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View Full Version : The DM Fiat: Bane of Us All?



JerichoPenumbra
2010-01-15, 12:03 AM
Who has had this terrible fate befallen them? I was struck down when I realized for 7,000 GP you could get +8 to AC. Cheaper if you make it yourself. He said NO! and further more continuous or use activated items are now removed from the world. Has similar happened to you?

Edit: Bracers of Shield CL 1 continuous effect + of Mage Armor cl 1 continuous effect ([1x1x2000x2] + [1x1x2000x1.5]=7,000)

I realize I'm probably just being a whinny little brat but the fact that a dispel magic at minimum caster has a 65% of getting rid off the benefits while leaving me non-protected for a few rounds. Feel free to be as harsh as you wish.

Though as a small note to the ring of continuous wraith strike (which would be.... 48,000 GP [3x2x2000x4]). Magic item creation rules are slightly specific and state that it's x4 base price for continuous spell with its duration measured in rounds. In my opinion since wraith strike has a duration of singular 1 round it's not eligible for continuous use (saying no to continuous wraith strike is the same as saying no to continuous true strike). Command word at will ability on the other hand would be eligible (3x2x1800= 10,800GP).

Edit 2: Lost track of thought majorly and went way off of actual events. I knew he wouldn't allow the continuous and put out command word at will caster level 1. Not as helpful as not having to worry when last time you activated your defensive buffs but admittingly slightly .... unhinged.

Edit 3: I'm probably dead meat 'cause he is on the forums too and will probably rip me a new one.

Edit 4: Magic item creation tables in DMG and SRD
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/creatingMagicItems.htm

Sinfire Titan
2010-01-15, 12:05 AM
Umm, that doesn't work according to the MiC.

Crow
2010-01-15, 12:06 AM
Sounds like you were using the custom magic item rules which are optional.

Kelb_Panthera
2010-01-15, 12:17 AM
I, too, am very curious how in the world you managed to get a +8 to ac for only 7000.

Grumman
2010-01-15, 12:24 AM
That's not DM Fiat. That's your DM not being a lobotomized moron. The first things any DM should do are ban custom magic items, epic spellcasting and Savage Species (apart from the monster classes at the back).

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-15, 12:29 AM
Custom Magic Items are fine. Granted, they should be set to: By Approval Only. This gives players a good amount of freedom, while still reining in the abuses.

kjones
2010-01-15, 12:36 AM
Who has had this terrible fate befallen them? I was struck down when I realized for 7,000 GP you could get +8 to AC. Cheaper if you make it yourself. He said NO! and further more continuous or use activated items are no removed from the world. Has similar happened to you?

So... DM fiat is the bane of us all because your DM prevented you from doing something completely unreasonable? (Consider Bracers of Armor +8 - they cost ~64000 GP IIRC)

It sounds like your DM did the right thing in his interpretation of the (optional, subject to DM approval) item creation rules. Or am I misunderstanding something?

2xMachina
2010-01-15, 12:38 AM
I think he means the fiat to be


and further more continuous or use activated items are no removed from the world

It's a Oh no. You tried something broken. Now, I'm gonna ban half a dozen things to teach you not to even mention it.

Narazil
2010-01-15, 12:40 AM
My DM restricted Polymorph, Teleport, Summoning, nerfed all sorts of Portal-magic, Magical Item creation costs, and set a max of 10 passive spell effects (buffs and magic items are both passive effects). After I rolled a Polymorph-oriented Sorcerer.


And I was happy.

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-15, 12:41 AM
DM FIAT:DM: No, you can't attack the BBEG during his dialogue... because of magical paralysis.

Player: I have Freedom of movement.

DM: You're in an AMF.

Player: Wouldn't that suppress the paralysis?

DM: I mean nonmagical. Shut up and listen.

Not DM Fiat:DM: No you can't have a Continuous Ring of Wraithstrike.

arguskos
2010-01-15, 12:45 AM
Not DM Fiat:DM: No you can't have a Continuous Ring of Wraithstrike.
Aww! You're no fun at all! *pouts*
...
...
...
:smalltongue:

JerichoPenumbra
2010-01-15, 01:33 AM
I think he means the fiat to be



It's a Oh no. You tried something broken. Now, I'm gonna ban half a dozen things to teach you not to even mention it.

Yes I do mean that.

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-15, 01:53 AM
Yes I do mean that.

Well it seems to me to be a case of:

The players can't be trusted to use things responsibly, so I'll houserule things away.

