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Author Topic: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!  (Read 7490 times)

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Offline Skynet

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #200 on: April 03, 2013, 06:17:25 PM »
This will never happen due to having a reasonable group of players, but I've long entertained the thought of making some super min-maxed/optimized PC which runs all over the overpowered special NPCs of such a DM.

But this guy sounds like he'll just shut me down for being a munchkin with no hint of irony.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #201 on: April 03, 2013, 06:43:04 PM »
That's pretty much exactly what I did, actually. He specifically told us 'all books allowed, whatever, go nuts',  and I ran by him line-by-line stuff I was worried about being overpowered and was told 'don't worry, it's fine'. So I roll out with a Shadow Gnome Beguiler/Shadowcraft Mage/Shadowcrafter, and lo and behold every single enemy comes equipped with True Seeing to bypass my stealth and illusions, they always make their saves, had PLOT for hit points, and the save DCs of their powers amounted to 'does the DM want you to fail or not', so pumping our own saves was useless.

Offline consortium11

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #202 on: April 03, 2013, 10:55:32 PM »
That's pretty much exactly what I did, actually. He specifically told us 'all books allowed, whatever, go nuts',  and I ran by him line-by-line stuff I was worried about being overpowered and was told 'don't worry, it's fine'. So I roll out with a Shadow Gnome Beguiler/Shadowcraft Mage/Shadowcrafter, and lo and behold every single enemy comes equipped with True Seeing to bypass my stealth and illusions, they always make their saves, had PLOT for hit points, and the save DCs of their powers amounted to 'does the DM want you to fail or not', so pumping our own saves was useless.

Seems like an excuse to bring out Pun-Pun, a Locate City Bomb or an Anti-Osmium bomb...

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #203 on: April 03, 2013, 11:16:14 PM »
Except I have dignity and self-respect, and all three can still be shut down with DM fiat. That's the whole point of TheoryOp, is that it functions assuming no DM to interfere. PunPun wouldn't have succeeded any better than the existing builds.

I never played a game he ran ever again after that.

Offline Skynet

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #204 on: April 03, 2013, 11:59:32 PM »
The age-old saying "no gaming is better than bad gaming" continues to hold true.

On a more positive note...

So, does anybody have any experience with the Midgard Campaign Setting for Pathfinder?  I've heard lots of good things about it.

Offline JakePreston

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #205 on: April 04, 2013, 11:20:58 AM »
Is there a new edition coming out soon?

I've played D&D often but haven't really purchased any of the books or whatnot. But thinking about it

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #206 on: April 04, 2013, 11:44:29 AM »
D&D 5e Next will be out at some point soon, I think. Haven't heard a great deal about it in a while.

Offline Skynet

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #207 on: April 04, 2013, 12:18:53 PM »
Is there a new edition coming out soon?

I've played D&D often but haven't really purchased any of the books or whatnot. But thinking about it

I've checked it out in the Playtest Packet, and honestly I'm not too thrilled about it.  The design process over the months has been too slow, too haphazard, too focused on opinion polls and asking people "does this feel like D&D" instead of going for a singular goal/focus (which previous Editions had).  1st Edition was a wargame-light RPG with an emphasis on exploration.  3rd Edition was attempting to simulate a fictional fantasy world with a plethora of options for characters and settings.  4th Edition was strongly focused on balance and strategic combat with a unified power framework.  I'm not getting an overarching goal when I look at 5th Edition.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #208 on: April 04, 2013, 12:19:51 PM »
Draft rules are due out at Gen Con. Reaction among playtesters has been mixed. Some enjoyed it a lot, some called it a disaster.

The PAX East 2012 episode of "Acquisitions Incorporated" was played out with Next rules as they stood at the time:

PAX 2012: Acquisitions Inc Live D&D Game (Part 1)

Offline Cold Heritage

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #209 on: April 04, 2013, 01:32:10 PM »
I'm not getting an overarching goal when I look at 5th Edition.

