Paizo and "USES PER DAY" features


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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JoeJ wrote:

I agree with that, which is why I say it should have been done by the devs and not left to individual GMs to house rule.

There are playtests. For most of the hardback books that come out in fact. Perhaps I'm missing something here but they do playtest?


What is kinda worse is when you have martial classes who's class features are made up of 1 use per day. (AKA the rogue) Especially on things that everyone else gets unlimited uses per day (Esosentric Scholar?)


Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:

What's more this 'problem' raised in this thread occurs without any need for a uses per day ability. My character can one hit kill an ogre. But only some of the time? How am I supposed to buy this. If a GM is going to make me go through the rigamarole of rolling to hit, confirm criticals, roll damage dice, to see if maybe I some of the time one hit kill stuff I'm being "disassociated". I swing once, it dies.

Any uses per day ability like Martial Flexibility is representing the vagaries of combat, which is inherently vague. Initiative, attack rolls, armor class and HP are all "disassociated" mechanics. Sometimes when you go to grapple a creature it whacks you while you are shooting for them and sometimes you had Improved Grab. Not any different than sometimes you one hit killed that ogre, and most of the time you didn't.

Hopefully we can all agree that having a class ability that lets a character swing their sword and automatically kill their opponent a certain number of times per day would be a very bad mechanic for a roleplaying game. A much better mechanic is that you can make an attack as many times as you want, with a particular chance to hit and do damage.

With the first mechanic, autokill X uses/day, the choice the player makes to use or not use the ability in combat is completely unrelated to what the character is doing. The character isn't thinking in terms of uses per day, she's just using her sword to trying and kill that ogre. That's a dissociated mechanic, and it forces the player to stop roleplaying and think in purely game terms.

With the second mechanic, roll and see if you hit, the player's choice directly reflects something the character is doing; trying to hit their opponent. That's an associated mechanic, and it allows the player to roleplay the combat.

It's not uses/day that is the problem, it's forcing the player to make decisions that have nothing to do with the decisions that their character is making.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In the end uses per day or not needs to be the same for everyone, whether its magical or not. Call it stamina, call it whatever, but for a long time you had classes that had 'peak power' mostly casters, who could do really awesome things a few times a day, and everyone else who has continuous power who could do pretty good stuff all day. This doesnt make for good gameplay.

You create competing desires and play styles within the same party which isnt a good thing. I honestly dont mind either way if you want to have per encounter abilities, per day, or all day, just make it the same for everyone from the fighter to the wizard and everything in between and balance around that fact. Dont give hte wizard super awesome things and say its ok because he can only do it a few times a day and the fighter luke warm stuff and say its ok because he can do it all day. Pick one, and make it universal.

Paizo has been moving pretty much everyone to the per day mechanic. That is one choice and I understand people's reluctance, but regardless of your choice, it has to be the same across the board.


wraithstrike wrote:
JoeJ wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
JoeJ wrote:

It looks like it's a dissociated mechanic, which creates a roleplaying problem. Just what is the character actually doing?

You can make up a house rule to associate it with something in the world, but that leads to further mechanical problems; for example, if this is a magical ability, then it shouldn't work in areas of antimagic; or if it represents fatigue, then the character should be feeling the effects of that in other ways as well.

You don't need a houserule to explain how it works. You can just find flavor that makes sense to you.

Flavor has mechanical consequences, so a house rule is necessary. For example, if I say the ability is magic, then it can be detected or dispelled, and it won't work inside an antimagic field. If I decide it's a ki ability, then a character who has ki from some other source should be able to use that other source to power additional uses of this ability. This is something that really should have been done by the devs, not handed off for each GM to rule on individually.

If you make it into ki, or an SLA then you are not creating flavor. You are making a rule. So like I said "flavor(which is not a rule)" does not NOT need a houserule. You are making a rule by adding a mechanic to it. It is always possible to create flavor without adding a mechanic that involves a rule.

As an example the ability to change feats could be flavored as the character being trained to adapt quickly to any situation. <----No rule change needed.

Also the abilities default to EX not SU or SLA's, so the devs have done their part. As for flavor the description says they have an ability to adapt to enemy attacks, which is close to what I just said. Now it does not call out "martial training" specifically, but it makes sense that is what is being referred to.

