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The Thinktank => Min/Max It! => Topic started by: Endarire on January 30, 2011, 10:54:55 PM

Title: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Endarire on January 30, 2011, 10:54:55 PM
Intro
I know this document is long and linked (not board code), but itsummarizes arguments and how things work when taken, at least in part, to a logical extreme.  I assume the game isn't in a Tippyverse.

DOWNLOAD (http://antioch.snow-fall.com/~Endarire/DnD/Challenging%203.5%20and%20Pathfinder%20Parties%201%2031%2011.doc) version 1 31 11
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: X-Codes on January 30, 2011, 11:28:13 PM
I read the first half.  Taken to the logical extreme, that sounds about right, but reliable defenses means either going first or investing good deal of money into AC/Saves.  My issue is with Phases 2 and 3.  In phase 2, miss chance is decent, but AC isn't as worthless as the guy writes.  When any 1 attack can feasibly kill you, dumping your AC really isn't a good idea, especially since it's still not hard to have a decent AC.

In Phases 3 and 4, I think the guy actually overestimates pretty much any attempt at defense.  Spells start coming with no saves attached, so it just becomes a matter of negating that one immunity to that one spell you can to cast on a guy to completely negate his effectiveness in a fight until you have the time available to properly kill him.  Of course, death really doesn't mean anything at this point.  Everyone has the resources necessary to cheat death more-or-less indefinitely, and while soul destroying is possible, it's ridiculously hard to do against anything that's prepared to deal with it.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on January 31, 2011, 12:20:28 PM
Mostly accurate, but...

Way too much wanking about AMF, which any half decent caster laughs at and thanks you for, but beatsticks are shafted by as bad or worse as the casters are supposed to be. Wild Magic too, which is basically the DM saying herp derp I won't allow your class to work because GIANT FROG - which is the exact same thing the writer bitches about everywhere else.

The game is at its most RLT at the LOWEST levels.

Level 1, some random nobody herp derps you with a single swing, chances are you're going down.

Level 10, you can still die very quickly. But there's also things you can do about it to prevent yourself from dying. In other words, IP proofing measures.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: veekie on January 31, 2011, 12:49:53 PM
Yeah, up until 4th or so, getting oneshotted is practically routine.
And as you go above 10th, the number of ways to get oneshotted and the number of ways to block these ways grow like a kudzu.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Endarire on January 31, 2011, 10:12:45 PM
Sunic, veekie: May I get more specific info?

Sunic: What do you mean by "RLT?"  Also, why does an antimagic field hurt non-casters more than casters?
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: veekie on February 01, 2011, 12:55:51 AM
Level 1: Your health uses the same formula as weapon damage. 1dX+Y vs maxed 1dX+Z, where Z is usually a secondary stat and Y is a primary.
Level 2-4: Your health uses the same formula as a non power attacked critical hit/full natural attack damage dice. Except your health isn't maxed dice anymore.
Level 10+: Melee monsters can hit for twice your hp on a charge/full attack with a bit of luck to get one more attack to connect than they should. Proliferation of instakill attacks.
All levels: Save or die/lose effects. Color Spray and Sleep at early levels, with no-save-just-die stuff showing up later.

Antimagic Field: Casters in an antimagic field walk out of it(if you're using the spell, it's honestly tiny), and resume spellcasting. Terrain alteration spells and projected effects(Telekinesis hurled rocks for example) bypass it entirely, as does instantaneous barriers or in the extreme case, using Invoke Magic to get casting back in an AMF.
Meleers do not have the option of stepping back, as their role remains in close combat, however, ALL their AC based defenses derive from magic. A fighter in an AMF drops from AC in the 30s to AC in the 10s. They rely heavily on magic items for attack as well, losing a quarter of their to-hit from stat boost items and magic weapons and any additional damage sources for those relying on virtual/real size increases, enhancements and bonus damage to wreck shit.
Where a caster normally retreats out of an AMF and resumes his job, a meleer retreating out of an AMF is not doing his job of tying up the bad guy.
Monsters have no such drawback. A dragon still has its immense strength, size(hello grapple), and insane full attack, only all of them are going to hit now, even with power attack.

Long story short, AMFs bugger everyone but monsters.
Meleers get extra screwed.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Endarire on February 01, 2011, 02:38:05 AM
Updated!  Thankee!
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: veekie on February 01, 2011, 05:15:53 AM
Quote
Eye color, weight, favorite meal, and name are optional.  Such factors don’t affect the game mechanically very much.
This one did matter!
Delicious halflings.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 01, 2011, 05:27:35 AM
Quote
Eye color, weight, favorite meal, and name are optional.  Such factors don’t affect the game mechanically very much.
Clearly you've never visited a heavily trapped kobold warren.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Agita on February 01, 2011, 09:23:25 AM
Quote
Eye color, weight, favorite meal, and name are optional.  Such factors don’t affect the game mechanically very much.
This one did matter!
Delicious halflings.
Goddamn snakes with high CMB and not enough room to evade the grapple on that boat. :P
And yes, you do not want to be a halfling near a hungry Bullette.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 01, 2011, 10:37:25 AM
Sunic, veekie: May I get more specific info?

Sunic: What do you mean by "RLT?"  Also, why does an antimagic field hurt non-casters more than casters?

Rocket Launcher Tag.

The caster's response to an AMF is to calmly 5 foot step or move action out of it, and insert Conjuration: Creation spell to win encounter. As you must be a high level caster to cast AMF, and you must center the spell upon yourself, the result is a character who has turned off all of their own class features, and has no defenses to speak of, so you can blow them away trivially. Low saves, low HP, doesn't hold up so well to an Orb to the face. If said caster had not chosen to forfeit the encounter by casting AMF, they could easily have dealt with such.

The beatstick, meanwhile has lost all his magic items. Which means his stats get dropkicked through the floor, and he cannot be relevant. He can however be killed in a single enemy full attack, even if it would normally take 2 as he's down several HP per level, and has an AC around 20 regardless of what it originally was. So auto attack, PA for full, dead beatstick.

And more specific info on what?
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Endarire on February 02, 2011, 02:25:05 AM
Sunic: Why is rocket tag most pronounced at the lowest levels?
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: veekie on February 02, 2011, 03:53:46 AM
Other than the damage matter(which I already explained), at low levels, characters have the least access to immunities and resistances against save lose effects at that level and few ways even for optimisers to raise numbers.
Consider an Entangle, if you fail the save, you're stuck trying to make an absurd strength check or become unable to move or cast effectively. At higher levels, you might have Freedom of Movement or itemized teleportation to get around it.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 02, 2011, 12:09:33 PM
Sunic: Why is rocket tag most pronounced at the lowest levels?

Because you can't do shit about it.

At level 1, you die in a single attack.

At level 10, you die in one full attack.

Obviously, it's harder to deliver something that makes it so you can't move more than 5 feet than something that can get you up to 60 feet away regardless of build or actions.

If it takes two, instead of one multiple enemies. These are most common at the lowest levels, as you can pack 2 Medium size Warrior 1s into a single routine encounter (3 in Pathfailure) and anything harder than routine will have more. It won't take more than two from anything remotely level appropriate.

On the magic side...

At level 1, save or loses are DC 15 without trying, more with specialization, and you get a +1 "you exist" bonus in Pathfailure. They're all Will based.

Will saves at this level range from -1 (some beatstick with 8 Wis) to +6 (standard divine caster, becomes +7 in Pathfailure). Ignoring the outliers, that's a greater than 50% chance of being negated in 1 action. In some cases it's as high as 75%. Even if you count divine casters, it still has a 40% success rate against them. With no specialization.

At level 10, save DCs will be a bit higher. Probably around DC 21 if you're not trying, +1 "you exist" bonus in Pathfailure. But you can IP proof a whole lot better with immunities, and save boosters, and so forth. Passing level appropriate saves on a 2-5 is not that hard. Sure you could still have bad saves, but then either your DM is coddling you, or you're dying all the time.

Basically, the higher level you are, the more forcefields you have to block enemy rockets. This assumes you have a competent DM though. If you have a herp derper, expect him to get mad about becoming outright immune to anything, and make the game even more Rocket Tag by removing defenses from it, leaving only the offenses.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Endarire on February 02, 2011, 09:43:28 PM
Thanks, Sunic!  But explain what you mean by "IP Proofing."
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: oslecamo on February 02, 2011, 10:22:14 PM
Antimagic Field: Casters in an antimagic field walk out of it(if you're using the spell, it's honestly tiny), and resume spellcasting. Terrain alteration spells and projected effects(Telekinesis hurled rocks for example) bypass it entirely, as does instantaneous barriers or in the extreme case,
You truly never saw the lockdown build? Ticket of blades, standstill,  and some other feats and the oponent cannot 5-foot step or move away at all.

using Invoke Magic to get casting back in an AMF.
Also a spell higher level than AMF itself, and only a wizard can afford to learn it, so not always a possibility.

Meleers do not have the option of stepping back, as their role remains in close combat, however, ALL their AC based defenses derive from magic. A fighter in an AMF drops from AC in the 30s to AC in the 10s.
You mean the AC the fighter was droping anyway to go all shock trooper on his oponents?

They rely heavily on magic items for attack as well, losing a quarter of their to-hit from stat boost items and magic weapons and any additional damage sources for those relying on virtual/real size increases, enhancements and bonus damage to wreck shit.
On the other hand, the monster also lost his Su defenses and SLA buffs. And most of a melee's damage comes from power attack shenigans, not magic buffs. The fighter mostly needs magic buffs to protect himself against, you guessed it, magic attacks. Conjuration effects like Fogs/ entangle can easily be dealt by IRON HEART SURGE.

Where a caster normally retreats out of an AMF and resumes his job, a meleer retreating out of an AMF is not doing his job of tying up the bad guy.
If your fighter cannot lock down a magicless caster, what chance does he have to lockdown the monster?

If he can lockdown the angry dragon, then he damn well can lock down the magicless caster.

Monsters have no such drawback. A dragon still has its immense strength, size(hello grapple), and insane full attack, only all of them are going to hit now, even with power attack.
They were going to hit before anyway. Specially with the dragon's magic buffs and arcane strike.

Long story short, AMFs bugger everyone but monsters.
Lots of monsters are dangerous because they have dangerous Su abilities and SLAs. AMF can bugger them a good deal.

Meleers get extra screwed.
Well, if they were so badly built that they really needed that +5 from magic weapon and can't even trip a magicless caster, they were screwed either way.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 03, 2011, 02:33:08 AM
There's also the "shrunken wizard hat of awesome"
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Shadeseraph on February 03, 2011, 04:26:58 AM
Antimagic Field: Casters in an antimagic field walk out of it(if you're using the spell, it's honestly tiny), and resume spellcasting. Terrain alteration spells and projected effects(Telekinesis hurled rocks for example) bypass it entirely, as does instantaneous barriers or in the extreme case,
You truly never saw the lockdown build? Ticket of blades, standstill,  and some other feats and the oponent cannot 5-foot step or move away at all.
Ok, I'm gonna pull a big, fat strawman, ¿Ok? Be ready
Two words: Abrupt Jaunt. Well, or Celerity, really. It's lovely to have actions just before your enemy pulls the AMF close to you. Which, generalized, comes as: It's far more difficult to make a caster enter into an AMF than to make a fighter enter it.
Anyway, we are comparing the effectivity of a character in an AMF, not pitching one against the other. Most stand still builds require some kind of to hit improvement to build their damage through power attack (so that the save DC is high enough), and this improvement is usually obtained through magical items, given that Shock Trooper is not available because of charging and staying near enemies who can't move being somewhat hard to mix. Stormguard Warrior could be used for the damage without damaging your attack roll, but it requires setup, which is pretty much horrible for a lockdown build.

using Invoke Magic to get casting back in an AMF.
Also a spell higher level than AMF itself, and only a wizard can afford to learn it, so not always a possibility.
That's a nice spell to have. I'll have to look for it.

Meleers do not have the option of stepping back, as their role remains in close combat, however, ALL their AC based defenses derive from magic. A fighter in an AMF drops from AC in the 30s to AC in the 10s.
You mean the AC the fighter was droping anyway to go all shock trooper on his oponents?
Well, you yourself put an example of a beatstick who needed AC (the lockdown one). It's usually not pretty healthy going standstill without AC. And he requires those magical enhancements to threat range. And the Shock trooper fighter needs to be able to charge through difficult terrain or against flying opponents, both things he can (mostly) only get through magic. And, while a Shock Trooper can get out of a AMF as easily as a caster, he loses the posibility to charge in that same turn.

They rely heavily on magic items for attack as well, losing a quarter of their to-hit from stat boost items and magic weapons and any additional damage sources for those relying on virtual/real size increases, enhancements and bonus damage to wreck shit.
On the other hand, the monster also lost his Su defenses and SLA buffs. And most of a melee's damage comes from power attack shenigans, not magic buffs. The fighter mostly needs magic buffs to protect himself against, you guessed it, magic attacks. Conjuration effects like Fogs/ entangle can easily be dealt by IRON HEART SURGE.
Well, too many monsters are a threat without any spellcasting or Su or Sp ability at all. That said, in some cases this applies.

Where a caster normally retreats out of an AMF and resumes his job, a meleer retreating out of an AMF is not doing his job of tying up the bad guy.
If your fighter cannot lock down a magicless caster, what chance does he have to lockdown the monster?

If he can lockdown the angry dragon, then he damn well can lock down the magicless caster.
You aren't locking a caster. Most of the time, you are pitched against a powerful melee monster who happens to have AMF available.
And he can lockdown a dragon thanks to those magic items. Try locking a dragon when you are unable to fly, and your threat range is the standard 10 feet.

