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Is it wrong of me for wanting to flag Wraithstrikes's last post as FAQ...

I really hate it when people link to stupid youtube clips to make a point, we get it Archer has great quips

edit: evidently you can't FAQ things in this part of ye olde forums, smurfy:-(


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captain yesterday wrote:

Is it wrong of me for wanting to flag Wraithstrikes's last post as FAQ...

I really hate it when people link to stupid youtube clips to make a point, we get it Archer has great quips

I particularly hate it because you have no idea what the clip is or whether it's worth the bother of clicking until you have.

99% of the time, I don't look.


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especially when i paste the wrong clip, sorry that was for a different joke:-)


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thegreenteagamer wrote:
I love the forge analogy. It lets me point out to grognards insisting upon the tank-trapfinding-arcane-divine formula that they're wrong, as well as explain to them why they're wrong.

It doesn't really do that, since the forge hammer arm thing is both confusing and reliant on itself to prove itself.

I think there are problems with the tank trapfinder arcane divine thing (especially with all these newfangled classes and irrelevance of class skills) but arm and hammer is just as bad.


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And apparently presumes encounters against a single opponent, considering how the qualifications for being a good hammer are phrased?

Damage/Control/Support is another way of phrasing that paradigm.


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Zhangar wrote:

And apparently presumes encounters against a single opponent, considering how the qualifications for being a good hammer are phrased?

The qualifications only assume that you are doing damage. The actual number of opponents is not really discussed. It could be phrased a bit better but the only real qualification is that you hurt things efficiently and with a degree of variety.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
reliant on itself to prove itself.

How so?

Elements of it have existed long before it was written. It was just a question of fitting the pieces together. You can see the earliest incarnations of it through Treantmonk's wizard guide.

Other things, like winning initiative being a huge bonus to superior positioning being stronger than any kind of roll all factor into it and were givens long before 3.0 for that matter.

The forge, as I've repeated many times, isn't new or wondrous. It's a breakdown of what already exists. Even the whole tank/thief/arcane/divine paradigm is often just another iteration of the concept. The metaphor was put together to make things more easily recognizable and allow for words like damage and support to be adjectives and verbs in a discussion rather than nouns. If you choose another set of words to describe the same thing that hardly makes any real difference.

What's different is that it accounts for the sheer variety of classes and builds that exist out there and cuts away the false concepts that have built up over the years. Optimization will tell you what's the best at each point but you can still have a fairly effective group as long as those three things are being focused on by the group.


TarkXT wrote:

BigNorseWolf wrote:
reliant on itself to prove itself.

How so?

Elements of it have existed long before it was written. It was just a question of fitting the pieces together. You can see the earliest incarnations of it through Treantmonk's wizard guide.

Right, but it can make any argument it wants, it doesn't prove anything.

Quote:
The forge, as I've repeated many times, isn't new or wondrous. It's a breakdown of what already exists. Even the whole tank/thief/arcane/divine paradigm is often just another iteration of the concept. The metaphor was put together to make things more easily recognizable and allow for words like damage and support to be adjectives and verbs in a discussion rather than nouns. If you choose another set of words to describe the same thing that hardly makes any real difference.

The imagery of an anvil as the tank having things hit him works, its a little more counter intuitive when its a fast moving swashbuckler running around the map tripping people or a spellcaster in the back throwing down black tentacles.


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So your objection is that the analogy isn't perfect?

No analogy is perfect.


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Rynjin wrote:

So your objection is that the analogy isn't perfect?

No analogy is perfect.

The analogy is horrible. Besides hammer there's no correlation at all between the word and the role. 2/3 is a pretty bad success rate.

It was also being touted as proof that some people are wrong , which it clearly doesn't do.

Some of it is clearly wrong:

Spamming is usually the least consistent form of defeating encounters

Yeah... no. The system very much rewards specialization. YOu can pick what weapon you want to use 99% of the time, getting good with that weapon helps. You can get really good with a couple different kinds of spells. The vast majority of encounters can be solved with either a two handed fighting type or an archer going to town on it.

Positioning is everything

If you're melee. If you're dealing with casters the map may as well not be there.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
arm and hammer is just as bad.

You've obviously never made a science fair volcano.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

So your objection is that the analogy isn't perfect?

No analogy is perfect.

The analogy is horrible. Besides hammer there's no correlation at all between the word and the role. 2/3 is a pretty bad success rate.

It was also being touted as proof that some people are wrong , which it clearly doesn't do.

Some of it is clearly wrong:

Spamming is usually the least consistent form of defeating encounters

Yeah... no. The system very much rewards specialization. YOu can pick what weapon you want to use 99% of the time, getting good with that weapon helps. You can get really good with a couple different kinds of spells. The vast majority of encounters can be solved with either a two handed fighting type or an archer going to town on it.

Positioning is everything

If you're melee. If you're dealing with casters the map may as well not be there.

Let's start with the metaphor.

You're trying to match up things like Damage and control to it without understanding what these objects do in their given place.

The idea behind it is to imagine the encounter as a piece of heated metal.

The anvil holds the encounter in place, helps you direct and shape the metal as you see fit (control).

The hammer violently provides the energy to shape that metal through force making it into the shape you need (damage).

The arms have to hold things in place supporting the anvil and allowing the hammer to swing with the necessary force (support).

The end goal is to shape the metal (encounter) into the desired object (often victory).

You may not like how this plays out but the metaphor works for me for a number of reasons. First, it emphasizes parts working as a whole other lists I've seen like Tank/arcane/divine/thief do an okay of describing what they are with little going into the "how" and "why".

Second is that there was no previous baggage that went into it. Tank describes a specific subject. Controller reeks to many of 4th ed. Better just to go with something somewhat new.

