Author Topic: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?  (Read 100504 times)

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Bozwevial

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #360 on: February 09, 2011, 04:54:29 PM »
I love scouting.

With pigeons.

Have I mentioned this?

Yes? Oh. Sorry.  :blush
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Amadi

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #361 on: February 09, 2011, 04:56:22 PM »
Like Veekie said, using any single encounter as if it were representative of what makes scouts fail doesn't hold up, so we need to have a more in depth conversation, open to other possibilities and explore the issue further. Sunic may well change my mind on the scenario. The biggest reason he hasn't yet is because his arguments hold little water. Were he to present a legitimate case that scouting cannot succeed over 70% or greater cases where scouting would even prove useful, hell probably even 50%, in a Tier 3 game, then I think I'd have to concede that the "stealthy dude" role is just not a viable one. And it is possible for him to do that.

I don't think you get the point. Even if you succeed in 70% of the cases, you fail 30%. Failing 30% means that you die like 25% of the time.

Seriously, the fact that stealth is shut down by most mundane of things all the time should spell out that it isn't viable. Let's start.. Sunlight, well-lit corridors, closed doors, traps, bats, tight guarded corridors, wide open spaces, vantage points...

You could scout effectively, sure. To do that, you need to remove the part where it relies on a skill to work. Anything sucks without huge optimization if it relies on a skill. Even full casters, see Truenamer. So, if you want to scout, roll a ghost monster class 1 / anything, and l2cast invisibility. Be a caster, so you actually have an escape through Celerity => Fly inside a wall, or teleport, plane shift or anything. Forget about hide, since if you have to rely on it, you're doomed anyway, and forget about move silently since you cannot be heard unless you want to be heard. You are now undetectable to anything without See Invisible, True Sight, or Mindsight. Now dip to mindbender and take mindsight. Proceed to live inside walls. You are now undetectable to everything but Mindsight. Scrying magic works, I suppose, until you get Mind Blank or Nondetection or some shit like that.

I suppose you are now "stealth-based", only you are full caster and not a gimp. And you're not actually stealth-based, you just got it as a bonus.

X-Codes

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #362 on: February 09, 2011, 04:56:50 PM »
The numbers are definitely against the Stealthy Dude.
The intelligence of the monsters are definitely against the Stealthy Dude.
There are a few feats and spells that completely nullify the Stealthy Dude.
There are also a few feats and spells that dramatically improve the Stealthy Dude's performance.

But, in the majority of games there exists a rubric of success versus failure for a player that means he will succeed the majority of the time. Even if the DM has to coddle the player to a reasonable extent, he will coddle the player to a reasonable extent, if only because it's not unreasonable for the player to want to enjoy being the Stealthy Dude. By simple virtue of the fact that the player has invested a sizable amount of resources towards the goal of being the Stealth Dude the DM is almost obligated to provide him... let's say 80%... success.
It's not even about coddling.  In fact, I think the only thing this thread has proven is that the CR system is completely and hopelessly borked.  Difficulty is based on how effective the party can be against a monster, and if the monster is "IP Proofed" then it's obvious that the entire party is simply screwed.  If the entire party is "IP Proofed," then the monsters sent to fight said party are doomed to failure so epic that I can't imagine it being a very satisfying victory for the PCs.

So it really comes down to what we define 'Viable' as. Is the role of Stealthy Dude viable for personal enjoyment? Definitely. Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable expense of resources compared to alternative forms of recon? No. Does recon of any kind provide viable benefits to the party? Entirely debatable based upon the type of campaign you play in.
In virtually all campaigns, proper scouting enables the party to almost certainly gain a Surprise Round over the opposition, and position themselves in such a manner that the squishy characters are protected, and the squishy monsters are either exposed or dead.  In higher-level campaigns where people plan out engagements, proper scouting is absolutely vital to gameplay, period.

