Why Are New Things Always Called Cheese?


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scootalol wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
Triune wrote:

So after reading a thread in which monkey grip was called cheese, it occurred to me that people seem to have lost the idea of what that word means. For those unfamiliar, monkey grip is a 3.x feat that allows you to use two handed weapons one handed, at a -2 penalty to accuracy. This reults in almost all cases in a dps loss, even before figuring in the feat opportunity cost, and is pretty much solely for flavor. Even in the face of that, it was called cheese.

It seems like any time there is an option that lets you do something you couldn't before, it's called cheesy. Guns, for example, hit touch ac, but a well built gunslinger is no match for a well built archer in terms of dpr, yet they're constantly banned and called cheese. Why is a new ability always cheese? Doesn't cheese mean game breaking, not game expanding?

Well, you've a couple minor errors here.

One, dual wielding greatswords is looked as cheesy, not because it's impossible, but because its anime-ish, and not something even a hugely strong person would attempt in reality. The fact you could lift such a thing doesn't mean you could wield them well, as any weapons practitioner will tell you. You don't have leverage, you don't have range of movement, and you don't have momentum. To somehow do this effectively, you'd probably have to be standing at least three feet above the floor to get the full range of effective motion.

And lest you think it's cheesy much, there was an Epic feat that allowed you to wield weapons up to 3x above your size. The depiction was a Halfling wielding a Huge Greataxe.

Lastly, a well built gunfighter will trample the DPR of anything into the Dust, because they can target Touch AC. The resulting auto-hits will nicely trounce any archer in a DPR contest.

==Aelryinth

Arguing cause for "realism" in a game where a 17 year old can have the ability to sprout claws and throw up magical "force bullets" becuase eight generations ago a dragon got busy with his...

"But DRAGONS!!!!"

Sigh.

The existence of one or many fantastic things in age do not suddenly mean that all fantastic things should be the mode.


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CWheezy wrote:
Quote:
The problem comes with people being unable to reconcile that the classes are not now, nor are they intended to be, balanced 1:1. Most RPGs aren't balanced 1:1. In fact the only one I have ever seen was not popular enough to last for 1/4 of the time that one that is REALLY unbalanced did

Has never ever been true ever.

NEVER EVER HAS BEEN TRUE

Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over people who are against making the game more fair say this

zero people ever have asked for this. Actually zero.

Fair does not mean 1:1 exactly balanced. if you want an asymmetric game, it is impossible to have 1:1 balance. Pathfinder and most tabletop players want heavily asymmetric games. Fair means like, 1.2 : .8 or 1.3:.7

Pretty much this. Also, contrary to popular belief 4e was far from balanced in actual gameplay


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HWalsh wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Ultimately, it all boils down to the fact that Pathfinder goes for "realism" with martials and super-powered magic users. As always comes up in these kinds of threads, there's no shortage of Western examples of ordinary "mundane" characters performing superhuman feats. It's not an exclusively anime thing by any means. The only reason I can see for labeling concepts and ideas that feature in plenty of Western folklore and mythology as "anime" is to try and exclude them from the having a place in Traditional Western Fantasy.

This is kind of a red herring statement:

Pathfinder goes for a reality where magic can violate the natural laws of cause and effect.

This isn't to say:

Pathfinder goes for "realism" with martials and super-powered magic users.

This is a false statement. If this were a true statement then a martial using a magical item could be constrained by normal physical limitations, they are not.

To complain that this doesn't make sense... Doesn't make sense... This makes perfect sense. This is like saying that people without super powers can't do things that require super powers but people with super powers can.

Why?

Because magic, for all intents and purposes, is a super-power. Shock and gasp.

-----

The problem comes with people being unable to reconcile that the classes are not now, nor are they intended to be, balanced 1:1. Most RPGs aren't balanced 1:1. In fact the only one I have ever seen was not popular enough to last for 1/4 of the time that one that is REALLY unbalanced did.

(See, people get upset if you insinuate that 4e was a commercial flop, but they can't deny that it lasted way less time than 2nd Edition or even 3.0/3.5 did.)

Nobody ever expected classes to be 1:1 balanced before the invention of the MMORPG (and yeah, that is where that trend started) and somehow that has carried over into this world.

OTOH, martials can do all sorts of super-powered stuff even without magic items. As long as those things come from just adding up more numbers - punching dinosaurs to death, walking away from 200'+ falls, etc, etc, you all know the litany. They've all got super-powers by the mid-levels. Martials are just only allowed certain kinds of super-powers.

Beyond that, is there any indication in any of the rules material in any edition of D&D that some classes were intended to be more powerful than others? I'm not aware of any. They never were intended to be exactly the same, if that's what you mean by 1:1 balance. Nor have they always (or ever, really) achieved perfect balance, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a design goal.


There is already one ponderous, repetitive C/MD thread going. Do we really need another.

There should be a new variant of Godwins Law that says any discussion of pathfinder will eventually descend into a row about caster/martial discrepancy.

Yawn.


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The Sword wrote:

There is already one ponderous, repetitive C/MD thread going. Do we really need another.

There should be a new variant of Godwins Law that says any discussion of pathfinder will eventually descend into a row about caster/martial discrepancy.

Yawn.

Ah well you just say that because of BADWRONGFUN!


RDM42 wrote:
The existence of one or many fantastic things in age do not suddenly mean that all fantastic things should be the mode.

A concept that would be hugely more convincing it was not deployed to favour caster characters and against non-casters. Not just in terms of what is allowed and what is rejected, but in the way that fantastic features are allowed that hurt the effectiveness of non-magic abilities and other fantastic abilities are created to bypass those and then only permitted to some characters. Hit points being the most prominent example.


CWheezy wrote:
Fair does not mean 1:1 exactly balanced. if you want an asymmetric game, it is impossible to have 1:1 balance. Pathfinder and most tabletop players want heavily asymmetric games. Fair means like, 1.2 : .8 or 1.3:.7

I was going to say something about this, then found out that some another sage did it first. Excellent! (grins)


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Triune wrote:
Please stop insinuating other posters are racist and take your tirade elsewhere.

