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druid91
2011-03-16, 12:14 PM
I mean really. I mean look at gandalf, the stereotypical wizard, he barely did anything "on screen" but he still was more powerful than everyone in the hobbit.

And in Lord of the rings it took ancient horrors, and another wizard to even put up a fight.

Really? Why is magic just being better than the other guy's sword-fighting so horrible?

Does the fact that the wizard blinded the whole room with glitterdust before you ran in and lopped everyones heads off matter?

Does it matter if he could reduce the dragon to ash if he could get a good spell in?

Really, if the wizard is dominating to the point where noone else is getting anything done that is more a sign of a bad DM to me than the class itself being bad.

Yes the wizard is powerful, It's supposed to be. Just like a fighter is supposed to stab things. And so on.

Yet I keep seeing people insist it's broken? Personally I think the fighter is more broken than the wizard. Looking at what the old fighter got compared to the new fighter? Yeah the wizard got a bit of a power boost... but still. The fighter got cut down to nothing.

So It is my opinion, that the fighter, not the wizard, is broken.

Kylarra
2011-03-16, 12:22 PM
That's the mentality that went into the creation of Frank and K's Tomes. Some people would rather lower the overall power of the game and others would rather raise the bar to where everyone has their rockets and counter-rockets. Both are valid playstyles.

Kaiser Omnik
2011-03-16, 12:24 PM
So being able to do almost anything in the game, including being better than the fighter at his own role with the right spells, is not broken? Wow, that's first.

Nobody is arguing that the fighter as it appears in 3rd edition doesn't need a power boost. Doesn't mean that the wizard is at the right power level compared to all but Tier 1 and 2 classes.

Some players of fighters don't care if the wizard has an incredible amount of options compared to them; they like their class simple and it's their choice. But it seems to me that you've never been in a game where a wizard or a druid or a cleric outshined the entire party, making everyone else's choices look meaningless. It's not a case of bad DMing, because the rules allow this playstyle. If a DM was to constantly negate the wizard's powers to make sure he doesn't have an answer for everything...that would be bad DMing.

I just don't see what your post accomplishes, besides explaining your preference for spellcasters being stronger than martial classes, which is fine in itself but doesn't change the fact that people have been feeling cheated with Tier 6 to Tier 4 classes for years. It's all in the balance...and everyone having fun at the table, whatever their prefered class is.

Erom
2011-03-16, 12:30 PM
The only problem with class imbalance is that the system isn't up front with them. If the system just said, flat out "These are the powerful classes" then 80% of players would say "Cool, let's play that." and the other 20% would say "I'm playing this other thing cause I want a challenge, and I know I'm playing a weaker class." and life would go on just peachy.

The problem is, the game claims to be balanced and then does a terrible job of actually doing it.

This is all 3e of course.

The Rose Dragon
2011-03-16, 12:30 PM
Yes the wizard is powerful, It's supposed to be. Just like a fighter is supposed to stab things. And so on.

The problem is, at least in D&D, wizards work as intended (or even more powerful than intended). Warrior-types don't. They don't get enough options and counter-options to be viable in most places they are supposed to be viable in. And D&D is not modeled after Lord of the Rings, either. It is modeled after a modified Greyhawk, where the ability to cast spells is not the end-all be-all talent, and where wizards are still mortal men, not demigods.

Basically, it's false advertising.

Ranos
2011-03-16, 12:30 PM
This is a level based game. The assumption is that no matter what class you are, two characters at the same level wield similar amounts of power.

If you want magic-users being better than everyone as an assumption of the game and not an error in design, you'll have to look up point-buy games.

druid91
2011-03-16, 12:32 PM
So being able to do almost anything in the game, including being better than the fighter at his own role with the right spells, is not broken? Wow, that's first.

Nobody is arguing that the fighter as it appears in 3rd edition doesn't need a power boost. Doesn't mean that the wizard is at the right power level compared to all but Tier 1 and 2 classes.

Some players of fighters don't care if the wizard has an incredible amount of options compared to them; they like their class simple and it's their choice. But it seems to me that you've never been in a game where a wizard or a druid or a cleric outshined the entire party, making everyone else's choices look meaningless. It's not a case of bad DMing, because the rules allow this playstyle. If a DM was to constantly negate the wizard's powers to make sure he doesn't have an answer for everything...that would be bad DMing.

I just don't see what your post accomplishes, besides explaining your preference for spellcasters being stronger than martial classes, which is fine in itself but doesn't change the fact that people have been feeling cheated with Tier 6 to Tier 4 classes for years. It's all in the balance...and everyone having fun at the table, whatever their prefered class is.

Ok situation A.) The Team faces a horde of tough monsters, the wizard has them all dead within a couple of rounds. A case of bad DMing and what you describe.

Situation B.) A little more work is put in and each of the party has a job to do, for the wizard this is keeping the goblin horde at bay, while the fighter and rogue take on the trolls, tougher but less of them to worry about, And the cleric fights a dragon. A really tough threat that could easily turn the battle.

Now in what way could the wizard do the others job without an insane amount of prep-time? Or even worse allowing the goblins to join in the proper fray instead of being cut down by the cave entrance?

Proper fights are more than, you are over here the enemy is over there.

Eorran
2011-03-16, 12:36 PM
There's nothing inherently wrong with magic being just better than mundane. A lot of games are built around that. The problem crops up when magic's superiority is an unintended consequence; that seems to be the case in 3.X.

There's an implicit assumption in a level-based system that equal level is (roughly) equal power. Hence the concept of Challenge Rating (admittedly, the CR system doesn't always get it right, but the intent is there).

I agree that the Fighter seems to have lost more than the Wizard gained when compared with 2e though.

The Rose Dragon
2011-03-16, 12:36 PM
Ok situation A.) The Team faces a horde of tough monsters, the wizard has them all dead within a couple of rounds. A case of bad DMing and what you describe.

No, it's a case of the DM trusting the system works as the books say it works.


Situation B.) A little more work is put in and each of the party has a job to do, for the wizard this is keeping the goblin horde at bay, while the fighter and rogue take on the trolls, tougher but less of them to worry about, And the cleric fights a dragon. A really tough threat that could easily turn the battle.

Now in what way could the wizard do the others job without an insane amount of prep-time? Or even worse allowing the goblins to join in the proper fray instead of being cut down by the cave entrance?

Proper fights are more than, you are over here the enemy is over there.

Why is the cleric taking on the dragon? The books say that clerics are support casters, designed to make warrior-types more powerful and keep them alive. Why is not the warrior taking on the dragon? That's his cliche, after all - killing huge beasts with swords and living to tell the tale.

Except the game doesn't work that way, despite the fact that it tells you it does. It's a case of the sale pitch of a class not having anything remotely to do with the truth of the class.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2011-03-16, 12:40 PM
Ok situation A.) The Team faces a horde of tough monsters, the wizard has them all dead within a couple of rounds. A case of bad DMing and what you describe.

That's not bad DMing...that's the Wizard being able to end any given encounter in 2-3 rounds. As per following the rules, and not tailoring encounters to specifically invalidate the Wizard.


Situation B.) A little more work is put in and each of the party has a job to do, for the wizard this is keeping the goblin horde at bay, while the fighter and rogue take on the trolls, tougher but less of them to worry about, And the cleric fights a dragon. A really tough threat that could easily turn the battle.

The Wizard casts Celerity, then Time Stomp. 2 Delayed Blast Fireballs wreck the Goblin Horde, the Trolls are trapped in Forcecages for 16 hours, and then, when Time Stop ends, the Dragon is vaporized by DPS from a bunch of elemental spells, followed by Power Word (Kill). And this is just using core spells (aside from Celerity), and not the most optimal of them at that. It's reasonable to assume that the Wizard could do this to 2-4 encounters each day.


Now in what way could the wizard do the others job without an insane amount of prep-time? Or even worse allowing the goblins to join in the proper fray instead of being cut down by the cave entrance?

With 2-3 rounds of buffing (i.e. Timestop during any given fight), the Wizard can do anything better than anyone else. Plus, Divination spells will mean he usually has the right tricks, or things that can approximate the right tricks.


Proper fights are more than, you are over here the enemy is over there.

Which is a shame, as that's the sort of fights the Fighter is best at. The Wizard has all the fancy battlefield control spells, ambush spells, awareness spells, predicting-the-future spells...everything that can turn a fight that's NOT "go around the corner and...surprise...a monster appears" into a trivial matter.

druid91
2011-03-16, 12:53 PM
No, it's a case of the DM trusting the system works as the books say it works.



Why is the cleric taking on the dragon? The books say that clerics are support casters, designed to make warrior-types more powerful and keep them alive. Why is not the warrior taking on the dragon? That's his cliche, after all - killing huge beasts with swords and living to tell the tale.

Except the game doesn't work that way, despite the fact that it tells you it does. It's a case of the sale pitch of a class not having anything remotely to do with the truth of the class.

When you buy a videogame do you follow every single bit of advice the pamphlet gives and never deviate from that path?

Because while it can be a support caster it can also not be a support caster, and casting buffs during combat is rather silly.


That's not bad DMing...that's the Wizard being able to end any given encounter in 2-3 rounds. As per following the rules, and not tailoring encounters to specifically invalidate the Wizard.



The Wizard casts Celerity, then Time Stomp. 2 Delayed Blast Fireballs wreck the Goblin Horde, the Trolls are trapped in Forcecages for 16 hours, and then, when Time Stop ends, the Dragon is vaporized by DPS from a bunch of elemental spells, followed by Power Word (Kill). And this is just using core spells (aside from Celerity), and not the most optimal of them at that. It's reasonable to assume that the Wizard could do this to 2-4 encounters each day.



With 2-3 rounds of buffing (i.e. Timestop during any given fight), the Wizard can do anything better than anyone else. Plus, Divination spells will mean he usually has the right tricks, or things that can approximate the right tricks.



Which is a shame, as that's the sort of fights the Fighter is best at. The Wizard has all the fancy battlefield control spells, ambush spells, awareness spells, predicting-the-future spells...everything that can turn a fight that's NOT "go around the corner and...surprise...a monster appears" into a trivial matter.

Tailoring encounters to fit your players is exactly what a good DM does.

Now what about the second and third wave of goblins, and the elite soldiers after that?:smallamused: Rule #1 when fighting magic without it, have cannon-fodder. There is a reason I said keep the "goblins at bay" and not "kill the goblins." You also assume the three fights are within reasonable distance of each other that what was proposed is possible.

And which Divination spell is there that is an all the time win against appropriate threats? I mean lead stops most of them.

Besides the spells that give a vague, this will go badly or go well. What predicting the future spells are there?:smallconfused:

The Rose Dragon
2011-03-16, 01:01 PM
When you buy a videogame do you follow every single bit of advice the pamphlet gives and never deviate from that path?

Two different mediums. Widely different presentations and expectations. And even then, false advertising is still a bad thing in video games.

druid91
2011-03-16, 01:05 PM
Two different mediums. Widely different presentations and expectations. And even then, false advertising is still a bad thing in video games.

Personally I like to think that the Base material is presented the most simple options for new players, expecting that the players would discover ways to warp those roles on their own.

It's not false advertising, because think about it, the game can work like that. If you want it to. If you don't it doesn't straightjacket you.

Silva Stormrage
2011-03-16, 01:08 PM
When you buy a videogame do you follow every single bit of advice the pamphlet gives and never deviate from that path?

Because while it can be a support caster it can also not be a support caster, and casting buffs during combat is rather silly.



Tailoring encounters to fit your players is exactly what a good DM does.

Now what about the second and third wave of goblins, and the elite soldiers after that?:smallamused: Rule #1 when fighting magic without it, have cannon-fodder. There is a reason I said keep the "goblins at bay" and not "kill the goblins." You also assume the three fights are within reasonable distance of each other that what was proposed is possible.

And which Divination spell is there that is an all the time win against appropriate threats? I mean lead stops most of them.

Besides the spells that give a vague, this will go badly or go well. What predicting the future spells are there?:smallconfused:

Thats still a bad argument. A summoner in my opinion is the type of wizard that renders the melee types the most because they summon things stronger than the Fighter. Have him summon (or even gate) in some tough monsters that can hold the line during a timestop. Than last round of the timestop dimensional door to right in front of the dragon celerity shivering touch to one hit ko the dragon. Now the goblins are held at bay dragons dead and thats in one round. Trolls will die to either force cage, irresistible dance, summons, enervation and there are a million other options.

Another question is why would the wizard try and fight the goblins? Simply casting a wall of force blocks them off forever basically than he can help the other groups. Also saying that the group isn't near each other isn't fair since most groups tend to stay together on purpose.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2011-03-16, 01:09 PM
Tailoring encounters to fit your players is exactly what a good DM does.

I'm saying that, without designing an encounter to specifically gimp the Wizard's abilities, the Wizard will be able to beat it easily, if played optimally. Designing an encounter to negate a character is not good DMing.


Now what about the second and third wave of goblins, and the elite soldiers after that?:smallamused: Rule #1 when fighting magic without it, have cannon-fodder. There is a reason I said keep the "goblins at bay" and not "kill the goblins." You also assume the three fights are within reasonable distance of each other that what was proposed is possible.

Wall spells. Gating/Summoning more fodder to fight them off. Landscape-alteration spells. There are numerous ways to easily hold off large numbers of fodder. For that matter, use Fly or become incorporeal, and just ignore the fodder. Use Improved Invisibility. Give yourself DR sufficient to ignore them. Turn into something they can't hurt.


And which Divination spell is there that is an all the time win against appropriate threats? I mean lead stops most of them.

...and do my opponents plan their every move while by spending the morning encased in lead houses for some plotting and tea?


Besides the spells that give a vague, this will go badly or go well. What predicting the future spells are there?:smallconfused:

They're not THAT specific, but most things that are imposing enough to be serious threats (that your normal arsenal can't handle) are things you'll know about in advance...BBEGs, armies, and the like. Those can be specifically targeted with detection spells to see their whereabouts, hear their plans, and so forth.

drakir_nosslin
2011-03-16, 01:09 PM
Besides the spells that give a vague, this will go badly or go well. What predicting the future spells are there?:smallconfused:

Contact other plane?

druid91
2011-03-16, 01:26 PM
Thats still a bad argument. A summoner in my opinion is the type of wizard that renders the melee types the most because they summon things stronger than the Fighter. Have him summon (or even gate) in some tough monsters that can hold the line during a timestop. Than last round of the timestop dimensional door to right in front of the dragon celerity shivering touch to one hit ko the dragon. Now the goblins are held at bay dragons dead and thats in one round. Trolls will die to either force cage, irresistible dance, summons, enervation and there are a million other options.

Another question is why would the wizard try and fight the goblins? Simply casting a wall of force blocks them off forever basically than he can help the other groups. Also saying that the group isn't near each other isn't fair since most groups tend to stay together on purpose.
Why is shivering touch a one-hit KO? IIRC it does ability damage, what if the dragon can take it? Then you have a soft squishy wizard inside Antimagic field range...

Now what if the sterotypical goblin shaman banishes the summons? Or the dragon does to let his goblin allies in? And how does the wall of force fair when the dragon takes a round to get off the ground and hit it with a disintegrate? Or if banishing them seems unfair to you, simply have the multitudes of goblins dogpile with grapple attempts. with enough IIRC they should be able to overcome just about anything to let the rest through.


I'm saying that, without designing an encounter to specifically gimp the Wizard's abilities, the Wizard will be able to beat it easily, if played optimally. Designing an encounter to negate a character is not good DMing.



Wall spells. Gating/Summoning more fodder to fight them off. Landscape-alteration spells. There are numerous ways to easily hold off large numbers of fodder. For that matter, use Fly or become incorporeal, and just ignore the fodder. Use Improved Invisibility. Give yourself DR sufficient to ignore them. Turn into something they can't hurt.



...and do my opponents plan their every move while by spending the morning encased in lead houses for some plotting and tea?



They're not THAT specific, but most things that are imposing enough to be serious threats (that your normal arsenal can't handle) are things you'll know about in advance...BBEGs, armies, and the like. Those can be specifically targeted with detection spells to see their whereabouts, hear their plans, and so forth.
But I'm not specifically designing the encounter to gimp the wizard, you are designing an encounter to challenge him, and everyone else. Now if I said the whole place made magic act funny and used it to mess him up every time he tried to so much as use prestidigitation to tie his shoes, that would be gimping him, as it is I'm keeping him busy while the rest of the party does their thing.

And then the goblins can get in and the rest of the party is finished.. Wall spells can be peirced, the whole point is that the wizard is adequately challenged by this mob of goblins. So he walls the place off with stone and they blast it down with bombards, wall of force? the dragon notices and hits it with a disintegrate.

Now in any event can you honestly tell me that you would not be having fun in the above battle if it was actually played out at your table?

And the best threats are the ones whose tents are shielded from detection with lead sheets. There is no logical reason in a world with magic that a competent general would not have his war tent be lead-lined.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2011-03-16, 01:34 PM
Why is shivering touch a one-hit KO? IIRC it does ability damage, what if the dragon can take it?

With meta-magic, NO dragon can.


Now what if the sterotypical goblin shaman banishes the summons?

If I'm not higher level than him by enough that this is impossible, the encounter is the DM throwing large numbers of FAR to high level opponents at us. An army of goblins with casters equal level to the PCs?


And how does the wall of force fair when the dragon takes a round to get off the ground and hit it with a disintegrate?

That's 1 round more I have to 1-shot the dragon.


Or if banishing them seems unfair to you, simply have the multitudes of goblins dogpile with grapple attempts. with enough IIRC they should be able to overcome just about anything to let the rest through.

Which holds them up...all I need is a round or two at most.


But I'm not specifically designing the encounter to gimp the wizard, you are designing an encounter to challenge him, and everyone else.

And I'm pointing out that a well-played Wizard can still solo said encounter. :smallbiggrin:


And then the goblins can get in and the rest of the party is finished.. Wall spells can be peirced, the whole point is that the wizard is adequately challenged by this mob of goblins. So he walls the place off with stone and they blast it down with bombards, wall of force? the dragon notices and hits it with a disintegrate.

Now the Goblins suddenly have bombards that can destroy my spells in a single round? Regardless, I've bought myself time. You CAN basically kill everything else in 1-2 rounds...


Now in any event can you honestly tell me that you would not be having fun in the above battle if it was actually played out at your table?

Oh, it would be fun. But the Wizard COULD solo it without the rest of the party, if played optimally. And, as the Fighter, I'd feel rather irate that my only real contribution would be "smack some trolls," while the Wizard is decimating an army and taking down the dragon. Honestly, the Fighters would be better served to just hold off the army of mooks while the Wizard deals with the serious threats.


And the best threats are the ones whose tents are shielded from detection with lead sheets. There is no logical reason in a world with magic that a competent general would not have his war tent be lead-lined.

And now we're in the Tippy-verse argument of "because X can do Y, everyone in the entire world is prepared for Y at all times." And that sort of argument gets us nowhere.

druid91
2011-03-16, 01:48 PM
With meta-magic, NO dragon can.



If I'm not higher level than him by enough that this is impossible, the encounter is the DM throwing large numbers of FAR to high level opponents at us. An army of goblins with casters equal level to the PCs?



That's 1 round more I have to 1-shot the dragon.



Which holds them up...all I need is a round or two at most.



And I'm pointing out that a well-played Wizard can still solo said encounter. :smallbiggrin:



Now the Goblins suddenly have bombards that can destroy my spells in a single round? Regardless, I've bought myself time. You CAN basically kill everything else in 1-2 rounds...



Oh, it would be fun. But the Wizard COULD solo it without the rest of the party, if played optimally. And, as the Fighter, I'd feel rather irate that my only real contribution would be "smack some trolls," while the Wizard is decimating an army and taking down the dragon. Honestly, the Fighters would be better served to just hold off the army of mooks while the Wizard deals with the serious threats.



And now we're in the Tippy-verse argument of "because X can do Y, everyone in the entire world is prepared for Y at all times." And that sort of argument gets us nowhere.
Why not? Dragons are spellcasters, it's reasonable to assume they have defenses. That and it's a touch spell going by the name. Good luck getting within touch range without being shredded.

Either that or perhaps the goblin has a magic item?:smallconfused: You get them so why wouldn't the goblins have one or two.

Which hasn't been proved that you can do...

A wall of stone would hold them off for a while, but go look at the damage on great bombards, a few rounds at most is what you'd buy. Easily enough time for the dragon to stop fighting the cleric and Nom you. Sure it might be suicidal but the goblins will be there in a moment and they can raise him.

Well why? Why would you be Irate?

Not really, your average goblin clan wouldn't be doing this. But you don't get to be the greatest goblin general in history by following others lead.:smallwink:

Gavinfoxx
2011-03-16, 01:52 PM
{{scrubbed}}

druid91
2011-03-16, 02:08 PM
{{scrubbed}}

{{scrubbed}}

As for escalation I will admit to not being entirely knowledgable about how to make a megaoptimized wizard. And so am adding things to counter proposed tactics. presumably in a long running campaign the DM would have seen most of the strategies at least once.

MeeposFire
2011-03-16, 02:11 PM
Funny thing about magic is that in most stories either magic has a lot of restrictions on its use or power level (limited to blasting or certain types of effects) or there are certain costs involved (like draining your life force). In 3e this is not the case for virtually anything as most of the costs are trivial (money and XP and XP costs can actually help you in the long run). This is further subverted by the easy to make magic item system which allows casters to more easily get better resources at less cost. In 1e and 2e you could not just make a wand of knock easily as even if it was allowed (item creation rules were not really statted out the DM just decided what you had to do) as the permanancy spell was required to make items and that spell cost you a point of con to use.

3e has the most powerful casters relative to melee than in any other edition before and after.

elpollo
2011-03-16, 02:14 PM
Why not? Dragons are spellcasters, it's reasonable to assume they have defenses. That and it's a touch spell going by the name. Good luck getting within touch range without being shredded.

Arcane reach (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/prestigeClasses/archmage.htm), some sort of invisibility, or a DC 15 tumble check (none of which are particularly difficult to achieve) all stop the wizard being shredded, and then the dragon is down in one. The fighter can't match that (unless an ubercharger).


Either that or perhaps the goblin has a magic item?:smallconfused: You get them so why wouldn't the goblins have one or two.

Ok, some enemies may be able to bypass some spells, but not all bypassing all spells, and that's effectively what the wizard has. Scrying allows you to prepare the right spells for the job beforehand.


Which hasn't been proved that you can do...

... actually, stating Shivering Touch does basically prove you can one shot a dragon. They have lousy touch AC and low Dex.


A wall of stone would hold them off for a while, but go look at the damage on great bombards, a few rounds at most is what you'd buy. Easily enough time for the dragon to stop fighting the cleric and Nom you. Sure it might be suicidal but the goblins will be there in a moment and they can raise him.

Where did the great bombards come from?

A few rounds is all a wizard needs.

Wizards have ways to stop being "nom"ed.

The goblins will almost certainly not be there to save him, and if a dragon thinks its life hangs in the balance and it has to rely on goblins to be brought back it's probably going to think twice about hanging around. They don't grow so old by being stupid.


Well why? Why would you be Irate?

Over here we have a thousand goblins, but uh... the wizard's taking care of them. Ooh, over here's a dragon... no, that's down too. Guess I'll hit this troll then (neither the most impressive or numerically largest threat present. Also the cleric is doing it better than him. So is the druid, and possibly even the druid's animal companion).


Not really, your average goblin clan wouldn't be doing this. But you don't get to be the greatest goblin general in history by following others lead.:smallwink:

Ok, you can set up situations to overcome each action the wizard does. It takes a lot less effort to completely stop the fighter, however, and the fighter has next to no ways to try and prevent being shut down. Saying "It's not bad because everything the wizard tries to do will specifically be stopped" does not mean it's not bad or that it's a good DMing technique.

Strife Warzeal
2011-03-16, 02:16 PM
Really..?:smallannoyed: Could you please explain how believing that it is possible to play a game with optimized wizards makes me trolling?

As for escalation I will admit to not being entirely knowledgeable about how to make a mega-optimized wizards. And so am adding things to counter proposed tactics. presumably in a long running campaign the DM would have seen most of the strategies at least once.

Okay so you are trying to counter act the wizard, but he has a full party with him. The Cleric also just gates in X monster to fight the dragon and then he or the wizard just soul binds it. Or the wizard shapechanges into X monster that is stronger than a dragon and just destroys it. Seriously if you are playing with a tier 1 caster like cleric or wizard that is optimized, you can't really play the game with them unless if they back up a bit to allow you to.

ffone
2011-03-16, 02:17 PM
I mean really. I mean look at gandalf, the stereotypical wizard, he barely did anything "on screen" but he still was more powerful than everyone in the hobbit.

And in Lord of the rings it took ancient horrors, and another wizard to even put up a fight.

Really? Why is magic just being better than the other guy's sword-fighting so horrible?

Being powerful should be represented by 'being higher level', not 'being more powerful at the same level.'

This is the same fallacy with justifying Jedi classes being more powerful by 'Jedis are the awesome dudes'. Well OK, great, their talent and intense training level them further.

That's the worldbuilding solution if you desire 'wizards to be powerful'. The distribution of their levels is higher. Perhaps because-

-Fighters are less likely to earn XP in nondangerous ways (like study). PCs generally earn XP the same way, but this isn't reflective of NPCs.

-Wizards have longer careers, due to mentality, and/or b/c aging categories can actually help them.

Grogmir
2011-03-16, 02:17 PM
I don't want to get involved - it aint a debate - its just an arguement - you're not going to convince the OP of anything.

But I do love the idea he thinks telling the Wizard he's fighting the goblins, the Fighter the trolls and the Cleric the Dragon is good DMing. Talk about railroaded combats...

First thing every fighter player i've ever known would do; would be charge the dragon. CHARRGE!

Jayabalard
2011-03-16, 02:17 PM
So being able to do almost anything in the game, including being better than the fighter at his own role with the right spells, is not broken? Wow, that's first.No, it's not a first; it gets mentioned in some form in almost every "X class is broken" whether you're talking about wizards (at one end of the spectrum) or monks (at the other). It just isn't the majority view.


This is a level based game. The assumption is that no matter what class you are, two characters at the same level wield similar amounts of power.That's simply not a valid assumption. Lots of level based games don't make any pretense that a level X of class Y is supposed to be the same power level as a level X of class Z. If you look at earlier editions of D&D, you can see that this is the case back at it's roots.

Palladium is another level based megasystem... and the level of power varies quite a bit even in the same RPG; in robotech, cyclone pilots vs Veritech pilots of the same level have widely differing capability, without even mixing in the non-pilot classes.

And Seriously, I'm not sure there are enough words in the English language to properly describe the variety in power levels in Rifts.


No, it's a case of the DM trusting the system works as the books say it works.No, that's the DM blindly trusting it as if it were handed down by the RP Gods. The books quite clearly spell out that as a GM you need more than just what's in the book (that's why rule 0 is named as such).

druid91
2011-03-16, 02:27 PM
I don't want to get involved - it aint a debate - its just an arguement - you're not going to convince the OP of anything.

But I do love the idea he thinks telling the Wizard he's fighting the goblins, the Fighter the trolls and the Cleric the Dragon is good DMing. Talk about railroaded combats...

First thing every fighter player i've ever known would do; would be charge the dragon. CHARRGE!

It's possible to convince me, just Djinn has gone a long way to convincing me that it's not the easiest thing to do.

Ok. that happens the cleric backs him up and the rogue keeps the trolls busy. The thing that matters is the situation of all three needs to be handled. And the wizard can't be everywhere at once.

drakir_nosslin
2011-03-16, 02:30 PM
And the wizard can't be everywhere at once.

Project Image and Shades/Shadow Conjuration?

MeeposFire
2011-03-16, 02:30 PM
Yea AD&D had different XP tables for different classes and the DMG stated that XP tables are related to class power. In 2e if you looked closely at the tables different classes require more or less XP at different levels. For instance clerics require a lot of XP at earlier levels but oddly are the second fastest at the highest levels. Wizards start and end slow but at the mid levels it is very fast. Thieves are always fast.

Unfortunately many people did not realize this and just had people make "a 5th level character" rather than a character at 89000 XP. Heck even the adventures are written like that which gimps the lower XP table classes like thieves and bards.

The Cat Goddess
2011-03-16, 02:33 PM
Getting back to the Original Post...

Gandalf wasn't a PC in the story. Gandalf was clearly an NPC used to move the story along, when needed. After all, he was a Demigod in disguise.

That being said... perhaps 3e really is the best system to describe the Middle Earth books in. Any spellcaster in Middle Earth is a near-godlike being. Magic items are rare in the extreme... but the ones that do exist are amazingly powerful.

A Cave Troll is a credible threat to a party, simply because they don't have Magic (except for the demigod who is holding himself back).

Gnaeus
2011-03-16, 02:36 PM
That's simply not a valid assumption. Lots of level based games don't make any pretense that a level X of class Y is supposed to be the same power level as a level X of class Z. If you look at earlier editions of D&D, you can see that this is the case back at it's roots.

Earlier editions, though, had the assumption that every class shined at certain exp ranges, and that every class was reasonably likely to be able to contribute to a fight balanced for other PCs at its exp range. In other words, it had the assumption that each basic class was balanced over the life of the class (maybe it didn't quite get there, but it tried).

Your point, however is valid. For a popular level based game with classes at widely divergent power levels, Rifts is the paragon. No amount of DM fudging makes a level 1 spellcasting dragon with godlike stats and 10,000 hp equivalent in any encounter to a level 1 wilderness scout (a normal human with 50 hit points), or even a level 10 wilderness scout. On the other hand, in Rifts, this is pretty obvious.



Ok. that happens the cleric backs him up and the rogue keeps the trolls busy. The thing that matters is the situation of all three needs to be handled. And the wizard can't be everywhere at once.

It isn't just that the Cleric/Wizard are more powerful than the Fighter/Rogue. It is that they are universally better. At level 10 +, I can easily make a Cleric/Wizard/Druid who can out-fight the fighter in hand-to-hand, out-sneak the rogue, and still have caster-only I-win buttons available for emergencies. In a system that bills the fighter and rogue as viable archetypes, they should be better at fighting or sneaking than the god casters.

Otherwise, it is reasonable in certain parties that the casters would just ignore them, or replace them. It strains the imagination to think that the wizard would give this guy, who is essentially dead weight, an equal share of his treasure as anything other than charity.

