4E, Dissociated Mechanics, and a Please Reconsider...


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RangerWickett wrote:

I think you're suffering from a lack of imagination. This is a fantasy setting. Magic pervades reality, to the point that a guy who knows the right words can wiggle his fingers and levitate a rock.

So if you've got Planar Survival, you've learned how to weave the reality of whatever plane you're on into something that will sustain you.

So say that in the feat. "Your ranger has learned how to weave the powers of magic to create food from nothing."

"The world is full of magic. And every basic schmo who has trained in medicine is now magical, and they can tap you on the head and heal x HP in a single action. Without expending any resources or casting or memorization or any of the other things that casters have to do."

At least that bit of odd fluff would tell me that neither one would work in an antimagic field.


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Charlaquin wrote:
If you go looking for ways to “dissociate” the mechanics from the narrative, you’ll find them. All RPG mechanics are necessarily abstract to a certain degree, so they will never hold up if you look at them too closely. However, if you pay attention to what the rules actually say instead of actively looking for the most absurd interpretation you can think of, you’ll find that most mechanics are indeed rooted in the narrative.

This.


Charlaquin wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:


(Also, the fighter would be at negative hit points and close to death in your second example. I would imagine him bleeding out on the ground.)
Instead he's standing with 23 hp and full combat capabilities, so the question still is: did that 1500 lb sword hit or not?
He's lying on the ground bleeding. 23-31 equals -8, does it not?

Forget hit points if the "abstraction" causes so many problems. Let's use "unconscious and dying." There's no more abstraction. There's no more figurative anything. The state is what it is. It doesn't matter how you got there. It doesn't matter if you have "literal sword wounds." Or if you fell from a great height and broke bones, or just "suffered the abstract consequences of a great fall."

You are "unconscious and dying." It is what it is.

And the soup line of naked medics can still fix you up better than the cleric wielding healing magic.

Or at least, they can do more in volume. The clerics run out of spells. The soup line can fix a constant stream of "unconscious and dying" patients. Right back to full health. Thousands of "unconscious and dying" patients a day. With no resources. And no limit. Other than they can only see each patient once.

Yes, and 10,000 peasants can launch a spear at supersonic speed just by passing it from one to the next in the course of a 6-second round, but nobody cares because we understand that this little quirk is an unavoidable result of the fact that the game rules are not designed to account for such situations. But if you use them like a normal human being who isn’t out to prove that they can fabricate a situation where the system’s logic breaks down, then they work just fine.

They can move it fast, but you can't launch it fast. The last guy in the line throws like just another commoner


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So...I suppose all the people pissed off about "dissociated mechanics" must hate Pathfinder 1E, right?

Because a 9,000 gp (only 4,500 gp to make!) decanter of endless water can produce 300 gallons per minute FOREVER. That's 432,000 gallons of water per day, per decanter. So...why haven't most deserts in fantasy worlds been made into verdant gardens? Why do droughts still exist?

But wait, you say...decanters are rare! But should they be? Even ruling out divine casters, who get control water as a 4th level spell (after all, no gods would possibly want to end starvation and/or drought) and assuming we need the 6th level arcane version, Pathfinder tells us that:

Not every town or village has a spellcaster of sufficient level to cast any spell. In general, you must travel to a small town (or larger settlement) to be reasonably assured of finding a spellcaster capable of casting 1st-level spells, a large town for 2nd-level spells, a small city for 3rd- or 4th-level spells, a large city for 5th- or 6th-level spells, and a metropolis for 7th- or 8th-level spells. Even a metropolis isn’t guaranteed to have a local spellcaster able to cast 9th-level spells.

So we can be "reasonably assured" of finding someone to cast the spell needed to craft the decanter in any given large city (and in some cities we may find more than one).

So somehow we're to accept that wars are fought and the fates of nations decided over vying for arable land and/or water when making more of either is just 4,500 gp away? Talk about "dissociated mechanics"!

And the 1E rules are FULL of things like this if you look for them.


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The Sideromancer wrote:
They can move it fast, but you can't launch it fast. The last guy in the line throws like just another commoner

So...instant transportation of goods over infinite distances doesn't qualify as "dissociated"?

As has been pointed out (ad nauseam), ALL RPGs are by their nature full of abstractions. At this point the willfully obtuse should simply be ignored.


bugleyman wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
They can move it fast, but you can't launch it fast. The last guy in the line throws like just another commoner

So...instant transportation of goods over infinite distances doesn't qualify as "dissociated"?

As has been pointed out (ad nauseam), ALL RPGs are by their nature full of abstractions. At this point the willfully obtuse should simply be ignored.

How is this so difficult to understand? Mechanics aren't dissociated because they lack consequences in the world. They are dissociated when they lack an EXPLANATION.

Yes. Games are full of ignorable real world consequences. Just like arid conditions and decanters of endless water.

This game is also 99% full of EXPLANATIONS of what feats and skills DO. Pointing out the few that don't isn't being obtuse. It's calling attention to an easy fix of what is usually an oversight.

Does a battle medic need a healing kit? Is the healing magical? Does it work on golems? What about undead? What exactly is he doing? One line of fluff fixes all of it.

And that same line of fluff will call attention to the areas where the mechanics might not work as intended. Like Dorothy the basket weaver making better katanas than Hattori the smith.

Just because you can imagine a fix to a problem, doesn't mean a problem doesn't exist. And when 99% of the book grounds in world explanations. That might just be a hint that the remaining 1% is an oversight.

Shadow Lodge

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Hunterofthedusk wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think part of the issue with planar survival is that in any adventure where our plucky heroes visit and unfriendly and alien plane, you have to play up the dangers they are likely to face there while they are planning and in order to set atmosphere. But when they are actually there, having taken appropriate measures, you don't play up the hostile environment at every opportunity- the point is to make the players feel apprehension, not to parade an endless series of unpleasantness in front of your friends.

So Planar Survival is like that- it doesn't seem like it would work until you're actually there and realize "oh, it's not *that* bad here."

You find yourselves on the plane of earth, with no living things in sight. Your stomach grumbles, angry at you for forgetting to bring food. The Ranger licks a crystal, and discovers that it is crystalized sugar! The party is saved!

