Why are there so many people obsessed with "balance" on here?


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What ever roleplaying game I participate in, and by the way, none of them are "balanced" (including 4E), I often find the problem is how you envision the character in your head, versus how the character actually plays out at the table. The worse thing that can happen is to have an idea shattered, when some mechanic does not play out the way you like. This becomes even more difficult when you percieve the other players at the table are having a much easier time, or are "more powerful".

My solution as a DM is to allow the players to tweak their characters over time, this could be done using established rules like 4E, that allow you to swap feats or powers, but I was doing this prior to 4E, and in other types of games as long as the character could offer a good explanation.

This ability to adapt your character may not silence all the balance arguments, but it is a good buffer.


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Deanoth wrote:

I am seeing more and more threads with class vs class and "Why is this class so weak" or "This class is SO overbalanced and it is not fair"

I always thought that this game was about a group dynamic and not about an individual?

It's a fallacy that people who want the balance of the game to improve don't play it as a team.

Team games are generally most fun if everybody gets to contribute roughly as much. I use the football team analogy: it can be fun to be a quarterback; it can also be fun to be a wide reciever or an offensive lineman or even the kicker.

But very few people have fun playing the waterboy or the mascot for long.

Sovereign Court

Dire Mongoose wrote:
Deanoth wrote:

I am seeing more and more threads with class vs class and "Why is this class so weak" or "This class is SO overbalanced and it is not fair"

I always thought that this game was about a group dynamic and not about an individual?

It's a fallacy that people who want the balance of the game to improve don't play it as a team.

Team games are generally most fun if everybody gets to contribute roughly as much. I use the football team analogy: it can be fun to be a quarterback; it can also be fun to be a wide reciever or an offensive lineman or even the kicker.

But very few people have fun playing the waterboy or the mascot for long.

Case in point - Teamwork Feats

p.s. Cookies and pie are great. Have a day :D


Because balance matters. Because when people make a character, "successful" is at least implied as part of their vision of that character. Which means they want to be the guy who swings from ropes and carves the first letter of his name into his opponent's shirt, not the guy who only succeeds in bringing the light fixture down on his own head when he attempts the maneuver. They want to be the guy who is respected, or perhaps feared for his blade prowess, not laughed at for his incompetence when he's not around (or even when he is).

Teamwork requires just that. Teamwork. Not Guy A doing all the work, while Guy B is just there to get his ego stroked.

This is not teamwork.

Teamwork requires you to bring something meaningful to the team.

It's not about kill counts or any other such silly measure. It's about pulling your weight.


Morain wrote:
WPharolin wrote:
What we want is to slowly improve the game we love. That's it. None of things you mentioned prevent that.
My problem is that for some people (me included), what others call "improving" or "balancing" is making the game worse, not better.

Why?

Balanced does not mean all characters are equally powerful.

Balanced does not mean the game must be all about combat.

Balanced does not mean all characters have to be able to contribute equally in all situations.

Balanced does not mean all characters are the same.

So what's your specific problem with the concept.

Grand Lodge

juanpsantiagoXIV wrote:
Deanoth wrote:

I am seeing more and more threads with class vs class and "Why is this class so weak" or "This class is SO overbalanced and it is not fair"

I always thought that this game was about a group dynamic and not about an individual?

Funny, we've always played it as "a group of individuals". The party isn't under any special obligation to stick together. I realize this is not standard, but it's the way we like it.

I would, however, agree that there is almost too much focus on balance. If I wanted my fighter to always have the same level of involvement as the wizard (and vice versa) I would still be playing 4th edition.

I talk about the group dynamic. Which means, to me that is, is that the group gets stronger as an entity instead of the individual which is weaker without the group.

I agree they can and often do at their own peril separate.

Shadow Lodge

Virgil wrote:
Intra-party balance matters because not everyone appreciates being Aquaman.

Considering he may be one of the most powerful superheroes ever...

Heart IS an Awesome Power!


Bluenose wrote:
Morain wrote:
WPharolin wrote:
What we want is to slowly improve the game we love. That's it. None of things you mentioned prevent that.
My problem is that for some people (me included), what others call "improving" or "balancing" is making the game worse, not better.

Why?

Balanced does not mean all characters are equally powerful.