That's not DM Fiat. That's houseruling.

Crow
2010-01-15, 01:54 AM
But by extrapolation from your now-edited first post, it sounds like your DM has just decided to put the ban-stick on command activated custom items. But let's be honest here, what are the chances we are getting the whole story anyways?

Seeing how the custom item rules are optional anyways, I wouldn't say he hit you with DM fiat. It's not like he banned rings of feather falling or anything. Besides, the formulas for determining cost are the last option. The first option is to compare your item to already statted items of similar effect. As your command word, at will, item is pretty much the same as a continuous effect (let's face it, you were going to use it as such), then I'd say 32,000gp at least. The same as if you had a +4 armor and shield enchantment.

Kylarra
2010-01-15, 01:57 AM
Eh, I usually start out from the line of there not being custom continuous or use-activated items and then you have to get me to agree to them on a case by case basis.

Longcat
2010-01-15, 02:02 AM
That's not DM Fiat. That's houseruling.

Let's be honest: isn't the term "house rules" just an euphemism for "dm fiat"? Both are arbitrary decisions based entirely on the DM's judgement.

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-15, 02:02 AM
First: The OP refers to them as "Magic item creation rules".

They're not.

They're guidelines, with estimations. This means that anything made by them is automatically subject to approval before allowed.

Second: A dispel won't really get rid of the item's bonuses unless the dispel targets the item. Even area dispels and dispels targeted on a player do not effect attended magic items.


Let's be honest: isn't the term "house rules" just an euphemism for "dm fiat"? Both are arbitrary decisions based entirely on the DM's judgement.

See above. Removal of an optional rule is not fiat.

2xMachina
2010-01-15, 02:06 AM
Hmm, isn't there some pre-made at-will/continuous items? I thought there were, but can't find them.

Sure, No Custom Items is fine by me. That coupled with, "Oh, by the way, I'm banning other unrelated items too", not so much.

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-15, 02:12 AM
Hmm, isn't there some pre-made at-will/continuous items? I thought there were, but can't find them.

Sure, No Custom Items is fine by me. That coupled with, "Oh, by the way, I'm banning other unrelated items too", not so much.

Depends. For a reason? Perfectly fine. Low magic settings? Absolutely.

Seems to me that something was likely lost in translation. I doubt things like a Ring of Invisibility were banned. It's more likely that there was a miscommunication somewhere.

Longcat
2010-01-15, 02:17 AM
See above. Removal of an optional rule is not fiat.

Standard continuous or use-activated items are not optional rules.

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-15, 02:18 AM
Standard continuous or use-activated items are not optional rules.


Seems to me that something was likely lost in translation. I doubt things like a Ring of Invisibility were banned. It's more likely that there was a miscommunication somewhere.

This was addressed before you even posted.

Crow
2010-01-15, 02:22 AM
Standard continuous or use-activated items are not optional rules.

Judging by the tone of the first post, it appears that custom use-activated, at-will (basically the same as continuous) items are not allowed. I have a strong hunch that custom items of this type were banned by the DM, and not published things.

More than likely, we are not getting the full story.

Longcat
2010-01-15, 02:22 AM
This was addressed before you even posted.


He said NO! and further more continuous or use activated items are now removed from the world.[/url]

According to the OP (even after all the edits), it is reasonable to assume that items like "Ring of Feather Falling" or "Ring of Invisibility" are indeed banned. At least, that's how I interpret the quote.

tyckspoon
2010-01-15, 02:23 AM
Hmm, isn't there some pre-made at-will/continuous items? I thought there were, but can't find them.


In the DMG, at least, almost everything that might be a continuous combat-buff just grants a bonus instead of being phrased as a continuous spell effect (ref: Widget of (Stat) +X; a Belt of Strength simply increases your Strength, it doesn't continuously cast Bull's Strength on you, although the two would be functionally identical for the +4 version.) There are quite a few items that allow at-will spells or cause continuous spell effects, but take careful note of what they do: The Hand of the Mage allows at-will Mage Hand, which isn't going to break anything; the Helm of Telepathy gives Detect Thoughts, and the Robe of Blending gives Disguise Self. Boots of Levitation are command-word Levitate, unlimited. Amulet of Proof against Detection is continuous Nondetection, Ring of Blinking is command-word Blink, Ring of Freedom of Movement is exactly what it says on the tin.. there are two things to take notice of here: None of these are straight up + to hit/damage/AC effects, and very few of them are priced according to the 'rules' for continuous or at-will spell items. Which is why the actual rule for a custom item is, paraphrased, "look at what it does and price it by whatever that's actually worth."

sonofzeal
2010-01-15, 02:26 AM
Gauntlets of True Strike for everyone! Yaaaaaay!


