Addressing the "Is it as broken as the wizard Fallacy"


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

251 to 300 of 349 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
those NPC are going to be trying their best to win the fight.

I feel this is quite often not true. GMs often use tactics for NPCs that aren't "the best tactics" or "the most reliable tactics" because this accomplishes other goals the GM might have- keeping the game running quickly, characterization of an NPC, making it fun, etc.

You even see this codified in Paizo adventures sometimes where an NPC will focus their attention on a specific sex, a specific race, people with visible tattoos, etc. even if they aren't the most tactically advantageous person to attack. You see this happen in the moment sometimes when, for example, an antagonist has a tactically advantageous position that makes them mostly unreachable against a party without good ranged options- the GM may "allow" the players to bait the antagonist into somewhere they can be stabbed, because otherwise the combat takes too long.

And there are tons of players that do the same. "My halfling hates dwarves and thus won't cooperate with their plans" "my dwarf sees women as non-combatants and doesn't fight them (yes even when they are trying to kill him)" "my dwarf doesn't believe in magic and wont buy magic gear or accept spells" I've seen players play off of these. Most parties aren't optimal in their tactics. Yes they are still trying to kill the bad guys. So the bad guys don't need to be optimally played to still be trying the NPCs best to kill the players.


I wanted to stop derailing this thread, but keep the PvP conversation going. So here is a new thread


Derklord wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
-Spirits and their hexes run the gauntlet of good to meh to WHY.
That's basically what makes the class good - the existance of bad options allow the existence of good options, which in turn allow the class to be good.

It also makes it very easy to bloody well mess up and feel useless.

This kinda plays off my "It's based on how people play it" idea. Could I have completely dominated the entire game as a Shaman? Probably, but it was the first time I played the class in a setting that doesn't favor it's effects or spell list.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
those NPC are going to be trying their best to win the fight.

I feel this is quite often not true. GMs often use tactics for NPCs that aren't "the best tactics" or "the most reliable tactics" because this accomplishes other goals the GM might have- keeping the game running quickly, characterization of an NPC, making it fun, etc.

You even see this codified in Paizo adventures sometimes where an NPC will focus their attention on a specific sex, a specific race, people with visible tattoos, etc. even if they aren't the most tactically advantageous person to attack. You see this happen in the moment sometimes when, for example, an antagonist has a tactically advantageous position that makes them mostly unreachable against a party without good ranged options- the GM may "allow" the players to bait the antagonist into somewhere they can be stabbed, because otherwise the combat takes too long.

I agree with this. As a GM I want to challenge the players, but I also want them to ultimately win*. I often don't use the best build possible, and even use a lesser tactic at times. If this was really PVP I wouldn't bring lesser builds to the table, and I wouldn't use a lesser tactic or remind them to use spell/feat/class ability/etc, that they may have forgotten which can help them survive. I'd hope they didnt have a way to counter what I was doing and if they did I'd hope they would forget to use it.

PvP is very specific with how people think of it. It's more than one players, and both are out to win.

*Just to be clear that doesn't mean I guarantee they don't lose any fights.

PS: No me wanting them to win as a GM is not comparable to me letting my 5 yr old nephew win in street fighter. Things like that are corner cases. The ideal situation is for the player to try to win. <---In before someone brings up situations where you are intentionally merciful to an opponent in PvP, but that almost never take place in normal PvP landscapes.


wraithstrike wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
those NPC are going to be trying their best to win the fight.

I feel this is quite often not true. GMs often use tactics for NPCs that aren't "the best tactics" or "the most reliable tactics" because this accomplishes other goals the GM might have- keeping the game running quickly, characterization of an NPC, making it fun, etc.

You even see this codified in Paizo adventures sometimes where an NPC will focus their attention on a specific sex, a specific race, people with visible tattoos, etc. even if they aren't the most tactically advantageous person to attack. You see this happen in the moment sometimes when, for example, an antagonist has a tactically advantageous position that makes them mostly unreachable against a party without good ranged options- the GM may "allow" the players to bait the antagonist into somewhere they can be stabbed, because otherwise the combat takes too long.

I agree with this. As a GM I want to challenge the players, but I also want them to ultimately win*. I often don't use the best build possible, and even use a lesser tactic at times. If this was really PVP I wouldn't bring lesser builds to the table, and I wouldn't use a lesser tactic or remind them to use spell/feat/class ability/etc, that they may have forgotten which can help them survive. I'd hope they didnt have a way to counter what I was doing and if they did I'd hope they would forget to use it.

PvP is very specific with how people think of it. It's more than one players, and both are out to win.

*Just to be clear that doesn't mean I guarantee they don't lose any fights.

PS: No me wanting them to win as a GM is not comparable to me letting my 5 yr old nephew win in street fighter. Things like that are corner cases. The ideal situation is for the player to try to win. <---In before someone brings up situations where you are intentionally merciful to an opponent in PvP, but that almost never take place in normal PvP landscapes.

Have you seen me play games? I Try for craziness over tried-and-true and give advice to anybody playing with me, even in clearly PVP games. It's why I don't like Chess, its gone without a content and balance patch for so long there's basically no option but to play what actually works. Trying to win in PVP means I'm not enjoying myself, because I'm actively attempting to make the game end.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Not that I generally disagree (because I don't), but then you had to do that:

Haywire build generator wrote:
It's why I don't like Chess, its gone without a content and balance patch for so long there's basically no option but to play what actually works.

