Class Balance and Cupcakes


Gamer Life General Discussion

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1.) I DID care about the world. That's what I liked most about DA:O, the world was interesting and seemed like it was a lot bigger than the fairly large area you DID see. I wanted to check out Orlais and stuff, or Ferelden + Elsewhere, not "This city + Countryside". It didn't help that I hated the city itself.

2.) Faster paced, yeah, more fun? Not in my opinion. I never liked Dynasty Warriors much.

3.) I forgot about Varric, yeah he was pretty cool. I thought Fenris was your generic emo protagonist (not that he didn't have reason mind you, but still). Also, Expansion to the 1st game is still from the 1st game.

4.) I thought ME2 was the best ME too.


mplindustries wrote:
Winter_Born wrote:
It's a common genre trope to have the arcane more powerful than the fighting class, with a few exceptions.
What genre are you talking about?

Elric of Melniborne

Vance novels (Cugel the Clever)
The Illearth Chronicles
Lovecraftian genres

to name just a few - but there are many, many others.

Quote:
And come on, the entire Sword and Sorcery genre is about non-magical guys beating the crap out of dark sorcerers. The magic users easily conquer and enslave common folk, but the badass heroes just shake off their power and punch them out.

Some Swords and Sworcery genre is that way. Many other works follow the apth of a wizard or a wizard's apprentice; Spell-singer, harry potter, the works of L.E Modesitt, many works by piers anthony, the Nicholas Flamel series, many of the works of Card, Turtledove. Many of the works of cook (the black company)....there are literally tousands.

Quote:
It unquestionably wasn't. There were checks and balances in pre-3rd D&D. Being a spellcaster meant you were inches from death all the time. Rare was the spellcaster that actually survived long enough to get any powerful spells, and even if they did, they were still totally dependent on their Fighters to protect them.

There is no question that wizards were fragile in early D&D. And, like you I actually enjoyed that fragility. However, the rest of your statements are not *at all* true. I played multiple casters in many games in the 80's, including the blackmoor campaign, dark tower modules, City state of the Invincible overlord, Thieves of Baadabasar, All the original TSR modules - Queen of the Demonweb pits, Temple of Elemental Evil (village of homlet), the hill giant series - with very few fatalities. This over many conventions, and with many different dms.

Quote:
That didn't make all players want to play a wizard...having easily interruptable spells, etc.)....

Spells are *more* easily interuptible now than they were in earlier versions, although then as now you had to master the game mechanic.

Then, each player rolled initiative. The wizard would act on his initiative count and the casting of the spell would last for the number of segments as the casting time of the spell. The wizard would consider his intiative roll and the likely rolls of his opponents, before making a spell selection.

Fighting drow- expect higher rolls. If they went before you - great cast as you wish. If not, they would be likely to interrupt - cast a small segment spell (mm) whose loss was not a game changer.

Fighting a mummy - if you roll well, cast a fireball due to the expected longer initiave delay....

It is my observation that due to the difficulty of playing mages, that very few actually played them in early d&d. In our current incarnation its hard to make an apples to apples comparison, as the mage roll also includes bards, sorcerors, summoners, witches and a variety of 3/4 classes.


Perfect Tommy wrote:
Elric of Melniborne

Elric was basically about the bad guy and how awful and tragic it was to be magical, wasn't it?

Perfect Tommy wrote:
Vance novels (Cugel the Clever)

Ok, I'll give you Vance, since that's what D&D magic was based on anyway (but I'd say he's in the vast minority).

Perfect Tommy wrote:
The Illearth Chronicles

Never heard of it, but one book is not a genre :P

Perfect Tommy wrote:
Lovecraftian genres

Lovecraft is existential horror. Magic is awesome and powerful, it just makes you crazy, and in the end, nothing you do matters at all, because you're an insignificant speck in the greater scheme of things.

And here's the thing about Harry Potter and the like--there would be no parties of wizards and muggles if there was a Harry Potter RPG. Every PC would be a wizard, because that's the point.

Basically, with just about all of your references, you think magic characters in D&D should be better than non-magical characters because of some literature that has no non-magical protagonists?

Perfect Tommy wrote:
Spells are *more* easily interuptible now

Ok, what? You can't be serious. Now you have to ready an action to hit them while they are casting. That means you have to beat them in initiative, then correctly predict whether or not they are going to cast a spell, then, knowing you have that action ready, they have to still try to do it without moving away from where you could hit them. Then, even if all that happens, they still get a roll to keep casting. Sounds pretty much impossible to me.

Unless you're talking about Casting Defensively, which is kind of hard, I guess, at early levels, but becomes a automatic by mid-level.

Back in the old days, any hit at all interrupted your spell, and there was no swift/standard action casting.


ciretose wrote:
There is nothing wrong with a great warrior needing the help of magic users to succeed, so long as the world also exists where Magic users need non-casters as well.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that a well-rounded party shouldn't be more effective than a one-dimensional party.

What we're saying is that the class system as designed demands that you have a well-rounded party, not because of strengths and weaknesses, but because of out and out inability to even attempt tasks.

For example:

Barbarians should be good at brute force tactics, regardless of the situation. At a treaty negotiation, the Barbarian class should inherently be rewarded/encouraged to try and Intimidate the other side.

Rogues should be good at deception. At the same treaty negotiation, the Rogue class should have ways to contribute to how effectively they can Bluff the other side.

I'm not talking about flat bonuses, but means of interaction. For a Barbarian, if Intimidate became more of a generalized social skill, that would be flavorful. It's still limited, because you don't want to alway intimidate everyone you're interacting with, but when it's a viable option, the Barbarian player is ready to step up and contribute. But then just reading how the class modifies and uses that skill, you get a real sense of what that class is about, brute force, and it becomes a more generalized concept that applies to many areas, instead of just dealing with combat.


