D&D 4th Edition Rule-of-Three: 07/10/2012 - Page 6





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  1. #51
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    ° Ignore LostSoul
    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    If the barbarian has 3 Rages per day and uses one to intimidate a witness into talking, and another to run down the horse the suspect was fleeing on, she has one left for the final combat.

    If the barbarian DIDN'T (or couldn't, since she can only rage in combat or whatever) use her daily resources to do that, she's saved all those rages for a big blow out at the end, and that's working as intended. It's smart (or at least lucky) play: save up all your resources for the big confrontation at the end. Proceed to dominate the end. She wasn't contributing as much to solving the mystery, so she gets to shine now.
    1. The barbarian uses her Rages to contribute meaningfully in non-combat situations. Why doesn't the barbarian say, "Hey, I'm raged out, let's tackle this big monster tomorrow"?

    2. The barbarian doesn't or can't use her Rages to contribute meaningfully in non-combat situations. Why doesn't the wizard - or other PC who has spent some resources - say, "Hey, I'm tapped out, let's tackle this big monster tomorrow"?
    "If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry."
    -- Ernest Hemingway, "A Farewell to Arms"
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  • #52
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    ° Ignore Someone
    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    Now I don't follow.

    If the barbarian has 3 Rages per day and uses one to intimidate a witness into talking, and another to run down the horse the suspect was fleeing on, she has one left for the final combat.
    I didn't mention that because frankly those scenarios are grasping at straws. Many, indeed most of the X-per-day abilities have limited or zero use outside combat and the number of realistic scenarios they'll be spent can be ignored. Except of course spell slots.

    Of course a vancian caster isn't just as good at solving problems as anyone else.
    I've not seen any mechanic in 5e that suggests that wizards or any other caster will have worse ability checks than any other class, except probably rogue which is intended to be the skill monkey. The sample wizard even has a background feature that improves his knowledge checks, or seen any edition where the wizard was actually worse at skill use than any other character that was the official skill monkey.

    In which case it's not a challenge, not part of the challenge structure, and so the challenge structure is completely irrelevant.

    If it's not something you can succeed or fail at, it is not something that "balance" has any bearing on. If it's NOT challenging, it's not part of the "adventuring day," really. It might be part of the narrative day, and part of the session, and a lot of fun, but balance only comes into play when dealing with challenges. You don't force the wizard to spend anything because you're not forcing ANYONE to spend anything, because those things don't count as encounters, or challenges, or risks
    But they're spending in-character time though, and when the one challenge arrives they'll be fresh and ready for combat with all their resources intact. We're talking about in-game astronomical cycles here, when the sun that shines over the characters sets and rises, not real world or gamist conventions. They refresh their resources typically every 24 in game hours with some "buts" and "ifs" attached, not when they pass two milestones. If they have the first fight at 23:00 pm it stands to reason they'll want to go to bed soon, not going to think "oh no, we've not spent many resources here, we still have to kill three more sets of bad guys, or random monsters out of nowhere will attack us in our beds"

    Now you're going to suggest that it's the DM mission to make sure they want to continue the adventuring day by the use of some plot devices. Which would lead us, full circle, at the first point: fixing the story into narrow constrains so it adapts to the rules, instead of the other, more sensible, way around which is fixing the set of rules so they let the DM do as he dam pleases without unbalancing the relative power between characters.

    Why spend so much time staring at nothing?
    You can find wisdom there.

    You know - this discussion desn't have that much value because the real resource management in D&D doesn't have anything to do with slots, or uses per day. The most precious and valuable resource there is in combat is the round. Even if the stars align and we have our 4 combats per day or the heavy handed fist of the DM forces them, being generous typically only the first 4 rounds of each combat are actually important to determine the winner before it enters mop-up phase. Then anyone who has more than 16 combat resources to spend is not doing any meaningful management. The fighter can swing his sword all day - but what that really means is 14384 rounds of wasted power. Meanwhile, any who has the option to squeeze the most of those precious, vital 6 seconds is going to be the most valuable and powerful character. And we know what kind of character that's going to be.

  • #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Someone View Post
    And we know what kind of character that's going to be.
    Oh, I know, I know!

    The bard!

  • #54
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    ° Ignore Herschel
    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    But the big reason is because wizards have an expectation of their play experience being "limited, but powerful." While warlocks have an expectation of their play experience being "always, but not always powerful." And sorcerers are somewhere in between.
    I've never had this expectation in play. It's always been Wizards are the studious ones, Sorcerers are the channeling ones and Warlocks are the borrowing/granted ones. The mechanics you describe are the 3E mechanics but I've never actually associated those mechanics with the class' overall flavor/power/style.