Yeah, we really don't need the SJW thought police in this, or any other, community.


Ravingdork wrote:
Triune wrote:
Please stop insinuating other posters are racist and take your tirade elsewhere.
Yeah, we really don't need the SJW thought police in this, or any other, community.

Are we seriously going to bring this back up? I thought we agreed it was off-topic?

Because, I have seriously been itching to post this! Perfect excuse! Yay! <3

But seriously guys, it's not the race card, it's not social justice warrioring, no one thinks you are all hatemongers. It's just a brief point about how the standard is a cultural background. It's the literal definition of racism, not the really bad racism only EBIL people resort to.

Ya know, I'm reminded of an excellent Yahtzee post where after reviewing another trash game with Elves BUT DIFFERENT he gets a bit sick of the muck. Pathfinder already stretches boundaries a bit. Personally, I would like to see more cultures I am not familiar with and more androgynous dieties. Would be amazing. I want more anime feats because why not? You don't have to allow them in your homegames.

Far as I am care people complaining about cheese doesn't happen. An individual complains about cheese because it's the internet and someone always is complaining even if the majority think they're wankers and then makes threads to all agree what a bunch of wankers that one person who is a significant group is. A person complains about cheese because it's the internet and they don't have a better thing to do like look up the definition for cheese and be confused about why the first google result is about this weird edible thing. Then other people who don't know the definition of other stuff talk about it for no reason.


Just a sidebar: Race is not equal to culture. Culture is not equal to race.


RDM42 wrote:
Just a sidebar: Race is not equal to culture. Culture is not equal to race.

True, though it is a racially tied cultural background. While those outside the race can possess the associated traits for mass analysis they are synonymous. Whether or not that is a flaw in reseach is an entirtely different point altogether.


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HWalsh wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Ultimately, it all boils down to the fact that Pathfinder goes for "realism" with martials and super-powered magic users. As always comes up in these kinds of threads, there's no shortage of Western examples of ordinary "mundane" characters performing superhuman feats. It's not an exclusively anime thing by any means. The only reason I can see for labeling concepts and ideas that feature in plenty of Western folklore and mythology as "anime" is to try and exclude them from the having a place in Traditional Western Fantasy.

This is kind of a red herring statement:

Pathfinder goes for a reality where magic can violate the natural laws of cause and effect.

This isn't to say:

Pathfinder goes for "realism" with martials and super-powered magic users.

This is a false statement. If this were a true statement then a martial using a magical item could be constrained by normal physical limitations, they are not.

To complain that this doesn't make sense... Doesn't make sense... This makes perfect sense. This is like saying that people without super powers can't do things that require super powers but people with super powers can.

Why?

Because magic, for all intents and purposes, is a super-power. Shock and gasp.

-----

The problem comes with people being unable to reconcile that the classes are not now, nor are they intended to be, balanced 1:1. Most RPGs aren't balanced 1:1. In fact the only one I have ever seen was not popular enough to last for 1/4 of the time that one that is REALLY unbalanced did.

(See, people get upset if you insinuate that 4e was a commercial flop, but they can't deny that it lasted way less time than 2nd Edition or even 3.0/3.5 did.)

Nobody ever expected classes to be 1:1 balanced before the invention of the MMORPG (and yeah, that is where that trend started) and somehow that has carried over into this world.

Now, see, my problem here is how massively inconsistent that gets from what I see in my games.

Brawler: "I run at the Triceratops and kill it with a single punch!" (Pummeling charge, crit, and an orc has slain a 30-foot long, 20,000 pound animal by hitting it as hard as he could ONCE.)
Pathfinder Rules: What has happened is completely OK.

The Same Brawler, Later: "All right, GM, this sorcerer keeps flying away and trying to strafe us from the air. I want to try and jump up to grapple him."
Pathfinder Rules: "That is impossible. Jumping ten feet in the air is a DC 40 check and the mage has no reason to ever get that close."
Me, the GM: "You're strong enough to kill a dinosaur by hitting it once. I'm PRETTY sure you're strong enough to make that jump if you roll well. Gimme an acrobatics check."

Realism does not exist in Pathfinder. A fighter can repeatedly take a breath weapon that liquefies stone to the face or swan-dive from ORBIT and only be moderately inconvenienced by the damage he takes. The wizard, who is not in any way a specimen of superhuman endurance, can get bitten by a tyrannosaurus or shot twenty times and walk away with no lasting ill effects. Many of the most iconic monsters, such as Dragons and Giants, prove that the laws of physics as we know them do not exist in Pathfinder.

It's blatantly impossible to kill something as big as a dinosaur by hitting it once, but rules exist that allow you to do precisely this, but for some reason still care that you can't jump too high, or remember how to punch someone more than once if they weren't right next to you when you made the decision to punch them.

Back to the 1:1 thing, I do find it poor game design if someone seriously sits down and goes "OK, let's make two kinds of classes. One is inherently better than the other at basically everything, but we will present both kinds of classes as equally valid choices."

Magic should not get a free pass on everything because it's magic. Usually in settings where magic is really powerful, it is ALSO difficult, unpredictable, and extremely dangerous to use, while Pathfinder magic is easy, consistent, and safe...while at the same time being much stronger than most forms of fictional magic.

Being high-level is a superpower. If one group of classes gains new and better powers as a result of getting to higher level, the other group of classes should not be improving mildly on what they could already do when they get there.


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This plus the 'Game Breaking Spells' thread makes me want to make a set of cartoons about the CMD problem: Goofus and Gandalf.

"GOOFUS spent three skill points every level on Climb, Swim, and Acrobatics.
GANDALF casts Overland Flight."


blackwaltz, so you are using the example of a fighter being very good at something to criticise a situation why it can't do something.

You need to have more imagination - the lucky Orc punches his fist through the creatures eye up to the arm and rips out its brain stem.