Well, beyond getting back all the buyers who screamed "BETRAYAL! BETRAYAL! BETRAYED ME! 4E HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH D&D!" and went to buy Pathfinder, you are correct.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #210 on: April 04, 2013, 02:02:19 PM »
I've checked it out in the Playtest Packet, and honestly I'm not too thrilled about it.  The design process over the months has been too slow, too haphazard, too focused on opinion polls and asking people "does this feel like D&D" instead of going for a singular goal/focus (which previous Editions had).  1st Edition was a wargame-light RPG with an emphasis on exploration.  3rd Edition was attempting to simulate a fictional fantasy world with a plethora of options for characters and settings.  4th Edition was strongly focused on balance and strategic combat with a unified power framework.  I'm not getting an overarching goal when I look at 5th Edition.

From what I remember, that is sort of the overarching goal - they're trying to make a Pan-D&D to lure back fans of every edition from 1st through 4th. Knowing that as one of their intended goals is heavily shaping my opinion of how well it'll turn out.

Offline Dhi

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #211 on: April 04, 2013, 02:24:04 PM »
The OSRIC crowd likes to brag about how they haven't bought a D&D book since the 70s, and the Pathfinder crowd could not be more venomous toward WotC. It was the continuation of the established 3.5 system, not a "feel" of an edition, that guaranteed Pathfinder's success. There is no reclaiming that with a new system.

And me, I buy Pathfinder products because the fluff is setting an industry example, even though I would never use the system. WotC isn't interested in producing fluff. It's not profitable enough for them. They aren't going to win back anyone on that front either.

There are also enormous problems with the 5E system. I'm wondering at this point whether it will even make it out of the starting gate.

Offline Thorne

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #212 on: April 04, 2013, 04:06:09 PM »
... and the Pathfinder crowd could not be more venomous toward WotC.

Not all of us.
I can't muster enough craps to give them any. I suspect that their current business model isn't entirely the WotC staff's idea anyway.

I'll give 5e a shot once it's actually been released, then form an opinion about it, more or less the same way I did with 4e.
And no, I don't like 4e. For what it does, it's good. I just don't like that kind of game much.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #213 on: April 05, 2013, 03:41:57 AM »
I just find it sad and amusing at the same time that Wizard's of the Coast puts out 3.5, and they get reviled for it.  Paizo does the exact same thing, and suddenly they're God's gift to the 'legacy of D&D'.

The goal of D&DNext is laudable, but is it viable?  I dunno.  I just wish the Fighter would get some love.  I'm sick and tired of watching the class get pushed back into it's 80's stereotype of 'Dumb Jock'.  It's been over 30 years, Fighting men and women are not stupid, never have been, let's get with the times.  Like the 13th to 15th centuries.

Offline Thorne

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #214 on: April 05, 2013, 09:05:38 AM »
I really have to wonder what kind of groups you have run with that fighters keep turning out that way, Chris. I'm not seeing it. I think I have seen one that was... built badly. And that was played by someone who essentially covered their lack of system mastery* with a lot of 'but I've been gming for thirty years, so nyah!'. >.<

*for lack of a better term. It wasn't /just/ that she didn't have system mastery. :/

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #215 on: April 05, 2013, 09:36:04 AM »
I really have to wonder what kind of groups you have run with that fighters keep turning out that way, Chris. I'm not seeing it. I think I have seen one that was... built badly. And that was played by someone who essentially covered their lack of system mastery* with a lot of 'but I've been gming for thirty years, so nyah!'. >.<

*for lack of a better term. It wasn't /just/ that she didn't have system mastery. :/

Even with system mastery, there is not much you can do with 2+Int skill points, a total of 7 variably useful skills in-class even if you get more points, and no class features that reward high Int (or no class features period, for that matter). Fighters can be played as if they were intelligent (see Roy from Order of the Stick), but mechanically they have been consigned to 'dumb jock' for a long time.

