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Author Topic: D&D rules questions  (Read 2044 times)

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Offline JeramiahhTopic starter

D&D rules questions
« on: December 06, 2007, 01:33:02 AM »
Just an idea I had; why not have a place to ask questions relating to the 3.5 (and eventually 4.0) editions of everyone's favorite d20 based system, Dungeons and Dragons?

I figure, between myself, Kongming, and whoever else wants to throw in helpful commentary, we can answer 99% of all questions. Those we can't, we'll make fun of, until it resembles an answer. =P

I'd, err, throw out a question to start, but I'm supposed to be the one answering them.

Offline kongming

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2007, 02:05:59 AM »
I have some questions  ;)

1. Why does Skip Williams* hate Sorcerers?

2. Why does Mike Mearls** suck?

*He designed Sorcerers (note how crap they are compared to every other friggin' caster in the game), and was responsible for Skip Williams Hates Sorcerers Tome and Blood, a book for casters that gives cool goodies to Wizards but bones Sorcerers. Repeatedly. With a rake.

**He's one of the main people working on 4Ed, and people on the WotC boards are... well it's hard to make out what they're saying, what with his penis lodged in their mouths. But his actual works all have one thing in common: they suck.

Yes, I'm just bitter and being rude on purpose. That's about standard for me.

Offline Far eyes

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2007, 02:16:43 AM »
Well luckily Tome of Blood is the 3.0 equivalent of Comp Arcane, and comp Arcane dos really nothing for sorcerers either so I have no point do i?  :-X

Offline kongming

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2007, 02:31:56 AM »
Yeah, the best we have is Complete Mage for the Sorcerer - which has more spells they'll wish they could take (and the Wizard copies into his book for essentially nothing), and some good Sorc prestige classes (if you're willing to lose a *caster level*, the most valuable resource in the entire game).

Races of the Dragon and Dragon Magic have some nice stuff too, including "Screw you, Wizard" benefits (Sorc-only spells, feats and options).

Offline Far eyes

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2007, 02:40:32 AM »
I had bin messing around with an edited version of the sorcerer for some time but dropped it when I prty much changed my whole casting system. And just threw sorcerer out completely adding an option to the wizard that you can chose at character creation to be either an Int or Cha caster. As with the Spell point system (Not UA) I use everybody is prty much a spontaneous caster

Offline JeramiahhTopic starter

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2007, 02:45:32 AM »
I've always liked Sorcs, personally. The wizard's toolbox of spells is nice, except for the fact that you can't prepare on the fly, which means, unless you planned it for this morning, you're as screwed as the sorcerer. And if you DO plan for an instance, and it doesn't come up, guess what? You can't use that spell slot.

A sorcerer always has all of his spells, ready to go. Doesn't need it? Ok, just means he can toss one more of another spell that level. They really do get the short end of the stick, mechanically; no bonus feats, like the wizard gets, awful skills, since they don't have the Int to get bonuses, and their spell levels are one behind the wizard. They have no incentive to go Sorc20, except that 90% of PrCs suck, or cut into spell progression.

I a really looking forward to the 4ed Sorc; they're going to be a very chaotic caster. Spells have all sorts of cool, extra, 'wild' effects, apparently, hearkening back to the flavor of the class, an in-born spellcaster, who really is just hurling magic in the enemy's direction, and hoping it works.

One houserule I give them, to toss them a bone; every five levels, they gain knowledge of all spells of their lowest level. So, at 5th, they know all 0-levels, at 10, they get all 1sts, and so on. Nothing vital, but useful.

Offline kongming

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2007, 03:09:58 AM »
That's acually a decent fix. It gives them the useful stuff that they'd never learn due to lack of versatility, but not let them cast all of the best spells on the fly.

Offline Xillen

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2007, 03:13:33 AM »
Yeah, there's indeed nothing stopping a Sorcerer from PrCing, except for Familiar progression (and the HP of the Familiar keep going, so it's survivability remains).

But yeah, the Spontaneous Casting can be very useful. Of course if you houserule that Wizards get that as well, then of course, Sorcerers have nothing left going for them.

