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Tequila Sunrise
2009-05-29, 09:08 AM
I don't DM 3e anymore, but I find myself thinking about its quirks. This thread is NOT a dig at 3e, it's me asking if its quirks bother current 3e players and DMs like they bother me. Do you house rule them out, or live with them? (Feel free to add things that bug you, if you'd like.)

--The CR/EC system assumes that PCs pack magical bling, but there are no clear guidelines for exactly how much or how gaudy.

--CR is supposed to provide a yardstick for a DM to build encounters, but there are no clear guidelines for judging CR. Monster advancement rules are absurd.

--Certain very unique character concepts like spellthief, LG paladin, bard, ranger, druid are base classes while other equally unique concepts are not like the evil & CG paladin.

--Barbarian illiteracy. So the hippy-tree-hugger who was raised by wolves knows how to read and write, and the street punk pickpocket graduated from the Head Start program, but barbarians are categorically illiterate? What's the deal?

--Anyone can pick up Improved Initiative, Blind-Fight and Weapon Focus, but Evasion, Uncanny Dodge and speed boosts are somehow worthy of restriction.

--We roll for random abilities and HP, but not for any of the other two dozen PC stats, like starting level.

--Small size is more like Small Lite: you get to be cute and furry, but you don't have to suffer the logical drawbacks of being short [like reduced Reach]. You're effectively a Medium character that does a little less damage.

--Smaller and larger size categories modify attack rolls and AC exponentially, but all other stats linearly. Categories modify Hide, but not MS or any perception skills. Apparently that giant is easy to spot but his footsteps are just as soft as mine.

--Half-orcs are a standard PC race, but orcs aren't.

--Alignment and multiclassing restrictions. I don't like game mechanics telling me how to role play my character, or which life path he would or would not take.

--The morningstar and mace are the same except one is heavier and more expensive. Out of a thousand weapons scattered throughout a dozen splatbooks, your weapon choice basically comes down to: weapon & shield, two weapons, big weapon or bow. So why do we need a thousand stats for what should be mostly a descriptive decision?

--We roll to attack with a sword, but we name a DC to attack with a fireball.

--Most of the game follows the simple 1d20 + modifiers pattern, except Turn Undead. And it's not even a better mechanic. Standard attacks require a roll vs. a DC, but special maneuvers require opposed rolls.

--It's okay for everyone to have dozens of HP at high levels, because everyone has a 5% chance to die every time they take 50 damage. How exactly does this simulate anything?

--Dual wielding is great for a ranger or rogue, but categorically sucks for anyone else.

--Some schools of magic are defined by their means, others by their ends. Forcecage is evocation, mage armor is conjuration and shield is abjuration. Inflicts are necromancy, but cures are conjuration.

--Power Attack & other options that allow PCs to trade accuracy for damage are required to survive at high levels, but they're optional.

Tsotha-lanti
2009-05-29, 09:27 AM
--The CR/EC system assumes that PCs pack magical bling, but there are no clear guidelines for exactly how much or how gaudy.

It's called WBL. (And MIC even has some kind of guidelines for individual item values.)

Other than that, I pretty much agree with everything. It's a silly legacy system, and only really good for "playing D&D" (an activity I consider pretty distinct for just RPing). And 4E (still silly and legacy) does that better.

Morty
2009-05-29, 09:36 AM
This thread is NOT a dig at 3e.


But it will turn into one in a jiffy.
Anyway, some of those I do find bothersome, but many others are simply the qualities of the system that I don't pay attention to at all. At least a few are clearly miscalculations on part of the designers, which is another reason this thread'll develop into D&D-basing real quick.


We roll to attack with a sword, but we name a DC to attack with a fireball.

How is that a "quirk" at all? When you cast a fireball, you don't actively attack anyone, you just decide where the explosion originates from and it does. You don't have to try and hit anyone but the victims can try to avoid damage, so it's them who roll, not you.

rayne_dragon
2009-05-29, 09:42 AM
Attacks of Opportunity - I've never been able to reconcile attacking someone for moving out of a square within reach of my attacks with my experiences in fencing or SCA fighting.

sonofzeal
2009-05-29, 10:35 AM
--The CR/EC system assumes that PCs pack magical bling, but there are no clear guidelines for exactly how much or how gaudy.
Check the "Wealth By Level" charts in the DMG, it's exactly what you're looking for.


