"Math glitch" -- explanation or pointer?


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yeah, this would be in line with the bonuses to stats at this level. But then I believe a nonscaling expertise feat at heroic would be nice, because this is unused design space and it had settled the issue right there.
 


Blackbrrd

First Post
Are people seeing this problem in play?

My campaign has gotten to level 8 and the only time there has been "too many" misses was when fighting level 8 soldiers at level 7 with +1 items. (At level 8 they got 3 better to hit, +1 extra from weapons, +1 from stat gain, +1 from level).
 

Infiniti2000

First Post
Are people seeing this problem in play?

My campaign has gotten to level 8 and the only time there has been "too many" misses was when fighting level 8 soldiers at level 7 with +1 items. (At level 8 they got 3 better to hit, +1 extra from weapons, +1 from stat gain, +1 from level).
If keterys's suggestion is close enough, then you wouldn't notice the problem until 11th level. Even then, we're talking about only 5% or so, which is hard to notice unless you're tracking it closely. I'd say you'd probably be able to notice it more readily at about 21st level.
 

Tequila Sunrise

Adventurer
Considering that WotC is generally willling to eratta things they think are broken with an actual eratta document, I've begun to think the math glitch is intentional, and the designers don't feel it needs to be fixed. I think that as you increase in level, you're intended to fight lower-level monsters more and more. Very few level 30+ monsters exist at all, and the few that do are all designed to be one-time, big nasty fights. Minions, however, cap out at much lower than 30.
DMG, p 56, Step-By-Step Encounters:
An easy encounter is one or two levels lower than the party's level.
A standard encounter is of the party's level, or one level higher.
A hard encounter is two to four levels higher than the party's level.


There are several further mentions of party/PC level relating to enounter/monster level, and nowhere is there any hint that high level PCs are supposed to fight lower level monsters. Here's a much more likely explanation for the relative lack of epic monsters in the MM: most groups focus on the heroic tier, especially in the short months after the game's initial release, and therefore high level monsters are a low priority. Heck, if epic PCs were intended to fight lower level monsters, why is Orcus higher level than any PC can even get?

Yes WotC is willing to errata more minor glitches in the game, while dragging their feet every step of the way, because everyone knows that typos and minor lapses in playtesting and judgment can happen to anyone. But if they can put out a few feat tax math semi-patches, which they know a certain percent of players will defend regardless of circumstance, and avoid the embarrassment of admitting a fundamental flaw in their self-purported perfectly balanced game of course they will.
 

keterys

First Post
yeah, this would be in line with the bonuses to stats at this level. But then I believe a nonscaling expertise feat at heroic would be nice, because this is unused design space and it had settled the issue right there.

Honestly, all the 'hyperspecialize on one weapon' stuff is really a bad idea, especially when it's eating up so many feats. A character could easily have superior weapon proficiency, weapon focus, weapon expertise, weapon mastery, weapon-specific special paragon thing... and other than that last feat, none of it's really interesting or healthy. Just a lot of feats spent to make problems for handing out treasure, screw up balance when not allowed your primary weapon, penalize those who can't specialize in a weapon, etc.
 

Nifft

Penguin Herder
I previously thought that Epic-tier handled this growing gap between PC attack and critter defenses through the increasing bonuses granted by Leaders and utility powers.

For example: a 1st level strength-based Cleric's at-will grants one ally a +4 bonus to attack. Same Cleric, at 30th level, could to be granting a +9 bonus with the same power. So the fact that all 30th level PC attacks were at -3 relative to 1st level target number could have been compensated by the difference between +4 and +9.

However, such scaling attack bonuses may have been the exception, not the rule: new Leaders seem to give more static attack bonuses.

The Expertise line of feats is an admission that my thinking wasn't what WotC was working towards at all.

Cheers, -- N
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
DMG, p 56, Step-By-Step Encounters:
An easy encounter is one or two levels lower than the party's level.
A standard encounter is of the party's level, or one level higher.
A hard encounter is two to four levels higher than the party's level.


