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


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Because if we aren't balanced we just fall over.


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.

Could you please explain why (without referencing the potential for classes to fall into 'sameness' because it's entirely possible to avoid that pitfall while balancing the game) you think the game would get worse if it got more balanced?


Deanoth 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.

+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.

While this is 'partly' right, I know that, speaking for myself, I know I certainly don't want all the classes to be alike. I want them to all have similar levels of contribution, to each be able to pull their own weight, but each and every class should be unique and independent, with their own style, own approach, and own methods. As you say later in the post, I want everybody to have their own niche, and for that niche to be just as powerful and valuable as everybody else's niche.


Because if I don't care enough to want to fix the flaws in something I don't need it. If I'm not going to make sure the classes are balanced (for whatever definition of balance I use) then I do not need the classes.


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.

This post confuses the hell out of me. You make a huge point out of saying it's ok to play in other ways, and then your last sentence basically says that just because other people want to play some other way that it's not ok?

Please tell me I'm misinterpreting that.

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

@Deanoth

Could you still make your Wizard you spoke of with fully balanced classes? Just because thegame is balanced doesn't detract from the roleplaying aspect. In fact, some DMs and players still roll for stats, make older characters, and make roleplaying decisions for feats, spells, equipment, etc.

It does however make it easier for someone who doesn't understand the intricacies of the game to jump in and play something that sounds/looks cool and have fun with it. In an old 3.5 campaign we had a group of 6 people in the party at one point and one person decided he wanted to play an Elocater. It sounds cool, but against well played clerics and wizards he just felt useless in combat. He eventually stopped playing probably partly because of this very reason... even though the DM specifically gave him wonderful loot way above his level to try to even it out. Even with the extra WBL he couldn't compete. Him leaving actually cascaded into the entire campaign stopping. I personally don't see how balance hurts roleplaying, but I can definitely can see how imbalance can hurt a game.

Liberty's Edge

Justin Franklin wrote:
Because if we aren't balanced we just fall over.

I just get more wear and tear on one side than the other. I'm only slightly unbalanced.


*pecks at legs to cause imbalances*

Liberty's Edge

I. R. Bird wrote:
*pecks at legs to cause imbalances*

You always did rub me the wrong way... ;)


I assume that so much of the discussion about this topic stems from the issue that many more of Role Play aspects are much more subjective and specific to the group of players at the table. This means that the "Cloud" part of the game cannot be really discussed here. However, the "Crunch" which is the mechanics are printed and in use (in some form or another what with 3PP, backwards compatability, house rules etc.) by everyone playing the game (and those not playing but merely theorycrafting from the books/PDF's). That means it is easier to discuss how the crunch favors/disfavors a class, build, or concept much more that how your gaming groups focus (or dismissal)of role playing, thematic elements, storytelling bent etc.

I can post my 20 Point "How I approach the hobby of Gaming."

I am sure I will get many vociferous differences of opinion about the points I lay out, but at the end of the day no one can say that I am "doing it wrong" only that they sure as heck wouldn't do it that way.

Arguing about the rules people can "be right" which many people and our european culture based societies place a high value on.


kyrt-ryder 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.
Could you please explain why (without referencing the potential for classes to fall into 'sameness' because it's entirely possible to avoid that pitfall while balancing the game) you think the game would get worse if it got more balanced?

Someone asked me that same thing on page 2 of this thread, so I'll just copy paste what I wrote there:

"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."


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.

Should 100 novice players who don't (yet) know better have to unintentionally play Aquaman just so you have the option of playing Aquaman as an underdog challenge?

It's a difficult question. I'd say no, but then I don't like the way 4E solved the problem, either.


Studpuffin wrote:
I. R. Bird wrote:
*pecks at legs to cause imbalances*
You always did rub me the wrong way... ;)

Get a room :P


While SOME people may take their obsession with balance too far, I am, for the most part, glad that many people worry about it for me. I'm not smart enough to do the "numbers-crunching" optimization, and don't play enough to find it all out by experience. I'm glad that other people have figured out during playtesting that some things are unbalanced, so that can be fixed before I buy the game.

