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


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Talking to some people that were around in both the early 80s and 2000-2001 sales spike it's pretty clear that those were two highwater points in terms of D&D sales.

Honestly though even the height of 3e never really got the same level of market penetration that BD&D had back during the 82-84 time frame (iirc those dates correctly).

Some the grognard sites like Dragonsfoot would probably give you more detail than you'd ever want to know about things from way back in the day.

The Exchange

Oh wow. The balance arguement again.

I have gamed in D&D and other RPG's for many years. In a class based system like D&D characters tend to fall into one of two camps. Either good always on powers with solid defenses or huge scarce powers with weak defenses. The ultimate example is fighter vs wizard. Fighters deal solid hp damage and can do catastraphoic damage when crits are involved.(1D12+10x3 is nothing to sneeze at.) Wizards have no such output. They rely on save or die spells or save vs suck to carry them through. Rogues and clerics follow a similar pattern with rogues leaning more towards the fighter aspect and clerics leaning more towards the wizard aspect but exceptions can be made.

IF you want extreme balance, play D&D 4E. It does accomplish that on the offensive scale but on defense characters are not similar. Fighters still have the best defenses and wizards still have the worst. It makes no sense when everyone's offensive powers are the same but oh well.

Liberty's Edge

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


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...

** spoiler omitted **

But--and I was playing the game in college then, albeit in a heavily houseruled variant--I didn't see any of their other games selling anywhere near as well as AD&D did. At least some of the games on that list were originally printed in the 70s and were only carried on the books because they hadn't sold out yet--MetAlpha, Chainmail, Empire of the Petal Throne, Tractics (a WWII miniatures game), Cavaliers & Roundheads. TSR pushed things like Gamma World and Divine Right (a boardgame; kind of fun, actually, but hard to find these days) pretty heavily, but they went nowhere compared to AD&D.

Granted, this is anecdotal, so I don't know what was happening elsewhere, but the group I mainly played was about 80% AD&D, 15% Champions or Villains & Vigilantes, and about 5% everything else. I remember one Star Frontiers campaign that went nowhere, one Top Secret campaign that went nowhere, and one Metamorphosis Alpha campaign that went nowhere. We occasionally played Divine Right, but that's really it for TSR games. Anyone else who was gaming back then want to sound off? Better yet, anyone else who owned a game store back then want to sound off?

Liberty's Edge

WPharolin wrote:
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...

** spoiler omitted **

Doesn't change the fact there were far more people playing back then (for whatever reason) than there are now. Also remember, most of the products you list sold. As did products from over 20 other companies that each had their own system.

Way more diversity. Way more players. Larger hobby.

Y'all can keep thinking all is well in RPG land, but right now there are four companies that matter to any degree. Paizo, WotC, Fantasy flight and (still limping along) WW (or whomever owns it now).

Just off the top of my head in the 80s: West End Games, Palladium, Fantasy Games Unlimited, Chaosium, Adventure Games, Iron Crown Enterprises, FASA, Game Designers Workshop, Bard Games, Avalon Hill, Dragon Tree (admittedly niche, Arduin was a decent seller though), Flying Buffalo, Steve Jackson Games, Gamelords Ltd (Thieve's Guild rocked), Games Workshop, Hero Games, Mayfair Games, Pacesetter, Columbia Games (Harn), TSR (almost forgot that one!), and that's about all I can think of that had any relevance (as in, had their own system and were at least somewhat well known to most - they didn't just publish stuff for other systems, a la Judge's Guild and 90% of the companies now).

It takes a broad base to support that kind of diversity.

The hobby cannot support the diversity it did back then for a reason: much smaller pie to split up.

Our hobby is slowly losing to computer and console games. We're a little better than niche now. Sad reality, but it is reality. 100k sales figures are amazing now. Most of the above 80s companies were selling between 50k and 100k of a title somewhat regularly.

Different time, different hobby.


Talek & Luna wrote:
Fighters... can do catastraphoic damage when crits are involved.(1D12+10/x3 is nothing to sneeze at.) Wizards have no such output. They rely on save or die spells or save vs suck to carry them through.

1d12+10/x3 = mean of less than 50 hp. Say our monster has 200 hp. The fighter you mention has to hit 4+ times to impede it at all.

One save or die on the same critter, and the wizard just did 210 hp in damage -- with one spell. "No such output" indeed.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, 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?

Because people feel the need to be right on the internet.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
JMD031 wrote:
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?
Because people feel the need to be right on the internet.

You're totally wrong about that. ;-)


Ok let's go into details so people watching at home can play along:

Pathfinder in explicitly designed with the assumption that average encounter length is something 3 rounds vs a CR appropriate foe, which is commonly one big monster of CR equal to the average party level.

This encounter will consume roughly 20% of party daily resources (HPs, spells, abilities, etc).

It's also assuming a 4 man party with the 4 basic roles covered. PCs are built using the standard array or a 15 point buy. Fighter and Rogue are arguably somewhat MAD but each has an option that is doable under 15 point buy (Two-handed Strength Fighter and TWF Rogue).

The assumptions for standard gameplay are as follows.

Fighter gonna Fight
Round 1- Charge or Vital Strike (seriously just allow charge + vital to work guys).
Round 2- Full Attack
Round 3- Full Attack if necessary

Rogue gonna Sneak
Round 1- Ranged Sneak Attack + move
Round 2- Flanking Full Attack
Round 3- Flanking Full Attack if necessary

Cleric gonna Support
Round 1- Group Buff + Move
Round 2- Full Attack, Direct Damage Spell or Heal (seriously some people still in-combat heal)
Round 3- Full Attack if necessary

Wizard gonna Blast
Round 1- Blast or Support Spell
Round 2- Blast or Support
Round 3- Blast if necessary

Using standard tactics the party is going to take some damage but is going to slaughter anything CR appropriate in pretty short order. Some HPs are ablated, some spells disappear from the spell slots and the PCs get some loot and XP.

This model is pretty much the old 1e-2e adventuring model however at some point in time the 3.x designers went "hrmm" let's throw in some additional "hidden" options.

Hidden Feature One- SoD/SoS is very efficient.

SoD has always been a part of the game but for the most part it became less and less reliable in the old school game. Yes there were still some auto-win spells but for the most part you could play evoker and be just as dangerous and even more reliable than an AD&D wizard.

3.x changed this by allowing the caster to manipulate the save DC. Now instead of a relatively low chance of success vs high HD creatures and NPCs he's able to maintain a high level of success especially against foes with a weak save and no significant gear and feats to boost that poor save.

Hidden Feature Two- Casters can manipulate the action economy.