Offline Far eyes

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2007, 03:23:14 AM »
Well the main thing for me was my dislike of the whole D20 casting system of the “Pre picked magic” it just newer really feels right to me. Because in most cases you will not be like the guy in some book who happens to have just the right spell, instead you will more likely be the dude who happens to normally memories that except today

So I basically stole together a couple of things that I liked, the Mages Staff from Arcane Evolved Magister, a Mana System from an old DM (basically 2+Int/lvl Spell points) worked together some mechanical guidelines to give spell craft more of a meaning (You need to make them when using metamagic) and added the Wizards Nexus from Quintessential wizard.

It gives spell casters that bit of flexibility without being too broken, and at the same time also slower the scaling of bonus spells better. As I dislike the present one, without in general giving to much more spell power to a Caster

Offline Xillen

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2007, 03:34:50 AM »
But that's exactly what's the Sorcerer's strong point! By giving that to the Wizard, then of course the Sorcerer bleaks in comparison.

Nothing wrong with that. If you and your friends like to play it that way, then by all means, do so. Though you shouldn't complain about a Sorcerer's weakness then.


As for utility spells, I like how Druids and Good-Aligned Clerics can take a few utility spells and just swap them for spontaneous spells if they don't need to use them. I don't find the Evil-Aligned Cleric's spontaneous spells effective enough to warrant the same usability.

Maybe if they could give Wizards something like that. Like specialized Wizards get 1 extra spell per day to pick from their chosen school. Now what if Wizards could spontaneously convert spells to be identical to that chosen spell? They could have some utility spells, but not have the complete control that Sorcerers do.

Offline kongming

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2007, 03:41:30 AM »
There's a feat that lets a Wizard spontaneously convert to a Mastered spell, and there's another feat that lets you spontaneously cast ALL of your spells, with the requirement of "have to be able to spontaneously cast arcane spells". So set three feats on fire and your Wizard is a spontaneous caster. Did WotC mean for that? No. Should it be allowed? No. Is this exactly why they need to check their material? Yes.

Anyway, I think Far Eyes said he doesn't use Sorcerers under that system, instead saying "You can use your CHA instead of INT to cast, if you want."

Offline Far eyes

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2007, 04:16:16 AM »
Yes I do not use Sorcerers or any other Spontaneous Casters (Well I do have a re don War Mage and a Favored Soul) but for them I cut the level latency and increased the spells known in the case of the second.

There are a lot of examples of materials from different sources stacking up to something unreasonably strong. One of my favored ones at the moment is ToB (I think the book is pure gold in general) and a Quickened Supernatural ability (It can be found in a couple of places)

Offline Jefepato

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2007, 07:49:27 AM »
A sorcerer kicked Skip's puppy when he was a child, and he never got over it.

I know nothing about Mike Mearls, but what I've seen of 4E so far looked interesting.  What about his work sucks?

Offline Archangel

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2007, 07:59:22 AM »
Yeah, the sorcerer was definitley a sore point with me and 3rd edition. It was an awsome idea, poorly executed to say the least.

Mike Mearls has a similar problem as the sorcerer does. He has great ideas, but he's limited in his ablity to design. Iron Heroes caught my attention and I thought it was going to rock !!!! But it was mediocre at best.

My solution:My games either use the Conan D20 rules for Gritty or the WOW: RPG for fantasy.


Offline kongming

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2007, 08:03:39 AM »
Yeah, if Mearls was kept as an idea person, and his ideas were filtered through a design team who could make his stuff work, we'd see something excellent. As it is, I think Frank and K would make an awesome 4th Edition, given the fixes to 3rd that they made - and that's putting up with stuff they don't like that's already there.

Offline Far eyes

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2007, 09:21:24 AM »
I have Iron heroes and I personally find the system nice, it has a couple of good ideas. Although you are correct Conan D20 definitely has one up on it.

Newer herd of WOW:RPG

If SW Saga is anything to go by then 4e will be sweat mostly my one sore point is the casting system and my fear that magic will be further decimated into even shorter term effects then it already is.

Offline Archangel

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2007, 09:48:40 AM »
I have Iron heroes and I personally find the system nice, it has a couple of good ideas. Although you are correct Conan D20 definitely has one up on it.