I've said it on other threads, and I'll say it again. While taking balance too far can make a boring game, SOME BALANCE IS NECESSARY!!! If you disagree, just try playing Basic D&D, with a first-level magic user PC. Once you cast your one spell, you'll get so bored twiddling your thumbs the rest of the game day and trying to avoid combat. Sooner or later, you won't be able to STAND it anymore, and you'll charge into battle and get killed.

Okay, so I'm exagerrating. I have played a FEW magic users who survived to 2nd level. But I wouldn't sell any life-insurance policies to 1st-level magic users. Balance is one of the main reasons I came to regard 3.X (including Pathfinder) as THE D&D.

ZangRavnos wrote:

Along the lines that this is a storytelling game:

I would like to see some people (I refer mostly to forum trolls that booboobooboo over imbalance and in a very rude manner) read a book and complain to me about how much the antagonist was stronger than the protagonist and should have won and therefore the book needs to be rewritten in order to reflect realistic balance of sides....

That would make me giggle.

The obvious difference is that a book is entirely scripted. It's easy to write that a weaker character defeats a stronger one. In an RPG, the statistics and the dice make the odds REAL. It's one of the main things that make an RPG a different experience from reading a book. If, due to hard work, careful strategy, or just dumb luck, the PCs triumph over seemingly impossible odds, it's a real victory. In a prewritten story, it's to be expected. That's why the "some people" you mention won't make that complaint about a book.

Evil Lincoln wrote:
Most people come to the forums so they can discuss the game as a substitute for actually playing the game.

Heh. Guilty as charged. Due to recent changes in my life, I haven't been able to play for months and months, except when playing Basic D&D with my children. Hence my griping. Until I can really play again... HEY YOU KIDS! GET OFF MY LAWN!

(Yes, Evil Lincoln, I know that I quoted you out of context. Kind of ties into the whole "cranky old man" thing.)

Liberty's Edge

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Studpuffin wrote:
I. R. Bird wrote:
*pecks at legs to cause imbalances*
You always did rub me the wrong way... ;)
Get a room :P

*poops on kyrt-ryder's car*


And by the way, never mind playing Aquaman. How about playing the Atom? I'm referring to the Al Pratt, the Atom, as he was originally created, when his sole power was... being short. And there he was, in the same team with basically omnipotent heroes such as the Spectre and Dr. Fate. You don't think balance is important? Think about THAT.


Morain wrote:
kyrt-ryder 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.
Could you please explain why (without referencing the potential for classes to fall into 'sameness' because it's entirely possible to avoid that pitfall while balancing the game) you think the game would get worse if it got more balanced?

Someone asked me that same thing on page 2 of this thread, so I'll just copy paste what I wrote there:

"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."

Except that's not necessarily true. You don't have to sacrifice diversity among classes (such as the cool abilities of some classes) OR the ability to play an underdog. One can just as easily play an underdog by playing a character of lower level, or with lower ability scores, or both.


Aaron Bitman wrote:

While SOME people may take their obsession with balance too far, I am, for the most part, glad that many people worry about it for me. I'm not smart enough to do the "numbers-crunching" optimization, and don't play enough to find it all out by experience. I'm glad that other people have figured out during playtesting that some things are unbalanced, so that can be fixed before I buy the game.

In the spirit of this, I'd like to point out that we have a Pathfinder basically because Jason Bulmahn said, perhaps in not so many words: "I like 3.5, but I think I can make it better."


Aaron Bitman wrote:
And by the way, never mind playing Aquaman. How about playing the Atom? I'm referring to the Al Pratt, the Atom, as he was originally created, when his sole power was... being short. And there he was, in the same team with basically omnipotent heroes such as the Spectre and Dr. Fate. You don't think balance is important? Think about THAT.

Atom still stepped in and broke his foot off in quite a few villains asses, though. His super-power wasn't just being short, it was being the angry short guy who knew how to fight because he was picked on for being short his whole life.

