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Author Topic: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games  (Read 42214 times)

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Offline Myrleena

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #50 on: July 05, 2011, 10:09:09 PM »
*shrugs*

Well, I did state when I initially proposed the idea that each piece of homebrew would have to be carefully looked over by the person running the game to make sure it wasn't unbalanced.  I probably should have repeated that statement at some point, though...

Plus, he was a Monk, so... :P

Actually, he was one of the few monks that I'd actually seen played well.  He figured out how to maximize his AC and attack to the point it actually competitive.  Of course, most of that was the Vampire part of it.  Seriously, he had a +30 grapple, or something close to it.  As I put it. "Wait...you failed?  All of the rolls?"  After the grappling had gone on for four rounds.

But homebrew...I like homebrew stuff.  I've been building a fair number of demons and devils for my own homebrew setting, too.

Offline Brandon

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #51 on: July 05, 2011, 10:10:34 PM »
*changes topics*

You know something I want to talk about? Psionics. Why is it everyone seems to hate them when they add such a wonderful metaphysical side to fantasy games? Ive loved psychics since 2nd edition when I read the complete book of pisonics and having just gotten Dreamscarred press's psionics book Im loving the adaptations of 3.5's system

Thing is I really hate that psychics arent core material. If a pathfinder 2.0 was ever released I would, once again, demand for psychics to be core

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #52 on: July 05, 2011, 10:12:03 PM »
Oh!  I forgot to mention the sweetest thing about Pathfinder in my opinion...

No. Freaking. XP. Costs. Period.

No xp costs for item crafting... no xp costs for wishes... nothing.  Paying xp was a ridiculous idea in my opinion. 

Wizard:  "I just made this sweet magic ring!  But er... I forgot what I learned in last month's adventure."  o.O

Definitely like the magic system better. :D

Offline Myrleena

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #53 on: July 05, 2011, 10:14:24 PM »
I like psionics just fine.  I just don't like how they were implemented in 3.5 or Pathfinder.  I far prefer the skill-based psychics from Green Ronin (even if I don't like the way they turned out).  Psionics, as they stand, bug me.  I just don't like the mechanics or specific flavor.

Offline Kuje

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #54 on: July 05, 2011, 10:14:42 PM »
*changes topics*

You know something I want to talk about? Psionics. Why is it everyone seems to hate them when they add such a wonderful metaphysical side to fantasy games? Ive loved psychics since 2nd edition when I read the complete book of pisonics and having just gotten Dreamscarred press's psionics book Im loving the adaptations of 3.5's system

Thing is I really hate that psychics arent core material. If a pathfinder 2.0 was ever released I would, once again, demand for psychics to be core

I never understood the hate about them either. I've always allowed them in my games. I've seen the same argument about smokepowder weapons. It always confuses me.

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #55 on: July 05, 2011, 10:23:48 PM »
*changes topics*

You know something I want to talk about? Psionics. Why is it everyone seems to hate them when they add such a wonderful metaphysical side to fantasy games? Ive loved psychics since 2nd edition when I read the complete book of pisonics and having just gotten Dreamscarred press's psionics book Im loving the adaptations of 3.5's system

Thing is I really hate that psychics arent core material. If a pathfinder 2.0 was ever released I would, once again, demand for psychics to be core

This has been a really strong debate on the Paizo boards for some time, actually.  My main issue with psychics is I feel they don't fit the High Fantasy genre.  Psionics is more a sci-fi thing and I feel their presence sullies the feel of the setting.  My other issue with psionics is the way they tend to be done, system-wise and the fact that it generally feels as if it's been tacked onto any game as an afterthought.  It's generally one of two ways.

1. Psionics is not magic and is not treated as such.  It ignores SR and is not affected by things such as Dispel Magic and Antimagic Fields.  The problem with this is that it makes psionics waaaaay too powerful and GMs have to stretch plausibility by having the group encounter psionic specific monsters and traps, and have the group find weird crystals and other psionic specific gear.

2. Psionics works just like magic... must overcome SR and is affected by Dispel Magic and Antimagic Fields.  The problem with this is while far more balanced than option 1, at that point you're just playing a Sorcerer who automatically gets the Still and Silent Feats on all his powers.  Even then you still have the problem of the GM having to include psionic specific things in the campaign.

Don't even get me started on the spell slot system vs mana point system (or Power Points) thing.