A trained ability to adapt is a great idea. Which means it can be used at will, right? If it can't be, why not? How does it make sense in the game world that the character's training can only be used once per day?


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JoeJ wrote:
A trained ability to adapt is a great idea. Which means it can be used at will, right? If it can't be, why not? How does it make sense in the game world that the character's training can only be used once per day?

Being trained to adapt doesn't mean adaptation is effortless. Whether you want to view it as mentally focusing, physically using stamina, or mystically using something similar to ki, it is quite easy to imagine someone who can adapt, but can't adapt at will.

Basically, what the mechanic here is that they have to, in some way (and you can add what flavor you want) prepare via rest to be adaptable. Then they can adapt, and once they have done so x-times, they need to refocus in some manner.

It isn't that difficult to imagine, unless you choose to make it so.


JoeJ wrote:


A trained ability to adapt is a great idea. Which means it can be used at will, right? If it can't be, why not? How does it make sense in the game world that the character's training can only be used once per day?

In the real world it can be used at will most likely, but not in the game world "because balance".

Of course many people want the mechanics and flavor to mesh better and they don't like "because balance". I suspect you are in that camp, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Maybe calling upon such things is mentally strenuous. Suddenly figuring out how to become a good grappler(improved grapple, greater grapple, weapon focus(grapple), in less than 30 seconds might not be an easy thing to do. <---Why it can not be done all of the time.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think one issue is that, while many martial tricks might better be represented as "per encounter" than either "at will" or "X times per day", a certain other game company made extensive use of the "per encounter" mechanic in non-OGC material -- which means that Paizo would have to tread carefully to avoid violating the OGL. It can be and has been done, but it is tricky.

One way to emulate "per encounter" is to have an ability that cannot be initiated by a fatigued character and whose use leaves a character fatigued, thus making that ability unusable until the character rests long enough to remove the fatigued condition. The problem is that the game has too many magical and non-magical ways to eliminated the fatigued condition, thereby making such abilities effectively "at will" at higher levels -- see "rage cycling".


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Darche Schneider wrote:
What is kinda worse is when you have martial classes who's class features are made up of 1 use per day. (AKA the rogue) Especially on things that everyone else gets unlimited uses per day (Esosentric Scholar?)

This is indeed a significant rogue issue. While I Am a rogue fan, many of the best talents, esp those that can keep a rogue alive, are once a day.

They really need to be at lest 3X a day. Or better. 3X +dex bonus! like the spellcasters all get. Making it dex is the best.


What is "Esosentric Scholar"?


DrDeth wrote:
Darche Schneider wrote:
What is kinda worse is when you have martial classes who's class features are made up of 1 use per day. (AKA the rogue) Especially on things that everyone else gets unlimited uses per day (Esosentric Scholar?)

This is indeed a significant rogue issue. While I Am a rogue fan, many of the best talents, esp those that can keep a rogue alive, are once a day.

They really need to be at lest 3X a day. Or better. 3X +dex bonus! like the spellcasters all get. Making it dex is the best.

All those abilities would make more sense if they pulled from a guile pool or something.


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I misspelled it. Its Esoteric Scholar that states

"Benefit: Once a day, a rogue with this talent may attempt a Knowledge check, even when she is not trained in that Knowledge skill."

That is it. Which according to the RAW of this talent, you can only make even trained knowledge checks once per day.

Clearly it is intended to be

"Benefit: Once a day, a rogue with this talent may attempt a Knowledge check she is not trained in."

Which still is pretty wonk, when you got all these other classes who can do this an unlimited number of times per day. (Bard, Investigator, some random archetypes and prestige classes)

Limiting resources on a martial class is okay up to a point. But there really needs to be some actual thought put into them, especially when a magic class gets the same thing unlimited times per day.

Another big one is with Swashbuckler and their "Charmed Life" vs a paladin's Cha to saves. Because not only is that one uses per day, but it also takes up actions to use.


Darche Schneider wrote:

I misspelled it. Its Esoteric Scholar that states

"Benefit: Once a day, a rogue with this talent may attempt a Knowledge check, even when she is not trained in that Knowledge skill."

That is it. Which according to the RAW of this talent, you can only make even trained knowledge checks once per day.

Clearly it is intended to be

"Benefit: Once a day, a rogue with this talent may attempt a Knowledge check she is not trained in."

