Is 3.5e bloat coming back?


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Grand Lodge

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Insain Dragoon wrote:

Inner Sea Gods introduced so many new feats and almost every single one was terrible and such a trap.

Who would take a feat to give innocent civilians standing next to you a +2 bonus to AC? WHY?!

Someone who wants to make a heroic character whose focus is on protecting the civilians around them? In the Living City campaign, quite a few players made characters who became members of the City Watch. This kind of feat would be perfect for such characters. It's also a good NPC feat as well for that reason.

It's a SETTING FEAT. Not all feats have to contribute you to the goal of dungeon DPR. Most characters have room for flavor feats, especially fighter types who are the ones you'd expect to be taking it.

I know there are people who define bloat as any feat or crunch that they won't use for whatever reason they don't. Sometimes they tend to forget that they aren't the only kind of player that Paizo serves.

Grand Lodge

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thejeff wrote:

What's interesting about the "game design cycle" is that the longest lasting iteration of D&D was 1E. Which had the least amount of rules bloat and was still going strong by the end.

2E really introduced splatbooks and though it lasted almost as long, the game was in pretty bad shape by the end.
Obviously the game and the market are far different now and there were plenty of other influences, but I do find it interesting..

It was going so strong that people weren't leaving it for other games... NOT! I'd gotten long fed up with the restrictive and war-game paradigm of AD+D character design that I took a ten year break from the game playing in other systems such as GURPS, Storyteller, Amber Diceless and others. AD+D was in a clear death spiral from the the former dominant position it had, and people were looking for growth in their options for play.

TSR was on the verge of bankruptcy when WOTC bought it. WOTC recognized that people were looking enviously at the character building flexibility of other games and did their best to bring that into D+D while still preserving the basic framework, and thus was born the system we know now as D20. The inevitable consequence was that D+D became a "builder's " game.


LazarX wrote:

Not all feats have to contribute you to the goal of dungeon DPR.

You really think that's the issue? A +2 AC would put regular civilians at a 12 AC. A Feat that let you take the hit for civilians would have been far more fitting.

Can you really say that that feat couldn't have been designed better for it's purpose?


LazarX wrote:
Insain Dragoon wrote:

Inner Sea Gods introduced so many new feats and almost every single one was terrible and such a trap.

Who would take a feat to give innocent civilians standing next to you a +2 bonus to AC? WHY?!

Someone who wants to make a heroic character whose focus is on protecting the civilians around them? In the Living City campaign, quite a few players made characters who became members of the City Watch. This kind of feat would be perfect for such characters. It's also a good NPC feat as well for that reason.

The feat is still worthless for an uber specializaed character like that.


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LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:

What's interesting about the "game design cycle" is that the longest lasting iteration of D&D was 1E. Which had the least amount of rules bloat and was still going strong by the end.

2E really introduced splatbooks and though it lasted almost as long, the game was in pretty bad shape by the end.
Obviously the game and the market are far different now and there were plenty of other influences, but I do find it interesting..

It was going so strong that people weren't leaving it for other games... NOT! I'd gotten long fed up with the restrictive and war-game paradigm of AD+D character design that I took a ten year break from the game playing in other systems such as GURPS, Storyteller, Amber Diceless and others. AD+D was in a clear death spiral from the the former dominant position it had, and people were looking for growth in their options for play.

TSR was on the verge of bankruptcy when WOTC bought it. WOTC recognized that people were looking enviously at the character building flexibility of other games and did their best to bring that into D+D while still preserving the basic framework, and thus was born the system we know now as D20. The inevitable consequence was that D+D became a "builder's " game.

That was 2E, which I said was in bad shape. I wasn't really following market data at the time, but 1E was still dominant when 2E was released, IIRC.

2E did a lot to try to introduce that kind of character building flexibility into the game with kits and the like. I'm not at all convinced that didn't add to its problems.
3.0 took it farther and did it better of course.

(And as much as I'm fond of Amber, it was never more than a niche of a niche market. Vampire and too a lesser extent the other WoD games were what was cutting into the market share.)

Liberty's Edge

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Starfinder Superscriber

Also, to be fair, Magic: The Gathering (and it's imitators, including Pokemon if the timing works out right) were cutting into the TSR market share as much as or more than the WoD games. Yes, it's not an RPG. But, it is a hobby game, and some people were choosing to redirect their time towards CCGs rather than RPGs. Not the whole story, of course, because the leading CCG producer was WotC who bought D&D and revitalized it. But a part of the puzzle. It's all very complicated, with lots of reasons why things happened.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Helaman wrote:
Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
Its just part of the cycle. It also tends to symbolize your coming to the end of the life cycle of a product, that's what then brings us the next edition. I have several friends who are pretty heavy in the game design world, and they say PF is on the final 2-3 years, which is about the length you'd expect to get out of a D&D clone P&P game, so its pretty right on in its development cycle to start experiencing more and more of this.

Yeah, thats how I see it.

The question is, what will they do to PF 2nd ed.

If they make it too far removed from current then they risk doing what happened with D&D 4th ed.

If its not enough change then its just the difference between 3.0 and 3.5 and that didn't work out so well either... though in fairness? There is a big difference in time scales.

What's interesting about the "game design cycle" is that the longest lasting iteration of D&D was 1E. Which had the least amount of rules bloat and was still going strong by the end.

2E really introduced splatbooks and though it lasted almost as long, the game was in pretty bad shape by the end.

Obviously the game and the market are far different now and there were plenty of other influences, but I do find it interesting.