See Also: Puck.


Dire Mongoose 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.

Should 100 novice players who don't (yet) know better have to unintentionally play Aquaman just so you have the option of playing Aquaman as an underdog challenge?

It's a difficult question. I'd say no, but then I don't like the way 4E solved the problem, either.

Hnn. Good point.


Dire Mongoose wrote:
Aaron Bitman wrote:

While SOME people may take their obsession with balance too far, I am, for the most part, glad that many people worry about it for me. I'm not smart enough to do the "numbers-crunching" optimization, and don't play enough to find it all out by experience. I'm glad that other people have figured out during playtesting that some things are unbalanced, so that can be fixed before I buy the game.

In the spirit of this, I'd like to point out that we have a Pathfinder basically because Jason Bulmahn said, perhaps in not so many words: "I like 3.5, but I think I can make it better."

It's the angle I'm approaching my 3.5 homebrew from.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Studpuffin wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Studpuffin wrote:
I. R. Bird wrote:
*pecks at legs to cause imbalances*
You always did rub me the wrong way... ;)
Get a room :P
*poops on kyrt-ryder's car*

Didn't know you were in to that.


Balance is when my wizard does a thing and everyone else watches.

Alternately: Wizard/rogue/monk? How come everyone who hates balance tends to have no idea what a powerful character is?

Dark Archive

Freehold DM wrote:
Aaron Bitman wrote:
And by the way, never mind playing Aquaman. How about playing the Atom? I'm referring to the Al Pratt, the Atom, as he was originally created, when his sole power was... being short. And there he was, in the same team with basically omnipotent heroes such as the Spectre and Dr. Fate. You don't think balance is important? Think about THAT.

Atom still stepped in and broke his foot off in quite a few villains asses, though. His super-power wasn't just being short, it was being the angry short guy who knew how to fight because he was picked on for being short his whole life.

See Also: Puck.

That's not a power.

That's way of life! :)


ProfessorCirno wrote:

Balance is when my wizard does a thing and everyone else watches.

Alternately: Wizard/rogue/monk? How come everyone who hates balance tends to have no idea what a powerful character is?

Because they don't care enough about the mechanics to actually learn what is powerful and what is not?

(I honestly have no idea why, just throwing out a guess)


Aaron Bitman wrote:
(Yes, Evil Lincoln, I know that I quoted you out of context. Kind of ties into the whole "cranky old man" thing.)

Actually, Aaron, I'm glad anyone read it at all, and I think it was a fair use. You actually sort of prove my point: the reason you can't play and post on the forums instead largely determines the type of poster you are.

For example, I am a GM and I have a weekly game. I like to consider all the angles, which means I often read posts from the envelope-pushers so I can better understand the extremes, even though my game is nothing like that. I am also a student with a procrastination problem. My favorite kind of posters to respond to are GMs seeking advice for specifics. I like how it sharpens my GM chops.

You're not here for an intellectual challenge in character creation, but you find the extremes interesting as well.

Some people are here to measure themselves against the other gamers.

It all makes sense to me! I think.

But anyway, keeping on-topic, that's why I get into balance discussions, although I rarely weigh in on the balance directly. I mostly read other people's posts on the issue, and only comment if I can be helpful, or if something really annoys me. I should cut back on the latter. As a GM, you need to know what the common balance complaints are so you can nip them in the bud, usually (in my case) through world-control rather than rules-control.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Morain wrote:

Someone asked me that same thing on page 2 of this thread, so I'll just copy paste what I wrote there:

"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."

I'm still not seeing the logical connection between seeking balance and being bland, dull and boring, or (for that matter) having other classes "losing some of their coolest abilities," as you put it. Consider the barbarian variants in APG. I haven't played any of them, but the observation was made upthread somewhere that they made the barbarian a much more viable character class option. That's balance--and it happened without any other class being nerfed.

