listen. Becoming angry with them and complaining just to complain is not going to accomplish this. Being constructive and showing where you think that there might be a mistake is one way for them to sit up and actually look and maybe just maybe listen.

Just griping and moaning just because some on here feel they have the right is not going to accomplish anything but continued ignorance.

Okay where to start with this bit...

2nd ed was fun...but the system was HORRIBLE. It wasn´t even remotely balanced. And this is from somebody who likes to play 2nd ed games over the 3.x stuff.

In 3.x and PF you still can change what ever you want. That does not means that you SHOULD nor does it mean that you MUST. With james saying that the feats can be anything, now the DM MUST choose what each and every feat ability is. Because if it´s EX, it´ll work differently mechanically then if it´s a spell like, then if it´s a SU. That level of ambiguity is a REALLY BAD GAME DESIGN. I don´t care if you can FIX it. Hell I can fix F.A.T.A.L...but I sure as hell won´t pay money to do hours of extra work that isn´t exactly fun. Yeah I payed only 50 bucks to paizo for the book. But I only pay 50 bucks for a video game. if the video game is bugged as all heck and I have to go into the base code to fix it, I´m not gonna pay for it. If they patch it, then I will. Saying you can fix it via houserules is like saying well a buggy video game is okay and doesn´t need a patch because you can get codewarrior and open the base code and fix it yourself. You can if you really wanna change things (and I have...re-balancing sid myers games to my tastes being the usual culprit)...but it shouldn´t be a must to play the game.


Hmm...

@Cold Napalm, while you make a decent point about the AP, I think you are laboring under the assumption that they are designed for min/maxed or optimized characters.

As I've always understood it, APs are designed for an "average" party of 4 characters. YMMV, of course, and there are certain APs that are especially deadly (Like Age of Worms) and need a bit more optimization.

If a group wants to Min/Max, I hardly see that an issue provided everyone is doing it. When you are in a group that plans and optimizes characters together to make a very cohesive and supportive party and then have 1 player make a sub-optimal character...IMO, that is when you have major issues with party dynamics or challenge balance.

If the entire group is playing average, or even sub-optimal characters, you're not going to end up with this problem.

I'll have to disagree though, about the DM needing to adjust adventures for the players/characters. As the DM, that is your job. If you're running heavily optimized characters..I think most DMs running an AP are going to start adding 1 or 2 monsters here or there to an encounter, just to keep the party challenged. A different DM with a less optimized (or smaller than 4 players) might reduce some encounters by 1 or 2 monsters. Thats nothing you have to do math for, its just a simple adjustment. Granted, some DMs take this a step farther and go through their APs and start applying templates to some monsters, rewriting others, etc. It all depends on just how much customization you want to do.

And just to make sure no one misconstrues what I am saying here....
If you don't adjust AP encounters, you're not doing it wrong, that can just be a matter of personal preference. In a gaming group where you decide "All encounters will be RAW", I see no problem with it. I do see a need to make certain your players know that though.

Grand Lodge

Cold Napalm wrote:
Deanoth wrote:

I loved the 2nd ed rules for one reason, They simply stated that if you do not like the rules DO NOT USE THEM THEN. They are set up as a guideline and nothing more. If the rules get in the way then do not use those rules. The main thing is consistency. As long as you are consistent on how you arbitrate the rules then the game should run smoothly.

Okay where to start with this bit...

2nd ed was fun...but the system was HORRIBLE. It wasn´t even remotely balanced. And this is from somebody who likes to play 2nd ed games over the 3.x stuff.

For one, I was not commenting on whether or not the edition was good/great/awesome or not... if you actually read what I had said then you might not have to make the comment you did. Second off... where did I mention balance at all in the above about the 2n Ed? Even if I had mentioned ANY thing about balance it would NOT be about 2E or even Pathfinder. The ONLY reason I mentioned 2E was for the quote and THAT alone not to get in to a debate about another edition.

Cold Napalm wrote:
In 3.x and PF you still can change what ever you want. That does not means that you SHOULD nor does it mean that you MUST. With james saying that the feats can be anything, now the DM MUST choose what each and every feat ability is. Because if it´s EX, it´ll...

Why does a system HAVE to be balanced?? If you want a balanced system where group play does not matter and that you can PvP or what ever then go play the "other" companies game. They made it perfectly balanced and everyone is pretty much a cookie cutter character.