Even if true*, that still means that you have more options than you will ever be able to memorize :)

*:
Magnus Carlsen more than once astonished the chess world by winning games he started with moves that should actually not work at that high a level.

I have never seen myself as a competitive or even antagonistic GM myself and I've never considered what I'm doing as a GM comparable to what PvP is all about. In fact, that's one of the reasons why I don't care about optimizing characters very much. Just play what you want and as a GM, I'll take care that the challenge may be high, but not unsurmountable (and no, that does not mean that your character can't die, it just means that you can survive even without a lot of optimizaton in play).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
WormysQueue wrote:
I have never seen myself as a competitive or even antagonistic GM myself and I've never considered what I'm doing as a GM comparable to what PvP is all about. In fact, that's one of the reasons why I don't care about optimizing characters very much. Just play what you want and as a GM, I'll take care that the challenge may be high, but not unsurmountable (and no, that does not mean that your character can't die, it just means that you can survive even without a lot of optimizaton in play).

Unfortunately, certain party compositions make that job a lot harder on the GM.

When I run a game, I don't care so much what level of optimization the characters are at. I care that the party members are on a similar level of power so that I can tune challenges appropriately.

If my party is a Wizard, a Druid, a Summoner, and the rapier-using one-hand-free finesse Fighter putting their advancements into charisma, my life as a GM gets a lot harder when I try and give the fop something to do.

Which is not to say that last character is an invalid character idea; it simply does not work coherently with the group and is difficult to cater an encounter toward. Better to have everyone on the same page.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Omnius wrote:
Which is not to say that last character is an invalid character idea; it simply does not work coherently with the group and is difficult to cater an encounter toward. Better to have everyone on the same page.

Sure, and I'm not denying that there might be limits to what you can do, so a session 0 is a very important thing to do before you start. In my home game, it immensely helps that no one is really interested in the system as is, so I do not have to worry too much about it (if someone would need proof that there can be something as a tier 5 wizard, I could probably help with that :D)

In the end, to me it's much more important that the system enables me to play games in a lot of styles and/or power levels and that I have all kinds of options of how to approach the game from a design standpoint than it is that the system is balanced as far as class and inter-party balance is concerned. I guess that is why 4e didn't work for me, even when I think that it's basic system design is vastly superior to 3.X/PF because it did away with a lot of mechanical elements that for example the Pathfinder designers had to cling to for reasons of backward compatibility. Problem being that said elements contained an awful lot of things that I really like about 3.X/PF, balance be damned.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

There's a lot of mention of "but the GM can fiat" as a counter-argument, it seems.

Let's assume we have a super fighter as a class. She could literally think hard enough about someone and a sky laser would insta-gib the target, no save or immunities. This obviously breaks the game, but there are still many ways for the GM or player to make this class not disruptive. For instance, she might be a pacifist with the player only using this lowerin high RP situations. People can send assassins against her all the time or use special mind EMP fields or something like that. The fact that an all-powerful GM can mitigate the inherit power of a class does not in any way mean that balance is achieved.

In fact, if you very obviously target the wizard player every session without working it out with her beforehand, you run into the issue of just pissing off the player and increasing the chance of her going full paranoia caster, or other high disruptive tactics just to fight back against the GM.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Felyndiira wrote:
There's a lot of mention of "but the GM can fiat" as a counter-argument, it seems.

Not sure if that isn't a valid argument for a system where that very thought is as deeply ingrained in the system design as in D&D. But yeah, of course it is not a good argument to say that the system is objectively balanced because of GM fiat, when in fact GM fiat is necessary because the system itself is not very balanced at all.

Now we might give very different answers to the question if the inclusion of GM fiat as part of the system is a good thing (I think it is), but that would be another discussion.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I see GM fiat as being like the fire extinguisher at your place of work.

There should certainly be space for you to access the fire extinguisher.

If you constantly have to access it, you may be working with a hot mess.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Plus, I mean, there are degrees of "GM fiat". Sure, you've got "Rocks fall, everyone dies" which nobody particularly likes even if it's within the rules, but you've also got all kinds of subtle GM "the GM works behind the scenes" things that players will seldom notice, like "the antagonists will ambush the PCs in one of three places, I'll run the Ambush in whichever one the PCs visit first."

That second thing is pretty essential to just making the game work, I feel.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Artificial 20 wrote:
If you constantly have to access it[the fire extinguisher], you may be working with a hot mess.

It's certainly a way to see it, but I also think that this is emphazising the game's weakness over what may also be it's greatest strength at the same time.

Historically speaking, what the OGL/the d20 system did for D&D (though one might say that this was already the case for older editions as well) was turning the game into a catch-all for all kind of fantasy-based systems. And more than that, you could and still can use the engine to do horror games (CoC d20, WoD d20), Sci-fi games (Star Wars, Starfinder), Steampunk (Rhune), even Shadowrun-type of games, Cyberpunk, no matter what you want to have, it's probably out there already. I mean, Paizo has done some of those things in their adventure paths without modifying the system at all.

As someone who stopped caring about having to learn new systems somewhere along the way, I still think that this is an ingenious approach and really prefer it over the indie scene approach where everyone is doing their own new system for any specific idea. I also think that this is at least part of the reason for the big mainstream appeal D&D has over any other RPG system out there. But it comes with a weakness. If you try to be everything to everyone, you have to live with not being the perfect solution for any single individual.