Which still is pretty wonk, when you got all these other classes who can do this an unlimited number of times per day. (Bard, Investigator, some random archetypes and prestige classes)

Limiting resources on a martial class is okay up to a point. But there really needs to be some actual thought put into them, especially when a magic class gets the same thing unlimited times per day.

Another big one is with Swashbuckler and their "Charmed Life" vs a paladin's Cha to saves. Because not only is that one uses per day, but it also takes up actions to use.

Yeah, I see what you mean. The rogue talents do need a boost aka they need to get better. A rogue talent allowing them to sneak attack and critical against things that normally can be critted such as elemental would be nice.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I never understood why so many of the rogue's talents were limited to 1/day. If many more of them were usable at will, then the rogue might actually be a viable class.


I think it might have to do with a knee jerk reaction to martial classes treading too close to 'caster's domain'

Like rolling twice and taking the best result is totally something magical, and thus needs to be regulated to only mages really being able to use it effectively.

And this kinda set up the continued view on this every time they release new things for the rogue.


Ravingdork wrote:
I never understood why so many of the rogue's talents were limited to 1/day. If many more of them were usable at will, then the rogue might actually be a viable class.

I'd let them work all the time. It doesn't break the class and, more importantly, it gets rid of Yet Another Dissociated Mechanic.


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wraithstrike wrote:
JoeJ wrote:


A trained ability to adapt is a great idea. Which means it can be used at will, right? If it can't be, why not? How does it make sense in the game world that the character's training can only be used once per day?

In the real world it can be used at will most likely, but not in the game world "because balance".

Of course many people want the mechanics and flavor to mesh better and they don't like "because balance". I suspect you are in that camp, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Maybe calling upon such things is mentally strenuous. Suddenly figuring out how to become a good grappler(improved grapple, greater grapple, weapon focus(grapple), in less than 30 seconds might not be an easy thing to do. <---Why it can not be done all of the time.

I believe that "because balance" is a horrible reason to limit something to a limited number of times a day. To me it says that they gave up trying to have the ability make sense. Rogues are by far the worst offenders...

PRD wrote:

Camouflage (Ex)

Benefit: Once per day, a rogue with this talent can craft simple but effective camouflage from the surrounding foliage. The rogue needs 1 minute to prepare the camouflage, but once she does, it is good for the rest of the day or until the rogue fails a saving throw against an area effect spell that deals fire, cold, or acid damage, whichever comes first. The rogue gains a +4 bonus on Stealth checks while within terrain that matches the foliage used to make the camouflage. This ability cannot be used in areas without natural foliage.

Can anyone here give one good in game reason why a Rogue can only make camouflage once a day? Or even a relatively lame reason?

Another example of disassociated mechanics (which may have been fixed) was the problem of a gunslinger with weapon cords and Two Weapon Fighting firing four shots with one gun in one hand, then dropping it, pulling the second gun into his off hand and firing it 3 times. HOW DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE!!! Argh! That just drove me crazy and I couldn't believe that people actually tried to play it that way. Yes, by the rules you could do that, but it was so stupid!

Ok, sorry about that last. That one just really pushed my buttons as being so wrong.


The rogue only gathers enough string per day to do it once.


Clearly because he uses his own bodily wastes to create the disguise.

Though I totally agree that there isn't any reason a rogue cannot pick up new leaves and strap them to his hat for another camouflage. Its seriously like saying you can only put a mask on once per day to disguise yourself as someone else. The moment you take the mask off, you cannot put it back on cause "balance"


wraithstrike wrote:
Maybe calling upon such things is mentally strenuous. Suddenly figuring out how to become a good grappler(improved grapple, greater grapple, weapon focus(grapple), in less than 30 seconds might not be an easy thing to do. <---Why it can not be done all of the time.

Sorry, didn't actually respond to this part. To me the whole idea is a bad one...

So the Brawler can rapid-fire, and even shoot two arrows at once, then later be able to bend someone into a pretzel with grappling, but then can no longer rapid-fire arrows because they are "too tired". But not too tired to grapple a giant into a pretzel again!

What? How does the Brawler explain that to their fighter companion?

Fighter: "You were so good with a bow earlier. What happened?"