While there werent a lot of 'splat' options for '1E' there were several versions of the game. You had the original white box, you had ADnD and then you had what amounted to new versions of the game in the form of the blue box, and the red box. The bload of actual rules versions seems to me more significant then the 'bloat' of rules options. Its also a relatively poor business model, constantly spliting your audience in such a fashion.

I also dont think 1E lasted as long as it did on the merits of the game or the business model of TSR as it did on the fact that this was the origins of the very concept of roleplaying games and it would be years before real alternatives were both presented AND were well known enough to make an impact on dnd sales. Drawing a correlation between the relatively few option books released for 1E and the length of its life is a SERIOUS stretch.


Kolokotroni wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Helaman wrote:
Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
Its just part of the cycle. It also tends to symbolize your coming to the end of the life cycle of a product, that's what then brings us the next edition. I have several friends who are pretty heavy in the game design world, and they say PF is on the final 2-3 years, which is about the length you'd expect to get out of a D&D clone P&P game, so its pretty right on in its development cycle to start experiencing more and more of this.

Yeah, thats how I see it.

The question is, what will they do to PF 2nd ed.

If they make it too far removed from current then they risk doing what happened with D&D 4th ed.

If its not enough change then its just the difference between 3.0 and 3.5 and that didn't work out so well either... though in fairness? There is a big difference in time scales.

What's interesting about the "game design cycle" is that the longest lasting iteration of D&D was 1E. Which had the least amount of rules bloat and was still going strong by the end.

2E really introduced splatbooks and though it lasted almost as long, the game was in pretty bad shape by the end.

Obviously the game and the market are far different now and there were plenty of other influences, but I do find it interesting.

While there werent a lot of 'splat' options for '1E' there were several versions of the game. You had the original white box, you had ADnD and then you had what amounted to new versions of the game in the form of the blue box, and the red box. The bload of actual rules versions seems to me more significant then the 'bloat' of rules options. Its also a relatively poor business model, constantly spliting your audience in such a fashion.

I also dont think 1E lasted as long as it did on the merits of the game or the business model of TSR as it did on the fact that this was the origins of the very concept of roleplaying games and it would be years before real alternatives were both presented AND were well...

True. But Basic, in its various editions was more of a feeder, like the Beginner Box, or competition, than anything like rules bloat.

There were a number of other games out on the market from fairly early on, many of them long defunct, but some have lasted: Call of Cthulhu, Champions/Hero, Traveller, GURPS near the end of 1E.

As I said there are many factors outside of rules bloat and I wouldn't lay 1E's longevity strictly on that. OTOH, people are claiming here that ever more rules options are needed to keep a game going, which I find counter to at least the obvious evidence.

Shadow Lodge

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Kolokotroni wrote:
While there werent a lot of 'splat' options for '1E' there were several versions of the game. You had the original white box, you had ADnD and then you had what amounted to new versions of the game in the form of the blue box, and the red box. The bload of actual rules versions seems to me more significant then the 'bloat' of rules options. Its also a relatively poor business model, constantly spliting your audience in such a fashion.

Original D&D, B//X D&D, and BECMI D&D are no more a part of 1E than 2E was. That's the equivalent of me "proving" that Pathfinder is grotesquely bloated by not only pulling out Pathfinder books, but also every 3.0 and 3.5 book and counting it against Pathfinder.

thejeff wrote:
But Basic, in its various editions was more of a feeder, like the Beginner Box, or competition, than anything like rules bloat.

Holmes Basic, yeah. Somewhat less with B/X, however. And with BECMI and the Rules Cyclopedia, Basic D&D was a full game. Hell, BECMI and RC provided rules for advancement up to 36th level (and beyond with the Immortals sets), which is further than 1E went.

Kolokotroni wrote:
I also dont think 1E lasted as long as it did on the merits of the game or the business model of TSR as it did on the fact that this was the origins of the very concept of roleplaying games and it would be years before real alternatives were both presented AND were well known enough to make an impact on dnd sales. Drawing a correlation between the relatively few option books released for 1E and the length of its life is a SERIOUS stretch.

Well, except Original D&D had already been around for 4 years when 1E came out, and in that time dozens of other RPGs had also come out. Notable amongst those are Boot Hill, Empire of the Petal Throne, Tunnels & Trolls, Traveller, and RuneQuest. The last two especially are STILL going strong. And that's just the games that came out before 1E...if you expand to the games that came out while 1E was being published, the list grows enormously.


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Kthulhu wrote:


Holmes Basic, yeah. Somewhat less with B/X, however. And with BECMI and the Rules Cyclopedia, Basic D&D was a full game. Hell, BECMI and RC provided rules for advancement up to 36th level (and beyond with the Immortals sets), which is further than 1E went.

Heh, back then I tended to smirk to myself about "Advanced" D&D when I looked into it and found out I had a far wider set of tools in my trusty BECMI sets. The Rules Cyclopedia is also by far the best single-book RPG I've ever owned. As many classes as you really need, basic stats, skills, weapon mastery, mass combat and siege rules, a decent selection of magic items (and rules for making your own) and a built-in bestiary.


Kthulhu wrote:


thejeff wrote:
But Basic, in its various editions was more of a feeder, like the Beginner Box, or competition, than anything like rules bloat.
Holmes Basic, yeah. Somewhat less with B/X, however. And with BECMI and the Rules Cyclopedia, Basic D&D was a full game. Hell, BECMI and RC provided rules for advancement up to 36th level (and beyond with the Immortals sets), which is further than 1E went.

It was still a intro, even through all that. Just having them named Basic and Advanced pretty much guaranteed that.

