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Irreverent Fool
2010-03-03, 11:26 AM
Dragon #313 has a number of 'afflictions' dragons can have. A popular one is "Riddled" which grants +6 intelligence and changes charisma-based casting to intelligence-based casting for dragons.

For a recurring dragon in a campaign I've been running, I'm considering 'Ravening' from the same magazine. The dragon in question is a Xorvintaal dragon (Draconomicon), and has the Maximize Breath and Clinging breath. From the Xorvintaal template he has gained 'deep breath', further enhancing his breath weapon.

The characters and players have learned to fear the fiery death that spews from his sinister maw.

The Ravening affliction/template further boosts a dragon's breath weapon. Among other things, it allows a dragon to use his breath for 3 consecutive rounds. Upon the third round, he must wait the usual 1d4 rounds before he can breathe again, at which point he may use it for another 3 rounds. (This comes with costs, of course.)

I'm trying to figure out how this works with metabreath feats which add a number of rounds to the amount of time a dragon must wait to use his breath weapon again. Could he:

A) Simply add the metabreath duration without the 1d4? That is, if he uses clinging breath (+2 rounds), can he use clinging breath every 2 rounds?

B) Either not use metabreaths and benefit from the '3 consecutive rounds' ability or use metabreaths but incur the normal 1d4+X wait between breaths as once a delay is incurred the rounds are no longer 'consecutive'?

C) Use unmodified breath for 2 rounds and then use metabreaths on the 3rd use?

I'm leaning toward C), which is to say I don't think I'd have the dragon use metabreath at all while he's using consecutive breaths, which means breath attacks will usually go: normal, normal, metabreath, wait 1d4+X rounds.

What do you think?

obnoxious
sig

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 11:49 AM
Metabreath is the most unbalanced thing a dragon can pick up. It's that bad. No, really. With a couple metabreath and a fly speed, you can destroy entire countries with a single breath.

If you are thinking of using it, do your players a favor.

Don't.

AtwasAwamps
2010-03-03, 11:49 AM
Well, it depends on your interpretation here.

I've seen people interpret that a dragonfire adept that gets a recharging breath weapon from another source can apply his metabreath feats to his class feature breath (which does not recharge and is usable every turn). If you believe that's a legitimate interpretation, then he could apply metabreath to every breath weapon used.

If you don't agree with that interpretation, I'd suggest the metabreath be usable only on breaths which incur the recharge time (hence, the last breath) or that you apply the metabreath penalty MULTIPLE TIMES to the tripel breath recharge (EG, Clinging breath on each breath attack = 1d4+2+2+2). To be fair, the second option is horrifically weak.

arguskos
2010-03-03, 11:55 AM
I'm going with option C. That makes the most sense, since you shouldn't be able to use breath weapons on turns where you have no cool down, that seems silly honestly.

Tyndmyr
2010-03-03, 12:25 PM
Legal or not, C will lead to more interesting fights, since I presume the metabreath feat you want is Entangling Exhalation(ie, what everyone uses). Entangling them pre-recharge leads to challenge without instantly frying them all.

arguskos
2010-03-03, 12:48 PM
Legal or not, C will lead to more interesting fights, since I presume the metabreath feat you want is Entangling Exhalation(ie, what everyone uses). Entangling them pre-recharge leads to challenge without instantly frying them all.
Considering he said it has Maximize and Clinging, not Entangling, I'd bet no. :smalltongue:

Also, Entangling Exhalation makes me sad inside. It's way too easy to scrub an entire party with that one feat.

Tyndmyr
2010-03-03, 01:18 PM
Considering he said it has Maximize and Clinging, not Entangling, I'd bet no. :smalltongue:

Also, Entangling Exhalation makes me sad inside. It's way too easy to scrub an entire party with that one feat.

Completely missed that. Still, using it at the end, then recharging will likely lead to a better challenge than spamming it repeatedly. That's....ugly.

Yeah, entangling can be a nice challenge...but it needs to be used carefully. It can be an insane lockdown build, so use it very carefully, or make sure the players have a means of getting freedom of movement or something.

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 01:27 PM
Completely missed that. Still, using it at the end, then recharging will likely lead to a better challenge than spamming it repeatedly. That's....ugly.

Yeah, entangling can be a nice challenge...but it needs to be used carefully. It can be an insane lockdown build, so use it very carefully, or make sure the players have a means of getting freedom of movement or something.

Entangling + Extend (cone) = Kill a country, entangle what survives.

Extend (Cone) + Clinging = Kill everything not immune to your breath in an arbitrarily large area. As an added bonus, demolish structiures, and the like.

faceroll
2010-03-03, 01:44 PM
Metabreath is the most unbalanced thing a dragon can pick up. It's that bad. No, really. With a couple metabreath and a fly speed, you can destroy entire countries with a single breath.

If you are thinking of using it, do your players a favor.

Don't.

And paladin is the most broken class you can play. With a couple arcane chantings, you can become overdeity of the universe.

If you are thinking about playing a paladin, do your group a favor.

Don't.

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 01:50 PM
And paladin is the most broken class you can play. With a couple arcane chantings, you can become overdeity of the universe.

