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


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Grand Lodge

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

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! :-)

Strong words friend. Can't say I agree.

Liberty's Edge

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

>>snip<<

Strong words friend. Can't say I agree.

Can't say as I do, either, but I haven't played 3.x all that much--most of my D&D was 1e, and the dynamic was quite different.

But here's the thing. I understand that Paizo is going to maintain a rules set that supports the kinds of stories they want to tell, and that's great. They tell good stories, and the rules set seems to support them without too much trouble.

Maybe, though, you don't want to tell quite that kind of story. The Pathfinder rules engine is, I think, robust enough to take a lot of messing around with, to find the right balance point for the stories you want to tell. So one of the things I go looking for in all of these "Balance: Threat or Menace?" threads are comments from people about how they're tweaking the system, or thinking about tweaking it, and why. The question of whether or not Paizo will make any of these tweaks canon is beside the point.

And that's why, at the end of the day, I'm not "horrified" at the prospect of wizards being nerfed, or whatever the subject of the Two-Minute Hate is this time. I'm not going to walk away from Pathfinder if someone makes a change I don't like. See (holds up Core Rulebook), I own this book. If there's something in it I don't like, I'll change it. And all (OK, at least the vast majority) of you taking the time to read this own your copy, too, and if there's something in it you don't like, you can change it. There's no shrinkwrap license here. There isn't even an introduction by Gary Gygax, telling you not to change anything. So honestly--why worry about it?

Liberty's Edge

Morain wrote:
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.

At some stage nerfing will be the only tool left in the box. What we have in 3.e/p is an arms-race to create balance. Each 'fix' seems add another layer of complexity or more dice rolling. I can't be bothered playing a Fighter due to the iterative attacks having got (in my opinion) out of hand in terms of number. I would like to see a maximum of perhaps 3 attacks rolls required for any one player in any round. 5+ just slows the game down, it's becoming more like the WW Story-Teller system in some cases, but even slower! Yes the system as is would NOT support a reduction in attacks - but a giant leap back to the future and a HP structure ala-1e AD&D and things don't look so bad. Some have suggested system, but I advocate that Gygax had a pretty good and simple system for HP's and CON bonuses.

Evocation is now rubbish, again, HP went into orbit and a fireball remained stuck at xd6. What exactly were they balancing again? Amp up one part of the game while leaving the rest? Wizards rule because now 'save or suck/die' IS the most effect thing you can do.

Balance should be approached from the core of the mechanics up, all this tweaking this class and that doesn't make sense if you can address many issues in one go - e.g. (but not only) HP's.

S.

Liberty's Edge

John Woodford wrote:
There isn't even an introduction by Gary Gygax, telling you not to change anything.

And that's where it started going all wrong!!! ;)


Jess Door wrote:
After a certain point, I would replace bonuses to 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. 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%.

That would be a great approach, but unfortunately I'm not sure how to actually implement it. If every "+X" simply turns into another d20, then there are a number of situations in which it's better to have a slightly lower bonus! For example, let's say arbitrarily that every +10 (or whatever) adds a d20 instead. So 1d20+9 has a range of 10-29, and 2d20, drop the lowest, still has a range of 1-20. Personally, I'd much rather have the 1d20+9.


Stepthan Hill wrote:
Evocation is now rubbish, again, HP went into orbit and a fireball remained stuck at xd6. What exactly were they balancing again? Amp up one part of the game while leaving the rest? Wizards rule because now 'save or suck/die' IS the most effect thing you can do.

I wonder. Would bring HP back down help? What unintended consequences would that have?


Evil Lincoln wrote:
Stepthan Hill wrote:
Evocation is now rubbish, again, HP went into orbit and a fireball remained stuck at xd6. What exactly were they balancing again? Amp up one part of the game while leaving the rest? Wizards rule because now 'save or suck/die' IS the most effect thing you can do.
I wonder. Would bring HP back down help? What unintended consequences would that have?

Powerwords (which aren't SoS, they are just...well, S) get even better and people still avoid damage dealing spells in favor of Glitterdust. ;P


wraithstrike wrote:

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.

This is using the math as presented in the rules. The math that says n or CRx = CRa. It's exactly as spelled out in the tables in the rule book.

Interestingly according to the encounter building rules in Pathfinder as well as the encounter numbers table on page 49 of the 3.5 DMG all 3 of the encounters anthony Valente listed should be considered as roughly equivalent. (note: I used the Pathfinder CRs and did not double check to see if they were the same in 3.5 for those creatures) None of them fall off the scale in 3.5.

10 CR 1s in Pathfinder would be about CR 7-8 (8 being CR+6 and 12 being CR+7) The table only goes up to 16 being CR+8 so that may well be where the cutoff is. Hypothetically if no such cutoff exists CR10 should be about 24 CR1s.

The argument I make is that if they are all considered CR10 encounters then logically they should be equal. Or to make it clear - ideally saying they are all CR10 should mean they are all equal - in your words it would be nice.

The fact that is that in reality they are not.

The CR system doesn't work as advertised. Because of this it shouldn't be used as an argument that the game is balanced. One cannot claim that the game is balanced because two encounters that are supposed to be equally challenging really are not so therefore it balances out the fact that all parties of the same APL are not equal. That is like saying since B is broken and B is supposed to correspond to with A then it cancels out the fact that A is broken.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Jess Door wrote:
After a certain point, I would replace bonuses to 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. 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%.
That would be a great approach, but unfortunately I'm not sure how to actually implement it. If every "+X" simply turns into another d20, then there are a number of situations in which it's better to have a slightly lower bonus! For example, let's say arbitrarily that every +10 (or whatever) adds a d20 instead. So 1d20+9 has a range of 10-29, and 2d20, drop the lowest, still has a range of 1-20. Personally, I'd much rather have the 1d20+9.

Oh, yeah, you couldn't do it that way. You'd have to retune the system to have a maximum bonus of somethin like +5 per source, and decouple the extra die rolls from the bonuses.

Off the cuff example:

Let's assume a 20 level system. Let's assume we have two ways characters improve:
1. their peak performance improves (flat bonuses)
2. their ability to perform well consistently improves (more rolls reduce the element of chance)

Fighters are good at fighting. they start out with a +1 bonus to attack, and also likely a higher strength. Each of these provide a flat bonus to their attack rolls.

If we dont' reduce the effect of stats, a fighter with 18 strength would have a total +5 to attack.

A wizard isn't good at fighting. He starts with a +0 bonus to attack, and also an average to low strength. This gives him a total of +0 to attack.

