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  1. #131
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    ° Ignore Crazy Jerome
    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    Huh. And druids and clerics aren't the same thing at all. (I also find 3.X a better game when the most powerful caster is the Bard).
    Yep. You can solve a good chunk of 3E caster problems, or at least put them off into much higher levels, by requiring all "full caster" classes to multiclass into a non-caster every third level. Or rather, about every third level. You might want to put it off until around level five, and then tweak to taste as you go, as it's easy at particular points to go too far the other way. But on average, if you turn all the full casters into about two-thirds casters by around level 15, you'll still be in the ballpark of a functioning campaign. Most of the problems with this tactic will be because of the funky nature of 3E caster level with spell DCs--a problem that I expect Next to neatly nullify in its basic structures.

    When "tone the power" down is such an obvious first step, and works even in the ruleset with the most caster issues, then it becomes fairly clear that any solution that doesn't tone the power down has got a lot more ground to cover by way of compensation. Not saying that it can't be done some other way, but the solutions for "full powered casters" in 3E terms and "toned down casters" otherwise are necessarily callibrated differently.

    I did rather like the local solution our group adopted in high school, put rather bluntly by the halfing rogue to the wizard late in one particular adventure:

    Rogue: Hey Wizard, you get the torch and go down the hall to see if you set off any traps.
    Wizard: Why me? I've got the fewest hit points!
    Rogue: You are also nearly out of spells, and have a low Str. So you can't carry much treasure out. Until we get out, you are basically a glorified link boy that we don't even need to pay.
    Wizard: So I'm expendable?
    Rogue: Right.

    After that, the wizards always held back a few spells for some reason ...

 

  • #132
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    ° Ignore Crazy Jerome
    Quote Originally Posted by TwinBahamut View Post
    You make a good argument that we should just take all the problem spells like save-or-die, teleport, scrying, and so on, and stuff them in an optional module far away from the core. They're landmines, not brakes. They appeal to certain fans, but they cause endless problems for others, and they often have unpredictable and severely negative impact on the majority of campaigns. They should be isolated off in an optional supplement with a giant surgeon general's warning saying "dangerous: use at your own risk." A few essays on why these spells are bad might be nice, as well. They can call it the Tome of Forbidden Magic.
    Or just put big warning keywords on them, as needed: "Exploration Solver," "Interaction Killer," "Scouting Nullifier". (I suggest some symbols to stand for these.)

  • #133
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    ° Ignore Dark Mistress
    I can see where you are coming from, but it hasn't been my experience always. While I do agree with you a little. I am playing Pathfinder right now so that shapes my responses.

    Quote Originally Posted by erleni View Post
    Hello Defcon,

    there are many spells that have a deep impact on the way the game is played and combining them with the easy access a wizard has to them in 2e and 3e is what makes the wizard to be a problem at many tables. This extends to cleric and druid in 3e but let's look at the wizard as an example.

    1) Save or die spells: these are very powerful effects that are all or nothing. Very often they spoiled the fun in our games. When our 3.0 group met a Balor for the first time my wizard killed it with Finger of Death before it could take any action...
    In my experience when it happens no one felt it ruined their fun and instead people would cheer including the fighters and often joke it's about time the wizard pulled his weight. Not that he wasn't but just jerking his chain. In my experience all this did was let them move on to face at least one more encounter. If it was the final encounter normally the PC's would be beat up and now they don't have to risk death. So would leave more time for wrap up, heading back to town RPing and no one cared the fight didn't take rounds of game time and a hour or more of real time.

    2) Knock, fly, teleport, teleport without error: these spells bypass difficulties and completely change the way the game is played. I'd like to keep them but move them to rituals that can be accessed by everybody willing to pay the cost. So the wizard can "replace" the rogue if necessary by spending more resources, but any other class can do it too.
    True they can at the price of using up a spell every time they take the rogues place which can eat up a lot of spells in a hurry. Now teleport spells I do agree with you on.

    3) Summoning: this is a real killer. You can use summoned creatures to trigger traps, to fight for you, and in many other ways. The more monsters are added to the list the more you risk loosing control.
    Has never been a big problem for us, they don't last that long. They are used in fights a lot but that's about it. Ever so often one is used for something else but not to often.

    4) Polymorph/shapechange: once again here every monster added can add more trouble
    I do agree in 3E these where a problem, I feel Pathfinder has fixed them.

