Caster-Martial Disparity Battleground - No Crying.


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Starbuck_II wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


You know, dimension door has this little piece in the description of its effect: After using this spell, you can't take any other actions until your next turn. .
So you can't take any action and are at 5' from a barbarian.

Say adjeu.

People feel that spellcaster are super powerful because they or the GM fail to apply the limitations built in the spells.

There is a feat that lets you act after Dimension door (Ultimate Combat made it).

Charender wrote:


So you have a CR4 creature with a base +8 to hit against an opponent with a 22ish AC who may or may not be asleep. Further, there is no way as a DM that I would allow a creature with an int of 2 to perform a coup de grace.

Sorry, real life animals do it. I don't care if you can't believe animakls are so smart, but Coup e Grace has no Int limit.

Your houserules have nothing to do with how the game works.

They are not house rules.

The animal speaks no language, you cannot command it to CGD.
You can command it to attack, and it will do just that attack.

If you are letting you players issue complex commands to summoned animals with an int of 2, then you are doing it wrong.


Charender wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


You know, dimension door has this little piece in the description of its effect: After using this spell, you can't take any other actions until your next turn. .
So you can't take any action and are at 5' from a barbarian.

Say adjeu.

People feel that spellcaster are super powerful because they or the GM fail to apply the limitations built in the spells.

There is a feat that lets you act after Dimension door (Ultimate Combat made it).

Charender wrote:


So you have a CR4 creature with a base +8 to hit against an opponent with a 22ish AC who may or may not be asleep. Further, there is no way as a DM that I would allow a creature with an int of 2 to perform a coup de grace.

Sorry, real life animals do it. I don't care if you can't believe animakls are so smart, but Coup e Grace has no Int limit.

Your houserules have nothing to do with how the game works.

They are not house rules.

The animal speaks no language, you cannot command it to CGD.
You can command it to attack, and it will do just that attack.

If you are letting you players issue complex commands to summoned animals with an int of 2, then you are doing it wrong.

It is not a complex command to coup de grace. It is the natural instinct of any creature to knock his opponent out of the fight. Have you ever seen an elephant or a rhino fight a lion? If they knock it on the ground, they stomp it to death. That is a coup de grace. Or a lion with a zebra. When the zebra is down after a pounce, the lion bites its throat.


Charender wrote:

They are not house rules.

The animal speaks no language, you cannot command it to CGD.
You can command it to attack, and it will do just that attack.

If you are letting you players issue complex commands to summoned animals with an int of 2, then you are doing it wrong.

+1

Sovereign Court

Evil Lincoln wrote:
Dragonsong wrote:
Curse you EL for making the most non-popcorn popcorn thread so far.
No one is more surprised than I am. I tried to make it a train-wreck, and it comes out constructive. Pity this was never attempted earlier.

Alright, I'll try...

The problem with the martial-caster disparity is thematically it is far too reflective of our modern culture in which geeks have triumphed. The spellcasters (the geeks) through their methodical nickle and diming investment, the power accrues and eventually they blow past the martials (the jocks) who then have a blue-collar job for the rest of their career, watching the spellcasters remove to their ivory tower/white collar world of controlling events.

All of this might be art reflecting life, but I want to see more old school themes rising up from the past. The spellcasters are SUPPOSED to the sidekick of the hero, who's supposed to be a martial character that uses their gut instincts, guile and brawn to win the day. We can toss out the paternalism, so the hero is a man or a woman, but roles need to be followed.

The Fighter in the central character who gets to land the final blow against the BBEG and take most of the glory. The Wizard is the one who knows stuff, can even the odds with a fireball, along with identify the magic mcguffin. The Cleric is the healer who keeps the Fighter going, and has the spiritual purity to push back the darkness... but because of that spiritual purity can't be the one to win the prince/princess that is being held by the evil dude. Meanwhile the plucky Rogue is likewise there to help the Fighter by avoiding the traps, opening doors, and stabbing a mook in the back that the Fighter overlooked.

The sidekicks (Wizard, Cleric, and Rogue) are aspects of the hero, who has a perfect balance of their traits. Like Captain Kirk being the balance of Bones' emotion and Spock's logic, the Fighter is the balanced mixture of smarts, wisdom and cunning.

So the problem with the martial-caster divide is that it messes up the psychological archetypes of our older elitist centered world. If you're going to avoid bandwrongfun then you need to know your role and place! Only one player can be the total package and that's supposed to be the martial. Only one person gets to bed the prince/princess at the end of the adventure, and it's everyone's job to make sure the Fighter gets that reward!


Cibulan wrote:
Charender wrote:

I charge you and start smashing your face.

If I make the save, the effect expires before you can cackle to extend it, and you effectively just wasted a round.

Round 2: Misfortune Hex

I spend another round smashing your face, how many HP do you have. Even with misfortune in play, and full round attack from a martial character is going to hurt unless you have defensive buffs up.

Round 3: Slumber Hex

Did I mention I am undead/elven blooded/golem/dragon/insert something immune to...

So you completely stack this hypothetical situation in your favor and that's suppose to prove something?

-You charge? I can fly, we're level 8, so most likely you cannot.
-You stand and beat on me while I do nothing? You ignore my mirror image, greater invisibility and flight how?
-You are now immune to my shtick, how convenient. If we're talking convenience, you're now a raging barbarian without a reach weapon and a low will save. That's convenient for me.

If you had bothered to read the rest of the thread you would have seen my defenses and my admittance that this is not full-proof and that I said it struggles against certain things. But even then, I still have the rest of my spells (I only used one).

Lets see, greater invisibility lasts rounds per level and mirror image and flight lasts minutes/level. When exactly in your earlier posts did you mention that you cast those spells? Who is moving the goal posts?

My point is that those defenses are pretty thin in the grand scheme of things. Give me a melee fighter in celestial armor. Yay, I can fly too. Make him a two weapon fighter, and those mirror images won't last long. I don't consider UMDing a scroll to be a valid method of defense in this thread because as I pointed out, anyone can do it.