I'm sure Psionics could be done right somehow... but it (in my opinion) would have to be done -very- carefully to not upset the setting or game balance.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #56 on: July 05, 2011, 10:25:19 PM »
*changes topics*

You know something I want to talk about? Psionics. Why is it everyone seems to hate them when they add such a wonderful metaphysical side to fantasy games? Ive loved psychics since 2nd edition when I read the complete book of pisonics and having just gotten Dreamscarred press's psionics book Im loving the adaptations of 3.5's system

Thing is I really hate that psychics arent core material. If a pathfinder 2.0 was ever released I would, once again, demand for psychics to be core

The SRD page has some material on Psionics from a 3rd party group.

Online Kunoichi

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #57 on: July 05, 2011, 10:27:13 PM »
Hey, I absolutely love Psionics, myself. ^^ I don't get the hate, either.

Im sure a homebrew friendly game would bring a lot of great class/race concepts but as a GM I just dont feel its right requiring someone to create something when theres plenty of usable stuff already available.

*shrugs*

The main inspiration for the idea was actually this story I read on another forum where a guy was having a problem with his players only ever using classes from the Player's Handbook.  It wasn't that he necessarily had a problem with their choices, but that they basically seemed afraid to give anything else a shot.  So he ran a game where his players weren't allowed to play any PHB classes, and the end result was that his players all had a lot of fun and were a lot more interested in non-PHB classes afterwards.

The basic idea is that requiring players to choose at least one piece of homebrew material for their characters will actually cause them to end up drawing on more sources for character creation, rather than less.  And it's not like they can only use homebrew material, or anything like that.  They just have to use one piece.  The rest of it can be completely official material, if that's what the player wants.

Edit: *hates how long it takes her to get out a post when she puts some actual thought into what she's typing*
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 10:30:22 PM by Kunoichi »

Offline Brandon

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #58 on: July 05, 2011, 10:34:51 PM »
This has been a really strong debate on the Paizo boards for some time, actually.  My main issue with psychics is I feel they don't fit the High Fantasy genre.  Psionics is more a sci-fi thing and I feel their presence sullies the feel of the setting.  My other issue with psionics is the way they tend to be done, system-wise and the fact that it generally feels as if it's been tacked onto any game as an afterthought.  It's generally one of two ways.

1. Psionics is not magic and is not treated as such.  It ignores SR and is not affected by things such as Dispel Magic and Antimagic Fields.  The problem with this is that it makes psionics waaaaay too powerful and GMs have to stretch plausibility by having the group encounter psionic specific monsters and traps, and have the group find weird crystals and other psionic specific gear.

2. Psionics works just like magic... must overcome SR and is affected by Dispel Magic and Antimagic Fields.  The problem with this is while far more balanced than option 1, at that point you're just playing a Sorcerer who automatically gets the Still and Silent Feats on all his powers.  Even then you still have the problem of the GM having to include psionic specific things in the campaign.

Don't even get me started on the spell slot system vs mana point system (or Power Points) thing.

I'm sure Psionics could be done right somehow... but it (in my opinion) would have to be done -very- carefully to not upset the setting or game balance.

Ive heard those concerns before and with the release of Psionics unleashed some of them no longer apply. There was an interview done on Know Direction with the main guy at Dreamscarred Press who covered a lot of the arguments and I think disproved them (if you want to listen to it you can find it here ).

See for me Ive read so much fantasy, folklore, legends, and mythology over the years that I can not see a fantasy game without psionics. We already have internalitzed power manifesting itself to the wielders will in the case of sorcery, a psion is very different except in a thematic sense. Where the sorcerer maniuplates and shapes the world around them the Psion imposes their pure will on the universe.

Offline NotoriusBEN

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #59 on: July 06, 2011, 05:06:03 AM »
With a few class exceptions to DnD 4e, I find psionics are easily incorporated into it.

I know that its heavy on wargamming, but I do like 4e's Power Sources and Abilities.
Power Sources are just the flavor for how your abilities work, like Martial, Arcane, Nature, Psychic, Divine, ad nauseum.

The real meat is the Abilities that you can play. You get 2 or 3 'At-Will' abilities that you can use every round.
A couple 'Encounter' powers that can only be used once a fight that are a bit stronger.
and the a 'Daily' that can only be used once a day and is incredibly powerful.

