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Author Topic: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games  (Read 42238 times)

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Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #150 on: July 15, 2011, 04:16:46 PM »
I remember the Duskblade Class... man was that broken.

Lulzwhat? 3.5 had Druids, Incantatrixes, Frenzied Berzerkers, and Ur-Priests, and the Duskblade was what jumped out as broken? We must not be thinking of the same class...the Duskblade I'm remembering was a melee blaster-caster with a few self-buffs and an extremely weak spell list that didn't have much aside from direct damage attacks. In a game where a wizard had discovered spells other than Fireball, Duskblades were pretty low on the casting-class totem pole.

Synergist, though - it's all the worst bits of the 3.5 Druid post-Wilding clasps; dumping physical stats and still being a melee beast, an absurd amount of hit points, and a ridiculous armor class (notably because the synergist is not prohibited from wearing armor, even when melded with the eidolon - seriously, who thought that was a good idea?).
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 04:19:51 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline Black Howling

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Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #151 on: July 15, 2011, 04:21:48 PM »
Lulzwhat? 3.5 had Druids, Incantatrixes, Frenzied Berzerkers, and Ur-Priests, and the Duskblade was what jumped out as broken? We must not be thinking of the same class...the Duskblade I'm remembering was a melee blaster-caster with a few self-buffs and an extremely weak spell list that didn't have much aside from direct damage attacks. In a game where a wizard had discovered spells other than Fireball, Duskblades were pretty low on the casting-class totem pole.

Synergist, though - it's all the worst bits of the 3.5 Druid post-Wilding clasps; dumping physical stats and still being a melee beast, an absurd amount of hit points, and a ridiculous armor class (notably because the synergist is not prohibited from wearing armor, even when melded with the eidolon - seriously, who thought that was a good idea?).
Yeah, but the Magus has plenty of things that aren't restricted to blasting spells. They have practically every good spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. What did they lose?

Offline Myrleena

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #152 on: July 15, 2011, 04:23:11 PM »
I've seen one magus in play so far in my games.

The advantages: It hits hard (when using spellstrike), it gets good buffs, and the self enchanting is awesome.  In fact, it was keeping pace, damage wise, with the (moderately optimized) Barbarian overall.  But that was with using valuable per-day abilities, when the barbarian was actually not using her Rage most of the time.

Disadvantages: The magus found it much harder to hit opponents, overall.  Plus, they are very dependent on multiple attributes.

Overall: I think it's nifty, but hardly unbalanced.  Decent hybrid class.

Now, does it replace the Eldritch Knight?  I don't think so.  The EK can be built, at 20th, to have a Caster Level of 18 and BAB of +15, just like the Magus, but still have 9th level spells.  Sure, they don't have the ability to cast in armor, but spells like Displacement help, and you can make do with Bracers of Armor and similar items.  Or you can go the other direction, and focus on the melee aspects, where you can hit a BAB of +17 and several fighter bonus feats, if you so chose.  I'm assuming you take max levels in EK, to make this clear.

On the other hand, I almost see EK as a better bard prestige class than for a fighter/wizard.  I don't see the Magus as better than the EK.  It's just different.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #153 on: July 15, 2011, 04:31:37 PM »
Yeah, but the Magus has plenty of things that aren't restricted to blasting spells. They have practically every good spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. What did they lose?

You did notice I was agreeing with you, right? The Magus is the spiritual successor to the duskblade, but vastly more powerful. I'd allow its extra defenses and versatility to match against a Wizard/Eldritch Knight up until the W/EK gets 9th's and proceeds to make reality squeal like a pig, so level 19-20. Considering how seldom games approach that level of play, it's not unreasonable to call the Magus OP...I was arguing LunarSage's point that the old Duskblade was in any way OP.

Offline Myrleena

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #154 on: July 15, 2011, 04:33:45 PM »
...my games regularly go from level 1 to level 20-25... >.>

Offline Black Howling

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Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #155 on: July 15, 2011, 04:42:37 PM »
You did notice I was agreeing with you, right? The Magus is the spiritual successor to the duskblade, but vastly more powerful. I'd allow its extra defenses and versatility to match against a Wizard/Eldritch Knight up until the W/EK gets 9th's and proceeds to make reality squeal like a pig, so level 19-20. Considering how seldom games approach that level of play, it's not unreasonable to call the Magus OP...I was arguing LunarSage's point that the old Duskblade was in any way OP.
I was problematic with my reply. I'm under-caffeinated. I was more asking that to anyone else, and quoted by mistake. Sorry about that. :P
...my games regularly go from level 1 to level 20-25... >.>
My issue isn't at the highest levels, it's how they compare when leveling up. The magus is twice as useful to the group throughout the game, and is still as useful at 20th level. To me that makes the class a little beefy. I find it hard to say it doesn't do the EK's job though when Piazo changed their Half-Elf EK example to being a Magus example.