Which, BTW, is the radius of AMF, so you'd have him exactly where you want. Not that that matters, or anything... :P
I love deconstructing myself.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: veekie on February 03, 2011, 05:39:13 AM
Quote
You aren't locking a caster. Most of the time, you are pitched against a powerful melee monster who happens to have AMF available.
And he can lockdown a dragon thanks to those magic items. Try locking a dragon when you are unable to fly, and your threat range is the standard 10 feet.
Exactly, any standard PC race caster using AMF is likely using shenanigans to get around getting his own spells shut off(usually by excluding himself from the effect somehow), monstrous spellcasters are the issue, with the worst offender being dragons.
A dragon who raised an AMF is the biggest baddest bruiser around. And good luck resisting the grapple.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: oslecamo on February 03, 2011, 08:45:05 AM
Quote
You aren't locking a caster. Most of the time, you are pitched against a powerful melee monster who happens to have AMF available.
And he can lockdown a dragon thanks to those magic items. Try locking a dragon when you are unable to fly, and your threat range is the standard 10 feet.
Exactly, any standard PC race caster using AMF is likely using shenanigans to get around getting his own spells shut off(usually by excluding himself from the effect somehow), monstrous spellcasters are the issue, with the worst offender being dragons.
A dragon who raised an AMF is the biggest baddest bruiser around.
He also made itself unable to use celerity shenigans, so hey, actually easier to lockdown! Dragons have excellent natural stats... But if the casters are using and abusing celerity, then the dragon just commited suicide by droping all his magic options.

This is, how precisely does the AMF dragon catches up with the celerity/abrupt jaunt wizard that just laughs and teleports away whenever the dragon aproaches?  The fighter just made the dragon to drop his only chance of victory!

And good luck resisting the grapple.
Close combat quarters.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Shadeseraph on February 03, 2011, 09:31:42 AM
Quote
You aren't locking a caster. Most of the time, you are pitched against a powerful melee monster who happens to have AMF available.
And he can lockdown a dragon thanks to those magic items. Try locking a dragon when you are unable to fly, and your threat range is the standard 10 feet.
Exactly, any standard PC race caster using AMF is likely using shenanigans to get around getting his own spells shut off(usually by excluding himself from the effect somehow), monstrous spellcasters are the issue, with the worst offender being dragons.
A dragon who raised an AMF is the biggest baddest bruiser around.
He also made itself unable to use celerity shenigans, so hey, actually easier to lockdown! Dragons have excellent natural stats... But if the casters are using and abusing celerity, then the dragon just commited suicide by droping all his magic options.

This is, how precisely does the AMF dragon catches up with the celerity/abrupt jaunt wizard that just laughs and teleports away whenever the dragon aproaches?  The fighter just made the dragon to drop his only chance of victory!

And good luck resisting the grapple.
Close combat quarters.


Frankly, I don't think much of AMF. I have to agree with oslecamo that a dragon is a far more dangerous enemy with his breath and his spells than with an AMF and his bulk. AMF is kind of like turtling, but with magic. You sacrifice options for a theoric defense against a large range of spells. The only thing I see this usefull for is to avoid being killed by a wizard's shivering touch, and there are better options for that.

What I'm saying is that nobody has that much to gain by using an AMF. The only reason I can find to use one is if you have things like chosen of Mystra, or Extraordinary Spell Aim, and even then I find AMF more useful to casters than to fighters.

Anyway, and going back to the standstiller... to be effective in your lockdown strategy, you need some way to avoid being killed, in addition to a way to stop the creature. In my experience, this is usually a mix of maintaining your distance (by having a greater reach than your opponent) and being able to shut down ranged threats, such as sp abilities and the like. You don't have problems with the later, because of the AMF, but the same AMF makes you lose your increased range, which, in most cases, depends on magic abilities.
And most dragons by that level have at least a range of 15 due to being huge.

Again, Enlarge + spiked chain + aberrant reach = range 20', which is at least 5' more than you need to keep yourself outside of the AMF.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: veekie on February 03, 2011, 04:20:12 PM
IIRC large creatures could make it so the AMF emanates from a body part(seeing as said dragon is significantly larger than the area anyway), but, it still remains that the AMF SPELL would screw a tank worse than a caster. Other sources of AMF may vary in their effectiveness, but generally don't help make the game more fun.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 03, 2011, 05:54:02 PM
Thanks, Sunic!  But explain what you mean by "IP Proofing."

IP stands for Iterative Probability. While it is common knowledge in optimizer circles that luck is the enemy, IP Proofing codifies both the term used to describe it, and the measures used to obtain it.

The principle of IP proofing is simple. Campaigns are long. They will contain combat. PCs must win every combat to win. Team Monster must win a single combat to win. For this reason even small chances to fail in any given fight quickly approach one over the course of a campaign, and if you have a large chance to fail in any given fight, you will die all the fucking time. And because of the skewed victory conditions, a "large chance" can be as low as 10%. In other words, 90% chance to win a fight = your character is more likely than not dead on the seventh fight. Since there are 13 and a third fights a level, and therefore that's only about half of a single level, clearly this is unworkable.

The act of IP proofing a character is the means by which you get that failure rate as low as you possibly can, preferably to the fractional percentage levels. This requires high enough saves to pass level appropriate effects on a 2 or better, immunities to common effects to further protect you, and block the no save, you die effects, means of avoiding full attacks, real defenses (Blink, Mirror Image, miss chances), anti ray defenses (Ring of Entropic Deflection, Ray Deflection, etc) among other things. Rerolls for example, to further mitigate the 1s.

It is not possible to IP proof low level characters. You cannot get your saves high enough to do so, don't really have immunities and abilities, etc. Mid level characters can be IP proofed. High level characters are relatively easy to IP proof.

It is also not possible to IP proof Pathfailure characters. They left saves the same or lower, depending on class, things that boost saves other than the basic, and not good enough by itself cloak are not available, and they had a big thing about whining about immunities, mostly because they could not accept that the game changes fundamentally every few levels. The best you can do is go all casters, spam save or loses, and never let the enemy get a turn. Rocket Tag at its most extreme, because you have no forcefields (read: IP proofing techniques) to block it.

If it were not for this though, it'd work the same way in Pathfailure as the Fast progression is exactly the same as 3.5 leveling. If the DM is an idiot, and let's face it, we're talking Pathfailure, so they likely are he will instead use Medium or Slow. This of course completely fucks over everyone, as you now need even more IP proofing measures to get anywhere. But you can't get them. So feel free to treat it as a bad video game. Not to mention making everything more grindy, slow, and unrewarding. Also something the Pathfailures like way too much.

But back to 3.5. IP proofing is necessary for campaign survival. Even normal power campaigns will quickly rack up a death toll. By IP proofing your character, you both preserve your character so you can continue playing and enjoying them and preserve campaign continuity. Both are obviously desirable. The only other alternatives is that the DM undermines the entire campaign by cheating, or that the entire campaign is undermined by a revolving door of characters. Not the same characters leaving and coming back. Different characters.

For you see, Raise Dead, which I know people are probably wanting to mention by now makes you lose levels and lose money. If it just happens once, this is ignorable. Thing is, once you die once, you're down a level. So it's easier to die again. And now you're a cohort, with substantially nerfed treasure. Which means the whole party, including you is better off if you just make a new character, and you certainly are not going to be able to contribute after that second death.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 03, 2011, 06:34:24 PM
. PCs must win every combat to win.

Wrong.

You see, as a tabletop game, DnD isn't like, say, an MMO or a first person shooter
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Unbeliever on February 03, 2011, 06:56:34 PM
. PCs must win every combat to win.

Wrong.

You see, as a tabletop game, DnD isn't like, say, an MMO or a first person shooter
I would also see Revivify as the solution to this, as well as similar effects.

Unless we mean by "lose" that every PC dies in a given encounter.  That makes the iterative probability a lot harder to calculate, though. 
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 03, 2011, 07:07:35 PM
. PCs must win every combat to win.

Wrong.

You see, as a tabletop game, DnD isn't like, say, an MMO or a first person shooter

I chose to leave out the things that are worse than death that also occur on a loss. Including them makes me more right, not less. By all means, destroy your own argument by trying to include them.

If D&D was like an MMO or an FPS, you'd just respawn, and your side losing doesn't matter so much.

Now Revivify is actually a legitimate point, as it is an IP proofing measure that does not make you lose levels. It does however still have a fair number of limitations, starting with the fact it takes two people's actions, both of which have to be close to get you back in the right. Otherwise they just hit you once, and well that was a waste of 1k now wasn't it? And if the second action was a weak Heal (read: anything not named Heal) see OHKO anyways. Craft Contingent Revivify + Heal gets around the action and time problems, but is fucking expensive as hell. It is funny to have literal auto life though.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Endarire on February 03, 2011, 08:16:52 PM
Revenance (Spell Compendium) helps use revivify, but requires another spell prep.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 03, 2011, 08:38:04 PM
Revenance (Spell Compendium) helps use revivify, but requires another spell prep.

Well then that's three, though one can come after the fight. And Revenance revives at half, so you still need a strong heal in there (which is one of the three, by the way). Still a nice IP proofing measure, and one I've used before, but it isn't like dying stops mattering.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: ninjarabbit on February 03, 2011, 08:54:05 PM
PCs don't need to 'win' every encounter, they just merely need to survive.

Running away to live to fight another day is a perfectly viable tactic, hell George Washington became a legendary general primarily by finding creative ways of escaping the British.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: dark_samuari on February 03, 2011, 11:48:48 PM
There is also an assumption being made that every opponent the party faces wants to kill them instead of perhaps knocking them out for later use (which opens up a different sub-plot).
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: veekie on February 04, 2011, 03:02:42 AM
There is also an assumption being made that every opponent the party faces wants to kill them instead of perhaps knocking them out for later use (which opens up a different sub-plot).
Thats what he mean by 'worse than dead' though no DM I've ever played under actually had capture not wind up interesting and significantly better than death.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 04, 2011, 11:19:32 AM
There is also an assumption being made that every opponent the party faces wants to kill them instead of perhaps knocking them out for later use (which opens up a different sub-plot).
Thats what he mean by 'worse than dead' though no DM I've ever played under actually had capture not wind up interesting and significantly better than death.

It's one example. Condemned to rot in jail and be a DM bitch forever, or lose magic items, or become an undead or something. All are far worse than simply dying, and none leave openings for things like dying well. It's the same result regardless - delete, reroll. Just forced retirement is considerably more offensive than death.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: veekie on February 04, 2011, 03:17:00 PM
I'm guessing you didn't have any fun escapes in your formative experiences while the BBEG is busy monologuing. Or actually going to trial(and the resulting fun).

Leveled characters are too uncommon to waste rotting in a cell. And the captors don't tend to have read the Evil Overlord's List.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Shiki on February 04, 2011, 04:34:06 PM
Recuring vilain which is supposedly Epic which you can't harm in anyway because you are too weak and always let you live in the end because it is always funnier that way.

I'm locked in jail, me: "I Teleport out." DM: "Doesn't work." Me: "I Plane Shift out." DM: "Doesn't work." Me: "I blast the fuck out of the cell..." DM: "After your futile attempt at escaping, you see that your spell hasn't even scratched the walls."

Etc.

I Fail to see how these can be fun for you if every attempt just get Rule 0'd out (some just don't want to be caught in those situations because it freaking sucks tbh) because it destroys The Plot. DM needs to adapt himself to what his PCs are doing in his world, not the other way around.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 04, 2011, 04:38:32 PM
I'm guessing you didn't have any fun escapes in your formative experiences while the BBEG is busy monologuing. Or actually going to trial(and the resulting fun).

Leveled characters are too uncommon to waste rotting in a cell. And the captors don't tend to have read the Evil Overlord's List.

So in other words:

The DM must be coddling (speaking is a free action, even when it is not your turn).
The DM must be coddling (enemies not reading the Evil Overlord's handbook, even if they are neither Evil nor an Overlord).
The DM must be coddling (for you to be able to defeat the enemies you could not defeat with all your gear and spells without either of those things).

If the DM is not coddling, you are irrevocably fucked. Also, if the DM is coddling, he's pretty much just fucking with you for the lulz.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 04, 2011, 04:58:32 PM
(speaking is a free action, even when it is not your turn).
Quote
Speaking more than few sentences is generally beyond the limit of a free action.


And besides, given that there are monsters with spellcasting>CR, everyone is subject to the same so-called "DM coddling", since otherwise your party gets killed to death by a party of supposedly CR-appropriate sharns and cloaker lords who can outcast you.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 04, 2011, 06:39:36 PM
If you play it that way, then the BBEG wastes his turn, and you fucking kill him, because wasting your turn is suicide in D&D. But that just means you don't get a monologue at all.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: dark_samuari on February 04, 2011, 07:11:56 PM
There is also an assumption being made that every opponent the party faces wants to kill them instead of perhaps knocking them out for later use (which opens up a different sub-plot).
Thats what he mean by 'worse than dead' though no DM I've ever played under actually had capture not wind up interesting and significantly better than death.

It's one example. Condemned to rot in jail and be a DM bitch forever, or lose magic items, or become an undead or something. All are far worse than simply dying, and none leave openings for things like dying well. It's the same result regardless - delete, reroll. Just forced retirement is considerably more offensive than death.

No one is saying that once defeated in combat the players are bound in chains forever. And while I enjoy your praise towards a truly Norse-like death scene, death is not the finale for every combat scene. Hell there are some encounters that the party will lose to open up parts of the story.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Midnight_v on February 04, 2011, 07:22:20 PM
 Interesting stuff overall despite the sudden "Lets dispute Sunic even when he's right" turn at the end.
In the end the RHOD came out it kinda showed somethings like yeah you CAN get captured but getting captured should have some consequence. Nominally, a combat loss = death/or worse than death. Even if you DON'T get death. You're LOSING the story because while you're in prison fighting to protect your sweet virginity you're not out stopping
the Urophions army from winning. . . In the end yeah the pc's need to lose BUT once: Unless the dm is "Not gonna let that happen" thats one of the many reasons that TPK's are so shitty.

Something that really jumped out at me righ from the begining.