4e tends to lend itself to single classing, but there are multiclassing rules available. There are a ton of options that let
you make your warrior or your wizard their own person right out of the gate. such as a controller, dps'er or tank, dualie.

Not really in the book, but the abilities have so much concise info in their mechanics that I can 're-skin' said abilities to make them
my own flavor. I could take a FireBall spell and just call it an IceBall, ElectricBall, RockBall, change its damage type and viola.
New spell.

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #60 on: July 06, 2011, 10:44:05 AM »
I have an interesting topic... variables and how they relate to system games.

I personally feel that 1-20 or even 1-10 is too high a variable for an RPG.  Take any D20 game for example... until very high levels are reached, what you roll on the die is -far- more important than your actual stats.  I feel that ability and skill are less variable than most RPG systems take into account.  A guy who's a better swordsman than another guy by a good margin is going to defeat that guy 9 times out of 10.  If you're skilled at a trade, odds are you're not going to fail at performing your job... yet (as an example), your average Rogue in 3.5 D&D had around 8 to 10 (assuming a fairly high attribute) in a disarm trap skill... and the average trap DC even at level one was around 24-26.  That meant you needed to roll a 16 or higher every time to disarm a basic trap.  That's a 75% chance of failure to do what your class was designed to do.  There's a reason why I refuse to play a Rogue.  They end up looking like complete inept idiots at the craft they're supposed to be so good at.  At least warrior types generally have a 50% or better (depending on their stats) chance of hitting an even CR monster.  In my opinion, skill and ability should be far more important than the element of chance.  If you're good at hitting someone and the person you're hitting is extremely bad at dodging, barring some inconceivable fluke, they're going to get hit.  Likewise, Bobby Flay is probably not going to ruin the food he's preparing (Oh no!  I rolled a 1!  I am a world renowned, master level chef yet I have a 5% chance every time I cook to critically fail.  What the heck?).  I think a D4 (or perhaps a D6) gives a decent variable range to account for things like luck and such, but also accounts for the fact that if an opponent's skill/ability is 4 (or 6) points or more higher, they're just plain beyond your ability.  Sometimes it's like that.  There's always someone bigger and badder, so they say.

Offline Myrleena

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #61 on: July 06, 2011, 11:33:54 AM »
I have an interesting topic... variables and how they relate to system games.

I personally feel that 1-20 or even 1-10 is too high a variable for an RPG.  Take any D20 game for example... until very high levels are reached, what you roll on the die is -far- more important than your actual stats.  I feel that ability and skill are less variable than most RPG systems take into account.  A guy who's a better swordsman than another guy by a good margin is going to defeat that guy 9 times out of 10.  If you're skilled at a trade, odds are you're not going to fail at performing your job... yet (as an example), your average Rogue in 3.5 D&D had around 8 to 10 (assuming a fairly high attribute) in a disarm trap skill... and the average trap DC even at level one was around 24-26.  That meant you needed to roll a 16 or higher every time to disarm a basic trap.  That's a 75% chance of failure to do what your class was designed to do.  There's a reason why I refuse to play a Rogue.  They end up looking like complete inept idiots at the craft they're supposed to be so good at.  At least warrior types generally have a 50% or better (depending on their stats) chance of hitting an even CR monster.  In my opinion, skill and ability should be far more important than the element of chance.  If you're good at hitting someone and the person you're hitting is extremely bad at dodging, barring some inconceivable fluke, they're going to get hit.  Likewise, Bobby Flay is probably not going to ruin the food he's preparing (Oh no!  I rolled a 1!  I am a world renowned, master level chef yet I have a 5% chance every time I cook to critically fail.  What the heck?).  I think a D4 (or perhaps a D6) gives a decent variable range to account for things like luck and such, but also accounts for the fact that if an opponent's skill/ability is 4 (or 6) points or more higher, they're just plain beyond your ability.  Sometimes it's like that.  There's always someone bigger and badder, so they say.

Actually...you're incorrect about rogues.  All the CR 1 traps had Disable Device DCs that ranged from 15 to 22.  Only one of the former, and 2 of the latter.  Most were a flat 20.  Added to the fact that any rogue I'd seen could easily have a +8 (4 ranks, +2 mw tools, +2 Int) and you've got pretty good odds.  About as much as most of the combat characters I've seen.  And if I take, say, Skill Focus in it, or have a higher Int, I can Take 10 and automatically succeed at disabling the traps.  Because you're allowed to Take 10 anytime you aren't stressed, like in combat.

