Author Topic: The chicken or the egg?  (Read 4836 times)

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wotmaniac

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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2010, 03:40:25 AM »
This is the first in a series on the ludicracy of D&D math
I'm not necessarily talking about the way certain in-game situations are handled; I'm talking about the math involved with the actually design of the game.
But first a little background:  I have seen many times where someone or another has attempted to convert the traditional D&D "level" model in to more of a "point buy" model, whereas the PC's advancement is done ala carte, which is to promote ultimate customization and versatility (whether you are simply using xp to purchase these abilities, or are given "character points" at each level with which to by abilities, etc.). 
This got me thinking: "what are these things really worth, and how were these values determined?"

Q3
D&D math part 1: Skills and Feats.
Given:
- 1 skill point = +1 to a skill
- (skill bonus)2 x 100gp = gp value of skill bonus

So, lets look at a couple of related feats (and for the purposes of this thought experiment, I'll just use feats that have no prereqs, since once you start considering prereqs this will quickly implode):
- Skill Focus:  = +3 to a skill = 3 skill points = 900gp
- (whatever +2/+2 feat) = +2 to 2 skills = 4 skill points = 800gp
- Open Minded = 5 skill points = 500gp-2500gp (depending on how those skill points are spent)
- Jack of all Trades: this one is pretty tricky -- there are 20 "trained-only" skills; and this feat is really only useful for those ; for the purposes of the math, we'll count these as 3/4 value (average between in-class and cross-class -- for in-class each 1/2 is only worth 1/2 ; for cross-class each is worth a whole skill point) and that, on average, a random PC will have ranks in any 5 of them:
  -- 3/42 = 9/16 x 100gp = 56.25gp  ;  56gp x 15 skills = 843.75gp

So, how much is a feat worth?  More specifically, a feat that can be taken by any 1st-level character.  3 skill points?  4 skill points?  5 skill points?  10 skill points?  500gp?  2500gp?  That's a fivefold swing!  Is the difference in utility really that much?
___________________________
Speaking of feats, look at Toughness: 
-  = 3HP  x2=6HP
- average CLW from a 1st-2nd level cleric gives 6HP.
- 1 CLW scroll = 25gp.  To take this a step further -- a non-slot item that casts CLW 1/day (by my math) is only 10gp (but to be fair, a different interpretation would be 1500gp)
2 feats = 10gp?  (okay, okay -- 1500 is a little more reasonable)


Discuss.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 03:58:42 AM by wotmaniac »

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If you stop ignoring 289 pages telling what the intent is to stretch "more power" in your own god complexion of your interpretation trumps all to cover ability adjustments from aging then I will ignore a quarter page of rules that exist within a sidebar.
I think in this case the grammar is less important than whether the Str and Dex bonus provided to your created undead scales.

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Solo

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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2010, 03:50:34 AM »

"I am the Black Mage! I cast the spells that makes the peoples fall down!"

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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2010, 05:59:11 AM »
Q3
D&D math part 1: Skills and Feats.
Given:
- 1 skill point = +1 to a skill
- (skill bonus)2 x 100gp = gp value of skill bonus

So, lets look at a couple of related feats (and for the purposes of this thought experiment, I'll just use feats that have no prereqs, since once you start considering prereqs this will quickly implode):
- Skill Focus:  = +3 to a skill = 3 skill points = 900gp
- (whatever +2/+2 feat) = +2 to 2 skills = 4 skill points = 800gp
- Open Minded = 5 skill points = 500gp-2500gp (depending on how those skill points are spent)
- Jack of all Trades: this one is pretty tricky -- there are 20 "trained-only" skills; and this feat is really only useful for those ; for the purposes of the math, we'll count these as 3/4 value (average between in-class and cross-class -- for in-class each 1/2 is only worth 1/2 ; for cross-class each is worth a whole skill point) and that, on average, a random PC will have ranks in any 5 of them:
  -- 3/42 = 9/16 x 100gp = 56.25gp  ;  56gp x 15 skills = 843.75gp