However unless the Orc has legs like a flea, gravity will stop him raising his feet an entire storey off the ground.

The fighter ducks and rolls from the blast of acid. HPs are an abstraction of taking the knocks and rolling with the punches as well as actual wounds. The point is that the fighter hasn't taken the breath weapon full on it scorched him but left him alive.

Just give the Orc magic boots and you can do your jumping. Or lure/force the wizard to 10'ft from the ground by taking cover or using a net/harpoon and then make the 5 ft jump into the air which is just as cool and heroic - but possible with a DC 20 check.


The Mortonator wrote:
It's just a brief point about how the standard is a cultural background. It's the literal definition of racism, not the really bad racism only EBIL people resort to.

Ugh. No, no it isn't. It's both not just a brief point about that, nor is that at all the literal definition of racism.

And yes, you're right, it's off topic and definitely offensive. Take it elsewhere.


The Sword wrote:

blackwaltz, so you are using the example of a fighter being very good at something to criticise a situation why it can't do something.

You need to have more imagination - the lucky Orc punches his fist through the creatures eye up to the arm and rips out its brain stem.

However unless the Orc has legs like a flea, gravity will stop him raising his feet an entire storey off the ground.

The fighter ducks and rolls from the blast of acid. HPs are an abstraction of taking the knocks and rolling with the punches as well as actual wounds. The point is that the fighter hasn't taken the breath weapon full on it scorched him but left him alive.

Just give the Orc magic boots and you can do your jumping. Or lure/force the wizard to 10'ft from the ground by taking cover or using a net/harpoon and then make the 5 ft jump into the air which is just as cool and heroic - but possible with a DC 20 check.

Some dragons have mechanics that allow them to breathe on you after your in their mouth with no save. You can't tumble out if the way. It's like sticking your face in the sun.


The Sword wrote:

blackwaltz, so you are using the example of a fighter being very good at something to criticise a situation why it can't do something.

You need to have more imagination - the lucky Orc punches his fist through the creatures eye up to the arm and rips out its brain stem.

However unless the Orc has legs like a flea, gravity will stop him raising his feet an entire storey off the ground.

The fighter ducks and rolls from the blast of acid. HPs are an abstraction of taking the knocks and rolling with the punches as well as actual wounds. The point is that the fighter hasn't taken the breath weapon full on it scorched him but left him alive.

Just give the Orc magic boots and you can do your jumping. Or lure/force the wizard to 10'ft from the ground by taking cover or using a net/harpoon and then make the 5 ft jump into the air which is just as cool and heroic - but possible with a DC 20 check.

Oooh, magic boots. He gets a +5 to his jump - just over 1' higher.

And for some critters the brawler can one-shot, he'd have to jump higher than that to even reach his eye.

But that's the point - Punching through a giant creature's eye to rip out it's brain stem is no less ridiculous than so many other things denied without magic, but no one cares.


It's an abstraction Trogdar. As I said.

That said I would imagine most unsaved dragon breath plush Bite damage would either kill or bring most characters pretty close to death without magical protection.

I'm sure there will be other examples that push the boundaries but my essential point remains.


The Sword wrote:

It's an abstraction Trogdar. As I said.

That said I would imagine most unsaved dragon breath plush Bite damage would either kill or bring most characters pretty close to death without magical protection.

I'm sure there will be other examples that push the boundaries but my essential point remains.

That hit point damage is an abstraction? Everyone knows that already. It doesn't alter the fact that characters are not bound by any sort of appreciable realism until someone gets something retconned because it bothers their delicate grognard sensibility's.


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RDM42 wrote:

"But DRAGONS!!!!"

Sigh.

The existence of one or many fantastic things in age do not suddenly mean that all fantastic things should be the mode.

You're creating a false divide on this, where you're basically arguing "realism for some."

It's not "but dragons,' it's "but sorcerers." That's the whole idea of the draconic bloodline, isn't it? That some ancestor of yours was a gigantic scaly reptile that decided to test its biological compatibility with bipedal primates? And now you, the sorcerer, have a list of magical powers that just come out of that?

So you're playing this sorcerer, the offspring of a human (or hey, maybe an elf, from another planet) and a metaphor for greed shaped like a flying iguanodon and you'e sprouting claws and breathing fire. You're fighting a sweeping horde of demons pouring out of a literal hole to another dimension. To your left is a gnomish ninja who is somehow getting in attacks all over this huge goat-headed monster's vulnerable spots instead of just shredding its ankles, and on occasion he teleports via smokebomb. At your back the witch is floating around laughing like a maniac and making the demons fall over through the power of laughter or something. And you look to your right, and the fighter is hacking away with two large swords.

"Dude, that's not realistic," you say.

Nope. It's not realistic to swing around two greatsowrds. But it's not realistic to swing two weapons, period. About hte closest you ever got were the assorted fencing styles that used a dagger in the off-hand.. .and even that was used for parrying, in a heavily ritualized and stylized form of combat. Dual wielding is not realistic.

But twirling scottish claymores like you're a helicopter of death is still more realistic than spewing fireballs because grandaddy was a lizard. 'Cause scottish claymores are real and so are idiots with hands. Put the two together and you get the Wallacecopter. Put a tuatara and grandma together and all you've got is a misdemeanor in most US states.

we accept all sorts of stylized, fantastic elements in the game as a matter of course. It's just an integral part of the game. We accept that being wise makes you harder to hit when you're naked than when you're heavily armored. we accept that being heavily armored actually makes you more difficult to hit. We accept that there are globally-recognized deities that actually empower their worshipers. We accept that a devil-worshiping empire, revolutionary France, Colonial america, and a state based on the writings of Wes Craven are all neighbors. We accept that you can buy magic swords at magic sword stores. We can accept that leather armor is form-fitting and sleek when worn by females of the species. we can accept that a glorified jockey has a larger range of skills than an all-purpose infantryman. But we can't accept if said infantryman whips around with two big weapons.

It's silly.


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scootalol wrote:
RDM42 wrote:

"But DRAGONS!!!!"