For another way to look at it, try comparing a Wizard/Cleric/Fighter/Thief "iconic" party with a Wizard/Wizard/Cleric/Druid/Druid's Pet party. Party A will always be much weaker than party B in any encounter that isn't in a dead magic zone, and depending on cheese levels maybe even then.

Goober4473
2011-03-16, 02:37 PM
Regardless of your ability to challenge an optimized party wizard, I don't see how you could do so consistently while still keeping fighters and the like involved or useful in any significant way. You could probably do it with anti-magic fields, magic immunity, or absurd SR for a few encounters (assuming they can't just bypass all of that anyways), but I'd have trouble believing a world where 90% of situations involve those things. Your other options pretty much invalidate any weaker character faster than they do the caster.

But on the original point, it pretty much comes down to playstyle whether the weak classes should be buffed/removed, or the powerful classes should be nerfed/removed. Doing neither is where you run into trouble. That will likely result in some severse party imbalance, where some players feel useless and never get any spotlight time, and others are superheroes that get to participate fully all the time.

Strife Warzeal
2011-03-16, 02:47 PM
The thing that matters is the situation of all three needs to be handled. And the wizard can't be everywhere at once.

http://images2.memegenerator.net/ImageMacro/4814963/challenge-accepted.jpg?imageSize=Medium&generatorName=Challenge-Accepted-HD-1

Round One: Wizard uses Time Stop (lets say three rounds). Nothing else can move.
Round Two: He gates in a Solar (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/angel.htm) (that is a valid thing for gate, right?) If he has another 9th slot uses a quickened Teleport (or Dimension Door depending on the distance between groups) to move to the cleric and dragon.
Round Three: He casts X metamagicked spell to kill the dragon (sorry don't know enough on what to do with the spell). Time Stop wears off.
Round Four: He Teleports/Dimension Door to the fighter and rogue and drops Fireballs, Scorching Rays, Meteor Storm and whatever other fire spells he wants/has available to just destroy the trolls.
I am not an optimizer, let alone someone who plays wizards so I don't know how accurate this is.

Mark Hall
2011-03-16, 02:49 PM
Really? Why is magic just being better than the other guy's sword-fighting so horrible?

In some cases, it's not. Ars Magica, for example, is based on the explicit concept that wizards are more powerful than normal humans.

The problem comes in with the assumptions of the game. D&D is generally assumed to be a team game, with everyone contributing more or less equally to success. In 3rd edition, especially, this was not the case... certain classes, all of them primary spellcasters, could essentially play the game "by themselves", filling all roles simultaneously, or enough so that other classes didn't matter. If you want to play as a fighter (or other class without primary spellcasting), you're relegated to essentially "henchman" status without the direct intervention of the DM, especially at high levels.

erikun
2011-03-16, 02:51 PM
So It is my opinion, that the fighter, not the wizard, is broken.
This seems to conflict with your topic question, so let me ask you this. If magic being better than mundane is not bad, then why would the fighter being underpowered be a problem?


Let me state my take on the situation. Assume you had a party of new characters, all beginning at level 1 - except that one player starts at level 50. What's wrong? Well, the biggest issue is that the level 50 character isn't challanged by anything. They can basically solo anything that is a threat to the rest of the party, and could do anything the rest of the party might need done better than anyone else.

Now, there isn't anything wrong in the sense that the game wouldn't be able to handle it. Rather, there is something wrong in the sense that everyone (except the level 50 guy) would likely feel themselves extraneous. Perhaps the level 50 player as well, because he is almost guaranteed to succeed at anything he attempt.

The same problem occurs when, say, one class can deal 10d6 damage while another can deal only 1d8+10 damage. The difference is that, while our lv.50 vs lv.1 example has a clear and obvious discrepancy in power, the Fighter10 vs Wizard10 distinction isn't so clear. There is no obvious way (from outside the system) to see that the two options are not similar, and no clear way (inside the system) on how to appropriately bridge the distance. You've even pointed this out, stating that the fighter should be improved to bridge the gap.


Situation B.) A little more work is put in and each of the party has a job to do, for the wizard this is keeping the goblin horde at bay, while the fighter and rogue take on the trolls, tougher but less of them to worry about, And the cleric fights a dragon. A really tough threat that could easily turn the battle.
Wizard neutralizes the goblins with Solid Fog - or Evard's Tentacles, or Improved Invisibility, or even Fly - and then burns the trolls into ash. The self-buffed cleric holds off the dragon until the wizard is done, and the two full spellcasters take it down while the fighter and rogue take out the straggling or trapped goblins remaining.

So we have the wizard handling over half the encounter himself (and with only two or three spells, at that) while the cleric takes on the big threat and keeps it occupied - a job that should normally be reserved for the fighter. The fighter and rogue are left with just picking on a weak and divided enemy, something that a commoner companion - or even a pack mule - would be able to accomplish.

And note that these are not big spells. Basically all of this can be accomplished by level 8. If you're worried about goblin shamans with Dispel or similar magic, just use a Wall of Stone or something similar that can't be magically removed - and with that, you even remove the small job the fighter and rogue had in the fight.

Traveler
2011-03-16, 03:14 PM
It's not that magic being better is bad. It's just that it is the most effective way to play from a rule and option standpoint (in 3.5). With the right spells a wizard can do the job of nearly any other class after around level 10.

Now, the issue with this is that it is so very easy for a wizard to do this (in 3.5). In older editions, the wizard is still a more powerful option. However, in earlier editions the different classes needed different amounts of xp to level.
A fighter by levels in AD&D need 2,001 xp to hit second, 4,001 xp for 3rd, 8,001 xp for 4th, 18,001 for 5th, etc.
A wizard (magic user) needed 2501 for 2nd, 5001 for 3rd, 10001 for 4th, 22501 for 5th, etc.
With this system, you could still play a magic user, but you understood it would take you much longer then the other classes to attain the xp needed to be the stronger class. In 3.5, there is no real cost or penalty that a wizard can't counter.
So to sum up, wizards gain more for less then most of the other classes. That is why it is looked at as broken. Note, this is my opinion and I am sure I missed a fact somewhere.

Gnaeus
2011-03-16, 03:22 PM
With the right spells a Tier 1 caster can do the job of anything that isn't a Tier 1 caster after around level 10.

Minor fix, which doesn't actually alter your point in the debate. I don't think a wizard can fully duplicate a Cleric or a Druid or an Artificer or an Archivist(of equivalent cheese) at level 10.

TheOasysMaster
2011-03-16, 03:27 PM
I think a good DM would design a universe where magic is used realistically...
There's always a way.
In a world where magic is well-known and powerful, non-magic users will design ways to stop them.
Arrows.
Wands of Dispel-magic.
Creating Distractions.
Traveling with wizards of their own.

The same way everyone uses technology, specifically digital, in order to make their lives better and gain distinct advantages in life, non-magic users would adapt strategies and their own brand of magic in order to stop a wizard in his tracks.
A wizard on the battlefield is certainly an asset. But if you're facing intelligent foes, it's not an overpowering win.
Campaigns can be designed so every class is balanced creating the milieu with logic in mind.

Gnaeus
2011-03-16, 03:43 PM
I think a good DM would design a universe where magic is used realistically...
There's always a way.
In a world where magic is well-known and powerful, non-magic users will design ways to stop them.
Arrows.

??? This is not an effective solution after level 4, probably not after level 2.


Wands of Dispel-magic.

Are good for dispelling the magic item based effects that the Rogue and fighter use. Are rubbish at stopping high level casters. The CL of the wand isn't high enough to be effective. If it is, the wand is too expensive for use.


Creating Distractions.

??? This helps neutralize the wizard how? To balance the playing field, something should be MORE effective against wizards than against fighters. Wizards, with their massive Int and skill ranks, are much more likely to recognize a distraction than a meat shield.


Traveling with wizards of their own.

That is the best way to challenge wizards. Unfortunately, it also has the effect of rapidly reducing muggles to innocent bystanders in a spell duel. It in no way makes the fighter or rogue more able to cope.

It isn't that wizards can't be challenged. It is easy to challenge tier 1 casters. It is HARD to challenge tier 1 casters in a way which allows weaker classes (fighter, monk, etc) to remain relevant, aside from rampant dead-magic zones.

TheOasysMaster
2011-03-16, 03:55 PM
???
Come on man!
You took my most general statements and edited out the real point.
Non-magic users aren't any less adaptable than the wizard class!
it just takes some effort on part of a DM to make opponents of wizards intelligent and not Fireball-fodder.


??? This helps neutralize the wizard how? To balance the playing field, something should be MORE effective against wizards than against fighters. Wizards, with their massive Int and skill ranks, are much more likely to recognize a distraction than a meat shield.
Interrupting spellcasting?

And there's always the point that eventually, the wizard is going to run out of spells. Lose his spellbook. Or not have the right spells prepared for that day.
That's when a sword in the gut, a knife in the back or an arrow in the eye will come in handy.

I've DM'd games up to 20th level and beyond, and the spellcasters have never dominated anymore than the other classes when logic and good role-playing is factored in.
Sure, the wizard can summon devils/demons from beyond the Prime, but that has dangers in itself.
A Fighter can muster an army based on his reputation alone.
A thief who is a master of guild can send his own army of secret assassins, and all the time remain unknown while the wizard is cloistered in his dark tower.
The bard...
Eh, political intrigue.
But I think decent roleplaying and logical thought levels the field.

MeeposFire
2011-03-16, 03:57 PM
It's not that magic being better is bad. It's just that it is the most effective way to play from a rule and option standpoint (in 3.5). With the right spells a wizard can do the job of nearly any other class after around level 10.

Now, the issue with this is that it is so very easy for a wizard to do this (in 3.5). In older editions, the wizard is still a more powerful option. However, in earlier editions the different classes needed different amounts of xp to level.
A fighter by levels in AD&D need 2,001 xp to hit second, 4,001 xp for 3rd, 8,001 xp for 4th, 18,001 for 5th, etc.
A wizard (magic user) needed 2501 for 2nd, 5001 for 3rd, 10001 for 4th, 22501 for 5th, etc.
With this system, you could still play a magic user, but you understood it would take you much longer then the other classes to attain the xp needed to be the stronger class. In 3.5, there is no real cost or penalty that a wizard can't counter.
So to sum up, wizards gain more for less then most of the other classes. That is why it is looked at as broken. Note, this is my opinion and I am sure I missed a fact somewhere.

And yet at the mid levels a wizard required less XP than fighter (which made somewhat sense since fighters were actually powerful then) for instance at 161,000 XP a fighter is level 8 and a wizard is level 9 while the thief is level 10. You are mostly correct and your overall point is very true.

AD&D had more limitations than 3e casters have though as I recall that many groups did not utilize all the restrictions on casters in AD&D (the restrictions were powerful but not fun).

Psyren
2011-03-16, 04:00 PM
The problem is, at least in D&D, wizards work as intended (or even more powerful than intended). Warrior-types don't. They don't get enough options and counter-options to be viable in most places they are supposed to be viable in. And D&D is not modeled after Lord of the Rings, either. It is modeled after a modified Greyhawk, where the ability to cast spells is not the end-all be-all talent, and where wizards are still mortal men, not demigods.

Basically, it's false advertising.

I disagree; D&D is modeled off whatever WotC says it's modeled off. Wizards (at least, the powerful ones) ARE demigods in Faerun, or at the very least powerful enough to kick demigods' asses. Eberron, Dark Sun etc. have their share of epicness too.

Greyhawk is one D&D setting - it is not and never was the totality of D&D.

elpollo
2011-03-16, 04:01 PM
But I think decent roleplaying and logical thought levels the field.

Ok, but what happens when the wizard uses decent roleplaying, logical thought, and ninth level spells? They can achieve everything the other two can, and they can cast ninth level spells (read as: they can do oh so much more).

druid91
2011-03-16, 04:08 PM
Ok, but what happens when the wizard uses decent roleplaying, logical thought, and ninth level spells? They can achieve everything the other two can, and they can cast ninth level spells (read as: they can do oh so much more).

They spent all their money obtaining spells.

MeeposFire
2011-03-16, 04:11 PM
They spent all their money obtaining spells.

A wizard that spent all their money buying spells isn't trying hard enough.

TheOasysMaster
2011-03-16, 04:12 PM
I had an awesome campaign, where the characters worked from 1st level to take over the world.
They did it, leaving few independent factions.
Eventually, they fractured, and began intrigue amongst themselves.
In a group of 10 PCs, and 6 NPCs, ruling the world...
(it was a nightmare)
The Thieves won...
...the Clerics were the first to go...
...the wizards second to go.
And the fighters were in second, since the thieves had manipulated them into winning the war on their behalf.
It was beautiful.



Ok, but what happens when the wizard uses decent roleplaying, logical thought, and ninth level spells?
Well, assuming 9th level spells are on the table, this has to be high-level.
So, once again, the Fighter uses his reputation and his army, because by now, if he's roleplaying properly, he should have one.
To muster his own army and his own wizards to take him out.


But let's leave the armies aside.
A 20th level wizard and a 20th level fighter walk into a room, completely naked.
Fighter wins.
Let's give them clothes and their standard items.
Fighter STILL wins.
Let's give them both magic items complementary to their class, and ALLOW the wizard to prepare spells.
Whoever rolls Initiative wins.
Sure, there are saves, but essentially, its one sided, since the wizard can cast a spell to hobble the fighter if he wins. But the Fighter can also do enough damage to make the wizard fail concentration checks, or grapple for his spell components and then proceed to beat the wizard with them.
Feats; perhaps Eschew Spell Components, well maybe the Fighter took Quick Draw or Improved Initiative.

Let's put them on a battlefield.
The wizard lies in wait, and uses a Fireball.
Fighter is toast.
The Fighter doesn't lie in wait.
His intelligence lies in waiting, and rather than engaging the wizard in the battlefield, he attacks at night, when spells are unprepared. Or constantly plays music through the night so he can't sleep.
Maybe he poisons him.

Versatility, adaptability and ingenuity triumphs over spells, armies and class abilities EVERY SINGLE DAY. It really isn't the cards in your hands.
It's a combination of how you play your cards, and how you play the guy across from you.

As an answer, courtesy of TheOasysMaster, magic isn't better than mundane. Each has got its advantages, strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, each way has the same weaknesses and strengths; the people who wield the magic and the people who wield the swords.

The fighter who charges alone at the wizard who's hands and eyes are crackling with mystical energy deserves to die.
As does the wizard who assumes that he really only needs one spellbook.
The thief who tries to pickpocket that cleric without having his friends lookout and four different escape routes deserves to be gutted and handed over to the authorities.

Redrat2k6
2011-03-16, 04:15 PM
I after a couple of hundred years the DnD world would be dominated by casters as all other classes would be extinct.

Actually... there might be a darwin evolution like effect where creature would eventually evolve to have SR and anti-divination like abilities... or become living anti magic fields.

MeeposFire
2011-03-16, 04:16 PM
Wizards don't sleep where a fighter could attack him. The simplest answer is rope trick. The fighter cannot touch him and the wizard gets his spells back.

Seerow
2011-03-16, 04:16 PM
Basically what I'm gathering is OasysMaster has a group that generally doesn't optimize casters well at all, and probably plays them like a turret for elemental damage, and is basing balance on that.


This obserevation is borne out looking at the above post. I mean, really? The wizard in those examples is just sitting there waiting to fireball the Fighter's face, while the Fighter is waiting until the wizard is asleep to sneak up on him? Why is the wizard even sleeping in a place where the fighter can reach him, when a second level spell can give him his own private dimension to sleep in.

Also for the first two 1 on 1 fights the wizard has no spells prepared, at all? The third one says whoever wins on initiative wins, expecting the wizard to actually be rolling initiative, or not have a ridiculous bonus to it, or not simply have a contingency time stop...

Gnaeus
2011-03-16, 04:18 PM
Come on man!
You took my most general statements and edited out the real point.

Because the real point wasn't true.


Non-magic users aren't any less adaptable than the wizard class!

Yes, they are.


it just takes some effort on part of a DM to make opponents of wizards intelligent and not Fireball-fodder.

No, it takes effort to do that and keep fighters relevant.


Interrupting spellcasting?

Oh Thats what you meant! I thought you meant setting up a diversion to make wizards cast spells at the wrong target.

Point now clarified, you are far more wrong. Creating a distraction that will make a high level caster make a concentration check which he can fail even if he rolls a 1, is usually approximately as difficult for a muggle to achieve as just killing the wizard in the first place. The easiest way to do it is with massive damage, which the wizard can just negate.


And there's always the point that eventually, the wizard is going to run out of spells. Lose his spellbook. Or not have the right spells prepared for that day.

Unlikely. Less Likely. Very possible, but the wizard with the wrong spells is still better than the fighter or rogue.


Sure, the wizard can summon devils/demons from beyond the Prime, but that has dangers in itself.

Or he can just walk around the entire adventuring day with Foresight & Shapeshift, start fights with Time Stop, and sleep away his nights in his own private demiplane (assuming he bothers to leave it at all, not just astral projecting). That has minimal dangers, lots of advantages.


A Fighter can muster an army based on his reputation alone.
A thief who is a master of guild can send his own army of secret assassins, and all the time remain unknown while the wizard is cloistered in his dark tower.
But I think decent roleplaying and logical thought levels the field.

I am leaving the bard out of it. Diplomancy is its own special kind of broken.

Mustering armies or sending assassins IS NOT a class skill of Fighters or Rogues. A wizard can do it just as easily. In fact, a wizard can do it far more easily, since he can create an army, with printed, actual spells, or summon an army of assassins, with printed, actual spells, or mind control a guild leader or a general to do those things for them. Or create arbitrarily high amounts of gold to hire people to do those things.

Yes, decent roleplaying and logical thought would give fighter/rogue an advantage if they have them and the wizard does not. Otherwise, it does NOTHING to level the playing field.

MeeposFire
2011-03-16, 04:18 PM
Basically what I'm gathering is OasysMaster has a group that generally doesn't optimize casters well at all, and probably plays them like a turret for elemental damage, and is basing balance on that.


This obserevation is borne out looking at the above post. I mean, really? The wizard in those examples is just sitting there waiting to fireball the Fighter's face, while the Fighter is waiting until the wizard is asleep to sneak up on him? Why is the wizard even sleeping in a place where the fighter can reach him, when a second level spell can give him his own private dimension to sleep in.

Indeed a warmage is an elemental themed blaster class and is roughly balanced at the fighters level. So if you play wizards like warmages you probably do not see the problem.

Gnaeus
2011-03-16, 04:28 PM
But let's leave the armies aside.
A 20th level wizard and a 20th level fighter walk into a room, completely naked.
Fighter wins.
Let's give them clothes and their standard items.
Fighter STILL wins.
Let's give them both magic items complementary to their class, and ALLOW the wizard to prepare spells.
Whoever rolls Initiative wins.
Sure, there are saves, but essentially, its one sided, since the wizard can cast a spell to hobble the fighter if he wins. But the Fighter can also do enough damage to make the wizard fail concentration checks, or grapple for his spell components and then proceed to beat the wizard with them.
Feats; perhaps Eschew Spell Components, well maybe the Fighter took Quick Draw or Improved Initiative.

Let's put them on a battlefield.
The wizard lies in wait, and uses a Fireball.
Fighter is toast.
The Fighter doesn't lie in wait.
His intelligence lies in waiting, and rather than engaging the wizard in the battlefield, he attacks at night, when spells are unprepared. Or constantly plays music through the night so he can't sleep.
Maybe he poisons him.

So basically, Oasis has never seen a remotely competently played wizard. Has never read even basic spells like Rope Trick, let alone grapple killers like Heart of Water (let alone Shapechange! Whose your grapple buddy now, muggle?). And thinks that Wizards walk around unbuffed.

Then he talks about versatility and ingenuity, when he has clearly never experienced a caster who uses even an ounce of either.

prufock
2011-03-16, 04:28 PM
This seems to conflict with your topic question, so let me ask you this. If magic being better than mundane is not bad, then why would the fighter being underpowered be a problem?

Quoted for truth. Also, if wizards being more powerful than fighters isn't a problem, why has the OP spent several posts trying to gimp the wizard?

Seerow
2011-03-16, 04:29 PM
So basically, Oasis has never seen a remotely competently played wizard. Has never read even basic spells like Rope Trick, let alone grapple killers like Heart of Water. And thinks that Wizards walk around unbuffed.

Then he talks about versatility and ingenuity, when he has clearly never experienced a caster who uses even an ounce of either.

But the fighter walks around with an army comprised of high level mages that he obtained via roleplaying! How can the caster stand up to such power?

faceroll
2011-03-16, 04:31 PM
Ok situation A.) The Team faces a horde of tough monsters, the wizard has them all dead within a couple of rounds. A case of bad DMing and what you describe.

Situation B.) A little more work is put in and each of the party has a job to do, for the wizard this is keeping the goblin horde at bay, while the fighter and rogue take on the trolls, tougher but less of them to worry about, And the cleric fights a dragon. A really tough threat that could easily turn the battle.

Now in what way could the wizard do the others job without an insane amount of prep-time? Or even worse allowing the goblins to join in the proper fray instead of being cut down by the cave entrance?

Proper fights are more than, you are over here the enemy is over there.

Round 0.
Put up improved invisibility.
Round 1.
Goblins are webbed (web is always prepped a couple times on any competent wizard)
Round2.
Trolls are confused (easy to pimp save-or-die effect for crappy monsters like trolls)
Round 3.
Hit the dragon with Shivering Touch or Feeblemind.
Round4+.
Use elemental reserve feat to conjure summoned creatures to finish off any stragglers.

Oh look, the wizard took care of everything on his own. Heck, while invisible, he didn't even need a party. I didn't even bother with anything over level 9, either.


I'm saying that, without designing an encounter to specifically gimp the Wizard's abilities, the Wizard will be able to beat it easily, if played optimally. Designing an encounter to negate a character is not good DMing.

Yes it is. Or you could never challenge the players, have them rely on one character all the time. That's not really that fun, though, for either the DM or the players.


So basically, Oasis has never seen a remotely competently played wizard. Has never read even basic spells like Rope Trick, let alone grapple killers like Heart of Water (let alone Shapechange! Whose your grapple buddy now, muggle?). And thinks that Wizards walk around unbuffed.

Then he talks about versatility and ingenuity, when he has clearly never experienced a caster who uses even an ounce of either.

Or a properly paranoid player when the DM thinks arbitrarily unpreparing all a wizard's spells, taking his spell book, attacking in the night, are ok. Eidetic wizard, spell mastery, uncanny forethought, rope trick, dimension door, celerity effects, ruin delver's fortune. There are a ton of get out of jail cards a wizard who isn't doing much should have prepared. His handful of no-save-just die/lose/curl into a fetal position spells are enough to stall any threat. Then he backs out, prepares an offensive load out, scries, teleports, ends lives. Or just flies invisible summoning/spamming ranged touch attacks with impunity thanks to reserve feats.

Wizards are brutal in sandbox play.

[edit]
I think this is important:

I've DM'd games up to 20th level and beyond, and the spellcasters have never dominated anymore than the other classes when logic and good role-playing is factored in.

I suspect Oasys plays with some houserules/assumptions that aren't RAW, and so typical assumptions of omg wizzzzzerds may not be entirely warranted. He may also not be playing with access to the myriad ways outside of core that make wizards truly capable of replacing everything.

elpollo
2011-03-16, 04:38 PM
Well, assuming 9th level spells are on the table, this has to be high-level.
So, once again, the Fighter uses his reputation and his army, because by now, if he's roleplaying properly, he should have one.
To muster his own army and his own wizards to take him out.

Why doesn't the wizard also have this awesome reputation and army? Hell, other wizards are more likely to flock to him as he can teach them new stuff unlike the fighter.


But let's leave the armies aside.
A 20th level wizard and a 20th level fighter walk into a room, completely naked.
Fighter wins.

Ok, if you remove the wizard's class abilities and make it a low BAB d4 hit dice creature then the fighter wins. Well done, the fighter can beat a commoner. This is not a balancer - the wizard has ways to make sure that he never has to be without spells, preparation, etc.


Let's give them both magic items complementary to their class, and ALLOW the wizard to prepare spells.
Whoever rolls Initiative wins.

Anyway, no. Firstly, the wizard has more money to buy initiative boosting items. Secondly, and vastly more importantly, the wizard has celerity, contingency, and immediate action spells that let him go before the fighter. The wizard always goes first, and he always exterminates with extreme prejudice.

We could also factor in buffs that make the wizard untouchable to the fighter, but we don't need to.


Sure, there are saves, but essentially, its one sided, since the wizard can cast a spell to hobble the fighter if he wins. But the Fighter can also do enough damage to make the wizard fail concentration checks, or grapple for his spell components and then proceed to beat the wizard with them.
Feats; perhaps Eschew Spell Components, well maybe the Fighter took Quick Draw or Improved Initiative.

Irrelevant. The wizard has already gone and put a wall of rock between the two of you, if not timestop/summon-spree or the like.


Let's put them on a battlefield.
The wizard lies in wait, and uses a Fireball.
Fighter is toast.
The Fighter doesn't lie in wait.
His intelligence lies in waiting, and rather than engaging the wizard in the battlefield, he attacks at night, when spells are unprepared. Or constantly plays music through the night so he can't sleep.
Maybe he poisons him.

Let's. The wizard makes a deal with a devil. The fighter now has the legions of hell after him.
The wizard dominates one of the fighter's contacts. Now the fighter has false information.
The wizard scries the fighter, teleports in and nukes the place.
The wizard makes his own plane with a rapidly increased rate of passage of time. He has as long as he wants in six seconds. He does everything.


Versatility, adaptability and ingenuity triumphs over spells, armies and class abilities EVERY SINGLE DAY. It really isn't the cards in your hands.
It's a combination of how you play your cards, and how you play the guy across from you.

But this is a case of the fighter playing with a regular deck of playing cards whilst the wizard plays with creation. It's all very well saying the fighter can use contacts and stuff - so can the wizard, and he's a damn sight better at it. And has better contacts. And can fly.


As an answer, courtesy of TheOasysMaster, magic isn't better than mundane.

It demonstrably is.



edit - not to say that balanced games can't happen, of course, but you have to work at it. New players can look through a book, say "Ooh, that looks like a cool spell" and suddenly they dominate the battlefield. My point is that assuming similar levels of optimisation it's not even close.

druid91
2011-03-16, 04:48 PM
Ok, if you remove the wizard's class abilities and make it a low BAB d4 hit dice creature then the fighter wins. Well done, the fighter can beat a commoner. This is not a balancer - the wizard has ways to make sure that he never has to be without spells, preparation, etc.



Anyway, no. Firstly, the wizard has more money to buy initiative boosting items. Secondly, and vastly more importantly, the wizard has celerity, contingency, and immediate action spells that let him go before the fighter. The wizard always goes first, and he always exterminates with extreme prejudice.

We could also factor in buffs that make the wizard untouchable to the fighter, but we don't need to.



Irrelevant. The wizard has already gone and put a wall of rock between the two of you, if not timestop/summon-spree or the like.



Let's. The wizard makes a deal with a devil. The fighter now has the legions of hell after him.
The wizard dominates one of the fighter's contacts. Now the fighter has false information.
The wizard scries the fighter, teleports in and nukes the place.
The wizard makes his own plane with a rapidly increased rate of passage of time. He has as long as he wants in six seconds. He does everything.



But this is a case of the fighter playing with a regular deck of playing cards whilst the wizard plays with creation. It's all very well saying the fighter can use contacts and stuff - so can the wizard, and he's a damn sight better at it. And has better contacts. And can fly.



It demonstrably is.

Why on earth would the wizard have more money? wealth by level is the same for everyone.

TheOasysMaster
2011-03-16, 04:48 PM
Actually... there might be a darwin evolution like effect where creature would eventually evolve to have SR and anti-divination like abilities... or become living anti magic fields.
That'd be cool.



Wizards don't sleep where a fighter could attack him. The simplest answer is rope trick. The fighter cannot touch him and the wizard gets his spells back.
THAT's what I'm talking about! So, the wizard knows the fighter might attack him in his sleep.
So he camps far away, hides his shelter and goes for Rope Trick.
He's acting paranoid.
He's using spell-slots.
These factor in the ultimate confrontation.
So, what if someone DOES find the wizard, and suspecting what he's done, lies in wait for him to leave the box?
It's a chess game of waiting for someone to make the wrong move!

The fighter sleeps with guards! He changes rooms every night! Heck, he's leading this army-he's got decoys and anti-scrying spells cast for him to retard scry-and-die tactics.
So the wizard bribes one of the fighter's mages to leave an opening. But then the fighter pays for a dragon to replace him one night.
The wizard has an alliance with the dragons!
It goes on and on until someone blinks and makes a mistake.
ROLEPLAYING.


Because the real point wasn't true.
How so?


Yes, they are.
I disagree!


No, it takes effort to do that and keep fighters relevant.
Do you see how simply disagreeing becomes useless if one is just being contrary? Yes, exactly, effort on the part of the DM. What's wrong with that.
What's wrong with relevant fighters?


Or he can just walk around the entire adventuring day with Foresight & Shapeshift, start fights with Time Stop, and sleep away his nights in his own private demiplane (assuming he bothers to leave it at all, not just astral projecting). That has minimal dangers, lots of advantages.
Here we go! A real example.


I am leaving the bard out of it. Diplomancy is its own special kind of broken.
Don't. Diplomacy as a Skill may be broken, but the roleplaying of it isn't.
The bard is perfect for engaging in political intrigue and manipulating the strings of power.


Mustering armies or sending assassins IS NOT a class skill of Fighters or Rogues. A wizard can do it just as easily. In fact, a wizard can do it far more easily, since he can create an army, with printed, actual spells, or summon an army of assassins, with printed, actual spells, or mind control a guild leader or a general to do those things for them. Or create arbitrarily high amounts of gold to hire people to do those things.
It isn't, you're right.
But it's far more likely for those classes to obtain one than a wizard.
No armies flock to the banner of a wiard-he gets treacherous apprentices who want his power.
The thief gets followers who a piece of the next big heist.
ALL THAT, is called EFFORT on the part of the DM.
As of level 20, a character should have a reputation.
Unless they're an assassin. In which case they have a secret rep.
And i don't think wizards really can muster armies-they're busy wielding arcane energies, scrying and practicing. If they don't have the time to effectively learn to fight with their hands, can they have the time to learn the fine art of warfare.
Thinking about morale, logistics, financing-all things separating the wizard from his precious spellbooks, but can become the day to day work of a fighter.


