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nihil8r
2011-06-18, 09:49 AM
so i'm trying to get my pathfinder game ready to play. i want to make sure the players' party is balanced and everyone has a cool character. i also want to make sure that the weak classes from 3.5 really are improved for pathfinder.

but one thing i don't quite get is this whole tier nonsense. sure, a wizard is way better than a fighter past the beginning levels. and so is a cleric. i get that. however, what i don't get is the concept (perhaps a concept made up by me) that non-spellcasting classes are no good.

if tier 1 classes are so good, then why doesn't everyone just play a wizard? right? well, in my mind, the party of 4 wizards going up against a fighter, a rogue, a wizard, and a cleric is going to lose every time. any all-magic party is going to lose to a balanced party every time. right?

so am i just crazy or is this whole tier thing just way too ... dismissive? ie paladins suck because they are tier 592, and they are tier 592 because they are only good at one thing. well if that one thing happens to be killing the bad guy in the face then how is that somehow bad? it's not the paladin's job to buff himself or dispel himself. it's the spellcaster's job to buff and dispel. it's the paladin's job to have huge defensive bonuses while doing constant damage. again, how is this bad?

i feel like this whole tier thing is like a bunch of very small schoolchildren talking about how important various members of a football team are. for example, our fictitious children might imagine that the quarterback is tier 1 because he throws the ball for touchdowns and touchdowns are the only thing that matters. linebackers, on the other hand, are tier 593 (behind paladins!) because they don't really seem to do anything aside from push the other guy and fall down a lot. clearly, linebackers are useless and stupid. but what our schoolchildren fail to realize is that the linebacker's job is to push the other guys so that the quarterback CAN throw the ball. the other team is trying to punch the quarterback in the face and take the ball away from him and get a touchdown of their own, and it is the linebackers job to prevent that from happening, just as it is the paladin (or whomever's) job to hit stuff with pointed sticks while the "tier 1" class casts magic missile at the endzone.

of course d&d isn't football, and class imbalance is a VERY serious concern. i just feel morally outraged for some reason at this tier system. i'd prefer things simply being called balanced, overpowered or underpowered :(

profitofrage
2011-06-18, 09:51 AM
im going to leave the forums for exactly 5 minutes and return so that I miss the huge bombshell thats about to collide with this thread.

Suffice to say that you should read this
http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=5256.0

edit: wow really? 5 minutes and nothing? I thought this was the sort of thread that would blow up :P
EDIT2:
Fine ill explain it then.
Basically the idea is that lower tiers such as the paladin...CANT do there job properly. i.e A wizard can actually do everything they do BETTER.
It is hrd to see it at first..but at high optimisation and EXTREMLY CLEVER use..a wizard can end up doing pretty much godlike things...where as a paladin loses his powers if he kills that goblin child with a wrongly timed cleave.

the Fighter is a good example. the Cleric can do everything the fighter can..and more. Thus..any party with a fighter in it rather then a cleric holding that spot..is weaker.
Your example of a party of 5 wizards never beating a balanced party? wrong....actually very wrong. Those 5 wizards would first kill the other parties casters...as there the threats. Then they would easily gimp and smoosh the other characters given a fair amount of optimisation and high effieciency play.

EDIT3:
Lol AH theres the postplosion i was expecting.

druid91
2011-06-18, 09:57 AM
Ok...


A paladin can kill the bad guy in the face.

A druid can kill an entire nation of bad guys.

Warriors are no slouches. They can kill you six ways to sunday in 6 seconds.

But spellcasters? They are armageddon walking, nations rise and fall by the patronage of high level casters.

If your paladin is doing anything by those levels, either you build a very good paladin, or they are holding back.

Kurald Galain
2011-06-18, 09:58 AM
class imbalance is a VERY serious concern.
In practice, it is much less of a concern than the forums make it out to be.

Reficule
2011-06-18, 09:59 AM
First off, the tier system is NOT, I repeat NOT. as in NOT about who would win if the two classes were placed into an arena right in front of each other. Tiers refer to a character's ability to solve problems This requires two things, Power and Versatility. Thats what the tiers measure, and thats whats important in a D&D game.

Fighters and paladins can only do one thing, and not particularly impressively either, a wizard can do anything in half a dozen different ways.

Dragon is attacking? Wizard doesnt bother with combat, he casts charm monster to make the dragon friendly instead of killing it. The town now has a powerful ally. Dragon makes his save? Ok, Forcecage. The dragon is now trapped for at least a day while you have the time to do whatever the hell you want. A melee has only one option, and that option is almost never the best thing you can do. Especially when a wizard can summon an army of Solars to crush anything

PS: Tiers exist so the entire party can have a similar tier to prevent conflict in the group when one player is more useful than the other. Just cause wizards are tier one doesnt mean you cant play other classes, just dont have a wizard and a fighter in the same group.

Draconi Redfir
2011-06-18, 10:01 AM
Like the guy in that one video i can't remember said, "teirs are for *not allowed to say*

Forget the whole teir nonsense, it's not how the classes are made its how you play them. Wanna be a monk? a a monk. wanna be a knight? be a kight.

forget the whole teir nonsense a just play what you wanna play.


And if you support said teir nonsense, i will bonk you on the head with a wiimote!

Qaera
2011-06-18, 10:02 AM
Magic is always more flexible than whacking with a stick. Tiers aren't about killing, they are about versatility. In your example, the group of wizards could probably do better at the jobs of the other team and still have better versatility.
That said, tiers are a third party understanding of class mechanics, and you don't have to even think about them if you don't want to.

Morph Bark
2011-06-18, 10:02 AM
if tier 1 classes are so good, then why doesn't everyone just play a wizard? right? well, in my mind, the party of 4 wizards going up against a fighter, a rogue, a wizard, and a cleric is going to lose every time. any all-magic party is going to lose to a balanced party every time. right?

Playing the same thing over and over is boring. An all-magic party can steamroll a balanced party, but not if they are unoptimized.

Take care with the term "balanced" there though, as a balanced party Tier-wise would be closer to factotum, crusader, dread necromancer and binder or something of the sort. You mean to refer to a balanced party as one with all the roles filled. However, a wizard with well-picked spells could fill the roles of the fighter and rogue pretty easily. It is for this reason it is Tier 1.


Let me say the most important thing though that will get repeated here a lot: the Tier system was not made to say "this class is bad" or such things. It is to show the versatility of classes.

From your post it is clear your idea of spellcasters aren't as filling the roles of the fighter or rogue or pull out overpowered stuff like Polymorph or Gate or summon tons of creatures and break the action economy.


One important bit of your post I find ironic is this:

i'd prefer things simply being called balanced, overpowered or underpowered

Simply replace "Tier 1" "overpowered", "Tier 3" with "balanced", "Tier 5" and "Tier 6" with "underpowered" and decide for yourself if you think Tier 2 and Tier 4 are balanced or over/underpowered. Voila, now you got a Tier system in your own words, which is actually nothing better than what you started out with.

The point is, magic is just damn versatile and powerful and those classes that don't have access to it therefore fall behind unless the casters they adventure with or fight against aren't optimized.

Seerow
2011-06-18, 10:07 AM
If your paladin is doing anything by those levels, either you build a very good paladin, or they are holding back.

It's largely this.



But the biggest thing to remember is the tiers are separated based on the options you have available, not just raw power. An ubercharger who deals thousands of damage per round is still tier 4 at best, because charging is all that character can do. Meanwhile a Warblade with a tenth of that damage potential makes tier 3 because he has more options available to him. Sorcerer makes tier 2 because his options have a greater variety, and he has more of them. Wizard makes tier 1 cause he has the same options as the sorcerer but he can completely rearrange those options each day to fit the situation, so not only does he have all the most powerful options, he has effectively no limit on which options he has.

tyckspoon
2011-06-18, 10:27 AM
To run with the football analogy:

Sure, the quarterback throws, the offensive line blocks for him, and the receivers get outside and downfield so the quarterback has somewhere to throw to. In that situation, every part of the group is doing something vital.

But.. say the quarterback is not restricted to just throwing and trying not to get hit. Maybe he can make his offensive line twice as big so nobody on the other team has any chance of getting by them. Maybe he can generate a repulsive field around himself so he can just carry the ball downfield alone and nobody can tackle him. Maybe he can put the entire defending team to sleep or root them in place. Maybe he can create a wall blocking off half the pitch and have his entire team focus on getting through just half the opposing team. Maybe he just throws the ball up and makes it stick in the air until a receiver is free, and then the ball guides itself into the receiver's hands. Maybe he can create his own receiver wherever he wants it to be.

When that kind of thing can happen, the quarterback goes from being just an important part of the team to being the *only* important part of the team- the tricks he chooses to use that day determine how the ball gets scored and who gets to take a part in it. Some of those plans leave a role for the linemen and the receivers, but they're only there because the quarterback decided that today, they get to do something. That's the kind of thing the tiers measure. They're not meant as value judgements on the classes (well, mostly- Tier 6 is pretty much in 'can't mechanically do anything, why bother' range), but they do help to assess if your parties are liable to have intra-character balance problems.

Yora
2011-06-18, 10:42 AM
This is a superhero parody, but a perfect case study (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFuMpYTyRjw) about the problem with tiers.

This would be a Tier 1 character with his Tier 4 ally. The one character has a lot of interesting abilities, but they are all useless because the other one can do everything faster and easier.

The last scene even shows how a high tier character can support low tier characters to make them more effective, but it would still be more effective to do it by himself.

Talya
2011-06-18, 10:56 AM
This is a superhero parody, but a perfect case study (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFuMpYTyRjw) about the problem with tiers.

This would be a Tier 1 character with his Tier 4 ally. The one character has a lot of interesting abilities, but they are all useless because the other one can do everything faster and easier.

The last scene even shows how a high tier character can support low tier characters to make them more effective, but it would still be more effective to do it by himself.


That was awesome.

oxybe
2011-06-18, 10:56 AM
when all you have is a hammer, all you can do is treat every problem as a nail.

which is why martial types, like fighters and barbarians are lower tier then casters.

think of it as building a house. the caster has a wide array of tools at his disposal. he's got limited space in his truck, so he can't just up and bring them all on site, so he has to pick and choose... but if he knows what needs to be done that day, the can pick the right tools for the job, otherwise he brings several multi-use tools he can adapt to different tasks instead of the specific use ones... it's a wee bit slower, but he can get the various jobs done.

the non-casters have a limited toolset. a hammer, some nails, maybe a saw and some measuring tape. they're aces at what they do, hammer stuff in, but ask them to do plumbing, electrical wiring, tiling, etc... and they're flummoxed. you can't just grab a hammer and hope the wiring somehow does itself and the new window gets weatherproofed.

what's worse is even if the two were to work on a project together, if it's going slow the caster can still grab his cell phone and call up a few apprentices to grab their hammers and come on down to the site: they might not be as effective individually as mr.non-caster (who's honed his hammering to an art form), but together they can still manage to do the same job he does (hammer in nails) while the caster focuses on other tasks.

this is the power difference of tiers: the ability to handle and adapt to a wide array of situations. yes the wizard and fighter can work together, but given the option would you chose caster+non-caster or caster x2?

Lord_Gareth
2011-06-18, 10:58 AM
To run with the football analogy:

Sure, the quarterback throws, the offensive line blocks for him, and the receivers get outside and downfield so the quarterback has somewhere to throw to. In that situation, every part of the group is doing something vital.

But.. say the quarterback is not restricted to just throwing and trying not to get hit. Maybe he can make his offensive line twice as big so nobody on the other team has any chance of getting by them. Maybe he can generate a repulsive field around himself so he can just carry the ball downfield alone and nobody can tackle him. Maybe he can put the entire defending team to sleep or root them in place. Maybe he can create a wall blocking off half the pitch and have his entire team focus on getting through just half the opposing team. Maybe he just throws the ball up and makes it stick in the air until a receiver is free, and then the ball guides itself into the receiver's hands. Maybe he can create his own receiver wherever he wants it to be.

When that kind of thing can happen, the quarterback goes from being just an important part of the team to being the *only* important part of the team- the tricks he chooses to use that day determine how the ball gets scored and who gets to take a part in it. Some of those plans leave a role for the linemen and the receivers, but they're only there because the quarterback decided that today, they get to do something. That's the kind of thing the tiers measure. They're not meant as value judgements on the classes (well, mostly- Tier 6 is pretty much in 'can't mechanically do anything, why bother' range), but they do help to assess if your parties are liable to have intra-character balance problems.

This is the best analogy I've seen on this thread so far.

Ozymandias
2011-06-18, 10:58 AM
Tiers are descriptive, not proscriptive. The system does not say or imply "you should play X" or "you should not play X."

nihil8r
2011-06-18, 11:04 AM
wow! thanks for the great replies everyone. i think i was just looking at the situation too narrowly. :)

Esser-Z
2011-06-18, 11:05 AM
Tiers are descriptive, not proscriptive. The system does not say or imply "you should play X" or "you should not play X."
This, exactly. Some things are more effective/powerful/descriptor of choice than others. A tier system describes that. Nothing says you have to use the "best" option.

Also, tyckspoon's post was excellent.

Lord_Gareth
2011-06-18, 11:05 AM
wow! thanks for the great replies everyone. i think i was just looking at the situation too narrowly. :)

Wait....did...someone on the internet just have their mind changed by calm, rational explanation?

Dear gods, the end is here. RUN FOR THE HILLS EVERYONE, RATIONAL DEBATE JUST FUNCTIONED ON THE INTERNET! THE HORSEMEN RIDE FORTH TO SLAUGHTER ALL!

But seriously dude, glad we could help.

Knaight
2011-06-18, 11:06 AM
Tiers are descriptive, not proscriptive. The system does not say or imply "you should play X" or "you should not play X."

It does highlight the potential problems involved if X and Z are there at the same time, which seems a useful service. As such it is certainly much more useful than "Balanced, Overpowered, Underpowered", if simply because one can decide to apply those terms -or not, depending on play style- then push them around.

Yuki Akuma
2011-06-18, 11:09 AM
The tier system is designed so DMs can work together with their players to iron out wrinkles in the party dynamic. They can see that one player wants to be a Wizard (Tier 1), while another wants to be a Barbarian (Tier 4) and a third wants to be a Fighter (Tier 5).

The DM can then work to make sure the Tier 1 character doesn't completely overshadow the other two - by either suggesting other, similar classes with a higher tier (say, Warblade, Tier 3) to the melee types, or a similar class with a lower tier (say, Wu Jen, Tier 2-3) to the Wizard.

Or you can just ignore it and fix problems as they occur, if they ever do.

Esser-Z
2011-06-18, 11:09 AM
...Well paint me orange and call me Megatron, rational debate just worked on the Internet.

Leon
2011-06-18, 11:12 AM
so i'm trying to get my pathfinder game ready to play. i want to make sure the players' party is balanced and everyone has a cool character. i also want to make sure that the weak classes from 3.5 really are improved for pathfinder.

but one thing i don't quite get is this whole tier nonsense. sure, a wizard is way better than a fighter past the beginning levels. and so is a cleric. i get that. however, what i don't get is the concept (perhaps a concept made up by me) that non-spellcasting classes are no good.

if tier 1 classes are so good, then why doesn't everyone just play a wizard? right? well, in my mind, the party of 4 wizards going up against a fighter, a rogue, a wizard, and a cleric is going to lose every time. any all-magic party is going to lose to a balanced party every time. right?

so am i just crazy or is this whole tier thing just way too ... dismissive? ie paladins suck because they are tier 592, and they are tier 592 because they are only good at one thing. well if that one thing happens to be killing the bad guy in the face then how is that somehow bad? it's not the paladin's job to buff himself or dispel himself. it's the spellcaster's job to buff and dispel. it's the paladin's job to have huge defensive bonuses while doing constant damage. again, how is this bad?

i feel like this whole tier thing is like a bunch of very small schoolchildren talking about how important various members of a football team are. for example, our fictitious children might imagine that the quarterback is tier 1 because he throws the ball for touchdowns and touchdowns are the only thing that matters. linebackers, on the other hand, are tier 593 (behind paladins!) because they don't really seem to do anything aside from push the other guy and fall down a lot. clearly, linebackers are useless and stupid. but what our schoolchildren fail to realize is that the linebacker's job is to push the other guys so that the quarterback CAN throw the ball. the other team is trying to punch the quarterback in the face and take the ball away from him and get a touchdown of their own, and it is the linebackers job to prevent that from happening, just as it is the paladin (or whomever's) job to hit stuff with pointed sticks while the "tier 1" class casts magic missile at the endzone.

of course d&d isn't football, and class imbalance is a VERY serious concern. i just feel morally outraged for some reason at this tier system. i'd prefer things simply being called balanced, overpowered or underpowered :(



Yep, its over-hyped hogwash. Way way over-hyped Homebrew that many seem to have become fixated on as being the way to handle things.

Good party balance should come from a group of people working together no matter what Class they are playing or the perceived weaknesses of various classes to achieve the goals that adventuring brings - You as a DM should be hopefully creating challenges that the whole group can have options to shine and also to maybe not do as well at - its not easy always but its doable.

A lot of the balance may well be theoretical, some may be actual - what works in one group very good may not sit with how others play

Monks get a hard ride here, but Ive seen quite a few played and have played a couple and have had no problems with them or what they do, people i have talked to don't seem to have issue with them aside from the threads crop up here frequently.

I find a Better ranking for all classes works more on what line is and its not a power based ranking - just a indication of where it should be in a battle line and what role it can achieve from there.

Of course its by no means fixed: a Cleric which I'd typically think of as second line can step up with some spell augmentations and become a 1st line combatant - but shouldn't do so at the cost of not helping the group as a whole unless its great support abilities are not needed at the time.

Morph Bark
2011-06-18, 11:33 AM
To run with the football analogy:

Sure, the quarterback throws, the offensive line blocks for him, and the receivers get outside and downfield so the quarterback has somewhere to throw to. In that situation, every part of the group is doing something vital.

But.. say the quarterback is not restricted to just throwing and trying not to get hit. Maybe he can make his offensive line twice as big so nobody on the other team has any chance of getting by them. Maybe he can generate a repulsive field around himself so he can just carry the ball downfield alone and nobody can tackle him. Maybe he can put the entire defending team to sleep or root them in place. Maybe he can create a wall blocking off half the pitch and have his entire team focus on getting through just half the opposing team. Maybe he just throws the ball up and makes it stick in the air until a receiver is free, and then the ball guides itself into the receiver's hands. Maybe he can create his own receiver wherever he wants it to be.

When that kind of thing can happen, the quarterback goes from being just an important part of the team to being the *only* important part of the team- the tricks he chooses to use that day determine how the ball gets scored and who gets to take a part in it. Some of those plans leave a role for the linemen and the receivers, but they're only there because the quarterback decided that today, they get to do something. That's the kind of thing the tiers measure. They're not meant as value judgements on the classes (well, mostly- Tier 6 is pretty much in 'can't mechanically do anything, why bother' range), but they do help to assess if your parties are liable to have intra-character balance problems.

Taking nihil8r's pass and running with it. Well done on that analogy.

I have to say that while reading over that I thought "it's almost like the spellcasters are playing a different game entirely", which made me wonder if DnD in general can be compared to American football, what classes are actually playing soccer, or baseball?

Skaven
2011-06-18, 11:55 AM
This is a superhero parody, but a perfect case study (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFuMpYTyRjw) about the problem with tiers.

This would be a Tier 1 character with his Tier 4 ally. The one character has a lot of interesting abilities, but they are all useless because the other one can do everything faster and easier.

The last scene even shows how a high tier character can support low tier characters to make them more effective, but it would still be more effective to do it by himself.


Heh, the comments even show this isn't the first time this has come up.


rofl.. this is like D&D.

Angel Summoner is a wizard, BMX bandit is a fighter.

Fighter: I can go over and hit them with my sword.

Wizard: or I could stop time, summon an army of monsters to take them all down, fry the rest with lightning and you can all watch.
Ratonga 6 months ago 27

I think the real lesson of this video to D&D players is that if you can solve any imaginable crisis using your own godlike powers, it's pretty silly to form a crimefighting duo, or play in a party of adventurers. A group of BMX Bandits would be a bit too weak to handle challenges, but a group of Angel Summoners would only lead to piercing boredom. The ideal is somewhere in between.
Silfir 3 months ago 7

It fits. As has already been said tiers don't represent what should be played, they're just guidelines as to raw power and versatility. Additionally tiers are flexible: a well played Paladin might be higher shown as on the tier chart, while a poorly played wizard/specialist wizard might be tier 2.

Nobody questions that if a fighter gets in the face of a completely unprepared wizard, the wizard is in serious trouble. Close quarter fighting is their forte.

Its all to do with preparation, player skill and tactics.

Additionally.. while the forums might all be up on what's best, the majority players here play just to have fun and play the character we want to play.

Despite being the worst min/maxer in my group (and I don't cheese/max, I just take viable options, but i'm known as my party min-maxer), i've happily sat down building a horribly unoptimised character. ( Kobold (no rotd cheese), level 10 sorcerer (enchantment focus) level 10 rogue.) Purely because its fun to be the underdog. And when that underdog comes through in a pinch (landing a hld person spell on the bbeg when all hope seemed lost) the victory is all the sweeter and you remember the characters for a lot longer.

Coidzor
2011-06-18, 12:03 PM
of course d&d isn't football, and class imbalance is a VERY serious concern. i just feel morally outraged for some reason at this tier system.

Well, there's your problem. You're bringing morality into this and thinking that the tier system is some kind of moral impetus when it is not, nor is it making any kind of moral judgment.


Yep, its over-hyped hogwash. Way way over-hyped Homebrew that many seem to have become fixated on as being the way to handle things.

What are you talking about? The Tier system is not homebrew. It contains some suggestions about potential houserules at the end, but that's not really the tier system so much as suggestions about ways to deal with things if one is running into issues or wants to try things out.

The Glyphstone
2011-06-18, 12:06 PM
This is a superhero parody, but a perfect case study (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFuMpYTyRjw) about the problem with tiers.

This would be a Tier 1 character with his Tier 4 ally. The one character has a lot of interesting abilities, but they are all useless because the other one can do everything faster and easier.

The last scene even shows how a high tier character can support low tier characters to make them more effective, but it would still be more effective to do it by himself.

I don't even have to click the link to know it'll be Angel Summoner and BMX Bandit. Love that clip soooo much.

Z3ro
2011-06-18, 12:18 PM
a well played Paladin might be higher shown as on the tier chart, while a poorly played wizard/specialist wizard might be tier 2.


I agree with most of the rest of your post, but I had to laugh at this. A poorly played wizard can easily be a tier 5; imagine a blaster wizard with suboptimal blasting spells prepared. He can only do one thing, and not even that very well.

The Glyphstone
2011-06-18, 12:20 PM
I agree with most of the rest of your post, but I had to laugh at this. A poorly played wizard can easily be a tier 5; imagine a blaster wizard with suboptimal blasting spells prepared. He can only do one thing, and not even that very well.

