Ways to make martials less terrible.


Advice

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Take away the AoO for using Maneuvers will help out a good bit for giving martial characters more things they can do.

I would add Tome of Battle. As a DM I have told my players they can use it and none have used it as of yet. I have played a warblade in pathfinder game and it did not appear to more powerful than the other characters.


Power comes in two forms: raw and versatility.

Casters have a number of tricks for every occasion (read: versatility) and the ability to be effective at being a game changer (read: raw power) as well.

This is an imbalance.

I would expect the classes that devote themselves to the liberal application of damage/healing/whatever to lose out on the versatility side of things.

In D&D and now Pathfinder that is not the case.

I have never been a fan of taking away toys to make everything fair, so I will simply add toys to bring balance.

Pure melee need to get LCF (look cool factor) abilities more often to give them the ability to grab the spotlight.

e.g. Rogues that can picks locks so well that it's like knock, and can move so stealthily that absolutely that no one can detect them (hi, you're scary knowing how much your backstab hurts).

Imagine a barbarian that could jump like the Hulk....Fighters that could go invulnerable for a period of time...monks that could hit like at least once per round....


ED-209 wrote:
Marthkus wrote:

WBL is a guideline not a rule.

Following WBL can be dis-balancing for classes like the rogue who should/need more money than the rest of the party.

Your post makes the WBL Fairy sad.

The WBL Fairy knows who has been naughty (people who convert their loot into permanent gear, so she gives them only coal in their next encounters) and who has been nice (people who convert their loot into consumables, and consume them. The WBL fairy puts extra presents in their next encounters).

The WBL Fairy is 4 realz!

You highlight why I dislike WBL. WBL is only necessary for PCs to fight the normal CR for their level and doesn't take into account picking up less than ideal gear or optimizing your spending.


Malwing wrote:

I agree that nerfing Magic is not a fix.

But I understand how attractive it is. After certain levels I feel like Pathfinder is very super-powered for relatively low key campaigns. Last session me and three other lvl 5 players faced off a CR9 Daemon. A thing from another plane of existence that breathes disease and death. That should have been an epic battle, a desperate struggle against something clearly outmatching us. But my lvl 5 Magus' opening gambit was to deal 10d6 to it in one shot and cripple it for a minute. Then I made my second attack.

But to be fair, in a game I'm GMing the players have trouble against things that are a CR lower than their APL so mileage may vary.

Using single boss encounters does not normally provide the same challenge as several monsters..


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Tursic wrote:

Take away the AoO for using Maneuvers will help out a good bit for giving martial characters more things they can do.

I would add Tome of Battle. As a DM I have told my players they can use it and none have used it as of yet. I have played a warblade in pathfinder game and it did not appear to more powerful than the other characters.

It is not overpowered. It makes you better with standard actions than you would be otherwise. They still do less damage than when full attacking than the core classes, but they get other options also. The only problem is that they basically suck with ranged attacks.

Dark Archive

Anzyr wrote:

Nimon:

I'm very curious... what exactly is the difference between time sensitive and urgent? Does the wizard get to rest more in time sensitive cases, if so this is even less of an issue...

Well since you asked. Urgent in the context I am relating to is not specifically time sensitive, though it can be. Presumably your characters want to accomplish a task and are not just wondering around idly, so taking extra time or wasting resources that are not required to complete said mission is not really acceptable in other words poor role playing, like I said before your players are not just a series of mechanisms on paper they actually should have personalities ect and a motivation to go where it is you are going.

Spell Component Pouch yes I have read it, have you? Pg 161 core rule book ... Except for those components that have a specific cost I am not going to go into all the spells that have a specific cost, but there many. And you still take an AoO for retrieving them.

You seem to be in love with Color Spray. Ever fought Undead? How about Swarms? Or simply Creatures of HD higher than 5? Go ahead and memorize 6 slots of color spray, I dare you.


Tursic wrote:

Take away the AoO for using Maneuvers will help out a good bit for giving martial characters more things they can do.

I would add Tome of Battle. As a DM I have told my players they can use it and none have used it as of yet. I have played a warblade in pathfinder game and it did not appear to more powerful than the other characters.

i did that, and it has gelped a lot. We have seen some trips attempts, a pair of disarms, and two very fun bull rushes (off the board of a ship and into a Pit from a spell). At higher levels they aren't using it anymore, the CMD of the creatures is too high to eveb try unless you are focused on it with several feats and stuff. But for the first half of the campaign it was ok


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Nimon wrote:
. You seem to be in love with Color Spray. Ever fought Undead? How about Swarms? Or simply Creatures of HD higher than 5? Go ahead and memorize 6 slots of color spray I dare you.

Actually, it works in creatures with 5hd or more. The stun is just one round, but stunning several monsters in AOE for one round is enough to win an encounter.

And of course you don'memorize 6 of them. But Grease, Enlarge Person, vsnish, are perfectly valid first level spells that can contribute to a fight (specially a CR5 fight). At level 5, a wizard can alter a combat in 4-6 encounters per day. At lvl 10, they are the equivalent of relentless, they never run out of spells. More often than not, they need to stop to rest because they rub out of *buffs* fir the fighter and *healing* fir the fighter. Not because the wizard no longer can alter the battlefield


Nimon wrote:
Spell Component Pouch yes I have read it, have you? Pg 161 core rule book ... Except for those components that have a specific cost I am not going to go into all the spells that have a specific cost, but there many. And you still take an AoO for retrieving them.