If you are thinking about playing a paladin, do your group a favor.

Don't.

The difference? All you need for metabreath to be broken is...
Metabreath.

Why? Because the broken ones stack with themselves indefinately. So yeah, dragon with 50 foot cone, can, with a 5 minute delay?


1300 feet breath weapon. Aim it down, now you have a 1300 foot wide circle of death.

6 minutes? That circle of death can last for 11 rounds.

And all you need? Metabreath.

This is why your argument shows precious little understanding what metabreath can really do.

EDIT: And if you think it's only limited to those older dragons with a 50 foot cone? Double the delay, and you can do it with a 25 foot cone.

Who cares if you can't breathe for 20 minutes if everything within a mile is burning?

Giving up future ability for current soul-crushing power is not a tradeoff. It's killing something, and taking a nap.

faceroll
2010-03-03, 01:52 PM
The difference? All you need for metabreath to be broken is...
Metabreath.

Why? Because the broken ones stack with themselves indefinately. So yeah, dragon with 50 foot cone, can, with a 5 minute delay?


1300 feet breath weapon. Aim it down, now you have a 1300 foot wide circle of death.

6 minutes? That circle of death can last for 11 rounds.

And all you need? Metabreath.

This is why your argument shows precious little understanding what metabreath can really do.

sigh
yeah, you're totally right
if it exists, you should exploit to the most extreme possible, that's how D&D should be played

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 01:54 PM
sigh
yeah, you're totally right
if it exists, you should exploit to the most extreme possible, that's how D&D should be played

No. I'm saying that if it's so poorly balanced that a simple reading of the ability itself allows for the destruction of countries? Then you should seriously consider before using it.

DM's exist to balance the game. That's how D&D should be played. Part of that is removing that which is unbalanced.

But to give a highly intelligent creature with a millennia long lifespan an ability that's essentially:

Su: Blow up whatever you want

and expect it not to USE that ability? Strains a bit of belief. It's like putting a suitcase full of money in front of a kleptomaniac and trusting him not to steal it.

Tyndmyr
2010-03-03, 01:56 PM
All you need to do to avoid this is to not stack extend.

faceroll
2010-03-03, 01:57 PM
No. I'm saying that if it's so poorly balanced that a simple reading of the ability itself allows for the destruction of countries? Then you should seriously consider before using it.

You should probably seriously consider before using it to destroy countries with it, I agree.


DM's exist to balance the game. That's how D&D should be played. Part of that is removing that which is unbalanced.

Or extend a breath weapon once or twice instead of the length of a continent. You can play powerful option moderately, contrary to popular opinion.


All you need to do to avoid this is to not stack extend.

That's a pretty obvious solution.

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 01:59 PM
You should probably seriously consider before using it to destroy countries with it, I agree.



Or extend a breath weapon once or twice instead of the length of a continent. You can play powerful option moderately, contrary to popular opinion.

Name me one supra intelligent creature, with a chaotic love for destruction, that has an option to indulge a superiority complex and greatness, and instead, uses its abilities in a moderate and reasonable fashion...


All you need to do to avoid this is to not stack extend.In other words, you should use something other than the feats given, that allow it, or the intelligent creatures that make the best use of the options they have?


That's a pretty obvious solution.For those who enjoy watching the broken form of verisimilitude cry in a corner as it slowly dies? Maybe.

Tyndmyr
2010-03-03, 02:02 PM
Not everyone who wants to kill the players wants to destroy the entire world. No verisimulitude need be harmed.

Have him extend it as necessary to do what he desires does...ie, hit the players.

LichPrinceAlim
2010-03-03, 02:03 PM
I'm considering running a Dragon-Only Campaign, where every PC is a Dragon of Age Category X and has class levels in class Y.

How do i avoid PCs abusing Metabreath?

faceroll
2010-03-03, 02:03 PM
Name me one supra intelligent creature, with a chaotic love for destruction, that has an option to indulge greatness, and instead, uses its abilities in a moderate and reasonable fashion...

In other words, you should use something other than the feats given, that allow it, or the intelligent creatures that make the best use of the options they have?

For those who enjoy watching the broken form of verisimilitude cry in a corner as it slowly dies? Maybe.

http://cdn2.knowyourmeme.com/i/6516/original/polar-bear-face-palm_thumbnail.jpg

Douglas
2010-03-03, 02:04 PM
The giant country-destroying problem doesn't even work by RAW anyway. The Extend metabreath feat does not stack with itself. Yes, I know the example given uses it. This is just yet one more in a long track record of blatantly wrong examples by WotC.

The rules explicitly lay out that any metabreath feats that stack with themselves have a "Special" section stating that fact. Extend Breath does not have that section or any substitute for it and therefore does not stack with itself.

LichPrinceAlim
2010-03-03, 02:07 PM
http://cdn2.knowyourmeme.com/i/6516/original/polar-bear-face-palm_thumbnail.jpg

lol. adding that to my sig...

Tyndmyr
2010-03-03, 02:07 PM
I'm considering running a Dragon-Only Campaign, where every PC is a Dragon of Age Category X and has class levels in class Y.