Group play does matter with Pathfinder. Game balance only matters when the group is not acting in a cohesive manner. Pathfinder and the older versions of D&D are about group play and teamwork. the characters are meant to fill niches with in the group and act in cohesion and work together. If you had a group of all fighters and went up against a wizard, fighter and cleric. Chances are you would get your butts kicked. BTW This is not a video game either :) If you actually want to play a video like game the Other" company again has a system just for ya :)


Let's face it, it's pretty much impossible to make a game than can account for every possible combination of GM, players, and preferred play style.

The fact that Pathfinder is even close shows how incredible they are.

The forums are a chance to explore the space between the written rules, and what actually happens when people sit down to play.

I see a lot of it as valid feedback for the entire community, along the lines of "with these players, and these characters, and this situation, something didn't work very well"

That can be a true statement, even if those elements work in other, different circumstances.

Grand Lodge

Deanoth wrote:


Why does a system HAVE to be balanced?? If you want a balanced system where group play does not matter and that you can PvP or what ever then go play the "other" companies game. They made it perfectly balanced and everyone is pretty much a cookie cutter character.

Because a highly unbalanced system can be disruptive to play. Let's take starcraft 2. Imagine if the zergs had a base unit that did 30000000 damage and have 100000000000 hp. It would unbalance the game to the point where playing the game would be diruptive unless you did not use that unit. Not all units in SC2 is completely balanced...but there are enough trade off that no unit is exactly useless either.

Or once again using the SC2 rules...imagine a unit that had the cost to produce missing and every game, everyone took a vote on what that unit should cost? So in one game, you have it cost 1 mineral, in other it costs 100000 minerals.

What I am asking is for such GLARING issues be taken care of. And yes not letting the people who use the system know what the feats are in the category on a unit missing their cost and having to assign one each time.


In my experience "XXXX is broken" threads are great for learning little tidbits about the RAW. While such threads might be full of hyperbole, name-calling, flames, and stubbornness, if you wade through all that unpleasantness you may discover a nuance of rules interaction that can be used to make your games better. Or you might find that part of the RAW does not do it for you, and you may want to house rule it. But more often its the former rather than the latter.

IMHO this forums interaction has the potential to be of great service, unpleasant though it may be on most occasions.

Grand Lodge

Cold Napalm wrote:
Deanoth wrote:


Why does a system HAVE to be balanced?? If you want a balanced system where group play does not matter and that you can PvP or what ever then go play the "other" companies game. They made it perfectly balanced and everyone is pretty much a cookie cutter character.

Because a highly unbalanced system can be disruptive to play. Let's take starcraft 2. Imagine if the zergs had a base unit that did 30000000 damage and have 100000000000 hp. It would unbalance the game to the point where playing the game would be diruptive unless you did not use that unit. Not all units in SC2 is completely balanced...but there are enough trade off that no unit is exactly useless either.

Or once again using the SC2 rules...imagine a unit that had the cost to produce missing and every game, everyone took a vote on what that unit should cost? So in one game, you have it cost 1 mineral, in other it costs 100000 minerals.

What I am asking is for such GLARING issues be taken care of. And yes not letting the people who use the system know what the feats are in the category on a unit missing their cost and having to assign one each time.

Again this is a pen and paper RPG we are talking about. You make comparisons to video games though. This game is NOT meant to be balanced per se but to be group oriented and relying on a team to band together and defeat the obstacles put in front of them together. If this game was likea video game then yes it would be more important that there be a balance because there is a PvP aspect and in Pathfinder there is no PvP aspect.

If you want a balance similar to SC2 or another video game in which you are making numerous comparisons to.. might I suggest 4E D&D. The classes strike a well balanced equilibrium and are different enough that they are not straight up cookie cutter.


No system of game rules is perfect. Even Gygax and Arneson ran counter to the 3 White books. 'James and Jacob' makes mistakes, takes shortcuts, handwaves problems, etc. My joy with Pazio is fulfilled here in these forums and knowing that J&J will pop in to actually ANSWER questions and give insights warms my stitched together heart.

Do I always agree with him? Heck no, but I can't even agree with myself half the time! Do I see where he is coming from? Yes. I tried to create what is now the D20 system back in the 80s and 90s (that is hanging all actions, contests, etc off the D20 + modifiers against a target number set by the GM, etc) and never could get past that. 3.0 was like mana from heaven! All my work was as crayons on wrapping paper to the Mona Lisa! Then the wargamer in me kicked in and I discovered the Dwarven Cleric. And all those evil sites on the internet with gripes about the system not addressing <insert pet gripe>.