Just an FYI, unless you dun goofed and got into melee with something, you're not provoking.

And Handy Haversacks are your friend too.

Nimon wrote:
You seem to be in love with Color Spray. Ever fought Undead? How about Swarms? Or simply Creatures of HD higher than 5? Go ahead and memorize 6 slots of color spray, I dare you.

Once I can afford to load up on 6 slots of Color Spray I have all these wonderful 2nd or even 3rd level spells to play with too.

3 slots of Color Spray, 1 of Feather Fall, 2 of Enlarge Person and then the 2nd level spells of my choice means I can potentially trivialize 3 encounters a day, buff a beatstick teammate vs Undead and other enemies, and save a dude from falling damage, and that's just the 1st level slots.

But hey, I'm not an amazing spellcaster player, somebody else could probably come up with a better loadout than that.

The great thing about Wizards is you're not forced to memorize all of the same spell. If you like a spell and think it's useful that doesn't mean you have to rely on it for every encounter.

Dark Archive

Rynjin wrote:


Just an FYI, unless you dun goofed and got into melee with something, you're not provoking.

And Handy Haversacks are your friend too.

Dun goofed up like, maybe a rogue caught you by surprise, or a barbarian charged you, or any other martial character with higher initiative for that matter like well all of them probably.

And Handy Haversacks are not Wizard exclusive.

Color Spray Stuns a 5hd mob for one whole round, of course this is assuming it has eyes and failed its save, is not undead, not a swarm or anything else not effected by this.

Enlarge Person? Let me guess you are casting this on the Martial Character right? Yeah not seeing this as an argument for casters are better than martial.


Nimon wrote:
Rynjin wrote:


Just an FYI, unless you dun goofed and got into melee with something, you're not provoking.

And Handy Haversacks are your friend too.

.

Enlarge Person? Let me guess you are casting this on the Martial Character right? Yeah not seeing this as an argument for casters are better than martial.

I can cast enlarge person on magus and inquisitors. And it's not an argument for casters bring better than martials, it's an argument that shows it's false that casters have limited resources. That was true in ADnD 2e maybe. But nowadays, casters have a ton of slots, can craft their own scrolls, and never run out of things to do. Enlarge person is a perfectly valid use of a combat round at levels 5-10 or even more. So it's not true wizaeds run out of stuff wheb you play several encounters. They simply mix some perfectly valid contributions to the fight, with singlehandlely roflstomping the encounter.

Liberty's Edge

Get make spells always have a start casting at the beginning of the round (must be stated by the player they are casting a spell - but not which) then either keep the if you are hit roll a concentration check or use the 1e/2e auto loss of spell? The spell would then go off in the casters initiative. Gives the martial characters a better chance of both combating spell casters and giving them more relevance in the party.


A single feat can fix most martial classes. Some classes are too far gone and need a rework the level of an archetype to fix them.

Hypothetical feat

Mage slayer

You really hate magic.
Requirement: You may not be able to cast spells. If you can cast spells you can't take this feat. If you gain spell casting abilities and possess this feat you lose them instead. Spell like abilities are not able to be cast if you possess this feat. Minimum hit dice three. Killed at least 1 spell caster or creature with spell like abilities.

Effect: You've learned to destroy world shaping spells with great ease. Wizards, Clerics, and druids run in terror at the mere mention of your name when within 30 feet of you no spells may be cast. All effects of spells within 60 feet of you are suppressed including spell like abilities, summons, and SR no spells. If a spell effect within a mile would create an effect which effects you that spell effect fails unless it comes from a source with at least 6 more hit dice than you. If a creature has spell casting capabilities add 1d6 damage to your damage rolls per three hit dice you possess.

Special: If the mage slayer attacks a creature without spell casting capabilities this effect is suppressed for 1 minute. If two or more creatures without spell casting abilities hit you this ability is suppressed for one round.


Undone wrote:

A single feat can fix most martial classes. Some classes are too far gone and need a rework the level of an archetype to fix them.

Hypothetical feat

Mage slayer

You really hate magic.
Requirement: You may not be able to cast spells. If you can cast spells you can't take this feat. If you gain spell casting abilities and possess this feat you lose them instead. Spell like abilities are not able to be cast if you possess this feat. Minimum hit dice three. Killed at least 1 spell caster or creature with spell like abilities.

Effect: You've learned to destroy world shaping spells with great ease. Wizards, Clerics, and druids run in terror at the mere mention of your name when within 30 feet of you no spells may be cast. All effects of spells within 60 feet of you are suppressed including spell like abilities, summons, and SR no spells. If a spell effect within a mile would create an effect which effects you that spell effect fails unless it comes from a source with at least 6 more hit dice than you. If a creature has spell casting capabilities add 1d6 damage to your damage rolls per three hit dice you possess.

Special: If the mage slayer attacks a creature without spell casting capabilities this effect is suppressed for 1 minute. If two or more creatures without spell casting abilities hit you this ability is suppressed for one round.

