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Author Topic: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games  (Read 42309 times)

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Online TheGlyphstone

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #350 on: August 15, 2011, 11:02:50 AM »
If one removes multiclassing xp penalty, 3.x multiclassing works rather well. (Or maybe even too well in some cases). And why would you avoid going to the Prestige classes? Many of them are perfectly viable (though most are completely underpowered, only few are actually broken). Single class druid is most likely more powerful than 99% of the prestige classes.

On another note:

I currently GM a Dark Heresy game (that started yesterday) and play in 3.x Tome game. Also planning on starting 1k xp all dragonblooded Exalted game (yes I know that is crazy, thank you very much).

*brain shatters*

Offline Black Howling

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Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #351 on: August 15, 2011, 12:54:51 PM »
If one removes multiclassing xp penalty, 3.x multiclassing works rather well. (Or maybe even too well in some cases). And why would you avoid going to the Prestige classes? Many of them are perfectly viable (though most are completely underpowered, only few are actually broken). Single class druid is most likely more powerful than 99% of the prestige classes.

On another note:

I currently GM a Dark Heresy game (that started yesterday) and play in 3.x Tome game. Also planning on starting 1k xp all dragonblooded Exalted game (yes I know that is crazy, thank you very much).
Yeah, that works out decently well on paper; until you realize that it eliminates a racial equalizer in the game, that being favored classes. At that point the half-elf and human are much lesser races and the thought that elves make good wizards is sort of thrown away. That's the issue with house ruling 3.x, when you have that realized of a game; changing one thing alters others you didn't even think were connected. Eventually it gets rather exasperating to modify one thing after another to make sure it's all fair. 

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #352 on: August 15, 2011, 12:58:40 PM »
Yeah, that works out decently well on paper; until you realize that it eliminates a racial equalizer in the game, that being favored classes. At that point the half-elf and human are much lesser races and the thought that elves make good wizards is sort of thrown away. That's the issue with house ruling 3.x, when you have that realized of a game; changing one thing alters others you didn't even think were connected. Eventually it gets rather exasperating to modify one thing after another to make sure it's all fair.

Pathfinder fixes every bit of that nicely in my opinion.   ;)

Offline Black Howling

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Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #353 on: August 15, 2011, 12:59:12 PM »
Pathfinder fixes every bit of that nicely in my opinion.   ;)
Agreed upon fully! ;) It's why I play it now.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #354 on: August 15, 2011, 02:32:27 PM »
Yeah, that works out decently well on paper; until you realize that it eliminates a racial equalizer in the game, that being favored classes. At that point the half-elf and human are much lesser races and the thought that elves make good wizards is sort of thrown away. That's the issue with house ruling 3.x, when you have that realized of a game; changing one thing alters others you didn't even think were connected. Eventually it gets rather exasperating to modify one thing after another to make sure it's all fair.

Wait, people took Human for any reason other than the bonus feat? (also half-elves sucked even with easier multiclassing. ;D)

The way Pathfinder handled favored classes (A, letting you choose, and B, making it a bonus instead of removing a penalty) is far superior though, I really like that.

Offline ofDelusions

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #355 on: August 15, 2011, 02:39:14 PM »
Yeah, that works out decently well on paper; until you realize that it eliminates a racial equalizer in the game, that being favored classes. At that point the half-elf and human are much lesser races and the thought that elves make good wizards is sort of thrown away. That's the issue with house ruling 3.x, when you have that realized of a game; changing one thing alters others you didn't even think were connected. Eventually it gets rather exasperating to modify one thing after another to make sure it's all fair.

Well there are still things like substitution levels etc. So no, I don't see a single thing that actually goes wrong by removing xp penalty.

And what does Pathfinder do with favored classes? Not really interested in Pf, just curious.

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #356 on: August 15, 2011, 02:41:33 PM »
In Pathfinder, you choose a Favored Class.  Every time you level up in your favored class, you get an extra skill point or an extra hit point.  If you don't take your favored class when you level up, there are no penalties but no bonus either.

Also, Half Elves get to choose two Favored Classes as far as I recall.

Offline ofDelusions

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #357 on: August 15, 2011, 02:53:29 PM »
Well, I quess extra skillpoints are always nice. (scarity of skill points with someclasses is one of my main beefs with 3.x.)

Still not enough to switch me over from Tomes though ;)

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #358 on: August 15, 2011, 03:21:44 PM »
Just for people's reference, I've copy/pasted from another website a list of the changes from 3.5 to Pathfinder in case anyone who hasn't played Pathfinder is curious.  I wouldn't dream of slamming on 3.5 since I loved it and played it for years, but I definitely adore Pathfinder more now that I have the option.  Some things on the list are slightly biased against 3.5 but all in all the list is very accurate in my opinion.  If anyone sees anything on the list that's incorrect or if there's anything that got missed, let me know and I'll edit.

*****

CHANGES FROM 3.5 TO PATHFINDER:

     Skills have been altered and consolidated. Instead of Hide and Move Silently, there's now just Stealth. Instead of Listen, Spot, and Search, there's simply Perception. Gather information has been absorbed into Diplomacy.

    Races have all been powered up; +2 to two stats, -2 to one stat (including half-orcs!), with some different abilities for some. In 3.5 terms, they're roughly an ECL of +1 (as opposed to 0 in 3e).