I got to give some conditional input to a few of the 3.5 revisionists of WOTC, but I saw it as a poor patch job that needed serious playtesting foiled by excessive security, and I honestly thought PF would be no better. Gleefully, I was wrong.

My single biggest gripe is the refusal to address a spell point system for Pf. But at least JJ, I mean J&J, isn't throwing snit-fits on these boards at the mere thought that his way isn't the only way and SFK isn't having me thrown out of these forums.

Ah well, perhaps a 3rd party company will put one out and make it rock!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Brian Bachman wrote:
On the subject of math which is also plaguing this thread, I just have one question for my more mathematically inclined brethren (I'd be more politically correct and gender neutral here, but sistren just doesn't sounds right):

"Brother and Sisters" / "Comrades" / "Siblings-in-dice"

Brian wrote:
Is doing all this mathematical analysis really that much fun for you? ... None of the mathematical analysis I've seen on these boards is more than a decent high school student could manage, if they wanted to. The question for me is: why do you want to?

Some of the mathematical questions (how likely is a roll of {16,17, 14, 16, 17, 18} on 4d6, keep 3?) are interesting, and the others are pleasant. I enjoy a diversion of Sudoku once every so often, too.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:
Some of the mathematical questions (how likely is a roll of {16,17, 14, 16, 17, 18} on 4d6, keep 3?) are interesting, and the others are pleasant. I enjoy a diversion of Sudoku once every so often, too.

I wrote a post on my personal rpg forum once where I listed the probabilities of damage for 4d4 vs 2d8 - I had been frustrated that my fellow players didn't understand that the average roll for a d8 = 4.5 and not 4, and decided to write out all the basics for them. I graphed probability charts of 2d8 vs 4d4 and explained how the probabilities of rolling a value more closely approximate a bell curve as the number of dice involved increases.

I've also been thinking for a while about how the d20 system breaks down at high level due to the difference in modifiers approaching the total randomness (20, from the d20) in the system. Increasing randomness by increasing the die rolls to a d100 or somesuch would be a solution - but it just delays the inevitable problem, and it introduces so much randomness at low levels that training doesn't have a significant impact - which doesn't appeal to me. I was considering theoretically capping the total modifier a person could have quite low (at +5, +10 at most), and instead as levels rose, the character wouldn't get arbitrarily better at something. Rather, he would more often do whatever he's doing "perfectly" (roll a natural 20). To model this, you would get extra "rerolls" as your character increased in level, rather than ever increasing modifiers to your abilities. Curious on how the probability chart would look for taking the best of [x] d20 rolls, I graphed it out: http://www.access-inuyasha.com/stuff/multipled20rolls.gif.

Another time, a little bored and a little curious and desiring a prettier graph comparing multi-dice rolls (the graph I described above was an ugly ascii graph), I used Excel to make a pretty graph that compared 2d12, 3d8, 4d6 and 6d4 roll summations: http://www.access-inuyasha.com/stuff/multi-dice_Chart.GIF

Hey, I'm that kid that was bored in high school math class and spent class time programming Tetris into my graphing calculator. As the calculator had only 26 variables (1 for each letter of the alphabet), it challenged me to set up a very nice single variable to hold all my flags in a base 2 coding scheme. I'm a geek. This is stuff I find fun and interesting. It's not for everyone. I get that. But there it is.

The Exchange

Cold Napalm wrote:
Deanoth wrote:


Why does a system HAVE to be balanced?? If you want a balanced system where group play does not matter and that you can PvP or what ever then go play the "other" companies game. They made it perfectly balanced and everyone is pretty much a cookie cutter character.

Because a highly unbalanced system can be disruptive to play. Let's take starcraft 2. Imagine if the zergs had a base unit that did 30000000 damage and have 100000000000 hp. It would unbalance the game to the point where playing the game would be diruptive unless you did not use that unit. Not all units in SC2 is completely balanced...but there are enough trade off that no unit is exactly useless either.

Or once again using the SC2 rules...imagine a unit that had the cost to produce missing and every game, everyone took a vote on what that unit should cost? So in one game, you have it cost 1 mineral, in other it costs 100000 minerals.

What I am asking is for such GLARING issues be taken care of. And yes not letting the people who use the system know what the feats are in the category on a unit missing their cost and having to assign one each time.

