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


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Liberty's Edge

Dire Mongoose wrote:

The biggest piece of the problem isn't exactly that the melee characters don't get enough attacks, but that, assuming enemies are playing the tactical/movement part of the game intelligently, it's very hard to get a full attack as a melee character. Either you're fighting a melee monster, which probably has a scarier full attack than you do (and thus, getting a full attack means taking a full attack, usually, and isn't really in your best interest), or you're fighting something that doesn't care about making a full attack, in which case it should almost never stand still and let you full attack it.

You can tell that the game designers realize some version of this and have taken some steps in the direction of addressing it, such as Vital Strike, neo-Cleave, the Fighter variants that can potentially move and still get off more than one attack in a round, Beast Totem Barbarian, etc. These are steps in the right direction but they're not quite enough yet, I don't think.

I agree completely. An all or nothing effect has been created, now they are trying to qweak around the edges to fix this. By reducing HP's and then reducing also damage from the Full Attack and adding in Full Attack effects to make it still something you may do seems as valid as adding more and more and more rule layers to solve a problem created WAY back in 2000.

S.

Edit: The biggest part of the problem is melee characters can get too many attacks - and under current rules required to to be effect.


Freesword wrote:

So your saying that the CR system is meaningless.

CR10=CR10=CR10 is contradicted by your claim that all CR10 encounters are not equally challenging. Both cannot be true.

The CR system should work regardless of party makeup or build. A CR10 encounter should be appropriate for any party of the appropriate level, whether they be optimized casters or all completely unoptimized non-casters.

You're not going to try to convince me that 12 hell hounds can beat 1 adult white dragon 50% of the time are you? No. Not all CR encounters of a given level are equal.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Freesword wrote:
A CR10 encounter should be appropriate for any party of the appropriate level, whether they be optimized casters or all completely unoptimized non-casters.

See, that is something I heavily disagree with. The success of D&D over the years mostly stems from the fact that it allowed a wide range of nearly incompatible playstyles. But this comes with a cost and that's imbalance.

Then came roleplaying theory with it's claim that it's better if a game has a narrower focus on a particular playstyle than if it tries to accomodate all tastes. The result being that nowadays there are a lot of games out there (which I generally consider to be a good thing) which have all one thing in common: They are not nearly as successful as the grandaddy of roleplaying games.

Now 4E basically did the same thing: reaching for balance by narrowing its focus (compared to former editions). I won't argue the merits of this approach but I won't believe for a second that it didn't cost them consumers (the success of Pathfinder may be proof enough, and no one can tell me that mysteriously the customer base doubled so that D&D could stay the same size as before).

I surely wouldn't want to change the game according to my tastes because that would garantee heavy losses in it's customer base. On the other hand, I don't want to change it in a way I don't wanna play anymore. So at the moment I'd rather prefer the game to stay in it's actual "imbalanced" state, even if that means that I have to houserule some things according to my tastes.


houstonderek wrote:
The CR system is meaningless. It doesn't take into account play styles, for one. And it assumes monsters who were dropped on the head at birth.

Yea, looking back I should have included a disclaimer to the effect of "This being the case if the CR system actually worked as intended."

anthony Valente wrote:


You're not going to try to convince me that 12 hell hounds can beat 1 adult white dragon 50% of the time are you? No. Not all CR encounters of a given level are equal.

Hardly. I know the CR system doesn't work as intended.


WormysQueue wrote:

I won't argue the merits of this approach but I won't believe for a second that it didn't cost them consumers (the success of Pathfinder may be proof enough, and no one can tell me that mysteriously the customer base doubled so that D&D could stay the same size as before).

Organized play for 4E is a huge success, drawing more players than it did for 3E. It certainly couldn't be doing that if it were a huge bomb.

(Not that PFS isn't doing well -- it certainly seemed to be what everyone I knew was talking about coming out of last summer's big cons.)

Is it so hard to believe that 4E being what it is brought a lot of new players into the hobby and lapsed players back, even if it's not what either you or I want?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I only read the first page of this thread. However, I believe that I know the heart of the matter here. As some people already pointed out many of us play to the extremes. We have some people who either have to be 100% combat effective or we are useless and we have others who are perfectly fine playing that character who is a social butterfly and has a 18+ CHA even though it gives him absolutely no combat advantages. The issue is that some people have put in their head that they are completely right and the other group is completely wrong and how dare they say otherwise. The truth of the matter is that much like life itself the answer is more in the grey area. A good game can be had by being completely combat heavy or with very little combat at all. A great game has the right mixture of both. As one of my players often says, "Its not about rules, its about consistency."

The rules are important, they keep everything in check. If the rules are unbalanced then a game ran straight by them will be unfun. Rules are also meant to be broken, but if you break too many then the game has no structure. A perfectly balanced game cannot exist because of the Human Experience. People in this thread have made comments about MMO balance when those games are often in constant flux as the designers try to balance everything out.

Personally, I would rather have a game that isn't 100% balanced because then I as a GM have some say in how my game runs. Otherwise, I might as well just read straight from the cue cards and just tell the PCs what happens to them and call it an early night.


