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TheCowpies

I'm not a Mad Cow. I'm an Angry Cow! (There's a difference)

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I was thinking to myself recently about things that I hate with a passion (Trust me, there's a lot of them. Like how my biology teacher refuses to acknowledge that 100-120 day is, in fact, 4 months and not 3 weeks, even if you have Sickle-Cell disease. [Sickle Cell causes cells to be destroyed after about 14 days.] Or that, if you donate blood, you don't regenerate a damn pint of blood by the time you walk out of the doors). One of them in D&D being when people complain about having to play Core classes.
Well, I suppose I should back pedal a little bit and put this in a little bit more context to be fair.

In all of my games, there's a couple things I do to keep my sanity or fit my quirks. Letting a Half-Orc have the Orc Double-Axe as a Martial Weapon? Sure. Tweak the Bard list so that they aren't learning Summon Monster 3 at, like, level 9, long after it ceases being useful in combat? No sweat. Letting a druid find dinosaurs so that they can become Raptor Jesus (he went extinct for your sins)? Yeah, why not?
Letting a Bear grow tentacles out of it's back, getting a +12 to strength, +6 Con and Dex and all this other jazz? Having a Necromancer with an Undead army traveling inside a hollowed out Dire Bear? A magical item that essentially lets the character make knowledge checks as a Savant? Giving a Monk a feat that lets them trip whenever they deal more than 10 damage? Now we have a problem.
You see, I hate Non-core books with a passion. I see the core books as the baseline of spells and abilities, and that anything to be added to that be in line with their powers, which is why I get very, very angry whenever anything from, say, Complete Arcane or the Magic Weapons Compendium is pulled out. They are horrific abominations onto the core things, Adding crap like "Swift" + "Immediate" actions, ungodly magic like the "Collision" Magic weapon trait or "Bite of the Weretiger" spell for Druids.
Like Collision: When you're comparing +2 weapon bonuses, it's hard to find something that can wreck general hell upon an enemy line like Collision can, with it's ability to slap on an extra 5 damage onto every hit. Sure, it's ability is a little less dimmed in the face of say, A character with a Flaming Burst Rapier (And even then... until it gets a keen power... *cough*), but the fact it deals that extra damage to everything. Flaming weapons, for example, are useless against Fire creatures. Axiomatic weapons to a non-chaotic creature and so on.
Another example is one I saw that was dealing with the Monster Manuals. The Varag, a CR 1 monster from the Monster Manual 4, crushing a party when paired against a Ghoul from Monster Manual 1. The Varag, with it's higher movement, higher AC, Higher base stats (especially Str, Dex, Con and Int [go tactics]), and such tore a level 1 party up.
One of my players, Gregorius, who lurks on 4chan's /tg/, comes up with another horrific display of power:
"Put Flaming/Icy/Shocking Burst on a heavy crossbow, give it to a Deepwood Sniper... do 5d10+d6 damage on a crit. damage per crit, and a guaranteed d10+d6 per normal hit. I'd take it. So, 6-56 damage... not bad...? And it's at the same cost." (Citing that the Great Crossbow from The Arms and Equipment Guide, not the one with the same name from the Races of Stone)
"A&EG: 1d12 damage, 19-20/x2, 150 ft range; 100 gp.
RoS: 2d8 damage, 18-20/x2, 120 ft range; 150 gp."

As such, when someone complains that the core classes are too plain or generic, it immediately makes me think of 2 things:
1, This person is a bastard
2, This person isn't happy with what's normal, instead wanting something that I consider is overpowered for one reason or another.

I'm all for options, but when they start bending the mechanics of the game to the point where I literally have to stop and figure out what the hell is going on as a DM, then I have a problem with that. Seriously. Try finding people on /tg/ talking about how to make a pun-pun or Omnificer with a normal, core character. They can, but it's a hell of a lot harder. Mostly because nearly every single power, weapon, item, spell and ability relies on a non-core tactic of some sort.

You want Non-core feats, maybe skill tricks, a couple classes (Like Scout or Ninja) or a non-standard race to start? Maybe a couple of Racial Variants?
Sure. I can work with you on that.
Complaining that the core classes are too weak? That you (I'm completely serious) want to shoot your targets over a mile away with a scoped crossbow?
Get the Foink out of my Campaigns, Go to Hell and never, ever speak to me again about such trivial min-maxing bullshit again.