Wow, that feat sucks. It's obscenely broken for NPCs and, well, people worry about the Superstition rage power causing heals to fail and it goes away when they stop raging. This is just stupid. No one who expects to be involved in more than one encounter a month can afford to take this feat.


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Undone wrote:

A single feat can fix most martial classes. Some classes are too far gone and need a rework the level of an archetype to fix them.

Hypothetical feat

Mage slayer

You really hate magic.
Requirement: You may not be able to cast spells. If you can cast spells you can't take this feat. If you gain spell casting abilities and possess this feat you lose them instead. Spell like abilities are not able to be cast if you possess this feat. Minimum hit dice three. Killed at least 1 spell caster or creature with spell like abilities.

Effect: You've learned to destroy world shaping spells with great ease. Wizards, Clerics, and druids run in terror at the mere mention of your name when within 30 feet of you no spells may be cast. All effects of spells within 60 feet of you are suppressed including spell like abilities, summons, and SR no spells. If a spell effect within a mile would create an effect which effects you that spell effect fails unless it comes from a source with at least 6 more hit dice than you. If a creature has spell casting capabilities add 1d6 damage to your damage rolls per three hit dice you possess.

Special: If the mage slayer attacks a creature without spell casting capabilities this effect is suppressed for 1 minute. If two or more creatures without spell casting abilities hit you this ability is suppressed for one round.

High level casters nuke you from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Anyhow, arguments like that are effectively saying "I know how to fix it, the whole setting is on a Dead Magic world." This doesn't actually solve the problem in a remotely satisfactory manner.


Atarlost wrote:
Undone wrote:

A single feat can fix most martial classes. Some classes are too far gone and need a rework the level of an archetype to fix them.

Hypothetical feat

Mage slayer

You really hate magic.
Requirement: You may not be able to cast spells. If you can cast spells you can't take this feat. If you gain spell casting abilities and possess this feat you lose them instead. Spell like abilities are not able to be cast if you possess this feat. Minimum hit dice three. Killed at least 1 spell caster or creature with spell like abilities.

Effect: You've learned to destroy world shaping spells with great ease. Wizards, Clerics, and druids run in terror at the mere mention of your name when within 30 feet of you no spells may be cast. All effects of spells within 60 feet of you are suppressed including spell like abilities, summons, and SR no spells. If a spell effect within a mile would create an effect which effects you that spell effect fails unless it comes from a source with at least 6 more hit dice than you. If a creature has spell casting capabilities add 1d6 damage to your damage rolls per three hit dice you possess.

Special: If the mage slayer attacks a creature without spell casting capabilities this effect is suppressed for 1 minute. If two or more creatures without spell casting abilities hit you this ability is suppressed for one round.

Wow, that feat sucks. It's obscenely broken for NPCs and, well, people worry about the Superstition rage power causing heals to fail and it goes away when they stop raging. This is just stupid. No one who expects to be involved in more than one encounter a month can afford to take this feat.

1) You can easily heal yourself via potions

2) If you really need magic healing use a non lethal punch to the face to turn it off.

Quote:

High level casters nuke you from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Anyhow, arguments like that are effectively saying "I know how to fix it, the whole setting is on a Dead Magic world." This doesn't actually solve the problem in a remotely satisfactory manner.

While I'm aware of this at obscenely high levels casters should probably be better. They've got limited uses of "I'm awesome" while the fighter can do 1k damage every round. That said this feat pretty much fixes the first 7 or 8 levels worth of magic. Nothing can fix the 9th level spells. The goal of the feat is to flatten the curve of "Quadratic wizards" from logarithmic/exponential to linear/absurd.


Undone wrote:

1) You can easily heal yourself via potions

2) If you really need magic healing use a non lethal punch to the face to turn it off.

1) Potions won't work. They are spell effects.

2) Yes, you have an extremely gamey restriction there. Lovely.

Undone wrote:
While I'm aware of this at obscenely high levels casters should probably be better. They've got limited uses of "I'm awesome" while the fighter can do 1k damage every round. That said this feat pretty much fixes the first 7 or 8 levels worth of magic. Nothing can fix the 9th level spells. The goal of the feat is to flatten the curve of "Quadratic wizards" from logarithmic/exponential to linear/absurd.

It's hilarious you think this is balanced. I thought you were joking, because such an ability is so open to abuse it's not remotely funny.

You do not solve rocket-tag by making another rocket.


I dunno, in my experience its the martials that have always topped the fights. The fact that casters had limited spells really allowed my player's martial toons to flourish. I found ways to keep the casters from 'reloading' so to speak :)


Drachasor wrote:
Undone wrote:

1) You can easily heal yourself via potions

2) If you really need magic healing use a non lethal punch to the face to turn it off.

1) Potions won't work. They are spell effects.

2) Yes, you have an extremely gamey restriction there. Lovely.

Undone wrote:
While I'm aware of this at obscenely high levels casters should probably be better. They've got limited uses of "I'm awesome" while the fighter can do 1k damage every round. That said this feat pretty much fixes the first 7 or 8 levels worth of magic. Nothing can fix the 9th level spells. The goal of the feat is to flatten the curve of "Quadratic wizards" from logarithmic/exponential to linear/absurd.