The Rock Candy elementals are, however, super angry you're eating their larva stage equivalents.


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bugleyman wrote:
So...I suppose all the people pissed off about "dissociated mechanics" must hate Pathfinder 1E, right?

Anyone incapable of differentiating between things that happen routinely and theoretical things which will never happen once at the table will have this problem.

You can break 1E all kinds of ways if you don't bother to simply not break it.

You can also simply choose to not do dumb things.

If a different game comes along and puts disconnects into the core mechanics of things that happen over and over again at the table, I'm going to reject that game. The fact that I choose to ignore lots of things that *could* happen but *don't* actually every interact with the play experience doesn't not impede me.

The distinction between these two cases has made a huge difference to the fun I have had over the past decades. I'm comfortable with it and there is no reason for me to change my mind.


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Lucid Blue wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
They can move it fast, but you can't launch it fast. The last guy in the line throws like just another commoner

So...instant transportation of goods over infinite distances doesn't qualify as "dissociated"?

As has been pointed out (ad nauseam), ALL RPGs are by their nature full of abstractions. At this point the willfully obtuse should simply be ignored.

How is this so difficult to understand? Mechanics aren't dissociated because they lack consequences in the world. They are dissociated when they lack an EXPLANATION.

Yes. Games are full of ignorable real world consequences. Just like arid conditions and decanters of endless water.

This game is also 99% full of EXPLANATIONS of what feats and skills DO. Pointing out the few that don't isn't being obtuse. It's calling attention to an easy fix of what is usually an oversight.

Does a battle medic need a healing kit? Is the healing magical? Does it work on golems? What about undead? What exactly is he doing? One line of fluff fixes all of it.

And that same line of fluff will call attention to the areas where the mechanics might not work as intended. Like Dorothy the basket weaver making better katanas than Hattori the smith.

Just because you can imagine a fix to a problem, doesn't mean a problem doesn't exist. And when 99% of the book grounds in world explanations. That might just be a hint that the remaining 1% is an oversight.

You need to realize that for the majority of RPG fans, "leaving room for imagination" is a feature and not a flaw. Your desire for having an official, strict in-fiction explanation for everything in the game is more than likely a minority position, which doesn't make it any less respectable but I wouldn't hold my breath hoping the RPG industry caters to such expectations.

Besides, it's rather transparent now that with "explanation" here you mean "let's not have extraordinary things happen outside of the power of magic", which, once again, is something that died in the 90s.


Visanideth wrote:
Besides, it's rather transparent now that with "explanation" here you mean "let's not have extraordinary things happen outside of the power of magic", which, once again, is something that died in the 90s.

That really is not what they mean, the only transparency is this same tired old dismissive rhetoric from 2008.


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Mr. Fishy believes that the phrase is "internal consistency." The mechanics of the game need to exist with in the established meta physics of the world.

We don't question magic because it exist in the established meta physics of the game world. However, survival on an elemental plane requires magic. Nearly every native creature on an elemental plane has a natural resistance to the planes elemental effect and a magical nature that excludes a need to eat in the traditional since of the word.

The fact that a character can develop survival skills in a inaccessible terrain without magic is, well, jarring.

The feat requires a master level survival skill, and allows for forging in planes that are unable to natural sustain the character.

Mr. Fishy realize that it is a minor grievance; however, it is a legitimate one.


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"No matter your desire for vengeance, even I cannot make you such a sword as you crave."

"But you're the best blacksmith in the region!" I said.

"Go. Seek the weaver. She is the one true Master I have ever met."

"You're the weaver?" I said, baffled.

The old woman sat cross-legged on her bamboo mat, knitting willow rods together with graceful fingers, answering me with her silence.

"I was told you might be able to help me with this," I said, handing her the secret manual of the lost sword clan, embarrassed at the ridiculous nature of the request.

She unrolled the ancient scroll, with no more than mild irritation. "Tsk," she said, studying the diagram of the Legendary Butterfly Edge katana. "Ugly thing. Give me a good kitchen cleaver any day."

"You can do it?" I said, still highly doubtful.

"Why not? It all seems to be fairly basic techniques. I'll need to borrow the smith's forge, of course. And I'll give you a list of the other stuff I'll need." She reached for a brush and ink.

As I left her shop, I looked down at the scrap of paper, but could not focus on the words. I know little about blacksmithing, or baskets. But I know calligraphy, have practised at it every day. And nothing I ever wrote has been as beautiful as the writing on that hasty little shopping list...


While I'm happy to make up explanations for things, there is something to be said for mechanics that carry their own fluff: Good fluff inspires players. A rulebook full of unexplained game mechanics is dry and dull.


bugleyman wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
They can move it fast, but you can't launch it fast. The last guy in the line throws like just another commoner
So...instant transportation of goods over infinite distances doesn't qualify as "dissociated"?

Absurd, perhaps, but not "dissociated" until you spend time thinking about it and realise what exactly is wrong with it.

Quote:

As has been pointed out (ad nauseam), ALL RPGs are by their nature full of abstractions. At this point the willfully obtuse should simply be ignored.

As I understand the use of "dissociation", it isn't necessarily opposed to abstraction. In fact it requires some degree of abstraction to excuse the mechanics that don't make sense in the preferred games - fairly obviously, there's absolutely no rational way to explain turns/moves/initiative as something happening in the world, which is one of the fundamental arguments for declaring some aspect "dissociated", but that gets excused because it's an "abstraction".


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

The real test for me is can you describe a skill or ability enough to explain what you did in-character (and/or so other PCs to ask you to do it IC)

It was one of the jarring things in 4th Ed - the fighter wanting to ask the cleric to 'do that thing where you smack the guy in front of you and I get hit points back'


Hunterofthedusk wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:

I guess I'm genuinely baffled that so many people support the Dissociated Mechanics.

So are you all also in favor of Planar Survival feat allowing people to forage for food on planes of existence that don't have food? Where the act of searching poofs the food into existence?

And if so, are you against letting the DC10 tree be DC10 for everyone? And believe the same tree should have higher DC for higher level characters?