P.S., Does anyone know why it says
Separate tags using a comma. You may add 5 tag(s) to this entry.
But when I enter in "3.5 Dnd" "DMing" and "Characters" (Properly split up by commas), I get
The number of tags you tried to add exceeded the maximum number of tags by 1.
... Anyone? This happened with my last Blob-O-Blog as well

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  1. Coloris's Avatar
    well, as you know, i hold it as follows. whenever you wanna take something out of a non core rulebook, i ask the DM first, since if the DM says no, it might be over powered or not allowed for a different reason.
    Since, some things are nice and fun additions(Book of Erotic Fantasies ) while others just ruin it...cant think of one atm though, since i usually think about that too before considering to ask the DM to approve it.
  2. Ghostwheel's Avatar
    Just wanted to let you know that as a DM, I've been where you seem to be, and I know how it feels when a player comes around and asks for an overpowered class that could end encounters with a single action. It's frustrating, and makes you feel as though they're trying to be an all-powerful jerk who can take your game apart, make the other players feel useless, and generally ruin the game for everyone else.

    That said, I'd like to present another perspective I've come to see over the years; D&D has a plethora of materials, both in core and outside. In fact, there is great disparity just between the core classes. For example, let's say you compare the Barbarian to the Monk. On one hand, they're pretty similar--they're both lightly (or not) armored, they're both primary meleers, and they've both got boosts to speed. Let's take an example at level 6.

    Let's say they both have 16 in Strength, and the monk got a +1 Amulet of Natural Weapons (surprising at that level, but we'll give it to him all the same) while the barbarian has his +1 Greatsword, and both got +2 bracers of strength. The Barbarian also took Power Attack to capitalize on his greater attack bonus from Rage--the rest of their feats don't matter much, since we're keeping with Core rules.

    Now, the barbarian gets two attacks (from high BAB) for +11/+6 (6 BAB + 6 Str + 1 Magic - 2 Power Attack), and does 8 (average of the +1 Greatsword's 2d6+1) + 9 (Str) + 4 (Power Attack) for a total of 21 damage on each attack. The monk also gets two attacks (from flurry), and his attack roll is +8/+8 (4 BAB + 4 Str + 1 Magic - 1 Flurry) while each of his attacks do 5.5 (average of his 1d8+1 unarmed strike) + 4 (Str) for a total of 9.5 damage on each attack. The difference in power is pretty clear, right? Furthremore, the barbarian can choose not to power attack on high-AC targets, and Power Attack for more against low-AC targets, while the monk is left at relatively the same attack roll against all targets, Power Attack not really being worth it for him due to the lower cost-to-reward ratio as the barbarian's two-handed weapon and lower BAB.

    Unfortunately, this difference becomes even more pronounced at higher levels as the monk's BAB continues to fall behind, while the barbarian's bonuses from rage get progressively higher. It's not hard to see that there's a difference in strength between the two classes--and the gap is even bigger with some other classes (such as the cleric, who can give themselves an even higher attack bonus and damage with Divine Favor/Divine Power/Righteous Might, the druid who can Wildshape into a polar bear and wreck stuff while having a "second" frontliner in the form of his animal companion, and the wizard who can neutralize multiple creatures at once with Glitterdust, effectively ending an encounter all by himself, leaving nothing but cleanup for the rest of the part).

    Another point of comparison includes feats; compare for example, Toughness to Weapon Focus or Spell Focus. One gives +3 HP, a bonus that quickly disappears at higher levels compared to its power at first level, while the other gives +1 to attacks or the DCs of spells, a boost that stays with the character throughout their entire progression. Or Combat Casting, which only gives a bonus to Concentration when casting defensively, to Skill Focus (Concentration), which gives a slightly smaller bonus, but to all concentration checks. It's easy to see which are stronger or weaker.

    Thus, rather than simply saying that non-core material is the problem, might it be more accurate to say that power above a certain power level would not fit your games very well, and you expect players to be at around that power level and not wildly higher or lower? I mean, there's non-core material that's very weak, so weak that it probably wouldn't fit in your games either, since it wouldn't be able to even as another character in combat. That class isn't only non-core, but also homebrew, often held as the pinnacle of munchkiness when players ask for it, yet so weak that it probably couldn't survive too well in combat in most games.