Freesword wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
The CR system is meaningless. It doesn't take into account play styles, for one. And it assumes monsters who were dropped on the head at birth.

Yea, looking back I should have included a disclaimer to the effect of "This being the case if the CR system actually worked as intended."

anthony Valente wrote:


You're not going to try to convince me that 12 hell hounds can beat 1 adult white dragon 50% of the time are you? No. Not all CR encounters of a given level are equal.

Hardly. I know the CR system doesn't work as intended.

I would like more "balance" as much as anybody. I don't want to give non-casters wizard scale powers, but I do want them to have more overall versatility, and staying power at the high levels of play.

I'm just simply pointing out the simple fact that I don't have to cheat at all to do the following:

I'm not going to bore optimized players with 12 hell hounds. Likewise, I'm not going to frustrate non-optimizing players with adult white dragons.


Stefan Hill wrote:


Hit Points broke my game -

I agree. Let's look at your average 12th level fighter in Pathfinder:

10 HP (level 1)
61 HP (11d10 at 5.5 HP each)
12 HP (favored class bonus)
12 HP (toughness feat)
48 HP (18 Con, achieved by magic items)
Total: 143 HP
Max HP: 191 HP at 18 CON, can go much higher

And a 12th level wizard in Pathfinder:
6 HP (level 1)
39 HP (11d6 at 3.5 each)
12 HP (favored class bonus)
12 HP (toughness feat)
48 HP (18 Con, achieved by magic items)
Total: 117 HP
Max HP: 143 HP at 18 CON, can go much higher

Now, let's look at a 1st edition 12th level fighter:

50 HP (9d10 hit Dice at 5.5 each)
9 HP (3 HP per level for levels 10, 11, and 12)
36 HP (18 Con, 4HP per HD, stops at level 9)
Total: 95 HP
Max HP: 135 HP

and a 1st edition 12th level magic-user:
28 HP (11d4 HD at 2.5 each)
1 HP (1 HP per level for level 12)
22 HP (Con bonus for 11 HD for Con 16+)
Total: 51 HP
Max HP: 67 HP

That's a huge difference, and it's compounded by the fact that stat boosters outside of +STR were nearly impossible to get in 1st edition, AND you died more often, AND death was a permanent -1 CON. Most of my level 12 characters were in the 11-14 CON range due to death penalties, even starting with a 16-18.

The HP inflation is a huge change in how HP damage affects the game, from sword swings to evocation spells.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Stefan Hill wrote:

Fighters were nerfed the moment some bright spark decided to have HP's be equal to the National debt.

Hit point went skyrocketing yet the basic damage of the sword stayed the same.

That makes a lot of sense. I might well suggest that we devise some way to replicate AD&D's feature, where hit point increases slowed way down around 9th level or so.

  • 1st Character Level: Max hit points, as per normal
  • 2nd - 4th Level: normal hit points, full CON bonus
  • 5th - 7th Level: reduce hit die by 1 (fighters on d8's, sorcerers on d4's, etc), cap CON bonus at +2/+3/+4 for low/medium/high BAB classes, +6 for Barbarians.
  • 8th - 10th Level: reduce hit die again, cap CON bonus at +1/+2/+3/+4.
  • 11th Level and up: increase hit points by 1 plus capped CON bonus.

Add bonus hit points from favored class or Toughness on top of that. Reduce hit points for racial hit dice in the same way.

So a 15th Level Paladin with a 20 Constitution (who takes her favored class bonus in skill points rather than hit points) would have:

1st Level: 10 + 5 = 15
2nd Level: 1d10 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
3rd Level: 1d10 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
4th Level: 1d10 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
5th Level: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
6th Level: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
7th Level: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
8th Level: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
9th Level: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
10th Level: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
11th Level: 1 + 3 = 4
12th Level: 1 + 3 = 4
13th Level: 1 + 3 = 4
14th Level: 1 + 3 = 4
15th Level: 1 + 3 = 4

or 104 hit points. (Which is about twice what she had at 5th Level.) Under the effects of bear's endurance, she'd gain an additional 4 x 2 = 8 temporary hit points, because the CON bonus cap prevents the spell from giving her any benefit past the first four levels.

Meanwhile, her 15th level Wizard ally, with 12 Constitution (who also takes is favored class bonus in skill points) would have:

1st Level: 6 + 1 = 7
2nd Level: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
3rd Level: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
4th Level: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
5th Level: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
6th Level: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
7th Level: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
8th Level: 1d3 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
9th Level: 1d3 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
10th Level: 1d3 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
11th Level: 1 + 1 = 2
12th Level: 1 + 1 = 2
13th Level: 1 + 1 = 2
14th Level: 1 + 1 = 2
15th Level: 1 + 1 = 2

for a total of 49 hit points. A bull's endurance would give him 4 x 2 + 3 x 1 = 11 temporary hit points.


WormysQueue wrote:
Freesword wrote:
A CR10 encounter should be appropriate for any party of the appropriate level, whether they be optimized casters or all completely unoptimized non-casters.