Let's assume a good BaB progression is +1 every 4 levels. By 20th level the fighter has a +6 to attack. A poor BaB might be +1 every 8 levels, for a 20th level +2 to attack. (a medium BaB class might be +1 every 5 levels, starting out at +1 - for a total of +4 at 20th level - or it could be every 6 levels, starting out with a +1 at first for a total of +4 at 20th level).

That fighter, assuming stat boost rules are the same, puts everything he has into strength. +6 belt, 4 stat boosts (not even as much as possible, but a lot) - 28 strength. This gives a +9 strength bonus to attack. Together this would be a +15 to the d20 roll. that's going to beat the wizard's likely +2 out of the water. the +9 component is more of the d20 than I would like - I'd like it to be maxed closer to about 5. Maybe we cut those bonuses in half...+1 for every 4 stat points above 10. Maybe an entirely new scheme is called for.

now we need to consider the number of d20's rolled. fighters have been practicing a while. maybe the initial bonuses are enough - but maybe a fighter starts out with 2d20 - to put him a cut above those pesky medium BaB-ers with a +1 at 1st level.

fighters get a die every 5 levels, medium BaBers get a die every 10, low never another.

Suddenly here's the breakdown at first level:

Level 1

Level 1 fighter, 18 strength: +1 BaB, +2 Str, with 2d20 rolled (take the best) giving him nearly a 10% chance to crit, attack range 4-23.

Level 1 cleric, 14 strength: +1 BaB, +1 Str, with 1d20 rolled, giving him a 5% chance to crit, attack range 3-22.

Level 1 wizard, 10 strength: +0 BaB, +0 Str, with 1d20 rolled, giving him a 5% chance to crit, attack range 1-20.

Level 10

Level 10 fighter, 24 strength (18 + 2 stats + 4 item): +3 BaB, +3 Str, with 4d20 rolled (take the best) giving him nearly an 18% chance to crit, attack range 7-26.

Level 10 cleric, 16 strength (14 + 2 item): +2 BaB, +1 Str, with 2d20 rolled, giving him nearly a 10% chance to crit, attack range 4-23.

Level 10 wizard, 10 strength: +1 BaB, +0 Str, with 1d20 rolled, giving him a 5% chance to crit, attack range 2-21.

Level 20

Level 20 fighter, 28 strength (18 + 4 stats + 6 item): +6 BaB, +4 Str, with 6d20 rolled (take the best) giving him about a 25% chance to crit, attack range 11-30.

Level 20 cleric, 16 strength (14 + 2 item): +4 BaB, +1 Str, with 3d20 rolled, giving him nearly a 15% chance to crit, attack range 6-25.

Level 20 wizard, 10 strength: +2 BaB, +0 Str, with 1d20 rolled, giving him a 5% chance to crit, attack range 3-22.

Assuming a crit still always hits, a wizard is still much worse at hitting in a physical attack than a fighter but the spread is much smaller between the wizard's best roll and the fighter's. There will be enemies the wizard can only hit on a critical strike - but the fighter's attack roll range and the wizard's attack roll range still have some overlap - monster ACs don't have to scale quite so quickly, and numbers stay a lot more managable while the disparity in skill is still obvious.

the fighter gets some very nice usage out of critical feats now too.


Hit point inflation is only one part of the overall problem. The other part is that spells now are pretty much guaranteed to go off since casting times are generally 1 standard action. This makes spells that bypass hit points much more action efficient than doing hit point damage. SoS spells don't need their effects nerfed, they need their casting times increased. And I'm not just talking full round actions so they can only take a 5' step instead of a full move. I mean 1 round so the spell goes off on their action the round after they start casting, with any damage they take during that round provoking concentration checks to keep from losing the spell. This helps evocation because xd6 that you can definitely cast is a hell of a lot better than a spell you may not even get to complete. SoS become big risk for for big gain when it becomes all or nothing time like they used to be.

More hit points is not necessarily a bad thing, but combined with other factors it becomes problematic. The changes to spell casting times is one factor that made it problematic. They changes to Con bonus combined with the ease of raising stats and making them open ended also made it a problem.

It's not just one change, but the combination of several small changes that causes problems. Real solutions require identifying all the contributing factors and finding out which are the catalysts that push things from improvement to problem.

In addition to the casting time change above I'm also looking at a house rule to hard cap stats at 18 + racial and size modifiers. (I'll also allow age modifiers and Rage as exceptions to the cap and possibly other effects with a duration in rounds)

Liberty's Edge

Freesword wrote:

Hit point inflation is only one part of the overall problem. The other part is that spells now are pretty much guaranteed to go off since casting times are generally 1 standard action. This makes spells that bypass hit points much more action efficient than doing hit point damage. SoS spells don't need their effects nerfed, they need their casting times increased. And I'm not just talking full round actions so they can only take a 5' step instead of a full move. I mean 1 round so the spell goes off on their action the round after they start casting, with any damage they take during that round provoking concentration checks to keep from losing the spell. This helps evocation because xd6 that you can definitely cast is a hell of a lot better than a spell you may not even get to complete. SoS become big risk for for big gain when it becomes all or nothing time like they used to be.

More hit points is not necessarily a bad thing, but combined with other factors it becomes problematic. The changes to spell casting times is one factor that made it problematic. They changes to Con bonus combined with the ease of raising stats and making them open ended also made it a problem.

It's not just one change, but the combination of several small changes that causes problems. Real solutions require identifying all the contributing factors and finding out which are the catalysts that push things from improvement to problem.

In addition to the casting time change above I'm also looking at a house rule to hard cap stats at 18 + racial and size modifiers. (I'll also allow age modifiers and Rage as exceptions to the cap and possibly other effects with a duration in rounds)

Yeah. If I busted out the old 1e books, I could probably go point by point and the ratio of what they got right and what they screwed up making 3.0 would near 1:1.


Jess Door wrote:
an interesting post.

spoilered to not de-rail

Spoiler:
I don't know Jess. I like I kind of like the iterative attack model or a 1E style single attack model with a built-in 3.5 Power Attack feature better.
Quote:
... but the fighter's attack roll range and the wizard's attack roll range still have some overlap - monster ACs don't have to scale quite so quickly, and numbers stay a lot more managable while the disparity in skill is still obvious.

This is an admirable target to shoot for, and I've contemplated it for my games myself.

Looking at the iterative model, at its basic level before modifiers come into play, the opposition's AC should scale based upon the average BAB progression, with an assumption that an average combatant should have a 50% chance to hit against a standard opponent. So...