So how about we revise your earlier statement to add, I spend 3 rounds casting buffs on myself to make myself nearly immune to the martial character's damage so that I can then spend 5 rounds killing the martial character. So, now takes you 8 rounds, spells(mirror image, summon monster), a limited use per day ability(flight), and a scroll of greater invisibility to take out a fighter of equal level?


Mok wrote:
Alright, I'll try...

ROFL, I couldn't stop grinning at your post long enough to take it seriously. Good effort, and clever. ;D

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lab_Rat wrote:


One rule that I have never seen enforced in my games played is this: If a wizard uses spells during their 8 hours of rest not only does the encounter extend his rest period needed but those spells count against his NEW spell per day.

Bad, I have always enforced it, like I enforce people to consider the time spent memorizing spells.


TriOmegaZero wrote:

To play a fighter is to play the game.

To play a wizard is to understand the rules.
To understand the rules, and play a fighter, is to understand the game.

That's deep...


Andy Ferguson wrote:
Lab_Rat wrote:

Umm....I spend any additional time stop time to Instant Summons some popcorn (I am a wizard, everything is Instant Summonsed in my pad). Time stop ends. I do not plan on casting further spells on the barbarian. He is inside a prismatic sphere that he can not leave without dire consequences with 2 called Balors. I do not need line of effect. If he lives through this then maybe I will pay him a bunch of money to work...

So your plan is to summon two uncontrolled Balor's and then leave them on the same plane as you? That doesn't sound like beating the Barbarian, that sounds like beating yourself, as the Balor's now come after you.

Mostly I'm just poking fun at you, but it does kind of indicate a lot of the tactics that get bandied about for high level, may not work. There having been people claiming that summon monster replaces martials, and it was pointed out that you generally summon monsters that are several CR below what you should be facing. Someone suggested that they witch is fine in combat if they get a 4 to 1 action ratio. There have been several suggestions that casters do well because it's impossible for anything to make saves against there mighty power, which doesn't seem to bear out.

I know. I have been mostly using that example as an exaggeration of what a wizard can do. The real point is that a wizard can go so far above and beyond a fighters options. There are all kinds of different combinations of spells that can counter this or that. My example follows none of that. I do not require more than one round, do not make you save against a thing, and do not utilize weaker summon spells. I conjured 2 CR 20 beings of death in a 20 ft sphere of no escape. The only thing it does break is a silly thing called common sense. No wizard in their right mind would bring 2 Balors into the material plane without any restrictions on them.

When spells were written the imagination ran wild. Wizards can fly, go any where in the world or another plane, call powerful beings and bargain, rework an entire battlefield, etc. When they wrote melee powers its like they were told "Remember...you hit people." Melee just does not conjure the grandiose nature of what a lvl 20 character should be.


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Evil Lincoln wrote:
I've got to ask you to get into specifics here, because honestly there is no better cure for the 15MAD than a proactive NPC caster

Then you've lost the forest for the trees, in a way -- because if the only way to challenge a party is by throwing more casters (or more powerful casters) at them, then you're sort of underlining the whole disparity we're talking about.

Problem: Casters' powers negate foundational game challenges.
Solution: Add enemy casters.
Result: Game becomes even more caster-centric.

In a game in which there is no martial-caster disparity, a BBEG with class levels would be just as often be a martial character, and would be just as much of a challenge to the PCs. The fact that this is almost never true is important.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Seriously, why are there ever these martial-castor discussions? My rogue has already stolen all the party's equipment, hocked it for shinies, told everyone a band of magic-thieves took it, assassinated anyone who questioned me about what happened on my watch, disguised it as a series of unfortunate accidents, bought a place in the countryside, stole the princess, pitted rival kingdoms into wars of attrition, started my own seat of power, posed as a god to begin my own religion, and retired to a life as a simple orphanage-owner to groom the next generation of rogues to be raised as down-on-their-luck, never-knew-their-parents, lynchpin-of-important-prophecy, reluctant, plucky, out-for-himself-but-actually-has-a-heart-of-gold anti-hero.

Gosh, forget theories, lets talk about what really happens.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lab_Rat wrote:
Andy Ferguson wrote:
Lab_Rat wrote:

Umm....I spend any additional time stop time to Instant Summons some popcorn (I am a wizard, everything is Instant Summonsed in my pad). Time stop ends. I do not plan on casting further spells on the barbarian. He is inside a prismatic sphere that he can not leave without dire consequences with 2 called Balors. I do not need line of effect. If he lives through this then maybe I will pay him a bunch of money to work...

So your plan is to summon two uncontrolled Balor's and then leave them on the same plane as you? That doesn't sound like beating the Barbarian, that sounds like beating yourself, as the Balor's now come after you.

Mostly I'm just poking fun at you, but it does kind of indicate a lot of the tactics that get bandied about for high level, may not work. There having been people claiming that summon monster replaces martials, and it was pointed out that you generally summon monsters that are several CR below what you should be facing. Someone suggested that they witch is fine in combat if they get a 4 to 1 action ratio. There have been several suggestions that casters do well because it's impossible for anything to make saves against there mighty power, which doesn't seem to bear out.

I know. I have been mostly using that example as an exaggeration of what a wizard can do. The real point is that a wizard can go so far above and beyond a fighters options. There are all kinds of different combinations of spells that can counter this or that. My example follows none of that. I do not require more than one round, do not make you save against a thing, and do not utilize weaker summon spells. I conjured 2 CR 20 beings of death in a 20 ft sphere of no escape. The only thing it does break is a silly thing called common sense. No wizard in their right mind would bring 2 Balors into the material plane without any restrictions on them.

When spells were written the imagination ran wild. Wizards can fly, go any where in the world...

To repeat it again:

-Gate don't work within a Prismatic sphere. No spell can leave the area.

- Gate will work badly during Time stop. You will not gate anything until your time stop end.
But when your time stop end your turn end too, so you are adjacent to a Balor and a barbarian and your turn just ended. Good luck surviving that.