Of course if you think you can do better than that by all means do so. None of that is hugely important to me.

After that though you're showing some basic lack of understanding here regarding combat.
So what about the claim that a two handed fighter or archer or a caster specialized in one or two spells can take care of the majority of encounters?

I think that's a very broad statement to make. Yes, the game rewards specialization. But, what you specialize in has to be something with quite a bit of flexibility in it to get a good return. In fact a number of specialist builds focus a lot on adding more features to the tool in question. Even abilities like pounce aren't so much valued because of their impact, but because of the efficiency they provide to characters who rely on full attacks to be effective.

If you want a solid representation of a spammer you would have to look at slumber witches, falchion freds played badly, and my recent exploration of a low level gunslinger.

It's not so much about builds but about repeating the same thing over and over again using the same tools and expecting it to work consistently. This is why we talk about things like carrying ranged weapons, or picking up feats like snap shot, or working out strategies and alternate means to fight when your typical gimmick is limited or nullified.

Sure running up and hitting it with a stick will work at least some of the time. But, will fail when you are either incapable of performing that action or ineffective due to some other factor. Same goes for spells. Slumber witches look great on paper right up until the group goes up against a cult of elven necromancers. Then you have to broaden your horizons.

Spamming is not the same as specialization. Specialization assumes that you are making your gimmick work as often as possible. Spamming assumes you're just doing the same thing.

And lastly what about the statement that positioning doesn't matter to casters?

This leads me to believe you've never played a caster before for any extended period or if you have you never fully appreciated the concept of positioning and how it affects you and why it's arguably more important to you than it is for a melee character.

A melee character has to worry about four things in regards to positioning.

1. Can I get to the guy?
2. Can I be in a position to give more attacks than I get?
3. Can I prevent the guy from getting into better positioning?
4. Can I improve my positioning to maximize the damage potential?

As a caster you have more things to worry about. The map doesn't suddenly disappear. The map is your primary weapon and potential nemesis. I actually referenced a caster example in the doc itself because of how crucial positioning is to your effectiveness.

1. Will my spell have line of effect?
2. Will my spell have undesirable consequences? (like affecting allies
3. Where can I place my spell to be most effective?
4. Am I in the best position to accomplish the above?
5. Is my positioning good enough to avoid retaliation?
7. Can I safely maintain or switch positions before my next spell?

For the record GOD wizards are purely about positioning and actions. Battlefield control, by its very definition, is all about positioning. It's about offense and defense and works both ways.

The statement is not "Positioning is everything for offense" or "Positioning only matters to the group" it states Positioning is everything..

Where you stand. Where your group stands. Where the enemy stands. How the terrain lays out. How you move. All of these things determine how your actions play out. Who you attack, who you defend against, how you attack, what you attack with, whether or not attacking is even an option, everything.

To give a couple of in game examples of the principle at work for casters I'll reference one personal experience, a Ravingdork experience, and someone whom I've played with for the past several years.

The first experience involves my current polearm wielding barbarian and company versus a group of all female cultists.

The encounter involved mostly light armored targets with one serious caster in a decently sized room with a single doorway entrance.

The advantage was immediately our since we managed to push through the doorway negating any action advantage granted by keeping us funneled through that narrow area. The second, and final, advantage came when my barbarian decided to straight up go for the cult leader and primary spellcaster. Unable to appropriately screen me out I walked past feeble AoO attempts (1d4+1 damage on your daggers vs. 2/- dr makes Malichatti laugh) and went adjacent to the caster with a readied action to attack against anything but a surrender.

Lo and behold with her back against the wall and no option to withdraw or cast she was rapidly beaten.

That's very basic positioning.

The second example involves Ravingdork making short range teleportation look great.

Same game with my barbarian and currently fighting a young green dragon with ridiculously thick underbrush. Slowed movement, no AoO's for anyone.

But obviously having woodland stride the dragon doesn't even register my barbarian as a threat.

So, while I piddle about trying to chase him down (I've decided on grappling and choking the bastard to death) he gets to have free run over the casters.

Well mostly.

The dragon has an obvious mobility advantage but not true superiority. Since he can't make AoO's he can't stop spellcasting right in his face. Plus, since Ravingdork can teleport around and use the bigger trees as cover it's doubly vexing to the dragon who has a limited repertoire of attacks versus her myriad of options. It wouldn't surprise me if she managed to slow him down enough for me to get my hands on him.

The last example is Tirion who also plays Ailetha.

I can't think of a single example because there are so many. He plays his sorcerer and bard very effectively and watching him grow has been a treat. But positioning is very important since he favors AoO debuffs like black tentacles, confusion, and glitterdust. Hitting multiple targets with these sorts of spells have been key in a number of fights. His recent uses of black tentacles have trivialized a couple of fights since my switch hitting ranger basically gets his pick of targets to fill full of arrows with little fear of repercussion.

At higher levels it matters even more since the battlefield can change quite drastically and most everyone has good mobility options. Being able to take advantage of these things is incredibly important.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
It was also being touted as proof that some people are wrong , which it clearly doesn't do.

This is what irritates me about it. It bakes in some assumptions about the game and then "proves" people wrong who don't share those assumptions. It's as bad as people who say you need a cleric - maybe to play the way they do, but that isn't the only way to play.

It baffles me that people seem so unwilling to accept that there are multiple, equally valid ways to play. "What pathfinder widely calls for" is a nebulous concept that says more about the analogy designer's style of play than about the game.


TarkXT wrote:


Let's start with the metaphor.

You're trying to match up things like Damage and control to it without understanding what these objects do in their given place.

Until you can try a real argument that doesn't rely on insulting people you have nothing. Especially when you spout this nonsense...

Quote:

The idea behind it is to imagine the encounter as a piece of heated metal.

