Author Topic: Defining Undefined D&D Terms  (Read 6009 times)

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Paradox

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2010, 11:23:45 PM »
"A base class is any class that could be taken at level one by a member of any race."
Note quite open enough; the requisite should take into account pseudo-arbitrary restrictions that can reasonably be met at level 1.

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2010, 11:27:52 PM »
Restrictions on alignment may apply. Offer void where prohibited.

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2010, 11:29:54 PM »
You can meet the prereqs for paladin regardless of your race or feats. *shrugs*
My work
The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
Tier 2: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything, or the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.
Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]

JaronK

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2010, 12:16:26 AM »
"A base class is any class that could be taken at level one by a member of any race."

That one feels a bit arbitrary... is there anything that "20 levels long and can be taken at level 1" doesn't cover, or does cover but shouldn't?  And come to think of it, I think Alternate Classes (like those from Unearthed Arcana) are still Base Classes, but possibly not Standard Classes.  So there might be a difference after all.  Consider this quote, from http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/classFeatureVariants.htm :

Quote

That sounds to me like Standard Classes doesn't include variants or alternative class features.  But then comes the next question, what about racial substitution levels?  Does that count as being part of the base class (which is then racially restricted)?  I don't think it's a standard class from the wording, but I'm not sure if it's considered a new base class or not (Unearthed Arcana's sidebar indicates that alternate classes like that do count as entirely different classes, so a Cloistered Cleric is a base class, but not the same base class as the Cleric).  Or are alternative class features different from variant classes?  Huh.

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2010, 03:51:10 AM »
I'm confused before I even finished reading this and long before I started posted.

So we're on the same page, you are trying to define terms used in D&D that are not quite called out right? So far all you have is a list of references and in your first post you start pulling exception stuff again. Some of the very things you wish to define can be found by reading the books too.

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Encounter
An encounter usually drains the parties resources in some manner. HP, spells per day, healing, limited magic item usage, and so on but not always. The level of the encounter is hard to judge and takes into account several factors. The DMI & DMGII contain details on this and if you still have questions on how to handle encounter levels this is the wrong thread to ask them (see the GM Gameology subforum).

Defined types
Combat: A fight between the party and a single or group of monsters and/or traps.
Negotiation: Roleplaying and/or skill checks to achieve the desired results though noncombat interaction between two or more people.
Environmental: Weather, earthquakes, landslides, fast moving water, and fires to name a few.
Problem-Solving: mysteries, puzzles, or riddles. Likely it creates no drain on resources but annoys the crap out of your players, give them some XP to make up for it.
Judgment Calls: Do you chop the arm off the guy stealing food for his family? See also roleplaying rewards (DMG).
Investigation: A long term combination of negotiation & problem solving, ie when saying 'friend' in elven just isn't worth a reward.
Sources: DMG, Encounters, pg50.
See Also: Adventures (DMG).
Note: Abilities that reset via start of a new encounter may also regenerate at the rate of once per ten rounds or so (FAQ ruling (link?)), there is not set time span on how far the encounters must be spaced apart to count as separate encounters but it is advised to be five minutes (source?)


Creature or Monster?

Creature (what players tend to use)
A. Must have a forum of ability generation with limits.
B. Must have a race or defined typeof.
C. Advances, either through class levels, racial HD, or other specific method (such as blood lines or monster class levels) using XP as defined by B.
D. Limited to what ever their race, class, feats, items, and direct DM interference gives them.

Monster : Creature
A. As their own default ability array, limitless in scores (ie can start with 35 str if desired).
B. Always has at least a fraction of racial HD.
D. abstract (must be overriden), gains and is granted abilities by the author or DMs whim (or simply set to gains/loses nothing).
E. Is not usable by Players without DM permission.

Barghest : Monster
C. Overrides Creature's advancement, Barghests advance by eating other Creatures.
D. Barghest has several abilities that cannot be obtained normally.
E. Savage Species overrides Barghest's E, players may play as one using a monster class (normally LA entries found in the typeof override).

Sanity
A. A Barghest is a Monster and is a Creature.
B. A Goblin is a Monster and is a Creature.
C. A Goblin is not a Barghest.
D. An Elven Bard is a Creature.
E. An Elf cannot be compared (race is not a creature).

Sources: Monster Creation (MM), Printed Monsters, & Rules Order (SRD/RC) explained using type casting and inheritance per type oriented programming languages.



Race
A. Races add or remove abilities and bonuses, they may force Racial Hit Dice levels as well.
B. Race is an addon to Creature and is often null in the case of creatures who instead use their typeof instead.
C. Races gain levels by obtaining XP, starting HD sets starting XP appropriately.



