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


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Morain wrote:
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.

This post, and the post above it by wormysqueu is the reason why these discussions are so entertaining. Everybody's got such a strongly differing opinion.

While most of those of us doing big sweeping houserules for balance sake are augmenting non-casters and leaving spells alone (like Morain wants) it's the exact opposite of what Wormysqueu wants.

Incidentally, I'm of the mindset that magic shouldn't be better than martial skill. Just two different paths with different methods. A 20th level fighter should be no less capable than a 20th level wizard, just very different.


houstonderek wrote:
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.

This I agree with. Let magic be magical, let it be broad and sweeping. Let the meteorswarm blow up a town. It's all cool with me, but by the same token that 17th level fighter (who's practically a demigod by that point) should be capable of massive widescale destruction as well. Hammer to a standard brick castle wall? No more wall.


Morain wrote:
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.

So, again, your statement is "Balance is the wizard casting a spell while everyone else just watches"

Which is great for you, but some of us don't want to be wizards, but still want to contribute.

Flat out, I disagree with the assumption of "The wizard should be stronger then the fighter." Why? In what fantasy novel has that ever happened? In fact, in 90% of just about everything fantasy, the wizard is and does one of two things:

1) A wise old mentor that casts, maybe, three spells in the entire adventure. Heck, even Jack Vance's books cover this - Vancian wizards didn't fly around flinging fireballs, they used swashbucklermanship and magic items and sneakiness and guile. These are typically either NPCs or, as was previously stated, characters that had a very limited number of backup spells for emergencies.

2) An evil wizard that fails to cast a spell then dies when Conan throws a chair at him.

The D&D wizard exists...in D&D. And nowhere else. Not even in the pulp books D&D originates from do you see the D&D style wizard. No, in almost every case, the protagonist is the warrior or swordsman, and he most definitively does more things then "hit bad guy with stick."

The real issue is that the D&D ruleset was messily birthed from a wargame, where wizards were artillery and warriors were grunts. The problem, then, is as it was mishapenly evolved into D&D, one group got way more and cooler things then the other. The D&D wizard took Dying Earth, then added this book, then added that book, then added this spell, and that spell. "I have an idea!" "Make it into a spell!" "Ok!"

The warrior? He got nothing. The wizard went from basic artillery to a bizarre and horrifying mix and match of Merlin, Odin, and Gandalf, while the fighter went from being a grunt to staying as a grunt.


Conan usually picks them up over his head and either
1)throws them off of some place high
or
2)throws them into a brazier of hot coals; otherwise spot on.


Sometimes just for variety, Conan picks up a stone bench over his head throws that at them.

Liberty's Edge

Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:

Conan usually picks them up over his head and either

1)throws them off of some place high
or
2)throws them into a brazier of hot coals; otherwise spot on.

Problem is, Conan wasn't forced to use 3.x/Pf to build himself. Nor did he have to deal with 3.x/Pf spell casting. And he had a very forgiving DM.

Funny thing, Conan is a lot more scary in 1e than 3x, mostly because magic users weren't as scary in 1e.


Way I remember it, at low levels the guy gullible enough to play the wizard shot one spell per day then threw darts at s~$#;
however when he was 10th level he could kill C'thulhu.


Professor, you seem to be either purposely ignoring a huge body of fantasy literature from the modern period. Sure High Fantasy Tolkein knockoffs had the Wizards doing Wizard stuff in very subtle ways and Sword and Sorcery generally had the Wizard be a bad guy who mainly uses ritual magic but the Wizard as bad ass has been common since the mid-60s at least (Dr. Strange being one of the core examples- I assume Comic Books still count ;))

D&D style wizards dominate on the bookshelves, Goodkind, Jordan, Erikson, Rowling, etc. all have examples of the god wizard archetype. You could say that they all (possible exception for Rowling) are influenced by D&D wizards but the fact remains that the God Wizard has become relatively common in literature.

I also think the primary reason why Wizards are rarely the narrator is that a) they function poorly as an audience stand-in and b) are generally supposed to be sneaky and crafty. Sherlock Holmes stories are told from Watson's perspective for a reason after all.

I'm not saying that Warriors should be glorified bodyguards (Ars Magica already does that genre) but that pretending there isn't genre support for powerful wizards is disingenuous.

The essential problem is that while stories and comic books can handle the Aquaman problem (although Aquaman is actually pretty badass in actual comics if not in Superfriends land) unless there is something close to balance between options it's very easy create a game where people feel disenfranchised from the game.


vuron wrote:


D&D style wizards dominate on the bookshelves, Goodkind, Jordan, Erikson, Rowling, etc. all have examples of the god wizard archetype. You could say that they all (possible exception for Rowling) are influenced by D&D wizards but the fact remains that the God Wizard has become relatively common in literature.

It's a pretty interesting post Vuron, but the bolded part I disagree with. Being a strong Goodkind fan, I know enough about the magic to know it's got nothing in common with D&D wizards (at least, of the third edition sort.)

The magic that wizards can actually reliably do spontaneously in the moment is mostly blasty stuff. Wizard's fire, normal fire, hardened air, things of that sort. The fancy spells usually require time to focus on the casting and ritual components. And you'll never see a goodkind wizard flying under the power of his own magic (it was all Zedd, the most powerful and skilled additive only wizard in centuries, possibly ever, could do to just lighten himself enough that an 8 foot tall winged beast could fly him around, and doing so extremely tired him.)


kyrt-ryder wrote:

It's a pretty interesting post Vuron, but the bolded part I disagree with. Being a strong Goodkind fan, I know enough about the magic to know it's got nothing in common with D&D wizards (at least, of the third edition sort.)

The magic that wizards can actually reliably do spontaneously in the moment is mostly blasty stuff. Wizard's fire, normal fire, hardened air, things of that sort. The fancy spells usually require time to focus on the casting and ritual components. And you'll never see a goodkind wizard flying under the power of his own magic (it was all Zedd, the most powerful and skilled additive only wizard in centuries, possibly ever, could do to just lighten himself enough that an 8 foot tall winged beast could fly him around, and doing so extremely tired him.)