Quote
Regardless, if the party is outmatched, fleeing is the wise and sane thing to do.  Player instincts may go, “Wuh?” when a well-prepared level 5 group encounters several creatures meant for level 10 characters and is expected to flee.  
I've never had a p.c. in one of my games run or anything of the sort.. . . from anything. I've never as a pc "Flee" or anything of the sort. from anything.
 Maybe its the moxy-crimefighter mentality or just Hardcore hero's, and maybe because heroic adventure means everybody know's thier supposed to win.
  I rember once were were something like Level 5 and we walk in on one of the inevitables doing something (can't rember what) this almost immediately led to combat. We died. This kinda led to a scenario where everybody was like... "Why the fuck did you OUT Cr us like that"/"You weren't supposed to fight it : in unison fuck you!
  So you know, throwing around great red dragons or Pit Fiends at level 3 to give emphasis to the game or whyever people do that is... not unique or scary but mostly annoying because if its a story prop it needs to be kept on the "you're not in range to do anything about it" or lots of pc's totally will, if nothing else because that thing is likley as not to be a damned illusion.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: dark_samuari on February 04, 2011, 07:31:55 PM
Interesting stuff overall despite the sudden "Lets dispute Sunic even when he's right" turn at the end.
In the end the RHOD came out it kinda showed somethings like yeah you CAN get captured but getting captured should have some consequence. Nominally, a combat loss = death/or worse than death. Even if you DON'T get death. You're LOSING the story because while you're in prison fighting to protect your sweet virginity you're not out stopping
the Urophions army from winning. . . In the end yeah the pc's need to lose BUT once: Unless the dm is "Not gonna let that happen" thats one of the many reasons that TPK's are so shitty.

There are some adventures where you want/need to get captured or put into prison.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 04, 2011, 07:35:12 PM
You know, at this point I don't even have to say anything. The pro herp derp crowd is doing a better job of shooting down herp derp than me, with such gems as "But... how do I RAILROAD without beating my PCs down with my shrunken penis?"

The answer of course is that you learn to be a real DM, who can write stories the PCs are actually interested in, then you won't have to force and dick them around to get them to go on those adventures. And while this is certainly advice the little MBF could stand to take, it in no way changes the fact that capturing is a fate worse than death.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: dark_samuari on February 05, 2011, 02:25:26 AM
And while this is certainly advice the little MBF could stand to take, it in no way changes the fact that capturing is a fate worse than death.

Could you please elaborate on this? 
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: PlzBreakMyCampaign on February 05, 2011, 04:10:04 AM
Coming in elemental form to say that Sunic is doing much, much better than usual. I'm actually enjoying one of endaire's discussion threads, though perhaps that's because I'm smart enough to stay away from PF. Carry on
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: veekie on February 05, 2011, 04:45:15 AM
If the DM is not coddling, you are irrevocably fucked. Also, if the DM is coddling, he's pretty much just fucking with you for the lulz.
That would apply to anything in the game. Theres no way to succeed at anything if the DM is not 'coddling', theres no practical way to defeat NPCs with all their wealth sunken into expendable magic(which they naturally blow on your encounter all at once), optimised or not.

Thing is, for a good DM, everything is a way to advance the plot. Sure, you're captured PoWs, you're also within striking distance of the enemy leadership now, or stuck in captivity with the hundreds of other dissidents you can rally to overthrow the prison.
Perhaps you're chained up and bereft of your equipment, but it's a common expectation for villains to be overconfident and stupid, with good reason. Allies might smuggle equipment to you, you might learn valuable information. And all of these can be accomplished, free or not, all that changed is where you're starting from.

Not everything in the world is trying to kill you. Just most things.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 05, 2011, 09:36:18 AM
Coming in elemental form to say that Sunic is doing much, much better than usual. I'm actually enjoying one of endaire's discussion threads, though perhaps that's because I'm smart enough to stay away from PF. Carry on

Mostly because I only start smiting when people are being imbeciles. Since there's little of that here...

Elaboration: If your adventure is interesting, PCs will pursue it willingly. If it is not interesting, they will not. If you have to railroad, it's because you need a better adventure. As such, something that serves no purpose but railroading literally does nothing but promote bad DMing. As for the being captured itself, it's really very simple:

1: It is as difficult, or harder to take someone alive than it is to kill them. Most often harder.
2: It is considerably more difficult to keep someone as a living prisoner than to kill them and keep them dead.
3: The PCs, however will not be holding back.

Any group strong enough to defeat the PCs, despite these factors and capture them, and who now also has the advantage of stripping them of spells, magic items, etc is completely untouchable to the PCs. They are irrevocably fucked, assuming that the enemy is in any way competent. If they aren't, then the DM was just fucking with you for the lulz and wasting your time. So just tilt your camera around, as if this were a bad video game to find the massive hole in the wall that should be very obvious from the perspective of the character, and escape in 5 seconds. Either way, it's still a fate worse than death, as either way you have to delete and reroll to continue play. However while there is no question that you can delete and reroll a dead character, a bad DM, such as the type to necessitate such railroading, douchebagish measures in the first place is likely to force you to be stuck with an unplayable character. And if you did get thrown into the worst prison ever, so that you actually can escape from it that still means he's the type to fuck with you for the lulz, so in that case the solution becomes to get out of that campaign.

And the NPC consumable thing is complete and utter fail. Try again, this time getting it right.

NPCs need to use consumables like crazy just to be a threat at all. They also get three times as much wealth as typical encounters, so if they don't use consumables they give way too much treasure (in the form of vendor trash, but still). Such an NPC is very beatable, and it certainly isn't something you have no practical means of doing. Not even close. Try sucking less, as humanoid NPCs are the easiest opponents in the entire game.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: dark_samuari on February 05, 2011, 06:30:44 PM
Sunic how would you handle a campaign, like Eyes of the Lich Queen, which involves the players having to get in contact with a well known criminal in a very harsh prison to read the tattoo on his back?
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Midnight_v on February 05, 2011, 07:00:28 PM
Sunic how would you handle a campaign, like Eyes of the Lich Queen, which involves the players having to get in contact with a well known criminal in a very harsh prison to read the tattoo on his back?
You know there are a lot of variables that could be taken into account from that little blurb.
Briefly, what are the specifics of that campaign for those of us who don't have the module.
Cause there's like a HUGE amount of things that could be done right there to accomplish said task,
that don't involve going into said prison... at all...
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Endarire on February 05, 2011, 07:23:52 PM
Contact other plane was my first thought.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 05, 2011, 07:31:32 PM
I cast Scrying.

Hi Welcome
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 05, 2011, 07:41:13 PM
Because your DM doesn't coddle you, and yet doesn't put any defenses against level appropriate threats on a high security prison?
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 05, 2011, 07:47:01 PM
So every prisoner has Mind Blank? That's quite some prison. And you afford mass Mind Blank on level 7 NPC WBL how, again?
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: dark_samuari on February 05, 2011, 08:27:41 PM
I cast Scrying.

Hi Welcome

The adventure is for four 5th level characters, you won't have access to scrying yet.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 05, 2011, 08:54:17 PM
So every prisoner has Mind Blank? That's quite some prison. And you afford mass Mind Blank on level 7 NPC WBL how, again?
It's not that expensive to make the prison impossible to scry upon.  There's wondrous architecture that'll prevent any scrying attempts on an area. 

If we're assuming this is a state prison or something similar (and not coddling the players by forcing the warden to buy everything), since it works out to around 700 gp per prisoner or so to make your high-security prison unscryable there isn't any reason why it shouldn't be. 
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Endarire on February 05, 2011, 09:13:58 PM
What about using social skills and convincing/paying others to infiltrate the prison?
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: dark_samuari on February 05, 2011, 09:41:53 PM
What about using social skills and convincing/paying others to infiltrate the prison?

Certainly an option but issues of verification & assurance arise.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Midnight_v on February 06, 2011, 11:03:07 AM
So every prisoner has Mind Blank? That's quite some prison. And you afford mass Mind Blank on level 7 NPC WBL how, again?
It's not that expensive to make the prison impossible to scry upon.  There's wondrous architecture that'll prevent any scrying attempts on an area. 

If we're assuming this is a state prison or something similar (and not coddling the players by forcing the warden to buy everything), since it works out to around 700 gp per prisoner or so to make your high-security prison unscryable there isn't any reason why it shouldn't be. 
Why do you keep saying "coddling"? Are you quoting him or something? It doesn't seem like you mean the same thing he does, so maybe you aren't getting it. We're not breaking into the tower of dis, its a 5th level module. 
  In anycase, all that  wodrous architecture is irrelavant because we're talking about a specific campaign. I don't have the book but as people who write modules don't have any idea how strong divination can be.
I suppose at level 5 I'd use something like clairaudience and or chain of eyes you could pretty much just buy a scroll of sending I imagine, but of course this depends on the rules of the jail.
  If he gets outside time at all, ever it gets much easier.
  And of course you could very well send some of the more popular familiars in with a note passenger pigeon style. A tiny viper has a +15 hide check, a rat has a +16, not to mention you can do things like cast invis, or fly on it. Psicrystals might be even better at it honestly Diminuative +12, +2 dex = 14 hide + a climb speed and telepathic speech. No real need to get captured really.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 06, 2011, 11:41:41 AM
Level 5? You buy a scroll of Scrying and make a CL check (90% chance to succeed without CL buffs). And you completely bypass the mundane, railroading adventure.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Midnight_v on February 06, 2011, 11:47:51 AM
Again I find myself wondering if Sunic_Flames has me on ignore...   :twitch
Me:
Quote
I suppose at level 5 I'd use something like clairaudience and or chain of eyes you could pretty much just buy a scroll of sending I imagine, but of course this depends on the rules of the jail.
:lol
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: veekie on February 06, 2011, 11:52:55 AM
Still needs an accurate target(not hard), and provided that the site isn't magically warded or more simply, lead shielded(not hard either, unless you're into leadplating every single surface).

And of course for the players to decide who's going to give up some of their valuable lewts to get a single one use magic item. :D
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Midnight_v on February 06, 2011, 11:58:50 AM
Still needs an accurate target(not hard), and provided that the site isn't magically warded or more simply, lead shielded(not hard either, unless you're into leadplating every single surface).

And of course for the players to decide who's going to give up some of their valuable lewts to get a single one use magic item. :D
Seriously if it keeps the bard from getting railroaded into jail with a bunch of half orgers then I'm sure he'll fit the bill.
 :D
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 06, 2011, 02:03:33 PM
Scrying =/= Sending.

Also, it's 700 gold. Which is a lot less than you lose if you are railroaded into losing all equipment forever. Not to mention you actually succeed, instead of failing, and can then move on to an adventure that does not suck.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Midnight_v on February 06, 2011, 03:30:28 PM
Scrying =/= Sending.

Also, it's 700 gold. Which is a lot less than you lose if you are railroaded into losing all equipment forever. Not to mention you actually succeed, instead of failing, and can then move on to an adventure that does not suck.
:banghead

Fair enough.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: dark_samuari on February 06, 2011, 04:35:42 PM
Scrying =/= Sending.

Also, it's 700 gold. Which is a lot less than you lose if you are railroaded into losing all equipment forever. Not to mention you actually succeed, instead of failing, and can then move on to an adventure that does not suck.

Sending doesn't compel the convict to aid you.

In addition I am still getting confused on the absolutism towards any confinement as a player. The moment a player is confined in say a prison or sub-terrain cave system is the campaign awful? Some of the coolest adventures/campaigns involve prison heists.

I'm seriously surprised that none of you, in all your haste to prove how terrific magic is, didn't utilize a perfectly mundane manner to approach the problem. Produce a forgery indicating you are new prison guards.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 06, 2011, 05:03:13 PM
Scrying however allows you to see him. And if you only need a message on his back, you're actually already done. If you actually need to get the guy out, Teleport twice and it's done.

And yes, adventures instantly and automatically become utter fail the moment you try and force fates worse than death as a railroading measure.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Midnight_v on February 06, 2011, 05:05:46 PM
Quote
Sending doesn't compel the convict to aid you.
Hmm... send him a diplomacy check.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: veekie on February 07, 2011, 05:19:52 AM
Scrying =/= Sending.

Also, it's 700 gold. Which is a lot less than you lose if you are railroaded into losing all equipment forever. Not to mention you actually succeed, instead of failing, and can then move on to an adventure that does not suck.

Sending doesn't compel the convict to aid you.

In addition I am still getting confused on the absolutism towards any confinement as a player. The moment a player is confined in say a prison or sub-terrain cave system is the campaign awful? Some of the coolest adventures/campaigns involve prison heists.

I'm seriously surprised that none of you, in all your haste to prove how terrific magic is, didn't utilize a perfectly mundane manner to approach the problem. Produce a forgery indicating you are new prison guards.
Well...if the boss has read the Evil Overlords List....

Speaking of teleports, ever tried the fun option of getting captured on purpose(sans most of your gear), just so your buddies have a scrying target to teleport a strike team in?
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 07, 2011, 08:42:26 AM
And yes, adventures instantly and automatically become utter fail the moment you try and force fates worse than death as a railroading measure.
You've thrown around the term "fate worse than death" before.

I don't agree.

For me, a fate worse than the death of my character is the following:
Step 1: Characters and monsters roll initiative.  Characters win, due to OMGWTFBBQ hax of the init boosting and celerity sorts.
Step 2: The next caster up kills the monster with the highest initiative with a save or die.  Split up loot.
Step 3: Wash, rinse, and repeat via divination + teleport.

Which is the game style you seem to be advocating.  I'm far more interested in a game where interesting things happen.  I am profoundly bored by rocket tag.  As a player, I avoid characters who use it.  As a DM, I avoid monster who use it.  The only thing that is more tedious than rocket tag is rocket tag where your chance of losing is infinitesimal.  At that point there's no reason to bother with statting characters up.  Have a d100.  Whenever there's a combat, roll it.  You get a 1, you're dead.  Anything else, you win.  You're just playing a really overcomplicated game of magical tea party, since 90% of your character sheet never matter.