And that's where GM fiat comes into play. The designers are basically giving you all these shiny tools to make your own, but they also put it in your hands to chose if and how to integrate those options into your own game. So what you see as the fire extinguisher, I see as the mechanic choosing the right tools from their very large toolbelt.

And I'm not saying that the game is perfect and hasn't any flaws at all. But I do think that if you ignore the role GM fiat plays within the system, you're bound to get in trouble because the system heavily relies on it. C/MD or, more generally, class balance, being one of the major areas where this can happen.


Omnius wrote:


If my party is a Wizard, a Druid, a Summoner, and the rapier-using one-hand-free finesse Fighter putting their advancements into charisma, my life as a GM gets a lot harder when I try and give the fop something to do.

Party Face.

Thats not that hard.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ryan Freire wrote:
Omnius wrote:


If my party is a Wizard, a Druid, a Summoner, and the rapier-using one-hand-free finesse Fighter putting their advancements into charisma, my life as a GM gets a lot harder when I try and give the fop something to do.

Party Face.

Thats not that hard.

Summoners use charisma for spells and may end up with higher charisma. So between them and the eidolon they could be better at fighting and being the party face.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
wraithstrike wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Omnius wrote:


If my party is a Wizard, a Druid, a Summoner, and the rapier-using one-hand-free finesse Fighter putting their advancements into charisma, my life as a GM gets a lot harder when I try and give the fop something to do.

Party Face.

Thats not that hard.

Summoners use charisma for spells and may end up with higher charisma. So between them and the eidolon they could be better at fighting and being the party face.

Better yet be a Master Summoner. Spend your Eidolon's few Evolution points on Skilled for various social skills. You are the support caster, Eidolon is the face, summons are the fighters/healers/other support casters/everything else.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I feel like "No, I'm not talking to the giant six-armed outsider" is a reasonable thing for an NPC to insist on.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like "No, I'm not talking to the giant six-armed outsider" is a reasonable thing for an NPC to insist on.

A skilled eidolon wouldn't be a giant six-armed beast. It would be a more simple humanoid looking thing.


Chess Pwn wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like "No, I'm not talking to the giant six-armed outsider" is a reasonable thing for an NPC to insist on.
A skilled eidolon wouldn't be a giant six-armed beast. It would be a more simple humanoid looking thing.

I mean, heck, if it's a good summoner there's a decent chance the Eidolon is an Archon or Agatheon or Angel or Azata, something the NPC somewhat familiar with planar beings might well recognize as one of the Good Guys and be inclined to listen to.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like "No, I'm not talking to the giant six-armed outsider" is a reasonable thing for an NPC to insist on.

Poor Skittermander Swashbuckler. :(


wraithstrike wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Omnius wrote:


If my party is a Wizard, a Druid, a Summoner, and the rapier-using one-hand-free finesse Fighter putting their advancements into charisma, my life as a GM gets a lot harder when I try and give the fop something to do.

Party Face.

Thats not that hard.

Summoners use charisma for spells and may end up with higher charisma. So between them and the eidolon they could be better at fighting and being the party face.

Summoner has the same skill points per level, the same int priority, and more "i'm decent at being a summoner" skill requirements than face skills and fewer face skills as class skills.

So how many resources is this summoner going to spend to work out of niche?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ryan Freire wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Omnius wrote:


If my party is a Wizard, a Druid, a Summoner, and the rapier-using one-hand-free finesse Fighter putting their advancements into charisma, my life as a GM gets a lot harder when I try and give the fop something to do.

Party Face.

Thats not that hard.

Summoners use charisma for spells and may end up with higher charisma. So between them and the eidolon they could be better at fighting and being the party face.

Summoner has the same skill points per level, the same int priority, and more "i'm decent at being a summoner" skill requirements than face skills and fewer face skills as class skills.

So how many resources is this summoner going to spend to work out of niche?

What skills are "i'm decent at being a summoner" skills? Most summoners I've seen are faces that either have an archetype that gave them more face skills or a trait that gave them face skills.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ryan Freire wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Omnius wrote:


If my party is a Wizard, a Druid, a Summoner, and the rapier-using one-hand-free finesse Fighter putting their advancements into charisma, my life as a GM gets a lot harder when I try and give the fop something to do.

Party Face.

Thats not that hard.

Summoners use charisma for spells and may end up with higher charisma. So between them and the eidolon they could be better at fighting and being the party face.

Summoner has the same skill points per level, the same int priority, and more "i'm decent at being a summoner" skill requirements than face skills and fewer face skills as class skills.

So how many resources is this summoner going to spend to work out of niche?

To be fair, the fighter's incredibly poorly equipped to play a party face either until he's spent two or three feats on this while a summoner's got the option of Skilldolons.

Although the fighter in this theoretical scenario is clearly either being played by someone who hasn't yet read the ACG and is going to have his life changed by the Swashbuckler or someone who HAS heard of the Swashbuckler but is electing to play his character concept badly out of spite.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ryan Freire wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Omnius wrote:


If my party is a Wizard, a Druid, a Summoner, and the rapier-using one-hand-free finesse Fighter putting their advancements into charisma, my life as a GM gets a lot harder when I try and give the fop something to do.

Party Face.

Thats not that hard.

Summoners use charisma for spells and may end up with higher charisma. So between them and the eidolon they could be better at fighting and being the party face.

Summoner has the same skill points per level, the same int priority, and more "i'm decent at being a summoner" skill requirements than face skills and fewer face skills as class skills.

So how many resources is this summoner going to spend to work out of niche?