Base Class (and it's synonym Standard Class)
Has 20 levels gained through XP, may or may not have alignment/race requirements to taking levels in it.
Source: DMGII, pg209.
See Also: Designing Prestige Classes (DMGII).


Tiers explained in 8 sentences. With examples!
[spoiler]Tiers break down into who has spellcasting more than anything else due to spells being better than anything else in the game.
6: Skill based. Commoner, Expert, Samurai.
5: Mundane warrior. Barbarian, Fighter, Monk.
4: Partial casters. Adapt, Hexblade, Paladin, Ranger, Spelltheif.
3: Focused casters. Bard, Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, Martial Adapts, Warmage.
2: Full casters. Favored Soul, Psion, Sorcerer, Wu Jen.
1: Elitists. Artificer, Cleric, Druid, Wizard.
0: Gods. StP Erudite, Illthid Savant, Pun-Pun, Rocks fall & you die.
[/spoiler]

JaronK

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #25 on: October 01, 2010, 04:35:37 AM »
Okay, the point of this was to collect all references to poorly defined terms and come up with a singular definition.   You seem to be describing things, not defining them.  And yes, I'm "pulling exception stuff."  If there's an exception, it's a bad definition.  There should be no exceptions for a good definition. 

Also, some of your definitions (if that's what you're doing) seem off.  Not all creatures advance by XP, for example.  Animated Objects, for example, don't have any advancement, but they're still creatures, so if you were trying to have a definition of Creature that includes "Advances, either through class levels, racial HD, or other specific method (such as blood lines or monster class levels) using XP" that would be a bad definition.

Your definition of monster is also wrong.  You say a DM must give you permission to play one... but Dominate Monster works on an elf, so an elf is a monster (it's also in the Monster Manual).  You don't generally need any special permission to play an elf.  These objections are true for all other PC playable races in the PHB (except Human for some reason... they're not in the Monster Manual).

Not sure what you're going for with races either.  "Kobold" is a race, for example.  I think you're confusing "Race" with subtype or something.  Races of the Dragon gives three new Races.  The same is true for Races of the Wild and Races of Destiny.  A Race isn't a modifier or add on to creature. 

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The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2010, 04:55:44 AM »
I'd say using names of spells as fodder for definitions is problematic, since "dominate monster" is a spell that's been inherited from earlier editions.
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JaronK

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2010, 05:26:01 AM »
In that case, consider the fact that Elves, Gnomes, Kobolds, Dwarves and so on are all in the Monster Manual as monsters, but are also listed as PC playable races with entire sections on playing them.  Either way, they're monsters that require no special permission by the DM to play, so the definition of "monster" can't include that you need special permission to play as them. 

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #28 on: October 01, 2010, 05:33:52 AM »
There should probably be a provision in the base/standard class definition that excludes the ghaele monster class (Savage Species 171). 

spacemonkey555

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2010, 06:07:43 AM »
base/standard classes can trigger multiclass penalties.. not sure if thats a decent way to segregate or define them tho since there's so many varieties of base class, racial class, monster class, substitution levels, prestige classes, etc now...

JaronK

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #30 on: October 01, 2010, 08:14:05 AM »
base/standard classes can trigger multiclass penalties.. not sure if thats a decent way to segregate or define them tho since there's so many varieties of base class, racial class, monster class, substitution levels, prestige classes, etc now...

Unfortunately, the multiclass penalties rule just says it triggers if you have multiple base classes... but doesn't help tell you what a base class actually is.

I hadn't considered racial/monster classes at all though, and a 20 level long one looks like it still fits the definition here (which it shouldn't).  I suppose simply saying "A base class is any class that is 20 levels long, can be entered at level 1, and is not a monster class" would work, but then we'd have to define monster class as well (which shouldn't be too hard).

JaronK

JohnnyMayHymn

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #31 on: October 01, 2010, 08:44:01 AM »
In the Character Class Index, epic druid is listed as a different class than a druid, also planar substitution levels, racial substitution levels, and even a few monster progressions (thri-kreen racial class(a class with class in it's name, curious)) are all listed as "character class"
[spoiler]http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/lists/class[/spoiler]

the "Prestige Class Index" lists everything you would expect to find, also differentiates between epic black guard and black guard, epic psion and epic psychic warrior,  ..... wait WTF?

it seems that the "epic psion" and "epic psychic warrior" are soooo epic they are on both lists!    :facepalm
[spoiler]http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/lists/prc[/spoiler]

Monster Index, this should help with that one anyway..... human is not on here, elf made the list as well as animated object, Tiamat and a "Teant" that is supposedly in the Monster Manual but is not there......(ya i know it's a Treant typo(anticipatory rebuttal for the nitpickers))
[spoiler]http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/lists/monsters&tablesort=1[/spoiler]
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Suzerain

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #32 on: October 01, 2010, 10:32:09 AM »
A base class could also be anything that has a listed starting gold. Sure, some designers forgot to list it, but they were errataed or something.... right?