Newer herd of WOW:RPG

If SW Saga is anything to go by then 4e will be sweat mostly my one sore point is the casting system and my fear that magic will be further decimated into even shorter term effects then it already is.


That was exaclty my point about IH, the ideas were wonderful, the concept of having mechinaics for using your environment is wonderful as were many of the idea ideas. I just found allot of it was poorly executed. And I found the magic system left a person wanting...

Conan D20 is a wonderful alternative for what IH was supposed to be. A nice dark fantasy system when a hero relies on his own skills rather than the massive list of magic items and spells he has. Magic is actually to be feared.

WOW:RPG is by Sword&Sorcery Studios. It is D20 and It has several of the features from Monte Cook's Arcana evolved. The magic system, though still based on the slot system is wonderfully executed as are the magic using clases. It's really a good solid system in my opinion.

And I agree about SW:SAGA though I have a feeling as its a preview of 4th edition, the final product will be very different.

Offline Far eyes

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2007, 10:01:53 AM »
Well I look forward to some step between just 0 HP and Full HP. I have attempted to assimilate a couple of systems into my game to do this but in the end most don’t really work.

From when I ran IH I know that we decided to have no Arcanists what so ever, we did much the same for Conan, my problem with Conan was more of the setting witch I was not all to familiar with as a whole. I have seen the movies and even read some of the early short stories but newer really got into the world.

I really liked the AP/DR armor system and how Finesse worked in Conan, witch was a lot better then the IH one

Offline Dingo

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2007, 11:01:40 AM »
Conan D20 is a wonderful alternative for what IH was supposed to be. A nice dark fantasy system when a hero relies on his own skills rather than the massive list of magic items and spells he has. Magic is actually to be feared.

Unfortunately (I'm playing a Scholar in Conan d20) the things to be feared are very few, and some spells become useless eventually.

Offline Archangel

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2007, 11:23:53 AM »
Far Eyes, the worlds of Robert E Howard are simply some of the best stories I have ever read. I've read all his original Conan, Soloman Kane and Bran Mak Morn books and am a total fan. The world of Hyboria is dark and very inviting. I cannot recommend it enough. The game reflects the feel very well.

Dingo, one problem I found was that if one approaches the Conan game with a D&D attitude it can be more complicated. However, if you approach it for what it is suppose to be, a dark fantasy world where larger than life heroes can change the path of the future by the strength of their swords arms then it's easier to run a scary sorcerer. Don't forget the many rules of sorcery. I will admit the selection of spells in the main book is limited, if you have access to the other books in the series then there are allot more spells.

I had a party of mercenaries in the Westermarck when the pics attacked. The armed and armoured players were cutting through the pics in the open fields until the Wolf Shaman showed up... Within minutes I had them fleeing for their lives pursued by an army of pics back across the Thunder river...

Good times!  ;D

Offline RubySlippers

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2007, 11:32:50 AM »
Sorcerors are not that bad if one reads the 3.5 description they can technically learn any sort of spell they see used if they have the level slot available. So yes they can learn arcane versions of divine spells all they need is to see the spell used, once. And dedicate a slot to learn it they don't learn magic like wizards do.


Offline Jefepato

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2007, 11:37:23 AM »
Sorcerors are not that bad if one reads the 3.5 description they can technically learn any sort of spell they see used if they have the level slot available. So yes they can learn arcane versions of divine spells all they need is to see the spell used, once. And dedicate a slot to learn it they don't learn magic like wizards do.

Beg pardon?  It says that a sorcerer can learn an unusual sorcerer/wizard spell, one not on the sorcerer/wizard spell list in this book (the PHB).  It certainly never states that a sorcerer can learn spells that aren't defined as sorcerer spells.

Offline Far eyes

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2007, 11:57:30 AM »
Well actually they can sort of ish but only if you use the Variant described in Comp Champion and pick a domain with Cleric spells in it. But no as per default they can not learn Divine spells

I like the setting weary much, and also the feeling of Conan however I am not weary good at running specific setting games. Or at least I newer feel as if I am good at it, although I have bin told its fine.