--CR is supposed to provide a yardstick for a DM to build encounters, but there are no clear guidelines for judging CR. Monster advancement rules are absurd.
Granted... but I've DMed enough that I can eyeball it, and honestly I haven't had much problems with the CR as listed. If you take a monster and optimize the heck out of it, or put it in an obviously unfavourable setting (slow monster with no ranged in a large open area), then hey you know what's comming. Otherwise, CR/EL tables are workable. Agreed that the monster advancement rules are pretty borked though.


--Certain very unique character concepts like spellthief, LG paladin, bard, ranger, druid are base classes while other equally unique concepts are not like the evil & CG paladin.
Paladin of Freedom and Paladin of Tyranny are base classes. They're in Unearthed Arcana, I believe. Bard is the token base "jack of all trades" class, and the game needs one of those in the core set. I could see removing Ranger, but it's nice to have at least one base class that encourages archery.


--Barbarian illiteracy. So the hippy-tree-hugger who was raised by wolves knows how to read and write, and the street punk pickpocket graduated from the Head Start program, but barbarians are categorically illiterate? What's the deal?
Rogues are city-slickers, it wouldn't make any sense to have them be illiterate. Druids, maybe, but they have their own language (which presumably has a written form), and illiteracy doesn't jive well with spellcasting anyway. They're not "categorically illiterate" though, they can pick it up easily with a short dip, or even just by spending a couple skillpoints.


--Anyone can pick up Improved Initiative, Blind-Fight and Weapon Focus, but Evasion, Uncanny Dodge and speed boosts are somehow worthy of restriction.
The latter are more powerful than the former. Not a "simulation" reason, but a "game" reason, otherwise they'd be pretty darn popular feats. Oh, and you can get them as feats if your DM allows the Generic Class rules from UA.


--We roll for random abilities and HP, but not for any of the other two dozen PC stats, like starting level.
Do you seriously think that rolling for start level is a good idea? Not that you can't; I've actually played in a game where our start level was 1d4+2. And if you don't like rolling for anything, just use the official "point buy" system, and take average hp.


--Small size is more like Small Lite: you get to be cute and furry, but you don't have to suffer the logical drawbacks of being short [like reduced Reach]. You're effectively a Medium character that does a little less damage.
....that does a little less damage, moves slower, is weaker but more dexterous (on average), is harder to see, is harder to hit, has an easier time hitting you, can't grapple to save its life, and qualifies for a slightly different set of feats. I agree that Small and Medium are closer together than the others, but again I think that's a balance concern more than anything else, since those are the two that come up most for PCs. If it really bugs you, say that Small creatures can't use Reach weapons.


--Smaller and larger size categories modify attack rolls and AC exponentially, but all other stats linearly. Categories modify Hide, but not MS or any perception skills. Apparently that giant is easy to spot but his footsteps are just as soft as mine.
Point. Move Silently should really get the Hide penalty too.


--Half-orcs are a standard PC race, but orcs aren't.
Orcs are monstrous, not part of normal society in most default settings. Half-orcs are at least somewhat integrated and wouldn't cause a stir in most cities. I think that's the reason. I wouldn't worry though, both are entirely playable out of Core.


--Alignment and multiclassing restrictions. I don't like game mechanics telling me how to role play my character, or which life path he would or would not take.
Agreed, at least for base classes. I usually let my players ignore that when I DM.


--The morningstar and mace are the same except one is heavier and more expensive. Out of a thousand weapons scattered throughout a dozen splatbooks, your weapon choice basically comes down to: weapon & shield, two weapons, big weapon or bow. So why do we need a thousand stats for what should be mostly a descriptive decision?
Morningstar also does piercing damage, mace doesn't. Weapon choice comes in against DR (my greatsword does fine against zombies, but if I see Skeletons then the warhammer-dwarf does better). It also comes in with special attacks, like Trip. Flails are "worse" than longswords, but they can trip so they see some use. Lances can be set against charges, Scythes are mediocre but can be devistating when keened, kukris can be used in your offhand easily, crossbows are easier to use than longbows but fire way more slowly. There's plenty of choice, and plenty of reason for choice. It works. Plus, people expect that kind of choice and flavour. Even if it's just a description thing, it feels nice to have a chart like that.


--We roll to attack with a sword, but we name a DC to attack with a fireball.
Attack rolls is us attacking. Fireballs are them defending. That simple.


--Most of the game follows the simple 1d20 + modifiers pattern, except Turn Undead. And it's not even a better mechanic. Standard attacks require a roll vs. a DC, but special maneuvers require opposed rolls.


--It's okay for everyone to have dozens of HP at high levels, because everyone has a 5% chance to die every time they take 50 damage. How exactly does this simulate anything?