I knew I was perhaps overreaching in terms of Goodkind, in some ways his Wizards actually seem closer to 3.x Warlocks, but I was mainly refuting the perception that fantasy wizards need to be hidden masters ala Gandalf or blackhearted NPC wizards ala Thoth-Amon.

Even Urban Fantasy like the Dresden books have pretty epic magery.


I've got to agree with you on the Dresden Files. It seems Butcher's magic system draws pretty heavily on a mix of real world 'magik' that some people believe (and the mythology that it's drawn from) and D&D's magic.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
This I agree with. Let magic be magical, let it be broad and sweeping. Let the meteorswarm blow up a town. It's all cool with me, but by the same token that 17th level fighter (who's practically a demigod by that point) should be capable of massive widescale destruction as well. Hammer to a standard brick castle wall? No more wall.

I like your plan. Two things stop it from working, one mechanical, and one psychological.

First, the way abilities have been built in D&D, fighting abilities are infinitely repeatable, while magic abilities are extremely limited in repetition. Because of that, fighting mechanics must be weaker than individual spells. This is purely a problem of mechanics, however, and therefore solvable through mechanics. Either fighting types could be given more abilities with a limited number of uses per day, or casters could be given less powerful peak abilities, but allowed to use their powers more frequently. 4e did a little of both to bring the two types closer together, but in my opinion went a bit too far. That doesn't mean Pathfinder (or house rules) couldn't do a better job.

Second, and more difficult, there's a problem of psychology. When we imagine a magical fantasy world, we accept magic as part of the universe, and suspend our disbelief of impossible feats because we attribute them to magic - power level not withstanding! It's no more of a stretch to imagine Meteor Swarm than to imagine Burning Hands. On the other hand, fighting types do things that exist in the real world, so we try to picture those feats realistically. This isn't a problem in a super hero or anime game, but it definitely influences the design of Pathfinder.

ProfessorCirno wrote:
The real issue is that the D&D ruleset was messily birthed from a wargame, where wizards were artillery and warriors were grunts.

Thank you for the excellent historical reference!

I once ran a 3.5 game in a home-brew setting with less magic than typical D&D. Among other changes, Wizards were very rare, and took minutes instead of rounds to cast spells. Because of this, they avoided fighting, and only took to the battlefield when surrounded by guards. Essentially, counselors and artillery pieces used by kings. (Like Merlin to Arthur, Jafar in Aladdin.)

I made the game setting because, partially in response to player requests, I wanted to tell stories about strong and clever heroes in the Vancian tradition.


Blueluck wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
This I agree with. Let magic be magical, let it be broad and sweeping. Let the meteorswarm blow up a town. It's all cool with me, but by the same token that 17th level fighter (who's practically a demigod by that point) should be capable of massive widescale destruction as well. Hammer to a standard brick castle wall? No more wall.

I like your plan. Two things stop it from working, one mechanical, and one psychological.

First, the way abilities have been built in D&D, fighting abilities are infinitely repeatable, while magic abilities are extremely limited in repetition. Because of that, fighting mechanics must be weaker than individual spells. This is purely a problem of mechanics, however, and therefore solvable through mechanics. Either fighting types could be given more abilities with a limited number of uses per day, or casters could be given less powerful peak abilities, but allowed to use their powers more frequently. 4e did a little of both to bring the two types closer together, but in my opinion went a bit too far. That doesn't mean Pathfinder (or house rules) couldn't do a better job.

Indeed, Pathfinder or house rules (some of which I am personally crafting) CAN do a better job. Also, something to keep in mind is that the 'repeatability' of non-casting abilities just isn't that special. It's the equivalent of losing one or two spell levels, that's all. Note that while the mage could blow up a whole town, the fighter I mentioned would cause much more localized destruction.

Quote:
Second, and more difficult, there's a problem of psychology. When we imagine a magical fantasy world, we accept magic as part of the universe, and suspend our disbelief of impossible feats because we attribute them to magic - power level not withstanding! It's no more of a stretch to imagine Meteor Swarm than to imagine Burning Hands. On the other hand, fighting types do things that exist in the real world, so we try to picture those feats realistically. This isn't a problem in a super hero or anime game, but it definitely influences the design of Pathfinder.

The problem with that kind of psychology, is that high level D&D characters aren't part of the real world. The most badass of badasses that EVER lived in the world was somewhere between level 4 and level 6.

We had another thread on that subject a short while ago, and the general consensus is that High Level D&D equates more with Super Heroes than anything else.


vuron wrote:
Professor, you seem to be either purposely ignoring a huge body of fantasy literature from the modern period. Sure High Fantasy Tolkein knockoffs had the Wizards doing Wizard stuff in very subtle ways and Sword and Sorcery generally had the Wizard be a bad guy who mainly uses ritual magic but the Wizard as bad ass has been common since the mid-60s at least (Dr. Strange being one of the core examples- I assume Comic Books still count ;))

Yup. It depends how much mana a fantasy world has. The worlds of the Oz books and Amber series positively REEK of mana. Consequently, wizards rule, often literally. And how about Narnia? Ever read "The Magician's Nephew?" The villain in that piece is a witch / queen, who comes from a world so rich in magic that to her it seems axiomatic that those with magic must rule. (She is then shocked to discover that some worlds, like our own Earth, are low in mana. But I digress...)

The point is that there ARE fantasy series' that pre-date D&D in which wizards rock.

And vuron, if comic books count, then you can go all the way back to 1940, with Dr. Fate (whom I mentioned in my previous post.) His magic, in the very beginning at least, made him one of the most powerful characters of the DC pantheon, right up there with Superman, it seems to me. (Then the comics nerfed his power, and for a while he had to start resorting to using his fists, but that's another story.)

And since, for some reason, I can't seem to stop talking about DC comic books in this thread...

vuron wrote:
(although Aquaman is actually pretty badass in actual comics if not in Superfriends land)

You tell 'em! The surface of the world is THREE QUARTERS water!!! You call ruling that much area a "niche" power?!? Wait 'til you see an army of whales heading for you...


houstonderek wrote:
stuff in response to my post.