How do i avoid PCs abusing Metabreath?

Houserule that you cannot make the same metabreath stack with itself.

Problem solved. It's still quite useful, but no longer world ending.

AtwasAwamps
2010-03-03, 02:08 PM
In other words, you should use something other than the feats given, that allow it, or the intelligent creatures that make the best use of the options they have?



Actually, all you have to do is make and enforce the reasonable conceit that metabreath feats do not stack with themselves. It's not a challenging one to make and in fact many players assume that is the case. It's only when you decide to take RAW at pure face value that such incredible exploits become possible.

It's like monks not being proficient with unarmed attacks. Sometimes you just have to sit back and go "waaaait a second..."

Tyndmyr
2010-03-03, 02:08 PM
The giant country-destroying problem doesn't even work by RAW anyway. The Extend metabreath feat does not stack with itself. Yes, I know the example given uses it. This is just yet one more in a long track record of blatantly wrong examples by WotC.

The rules explicitly lay out that any metabreath feats that stack with themselves have a "Special" section stating that fact. Extend Breath does not have that section or any substitute for it and therefore does not stack with itself.

Actually, yeah, this confused the heck out of me when I read it. IIRC, you can still do sorta broken stuff with the stacking, but that bit just didn't make sense.

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 02:08 PM
Not everyone who wants to kill the players wants to destroy the entire world. No verisimulitude need be harmed.

Have him extend it as necessary to do what he desires does...ie, hit the players.

Not everyone... Not all.

You only need 1. So, to maintain verisimilitude, there must be not one chaotic intelligent creature with a love for destruction that doesn't like to maximize the potential for destruction.

Not one.

And who said destroy the world? I used a 1300 foot circle for my original example. Which is enough to destroy a small town, 1 pass, from outside the range of mundane weaponry. It could be doubled or tripled to a city, but there's no real cost, no real drawback, and no limit at all.

That's the definition of broken.

Planar Shepard? Incantatrix? At least they have limits on the ability. The game designers were blissfully unaware of what "unlimited X" means.


As for making them non breakable by PC's? Houserule them. 1 per breath, recharge breath only, and no stacking. They're not horrible, provided you severely, severely restrict them. But as written? They should never, ever, see a campaign.

Douglas
2010-03-03, 02:09 PM
There are some metabreath feats that explicitly stack with themselves. Extend Breath is not one of them, and the rules at the start of the section state that all metabreath feats with self-stacking mention it individually.


And who said destroy the world? I used a 1300 foot circle for my original example. Which is enough to destroy a small town, 1 pass, from outside the range of mundane weaponry. It could be doubled or tripled to a city, but there's no real cost, no real drawback, and no limit at all.
Yes, there is: the fact that it just doesn't work. You can only apply Extend Breath once.

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 02:12 PM
Actually, all you have to do is make and enforce the reasonable conceit that metabreath feats do not stack with themselves. It's not a challenging one to make and in fact many players assume that is the case. It's only when you decide to take RAW at pure face value that such incredible exploits become possible.

"It's only possible if you don't actively take steps to make it impossible" is not evidence that it's balanced. It's evidence that it's not. Metabreath, as printed, is disgusting.

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 02:14 PM
Yes, there is: the fact that it just doesn't work. You can only apply Extend Breath once.

That depends on which portion you consider primary source.

The rules do say "a Small dragon with a line-shaped breath weapon
could use Enlarge Breath twice on the same breath." In the section that outlines metabreath stacking, which is primary source for...metabreath stacking.

Primary source then contradicts itself a paragraph later. (but only when taken in conjunction with a later entry that is not primary source for metabreath stacking. The Enlarge Breath feat description)

This is supposed to be evidence that they're not poorly written and designed... how?

Douglas
2010-03-03, 02:16 PM
The part that says it works is an example. I never consider examples to be primary source. Examples can clarify ambiguities in the primary source, but they are not primary source themselves. In this case the example is outright contradicting other sources, so the example is incorrect.

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 02:19 PM
I never consider examples to be primary source.
There's where you have an error. Personal opinion doesn't have bearing.

My personal opinion on wizards could be that they can only fill spell slots above level 5 with metamagic enhanced spells. That doesn't make it true.

Opinions are funny like that.

Disregarding rules sections you don't agree with isn't looking at the ability. It's looking at the ability after you modify it to suit you.

EDIT: I ask again, Douglas. Do you really think that numerous contradictions in the outlines and function of the abilities, along with unlimited self stacking, are traits indicative of a well-thought out, well-designed, and balanced ability?

Does this help your argument in any way, to know that it's so poorly designed, worded, and implemented?

faceroll
2010-03-03, 02:22 PM
"It's only possible if you don't actively take steps to make it impossible" is not evidence that it's balanced. It's evidence that it's not. Metabreath, as printed, is disgusting.

No one's talking about balance. This isn't a monk thread. Thanks for pointing out the "if you actively use this feat to do horrible things, you can do horrible things!" He's the DM. He gets to be tautological like that. But it'd probably be more helpful to say "hey, I recommend not having the feat stack, if it does really stack with itself; the metabreath rules are a little whacky," as opposed to "banhammer banhammer banhammer!"