--Dual wielding is great for a ranger or rogue, but categorically sucks for anyone else.
Actually, it sucks for Ranger, categorically weaker for anyone who doesn't get bonus damage. It works on Pouncing Scouts though, or PsiWars, or some Monks, Swordsages, Warblades, gishes, bards (with dragonfire inspiration), etc. Granted that it generally doesn't work for most other melee classes.


--Some schools of magic are defined by their means, others by their ends. Forcecage is evocation, mage armor is conjuration and shield is abjuration. Inflicts are necromancy, but cures are conjuration.
Agreed. Evocation has most [force] spells, and it probably should have had Shield too, with Mage Armor in abjuration (because it's a warding thing). Cures could have been necro or evocation, but conjuration doesn't really make much sense.


--Power Attack & other options that allow PCs to trade accuracy for damage are required to survive at high levels, but they're optional.
It depends on the campaign. There are other tactics I've seen work (the King of Smack doesn't use Power Attack for one, and anyone with precision damage can get by just fine). I could see having Power Attack as a bonus feat for anyone though, along with Weapon Finesse and Heighten Spell, to even the playing field. Otherwise, just let players judge what works for them, and pick it up if they think they need it.

sonofzeal
2009-05-29, 10:37 AM
Attacks of Opportunity - I've never been able to reconcile attacking someone for moving out of a square within reach of my attacks with my experiences in fencing or SCA fighting.
It might be easier when you remember that 5-foot-steps and Withdraw Actions allow people to avoid the AoO. It's really only if they're turning their back to you to go do something else where you get your free attack, and that kind of makes sense.

Set
2009-05-29, 10:57 AM
Some schools of magic are defined by their means, others by their ends. Forcecage is evocation, mage armor is conjuration and shield is abjuration. Inflicts are necromancy, but cures are conjuration.

This one is one my biggest pet peeves. Illusion and Necromancy are hodge-podge garbage-bin 'schools' cobbled together from some Enchantments (hypnotisms, fears), Conjurations (shadow magic, inflict spells), Evocations (light and darkness spells, negative energy blasts) and Transmutations (light-manipulating spells, animations), tied together loosely with a 'theme' of 'creepy' or whatever.

The game would work fine with six schools of magic, and, as designers like Monte Cook have already demonstrated with Arcana Unearthed magic system (or other d20 based systems that make no such distinction, like True20), the arcane / divine split and 'no healing arcane' artefacts left over from 1st edition aren't 'necessary for balance' either.

And yeah, Mage Armor is so freaking obviously an Abjuration spell that they even made a PrC, the Abjurant Champion, based around it!


Quite a few of the others get on my nerves from time to time as well.

I play a lot of Mutants & Masterminds 2E, and Feats, in that d20 variant, don't have prerequisites. If your Str 10, 95 lb. pavestone-shattering Zen Master wants Power Attack, she can have it. If your Int 10 Ninja wants Combat Expertise (Defensive Attack, in M&M), he can have it. Having the higher stat is already a bonus, and will just make them better at using Feats like that, they don't have to serve as barriers to entry, warning characters that they have to be 'this big to enter the ride.' I can understand level-based prerequisites for advanced *tough* feats, but the attribute requirements are just a killer for someone who wants to take a Feat like Power Attack to compensate for being a Str 10 halfling Monk or some such non-optimal character choice made for role-playing reasons. By denying Feats to the characters that would most *need* them, they are further punishing anyone who doesn't optimize the heck out of their characters, since only those who start out tough will ever get tougher, creating an inherent imbalance between the haves and have-nots.

Heck, Weapon Finesse makes sense to not even be a Feat at all, but a choice. Let anyone be able to use their Dex mod for attack rolls with light weapons.

Feats like Power Attack, Combat Expertise and variations like Reckless Attack (-AC, +Atk) should be Feats for everyone else, and Class Abilities for Fighters, just something that every single one of them learns as part and parcel of choosing the life of an armsman. Every Fighter should be able to use these abilities to 'Fight Defensively' or 'Go Offensive,' more effectively than a member of another class could do with the Fight Defensively or Charge options.


3.X carries over a lot of dinosaur baggage from 1st edition, and that was intentional. It's not a generic fantasy game simulator, it's not GURPS, it's a rules system that attempts to remain faithful to the spirit of D&D, with all the wonkiness and arbitrariness that sometimes entails. In that, it does a better job than games that abandon Vancian casting or replace hit points with d20 rolls and 'wound conditions' or get rid of rigid character classes. There's no reason to blame the old girl for not being something she was never designed to be. She does what she's made to do. If one is trying to make an carriage out of a pumpkin, then yeah, it's gonna be frustrating, but that's not a flaw with the design of the pumpkin...

rayne_dragon
2009-05-29, 10:59 AM
It might be easier when you remember that 5-foot-steps and Withdraw Actions allow people to avoid the AoO. It's really only if they're turning their back to you to go do something else where you get your free attack, and that kind of makes sense.