Even though the later versions were, as you say, full games of their own. Which as I also said, made them competition.

Either way, we agree it makes no sense to compare them to the bloat of rules options.


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Kolokotroni wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I'm not speaking for thejeff, but I see this objection from time to time and I think it misunderstands at least my stated preference for less rules.

I follow the advice you give here (we dont play much PF anymore and if we do we dont use much of the rules options). However, when I indicate to paizo that I'd rather they release fewer rules supplements it's not some vendetta I have against those who do like more mechanical options. It's purely expressing my preference for more flavor material and less mechanical material. I do so in the interests of providing feedback - Paizo then have to make the difficult decisions about where to draw the line.

The opportunity cost of rules supplements is where it has an impact on me. Paizo can necessarily release less campaign setting material and adventures built on existing rules if they are devoting some of the company's resources to making new rules. I'm not demanding they meet my wants, but I dont see anything wrong with expressing them (just as I dont see anything wrong with those who like lots of rules expressing their preference). FWIW, I concede that most Pathfinder players are at the rules-heavy end of the spectrum, so I dont really expect paizo's choice as to the mix to line up with my desired proportion - nonetheless, it cant hurt to tell them.

I dont think that is really true. The opportunity cost is almost negligable because the success of the rpg line has allowed paizo to ramp up their company, bring in new people, and produce more material as a whole. While yes there are people dedicated to the 'rules' portion of the material paizo releases, those people would not have been hired (or contracted in the case of freelancers) if they were not going to write the crunchy material for people to buy.

My point is that they could have hired people to write more flavor stuff (so I can get fortnightly APs or monthly modules).

I'm not claiming it's a better business decision (I think it's probably better to do what they're doing). I'm pointing out that when I say "I want less mechanical options" I'm not trying to stop other people getting what they want just for the hell of it (as 137ben implied), I'm saying I want more of something else.

Quote:
At the same time we are still getting 12 Adventure paths a year, and while we are getting fewer modules, the new larger format means we are actually getting more page count per year in terms of modules, so that volume of material hasnt been reduced, just the number of books.

Opportunity cost isnt about what's actually happened, it's about what might have happened. I realise the output of flavor hasnt been reduced, I'm saying I'd prefer there to be even more.

Quote:
Setting and adventure material is flowing along side the crunchy stuff. If you want to say specifically there should be less crunch in the setting material. That I can accept. But ther is a difference between saying you want certain books to be less crunchy and wanting paizo to produce less crunch as a whole.

I want there to be less crunch as a whole. It would suit my preferences if they hired fewer rules developer/designers and more campaign setting developer/designers.


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Ipslore the Red wrote:

Specifically, PrCs being the best options forever, 100 base classes and 500 PrCs, a zillion special materials, and so on.

I ask because of the paper-bound abomination known as Inner Sea Gods and the monstrosity known as Evangelist. From what I have seen of the book, namely Walter's guide to it, it seems to be almost universally terrible from a balance standpoint. Especially evangelist. You lose one level- one fricking level-of your class, and it's easy to get a feat to bring class features back to hit dice. Then you get 100% free features for another 9 levels.

And then exalted has straight spellcasting progression, permanent protect from ______, AND a free domain.

Sentinel is disgustingly cheesy as well. Bonus feats, free +1s to hit and damage, fricking LEADERSHIP for free, +4 to initiative DR, Diehard, and cure critical wounds as a swift action on yourself?

Am I overreacting or should this book never have been written and its authors terminated posthaste?

*Looks up from a pile of books, pen in hand, with the glow of a computer screen of twenty tabs open illuminating his face bluish white*

Yes.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

My point is that they could have hired people to write more flavor stuff (so I can get fortnightly APs or monthly modules).

I'm not claiming it's a better business decision (I think it's probably...

They did just hire Owen K. C. Stevens to head the adventure module line, I think this very much applies to your hope in the hiring of writers more concerned with flavor. (Yes, Owen is known for his crunch, but he was hired for his fluff skills in this case.)


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gamer-printer wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

My point is that they could have hired people to write more flavor stuff (so I can get fortnightly APs or monthly modules).

I'm not claiming it's a better business decision (I think it's probably...

They did just hire Owen K. C. Stevens to head the adventure module line, I think this very much applies to your hope in the hiring of writers more concerned with flavor. (Yes, Owen is known for his crunch, but he was hired for his fluff skills in this case.)

Truth is, Paizo are never going to give me exactly what I'm looking for. Anyone focussed on producing new rules is more than I'd want.

My original post wasnt to argue for anything - it was to counter the claim: "When you say you don't want more rules books to be released, what you are saying is that you don't want other people who do like having more rules to be able to enjoy the game." That's not what I'm saying at all - it's not about anyone else, it's just communicating with a publisher about what I like.


Quote:
Is 3.5e bloat coming back?

Oh, man, I hope not. Those snacks did terrible things for my weight and gassy-ness! We were so dumb back then.

Stick with water. That should solve your bloat problems.

Grand Lodge

to that starter of this thread.. No. 3.5e is a different thing from a different company. using similar rules.

in many ways Pathfinder was an upscale of 3.5e for example all the core classes gained new powers that we much more powerful than 3.5e

in regard to the evangelist. with the exception of a few PrC's none of the Core or new Classes Gain anything Major by taking it just a speed up of a Feat that pretty much anyone can take. for a -1 level.

various feat combinations using RAW may give you some minor advantage but nothing major. Boon companion dose not allow you to have a companion higher level than your level for example. again you would loose a caster level or attack bonus so it compensates.