The thing is, that wizard, even if he prepares all bad spells, can still prepare a completely different set of spells the next day. Playing a class badly can only influence its tier so much - a Druid who straps on Steel Full Plate, a Steel Tower Shield, and punches people without IUS in melee isn't a Tier 6, he's just being played by a total moron.

mootoall
2011-06-18, 12:21 PM
In the same boat, Glyphstone. Of course, figuring it out isn't exactly brain surgery :smallwink:

Z3ro
2011-06-18, 12:30 PM
The thing is, that wizard, even if he prepares all bad spells, can still prepare a completely different set of spells the next day. Playing a class badly can only influence its tier so much - a Druid who straps on Steel Full Plate, a Steel Tower Shield, and punches people without IUS in melee isn't a Tier 6, he's just being played by a total moron.

The ability to change up abilities certainly plays a big part in tier ranking, I'm not denying that. It's just that so many people equate tier to total power and go from there.

In the example of a poorly played wizard dropping to tier 2; using your example, that wizard's still tier 1. He can never not be tier 1, as he could always change up his tactics. On the absolute scale, the tiers are fixed and immovable.

In my opinion, many people use tiers as a dynamic ranking that can move based on how things are built and played. In my example of the blaster wizard, imagine all he has in his spellbook are blasting spells. He has no gold to buy scrolls, and doesn't know where to go to buy scrolls even if he did. Every feat and item he has is dedicated to blasting. Is he still tier 1? I would argue no; that doesn't make all wizards drop tiers, just that one.

I can see the potential counterargument; but Z3ro, doesn't that mean that all classes are only as good as their players? Yes, it does! That's what people seem to forget, roleplaying involves skill just like anything else. I've seen more poorly played druids than I can count, as a result of bad players. Doesn't mean the druid is a bad class, just means they were bad players.

So I guess it just depends on your view of what the tier system is for.

Coidzor
2011-06-18, 12:33 PM
So I guess it just depends on your view of what the tier system is for.

It's for guidelines to the classes in general rather than critiquing the power level and competency of players in an actual game. That is its stated and intended purpose, and it's kind of pointless to use it as the latter while divorcing it from the former anyway.

Z3ro
2011-06-18, 12:36 PM
It's for guidelines to the classes in general rather than critiquing the power level and competency of players in an actual game. That is its stated and intended purpose, and it's kind of pointless to use it as the latter while divorcing it from the former anyway.

I don't necessarily disagree, but I was simply pointing out the humor of some one talking about the wizard dropping *only* a tier despite being poorly played. Several people point out my bad logic but no one looks at the post that started this discussion.

Though I suppose I did violate the first unwritten rule of the forum, I guess.

Esser-Z
2011-06-18, 12:36 PM
Also, I'm contractually obligated to make this reference:

TIRES DON EXITS

shadow_archmagi
2011-06-18, 12:55 PM
Tiers are:

1. A measure of how many problems a class can solve, and how well it can solve those problems. (In a perfectly mathematical world, we'd have some sort of system where competence per role could be measured, as say things like "A fight can punch with an efficiency of ten doinitrites, but makes small talk at parties with an inefficiency of two point seven doinitrongs. Total rating for the fighter: 7.7"

2. A measure, therefore, of how well you can realistically expect to compete side by side with your party. If your party is a gestalt Artificer//Sorcerer and a gestalt Paladin//Fighter, you may wish to keep that disparity in mind, and take steps to ensure that no one feels less useful.



if tier 1 classes are so good, then why doesn't everyone just play a wizard? right? well, in my mind, the party of 4 wizards going up against a fighter, a rogue, a wizard, and a cleric is going to lose every time. any all-magic party is going to lose to a balanced party every time. right?

so am i just crazy or is this whole tier thing just way too ... dismissive? ie paladins suck because they are tier 592, and they are tier 592 because they are only good at one thing. well if that one thing happens to be killing the bad guy in the face then how is that somehow bad? it's not the paladin's job to buff himself or dispel himself. it's the spellcaster's job to buff and dispel. it's the paladin's job to have huge defensive bonuses while doing constant damage. again, how is this bad?


Not everyone plays a wizard for the same reason people play FPSes with weapons other than rocket launchers.

Also, nope. An all magic party can obliterate a "balanced" party. That's been done to death.

As for "It's not the paladin's job to buff himself" well, actually, buffing himself is the only magic the paladin can get. But your point was about combat effectiveness, so I'll digress:

Being effective in taking and dealing out HP damage isn't seen as impressive because

A. There are other ways of winning the fight. Sleep (and its brother Deep Slumber) allows the party to instantly bypass the encounter. If they need the thing dead, they can cut it open while it naps. Cloudkill causes enemies to either die, or lose constitution (and at 1d4 CON per round, it does not take many rounds before they are all out of CON)

B. There's more to life than fighting. A Paladin can't fly, can't tear down buildings, can't build buildings, can't restrain a giant, can't survive in the forest, etc. A wizard can do all of those things with creative uses of the spell Fabricate.

Leon
2011-06-18, 12:58 PM
What are you talking about? The Tier system is not homebrew. It contains some suggestions about potential houserules at the end, but that's not really the tier system so much as suggestions about ways to deal with things if one is running into issues or wants to try things out.

It essentially is another form of, a player creation that is used by others.
There is nothing official D&D about it. Players who have decided that this is what they think is the way it should have been. Like the many *fixes* to numerous classes.

Then people get the mentality that its what they should use as a standard - by all means read if you so desire but take anything it imparts with a grain of salt and use with your own sense of what you think is going to work for your game.

And the **** that it contains really... boggles the mind.

Example


Just cause wizards are tier one doesnt mean you cant play other classes, just dont have a wizard and a fighter in the same group


No utter sense in that - a Fighter is as perfectly a valid choice to be in a group as any other class.

As i mentioned in the other Post a Group should be capable of working together no matter what the class make up is to achieve the goals of an adventure - if it cant its hardly the fault of the class, its the minds controlling it that have trouble with control, judgement and team work.

Just because they designed a class that can be potentially game breaking doesn't mean that you should actually try and break games with it.

shadow_archmagi
2011-06-18, 01:12 PM
Group should be capable of working together no matter what the class make up is to achieve the goals of an adventure - if it cant its hardly the fault of the class, its the minds controlling it that have trouble with control, judgement and team work.


Early on, when my friends disagreed with me about game balance, and we decided we'd all play our favorite class and see who was most useful, we definitely had days that went

DM: You find a cliff-
Wizard: Flying for everyone
DM: You find a starving villa-
Cleric: Create food for everyone!
Druid: I'll solve the drought! RAIN TIME!
DM: You find a vicious dragon
Fighter: oh boy oh boy I can do this one-
Wizard, Cleric, Druid: QFSA!
Dragon: *implodes*
Fighter: awwww.

Magic can solve a lot of different problems in ways that punching just can't.

Coidzor
2011-06-18, 01:26 PM
It essentially is another form of, a player creation that is used by others. Then homebrew becomes meaningless because you just said your post just now is homebrew and it becomes impossible to distinguish between actual player-made mechanics and anyone talking about the game or clarifying the rules.

Leon
2011-06-18, 01:35 PM
Then homebrew becomes meaningless because you just said your post just now is homebrew and it becomes impossible to distinguish between actual player-made mechanics and anyone talking about the game or clarifying the rules.

Like a lot of Homebrew it is.

Homebrew is something that should be used with a touch care as who knows what its like - there is some good stuff and then there is a lot of unknown.

The tiers are just another form of it - a bit overblown by its fans.

Morph Bark
2011-06-18, 01:44 PM
And the **** that it contains really... boggles the mind.

Example


No utter sense in that - a Fighter is as perfectly a valid choice to be in a group as any other class.

I find it interesting that you put that bit in a quote like it was actually posted in the thread where the Tiers are presented, even though they aren't.


Just because they designed a class that can be potentially game breaking doesn't mean that you should actually try and break games with it.

Of course, but what I think of as "gamebreaking" and what you think of as "gamebreaking" probably have some differences and it also highly depends on what the other players are doing.

GoatToucher
2011-06-18, 02:13 PM
For one, the tier system only really starts to come into effect at high levels, and a lot of people don't commonly get to those levels. This doesn't invalidate the tier system, but the problem is a little overstated.

To me, the tier system doesn't dictate what should and should not be played by optimized players so much as highlight the very serious balance problems 3.5 has at high level play. There should be no tier one or tier six classes. All classes should hover around three and four.

Warlawk
2011-06-18, 02:20 PM
Seems to be a lot of people not understanding the tier system, or trying to use it for things it is not intended for.

The tier system is a tool to gauge how well each class is able to perform within any number of scenarios. The higher the ranking, the greater number of situations that class is useful for.

The tier system does not take into account your play style, your house rules, your 'gentleman's agreement' to play nicely or even the capability for teamwork. It simply examines each class by RAW and determines capability and flexibility. It is a discussion of each classes raw capability in a vacuum. Using the tier system to judge classes for anything else is using a tool for a purpose it was never intended for, you may as well try to flip pancakes with your pneumatic nailgun (funny as that would be, it wouldn't work well).

Frankly, I've never had any trouble in games with mixed tiers, even widely skewed tiers. Even in games with a wizard, a cleric and a monk in the same group I've never had issues and our group does not use anything of note for houserules to fix the perceived problems. This has to do with our play style, the mentality of our gamers and the ability of our DMs to create games and scenarios where everyone can be useful.

Yet I still think the Tier system is a very nice tool to have available to me, I just don't try to flip my pancakes with it.

ScionoftheVoid
2011-06-18, 02:30 PM
For one, the tier system only really starts to come into effect at high levels, and a lot of people don't commonly get to those levels. This doesn't invalidate the tier system, but the problem is a little overstated.

Actually, it is designed to work well at all levels, focusing on 5-15 (because those are some of the most commonly played levels). The system doesn't work so well at levels before five unless under fairly high optimisation (on all sides, of course, since that's one of the tier system's assumptions), IMO, and at higher than 15 the gaps between higher and lower tiers only get wider but that's kind of obvious when one guy gets the ability to summon (even stronger) angels and the other has finished his feat chain so his class feature goes toward learning BMX stunts instead of actually making him better in any way.

Also, the creator of the tier system is on these boards, so I hope he can shed some light on the matter (but, hey, the OP was convinced by *gasp* calm and rational discussion, so the thread should be nearing its end, really).

navar100
2011-06-18, 04:56 PM
The Tier System is irrelevant. It was written because over in the WOTC Forums there was a debate on how good the Fighter at being a guard or a leader could be. Despite all evidence showing just how well a Fighter could be a guard or a leader, it was ignored because it was insisted Wizards, Druids, and Clerics can do everything so it matters little what anyone else can do, and Fighter doesn't have Knowledge (History) as a class skill. Among the evidence for Fighter was a good article on how a Fighter character can get by using Skills despite his allegedly poor Skill set.

However, I do give credit to the Tier System for what it is not. It is not a sytem that says wizards rule, fighters drool. It does not say don't play a fighter, fighter sucks, only play a wizard, druid, or cleric otherwise you're playing wrong. It also does not say never play a wizard, cleric, or druid because they ruin the game to unplayability, and if you do you're a munckin who only cares about power.

Unfortunately, too many people take the Tier System to mean exactly what it's not. Those people either a) Insist if you play a Fighter you are playing wrong because you are a burden to the party, bringing nothing to the table. b) Outright ban wizards, clerics, and druids because they can't stand a PC being "powerful" or otherwise do nifty things.

All that the Tier System is was one person's opinion, but has garnered general agreement, on the different strengths of versatility a particular class can have. On the low end the classes, given all the time in the game world and access to everything ever published in 3E and always having the exact thing they need at the moment it's needed, can still only do one or two things. They can be very good at what they do, but that's all. On the upper end the classes, given all the time in the game world and access to everything ever published in 3E and always having the exact thing they need at the moment it's needed, Win D&D because they are unstoppable.

Despite all this, the Tier System is still irrelevant. The only thing that matters is in game spotlight time. It is the DM's job to ensure each player has something to do. The players have their own responsibility of volunteering to do something, but the DM designs adventures and combats the party can deal with, allowing for the easy and difficult exceptions for Let The PCs Shine To Show How Badass They Are and the BBEG Final Battle combats respectively. Just because a monster is published in the Monster Manual does not mean it must appear in the campaign. It is irrelevant if a particular PC can never, ever defeat Monster X. Monster X does not necessarily have to exist at all as far as the campaign is concerned.

It is the DM's job to know and understand what each PC can and cannot do. It is his job to ensure one PC does not Win D&D while another Loses D&D just by getting out of bed. The Tier System can offer a guidline in the sense that you're more apt to look at the Wizard to make sure he doesn't Win D&D and more apt to look at the Fighter to make sure he doesn't Lose D&D. However, there is not one thing wrong, at all, for one player to play a Wizard while another plays a Fighter in the same party.

Lord.Sorasen
2011-06-18, 05:44 PM
I want to throw this out there for everyone, as I sometimes feel people here have spent so much time learning the ins and outs of D&D that they forget what it used to be like.

The thread presenting the tiers isn't very useful to a new group. It's a list of names and their tiers, but that's not so good.

The thread that explains why they are in their tiers? This is gold. When you're just learning the game, it really helps explain a lot to you beforehand.

People often say "a group just needs to work together to make things fair." But when you're new, you have no idea how to do this? Refraining from power is really complicated when you still don't quite know what power is. As an example, I ask you all to think back to the first time you ever looked at the player's handbook for 3.5 (this doesn't work quite as well if you converted from 3.0 - or earlier, naturally). Do you remember looking at the monk? Holy butts, guys, it was amazing. A bonus attack at only -2? Speak any language at all? Fists of magic? Free grappling, free ultra stunning punch? Look at that free armor class! And they run so fast! And their damage goes all the way to 2d8? The greataxe does only 1d12!

I remember actually worrying about someone playing a monk in our first game, because I worried they'd be too powerful. This happens a lot with new groups. I refrained from taking vow of poverty for a bard character I was running as well, also because I thought it'd make me too powerful. I mean, all those bonuses.

Furthermore, with new groups, there is equal optimization, and actually that power difference becomes clear really fast. Playing our first game, we had a bard, a cleric (me), a monk, a druid, and a rogue. The rogue was a halfling and didn't know how to sneak attack (didn't read enough) but had a lot of AC for our silly standards. Doing pretty well. The bard was a gnome who burnt a feat on exotic weapon (gnome hooked hammer) and mostly ended up fighting with alchemists fire. Turned out really cool. The druid didn't know how to use spells and forgot to get an animal companion. Did terribly, naturally. I was a healbot, but I still tore it up, using my heavy armor proficiency and a mace to be difficult to hit, and my half-orc chassis to deal more damage, and my heal spells to save everyone's life every 3rd round. Once we got to level 2 and the druid realized she got an animal companion, it became our best fighter right away... But that monk. She couldn't do much of anything. MAD made her flurries a useless concept, d8 hit dice meant front lines was a bad choice, stunning fist just never worked.. and only one chance a day meant it mostly went unseen. The point is we didn't know what was going on.

The tier system is actually really helpful here. Player doesn't really want to read many rules? How about beguiler or Dragonfire Adept: according to this they're strong and basically power themselves. Want to play a fighter? Might I suggest dungeon crasher variant?

I feel like people don't know the tier system can actually be practical at times.

Morph Bark
2011-06-18, 06:21 PM
The thread presenting the tiers isn't very useful to a new group. It's a list of names and their tiers, but that's not so good.

The thread that explains why they are in their tiers? This is gold. When you're just learning the game, it really helps explain a lot to you beforehand.

The Tier thread isn't very useful to a new group indeed. I did however tell my players who were new to 3.5 that I'd ban those classes because I don't want to deal with prepared casters and constant spell-switching each in-game day. I much prefer spontaneous casters as a DM, at least for my players.

Lord.Sorasen
2011-06-19, 01:02 AM
The Tier thread isn't very useful to a new group indeed. I did however tell my players who were new to 3.5 that I'd ban those classes because I don't want to deal with prepared casters and constant spell-switching each in-game day. I much prefer spontaneous casters as a DM, at least for my players.

I feel like my post essentially said exactly the opposite.

Nightmarenny
2011-06-19, 02:19 AM
I really hate reading these threads(and yet I always do). I don't really feel qualified to make a call on Tiers but I can make a call about the people on each side. It seems like every thread those who support Tiers give a well reasoned and polite argument. Which is then followed by the anti-Tier crowd responding with strawmen. I only remember two anti arguments that wern't. Neither seem convincing.

Its up to the group to keep balance This just seems to be avoiding the issue. Off course the final responsibility in on the group. However the goal of Tiers seems to be to gauge the classes ability in a neutral environment.

Sure a Wizard is that much better than a fighter but only if you break the game... The whole idea of tier is that we assume equel optimization.

Ajadea
2011-06-19, 02:25 AM
Tiers are...annoying. People accept them, and to a certain extent they do apply. I know I'd get bored if my only option in any situation was 'stab' or 'wait'. But the tier system also draws in things like unarmed swordsage/tashalatora recommendations in threads for core monk help. A wizard, a knight, and a healer can all play nice together despite being at opposite ends of the tier scale.


Wait....did...someone on the internet just have their mind changed by calm, rational explanation?

Dear gods, the end is here. RUN FOR THE HILLS EVERYONE, RATIONAL DEBATE JUST FUNCTIONED ON THE INTERNET! THE HORSEMEN RIDE FORTH TO SLAUGHTER ALL!

But seriously dude, glad we could help.

May I sig this?

MeeposFire
2011-06-19, 02:30 AM
...Well paint me orange and call me Megatron, rational debate just worked on the Internet.

I have the paint mighty Megatron where is your location so I can start the painting process...


Also navar100 you are actually complaining more about how people use (and misuse) the tier system rather than complaining about the actual tier system. That discussion has real issues that have a lot of evidence to back it up. And by the way fighters do make terrible guards in 3e as they lack perception based skills and have no features that make enemies attack them rather than their charge (outside of I am sort of standing in the way which is not much of an incentive even at level 1). Now a 4e or pre 3e fighter on the other hand actually do make decent bodyguards (4e fighters are beasts at this) but 3e fighters lack a lot of the things needed to play an effective bodyguard.

Coidzor
2011-06-19, 02:32 AM
Like a lot of Homebrew it is.

Homebrew is something that should be used with a touch care as who knows what its like - there is some good stuff and then there is a lot of unknown.

The tiers are just another form of it - a bit overblown by its fans.

So, what advantage do we gain by referring to every forum post ever as homebrew rather than things which are actually mechanics?


But the tier system also draws in things like unarmed swordsage/tashalatora recommendations in threads for core monk help.

I'd say that it doesn't cause those so much as influences how people phrase it.

Because, really, no one should let other people play monks without knowing what they're in for. :smalleek: Monkday is bad enough as it is without the contingent the bemoans how no one ever warned them about monks.

MeeposFire
2011-06-19, 02:39 AM
Another thing is that by using something like the tier system (which is just an easy way to show things) you are trying to be proactive in your choices. By using the tier system you will know beforehand what a class can do and plan accordingly (whatever that may entail for you and your group). If you don't then either you are using a different system or you are going to arbitrate by reacting to what is happening. While not intrinsically bad this can be much more inefficient and can lead to problems if you don't catch them early enough. However it does allow you to do less work and less dealing with things if you are in a group where no issues ever come up so I guess you could say you are putting more up to chance.

Morph Bark
2011-06-19, 06:37 AM
I feel like my post essentially said exactly the opposite.

Except not, since the reason I banned them wasn't for power issues, but management issues. Plus, I have two players who are very familiar with 3.5 and have done a lot to keep them from overshadowing the others who are new to it.

Tyndmyr
2011-06-19, 07:07 AM
if tier 1 classes are so good, then why doesn't everyone just play a wizard? right? well, in my mind, the party of 4 wizards going up against a fighter, a rogue, a wizard, and a cleric is going to lose every time. any all-magic party is going to lose to a balanced party every time.(

Well, there's your problem.

At level 1, its straight rocket tag. A fell drained sonic snap is only slightly more lethal than a powerful javelin to the face. At higher levels, the wizards get rocket dodgin abilities.

Balanced parties tend to get rocked in pvp.

But, not all of life is pvp you say? I played in an all arcanist party once. At level 4, we were trashing armies. It was fantastic, and combat was extremely tactical, confusing, and fun. I want to do it again.

Talya
2011-06-19, 09:00 AM
Leon:
The Tier system is not "homebrew." It makes no mechanical changes or even advice. All it is is a classification of the power levels of various classes. There is some disagreement of the placement of certain classes within the tier system, as it's not possible to be entirely objective in the matter, but there's nothing wrong with the tier system itself.

You dislike people pointing out that a monk 20 is utterly redundant and without purpose next to a druid 20? Why? Because that's simply a fact. There is absolutely nothing a monk do that a druid cannot also do do ten times better. There are, however,many things a druid can do that a monk cannot do at all.

Killer Angel
2011-06-19, 09:09 AM
The thing is, that wizard, even if he prepares all bad spells, can still prepare a completely different set of spells the next day.

Substitute Wizard with Sorcerer, and you'll have a tier 2 falling to tier 4-5. I've seen it, a blaster sorcerer focused only on fire (and without metamagic feats).

But the difference between tiers, is based also on an equal amount of optimization. At the same level of optimization, the difference between the various tiers still exists.

Yuki Akuma
2011-06-19, 09:09 AM
Can Druids become ethereal? I don't think they have a spell for that...

Edit: I have this urge to play in an all-Wizard (or at least all-Arcanists or all-Tier 1 or something) game again. That was fun. ANyone up for DMing that? :smalltongue:

The Glyphstone
2011-06-19, 09:11 AM
Substitute Wizard with Sorcerer, and you'll have a tier 2 falling to tier 4-5. I've seen it, a blaster sorcerer focused only on fire (and without metamagic feats).

But the difference between tiers, is based also on an equal amount of optimization. At the same level of optimization, the difference between the various tiers still exists.

Yeah, that's why Sorcerers start at Tier 2 - if they screw up, it's extremely difficult for them to un-screw up.

Eldariel
2011-06-19, 09:18 AM
Despite all this, the Tier System is still irrelevant. The only thing that matters is in game spotlight time.

This is your opinion, not a fact. You're basing your whole argument on an opinion. Hence your argument is invalid; you're presenting an opinion rather than a fact. It's fine; everyone is entitled to an opinion but you can't really extrapolate how one should play a game based on an opinion.


Just because a monster is published in the Monster Manual does not mean it must appear in the campaign. It is irrelevant if a particular PC can never, ever defeat Monster X. Monster X does not necessarily have to exist at all as far as the campaign is concerned.

You could try this the other way too: Just because a class appears in the official 3.5 sources doesn't mean it has to appear in a campaign. How about, instead of DM having to restrict what kind of an adventure he writes he just restricts PCs to classes of certain level of competency, writes the campaign without regards to the party and offers a living, responsive world with an adventure for the players to play?

Instead of restricting himself and the players in-game, the players are free to do what they desire in the game within the limitations of their character's capabilities and with the logical response from the world, and instead of going through a bunch of scripted encounters the players decide their approach to every problem themselves without anything preplanned by the PCs?