So, how much is a feat worth?  More specifically, a feat that can be taken by any 1st-level character.  3 skill points?  4 skill points?  5 skill points?  10 skill points?  500gp?  2500gp?  That's a fivefold swing!  Is the difference in utility really that much?
___________________________
Speaking of feats, look at Toughness: 
-  = 3HP  x2=6HP
- average CLW from a 1st-2nd level cleric gives 6HP.
- 1 CLW scroll = 25gp.  To take this a step further -- a non-slot item that casts CLW 1/day (by my math) is only 10gp (but to be fair, a different interpretation would be 1500gp)
2 feats = 10gp?  (okay, okay -- 1500 is a little more reasonable)


Discuss.


Skill focus and the +2/+2 feats can be argued to be worth a fair bit more under the right circumstances. Any time you already have an item that boosts your skills, the value of those feats is the price of the next +2/+3, not the first ones. For instance, if you already have a +5 item to a skill, skill focus is worth 3900g (6400-2500), instead of just 900. A +10 item ups the value of skill focus to 6900g. A +30 item increases it to 18900g.

Feats in general tend to be priced between 3000g and 10000g, depending on the feat in question, and usually only low-end feats like spell focus or iron will. I'd cite the magical locations, such as the Frog God's Fane or the Otoyugh Hole, as described in Complete Scoundrel and other books, and the Barb of the Mind item.

As for the 1/day CLW, the DMG has guidelines for it. In this case, it would be 360g, or 720g slotless (CL 1 * Level 1 * 1800 * 1 charge/day / (5 expected charges/day), and possibly * 2 for slotless). You can't just apply the 5:1 thing to the scrolls as they are already single use items
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wotmaniac

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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2010, 06:41:58 AM »
okay -- then disregard the $$$.  Just look at the difference in skill relations.

besides, this is just supposed to be silly banter.

[spoiler]
If you stop ignoring 289 pages telling what the intent is to stretch "more power" in your own god complexion of your interpretation trumps all to cover ability adjustments from aging then I will ignore a quarter page of rules that exist within a sidebar.
I think in this case the grammar is less important than whether the Str and Dex bonus provided to your created undead scales.

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wotmaniac

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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2010, 02:25:06 AM »
Q4
D&D math part 2: Skills and Spells.
The first one that pops in to my head is disguise/disguise self/hat of disguise
- disguise skill: +10 = 10k gp
- disguise self spell: 1st level spell, 1st level caster ; put on a continuous effect item = 3k gp , 10 minute use = 600 gp
- hat of disguise: 1800 gp.

Did I miss something?
Feel free to add your own examples.

[spoiler]
If you stop ignoring 289 pages telling what the intent is to stretch "more power" in your own god complexion of your interpretation trumps all to cover ability adjustments from aging then I will ignore a quarter page of rules that exist within a sidebar.
I think in this case the grammar is less important than whether the Str and Dex bonus provided to your created undead scales.

Greenbound Summoning RAI
Expanded Gestalt
More Savage Progressions[/spoiler]
Report any wrongs I have done here.

wotmaniac

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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2010, 06:43:17 AM »
Alright, time for something new.

First the premise:
- I seem to remember that Mr. Baker had said something to the effect of "if it exists in D&D, then there is a place for it in Eberron".
- Planescape is indeed a part of D&D; and thus, there is presumably a place for it in Eberron.

Q5
If you were to introduce Planescape in to your Eberron campaign, does it then cease being an Eberron campaign, and now become a Planescape campaign?

Discuss.

[spoiler]
If you stop ignoring 289 pages telling what the intent is to stretch "more power" in your own god complexion of your interpretation trumps all to cover ability adjustments from aging then I will ignore a quarter page of rules that exist within a sidebar.
I think in this case the grammar is less important than whether the Str and Dex bonus provided to your created undead scales.