Balanced does not mean the game must be all about combat.

Balanced does not mean all characters have to be able to contribute equally in all situations.

Balanced does not mean all characters are the same.

So what's your specific problem with the concept.

It's just bland, dull and boring. Sometimes it's fun to play a really crappy class, and still make it work. And sometimes it's fun to have really awesome spells to play with.

If they were both balanced you would loose some of the challenge of playing the underdog, while other classes would risk loosing some of their coolest abilities.

I realize most people don't feel this way, but I recon there is a few who is sick of cries for class balance, or there wouldn't be threads like this.

Grand Lodge

Pan wrote:


+1

I dont think the balance topics are really what bothers people so much. I think it has more to do with statements that the game is broken or completely unplayable because of a particular or perceived weakness in the rule set. There are legitimate concerns out there and you can have civil discussions on them.

The internets have an uncanny ability to polarize people. Some folks get so wrapped up in things they stop being civil and behave poorly. These camps get so entrenched that people feel like they are at war. Just take a deep breath and remember its only the internets. The devil's greatest trick and all that.....

Yes it is the discussion of balance that bothers me, the mention of the game being broken because such and such is to weak and such too.. ALSO bothers me. The concerns maybe genuine, they do not appear as a concern when the topic reads something like "Why bother playing a rogue when it is obviously the weakest class" No I know this is not the actual topic. But it is similar enough.


Original Post wrote:
Why are there so many people obsessed with "balance" on here?

Most people come to the forums so they can discuss the game as a substitute for actually playing the game. The reason they cannot play the game largely determines the type of poster they will be.

Some subset of these are individuals who are so competitive that nobody wants to play with them OR they don't feel challenged by their current group. So they come here, and gripe about how the game is broken.

I think a great GM can balance the game without houserules or any other invasive campaign surgery.


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Morain wrote:

It's just bland, dull and boring. Sometimes it's fun to play a really crappy class, and still make it work. And sometimes it's fun to have really awesome spells to play with.

If they were both balanced you would loose some of the challenge of playing the underdog, while other classes would risk loosing some of their coolest abilities.

I realize most people don't feel this way, but I recon there is a few who is sick of cries for class balance, or there wouldn't be threads like this.

So play a 1st level character in a 3rd level party, or a 5th level character in that same party. Assuming your GM and the other players will go for it. Nothing you say about wanting to play a weaker/stronger character requires unbalanced classes, when you can get exactly that imbalance by using levels.


Bluenose wrote:
Morain wrote:

It's just bland, dull and boring. Sometimes it's fun to play a really crappy class, and still make it work. And sometimes it's fun to have really awesome spells to play with.

If they were both balanced you would loose some of the challenge of playing the underdog, while other classes would risk loosing some of their coolest abilities.

I realize most people don't feel this way, but I recon there is a few who is sick of cries for class balance, or there wouldn't be threads like this.

So play a 1st level character in a 3rd level party, or a 5th level character in that same party. Assuming your GM and the other players will go for it. Nothing you say about wanting to play a weaker/stronger character requires unbalanced classes, when you can get exactly that imbalance by using levels.

Let's just agree to disagree then.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
Original Post wrote:
Why are there so many people obsessed with "balance" on here?

Most people come to the forums so they can discuss the game as a substitute for actually playing the game. The reason they cannot play the game largely determines the type of poster they will be.

Some subset these are individuals who are so competitive that nobody wants to play with them OR they don't feel challenged by their current group. So they come here, and gripe about how the game is broken.

I think a great GM can balance the game without houserules or any other invasive campaign surgery.

+1

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Morain wrote:


Let's just agree to disagree then.

Agreed.

Grand Lodge

Morain wrote:
WPharolin wrote:
What we want is to slowly improve the game we love. That's it. None of things you mentioned prevent that.
My problem is that for some people (me included), what others call "improving" or "balancing" is making the game worse, not better.

+1

This is the whole reason I am bringing this up so to speak. I do not want the game to improve and become better in the guise of balance so to speak. When some people speak of balance it is like they want each character to be like the next and no ONE character being more powerful then the next one. In my humble opinion each fills a niche in this game we know. While not all are the best to play each have their role and are the best to play in a given situation, while it might not be combat, it might not always be about combat either.