It's hilarious you think this is balanced. I thought you were joking, because such an ability is so open to abuse it's not remotely funny.

You do not solve rocket-tag by making another rocket.

Oh we were trying to solve rocket tag? Not make higher levels(11-16) playable in ordinary games? My bad. That would require restarting the magic system from 0. My goal was to give marshals a way to "Suck less" or "Make them less terrible". It was intended to help curb the imbalance not fix the system.


Undone wrote:
Oh we were trying to solve rocket tag? Not make higher levels(11-16) playable in ordinary games? My bad. That would require restarting the magic system from 0. My goal was to give marshals a way to "Suck less" or "Make them less terrible". It was intended to help curb the imbalance not fix the system.

11-16 are in the rocket-tag zone, and all you did was make a rocket -- which is even worse if you think there is no one else that has rockets!

It also doesn't help them with their main problem, which is a lack of versatility. Further it penalizes allies and penalizes half-casters and penalizes paladins and rangers. So it hurts a lot of people that should not be hurt while not addressing the core issue of the problem.

Largely such a feat wouldn't make martials any less terrible...it probably would make the game more terrible. I mean no slight to you, mind you. I am just saying that feat is no good.


ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
I was wondering if anyone had any ideas about making martial characters that can work as well as full casters.

First let me make clear that I'm ignoring stuff like chain summoning abuse, astral projection etc ... balancing around that sort of stuff is folly. I'm also going to ignore the half caster classes Paizo published in splat, I'm talking about balance between true martials and true casters.

The only ways to give martials flexibility are cost effective magic items (like in 3e before it almost everything is overpriced in PF) and weeaboo fightan (ie. casting but on a fundamentally different resource mechanic to differentiate them from the classic casters).

BUT the game is already balanced in a way even without that flexibility ... not a very satisfying way but a way nonetheless. Good martials (ie. archers, pouncers, mobile fighters, spirited chargers) can kill almost anything in 2 rounds from plain damage ... and plain damage works on almost anything. They are a bit one trick ponies in this regard, but it is a very very good trick.

If you want to give martials flexibility then this damage first has to be nerfed ...


Options are what make the casters typically better. Lots of options that are also very powerful puts them over the top. My "solution" (quotes because I've never had a really big issue with melee-players not having fun) is to allow everything from 3.5 with updates to Pathfinder rules.

This has brought the martials more in line with the casters without pushing them over the edge.

Just my 2 cp.


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Pinky's Brain wrote:
ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
I was wondering if anyone had any ideas about making martial characters that can work as well as full casters.

First let me make clear that I'm ignoring stuff like chain summoning abuse, astral projection etc ... balancing around that sort of stuff is folly. I'm also going to ignore the half caster classes Paizo published in splat, I'm talking about balance between true martials and true casters.

The only ways to give martials flexibility are cost effective magic items (like in 3e before it almost everything is overpriced in PF) and weeaboo fightan (ie. casting but on a fundamentally different resource mechanic to differentiate them from the classic casters).

BUT the game is already balanced in a way even without that flexibility ... not a very satisfying way but a way nonetheless. Good martials (ie. archers, pouncers, mobile fighters, spirited chargers) can kill almost anything in 2 rounds from plain damage ... and plain damage works on almost anything. They are a bit one trick ponies in this regard, but it is a very very good trick.

If you want to give martials flexibility then this damage first has to be nerfed ...

So basically, you are going to ignore all the problems and balance nothing at all. You realize that if they want to magic users can deal absolutely obscene amount of damage that will also end a fight in 1 or 2 rounds and while this might limit them a bit, it by no means makes them one trick ponies. Martials really need some utility powers and if you think a high level Martial class being able to full attack twice in one round, break through walls like the Kool-Aid man, shrug off negative conditions and fight invisible people through sound alone is "fightan magic" you need to calibrate your expectations of what a high level martial is. Aragorn is not a high level martial, Hercules wasn't either, now the Hulk, he's a high level Martial (though not 20) and he can restart people's hearts by screaming.


Undraxis wrote:
I dunno, in my experience its the martials that have always topped the fights. The fact that casters had limited spells really allowed my player's martial toons to flourish. I found ways to keep the casters from 'reloading' so to speak :)

So you went out of your way to help the martials and/or hold the casters down?


Anzyr wrote:
So basically, you are going to ignore all the problems and balance nothing at all. You realize that if they want to magic users can deal absolutely obscene amount of damage that will also end a fight in 1 or 2 rounds and while this might limit them a bit, it by no means makes them one trick ponies.

Not without using rules in ways they were never really intended to be used. Simply throwing a metamagic'd damage spell (or two) isn't going to do it.

I don't really care about chain summoning, astral projection, telekinetic thrust, falling object damage abuse etc etc ... balancing the game around those kind of tricks is a foolish exercise, very few people actually play like that.


Pinky's Brain wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
So basically, you are going to ignore all the problems and balance nothing at all. You realize that if they want to magic users can deal absolutely obscene amount of damage that will also end a fight in 1 or 2 rounds and while this might limit them a bit, it by no means makes them one trick ponies.

Not without using rules in ways they were never really intended to be used. Simply throwing a metamagic'd damage spell (or two) isn't going to do it.