You're talking about a competitive PvP game and using that to declare that RPGs need balance? In Starcraft type games, which would include tabletop miniature battle games like Warhammer, you need a rock, paper, scissors balance. Everything is stronger than an opponent or tactic, yet weaker against something else. RPGs are 'balanced' so that everyone can contribute to the groups success.

Yes, they still need to have their individual strengths and weaknesses, but it's not the same kind of need. This is the mistake the other company made, they strove for 'perfect' balance, and made the game bland.

IMO, YMMV, yadda, yadda, yadda...


Deanoth wrote:

Why does a system HAVE to be balanced??

The easiest and most enduring answer is: read 'Zen and the art of motorcycle maintainence'. My arguement in my (old fart) group is 'remember the pre 3.0 Cleric?' and followed up with discussions about over compensating.


Two things.

1) "2e was good because you could ignore the rules." I, for one, agree. The only good saving grace of 2e is that you could choose to not play it ;p

2) Balance.

Let's get one thing out of the way upfront - balance matters. Is it the most important thing in an RPG? Welll, that's purely up to personal taste. But I think we can all agree that we don't want wizards in full plate with all the skills of a rogue and smite evil and full BAB.

The problem with "Balance doesn't matter" is that you disagree with your own statement. Watch: do you want that wizard I mentioned above to be a regular part of your games? Of course not. Why? Because even the most "I hate math" person will agree that different classes should be adept at different roles, and not others. And that's what balance is.

So for our example let's not use SC2. Let's use RIFTS. Are we playing RIFTS? God no. See? Balance matters! ;p

Ok, joking aside, let's use D&D. The fact is, as I said up thread, Pathfinder has differences from 3.5 because people were unsatisfied with aspects of 3.5's rules, including, yes, the balance of it. Why do you think shapechanging was so drastically changed? Why so many wizard spells were altered?

Grand Lodge

Bwang wrote:

Deanoth wrote:

Why does a system HAVE to be balanced??

The easiest and most enduring answer is: read 'Zen and the art of motorcycle maintainence'. My arguement in my (old fart) group is 'remember the pre 3.0 Cleric?' and followed up with discussions about over compensating.

I am not sure I ever read the "Art of Zen" and the "Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". What exactly do they have to do with gaming and game balance, Nothing.

I have been gaming now for 36 years if that has ANYTHING to do with it, which is nothing :). I also have an Old Farts Gaming group where collectively we have about 140 years gaming in that group. We do not discuss the weakest class nor the most powerful class. Balance is not an issue as we do NOT compete against each other. If we did then I would come on here and complain about game balance.

This again is a group oriented game where team work rules.

Liberty's Edge

Deanoth wrote:


This again is a group oriented game where team work rules.

+1 and combined with a DM who presents an adventure that promotes this aspect.

2e wasn't balanced, what I mean by that is we couldn't all do exactly 100 hp damage per round therefore not contributing to the adventure overall, right? No RPG game mechanic stops the purpose of role-playing game and that is to play a role. One year, I'm not sure exactly when it happened, bleeding heart liberals wanted character class equality. I can't remember seeing any protest marches or rallies on the news at the time, but I guess they must have had low level angry vancian casting mages, high level depressed fighters and clerics demanding that healing spells should be a salary bonus from their Deities all chanting for "sameness". "I'm useless at high levels compared to our mage", whines the fighter. "I'm just useless at ALL levels", bemoans the rogue.

Point is people started crunching the numbers and found that from the "measureable outcome" side of playing, i.e. damage output, characters weren't 'balanced'. But as Jason himself said, if you get too much balance you end up with ONE class. Is Pathfinder balanced? Nope, and it will never be and I'm not sure arguing semantics of the statistical chance of grappling a dragon will ever top my list of worries.

S.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It all comes down to definitions. How do you define "Balanced"?

What I look for in "Balance" in my RPG games is:

Does this class have a specialization that is going to be noticeably useful noticeably often? Does this class have strengths that complement other class's weaknesses? Does this class have some aspect of it's design that isn't overshadowed by any other class?

A LOT of this is subjective. Wizards, Witches and Sorcerors are going to overlap quite often in some of their roles. They are spellcasters. They cast arcane spells. They are not generally good at combat. This sets them apart from classes that don't cast arcane spells. Issue might be taken with the bard - until it is understood that these classes are better at spellcasting than the bard, but worse at combat.

Between these three...are they balanced? Well, they have different strengths and weaknesses between each other as well that I believe balance them out pretty well:

The sorceror, given his limited spell list, is relatively easy to pick up and learn to play well. You don't have to know all the spells...just the ones your sorceror uses. You get some interesting spell like abilities, and more spells per day.