....er, yeah, your DM was right here. Custom magic items are just that, custom, and shouldn't ever be considered a player right. This is most especially true of things that provide a type of bonus that already has a listed price, and I believe the rules (DMG or MIC) specifically discuss this as something that Should Not Be.

Nerd-o-rama
2010-01-15, 02:30 AM
Magic Item creation stuff in the DMG aren't even optional rules. They're guidelines for the DM. They're not tables of "hey players! Abuse this stuff to get overpowered equipment for next to nothing!", they're ideas on how the GM should price and prerequisite things he makes up himself, and are solely at the GM's discretion.

Frankly, I support your GM fully, although if I were him I'd probably put the official magic items back in the campaign world after you apologized to an amount commensurate to the amount of arguing you did in the first place.

Regardless, this has nothing to do with DM Fiat being the bane of "us all", it has to do with you being wrong and losing an argument.

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-15, 02:39 AM
According to the OP (even after all the edits), it is reasonable to assume that items like "Ring of Feather Falling" or "Ring of Invisibility" are indeed banned. At least, that's how I interpret the quote.

Hence why I stated "lost in translation".

Likely either the DM didn't clarify the remark in context, or the player is omitting information.

That said, banning an abusable mechanic entirely because players have been actively shown to be attempting to abuse it is hardly out of line.

Although the Ring of Invis isn't use activated or continuous, IIRC.

RebelRogue
2010-01-15, 02:46 AM
So here it is! The bane of us all:

http://i570.photobucket.com/albums/ss144/rebelrogue_bucket/DMfiat.jpg

:smallwink:

Soranar
2010-01-15, 02:55 AM
ah, dnd Forums

when players meet unknown DMs and realize they have it easy

Katana_Geldar
2010-01-15, 03:11 AM
That's not house ruling, that's game balance and giving one player a huge advantage over the others can really mess up the table. The other players start to wonder what they can get away with and there goes the game...

I hope your DM explained why he said no, I would have too. Game balance.

ShippoWildheart
2010-01-15, 03:34 AM
and further more continuous or use activated items are now removed from the world.


This is the DM being a douche. It's true you tried to find a loophole to make super cheap +AC items, but that shouldn't suddenly turn into a hissy fit where other items are affected because you tried to make magical armor that gives +8 AC for only 7k GP. Talk to him/her about re-allowing continuous/activated items again. Only the 7k for 8 AC items should have been banned, not everything else.

taltamir
2010-01-15, 03:41 AM
@OP, you CAN have continues mage armor... its called bracers of armor, Bracers of armor explicitly require the spell mage armor to craft and explicitly produce an identical effect to mage armor; only with a variable amount of AC (from +1 to +lots)... with a quadratic increasing price.

what you wanted is for him to allow a house ruled item that gives you the exact same thing with 1/10th the price. it was sensible of him to ban such an unappropriate rule.

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-15, 03:47 AM
This is the DM being a douche. It's true you tried to find a loophole to make super cheap +AC items, but that shouldn't suddenly turn into a hissy fit where other items are affected because you tried to make magical armor that gives +8 AC for only 7k GP. Talk to him/her about re-allowing continuous/activated items again. Only the 7k for 8 AC items should have been banned, not everything else.

I'd also throw in:
Anything custom is banned, unless explicitly cleared by DM.
Any Crafted item is subject to a balance check, and can be banned. If such on the spot bannings occur, the palyer will incur no cost or time spent. Example: Candle of Invocation.

ryzouken
2010-01-15, 03:56 AM
hehe, magic item creation guidelines...

I don't see what's the big deal in the op's situation. 7k for a +4 shield and +4 armor bonus seems fine considering I can get roughly the same modifiers for about 200 gp. Granted it'll be in the form of a tower shield and chain shirt, bringing with it check penalties and encumbrance, but the point remains. Besides, it's not exactly game breaking, is it? +8 ac isn't all that amazing. 1st level mages and psions can do it, why make a big deal about an item that does it?

But then, my epic group's running around with multiple head slot continuous true strike items (houseruled to only affect the first attack in a full attack), Greater Mighty Walloped greatclubs (constant effect again), and a host of tailored items.