Casters get summons, pets, called creatures, quickened actions, etc which all allow them to effectively increase the amount of actions they have in a round.

A caster who summons a creature now has at least one set of additional actions in addition to his own. Druids come with a pet so they already have an additional set of actions, etc.

Further unlike the poor martial classes the wizard can zoom around the battlefield while maintaining full effectiveness. This means he rarely takes full attacks so his primary weakness (lower HPs) is often a minor issue at best.

Hidden Feature Three- Casters can bypass filler encounters and target loot rich foes. Further due to changes in the basic design of the game they can generally pre-prep and choose when and where to force an encounter.

Divinations, Teleport, Passwall, etc all can help casters choose when they want to fight and who.

Hidden Feature Four- With things like Animal Companions, summons, etc the party really doesn't need a PC meatshield. You can offload the melee stuff to retinue and better yet you don't generally need to heal a good percentage of them (lower resources consumed).

Skill characters are harder to replace especially since stuff like locate traps and glibness aren't as powerful. You can still brute force most encounters though. At the very worst you can use a partial caster like a Bard to handle the face stuff.

Once people start realizing how efficient a 4 person caster party is there is often an aha moment. 4 casters optimized for high Save DC SoS effects supported by retinue can hit far above their APL.

This means faster leveling, better loot packages, a feeling of empowerment, etc.

The problem arises when a group is primarily casters and someone plays something like a fighter. The rest of the party is spamming spells, summoning angels, etc while the fighter is still charging the first round and trying to full attack the second round.

Since the casters all have Imp Init they generally have 2 rounds to SoS the foe before the fighter gets off his first full attack run (which only does about 30-40% of the foes HPs at maximum).

So basically unless the Fighter is content to be the guy always doing the CDG vs the immobilized foe he's likely feeling pretty pointless. Further because he's got horrid Skill Points and class skills and a poor Int score he's not really contributing out of combat either.

Basically once the casters realize their potential the game shifts from the assumed gameplay example into a land where the casters suddenly are auto-win glass cannons. Fighters and Rogues can't really follow them to this level of play (without pulling out some serious 3.x cheese).

Improving balance either means that the default gameplay assumptions are always true (casters can't play I win cards or their success rate is really low) or improving the martial classes so that they can feel adequate vs the non-casters.

Personally I'd like to see any balance changes made support both the old school model of play (I'm sorry even though blast sucks mechanically, blast is really what most people really want to play when they first start playing casters) and the optimized model of play.


D&D today has more players then it did in AD&D. You're a fool if you think otherwise.

Incidentally, Hasbro absolutely can ignore D&D's sales. Hasbro probably DOES ignore D&D sales, and it would've ignored them in AD&D era, too. WotC's golden goose for profits is their CCG division.


John Woodford wrote:

Granted, this is anecdotal, so I don't know what was happening elsewhere, but the group I mainly played was about 80% AD&D, 15% Champions or Villains & Vigilantes, and about 5% everything else. I remember one Star Frontiers campaign that went nowhere, one Top Secret campaign that went nowhere, and one Metamorphosis Alpha campaign that went nowhere. We occasionally played Divine Right, but that's really it for TSR games. Anyone else who was gaming back then want to sound off? Better yet, anyone else who owned a game store back then want to sound off?

IIRC, other than Gamma World which generally seemed to have decent if unspectacular sales most of the other TSR attempts to break out of the D&D area were of limited success.

Gamma World and Star Frontiers had decent followings although the various Sci-Fi competitors (Traveler, d6 Star Wars, various FASA games) seemed to enjoy better sales than the TSR offerings.

Top Secret SI kinda filled a genre that wasn't really well supported early on. I still think that modern cinematic espionage games are an under-served sector of the market.

FASERIP Marvel was probably the second most successful TSR game but it was a licensed property and while I personally love aspects of it, it really hasn't aged well.

Buck Rogers was pushed really hard (Lorraine Williams owned the rights I believe) but it never sold particularly well IIRC.

TSR especially back in the early 80s was largely driven by sales of the red box. The numbers of basic rule books and keep on the borderlands modules in print are pretty astronomical.

Liberty's Edge

ProfessorCirno wrote:

D&D today has more players then it did in AD&D. You're a fool if you think otherwise.

Incidentally, Hasbro absolutely can ignore D&D's sales. Hasbro probably DOES ignore D&D sales, and it would've ignored them in AD&D era, too. WotC's golden goose for profits is their CCG division.

So, D&D has more players now than when it was a huge cultural phenomenon. When Basic D&D (Moldvay/Cook) had a print run in the millions and wasn't played as much as AD&D. I don't think WotC sold as many PHBs 3.0, 3.5 and 4e combined as TSR sold in just 1e PHBs (which were still being ordered by retail outlets a year after 2e was released, a twelve year run). And, frankly, more than a few of the 3.0/3.5/4e books were resells to the same person upgrading. Heck, a bunch were probably sold to people who bought the 1e and 2e books. Very few people ever re-bought a PHB unless they lost theirs, the books were much better bound and the paper not nearly as cheap as modern books.

The game isn't even in the popular conscious like it was back then. Most (over thirty) people outside of the hobby I meet are surprised people even still play, it is so out of the public mind. When I go out and about (game stores, conventions, etc), more younger people are playing CCGs, the older folk are playing TTRPGs (yeah, anecdotal, but still).

TTRPGs are not a growing hobby. And it is a much less diverse hobby, as games that aren't D&D/Pathfinder fall by the wayside.

Hasbro bought WotC because of Magic: TG, not D&D. The D&D IP was just a nice little side bonus, but I'm sure completely insignificant, given what they've done with it (which, outside of making the game and two crappy movies isn't much), to their plans.

You can go on with the illusion that playing a TTRPG is more appealing to today's youth than playing WoW or a console game, but it isn't remotely true. WotC wishes 1/4 of the people that play WoW (@10 million) played TTRPGs.

Paizo recently started to equal D&D at the retail level in sales, and, considering I don't think they've sold 250k core books (which would be huge by modern standards), and WotC is quickly coming out with "Essentials" (which they wouldn't be doing if 4e were selling up to their goals), I think the reality is much closer to mine than yours.

Liberty's Edge

vuron wrote:
TSR especially back in the early 80s was largely driven by sales of the red box. The numbers of basic rule books and keep on the borderlands modules in print are pretty astronomical.

Yeah, well over a million or two units moved. And it still wasn't as popular as AD&D at the table back then.


houstonderek wrote:
vuron wrote:
TSR especially back in the early 80s was largely driven by sales of the red box. The numbers of basic rule books and keep on the borderlands modules in print are pretty astronomical.
Yeah, well over a million or two units moved. And it still wasn't as popular as AD&D at the table back then.