    No one has a favored class decided by their race now - you choose your favored class, typically the one you level at 1st level, but you don't get an XP penalty for multiclassing too high above that one - you just gain an extra skill point or hit point for leveling your favored class.

    Many of the classes have been options added, often to fill out "dead levels." Barbarians gain extra "rage powers," sorcerers have bloodlines that give them granted powers, wizards have varying effects for specializing, fighters get more than just bonus feats, undead-turning is actually energy channeling and also results in an AOE heal, and so on.

    Classes have some sort of awesome power at 20th level, encouraging single-classing as a valid option.

    Complex combat maneuvers and defenses against them have been boiled down to two numbers: Combat Maneuver Attack bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense.

    All

        There is no 1st-level x4-kicker: if you are a Rogue you get (8 + Int modifier) skill points per level. So a 1st level, non-human Rogue with Int 10 has exactly 8 skill points (or 9 if Rogue is her favorite class and she chooses to invest there). This thing is balanced by the fact that if you have at least one rank in a class skill you get a +3 bonus in that skill.

        There are no 1/2 ranks. Spending a skill point in cross-class skills gives you exactly 1 rank (but you don't get the +3 bonus).

       Permanent modification to your Intelligence score may cause you to lose or gain skill points. That is: if you wear a Headband of Intelligence +2 for more than 24 hours you gain 1 extra skill point per level.

        Rebalanced XP. The amount of xp to gain levels has been re-adjusted to better mesh with the character wealth by level charts. This means that after 5th level, it requires more than 1000 * level to get the next level. There are also fast and slow xp charts now (x2/3 and x4/3 required/level)

        feats at every odd level

        Trip, sunder, etc. have been re-balanced into combat maneuvers that utilize a Combat Maneuver base (usually the same a BAB). When trying to trip a person, you make a Combat Maneuver Attack vs that persons Combat Maneuver Defense. This works like attack vs AC. It's a much improved system and the advanced players guide adds some additional maneuvers. CM: trip, sunder, grapple, bull rush, disarm, overrun, drag, reposition, dirty trick, steal.

        Favored Class: No xp penalty for multiclassing, but a level in your favored class is worth 1 hp or 1 skill point (the APG has additional options such as +1/2 point of damage to fire spells)

        0th level spells: Now are more like at-will abilities. Wizards/Clerics/Druids memorize as normal, biut casting them doesn't make the caster forget the spell. Sor has infinite 0th level slots but limited known.

        item creation and spells no longer have xp costs: It's all gold now!!!

        Feats like power attack are now less flexible (-1/N levels) but better value. Cleave is actually useful. There are no dead feats (toughness included)

    Barbarian

        Rage powers - about as powerful as a feat, but used only during rage.

        Keeps d12 (the only class whose bab != hd)

        Damage Reduction is awarded earlier and goes up better.

    Bard

        Bardic Knowledge isn't broken. All knowledge checks even if untrained. Add 1/2 level to trained knowledge skills

        The Bard has the ability to use its check in a Perform skill in place of a check with one of other two skills. E.g.: he can use a Perform (Wind [instruments]) check as a result for any Bluff or Diplomacy check. This does not mean he has to actually play an instrument, but simply that he can use the skill bonus of another skill.

        Later he gains the ability to make untrained checks in stricter skills, consider all skills as class skills and take 10 even if not normally allowed.

        A Deadly Performance is the 20th level death effect Bard's apotheosis.

        Better/more clear rules on types of performances that count for bardic performance. Enumerated list of perform skills.

        Better performance abilities

    Cleric

        Domain Powers are increased in power and have level-dependent effects (usually a second ability that kicks in at 6-8th)

        Turning is now channeling. A 30' burst of pos/neg energy that does 1d6/odd level. Feats allow you to selectively include/exclude people. Channel feats as normal (but the feats are pretty different)

    Druid

        All shapechange spells are more precise in what abilities you gain. No more hard decisions.

        Wild Shape is awared earlier and its usages per day go up more frequently. At 20th she can wild shape at will.

        Can substitute animal companion for a cleric domain (and domain spell) Air, Animal, Earth, Fire, Plant, Water, or Weather

    Fighter

        At 4th and ever 4th level a fighter can trade out a bonus feat he has for a new one as long that old feat isn't being used as a prerequisite.

        Bonus will save vs fear

        Bonuses on weapon groups (5th lv +4 lvs). Stacks like ranger's favored enemy bonus

        Reduce armor check penalty to shields (3rd lv +4 levels

        19th level dr 5/- when armored or wielding a shield

        20th super critical effects with one weapon type

    Monk

        Is actually useful now

        Gains a Ki Pool: a set of ki points that increase with level. Ki points could be expended for additional attacks or temporary bonus to AC, and later to fuel supernatural abilities such as incredible jumps, self-healing, dimension door or etherealness.

        Flurry of blows, treat as two weapon fighting with no off hand and bab of monks levels instead of 3/4. Can use CM instead of attacks.

        After 3rd level, use monk level instead of bab for CM.

        bonus feat at 1,2,6,10,14,18 from a much smaller list than fighters (improved trip and the like)

        No multiclass penalty

    Paladin

        Channel energy (see cleric)

        Can have a holy spirit that buffs weapons instead of a mount

        Smite Evil much more powerful (lasts the entire fight) and hurts evil dragons and outsiders more.