All this requires is removing a bunch of options before the game to ensure the player characters automatically have nichés and balance their impact on the adventure against each other, and suddenly you, the DM, can focus all your energy on playing and making a living, engaging game world of the players to explore and experience instead of focusing on balancing or making sure everyone has their time in the spotlight.

Talya
2011-06-19, 10:17 AM
I don't consider the tier system useful for that. Banning any class entirely is not something I like to do...you can't build a druid without the druid class.

I much prefer houserules or homebrewing if I really feel a need to limit a class.

Greenish
2011-06-19, 10:18 AM
I don't consider the tier system useful for that. Banning any class entirely is not something I like to do...you can't build a druid without the druid class.Wildshape mystic ranger with wild cohort?


[Edit]: And staying firmly off-topic, I'd be interested for Arcane Adventures Revisited.

Yuki Akuma
2011-06-19, 10:19 AM
I don't consider the tier system useful for that. Banning any class entirely is not something I like to do...you can't build a druid without the druid class.

...Spirit Shaman (with Wild Cohort, if you must have a pet)?

Eldariel
2011-06-19, 10:23 AM
I don't consider the tier system useful for that. Banning any class entirely is not something I like to do...you can't build a druid without the druid class.

I much prefer houserules or homebrewing if I really feel a need to limit a class.

Yeah; whether or how you bring the classes closer together is all up to you. The tier system does not comment on that, after all; it's just there to identify the potential problem slots you may want to address. I mean, it's like an error report; it tells you what's wrong, not how to fix it.

ericgrau
2011-06-19, 10:46 AM
Well if it makes the OP feel better they don't make much sense to me either.

They seem to reflect versatility more than anything and not even power and in most every single real game I see there doesn't seem to be a huge power discrepancy either except in new player vs. old player. Though I hear even 4e people are complaining heavily and separating classes now, with even less discrepancy.

It gets worse with 5,000 pages of fixes, especially when these untested fixes are implemented and players come back frustrated and complaining. Sometimes you just have to see how your group is instead of planning around the worst.

EDIT for below:


You really shouldn't be taking a game this seriously.
Also a good point lol. Perhaps the cause of all this in the first place.

Big Fau
2011-06-19, 10:48 AM
if tier 1 classes are so good, then why doesn't everyone just play a wizard? right? well, in my mind, the party of 4 wizards going up against a fighter, a rogue, a wizard, and a cleric is going to lose every time. any all-magic party is going to lose to a balanced party every time. right?

Because sometimes people don't want to play a Wizard?

And FYI, a party of all Wizards, properly optimized, will curb-stomp any other party that doesn't also consist of 4 optimized Tier 1's. This means the Cleric, Wizard, Rogue, and Fighter party is doomed in such a fight. Honestly, only the Wizard and Cleric are likely to survive it (and only if they ran away).

Talya
2011-06-19, 10:50 AM
Because sometimes people don't want to play a Wizard?

And FYI, a party of all Wizards, properly optimized, will curb-stomp any other party that doesn't also consist of 4 optimized Tier 1's. This means the Cleric, Wizard, Rogue, and Fighter party is doomed in such a fight. Honestly, only the Wizard and Cleric are likely to survive it (and only if they ran away).

To put it in perspective, a lone druid vs. Fighter/Monk/Rogue/Healer is also going to curbstomp the party of 4.

Psyren
2011-06-19, 10:52 AM
i just feel morally outraged for some reason at this tier system.

You really shouldn't be taking a game this seriously.

A METAGAME, at that.

Greenish
2011-06-19, 10:59 AM
You really shouldn't be taking a game this seriously.What blasphemy is this? Sir, I'll have you know that D&D is SERIOUS BUSINESS!

awa
2011-06-19, 11:07 AM
(I have not read this entire thread but ill assume its more or less like most of these threads) the tier system breaks down at very low levels. a party of 4 level 1 wizards is less useful then a balanced party of level 1 characters.
at very low levels their are a lot of things a wizard cant handle well particularly if they have to deal with several things in a row. traps, ambushes, flying undead. several fights spread out over the course of the day allowing buffs time to expire heavy rain . All are things that low level wizards have a hard time dealing with that a balanced party is better at.

note the druid is a bit of an exception because they are overpowered from level 1

Big Fau
2011-06-19, 11:08 AM
What blasphemy is this? Sir, I'll have you know that D&D is SERIOUS BUSINESS!

Why so serious?

SPoD
2011-06-19, 11:11 AM
To put it in perspective, a lone druid vs. Fighter/Monk/Rogue/Healer is also going to curbstomp the party of 4.

At high levels. At 1st-3rd level, I would put the money on the four man party even with those classes, simply because hit points are so low that just having extra bodies (with extra actions per round) dramatically increases survivability.

I think the biggest problem with the tier system being treated as gospel is that it doesn't really apply to the lower third of the level spectrum. A wizard's versatility is not really that impressive at 2nd level. Yes, he can change what spells he has every day, but he only has a handful of them in his spellbook and he can only prepare 3 or 4. If your campaign is never going to get higher than 6th or 7th level, you can probably ignore tier ranking entirely and just let anything in, because the squishiness of spellcasters can't be consistently overcome at those levels and they don't have the divinations necessary to automatically prepare just the right spells.

If anything, I would say that the gross imbalance at very high levels revolves around a bias on the part of the original designers that assumed that most campaigns would start at 1st level, or close to it. In my experience, however, most campaigns start at 5th-8th level. So they didn't worry about whether the teens were balanced too much, because they figured if you got that high, the wizard player deserved some power for toughing it out at 1st level.

The Big Dice
2011-06-19, 11:16 AM
To put it in perspective, a lone druid vs. Fighter/Monk/Rogue/Healer is also going to curbstomp the party of 4.

See, that's just not true. At low levels, the lone Druid is going to find that his animal companion gets double teamed by Fighter and Rogue, leaving it dead in approximately one to two rounds. While the Druid gets pounded on by a very annoying Monk. and the healer flits between, fixing up his buddies as needed.

At high levels this changes, though from what I've seen, Animal Companion should be called either It Missed or I Forgot About It.

At first level, the most powerful character is probably the Barbarian. Hit points, attack ability, Rage, the ability to one shot any other character on a reasonably good crit. He's seriously front loaded. Sure, that changes as the level increases. But that doesn't change the fact that the tiers are an intellectual approximation. They aren't hard and fast rules, more like an indicator of potential.

mootoall
2011-06-19, 11:27 AM
I dunno, I wouldn't want to be any of those characters when caught in an Entangle cast by that druid. Assuming the fighter's wearing heavy or medium armor he's down to 10 foot speed, the Monk is about on par with a first level animal companion, (let's say wolf for trips, and not even get into Swindlespitter), and he's the only one with any respectable speed in this situation, the rogue might get some flanking in with the monk if wolfie's not tripped either, and the healer ... does nothing but heal.

Talya
2011-06-19, 11:39 AM
The tier system is not about low levels, so as such, we're not discussing low levels. They're kindof irrelevant here. At levels 1-4, your character classes haven't even yet had time to develop substantial differences (and by 3-4, the tier-1s are already starting to pull ahead. Except druid, which started off ahead, by virtue of its animal companion which is already more powerful than the fighter.)

Runestar
2011-06-19, 11:44 AM
Yet in another thread, I am reading about how a dire wolf summoned by a druid completely outclasses the monk in combat. :smallannoyed:

I am curious, has anyone run a game with all casters (or 4 wizards). What was it like?

The Big Dice
2011-06-19, 11:50 AM
The tier system is not about low levels, so as such, we're not discussing low levels. They're kindof irrelevant here. At levels 1-4, your character classes haven't even yet had time to develop substantial differences (and by 3-4, the tier-1s are already starting to pull ahead. Except druid, which started off ahead, by virtue of its animal companion which is already more powerful than the fighter.)

Or so received wisdom would tell you. Recent experience around the table tells me that a Wolf Animal Companion is marginally behind a Swashbuckler in terms of combat effectiveness.

Yuki Akuma
2011-06-19, 11:52 AM
A Druid needs to be level 5 to summon a Dire Wolf (as he needs Summon Nature's Ally III or better). At level 5, yes, a Dire Wolf does rather outclass a Monk in straight combat.

The Dire Wolf has a bite attack with an attack roll of +11 and damage of 1d8+10. The Monk would need to have a Strength score of 24 to match the attack roll (22 with Weapon Focus) and Strength of 30 to match the damage. The Dire Wolf also gets to trip opponents he hits with his bite attack automatically - the Monk would need a feat to do that.

The Dire Wolf has 45 HP. The Monk would need, on average, a Constitution score of 18 to match that.

The Dire Wolf has an Armour Class of 14. The Monk... can match that easily, actually. The Dire Wolf doesn't have a great AC.

Oh, and the Dire Wolf is the same speed as the Monk.

The only thing the Monk is better at (other than AC, if he has high Dexterity and/or Wisdom) is voercoming DR, because the wolf can't do that.

Big Fau
2011-06-19, 11:56 AM
Or so received wisdom would tell you. Recent experience around the table tells me that a Wolf Animal Companion is marginally behind a Swashbuckler in terms of combat effectiveness.

Personal experience has taught me that a Riding Dog with the Elite Array (sans Int) is better than a 50PB 3rd level Warblade//Egoist Gestalt Gish with Dragonfire Inspiration buffs and Knowledge Devotion.


Note that both the Druid//Dragonfire Bard (and animal companion) and the Warblade/Egoist were very skilled optimizers.

Eldariel
2011-06-19, 11:57 AM
Yet in another thread, I am reading about how a dire wolf summoned by a druid completely outclasses the monk in combat. :smallannoyed:

I am curious, has anyone run a game with all casters (or 4 wizards). What was it like?

Awesome! I've played some IRL but perhaps more relevant (since it's documented) is the "Arcane Adventures (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=125074)" we ran on these forums from level 4; party had like 6 Wizards (or equivalents; there was I recall one Sorcerer and couple were multiclassed; a Rogue 1/Wiz 3 going for Unseen Seer, a Binder 1/Sorc 3 going for Anima Mage and a straight Sorc 4).

Mostly pummeled craptons of Goblins, some information gathering & delved into the first dungeon before it died away. But it was mostly steamrolling we did at that point. Thanks to specialization & high Int, we had massive amounts of spell slots allowing us to burn multiples to slaughter simple Goblins (you can get 5 level 1 slot on level 1 by being a 20 Int Focused Specialist).

Yuki Akuma
2011-06-19, 11:58 AM
Speaking of games with all Wizards, have a recruitment thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=203830). Although it may end up being something else.

*sigh* I miss that game. It was fun.

Bob the DM
2011-06-19, 01:41 PM
I hope this isn't a double post, but I've only read through 1 page of the three pages. In a dnd party just like in economics, it's always better to specialize than try to do everything. In my mind, (if you're actually looking at tiers), you want to have so high tier and some low tier classes. In a dnd party you want to have a couple of specialists and a couple of generalists. Sure a cleric can do what a fighter can, but that means the cleric isn't doing what only a cleric can do. If you have a fighter, a rogue, a cleric and a wizard, you know you have sneaky and smashy covered so the wizard/cleric is able to memorize the utility spells that make them so powerfull. Does the fighter also carry a longbow? Now the wizard only needs half as many magic missiles. Does the party and or rogue have a potion of invisibility, healing potions? Now the cleric doesn't have to hold back slots in case someone gets badly hurt. Proper use of magic items/potions allows people to expand their usefulness as well. A party like that will also be able to better handle a variety of situations without having to take frequent breaks. In my games, when an NPC wants to manipulate the party, he/she waits until they're been weakened. If they all have used up their slots for the day then their at the npc's mercy, where the fighter doesn't run out of swings. Although that depends completely on the dm. If the dm let's the players control the tempo then 4 wizards are best. If the dm sets the pace for the most part then a varied party is more resilient. If the 4 wizards can always rest in a house with guards then no worries, but if they have to "camp out" which 2 wizards don't get their 8 hours of rest? When I DM, melee classes are very useful and important. In your group they might just be a third wheel. I think that's silly, but hey it's not my game.

Greenish
2011-06-19, 02:08 PM
In my mind, (if you're actually looking at tiers), you want to have so high tier and some low tier classes.Why?


Sure a cleric can do what a fighter can, but that means the cleric isn't doing what only a cleric can do.So?


If you have a fighter, a rogue, a cleric and a wizard, you know you have sneaky and smashy covered so the wizard/cleric is able to memorize the utility spells that make them so powerfull.But if they had another cleric and another wizard, they party would have even more spells to sling about, in addition to having the roles filled with classes that can actually do other things.


A party like that will also be able to better handle a variety of situations without having to take frequent breaks.By having less spells, they're taking less breaks? What if they replace the fighter with druid for two fighters for basically unlimited amount of time?


where the fighter doesn't run out of swings.But a fighter runs out of HP, and dead fighter isn't any more useful than a wizard out of spells.


If the 4 wizards can always rest in a house with guards then no worries, but if they have to "camp out" which 2 wizards don't get their 8 hours of rest?"Create House (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/tinyHut.htm)" is a third level spell.

Then there are Alarm, Rope Trick, Faithful Hound, Magnificent Mansion…

The Big Dice
2011-06-19, 02:41 PM
Personal experience has taught me that a Riding Dog with the Elite Array (sans Int) is better than a 50PB 3rd level Warblade//Egoist Gestalt Gish with Dragonfire Inspiration buffs and Knowledge Devotion.


Note that both the Druid//Dragonfire Bard (and animal companion) and the Warblade/Egoist were very skilled optimizers.
If you're giving an animal an array that's intended for humanoids before racial modifiers, it's going to be better than the normal stat block for the animal would suggest.

I still stand by my claim that animals in RPGs should almost universally (not just in D&D) be called Oops I Forgot About That. Because more often than not, they get forgotten about until after they would have been useful :smallyuk:

mootoall
2011-06-19, 03:01 PM
If you've put no effort into making an Animal Companion worth it, then it's rarely worth remembering anyway unless you have no other fighter.

Bob the DM
2011-06-19, 03:01 PM
Look, argue all you want, but I've dmed with new and very experienced players, min/maxers and people who can remember that clerics need a high wisdom score and a varied party is better at surviving and more entertaining. If pc's went '4 wizards of doom' in my world and tried to destroy everything in sight they'd be rolling new characters and learning valuble lessons about vulnerabilities even without dm metagaming. They'd do a lot less initial damage as a more diverse party, but they'd live a lot longer. If you want to believe otherwise we'll agree to disagree, but that's what my experience has shown me.
Oh, and dispel magic is also a third level spell.

Coidzor
2011-06-19, 03:01 PM
If you're giving an animal an array that's intended for humanoids before racial modifiers, it's going to be better than the normal stat block for the animal would suggest.

I still stand by my claim that animals in RPGs should almost universally (not just in D&D) be called Oops I Forgot About That. Because more often than not, they get forgotten about until after they would have been useful :smallyuk:

We actually never had that happen until we started drinking and playing. First party near death experience we had was from the familiar of a kobold sorcerer attacking our sorcerer while we were engaged in a level 1 ranged skirmish while hiding behind rocks.

Whereas now that some of us have taken to drinking while playing, we've had druids who've completely forgotten about their animal companions during fights and then dismissed them entirely after the animal companion had actually carried several fights through its extra firepower.

Eldariel
2011-06-19, 03:11 PM
Look, argue all you want, but I've dmed with new and very experienced players, min/maxers and people who can remember that clerics need a high wisdom score and a varied party is better at surviving and more entertaining. If pc's went '4 wizards of doom' in my world and tried to destroy everything in sight they'd be rolling new characters and learning valuble lessons about vulnerabilities even without dm metagaming. They'd do a lot less initial damage as a more diverse party, but they'd live a lot longer. If you want to believe otherwise we'll agree to disagree, but that's what my experience has shown me.
Oh, and dispel magic is also a third level spell.

Try it sometimes. Find 4 Wizard-players who actually ban Evocation, and DM a game for them from level 3 (or level 1, but given level 1 is a rocket launcher tag it's in general a poor platform for any kinds of tests). See how it goes. You could also read up on the Arcane Adventures or rather, the events that occurred there; it was level 4 and encounters were definitely very survivable. We didn't have ways to arrange rest yet but from level 5, we would've mostly been fine in Rope Tricks in most encounters.


And forgetting animals? Why the heck would that happen, unless you're just not paying attention? That sounds like the kind of thing that might happen to players who aren't really invested in the game; which is of course fine but I find less rewarding. It's the same kinds of games where you forget you're with NPCs (e.g. never interact with any of your companions outside encounters), the fact that there are other people present (new players often talk OOC a lot but that's again a habit you'll learn out of quickly enough), etc.

Frozen_Feet
2011-06-19, 03:12 PM
I find tiers simple to understand. They measure a class's potential to cover for themselves and others; their strategical and tactical potential. It gives a good reference point for dynamic of power between different classes, so you can determine how much your players can do.

But I find myself using it to make decisions very rarely. When I build a character, I usually have a specific idea in mind of what I want them to be able to do, and tier system is useful there for assessing value of abilities to find the spot I want. As a GM, I rarely give it a second thought - my game building and leading styles don't support using tiers to balance the game. I might give character building advice to players if I feel they need it, but that's it.

In play, the tier system is most useful at a very high level of play. And I don't mean "high level" in the sense of character levels, but leading whole armies of characters and shaping the setting. In my experience, few groups do such armchair general play, or people who find such alluring play actual wargames rather than D&D. I find it enjoying from time to time, but mostly in the form of theoretical discussion, where actual simulation of the situation is left out - because that would take forever.

Coidzor
2011-06-19, 03:15 PM
But, not all of life is pvp you say? I played in an all arcanist party once. At level 4, we were trashing armies. It was fantastic, and combat was extremely tactical, confusing, and fun. I want to do it again.

Whoa. How? :smallconfused: what kind of engagements?

Eldariel
2011-06-19, 03:19 PM
Whoa. How? :smallconfused: what kind of engagements?

He's talking about Arcane Adventures (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=125074); "armies" is a massive overstatement, "small war bands" would be more accurate. I think the biggest engagement we had contained maybe 30 Goblins or so, with couple of classed individuals, with some Warriors on out sides.

tyckspoon
2011-06-19, 03:21 PM
Look, argue all you want, but I've dmed with new and very experienced players, min/maxers and people who can remember that clerics need a high wisdom score and a varied party is better at surviving and more entertaining. If pc's went '4 wizards of doom' in my world and tried to destroy everything in sight they'd be rolling new characters and learning valuble lessons about vulnerabilities even without dm metagaming. They'd do a lot less initial damage as a more diverse party, but they'd live a lot longer. If you want to believe otherwise we'll agree to disagree, but that's what my experience has shown me.
Oh, and dispel magic is also a third level spell.

I'm pretty sure if you did that with people who are actually good at the game you would instead see them learn a quick practical lesson in covering their vulnerabilities.. and there are *lots* of ways to do that.

Also you have a conviction that 4 casters can't also be your 'varied party'? That's.. just weird, to me. One gish, one skill-caster (Beguiler, Unseen Seer/Arcane Trickster build, Cloistered Cleric, etc), two Wizards/Clerics, and you have your varied traditional roles covered by characters that are also full casters.

MeeposFire
2011-06-19, 03:35 PM
In my experience the fighter and the like are better than the animal companion but the animal companion fills the job slot of the warrior and so you no longer "need" a melee guy with one around. So in other words it may not be strictly better but it is good enough and it does not complain, ask for treasure, or steal XP.

Coidzor
2011-06-19, 03:50 PM
In my experience the fighter and the like are better than the animal companion but the animal companion fills the job slot of the warrior and so you no longer "need" a melee guy with one around. So in other words it may not be strictly better but it is good enough and it does not complain, ask for treasure, or steal XP.

Well, the issue of XP being "stolen" is pretty easily remedied by spreading the crafting XP "burden" around and the action economy advantage in using the better items one gets as well as for having more total gold because there's more total players.

Though the player trading his fighter for, say, a warblade provides the same and better benefits to the party anyway, so it's not really a dichotomy between no fighter, less gold and fighter more gold.

Frozen_Feet
2011-06-19, 04:13 PM
D&D allows so much customization that you can have a party with four straight-classed characters with the same class, and they'll still be easily distinquishable. Case in point: four straigh-classed Fighters, one being a trip monkey, one being a mounted charger, one being a dual-weapon combatant and one being an archer.

And that's just mechanical differences, and actually just the surface of such. One could then be very good at intimidating others, second in handling animals, third in jumping, climbing and swimming, and fourth in spotting far-away targets, fixing equipment and making arrows. One could have a polearm that will grow in lenght as it's swung, second could have boots of flying in case his winged mount is slain from under him, third could have intelligent talking swords and the last a crystal ball which allows him to aim at things he can't see. One could be a half-ogre, second a halfling, third a thri-kreen, and fourth an elf.

Then you get to stuff like appearance, background, personality, alignment, fealties....

Mad Gene Vane
2011-06-19, 04:27 PM
the Fighter is a good example. the Cleric can do everything the fighter can..and more.

As someone, who was in a 3.5 campaign recently as a cleric, I totally disagree.

The clerics .75 BAB advancement puts them at a disadvantage in melee, versus a fighter or other martial class. A fighter will put his highest stat roll to Str., whereas a cleric will put his to Wis.

You aren't always going to have time to cast buffs on yourself, to bring your BAB up to that of a fighter, since your party may need you to cast other spells during an encounter.

At 8th level, for example a fighter is swinging in with two attacks at +8 / +3, while the cleric is swinging in at +6 / +1. Might not seem like much a of difference, but that's where the stat priorities come in.

For example, a fighter would dump his highest roll into strength, so lets say both your cleric and fighter roll 18's, as one of their 6 stat rolls. A fighter's going to put that to Str., where as a cleric's going to put that to Wis.

At level 8 then the fighters Attacks are +12 / +7, while the clerics are whatever roll he felt like dumping to Str., which would be significantly lower than the fighters.

Clerics are great support characters for a party. They can buff, they can heal, they can cast a very limited number of offensive spells, but in a fight, there's no way a cleric can fill the spot as effectively as a fighter in terms of dealing damage.

Because clerics in 3.5. can wear heavy armor, they aren't squishy and can stand there in the face of bad guys swinging weapons, like a fighter, but they aren't going to be able to hit back with as much damage as a fighter.

Mad Gene Vane
2011-06-19, 04:36 PM
And FYI, a party of all Wizards, properly optimized,

In reality, a wizard, or cleric or any caster, who has to prepare spells for the day can never be truly optimized.

I've never seen it happen.

There's always a, "damn, I knew I should've prepared 'x' spell when I got up this morning".

In a perfectly random encounter, there's no guarantee the wizards would have the spells they need to hurt the other party effectively.

A fighter and rogue will usually have on them what they need to optimize their damage: their pointed sticks.

Big Fau
2011-06-19, 04:50 PM
As someone, who was in a 3.5 campaign recently as a cleric, I totally disagree.

