pawsplay's dealbreaker list

pawsplay

Adventurer
heretic888 said:
Pawsplay,

The nitojutsu of the Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu is built around using a katana in one's main hand and a wakizashi in one's off hand. It is hardly the same as wielding two longswords at the same time. Furthermore, much like the so-called "Florentine" style of fencing the entire premise of the school is about using the smaller off-hand weapon for defense and parrying. It is not generally used for getting in "extra attacks".

Actually, if you will read his Wind chapter, you will hear his opinions on why longsword and shortsword is preferable to two longswords, which I agree with. Furthermore, you never wield a weapon in your second hand if it is purely for defense; you would be better with a shield or some kind of fork. Musashi's style never, ever assigns any movement or technique as being purely defensive.

In general, in D&D, to hit is king. So it actually makes a lot of sense for a fighter in D&D with a rapier and dagger to use his two weapon defense and only make one attack a lot of the time, particularly if he has rogue levels and uses Improved Feint. But attacking with both is still an option. To me, that's pretty much how it should be.

I am less concerned with having two attacks as the concept of having two weapons should cause you to win more often against someone with one weapon, one-handed weapon. It is true, fighters are often worse off with two weapons than one. But in general, I think that's because they have a specialization in one-handed style; they don't fight badly with two weapons, they simply don't have the advantages of a specialist. I always encourage newbies to learn one weapon first, then two. but it's not because they can't wield two, it's because it becomes a crutch. Newbies with two weapons are simply less safe, as well, and depending on that second weapon to be there can lead to some bad fencing habits. But in general, someone with a few weeks experience is going to be better with two weapons than with one. Some people just can't do two weapons without special training, but that's not most people; some people can't do two-handed weapons, either, and we don't slap a on -6 penalty to use one of those.

Using two weapons as an advantage over one weapon should be an option for any character with proficiency with those weapons, not simply those with special powers. Using a sword and axe is nothing at all like being able to shoot an energy bolt from your fingertips or vault over someone's head in combat. What's next, making extra languages a Power of the bard class?
 

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pawsplay

Adventurer
Baen said:
Now you can certainly throw no minions at all against your pcs, that is your choice, but minions add a lot in the sense that your pcs can feel overwhelmed, yet have the chance for victory. They add a strong storytelling sense to the game, maybe a hollywood esque story but far better then no matter how strong my pc is the little guys are always able to hold their own in combat with me, or might as well not even be there.

I don't have a problem with the minion concept in general, I simply thinking assigning 1 hp to a minion is a bad rule for D&D.

This way all my players will feel like they are a useful member of their class at all times of the day.

Wouldn't making wizards half-decent with a crossbow accomplish the same thing?

I personally find it better then 3e's complete lack of zow. Of course this is assuming you are talking about the fighter, since the wizard/cleric/ranger/rogue has no more or not much more then before. When I first started playing, I was the fighter in the party. Suffice to say I was bored out of my mind, I stood in place and rolled x amount of d20s and did x*(2d6+y) amount of damage.

I don't think it does suffice to say. I have never seen fighters as boring. In fact, to me, they are kind of an advanced class that takes a fair amount of strategy to get the most out of. I do not, at all, think of a fighter as a guy who stands there and slugs the bad guy. At the very least, there is always the melee versus ranged thing.
 

AllisterH

First Post
Again, as someone who has hashed this out WAY back pre-3E on rec.games.frp.dnd, I totally disagree with pawsplay analysis of TWF and its effectiveness...

The idea that TWF is superior needs to be squashed because historically this sure as hell wasn't true.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I'm a 4E skeptic myself, but I'm holding out until I have the books before I make the decision to switch or not. My players are far less likely to switch than I am, anyway...so it's not like I need to decide today, anyway.

1. "1 hp minions." Yeah, these bother me too. Not a deal-breaker, because I can always just decide not to use them (at least, I hope so.)

2. "No second attacks with a second weapon." Call me crazy, but I actually like this. I've always thought that a second weapon should give you options, not extra attacks...options like two different types of damage, two different ranges, etc. That, and creatures with more than one two arms become much less game-breaking (thri-kreen rangers, I'm looking at you.)

3. Missing monsters in the MM. I agree completely. In effect, it feels like they are trying to get us to subscribe to textbook editions. I'm not at all thrilled about that.

4. Infinite wizard magic. Truth be told, I am so tired of Vancian magic, that just about anything else would be better. This was a huge selling point for me.

5. No gnome illusionists. In more than 15 years of gaming, I have never had a single player roll up a gnome...or an illusionist, for that matter. So this will probably impact me very little. That said, it still would have been nice to have the option.

6. No penalties. I thought about it, and I agree. I would much rather have bonus/penalty mechanics than bonus/no bonus mechanics.