There's not a real great reason to disallow the use of magic creation rules aside from "fiat" since we even have examples in a number of lore sources that indicate that new items can be created. (someone had to invent the first ring of sustenance!).

Heck, you could look at it as a means of making a fighter be able to have a few of the mage's tricks (since almost every arcane caster can pick those two spells) for a good 7k gold. I'm all for that.

Kurald Galain
2010-01-15, 04:21 AM
Edit 4: Magic item creation tables in DMG and SRD
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/creatingMagicItems.htm
Yeah, that clearly shows that a +8 armor item should cost 64000 gp, not 7000, and with the added caveat that it "canít actually have bonuses this high".

Don't blame your DM for disallowing Pun-Pun.

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-15, 04:31 AM
Yeah, that clearly shows that a +8 armor item should cost 64000 gp, not 7000, and with the added caveat that it "canít actually have bonuses this high".

Don't blame your DM for disallowing Pun-Pun.

Technically, it's not an armor bonus of +8. It's an armor bonus of +4, and a shield bonus of +4.

MIC rules for adding a bonus to an item (Armor +4) is 16,000gp.

Take a ring of force shield, compare to a ring of deflection +2. (8500gp) vs (8000gp).

So shield bonuses in the book are slightly more than equivalent deflection.

+4 deflection is 32,000. Shield then, should be about 34,000 (custom item portion). Add in the +4 Armor bonus (per MIC guidelines), and the total price ends up at about 50,000 gp. You save a bit by splitting the bonus into multiple types.

Munchkin-Masher
2010-01-15, 05:10 AM
further more continuous or use activated items are now removed from the world.

Wasn't this the issue? Gone is your shield brooch, Ring of Invisibility, Ring of Djinni Calling, Ring of Telekinesis, Ring of Water Walking and your Crystal Ball and a load of other stuff from the SRD. I would be pretty annoyed by that.

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-15, 05:20 AM
Wasn't this the issue? Gone is your shield brooch, Ring of Invisibility, Ring of Djinni Calling, Ring of Telekinesis, Ring of Water Walking and your Crystal Ball and a load of other stuff from the SRD. I would be pretty annoyed by that.

Most of those are not continuous or use activated.

Though a +3 sword of wounding is. You garner the magical effect by using the item.

Tyndmyr
2010-01-15, 08:41 AM
So... DM fiat is the bane of us all because your DM prevented you from doing something completely unreasonable? (Consider Bracers of Armor +8 - they cost ~64000 GP IIRC)

It sounds like your DM did the right thing in his interpretation of the (optional, subject to DM approval) item creation rules. Or am I misunderstanding something?

Well, there's a significant difference between getting +8 AC due to armor, and getting +8 AC due to stacking mage armor and shield. It's an easily dispellable buff without long term usability due to stacking issues, so thus, not that powerful.

Mind you, it's still not fiat, since custom items are not something you automatically get access to, but it's not as powerful as it seems.

Emmerask
2010-01-15, 09:19 AM
Well I had a "powergamer" in my casual group once and he began with small and insignificant things like your +8 ac item. I told myself that this was so small a boost I can live with that, but it did not end there he was just testing the waters so to speak :smallbiggrin:.

In retrospect I should have banned and "houseruled" stuff the moment he began (or just kicked him) because it did not end well :smallwink:

Iīm not saying that you try to break the game or anything but maybe your dm had a similar experience and is now a bit overprotective :smallwink:

JerichoPenumbra
2010-01-15, 09:25 AM
Thank you all for you input. As soon as I see my DM I'm going to apologize for being such an annoying brat and trying to make it seem like he's the bad guy.

Zeful
2010-01-15, 09:49 AM
This is the DM being a douche.

No it's not. Being a douche would be the DM giving you the item as you asked for it, and then having it kill the character. Simply saying "No, you can't have this and you can't be trusted with anything similar" is the DM fighting player entitlement. Most things in the DMG are optional, or encourage the DM to be creative and make his own, this includes PrCs, Magic Items, and all artifacts.

Saph
2010-01-15, 10:09 AM
It's already been mentioned, but just to supply the relevant rules:

Creating Magic Items; Gold Piece Values (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/creatingMagicItems.htm#magicItemGoldPieceValues)


Many factors must be considered when determining the price of new magic items. The easiest way to come up with a price is to match the new item to an item that is already priced that price as a guide. Otherwise, use the guidelines summarized on Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Price Values . . .

Not all items adhere to these formulas directly. The reasons for this are several. First and foremost, these few formulas arenít enough to truly gauge the exact differences between items. The price of a magic item may be modified based on its actual worth. The formulas only provide a starting point.