1st level BAB +0 = avg. AC of 11
5th level BAB +3 = avg. AC of 14
10th level BAB +7 = avg. AC of 18
15th level BAB +11 = avg AC of 22
20th level BAB +15 = avg. AC of 26

So taking 20th level:

A fighter's attack routine % chance to hit is: 75%, 50%, 25%, 5%
A cleric's attack routine % chance to hit is: 50%, 25%, 5%
A wizard's attack routine % chance to hit is: 25%, 5%

There's so many ways to tweak this preliminary model, like giving the fighter a class feature to make his first attack automatic vs. a standard, level-appropriate opponent, but the overriding goal is to not break it overall when layering modifiers onto this basic framework.

With that in mind, Stat boosters for the most part would probably not be a good idea. Or adding a rule where once an ability gets over 20, it has a limited upward benefit. One thought in this case, was no matter how strong or dextrous you are, to hit bonuses cap at +5. So a Str of 24 would give you +5 to hit and +7 to damage. A Str of 30 will get you +5 to hit and +10 damage.

I've been thinking much about designing my own combat system lately.

Liberty's Edge

Freesword wrote:
In addition to the casting time change above I'm also looking at a house rule to hard cap stats at 18 + racial and size modifiers. (I'll also allow age modifiers and Rage as exceptions to the cap and possibly other effects with a duration in rounds)

HD bet me to the punch-line. What we are really saying is lets apply the d20 system mechanics to the underpinnings of Gygax's AD&D. I think this would be a great place to start the process of re-inventing a 'new' D&D-like game. We currently have the 'old school' with the attitude we don't need no stinking d20 system and the '3.e/p school' of MORE power damn you. A system using the ideals of AD&D with the PF mechanics really appeals to me. Yes to Racial Maximums, no to open ended stats. Drop Halflings with 18+ strength, this makes NO sense, it kills immersion, well for me.

It appears to me that perhaps the authors of the d20 system were trying to stamp their mark and erase all of the 'old' baggage and in doing so they threw out many good things. Sort of like demolishing and rebuilding the whole house because you want to change the bathroom.

S.


houstonderek wrote:

Yeah. If I busted out the old 1e books, I could probably go point by point and the ratio of what they got right and what they screwed up making 3.0 would near 1:1.

I've recently purchased Castles & Crusades and have been perusing PDFs of the 1E player's handbook and DMG to try to actually pull something like a 1.5 off.

I like C&C's solution to the concept of interrupting spellcasting. You roll initiative each round just like in 1E. Most spells have a casting time of 1 round. The game assumes that everyone starts their actions at the beginning of the round. If a caster gets hit before his turn comes up in the initiative order, the spell is ruined. Now, as GM you can run where everyone declares their intent at the beginning of the round or not. If you declare intent, a spellcaster must declare they are casting a spell. If you don't, then if a spellcaster gets hit in a round before his turn in the initiative order comes up, he can't cast that round but can otherwise do other stuff.


Freesword wrote:


In addition to the casting time change above I'm also looking at a house rule to hard cap stats at 18 + racial and size modifiers. (I'll also allow age modifiers and Rage as exceptions to the cap and possibly other effects with a duration in rounds)

There was a great mechanic someone came up with in the homebrew forum where you treat ability advancement just like point buy. Basically, you get an ability point at each level beyond 1st and the cost of gaining a new ability point equals its bonus. It is in essence a cap.


anthony Valente wrote:

I've recently purchased Castles & Crusades and have been perusing PDFs of the 1E player's handbook and DMG to try to actually pull something like a 1.5 off.

I like C&C's solution to the concept of interrupting spellcasting. You roll initiative each round just like in 1E. Most spells have a casting time of 1 round. The game assumes that everyone starts their actions at the beginning of the round. If a caster gets hit before his turn comes up in the initiative order, the spell is ruined. Now, as GM you can run where everyone declares their intent at the beginning of the round or not. If you declare intent, a spellcaster must declare they are casting a spell. If you don't, then if a spellcaster gets hit in a round before his turn in the initiative order comes up, he can't cast that round but can otherwise do other stuff.

The problem with that is you go from a system where it is moderately difficult to cast at low level and far to easy at high level to a system that means you will never cast any spell the DM doesn't want you to. Every round when you announce your intention the DM will think about how that spell will affect the encounter. If he doesn't like your choice he will attack you and you will fail. Rule's shouldn't be dependent on the DM's whims. That's horrible game design.

Liberty's Edge

WPharolin wrote:
anthony Valente wrote:

I've recently purchased Castles & Crusades and have been perusing PDFs of the 1E player's handbook and DMG to try to actually pull something like a 1.5 off.

I like C&C's solution to the concept of interrupting spellcasting. You roll initiative each round just like in 1E. Most spells have a casting time of 1 round. The game assumes that everyone starts their actions at the beginning of the round. If a caster gets hit before his turn comes up in the initiative order, the spell is ruined. Now, as GM you can run where everyone declares their intent at the beginning of the round or not. If you declare intent, a spellcaster must declare they are casting a spell. If you don't, then if a spellcaster gets hit in a round before his turn in the initiative order comes up, he can't cast that round but can otherwise do other stuff.

The problem with that is you go from a system where it is moderately difficult to cast at low level and far to easy at high level to a system that means you will never cast any spell the DM doesn't want you to. Every round when you announce your intention the DM will think about how that spell will affect the encounter. If he doesn't like your choice he will attack you and you will fail. Rule's shouldn't be dependent on the DM's whims. That's horrible game design.

Of course it is. No one actually ever played D&D until 2000 because it was so horrible.

In reality, 1e was HUGE. 3.x was big. The two are not related, game wise, it's more an indication of the shrinking of the hobby from a major fad and cultural phenomenon to a robust but relatively niche (compared to, say, CCGs) hobby. But, we didn't think it was "unfair". We thought it was the price you paid for the ability to alter the fabric of the very universe.

The rules didn't "depend on the DM's whims". They depended on the party actually working cooperatively to allow the magic user to get his or her spells off. Part of the reason so many people use PvP as a basis of arguments in 3.x is because half the party in 3x really doesn't need the rest to do their job. The two wizards/one cleric/one druid party (all full spellcasters) can, past a certain point, do everything the "classic four" can do, just more efficiently and with less resource management issues. 3.x isn't a "cooperative" game unless the DM allows it, and the players decide it is, since there is nothing in the rules that makes the fighter's niche necessary past a certain point.

Why is this? Because 3.x made spell casting way too easy. Action economy favors casters 100% over non-casters. Casters can almost always get off their best thing and do something else. Non-casters almost never can. And, like someone said in another thread, throw in quicken spell, and the caster can do what he does best twice and still do something else. Something, again, a non-caster can never do.