WPharolin wrote:
The important part is what you define as balance. If you define balance as removing all options except for small scale skirmish options and homogenizing all the classes and limited the number of available effects, and having challenges scale vertically, you can do that. 4e will be the result.

And your OP was so promising...

I'm saddened by the possibility that some paizonian who's never played 4e will read a comment like this and take it for truth. So play what you like, folks, and don't hate.


ciretose wrote:

Blending the abilities is one way to play. It is why there was so much push for a Gish Class.

But some people will want to play non-magic fighters and some people will want the maximum amount of magic available.

And these extremes will need to come with trade offs, just as even playing the middle road comes with trade offs.

You keep mixing the goals and the tools. Of course a lot of people dont want their fighters to be magic. I dont want my fighter to be mqgical. But that doesnt mean a lot of people want their fighters to suck big time out of combats, having onoy 2 skills, and only weaksauce skills like climb and swim instead oof perception, diplomacy, etc.

I want my fighter to be able to play out of combat. I dont Wang it to be able to cast spells. That is different


Quote:

Spells are *more* easily interuptible now

No way.

Liberty's Edge

It isn't mixing the goals. It is pointing out that some classes are going to be better at some things than others.

If you want a fighter with great out of combat ability, you may have to give up some combat ability, invest some feats in social skills, etc...

But even then, they aren't going to be a Bard or a Rogue. Nor should they be.

I'm not opposed to improving the fighter classes non-combat abilities to a degree, but I am against it becoming an unrealistic arms race where all classes are supposed to be as versatile as the versatility classes.


ciretose wrote:

If you want a fighter with great out of combat ability, you may have to give up some combat ability

Why? Wizards rock in and out of combat.

Quote:
But even then, they aren't going to be a Bard or a Rogue. Nor should they be.

I'm not asking that. I'm asking having something to do besides climbing (badly) and swiming (when not armored).

Rogues could have stuff for deception and bluff, while fighters can have stuff for leadership. Rogues could sneak, while Fighters could have stuff for alertness and vigilance. Different stuff, but both with things to do.


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ciretose wrote:

It isn't mixing the goals. It is pointing out that some classes are going to be better at some things than others.

If you want a fighter with great out of combat ability, you may have to give up some combat ability, invest some feats in social skills, etc...

But even then, they aren't going to be a Bard or a Rogue. Nor should they be.

I'm not opposed to improving the fighter classes non-combat abilities to a degree, but I am against it becoming an unrealistic arms race where all classes are supposed to be as versatile as the versatility classes.

I'm not talking about "great out of combat ability". I'm talking about "being able to contribute anything at all", with "anything" defined as a mechanical contribution.

I would actually lean towards Fighters having cool things to do with Sense Motive. A skilled combatant should be sizing up opponents during combat, that could easily translate to other environments as well. I wouldn't give them bonuses to Sense Motive, but rather new and unique ways to use it. The Fighter would try and glean useful tactical information that the Bard and Rogue could then apply to their efforts.

It isn't about surpassing or equaling the Bard or Rogue, it's about being part of the team and during those social scenes, having something to do, other than wait or rely on the Bard and Rogue to make all the rolls.

When the party see's a golem, the wizard player doesn't say "oh, you guys take care of it, I'm gonna make a McDonald's run". He looks at his spell list and finds ways to contribute.

When the fighter sees a Rust Monster, he doesn't just sit back on his smart phone waiting for the encounter to end, he looks at his character sheet and tries to figure out a way to contribute to the encounter that might not be what he normally does.

Liberty's Edge

And that is what is currently happening.

You say it isn't about surpassing the Bard and Rogue while at the same times saying they should glean things the Rogue and Bard don't without making investment to do so. Why should the fighter out skill a skill class in any situation?

To me it is be like asking why the Magus doesn't get access it higher level spells.

What I would like to see is more abilities and skills that make the fighter tougher and less vulnerable in the late game. Particularly against magic.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

To balance opposite ends of the spectrum:

1) The fighter needs to be even better at combat with the addition have a handful of useful things to contribute outside of combat.

2) The full spellcaster needs to have reduced spell access and probably less combat effectiveness because he's already a rockstar at everything.

Then we can balance out from the ends of the spectrum to the middle. People who play fighters understand that they're ability to contribute to every situation is impacted by their class decision. Should they be able to use skills as well as the bard or rogue, hardly, but the ability to help out in some small way would be a good way to engage the players of fighters outside of combat.

I estimate that most published adventures, after a little doctoring and fluffing up by a seasoned GM are 60% combat, %30 social/adventuring/skill challenges, and 10% magic challenges. Wizards rock at all of those thing and continue to outdo the fighter in combat. The fighter has already been denied the ability to meaningfully contribute to 40% of the game, so why should he be outshone in the thing he's supposed to be the best at?

That's just my 2 cp, however. YMMV.

There's serious discussion at my table about house-ruling the fighter's class skills to include Perception and Sense Motive. Anybody else done this?


ciretose wrote:
You say it isn't about surpassing the Bard and Rogue while at the same times saying they should glean things the Rogue and Bard don't without making investment to do so. Why should the fighter out skill a skill class in any situation?

Don't take this as the majority opinion here, but I, personally, don't think there should be any "skill class." In my ideal game, Rogue and Fighter would blend together into one non-magical combat/non-combat combo class, in the same way wizards are the magical combat/non-combat combo class.

Then there'd be the full martial (whatever you call this class), the full arcane (wizard/sorcerer/witch), the full divine (cleric/oracle/druid), and then you get some hybrids.

Paladin and Ranger would be two different sides of the mostly martial with a little divine coin, magus and bard could be two different sides of the mostly arcane with a little martial coin, etc.