Ok, so we are on even grounds. I've played several Clerics, each one different (and one was a DMM: Persist Cleric, but I won't count that one).


The clerics .75 BAB advancement puts them at a disadvantage in melee, versus a fighter or other martial class. A fighter will put his highest stat roll to Str., whereas a cleric will put his to Wis.

A Cleric can spend a feat to get Wis to Attack Rolls (Intuitive Attack) or use the Ice Axe spell (and other spells) to do the same thing. Prestige Classes also help, and Cleric PrCs tend to be much better than Fighter ones.


You aren't always going to have time to cast buffs on yourself, to bring your BAB up to that of a fighter, since your party may need you to cast other spells during an encounter.

Stop. You should never have to use more than one buff during combat, and the rest of your buffs should be cast either at the start of the day or before doing serious adventuring.

The only times when you won't have your 10 minute/level buffs up is with Random Encounters.


At 8th level, for example a fighter is swinging in with two attacks at +8 / +3, while the cleric is swinging in at +6 / +1. Might not seem like much a of difference, but that's where the stat priorities come in.

For example, a fighter would dump his highest roll into strength, so lets say both your cleric and fighter roll 18's, as one of their 6 stat rolls. A fighter's going to put that to Str., where as a cleric's going to put that to Wis.

And then buffs his other stats (or the attack rolls directly) so it doesn't matter.


At level 8 then the fighters Attacks are +12 / +7, while the clerics are whatever roll he felt like dumping to Str., which would be significantly lower than the fighters.

By "significantly lower" you mean 3 points. Just from Str. That's for a Str of 12, BTW, which can easily be boosted to 16.


Clerics are great support characters for a party. They can buff, they can heal, they can cast a very limited number of offensive spells, but in a fight, there's no way a cleric can fill the spot as effectively as a fighter in terms of dealing damage.

Maybe in Core only, but I've played a non-Core Cleric and have found them to be very capable of replacing a Fighter.



Because clerics in 3.5. can wear heavy armor, they aren't squishy and can stand there in the face of bad guys swinging weapons, like a fighter, but they aren't going to be able to hit back with as much damage as a fighter.

Buffs make all of the difference.


In reality, a wizard, or cleric or any caster, who has to prepare spells for the day can never be truly optimized.

I've never seen it happen.

There's always a, "damn, I knew I should've prepared 'x' spell when I got up this morning".

This is why Divination is always a priority. And hell, even without Divinations, I've found that all you need to do is stick to the GOD Handbook and the Batman Guide and you never get caught off-guard.


In a perfectly random encounter, there's no guarantee the wizards would have the spells they need to hurt the other party effectively.

Hurt? HURT?!!? A Wizard's job is not to HURT the opponents, it's to neutralize them so they can't HURT the party.


Grease, Glitterdust, Solid Fog, Black Tentacles. Those 4 spells have taken care of more encounters for me than I care to count. And that was with a BARD.

Greenish
2011-06-19, 04:50 PM
Also you have a conviction that 4 casters can't also be your 'varied party'? That's.. just weird, to me. One gish, one skill-caster (Beguiler, Unseen Seer/Arcane Trickster build, Cloistered Cleric, etc), two Wizards/Clerics, and you have your varied traditional roles covered by characters that are also full casters.Or slap in a druid, a cleric, a wizard and an artificer, and you have all roles well covered, with a very solid frontline.



In reality, a wizard, or cleric or any caster, who has to prepare spells for the day can never be truly optimized.

I've never seen it happen.

There's always a, "damn, I knew I should've prepared 'x' spell when I got up this morning".

In a perfectly random encounter, there's no guarantee the wizards would have the spells they need to hurt the other party effectively."Optimized" doesn't mean "have perfect spell for every situation", it's usually "have a spell for every situation". There are aplenty of ones that work in most any case.

Say, you pick a level, I'll make a spell list, we agree on an encounter table and roll, and then see whether my list has anything relevant. (Though not tonight, I've got morning shift coming up.)


A fighter and rogue will usually have on them what they need to optimize their damage: their pointed sticks.Yes, and hitting with that pointy stick is the only thing the fighter can do. Rogues, granted, have more options, but they aren't so great at a fight.

JaronK
2011-06-19, 05:16 PM
however, what i don't get is the concept (perhaps a concept made up by me) that non-spellcasting classes are no good.

The tier system does not say that non-spellcasting classes are no good. Perhaps you should read it. It says that most spellcasters (and people who emulate them, like Artificers) have more potential power and versatility than people who just swing swords. However, this has nothing to do with "good" or "no good." A Monk is a perfectly good class, for what it does. It won't fit in a game with Wizards going all out, but in a lower power game, a Monk might be a fine fit while the Wizard would be overpowered and not fun.


if tier 1 classes are so good, then why doesn't everyone just play a wizard?

Many reasons. Maybe Wizard doesn't fit your character concept. Maybe you'd like more of a challenge. Maybe the DM wants to run a fun campaign where you try to survive a voyage across the ocean on a ship, and having a character that could just teleport to the destination instead wouldn't fit in that campaign. Not everyone just plays to win, or wants to play in god mode. If they did, they'd just plan Pun Pun, win the game in half a second, and go do something else... but where's the fun in that?


well, in my mind, the party of 4 wizards going up against a fighter, a rogue, a wizard, and a cleric is going to lose every time. any all-magic party is going to lose to a balanced party every time. right?

Wrong. By level 5 or so if both groups know what they're doing, the Wizard group should be able to do far more than the other group, though the fact that that second group has two T1s is what gives them a real chance. But to be clear, the Tier System is about real play, not arena battles.


so am i just crazy or is this whole tier thing just way too ... dismissive?

Perhaps you should read it. It's more dismissive of Wizards than of Rogues, considering it straight up says "I prefer playing T3 and DMing for T4."


ie paladins suck because they are tier 592, and they are tier 592 because they are only good at one thing.

The tier system is not saying weaker tier classes "suck." Perhaps you should read it before such a rant. What "sucks" is being either far too much stronger or far too much weaker than the rest of your party, resulting in a variety of problems.


well if that one thing happens to be killing the bad guy in the face then how is that somehow bad? it's not the paladin's job to buff himself or dispel himself. it's the spellcaster's job to buff and dispel. it's the paladin's job to have huge defensive bonuses while doing constant damage. again, how is this bad?

Not every encounter can be solved by "killing the bad guy in the face." DMing for low tier (T4-) parties means you have to tailor the encounters for the party... if all someone can do is kill a bad guy in the face, then every session should involve at least one encounter where all you do is kill guys. If your campaign really should have a session that's full of intrigue and investigation, and one guy can only kill bad guys in the face, that player will be bored. I had a DM tell me once how much he hated having such a player in the party, specifically because he had to have at least one random fight, even if the story line absolutely didn't call for one that session.

This is not to say that you can't make a game set up exactly that way. If I'm DMing for a group that's Paladin, Healer, Fighter, Ninja, then the entire campaign is going to be about killing guys and occasionally dealing with traps, simply because that's all the party can do. If that's how you like to play, then you should be playing at T4-, because the campaign fits that. And you should not allow effectively played Wizards/Clercs/Druids/etc, because your campaign designed for that first group would be destroyed by a party that's walking around with an undead regenerating army.


of course d&d isn't football, and class imbalance is a VERY serious concern. i just feel morally outraged for some reason at this tier system. i'd prefer things simply being called balanced, overpowered or underpowered :(

It's just got more gradients than that, and what's overpowered for one game might be underpowered for another. For example, you seem to think that a class that does nothing other than "kill the bad guy in the face" is fine, so T5 is balanced for you. T3+ is probably overpowered. T6 is probably underpowered. There you go, now it's customized for you.

But it does seem like you didn't actually understand the system, since you seem to think it's about some classes sucking and that everyone should play T1 classes. Considering it says the opposite, I think you need to read more.

JaronK

Nightmarenny
2011-06-19, 05:31 PM
Its also worth noting that the Tier system was adapted from Fighting Video games like Marvel vs capcom and streetfighter. This is good to know because Tier 1 weren't the characters that would get used in Tournaments. In fact they were normally banned. They were considered poorly designed classes that required very little skill to make use-able.

Talya
2011-06-19, 05:40 PM
This is good to know because Tier 1 weren't the characters that would get used in Tournaments. In fact they were normally banned. They were considered poorly designed classes that required very little skill to make use-able.

This is not necessarily true about D&D. A wizard, for instance, has incredible potential to dominate play, but in reality, few of the people who complain about it could ever actually pull that off. "Being Batman" only works if you've got Batman's mind to pull it off with. (The player, not the character.)

Nightmarenny
2011-06-19, 05:44 PM
This is not necessarily true about D&D. A wizard, for instance, has incredible potential to dominate play, but in reality, few of the people who complain about it could ever actually pull that off. "Being Batman" only works if you've got Batman's mind to pull it off with. (The player, not the character.)

Yeah but is pretty true of Druids. However that's not my point. My point is that the Tier list should not be seen as Tier 1 is great and everything is worse. The "Base Line" is somewhere closer to tier 3 with 1 being way overpowered.

SuperFerret
2011-06-19, 06:05 PM
Its also worth noting that the Tier system was adapted from Fighting Video games like Marvel vs capcom and streetfighter. This is good to know because Tier 1 weren't the characters that would get used in Tournaments. In fact they were normally banned. They were considered poorly designed classes that required very little skill to make use-able.

I'll agree, mostly because whether in video games or D&D, if you're looking at or developing tier systems, you're really kind of giving the mechanics far too much thought.

Nightmarenny
2011-06-19, 06:17 PM
I'll agree, mostly because whether in video games or D&D, if you're looking at or developing tier systems, you're really kind of giving the mechanics far too much thought.

I... don't believe I said anything at all related to that.

Edit: In fact I have to say that idea is just down right silly. Why should a greater understanding of thing ever be a bad thing?

Frozen_Feet
2011-06-19, 06:22 PM
In reality, a wizard, or cleric or any caster, who has to prepare spells for the day can never be truly optimized.

I've never seen it happen.

There's always a, "damn, I knew I should've prepared 'x' spell when I got up this morning".

In a perfectly random encounter, there's no guarantee the wizards would have the spells they need to hurt the other party effectively.

A fighter and rogue will usually have on them what they need to optimize their damage: their pointed sticks.

Wrong. Optimization isn't a binary on/off switch, it's a sliding scale. I've seen a lot of really optimized wizards on the boards. The problem is - it's really hard to optimize Wizard to its full potential, because it has so darn much of it! You need almost preternatural level of system mastery and time to think to squeeze everything out of a wizard's tool list.

That's why DMing to tier ones is considered annoying. It's not even about balance, or breaking the game - it's just that with tier ones, there's always room for something you didn't think of. Being caught off-guard isn't fun to a lot of people.

Melee types tend to be easier to optimize because there's much less to do with them. It's easy to reach a point where you can call it a day, 'cause you've reached your situational peak and can't improve more.

Finally, no such thing as perfectly random encounter. Any potential event is constrained by the game setting and rules. Plus, tier ones can often literally see the future. Overall, tier ones stand much better chance of preparing tools that are, if not perfect, at least useful, than lower tiers. That's why they are tier ones. They can approach almost any situation with a chance to come out on top.



Stop. You should never have to use more than one buff during combat, and the rest of your buffs should be cast either at the start of the day or before doing serious adventuring.

In my games where random chance is the prime dictator of game events, having to buff during encounters is necessary more often than not. It just becomes part of the encoutner to get yourself heated up before the situation blows on your face.

There are no "shoulds" or "nevers". What's tactically optimal is situational.


Hurt? HURT?!!? A Wizard's job is not to HURT the opponents, it's to neutralize them so they can't HURT the party.

Wrong. Wizards can do near anything, they have no single job. It's part of the reason they're tier one that they can do pretty much anything if a situation requires it. (Plus, indirectly hurting or hampering the opposition counts as hurting them in the general sense.) A wizard usually doesn't need to hurt (as in, injure) people if he has a posse of mooks... errr, fighters, but if there are no fighters it might be required... in which case, it's just good that the wizard usually has means to do that as well, isn't it?


Its also worth noting that the Tier system was adapted from Fighting Video games like Marvel vs capcom and streetfighter. This is good to know because Tier 1 weren't the characters that would get used in Tournaments. In fact they were normally banned. They were considered poorly designed classes that required very little skill to make use-able.

Not quite. It isn't so much they're easy to make usable, but it's easy to reach a level of skill with them where no other tiers can compete. So they're put on their own league (possibly literally) because there's no point in using other characters if they're allowed.

Incidentally, this doesn't really work in D&D, because in roleplaying games there are myriad reasons to play mechanically weak characters whether or not they're able to contribute. In a party with tier one and two tier fives, the power of the tier one might be irrelevant to the tier fives because the latters are in for their personal love affair, not winning the game. Indeed, they might be happy the tier one can take care of the encounter stuff, because it allows them to focus on other stuff.

SuperFerret
2011-06-19, 06:22 PM
I... don't believe I said anything at all related to that.

You pointed out that tier systems like this are similar to tier systems in fighting games, AND you stated that they were good to know due to tournament scenarios. Perhaps "I agree" was the wrong thing to say, as it's a result of me reading things from my own perspective, so I may have taken what you said out of the context you intended for it.

At any rate, I see tier systems as more missing the forest for the trees, and the result of taking numbers over fun. It has little to do with understanding something. Actually, the Marvel vs. Capcom games are a prime example. Yeah, sure, Character X might be the most mechanically sound, but I'm a fan of Character Y, and at any rate, excelling at Character X often includes cheap tactics and stuff that "isn't against the rules".

Eldariel
2011-06-19, 06:27 PM
At any rate, I see tier systems as more missing the forest for the trees, and the result of taking numbers over fun.

The idea is to improve the fun with numbers. A balanced game is more enjoyable than an imbalanced one. I certainly wouldn't want to play SS2T against Akuma-players simply because my chances of victory would be poor with anything else, and the game would be dreadfully boring.

So knowing that Akuma is stupidly good and banning him improves the play experience. That's the purpose of tier systems in the first place (and indeed, most information compilations for games); to make the game more fun to play. I daresay you'll have more fun playing most games when you know them well than when you can't figure out how you could use more than 1 SCV per mineral patch in Brood War.

Thurbane
2011-06-19, 06:28 PM
I have two issues with the tier system (the second isn't really with the system itself, though):

Any form of ranking of classes is going to be somewhat subjective. There always some debate as to what tier certain classes actually fall in. And any kind of ranking system cannot take into account the variables at each individual gaming table, epsecially play style differences. What may be tier 2 at some tables could easily be tier 3 or 4 at another.
People (intentionally and unintentionally) using the tier system as a "ban hammer", and telling people "Oh don't play class X, it's tier Y, dontcha know!". This means a lot of people will miss out on playing fun classes that may be perfect for their character concept, just because some people treat the tier system as a holy mantra of what clasess to play and not to play.

Yuki Akuma
2011-06-19, 06:31 PM
Tiers are about potential, not about how a particular person plays the class.

The Wizard class is always Tier 1, even though some people play them with 14 Intelligence and 18 Constitution, and only prepare direct damage spells. The Sorcerer class is always Tier 2, even if some people take Grease, Colour Spray, Sleep, Force Cage and Time Stop. The Wizard has more potential than the Sorcerer, because he could totally redo his spells prepared the next day, and can add directly to his spells known exponentially greater than the Sorcerer.

Thurbane
2011-06-19, 06:41 PM
Tiers are about potential, not about how a particular person plays the class.

The Wizard class is always Tier 1, even though some people play them with 14 Intelligence and only prepare direct damage spells. The Sorcerer class is always Tier 2, even if some people take Grease, Colour Spray, Sleep, Force Cage and Time Stop. The Wizard has more potential than the Sorcerer, because he could totally redo his spells prepared the next day, and can add directly to his spells known exponentially greater than the Sorcerer.
Yes, I've heard this argument before, and I heartily disagree. And if this is true, then it renders the system almost totally irrelevant. If you're not taking table specific variables into account (which, if course, it's virtually impossible to do), then no class has a set tier. The tier system is a loose guide, not an absolute. Any form of ranking system is going to be subjective to some degree, no matter how learned and well versed the people compiling it may be.

And as long as you treat it as a loose guide, then it's fine. I don't really have a problem with the tier system, unless people (mis)use it as a hard and fast guide of what classes to play or not to play.

Frozen_Feet
2011-06-19, 06:43 PM
The idea is to improve the fun with numbers. A balanced game is more enjoyable than an imbalanced one.

Not really. There's no imperative for it to be so, especially with roleplaying games. It'd be more accurate to say a fair game is more enjoyable than unfair one, but some systems and games specifically strive to be unfair.

A tactical simulation, however, is more enjoyable when your tactics matter. So it's hugely annoying when someone obviates all your tacitcal value.

Yuki Akuma
2011-06-19, 06:44 PM
You disagree that JaronK compiled the list of tiers depending on versatility and potential when he explicitly stated in the post it was originally posted in that that's exactly what he did?

What?

The tier system is not an absolute measure of the subjective power of classes at every individual table and was never intended to be. It's a simple measurement of the potential power, given exactly equal optimisation.

Flickerdart
2011-06-19, 06:45 PM
I have two issues with the tier system (the second isn't really with the system itself, though):
Any form of ranking of classes is going to be somewhat subjective. There always some debate as to what tier certain classes actually fall in. And any kind of ranking system cannot take into account the variables at each individual gaming table, epsecially play style differences. What may be tier 2 at some tables could easily be tier 3 or 4 at another.

That isn't how the tier system works. It exists outside tables and campaign worlds; it is a theoretical metagame construct. It's not meant to take play styles into account because such a system would be impossible, so it only takes into account what is written down on paper about the class. You know, what's part of the rules. Actual effectiveness of a character might not end at the tier system, but builds on it, as the player's skill is added into the mix.



People (intentionally and unintentionally) using the tier system as a "ban hammer", and telling people "Oh don't play class X, it's tier Y, dontcha know!". This means a lot of people will miss out on playing fun classes that may be perfect for their character concept, just because some people treat the tier system as a holy mantra of what clasess to play and not to play.

I'd like you to cite me some examples for this, because I don't believe this to be true. I posit that the tier system has never been used, by people who understand anything about the game, to shut down a "fun" class that is "perfect for someone's character concept" in favour of an unfun class that is not perfect for their character concept.

That last part especially I take umbrage with, as it is an entirely fluff-based issue and hilariously inappropriate for a discussion of the tier system. You don't need to be a Samurai to be a samurai, after all.

MeeposFire
2011-06-19, 06:54 PM
I'd like you to cite me some examples for this, because I don't believe this to be true. I posit that the tier system has never been used, by people who understand anything about the game, to shut down a "fun" class that is "perfect for someone's character concept" in favour of an unfun class that is not perfect for their character concept.

That last part especially I take umbrage with, as it is an entirely fluff-based issue and hilariously inappropriate for a discussion of the tier system. You don't need to be a Samurai to be a samurai, after all.

Well to be honest people do say things like "tier 5 or 6 suck so ban it and play something else". It happens all the time here but that should not be seen as the fault of the tier system itself. As the author just wrote he in fact does not like tier 1 or 2 and does not advocate banning stuff just because it is of a certain tier (only that you should be careful when running a game between classes of widely divergent tiers). But other people tend to take the tiers and put their feelings on classes on it and try to use it for things it is not really designed to do such as telling people to never play a monk because it is "weak" even if it is in a group where such a class may be a better fit since everybody might be playing tier 4 and 5 classes rather than tier 2 or 3 (in fact the tier system would infer that a tier 5 monk would be a better fit than a tier 2 tashlatora psion despite the fact that the psion would be "better" for a group running mostly tier 5+4 classes).

In other words you should be correct but people misuse the tier system all the time and that is the unfortunate part. It gives it an undeserved bad rep with some people especially since those people often don't understand it (since in some ways it is very nuanced and other people misrepresenting it does not help).

Flickerdart
2011-06-19, 06:59 PM
Are there any T5 or 6 classes that are fun, though? Do any of them really do anything that other classes can't, and that's worth doing?

Nightmarenny
2011-06-19, 07:01 PM
Well to be honest people do say things like "tier 5 or 6 suck so ban it and play something else". It happens all the time here but that should not be seen as the fault of the tier system itself. As the author just wrote he in fact does not like tier 1 or 2 and does not advocate banning stuff just because it is of a certain tier (only that you should be careful when running a game between classes of widely divergent tiers). But other people tend to take the tiers and put their feelings on classes on it and try to use it for things it is not really designed to do such as telling people to never play a monk because it is "weak" even if it is in a group where such a class may be a better fit since everybody might be playing tier 4 and 5 classes rather than tier 2 or 3 (in fact the tier system would infer that a tier 5 monk would be a better fit than a tier 2 tashlatora psion despite the fact that the psion would be "better" for a group running mostly tier 5+4 classes).

In other words you should be correct but people misuse the tier system all the time and that is the unfortunate part. It gives it an undeserved bad rep with some people especially since those people often don't understand it (since in some ways it is very nuanced and other people misrepresenting it does not help).

When someone tells another not to take a class do they not suggest a class with the same fluff but better stats*? Monk and Swordsage are mostly the same except the Monk is easily trounced if anyone knows what they are doing.

*note that I am in no way supporting the people who when the OP says he only wants to play a Monk, the class, just respond "play Swordsage". That is rude.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-19, 07:04 PM
Are there any T5 or 6 classes that are fun, though? Do any of them really do anything that other classes can't, and that's worth doing?

Expert is overshadowed by rogue and factotum, fighter is overshadowed by warblade, crusader, and swordsage, paladin is overshadowed by crusader, monk is overshadowed by unarmed swordsage, truenamer doesn't have a tier, it just doesn't work.

MeeposFire
2011-06-19, 07:06 PM
When someone tells another not to take a class do they not suggest a class with the same fluff but better stats*? Monk and Swordsage are mostly the same except the Monk is easily trounced if anyone knows what they are doing.

*note that I am in no way supporting the people who when the OP says he only wants to play a Monk, the class, just respond "play Swordsage". That is rude.

People often say "play a swordsage not a monk" around here and yes they do it because honestly they do fill a similar niche in 3e but people do it throwing around that the swordsage is tier 3 so it should always be taken over a monk. They say this as if the tier system actually says this but it doesn't. In fact in a lower tier group a swordsage may not be the best answer for group dynamics since it would be so much better than the others. This is rarely taken into consideration here. The tier system does not say the monk class should never be played but people around try to use it to say such around here.

Eldariel
2011-06-19, 07:08 PM
*note that I am in no way supporting the people who when the OP says he only wants to play a Monk, the class, just respond "play Swordsage". That is rude.

Often, however, when someone says "I wanna play a Monk" they're not aware there are alternatives and what they want to play is Monk the archetype, not Monk the class. Sometimes this is the case, but I've rarely found players married to playing a clearly suboptimal class compared to the other classes in the same game. In our group, we do most character building together nowadays and nobody has yet to complain about being offered a Warblade, SS, Crusader or a Homebrew ToB version of a Core martialist instead of the Core version. Indeed, most players who have played D&D in other groups have said they find it more enjoyable since they have more to do and it's easier to realize your character concepts; more skills and more options both, in and out of combat goes ways towards that.