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Humphry B ManWitch wrote:

to that starter of this thread.. No. 3.5e is a different thing from a different company. using similar rules.

in many ways Pathfinder was an upscale of 3.5e for example all the core classes gained new powers that we much more powerful than 3.5e

in regard to the evangelist. with the exception of a few PrC's none of the Core or new Classes Gain anything Major by taking it just a speed up of a Feat that pretty much anyone can take. for a -1 level.

various feat combinations using RAW may give you some minor advantage but nothing major. Boon companion dose not allow you to have a companion higher level than your level for example. again you would loose a caster level or attack bonus so it compensates.

Rogue, Druid, bard, and Fighter got stronger? News to me.


Insain Dragoon wrote:
Humphry B ManWitch wrote:

to that starter of this thread.. No. 3.5e is a different thing from a different company. using similar rules.

in many ways Pathfinder was an upscale of 3.5e for example all the core classes gained new powers that we much more powerful than 3.5e

in regard to the evangelist. with the exception of a few PrC's none of the Core or new Classes Gain anything Major by taking it just a speed up of a Feat that pretty much anyone can take. for a -1 level.

various feat combinations using RAW may give you some minor advantage but nothing major. Boon companion dose not allow you to have a companion higher level than your level for example. again you would loose a caster level or attack bonus so it compensates.

Rogue, Druid, bard, and Fighter got stronger? News to me.

Bard and Druid, yes, sir, stronger.

Rogue and Fighter... well, Fighter has more feats to choose from so kind of but not really...

Rogue got nerfed from Pathfinder rules. If you used a PF Rogue in 3.5 he'd be stronger.
In fact, because it is only the Pathfinder rules nerfing the rogue: a 3.5 Rogue can beat a PF rogue any day of the week (if they using their own systems).
Now Ninja alternate class is stronger than 3.5 rogue (due to swift invisibility).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ipslore the Red wrote:

Specifically, PrCs being the best options forever, 100 base classes and 500 PrCs, a zillion special materials, and so on.

I ask because of the paper-bound abomination known as Inner Sea Gods and the monstrosity known as Evangelist. From what I have seen of the book, namely Walter's guide to it, it seems to be almost universally terrible from a balance standpoint. Especially evangelist. You lose one level- one fricking level-of your class, and it's easy to get a feat to bring class features back to hit dice. Then you get 100% free features for another 9 levels.

And then exalted has straight spellcasting progression, permanent protect from ______, AND a free domain.

Sentinel is disgustingly cheesy as well. Bonus feats, free +1s to hit and damage, fricking LEADERSHIP for free, +4 to initiative DR, Diehard, and cure critical wounds as a swift action on yourself?

Am I overreacting or should this book never have been written and its authors terminated posthaste?

Checking that guide:

1) no mention of the 1 hour/day spent making your obedience;
2) non mention of the little problem that you will lose your PRC abilities if you don't do your obedience.

Sure if you dismiss the drawback they are great PrC at no cost.
On the other hand if the GM enforce the limitations they aren't so powerful.


Starbuck_II wrote:
Insain Dragoon wrote:
Humphry B ManWitch wrote:

to that starter of this thread.. No. 3.5e is a different thing from a different company. using similar rules.

in many ways Pathfinder was an upscale of 3.5e for example all the core classes gained new powers that we much more powerful than 3.5e

in regard to the evangelist. with the exception of a few PrC's none of the Core or new Classes Gain anything Major by taking it just a speed up of a Feat that pretty much anyone can take. for a -1 level.

various feat combinations using RAW may give you some minor advantage but nothing major. Boon companion dose not allow you to have a companion higher level than your level for example. again you would loose a caster level or attack bonus so it compensates.

Rogue, Druid, bard, and Fighter got stronger? News to me.

Bard and Druid, yes, sir, stronger.

Rogue and Fighter... well, Fighter has more feats to choose from so kind of but not really...

Rogue got nerfed from Pathfinder rules. If you used a PF Rogue in 3.5 he'd be stronger.
In fact, because it is only the Pathfinder rules nerfing the rogue: a 3.5 Rogue can beat a PF rogue any day of the week (if they using their own systems).
Now Ninja alternate class is stronger than 3.5 rogue (due to swift invisibility).

Incorrect on fighters due to manoeuvre feat taxes. They were given more feats to do what they used to be able to do with less feats (oh trip my old friend, I miss you bro).


DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:
Insain Dragoon wrote:
Humphry B ManWitch wrote:

to that starter of this thread.. No. 3.5e is a different thing from a different company. using similar rules.

in many ways Pathfinder was an upscale of 3.5e for example all the core classes gained new powers that we much more powerful than 3.5e

in regard to the evangelist. with the exception of a few PrC's none of the Core or new Classes Gain anything Major by taking it just a speed up of a Feat that pretty much anyone can take. for a -1 level.

various feat combinations using RAW may give you some minor advantage but nothing major. Boon companion dose not allow you to have a companion higher level than your level for example. again you would loose a caster level or attack bonus so it compensates.

Rogue, Druid, bard, and Fighter got stronger? News to me.

Bard and Druid, yes, sir, stronger.

Rogue and Fighter... well, Fighter has more feats to choose from so kind of but not really...

Rogue got nerfed from Pathfinder rules. If you used a PF Rogue in 3.5 he'd be stronger.
In fact, because it is only the Pathfinder rules nerfing the rogue: a 3.5 Rogue can beat a PF rogue any day of the week (if they using their own systems).
Now Ninja alternate class is stronger than 3.5 rogue (due to swift invisibility).