It has never made sense to me for Rogue to exist as a class separate from Fighter.

As for adding class skills to the Fighter, I'd be all for it. I never used class skills before Pathfinder anyway. I'd be even more interested if you also gave them more skills per level.


ciretose wrote:
What I would like to see is more abilities and skills that make the fighter tougher and less vulnerable in the late game. Particularly against magic.

Well I want that too. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to make the Fighter (for example) into a skill monkey. He's a combat focused class, and that's fine. But bumping his skills up to 4 per level, adding a few NECESSARY skills (like Perception) onto his list, and maybe giving him some incentive for putting points into skills all seem like things that should be done.

I mean, say all you want about Monk, but playing one I've never said "Damn I really have too few skills", and I've never regretted pumping points into non-combat skills. In part because of things like Styles that give you incentive to pump points into Sense Motive (Snake), Knowledges (Kirin), and Intimidate (Boar). I think adding something like that which all classes could gain easy entry to and could easily make use of would be stellar.


ciretose wrote:
And that is what is currently happening.

It is not. What it happens, is that the fighter is completeslly and absolutelly useless in anything non-combat related.

Take for example a Cavalier. Does it break the game that it has 4 skills instead of 2? Does it break balance with rogues that it has diplomacy and some other useful skills, instead of being forced to take climb, ride, swim, and other crap with no use at all beyond level 4?

Quote:

You say it isn't about surpassing the Bard and Rogue while at the same times saying they should glean things the Rogue and Bard don't without making investment to do so. Why should the fighter out skill a skill class in any situation?

Do you fee the rogue and other "skill classes" should have more in Knowledge arcana skill or Spellcraft skill than wizards and witches? Do you feel it's wrong that they can't use the Heal skill better than clerics?

If not, why can spellcaster have better skills than "skill classes". but other martial-focused classes can't? Oh, yeah, I forgot: fighters can't have nice things.

"Skill classes" don't have the absolute monopoly in EVERY skill in the game. Spellcraft is a good example. There's nothing wrong with fighters being able to do something out of combat. Hey, rogues have sneak attack too!. And fighters don't complain that "we are combat classes and the skill classes are gleaning things that the Barb and the fighter can, without making an investment. Why should the rogue out-fight a fighitng class in any situation". Oh, yes, i forgot, once again: Because magic users have monopoly in magic, Skill users have monopoly in classes (except when magic users trump them with invisibility, spider climb, detect secret doors and knock), but fighting classes *don't* have monopoly in fighting.

So the motto is: if you are a fighter, everybody can do what you do, and you can't do anything that anyone else can. Because you know... fighters can't have nice things.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

gustavo iglesias wrote:
Because magic users have monopoly in magic, Skill users have monopoly in classes (except when magic users trump them with invisibility, spider climb, detect secret doors and knock), but fighting classes *don't* have monopoly in fighting.

Exactly! Because most of the game is combat, the fighting classes don't get to have a monopoly because that would exclude everybody else. Therein lies the problem: unless most games severely cut back on the amount of combat brought to the table (which doesn't really suit my personal tastes or most players' expectations) the fighting classes continue to get the short end of the stick.

And it's not just that the fighting classes are only good at combat and nothing else, it's that spellcasters are the best at combat and everything else.


Irontruth wrote:
ciretose wrote:

It isn't mixing the goals. It is pointing out that some classes are going to be better at some things than others.

If you want a fighter with great out of combat ability, you may have to give up some combat ability, invest some feats in social skills, etc...

But even then, they aren't going to be a Bard or a Rogue. Nor should they be.

I'm not opposed to improving the fighter classes non-combat abilities to a degree, but I am against it becoming an unrealistic arms race where all classes are supposed to be as versatile as the versatility classes.

I'm not talking about "great out of combat ability". I'm talking about "being able to contribute anything at all", with "anything" defined as a mechanical contribution.

I would actually lean towards Fighters having cool things to do with Sense Motive. A skilled combatant should be sizing up opponents during combat, that could easily translate to other environments as well. I wouldn't give them bonuses to Sense Motive, but rather new and unique ways to use it. The Fighter would try and glean useful tactical information that the Bard and Rogue could then apply to their efforts.

It isn't about surpassing or equaling the Bard or Rogue, it's about being part of the team and during those social scenes, having something to do, other than wait or rely on the Bard and Rogue to make all the rolls.

When the party see's a golem, the wizard player doesn't say "oh, you guys take care of it, I'm gonna make a McDonald's run". He looks at his spell list and finds ways to contribute.

When the fighter sees a Rust Monster, he doesn't just sit back on his smart phone waiting for the encounter to end, he looks at his character sheet and tries to figure out a way to contribute to the encounter that might not be what he normally does.

Yeah, there were some 3.5 feats around sense motive, determining the strength of an opponent based in comparison to you and improving your attack as you suss out your enemy's moves.

Great ideas on the fighter being more tactical though.


Mikael Sebag wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Because magic users have monopoly in magic, Skill users have monopoly in classes (except when magic users trump them with invisibility, spider climb, detect secret doors and knock), but fighting classes *don't* have monopoly in fighting.

Exactly! Because most of the game is combat, the fighting classes don't get to have a monopoly because that would exclude everybody else. Therein lies the problem: unless most games severely cut back on the amount of combat brought to the table (which doesn't really suit my personal tastes or most players' expectations) the fighting classes continue to get the short end of the stick.

And it's not just that the fighting classes are only good at combat and nothing else, it's that spellcasters are the best at combat and everything else.

Well, combat-focused low charisma spellcasters can be absolutely terrible at the social side of the game. If they have the right spells to prep, and the target fails the save, they can do well. If they have too much of a weakness here and are un-prepared/no built that way, they really suck in my experience.