It's just, PHB presents Fighter as the class who does all common fighting, Monk as the class who does the Magic Martial Arts and Barbarian/Ranger/Paladin as the perfect fits for their appropriate nichés, when that is in fact not true.

Which makes especially new players go "I wanna play a Monk" and then they realize they're dealing 1d6+2 a turn with poor accuracy, poor AC, low HP and nothing to show for those losses (this is level 1, mind). I've seen it happen, the gradual realization that you picked a class that simply plays on a lower power scale than the rest of the party. It's not a fun experience for the DM, the player or the playgroup.

Veyr
2011-06-19, 07:10 PM
*note that I am in no way supporting the people who when the OP says he only wants to play a Monk, the class, just respond "play Swordsage". That is rude.
Wait, hold up.

I'm posting, in my own free time, with no expectation of compensation, freely offered and honest and sincere advice. This is rude now?

Nightmarenny
2011-06-19, 07:13 PM
Wait, hold up.

I'm posting, in my own free time, with no expectation of compensation, freely offered and honest and sincere advice. This is rude now?

When the OP specifies "I am playing a Monk, for whatever reason I am tied to this class and do not want advice to change classes" and you either don't read the whole OP or ignore the content and then post "play a swordsage" anyway that is rude. Yes.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-19, 07:15 PM
When the OP specifies "I am playing a Monk, for whatever reason I am tied to this class and do not want advice to change classes" and you either don't read the whole OP or ignore the content and then post "play a swordsage" anyway that is rude. Yes.

And how often does that happen?

Worira
2011-06-19, 07:16 PM
Uh, pretty frequently, actually.

Fox Box Socks
2011-06-19, 07:18 PM
I've seen it quite a few times myself.

Nightmarenny
2011-06-19, 07:18 PM
And how often does that happen?

Ok look. Stop. I added that clarification because I didn't want someone to respond with what I put. I didn't say it was a huge problem. I clarified my position. So lets back off ok?

Yuki Akuma
2011-06-19, 07:18 PM
Uh, pretty frequently, actually.

Pretty much this, yes. Some people can be pretty rude when it comes to Monks.

Not that you should play a Monk if your character concept is "unarmed fighter". But if you really want to play the Monk class, go ahead...

Veyr
2011-06-19, 07:22 PM
When the OP specifies "I am playing a Monk, for whatever reason I am tied to this class and do not want advice to change classes" and you either don't read the whole OP or ignore the content and then post "play a swordsage" anyway that is rude. Yes.
I completely disagree with you.

This is a discussion forum. People give their opinions and talk and discuss things. If the OP doesn't want my advice, he's free to ignore it, but that doesn't mean he gets to stop me from commenting so long as I do so politely. No one "owns" threads on this forum, saving perhaps Rich himself. Being OP does not give you complete control over what people say in the thread.

Nightmarenny
2011-06-19, 07:23 PM
I completely disagree with you.

This is a discussion forum. People give their opinions and talk and discuss things. If the OP doesn't want my advice, he's free to ignore it, but that doesn't mean he gets to stop me from commenting so long as I do so politely. No one "owns" threads on this forum, saving perhaps Rich himself. Being OP does not give you complete control over what people say in the thread.

I'm not saying you should stop. It is Rude though. It is basically going off-topic.

Qaera
2011-06-19, 07:24 PM
I'm not saying you should stop. It is Rude though. It is basically going off-topic.

How meta...
:smalltongue:

Fox Box Socks
2011-06-19, 07:25 PM
Hold on there, Nightmarenny. When the OP is "please help me optimize this Monk", there will be handful of answers to the tune of "Monks can only go so far, so if you're looking for optimization you should really try a Swordsage".

But when the OP specifically states that he doesn't want to change class? No. The number of Swordsage people drops of significantly, to the point of stopping.

Yuki Akuma
2011-06-19, 07:27 PM
Hold on there, Nightmarenny. When the OP is "please help me optimize this Monk", there will be handful of answers to the tune of "Monks can only go so far, so if you're looking for optimization you should really try a Swordsage".

But when the OP specifically states that he doesn't want to change class? No. The number of Swordsage people drops of significantly, to the point of stopping.

Not always, unfortunately.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-19, 07:27 PM
Hold on there, Nightmarenny. When the OP is "please help me optimize this Monk", there will be handful of answers to the tune of "Monks can only go so far, so if you're looking for optimization you should really try a Swordsage".

But when the OP specifically states that he doesn't want to change class? No. The number of Swordsage people drops of significantly, to the point of stopping.

This is when the people start mentioning Tashalatora. :smalltongue:

MeeposFire
2011-06-19, 07:28 PM
Pretty much this, yes. Some people can be pretty rude when it comes to Monks.

Not that you should play a Monk if your character concept is "unarmed fighter". But if you really want to play the Monk class, go ahead...

Yea that is why they call it Monkday around here.

By the way we are not saying that you don't have an objective point (that SS are better than monks at being monks). We are saying that people do go around saying don't play a monk because the tier system says it is a lower tier class and lower tier classes should not be played and yet the tier system does not actually say that.

Veyr
2011-06-19, 07:29 PM
I agree with Swiftmongoose: I can't recall that happening often. It is not assumed when someone says "I want to play a monk!" that they strictly mean Monk, the class, especially since quite a few other classes (Cleric, Psychic Warrior, and Swordsage at the least) can do the concept of "mystic martial artist" far better than the Monk can.

When people do specify that they literally mean the Monk, class, and that they know what they're doing re: Monks being terrible, I don't think you'd see nearly as many comments about the Swordsage. Some might question why that decision was made, but let's be frank: it is a fairly mind-boggling decision, and it may be worthwhile to make sure that the OP does not have any misconceptions about what they're getting into.

Nightmarenny
2011-06-19, 07:30 PM
Hold on there, Nightmarenny. When the OP is "please help me optimize this Monk", there will be handful of answers to the tune of "Monks can only go so far, so if you're looking for optimization you should really try a Swordsage".

But when the OP specifically states that he doesn't want to change class? No. The number of Swordsage people drops of significantly, to the point of stopping.

I don't recall contradicting this.


I agree with Swiftmongoose: I can't recall that happening often. It is not assumed when someone says "I want to play a monk!" that they strictly mean Monk, the class, especially since quite a few other classes (Cleric, Psychic Warrior, and Swordsage at the least) can do the concept of "mystic martial artist" far better than the Monk can.

When people do specify that they literally mean the Monk, class, and that they know what they're doing re: Monks being terrible, I don't think you'd see nearly as many comments about the Swordsage. Some might question why that decision was made, but let's be frank: it is a fairly mind-boggling decision, and it may be worthwhile to make sure that the OP does not have any misconceptions about what they're getting into.
nor this

ShneekeyTheLost
2011-06-19, 07:32 PM
Are there any T5 or 6 classes that are fun, though? Do any of them really do anything that other classes can't, and that's worth doing?

Well, there was that one CWar samurai who was fairly okay at what he does... but his one trick really isn't all that universally applicable, and is easily shut down. But against those not immune to his trick, he was an okay lockdown build.

It wouldn't be really fun to play in a game, though. It's either 'I win' or 'I lose', with zero options between them, depending on if they are not immune, or are immune, to his one trick.

On the Great Monk Debate, I fail to see why anyone would willingly play Monk over Swordage (other than as a two-level dip onto something greater), considering Swordsage has both better mechanics AND better roleplay flavor...

I mean, when looking at Kung Fu movies, they nearly always used really cool weapons, which monks can't really do. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon had the Green Destiny Blade, for example. A monk would not only drop his damage dramatically when using it, but would also incur an additional -4 nonproficency penalty when trying to swing the dang thing. That's not Kung Fu, that's Suck.

Veyr
2011-06-19, 07:33 PM
I don't recall contradicting this.


nor this
It was more a continuation to Swiftmongoose's original response to your post: sure, if someone specifically says "look, I know how terrible Monks are, and I know there are better options, but for whatever reason I want to play a Monk 20", it might be rude to completely ignore that and talk about another class, but how often does that happen? And when it does, how often do people "rudely" (a concept I am still dubious of) ignore that?

Yuki Akuma
2011-06-19, 07:33 PM
Well, there was that one CWar samurai who was fairly okay at what he does... but his one trick really isn't all that universally applicable, and is easily shut down. But against those not immune to his trick, he was an okay lockdown build.

Emphasis on trick - that's what makes him Tier 5. He has one trick - intimidating people.

Thurbane
2011-06-19, 07:34 PM
Uh, pretty frequently, actually.

I've seen it quite a few times myself.
I'm going to agree here - it does happen pretty frequently.

Veyr
2011-06-19, 07:35 PM
Could someone link to several examples of this?

Yes, people say "I want to play a monk!" and people say "A Swordsage would be much better," but how often do people say "I know everything that's wrong with a Monk, but want to play one anyway" and people ignore that? Does anyone have an example? Or, ya know, several, since this is apparently "frequent"?

MeeposFire
2011-06-19, 07:37 PM
Whether you think it occurs often or not it needs to be reaffirmed that the tier system does not condone that behavior nor is it at fault for that issue. All it does do is give people a convenient way of describing what a lot of people had been saying for years before its inception, that all classes were not equal, and this gives a convenient way of describing the various issues for each class.

Coidzor
2011-06-19, 07:38 PM
It usually seems to be a brief interlude that passes quickly after clarification is provided if clarification wasn't provided in the first place and really only derails the thread if people decide to make an argument out of it in the thread.

MeeposFire
2011-06-19, 07:40 PM
Could someone link to several examples of this?

Yes, people say "I want to play a monk!" and people say "A Swordsage would be much better," but how often do people say "I know everything that's wrong with a Monk, but want to play one anyway" and people ignore that? Does anyone have an example? Or, ya know, several, since this is apparently "frequent"?

considering how many monk threads there are and how painful they are to read generally I don't think we really want to subject people to that. Besides it is not really that important the issue of people trying to force their class choices on others is a personal issue and not an issue with the tier system despite what people might think.

Thurbane
2011-06-19, 07:40 PM
Whether you think it occurs often or not it needs to be reaffirmed that the tier system does not condone that behavior nor is it at fault for that issue. All it does do is give people a convenient way of describing what a lot of people had been saying for years before its inception, that all classes were not equal, and this gives a convenient way of describing the various issues for each class.
...and hence my multiple assertions that I only have a problem with the system when people misuse it.

Guns don't kill people and all that. :smalltongue:

ShneekeyTheLost
2011-06-19, 07:41 PM
Emphasis on trick - that's what makes him Tier 5. He has one trick - intimidating people.

Precisely. He's a one-trick pony. That's really the quintessential definition of the tier classes, and WHY the CW Samurai is a T6 class...

Even with ultimate optimization techniques, the paragon and highest the class can go is... a one-trick pony.

Consider that a Fighter can do even better with an ACF at level 9, and also be able to actually do damage in combat. That's why the Fighter is Tier 5 and the CW Samurai is Tier 6. Because the Fighter has more and more flexible options, and can do the same thing, with fewer resources.

Compare that with the Tier 4 Dread Necromancer, who basically (with a single spell he can get from his class ability) does the same thing, without using an action (fear aura + Aura of Dread spell + Fell Frighten to make all opponents within 30' Panicked), and is ALSO has very interesting class abilities, with a whole horde of undead minions (or a few, really NASTY ones), AND is able to cast 9th level spells.

The CW Samurai requires maximum optimization to do the same thing that a Fighter can get with an ACF to do the same thing the Dread Necromancer does for breathing (or not breathing, as the case might be).

That's why someone came up with the Tier Lists.

TroubleBrewing
2011-06-19, 07:41 PM
It usually seems to be a brief interlude that passes quickly after clarification is provided if clarification wasn't provided in the first place and really only derails the thread if people decide to make an argument out of it in the thread.

This. Coidzor has the right of it.

Veyr: I know it happens, I've done it myself. :smallamused: I don't do it out of spite, I do it because it is genuinely good advice. People throw the "I play to have fun" card in my face, and I usually play the "yes, but now you can have fun and be useful" card.

MeeposFire
2011-06-19, 07:42 PM
...and hence my multiple assertions that I only have a problem with the system when people misuse it.

Guns don't kill people and all that. :smalltongue:

Well you may not blame it but others do mostly since they don't understand what the tier system is all about.

Yuki Akuma
2011-06-19, 07:42 PM
Samurai is Tier 6?

Oh wow, and I only looked at the list ten minutes before I posted that, too...

Jade Dragon
2011-06-19, 07:45 PM
This. Coidzor has the right of it.

Veyr: I know it happens, I've done it myself. :smallamused: I don't do it out of spite, I do it because it is genuinely good advice. People throw the "I play to have fun" card in my face, and I usually play the "yes, but now you can have fun and be useful" card.

Oh yeah, ToB is fun. Take fighter and warblade: is it more fun to say "I use X maneuver, and I can do Y because I'm in Z stance", or say "I trip/hit/bull rush it again"?

@Yuki: OA samurai is tier 5, CW samurai is tier 6.

Eldariel
2011-06-19, 07:59 PM
Precisely. He's a one-trick pony. That's really the quintessential definition of the tier classes, and WHY the CW Samurai is a T6 class...

Even with ultimate optimization techniques, the paragon and highest the class can go is... a one-trick pony.

Consider that a Fighter can do even better with an ACF at level 9, and also be able to actually do damage in combat. That's why the Fighter is Tier 5 and the CW Samurai is Tier 6. Because the Fighter has more and more flexible options, and can do the same thing, with fewer resources.

Compare that with the Tier 4 Dread Necromancer, who basically (with a single spell he can get from his class ability) does the same thing, without using an action (fear aura + Aura of Dread spell + Fell Frighten to make all opponents within 30' Panicked), and is ALSO has very interesting class abilities, with a whole horde of undead minions (or a few, really NASTY ones), AND is able to cast 9th level spells.

The CW Samurai requires maximum optimization to do the same thing that a Fighter can get with an ACF to do the same thing the Dread Necromancer does for breathing (or not breathing, as the case might be).

That's why someone came up with the Tier Lists.
Fine post. But Dread Necro is most assuredly Tier 3. Basically any full caster is (ok, Warmage and Healer aren't but they're less of full casters and more of "I have 9 levels worth of X that have scaling numbers.")

ShneekeyTheLost
2011-06-19, 08:05 PM
Fine post. But Dread Necro is most assuredly Tier 3. Basically any full caster is (ok, Warmage and Healer aren't but they're less of full casters and more of "I have 9 levels worth of X that have scaling numbers.")

Dread Necro is generally seen as Tier 4 (for the same reason that Warmage is) rather than Tier 3, but I personally agree with you that they should be seen as Tier 3.

Veyr
2011-06-19, 08:06 PM
Dread Necro is generally seen as Tier 4 (for the same reason that Warmage is) rather than Tier 3, but I personally agree with you that they should be seen as Tier 3.
Err...

Tier 3: [...]

Examples: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, Crusader, [...](emphasis mine)

JaronK
2011-06-19, 08:06 PM
Its also worth noting that the Tier system was adapted from Fighting Video games like Marvel vs capcom and streetfighter. This is good to know because Tier 1 weren't the characters that would get used in Tournaments. In fact they were normally banned. They were considered poorly designed classes that required very little skill to make use-able.

Um, no it wasn't. I hadn't even heard of that when I wrote it.

However, I do agree with the idea that the T1 characters are generally poorly designed due to being far too powerful compared to what they were supposed to be able to do.

JaronK

Eldariel
2011-06-19, 08:07 PM
Dread Necro is generally seen as Tier 4 (for the same reason that Warmage is) rather than Tier 3, but I personally agree with you that they should be seen as Tier 3.

The latest Tier System post I could find (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=5293.0) lists him as Tier 3; I haven't heard many people contest that.

The Glyphstone
2011-06-19, 08:08 PM
I thought the Dread Necro and the Beguiler were both solid T3's. The DN gets undead minions, debuffs, and SoDs in a variety of flavors.

ShneekeyTheLost
2011-06-19, 08:13 PM
I thought the Dread Necro and the Beguiler were both solid T3's. The DN gets undead minions, debuffs, and SoDs in a variety of flavors.

All his SoD's are of the same flavor, but I digress, and I am glad that it is considered a T3 class.

TroubleBrewing
2011-06-19, 08:19 PM
... and SoDs in a variety of flavors.


All his SoD's are of the same flavor,

"Corpse" is a flavor now? Euuuggghhhh.:smalleek:

Grendus
2011-06-19, 08:35 PM
Most Dread Necro SoD's are fort saves, which weakens them (Fort and Will are both commonly maximized saves, it's reflex that's easy to hit IIRC), but he still gets a lot, with a lot of flavors.

The question as to it's tier, however, is over whether it's very good at one thing and poor outside it's niche, or whether it's great at it's niche and capable in other areas (IE T4 or T3). Unless you're in a campaign made entirely of enemy clerics, their undead minions are brutally effective. They pack SoD's, debuffs out the wassou, and the Planar Binding line grants even more minions (although you'll want to take ranks of UMD cross class to use a Runestaff of Magic Circle against Good/Evil/Law/Chaos). With one feat, they have infinite self healing and can patch up their undead minions between battles without expending resources. Sounds like T3 to me, personally, maybe borderline T2 if you can manage Planar Binding reliably.

JaronK
2011-06-19, 08:38 PM
As for T6 classes that are fun to play... I love playing a Commoner. It's such a fun challenge! And lots of people do enjoy playing Monks (in lower powered games, generally).

And yeah, the DN has always been T3. Many people have said it should be T2... I haven't actually heard anyone say it should be T4.

JaronK

Midnight_v
2011-06-19, 08:42 PM
Um, no it wasn't. I hadn't even heard of that when I wrote it.

However, I do agree with the idea that the T1 characters are generally poorly designed due to being far too powerful compared to what they were supposed to be able to do.

JaronK

Sup JaronK nice to see you.

I just wanted to weigh in on the whole "suggest a swordsage" think.
Here's the deal and a couple people mentioned this somewhat...
If someone says "I wanna play a monk" mostly they're saying they want to play an unarmed melee warrior, so to imply that people are being rude by suggesting swordsage in that instance is pretty misleading.
The funny thing is I"m surprised to see the idea that concept = class here on this board the home of that famous Samurai girl, who has not levels of samurai.
So theres that.

Honestly, the other type the one you disguss is actually a misnomer question.
Saying I want to play a monk, and I'm married to the class, is an optimization question.
"How can I optimize the monk" well as metagamey as that is, "..add some swordsage" or "Look into tashlatora" or even just "By multiclassing" etc is actually valid till you SPECIFY "I don't want to be a swordsage" "I don't want to be anything but monk"
Monk 20 optimization is what needs to be said or something to that effect, because anything else leaves people to speculate.
Its not meant to be rude but meant to be as useful as possible, no one know until you get specific.

ShneekeyTheLost
2011-06-19, 08:51 PM
Most Dread Necro SoD's are fort saves, which weakens them (Fort and Will are both commonly maximized saves, it's reflex that's easy to hit IIRC), but he still gets a lot, with a lot of flavors. The only flavor of Save or Die he has is a negative energy [Death] effect. Mind you, he's got several to chose from, but they're all the same flavor.

Greenish
2011-06-19, 09:12 PM
@Yuki: OA samurai is tier 5Only barely, if that. It's a fighter with better skills, good will save and less bonus feats selected from a way narrower list.

Oh, and Ancestral Weapon instead of a free feat at first level.

Big Fau
2011-06-19, 09:19 PM
Tiers are about potential, not about how a particular person plays the class.

The Wizard class is always Tier 1, even though some people play them with 14 Intelligence and 18 Constitution, and only prepare direct damage spells. The Sorcerer class is always Tier 2, even if some people take Grease, Colour Spray, Sleep, Force Cage and Time Stop. The Wizard has more potential than the Sorcerer, because he could totally redo his spells prepared the next day, and can add directly to his spells known exponentially greater than the Sorcerer.

Negative. Optimization (or lack thereof) can raise or lower a class a certain number of Tiers. A Bard, for example, can enter Incanatrix and suddenly shoot up to Tier 1 because of it.

The Glyphstone
2011-06-19, 09:19 PM
Negative. Optimization (or lack thereof) can raise or lower a class a certain number of Tiers. A Bard, for example, can enter Incanatrix and suddenly shoot up to Tier 1 because of it.

Prestige classes are not part of the tier system. There is a Prestige Class Tier ranking out there, but that's unrelated to the original Tiers.

Ifni
2011-06-19, 09:21 PM
Some people don't like the "better" flavor of Tome of Battle. Some people actually find their character concept fits more neatly into fighter or barbarian (or monk) than warblade or crusader or swordsage. And from observation, there are many people who don't actually want their character to have magical or magic-like abilities. (Disclaimer: I'm an arcane caster junkie. I have friends who are not, however.)

I played a lot of D&D 3.5 in a campaign where ToB was (initially) non-existent and (later) not allowed. The strongest high-level party I ever played with, at L15-16, consisted of four primary arcanists, a fighter/rogue+PrCs and a fighter/barbarian+PrCs. The reason it was powerful was that the fighter/rogue and fighter/barbarian acted as fantastic force multipliers for the arcanists' low-level buff/mobility/debuff spells (better than a cleric would have, because they had class features and feats which the cleric wouldn't get). Combined with clever battlefield control and tactics, we could happily blow through 6-7+ encounters of ELs 5-7 above the party level in a day (which was what the GM was throwing at us), since each fight involved minimal resource expenditure. The casters had fun: we got to fill our high-level slots with interesting utility spells that let us play with the story and game-world (because really, we weren't playing high-level mages so we could kill things efficiently, we wanted to warp reality to our whims). The meleers had fun: they got to eviscerate things and be the stars in combat (because really, they weren't playing powerful warriors so they could fiddle with the laws of physics, they wanted to be the famous heroes who vanquished the dragon and stole its hoard). It did rely on teamwork, of course: I watched the rogue play a one-shot with a group where the casters did not provide buffs, and preferred to sling high-level save-or-dies, and it did not go well (rogue felt useless, party ran out of resources by the last encounter in the gauntlet and had to flee, failing the mission).

"Tier" tells you some useful things: diversity of options, power in the absence of optimization, power independent of teamwork / other PCs. It doesn't seem to capture synergies between PCs and the importance of teamwork, and so I feel it's a lot less important as a party-design tool when you're dealing with experienced players who understand both teamwork and optimization to a target power level. As written, the criteria also seem to focus on options given time to prepare, or options at the beginning of the adventuring day, without much regard to sustainability over many encounters. How important this is depends entirely on your group and GM; in the campaign I played in, it was important, but it sounds like many people are more accustomed to PCs setting the terms of the encounter at high levels.

Anyway, my 2cp.