Sorry Houston, I retracted that post after I realized where you were coming from. Too quick on the draw I was.

EDIT: I'll posit that class x can function at all levels of the game using the rules without changes. But it requires leaving out certain monsters and encounters to make it work. It's exactly the opposite of what a group of optimizers do. Optimizers eliminate/fix the classes that can't keep up whereas groups on the other end of the spectrum eliminate/fix monsters that would trivialize the capabilities of those PCs. And yes, you can still have wizards in a game like this because the player isn't optimizing the wizard.

What people like you are saying is that if you bring all classes to a certain point where you don't have to eliminate/fix certain monsters or encounters it won't hurt the casual player. I agree with that for the most part. But my personal concern with doing this is that every class is ramped up the power of wizard. I don't want that sort of fix. To use the common class extremes, I'd like to see the monk get better and the wizard brought down a notch.


Even if they are superheroes people want them to adhere to the physics that the rest of us live by even if they can ignore physics in some slight ways.

For instance Batman would arguably be a Fighter/Rogue hybrid and Green Arrow is pretty clearly a Ranger or Fighter in D&D terms.

They might have gear (utility belt & trick arrows) that allow them to do all sorts of special FX but essentially they do stuff that the rest of us can do (Morrison Batgod has Epic Plot Armor though) even though they do it way way better than the rest of us.

Mystical Warriors such as Lady Shiva, Richard Dragon and Iron Fist can do some more unusual SFX stuff independent from gear because we've been trained to think that wuxia wire-fu is okay. Western themed wire-fu is still a fledgling genre.

Wizards, think Green Lantern or Dr Strange in comic book terms, do crazy SFX stuff that's very very flexible and very very powerful.

I do think that we can adjust perceptions to include more SFX for western themed martial characters without it becoming Exalted or weaboo but it's got to be very very well explained to increase buy-in.

I personally think that Bo9S was one of the few late 3.x books that actually presented good mechanics for martial characters, the problem is that it got labeled with the Book of Weaboo Fightan Magic label and people ignored the good aspects of it because they seemed to anime inspired.

In contrast 4e martial fighters are much better received by the community as a whole because the fluff is much more "western" friendly.


Interesting post Vuron, but you and I disagree on where the marshal characters fall.

Green Lanturn or Doctor Strange = High Level (17+) Wizard

The Hulk = High Level Barbarian

Thor (minus most of his magic tricks) = High Level Fighter


The problem with the afformentioned examples is that they don't prove me wrong. Goodkind, as was mentioned, is closer to a 4e wizard then the more "traditional" one you see throughout 3.5. I don't recall flying invisible Aes Sedai throwing fireballs, turning into hydras, or stopping time in Jordan's works. I admittingly haven't read Erikson so I can't comment there. But Rowling? Really?

What do wizards in Harry Potter do that is anywhere near your standard D&D wizard? They wave a wand and flip things upside down. Or they point their wands and make people fall backwards a bit. That's about it! They don't fly around, turn invisible, transform into giant hydras, throw dozens of fireballs, or do just about anything that D&D wizards do.

You're proving my point for me.

And Dresden? Dresden, who's books are 90% smarts and wit overcoming magic? Dresden, who's main spells are more or less "make a shield" or "throw fire?" Congrats, Dresden is a level 1 wizard with Burning Hands and Shield. Only the way his magic works, he's far more similar to how the power points and psionics system in 3.5 works.

You've yet to convince me at all that D&D wizards exist...well, anywhere, outside of D&D. All you've done is convince me further that they don't.

As far as Narnia, that character ranks at the same level as Everyone Conan Kills With A Chair. He hangs around a bit, does a liiiittle bit of magic, then BAM, throne to the face. He's a villain, a DMNPC at best.


vuron wrote:

I personally think that Bo9S was one of the few late 3.x books that actually presented good mechanics for martial characters, the problem is that it got labeled with the Book of Weaboo Fightan Magic label and people ignored the good aspects of it because they seemed to anime inspired.

I'm on record stating in essence, the same thing. I would buy into that book's philosophy a lot more if it didn't have such a goofy feel to its language. Sure, I could do all the reflavoring myself. But as many others wisely have said, why bother buy the book then?


ProfessorCirno wrote:
As far as Narnia, that character ranks at the same level as Everyone Conan Kills With A Chair. He hangs around a bit, does a liiiittle bit of magic, then BAM, throne to the face. He's a villain, a DMNPC at best.

Who's this "he" you're referring to? The powerful wizard I mentioned (who was a villain, granted,) is a "she." But if that IS who you mean... a throne to the face?!? She lived for AGES afterward, and came to RULE Narnia. It took Aslan himself to finish her off in the end, and Aslan was a friggin' GOD!!!

(And if you argue that Aslan was more like a wizard than a god, then you prove my point; Aslan was basically omnipotent!)


I can see including the Hulk and Thor (although I would put both in the Epic Level category) as exemplars of martial characters.

If we deconstruct the Hulk (let's go with Savage Hulk not Worldbreaker or Professor Hulk which are too complex) we get the following SFX

Incredible Strength including the ability to boost with Rage- Already somewhat supported although D&D strength is way way less than comic book strength.

Brawling ability- Various feats pretty much cover this.

Durability- DR somewhat simulates this but honestly the scaling is way way off. Instead of low levels of DR/- this should probably be closer to DR/15 (adamantite) or even higher.

Regeneration- Nothing currently simulates this. Fast Healing would probably be worthwhile as a possible addition.

AoE effects like the Shockwave Clap- Martial characters don't really get this sort of stuff. I think it could be included.

Immunity to Mental Control- Good Will Saves + Rage Power Rerolls would probably do this.

Epic Jumping - Nothing really supports this, not sure if people would really want this.

Simulating Hulk Strength requires a significant change to the strength ruleset so I'd probably stick to SFX that improve the durability of the character. Reworking DR and Saves and maybe playing with Fast Healing would be good starts.


ProfessorCirno wrote:

You've yet to convince me at all that D&D wizards exist...well, anywhere, outside of D&D. All you've done is convince me further that they don't.