I don't really care about chain summoning, astral projection, telekinetic thrust, falling object damage abuse etc etc ... balancing the game around those kind of tricks is a foolish exercise, very few people actually play like that.

Really.... simple metamagic + spells won't end most fights in 1-2 rounds you say? Well I hope you have some Ranch dressing for your words cause your about to eat them. I'm just going to post this very nice quote from Brewer's Guide to the Blockbuster Wizard:

Picture this: you’ve chosen Fireball for this feat(and it’s also your spell for Magical Lineage.) Turn 1, you can throw out a Quickened Intensified Empowered Fireball as a 5th level spell, plus a Maximized Intensified Dazing Fireball as a 6th level spell. That’s 183 points of damage plus a wide area crowd control effect – which last I heard, is decent for an opening round action. Oh, yeah... and it does it to every enemy caught in a sphere 40 foot across. (And that’s still not our upper limit... just wait until we get to metamagic rods!)

How many monsters in the book can survive 366 (I did say 1 or 2 rounds) damage? A limited number of CR 20s is the correct answer to that question. Keep in mind with Metamagic Rods that damage goes even higher...

Also before you go wondering how many spell slots this is eating... keep in mind you can prepare lower level spells in higher level spell slots...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Just look at the Blaster Mage build for making a direct damage caster.

At 10th level, you can easily put out 100 HP of damage in a round to multiple targets with firesnake or scorching ray effects. At 15th level when you get spell perfection, you're doing 300+ hp/round, using nothing but 5th-7th level slots, leaving all the other slots open for more interesting things.

Gets kind of impressive, it does.

==Aelryinth


Nimon wrote:
Dun goofed up like, maybe a rogue caught you by surprise, or a barbarian charged you

Are we on a flat plane with no other teammates?

Nimon wrote:
or any other martial character with higher initiative for that matter like well all of them probably.

Most martial characters will not have a higher initiative than the caster. The golden rule of casting is "Always go first".

Nimon wrote:
And Handy Haversacks are not Wizard exclusive.

No, they aren't. What's your point?

They're quite useful for everyone, but you were calling out AoOs for provoking as some grand and unavoidable downside to casting when it can be fixed with a one time purchase worth a paltry 2k gold.

Nimon wrote:
Color Spray Stuns a 5hd mob for one whole round, of course this is assuming it has eyes and failed its save, is not undead, not a swarm or anything else not effected by this.

I'm not sure you realize that you're talking about a 1ST LEVEL SPELL.

Yes it has some downsides, but it is the absolute weakest non-cantrip slot you possess.

Nimon wrote:
Enlarge Person? Let me guess you are casting this on the Martial Character right? Yeah not seeing this as an argument for casters are better than martial.

The fact that martial characters pretty much rely on buffs from other classes to do well later on isn't enough for you?

How about the fact that making somebody better at combat (again, trivializing or at least making encounters much easier with a single spell) is your BACKUP option.


Yep, with a level dip in crossblooded sorcerer blasting actually reaches encounter ending proportions on its own. Grab Dazing Spell as well and you have pretty much the most potent form of battlefield control on top of it.

I am not sure how that's using the rules in ways they weren't intended to be used. Heck even the straight crossblooded sorcerer can do exactly the same thing which is clearly using the rules exactly as they were meant to be used.


Nimon wrote:
Rynjin wrote:


Just an FYI, unless you dun goofed and got into melee with something, you're not provoking.

And Handy Haversacks are your friend too.

Dun goofed up like, maybe a rogue caught you by surprise, or a barbarian charged you, or any other martial character with higher initiative for that matter like well all of them probably.

And Handy Haversacks are not Wizard exclusive.

Color Spray Stuns a 5hd mob for one whole round, of course this is assuming it has eyes and failed its save, is not undead, not a swarm or anything else not effected by this.

Enlarge Person? Let me guess you are casting this on the Martial Character right? Yeah not seeing this as an argument for casters are better than martial.

You are not seeing the argument, because you are intentionally ignoring it. Keep in mind all your examples are focused on 1st, 2nd and 3rd level spells and even here the Wizard has encounter ending effects. If you go beyond level 5 your arguments become increasingly less meaningful. You also (like seemingly everyone who raises the issue) are not taking into account long duration spells like Shrink Item and Explosive Runes, or are swarms immune to a sudden bonfire to the face (I read up on it... they aren't.) At 3rd level, Wizards have the lovely Animate Dead, Lesser for a free meatshield which doesn't eat into their spells per day. (Make it in a desecrate effect with an altar to the caster's diety and use Blood Money to obviate the cost.)

Furthermore, once we hit 4th level spells the Wizard can start using Animate Dead to generate their own undying meatshields (Desecrate with an altar to the casters diety + Blood Money and Bloody Skeletons - pro-tip.) This situation of the Wizard providing their own fighters gets increasingly worse as they get higher leveled. Once you hit 7th Level Spells and get Simulacrum you can start making copies of yourself and relying on their spell slots for a number of effect (Make sure they use spare slots on Explosive Runes each day, they'll come in handy later.) Don't forget your Simulcrums can make their own Bloody Skeletons. Start factoring in Permanency + Blood Money once 5th level spells show up which is only level 9. (Neat trick, if you have multiple versions of the same spell made Permanent opponents will have a hard time dispelling you in Pathfinder outside of Mage's Disjunction.)