So, the issues you raise feel like corner cases to me, so I don't really care, to be honest. Most planes, including the planes of earth, fire, and whatnot all have creatures on them, and you could hunt them for food. The issues with battlefield medic I've already addressed, and that's really more of a GM dealing with an unreasonable player

But the corner case is built into the skills. Why even mention foodless planets? Why not a skill that says "...unless the area has no food to forage". Also it's not a animal tracking skill so it shouldn't work on the creatures that live there. Other feats would work for that.

Edit: I mean it says normally doesn't sustain you. Obviously the implication is that you take that food and find a way to make it edible. Something you can only do with that feat.


Bluenose wrote:
...there's absolutely no rational way to explain turns/moves/initiative as something happening in the world, which is one of the fundamental arguments for declaring some aspect "dissociated", but that gets excused because it's an "abstraction".

Yes there is. They all happen at the same time so you're not waiting for your turn or anything. The reason you fail to react to your buddy getting slaughtered is because you were busy doing the thing that you just did/are about to do but really already have done. When something doesn't make sense, like you moving up and attacking them and then they run away and attack you from a range, you just have to imagine a slightly different order. The round that just happened was an abstraction of reality. What really happened was that he was finishing an attack or thinking about attacking one of your allies if it was the start of combat. Then the corner of his eyes he sees a madman rushing up to him. He panics and turns around to run but it is too late. You do a mighty leap for the last 10 feet and strike him with your sword. Screaming out in pain he stumbles as he does his "move". Turning around as he stumbles he starts casting scorching ray. Meanwhile you are stowing your sword and drawing your bow. As you take aim a ray streaks past you, a second ray hits your shoulder. You flinch slightly but quickly recenter your self and brace for third impact. As it gets you square in the torso you let lose your arrow etc. Meanwhile everyone else is also doing the same s@**.


Vic Ferrari wrote:

That really is not what they mean, the only transparency is this same tired old dismissive rhetoric from 2008.

At the third time you say "Can't you just make that a magic ability instead?" I think it's fair to call a duck a duck.

I don't have time to go into details on how "dissociated mechanic" is an outdated definition that was never really fitting (since many people proved in this thread that the mechanics can absolutely have a reflection in the fiction), but that would be another bugbear to tackle.

I dislike dissociated mechanics. But they're not what's happening here.


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Lucid Blue wrote:
GameDesignerDM wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Aren't most uses of skills something that we can't explain before they are attempted, so you can't help but provide mechanics before context?

Not at all. The diplomacy skill says what it does. You are talking to the person and trying to convince them. Or persuade them to react a particular way. That's why you have to speak the same language. If they can't understand you, you can't persuade them.

It doesn't say, "spend one action and the creature thinks better of you."

Yeah, but it doesn't state how every single use of Diplomacy is going to go, because the narrative is always shifting.

Same for Planar Survivor.

No, it doesn't explain every possible outcome. But it still gives an explanation. It tells you what diplomacy IS.

Planar Survival gives NO explanation. It says "roll a die and if you succeed, food appears. Even if there's no food." Battle Medic says "spend one action, and the target heals x number of hit points."

Neither one says HOW. Neither one is grounded in the world. They're both just a disembodied math block that gets applied.

The whole thing that makes an RPG what it is, is that there's in-world fiction that contextualizes the activity. And gives the gm and players a way to reason through whether an action is successful or not. Or what factors might get in the way.

For everyone who thinks that none of this is an issue, would you also be in favor of removing the explanations everywhere else from the game? We could greatly cut down the length of the book if it's just a long list of math.

How about this one?

Spend two actions. And everyone in a 30' radius takes 6d6 damage. (old fashioned fireball.)

Or this one?

Spend a standard action, and your target gets 1d8 hit points. You may only make this action once a day. (cure light wounds)

Once you remove the game world, all of the context is gone. What about beings immune to fire? What if your target is undead? Oh,...

On the topic of Battle Medic: the description of the feat is "You can patch up yourself or an adjacent ally,

even if you’re in the middle of combat." Now completely ignoring game mechanics, I would expect this to mean I can take a round to set my buddy's broken arm or stitch up my stab wound. But game mechanics matter when I'm not the GM so I went and checked what Medicine checks you can make untrained and trained. You can Administer First Aid, Treat Disease, and Treat Poison.

Now, I imagine that what Battle Medic is intended to mean I essentially Administer First Aid at a higher DC. Though a clarification that that's what I'm doing would be appreciated. (Now as someone who enjoys getting into the nitty gritty realism of fantasy settings, I would prefer it if those hit points were fully temporary in a you lose an equal number in half n hour if you don't get proper healing kind of way, but I digress).

On the topic of Planar Survival: the exact verbiage is "You can attempt to Survive in the Wild on different
planes, even those without the resources or natural phenomena
you normally need. For instance, you can forage for food even
if the plane lacks food that could normally sustain you, and you
could find your bearings on a plane that doesn’t have stars, a sun,
or other normal aids to navigation." Now this says survive in the WILD so as a GM I would throw out any solutions to finding food that involve obtaining it from some form of society by theft or bartering (though I may allow them to use it to find a source of food in such a situation).

And this has been brought up a number of times already, but I'm going to reiterate for the sake of covering all of the potential issues with this feat: it says "you can forage for food if the plane lacks food that could NORMALLY sustain YOU." This means that, due to my super survival skills, I can figure out how to make the highly toxic leaves of the void turtle's shell-or whatever bullsh*t thing I want to make up-into a rather disgusting, but still edible soup. Now, I haven't read through the GM section yet, but I imagine any issues that arise could easily be solved by offering the GM a few suggestions for situations in which the feat might be used.

The explanation is there (or the framework for such at least), it's just not in the place you're expecting or wanting it to be. Which oops, big deal, paizo please make sure to put it someplace more obvious in the official release. (I'm totally with you on the please give me at least the basis for in-game fiction explanations. I enjoy getting to make stuff up about why such and such works when it shouldn't, but give me a jumping point for it at least!)


Personally I like the idea that combat medics can heal people in combat.