Except you get attacks if they move through spaces you threaten towards you as well, so all the AoO rules don't add up in a way that makes sense to me. I've always shrugged it off as "It's a game, it doesn't have to be perfect in representing reality".

Tsotha-lanti
2009-05-29, 11:06 AM
Heck, Weapon Finesse makes sense to not even be a Feat at all, but a choice. Let anyone be able to use their Dex mod for attack rolls with light weapons.

Now you're talking Conan d20! Finesse-ing weapons also bypasses armor (which is DR only), although you have to exceed your opponent's Dodge or Parry defense by a number equal to the DR you try to bypass.

d20 fantasy combat done right (well, as right as it can be). That game is generally the best d20 product after M&M (yes, better than D&D itself).

sonofzeal
2009-05-29, 11:18 AM
Except you get attacks if they move through spaces you threaten towards you as well, so all the AoO rules don't add up in a way that makes sense to me. I've always shrugged it off as "It's a game, it doesn't have to be perfect in representing reality".
If you're threatening squares that they have to move through, that either means they're running past you (free hit makes sense), or you have a weapon that's way longer than theirs (free hit makes sense). I don't see the problem.

skeeter_dan
2009-05-29, 11:43 AM
Not a single one of those things listed bother me at all...and a lot of them I flat-out disagree with.

Gerrtt
2009-05-29, 11:44 AM
--We roll to attack with a sword, but we name a DC to attack with a fireball.


There are variant rules for many of the quirks you talked about, but this one in particular I'd like to reference because I've questioned it here before.

I think the variant rules for this one are found in...I think...Unearthed Arcana. It's something along the lines of having the PCs make an attack roll with the spell instead of the defender making a reflex save what have you. The ideas on why the developers don't like it enough to have it be core is that it takes away some of the DMs power to fudge dice rolls in the players favor, so the DM has to put more effort into calculating challenge ratings. But, the DM has more time to be strategic in combat, because they aren't rolling dice.

Worth checking out though, I think it's a fine idea but I've never tried it for myself.

*** Edit ***

Just looked on the variant rules checklist, I think you can find it in the section starting on page 133 "Players roll all the dice" but since I don't have my book on me right now I can't see for sure.

*** Edit Again ***

Oh yeah, I have it on PDF right on my computer...yes, it's on page 133/134 under the section on saving throws and save scores. It gives a formula for a new mechanic "Magic Check." Essentially 1d20 + spell level + ability modifier + other modifiers (feats, etc) vs 11 + enemies save modifier.

So for example, your 5th level 16 int wizard using fireball with spell focus evocation would roll:

1d20 + 3 + 3 + 1.

If it beats the targets static reflex save (11 + their save bonus) then the target takes the full 5d6 from the fireball. Make sense?

Tequila Sunrise
2009-05-29, 08:52 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone! I totally sympathize with Power Attack and Weapon Finesse as standard options. To expand on a few ideas:

Easy House Rules: Yes, I realize most of this stuff can be fixed with three second HRs. I have a whole Tome (http://lukebuchanan.com/TS_Tome_of_House_Rules_3e.pdf) of them. No, I never used nearly all of them, they're just a demonstration of amateur design.

Random Starting Level: I got the idea to roll for random level from a friend. I'd kill to play in his PF campaign if I could, even if I don't agree with some of his ideas. He thinks it'd be great to roll for starting level, and I can't think of an argument against him so long as we're also rolling for abilities and HP. We might as well also roll for feats (33% chance to get one each level), skill points (1d4, 1d8, 1d12 or 2d8 + Int per level), ability boosts (25% chance to get one each level, or for added randomness a 10% chance to get 1d4 boosts each level), etc...

Attacking with Fireballs: Higher level fire spells have higher DCs, so presumably that reflects the caster getting better at hitting his targets, even if he doesn't aim directly at them. It's not a big issue for me, just inconsistent. "Realistically," AC would be a roll too along with spell DCs but I think that's too much rolling.

WBL: I would have appreciated simple guidelines like "martial PCs should have a weapon with an enhancement bonus equal to 1/4 their level." WBL alone is much too vague of a guideline. The first game I ever DMed got to about 10th level, but all the PCs were glass cannons because I didn't realize that I had to make sure they got AC and save boosters.