Greenbound Summoning RAI
Expanded Gestalt
More Savage Progressions[/spoiler]
Report any wrongs I have done here.

Vicerious

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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2010, 02:27:14 AM »
Alright, time for something new.

First the premise:
- I seem to remember that Mr. Baker had said something to the effect of "if it exists in D&D, then there is a place for it in Eberron".
- Planescape is indeed a part of D&D; and thus, there is presumably a place for it in Eberron.

Q5
If you were to introduce Planescape in to your Eberron campaign, does it then cease being an Eberron campaign, and now become a Planescape campaign?

Discuss.
Only if you leave Eberron.
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wotmaniac

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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2010, 03:32:24 AM »
Alright, time for something new.

First the premise:
- I seem to remember that Mr. Baker had said something to the effect of "if it exists in D&D, then there is a place for it in Eberron".
- Planescape is indeed a part of D&D; and thus, there is presumably a place for it in Eberron.

Q5
If you were to introduce Planescape in to your Eberron campaign, does it then cease being an Eberron campaign, and now become a Planescape campaign?

Discuss.
Only if you leave Eberron.
Ah-ha (I had fully expected that) -- or are you now playing a Planescape game that just happens to be focusing in the Eberron world -- i.e., would it not simply be a site-specific Planescape game?  
Keep in mind, just because you have some planer travel doesn't make it a Planescape game.  To "introduce" Planescape would necessarily mean introducing elements that are unique to the setting.  
For example, lets say that the Faction War spilled-over in to Sharn .....  ???  :D


(just keep in mind that I"m just trying to have a little fun here  :p )
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 03:34:58 AM by wotmaniac »

[spoiler]
If you stop ignoring 289 pages telling what the intent is to stretch "more power" in your own god complexion of your interpretation trumps all to cover ability adjustments from aging then I will ignore a quarter page of rules that exist within a sidebar.
I think in this case the grammar is less important than whether the Str and Dex bonus provided to your created undead scales.

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Expanded Gestalt
More Savage Progressions[/spoiler]
Report any wrongs I have done here.

wotmaniac

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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2011, 04:46:50 AM »
Q6
Illusions:
Let's say we have a SCM (complete with 100+% real illusions) that is somehow able to make their greater shadow conjuration permanent.
And let's say that said spell is cast twice: once to bring forth a male of a particular species, and once to bring for the female of the same species.
And let's say that said SCM direct these two creatures to mate.

WTF?

I've got several rabbit holes for this, but I'll let this get kicked off first.

[spoiler]
If you stop ignoring 289 pages telling what the intent is to stretch "more power" in your own god complexion of your interpretation trumps all to cover ability adjustments from aging then I will ignore a quarter page of rules that exist within a sidebar.
I think in this case the grammar is less important than whether the Str and Dex bonus provided to your created undead scales.

Greenbound Summoning RAI
Expanded Gestalt
More Savage Progressions[/spoiler]
Report any wrongs I have done here.

Garryl

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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2011, 05:43:25 AM »
Q6
Illusions:
Let's say we have a SCM (complete with 100+% real illusions) that is somehow able to make their greater shadow conjuration permanent.
And let's say that said spell is cast twice: once to bring forth a male of a particular species, and once to bring for the female of the same species.
And let's say that said SCM direct these two creatures to mate.

WTF?

I've got several rabbit holes for this, but I'll let this get kicked off first.

What part of this, exactly, is the issue? I have my doubts that its the owlbears and the monkey bees part.
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wotmaniac

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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2011, 05:51:07 AM »
What part of this, exactly, is the issue? I have my doubts that its the owlbears and the monkey bees part.

Okay:
these 2 illusions mate -- and since they are 100% real, they should be able to actually produce offspring ... which can go on to produce offspring .. which can produce offspring, etc.

So let's say someone comes along and starts dispelling shit.  .....