The implementation might need a tweak here and there, like what DC it should be, or whatever. But not needing a cleric, or other dedicated magic healer(oracles, druids, bards, whatever) is a good thing fir the game, the party, and the cleric himself


The thing with dissociated mechanics is that every game have them, then our own biases or tolerance level to dissociation allow us to selectively blind ourselves to the ones that we can live with.

The most dissociated mechanic ever is the initiative system. The fact that every body has the ability to freeze time, produce time bubbles, and act while the rest of the universe is in stasis. Yet we li e with this massive kink, because making a simultaneous round would be really complex.


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I feel for Paizo, because they have two opposing design goals.

The first is avoiding these dissociated mechanics as you refer to them. Keeping the game feeling grounded in reality. Even in a world with dragons and magic and what have you, that feeling is important. It keeps players invested in the game and inspires good role playing.

The other is fixing the good old martial caster disparity. The problem is that magic is pretty much exempt from constraint. It can do whatever and people will say, "A wizard did it" and move on. It will always have way more narrative power than the mundane.

So the options are essentially:

a) Nerf magic until it's capable of barely more than the mundane. At that point it becomes boring and stale, and the game becomes more gritty low fantasy.

b) Buff martial stuff to be able to do the supernatural. You them get the problems outlined thus far in this thread.

c) Leave it as it was in first edition. You then get endless balance complaints and wars amongst your player base. Threads about martial caster disparity that reach into the ten thousand post mark. Etcetera.

I have no idea what the correct solution is. No matter what they do there will be a huge contingent of angry people shouting that they made the wrong decision.


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Triune wrote:

I feel for Paizo, because they have two opposing design goals.

The first is avoiding these dissociated mechanics as you refer to them. Keeping the game feeling grounded in reality. Even in a world with dragons and magic and what have you, that feeling is important. It keeps players invested in the game and inspires good role playing.

The other is fixing the good old martial caster disparity. The problem is that magic is pretty much exempt from constraint. It can do whatever and people will say, "A wizard did it" and move on. It will always have way more narrative power than the mundane.

So the options are essentially:

a) Nerf magic until it's capable of barely more than the mundane. At that point it becomes boring and stale, and the game becomes more gritty low fantasy.

b) Buff martial stuff to be able to do the supernatural. You them get the problems outlined thus far in this thread.

c) Leave it as it was in first edition. You then get endless balance complaints and wars amongst your player base. Threads about martial caster disparity that reach into the ten thousand post mark. Etcetera.

I have no idea what the correct solution is. No matter what they do there will be a huge contingent of angry people shouting that they made the wrong decision.

I think the answer is d) people don't really want power parity, they just want fun options as a martial.

Hard to say if they've succeeded because I've yet to get a game going but the new crit specializations and fun ammo stuff fixes the problems I have with the disparity. I'm comparing it to 5e not pf1 because I have no idea what goes on there but I don't think it matters. This is a new version so I'll just judge it for what it is now. The 3 action system favors martials to me in that they can now chose to not attack as their first action without losing their whole turn essentially. I can now push over a table or try to lie pull levers are whatever else fun there is in the area without giving up my attacks. Most spells are 2 actions so you could cast a spell move to the lever but not use the lever until next turn. Martials will use 1 move 1 attack and 1 fun thing each turn potentially and I just really like that.
Then there's the ammo but it's magic so maybe doesn't count? I mean it is a martial option and it doesn't break my suspension of belief.


Senkon wrote:


I think the answer is d) people don't really want power parity, they just want fun options as a martial.

That's kind of hard to reconcile with the 10.000 posts threads, the success of 5E and all that jazz. People most definitely care about power parity.


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Visanideth wrote:
Senkon wrote:


I think the answer is d) people don't really want power parity, they just want fun options as a martial.
That's kind of hard to reconcile with the 10.000 posts threads, the success of 5E and all that jazz. People most definitely care about power parity.

I mean, right?

It's also very easy to say "more fun options for martials", but actually implementation is another story. You just want an ability to do another thing on your turn, so the three action system works for you. For someone else, they want that narrative power that casters get, the ability to actually change things more meaningfully. For them, kicking over a table doesn't quite cut it. The kind of things they want are the kind of things other people react violently to, like a bow critical immobilizing for example. They see that and go "But what about huge creatures! They realistically wouldn't be immobilized by a tiny arrow!". Understand the problem?


Triune wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Senkon wrote:


I think the answer is d) people don't really want power parity, they just want fun options as a martial.
That's kind of hard to reconcile with the 10.000 posts threads, the success of 5E and all that jazz. People most definitely care about power parity.

I mean, right?

It's also very easy to say "more fun options for martials", but actually implementation is another story. You just want an ability to do another thing on your turn, so the three action system works for you. For someone else, they want that narrative power that casters get, the ability to actually change things more meaningfully. For them, kicking over a table doesn't quite cut it. The kind of things they want are the kind of things other people react violently to, like a bow critical immobilizing for example. They see that and go "But what about huge creatures! They realistically wouldn't be immobilized by a tiny arrow!". Understand the problem?

But I like the crit specializations including those. I mean I can understand not wanting it to work for some creatures but even if you have a huge creature it probably would have a smaller part that could get pinned somewhere. I'm not sure sometimes pinning a creature and only if they are close to a wall is powerful compared to spells that immobilize however the fact you brought that example up tells me something. It tells me that you want the ability to chose between many fun options (weapons with crit effects) not something that is as powerful as a wizards aoe stun effect. Even with single target immobile effects they tend to last longer and with no wall requirements.

Edit: 5e wizards are more powerful than martials lol :^)


Senkon wrote:
Triune wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Senkon wrote:


I think the answer is d) people don't really want power parity, they just want fun options as a martial.
That's kind of hard to reconcile with the 10.000 posts threads, the success of 5E and all that jazz. People most definitely care about power parity.

I mean, right?

It's also very easy to say "more fun options for martials", but actually implementation is another story. You just want an ability to do another thing on your turn, so the three action system works for you. For someone else, they want that narrative power that casters get, the ability to actually change things more meaningfully. For them, kicking over a table doesn't quite cut it. The kind of things they want are the kind of things other people react violently to, like a bow critical immobilizing for example. They see that and go "But what about huge creatures! They realistically wouldn't be immobilized by a tiny arrow!". Understand the problem?