While too some have mentioned it is to objective to talk about second half of character generation and it is easy to to talk about the numbers. In this I agree, BUT I do not agree that it has to be ABOUT the numbers and that the numbers need to match. No one character should have more damage output then another and this is where ultimately it seems to end up in most of those discussions.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
Deanoth wrote:
If a player focuses on all the math of a character then the player is missing the other half of character generation and that is the personality, the being that is your character. It is not JUST the numbers but yes there is numbers involved and it just seems that there is to MUCH focus on those numbers then the other part.

All the fake ye olde english talk in the world won't make a difference if you can't hit the orc but the orc can hit you.

Alternately - the problem is, you can't really debate the second one. Math, sure, you can discuss that. It's objective. Look at that 7, it is bigger then the 6. My wizard does 10 and your wizard does 5. How do I get that 10? Can other classes get a 10? How can they get a 10?

But roleplaying isn't objective. At most it's all of us telling stories we all think are really cool but most other people aren't really all that interesting, and then them telling their stories while we wish we could just go back to telling ours. There really isn't much if anything to discuss there.

+1.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deanoth wrote:
...something like "Why bother playing a rogue when it is obviously the weakest class" No I know this is not the actual topic. But it is similar enough.

IIRC, before I bailed on that one it boiled down to "why play a rogue when an urban ranger is almost as good a skill monkey, a much better combatant, and a spellcaster on top of that?"

My major takeaway from these threads is ways to find out how to work around potential imbalances in the rules system. Frex, knowing that class X has been found to be more limited in application than class Y, I can tweak the game to give people who choose to play class X a chance to shine.

Shadow Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Morain wrote:


Let's just agree to disagree then.
Agreed.

Disagreed.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Dragonborn3 wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Morain wrote:


Let's just agree to disagree then.
Agreed.
Disagreed.

Why? You think either of us will really change the others opinion?

Grand Lodge

CoDzilla wrote:

Because balance matters. Because when people make a character, "successful" is at least implied as part of their vision of that character. Which means they want to be the guy who swings from ropes and carves the first letter of his name into his opponent's shirt, not the guy who only succeeds in bringing the light fixture down on his own head when he attempts the maneuver. They want to be the guy who is respected, or perhaps feared for his blade prowess, not laughed at for his incompetence when he's not around (or even when he is).

Teamwork requires just that. Teamwork. Not Guy A doing all the work, while Guy B is just there to get his ego stroked.

This is not teamwork.

Teamwork requires you to bring something meaningful to the team.

It's not about kill counts or any other such silly measure. It's about pulling your weight.

Some of the most memorable characters have been what is called sub par. None of the ability scores above an 11. I was playing an old man and purposefully made it so I can barely see and was a wizard. Man some of the things I had fun with and the group was falling out of their chairs and created similar characters too because it was fun. Not balanced in any way.

The game is not just about being the hero, because that is what the game seems to imply does not mean you HAVE to play the hero. There are so many differing ways to "play" the hero. I just want to have fun is what it boils down to I guess. I do not feel I need to be respected because of my blade prowess and the need to play zorro. That is not the way I play a character. I know some that want to do as much but I try and make sure that they know just because they WANT to play that way does not make it that way.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

And none of that is invalidated by a more balanced system Deanoth. You can adjust the ability score and level sliders to get the character you want better in a balanced system.


WPharolin wrote:
So because less imaginative players, cheaters, min/maxers, and mistakes all exist we have to just give up pretend that the game can't be improved upon?

Your conclusion, not mine. That's like saying that since war, poverty, inequality and famine have existed from the beginning of human history, society shouldn't bother trying to overcome these "evils". The only thing that I said was that the variables at every table destroy any illusion of "balance".

WPharolin wrote:
This idea that what people seek is some sort of zen balance, an acsended Buddhist perfection of the D&D yin and yang is a fallacy. What we want is to slowly improve the game we love. That's it. None of things you mentioned prevent that.

