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Tuesday, 9th October, 2012, 01:42 PM #71
Guide (Lvl 11)
- Hide/Move Silently married as "Stealth".
- Spot/Listen married as "Perception".
- Stealth Mechanical Resolution Rules. These rules specificially speak to the "Hide" and "Spot" portion of the Stealth:Perception relationship - eg you must have concealment/cover or something to intervene between Line of Sight. (i) They do not speak to the "Listen" and "Move Silently" portion - specifically nothing about either the "Mover" having disadvantage over antagonistic terrain (dry leaves, gravel, etc) or the "Listener" having advantage on such contests. However, we do have one area of the current ruleset that interfaces with this. (ii) Disadvantage on Stealth Checks with Heavy Armor.
- Now we have a Cloak of Elvenkind that interacts with the "Hide:Spot" portion of the Stealth Mechanical Resolution Rules (bypasses prerequisite for conceleament). This would seem to set the standard for what the corresponding Boots "should" do. Right?
- Wrong. The Boots have no such "Move Silently:Listen" mechanical resolution portion of the Stealth rules for them to interact with. There is no (i). We have (ii) . But (ii) is nowhere to be found in the Stealth Rules. It is in the Equipment rules and its only detached reason by proxy of implication.
So then. We either have:
- Boots that do nothing because there are no corresponding Stealth rules that will give the wearer advantage.
- Boots that cancel disadvantage on Stealth checks over antagonistic terrain (dry leaves, gravel, etc) such as the disadvantage alloted to heavy armor wearers.
- Boots that cancel advantage on percievers' Listen checks to hear the person moving over antagonistic terrain.
Oddly incoherent and left up to interpretation. The rules are silent on this Move Silently:Listen relationship but they speak explicitly and directly the to Hide:Spot analog (indicating relevance and precedent). Therefore, many a group may never impose disadvantage on Stealth or give advantage on Listen in these scenarios. It thus opens up the paradigm whereby this vacuum of rule-space all of a sudden changes once a PC gets these Boots (in order to make the boots useful). All of a sudden, people are ad-hoc retrofitting a Move Silently:Listen rule and hard-coding it into their game so the wearer of the Boots has some mechanical advantage/use from the magic of the boots.
Why is the rule not there in Stealth Rules in the first place? And then why is there no corresponding rules crunch (such as cancelling user disadvantage on Move Silently or cancelling contestant advantage on Listen) on the Boots?
It seems to me this is either (i) Right Hand/Left Hand design incoherency, (ii) design oversight, or (iii) a "Rulings not Rules" feature....which, of course, will just become an ad-hoc, retrofitted Rule for every single table once these Boots find their way into the game (or magical Boots of Elvenkind will have no mechanical functionality).
That is my 3rd attempt. I hope that makes sense.
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Tuesday, 9th October, 2012, 01:52 PM #72
Defender (Lvl 8)
The point of attunement is to keep pc power within some semblance of an expected range. If they're trying to design the mechanics so that magic items aren't mandatory, some kind of hard limit on the players' golf bags of items helps make it possible for adventures to be accessible for all groups.
Tuesday, 9th October, 2012, 01:59 PM #73
Lama (Lvl 13)
- What if you're trying to sneak behind a low wall (hide + move silently)?
- What if you're completely out of sight and trying to move (move silently)?
- What if you're not moving, but trying to hide behind something (hide)?
- What if you're invisible and standing still (not hiding, not moving, but trying to be silent)?
The rules don't cover these cases.
As a hack, I'd give the sneaker advantage if he's not visible (nullified by heavy armor), and I'd give the spotter disadvantage if the sneaker is not moving. So, for the above examples:
- Sneaker: Advantage
- Spotter: Disadvantage
- Sneaker: Advantage, Spotter: Disadvantage
Last edited by GX.Sigma; Tuesday, 9th October, 2012 at 02:03 PM.
Tuesday, 9th October, 2012, 03:12 PM #74
Guide (Lvl 11)
Alright, let me attempt to clarify this way:
- The boots say that the user makes no sound over antagonistic terrain (dry leaves, gravel, etc).
- The Stealth rules do not state that you otherwise have a disadvantage for travelling over antagonistic terrain - netiher a negative modifier/advantage to stealth roll nor a positive modifier/advantage to contestant's Listen roll.
Question - How do the Boots interact with the mechanical resolution system for Stealth?
Answer - They do not.
Question - Therefore, what advantage, mechanically, do you have over someone who doesn't have the boots?
Answer - You have none.
You have an advantage - cancellation of disadvantage on your Stealth roll or negation of advantage on contestant's Perception roll. HOWEVER, this ad-hoc is nowhere to be found in the Stealth rules. I literally just divined this...pulled it out of my DM hat. Expect the situation to play out like this:
Bob the DM: Jack the elf, you have found soft supple leather boots with leafy and vine motif!
Jack: WOOT, BOOTS OF ELVENKIND. I IDENTIFY THEM BOB THE DM!
Bob the DM: You cast your incantation. A magical aura is revealed indicating a strong Transmutation effect. Roll your Magical Lore/Arcana (whatever check).
Jack: WOOT, I GOT A 4 MILLION AND 87.
Bob the DM: They are Boots of Elvenkind...a heritage item of your people whispered amongst legends lost in the role of years.
Jack: WOOT. OK, WHAT DO THEY DO?
Bob the DM: Well. You put them on and your footfalls are as quiet as death. You make no sound travelling over the crunching foliage.