The wizard is harder to play. He requires more work and upkeep. He has less money to spend on items as he spends them on spells...and then proceeds to rule the world with them...if you play him right.

The witch offers a different set of spells, access to spells not on the other two's arcane list. She also has many supernatural abilities that give her different utility both in and out of combat.

Comparing DPR isn't what defines balance for me. For me, it's a matter of making sure that everyone has something unique and useful they bring to the table. At least once per session a class ought to be able to go "I have a great way to accomplish that!" when no one else does. If a class is left, at any point in its lifespan, with an inability to do anything of significance in the session better than anyone else...I think the class is unbalanced and needs to be looked at. If a class is able at almost every point in the session to say "I have a great way to accomplish that!", then they're unbalanced and need to be looked at.

Sometimes a particular class is a bad choice for a campaign or session. Paladins can be pretty spottily useful. Rangers with mistaken understandings of which favored terrains or enemies to pick can be hurt badly in this department for an entire campaign. Rogues used to have this problem with undead heavy campaigns.

It often comes down to subjective opinion. But there's my general criteria.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Jess Door wrote:

I graphed probability charts of 2d8 vs 4d4 and explained how the probabilities of rolling a value more closely approximate a bell curve as the number of dice involved increases...

Curious on how the probability chart would look for taking the best of [x] d20 rolls, I graphed it out: http://www.access-inuyasha.com/stuff/multipled20rolls.gif. Another time, ... I used Excel to make a pretty graph that compared 2d12, 3d8, 4d6 and 6d4 roll...

(geeky fanboi sigh)

Liberty's Edge

Stefan Hill wrote:


One year, I'm not sure exactly when it happened, bleeding heart liberals wanted character class equality. I can't remember seeing any protest marches or rallies on the news at the time

Does Glenn Beck approve of you playing Dungeons and Dragons?

Dark Archive

Balance is very important. If it wasn't, then DMs through out time wouldn't have had to run campaigns a certain way to prevent wizards and spellcasters from just going nuts.

However, balance is also relative. As long as a fighting class can contribute a lot to the conflict, then an acceptable balance has been achieved. The acceptable balancing point is certainly subjective, but it is somewhere in everybody's campaigns.

The problem more often is people not understanding balance or using it incorrectly. A new player who wants to play a wizard that uses only damage spells will probably complain that fighters do too much damage. They don't understand that a wizard can do damage, but they cannot keep up with fighters. They don't understand the power of a wizard comes from flying around, teleporting, powerful save or dies, and a toolbox of utility spells.

If a player wanted to create a fighter uses 2 whips really well will probably discover that another fighter in the party using a falchion is outdamaging him. This is okay as long as that player understands that his whip fighter is not designed for damage, but for area control.

As long as players understand relative balance, and understand how a character's expected outcome is likely to be, can accept that, and not drag the party down with him, then all is well.


Jess Door wrote:
Brian Bachman wrote:

(editted to number questions)

1. Do you find that doing the math makes you more likely to want to optimize a character?
2. Do you ever find yourself giving up on a cool character concept or choice of weapon or feat, because the math just doesn't support it as an optimal choice?
3. Does it bother you when others ignore the math in the game and build sub-optimal characters?
4. Does it annoy you when something the DM does doesn't make sense to you mathematically (which could be because there are factors you aren't aware of, or because of streaky die-rolling, or just the obvious roll/rule-fudging)?

These are the dangers I see in trying to overly analyze the math in the game and part of why I shy away from it and discourage my players from getting too caught up in it.

1. No. Either I was interested in optimizing and so paid more attention to those details while analyzing the rules or I wasn't. My two favorite classes in 3.5 are the bard and ranger, if that tells you anything about my optimizing choices. Analyzing the rules and actually picking the mechanicly best options are not necessarily related. One can be a mental exercise like pun-pun and one can be a fun diversion.

2. Sometimes, if I am in the mood to optimize for that detail I would. So I might chose the greatsword over the greataxe if I wanted to do more damage in the long run. On the other hand, I might be in the mood to play a wildly swinging half-orc barbarian, and the inconsistent damage of the greataxe is more enjoyable for that character, even if overall it is slightly weaker of a choice.

3. It can possibly. It really depends on how "sub-optimal" their choices are, when it starts to effect the ability of the group as a whole, it can pretty disappointing.