Incorrect on fighters due to manoeuvre feat taxes. They were given more feats to do what they used to be able to do with less feats (oh trip my old friend, I miss you bro).

Just going by their class table, they did get stronger, since 3.5 fighter only got bonus feats. That "stronger" changes once you get into the feat descriptions.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
gamer-printer wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

My point is that they could have hired people to write more flavor stuff (so I can get fortnightly APs or monthly modules).

I'm not claiming it's a better business decision (I think it's probably...

They did just hire Owen K. C. Stevens to head the adventure module line, I think this very much applies to your hope in the hiring of writers more concerned with flavor. (Yes, Owen is known for his crunch, but he was hired for his fluff skills in this case.)

Truth is, Paizo are never going to give me exactly what I'm looking for. Anyone focussed on producing new rules is more than I'd want.

My original post wasnt to argue for anything - it was to counter the claim: "When you say you don't want more rules books to be released, what you are saying is that you don't want other people who do like having more rules to be able to enjoy the game." That's not what I'm saying at all - it's not about anyone else, it's just communicating with a publisher about what I like.

You dont exist in a vacuum. By saying I want something specifically to the exclusion of something else, you are in fact doing what you claim you are not. You are saying other people should not get what they want so you can get what you want. Other people exist, you cannot present your opinion and feedback as if they do not exist.

You are well within your rights to say, 'I want more fluffy stuff. I want more adventures. I want crunchless books.' to paizo. If you want to say inner sea gods had too many feats, and not enough writeups on gods, and religion in golarion, go for it. You have every right to ask for what you want, and assuming there are others that feel the same, its paizo's obligation to find a way to serve its customers.

It is something completely different to say you want what you want in exclusion of what someone else wants form paizo. Its not only a selfish ask, its also a relatively foolish one. This isnt a zero sum game. Profits from crunchy stuff will drive fluffy stuff and vice versa. The more people buying stuff from paizo the more the company will grow and the more product in general will be produced.

Grand Lodge

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thejeff wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:


thejeff wrote:
But Basic, in its various editions was more of a feeder, like the Beginner Box, or competition, than anything like rules bloat.
Holmes Basic, yeah. Somewhat less with B/X, however. And with BECMI and the Rules Cyclopedia, Basic D&D was a full game. Hell, BECMI and RC provided rules for advancement up to 36th level (and beyond with the Immortals sets), which is further than 1E went.

It was still a intro, even through all that. Just having them named Basic and Advanced pretty much guaranteed that.

Even though the later versions were, as you say, full games of their own. Which as I also said, made them competition.

Either way, we agree it makes no sense to compare them to the bloat of rules options.

I always thought the existence of the two games dated from nothing more than Gygax trying to shove it to Arneson.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Back in the day...

When "2nd edition" (written in big letters on the cover colored blue) was out, most AD&D play was a comination of the original rules and the "improved" set. There was some DM's that didn't adapt the THAC0 (To Hit Armor Class 0) to their game and others that did not like the non-weapon proficentcies.

Second edition was not really on it's own until the kit books started to flood in, when the first original rule set (1st edition) would not quite work with them.


thaX wrote:

Back in the day...

When "2nd edition" (written in big letters on the cover colored blue) was out, most AD&D play was a comination of the original rules and the "improved" set. There was some DM's that didn't adapt the THAC0 (To Hit Armor Class 0) to their game and others that did not like the non-weapon proficentcies.

Second edition was not really on it's own until the kit books started to flood in, when the first original rule set (1st edition) would not quite work with them.

OTOH, my group adopted THACO and the other rules changes (we probably missed some) and never really took to all the kit books and things.

Liberty's Edge

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As a player since 1985, my observation has been that the 'bloat' everyone complains about is the result of a shift in the game's focus.

In D&D and AD&D, every player knew that a PC death was likely in a dungeon crawl. PC 'wills' and 'families' of related characters were common then. Rolling up a character was a significant moment because if the dice didn't roll right, you couldn't have your paladin or elven fighter/mage. The game relied immensely on pencils with erasers, both for mapping dungeons out on graph paper and for replacing statistics swiftly in-game.

The challenge in that era was 'realism' not 'balance'. Everyone knew that a magic-user who survived to 15th level would be more powerful than any other similarly aged character; the problem was he wouldn't likely live that long, what with a single first-level spell to cast and only a dagger to wield. Weapon speed, encumbrance, spellbooks, racial level limits all collaborated to make the adventurer's life a series of trade-offs between survivability and ultimate power. The only archmage I ever saw rise up on the table had a gang of defending PCs that totaled nearly fifty casualties by the time he reached 9th level spells. When that wizard cast a 'wish', the first thing he did was wish back to life the party's first iteration of heroes, who died defending him from the first kobold attack they faced in the first dungeon.

The Powers & Options era of 2nd ed. AD&D represented a different kind of game, although the rules didn't fit the vision until we get to late 3.5/PFRPG. In this era, PCs DON'T DIE, at least not without a lot of drama. The shift to making each character an optimized expression of the player's vision makes the creativity of the game the core of the role-playing experience. In this era, options proliferate on the character creation side, sometimes so much that DMs like me worry we won't ever spend any time actually playing because we are so invested in building the PCs.

That worry has been mooted by the high quality APs of the PFRPG. It is great to dig into the roster of adventures and find modules (Conquest of the Bloodsworn Vale) that I can plug into AP adventures (Second Darkness/Curse of the Crimson Throne) to create a unique campaign that allows these customized characters (I hate guns in my FRPG, but one of my PCs is playing a goblin gunslinger that he just loves and I can make it work for the enjoyment of all.) to blossom and the game to be a delight.