Yes, decent roleplaying and logical thought would give fighter/rogue an advantage if they have them and the wizard does not. Otherwise, it does NOTHING to level the playing field.
No, decent roleplaying on all sides contributes to an awesome and realistic game experience for everyone involved.


Basically what I'm gathering is OasysMaster has a group that generally doesn't optimize casters well at all, and probably plays them like a turret for elemental damage, and is basing balance on that.
That's so not true!
The wizards had their bases on the outer planes, used scry and die tactics, maneuvered armies and made intelligent choices.
I should give that campaign a look over...
Don't dismiss my theory by dismissing the skill of the players. That's absurd and unfair.


Also for the first two 1 on 1 fights the wizard has no spells prepared, at all? The third one says whoever wins on initiative wins, expecting the wizard to actually be rolling initiative, or not have a ridiculous bonus to it, or not simply have a contingency time stop...
All, I'm saying is that the wizard has his weaknesses. he has to prepare those spells. He's got to prepare for that contingency. And yes, the wizard still has to roll initiative and prepare whatever means he's got for improving intiative.


So basically, Oasis has never seen a remotely competently played wizard. Has never read even basic spells like Rope Trick, let alone grapple killers like Heart of Water (let alone Shapechange! Whose your grapple buddy now, muggle?). And thinks that Wizards walk around unbuffed.
Once again, the wizard has to be prepared.


I suspect Oasys plays with some houserules/assumptions that aren't RAW, and so typical assumptions of omg wizzzzzerds may not be entirely warranted. He may also not be playing with access to the myriad ways outside of core that make wizards truly capable of replacing everything.
Your suspicions are wrong. I always play RAW.


Let's. The wizard makes a deal with a devil. The fighter now has the legions of hell after him.
The wizard dominates one of the fighter's contacts. Now the fighter has false information.
The wizard scries the fighter, teleports in and nukes the place.
The wizard makes his own plane with a rapidly increased rate of passage of time. He has as long as he wants in six seconds. He does everything.

And why can't a fighter make a deal with a devil?
The fighter can also influence the wizard's contacts.
Scry and die tactics don't always work.
Fine, he makes his own plane of existence-and he does this without the gods intervening by this stupid mortal tresspassing on their domain?
Effort on the part of the DM.


It demonstrably is.

Find a decent DM, and you'll see that it isn't.
Any DM that let's a wizard walk through his campaign without consequences has lost control of the game.
Magic isn't the beginning of D&D, and it isn't the end. Roleplaying and a relatable sense of reason and realism are.


Wizards have to work to tip the scales in their favor just like anyone else.

I used Fireball in my examples because it's a classic with style and recognizably in the imagination. Disintegration or a Force Orb will do.

stainboy
2011-03-16, 04:49 PM
I'm OK with the idea that magic is more powerful that pointy sticks. Most of the people I play with favor T3-4 melee builds, and part of the appeal is playing the underdog.

So I'm fine with casters being more powerful/versatile, it's just the degree. Most of the problem is 3.5 encouraging mid- to high-level play, but using spell lists from AD&D that were balanced around low level play. I wouldn't mind 13th level wizards breaking the world if only the BBEGs were ever likely to be 13th level. But with feats at 1/3 levels and PrCs not starting until 6-8, players actually want to play at the levels where magic breaks the game.

Lans
2011-03-16, 04:52 PM
Wizard- Hey Fighter I need you to carry my groceries for me
Fighter-Why cant you carry your own groceries?
Wizard- I can't carry my groceries and this 200x200x200 block of platinum that I made, I need help!
Game Designers- Caster needs the fighter, thus balance has been achieved :smallcool:

Gnaeus
2011-03-16, 04:53 PM
I suspect Oasys plays with some houserules/assumptions that aren't RAW,

You think? :smalleek:


He may also not be playing with access to the myriad ways outside of core that make wizards truly capable of replacing everything.

I don't think that is relevant. If we remove Celerity, Genesis and Heart of Water, along with uber-chargers, mage-slayer, ToB, things that let you move & full attack and other non-core fighter gems, it isn't like it makes things any easier for the fighter. There's still Rope Trick, Shapechange, PAO, Wish, Gate, Contingency, Astral Projection...

TheOasysMaster
2011-03-16, 04:56 PM
You think?
{Scrubbed}

Once again, I defend myself, I was playing RAW.
The characters were awesome.
In the final war, spanning three hundred years, they went way outside the box in order to achieve victory.
But all within the rules.


I don't think that is relevant. If we remove Celerity, Genesis and Heart of Water, along with uber-chargers, mage-slayer, ToB, things that let you move & full attack and other non-core fighter gems, it isn't like it makes things any easier for the fighter. There's still Rope Trick, Shapechange, PAO, Wish, Gate, Contingency, Astral Projection...

At high-levels, EVERYONE has access to those!
BUY A WIZARD.



Wizard- Hey Fighter I need you to carry my groceries for me
Fighter-Why cant you carry your own groceries?
Wizard- I can't carry my groceries and this 200x200x200 block of platinum that I made, I need help!
Game Designers- Caster needs the fighter, thus balance has been achieved
Sounds good.

Seerow
2011-03-16, 04:56 PM
Why on earth would the wizard have more money? wealth by level is the same for everyone.


Fighter puts a much larger portion of his money into weapons/armor, while the Wizard doesn't really need those items (particularly the expensive weapon) and can instead use that money to boost other areas, or gain more versatility.


That's so not true!
The wizards had their bases on the outer planes, used scry and die tactics, maneuvered armies and made intelligent choices.
I should give that campaign a look over...
Don't dismiss my theory by dismissing the skill of the players. That's absurd and unfair.


Every post you make really just reinforces the notion. It's really not that absurd, when you have Fighters with armies and cohorts (and these cohorts have even been mentioned to be casters at least once) backing them up, and casters are sitting around with their thumbs up their asses waiting for an opportune time to cast fireball at the Fighter's face. Every example you have made throughout the thread involves the Wizard doing something horribly wrong, or doing nothing at all, while the Fighter gets the stars to align for him, or has some extra benefit there is no actual rules basis for.



As to the Wizard not being able to understand logistics, troop movement, tactics, strategy, morale, and the like, I'd like to point out the Wizard has a much higher intellect, it is highly likely that the Wizard would actually be much -better- at understanding these things than a Fighter would be, due to extra skill points, and all knowledge skills as class skills. Learning these things actually doesn't detract from the Wizard's arcane knowledge at all, your insistence that it would is an assumption that has no actual basis in the rules.



At high-levels, EVERYONE has access to those!
BUY A WIZARD.


Sure the fighter is just gonna walk down to Mages-R-Us and buy himself a 20th level Wizard. This makes perfect sense and is exactly what the game is balanced around. We now have Wizard vs Wizard + Fighter, of course the Fighter wins!


Or if we're buying other classes, Wizard buys himself another Wizard, or Cleric, or Druid, and just laughs.

TheOasysMaster
2011-03-16, 04:59 PM
Why doesn't the wizard also have this awesome reputation and army? Hell, other wizards are more likely to flock to him as he can teach them new stuff unlike the fighter.
Duh. The wizard doesn't attract soldiers.
He attracts fellow magic users.
A point I made in one of my posts.
Those magic users don't want to share in his glory, like soldiers, they want to share in his actual POWER. They want him to take time and energy from his studies to TEACH.
The most powerful wizard in the world stoop to the level of TEACHING?
I don't think so.
He'll take one or two apprentices, and if they fail, he replaces them as necessary.
If the wizard needs an army, he buys one.
Hires a general and let's him go to work.
No guarantee of victory though.

Once again, roleplaying is what's important.
Not the wizard's spells.

Seerow
2011-03-16, 05:00 PM
Duh. The wizard doesn't attract soldiers.
He attracts fellow magic users.
A point I made in one of my posts.
Those magic users don't want to share in his glory, like soldiers, they want to share in his actual POWER. They want him to take time and energy from his studies to TEACH.
The most powerful wizard in the world stoop to the level of TEACHING?
I don't think so.
He'll take one or two apprentices, and if they fail, he replaces them as necessary.
If the wizard needs an army, he buys one.
Hires a general and let's him go to work.
No guarantee of victory though.

Once again, roleplaying is what's important.
Not the wizard's spells.

This sounds like a campaign specific roleplaying restriction, not an actual weakness of the Wizard class.

elpollo
2011-03-16, 05:01 PM
Why on earth would the wizard have more money? wealth by level is the same for everyone.

Because wizards can craft their own stuff for nice discounts, as well as the fact that they don't need to waste money on powerful weapons or armour. But mainly the crafting.


And why can't a fighter make a deal with a devil?
The fighter can also influence the wizard's contacts.
Scry and die tactics don't always work.
Fine, he makes his own plane of existence-and he does this without the gods intervening by this stupid mortal tresspassing on their domain?
Effort on the part of the DM.

He can, but the cost is much higher, i.e. his soul. The wizard can do a quick, relatively easy favour (kill of a rival, for example), and get the favour for nothing. He can also actually contact the devil, which is a nice start. Also, if no devils are feeling it, he can force the devil to do it regardless.

He can, but that requires social skills which aren't his strongpoint. The wizard has more skillpoints to put amongst these skills, has spells to boost them, and has spells to directly control the minds of people.

They don't, but if done right it doesn't matter - you're out of there before they can react and back in another day.

This one I'm not sure about, as it's probably a setting thing, but off the top of my head I can't think of anything that states that gods have a problem with it. Even if they do, by the time the gods have reacted (say 6 seconds later) the wizard has already had 3 years to prepare - any agents of the gods are either in a whole lot of trouble when they arrive, or will find the plane devoid of the wizard who has already prepared to his full potential and has left to kill the fighter.

That has no real relevance on the relative power on magic and non, but regardless - the DM must either specifically target the wizard, constantly shutting him down (which is bad DMing) or raise the ability of the enemies as a whole (making things impossible for the fighters).


Find a decent DM, and you'll see that it isn't.
Any DM that let's a wizard walk through his campaign without consequences has lost control of the game.
Magic isn't the beginning of D&D, and it isn't the end. Roleplaying and a relatable sense of reason and realism are.

It has nothing to do with the quality of DM. It has everything to do with the quality of people you play with. I in no way endorse wizards overshadowing everyone - my point is that they aren't balanced. You can play a wizard without breaking anything, but you don't have to be trying to play a wizard who consistantly outperforms fighters.


Wizards have to work to tip the scales in their favor just like anyone else.

I used Fireball in my examples because it's a classic with style and recognizably in the imagination. Disintegration or a Force Orb will do.

They do, but they have to work a whole lot less for a much larger pay-off.


edit - damnit, loads of posts whilst I was writing. [/grumble]


Duh. The wizard doesn't attract soldiers.
He attracts fellow magic users.
A point I made in one of my posts.
Those magic users don't want to share in his glory, like soldiers, they want to share in his actual POWER. They want him to take time and energy from his studies to TEACH.
The most powerful wizard in the world stoop to the level of TEACHING?
I don't think so.
He'll take one or two apprentices, and if they fail, he replaces them as necessary.
If the wizard needs an army, he buys one.
Hires a general and let's him go to work.
No guarantee of victory though.

So he takes a powerful apprentice or two. In return for his help, he asks they spend the rest of their time teaching other, lower level wizards (let's say 2 each). In return for their teachings, these apprentices ask that their apprentices teach a lower level wizard or two... Say the main wizard is level 20, then you've got 2 level 19, 4 level 18, etc. That's already better than the fighter's army (even without going below level 18). What's more, these are people who want to be there. Armies don't like fighting. They don't like dying. Morale is low. The desertion rate is not. Wizards aren't going to join that army to fight an army of wizards - not when the wizard army is stronger, more versatile, has better healthcare, awesome lunches, and the ability to advance themselves.

ScionoftheVoid
2011-03-16, 05:05 PM
Why on earth would the wizard have more money? wealth by level is the same for everyone.

Look at the cost of keeping a weapon and armour relevant. Look at the cost of keeping spells relevant. The latter is less.

Now factor in that the Wizard can deal with things like flight, invisibility, teleportation and more using their spells. The Fighter has to spend more money to counter this, unless the party Wizard is generous in which case they provide less to counter enemy Wizard. Wizards can also craft their own magic items at reduced costs.

With the Fighter spending all this money just to be competent, the Wizard can afford masses of scrolls, made using the Scribe Scroll feat they get at level one. The Fighter can go all day until they run out of HP, but they can't necessarily contribute well until then. The Wizard can go until they run out of spells until they decide that they don't want to, because they can organise spells per day effectively enough to do whatever they like, have scrolls after that, and can Rope Trick to restore their spells. The Fighter can, rest? With no Alarm, Rope Trick, armour if they want to be effective tommorow. And they have to rest for far, far longer. That'll go well!:smalltongue:

TheOasysMaster
2011-03-16, 05:06 PM
Every post you make really just reinforces the notion. It's really not that absurd, when you have Fighters with armies and cohorts (and these cohorts have even been mentioned to be casters at least once) backing them up, and casters are sitting around with their thumbs up their asses waiting for an opportune time to cast fireball at the Fighter's face. Every example you have made throughout the thread involves the Wizard doing something horribly wrong, or doing nothing at all, while the Fighter gets the stars to align for him, or has some extra benefit there is no actual rules basis for.



As to the Wizard not being able to understand logistics, troop movement, tactics, strategy, morale, and the like, I'd like to point out the Wizard has a much higher intellect, it is highly likely that the Wizard would actually be much -better- at understanding these things than a Fighter would be, due to extra skill points, and all knowledge skills as class skills. Learning these things actually doesn't detract from the Wizard's arcane knowledge at all, your insistence that it would is an assumption that has no actual basis in the rules.
Once again, DUH.
I'm defending the fighters and non-magic users. So my examples defend them.
You want an example of wizard's at work I'll give you one:
In the same campaign...
Wizards 1 and 2 have infiltrated Fighter 1s army.
They are constantly under illusion.
The Fighter is besieging allied walls.
So, the Wizards make themselves useful.
For 10 years, they help the siege and subtley sabotage it.
Finally. with the big break insight, the wizards suggest mass-producing Spider Climb, so that the armies can literally sweep over the walls.
They of course, will cast the spells themselves, and dictate most of the grunt work to their apprentices.
They however cast all the spells with shorter durations and at lower levels.
Day of battle.
The army literally climbs over the first wall.
And the second.
At the third, the Spell gives out, as one 28,000 soldiers die in the space of 20 minutes.
The Fighter is busy looking for a massive Dispel and is ordering this Wizards to find the massive Anti-magic shell.
In the panic, the Wizard 1 opens his Bag of Holding and sicks a Vampire on the Fighter.
(it was personal)
Fighter dies.
Wizards take his body, and Clone him for later purposes.

Victory by two wizards using Spider Climb, and a Bag of Holding, and ROLEPLAYING.

Gnaeus
2011-03-16, 05:08 PM
Don't. Diplomacy as a Skill may be broken, but the roleplaying of it isn't.
The bard is perfect for engaging in political intrigue and manipulating the strings of power.

Your fighter's stats are probably something like (Str, Con, Dex, Wis (for saves) Int, Cha). My Wizard's stats are (Int, Con, Cha, Wis, Dex, Str). Assuming equal rolls, my wizard is going to be much better at political intrigue than mr. fighter. Also, as a wizard, I can cheat. Illusions & enchantments are awesome for this. There is no arena of political intrigue that fighters can do, that wizards, with better skills and spells, can't do better.

Bards are also cool, but they aren't muggles.


It isn't, you're right.
But it's far more likely for those classes to obtain one than a wizard.
No armies flock to the banner of a wiard-he gets treacherous apprentices who want his power.

You are playing the wrong edition, dude. Followers based on class were 1st ed. A wizard can get followers just the same as anyone else.



ALL THAT, is called EFFORT on the part of the DM.

All that is called making up class abilities that aren't in the game.



And i don't think wizards really can muster armies-they're busy wielding arcane energies, scrying and practicing.
If they don't have the time to effectively learn to fight with their hands, can they have the time to learn the fine art of warfare.

1. Time is the wizards bitch. He can make all the time he wants.
2. He can also find a general, mind control him, and have an instant army.


Thinking about morale, logistics, financing-all things separating the wizard from his precious spellbooks, but can become the day to day work of a fighter.

My wizard has 7++ skill points per level. Your fighter has 3. I can max Knowledge Arcana, Concentration, Spellcraft, and still have points left for Profession: Soldier, Knowledge: Tactics, Tumble, and 2 social skills. In other words, your fighter spends a month reading the book on tactics that I master in a day, with my godlike intelligence.



Don't dismiss my theory by dismissing the skill of the players. That's absurd and unfair.

I dismiss the skill of your players because your examples are ludicrous. I assume that if you had actually seen wizards, you would use better examples.



All, I'm saying is that the wizard has his weaknesses. he has to prepare those spells. He's got to prepare for that contingency. And yes, the wizard still has to roll initiative and prepare whatever means he's got for improving intiative.

Outside core, I don't need to roll initiative. In core, you are right, I do, but my dice are loaded. Yes, he does have to prepare his spells, but he can prepare those and still pack enough to wipe the floor with a pack of equal level fighters with juice to spare.

Qwertystop
2011-03-16, 05:09 PM
As far as Rope Trick taking a spell slot, don't forget that the Wizard rests while in the rope trick, and therefore regains that spell slot along with any others he lost. He could also cast Invisibility on the rope before climbing in to make it harder to find. Or he could just Plane Shift to his private demiplane.

Also, the only thing that would take time away from the Wizard's time to get an army that the Fighter doesn't have is the spell preparation, and that can be reduced by being an Elf, probably also some magic items that reduce the need for preparation etc. In fact, a private demiplane can reduce the need for spell preparation to 1 round of Material Plane time.

As previously mentioned, one casting of Genesis, plus crafting a magic item to Plane Shift him to and from it so as to not need a spell slot, plus Astral Projection, means the Wizard is in essentially no danger from anything anyone but another caster can do.

The reason the wizard would have more money is that, for one thing, he can use a gold piece plus a Major Creation spell to make a cubic foot of gold, which is 1204.86 pounds of gold, or on a platinum piece to make 1330 pounds of platinum. He then Fabricates it into coins or bars or nuggets or whatever. Sure it only lasts 20 minutes per level, but you could Extend it to double that, or use Suggestion on the storekeeper to make him think that he's just lost count of his gold, as long as you don't spend too much at once.

Secondly, the wizard can get much more use out of his money by crafting magic items instead of buying them, which costs a lot less.

druid91
2011-03-16, 05:09 PM
Because wizards can craft their own stuff for nice discounts, as well as the fact that they don't need to waste money on powerful weapons or armour. But mainly the crafting.



He can, but the cost is much higher, i.e. his soul. The wizard can do a quick, relatively easy favour (kill of a rival, for example), and get the favour for nothing. He can also actually contact the devil, which is a nice start. Also, if no devils are feeling it, he can force the devil to do it regardless.

He can, but that requires social skills which aren't his strongpoint. The wizard has more skillpoints to put amongst these skills, has spells to boost them, and has spells to directly control the minds of people.

They don't, but if done right it doesn't matter - you're out of there before they can react and back in another day.

This one I'm not sure about, as it's probably a setting thing, but off the top of my head I can't think of anything that states that gods have a problem with it. Even if they do, by the time the gods have reacted (say 6 seconds later) the wizard has already had 3 years to prepare - any agents of the gods are either in a whole lot of trouble when they arrive, or will find the plane devoid of the wizard who has already prepared to his full potential and has left to kill the fighter.

That has no real relevance on the relative power on magic and non, but regardless - the DM must either specifically target the wizard, constantly shutting him down (which is bad DMing) or raise the ability of the enemies as a whole (making things impossible for the fighters).



It has nothing to do with the quality of DM. It has everything to do with the quality of people you play with. I in no way endorse wizards overshadowing everyone - my point is that they aren't balanced. You can play a wizard without breaking anything, but you don't have to be trying to play a wizard who consistantly outperforms fighters.



They do, but they have to work a whole lot less for a much larger pay-off.


edit - damnit, loads of posts whilst I was writing. [/grumble]



So he takes a powerful apprentice or two. In return for his help, he asks they spend the rest of their time teaching other, lower level wizards (let's say 2 each). In return for their teachings, these apprentices ask that their apprentices teach a lower level wizard or two... Say the main wizard is level 20, then you've got 2 level 19, 4 level 18, etc. That's already better than the fighter's army (even without going below level 18). What's more, these are people who want to be there. Armies don't like fighting. They don't like dying. Morale is low. The desertion rate is not. Wizards aren't going to join that army to fight an army of wizards - not when the wizard army is stronger, more versatile, has better healthcare, awesome lunches, and the ability to advance themselves.

They get to craft for an XP cost. So they ae now lower level than the fighter.

As for using magic to make money? The fighters been gaming that sytems since he was twelve. Take aladder and chop the rungs off. sell the new poles back.

Kylarra
2011-03-16, 05:10 PM
Through arbitrary dm fiat, aka "roleplaying", you can even up the sides and assume that people will attract certain other people that can shore up their weaknesses (fighters getting wizards) or similarly not attract the right people (wizards getting treacherous apprentices), however the reliability of this tactic for a given character is not a constant over different campaign settings, and as such is not a reliable point for discourse other than as anecdotal evidence for how things could be, given a certain set of assumptions.

Calling down roleplaying (fiat) as the great balancing mechanism that makes everything equal doesn't alter the mechanical imbalances between the two classes.

TheOasysMaster
2011-03-16, 05:11 PM
He can, but that requires social skills which aren't his strongpoint. The wizard has more skillpoints to put amongst these skills, has spells to boost them, and has spells to directly control the minds of people.

They don't, but if done right it doesn't matter - you're out of there before they can react and back in another day.

This one I'm not sure about, as it's probably a setting thing, but off the top of my head I can't think of anything that states that gods have a problem with it. Even if they do, by the time the gods have reacted (say 6 seconds later) the wizard has already had 3 years to prepare - any agents of the gods are either in a whole lot of trouble when they arrive, or will find the plane devoid of the wizard who has already prepared to his full potential and has left to kill the fighter.

That has no real relevance on the relative power on magic and non, but regardless - the DM must either specifically target the wizard, constantly shutting him down (which is bad DMing) or raise the ability of the enemies as a whole (making things impossible for the fighters).
Why would a wizard have stronger social skills than a fighter?
Using stereotypes, ones an idiot with a stick and the other is a cloistered bookworm who looks down on everyone dumber than him.

True, about scry and die-I like them, always exciting.

You're assuming that the wizard can HIDE within the Prime Material from gods who wish to make an example of him.
But you're right, the setting does matter.
In my campaign, the gods were pretty jealous of their power.
But on the other hand, the wizards took on a few of them and won.


constantly shutting him down (which is bad DMing) or raise the ability of the enemies as a whole (making things impossible for the fighters).
I never shut down the magic-users. They always surprise me.
But at other times they're predictable.
Spellcraft and Knowledge Arcana, and experience dealing with magic aren't monopolized by wizards.
If i can predict what the wizard is gonna do, the Fighter and NPCs can.
And once one becomes predictable, they're dead.

ScionoftheVoid
2011-03-16, 05:12 PM
They get to craft for an XP cost. So they ae now lower level than the fighter.

Until the experience rules slingshot him past the Fighter. At worst it keeps him at about the same level. And honestly, does the Wizard need the levels? Not really. They help, but the wealth could have even greater benefit. The Fighter doesn't even have the option.

elpollo
2011-03-16, 05:14 PM
They get to craft for an XP cost. So they ae now lower level than the fighter.

Technically true, but since they don't do all of their crafting at level 20 they gain experience faster and catch up, as how the experience system works. Now they have cheaper resources.

Even if this weren't the case, though, dropping one level provides bags of experience with which to craft and doesn't really weaken the wizard.


edit - argh, swordsaged

TheOasysMaster
2011-03-16, 05:15 PM
You are playing the wrong edition, dude. Followers based on class were 1st ed. A wizard can get followers just the same as anyone else.
Yeah, but LOGICALLY, no soldiers want to fight for "some damn spellcaster in skirts"!
The powerful Wizard attracts apprentices, and maybe a few mercs willing to gaurd his tower.
The Fighter gets men wanting to join his heroic band, and maybe a few wizards who think they can be of use.

Fair and balanced.


I dismiss the skill of your players because your examples are ludicrous. I assume that if you had actually seen wizards, you would use better examples.
LUDICROUS?
We're talking about magic in Dungeons & Dragons!!!
How can ANY example sound LUDICROUS?
ANYTHING is possible! THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT!

Jayabalard
2011-03-16, 05:15 PM
With meta-magic, NO dragon can.Most perhaps, but "no dragon" seems like it's probably not correct.

Some dragons are pretty high up there on the intelligence scale; they'll have a good chance to know about the spell and if there are any defenses at all, then they'll have them (feats, contingent spells, magic items, etc). Add in the fact that some dragons are spell casters, and you'll see that claiming that "no dragon can" is tantamount to saying "no sorcerer can".


Quoted for truth. Also, if wizards being more powerful than fighters isn't a problem, why has the OP spent several posts trying to gimp the wizard?did he actually say it's not a problem? I just see that he says that it's not bad.

I mean, 4 + 5 = ? is a problem... but it has no inherent wrongness.


Did you even BOTHER to read the-of course, you didn't never mind. As a friendly suggestion, you might want to check out the forum rules (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/announcement.php?a=1).

Gnaeus
2011-03-16, 05:15 PM
Why would a wizard have stronger social skills than a fighter?

1. He has more skill points than a fighter (because Int is his prime stat), so he can sink more skill points into social skills.
2. As a SAD class, which can polymorph into things, he will dump Str and maybe dex, and has less need for Wis than a fighter. Assuming that they both rolled the same spread of scores, the Wizard is likely to have a much higher Charisma. And again, he can cheat with charm, dominate, Mindrape, etc.


Yeah, but LOGICALLY, no soldiers want to fight for "some damn spellcaster in skirts"!

No. They want to fight for the godlike being with amazing intelligence who pays them in gold.

"Fighter" or "Wizard" are classes. My wizard can be a hero from the third goblin campaign, just like your fighter could be a drunk who likes to win fights in bars. Who they actually ARE is, of course roleplaying, but it is not tied to their class.

Oh, except of course that my wizard can just make himself look like a powerful warrior or an angel that people would want to follow. Or twist their minds into pretzels so that they think that following a guy in skirts is the best idea ever!

Seerow
2011-03-16, 05:17 PM
Yeah, but LOGICALLY, no soldiers want to fight for "some damn spellcaster in skirts"!



Logically, I as a soldier would rather fight for the guy in a skirt who can use his god-like resources and intellect to keep me alive than the guy who does the same thing I do, just better.

Engine
2011-03-16, 05:19 PM
Yeah, but LOGICALLY, no soldiers want to fight for "some damn spellcaster in skirts"! The powerful Wizard attracts apprentices, and maybe a few mercs willing to gaurd his tower. The Fighter gets men wanting to join his heroic band, and maybe a few wizards who think they can be of use. Fair and balanced.

SRD states nowhere that as a Wizard you attracts mostly apprentices. You could houserule that, roleplay that, but it's not an official rule. So I don't see your point, here.

Seerow
2011-03-16, 05:20 PM
SRD states nowhere that as a Wizard you attracts mostly apprentices. You could houserule that, roleplay that, but it's not an official rule. So I don't see your point, here.

It's because it's LOGIC the PHB saw no need to include it. Obviously.

TheOasysMaster
2011-03-16, 05:21 PM
Originally Posted by TheOasysMaster View Post
Did you even BOTHER to read the-of course, you didn't never mind.

As a friendly suggestion, you might want to check out the forum rules.

Tell a poster that they clearly didn't read what you or others wrote upthread. Alternately, any statement that implies that the only way someone could disagree with you is because they don't understand/can't read properly is likewise not allowed.
Sorry. Forgot.



Logically, I as a soldier would rather fight for the guy in a skirt who can use his god-like resources and intellect to keep me alive than the guy who does the same thing I do, just better.
Yes, logically. Congratulations, you're a smart soldier with his eye on the prize. A pragmatist. Realistically, a majority of soldiers aren't like that.
Really depends on the campaign actually.


He has more skill points than a fighter (because Int is his prime stat), so he can sink more skill points into social skills.
More skill points don't necessarily win you an ally. That should be roleplayed.
If Diplomacy, Bluff and other skills like that are broken, it falls back to roleplaying and the content of the player's bid, i guess?

ScionoftheVoid
2011-03-16, 05:22 PM
Why would a wizard have stronger social skills than a fighter?
Using stereotypes, ones an idiot with a stick and the other is a cloistered bookworm who looks down on everyone dumber than him.

Who looks down because he can make them like him whether they like it or not. Or use them as puppets, whatever.


You're assuming that the wizard can HIDE within the Prime Material from gods who wish to make an example of him.

I thought the point was that they weren't on the Material Plane? Besides which Rope Trick is extra- (or non-) dimensional and therefore nigh-unassailable and Genesis would only be known about by gods for whom it is within their portfolio and they still need a specific method in.


I never shut down the magic-users. They always surprise me.
But at other times they're predictable.
Spellcraft and Knowledge Arcana, and experience dealing with magic aren't monopolized by wizards.
If i can predict what the wizard is gonna do, the Fighter and NPCs can.
And once one becomes predictable, they're dead.

They're dead, so long as you have the assistance of a caster powerful enough to get you past their defenses, and if someone with no social class skills, no motivation to have Charisma, multiple important stats fighting for attention even if they did, no ways of getting copies of people (Simulacra), summoned or called people, people as puppets (Dominate) or people as retroactive close friends (Charm, and out of Core: Mindrape or Programmed Amnesia), then a Wizard can certainly have more than enough allies to counter any the Fighter gains and then some. Note that this is off the top of my head, I'm sure there's more I could mention.

Engine
2011-03-16, 05:22 PM
It's because it's LOGIC the PHB saw no need to include it. Obviously.

It's LOGIC for you. Someone could disagree. Because, well...
...there's no logic in your point. You haven't demonstrated nothing, except that you THINK (that's the correct word, it's an opinion, YOUR opinion) that a Wizard should attract a specific kind of followers.

Jarian
2011-03-16, 05:23 PM
Oasys, I have something for you to read (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=130429&highlight=Fighter+Wizard).