The guidelines are for the use of the DM, and they're basically a way to say "Here's a starting point as to how to price an item, but they're only a starting point, you'll have to use your own judgement". They do NOT mean: "Here are some formulas, come up with the most powerful stuff you can!"

Lapak
2010-01-15, 10:13 AM
Thank you all for you input. As soon as I see my DM I'm going to apologize for being such an annoying brat and trying to make it seem like he's the bad guy.The thing I'd try to take away from this, were I you, is this: going out and looking for loopholes in the rules that give you an obviously-unintended mechanical advantage is not going to make anyone happy in the end - either you get what you want, and the game swings out of balance, or you don't, and you feel cheated. Expend your effort towards things other than raw numerical advantage, and your DM is much more likely to let you be clever. Look for ways you can create one-off, unique situational advantages and he'll probably reward you for it.

Otodetu
2010-01-15, 12:24 PM
DM FIAT:DM: No, you can't attack the BBEG during his dialogue... because of magical paralysis.

Player: I have Freedom of movement.

DM: You're in an AMF.

Player: Wouldn't that suppress the paralysis?

DM: I mean nonmagical. Shut up and listen.

Not DM Fiat:DM: No you can't have a Continuous Ring of Wraithstrike.

Infinite power and wisdom is pouring out of this person!

Or in other words, your dm was correct in not allowing you that item, it is simple at first when starting to optimize to be blinded by the seeming endless power available, but you must get beyond that point.

I still remember how i scoffed at the bracer's of armour in the start; "lulz! Why would anyone get this and not just a continuous mage armour item!"
Then i slowly learned to not be a munchin and became enlightened.

Grommen
2010-01-15, 01:44 PM
Oddly enough I'm going to come down on the other side of this. I would most likely allow it as a DM, though probably a little higher up on the gold cost.

Here is why.

Assuming that they make it themselves, (taking time out of adventuring to make it, exp loss, and gold spent, taking the feats and tracking down the spells etc.)

What is to stop the player from casting these spells in combat anyway? Everyone else has either high Dex and armor, or Armor approaching +8 AC bonus, so as the DM you are trying to get bad guys that can hit the best AC's the players have anyway. At least at low levels it should not affect the game. Once they get higher level AC on a Wizard makes little difference.

Now I don't think the DM is a blantend fool, he probably just heard "Wizard +8AC....#$^& him".. Give him some time to think on it, point out that you were just asking and see where it goes.

tyckspoon
2010-01-15, 02:14 PM
O
What is to stop the player from casting these spells in combat anyway?


Two rounds and two spell slots. That's a significant opportunity cost when the fight starts. Personally, I wouldn't have much trouble granting a continuous/unlimited command item of Mage Armor. It's a level 1 spell that already lasts an hour/caster level. A Lesser Rod of Extend is only 3,000 GP and a 1st level Pearl of Power is just 1,000. If you want to have Mage Armor up 24/7 it's really cheap to do so, and at your own caster level for better duration and dispel resistance.. so I'd allow continuous Mage Armor as soon as a single 1st level spell slot stops being a meaningful resource (~5th-7th level.)

Continuous Shield, on the other hand, is exploitative. It only has a 1 min/level standard duration. If you wanted that up all the time, you'd have to fill every single spell slot you had with it and Extended versions of itself, and you still wouldn't get there. Generally, if somebody suggests a custom unlimited-use item of a short-duration spell, they're trying to sneak something by you. In this case, continuous Shield would have an appropriate cost of 40,000 (as derived from 'AC bonus [other]') plus a little extra for Magic Missile protection.. call it 1,500 as per the Brooch of Shielding.

Edit: The real reason to deny either one of these, IMO, is to avoid setting bad precedent.

Schylerwalker
2010-01-15, 08:15 PM
I'm the DM being talked about here, so I'd like to have a say. I banned continuous custom-made magic-items (Such as constant-effect mage armor and shield), not stuff like rings of feather falling or rings of invisibility. I'm a police-officer, not a tyrant. :smallamused:

Crow
2010-01-15, 08:26 PM
I'm the DM being talked about here, so I'd like to have a say. I banned continuous custom-made magic-items (Such as constant-effect mage armor and shield), not stuff like rings of feather falling or rings of invisibility. I'm a police-officer, not a tyrant. :smallamused:

I knew it!