BD&D significantly outsold AD&D back in the 1982 high water mark.

I think it wasn't until the decline of BD&D (sometime during the Elmore Redbox period) that AD&D outsold BD&D.

However I think a really large percentage of BD&D copies never really saw much active play. I figure they were commonly Christmas gifts (BD&D was in the Sears Catalog which was the height of coolness when I was a kid).

Add in the D&D cartoon and it's not hard to see why the early 80s TSR was making money hand over fist.


houstonderek wrote:


The game isn't even in the popular conscious like it was back then. Most (over thirty) people outside of the hobby I meet are surprised people even still play, it is so out of the public mind.

The thing is, I think most of the people playing D&D probably aren't over thirty, even if you and I and most of the people we play with are.

(This is, ironically, part of especially WotC's problem now -- because a generation is coming into the hobby that has never had the idea that you would want a bookshelf full of physical books or that rules are something you would pay for. For every kid with 4E books at a convention I'll probably find you two with pirate PDFs or a one-month-and-cancelled character builder subscription on an iPad.)

It felt like a niche game to me in the 80s and it still feels like a niche game to me. True, we've gone from a lot of game companies to a few; I blame the OGL for that, indirectly. It seemed like a smarter market strategy to a lot of people try to crank out crappy D20 books instead of making different games in different systems -- but really, until they decided to give up on 3E, WotC was always going to have the lion's share of that market.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deanoth wrote:

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

I always thought that this game was about a group dynamic and not about an individual? I think that with the onslaught of the MMO that people are obsessed with character balance in a game where it should not apply. If this was a game about Player vs Player then I would concede the point but we do not fight each other (at least in most games I have played since 1974). As a group we fight evil (or good if you are so inclined) not each other. So why is this forum so obsessed with PC balance?

There is no one class that is more powerful then another if we as a group could use the skills that the character brings to the group, right? It is about the group. Is it more fun to play some powerful character, sure? Is it more fun to have more kills then some, sure. But this is not about balance. A Fighter is not going to be fighting a wizard one on one typically. A fighter in a group might see a wizard in a tower and decide as a group that they need to get rid of it and so as a group go to eradicate it. This is not a one on one type of fight though. Each character brings something to the group individually and make each more powerful as a group instead of an individual.

If the game was not about groups then I would again concede that there would need to be balance between the characters, but this is NOT the case either. Besides if there was ever a need for almost a perfect balance of equality between classes then I could suggest another game from another company that has balanced their classes much like an MMO would.

I guess I am just sick and tired of hearing that a rogue is the worst character in the game... or wizard is way to powerful, or some such. But lets face facts here. If the wizard were to go in to a fight alone against a well thought out group then said wizard no matter the tactics the wizard uses would likely die. A rogue brings with it nuances that no other...

Daenoth, I happen to agree with you. I fail to see why people want to measure one class against another class, intearms of a schoolyard fight. it is a cooperative game after all as you have pointed out.


ElyasRavenwood wrote:
Daenoth, I happen to agree with you. I fail to see why people want to measure one class against another class, intearms of a schoolyard fight. it is a cooperative game after all as you have pointed out.
Me, a page or three back wrote:


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

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

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


Dire Mongoose wrote:
ElyasRavenwood wrote:
Daenoth, I happen to agree with you. I fail to see why people want to measure one class against another class, intearms of a schoolyard fight. it is a cooperative game after all as you have pointed out.
Me, a page or three back wrote:


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

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

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

Some people EVEN like to play the offensive linesman or the center. But not when they're not able to do their job as such against a competent defense vs the big boys.


Freesword wrote:
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...

Before we go any further are you saying that pathfinder is claiming to have changed CR enough from 3.5 that they state all CR's are equal. If they did I would like to see that post.

I know 3.5 stated that not all Encounter Level, currently called CR by pathfinder.
What you are doing is comparing single monster CR to encounter level CR. Those were never meant to be the same.

DMG page 39: It basically states multiple low CR opponents even if they come up to a high EL(pathfinder's CR) is not to be taken seriously

GMG page 41:"Table 12–1: Encounter Design (Pathfinder RPG Core
Rulebook page 397) only covers encounters from APL –1
to APL +3, so that CR range is the usual limit for most
encounters. After all, for a party of four 6th-level PCs, an
“easy” encounter (APL –1) is a “rival” group of four 2ndlevel
NPCs (CR 1 each, +4 for 4 creatures = CR 5); if beating
up NPCs one-third your level is easy, beating up even
weaker creatures is more like bullying than adventuring."

This statement(the bolded one) shows that after a certain point encounters were not to be taken seriously.


My post above indicated why being a martial character in a SoS caster focused party can be very frustrating.

1) His schtick is of limited utility- If he's not doing a full attack until the second round (archer not included) he's relying on a charge or a vital strike. Unless he's a charge specialist (Cavaliers welcome) he's unlikely to do that much damage in that opening round.

He generally requires 2 full attacks + the initial charge to kill a CR appropriate foe. In the meantime he's sucking up HP damage.

During the meantime the 3 casters each have at minimum 3 chances to cast a SoS (in high level games this could easily be 6 each). Unless saves are astronomically high that generally means they are going to succeed before the fighter empties the HP track.

2) He's redundant- Summons, Pets, Called creatures, undead, etc can all be added to the caster's arsenal. That means the primary thing the fighter does (HP damage and tanking duty) is being done by a hired gun. Further unless it's something like an animal companion the party doesn't even need to heal the hired gun.

3) He's got limited stuff to do out of combat - Higher skill martial characters (rogues, monks, rangers) have a decent amount of skill points but many martial characters have bad skill points and bad intelligence scores meaning that they don't have much to do when not swinging a sword.

4) The party does better if he's replaced with another caster- Basically in an optimized game the fighter is useful early on when casters are still squishy but after a certain level threshhold the net benefit to the party of having another caster is higher than the benefit of keeping the martial character.

So no it's not just a matter of PvP but a matter of party efficiency and effectiveness.

Personally I don't like this style of play and would like rules that bring the range of character options into a tighter band of effectiveness.


vuron wrote:

My post above indicated why being a martial character in a SoS caster focused party can be very frustrating.

1) His schtick is of limited utility- If he's not doing a full attack until the second round (archer not included) he's relying on a charge or a vital strike. Unless he's a charge specialist (Cavaliers welcome) he's unlikely to do that much damage in that opening round.

He generally requires 2 full attacks + the initial charge to kill a CR appropriate foe. In the meantime he's sucking up HP damage.