I think the reason I am okay with the status quo, as it were, is that if you give martial classes random abilities on par with high level spellcasting just to make them equal out, then you come up with something closer to 4th edition D&D and less like Pathfinder.


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Charender wrote:
Cibulan wrote:
Charender wrote:

I charge you and start smashing your face.

If I make the save, the effect expires before you can cackle to extend it, and you effectively just wasted a round.

Round 2: Misfortune Hex

I spend another round smashing your face, how many HP do you have. Even with misfortune in play, and full round attack from a martial character is going to hurt unless you have defensive buffs up.

Round 3: Slumber Hex

Did I mention I am undead/elven blooded/golem/dragon/insert something immune to...

So you completely stack this hypothetical situation in your favor and that's suppose to prove something?

-You charge? I can fly, we're level 8, so most likely you cannot.
-You stand and beat on me while I do nothing? You ignore my mirror image, greater invisibility and flight how?
-You are now immune to my shtick, how convenient. If we're talking convenience, you're now a raging barbarian without a reach weapon and a low will save. That's convenient for me.

If you had bothered to read the rest of the thread you would have seen my defenses and my admittance that this is not full-proof and that I said it struggles against certain things. But even then, I still have the rest of my spells (I only used one).

Lets see, greater invisibility lasts rounds per level and mirror image and flight lasts minutes/level. When exactly in your earlier posts did you mention that you cast those spells? Who is moving the goal posts?

My point is that those defenses are pretty thin in the grand scheme of things. Give me a melee fighter in celestial armor. Yay, I can fly too. Make him a two weapon fighter, and those mirror images won't last long. I don't consider UMDing a scroll to be a valid method of defense in this thread because as I pointed out, anyone can do it.

So how about we revise your earlier statement to add, I spend 3 rounds casting buffs on myself to make myself nearly immune to the martial character's damage so that I can then spend 5 rounds killing the...

BARBARIAN AM SAYING STOP TALKY TIMES NOW. BARBARIAN AM HAVING RAGE AND POUNCE ON DIRE BAT, AND AM UMVINCIBLE.

BARBARIAN NOT CARE ABOUT SHINEY MAGIC THINGS. BARBARIAN CARE ABOUT LANCE, AND DRILL THAT PIERCE THE HEAVENS. BARBARIAN HAVING FEATS TO DEAL WITH CASTYS. ALSO AM RAGE POWERS.

BARBARIAN HAVE ALL THE FEATS. AND EXTRA RAGE POWER AM FEAT, BARBARIAN HAVE ALL THE RAGE POWERS. BARBARIAN AM DONE TALKY, HAVE SMASH. RAGE ALL DAY, EXTRA RAGE AM FEAT TOO! ME AM MOVING GOALPOSTS THROUGH SQUISHY TALKY MAN SKULL. CATSUP GUARD AM ALSO FEAT, BARBARIAN AM PROFICIENT WITH GOALPOST.


Foghammer wrote:
I think the reason I am okay with the status quo, as it were, is that if you give martial classes random abilities on par with high level spellcasting just to make them equal out, then you come up with something closer to 4th edition D&D and less like Pathfinder.

I disagree. Look at my houserules, or, barring that, look at the Warblade from the Tome of Battle. You can give martial guys abilities that are different from the casters', but that still provide them with more options and better problem-solving abilties in other areas, without doing what you're saying.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mok wrote:


Alright, I'll try...
The Fighter in the central character who gets to land the final blow against the BBEG and take most of the glory. The Wizard is the one who knows stuff, can even the odds with a fireball, along with identify the magic mcguffin. The Cleric is the healer who keeps the Fighter going, and has the spiritual purity to push back the darkness... but because of that spiritual purity can't be the one to win the prince/princess that is being held by the evil dude. Meanwhile the plucky Rogue is likewise there to help the Fighter by avoiding the traps, opening doors, and stabbing a mook in the back that the Fighter overlooked.

The sidekicks (Wizard, Cleric, and Rogue) are aspects of the hero, who has a perfect balance of their traits. Like Captain Kirk being the balance of Bones' emotion and Spock's logic, the Fighter is the balanced mixture of smarts, wisdom and cunning.

So the problem with the martial-caster divide is that it messes up the psychological archetypes of our older elitist centered world. If you're going to avoid bandwrongfun then you need to know your role and place! Only one player can be the total package and that's supposed to be the martial. Only one person gets to bed the prince/princess at the end of the adventure, and it's everyone's job to make sure the Fighter gets that reward!

Says who exactly? Sure there have been some stories that are all about the guy with the sword, but there are many where the caster is the main character as well. Jack vance's stories in fact if i remember starred either a rogueish character or a wizard. And its hard to claim he doesnt have a strong influence on the dynamics of dnd/pathfinder.

The wizard can just as easily balance out the rest of the party, as could the clever rogue. There is no reason why every main character needs to be captain kirk.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
WarColonel wrote:

Seriously, why are there ever these martial-castor discussions? My rogue has already stolen all the party's equipment, hocked it for shinies, told everyone a band of magic-thieves took it, assassinated anyone who questioned me about what happened on my watch, disguised it as a series of unfortunate accidents, bought a place in the countryside, stole the princess, pitted rival kingdoms into wars of attrition, started my own seat of power, posed as a god to begin my own religion, and retired to a life as a simple orphanage-owner to groom the next generation of rogues to be raised as down-on-their-luck, never-knew-their-parents, lynchpin-of-important-prophecy, reluctant, plucky, out-for-himself-but-actually-has-a-heart-of-gold anti-hero.

Gosh, forget theories, lets talk about what really happens.

Lets be honest here colonel, your rogue has already fallen into a pit and been eaten by a hydra. Granted now the party has to cut all their loot out of the hydra's belly, but still. If we are gonna talk about what REALLY happens to YOUR character... yea... hydra food.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
I think the reason I am okay with the status quo, as it were, is that if you give martial classes random abilities on par with high level spellcasting just to make them equal out, then you come up with something closer to 4th edition D&D and less like Pathfinder.
I disagree. Look at my houserules, or, barring that, look at the Warblade from the Tome of Battle. You can give martial guys abilities that are different from the casters', but that still provide them with more options and better problem-solving abilties in other areas, without doing what you're saying.