    Actually, that's a problem for many people--where certain characters overshadow the rest. That problem isn't only limited to non-core material, but can also apply to core material; due to this problem, a number of people on the above wiki created a number of balance points (which aren't really points, but rather ranges of power) with which one can guage the power of certain classes at their optimal power--that is, when a wizard has something like Glitterdust rather than Melf's Acid Arrow.

    So maybe you're most comfortable around the Fighter level of balance, or maybe the Monk level of balance, and when players ask for material above that, it can seem overpowered and even broken. And that's absolutely fine. I'm not saying that you should change the way you game. It's completely fine as-is. You know what you're comfortable with, what you have fun with, the things that you want to challenge the party with, and the story you want to weave.

    The thing I'm actually advocating is communication; it sounds like your players might be misunderstanding at which range of balance you'd like the game to be at, and thus are asking for things that are too powerful for your vision of how the game should proceed. Might I suggest more communication, so that the players can understand fully where you'd like the game to be, and so that they know to limit themselves to things within that balance point?

    I hope I've offered a new perspective to look at the game from, and hopefully one which will help there be fewer feelings of irritation on both sides of the DM screen
  3. Gregorius's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Coloris
    Since, some things are nice and fun additions(Book of Erotic Fantasies ) while others just ruin it...cant think of one atm though...
    Allow me to assist you then: the most prominent example is this - most DMs that I've known and played with have outright rejected feats like the Vow of Poverty from "Book of Exalted Deeds" because it just ruins some characters, especially monks (and as a monk player, I can attest to this first-hand). In an almost-ancient campaign, I played an epic-leveled Human Monk with the Vow. While most of the rest of the party was just breaking 30 or so AC with magic armor and equipment and dealing extra damage with powered-up weapons, I was hovering with my AC in the high-3X and nearly-4X range at any point thanks to high DEX and WIS (and with the party wizard and cleric's help, that easily went to nearly 50, more than enough to cover my arse from some of the stronger threats).

    There are some feats that were just not meant to be taken; this is but one of them.
  4. Ghostwheel's Avatar
    I've always felt that this particular problem wasn't so much the fault of Vow of Poverty, but more the fact that PCs don't have a decent source of scaling AC, a problem which becomes bigger at higher levels; to fix this, in my games I let PCs get 3/4 of their BAB (rounded down) as a misc defense bonus to AC (an idea I got from Iron Heroes), and it works well to keep everyone at around the same level, simply upping monster attacks slightly to compensate for the higher ACs. Thus, level 20 fighter in mithral full plate would have around 51 AC (10 (Base) + 3 (Dex) + 13 (+5 Mithral Full Plate) + 5 (Amulet of Natural Armor) + 5 (Ring of Deflection) + 15 (Defense)), which is much more comparable to a Vow of Poverty monk (for example) who would be at 54 AC (10 (Base) + 6 (Dex) + 10 (Exalted) + 7 (Wis) + 3 (Deflection) + 2 (Natural Armor) + 5 (Monk) + 11 (Defense)). Much more comparable, right?

    It's just that under VoP, characters get scaling bonuses to AC, while most other characters don't, getting more of their increases to AC from static equipment that goes up very slowly, while on the other hand characters get scaling bonuses to attack in the form of BAB, and their attacks quickly outpace their ACs at higher levels, allowing them to hit similar enemies without rolling at all. The addition above limits that, keeping them far closer together. (A level 20 fighter can expect an attack bonus of around +39 (20 (BAB) + 12 (Str) + 5 (Weapon) + 2 (Greater Weapon Focus)), which will auto-hit even a character who has an AC in the high 30s, and almost certainly in the low 40s. Add a bit more if they get flanking/attack a prone opponent, etc.)
    Updated 03-09-2010 at 09:39 AM by Ghostwheel
  5. Actana's Avatar
    Core classes are too weak, boring and generic. There, I said it. Or rather, core non-spellcasters are those.

    Playing a fighter is pretty damn boring, espeically in core. You can power attack, trip or attempt to disarm. Sure, you can charge too, but that's really quite ineffective without the right feats. Lets look at the spellcasting classes, which have many resources to use and have to actually think what they'll do next. Suddenly the fighter turns into a boring pile of full attacking.