Heck once Permanency comes online, its time to start placing Symbols on a object, so you can start doing Save-or-sucks for free every fight. At the highest level, opponents can be defeated this way without ever even dipping into their spells per day (thank you for nerfing Mind Blank Paizo, Wizards everywhere thank you). And lets not get started on the Level 20 Conjurer who has Permanent duration summons...

Dark Archive

Rynjin wrote:


Most martial characters will not have a higher initiative than the caster. The golden rule of casting is "Always go first".

So your casters have more Dex than martial. So then what you have no wis, no cha, no str what? So if not casting you are useless basicly.

Rynjin wrote:
No, they aren't. What's your point?
My point is, that if you start using magical items to make up for fundamental setbacks of a Caster, that goes both ways. You have a handy haversack, I can have a wand of color spray. So what? Keep the argument to class specifics not items.
Rynjin wrote:
I'm not sure you realize that you're talking about a 1ST LEVEL SPELL.

I think you don't realize that we were talking about a 5th level wizard. At 5th level do you think your fighting the same crap you were at level 1? If you are problem lies in GM not system.

.

Nimon wrote:
Enlarge Person? Let me guess you are casting this on the Martial Character right? Yeah not seeing this as an argument for casters are better than martial.
Rynjin wrote:

The fact that martial characters pretty much rely on buffs from other classes to do well later on isn't enough for you?

If your Martial Character relies on this, you are doing something wrong. I can use that strawman too.

And if you think Enlarge person makes combat trivial I am curious if you factoring in all the negatives large gives you as well as the bonuses. Also, are we on a flat surface ect ect? I can use that argument too. Sure in some situations Being large is nice, against flying creatures you might just be a bigger target. Again you try to throw in situational conditions instead of sticking strictly to class comparisons.


Nimon wrote:


So your casters have more Dex than martial. So then what you have no wis, no cha, no str what? So if not casting you are useless basicly.

I think it's time for a little less in SAD vs MAD.

Let's say you've got a Str based Martial. With 20 PB, he likely wants an array like this:

Str: 16
Dex: 14
Con: 14
Int: 12
Wis: 12
Cha: 7

Before racials because he needs a decent AC (hence the Dex), a decent HP (hence the Con), damage (hence the Str), and to shore up his poor Will save (hence the Wis). The Int is because I don't like uneven numbers in my non-dumped stats.

The martial then needs to pump his precious Feats into increasing damage output and defenses. He has to put a good number of his Feats into that. Less so if he's a 2H user, but so, sooo many more if he goes for another fighting style. He might have a higher Initiative if he's Dex based (like an archer or TWFer), but those styles requires about twice as much investment at the least in Feats.

Meanwhile, your Wizard needs Int. That's all he really NEEDS, but then he's got points left over.

So he's got an array something like:

Str: 10
Dex: 16
Con: 12
Int: 16
Wis: 12
Cha: 7

Now that's with his Con on the low end, certainly, but he could also rest assured that if he dropped his Wis to 8 and bumped his Con up to 14 he'd STILL have a better Will save than a martial character.

As well, a Wizard requires NO Feats. He can afford Improved Initiative and the like quite easily, bring his Initiative up even higher. With Reactionary (trait) and Improved Initiative he can have an Initiative of +9 at level 1 quite easily. More if he takes the Divination school (+1/2 level to Initiative). At the very least that's likely to be a +4 over a non-Dex martial.

Nimon wrote:


My point is, that if you start using magical items to make up for fundamental setbacks of a Caster, that goes both ways. You have a handy haversack, I can have a wand of color spray. So what? Keep the argument to class specifics not items.

The difference here is that using said Wand of Color Spray requires an investment in a skill (UMD), and likely a trait (to get it as a class skill), as well as investment in Cha to get a low DC facsimile of that 1st level spell, whereas the Handy Haversack is an item most characters are likely to get, and only requires the investment of an overall tiny bit of gold.

Nimon wrote:


I think you don't realize that we were talking about a 5th level wizard. At 5th level do you think your fighting the same crap you were at level 1? If you are problem lies in GM not system.

I do realize that. Which is why it's so baffling you'r earguing with me on this.

At 5th level you are still likely to fight cannon fodder at level 3-4 (who are affected heavily by Color Spray) and boss characters at level 5 (which are still stunned for one round, long enough to be utterly annihilated by most parties). Don't believe me? Look at pretty much any AP. That's the usual assumption the game goes by.

You also have 2nd and even 3rd level spells by 5th, so Color Spray is, again, the LEAST of your arsenal.

You also now have access to things like Create Pit (2nd), Stinking Cloud (3rd, and another mass encounter ender by the by), Summon Monster 2 and 3 (SMI doesn't have much of use, so I ignored it), Web (2nd), and so forth that all make encounters either miles easier, or cakewalks.

Nimon wrote:
And if you think Enlarge person makes combat trivial I am curious if you factoring in all the negatives large gives you as well as the bonuses.

Would you like me to tally them up for you?

