Why is Pathfinder so bad at balance?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Scott Betts wrote:
Velderan wrote:
And, if the OP really hates the company that much, it's simple enough not to frequent their message boards instead of ranting in pointless, inflammatory troll threads.
Now if only we could get this message out to some of the Pathfinder fans over on the WotC forums...

Interestingly enough, I don't frequent those forums (except, of course, at my initial excitement towards essentials, which the board quickly quashed). Either way, that really doesn't justify the OP's ranting.


Velderan wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Velderan wrote:
And, if the OP really hates the company that much, it's simple enough not to frequent their message boards instead of ranting in pointless, inflammatory troll threads.
Now if only we could get this message out to some of the Pathfinder fans over on the WotC forums...
Interestingly enough, I don't frequent those forums (except, of course, at my initial excitement towards essentials, which the board quickly quashed). Either way, that really doesn't justify the OP's ranting.

No, it certainly doesn't. And I definitely didn't mean to imply that you were guilty of the same.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
Velderan wrote:
And, if the OP really hates the company that much, it's simple enough not to frequent their message boards instead of ranting in pointless, inflammatory troll threads.
Now if only we could get this message out to some of the Pathfinder fans over on the WotC forums...

Or to 4e fans over at Enworld...


rando1000 wrote:
But 1e is soooo limited. I could never make the character I want to play.

Oh here we go. Yet another Rock/Paper/Scissors™ 2e crybaby whining about how awesome it'd be to pull a ridiculous half-rock/half-spock horta combo. Go weep into your overbloated 2e splatbook rando1000...

Paizo Employee Senior Software Developer

Let's not talk about how people behave on sites that aren't paizo.com. We have enough on our plates just keeping this place happy.


Balance is not a matter of opinion; it's a matter of math.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

A pity the math is adjustable then, eh?


Gorbacz wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Velderan wrote:
And, if the OP really hates the company that much, it's simple enough not to frequent their message boards instead of ranting in pointless, inflammatory troll threads.
Now if only we could get this message out to some of the Pathfinder fans over on the WotC forums...

Or to 4e fans over at Enworld...

EN World is a D&D website, not a 3e website. 4e fans are - or should be - perfectly welcome there.

~*~

Also, to answer the question, there are in fact two questions with answers.

The first: 3e chassis is why PF is unbalanced.

"So why is the 3e chassis unbalanced?"

For a number of reasons, but the primary reason boils down to the idea that the supernatural must be "magic" rather then the magic being part of the supernatural.


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
Carbon D. Metric wrote:
Balance is an illusion, just like time.

"And lunch-balance doubly so."

Didn't work out as well for me as for Douglas Adams. ;)


ShadowcatX wrote:
ArgentumLupus wrote:
Anyone who starts a (legitimate) balance argument has obviously never been a Rifts player. Other wise they would find complaining about balance as silly as the rest of us.

Actually I always liked Kevin's idea of balance.

Paraphrasing: Balance isn't everyone doing everything exactly equally as well. Balance is everyone doing what they do well and not doing everything well.

I like Kevin's idea of balance as well. With the type of balance most of these arguments are based on, the (legitimate) OP's would fly into a fit of rage if they actually gave Rifts a good try.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
A pity the math is adjustable then, eh?

Oberoni farts in your general direction.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Enchanter Tom wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
A pity the math is adjustable then, eh?
Oberoni farts in your general direction.

Von Zohmenstein Fallacy is never a great way to win arguments.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Enchanter Tom wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
A pity the math is adjustable then, eh?
Oberoni farts in your general direction.

What do those smell like? Oberoni farts, I mean.

And is it a houserule to use lower CR encounters? Or is it RAW?

Dark Archive

Gunslinger!


HeHateMe wrote:


4E was created for the players (who mostly played Fighters and Rogues) who were sick of the godlike Wizards and Clerics dominating the game. They screamed out for balance and got it. I really enjoy that aspect of the game, but dislike the lack of fluff and flavor in 4E.

Just a little observation about the gamers in our area....alot of power gamers loved the balance of 4th ed because they felt ok to power game to their heart content and it will be ok because the non-power gamers could keep up...because they are no trap powers....

It was like they were adicts to the power and could you know just not break the game.

PF(or 3.5) is perfectly balanced...just don't be a douch. 4th ed is breakable too...sometime I think even more so in ways...


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Also in response to this thread title...I don't know what the OP is talking about...I have all 6 og the Hardcovers balanced in a house shape right now. And it was easy.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
John Kretzer wrote:
PF(or 3.5) is perfectly balanced...just don't be a douch.

This is blatently untrue though, and I feel this is the most damning problem in the 3e chassis - not how easy it is for someone who knows the rules like the back of their hand to twist it all but, but how easy it is for someone who doesn't know the rules to cock it all up.

Pun Pun was never the problem, it was the new player that said "Hey, soulknife sounds cool, I'm going to be that" playing with the new player that said "Hey, glitterdust sounds pretty potent, so does web, and I want my spellcasting stat to be really high..."