See, that is something I heavily disagree with. The success of D&D over the years mostly stems from the fact that it allowed a wide range of nearly incompatible playstyles. But this comes with a cost and that's imbalance.

And you are right to. This is what lead to the 4E "every character is functionally the same but with slight differences".

This is because the balance model of CR vs APL was created independent of the game, and then the game was changed to fit the model. The goal was an easy way to match up opponents of equal power. The problem is that short of 4E it doesn't. Forcing all characters to be equal changes the game into a completely different game.

For the CR vs APL system to actually work without such drastic game changes, it would need to be much more granular (like maybe a factor of 10) and not based purely on character level.


Balance is important. Fun being the main case. And remember, classes are not for PLAYER characters alone, they are also for Non-player characters, do you want your group of Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, Wizard to go up against 4 Druids if they are not balanced to your characters? They're worth the same XP as 4 of any other class...so they should be balanced...

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dire Mongoose wrote:
Is it so hard to believe that 4E being what it is brought a lot of new players into the hobby and lapsed players back, even if it's not what either you or I want?

In fact I would love to be wrong. Because I consider each and every player an asset to our hobby no matter which system he choses.

What makes me hesitant to believe this is the last ICv2-report which indicated that in the meantime D&D and Pathfinder have become equals as far as sales numbers are concerned (and Lisa confirmed that the numbers Paizo has access to indicate the same).

Which basically means that if WotC succeeded not only in replacing their losses (to Paizo) by new fans but were even able to increase their customership, then Paizo must have succeeded in forming a customership of the same size out of nowhere.

As I said, I would love that to be the case. Unluckily I think that it's much more probable that Paizo's gain is mainly WotC's loss and the overall number of players hasn't changed too much.


JMD031 wrote:

I only read the first page of this thread. However, I believe that I know the heart of the matter here. As some people already pointed out many of us play to the extremes. We have some people who either have to be 100% combat effective or we are useless and we have others who are perfectly fine playing that character who is a social butterfly and has a 18+ CHA even though it gives him absolutely no combat advantages. The issue is that some people have put in their head that they are completely right and the other group is completely wrong and how dare they say otherwise. The truth of the matter is that much like life itself the answer is more in the grey area. A good game can be had by being completely combat heavy or with very little combat at all. A great game has the right mixture of both. As one of my players often says, "Its not about rules, its about consistency."

The rules are important, they keep everything in check. If the rules are unbalanced then a game ran straight by them will be unfun. Rules are also meant to be broken, but if you break too many then the game has no structure. A perfectly balanced game cannot exist because of the Human Experience. People in this thread have made comments about MMO balance when those games are often in constant flux as the designers try to balance everything out.

Personally, I would rather have a game that isn't 100% balanced because then I as a GM have some say in how my game runs. Otherwise, I might as well just read straight from the cue cards and just tell the PCs what happens to them and call it an early night.

I admittingly don't get the social butterfly thing.

It's pretty dang hard to make a character that isn't, like, a monk, but is bad at combat.

Let's take the social butterfly. You are assumably a bard. That means, right from the start, your high charisma gives you much better spellcasting. You have all your bardic abilities on top of that. You're far from "useless."

That isn't to say it's not possible to accidentally make a character terrible at combat. It's more that it's easier to do so with anything other then a social butterfly, which plays itself naturally to a casting trickster bard ;p


Pathfinder has alot of success with the adventure paths and related material, but OGL was the icing on the cake. It would be a different story if it did not exist. But regardless, I believe 4E went in the right direction, but in becoming so focused, they went too far. Everything they did succeed at could have been written with a heavier backdrop of 3.5, in regards to equal focus on the non-combat side of the game, or even less an emphasis on round by round effects, and the constant record keeping. This doesn't mean they won't eventually come back to the "middle", but the bad feelings it left takes a long time to heal.


WormysQueue wrote:
What makes me hesitant to believe this is the last ICv2-report which indicated that in the meantime D&D and Pathfinder have become equals as far as sales numbers are concerned

Nothing against Paizo; clearly they're the gaming company I've chosen to vote with my dollars and time for. They've worked hard for their success and deserve every bit of it.

But...

You're making a lot of bad assumptions from the ICv2 report and/or (I think) reading things into Paizo's response that they're not saying.

For example: it's kind of like assuming Kelloggs is struggling because your local super-organic-foods-loving hippie grocery store is now selling just as much of a locally-made granola cereal as they do Frosted Flakes. Meanwhile, there's Walmart across the street which doesn't sell the granola cereal at all.


ProfessorCirno wrote:

I admittingly don't get the social butterfly thing.

It's pretty dang hard to make a character that isn't, like, a monk, but is bad at combat.

I have, once, seen a monk PC with Charisma as highest stat. I am not kidding.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dire Mongoose wrote:
You're making a lot of bad assumptions from the ICv2 report and/or (I think) reading things into Paizo's response that they're not saying.