Sure, the game can always be "better", but "better" is a subjective ideal as well. One group of people might be perfectly fine with changing an aspect of the game (if not each and every rule in the book), while another will vehemently disagree and institute thier own changes - who is "more right"? Pathfinder and 4e are attempts to improve upon 3.5, but neither are "more perfect" than the other. In fact, there are people who still prefer 3.5 (and earlier versions) over the "improvements". Are they "wrong" or "misguided"?

In the end, "balance", like "beauty" and "worth" are all in the eye of the beholder. If ~trying~ to attain perfection makes a person happy, more power to them...

(Edit insert)...so long as it isn't at the expense of others.


Deanoth wrote:
Some of the most memorable characters have been what is called sub par. None of the ability scores above an 11. I was playing an old man and purposefully made it so I can barely see and was a wizard. Man some of the things I had fun with and the group was falling out of their chairs and created similar characters too because it was fun. Not balanced in any way.

That's fine, but take note: that's something you intentionally chose. You knew you were making a weaker character, and if later you weren't having fun with it, you knew you had only yourself to blame, and you knew that if you wanted you could make a different character that wouldn't have that issue.

Whereas the player who reads all the monk flavor text and decides to make a monk with 10 STR is also making a seriously weak character, but he probably doesn't know it and didn't want it, and thus will not necessarily have fun with it.

I encourage people to make characters that are less powerful than the most powerful they could come up with if it sounds fun to them, fits with their group, etc. I'm doing it myself in a game right now. That does not mean, however, that "trap" options wherein a player who doesn't know better makes Aquaman by mistake are a good thing.

Shadow Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Morain wrote:


Let's just agree to disagree then.
Agreed.
Disagreed.
Why? You think either of us will really change the others opinion?

The disagreement with the agreement to disagree, which in and of itself means I was going for a funny post.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Dragonborn3 wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Morain wrote:


Let's just agree to disagree then.
Agreed.
Disagreed.
Why? You think either of us will really change the others opinion?
The disagreement with the agreement to disagree, which in and of itself means I was going for a funny post.

Don't worry, I DID laugh. ;)

Grand Lodge

Dire Mongoose wrote:
Deanoth wrote:
Some of the most memorable characters have been what is called sub par. None of the ability scores above an 11. I was playing an old man and purposefully made it so I can barely see and was a wizard. Man some of the things I had fun with and the group was falling out of their chairs and created similar characters too because it was fun. Not balanced in any way.

That's fine, but take note: that's something you intentionally chose. You knew you were making a weaker character, and if later you weren't having fun with it, you knew you had only yourself to blame, and you knew that if you wanted you could make a different character that wouldn't have that issue.

Whereas the player who reads all the monk flavor text and decides to make a monk with 10 STR is also making a seriously weak character, but he probably doesn't know it and didn't want it, and thus will not necessarily have fun with it.

I guess my point is that a character is not about the numbers completely but as a whole a character about personality, skills, background, and numbers. While some might feel a character is weak, is a subjective thing and each person having their own perspective on what is powerful. If player A thinks that a character is not worth playing unless at least 3 of their stats are 18's and they are playing a Wizard that splashes rogue later to get dodge for free and the skill points, and then monk and then...

Personally if a character is rolled up and there is flaws like the highest dice I rolled is only 16 and the lowest is a 6, I can work with it and still have fun, because it is NOT about the character but what I as a player DO with it.


The only way to ensure that all classes are balanced against each other is simple: only have one class.

Doesn't sound like much fun to me.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
The Mighty Grognard wrote:
The only way to ensure that all classes are balanced against each other is simple: only have one class.

But you still won't have balanced characters that way, thanks to feat, skill, and equipment selections.

I must say i find your position to be stifling and close-minded. We may have to just disagree as well.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
The Mighty Grognard wrote:
The only way to ensure that all classes are balanced against each other is simple: only have one class.

But you still won't have balanced characters that way, thanks to feat, skill, and equipment selections.

I must say i find your position to be stifling and close-minded. We may have to just disagree as well.

Then the only way to have balance must be to have everyone play the same character!!!

;)

EDIT: even the GM


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
anthony Valente wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
The Mighty Grognard wrote:
The only way to ensure that all classes are balanced against each other is simple: only have one class.

But you still won't have balanced characters that way, thanks to feat, skill, and equipment selections.

I must say i find your position to be stifling and close-minded. We may have to just disagree as well.