There's where you have an error. Personal opinion doesn't have bearing.

My personal opinion on wizards could be that they can only fill spell slots above level 5 with metamagic enhanced spells. That doesn't make it true.

Opinions are funny like that.

Disregarding rules sections you don't agree with isn't looking at the ability. It's looking at the ability after you modify it to suit you.

What about all the example prestige class builds that are in error?
What's your opinion on those?

Tyndmyr
2010-03-03, 02:24 PM
There's where you have an error. Personal opinion doesn't have bearing.

This is correct. Examples, illustrations, tables, etc, are all subservient to actual rules.

There are PrCs for which the example build contradicts the PrC rules. In such cases, the example build is wrong.

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 02:24 PM
No one's talking about balance. This isn't a monk thread. Thanks for pointing out the "if you actively use this feat to do horrible things, you can do horrible things!" He's the DM. He gets to be tautological like that. But it'd probably be more helpful to say "hey, I recommend not having the feat stack, if it does really stack with itself; the metabreath rules are a little whacky," as opposed to "banhammer banhammer banhammer!"
Oh, you mean "Banhammer that ability, put a new one in that's like it, but different".

Gee, when it's phrased that way, your view isn't too far off of mine. Imagine that.

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 02:26 PM
This is correct. Examples, illustrations, tables, etc, are all subservient to actual rules.

There are PrCs for which the example build contradicts the PrC rules. In such cases, the example build is wrong.

In those instances, the example isn't incorporated into the rule function.

An afterthought example isn't primary source over an ability because it's listed seperately from the rules for that ability.

This isn't. It's incorporated right with the function of the base rules for the mechanic. There's nothing that gives it any less validity than anything else in its section.

That's your opinion talking.

Douglas
2010-03-03, 02:28 PM
There's where you have an error. Personal opinion doesn't have bearing.

My personal opinion on wizards could be that they can only fill spell slots above level 5 with metamagic enhanced spells. That doesn't make it true.

Opinions are funny like that.
A) The degree of conflict between that opinion and the rules is several orders of magnitude greater than between my opinion and the rules.
B) My opinion on the status of examples relative to primary source is consistent with every relevant WotC ruling I have ever heard of.


Disregarding rules sections you don't agree with isn't looking at the ability. It's looking at the ability after you modify it to suit you.

EDIT: I ask again, Douglas. Do you really think that numerous contradictions in the outlines and function of the abilities, along with unlimited self stacking, are traits indicative of a well-thought out, well-designed, and balanced ability?

Does this help your argument in any way, to know that it's so poorly designed, worded, and implemented?
I am not arguing that metabreath feats are balanced or well thought out. I am arguing that they are very far from as broken as you are presenting them as.

Tyndmyr
2010-03-03, 02:30 PM
In those instances, the example isn't incorporated into the rule function.

An afterthought example isn't primary source over an ability because it's listed seperately from the rules for that ability.

This isn't. It's incorporated right with the function of the base rules for the mechanic. There's nothing that gives it any less validity than anything else in its section.

That's your opinion talking.

"afterthought" is an opinion. We don't know why examples are included.

Exact formatting of an example is as irrelevant as the exact formatting of a table. If we know it is one, then it is neither more nor less important than any other example.

Is it poorly written, sure. Most likely the rules changed at some point, and proof reading missed it. But poorly written doesn't mean "it's legal, and if anyone fails to use it, verisimulitude is dead, dead you hear!"

faceroll
2010-03-03, 02:31 PM
Oh, you mean "Banhammer that ability, put a new one in that's like it, but different".

Gee, when it's phrased that way, your view isn't too far off of mine. Imagine that.

Oh, well, why didn't you just say that?
You confused me with all this:


Metabreath is the most unbalanced thing a dragon can pick up. It's that bad. No, really. With a couple metabreath and a fly speed, you can destroy entire countries with a single breath.

If you are thinking of using it, do your players a favor.

Don't.

(epic magic would be more unbalanced, fyi)


Entangling + Extend (cone) = Kill a country, entangle what survives.

Extend (Cone) + Clinging = Kill everything not immune to your breath in an arbitrarily large area. As an added bonus, demolish structiures, and the like.

There were a few more posts in there about how absolutely superlative and horrible extend breath was, yet no practical suggestions. Should I add those?

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 02:33 PM
B) My opinion on the status of examples relative to primary source is consistent with every relevant WotC ruling I have ever heard of.Then you won't have any problem citing one to support your view that some sections of the rules are more equal than others.

I am not arguing that metabreath feats are balanced or well thought out.
Thank you.

Imbalanced, poorly thought out.

Next: Why incorporate imbalanced, poor optional rules? What's the logical advantage of allowing feats that are pretty much scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to WotC failure?

AtwasAwamps
2010-03-03, 02:34 PM
I am completely confused by PR right now.

Metabreaths as presented in the book they are written in are poorly written and thought out, like about 70% of WOTC material.

With a little common sense restriction that most DMs would utilize, they are workable.

So a blanket "don't" is less neccessary than a simple "make sure you all agree on how they work".

There. Phoenix, can we agree on that?