Good job playground for assuming the worst, based upon a post with incomplete information. :smallsigh:

Penitent
2010-01-15, 09:07 PM
Let's be honest: isn't the term "house rules" just an euphemism for "dm fiat"? Both are arbitrary decisions based entirely on the DM's judgement.

Houserules and DM Fiat have one major difference, and it is the difference that you even claimed doesn't exist.

Houserules, in order to be houserules, have to be told to the players, and the players have to agree to them.

Even if the agreement is in, "I'm walking out the door before I play a game which doesn't allow PCs to be spellcasters."

DM Fiat is something where the DM makes a decision and makes it happen in the game without the players having a chance to accept or decline, and plan around the rule.

1) Party sits down first day, at character gen, everyone agrees no Candles of Invocation. -Houserule.

2) Party sits down and begins play, stumbles upon Candle of Invocation, player tells DM what they are used for, DM suggests houserule. Players agree to it. -Houserule.

3) Party sits down, Candle of Invocation, Player gates Solar, DM declares that Candles of Invocation don't exist without asking for consent. -DM Fiat.


I knew it!

Good job playground for assuming the worst, based upon a post with incomplete information. :smallsigh:

Technically, they just read what was posted literally and as per the forum rules did not accuse the OP of lying.

sonofzeal
2010-01-15, 09:09 PM
I'm the DM being talked about here, so I'd like to have a say. I banned continuous custom-made magic-items (Such as constant-effect mage armor and shield), not stuff like rings of feather falling or rings of invisibility. I'm a police-officer, not a tyrant. :smallamused:
Good for you. Custom items are rarely "safe" to hand off to players, and should be handled with extreme caution. It's okay if it's something funny or interesting (as a player, I once made a Prestidigitation nozzle, that made everything coming through it taste like beer... and another using Arcane Eye to detect systemic changes in the elemental balance of the plane), but as a general rule should be avoided under most circumstances.



That said, I worked through a set of houserules for someone else who could handle it responsibly. The houserules don't prevent abuse, but make it a little less dangerous and let the DM open the door a little bit.

First, Continuous ones don't exist, they're all Use-activated. Second, the pricing formula is: 360 * spell level * caster level * recharge rating

RECHARGE RATING
1: usable once every hour
2: Once every 10 minutes
3: Once every minute
4: Once every 1d6+2 rounds
5: Once every 1d4+1 rounds

....third, no item can have a recharge rating smaller than the duration of the spell (after whatever Caster Level was used for the item).


Example: Shield has a duration of 1 min/level. A CL1 Shield Spell Capacitor could have a Recharge Rating of 1, 2, or 3. At a recharge rating of 3, the item would cost 360 * 1 * 1 * 3 = 1080, and useable once per minute (ever 10 rounds).

Compare this item with a Wand. The wand is cheaper, and can be used to Shield many people in a short period of time if needed. On the other hand, the Spell Capacitor can only ever Shield one person at a time, but you don't need to track charges. In both cases, the standard action to re-activate it every 10 rounds means it's not always something you can always count on. This can be remedied on the Wand by increasing the Caster Level (1500 gp for one that lasts two minutes a shot), but for the Spell Capacitor this messes with the Recharge Rating limit, and you're bumped to the next lower category (1440 for one that lasts two minutes a shot, but can only be used every 10 minutes).

Either way, it seems reasonably fair. It's still certainly abuseable, but gives the players a bit of freedom to play around without messing things up too easily.

Tyndmyr
2010-01-16, 02:07 AM
I knew it!

Good job playground for assuming the worst, based upon a post with incomplete information. :smallsigh:

I don't think most of us assumed the worst, tbh.

I see quite a few posts saying basically "Er, that's not really fiat". I will happily rip on a DM for abusing fiat, personally, but banning custom item abuse is very far from fiat indeed.

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-16, 02:25 AM
Technically, they just read what was posted literally and as per the forum rules did not accuse the OP of lying.

IIRC, I did enter this with the assumption that the information was incomplete, and pre-existing items were not banned. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7696545&postcount=19)

That doesn't accuse anyone of lying. Just that somewhere along the line, there was a misunderstanding.

sofawall
2010-01-16, 03:04 AM
In my opinion, houserules are preset or agreed-upon rules that everyone knows. DM fiat is when suddenly Mage Armour doesn't work again that one enemy, and your DC 32 effect against a commoner always seems to fail, and why you always seem to run into enemies with Fortification, but only when you happen to actually roll a critical hit. This is how I see it.