    Might I also suggest not using /tg/ as a reference about non-core people? It isn't really the best place to use as a measure for "standard" players. In my "career" of DMing, I've ran into a few optimizers, a few powergamers, but not a single munchkin. They just don't exist in real situations. Pun-pun is a theoretical exercise of optimization. It's not meant to be played.

    You're condemning all of the non-core material because of a few things. That's not really fair. And core is often even more broken than non-core. Spellcasters will rule whether you are playing core or non-core. There are still save-or-dies, natural spell druids shapeshifting into dire bears while retaining full casting and all of that overpowered stuff. And in core fighters don't really have any options to make up for it. Outside of core they at least get a few feats to give them better damage output. I find a good way of preventing overpowered things constantly being an issue (practically impossible to prevent completely, since 3.5 is broken as it is) is to just ask the players that they don't utilize overpowered CharOp builds or infinite loops. It takes away much of the broken stuff.

    Also, what you're basically saying is that you don't want people to shoot over a mile with a crossbow (and frankly, what's so bad about that? Shooting a mile isn't really anything compared to what other things are possible, like a bear shooting lightning storms, i.e. a wildshaping druid.), yet you're perfectly fine with wizards ending encounters with single spells as possible in core? Non-core isn't any more overpowered than core is. The power balance between core is even more to the spellcasters' favor than in non-core. D&D 3.5 has issues. Non-core has issues. Core has issues. But in the end it's all up to the players to prevent those issues from coming forth. Give non-core stuff a chance, there's a lot of decent stuff there that improves the game. As you actually mentioned, you're fine with the occasional stuff. I'd say give it a closer look. The key to figuring out brokeness is usually comparison. It doesn't help if you look at something which deals 10d6 damage. You need to check out other damage sources for the same level and compare those two. What good is 10d6 damage at level 15 when someone can deal 15d6 damage without breaking a sweat. In that light things become less overpowered by the second.

    But hey, whatever works. If you're having fun, it's completely fine.

    PS. And before you start calling anyone a powergamer/munchkin/anything, keep in mind that roleplaying and optimizing aren't exclusive.
    Updated 03-09-2010 at 10:28 AM by Actana
  6. Ghostwheel's Avatar
    Eh, I think that's going too far, Actana. People should play at whatever level they're comfortable with, regardless of the material specified. It's far more important in my mind to define what level you're comfortable playing at, communicate with your players so they know where you'd like them to be, and have fun with the game regardless of the other things. Communication--that's what it's all about in my opinion. If there are people who prefer playing at a much higher level of balance that the one that you're comfortable with, then you've communicated what level you're looking to play at, and they can either choose to play at the level you've defined, and you all go on to have an awesome game where everyone understands each other, or they say, "No thanks," and leave without anyone being hurt or offended, and neither feeling irritated or as though they've been "wronged."

    Also, it's wholly untrue that core classes are weak, boring, and generic; that's a gross overgeneralization. Just look at the primary spellcasters, and how many options they have in the number of spells they get. Each one is interesting, and opens up a plethora of different things to do all by itself, without even talking about the power of some of those spells, or the class abilities of, say, the druid. Some of the classes might be mechanically more or less interesting, sure, but condemning them all in such wide strokes is doing a disservice to the game.
  7. Lumina's Avatar
    But when I enter in "3.5 Dnd" "DMing" and "Characters" (Properly split up by commas), I get
    The number of tags you tried to add exceeded the maximum number of tags by 1.
    ya need more posts really; higher registered user level. it avoids spammage
  8. Actana's Avatar
    But hey, whatever works. If you're having fun, it's completely fine.
    Core classes are too weak, boring and generic. There, I said it. Or rather, core non-spellcasters are those.
    Fear the power of the edit button. (I do that a lot)
  9. Gregorius's Avatar
    As you explain it, Ghostwheel, that actually would be a comparable solution to vastly varying ACs among characters in higher-leveled games. Perhaps if / when I decide to take up the torch myself and DM a game of D&D 3.5 (I've had ideas swimming around in my mind for a while, just don't know how to execute them properly), I will surely take this as an idea to be implemented...