The Fighter has SEVEN levels on the Wizard and gets pounded into the dirt. Make of that what you will. (Also, advanced search titles Fighter vs Wizard for numerous other examples of this amazing phenomenon.)

Of course, such examples don't deal with your "by the will of god" armies gained by a Fighter, but hopefully you'll start to understand if you read them anyway.

Edit:


As for using magic to make money? The fighters been gaming that sytems since he was twelve. Take aladder and chop the rungs off. sell the new poles back.

That is two broken halves of a ladder, not two ten foot poles.

Seerow
2011-03-16, 05:25 PM
It's LOGIC for you. Someone could disagree. Because, well...
...there's no logic in your point. You haven't demonstrated nothing, except that you THINK (that's the correct word, it's an opinion, YOUR opinion) that a Wizard should attract a specific kind of followers.

I think you missed the sarcasm seeping from my post.

Qwertystop
2011-03-16, 05:26 PM
They get to craft for an XP cost. So they ae now lower level than the fighter.

As for using magic to make money? The fighters been gaming that sytems since he was twelve. Take aladder and chop the rungs off. sell the new poles back.

The ladder-to-pole shouldn't work, since it's entirely based on bad pricing in the rulebooks. Also, the wizard can make many, many more thousands of gp with said Major Creation and Fabricate (Fabricate being optional) in one round than the fighter can in days of ladder-chopping. And as for the XP cost, there's ways around that. I think I remember an item somewhere, called a thought bottle or something (not sure of the name), that allows you to get around the XP costs. If the wizard is evil, he can torture people to death for 3 XP per CON point of tortured person in Liquid Pain. Takes a while, but he's got all the time he needs in demiplanes or just hiring people to do the torturing for him. All the crafting he'd need to do with his own XP is making an item that activates automatically to cast the 4th level spell required in the pain-making.

TheOasysMaster
2011-03-16, 05:27 PM
The Fighter has SEVEN levels on the Wizard and gets pounded into the dirt. Make of that what you will. (Also, advanced search titles Fighter vs Wizard for numerous other examples of this amazing phenomenon.)
Another congratulations is in order.
You showed us an example where high-level characters fought on a level-playing field.
No roleplaying or the nature of a campaign was considered. Thus, any of those threads are relevant to my point, are well simply not.
My point is that roleplaying and logic geared to realism, as well as adherence to the campaign setting is the great equalizer.
In a fight such as this, i'd put money on the wizard.
But in a campaign, it truly is any man or woman's game.

elpollo
2011-03-16, 05:27 PM
Yes, logically. Congratulations, you're a smart soldier with his eye on the prize. A pragmatist. Realistically, a majority of soldiers aren't like that.
Really depends on the campaign actually.


True. But now I have a manly man to be my figurehead (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/dominatePerson.htm).

druid91
2011-03-16, 05:28 PM
Until the experience rules slingshot him past the Fighter. At worst it keeps him at about the same level. And honestly, does the Wizard need the levels? Not really. They help, but the wealth could have even greater benefit. The Fighter doesn't even have the option.

Why would he pass the fighter again?

ScionoftheVoid
2011-03-16, 05:29 PM
Yes, logically. Congratulations, you're a smart soldier with his eye on the prize. A pragmatist. Realistically, a majority of soldiers aren't like that.
Really depends on the campaign actually.

But it can be assumed people putting their life on the line when they take on a job are going to be pragmatists or dead. Or too inexperienced to have died yet. Not too helpful regardless.


More skill points don't necessarily win you an ally. That should be roleplayed.
If Diplomacy, Bluff and other skills like that are broken, it falls back to roleplaying and the content of the player's bid, i guess?

But by RAW (which you stressed following) more skill points does win you an ally. So does Charm. And Dominate. And Simulacrum. And Summon Monster X. And Gate. And Planar Binding.

And this is ignoring the Epic uses of Diplomacy, which get you a thrall with enough ranks. And loads of spells that a. aren't in Core or b. I didn't remember.

DeltaEmil
2011-03-16, 05:29 PM
Wasn't the point of this thread that it's okay for magic users being so much better than mundane droolers? Why is then the thread opener trying to argue that magic users can be defeated by the inferior mundane droolers, who need magic to stand a chance against magic users?

And why do those who defend mundane droolers as being equal to magic users come up with more useless mundane drooling to fight against a magic user?

TheOasysMaster
2011-03-16, 05:29 PM
It's LOGIC for you. Someone could disagree. Because, well...
...there's no logic in your point. You haven't demonstrated nothing, except that you THINK (that's the correct word, it's an opinion, YOUR opinion) that a Wizard should attract a specific kind of followers.
You HONESTLY think, that wizards will attract armies the same way a fighter would attract apprentices of magic?
Honestly?

Why do people who want to become DOCTORS go to MEDICAL SCHOOL?
Why do people who want to fight in the ARMED FORCES join the ARMY?

But, perhaps those are foolish, illogical questions, since they have no basis in any sort of realism.

^sarcasm

Jarian
2011-03-16, 05:29 PM
Another congratulations is in order.
You showed us an example where high-level characters fought on a level-playing field.
No roleplaying or the nature of a campaign was considered. Thus, any of those threads are relevant to my point, are well simply not.
My point is that roleplaying and logic geared to realism, as well as adherence to the campaign setting is the great equalizer.
In a fight such as this, i'd put money on the wizard.
But in a campaign, it truly is any man or woman's game.

Ohmailord.

I'm sorry, but your argument is "if the fighter is given nearly infinite advantages through 'roleplaying' he can defeat a wizard"?

Well then. Can't argue with that. Excuse me, I think I hear my sanity calling from a distant plane.

Engine
2011-03-16, 05:30 PM
I think you missed the sarcasm seeping from my post.

Could be. Hey, I'm not a Psion. I'm just a level 2 Commoner.

ScionoftheVoid
2011-03-16, 05:31 PM
Why would he pass the fighter again?

A sufficiently high experience reward combined with the slight increase from being a lower level. Not likely, but also not remotely needed.

You know those high level Fighter vs. medium level Wizard fights? Imagine them when the Wizard has about twice the wealth of the Fighter.

elpollo
2011-03-16, 05:32 PM
Why do people who want to become DOCTORS go to MEDICAL SCHOOL?
Why do people who want to fight in the ARMED FORCES join the ARMY?

Until we learn that the doctors can control minds, and the armed forces start saying "Hey, we're raising an army for these doctors for... new MRI machines or something. You'll get the same training, better equipment, and free healthcare!".

Seerow
2011-03-16, 05:32 PM
Could be. Hey, I'm not a Psion. I'm just a level 2 Commoner.

Ah, some ranks in spot and sense motive may help with that. But cross class sucks :(

faceroll
2011-03-16, 05:34 PM
Also, as a wizard, I can cheat. Illusions & enchantments are awesome for this. There is no arena of political intrigue that fighters can do, that wizards, with better skills and spells, can't do better.

At level 3, sure. But once you get to the point where you got cool magic, everything at that level is going to be using goggles of true seeing or be a devil with innate true seeing or whatever. Muggles are actually better at a lot of that stuff because they can function without magic, and much of the magic a wizard be using is relatively easy and cheap to counter, and certainly makes sense for anything remotely CR appropriate to be able see through.

But in general I agree with your assessment.

It should also be mentioned that limited wish and the chaos shuffle allow wizards to repick skills and feats pretty much whenever. Soldier hat one day a week, wizard hat 4 days a week, etc.


They get to craft for an XP cost. So they are now lower level than the fighter.

xp costs are trivial, and a level 15 wizard will still trash a level 20 fighter.


Through arbitrary dm fiat, aka "roleplaying", you can even up the sides and assume that people will attract certain other people that can shore up their weaknesses (fighters getting wizards) or similarly not attract the right people (wizards getting treacherous apprentices), however the reliability of this tactic for a given character is not a constant over different campaign settings, and as such is not a reliable point for discourse other than as anecdotal evidence for how things could be, given a certain set of assumptions.

Calling down roleplaying (fiat) as the great balancing mechanism that makes everything equal doesn't alter the mechanical imbalances between the two classes.

Well said.

TheOasysMaster
2011-03-16, 05:34 PM
Charm. And Dominate. And Simulacrum. And Summon Monster X. And Gate. And Planar Binding.
SPELLS. Not skills.

And perhaps it isn't RAW, but the characters had to actually roleplay negotiations as well as a Skill Check.
There's no way, "Give me your armies to defend the Gate to the Nine Hells in what is actually a ruse to destroy you," is gonna work, even if you do roll a 19, with a +30 bonus.
Rolling a 20, RAW, always succeeds.



I'm sorry, but your argument is "if the fighter is given nearly infinite advantages through 'roleplaying' he can defeat a wizard"?
No, I'm sorry. It seems as if you've completely missed my point.
it is that roleplaying and effort on the part of the DM to create a realistic setting that adheres to conventions set out by the campaign setting will create an even playing field.
Of course, if the campaign demands weaker/strongers wizards/fighters, then that's irrelevant.

Gnaeus
2011-03-16, 05:35 PM
More skill points don't necessarily win you an ally. That should be roleplayed.
If Diplomacy, Bluff and other skills like that are broken, it falls back to roleplaying and the content of the player's bid, i guess?

1. Oh yes. They are broken, and very few people use them as raw. Still, most DMs I have seen will take Charisma and social skills into account when determining how persuasive someone is.

2. When I fly down from heaven as an angel or a demon, and tell you that you have been chosen by the gods to fight for me, that seems pretty darn persuasive. Or charm, dominate, MINDRAPE. You never answer this point! As a wizard, I can roleplay just the same as a fighter. I can wear illusionary platemail and pretend to BE a fighter. But I can ALSO bend people to my will who I couldn't convince.

Fighters just can't do that!!!

ScionoftheVoid
2011-03-16, 05:35 PM
You HONESTLY think, that wizards will attract armies the same way a fighter would attract apprentices of magic?
Honestly?

Honestly, I'd expect soldiers and apprentices to turn up to fight for the guy who can invest in social skills or spells to obviate them, as well as being able to pass down strength to the apprentices.

I wouldn't expect anyone to turn up to the guy who has no notable talents except lots of money, which the Wizard has too (except the Fighter's is tied up in swords and armour, whilst the Wizard has cash free for crafting).

I'd write more, but I have to go.

Engine
2011-03-16, 05:36 PM
You HONESTLY think, that wizards will attract armies the same way a fighter would attract apprentices of magic?
Honestly?

Why do people who want to become DOCTORS go to MEDICAL SCHOOL?
Why do people who want to fight in the ARMED FORCES join the ARMY?

But, perhaps those are foolish, illogical questions, since they have no basis in any sort of realism.

^sarcasm

I honestly think that Leadership doesn't say a word about that. So you could think what you want, roleplay what you want about that. So about followers you don't, in my opinion, have a point.

TheOasysMaster
2011-03-16, 05:36 PM
Until we learn that the doctors can control minds, and the armed forces start saying "Hey, we're raising an army for these doctors for... new MRI machines or something. You'll get the same training, better equipment, and free healthcare!".
What!?!?!
text and words

Jarian
2011-03-16, 05:37 PM
Is anyone else reminded of a certain "partially charged wands" discussion?

The similarities are striking...

Edit:


SPELLS. Not skills.

Spells that explicitly give your complete, direct control over a creature's actions. Or, in the case of mindrape, their ENTIRE OUTLOOK ON LIFE AND FEELINGS TOWARD EVERYTHING. Yeah. No way that would work.


Rolling a 20, RAW, always succeeds.

I suggest you reread the rules. The only 20 that is an automatic success is for an attack roll or a saving throw.

Kylarra
2011-03-16, 05:37 PM
Rolling a 20, RAW, always succeeds.
Negative. Emphasis mine.

Using Skills (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/usingSkills.htm)

To make a skill check, roll 1d20 and add your character’s skill modifier for that skill. The skill modifier incorporates the character’s ranks in that skill and the ability modifier for that skill’s key ability, plus any other miscellaneous modifiers that may apply, including racial bonuses and armor check penalties. The higher the result, the better. Unlike with attack rolls and saving throws, a natural roll of 20 on the d20 is not an automatic success, and a natural roll of 1 is not an automatic failure.

elpollo
2011-03-16, 05:41 PM
What!?!?!
text and words

Perhaps I wasn't clear.

It's a difficult analogy to make, as the current state of armies is different to that of a medieval world, but my point was that if there's a powerful army you want to join, but another more powerful army (wizards) with better equipment (crafting) and all the best people from the old army (dominating, and natural movement of people - when some start to go, so will more) AND the ability to summon monsters to help (summon spells), heal you (heal spells), raise you from the dead (...), and with a higher pay (fabricate or whatever to make a mill), which are you gonna go for?

Seerow
2011-03-16, 05:41 PM
SPELLS. Not skills.

And perhaps it isn't RAW, but the characters had to actually roleplay negotiations as well as a Skill Check.
There's no way, "Give me your armies to defend the Gate to the Nine Hells in what is actually a ruse to destroy you," is gonna work, even if you do roll a 19, with a +30 bonus.
Rolling a 20, RAW, always succeeds.



Actually, that's basically exactly what diplomacy/bluff do. They give you a roll to go along with your role playing, to represent your characters ability to convince others to do what they want.


You don't choose role play OR roll the dice to see what the result is, you role play, then roll the dice, with the DM giving appropriate modifiers based on the role playing. In the example you gave, you might give a -30 circumstance penalty for being a really bad offer.

On the other hand, if they leave out the "this is actually a ruse to destroy you" bit, first they make the buff check to see if the other person realizes they're being duped, then if so apply a penalty (though probably less stiff since it's suspicion rather than certainty that they're being crossed), and if they don't see it, then they make the diplomacy check without penalty, and are pretty much going to succeed thanks to their bonus.



Also by RAW, no, a 20 is not always a success on a skill check. Otherwise you'd have silly things like a level 1 commoner trying to jump to the moon. He'd fail 95% of the time, by the other 5% he'd get a natural 20 and succeed on the jump check, making it all the way to the moon.

druid91
2011-03-16, 05:42 PM
Wasn't the point of this thread that it's okay for magic users being so much better than mundane droolers? Why is then the thread opener trying to argue that magic users can be defeated by the inferior mundane droolers, who need magic to stand a chance against magic users?

And why do those who defend mundane droolers as being equal to magic users come up with more useless mundane drooling to fight against a magic user?

You know?

... I honestly have no clue.

Anyway back to my original thought process. The spellcasters spellbattle and the fighters fight things. There is no reason why these can't happen in close proximity.

TheOasysMaster
2011-03-16, 05:48 PM
Spells that explicitly give your complete, direct control over a creature's actions. Or, in the case of mindrape, their ENTIRE OUTLOOK ON LIFE AND FEELINGS TOWARD EVERYTHING. Yeah. No way that would work.
I mean the spells would work.


You don't choose role play OR roll the dice to see what the result is, you role play, then roll the dice, with the DM giving appropriate modifiers based on the role playing. In the example you gave, you might give a -30 circumstance penalty for being a really bad offer.
Yeah, we did both. My example was the bad offer.


It's a difficult analogy to make, as the current state of armies is different to that of a medieval world, but my point was that if there's a powerful army you want to join, but another more powerful army (wizards) with better equipment (crafting) and all the best people from the old army (dominating, and natural movement of people - when some start to go, so will more) AND the ability to summon monsters to help (summon spells), heal you (heal spells), raise you from the dead (...), and with a higher pay (fabricate or whatever to make a mill), which are you gonna go for?
Why would you assume that a Fighter doesn't have access to this exact kind of army? When I say a fighter raises an army, obviously it isn't based on non-magic users alone. I mean like a D&D army that makes sense.
The wizard can raise one as well.
Will they perform equally as well, who knows?


Also by RAW, no, a 20 is not always a success on a skill check. Otherwise you'd have silly things like a level 1 commoner trying to jump to the moon. He'd fail 95% of the time, by the other 5% he'd get a natural 20 and succeed on the jump check, making it all the way to the moon.
I know 20s don't mean success on a Skill Check, I meant for saving throws to save from spells that do the job of skills.

Tvtyrant
2011-03-16, 05:54 PM
Another congratulations is in order.
You showed us an example where high-level characters fought on a level-playing field.
No roleplaying or the nature of a campaign was considered. Thus, any of those threads are relevant to my point, are well simply not.
My point is that roleplaying and logic geared to realism, as well as adherence to the campaign setting is the great equalizer.
In a fight such as this, i'd put money on the wizard.
But in a campaign, it truly is any man or woman's game.

Let me put it into purely mechanical terms:
Both a caster and a fighter get HD and BaB as the advance in level, and they get both of them in a linear fashion. Thus the Fighters' advantages over the caster are having roughly twice as many HP and BaB as the caster at any particular level and having weapon and armor proficiency.

So from this we can compare those to spells: At level 5 the Wizard can cast Greater Magic Weapon to get a free weapon equivalent to a fighters of that level (whichever level you may be at). He thus casts for free a spell that mimics one of the major features of a Fighter. There are several spells that are equivalent to armor, the most important one being Mirror Image which makes illusions that prevent an enemy from knowing where you are. You get this spell at level 3, and it creates 5 clones. Thus a Fighter would have a 1/5 chance of hitting you and at worst would take 5 turns to hit you once. HP is dealt with easily at low levels with spells like False Life (1d10+1 per level), however much better are spells like Stone Skin or Iron Body which give you DR and thus save you that much HP every life.

The Fighters class features are easily mimic-able by spells, whereas Wizard class features are not mimic-able by a Fighter. The exception to this is Leadership, which is exactly balanced by leadership so it doesn't alter the situation one iota.

If we went with a different caster and picked Cleric then the armor class features match and the Cleric even gets the ability to mimic all of a Fighters advantages with one spell (Divine Power). This can be combined with other buffs, but essentially a caster is mechanically better then a none caster.

I would like to plug in that this does not invalidate them being in a party together so long as the caster concentrates on different class features then those already in the party. A melee Cleric is good in a party with Rogues and Bards but not one with Barbarians and Fighters, while a stealth wizard would ruin the groups Rogues fun and should concentrate on battlefield control. Used responsibly there isn't a problem, but that doesn't change the fact that casters are better.

elpollo
2011-03-16, 05:55 PM
Why would you assume that a Fighter doesn't have access to this exact kind of army? When I say a fighter raises an army, obviously it isn't based on non-magic users alone. I mean like a D&D army that makes sense.
The wizard can raise one as well.
Will they perform equally as well, who knows?

I don't, but it's been said on a few occasions that the wizard doesn't. I'm just pointing out that he does, and it's better.

And yeah, you can say that the fighter has wizards in his army, but I'm going under the assumption that the leader of each army is the fighter and wizard, and that they are the highest level. We've said that wizards are more likely to flock to the wizard and warriors to the warrior, except that now the wizard has a warrior as a front man, and loads of nice stuff, and has an easier time dominating the other army's men due to the presence of more/higher level wizards.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-17, 09:57 AM
Why is magic being superior bad? It isn't. It's not bad at all. People just have to be aware of that. It's all a matter of setting expectations. And when people expect their paladin to be equally potent with a guy who can create a new plane of existence with his mind, well...disappointment is coming. You gotta help people understand their choices in advance, so they comprehend the challenges that await them.

The idea that it's all balanced out by the fighter having an army of peons is ridiculous though. Or fights where everyone fights something due to ridiculous distances or whatever...like a fighter can charge further than a wizard can teleport. No.

Consider a typical wizard vs fighter duel.

Round 1. Wizard casts Celerity as an immediate action. As a move action, draws a rod of maximize. As a standard action, casts time stop. He walks over toward the fighter, putting his rod away as he does so. He then takes a standard action to pity the poor, poor doomed fool. He spends the remaining three rounds gating in a solar next to the fighter, casting a force cage around the two of them, and casting ironguard on himself. He then, as a free action, faces away from the fighter and drops his trousers.

There is no second round.

Mike_G
2011-03-17, 10:04 AM
Oasys, let me try to answer you in a non-confrontational manner.

I think that, in answering the question of class imbalance, we need to take roleplaying out, since it exists independent of class. A well played fighter might be more useful than a badly played wizard. But either can be played well or badly, so we should concentrate on whether an average player with a fighter can keep up with an average player with a wizard.

Mechanically, spells get much more useful as levels rise than a Fighter's abilities. Skill points, while the baseline 2/level is equal, tend to favor the Wizards, since the Wizard will get more bonus points from Int. Wealth will favor the Wizard, since Fighters need to spend gold to get any bonuses (a 20th level Fighter will have the same AC as a 1st level fighter unless he spends some dough. A 20th level Wizard can cast lots of things to help him not get hit) plus, wizards can make items instead of buy them, and make scrolls or potions for their own use, or for extra cash.

So, clearly, Wizards have several advantages. But the real argument is not "who is better?", but "why is this a problem?"

It's a problem when one PC can dominate the game and the others feel like they just don't matter. Challenging the wizard without smearing the Fighter is pretty tough, unless you drop AMFs all over the place.

At low levels, the iconic Wizard/Fighter/Rogue/ Cleric works very well. They cover the bases nicely. Sure a Wizard can replicate the Rogues abilities with spells, or Summon fighter substitutes, but spell slots are precious at low levels, and he's squishy. At 1st level, Sleep may be the encounter ender, but if one Goblin makes his save, he can mess up the 1st level Wizard's day unless his big tough buddy can protect him.

We started playing 3.0 with a group of AD&D veterans, and we didn't really optimize as it's now understood, We just played the old fashioned way. It worked fine until mid level when the Wizard started to do the math. Not "optimize" in the Tippyverse sense, but just basic "hey, that Troll has a bunch of HP, but a crap Will save. How's about instead of wasting all my slots on Scorching Ray, I drop one Save or Lose on him?" Then he looked at Summon Monster. And then he got access to Shapechange.

After that, the rest of the party were just glorified caddies, and the Wizard was pre-scandal Tiger Woods.

And it was as much fun playing a fighter as having a colonoscopy.

That was Raw, with experienced roleplayers but not optimizers, and we still wound up going from the Superfriends to Superman and his butler, chauffeur, and maid.

That is a systemic problem. Can a really good DM make it work? Yes, but it's a lot of effort.

balistafreak
2011-03-17, 10:07 AM
More seriously and evading the whole "magic > mundane" issue, there was a discussion about D&D being played out between strike teams of Wizards.

The issue of magic > mundane ceases to exist when the equation consists of just Magic. Reflexive property, which is a Law in logic. Magic = magic.

Magic > mundane is not a written out logical Law (capital L), but as we've seen, there's enough evidence to call it a Theory. And I don't mean Theory as in "off-the-wall-guess I have a theory it was the butler", I mean Theory as in "Theorem of Pythagoras".

TheOasysMaster
2011-03-17, 10:13 AM
We started playing 3.0 with a group of AD&D veterans, and we didn't really optimize as it's now understood, We just played the old fashioned way. It worked fine until mid level when the Wizard started to do the math. Not "optimize" in the Tippyverse sense, but just basic "hey, that Troll has a bunch of HP, but a crap Will save. How's about instead of wasting all my slots on Scorching Ray, I drop one Save or Lose on him?" Then he looked at Summon Monster. And then he got access to Shapechange.

After that, the rest of the party were just glorified caddies, and the Wizard was pre-scandal Tiger Woods.

And it was as much fun playing a fighter as having a colonoscopy.
Lmao
Makes sense.

tonberrian
2011-03-17, 10:33 AM
Anyway back to my original thought process. The spellcasters spellbattle and the fighters fight things. There is no reason why these can't happen in close proximity.

This is true, and it would be a perfectly reasonable game that I would be happy to play in.

The problem comes in when the Wizard can also fight better than Fighter at the same time. That's what the 3.5 Wizard spell list allows them to do.

MeeposFire
2011-03-17, 11:05 AM
They get to craft for an XP cost. So they ae now lower level than the fighter.

As for using magic to make money? The fighters been gaming that sytems since he was twelve. Take aladder and chop the rungs off. sell the new poles back.

You forget that since the wizard is a lower level than the fighter that the wizard will now get more XP than the fighter and then can pull ahead. The CR system leads to these things. Being able to lower your level at will can be a benefit alone and then you get items for cheap as a bonus.

If you want real money a wizard just casts wall of iron. It is permanent and it is solid iron. It is worth literally tons of money.

Tiki Snakes
2011-03-17, 11:08 AM
You forget that since the wizard is a lower level than the fighter that the wizard will now get more XP than the fighter and then can pull ahead. The CR system leads to these things. Being able to lower your level at will can be a benefit alone and then you get items for cheap as a bonus.

If you want real money a wizard just casts wall of iron. It is permanent and it is solid iron. It is worth literally tons of money.

I seem to recall there is a similar spell that creates Salt? Only Salt is worth a lot more.

Anyway, I like the naive idea that the Fighter's efforts to build an Army in any way hinder the Wizard. After all, he's one Mindrape away from having built the Wizards army for him.

MeeposFire
2011-03-17, 11:26 AM
I seem to recall there is a similar spell that creates Salt? Only Salt is worth a lot more.

Anyway, I like the naive idea that the Fighter's efforts to build an Army in any way hinder the Wizard. After all, he's one Mindrape away from having built the Wizards army for him.

I think you are correct but wall of iron is nice since it is 100% core so you do not get people using the lame argument that it is a non-core spell and as we all know core is so balanced and non-core is not:smallsigh:.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-17, 11:29 AM
You forget that since the wizard is a lower level than the fighter that the wizard will now get more XP than the fighter and then can pull ahead. The CR system leads to these things. Being able to lower your level at will can be a benefit alone and then you get items for cheap as a bonus.

Plus, the amount of xp to craft is...trivial. If you're ever a full level behind because of it, you've done some heavy duty crafting. Sure, the xp system will compensate you and pull you back up close...but you never actually end up that far behind anyway.

MeeposFire
2011-03-17, 11:33 AM
Plus, the amount of xp to craft is...trivial. If you're ever a full level behind because of it, you've done some heavy duty crafting. Sure, the xp system will compensate you and pull you back up close...but you never actually end up that far behind anyway.

Indeed heavy use of magic items can offset lower levels in general.

Starbuck_II
2011-03-17, 12:35 PM
Plus, the amount of xp to craft is...trivial. If you're ever a full level behind because of it, you've done some heavy duty crafting. Sure, the xp system will compensate you and pull you back up close...but you never actually end up that far behind anyway.

I have been in Temple of Elemental evil video game. My wizard was 2 levels behind because I made sure everyone had a +3 Cloak of Resist, +6 Con Item, (+6 Int for Wiz), etc.

But the only way to really make cash was crafting extra +6 Con/Str/Dex items, selling them (for good profit), and doing it again. So it was a money issue.

Zeful
2011-03-17, 03:46 PM
I mean really. I mean look at gandalf, the stereotypical wizard, he barely did anything "on screen" but he still was more powerful than everyone in the hobbit.

And in Lord of the rings it took ancient horrors, and another wizard to even put up a fight.

Really? Why is magic just being better than the other guy's sword-fighting so horrible?

Does the fact that the wizard blinded the whole room with glitterdust before you ran in and lopped everyones heads off matter?

Does it matter if he could reduce the dragon to ash if he could get a good spell in?

Really, if the wizard is dominating to the point where noone else is getting anything done that is more a sign of a bad DM to me than the class itself being bad.

Yes the wizard is powerful, It's supposed to be. Just like a fighter is supposed to stab things. And so on.

Yet I keep seeing people insist it's broken? Personally I think the fighter is more broken than the wizard. Looking at what the old fighter got compared to the new fighter? Yeah the wizard got a bit of a power boost... but still. The fighter got cut down to nothing.

So It is my opinion, that the fighter, not the wizard, is broken.

Magic in most settings does everything better than the mundane version, to the point of invalidating the mundane version entirely.

For example in 3.5 any class that cannot cast spells is better off simply not existing from a world building perspective. They do not have the out of combat skills or in combat abilities to provide anything meaningful to the construction of a setting, short of simply ignoring verisimilitude and willing suspension of disbelief entirely.

Further how are you defining broken? I've seen it defined as, "Something I do not like", "Something that does not make sense", and "something that does fulfill its intended roles".

Also I love how you set up a character dominating the game as exclusively the DM's fault rather than a shared failing on the parts of both the player (for being a jerk and dominating the game) and the DM (for not sitting him down and telling him to tone it back or leave).

Tyndmyr
2011-03-17, 03:52 PM
If magic wasn't better than mundane, at least in specific ways, why would you use it?

If it took twice as much energy to push something with magic as with your hand, why bother? It *needs* to be better.

Zeful
2011-03-17, 04:01 PM
If magic wasn't better than mundane, at least in specific ways, why would you use it?

If it took twice as much energy to push something with magic as with your hand, why bother? It *needs* to be better.

From a setting perspective? Maybe. From a game design perspective? NO. Good games do not intentionally design traps into the system to punish new players for their lack of system mastery, which is pretty much how 3.5 works. While a game needs internal consistency and a good design directive, it also needs incomparable choices to promote meaningful play, which 3.5 on the whole, lacks.

DeltaEmil
2011-03-17, 04:05 PM
Discworld (not the game rules, I have no clues about them) has a different approach to it. Magic takes the same efforts as normal work, you just have to apply the work output with the other "organ" than what you'd normally use. Levitating an object takes the same amount of energy as would lifting it with your muscles.

Of course, witches and wizards in Discworld do have some remarkable willpower in most cases.

On the other hand, stuff like polymorphing bandits into talking pumpkins (with their boots and hats still on) or traveling through space and time isn't really explained that well with the above explanation. :smalltongue:

Jayabalard
2011-03-17, 04:05 PM
Magic in most settings does everything better than the mundane version, to the point of invalidating the mundane version entirely.Off the top of my head, I can't actually think of any settings which this is the case. I'm sure there are some, but most seems highly unlikely.

Most settings, the people who can use magic are just better than the people who can't. (see below for other reasons). Generally,there are plenty of people who don't have the option to do things the magical way, so they do things the mundane way.