It has at least as good a chance as the fighter in the party, and since it doesn't have to worry about strength or dex as much it can put more into charisma. The fighter can pick up skill focus(insert feat), but the summoner only needs the headband for charisma. The fighter likely needs the headband for charisma and wisdom for will saves, and the summoner can craft his own magic items so is likely to have more gear.

I say between the chances of having a higher charisma because it needs it, and more magical gear the summoner can be the better face.

With the summoner only having two skills just like the fighter, and diplomacy being the skill that is often the most used by a party face the summoner can go with diplomacy and spellcraft assuming no full caster is in the party. If there is another full caster it can ignore spellcraft, and go with intimidate or bluff, and it can still do it's job well. Since the traditional setup is two full casters, and Paizo assumes a 4 to 5 man party, he could reliably have two full casters in the party. That means that spellcraft is not a requirement in most parties for the summoner. It's just another chance to make the check.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ryan Freire wrote:

Party Face.

Thats not that hard.

"Face" is less of a role in D&D than it is in Shadowrun.

If someone's a face in Shadowrun, I warn them to actually be competent at something else, too, or they're gonna be bored out of their gourd most of the time. And Shadowrun has significantly more avenues to make that happen for a muggle than a Fighter has.

And as others have pointed out, yeah, the Summoner's a charisma caster. Most Summoners I've seen get Spellcraft and decent intelligence, put their favored class bonus in skill points and are maybe human, then focus on the social skills themselves 'cuz their own body doesn't have to be the combat powerhouse when they have their buddy Cthulhu.


Blackwaltzomega wrote:
To be fair, the fighter's incredibly poorly equipped to play a party face either until he's spent two or three feats on this while a summoner's got the option of Skilldolons.

Well, a fighter who picks the polearm group (a common choice because reach is awesome and the nodachi exists) can have max ranks in Diplomacy and Sense Motive (or Bluff and Intimidate, or any combination of 2 of those 4) with a single AWT choice.

So it's basically one feat to be 2 of the 4 common social functions: Liar, Diplomat, the scary one, and the lie-detector. You don't need to stick all of those on the same character.

Versatile Training with Bows just gets you Bluff or Intimidate, for social skills, but also includes Perception which saves you a skill point you were going to spend anyway.


Felyndiira wrote:

There's a lot of mention of "but the GM can fiat" as a counter-argument, it seems.

Let's assume we have a super fighter as a class. She could literally think hard enough about someone and a sky laser would insta-gib the target, no save or immunities. This obviously breaks the game, but there are still many ways for the GM or player to make this class not disruptive. For instance, she might be a pacifist with the player only using this lowerin high RP situations. People can send assassins against her all the time or use special mind EMP fields or something like that. The fact that an all-powerful GM can mitigate the inherit power of a class does not in any way mean that balance is achieved.

In fact, if you very obviously target the wizard player every session without working it out with her beforehand, you run into the issue of just pissing off the player and increasing the chance of her going full paranoia caster, or other high disruptive tactics just to fight back against the GM.

There is a big difference between fiat and playstyle. The point is that there are certain playstyles that help an already powerful class, and there are other playstyles that curb their power.

Basically the two side are "The wizard is broken and nothing the gm can do will make it not broken" and "the wizard being broken is a sign that there may be an issue with your gm style". I side with the latter.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
To be fair, the fighter's incredibly poorly equipped to play a party face either until he's spent two or three feats on this while a summoner's got the option of Skilldolons.

Well, a fighter who picks the polearm group (a common choice because reach is awesome and the nodachi exists) can have max ranks in Diplomacy and Sense Motive (or Bluff and Intimidate, or any combination of 2 of those 4) with a single AWT choice.

So it's basically one feat to be 2 of the 4 common social functions: Liar, Diplomat, the scary one, and the lie-detector. You don't need to stick all of those on the same character.

Versatile Training with Bows just gets you Bluff or Intimidate, for social skills, but also includes Perception which saves you a skill point you were going to spend anyway.

Max ranks doesn't suddenly make one good at something. Yeah a lot better, but no where near someone with max ranks, high stat and gear that boosts that stat and those skills.

Like the typical fighter has an array of 16+2/14/14/10/12/8 or something close. So max ranks at lv10 is a +12 with class skill. a summoner who starts with 18 cha reaches that at lv4 or 5 if they get it as class skill


Fighter at least has intimidate as an in class skill, free hand gives an incentive for bluff as well.

Summoner had best have spellcraft, they're probably going to want some extra languages to communicate with summons, it wouldn't be unreasonable for a gm to give them a hard time about what to summon without some knowledge planes.

The fighter is at least as good and isn't skimping on thematic skills.

Also, if you can do the AWT thing they also make them class skills, so a fighter with an AWT into a social skill is as good at it as any class that doesn't get an inherent class bonus to that skill or isn't straight socially built skill class.


MerlinCross wrote:
Derklord wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
-Spirits and their hexes run the gauntlet of good to meh to WHY.
That's basically what makes the class good - the existance of bad options allow the existence of good options, which in turn allow the class to be good.
It also makes it very easy to bloody well mess up and feel useless.

Well, if you want a class that can't make bad choices (apart from the very basics like feats), look at Swashbuckler, Gunslinger, non-AAT/AWT Fighter, or cMonk. Oh look, those are about the classes that receive the most complaint about being underpowered.

In a game so diverse, you can't have all good choices - it's just not possible. Even an option like Felyndiira's sky laser would be pretty weak in an intrigue game. As a tier 1 class, at least a Shaman can select new spells the next day.