Seen wizards botch diplomacy so hard, and subsequently die, usually while playing the arrogant wizard. My favourite for this though was a Tengu spellcaster that botched his intimidate on prostitutes and didn't have the spells to come back from that. Ha!


The argument that giving classes an alternate method of input that can produce some similar outcomes as spells do is functionally the same as giving all classes spells is fallacious as it operates under the faulty premise that spells and alternate methods for game interaction must produce mutually exclusive outcomes. It is an argument that doesn't care about the process or limitations that inform their usage. It disregards the fact the mechanical dissimilarities have, can and do change the context in which one ability is more useful than another and which what situations.

Barbarians can totally buff themselves without a pointy hat. Many of those buffs produce effects which are often similar or identical to effects which are replicable with spells. Yet they are not spells. The mechanical dissimilarities ensure that, regardless of the similar outcome, the two mechanics are easily identifiable as being separate. As long as they are mechanically different then people will accept that they are, in fact, different.

That does not mean, however that you should simply swap out the mechanics for identical outcomes either. Simply that there is plenty room for overlap.

Any argument made that says it is better to make classes co-dependent and non-functional in large fields of play, is also one AGAINST playing with smaller parties. The level to which you make classes co-dependent or the number of things you exclude them from will drastically change what the minimum number of players is required to play the game before you start cutting entire challenge types all together.

Any argument made that says that players shouldn't be able to create a party composed of X number class A because then then it would be possible to play in a party composed of X number of class B is problematic because if your game cannot accommodate these choices, then they shouldn't have been choices to begin with. It has the added baggage of admitting that one class is superior to the other.

Asking players to expect to be non-participants for what, overall, will likely be substantial amounts of time is not okay. Many arguments made in favor of such a scenario operate under the assumption that players should be okay with not playing because when they finally do their character will..."shine". This has a fallacy attached to it, which assumes that people will not be able to do so in a system that is more participatory.

The ability to make yourself less effective at one thing in order to be marginally passable at another by trading in the investments you make in the only aspects of the game you are contributing to, in favor of "diversity" or whatever, makes some people dismiss the classes deficiencies. This is extremely problematic in a system that treats class A's additional resources as a tax to remain competent at ANYTHING while treating class B's resources as supplementary to it's already diverse and effective ability list. If class A trades in some of his competency to do something he otherwise would not be able to do, at a marginally effective level, he hasn't become more diverse. He has just spread the number of fields where he can't overcome level appropriate challenges to include his main schtick.


ciretose wrote:

And that is what is currently happening.

You say it isn't about surpassing the Bard and Rogue while at the same times saying they should glean things the Rogue and Bard don't without making investment to do so. Why should the fighter out skill a skill class in any situation?

To me it is be like asking why the Magus doesn't get access it higher level spells.

What I would like to see is more abilities and skills that make the fighter tougher and less vulnerable in the late game. Particularly against magic.

Are you purposely being obtuse? Or did you not understand what I'm saying. Because I never said "out skill a skill class". I wan't trying to imply it either. So, either you don't understand what I'm talking about, or you are purposely creating a strawman.

Liberty's Edge

Of course it is an argument against making smaller parties. The design of the game is for 5 participants.

@Irontruth - Are you trying to pick a fight? I understood what you said and I think you are partially wrong. The fighter contributes what most players contribute in social encounters, the ability of the player to roll play. Beyond that when you get into mechanics, no the fighter shouldn't be better than skill classes. And you argued for a mechanic for Fighters to sense motive for the skill classes.

Which is what the skill class is supposed to be good at.

You say standing on the sidelines, I say letting a class designed for a moment shine in their moment. Much like inflation, if you give everyone more things, you reduce the value of the things that exist.

This is the root complaint at play here. People upset casters are upstaging others.

Frankly, if some GMs started considering people might be annoyed they were magically charmed/etc...all the time and this might cause problems for the party later, they don't shine here either.

I don't think the world would explode if fighters got 4 rather than 2 skill points. I also think it needs to be taken into consideration that with the reduction in Armor Check Penalties, they actually have more available skill points.

And I don't think it would be a bad idea for fighters to have a wider skill selection. Perception should definately be in their set, I have seen few people argue against that.

But aside from mplindustries, I don't think anyone is arguing that Fighters or Cavaliers should be made skill classes. What you seem to be saying is there are times when the fighter is on the sidelines during social interaction, to which I ask, what GM is literally rolling dice for every conversation, and what exactly are they rolling?

If it is sense motive, as you implied, why should a fighter be better than a Bard, Rogue, or any other class? And this is my concern, overall.

The complaint seems to be that casters can do all things, and therefore overshadow other classes. The solution isn't to make all other classes have more options to overshadow as well.

I think the discussion is well served by defining what each classes strengths AND weaknesses should be.

Non-casting should be the toughest and do the most damage, as they are giving up the versatility and utility of spells. I put the Fighter, Barbarian and Cavalier here. There is a question as to if they get enough for what they give up, at higher levels.

I think Paladins meet the toughness and damage threshold, with the spells being icing that.

Skill classes need the versatility, because they are versatility classes. They give up a little toughness, a little damage, and some casting in exchange for skills and untility. With the exception of the Rogue, I don't think there is a lot of complaint about these classes (I would put Bard, Ranger, and Inquisitor here).

Rogues...that is a whole other thread. Same with the Monk.

Caster primary divine classes like Druid, Cleric and Oracle are almost a whole side conversation, but I don't here a lot of complaints. They have few skills, don't do much damage, relatively speaking, but I don't see anyone questioning utility.

The Magus is a hybrid, aside from some clunky mechanics it isn't a source of a lot of problems from what I've seen.

The Summoner...that is also a whole other thread...