During the meantime the 3 casters each have at minimum 3 chances to cast a SoS (in high level games this could easily be 6 each). Unless saves are astronomically high that generally means they are going to succeed before the fighter empties the HP track.

2) He's redundant- Summons, Pets, Called creatures, undead, etc can all be added to the caster's arsenal. That means the primary thing the fighter does (HP damage and tanking duty) is being done by a hired gun. Further unless it's something like an animal companion the party doesn't even need to heal the hired gun.

3) He's got limited stuff to do out of combat - Higher skill martial characters (rogues, monks, rangers) have a decent amount of skill points but many martial characters have bad skill points and bad intelligence scores meaning that they don't have much to do when not swinging a sword.

4) The party does better if he's replaced with another caster- Basically in an optimized game the fighter is useful early on when casters are still squishy but after a certain level threshhold the net benefit to the party of having another caster is higher than the benefit of keeping the martial character.

So no it's not just a matter of PvP but a matter of party efficiency and effectiveness.

Personally I don't like this style of play and would like rules that bring the range of character options into a tighter band of effectiveness.

Yes, as a GM, I LOATHE this style of party. It makes for terribly uninteresting and undramatic fights. It also generally requires higher CR/EL encounters to challenge it than a traditional party, which causes it to level faster unless I specifically put my thumbs on the scale, which I really DON'T like to do. The party composition I despise most is druid, cleric, wizard, wizard.

Dark Archive

It might be time to nerf spells big time. Get rid of SoDs almost altogether, keep some battle field control, and keep the utility spells (teleport and divination). Reduce the power of buffs from arcane, but keep it for divine.

If we want to have melee be the killers, and let casters be the support, then I think SoDs have to go. Keep some solid damage spells like Fireball because people still like blasting.

I guess what I'm saying is keep fighters, barbarians, rangers, paladins, rogues, and bards at PF levels. Buff the monk. Keep the sorc the same? Nerf wizards, clerics, and druids back to 2E (I admin I don't recall 2E very well anymore).

Conan in the movies was doing the killing. His wizards and support characters were by-passing the traps and challenges. Maybe that's the way to go?


SoD's are annoying, but they don't work a lot at higher levels.
I think casters being more specialized would be better. Being able to do such a variety of things is what makes them so good. I do like the game as it is though, but when PF 2.0 comes around I think it will be a good idea.


houstonderek wrote:
So, D&D has more players now than when it was a huge cultural phenomenon. When Basic D&D (Moldvay/Cook) had a print run in the millions and wasn't played as much as AD&D.

Yes.

Quote:
I don't think WotC sold as many PHBs 3.0, 3.5 and 4e combined as TSR sold in just 1e PHBs (which were still being ordered by retail outlets a year after 2e was released, a twelve year run).

Well, let's see.

The company that has the numbers has stated they have.

The random guy on the internet has disagreed.

Hmmmmm.

Quote:
And, frankly, more than a few of the 3.0/3.5/4e books were resells to the same person upgrading. Heck, a bunch were probably sold to people who bought the 1e and 2e books. Very few people ever re-bought a PHB unless they lost theirs, the books were much better bound and the paper not nearly as cheap as modern books.

You're only hurting your point here. Every 3e PHB sold to a 2e/1e player means, get this, they're still D&D players. Only then you also have other new players coming in with it.

Quote:
The game isn't even in the popular conscious like it was back then. Most (over thirty) people outside of the hobby I meet are surprised people even still play, it is so out of the public mind. When I go out and about (game stores, conventions, etc), more younger people are playing CCGs, the older folk are playing TTRPGs (yeah, anecdotal, but still).

Because the plural of "anecdote" is "facts?" Wait, no, it's not. Who cares what most people over thirty think? They aren't the central audience.

Quote:
TTRPGs are not a growing hobby. And it is a much less diverse hobby, as games that aren't D&D/Pathfinder fall by the wayside.

You fool yourself in thinking they compete. Many MtG players enjoy D&D and vice versa. They're simply two different hobbies that just both appeal to nerds. And yeah, the market for it may not be growing as fast as it was when Pokemon made out like a bandit, but it isn't shrinking either.

Quote:
Hasbro bought WotC because of Magic: TG, not D&D. The D&D IP was just a nice little side bonus, but I'm sure completely insignificant, given what they've done with it (which, outside of making the game and two crappy movies isn't much), to their plans.

You again argue my case for me. D&D sales are minute compared to MtG, because here's the catch - CCGs is sold internationally, and D&D is an intensely western game.

Quote:
You can go on with the illusion that playing a TTRPG is more appealing to today's youth than playing WoW or a console game, but it isn't remotely true. WotC wishes 1/4 of the people that play WoW (@10 million) played TTRPGs.

Again, you assume they compete.

Quote:
Paizo recently started to equal D&D at the retail level in sales, and, considering I don't think they've sold 250k core books (which would be huge by modern standards), and WotC is quickly coming out with "Essentials" (which they wouldn't be doing if 4e were selling up to their goals), I think the reality is much closer to mine than yours.

Paizo equaled D&D sales in one specific time frame in one specific area of business that didn't include DDI, online sales, or many other avenues of sale that 4e is sold through. Let's not pretend the listing was "SALES OF ALL GAMES FOREVER IN THE WORLD"


wraithstrike wrote:
Before we go any further are you saying that pathfinder is claiming to have changed CR enough from 3.5 that they state all CR's are equal.

No. I make no such claim.

wraithstrike wrote:


If they did I would like to see that post.
I know 3.5 stated that not all Encounter Level, currently called CR by pathfinder.
What you are doing is comparing single monster CR to encounter level CR. Those were never meant to be the same.

All Pathfinder changed relevant to this discussion is dropping the term Encounter Level and referring to both individual creature CR and Encounter CR as CR. I am following the encounter building rules verbatim to calculate Encounter CR based on individual CR. Those rules do however make reference to an XP budget for the encounter. Pathfinder changed creature XP to flat instead of scaling by party level. It's possible you are applying rules for modifying the XP awarded to encounter generation which as far as I have read is based entirely on baseline CR and XP for the creature.

wraithstrike wrote:


DMG page 39: It basically states multiple low CR opponents even if they come up to a high EL(pathfinder's CR) is not to be taken seriously

The page you reference is about awarding experience, not encounter building. The page I referenced, page 49, has the 3.5 equivalent to the CR Equivalencies Table found here.

wraithstrike wrote:


GMG page 41:"Table 12–1: Encounter Design (Pathfinder RPG Core
Rulebook page 397) only covers encounters from APL –1
to APL +3, so that CR range is the usual limit for most
encounters. After all, for a party of four 6th-level PCs, an
“easy” encounter (APL –1) is a “rival” group of four 2ndlevel
NPCs (CR 1 each, +4 for 4 creatures = CR 5); if beating
up NPCs one-third your level is easy, beating up even
weaker creatures is more like bullying than adventuring."