Offline Thorne

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #216 on: April 05, 2013, 10:59:42 AM »
Even with system mastery, there is not much you can do with 2+Int skill points, a total of 7 variably useful skills in-class even if you get more points, and no class features that reward high Int (or no class features period, for that matter). Fighters can be played as if they were intelligent (see Roy from Order of the Stick), but mechanically they have been consigned to 'dumb jock' for a long time.

Ahhh... not so much. Combat Expertise requires a comparitively high intelligence, and as far as I can tell, it's a Must-Have feat for anything that wants to survive the front lines for any length of time. Not surprisingly, I've not seen many fighters in my groups with an intelligence score lower than 13, which is, iirc, the minimum necessary to take that feat. Frequently, I see it higher, resulting in fighters with ranks in Diplomacy (!!), Survival and Perception, along with the crafting skills and Knowledges that come as Class skills.
I also see a lot of Human fighters, with their Favoured Class bonus taken as skill point, so ... ymmv, at least in Pathfinder.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #217 on: April 05, 2013, 11:25:47 AM »
Ahhh... not so much. Combat Expertise requires a comparitively high intelligence, and as far as I can tell, it's a Must-Have feat for anything that wants to survive the front lines for any length of time. Not surprisingly, I've not seen many fighters in my groups with an intelligence score lower than 13, which is, iirc, the minimum necessary to take that feat. Frequently, I see it higher, resulting in fighters with ranks in Diplomacy (!!), Survival and Perception, along with the crafting skills and Knowledges that come as Class skills.
I also see a lot of Human fighters, with their Favoured Class bonus taken as skill point, so ... ymmv, at least in Pathfinder.

Combat expertise is garbage, and it only requires Int 13 anyways. Attack bonuses outscale Armor Class so fast that trading the former for the latter is almost always a losing proposition...you don't need AC if your enemy is dead, and they get dead faster when you hit them more. This is why the Shock Trooper feat was considered so overpowered in 3.5, because it gave you an obscene damage boost in exchange for all of the AC you wouldn't need once your enemy was a pile of gooey chunks. Pathfinder didn't change enough of the core mechanics of the game to alter this fundamental. The only reason Combat Expertise exists is to be a prerequisite for the Improved Trip feats, or other Improved Combat Maneuver options.

As for skills, you're talking about Pathfinder, where skill ranks were made significantly more friendly for cross-class ranks and the favored-skill list is less hamstrung, I was talking about the punishingly small list they got in 3.5 (plus, Chris was also referring to stuff like the fact that Perception isn't a Fighter class skill even in PF, which makes no sense at all). And even then, unless you're rolling for stats, that high Intelligence is coming at a cost - either weakening the Strength/Dex and Constitution the fighter needs to do the job he's supposed to, or weakening his already-fragile Will save by sinking Wisdom.

+Favored skill point is a good choice, because fighters don't need the extra hit point. That still only makes 3+Int.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 11:27:18 AM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline Skynet

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #218 on: April 05, 2013, 12:55:29 PM »
I just find it sad and amusing at the same time that Wizard's of the Coast puts out 3.5, and they get reviled for it.  Paizo does the exact same thing, and suddenly they're God's gift to the 'legacy of D&D'.

The folks who reacted negatively to 3rd Edition were AD&D players.  They're not Paizo fans, either.

Granted, some 3rd Edition fans weren't so fond of some 3.5 changes, but overall it fixed a lot of things.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 12:58:18 PM by Skynet »

Offline Aiden

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #219 on: April 05, 2013, 01:11:14 PM »
So I am playing this weekend, working on a sheet now.

Concept - luchador

Going to specialize in grapple/wrestling.

had 4 lvls, paid one c lvl to be a Goliath. +4 str and treated as a size larger for bull rush, charge, grapple checks.

going to speak like macho man...but in Spanish! It is going to be a good day!