How about Glen Cook's Black Company?

Granted, his wizards don't have teleport and they have to craft flying carpets, but I can't think of much else that I've read where they're as stupendously powerful.


Aaron Bitman wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
As far as Narnia, that character ranks at the same level as Everyone Conan Kills With A Chair. He hangs around a bit, does a liiiittle bit of magic, then BAM, throne to the face. He's a villain, a DMNPC at best.

Who's this "he" you're referring to? The powerful wizard I mentioned (who was a villain, granted,) is a "she." But if that IS who you mean... a throne to the face?!? She lived for AGES afterward, and came to RULE Narnia. It took Aslan himself to finish her off in the end, and Aslan was a friggin' GOD!!!

(And if you argue that Aslan was more like a wizard than a god, then you prove my point; Aslan was basically omnipotent!)

Yes, you've got to admit, The Deplorable Word absolutely rocks as a spell. The White Witch really didn't cast a great variety of spells though. The only spells she cast on a non-ritual basis though is the flesh to stone that she used exceedingly liberally.

Grand Lodge

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


Simulating Hulk Strength requires a significant change to the strength ruleset so I'd probably stick to SFX that improve the durability of the character.

Seeing as how a 24 Str means you can lift 700 lbs. over your head and Amiri got that at 16th level before raging, I don't think we need to change a thing.


vuron wrote:

I can see including the Hulk and Thor (although I would put both in the Epic Level category) as exemplars of martial characters.

The problem with epic levels is that by pushing that kind of character into epic levels you're disgracing the poor guys that are supposed to be working alongside the Green Lanturn/Doctor Strange.

Incidentally, if the Barbarian HAD the ability to Jump on the level the Hulk did, combining it with their pounce option for a leaping pounce way into the air would actually fix one of the typical martial character problems, aka the inability to deal with flying opponents well.

To me level 17 is pretty much the point I throw all attempts at realism out the window. The wizard is pretty much god, so everybody else is too, but different kinds.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
vuron wrote:


Simulating Hulk Strength requires a significant change to the strength ruleset so I'd probably stick to SFX that improve the durability of the character.
Seeing as how a 24 Str means you can lift 700 lbs. over your head and Amiri got that at 16th level before raging, I don't think we need to change a thing.

That's still a far cry from hulk level strength TOZ. It's impressive yes, but that's more along the lines of the Juggarnaught. Hulk... erm... could lift most battle ships. (I will note I"m talking about the more conservative Hulk interpretations. Some of them are too insane lol.)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:


That's still a far cry from hulk level strength TOZ.

You miss my point. This is a Pathfinder Iconic, an unoptimized barbarian before rage.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:


That's still a far cry from hulk level strength TOZ.
You miss my point. This is a Pathfinder Iconic, an unoptimized barbarian before rage.

Point taken lol.


The problem with the "anime" tag that's thrown around is that the issue is with western perspectives, not with anything related to "anime" itself.

For starters, "anime" is used in the dumbest way. How can things be too anime? You know what, Record of Lodoss War. Bam. D&D is too anime. Just all of D&D is. Look, there's an anime of it right there. What about Slayers? Another one?! Oh god, my beautiful D&D! It's just too anime for me!

No, that's dumb. I think we can all agree that's dumb.

There's a lot of problems. Western nerds are terrible. I mean, eastern nerds are terrible too, don't get me wrong, but here I'll be focusing on why we - yes we - are terrible.

Problem one? We don't understand history.

We don't. Most tabletop gamers think they are very, very well read. Most of us aren't. That's why you'll see people decry something that happens in real life as not being realistic enough for them. They approach from "I am well read and ergo know everything about fantasy!" when the truth is "I've read a few things and have a really high opinion of my own understanding." So, we see comments like "Ancient heroes were all gods" (nope). "Fighters throughout mythology and fiction are always eclipsed by wizards" (nope). There's a lot of false assumptions that float around, and they do because, well, we're nerds. We love trivia. We love terrible useless information. And we're also pretty dang arrogant and assume we know everything. But we don't.

Problem two: Nerds of all stripes are conservative. It's kinda hilarious, in a strange way. Here you have FANTASY, the genre of the fantastic, the unbelievable, the strange, the bizarre. The Not Real. And yet people get their knickers in a twist whenever something that isn't Elves Dwarves and Smaller Humans is introduced. The very idea of High Fantasy is so hilariously banal and against the very concept of fantasy. What this translates to, is, we don't like change. We are so very set in our ways.

What's our ways, then? That warriors don't really have skill, they just sorta smash each other over the head with a stick. Once that misconception is planted, it's damn hard to kill. D&Ds origins came from two places: 1) wargaming roots 2) Gary Gygax really loved terrible pulp books. Conan, Lovecraft, Leiber. The thing is, nobody was fancy in these gritty pulp novels. The fighters weren't really all that "cool," they were desperate mercenaries who regularly threw away their weapons when opportunity to get a new one came. They weren't really skilled in a whole lot other thing beating people up. And the prose was awful. Wizards, quite frankly, fared no better. However, as D&D was born, the wizard got more and more added to him. Certainly 3.5 was sorta where this problem came to a head, but it's always existed. And once those two things were set down in stone (Fighters are unelegant, uncool mercenaries who aren't that good at things other then punch, wizards are masters of reality), it's stupid hard to pry it out.

Problem three: "Animation/Video Games are for little kids." Now, let's not pretend that, outside of the US, it's this wonderful mecca where adults read their mangas and are never laughed at for it. They are. Sorry guys, nerds are nerds no matter what country you're in. The difference is, the actual level of social acceptance is different. This translates to a lot of major differences.

For starters, there's just things you can do in a non-live action media source that you can't do live action. It's (one reason) why the D&D movie was so hilariously terrible - think about your last D&D game, and pause and consider how expensive it would be to try to make a movie out of that. Now, once it's animated, it becomes much, much easier. This is, like I said, a big deal.