For example in 3.5 any class that cannot cast spells is better off simply not existing from a world building perspective. They do not have the out of combat skills or in combat abilities to provide anything meaningful to the construction of a setting, short of simply ignoring verisimilitude and willing suspension of disbelief entirely.You are making the leap from "spell casting is better" to "anyone who can't cast spells can't believably exist in the game world" ... this doesn't make any sense to me. There are plenty believable reasons for people who don't use magic. Just a couple off the top of my head:

They have no aptitude for magic. Not everyone can be a rocket surgeon. It makes plenty of sense that some (or maybe even most) people in a fantasy world won't have the aptitude to use it.
No available teachers, meaning: magicians guard their knowledge very carefully and don't share it, so even if you have the natural aptitude to be a wizzard, that doesn't mean that there is actually an opportunity for you to become one. Wizzards would run in families, and be quite rare.
Cultural/religious aversion to magic; much like cultural aversion to mechanical devices in the real world. I forget what the church in Darwath is called, but they have the religous one; Conan's people is an example of a cultural aversion.
Geographical issues, meaning they're from a place that has lower than normal background magic. Caithness in the world of GURPS Banestorm would be an example; in fact, the low mana nature of that part of the world is what keeps the legions of Megalos out (since Megalos is dependant on magic), so the border of the two countries is actually along the line of low mana.

Zeful
2011-03-17, 04:33 PM
You are making the leap from "spell casting is better" to "anyone who can't cast spells can't believably exist in the game world" ... this doesn't make any sense to me. There are plenty believable reasons for people who don't use magic. Just a couple off the top of my head:

Not exactly what I said, but it is what I implied, I apologize. Mundane characters in 3.5 have no actual relevance in world building because of the simple bad design of the mundane classes. They lack the skill points and skills to lead or in building kingdoms, and lack the combat abilities to do much of anything that would be considered notable to attract others to them. Casters of most varieties do, and thus would be the ones organizing new settlements. Exceptions exist, but considering the effectiveness of magic in general, they are exceptions that prove the rule, not exceptions to the rule.

Eric Tolle
2011-03-17, 04:57 PM
Most settings, the people who can use magic are just better than the people who can't. (see below for other reasons). Generally,there are plenty of people who don't have the option to do things the magical way, so they do things the mundane way.

It depends greatly on the setting.

In Blue Rose and Feng Shui for example, while magic users are very useful, it's debatable as to whether they are superior to other character types.
In Amber, magic is arguably just a party trick, and depending on it will get you fricasseed by the warrior or Pattern user.
In Warhammer, unless you're very careful, magic is really just a invitation to get yourself killed in unpleasant ways. Smart characters avoid it.
In DC, magic is definitely second rate to high technologies like Green lantern rings.
In Exalted, sorcery is extremely powerful, AND if you try to use it in combat you will likely die.
In Jaws of the Six Serpents magic is flexible and powerful, but hazardous to the user, and can take multiple rounds to accomplish anything. better know how to fight as well. You can also get along fine without knowing magic.
In Call of Cthulhu, magic is often necessary, but well...it's really an excuse to kiss your character goodbye.
In Dresdin Files, magic is inferior to a high-powered bullet.


Really, it's only in the high-magic genre that magic is inherently a superior force- in many other genre examples mundane methods may be equally as good at accomplishing things, or in some ways, superior. Personally, I like systems where magic may be useful, but no excuse to neglect other talents.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-17, 05:06 PM
From a setting perspective? Maybe. From a game design perspective? NO. Good games do not intentionally design traps into the system to punish new players for their lack of system mastery, which is pretty much how 3.5 works. While a game needs internal consistency and a good design directive, it also needs incomparable choices to promote meaningful play, which 3.5 on the whole, lacks.

That entirely depends on what you mean by "good game". Personally, I *like* rewarding system mastery. I fully expect as a new player to any system to be behind the curve. I don't really think I'm gonna have an equal chance to win Carcassone the first time I play it, after all.

Cartigan
2011-03-17, 05:39 PM
It depends greatly on the setting.

In Blue Rose and Feng Shui for example, while magic users are very useful, it's debatable as to whether they are superior to other character types.
In Amber, magic is arguably just a party trick, and depending on it will get you fricasseed by the warrior or Pattern user.
In Warhammer, unless you're very careful, magic is really just a invitation to get yourself killed in unpleasant ways. Smart characters avoid it.
In DC, magic is definitely second rate to high technologies like Green lantern rings.
In Exalted, sorcery is extremely powerful, AND if you try to use it in combat you will likely die.
In Jaws of the Six Serpents magic is flexible and powerful, but hazardous to the user, and can take multiple rounds to accomplish anything. better know how to fight as well. You can also get along fine without knowing magic.
In Call of Cthulhu, magic is often necessary, but well...it's really an excuse to kiss your character goodbye.
In Dresdin Files, magic is inferior to a high-powered bullet.


Really, it's only in the high-magic genre that magic is inherently a superior force- in many other genre examples mundane methods may be equally as good at accomplishing things, or in some ways, superior. Personally, I like systems where magic may be useful, but no excuse to neglect other talents.
In DC, power rings are really one of those technologies sufficiently advanced so as to be indistinguishable from magic. No technology that earth - and many other planets - puts out is comparable to the powers of sufficiently powerful magic users.

Gralamin
2011-03-17, 05:40 PM
That entirely depends on what you mean by "good game". Personally, I *like* rewarding system mastery. I fully expect as a new player to any system to be behind the curve. I don't really think I'm gonna have an equal chance to win Carcassone the first time I play it, after all.

There is a huge difference between rewarding System mastery (Having a stronger character because you know the system better), and punishing those who do not have it (Having a character who is actually useless).

MeeposFire
2011-03-17, 05:48 PM
There is a huge difference between rewarding System mastery (Having a stronger character because you know the system better), and punishing those who do not have it (Having a character who is actually useless).

Yea for instance in 4e D&D if you are very knowledgeable in system mastery you can make a more powerful character but even without strong system mastery it is very easy to make an effective character that can effectively contribute. So I agree you can have games that simultaneously reward system mastery and keep new players relevant.

Pigkappa
2011-03-17, 05:51 PM
Yeah, but LOGICALLY, no soldiers want to fight for "some damn spellcaster in skirts"!
The powerful Wizard attracts apprentices, and maybe a few mercs willing to gaurd his tower.
The Fighter gets men wanting to join his heroic band, and maybe a few wizards who think they can be of use.

Fair and balanced.

That would make sense fluff-wise and also be someway balanced in my opinion.

But, you're basically saying that a Fighter is much better than a Wizard at gathering an army.

So you're giving the Fighter a very relevant ability that the Wizard doesn't have. It makes sense, but this is the definition of homebrew. Since there are rules for everything (even for earning money as a con artist by performing Tumble tricks), you can't just say that they didn't write in the PHB because "it's logical".

Also, there are rules for the Authority feat (which doesn't involve gathering an army but it's still about having cohorts) and they don't state that a Wizard is less likely to attract Fighters than the Fighter, while they state that the ability of gathering cohorts is based on Charisma and the Wizard has usually an higher Charisma than the fighter.


D&D 3.5 rules are just bad about this; the Wizard is much better than the Fighter. The best solution for the DM is to speak with his experienced players and make sure that there won't ever be any optimized Wizard.

Eric Tolle
2011-03-17, 06:05 PM
In DC, power rings are really one of those technologies sufficiently advanced so as to be indistinguishable from magic. No technology that earth - and many other planets - puts out is comparable to the powers of sufficiently powerful magic users.

But Batman will STILL win. Because that's what he does. :smallbiggrin:

Eric Tolle
2011-03-17, 06:07 PM
Yea for instance in 4e D&D if you are very knowledgeable in system mastery you can make a more powerful character but even without strong system mastery it is very easy to make an effective character that can effectively contribute. So I agree you can have games that simultaneously reward system mastery and keep new players relevant.

True. I've only come across a few fall-down points in character builds, and they were mostly with "advanced" characters like Druids. And even in those cases, it was more of a problem that the group I was playing with didn't match the power I had (damn convention pick-up groups).

Zeful
2011-03-17, 07:53 PM
That entirely depends on what you mean by "good game". Personally, I *like* rewarding system mastery. I fully expect as a new player to any system to be behind the curve. I don't really think I'm gonna have an equal chance to win Carcassone the first time I play it, after all.

Good game = Well designed game.
As other's have said rewarding system mastery as it's own skill is completely different from requiring system mastery to be effective. 3.5 is the latter.

Further requiring system mastery in competitive play is completely different from requiring system mastery in cooperative play.

Rumpus
2011-03-18, 07:39 AM
Well, okay, you can pile on 80 different things to conteract options from an optimized Wizard, but that still doesn't change the fact that the Fighter is still going to be standing there whacking at a Troll once a round while the Wizard holds off the "greatest goblin general in history".

Cartigan
2011-03-18, 08:30 AM
But Batman will STILL win. Because that's what he does. :smallbiggrin:

But Batman is crazy prepared so it doesn't count. His technology still doesn't really counter magic.

Kajhera
2011-03-18, 08:44 AM
I mean really. I mean look at gandalf, the stereotypical wizard, he barely did anything "on screen" but he still was more powerful than everyone in the hobbit.

And in Lord of the rings it took ancient horrors, and another wizard to even put up a fight.

Really? Why is magic just being better than the other guy's sword-fighting so horrible?

Does the fact that the wizard blinded the whole room with glitterdust before you ran in and lopped everyones heads off matter?

Does it matter if he could reduce the dragon to ash if he could get a good spell in?

Really, if the wizard is dominating to the point where noone else is getting anything done that is more a sign of a bad DM to me than the class itself being bad.

Yes the wizard is powerful, It's supposed to be. Just like a fighter is supposed to stab things. And so on.

Yet I keep seeing people insist it's broken? Personally I think the fighter is more broken than the wizard. Looking at what the old fighter got compared to the new fighter? Yeah the wizard got a bit of a power boost... but still. The fighter got cut down to nothing.

So It is my opinion, that the fighter, not the wizard, is broken.


To answer the OP.

Fighter and wizard are both imbalanced in different ways - wizard is more powerful than most classes, fighter is much weaker than most classes.

The class level system, CR system, and so forth, mechanically send the message that these classes are considered of equal power and ability to deal with encounters.

If you want to play a sword-fighter who's of equal power and ability to deal with encounters as the guy playing the cleric, playing a fighter won't work with particular ease.

Magic is more powerful than nonmagic. That's why it's magic. That does not mean that magic-users should be more powerful than nonmagic-users in a system that informs you 'these guys are of equal power'.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-18, 09:09 AM
There is a huge difference between rewarding System mastery (Having a stronger character because you know the system better), and punishing those who do not have it (Having a character who is actually useless).

This entirely depends on what you mean by useless. In 3.5, you have to work fairly hard to make a character that's ACTUALLY useless.

It's also not hard for a first time player to make a competent character. Last session, we had a first time character show up. He's never played RPGs before, and we hadn't gotten around to giving him advice, just tossed him a phb and told him to read it a bit before his first session. He made a Elvish Fighter 1/Rogue 2, and is planning a 1 level ranger dip after another level of fighter. His feats are point blank shot, precise shot, and rapid shot. He done good. Yknow why? He read through the book. Once. That's it. Given the sources he had(just the phb), he made a pretty effective ranged character.

So...I have to conclude that system mastery in 3.5 isn't all that horrible to new players. Sure, he might not understand magic/melee balance yet...but at least he is competent at his job.

Jay R
2011-03-18, 09:43 AM
Originally, the assumption was that every character worked up from first level. Wizards were the weakest class at first level, and eventually worked their way up to being the strongest class. This was eminently fair -- the most powerful character at 300,000 eps had earned that right by the difficulty it took to get there.

Two changes have made that assumption fail.
1. There a lot more more, and a lot better, power-enhancing spells and magic items.
2. Lots of people run characters who didn't start at first level.

Both of these serve to make the higher level wizards more unfairly powerful. The differences are greater, and the wizard didn't earn them by having to go through a period of weakness.

Frog Dragon
2011-03-18, 10:01 AM
Originally, the assumption was that every character worked up from first level. Wizards were the weakest class at first level, and eventually worked their way up to being the strongest class. This was eminently fair -- the most powerful character at 300,000 eps had earned that right by the difficulty it took to get there.

Two changes have made that assumption fail.
1. There a lot more more, and a lot better, power-enhancing spells and magic items.
2. Lots of people run characters who didn't start at first level.

Both of these serve to make the higher level wizards more unfairly powerful. The differences are greater, and the wizard didn't earn them by having to go through a period of weakness.
Not to mention that this is fairly flawed balancing in the first place. Sucking isn't fun, and the game will be unbalanced anyway, just in different ways at different levels. This just ensured it's different people not having fun at different times, when everyone should be having fun. Also, being overpowered might not be all that fun, because it takes away tactics and challenge.

And finally, it doesn't even work that way in D&D 3.5. Tier 1 and 2 casters can destroy half an encounter at first level with one spell and one action. Color Spray, just for starters. It only gets worse from there.

Gralamin
2011-03-18, 11:35 AM
So...I have to conclude that system mastery in 3.5 isn't all that horrible to new players. Sure, he might not understand magic/melee balance yet...but at least he is competent at his job.

Consider if he had decided to play a Monk instead. He decided on a "cool" concept, and made some good choices about it. But If he made different choices...

Tyndmyr
2011-03-18, 12:01 PM
Oh, monk is banned from our campaign world. He couldn't have chosen monk. He likewise could not have chosen truenamer, etc unless he managed to convince the DM of an exception.

We then get to part #2 of why system mastery isn't so bad. Friends don't let friends pick terrible, terrible things. Advice is freely given to newbies to avoid suckage. It so happens that due to his ambition, he didn't need or get advice...but at this point, almost any 3.5 group has people with experience, and they should help the people without it.

Frog Dragon
2011-03-18, 12:39 PM
Oh, monk is banned from our campaign world. He couldn't have chosen monk. He likewise could not have chosen truenamer, etc unless he managed to convince the DM of an exception.

We then get to part #2 of why system mastery isn't so bad. Friends don't let friends pick terrible, terrible things. Advice is freely given to newbies to avoid suckage. It so happens that due to his ambition, he didn't need or get advice...but at this point, almost any 3.5 group has people with experience, and they should help the people without it.
So requiring systems mastery isn't bad because the traps can be avoided with systems mastery? :smallconfused:

While I do get what you're saying, there are still groups that don't have said systems mastery in them, at all. Then player X is all "Why does my fighter suck? The book recommended Dodge and Weapon Focus!" I personally started with a complete newbie group, though we improved rather quickly.

As often said here, just because it can't be fixed, doesn't mean it's not broken.

Jayabalard
2011-03-18, 01:06 PM
The class level system, CR system, and so forth, mechanically send the message that these classes are considered of equal power and ability to deal with encounters.CR is just a guideline; treating it as if it's some sort of ironclad measure of absolute power is a terrible idea. At best, it gives you a quick and dirty answer to the question "is this likely to challenge, bore, or destroy the PCs?" ... it does not mean that characters of the same level are going to be equal.


It depends greatly on the setting. Certainly, that's why I said "most" rather than "all" ... nearly all of the things you mention are RPG game worlds (all in fact at this point), so you've got a bit of a selection bias going on, especially if you're using the game setting information to gauge the relative power.

Nor am I particularly convinced by some of your counter examples, particularly: In the Dresden Files setting (as in, the world created by Jim Butcher), a guy using magic is superior to muggles. Sure, high powered bullets are great, but the magic using guy can use them to, plus he can shrug off bullets (magic defenses) and unleash the powers of hell in a way that gun toting thugs can only dream of, or crush out his mind with a thought, or even kill a whole cities worth of people with a single ritual spell. Chick with a gun < chick with a gun and a magic sword. In that world, magic > mundane.

There are a couple where you note that magic is stronger, but seem to want to discount that because of the inherent danger of magic in that setting; I say that just clearly shows magic > mundane, since the magic guys even die easier :smallbiggrin: ... seriously though: being dangerous doesn't change the fact that it's more powerful, or that the guy who can use magic and is willing to can outperform the guy who can't or won't.


Really, it's only in the high-magic genre that magic is inherently a superior force- in many other genre examples mundane methods may be equally as good at accomplishing things, or in some ways, superior. I'm not really sure what you mean by "high magic genre" ... if you mean "magic is all pervasive" I'd have to disagree. There are lots of examples of worlds where magic is rare, but magic users far outstrip mundanes.


Good game = Well designed game.Nah, Good game = game that's fun to play. That doesn't mean that it's necessarily well designed.


Not to mention that this is fairly flawed balancing in the first place. Sucking isn't fun, and the game will be unbalanced anyway, just in different ways at different levels. Your first statement implies that you're equating "sucking" with being less powerful than someone else due to the differences in power level that are inherent in 1e AD&D leveling mechanic and that you think this is some sort of flaw; If so, I'd suggest that this is highly subjective.

Doc Roc
2011-03-18, 01:13 PM
So requiring systems mastery isn't bad because the traps can be avoided with systems mastery? :smallconfused:

While I do get what you're saying, there are still groups that don't have said systems mastery in them, at all. Then player X is all "Why does my fighter suck? The book recommended Dodge and Weapon Focus!" I personally started with a complete newbie group, though we improved rather quickly.

As often said here, just because it can't be fixed, doesn't mean it's not broken.

This is a real problem.
I'm reasonably known for my op-fu, but my players still think knight\paladin is a tremendously strong build. In fact, one of them insisted that warlock was stronger than DMM:Persist Cleric. This while they thought you could persist Timestop. Systems must be good. They simply must be. If they are not good, they start to let you down in all these little ways, ways that are often invisible until you play something else that has perhaps fewer, or merely different failings. Switching from D&D 3.x to Shadowrun was terrifying to me, on so many levels. Likewise switching from Shadowrun to Paranoia.

I know we'd like to trivialize these problems, and say that it's fine, but the game is broken. I love it, but it is broken.

Geddoe
2011-03-18, 01:39 PM
Yeah, but LOGICALLY, no soldiers want to fight for "some damn spellcaster in skirts"!
The powerful Wizard attracts apprentices, and maybe a few mercs willing to gaurd his tower.
The Fighter gets men wanting to join his heroic band, and maybe a few wizards who think they can be of use.


My two spellcasting characters(one in D&D 3.5 and one in Anima) never wore wizard robes. They mostly just dressed in stereotypical adventurer gear. The D&D wizard had the militia feat(he was a follower of Freya) and carried a longsword.

And the surviving soldiers will want to fight for "some damn spellcaster in skirts" after the first contact with the enemy spellcaster kills just about every soldier on the field, and the fighter can do nothing to stop it.

Soldier 1: Oh, goshdarnit, legion 6 was just wiped out by one guy!
Soldier 2: You can't be serious, they were a crack team.
Soldier 1: Yeah, they were beset by a strange magical fog and then died. No corpses, just a few scraps of pitted metal steel from their weapons and armor
Soldier 3: I really respect General Fighty McFighterson, but the writing is on the wall. I say we abandon him and maybe join the wizard. I want there to be enough left of me to bury.
Soldier 1&2: Agreed

And the fighter loses his army.

Or the wizard mindrapes a general, leaves his personality intact, and just makes him forget the wizard was there. Now the wizard knows the entire battle plan for tomorrow, where the scouts are deployed, how battlefield traps are arranged and the three measurements of that general's wife. Then the next day the soldiers and officers of the fighter's army wonder why every strategy they try seems to be a trap. Is somebody in the chain of command a double agent?

Before the next battle, the wizard does the same to every other general. Learns there are a number of different strategies as the fighter is trying to flush out the traitor, and so goes with a strategy to counter either the fighter's best friend(causing him suffering) or the best military mind(to help with negating strategy and tactics in future battles). Now army morale is in the toilet due to traitors who won't talk no matter how much they are interrogated or tortured, and the fighter is wondering who he can trust.

Kajhera
2011-03-18, 01:40 PM
I'm not treating the CR system as an ironclad measure of absolute power, nor would I suggest anyone do so.

Expecting characters to contribute a balanced amount against CR-appropriate encounters is more what I was getting at, and it works fine even if we ignore CR and hope they contribute to appropriate encounters instead. :smalltongue:

Jay R
2011-03-18, 01:49 PM
Not to mention that this is fairly flawed balancing in the first place. Sucking isn't fun, and the game will be unbalanced anyway, just in different ways at different levels. This just ensured it's different people not having fun at different times, when everyone should be having fun. Also, being overpowered might not be all that fun, because it takes away tactics and challenge.

Being less powerful than your allies does not equal "sucking". A first level wizard in a first level party is a challenging role. A tenth level fighter in a tenth level party is a challenging role. Besides, role-playing and problem solving should have a lot to do with success in the game. A powerful wizard is pretty useless if the player can't figure out what the clues mean and where the treasure is.


And finally, it doesn't even work that way in D&D 3.5.

Agreed. That's why I said "originally". OD&D, 1E and 2E are better balanced.


Tier 1 and 2 casters can destroy half an encounter at first level with one spell and one action. Color Spray, just for starters. It only gets worse from there.

There's no question that if you only have one encounter a day, the people with fewer but more powerful attacks have been given a huge advantage. But don't blame the system for the DM's mistake. How much damage can a Fireball spell slot from an 8th level wizard do in a day? 8d6, once. How much damage can a sword do in a day? 1d8 + STR, each melee round.

A competent villain sends in several waves of attacks, just to use up the party's spells.

Of course, levels much above tenth become unbalanced. That's why PCs that powerful should be retiring to their castle and, if they keep playing at all, getting involved in kingdom-level politics and wars. Generals shouldn't be in the front lines.

[I agree completely that "Epic" level characters create a broken system.]

Zeful
2011-03-18, 01:54 PM
Nah, Good game = game that's fun to play. That doesn't mean that it's necessarily well designed.

Subjective measurements of quality aren't. That measurement tells us nothing about the game itself, and more about the people playing it. Since I am discussing game design as a whole, I need a fair and unbiased metric by which to compare things.

Further "good" equating with "fun" runs very close to the "popularity is quality" argument, which makes of all things World of Warcraft the pinnacle of game design.

So no a good game is a well designed one.

Cartigan
2011-03-18, 01:54 PM
Being less powerful than your allies does not equal "sucking". A first level wizard in a first level party is a challenging role. A tenth level fighter in a tenth level party is a challenging role. Besides, role-playing and problem solving should have a lot to do with success in the game. A powerful wizard is pretty useless if the player can't figure out what the clues mean and where the treasure is.

There are a number of issues with that paragraph.


Your mention of a 1st level Wizard and a 10th level fighter in their respective parties tries to obfuscate the very problem that exists. You are INCREASING in level. That is the OBJECT you are after when playing the game. The Fighter decreases in capability as the game gets harder. So yes, being less powerful than your allies DOES suck in that case because it makes it harder for YOUR CHARACTER to stay alive for the majority of the game.
You are equating a Wizard's power with the player's. That is a failure of the DM. The Wizard is super smart and powerful. Letting the game hang because the idiot player of the super smart Wizard can't solve simple problems is a failure of the DM, not the Wizard nor the player, NOR does it make the Wizard less powerful.

Jayabalard
2011-03-18, 02:18 PM
Subjective measurements of quality aren't. That measurement tells us nothing about the game itself, and more about the people playing it. Since I am discussing game design as a whole, I need a fair and unbiased metric by which to compare things.Good is subjective. If you want an unbiased term for comparison, don't use that word.


Further "good" equating with "fun" runs very close to the "popularity is quality" argument, which makes of all things World of Warcraft the pinnacle of game design.This "counter example" is circular logic.

No, that would mean it is the pinnacle of popularity (and it's not really that, depending on your regional). It would only be the pinnacle of game design if you conflate "good" and "well designed"


So no a good game is a well designed one.Not at all; the statement "a good game" is a purely subjective. It may or may not be well designed.

If you want to talk about well designed games, then talk about well designed games. Insisting that other people use your personal bias as the definition of "what does it mean to be good" is absurd.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-18, 02:21 PM
So requiring systems mastery isn't bad because the traps can be avoided with systems mastery? :smallconfused:

I'm merely saying it's not a critical flaw. It's fairly easy for someone with no prior experience to make a competent character with either a bit of advice, or a bit of reading. It's not that big of an obstacle.

Sure, they may not be 100% optimized, but they can contribute to CR appropriate encounters. And, with practice, they will get better. Their next characters will be more awesome. This allows for growth ACROSS campaigns, which is great for long-term enjoyment of a game system.


While I do get what you're saying, there are still groups that don't have said systems mastery in them, at all. Then player X is all "Why does my fighter suck? The book recommended Dodge and Weapon Focus!" I personally started with a complete newbie group, though we improved rather quickly.

Well, part of that is that player X chose advice over understanding. Advice is not actually bad...dodge and weapon focus are, while not the best of core feats, at least not terrible. They provide some advantage.

However, I find it's very rare for ANY system to provide good advice for optimization in it. I'm not sure that it's important for them to do so, though. I find that often, after a single complete read-through of the rules, I can optimize a lot better than people who made the game. At most, after a single game. I can only conclude that a lot of people don't playtest, and a lot of people don't read rules in their entirety.


As often said here, just because it can't be fixed, doesn't mean it's not broken.

True...but the ease with which something can be fixed is a factor. There are a lot of imperfect systems out there, but some are a lot more broken than others.

Things that bother me more than the magic/melee imbalance are things like infinite loops, poor interaction with economy, etc. The latter one in particular is rather difficult to fix, and it's terribly easy to run across by accident.


As for the whole "fighters follow wizards", I am currently playing a char that is a "paladin". He acts like a paladin, and is pretty much indistinguishable from one except for two things. He has no actual levels in the paladin class, and he has a great deal of additional power. See, he's a wizard, with well chosen prestige classes and melee feats. He beats things down in melee. There is no particular RP reason why people would follow a melee class instead of him, because IC people don't usually know classes(exceptions are limited to specific wizard builds). So, when choosing between two LG warriors with bright shiny swords, magical mounts and healing, why wouldn't you choose the one that can teleport and change reality?

Zeful
2011-03-18, 02:22 PM
{Scrubbed}

Tyndmyr
2011-03-18, 02:24 PM
You are INCREASING in level. That is the OBJECT you are after when playing the game. The Fighter decreases in capability as the game gets harder.

No, the fighter increases in objective capability.

It is only relative to the wizard that he is less capable. He is still more capable than he was before.

The fact that different classes are more challenging to play at different levels should perhaps be made more explicit at character creation, but I don't feel it's innately bad.

Edit: I feel a good game is one that is well made, yes, in the same way that a good steak is one that is from good ingredients and is cooked well. I may enjoy McDonalds food, but I have no illusions that it is the finest of foods.

Jayabalard
2011-03-18, 02:30 PM
{Scrub the post, scrub the quote}I'm rejecting your definition, and saying that it's absurd to insist that people use your definition of "what is good".

This is more than a little disingenuous; you're trying to force people to use terms that lend weight to your arguments while insisting that this makes the discussion impartial.


Your mention of a 1st level Wizard and a 10th level fighter in their respective parties tries to obfuscate the very problem that exists. You are INCREASING in level. That is the OBJECT you are after when playing the game. The Fighter decreases in capability as the game gets harder. So yes, being less powerful than your allies DOES suck in that case because it makes it harder for YOUR CHARACTER to stay alive for the majority of the game.He's talking about 1e AD&D... the whole point is that it was designed to work that way. And no, "harder to stay alive" != suck.


You are equating a Wizard's power with the player's. That is a failure of the DM. The Wizard is super smart and powerful. Letting the game hang because the idiot player of the super smart Wizard can't solve simple problems is a failure of the DM, not the Wizard nor the player, NOR does it make the Wizard less powerful.I'm not sure where you're coming from on this. He's talking about the power level of the classes relative to other classes at similar levels of experience... not the power of the player

tyckspoon
2011-03-18, 02:33 PM
No, the fighter increases in objective capability.

It is only relative to the wizard that he is less capable. He is still more capable than he was before.


He also tends to become less capable relative to the monsters he is expected to deal with, which is something more of a problem; as you climb into higher CRs, the enemies tend to become either more caster-like (native spellcasting on dragons, spell-like abilities and even actual casting on most Outsiders) or are worth several Fighters in terms of raw physical danger (and this one starts early- see Fighter vs. Ogre, Troll, Minotaur, Giants, Dragons, Hydra.. all that stuff you 'traditionally' have the Fighter tank? He becomes less and less capable of actually doing so.)

Tyndmyr
2011-03-18, 02:35 PM
I'm rejecting your definition, and saying that it's absurd to insist that people use your definition of "what is good".

This is more than a little disingenuous; you're trying to force people to use terms that lend weight to your arguments while insisting that this makes the discussion impartial.

It's not really disingenuous. He clarified exactly what he meant. It's not an unreasonable interpretation of the word, and if you wish to say that a game is desirable for another reason, you can say so specifically. Like "this game is good because it is fun".

The problem with ranking games on funness is that it's horribly subjective. I agree that we'll probably have a more useful conversation if we define it as something slightly more objective. Well designed, while still possessing plenty of room for disagreement, is somewhat more objective.


Tyck, fighters don't tank. It ain't an MMO. They have no way outside of AoOs to try to force someone to attack them, generally speaking. Fighters contribute by smacking things over the head or shooting them in the face.

Jayabalard
2011-03-18, 02:36 PM
He also tends to become less capable relative to the monsters he is expected to deal with, which is something more of a problem; as you climb into higher CRs, the enemies tend to become either more caster-like (native spellcasting on dragons, spell-like abilities and even actual casting on most Outsiders) or are worth several Fighters in terms of raw physical danger (and this one starts early- see Fighter vs. Ogre, Troll, Minotaur, Giants, Dragons, Hydra.. all that stuff you 'traditionally' have the Fighter tank? He becomes less and less capable of actually doing so.)As I recall, there weren't any CR's in 1e AD&D (which is what this line of discussion was about, quote trail leads back to here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=10580145#post10580145)).

Even in 3e, CR is just a guideline; "the monsters he is expected to deal with" should be based on the actual abilities of the party.


It's not really disingenuous.I disagree; insisting that people use his definition for what is good "because that makes the discussion impartial" is being quite insincere; using the terms "good" and "bad" in that way does the opposite of making the discussion impartial. Good and bad are extremely loaded words.

Well designed, while still possessing plenty of room for disagreement, is somewhat more objective.That's why I suggested that he discuss "well designed games" rather than "good games" ... it lets him have the impartiality that he says that he wants without the slant that using "good" would.

Psyren
2011-03-18, 02:37 PM
No, the fighter increases in objective capability.

It is only relative to the wizard that he is less capable. He is still more capable than he was before.

Actually that's not quite true - not just the wizard, but the very challenges of the game themselves outpace the Fighter as he grows. That is what makes him Tier 5; his inability to keep up with the game, not merely other classes.