Quote:
4th ed is breakable too...sometime I think even more so in ways...

I have found that 3e is broken in ways that exclude the party, where as players that are "too good" in 4e are such in ways that make the entire party feel awesome. Furthermore, 3e is broken on every level (see: spells replacing skills) whereas 4e's problems only come out when characters are too good at their job in a fight.

Having the wizard end the encounter and then solve every problem with a spell is not satisfying or balanced.

Having a warlord give everyone way too many attacks with way too high bonuses may be unbalanced, but it sure makes all the players feel incredibly awesome, and it doesn't make Stabby the rogue feel useless when it comes time to be sneaky because the wizard can't just use invisibility.


I never "knew" Two-Weapon Fighting to be unbalanced. My experience is the exact opposite. But then again, I know what I am doing.

Case in point: At the height of 3.5, I helped my wife fine-tool a TWF elf ranger who could easily hold his own damage-wise against the party's axe-wielding half-ogre barbarian. Yes, the damage was spread out over more attacks per round, but what's the big, fat difference?

As some have pointed out, there is a matter of the role of each class being at work here. And I agree with that. Ranger was the right choice to match the barbarian's output in this way. Probably a fighter of the same level would have been a little harder to tweak for the purpose, though not impossible. But then, this is part of the ranger's role. The simple fact is, if you came to Pathfinder hoping to find your druid dual-wielding twin scimitars expertly at 1st-level, you came to the wrong place.

I am sick to death of the edition wars, but if it must be, I'll take the classic definition of roles over what I've seen of 4th's blurred lines of damage-output and class role.


Quote:

I never "knew" Two-Weapon Fighting to be unbalanced. My experience is the exact opposite. But then again, I know what I am doing.

Case in point: At the height of 3.5, I helped my wife fine-tool a TWF elf ranger who could easily hold his own damage-wise against the party's axe-wielding half-ogre barbarian. Yes, the damage was spread out over more attacks per round, but what's the big, fat difference?

I can see the ranger outdamaging the +2 LA version of the half-ogre if she were up against the right favored enemies...but that's a pretty big "if." Point being, TWF was only really viable for two classes: rangers (who got it for free) and rogues (who could add +10d6 damage to every attack). For anyone other than those two, it sucked.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Enchanter Tom wrote:
Balance is not a matter of opinion; it's a matter of math.

But which math? Any background in mathematical modeling will tell you that there are often many approaches that may be taken. Which one should you choose? What assumptions and abstractions must be made with the approach you choose? What do you give up by choosing approach over the other?

These questions are an underlying reason why game design is not merely about math, but also about art.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Enchanter Tom wrote:
I just don't get it. Even the 4e developers managed to produce a badly-done game that is mostly balanced (even if their product is a grotesque mockery of traditional D&D).

There is your answer right there. By your definitions Pathfinder is closer to what you define as "traditional D&D" than WOTC's 4th edition.

Unfortunately "traditional D&D" is an inherently unbalanced game. Plain and simple. You can't keep true to whatever it's "spirit" is supposed to be and escape that. Paizo did do much to address the issue but it's not a problem that can be totally fixed as long as it's mission state ment is "3.5 thrives!"


2 people marked this as a favorite.

More FOod fOr thE TroLLz!


oh my, there's nothing like the good ol' poo/fan thang. glad i didn't pick a front row seat. all the funny smell and none of the splatter. YEE-HAW!

Dark Archive

Sebastian wrote:
Real men know that "chess" is not a verb.

Adjective, not verb.

This timed pencil-stabbing version of tic-tac-toe sounds dull. Instead, draw the diagram on the floor, about four feet across, and have the contestants rush in and attempt to place a body part in the space they want to claim. Tic-tac-twister!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Kretzer wrote:


PF(or 3.5) is perfectly balanced...just don't be a douch.

No, no it's not. You could be the undouchiest full-caster ever and unless you ACTIVELY underplayed your character, you are going to outclass mundane characters at every turn by about level... 8.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Set wrote:
Instead, draw the diagram on the floor, about four feet across, and have the contestants rush in and attempt to place a body part in the space they want to claim. Tic-tac-twister!

Turning a good tabletop game into a bad LARP is never the answer.


Why did I even bother to read this thread ???

Dark Archive

Absolute balance nobody wants. Relative balance is important.

It annoys me greatly that Paizo or designers cannot see how powerful a feat Power Attack is, and then make other feats that don't scale automatically as well. Vital Strike is the main offender of this. Power Attack gets better automatically over time, but Vital Strike needs 2 other feats to keep in damage and usefulness.

The other problem was action economy being an issue. I think Paizo might be pushing the power up a bit with UM and UC classes. The APG classes are balanced or weak compared to Core, but UM and UC seems far stronger, with lots of ways to recharge powers like BoS in the samurai and gunslinger.