This statement(the bolded one) shows that after a certain point encounters were not to be taken seriously.

I do not have the GMG and won't question the accuracy of your quote. I will question the relevancy of it however as it is talking about how table 12-1: Encounter Design classifies an encounter of CR = APL-1 as easy. This is because according to the CR Equivalencies Table adding 2 additional 2nd level NPCs changes the Encounter CR (CR 1 each, +5 for 6 creatures = CR 6) which would change the encounter from "easy" APL-1 to "average" APL. Bring the number of NPCs up to 8 (CR 1 each, +6 for 8 creatures = CR 7) and they are now "challenging" APL+1. Additionally, is a wolf 1/3 the level of a 6th level PC? What about a spider swarm? Both of those are CR1 creatures just like 2nd level NPCs from your quote.

You are correct that an encounter CR less than APL-1 is not challenge at all. I'm sure there are rules about adjusting individual creature XP based on how challenging the encounter actually was.

Applying the encounter building rules "verbatim", 4 2nd level NPCs = 4 wolves = 4 spider swarms. All are the same Encounter CR.

I am not saying you are wrong when you say that all encounters of the same CR are not equal. I am saying that that following the encounter building rules verbatim one would logically expect them to be equal since they all have the same encounter CR value.

The CR system is supposed to be a quick way to match up parties with appropriate challenges. We both know it doesn't work right. It claims 2 encounters are equal when they are not. It assumes all parties of a given APL are equal when they are not. Since it doesn't work right my initial point was that any attempt to reference the CR system in a discussion on game balance only results in a statement that the CR system means nothing. I then rambled off into how game balance should work if the CR system actually worked correctly. Somewhere in this I have been arguing both for and against the CR system to the point where it was starting to confuse me. My arguments for how it should work (and would work if it actually worked correctly) have been based on using the encounter generation rules using CR verbatim. I have done so even after stating that the CR system does not work.

Our argument at this point is based on the fact they you appear to be claiming that the rules clearly state that the CR system does not work and the rules for encounter building using it are not meant to work as written. It's time to end this and move on.

We agree that it doesn't work right. Hell, I only use it myself as rough scale of is "creature A more challenging than creature B" for individual creatures, and it's not particularly accurate at that.

This is a joke, not a challenge:
Unless you want to prove that it works right because it says in the rules that it actually doesn't work right and therefore by not working right it actually is working right (and if you do so you had better be wearing a Captain Jack Sparrow costume)

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ProfessorCirno wrote:
Paizo equaled D&D sales in one specific time frame in one specific area of business that didn't include DDI, online sales, or many other avenues of sale that 4e is sold through. Let's not pretend the listing was "SALES OF ALL GAMES FOREVER IN THE WORLD"

You're right but that goes for Pathfinder as well. So just because amazon.com sales aren't included in the ICv2 report, that doesn't mean that D&D automatically creates higher sales numbers there than Pathfinder does. And given that Pathfinder's print products compete with Paizo's own pdf products (which aren't even available from WotC) I find it signifying that Pathfinder can even compete with 4E as far as amazon sales are concerned (and as I take a regular look at amazon's bestseller lists I know they can).

Grand Lodge

ProfessorCirno wrote:
Paizo equaled D&D sales in one specific time frame in one specific area of business that didn't include DDI, online sales, or many other avenues of sale that 4e is sold through. Let's not pretend the listing was "SALES OF ALL GAMES FOREVER IN THE WORLD"

Cirno.

You assume that what you are saying is fact though and not an assumption on your part, which it is an assumption. Neither company that you are talking about has released any of their numbers nor would they. Either way what does this have to do with the discussion of the thread.

Please do not come on here and derail the thread or assume that you are right and others are wrong especially with your vitriolic attitude.

Grand Lodge

Talek & Luna wrote:

Oh wow. The balance arguement again.

I have gamed in D&D and other RPG's for many years. In a class based system like D&D characters tend to fall into one of two camps. Either good always on powers with solid defenses or huge scarce powers with weak defenses. The ultimate example is fighter vs wizard. Fighters deal solid hp damage and can do catastraphoic damage when crits are involved.(1D12+10x3 is nothing to sneeze at.) Wizards have no such output. They rely on save or die spells or save vs suck to carry them through. Rogues and clerics follow a similar pattern with rogues leaning more towards the fighter aspect and clerics leaning more towards the wizard aspect but exceptions can be made.

IF you want extreme balance, play D&D 4E. It does accomplish that on the offensive scale but on defense characters are not similar. Fighters still have the best defenses and wizards still have the worst. It makes no sense when everyone's offensive powers are the same but oh well.

Excuse me, I am NOT arguing about balance as you put it, what I am ASKING (not arguing), is WHY are people so obsessed with it.

I personally do not think that are balanced, as in equal and continue to NOT want them to be as such. Also please do not make this about 4E either, thanks :)

Grand Lodge

houstonderek wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:

D&D today has more players then it did in AD&D. You're a fool if you think otherwise.

Incidentally, Hasbro absolutely can ignore D&D's sales. Hasbro probably DOES ignore D&D sales, and it would've ignored them in AD&D era, too. WotC's golden goose for profits is their CCG division.

So, D&D has more players now than when it was a huge cultural phenomenon. When Basic D&D (Moldvay/Cook) had a print run in the millions and wasn't played as much as AD&D. I don't think WotC sold as many PHBs 3.0, 3.5 and 4e combined as TSR sold in just 1e PHBs (which were still being ordered by retail outlets a year after 2e was released, a twelve year run). And, frankly, more than a few of the 3.0/3.5/4e books were resells to the same person upgrading. Heck, a bunch were probably sold to people who bought the 1e and 2e books. Very few people ever re-bought a PHB unless they lost theirs, the books were much better bound and the paper not nearly as cheap as modern books.

The game isn't even in the popular conscious like it was back then. Most (over thirty) people outside of the hobby I meet are surprised people even still play, it is so out of the public mind. When I go out and about (game stores, conventions, etc), more younger people are playing CCGs, the older folk are playing TTRPGs (yeah, anecdotal, but still).

TTRPGs are not a growing hobby. And it is a much less diverse hobby, as games that aren't D&D/Pathfinder fall by the wayside.