    5) Scrying: scrying magic was the root of the scry/teleport/nuke tactics I've seen in 3e. When every vaguely important person in the world is lead-lining their homes you start to understand that something is going the wrong way.
    One of my PCs even started a company that was protecting rooms and houses with lead panels...
    Yes the scry/teleport/nuke attack is a problem at high level. But more due to teleport which i will get to.

    6) Other stuff: Evard's Black tentacles, wish, forcecage, stoneskin
    The final group some can be a issue sometimes. The big spells that I and my group think can still be a issue are some divination spells(to easy to gather information, removes mysteries from the game) and teleport. divination our fix was just not to make them 100% reliable. Like zone of truth, give the target a save each round, caster knows the target likely told the truth most of the time but maybe not all of it. Things like that we found helped a lot, then teleport the easy fix is, you can only teleport to places you have physically been to before.

    So I agree with you that some spells can still be a problem. But I think the way they need to be addressed in 5E is just to have them tweaked, not removed from the game.
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

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  • #134
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    ° Ignore erleni
    Quote Originally Posted by TwinBahamut View Post
    You know, I don't agree with the phrasing I'm about to use very often but...

    You make a good argument that we should just take all the problem spells like save-or-die, teleport, scrying, and so on, and stuff them in an optional module far away from the core. They're landmines, not brakes. They appeal to certain fans, but they cause endless problems for others, and they often have unpredictable and severely negative impact on the majority of campaigns. They should be isolated off in an optional supplement with a giant surgeon general's warning saying "dangerous: use at your own risk." A few essays on why these spells are bad might be nice, as well. They can call it the Tome of Forbidden Magic.

    If, as you say, no spell is necessary to the game and anything can be cut, and that everything is an option, then this shouldn't be a problem for you, right?
    Can't XP you, but fully agree. A stamp with Gygax's grinning portrait should be added.

  • #135
    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Jerome View Post
    Or just put big warning keywords on them, as needed: "Exploration Solver," "Interaction Killer," "Scouting Nullifier". (I suggest some symbols to stand for these.)
    What if:

    1) all wizards must choose a favored school

    2) spells of non-favored schools are available but considered complex. The wizard needs a lot more time and effort to wrestle these unfamiliar or strangely natured spell formulas into memory.

    2) any complex spell presents obstacles to the wizard, such as:
    i) can only be recharged/memorized once per week or after a full day of meditation or after every full moon or other triggers/prerequisites
    ii) may take 1 full round or 1 full minute or more to cast
    iii) may require expensive or hard to find spell components, cost hit points (ie., stamina), etc.

    3) put the problematic spells into a 'utility/exploration' school and/or sub-school that would generally not be favored by adventurer wizards (but non-adventuring scholarly sages in their dusty towers can do so)

    In this way, the specialist Utility Wizard is labelled as 'exploration solver' or whatnot, not the individual spells. The problematic spells are nerfed mostly by accessibility or frequency of usage.
    Last edited by Underman; Tuesday, 24th July, 2012 at 07:48 PM.

  • #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearcat View Post

    Is it more fun to actualize an extended Investigatory Skill Challenge (or even free form if you'd like) where all PCs have to play their part in the unwinding of a mystery or intrigue to find out who "Jack the Ripper" really is?...or is it more fun to agonize (in prep) and then inevitably have the wizard prepare one or more of his plot-point-circumventing, on call, Divination spells to Jack Bauerize your DM terrorist plot?...and who at the table is this actually fun for?

    The exact can be said for any Exploratory plot-point-circumventing spells.

    Those players whose staple of their gameplay actually is "how can my wizard beat the game?"...well, presumably this is fun for them. And no, you don't have to be a vindictive child with flailing self-esteem issues to just play a standard high level wizard and obliterate the breadth of scope of gameplay...you can do it without even angling toward "how can my wizard beat the game?"
    Dont prep plots. Prep scenarios and just let the dice fall where they may.

    That aside....



    Instant CSI

    Click the link.
    Click the glasses.
    You're welcome.

    In any case at certain levels SOME things JUST shouldnt be trouble for the PCs anymore. OH look it's a raging river.....we'll fly across. Things like the natural environment should rarely be obstacles anymore. The PCs spend more time dealing with adventure sites than traveling to them.