    ...but at the point at hand that I think TheCowpies is trying to convey, min/maxing is almost always a bane on the game rather than a boon - sure, in theory, it's both an interesting character concept and an efficacious source of power to either back the party or fight on the front lines, but it often leads to a sense that challenges in-game can't be properly measured because of it. As was stated in his post, I come from 4chan's /tg/ (or "Traditional Games") board, so I've seen my fair share of min/maxing and have come up with my own ideas for seemingly overpowered characters using little more than the core books and just a few feats from non-core supplements. I'll offer a prime example of mine: the "cudgeling monk", a Monk 4 / Fighter 1 / Cleric of St. Cuthbert X, assuming the following stat block as a bare minimum: 12, 15, 11, 13, 14, 10.

    By your fourth monk level, you'll have unarmed damage of 1d8 + 1 (5.5 avg) - pales in comparison to most martial weapons, but there is always room for improvement. Upon taking that first level of Fighter, you can occupy that first bonus feat with "Superior Unarmed Strike" from the Tome of Battle. Its purpose - to increase your unarmed damage to the next highest die or, in the case of a monk, increase unarmed damage as if a monk of four levels higher (thus, our d8 now becomes a d10); no great improvement, no? Well, at our sixth character level, we get another feat, this time to be occupied with "Improved Natural Attack" from the Monster Manual... and what does it do, you ask? It increases our damage with a natural weapon (in this case, the monk's fists) as if they were one size category larger. So suddenly, our measly d10 has escalated into a grand 2d8 - more than even a greatsword, a weapon of choice among martial classes... now consider the following: we are making a transition into the realm of a Cleric of St. Cuthbert - what are his two most notable domains? Strength (which grants "Enlarge Person" as a bonus 1st-level spell) and Destruction (which grants "Inflict Light Wounds"). Now consult the chart on monk unarmed damage by size; if you cast Enlarge Person on yourself, you not only grant yourself a bonus to your Strength, but your damage goes from 2d8 to 3d8... and if you decide to additionally cast Inflict Light Wounds next turn, you have easily set yourself up to do 4d8 + (modified) STR damage (21 average). This can be further augmented with an item such as the Belt of One Mighty Blow from the Magic Item Compendium (once a day, grants an additional +1d8 damage bonus to a light weapon / +2d6 to a one-handed weapon / +3d6 to a two-handed weapon) for a paltry 1500 GP.

    In six levels... where an ordinary 6th-level monk would do 1d8 + STR damage, you could be doing five times that with one attack (and progressively more, as you get more Inflict ___ Wounds spells, up to an additional +4d8 damage with Inflict Critical)... all with just one non-core feat and item, both of which seem insignificant on their own.

    Just goes to show you that a class need not look overpowered to become overpowered... every little thing, under a scrutinizing eye, can become a weapon of mass destruction. Then again, I suppose this ties in to what you were saying, Ghost; perhaps the non-core material is not the problem, but the allowance of drastically higher powers from any viable source.
  10. Ghostwheel's Avatar
    Sure, but that was my point--you're using wizard-level options when you go near Cleric--let's concentrate on the other options without going that high of a level for a moment, and we'll ignore the item, since it can only be used 1/day. At that point, you're doing 2d8+4 (13 on average) damage with each attack, which still doesn't rival the barbarian. That's my point--a DM should decide on a balance level, and let the players know which balance level they'd like to play at. Deviating from that balance level, or miscommunication can often lead to irritation and even outright anger, which is what your example does when it picks up the levels in Cleric. Until then, even optimized, the build is still at around the monk- or fighter-level of balance, and it sounds like CowPies would have no problem with it as of yet.

    (Comparitively, the barbarian for one attack when using that belt and Power Attacking to the same attack bonus that the monk gets would do 2d6+1 (greatsword) + 3d6 (belt) + 10 (power attack) + 9 (str), or 37.5 on average--but it's only once per day.)

    Thanks for proving me right! Without the levels in cleric, the optimized monk gets closer to the barbarian in power, but not so much that it becomes "overpowered" or "broken" for a Fighter-level game. So yes, it looks potentially overpowered the moment you pick up cleric--and thus can become overpowered In fact, optimization in this case might be good--since it allows a monk to perform closer to what a barbarian would, causing them to feel less underpowered in comparison, and allowing the player to feel useful without breaking the game in two over the character's knee. And that's exactly what the balance points are meant to do--to give a rough guide for DMs as to what to let in or keep out of their games depending on the power level they're playing at, based on the level of specific feats/spell/classes/etc.