Then the only way to have balance must be to have everyone play the same character!!!

;)

EDIT: even the GM

Nope, everyone has different skills at playing. So, therefore, everyone has to let the ghost of Gary Gygax play their character, which has to be the same character.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
anthony Valente wrote:


Then the only way to have balance must be to have everyone play the same character!!!

;)

EDIT: even the GM

Oh what a world what a world!


<@><@> peeks inside.

Eeeeekkkkkkkk !!

Flaps wings and flies away

Sovereign Court

TriOmegaZero wrote:
The Mighty Grognard wrote:
The only way to ensure that all classes are balanced against each other is simple: only have one class.

But you still won't have balanced characters that way, thanks to feat, skill, and equipment selections.

I must say i find your position to be stifling and close-minded. We may have to just disagree as well.

+1

This may seem rediculous, but we can really liken this to programming. Assume that the programming language is the same between 3 coders. They are all using the same code to design an application that does the exact same thing. They work independently of one another for creation, occasionally asking for tips or inquiring as to someone else's idea, but they never really see each others work until it's done. Using the same baseline you'll find their programs to be different and some done much more skillfully, more efficient, less buggy, and what have you. It's all about the approach and while the code bas was the same some programs are better than others.

It's fluid, I don't think there's a clear answer here.

Again I stand by my feeling that DnD is fluid, and can't be given a concrete answer in it's balance conundrum


Deanoth wrote:

Some of the most memorable characters have been what is called sub par. None of the ability scores above an 11. I was playing an old man and purposefully made it so I can barely see and was a wizard. Man some of the things I had fun with and the group was falling out of their chairs and created similar characters too because it was fun. Not balanced in any way.

The game is not just about being the hero, because that is what the game seems to imply does not mean you HAVE to play the hero. There are so many differing ways to "play" the hero. I just want to have fun is what it boils down to I guess. I do not feel I need to be respected because of my blade prowess and the need to play zorro. That is not the way I play a character. I know some that want to do as much but I try and make sure that they know just because they WANT to play that way does not make it that way.

So in other words, you selfishly dragged your party down and they said screw it and made joke characters themselves?

The word that comes to mind here is "Saboteur".


Steve Geddes wrote:
I find it very odd that people chime in on the threads they don't care about. Why not let those who are cluey about game theory discuss the relative strengths and weaknesses of various builds and classes to their heart's content? . . .

+1 for that, sir! :
I would love to remove the "Submit Post" button until "Preview" had been used, and then, when you've looked over your comment for at least 30 seconds, have a button that says, "I hereby certify that this message contributes substantially to the conversation currently being held in this forum." But, alas, this is only a dream.
There are a number of ways to understand the term "Game Balance" and a number of reasons to pursue it. I believe the most useful interpretation of "Balanced" in an RPG setting is, "Having rules that do not interfere with the ability of every player to have a satisfying role in the events portrayed." I've played, game mastered, and co-written games in various mediums and genres, and something that perspective has taught me is that it's better to have no rule at all than to have a bad rule.

Freeform roleplaying is full of examples of this, because it has no written rules. To play a freeform game, get some friends together, describe a setting to them and either ask what they would like to play, or describe characters to each of them. Describe an event that occurs and ask them what they would like to do! That's it. Everyone tells a story together, with each player taking the part of a character, and the GM narrating the rest.

As you slowly add rules to a game, you'll see a few different effects they have. First, setting and character building guidelines add structure to people's behavior and, more importantly, to their expectations. Then, other rules will guide how stories progress within that world.

For instance:
If you pick up a Pathfinder book to start playing, you'll quickly fall in line with the general expectations of a fantasy game, in a mythical Tolkienesque world, with a storyline that emphasizes a heroic journey of a band of exceptional individuals who become very powerful over time.

The more detailed the rules are, and the more closely they are adhered to, the more influence they have on the stories being told. To give an example outside of D&D/PF, the RPG Vampire:The Masquerade has a morality system that makes a character roll their "Conscience" attribute when they do something bad or inhuman (killing) and if you continually do inhuman acts, eventually your character looses touch with humanity and descends into bestial madness. That influences how the game is played! Playing a sociopathic mass murderer is just not supported, because the character will quickly turn into a ravaging, barely sentient, NPC.