Hasbro bought WotC because of Magic: TG, not D&D. The D&D IP was just a nice little side bonus, but I'm sure completely insignificant, given what they've done with it (which, outside of making the game and two crappy movies isn't much), to their plans.

You can go on with the illusion that playing a TTRPG is more appealing to today's youth than playing WoW or a console game, but it isn't remotely true. WotC wishes 1/4 of the people that play WoW (@10 million) played TTRPGs.

Paizo recently started to equal D&D at the retail level in sales,...

Neither you nor Cirno, has any numbers to make your points valid or fact. Please do not make this thread about sales by derailing the thread to suit your own purposes and stay on topic or I will ask that the thread be closed.

Thanks! :)

Liberty's Edge

Deanoth wrote:
Stuff

Flame bait thread anyway. May as well be locked. Serves no purpose other than arguing, especially since the target of your query for the most part don't care about balance, but relevance.

Huge difference.

And my point was a direct response to someone who thought the game where all classes were relevant through the expected (by the designer) length of the character's careers was "bad design", but, somehow, a game with demonstrable lack of relevance for certain classes (without DM fiat) is, somehow "good design".

I was just pointing out that the "poorly" designed game was pretty damned popular. And the hobby was capable of supporting far more diverse game designs twenty five years ago.

Seriously, when one company had a vast majority of the market, and eighteen other companies with completely different systems could still survive, that's a ton of gamers. There aren't enough gamers now interested in anything not involving a d20 to keep more than the four or five companies doing something other than d20 afloat.

Which means either gamers have gotten very boring and non-experimental, or there are fewer around to support such diversity. I prefer to think we shrank a bit rather than got boring.

And, sorry, playing both 4e and Pathfinder or 3x isn't being "diverse".

And, considering how many people do play both, that just makes the market seem smaller still.


Deanoth wrote:

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

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

Are you assuming that you will always be Sir Cool McAwesome in the group dynamic of "Sir Cool McAwesome and his Mildly Useful Sidekicks"?

In other words, your whole premise is bad and you should feel bad for saying things like this aloud. I'm saying this as a GM (because I GM 95% of the time). Every time I have to say (in much greater length): "No, don't take this class, because it will make your character a gimp, and while I want PCs to win, I don't want to babysit them", the game becomes worse.


roccojr wrote:
I think the pursuit of balance is misguided. Nearly every time someone talks about balance, they bring up what a particular character can do in combat. There's a lot of emphasis on combat because it is an easy waay to create excitement and suspense... but I've actually felt the most excited when the suspense comes from drama.

You can't have drama when your character is dead.

I'm dead serious here. The reason I swore to never again generate a character who is not a deathmachine, no matter the system ( particularly in systems where combat competence is ostensibly not mandatory) is the fact, that all but one of approximately 20 tabletop and PbP games I've played involved vicious battles to death, more often than not within the first session/equivalent span of posts in PbP. (In the sole exception from this rule the player characters were doomed by canon from the beginning.)

roccojr wrote:
While some characters have always been better at fighting, martially or magically, other characters had always been better at the other stuff.

But hardly any of all these games involved situations where competency in "other stuff" was mandatory to continue playing. Sure, having abilities that enabled to advance the plot in addition to combat competency was generally nice. But not at the expense of it.

roccojr wrote:
In a game where there is equal importance on events in and out of combat,

Can events out of combat result in Game Over (without folding to combat first)? And not once per campaign, but at least semi-regularly? If no, don't kid yourself, there is no equality between their importance and that of combat events.


houstonderek wrote:


Flame bait thread anyway. May as well be locked. Serves no purpose other than arguing, especially since the target of your query for the most part don't care about balance, but relevance.

Huge difference.

These two things are intrinsic to one another. There isn't a huge difference. The reason high level monks are irelevant is because they aren't balanced.

houstonderek wrote:


Seriously, when one company had a vast majority of the market, and eighteen other companies with completely different systems could still survive, that's a ton of gamers. There aren't enough gamers now interested in anything not involving a d20 to keep more than the four or five companies doing something other than d20 afloat.

The number of successful companies at any given time says absolutely nothing about the number of people playing TTRPGs. Fun fact for you, there were more than eighteen companies then, and there are more than eighteen now.

How many books were pirated in 1982? 2010? How many groups in 1982 played a game available for free for anyone to download or use on a website? 2010? How many gamers are showing up to gaming conventions in 1982? 2010? How many people in 1982 had a laptop with DDI subscription that they just shared at the table because it was cheaper than buying books? 2010? How many people are leaving the TTRPG scene to go play video games? How many people are playing D&D now because they were introduced to the hobby due to the large number of popular D&D video games?

What about D&D book burnings? You remember those right? I'm not even kidding when I say people were buying D&D books in 82-83 just to BURN! I have no idea if it was a regular occurrence or not, but it came up at least twice when I first started playing. D&D was a big deal, and me and my friends were forced to hide our gaming hobbies to keep from being ostracized. I know it wasn't that bad everywhere (and it sounds like things were just peachy for you), but in some communities being a gamer meant you were an evil cultists who ate babies and had sex with goats to summon demons so you could murder your mother and cook her with a side of puppies because you were the scourge of mankind and you hated sunshine, unicorns, freedom, and jesus.

Since you don't actually have any real numbers, everything you have said about the popularity of the game is by default hearsay, and to be ignored, until you can can demonstrated otherwise.

Liberty's Edge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Talek & Luna wrote:
Fighters... can do catastraphoic damage when crits are involved.(1D12+10/x3 is nothing to sneeze at.) Wizards have no such output. They rely on save or die spells or save vs suck to carry them through.

1d12+10/x3 = mean of less than 50 hp. Say our monster has 200 hp. The fighter you mention has to hit 4+ times to impede it at all.

One save or die on the same critter, and the wizard just did 210 hp in damage -- with one spell. "No such output" indeed.

I hate to keep pointing this out, but there are no save or die spells at the level where anyone is only doing 1d12 + 10 damage.

There are spells that will weaken or impede you. But none that will kill you outright. Sleep based ones are the closest, as it puts you at immediate Coup De Grace risk, but if you are a party (or fighting and equivalent) sleep is overcome by, you know, waking the guy up.

Feel free to post and prove me wrong, as I would like to be aware of such spells to be able to deal with them in my home game, but all of the spells given as SoD so far have been at worst with your highest level spell against the lowest saving throw a 75% chance for a major impairment that can be removed either by waking the victim up, the victim re-rolling the save the next round, or a spell a healer class of the appropriate level would likely have.

Meanwhile at each level if a melee attacker gets a full round attack it can likely take out most casters do to low AC and Hit Points. Now it is hard to get a full round attack at times, but it also isn't a resource expenditure in the way casting a spell is.

