Author Topic: How do you feel about the "Spell Resistance" mechanic?  (Read 3550 times)

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Endarire

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How do you feel about the "Spell Resistance" mechanic?
« on: October 29, 2011, 02:17:49 AM »
I've asked similar questions before.  For me, it's a big question of what SR should deny.  There's also the "too many ways to trivialize SR" problem.  SR seems like a low-level mechanic (especially for single-digit levels), because once you hit about level 10, many casters don't even need to cast spells that directly affect creatures to effectively win the fight.  (Planar binding, AoEs, animate dead...)

Also, since the current SR mechanic isn't working well, what should SR do?
Hood - My first answer to all your build questions; past, present, and future.

Speaking of which:
Don't even need TO for this.  Any decent Hood build, especially one with Celerity, one-rounds [Azathoth, the most powerful greater deity from d20 Cthulu].
Does it bug anyone else that we've reached the point where characters who can obliterate a greater deity in one round are considered "decent?"

Midnight_v

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Re: How do you feel about the "Spell Resistance" mechanic?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2011, 03:06:03 AM »
Quote
Also, since the current SR mechanic isn't working well, what should SR do?
Seems very telling that you want us to say "It should do more", from what you've written.
Thing is of the base classes only monk got spell resistance as a class feature, and it was really more the purview of monsters.
 Which means... SR was primarily supposed to be a stumbling block for Certain types of Casters against certain types of monsters.
  It getting trivialized over time is more a fucntion of realizing that "evocation does not work" so "lets try to give some resources so it will." So between metamagic and SR:No you can get a blaster into play at all w/out, team monster laughing its ass off at you.
So yeah its kind of a low level thing... but at high level, if there exists a monster with SR: You're not getting past this, and defense becomes more ubiquitous in what effects it blocks, its just another super hard to deal with monster for the party. Maybe, one designed to give melees a chance to shine or some such.
Ultimately, I know what I don't want. I don't want it to slide into "personal range: antimagic field"
 Something about Golems needs to be said, they have SR:Infinite etc... A SR that does much more conceptuall makes them a headache to fight.
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Bauglir

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Re: How do you feel about the "Spell Resistance" mechanic?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2011, 07:47:09 AM »
Well, step one is that it needs to resonate with the residual magic of conjuration spells, destabilizing them. By which I mean, "No, Conjurers, you don't get to laugh forever." Step two is, ideally, to generate a less binary mechanic. If CL were important to more spells, I'd suggest a CL reduction to incoming spells in proportion to SR, but as it stands there are too many ways around it.
So you end up stuck in an endless loop, unable to act, forever.

In retrospect, much like Keanu Reeves.

Endarire

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Re: How do you feel about the "Spell Resistance" mechanic?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2011, 07:59:51 AM »
The intent wasn't "SR should do more" or "SR should be removed."  I was merely curious.

SR is niche.  It mostly applies to Evocations, Enchantments, and Divinations.

I think SR has blocked 5 spells in my 10+ years of 3.x.
Hood - My first answer to all your build questions; past, present, and future.

Speaking of which:
Don't even need TO for this.  Any decent Hood build, especially one with Celerity, one-rounds [Azathoth, the most powerful greater deity from d20 Cthulu].
Does it bug anyone else that we've reached the point where characters who can obliterate a greater deity in one round are considered "decent?"

StreamOfTheSky

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Re: How do you feel about the "Spell Resistance" mechanic?
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2011, 08:16:59 AM »
I hate how SR is so binary.  SR 21 could be amazing if you're like level 10, but worthless if you're level 20.  And yet it's "sold" both literally as items and figuratively in other ways on its number value, which just naturally corrodes very quickly without automatic upgrades with level.  But at that point, it's not really a flat number anymore, it's basically become a %.  Someone with SR level +10ish basically has "50% chance to ignore a spell from level appropriate foes."

I bring this up because I actually wonder if a percentile based system like Baldur's Gate 2 had would be better.  The main reasons I like it are that a) low level magical gadgets (ie, the crap the Rogue is UMD'ing to stay relevant) are no more hosed than the high level spells Mr. Wizard is casting and b) a "magic resistance" of X% is always worth the same basic value, at any level.

SR works like AC but it's just such a bad idea to have an AC-like mechanic for spells, which are a limited resource and can't be spammed nearly as many times per round as a melee attack (without rules abuse, at least) to make up for some of them "missing."  The AC mechanic also has all sorts of interesting fiddly bits like Power Attack and Fighting Defensively and charging to mix things up a bit.  Spellcasting lacks this flexibility.

So yeah, I hate SR.  If I were to do it over completely, I'd use %-based Magic Resistance, with most things not having too much of it, with a few powerful exceptions (like high-level monks).  And spells would allow for MR or ignore it based on how powerful they were.  Direct damage goes through no problem.  Save or dies all have to offer MR, by default.  And so forth.

Endarire

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Re: How do you feel about the "Spell Resistance" mechanic?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2011, 09:05:25 AM »
What percent of SR is too much?  What about summoned creatures?
Hood - My first answer to all your build questions; past, present, and future.