7. Teleporting PCs. I agree. Yes, I know they are going to nerf the crap out of it, and yes I know it will probably end up being more like "moving really quick" instead of at-will blinking or Potter-style apparation, but the mechanics aren't what I dislike about it. The flavor is wrong. So right now, I am leaning toward banning it just on principle.

8. Too much ZOWIE. I laughed aloud when I read this. And I can see what you mean by it. But the thing is, I happen to like zowie.

9. Open Gaming issues. I was disappointed to hear it, as well. And I worry about what will happen to Paizo now, because I really like their stuff. But I don't think this will affect whether or not I ever play 4E; it will just impact whether or not people are still playing 4E in another five years.

Some of my own strikes against 4E:

A. Lame PC races. I don't like tieflings and dragonborn. I've explained this already in another thread, but the gist of it is this: I don't like to blur the line between the good guys and the bad guys. Dragons and Outsiders are clearly the "bad guys" in my games, and I want to keep them that way.

B. Favorite classes missing. As with the MM, I don't want to subscribe to buying the newest PHB every year just to get the classes that I like. The lack of popular classes (the druid, barbarian, and monk in particular) is the main reason why my players are opposed to 4E.

C. Marking. I've run a couple of little test games (I call them "micro-games," since they are little more than situational combat sessions) with the 4E Lite rules, and I can already tell that marking is going to be more trouble than it is worth. I've used everything from loops of color-coded wire to poker chips, and nothing works to my satisfaction. There is just no way to make it easy. If I go to 4E, I'm going to hand-wave the crap out of this...or ignore it altogether.
 
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pawsplay

Adventurer
AllisterH said:
Again, as someone who has hashed this out WAY back pre-3E on rec.games.frp.dnd, I totally disagree with pawsplay analysis of TWF and its effectiveness...

The idea that TWF is superior needs to be squashed because historically this sure as hell wasn't true.

I've never hashed it out on rec.games.frp.dnd, but I have more than fifteen years of boffer combat experience, some familiarity with SCA rattan combat, and I've received a couple of escrima tutorials. I can cite Miyamoto Musashi or point out that most dueling manuals suggested rapier and dagger or rapier and buckler. But if you want to vaguely cite some discussion on Usenet back in the 90s, without linkage, I guess to each their own.

EDIT: And I have no idea what you mean about historically this sure as hell wasn't true, unless by that you mean, "Was pretty much true."

EDIT EDIT: Five minutes of googling came up with this:

http://www.thearma.org/essays/TopMyths.htm

13. Fighting with a sword and shield was the typical method of Medieval foot-combat.

False. Despite their ubiquity in popular media's depictions of Medieval combat, and their close association with knights and medieval warriors, by the 14th century large shields were actually uncommon and all but disappeared from battles and single combats. This decline continued as the decades wore on. Rather than a single-handed short sword with large shield, soldiers, knights and men-at-arms were equipped typically with double-handed weapons (whether polearms, hafted weapons, or double-hand swords), or with two weapon combinations (swords with maces, axes, daggers, etc.). Large shields survived as specialized tools mostly for sieges and judicial combats but were not primary equipment. Smaller bucklers and other hand shields were by far more common than larger shields and typically served as a principal means of training.
 
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Psion

Adventurer
Teemu said:
I didn't read the whole thread, but there really aren't people who are going to say (with a serious face), "One reason why I don't want to play the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons make-believe world fantasy game is because the Monster Manual doesn't have frost giants." Right...?

Frost. Giants.

There are what, dozens and dozens of different critters in the book.

The lack of frost giants is a reason why you're going to pass a new edition of an RPG? What if your 3e MM was damaged and the page where frost giants are described was destroyed - you wouldn't abandon the game altogether, right?

I mean come on...! Frost giants. You got plenty of other giants!

I think you have missed the point.

One creature is generally not a big deal, even if you are a group for which the creature is a staple of the D&D experience.

Frost Giant was brought up as an example cited in a podcast of a creature that would be "saved for later" because it is traditionally core and the designers felt that it was an example of such a creature that would help compel the existing audience to think of supplemental books as core.

But it's just an example. In all likelihood, it's probably far from the only such creature.
 

pawsplay said:
I've never hashed it out on rec.games.frp.dnd, but I have more than fifteen years of boffer combat experience, some familiarity with SCA rattan combat, and I've received a couple of escrima tutorials. I can cite Miyamoto Musashi or point out that most dueling manuals suggested rapier and dagger or rapier and buckler. But if you want to vaguely cite some discussion on Usenet back in the 90s, without linkage, I guess to each their own.