The anvil holds the encounter in place, helps you direct and shape the metal as you see fit (control).

The hammer violently provides the energy to shape that metal through force making it into the shape you need (damage).

The arms have to hold things in place supporting the anvil and allowing the hammer to swing with the necessary force (support).

Ok, you cannot tell me that I don't understand how an anvil works and then insist that the guy is holding the anvil in place and picking it up in the air. Are blacksmiths you picture the lovechildren of reve richards and the thing? You'd need to combine their flexibility, strength and durability for that to work.

If you wanted something to hold things in place tongs would have been a better way to go.

The analogy also leaves out any role for skills and problem solving. Not every encounter is a fight. I am NOT saying you need a rogue, but the party needs to be able to deal with people, make allies, avoid jailtime, and get information with means slightly less subtle than trepaning.

Quote:
After that though you're showing some basic lack of understanding here regarding combat.

More undemonstrated insults. Yawn.

Quote:
So what about the claim that a two handed fighter or archer or a caster specialized in one or two spells can take care of the majority of encounters? If you want a solid representation of a spammer you would have to look at slumber witches, falchion freds played badly, and my recent exploration of a low level gunslinger.

Right, because to show I'm an idiot we have to avoid dealing with anything that I"ve actually said and use idiotic examples...

what?

Quote:
Spamming is not the same as specialization. Specialization assumes that you are making your gimmick work as often as possible. Spamming assumes you're just doing the same thing.

Half the point of specialization is so you CAN spam.

Quote:
This leads me to believe you've never played a caster before for any extended period or if you have you never fully appreciated the concept of positioning and how it affects you and why it's arguably more important to you than it is for a melee character.

Objectively false assertion is false.

1. Will my spell have line of effect?

Yes. This is ridiculously easy to get.

2. Will my spell have undesirable consequences? (like affecting allies

This is ridiculously easy to get around by moving the center right next to a wall or something.

3. Where can I place my spell to be most effective?

On the bad guys.

4. Am I in the best position to accomplish the above?

Yes. Because the vast majority of spells are far bigger than the vast majority of rooms.

5. Is my positioning good enough to avoid retaliation?

If you're dealing with melee probably. If you're dealing with ranged murphys laws of combat are a pain.

7. Can I safely maintain or switch positions before my next spell?

If you need more than one spell you need more kaboom...

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I feel like this tangent has achieved enough steam to merit its own thread...


Watch out Tark! If you keep it up, BNW will send you a PM telling you to cut it out or he will add you to his ignore list!


Kalindlara wrote:
I feel like this tangent has achieved enough steam to merit its own thread...

It was in the OP, so it's not really a tangent:)


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Scythia wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
arm and hammer is just as bad.
You've obviously never made a science fair volcano.

I was not allowed near the chemicals after that incident with the banana slugs.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

1. Will my spell have line of effect?

Yes. This is ridiculously easy to get.

2. Will my spell have undesirable consequences? (like affecting allies

This is ridiculously easy to get around by moving the center right next to a wall or something.

3. Where can I place my spell to be most effective?

On the bad guys.

4. Am I in the best position to accomplish the above?

Yes. Because the vast majority of spells are far bigger than the vast majority of rooms.

5. Is my positioning good enough to avoid retaliation?

If you're dealing with melee probably. If you're dealing with ranged murphys laws of combat are a pain.

7. Can I safely maintain or switch positions before my next spell?

If you need more than one spell you need more kaboom...

Not that I'm a fan of the hammer/anvil thing, but this really doesn't match my experience.

Generally I can either place AoE spells for maximum effect or for avoiding my allies. It's rare to be able to catch more than two baddies without including any allies, unless I and my martial allies have gone to some trouble to set it up - ie, positioning is important and not easy. If you're dealing with a single bad guy, then it's easy, but you're usually using single target spells anyway.

The exception, of course, is an opening spell. If the caster acts before the bad guys and his allies (or they delay), you can often catch most of them.

And really? One spell per fight? Either I (and everyone I've played with) just suck, or we're facing very different situations.


thejeff wrote:

Not that I'm a fan of the hammer/anvil thing, but this really doesn't match my experience.

Generally I can either place AoE spells for maximum effect or for avoiding my allies. It's rare to be able to catch more than two baddies without including any allies, unless I and my martial allies have gone to some trouble to set it up - ie, positioning is important and not easy. If you're dealing with a single bad guy, then it's easy, but you're usually using single target spells anyway.

I don't think its all that important. Not to go all AA, but you have to be able to tell the difference between the things you can change and the things you have to accept. Your party melee wanting to get in there and mix it up are probably pretty high on that second list. They want to be in melee, they have x amount of movement, and that will pretty much dictate what squares they're standing in. You're going to almost the same number of baddies if they stop to consider the incoming fireball as if you don't.

Quote:
The exception, of course, is an opening spell. If the caster acts before the bad guys and his allies (or they delay), you can often catch most of them.

Thats one way to do it. (which you can control a bit by having a high init)

Another is to have/make your party immune to your aoe. The second i hear "fireball" or "alchemist" i start handing out resist elements to the party melee.

Another is to just accept that you're only going to be hitting 2-3 of them. You put the fireball "somewhere over there" and get three, done. No need to spend half an hour of combat wrangling trying to finagle a fourth guy in there.

Quote:
And really? One spell per fight? Either I (and everyone I've played with) just suck, or we're facing very different situations.

:)


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Steve Geddes wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
It was also being touted as proof that some people are wrong , which it clearly doesn't do.

This is what irritates me about it. It bakes in some assumptions about the game and then "proves" people wrong who don't share those assumptions. It's as bad as people who say you need a cleric - maybe to play the way they do, but that isn't the only way to play.