And then you have the Wizard, The Sorcerer and the Witch. They have access to the most magical power in exchange for...I am arguing that is it theoretically, fragility.

The problem is the fragility has been marginalized, rules and spells have been read loosely, and items are introduced correcting weaknesses that are supposed to be weaknesses.

I still have faith in the core of the system, but I think that dependency is a good thing if you want to get 4 players with diverse strategies sitting down together for an adventure.


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I just want the OP to know that because I keep seeing the thread title pop up I was forced to make cupcakes this weekend.

D@**it.

**shakes fist**

They were good though.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Mmm. Cupcakes.


ciretose wrote:

Of course it is an argument against making smaller parties. The design of the game is for 5 participants.

@Irontruth - Are you trying to pick a fight? I understood what you said and I think you are partially wrong. The fighter contributes what most players contribute in social encounters, the ability of the player to roll play. Beyond that when you get into mechanics, no the fighter shouldn't be better than skill classes. And you argued for a mechanic for Fighters to sense motive for the skill classes.

Which is what the skill class is supposed to be good at.

You say standing on the sidelines, I say letting a class designed for a moment shine in their moment. Much like inflation, if you give everyone more things, you reduce the value of the things that exist.

This is the root complaint at play here. People upset casters are upstaging others.

Frankly, if some GMs started considering people might be annoyed they were magically charmed/etc...all the time and this might cause problems for the party later, they don't shine here either.

Why is combat an area where everyone gets to contribute mechanically, but other scenes are not? Justify why your same approach shouldn't be applied to combat, Bards can have all their combat abilities removed, they can just roleplay like they are assisting their allies, they don't need abilities that impact combat.

That's what the combat classes are for.

For me, the actual complaint is that certain classes are not designed to contribute in a wider array of scenes. Its not that they're overshadowed by magic. It's that they're overshadowed at all.

With the Fighter using Sense Motive, I'm imagining him having access to uses not normally available. Like if the Fighter has a successful use, he can tell the Bard that the other guy has a higher Bluff than Diplomacy. It doesn't tell them IF he uses it, just what the guy's strategy might be. The Bard is still the primary guy for a social scene, but now the Fighter is providing support and participating, both in RP of the scene and from a mechanical standpoint. It also means that a balanced party is going to have more options, instead of a party of all Bards being the most effective means of dealing with social situations.


ciretose wrote:

Of course it is an argument against making smaller parties. The design of the game is for 5 participants.

It's for five if you include the DM. The average party is 4 (and AP are balanced around 4)


mplindustries wrote:
I didn't need the world expanded--I don't care about the world in general, if my story is only the size of one city. I rather liked the location and didn't mind the limits.

I didn't mind the city, I thought it was mildly interesting - the issue I and others have is that you had to fight combats on the same streets over and over and over again. Aside from how quickly we became bored of the environments it also created the question of why people would keep attacking you when they had seen you lay waste to entire mobs of people before. At least the Darkspawn were insane.

mplindustries wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
2.) The combat changed from "strategic RPG" to "Party-based Dynasty Warriors".
I know! It was much faster paced and I think more fun.

I agree, they improved the combat dramatically

Rynjin wrote:
I did like the way they beefed up the Fighter and Rogue a bit (the dodge flip was a damn nice addition), I just didn't like the other changes.
I don't know, I guess I'm just weird. I think ME2 is the best Mass Effect, as well.

I think ME2 is the best Mass Effect as well :)

The biggest change I had an issue with was the story. While DA1 had a depressing story, it had a story that was believable and - most importantly - that you could imfluence the outcome of. The end of DA2 was one big disappointing railroad


Quote:
If it is sense motive, as you implied, why should a fighter be better than a Bard, Rogue, or any other class? And this is my concern, overall.

Why not? Why should the Rogue have more in trapfinding for example? I'm a charlatan rogue, I've never in my life been in a dungeon, or seen a trap, I'm not a burgler and I don't even have Disable Device except for a single token rank. Yet I add half my level to finding them and disarming them. Why? Because Rogues need something to shine, and the Devs gave him "traps" as their perk (I'd give them some others, and more interesting, but atha's beyond the point)

So... what's the (noncombat) perk of the fighter? Oh, yes, I always forget. Fighter's can't have nice things.

EDIT: Also, you seem to skip the part where I said rogues also get shiny things. Like deception.

Let's imagine this:
Rogues are great at deception. They get a class feature called "convincing lies", which mean their lies can't be detected by magic, and aren't affected by zone of truth (or they add their level to the Save, or whatever)
Fighters are great at leadership. They get "leadership" feat as a bonus feat at 9th level, and they add their rank in diplomacy to their leadership level.

There you go, both get nice things out of combat, which are related to their legacy in the game and the lore.

In combat, rogue might be sneakier than everybody else. They are considered hidden for the round if they were hidden at the begining of the round (So they can move from a cover and backstab in the same round, using sneak attack damage)

Fighters on the other hand are great at intimidating. The first time they charge in a combat, they can roll intimidate to demoralize every enemy in 30'.

There you go. Two things to do in combat besides "I full round the guy to death".

Having nice things to do does not necesarely mean everybody is the same, or that they step in the other classes toes.

Liberty's Edge

gustavo iglesias wrote:
ciretose wrote:

Of course it is an argument against making smaller parties. The design of the game is for 5 participants.

It's for five if you include the DM. The average party is 4 (and AP are balanced around 4)

Yes. That is why I said "participants" and not "players"

Liberty's Edge

The rogue should be better at trapfinding for the same reason the fighter should be better at damage dealing.

It is a primary function of the class.

Going to Irontruths Bard discussion, the Bard, by it's nature, is playing second fiddle in many combats. It is in a support role, by design. When it wades into combat, it will be less effective than a fighter. When it casts spells, they will generally be less powerful than a Sorcerer.