The old balance didn't call for 'bloat'. It was all about party balance and collaboration just to survive.

The new balance calls for bloat. The PCs are told to open their imaginations and make real in a game what they envision.

The old balance called for a DM to be judicious in the application of arbitrary death.

The new balance calls for a DM to be judicious in the application of the new options presented by the books.

In both cases, the best tools a DM has are two ears to listen carefully before ruling and then good judgment to set the boundaries so that the game remains fun for all.

Don't blame the company for trying its hardest to make the imagined worlds of our players possible within the rules of our game. Blame your DMs for not being strong in their adjudication.


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Persis Strongfellow wrote:


The challenge in that era was 'realism' not 'balance'.

Interesting tidbit:

Spoiler:
Gary Gygax, Strategic Review 2.2 1976 wrote:

Magic-use was thereby to be powerful enough to enable its followers to compete with any other type of player-character, and yet the use of magic would not be so great as to make those using it overshadow all others. This was the conception, but in practice it did not work out as planned. Primarily at fault is the game itself which does not carefully explain the reasoning behind the magic system. Also, the various magic items for employment by magic-users tend to make them too powerful in relation to other classes (although the GREYHAWK supplement took steps to correct this somewhat).

...

The logic behind it all was drawn from game balance as much as from anything else. Fighters have their strength, weapons, and armor to aid them in their competition. Magic-users must rely upon their spells, as they have virtually no weaponry or armor to protect them. Clerics combine some of the advantages of the other two classes. The new class, thieves, have the basic advantage of stealthful actions with some additions in order for them to successfully operate on a plane with other character types. If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D & D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly, or the referee is forced to change the game into a new framework which will accommodate what he has created by way of player-characters. It is the opinion of this writer that the most desirable game is one in which the various character types are able to compete with each other as relative equals

Not that I disagree, but I feel kinda compelled to post this when balance vs realism is mentioned in older editions.


Starbuck_II wrote:
Insain Dragoon wrote:
Humphry B ManWitch wrote:

to that starter of this thread.. No. 3.5e is a different thing from a different company. using similar rules.

in many ways Pathfinder was an upscale of 3.5e for example all the core classes gained new powers that we much more powerful than 3.5e

in regard to the evangelist. with the exception of a few PrC's none of the Core or new Classes Gain anything Major by taking it just a speed up of a Feat that pretty much anyone can take. for a -1 level.

various feat combinations using RAW may give you some minor advantage but nothing major. Boon companion dose not allow you to have a companion higher level than your level for example. again you would loose a caster level or attack bonus so it compensates.

Rogue, Druid, bard, and Fighter got stronger? News to me.

Bard and Druid, yes, sir, stronger.

Rogue and Fighter... well, Fighter has more feats to choose from so kind of but not really...

Rogue got nerfed from Pathfinder rules. If you used a PF Rogue in 3.5 he'd be stronger.
In fact, because it is only the Pathfinder rules nerfing the rogue: a 3.5 Rogue can beat a PF rogue any day of the week (if they using their own systems).
Now Ninja alternate class is stronger than 3.5 rogue (due to swift invisibility).

Beast Shape for Druids got nerfed hardcore, so no druids were nerfed.

A lot of splatbooks did amazing things to Bards, so no, Bards got nerfed.

Fighters do less damage and are still bad at out of combat skills. They have more feats, but the feats each do less.

You're on the money about Rogues.


Druids needed to be nerfed, somewhat. The others not so much.

Shadow Lodge

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Persis Strongfellow wrote:
The challenge in that era was 'realism' not 'balance'.

The irony being that 3.X/PF isn't as balanced as 0e/1e/2e or BX/BECMI/RC were.

Liberty's Edge

The problem being is that what is broken is different from one person to the other. Myself something has to be factually proven to broken. Opinion at least in terms of what is broken don't count for me in the least. After all take a look at Weapon focus and Greater weapon focus. Apprently having a bonus +2 for each was considered "broken". They both were nerfed to a +1 bonus in 3.5. Explain to me why and how a +2 bonus was so overpowered.


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Kolokotroni wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
gamer-printer wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

My point is that they could have hired people to write more flavor stuff (so I can get fortnightly APs or monthly modules).

I'm not claiming it's a better business decision (I think it's probably...

They did just hire Owen K. C. Stevens to head the adventure module line, I think this very much applies to your hope in the hiring of writers more concerned with flavor. (Yes, Owen is known for his crunch, but he was hired for his fluff skills in this case.)

Truth is, Paizo are never going to give me exactly what I'm looking for. Anyone focussed on producing new rules is more than I'd want.

My original post wasnt to argue for anything - it was to counter the claim: "When you say you don't want more rules books to be released, what you are saying is that you don't want other people who do like having more rules to be able to enjoy the game." That's not what I'm saying at all - it's not about anyone else, it's just communicating with a publisher about what I like.

You dont exist in a vacuum. By saying I want something specifically to the exclusion of something else, you are in fact doing what you claim you are not. You are saying other people should not get what they want so you can get what you want. Other people exist, you cannot present your opinion and feedback as if they do not exist.

Of course not, you are confusing two different things. To be very clear, the following are both true:

1. I want paizo to produce less mechanical material
2. I think paizo shouldn't give me what I want.

When I provide them with my opinion so that they are well informed, I'm making no claim as to what they should do, nor what is best for their business, the community or anything else. I'm just saying "here's what I enjoy".