Most people who want to make casting more difficult also want to unlock the nerfs to spells. If you can get it off, it should be spectacular. Furthermore, it makes playing a caster even more of an exercise in tactics and smart play. Planning becomes paramount where possible, so the table can be set for the wizbang to ruin the other guys day.

Of course, in order to make it work, the non-casters need real options to successfully protect their mystic buddies. Not inconvenient options with no real rules backing to make critters "stick". Movement needs to be unlocked, and feats or class features need to be added to make non-casters "wider", so to speak. The rules have to support the non-casters as a real threat to opponents, not just an AoO speed bump.

And, on the flip side, the same rules would apply to NPC casters and spell casting monsters. So, in effect, if the party exercises sound tactics, they would decide when the DMs casters get to cast. Double edged sword.

And, as an aside, I am kind of getting tired of the "if the DM uses sound tactics, he's a dick" statements. Remember, you don't need many rules for story driven games, everyone just minds the story and has a gentleman's agreement that they're not playing a game where the RNG actually matters. But, for those of us who think what the die says is important, we need a more robust system to play our way.


WPharolin wrote:

The problem with that is you go from a system where it is moderately difficult to cast at low level and far to easy at high level to a system that means you will never cast any spell the DM doesn't want you to. Every round when you announce your intention the DM will think about how that spell will affect the encounter. If he doesn't like your choice he will attack you and you will fail. Rule's shouldn't be dependent on the DM's whims. That's horrible game design.

Are you reading it right? It doesn't matter what the GM plans to do to the caster if the caster wins initiative. The caster doesn't necessarily have to specify which spell he will cast. The whole point is to get a general idea of what is going to happen in the round so the GM can adjudicate accordingly.

I should have added that the GM is supposed to determine what the monsters are supposed to do before he asks the players.

It's not horrible at all and it works very well on several levels.


houstonderek wrote:


Stuff about the popularity of the game

Irrelevant (Not trying to be an ass but this really has nothing to do with anything).

houstonderek wrote:


The rules didn't "depend on the DM's whims"

What? We are talking about AD&D right? The one with poorly conceived, poorly written rules that contradicted itself or over overrides itself from one book to another? I DM'd a lot in AD&D. Enough to know I never want to return to having to constantly debate my interpretation of vaguely written rules against another persons, also valid, interpretation of the rules.

That said, this isn't relevant either. What we are talking about is importing a specific rule into the Pathfinder game. Which system the rule comes from, or whether that other system used the rule well says nothing about how it will work in Pathfinder.

houstonderek wrote:


They depended on the party actually working cooperatively to allow the magic user to get his or her spells off.

Co-operation, teamwork, and synergy are not the same as dependency. This rule creates dependency. That, in my opinion, is very very bad.

houstonderek wrote:


The two wizards/one cleric/one druid party (all full spellcasters) can, past a certain point, do everything the "classic four" can do...

That's good design. Players should be able to select any class and contribute to the party even if there is another player playing the same class. If the effectiveness of a particular class hinges on having another class in the party then it punishes players for not having a certain type of party. If the reason the class can't function is because of another rule, external to the class, then the rule needs to be re-examined.

houstonderek wrote:


...can do, just more efficiently and with less resource management issues.

This rule doesn't address resource management or balance. It punishes the player for choosing a class with spell by constantly making them loose their turn. Which will only make them feel like they aren't contributing. Not to mention they will probably get bored every time combat rolls around.

houstonderek wrote:


Why is this? Because 3.x made spell casting way too easy. Action economy favors casters 100% over non-casters. Casters can almost always get off their best thing and do something else. Non-casters almost never can. And, like someone said in another thread, throw in quicken spell, and the caster can do what he does best twice and still do something else. Something, again, a non-caster can never do.

Sounds like a good argument to strengthen the fighter not gimp casters to the point of unplayability.

houstonderek wrote:


And, as an aside, I am kind of getting tired of the "if the DM uses sound tactics, he's a dick" statements. Remember, you don't need many rules for story driven games, everyone just minds the story and has a gentleman's agreement that they're not playing a game where the RNG actually matters. But, for those of us who think what the die says is important, we need a more robust system to play our way.

What does tactics have to do with it? There aren't any tactics in the rule that was proposed. The player says, "I think I'll cast Haste." Then the DM simply decides that's not what he wants you to do and stops you. No tactics necessary. That's arbitrary and convoluted.

And no you don't need any rules to play a story driven game. However you also can't have a meaningful discussion of balance in such a case to it doesn't matter, so bringing it up here in a discussion about balance adds nothing to the conversation.

anthony Valente wrote:


Are you reading it right? It doesn't matter what the GM plans to do to the caster if the caster wins initiative. The caster doesn't necessarily have to specify which spell he will cast. The whole point is to get a general idea of what is going to happen in the round so the GM can adjudicate accordingly.

I should have added that the GM is supposed to determine what the monsters are supposed to do before he asks the players.

Thats a big if. Especially with the ability to hold/prepare your action. You will be loosing you action way to often.


WPharolin wrote:


What does tactics have to do with it? There aren't any tactics in the rule that was proposed. The player says, "I think I'll cast Haste." Then the DM simply decides that's not what he wants you to do and stops you. No tactics necessary. That's arbitrary and convoluted.

...

Thats a big if. Especially with the ability to hold/prepare your action. You will be loosing you action way to often.

You are making things up at this point:

Step 1: GM determines what the monsters will do.

Step 2: GM asks player what they're going to do (he has the option to skip this step).

Step 3: Roll initiative.

Step 4: Repeat this process each round until combat is over.

Where are you holding or preparing your action in this process?

A caster can use a spell trigger item to completely bypass the chance of failure. Not to mention that he has multiple spells to trivialize many attempted assaults (like mirror image).

Tactics.

EDIT:
Also, if you keep the idea of concentration checks, that also mitigates failure.

This combat setup helps to set up a paradigm where if the fighter ever manages to bring the wizard into his world, then the wizard has to play by his rules. None of the current, ha ha, I 5-foot step/move and now cast, you die!

Balance.


anthony Valente wrote:
WPharolin wrote:

The problem with that is you go from a system where it is moderately difficult to cast at low level and far to easy at high level to a system that means you will never cast any spell the DM doesn't want you to. Every round when you announce your intention the DM will think about how that spell will affect the encounter. If he doesn't like your choice he will attack you and you will fail. Rule's shouldn't be dependent on the DM's whims. That's horrible game design.