But I preferred to use my own ideas so if I decide to do something on the fly nobody can poke their noses into it with “But in book X the timeline of Y is different” witch is why I don’t use FR or Eberron (Amongst other although different reasons for both)

Offline RubySlippers

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2007, 11:59:20 AM »
Its not that hard they see a Call Lightning say heh that is neat, they go to do some research and make up an arcane version of it. I tend to be much more eclectic they see a spell used and if they by their slots availble can learn it they can unless its one that is directly empowered by a dieties domain proper. Its makes Sorcerors far better and still they have to pick and choose their spells. Hell they are not Wizards they are magic they don't use magic for crying out loud. Think a walking and thinking magic item.

The way they use magic to me Implies that level of flexibility that includes making up their own way to cast spells. If one reads into the entire description of the class and how they use magic that is the case.

Offline kongming

Re: D&D rules questions
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2007, 06:31:00 PM »
Actually, whereas every other class says "The magicfingersman draws his spells from the magicfingersman spell-list", the Sorcerer is unique.

"The Sorcerer primarily draws his spells from the Sorc/Wiz spell list." It then goes on to talk about some Sorcerers ganking other spells through study.

This means that the only way a Sorc can be anywhere near as good as a Wizard is by carefully cherrypicking the best spells from every list. In other words "The better you are at optimising, the closer you'll get to just playing a character that's balanced."

That's bad. Sucking shouldn't actually be the baseline. Also, this doesn't look like a matter of "a rules loophole that shouldn't work". It looks like the actual intent is to let you take a couple of special non-Wizard spells, except the best way to make them balanced is allow spells from any spell list (or at least, any 0-9 spell list. Letting them choose Bard/Paladin/Assassin/Hexblade/Ranger spells could have strange results).

And yeah. Mearls has good ideas. That's it. Furthermore, he has given a rant on how he doesn't want to put a lot of effort or thought into the campaign world - except he's the designer. He shouldn't be the designer if he doesn't want to design. Furthermore, he has said that it's too hard to have DR in a system with scaling HP and scaling damage. Which is just stupid. That's easy. The hard thing to balance is a system where enemies of the same CR might have an AC of 10 or 25, and where your race might grant you a +1 to hit and damage, your sword might grant you +3 to hit and damage, and your belt might grant you +2 to hit and damage.

Yet that's seriously what he's doing. It sounds like he's just on crack (hey, it worked for Andy Collins in 3rd Ed!) and doesn't actually know how to make a game system.

---

Now, the memorising thing is weird, especially for people like me who weren't raised on the Vance novels. But spell levels can work just fine. Because it states "This is a 1st level spell. It is worth precisely that. This is a 3rd level spell. That's what it's worth. You can't trade up or down." As it stands, spell points can't ever work. This is why psionics can't work - which is different from the reason why I hate psionics and will never use them in a D&D game.

Basically, here it is. Take "magic missile". Some people make the mistake of thinking it's an awesome spell. At level 1, you nearly have as good a chance of hitting as the fighter does, so "auto-hit" doesn't matter, and by the time it makes a difference, you're throwing "no attack roll" and "ranged touch attack (see: always hits)" spells, and the damage wouldn't matter anyway. At level 1, the damage only matters against kobolds and cats. Luckily, you will seriously be fighting kobolds and cats at level 1.

At any rate, we'll pick that. Now, let's pick a level 4 spell: Acid Fog. Acid Fog is awesome. It deals damage, slows movement, reduces visibility and also makes a nice obstacle that gets in the way of enemy chargers. Paired with a Forcecage, you can utterly murderise people. Anyway, tell me, how many castings of Magic Missile are worth one Acid Fog?

If your answer was anything other than "None, AF is better than any number of MMs!" then you are wrong. This is the problem. Higher level spells are just plain better than lower level spells, and nothing can actually change this. You're not just giving them bigger numbers (if you were, then spell points would work), you're doing other things that outright win the game.

And that's why I disagree with spell points. One thing I do like about 4Ed is that everyone has "at will", "per encounter" and "per day" abilities.

Heh. What started as me just being rude about certain game designers now turned into a huge debate. And not a single "How does grapple work?" type question.