        Lay on hands does fixed dice/level.

        Mercies. Additional effects from lay on hands (cure disease, reove curse etc)

        More aura abilities (bonus to self and smaller to all allies within x feet)

        Spells are Charisma-based; Wisdom is no longer a favorite ability for Paladins.

        Smite Evil grants Charisma-modifier bonus to AC against the smite's target. Also, at 20th level it banishes the target if it is an evil outsider.

        At 20th level Paladin heals maximum amount of damage (60) with Lay on Hands or Channel Energy.

        no multiclass penalty

    Ranger

        Gets to pick combat style feats. Two weapon track or bow track. APB adds crossbow track

        Instead of animal companion, can add damage/to hit vs favored enemies to allies.

        Can have a quarry, a person/thing he chases that he can track at speed and gets bonus damage/to hit. At 20th, attacking quarry can be a death effect

    Rogue

        +1/2 Rogue level to Perception and Disable Device checks against traps.

        levels 2-10 get smaller rogue abilities. 10-20 as normal

        20th level death sneak attack

        skill consolidation makes 8+int even more powerful

        Undead and Constructs are no longer immune to sneak attack and crits.

    sorcerer

        Actually useful now

        bloodlines add more abilities than domains - including automatic spells known.

        except for 1 bloodline, no familiar

        d6 hd

    wizard

        d6 hd

        all item creation feats

        instead of familiar, can have arcane bond that allows casting of spell in spellbook 1/day even if you haven't memorized it. you must be able to cast it.

        Specialization is usable. You must use two slots to memorize a spell from an opposed school. Two charges from a wand etc. There is a generalist school, but the special schools abilities + extra spell make them worth it.

    Encounter level -- better rules for determining CR. Each monster is worth fixed xp amount to be divided evenly among players. Allows for fine tuning.

    Advanced Players Guide - 6 more core classes

        Alchemist - bombs, potions, dr hyde mr jekle abilities

        Caviler - Mounted Kinght -- similar to paladin in devition to a concept but not always LG. Gains teamwork skills.

        Summoner - Arcane caster with summon special abilities + point buy summoned/spiritual companion that is the main focus of the class

        Witch - Arcane caster getting power through a familiar. Drastically different spell list than wizard (cure spells!) Has hexes (one of which acts like true resurrection)

        Inquisitor - a different take on a holy fighter than paladin

        Oracle - a different take on divine caster. Has dramatically different 'domain'-like abilities

        Traits - Mini-feats (+1 to hit when in surprise round and the like) that are more often story hooks than abilities (in general 2 at first level)

        Hero points - optional rare points that allow for astonishing effects (stave off a spell for 1 round. Not die for 1 round after reaching <0 etc)

        Alternate kits for other core classes (slightly different monk abilities (drucken ki). Slightly different fighter abilities (archer kit) etc.

        Teamwork feats - Great bonuses that only apply if your friends also have them

What this means:

    Item creation changes. Expect your players to actually use these feats now. You wizard will craft wands, etc. He will make items for 1/2 price. Be prepared to deal with it.

    CM -- Expect people, monks especially, to opt for tripping/grappling etc since it's worth it now and much easier to calculate

    Sor,Mnk,Ftr fixes. People may stick with these classes since they don't suck anymore

    No multiclass penalties - Expect more MC characters. Perhaps even triple/quad classes ?

    Capstone abilities -- Alternatively, no multclassing since 20th level ability is so nice for each class

    Animal Sidekick alternative -- No more useless mount/animal companion if you run primarily dungeon crawls.

    Shape change -- DM's life is easier

    Channel Energy - This will come into play a lot more. Clerics can heal a large number of people using this ability. So can paladins. They can also burn a large number of zombies. Plan accordingly.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2011, 03:31:43 PM by LunarSage »

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #359 on: August 15, 2011, 03:32:27 PM »

Of course there will be a 5th edition.  There'd better be, if Wizards wants to remain in business.  However, I'm afraid that it won't look anything like 3.x as you're likely to be wishing.  Hell, it's not likely to look much like 4e, to be honest, because gaming will evolve.  So you'll have to find your vindication elsewhere.

No, the only reason 4e haters bring this out is because they have this fantasy of Mike Mearls and whomever it is they blame, waist deep in excess 4e products, begging them for forgiveness by not sticking to 3.x, so they can look down on WoTC from up high and tell them 'No'.
Yes, yes.  4e is a complete disaster and caused the downfall of both Wizards and Hasbro.  Oh wait, it didn't.  Why?  Because Hasbro bought WoTC for one simple reason:  Magic: The Gathering.  Which is STILL going strong.  And I have a sneaking suspicion that since 4e is STILL selling stuff (Hell, like I said, Paizo is selling various 4e books too) that they're doing well enough.

In short, you don't like 4e, and didn't want to give it a chance.  That's fine.  But stop making stuff up about it, or repeating what the internet posts.  Go do some research, or just state that you wished to stick with 3.x or go with Pathfinder.  That's fine, we have no right to criticize your game choice, you have every right to keep playing what you like, but please, don't do this.