Are you reading it right? It doesn't matter what the GM plans to do to the caster if the caster wins initiative. The caster doesn't necessarily have to specify which spell he will cast. The whole point is to get a general idea of what is going to happen in the round so the GM can adjudicate accordingly.

I should have added that the GM is supposed to determine what the monsters are supposed to do before he asks the players.

It's not horrible at all and it works very well on several levels.

It's actually a very valid approach with roots in miniature wargaming (shocking that that could have any connection or influence on a role playing game). It's based on each side writing down the orders for all of their units in secret before either side gets an action.

Based on anthony's clarification, all the enemy actions are decided before the caster declares their action. The GM may end up with anyone in a position to interrupt the caster.

At no point is the ability to cast a spell subject to the GMs whim. He may possibly have an opportunity to disrupt you (as opposed to the current 3.x/PF situation where spellcasting is practically guaranteed unless the opponent is already on top of you or forfeits any other action whether you actually cast or not for the possibility to disrupt you), but if you win initiative or he misses or he can't get into position to attack then he can't do anything to stop you.

anthony Valente wrote:


There was a great mechanic someone came up with in the homebrew forum where you treat ability advancement just like point buy. Basically, you get an ability point at each level beyond 1st and the cost of gaining a new ability point equals its bonus. It is in essence a cap.

I was aware of it, but I'm no fan of the point buy system (rolled stats guy here) so I didn't give it much attention. Base on your description of it however I think it may merit a closer look and possible consideration.


ProfessorCirno wrote:

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."

Or you could be a fighter.

People should consider not everyone that walks in a gym becomes Ronnie Coleman. I mean, in real world there are good fighters, like Fedor Emilianenko, and terrible fighters, like the boy next door struggling at the 1st year or boxing. I assume RPG somehow wants to mimic real world situations.
The point here is, not everyone is interested in playing only if he is Fedor, the boy next door could be an equally interesting character to play. And if he ends up in front of situations he can't face, he could just as well do the other million things your imagination allows you in a RPG game (and not just those that need a skill check). Balance is a matter only if everyone wants to face the same situations in the same way: there be monsters, we need to overcome them with firepower.


anthony Valente wrote:


You are making things up at this point:

Step 1: GM determines what the monsters will do.

Step 2: GM asks player what they're going to do (he has the option to skip this step).

Step 3: Roll initiative.

Step 4: Repeat this process each round until combat is over.

Where are you holding or preparing your action in this process?

A caster can use a spell trigger item to completely bypass the chance of failure. Not to mention that he has multiple spells to trivialize many attempted assaults (like mirror image).

If the DM is forced to announce his intentions first then the players have a massive advantage that they shouldn't have and tactics go out the window. If the players are forced to announce their tactics first then the monsters are just arbitrarily choosing which spells will succeed and which spell won't.

Forcing players to always pump dex, always grab improved initiative, and always cast defensive buffs like mirror image, pigeon holes them and limits their options. If the wizard looses his spells simply by being hit then he will always be targeted first. Rather than limiting the caster in unnecessary ways why not grant the fighters new options to deal with the problem? Then no one needs to constantly loose their actions. I think players would rather be forced to spend an action trying to break free of a grapple then loose their entire turn because the took a point of damage.

This rule punishes rogues by making them the in combat healers. It punishes full casters (except the wild shaping druid) by making them pushovers dependent on fighters who can't actually protect them. It punishes fighters by forcing them to work twice as hard trying to defend the casters. It punishes paladins and rangers who are already poor casters by comparison. Now they won't ever try and cast a spell in combat again unless they are guaranteed to go first (especially true if you have to announce your intention before rolling initiative). This rule doesn't benefit anyone.

anthony Valente wrote:


EDIT:
Also, if you keep the idea of concentration checks, that also mitigates failure.

This is a new addition to the rules that wasn't mentioned or implied anywhere in your previous post and so my claims are under the assumption that this isn't the case.

anthony Valente wrote:


This combat setup helps to set up a paradigm where if the fighter ever manages to bring the wizard into his world, then the wizard has to play by his rules. None of the current, ha ha, I 5-foot step/move and now cast, you die!

Balance.

If there is no concentration check (as was previously presented) then this doesn't do anything but tilt the power scale in the other direction and we're right back where we started.

If there is a concentration check (new version just presented) then this system could work if, and only if, the DC of the concentration is not equal to damage dealt.


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Beek Gwenders of Croodle wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:

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."

Or you could be a fighter.

People should consider not everyone that walks in a gym becomes Ronnie Coleman. I mean, in real world there are good fighters, like Fedor Emilianenko, and terrible fighters, like the boy next door struggling at the 1st year or boxing. I assume RPG somehow wants to mimic real world situations.
The point here is, not everyone is interested in playing only if he is Fedor, the boy next door could be an equally interesting character to play. And if he ends up in front of situations he can't face, he could just as well do the other million things your imagination allows you in a RPG game (and not just those that need a skill check). Balance is a matter only if everyone wants to face the same situations in the same way: there be monsters, we need to overcome them with firepower.

Nonissue.

If someone entered my game as a fighter that couldn't fight, my first question would be "Why would I, in character, take someone you are openly describing as inept and bad at his job into a massive underground death trap and/or quest to save all of creation?"

Not everyone that walks into a gym becomes Ronnie Coleman, but people who make body building their entire life and occupation are going to be good at it. Adventuring isn't a part-time job.

You're essentially saying "Look the game as fine so long as you don't play the game! Just ignore the rules completely and never roll dice!"

If that's what you want, play AMBER.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I understand where BGoC comes from though. I'm not interested in playing the boy next door staying the boy next door but I'm also not interested in playing Ronnie Coleman. What I'm interested in is playing the boy next door on his journey to become Ronnie Coleman.

Remember Age of Worms. The basic premise of the AP wasn't the big adventurers braving the Whispering Cairn and so on but the everyday inhabitants of Diamond Lake needing money to escape their daily struggles. Storywise, you weren't supposed to be competent from the start. This Competence was supposed to develop with the experience.

I loved this premise but it's hard to realize if everyone at the table expects you to optimize your PC in a way making him the big hero right from the start (As an aside that's something I don't like with 4E. in 4E you're basically supposed to already start as the big hero so the part of the game I'm truly interested in is already over).

Im convinced that this style still can be done within the ruleset of Pathfinder but I also think that it's a tad more difficult than in 3.5 because starting PF characters have become stronger in relation to their predecessors. And in my mind it has become much more difficult in relation to the original game as invented by Arneson and Gygax. Which may explain why I'm so hesitant to balance things by making the "weak" stronger.