Also, you literally cannot critically fail skill checks in 3.5 or Pathfinder.  A 1 is a 1, with all the bonuses still applying.  You'd be amazed how many people don't realize you don't botch or auto-succeed with a 1 or 20 on skill checks.

But honestly?  I don't like flattening the bell curve, which is what happens with smaller dice.  I prefer a bit more variation.  d20 has about the right amount, in my opinion.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #62 on: July 06, 2011, 03:39:11 PM »
I have always found Class based systems too restrictive.  I prefer a solid Skill based universal system.  And most of those also handle PC monsters and Psionics much more elegantly in my opinion.

I shy away from homebrew systems simply because I have had so many bad experiences.  They always seem to have a pet Class/Race/Spell/Whathaveyou that the GM obviously impressed themselves with.

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #63 on: July 06, 2011, 03:46:06 PM »
Actually...you're incorrect about rogues.  All the CR 1 traps had Disable Device DCs that ranged from 15 to 22.  Only one of the former, and 2 of the latter.  Most were a flat 20.  Added to the fact that any rogue I'd seen could easily have a +8 (4 ranks, +2 mw tools, +2 Int) and you've got pretty good odds.  About as much as most of the combat characters I've seen.  And if I take, say, Skill Focus in it, or have a higher Int, I can Take 10 and automatically succeed at disabling the traps.  Because you're allowed to Take 10 anytime you aren't stressed, like in combat.

Also, you literally cannot critically fail skill checks in 3.5 or Pathfinder.  A 1 is a 1, with all the bonuses still applying.  You'd be amazed how many people don't realize you don't botch or auto-succeed with a 1 or 20 on skill checks.

But honestly?  I don't like flattening the bell curve, which is what happens with smaller dice.  I prefer a bit more variation.  d20 has about the right amount, in my opinion.

Hmm...  I could swear the DCs for CR one locks and traps were in the 22-28 range in 3.5.  I no longer have any 3.5 books so I can't check, though.

Offline Myrleena

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #64 on: July 06, 2011, 03:52:25 PM »
Hmm...  I could swear the DCs for CR one locks and traps were in the 22-28 range in 3.5.  I no longer have any 3.5 books so I can't check, though.

I checked both before replying to you.  Two were DC 22, the Scything Blade trap and...the Rolling Rock trap.  And I have my 3.0, 3.5, and Pathfinder books, as well as my GF's AD&D books.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #65 on: July 06, 2011, 03:57:57 PM »
According to my copy of the DMG all but 2 are DC 20 and like Myrleena said the other two are 22.  I could check some of the books I got (DMG II, 3rd party books) but that sounds about right. Most of my time as a rogue I did fairly well (of course I put LOTS in Search, Spot and Listen in 3.5, and I sang Perception's praises when it came to pathfinder. :D)


Offline Myrleena

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #66 on: July 06, 2011, 04:02:32 PM »
Don't forget the DC 15 Razor Wire. >.>

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Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #67 on: July 06, 2011, 04:05:32 PM »
According to my copy of the DMG all but 2 are DC 20 and like Myrleena said the other two are 22.  I could check some of the books I got (DMG II, 3rd party books) but that sounds about right. Most of my time as a rogue I did fairly well (of course I put LOTS in Search, Spot and Listen in 3.5, and I sang Perception's praises when it came to pathfinder. :D)
I second this as someone who mainly played Rogues in 3.5. LOL

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #68 on: July 06, 2011, 04:07:31 PM »
Well anyway, my main point wasn't about Rogues and those DCs.  It was about realism and the fact that if you're good at something, odds are you're not going to fail under standard conditions.  Yet with a high variable like 1-20 this becomes commonplace.

Offline Brandon

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #69 on: July 06, 2011, 04:11:56 PM »
Well one thing to keep in mind is that disable device is a trained only skill. Another player isnt going to be able to disable a trap unless they've put points into the skill.

Online Kunoichi

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #70 on: July 06, 2011, 04:15:14 PM »
And even then, the skill quickly becomes useless unless you have Trapfinding. ^^;

Offline Brandon

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #71 on: July 06, 2011, 04:29:02 PM »
And even then, the skill quickly becomes useless unless you have Trapfinding. ^^;

Yep that is the other issue with it.