As far back as there's been animated <anything>, it has been fantastic. I grew up on the Ninja Turtles, and they didn't just stand there and trade full attacks, they bounced around and hacked up robots and ate pizza (they were so cool). But, as you grow up, that becomes uncool and "meant for kids." Instead, you need to watch something live-action. But live-action actors can't really bounce around and hack up robots in the same way, so the fight scenes are dulled down a bit. Ironically, western audiences have to some degree gotten used to it - see Every Adventure Show In The 90's, be it Hercules or Xena or one of the rip offs, which actually often had an admittingly crude set of wire-fu in more then a few episodes. But when it came down to it, that was the 90's, and...well, problem 2 has already planted itself.


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I just want to be able to do things that are equally cool in and out of combat. It has to do with being interestingly equal, not numerically equal. Balance is not a matter of advanced trig as it is about making things that are appealing and will make players feel like a hero.

If the wizard creates an extra dimensional portal to the far reaches of the cosmos than I want my barbarian to rage so hard that buildings and trees crumble to dust.

If the wizard can grant wishes like a damn genie out of Aladdin's lamp, than I want my ranger to be able to walk into a forest and come out with an army of g+#&&~n bears that fanatically follow his every command like he was the grizzly king.

If the cleric returns a soul from the after life to its body in pristine form, without even the need for a corpse, than I want my rogue to be so good at hiding that even gods cannot find him...ever...under any circumstances...no exceptions (even scrying). Hell I want him to be so good at hiding that after he rolls that stealth check the very memory of his existence becomes hidden in the minds of those that knew him, only remembering what they forgot when he comes out of hiding.

If the druid can call upon the spirits of the world to summon violent winds, acid rain, bolts of lightning, and massive hail stones than I want my fighter to be able to put dragons in headlocks and do pile drivers to oozes THAT ACTUALLY BREAK THEIR NON-EXISTENT NECKS.

If the cleric can turn himself and his teammates into insubstantial spirits able to walk the very ethereal mirror world that ghosts and wraiths walk, than I want my monk to do this.

If the balor can cause my friends bodies to collapse in on themselves like some sort of reality fissure, than I want bards to be able to sing a song so alluring, so inspiringly beautiful that monsters and villains stop in their tracks to rethink their entire moral perspective on life.

If a giant aquatic Ooze can speak a language so terrible that it can tear away any listeners grasp on reality making them insane, than I want my paladin to be able to summon a sword that is very literally made out of justice and freedom and a shield made out hope and bravery.

I want rogues to steal the armor you are wearing without you noticing. I want barbarians to be able to fight on with a hatchet embedded in their head, four arrows through their heart, and one arm severed(BTW they are using said arm as a club). I want monks to jump from rain drop to rain drop to get to a flying creature that he then kills with an ordinary fan or some chop sticks. I want my fighter to be able to swim up waterfalls with strength and conditioning alone. I want my ranger to have such keen senses he can smell that the troll he is tracking is left handed.

Is this really the sort of thing that would destroy the game and bring about the zombie apocalypse?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Pharolin, I have a seat at my table with your name on it. ;)


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Pharolin, I have a seat at my table with your name on it. ;)

Not if he's closer to my table >_>


ProfessorCirno wrote:
The problem with the afformentioned examples is that they don't prove me wrong. Goodkind, as was mentioned, is closer to a 4e wizard then the more "traditional" one you see throughout 3.5. I don't recall flying invisible Aes Sedai throwing fireballs, turning into hydras, or stopping time in Jordan's works.

Rand'al Thor throws around a level of power that is off the charts. ELH epic spells might come close to some of the wizardry that he does. Granted he's completely overpowered by the standards of the setting but he's still the main character (even though I think the books are mediocre at best).

Quote:


What do wizards in Harry Potter do that is anywhere near your standard D&D wizard? They wave a wand and flip things upside down. Or they point their wands and make people fall backwards a bit. That's about it! They don't fly around, turn invisible, transform into giant hydras, throw dozens of fireballs, or do just about anything that D&D wizards do.

Have you actually read the books or even seen the movies?

Wizards have access to flying (although it's sterotypical brooms instead of spells), can teleport pretty much at will, have a variety of battle spells (Harry is pretty much a one trick wonder), have a ton of utility spells and rituals including polymorph type stuff, time manipulation, extradimensional spaces. Harry has an invisibility cloak which is a unique item much like Bilbo's one ring but invisibility exists.

The bad guys even routinely use SoD effects and they can use them at will. No spell slots or mana needed. Counterspelling is actually quite common though.

And that's even excluding the crazy crap that Voldemort and Dumbledore can do as they are clearly not playing by the same rules as the rest of the casters in the setting.

Quote:


And Dresden? Dresden, who's books are 90% smarts and wit overcoming magic? Dresden, who's main spells are more or less "make a shield" or "throw fire?" Congrats, Dresden is a level 1 wizard with Burning Hands and Shield. Only the way his magic works, he's far more similar to how the power points and psionics system in 3.5 works.

The Dresden Files books routinely throw out crap that would be high level in D&D. In Changes Ebenezer nukes a ton of people with what would best be described as a AoE/SoD level effect probably closest to say Power Word Kill.

It however has a bunch of restrictions on caster power in the forms of the Laws of Magic. Furthermore the series pretty firmly adheres to the idea that no matter how good you are there is always someone bigger and badder than you. The only way to survive against such threats is to outsmart them, which Harry is really good at doing.

I would stipulate that Harry is nowhere near a level 20 Wizard in D&D terms but neither is he some level 1 wizard.

I understand that it's popular to go back to ancient Dragon articles that describe Gandalf as a level 3 wizard but honestly that's kinda beating a deadhorse.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Jesus I type a lot. But hey, it's a subject that matters. And I'm a nerd. What can I say :B

So, the issue with fighters and wizards. Where can we find the root, and how do we pull it out?

I think the biggest, most important problem comes down to a misunderstanding on heroes. No, not the TV show. No, not just D&D heroes. I mean the very concept of heroes and heroism as a whole.

See, there's (roughly) two "ages" of heroism in western mythology and literature.