Sigh.

The existence of one or many fantastic things in age do not suddenly mean that all fantastic things should be the mode.

You're creating a false divide on this, where you're basically arguing "realism for some."

It's not "but dragons,' it's "but sorcerers." That's the whole idea of the draconic bloodline, isn't it? That some ancestor of yours was a gigantic scaly reptile that decided to test its biological compatibility with bipedal primates? And now you, the sorcerer, have a list of magical powers that just come out of that?

So you're playing this sorcerer, the offspring of a human (or hey, maybe an elf, from another planet) and a metaphor for greed shaped like a flying iguanodon and you'e sprouting claws and breathing fire. You're fighting a sweeping horde of demons pouring out of a literal hole to another dimension. To your left is a gnomish ninja who is somehow getting in attacks all over this huge goat-headed monster's vulnerable spots instead of just shredding its ankles, and on occasion he teleports via smokebomb. At your back the witch is floating around laughing like a maniac and making the demons fall over through the power of laughter or something. And you look to your right, and the fighter is hacking away with two large swords.

"Dude, that's not realistic," you say.

Nope. It's not realistic to swing around two greatsowrds. But it's not realistic to swing two weapons, period. About hte closest you ever got were the assorted fencing styles that used a dagger in the off-hand.. .and even that was used for parrying, in a heavily ritualized and stylized form of combat. Dual wielding is not realistic.

But twirling scottish claymores like you're a helicopter of death is still more realistic than spewing fireballs because grandaddy was a lizard. 'Cause scottish claymores are real and so are idiots with hands. Put the two together and you get the Wallacecopter. Put a tuatara and grandma together and all you've got is a misdemeanor...

Realism is a bad argument.

Genre is a good argument. It's perfectly reasonable to want dragons and realistic humans in the same game. It's perfectly reasonable to want casters and realistic martials in the same game.
Both of these are common in genre literature. As for that matter super powerful martials. Figure out what genre material you want to emulate. Compromise as necessary and agree on something the table can live with.

Sometimes it doesn't even matter whether the particular piece of cheese the martial is using is effective or realistic. Often I just think it's silly and would be far happier with a more blatantly powerful version that just didn't look so dumb. At least to my personal taste.
(Running around with multiple weapons dangling from weapon cords, I'm looking at you.)
Often these things are caused by someone finding unexpected rules combinations that let them do something they probably should have just been able to do all along.

But yeah, I never really liked the way D&D handled two weapon fighting.


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Well, as we're all sitting at different tables, the only setting / game commonality we have is what's in the books, right? And that default is kinda-wacky heroic fantasy set in a world of Tropetopia "countries" where interplanetary travel to 1917 Russia is really a thing (and Rasputin is a half-hag creature with Tesla-tech weaponry - even HISTORICAL EARTH ain't realistic in Pathfinder)

if you want to sit at your table and say "Okay, James, you can summon black tentacles fro mthe abyss to cripple every foe in a forty-foot radius becuase you read a book about it, but Andy, you can't half-hand your greatsword' that's fine. Andy's just going to re-roll a wizard, but that's your group.


The Sword wrote:

i should be clear that I refer to comic book superheroes, marvel et al.

I wouldn't count Conan as a superhero, nor most of the basic characters. Magic is magic not superheoism and magic users in many works of fantasy fiction can throw to fireballs.

I don't see any classes as being based on a superhero or on superhero poses, certainly not in core. Though I am open to be corrected.

Shield Champion Brawler dude, its blatantly a captain america build.


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scootalol wrote:

Well, as we're all sitting at different tables, the only setting / game commonality we have is what's in the books, right? And that default is kinda-wacky heroic fantasy set in a world of Tropetopia "countries" where interplanetary travel to 1917 Russia is really a thing (and Rasputin is a half-hag creature with Tesla-tech weaponry - even HISTORICAL EARTH ain't realistic in Pathfinder)

if you want to sit at your table and say "Okay, James, you can summon black tentacles fro mthe abyss to cripple every foe in a forty-foot radius becuase you read a book about it, but Andy, you can't half-hand your greatsword' that's fine. Andy's just going to re-roll a wizard, but that's your group.

You did notice this bit, right? "Figure out what genre material you want to emulate. Compromise as necessary and agree on something the table can live with."

I'd rather the martials didn't have to jump through silly hoops to keep up. If James really just likes the idea of wielding a greatsword one-handed, we can work with that. If he's just trying to keep up with caster by eking out a little more damage, maybe there's a better way.


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thejeff wrote:

Genre is a good argument. It's perfectly reasonable to want dragons and realistic humans in the same game. It's perfectly reasonable to want casters and realistic martials in the same game.

Both of these are common in genre literature. As for that matter super powerful martials. Figure out what genre material you want to emulate. Compromise as necessary and agree on something the table can live with.

This times infinity. Figure out what game you want to play and make that game happen. The book, the one that Scootalol has us all sitting around using as common ground? It's the base for the game, not the end of the game. It's where we all start, but not where we all end up.

The argument that RDM42 was referring to was the idea that because one thing is allowed everything needs to. To move from a gaming model into, say, music, it is akin to saying that because I like music (the GM) I have to like EDM and must include it if someone in my audience (the player) wants it. Or if you play heavy metal, you must include screamo/black metal/death metal/etc.

The table works together to set their individual reality using the books as a guide and a tool. If you and yours want total realism, then do it. If you want standard fantasy RPG world, do it. If you want kitchen sink full on everyone is superhuman, do it.

Not everyone has to like the same styles or even agree if they are cheesy, stupid, dull, or whatnot. Find people that want to play like you and do it.


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knightnday wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Genre is a good argument. It's perfectly reasonable to want dragons and realistic humans in the same game. It's perfectly reasonable to want casters and realistic martials in the same game.

Both of these are common in genre literature. As for that matter super powerful martials. Figure out what genre material you want to emulate. Compromise as necessary and agree on something the table can live with.