There are several further mentions of party/PC level relating to enounter/monster level, and nowhere is there any hint that high level PCs are supposed to fight lower level monsters.

For me I have no inclination or reason to believe the game world would have as many epic challenges ... or that an epic challenge might not usually be a larger number of lower... creatures or enemies.
 

Tequila Sunrise

Adventurer
For me I have no inclination or reason to believe the game world would have as many epic challenges ... or that an epic challenge might not usually be a larger number of lower... creatures or enemies.
Look at this from a game design PoV: D&D is a level based game. Different things of the same level are supposed to have a certain degree of equivalence. To write a level-based game where that degree of equivalence changes from level to level is fundamentally misleading: The whole point of a level-based system is to be able to glance at two stat blocks and instantly know how equivalent they are in power; not to glance at two stat blocks and then have to think 'well, they're both the same level, so the monster is actually meant for higher level PCs...' if WotC had intended higher level PCs to fight lower level monsters, they would have mentioned it somewhere. Or, more likely, they would have simply made higher level monsters less powerful. (By lowering monster attacks and defenses by 1 per sub-tier, for example.)

Now look at this from an in-game PoV: levels don't exist because they're a rules-construct. No, there aren't as many epic challenges in-game as there are heroic challenges, but when has this kind of logistical information ever been relevant to D&D adventurers? Do epic adventurers grind through endless hordes of mundane kobolds before fighting Tiamat? Do heroic adventurers have to avoid 1,000 odd encounters with ancient dragons and hordes of kobolds before finding that one encounter with just a few kobolds that they can handle? No, of course not! The DM tailors encounters to the PCs using metagame information: monsters of X level are good challenges for PCs of X level. if you understand this, why would you think that in-game information (less epic monsters) would hedge out metagame information (level X = level X) at higher levels?
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
I previously thought that Epic-tier handled this growing gap between PC attack and critter defenses through the increasing bonuses granted by Leaders and utility powers.

For example: a 1st level strength-based Cleric's at-will grants one ally a +4 bonus to attack. Same Cleric, at 30th level, could to be granting a +9 bonus with the same power. So the fact that all 30th level PC attacks were at -3 relative to 1st level target number could have been compensated by the difference between +4 and +9.

However, such scaling attack bonuses may have been the exception, not the rule: new Leaders seem to give more static attack bonuses.

The Expertise line of feats is an admission that my thinking wasn't what WotC was working towards at all.

And the fact that the +9 to hit typically doesn't occur until the Cleric runs out of most Encounter attack powers, and when the Cleric uses that power, he has a 40% chance to hit in order to give out the +45%. That will only help 2 rounds out of 5.

And the fact that many Epic monsters have buffs and/or debuffs, just like PCs do.
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
IMO: masterwork is a math fix. Without MW armors (or an equivalent scaling bonus that only applies to heavy-armor wearers) you have to either dump having ability bonuses add to the AC of light-armor wearers, or dump scaling ability scores.

Masterwork armor is not a math fix. It's the original math.

The masterwork changes in AV and PHBII were math fixes for certain levels of magical heavy armor, but masterwork itself was part of the original equations and not fixes.
 

keterys

First Post
Well, there's two aspects to masterwork here.

1) Masterwork AC bonuses give heavy armor more to keep up with ability score boosts. This was in the PHB, albeit done more elegantly later on.
2) Masterwork random bonuses like bonuses to Fort, Reflex, Will... these might be part of the attempt to address falling FRWs. Dunno.
 

Honestly, all the 'hyperspecialize on one weapon' stuff is really a bad idea, especially when it's eating up so many feats. A character could easily have superior weapon proficiency, weapon focus, weapon expertise, weapon mastery, weapon-specific special paragon thing... and other than that last feat, none of it's really interesting or healthy. Just a lot of feats spent to make problems for handing out treasure, screw up balance when not allowed your primary weapon, penalize those who can't specialize in a weapon, etc.
Yeah and it works as intendet. ;)

If you chose to hyperspecialize, you have to accept your limited choices. As expertise is no feat tax, but a bonus with certain weapons, i don´t feel obliged to give my players the matching weapons all the time. ^^

I believe for a polearm fighter, weapon expertise or weapon proficiency greatspear might be options. But he must accept to put more roleplaying effort into getting his new polearm.
I also believe planning a character from lvl 1 to lvl 20 is a bad idea. I have yet to see a player who began at lvl 1 to follow his would be build
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
2) Masterwork random bonuses like bonuses to Fort, Reflex, Will... these might be part of the attempt to address falling FRWs. Dunno.