Well, the links in TOZ's post of your house rules were 404'ing on me, but based on the sheer number of posts and reception of your work by forum goers alone, I'm inclined to concede without proof.


Trinam wrote:

BARBARIAN AM SAYING STOP TALKY TIMES NOW. BARBARIAN AM HAVING RAGE AND POUNCE ON DIRE BAT, AND AM UMVINCIBLE.

BARBARIAN NOT CARE ABOUT SHINEY MAGIC THINGS. BARBARIAN CARE ABOUT LANCE, AND DRILL THAT PIERCE THE HEAVENS. BARBARIAN HAVING FEATS TO DEAL WITH CASTYS. ALSO AM RAGE POWERS.

BARBARIAN HAVE ALL THE FEATS. AND EXTRA RAGE POWER AM FEAT, BARBARIAN HAVE ALL THE RAGE POWERS. BARBARIAN AM DONE TALKY, HAVE SMASH. RAGE ALL DAY, EXTRA RAGE AM FEAT TOO! ME AM MOVING GOALPOSTS THROUGH SQUISHY TALKY MAN SKULL. CATSUP GUARD AM ALSO FEAT, BARBARIAN AM PROFICIENT WITH GOALPOST.

You make an excellent point. In the 6-8 round that the witch is spending to kill a single foe, the barbarian would have killed several foes....


Trinam wrote:

BARBARIAN AM SAYING STOP TALKY TIMES NOW. BARBARIAN AM HAVING RAGE AND POUNCE ON DIRE BAT, AND AM UMVINCIBLE.

BARBARIAN NOT CARE ABOUT SHINEY MAGIC THINGS. BARBARIAN CARE ABOUT LANCE, AND DRILL THAT PIERCE THE HEAVENS. BARBARIAN HAVING FEATS TO DEAL WITH CASTYS. ALSO AM RAGE POWERS.

BARBARIAN HAVE ALL THE FEATS. AND EXTRA RAGE POWER AM FEAT, BARBARIAN HAVE ALL THE RAGE POWERS. BARBARIAN AM DONE TALKY, HAVE SMASH. RAGE ALL DAY, EXTRA RAGE AM FEAT TOO! ME AM MOVING GOALPOSTS THROUGH SQUISHY TALKY MAN SKULL. CATSUP GUARD AM ALSO FEAT, BARBARIAN AM PROFICIENT WITH GOALPOST.

We missed you.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:
I've got to ask you to get into specifics here, because honestly there is no better cure for the 15MAD than a proactive NPC caster

Then you've lost the forest for the trees, in a way -- because if the only way to challenge a party is by throwing more casters (or more powerful casters) at them, then you're sort of underlining the whole disparity we're talking about.

Problem: Casters' powers negate foundational game challenges.
Solution: Add enemy casters.
Result: Game becomes even more caster-centric.

In a game in which there is no martial-caster disparity, a BBEG with class levels would be just as often be a martial character, and would be just as much of a challenge to the PCs. The fact that this is almost never true is important.

I disagree, in a game with no martial/caster disparity, then the big bad (with his minions counted as well) would need a variety of abilities to face a party with a similar variety of abilities. There is nothing flawed about requiring an opponent to have similar tools at his disposal as the party does.


Diego Rossi wrote:

To repeat it again:

-Gate don't work within a Prismatic sphere. No spell can leave the area.

- Gate will work badly during Time stop. You will not gate anything until your time stop end.
But when your time stop end your turn end too, so you are adjacent to a Balor and a barbarian and your turn just ended. Good luck surviving that.

Ok. I see what you are saying. As for the Prismatic sphere part...just cast that last.

I cast Gate- Balor shows up and does nothing because of time stop. I cast another Gate- Balor shows up and does nothing because of time stop. I cast Prismatic spher during my last round and then take a move action to step outside the sphere. I am outside of the sphere and Time stop ends.

As for Gate - Why wouldn't it work with time stop. Heck Time stop even says that spellcasters use it to summon allies. If I am missing something just explain it.

Anyway. It does not matter I really just threw it out there to slay some overconfident barbarian with too many hitpoints. I don't really want it to take away from the greater discussion of why there is this disparity.


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Andy Ferguson wrote:
We missed you.

BARBARIAN AM FEEL THE LOVE. MAKE GRAPPLE CHECK FOR HUGS.


I gotta go to work now so by the time I can get back in on this discussion, there will probably be 50 bajillion posts I don't want to wade through.

But I have a rhetorical question before I go (that will be squashed by outcrying, I'm sure).

Why care about balance unless the jerks you're playing with want to break the game? A fair DM will make everything work out, and fair players won't [actively] try to ruin what the DM is doing. If you're all on the same side (the side of having fun), what does it matter?


Kolokotroni wrote:
Mok wrote:


Alright, I'll try...
The Fighter in the central character who gets to land the final blow against the BBEG and take most of the glory. The Wizard is the one who knows stuff, can even the odds with a fireball, along with identify the magic mcguffin. The Cleric is the healer who keeps the Fighter going, and has the spiritual purity to push back the darkness... but because of that spiritual purity can't be the one to win the prince/princess that is being held by the evil dude. Meanwhile the plucky Rogue is likewise there to help the Fighter by avoiding the traps, opening doors, and stabbing a mook in the back that the Fighter overlooked.

The sidekicks (Wizard, Cleric, and Rogue) are aspects of the hero, who has a perfect balance of their traits. Like Captain Kirk being the balance of Bones' emotion and Spock's logic, the Fighter is the balanced mixture of smarts, wisdom and cunning.

So the problem with the martial-caster divide is that it messes up the psychological archetypes of our older elitist centered world. If you're going to avoid bandwrongfun then you need to know your role and place! Only one player can be the total package and that's supposed to be the martial. Only one person gets to bed the prince/princess at the end of the adventure, and it's everyone's job to make sure the Fighter gets that reward!