Consider that at low levels, a Fighter and a Wizard are similarly handicapped when, say, stripped of their gear and thrown into prison. But as the characters in question reach higher levels, the same jail becomes a trivial obstacle for the wizard while remaining a significant challenge for the fighter.

Consider that as the game progresses, enemies gain more and more special abilities - damage reduction, incorporeality, invisibility, flight, poison, gaze attacks, sonic attacks etc. The wizard, even without finding a single scroll in the campaign, gains the tools to either deal with these problems, bypass them or escape. The fighter gains the ability to hit them harder.

So in a metagame sense, the fighter does get less capable as he gains levels. Early on, a reasonable challenge might be a band of goblins or a bugbear. Later on, it might be a vampire or lich, or a social situation, or a murder mystery. The ability to hit things harder and more often therefore becomes less useful.


annnd ninja'd by tyckspoon

Tyndmyr
2011-03-18, 02:40 PM
This only applies if you assume the world constantly supplies them with challenges equal to their CR.

The 2nd level fighter is much more capable of beating down the orc than he was as a 1st level fighter. Thus, he has improved.

Yes, his ability to take on greater challenges grows slower than the wizard...but that's just another way of restating that the wizard's power grows faster.

Psyren
2011-03-18, 02:54 PM
This only applies if you assume the world constantly supplies them with challenges equal to their CR.

The 2nd level fighter is much more capable of beating down the orc than he was as a 1st level fighter. Thus, he has improved.

Ah, but that is a very valid assumption for me to make. Know why?

The game is called Dungeons & Dragons. Even if you remove every other higher-level challenge from the setting, I expect the latter to get involved eventually. Otherwise you might as well be playing Iron Kingdoms or something.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-18, 03:01 PM
Dragons are an extremely widely varying challenge. The CRs for them span almost the entire game, and dragons of all CRs appear in published adventures.

And yes, a fighter can help down a dragon. He's best off covering himself in magical items, naturally, but D&D IS high fantasy. Magic is power. If you're going to hunt a flying thing, it's only logical to pick up flight or something with range.

tyckspoon
2011-03-18, 03:09 PM
Tyck, fighters don't tank. It ain't an MMO. They have no way outside of AoOs to try to force someone to attack them, generally speaking. Fighters contribute by smacking things over the head or shooting them in the face.

I'm quite aware of that. Nonetheless, the 'traditional' style of D&D, the one in which the rules do more or less work as advertised, has the Fighter's role as 'stand in front of the monster and trade hits with it so it doesn't eat the Wizard and the Rogue.' And the Fighter can't do it. Not without full support from the entire play group, including the DM- he needs the Cleric behind him desperately trying to heal him so he doesn't get plastered into the dirt, he needs the Wizard and Rogue burning the monster so it goes down before its damage output inevitably overcomes the Cleric's triage, and he needs the DM to agree this is how fights are supposed to work and concentrate on the Fighter despite the numerous in-character reasons for an enemy to try hitting somebody else. It actually is a very MMO-like setup, and probably one of the reasons MMO's work the way they do today.. the Fighter has or is thought of as having the Tank's job, but without any of the tools that let MMO characters actually tank. And hence, weak Fighter.

The_Jackal
2011-03-18, 03:09 PM
The problem is this: If you're not a high level magic user in D&D, you're effectively support staff. You're the linebacker to their quarterback, and nobody showed up to the game to play second fiddle.

Not only that, but honestly, the 'big bag o' hit points' role is far, FAR better filled by a summoner-type caster than a proper warrior. Once the enemy has been neutered, anyone can go beat on its forehead with a wrench.

So the problem then becomes the Phoenix Syndrome. Did you all read the X-Men? Remember how in the periods when Phoenix isn't the villain, most issues some plot device is used to keep her from instantly beating the enemy? That's what you have to do with high level spellcasters to keep them from imploding your scenarios. Hence all the Anti-Magic BS, which really just winds up relegating the spellcaster into uselessness.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-18, 03:38 PM
I don't think the idea of a tank used to be as big as it is now. It certainly isn't a big focus. Sure, the idea that they trade hits in melee range is pretty constant, but they can pretty much always do that. Melee types remain fairly good at trading hits in melee. That's never really a problem. It's more that they don't do other things.


Not only that, but honestly, the 'big bag o' hit points' role is far, FAR better filled by a summoner-type caster than a proper warrior. Once the enemy has been neutered, anyone can go beat on its forehead with a wrench.

This...isn't actually true. Outside of gate and similarly leveled spells, it is surprisingly difficult to make summoners effective. Sure, at level 16+, you can pull it off. And note that Gate bleeds off xp. Sure, you're still coming out positive after winning the fight, but burning large amounts of xp on a routine basis is not optimal if more effective ways to get the prize exist.

Your two basic paths for summoning are as follows:
1. Malconvoker.
2. Fiendbinder.

Fiendbinder's a lot better, but it sucks up gold like candy. Malconvoker relies on the summon monster line. The Summon monster line is generally terrible at tanking. Losing a CL(both paths do this) does not help with this either. Sure, malconvoker applies a lot of misc bonuses to different aspects of summoning, but they're still terrible melee combatants. The biggest reason to summon is SLAs.

Consider Summon Monster 3. It's what you'll be casting for the first couple levels in the class. It'll be your best spell at level 7, and you'll still be relying on it to get through combats at level 8. You get a selection of creatures ranging from 2 to 5 HD(and only one at 5, IIRC). This is vastly inferior to even a straight fighter. The best to-hit you can pull off is a +10. A fighter with no feats, magic weapons and a 14 str can do this.

Oh no, a fighter is much superior to summons for melee.

Jayabalard
2011-03-18, 04:40 PM
Ah, but that is a very valid assumption for me to make. Know why?No, it's really not; you're most likely to get a steady stream of encounters that are tailored to the strengths/weaknesses of your party... which isn't the same thing as "a steady stream of equal CR encounters". Depending on your party, you may get a steady stream of encounters over your CR, or ones below your CR, or a mix of the 2.

Even if you are getting equal CR encounters every time... a lower cr creature advanced with levels of fighter fits that description just fine, and isn't beyond what a fighter can handle. I've played several campaigns where 90% or more of the enemies were humans or demi-humans. Fighting real monsters was a big deal.


The problem is this: If you're not a high level magic user in D&D, you're effectively support staff. You're the linebacker to their quarterback, and nobody showed up to the game to play second fiddle.That's a terrible analogy. The middle linebacker often has the same sort of role for the defense that the quarterback has on offense: receiving play calls from the sideline and relaying them to the rest of the defense, reading the offense, calling shifts/audibles, etc. Most people that I know love playing linebacker, since you're in the middle of the action on most plays, and you can make a huge difference in the outcome of the game by sacking the quarterback, tacking the runningback, breaking up passes (since they pass right overhead), etc.

And really... lots of people do show up to play second fiddle; anyone who's actually a team player will do that (for example, I show up every week to play 3rd horn).

Frog Dragon
2011-03-18, 04:44 PM
Being less powerful than your allies does not equal "sucking". A first level wizard in a first level party is a challenging role. A tenth level fighter in a tenth level party is a challenging role. Besides, role-playing and problem solving should have a lot to do with success in the game. A powerful wizard is pretty useless if the player can't figure out what the clues mean and where the treasure is.
Ideally, the level of challenge should no fluctuate between levels, at least not based on what level you are. It should change according to the adventure. Logically, the big bad is more challenging than his/her minion.


Agreed. That's why I said "originally". OD&D, 1E and 2E are better balanced.
I'm not well versed in that, but as far as I know, they kept the spell power, but let wizards advance faster, making the broken system we know and may or may not love. You're probably right here.


There's no question that if you only have one encounter a day, the people with fewer but more powerful attacks have been given a huge advantage. But don't blame the system for the DM's mistake. How much damage can a Fireball spell slot from an 8th level wizard do in a day? 8d6, once. How much damage can a sword do in a day? 1d8 + STR, each melee round.

A competent villain sends in several waves of attacks, just to use up the party's spells. In this case, the caster is only challenged by waves, which may not be realistic in all situations. Also, a proper caster can contribute perfectly well in all 4 daily encounters recommended by the DMG. A specialist wizard with an int of 16 has 5 level 1 slots, and they often only need one to trivialize an encounter. Also, an optimized caster doesn't cast fireball. How does a sculpted Glitterdust, a Black Tentacles spell or a Solid Fog sound? A single spell of this caliber can reduce the fight into a mop-up, when used correctly.


Of course, levels much above tenth become unbalanced. That's why PCs that powerful should be retiring to their castle and, if they keep playing at all, getting involved in kingdom-level politics and wars. Generals shouldn't be in the front lines. If this is the case, why does CR above 12 even exist? Some people want to keep murderizing cults and foiling mind flayer plots hands-on even at higher levels, and it is rather unfortunate that this playstyle would be invalid due to the game system. Also, what if the PC has no castle? I do agree with the sentiment that level 10 and above is where the really big abuses come into play.


[I agree completely that "Epic" level characters create a broken system.] Indeed they do.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-18, 04:51 PM
Ideally, the level of challenge should no fluctuate between levels, at least not based on what level you are. It should change according to the adventure. Logically, the big bad is more challenging than his/her minion.

Pretty much. It's not as if the orcs and things just vanish from the world once the PCs level up. At least, not in any world that's making an effort at realism.

Nah, the PCs simply seek out more powerful things when they feel they can take them. They may know of the BBEG while low level, but have absolutely no plausible way to confront him.

What encounters you face tend to be governed heavily by plot. I won't say that CR doesn't matter...but it's a guideline at best.

Doc Roc
2011-03-18, 05:43 PM
Pretty much. It's not as if the orcs and things just vanish from the world once the PCs level up. At least, not in any world that's making an effort at realism.
.

Depends on how thorough the players were when they went about their genocide.

dps
2011-03-18, 06:21 PM
Two different mediums. Widely different presentations and expectations. And even then, false advertising is still a bad thing in video games.

Yeah, if I buy a videogame and the gamebox says that I can play as a swordsman, an assasin, or a thief, but then it turns out that you can't win the game as a thief, that's false advertising and a bad thing. If, OTOH, the gamebox says that you can play as either a swordsman or an assassin, and then the manual, in describing how to start a new game, says that you can choose either a swordsman, assassin, or thief, but that it will be essentially impossible to win as a thief, that's OK, because the advertising (the game box) didn't say I could play as a thief in the first place.

Now consider D&D, and the image of the classic gaming party. What do you have? A couple of fighters, a rogue or ranger type, a wizard, and maybe a cleric. That's the image they push, and the inference is that it's equally fun and effective to play as any of those characters. But it's not, unless maybe at a very low level.

awa
2011-03-18, 11:26 PM
you can have great fun playing as a fighter or a monk as long as your not in the same party as a wizard or druid and your dm understands that you cant fight certain kinds of monsters. the problem isn't that fighters are unplayable (although they are very limited) its that wizards are better if their are no wizards (or similar classes) then the game can work fine.

MeeposFire
2011-03-19, 12:03 AM
you can have great fun playing as a fighter or a monk as long as your not in the same party as a wizard or druid and your dm understands that you cant fight certain kinds of monsters. the problem isn't that fighters are unplayable (although they are very limited) its that wizards are better if their are no wizards (or similar classes) then the game can work fine.

Well you can have a wizard with a fighter and monk but only certain styles of wizards will not cause problems. If you play a wizard like a warmage (like the designers think you would) then it is fine to play with a fighter or monk. If you intentionally or unintentionally play that way you are fine unfortunately it is very easy to go farther than that.

Privateer
2011-03-19, 03:50 AM
Now consider D&D, and the image of the classic gaming party. What do you have? A couple of fighters, a rogue or ranger type, a wizard, and maybe a cleric. That's the image they push, and the inference is that it's equally fun and effective to play as any of those characters. But it's not, unless maybe at a very low level.

But it's a team game. You don't win a game as a fighter, you win as a party, which is harder to do without certain elements in the party.

Plus, a wizard kind of needs shielding, no? Alone he can get into all sorts of trouble.

Frog Dragon
2011-03-19, 06:05 AM
But it's a team game. You don't win a game as a fighter, you win as a party, which is harder to do without certain elements in the party.

Plus, a wizard kind of needs shielding, no? Alone he can get into all sorts of trouble.
Depends on the opti-fu involved. An optimized wizard certainly needs none, not to mention that a fighter is incapable of offering it, since there is very little preventing the monster from just charging the wizard and ignoring the fighter. A Conjurer with PHBII at his disposal can use Abrupt Jaunt to make fun of most attempts at his life, and that's first level. Finally, most melee threats have their will save in the toilet, making them easy pickings for whatever SoL the wizard is packing.

With higher level casters, it's not even a question. Fifth level wizards can already trivialize physical threats to them by using Displacement, Fly, Blur and other assorted ways of preventing the enemy from even reaching them or stacking so many miss chances they might as well give up.

PersonMan
2011-03-19, 08:49 AM
And really... lots of people do show up to play second fiddle; anyone who's actually a team player will do that (for example, I show up every week to play 3rd horn).

I think a better way to say this is "Most people don't like making a character they think is good but turns out to be bad".

If you go into a game thinking "I'll be that guy who focuses on helping the others", being unable to do more than scratch the monsters will be have a different effect than if you were thinking "I'll be John McHero, the fighter who rushes in and kills the monsters!".

It's all about expectations.

dps
2011-03-19, 04:15 PM
If you go into a game thinking "I'll be that guy who focuses on helping the others", being unable to do more than scratch the monsters will be have a different effect than if you were thinking "I'll be John McHero, the fighter who rushes in and kills the monsters!".


Generally, people with the mindset that they're going to play a supporting type character tend to play classic healing-focused clerics. The people that play fighters want to be Conan, or Tarl Cabot, or hmm, can't think of a good historical example. D'Artagnan, maybe? Anyway, you get the idea.

PersonMan
2011-03-19, 04:49 PM
Generally, people with the mindset that they're going to play a supporting type character tend to play classic healing-focused clerics. The people that play fighters want to be Conan, or Tarl Cabot, or hmm, can't think of a good historical example. D'Artagnan, maybe? Anyway, you get the idea.

Which is why the one who wants to rush in and kill the monsters in melee is going to be unhappy when he finds that the wizard can do it much better with spells. The support person finds that they have lots of healing and buffing spells, which makes them happy.

Notreallyhere77
2011-03-19, 06:25 PM
Okay, we have pretty much concluded here that wizards fighting fighters are more likely to win under optimal circumstances.

But the more important issue is that these two should be on the same team, fighting the same monster. You want the fighter to stand out, and feel like he contributes something? Have them fight a golem once in a while. Or an outsider with spell resistance. Or any creature with spell resistance. Or a monster with high elemental resistances. Or resistances (or immunity) to spell schools. All of these things are availible at low-to-high levels.

Fighter's advantages:
Fighters don't need to worry about spell resistance.
They don't need to worry about DR because they're dealing plenty of damage in melee (or at range).
They don't need to worry about elemental resistances.
They don't need 8 hours of rest do do their job.
They just need to run out of hit points at a slower rate than their opponents.

Wizard's advantages:
The wizard is good at magic. If he has prepared the right spells (usually requiring foreknowledge of your opponents), he can do quite a lot before his spells run out (and yes, if you face enough encounters before 8 hours of uninterrupted rest, you will run out).

The wizard is NOT good at tanking. Nor at trap detection. Nor at healing. Nor at social skills against anyone defended against enchantments. Nor at heavy lifting (without using a spell like the lazy guy he is).
That's not to say he can't do anything unusual. Sure, he can deal more damage than the rogue. But the rogue won't run out of sneak attack slots.
Sure, he can fly. So can gargoyles, dragons, and balors. Guess who wins a grapple?
Sure, he can do great stuff once he's casting high-level spells. May he live so long as to get them (don't forget who's protecting him for the first five levels of his career - tanks!).
Sure, he can tailor his attacks against a known opponent. What about a random encounter?

So he casts some spells and wins an encounter or two without the rest of the party's help. Good for him. How long can he keep that up? At most, he gets 6 slots of his highest-level spell (4+specialist wizard+bonus spell). So maybe he can do his wonderful tricks for two or three encounters before he has to resort to weaker spells. The barbarian's axe isn't getting any weaker. His opponents certainly aren't getting any weaker. All he's done is buy time for himself and the rest of the party.

I'm not saying they're equal. But they are both contributing members to the party. And they both have advantages and disadvantages. And as long as the wizard isn't hogging the spotlight or openly competing with the other characters (the sign of a bad player), then everyone should be having fun.

Part of why I hate these arguments over which class is better is that you're not supposed to compete, you're supposed to play a team. Of friends. And if that means the fighter does less killing, he should be happy. Combat is scary on the front lines, and by the time the wizard is doing all the killing for you, he owes you his life several times over.

Talakeal
2011-03-19, 07:12 PM
Notreallyhere gives a great argument for how the game is intended to be played, unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way. Due to the sheer variety of spells, there is one that is ideal in every situation.

Golems can be taken out by conjuration spells, grapples can be defeated with a simple free action spell, etc.

Most wizards don't ever really risk running out of spells. At low levels they can use rope trick and the like to safely rest whenever they need to, at medium levels they can do the same tricks even easier with teleportation, and at high levels can actually travel to or create new planes and alter flow of time itself. It takes a very clever DM, and one who is willing to break suspension of disbelief, to deplete a wizard's spells.

Further, once you get into the shape changing and summoning lines of spells the wizard can actually perform almost any task, magical or mundane, without having to expend further spell slots of their own.

Boci
2011-03-19, 07:27 PM
They don't need to worry about DR

Neither do wizards.


(or at range).

No, DR is very problematic at range.


They just need to run out of hit points at a slower rate than their opponents.

Poison, flight speed + mobility, spell like abilities, auras, invisibility. Fighters need a lot more than a superior damage output.


Wizard's advantages:
The wizard is good at magic. If he has prepared the right spells (usually requiring foreknowledge of your opponents),

Grease is effectivly against a lot of monsters. So is ray of dizzyness, glitterdust, ray of exhaustion, ect.


(and yes, if you face enough encounters before 8 hours of uninterrupted rest, you will run out).

Enough being more than the recommended daily 4.


The wizard is NOT good at tanking.

With the right buffs he is, and he can summon creatures to tank (who have the advantage of being disposable).


Nor at heavy lifting (without using a spell like the lazy guy he is).

A fighter aint too shiney without a weapon.


Guess who wins a grapple?

Heart of water?


Sure, he can tailor his attacks against a known opponent. What about a random encounter?


So he casts some spells and wins an encounter or two without the rest of the party's help. Good for him. How long can he keep that up? At most, he gets 6 slots of his highest-level spell (4+specialist wizard+bonus spell). So maybe he can do his wonderful tricks for two or three encounters before he has to resort to weaker spells. The barbarian's axe isn't getting any weaker. His opponents certainly aren't getting any weaker. All he's done is buy time for himself and the rest of the party.

And a against quite a few monsters the barbarians axe seems trivial compared to a crippling greace spell.

PersonMan
2011-03-19, 07:35 PM
Fighter's advantages:
Fighters don't need to worry about spell resistance.

Yep.



They don't need to worry about DR because they're dealing plenty of damage in melee (or at range).

Well...sort of. Not worrying about DR is like not worrying about AC-you have plenty of attacks, so doing a lot less damage(or hitting a lot less) aren't bad at all.


They don't need to worry about elemental resistances.

Unless they have Shocking/Flaming/whatever. However, those don't contribute all that much to damage, so you're essentially right.


They don't need 8 hours of rest do do their job.

Unless I'm not remembering things correctly, non-elven fighters greatly benefit from 8 hours of rest due to negative effects(exhaustion? I'm having trouble tracking down more than Sleeping in Armor) that come from not sleeping.


They just need to run out of hit points at a slower rate than their opponents.

...And get healed afterwards or die in the next combat, requiring either
A) Spellcasters
B) Spellcasters to craft something, money to buy it
or
C) Weeks of rest.

EDIT: Partial ninja.

Boci
2011-03-19, 07:38 PM
Unless I'm not remembering things correctly, non-elven fighters greatly benefit from 8 hours of rest due to negative effects(exhaustion? I'm having trouble tracking down more than Sleeping in Armor) that come from not sleeping.

Nope, no such rule. A DM will probably house rule some version if a characters start staying up for nights on end, but even then it will require less rest than a wizard, and certainly not the 1 hour prep.

PersonMan
2011-03-19, 07:49 PM
Nope, no such rule. A DM will probably house rule some version if a characters start staying up for nights on end, but even then it will require less rest than a wizard, and certainly not the 1 hour prep.

Wow. So you can't sleep in armor, but if you don't sleep you're fine?

Definitely odd. No wonder I couldn't find any rules for it.

Boci
2011-03-19, 07:52 PM
Wow. So you can't sleep in armor, but if you don't sleep you're fine?

I'm not an expert but I am pretty sure that in most cases pulling all nighter (as long as you sleep the next night) would be preferable to sleeping in medium/heavy armour.

navar100
2011-03-19, 08:16 PM
The Wizard casts Celerity, then Time Stomp. 2 Delayed Blast Fireballs wreck the Goblin Horde, the Trolls are trapped in Forcecages for 16 hours, and then, when Time Stop ends, the Dragon is vaporized by DPS from a bunch of elemental spells, followed by Power Word (Kill). And this is just using core spells (aside from Celerity), and not the most optimal of them at that. It's reasonable to assume that the Wizard could do this to 2-4 encounters each day.


Sure, a wizard could do that. However, perhaps the wizard hadn't preprared those spells. Perhaps he doesn't even know those spells. Perhaps monsters make saving throws. That's the false dichotomy, the autoassumption the spellcaster has the exact spells needed at the exact time they're needed and everyone fails their saving throws for every conceivable encounter.

Your plan works on paper but not in practice. The d20 luck factor is always in play. Events of previous adventures can affect choices. Availability of resources differ among playing groups.

The only "balance" that truly matters is spotlight time. Sure, it is important for nonspellcasters to be able to do cool game mechanics things of comparable worth to spellcasters, and if they can't that needs to be addressed to the particular comfort levels of the players if it needs to be addressed at all. However, it is a feature, not a bug, of the DM's job to ensure every player has his moment. This is not saying something is not broken because of Rule 0; it is saying it is the DM's job to create adventures everyone can participate in. That is his responsibility. He's not "in charge" just because you play at his house and/or he plays the NPCs. He has to put in the effort. In the case of spellcaster power, it's a matter of a DM's personal tolerance level for that power. Some DMs just can't stand it at all, and that leads to the 3E bashing.

Boci
2011-03-19, 08:28 PM
Your plan works on paper but not in practice.

Its not a plan, its an example of what a wizard can potentially do. It is hard to balance those abilities against a fighter's "I hit it".

ryu
2011-03-19, 09:51 PM
Also I think I heard someone say the wizard can't be an effective trap detector? Summon monster one or a more cost effect low level bag of tricks. Can you say kamikaze? Bam easy trap be gone. Are those really hard to do or come by?

Tyndmyr
2011-03-19, 10:01 PM
Depends on the opti-fu involved. An optimized wizard certainly needs none, not to mention that a fighter is incapable of offering it, since there is very little preventing the monster from just charging the wizard and ignoring the fighter. A Conjurer with PHBII at his disposal can use Abrupt Jaunt to make fun of most attempts at his life, and that's first level. Finally, most melee threats have their will save in the toilet, making them easy pickings for whatever SoL the wizard is packing.

With higher level casters, it's not even a question. Fifth level wizards can already trivialize physical threats to them by using Displacement, Fly, Blur and other assorted ways of preventing the enemy from even reaching them or stacking so many miss chances they might as well give up.

Well, the best thing a party provides is a variety of targets. Sure, a wizard can effectively counter a lot of attacks...but he burns resources to do so. By having a larger party, attacks are more likely to be spread around, making everyone in the party safer.

And uberchargers are fairly good at putting a lot of targets in the ground. Sure, they're not generally good at...anything else, but they can do that, and it IS generally a commonly needed task in campaigns. Remember, tier is flexibility, not damage. And "charge at an enemy, hit him in the face, and he dies" is remarkably close to what's advertised for the melee classes.

It's not that the wizard can't get by without the fighter...he could. Almost certainly easier than the fighter could get by without him. Thing is, that situation doesn't generally arise since it's not a practical thing for the wizard to do. The fighter is still a useful resource.

Personally, I've never understood the sleeping in armor rules. In real life, it's really not that bad. Sure, it isn't exactly the life of luxury...but either way, you're sleeping in a bedroll on the ground in a tent. It's not really going to matter.

And yes, Ryu, wizards can handle traps and locks wonderfully. It's just a matter of resources. Is it worth blowing spells on something the rogue can do endlessly for free with skills? Probably not. Sure, low level spells are not the most precious of commodities, but there's no point in wasting them. Plenty of low level spells that stay relevant at high levels.

ryu
2011-03-19, 10:39 PM
Which brings up the whole bag of tricks easy to make deal. It's not an expensive item to make last I checked and can be used ten times per day. Especially going with the gray version. As for locks well... Low level acid spell or ideally cheap acid magic item for mundane locks. Get creative for the rarer more extravagant magic locks you'd probably want wizard help with anyway. It's another resource debate really. Do you value the share of loot given to the rogue every adventure more than a few small one time xp and possibly component costs? As for combat advantage due to the fact the enemy can be distracted, flanked, or attacked from behind? Nicely adds the extra safety that makes the cost debate less one sided in my opinion although I'd much rather have a cleric or possibly a paladin. Either of those two fulfill the purpose of meat shield well and come with free health care. Not to mention clerics have a decent spell list.

Teron
2011-03-19, 11:59 PM
Sure, a wizard could do that. However, perhaps the wizard hadn't preprared those spells.
Why not? It's not like they're situational; the spells Djinn named are pretty reasonable everyday stuff.


Perhaps he doesn't even know those spells.
Again, why not? At minimum, a wizard gets two free spells of his choice per class level. That's more than enough to take those spells or equivalents.


Perhaps monsters make saving throws.
None of those spells have saving throws except for delayed blast fireball, and it's not like it matters if some mooks save for half.


That's the false dichotomy, the autoassumption the spellcaster has the exact spells needed at the exact time they're needed and everyone fails their saving throws for every conceivable encounter.
I don't think you understand what a false dichotomy is.


Your plan works on paper but not in practice.
Maybe you could explain what's wrong with it besides non-existent saving throws? Can the goblins survive the fireballs? Can the trolls escape the forcecages? Can a dragon meant to fight the cleric one-on-one withstand the whole party beating on it because the wizard wiped out or locked down everything else?


The d20 luck factor is always in play.
Not really. There's nothing terribly random about Djinn's plan. At worst, he might not have time to do everything he listed during the time stop, but considering the original scenario presented the goblins as the wizard's sole concern, anything else he manages to accomplish, including later rounds, is gravy.


Events of previous adventures can affect choices.
I guess if the party kept running into fire-immune creatures or something, the wizard might have different blasting spells prepared, but that doesn't substantially affects the plan Djinn outlined; certainly, a wizard who knows them isn't going to leave celerity, time stop, or some kind of crowd control out of his daily list. Besides, if he's not satisfied with an all-purpose set of versatile spells, he can phone up a god and ask what he'll run into tomorrow, or just leave some slots empty and take fifteen minutes to fill them once he knows what he needs.


Availability of resources differ among playing groups.
If you mean sourcebooks, every spell named except the non-essential celerity is in the PHB. If you mean ways to learn spells in-game, scroll back up to my comment about free spells at every level.


The only "balance" that truly matters is spotlight time. Sure, it is important for nonspellcasters to be able to do cool game mechanics things of comparable worth to spellcasters, and if they can't that needs to be addressed to the particular comfort levels of the players if it needs to be addressed at all. However, it is a feature, not a bug, of the DM's job to ensure every player has his moment. This is not saying something is not broken because of Rule 0; it is saying it is the DM's job to create adventures everyone can participate in. That is his responsibility. He's not "in charge" just because you play at his house and/or he plays the NPCs. He has to put in the effort. In the case of spellcaster power, it's a matter of a DM's personal tolerance level for that power. Some DMs just can't stand it at all, and that leads to the 3E bashing.
Just what can a DM throw at a party that a wizard can't handle better than a fighter? Please give specific examples.

awa
2011-03-20, 12:23 AM
their are monsters a fighter is better equipped to face then a wizard its just they are few and far between and in most games it would not be logical to encounter them over and over again.

if you really need examples lots of anti magic fields things with reciprocal gyr (probably spelled that wrong but oh well)
depending on how specialized the wizard is golems or other creatures with high sr.
lots of smoke forcing people to hold their breath.

at low levels blind flying enemies cut out most of a wizards best tricks.

the point isn't that their are never situations where a fighter can shine and a wizard might not be able to (i wont say cant shine because wizards allow so much potential optimization that they can always shine with the right build and spells) just its a lot harder and it might break suspension of disbelief if ever other fight happens in an antimagic field so the fighter can be useful.

Privateer
2011-03-20, 12:46 AM
Just what can a DM throw at a party that a wizard can't handle better than a fighter? Please give specific examples.

A location to defend from many waves of enemies coming non-stop in a single day? Wizard is going to run out of spells sooner or later.

Seerow
2011-03-20, 01:00 AM
A location to defend from many waves of enemies coming non-stop in a single day? Wizard is going to run out of spells sooner or later.

Depends on the details. If you don't go out of your way to make sure it can't happen, the Wizard could probably come up with a few tricks that are going to result in a permanent defense of the location, rather than going through the hassle of fighting off every wave.


And really, is the Fighter going to fair any better? Once the casters are running out of resources, the Fighter's not getting his heals anymore, he wouldn't last long after.

Seerow
2011-03-20, 01:02 AM
edit: double post.