This times infinity. Figure out what game you want to play and make that game happen. The book, the one that Scootalol has us all sitting around using as common ground? It's the base for the game, not the end of the game. It's where we all start, but not where we all end up.

The argument that RDM42 was referring to was the idea that because one thing is allowed everything needs to. To move from a gaming model into, say, music, it is akin to saying that because I like music (the GM) I have to like EDM and must include it if someone in my audience (the player) wants it. Or if you play heavy metal, you must include screamo/black metal/death metal/etc.

The table works together to set their individual reality using the books as a guide and a tool. If you and yours want total realism, then do it. If you want standard fantasy RPG world, do it. If you want kitchen sink full on everyone is superhuman, do it.

Not everyone has to like the same styles or even agree if they are cheesy, stupid, dull, or whatnot. Find people that want to play like you and do it.

I kind of wish this was more explicit in the rules material. In a Game Master's Guide or something.

Essentially: Here are suggestions for playing in this kind of genre, including genre examples, suggested options to include or ban and other house rules.


thejeff wrote:
knightnday wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Genre is a good argument. It's perfectly reasonable to want dragons and realistic humans in the same game. It's perfectly reasonable to want casters and realistic martials in the same game.

Both of these are common in genre literature. As for that matter super powerful martials. Figure out what genre material you want to emulate. Compromise as necessary and agree on something the table can live with.

This times infinity. Figure out what game you want to play and make that game happen. The book, the one that Scootalol has us all sitting around using as common ground? It's the base for the game, not the end of the game. It's where we all start, but not where we all end up.

The argument that RDM42 was referring to was the idea that because one thing is allowed everything needs to. To move from a gaming model into, say, music, it is akin to saying that because I like music (the GM) I have to like EDM and must include it if someone in my audience (the player) wants it. Or if you play heavy metal, you must include screamo/black metal/death metal/etc.

The table works together to set their individual reality using the books as a guide and a tool. If you and yours want total realism, then do it. If you want standard fantasy RPG world, do it. If you want kitchen sink full on everyone is superhuman, do it.

Not everyone has to like the same styles or even agree if they are cheesy, stupid, dull, or whatnot. Find people that want to play like you and do it.

I kind of wish this was more explicit in the rules material. In a Game Master's Guide or something.

Essentially: Here are suggestions for playing in this kind of genre, including genre examples, suggested options to include or ban and other house rules.

This is where HERO games used to shine. Suppliments would indicate rules for doing X sort of game (See Ninja HERO for examples) and they'd point out movies, tv shows and written materials to help you see what they mean.

Perhaps Paizo may do that in a Martials Unchained book in the future, giving people who want the different things more "legal" means of getting them -- as people poo poo 3PP and house rules on the topic.


thejeff wrote:
It's perfectly reasonable to want dragons and realistic humans in the same game.

I can recommend to check on GURPS for some stories about what happens to dragons that meet realistic humans. (Short summary: Many of those dragons die. Some horribly)


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thejeff wrote:

Realism is a bad argument.

Genre is a good argument. It's perfectly reasonable to want dragons and realistic humans in the same game. It's perfectly reasonable to want casters and realistic martials in the same game.
Both of these are common in genre literature. As for that matter super powerful martials. Figure out what genre material you want to emulate. Compromise as necessary and agree on something the table can live with.

Sometimes it doesn't even matter whether the particular piece of cheese the martial is using is effective or realistic. Often I just think it's silly and would be far happier with a more blatantly powerful version that just didn't look so dumb. At least to my personal taste.
(Running around with multiple weapons dangling from weapon cords, I'm looking at you.)
Often these things are caused by someone finding unexpected rules combinations that let them do something they probably should have just been able to do all along.

But yeah, I never really liked the way D&D handled two weapon fighting.

This is a game that is supposed to have all the players take a center stage and being effective without the plot contriving itself to shift the spotlight. It's not about a main character and his sidekicks (it might be but the system should allow everyone to be main by default), and players should not be obligated to play second fiddle.

So it's bad form if the Wizard gets to be Dr. Strange while the Fighter the most it gets is Daredevil or Taskmaster and not Hulk or Hercules because "muh genre". All of this while the bestiary throws against you the likes of Thanos, Ultron and Loki


The Sword wrote:

It's an abstraction Trogdar. As I said.

That said I would imagine most unsaved dragon breath plush Bite damage would either kill or bring most characters pretty close to death without magical protection.

I'm sure there will be other examples that push the boundaries but my essential point remains.

Either you meant plus when you said plush or you are using a plush dragon on the table top.

What I did was homebrew the bloodlines into leveled mutations. Now fighters get all the goodies that do not directly relate to spells that sorcs do. Seriously, if you think Pathfinder is that broken, why don't you go over to homebrew and find a solution ready and waiting.

I was in my locker the other day and found Unearthed Arcana. Bloodlines were originally not restricted to sorcerers. I don't think Hasbro can own the copywrite on bloodlines, but if they did, calling them Leveled Mutations solves that.

Also, check out The Cleaves. I just added the following.

97. The Bone Altar
This alter is made entirely of bones and cement. There is, painted on the front in blood,”GORUM”.
Hook: If any fighter places a weapon on the altar and kneels in prayer in front of it, the weapon is blessed with True Strike, 3 times per day, when the fighter says Gorum. A successful knowledge religion DC 20 will reveal this. Note that a multi classed character, paladin, ranger, or such, only gets one true strike a day, total. Thus a paladin could get their holy sword to gain one true strike a day.

You can make this the Altar to any God of war.


If sorcerers you are fighting have the fly spell, you should have wings of flying.


Goth Guru wrote:
If sorcerers you are fighting have the fly spell, you should have wings of flying.

Wings of Flying cost 54,000 gp. That's half the Wealth By Level of a level 12 character.

A Sorcerer can get Fly at level 6. Plenty of monsters can fly well before that.


Goth Guru wrote:
If sorcerers you are fighting have the fly spell, you should have wings of flying.

Wait, you mean the Wings of Flying that takes up your shoulder slot, and means you won't have a Cloak of Resistance? Against Sorcerers?