Says who exactly? Sure there have been some stories that are all about the guy with the sword, but there are many where the caster is the main character as well. Jack vance's stories in fact if i remember starred either a rogueish character or a wizard. And its hard to claim he doesnt have a strong influence on the dynamics of dnd/pathfinder.

The wizard can just as easily balance out the rest of the party, as could the clever rogue. There is no reason why every main character needs to be captain kirk.

First to everyone, I play with Kolo.

Kolo, don't you remember? Every character I've ever played has taken levels in Kirk. And every single one:
- Is party leader
- Rules
- Is awesome
- Rulez
- Gets the girl
- Rulezorz
- Is rich and famous
- Roxzors
- Makes everyone feel better by standing in the awe-inspiring shadow of his personage. Though they dare not look directly at his splendor, for fear of having their eyes burn from their skulls at the sheer magnitude of awesomeness and rulezor'ing my characters inspire.
- And all-around rock various forms of shoes, socks and other footwear completely off the feet of their owners. I've seen beholders go out and buy footwear just so that they can appreciatively have said footwear be rocked off.

Or, at least my characters believed all that.

And with that kind of mindset, along with a healthy dose of the belief that all the other PCs should feel that way, make any class the best to play.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Foghammer wrote:

I gotta go to work now so by the time I can get back in on this discussion, there will probably be 50 bajillion posts I don't want to wade through.

But I have a rhetorical question before I go (that will be squashed by outcrying, I'm sure).

Why care about balance unless the jerks you're playing with want to break the game? A fair DM will make everything work out, and fair players won't [actively] try to ruin what the DM is doing. If you're all on the same side (the side of having fun), what does it matter?

Because though perfect balance wont ever happen, the attempt to find it brings about good design ideas. A good dm can balance anything, but the idea is to take a little weight off the dm's shoulders. If we didnt worry about bringing the 2 closer together we might not have things like rage powers, or adjustments to ray of enfeeblement and some of the save or die spells.

Caring about balance wont ever make a perfect game, but it can make a better one.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
WarColonel wrote:

First to everyone, I play with Kolo.

Kolo, don't you remember? Every character I've ever played has taken levels in Kirk. And every single one:
- Is party leader
- Rules
- Is awesome
- Rulez
- Gets the girl
- Rulezorz
- Is rich and famous
- Roxzors
- Makes everyone feel better by standing in the awe-inspiring shadow of his personage. Though they dare not look directly at his splendor, for fear of having their eyes burn from their skulls at the sheer magnitude of awesomeness and rulezor'ing my characters inspire.
- And all-around rock various forms of shoes, socks and other footwear completely off the feet of their owners. I've seen beholders go out and buy footwear just so that they can appreciatively have said footwear be rocked off.

Or, at least my characters believed all that.

Do they all also take the delusional flaw?


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Lab_Rat wrote:
Anyway. It does not matter I really just threw it out there to slay some overconfident barbarian with too many hitpoints. I don't really want it to take away from the greater discussion of why there is this disparity.

ANY BARBARIAN WHO AM NOT ABLE TO DRILL THROUGH PRISM SPHEREY THING WITH LANCE AM CRAPPY BARBARIAN. BARBARIAN AM NOT CRAPPY BARBARIAN. TWO BALORS DED, 1 SPHERE BROKEN, 1 MAGE WHO AM FACE BE EATEN. LANCE AM STRONGER THAN MAGICY SPELL THINGS.

BARB HAS BITE RAGE POWER TOO. GOOD FOR EATING FACES.


Lab_Rat wrote:

I know. I have been mostly using that example as an exaggeration of what a wizard can do. The real point is that a wizard can go so far above and beyond a fighters options. There are all kinds of different combinations of spells that can counter this or that. My example follows none of that. I do not require more than one round, do not make you save against a thing, and do not utilize weaker summon spells. I conjured 2 CR 20 beings of death in a 20 ft sphere of no escape. The only thing it does break is a silly thing called common sense. No wizard in their right mind would bring 2 Balors into the material plane without any restrictions on them.

When spells were written the imagination ran wild. Wizards can fly, go any where in the world...

It was an example of misreading what a wizard could do. And it did kind of reaffirm my belief that casters are simply harder to know the rules for. At 17 barbs stop getting tired after they rage, the end. It's simple and to the point. A wizard gets access to all 9th level spells, with all there complicated rules. Knowing how all those spells work, for the GM and the player, is tough. And misreading will generally lead to the wizard being scary powerful.

You still haven't come up with a way that will actually work to stop the barb. And each suggestion involves reading over multiple spells.

And yes, casters are crazy powerful, I'm not saying they aren't. I wonder if the reason people think Casters are so much more powerful then Martials is simple eye-strain though.

Sovereign Court

Yes! Muhahaha!

Kolokotroni wrote:
Says who exactly? Sure there have been some stories that are all about the guy with the sword, but there are many where the caster is the main character as well. Jack vance's stories in fact if i remember starred either a rogueish character or a wizard. And its hard to claim he doesnt have a strong influence on the dynamics of dnd/pathfinder.

The key thing though is those are the aberrations. If you're not falling in line with the classic tropes then... fail!

Kolokotroni wrote:
The wizard can just as easily balance out the rest of the party, as could the clever rogue. There is no reason why every main character needs to be captain kirk.

Then the players are suffering from badwrongfun and needs to find their way out of the special snowflake blizzard that deceives them with promises of player agency!

I believe my work is done here.

;)


Kolokotroni wrote:


Because though perfect balance wont ever happen, the attempt to find it brings about good design ideas. A good dm can balance anything, but the idea is to take a little weight off the dm's shoulders. If we didnt worry about bringing the 2 closer together we might not have things like rage powers, or adjustments to ray of enfeeblement and some of the save or die spells.

Caring about balance wont ever make a perfect game, but it can make a better one.