EDIT: And I have no idea what you mean about historically this sure as hell wasn't true, unless by that you mean, "Was pretty much true."
Please remember that D&D combat is completely abstract and in no way realistic, so what your opinion of real life may be is irrelevant. Attack rolls in D&D are supposed to represent a variety of thrusts and feints, not just a single swing (check your PHB), so additional weapon = additional attack does not automatically follow. We're all very impressed with your credentials, I'm sure, but this discussion is heading toward flame territory, so it's probably best to just nip it in the bud.
 

pawsplay

Adventurer
Fifth Element said:
Please remember that D&D combat is completely abstract and in no way realistic, so what your opinion of real life may be is irrelevant. Attack rolls in D&D are supposed to represent a variety of thrusts and feints, not just a single swing (check your PHB), so additional weapon = additional attack does not automatically follow. We're all very impressed with your credentials, I'm sure, but this discussion is heading toward flame territory, so it's probably best to just nip it in the bud.

I'm not out to flame anybody, but if people want to come into a thread I started and spout misinformation, they had better be prepared to back up their positions with some kind of citation, reasonable argument, etc. Apart from the problems of gegraphy, I could get 90% of the readers of this thread presenting a credible two weapon style with boffer weapons in an afternoon. I know this because I've done it, dozens of times.

And as I've said at least a half dozen times in this thread already, I am not married to the "two weapons = two rolls" mechanic. I'm just saying two weapon fighting should constitute something more than not having a free hand.
 


Baen

First Post
pawsplay said:
Until Drizzt came along, two weapon fighting had nothing to do with rangers. Prior to him, a ranger would wield either the blade of Isuldur, some kind of quarterstaff, or a bow. I have a hard time picturing many samurai, many if not most historical fighters, some gladiators, and the majority of duelists during the heydey of the rapier as rangers or multiclass rangers.

Actually this is precisely what I in my last post and others in previous posts have been talking about. Classes in 4e seem far less attached to any particular charachter so much as they are a package of abilities. Sure they have their fluff which goes on well with the D&D Archetype, but the fact that they are role based means that they are more telling for the role, then a specific class. For instance, Aragorn the Ranger would likely be a fighter with nature skills in both 2nd and 3rd, while Legolas an elven warrior would be the definition of one. Now I know D&D isn't LOTR, but the truth is that their aren't really that many heroic characters defined as rangers. Their is a distinct difference between what you call yourself, and what you play. A pure samurai would likely be a fighter, however Musashi would likely be a ranger, especially given how he was not so much a Samurai lord as he was a wandering Ronin. Also given that samurai gave high importance to the bow, more traditional samurai that followed his school of the sword would likely be rangers as well.

I don't have a problem with the minion concept in general, I simply thinking assigning 1 hp to a minion is a bad rule for D&D.

I just wonder what you would do in place? Minions are meant to be quickly killed foes, not memorable unless in vast numbers. They are designed to be killed fast, therefore why not give them 1hp? Where do you draw the line? If you give them hp for their level they are no longer really minions, even 1hp per level doesn't really mean anything except that no one will see an orc below 4th. Minions should pose a threat, capable of doing damage, but should be just as easily killed. 3e didn't really do that too much, if a monster could be killed easily without expending significant mage resources, he really couldn't do that much to the pcs anyways.



Wouldn't making wizards half-decent with a crossbow accomplish the same thing?

Not really, since it doesn't fit the image of any wizard I have ever heard of. I don't think I have ever read a fantasy novel where the wizard went, oops, no more spells for the day. I have heard them being knocked out from exhaustion maybe, but never pull out a crossbow. That is purely a D&D thing, and one done simply because the system was limited that wizards NEEDED to do it, not because it made any sense along thematic lines. Actually, in fantasy if a wizard was out of magic they tend to get their hands on a sword and wade into combat.

I don't think it does suffice to say. I have never seen fighters as boring. In fact, to me, they are kind of an advanced class that takes a fair amount of strategy to get the most out of. I do not, at all, think of a fighter as a guy who stands there and slugs the bad guy. At the very least, there is always the melee versus ranged thing.

I agree, in that they can be played very strategically. However they had nothing really unique they could do without adding on prestige classes galore. Regardless of what feats you took, you tended to just stand there and spam basic attacks over and over again. Not that it was incredibly different from others, just that it was the only thing they could do. Now of course if you have a good descriptive dm, I didn't have one as a player although try to be now that I am one, its different.


Not really wanting to quote anymore, the deal is that twf will be in 4e, and will likely be a nice advantage considering it is one of the main class features of the Ranger, a heavy damage dealer. As previously mentioned, take away the name ranger and their mechanics can be interpreted in multiple ways for several character concepts. TWF is in no way shape or form gone from 4e.
 

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