The first is the ever popular age of myth. Starting with Gilgamesh and parading proudly through until probably close to the Victorian Era, and yes, easily encompassing that medieval era western fantasy loves so much. In the age of myth, the power of a hero (typically) comes from destiny. The christian knight gains his powers from god. The arabian wizard twists spirits and devils of the desert to gain power. The greek hero is typically god blooded, or has had a supernatural boon (or several) granted to him. Either way, their abilities are governed by providence. This isn't just martial heroes either; magical heroes, too, gained their power from the gods or from devils. In fact, as far as "power level" goes, there's typically little - if any - difference between the two. Circe is no more or less magical then the sirens, who are no more or less magical then Achilles, who is no more or less magical then the bag of wind Odysseus gets. And Odysseus himself is often either blessed or cursed by the gods as he makes his journey - it was hardly a one man show.

Then the age of enlightenment hit, and a new, niggling idea formed: Man is not birthed by providence. Tall tales and larger then life figures were born. This advanced well through until both merged together. Here, you won't find a man blessed by the gods, but you will see things like The Greatest Detective, or The Strongest Mortal Man. Characters that were very, very mortal, and were not destined or controlled by otherworldly forces, but were still very much not mundane. Sherlock Holmes is a genius and a master martial fighter. The american west was full of tall tales of legendary men and women who tamed the frontier without ever using divine or magical powers.

So, where's the problem in D&D?

Simple - wizards belong to one world, fighters belong to the other. In D&D, the fighter is strongly placed in the second world, where men are mortals despite their extraordinary deeds, and wizards are placed in the first, where magic is commonplace and powerful and mighty.

This isn't the only problem, though.

This, in of itself, isn't too much of a problem. Batman rubs elbows with superman, after all, and both are extremely competent. The problem, then, is that we look at the fighter, and say "He is a mortal man, and therefor must be guided by realism. That's the big blow. And we do that because of Magic - capital m.

D&D for a long time has not been a fantasy game. It's not. Sorry, but it isn't. It's not fantasy. It's a Magical roleplaying game. There's a big difference between the two, and it comes down to a simple change - take everything fantastic, and change it to be "magical." Normally this wouldn't be too big of a deal, but for one gaping flaw: not everyone is magical.

In other words, we have created a setting in which magic reigns all (this isn't of itself bad), where 90% of your threats are magical in nature (this isn't of itself bad), and where many characters are not magical (ding ding ding! Problem found!). We've put Sherlock Holmes up against Circe, and then took away Sherlock Holmes' martial arts and logic.

So, what are the solutions? There's two.

First, remove the non-magic. Kill the fighter. Ax the rogue. Remove the barbarian. Just take them out of the game entirely. Now, make a "magical" version of them. Or don't! In fact, just make all of them wizards. This is not my choice.

Or, go with Tome of Battle, and try pulling the game into fantasy. Say "This martial class can jump as a swift action then full attack twice because it's a g#~~!#n fantastic character in a fantasy setting."


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Pharolin, I have a seat at my table with your name on it. ;)
kyrt-ryder wrote:


Not if he's closer to my table >_>

Thank you. Put a lot of thought into that one :P


vuron wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
The problem with the afformentioned examples is that they don't prove me wrong. Goodkind, as was mentioned, is closer to a 4e wizard then the more "traditional" one you see throughout 3.5. I don't recall flying invisible Aes Sedai throwing fireballs, turning into hydras, or stopping time in Jordan's works.
Rand'al Thor throws around a level of power that is off the charts. ELH epic spells might come close to some of the wizardry that he does. Granted he's completely overpowered by the standards of the setting but he's still the main character (even though I think the books are mediocre at best).

Rand's power level is insane yes. He's got really big blasting guns, but he's not all that versatile. There's a lot the One Power can do, but there's not all that much any given individual can be expected to be able to do with it. Talents and all that. (Additionally, no invisibility or shapeshifting or freezing time like in Cirno's commentary.)

[Pst... Gandalf is a Half Celestial Level 4 Sorcerer, level 4 Fighter ;)]


vuron wrote:
Rand'al Thor throws around a level of power that is off the charts. ELH epic spells might come close to some of the wizardry that he does. Granted he's completely overpowered by the standards of the setting but he's still the main character (even though I think the books are mediocre at best).

So in D&D terms he's a DMNPC, not a PC ;p

Quote:
Wizards have access to flying (although it's sterotypical brooms instead of spells)

Magical item, not a spell

Quote:
can teleport pretty much at will

Admittingly don't recall this one

Quote:
have a variety of battle spells (Harry is pretty much a one trick wonder

I've yet to see the Cone of Cold, Fireball, Chain Lightning, or Meteor Shower spells in Harry Potter. Again, most of the battle spells come down to "Push the enemy away from me and hurt them (somehow)!"

Quote:
have a ton of utility spells and rituals including polymorph type stuff, time manipulation, extradimensional spaces. Harry has an invisibility cloak which is a unique item much like Bilbo's one ring but invisibility exists.

Except almost all of this exists not as spells but as magical items.

Which is fine. The classic wizard in most fiction and mythology is bound and connected to his magic items, not his spellbook. But that's not D&D.

Quote:
The bad guys even routinely use SoD effects and they can use them at will. No spell slots or mana needed. Counterspelling is actually quite common though.

So they're not D&D wizards ;p

Quote:
The Dresden Files books routinely throw out crap that would be high level in D&D. In Changes Ebenezer nukes a ton of people with what would best be described as a AoE/SoD level effect probably closest to say Power Word Kill.

So he's a DMNPC.

Quote:
It however has a bunch of restrictions on caster power in the forms of the Laws of Magic. Furthermore the series pretty firmly adheres to the idea that no matter how good you are there is always someone bigger and badder than you. The only way to survive against such threats is to outsmart them, which Harry is really good at doing.

So he's not a D&D wizard.

Quote:
I would stipulate that Harry is nowhere near a level 20 Wizard in D&D terms but neither is he some level 1 wizard.

I would stipulate that he's not a D&D wizard at all.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
First, remove the non-magic. Kill the fighter. Ax the rogue. Remove the barbarian. Just take them out of the game entirely. Now, make a "magical" version of them.