Brawler: "I started grappling and I forgot how. But don't worry, I will be able to remember again tomorrow! Or maybe I can become good at tripping people, but then I won't be able to grapple or shoot a bow fast."

Fighter: "And why is that?"

Brawler: "Because balance..."

But really, all of this flavor problems will be forgotten after a group sits around for a few hours waiting while the brawler player tries to figure out what feats he wants for the next 15 minutes.


Lord Twig wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Maybe calling upon such things is mentally strenuous. Suddenly figuring out how to become a good grappler(improved grapple, greater grapple, weapon focus(grapple), in less than 30 seconds might not be an easy thing to do. <---Why it can not be done all of the time.

Sorry, didn't actually respond to this part. To me the whole idea is a bad one...

So the Brawler can rapid-fire, and even shoot two arrows at once, then later be able to bend someone into a pretzel with grappling, but then can no longer rapid-fire arrows because they are "too tired". But not too tired to grapple a giant into a pretzel again!

What? How does the Brawler explain that to their fighter companion?

Fighter: "You were so good with a bow earlier. What happened?"

Brawler: "I started grappling and I forgot how. But don't worry, I will be able to remember again tomorrow! Or maybe I can become good at tripping people, but then I won't be able to grapple or shoot a bow fast."

Fighter: "And why is that?"

Brawler: "Because balance..."

But really, all of this flavor problems will be forgotten after a group sits around for a few hours waiting while the brawler player tries to figure out what feats he wants for the next 15 minutes.

Have you tried balancing while tripping people, grappling, and shooting a bow? Seriously its hard work!


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Engage your powerful Suspension of Disbelief abilities you've honed over years of playing RPGs. Accept the restrictions as mechanical limits to balance classes against one another, houserule them away and go nuts, or play a different system. It's a bit like being mad that there's Mana in World of Warcraft, or ammo in Battlefield. Games need mechanics to satisfy players who want to optimize, to give new players a framework they can work with while they learn the system, and to allow the game designers space to at least attempt to make classes balanced against one another.

It's a game. Play it how you want, but uses per day is just how Pathfinder regulates itself. Its the design Paizo is going with and it's something I (and it seems many other people) agree with.


Well, if you explain something stupidly, it will sound stupid.

Mechanically and balance wise, the Brawler's thing is good.

For in game reason, "You know how Barbarian can only get angry so often? I'm the opposite, I focus on remembering how other people do it, but its rather mentally straining putting my mind in that sort of state, much like our angry friend eventually just can't be angry enough to be /that/ angry."


JoeJ wrote:


Hopefully we can all agree that having a class ability that lets a character swing their sword and automatically kill their opponent a certain number of times per day would be a very bad mechanic for a roleplaying game.

Actually my example was at will, not uses per day. Your reason for disallowing it is based entirely around balance, and then making up the flavor after the fact.


For the brawler:

Her feats come from a special martial stance that strains her both mentally and physically thus she can only use it for so long per day, but only in 1 minute increments and using more feats at once is more tiring.

But since it is not their only per day power it makes no sense. At least monks are doing weird stuff so stunning fist limitation are explained away "cause magic".


Lord Twig wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Maybe calling upon such things is mentally strenuous. Suddenly figuring out how to become a good grappler(improved grapple, greater grapple, weapon focus(grapple), in less than 30 seconds might not be an easy thing to do. <---Why it can not be done all of the time.

Sorry, didn't actually respond to this part. To me the whole idea is a bad one...

So the Brawler can rapid-fire, and even shoot two arrows at once, then later be able to bend someone into a pretzel with grappling, but then can no longer rapid-fire arrows because they are "too tired". But not too tired to grapple a giant into a pretzel again!

What? How does the Brawler explain that to their fighter companion?

Fighter: "You were so good with a bow earlier. What happened?"

Brawler: "I started grappling and I forgot how. But don't worry, I will be able to remember again tomorrow! Or maybe I can become good at tripping people, but then I won't be able to grapple or shoot a bow fast."

Fighter: "And why is that?"

Brawler: "Because balance..."

But really, all of this flavor problems will be forgotten after a group sits around for a few hours waiting while the brawler player tries to figure out what feats he wants for the next 15 minutes.

This is like when Ali knocked out George Foreman and everyone came to the conclusion that he forgot how to use his trademark of not getting knocked out.