    PS: If you liked that idea, check out my plans for revising D&D 3.5 to make it more balanced
    Updated 03-09-2010 at 10:55 AM by Ghostwheel
  11. TheCowpies's Avatar
    A couple quick things I wanted to point out about your post:
    Quote Originally Posted by Actana
    Core classes are too weak, boring and generic. There, I said it. Or rather, core non-spellcasters are those.
    That's your opinion. You're entitled to think whatever you'd like.
    Spellcasters still need non-spellcasters to protect them, however. And there are oodles of options out there for powering up Non-spellcasters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Actana
    Might I also suggest not using /tg/ as a reference about non-core people? It isn't really the best place to use as a measure for "standard" players.
    Because god knows gamers don't go there? When one is examining how broken something can get, it's generally a bad idea not to take the largest, most obvious examples.
    Like, if I were talking about how messed up Wall Street people are, I'd cite Bernie Madoff. And if I were going to make a point on how I think Fox News Channel ought to lose the "News" part off it's name, I'd point to Glenn Beck and the other Opinion Commentators which are what the Main stream think of as the News, as opposed to their News team.

    Quote Originally Posted by Actana
    You're condemning all of the non-core material because of a few things.
    Actually, I'm not. I'm against the broken effects of some non-core material. When I have a player describe Tome of Battle as filled with "Fighters that don't suck," I have an issue with that. But I'm tentatively alright with most feats, alternative uses for skills, a some of classes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Actana
    And core is often even more broken than non-core. Spellcasters will rule whether you are playing core or non-core. There are still save-or-dies, natural spell druids shapeshifting into dire bears while retaining full casting and all of that overpowered stuff.
    And in core fighters don't really have any options to make up for it. Outside of core they at least get a few feats to give them better damage output.
    So, you'd be willing to have a team of 4 wizards? or 2 clerics and 2 sorcerers? The thing is, you're looking at them at high- to end-game levels.
    Even then, you still need Fighters and other Melee classes to get in there and protect them, because if I'm playing a character with a degree of intelligence, I could cast Hold Person on them, Touch of Idiocy, or just have something with SR and charge them in melee

    Quote Originally Posted by Actana
    I find a good way of preventing overpowered things constantly being an issue (practically impossible to prevent completely, since 3.5 is broken as it is) is to just ask the players that they don't utilize overpowered CharOp builds or infinite loops. It takes away much of the broken stuff.
    Your suggesting that Players regulate themselves. Which is retarded. Human nature doesn't work like that. At some point, you have to control what your players.

    Quote Originally Posted by Actana
    Also, what you're basically saying is that you don't want people to shoot over a mile with a crossbow (and frankly, what's so bad about that? Shooting a mile isn't really anything compared to what other things are possible, like a bear shooting lightning storms, i.e. a wildshaping druid.), yet you're perfectly fine with wizards ending encounters with single spells as possible in core?
    To counter: Would you like it if you were shot over a mile away from a target you cant see with only a general idea of even what direction the shot came from?
    If you do, I think I have a couple Deepwood Snipers that would like to meet your bear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Actana
    Non-core isn't any more overpowered than core is. The power balance between core is even more to the spellcasters' favor than in non-core. D&D 3.5 has issues. Non-core has issues. Core has issues. But in the end it's all up to the players to prevent those issues from coming forth. Give non-core stuff a chance, there's a lot of decent stuff there that improves the game. As you actually mentioned, you're fine with the occasional stuff. I'd say give it a closer look. The key to figuring out brokeness is usually comparison. It doesn't help if you look at something which deals 10d6 damage. You need to check out other damage sources for the same level and compare those two. What good is 10d6 damage at level 15 when someone can deal 15d6 damage without breaking a sweat. In that light things become less overpowered by the second.
    Fireballs and Lightning bolts are countered by skills like Improved Evasion, Spell resistance and Antimagic abilities. Or rapid healing, like Healing Circle.
    Also, it's worth noting that You can't have a team of just Druids or Wizards. So your definition of "Broken" is dependent upon the situation. Sure, that Dire Bear can hurl lightning bolts, but that isn't doing much if you have a critter with electricity resistance like a demon. Watch a Red Dragon, even a wyrmling, laugh at you if you hurl a fireball at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Actana
    PS. And before you start calling anyone a powergamer/munchkin/anything, keep in mind that roleplaying and optimizing aren't exclusive.
    Actually, I'm reasonably certain they are.
    Roleplaying is a social skill, whose Definition is:
    To assume the attitudes, actions, and discourse of (another), esp. in a make-believe situation in an effort to understand a differing point of view or social interaction
    While Optimizing is, literally,
    1. To make as effective, perfect, or useful as possible.
    2. To make the best of.
    3. Computers. To write or rewrite (the instructions in a program) so as to maximize efficiency and speed in retrieval, storage, or execution.
    4. Mathematics. To determine the maximum or minimum values of (a specified function that is subject to certain constraints).