Okay.. first off. I am not repeating anything, except what my friends who SELL comics/gaming goods have told me. The folks who had their deals and arrangements with game companies change when 4th edition came out. They talked to Diamond and found out that the way things were done now had changed. The comic distributors were a 'certain market' and as such were excluded from 'good deals' but Amazon still got theirs.

I agree that the company has to stay in business, but as I look over my copy of 4e (yes, I bought the 3 book sleeved edition when it first came out, I occasionally pull it out and try to see if I could make sense of it. I did that with Shadowrun and a few other games.. )

Let's see..

My multiclass casters aren't 'glass cannons' like the single class mage, if I wanted someone to hit hard, I'd stick with the single class mage. I typically have a 'utility caster' if I'm multiclass. Mage/Fighter. has spells like Haste, Buffing spells, Protection spells or 'quick and dirty enchants' like Magic Weapon an such. Mage/Rogue, I tend to go with things like Spider Climb, Jump, Water Breathing, Dimension door and such.

I don't rely upon 'Internet memes' but my own experiences and those of people I game with. When one is a comic store clerk of 20 years and the other is a comic store owner and gamer of 10+ years, they tend to tell me what they see and here in the store. The one in Brunswick sold out their initial order of DnD 4e and typically sold a set or two every couple of months. The only interest they got was from the guy on base who had already gotten into it elsewhere. The other outsold Pathfinder by a factor of 5 to 1. That is.. for each 4e book he sold he sold 5 Pathfinders. After talking to guys at Cons, he has heard the other way in some areas.

My gripes are from how I LIKE TO PLAY. Not Forums. I still have my 4e books, just like my NWoD books. I don't simply try out what folks say.

I don't think every new edition will be bad. I like SR4, though the split of two attributes into four was unneeded in my opinion. But there are some sequals that don't measure up to the quality/mechanics of the prior edition.

-Like Cyberpunk 20XX compared to Cyberpunk 2020. Ick. Just ick.

I do have a few other issues with the way Hasbro went. I had a subscription up to the day Dragon/Dungeon stopped being printed. I dislike the fact that in an 'attempt to stop piracy' they killed the sales of PDFs out of hand. I lost about 30 titles I didn't back up and couldn't download in the 48 hours they gave Drivethrurpg to take down their product line. I know guys in service who lost TONS of stuff because they were in Iraq, Afganistan, or on a carrier in the middle of no-where.

FYI, Hasbro.. if you take the legitamate ebooks offline only the pirated copies will sell. Drivethrurpg sold watermarked copies.

Yes, I don't like 4e. But I gave it a try and I still pull the books down and look over the material. Just like I do with nWoD (still think oWoD vampire was better). The only game I don't do that to is Cyberpunk 20XX.. sorry Mr. Pondsmith, it's not cyberpunk anymore.


Offline Black Howling

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Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #360 on: August 15, 2011, 05:21:33 PM »
Wait, people took Human for any reason other than the bonus feat? (also half-elves sucked even with easier multiclassing. ;D)

The way Pathfinder handled favored classes (A, letting you choose, and B, making it a bonus instead of removing a penalty) is far superior though, I really like that.
Agreed about half eleves, thus my issue with making them suck even harder. Though as surprising as it is, people do take Humans for more then the extra bonus feat. Though that doesn't make them any less overpowered in my personal opinion.
Well there are still things like substitution levels etc. So no, I don't see a single thing that actually goes wrong by removing xp penalty.
How does bringing in an alternate rule make up for removing a core balance? If I'm not mistaken, substitution levels are levels gained that don't actually count toward total level benefits and thus are not considered multiclassing. That confused me there, unless you are just saying that the amount of furthered options make it a moot point, which I would still disagree with. The races are unbalanced enough as is.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #361 on: August 15, 2011, 05:26:45 PM »
How does bringing in an alternate rule make up for removing a core balance? If I'm not mistaken, substitution levels are levels gained that don't actually count toward total level benefits and thus are not considered multiclassing. That confused me there, unless you are just saying that the amount of furthered options make it a moot point, which I would still disagree with. The races are unbalanced enough as is.

You're thinking of Bloodlines, not Substitution levels. Substitution levels were printed in the various Races of X books, and gave extra options of you were of a specific race and class. For example, a Goliath Druid can gain the Elemental Bond ability, allowing it to count any SNA spell as one level higher when summoning Earth elementals, but permanently loses the ability to summon air, fire, or water elementals. An Elf Paladin can trade its Aura of Courage for the ability to use Smite Evil at range when wielding a shortbow/longbow.

Offline Black Howling

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Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #362 on: August 15, 2011, 05:29:59 PM »
You're thinking of Bloodlines, not Substitution levels. Substitution levels were printed in the various Races of X books, and gave extra options of you were of a specific race and class. For example, a Goliath Druid can gain the Elemental Bond ability, allowing it to count any SNA spell as one level higher when summoning Earth elementals, but permanently loses the ability to summon air, fire, or water elementals. An Elf Paladin can trade its Aura of Courage for the ability to use Smite Evil at range when wielding a shortbow/longbow.
Races of the Wild and the like? I actually hadn't heard of substitution levels that often, so I checked out the WOTC archives and what I described above is how they described them. Even still, from what you say it's just a furthered option to try and expand the classes; not really anything that pertains to multiclassing. In fact, it sounds like it just makes staying in one class actually useful.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #363 on: August 15, 2011, 05:41:53 PM »
Races of the Wild and the like? I actually hadn't heard of substitution levels that often, so I checked out the WOTC archives and what I described above is how they described them. Even still, from what you say it's just a furthered option to try and expand the classes; not really anything that pertains to multiclassing. In fact, it sounds like it just makes staying in one class actually useful.