At the end of the day, I live with this imbalanced system because most of the time it's not utterly abused. And I REALLY don't want to learn another system.

Grand Lodge

Slaunyeh wrote:
Talonne Hauk wrote:
*Pulls up a chair and offers Ambrus some popcorn.*
Ooh, popcorn. All I have are these marshmallows.

I brought chocolate bars, now let's see if anyone has any graham crackers.


Kais86 wrote:
Slaunyeh wrote:
Talonne Hauk wrote:
*Pulls up a chair and offers Ambrus some popcorn.*
Ooh, popcorn. All I have are these marshmallows.
I brought chocolate bars, now let's see if anyone has any graham crackers.

Start the campfire guys, here's the graham crackers.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Cartigan wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:


PF(or 3.5) is perfectly balanced...just don't be a douch.
No, no it's not. You could be the undouchiest full-caster ever and unless you ACTIVELY underplayed your character, you are going to outclass mundane characters at every turn by about level... 8.

Warmage?


Lathiira wrote:
Start the campfire guys, here's the graham crackers.

Seems to me that the flames in this thread are smores than adequate.

*rimshot*


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:


PF(or 3.5) is perfectly balanced...just don't be a douch.
No, no it's not. You could be the undouchiest full-caster ever and unless you ACTIVELY underplayed your character, you are going to outclass mundane characters at every turn by about level... 8.
Warmage?

Compared to a Fighter?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Cartigan wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:


PF(or 3.5) is perfectly balanced...just don't be a douch.
No, no it's not. You could be the undouchiest full-caster ever and unless you ACTIVELY underplayed your character, you are going to outclass mundane characters at every turn by about level... 8.
Warmage?
Compared to a Fighter?

You think a Fighter can't outdamage a Warmage?


Cartigan wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:


PF(or 3.5) is perfectly balanced...just don't be a douch.
No, no it's not. You could be the undouchiest full-caster ever and unless you ACTIVELY underplayed your character, you are going to outclass mundane characters at every turn by about level... 8.

Funniest thing I've read all week :D


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:


PF(or 3.5) is perfectly balanced...just don't be a douch.
No, no it's not. You could be the undouchiest full-caster ever and unless you ACTIVELY underplayed your character, you are going to outclass mundane characters at every turn by about level... 8.
Warmage?
Compared to a Fighter?
You think a Fighter can't outdamage a Warmage?

You think a Fighter has the better end of the deal?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

What else does the Warmage do besides damage? I thought that was why everyone despised it. Because it didn't get utility spells.

Also, Healer.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
What else does the Warmage do besides damage? I thought that was why everyone despised it. Because it didn't get utility spells.

That was fixed in the Player's Handbook II with the Eclectic Learning Alternative Class Feature. It allowed a Warmage to take any Wizard/Sorcerer spell, rather than just Evocation magic, with the same limitations as Advanced Learning and that the spell takes a slot one level higher. To say nothing of the Extra Spell feat.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Daisuke1133 wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
What else does the Warmage do besides damage? I thought that was why everyone despised it. Because it didn't get utility spells.
That was fixed in the Player's Handbook II with the Eclectic Learning Alternative Class Feature. It allowed a Warmage to take any Wizard/Sorcerer spell, rather than just Evocation magic, with the same limitations as Advanced Learning and that the spell takes a slot one level higher. To say nothing of the Extra Spell feat.

Best to say nothing of the Extra Spell feat. I don't recall WotC ever clarifying that you could grab a spell from another class' spell list.

Sovereign Court

I thought the point of Warmage was to go Rainbow Servant and gain every cleric spell to your spells known?


Darth_Slanderous wrote:
oh my, there's nothing like the good ol' poo/fan thang. glad i didn't pick a front row seat. all the funny smell and none of the splatter. YEE-HAW!

Ahhh, it's not so bad. We brought flame-retardant raincoats and hip waders!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Enchanter Tom wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
A pity the math is adjustable then, eh?
Oberoni farts in your general direction.

Is it a houserule to use lower CR encounters? Or is it RAW?


I'm sensing a theme there...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I removed a couple posts. Please be civil.


TriOmegaZero wrote:

What else does the Warmage do besides damage? I thought that was why everyone despised it. Because it didn't get utility spells.

Also, Healer.

Healer gets a Unicorn companion, and more class capabilities. Warmage has more capability due to being Cha based and secondary on Int.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
and it doesn't make Stabby the rogue feel useless when it comes time to be sneaky because the wizard can't just use invisibility.

Actualy the wizard feels pretty useless when a the people trying to sneak by have True Seeing....Detect invisible...etc up and they get caught. Or if the wizard needs to be stealthed for longer than a few minutes. (Also a problem with disguise spells.

the skill stealth is a 100% better than the invisibility spell.

Actualy if the wizard is at all intelligent about it he would cast invisibility on the rogue. But than again 4th ed is for players that need teamworked enforced by the rules.

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