Quote:

You are well within your rights to say, 'I want more fluffy stuff. I want more adventures. I want crunchless books.' to paizo. If you want to say inner sea gods had too many feats, and not enough writeups on gods, and religion in golarion, go for it. You have every right to ask for what you want, and assuming there are others that feel the same, its paizo's obligation to find a way to serve its customers.

It is something completely different to say you want what you want in exclusion of what someone else wants form paizo. Its not only a selfish ask, its also a relatively foolish one. This isnt a zero sum game. Profits from crunchy stuff will drive fluffy stuff and vice versa. The more people buying stuff from paizo the more the company will grow and the more product in general will be produced.

What you say is okay in the first paragraph is identical to what you say is not okay in the second. if i get my way, someone else doesnt. Opportunity cost requires that the bolded happens.

If you ask for one single feat you're asking for something "in exclusion of what someone else wants from paizo". It's a fact of life, since they can't do everything.

Memorax and I have very different preferences (for example). When he says he wants more mechanical options in general or more in one specific book, he's not being selfish and he's not having a go at me (even though I'll necessarily get less of what I want if he gets his way). Neither is my request for any of that stuff a desire to see him disenfranchised.

If we get our wants met, someone else doesn't. Providing paizo with information about what we like doesn't therefore mean we're being selfish.


Kthulhu wrote:
Persis Strongfellow wrote:
The challenge in that era was 'realism' not 'balance'.
The irony being that 3.X/PF isn't as balanced as 0e/1e/2e or BX/BECMI/RC were.

... not sure if serious or...


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Insain Dragoon wrote:

Even when I was new I understood that feat A that is only useful under incredibly specific cirmumstances was useless compared to feat B that could be used under a lot of circumstances.

I mean we only get 10ish of them, so why pick bad ones?

I would take that one step further.

We only get 10ish of them per character, so why print bad ones?


Tacticslion wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Persis Strongfellow wrote:
The challenge in that era was 'realism' not 'balance'.
The irony being that 3.X/PF isn't as balanced as 0e/1e/2e or BX/BECMI/RC were.
... not sure if serious or...

I would say so, perhaps with the exception of late era 2e.

Early versions of the game had so few options for characters to pick from it was difficult to diverge too far from what the class actually gave you. Sure there was greater variation in stats with rolling being predominant but stats also did much less for you except at the extreme edges. The classes were also much closer together if only because the save mechanic made it harder for casters to affect enemies with their spells as they got to higher level not easier.

Shadow Lodge

Tacticslion wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Persis Strongfellow wrote:
The challenge in that era was 'realism' not 'balance'.
The irony being that 3.X/PF isn't as balanced as 0e/1e/2e or BX/BECMI/RC were.
... not sure if serious or...

3.0 and it's legacy products (3.5 and Pathfinder) responded to the criticism that earlier editions had that spellcasters were overpowered compared to the other classes (although only at the higher levels). It's just that the response was exactly the opposite of what any sane person would have taken. They INCREASED the power of spellcasters, while simultaneously reducing (and sometimes eliminating altogether) the balancing factors that limited their power.


Fair enough. I'll simply note that my own experiences with 2E were never balanced - ever - regardless of the classes.

Thus my uncertainty of your comment. I recognize that you generally feel d20-based games are heartily inferior to the old ones, and disagree with that assessment, so sometimes it's very difficult to tell whether you're just disliking the system or have a specific point, especially when it's so divergent from my own experiences.


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Insain Dragoon wrote:
Humphry B ManWitch wrote:

to that starter of this thread.. No. 3.5e is a different thing from a different company. using similar rules.

in many ways Pathfinder was an upscale of 3.5e for example all the core classes gained new powers that we much more powerful than 3.5e

in regard to the evangelist. with the exception of a few PrC's none of the Core or new Classes Gain anything Major by taking it just a speed up of a Feat that pretty much anyone can take. for a -1 level.

various feat combinations using RAW may give you some minor advantage but nothing major. Boon companion dose not allow you to have a companion higher level than your level for example. again you would loose a caster level or attack bonus so it compensates.

Rogue, Druid, bard, and Fighter got stronger? News to me.

With the exception of the druid, within the context of Core, that's almost true. (It is true for Fighters and Bards [though there is something to be said for the fact that level 1 Bards could start a Bardic Music and keep it going all day long] but Rogues got hit with numerous stealth nerfs while gaining talents they hadn't had access to before.)


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Tacticslion wrote:

Fair enough. I'll simply note that my own experiences with 2E were never balanced - ever - regardless of the classes.

Thus my uncertainty of your comment. I recognize that you generally feel d20-based games are heartily inferior to the old ones, and disagree with that assessment, so sometimes it's very difficult to tell whether you're just disliking the system or have a specific point, especially when it's so divergent from my own experiences.

Late era 2e with all of the player options splats was very different to earlier versions of the game. It was far closer to 3e than what had gone before.

Earlier versions of the game were simpler. Players had far fewer choices to make during character creation or level up meaning the opportunity for mechanical customisation was much reduced. That arguably made them more balanced, their was less power discrepancy between individual classes (although it still existed). That doesn't mean they were necessarily better games, they were simply very different.

In a large way 3e was an extremely different game from 0e/1e/Basic/early 2e.


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Yes, rules bloat is back. In fairness to Paizo, they're only giving the majority of people what they want.