Pathfinder has a lot of detailed rules relating to combat, making it clear that combats are intended to be played on in great detail, and with some frequency. It's unlikely anyone is playing Pathfinder and ignoring AC, BAB, and weapon damage! So, when the battle is played out where the fighter says, "I'll charge the hideous minion of Lord Zod, laying into the monster with a rain of steel." the GM says (or maybe doesn't even have to say), "Roll to hit, don't forget the +2 for charging."

If the rogue says, "Staying in the shadows of the dimly let temple, I'll cautiously work my way around behind the alter. When I'm there, I'll leap out and stab Lord Zod in the back, ending the necromancer's reign of terror!" Then the GM says, "Roll stealth, don't forget you move at half speed." Then, a couple turns later, "You're behind the alter, and Lord Zod is 10' away." So the rogue takes a move action to cover the 10', makes another stealth check, makes an attack against the unaware necromancer, rolls to hit, and rolls damage.

So, if we use a set of rules in which a fighter charging a hideous monster and doing battle toe-to-toe is effective, ans where surprising an unarmored necromancer and assassinating him from behind is also effective, we'll end up telling a story where both characters had meaningful and important roles. If we use a system where the fighter's tactic is effective but where sneak/stab at 6th level and has a 50% chance to miss and does 4d6 damage against a necromancer with 40 hit points, well, the rules have now interfered with the role the rogue (and possibly the GM and other players as well) imagined himself playing in the story.

There are a few responses to the way rules effect play. One is to ignore the rules when they don't tell the story you wanted. That's a perfectly good method (for some people anyway, others hate it) but not one that drives people to an internet forum for help. Another method is to alter the rules so that they support the stories you want to tell. That can be done with house rules (there's a house rules forum for that), or by having the published rules changed (there's a playtest forum for that), or by working carefully within the existing rules (There are plenty of forum threads about optimization.).

House rules, game development, and optimization are all ways to make the game support the stories we want to tell!

There are a lot of important choices to make:
Of course, the first choice you make in deciding what rules will influence your stories is your choice of game system. If you only want to describe detailed combat with strategy depended outcomes, never character or conversation, you'll pick D&D Minis or Warhammer. If you only want to describe character and conversation, but never want math to interfere with outcomes, you'll eschew rules entirely.

Published tabletop RPGs exist within a range between these extremes. If you place games along a rules continuum where Left is Liberal and Right has Rules, Pathfinder is near the far right end of that metric. In fact, D&D 4e and Pathfinder arguable make up the farthest right point among popular RPGs. Pathfinder is built with strict and detailed rules-enforcement in mind. So, we're all playing a game on the far rules-end of the spectrum, and participating in a forum where it is less than helpful to discuss ignoring the rules, but where we have rules experts to help solve rules issues, we're going to talk about the rules!

Whether we state it explicitly or not, and we usually don't, we're mostly here to talk about how to get together with our friends and use Pathfinder to tell epic stories about fantasy heroes and villains. Sometimes you have to either build your Monk very carefully or give him a better attack bonus to make that happen.

[/essay]


TriOmegaZero wrote:
The Mighty Grognard wrote:
The only way to ensure that all classes are balanced against each other is simple: only have one class.

But you still won't have balanced characters that way, thanks to feat, skill, and equipment selections.

I must say i find your position to be stifling and close-minded. We may have to just disagree as well.

:D Read my post closer, please. I never said anything about balanced ~characters~, only balanced ~classes~. The stifling and close-minded parts were intended - even I admitted it would be no fun.

Grand Lodge

CoDzilla wrote:
Deanoth wrote:

Some of the most memorable characters have been what is called sub par. None of the ability scores above an 11. I was playing an old man and purposefully made it so I can barely see and was a wizard. Man some of the things I had fun with and the group was falling out of their chairs and created similar characters too because it was fun. Not balanced in any way.

The game is not just about being the hero, because that is what the game seems to imply does not mean you HAVE to play the hero. There are so many differing ways to "play" the hero. I just want to have fun is what it boils down to I guess. I do not feel I need to be respected because of my blade prowess and the need to play zorro. That is not the way I play a character. I know some that want to do as much but I try and make sure that they know just because they WANT to play that way does not make it that way.