I think the melee class that gets closest to my idea of what a lvl 20 melee fighter should be is the barbarian. I love the rage powers. They give the barbarian options and style. They allow him to act on a wim, ignore spells, adapt to new situations, be ridiculously careless about their own life, and still smash optimal amounts of face in every round. They allow you to describe your character and how much of a juggernaut they are on the battle field. The fighter on the other hand is all mechanics. They get a + to this or a + to that. They take the basic mechanics of the game and they do it better. A fighter does not do anything different, he just does things slightly better than the next melee.


Kolokotroni wrote:
WarColonel wrote:

First to everyone, I play with Kolo.

Kolo, don't you remember? Every character I've ever played has taken levels in Kirk. And every single one:
- Is party leader
- Rules
- Is awesome
- Rulez
- Gets the girl
- Rulezorz
- Is rich and famous
- Roxzors
- Makes everyone feel better by standing in the awe-inspiring shadow of his personage. Though they dare not look directly at his splendor, for fear of having their eyes burn from their skulls at the sheer magnitude of awesomeness and rulezor'ing my characters inspire.
- And all-around rock various forms of shoes, socks and other footwear completely off the feet of their owners. I've seen beholders go out and buy footwear just so that they can appreciatively have said footwear be rocked off.

Or, at least my characters believed all that.

Do they all also take the delusional flaw?

It isn't a flaw, it's a fact.

Er, wait...

No, I stand by my previous statement.

:)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Foghammer wrote:
But I subscribe to the school of thought that NPCs should not be able to do things PCs can't do. So yes, if a PC wizard wanted to do these things, he would simply sit the adventure out, and watch stuff unfold until he reached the point in his study that he was ready to use his magic in practical matters.

I used to subscribe to that thought because I thought of magic in engineering terms. But during my break fro AD+D playing other games such as Ars Magica, I've come to think of magic in magical terms of mystery. And I've come to the conclusion that magic rules are mainly meant to describe the abilities of PC and MOST of the abilities of NPCs. And that NPCs may have access to various options not normally available for any of the following reasons.

1. Touched by a special madness/insanity

2. Made unique compacts with the Far Realm/supreme ArchDevil/ArchDemon/Yogg-Saron whathave you.

3. The NPC is a unique type of creature.

4. The NPC had access/exposure to lost secrets of the Forgotten Age.

In short, I see NPC/PC equivalence as a good general rule, but it should not be a straitjacket to limit your possibilities, and that not all NPC abilities need to be justified by a presence in the rulebook.


WarColonel wrote:

Seriously, why are there ever these martial-castor discussions? My rogue has already stolen all the party's equipment, hocked it for shinies, told everyone a band of magic-thieves took it, assassinated anyone who questioned me about what happened on my watch, disguised it as a series of unfortunate accidents, bought a place in the countryside, stole the princess, pitted rival kingdoms into wars of attrition, started my own seat of power, posed as a god to begin my own religion, and retired to a life as a simple orphanage-owner to groom the next generation of rogues to be raised as down-on-their-luck, never-knew-their-parents, lynchpin-of-important-prophecy, reluctant, plucky, out-for-himself-but-actually-has-a-heart-of-gold anti-hero.

Gosh, forget theories, lets talk about what really happens.

Epic...simply epic. You should write a book. Poetry, that was... I think the biggest problem is people forget its a Role Playing Game, not an MMO. The experience is being a character, with quirks and flaws. Weaknesses and strengths. Some people make the contention that everyone should be magic and own their own fighter for giggles. I hate this mentality. I hate powergamers, munchkins and DPS statistics. Play a character, meet the challenges. Watch a spell fail on SR, see the fighter frustrated by DR. Lets get back to role playing.

Scenario 1
Caster: My magic cannot affect this vile beast.
Fighter: That's fine, my sword shall end his torment.

Scenario 2
Fighter: My weapon cannot penetrate the beast's hide.
Caster: Take cover, my magic shall vanquish this abomination.

Is it too much to ask to have tropes? To play a character and not be the one tool for every situation superstar? That's what makes it challenging. This is why I like that my players would rather take what "sounds" cool, rather than what is effective, even if it means I have to weaken monsters and find ways to revive dead parties. My players have fun. That's what is most important.


Foghammer wrote:
Why care about balance unless the jerks you're playing with want to break the game? A fair DM will make everything work out, and fair players won't [actively] try to ruin what the DM is doing. If you're all on the same side (the side of having fun), what does it matter?

Because you're a GM.

For real, the only reason it's worth discussing is so that GMs can see it coming. It's there, and if the players are mis/under-informed when they choose their roles, the disparity can lead to hard feelings in the middle of a long campaign.

This is why I appreciate the logic of tiers, even though adversarial analysis with tiers makes me want to ragequit these forums sometimes. Tiers tell me which classes are right for the players who want to be the driving force in the party, and which classes are right for the players who want to kick ass in melee.

Basically, your second sentence in the above quote answers the first. That "fair GM" of which you speak must necessarily understand the points that crop up in this conversation over and over again, in order to be a good GM.

That's why I don't really mind rehashing this whole thing. It's good for us. I just wish that the arrogant wizard player (in the abstract) would shut up and let the GMs discuss the important aspects for once.


Lab_Rat wrote:

I think the melee class that gets closest to my idea of what a lvl 20 melee fighter should be is the barbarian. I love the rage powers. They give the barbarian options and style. They allow him to act on a wim, ignore spells, adapt to new situations, be ridiculously careless about their own life, and still smash optimal amounts of face in every round. They allow you to describe your character and how much of a juggernaut they are on the battle field. The fighter on the other hand is all mechanics. They get a + to this or a + to that. They take the basic mechanics of the game and they do it better. A fighter does not do anything different, he just does things slightly better than the next melee.

Yeah, barbarians are the default meleer's to me. They take a few levels to get cool, but once they start stacking up the rage powers, they are pretty much unstoppable in combat, and with 4 skills they have a better chance to do something outside of combat.