Sunic_Flames

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #363 on: February 09, 2011, 05:05:49 PM »
Edit:  Also I am trying to remain civil on posting.  I am not one for insults and such as it proves nothing.  I like how Sunic and Jaron have good points on the subject.  Still it comes down to DM handling it.  If a DM wants to make his players have 30+ sheets of characters then why bother role playing.  All the game becomes is a numbers exercise to see what is the best option for completing an adventure.  I had a DM who made the game me vs him.  I had to outwit him, I had to think of stratgies to defeat his plans, I had to work for his respect.  Games like that are no fun.  On the other side of the coin neither is a game where combat takes 2-3 hours and all of it is because people make their characters for "role playing".

No, it doesn't, because the reason why scouts fail is nice, solid numbers. Not subjective useless handwaving. It doesn't much matter if it's a Rogue, or a Factorum, or a goddamned DRUID getting owned, the point is that scouts get owned. That's not dying over and over and over (unless you're a gimp), it's not DM vs player, despite my snarky remarks towards Jaron. It's called you must be this tall to play, and if you're too short, you don't play.

As for coddling, no, there is no fucking coddling, because doing so not only promotes bad play in your game, it means more headaches for any other MCs they might have. "Player wants scouting to be viable."

I WANT WINTER TO NOT BE FUCKING COLD!

And that's nice and all, but since winter is fucking cold, and scouts fucking fail, we're not going to get what we want just because we want it. And would you like a pony with that? That sounds dangerously close to entitlement.

If you want to do something, you need actual abilities to do that. If you lack said abilities, you fail. With something inherently flawed, like stealth you can't get said abilities. Your archetype is not supported, deal with it.

But let's pretend he has a MC who warps and undermines his entire world so that the gimp can succeed 80% of the time, and not the vastly lower number he actually does. It doesn't take another reference to Iterative Probability to illustrate how completely and utterly fucked he is, as it will on average take three attempts before the odds are about even he fails. And as soon as he does fail, even once, he gets slaughtered. I hope you have a twelve pack of those scouts, because even with a coddling MC, you'll fucking need them all.

As for X Codes, and his whining, flailing, and failing funny thing about that. IP proofed party vs IP proofed enemy didn't result in a hopeless battle, and it didn't result in an easy battle. It instead resulted in... a draw.

Scouting, meanwhile would have resulted in a dead gimp, and a short man party. And here's a really novel question.

Who the fuck does the scout replace?

Druid? Let's see, you lose the guide keeping everyone on the right track, you lose the class feature as good or better than the scout by itself, and don't forget the might of DRUID SPELLS.

Wizard? Lol, losing primary source of save or loses means the group fails.

Undead Cleric? Hey, someone who can spot ambushes that isn't a gimp. Also, lots of Str damage in an easy to hit with form.

Living Cleric? Save or loses, DPS...

Clearly, the scout isn't worth as much as any of these. Nor is it worth -20% XP and loot to all of them, to take a 5th person.

If you assume a lower tier party, the scout still completely and utterly fails to justify his existence.
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Incendax

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #364 on: February 09, 2011, 05:28:07 PM »
As for coddling, no, there is no fucking coddling, because doing so not only promotes bad play in your game, it means more headaches for any other MCs they might have. "Player wants scouting to be viable."
Unfortunately, coddling is pretty much the norm for just about every game in existence. Since the CR system is so completely broken it's always up to the DM to make sure you don't get casually turned into roadkill. In any game where there are classes of a different Tier you've either got a player who does not mind sucking, or is getting coddled. The very basis of the idea that players should share the spotlight involves coddling since the DM has to arrange those spotlights to be shared.

It doesn't even matter if it promotes bad play, because the class system itself promotes bad play, and you're probably never going to find a game that doesn't involve coddling. In truth, expecting a game that does not involve coddling is wishing winter were not cold. Coddling is like oxygen. It exists everywhere to some degree or another so long as the DM has even an ounce of desire to provide his players with an enjoyable experience. That's pretty much a given since he's running the game for you in the first place, unless he's a sadistic nutjob who just wants to see how long he can torment his players before they walk.  :lol
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 05:29:40 PM by Incendax »

bkdubs123

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #365 on: February 09, 2011, 05:33:56 PM »
Should I assume that you mean that any melee type character less than a Feral Mineral Warrior Dragonborn Incarnate Warforged Warblade to be a gimp? I'm just asking.