Grand Lodge

kyrt-ryder wrote:


While this is 'partly' right, I know that, speaking for myself, I know I certainly don't want all the classes to be alike. I want them to all have similar levels of contribution, to each be able to pull their own weight, but each and every class should be unique and independent, with their own style, own approach, and own methods. As you say later in the post, I want everybody to have their own niche, and for that niche to be just as powerful and valuable as everybody else's niche.

You talk about how you want the classes to each have similar levels of contribution, but what makes you think that they don't so far? Fighters fit where they do, Rangers and rogues each have their own unique areas, Clerics, Wizards and Sorc, each are spell casters and a Barbarian and monk are both mobile fighters with the ability to take damage in a way... obviously the Barbarian is better at taking damage.

They are each good at what they do and the player that plays them makes them each unique.. so you ARE getting what you wanted. But as far as power level why does that truly matter when the power level is contributed to the group and is participatory in order for the group to survive as a whole.


Deanoth wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:


While this is 'partly' right, I know that, speaking for myself, I know I certainly don't want all the classes to be alike. I want them to all have similar levels of contribution, to each be able to pull their own weight, but each and every class should be unique and independent, with their own style, own approach, and own methods. As you say later in the post, I want everybody to have their own niche, and for that niche to be just as powerful and valuable as everybody else's niche.

You talk about how you want the classes to each have similar levels of contribution, but what makes you think that they don't so far? Fighters fit where they do, Rangers and rogues each have their own unique areas, Clerics, Wizards and Sorc, each are spell casters and a Barbarian and monk are both mobile fighters with the ability to take damage in a way... obviously the Barbarian is better at taking damage.

They are each good at what they do and the player that plays them makes them each unique.. so you ARE getting what you wanted. But as far as power level why does that truly matter when the power level is contributed to the group and is participatory in order for the group to survive as a whole.

Because Monks, Rangers, Barbarians, and Fighters in PF core simply are NOT good enough at what they do, and do NOT do enough things to be viable contributors.

I don't want to turn this thread into a balance debate when it's supposed to be a discussion of logic and reason, so let me sum my oppinion up with this. In mid to high level play (somewhere betweehn 5th and 9th level on, depending on the group), non-casters cease to be relevant in core, based on my own experiences.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
I don't want to turn this thread into a balance debate when it's supposed to be a discussion of logic and reason, so let me sum my oppinion up with this. In mid to high level play (somewhere betweehn 5th and 9th level on, depending on the group), non-casters cease to be relevant in core, based on my own experiences.

What sometimes is missed is that the experience and mechanical rigor of your players is a big factor in to what degree this is or isn't true.

So you end up with giant threads of people talking at cross-purposes because the Deanoths of the world aren't playing with people with the mechanical rigor/experience that exposes the bald spots in the system and can't help but feel like everyone who's talking about them is some kind of ultra-optimization nutjob, and the kyrt-ryders of the world for whom the bald spots are now so obvious that they're not sure how you can even argue about them.

We don't always realize it but we're often don't agree on the same basic premises and any discussion that glosses over this is doomed to failure.

Dark Archive

Dire Mongoose wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I don't want to turn this thread into a balance debate when it's supposed to be a discussion of logic and reason, so let me sum my oppinion up with this. In mid to high level play (somewhere betweehn 5th and 9th level on, depending on the group), non-casters cease to be relevant in core, based on my own experiences.

What sometimes is missed is that the experience and mechanical rigor of your players is a big factor in to what degree this is or isn't true.

So you end up with giant threads of people talking at cross-purposes because the Deanoths of the world aren't playing with people with the mechanical rigor/experience that exposes the bald spots in the system and can't help but feel like everyone who's talking about them is some kind of ultra-optimization nutjob, and the kyrt-ryders of the world for whom the bald spots are now so obvious that they're not sure how you can even argue about them.

We don't always realize it but we're often don't agree on the same basic premises and any discussion that glosses over this is doomed to failure.