Illiteracy: It's just inconsistent. It's like the designers said "All PCs need to be able to read those ADVENTURERS WANTED tavern notices, so screw realism, everyone can read and write. Except for one class." I wouldn't mind illiteracy if it was a Flaw, or even if it was a standard rule to get 2 extra skill points, but the way it is now is just bizarre.

Class Features as Feats: If an ability would be better than other feats, give it a BAB prereq. Aren't we always complaining about a shortage of good high level feats anyway?

sonofzeal
2009-05-29, 09:47 PM
Easy House Rules: Yes, I realize most of this stuff can be fixed with three second HRs. I have a whole Tome (http://lukebuchanan.com/TS_Tome_of_House_Rules_3e.pdf) of them. No, I never used nearly all of them, they're just a demonstration of amateur design.
Agreed, houserules aren't really a defense of the system. However, in any arbitrarily complicated system, they'll become increasingly necessary. I'll agree that 3.5 is a bad offender in this category, because it tries (and often fails) to walk the line between simulation and gameplay.


Random Starting Level: I got the idea to roll for random level from a friend. I'd kill to play in his PF campaign if I could, even if I don't agree with some of his ideas. He thinks it'd be great to roll for starting level, and I can't think of an argument against him so long as we're also rolling for abilities and HP. We might as well also roll for feats (33% chance to get one each level), skill points (1d4, 1d8, 1d12 or 2d8 + Int per level), ability boosts (25% chance to get one each level, or for added randomness a 10% chance to get 1d4 boosts each level), etc...
Argument against it - rolling for abilities and hp has a smaller impact on character power than rolling for level. Rolling for level will create greater power imbalances than there'd be otherwise, and power imbalances lead to people not having fun playing.


Attacking with Fireballs: Higher level fire spells have higher DCs, so presumably that reflects the caster getting better at hitting his targets, even if he doesn't aim directly at them. It's not a big issue for me, just inconsistent. "Realistically," AC would be a roll too along with spell DCs but I think that's too much rolling.
I always thought the DC goes up, not because the Wizard is any better at "targetting" (the spell fills exactly the same area), but because the fireball is getting more and more fiery. That doesn't explain why DC increases separately from damage.... Heh, yet one more reason why Psionics is better. :smallbiggrin:


WBL: I would have appreciated simple guidelines like "martial PCs should have a weapon with an enhancement bonus equal to 1/4 their level." WBL alone is much too vague of a guideline. The first game I ever DMed got to about 10th level, but all the PCs were glass cannons because I didn't realize that I had to make sure they got AC and save boosters.
Book of Exalted Deeds, Vow of Poverty. That should give you a pretty solid idea of what they expect to be going on.


Illiteracy: It's just inconsistent. It's like the designers said "All PCs need to be able to read those ADVENTURERS WANTED tavern notices, so screw realism, everyone can read and write. Except for one class." I wouldn't mind illiteracy if it was a Flaw, or even if it was a standard rule to get 2 extra skill points, but the way it is now is just bizarre.
Well, we're certainly not talking about medival simulationist peasant societies here. I think it's less of a "literacy for everyone YAY" thing and more of a "eh, let's not worry about literacy for this game... oh, except barbarians, that'll make them a little more distinct".


Class Features as Feats: If an ability would be better than other feats, give it a BAB prereq. Aren't we always complaining about a shortage of good high level feats anyway?
The Generic Classes feats tend to have fairly strict requirements, so it works. Check it out here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/genericClasses.htm#bonusFeats).

The Gilded Duke
2009-05-29, 10:22 PM
I think SW Saga has to be my favorite d20 system because of many the problems you mentioned.

Everything is a d20 + x vs defense
They finally got rid of Ac and divided it up into Reflex, Will and Fort defense.

If you try to hit someone with a lightsaber it is vs reflex defense, if you try to affect someone with a grenade it is vs reflex defense, if you are trying to mind trick someone it is vs will defense and so on. Much simpler, and makes battle much smoother, autofire weapons work the same as grenades, work the same as area attacks from force powers and so on.

I've been tempted to use the Saga rules in a more traditional fantasy game however many of the force powers would need to be re-worked.

MickJay
2009-05-30, 05:42 AM
Death from massive damage represents shock - people can (and do) sometimes die from overwhelming pain or extensive injury that they could, in purely physical terms, survive otherwise; their nervous system gets overwhelmed by the sheer amount of signals and shuts down. I think it was actually one of the more insightful mechanics in D&D.