WormysQueue wrote:

I understand where BGoC comes from though. I'm not interested in playing the boy next door staying the boy next door but I'm also not interested in playing Ronnie Coleman. What I'm interested in is playing the boy next door on his journey to become Ronnie Coleman.

Remember Age of Worms. The basic premise of the AP wasn't the big adventurers braving the Whispering Cairn and so on but the everyday inhabitants of Diamond Lake needing money to escape their daily struggles. Storywise, you weren't supposed to be competent from the start. This Competence was supposed to develop with the experience.

I loved this premise but it's hard to realize if everyone at the table expects you to optimize your PC in a way making him the big hero right from the start (As an aside that's something I don't like with 4E. in 4E you're basically supposed to already start as the big hero so the part of the game I'm truly interested in is already over).

They've got PC classes. They are not everyday inhabitants, by definition. Ordinary people are commoners or perhaps experts. No-one seriously argues that a (cleric/wizard/druid/paladin/ranger/bard/whatever) PC suddenly wakes up one morning and decides to start a new career. It takes training, and lots of it. They're also the prodigies, the people who have the ability to become exceptionally brilliant in a field. Most can't, no matter how much practice and experience they get.


Bluenose wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:

I understand where BGoC comes from though. I'm not interested in playing the boy next door staying the boy next door but I'm also not interested in playing Ronnie Coleman. What I'm interested in is playing the boy next door on his journey to become Ronnie Coleman.

Remember Age of Worms. The basic premise of the AP wasn't the big adventurers braving the Whispering Cairn and so on but the everyday inhabitants of Diamond Lake needing money to escape their daily struggles. Storywise, you weren't supposed to be competent from the start. This Competence was supposed to develop with the experience.

I loved this premise but it's hard to realize if everyone at the table expects you to optimize your PC in a way making him the big hero right from the start (As an aside that's something I don't like with 4E. in 4E you're basically supposed to already start as the big hero so the part of the game I'm truly interested in is already over).

They've got PC classes. They are not everyday inhabitants, by definition. Ordinary people are commoners or perhaps experts. No-one seriously argues that a (cleric/wizard/druid/paladin/ranger/bard/whatever) PC suddenly wakes up one morning and decides to start a new career. It takes training, and lots of it. They're also the prodigies, the people who have the ability to become exceptionally brilliant in a field. Most can't, no matter how much practice and experience they get.

And, for what it's worth, it's always been that way. Heck, before 3e - and this change is quite frankly only in 3e - non-PCs literally operate off of different rules. That means their actual reality is different.


Here's an idea for you WormysQueue, if you want to run a game of going from normal person to hero.

PC's start at level 1 as NPC classes (expert, warrior, adept) and at some point you let them upgrade into PC classes. Trading Warrior levels for Fighter, Barb, Monk, or Paladin levels, Expert for Rogue or Ranger or Bard, and Adept for any full caster.

Of course NPC classes are inherently weaker than PC classes, but you wanted to start characters out as ordinary anyway. (Incidentally, I seem to remember an official statblock of post Return of the Jedi Luke Skywalker around somewhere that had 1 level of commoner...)


Stefan Hill wrote:

It appears to me that perhaps the authors of the d20 system were trying to stamp their mark and erase all of the 'old' baggage and in doing so they threw out many good things. Sort of like demolishing and rebuilding the whole house because you want to change the bathroom.

To be fair: Dangerous Journeys. Having played that game, it's painfully clear that even Gary Gygax had absolutely no idea which parts of AD&D he got right.


houstonderek wrote:
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...

And then when you remove the enemies that trivialize the weak PCs, you don't have a lot left at all. The stuff you do have left could fill an E6 game, but not an actual D&D game.


ProfessorCirno wrote:

Nonissue.

If someone entered my game as a fighter that couldn't fight, my first question would be "Why would I, in character, take someone you are openly describing as inept and bad at his job into a massive underground death trap and/or quest to save all of creation?"

+1.

Realistically, even fairly principled PCs would probably dump the totally incompetent fighter for someone else at the next town. In second grade kickball you were forced to pick half the players for your team even though some of them didn't even understand which direction to run -- but nobody does it willingly when death is on the line.

ProfessorCirno wrote:


If that's what you want, play AMBER.

Hey, just because Amber doesn't have dice doesn't mean it doesn't have rules -- I feel like even it, played as written, has too many and hard of rules for some of the people posting in this thread. No dice to fudge. In Amber, if you get into a wrestling match with a guy with a higher Strength than you, he just wins. Kind of hard to be the incompetent guy there, either.


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houstonderek wrote:

Math doesn't care if you play hard mode or not. Math is math. "Hard mode" is what the game with no fudging is. If the monsters (or NPCs) act intelligently, use their abilities to their fullest, etc, mathematically characters are going to die, fairly regularly, unless they're built and/or played well or the DM is taking it easy.

Every table is different. Some tables can have a gimp character that dicks around and have a blast. Some tables want a somewhat more serious game.

I prefer well played beer and pretzels, leave the joke characters for April Fool's Day. I like games, I like playing with a bit of game mastery. I like a game to accommodate my play style. No derivative of 3x has fit the bill without heavy houseruling to allow non-spellcasters to keep up. But, mostly, I like games. Games require skill and luck.

Story hour isn't a game. If the, as someone stated, GMs job is to keep the party alive and having fun, while providing the illusion of danger, then Pathfinder isn't a game. And, frankly, that seems to be the goal of quite a few of the people who come here.

They already made Amber. The above doesn't require dice. What's the point of rolling dice if the results are just a lie?

The biggest frustration during the playtest was 99% of the Paizo sycophants claiming everything was peachy keen because their DM made adjustments at the table (i.e. more likely allowed critters to just stand there and be full attacked) and there was no discrepancy between martial and magic. The end result? Not a lot of real fixes, just a bunch of "changed enough to make it a kind of annoying until all the small changes that really didn't do anything but change for change's sake were discovered and noted".

Big six? Still alive and well. Magic walmart? Still there. Spell casters still required and martials still optional? Still there.

Plus ca change...

+1. Except that it isn't that the problems are still there. It's that they've been magnified.


WormysQueue wrote:
CoDzilla wrote:
They are the problem here, because they are the only ones that can't keep up.
that kind of depends on your point of view, doesn't it? From my perspective, the martial characters function just fine, and it's the spell casters who are broken.

No, no it doesn't. Math is not subjective, and even in a normal power game they are the only ones not able to play the same game as everyone else.

Enemies have the same abilities spellcasters do after all.

Quote:

Not so much. Because I basically don't care if the optimizer gets challenged by the encounters as much as I care that the normal characters get challenged. So the problem isn't that the normal characters need support to stay alive, it's more that the optimized characters gets into the way of their fun because it's too easy for him to beat the challenges.