In exchange for not being as good as either, it is more versatile than both and additionally has a large amount of skills and access to knowledges.

Fighters can also "just roleplay like they are assisting their allies" without having to give them a mechanical advantage that steps on the toes of the classes that are supposed to be better at it.

Adding "shiny things" doesn't address the problem. It just amplifies the arms race.

The problem is the effort to find ways to neutralize the weaknesses rather than having each class shine at what it can do well. If you actually needed a fighter to protect the egg project because the egg project couldn't protect itself, that would be a role.

But when you try to make everyone be able to do everyone elses job, you lessen the value of that job. You lower the value of the person filling that job.

Adding more stuff is the power creep approach that ruined 3.5 at the end, and did nothing but add fuel to the fire.

When Paizo approached 3.5 they gave fighters more things. Might they need more? Maybe. But they should be things that make fighters better at being fighters, not things that make them mediocre things other than fighters. If you want that, that is where you multiclass.

Paizo also nerfed a number of SoS spells and cleaned up a good deal of creep. However in an effort to make classes more survivable they moved up hit points for d4 and d6 classes...but not fighters.

I am not disagreeing some adjustments may be in order, I am saying changing the nature of the classes to make then able to obsolete the jobs of other classes without multiclassing isn't the way to do it.


ciretose wrote:


Going to Irontruths Bard discussion, the Bard, by it's nature, is playing second fiddle in many combats. It is in a support role, by design. When it wades into combat, it will be less effective than a fighter. When it casts spells, they will generally be less powerful than a Sorcerer.

But that's the thing, the Bard is PARTICIPATING. He isn't the star of the scene, but he has something to contribute.

ciretose wrote:
But when you try to make everyone be able to do everyone elses job, you lessen the value of that job. You lower the value of the person filling that job.

I'm not advocating giving the Bard's abilities to the Fighter. I'm advocating giving the Fighter something he can do, based on his class, to assist the Bard. So your point is invalid, because it isn't true. You didn't actually address my idea, you've addressed your own idea. You've only countered the concepts that you have proposed without actually considering mine.

Just like bringing a Bard to a fight is useful, but not required, bringing a Fighter to a social situation should be useful, but not required. The Fighter doesn't replace the Bard, he assists and gives him a bonus. The Bard is still the focus of the social scene. He hasn't been replaced or replicated.

I'm not advocating power creep either, because this would have nothing to do with combat. I'm not talking about giving the Fighter giant bonuses to Sense Motive. I haven't even actually talked about giving him a bonus at all, but instead a reason to invest in the skill because he has access to uses of the skill that are unique to Fighters.

It isn't replicating magic, or super human powers. It's taking a very realistic approach that the Fighter is already potentially skilled at sizing up opponents, reading what they are likely to do and how to react to that. I think it would actually help make the Fighter a more flavorful class, by highlighting their potential tactical approach to life in general.

We don't need more combat bonuses. That would be power creep and really, Fighters are just fine in combat. But Fighters are people too, and people aren't one-dimensional.

If Fighters are only supposed to mechanically contribute to combat, than there should logically be a class that does not mechanically contribute to combat, given your logic of weaknesses/strengths. Except there isn't, every class is designed to try and have an impact during combat with special abilities explicitly designed to be used in a fight.

Liberty's Edge

The fighter is assisting the Bard, same as everyone else role playing a social encounter is assisting the Bard.

Bringing the Fighter to the Social Situation means there is a guy who is a fighter present talking, same as every other class. If he took points in intimidate, he can do that. If he has a high charisma, he can use that.

But why would he get special skills and abilities? When you use the word "unique" you are saying they should have access to uses of the skill that others don't get access to.

Why?

You are then "fixing" the problem of not being able to do something by creating something else no one can do.

If you want to argue that the gap for the fighter should be so great that he can still be a great fighter and invest social feats elsewhere, I would be with you.

And I think that is where we are at.

The problem is that while the fighter can fulfill the damage component of their job, even if they throw a few feats around toward more social interactions, they still don't offer something that the other classes need, because the other classes needs have been filled with the types of things you are proposing.

In short, the "let everyone be able to do everything" is to me a cause of the problem and therefore far from the solution.


ciretose wrote:

But why would he get special skills and abilities? When you use the word "unique" you are saying they should have access to uses of the skill that others don't get access to.

Why?

You are then "fixing" the problem of not being able to do something by creating something else no one can do.

Are you aware that this is a class based game?

Edit: to add some context to the snarkiness...

Classes are already defined by their unique abilities that are different from other classes. So I completely fail to see the point of your objection that classes shouldn't have unique abilities that are different from other classes.

That is an argument for a skill-based system that doesn't have classes.


ciretose wrote:


But why would he get special skills and abilities? When you use the word "unique" you are saying they should have access to uses of the skill that others don't get access to.

Yup. Did you think people wouldn't get unique stuff? It was inherent in the argument. You can't have characters with strengths and weaknesses and different methods of input without having there be unique abilities that others don't get. There is nothing about being unique or getting something that some else does not that prevents everyone from having meaningful participation in all aspects of the game.

ciretose wrote:


You are then "fixing" the problem of not being able to do something by creating something else no one can do.

Not being able to do something was never the problem. Having something that other people do not have was never the problem. Of course, those are not arguments people have made so it's irreverent, but I'll clarify anyway.

The problem is that having NO meaningful associated skills related to being an adventurer outside of an extremely narrow aspect of the game creates situations where a.) they are not actually contributing to the party no matter how awesome they are at what they do and all chances to "shine" are artificial. And b.) there are players who are not playing the game for extended periods of time. Problem B is the larger issue for me.