Tsotha-lanti
2009-05-30, 05:45 AM
I've been tempted to use the Saga rules in a more traditional fantasy game however many of the force powers would need to be re-worked.

They call it Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition...

TheCountAlucard
2009-05-30, 06:00 AM
I think SW Saga has to be my favorite d20 system because of many the problems you mentioned.+1. Not only because of the "everything is an attack/skill roll vs. a defense," but also because you can build just about any concept from the base classes alone.

Not to mention, I find their skill system to be an improvement over D&D 3.5. You're either trained in something or not, and while changing class won't automatically dump new skills into your lap, you can gain training in a skill retroactively if your Intelligence modifier increases; in D&D, you have to fiddle with skill points and ranks and whether a particular skill is cross-class or not at a particular level, and making a note of what level you were when your mental stats increased is important. :smallfrown:

Curmudgeon
2009-05-30, 06:51 AM
Yes, a lot of these quirks bug me. The attitude about "evil" being restricted to enemies is why we have Paladins as base classes, but Blackguards only as a PrC (for "fallen" characters). D&D is a mish-mash of rules mechanics, assumptions about how players are going to use those rules, and historical legacy (Magic Missile always hitting, for instance). But you're off base with some of the items on your list.

--Anyone can pick up Improved Initiative, Blind-Fight and Weapon Focus, but Evasion, Uncanny Dodge and speed boosts are somehow worthy of restriction.
These latter abilities are superior, and that's what makes them worthy of restriction.

--We roll for random abilities and HP, but not for any of the other two dozen PC stats, like starting level.
Point buy, and average + for hit points. Rolling is optional.

--Power Attack & other options that allow PCs to trade accuracy for damage are required to survive at high levels, but they're optional.
Not actually required. You can specialize in missile attacks, and you're instead looking for ways to increase the number of arrows you fire rather than decrease accuracy. Just because Power Attack is a commonly chosen option shouldn't make it required.

Morty
2009-05-30, 08:19 AM
Attacking with Fireballs: Higher level fire spells have higher DCs, so presumably that reflects the caster getting better at hitting his targets, even if he doesn't aim directly at them. It's not a big issue for me, just inconsistent. "Realistically," AC would be a roll too along with spell DCs but I think that's too much rolling.


No, higher level fire spells have higher DC because they create fire that's bigger, stronger and so on, therefore it's harder to roll, hide or somesuch to avoid its effects. And wizard still doesn't actually do anything except point his finger and make a fireball originate from there. There's a plenty of spells that require hitting anyway, such as ray or orb spells, but having a wizard roll for hitting with a fireball would be forcibly simplifying everything. I don't respond to another "quirks", because it'd be like saying "You're playing the game wrong" which I leave to other people.

Frog Dragon
2009-05-30, 08:23 AM
--Smaller and larger size categories modify attack rolls and AC exponentially, but all other stats linearly. Categories modify Hide, but not MS or any perception skills. Apparently that giant is easy to spot but his footsteps are just as soft as mine.

Elephants are virtually impossible to hear by steps. And they go in the Huge category.
Foot size increases with weight rather proportionally so roughly the same amount of weight is on a given space. At leats when talking human sized and up.

Glyde
2009-05-30, 09:22 AM
Random Starting Level: I got the idea to roll for random level from a friend. I'd kill to play in his PF campaign if I could, even if I don't agree with some of his ideas. He thinks it'd be great to roll for starting level, and I can't think of an argument against him so long as we're also rolling for abilities and HP. We might as well also roll for feats (33% chance to get one each level), skill points (1d4, 1d8, 1d12 or 2d8 + Int per level), ability boosts (25% chance to get one each level, or for added randomness a 10% chance to get 1d4 boosts each level), etc...





What, are we playing F.A.T.A.L. now? There's such thing as relying on the dice too much.

Dark_Scary
2009-05-30, 09:36 AM
What, are we playing F.A.T.A.L. now? There's such thing as relying on the dice too much.

Yes their is. And that point is rolling ability scores and/or HP.

You shouldn't be able to have a better character then someone else by getting your character killed on purpose until you get good stats.

PB is good. Rolling is Bad.

Tequila Sunrise
2009-05-30, 09:50 AM
You can specialize in missile attacks, and you're instead looking for ways to increase the number of arrows you fire rather than decrease accuracy.
Right, which means Multishot. Multishot lets you fire extra arrows [+ damage] for a decrease in accuracy. Same mechanical concept as PA, just slightly different execution.