Maybe. But to quote Lisa:

Quote:
It (the ICv2 report) may not be scientific, but it jives well with some much more scientific data that we have internally. We will never be able to have 100% transparency about how sales of somebody else's products are going, but we can get some pretty good data that customers don't have access to. And that data tells us that icV2 is pretty much right on. Which is pretty cool, IMHO!

You're right. I can only guess that Paizo has access to numbers ICv2 hasn't. But I also think that Lisa would have chosen another wording if that would be the case (i.e if amazon sales did change the numbers in a major way).


WormysQueue wrote:
You're right. I can only guess that Paizo has access to numbers ICv2 hasn't.

Well, right -- but Lisa there isn't necessarily saying that the sales of the two are equal overall, only that what the ICv2 is saying about sales in the venues they survey is correct.

At least, that's the way I read it. I welcome correction.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ProfessorCirno wrote:

I admittingly don't get the social butterfly thing.

It's pretty dang hard to make a character that isn't, like, a monk, but is bad at combat.

Let's take the social butterfly. You are assumably a bard. That means, right from the start, your high charisma gives you much better spellcasting. You have all your bardic abilities on top of that. You're far from "useless."

That isn't to say it's not...

I was actually thinking more along the lines of a Rogue who takes all of the CHA skills and has an 18 CHA. A Bard having an 18+ CHA would be beneficial and therefore not really fit into what I was getting at. My point was that some people prefer to play non-optimal combat characters because they will be better at things outside of combat which is where I feel most of the problem is coming from because on one side of the fence you have people who are saying that if you do not play this one way you are wrong and an idiot to boot. On the other side you got people who are saying that the maths are not important and people who waste their time solely on the maths are wrong and are idiots to boot. I'm saying saying that both of them are wrong but with a little bit of understanding on both sides they will realize that it doesn't matter who is right or wrong but that everyone enjoys the game in thier own way.


Chris Mortika wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:

Fighters were nerfed the moment some bright spark decided to have HP's be equal to the National debt.

Hit point went skyrocketing yet the basic damage of the sword stayed the same.

That makes a lot of sense. I might well suggest that we devise some way to replicate AD&D's feature, where hit point increases slowed way down around 9th level or so.

That's an interesting point, and a thought provoking chart you put together Chris. Between your post and Marshal's before you, I've gotten the confirmation I was looking for in regards to my homerules/revision.

In essence, there are going to be three hit dice tiers (Low, Medium, and High), corresponding to the BAB's, with a 1:2:3 ratio.

Any time one gains a hit die, he gains his con bonus (and favored class bonus/toughness, if applicable) multiplied by 1, 2, or 3 depending on the hit die.

The system does force a big ratcheting up of damage numbers, and can be a bit daunting at first glance, however I'm finding I really like the smoothness of it. No matter what a pure classed mage does, his average, expected HP is 1/3 of the Fighters, and 1/2 of the clerics. It looks really good numerically.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Not sure I like the 'reduce hit dice as you progress' idea. I'd really rather do something about the quadratic nature of Con bonuses.

Off the top of my head, instead of adding Con bonus times level, add 1 point per level up to a maximum of Con score.

So a Fighter with 16 Con:

1st: 11
2nd-16th: 1d10+1
17th-20th: 1d10

Wizard with 14:

1st: 7
2nd-14th: 1d6+1
15th-20th: 1d6

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:

In essence, there are going to be three hit dice tiers (Low, Medium, and High), corresponding to the BAB's, with a 1:2:3 ratio.

Any time one gains a hit die, he gains his con bonus (and favored class bonus/toughness, if applicable) multiplied by 1, 2, or 3 depending on the hit die.

The system does force a big ratcheting up of damage numbers, and can be a bit daunting at first glance, however I'm finding I really like the smoothness of it. No matter what a pure classed mage does, his average, expected HP is 1/3 of the Fighters, and 1/2 of the clerics. It looks really good numerically.

Are you going to do likewise with monsters?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
John Woodford wrote:
Are you going to do likewise with monsters?

We're writing 20-level progressions for all the monster types, so you build them just like characters, and their HD = their level = their CR.


John Woodford wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

In essence, there are going to be three hit dice tiers (Low, Medium, and High), corresponding to the BAB's, with a 1:2:3 ratio.

Any time one gains a hit die, he gains his con bonus (and favored class bonus/toughness, if applicable) multiplied by 1, 2, or 3 depending on the hit die.

The system does force a big ratcheting up of damage numbers, and can be a bit daunting at first glance, however I'm finding I really like the smoothness of it. No matter what a pure classed mage does, his average, expected HP is 1/3 of the Fighters, and 1/2 of the clerics. It looks really good numerically.

Are you going to do likewise with monsters?

Yes, but there are big changes being made to monsters in my game. I'm putting them all on a 20 level = 20 hit dice class progressions, with each having their own hit dice (Dragons and Outsiders would be High, Abberations would be medium, etc.)

Liberty's Edge

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

Not sure I like the 'reduce hit dice as you progress' idea. I'd really rather do something about the quadratic nature of Con bonuses.

Off the top of my head, instead of adding Con bonus times level, add 1 point per level up to a maximum of Con score.