Kalaska'Agathas
2011-03-20, 01:32 AM
their are monsters a fighter is better equipped to face then a wizard its just they are few and far between and in most games it would not be logical to encounter them over and over again.
Do you have any specific examples? I recall a recent conversation questioning a Spellcaster's ability to deal with Colossi, what with their poorly worded and not-quite-but-maybe-kinda updatedness (from 3.0 to 3.5), but many of the same issues apply to the Fighter (barring 'Hoods who can hack it in an AMF), i.e. DR/Epic, Gobs and Gobs of HP, Decent AC, etc.


depending on how specialized the wizard is golems or other creatures with high sr.
lots of smoke forcing people to hold their breath.
While I will admit that SR is no problem to those who don't deal in spells, it's easy enough to overcome, in my experience (either by SR: No spells or boosting CL or reducing SR). However, the holding your breath bit? Not that it wouldn't break verisimilitude (at least in some, perhaps most cases, despite the fact that it can sorta-kinda be done) to have someone talking (and therefore casting) while holding their breath (thereby limiting the Wizard to plinking away with his crossbow/bashing things with his Wizard's Staff or casting Silent or Verbal Component-less spells), it strikes me that a Wizard should be at least as good as a Fighter in holding his breath (assuming that they have rolled the same scores, for fairness, CON is second stat priority for both, in my experience). And the Wizard at least has means of dealing with the smoke, theoretically speaking. Yes, it may take 8 hours (or more) for the Wizard to prepare a suitable spell, but the Fighter has basically no recourse to remove the hazard, without resorting to Magic (and partially charged wands and cross-class UMD etc. etc.).

Not to mention that if the smoke is thick enough for you to need to hold your breath, it's probably thick enough to blind you, thereby providing a 50% miss chance, if I remember correctly, which is typically much worse for the Fighter than the Wizard.


at low levels blind flying enemies cut out most of a wizards best tricks.

What.

PersonMan
2011-03-20, 05:52 AM
What.

I think he means Color Spray and Grease. Because blindness gets them out of the first, flying the second.

For a while, I had the same response, though.

paddyfool
2011-03-20, 06:07 AM
If you want to play something like D&D with real balance between what different classes get to contribute, you may want to play Fantasy Craft, or limit your tiers.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-20, 06:41 AM
Which brings up the whole bag of tricks easy to make deal. It's not an expensive item to make last I checked and can be used ten times per day. Especially going with the gray version. As for locks well... Low level acid spell or ideally cheap acid magic item for mundane locks. Get creative for the rarer more extravagant magic locks you'd probably want wizard help with anyway. It's another resource debate really. Do you value the share of loot given to the rogue every adventure more than a few small one time xp and possibly component costs? As for combat advantage due to the fact the enemy can be distracted, flanked, or attacked from behind? Nicely adds the extra safety that makes the cost debate less one sided in my opinion although I'd much rather have a cleric or possibly a paladin. Either of those two fulfill the purpose of meat shield well and come with free health care. Not to mention clerics have a decent spell list.

The important locks are not the easy to defeat ones. Mundane

For magical locks, Dispel Magic or Knock are the traditional magical routes. Knock is of lower level, but is much more specific, while Dispel is pretty much always useful. Either way, many dungeons have a fairly significant number of locks and traps. Traps are sometimes automatically resetting. A rust colored bag of tricks is worrth 3k gold. Grey produces creatures far too small to be of use. It's also worthy of note that many traps are not merely bad for the person who sprung them, and thus, are much better to be searched for and disabled rather than set off.

Dimension door will be the typical way to bypass auto-resetting traps. Another level 3 spell. You can buy wands of knock and dimension door(the CL issue prevents wands of dispel magic from being efficient), but that's a fair amount of additional funds. We're at a total of 18750 gp to replicate a coupla rogue skills in an inferior way. Plus, we might have to replace wands at some point. After all, you need to get out of places after looting them, and that generally requires either blowing MORE dimension doors to get back out, or a teleport. Teleport is a spell slot that's pretty much always useful.

And rogues do more than just deal with traps and locks.




BTW, the smoke can be mitigated at least partially by prestidigitation. Also, speaking is done by exhaling. I see no reason why speaking a command word would cause you to inhale smoke.

ryu
2011-03-20, 11:21 AM
You'd be surprised what a simple gray bag of tricks can do to traps. Mice can and will disturb tripwires as in real life they've been known to chew through similar things for no real reason. Many magic traps are you step on it you die situations regardless of weight. For anything more complex well... Summon monster one has many uses for a lone spell caster. Distract the big monster, disarm the trap, be a meat shield while I do something important. All in all a much cheaper way in the long run than having a rogue group mate in a standard team of four to five adventurers. You may want a few teammates for safety reasons but any one of them can in fact be cut out at a significant profit margin if you had a mind to.

awa
2011-03-20, 12:28 PM
if your not holding your breath in smoke you need to make the saves speaking is not holding your breath.

golems are immune to a wide range of spells between their infiinte sr and construct type a wizard who thought to memorize orb spells is fine but if he didn't know he was going to be fighting a golem and didn't memorize the right spells then hes in trouble.

making a wizard weak is easiest if the dm basically looks at the wizards spells and say to himself that a lot of enchantments and illusions vampire grimlocks attack and so picking enemies to face the wizards particular spell load out.

by point is it takes a great deal of effort to be able to shut down an optimized wizard and still leave a fighter able to contribute in any meaningful way and the number of things that can do it is small enough that it will quickly seem contrived.



by point is not

Frog Dragon
2011-03-20, 12:48 PM
if your not holding your breath in smoke you need to make the saves speaking is not holding your breath.

golems are immune to a wide range of spells between their infiinte sr and construct type a wizard who thought to memorize orb spells is fine but if he didn't know he was going to be fighting a golem and didn't memorize the right spells then hes in trouble.

making a wizard weak is easiest if the dm basically looks at the wizards spells and say to himself that a lot of enchantments and illusions vampire grimlocks attack and so picking enemies to face the wizards particular spell load out.

by point is it takes a great deal of effort to be able to shut down an optimized wizard and still leave a fighter able to contribute in any meaningful way and the number of things that can do it is small enough that it will quickly seem contrived.



by point is not
Something that ignores SR is a mainstay in any properly built wizard list.

And vampire grimlocks are not contrived at all to use constantly. Not at all. Also, web. Screws those critters over rather heavily.

Mike_G
2011-03-20, 01:09 PM
To address the OP, it's not just bad in theory because the optimized Wizard can mop the floor with any encounter, but bad in practice because, even if you don't try to outshine the party, you have so much more in your toolkit as a wizard that it takes a serious effort to let everyone have a chunk of spotlight.

We went into 3.0 playing like it was 1ed. Worked fine at low levels, but once we hit double digits, the fighters were all sitting at the kiddie table while the casters were at the big people table making all the difference. Once in a while we got to shank some mooks, but all the cool epic stuff was done with magic.

A team game should reward a good team, not one class. At low levels, Wizards really do need a party. At high level, the fighter and Rogue become dead weight. Like the skinny kid who always gets stuck in right field, but you have to let him bat because the rules say you do. He knows it's charity, you groan that he's an easy out, and nobody's really happy with it.

Kalaska'Agathas
2011-03-20, 01:17 PM
I think he means Color Spray and Grease. Because blindness gets them out of the first, flying the second.

For a while, I had the same response, though.

Oh, absolutely. But show me a Blind (and hopefully possessed of some sort of non-visual sight analogue), Flying creature from any printed sourcebook, at any CR, let alone one suitable for "low levels". I just find it to be a very inelegant solution, frankly.

Though I suppose we could slap the winged template on that eyeless Eberron aberration, whatever it was called. Dol-something I think.

Oh, and as Tyndmyr pointed out, smoke is dealt with via a Cantrip (and indeed the Cantrip in question, Prestidigitation, is a mainstay of Cantrips - I know that I always prepare more than once) and speaking is exhaling, not inhaling, so I see no reason that you'd have to start making saves if you were to say the words of power necessary to cast a spell.

Ytaker
2011-03-20, 01:38 PM
Well, the best thing a party provides is a variety of targets. Sure, a wizard can effectively counter a lot of attacks...but he burns resources to do so. By having a larger party, attacks are more likely to be spread around, making everyone in the party safer.

Hence evard's tentacles and such. And, the wizard would be better off with another magic user than another wizard, since magic users are more powerful. A fighter burns resources to fight, the cleric's resources specifically.


It's not that the wizard can't get by without the fighter...he could. Almost certainly easier than the fighter could get by without him. Thing is, that situation doesn't generally arise since it's not a practical thing for the wizard to do. The fighter is still a useful resource.

I've played all magic games. Some wizards just buff themselves up to the gills before fights with buffs that can last hours. These mages serve as incredibly effective combatants while everyone else locks down hordes and destroys major enemies.


And yes, Ryu, wizards can handle traps and locks wonderfully. It's just a matter of resources. Is it worth blowing spells on something the rogue can do endlessly for free with skills? Probably not. Sure, low level spells are not the most precious of commodities, but there's no point in wasting them. Plenty of low level spells that stay relevant at high levels.

That rogue is going to want treasure. They could just take the rogue's share of the treasure and spend it on rods of knock, summon monster 1, whatever. The wizard will resent the rogue for being useless and taking a share of the treasure when they have spells that can do everything a rogue can do better and cheaper.

The solution to this is to give melee fighters special tactics to use, so they stay relevent at higher levels.

Teron
2011-03-20, 01:42 PM
Oh, absolutely. But show me a Blind (and hopefully possessed of some sort of non-visual sight analogue), Flying creature from any printed sourcebook, at any CR, let alone one suitable for "low levels". I just find it to be a very inelegant solution, frankly.
Not that it's a viable check on wizards' power, but this thing is in the core MM:
http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/MM35_gallery/MM35_PG262.jpg

Mike_G
2011-03-20, 01:47 PM
But the Rogue is a recognized fantasy archetype. So is the Fighter. A fantasy game should support those archetypes, especially when they are included in the game.

If one class can make another obsolete with a few spells, the game is a big old pile of fail.

Starbuck_II
2011-03-20, 01:53 PM
But the Rogue is a recognized fantasy archetype. So is the Fighter. A fantasy game should support those archetypes, especially when they are included in the game.

If one class can make another obsolete with a few spells, the game is a big old pile of fail.

I thought archetype is warrior.
Barbarian, fighter, Warblade, etc all fit.
Now non-supernatural isn't a archetype: it is a sect of the actual archetype. That is the disconnect that people don't notice.

Kalaska'Agathas
2011-03-20, 02:08 PM
Not that it's a viable check on wizards' power, but this thing is in the core MM:
http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/MM35_gallery/MM35_PG262.jpg

And what, pray, is that?

Mystic Muse
2011-03-20, 02:09 PM
And what, pray, is that?

An Yrthak. Don't have access to the SRD right now so I can't check if it's in there.

Mike_G
2011-03-20, 02:13 PM
I thought archetype is warrior.
Barbarian, fighter, Warblade, etc all fit.
Now non-supernatural isn't a archetype: it is a sect of the actual archetype. That is the disconnect that people don't notice.

Yes, the TOB classes are a nice melee patch for 3.5, but the original question was why is magic being better a bad thing. The answer is that when it makes a third of the PHB classes moot, it's a bit much.

Kalaska'Agathas
2011-03-20, 02:35 PM
An Yrthak. Don't have access to the SRD right now so I can't check if it's in there.

Hmm, so it is. So there is at least one Flying, Blind creature in the 3.5 corpus. Still, at CR 9, and with 12 HD, ~102 HP, AC 18, and a 6d6 Sonic Damage Ranged Touch Attack every two rounds, this is hardly a suitable challenge to low level characters of any class.

And yet I bet, if I had time to look, that the Sorc/Wiz spell list has a means of dealing with the Yrthak below Spell Level 3. The Fighter (level 1-6 mind you), on the other hand? What's he going to do?

Teron
2011-03-20, 02:55 PM
Blindness/deafness can permanently take away its hearing/blindsight, crippling it, if it fails a fortitude save. So, yeah, wizards are pretty much the only class with a chance, however slim, of dealing with it at level 3.

awa
2011-03-20, 03:14 PM
now the only book i have on me at the moment is mm2 so that where ill pull examples.
grell cr 3 no eyes
although technically it does not need to be blind just able to fight while blind.
desmodou bats have flight and blind sight cr 3 to 5
fire bats have flight and blind sight also immune to webs cr 3

if i had access to all my books i'm sure i could have found more.

and yes i know vampire grimlocks jumping out of nowhere whenever its most inconvenient would be contrived in most settings but you will note that i already said that.

my point isn't that fighters and wizards are equal im not saying that. Im saying their are discrete circumstances a fighter is better than a wizard the problem is any game which relied on them would seem contrived

balistafreak
2011-03-20, 03:25 PM
And yet I bet, if I had time to look, that the Sorc/Wiz spell list has a means of dealing with the Yrthak below Spell Level 3. The Fighter (level 1-6 mind you), on the other hand? What's he going to do?

He will plink away with a bow, cursing his relative impotence, unless he's a dedicated fighter-archer, in which case he will plink away with a bow... cursing his slightly-lesser impotence than before.

No, "receiving fly and/or haste from the Wizard" is not a useful answer, because he's still mincemeat in a straight up fight.


now the only book i have on me at the moment is mm2 so that where ill pull examples.

Disclaimer: MM2 is a terrible, terrible book for CR ratings. :smallamused:

Kalaska'Agathas
2011-03-20, 03:36 PM
although technically it does not need to be blind just able to fight while blind.

On the contrary, the Yrthak gets a pass because it is flat out immune to magic based on visual effects, but those bats, which still possess eyes, will drop to Color Spray. Unless I've missed something important.

tyckspoon
2011-03-20, 03:41 PM
And yet I bet, if I had time to look, that the Sorc/Wiz spell list has a means of dealing with the Yrthak below Spell Level 3. The Fighter (level 1-6 mind you), on the other hand? What's he going to do?

Well, it's oddly enough not actually a Wizard spell, but in the general theme of Casters Do It Better: a Silence spell makes a Yrthak completely impotent, both blinding it and destroying its sonic-based attack method.

awa
2011-03-20, 03:50 PM
true i forgot part of the reason i suggested blind fliers. still the fire bat is smart enough to close it's eyes (although im not sure if by raw that does anything) and besides that still leaves the grell that does not have eyes.

but like i said i only have access to one book right now and that was still enough to find a creature immune to many of the wizards best low level tricks.

the fact that the grell is also pretty stealthy makes it extra bad for wizards.

the other aspect that makes blind attacker strong against wizards is the fact that invisibility, blur, displacement, and mirror image are some of their best defense.

now im not saying this monster cant be beaten by a wizard that would be stupid im just saying that an unprepared wizard with the wrong spells memorized would fair worse then a fighter. particularly if they were forced to go several encounters against such creatures before having a chance to rest.

also just to preempt people here a situations say traveling underground with a deadline meaning battles are placed more than an hour apart (allowing buffs to wear off) and preventing the wizard from resting in a rope trick.

also yes it is contrived but see my previous posts

awa
2011-03-20, 04:07 PM
the srd is now working so i can add dark mantle cr 1 to the list of low level enemies that fly and can see in with out eyes

Kalaska'Agathas
2011-03-20, 04:26 PM
the srd is now working so i can add dark mantle cr 1 to the list of low level enemies that fly and can see in with out eyes

But the issue isn't if it can see without eyes - the issue is if it is specifically called out as immune to magic which relies on visual effects.

awa
2011-03-20, 04:28 PM
color spray specifies that it does not work on blind creatures

Kalaska'Agathas
2011-03-20, 05:39 PM
color spray specifies that it does not work on blind creatures

But a Darkmantle isn't blind, now is it? But I will acknowledge that there are Blind, Flying creatures in the 3.5 Corpus - in fact I have already done so - and that Color Spray doesn't work on blind creatures.

Edit: And to go on a different tangent, does anyone know a way to get 2 action points per round? Preferably all day? If so, there's a feat that lets you play Schrödinger's Wizard (or more accurately Schrödinger's Spells Prepared) in the Eberron Campaign Setting - Spontaneous Casting.

awa
2011-03-20, 05:52 PM
it seems you are correct about the dark mantle it says it sees by sound but it does not say it cant see normally i misread its entry

DougTheHead
2011-03-20, 07:29 PM
I mean really. I mean look at gandalf, the stereotypical wizard, he barely did anything "on screen" but he still was more powerful than everyone in the hobbit.

And in Lord of the rings it took ancient horrors, and another wizard to even put up a fight.

True, but if Dungeons & Dragons had a magic system similar to the one employed by Gandalf in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, it would be a lot more tolerable for the other players.

You say that Gandalf doesn't do much "on screen" in Tolkien's book, but what you don't seem to realize is that Gandalf can't do anything "on screen." The single fireball he launches in The Hobbit does about as much damage as a sudden burst of fire would, singing the nose of a Warg without doing much serious damage. He's able to confuse the trolls that kidnapped Bilbo until they turn to stone, but this is also a much more passive and sneaky strategy- something a rogue would be more likely to do in D&D 3.X than a wizard. And though Gandalf himself is immortal, he can't just blaze through every goal with a series of physics-destroying spells that allow the dwarves and Bilbo to waltz into Smaug's chambers and out again with the treasure- he has to be clever and underhanded, and occasionally refuses to help for sound reasons. Other times, he is incapable of doing magic in a certain area due to the influence of greater powers.

This tendency continues in Lord of the Rings. Even as Gandalf the White, he cannot win a battle singlehandedly. In fact, he can't even lay down a few mass fireballs that destroy waves of the enemy. His powers manifest themselves in supporting roles (saving nearby soldiers from the influence of the Nazgul) and the occasional high-level duel (against Saruman, against Wormtongue, against the Nazgul) that don't involve magical pyrotechnics, but play out like struggles on some higher plane of existence that the other characters can only imperfectly comprehend. The one time Gandalf casts a spell that alters the physical properties of the world around him is when he breaks the bridge that the Balrog stands on; this destroys his staff along with the bridge. In role-playing terms, this would put the Wizard class in Lord of the Rings a lot closer to the "hacker" class in cyberpunk games, which is generally a support class, except for a few times per game where the hacker "jacks in" to the network and gets to be the star for a few minutes.

A wizard that had a limited ability to affect the physical world, that had to expend most of its resources holding off (but not defeating) supernatural agents too powerful for the rest of the party to fully comprehend (thus limiting the amount of bragging the wizard could do; you could even have party members who think this type of wizardry is an empty fraud on the level of palm-reading), that could duel other wizards but still needed some help stopping armies of goblins, would be a lot more fun to work with than the swiss-army-knife wizards of the 3.X system.

balistafreak
2011-03-20, 10:50 PM
@DougTheHead: This is cool and all - but it reminds me of 3.0 Psionic Combat.

And we all know how that one turned out mechanically. :smallyuk:

Fighting "on another plane" is a great idea in concept - especially for a narrative. At the table, not so much. Kind of like the rogue playing his "stealth subgame", people get bored while waiting for something that doesn't involve their character to resolve.

It's unfortunate, really. Maybe if you got a co-DM to handle it simultaneously... but who am I kidding? We don't have that kind of manpower available. :smallsigh:

Malevolence
2011-03-21, 09:48 AM
I don't think the idea of a tank used to be as big as it is now. It certainly isn't a big focus. Sure, the idea that they trade hits in melee range is pretty constant, but they can pretty much always do that. Melee types remain fairly good at trading hits in melee. That's never really a problem. It's more that they don't do other things.

If highly optimized, otherwise enemies hit them much harder than they hit the enemy, and said enemies have more HP than they do, so proportionally they take far more damage and get splatted.


This...isn't actually true. Outside of gate and similarly leveled spells, it is surprisingly difficult to make summoners effective. Sure, at level 16+, you can pull it off. And note that Gate bleeds off xp. Sure, you're still coming out positive after winning the fight, but burning large amounts of xp on a routine basis is not optimal if more effective ways to get the prize exist.

Your two basic paths for summoning are as follows:
1. Malconvoker.
2. Fiendbinder.

Fiendbinder's a lot better, but it sucks up gold like candy. Malconvoker relies on the summon monster line. The Summon monster line is generally terrible at tanking. Losing a CL(both paths do this) does not help with this either. Sure, malconvoker applies a lot of misc bonuses to different aspects of summoning, but they're still terrible melee combatants. The biggest reason to summon is SLAs.

Consider Summon Monster 3. It's what you'll be casting for the first couple levels in the class. It'll be your best spell at level 7, and you'll still be relying on it to get through combats at level 8. You get a selection of creatures ranging from 2 to 5 HD(and only one at 5, IIRC). This is vastly inferior to even a straight fighter. The best to-hit you can pull off is a +10. A fighter with no feats, magic weapons and a 14 str can do this.

Oh no, a fighter is much superior to summons for melee.

Yes, summons are weak and will die in one or two rounds of combat. So will the Fighter. The difference is the summons are intended to be disposable, and PCs are not.

Good beatsticks will fare better. Good beatsticks are not Fighters though. They are Warblades, and Crusaders, and Psychic Warriors, and Gishes, and attack animals.


their are monsters a fighter is better equipped to face then a wizard its just they are few and far between and in most games it would not be logical to encounter them over and over again.

if you really need examples lots of anti magic fields things with reciprocal gyr (probably spelled that wrong but oh well)

A spell that does damage to you based on the number of buffs you have active and forces a Will save or lose, which also halves damage on a success. At any level that spell is in play, the entire party will be heavily buffed. The Wizard aces the save and survives easily. The Fighter fails it, gets smashed hard and stares off into space for a while.

Anti magic fields stop beatsticks, not casters. Barring the use of Extraordinary Spell Aim on the part of the AMF user, they will still be destroyed by spells, because the target has no magic, and some of yours still works just fine. If they do have Extraordinary Spell Aim, it's a bit tougher, but in either case the Fighter loses all his magic items and then gets stomped down in one round.


depending on how specialized the wizard is golems or other creatures with high sr.
lots of smoke forcing people to hold their breath.

Spell Resistance in any amount does not stop any decent caster. The golem is Greased and its argument is invalid.

The Wizard holds his breath just as long as anyone else.

Jayabalard
2011-03-21, 09:48 AM
I think a better way to say this is "Most people don't like making a character they think is good but turns out to be bad".Indeed, that's a lot more accurate, but it's still too specific. Most people don't like making a character they think is one thing but turns out to be something else. Good and bad really have next to nothing to do with it.

This is all about people expectations... and honestly, I can't see how anyone expects the guy who hits stuff with a stick to be continue to be competitive with the guy who's the master of time and space. The latter is obviously going to outpace the former toward the end of their respective careers.

Aasimar
2011-03-21, 10:06 AM
I prefer the starwars saga edition approach.

Level is basically 'power level'.

A level 7 soldier is about as powerful as a level 7 jedi. A level 15 soldier is about as powerful as a level 15 jedi, etc.

But most jedi (knights) are between levels 7-12, and it's not so uncommon for them to reach levels 15-16, whereas most soldiers never reach above level 2-3. (and a level 15 soldier is a rare thing indeed)

The reason why Gandalf is more powerful than the rest of the party isn't that he picked the most powerful class, but because he is much older, and more experienced (and arguably, because magic allows for further progression with age and experience)

You have a level 12 wizard (Gandalf the gray) adventuring with a level 5-6 human (aragorn) a level 4-5 dwarf and elf and a bunch of level 1-2 hobbits. (in fellowship of the ring) Gandalf the white is more powerful still.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-21, 11:14 AM
Hence evard's tentacles and such. And, the wizard would be better off with another magic user than another wizard, since magic users are more powerful. A fighter burns resources to fight, the cleric's resources specifically.

Oh, right. Sure, a party of caster/caster/caster/caster is fantastic, but that isn't always a practical choice.

Specifically, IC, the choice is usually "Do I want this fighter with me or not?" not "which character can I pick?"


I've played all magic games. Some wizards just buff themselves up to the gills before fights with buffs that can last hours. These mages serve as incredibly effective combatants while everyone else locks down hordes and destroys major enemies.

I'm actually playing such a wizard now. Wizard with a greatsword. It's squishy for the first few levels, but if you survive them, it's quite viable.

However, in that case, since you're burning so many spells on buffs, you're really replicating a melee combatant.


That rogue is going to want treasure. They could just take the rogue's share of the treasure and spend it on rods of knock, summon monster 1, whatever. The wizard will resent the rogue for being useless and taking a share of the treasure when they have spells that can do everything a rogue can do better and cheaper.

We've already established that it takes wands, not rods of these things, and they are pretty inferior and fairly costly. For instance, summon monster 1 is insufficient. It summons fairly light monsters that last for a whopping one round. The second bag of tricks is the more practical way to do this.

And it doesn't answer things like automatically resetting traps.

And this is just to mimic a rogues ability to open locks and deal with traps. Feh. Those are merely skills, they're only part of a rogue's resources.


And yet I bet, if I had time to look, that the Sorc/Wiz spell list has a means of dealing with the Yrthak below Spell Level 3. The Fighter (level 1-6 mind you), on the other hand? What's he going to do?

Carry a bow? Or, if too poor for that, javelins? Ignoring ranged entirely is not something the fighter HAS to do. Javelins are remarkably useful at low levels, actually. Your standard beatstick is pretty strength based, so getting strength to damage without springing for a composite bow is nice.

Plenty of monsters CAN fight while blind. Just at a reduced effectiveness. And technically, anything that flies need not worry about the 15ft range of color spray until the wizard can also fly. IE, not at level 3.


If highly optimized, otherwise enemies hit them much harder than they hit the enemy, and said enemies have more HP than they do, so proportionally they take far more damage and get splatted.

Meh. Highly optimized is unnecessary to build a charger. And it really doesn't matter how much damage enemies do when you splatter them right off.


Yes, summons are weak and will die in one or two rounds of combat. So will the Fighter. The difference is the summons are intended to be disposable, and PCs are not.

Fighters are significantly tougher than summons. Consider the level 6 wizard/malconvoker, doing a summon monster 3(IMO, the pinnacle of summoning). We'll assume he summons the best tank available at this level, the celestial bison. 37 hp, AC 13.

A level 6 fighter with a +2 con bonus, a +1 ref bonus and fullplate is sitting at about 50 hp and AC 19. This is entirely ignoring feats or other optimization toward survivability, and using a straight classed fighter, which is not among the better melee tanks. It also doesn't require expending actions to get the fighter there, the fighter will have a better to-hit and probably damage, and the fighter doesn't poof after five rounds.

The trade-off gets more and more PC-beatstick friendly as you level, with the notable exception of ninth level spells. At around that level, wizards become godly. I don't see this as an issue. It's about the end of the game anyhow, then.

Gnaeus
2011-03-21, 11:48 AM
Fighters are significantly tougher than summons. Consider the level 6 wizard/malconvoker, doing a summon monster 3(IMO, the pinnacle of summoning). We'll assume he summons the best tank available at this level, the celestial bison. 37 hp, AC 13.

A level 6 fighter with a +2 con bonus, a +1 ref bonus and fullplate is sitting at about 50 hp and AC 19. This is entirely ignoring feats or other optimization toward survivability, and using a straight classed fighter, which is not among the better melee tanks. It also doesn't require expending actions to get the fighter there, the fighter will have a better to-hit and probably damage, and the fighter doesn't poof after five rounds.

Druid does it better. The best tank available at that level is a Dire Wolf, with 45 HP. Being large, it controls the battle better than most fighters (It's strength check for a trip is +11). If you assume augment summoning (which is a much better feat for a druid than is HP or AC optimization for the fighter) it has 51 hp.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-21, 11:52 AM
Druid does it better. The best tank available at that level is a Dire Wolf, with 45 HP. Being large, it controls the battle better than most fighters (It's strength check for a trip is +11). If you assume augment summoning (which is a much better feat for a druid than is HP or AC optimization for the fighter) it has 51 hp.

Admittedly, but the original argument was "a wizard can replace rogues or fighters with a few spells".

Sure, a druid with augment summoning and/or greenbound summoning can be pretty lethal...but we should probably start comparing to a similarly optimized fighter at that point, not a straight fighter with no feats and a mediocre con bonus.

elpollo
2011-03-21, 11:58 AM
Fighters are significantly tougher than summons. Consider the level 6 wizard/malconvoker, doing a summon monster 3(IMO, the pinnacle of summoning). We'll assume he summons the best tank available at this level, the celestial bison. 37 hp, AC 13.
A level 6 fighter with a +2 con bonus, a +1 ref bonus and fullplate is sitting at about 50 hp and AC 19.

Eh, Summon Undead 3 allows an ogre zombie (55 HP, AC 15, DR 5/slashing, immunity to stuff undead are immune to) which is significantly better at tanking than the bison, and has a pretty good damage output. Granted it's a zombie, but it can still tank relatively well. You are right in that it's only for 5 rounds, but that's about how long the fight will last, anyway.


This is entirely ignoring feats or other optimization toward survivability, and using a straight classed fighter, which is not among the better melee tanks. It also doesn't require expending actions to get the fighter there, the fighter will have a better to-hit and probably damage, and the fighter doesn't poof after five rounds.

The wizard also gets feats to boost summons, although not as many or as much. I'm not saying the fighter isn't better at tanking than summon monster (it is), but it's not quite as clear cut as you might think when you look through all the books (especially when you expand the summon list).

Of course, summoning to tank is a mistake anyway. You summon for the free SLAs.


Animate dead, on the other hand, allows pretty good tanks to be made, especially when you use the various buffs to boost them. Descrating an area, and having a large corpse means a level 5 cleric can potentially animate and control a 20HD undead indefinately, which tends to vastly outdo the fighter. Change this to a Dread Necromancer and you have a huge vat of hit points with free healing as well.

Of course, since you might not find 10HD creatures lying around (although it's not unreasonable at 5th level) you can instead control 2 smaller creatures - say 2 zombie minotaurs. Buy them some simple armour (even for just a few hundred get them chain mail each), and they have 81 HP, 21 AC, and a powerful attack. This is not high op, either. Use skeletons instead if you want slightly faster creatures and bam, a good part of the fighter is replaced for about 1k gold.

As you level up you can get bigger and bigger beasties, and pay slightly more to get them better stuff. I believe you can also use control undead to go over your HD limit, since animate dead specifies "the newly created creatures", although there might be an errata about that.

edit - to clarify, I'm talking purely about tanking. Chargers can certainly outdamage this.

Gnaeus
2011-03-21, 12:08 PM
Admittedly, but the original argument was "a wizard can replace rogues or fighters with a few spells".

Sure, a druid with augment summoning and/or greenbound summoning can be pretty lethal...but we should probably start comparing to a similarly optimized fighter at that point, not a straight fighter with no feats and a mediocre con bonus.

Well, so can a druid, cleric, or archivist. It isn't wizard/fighter disparity, it is disparity between the guys on top and the guys on the bottom. You can replace with strong class or weak class of choice.