But I like the crit specializations including those. I mean I can understand not wanting it to work for some creatures but even if you have a huge creature it probably would have a smaller part that could get pinned somewhere. I'm not sure sometimes pinning a creature and only if they are close to a wall is powerful compared to spells that immobilize however the fact you brought that example up tells me something. It tells me that you want the ability to chose between many fun options (weapons with crit effects) not something that is as powerful as a wizards aoe stun effect. Even with single target immobile effects they tend to last longer and with no wall requirements.

Edit: 5e wizards are more powerful than martials lol :^)

I don't think you understood my point.

The point is that that arrow thing you find fun, that you enjoy? For other people (and those people aren't me) it makes the game worse. They are legitimately complaining about it. And they're not wrong and your opinion is no more valid than theirs.

The point was that no matter what direction you go in, there will be a large contingent of screaming fans insisting that you did it wrong and their way is the right way.


BryonD wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
So...I suppose all the people pissed off about "dissociated mechanics" must hate Pathfinder 1E, right?

Anyone incapable of differentiating between things that happen routinely and theoretical things which will never happen once at the table will have this problem.

It must be totally awesome to know what happens at every table everywhere, ever. I'm sure Paizo would love to hire you.

And with that, I'm taking my own advice and ignoring this ridiculous thread. Have fun storming the castle!


Triune wrote:
Senkon wrote:
Triune wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Senkon wrote:


I think the answer is d) people don't really want power parity, they just want fun options as a martial.
That's kind of hard to reconcile with the 10.000 posts threads, the success of 5E and all that jazz. People most definitely care about power parity.

I mean, right?

It's also very easy to say "more fun options for martials", but actually implementation is another story. You just want an ability to do another thing on your turn, so the three action system works for you. For someone else, they want that narrative power that casters get, the ability to actually change things more meaningfully. For them, kicking over a table doesn't quite cut it. The kind of things they want are the kind of things other people react violently to, like a bow critical immobilizing for example. They see that and go "But what about huge creatures! They realistically wouldn't be immobilized by a tiny arrow!". Understand the problem?

But I like the crit specializations including those. I mean I can understand not wanting it to work for some creatures but even if you have a huge creature it probably would have a smaller part that could get pinned somewhere. I'm not sure sometimes pinning a creature and only if they are close to a wall is powerful compared to spells that immobilize however the fact you brought that example up tells me something. It tells me that you want the ability to chose between many fun options (weapons with crit effects) not something that is as powerful as a wizards aoe stun effect. Even with single target immobile effects they tend to last longer and with no wall requirements.

Edit: 5e wizards are more powerful than martials lol :^)

I don't think you understood my point.

The point is that that arrow thing you find fun, that you enjoy? For other people (and those people aren't me) it makes the game worse. They are legitimately complaining about it. And they're not wrong and your opinion...

Ok but I think what they think they want and what they actually want is different. I think they want fun options. You seem to work as an example. You brought up the narrative power of the arrow as a thing. If that's good enough for you then something that is basically a lvl 2-3 spell for a wizard but worse is good enough for you. Because it's a fun option. If you are not satisfied with that kinda power lvl then I would like to know what you actually want instead of what other people who are/aren't angry about martials want. So that a discussion can take place. So far I assumed that the arrow was an example of what you like from martials in 2e.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
epicmusic42 wrote:
Now, I imagine that what Battle Medic is intended to mean I essentially Administer First Aid at a higher DC. Though a clarification that that's what I'm doing would be appreciated. (Now as someone who enjoys getting into the nitty gritty realism of fantasy settings, I would prefer it if those hit points were fully temporary in a you lose an equal number in half n hour if you don't get proper healing kind of way, but I digress).

There might be a rules interaction that prevented them from saying that. It would have to be worded very carefully to both keep you form using that first aid action to heal HP more than once per day, but not simultaneously lock out the ability to use first aid normally on the same day.

Also, that tent full of naked medics patching up an army is called a mobile army surgical hospital unit. There was a long running TV show in the 80s about one, And a movie before that. I'm absolutely amused that something like THAT is unrealistic, but a single cleric patching up everyone is apparently more believable.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
epicmusic42 wrote:
Now, I imagine that what Battle Medic is intended to mean I essentially Administer First Aid at a higher DC. Though a clarification that that's what I'm doing would be appreciated. (Now as someone who enjoys getting into the nitty gritty realism of fantasy settings, I would prefer it if those hit points were fully temporary in a you lose an equal number in half n hour if you don't get proper healing kind of way, but I digress).

There might be a rules interaction that prevented them from saying that. It would have to be worded very carefully to both keep you form using that first aid action to heal HP more than once per day, but not simultaneously lock out the ability to use first aid normally on the same day.

Also, that tent full of naked medics patching up an army is called a mobile army surgical hospital unit. There was a long running TV show in the 80s about one, And a movie before that. I'm absolutely amused that something like THAT is unrealistic, but a single cleric patching up everyone is apparently more believable.

Yeah but the "naked" medics patching an army had, you know, tools and supplies and such. A guy with Battle Medic doesn't even need healer's tools (unlike someone using Administer First Aid), he just heals you by touching you.

I mean if Administer First Aid requires supplies, surely something that heals even more would also require supplies? At least, that's how I understand OP's position.


I think people are horribly misconstruing the point of the OP, or at least his main point.

Yes, a Ranger might be able to literally just create food for other people out of essentially nothing. He makes boiled leather palpable or somehow derives nutrition from sweat. That's fine - at 15th a Wizard is creating walls of seven colours and killing people by pointing at them.

The problem is that there's no flavour at all and that's annoying. How is it being accomplished? Yes, the idea might be that the DM should arbitrate, but considering that it's rather far-fetched, an example of how it might be accomplished could work, and you can just flavour it when you want to re-arbitrate.

And as far as people bringing up decanters of endless water or items of create food and drink, the fact is that many people do object to those things especially once you consider that casters, contrary to what the DMG claims, are f~+#ing everywhere in the world, just look at the distribution of PC levels in large cities there are multiple 20th level casters in every metropolis. The worldbuilding is beyond f&@$ing horrendous, especially when half of the abusive things they can do is shut down with "nope Pharasma says no :)" which is handwaving of the worst degree.