Personally I think trapfinding should be a feat open to all with no prerequisites. Traps have always been one of those pigeon holing mechanics IMO requiring a certain class to handle them by disable device or a certain class to walk through everything when they have awesome avoidance. As much as I praise pathfinder, this is one of the few places where it falls short IMO

Offline MasterMischief

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #72 on: July 06, 2011, 07:51:34 PM »
Well anyway, my main point wasn't about Rogues and those DCs.  It was about realism and the fact that if you're good at something, odds are you're not going to fail under standard conditions.  Yet with a high variable like 1-20 this becomes commonplace.

I like some of the options and abilities Mutants & Masterminds has to deal with this.  First of all, there is the Take 10, which I believe is also in 3.0/3.5.  Hero Points that allow a re-roll.  The Feat Second Chance, that allows a re-roll.  The Feat Ultimate [X] which allows you to spend a Hero Point to get an automatic 20.  With these options, if it is just something that comes up once per session, you can stack the deck in your favor.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #73 on: July 06, 2011, 08:48:26 PM »
Let's see...topics covered:

Pathfinder: Overall, I like it more than I dislike it. I love the way they made all classes worth staying in instead of PrCing out ASAP, even if certain ones didn't need the help, like the monster-as-PC rules (even if they are a bit on the OP side in many cases), and think the consolidated skill system is fantastic...but I don't feel they went far enough in improving certain classes or weakening others, I hate how special maneuvers were gutted (CMB/CMD would be a good concept, but they botched the math on execution), and feel a lot of their fixes to spellcasting were hit-or-miss.

When I play D&D, though, I'm happy in either 3.5 or 3.PF, though the occasional person (more RL than online) who considers PF to be a sort of holy grail of balance and perfection compared to 3.X's cesspool of brokenness grates hard. The systems are still similar enough that you can judge if something would be overpowered when ported into PF by if it was OP in 3.5 to begin with. When I DM, it's a horrific hackjob composed of every bit I like from 3.5 and PF, plus my own personal foibles regarding the bits I don't.


Psionics: If I could, I'd marry the psionics rules, then homebrew a Half-Ruleset template so I could give it babies. I've loved them since they came out, and consider them how magic should have been written in the first place...Vancian casting is an awkward white elephant, one I accept but have no real attachment to. Complaints about how psionics belong in sci-fi settings have always bugged me too, but I attribute that to the fact that some of my earliest fantasy literature was Mercedes Lackey's Valedemar books where psionicsmental magic is the default and 'arcanist' magic is the optional ruleset. The 'tattoos, ectoplasm, and crystals' default flavor is irritating, but I'm also a vocal proponent of refluffing everything and anything I get my hands on.


Other games: I've always wanted to play Shadowrun, but among non-D20 games I've played, I really like the Dark heresy/Rogue Trader/Deathwatch mechanics engine. The printed material is pretty heavily tied to the setting (which is awesome), but the spend-XP-as-you-earn-it-to-gain-"levels" is far superior to d20's class-level system, while better IMO than completely granular XP-based systems like GURPS or WoD (either flavor).

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: D&D (in every incarnation), Pathfinder and other System Games
« Reply #74 on: July 08, 2011, 08:30:09 AM »
I dunno.  I actually liked how WoD never had levels per say. 

So here's another topic that's sure to get folks' opinions going one way or the other.  Should a system based RPG implement bonuses and penalties based on a character's gender?  Example:  In older D&D editions, female characters were limited to a 17 Strength and thus could not achieve any of the 18 xx/100 levels.  The reasoning was that while woman are capable of being strong in real life, men are capable of greater physical strength maximums than women are.  A lot of female gamers didn't like this, though... calling it sexist.  I'm personally divided on the matter.  On the one hand, they should have given men a restriction as well to make things fair (perhaps men could only get a 17 Dexterity since women tend to be more agile?)... however, I do not consider the portrayal of the limitations of the female body to be "sexist".  That's probably not the right word.

Personally?  I have no issue with a female character having an 18, 20, even 22 Strength.  What I don't like is when said female character is portrayed as looking like a bikini model.  I wouldn't accept a male character with a Strength that high being skinny either, but I'm sure some people would call my particular point of view there "unfair" or even "sexist".  I go for a certain amount of... I won't say realism, but I will say "common sense".  There's only so far my belief will suspend itself in the name of "fantasy".  Things have to generally make sense to me.