You're gonna have a bad time.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Scythia wrote:
Goth Guru wrote:
If sorcerers you are fighting have the fly spell, you should have wings of flying.

Wait, you mean the Wings of Flying that takes up your shoulder slot, and means you won't have a Cloak of Resistance? Against Sorcerers?

You're gonna have a bad time.

"Hello darkness my old friend"


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Scythia wrote:
Goth Guru wrote:
If sorcerers you are fighting have the fly spell, you should have wings of flying.

Wait, you mean the Wings of Flying that takes up your shoulder slot, and means you won't have a Cloak of Resistance? Against Sorcerers?

You're gonna have a bad time.

And s!&! like this is why I like the ABP rules.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Arachnofiend wrote:
Scythia wrote:
Goth Guru wrote:
If sorcerers you are fighting have the fly spell, you should have wings of flying.

Wait, you mean the Wings of Flying that takes up your shoulder slot, and means you won't have a Cloak of Resistance? Against Sorcerers?

You're gonna have a bad time.

And s@*@ like this is why I like the ABP rules.

Unchained rogues be damned, ABP is easily my favorite thing from Pathfinder Unchained.


Kudaku wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Scythia wrote:
Goth Guru wrote:
If sorcerers you are fighting have the fly spell, you should have wings of flying.

Wait, you mean the Wings of Flying that takes up your shoulder slot, and means you won't have a Cloak of Resistance? Against Sorcerers?

You're gonna have a bad time.

And s@*@ like this is why I like the ABP rules.
Unchained rogues be damned, ABP is easily my favorite thing from Pathfinder Unchained.

It's not like those rules are even all that good or interesting. ABP just has the paizo seal of approval so GMs will actually give them a second look instead of immediately dismissing them.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:

Pathfinder goes for a reality where magic can violate the natural laws of cause and effect.

This isn't to say:

Pathfinder goes for "realism" with martials and super-powered magic users.

This is a false statement. If this were a true statement then a martial using a magical item could be constrained by normal physical limitations, they are not.

To complain that this doesn't make sense... Doesn't make sense... This makes perfect sense. This is like saying that people without super powers can't do things that require super powers but people with super powers can.

Martial characters are already superpowered. My 20th level fighter can take dozens of bullets to the chest, then leap from the top of a mountain, then when she lands punch an elephant in half, then go celebrate at a tavern and drink everyone else under the table because her constitution is so high she could chug bottles of poison without having to worry.

Quote:
The problem comes with people being unable to reconcile that the classes are not now, nor are they intended to be, balanced 1:1. Most RPGs aren't balanced 1:1. In fact the only one I have ever seen was not popular enough to last for 1/4 of the time that one that is REALLY unbalanced did.

This argument falls apart on a few different fronts.

1) It suggests that anyone is advocating for 1:1 parity in the first place. Which.. I haven't seen anyone suggest that.

2) It pretends there is no grey area between one class being utterly and completely dominant over the other and the two classes having perfect parity and homogenity.

3) It suggests that 4e is balanced in the first place. The balance in that game is honestly pretty atrocious, arguably worse than Pathfinder in many ways.

4) It suggests that 4e failed explicitly or at least significantly because it's more balanced. Even ignoring that the statement is wholly incorrect, I'm hard pressed to find many people arguing the game's greatest failing is having fighters that aren't trash. As opposed to people complaining about homogenized class design and a lack of non combat options and poor support from WOTC and badly implemented mechanics etc.

thejeff wrote:

Genre is a good argument. It's perfectly reasonable to want dragons and realistic humans in the same game. It's perfectly reasonable to want casters and realistic martials in the same game.

Both of these are common in genre literature. As for that matter super powerful martials. Figure out what genre material you want to emulate. Compromise as necessary and agree on something the table can live with.

Isn't that what levels are for? Because even without the changes people in this thread are suggesting, you aren't going to get a LOTR or Conan like feel in an 18th level campaign.

The game already passes the bounds of realism, just in a more narrow scope.

I can't think of any genre literature (or a genre period) where the amount of HP, AC and damage a fighter can dish out and spells like create demiplane and miracle are part of the setting but being able to run fast or jump high or wield a bigger weapon are beyond the pale.


Trogdar wrote:
The Sword wrote:

blackwaltz, so you are using the example of a fighter being very good at something to criticise a situation why it can't do something.

You need to have more imagination - the lucky Orc punches his fist through the creatures eye up to the arm and rips out its brain stem.

However unless the Orc has legs like a flea, gravity will stop him raising his feet an entire storey off the ground.

The fighter ducks and rolls from the blast of acid. HPs are an abstraction of taking the knocks and rolling with the punches as well as actual wounds. The point is that the fighter hasn't taken the breath weapon full on it scorched him but left him alive.

Just give the Orc magic boots and you can do your jumping. Or lure/force the wizard to 10'ft from the ground by taking cover or using a net/harpoon and then make the 5 ft jump into the air which is just as cool and heroic - but possible with a DC 20 check.

Some dragons have mechanics that allow them to breathe on you after your in their mouth with no save. You can't tumble out if the way. It's like sticking your face in the sun.

You see the Dragon's breath begin to build up in the back of it's throat. You, thinking quickly, grab the creature's tongue and roll beneath it, letting the majority of the fire go over you. You are scorched, but alright.

(Sorry man, you won't win the descriptive argument the way you are trying it.)

The Exchange

Entryhazard wrote:
So it's bad form if the Wizard gets to be Dr. Strange while the Fighter the most it gets is Daredevil or Taskmaster and not Hulk or Hercules because "muh genre". All of this while the bestiary throws against you the likes of Thanos, Ultron and Loki

Actually that's exactly how I like to play. I' a Lord of the Rings game, I'd most certainly want to play one of the hobbits (except Frodo, most probably Sam). In an Avengers game, The only two persons I would even think about playing are Hawkeye and Black Widow.