It baffles me that people seem so unwilling to accept that there are multiple, equally valid ways to play. "What pathfinder widely calls for" is a nebulous concept that says more about the analogy designer's style of play than about the game.

I don't think he is trying to say you are playing the game wrong. He is saying "this is a lesson on in game tactics". However he never says if you do not use this method you are a moron. It is basically advice, not a speech on "do it my way or you are an idiot" speech.

Example: I think a cleric should focus on making sure people do not get hurt more than healing them after they get hurt, but I have seen cleric do absolutely nothing and then spam heals in the middle of combat.

If that group has fun with that I don't think myself of Tark are going start calling anyone names.

As for the "proof" statement I am assuming he is referring to conversations on the most efficient(best objectively tactical) way to play the game. However, not everyone enjoys the tactical side of the game that much so if a group takes that side less seriously then they should know that statement would not apply to them.

Real life example:If two armies meet and one army had ranged weapons and the other does not the ranged army has a better chance at winning if they kill as many of the other people as they can before entering in melee. However they may also be from a culture that only likes to fight on equal ground. I think most of can agree the best strategy is most likely the best one for survival, barring some corner case. Using the anvil approach is similar to being that ranged army.

Another example. I think your character's modifier for a skill should matter so if you give an elegant speech, and have a 1 and have a -1 modifier your character may not put it nearly as well as you do, so he may fail. Some people however will go with the roll or the player's speech, whichever is better. That is perfectly fine.


wraithstrike wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
It was also being touted as proof that some people are wrong , which it clearly doesn't do.

This is what irritates me about it. It bakes in some assumptions about the game and then "proves" people wrong who don't share those assumptions. It's as bad as people who say you need a cleric - maybe to play the way they do, but that isn't the only way to play.

It baffles me that people seem so unwilling to accept that there are multiple, equally valid ways to play. "What pathfinder widely calls for" is a nebulous concept that says more about the analogy designer's style of play than about the game.

I don't think he is trying to say you are playing the game wrong. He is saying "this is a lesson on in game tactics". However he never says if you do not use this method you are a moron. It is basically advice, not a speech on "do it my way or you are an idiot" speech.

Example: I think a cleric should focus on making sure people do not get hurt more than healing them after they get hurt, but I have seen cleric do absolutely nothing and then spam heals in the middle of combat.

If that group has fun with that I don't think myself of Tark are going start calling anyone names.

As for the "proof" statement I am assuming he is referring to conversations on the most efficient(best objectively tactical) way to play the game. However, not everyone enjoys the tactical side of the game that much so if a group takes that side less seriously then they should know that statement would not apply to them.

Real life example:If two armies meet and one army had ranged weapons and the other does not the ranged army has a better chance at winning if they kill as many of the other people as they can before entering in melee. However they may also be from a culture that only likes to fight on equal ground. I think most of can agree the best strategy is most likely the best one for survival, barring some corner case. Using the anvil approach is similar to being...

Pretty much.

It's a strategy piece written 3 years ago to answer all the threads on "what role needs to be covered".

It works off of optimization maxims, RAW, and conclusions based from actual play. Not just mine. This is the internet. I have the luxury of reading about the games from hundreds of tables over thousands of sessions. With podcasts I can even listen to them and take notes at work.

However if this doesn't apply to you, than it doesn't apply. I have never said otherwise.

The original thread title was "On building a balanced group: working out just what works and why you may have been doing it all along."

Basically, even if you wholeheartedly believe in the tank/thief/caster/caster paradigm chances are you're already doing something similar without realizing it. You may have a few points different here and there but ultimately you probably have someone holding things down while another person does loads of damage and another keeps everyone alive.

All it really does from this viewpoint is resolve the image of the above with the realities often presented us in gameplay and discussed in optimization.

If you are doing something different, playing more narratively, using a different initiative system, disregarding or adding a number of rules to suit taste for combat than obviously what applies is going to be different and not everything is going to be the same.

It doesn't tell you you're wrong. It gives you another way of being right.

And you know I'm glad people are discussing why this irritates them and why. Conflict breeds thought, which gives fresh ideas. Who knows, I might rewrite it for nothing else than clarification and better phrasing. Heck, I'd probably even change the metaphor since it seems to be a source of pointless drama but it appears to be recognizable now so no point in doing that since that was the goal from the start.

But, please, do not expect for me not to defend it.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:


Ok, you cannot tell me that I don't understand how an anvil works and then insist that the guy is holding the anvil in place and picking it up in the air. Are blacksmiths you picture the lovechildren of reve richards and the thing? You'd need to combine their flexibility, strength and durability for that to work.

If you wanted something to hold things in place tongs would have been a better way to go.

Okay, so don't use it if it bothers you that much.

Quote:


The analogy also leaves out any role for skills and problem solving. Not every encounter is a fight. I am NOT saying you need a rogue, but the party needs to be able to deal with people, make allies, avoid jailtime, and get information with means slightly less subtle than trepaning.

Primarily because that kind of thing tends to work itself out either incidentally, intentionally, or through group cooperation.

I don't even attempt to cover out of combat because while combat will appear in about 99% of games there's no guarantee you'll ever even get much use out of Diplomacy. A character great at handling the outdoors isn't much use in a city based campaign.

So I leave it to the group to figure out what they need in this regard. It only covers combat. It was never meant to do otherwise.

Quote:
Quote:
So what about the claim that a two handed fighter or archer or a caster specialized in one or two spells can take care of the majority of encounters? If you want a solid representation of a spammer you would have to look at slumber witches, falchion freds played badly, and my recent exploration of a low level gunslinger.

Right, because to show I'm an idiot we have to avoid dealing with anything that I"ve actually said and use idiotic examples...

what?

This is what you said.