The Glyphstone
2011-06-19, 09:25 PM
Some people don't like the "better" flavor of Tome of Battle. Some people actually find their character concept fits more neatly into fighter or barbarian (or monk) than warblade or crusader or swordsage. And from observation, there are many people who don't actually want their character to have magical or magic-like abilities. (Disclaimer: I'm an arcane caster junkie. I have friends who are not, however.)


The flavor is a matter of taste (personally, I find "Fighter" to have no flavor whatsoever...it's a fighter, a person who fights. That's it. Barbarian and Monk do at least have some stereotypes to play with.

The 'magical abilities', though - those people should at least read the book, and see that of the 9 schools, 7 of them are compltely non-magical, and no less 'mundane' than the barbarian jumping off a mountain because he's got a bucketload of HP.

This has been your regular toB derail. we now return you to your scheduled thread.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-19, 09:27 PM
The flavor is a matter of taste (personally, I find "Fighter" to have no flavor whatsoever...it's a fighter, a person who fights. That's it. Barbarian and Monk do at least have some stereotypes to play with.

The 'magical abilities', though - those people should at least read the book, and see that of the 9 schools, 7 of them are compltely non-magical, and no less 'mundane' than the barbarian jumping off a mountain because he's got a bucketload of HP.

This has been your regular toB derail. we now return you to your scheduled thread.

Minor nitpick, 6 out of 9 schools are nonmagical, not 7.

Big Fau
2011-06-19, 09:29 PM
Prestige classes are not part of the tier system. There is a Prestige Class Tier ranking out there, but that's unrelated to the original Tiers.

Even without PrCs, it's possible to make a pure Sorcerer who's optimized into Tier 1 with the right spell selection, and it's possible to play a Wizard that's Tier 4 or lower (choosing spells like that anti-Earth Elemental spell, for example).


Minor nitpick, 6 out of 9 schools are nonmagical, not 7.

:smallconfused: Desert Wind, Shadow Hand, and what else? That's it.

Thurbane
2011-06-19, 09:31 PM
<snip>
FWIW, I agree with a lot of this. Especially the part about not needing ToB to have fun with melee. Sure, ToB adds a lot of options and flexbility to melee types, but the assumption that melee cannot be "fun" without ToB is making all number of assumptions about how people play the game, and what they enjoy.

The Glyphstone
2011-06-19, 09:31 PM
Even without PrCs, it's possible to make a pure Sorcerer who's optimized into Tier 1 with the right spell selection, and it's possible to play a Wizard that's Tier 4 or lower (choosing spells like that anti-Earth Elemental spell, for example).



:smallconfused: Desert Wind, Shadow Hand, and what else? That's it.

What Sorcerer spell allows the character to completely rewrite their Spells Known list at no cost? The division between T2 and T1 is that both of them can break the game in a number of ways, but the T1 can change up which ways they break the game every day if desired.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-19, 09:34 PM
:smallconfused: Desert Wind, Shadow Hand, and what else? That's it.

Devoted Spirit.

Lord_Gareth
2011-06-19, 09:37 PM
Devoted Spirit.

Most of its abilities are (Ex), IIRC. And before anyone says anything about (Ex) healing, Fast Healing and Regeneration would like powerful words.

Big Fau
2011-06-19, 09:43 PM
Devoted Spirit.

Every single maneuver in that style is Ex, even the capstone.


What Sorcerer spell allows the character to completely rewrite their Spells Known list at no cost? The division between T2 and T1 is that both of them can break the game in a number of ways, but the T1 can change up which ways they break the game every day if desired.

Limited Wish. Casting it for PsiReform to rewrite your spell list as a Standard action, then thrash the encounter (the XP gained should offset the costs at the level you are able to do this).

What the tiers don't take into account are magic items and feats, both of which can raise your effective tier fairly easily. I'm not talking Joker Monk-style, just a hand-made Runestaff or Legacy Item can bolster any Tier 2 into Tier 1.


JaronK admitted that the tiers don't take optimization into account specifically because they can affect the tier of a class so drastically.

ShneekeyTheLost
2011-06-19, 10:01 PM
Some people don't like the "better" flavor of Tome of Battle. Some people actually find their character concept fits more neatly into fighter or barbarian (or monk) than warblade or crusader or swordsage. And from observation, there are many people who don't actually want their character to have magical or magic-like abilities. (Disclaimer: I'm an arcane caster junkie. I have friends who are not, however.) Wait, you mean being able to punch an incorporeal being (Ki Strike: Magic) is mundane?

Look again. Many of the Monk's class abilities are (Su). You don't want magic-like abilities? Fine. Get rid of Ki Strike: Magic (Su), Wholeness of Body (Su) (you know, the self-healing), Diamond Body (Su), Abundant Step (Su), Quivering Palm (Su), and Empty Body (Su).

So you aren't avoiding magical or magic-like abilities by choosing Monk. Quite the reverse, in fact.


I played a lot of D&D 3.5 in a campaign where ToB was (initially) non-existent and (later) not allowed. The strongest high-level party I ever played with, at L15-16, consisted of four primary arcanists, a fighter/rogue+PrCs and a fighter/barbarian+PrCs. The reason it was powerful was that the fighter/rogue and fighter/barbarian acted as fantastic force multipliers for the arcanists' low-level buff/mobility/debuff spells (better than a cleric would have, because they had class features and feats which the cleric wouldn't get). Combined with clever battlefield control and tactics, we could happily blow through 6-7+ encounters of ELs 5-7 above the party level in a day (which was what the GM was throwing at us), since each fight involved minimal resource expenditure. The casters had fun: we got to fill our high-level slots with interesting utility spells that let us play with the story and game-world (because really, we weren't playing high-level mages so we could kill things efficiently, we wanted to warp reality to our whims). The meleers had fun: they got to eviscerate things and be the stars in combat (because really, they weren't playing powerful warriors so they could fiddle with the laws of physics, they wanted to be the famous heroes who vanquished the dragon and stole its hoard). It did rely on teamwork, of course: I watched the rogue play a one-shot with a group where the casters did not provide buffs, and preferred to sling high-level save-or-dies, and it did not go well (rogue felt useless, party ran out of resources by the last encounter in the gauntlet and had to flee, failing the mission). That's nice, but that really has no impact on the discussion at hand. No one is saying "YOU MUST USE TOB OR ELSE YOU CAN'T BE MELEE!!!!!". We are, however, saying "ToB brings a LOT of versitility and utility to the table, and offers melee options they otherwise would not have, and it would be stronger, mechanically, to take advantage of these resources".

No one is telling anyone how to have fun. We are simply pointing out that you will be much less likely to be able to contribute meaningfully to the party by choosing that route, which can lead to frustration later on when you find yourself unable to do anything.


"Tier" tells you some useful things: diversity of options, power in the absence of optimization, power independent of teamwork / other PCs. It doesn't seem to capture synergies between PCs and the importance of teamwork, and so I feel it's a lot less important as a party-design tool when you're dealing with experienced players who understand both teamwork and optimization to a target power level. As written, the criteria also seem to focus on options given time to prepare, or options at the beginning of the adventuring day, without much regard to sustainability over many encounters. How important this is depends entirely on your group and GM; in the campaign I played in, it was important, but it sounds like many people are more accustomed to PCs setting the terms of the encounter at high levels.

It is a useful tool to be able to understand the power level of the game. If you have two guys using ToB content, a Wizard (that either does not PrC, or goes into PrC's with full casting progression), A Cleric (ditto), and something like a Beguiler or Dread Necromancer... playing Monk means you aren't going to be able to contribute meaningfully in a fight. The two ToB guys will already have ginsu'd anything the Wizard didn't SoL.

This can be very frustrating and exasperating for a player to be so underwhelming compared to the rest of the party.

For example: Let's look at DC Comics The Justice League. You've got a bunch of guys who can do amazing things. Notice how none of them brings along their sidekicks? Yea, there's a reason for that. It's because they would contribute nothing to the story, with all these Grade A superheros running around.

I mean, when you've got Batman, Superman, and The Green Lantern on the team, being Robin means you are left holding coattails and being someone who gets kidnapped and held hostage at regular intervals, just so you can have some face-time in a given episode.

Veyr
2011-06-19, 10:06 PM
Some people actually find their character concept fits more neatly into fighter [...] or monk than warblade [...] or swordsage.
This is literally impossible. The former two classes have exactly the same flavor as the latter two classes, respectively. There is absolutely no difference between the two on a flavor level. Any difference that you think is there is something you've added yourself, not something included in Tome of Battle.

EDIT: Yes, I know, Warblades have some easily-ignorable text about being glory-hounds, while Fighters have no flavor whatsoever, making a slight difference between the two. But that flavor is A. easily ignored, B. only stands out because the Fighter didn't have any flavor to begin with, and C. does not affect the Monk vs. Swordsage comparison, where the two are quite literally the same.

The long and short of it is that a Warblade can be built to match the flavor of any melee Fighter ever, and a Swordsage can be built to match the flavor of any Monk ever. Both classes are a lot more versatile, though, and can be built differently — a Swordsage can be more Rogue-ish and doesn't have the Monk's Lawful requirement, but a Lawful Swordsage can be made who is indistinguishable from a Monk on a fluff level. Unless "I am generally useless" is an important part of your character's flavor...

Lord_Gareth
2011-06-19, 10:07 PM
This is literally impossible. The former two classes have exactly the same flavor as the latter two classes, respectively. There is absolutely no difference between the two on a flavor level. Any difference that you think is there is something you've added yourself, not something included in Tome of Battle.

Well, as much as I hate to defend the "classes are in-game constructs" viewpoint (which I find silly and game-crippling), in the books they do, in fact, have different flavors.

Flickerdart
2011-06-19, 10:10 PM
Which is to say Fighter has no flavour at all, and Monk's flavour is all over the place, while warblade and swordsage have actual character to them.

Veyr
2011-06-19, 10:12 PM
You both responded while I was editing.

Yes, Warblades have some random crap about being glory-hounds, which I can't imagine why anyone would feel they must follow if they play a Warblade.

But a Lawful and religious Swordsage is literally identical to a Monk. And an LG Crusader is identical to a Paladin that doesn't use the Mount, but avoids the stupidity of the Code of Conduct. Just because those classes aren't as restricted does not mean that there's a flavor difference unless you want there to be.

Frozen_Feet
2011-06-19, 10:13 PM
Are there any T5 or 6 classes that are fun, though? Do any of them really do anything that other classes can't, and that's worth doing?

Answer to the first question is yes. I enjoy building and playing Paladins, for example. The answer to the second is, however, no. It's pretty much the definition of the lowest tiers that they're outmatched in even their own game.

navar100
2011-06-19, 10:28 PM
This is your opinion, not a fact. You're basing your whole argument on an opinion. Hence your argument is invalid; you're presenting an opinion rather than a fact. It's fine; everyone is entitled to an opinion but you can't really extrapolate how one should play a game based on an opinion.

Negative feces Magic Garden squirrel! I offered my opinion for a perspective to be considered. You don't like it, fine, but being opinion is just that and invalidates nothing.




You could try this the other way too: Just because a class appears in the official 3.5 sources doesn't mean it has to appear in a campaign. How about, instead of DM having to restrict what kind of an adventure he writes he just restricts PCs to classes of certain level of competency, writes the campaign without regards to the party and offers a living, responsive world with an adventure for the players to play?

Instead of restricting himself and the players in-game, the players are free to do what they desire in the game within the limitations of their character's capabilities and with the logical response from the world, and instead of going through a bunch of scripted encounters the players decide their approach to every problem themselves without anything preplanned by the PCs?

All this requires is removing a bunch of options before the game to ensure the player characters automatically have nichés and balance their impact on the adventure against each other, and suddenly you, the DM, can focus all your energy on playing and making a living, engaging game world of the players to explore and experience instead of focusing on balancing or making sure everyone has their time in the spotlight.

It is the DM's job to ensure everyone has their spotlight time. If he can't stand that he shouldn't be the DM. I did not say that someone must play a Fighter or else you're playing wrong. What I did say was that if someone is playing a Fighter, it is the DM's job to make sure he's not useless. That's not because he's playing a Fighter but because the player is playing. The class is irrelevant. Similarly, if someone is playing a rogue, stop it already with the elemental contrsuct undead plant oozes. Have some, just not every single monster. There can be some large flying four-legged creatures with a Fighter who likes to trip in the party, just not all the time. If someone is playing a conjurer wizard who likes to summon, not every single bad guy should have Protection from Evil/Good. As for the druid, the entire campaign should not be taking place in cities.

If the campaign intent is such that most if not every monster will be undead, it is prudent on the DM to advise no one play a rogue (not an issue in Pathfinger) or a beguiler (still an issue in Pathfinder). If the campaign will take place in a great metropolis with lots of intrigue, a druid might not be so prudent. If it's a pirate adventure, a player should be advised against a platemail wearing charger build fighter. Even a paladin might not be advisable, if only because the theme will conflict too much with the ideals.

Oh, and Fighters can so be good guards. Handle Animal could be used for guard dogs to help out with their noses and hearing. A fighter can have a decent Spot and Listen if he cares to invest in them. A rogue is supposed to be better. That's the whole point. However, when a specialized rogue, i.e. PC, has to take care and effort to bypass guard, the guards did their job. The guards were enough to deter run of the mill intruders. he specialized rogue exists precisely because there are guards. For those places that have guards, they usually have other means of defenses as well to take care of the specialized rogues who can get past the guards.

MeeposFire
2011-06-19, 10:30 PM
So a fighter is a good guard because he do things poorly and that is OK since that allows other classes to show how bad they are at it and this shows how good they are at being guards.:smallwink:

Philistine
2011-06-19, 10:32 PM
I have two issues with the tier system (the second isn't really with the system itself, though):

Any form of ranking of classes is going to be somewhat subjective. There always some debate as to what tier certain classes actually fall in. And any kind of ranking system cannot take into account the variables at each individual gaming table, epsecially play style differences. What may be tier 2 at some tables could easily be tier 3 or 4 at another.
People (intentionally and unintentionally) using the tier system as a "ban hammer", and telling people "Oh don't play class X, it's tier Y, dontcha know!". This means a lot of people will miss out on playing fun classes that may be perfect for their character concept, just because some people treat the tier system as a holy mantra of what clasess to play and not to play.


Late to the party, I know, but this second item in particular just bugs me. There is no such thing as the One Perfect Class to represent a given concept. Even if you're not completely ignoring classes' printed fluff by default, there were so very many classes published that there ended up being a LOT of overlap - you generally have several mechanically distinct ways of realizing any archetype. Even the "flavorful" Paladin has the Marshall, the Knight, and the Crusader sharing the same conceptual space, despite their different mechanics. And of course you absolutely SHOULD be completely ignoring the classes' printed fluff, because a) it's a load of cliched, stereotype-riddled dreck, and b) even if it weren't dreadful, using it as a straitjacket for role playing leads to a situation where all characters of Class X are essentially the same character, with obvious negative implications for actually role playing within the role playing game.

Eldariel
2011-06-19, 10:34 PM
Negative feces Magic Garden squirrel! I offered my opinion for a perspective to be considered. You don't like it, fine, but being opinion is just that and invalidates nothing.

You made an overarching statement of "This is DM's job" ergo "This is how the game should be played". I may have missed it but I did not see an "in my opinion" anywhere.


It is the DM's job to ensure everyone has their spotlight time. If he can't stand that he shouldn't be the DM. I did not say that someone must play a Fighter or else you're playing wrong.

And why should the line be drawn here? Could it instead be drawn in ensuring that the players play something that doesn't take any special effort to get their time in the sun; that is, why force the DM to craft scenarios for the players to shine instead of just having the players build characters that will see to that without DM effort? Why should DM have to expend energy they could expend on the campaign world instead on planning out glory hours for each character?

By extension, is the chance to shine as gratifying if you know DM planned it specifically? Wouldn't it be better if it just came up naturally with what you can do, everyone amazed by whatever the character pulled off? This is the idea behind criticals, after all; those special moments where something you totally didn't see coming happens.


Basically, I'm saying are you really sure that's how everyone should play? Are you really sure that's the only way you'd want to play? Are you really sure that's the most enjoyable way to play?

EDIT: I mean, seriously, Druid in an urban campaign? Works fine. Why is he there? I don't know, that's fluff. Maybe he just has some really pressing reason to spend time with the party. There's no real problems for a Druid in a city; just he's not at his grove/whatever, but generally adventuring Druids aren't and that varies from campaign settings to campaign settings. But Druidic magic works fine in an urban campaign and while the animal companion might get funny looks, that's probably all (it won't get everywhere, sure, but it probably will still be more of an asset than a detriment).

On the other hand, Fighter guard? He's like to have poorish Wisdom, Spot & Listen are cross-class and while Handle Animal helps, you don't need it for guard dogs and guard dogs' stats will fall back soon enough.

Beguilers, on the other hand, have no real trouble in a campaign with Undead. They just have to draw upon the shallower end of their kit, but between Images, Glitterdust-types, Advanced Learning and UMD, they're more than fine. So what some of their spells don't work? Use others. That's just the deal with the casters and non-casters in general; if hitting it with a sword doesn't work, the swordsman is pretty boned. If spell X doesn't work at it, the caster is like to have ~dozen spell Ys to use instead. Which is what the tier system is about. A tier 3 party is going to pretty much handle itself far as dealing with encounters goes; throw anything at them and they'll manage.

A tier 5 party will need you to specifically craft the encounters. Which is why it's good to preplan the party tier and as a DM, make sure you get the tier you're comfortable DMing for. If you don't want to go crafting specific encounters? Might want to think twice about the straight Soulknife in the party, lest he came to enjoy spending majority of his time doing nothing. You as the DM can, using the tier system and your system mastery and player knowledge pool, affect before the game what kind of level you DM for and what kind of a game you can run. That's what the tier system is for and classes have everything to do with that.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-19, 10:42 PM
So a fighter is a good guard because he do things poorly and that is OK since that allows other classes to show how bad they are at it and this shows how good they are at being guards.:smallwink:

Especially since fighters don't get spot and listen as class skills.

ShneekeyTheLost
2011-06-19, 10:44 PM
It is the DM's job to ensure everyone has their spotlight time. If he can't stand that he shouldn't be the DM. I did not say that someone must play a Fighter or else you're playing wrong. What I did say was that if someone is playing a Fighter, it is the DM's job to make sure he's not useless. That's not because he's playing a Fighter but because the player is playing. The class is irrelevant. Similarly, if someone is playing a rogue, stop it already with the elemental contrsuct undead plant oozes. Have some, just not every single monster. There can be some large flying four-legged creatures with a Fighter who likes to trip in the party, just not all the time. If someone is playing a conjurer wizard who likes to summon, not every single bad guy should have Protection from Evil/Good. As for the druid, the entire campaign should not be taking place in cities. Sometimes, the GM doesn't get much of a chance, because the other classes are so powerful that anything that challenges them would consider him less than a speedbump.

There are also times where the party simply obviates the character's role. For example, the Wizard goes first (MoP, Nerveskitter, Foresight... whatever), then ends the encounter on his action. The rest of the party really has no way of contributing. And if the encounter is strong enough that the Wizard can't just hit one of many win buttons at his disposal, then the rest of the party is a greasy stain, with the Wizard still eventually winning.


If the campaign intent is such that most if not every monster will be undead, it is prudent on the DM to advise no one play a rogue (not an issue in Pathfinger) or a beguiler (still an issue in Pathfinder). If the campaign will take place in a great metropolis with lots of intrigue, a druid might not be so prudent. If it's a pirate adventure, a player should be advised against a platemail wearing charger build fighter. Even a paladin might not be advisable, if only because the theme will conflict too much with the ideals.I strongly disagree. I would simply say that you should give the party access to options which would make them viable. Which, in the case of monks, means either Swordsage or Psionics. Rogues can function perfectly well in a campaign of undead, assuming they have access to Gravestrike wands, or a Greater Crystal of Truedeath. Failing that, knowing they will be dealing with a bunch of things immune to sneak attack, either they take the ACF to do half SA damage anyways, or simply focus on using other abilities. SA isn't the only thing Rogues get, after all.

Beguilers are insanely nasty against Undead, because Mindless auto-fail Will saves vs Illusion.


Oh, and Fighters can so be good guards. Handle Animal could be used for guard dogs to help out with their noses and hearing. A fighter can have a decent Spot and Listen if he cares to invest in them. A rogue is supposed to be better. That's the whole point. However, when a specialized rogue, i.e. PC, has to take care and effort to bypass guard, the guards did their job. The guards were enough to deter run of the mill intruders. he specialized rogue exists precisely because there are guards. For those places that have guards, they usually have other means of defenses as well to take care of the specialized rogues who can get past the guards.

Every other class in the book, without exception, does a better job at it. Wizard is a better guard, he has the Alarm spell. Or simply obviate the problem in the first place with Rope Trick/MMM. Rogue has enough skill points to Handle Animal, and Spot and Listen are class skills. Ranger has skill points AND all three good skills. Druid does too, although has fewer skill points to throw around. Cleric with the Animal domain can do the same thing, or choose the right domains and obviate the challenge.

So even your example is a perfect counter to your own argument. They can do one thing... that they are supposed to be good at... and they are the worst at it.

MeeposFire
2011-06-19, 10:45 PM
Especially since fighters don't get spot and listen as class skills.

Ugg your quote made me realize that due to a typo my English looks terrible DOH!:smallannoyed:

ArcanistSupreme
2011-06-19, 10:47 PM
It is the DM's job to ensure everyone has their spotlight time. If he can't stand that he shouldn't be the DM.

I would like to point out that it's much easier for a DM to give equal spotlight time if the party is on the same level. I would personally find contrived situations that forced the Binder, Warblade, and Factotum to take the back seat so their friend the Monk could shine tiresome. Once or twice would be okay, but given how many times it would have to be done to make the Monk feel like he was contributing? Ugh.

Warlawk
2011-06-19, 10:48 PM
This is literally impossible. The former two classes have exactly the same flavor as the latter two classes, respectively. There is absolutely no difference between the two on a flavor level. Any difference that you think is there is something you've added yourself, not something included in Tome of Battle.

EDIT: Yes, I know, Warblades have some easily-ignorable text about being glory-hounds, while Fighters have no flavor whatsoever, making a slight difference between the two. But that flavor is A. easily ignored, B. only stands out because the Fighter didn't have any flavor to begin with, and C. does not affect the Monk vs. Swordsage comparison, where the two are quite literally the same.

The long and short of it is that a Warblade can be built to match the flavor of any melee Fighter ever, and a Swordsage can be built to match the flavor of any Monk ever. Both classes are a lot more versatile, though, and can be built differently — a Swordsage can be more Rogue-ish and doesn't have the Monk's Lawful requirement, but a Lawful Swordsage can be made who is indistinguishable from a Monk on a fluff level. Unless "I am generally useless" is an important part of your character's flavor...

While I am a huge TOB fan, and believe that if you want to play melee you're better off with ToB as a base 99% of the time... fighter vs warblade does have some significant differences. Lack of heavy armor, tower shields and all ranged weapons for a warblade rules out a number of 'flavor' builds that a fighter can fill right out of the box.