  • #55
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    ° Ignore Kamikaze Midget
    Quote Originally Posted by LostSoul
    1. The barbarian uses her Rages to contribute meaningfully in non-combat situations. Why doesn't the barbarian say, "Hey, I'm raged out, let's tackle this big monster tomorrow"?

    2. The barbarian doesn't or can't use her Rages to contribute meaningfully in non-combat situations. Why doesn't the wizard - or other PC who has spent some resources - say, "Hey, I'm tapped out, let's tackle this big monster tomorrow"?
    In both situations: because all their work will be undone if they don't finish this thing.

    I mean, you've solved the mystery. You know who done it. If you go to sleep for eight hours, they're going to take that time to get out of town, plant a new red herring, frame someone else, or otherwise get out of it in a million different ways. You will let them get away, to commit their crimes again!

    Quote Originally Posted by Someone
    Many, indeed most of the X-per-day abilities have limited or zero use outside combat and the number of realistic scenarios they'll be spent can be ignored. Except of course spell slots.
    Even if I grant this (and I don't entirely), it doesn't necessarily follow that this is how it must be in 5e. I think any game that takes all the pillars into account can't be and won't be so myopic, and I'm not so cynical as to mistrust the dev team when they say they're taking the pillars into account.

    It also doesn't necessarily follow that this is automatically a problem. Even if spell slots were the only way to do daily things outside of combat, the math can dictate its balance against everyone else's baseline +1

    Quote Originally Posted by Someone
    I've not seen any mechanic in 5e that suggests that wizards or any other caster will have worse ability checks than any other class, except probably rogue which is intended to be the skill monkey. The sample wizard even has a background feature that improves his knowledge checks, or seen any edition where the wizard was actually worse at skill use than any other character that was the official skill monkey.
    We need to remove backgrounds from the equation since they are presumably interchangeable. Without that, you see everyone is roughly equal in the noncombat arena (in that they have little-to-nothing that does anything in it) except for the rogue, who is pretty good in Exploration. The wizard in the playtest only gains one Exploration ability, Alarm, which isn't anything any character with some string and a bell can't do, and costs 1 gp to use.

    So in this case, rather than go with baseline+1/3 = baseline+3/1, they seem to be going with baseline+1/3 = almost nothing.

    Balanced (even a little unfair to the spellcaster).

    Quote Originally Posted by Someone
    We're talking about in-game astronomical cycles here, when the sun that shines over the characters sets and rises, not real world or gamist conventions.
    I'm talking about gamist conventions.

    I'm specifically talking about an "adventuring day" that is measured as a series of challenges between full recovery.

    What that looks like in the story is incidental to the question of mechanical balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Someone
    Now you're going to suggest that it's the DM mission to make sure they want to continue the adventuring day by the use of some plot devices. Which would lead us, full circle, at the first point: fixing the story into narrow constrains so it adapts to the rules, instead of the other, more sensible, way around which is fixing the set of rules so they let the DM do as he dam pleases without unbalancing the relative power between characters.
    You don't need to "fix" the story. You do need to consider what the enemy is doing.

    They take a rest. And the monsters, what, sit around with their thumbs up their noses after discovering their dead and missing friends and five dudes covered in their blood sleeping on the doorstep?

    Or, do they flee?

    Or, do they try and kill those five guys?

    Or, do they just sit in their lairs and wait patiently for death like some depressed pig at the slaughterhouse?

    Considering what the enemy does has the bang-on effect of implementing the "adventuring day" one way or the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Someone
    You can find wisdom there.
    You can also find nothing, and mistake it for wisdom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Someone
    The most precious and valuable resource there is in combat is the round. Even if the stars align and we have our 4 combats per day or the heavy handed fist of the DM forces them, being generous typically only the first 4 rounds of each combat are actually important to determine the winner before it enters mop-up phase. Then anyone who has more than 16 combat resources to spend is not doing any meaningful management. The fighter can swing his sword all day - but what that really means is 14384 rounds of wasted power. Meanwhile, any who has the option to squeeze the most of those precious, vital 6 seconds is going to be the most valuable and powerful character. And we know what kind of character that's going to be.
    Meh, that's just number-fudging. 6:1, 4:1, 2:1, whatever ratio works.
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  • #56
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    ° Ignore Kamikaze Midget
    Quote Originally Posted by Herschel
    I've never had this expectation in play. It's always been Wizards are the studious ones, Sorcerers are the channeling ones and Warlocks are the borrowing/granted ones. The mechanics you describe are the 3E mechanics but I've never actually associated those mechanics with the class' overall flavor/power/style.
    Sure. My main point was just that this expectation did exist and did deserve to be met. If you don't share it, that's no big deal, as long as you can still play the characters you want.
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    ° Ignore LostSoul
    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    In both situations: because all their work will be undone if they don't finish this thing.