+2 Str (+1 to-hit and damage, possibly 2 damage if a 2H)
-2 Dex (-1 AC/Touch AC)
-1 attack rolls
-1 AC
+10 ft. Reach

Now you look at that and say "Man, that's a lot of negatives for the positives", right?

But then you think about it. You've got a net 0 change in to-hit, +2 damage, -2 AC. Bonuses canceled out by penalties (though not really because this is a game that greatly encourages offense over defense but I digress).

But that 10 ft. Reach is AMAZING.

That means your martial has to move less, increases the range of his threatened space (increasing his chance of being able to take AoOs), and lets him stay out of range of other people's melee attacks while still getting all of his.

Reach is a melee martial character's wet dream.

Nimon wrote:
Also, are we on a flat surface ect ect? I can use that argument too. Sure in some situations Being large is nice, against flying creatures you might just be a bigger target. Again you try to throw in situational conditions instead of sticking strictly to class comparisons.

I am sticking strictly to class comparisons. You're the one that keeps throwing "Ifs" into the equation such as random ninja Rogues somehow nobody saw coming, and Barbarians that come out of nowhere and charge past the rest of the party and win Initiative every time.


Nimon wrote:
My point is, that if you start using magical items to make up for fundamental setbacks of a Caster, that goes both ways. You have a handy haversack, I can have a wand of color spray. So what? Keep the argument to class specifics not items.

EVERYBBODY has a handy haversack. It's pretty much part of the regular adventurer gear beyond level 5 or sooner.

Quote:
And if you think Enlarge person makes combat trivial

It does not. But it's a fairly good contribution to a fight. So a 5th level wizard doing 6 encounters per day can still trivialize 4 of them, while contributing their fair share in the other two (where he casts stuff like Enlarge person, which IS a fair contribution. It's not like the wizard is iddle playing with his thumbs)

Shadow Lodge

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ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
Ways to make martials less terrible

Give them +9000 to all their die rolls.


Reduce Sorc/Wiz to d4?


Reducing their HD won't fix the problems.

TBQH if you gave Wizards D8 HD, 3/4 BaB, and 8+Int skills per level it wouldn't change anything.

Their strengths for the most part rely on saves and/or direct or indirect manipulation of the flow of combat. The problem is one that lies at the core of the spellcasting system itself.

But that's never going to change because the devs don't think this problem exists.

So the best way to go about it is to at the very least give martial characters some interesting and powerful goodies. They had the right idea with the Barbarian's Rage Powers, especially ones like Spell Sunder: Letting martials do ridiculous things through sheer strength and ability.

At the very least you can say the Barbarian, Ranger, and Paladin fare about the same as a full caster at middling levels of optimization, just make the Fighter, Rogue, Monk, Cavalier/Samurai have goodies like that too.


My martial array is normally 16 14 14 10 10 10 with a racial +2 into strength. Dat 7 cha hurts your UMD checks.


TOZ wrote:
ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
Ways to make martials less terrible
Give them +9000 to all their die rolls.

You should keep posting that Tome pdf link. My buddy is enjoying it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Oh, I do. But Frank burned a lot of bridges here, so I try to avoid starting arguments.


You more or less have to rewrite the 3.x system as to many things are endemic to it. Even as something as basic as Greater Magic Weapon when compared with the AD&D equivalent.

I thought 4th ed was bad and soldiered on with 3.5/PF but right now I've gone back to TSR era stuff and retroclones.


2nd Edition had a better balance: parity in action economy, and casting time for spells.
weapons had speed factors as well, but the 'duration' of casting opened it up for disruption without readying.
along with d4 HD, it forces casters to play more conservatively and defensively.
I posted a houserule which goes some way to bringing back those dynamics, I think similar results can be achieved
without needing to use the EXACT formula that 2nd Edition used.

I would put Barb above the rest, Pally/Ranger are OK, but if HPs (/healing) aren't the problem, and to-hit/dmg aren't the problem they dont' get much that can really change the flow of combat, while Barb gets tons of stuff to disrupt the normal assumptions.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Oh, I do. But Frank burned a lot of bridges here, so I try to avoid starting arguments.

What tome?

Scarab Sages

ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
I was wondering if anyone had any ideas about making martial characters that can work as well as full casters. I know the devs said that there is no difference and anyone who disagrees with that is someone with an agenda. My agenda has nothing to do with that, I just want a balanced game. (There are whole other posts about how much fighters suck more than casters and martials, so can we keep those posts to this post please).

Play them intelligently.

But you can't fix broken players.

Shadow Lodge

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GhanjRho wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Oh, I do. But Frank burned a lot of bridges here, so I try to avoid starting arguments.
What tome?

The Tome of Awesome.


Drachasor wrote:
Really balancing things would require that you fix this...that or allow a warrior to hammer out a new reality.

This is the part of this discussion that's always puzzled me a bit. When we compare the "power" of martials versus casters, I tend to view it as a combat comparison. And in combat, I've always found martials equal to casters in most circumstances.

Outside of combat, I have no problem with casters having greater power than martials. A wizard simply does things a swordsman can't. Unless the swordsman comes across some sort of ancient artifact, anyway. WHich would involve the storyline of the campaign, the same way a wizard creating a demiplane should...