Gallant Armor wrote:
Basically the two side are "The wizard is broken and nothing the gm can do will make it not broken" and "the wizard being broken is a sign that there may be an issue with your gm style". I side with the latter.

Nice false dilemma!


I feel like parties should have someone who is "good at talking", but I don't think the threshold to qualify as "good at talking" should be that much higher than "you have max ranks in a class skill" otherwise we're just mandating that specific classes exist in parties, when we all know that you get some pretty random mixtures at tables.

One of the things the fighter is very good for is retrofitting as the talker once it becomes obvious that the party is lacking someone who can do that. So since the AWT patch doesn't become available later, the fighter can just pick Versatile Training at some point after level 5 (spending one feat to do so) and have the party chip in for a circlet of persuasion. If everybody has a Charisma of 10, come level 5 the fighter might end up the best talker.


Derklord wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
Basically the two side are "The wizard is broken and nothing the gm can do will make it not broken" and "the wizard being broken is a sign that there may be an issue with your gm style". I side with the latter.
Nice false dilemma!

Nice ignoratio elenchi!

My post was an attempt to summarize both sides and to explain the concept that wizards being broken can be caused by the GM.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Gallant Armor wrote:

There is a big difference between fiat and playstyle. The point is that there are certain playstyles that help an already powerful class, and there are other playstyles that curb their power.

Basically the two side are "The wizard is broken and nothing the gm can do will make it not broken" and "the wizard being broken is a sign that there may be an issue with your gm style". I side with the latter.

You can adopt a GMing style made to mitigate existing problems, but that does not make the problems stop existing. In fact, that you have to take action to mitigate is evidence that there is a problem in the first place, especially when you have to go to such extremes as you espouse.

The definition of Tier 1 is as follows:

"Capable of doing absolutely everything, often better than classes that specialize in that thing. Often capable of solving encounters with a single mechanical ability and little thought from the player. Has world changing powers at high levels. These guys, if played with skill, can easily break a campaign and can be very hard to challenge without extreme DM fiat or plenty of house rules, especially if Tier 3s and below are in the party."

The dramatically extended work days, deliberately dropping abundant consumables that explicitly favor the muggles (yes, abundant healing/curing items explicitly favors the classes that don't get those abilities as class features), active punishment for dealing with encounters in ways more intelligent than murdering everything in sight, these are extremely biased structures to try and accomplish the specific end of favoring one class over the other because there is such an imbalance.

You have to be biased against one group because they are broken. And that's placing an undue burden on the GM. One I'd rather not deal with when I'm GMing by having everyone on a comparable level of power, so that I can play fair. Also, the style you espouse is extremely limiting; I want more freedom than that.

Keep in mind, this is a very old problem. One literally as old as D&D. Many groups come from a legacy that has been finding workarounds to deal with this problem for literally thirty years, and have never played outside those methods.

But you can wrap a leaky pipe. That doesn't make the pipe stop being leaky.

I'm not saying style of play cannot mitigate imbalance. I'm saying if you need to account for imbalance through biased play style, there is imbalance in the game to the point that it is a problem.

(And no, I do not require everyone to be identical, or even require some white whale of perfect balance. I simply require that everybody be relevant on the same scale without me doing backflips as a GM to force it to happen.)


Omnius wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:

There is a big difference between fiat and playstyle. The point is that there are certain playstyles that help an already powerful class, and there are other playstyles that curb their power.

Basically the two side are "The wizard is broken and nothing the gm can do will make it not broken" and "the wizard being broken is a sign that there may be an issue with your gm style". I side with the latter.

You can adopt a GMing style made to mitigate existing problems, but that does not make the problems stop existing. In fact, that you have to take action to mitigate is evidence that there is a problem in the first place, especially when you have to go to such extremes as you espouse.

You still don't get my primary points:

1. The answer to the question "is the wizard broken?" is a quantum state. The wizard is both broken and not broken until the game is actually played.

The brokenness (or lack thereof) of a particular wizard relies on a variety of factors including player playstyle and GM playstyle. GM playstyle is a choice, even if you think the style used is normal/average/standard/etc. If a choice made by the GM is making the game broken, they should consider making some changes.

2. The "extremes as I espouse" are meant as an example. I am not laying out a template for GMs to follow, I am giving a set of tools that can be applied with whatever degree and frequency the GM feels is appropriate.

Omnius wrote:


The definition of Tier 1 is as follows:

"Capable of doing absolutely everything, often better than classes that specialize in that thing. Often capable of solving encounters with a single mechanical ability and little thought from the player. Has world changing powers at high levels. These guys, if played with skill, can easily break a campaign and can be very hard to challenge without extreme DM fiat or plenty of house rules, especially if Tier 3s and below are in the party."

The dramatically extended work days, deliberately dropping abundant consumables that explicitly favor the muggles (yes, abundant healing/curing items explicitly favors the classes that don't get those abilities as class features)...

As said previously, if wizards aren't getting hurt, the GM is taking it too easy on them. Wizards have less hit points and lower ac than martials, even with defensive spells they will still get hit and need healing.

Omnius wrote:
...active punishment for dealing with encounters in ways more intelligent than murdering everything in sight, these are extremely biased structures to try and accomplish the specific end of favoring one class over the other because there is such an imbalance.

I never said that parties can't have intelligent solutions, only that the world should reflect the implications of those choices. I would argue that allowing parties to skip encounters with no repercussions is favoring casters and other classes. That is what causes the imbalance.