Offline Thorne

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #220 on: April 05, 2013, 01:16:59 PM »
'If it can't hit you, it can't hurt you' seems to be the philosophy that the fighter-builders of my aquaintance use.
So, having a low con? Only a problem if the monster can hit you. You've got the Attack Bonus to spare, so Combat Expertise (which seems to scale in PF) is a good choice. With Armor Training, having a high Dex becomes useful - it counts even in heavy armor, at higher levels.  Combine that with the typical high Str. score, and those nifty compound strength bows suddenly become hugely useful for bringing down pesky flyers. You won't be making the archer cry, but at least he'll not be the only one able to bring down a flyer who's just out of reach of all the melee.
And you'll have skill points to spare for things like Perception, to go with your Intimidation.

I should add, this is /not/ one of my characters. I didn't build this guy. I'm just watching him make our GM cry every Tuesday night, 'cause he's pretty nearly unhittable, and does a crap-ton of damage in the bargain. And he's built on the above premise.

I will grant you, fighters in 3.5e get the short stick, but they're hardly the only one. :/

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #221 on: April 05, 2013, 01:40:48 PM »
going to speak like macho man...but in Spanish! It is going to be a good day!

So what is the Spanish for "step into the square circle baby!", anyway?

ĦOoooh, si!

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #222 on: April 05, 2013, 01:54:54 PM »
Either you're using different definitions of 'high' than I am, or you're not using point buy. Even at 25 PB, Buying into Str, Dex, Con, and Int means either all four are mediocre, or he's dropped other scores below 10 to compensate...less than 25 and the problem gets worse, and fighters can't afford to shed Will save points if they don't want to be a liability. 14 Str, Dex, Con, Int, and Wis runs 25pts, and gets you no bonus higher than +2 on any stat.
Quote
'If it can't hit you, it can't hurt you' seems to be the philosophy that the fighter-builders of my aquaintance use.
So, having a low con? Only a problem if the monster can hit you. You've got the Attack Bonus to spare, so Combat Expertise (which seems to scale in PF) is a good choice. With Armor Training, having a high Dex becomes useful - it counts even in heavy armor, at higher levels.

That's my point in a way, because it goes both ways 'if you can't hit it, you can't hurt it'. The average melee monster has more Strength, a higher attack bonus, and more hit points than any fighter, so they can better afford to shed attack bonus - either for extra damage via Power Attack or extra AC via Combat Expertise. It's trying to beat said monster at its own game, and losing the numbers race. The feat also scales horribly, for instance - at +1/-1, increasing by 1 every 4 levels, and is only usable when you're making melee attacks. If an extra 1-3 AC is making a character unhittable, he's already outclassing his enemies to such a degree that he doesn't need the boost.

It's not just fighters here, but a side effect of hit points in general. The same reason why direct evocation damage is the worst of a wizard's bazillion choices for spells is why a fighter sacrificing damage for defense is a poor choice - hit points are binary. You're either at positive hit points and 100+ fighting effectiveness, or at negative hit points and helpless or dead. Whittling down their HP only gives them more chances to hurt you, even if you're reducing the odds of any one hit landing, so your best tactical choice is to either burn them out as fast as possible (for mundanes) or bypass their HP entirely (for casters).

Your specific game can of course be different - that's the whole point of statistical deviation, and it can't account for extraneous factors - maybe your DM likes using mobs of weak enemies, or 'lurker' type monsters, or (since you mentioned comboing archery and CE, which is illegal) is just making mistakes. From raw numbers, the guy in your group might be effective now, but he would be even more effective without CE.

Offline Changingsaint

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #223 on: April 05, 2013, 05:46:12 PM »
The other thing about having a lower con is it makes you more vulnerable to save vs suck or save vs die spells. It really doesn't matter if your fighter has 1 HP for 1,000 HP - if he fails a fort save and loses 14 strength, or just dies... Well thats that. Whats the fighter gonna do? Either the weight of his own gear is leaving him immobile and helpless, or he's just dead.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #224 on: April 05, 2013, 07:55:48 PM »
And effects that deal partial damage even on a successful save, like most Evocation spells or the assorted Save-or-Die spells (which are not actually -or-Die in PF, so they're just another flavor of 'save for half'). You can't avoid all the damage, and since Reflex isn't a primary save for fighters, you're relying on your Dex score to not take a big heap of damage in the face.