Each aspect of the game is divided into many somethings. You should be able to interact with some of those somethings in every aspect of the game, whether that be fighting a group of frost giants, negotiating with night hags, investigating the identity and location of TEAM EVIL, or navigating the astral plane. Having characters be unique is not even a speed bump to the goal of having players be engaged and actively participating meaningfully in all aspects of the game.

ciretose wrote:


In short, the "let everyone be able to do everything" is to me a cause of the problem and therefore far from the solution.

Let me highlight that strawman for you.


ciretose wrote:


In short, the "let everyone be able to do everything" is to me a cause of the problem and therefore far from the solution.

Just curious. In my example with a Fighter being able to contribute to social scenes with an alternate usage of Sense Motive, and that's the only special thing he gets for social scenes, how is that "everything"?

It seems to me like I gave an example of being able to contribute, while that contribution being limited in scope and applicability, but you then turn around and assign it as "everything".

I don't think "everything" means what you think it means.

Liberty's Edge

Irontruth wrote:
ciretose wrote:

But why would he get special skills and abilities? When you use the word "unique" you are saying they should have access to uses of the skill that others don't get access to.

Why?

You are then "fixing" the problem of not being able to do something by creating something else no one can do.

Are you aware that this is a class based game?

Edit: to add some context to the snarkiness...

Classes are already defined by their unique abilities that are different from other classes. So I completely fail to see the point of your objection that classes shouldn't have unique abilities that are different from other classes.

That is an argument for a skill-based system that doesn't have classes.

You are asking for a unique ability that doesn't serve the theme of the class in order for the class to be able to do "something" better than another class which has abilities for that situation that do serve the theme of that class.

And you want that thing to be exclusive to the class that it doesn't fit thematically.

Make the fighter be a fighter, and make what the fighter do something needed that no other class can do as well as the fighter and there is no problem.

The issue now is that what the fighter does isn't as important anymore, in part because so many alternative options were given to other classes to step on the fighters toes.

The solution isn't to give fighters ways to step on toes right back.

Liberty's Edge

WPharolin wrote:

The problem is that having NO meaningful associated skills related to being an adventurer outside of an extremely narrow aspect of the game creates situations where a.) they are not actually contributing to the party no matter how awesome they are at what they do and all chances to "shine" are artificial. And b.) there are players who are not playing the game for extended periods. of time. Problem B is the larger issue for me.

Each aspect of the game is divided into many somethings. You should be able to interact with some of those somethings in every aspect of the game, whether that be fighting a group of frost giants, negotiating with night hags, investigating the identity and location of TEAM EVIL, or navigating the astral plane. Having characters be unique is not even a speed bump to the goal of having players be engaged and actively participating meaningfully in all aspects of the game.

Fighters have lots of access to various access of the game.

Players just don't like burning the feats for those things because it limits the combat feat choices.

Because a player chooses not to invest in things that give them versatility doesn't mean they aren't available to them.

Oh, and as to the "strawman" let me offer some quotes.

"All classes need to have ways to participate in each aspect of PF/D&D."

Now who said that...


"Participate in each aspect" is not the same as "do everything". He outlined earlier in the thread (or was it the other thread?) that what he meant was broad areas of the game, i.e. "Combat, Travel, Social, Terrain Control" and such.


ciretose wrote:

You are asking for a unique ability that doesn't serve the theme of the class in order for the class to be able to do "something" better than another class which has abilities for that situation that do serve the theme of that class.

And you want that thing to be exclusive to the class that it doesn't fit thematically.

Make the fighter be a fighter, and make what the fighter do something needed that no other class can do as well as the fighter and there is no problem.

The issue now is that what the fighter does isn't as important anymore, in part because so many alternative options were given to other classes to step on the fighters toes.

The solution isn't to give fighters ways to step on toes right back.

Your solution to solve a problem is to make the problem more pronounced.

You will never get me to agree with you on this, because your solution IS THE PROBLEM I AM TALKING ABOUT.

Liberty's Edge

And what I am saying is that they do "participate". They just don't excel as much as other classes do.

Which is as it should be.

The problem is not to make them be able to do things in those situations already done by other classes, but to make sure what they do is valued in those.

Looking at what you listed.

Combat - Done
Travel - If travel is dangerous, a guard would be helpful.
Social - I don't believe they are forbidden from role playing
Terrain - ?
Control - ?

The question marks are to define terms, because I don't think those are actual division points.

It isn't the job of each class to be able to create a versatile PC. It is the players job. You can take feats to effect most of the thing above if you want to.

And you would have room to do so with a fighter, considering how many feats you get.

The problem is that at higher level, what the fighter can do isn't as valuable, because everyone can do it.

The solution is to increase the value of what they can do by making it a more rare commodity.

That way, even if a fighter diversifies feats into other game aspects, they will still be great at doing something that is needed.


Rynjin wrote:
"Participate in each aspect" is not the same as "do everything". He outlined earlier in the thread (or was it the other thread?) that what he meant was broad areas of the game, i.e. "Combat, Travel, Social, Terrain Control" and such.

My very first post defined exactly what I meant. I even gave an example of how the brand manager and the pastry pope could each participate in aspects of the game without both doing the same things. And as you've said I've clearly stated that I what I mean by aspect. His interpretation of my argument (and of Irontruth's)is literally incompatible with the words we are saying. But yes, it has been repeatedly addressed.


I think he meant more "facilitating travel". I.e. Wizards can Fly/Teleport, the Rogue could steal a horse, the Bard could talk his way into getting travel arranged, etc. Guard duty falls under Combat I believe.

This keeps coming up, and I still don't see how it matters. You can roleplay all you like, but it's still not going to pass that Bluff/Diplomacy/Knowledge check.