Omnius wrote:

You have to be biased against one group because they are broken. And that's placing an undue burden on the GM. One I'd rather not deal with when I'm GMing by having everyone on a comparable level of power, so that I can play fair. Also, the style you espouse is extremely limiting; I want more freedom than that.

Keep in mind, this is a very old problem. One literally as old as D&D. Many groups come from a legacy that has been finding workarounds to deal with this problem for literally thirty years, and have never played outside those methods.

But you can wrap a leaky pipe. That doesn't make the pipe stop being leaky.

I'm not saying style of play cannot mitigate imbalance. I'm saying if you need to account for imbalance through biased play style, there is imbalance in the game to the point that it is a problem.

(And no, I do not require everyone to be identical, or even require some white whale of perfect balance. I simply require that everybody be relevant on the same scale without me doing backflips as a GM to force it to happen.)

Again, I would argue that the playstyle you describe is biased towards casters.

Different characters shine at different moments. If someone plays a fighter they go into that knowing they will contribute mostly in combat. If that player gets their joy from being able to take down enemies with a sword, then the GM should create situations for that to happen or steer them to another class.

The tools I outlined can be used occasionally or often, in grand or subtle ways to give martials more opportunities to be in the spotlight.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ryan Freire wrote:

Fighter at least has intimidate as an in class skill, free hand gives an incentive for bluff as well.

Summoner had best have spellcraft, they're probably going to want some extra languages to communicate with summons, it wouldn't be unreasonable for a gm to give them a hard time about what to summon without some knowledge planes.

The fighter is at least as good and isn't skimping on thematic skills.

Also, if you can do the AWT thing they also make them class skills, so a fighter with an AWT into a social skill is as good at it as any class that doesn't get an inherent class bonus to that skill or isn't straight socially built skill class.

Many outsiders speak common and even if they don't they're smart enough to know who to attack next. They really don't have to be directed. Some have Truespeech which means they can communicate with anything that has a language. Not putting ranks into linguistics is not a hard barrier. The harder summons to control are the animals because not many casters put ranks into handle animal.

Even if the fighter gains bluff, and diplomacy as additional class skills he likely isnt going to have to the skill points to support them unless he puts his favored class points into skills, but even them he's still only even with the summoner who can do the same thing. The summoner's charisma bonus is likely going to trump the fighter having a class skill unless he sacrifices something else that makes him good at being a fighter. The summoner can get the same results with minimal loss(ie spellcraft).

Basically the fighter as face is barely keeping up, if he is keeping up, and losing more in combat while trying to be a face.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Gallant Armor wrote:

You still don't get my primary points:

1. The answer to the question "is the wizard broken?" is a quantum state. The wizard is both broken and not broken until the game is actually played.

The brokenness (or lack thereof) of a particular wizard relies on a variety of factors including player playstyle and GM playstyle. GM playstyle is a choice, even if you think the style used is normal/average/standard/etc. If a choice made by the GM is making the game broken, they should consider making some changes.

This is cowardly reasoning trying to dodge the truth, a useless mindset from a design and planning perspective, and anathema to the most powerful tool in gaming, session zero.

If nothing exists until the game begins, you cannot design a game, you cannot deal with problems until they are problems.

...or games can, in fact, actually have issues in them, in and of themselves.

Games influence play. Different games influence play in different ways. And yes, games can, in fact, be broken. You've gone from arguing against Schroedinger's Wizard always having the right tool for the job to arguing for Schrodinger's game such that the common text and rules have no value, substance, or pertinence and there is no common ground at all to get around your attempts to blame everything on the GM, vice the rules.

This is the logical equivalent of flipping the table because you're losing the game.

Gallant Armor wrote:
As said previously, if wizards aren't getting hurt, the GM is taking it too easy on them. Wizards have less hit points and lower ac than martials, even with defensive spells they will still get hit and need healing.

You are both generating false absolutes and ignoring the bulk of my assertion.

"Biased in favor of A over B" does not mean "Does not benefit B in any way no matter how slight."

Gallant Armor wrote:
I never said that parties can't have intelligent solutions, only that the world should reflect the implications of those choices. I would argue that allowing parties to skip encounters with no repercussions is favoring casters and other classes. That is what causes the imbalance.

The consequences and setups you propose are nonsensical, both narratively and practically. Heroes generally don't engage in genocide, and don't kill the majority of the enemy. They take decisive action against the actual threat.

The repercussions should be greater for inflicting hundreds of unnecessary casualties that just happened to be on the wrong side of a war!

Gallant Armor wrote:

Again, I would argue that the playstyle you describe is biased towards casters.

Different characters shine at different moments. If someone plays a fighter they go into that knowing they will contribute mostly in combat. If that player gets their joy from being able to take down enemies with a sword, then the GM should create situations for that to happen or steer them to another class.

The tools I outlined can be used occasionally or often, in grand or subtle ways to give martials more opportunities to be in the spotlight.

The playstyle I describe is literally the defined default playstyle of the game that design assumptions are based on and is displayed and advised in every piece of official content you can pick up.

And again, the very notion of a combat class is a failure in design. Every class is supposed to be a combat class in equal measure. If you can't function outside of combat, you've brought an incompetent person into the party. That there are classes that are completely dysfunctional outside of combat is a severe design failure.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I just have one thing to say: BMX Bandit and Angel Summoner...