People can still deny there's a gap, but I think even PF shows there was a gap in 3.5, and that PF was an attempt to close that gap. Just look at all the SoD spells. Most of them are nerfed in duration and allows additional saves even if the initial save was failed. Nonetheless, there's still a gap, and I hope that gap can be lessened even further.


I was once in a game where, at a relatively low level, one player was given access to the artifact level orb of dragonkind (Red).

This made the one player outrageously over powered compared to the rest of the party. It was fun at first- but eventually it devolved into what was more or less a video game on "God mode". Orb carrier moved forward, used it to kill mobs, we looted, leveled, moved on.

No risk. No fun.

Only one guy was in the lime light- and even that was just because of the danged orb. Needless to say- the campaign didn't last long. We all got bored and left.

Balance to me isn't about each class being cookie cutter of each other. Its about each class being strong enough to hold its own and be part of the group. If you are a commoner in a group of archmagi then what's the fun? What's the point? You want to be useful and to contribute. You want to have some effect on the plotline beyond "I follow the guy with the orb and loot whatever he kills".

Balance isn't being able to do everything and defend against everything- its about everyone in the group being useful often enough to justify being in the group.

That is the search for balance. Its the search for having fun.

-S


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.

Yes, but they could be way more interesting and entertaining people than the football players. And once the match ends, they might have great lives to live, and a whole night of entertainment in front of them.


Bluenose wrote:
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.

In my actual campaign, I gave the players a campaign guide and made them choose the character level of their PC without even checking what levels the others were. We come up with a 16th level character playing with a 5th level, an 8th and a 9th.

Everybody enjoyed himself, we didn't have any problem with "balance".
And no, they still don't know what class or level the other characters are, I asked them to hide their sheets during play. Nothing drives me mad like hearing a player telling another which spell he should cast.


For the the goal of perfect balance across all levels of play with every possible combination of classes isn't really an achievable goal within the 3.x framework.

4e is able to achieve class balance by focusing balance on in combat utility, stripping out a bunch of old school effects, through ruthless errata updates, and by making NPC work on completely different mechanics than PCs.

That isn't to say that Pathfinder couldn't make improvements in regards to balance. The problem is that it's difficult to maintain balance while also keeping the old zero-to-hero mechanical progression and the old alternating character spotlight mechanics. A lot of the theoretical balance between casters and non-casters is predicated on encounter designs that really didn't work in practice. It's also predicated on the GM giving the skill classes something to do while the combat classes clean the table during combat encounters.

System Mastery and Trap Classes/Features are a bad design for cooperative play. It works great for competitive games like MtG especially because new material gets cycled in and broken stuff gets cycled out. 3.x doesn't purge the broken from the game, it relies on the GM do that work. I think that's a relatively poor model.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Beek Gwenders of Croodle wrote:


And no, they still don't know what class or level the other characters are, I asked them to hide their sheets during play.

I find this hard to believe, unless they are all playing melee characters. Even then, some things will give them away. I'm pretty sure they have reasonable guesses.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Beek Gwenders of Croodle wrote:


And no, they still don't know what class or level the other characters are, I asked them to hide their sheets during play.
I find this hard to believe, unless they are all playing melee characters. Even then, some things will give them away. I'm pretty sure they have reasonable guesses.

Of course they do, after all some rolls were revealing of some game mechanics, yet there is ample space for imagination. They know who is the most skilled at doing something, but I wanted them to stay "in characters" and reduce metagaming to the minimum physiologically possible.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It's a fascinating idea, either way. Don't think I could get my players to go along with it tho. I plan on asking them what level band they prefer after finishing our current AP, and if they want to stick in that band with slower leveling in the next game.


To make a post that actually addresses the topic itself (yeah, I surprised myself too), I thought I might as well post why I'm so obsessed with balance (and in my personal case, it is indeed an obsession.)

I grew up in a 'videogame culture' so to speak, started playing games at the age of two. Long before I was a teenager, I was already analyzing the games, determining strengths, weaknesses, and deciding how I would have made the game more fair if I'd done it myself.