So a Fighter with 16 Con:

1st: 11
2nd-16th: 1d10+1
17th-20th: 1d10

Wizard with 14:

1st: 7
2nd-14th: 1d6+1
15th-20th: 1d6

That'd seem to make CON relatively more important for the wizard, though--an extra point per level isn't as great a relative increase for the fighter as for the wizard, and given that most of the campaigns I hear about on the boards top out in the low 'teens there isn't an operational difference between a 12 CON and an 18 CON for the purpose of HP.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
John Woodford wrote:
Are you going to do likewise with monsters?
We're writing 20-level progressions for all the monster types, so you build them just like characters, and their HD = their level = their CR.

Damned ninja lol. Yes, what he said.


John Woodford wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:

Not sure I like the 'reduce hit dice as you progress' idea. I'd really rather do something about the quadratic nature of Con bonuses.

Off the top of my head, instead of adding Con bonus times level, add 1 point per level up to a maximum of Con score.

So a Fighter with 16 Con:

1st: 11
2nd-16th: 1d10+1
17th-20th: 1d10

Wizard with 14:

1st: 7
2nd-14th: 1d6+1
15th-20th: 1d6

That'd seem to make CON relatively more important for the wizard, though--an extra point per level isn't as great a relative increase for the fighter as for the wizard, and given that most of the campaigns I hear about on the boards top out in the low 'teens there isn't an operational difference between a 12 CON and an 18 CON for the purpose of HP.

I'm not sure where you read that... sure for a barbarian it's fairly true, that d12 reduces the relative value of con somewhat... but for Wizards it's huge. the difference between 12 and 18 almost DOUBLES your average HP per level.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Not sure I like the 'reduce hit dice as you progress' idea. I'd really rather do something about the quadratic nature of Con bonuses.

... or dramatically increase damage output... but honestly, I'd rather have a smaller range in power from 1st to 20th, not an even larger one. Still, that's how the game is written.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Not sure I like the 'reduce hit dice as you progress' idea. I'd really rather do something about the quadratic nature of Con bonuses.
... or dramatically increase damage output... but honestly, I'd rather have a smaller range in power from 1st to 20th, not an even larger one. Still, that's how the game is written.

Heh. I can understand the logic of the smaller range of power, but that would require going through and pretty much scalping the upper tier spells.

I think it's easiest with the system to bring everything else into parity. That way at least you have clearly delineated tiers where everybody's on equal footing.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
John Woodford wrote:

That'd seem to make CON relatively more important for the wizard, though--an extra point per level isn't as great a relative increase for the fighter as for the wizard, and given that most of the campaigns I hear about on the boards top out in the low 'teens there isn't an operational difference between a 12 CON and an 18 CON for the purpose of HP.

No worse than the favored class bonus is.

'Let's give an extra skill or hit point to characters who stay in their class! Nevermind that we have an Int-based spellcaster who rarely needs an extra skill point or to hurt his spellcasting progression!'

Also, this boosts direct damage spells because no one has higher than about 15 HP per level. (Barbarian with Toughness and FCB: Hit point.)

Con has always been important for everyone. This doesn't change anything for the wizard except he can take people down with direct damage spells faster.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:
John Woodford wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:

Not sure I like the 'reduce hit dice as you progress' idea. I'd really rather do something about the quadratic nature of Con bonuses.

Off the top of my head, instead of adding Con bonus times level, add 1 point per level up to a maximum of Con score.

So a Fighter with 16 Con:

1st: 11
2nd-16th: 1d10+1
17th-20th: 1d10

Wizard with 14:

1st: 7
2nd-14th: 1d6+1
15th-20th: 1d6

That'd seem to make CON relatively more important for the wizard, though--an extra point per level isn't as great a relative increase for the fighter as for the wizard, and given that most of the campaigns I hear about on the boards top out in the low 'teens there isn't an operational difference between a 12 CON and an 18 CON for the purpose of HP.

I'm not sure where you read that... sure for a barbarian it's fairly true, that d12 reduces the relative value of con somewhat... but for Wizards it's huge. the difference between 12 and 18 almost DOUBLES your average HP per level.

That's how I interpreted what TOZ said: If you have a positive CON bonus, you get one extra HP/level (not CON bonus HP/level) up to CON level--a fighter with a 16 CON gets only one extra hit point per level up to 16th level.


Chris Mortika wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:

Fighters were nerfed the moment some bright spark decided to have HP's be equal to the National debt.

Hit point went skyrocketing yet the basic damage of the sword stayed the same.

That makes a lot of sense. I might well suggest that we devise some way to replicate AD&D's feature, where hit point increases slowed way down around 9th level or so.

  • 1st Character Level: Max hit points, as per normal
  • 2nd - 4th Level: normal hit points, full CON bonus
  • 5th - 7th Level: reduce hit die by 1 (fighters on d8's, sorcerers on d4's, etc), cap CON bonus at +2/+3/+4 for low/medium/high BAB classes, +6 for Barbarians.
  • 8th - 10th Level: reduce hit die again, cap CON bonus at +1/+2/+3/+4.
  • 11th Level and up: increase hit points by 1 plus capped CON bonus.

