D&D 5th Edition Why the HP Threshold on Spells is a Bad Idea - Page 3





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  1. #21
    I'm working so I haven't read the entire thread, I just want to say that IMO number of HD is a better indicator than hp threshold.

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  • #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by billd91 View Post
    My gut reaction is that's a lot harder to balance than you might think. In the traditional D&D system, even though the casters are getting more and more spell slots they can cast, there are always a limited number of the newest high level spells while plenty of other slots are populated by spells of smaller scope and power.

    Cut the number of spell slots but migrate them into higher levels and you'll probably get a higher number of spells overall at the highest level of power. For example, if you limit the caster to 10 slots but move them up a spell level every time a new level becomes available, suddenly you have a PC with 10 9th level spells as soon as he qualifies for them. In the old system, he'd have a lot more spells but only 1 9th level spell on top of 2 8th, 3 7th, and so on. And don't even try to balance the play styles between the power gamer filling them all up with the highest level spells he can and the more moderate player who takes a 1st level charm person so he can charm his way past single gatekeepers and get what he wants.
    So, er, don't make them all the highest level? In this system you might still have 1x9, 2x8, 3x7 but nothing lower. Your 9th could be a magic missile battery or something more traditional like wail of the banshee.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Li Shenron View Post
    It's not so much a matter of accepting it... if it's option that I can ignore and still play a traditional Wizard, that's fine for me. But your previous post sounded quite a lot like you want to totally change how it works for everyone.
    Oh, I do, because there were too many problems with spellcasters in previous editions. I'm not balance-crazy, but Wizards just kept getting more spells, and low-level spell slots were always still useful, and then in 3rd edition they all became caster-level based, so we had a cubic growth in power that non-spellcasters couldn't do much about. It was fun! But I'd like something a bit more nuanced.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Nightwing View Post
    Oh, I do, because there were too many problems with spellcasters in previous editions. I'm not balance-crazy, but Wizards just kept getting more spells, and low-level spell slots were always still useful, and then in 3rd edition they all became caster-level based, so we had a cubic growth in power that non-spellcasters couldn't do much about. It was fun! But I'd like something a bit more nuanced.
    I can't tell exactly what you mean by "in 3rd edition they all became caster-level based" in this context. Do you really mean spell-level based or caster-stat based (or both)?

    The problems 3e has aren't because they lack nuance. There are plenty of nuances in there (probably too many). After all, using the spell level to help determine the save DC is one mechanism added to ensure that a 1st level spell isn't as potent as a 5th level or 9th level spell. That was a nice addition for people who felt that low-level spells shouldn't be as powerful as high level ones. And the rate at which the spell level drives up the save DC isn't out of control compared to the rate the saves increase. Weak saves usually only trail by 2-3 points. Trouble was, some players can't pass up the attraction of pumping up the casting stat so that the save DCs go sky high - well beyond the target's saving throws ability to catch up and make it a reasonable contest (making this, perhaps, one nuance too many).
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    Quote Originally Posted by billd91 View Post
    Trouble was, some players can't pass up the attraction of pumping up the casting stat so that the save DCs go sky high - well beyond the target's saving throws ability to catch up and make it a reasonable contest (making this, perhaps, one nuance too many).
    Why should they resist the attraction? If the system rewards you for making a particular choice, it's rather churlish to blame players for then making that choice.

    Design the system so that such game-breaking choices aren't even available. Then it's a nonissue.

  • #26
    Quote Originally Posted by billd91 View Post
    I can't tell exactly what you mean by "in 3rd edition they all became caster-level based" in this context. Do you really mean spell-level based or caster-stat based (or both)?

    The problems 3e has aren't because they lack nuance. There are plenty of nuances in there (probably too many). After all, using the spell level to help determine the save DC is one mechanism added to ensure that a 1st level spell isn't as potent as a 5th level or 9th level spell. That was a nice addition for people who felt that low-level spells shouldn't be as powerful as high level ones. And the rate at which the spell level drives up the save DC isn't out of control compared to the rate the saves increase. Weak saves usually only trail by 2-3 points. Trouble was, some players can't pass up the attraction of pumping up the casting stat so that the save DCs go sky high - well beyond the target's saving throws ability to catch up and make it a reasonable contest (making this, perhaps, one nuance too many).
    Yes, the "blame the victim" mentality.

    At what point has a player pushed up the save DCs sky high? Spell Focus? It's a core feat required for several prestige classes. Greater Spell Focus? It's... a pretty obvious followup feat. Pumping your int score? Seems smart for a wizard. Getting items that make saving throws harder? Seems solid. Casting spells that wreck enemies saving throws? Seems smart.

    Again, it's really unfair to the players to expect them to draw the line. "Okay, if you take Spell Focus it's okay. And if you have an 18 in intelligence it's... kinda okay. And if you get an item that boosts your int by 4, well, um, it's not bad. But if you take Greater Spell Focus you're a bad person, and Shadow Weave Magic is right out!"

    Mostly the issue is just taking core items boosts the Save DC and by the time you hit high levels you can afford to spam the Save or Suck spells until the target sucks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreyICE View Post
    Yes, the "blame the victim" mentality.
    "They gave me options to maximize my casting stat! How can I resist? I'm not made of stone! *sob*"

    The optimizer who pushes at the limits of the game while the rest of his fellow players don't is hardly a victim. It's totally fair to expect to draw a line well short of the maximums just as you would in any other RPG that offers a lot of customization options if it's best for that particular gaming group.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billd91 View Post
    I can't tell exactly what you mean by "in 3rd edition they all became caster-level based" in this context. Do you really mean spell-level based or caster-stat based (or both)?

    The problems 3e has aren't because they lack nuance. There are plenty of nuances in there (probably too many). After all, using the spell level to help determine the save DC is one mechanism added to ensure that a 1st level spell isn't as potent as a 5th level or 9th level spell. That was a nice addition for people who felt that low-level spells shouldn't be as powerful as high level ones. And the rate at which the spell level drives up the save DC isn't out of control compared to the rate the saves increase. Weak saves usually only trail by 2-3 points. Trouble was, some players can't pass up the attraction of pumping up the casting stat so that the save DCs go sky high - well beyond the target's saving throws ability to catch up and make it a reasonable contest (making this, perhaps, one nuance too many).
    I meant that the effects of a spell were determined both by the spell level and the caster's level. This extended the usefulness of low-level spells, adding power in a third way (on top of more spells and higher level spells). DCs didn't help much, there were plenty of spells without saves, and touch attacks meant you needn't worry about your poor base attack bonus.
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    It makes no sense that an assault on the mind is affected by how tough the body is.

    If there is no way to bypass the hp track, I will definitely bypass NEXT.

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    I am with the OP and find the hp threshold a lousy mechanics (much worse than using hit die thresholds which I never want to see again either).
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