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 02:35 PM
(epic magic would be more unbalanced, fyi)

Precious few dragons can get epic spellcasting pre-epic. Even then, only at the most advanced stages of their growth.

A wyrmling can get metabreath.

PlzBreakMyCmpAn
2010-03-03, 02:37 PM
For those who enjoy watching the broken form of verisimilitude cry in a corner as it slowly dies? Maybe.What??

We are talking about the Extend Spreading Breath [Metabreath] found on page 70 of Draconomicon right? The feat index mentions no other extend metabreath feat.

Its based on your size so the spread range and radius can't go beyond that (or stack). We all "the rules don't say I can't" is not a valid argument. Besides say it were a 'bonus' (which its not) instead of a change. It would be an unnamed bonus from the same source and therefore should not stack anyways.

wtfbbq

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 02:38 PM
I am completely confused by PR right now.

Metabreaths as presented in the book they are written in are poorly written and thought out, like about 70% of WOTC material.

With a little common sense restriction that most DMs would utilize, they are workable.

So a blanket "don't" is less neccessary than a simple "make sure you all agree on how they work".

There. Phoenix, can we agree on that?

So, you're saying: "replace existing rules with homebrew and it's balanced and fine to use"?

If that is necessary, it's not.

It's not unbalanced "like 70% etc etc"

It's more unbalanced than about 99% of WotC material, as written.

Part of balance is throwing out the extremes.


What??

We are talking about the Extend Spreading Breath [Metabreath] found on page 70 of Draconomicon right?No. We're not.

faceroll
2010-03-03, 02:38 PM
Precious few dragons can get epic spellcasting pre-epic. Even then, only at the most advanced stages of their growth.

A wyrmling can get metabreath.

I guess it's how you define broken, though the image of a wyrmling exterminating a country with a single burp is pretty hilarious.


So, you're saying: "replace existing rules with homebrew and it's balanced and fine to use"?

It's just as a valid solution as "remove existing rule", and in this case, more desirable. I'm not seeing the big deal here.

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 02:40 PM
I guess it's how you define broken, though the image of a wyrmling exterminating a country with a single burp is pretty hilarious.

How I define broken?

CR 3 creature destroys country

CR 23 creature destroys country

I view the former as more imbalanced than the latter.

faceroll
2010-03-03, 02:42 PM
How I define broken?

CR 3 creature destroys country

Well, he does a handful of damage to a bunch of commoners. He's got great offense, but lacking on the defense.


CR 23 creature destroys country.

Or the multiverse. While being invincible inside of a giant robot suit that shoots planets at other giant robots.

[edit]
Depends on which side of the screen you're on, actually.

LichPrinceAlim
2010-03-03, 02:44 PM
I vote the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man can kill any dragon (minus those who breathe Fire)

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 02:46 PM
"afterthought" is an opinion. We don't know why examples are included.

Exact formatting of an example is as irrelevant as the exact formatting of a table. If we know it is one, then it is neither more nor less important than any other example.

Is it poorly written, sure. Most likely the rules changed at some point, and proof reading missed it. But poorly written doesn't mean "it's legal, and if anyone fails to use it, verisimulitude is dead, dead you hear!"

Incorrect. Primary source rules are quite clear that formatting matters. For example, information formatted two different ways. One in text, the other in table format. Text wins.

Or if I have an ability listing:

Have some punch (Su): Some putz makes a will save DC 23, or dies. Usable at will.

And pie (ex): Some putz gets cured of 3d8+5 hp.

Example: Blah blah
Have some punch (Fort DC 24)

In this example, the ability entry is primary source (barring direct ruled functions, outlining saving throws or putzes). Other sections, that are not directly outlining it, are secondary.

That's what primary source is. The primary source holds sway.

EDIT: The main difference is that people are holding that the flaw in their design are in those crazy example writers. I'm maintaining that the flaw in the design is in the actual design, and that they are not reasonably and practically usable as written.

Is there honestly any disagreement to that?

Tyndmyr
2010-03-03, 02:48 PM
The entire argument thus far goes like this:

An example within a rule contradicts another rule.

Thus, the example must take precedence.

Thus, you are able to stack extend indefinitely(despite no rules telling you how to stack it. Evidently we make them up.).

Thus, any dragon with the right feats can destroy any arbitrarily large area.

Somehow dragons are aware of picking feats.

Thus, any dragon who wants to, will.

Thus, if the world is not yet destroyed, verisimulitude is shattered.

Since it's better to ban an entire ruleset than the broken part, the logical solution is....ban D&D. Did I get it all?

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 02:53 PM
Thus, you are able to stack extend indefinitely(despite no rules telling you how to stack it. Evidently we make them up.).
...
Did I get it all?


Well, you missed one small thing:
Apply the featís effect to the base values for the breath weapon
once for each time the feat is applied and add up the extra time the dragon must wait before breathing again.
Oh, make that two.

Since the base length of the line is 40 feet, the doubly enlarged
line would become 80 feet long (20 extra feet per application of the feat), and the dragon would have to wait 1d4+2 rounds before breathing again.
Look! Rules that tell you how to do it. Evidently there's no making up rules needed to explain how to do it. They're right there.