From there, I went into play by post diceless games (with solid rules behind them) again always criticizing the balance and fairness of the systems. At one point, one of the admins at a site I played at asked me if I was so sure of myself why not make my own game.

One thing led to another, and my addiction to balance and rules tweaking continued to expand, all the way through my introduction to D&D about four years ago, and have constantly been tinkering with the rules, making adjustments here and there to balance the system.

In short, my obsession with game balance started a LONG time ago, and it's pretty much become a part of who I am. When I see a system, it's in my nature to tear it apart, and try to see how it can be better.

Liberty's Edge

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.

Newsflash: More than one play style works regardless of what the rules are (i.e. the numbers don't matter). More than one play style only works if the rules are mathematically sound (i.e. the numbers do matter).

Guess who's opinion is relevant in a mechanical (mathematical) rules discussion?

Liberty's Edge

I like the comparison an early poster made.

I don't like being Superman (the min-maxed wizard with 20 int) but I don't want to be Aquaman either (useless).

True balance probably isn't possible and probably isn't needed, but everyone needs to be capable of doing something that makes them feel special/important/needed/whatever.

My characters are never min-maxed but I find myself having to push the envelop so that my 'strong guy' character stays stronger than the monk or my 'wilderness saavy' character stays more wilderness saavy than the wizard. Those are the types of imbalances that bother me.


I love how those that are against balance always say RPing is more important and yet completely ignore half the game (combat) I'd like to see that 10 int stupid wizard you made get into combat, or that party of a lvl 16 and lvl 5 go up against a CR 16 monster. Something tells me no matter how well they roleplay the wizard and the lvl 5 will be dead shortly. then we can watch you role play your now dead character. Whats the point of great roleplaying if your character cant do anything? sure your DM can ignore combat for a group that is just playing around but that's what the commoner class is for.

Seriously without balance someone who wants to play the theif does not even get to role play when the ranger walks in and does whatever you were going to do because they can do it better. Now the reason you dont want balance is stopping you from roleplaying because the imbalance of the classes made your characters skills and personality obsolete.


Shadow_of_death wrote:

I love how those that are against balance always say RPing is more important and yet completely ignore half the game (combat) I'd like to see that 10 int stupid wizard you made get into combat, or that party of a lvl 16 and lvl 5 go up against a CR 16 monster. Something tells me no matter how well they roleplay the wizard and the lvl 5 will be dead shortly. then we can watch you role play your now dead character. Whats the point of great roleplaying if your character cant do anything? sure your DM can ignore combat for a group that is just playing around but that's what the commoner class is for.

Seriously without balance someone who wants to play the theif does not even get to role play when the ranger walks in and does whatever you were going to do because they can do it better. Now the reason you dont want balance is stopping you from roleplaying because the imbalance of the classes made your characters skills and personality obsolete.

Well the wizard or level 5 could just run away from a CR16, not all encounters should (IMO) be level appropriate. Stats don't neccessarily make a PC's personality, his actions do. "I look under the bed" i find to be a better description than i roll perception check of 19. Of course its best to combine a desription with stats.

But back on topic, IMO balance is about having a niche and gelling with your party. Each PC should have areas that they specialise in, this can be quite difficult with casters who can generalise with spells to nearly compete with a specialist. The main reason for the rules to balance the game is too reduce/ mitigate the GM's work for balancing the game.


Shadow_of_death wrote:

I love how those that are against balance always say RPing is more important and yet completely ignore half the game (combat) I'd like to see that 10 int stupid wizard you made get into combat, or that party of a lvl 16 and lvl 5 go up against a CR 16 monster. Something tells me no matter how well they roleplay the wizard and the lvl 5 will be dead shortly. then we can watch you role play your now dead character. Whats the point of great roleplaying if your character cant do anything? sure your DM can ignore combat for a group that is just playing around but that's what the commoner class is for.

Seriously without balance someone who wants to play the theif does not even get to role play when the ranger walks in and does whatever you were going to do because they can do it better. Now the reason you dont want balance is stopping you from roleplaying because the imbalance of the classes made your characters skills and personality obsolete.