Liberty's Edge

And I disagree with you that the solution is to add more things that each class can do. I think the problems is that too many classes have overlap that negates the value of what each class can bring to the table.

I think some classes are over-extended partially by lax GMing and partially because of creep.

That Bluff/Diplomacy/Knowledge check isn't something every class should be able to do well. There is a reason Bardic Knowledge and Monster Lore are so valuable. There is a reason skills are invested in.

I think there should be more clear definition of what each class is, and design toward that ideal, including all of the intended weaknesses of the class that need to be compensated for either by other party members or by making sacrifices in the build.

A fighter can do lots of things, if they focus less on fighting. And they have the feats to do it. But most people don't because they don't want to make that sacrifice.

If the issue is that some classes have too much relative to others, I don't start from the solution of adding more. I start from the solution of asking why those classes have too much and how to address that.

Liberty's Edge

Rynjin wrote:

I think he meant more "facilitating travel". I.e. Wizards can Fly/Teleport, the Rogue could steal a horse, the Bard could talk his way into getting travel arranged, etc. Guard duty falls under Combat I believe.

Rogue stealing a horse is an equivalent to teleport, said no one ever.

Which is my point. The full caster is going to be able to do some things better with magic than anyone else. Full stop, that is what it is.

The question is what are they giving up for this power.

Fix the answer to that question and you solve all of the other problems.

It will always be better to Teleport than walk, presuming current teleport with little to no fail risk. That isn't a competition.

So what is reasonable to sacrifice for that level of power.

The Exchange

I wish to play this cupcake game now. Is there a PBP available?


Because for the most part, these classes DON'T have "too much" except compared to those who don't have enough.

It would be an interesting sight to see skills get re-arranged and better compartmentalized though. Maybe make Class Skills the ONLY skills people can invest in without Feats, but make sure everyone has 1 or 2 out of combat skills.

I.E. Bards (and other "social" classes) keep Diplomacy and Bluff, as well as the Knowledges and their bonuses to such, but lose things like Acrobatics, Appraise, Climb and so on.

Meanwhile every class keeps/gains Perception/Climb/Swim and has Intimidate as their one social skill, but loses knowledges besides the ones pertaining to their class (Dugeoneering for Fighter, Nature for Rangers, History/Religion for Monks, Planes for Sorcerers/Wizards etc.).

Also uncluttering the knowledges would be good. IMO Nature and Geography could be rolled into one, just like Local and Nobility (both of which could probably fall under History TBH) and Arcana can just be done away with altogether and have its capabilities rolled into Spellcraft. And a few others too. Maybe Escape Artist into Acrobatics, and Climb and Swim merged into an Athletics type skill

Might make some purists angry to see skills "dumbed down" but it seems like that would get rid of a bit of the overlap you dislike so much while allowing every class to bring something unique to the table, but still being able to contribute meaningfully to all types of situations.

That on top of a full magic overhaul with some suggestions similar to what I suggested earlier could fix some issues.


ciretose wrote:


Looking at what you listed.

Combat - Done
Travel - If travel is dangerous, a guard would be helpful.
Social - I don't believe they are forbidden from role playing
Terrain - ?
Control - ?

The question marks are to define terms, because I don't think those are actual division points.

His point is strong but you are correct, the division points aren't things like terrain. You can't participate in terrain. However, OVERCOMING environmental obstacles and hazards is.

Small Scale skirmishes are an aspect of the game.
Large scale battles are an (small) aspect of the game.
Investigation is an aspect of the game.
Infiltration is an aspect of the game.
Crafting is an aspect of the game.
Negotiation and manipulation are an aspect of the game.
Overcoming Traps, hazards and obstacles are an aspect of the game.
Leadership is an aspect of the game.
Underwater adventures are an aspect of the game.
Planar adventures are an aspect of the game.

And many many more.

An aspect of the game is any element of the game, external to the mechanics, that can be used to create challenges, that require player input to overcome. The mechanics are methods for interacting with those elements and determining outcomes to your interaction.

ciretose wrote:


The problem is that at higher level, what the fighter can do isn't as valuable, because everyone can do it.

This is true. Removing them from participation doesn't help this. But it IS a problem. The reason wizards are overpowered, and they are, is not because they can participate in all aspects of the game. It's because they can choose the exact method in which they interact with each aspect of the game.

The difference between a balanced class and a caster is that the balanced class has a versatile set of abilities. When he faces a challenges he figures out ways to use the tools he has to overcome those challenges. So as long as he has at least some method of input for every type of challenge, then he can overcome those challenges with varying degrees of difficulty.

When the caster faces a challenges he can tackle those challenges with an infinite number of tools.

However, as I have previously stated, overpowered casters are problematic. But not as problematic as classes that exclude players from playing the game. Both are concerns that need addressing. But one is infinitely more important to me.


Zerombr wrote:
I wish to play this cupcake game now. Is there a PBP available?

Long answer: Cupcake Crusades, is currently fictional in that it isn't complete. It is a game that I am currently developing that is designed as a beginners RPG. My goal is to create a fun, engaging RPG that adults can play with children to teach them about RPG's while enjoying the game themselves. It has lot's of silly things such as ninja's, robots, and wizards. It is fairly early in the development phase, so it won't be done for quite some time.

Short answer: No. But maybe in the future.


ciretose wrote:


Social - I don't believe they are forbidden from role playing

I have never used those words, nor implied them.

We keep having to play this game. Where I say something, you "respond" and I have to repeatedly explain to you how you are responding to things I'm not saying.


He was responding to something I said Irontruth.

Liberty's Edge

Rynjin wrote:
He was responding to something I said Irontruth.

No, apparently I was playing with Irontruth, Rynjin. Don't question this lest he have to repeatedly explain to you :)

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