PlzBreakMyCmpAn
2010-03-03, 02:54 PM
No. We're not.Would somebody please cite their sources. If its not on WotC's own feat index it doesn't qualify as common knowledge :smallfrown:

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 02:56 PM
Well, he does a handful of damage to a bunch of commoners. He's got great offense, but lacking on the defense.
Would you say that the above is game breaking at, say, ECL 1-3?

Would you say that the epic example is game breaking before ECL 18?

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-03, 02:58 PM
Would somebody please cite their sources. If its not on WotC's own feat index it doesn't qualify as common knowledge :smallfrown:

Look at Draconomicon, p. 66, for the relevant section of the rules being discussed, in reference to the Enlarge Breath feat.

faceroll
2010-03-03, 03:07 PM
Would you say that the above is game breaking at, say, ECL 1-3?

Would you say that the epic example is game breaking before ECL 18?

A CR3 dragon that can do a little bit of damage to everything? Well, that's the first quest you go on! To stop the carnage!

Douglas
2010-03-03, 03:32 PM
Then you won't have any problem citing one to support your view that some sections of the rules are more equal than others.
Ok. Pick an errata document at random and read the first paragraph.

Sorry, I don't generally keep a "WotC said example isn't primary source" reference on hand, and searching for one turns up way too many "here's an example" pages. The main description of primary source in the errata documents specifies Text Trumps Table and that books that focus on something trump books that don't, but leaves it mostly to inference and common sense. If you insist on continuing this argument, however, I would submit that examples are by definition not themselves rules. They are demonstrations of how a rule works. Rules can be inferred from them, but these rules are inferred rather than explicitly stated, and it seems blatantly obvious to me that inferred rules lose any conflict with explicitly stated rules.


EDIT: The main difference is that people are holding that the flaw in their design are in those crazy example writers. I'm maintaining that the flaw in the design is in the actual design, and that they are not reasonably and practically usable as written.

Is there honestly any disagreement to that?
I don't think anyone is holding that there is no flaw in design. I maintain that the most severe flaw is in the example writer and that it is by RAW overridden by other rules.

If you want to argue that metabreath feats are so broken they result in world destroying power, sticking to your interpretation is necessary but it WILL provoke argument and dispute.

If you want to argue that metabreath feats are poorly designed and overpowered, leave the debatable interpretation out of your argument. Insisting on such a tenuous interpretation as a major point severely weakens your argument.


Well, you missed one small thing:
Oh, make that two.

Look! Rules that tell you how to do it. Evidently there's no making up rules needed to explain how to do it. They're right there.
You missed two:

If a metabreath feat stacks with itself, this fact will be noted in the Special section of the feat description.

<does not exist>
This is an explicitly stated rule, not inferred from an example. At the very least that makes your interpretation highly debatable and not something you should be insisting is clear RAW.

tyckspoon
2010-03-03, 06:00 PM
Anybody remember that the original statement was that Metabreath is a kind of unfair thing to do to the players? Ignoring whether or not you can arbitrarily Enlarge a breath, that's still true- Heighten can make a breath's save DC near unpassable, the breath-altering spells can make that a near unpassable status infliction (only real saving grace is that you should be able to deal with them by the time you run into a dragon that can cast the bad ones), Clinging Breath can make the breath damage carry on for as long as the dragon feels like.. something like a Maximized + full Heightened + Clinging breath is a pretty brutal opening shot, and it's one most dragons can pull starting from CR4 to CR6 or so depending on type (lesser dragon types will need to acquire a Con boost to qualify for Maximize.)

Lamech
2010-03-03, 07:14 PM
Well there are two ways we can do this. The example is a primary rule, not derived from the other metabreath rules or its not a primary rule. If its not primary it contradicts the other rules and we ignore it and it doesn't destroy a city. If it is a primary rule we can't use it to extrapolate to say, three applications of the feat or say a non-small dragon or one with a different shaped breath weapon. And we still don't have a problem.

Finally even if I accept the interpertation that it can be applied as many times as one wants, it still doesn't justify the claim metabreath feats are game breaking, anymore than gate or planar binding shenanigins justifies claiming spells are game breaking and shouldn't be used. Or any more than diplo's brokenness claiming skills are horrible. Or protean scourge justifying the claim monsters are bad. Or...

And metabreath feats are rather problematic, even if you don't attempt infinite loop trickeries.

Runestar
2010-03-03, 07:34 PM
Another neat thing about metabreath feats is how they contribute to a dragon's action economy. If you don't plan on using your breath weapon more than once (because it too uses up a standard action), then open up combat with an alpha strike. After a certain point, the long cooldown becomes moot because you expect combat to already be over one way or another.

I like the suggestion of having a metallic dragon open up with a paralyzing breath at a DC so high the PCs cannot make. Despicable yes, but undeniably effective.