...

Actually I prefer a simpler solution:

  • all d6 classes gain d6 each level + con/feats/favored
  • all d8 classes gain d6+2 each level + con/feats/favored
  • all d10 classes gain d6+4 each level + con/feats/favored
  • all d12 classes gain d6+6 each level + con/feats/favored

This produces a tremendous HP discrepancy between say a wizard and a barbarian. Taking 16 con (after items) at level 10 the HP would be
6 + 9 * 3.5 + 10 * 3 = 67.5 (wizard)
12 + 9 * 9.5 + 10 * 3 = 127.5 (147.5 raging) (barbarian)
Compare to normal barbarian:
12 + 9 * 6.5 + 10 * 3 = 100.5 (normal barbarian)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I'm not sure where you read that... sure for a barbarian it's fairly true, that d12 reduces the relative value of con somewhat... but for Wizards it's huge. the difference between 12 and 18 almost DOUBLES your average HP per level.

Et tu, kyrt? :)


Kirth Gersen wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Not sure I like the 'reduce hit dice as you progress' idea. I'd really rather do something about the quadratic nature of Con bonuses.
... or dramatically increase damage output... but honestly, I'd rather have a smaller range in power from 1st to 20th, not an even larger one. Still, that's how the game is written.

Dammit I sent a post in reply to this, but it didn't go through.

I can understand your desire to reduce the range in power Kirth, but honestly? We both know that's not going to happen without scalping the upper tier spells (or possibly making most spells into full-round-casts, as in a caster would start casting one round and it goes off at the beginning of the next)

I think the easiest, cleanest way to handle this is bringing everybody else into parity in their own ways. At least that way by dividing the game up into tiers of power like that, you have your places you want to play for different kinds of games, and everybody gets to stand on equal (although vastly different) footing.


John Woodford wrote:

That's how I interpreted what TOZ said: If you have a positive CON bonus, you get one extra HP/level (not CON bonus HP/level) up to CON level--a fighter with a 16 CON gets only one extra hit point per level up to 16th level.

Now I get it John. My apologies. When I read your statement about 'other campaigns' I thought you were comparing the difference in HP in those.

Yeah, I'm not really liking ToZ's solution either. It does dramatically increase the value of hit dice, but in doing so it significantly devalues constitution.

Liberty's Edge

Dire Mongoose wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
You're right. I can only guess that Paizo has access to numbers ICv2 hasn't.

Well, right -- but Lisa there isn't necessarily saying that the sales of the two are equal overall, only that what the ICv2 is saying about sales in the venues they survey is correct.

At least, that's the way I read it. I welcome correction.

Also, Paizo has released a couple of "must have" books for people running Pathfinder in the last year, whereas WotC just released their "Essentials" game, maybe in response to somewhat stagnant sales in the main 4e line (pure speculation there on my part), so it may be a really good Paizo run going against a less robust WotC run.

As to 4e: The problem WotC has is being a subsidiary of Hasbro. They're probably far more sensitive to sales fluctuations since the corporate bean counters a) want results, and b) probably don't understand the TTRPG market well.

So, 4e is probably a modest success for a large gaming company, but more likely than not seen as a slow mover to someone used to seeing Transformers toys flying off the shelf. I can't imagine they've sold as well as 3.x in its heyday, but I'm sure they're not doing badly by RPG standards.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
I can understand your desire to reduce the range in power Kirth, but honestly? We both know that's not going to happen

I have long since resigned myself to agreement, which is why I've put in a million ways to ramp up damage output.

I read somewhere once that the original intent was to have a 10th level character be the equivalent of a unit of ten 1st-level men-at-arms (making the concept of "level" a lot less arbitrary), but that has never been the case in the history of the game, and I don't think ever will be. So now it's a matter of making sure that a 10th level wizard and a 10th level fighter are each the equivalent of 10,000 men-at-arms, rather than it being 10,000 vs. 100 or something.

Liberty's Edge

Gorbacz wrote:
At which point did the good old Houstonderek of yore make the pilgrimage to the Sacred Mountain of the Den and became a follower of the Sanctified Way of Frank Trollman, because I have obviously missed some important plot event along the way ?

Nah, Frank goes too far in the optimization direction for me. I have no problems with a "Tome" game, I can enjoy it, but it's a little too "hard wired" to rocket launcher tag for my regular gaming style.

My arguments here aren't any different than they were during the Beta test, really. My tastes do run closer to the Den's idea of gaming than the "DM fiat - make corrections at the table" style most Paizo posters seem to prefer.

I just want a rules set that can accommodate a higher rules mastery game (without leaving some class options non-viable) while still allowing the more story driven players and DMs to play their game. I just happen to think it's easier to scale back things to make a story driven game work than to have to come up with a ton of house rules to make the higher level tactical game work.

Liberty's Edge

Dire Mongoose wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:

So to fix this we either need to increase the damage output of the fighter - rule = iterative attacks with high bonus (max BAB). The issue I have with this is it's really slow at high level, more than a few d20 rolls a just plain silly if flow is to be maintained.