Quote
But I'm talking about the lower tier casters. Tier 3 is precisely what I'm talking about. What can a Dread Necromancer and a Beguiler do to reliably bust through SR 25 AND maintain save DCs of 25+?

We've established what Tier 1 and Tier 2 characters do that makes scouting both irrelevant and undesirable. They have powerful divinations they use to better effect and with less party danger. So, if we're talking about scouting then we're talking about a Tier 3 game at best. I essentially don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to optimizing, but Sunic, you do, or at least you claim to. So, arriving at what exactly an optimized Tier 3 character is capable of, even should be capable of in your opinion, can only help us further a legitimate discussion.

Quote
Sunic, you mentioned at some point, god knows I'm too lazy to look for the specific page and post, you mentioned that the "scouts are cool" crowd is like the "Monk PWN" crowd in that both characters fail for the same reasons, except that I must disagree with you here. The Monk fails because the class itself has no level appropriate class features or encounter contributions to offer a party or game. A Scout may invest a feat or two for their role, and they invest some of their many skill points, but at the end of the day they still have class features, which are often pretty awesome. A Rogue has sneak attack, a Factotum has spells, a Warlock has his invocations. They can still contribute meaningfully to encounters when they aren't scouting.

I'm reposting this one just for fairness.

Also, @Amadi: Yes, if you fail 30% of tasks, some of which involve life-threatening situations, you are some day going to get killed. The game assumes that this is going to happen and thus includes Raise Dead, Resurrection, and True Resurrection, among many other ways to return the dead to life. You appear to be coming dangerous close to saying something along the lines of, "any character not IP proofed enough to have 99.999% success in his chosen roles is a gimp and his player doesn't know how to play the game." Am I mistaken or is that what you are indeed saying?

Bozwevial

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #366 on: February 09, 2011, 05:35:16 PM »
Quick question: Has Sunic's game been linked in this thread?

SeekingKnight

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #367 on: February 09, 2011, 05:44:10 PM »
Point has been made.  D&D is ment to be play wizard, cleric, druid, archivist, ect.  If you don't you are stupid.  Point proven that table top games need to be shut down.  All of us here would be better going outside to play sport, get broken bones, and then smash our heads into a wall screaming that we are tops.  Then when someone says for us to calm down we pull out a weapon and made them pay for not being PERFECT.

We are better off working 24/7 to make money to die miserable because that is how the world works.  Thank you all for showing that table top games are for super brains who amount to nothing because they cannot dead lift one ton.

Kajhera

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #368 on: February 09, 2011, 05:52:51 PM »
Point has been made.  D&D is ment to be play wizard, cleric, druid, archivist, ect.  If you don't you are stupid.  Point proven that table top games need to be shut down.  All of us here would be better going outside to play sport, get broken bones, and then smash our heads into a wall screaming that we are tops.  Then when someone says for us to calm down we pull out a weapon and made them pay for not being PERFECT.

We are better off working 24/7 to make money to die miserable because that is how the world works.  Thank you all for showing that table top games are for super brains who amount to nothing because they cannot dead lift one ton.

You need a weapon?

Play a monk, mate. I mean, seriously.

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Talore

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #369 on: February 09, 2011, 06:04:46 PM »
bad play
D&D isn't just about powergaming. One can play virtually anything in a solo game due to roleplaying, btw.

It's completely off-topic and not meant as a 'retort' or anything, just needed to stress that.
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lans

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #370 on: February 09, 2011, 06:09:53 PM »
Quick question: Has Sunic's game been linked in this thread?
No, though it might be very helpful if it was.
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Dictum Mortuum

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #371 on: February 09, 2011, 06:11:37 PM »
I have the weirdest desire right now. Sunic, if there's a spot in any by post games you DM, consider me interested.
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SeekingKnight

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #372 on: February 09, 2011, 06:18:58 PM »
Gomenasi.. :blush

I tend to get very heated in debates and I speak my mind.  It just irks me that the "You must be this tall to play" is being attached to a hobby.  I do concede that when making a character it is very important to take into consideration being fully helpful to the group and not want to be difficult but it is another thing to say that if one does not play this specific build/class you are stupid.  Even WoW, which does have specific builds for things like tanking and stuff, only has it in mind for end game content and hardly for leveling (at least now where there are a lot of options to play).