The Gilded Duke
2009-05-30, 09:57 AM
They call it Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition...

Yeah, thats what I was hoping for but didn't find with 4th edition. They added back AC, they removed easy multi classing, they nerfed skill focus, they made everyone use the same casting mechanic, and they removed class feature trees. They don't have the inspired vehicle and mass combat systems of saga.

It is a thoroughly different system in the end.

Tsotha-lanti
2009-05-30, 10:07 AM
True enough. And SW:SAGA really is quite awesome.

Frog Dragon
2009-05-30, 10:10 AM
True enough. And SW:SAGA really is quite awesome.
Very much agreed.

derfenrirwolv
2009-05-30, 10:23 AM
--The CR/EC system assumes that PCs pack magical bling, but there are no clear guidelines for exactly how much or how gaudy.

Yes, there are. They're called wealth by level guidelines. They call for both the amount of cash and how it should be distributed (ie, not all in one 75,000 gp item)



--CR is supposed to provide a yardstick for a DM to build encounters, but there are no clear guidelines for judging CR. Monster advancement rules are absurd.

CR is judged by... looking at the cr in the book. If you mean the CR of advanced monsters then yes, that is something you have to eyeball.




--Certain very unique character concepts like spellthief, LG paladin, bard, ranger, druid are base classes while other equally unique concepts are not like the evil & CG paladin.

The original base classes derived their character and concept from traditions and storytelling conventions.

The spellthief beguiler et all are a way to play a multiclass Rogue/wizard from level 1.





--Barbarian illiteracy. So the hippy-tree-hugger who was raised by wolves knows how to read and write, and the street punk pickpocket graduated from the Head Start program, but barbarians are categorically illiterate? What's the deal?

The hippy tree hugger is a druid, who is based loosely off of a historical preisthood that was in fact highly literate and educated.

The street punk had better know how to read the street signs at least.



--Anyone can pick up Improved Initiative, Blind-Fight and Weapon Focus, but Evasion, Uncanny Dodge and speed boosts are somehow worthy of restriction.

Quite frankly yes, because they didn't want to make ALL of the cheese available to one character with no penalty.



--We roll for random abilities and HP, but not for any of the other two dozen PC stats, like starting level.

... what? Its because while good attributes make you a little stronger than someone who rolled poorly level defines your power. What, you want to roll ad20 and have a first level character in the same group as an archmage?




--Small size is more like Small Lite: you get to be cute and furry, but you don't have to suffer the logical drawbacks of being short [like reduced Reach]. You're effectively a Medium character that does a little less damage.

Small size was harmful enough to combat abilities without reducing reach. Its a matter of game balance. Besides, a halfling with a greatsword has more reach than a human with a dagger.



--
Smaller and larger size categories modify attack rolls and AC exponentially, but all other stats linearly. Categories modify Hide, but not MS or any perception skills. Apparently that giant is easy to spot but his footsteps are just as soft as mine.

The grapple advantage is linear with mass. Mass is quadratic with respect to size.




--Half-orcs are a standard PC race, but orcs aren't.

Because you need some green skinned low level brutes that its categorically ok to slaughter.


-
-Alignment and multiclassing restrictions. I don't like game mechanics telling me how to role play my character, or which life path he would or would not take.


So you want to play a holy warrior of virtue without.. you know.. the holy or virtue part? You can. Its called the warrior.


--The morningstar and mace are the same except one is heavier and more expensive. Out of a thousand weapons scattered throughout a dozen splatbooks, your weapon choice basically comes down to: weapon & shield, two weapons, big weapon or bow. So why do we need a thousand stats for what should be mostly a descriptive decision?

The morning star does bludgeoning AND peircing, which can be good for getting around damage reductions. 3g is well worth it if it saves you a move action putting your mace down even once.



--We roll to attack with a sword, but we name a DC to attack with a fireball.

The idea with hitpoints is that you have a number of them, so that its no big deal if you're hit once. Spells can kill you in one shot fairly easily though. Even though mechanically having the wizard roll an attack against your will has the same odds, it just feels wrong to tell a player "Ok, you're charmed by the vampire, kill your friends now" without the ---->PLAYER <---- taking his characters life into his own hands by rolling the die.





--Most of the game follows the simple 1d20 + modifiers pattern, except Turn Undead. And it's not even a better mechanic. Standard attacks require a roll vs. a DC, but special maneuvers require opposed rolls.

Because they're special enough and aren't used as often as regular attacks, so a little more time can be spent to resolve them.