As I've said before, balance for me is that every character has a chance to be the BIG DAMN HERO every few encounters. Sometimes it is the cleric throwing a breath of life on a fallen comrade or dismissing the incredibly powerful demon, sometimes it is the wizard making the giant take a nap or be his friend. And sometimes it is the fighter chopping down the Golem or the caster that made him.

As long as everyone has a chance to be the team MVP every few sessions, it's balanced. And in the games I've played it, it's worked out that way.


ciretose wrote:
Some good points.

I've played in several games where it was the tank who saved the day, even at 20th level. I swear on a stack of APGs that it's true.

Yeah, even in 3.5. MVP. Just swinging a sword.


ProfessorCirno wrote:


Flat out, I disagree with the assumption of "The wizard should be stronger then the fighter." Why? In what fantasy novel has that ever happened?

Basically in most of them.

ProfessorCirno wrote:


In fact, in 90% of just about everything fantasy, the wizard is and does one of two things:

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

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

And this is wrong.

Even in George Martin's books, which are today's standard for low magic, magic-users can do things like assassinating people without save or raising them as undead.

Vancian wizards were on the top of the food chain in their world, unquestionably. Not only they could murder practically any opponent without fail, or solve a problem, automatically fatal for muggles, three-five times per day, they also had tons of magical bling that covered up for their weaknesses. AND this did not make them mandatorily incompetent in physical skills. There is not a shade of balance between a swashbucker and a swashbuckler who is covered head to toe in wondrous items and can press "I Win" button several times per day.

Wise old mentors you've mentioned also were almost invariably on the top of the food chain. They didn't just destroy all opposition for plot reasons, but there was never a question about who is the most powerful character by far in Fellowship of the Ring.

As about Sword & Sorcery wizards, the main reason they weren't outshining fighters is them being enemy NPCs, who were doomed by plot. Fafhrd & Grey Mouser would have been easily butchered by their very first magic-user enemy, had the author not dropped a plot device of power negation in their lap. Conan mostly survived by plot devices as well.

Now, if we talk about more modern high fantasy, things tend to be even less ambigious. Either you have magic/supernatural powers, or you are a sidekick. Heck, even Robin Hobb's characters, living in a low-magic world as well, generally have some sort of mojo. Fantasy cycles of, say, Robert Jordan or Raimond Feist? You better get some superpower right frikking now, if you want to remain relevant. Books of David Eddings? Fighters are basically bodyguards who cannot even approach serious magical enemies, much less affect them, unless the plot gives them a major artifact.

And magic-user domination holds true even for fantasy anime/manga, where fighters are allowed to have superhuman strength and skills. If there actually is a distinction between fighters and magic/superpower-users in the series, the latter tend to be clearly above the former.


Freesword wrote:
stuff about CR

Freesword. Just to clarify my POV on CR vs. party.

houstonderek said something to the effect of (and these are NOT his exact words): "monsters in the bestiary aren't forgiving and it's not that easy for the GM to play monsters of a given CR vs. a gimped party of equivalent APL without soft-balling the encounter or fudging the rolls."

To which I replied, well it is that easy. And that's because encounter CRs of equal level are not created equal. And then I gave an example.

I didn't comment on whether that was a good thing or a bad thing, nor was it a defense to not improve the rules. I actually agree with a lot of HD's viewpoints. I was simply stating a fact that a GM can run monsters against an inherently "weak" party without soft-balling or fudging rolls. Now you can call the actual building of the encounter is where the "soft-balling" occurs if you want (and I would disagree with you), but you still aren't cheating, nor are you aren't soft-balling while actually running the encounter.

Encounter building with multiple weaker CR creatures almost needs to happen to some extent anyway, because it would be pretty lame for a GM to always throw a single monster of CR = APL at the players. You could of course build multiple creature encounters at APL +1 or +2 to get their numbers up, to make them more challenging, but that is beside the point.

I don't think the CR system works quite as intended either (honestly, I think it's nearly impossible to ever make it totally work). But I still find it a useful tool.


ciretose wrote:
There are spells that will weaken or impede you. But none that will kill you outright.

Splitting hairs. With combats as short as they can be, there's not much difference between "dead" and "as good as dead" for an enemy NPC.


Run monsters as characters... make them think and act in ways that arnt numbers.. and so the monster got hurt in the leg and because he had stumbled and twisted his ankle before hand and it hurt decided to run away... or maybe it has a phobia of a certian thing from when it was a baby and just when it was about to crush the low level party the horse whinnies and scares it reminding it of when it was a child and it got trampled by one and it runs off... making the party wonder what happened...

Intelligent monsters, even evil ones dont necessarily have to attack, maybe they want to barter for something they want done or want information. Or even want to be left alone. Remember the attack scores are just in case you want to fight, there are lots of role playing that can be done. It is a role playing game after all :)

Liberty's Edge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
ciretose wrote:
There are spells that will weaken or impede you. But none that will kill you outright.
Splitting hairs. With combats as short as they can be, there's not much difference between "dead" and "as good as dead" for an enemy NPC.

Not really. If it takes your caster a standard action at 75% success to put something on me and my caster a standard action at 100% success to take it off, what has really been accomplished?

Disabled isn't dead. Someone else still has to go in and do the dirty work of removing hit points.


Sigurd Torgarsson wrote:
Remember the attack scores are just in case you want to fight, there are lots of role playing that can be done. It is a role playing game after all :)

Intelligent monsters, even evil ones dont necessarily have to attack, maybe they want to barter for something they want done or want information. Unfortunately, it's a role playing game in which the Diplomacy rules are even more unbalanced than the combat rules. And that's saying something.


Talek & Luna wrote:

Oh wow. The balance arguement again.

I have gamed in D&D and other RPG's for many years. In a class based system like D&D characters tend to fall into one of two camps. Either good always on powers with solid defenses or huge scarce powers with weak defenses. The ultimate example is fighter vs wizard. Fighters deal solid hp damage and can do catastraphoic damage when crits are involved.(1D12+10x3 is nothing to sneeze at.) Wizards have no such output. They rely on save or die spells or save vs suck to carry them through. Rogues and clerics follow a similar pattern with rogues leaning more towards the fighter aspect and clerics leaning more towards the wizard aspect but exceptions can be made.

At what level? 3? If so, it's mildly impressive, but highly unreliable. Beyond that though no one cares.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Talek & Luna wrote:
Fighters... can do catastraphoic damage when crits are involved.(1D12+10/x3 is nothing to sneeze at.) Wizards have no such output. They rely on save or die spells or save vs suck to carry them through.