They described them wrong, but described Bloodline levels very accurately. Though I agree that I'm not sure how substitution levels are related to multiclassing either.

Offline ofDelusions

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #364 on: August 16, 2011, 03:45:07 AM »
How does bringing in an alternate rule make up for removing a core balance? If I'm not mistaken, substitution levels are levels gained that don't actually count toward total level benefits and thus are not considered multiclassing. That confused me there, unless you are just saying that the amount of furthered options make it a moot point, which I would still disagree with. The races are unbalanced enough as is.

Well I wasn't commenting about them helping with multiclassing, but about them beeing a good (and better) alternative for favoured classes.

Secondly, I really don't see how it unbalances the races enough for it to matter. If I want to make a half-orc barbarian, I'll make a half orc barbarian, but I don't want my dwarf barbarian to suffer huge penalties because he decided to take a level in ranger or rogue.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #365 on: August 16, 2011, 03:55:04 AM »
Well I wasn't commenting about them helping with multiclassing, but about them beeing a good (and better) alternative for favoured classes.

Secondly, I really don't see how it unbalances the races enough for it to matter. If I want to make a half-orc barbarian, I'll make a half orc barbarian, but I don't want my dwarf barbarian to suffer huge penalties because he decided to take a level in ranger or rogue.
Sadly, whether or not he gets an XP penalty for dipping, he actually IS crippling himself if he goes Rogue or Ranger.  Worse if he goes Caster for a level.

Offline ofDelusions

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #366 on: August 16, 2011, 05:13:01 AM »
Sadly, whether or not he gets an XP penalty for dipping, he actually IS crippling himself if he goes Rogue or Ranger.  Worse if he goes Caster for a level.

Is he? Two levels of rogue gives him:

 +1d6b sneak attack
Evasion
Trapfinding
Bunch of skill points

At cost of of something like 1 bab, around 3 hitpoints and (lets assume he has 8 levels of barbarian) Dr of 1 and and +1 of trapsense, Seems well worth it to me. He would gimp himself with going to ranger, but thats more to do with how rangers suck.

Also, dips of various caster classes can still be useful. A cleric dip can get him travel devotation, alllowing him to charge around easier (wich he wants to, since he has pounce from spirit lion totem, of course). A single level of wizard can give him the awesomeness of Abrupt Jaunt 3/day if I remember right, allowing him to get out of the harms way easier and again to set up charges.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 05:24:40 AM by ofDelusions »

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #367 on: August 17, 2011, 02:57:13 AM »
I tried to imagine what someone without years of playing system games would think upon reading the above discussion, if they were trying to learn about Pathfinder for a system game. I'm still cringing at the mental picture of their reaction.

Mind you, I can totally understand said reaction ;) .

Offline Chris Brady

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #368 on: August 17, 2011, 04:41:35 AM »
The issue with 3.x in this case is that it rewards 'System Mastery', kind of like a CCG (Like Magic, which is one of the inspirations Monte Cook had when he was designing 3e, or so he claimed on an old blog post) you need to know which spells, feats and skills to take to make sure your party is effective.  Not 'optimized' (although a lot of people did do that, or found tricks to make it seem like they were), just able to contribute and not be 'dead weight'.  Sadly with each new edition of 3.x (3e, 3.5 and now Pathfinder) the dynamic changes when they add new rules or alter old ones.

For example most flat bonus feats in 3e were 'traps' (Like Magic Cards that look good on the surface, but don't really work all that well), things like Toughness, Lightning Reflexes, et al.  Those were there to weed out those who didn't know how to 'game the system', but could be helped along by the DM, if necessary.  Then they changed Toughness to be the way it was in Neverwinter Nights (The Atari 3.x video game based on) which now made Toughness more viable.  In fact the moment Mr. Cook left design, a lot of the R&D looked at it, and not knowing what Monte was going altered and changed things to make it less so, but effectively made sure that players had to relearn the system so they could master it again.

Apparently (And I have never experienced this but several people pointed out the mathematics and stuff to me) the best party in 3.x (And still to a big degree Paizo's Pathfinder) is Two Clerics, Two Wizards and a Druid.  You will have the ultimate party of adventurers.  Why?  Because Magic has no chance of failing.  Oh sure it can be resisted, but it always works.  And more often than not, you're not likely to resist your own buffs.

4e on the other hand rewards Tactical Mastery.  Knowing what your character does, where they are in relation to the monsters (usually via a map and minis), what the monsters can do and the terrain.  All the abilities the classes have are in relation to that.  It can feel very gamey, and more restrictive than 3.x, but if you're willing to look outside the 'box' you can do as much as any other RPG.  It's just that there is a LOT of choices, and although Wizards has tried to make sure each of the basic food groups has their own niche (which D&D has ALWAYS been about, you have your role, and that's what you can do.  Nothing else.) they have had some issues with how things interact with each other.  Also, there seems to have had a surge of classes whenever someone thought of something new to play with.  Which reinforces the sense that each class is now super-hyper (ultimate) focused into a single niche, when in reality it's not.  However, that is my personal stumbling block with 4e.  Too much stuff to choose from, feels (and I like to stress this, because in reality it isn't) extremely narrow and the minis and maps get in my way.