EDIT: Dice fudging is my most hated DM activity. "Crap, I only rolled a 6 on my fort save... He passes the save!."

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-16, 03:22 AM
In my opinion, houserules are preset or agreed-upon rules that everyone knows. DM fiat is when suddenly Mage Armour doesn't work again that one enemy, and your DC 32 effect against a commoner always seems to fail, and why you always seem to run into enemies with Fortification, but only when you happen to actually roll a critical hit. This is how I see it.

EDIT: Dice fudging is my most hated DM activity. "Crap, I only rolled a 6 on my fort save... He passes the save!."

Dice fudging is a form of Fiat, IMO.

Drakevarg
2010-01-16, 03:30 AM
I'm inclined to agree. For me at least, there are three rules for my players to understand:

0) As DM, I am Warden, Executioner, Judge, Executioner, Jury, and if nessicary, your Executioner. However, you are entitled to call bull****. Doesn't mean I'll agree, but I'll at least hear the counterarguement.
1) Live and die by the dice. If you roll poorly, sucks to be you. I'm not going to fudge rolls. I MIGHT throw in a Deus Ex Machina that MIGHT save you, if I'm in a good mood, or I conclude the scenario was unfair to begin with. (i.e., ganged up on by half a dozen paladins that were going to try and kill you regardless of wether or not you came quietly.)
2) Live and die by your own stupidity. If you poke a sleeping grizzly at level 1, you deserve the resulting TPK. Similarly pissing off the entire city guard is a Bad Idea.

sofawall
2010-01-16, 03:45 AM
Dice fudging is a form of Fiat, IMO.

I agree. And I hate it. I'd rather die to a Kobold crit and be able to use SODs rather than being totally safe, but only have mooks that die in one round anyway fall victim to SODs.

olentu
2010-01-16, 04:16 AM
I agree. And I hate it. I'd rather die to a Kobold crit and be able to use SODs rather than being totally safe, but only have mooks that die in one round anyway fall victim to SODs.

I do dislike fudging. The save or die thing is rather bad but what really bothers me the most is fudging to save characters.

Solaris
2010-01-16, 04:27 AM
Standard continuous or use-activated items are not optional rules.

Technically, all of it is 'optional rules'. Just sayin'.
I know it was already addressed, and I'd never assumed the DM banned the standard stuff. I'm just pointing out that if a DM doesn't want it in his game, it doesn't need to be in the game.


I do dislike fudging. The save or die thing is rather bad but what really bothers me the most is fudging to save characters.

You would hate my games. I'm really blatant about dice-fudging, to the point of it being almost comical.
A'course, nobody said anything about it being to save characters.

TaintedLight
2010-01-16, 04:39 AM
I do dislike fudging. The save or die thing is rather bad but what really bothers me the most is fudging to save characters.

Disagree with this as a blanket statement. Dice fudging is fine in my eyes when it saves the game, but it shouldn't be a regular thing. This is exactly why I like the Three Strikes and You're Out optional rule presented in the Epic Level Handbook. When a character is facing down a really stupid way to die throught no fault of their own besides bad rolls (which is completely out of their control in theory), I don't see any issue with letting fate guide them away from losing their grip on the side of the airship to which they just made a spectacular leap and falling to their deaths in a pile of rhinocerous poo hundreds of feet below. Similarly, a character whose career is marked by moments of creative brilliance ruined by awful luck deserves a hand once in a while. It's no fun to win at everything all the time, but it's even less fun to fail constantly. As long as everyone is enjoying themselves, there's nothing wrong with implementing dice fudging discreetly.

olentu
2010-01-16, 04:48 AM
Well I suppose for me that dice fudging means (assuming that an outcome is actually changed) that the actions I have chosen to take in the game are relatively meaning less as the outcome was predetermined. And of course if one fudges to save characters then the challenge is removed or lessened in addition to making my choices mean less.

TaintedLight
2010-01-16, 05:02 AM
Well I suppose for me that dice fudging means (assuming that an outcome is actually changed) that the actions I have chosen to take in the game are relatively meaning less as the outcome was predetermined. And of course if one fudges to save characters then the challenge is removed or lessened in addition to making my choices mean less.

There is definitely merit to what you are saying here, but what you are describing as fudging is what I understand as a "cutscene". You're along for the ride to watch but not to participate at that point.