1d12+10/x3 = mean of less than 50 hp. Say our monster has 200 hp. The fighter you mention has to hit 4+ times to impede it at all.

One save or die on the same critter, and the wizard just did 210 hp in damage -- with one spell. "No such output" indeed.

+1.


ciretose wrote:
If it takes your caster a standard action at 75% success to put something on me and my caster a standard action at 100% success to take it off, what has really been accomplished?

You're out of the fight for a round of two, and your caster is for a full round, and by then the fight's over and your friends are all dead.

ciretose wrote:
Disabled isn't dead. Someone else still has to go in and do the dirty work of removing hit points.

Shooting fish in a barrel.

Liberty's Edge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
ciretose wrote:
If it takes your caster a standard action at 75% success to put something on me and my caster a standard action at 100% success to take it off, what has really been accomplished?

You're out of the fight for a round of two, and your caster is for a full round, and by then the fight's over and your friends are all dead.

ciretose wrote:
Disabled isn't dead. Someone else still has to go in and do the dirty work of removing hit points.
Shooting fish in a barrel.

Round 1, you win init you cast your spell. Same round (if I don't save) my caster negates. I've been holding until my caster negates, my turn.

Someone still has to shoot the fish, before it recovers.

That is balance, and why it is designed as a 4 player game.


ciretose wrote:

Someone still has to shoot the fish, before it recovers.

That is balance, and why it is designed as a 4 player game.

So it's "balance" that Tiger Woods has a caddy. After all, someone has to carry the clubs. Each one is an equally valuable member of the team. That's why golf is played with 2-man teams.


FatR wrote:
Deanoth wrote:

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

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

Are you assuming that you will always be Sir Cool McAwesome in the group dynamic of "Sir Cool McAwesome and his Mildly Useful Sidekicks"?

In other words, your whole premise is bad and you should feel bad for saying things like this aloud. I'm saying this as a GM (because I GM 95% of the time). Every time I have to say (in much greater length): "No, don't take this class, because it will make your character a gimp, and while I want PCs to win, I don't want to babysit them", the game becomes worse.

+1.

It was worse before we knew to say it. The bodycount for weak classes such as the Fighter, the Monk, and so forth is about four times higher than everyone else combined, despite the fact that we have only been playing such classes in 3.x for less than half the time 3.x has been out.

In other words, they've been effectively banned for a while, and everyone else combined still hasn't caught up. In 6-7 years.

Liberty's Edge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
ciretose wrote:

Someone still has to shoot the fish, before it recovers.

That is balance, and why it is designed as a 4 player game.
So it's "balance" that Tiger Woods has a caddy. After all, someone has to carry the clubs. Each one is an equally valuable member of the team. That's why golf is played with 2-man teams.

No. And I'm sorry about the edit mid post above. Bad form on my part.

If a healer is a caddy, then I think you undervalue their role. The way the game is written the fighter can drop an arcane caster in a round. If in round one the caster is using a SoS spell, that is all they are doing (until much later in the game)

So if I save they have used a spell and don't nothing at all. If I fail, then I have a caster who can expend the same resources to negate it and allow me to move up onto the caster and hit him, as well as threaten him in the next round if he tries to cast.

The amount of damage a melee can do in a single attack is around half of the wizards total hit points or more, even with CoDzilla's 16 Con wizard, and will almost always hit even at low levels if your first round spell is an attack rather than defensive spell.

If you have an SoS type caster, the fighter is the one that actually removes the hit points from the weakened foe. That is a role that needs to be filled if you don't want to waste spell slots on damage spells.


FatR wrote:
roccojr wrote:
I think the pursuit of balance is misguided. Nearly every time someone talks about balance, they bring up what a particular character can do in combat. There's a lot of emphasis on combat because it is an easy waay to create excitement and suspense... but I've actually felt the most excited when the suspense comes from drama.

You can't have drama when your character is dead.

I'm dead serious here. The reason I swore to never again generate a character who is not a deathmachine, no matter the system ( particularly in systems where combat competence is ostensibly not mandatory) is the fact, that all but one of approximately 20 tabletop and PbP games I've played involved vicious battles to death, more often than not within the first session/equivalent span of posts in PbP. (In the sole exception from this rule the player characters were doomed by canon from the beginning.)

+1.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
ciretose wrote:
There are spells that will weaken or impede you. But none that will kill you outright.
Splitting hairs. With combats as short as they can be, there's not much difference between "dead" and "as good as dead" for an enemy NPC.

+1.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
ciretose wrote:
If it takes your caster a standard action at 75% success to put something on me and my caster a standard action at 100% success to take it off, what has really been accomplished?

You're out of the fight for a round of two, and your caster is for a full round, and by then the fight's over and your friends are all dead.

ciretose wrote:
Disabled isn't dead. Someone else still has to go in and do the dirty work of removing hit points.
Shooting fish in a barrel.

Also +1.

Cleanup is not a party role. Party role implies it's of equal importance to what everyone else is doing. It's not. It's a minion role.

Liberty's Edge

CoDzilla wrote:


Cleanup is not a party role. Party role implies it's of equal importance to what everyone else is doing. It's not. It's a minion role.

And at what level do you have minions? Charisma is a dump stat in your build, so I'm guessing you don't have leadership. Summons are full round actions, easily interrupted by any damage.

So far in your build from the other thread I haven't seen any God wizard emerging. Perhaps as it moves to higher level it will, but your Wizard has used half it's feats and wealth and seem fairly vulnerable and normal to me.

As I said, whatever you can put on can be taken off in the same round, so resource economy is the same. And of the spells you posted, only one had access to a Coup De Grace, and that was only if no one shook them awake.

Feel free to present spells or scenarios showing otherwise.


ciretose wrote:
CoDzilla wrote:


Cleanup is not a party role. Party role implies it's of equal importance to what everyone else is doing. It's not. It's a minion role.

And at what level do you have minions? Charisma is a dump stat in your build, so I'm guessing you don't have leadership. Summons are full round actions, easily interrupted by any damage.

So far in your build from the other thread I haven't seen any God wizard emerging. Perhaps as it moves to higher level it will, but your Wizard has used half it's feats and wealth and seem fairly vulnerable and normal to me.

As I said, whatever you can put on can be taken off in the same round, so resource economy is the same. And of the spells you posted, only one had access to a Coup De Grace, and that was only if no one shook them awake.

Feel free to present spells or scenarios showing otherwise.

Read the post, it's already explained how the party will get through the mere formality (and it is nothing but) of grinding down the HP.

It also helps if you read the rules.

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