TheFinish wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
epicmusic42 wrote:
Now, I imagine that what Battle Medic is intended to mean I essentially Administer First Aid at a higher DC. Though a clarification that that's what I'm doing would be appreciated. (Now as someone who enjoys getting into the nitty gritty realism of fantasy settings, I would prefer it if those hit points were fully temporary in a you lose an equal number in half n hour if you don't get proper healing kind of way, but I digress).

There might be a rules interaction that prevented them from saying that. It would have to be worded very carefully to both keep you form using that first aid action to heal HP more than once per day, but not simultaneously lock out the ability to use first aid normally on the same day.

Also, that tent full of naked medics patching up an army is called a mobile army surgical hospital unit. There was a long running TV show in the 80s about one, And a movie before that. I'm absolutely amused that something like THAT is unrealistic, but a single cleric patching up everyone is apparently more believable.

Yeah but the "naked" medics patching an army had, you know, tools and supplies and such. A guy with Battle Medic doesn't even need healer's tools (unlike someone using Administer First Aid), he just heals you by touching you.

I mean if Administer First Aid requires supplies, surely something that heals even more would also require supplies? At least, that's how I understand OP's position.

I mean to begin with unless you're on an open plane with literally nothing to supply you, there's going to be some grass, maybe some herbs or mushrooms, and the idea is you're so good you can bind wounds with grass fibers and manage to mix random toadstools into functioning medicine. Isn't that the whole point of Legendary Feats, that they're unrealistic but it's cool as hell? In China one of the legends of the beginning of traditional medicine has a wise healer wounded by a boar, so he just takes seven leaves from different trees he picked up off the ground, covers his wounds, and the next morning he's completely fine.

Then there's the whole completely cancerous idea of the mundane martial. No. If you're level 10-15 then you shouldn't be mundane anymore. I use examples of actual legends a lot but they really did do all sorts of wacky stuff you can't do in real life because the gate called "physics" bars your way. A level 15, even a Barbarian or Fighter, isn't just a guy at the gym - he's a guy who's surpassed all gyms that will ever exist. Hercules carried the sky on his back. That's right, he kept the earth and the sky apart, despite having nothing to hold onto for the sky part, but he did it anyway because nope he's just that strong.


TheFinish wrote:

Also, that tent full of naked medics patching up an army is called a mobile army surgical hospital unit. There was a long running TV show in the 80s about one, And a movie before that. I'm absolutely amused that something like THAT is unrealistic, but a single cleric patching up everyone is apparently more believable.

Yeah but the "naked" medics patching an army had, you know, tools and supplies and such. A guy with Battle Medic doesn't even need healer's tools (unlike someone using Administer First Aid), he just heals you by touching you.

I mean if Administer First Aid requires supplies, surely something that heals even more would also require supplies? At least, that's how I understand OP's position.

Yep. That's all I'm saying. Well, that, and those mobile army surgical hospitals took more than TWO SECONDS to do their thing.

Re: the claim that "but you can't possibly fix all this."

How's this?

Battle Medic: "You can use a healers kit to clean and bandage the wounds of living creatures. Using this feat expends one use of the healers kit."

Problem solved. Well, that and extend the number of actions required. Sorry, but I can't imagine every first level shlub accomplishing those activities in two seconds flat. Give the two second ability to the Legendary medics. Not the first level ones.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Grapes of Being Tired wrote:
Then there's the whole completely cancerous idea of the mundane martial. No. If you're level 10-15 then you shouldn't be mundane anymore. I use examples of actual legends a lot but they really did do all sorts of wacky stuff you can't do in real life because the gate called "physics" bars your way. A level 15, even a Barbarian or Fighter, isn't just a guy at the gym - he's a guy who's surpassed all gyms that will ever exist. Hercules carried the sky on his back. That's right, he kept the earth and the sky apart, despite having nothing to hold onto for the sky part, but he did it anyway because nope he's just that strong

Well, in fairness, Combat Medic is a level 2 feat, so there should be some grounding in reality.

TheFinnish and OP bring up good points about the wonkiness of the feat's rules text, but I think asking for any explanation at all of how the feat works beyond the rules of it is folly. For example, much of the thread's angst would have been avoided if the hadn't added the second sentence to the Planar Survival feat. Trying to give an example of how it worked without being too specific clearly backfired in this case.


Grapes of Being Tired wrote:

I think people are horribly misconstruing the point of the OP, or at least his main point.

Yes, a Ranger might be able to literally just create food for other people out of essentially nothing. He makes boiled leather palpable or somehow derives nutrition from sweat.

Basically I'm making two points on this one...

First, add some flavor text explaining HOW you do it. Almost every other thing in the book does this. This one probably just got missed. Saying that "but I can imagine my own HOW and flavor text" is not a fix. Yes, you can invent your own. So can I.

...said the GMs with 30+ years of experience. What about new GMs? Should we leave it to them to explain as well? Is there any particular reason why we should just WILLFULLY OMIT that text? It's easy enough to add. Why not add it?

The second point: This one is a little overpowered and random compared to the rest of the game. (And again, IT IS NOT legendary!) Even IF, you interpret the vague entry as "well it didn't really mean NO food, it just meant THINGS ARE THERE, THEY JUST AREN'T NORMALLY EDIBLE." Ok fine.

Lets compare that to making poison. What skills and abilities does it take to make a poison? It appears now that you need a formula to make each individual poison. Plus experience. Plus familiarity with the materials.

And now we get Planar Survival. And with a single feat and no formulae and no equipment, I can visit ANY ONE OF AN INFINITE NUMBER OF PLANES... And with a single role, I can gather toxic, foreign substances of unknown origin, and process them perfectly into a new substance that can substitute for healthy food and water.

If you want to allow that, fine. Knock yourself out. I'm just pointing out the inconsistency with all the other abilities in the game.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lucid Blue wrote:
Battle Medic: "You can use a healers kit to clean and bandage the wounds of living creatures. Using this feat expends one use of the healers kit."

Hate to bring this up, but Healer's tools don't have uses. So I've no objections to the first part, but the second part is not needed.