Sometimes people choke, and sometimes they are 'in the zone' and perform above par. The Brawler emulates this better than dice rolls because in most instances the player is choosing rather than the dice.

You are reduced to using dumb examples because the Brawler can do all of the things they can do basically 100% of the time. They just get better at them some of the time. The only exception that comes to mind off the top of my head would be Style Feats, which frankly don't bother me because no one RPs them anyway, and they are in almost all cases non-thematic regular combat feats.


Again, if everything were tied to the stamina/fatigue pool that refreshes after 5 minute rests, even if its still an abstraction, it would make way more sense and still be balanced.

One thing that would take reworking all the spells that's related; I once came across a wizard lime base class that could cast an infinite amount of spells per day, however could only prepare one at a time and preparing a spell took up to a full round action,not including actually casting it. I thought this was an amazing concept but some spells are too broken with it and I'm scared to test it out.


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Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
JoeJ wrote:


Hopefully we can all agree that having a class ability that lets a character swing their sword and automatically kill their opponent a certain number of times per day would be a very bad mechanic for a roleplaying game.
Actually my example was at will, not uses per day. Your reason for disallowing it is based entirely around balance, and then making up the flavor after the fact.

But my reason for disallowing at will autokill is flavor: I can't accept that any fighter can be so skilled that they always kill everything with the first attack. Fighters do sometimes get lucky though, and perhaps it does average out to one quick kill per day. But it's not something that the fighter can choose to use or not; it just happens sometimes. So giving the fighter a once/day autokill is a bad mechanic because it doesn't fit what is being modeled. Giving them an at will attack that has a small chance of being an autokill is a much better fit, because then the player's decision to use that ability matches what the character is thinking and doing. IOW, the player is roleplaying the fighter in combat.

Having a powerful ability only be useable once or a few times a day can help balance the game, but so can having it be useable at will but not certain to work. The ability to cause a condition on a critical hit is not unbalancing, for example, because the character can't just declare that they're making a critical hit; there's a finite chance that it won't work. This is how you can model abilities that are supposed to be skill based without making them too powerful.


Lord Twig wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Maybe calling upon such things is mentally strenuous. Suddenly figuring out how to become a good grappler(improved grapple, greater grapple, weapon focus(grapple), in less than 30 seconds might not be an easy thing to do. <---Why it can not be done all of the time.

Sorry, didn't actually respond to this part. To me the whole idea is a bad one...

So the Brawler can rapid-fire, and even shoot two arrows at once, then later be able to bend someone into a pretzel with grappling, but then can no longer rapid-fire arrows because they are "too tired". But not too tired to grapple a giant into a pretzel again!

What? How does the Brawler explain that to their fighter companion?

Fighter: "You were so good with a bow earlier. What happened?"

Brawler: "I started grappling and I forgot how. But don't worry, I will be able to remember again tomorrow! Or maybe I can become good at tripping people, but then I won't be able to grapple or shoot a bow fast."

Fighter: "And why is that?"

Brawler: "Because balance..."

But really, all of this flavor problems will be forgotten after a group sits around for a few hours waiting while the brawler player tries to figure out what feats he wants for the next 15 minutes.

I agree with your first reply but for this one I think you missed what I was trying to say.


wraithstrike wrote:
I agree with your first reply but for this one I think you missed what I was trying to say.

Yeah, maybe. I can see the whole "mentally draining" argument, and it is about as good as the Barbarian rage argument, but I honestly don't think the barbarian rage explanation is that good to start with.

To drag this back on topic of silly use per day features...

PRD wrote:

Last Word (Ex)

Once per day, while in a defensive stance, a stalwart defender can make one melee attack against an opponent within reach in response to an attack that would reduce him to negative hit points, knock him unconscious, or kill him. For example, a stalwart defender has 1 hit point left when a red dragon bites him; the defender may use this ability even if the dragon’s bite would otherwise kill him instantly. If the attack hits, roll the damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together, but do not multiply damage bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as flaming), or precision-based damage (such as sneak attack). This bonus damage is not multiplied on a critical hit (although other damage bonuses are multiplied normally). Once the defender’s attack is resolved, he suffers the normal effect of the attack that provoked this ability.