Offline Black Howling

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Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #369 on: August 17, 2011, 05:29:48 AM »
I tried to imagine what someone without years of playing system games would think upon reading the above discussion, if they were trying to learn about Pathfinder for a system game. I'm still cringing at the mental picture of their reaction.

Mind you, I can totally understand said reaction ;) .
I think about that with about every single gaming discussion I have. No matter what, the image isn't good. ;)
Well I wasn't commenting about them helping with multiclassing, but about them beeing a good (and better) alternative for favoured classes.

Secondly, I really don't see how it unbalances the races enough for it to matter. If I want to make a half-orc barbarian, I'll make a half orc barbarian, but I don't want my dwarf barbarian to suffer huge penalties because he decided to take a level in ranger or rogue.
We can agree quite a bit here. Though I still think it requires more adjustment without simply throwing away all play styles but your own. Though I'm admittedly a stickler about those kind of things. I burned myself out on 3.x because I pretty much rewrote the whole system to where it worked about perfect for me and my group. It took so much work that I hated the game until Pathfinder came out. Which is probably why I'm such a fan of the system.

The issue with 3.x in this case is that it rewards 'System Mastery', kind of like a CCG (Like Magic, which is one of the inspirations Monte Cook had when he was designing 3e, or so he claimed on an old blog post) you need to know which spells, feats and skills to take to make sure your party is effective.  Not 'optimized' (although a lot of people did do that, or found tricks to make it seem like they were), just able to contribute and not be 'dead weight'.  Sadly with each new edition of 3.x (3e, 3.5 and now Pathfinder) the dynamic changes when they add new rules or alter old ones.

For example most flat bonus feats in 3e were 'traps' (Like Magic Cards that look good on the surface, but don't really work all that well), things like Toughness, Lightning Reflexes, et al.  Those were there to weed out those who didn't know how to 'game the system', but could be helped along by the DM, if necessary.  Then they changed Toughness to be the way it was in Neverwinter Nights (The Atari 3.x video game based on) which now made Toughness more viable.  In fact the moment Mr. Cook left design, a lot of the R&D looked at it, and not knowing what Monte was going altered and changed things to make it less so, but effectively made sure that players had to relearn the system so they could master it again.

Apparently (And I have never experienced this but several people pointed out the mathematics and stuff to me) the best party in 3.x (And still to a big degree Paizo's Pathfinder) is Two Clerics, Two Wizards and a Druid.  You will have the ultimate party of adventurers.  Why?  Because Magic has no chance of failing.  Oh sure it can be resisted, but it always works.  And more often than not, you're not likely to resist your own buffs.

4e on the other hand rewards Tactical Mastery.  Knowing what your character does, where they are in relation to the monsters (usually via a map and minis), what the monsters can do and the terrain.  All the abilities the classes have are in relation to that.  It can feel very gamey, and more restrictive than 3.x, but if you're willing to look outside the 'box' you can do as much as any other RPG.  It's just that there is a LOT of choices, and although Wizards has tried to make sure each of the basic food groups has their own niche (which D&D has ALWAYS been about, you have your role, and that's what you can do.  Nothing else.) they have had some issues with how things interact with each other.  Also, there seems to have had a surge of classes whenever someone thought of something new to play with.  Which reinforces the sense that each class is now super-hyper (ultimate) focused into a single niche, when in reality it's not.  However, that is my personal stumbling block with 4e.  Too much stuff to choose from, feels (and I like to stress this, because in reality it isn't) extremely narrow and the minis and maps get in my way.
I noticed how you both said that the aforementioned multiclass would cripple the build, and then now your current post. All I have to say is one thing. Level dipping did not hurt if done halfway smartly. It only really became an issue on 3.x if you decided to simply dip and that was all, because at that point you became too spread out. Staying in one class was actually the bad option, barring a couple of exceptions.

Now on to something else. System mastery is required to contribute on 3.x? That is only if you are playing with a bunch uber power gamers, and even then you can STILL contribute. I understand peoples allure to 4th ed, limited options and only a few ways progress. A newbie does every bit as good as a veteran; at-least at first glance. Though your point here went from describing how you like a system better, to simply system bashing.

Tactical mastery became more important because of increased grid play, and even still it wasn't all that tactical; a child could do it if he thought for a few seconds. Just like 3.x, I know 9 year olds that have a surprising skill at the game. It just involves taste preference.

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #370 on: August 17, 2011, 05:56:50 AM »
I think about that with about every single gaming discussion I have. No matter what, the image isn't good. ;)
Depends heavily on whether you tend to discuss things like narrative authority, which might be a tad more familiar, or feats and special class abilities ;) .

Offline Black Howling

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Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #371 on: August 17, 2011, 06:07:38 AM »
Depends heavily on whether you tend to discuss things like narrative authority, which might be a tad more familiar, or feats and special class abilities ;) .
Nah, not really. Anytime you discuss ANY system mechanic, people without a lot of experience tend to get confused. My girlfriend has been playing off and on for a year, and she still just gets her mind shattered when any new system or option is talked about.