Mostly, I agree with you but I just wanted to point out that the lack of proficiency in those areas on warblade does leave a few gaps.

ShneekeyTheLost
2011-06-19, 10:51 PM
While I am a huge TOB fan, and believe that if you want to play melee you're better off with ToB as a base 99% of the time... fighter vs warblade does have some significant differences. Lack of heavy armor, tower shields and all ranged weapons for a warblade rules out a number of 'flavor' builds that a fighter can fill right out of the box.

Mostly, I agree with you but I just wanted to point out that the lack of proficiency in those areas on warblade does leave a few gaps.

There was a thread on this earlier last week...

First off, there is no such thing as Heavy Armor. There is, at most, Mithral Full Plate, which is Medium. Anything designated 'heavy armor' is, in fact, nothing more than a huge trap.

Second, if you want ranged, it's called Bloodstorm Blade. Now you can do everything you could do in melee... at range. Have a nice day.

Eldariel
2011-06-19, 10:57 PM
There was a thread on this earlier last week...

First off, there is no such thing as Heavy Armor. There is, at most, Mithral Full Plate, which is Medium. Anything designated 'heavy armor' is, in fact, nothing more than a huge trap.

Eh, on levels 3-10, a Fullplate can be quite valuable for any low Dex warrior. Mithral Fullplate's cost is quite prohibitive and the movement penalties compared to medium armor are a joke (Can't run quite as fast? Oh noes! How many times have you taken the Run-action in the near past mid-fight anyways?).

Basically, Fullplate is mostly Breastplate With Benefits. Sure, it means you'll use the skillchecked skills even less, but who cares? Most of those are worthless anyways, Balance Flat-Footed is tied to ranks, not modifier and Tumble can't be used under Medium or Heavy Armor anyways.

Sure, they eventually become useless but that's not the case for the levels where you expect your AC to be a big defense.


Second, if you want ranged, it's called Bloodstorm Blade. Now you can do everything you could do in melee... at range. Have a nice day.

BSB is...ehh, you have to give up initiator levels for it which is rather undesirable, it's still quite at the short ranges compared to any real ranged builds and it misses out on a few very handy bonuses bows can carry (e.g. Phasing arrows, Splitting, Raptors, etc.). And it's not available on low levels.

It's worth noting though, that Crusader has all of the above; Tower Shields (or Extreme Shields), Bows and Heavy Armor. So a dip always fixes that. But I'd personally prefer it if Warblades came prepacked too; would make more sense for various archetypes and it's not really a big buff for the rest.

navar100
2011-06-19, 11:00 PM
Well to be honest people do say things like "tier 5 or 6 suck so ban it and play something else". It happens all the time here but that should not be seen as the fault of the tier system itself. As the author just wrote he in fact does not like tier 1 or 2 and does not advocate banning stuff just because it is of a certain tier (only that you should be careful when running a game between classes of widely divergent tiers). But other people tend to take the tiers and put their feelings on classes on it and try to use it for things it is not really designed to do such as telling people to never play a monk because it is "weak" even if it is in a group where such a class may be a better fit since everybody might be playing tier 4 and 5 classes rather than tier 2 or 3 (in fact the tier system would infer that a tier 5 monk would be a better fit than a tier 2 tashlatora psion despite the fact that the psion would be "better" for a group running mostly tier 5+4 classes).

In other words you should be correct but people misuse the tier system all the time and that is the unfortunate part. It gives it an undeserved bad rep with some people especially since those people often don't understand it (since in some ways it is very nuanced and other people misrepresenting it does not help).

Hey, we agree on something. :smallsmile:

That's really what it comes to. I recognize what the Tier System is supposed to be, but I ignore it because I find it only matters what the particular campaign is. It is the misuse of it that ruins its reputation. People either say you're playing wrong if you play a Fighter because you're nothing but a burden or ban Wizards because you'll ruin the game with all that power. People have their individual tastes and use the Tier System as their validation to say everyone else is wrong.

Really, I don't give a Hoover a wizard can Gate in a Solar while the fighter just charges for 85 points of damage. What matters is the fighter gets to charge and the wizard really needed that Solar. It could be prudent the wizard doesn't have to Gate in a Solar. Cast Displacement on the Fighter and let him do his job. He's 50% chance less likely to get hit thus 50% chance less likely to need healing, allowing the cleric to do something else and not have to heal as much after the combat. The problem is people complain the wizard could have Gated in a Solar thus ban wizards or resent the casting of Displacement and shout fighters suck.

Warlawk
2011-06-19, 11:08 PM
There was a thread on this earlier last week...

First off, there is no such thing as Heavy Armor. There is, at most, Mithral Full Plate, which is Medium. Anything designated 'heavy armor' is, in fact, nothing more than a huge trap.

Many people (myself included) have had character concepts very anchored in being a heavily armored brute of a melee fighter. The mechanics of it being a trap are completely irrelevant to the point that it is a common part of the image for a warrior type, and some people want that to be part of their character. It is a flavor choice the warblade is not able to meet regardless of the mechanical viability of the choice.

EDIT: Just as an aside, mithral armor is not always going to be an option. Not every DM allows you to purchase anything you like simply because it has a price listed in the book. I think since 3.0 was released I have seen 2 or 3 mithral heavy armors actually in play. One of them was my own. It was something that my dwarven crusader armorsmith created for himself, and
it was a small adventure in and of itself spread over like 8 sessions to gather the materials and such necessary. Why? Because even though the book puts a price tag on Mithral, it is a rare and special substance that is in limited supply and our game world reflects that. Just a minor point that I wanted to add. Not everyone can reliably choose exactly the thing they want and know 100% that they can get it.


Second, if you want ranged, it's called Bloodstorm Blade. Now you can do everything you could do in melee... at range. Have a nice day.

Which completely ignores any sort of build that uses a ranged weapon that isn't thrown or a melee weapon. You've chosen to ignore that because you don't like it, which frankly is a bit condescending and rude to tell someone that they should abandon their concept and play BSB because it's mechanically superior. The point was a bow fighter is actually a strong option for some games if you must play a bow character. It is a flavor choice that the fighter can fill that the warblade cannot.

You dismissing these things because you find other mechanical choices superior does not invalidate them.

Eldariel
2011-06-19, 11:11 PM
Really, I don't give a Hoover a wizard can Gate in a Solar while the fighter just charges for 85 points of damage. What matters is the fighter gets to charge and the wizard really needed that Solar. It could be prudent the wizard doesn't have to Gate in a Solar. Cast Displacement on the Fighter and let him do his job. He's 50% chance less likely to get hit thus 50% chance less likely to need healing, allowing the cleric to do something else and not have to heal as much after the combat. The problem is people complain the wizard could have Gated in a Solar thus ban wizards or resent the casting of Displacement and shout fighters suck.

People dislike that the system places two classes so far apart and artificially close the gap by fixing some of the imbalance through various means, both to make the game experience and the DMing experience better for all participants. I don't see how this could possibly be undesirable.

Coidzor
2011-06-19, 11:13 PM
Which completely ignores any sort of build that uses a ranged weapon that isn't thrown or a melee weapon. You've chosen to ignore that because you don't like it, which frankly is a bit condescending and rude to tell someone that they should abandon their concept and play BSB because it's mechanically superior

Indeed, WOTC was quite condescending and rude in its treatment of archery.

Warlawk
2011-06-19, 11:16 PM
Indeed, WOTC was quite condescending and rude in its treatment of archery.

I absolutely agree. But it is still a common archetype and because of the feat intensive nature fighter can bring a lot to the table there if you don't want a precision damage based archer. Frankly, 3.X archery is just a mess.

ShneekeyTheLost
2011-06-19, 11:21 PM
I absolutely agree. But it is still a common archetype and because of the feat intensive nature fighter can bring a lot to the table there if you don't want a precision damage based archer. Frankly, 3.X archery is just a mess.

Or you just go Ranger...

Jade Dragon
2011-06-19, 11:24 PM
Or you just go Ranger...

Yeah, some of those ranger spells (don't know about any of them other than the one from RotW) improve their ranged capabilities.

navar100
2011-06-19, 11:32 PM
Yes, it is the DM's job everyone has their spotlight time. How he does it is subjective to the campaign. If a player really, really wants to play a druid in a great metropolis campaign or a paladin in a pirate campaign or a rogue in a 3E undead bad guys campaign, the player does have his responsibility in creating the character to function, but the DM needs to take it into account. If the DM really, really thinks such character concepts won't work, then he needs to let the player know and the player should play something else. This is a benign example of a player's responsibility to make a character that fits the game, as opposed to the extreme example of no chaotic "neutral" pirate ninjas in a campaign of Holy Order Of Philanthropists.

However, if the DM is willing to accept such character concepts, then he takes on the responsibiliy to ensure the player character gets to do stuff. That's the whole point of playing. The druid might not be able to have a wolf animal companion roaming around the city or be wildshaped into a black bear all day, but he could be wildshaped into a bird pretending to be the Sorcerer's familiar and use Natural Spell to play spellcaster druid. He could wildshape into a mouse to be a spy. Perhaps the ship the paladin is on only raids ships belonging to the Empire Of Evilness. It's a type of guerilla warfare to bring hope to the populace and finance an army to one day topple the evil regime. Maybe the rogue specializes in traps and scouting, getting a lot of his spotlight time out of combat but in combat is content with getting the mcguffin while the party distracts the undead. An occasional Use Magic Device in combat wouldn't hurt either.

The Tier system has nothing to do with this, which is my point. What matters is the individual campaign.

Arundel
2011-06-19, 11:33 PM
Yes, it is the DM's job everyone has their spotlight time. How he does it is subjective to the campaign. If a player really, really wants to play a druid in a great metropolis campaign or a paladin in a pirate campaign or a rogue in a 3E undead bad guys campaign, the player does have his responsibility in creating the character to function, but the DM needs to take it into account. If the DM really, really thinks such character concepts won't work, then he needs to let the player know and the player should play something else. This is a benign example of a player's responsibility to make a character that fits the game, as opposed to the extreme example of no chaotic "neutral" pirate ninjas in a campaign of Holy Order Of Philanthropists.

However, if the DM is willing to accept such character concepts, then he takes on the responsibiliy to ensure the player character gets to do stuff. That's the whole point of playing. The druid might not be able to have a wolf animal companion roaming around the city or be wildshaped into a black bear all day, but he could be wildshaped into a bird pretending to be the Sorcerer's familiar and use Natural Spell to play spellcaster druid. He could wildshape into a mouse to be a spy. Perhaps the ship the paladin is on only raids ships belonging to the Empire Of Evilness. It's a type of guerilla warfare to bring hope to the populace and finance an army to one day topple the evil regime. Maybe the rogue specializes in traps and scouting, getting a lot of his spotlight time out of combat but in combat is content with getting the mcguffin while the party distracts the undead. An occasional Use Magic Device in combat wouldn't hurt either.

The Tier system has nothing to do with this, which is my point. What matters is the individual campaign.

I chose to play a truenamer. Go DM fiat go!

Eldariel
2011-06-19, 11:35 PM
The Tier system has nothing to do with this, which is my point. What matters is the individual campaign.

But those two things are just different aspects of the campaign nature. What power level you want out of the classes in the campaign and what type of a settings you're running it; tier system applies to the former, not the latter.

Thurbane
2011-06-19, 11:35 PM
I chose to play a truenamer. Go DM fiat go!
I've actually seen a couple of threads on these very forums about people using RAW op tricks to make the Truenamer workable (but still not great). Someone even did a campaign journal about such an example - it was quite an interesting read.

Lord_Gareth
2011-06-19, 11:36 PM
I've actually seen a couple of threads on these very forums about people using RAW op tricks to make the Truenamer workable (but still not great). Someone even did a campaign journal about such an example - it was quite an interesting read.

Didn't that guy go insane, murder his entire family and post through the computer he cobbled together from their slowly-rotting brains? I seem to remember something along those lines happening.

Tavar
2011-06-19, 11:37 PM
Worth noting that with self admitted ridiculous levels of optimization, the truenamer was only playable. That's damning praise if I've ever heard it.

Arundel
2011-06-19, 11:37 PM
I've actually seen a couple of threads on these very forums about people using RAW op tricks to make the Truenamer workable (but still not great). Someone even did a campaign journal about such an example - it was quite an interesting read.

It is a good read. Truenamer is the token broken class however, so seemed to best show my point.

I also recall that the player in that thread got a DM fiat custom item of +truenaming to make it as possible as it was.

Coidzor
2011-06-19, 11:38 PM
Didn't that guy go insane, murder his entire family and post through the computer he cobbled together from their slowly-rotting brains? I seem to remember something along those lines happening.

I heard that his chief regret is not losing his family, but that people took his tale to be inspirational rather than cautionary.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-19, 11:39 PM
Yes, it is the DM's job everyone has their spotlight time.

You say that like it's the most important thing for them to do. They're also supposed to create an interesting and dynamic world, create memorable NPCs, and create plots. Making sure that each player gets spotlight time is near the bottom f the list.

Lord_Gareth
2011-06-19, 11:57 PM
I heard that his chief regret is not losing his family, but that people took his tale to be inspirational rather than cautionary.

That's certainly my chief regret about the entire sorry incident.

Look folks, I've stayed away from this so far but as a DM cursed with the dumbest IRL group on Earth (and beyond it) while simultaneously having some really awesome online players, I need to weigh in on this:

The idea that it's the DM's job to give each player spotlight time is complete and utter garbage.

Good players don't need to lean on the DM as a crutch. They get spotlight time because they do things that affect the game world around them, whether that's through social interaction, significant character goals, stunning tactics or cunning use of magic. Bad players are those that the DM should teach to do these things, because the DM has a more important responsibility: making sure everyone is having fun.

It's frustrating when you've got massive tier imbalance in your game, especially if you're trying to create any kind of world vermisilitude or play your villains up to their Intelligence scores. It's angering when a player demands that you go out of your way to pander to his incompetence. And it makes the other players feel those things too, especially if you're forced to sideline them with something arbitrary or stupid.

Oh, and everyone seems to forget that the DM is supposed to have fun too. What if I want to run an intelligent villain? What if the party has an encounter with fiends? Wizards? Should I change all of my villains to arbitrarily suit the fact that Moron X has chosen to play a Monk despite all urgings, requests, and acts of violence against his person otherwise? No. Should I alter all of my plot lines to suit the fact that Joe played a Dex-based TWF straight fighter? No. Because how Joe and Moron X contribute to the game is their responsibility, not mine.

Right now I'm running a Warblade in an IRL game, and the entire rest of the party each has some kind of epic backstory goal like "Save the dwarven nation from stagnation" or "reclaim the lost heritage of the elven peoples" or, my favorite, "become a god". You know what my goal is? "Die rich and with most of my limbs attached". And yet I've still found meaningful ways to tie into both the stories and combats by taking up the role of the group's tactical leader and party face, using my skills with Diplomacy to help negotiate through unknown territories and my in-character tactical knowledge to help the others through our encounters. The DM didn't have to make a single thing up for me - didn't have to add some weird bit to my backstory, didn't have to give me a solo adventure, nothing, because I did my job as a player.

So to all of you folks who think it's your DM's job to make sure you're contributing, find your DM, call them up, shoot them a PM, whatever, and apologize, because you are doing them a horrific disservice.

[/rant]

Thurbane
2011-06-20, 12:07 AM
I wouldn't say that it's neccessarily the DMs job to give everyone a chance to shine, but from my personal experience, it really doesn't hurt. I would even call it a hallmark of a good DM.

Everyone wants to feel like there character is special, at least some of the time. Short of everyone playing Wizards and Codzilla, a certain amount of DM intervention is sometimes required for this.

When I DM, if a player has a specific nemesis for his character, or the build is built around battling a certain type of foe, I'll go out of my way to throw in a a couple of encounters to cater to that. It usually makes the player happy, and it generally takes minimal work on my part.

MeeposFire
2011-06-20, 12:18 AM
Somebody has been playing a truenamer for a long time now and posts his journal about it from the WotC optimization boards. He is having a good time with it though he has been allowed to use an item familiar which helps a bit.

Lord_Gareth
2011-06-20, 12:54 AM
Somebody has been playing a truenamer for a long time now and posts his journal about it from the WotC optimization boards. He is having a good time with it though he has been allowed to use an item familiar which helps a bit.

These people seriously need to stop encouraging folks to play by-the-book Truenamers. Folks, just use Kellus' fix. Just use it and never look back.

Thiyr
2011-06-20, 01:36 AM
The idea that it's the DM's job to give each player spotlight time is complete and utter garbage.

Good players don't need to lean on the DM as a crutch. They get spotlight time because they do things that affect the game world around them, whether that's through social interaction, significant character goals, stunning tactics or cunning use of magic. Bad players are those that the DM should teach to do these things, because the DM has a more important responsibility: making sure everyone is having fun.

I actually completely agree with this. The DM isn't the person who designates who gets the spotlight at all, imo. He gives the cues perhaps, gives opportunities, but he doesn't decide it at all. I've had characters outright ignore the DM's spotlight-cue (everyone was getting at least one shout-out to their backstory where they would play some kind of major role), but in everything else his influence was huge. Same game, we had a party member the -entire party, DM included- was trying to get into the spotlight. In spite of a mostly solid build, the party going out of our way to give him opportunities to use his abilities when otherwise we would've just plain made it unneeded, and the DM cutting him a ton of slack, he...still didn't take the spotlight. (This really wouldn't have been a problem if he wasn't complaining and dragging the rest of the group's fun down, and he was eventually booted, but yea.) Nobody but the players decide the spotlight. The DM just facilitates.

NNescio
2011-06-20, 01:49 AM
Somebody has been playing a truenamer for a long time now and posts his journal about it from the WotC optimization boards. He is having a good time with it though he has been allowed to use an item familiar which helps a bit.

And here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=114269) we have an excellent counterexample.



I cannot, in good faith, recommend playing a Truenamer. It is an immensely frustrating experience. If the GM is cooperative, as you most certainly seem to be, it is not impossible, but your player must be very patient and, ideally, rather rules-savvy.



Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.

navar100
2011-06-20, 02:39 AM
I chose to play a truenamer. Go DM fiat go!

Easy.

Get rid of the x2 multiplier in the DC calculation.


You say that like it's the most important thing for them to do. They're also supposed to create an interesting and dynamic world, create memorable NPCs, and create plots. Making sure that each player gets spotlight time is near the bottom f the list.

It is. If the players aren't having fun, you'll have no game. There's nothing wrong with a particular combat or two to put a PC out of their element. The fighter who trips will face large flying four-legged creatures. The rogue will face elemental construct undead plant oozes. The conjurer wizard who summons will face the cleric who casts Magic Circle. The DM is being a donkey cavity if the fighter never gets to trip, the rogue never gets to sneak attack, and the wizard's summoned creatures never get to fight.

Nothing exists in the gameworld without the DM's permission. The DM has the ability to shut down any character at any time. If he doesn't let the player play their character, why is he not writing a novel instead?

As I have already said, the player has his own responsibilities. He has to volunteer to do stuff. He has to create a character that functions and plays well within the campaign. If the DM knows a particular character concept just will not work for the campaign, including the fighter who likes to trip, he should let the player know and the player plays something else. That's the whole point. What matters is the campaign parameters.

The Tier system does not tell you what you should be playing. It does not forbid a wizard and fighter being in the same party. If you absolutely hate a wizard and fighter being in the same party, that's your business. The Tier system does not justify it for you such that those who have no issue with a wizard and fighter being in the same party are doing it wrong.

Worira
2011-06-20, 02:59 AM
Oh, and Fighters can so be good guards. Handle Animal could be used for guard dogs to help out with their noses and hearing. A fighter can have a decent Spot and Listen if he cares to invest in them. A rogue is supposed to be better. That's the whole point. However, when a specialized rogue, i.e. PC, has to take care and effort to bypass guard, the guards did their job. The guards were enough to deter run of the mill intruders. he specialized rogue exists precisely because there are guards. For those places that have guards, they usually have other means of defenses as well to take care of the specialized rogues who can get past the guards.

Wizard is a better guard, he can sell his spellbook to buy more dogs.

Killer Angel
2011-06-20, 06:10 AM
The idea that it's the DM's job to give each player spotlight time is complete and utter garbage.

(big snip).

Yeah.
Also, don't forget that there's a thin line between "be sure that Bob's truenamer can have its spotlight time", and "the DM is favoring Bob and is no more impartial".

ArcanistSupreme
2011-06-20, 07:21 AM
Easy.

Get rid of the x2 multiplier in the DC calculation.

But

a) This is no longer the RAW Truenamer, and is no longer covered by the Tier system.

b) You were able to make this fix because you have system knowledge, which the tier system is designed to help with. If you were a new DM and had not done any research, you would just assume that WotC had done their homework and that all classes were created equal.

c) Also, see the Oberrani[?] Falacy

I've been the monk in the party with the sorcerer, and it was frustrating. He could basically solo any encounter that I could contribute to, and as new players, we didn't realize that he shouldn't. The tier system is supposed to be an aid that prevents party compositions like this that make some NEWER players feel useless/too powerful. Experienced players know more of the ins and outs of the system, and will often unconsciously make adjustments and houserules and then just assume things are balanced.

The Glyphstone
2011-06-20, 08:19 AM
Oberoni doesn't apply - he wasn't claiming the Truenamer is balanced because he can modify it. He was only pointing out what he would do to fix it if necessary.

Z3ro
2011-06-20, 09:20 AM
The tier system is supposed to be an aid that prevents party compositions like this that make some NEWER players feel useless/too powerful. Experienced players know more of the ins and outs of the system, and will often unconsciously make adjustments and houserules and then just assume things are balanced.

Disagree. In order for the tier system to work you have to assume equal levels of optimization, which new players will almost certainly skew. At that point it's up to the experienced players not to solo every encounter and to help the new players along.

Gnaeus
2011-06-20, 09:32 AM
Disagree. In order for the tier system to work you have to assume equal levels of optimization, which new players will almost certainly skew. At that point it's up to the experienced players not to solo every encounter and to help the new players along.

Personally, if I am going to use metagame knowledge and motivations to fix game balance, I would much much much rather do it on the front end by not building characters that throw off balance, rather than blow away my own suspension of disbelief by having my character, who could solo every encounter, choose not to.

I can easily justify sub-optimal feat choices on my druid. Even better, I can easily justify crafting feats which I can use to de-level myself while covering the monk with awesome gear. Choosing not to fight in the most effective way I can in order to give someone else "spotlight time" may make sense OOC, but is really silly IC. It is like a soldier saying "I know I have plenty of RPG ammo, and I could just blow up that enemy bunker just like I did the last one, but my friend with the knife hasn't been contributing much, so maybe I should let him charge the machine guns, just to show that I am a team player" :smallfrown:

If I want to help the new player along, I should encourage him to play a character that can contribute on my power level, or play a weaker character myself. Either way, tier system helps.

Z3ro
2011-06-20, 10:02 AM
snip

Two comments: First, really? I mean, yeah, it might stretch believablity a little that the wizard is not soloing every encounter when he could, but you wouldn't slow down to help out a new player? You approach the game a bit differently than I do, I think.