Artificial 20 wrote:

Vidmaster7 and J4RH34D elevating the thread with progressive discussion from different points of view.

Vidmaster, I'd like to step through the views you've expressed, and how some people can see them and respond with frustration.

The universal starting position is "PCs should be able to do stuff". If you are playing a game with characters that sports mechanical rules to define what they can/cannot do, then you've bought into that premise.

The next common step is PCs should probably be able to do stuff that's fun, cool, and the like. The NPC Commoner class can "do stuff", but is not often played because what it does is generally seen as insufficient for the experience most people want. Most, not all. "Commoner survival game" is a concept I'd like to try, and even if I wouldn't it's valid that other people would/have.

It's hopefully an acceptable premise then that, generally, PCs/their players want to do fun cool stuff. Some staples of fun cool stuff to do are turning invisible, flying, and teleportation.

Now you step in and, expressing your personal preferences, say no, you do not want PCs to turn invisible, fly and teleport. Not without magic.

You are entitled to this opinion. But in following through on it, you have created a divide. That's why it's often called the martial/caster disparity, because you've divided "PCs" into 2 sub-categories, casters inherently with magic, and martials inherently without. This is shown in a succinct question/answer between you and J4R:

"But that raises the question, why is it anime when a fighter does it but we are perfectly happy with the wizard doing it?"

"Magic for your first question."

Following this divide, caster PCs are entitled to teleport using their class features, and martial PCs are not.

This, in my opinion, is okay. Arguably I would say the entire point of a class system is to create diverse abilities so that some things can only be done best, or maybe even at all, by the appropriate classes.

So you have presented this divide,...

I don't think their is an easy answer to it. I think the one thing you could do is make magic more costly whether that be less spells per day or some downside to casting that is not currently their. Also scrolls costing could also be their. another one that I think could help and i've said a few times. Improved things one can do with skills. for example invisibility is good but you can make a stealth check and their is mundane classes that can stealth in plain sight so you can use skills to do magic like stuff without it being over the top magic. I'll admit that line is probably a little blurred. I could personally look at different examples and tell you if I felt they went to far but that is going to be different per person. If magic takes more of an investment then it would mean the wizard can't go and do X because he has to focus on his spells. Then you give the fighter some "skill tricks" Diplomacy checks to get henchmen easier, fear aura intimidate checks, see through illusion perception checks etc. (which i think with the advanced training options it helped a bit.) I think If a fighter can get through most magic like for example AM Barbarian does you would feel less like he has such a huge handicap.

I will say This doesn't come up much in my game because I encourage a lot of role play to deal with problems in games. Also usually the wizard is to busy planning out his spell books and reading spells to worry about being party face. occasionally you poke the player and say you know anything about this and he makes a knowledge check and goes back to his booking.

(and thanks yeah I like jarhead I've agreed with a lot of his posts in the past so I was glad we could have a civil discussion on the matter. mutual respect helps.)


Chess Pwn wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like "No, I'm not talking to the giant six-armed outsider" is a reasonable thing for an NPC to insist on.
A skilled eidolon wouldn't be a giant six-armed beast. It would be a more simple humanoid looking thing.

So THAT'S what the Blades in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 are...


WormysQueue wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
If you constantly have to access it[the fire extinguisher], you may be working with a hot mess.

It's certainly a way to see it, but I also think that this is emphazising the game's weakness over what may also be it's greatest strength at the same time.

Historically speaking, what the OGL/the d20 system did for D&D (though one might say that this was already the case for older editions as well) was turning the game into a catch-all for all kind of fantasy-based systems. And more than that, you could and still can use the engine to do horror games (CoC d20, WoD d20), Sci-fi games (Star Wars, Starfinder), Steampunk (Rhune), even Shadowrun-type of games, Cyberpunk, no matter what you want to have, it's probably out there already. I mean, Paizo has done some of those things in their adventure paths without modifying the system at all.

As it turned out, it did a great many fantasy settings, mostly badly, and a great many non-fantasy settings, generally worse. There's a reason many of the games that came out in the D20 Glut don't survive any more, and M&M has moved further away from the base D20 system with each iteration. The D20 system is simply bad at getting the 'feel' of most settings and genres that aren't written for D&D in the first place (it's actually not good at some of those).


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Gallant Armor wrote:

There is a big difference between fiat and playstyle. The point is that there are certain playstyles that help an already powerful class, and there are other playstyles that curb their power.

Basically the two side are "The wizard is broken and nothing the gm can do will make it not broken" and "the wizard being broken is a sign that there may be an issue with your gm style". I side with the latter.

Your very first argument in this entire thread suggests three things:

  • Have more fights (which people have debated with you about, but is a fair argument).
  • Have most fights specifically target the wizard player with multiple counters.
  • Literally bend plot to screw players (you even mentioned killing their loved ones!) who dared commit the travesty of not killing the golem in that cave.

For the second point, I assume that you don't think that just having some grappled enemies or readied actions archers will solve the problem all the time, that there are powerful SR:NO conjurations that even affect golems, and that you understand that spells like contingency and EFS exists that forces you to have multiple counters in place in order to have a chance of checking anything.

Don't put a strawman in our mouths. None of us ever said "there's nothing the GM can do will make it not broken". The GM is literally god. He can do anything with any of the player characters and invent a justification. Unless if a class can break rule 0, no one is more powerful than the GM.