Rangers are pretty sweet too, 6 skills, some free no prerequisite feats and some spells, make them a lot of fun.

I think fighters suck though, they don't do cool things out of combat, and they just are a bunch of bonuses in combat.


I agree. I wonder if the melee caster disparity is partly just because the abilities that melee classes get are not very descriptive. We are talking about an RPG where the point is to turn words into a vision of a story. The wizards spells are much easier to visualize and relate to. Same thing with the barbarian and his rage powers. Where as the fighter doesn't really change. He hits things. He gets a little better at hitting things. .... its not very exciting. I still think there is an actual game mechanic discrepancy but I think this plays a role too.


PatGib wrote:
WarColonel wrote:

Seriously, why are there ever these martial-castor discussions? My rogue has already stolen all the party's equipment, hocked it for shinies, told everyone a band of magic-thieves took it, assassinated anyone who questioned me about what happened on my watch, disguised it as a series of unfortunate accidents, bought a place in the countryside, stole the princess, pitted rival kingdoms into wars of attrition, started my own seat of power, posed as a god to begin my own religion, and retired to a life as a simple orphanage-owner to groom the next generation of rogues to be raised as down-on-their-luck, never-knew-their-parents, lynchpin-of-important-prophecy, reluctant, plucky, out-for-himself-but-actually-has-a-heart-of-gold anti-hero.

Gosh, forget theories, lets talk about what really happens.

Epic...simply epic. You should write a book. Poetry, that was... I think the biggest problem is people forget its a Role Playing Game, not an MMO. The experience is being a character, with quirks and flaws. Weaknesses and strengths. Some people make the contention that everyone should be magic and own their own fighter for giggles. I hate this mentality. I hate powergamers, munchkins and DPS statistics. Play a character, meet the challenges. Watch a spell fail on SR, see the fighter frustrated by DR. Lets get back to role playing.

Scenario 1
Caster: My magic cannot affect this vile beast.
Fighter: That's fine, my sword shall end his torment.

Scenario 2
Fighter: My weapon cannot penetrate the beast's hide.
Caster: Take cover, my magic shall vanquish this abomination.

Is it too much to ask to have tropes? To play a character and not be the one tool for every situation superstar? That's what makes it challenging. This is why I like that my players would rather take what "sounds" cool, rather than what is effective, even if it means I have to weaken monsters and find ways to revive dead parties. My players have fun. That's what is most important.

I've never felt special before. My only validation before now was this cool helmet my school gave me growing up.

:)

Now for something completely different.
An original haiku, from my book of poetry:

STFU U
ROFLMAO
LOL JK

And that is why I don't write poetry.


Lab_Rat wrote:
I agree. I wonder if the melee caster disparity is partly just because the abilities that melee classes get are not very descriptive. We are talking about an RPG where the point is to turn words into a vision of a story. The wizards spells are much easier to visualize and relate to. Same thing with the barbarian and his rage powers. Where as the fighter doesn't really change. He hits things. He gets a little better at hitting things. .... its not very exciting. I still think there is an actual game mechanic discrepancy but I think this plays a role too.

+1

Different classes for different play styles. It's like racing. Some people like rally/off-road racing. Some people like illegal street racing. Some like drift. Some like Formula 1. And some people just like to make left turns.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
WarColonel wrote:

An original haiku, from my book of poetry:

STFU U
ROFLMAO
LOL JK

And that is why I don't write poetry.

I thought it was quite good.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
WarColonel wrote:

An original haiku, from my book of poetry:

STFU U
ROFLMAO
LOL JK

And that is why I don't write poetry.

I thought it was quite good.

SECONDED.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
Why care about balance unless the jerks you're playing with want to break the game? A fair DM will make everything work out, and fair players won't [actively] try to ruin what the DM is doing. If you're all on the same side (the side of having fun), what does it matter?

Because you're a GM.

For real, the only reason it's worth discussing is so that GMs can see it coming. It's there, and if the players are mis/under-informed when they choose their roles, the disparity can lead to hard feelings in the middle of a long campaign.

This is why I appreciate the logic of tiers, even though adversarial analysis with tiers makes me want to ragequit these forums sometimes. Tiers tell me which classes are right for the players who want to be the driving force in the party, and which classes are right for the players who want to kick ass in melee.

Basically, your second sentence in the above quote answers the first. That "fair GM" of which you speak must necessarily understand the points that crop up in this conversation over and over again, in order to be a good GM.

That's why I don't really mind rehashing this whole thing. It's good for us. I just wish that the arrogant wizard player (in the abstract) would shut up and let the GMs discuss the important aspects for once.

You are presuming that the 'arrogant wizard player' and the 'gm' must be different people. Some of us are even arrogant wizard dms (as my players will find out in my next session [evil laugh].

My group is rather large. On a given day we can have up to 10 players in a session (though usually less then that at any particular game sessions). However, I am one of 2 characters that generally players casters regularly. There are very few 'arrogant wizard players' in my group. And the end result is that if I put a challenge in front of the party that is not readily solved by hiting it till it stops moving, the challege is disproportional to what is expected for their level. So for me at least I think the disparity can cut both ways for a dm.

Sovereign Court

Lab_Rat wrote:
I agree. I wonder if the melee caster disparity is partly just because the abilities that melee classes get are not very descriptive. We are talking about an RPG where the point is to turn words into a vision of a story. The wizards spells are much easier to visualize and relate to. Same thing with the barbarian and his rage powers. Where as the fighter doesn't really change. He hits things. He gets a little better at hitting things. .... its not very exciting. I still think there is an actual game mechanic discrepancy but I think this plays a role too.

The real cause of the disparity between the classes is that when they translated 2nd edition into 3rd edition the Fighter, along with all the other martial classes, had baked into their class that they would get property and a group of followers. The Wizard meanwhile was allowed to have a few servants, but otherwise people left the guy alone in his tower.