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2010, 12:03:53 PM »
I believe an encounter was defined as "1 minute" somewhere.
Tome of Battle sets it to 5 minutes after anything noteable happens for the encounter to be officially over.

That said, "Creature" is actually rather well defined as anything with a Wisdom and Charisma score (if it has one, it has both).  Yes, this means that intelligent items are technically creatures (in fact, they are stated as such), but they do have specific rules regarding them.
I am constantly amazed by how many DM's ban Tomb of Battle.  The book doesn't even exist!

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The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2010, 03:56:05 PM »
A base class could also be anything that has a listed starting gold. Sure, some designers forgot to list it, but they were errataed or something.... right?
Not all of them (factotum or dread necro is still missing it, IIRC).

"Anything that multiplies your skill points at first level"?
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Prime32

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2010, 04:01:50 PM »
A class which can be entered at lv1 and has no prerequisites other than alignment?
My work
The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
Tier 2: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything, or the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.
Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]

The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2010, 04:09:13 PM »
A class that can be entered at first level with no racial restrictions?
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SorO_Lost

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #37 on: October 01, 2010, 04:11:14 PM »
Okay, the point of this was to collect all references to poorly defined terms and come up with a singular definition.   You seem to be describing things, not defining them.  And yes, I'm "pulling exception stuff."  If there's an exception, it's a bad definition.  There should be no exceptions for a good definition.
But this is D&D, not US law or even MtG. Lower your standards or if your going to expend as much effort as D&D takes, write your own game.


Also, some of your definitions (if that's what you're doing) seem off.  Not all creatures advance by XP, for example.  Animated Objects, for example, don't have any advancement, but they're still creatures, so if you were trying to have a definition of Creature that includes "Advances, either through class levels, racial HD, or other specific method (such as blood lines or monster class levels) using XP" that would be a bad definition.
Already covered.

Animated Object : Monster
C. Overrides Creature's advancement, Animated Objects cannot gain additional XP.

Following the presented example of
[/I]Barghest : Monster
C. Overrides Creature's advancement, Barghests advance by eating other Creatures.[/I]


Your definition of monster is also wrong.  You say a DM must give you permission to play one... but Dominate Monster works on an elf, so an elf is a monster (it's also in the Monster Manual).  You don't generally need any special permission to play an elf.  These objections are true for all other PC playable races in the PHB (except Human for some reason... they're not in the Monster Manual).
My use of the word 'monster' is a typeof, spell usage of 'monster' is a string meant to be understandable to players. If that sounds like a lame excuse, I am reminded of the Grease arguments that it is flammable simply because the name is of something flammable in real when in fact the spell isn't (see first quote answer).

Not sure what you're going for with races either.  "Kobold" is a race, for example.  I think you're confusing "Race" with subtype or something.  Races of the Dragon gives three new Races.  The same is true for Races of the Wild and Races of Destiny.  A Race isn't a modifier or add on to creature.
It is though.

Make an aberration with 11HD. Did you come up with the following ability array; Str 20, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 5?
Same here, now look at using the play as a monster rules and the Chuul. Not only do you look, walk, and talk like one now but you'll have racial bonuses to ability scores. Oh and stuff like Improved Grab, Paralytic Tentacles.

Creature (what players tend to use)
B. Must have a race or defined typeof.


Tiers explained in 8 sentences. With examples!
[spoiler]Tiers break down into who has spellcasting more than anything else due to spells being better than anything else in the game.
6: Skill based. Commoner, Expert, Samurai.
5: Mundane warrior. Barbarian, Fighter, Monk.
4: Partial casters. Adapt, Hexblade, Paladin, Ranger, Spelltheif.
3: Focused casters. Bard, Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, Martial Adapts, Warmage.
2: Full casters. Favored Soul, Psion, Sorcerer, Wu Jen.
1: Elitists. Artificer, Cleric, Druid, Wizard.
0: Gods. StP Erudite, Illthid Savant, Pun-Pun, Rocks fall & you die.
[/spoiler]

The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2010, 04:34:08 PM »
A race isn't an addon.  It's the basis.  You can have a creature without a class, skill points, or feats, but you can't have a creature without a race.
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Solo

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Re: Defining Undefined D&D Terms
« Reply #39 on: October 01, 2010, 04:38:34 PM »
Wow, we're playing the race card early on in the thread, aren't we?

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

The Legend RPG, which I worked on and encourage you to read.