Only thing - can metabreath feats be combined with metabreath spells? For example, a great wyrm red deals 48d10 with admixture breath weapon. Can I quicken+heighten that as well? :smallbiggrin:

tyckspoon
2010-03-03, 07:41 PM
Only thing - can metabreath feats be combined with metabreath spells? For example, a great wyrm red deals 48d10 with admixture breath weapon. Can I quicken+heighten that as well? :smallbiggrin:

You could Heighten and Maximize it with the normal results, but I'm pretty sure the Standard action cast time of the spell over-rides the Quicken Breath feat. If you could get the spell Quickened, tho, it should produce a quickened breath since the breath is explicitly produced as part of casting the spell.

Lamech
2010-03-03, 08:01 PM
Anyway the correct way to break metabreath feats is to wizard backed pyrohydras. Can I get a 196 points of damage for a level 13 party?

Runestar
2010-03-03, 08:18 PM
Anyway the correct way to break metabreath feats is to wizard backed pyrohydras. Can I get a 196 points of damage for a level 13 party?

Pyrohydra is actually a pretty bad example, fire resistance applies 12 times? Simple FR5 blocks out more than 1/2 the damage! FR10? Forget it.

Plus, polymorph doesn't grant you breath weapon, which is a SU ability.

Irreverent Fool
2010-03-04, 12:51 AM
My record of starting arguments is looking good this week.

Submitted for your approval, Ryaxedelon, recently advanced after his Exarchs led an assault on the PCs to destroy his animated skeleton in order to allow a True Resurrection to be cast.
Ryaxdelon is not a patient or subtle dragon. The instant he can hit two or more targets with his breath weapon, he will. He tends to use all of his metabreath feats and xorvintaal breath abilities at once. Had he more patience, he would take off and wait until he was once again able to breathe fire. Unfortunately for him, his hubris prevents him from such effective tactics. He usually flies into a rage and tears into the next nearest target with his natural weapons once his breath weapon has been used.

Young Adult Red Dragon - Ryaxdelon (Drc pg 63)
Huge CE Ravening Xorvintaal Dragon [Fire]
{table]Hit Dice: |19d12+95+19 (237 hp)
Init: |+0
Speed: |40, 150 fly (poor), 20 miles/hr, 40 miles/hustle, 160 miles/day
AC: |26 (-2 size, +18 nat), touch 8, flat-footed 26
Touch/FF: |8/23
BAB/Grapple: |+19/+39
Attack: |+29 bite (2d8+12)
Full Attack: |+29 bite (2d8+12), +29 claw(x2) (2d6+6),
|+29 wing(x2) 1d8+6, +29 tail (2d6+18)
Space/Reach: |15/10 (15' with bite)
SA/SQ: |Burning Presence, Breath Weapon, Telepathy(Exarchs and dragons), Immune Fire, Vuln Cold, Create Exarchs, Blindsense, Keen Senses, DR 5/magic, Spell Resistance 19, Ravening Abilities
Saves: |F +18, R +13, W +13
Abilities: |S 35, D 10, C 21, I 14, W 11, C 14
Skills: |Appraise 14, Climb 27, Concentration 24, Intimidate 18, Listen 13, Jump 32, Spot 13, Tumble 13
Feats: |Clinging Breath, Improved Toughness, Multiattack, Maximize Breath, Hover, Flyby Attack, Improved Multiattack
CR: |13[/table]

Dragons do not tire as quickly as other creatures when moving overland on the ground. If a dragon attempts a hustle or a forced march, check for nonlethal damage once every 2 hours instead of every hour.

Ryaxdelon wears a specially treated set of bejeweled golden torcs on his horns. They grant him the use of 'Scintillating Scales' 2/day. CL5 (add natural armor to touch AC for 5 min)

Unnatural Power (Su)
Ryaxdelon may use his breath weapon on 3 consecutive rounds and may then wait the usual 1d4 rounds. Additionally, the save is increased by 2.

Wild Power (Su)
Ryaxdelon has so fueled the fires burning within him that raw energy seeps from between his scales in the form of searing dragonfire. This is treated as the damaging effect of a fire shield. Attackers take 1d6+5 fire damage each time they strike Ryaxdelon in melee combat, except with reach attacks.

Eat or Die (Ex)
Ryaxdelon must consume constantly to fuel the burning hunger. He must eat an amount of creatures of body mass equal to his own (total) or take 1 Constitution drain as he is consumed from within.
Food point value:
{table]Dim. or Fine |0
Tiny |1/16
Small |1/4
Medium |1
Large |4
Huge |16
Gargantuan |64
Colossal |156[/table]
If Ryaxdelon has gone without eating enough for a day, he loses control and immediately goes directly after any prey available. Up to twice a day when out of control he may attempt a wisdom check (DC 10 +2 per day without enough food).

Success allows him to regain control for 1 hour; failure leaves him in his frenzied state. Once he has eaten enough food to make up for all missed meals, he recovers.

Burning Presence (Su)
Each Creature within 30 feet of Ryaxdelon must make a DC 21 (DC 10 + Ĺ dragonís HD + dragonís Cha modifier) Reflex save each round at the start of Ryaxdelon's turn or suffer fire damage equal to one-half Ryaxdelon's age category. Creatures with 4 or fewer Hit Dice that take damage from this effect are also blinded for one round. Ryaxdelon can suppress or resume this presence as a swift action.