Bester

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #373 on: February 09, 2011, 06:21:10 PM »
I have the weirdest desire right now. Sunic, if there's a spot in any by post games you DM, consider me interested.

I think everybody should have to roll 3d6 and take the stats in order rolled like oldschool d&d.  I think alot of us are from the old days where you were assumed to be a gimp from the start.  In the current editions with the point buys and 4d6 arrange...well.  Warlock is looking good, isn't it?

Shoot, 9 to my casting stat?  I can't cast spells!!!  Well I'm playing a wizard anyway!!!

Ras F

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #374 on: February 09, 2011, 06:59:05 PM »
If you are saying that there's something wrong with my math and that my use of those resources is elementary at best, please, explain to me how the Warblade is supposed to get beyond +20 to his attack rolls, among other tasty bonuses, using those same resources (or other resources that I am not even aware of).

I am likewise interested in this being addressed, for curiosities sake.
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dark_samuari

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #375 on: February 09, 2011, 07:10:11 PM »
I WANT WINTER TO NOT BE FUCKING COLD!

Move to Brazil? Eh?

snakeman830

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #376 on: February 09, 2011, 07:12:13 PM »
All of the numbers I've seen in actual practice show the following:

Very low levels (1-3): Everyone is frankly screwed.  Depending on race choice, the scout may or may not be difficult to detect and Hide/Move Silently is sufficient to hide.  Everything is luck-based at this point anyway, really.  Even so, traps are deadly, even through any buffs the Wizard/Cleric may be able to cast at this point.  Even worse is that nobody can detect most of them with any sort of reliability.

Low levels (3-6):  Scout is harder to detect, if not impossible (an Invisibility spell accomplishes the later), for most enemies.  Meanwhile, most foes are also easily spottable by any scout.  At the end of this period, exotic senses are common.  Darkstalker is basically required to continue past this point.  If the campagin features a lot of non-living foes, then look into undeath yourself.  Not only does it mean Lifesense can't detect you, but you're also immune to most of their special attacks.  Traps are still difficult to locate, but not impossible.  They're unlikely to mean instant death for whoever triggers them.

Everything else (7+): You need Darkstalker.  If you have it, you will only be located by three abilities (two if you're undead) and all of those abilities are rare.  Stealthy enemies are difficult to spot under the best of conditions leading to stealthy characters and enemies frequently passing each other without knowing.  Important to realize is that magical scouting breaks down at this point with Nondetection already on and Mind Blank starting at 15 (and both becoming more and more common).  After all, when a single spell can negate an entire archtype, you'd be stupid not to use it.  Traps at this point are a non-issue.  You find them regularly and even if you don't, the consequences don't mean much.

So, actually as you go up in level, scouting becomes more effective and important, not less.  The hardest part is the early levels.
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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #377 on: February 09, 2011, 07:57:17 PM »
This is how people pass time on the internet.

If only people could be content with watching porn...

How many times can you watch that DP video with the Pamela Anderson/Britney Spears/Lindsay Lohan lookalike without getting bored, anyways?
Less than one.

WAY less than one.
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SeekingKnight

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #378 on: February 09, 2011, 07:59:59 PM »
This is how people pass time on the internet.

If only people could be content with watching porn...

How many times can you watch that DP video with the Pamela Anderson/Britney Spears/Lindsay Lohan lookalike without getting bored, anyways?
Less than one.

WAY less than one.

Yeah right.  $10 says you have 2girls/1cup on your harddrive.

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Re: Is the role of Stealthy Dude a viable role in a party of non-stealthers?
« Reply #379 on: February 09, 2011, 08:24:20 PM »
This is how people pass time on the internet.

If only people could be content with watching porn...

How many times can you watch that DP video with the Pamela Anderson/Britney Spears/Lindsay Lohan lookalike without getting bored, anyways?
Less than one.

WAY less than one.

Yeah right.  $10 says you have 2girls/1cup on your harddrive.
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Which book is Lycanthromancer in?
Lyca ... is in the book. Yes he is.
 :D
shit.. concerning psionics optimization, lycan IS the book
[/spoiler]