Second, I was addressing the tier system directly, rather than how you may use it. The tier system assumes equal optimization, which as I said is almost never present with new and experienced players. At that point it's much less about the tier system than it is about the players themselves. Helping create characters is certainly one way of addressing issues, but even a supremely well built character can be played poorly. Hence, the tier system does not really apply.

profitofrage
2011-06-20, 10:09 AM
the tier system does not really apply.

uh ...well no..it means it would apply every time the group was of equal optimisation or those picking the higher tier classes were the more experienced. as in..it would quickly end up being the higher tier classes out preforming the lower ones.
So basically it would be in effect 2/3rds of all games arguably 2.5/3 considering that sometimes even with the low skill players playing the higher tier and the high skill playing the low tier can STILL end up with the low player being more powerful in a heartbeat (take the druid..hard to mess it up).

Z3ro
2011-06-20, 10:19 AM
uh ...well no..it means it would apply every time the group was of equal optimisation or those picking the higher tier classes were the more experienced. as in..it would quickly end up being the higher tier classes out preforming the lower ones.
So basically it would be in effect 2/3rds of all games arguably 2.5/3 considering that sometimes even with the low skill players playing the higher tier and the high skill playing the low tier can STILL end up with the low player being more powerful in a heartbeat

I wasn't arguing that it doesn't apply in most case; just not in the cases of new players most of the time. And it still wouldn't apply if the experienced players picked the higher tiers; they have the edge anyway, and it wouldn't matter if a new player also picked a wizard, if they didn't know how to use them. They'd still be outclassed, because they're a new player.


(take the druid..hard to mess it up).

I've seen more poorly played druids in my time than well-played ones. There's just something about the class the attracts certain people for role-play purposes.

Gnaeus
2011-06-20, 10:24 AM
Two comments: First, really? I mean, yeah, it might stretch believablity a little that the wizard is not soloing every encounter when he could, but you wouldn't slow down to help out a new player? You approach the game a bit differently than I do, I think.

I would address it during character creation, not during play. Good options include pointing out some of the tier 3 classes like ToB that are very resistant to low optimization, or choosing not to play a wizard myself. I would approach the game differently if I was playing with my 5 year old, but assuming that Mr. New Player is an adult who didn't feel like my advice on game balance was important, they need to learn somehow.

In other words, if I went into a game with new players, I would self nerf by not playing a T1, or making a deliberately sub-optimal but flavorful build. If a new player came into my existing game, I would give lots of advice. I would not play dumb for their benefit, unless my character was actually not very smart.


Second, I was addressing the tier system directly, rather than how you may use it. The tier system assumes equal optimization, which as I said is almost never present with new and experienced players. At that point it's much less about the tier system than it is about the players themselves. Helping create characters is certainly one way of addressing issues, but even a supremely well built character can be played poorly. Hence, the tier system does not really apply.

That is true and it is not true.

Some concepts, once optimized, are very easy to play. New player may not be able to build a chain tripper, but if I build a chain tripper, the concept in play is amazingly simple, especially if other players at table are helping.

Some concepts are very resistant to low op. Warblade or crusader are pretty hard to screw up, given just a touch of advice from friends.

Finally, some concepts adjust very quickly to learning curve. New player may build Cleric as healbot. If he decides that healbot isn't fun, Cleric or Druid can go from low op to high op VERY quickly with a little guidance on spell selection and maybe a handbook printed out.



I've seen more poorly played druids in my time than well-played ones. There's just something about the class the attracts certain people for role-play purposes.

So you help them. "For your companion, look at these and see if any of them fit your concept. Take Natural Spell, and consider any of these forms. Here are some good spells, memorize one or two and try them out, see how they work." If they are resistant to that, the problem isn't that they are new, it is that they are being deliberately low-op, in a mixed or high-op group and there is a larger group issue involved.

Killer Angel
2011-06-20, 10:25 AM
Choosing not to fight in the most effective way I can in order to give someone else "spotlight time" may make sense OOC, but is really silly IC. It is like a soldier saying "I know I have plenty of RPG ammo, and I could just blow up that enemy bunker just like I did the last one, but my friend with the knife hasn't been contributing much, so maybe I should let him charge the machine guns, just to show that I am a team player" :smallfrown:


Well, if your soldier could transform the guy with the knife in an unsoppable killing machine, it could be funny see him tearing apart the bunker, instead of using the RPG ammo. And You're still fighting in (one of the) most effective way you can.
But obviously you're right, this validates further the basic concept: in this case, the empowered guy with a knife, would be merely a tool, used by the main soldier, instead of the RPG ammo.
The two players can have fun, but the difference in power between characters, still remains.

Sir Enigma
2011-06-20, 10:26 AM
Two comments: First, really? I mean, yeah, it might stretch believablity a little that the wizard is not soloing every encounter when he could, but you wouldn't slow down to help out a new player? You approach the game a bit differently than I do, I think.

Second, I was addressing the tier system directly, rather than how you may use it. The tier system assumes equal optimization, which as I said is almost never present with new and experienced players. At that point it's much less about the tier system than it is about the players themselves. Helping create characters is certainly one way of addressing issues, but even a supremely well built character can be played poorly. Hence, the tier system does not really apply.

One could slow down a bit to accommodate the new players, but then you have to be watching everything you do, which can get a bit annoying and interfere with your fun. If it works for you, great, but to me it's not the preferred option.

Or you could just design a character that's still fun but inherently less powerful, that will not outshine the lower-experienced players, so you could just play and enjoy it without worrying about overshadowing them. The tier list can be helpful here - if two classes are several tiers apart with equal optimization, they could be comparable if the weaker class is more optimized. This way the potential problem is squashed at the start and you can just forget about it.

I tested this out in the last game I was in - we had a totally new player, and I'm moderately experienced; so the new player got a druid, while I played a moderate-op warblade. I always felt free to go all out, the new player still felt useful and able to contribute on an equal basis, everyone was happy.

Z3ro
2011-06-20, 10:36 AM
I would address it during character creation, not during play. Good options include pointing out some of the tier 3 classes like ToB that are very resistant to low optimization, or choosing not to play a wizard myself. I would approach the game differently if I was playing with my 5 year old, but assuming that Mr. New Player is an adult who didn't feel like my advice on game balance was important, they need to learn somehow.

In other words, if I went into a game with new players, I would self nerf by not playing a T1, or making a deliberately sub-optimal but flavorful build. If a new player came into my existing game, I would give lots of advice. I would not play dumb for their benefit, unless my character was actually not very smart.


So if you were playing a wizard, and a new player came in and wanted to be a fighter, and wouldn't change his mind, instead of slowing down, maybe buffing him up to give him a chance to have fun and learn the rules, you'd just solo all the encounters? If that works for you, great, but again, different approach than I take.



So you help them. "For your companion, look at these and see if any of them fit your concept. Take Natural Spell, and consider any of these forms. Here are some good spells, memorize one or two and try them out, see how they work." If they are resistant to that, the problem isn't that they are new, it is that they are being deliberately low-op, in a mixed or high-op group and there is a larger group issue involved.

That's not the problem for me. The people I'm talking about it's "I don't want a bear companion, I want an eagle because an eagle is what I picture my character having". It's no deliberate low-op, it a form of role-playing at the expense of (unknowing) power.

JaronK
2011-06-20, 10:37 AM
Two comments: First, really? I mean, yeah, it might stretch believablity a little that the wizard is not soloing every encounter when he could, but you wouldn't slow down to help out a new player? You approach the game a bit differently than I do, I think.

He's saying he could just play a build that better fits, allowing him to actually play once the game starts, instead of making a godlike character and then just not using him.


Second, I was addressing the tier system directly, rather than how you may use it. The tier system assumes equal optimization, which as I said is almost never present with new and experienced players. At that point it's much less about the tier system than it is about the players themselves. Helping create characters is certainly one way of addressing issues, but even a supremely well built character can be played poorly. Hence, the tier system does not really apply.

The Tiers show you where things are with equal skill and optimization... so it's a starting point. You have to then factor in the skill differences and optimization differences when figuring out where things will still be. It's a tool... think of it like a wrench when fixing a car. It's not going to do everything, but it still applies... it's just that you need more than just a wrench to really fix things.


That's not the problem for me. The people I'm talking about it's "I don't want a bear companion, I want an eagle because an eagle is what I picture my character having". It's no deliberate low-op, it a form of role-playing at the expense of (unknowing) power.

"And here is a Legendary Eagle, which is a more level appropriate Eagle."

JaronK

Z3ro
2011-06-20, 10:42 AM
The Tiers show you where things are with equal skill and optimization... so it's a starting point. You have to then factor in the skill differences and optimization differences when figuring out where things will still be. It's a tool... think of it like a wrench when fixing a car. It's not going to do everything, but it still applies... it's just that you need more than just a wrench to really fix things.


I know that, I think there's some confusion as to what we're discussing. I'm actually trying to address the people who assume the tier system is some sort of iron-clad, applies no matter what, one-size-fits-all description of the game.



"And here is a Legendary Eagle, which is a more level appropriate Eagle."


"Oh no, he doesn't fight. He just scouts ahead for me."

Yuki Akuma
2011-06-20, 10:49 AM
Legendary Eagles have better Spot and Listen modifiers.

Gnaeus
2011-06-20, 10:52 AM
So if you were playing a wizard, and a new player came in and wanted to be a fighter, and wouldn't change his mind, instead of slowing down, maybe buffing him up to give him a chance to have fun and learn the rules, you'd just solo all the encounters? If that works for you, great, but again, different approach than I take.

I don't have any more obligation to change my character for him than he has to change his character for me. Less, because in this circumstance, my character is in play, and his could be adjusted with no effort without ret-conning. I would consider buffing, if it was available for my character (not all T1s buff well) and in character appropriate, and reasonable under circumstances. But I wouldn't pull my punches for him, no.



That's not the problem for me. The people I'm talking about it's "I don't want a bear companion, I want an eagle because an eagle is what I picture my character having". It's no deliberate low-op, it a form of role-playing at the expense of (unknowing) power.

If they ALSO don't want to wild-shape, and they ALSO don't want to pick useful spells, after those options have been pointed out to them, then the problem has nothing to do with them being new players. It is about what optimization level the group chooses to play at. That is an out of game issue, and should be fixed out of game.

Having the high-op players play their characters poorly and below their abilities is one possible solution. Having the low op players play stronger characters and build RP justification around that is another. DM fiat/houserules could also work. Or restarting the game and asking high-op players to use their opti-fu in support roles. Which one works best will depend on group composition. The easy answer of "don't play your strong character that way" is not always the best solution. It is almost never a solution that I would appreciate if it was my character who was being asked not to use his abilities.

DiBastet
2011-06-20, 10:56 AM
{{scrubbed}}

Elric VIII
2011-06-20, 11:22 AM
So if you were playing a wizard, and a new player came in and wanted to be a fighter, and wouldn't change his mind, instead of slowing down, maybe buffing him up to give him a chance to have fun and learn the rules, you'd just solo all the encounters? If that works for you, great, but again, different approach than I take.

It sounds like you're taking the comment to an extreme. In a campaign I am currently playing I often find myself having to waste all of my actions to keep the Ninja/Shadowdancer alive. The rest of my party is a Sorcerer (poorly played, but he can't help but be useful sometimes), a Warblade/Dervish, a Rogue/Swashbuckler/Barbarian/Fighter/ToB stuff, and myself (a Cleric with 2 non-caster levels). For most of the party one buff at the beginning of combat and we're all good to go. For the Ninja I often have to dispel negative effects, keep alive, return to sanity, etc.

This type of playing becomes very tedious and I end up not being able to actually play my character because I have to load up on "save you" spells. So there goes my fun.


This makes me think... It's really just theorical bull****, specialy designed for power gamers to spend their days on it. It's amazing that in my games (using pf classes) everyone wants to be the fighter, ranger or monk, and we rarely have more than one spellcaster (and never, really, never, a wizard or cleric).

That's a nice dismissive attitude to use. I always like to see someone swinging around the Stormwind Fallacy like a club to bludgeon into submission people with opposing viewpoints.




And honestly, tiers are potential, not practice. Tier 1 are the classes that can "go to 11." The idea is a Fighter brought to its full potential may be on equal grounds with a Wizard brought to 20% of its potential. With the exception of a few ACFs that add versatility to lower tier classes, specific build cannot change a class's tier. It can, however, bring it to a point where it performs on a level with a lower tier of class. But its tier still remains what it was because of the fact that it could have been better.

My 2cp on the subject, now that I've gotten through the whole thread.

Tael
2011-06-20, 11:42 AM
This makes me think... It's really just theorical bull****, specialy designed for power gamers to spend their days on it. It's amazing that in my games (using pf classes) everyone wants to be the fighter, ranger or monk, and we rarely have more than one spellcaster (and never, really, never, a wizard or cleric).

Ah, I love it when people post things like this without understanding what they're talking about, or giving any kind of evidence to back up their points.

It's posts like these that reassure me that the tier system is 100% right.

Yuki Akuma
2011-06-20, 11:43 AM
Ah, I love it when people post things like this without understanding what they're talking about, or giving any kind of evidence to back up their points.

It's posts like these that reassure me that the tier system is 100% right.

I'm amused by how many people the thread title applies to.

Big Fau
2011-06-20, 11:47 AM
Ah, I love it when people post things like this without understanding what they're talking about, or giving any kind of evidence to back up their points.

It's posts like these that reassure me that the tier system is 100% right.

I wouldn't say 100%, since there's still classes that he is unsure of. But it's fairly close.

Elric VIII
2011-06-20, 11:55 AM
I wouldn't say 100%, since there's still classes that he is unsure of. But it's fairly close.

HOW DARE YOU DOUBT THE CANON!!!!!11111!!!!ONE!!!

Big Fau
2011-06-20, 12:06 PM
HOW DARE YOU DOUBT THE CANON!!!!!11111!!!!ONE!!!

What does a printer have to do with DnD Tiers?

Tavar
2011-06-20, 12:09 PM
Canon: (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/canon) A generally accepted principle.

Yuki Akuma
2011-06-20, 12:12 PM
Canon: (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/canon) A generally accepted principle.

Big Fau is far too intelligent for that to have not been a joke.

Kurald Galain
2011-06-20, 12:13 PM
Canon: (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/cannon) a piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellants to launch a projectile. :smalltongue:

Big Fau
2011-06-20, 12:14 PM
Canon: (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/canon) A generally accepted principle.

...I read TvTropes, I know what canon means.


The joke was that canon refers to storyline, something the Tiers thread doesn't have (since it's an opinion supported by facts). Thus the word canon doesn't really apply outside of printing the Tiers list out.

Tavar
2011-06-20, 12:14 PM
My apologies, then. Didn't recognize the name, and as everyone knows, the internet robs everything of inflection.

Elric VIII
2011-06-20, 12:20 PM
My apologies, then. Didn't recognize the name, and as everyone knows, the internet robs everything of inflection.

I just assume that everyone posts in a speech that reflects that they hate you and everything you stand for. Honestly, it can't bee too far off, in terms of inflection.:smallamused:

JaronK
2011-06-20, 12:37 PM
This makes me think... It's really just theorical bull****, specialy designed for power gamers to spend their days on it. It's amazing that in my games (using pf classes) everyone wants to be the fighter, ranger or monk, and we rarely have more than one spellcaster (and never, really, never, a wizard or cleric).

To rephrase... your group only plays T4-5 (like the Fighter, Ranger, and Monk) classes, because you know that it would be unbalanced to play T1 classes (Like Wizards and Clerics) as they would be overpowered for your games.

In other words, you completely agree with the Tiers. Good to know.

JaronK

Fox Box Socks
2011-06-20, 12:40 PM
The Tiers really have more to say about comparative power and how high the ceiling is on optimization than anything else.

It's more of a DM resource than anything else. If you're running a game with a Wizard, a Cleric, a Factotum, a Warblade and a Paladin, you're going to have to throw more softballs at the Paladin than at anyone else, because he doesn't bring as much to the table.

boj0
2011-06-20, 12:46 PM
This makes me think... It's really just theorical bull****, specialy designed for power gamers to spend their days on it.

Theoretical? It is no theory that the Wizard is more capable in a given encounter than the Warblade, and astronomically ahead of the CW Samurai. A full caster can end an encounter in more ways than a martial character can attack, let alone out-of-combat encounters. The fighter, for example, has next to zero options involving stealth, negotiations (outside of Intimidate, which might not be the best choice), knowledge, or a myriad of other tasks outside of the business end of a weapon. THAT is what the tier system is, seeing who can do what and how well.

Calling it a list for power gamers falls flat; one can power game regardless of the class they play, that doesn't invalidate the system. An Ubercharger Barbarian can deal 1000's of damage a turn but thats it, he cannot summon creatures, bring the dead back to life, turn into another form, or any other utility outside of combat (also Survival if it isn't ignored). Like other posters said, if you poorly optimize a Druid, its still a Druid; with abilities more powerful than your entire class. Even dumping Wis, a Druid still has more versatility than most optimized classes; wild shape is pretty much an answer to any problem relating to mobility, stealth, or even combat (turning into a Fleshraker will make your a better combatant than the monk in almost every situation).


It's amazing that in my games (using pf classes) everyone wants to be the fighter, ranger or monk, and we rarely have more than one spellcaster (and never, really, never, a wizard or cleric).

Anecdotal evidence has no bearing in an objective argument. Besides, the lack of someone playing a Tier 1 caster does not invalidate their overall superiority, nor does it make the fighter, ranger, or monk any better (or worse) at what they try to do.

Its great if your group plays the classes they want to play, that's the point of Dungeons and Dragons, playing what you want and having fun with your friends. The Tier system is not some internet ninja that sneaks into your house and tears the Fighter entry out of your PHB, it is simply a collective analysis of the various abilities, potential, usage, and problems of the classes.

If you still think that the tier system is simply a fan wank about how wizards are awesome and druids poo on everyone else, then you should actually read the damn thing first before you go off about how it

Yuki Akuma
2011-06-20, 01:04 PM
Barbarians can totally transform into another form if they're Barbearians who took Bear Warrior.

Sir Homeslice
2011-06-20, 01:13 PM
This makes me think... It's really just theorical bull****, specialy designed for power gamers to spend their days on it. It's amazing that in my games (using pf classes) everyone wants to be the fighter, ranger or monk, and we rarely have more than one spellcaster (and never, really, never, a wizard or cleric).

I love how in general the people rallying against something that's commonly known and circulated around are all wrong*.

*Mostly.

boj0
2011-06-20, 01:19 PM
Lol but only if said Bearbarian takes Bear Warrior; not due to an intrinsic ability of the Barbarian itself; which doesn't matter as the ability is limited to Raging/Frenzy which means he just has more options in combat, not necessarily more options all together.

Keld Denar
2011-06-20, 01:31 PM
One thing I've noticed that the tiers represent is "level of effort". The amount of system mastery required to make Tier X do Task Y. Its fairly simple to make a decent druid, and even wizards aren't that hard if you play around with different spell lists. They are more straightforward and/or forgiving of mistakes.

Some of the highest damage builds in D&D outside of LoP's Dirty Tricks? The Ubercharger (generally a Fighter/Barbarian/FrenzyBerzerker chassis) and the Hulking Hurler (again, generally some Barbarian, some Hulking Hurler, some War Hulk). These are probably the pinnacle of what you can accomplish with low tiers, and they are very precise and contain some very exacting elements and a great degree of system mastery. The recorded numerical damage for either of those builds is MUCH higher than just about anything even a max optimized druid can do, but it took a lot of effort to get that high, and in the end, all that character can do is a metric frank-ton of damage. Just because you CAN build a "fighter" who can cleave the world in half doesn't make fighter good, and someone else can take a higher tier class be very effective with much much much less effort.

Building a druid to compete in a high optimization group means writing druid on your character sheet, and Natural Spell. Being a "fighter" in a high op group generally means poring over a dozen books, splicing together a half a dozen base and prestige classes, feats from 12 different books, magic items from another 6 different books, and alt class features from another 4 books. Its also more common for a high tier class to "accidentally" be higher op than anticipated. I remember the first time in early 3.0 when I saw the terrible beauty that is Black Tentacles. The wizard soloed an encounter with it, on accident. It was so effective, the next day he prepared 3, and the rest of the party might as well have taken a spa day for as much as anyone else lifted a finger in combat. Eventually the DM learned and stopped clumping monsters together, etc, but for a full day, he ruled the roost with one spell he picked on a whim. The player simply saw "hey, spell X was pretty sweet. I'll try picking up a few more of them and see how it goes".

Also, "banning" classes based on tiers is foolish and negates part of the fundamental concept of 3.x character building. Barbarians are T4, and fighters are T5, but slipping 2 levels of fighter onto a barbarian chassis helps you realize certain feat chains faster (and thus be more viable at lower levels), and 2 levels of barbarian are a pretty common dip for fighter types. Due to the somewhat frontloaded nature of the classes, splashing them together is often stronger than taking each seperately. If you ban all T1-2, you lose things like the Sorcadin and other hybrid builds that don't fully actualize the full potential of higher tier builds because they dilute them other low tier classes to produce a mid-optimization concept.

Eldariel
2011-06-20, 05:59 PM
It is. If the players aren't having fun, you'll have no game. There's nothing wrong with a particular combat or two to put a PC out of their element. The fighter who trips will face large flying four-legged creatures. The rogue will face elemental construct undead plant oozes. The conjurer wizard who summons will face the cleric who casts Magic Circle. The DM is being a donkey cavity if the fighter never gets to trip, the rogue never gets to sneak attack, and the wizard's summoned creatures never get to fight.

The thing is, this is again something the tier system covers. The Wizard might be out of his element, but he'll be fine. He still has a dozen other sorts of Conjurations, not to mention his 5 other schools. He's more than fine in anything short of a multiday adventure in a complete Dead Magic Zone; and it's very rarely unavoidable for him to enter said Zone in the first place.

Likewise, Druid in a city where wild animals simply aren't allowed by city authorities still commands a versatile, massive magical power, a large skill list and a ton of wildshape forms where he can remain unseen thus using those abilities anyways.


Now, on the other hand, non-optimized Fighter against a fast flying creature with DR? He's never gonna do anything. Rogue is gonna be better off since they have Use Magic Device opening the treasure trove that is magic so they could always do something but e.g. Ranger/Paladin/Barbarian/Monk would be more or less in the same role as the Fighter.

In other words, with a higher tier class this is not an issue. You can throw them up against whatever would make sense in the adventure at the point where they are in the world. CR of the encounter? Broadly just doesn't matter; they'll probably find a way to survive what they can't win. Type of the opponent? Doesn't matter. If it's something with Magic Immunity or projected Anti-Magic Field? No problem, they still have dozens upon dozens of spells that work just fine.

In other words, a low tier adventure has a lot of DM going "oh ****, the party can't handle this" or "Ok, gotta throw this in here just so he can have his cake" while higher tiers give him the freedom to run his world as it makes sense instead of planning it around the party.