I at first thought so as well, but if so, they are mostly boosting the best NAD anyway. Especially considering the timeframe for when AV was published.

Cloth and chainmail armor bonus to Will. PCs in cloth and chainmail typically already have the best Will defenses.

Leather armor bonus to Reflex. PCs in leather typically already have the best Reflex defenses.

The Hide armor boost to Fort is kind of a middle of the road. Melee Rangers and Barbarians and a few others already have good Forts, but many other classes that eventually get Hide might not. Ditto for Scale armor.

There are a few exceptions to this now that more recent books have come out, but this mostly holds true.


All in all, this didn't seem like the best way to put in any math fixes to NADs.
 

keterys

First Post
Yeah and it works as intendet. ;)

You think it's intended that casters who can't use a weapon as an implement are worse off than those who can? Or that most of a character's heroic tier feats may be prechosen for them?

If you chose to hyperspecialize, you have to accept your limited choices. As expertise is no feat tax, but a bonus with certain weapons, i don´t feel obliged to give my players the matching weapons all the time. ^^
And they just get transfer enchantment. Or make their own. Or give what they find in the party to those who can use it first, then work things from there. Or you're intentionally denying them treasure to make up for inadequacies in the feat system, which is also not a good thing.

I believe for a polearm fighter, weapon expertise or weapon proficiency greatspear might be options. But he must accept to put more roleplaying effort into getting his new polearm.
Why? How is it any different to use a greatspear over a glaive? More, why are you tying mechanical gains to roleplaying effort? And if he chose glaive (not superior) and picked Heavy Blade Opportunity, would he need the same effort?

I also believe planning a character from lvl 1 to lvl 20 is a bad idea. I have yet to see a player who began at lvl 1 to follow his would be build
Yeah, I believe in retraining something every level on general principle myself. Find the powers and feats I enjoy the most that way.
 

kaomera

Explorer
Are people seeing this problem in play?
I've seen a problem as low as 4th level. It's easy to argue that it's not the same problem, because there are many ways to work around it, but if a player isn't stacking all of the bonuses available to them, you can quickly reach a situation where there is a significant disparity within the party. Part of the issue is that "in play" issues are rarely about overall averages, but about spikes. One encounter or session where the character just can't hit is no fun.

The Expertise line of feats is an admission that my thinking wasn't what WotC was working towards at all.
Or maybe they've changed what they are working towards? I think the Expertise feats, in specific, where most likely a result of feedback from the players. And I think the reason they where issued as feats instead of a global change is because some groups where having problems with the math, and others where not. There is no single comprehensive model of player expectations in regards to D&D: if there was (and assuming that WotC had found it), then there would be no need for Pathfinder, and no-one playing classic editions of the game.
 

Nifft

Penguin Herder
Or maybe they've changed what they are working towards? I think the Expertise feats, in specific, where most likely a result of feedback from the players. And I think the reason they where issued as feats instead of a global change is because some groups where having problems with the math, and others where not.
... yet both groups, those who had no trouble hitting and those who do have trouble hitting, now have equal access to Expertise feats.

Since the former are probably better powergamers or better tacticians, they're also more likely to recognize the mechanical superiority of the Expertise feats.

So ... the feat solution is most likely to be used by those who didn't need it, and most likely to be ignored by those who need it most.

I really hope you're wrong, because if you're right, WotC designers did a very dumb thing.

Cheers, -- N
 

keterys

First Post
Now there's an interesting spin... change expertise to a power bonus so it doesn't stack with many of the ways to catch up.

Penalties to defense still work, of course.
 


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