Luckily I tend to talk to my players beforehand so that we can get on the same page as far as the goals of our game are concerned.

Normal, by your definition means you're having to throw stuff 3 levels lower at them just to not slaughter them instantly.

If you meant normal by the actual definition of the word, that'd be different.

Not to mention that not all optimization is created equal.

Practically optimize a Wizard, and go full out optimizing a Fighter. The former is still superior in every way, despite not being optimized in any real way at all. The latter is still trivially easy to shut down by most any opponent.


WPharolin wrote:

lots of points

I'm not going to go into detail here, but the mechanic just simply does not work like or have the consequences that you are suggesting. I can explain its intricacies further if you are really interested, but I'm not going to de-rail the thread further on this subject at this point.

But the bottom line is, without changing much in PF, handling initiative and casting in combat this way is a noticeable boost to non-casters and a noticeable nerf to casters without neutering their potency. That's a step toward balance.


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

I would like to point out that these rules, like all the rules for games before it, are written on paper not stone and therefore can be followed, ignored, disgarded, rewritten, etc. I believe this was done so that every individual game could be unique and different. If GM A doesn't want to use Rule X then he doesn't have to, but if GM B does then he can.

I don't think the argument should be about whether or not the rules will ever be balanced or not, or specifics on how to balance the game. I think the debate should be on what is more important the experience of roleplaying or the mechanics.


Dire Mongoose wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:

Nonissue.

If someone entered my game as a fighter that couldn't fight, my first question would be "Why would I, in character, take someone you are openly describing as inept and bad at his job into a massive underground death trap and/or quest to save all of creation?"

+1.

Realistically, even fairly principled PCs would probably dump the totally incompetent fighter for someone else at the next town. In second grade kickball you were forced to pick half the players for your team even though some of them didn't even understand which direction to run -- but nobody does it willingly when death is on the line.

+1. No character who is being roleplayed with any degree of sense would not do this.


anthony Valente wrote:

I'm not going to go into detail here, but the mechanic just simply does not work like or have the consequences that you are suggesting. I can explain its intricacies further if you are really interested, but I'm not going to de-rail the thread further on this subject at this point.

But the bottom line is, without changing much in PF, handling initiative and casting in combat this way is a noticeable boost to non-casters and a noticeable nerf to casters without neutering their potency. That's a step toward balance.

I won't ask any further questions because, quite frankly, I don't think casters are overpowered and so I am not really interested in trying to fix them. Looking at your post I still can't see what mistake I am making and still completely disagree with the idea of this rule on pretty much every level, but I'll just concede and say "Ok then". And if I really am misunderstanding something than I apologize.


After years of playing 3.0 I remember complaining about the balance issues. I talked to fellow gamers about how I wished the classes were more balanced. I didn't go for 3.5 b/c I thought that it was a system that made the balance issues worse.

Then 4.0 came out. Be careful what you wish for. I waited a few months before buying it. But when I did, I took the books back to the store three days after purchase.

Pathfinder did a lot better job than 3.5 did. But I've also learned a lot about GMing (although I've been doing it since 1990). Playing in GURPS for a short campaign was an eye-opener.

Still the stystem allows those who min-max (or optomize) to strongly outshine those who don't. And this ultimately means that if I as a GM have two options 1) challenge the min-max-optomizer and perhaps slay the other PCs or 2) the non-min-max-optomizers become sidekicks. I don't like those two options.

My solution, I tell players up front: I know some of you are optomizers. And some of you are not. When the fun of the group as a whole is impacted by optimization, there will be in-game OR out-of-game corrections made to ensure everyone at the table maintains a fun experience for taking time out of their life to show up at my table.

This probably sounds like I'm anti-mix-max-optomizer. And I am. I think players should be able to come to the table and have a good time without spending countless hours of study before hand. When you must build an optomized character to have fun you eliminate 70-90% (my guesstimate) of options available in the books. And I think that's a shame.


houstonderek wrote:
In reality, 1e was HUGE. 3.x was big. The two are not related, game wise, it's more an indication of the shrinking of the hobby from a major fad and cultural phenomenon to a robust but relatively niche (compared to, say, CCGs) hobby.

Out of curiousity, are there any kind of numbers available to back that up?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
JMD031 wrote:
I would like to point out that these rules, like all the rules for games before it, are written on paper not stone and therefore can be followed, ignored, disgarded, rewritten, etc. I believe this was done so that every individual game could be unique and different. If GM A doesn't want to use Rule X then he doesn't have to, but if GM B does then he can.

If that's true then why do people get bent out of shape over us discussing what changes we should make?

Liberty's Edge

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

I understand where BGoC comes from though. I'm not interested in playing the boy next door staying the boy next door but I'm also not interested in playing Ronnie Coleman. What I'm interested in is playing the boy next door on his journey to become Ronnie Coleman.

Remember Age of Worms. <<snip>>

Im convinced that this style still can be done within the ruleset of Pathfinder but I also think that it's a tad more difficult than in 3.5 because starting PF characters have become stronger in relation to their predecessors. And in my mind it has become much more difficult in relation to the original game as invented by Arneson and Gygax. Which may explain why I'm so hesitant to balance things by making the "weak" stronger.

Take a look at one of the things that pretty-much no one paid any attention to in OD&D or 1e (and which was dropped in 2e, IIRC)--level titles. Your 4th level fighters are Heros, your 6th level fighters are Myrmidons, etc. Do you remember what first-level fighters were called? Veterans. Even then, the basic assumption was that a first-level character had substantial previous experience--they're not the average kids next door.

I'll grant that in-game a Ftr1 is generally going to have an edge on a 1e or OD&D Veteran, but that's not because a Veteran is assumed to be fresh off the turnip farm. That said, I think the system is robust enough that you could come up with a reasonable way to reflect the PCs starting out as the kids next door (and no, not those kids next door), but I'd be careful to check with your players before you did that.


One of the issues I currently see with the game is that PCs have 5 methods of dealing with a combat encounter.

1)Do HP damage
2)Weaken encounter (Status effects and other debuffs)
3)Strengthen Allies (Buffs)
4)Bypass Encounter (Diplomacy, Stealth and other hax)
5)Auto-win (SoS/SoD)

The problem is that for the most part the casters have access to all five methods (although their ability to do HP damage is really bad). Martial characters generally have access to 1 or 2 options. Outside of Diplomancy which is heavily DM dependent auto-wins are generally limited to casters.