Headbutting a guard with your smite evil, stealing his keys and rescuing the imprisoned fellow party members is an interesting occurrence.  Grappling the guy who killed your clan into the ocean, knowing full well your adamantine armor will sink both of you into a watery grave is an interesting occurrence.  Both of those are things that you claim are somehow worse than playing a build where you always go first and nobody can save against your mass flesh to salt DCs.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: BrokeAndDrive on February 07, 2011, 09:31:43 AM
Curious that everyone talking about antimagic field never accounts for Sculpt Spell.  It's cheesy, but no less cheesy than dipping Mindbender for Mindsight, yet everyone masturbates to that shit (never account for the fact that any DM with half a brain and one testicle will ban the likes of Mindsight and Lifesense, and the Polymorph line and Incantatrix and...).

So why doesn't anyone take into account Sculpt Spell?
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Solo on February 07, 2011, 09:33:04 AM
That metamagic feat you keep using... I do not think it works the way you think it works.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Bloody Initiate on February 07, 2011, 09:52:28 AM
I am profoundly bored by rocket tag.

+1
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: veekie on February 07, 2011, 10:50:53 AM
I am profoundly bored by rocket tag.

+1
+2
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 07, 2011, 11:24:47 AM
Scrying =/= Sending.

Also, it's 700 gold. Which is a lot less than you lose if you are railroaded into losing all equipment forever. Not to mention you actually succeed, instead of failing, and can then move on to an adventure that does not suck.

Sending doesn't compel the convict to aid you.

In addition I am still getting confused on the absolutism towards any confinement as a player. The moment a player is confined in say a prison or sub-terrain cave system is the campaign awful? Some of the coolest adventures/campaigns involve prison heists.

I'm seriously surprised that none of you, in all your haste to prove how terrific magic is, didn't utilize a perfectly mundane manner to approach the problem. Produce a forgery indicating you are new prison guards.
Well...if the boss has read the Evil Overlords List....

Speaking of teleports, ever tried the fun option of getting captured on purpose(sans most of your gear), just so your buddies have a scrying target to teleport a strike team in?

So in other words, willingly accept a fate worse than death?

If you are bored with Rocket Tag, you are bored with D&D. D&D is Rocket Tag. Putting down your own rocket launcher doesn't make the rockets go away. It just means you are dead weight to your party, and an open target for enemy rocket launchers.

We get it. You think it is Fun to Fail(tm), and would be better off playing a Paizil Gunslinger, which rewards self destructive behavior than a real game with real classes.

However, the rest of us would like to succeed. Accomplish character goals, advance plots of the non railroading variety, and get shit done. To do that you need rockets, to keep up, and you need IP proofing, so you don't get slaughtered a half dozen fights in. This is a CO board, that means most people are here to optimize success. You are the odd man out.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 07, 2011, 03:21:58 PM

If you are bored with Rocket Tag, you are bored with D&D. D&D is Rocket Tag.
Only if you're getting in a pissing contest with the DM.  The game is perfectly functional without rocket tag provided people (including the DM) are familiar with the system.  Since we already have a social agreement in place to prevent everyone from Pun-punning, this should not be a new concept.

Since evidently you're the kind of person who defects in the prisoner's dilemma every time, I see no reason why I'd ever want to play a social game with you.

Or, to put it another, more cliche manner:It's not about whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Talore on February 07, 2011, 05:37:29 PM
You know, I'm completely agreeing with TML. Optimization can be fun, but D&D is a roleplaying game. You know how wonderfully the game works when not everyone is vying to be a dragonwrought kobold, or an ubercharger? It's a pretty fucking awesome game. Because you aren't optimized out the ass doesn't mean you "Like to Suck." Honestly that kind of mentality turns D&D into WoW. D&D is not rocket tag. Competitive D&D is rocket tag, which is more akin to public ego masturbation than playing a game, IMO. You can have games with fighters and rogues, where the party needs to infiltrate/break a prison, and not have it railroaded/suck. You know how bloody fun solo games are?!?! You can play a frigging expert and have more fun than rocket tag.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Bester on February 07, 2011, 07:04:16 PM
However, the rest of us would like to succeed. Accomplish character goals, advance plots of the non railroading variety, and get shit done. To do that you need rockets, to keep up, and you need IP proofing, so you don't get slaughtered a half dozen fights in. This is a CO board, that means most people are here to optimize success. You are the odd man out.

how do you accomplish character goals without the dm and the group coddling your whim?
Ragnar is searching for his father's sacred sword of JuniorMintstm.  The DM would need to coddle Ragnar and include that in the plot.  The other players would need to put up with the DM taking away time from their characters for that.  Unless they were all looking for swords of various candy varieties.

I just thought I'd jump in here and say that I recently ran a game with the goal of capturing a pc because that was what the pc really wanted (he hinted at it out of game).  The player showed how easy it was for a sorcerer of mid level to escape from jail.  I wasn't shocked, but the other players were.  Since we all dm in rotation, they realized that holding magical pcs is hard to do...killing them on the other hand...

Just make sure you coddle the pcs by giving them their stuff back when they escape!(the sorcerer didn't think of that...)

BTW, my favorite campaign setting, Planescape, is all about coddling the pcs.  There are all manor of fiends and such on the streets of Sigil, yet level 1 characters can exist there too! I say fiat!
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 07, 2011, 07:11:44 PM
D&D is Rocket Tag regardless of your lies, handwaving, and fail. Also, the world is not flat, it is round, yet slightly oval shaped.

Hi Welcome
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 07, 2011, 07:17:48 PM
BTW, my favorite campaign setting, Planescape, is all about coddling the pcs.  There are all manor of fiends and such on the streets of Sigil, yet level 1 characters can exist there too! I say fiat!

Are you mentally handicapped? Level 1 characters can exist there because, presumably, they've grown up in Sigil, they know how it works. And as any fucking Cagehead can tell you, berk, you don't piss off the Powers that roam the Cage. Not if you want to walk away with all your limbs intact.

Coddling would be a group of level 1s pissing off a gelugon there on business and somehow NOT winding up in the Dead Book.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Bester on February 07, 2011, 07:23:49 PM

Are you mentally handicapped? Level 1 characters can exist there because, presumably, they've grown up in Sigil, they know how it works. And as any fucking Cagehead can tell you, berk, you don't piss off the Powers that roam the Cage. Not if you want to walk away with all your limbs intact.

Coddling would be a group of level 1s pissing off a gelugon there on business and somehow NOT winding up in the Dead Book.

Yay Planescape!  The only setting with it's own Cant.  My first character almost didn't happen because the dm insisted that Githzerai weren't psionic!(this was way before torment btw)  I had to whip out the old fiend folio from 1st edition and make some really good arguments to convince him that the race is the definition of psionic.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: bearsarebrown on February 07, 2011, 07:34:47 PM
@Endarire and Sunic, you both seem well versed in creating encounters. Would you mind posting some of them? I'm especially interested in Endarire with this specific campaign. Maybe a snapshot of a encounter for every level or so?

I'm not asking for numbers, just concepts.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 07, 2011, 07:58:28 PM
@Endarire and Sunic, you both seem well versed in creating encounters. Would you mind posting some of them? I'm especially interested in Endarire with this specific campaign. Maybe a snapshot of a encounter for every level or so?

I'm not asking for numbers, just concepts.

Not sure where he posted anything about encounters, but PM me so I don't forget.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Talore on February 07, 2011, 09:07:36 PM
D&D is Rocket Tag regardless of your lies, handwaving, and fail. Also, the world is not flat, it is round, yet slightly oval shaped.

Hi Welcome
Nobody of integrity respects you when you go 'la la la not listening' and other internal conviction crap. Certainly I can't take your points seriously if all you do is insult those of a different opinion.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: bearsarebrown on February 07, 2011, 09:40:23 PM
@Talore, your house rules and gentlemen's agreements is not 3.5. Once you handwave that much away you're playing a different game. Sunic is absolutely right.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 07, 2011, 09:42:03 PM
D&D is Rocket Tag regardless of your lies, handwaving, and fail. Also, the world is not flat, it is round, yet slightly oval shaped.

Hi Welcome
Nobody of integrity respects you when you go 'la la la not listening' and other internal conviction crap. Certainly I can't take your points seriously if all you do is insult those of a different opinion.

You might want to take a look at those people positing the opposing arguments before you start writing off counterpoints and differing views.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Talore on February 07, 2011, 10:01:16 PM
(http://media.ebaumsworld.com/mediaFiles/picture/517631/698617.jpg)
Seriously. You don't need to leave 3.5 to leave rocket tag. Think about it.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Bester on February 07, 2011, 10:13:58 PM
@Talore, your house rules and gentlemen's agreements is not 3.5. Once you handwave that much away you're playing a different game. Sunic is absolutely right.

Well, if you look at it that way...lol.  I guess alot of us aren't playing 3.5 or Pathfinder, but our own homebrews and gentleman's agreement games based loosely on d&d.

We want the game to work a certain way and railroad and force it to do so.  In the end it isn't the same game.  So Sunic is right....darn!
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 07, 2011, 10:14:19 PM
http://media.ebaumsworld.com/mediaFiles/picture/517631/698617.jpg
Seriously. You don't need to leave 3.5 to leave rocket tag. Think about it.

Without massive houserules or DM coddling, AND not starting at level 1, yes. Yes you do.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 07, 2011, 10:16:09 PM
http://media.ebaumsworld.com/mediaFiles/picture/517631/698617.jpg
Seriously. You don't need to leave 3.5 to leave rocket tag. Think about it.

Without massive houserules or DM coddling, AND not starting at level 1, yes. Yes you do.
I don't call "not constantly siccing customized full casters on the party" DM coddling
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Talore on February 07, 2011, 10:20:47 PM
http://media.ebaumsworld.com/mediaFiles/picture/517631/698617.jpg
Seriously. You don't need to leave 3.5 to leave rocket tag. Think about it.

Without massive houserules or DM coddling, AND not starting at level 1, yes. Yes you do.
Explain. And I mean you had better clearly define everything or I'll tear it up.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 07, 2011, 11:00:12 PM
http://media.ebaumsworld.com/mediaFiles/picture/517631/698617.jpg
Seriously. You don't need to leave 3.5 to leave rocket tag. Think about it.

Without massive houserules or DM coddling, AND not starting at level 1, yes. Yes you do.
Explain. And I mean you had better clearly define everything or I'll tear it up.

Fine. First, here's the fun part: enemies need to win once. You have to win every time.

Past a certain level, swinging a big stick isn't good enough. This level is generally accepted as sixth, but I find it comes as late as 8th or 9th. After that, you're no longer swinging a 'big stick' - you're Charging, with a Pounce, transferring all of your BAB to Power Attack, shifting the penalty to your Armor Class, possibly making a Jump check to boost PA numbers, and delivering a 'rocket' to your opponent in the form of a +1 special property two-handed weapon.

Why? Because monster AC and HP scales so much faster than your own, as does their to hit bonus. Even with magical back-up, the person doing all that feat stacking to get a respectable number to damage has to take their opponent down in one, perhaps two, rounds, to even be remotely close to what the casters are doing at the same level. This is because hitpoint damage doesn't fucking matter until the very last one. In fact, you can completely bypass rocketing the enemy's HP to death with a save-or-die or a save-or-lose. And the enemy can do the exact same thing to you, and most of the time, as CR rises, they don't need spells to do it - they just have to land a hit. And since AC is expensive as hell to raise in 3.5, most people are going to focus on other forms of defense.

If you do buy up your AC, it still doesn't matter, because after a certain point NPC to-hit bonuses are so high that they auto-hit you, and your attempt at becoming hard to hit has failed. Take a stroll through the Monster Manual and do some thinking, you'll see it pretty obviously, unless you are, in fact, a mouth-breathing fuckwit.

Also, the part about not starting at level 1: You have anywhere between 6 (d4, 14 con) and 17 (d12, 20 con) HP. An Orc Warrior (CR 1/2) deals 2d4+4 with a to-hit of +4. That's 6-12 damage, at a level where you have 6-17hp, and not enough gold to purchase decent armor (Chain Shirt, 100gp. Breastplate, 200. Full Plate, 1500.) That means your AC is pretty abysmal, and they have a good chance to hit you.

Is CR 1/2 too high? How about a Goblin? They only have a +2 with a 1d6 weapon, CR 1/3.

Of course, the common response at low levels is "The party Wizard casts sleep," or color spray, or grease. Hey, your party just won its first game of rocket tag!

Yes, your DM needs to coddle you at levels 1 and 2, and you need to build competently at levels past six. There's a small, SMALL space between levels 3 and 5 where you might not be playing rocket tag, but that's about it. Once the damage starts ramping and the spellcasters start becoming more dangerous, it keeps turning into 'kill them before they kill you', which is the very definition of rocket tag.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Kajhera on February 07, 2011, 11:07:29 PM
Once the damage starts ramping and the spellcasters start becoming more dangerous, it keeps turning into 'kill them before they kill you', which is the very definition of rocket tag.

Or combat with lethal intent in general.  :p Know what you meant though.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Talore on February 08, 2011, 12:03:01 AM
That's assuming that the party has casters and that they aren't playing blaster/healer, that the DM is putting you up against monsters that have those rediculous stats, that the players are in situations where those monsters need to be fought, and a plethora of other situational assumptions. And that isn't even touching that 'gentlement's agreements and houserules aren't 3.5' when (a:) They're written into the DMG, and (b:) If there are no gentlement's houserules, then every game goes to Pun-Pun/etc.

The list goes on... it's really how you play.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 08, 2011, 12:05:38 AM
That's assuming that the party has casters, that the DM is putting you up against monsters that have those rediculous stats, that the players are in situations where those monsters need to be fought, and a plethora of other situational assumptions. And that isn't even touching that 'gentlement's agreements and houserules aren't 3.5' when (a:) They're written into the DMG, and (b:) If there are no gentlement's houserules, then every game goes to Pun-Pun/etc.