The biggest piece of the problem isn't exactly that the melee characters don't get enough attacks, but that, assuming enemies are playing the tactical/movement part of the game intelligently, it's very hard to get a full attack as a melee character. Either you're fighting a melee monster, which probably has a scarier full attack than you do (and thus, getting a full attack means taking a full attack, usually, and isn't really in your best interest), or you're fighting something that doesn't care about making a full attack, in which case it should almost never stand still and let you full attack it.

You can tell that the game designers realize some version of this and have taken some steps in the direction of addressing it, such as Vital Strike, neo-Cleave, the Fighter variants that can potentially move and still get off more than one attack in a round, Beast Totem Barbarian, etc. These are steps in the right direction but they're not quite enough yet, I don't think.

Yep. And critters have access to multi-attack, which lessens the penalties for full attack, making melee opponents even scarier.

My opinion is still that the 3.x action economy is a bigger problem than most of the class features/feats, although I still think feats available at higher levels need to be more robust, more "heroic" and maybe a bit more spectacular.


Freesword wrote:


It is that easy:

CR 10: Adult White Dragon vs. CR 10: 8 Owlbears vs. Cr 10: 12 Hell Hounds

In other words, not all encounters of the same CR are equal.

The DMG already pointed that out. It is even further backed up by the XP chart which stopped giving XP if you were too far ahead of a monster.

In 3.5 you add CR's to get EL's. Pathfinder dropping the EL terminology does not change the fact that the encounters you listed are not supposed to be equal.


houstonderek wrote:


My opinion is still that the 3.x action economy is a bigger problem than most of the class features/feats, although I still think feats available at higher levels need to be more robust, more "heroic" and maybe a bit more spectacular.

And I would add that the save progression vs. spell DC is an equal partner to action economy in terms of unbalancing the game. If these two things alone were fixed, there would be a lot more parity between the classes overall.

Hey, I think I just struck on two things I'd like to see in Ultimate Combat:

Alternate combat rules that favor equity in action economy between classes.

An alternate save system.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't like how it turned out in 4E, but I do think they were onto something with the idea of Rituals.

I think much high level magic could be something analogous to a ritual. It would require time, concentration, and not be cast in under 6 seconds - this would balance the action economy problem quite a bit.

Another possibility is to lower the number of spells a caster can cast in a day. By about 8th level, you don't go through much of your spell list - often many of your lower level spells are left until the end of the day.

***

Kirth, one thing to explore to encourage a smaller disparity between high and low level is limit the total bonus a character can receive to a d20 roll. ONce your bonuses approach the amound of randomness in the system, the disparity between have and have nots is huge. After a certain point, I would replace bonuses to spell rolls with extra die rolls. As you get higher in level your abilities don't improve into infinity - rather, your ability to do that thing you do perfectly increases.

Graph of percentage chance of rolls with a "roll multiple d20s, take the highest" scheme: ftp://ftp.access-inuyasha.com/httpdocs/stuff/multipled20rolls.gif

Thus when you get 5d20 to roll, your chance of getting a 1 is abysmally small, and your chance of getting a perfect 20 is approaching 25%.


I must say after reading through the last few pages here, I'm horrified by all the nerfs suggested. One more game wrecking than the next.

It's just a guess, but I don't think it's far off to say that 90% of the people on here want to change the balance of the game/classes.

Everybody knows Paizo toned down many spells from 3.5 when they made Pathfinder, especially SoD ones. But looking at the overwhelming numbers in the camp calling for more nerfs(or balance at least), I'm very impressed the pathfinder developers managed to stay relatively true to the game I love and preserve the "fun aspect"

So my hat is off to the Paizo staff. Keep up the good work, and don't give in to all these balance fanatics. Cheers! :-)

Liberty's Edge

anthony Valente wrote:
houstonderek wrote:


My opinion is still that the 3.x action economy is a bigger problem than most of the class features/feats, although I still think feats available at higher levels need to be more robust, more "heroic" and maybe a bit more spectacular.

And I would add that the save progression vs. spell DC is an equal partner to action economy in terms of unbalancing the game. If these two things alone were fixed, there would be a lot more parity between the classes overall.

Hey, I think I just struck on two things I'd like to see in Ultimate Combat:

An alternate combat rules that favor equity in action economy between classes.

An alternate save system.

Yeah, if not in Ultimate Combat, in an Unearthed Arcana type book. Give the Char Op crowd some rules to accommodate their game, and maybe even throw in optional rules in the same book to accommodate more of a story driven game (less emphasis on the hard combat rules, maybe some ritualized DM fiat options so the RAW crowd doesn't lynch their DM).


houstonderek wrote:


Yeah, if not in Ultimate Combat, in an Unearthed Arcana type book. Give the Char Op crowd some rules to accommodate their game, and maybe even throw in optional rules in the same book to accommodate more of a story driven game (less emphasis on the hard combat rules, maybe some ritualized DM fiat options so the RAW crowd doesn't lynch their DM).

I endorse this regardless the gamestyle. UA has been really an awesome book for a worldscrafter.