Well the wizard or level 5 could just run away from a CR16, not all encounters should (IMO) be level appropriate. Stats don't neccessarily make a PC's personality, his actions do. "I look under the bed" i find to be a better description than i roll perception check of 19. Of course its best to combine a desription with stats.

But back on topic, IMO balance is about having a niche and gelling with your party. Each PC should have areas that they specialise in, this can be quite difficult with casters who can generalise with spells to nearly compete with a specialist. The main reason for the rules to balance the game is too reduce/ mitigate the GM's work for balancing the game.


Saying "I look under bed" and then getting a perception 6 is equivalent to not having looked under the bed. If you were trying to further a story you may have just missed an important item because your character is incompetent.

I am all for encounters not always being level appropriate but it stops being fun when the lvl 16 never gets to stretch his legs ;)

I also agree on the balance. The only problem is some classes don't have a niche because another class has two or three niches that take care of it

Liberty's Edge

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anthony Valente wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
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.

Newsflash: More than one play style works regardless of what the rules are (i.e. the numbers don't matter). More than one play style only works if the rules are mathematically sound (i.e. the numbers do matter).

Guess who's opinion is relevant in a mechanical (mathematical) rules discussion?

Flash News!: You can play it both ways as is actually. Just as highly optimized games make certain classes and builds not viable, the other end of the spectrum makes certain encounters and monster not viable.

I'm not saying there isn't room for improvement in regards to class relevancy because there is. I'm just saying that you, as a GM, can build encounters that are "mechanically sound and appropriate challenges for non-optimized PCs by just following the rules. In either case, the players all have to be on the same page. You can't have some players optimizing to the nth power while others are playing a recreational game.

It's a big reason why most groups fall somewhere in the middle of the two extremes.

couldn't resist typing Flash News btw.

You can sit at a table with people and do all kinds of things. But, the group that says "all of the problems can be smoothed over by the GM" are irrelevant to a discussion by people trying to make things work smoothly without having to have the GM pull punches or make sure the people that hit things with sticks feel relevant past a certain point. The RULES should make the people who hit things with sticks relevant.

The problem is, Pathfinder is based on a game (which, unfortunately was mislabeled as "D&D") written by people working for a company whose biggest seller wasn't "People Hitting Things With a Stick: The Gathering". It sure isn't based on the game where hitting things with a stick was a valid career goal (that would be Dungeons and Dragons and/or Advanced Dungeons and Dragons).

3.x without splats does not allow martial type to be relevant in the middle to end game. Pathfinder barely corrected some of that. Pathfinder + APG corrected it a little more.

But, you know what? APG is a splat book. If martial characters need something other than just the Pathfinder Core Rulebook to keep up (a little) with casters, the game is flawed. Just like its predecessor.

Magic items are not a class feature. Fighters and Wizards get exactly the same WBL, Wizards just don't need it to be viable. So, Fighter v wizard - all but starting 1st level money at, say, 10th level? Wizard always wins. Fighter v wizard with WBL? Nothing changes. (this isn't arena, this is comparing class features in a cooperative setting).

Feats =/= spells. Past a certain point, the martial feats available had better compare to a spell a wizard can get at an equivalent level. They don't. They currently mostly allow condition additives that wizards get many levels before the "bab + whatever prereq" feats come online. Which feat allows a fighter to emulate a simple 3rd level spell (haste, fly)? Or even a second level spell (invisibility)? That would be "none".

Economy of action is a huge factor here. A wizard can get off his or her most powerful class feature (a spell) and nine times out of ten still move a full move. A fighter cannot move more than five feet and get off its biggest class feature (full attack) past level six. And a fighter cannot combat certain types of foes without help from the wizard, cleric or magic item, whereas wizards do not have that limitation. Wizards don't need fighters (a cleric or druid would fill that role and also be able to contribute full casting), but fighters do need wizards.