Another way I might accomplish the same goal is to put in the Medicine skill description itself that you need healers tools to attempt any use of the medicine skill (except Recall Knowledge. Also I would add a Recall Knowledge task to the skill), and that not using healer tools imposes a -2 penalty because you are considered to be improvising it. There's a couple other skills I'd want to add something like that to as well. Edit: actually, no, it's just Medicine. Craft and Theivery already have something close enough.

Edit: edited to be less of a jerk


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Lucid Blue wrote:
Battle Medic: "You can use a healers kit to clean and bandage the wounds of living creatures. Using this feat expends one use of the healers kit."

Hate to bring this up, but Healer's tools don't have uses. So I've no objections to the first part, but the second part is not needed.

Another way I might accomplish the same goal is to put in the Medicine skill description itself that you need healers tools to attempt any use of the medicine skill (except Recall Knowledge. Also I would add a Recall Knowledge task to the skill), and that not using healer tools imposes a -2 penalty because you are considered to be improvising it. There's a couple other skills I'd want to add something like that to as well. Edit: actually, no, it's just Medicine. Craft and Theivery already have something close enough.

Edit: edited to be less of a jerk

Perfect. Problem solved again.

(and lol to edit)


Lucid Blue wrote:
Grapes of Being Tired wrote:

I think people are horribly misconstruing the point of the OP, or at least his main point.

Yes, a Ranger might be able to literally just create food for other people out of essentially nothing. He makes boiled leather palpable or somehow derives nutrition from sweat.

First, add some flavor text explaining HOW you do it. Almost every other thing in the book does this. This one probably just got missed. Saying that "but I can imagine my own HOW and flavor text" is not a fix. Yes, you can invent your own. So can I.

Why not add it?

It's the best way to get new players and dms to make up their own flavor to skills. I mean I would never reflavor fireball for example. It seems wrong to do so. But if the spell didn't tell me anything I would have to and I would probably be happier for it.

As for the rest yeah I don't like too much healing either. The find food stuff seems kinda weak but whatever.


Senkon wrote:

It's the best way to get new players and dms to make up their own flavor to skills. I mean I would never reflavor fireball for example. It seems wrong to do so. But if the spell didn't tell me anything I would have to and I would probably be happier for it.

As for the rest yeah I don't like too much healing either. The find food stuff seems kinda weak but whatever.

I would argue that any unnecessary vaguery does more to discourage new GMs and acts as a barrier to them ever playing. Step one is "learn what the hell the game even is." Let "tinker and fuss and invent my own rules" be step two or three or four.

Re: fireball. That one already has the flavor text I'm asking for. It already says HOW. It's a ball of fire that burns things.

But more than the flavor, we got CONTEXT. We got LIMITATION.

What if the spell was just "DamageBall. You cast the spell and things take damage?" Or "DamageBolt"? Or "Increase Hit Points?"

There's no more flavor. There's no context. There's no limitation. DamageBall damages EVERYTHING... fire elementals, demons, undead, people.

"Increase Hit Points" just makes hit points go up. Buildings. Structures. Undead. Golems. Characters.

The world is a lot less interesting when it lacks context. And strategy and tactics vanish almost entirely.


Lucid Blue wrote:
Senkon wrote:

It's the best way to get new players and dms to make up their own flavor to skills. I mean I would never reflavor fireball for example. It seems wrong to do so. But if the spell didn't tell me anything I would have to and I would probably be happier for it.

As for the rest yeah I don't like too much healing either. The find food stuff seems kinda weak but whatever.

I would argue that any unnecessary vaguery does more to discourage new GMs and acts as a barrier to them ever playing. Step one is "learn what the hell the game even is." Let "tinker and fuss and invent my own rules" be step two or three or four.

Re: fireball. That one already has the flavor text I'm asking for. It already says HOW. It's a ball of fire that burns things.

But more than the flavor, we got CONTEXT. We got LIMITATION.

What if the spell was just "DamageBall. You cast the spell and things take damage?" Or "DamageBolt"? Or "Increase Hit Points?"

There's no more flavor. There's no context. There's no limitation. DamageBall damages EVERYTHING... fire elementals, demons, undead, people.

"Increase Hit Points" just makes hit points go up. Buildings. Structures. Undead. Golems. Characters.

The world is a lot less interesting when it lacks context. And strategy and tactics vanish almost entirely.

Way to use hyperbole. Planar survival does have limitations. It only finds food. It needs resources or natural phenomena, just not the ones that you normally need. I never said remove the mechanical limitations, I just made a case for no flavor text. Fireball would then still have dmg numbers, range, aoe, dmg type etc. It wouldn't say it's a ball of fire though. It could be a grenade or it could be a pearl of fire that expands at the end of it's trajectory.


Senkon wrote:
Way to use hyperbole. Planar survival does have limitations. It only finds food. It needs resources or natural phenomena, just not the ones that you normally need. I never said remove the mechanical limitations, I just made a case for no flavor text. Fireball would then still have dmg numbers, range, aoe, dmg type etc. It wouldn't say it's a ball of fire though. It could be a grenade or it could be a pearl of fire that expands at the end of it's trajectory.

I was actually agreeing with you. (Other than forcing new GMs to invent their own fiction.)

Planar Survival says WHAT. It doesn't say HOW.

And "a grenade or it could be a pearl of fire that expands at the end of it's trajectory" is still inserting the flavor. It's just a different flavor.

You claim hyperbole, but it was actually a specific point. Flavor matters. Which you just demonstrated by reinserting the grenade/pearl flavor (along with Fire damage type).


Lucid Blue wrote:
Senkon wrote:
Way to use hyperbole. Planar survival does have limitations. It only finds food. It needs resources or natural phenomena, just not the ones that you normally need. I never said remove the mechanical limitations, I just made a case for no flavor text. Fireball would then still have dmg numbers, range, aoe, dmg type etc. It wouldn't say it's a ball of fire though. It could be a grenade or it could be a pearl of fire that expands at the end of it's trajectory.

I was actually agreeing with you. (Other than forcing new GMs to invent their own fiction.)

Planar Survival says WHAT. It doesn't say HOW.