Jack: I MEAN MECHANICALLY BOB. WHAT DO THEY DO? WE NEVER HAD DISADVANTAGE FOR MOVING OVER LEAVES AND STUFF BEFORE NOR DID THE OTHER GUY GET ADVANTAGE TO HEAR US. DON'T THESE BOOTS DO SOMETHING?
Bob the DM: Um. You're silent now.
Jack: UM. JACK. THE RULES SAY WE HAVE TO HIDE BEHIND STUFF OR IN DARKNESS/SHADOWS OR FOG BUT THEY DON'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT US BEING QUIET. SO BASICALLY WE'RE ALWAYS QUIET. WHAT ADVANTAGE DO I HAVE OVER TINA THE DWARF HERE?
Bob the DM: Um. Ok folks. From now on, all Stealth rolls in forests and on gravel and stuff now give you disadvantage. Jack. Your boots cancel that disadvantage.
Jack: AWESOME! BUT WHY DON'T THE RULES JUST SAY THAT.
Bob the DM - I don't know....
Tuesday, 9th October, 2012, 03:21 PM #75
Guide (Lvl 11)
For attunement, I think there are two considerations:
1) If the party finds a magical item, you either want them to spend a very long time or a very short time to be able to use it - in between risks that they decide to rest for the day so that they can attune, cast a ritual, whatever it takes - to avoid the infamous five minute workday.
2) The number of items each character can use at once will be somewhat up to the DM, so this is a good point for some optional rules. Some might want the party to be able to use anything they have access to in combat, some might prefer that items only be changed in a short rest, some might want more commitment from the party.
So in that vein, I suggest that they offer discovery rate options (either instant, short-rest, a ritual or days of study), attunement rate options (either instant, short rest or long rest if there is a long discovery period), and of course de-attunement rate options (either instant, short rest or long rest). Then you offer either unlimited use, item slots, a hard limit, or a soft limit (such as the Charisma rule) on how many things can be attuned at once).
So if you want a Monty Haul experience, you know what items are as soon as you find them, you can attune/de-attune instantly and there's no limit on how many can be active at once. My personal preference would be for a short rest ritual discovery (or days if you want to save money), short rest attunement (so you can use things in the next battle), long rest de-attunement (so you're committed to your layout for the day) and a 1+Charisma limit on active items (everyone should get at least 1 unless they're a dump stat loser).
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Tuesday, 9th October, 2012, 03:23 PM #76
Guide (Lvl 11)
It's not explicitly described, but perhaps it works like this: normally you need to make a stealth or move silently roll to move over noisy ground unnoticed; with the boots on you never need roll.
I'm with you that they should really behave the same as the cloak though, I'm sure it will get cleared up.
Everyone is weird, but those who are weird in the same way call themselves normal.
Tuesday, 9th October, 2012, 03:40 PM #77
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
I really don't buy the "GM empowerment" argument. There's nothing wrong with striving for a balanced RAW game, if a GM really wants to be "empowered" in that way he's completely entitled to makes his own magic items. If these items we're arguing about aren't balanced to begin with, then why not leave it up to your GM to design? I think its really important for the core rules to be contained-- fun, wild ideas are the stuff of modules. If the rule doesn't help make the game "better", mechanically, there should be a considerable debate as to whether the rule should be in the core at all. Less is a lot more in this case-- when you're trying to make the most solid base you can.
Is it a qualitative vs. quantitative argument we're having over the boots? Or am i stretching the metaphor a little far? I can see benefits to both design philosophies. Narrative mechanics are fun and feel more natural, but they're also really open for abuse. Limitations on abuses just lead to more convoluted rules, that are in-turn, misconstrued into even more complex problems with RAW and slanted reading. Simple mechanics are best if they do service to the narrative "essence", but I'd never want a nice elegant mechanic to be tossed out for a poorly written "natural" solution. At some point, its always a "mechanic", some "feel" better than others, but some are also structurally better for the flow of the game. A good balance definitely makes for the best rules. I think people are right in arguing the stealth rules will change quite a bit before the game is published, I just don't think they're looking at them yet.
Tuesday, 9th October, 2012, 03:55 PM #78
Somehow the balance of these items seems way off to me. We're limited to +1 weapons (except for the special ones) to go with the new flat math concept.
On the other hand, melee attackers (but only melee attackers) get a "girdle of make every weapon you might wield including those which already have bonuses at least +4 better than it is now" (assuming a Fighter with STR 20, going to 29).
I'm also not in favor of the new charges rule on staffs and wands. They are too luck-based in terms of using up your resources and only serve to encourage extra-cautious play instead of making full use of what you have. Most players will simply treat their valuable wands and staves as having appropriately fewer charges, always making sure they stay at 1 (or higher, if the DM rolls the recharge die).
A "burnout" mechanism is a good idea, but what if this just made the item temporarily unusable until you invest a few dozen / hundred GP into a 24-hour ritual?
I believe there's a lot of room for optimizing things - the balance of items and their scaling with level was much better with almost all previous editions.
Tuesday, 9th October, 2012, 04:02 PM #79
Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)
Tuesday, 9th October, 2012, 04:09 PM #80
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
I just really dislike the whole idea of +x weapons and armor. There should be a story purpose to +x, not just it's magic so it's +x.
Dancing blade could be a +3 weapon when it's fighting on its own (which takes the place of attribute/class), when wielded in hand though it's only +1 since the blade is trying to assist you still, but unable to operate to its full potential.
Heculean club lets the wielder fight as though they have an 18 strength for attacks and damage.
Blade of Displacement gives a +2 bonus to attack, since the blade itself seems to bend as you strike making it difficult to defend against.
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