Said this, I would definitively see more rules for immediate and swift actions for meleers in Ultimate Combat - immediates mainly.

But.. not at the expense of feats - it wouldn't fix anything.


wraithstrike wrote:
Freesword wrote:


It is that easy:

CR 10: Adult White Dragon vs. CR 10: 8 Owlbears vs. Cr 10: 12 Hell Hounds

In other words, not all encounters of the same CR are equal.

The DMG already pointed that out. It is even further backed up by the XP chart which stopped giving XP if you were too far ahead of a monster.

In 3.5 you add CR's to get EL's. Pathfinder dropping the EL terminology does not change the fact that the encounters you listed are not supposed to be equal.

Please be a little more careful with your quotes.

You are attributing to me something that was said by someone else.

anthony Valente wrote:

It is that easy:

CR 10: Adult White Dragon vs. CR 10: 8 Owlbears vs. Cr 10: 12 Hell Hounds

In other words, not all encounters of the same CR are equal. 12 hounds don't hit or take it like 1 white dragon (+20 to hit and AC 27 vs. +5 to hit and AC 16). That's a huge difference in the numbers, yet they are still equal in CR. ...

This was a response here by anthony Valente to houstonderek which I quoted in a post of mine.

I did say that if all of those encounters are CR10 then they should all be equally challenging to a party based on them all having the same nominal challenge rating because that is what having the same challenge rating is supposed to mean.

The only thing I have ever found the CR system to do remotely resembling well is rank the power level of individual examples of various monsters. I qualify that statement with "remotely resembling" because the accuracy of CR is debatable.

Liberty's Edge

Kaiyanwang wrote:
houstonderek wrote:


Yeah, if not in Ultimate Combat, in an Unearthed Arcana type book. Give the Char Op crowd some rules to accommodate their game, and maybe even throw in optional rules in the same book to accommodate more of a story driven game (less emphasis on the hard combat rules, maybe some ritualized DM fiat options so the RAW crowd doesn't lynch their DM).

I endorse this regardless the gamestyle. UA has been really an awesome book for a worldscrafter.

Said this, I would definitively see more rules for immediate and swift actions for meleers in Ultimate Combat - immediates mainly.

But.. not at the expense of feats - it wouldn't fix anything.

Yeah, unless they introduce scaling feats, a la Arcana Evolved, I really don't think melee types need more of a feat tax, really.

I very much dig the feat system in Experimental Might, with the boosts and stuff. That helps a lot when it comes to closing the gap between classes.

Contributor

Removed posts. Let's refrain from personal attacks.


Freesword wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Freesword wrote:


It is that easy:

CR 10: Adult White Dragon vs. CR 10: 8 Owlbears vs. Cr 10: 12 Hell Hounds

In other words, not all encounters of the same CR are equal.

The DMG already pointed that out. It is even further backed up by the XP chart which stopped giving XP if you were too far ahead of a monster.

In 3.5 you add CR's to get EL's. Pathfinder dropping the EL terminology does not change the fact that the encounters you listed are not supposed to be equal.

Please be a little more careful with your quotes.

You are attributing to me something that was said by someone else.

anthony Valente wrote:

It is that easy:

CR 10: Adult White Dragon vs. CR 10: 8 Owlbears vs. Cr 10: 12 Hell Hounds

In other words, not all encounters of the same CR are equal. 12 hounds don't hit or take it like 1 white dragon (+20 to hit and AC 27 vs. +5 to hit and AC 16). That's a huge difference in the numbers, yet they are still equal in CR. ...

This was a response here by anthony Valente to houstonderek which I quoted in a post of mine.

I did say that if all of those encounters are CR10 then they should all be equally challenging to a party based on them all having the same nominal challenge rating because that is what having the same challenge rating is supposed to mean.

The only thing I have ever found the CR system to do remotely resembling well is rank the power level of individual examples of various monsters. I qualify that statement with "remotely resembling" because the accuracy of CR is debatable.

1.Oops.

2.No equal CR does not mean equal challenge. I will state again even back in 3.5 when CR=monster, and ECL=entire encounter, they stated that all the numbers won't past a certain point. If they say ignore CR once X=Y+6 then it should be done. Pathfinder gives flat XP now, instead of having a cutoff point, but has not enough changed for the ignore point to go away.

10 CR 1's versus a party with an APL of 10 has basically no chance at winning, and in 3.5 got no XP as an example. Nothing has changed to make them a threat now either.

If the argument is that it would be nice if all CR's were equal then that is different than they are supposed to be equal.

I understand that in real life 10=10, but D&D math is wonky anyway. The way you stack critical damage shows that. If damage from a X3 weapon is double it becomes a X4, not a X6.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:

Now I get it John. My apologies. When I read your statement about 'other campaigns' I thought you were comparing the difference in HP in those.

Yeah, I'm not really liking ToZ's solution either. It does dramatically increase the value of hit dice, but in doing so it significantly devalues constitution.

No problem--text-only has its pitfalls, here and there, and I maybe wasn't as clear as I should've been.

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