The thing is, even in D&D, I have no intention to play an ridicully overpowered Super-Hero. Even when playing casters, I tend to play builds that would most probably get laughted at, when presented on these boards. And I don't care the least if someone else can do something better than me, as long I can still be reasonably successful with what I want to do.

But that's just me, and I understand if other players wouldn't want to play Hawkeye in a game where Thor is supposed to be the norm. But to call that bad form says that I 'm playing the game wrong. And I most certainly do not.


WormysQueue wrote:
Entryhazard wrote:
So it's bad form if the Wizard gets to be Dr. Strange while the Fighter the most it gets is Daredevil or Taskmaster and not Hulk or Hercules because "muh genre". All of this while the bestiary throws against you the likes of Thanos, Ultron and Loki

Actually that's exactly how I like to play. I' a Lord of the Rings game, I'd most certainly want to play one of the hobbits (except Frodo, most probably Sam). In an Avengers game, The only two persons I would even think about playing are Hawkeye and Black Widow.

The thing is, even in D&D, I have no intention to play an ridicully overpowered Super-Hero. Even when playing casters, I tend to play builds that would most probably get laughted at, when presented on these boards. And I don't care the least if someone else can do something better than me, as long I can still be reasonably successful with what I want to do.

But that's just me, and I understand if other players wouldn't want to play Hawkeye in a game where Thor is supposed to be the norm. But to call that bad form says that I 'm playing the game wrong. And I most certainly do not.

That though is something you can get by playing a low-level character (and, probably, staying low-level). And even a weak caster build is perfectly capable of contributing a lot to a party, of mimicking Doctor Strange to use the superhero comparison; whereas the warrior types don't get to mimic Captain America or Taskmaster and can't even get close to Hulk or Hercules.

The Exchange

Bluenose wrote:
That though is something you can get by playing a low-level character (and, probably, staying low-level).

True. It's also one of the reasons that I don't care much for high-level play. Even if perfectly balanced, it would still tell stories I'm not interested in. To compare it with BECMI D&D, I got the most out of Basis and part of Expert D&D, and didn't care for the other three parts too much, if at all.


Squiggit wrote:


Quote:
The problem comes with people being unable to reconcile that the classes are not now, nor are they intended to be, balanced 1:1. Most RPGs aren't balanced 1:1. In fact the only one I have ever seen was not popular enough to last for 1/4 of the time that one that is REALLY unbalanced did.

This argument falls apart on a few different fronts.

1) It suggests that anyone is advocating for 1:1 parity in the first place. Which.. I haven't seen anyone suggest that.

2) It pretends there is no grey area between one class being utterly and completely dominant over the other and the two classes having perfect parity and homogenity.

Unless 1:1 parity means something other than balances, I suggest. That should be the goal. Unless you're deliberately building something like Rifts where balance is completely out the window by intent - and you make that clear up front.

It won't ever be perfect balance, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be the design goal. It's silly to aim for 2:1 because you might get 1.1:1 instead of 1:1.

Now if you mean classes should all be the same mechanically, with only fluff differences, I don't want that either, but that's far from the only way to balance a game. Not wanting that doesn't mean throw balance out the window.


thejeff wrote:


Now if you mean classes should all be the same mechanically, with only fluff differences, I don't want that either, but that's far from the only way to balance a game.

Just to make sure that everyone understands this -- Rock, Scissors, Paper is a perfectly balanced game. This kind of cyclic A beats B, which beats C, which beats A is actually fairly common in a lot of different war game types -- for example, a common trope is that armor is dominant over infantry, infantry is dominant over artillery, and artillery is dominant over armor -- and a combined arms force is therefore superior to any one type.

This is an easy way to provide niche protection in games; if fighters were strong against aberrations but weak against undead, clerics were strong against undead, but weak against outsiders, wizards were strong against outsiders, but weak against brutes, and rogues were strong against brutes, but weak against aberrations, this would vastly help game balance.

Of course, this is not what we have now; there's little difference between how an aberration responds to a fireball and how a giant responds to the same fireball -- and the ever-expanding spell list (Infernal Healing, anyone?) has guaranteed that clerics and wizards are strong against everything.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
thejeff wrote:


Now if you mean classes should all be the same mechanically, with only fluff differences, I don't want that either, but that's far from the only way to balance a game.

Just to make sure that everyone understands this -- Rock, Scissors, Paper is a perfectly balanced game. This kind of cyclic A beats B, which beats C, which beats A is actually fairly common in a lot of different war game types -- for example, a common trope is that armor is dominant over infantry, infantry is dominant over artillery, and artillery is dominant over armor -- and a combined arms force is therefore superior to any one type.

This is an easy way to provide niche protection in games; if fighters were strong against aberrations but weak against undead, clerics were strong against undead, but weak against outsiders, wizards were strong against outsiders, but weak against brutes, and rogues were strong against brutes, but weak against aberrations, this would vastly help game balance.

Of course, this is not what we have now; there's little difference between how an aberration responds to a fireball and how a giant responds to the same fireball -- and the ever-expanding spell list (Infernal Healing, anyone?) has guaranteed that clerics and wizards are strong against everything.

In theory, you could even not use rock paper scissors and balance classes without them being copies of each other. It's probably harder. You just make them work at the same power level, but differently. Easy to say, harder to do.

In theory, it should be possible, for example, to balance the martial's unlimited abilities against the caster's limited ability to nova - and have both still wind up able to contribute effectively without overshadowing each other. Or even "Casters are glass cannons and need martials to tank for them."
Or, closer to AD&D, if it's difficult for the caster to get his potent spells off without interruption, that's a kind of balance. As was the martials rule at low levels, casters at high approach. There are issues with both of those, that I think 3.x tried to solve, but wound up just removing the balancing factors.

But circling back, is RPS balance intended to contrast with 1:1 balance? Is that the argument here? Because I read a number of posts here as just saying "No it should be 1:2" or some such. Which doesn't really point to a different style of balance, but just that casters should only be twice as powerful.


thejeff wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
thejeff wrote:


Now if you mean classes should all be the same mechanically, with only fluff differences, I don't want that either, but that's far from the only way to balance a game.