As for your statement about saving characters removing the challenge, I have to disagree again. A character who rolls poorly all the time (chance does dictate that that can happen) is not one who necessarily deserves to die. Getting smacked around by fate is not terribly enjoyable for most players I know, and I know that hurling my sword off of the bridge in the first encounter I ever had was frustrating, not a "challenge".

olentu
2010-01-16, 05:25 AM
There is definitely merit to what you are saying here, but what you are describing as fudging is what I understand as a "cutscene". You're along for the ride to watch but not to participate at that point.

As for your statement about saving characters removing the challenge, I have to disagree again. A character who rolls poorly all the time (chance does dictate that that can happen) is not one who necessarily deserves to die. Getting smacked around by fate is not terribly enjoyable for most players I know, and I know that hurling my sword off of the bridge in the first encounter I ever had was frustrating, not a "challenge".

Well I suppose that I just don't find cut scenes appropriate in most, though not all, of the games that I participate in and the ones where they are appropriate I know this before hand. And then again I have had such things happen in regular old battles with nothing special about them.

As to the second I suppose that is just personal preference.

Tyndmyr
2010-01-16, 08:02 AM
Dice fudging is a form of Fiat, IMO.

It is. Depending on how frequently/badly it's done, the annoyance level varies greatly, though.

Personally, I try to avoid it, and vastly prefer to roll dice in the open when possible. Players treat the "man, if that were a few hp higher, I'd be dead" moments as far more real than they do otherwise.

Cutscenes are similarly to be avoided. It breaks immersion, and makes it feel like it's just a game.

lesser_minion
2010-01-16, 08:24 AM
The DMG has always had a fairly clear list of what DMs shouldn't do using their absolute rulership of the game.

Most of it is pretty fair.

Among other things, a DM is expected to find a solution if it appears that players are about to become unbalanced.

If it's an ability you haven't gained yet, and it's not one you're "supposed" to gain, then you can pretty much expect any DM to houserule it out (in this particular case, I'd be tempted to let it slide because I think quite a few bonuses are actually overpriced - however, items like that are still under a case-by-case veto).

Kelb_Panthera
2010-01-16, 09:13 AM
I don't know if this will help any, but in my games if a player wants to make a custom item I'll let him whip something up, with the understanding that what he/she comes up with will be a starting point, and that we'll work together to find a fair price/effect that's still basically what he/she is trying to do. I also only fudge dice rolls when I realize that I've made a gross miscalculation about the party's abilities vs the challenge I present (read: I don't punish players for my screw ups, only for their own.)

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-16, 09:14 AM
The DMG has always had a fairly clear list of what DMs shouldn't do using their absolute rulership of the game.

Most of it is pretty fair.

Among other things, a DM is expected to find a solution if it appears that players are about to become unbalanced.

If it's an ability you haven't gained yet, and it's not one you're "supposed" to gain, then you can pretty much expect any DM to houserule it out (in this particular case, I'd be tempted to let it slide because I think quite a few bonuses are actually overpriced - however, items like that are still under a case-by-case veto).

The DMG also outlines what DM's CAN do. There is a difference between the two. When the game relies upon an external mediator to fix the broken parts, one cannot say that the broken parts do not exist.

lesser_minion
2010-01-16, 12:27 PM
The DMG also outlines what DM's CAN do. There is a difference between the two. When the game relies upon an external mediator to fix the broken parts, one cannot say that the broken parts do not exist.

I didn't.

Of course there are broken bits in the game. They're also the bits that need to be fixed, and the bits the DM is expected to fix.

These are the guidelines for the DM to use in working out how to price new items she creates. If she gives the players free access to them, what did she expect to happen?

One of the reasons these games have a DM at all is so that the designers can make them more flexible with some safeguard against that flexibility being abused.

Starbuck_II
2010-01-16, 12:32 PM
You should have just made it 5/day of each on your Bracers. You could up the cost by making one quickened (Shield maybe?).

That is legal, but not always on version for 7K.

Jimp
2010-01-16, 02:40 PM
So here it is! The bane of us all:

http://i570.photobucket.com/albums/ss144/rebelrogue_bucket/DMfiat.jpg

:smallwink:
This is the best thing I have seen on the internet this week. Well done, sir. :smallcool:

Tyndmyr
2010-01-16, 05:24 PM
You should have just made it 5/day of each on your Bracers. You could up the cost by making one quickened (Shield maybe?).

That is legal, but not always on version for 7K.

This would work fine. For Mage armor, this would function surprisingly similar to being always on given the buff duration, and you can always activate shield prefight unless you're ambushed.

Not broken power-wise, yet still quite useful, and encouraging some tactics. I like it.