Breath Weapon (Su)
50' cone, 10d10 fire damage, DC 26 Ref for half, usable every 1d4 rounds (save is con-based)

Locate Object (Sp)
Ryaxdelon can cast Locate Object 5 times a day at CL 5

Crush (Ex)
This special attack allows a flying or jumping dragon of at least Huge size to land on opponents as a standard action, using its whole body to crush them. Crush attacks are effective only against opponents three or more size categories smaller than the dragon (though it can attempt normal overrun or grapple attacks against larger opponents).

A crush attack affects as many creatures as can fit under the dragonís body. Creatures in the affected area must succeed on a Reflex save (DC equal to that of the dragonís breath weapon) or be pinned, automatically taking bludgeoning damage during the next round unless the dragon moves off them. If the dragon chooses to maintain the pin, treat it as a normal grapple attack. Pinned opponents take damage from the crush each round if they donít escape.

A crush attack deals the indicated damage plus 1Ĺ times the dragonís Strength bonus (round down). (2d8+5)

Blindsense (Ex)
Dragons can pinpoint creatures within a distance of 60 feet. Opponents the dragon canít actually see still have total concealment against the dragon.

Keen Senses (Ex)
A dragon sees four times as well as a human in shadowy illumination and twice as well in normal light. It also has darkvision out to 120 feet.

Hover (Ex)
Ryaxdelon can halt his forward motion while flying as a move action and then fly in any direction at 1/2 speed. If he begins his turn hovering, he may hover in place and take full-round actions except wing attaacks. If he hovers within 20' of the ground, the draft from his wings can create a cloud with a 60' radius which will snuff exposed fires and limit vision to 10'. 15'-20', creatures have concealment (20%). 25' or more, total concealment (50%, no vision). Any creatures casting in the cloud must make a Concentration check DC 18 (10 + 1/2 HD)

Clinging Breath (Metabreath)
Add +1 rounds to the time until you can breathe again. Opponents take an additional 1/2 of the damage taken in the previous round. They may try to extinguish the flames by taking a full round action to make a new save. Rolling on the ground grants a +2 bonus. Can be dispelled by checking against DC.

Maximize Breath (Metabreath)
Add +4 rounds to the time until you can breathe again. Maximize the damage done by your breath weapon.

Saving Throws (Ex)
+1 insight bonus on all saving throws per 2 age categories

Charm Monster (Sp)
Only usable on exarchs. At will. CL 8+age category

Create Exarch (Sp)
Hour long ritual to designate a creature an exarch. Grants the template (Drc 47) or grants five favor tokens

Xorvintaal Abilities (Su)
Deep Breath -- If Ryaxdelon expends a move action to visibly inhale, he can deliver his breath weapon on the following round with extra potency, dealing 4 extra dice of damage and increasing the DC of the Reflex save by 4.

With the inclusion of this ability, his Ravening ability, and his feats, Ryaxdelon's breath weapon deals 140 points of fire damage with a DC 30 for half damage. On the following round, victims may take a full round action to try to extinguish the flames or take 70 points of fire damage. Ryaxdelon may make another attack with his breath weapon in 1d4+5 rounds.

Flight (poor)
{table]Minimum forward speed| half
Hover |no (has feat)
Move backward |no
Reverse |no
Turn |45 degrees/5 ft
Turn in place |no
Maximum turn |45 degrees
Up Angle |45 degrees
Up Speed |half
Down Angle |45 degrees
Down Speed |Double
Between down and up |10 ft[/table]

EXPERIENCE
Ryaxdelon has fought the party before and is familiar with Alfonze, Xantia and the cohort Sir Charles of Lynnford. His recent death has taught him the dangers of Xantia's poisons and he will focus his efforts on the drow if he recognizes her to be present with the other party members.

I've taken some liberties with his construction. He's gained Burning Presence in place of Frightful Presence even though he's supposed to have lost Frightful Presence in becoming a Xorvintaal dragon and I think I bent or broke another modification, but I don't recall.

I only gave him Frightful Presence back because my players seemed disappointed that he didn't have it. I think they'll be satisfied with him lighting them on fire.

On the topic of metabreaths being overpowered, I kind of agree. Clearly they shouldn't stack with themselves (no empowered empowered empowered...) and clearly applying a mess of different metabreaths and then flying off while the weapon recharges -- while something a dragon would do -- is unfair and unfun.

Ryaxdelon's breath is overpowered. I built him this way on purpose. My group runs on what seems to be an assumption of older D&D: The DM is probably trying to kill you. Monsters are deadly and the heroes are heroic (in our eyes anyway). A PC or cohort or hireling dies every few sessions.

Destroying the world? Yes. After their first encounter with the dragon, the bulk of the campaign was spent fleeing the monster's wrath as he stalked them along the coasts, burning to cinders every city or town in their wake and later on, all those ahead of them along the shore.

TL;DR: Metabreath is usually overpowered. My group accepts this.

Back on topic: It looks like I'll be going with option C), which is likely to get one of the less savvy players killed. Hopefully they catch on after he does a normal breath (which Ryaxdelon has NEVER done before). If not, maybe after the second breath.

obnoxious
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