Let me give you an extreme example, let's say I am interested in playing an arcane caster, but I am willing to fill whatever role the party needs. Another player says they want to play a wizard, so I say ok, I'll play something else. When we start playing we find out that the "wizard" has an Int 7 (doing point buy) and dumped as many points into Str, Dex, and Con as he could. He spends his feats buying weapon and armor proficiencies but still has the wizard class. That would probably p*** me off a bit. Because (1) I gave up playing the class in order to help the group and (2) this person is probably just a fancy commoner and needs to be protected most of the time and (3) can't do his official role (casting spells) most of the time.

A less extreme example, would be in my current game. We have a player that isn't optimized and has made some poor spell choices (3.5 sorcerer). My wife loves playing spontaneous casters, especially the sorcerer class, but at first didn't feel she could with this other player playing one. Eventually so tired of the other player's incompetence she decide to make a sorcerer anyway and too bad if the other player feels overshadowed. My wife is not an optimizer by any stretch, so the "sub-optimization" was pretty bad for her to get to this level.

4. Again it can, it depends on how extreme. Little issues, I let it ride, I'm just happy not to be DMing. But if it is seriously harming the play of the game, yeah I will talk about the issue with the DM outside of gaming time, probably through email or something. It might be something I don't know, which I would like to know as a DM, or it maybe that the DM just is misapplying the rules and just needs some reminding. The few times I actually get to play though, I rarely toss out statements about things being done incorrectly, but if asked I usually say something like, "Well, I run it this way because reasons X, Y, and Z. But I'm ok with houseruling like we are doing here if that is what the DM wants to do." That way I put the ball into the DM's court, if they want to change the rule, great, if not then we can go back to doing it the right way. For myself though, even if the DM is being laxed, I will try to do the RAW as much as possible even when it is not in my favor. It is an issue of personal integrity for me, but I don't try to hold everyone else to my standard (just like an effect paladin should act).


Successful Troll is Successful wrote:
Successful Troll is proud of the work going on in this thread.

Obvious Troll senses too much subtlety. Be moar Obvious!


Successful Troll has great respect for Successful Troll's more obvious brother. However, Successful Troll is more comfortable with Successful Troll's methods. Viva la trollism!


Successful brother troll, we need to work teh maths into this somehow, or we will never be able to prove whose methods are more optimal. Obvious troll posits that Obviousness is 6.82 times more effective than Succesful Troll's Succesfulness. Care to rebut?


mdt wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
+1 to mdt. Which feels weird as I thought I was a poster he ignores. Now I don't know how to react.

Nope,

You're not on my list. You irritate me sometimes, but you usually listen to reason, and reason in return. :)

What about me?


Successful Troll believes that multiplying brother Obvious Troll's 6.82 times effectivenes by troll squared with a remainder of point three repeating should prove the obvious, no pun intended, result of tandem Obvious Troll and Successful Troll postings being supremely optimal.


ProfessorCirno wrote:

Two things.

1) "2e was good because you could ignore the rules." I, for one, agree. The only good saving grace of 2e is that you could choose to not play it ;p

Alright enough of this crap.

2nd edition had xp differences for classes, and despite any other flaws, that makes it much better balanced than 3.5, with overpowered casters.

If you had, I dunno, played AD&D, MAYBE your opinion would matter here. But the core material in AD&D was much more well balanced than that of 3rd edition. The game mechanics were different. The focus was different. Just... gah.

How can you even talk.

Successful troll and obvious troll, take a note from this guy. He's good. He is SO good.


Madcap Storm King wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:

Two things.

1) "2e was good because you could ignore the rules." I, for one, agree. The only good saving grace of 2e is that you could choose to not play it ;p

Alright enough of this crap.

2nd edition had xp differences for classes, and despite any other flaws, that makes it much better balanced than 3.5, with overpowered casters.

If you had, I dunno, played AD&D, MAYBE your opinion would matter here. But the core material in AD&D was much more well balanced than that of 3rd edition. The game mechanics were different. The focus was different. Just... gah.

How can you even talk.

Successful troll and obvious troll, take a note from this guy. He's good. He is SO good.

I'm in a 2e game right now :P

Well, not this exact minute, but you know what I mean.

The statement was made: "2e is good because you could treat the rules like guidelines and ignore what you want."

Do you realize that this literally means "2e was good because you didn't play by 2e rules?" That's what was said. That 2e is good because you could decide not to play it.

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