--It's okay for everyone to have dozens of HP at high levels, because everyone has a 5% chance to die every time they take 50 damage. How exactly does this simulate anything?


Its not a reality simulation its a fantasy game.



--
Dual wielding is great for a ranger or rogue, but categorically sucks for anyone else.

There's a reason you didn't see it much on battlefields.


--
Some schools of magic are defined by their means, others by their ends. Forcecage is evocation, mage armor is conjuration and shield is abjuration. Inflicts are necromancy, but cures are conjuration.

It affects how they function.



--
Power Attack & other options that allow PCs to trade accuracy for damage are required to survive at high levels, but they're optional.

Odd. My mage has never needed power attack do do well at high levels.

Spiryt
2009-05-30, 10:32 AM
Its not a reality simulation its a fantasy game.


If so, what


There's a reason you didn't see it much on battlefields.


actual battlefields have to do with it? If it's fantasy game dual wielding doesn't really have to be portrayed like in reality.

(Leaving aside the fact that it's NOT portrayed like in reality AND it sucks.)

derfenrirwolv
2009-05-30, 10:40 AM
actual battlefields have to do with it? If it's fantasy game dual wielding doesn't really have to be portrayed like in reality.

Then pick a more fantastical or flashy class than the fighter. or spend the feats to make the fighter flashy. Out of the box they're more down to earth and low magic than any of the other classes.


(Leaving aside the fact that it's NOT portrayed like in reality AND it sucks.)

If you want it portrayed like reality try something with a more complicated combat system like 7th sea (well, more complicated for the fencing types anyway)

Dual weilding is great for fencing where you just need to touch your opponent. If you need to hack off a limb or something getting your weight behind the offhand is kind of hard. I don't see whats particularly unrealistic about it. half your strength bonus on the offhand full on the main hand (just as if you were wielding a two handed weapon)

What makes it blow is the "no extra attacks when you move" and "we will require that you move often on the battlefield" nature of the game. THATs something that needs a fix for fighters.

Gorbash
2009-05-30, 10:49 AM
Odd. My mage has never needed power attack do do well at high levels.

I've also seen rogues who seem to manage that.

Tequila Sunrise
2009-05-30, 07:15 PM
Read post 13 people. Unless it's more comfortable for you to continue to assume that I'm an angsty moron; you're welcome to do that too. To expand on a couple more ideas:

Power Attack & Multishot: To spell it out, no they're not required. But AB does tend to scale faster than AC, and HP tend to grow faster than damage so it would seem that these options are an assumed part of high level combat for warrior-types.

Simulation: I don't necessarily need the game to simulate anything, but 3e has this habit of kinda-sorta-almost-simulating, which bugs the hel outta me. For example, I wouldn't mind that size doesn't modify MS or perception skills, if it didn't already modify Hide. It's like the designers had a conversation:

Karl: Okay, bigger creatures should be bad at sneaking, and smaller creatures should be better.

Steve: You're right. That's simple enough to simulate. We'll just apply mods based on size to Hide and...

Earl: Hey, are you guys hungry?

Karl: Come to think of it, I am hungry. And it's almost 1.

Steve: Yeah, let's get some grub, I know this great Thai place...

And then never got back to their sneaking-sim rules.

Curmudgeon
2009-05-31, 03:06 AM
Class Features as Feats: If an ability would be better than other feats, give it a BAB prereq. Aren't we always complaining about a shortage of good high level feats anyway?
Are you nuts? That's linking all the good class abilities to better martial prowess. What does being able to hit something have to do with trapfinding?

This is a bad idea, TS.

The Glyphstone
2009-05-31, 10:07 AM
He might be on to something - but instead of linking it to BAB, link it to skill ranks. For example, Trapfinding: The Feat(TM) could have prerequisites of Search: 4 Ranks and Disable Device: 4 Ranks. Since skill ranks, unlike skill bonuses, are explicitly tied to Hit Dice, a 1st-level Rogue could get the Trapfinding ability, while, say, a Fighter would have to wait until level 5 or 6 at the earliest due to the cross-class requirements.

Tequila Sunrise
2009-05-31, 05:15 PM
Like Glyphstone said, you can use skill ranks or whatever's appropriate to the ability. I used BAB because we had been talking about combat-related abilities.

derfenrirwolv
2009-05-31, 08:01 PM
*shrug*

Most of the complaints seemed to be overlooking something.

sonofzeal
2009-05-31, 09:51 PM
Trap Sense (Ex)
Combines the rogue class features trap sense and trapfinding. Prerequisite: Search 4 ranks.

linky (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/genericClasses.htm#bonusFeats)