As long as action economy favors spellcasters (and it does), we are always going to argue martial types can't keep up.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Because Monks, Rangers, Barbarians, and Fighters in PF core simply are NOT good enough at what they do, and do NOT do enough things to be viable contributors.

See, ironically that's exactly the main reason why I don't like those balancing discussions or measures. It's never: "the casters are too strong, so we have to nerf them" but "the fighters are too weak so we have too make them stronger".

That's also the one (minor) gripe that I have with Pathfinder, namely that the Pathfinder classes are generally better than their 3.5 counterparts (in direct comparison).

It's basically the same as with discussions about optimizing. If one player plays a suboptimal character and the others optimize, then this player is generally held to be a detriment to the overall game experience. I've yet to hear the same thing about the one optimizing player in the group with all others playing "normal" characters.

So it's not that I dislike balancing per se (as long as character classes still stay different enough for me). What I dislike is that balancing tends to change the game in a direction I dislike. Even in 3.5 the power level led me to mainly play and run low-level games. To make classes better is (for me) a step in the wrong direction.

The Second thing being that I prefer magic to be stronger than the sword (and by extension: spell casters to be stronger than the rest). I'd rather play in a game where the players are forbidden to play a spell-caster than in a game where fighters are equal to spell-casters (in terms of power). For me, those interclass balance issues are a feature not a bug and to be honest, the day pathfinder succesfully "solves" those issues may be the day when I return to 3.5 (or stay Pathfinder 1.0^^).

I understand that this point of view possibly makes me a one-person minority so the designers would probably be well-advised to simply ignore me. But it has been asked before why balancing the game can be seen as detrimental and I wanted to add another argument apart from the "it's boring and bland" one.

Shadow_of_death wrote:
I love how those that are against balance always say RPing is more important and yet completely ignore half the game (combat)

And that's another thing. In my games, combat isn't nearly half the game. It's rather the exception than the rule. That's another reason why I don't care if my character can contribute to a fight as effectively as the others or not. Because she has plenty of opportunities to shine elsewhere. Again, if that makes me the minority, I've no problems with that. At the end of the day, I'm not here for the rules system but for the setting and the adventures, so what they do or don't is quite possibly not a big deal for me.


BYC wrote:
People can still deny there's a gap, but I think even PF shows there was a gap in 3.5, and that PF was an attempt to close that gap. Just look at all the SoD spells. Most of them are nerfed in duration and allows additional saves even if the initial save was failed. Nonetheless, there's still a gap, and I hope that gap can be lessened even further.

This is one of the things I've been talking about. It makes me sad to think of all those great spells that have been nerfed.

A friend of mine quit rpg's completely because he disagreed with all the nerfs going from 3.0 through 3.5 ending up in pathfinder.

I mean I can take it because I like playing the so called "lesser" classes as well, but I just hate the fact that so many spells have been nerfed, and people still want more because of some wierd class envy or whatnot. I really don't know.

Grand Lodge

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


See, ironically that's exactly the main reason why I don't like those balancing discussions or measures. It's never: "the casters are too strong, so we have to nerf them" but "the fighters are too weak so we have too make them stronger".

I'd like to point out Kirth's houserule of 'most spells are now full-round actions to cast' as an exception to your claim of 'never'. I myself also have a project to limit the number of spells clerics and druids have access to, instead of their entire spell list.

Liberty's Edge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:


See, ironically that's exactly the main reason why I don't like those balancing discussions or measures. It's never: "the casters are too strong, so we have to nerf them" but "the fighters are too weak so we have too make them stronger".

I'd like to point out Kirth's houserule of 'most spells are now full-round actions to cast' as an exception to your claim of 'never'. I myself also have a project to limit the number of spells clerics and druids have access to, instead of their entire spell list.

Yep. The problem isn't that spells do magical things, it's that they're so much easier to cast than swinging a sword twice is. Great effect should require great effort (and preclude moving 30 feet if somatic components are involved).

Magic is supposed to be magical. It just ain't supposed to be easy.

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