    Simple murder mystery or 'terrorist' plot? Pah.... Maybe at low levels in any case divinations rarely provide direct answers.

    When you can cast 5th level spells you are about 9nth or 10th level. Any creature of 11th level or above, or with a cr of 11 or above is "Legendary" in nature as are it's exploits. Your characters are on top of the world well before 20th level and any spell castable by characters of that level is legendary magic, because the PCs and their adversaries are among the few that can use them.

    Also: no one, not even a wizard can "beat the game" because the game isnt beatable. To be beatable, the must be a win condition. How do win at LIFE (not that one) itself?
    Campaign Solvers-http://forum.rpg.net/showpost.php?p=10818013&postcount=30

  • #137
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    ° Ignore billd91
    Quote Originally Posted by TwinBahamut View Post
    You know, I don't agree with the phrasing I'm about to use very often but...

    You make a good argument that we should just take all the problem spells like save-or-die, teleport, scrying, and so on, and stuff them in an optional module far away from the core. They're landmines, not brakes. They appeal to certain fans, but they cause endless problems for others, and they often have unpredictable and severely negative impact on the majority of campaigns. They should be isolated off in an optional supplement with a giant surgeon general's warning saying "dangerous: use at your own risk." A few essays on why these spells are bad might be nice, as well. They can call it the Tome of Forbidden Magic.

    If, as you say, no spell is necessary to the game and anything can be cut, and that everything is an option, then this shouldn't be a problem for you, right?
    I don't think they should be isolated. They should be indicated as having significant implications like Champions does with certain powers that the GMs should be wary of.

    Keep in mind, we're shooting for a game that's D&D at its core, not some generic RPG engine that has D&D in one of its modules. And many of those spells have been part of D&D's core for over 30 years. The fact that we've seen play styles evolve that have leveraged the bejeezus out of them doesn't mean they should be isolated, but the things we've learned should inform how we present the implications of those spells to the DM.
    Last edited by billd91; Tuesday, 24th July, 2012 at 09:39 PM.
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  • #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by billd91 View Post
    How does that follow from knock not replacing the rogue at opening locks?
    By parity of reasoning: if wizards are needed to replace absent/disabled rogues, then presumably rogues are needed to replace absent/disabled wizards!

    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearcat View Post
    I don't want to speak for Pemerton (but I suppose I will) but I suspect the angle of his ire is pointed at the Generalist Wizard and the painful lack of anything sniffing the realm of parity with other classes.
    That's more-or-less right. I don't understand why the answer to some or other gap in party capabilities is "give the wizard the ability to do it".

    Quote Originally Posted by Underman View Post
    Based on fantasy tropes, that sounds more like a ritual or fey boon or something that any class could access.
    Ritual or fey boost sounds good. That any class can access it sounds like an argument that the wizard shouldn't have a Knock spell, and rather that replacing a dead or absent rogue should be a ritual or fey boon that any class can access!

    Quote Originally Posted by Underman View Post
    Alternatively, is it an absolute must that a wizardless party be able to instaneously transport about
    It strikes me as no more or less essential that a class without a rogue can open locked portals.

  • #139
    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    Ritual or fey boost sounds good. That any class can access it sounds like an argument that the wizard shouldn't have a Knock spell, and rather that replacing a dead or absent rogue should be a ritual or fey boon that any class can access!
    I was responding to your comment about the teleport.

    I agree the Knock spell (at least used for mundane doors) is a "me too!" ability, a metagame-informed construct that I don't think is organic to the fiction, and a legacy from 1e.

    OTOH, if the wizard circumvented locked portals by teleporting 10 feet to the other side of the door or warping the wood or whatnot, it would not be a blatant example of a "me too!" class ability, because that kind of magic is inherent to the wizard anyway and the wizard is 'wasting' magic to do what the missing rogue should have done more easily/organically.

    It strikes me as no more or less essential that a class without a rogue can open locked portals.
    Few stories need to force adventurers to open locked doors. There's always a window to break through or other options or not open the locked door just because its there.

  • #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Underman View Post
    I agree the Knock spell (at least used for mundane doors) is a "me too!" ability, a metagame-informed construct that I don't think is organic to the fiction, and a legacy from 1e.

    <snip>

    Few stories need to force adventurers to open locked doors. There's always a window to break through or other options or not open the locked door just because its there.
    So I think we're in agreement.

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