Speaking of which:
Don't even need TO for this.  Any decent Hood build, especially one with Celerity, one-rounds [Azathoth, the most powerful greater deity from d20 Cthulu].
Does it bug anyone else that we've reached the point where characters who can obliterate a greater deity in one round are considered "decent?"

Midnight_v

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Re: How do you feel about the "Spell Resistance" mechanic?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2011, 09:12:50 AM »
What percent of SR is too much?  What about summoned creatures?
What about summoned creatures?
You mean what should Sr:X do to protect you vs an Extraplanar Grizzly bear or whatever?
I'm thinking nothing...
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Bloody Initiate

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Re: How do you feel about the "Spell Resistance" mechanic?
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2011, 10:27:13 AM »
I liked 3.0 Magic Immunity.

I dislike how D&D magic doesn't get explained anywhere, and I prefer systems where magic flows from some comprehensible source. It's all fluff, but sometimes function follows form. If you explain how magic works, you can explain how it doesn't work. Thus the idea that something would be enormously resistant or immune to it can be explained, because once you understand the force driving something you can understand a forcing pushing against it.

The weird thing about 3.5 magic is that you don't really know what it is, so you have no fucking clue what it isn't. SR, immunities, globes of invulnerability, anti magic fields all make less sense when you don't know what they're cancelling or nullifying, and you don't know how they're doing it either.

My problem with 3.5 SR is that there are spells that get to ignore it. It's the same problem I have with 3.5 magic "immunity," I don't know why your magically conjured tentacles are any different from your magically conjured fire, and that's because they SHOULDN'T be different at all. It's a case of the rules being so awful that they interfere with the game. Ignoring SR should be exclusive to highly specialized spells. Everyone else should just have to fucking deal with it. It's not because I hate casters that I say this, it's because one technically viable caster just isn't as good as another because of how SR works. I am OK with ignoring SR, but not on entire schools of magic. Ignoring it should only happen when you're casting your "I pierce SR at the cost of weakened effect, but at least I don't have to deal with SR" spells.

Most of all the problem is that SR just has an extremely shitty name. You should not call it "spell" or "magic" resistance if it doesn't successfully resist either spells or other magic. Too many spells don't allow spell resistance for it to be called "spell resistance," and in fact there's another shitty word choice: "Allow" spell resistance. Like it needs permission to work.

As a CONCEPT I don't think I ever liked spell resistance. There are better ways to program greater resistance to magic. Crank their saves (you can put "vs magic" if you want), give them abilities like evasion and mettle, and allow them to force a save even when a spell doesn't allow it. Having another random statistic out there saying the same thing is annoying and just creates more die rolls, slowing the game down. It's better to improve on the mechanic that lets people feel responsible for their fates (Saves, because you get to roll your save) rather than make up another that just keeps one person rolling dice longer (Spell resistance, because the caster rolls). The more time you spend with everyone at the table engaged, the better off you'll be. Even if you end up with the same amount of dice rolls (which you do on spells that allow only a save or only SR), saves are still better because more people are playing at the same time.
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veekie

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Re: How do you feel about the "Spell Resistance" mechanic?
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2011, 11:50:59 AM »
Quote
I dislike how D&D magic doesn't get explained anywhere, and I prefer systems where magic flows from some comprehensible source. It's all fluff, but sometimes function follows form. If you explain how magic works, you can explain how it doesn't work. Thus the idea that something would be enormously resistant or immune to it can be explained, because once you understand the force driving something you can understand a forcing pushing against it.
Definitely, one of the barriers to consistent magic systems is basically theres no definition, and some things are implied to be rules(yet broken whenever a writer gets an idea).


Defense wise you can see the following:
Physical Binary: AC, miss chance
Magical Binary: SR, Saves
Physical Mitigative: DR
Magical Mitigative: Energy Resists, Evasion and Mettle.

So I guess SR is supposed to be basically magical miss chance, but being binary skill based, it doesn't do a whole lot. Maybe if it reduced effective CL of effects in general it might do more.
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Prime32

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Re: How do you feel about the "Spell Resistance" mechanic?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2011, 02:18:42 PM »
I like to use these rules myself.
My work
The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
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Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]

veekie

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Re: How do you feel about the "Spell Resistance" mechanic?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2011, 04:22:59 PM »
Yeah but its sufficiently powerful that you'd want to alter the spell resistance values before implementing.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."

Endarire

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Re: How do you feel about the "Spell Resistance" mechanic?
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2011, 06:08:02 AM »
I played a Wizard in a campaign where the DM routinely made saves against my crowd control effects.  I soon learned to stop trying and went with no-save stuff.  It worked better.

As for SR, I'm leaning toward, "Scrap it!" because there are other defenses.  Prime32's solution seems to nerf everything but summons, buffs, and no SR effects so much that I wouldn't want to play.
Hood - My first answer to all your build questions; past, present, and future.

Speaking of which:
Don't even need TO for this.  Any decent Hood build, especially one with Celerity, one-rounds [Azathoth, the most powerful greater deity from d20 Cthulu].
Does it bug anyone else that we've reached the point where characters who can obliterate a greater deity in one round are considered "decent?"