You wrote:
Yeah... no. The system very much rewards specialization. YOu can pick what weapon you want to use 99% of the time, getting good with that weapon helps. You can get really good with a couple different kinds of spells. The vast majority of encounters can be solved with either a two handed fighting type or an archer going to town on it.

No one called you an idiot.

If anything we have different definitions of spam. I was clarifying.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

Objectively false assertion is false.

1. Will my spell have line of effect?

Yes. This is ridiculously easy to get.

2. Will my spell have undesirable consequences? (like affecting allies

This is ridiculously easy to get around by moving the center right next to a wall or something.

3. Where can I place my spell to be most effective?

On the bad guys.

4. Am I in the best position to accomplish the above?

Yes. Because the vast majority of spells are far bigger than the vast majority of rooms.

5. Is my positioning good enough to avoid retaliation?

If you're dealing with melee probably. If you're dealing with ranged murphys laws of combat are a pain.

7. Can I safely maintain or switch positions before my next spell?

If you need more than one spell you need more kaboom...

So what you're saying is you have played casters up to a point but refuse to acknowledge that you actually have to worry about positioning when by the very fact you answer these followed by.

Quote:

don't think its all that important. Not to go all AA, but you have to be able to tell the difference between the things you can change and the things you have to accept. Your party melee wanting to get in there and mix it up are probably pretty high on that second list. They want to be in melee, they have x amount of movement, and that will pretty much dictate what squares they're standing in. You're going to almost the same number of baddies if they stop to consider the incoming fireball as if you don't.

Thats one way to do it. (which you can control a bit by having a high init)

Another is to have/make your party immune to your aoe. The second i hear "fireball" or "alchemist" i start handing out resist elements to the party melee.

Another is to just accept that you're only going to be hitting 2-3 of them. You put the fireball "somewhere over there" and get three, done. No need to spend half an hour of combat wrangling trying to finagle a fourth guy in there.

So really what you're saying is that positioning is easy for you.

But that's not the same as saying it's not the most important thing.

If you don't have a valid target, you don't have a valid target. That you can easily rectify that says nothing about the importance of getting to the point of having that valid target only the skill and capability of the player to ensure they do.

Anyway, I'll knock it off. If you wish to continue please air your grievances in here rather than clutter up the board with more of my pretentiousness.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Objectively false assertion is false.

1. Will my spell have line of effect?

Yes. This is ridiculously easy to get.

Unless you're on a battlefield with a lot of tree cover, or three dimensional combat involving cliffs, or pillars, or enemies just being in different ROOMS, or labyrinthine tunnels, or...

BigNorseWolf wrote:

2. Will my spell have undesirable consequences? (like affecting allies

This is ridiculously easy to get around by moving the center right next to a wall or something.

You know what we generally call this? Changing your poisitioning

BigNorseWolf wrote:

3. Where can I place my spell to be most effective?

On the bad guys.

Which ones? Can you catch all of them? Some of them? None of them?

Are they out of range? Then you need to move (positioning).

Is there a higher value target that you wish to catch in the effect? Then you need to POSITION said effect where it will catch him.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

4. Am I in the best position to accomplish the above?

Yes. Because the vast majority of spells are far bigger than the vast majority of rooms.

Hilariously untrue, and assumes you're indoors all the time/

BigNorseWolf wrote:

5. Is my positioning good enough to avoid retaliation?

If you're dealing with melee probably. If you're dealing with ranged murphys laws of combat are a pain.

How does this refute the fact that positioning is important? You have POSITIONED yourself in such a manner that it's hard for melee attackers to reach you.

The same would not be true with poor POSITIONING such as putting yourself on the front line.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

7. Can I safely maintain or switch positions before my next spell?

If you need more than one spell you need more kaboom...

If you only ever need one spell, your GM needs to throw some encounters that aren't APL -3 at you for once.

I'm just astounded here. Do you TRULY not see the irony of spending 7 bullet points trying to tell everyone positioning isn't important BY EXPLAINING HOW YOU USE POSITIONING CONSTANTLY?


thejeff wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

1. Will my spell have line of effect?

Yes. This is ridiculously easy to get.

2. Will my spell have undesirable consequences? (like affecting allies

This is ridiculously easy to get around by moving the center right next to a wall or something.

3. Where can I place my spell to be most effective?

On the bad guys.

4. Am I in the best position to accomplish the above?

Yes. Because the vast majority of spells are far bigger than the vast majority of rooms.

5. Is my positioning good enough to avoid retaliation?

If you're dealing with melee probably. If you're dealing with ranged murphys laws of combat are a pain.

7. Can I safely maintain or switch positions before my next spell?

If you need more than one spell you need more kaboom...

Not that I'm a fan of the hammer/anvil thing, but this really doesn't match my experience.

Generally I can either place AoE spells for maximum effect or for avoiding my allies. It's rare to be able to catch more than two baddies without including any allies, unless I and my martial allies have gone to some trouble to set it up - ie, positioning is important and not easy. If you're dealing with a single bad guy, then it's easy, but you're usually using single target spells anyway.

The exception, of course, is an opening spell. If the caster acts before the bad guys and his allies (or they delay), you can often catch most of them.

And really? One spell per fight? Either I (and everyone I've played with) just suck, or we're facing very different situations.

You have the licorice root ready to shave so you can get off the haste spell. Now you can throw off the damaging spell because all the foes have jumped out. I think many spells are the fire.

Mobility and surprise attacks, temper combat. Flanking keeps the foe from making things too hot for the hammer. Hold monster is also throwing cold water on the foe. It helps freeze the encounter the way you want it to go.

One meme I hate is a flame war where both parties degenerate into an argument over who started the flame war. You both did! Move on.