    (Pick your favorite)
    While the definition of Powergaming is
    a style of interacting with games or game-like systems with the aim of maximising progress towards a specific goal, to the exclusion of other considerations such as (in videogames, boardgames, and roleplaying games) storytelling, atmosphere, camaraderie, and fun. Due to its focus on the letter of the rules over the spirit of the rules, it is often seen as unsporting, un-fun, or unsociable. [...] One form is the deliberate creation of optimal player characters (PCs), with the aim of maximising the power the player wields in the game world by way of their avatar. This is known as min-maxing, due to the practice of balancing the PC's abilities through maximising desirable or "powerful" traits while minimising underpowered or unuseful traits.
    So, Roleplaying has no bearing whatsoever on your character's stats or abilities. It's a skill of Social interaction. Also, in your claim, you also indirectly state that Roleplaying and Min-Maxing are similar.
    Flat out, you're wrong.
    Updated 03-09-2010 at 04:40 PM by TheCowpies (I forgot to delete some bits.)
  12. Actana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by TheCowpies
    A couple quick things I wanted to point out about your post:
    Oh heck, here I go. I'll probably regret this later on. But nevertheless, I'll bite.

    That's your opinion. You're entitled to think whatever you'd like.
    Spellcasters still need non-spellcasters to protect them, however. And there are oodles of options out there for powering up Non-spellcasters.
    Spellcasters needing non-spellcasters doesn't make them any more fun. If anything, less fun, since it might (note: might) feel that you have to play a melee'er, just because you have a spellcaster. Well, that's probably a non-issue anyway. And yes, it's my opinion that they aren't fun. Roleplaying can be done with a fun concept, but mechanical fun (i.e combat) isn't that fun with core fighters or rangers or similar IMO.

    And within core, what are the feats for powering them? Power attack is standard, but otherwise I can't see that many actually powerful feats in core. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Because god knows gamers don't go there? When one is examining how broken something can get, it's generally a bad idea not to take the largest, most obvious examples.
    Because if a broken build is possible, it doesn't mean that it is used every time when making such a character. With that presumption, paladins are broken because they can be used to create Pun-Pun. It just doesn't work that way. Yeah, that's a gross exaggeration and generalization, but the point is still valid. What can happen in theory isn't the same as practically. You don't have to ban a whole book just because it has something broken in it (not saying you are, just an example).

    Actually, I'm not. I'm against the broken effects of some non-core material. When I have a player describe Tome of Battle as filled with "Fighters that don't suck," I have an issue with that. But I'm tentatively alright with most feats, alternative uses for skills, a some of classes.
    Fair enough. I just want to point out (again, mostly to make this a bit longer) that just because it's possible to break something, not everyone does it. (And ToB is IMO funner, since there's a lot more resource management and tactics involved). But yeah, there is stuff that needs to be moderated, I agree with that on you. I just happen to be a bit more allowing, trusting the players.

    So, you'd be willing to have a team of 4 wizards? or 2 clerics and 2 sorcerers? The thing is, you're looking at them at high- to end-game levels.
    You know, 2 clerics could easily replace the fighter's meatshield role since they get heavy armor too. But yeah, at low levels melee'ers are more important.

    Even then, you still need Fighters and other Melee classes to get in there and protect them, because if I'm playing a character with a degree of intelligence, I could cast Hold Person on them, Touch of Idiocy, or just have something with SR and charge them in melee
    Even then being? Low levels: yeah, true. I just admitted that, though there are ways to end encounters with a single spell (color spray/sleep for example. True, a save is required, but will saves are on the average the lowest save at low levels). As for countering, what stops the melee'ers from being held first, then the mages? Also, everything can be countered (see below).