So in other words, you selfishly dragged your party down and they said screw it and made joke characters themselves?

The word that comes to mind here is "Saboteur".

So what you got from my statement is that I made a joke character, and sabotaged the entire group? Glad you completely missed my point.

I personally did not see it as a "bad" character like you seem to have done. I took it and played it and had fun.. taking bad rolls and making it better in my opinion. I did not just throw it away in the trash like you would seem to do. When my group saw that I was having fun they did not see it the way you do either.

So glad you would throw something away like that and try and even belittle me in that way because I do not play like you.. Would you like a cookie now?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
The Mighty Grognard wrote:

:D Read my post closer, please. I never said anything about balanced ~characters~, only balanced ~classes~. The stifling and close-minded parts were intended - even I admitted it would be no fun.

Precisely why I did not dispute your statement. But well played sir! I like the cut of your jib. :)


CoDzilla wrote:

So in other words, you selfishly dragged your party down and they said screw it and made joke characters themselves?

The word that comes to mind here is "Saboteur".

No, he said they had so much fun laughing and playing with his non-heroic character that they all decided to make non-heroic characters.

He didn't sabotage their game, he just convinced them all to turn off "The Lord of the Rings" and watch "Mony Python and The Holy Grail" instead. They're both great films, and both styles of game can be great fun.


CoDzilla wrote:


So in other words, you selfishly dragged your party down and they said screw it and made joke characters themselves?

The word that comes to mind here is "Saboteur".

Not every adventure or campaign must be competitive at the max. Sometimes you just want to dick around.

Flash News: more than one Gamestyle exist.


The Mighty Grognard wrote:
In the end, "balance", like "beauty" and "worth" are all in the eye of the beholder.

I disagree. I think that "Balance" in a game system can be measured objectively in many cases. We might not always realize it because the publishers of Pathfinder and their many illustrious predecessors have already done such a fine job of balancing their game before we ever came along. Such a good job, in fact, that it's arguable whether they've left any unbalance at all. That's the "argument" we're having here today!

Go play a few poorly written games, and I think you'll agree.

The Mighty Grognard wrote:
If ~trying~ to attain perfection makes a person happy, more power to them...so long as it isn't at the expense of others.

Trying to move toward that moving and multiple goal of perfection is exactly the job of a game designer. It's never accomplished without at least some expense to someone's idea of how a game should go, but since they don't come to your house and burn all your 1st edition books when 2nd edition is published, you're always free to ignore changes.

The fact that we're all here discussing Pathfinder rather than D&D 4e is testament to that.

Liberty's Edge

Morain wrote:

Complete Balance is the LAST thing I want to see in Pathfinder.

God forbid this game turn into 4e, and just be about the combat.

I agree completely.

But I do worry about power creep, so I do worry about making sure stuff that gets added doesn't lead to gamebreaking cheese builds.

I would love more varient options for flavor, but mechanical changed need to be handled with care.

Dark Archive

Kaiyanwang wrote:
CoDzilla wrote:


So in other words, you selfishly dragged your party down and they said screw it and made joke characters themselves?

The word that comes to mind here is "Saboteur".

Not every adventure or campaign must be competitive at the max. Sometimes you just want to dick around.

Flash News: more than one Gamestyle exist.

But all these "casual" players blast a competitive player's viewpoints. Especially when it comes to the same argument of "RPing the most important, that's all that matters".

They both matter. For me, RP matters more than mechanics. But I hate the rules not being able to support my fun idea, especially if we use RAW. For example, fighters pretty much HAVE to have heavy armor, or else they cannot stand up. It's incredibly annoying to try and make a fun character, and then find out that fun character can't do anything useful other than not to engage in what he is suppose to be able to do.

That's why I want balance. I want the engine to be able to support these goofy ideas I might have, and not to be punished for it. It'd be nice for a fighter not to rely on magic items, but that's fantasy, not fact.


The Mighty Grognard wrote:

The only way to ensure that all classes are balanced against each other is simple: only have one class.

Doesn't sound like much fun to me.

Youa re aware that some games don't have classes at all, aren't you?

Dark Archive

ciretose wrote:
Morain wrote:

Complete Balance is the LAST thing I want to see in Pathfinder.