The list goes on... it's really how you play.

Well that certainly tore the fuck out of my argument.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: The_Mad_Linguist on February 08, 2011, 12:44:07 AM
Since that doesn't match my empirical experience, I have to say your theoretical framework is flawed.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Talore on February 08, 2011, 12:45:51 AM
Since that doesn't match my empirical experience, I have to say your theoretical framework is flawed.
What post is this directed towards?
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Kajhera on February 08, 2011, 12:51:56 AM
Since that doesn't match my empirical experience, I have to say your theoretical framework is flawed.
What post is this directed towards?

Could be all of them. I'm inclined to interpret it that way for my own amusement.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: dark_samuari on February 08, 2011, 12:53:57 AM
So was there a clear & concise time when house rules were designated as something vile? Because we all use house rules, every one of us. All of us also use a gentleman's agreement when it comes to Dungeons & Dragons because D&D is a social, cooperative game. We do these things because D&D 3.5 demands it of us.

For those who stand in opposition to such a claim how do you face easily done finite-power builds? How do you tell a player that they can't abuse the Cancer Mage & Festering Anger super combo? Either you establish some barricades or you let in the entire ocean.

Scrying however allows you to see him. And if you only need a message on his back, you're actually already done. If you actually need to get the guy out, Teleport twice and it's done.

Hmm... Fair points except lets say the prisoner has an undershirt on thus concealing the tattoo. Obviously you will probably wait till he is in the shower to view him but at that point you sure are one hell of a hero.

I'm afraid my books are away from me so I don't know if the teleport spell works (never mind you don't have access to it because of your level) but if it does (and why a prison wouldn't have some form of protection against that is ludicrous) you still have enacted the release of prisoner so a group of Zelekhuts are now alerted to you.  
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Endarire on February 08, 2011, 01:16:53 AM
Can you sneak into the prison very stealthfully and watch the guy remove his shirt?  Hopefully you're a Factotum with Autohypnosis.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: dark_samuari on February 08, 2011, 01:29:30 AM
Can you sneak into the prison very stealthfully and watch the guy remove his shirt?  Hopefully you're a Factotum with Autohypnosis.

Well certainly but that means you are in prison, and according to Sunic you are worse off than dead at the very moment you step inside those concrete walls.

So either you can try to find some other ridiculous way to never enter the prison or actually engage an adventure.

I know, choices....
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 08, 2011, 01:46:41 AM
So was there a clear & concise time when house rules were designated as something vile? Because we all use house rules, every one of us. All of us also use a gentleman's agreement when it comes to Dungeons & Dragons because D&D is a social, cooperative game. We do these things because D&D 3.5 demands it of us.

Because discussion of the rules should take place in a houserules-free environment, so everyone is on the same page. This way we're discussing the same game. And yes, everyone plays with houserules, but those houserules are different from group to group. In the interest of staying on the same page, we take the rules as they're written and discard everyone's houserules when it comes to a discussion about the mechanics themselves.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: dark_samuari on February 08, 2011, 02:07:00 AM
So was there a clear & concise time when house rules were designated as something vile? Because we all use house rules, every one of us. All of us also use a gentleman's agreement when it comes to Dungeons & Dragons because D&D is a social, cooperative game. We do these things because D&D 3.5 demands it of us.

Because discussion of the rules should take place in a houserules-free environment, so everyone is on the same page. This way we're discussing the same game. And yes, everyone plays with houserules, but those houserules are different from group to group. In the interest of staying on the same page, we take the rules as they're written and discard everyone's houserules when it comes to a discussion about the mechanics themselves.

Which would be fine except this creates a theoretical discussion which some posters drag into areas of practicality. It is one thing to say that the game is unbalanced because of X, Y & Z mechanical reasons but to say that because of those mechanical reasons no one could ever have fun in the game is a terrible assumption.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 10:39:52 AM
D&D is Rocket Tag regardless of your lies, handwaving, and fail. Also, the world is not flat, it is round, yet slightly oval shaped.

Hi Welcome
Nobody of integrity respects you when you go 'la la la not listening' and other internal conviction crap. Certainly I can't take your points seriously if all you do is insult those of a different opinion.

Hi Welcome

You have both invoked the Paizil Fallacy, and pretended you have integrity after doing so. Your argument is automatically invalid.

Continuing with the smiting of imbeciles.

That's assuming that the party has casters and that they aren't playing blaster/healer, that the DM is putting you up against monsters that have those rediculous stats, that the players are in situations where those monsters need to be fought, and a plethora of other situational assumptions. And that isn't even touching that 'gentlement's agreements and houserules aren't 3.5' when (a:) They're written into the DMG, and (b:) If there are no gentlement's houserules, then every game goes to Pun-Pun/etc.

The list goes on... it's really how you play.

If the caster is playing blaster, he fails. Especially at level 1. Because he showed up to a game of RLT with no rockets. The healer also fails, as a single enemy out DPSes curing spells at every single level except 11-15, when you have the Heal spell. And since the Orcs are CR 0.5, and not 1, there is not a single enemy. There's two of them in a routine encounter, more in anything actually meant to be difficult. But none of that matters, because you're whining and flailing a 1st level party cannot handle a pair of stock mob orcs. Which means you automatically forfeit the argument.

So was there a clear & concise time when house rules were designated as something vile? Because we all use house rules, every one of us. All of us also use a gentleman's agreement when it comes to Dungeons & Dragons because D&D is a social, cooperative game. We do these things because D&D 3.5 demands it of us.

Yes, it's at the time when certain mouth breathing fuckwits startled labeling hate fiat, aka I don't like what you are doing, so RANDOM ENEMIES OVER DOUBLE YOUR LEVEL NERF IT as house rules. Actual house rules, and not hate fiat are acceptable. Also, for house rules to have merit to a discussion, they must be stated in advance.

Quote
Hmm... Fair points except lets say the prisoner has an undershirt on thus concealing the tattoo. Obviously you will probably wait till he is in the shower to view him but at that point you sure are one hell of a hero.

See what I mean about hate fiat? You are so determined to railroad the PCs into your little herp derp capture scenario you'll do everything you can to try and bully them into it. Which means, as stated and proven, the only purpose of such situations is to allow terrible DMs, that cannot write actually interesting plots to jerk around the PCs and force them to do what he wants.

Quote
I'm afraid my books are away from me so I don't know if the teleport spell works (never mind you don't have access to it because of your level) but if it does (and why a prison wouldn't have some form of protection against that is ludicrous) you still have enacted the release of prisoner so a group of Zelekhuts are now alerted to you. 

It has already been stated and proven that level 5 characters can cast that spell. And oh look, more hate fiat from everyone's favorite Mouth Breathing Fuckwit 1/Power Tripper 1/Waste of Oxygen 1.

However, despite the fact he contributes nothing of value to the discussion, I would like for the mouth breathing fuckwit to continue his whining and flailing. After all, he is doing a better job of proving that capture is a fate worse than death to me. So I can just sit back, make him do my work for me, and then smite him out of his misery when he is no longer of use. There are few things more entertaining to a Crusader of Logic then having your enemies do your work for you, after all.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Aharon on February 08, 2011, 10:57:48 AM
@Sunic
A question:
What would you do with a group of inexperienced players that are not interested in optimization? Kill them again and again? Because I'm faced with that situation as the DM of my group. If I didn't coddle them, they would repeatedly die. That wouldn't be fun for them, I think, and neither would I enjoy it.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 08, 2011, 11:03:11 AM
@Sunic
A question:
What would you do with a group of inexperienced players that are not interested in optimization? Kill them again and again? Because I'm faced with that situation as the DM of my group. If I didn't coddle them, they would repeatedly die. That wouldn't be fun for them, I think, and neither would I enjoy it.

Gradually ramp up the difficulty. Teach them what's unoptimal and what's optimal. Overall, though, if you're enjoying your game, then play it that way. But don't try to force those views on those of us who don't play the same way. That's basically the entirety of this argument: People are throwing "their game" as an example rather than how the rules work unmodified. Except Sunic, whose arguments are actually based on the base mechanics of the game we're all playing.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Talore on February 08, 2011, 12:08:37 PM
If the moderation is so bad that Sunic can go about like this, then I can damn well go about like that.
D&D is Rocket Tag regardless of your lies, handwaving, and fail. Also, the world is not flat, it is round, yet slightly oval shaped.

Hi Welcome
Nobody of integrity respects you when you go 'la la la not listening' and other internal conviction crap. Certainly I can't take your points seriously if all you do is insult those of a different opinion.

Hi Welcome

You have both invoked the Paizil Fallacy, and pretended you have integrity after doing so. Your argument is automatically invalid.

Continuing with the smiting of imbeciles.

That's assuming that the party has casters and that they aren't playing blaster/healer, that the DM is putting you up against monsters that have those rediculous stats, that the players are in situations where those monsters need to be fought, and a plethora of other situational assumptions. And that isn't even touching that 'gentlement's agreements and houserules aren't 3.5' when (a:) They're written into the DMG, and (b:) If there are no gentlement's houserules, then every game goes to Pun-Pun/etc.

The list goes on... it's really how you play.

If the caster is playing blaster, he fails. Especially at level 1. Because he showed up to a game of RLT with no rockets. The healer also fails, as a single enemy out DPSes curing spells at every single level except 11-15, when you have the Heal spell. And since the Orcs are CR 0.5, and not 1, there is not a single enemy. There's two of them in a routine encounter, more in anything actually meant to be difficult. But none of that matters, because you're whining and flailing a 1st level party cannot handle a pair of stock mob orcs. Which means you automatically forfeit the argument.

So was there a clear & concise time when house rules were designated as something vile? Because we all use house rules, every one of us. All of us also use a gentleman's agreement when it comes to Dungeons & Dragons because D&D is a social, cooperative game. We do these things because D&D 3.5 demands it of us.

Yes, it's at the time when certain mouth breathing fuckwits startled labeling hate fiat, aka I don't like what you are doing, so RANDOM ENEMIES OVER DOUBLE YOUR LEVEL NERF IT as house rules. Actual house rules, and not hate fiat are acceptable. Also, for house rules to have merit to a discussion, they must be stated in advance.

Quote
Hmm... Fair points except lets say the prisoner has an undershirt on thus concealing the tattoo. Obviously you will probably wait till he is in the shower to view him but at that point you sure are one hell of a hero.

See what I mean about hate fiat? You are so determined to railroad the PCs into your little herp derp capture scenario you'll do everything you can to try and bully them into it. Which means, as stated and proven, the only purpose of such situations is to allow terrible DMs, that cannot write actually interesting plots to jerk around the PCs and force them to do what he wants.

Quote
I'm afraid my books are away from me so I don't know if the teleport spell works (never mind you don't have access to it because of your level) but if it does (and why a prison wouldn't have some form of protection against that is ludicrous) you still have enacted the release of prisoner so a group of Zelekhuts are now alerted to you.  

It has already been stated and proven that level 5 characters can cast that spell. And oh look, more hate fiat from everyone's favorite Mouth Breathing Fuckwit 1/Power Tripper 1/Waste of Oxygen 1.

However, despite the fact he contributes nothing of value to the discussion, I would like for the mouth breathing fuckwit to continue his whining and flailing. After all, he is doing a better job of proving that capture is a fate worse than death to me. So I can just sit back, make him do my work for me, and then smite him out of his misery when he is no longer of use. There are few things more entertaining to a Crusader of Logic then having your enemies do your work for you, after all.
The paizil fallacy? You're invoking it wrong. Basically what you're saying is 'my opinion is fact, because my ego is large enough to validate it. Hi welcome.


Like, I'm really trying to wrap it around my head if you're a troll or just fucking stupid. You do realise the game is played in more ways than yours?

Quote
If the caster is playing blaster, he fails. Especially at level 1. Because he showed up to a game of RLT with no rockets. The healer also fails, as a single enemy out DPSes curing spells at every single level except 11-15, when you have the Heal spell. And since the Orcs are CR 0.5, and not 1, there is not a single enemy. There's two of them in a routine encounter, more in anything actually meant to be difficult. But none of that matters, because you're whining and flailing a 1st level party cannot handle a pair of stock mob orcs. Which means you automatically forfeit the argument.
Oh look, you assume I'm talking about level 1, fuckwit. If the players chose to play a blaster wizard and a healer cleric, then they aren't going to play rocket tag. Because the DM is fucking stupid if he continually throws encounters at the party for punishing how the want to play, so (1) they actually go by CR and (2) They aren't going to fight ice devil ambushes or incredible numbers, they're going to fight NPCs. Your realise an enemy Human Fighter 7 is listed as CR7? Yeah, a party of four lv7 unoptimized people will fight that single fighter 7. Or 2 fighter 5s. Look mom, no rocket tag! I'm not whining and flailing that lv1s can't survive, you are.

Blaster wizard is bad, but he isn't packing rockets, so the DM won't either. It isn't coddling, it's good DMing. Do any of you fuckwits even read the DMG?

Like fuck, you'd be dropped from a debate team so quickly. Public masturbation. Anyone that goes around on the internet calling themselves the crusader of logic when they don't know the first fucking thing about it has issues.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: dark_samuari on February 08, 2011, 12:37:10 PM
So was there a clear & concise time when house rules were designated as something vile? Because we all use house rules, every one of us. All of us also use a gentleman's agreement when it comes to Dungeons & Dragons because D&D is a social, cooperative game. We do these things because D&D 3.5 demands it of us.

Yes, it's at the time when certain mouth breathing fuckwits startled labeling hate fiat, aka I don't like what you are doing, so RANDOM ENEMIES OVER DOUBLE YOUR LEVEL NERF IT as house rules. Actual house rules, and not hate fiat are acceptable. Also, for house rules to have merit to a discussion, they must be stated in advance.

Quote
Hmm... Fair points except lets say the prisoner has an undershirt on thus concealing the tattoo. Obviously you will probably wait till he is in the shower to view him but at that point you sure are one hell of a hero.