The primary options I see are making HP Damage = to the other options including auto-win, removing some options from casters (notably the auto-win options), or give additional options to martial characters. Also each modification doesn't have to be completely binary.

My personal preference would be to

a)Increase martial options so that they have the ability to do methods 1-4
b)Make HP damage a more enticing option
c)Weaken Auto-win (mainly through an decreased rate of success).

Technically you could even modify the death by massive damage rule to incorporate scaling Fort Saves and a lower initial threshhold (50 point threshhold favors THF and Big Monsters disproportionately). Considering how many saves that could force over time I'm reluctant to condone it in anything but the grittiest and most lethal games.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
JMD031 wrote:
I would like to point out that these rules, like all the rules for games before it, are written on paper not stone and therefore can be followed, ignored, disgarded, rewritten, etc. I believe this was done so that every individual game could be unique and different. If GM A doesn't want to use Rule X then he doesn't have to, but if GM B does then he can.
If that's true then why do people get bent out of shape over us discussing what changes we should make?

I wonder about that myself....

Actually, I don't. At least part of it is probably that the core rules are going to be what APs and modules are built around, so if you don't like parts of the core rules you're going to have to either abandon the published APs/modules or put a lot of time into modifying them. Which kind of craters one of the main advantages of using published material to run from--the relatively minimal prep time.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I removed a post. Try not to talk down to people.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

May I remember everyone that in one of my first posts in this topic, I already admitted that I'm actually aware of the fact that the things I'd like to see in Pathfinder are not the things that should be necessarily implemented. I've been playing the game for more than 20 years now and I know what it's all about. And how to change it for my purposes without ruining the fun of the majority of players.

Bluenose wrote:
They've got PC classes. They are not everyday inhabitants, by definition. Ordinary people are commoners or perhaps experts.

You're right. On the other hand, in a world builded by the 3.5 rules NSC with levels in PC classes are qnot too uncommon, so it's not that they are a rarity either. Which makes it quite simple to ignore the rule differences. At least for a while.

Apart from that, in 3.5 as well as in Pathfinder a lvl 1 NSC (commoner or whatever)would still have a chance to defeat a lvl 1 character with a PC class. Which means that you're PC may not be so special as he probably thinks he is. Compare this for example with 4E where a human rabble (from the Monster Manual I) basically has no chance against a PC no matter what. So there is a difference between those PCs in Power relative to their environment (and this will lead to a different Perception of those PCs in the world). Which was mainly what I was talking about in my last post: about relative differences.

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Here's an idea for you WormysQueue,

Thanks, that's something I already considered an in fact am planning for my next campaign. I'm no dictator though, and if my players oppose this idea, I won't force them to do this. It's a collaborative activity, after all.

CoDzilla wrote:
Normal, by your definition means you're having to throw stuff 3 levels lower at them just to not slaughter them instantly.

That's the second time you're implying I'm playing the game in a way I clearly don't. In my case, normal means that my players already get challenged by opponents with CR = APL, not only by opponents with CR > APL +2.

It also means that I can use weaker opponents a while longer without my players getting bored because it's too easy for them. Which I'm mighty fine with (as I said before, the high level stuff isn't my cup of tea anyway). Yeah, it might be that the chance for a lvl 1 character to die against a goblin in my game is higher than it is in yours. But that's how I want it to be. And there's clearly no damage involved for anyone not in my games. And those in my game (see above) already have agreed to play this way.

Liberty's Edge

Dire Mongoose wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
In reality, 1e was HUGE. 3.x was big. The two are not related, game wise, it's more an indication of the shrinking of the hobby from a major fad and cultural phenomenon to a robust but relatively niche (compared to, say, CCGs) hobby.
Out of curiousity, are there any kind of numbers available to back that up?

Hard sales numbers? No. But, TSR reached $20 million in sales in 1982 (probably the strongest year in AD&D, arguably the peak of the D&D/TTRPG fad, PHB 6th printing - the most common one to find - was released). That's almost $50 million now. That figure wouldn't be ignored in a Hasbro quarterly report, so I am using some extrapolation.


*skipped the last 6 pages*

Deanoth, I like your opinions, hope we could chat more in-depth some time. Would you mind sending me a PM or something with your msn email (if you have one)? I just don't have the patience anymore to read more than 2 pages of posts just to say something.


houstonderek wrote:


Hard sales numbers? No. But, TSR reached $20 million in sales in 1982 (probably the strongest year in AD&D, arguably the peak of the D&D/TTRPG fad, PHB 6th printing - the most common one to find - was released). That's almost $50 million now. That figure wouldn't be ignored in a Hasbro quarterly report, so I am using some extrapolation.

D&D history lesson time guys. Irving Pulling committed suicide in 1982. His mother, Patricia Pulling, was the founder of BADD (Bothered About D&D). She accused the game of promoting satanism, rape, witchcraft, homosexuality, cannibalism, and all kinds of other ridiculous things. Her smear campaign created a lot of free publicity for the game. Thus the high sales.

Remember when they starting calling demons and devils by strange new names like baatezu and tanari?? Yeah, there was a lot of pressure at the time, and that's why.

Also another thing to keep in mind is that at least some of that revenue was coming from...

...incomplete list of other TSR products out at the same time period.:

Gamma World
Chainmail
Star Frontiers
Boot Hill
Dragon magazine
Empire of the Pedal Throne
Don't Give up the Ship
Top Secret
Snit's Revenge
Tricolor
Dungeon!
The Awful Green Things From Outer Space
Endless Quest
Escape from New York game
Metamorphosis Alpha
Star Probe
Warriors of Mars
Cavaliers and Roundheads
Little Big Horn
Flight in the Skies
Fantasy Forest
Revolt On Antares
Amazing Stories
Gangbusters
Classic Warfare
Divine Right
Tractics
Panzer Warfare

Grand Lodge

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houstonderek wrote:
Dire Mongoose wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
In reality, 1e was HUGE. 3.x was big. The two are not related, game wise, it's more an indication of the shrinking of the hobby from a major fad and cultural phenomenon to a robust but relatively niche (compared to, say, CCGs) hobby.
Out of curiousity, are there any kind of numbers available to back that up?
Hard sales numbers? No. But, TSR reached $20 million in sales in 1982 (probably the strongest year in AD&D, arguably the peak of the D&D/TTRPG fad, PHB 6th printing - the most common one to find - was released). That's almost $50 million now. That figure wouldn't be ignored in a Hasbro quarterly report, so I am using some extrapolation.

I'm reminded of someone who claimed WotC might have used 'hundreds of thousands' instead of 'millions' to describe their sales because it 'sounds bigger to people'.

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