God forbid this game turn into 4e, and just be about the combat.

I agree completely.

But I do worry about power creep, so I do worry about making sure stuff that gets added doesn't lead to gamebreaking cheese builds.

I would love more varient options for flavor, but mechanical changed need to be handled with care.

Nobody wants complete balance anyways. Even the people who want balance doesn't say complete balance.

But Paizo giving players what they want will always result in power creep. Even if 5 feats suck, 1 feat will be good (or too good). The only way is for Paizo is really ramp up on playtesting, but that's difficult for any company, especially ones like Paizo where creativity is more important than balance.

These things will always have a power creep as long as there are additional rules added to them. RPGs, video games, CCGs, board games, etc, it doesn't matter.


BYC,What you said about PC concepts is IMHO true 100%. But is not related with the fact that if I play a PC just to dick around, I'm a "saboteur".

One cannot assume that every campaign is in "nightmare" difficult mode. I ran campaigns both dealing with Archfiends and with Burp Challenges with ogres.

Sometimes are different moments of the same campaing.


BYC wrote:
But all these "casual" players blast a competitive player's viewpoints. Especially when it comes to the same argument of "RPing the most important, that's all that matters".

Lets not generalize please. I have never really seen a roleplaying purist like that on these boards.

I respect optimization as mental exercise, and the only time I ever blast an optimizer is when they are being a jerk or making incredible claims without evidence. Even then, I'm careful to state that it is a legitimate play style, and while I don't game that way I read their posts to inform my own GMing skills.

Sorting everyone into categories like "casual players" and "competitive players" isn't really all that helpful to begin with, but it becomes toxic when people insist that we're all at each other's throats. We're not. We're really not.

There's a vast spectrum of play styles, and most people are somewhere in the middle. Like me. I love to role play, but I kill PCs. I would never, ever play a game where all players and the GM pushed the envelope until there were only a few options, but I do read about the effects of extreme optimization for my own insight. There's lots of us in the middle. Don't spread the rumor that it is just two sides at war.


Deanoth wrote:


My point is that there is no Aquaman like character in this game unless YOU the player creates him as thus. As some have mentioned if a DM allows a fighter with all skill focus feats then that DM is not being very helpful, but again if the player despite the DM's advice still decides to use all skill focus feats then that is the players choice.

If a player focuses on all the math of a character then the player is missing the other half of character generation and that is the personality, the being that is your character. It is not JUST the numbers but yes there is numbers involved and it just seems that there is to MUCH focus on those numbers then the other part.

Something I feel obligated to point out, even though I haven't finished reading the thread and others have probably already addressed it, is that it is entirely possible to build strong, mechanically optimal characters that have deep, moving, unique, living personalities. Hell, most of the optimizers I know are very good roleplayers, and most of the poor roleplayers I know also are terrible with the mechanics.

Obviously there is a huge middle ground in-between these two groups comprised of good roleplayers who are decent with the rules, and there are also going to be exceptions.

Dark Archive

Kaiyanwang wrote:

BYC,What you said about PC concepts is IMHO true 100%. But is not related with the fact that if I play a PC just to dick around, I'm a "saboteur".

One cannot assume that every campaign is in "nighmare" difficult mode. I ran campaigns both dealing with Archfiends and with Burp Challenges with ogres.

Sometimes are different moments of the same campaing.

I'm certainly not accusing you of doing so. I was more commenting that casual players get way too defensive about these things. Vice versa is true as well. Players who actively sabotage I usually immediately deal with at the table, in front of everybody. I don't tolerate that for a second.

I've always been okay with my active choices for not having a optimal character. But I am not so okay with my characters not working because the engine cannot support it. In many cases, it's not because I'm doing it wrong (like making a melee wizard), but that the rules do not support my ideas very well (like duelist types or swashbucklers).


LazarX wrote:
Waffle_Neutral wrote:


I want to see more threads complaining about DnD from a purely theatrical approach. How come only Halflings can take the Child-like feat? I just want to play a human child. Like the one from Robocop 2.

The Anime RPG forums are that way -------------->

But... Robocop 2 isn't anime... nor are a dozen or so other child main characters I can think of.

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