So at 9th level the Fighter gets a stronghold and a small army, and it's that stepping up into a larger realm management that helped to keep the classes more in balance. The Wizard could cast reality bending spells, but the Fighter has an army backing him up. He might not have those fancy powers, but being able to send squads of guys here and there, have scouts and runners, etc. does give a kind of worldly set of tools to solve a lot of problems.

With 3.0 they tossed all of this out, with the faint echo being found in the Leadership feat. The Wizard kept all of his goodies going all the way to 9th level spells, with those high level spells intended for the realm management/empire building type of play that was expected in 2nd edition's play of 10-20th level. Meanwhile the martials were gutted of their worldly powerbases, and had their intended gameplay to continue being the same thing they had done for levels 1 through 9, just skirmish dungeon crawling.

Why did all of this happen? I'd guess it's easier to design, and even in 2nd edition they realm managment rules were woefully unsupported. The rules even encouraged for "high" level characters, like 12th level, to just retire and start up new characters with the old ones being part of the background of the setting.

Also, the more codified rules of 3.x just don't handle mass combat well. 2nd edition had a lot more flexibility due to the lack of tactical detail, but 3.x is just too much for having 50 men-at-arms backing up the party. Rather than bother with all of that they just extended out the dungeon crawling for 20 levels and left all of the spellcaster toys in place.

So one solution to the martial-caster disparity is to just hand out the Leadership feat to martial characters at 9th level. However you'd want to develop and expand upon the feat to accommodate the kinds of people that show up to help out, along with develop ways of using swarm templates for groups of low level followers so that the number of people is at least somewhat manageable. I'm sure there are a lot of people that would find this unsatisfying, which I think is also why 2nd edition even encouraged just retiring and starting over again.


Kolokotroni wrote:
Foghammer wrote:

I gotta go to work now so by the time I can get back in on this discussion, there will probably be 50 bajillion posts I don't want to wade through.

But I have a rhetorical question before I go (that will be squashed by outcrying, I'm sure).

Why care about balance unless the jerks you're playing with want to break the game? A fair DM will make everything work out, and fair players won't [actively] try to ruin what the DM is doing. If you're all on the same side (the side of having fun), what does it matter?

Because though perfect balance wont ever happen, the attempt to find it brings about good design ideas. A good dm can balance anything, but the idea is to take a little weight off the dm's shoulders. If we didnt worry about bringing the 2 closer together we might not have things like rage powers, or adjustments to ray of enfeeblement and some of the save or die spells.

Caring about balance wont ever make a perfect game, but it can make a better one.

To add to that, a better understanding of caster/martial balance gives you a better understanding of balance in general.

There was a thread not too long ago about barbarians and the tireless rage ability. Since you are no longer fatigued when you stop raging, you can stop you rage, then start it again, every round. This makes your one per rage abilities usuable once per round. A lot of people though this was overpowered. Note, by the time a barbarian gets this ability, the wizard is able to cast Time Stop.


The main culprits seem to be two groups of spells:

invisibility
fly

Get rid of or nerf these three groups of spells and the casters are going to have to eat AoOs and make concentration checks to land their SoDs if they don't have martial buddies.

To fix invisibility make it sustained.

To fix flight make lawn dart checks (first paragraph on the second column on CRB page 96) apply to all flight rather than just winged flight and make the DC 10 plus damage taken instead of just 10.

Almost every caster that doesn't need or fear martials is claimed to be invisible and flying.


Quote:
You show me a level 15 caster that can handle 20 encounters a day and still have the same performance in encounter 20 that they had in performance 1. Casters may have all them flashy spells, but they ain't go no endurance when it comes time to go the distance.

-Shapeshifted druid. And friend. has even more staying power than the fighter thanks to healing spells.


Atarlost wrote:

The main culprits seem to be two groups of spells:

invisibility
fly

Get rid of or nerf these three groups of spells and the casters are going to have to eat AoOs and make concentration checks to land their SoDs if they don't have martial buddies.

To fix invisibility make it sustained.

To fix flight make lawn dart checks (first paragraph on the second column on CRB page 96) apply to all flight rather than just winged flight and make the DC 10 plus damage taken instead of just 10.

Almost every caster that doesn't need or fear martials is claimed to be invisible and flying.

Invisibility is a prime canidate for a nerf IMO.

Lets see here +20 to stealth, +40 if you stand still, and you can get it at level 1 thanks to vanish.

Meanwhile a rogue would need a cloak of elven kind(+5), a 22 dexterity(+6), and 6 ranks + class bonus(+9) to match what a wizard with 0 ranks and 0 dex can do with 1 spell. Even then, if the rogue doesn't have cover or concealment, they lose their ability to stealth.

I already have a house rule that halves the benefits of invisibility to stealth.


It is only a DC 10 check to notice the sound of someone walking. Invisibility is solid against sight, but the other senses, not so much.

Sczarni

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think the disparity begins with this one thought "I use magic so i can do this VS you dont use magic so you cant do that" it is the idea that you need magic to do anything big, any cool awesome BIG earth changing things that causes the disparity. Any time some non-caster tries to do something awesom, extream, superhuman, all the caster lovers start yelling "BROKEN, OVERPOWERED" but of course if you achieve the same thing with the backing of magic no one cries foul.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
You show me a level 15 caster that can handle 20 encounters a day and still have the same performance in encounter 20 that they had in performance 1. Casters may have all them flashy spells, but they ain't go no endurance when it comes time to go the distance.
-Shapeshifted druid. And friend. has even more staying power than the fighter thanks to healing spells.

-A true shapeshift druid would be a druid that focuses on physical stats(str/dex) so that they can do good damage when shapeshifted. This means their wisdom stat will be significantly lower.

-They have feats that improve their fighting ability when shapeshifted.

- Most of their spells are focused on increasing their fighting abilities. A shapeshift druid is very unlikely to have augment summoning, so their spontaneous summons pretty much suck.

So, their spellcasting is significantly hampered by those choices(no caster feats, lower wisdom means lower spell DCs) and as such I would have to classify such a character as a martial/caster hybrid not a pure caster.

Note, the same is true of melee clerics for most of the same reasons.

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