This lovely ability, a candidate for worse capstone ability ever, can only be used if in a defensive stance, only if about to be knocked below 0 HP and will, on average, add 4 to 7 points of damage to a normal swing... if the opponent is within reach and if the attack hits. In order to limit the overwhelming awesomeness of this ability it is limited to one use per day. Why? If a Stalwart Defender lives through this ordeal and again finds himself about to be knocked out or killed, why can't he do this again?


Nah I think the monk one where you destroy your entire existence to do a little healing is the worst ever.


Darche Schneider wrote:
Nah I think the monk one where you destroy your entire existence to do a little healing is the worst ever.

But at least he can destroy his entire existence for healing as many times per day as he wants. ;-)


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The game exists to fit the story. That is the strength of tabletop RPGs. No computer can emulate this now, and probably not for a decade and a half.

If you want a story to fit the game, you can make up a story about near anything. You can turn getting food at the concession stand into an epic odyssey.

The reason people are pissed about this kind of thing is because they understand (maybe not consciously, but on at least some level) the following, from the article nobody is reading:

Quote:

For example, consider a football game in which a character has the One-Handed Catch ability: Once per game they can make an amazing one-handed catch, granting them a +4 bonus to that catch attempt.

The mechanic is dissociated because the decision made by the player cannot be equated to a decision made by the character. No football player, after making an amazing one-handed catch, thinks to themselves, “Wow! I won’t be able to do that again until the next game!” Nor do they think to themselves, “I better not try to catch this ball one-handed, because if I do I won’t be able to make any more one-handed catches today.”

On the other hand, when a player decides to cast a fireball spell that decision is directly equated to the character’s decision to cast a fireball. (The character, like the player, knows that they have only prepared a single fireball spell. So the decision to expend that limited resource – and the consequences for doing so – are understood by both character and player.)

Quote:

There is a misconception that a mechanic isn’t dissociated as long as you can explain what happened in the game world as a result.

The argument goes like this: “Although I’m using the One-Handed Catch ability, all the character knows is that they made a really great one-handed catch. The character isn’t confused by what happened, so it’s not dissociated.”

What the argument misses is that the dissociation already happened in the first sentence. The explanation you provide after the fact doesn’t remove it.

To put it another way: The One-Handed Catch ability is a mechanical manipulation with no corresponding reality in the game world whatsoever. You might have a very good improv session that is vaguely based on the dissociated mechanics you’re using, but there has been a fundamental disconnect between the game and the world. You could just as easily be playing a game of Chess while improvising a vaguely related story about a royal coup starring your character named Rook.

Quote:

All of this is important, because roleplaying games are ultimately defined by mechanics which are associated with the game world.

Let me break that down: Roleplaying games are self-evidently about playing a role. Playing a role is making choices as if you were the character. Therefore, in order for a game to be a roleplaying game (and not just a game where you happen to play a role), the mechanics of the game have to be about making and resolving choices as if you were the character. If the mechanics of the game require you to make choices which aren’t associated to the choices made by the character, then the mechanics of the game aren’t about roleplaying and it’s not a roleplaying game.

To look at it from the opposite side, I’m going to make a provocative statement: When you are using dissociated mechanics you are not roleplaying. Which is not to say that you can’t roleplay while playing a game featuring dissociated mechanics, but simply to say that in the moment when you are using those mechanics you are not roleplaying.


David knott 242 wrote:
I think one issue is that, while many martial tricks might better be represented as "per encounter" than either "at will" or "X times per day", a certain other game company made extensive use of the "per encounter" mechanic in non-OGC material -- which means that Paizo would have to tread carefully to avoid violating the OGL. It can be and has been done, but it is tricky.

It can be done and quite easily. Suing over copyright of rules is notoriously difficult and nearly impossible. As long as you aren't using art and specific names, it's fine.

13th Age uses "per battle" quite liberally.


JoeJ wrote:

But my reason for disallowing at will autokill is flavor: I can't accept that any fighter can be so skilled that they always kill everything with the first attack. Fighters do sometimes get lucky though, and perhaps it does average out to one quick kill per day. But it's not something that the fighter can choose to use or not; it just happens sometimes. So giving the fighter a once/day autokill is a bad mechanic because it doesn't fit what is being modeled. Giving them an at will attack that has a small chance of being an autokill is a much better fit, because then the player's decision to use that ability matches what the character is thinking and doing. IOW, the player is roleplaying the fighter in combat.