[spoiler]
If you stop ignoring 289 pages telling what the intent is to stretch "more power" in your own god complexion of your interpretation trumps all to cover ability adjustments from aging then I will ignore a quarter page of rules that exist within a sidebar.
I think in this case the grammar is less important than whether the Str and Dex bonus provided to your created undead scales.

Greenbound Summoning RAI
Expanded Gestalt
More Savage Progressions[/spoiler]
Report any wrongs I have done here.

ShadowViper

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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2011, 06:32:28 AM »

And by the way, eggs showed up LONG before chickens.

JaronK

But then, who/what laid(layed?...bah) those eggs?  :D
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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2011, 09:36:22 AM »

And by the way, eggs showed up LONG before chickens.

JaronK

But then, who/what laid(layed?...bah) those eggs?  :D

In the context of the standard question (which has nothing to do with the origin of eggs), the egg always comes first. At some point, something that was almost-but-not-quite a chicken laid an egg, from which hatched a chicken. Evolution occurs between generations, not during. At no point did a not-chicken turn into a chicken and then lay an egg. It was always either a not-chicken or a chicken.

As to the topic at hand: This thread on 339 dealt with math, physics, and D&D. The portable hole, incidentally, is the single most dangerous item in D&D if you apply physics to it.
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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #33 on: September 05, 2011, 11:05:33 AM »
Let's say we have a SCM (complete with 100+% real illusions) that is somehow able to make their greater shadow conjuration permanent.
My left sternocleidomastoid is awesome.

Seriously, what are you talking about?

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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #34 on: September 05, 2011, 12:06:00 PM »
Let's say we have a SCM (complete with 100+% real illusions) that is somehow able to make their greater shadow conjuration permanent.
My left sternocleidomastoid is awesome.

Seriously, what are you talking about?

So you can turn your head real fast?...

Anyway the idea is a shadowcraft mage can create two perfect illusions of chickens and have them produce real eggs. Of course the chickens would be made from bits of the plane of shadow but you know w/e

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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2011, 03:06:19 PM »
Fish were around WAAAAAY before chickens, and most fish lay eggs for reproduction - therefore the egg truly was around WAAAAAY before chickens.

The question should be, as always, "What came first, the chicken or the chicken egg?"

Echoes answered it perfectly; a chicken will lay chicken eggs, but a very chicken-like creature can lay a very chicken-like egg from which would hatch the first mutated/evoluted chicken baby.  Egg is clearly the logical winner in all cases and I wonder why the question even persists to this day.


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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #36 on: September 05, 2011, 04:13:52 PM »
What part of this, exactly, is the issue? I have my doubts that its the owlbears and the monkey bees part.

Okay:
these 2 illusions mate -- and since they are 100% real, they should be able to actually produce offspring ... which can go on to produce offspring .. which can produce offspring, etc.

So let's say someone comes along and starts dispelling shit.  .....

The simplest way to do this is probably to Polymorph Any Object some Shadow Walls of Stone until they are permanently chickens.

(Which could then be dispelled into shadow walls of stone or permanently, yep?)

Personally, I'd say that either quite real Shadow Chickens hatch out of those eggs, or shadow-illusion rocks from the plane of shadow ... hatch ... out of those eggs given draconic precedent.  :p But I don't think there's a RAW explanation to exactly what happens.

Nachofan99

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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #37 on: September 06, 2011, 02:37:26 AM »
But I don't think there's a RAW explanation to exactly what happens.

A Wizard did it.  RAW.

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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #38 on: September 06, 2011, 03:08:03 AM »
But I don't think there's a RAW explanation to exactly what happens.

A Wizard did it.  RAW.

That's how it happened.

ShadowViper

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Re: The chicken or the egg?
« Reply #39 on: September 06, 2011, 02:03:31 PM »
But I don't think there's a RAW explanation to exactly what happens.

A Wizard did it.  RAW.

That's how it happened.

Word!
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