Rynjin wrote:
Unless you're on a battlefield with a lot of tree cover, or three dimensional combat involving cliffs, or pillars, or enemies just being in different ROOMS, or labyrinthine tunnels, or...

Tree cover: Caster doesn't care. Its aoe, single target, or at worst a touch attack that will hit on a 2 anyway.

Cliffs.: Have fun climbing up there *breaks out the long and medium range spells(

Pillars: breaks out the non touch range spells, unless they're on the washington monument. in that case see cliffs.

Quote:
You know what we generally call this? Changing your poisitioning

No. Its changing where the spell is. Not where your keister is. Your caster doesn't even need to move their lazy boy mounted floated disk.

Quote:

Which ones? Can you catch all of them? Some of them? None of them?

Are they out of range? Then you need to move (positioning).

For melee i need to be in 1 of 8 squares on the entire map to attack. 1 of those squares probably gives my foe cover from my overly large keister, 1 of them will let me get a +2 for flanking, and one will stop the thing i'm whaling on from 5 foot stepping and away and casting, or withdrawing. If I'm counting out movement its vitally important that i have enough movement to get there, carefully pick my EXACT square on the board, and my path to it.

Compare that to a caster. Even with tunnels and tree cover How many squares on the map are in range of the fireball spell? MOST of them. I can wander over to the coordinates of "overthereish" and still be at maximum effectiveness.

Quote:
Is there a higher value target that you wish to catch in the effect? Then you need to POSITION said effect where it will catch him.

Spells come with built in automatic aiming and positioning. You don't need to DO anything. Compare that with melee where you need to be able to fly, overcome difficult terrain, get past minions, get over water,

Quote:
Hilariously untrue, and assumes you're indoors all the time/

Outdoors how often do you have encounters at greater than fireball ranges? You can't even SEE opponents that far out half the time.

Quote:
How does this refute the fact that positioning is important? You have POSITIONED yourself in such a manner that it's hard for melee attackers to reach you.

Because its ridiculously easy so that you can't fail to do it even by accident in the case of melee and so ridiculously hard to do in case of ranged so as to be pointless.


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It really grinds my gears this post wasn't favorite'd more :-)

Edit: It also grinds them that the one two posts below it wasn't favorite'd at all:-(

unless i'm really not funny, then i take all this back:-)

Edit (the sequel): also when people constantly edit and add on to a previous post after a bunch of people have responded to the first unedited and thus obsolete post:-)

Edit (With a vengeance!!): Also when people add edits just to put the word Smurf in it:-D

Edit (The Phantom Menace): or when they do it just because they can, or to add on crap that didn't need to be there, and probably shouldn't have.....

Edit: (Hayden Christenson half-assed smolder-thon) also when people go that far for a stupid f@~@ing Star Wars joke:-D


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captain yesterday wrote:
It really grinds my gears this post wasn't favorite'd more :-)

Lubricant applied


TarkXT wrote:

So really what you're saying is that positioning is easy for you.

But that's not the same as saying it's not the most important thing.

If you don't have a valid target, you don't have a valid target. That you can easily rectify that says nothing about the importance of getting to the point of having that valid target only the skill and capability of the player to ensure they do.

If its so easily rectified (as i think it is) why does the player need any skill or capability?It doesn't need to be exact, the player doesn't need to be good at it, and more importantly the character doesn't need to spend resources being good at it. Thats why I say its not important for a caster.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
TarkXT wrote:

So really what you're saying is that positioning is easy for you.

But that's not the same as saying it's not the most important thing.

If you don't have a valid target, you don't have a valid target. That you can easily rectify that says nothing about the importance of getting to the point of having that valid target only the skill and capability of the player to ensure they do.

If its so easily rectified (as i think it is) why does the player need any skill or capability?It doesn't need to be exact, the player doesn't need to be good at it, and more importantly the character doesn't need to spend resources being good at it. Thats why I say its not important for a caster.

Again, easy for you is not the same as unimportant to every caster.

If you disregarded positioning and threw things wherever you would be a terrible caster. Obviously you do not.

Because if you did you would not be memorizing spells for different environments, nor would you be discussing tactics like casting resist energy on your allies so you can fireball at will.

Your very statements have proven its importance in your choices. Even if you find those easy choices to make.


~shrugs~
Forge of Combat is one way of looking at strategy in Pathfinder. However, several of the "facts" that the advice is based on, (and some of the comparisons) are far from facts, and are probably closer to "most of the time", rather then universal rules. It also falls for some of the old misconceptions like the concept of a dedicated healer or the exclusively offensive OR defensive actions for example. Like many choices in the game it also produces self-fulfilling prophecies - if you favor offense, offense will seem more powerful for example.

Most optimization advice tends to push the game into PRG-Tag territory, which might be effective at ending encounters, but often produces a game that most people don't find very enjoyable.


I'll just leave the discussion with this: Breathing is easy. Does that make it unimportant?


Rynjin wrote:
I'll just leave the discussion with this: Breathing is easy. Does that make it unimportant?

Your character breathes constantly. Whens the last time you had to worry about it when you weren't under water?


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wraithstrike wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
It was also being touted as proof that some people are wrong , which it clearly doesn't do.

This is what irritates me about it. It bakes in some assumptions about the game and then "proves" people wrong who don't share those assumptions. It's as bad as people who say you need a cleric - maybe to play the way they do, but that isn't the only way to play.

It baffles me that people seem so unwilling to accept that there are multiple, equally valid ways to play. "What pathfinder widely calls for" is a nebulous concept that says more about the analogy designer's style of play than about the game.

I don't think he is trying to say you are playing the game wrong. He is saying "this is a lesson on in game tactics". However he never says if you do not use this method you are a moron. It is basically advice, not a speech on "do it my way or you are an idiot" speech.