Such as GURPS, she still can't understand it in the least and I've been explaining it for quite a few weeks now.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 06:08:54 AM by Black Howling »

Offline Chris Brady

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #372 on: August 17, 2011, 08:48:21 AM »
I think about that with about every single gaming discussion I have. No matter what, the image isn't good. ;)We can agree quite a bit here. Though I still think it requires more adjustment without simply throwing away all play styles but your own. Though I'm admittedly a stickler about those kind of things. I burned myself out on 3.x because I pretty much rewrote the whole system to where it worked about perfect for me and my group. It took so much work that I hated the game until Pathfinder came out. Which is probably why I'm such a fan of the system.

Which is nothing more than another alteration of the 10 year old 3.x system.  I love how when Wizards of the Coast does it (3e to 3.5) they get blasted for it.  But when Paizo does it, it's GENIUS!  They SAVED D&D!

...

I noticed how you both said that the aforementioned multiclass would cripple the build, and then now your current post. All I have to say is one thing. Level dipping did not hurt if done halfway smartly. It only really became an issue on 3.x if you decided to simply dip and that was all, because at that point you became too spread out. Staying in one class was actually the bad option, barring a couple of exceptions.

Level dipping is not 'multiclassing'.  You do it to get a small benefit, not be two classes at once.  Which is smart, as 3.x's Multiclassing doesn't work beyond dipping a level or two.

Now on to something else. System mastery is required to contribute on 3.x?

Pretty much.  In my 7 years of running 3.x I found that certain classes have to be tightly made or they're a liability.  And this is me RUNNING the game, not playing.  I have no bias here, just visual experience.  I found that Wizards were easy to make effective, even if you take Evocation spells (And why should you?  Save or Die effects are much more effective.  Charm Person is a level 1 spell and it can end fights before they begin) whereas Fighters need someone who knows what he or she is doing to not lag behind.  After all, at higher levels enemies can fly much further than the Fighter can reach with a bow, able to affect his will as it's the lowest defense the class has.  And worse, there are animals a caster can summon that's has higher hit dice, bigger attacks and more AC than the Fighter can have at equivalent levels.

You HAVE to know the system to know what to do to make sure you can contribute evenly in a combat situation, or the poor GM (me in this case) is going to have to mental gymnastics trying to challenge all his players equally, at the same time, without one character dominating.  I failed at it.


That is only if you are playing with a bunch uber power gamers, and even then you can STILL contribute.

Of course he can contribute, it's just harder to.  And it's a juggling act for the GM, and no you don't have to be 'uber power gamer'.  I didn't have any.  One guy played a Paladin, other a Fighter, a third the Wizard.  And the Wizard, whom I restricted spells because of the setting, and he was OK with (He also level dipped into Monk for one level) pretty much destroyed most of my plots and adventures with a combination of little spells and cantrips.

I understand peoples allure to 4th ed, limited options and only a few ways progress. A newbie does every bit as good as a veteran; at-least at first glance. Though your point here went from describing how you like a system better, to simply system bashing.

I hate 3.x and I hate 4e.  4e LOOKS easier, and it is for the GM, because you don't have to worry about a zillion things, like how each spell works, or what feats do what and how.  But it's got a lot of choice, and some powers aren't as good as others.  But at least there it's difficult to make a character that just outright sucks.  Also, on the surface every class looks the same with a selection of 'At-Will', 'Encounter' and 'Daily' powers.

3.x has 'traps' built into the system, bad choices you can make (most of which are feats, the Fighter's schtick), like Great Cleave (By the time you can get it, as a Fighter, you're not likely to be able to drop a foe in a single hit, other melee classes also get it too late for it to be worth it) or 3.0's Toughness (You get +3 HP at level one.  And that's it.  Meanwhile spell effects and damage dice increase in a quadratic fashion.)  The various save boosters (+2 flat bonus, once, while spell progression power increases per caster level) are also designed to be avoided.

Tactical mastery became more important because of increased grid play, and even still it wasn't all that tactical; a child could do it if he thought for a few seconds. Just like 3.x, I know 9 year olds that have a surprising skill at the game. It just involves taste preference.
Explain how 3.x grappling works.  Please.  I never understood it, and I ran the system for seven years both 3.0 and 3.5.  And please keep it to a single paragraph.

Offline Black Howling

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Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #373 on: August 17, 2011, 09:09:50 AM »
Which is nothing more than another alteration of the 10 year old 3.x system.  I love how when Wizards of the Coast does it (3e to 3.5) they get blasted for it.  But when Paizo does it, it's GENIUS!  They SAVED D&D!

...

Level dipping is not 'multiclassing'.  You do it to get a small benefit, not be two classes at once.  Which is smart, as 3.x's Multiclassing doesn't work beyond dipping a level or two.