Just to make sure that everyone understands this -- Rock, Scissors, Paper is a perfectly balanced game. This kind of cyclic A beats B, which beats C, which beats A is actually fairly common in a lot of different war game types -- for example, a common trope is that armor is dominant over infantry, infantry is dominant over artillery, and artillery is dominant over armor -- and a combined arms force is therefore superior to any one type.

This is an easy way to provide niche protection in games; if fighters were strong against aberrations but weak against undead, clerics were strong against undead, but weak against outsiders, wizards were strong against outsiders, but weak against brutes, and rogues were strong against brutes, but weak against aberrations, this would vastly help game balance.

Of course, this is not what we have now; there's little difference between how an aberration responds to a fireball and how a giant responds to the same fireball -- and the ever-expanding spell list (Infernal Healing, anyone?) has guaranteed that clerics and wizards are strong against everything.

In theory, you could even not use rock paper scissors and balance classes without them being copies of each other.

Of course. I'm just pointing out that balanced-but-different is not a difficult concept either to understand, to design, or even to formalize mathematically. Upthread, Squiggit wrote about "the two classes having perfect parity and homogenity"; I simply wanted to provide a concrete example of demonstrably perfect parity with equally demonstrable heterogeneity.

Quote:


In theory, it should be possible, for example, to balance the martial's unlimited abilities against the caster's limited ability to nova - and have both still wind up able to contribute effectively without overshadowing each other. Or even "Casters are glass cannons and need martials to tank for them."

As you say, this is harder to do -- but one way to balance two different effects is spell (or other effect) failure. If my spell fizzles 1/3 of the time, but does 50% more damage than your sword, our expected damage is the same despite the characters having radically different feels.

Similarly, if I can do an effect 3/day that does twice the damage of something you can do 6/day, that's,.... "close to" balanced (action economy isn't accounted for).

Quote:


But circling back, is RPS balance intended to contrast with 1:1 balance?

No, RPS is supposed to counter the "balanced is identical" idea that people seem to be throwing around. I'm not even recommending RPS as a game design principle, precisely because it's somewhat lazy and unimaginative from a game design perspective.

Personally, I think that 1:1 balance is an unachievable ideal, but it should certainly be a design goal; I should be able to photocopy the pregenerated characters and deal them as from a deck of cards to my group, and we should be able to handle any module out there, regardless of whether we get fighter, ranger, rogue, monk or summoner, wizard, witch, cleric. I should be able to use a 12th level character as a boss monster without having to second-guess about whether a brawler will get roflstomped unless I add two more levels.

I don't want all my boss monsters to be wizards and clerics.....


Orfamay Quest wrote:

No, RPS is supposed to counter the "balanced is identical" idea that people seem to be throwing around. I'm not even recommending RPS as a game design principle, precisely because it's somewhat lazy and unimaginative from a game design perspective.

Personally, I think that 1:1 balance is an unachievable ideal, but it should certainly be a design goal; I should be able to photocopy the pregenerated characters and deal them as from a deck of cards to my group, and we should be able to handle any module out there, regardless of whether we get fighter, ranger, rogue, monk or summoner, wizard, witch, cleric. I should be able to use a 12th level character as a boss monster without having to second-guess about whether a brawler will get roflstomped unless I add two more levels.

I don't want all my boss monsters to be wizards and clerics.....

Though that version of balance would fail if there actually was some kind of rock paper scissors balance - The all martial group would be weaker than a balanced group, as would the all-caster group. Or at least more restricted in what it could handle.


thejeff wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:

No, RPS is supposed to counter the "balanced is identical" idea that people seem to be throwing around. I'm not even recommending RPS as a game design principle, precisely because it's somewhat lazy and unimaginative from a game design perspective.

Personally, I think that 1:1 balance is an unachievable ideal, but it should certainly be a design goal; I should be able to photocopy the pregenerated characters and deal them as from a deck of cards to my group, and we should be able to handle any module out there, regardless of whether we get fighter, ranger, rogue, monk or summoner, wizard, witch, cleric. I should be able to use a 12th level character as a boss monster without having to second-guess about whether a brawler will get roflstomped unless I add two more levels.

I don't want all my boss monsters to be wizards and clerics.....

Though that version of balance would fail if there actually was some kind of rock paper scissors balance - The all martial group would be weaker than a balanced group, as would the all-caster group. Or at least more restricted in what it could handle.

... assuming that all martials are rocks.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:

No, RPS is supposed to counter the "balanced is identical" idea that people seem to be throwing around. I'm not even recommending RPS as a game design principle, precisely because it's somewhat lazy and unimaginative from a game design perspective.

Personally, I think that 1:1 balance is an unachievable ideal, but it should certainly be a design goal; I should be able to photocopy the pregenerated characters and deal them as from a deck of cards to my group, and we should be able to handle any module out there, regardless of whether we get fighter, ranger, rogue, monk or summoner, wizard, witch, cleric. I should be able to use a 12th level character as a boss monster without having to second-guess about whether a brawler will get roflstomped unless I add two more levels.

I don't want all my boss monsters to be wizards and clerics.....

Though that version of balance would fail if there actually was some kind of rock paper scissors balance - The all martial group would be weaker than a balanced group, as would the all-caster group. Or at least more restricted in what it could handle.
... assuming that all martials are rocks.

True. Though it's possible to rephrase: the random draw party can lead to an all rock party, or an all paper party, etc. Such would be weaker than the mixed party.

And still be better than the current system, where past the early levels, an all martial party is weaker than a balanced party, which is weaker than an all caster party.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Arbane the Terrible wrote:
The Sword wrote:

I wouldn't count Conan as a superhero, nor most of the basic characters. Magic is magic not superheoism and magic users in many works of fantasy fiction can throw to fireballs.

Aside from the Wicked Witch of the West, what fictional wizards (pre-D&D, preferrably), threw fireballs?

Tim.

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