Though I have to say, Hardcore. ^_^ When me and my group had the time to play that often, we almost always reached from 1-25 or even 30. Good times.

Offline Myrleena

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #156 on: July 15, 2011, 04:45:52 PM »
Here's the thing...I don't think they're twice as useful.  If I look at one at any given level, I simply get characters that have to go about things slightly differently.  The only thing about the magus that makes me hesitant at all is how they can mess with the action economy a bit.  Makes them awesome villains, though.  I'll say what I've said before, though.  How useful the character is comes down to the player.  I'm fairly certain I could build a magus and EK and have them about as useful at any level.  Hell, they'd even use the same attributes.

Offline Black Howling

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Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #157 on: July 15, 2011, 04:48:32 PM »
Here's the thing...I don't think they're twice as useful.  If I look at one at any given level, I simply get characters that have to go about things slightly differently.  The only thing about the magus that makes me hesitant at all is how they can mess with the action economy a bit.  Makes them awesome villains, though.  I'll say what I've said before, though.  How useful the character is comes down to the player.  I'm fairly certain I could build a magus and EK and have them about as useful at any level.  Hell, they'd even use the same attributes.
Yes, but I bet one would take twice the work to build correctly, and you'd simply find it easier to play the other. It's how it happened at my gaming table, but I'm not gonna say you are altogether wrong. As I said, my opinions on the class are not unflinching; but they aren't improving any from my talks with people. I'd really have to try it out sometime and then compare it to how I worked with my Eldritch knight. 

Offline Myrleena

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #158 on: July 15, 2011, 04:52:29 PM »
Makes sense, and by no means would I build the two identically.  Trying to compete with the Magus on its terms would be a losing proposition.  But there are plenty of things that it can't do, and those would be what I'd target.

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #159 on: July 15, 2011, 06:07:47 PM »
Lulzwhat? 3.5 had Druids, Incantatrixes, Frenzied Berzerkers, and Ur-Priests, and the Duskblade was what jumped out as broken? We must not be thinking of the same class...the Duskblade I'm remembering was a melee blaster-caster with a few self-buffs and an extremely weak spell list that didn't have much aside from direct damage attacks. In a game where a wizard had discovered spells other than Fireball, Duskblades were pretty low on the casting-class totem pole.

I never said it was the only broken class in 3.5, but it was -very- abusable, especially with access to gear from the Magic Item Compendium.  I witnessed firsthand a player using the class to destroy a game I ran.  I could not put an encounter against the party that would even come close to challenging the Duskblade without destroying the rest of the party.

Offline Dhi

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #160 on: July 15, 2011, 06:31:43 PM »
I've been playing D&D 4E for a couple of years now, and running a game that's about to enter epic levels. Even though I don't play Pathfinder, I do love the $10 gazetteer-style books. They're a great read and source of inspiration.

Offline Black Howling

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Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #161 on: July 15, 2011, 06:36:45 PM »
I've been playing D&D 4E for a couple of years now, and running a game that's about to enter epic levels. Even though I don't play Pathfinder, I do love the $10 gazetteer-style books. They're a great read and source of inspiration.
4E is a good system. I actually prefer using it for some of my games, mainly because the power fluff and ritual casting works for those games a lot better. Though the nearly forced DDI subscription is what turned me off from it. Though that is lessening now that a friend is showing me how to look up the Eratta and other things without issues.

That was such a pain.

Offline Kunoichi

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #162 on: July 15, 2011, 06:39:41 PM »
I never said it was the only broken class in 3.5, but it was -very- abusable, especially with access to gear from the Magic Item Compendium.  I witnessed firsthand a player using the class to destroy a game I ran.  I could not put an encounter against the party that would even come close to challenging the Duskblade without destroying the rest of the party.

Hmm.  What was the rest of the party's composition?  Because from my own experiences with the Duskblade class, that definitely shouldn't have been the case...

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #163 on: July 15, 2011, 06:44:43 PM »
They were playing standard classes.  A Ranger, a Sorc and a Cleric I believe.

The Duskblade was dealing out over 200 damage to a single target with a full round attack with blades empowered with Shocking Grasp.  This was at like level 13 or so.

Offline Kunoichi

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #164 on: July 15, 2011, 06:54:27 PM »
Ah, tossing around lots of d6s, I see.  In that case, the solution probably would have been larger numbers of weaker opponents, rather than single powerful targets.  If he wants to be able to kill anything level-appropriate with a full-round attack, let him.  He can't be everywhere at once, and there are more ways to challenge a party than just 'Kill [enemy] for [reward]'.

Offline Dhi

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #165 on: July 15, 2011, 07:14:22 PM »
It's good that you can access errata. I have a subscription and mostly use it to look things up in the Compendium, where errata is built in. My friends have to remind me when noteworthy DDI articles go up. I suppose I have less interest in game mechanics, and more interest in the roleplaying as time goes on.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #166 on: July 15, 2011, 07:21:33 PM »
They were playing standard classes.  A Ranger, a Sorc and a Cleric I believe.