And "a grenade or it could be a pearl of fire that expands at the end of it's trajectory" is still inserting the flavor. It's just a different flavor.

You claim hyperbole, but it was actually a specific point. Flavor matters. Which you just demonstrated by reinserting the grenade/pearl flavor (along with Fire damage type).

Not sure in which way you agreed with me. I'm just not seeing it.

But the pearl of fire isn't mentioned in the text. I meant that is the part the player makes up instead. Keep the what but not the how.


Lucid Blue wrote:

Wanted to point out bits of Dissociated Mechanics that show up here and there in the playtest.. The Planar Survival feat is the worst offender I've seen. But there a few others as well.

There's been a lot of talk about whether 2E is/isn't like 4E D&D. Whether or not you think that's a good thing, with class powers and such, I'd argue that the main thing that made 4E unpalatable to a lot of people was it's fetishization of balance and reliance on Dissociated Mechanics. Meaning, mechanical game effects that had no grounding whatsoever in the fiction of the world.

Balance and options are all good. But a lot of 4E mechanics were simply bits of math that got applied to the world, without ever explaining HOW or WHAT was going on. It was just a catalog of powers that applied math to a situation.. Which made it feel very video-gamey because it lacked any explanation or way to mitigate the effects. (But what kind of damage is it? How did I take it? What if I was protected situationally? Doesn't matter. Math is math. World be damned. Mark it on your sheet.)

For the most part, it seems that Pathfinder has taken pains to avoid doing that. (eg. A DC10 tree is a DC10 tree. It doesn't get harder to climb as the PC's gain levels. Making the tree adjust it's DC for the climber feels video-gamey because there's no in-world explanation for why it should change.)

But then we get to things like Planar Survival... Where "you can forage for food [on another plane of existence] EVEN IF THE PLANE LACKS FOOD THAT COULD NORMALLY SUSTAIN YOU."

I can't think of a worse example of Dissociated Mechanics.. And it's exactly the DC10 tree issue. The plane DOESN'T EVEN HAVE FOOD. But you can forage for it anyway. The plane suddenly has food BECAUSE THE PLAYER LOOKED FOR IT. "Elemental plane of fire? No problem. I have Planar Survival! Let me scrounge up some berries. Negative Energy void? Pfff. There's small game around here somewhere."

Combat Medic is another. I can literally wipe away severe sword wounds in two seconds...

Your lack of creative imagination troubles me.

"This plane doesn't have food, we can't survive here!"

"Sure, if you're some rural bumpkin who has to have all of his food delivered to him on a platinum platter. That pool of lava? I can drink from there almost no differently from drinking from a lake. That molten salamander? That's tonight's dinner."

I'm not sure you really understand the point of being a Legendary character. You do things that are literally impossible. That is the whole point of being the absolute best, doing things that defy all human rationale. Maybe they have the abilities to make things from contents in the Plane of Fire for food that other people can't? Did you ever think of that, or are you too busy yelling at the kids on your lawn or porch to realize that?


No. I'm too busy reading the actual posts in this thread.

For the 12th time, planar survival is NOT lengendary.

And for the 20th time: just because you can fix the books omition by inventing your own explanation doesn't mean the omition didn't happen.

"I can solve the problem myself, therefore the problem doesn't exist" is not a valid solution to anyone but you.

A brand new gm doesn't have that luxury.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Completely off topic:
But I am definitely rolling up Dorothy the Maser Basketweaver as a 7th level cleric to Torag. I already know who she is as a person, might as well go with it.

Ultimately, I agree that some of the points could be better worded to prevent odd rules interactions. But some of the points brought up are just matters of taste, and I don't think we'll fully reconcile it all.


Senkon wrote:

Not sure in which way you agreed with me. I'm just not seeing it.

But the pearl of fire isn't mentioned in the text. I meant that is the part the player makes up instead. Keep the what but not the how.

The HOW is still implicit in the damage type. It's fire. If you remove that, and allow the player to invent it, you start to damage the integrity of the game. "Oh it's a troll? It's fire. Now it's a fire giant? It's coldball."

Not that you can't have a variable type spell. But it will be higher level because the variability carries an in game advantage. No one picks third level fireball when they can pick the same statted third level DamageBall instead.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Ultimately, I agree that some of the points could be better worded to prevent odd rules interactions. But some of the points brought up are just matters of taste, and I don't think we'll fully reconcile it all.

Lol to Dorothy!

I know. I'm arguing at too meta a level I think. I should have just questioned the time and resources of battle medic and suggested a different wording that made it clear that you are "cleaning and bandaging the wounds of living creatures."

I pointed out the underlying design philosophy and now everyone is freaking the f out.


How is it overpowered and random to create food at 15th level or to do some healing out of combat?
When was the last time anyone had a problem with food supplies at that level in non-homebrew settings, or when you were playing without a caster?
Why wouldn't you just buy a dozen wands of Cure Light Wounds if you're worried, it's cheap as dirt. Having a 15th level feat obviate the need to spend what is probably 5% or less of your 20th level WBL isn't overpowered to me.

It's strange but that's alright. You're Legendary. You don't need to be bound by what everyone else does.


Lucid Blue wrote:
Senkon wrote:

Not sure in which way you agreed with me. I'm just not seeing it.

But the pearl of fire isn't mentioned in the text. I meant that is the part the player makes up instead. Keep the what but not the how.

The HOW is still implicit in the damage type. It's fire. If you remove that, and allow the player to invent it, you start to damage the integrity of the game. "Oh it's a troll? It's fire. Now it's a fire giant? It's coldball."

Not that you can't have a variable type spell. But it will be higher level because the variability carries an in game advantage. No one picks third level fireball when they can pick the same stated third level DamageBall instead.

Fire dmg is a mechanic. I said you wouldn't remove the fire part or mechanics. Just the flavor. Sure you could say that fire aspect adds flavor but it can't be helped in that case. I also now realize that the spell doesn't have any flavor added. "It simply says A burst of fire explodes". Which considering that it is fire and a burst aoe is the bare minimum. Also the player came come up with the flavor. The dm doesn't need to.

Both fireball and and planar gives you the bare minimum you need to know which is the mechanics of the game.

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