Having a powerful ability only be useable once or a few times a day can help balance the game, but so can having it be useable at will but not certain to work. The ability to cause a condition on a critical hit is not unbalancing, for example, because the character can't just declare that they're making a critical hit; there's a finite chance that it won't work. This is how you can model abilities that are supposed to be skill based without making them too powerful.

Scratch the part about nobody reading the article. This guy did.


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The other aspect of mechanics is that you can and should separate yourself from the character. It's okay to admit that you are making decisions for the character. The trick is to switch modes, between making a decision for you and the game and something the character would decide on their own.

Some mechanics don't represent conscious decisions by the character, but rather manipulation of odds to represent statistics within the game.

Let's say I'm a Fighter and have an ability which lets me automatically declare a critical once per day. Why don't I declare all my hits crits? Well, because my character isn't actually choosing to make this one a crit. Sure, he really wants it, but within the fiction it's more of a lucky coincidence. He really wanted a crit and he happened to get it.

Outside the fiction, I am making the decision to spend the resource because it's in my character's interest. A critical based Fighter is probably going to score crits. We also all remember those special moments where a crit was needed and happened at the right time. This would just be an ability recognizes that probability and inherently bakes it in as an option to choose to manipulate the odds.


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Believe it or not, plenty of people have read the article. But even the article doesn't actually condemn dissociated mechanics--it simply identifies them and notes that when processing them, players stop roleplaying--if only for that moment. This is acceptable to some folks and not to others, and its acceptability varies depending on the context of the mechanic. (IIRC, it mentions character creation as a dissociated mechanic that is near-universally accepted.)


Irontruth wrote:
It can be done and quite easily. Suing over copyright of rules is notoriously difficult and nearly impossible. As long as you aren't using art and specific names, it's fine.

The law doesn't matter. If Wizards sends lawyers after them (which, being owned by Hasbro, they have the resources to do), Paizo is forced to commit resources to holding them at bay, even if those lawyers are guaranteed to lose their case. Paizo, not being backed by Hasbro, or anybody, doesn't have a cushion to fall back on.

It may make more economic sense to settle than bother to hire a defense team, even if you're right. Which is b%!*!$&# and why every prosecutor in the United States that doesn't do at least 50% pro bono deserves a Maximized mythic disintegrate right up their ass.

Paizo is in a very difficult position right now: They basically took 3.5 and the whole apparatus of the d20 OGL away from Wizards, who thought it was garbage in '08 but now sees that they shouldn't have tossed it.

If I got something for ten bucks at some person's yard sale, then went to antiques roadshow and found out it was worth 600k, I would never get within 100 feet of that person's house or place of employment again. Increase this radius to five miles if that person owns a gun.

In this metaphor, Wizards of the Coast sold 3.5 to Paizo for ten bucks at a yard sale, and owns infinity guns.


Irontruth wrote:

The other aspect of mechanics is that you can and should separate yourself from the character. It's okay to admit that you are making decisions for the character. The trick is to switch modes, between making a decision for you and the game and something the character would decide on their own.

Some mechanics don't represent conscious decisions by the character, but rather manipulation of odds to represent statistics within the game.

Let's say I'm a Fighter and have an ability which lets me automatically declare a critical once per day. Why don't I declare all my hits crits? Well, because my character isn't actually choosing to make this one a crit. Sure, he really wants it, but within the fiction it's more of a lucky coincidence. He really wanted a crit and he happened to get it.

Outside the fiction, I am making the decision to spend the resource because it's in my character's interest. A critical based Fighter is probably going to score crits. We also all remember those special moments where a crit was needed and happened at the right time. This would just be an ability recognizes that probability and inherently bakes it in as an option to choose to manipulate the odds.

Sure, you can do it, but as you say it involves stepping out of the character's mind set. For some of us, that's a bad thing and we like to do it as little as possible. That makes such rules bad things for at least some of the audience.


Its why I kinda like pools of X more than You do this one time a day.

It feels more associated, as its like the stamina of a character within a period of a day.

Like the luck feats from 3.5, even if it was dissociated, it felt more connected than once per day you can make a knowledge check, even untrained.


If Wotc wanted to sue they could so it already. They have stronger reasons than "per encounter" right now.

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