See what I mean about hate fiat? You are so determined to railroad the PCs into your little herp derp capture scenario you'll do everything you can to try and bully them into it. Which means, as stated and proven, the only purpose of such situations is to allow terrible DMs, that cannot write actually interesting plots to jerk around the PCs and force them to do what he wants.

Sunic, provide what you would imagine is an interesting plot or challenge? We continue to see your criticize others and yet when asked to provide your own base for such judgments you hide. Please show us what you construct to be interesting plots. I bet somewhere in there they involve having an ice demon continuously waiting in the snow waiting to kill the characters...

I'm afraid my books are away from me so I don't know if the teleport spell works (never mind you don't have access to it because of your level) but if it does (and why a prison wouldn't have some form of protection against that is ludicrous) you still have enacted the release of prisoner so a group of Zelekhuts are now alerted to you. 

It has already been stated and proven that level 5 characters can cast that spell. And oh look, more hate fiat from everyone's favorite Mouth Breathing Fuckwit 1/Power Tripper 1/Waste of Oxygen 1.

However, despite the fact he contributes nothing of value to the discussion, I would like for the mouth breathing fuckwit to continue his whining and flailing. After all, he is doing a better job of proving that capture is a fate worse than death to me. So I can just sit back, make him do my work for me, and then smite him out of his misery when he is no longer of use. There are few things more entertaining to a Crusader of Logic then having your enemies do your work for you, after all.

You have yet to prove that capture is a fate worse than death because in one can be reversed while another can not be. You have yet to prove it because one ends a character's journey (there are exceptions but you aren't creative enough to utilize them) while the other only provides a character with more adventure.

Also you should try to upgrade your smiting technique but it seems my kind, you know being the King and all, have taken over. We are immune to your ways.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Aharon on February 08, 2011, 12:47:24 PM
@Capture/Losing WBL is a Fate worse than Death
I thought the guidelines in the DMG were supposed to apply regardless of what happens - so if the group loses all their equipment due to capture, you should hand out more treasure over the next few encounters still they are back at WBL?

@Losing a level to Raise Dead
Didn't someone calculate that XP-loss due to crafting actually leads to faster XP-accumulation? The same would be the case for XP-loss due to death, wouldn't it?
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 08, 2011, 12:54:20 PM
Also you should try to upgrade your smiting technique but it seems my kind, you know being the King and all, have taken over. We are immune to your ways.

Immune to logic, or immune to intelligent thought? Either way, yes, you've certainly proved that.
See how easy it is to snap a little comment off that belittles your opponent's stance while providing nothing constructive to the dialogue? Even I can do it!
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 12:59:44 PM
@Sunic
A question:
What would you do with a group of inexperienced players that are not interested in optimization? Kill them again and again? Because I'm faced with that situation as the DM of my group. If I didn't coddle them, they would repeatedly die. That wouldn't be fun for them, I think, and neither would I enjoy it.

Recommend they play high tier characters, if they refuse to actively learn what works and what doesn't. But yes, whatever happens happens. If that means killing them again and again, that's what happens. You can either promote bad play or remove it. By showing them that yes, their actions do matter, and that there are consequences for their actions you teach them they are responsible for their own safety and enjoyment. As such, play will improve and the slaughter will cease. You can argue that it's not fun to do so, but either you have an unentertaining slaughter, followed by a fun game, or you have a game that is unentertaining. One means there will be fun, one means there will not.

If the moderation is so bad that Sunic can go about like this, then I can damn well go about like that.

This is not the Paizil boards, you cannot invoke the Paizil Fallacy, and then go hide behind the moderator's skirts when the meanieface Sunic comes out to put you in your place. This is also not the GitP forums, so you can also forget about getting the mods to ban people because they told you you failed at reading comprehension.

Quote
The paizil fallacy? You're invoking it wrong. Basically what you're saying is 'my opinion is fact, because my ego is large enough to validate it. Hi welcome.

Fail, and fail. You are invoking the Paizil Fallacy, both now and then. You are also using the wrong form. Hi Welcome

Quote
Like, I'm really trying to wrap it around my head if you're a troll or just fucking stupid. You do realise the game is played in more ways than yours?

No, you don't get to hide behind your handwaving bullshit. There is such a thing as objective truth, and you will learn what it is if I have to burn it into you. That means that there are correct answers and there are incorrect answers. You of course are full of Wrongness and Fail, whereas I, and others are correct.

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Oh look, you assume I'm talking about level 1, fuckwit. If the players chose to play a blaster wizard and a healer cleric, then they aren't going to play rocket tag. Because the DM is fucking stupid if he continually throws encounters at the party for punishing how the want to play, so (1) they actually go by CR and (2) They aren't going to fight ice devil ambushes or incredible numbers, they're going to fight NPCs. Your realise an enemy Human Fighter 7 is listed as CR7? Yeah, a party of four lv7 unoptimized people will fight that single fighter 7. Or 2 fighter 5s. Look mom, no rocket tag! I'm not whining and flailing that lv1s can't survive, you are.

You mentioned level 1, fuckwit. You assume any level other than 1, blasting still fails, healing still fails, the game is still RLT - you just don't have any mother fucking rockets, so you automatically fail. Even if you assume the extreme coddling that is easy mode humanoid NPCs (and by the way, the Orcs that still absolutely slaughter level 1s ARE HUMANOID NPCs). But even those terribly gimpy Fighter 5s, or 7s still have fucking Rockets. Even though the party does not.

Hi Welcome, you fail. Now drive forward.

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Blaster wizard is bad, but he isn't packing rockets, so the DM won't either. It isn't coddling, it's good DMing. Do any of you fuckwits even read the DMG?

Herp derp, all enemies still have Rockets, even if you make a fail build that doesn't. This isn't DDO, there is no bullshit Dungeon Scaling, and even if there was, the fact ALL ENEMIES HAVE ROCKETS means YOU PICK A GODDAMN ROCKET LAUNCHER UP OR YOU GET THE FUCK OUT.

Hi Welcome

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Like fuck, you'd be dropped from a debate team so quickly. Public masturbation. Anyone that goes around on the internet calling themselves the crusader of logic when they don't know the first fucking thing about it has issues.

Says the guy who has yet to provide a single point of actual substance, instead hiding behind handwaving bullshit, failure, and justification of the same. Also, a constant stream of lies.

Now there's another mouth breathing fuckwit posting, but he's just saying the same drivel he always does. So it is not worth even smiting him, as he can't even find new and imaginative ways to fail, such is the scope of his fail.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 01:04:44 PM
@Capture/Losing WBL is a Fate worse than Death
I thought the guidelines in the DMG were supposed to apply regardless of what happens - so if the group loses all their equipment due to capture, you should hand out more treasure over the next few encounters still they are back at WBL?

Nope. You get the cash, and if you go and spend it all on bags of salt... well you have a whole lot of salt, and not a lot of level appropriateness. Similarly, lost/stolen items are gone forever. To do otherwise is to both reward failure, and encourage players to consumable spam everything. But even if it did work that way, that just brings us back to dicking the PCs around for the lulz - assuming you can even get out to start recovering your gear, which of course you do not.

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@Losing a level to Raise Dead
Didn't someone calculate that XP-loss due to crafting actually leads to faster XP-accumulation? The same would be the case for XP-loss due to death, wouldn't it?

Being a level lower results in approximately 1/3rd more XP. The difference is that crafting both saves you money, and makes you better at what you do. Dying, and being raised has the exact opposite effect. So instead of being down some XP (and it'd take a LOT of crafting to be a full level behind) but up a lot of wealth and thus power, and also gaining about a third extra XP until you catch up you lose money, and are down a level, and slowly catch up on the levels but still remain behind on the wealth. Not to mention, giving the scenario being discussed you're dying too fucking often to regain the XP back anyways.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: veekie on February 08, 2011, 01:06:42 PM
@Capture/Losing WBL is a Fate worse than Death
I thought the guidelines in the DMG were supposed to apply regardless of what happens - so if the group loses all their equipment due to capture, you should hand out more treasure over the next few encounters still they are back at WBL?

@Losing a level to Raise Dead
Didn't someone calculate that XP-loss due to crafting actually leads to faster XP-accumulation? The same would be the case for XP-loss due to death, wouldn't it?
Right on both counts, but being dead tends to be more inconvenient for actual play, what with being unable to act for the duration(Revivify discounted), at least until the levels where having a 'return to life' spell prepared in place of a more actively useful spell is feasible.

So for capture, the challenge is to regain WBL in the shortest available time. Strip guards naked while you start your rampage through captivity, raid armories and of course, find the loot storage room, where they dumped your stuff. Or pick up quests from your captor(theres a reason they captured you instead of killing, presumably, and if its not to gloat while you die slowly(which is the same as you know, death), they want something out of you), get released with your gear and hey, quest xp and next plot hook.

For death, assuming a party member survives to revive you, it can be more inconvenient. Until you have life/death reversal magic readily at hand(players in a high lethality environment should get a scroll or two), the dead player has to sit it out for a bit.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 01:13:54 PM
Oh, forgot to mention. Everything I said about Raise Dead assumes you immediately drop everything and go get it. Doesn't always happen. If you have to stay dead a while, you miss out on more XP, and likely treasure as well.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Unbeliever on February 08, 2011, 02:16:15 PM
@Sunic
A question:
What would you do with a group of inexperienced players that are not interested in optimization? Kill them again and again? Because I'm faced with that situation as the DM of my group. If I didn't coddle them, they would repeatedly die. That wouldn't be fun for them, I think, and neither would I enjoy it.

Gradually ramp up the difficulty. Teach them what's unoptimal and what's optimal. Overall, though, if you're enjoying your game, then play it that way. But don't try to force those views on those of us who don't play the same way. That's basically the entirety of this argument: People are throwing "their game" as an example rather than how the rules work unmodified. Except Sunic, whose arguments are actually based on the base mechanics of the game we're all playing.
Sort of, kind of.  Sunic occasionally uses wonky interpretations of the rules that elevate the importance of some tactics over others.  Also, his iterative probability calculus is too stark to correctly model the game.

But, the point is well-taken, I think. 

[spoiler]
That being said, since all D&D requires some set of baseline gentleman's agreement, otherwise we'd all be rampaging TO pun-puns at the table, my read of the threads is that other people's baseline set of assumptions for the system is just considerably different than Sunic's.  That's part of what's going on in Frank and K's Tomes, too. 
[/spoiler]
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 02:57:27 PM
Wrong yet again.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Talore on February 08, 2011, 03:10:21 PM
Your E-peen is showing.

I wonder what would happen if you saw a game without rocket tag, Sunic? Would your mind explode? Would you bow your arrogant neck and admit you may be wrong? Or would you continue to yell over the internet until the day you die that you're smarter than everyone else? Hmm? Serious question, because I doubt the usefulness of actually trying to show you what I guess 80% of games go like.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 03:25:28 PM
Your E-peen is showing.

I wonder what would happen if you saw a game without rocket tag, Sunic? Would your mind explode? Would you bow your arrogant neck and admit you may be wrong? Or would you continue to yell over the internet until the day you die that you're smarter than everyone else? Hmm? Serious question, because I doubt the usefulness of actually trying to show you what I guess 80% of games go like.

You like it? It's quite large after all, and good for beating down idiots.

And sure, games exist like that. They're not called D&D though, unless it's 4.Fail. D&D games are Rocket Tag. PF more than 3.x, and 1st and 2nd a bit more or less than 3.x depending on level, but it's still there, and it's still strong regardless.

So despite your whining and flailing, you fail yet again.

Hi Welcome
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Unbeliever on February 08, 2011, 03:26:35 PM
Wrong yet again.
Awesome response.  I'm not talking about "coddling" or "how one plays, or ought to play the game."  I'm talking about just the underlying math.  "Stark," used here, is a nice word for "too simplistic to plausibly model the world we are interested in talking about."  The probabilities in a D&D game are too difficult b/c of the breadth, more accurately the complication (it's reasonably easy to solve many games where the strategy space is infinite, as in the real number line), of the strategy space to get an appropriate sense of them except in simple scenarios.  People can try and run through scenarios, and maybe that gives you some traction, but at the level of a general statement you're not going to get at it. 

[/begin actual game theory]
Consider chess, an example I've already posted about at least once before.  See, I know w/out any doubt there is a Nash equilibrium to chess.  That is, given what the other player is doing there is a "right" way of playing it, given the goal of winning, etc.  This is a fact, given by the definition of chess and by the definition of Nash equilibrium.  However, we have no idea of what it is.  It's just too computationally complex, which is saying something given modern computer power.  Now, that's a game w/ no chance (no dice rolling), identical moves available to the each player (white and black have the same pieces, same exact beginning configuration), and well-defined victory conditions. 

Once you add in chance, and the incredibly large number of options available in something like Magic:  the Gathering, not to mention D&D, it becomes incredibly hard just to intuit what will happen over a large set of interactions.  Moreover, D&D characters change very frequently, through leveling, treasure, etc.  And, none of this is accounting for human error.  At that point then we have to include things like "trembling hand" refinements, which make any general conclusions kind of hand-wavy.  Actually, once we are in what is essentially an infinitely-repeated game, any set of interactions that is large and lacks a predetermined stopping point, we usually have to resort to folk theorems, so we're already on shaky ground. 

It is true that in a very simple game, one in which say everyone makes just straight attack rolls, saves, and damage rolls, you could maybe get some traction on things.  But, once you add in things like Celerity, Diamond Mind counters, and complicated beliefs about what one's opponents can do, as well as the highly tactical nature of 3.5 D&D where 1 square on a battlemap can make an actual difference, the probabilities become prohibitively hard to estimate. 
[/end actual game theory]

[/begin actual probability calculus]
Now, here's the thing.  If it's a straight iterative probability, then it's all very easy.  If the probability that Team Player loses is non-zero, then they will lose.  Eventually.  Guarantee it.  Even if it is very very small.  This is Sunic's point about iterative probability.  The only reason to play, in such a world, is I suppose out of idle curiosity as to when that's going to happen.  Although if I have any sense of what the probability of loss function is, then I don't even need to do that.  I can make a very educated guess as to when it's going to happen. 