In this respect, I think the original FASA version of Earthdawn was really far ahead of its time. Or better at going far before its time, depending on how I read your post. All of the classes were basically magic and even the super lowbie warrior is fighting an inch off the ground, dancing on an invisible cushion of air. Or some such thing, it's probably a good 15 years since I've read that book or played the game.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:


That's still a far cry from hulk level strength TOZ.
You miss my point. This is a Pathfinder Iconic, an unoptimized barbarian before rage.

The levels of effect are off by several scales of magnitude.

By Marvel's own system the Hulk and Thor have Class 100 Strength which means that they can lift at or in excess of 100 tons above their heads.

Hulk and Thor in particular way, way exceed those level of effects even without throwing in stuff like Worldbreaker Hulk or Odinpower Thor. We are talking lifting mountains, shattering small planetoids, etc.

Further their durability is way way in excess of what is remotely possible with D&D level effects. We are talking surviving ground zero nukes and being able to trade blows with people who can shatter mountains with their bare hands.

Honestly this is why when I really want to do fantasy as superheroes I pull out M&M and Warriors & Warlocks as it handles epic martial characters mixing it up with epic wizards much better than D&D generally does. I just pick a PL point that covers the levels of effect I want to simulate and as long as I don't allow people to take some of the game breaking powers (duplication) I'm good to go.


Dire Mongoose wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
First, remove the non-magic. Kill the fighter. Ax the rogue. Remove the barbarian. Just take them out of the game entirely. Now, make a "magical" version of them.
In this respect, I think the original FASA version of Earthdawn was really far ahead of its time. Or better at going far before its time, depending on how I read your post. All of the classes were basically magic and even the super lowbie warrior is fighting an inch off the ground, dancing on an invisible cushion of air. Or some such thing, it's probably a good 15 years since I've read that book or played the game.

Yes it was and is that good, along with being the first system I ever saw that gave you a bonus for being human.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

[Pst... Gandalf is a Half Celestial Level 4 Sorcerer, level 4 Fighter ;)]

Balrogs and Ringwraiths must be absolute pikers in that system then ;)

Honestly you have to mangle LotR so bad to fit it into the D&D box that my soul cries out when I see people try to do it.

Just buy MERP or Coda LotR instead of making the game do something it shouldn't ;)


Last megapost, I swear.

Let's talk wizards.

I mentioned earlier that wizards in D&D originate from artilery in a war game, and god but that influence has been crazy huge.

You see, wizards in...well, just about everything else, aren't artillery. In fact, most gods in mythology that are associated strongly with magic are trickster gods. Throwing fireballs is such a D&D-ism it hurts.

Let's look at the first archtypical wizard: Odin. Where do you think Gandalf and Mierlin, and, by proxy, Elminster, got their looks from? Odin knows 18 spells. They let him do things like date-rape women, make warriors invincible, and scare away ghosts. Not a single fireball spell. If anything, Odin is a bard.

Know what else? Loki called Odin a pervert for knowing magic, because magic was a womanly art. Loki, for reference, turned into a female horse, did it with Odin's steed, and had kids. And he's calling Odin the pervert.

Let's move on to Gandalf and Merlin. Neither one was actually a wizard - Gandalf is an archangel, and Merlin is the antichrist. Gandalf mostly makes a lot of cool lights and a choo choo train noise (No, really, the fireworks are described as sounding like a freight train). Merlin has a lot of cool spells that involve shapeshifting and trickery...but again, no fireballs. In fact, when he does use magic, he just goes invisible and makes a door that nobody can open again (Hint: that goes poorly for him). For the most part, he's an old man advisor first and foremost.

So let's leave history. D&D was made with pulp, so let's enter the pulp, right at the source - Dying Earth. That's right - lets look at actual Vancian spellcasting.

Quote:

The tomes which held Turjan's sorcery lay on the long table of black steel or were thrust helter-skelter into shelves. These were volumes compiled by many wizards of the past, untidy folios collected by the Sage, leather-bound librams setting forth the syllables of a hundred powerful spells, so cogent that Turjan's brain could know but four at a time.

Turjan found a musty portfolio, turned the heavy pages to the spell the Sage had shown him, the Call to the Violent Cloud. He stared down at the characters and they burned with an urgent power, pressing off the page as if frantic to leave the dark solitude of the book.

Turjan closed the book, forcing the spell back into oblivion. He robed himself with a short blue cape, tucked a blade into his belt, fitted the amulet holding Laccodel's Rune to his wrist. Then he sat down and from a journal chose the spells he would take with him. What dangers he might meet he could not know, so he selected three spells of general application: the Excellent Prismatic Spray, Phandaal's Mantle of Stealth, and the Spell of the Slow Hour.

He climbed the parapets of his castle and stood under the far stars, breathing the air of ancient Earth . . . How many times had this air been breathed before him? What cries of pain had this air experienced, what sighs, laughs, war shouts, cries of exultation, gasps…

The night was wearing on. A blue light wavered in the forest. Turjan watched a moment, then at last squared himself and uttered the Call to the Violent Cloud.

Are you done reeling in pain from the pose? Ok, here's the thing: Turjan is one of the best wizards, like, ever...and he has four spells. Casts one of them almost immidiately. He can also sneak, swashbuckle, and do stuff besides cast spells and take naps to get spells.

See, here's the catch - even in Vance? These are all really cool powers, but they aren't anything along the lines of Fireball or Horrid Wilting or Flesh to Stone. Very few of them are useful for combat. More importantly, even if somehow Merlin or Gandalf could just kill anyone with magic, it is important to understand why they don't. It isn't the role of the wizard to completely overshadow the warrior. That's dumb. They have a completely different part to play in their stories. It's why, outside of D&D, there are no stories of Wizard Supremacy.


Your points about their full power level are accurate Vuron, and I do tone that level back somewhat in my games, but I really do have the level 17+ as pretty much super heroes, because the wizard class already is.

It's not a format of play I'd want to do all the time no, but everybody has fun, it's balanced between the classes, and the story resolves somewhere between 17 and 20 before the campaign ends.