I didn't say he called people who disagree a moron - I don't think the piece was abusive, merely dismissive. However, my point of irritation is not about tone, it's when people claim a particular style of play as "normal", "expected", "the way it's meant to be played", etcetera.

For example (near the end):

"the truths you illustrated are complete bunk because in my games (insert houserule/cornercase/oddgmstyle/headless clown here)

That's nice. If those truths don't apply to you then chances are you are doing something different than what pathfinder widely calls for. Nothing wrong with that but it doesn't make them less true for the overall game as written and typically played."

It doesn't matter how many games they play in, nor how many people on the internet agree with them, nobody is in a position to declare what a "usual" game of pathfinder looks like.


Well if that's how you feel nothing I nor really anyone else can change that.

I suspect even if I removed the offending phrase it would make no diffence.


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It wouldn't irritate me any more, but I don't know that I'd recommend putting much effort into that.

I didn't realise you were the author and my exposure to it was purely from this thread - where it was held up as "proving grognards wrong", rather than as an attempt to define roles implicitly within the context of tactical analysis.

Personally, I think it's a good analogy and I applaud the effort to strip things down to the absolute essentials. It's the assumption of being the majority view which is what always bugs me in these debates. Attempting to claim that mantle often seems to me to be the cause of a lot of heat in these things.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
It doesn't matter how many games they play in, nor how many people on the internet agree with them, nobody is in a position to declare what a "usual" game of pathfinder looks like.

While I agree with the spirit of what you are saying, I think there are some fundamental assumptions built into the game. For example, there are written guidelines like CR, APL, XP, Wealth-By-Level, and suggested level of an adventure. There are also some unwritten assumptions such as that a co-operative adventuring party featuring a variety of classes with Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard being the baseline. For the most part, the developers are fairly tight lipped when it comes to revealing other assumptions. However, I suspect much can be learned from the guidelines for GM'ing PFS and authoring modules and APs.

Although these suggestions are in place, there is very little expectation that they will be followed. Almost every situation will break guidelines. As zen master Shunryu Suzuki said, "Not always so." The best guideline is to expect the unexpected.


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Forge of combat basically oversimplifies things. If you design your character around that, well the big bad probably read that book and prepared it's lair accordingly. If you fire a rod of wonder into every room before you enter, no one can plan for that.


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Goth Guru wrote:
Forge of combat basically oversimplifies things. If you design your character around that, well the big bad probably read that book and prepared it's lair accordingly. If you fire a rod of wonder into every room before you enter, no one can plan for that.

I see your rod of wonder and raise a deck of many things.


And then someone plays a red jester...

EDIT: equipped with a rod of wonder...


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Hee, hee. You see his "rod of wonder."


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Fergie wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
It doesn't matter how many games they play in, nor how many people on the internet agree with them, nobody is in a position to declare what a "usual" game of pathfinder looks like.

While I agree with the spirit of what you are saying, I think there are some fundamental assumptions built into the game. For example, there are written guidelines like CR, APL, XP, Wealth-By-Level, and suggested level of an adventure. There are also some unwritten assumptions such as that a co-operative adventuring party featuring a variety of classes with Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard being the baseline. For the most part, the developers are fairly tight lipped when it comes to revealing other assumptions. However, I suspect much can be learned from the guidelines for GM'ing PFS and authoring modules and APs.

Although these suggestions are in place, there is very little expectation that they will be followed. Almost every situation will break guidelines. As zen master Shunryu Suzuki said, "Not always so." The best guideline is to expect the unexpected.

I agree, pretty much.

My objection stems from finding the "you're doing it wrong" (or the similar "you're doing it differently from how the game is generally played") lament almost always unhelpful and always unjustified. Nobody really knows "how it's generally played" and the designers are pretty clear that the rules are intended as a tool to play the way you like.

"If you find the forge analogy inapplicable to your game, you're probably not playing it the way it is designed to be played" isn't going to help, in my experience - it's likely to result in grar. Why not just leave it as "here's something you might find useful"? It doesn't need "defending" it's a tool/way of thinking which will benefit some and not others.

To reiterate though, I was responding to it based on this thread - ie it was presented as proving grognards wrong. Clearly that wasn't the original intent - in the context of a discussion analysing tactical elements of the game, it is a different thing. Within the confines of "what tactical roles need to be filled in a combat encounter of pathfinder, played RAW?" I think there is far more likely to be an objectively correct answer (though I happen to reject the idea that Rules As Written has any actual meaning - that's a separate issue).

In that context though, is it helpful to say "my approach is how most people do it"?
Why not just leave the dissenters to their own models/theories? I think it's more accurate to judge models (including analogies) of anything as more or less useful, rather than right or wrong.

Sovereign Court

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Tacticslion wrote:

And then someone plays a red jester...

EDIT: equipped with a rod of wonder...

Wow.

I cannot believe those are (or should be) only CR 10.


One that's been bugging me lately is when people write 'core' in all caps. I think the first time I saw it was in the title of a pbp more than a year ago, which was called something like
"Keep on the Borderlands in Greyhawk Pathfinder CORE"

Really, the fact that it is a well-known (ish) module in Greyhawk seems like a more important thing to emphasize than that it is CORE.

It's gotten worse more recently among PFS players, it seems, but all-caps-core was around long before that.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
TarkXT wrote:

So really what you're saying is that positioning is easy for you.

But that's not the same as saying it's not the most important thing.

If you don't have a valid target, you don't have a valid target. That you can easily rectify that says nothing about the importance of getting to the point of having that valid target only the skill and capability of the player to ensure they do.

If its so easily rectified (as i think it is) why does the player need any skill or capability?It doesn't need to be exact, the player doesn't need to be good at it, and more importantly the character doesn't need to spend resources being good at it. Thats why I say its not important for a caster.