Pretty much.  In my 7 years of running 3.x I found that certain classes have to be tightly made or they're a liability.  And this is me RUNNING the game, not playing.  I have no bias here, just visual experience.  I found that Wizards were easy to make effective, even if you take Evocation spells (And why should you?  Save or Die effects are much more effective.  Charm Person is a level 1 spell and it can end fights before they begin) whereas Fighters need someone who knows what he or she is doing to not lag behind.  After all, at higher levels enemies can fly much further than the Fighter can reach with a bow, able to affect his will as it's the lowest defense the class has.  And worse, there are animals a caster can summon that's has higher hit dice, bigger attacks and more AC than the Fighter can have at equivalent levels.

You HAVE to know the system to know what to do to make sure you can contribute evenly in a combat situation, or the poor GM (me in this case) is going to have to mental gymnastics trying to challenge all his players equally, at the same time, without one character dominating.  I failed at it.


Of course he can contribute, it's just harder to.  And it's a juggling act for the GM, and no you don't have to be 'uber power gamer'.  I didn't have any.  One guy played a Paladin, other a Fighter, a third the Wizard.  And the Wizard, whom I restricted spells because of the setting, and he was OK with (He also level dipped into Monk for one level) pretty much destroyed most of my plots and adventures with a combination of little spells and cantrips.

I hate 3.x and I hate 4e.  4e LOOKS easier, and it is for the GM, because you don't have to worry about a zillion things, like how each spell works, or what feats do what and how.  But it's got a lot of choice, and some powers aren't as good as others.  But at least there it's difficult to make a character that just outright sucks.  Also, on the surface every class looks the same with a selection of 'At-Will', 'Encounter' and 'Daily' powers.

3.x has 'traps' built into the system, bad choices you can make (most of which are feats, the Fighter's schtick), like Great Cleave (By the time you can get it, as a Fighter, you're not likely to be able to drop a foe in a single hit, other melee classes also get it too late for it to be worth it) or 3.0's Toughness (You get +3 HP at level one.  And that's it.  Meanwhile spell effects and damage dice increase in a quadratic fashion.)  The various save boosters (+2 flat bonus, once, while spell progression power increases per caster level) are also designed to be avoided.
Explain how 3.x grappling works.  Please.  I never understood it, and I ran the system for seven years both 3.0 and 3.5.  And please keep it to a single paragraph.
Exactly my point from the first. You HATE the system, thus you bash it. There's no point in debating with someone who hates the system, you DO have a bias because you HATE it. An emotional bias comes from strong emotions that make you too close to a situation, hate is one such emotion. Thus my point. As for Piazo's alteration, it's because they improved on the same system rather then create a new one; there is a difference. And I never bashed 4th ed, or most other systems; if they have a player base, there is a reason now isn't there?

As for everything you just said, that is the same issue I have seen on multiple people. You don't care for, nor do you completely understand the system rules.

And don't get me wrong, I barely play myself, and I've ran the game for more years then I can honestly remember.(That isn't saying much, most of those years were spent under heavy meds) My point is, I seen very unskilled players come in and make dramatic contributions in a group full of veterans. Sometimes better, once they fully get down the core mechanic, because they don't have any petty bias in their head.

As for you 'Traps point'? That's really up the GM. Everything you have stated depends on campaign and GM preference. I have been on games where almost all combat styles sucked, and magic ruled the day. I've also seen games where MAGIC sucked. Not joking either. Then there are the games where the only thing really worth playing are rogues, cause everything you are dealing with is the actual traps; and ones a wizard can't blow through without OPed spells from variant books.

And don't get me started on the summon monster crap! No, there is not a monster that can beat out a decently built fighter. If they have lower HP and Ac, they are under their character wealth or they made A LOT of bad decisions. And here is the best reason behind this, a fighter can't be dispelled by a fairly simple mid level spell. As for grapples, easy; they are basically opposed modified strength checks. The winner can perform a special maneuver; I never had trouble with that, and neither did my players.

And it sounds like your fighter sucked because he DIDN'T take the iron will feat, and didn't have anything else to make up for it. Those feats aren't bad, especially if you simply don't bump int or cha through the roof on your enemies. That's what makes spells too high, in the long run spells don't raise through the roof based on character level. And it's Not hard, since they don't bump those abilities through the roof in the monster manual. Except on rare occasions, at which point it supposed to be hard to kill the enemy. It's supposed to be a hard game, otherwise it wouldn't be much fun; would it?

This is what I tell so many people; if you make an enemy to kill your players, it will; plain and simple. I can do this to just about any veteran group. This is because I know every strength and weakness in the group, and can exploit; this is terrible gaming though. I don't care for 3.x anymore; it got boring and clunked for me. But that clunk wasn't in the core book, it was through all the supplements that came out. I imagine with the way PF is going, I'll soon feel the same way through all their supplements. Though I'll say first and foremost, I don't hate any game. (besides world of warcraft, which isn't the point of this thread. ;))
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 09:11:30 AM by Black Howling »

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #374 on: August 17, 2011, 09:17:27 AM »
Which is nothing more than another alteration of the 10 year old 3.x system.  I love how when Wizards of the Coast does it (3e to 3.5) they get blasted for it.  But when Paizo does it, it's GENIUS!  They SAVED D&D!

...


Isn't this the same sort of bias you accused me of earlier?

Just with actual play time. We get it, you enjoy 4e. Like I said earlier, some folks do. I didn't enjoy it, it didn't fit my play style.

Don't go dissing Paizo for working with a system that wasn't completely broken because it doesn't fit your play style.