Instead, I - at least - am simply saying that most of what you are arguing actually are GM fiat. Tailoring all encounters specifically to counter wizard and especially

Gallant Armor wrote:

    *Have logical in-game repercussions for using certain tactics (enemies that the party teleports past [...] kill a beloved NPC, or otherwise disrupt the game)

are, in fact, fiat. You even literally mentioned focusing the wizard in this very post.


Trinam wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like "No, I'm not talking to the giant six-armed outsider" is a reasonable thing for an NPC to insist on.
A skilled eidolon wouldn't be a giant six-armed beast. It would be a more simple humanoid looking thing.
So THAT'S what the Blades in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 are...

Spoiler:
I was going to make a comment about technicalities and in-universe roles, but Blades aren't actually that far off in primary function from Aeons. Aeions, on the other hand...

wraithstrike wrote:


Even if the fighter gains bluff, and diplomacy as additional class skills he likely isnt going to have to the skill points to support them unless he puts his favored class points into skills, but even them he's still only even with the summoner who can do the same thing. The summoner's charisma bonus is likely going to trump the fighter having a class skill unless he sacrifices something else that makes him good at being a fighter. The summoner can get the same results with minimal loss(ie spellcraft).

Basically the fighter as face is barely keeping up, if he is keeping up, and losing more in combat while trying to be a face.

AWT gives ranks = to BAB as does AAT, and if your GM doesn't make you direct your summons he's taking it easy on you. Having to communicate with and direct summons is an intended weakness of the spells and one of the major reasons summon monster trumps summon natures ally, ease of communication.

But its the usual case, people softball primary casters then complain about how OP they get.


Ryan Freire wrote:

AWT gives ranks = to BAB as does AAT, and if your GM doesn't make you direct your summons he's taking it easy on you. Having to communicate with and direct summons is an intended weakness of the spells and one of the major reasons summon monster trumps summon natures ally, ease of communication.

But its the usual case, people softball primary casters then complain about how OP they get.

It's not the trivia of the Linguistics skill that is the root of the power.


Omnius wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:

AWT gives ranks = to BAB as does AAT, and if your GM doesn't make you direct your summons he's taking it easy on you. Having to communicate with and direct summons is an intended weakness of the spells and one of the major reasons summon monster trumps summon natures ally, ease of communication.

But its the usual case, people softball primary casters then complain about how OP they get.

It's not the trivia of the Linguistics skill that is the root of the power.

No but its skill ranks that aren't going into social skills on a 2+int class without an easy "ghost" skill point ability.

So again, how many resources is the summoner going to burn in an effort to fill a niche it only supports by being a cha based caster (and not even one that particularly needs to stack cha very high given its spell list)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ryan Freire wrote:
But its the usual case, people softball primary casters then complain about how OP they get.

No, the DM's following the rules.

"It attacks your opponents to the best of its ability. If you can communicate with the creature, you can direct it not to attack, to attack particular enemies, or to perform other actions."

The creature automatically attacks your foes and you get to pick where it shows up: so it's pretty easy to have them attack who you want even without communication.

Secondly, it's not like the summoner MUST max out ranks in linguistics: a few languages can cover all the creatures you summon. Add to that retraining that allows you to straight out pay GP to learn int + 1 languages and pretty cheap items to speak [1550gp for slotless Traveler's Translator] and I don't see an issue with languages.


Softballing.

Retraining is optional and costs gold
gold on "cheap" items starts to add up pretty quick.
The ability to perform other actions is the primary strength/versatility of summons which makes summons you dont communicate with sub optimal.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ryan Freire wrote:
Softballing.

Ok, so following the rules is softballing: got it.

Ryan Freire wrote:
Retraining is optional and costs gold

Cheap and tends to help out martials more than casters.

Ryan Freire wrote:
gold on "cheap" items starts to add up pretty quick.

We're talking a SINGLE cheap item... It adds up once and you can switch the language if need be 1/day. I'm not seeing the issue.

Ryan Freire wrote:
The ability to perform other actions is the primary strength/versatility of summons which makes summons you dont communicate with sub optimal.

True... And how many languages does that require? Maxed out ranks or a few well picked languages?

I can't help but see this as making a mountain out of a molehill. Between a few well picked languages, a super cheap SINGLE item to fill in for exceptions and truespeak on many summons, it's truely not an issue.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Ryan Freire wrote:

Softballing.

Retraining is optional and costs gold
gold on "cheap" items starts to add up pretty quick.
The ability to perform other actions is the primary strength/versatility of summons which makes summons you dont communicate with sub optimal.

Aquan, Terran, Celestial, Abyssal, Infernal is enough for most summoners. So, 2 from INT and three ranks in linguistics. Not in any way a major investment.

If we're talking about costs adding up, we should be bringing up the snowballing cost of things like fly and see invis potions for the fighter, not a one-time purchase that gets you every language you need.

Grand Lodge

Felyndiira wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:

Softballing.

Retraining is optional and costs gold
gold on "cheap" items starts to add up pretty quick.
The ability to perform other actions is the primary strength/versatility of summons which makes summons you dont communicate with sub optimal.

Aquan, Terran, Celestial, Abyssal, Infernal is enough for most summoners. So, 2 from INT and three ranks in linguistics. Not in any way a major investment.

If we're talking about costs adding up, we should be bringing up the snowballing cost of things like fly and see invis potions for the fighter, not a one-time purchase that gets you every language you need.

Several class can get 2 languages for 1 point making it even easier.

251 to 300 of 349 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Addressing the "Is it as broken as the wizard Fallacy" All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.