    I mean, you've solved the mystery. You know who done it. If you go to sleep for eight hours, they're going to take that time to get out of town, plant a new red herring, frame someone else, or otherwise get out of it in a million different ways. You will let them get away, to commit their crimes again!
    I should have read the links more closely!

    Time-Based Consequences: You lose. This works well for a goal-oriented campaign. It'd probably be better if the consequences figured into the game's currency, e.g. you don't get the Quest XP.

    Night-Time Encounters: A classic.

    Enemy Resupply: There are issues with this solution if you award XP for overcoming challenges. Enemy resupply becomes an XP battery. "Let's rest so that we can get more XP tomorrow." If you're on the balanced encounter treadmill it doesn't matter, since gaining levels raises the level of the encounters you are going to face.

    Enemy Flight: Especially useful in systems where: GP = XP, XP comes from Quests, and/or treasure isn't set to party level.

    Increasing the Stakes: This is probably the trickiest one to pull off.
    "If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry."
    -- Ernest Hemingway, "A Farewell to Arms"
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  • #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    I think any game that takes all the pillars into account can't be and won't be so myopic, and I'm not so cynical as to mistrust the dev team when they say they're taking the pillars into account.
    I don't mistrust their good intentions either.

    It also doesn't necessarily follow that this is automatically a problem. Even if spell slots were the only way to do daily things outside of combat, the math can dictate its balance against everyone else's baseline +1
    I missed this baseline +1 rule. I can't find it anywhere.

    I'm talking about gamist conventions.

    I'm specifically talking about an "adventuring day" that is measured as a series of challenges between full recovery.
    Er, my bad then. I'm sorry, I though we were talking about D&D here.

    You don't need to "fix" the story. You do need to consider what the enemy is doing.

    They take a rest. And the monsters, what, sit around with their thumbs up their noses after discovering their dead and missing friends and five dudes covered in their blood sleeping on the doorstep?

    Or, do they flee?

    Or, do they try and kill those five guys?

    Or, do they just sit in their lairs and wait patiently for death like some depressed pig at the slaughterhouse?

    Considering what the enemy does has the bang-on effect of implementing the "adventuring day" one way or the other.
    You need to fix the story in order to allow the gamist convention of 4 equivalent encounters to take place, simply because those encounters take place wether you like or not. Also, looks like your enemies must be intelligent, have the possibility to escape or find reinforcements, and your plot must include a tight time limit. So my plans to drop some rumors about the legendary Crown of XP Galore that's been resting in the Cave of Many Mindless Golems since the dawn of time is useless unless the king needs the crown precisely tomorrow and the golems have a Plan B to flee into another cave in case of guerrilla adventurers.

    Sorry, there are too many RPGs out there to choose one who forces me what plot to use in order to threaten a select group of classes with possibly beign innefective later if they use their class abilities as the rules allow them.

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    ° Ignore pemerton
    Quote Originally Posted by Someone View Post
    Apparently, in the mentioned scenario the resource attrition comes from applying your limited resources to whatever challenge is present, which relies on several unspoken assumptions
    This is the bit I don't really get either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    Saying that the average adventuring day is, say, 18 successes long, isn't mandating the circumstances in which you get those successes. They might be attacks vs. goblins, or they might be Charisma checks vs. Reticent Witnesses.

    All the "adventuring day balance" means is that the game assumes you have the resources for securing a certain number of those over the course of probably about twice as many die rolls.
    HeroWars/Quest has a uniform resolutin and resource mechanic for the full range of conflicts and challenges.

    But I don't really see how this can be applied to D&D, at least as it has traditionally looked and as it looks in the playtest. For example, how does initimidating reticent witnesses consume hit points?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    The wizard in the playtest only gains one Exploration ability, Alarm, which isn't anything any character with some string and a bell can't do, and costs 1 gp to use.
    I haven't got the sheets in front of me, but isn't there Comprehend Languages as well? And a Light spell?

  • #60
    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    I haven't got the sheets in front of me, but isn't there Comprehend Languages as well? And a Light spell?
    And a continual light spell. And a detect magic spell. And charm, mage hand, and silence.

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