Augment summoning is core. It speaks directly to the druid's class features. It is good all through the level curve. Comparable core fighter feats would be power attack and ???. I guess EWP, Combat Expert, Imp Trip and Combat reflexes would be your best comparison, but I think that is a lot more opti-fu than just "hey, I can summon things. maybe something that helps me summon things would be good."

Tyndmyr
2011-03-21, 12:14 PM
Eh, Summon Undead 3 allows an ogre zombie (55 HP, AC 15, DR 5/slashing, immunity to stuff undead are immune to) which is significantly better at tanking than the bison, and has a pretty good damage output. Granted it's a zombie, but it can still tank relatively well. You are right in that it's only for 5 rounds, but that's about how long the fight will last, anyway.

Probably better even with the zombie action loss. But if you're going malconvoker, IIRC, the summon monster line is pretty much what you're focused on.

I'm not aware of any similar build that expands on the summon undead line...at least not for wizards. Divine casters certainly got the better end of the stick when it comes to undead.


Of course, summoning to tank is a mistake anyway. You summon for the free SLAs.

Entirely agreed. In fact, I think I stated as much earlier.


Animate dead, on the other hand, allows pretty good tanks to be made, especially when you use the various buffs to boost them. Descrating an area, and having a large corpse means a level 5 cleric can potentially animate and control a 20HD undead indefinately, which tends to vastly outdo the fighter. Change this to a Dread Necromancer and you have a huge vat of hit points with free healing as well.

Dread necros are pretty solid, certainly. But the thing about them is...they're very specific. They're not going to be doing that AND the various wizardly tricks. It's just an alternative way of making a tank, with a number of undead-themed toys.

I'm not at all worried about that. It's certainly possible to replicate a melee role while using non-melee classes...and I don't think that's inherently bad. My only point is that it is not efficient for a caster to try to displace the party beatstick. He is far better off utilizing that beatstick to the best of his ability and focusing his precious feats and other optimization attempts in other areas.

Gnaeus
2011-03-21, 12:42 PM
I'm not at all worried about that. It's certainly possible to replicate a melee role while using non-melee classes...and I don't think that's inherently bad. My only point is that it is not efficient for a caster to try to displace the party beatstick. He is far better off utilizing that beatstick to the best of his ability and focusing his precious feats and other optimization attempts in other areas.

Not efficient by what standard? If you assume that WBL is an enforced rule, and that you WILL have a 4 person party, and that one guy is going to be Fred the fighter, yes, you are better off having Fred put on his armor in the morning and pretend to be useful instead of having him walk around unshaven in his houserobe carrying your luggage. But that is entirely metagame logic.

A more realistic reaction by people in the place of PCs would be to have the Wizard, Cleric and Rogue ditch the dead weight. Fight the same fights, split treasure 3 ways instead of 4, because an extra couple 9th level scrolls will solve a lot more problems than another +1 on Fred's sword, or replace Fred with something they need if they can find anyone of appropriate level. A good party might pension Fred off, putting him in charge of a liberated village and letting him keep the goblins away. An evil party, depending on motives, composition, and party dynamics, might just as easily kill him and sell anything they can't use. Another evil party might see more use in Fred the undead meatshield who gets no treasure, can't betray you and doesn't get a vote. A mercenary group might decide that Fred is about half as useful in a fight as the other members, and cut him down to a half share of loot. Admittedly, few groups will do this, because it would cause OOC tensions. But that doesn't mean that it is inefficient. If I can't handle as many cases as the attorney next to me, I get paid less. If my cases fall below a certain #, I lose my job. That isn't mean, it is efficient.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-21, 01:01 PM
Not efficient by what standard? If you assume that WBL is an enforced rule, and that you WILL have a 4 person party, and that one guy is going to be Fred the fighter, yes, you are better off having Fred put on his armor in the morning and pretend to be useful instead of having him walk around unshaven in his houserobe carrying your luggage. But that is entirely metagame logic.

Why would I assume those things?

I'm pretty sure that wealth by level is pretty explicitly called out as a guideline, and alternate levels are sitting next to it, still in the DMG, as options. The DMG also has tables for generating loot on a per-encounter basis. The point is, having a fighter around is more handy than splitting the loot one less way.

I've also played in a great number of parties that are not four people. But that's also not relevant. Your IC choice is "recruit the fighter" or "not recruit the fighter". So long as the fighter is more valuable to you than one cut of loot, it's a good call.


A more realistic reaction by people in the place of PCs would be to have the Wizard, Cleric and Rogue ditch the dead weight. Fight the same fights, split treasure 3 ways instead of 4, because an extra couple 9th level scrolls will solve a lot more problems than another +1 on Fred's sword, or replace Fred with something they need if they can find anyone of appropriate level.

Action Economy. Nobody is saying that Fred is as good as 9th level spells. The thing is, by then, you get either 9th level spells, or 9th level spells AND Fred. If fred reduces the amount of spells you need to spend, good on him.


A mercenary group might decide that Fred is about half as useful in a fight as the other members, and cut him down to a half share of loot. Admittedly, few groups will do this, because it would cause OOC tensions. But that doesn't mean that it is inefficient. If I can't handle as many cases as the attorney next to me, I get paid less. If my cases fall below a certain #, I lose my job. That isn't mean, it is efficient.

Only in the short term. Because giving him half loot means he's only going to be less effective and the whole system becomes less efficient.

Not to mention, such a system would likely result in the wizard getting relatively little loot early in the game and trailing along behind for longer.

Gnaeus
2011-03-21, 01:15 PM
I've also played in a great number of parties that are not four people. But that's also not relevant. Your IC choice is "recruit the fighter" or "not recruit the fighter". So long as the fighter is more valuable to you than one cut of loot, it's a good call.

Not really. Your IC choices are: Recruit the fighter. Wait until later to recruit someone else. Make a fighter. Buy some critters for the druid to handle. Mind control a fighter. I'm sure I am forgetting some.



Action Economy. Nobody is saying that Fred is as good as 9th level spells. The thing is, by then, you get either 9th level spells, or 9th level spells AND Fred. If fred reduces the amount of spells you need to spend, good on him.

Action economy only helps if you can't easily replace fred. And if fred can take useful actions. In many team games, the casters are burning actions to make fred useful when they could just as easily be ending the fight. If I am 1st level and I can have fred or 4 war dogs... bye Fred. If I am 16th level and I can have Fred or a scroll of miracle... bye Fred.



Only in the short term. Because giving him half loot means he's only going to be less effective and the whole system becomes less efficient.

He isn't effective already. If I use the loot to buy a golem, or a whole lot of onyx, or other valuable supplies, I may have made the system more efficient.


Not to mention, such a system would likely result in the wizard getting relatively little loot early in the game and trailing along behind for longer.

Shame on you Tyndmyr. You know better than that. My level 1 sorcerer wins a lot more fights than the fighter standing next to him (a wizard would also, but I'm not running a wizard atm). That only gets worse as we progress in levels.

Also, even if the wizard WAS worse than a fighter at level 1, the group knows that someday they will need powerful magics, and they have a reason to keep him with them. After about level 8, are we pretending that the fighter is just a late bloomer, and someday he will turn things around and be useful again?

Tyndmyr
2011-03-21, 01:31 PM
Not really. Your IC choices are: Recruit the fighter. Wait until later to recruit someone else. Make a fighter. Buy some critters for the druid to handle. Mind control a fighter.

These are separate decisions, though. Personally, when playing evil, I generally have no qualms "recruiting" NPCs via enchantment, when possible. These are just power boosts in addition to the party. Likewise, if I find a cost-effective means to hire an NPC, I frequently do so.

All those are just in addition to the party.


Action economy only helps if you can't easily replace fred. And if fred can take useful actions. In many team games, the casters are burning actions to make fred useful when they could just as easily be ending the fight. If I am 1st level and I can have fred or 4 war dogs... bye Fred. If I am 16th level and I can have Fred or a scroll of miracle... bye Fred.

While I approve of buffing, buffing mid-combat is indeed generally hard on actions. Use long term buffs whenever possible. Actions spent before combat are not a crucial resource.

Charge and hit it remains a useful action for a very, very long time. Yes, magical flight is something Fred needs to get ASAP. Fred needs his magical items.


He isn't effective already. If I use the loot to buy a golem, or a whole lot of onyx, or other valuable supplies, I may have made the system more efficient.

Over a straight fighter...eventually, yes, this will happen. But if the wizard is cleverly building an army with his resources, we should assume that the fighter at least has the intelligence to cross class a bit and spend his money on useful things as well. Beatsticks can be quite effective with the right magic items. Just generally not as versatile.


Shame on you Tyndmyr. You know better than that. My level 1 sorcerer wins a lot more fights than the fighter standing next to him (a wizard would also, but I'm not running a wizard atm). That only gets worse as we progress in levels.

At high levels of optimization, either can, at first level, instagib their targets. Spells are limited. At level 1, the crusader is probably the single best choice, provided we ignore truly impressive levels of cheese(metabreath, pun pun). At lower optimization levels, casters are less impressive at level 1. Magic Missile, despite being a classic, is not all that lethal.

Around about level 8ish, the wizard does indeed eclipse the melee types. Exact level varies a bit, depending on circumstance. However, WBL does have a significant amount of power for anyone. The exact point will shift somewhat if the melee dude is enjoying some of the wizard's loot.


Also, even if the wizard WAS worse than a fighter at level 1, the group knows that someday they will need powerful magics, and they have a reason to keep him with them. After about level 8, are we pretending that the fighter is just a late bloomer, and someday he will turn things around and be useful again?

In a realistic world, the group is not entirely cynical, and does not expect everyone to be equally useful. They just expect everyone to be useful.

Gnaeus
2011-03-21, 01:50 PM
At high levels of optimization, either can, at first level, instagib their targets. Spells are limited. At level 1, the crusader is probably the single best choice, provided we ignore truly impressive levels of cheese(metabreath, pun pun). At lower optimization levels, casters are less impressive at level 1. Magic Missile, despite being a classic, is not all that lethal.

I'm not talking about crusaders. I'm talking fighters and monks. Crusaders are good all the way up. At some point they fall behind casters, but not useless behind.

High levels of optimization? I put my highest roll in my casting stat, and got either Sleep or Color Spray. I can trash 4 encounters over my level per day given average rolls, or only 2 if you assume some distribution. That isn't optimization, those are 2 core spells, used as intended. Oh, I think I took Spell Focus. Does that make me optimized? If it balances out, I also took Skill Focus, which is about as low cheese as it gets.



In a realistic world, the group is not entirely cynical, and does not expect everyone to be equally useful. They just expect everyone to be useful.

Personally, I don't think paying people based on results is unrealistic. I think it is very realistic. And in a mid to high level game, I don't find any fighter who isn't an optimized chain tripper or charger to be useful, at all.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-21, 01:58 PM
I'm not talking about crusaders. I'm talking fighters and monks. Crusaders are good all the way up. At some point they fall behind casters, but not useless behind.

Even a small ToB dip can help flagging melee rather significantly. I do suggest using it.

Well chosen PrCs can help a lot as well. As does wise multiclassing. Five levels of fighter, then PrC does not tend to happen in my groups. Usually, it's five or six levels of interesting multiclassing among melee base classes, then scooping up whatever PrC they've targeted.


High levels of optimization? I put my highest roll in my casting stat, and got either Sleep or Color Spray. I can trash 4 encounters over my level per day given average rolls, or only 2 if you assume some distribution. That isn't optimization, those are 2 core spells, used as intended. Oh, I think I took spell focus. Does that make me optimized?

Well, distribution is a normal thing. Color spray has a whopping 15 ft range, and sleep is a full round action. If you miss anyone with the sleep, expect them to wake whoever you hit. You are not useless, no...but the standard fighter with appropriately chosen stats and a decent weapon can charge and put one in the ground if he hits(with solid odds). He is a lot more resistant to damage than you are.


Personally, I don't think paying people based on results is unrealistic. I think it is very realistic. And in a mid to high level game, I don't find any fighter who isn't an optimized chain tripper or charger to be useful, at all.

It's not unrealistic in the 21st century. It's surprisingly unrealistic for older times. Look up mercantilism and nobility. The idea of getting paid in exact proportion to what you did has not always been pervasive.

Well, if you're a fighter and don't charge or trip, what DO you do? It's pretty much a given.

Malevolence
2011-03-21, 02:00 PM
Meh. Highly optimized is unnecessary to build a charger. And it really doesn't matter how much damage enemies do when you splatter them right off.

An unoptimized beatstick is flailing around for 1d8+10 or something. Obviously the Leap Attack Shock Trooper will do better, but if he can't charge, or the target does not die, or there is more than one target he dies. And that is where the highly optimized part comes in, to ensure that you can kill them and they cannot kill you.


Fighters are significantly tougher than summons. Consider the level 6 wizard/malconvoker, doing a summon monster 3(IMO, the pinnacle of summoning). We'll assume he summons the best tank available at this level, the celestial bison. 37 hp, AC 13.

The bison summoned by a summoning focused character who bizarrely does not even have Augment Summoning? Which would bring it up to 47 HP, only two less and would also have it attacking for +10/1d8+12 which while low is better than an unoptimized Fighter while still being disposable? Alright. The Bison also has some minor energy resistance, and DR 5/Magic. Which while completely inconsequential against the PCs is actually mildly useful against enemies, as not that many of them have a magic weapon or DR/Magic of their own. It also gets a small damage boost ability.


A level 6 fighter with a +2 con bonus, a +1 ref bonus and fullplate is sitting at about 50 hp and AC 19. This is entirely ignoring feats or other optimization toward survivability, and using a straight classed fighter, which is not among the better melee tanks. It also doesn't require expending actions to get the fighter there, the fighter will have a better to-hit and probably damage, and the fighter doesn't poof after five rounds.

Ignoring the fact that there is no such thing as tanking, because enemies can and will simply walk around here...

Getting the Bison on the field requires a 3rd level spell slot. You have several of those. If it dies, it's not a big deal.

Getting the Fighter on the field means an even share of XP and loot. If it dies, you have an annoyed player to deal with.

One of these is expensive, one is not. And for this reason the comparison is actually been taking a Fighter, and taking a summoning character who can summon disposable decoys who can die without bothering anyone and who can also contribute other things.

Lastly, the Fighter might not poof after five rounds, but he's not surviving five rounds of combat, not even close so it is a moot point.


The trade-off gets more and more PC-beatstick friendly as you level, with the notable exception of ninth level spells. At around that level, wizards become godly. I don't see this as an issue. It's about the end of the game anyhow, then.

The higher you go, the worse PC beatsticks get, and the better summons get. How long it takes to fall off depends on how good the beatstick is, but if you aren't CoDzilla or Gish level you will fall off, and if you're a Fighter you'll fall off quickly.

Summons, animated undead, attack animals... If you want to auto attack for HP damage, there are so many better ways to do it than devoting a full character to it. A Magebred Fleshraker is 800 gold. Anyone with Handle Animal can give it the Warbeast template. Despite the fact you can easily do this at level 2 with gold pooling (still cheaper than the Fighter) such a creature is about equal to a average level 6 beatstick. Even though said creature will not scale at all unless you spend a feat on Wild Cohort, it will still hold out longer than a Fighter.

And I don't have any problem with this, because if your character can be played just as well by a graphing calculator, you were playing a minion anyways.


At high levels of optimization, either can, at first level, instagib their targets. Spells are limited. At level 1, the crusader is probably the single best choice, provided we ignore truly impressive levels of cheese(metabreath, pun pun). At lower optimization levels, casters are less impressive at level 1. Magic Missile, despite being a classic, is not all that lethal.


At level 1, the Wizard has around 4 Color Sprays a day, each of which are an AoE save or lose. The Fighter is swinging at a 13 HP enemy for 2d6+7 damage. Both of them die in 1-2 hits. Everyone does, at level 1.

Then you advance a few levels, and the Wizard has a Slow or two, a Stinking Cloud or two, some Webs and Glitterdusts, and Greases and Rays of Enfeeblement to round it out, and the Fighter is swinging at a 56 HP enemy for... not much more than 2d6+7 damage.

Gnaeus
2011-03-21, 02:16 PM
Even a small ToB dip can help flagging melee rather significantly. I do suggest using it.

Well chosen PrCs can help a lot as well. As does wise multiclassing. Five levels of fighter, then PrC does not tend to happen in my groups. Usually, it's five or six levels of interesting multiclassing among melee base classes, then scooping up whatever PrC they've targeted.

Yes, you or I could build solid melee using levels of fighter. Although by the time we are done, I don't think I would call what we get a fighter. It takes a lot more rules savvy than to build a wizard, pick spells that sound good, and then use the ones which rock utterly. The melee that WE build gets compared with a wizard abusing polymorph, or casting no save just lose spells. At all levels of equivalent optimization, the fighter is a gimp compared with a T1 after about level 5-7.



Well, distribution is a normal thing. Color spray has a whopping 15 ft range, and sleep is a full round action. If you miss anyone with the sleep, expect them to wake whoever you hit. You are not useless, no...but the standard fighter with appropriately chosen stats and a decent weapon can charge and put one in the ground if he hits(with solid odds). He is a lot more resistant to damage than you are.

He isn't useless at level 1. But the caster is AT LEAST as good. And this is a cloth caster, a cleric or druid is much more unfair. At level 1, everyone contributes. At level 10, not so much. At level 20, I put him in a collar so that everyone understands he is a pet.



It's not unrealistic in the 21st century. It's surprisingly unrealistic for older times. Look up mercantilism and nobility. The idea of getting paid in exact proportion to what you did has not always been pervasive.

We keep the gimp around because of....mercantilism?


Well, if you're a fighter and don't charge or trip, what DO you do? It's pretty much a given.

Well, you see, there are all kinds of fighter traps. S&B. TWF. Optimization for AC. Splitting feats among multiple specialties in an attempt to be versatile. Heck, even the guy who goes two handed needs a lot of stuff to stay competitive, like a method for move + full attack, probably shock trooper, etc. Playing a good melee requires planning, system knowledge, and splat support (Edit: oh, and the right gear. Most melee are equipment dependent). Playing a good T1 requires either system knowledge, or a willingness to say "hey, that spell sucked. I'm going to do something else tomorrow."

The best melee I have seen played in a recent game was a barbarian. He read splats, crunched numbers, and optimized as best he could. But he wasn't on forums, and he didn't read all the books. He dropped a level for rogue because he saw how much damage the rogue did with SA. He didn't have CC for pounce at level 1. He DID find leap attack & Shock Trooper, and later in the game he started talking to me when he leveled up. Me, I was playing a T1, because I like druids and because we had no casters. But I was kind to him. Dropping 3 levels for wizard before taking Arcane Hierophant meant that he was the combat god for levels 1-10. The game ended while he was still useful. But only, ONLY because I didn't take Druid 10 and because I crafted for him was he more useful than my heavily buffed bear. And I only did that because I understood how game balance works. In 4 or 5 more levels, he would have been pet #2.

In other words, I had to de-optimize a core build to keep a reasonably rules savvy core+completes barbarian (better than fighter) relevant.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-21, 04:06 PM
An unoptimized beatstick is flailing around for 1d8+10 or something. Obviously the Leap Attack Shock Trooper will do better, but if he can't charge, or the target does not die, or there is more than one target he dies. And that is where the highly optimized part comes in, to ensure that you can kill them and they cannot kill you.

Well, as I haven't given a shield in the beatsticks armor value, I assume he's using a two handed weapon. So, 2d6 base damage is more reasonable. And at level 6, two attacks for 2d6+10ish is not unreasonable.

After all, the bison has a single attack for 1d8+9. Factoring the lower chance to hit, the bison is far, far lower in damage.


The bison summoned by a summoning focused character who bizarrely does not even have Augment Summoning? Which would bring it up to 47 HP, only two less and would also have it attacking for +10/1d8+12 which while low is better than an unoptimized Fighter while still being disposable? Alright.

Yes, a summoner with feats has an advantage over a fighter without them. This is...trivial, and is not worth comparing.


The Bison also has some minor energy resistance, and DR 5/Magic. Which while completely inconsequential against the PCs is actually mildly useful against enemies, as not that many of them have a magic weapon or DR/Magic of their own. It also gets a small damage boost ability.

A 1/day smite for 5 points is fairly worthless. Odds are solid he won't even make the hit, even if the target is evil. This doesn't even start to overcome the damage differential.

The resists are an extremely minor factor. They do not include fire, the most likely damage type, and are too small to make a big difference regardless. The DR is somewhat more useful, but since it's negated by magic, it's only really of use against things that are unlikely to kill either the bison OR the fighter.


Ignoring the fact that there is no such thing as tanking, because enemies can and will simply walk around here...

Getting the Bison on the field requires a 3rd level spell slot. You have several of those. If it dies, it's not a big deal.

Well, sadly, the malconvoker loses it's first caster level. Being a summoner is a rough life.

It also requires CASTING the spell. Action economy is godly. By default, it takes a full round action to summon monsters. Standard, if we assume he'll ACF away the familiar for that, instead of the more popular(and IMHO, better) abrupt jaunt.


Getting the Fighter on the field means an even share of XP and loot. If it dies, you have an annoyed player to deal with.

One of these is expensive, one is not. And for this reason the comparison is actually been taking a Fighter, and taking a summoning character who can summon disposable decoys who can die without bothering anyone and who can also contribute other things.

Lastly, the Fighter might not poof after five rounds, but he's not surviving five rounds of combat, not even close so it is a moot point.[quote]

Sure, a fighter can survive five rounds of combat. He might not get hit every single round, yknow. Consider a routine CR 6 opponent: The gargantuan monstrous centipede.

He has a +11 attack, so he hits Fighty McNotOptimized slightly better than half of the time. 2d8+9 & poison if he hits. Oh, sure, the reach hurts, but the fighter'll probably make the fort save on the poison, and even if he doesn't, it would take two solid rolls of poison to down him. The damage is. about even. Cent AC is one lower, which is compensated for by the centipede having a few more hp. Attack bonuses are similar. I'd give an unoptimized fighter even odds vs the centipede, and with average damage, it's going to take about 3 hits or so for either of them to finish off the other one.

Now, sure, entire party vs centipede is going to end in about a round, perhaps two...but lets consider the bison vs the centipede.

Yeah, he gets eaten. Sure, he has DR, but it doesn't matter. A 13 AC vs a +11 attack = you get hit a lot, and the bison can't put out enough damage to matter.

[quote]The higher you go, the worse PC beatsticks get, and the better summons get. How long it takes to fall off depends on how good the beatstick is, but if you aren't CoDzilla or Gish level you will fall off, and if you're a Fighter you'll fall off quickly.

You mean, like Summon Monster 6, when I can summon a celestial polar bear? Granted, durations are long enough that them lasting the combat isn't an issue, but 68 hp at level 14 is pretty terrible. It's not like even aug summoning is going to make that beastie relevant.


Summons, animated undead, attack animals... If you want to auto attack for HP damage, there are so many better ways to do it than devoting a full character to it. A Magebred Fleshraker is 800 gold. Anyone with Handle Animal can give it the Warbeast template. Despite the fact you can easily do this at level 2 with gold pooling (still cheaper than the Fighter) such a creature is about equal to a average level 6 beatstick. Even though said creature will not scale at all unless you spend a feat on Wild Cohort, it will still hold out longer than a Fighter.

And oddly enough, Handle Animal is not a wizard ability. So, it's not really relevant to if a wizard can displace a fighter.

And no, the entire party pooling their gold is not cheaper than giving a cut of it to a fighter. It'll be fantastic when you get it, sure...but the not scaling is kinda rough.


At level 1, the Wizard has around 4 Color Sprays a day, each of which are an AoE save or lose. The Fighter is swinging at a 13 HP enemy for 2d6+7 damage. Both of them die in 1-2 hits. Everyone does, at level 1.

Most CR 1 opponents have <10 hp. The fighter is pretty much guaranteed to crush almost anything in one hit.

Things that hit them tend to be in the 1d4-1d8+1 range. Not a great pile of damage. The extra hp a fighter has is generally about an extra hit. More importantly, if the wizard is putting four level 1 slots into color spray, he has significantly lower AC than the fighter. Also, he's either a specialized illusionist with a 20 int or a focus specialized illusionist. That's some degree of optimization there. More importantly, it's optimization that's not terribly synergistic with the summoner you portrayed.

A wizard that's putting this much effort into replacing the fighter is being a really bad wizard.

PS: The wizard is useless against anything immune to mind affecting with your loadout. This is a significant flaw.


Then you advance a few levels, and the Wizard has a Slow or two, a Stinking Cloud or two, some Webs and Glitterdusts, and Greases and Rays of Enfeeblement to round it out, and the Fighter is swinging at a 56 HP enemy for... not much more than 2d6+7 damage.

Well, he'll be swinging twice. For a few points more damage. His hitting also gets a lot more reliable for his primary attack.

If the wizard wants to play fighter support, he'll do that great with such a loadout. If the wizard wants to use such a loadout and also tank with summon monsters, and specialized in illusions, he'll have blown his load after about...one fight.

Gnaeus
2011-03-21, 04:59 PM
Well, as I haven't given a shield in the beatsticks armor value, I assume he's using a two handed weapon. So, 2d6 base damage is more reasonable. And at level 6, two attacks for 2d6+10ish is not unreasonable.

Unless he is a monk. Or TWF ranger (or anything else TWF). Or maybe he is using a shield. etc......



You mean, like Summon Monster 6, when I can summon a celestial polar bear? Granted, durations are long enough that them lasting the combat isn't an issue, but 68 hp at level 14 is pretty terrible. It's not like even aug summoning is going to make that beastie relevant.

You keep forgetting that this isn't JUST a Fighter versus Wizard debate. If you are talking about summoners who make fighters irrelevant, you are talking about druids. A Dire Bear has 105 hp base. And it is much, much better at crowd control (grappling) than a poorly built fighter.


And oddly enough, Handle Animal is not a wizard ability. So, it's not really relevant to if a wizard can displace a fighter.

No, but it is ENTIRELY relevant to whether a fighter can be cheaply replaced by the rest of his party. The wizard isn't going to adventure alone.


The fighter who chooses a good weapon is pretty much guaranteed to crush almost anything in one hit.

Fixed that.


PS: The wizard is useless against anything immune to mind affecting with your loadout. This is a significant flaw.


1. At level 1, that is pretty much just undead and some vermin.
2. With the wonder that is rocket tag, the wizard can still fight things at first level. A crossbow or quarterstaff is still a valid weapon at that level of play. He is probably only about 15% less likely to hit than the fighter.
3. The wizard is still traveling with a party. If I solo 2 encounters per day, and plink with my x-bow in the other 2, I can expect the other PCs to do SOMETHING.
4. The problem ISN'T that the fighter is never relevant. It is that the fighter isn't relevant after a certain point. At level 1, the fighter could be replaced with a second wizard. The fighter isn't actually any BETTER. At level 10, the fighter can be replaced by a dozen things that are cheaper, and often better than a PC.

Kazturkey
2011-03-21, 05:11 PM
But let's leave the armies aside.
A 20th level wizard and a 20th level fighter walk into a room, completely naked.
Fighter wins.
Let's give them clothes and their standard items.
Fighter STILL wins.
Let's give them both magic items complementary to their class, and ALLOW the wizard to prepare spells.
Whoever rolls Initiative wins.
.

I registered just so I could retort this one point.

Celerity.

My wizard now has one standard action on your fighter's turn, and I use it to cast... maximized shivering touch. If your fighter has less than 19 dex (Pretty much a certainty he does) he is now a corpse. No save. My wizard is dazed for a turn, but you're dead. Oh, and also - Chain Contingency. 'If I take lethal damage, Greater Dispel Magic on my location (Or Disjunction, if I REALLY hate your fighter and want him to have no magical items when I return to lay the smackdown), teleport my body to the temple of X, where I am paid up for resurrection and healing'

Your fighter's army is pretty much powerless in the face of a 20th level wizard too, unless you can afford to hire high level wizards to fight. Heck, if you get all that, where did all MY gold go? Spells aren't as expensive as you might imagine, and if there's that much gold to go round, pretty sure I can afford to buy a giant mage tower and befriend a circle of high level wizards to cast meteor swarms from atop a tower of obsidian.

Oh, and if I was actually being cheesy, 'Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil' PrC. Immediate action, I put up a shield that disintegrates any weapon or item that touches it and plane-shifts anyone attacking me to a random location on a random plane. Lets see a fighter come back from that, 20th level and impeccable rep or no. You get a will save, but, y'know, you're a fighter. Also, Greater Spell Focus: Abjuration.

Oh, and if you're buffed, the fun REALLY starts! Kaleidoscopic doom - for every buff on you, you get hit by one color of a prismatic wall. Up to all nine. AND your buffs are gone.

If I'm not an initiate, and I'm say, a Mindbender instead: Dominate, create thrall. You're now my slave until I choose to release you.

Heck, let's say I'm a red wizard who specced into conjuration - orb of ultimate destruction: You get disintegrated every round until you die with a save DC of... 10 base +9 spell level +int of whatever +5 for spellpower +any magic int bonuses I happen to get +2 for greater spell focus +1 for tattoo focus, I think... that comes to 27 + my int bonus, which is guaranteed to be upwards of +5. That's a minimum of 32. How certain are you you can pass that on a 20th level fighter multiple rounds in a row? Because if you fail, 40d6 damage.

I'm really not saying this to be mean, but wizards are really, really unfair in a one on one duel against any other class, especially the utter cheese abjurer I just mentioned.

jseah
2011-03-21, 05:39 PM
TheOasysMaster:
How high is the op-fu in your campaigns? Do the players have at least one prC? A specific feat or prestige class known to be incredible?
Take uncanny forethought and the unseen seer prestige class?

Or do they do more? Dark Chaos shuffle? Level up/down? 1d2 crusader and/or lightning mace infinite crits? THE thought bottle? Infinite wealth (independent of the market) tricks?

As you increase in op-fu, the wizards and clerics win harder and harder, because alot of those tricks rely on a specific spell and/or feats.


Future-seeing wizards (divination spells can do that FYI, as can summons) with persistent buffs from Incantatrix, who also abuse a few choice feats to be able to swap out blank slots for ANY spell in their books?

A few spells will also buff ANY arbitrary skill check they like into the high 50s. Diplomacy? Knowledge Architecture? You name it.
With these, they can easily get anything the fighter can get, + their personal spells. Getting them might be a bit problematic (IIRC, one is a bard spell Improvization and the other is Divine), but op-fu or summons can overcome that.