Purpose fulfilled :)


Dire Mongoose wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
First, remove the non-magic. Kill the fighter. Ax the rogue. Remove the barbarian. Just take them out of the game entirely. Now, make a "magical" version of them.
In this respect, I think the original FASA version of Earthdawn was really far ahead of its time. Or better at going far before its time, depending on how I read your post. All of the classes were basically magic and even the super lowbie warrior is fighting an inch off the ground, dancing on an invisible cushion of air. Or some such thing, it's probably a good 15 years since I've read that book or played the game.

Earthdawn was one of earliest examples of what I'd call a modern take on fantasy roleplaying. It's got some really great elements and is probably one of the best games Fasa ever produced.

It introduced a lot of concept such as martial talents and magic items that autoscale with level that are only recently being added to D&D.

I still think some of the mechanics are pretty bulky including the step system and thread magic was incredibly vague in it's original description but overall it's a very good system that has never gotten the love it deserves.

BFRP is another game that probably deserves more love than it gets.

But D&D has always been dominant in the Fantasy market and I personally could never get into GURPS or Fantasy HERO system.


On rereading my posts, I find myself hilairously enough believing that like 90% of fantasy "wizards" more closely correlate to bards then wizards. Think about it - typically they're there more for dispencing (bardic) knowledge, advising the king, gathering information, and what spells they do know or use are far more along the lines of enchantment and transmutation then anything else. Heck, you could probably play them as a rogue with a few SUs.

Liberty's Edge

anthony Valente wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
stuff in response to my post.

Sorry Houston, I retracted that post after I realized where you were coming from. Too quick on the draw I was.

EDIT: I'll posit that class x can function at all levels of the game using the rules without changes. But it requires leaving out certain monsters and encounters to make it work. It's exactly the opposite of what a group of optimizers do. Optimizers eliminate/fix the classes that can't keep up whereas groups on the other end of the spectrum eliminate/fix monsters that would trivialize the capabilities of those PCs. And yes, you can still have wizards in a game like this because the player isn't optimizing the wizard.

What people like you are saying is that if you bring all classes to a certain point where you don't have to eliminate/fix certain monsters or encounters it won't hurt the casual player. I agree with that for the most part. But my personal concern with doing this is that every class is ramped up the power of wizard. I don't want that sort of fix. To use the common class extremes, I'd like to see the monk get better and the wizard brought down a notch.

Here's the problem: it's not that easy. If you tone down the wizard (slightly) and barely bump the martial types, things just get harder, because the Bestiary isn't afraid of being hit by a stick. Nerfed wizards = longer combats = more dead martial types unless the GM is fudging/babysitting again. Armor Class is expensive, not effective and monster hit HARD st high levels. Making combats longer is a martial nerf. The one thing they have in abundance (hit points) are less and less valuable the longer a combat goes, especially since one of the most inefficient things a cleric can do at higher levels is heal during combat.

And if they just returned wizards to pre-3x action economy and spell casting difficulty, they wouldn't have to nerf the spells. Allowing wizards to move willy nilly and cast in the same round opened a can of worms that I don't even know the developers fully appreciate, since they did zero to address it, and how a round works is one thing you can change and never worry about backward compatibility.


Good thing about this topic - it has me watching RoLW again :B


vuron wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

[Pst... Gandalf is a Half Celestial Level 4 Sorcerer, level 4 Fighter ;)]

Balrogs and Ringwraiths must be absolute pikers in that system then ;)

Honestly you have to mangle LotR so bad to fit it into the D&D box that my soul cries out when I see people try to do it.

Just buy MERP or Coda LotR instead of making the game do something it shouldn't ;)

This actually reminded me of an article by Justin Alexander found here. The article is quite dated now but is still relevant I think. In this article he makes the assertion that Aragorn was 5th level. And he does indeed claim that balrogs and ringwraiths and such are not nearly as powerful as the D&D iterations of similar monsters.


houstonderek wrote:

Here's the problem: it's not that easy. If you tone down the wizard (slightly) and barely bump the martial types, things just get harder, because the Bestiary isn't afraid of being hit by a stick. Nerfed wizards = longer combats = more dead martial types unless the GM is fudging/babysitting again. Armor Class is expensive, not effective and monster hit HARD st high levels. Making combats longer is a martial nerf. The one thing they have in abundance (hit points) are less and less valuable the longer a combat goes, especially since one of the most inefficient things a cleric can do at higher levels is heal during combat.

And if they just returned wizards to pre-3x action economy and spell casting difficulty, they wouldn't have to nerf the spells. Allowing wizards to move willy nilly and cast in the same round opened a can of worms that I don't even know the developers fully appreciate, since they did zero to address it, and how a round works is one thing you can change and never worry about backward compatibility.

You can work around the problem by going back to the older 1e-2e model of lots of foes that are weaker individually than the PCs rather than 1 Solo or 1-2 CR equivalent foes.

Solo fights vs Dragons and powerful outsiders which make up the majority of the high CR foes in the Bestiary become rarities and much more of the campaign is PCs + retinue vs BBEG + Lieutenant + Brutes + Mooks.

The PCs are generally outnumbered but individually superior to most of their foes. As a result things like AC/DR/SR actually matter because the PCs can ignore a high percentage of the attacks directed at them and they have the ability of killing one or more of their foes every round.

Incorporate mobile fighting (full move + full attack) and it's actually an okay way to play. The major problem is that you kinda have to wing the CR system because it actually makes mook fights seem more difficult than they really are and they can be longer to resolve.

Personally though I liked scenes like the Orc and Cave Troll fight vs the Fellowship in the mines of moria so I like using humanoid antagonists way past their usual expiration date in the average D&D game.


WPharolin wrote:
This actually reminded me of an article by Justin Alexander found here. The article is quite dated now but is still relevant I think. In this article he makes the assertion that Aragorn was 5th level. And he does indeed claim that balrogs and ringwraiths and such are not nearly as powerful as the D&D iterations of similar monsters.

To be fair, most of his D&D essays take fairly ridiculous positions and state them as though they were clearly true without anything you could fairly call a serious attempt to defend the position logically. I half seriously think he was trying to troll for page views and thus ad revenue.

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