Rynjin wrote:
3 slots of Color Spray, 1 of Feather Fall, 2 of Enlarge Person and then the 2nd level spells of my choice means I can potentially trivialize 3 encounters a day, buff a beatstick teammate vs Undead and other enemies, and save a dude from falling damage, and that's just the 1st level slots.

Color Spray only trivializes an encounter if all your enemies gather up in a rather tight group. Otherwise it trivializes one or two foes in an encounter.

At least that's been my experience so far as a 4th-level magus.

I haven't had even a single encounter so far where the enemies have politely marched up in formation for me to catch them all in a Color Spray.

Contributor

My big two pieces of advice to the OP are:

Remember that a good GM isn't going to let everyone to everything. She has to balance three other people besides you at your table, and even if the rules say you can do something a good GM won't let you if your actions come at the cost of everyone else's fun.

Actually play a martial character before claiming they're terrible. My kitsune samurai (who is actually a multiclass martial character) is probably the funnest character I have ever designed and played. Likewise, I have a kitsune ninja who is also amazingly fun to play. And this is coming from a guy who's other major character is a 14th level Sorcerer. There are things I like about each character, and if you actually give martial a chance in game instead of judging classes by their character sheets alone, you might find that the game is better balanced than you give it credit for.

Except summoners. God save us from the summoners.


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Lord Pendragon wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
Really balancing things would require that you fix this...that or allow a warrior to hammer out a new reality.

This is the part of this discussion that's always puzzled me a bit. When we compare the "power" of martials versus casters, I tend to view it as a combat comparison. And in combat, I've always found martials equal to casters in most circumstances.

Outside of combat, I have no problem with casters having greater power than martials. A wizard simply does things a swordsman can't. Unless the swordsman comes across some sort of ancient artifact, anyway. WHich would involve the storyline of the campaign, the same way a wizard creating a demiplane should...

I don't really see how creating a demiplane would be the focus of a campaign. The only requirement for it is having access to 7th level spells and a cheap-for-its level focus. Sure, you could massively change the requirements of the spell so that a campaign could be built around casting it, but then you're into houseruling territory.

The simple fact is, casters get way more Cool Stuff than martials. Level 13 wizards can make their own pocket dimensions, summon T-rexes, transform himself into a dragon, and turn off gravity. A level 13 fighter ... can swing is sword a bit better than he could at level 12. That's nice, I guess. Not all that exciting, really. That's my big issue with the Fighter—they don't get any Cool Stuff.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
Lord Pendragon wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
Really balancing things would require that you fix this...that or allow a warrior to hammer out a new reality.

This is the part of this discussion that's always puzzled me a bit. When we compare the "power" of martials versus casters, I tend to view it as a combat comparison. And in combat, I've always found martials equal to casters in most circumstances.

Outside of combat, I have no problem with casters having greater power than martials. A wizard simply does things a swordsman can't. Unless the swordsman comes across some sort of ancient artifact, anyway. WHich would involve the storyline of the campaign, the same way a wizard creating a demiplane should...

I don't really see how creating a demiplane would be the focus of a campaign. The only requirement for it is having access to 7th level spells and a cheap-for-its level focus. Sure, you could massively change the requirements of the spell so that a campaign could be built around casting it, but then you're into houseruling territory.

He did not say would he say should. I agree that something like creating a demiplane should be quest by itself, I find that spell annoying.

But seriously, I find spells like that against the spirit of the game. The wizard can just collect some money, cast an spells and profit. Boring.

The Exchange

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Let's inject a little Fantasy to this discussion:

Potions = Magic
Scrolls = Magic
Spells = Magic
+1 Sword = Magic
+1 Armor = Magic
Bracers of STR + 4 = Magic
Ki = Magic

Take all of these kind of things out of the equation when you're discussing balance between Martial classes and Magic classes.

Let's also take out a few things that are mistaken for Magic that have crept into the game lately:

  • Chemistry via Alchemy. What a wart we have grown from a tiny flask of napalm.
  • Guns. Really. Couldn't find a decent Spanish Main era RPG?

At this point in the development of this game, these things are not Magic, they are what Arthur C. Clark referred to as "Technology Sufficiently Advanced to be Indistinguishable from Magic".

I would also like to point out that the Europeans, and the Germans in particular favor a game with more "Realism" and less Magic.

Personally, I think that the current state of the game is pure, rampant Monty Haulism in the extreme. In the history of the Fantasy literature genre, there are rarely enough magic swords to go around, and wizards are few and far between, and half of them are very bad guys. But here in Fantasy RPG land, the amount of Magic "loot" available in the reference books, and the scenarios and the modules is tremendous, and +1 magic swords can be found in the local market place.

This discussion brings to mind the Ray Harryhaussen classic The Golden Voyage of Sindbad. where Tom Baker played the evil sorcerer. Every time he cast a major spell, he aged 5 years.

You want to even up the Magic to Weapon imbalance, then make the Magic more expensive, and I mean MUCH more expensive. Make the character pay for it in BLOOD. 1 HP lost for every spell level cast, recoverable when you "rest" to relearn your spells.

While you might have to cast that Fireball with your last rattling breath, it's not an extreme change in anything else in the game. A Mage who can cast a 5th level spell should be able to spare 5 HP every once in a while, but might not want to do it at the drop of a hat.

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