The Duskblade was dealing out over 200 damage to a single target with a full round attack with blades empowered with Shocking Grasp.  This was at like level 13 or so.

With Shocking Grasp? Let's see - it caps at 5d6, and he'd get 3 attacks/turn, so if he Maximized his Shocking Grasp, he'd deal 90 electric damage assuming all three attacks hit. That still leaves another 120 damage, or 40/hit, and he couldn't have charged with all those multipliers. What sort of ridiculous cheese race was he using to be hitting CR13 opponents with a +3 BAB iterative and dealing 40+ damage per hit with weapons/strength only?

TLDR: Either the Duskblade was the least overpowered part of that build, since a Maximized Shocking Grasp would still have been less than half of his DPR (a non-maximized one would have been less than 25%), or he was pulling a fast one on you by cheating out some other rule. I'm with Kunoichi here; even for a low-op party (The sorc only blasting, the cleric only healing, the ranger...doing whatever it is 3.5 rangers did, except be effective), the numbers just aren't adding up.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 07:24:47 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #167 on: July 15, 2011, 07:31:37 PM »
Two Weapon Fighting for like 4 or 5 attacks per round plus a magic Item that gave his strength bonus a +8 for a single round plus the Belt of Battle (for an instant extra full round attack) plus a bolt shirt that allows you to dimension door as a free action plus his myriad of instantaneous Duskblade spells and- well you get the point.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #168 on: July 15, 2011, 07:36:53 PM »
Okay, so there were more factors - though he wouldn't have been able to cast multiple Shocking Grasps without Quicken Spell. The real broken factor in that combo is the Belt of Battle...if you were letting him wear multiple Belts and swap them out every time he expended one's daily charges, that was a problem. That's impressive and powerful, but if you keep in mind a Barbarian with a greatsword and Shock Trooper would have easily and consistently outdone him for damage, it's not quite as broken. It sounds like he was definitely overpowered for your group, but I'd have a very hard time blaming that on the Duskblade class itself as opposed to an extremely synergistic item combo and a wide disparity in your group's optimization levels.

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #169 on: July 15, 2011, 07:54:12 PM »
He told me that the Shocking Grasp spell that DBs got lasts for the whole round with separate damage for every attack. 

It just seemed like the class was the culprit since the player couldn't make a two weapon fighter that could do anywhere close to that amount of damage without him being a DB.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #170 on: July 15, 2011, 08:04:33 PM »
He told me that the Shocking Grasp spell that DBs got lasts for the whole round with separate damage for every attack. 

It just seemed like the class was the culprit since the player couldn't make a two weapon fighter that could do anywhere close to that amount of damage without him being a DB.

He was partially right. The Duskblade doesn't get a shocking grasp that's different from anyone else's, but they get a special class feature at level 13 that lets them cast a standard-action spell as part of a full attack, dealing spell damage to each target they hit during the full attack. The wording's a bit iffy on whether it can deal spell damage multiple times to a single target, and could be ruled either way. It also doesn't specify whether multiple full attacks in a round will all deal spell damage, since there was no way to do such a thing when the PHBII was printed.

As for the TWF issue, that's a problem with TWF in general. You need large amounts of bonus dice to make it worth it....consider that he was adding +5d6 to each attack with shocking grasp; a Rogue with a Wand of Greater Invisibility and Craven, at level 13, would have been adding +7d6+13 to every attack....nearly equalling the Duskblade in damage before even rolling dice, and rolling 30% more dice than him to boot.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 08:06:38 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #171 on: July 15, 2011, 08:22:45 PM »
As I said, I'm not saying he was the most OP thing out there (that would be the Pun Pun crap I think)... but compared to the rest of the party he was a beast.

I know that not every encounter has to be a monster but most of them generally are.  That's the point of D&D really.  Kill monsters, take their stuff.  (Wait.  That Orc had a +3 Vorpal Sword on him and he didn't use it against us?)

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #172 on: July 15, 2011, 08:32:48 PM »
Yeah, but that's about as core as you can get for a Rogue build (minus Craven) - compared to the rest of the party, he was definitely overpowered, but the class he was using wasn't really the issue there. The amount of system mastery he apparently had would have overpowered anything else he built to the same degree, compared to your unoptimized party. I'll have Watson file this one under "The Case of the Unrepetant Powergamer, The Unoptimized Party, and the Overly Trusting GM".

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #173 on: July 15, 2011, 08:40:59 PM »
Oh yeah, I'd have said he gamed the system and the GM didn't come up with things to stop him. I've been there myself. I'd have looked for ways to balance him. (I'm thinking Anti-magic fields would have been a good bane for him)


Offline Myrleena

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #174 on: July 15, 2011, 08:44:06 PM »
Why anti-magic fields?  A good archery-specced fighter could rip the hell out of almost any character I can think of, off hand.  Mages would be better off, though...or rogues.  Rogues can at least hide.