It's not straight probability, though.  There's a strategic interaction, updating, etc.
[/end actual probability calculus]

I'm writing this mostly b/c the misuse has irked me.  I do not expect this to persuade Sunic, he seems impervious to such things, but I wanted to bring it to light.  I have my own feelings about why we actually bother playing the game and the appropriate ends of character optimization, but I think I've rambled enough and have work waiting for me. 
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Talore on February 08, 2011, 03:31:53 PM
Quote from: Wikipedia.org
No true Scotsman is an intentional logical fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion. When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim, rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original universal claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it.

The term was advanced by philosopher Antony Flew in his 1975 book Thinking About Thinking: Do I sincerely want to be right?.[1]

Imagine Hamish McDonald, a Scotsman, sitting down with his Glasgow Morning Herald and seeing an article about how the "Brighton Sex Maniac Strikes Again." Hamish is shocked and declares that "No Scotsman would do such a thing." [Brighton is not part of Scotland.] The next day he sits down to read his Glasgow Morning Herald again and this time finds an article about an Aberdeen man whose brutal actions make the Brighton sex maniac seem almost gentlemanly. [Aberdeen is part of Scotland.] This fact shows that Hamish was wrong in his opinion but is he going to admit this? Not likely. This time he says, "No true Scotsman would do such a thing."
—Antony Flew, Thinking About Thinking (1975)
A simpler rendition would be:

Teacher: All Scotsmen enjoy haggis.
Student: My uncle is a Scotsman, and he doesn't like haggis!
Teacher: Well, all true Scotsmen like haggis.
When the statement "all A are B" is qualified like this to exclude those A which are not B, this is a form of begging the question; the conclusion is assumed by the definition of "true A".

An example of a political application of the fallacy would be in asserting that "no democracy starts a war", then distinguishing between mature or "true" democracies, which never start wars, and "emerging democracies", which may start them.[2]

I'll just leave this here. D&D games are D&D games, rocket tag or not.

Welcome to logic 101.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Bester on February 08, 2011, 03:34:31 PM
Serious question, because I doubt the usefulness of actually trying to show you what I guess 80% of games go like.

I think it's higher than that.  Of the multiple games I've played in and DM'd over the last 15 years or so, I've only met 2 other players like myself who are lured by the desire to be...useful.

The old system before point buy was dreadful to me.  A fighter with 14 HP at level 6in 2nd edition(would have been 6 HP if I didn't talk him into that 9 at level 1), sucked compared to a lucky 90 HP player with house rules out the ass (let's give him 18/00 str and 19 con (he rolled all 10s)).  Being slapped down for wanting to be useful and optimized is wrong, and it really should be the opposite way around.

In the game I'm in now, my character just sits in the background and buffs the party(heroics for the win).  It works for me and my character is useful without other dms(revolving dm game) feeling the need to screw my character over.  Battles quickly go in our favor if I can get good buffs up and the sorc battlefield controls.

I agree with Sunic however, that the game as written is an arms race that the pcs cannot afford to lose.  Being at the mercy of the DM gets old quick and all DMs should follow the rules.  That's why I'm a fan of letting the player roll the dice for the DM(except where secrecy is needed).
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 03:37:30 PM
Ignoring "Math is HARD!" whining.

Campaigns are long, but they do have a finite length. In fact, 253 and a third fights will 1-20 you. It's right there in the book. It is not possible to absolute zero your failure rate, and due to there being 253 and a third fights, and you must win every single one of them even a low failure rate will quickly approach one. Even so there is a window in which you are not immune to death, but can IP proof yourself sufficiently to survive the campaign. It requires a near perfect success rate on every single fight, around 99.9% or so, but it's there. Any non zero chance will approach 1, but if sufficiently low it approaches 1 slower than you approach level 20.

So there's your reason to play. Overcoming the overwhelming odds of heavily skewed victory conditions, thereby allowing you to accomplish your character goals (all of which are of course predicated on the assumption you are alive to pursue them) and do whatever it is you do.

And apparently the fuckwit is trying to call 4.Fail D&D. Though really, even 4.Fail becomes Rocket Tag fairly easily. All enemies in an encounter focus fire on the same person. Despite their piddly shit damage, the fact there are so many of them means they get scratched to death. Doesn't matter who the person is, even if it's the "Defender" (who the game tells you should be aggroing all the MOBs, when he can only handle 1-2 at a time, just like everyone else) they either get one rounded, or beaten down hard in round 1, can't heal fast enough, and get put down on round 2. This is despite the fact 4.Fail is one of the slowest paced combat games you will ever find anywhere. Tabletop, video game, doesn't matter. If it's not an MMO, it's a lot faster.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Talore on February 08, 2011, 03:42:32 PM
Stop putting words in my mouth, I don't even know how 4ed works.

I ran a solo game for my friend. He had some level-appropriate fights, a lot of story-telling, and a lot of plot-based challenges. Most of the combats lasted at least 5 rounds. Rocket tag didn't come into play. We were using 3.5ed without any houserules. Oh look, I just played a game of 3.5ed without rocket tag, therefore 3.5 is not exclusively rocket tag. I dare you to not respond with no true scotsman.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Bester on February 08, 2011, 03:55:25 PM
Stop putting words in my mouth, I don't even know how 4ed works.

 :lmao You too huh?  I had the books preordered from day 1 and when they arrived....I opened them up and saw world of warcrack in pnp.

I can honestly say, I don't even know how 4ed works!  Poorly I'd imagine...
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Pimpforged on February 08, 2011, 04:08:28 PM
Stop putting words in my mouth, I don't even know how 4ed works.

 :lmao You too huh?  I had the books preordered from day 1 and when they arrived....I opened them up and saw world of warcrack in pnp.

I can honestly say, I don't even know how 4ed works!  Poorly I'd imagine...

I disagree, you've already grasped the basic concept.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: dark_samuari on February 08, 2011, 04:10:46 PM
Also you should try to upgrade your smiting technique but it seems my kind, you know being the King and all, have taken over. We are immune to your ways.

Immune to logic, or immune to intelligent thought? Either way, yes, you've certainly proved that.
See how easy it is to snap a little comment off that belittles your opponent's stance while providing nothing constructive to the dialogue? Even I can do it!

My personal mind blank protects me from all.
And here you will find my ability to find humor in such exchanges as opposed to some others.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: oslecamo on February 08, 2011, 04:29:42 PM
@Sunic
A question:
What would you do with a group of inexperienced players that are not interested in optimization? Kill them again and again? Because I'm faced with that situation as the DM of my group. If I didn't coddle them, they would repeatedly die. That wouldn't be fun for them, I think, and neither would I enjoy it.

Gradually ramp up the difficulty. Teach them what's unoptimal and what's optimal. Overall, though, if you're enjoying your game, then play it that way. But don't try to force those views on those of us who don't play the same way. That's basically the entirety of this argument: People are throwing "their game" as an example rather than how the rules work unmodified. Except Sunic, whose arguments are actually based on the base mechanics of the game we're all playing.
He really isn't. He's ignoring:
-Quest/roleplaying exp, wich yes, the DMG says to give out now and then, and is thus a base mechanic.
-Players are expected to die. That's why we have relatively cheap raise dead.
-Many monsters are expected to be played in a stupid way, as written in their own stat blocks. A golem for example is "incapable of any strategy and tactics" acording to it's own entry, so even if you're a commoner, defeating the golem is a matter of patience and out-thinking it. Kiting or luring it in a hole grants 100% win rate as long as you're smart, whitout need of character optimization. And there's plenty of more mindless  "incapable of any strategy and tactics" monsters out there.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: BeholderSlayer on February 08, 2011, 04:50:41 PM
He doesn't actually ignore that stuff. It's just that monsters like that are comparatively uncommon. As somebody with direct experience in a game run by Sunic, I can tell you that each monster type behaves appropriately for their INT score and tendencies.

I don't know where you got the idea that he ignores quest/roleplaying XP. The comment is also fairly irrelevant. When players already roleplay adequately, rewarding them for doing it more is redundant.

Players are expected to die? Wow, well, I am glad I don't play in games like that, and I tend to enjoy high-powered games with high levels of difficulty. This is where the concept of IP proofing comes in...you are expected to make characters that can stay alive, not characters that die regularly.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: dark_samuari on February 08, 2011, 05:02:48 PM
Players are expected to die? Wow, well, I am glad I don't play in games like that, and I tend to enjoy high-powered games with high levels of difficulty. This is where the concept of IP proofing comes in...you are expected to make characters that can stay alive, not characters that die regularly.

All characters eventually die.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 05:15:33 PM
Skipping past more herp derp from the whine and flailer.

Regarding golems, yes they are incapable of any strategy and tactics. They are also incapable of any sort of independent thought, being mindless creatures. And this is why even high level golems get trivialized by mages - who they are supposedly good against, using very low level spells like Obscuring Mist, Silent Image, and Grease.

Mindless creatures are not in fact the norm. If anything, the norm is enemies smarter than the average person. And if you DO encounter mindless creatures, such as a golem, chances are someone who is intelligent, and tells it what to do (like say, the mage that made it) is not far away.

He doesn't actually ignore that stuff. It's just that monsters like that are comparatively uncommon. As somebody with direct experience in a game run by Sunic, I can tell you that each monster type behaves appropriately for their INT score and tendencies.

I don't know where you got the idea that he ignores quest/roleplaying XP. The comment is also fairly irrelevant. When players already roleplay adequately, rewarding them for doing it more is redundant.

Players are expected to die? Wow, well, I am glad I don't play in games like that, and I tend to enjoy high-powered games with high levels of difficulty. This is where the concept of IP proofing comes in...you are expected to make characters that can stay alive, not characters that die regularly.

For the record, he is in both of the games I am running. And yes, he's exactly right.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: BeholderSlayer on February 08, 2011, 05:19:36 PM
Players are expected to die? Wow, well, I am glad I don't play in games like that, and I tend to enjoy high-powered games with high levels of difficulty. This is where the concept of IP proofing comes in...you are expected to make characters that can stay alive, not characters that die regularly.

All characters eventually die.

Do they? (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=5996.0)
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: lans on February 08, 2011, 05:25:01 PM

Also, the part about not starting at level 1: You have anywhere between 6 (d4, 14 con) and 17 (d12, 20 con) HP. An Orc Warrior (CR 1/2) deals 2d4+4 with a to-hit of +4. That's 6-12 damage, at a level where you have 6-17hp, and not enough gold to purchase decent armor (Chain Shirt, 100gp. Breastplate, 200. Full Plate, 1500.) That means your AC is pretty abysmal, and they have a good chance to hit you.

Is CR 1/2 too high? How about a Goblin? They only have a +2 with a 1d6 weapon, CR 1/3.
My issue with this is that players don't die at 0 and there is an expectant 4 of them. So the wizard might take 12 and be at -8, and still not die.  With crappy for level armor the monsters have about a 50/50 chance of hitting you.

Not to say that their aren't rockets, I'm not sure if any character can take a crit from an orc  barbarian at level 1 besides select conjurers.


If the caster is playing blaster, he fails. Especially at level 1. Because he showed up to a game of RLT with no rockets. The healer also fails, as a single enemy out DPSes curing spells at every single level except 11-15, when you have the Heal spell. And since the Orcs are CR 0.5, and not 1, there is not a single enemy. There's two of them in a routine encounter, more in anything actually meant to be difficult. But none of that matters, because you're whining and flailing a 1st level party cannot handle a pair of stock mob orcs. Which means you automatically forfeit the argument.
The healer doesn't need to do equal the DPS, he just needs to keep the other character from being dropped until he kills the opponent. A CR7 Earth elemental does 40 damage, a cure critical cures 25, so a character with 71 hp can survive 2 full attacks from it instead of 1. Bonus points if we include close wounds which would let him survive 4 rounds.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 06:08:13 PM
Often, it doesn't even do that. Also as soon as you drop, your AC instantly goes down to 1 + armor bonus, regardless of its original value due to being prone and helpless. So you go down, they swing once more, either they roll a 1 or you die. And since there is two of them this happens on the same round.

And don't pretend Orcs aren't vicious enough to do that either. Don't like Orcs? There's Goblins (opportunistic little bitches), Kobolds (see opportunist), Hobgoblins (ruthless, vicious warriors)... every single foe, even at low level will do this.

Also, 71 HP at level 7? Bit on the high side there.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: lans on February 08, 2011, 09:04:41 PM
Often, it doesn't even do that. Also as soon as you drop, your AC instantly goes down to 1 + armor bonus, regardless of its original value due to being prone and helpless. So you go down, they swing once more, either they roll a 1 or you die. And since there is two of them this happens on the same round.
I was going off of the +4 to hit that was provided. Most ACs at 1st level aren't below 14.

Quote
And don't pretend Orcs aren't vicious enough to do that either. Don't like Orcs? There's Goblins (opportunistic little bitches), Kobolds (see opportunist), Hobgoblins (ruthless, vicious warriors)... every single foe, even at low level will do this.
I don't think they will, as long as their are other threats on the field wasting the action to kill an unconscious person is very wasteful to things that care about dying. Mindless  undead would, some animals might try to drag him off to eat him, dragon might reposition to include that person in its cone.

Quote
Also, 71 HP at level 7? Bit on the high side there.
D10 with an 18  constitution. Which would be 16 starting and a +2 item by 6th or 7th. That would be a bit high. If it was a Barbarian or Warblade it would be about right.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 09:19:31 PM
Affording 18 Str, 16 Con, and the other stuff is kinda hard.

As for making sure they're dead, they live in a world where people can be six seconds from death, and some guy says some stuff about divine assistance and he gets up like it never even happened. Also, the whole evil savage dick thing. Not to mention all those enemies that wasted a feat on Cleave have to do something with it, right? Sure Orcs don't have it, but others do.