    Your suggesting that Players regulate themselves. Which is retarded. Human nature doesn't work like that. At some point, you have to control what your players.
    It's worked for me. And even if someone tries something, I say "No, you're not using that kind of cheese. Sorry, but I had it in my rules. Yes, I am denying this right in the middle of the game. You had the rules there constantly. You can only blame yourself."

    To counter: Would you like it if you were shot over a mile away from a target you cant see with only a general idea of even what direction the shot came from?
    If you do, I think I have a couple Deepwood Snipers that would like to meet your bear.
    First of all, just because it's possible, doesn't mean it has to be used. Second, how often does a mile-shooting ability come in handy? Third, how much penalty is the mile giving to the attack roll (I'm honestly curious)? Fourth, damage. Fifth, that's a rather cheap shot from a DM to be fair.

    To answer your question? No, I wouldn't like it. But what DM would actually do such a thing?

    Fireballs and Lightning bolts are countered by skills like Improved Evasion, Spell resistance and Antimagic abilities. Or rapid healing, like Healing Circle.
    Also, it's worth noting that You can't have a team of just Druids or Wizards. So your definition of "Broken" is dependent upon the situation. Sure, that Dire Bear can hurl lightning bolts, but that isn't doing much if you have a critter with electricity resistance like a demon. Watch a Red Dragon, even a wyrmling, laugh at you if you hurl a fireball at it.
    Actually, my definition of broken is pretty much in comparison with other classes. As I see it you're the one saying that broken depends on the situation. Everything is counterable with the right stuff. By that definition nothing is broken. See the problem here? (There's also the issue of theoretical conversation and DM fiat, which don't match.)


    Actually, I'm reasonably certain they are.
    <stuff>
    So, Roleplaying has no bearing whatsoever on your character's stats or abilities. It's a skill of Social interaction.
    Ever heard of the Stormwind fallacy? And you'll have to elaborate that with more than definitions, please.

    Also, in your claim, you also indirectly state that Roleplaying and Min-Maxing are similar.
    Please elaborate. I have not claimed that at all. I'm just trying to say that if you can optimize characters, it doesn't automatically make you a bad roleplayer. And if you're a good roleplayer, it automatically does not make you a bad optimizer.

    Flat out, you're wrong.
    That's your opinion. But really, I'd be more careful when throwing out something like that, it might offend people. Especially said in that way. And mind you, I am a bit insulted by that.


    Edit: Oh, and just to clarify, I don't really have anything against core-only games. I've played in such. I just happen to find the idea a bit silly, since there is a lot of good stuff which isn't used, and is better balanced that core too. I prefer having more than a few books, and am willing to look over others.
    Updated 03-09-2010 at 06:25 PM by Actana
  13. TheCowpies's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Actana
    That's your opinion. But really, I'd be more careful when throwing out something like that, it might offend people. Especially said in that way. And mind you, I am a bit insulted by that.


    Edit: Oh, and just to clarify, I don't really have anything against core-only games. I've played in such. I just happen to find the idea a bit silly, since there is a lot of good stuff which isn't used, and is better balanced that core too. I prefer having more than a few books, and am willing to look over others.
    ... I think you misunderstood the "wrong" part.
    I was referring to the fact you suggested Roleplaying and Optimizing a character are related.
    They aren't.
    Edit:
    After looking over what you said a few more times, I think our wires got a little mixed here.
    For the most part, I agree with the idea about the Stormwind Fallacy, but it's also worth keeping vigilant about because the moment one person begins to focus more on making a perfect character, it can become a slippery slope.
    Sorry for any misunderstandings on my part

    Also, I do use non-core materials, just not most items, spells, classes, optional rules and some feats. Psionics make my head hurt @.@
    Updated 03-09-2010 at 08:48 PM by TheCowpies
  14. Actana's Avatar
    Hah. Fair enough, really. And I agree with you actually. Roleplaying and optimizing aren't inheretly exclusive, but it's an uncomfortable truth that one can easily displace the other.

    Also, psionics (3.5, not the 3.0 one) is one of the most balanced systems out there. It's well worth taking a look at.