There have been many times someone has wanted to cast haste on the entire party, but had to move to get it done. Another issue is when two people that want haste are too far apart. Short range spells can also have a target that is too far away.

You may or may not have an easy fix, by moving into a better position, but that does not make it "not important".

If you really think this is true put your archers and casters up front, and never change position for a few combats.


Wraithstrike wrote:
There have been many times someone has wanted to cast haste on the entire party, but had to move to get it done.

And lo and behold, he has a movement speed and a move action that he has no other use for.

Quote:
Another issue is when two people that want haste are too far apart. Short range spells can also have a target that is too far away.

Accept the things you cannot change...

Quote:
If you really think this is true put your archers and casters up front, and never change position for a few combats.

5 foot step. Shoot/cast. 5 foot step shoot/cast. The idea that casters are squishy and helpless without their tank went out with full con modifiers for all classes.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Wraithstrike wrote:
There have been many times someone has wanted to cast haste on the entire party, but had to move to get it done.

And lo and behold, he has a movement speed and a move action that he has no other use for.

Quote:
Another issue is when two people that want haste are too far apart. Short range spells can also have a target that is too far away.

Accept the things you cannot change...

Quote:
If you really think this is true put your archers and casters up front, and never change position for a few combats.

5 foot step. Shoot/cast. 5 foot step shoot/cast. The idea that casters are squishy and helpless without their tank went out with full con modifiers for all classes.

1. Your first point does nothing but enforce that moving is needed for certain spells so position is important.

2. It can be changed by simply moving which means position is important.

3. You never agreed that you would ever try this, so you are saying once again that position is important. Also don't assume you will win initiative. You could be a very bad situation putting certain people up front.

Since you have yet to show how "Being easy" equals "It is not important" I rest my case. Especially seeing as how in every one of those cases bad positioning can make the fight a lot more difficult or lead to deaths.


1. Your first point does nothing but enforce that moving is needed for certain spells so position is important.

Blatherskite. Half the room is good enough. Close enough for state work works great for a caster. For an archer its a -4 penalty. For a caster its who cares. For a rogue its sugar coated deep fried crack.

2. It can be changed by simply moving which means position is important.

For the party members. Not for the caster.

3. You never agreed that you would ever try this

I do do that. A lot. Shamus is a cleric that wanders into combat just to give flanking bonuses with the dragonskull bone dwarven boulder helmet on his head and is winning paracountess bingo with monsters that have grappled him. Fabrizio is a 14 strength sorcerer that can cover the sides or serve as backup melee, Flutter will run up and cuddle things.

Quote:
Since you have yet to show how "Being easy" equals "It is not important" I rest my case.

Case not made. You have yet to offer ANY definition or idea of what you think being important is, much less one good enough that means the one I'm clearly, explicitly, and consistently using is the wrong one to use. Using ... whatever definition it is you're using, in place of the definition I've spelled out as if they were the same when I'm the one writing is a clear case of equivocation.

You also seem to consider part of positioning what I would call just aiming. You need to accept the fact that that makes us two people with a disagreement, not me wrong and you right.

For a caster it doesn't require thought, it doesn't take planning, and you don't devote resources to it. For melee its half of what i think about and where at least a quarter of my WBL goes, and fairly often a maxed out acrobatics skill , some class abilities, and maybe a feat or two.

When I play casters they can go "Meh move me to the grand dutchy of overthereish" *handwave* , When I play melee I'm counting squares and planning ahead like kasparov. "Nope move me one north.. your other north..Why? That square grants him cover, that square blocks his charge land, that square would let them five foot and flank me next round, and if he withdraws this square leaves me with a clear charge lane...."

If it doesn't take thought, doesn't take up gear, doesn't take up action economy, I don't consider it important.

Quote:
Especially seeing as how in every one of those cases bad positioning can make the fight a lot more difficult or lead to deaths.

There's very little that qualifies as bad positioning if 5 foot and cast works everywhere. The map itself doesn't matter if the only positions are effectively "in melee" and "5 feet away from melee".

Back in second edition we played half the time without a map. Never in third. The reason is that the game changed drastically for melee. For casters, not so much.


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Do you seriously require someone to define "important" for you?

"of great significance or value; likely to have a profound effect on success, survival, or well-being."

Well would you look at that. It's almost like that was the exact context everybody but you has been assuming it's used in. I guess you've been assuming it meant "a person with high rank" or "an influential artistic work".

You have literally said ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS that moving so you can target something, or avoid something, or maximize what you can actually do, is a thing that you do.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
You also seem to consider part of positioning what I would call just aiming. You need to accept the fact that that makes us two people with a disagreement, not me wrong and you right.

While we're at it, let's define "position" as well, because you using the word wrong does not constitute a simple disagreement, it literally does constitute you being wrong and everyone else being right.

Definition 1: "a place where someone or something is located or has been put."

This would be where moving around on the board is important.

Definition 2 and Verb definition 1: "a particular way in which someone or something is placed or arranged." and/or to arrange something in said particular way.

You are POSITIONING (or PLACING) your SPELL on the TARGET.

Need a bit more? Let's have some synonyms for Aim: Aim.

The simple definition being "to point or direct at a goal".

Note that Position is a synonym of Point.

As is Target, which is an even more direct synonym of Aim.

Now that we have correctly defined our terms, is it clear to you that "aiming" and "positioning" are not as different as you keep attempting to claim? Because this discussion has long since become tiresome, in part because apparently you didn't understand what everyone was talking about. Does this clear things up at all?

Was this little game of semantics REALLY what you wanted to discuss? Are you happy now that all the terms are defined? I'm sure everyone else finds it just as riveting.

Edited to remove a bit more pointed rudeness.

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