And if the first attack misses, well the second likely hits. AC 15 means 1/4 chance they both miss, otherwise at least one hits.

Remember also this is happening in every round, in every fight. So even if the first time only the second one hits, or they both miss, your luck will not hold out, and you will be the next victim of Iterative Probability.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Kajhera on February 08, 2011, 09:28:11 PM
Affording 18 Str, 16 Con, and the other stuff is kinda hard.

As for making sure they're dead, they live in a world where people can be six seconds from death, and some guy says some stuff about divine assistance and he gets up like it never even happened. Also, the whole evil savage dick thing. Not to mention all those enemies that wasted a feat on Cleave have to do something with it, right? Sure Orcs don't have it, but others do.

And if the first attack misses, well the second likely hits. AC 15 means 1/4 chance they both miss, otherwise at least one hits.

Remember also this is happening in every round, in every fight. So even if the first time only the second one hits, or they both miss, your luck will not hold out, and you will be the next victim of Iterative Probability.

Sorry, I forgot the thread of this conversation.

...Point is that Orc Warriors are low-level rockets, right?
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: lans on February 08, 2011, 09:44:09 PM
Affording 18 Str, 16 Con, and the other stuff is kinda hard.
Probably would be 18/14 or 16/14, but thats why I agreed that the 71hp would be a bit high for non d12 classes.  Though it would be be  right if the person was a race that gave a con boost.

Edit- Though 2 levels in Puglist fighter might lead to a dragonborn orc fighter with 20s in both for Dr 6/- that stacks with other DR.

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As for making sure they're dead, they live in a world where people can be six seconds from death, and some guy says some stuff about divine assistance and he gets up like it never even happened. Also, the whole evil savage dick thing. Not to mention all those enemies that wasted a feat on Cleave have to do something with it, right? Sure Orcs don't have it, but others do.
This gets into whether you can drop a dropped opponent, I don't think you can. I also think that the orc would be concerned with taking out the other fucker trying to kill him.


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And if the first attack misses, well the second likely hits. AC 15 means 1/4 chance they both miss, otherwise at least one hits.
I don't think they will hit a downed guy, but a hit that takes him down to 1 or 0 followed by another hit would the main threat.
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Remember also this is happening in every round, in every fight. So even if the first time only the second one hits, or they both miss, your luck will not hold out, and you will be the next victim of Iterative Probability.

Yeah, that is an issue. I'm more concerned by the stray crit with an x3 weapon at those levels than getting double tapped.
Sorry, I forgot the thread of this conversation.

...Point is that Orc Warriors are low-level rockets, right?
Pretty much, I don't think they really are. Though, Orc Whirlybarians on the other hand...
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: dark_samuari on February 08, 2011, 11:27:58 PM
Players are expected to die? Wow, well, I am glad I don't play in games like that, and I tend to enjoy high-powered games with high levels of difficulty. This is where the concept of IP proofing comes in...you are expected to make characters that can stay alive, not characters that die regularly.

All characters eventually die.

Do they? (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=5996.0)

Immortality isn't quite absolute invulnerability.

Plus... Who wants to live forever?  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYOE_b4aYD0)
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 08, 2011, 11:43:34 PM
Affording 18 Str, 16 Con, and the other stuff is kinda hard.

As for making sure they're dead, they live in a world where people can be six seconds from death, and some guy says some stuff about divine assistance and he gets up like it never even happened. Also, the whole evil savage dick thing. Not to mention all those enemies that wasted a feat on Cleave have to do something with it, right? Sure Orcs don't have it, but others do.

And if the first attack misses, well the second likely hits. AC 15 means 1/4 chance they both miss, otherwise at least one hits.

Remember also this is happening in every round, in every fight. So even if the first time only the second one hits, or they both miss, your luck will not hold out, and you will be the next victim of Iterative Probability.

Sorry, I forgot the thread of this conversation.

...Point is that Orc Warriors are low-level rockets, right?

More that even low levels, and humanoids are Rocket Tag. But yes. Even stock mob Orcs are pretty damn dangerous at level 1 and 2. Actually competent Orcs, who have an 18 in their main stat instead of a 13 do 2d4+9 of course, with a +7 to hit. But this isn't about that, as even the gimpy Orcs shoot a rocket at you. They also out DPS healing, just like anything else at a non Heal level, and even on a one Orc per healer basis. Which of course means Mr. I have no solid arguments ever, but claim something isn't Rocket Tag when it is is completely wrong. As is always the case with such whining, flailing, and failing fucktards. Not that this surprises anyone, I just mention it for damage control purposes.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: lans on February 09, 2011, 01:16:41 AM
Corner case- The party is all equipped with full plate from a binder or a person who took the binding feats, which means they have an AC of 20 if they have shields. With +7 to hit the orcs have a DPS of 14*4 or 5.6, a healer or cleric with the healing domain heals 6.5.

Suck it. :P
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 01:19:11 AM
Hi Welcome
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: RelentlessImp on February 09, 2011, 01:25:33 AM
Corner case- The party is all equipped with full plate from a binder or a person who took the binding feats, which means they have an AC of 20 if they have shields. With +7 to hit the orcs have a DPS of 14*4 or 5.6, a healer or cleric with the healing domain heals 6.5.

Suck it. :P

Congrats, you found one of the very few non-Heal instances where healing outdoes DPR. Does it happen? Not really. At level 1 you still don't have enough slots to keep it up. :P
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 01:45:28 AM
While I was actually joking when I Hi Welcomed you, you did kinda forget there was two orcs...
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: lans on February 09, 2011, 01:59:00 AM
While I was actually joking when I Hi Welcomed you, you did kinda forget there was two orcs...
Ahh, but you said
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even on a one Orc per healer basis.
, with a more optimized route an Azurin Healer with a feat to shape theuraputic mantle and an aura would heal d8+1 caster level+3 healing hands+3 from mantle for 11.5 vs 11.2. Could add in a trait for another 1 point to healing. The full plate is actually +1 full plate, so thats 1 higher AC, add in a 12 dex for another point. If the person who was providing the full plate took a flaw it would provide 2/piercing to him.

At 7th level the Healer could heal 40 with a Cure Critical. 4d8+8 base, +4 from healing hands, +10 from mantle. Add in the draconic healing aura for another 7 on people below half. So, 47 a round with C.Crit, 42.5 with C. Serious, and 38 with cure moderate. An earth elemental does 40

Then there is debuffing to consider, a 7th level Bard can give -10 to hit with a save to resist of 21 with 18 charisma.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Kajhera on February 09, 2011, 10:06:09 AM
While I was actually joking when I Hi Welcomed you, you did kinda forget there was two orcs...
Ahh, but you said
Quote
even on a one Orc per healer basis.
, with a more optimized route an Azurin Healer with a feat to shape theuraputic mantle and an aura would heal d8+1 caster level+3 healing hands+3 from mantle for 11.5 vs 11.2. Could add in a trait for another 1 point to healing. The full plate is actually +1 full plate, so thats 1 higher AC, add in a 12 dex for another point. If the person who was providing the full plate took a flaw it would provide 2/piercing to him.

At 7th level the Healer could heal 40 with a Cure Critical. 4d8+8 base, +4 from healing hands, +10 from mantle. Add in the draconic healing aura for another 7 on people below half. So, 47 a round with C.Crit, 42.5 with C. Serious, and 38 with cure moderate. An earth elemental does 40

Then there is debuffing to consider, a 7th level Bard can give -10 to hit with a save to resist of 21 with 18 charisma.

...Are we optimizing healing in order to out-heal the DPS of CR 1/2 orcs now?  ??? That sounds ... like an NPC I would want to have in the party at least I admit.

The bard swearing at things to debuff them makes this party increasingly entertaining, but we're still probably gonna need some way to actually fight the orc warriors / earth elemental.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 10:48:15 AM
I mentioned the even on a 1 Orc per healer basis to illustrate that even if you succeed, you still fail. After all, there are PLENTY of instances, even in routine encounters where enemies can just focus fire on the same person and drop them in one round. They are most common at level 1 though, mostly because you can't do anything about them. Anything harder than routine makes it worse. The solution, of course is to use mitigation measures that actually work.

Now I was speaking with someone who has no D&D experience last night. Even she knew how things were "supposed" to work. She did not know how things actually did work. I told her. She was very surprised and amused. The bit about the Cleric went something like this:

Me: The Cleric, by the way is meant to be a heal bitch. Guess what they're supposed to be doing?
Her: Going in the thick of it?
Me: Well that's one answer, but the answer is actually "anything other than healing". Buffing the party actually provides enough mitigation to help. Casting offensive magic on the enemy actually provides enough mitigation to help. Going in there and fighting the enemy actually provides enough mitigation to help. Healing means they still take more damage than you heal and still die. As an added bonus, actually doing things is more fun than being a heal bitch.

I forgot to mention this was in combat, and out of combat healing is not subjected to this. But it was kind of implied by the terms, and she's smart, so she likely knew what I meant.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: lans on February 09, 2011, 11:31:38 AM
While I was actually joking when I Hi Welcomed you, you did kinda forget there was two orcs...
Ahh, but you said
Quote
even on a one Orc per healer basis.
, with a more optimized route an Azurin Healer with a feat to shape theuraputic mantle and an aura would heal d8+1 caster level+3 healing hands+3 from mantle for 11.5 vs 11.2. Could add in a trait for another 1 point to healing. The full plate is actually +1 full plate, so thats 1 higher AC, add in a 12 dex for another point. If the person who was providing the full plate took a flaw it would provide 2/piercing to him.

At 7th level the Healer could heal 40 with a Cure Critical. 4d8+8 base, +4 from healing hands, +10 from mantle. Add in the draconic healing aura for another 7 on people below half. So, 47 a round with C.Crit, 42.5 with C. Serious, and 38 with cure moderate. An earth elemental does 40

Then there is debuffing to consider, a 7th level Bard can give -10 to hit with a save to resist of 21 with 18 charisma.

...Are we optimizing healing in order to out-heal the DPS of CR 1/2 orcs now?  ??? That sounds ... like an NPC I would want to have in the party at least I admit.

It also out heals stock ogres. At level 1. Though I had the numbers wrong for the cures below C.Crit for the earth elemental. Serious should be 41.5, moderate should be 37.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Kajhera on February 09, 2011, 11:35:05 AM
While I was actually joking when I Hi Welcomed you, you did kinda forget there was two orcs...
Ahh, but you said
Quote
even on a one Orc per healer basis.
, with a more optimized route an Azurin Healer with a feat to shape theuraputic mantle and an aura would heal d8+1 caster level+3 healing hands+3 from mantle for 11.5 vs 11.2. Could add in a trait for another 1 point to healing. The full plate is actually +1 full plate, so thats 1 higher AC, add in a 12 dex for another point. If the person who was providing the full plate took a flaw it would provide 2/piercing to him.

At 7th level the Healer could heal 40 with a Cure Critical. 4d8+8 base, +4 from healing hands, +10 from mantle. Add in the draconic healing aura for another 7 on people below half. So, 47 a round with C.Crit, 42.5 with C. Serious, and 38 with cure moderate. An earth elemental does 40

Then there is debuffing to consider, a 7th level Bard can give -10 to hit with a save to resist of 21 with 18 charisma.

...Are we optimizing healing in order to out-heal the DPS of CR 1/2 orcs now?  ??? That sounds ... like an NPC I would want to have in the party at least I admit.

It also out heals stock ogres. At level 1. Though I had the numbers wrong for the cures below C.Crit for the earth elemental. Serious should be 41.5, moderate should be 37.

Ooh. Maybe I should get one as a follower and carry him around in my pocket. Erm if I can find a way to get our relative sizes that way.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 11:35:28 AM
Ogre does 2d8+9. That's 11-25. So no, no it fucking doesn't, because it can just take level 1s full to dead in one shot.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: bearsarebrown on February 09, 2011, 11:42:19 AM
Sunic would you agree that level 4-6 are the least Rocket-Taggy? Maybe 4-8? Immediate actions have just come online and you finally have a good amount of HP compared to weapon damage.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: lans on February 09, 2011, 11:47:02 AM
Ogre does 2d8+9. That's 11-25. So no, no it fucking doesn't, because it can just take level 1s full to dead in one shot.
And its average damage is 18*3 for 5.4 a round. We weren't talking reality land here, just HPR vs DPR.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 12:12:36 PM
Sunic would you agree that level 4-6 are the least Rocket-Taggy? Maybe 4-8? Immediate actions have just come online and you finally have a good amount of HP compared to weapon damage.

Not really.

You have a reduced chance of being taken out in one hit from an auto attack. Enemies at this level can full attack. You still have bad saves, and can be easily shut down by Glitterdust/Slow/Web... You don't really have immunities yet. You don't have a lot of Immediate action defenses. You might even have none.

Believe it or not, Rocket Tag is lowest at the HIGHEST levels. Sure, you get hit by a rocket, you fucking die. You have a lot more means to avoid this, however.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: veekie on February 09, 2011, 12:21:11 PM
Lots more rockets flying around is the difference though. I think I concur with the 4-8 level being lightest on rocket tag. The simple version has just expired(pure blind luck) and the sheer volume of approaches(particularly angles that can kill you with no save, which MUST be guarded) that come with the teen levels have yet to arrive.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 09, 2011, 01:39:23 PM
Not really. At most there's Swift action spells, which are lower DC, and can be done via other means anyways.

I mean, I've seen high level characters literally take a hundred spells to the face without a scratch. And I don't mean crap like CL 1 Magic Missile when you have a Shield spell. I mean good spells, often save or loses.

Nothing lower comes close in protection vs rocket tag.
Title: Re: Challenging 3.5 and Pathfinder Parties in Practice
Post by: PowerMaster on February 12, 2011, 04:52:50 PM
Thanks my friend, downloaded and reading in progress...