I don't particularly care for it, but such is life. ;-)


As I said - I'll accept the argument. It's just not my experience. :)
(Also, the fact that the power was such that by ninth level a wizard "won" doesn't seem any better-balanced to me. But, that doesn't really matter - it's a lack of experience of things older than 2E combined with only second-hand knowledge/stories means that my own experience with older editions is hopelessly outclassed. Thus the acceptance of the argument.)

Shadow Lodge

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There's also the fact that at the higher levels, the wizards target was more and more likely to make their saves. Save or Die was save and laugh at the wizard.

That, and the fact that anybody with a dozen darts.or so could make a wizard cry. Darts vs magic: darts win.


Don't forget your type F or E poison on your darts. Goodbye wizards.

Rogue was so strong in 1e to 2nd ed. Especially if a canny player got them a higher level than the rest of the party (I managed to pull that off in a kingmaker game, it felt like the old days).


Kthulhu wrote:
There's also the fact that at the higher levels, the wizards target was more and more likely to make their saves. Save or Die was save and laugh at the wizard.

Yeah, saves were easier to make at higher level.

Also, I think higher level wizards got fewer spells back then than they do now...


Steve Geddes wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
gamer-printer wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

My point is that they could have hired people to write more flavor stuff (so I can get fortnightly APs or monthly modules).

I'm not claiming it's a better business decision (I think it's probably...

They did just hire Owen K. C. Stevens to head the adventure module line, I think this very much applies to your hope in the hiring of writers more concerned with flavor. (Yes, Owen is known for his crunch, but he was hired for his fluff skills in this case.)

Truth is, Paizo are never going to give me exactly what I'm looking for. Anyone focussed on producing new rules is more than I'd want.

My original post wasnt to argue for anything - it was to counter the claim: "When you say you don't want more rules books to be released, what you are saying is that you don't want other people who do like having more rules to be able to enjoy the game." That's not what I'm saying at all - it's not about anyone else, it's just communicating with a publisher about what I like.

You dont exist in a vacuum. By saying I want something specifically to the exclusion of something else, you are in fact doing what you claim you are not. You are saying other people should not get what they want so you can get what you want. Other people exist, you cannot present your opinion and feedback as if they do not exist.

Of course not, you are confusing two different things. To be very clear, the following are both true:

1. I want paizo to produce less mechanical material
2. I think paizo shouldn't give me what I want.

When I provide them with my opinion so that they are well informed, I'm making no claim as to what they should do, nor what is best for their business, the community or anything else. I'm just saying "here's what I enjoy".

Quote:
You are well within your rights to say, 'I want more fluffy stuff. I want more adventures. I want crunchless books.' to paizo. If you want to say
...

Your use of "opportunity cost" doesn't account for expanded capacity due to company growth. It isn't a zero sum game.

Shadow Lodge

DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Don't forget your type F or E poison on your darts. Goodbye wizards.

Its funnier to not use any poison, and just watch them vet more and more frustrated as they burn off all their spells as you disrupt them with 1 point of damage each.


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BigDTBone wrote:
Your use of "opportunity cost" doesn't account for expanded capacity due to company growth. It isn't a zero sum game.

No it's not. I should have explicitly stated that the bolded is necessarily true in the short term - my reference to the community and Paizo's interests was intended to make reference to the issue you raise here about the longer term.

I'm not saying what Paizo "should" do (in fact I go even further - I think Paizo "should" act counter to my request). My whole point is that it's not correct to characterise a desire for less rules as saying we "don't want other people who do like having more rules to be able to enjoy the game."

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tacticslion wrote:

Fair enough. I'll simply note that my own experiences with 2E were never balanced - ever - regardless of the classes.

Thus my uncertainty of your comment. I recognize that you generally feel d20-based games are heartily inferior to the old ones, and disagree with that assessment, so sometimes it's very difficult to tell whether you're just disliking the system or have a specific point, especially when it's so divergent from my own experiences.

As I see it, some people was routinely disregarding the balancing factors in the 1st and 2nd edition of AD&D and then complaining that the game was unbalanced.

At least, that is how I read in several of the posts by people that think that the older versions were unbalanced.
I don't have played enough of the Basic version to comment on how balanced it was.

andreww wrote:


Late era 2e with all of the player options splats was very different to earlier versions of the game. It was far closer to 3e than what had gone before.

Earlier versions of the game were simpler. Players had far fewer choices to make during character creation or level up meaning the opportunity for mechanical customisation was much reduced. That arguably made them more balanced, their was less power discrepancy between individual classes (although it still existed). That doesn't mean they were necessarily better games, they were simply very different.

In a large way 3e was an extremely different game from 0e/1e/Basic/early 2e.

That probably is a factor in my evaluation of the earlier editions. I have the splatbooks but used very little of them. The "do it yourself" rules for the classes were optional and not well thought, same thing for a lot of the optional rules.

The thing is that those rules were optional, not part of core rules of the game.


Kthulhu wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Don't forget your type F or E poison on your darts. Goodbye wizards.
Its funnier to not use any poison, and just watch them vet more and more frustrated as they burn off all their spells as you disrupt them with 1 point of damage each.

Never heard of a spell called stone skin?

Anyway I just die a little bit everytime this and the acusation of 'well this for powergamers/munchkinse/etc BS' comes around. Personally I love the PrCs and the obedience because of the pure RPing gold they can be. The mechanics are also nice too. But that is because I always like the mechanics supporting the RPing and vice versa.

Another issue I want to take a moment to address...organized play. And it is a question really...why should Pazio give much thought to what is a minority of players? 1) I am sure the PfS will migrate the rules to keeps things close to balance...and 2) I really don't think abook like this with all of it's great gateways into RPing is really meant for the PFS in the first place.

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