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NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 01:19 PM
Author's Note: Please, please, please don't suggest an alternate system from another game. I don't care about how Pathfinder or 4.E or d20 handles damage and HP. I've come up with this system after a lot of thought, and I just want to perfect it.

http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o125/Kittenstew/Motivational/hp.jpg

Damage in 3.5 is a very difficult system. Often, while melee emphasizes damage, they put themselves in danger in order to do so (See Also: Heedless Charge) and if they don't drop a creature in one round, they're dead. Damage by casters is generally regarded as useless as well.

The reason for all this is best stated by the above picture. Health is just health in 3.5, there are absolutely no penalties for fighting while you are gravely injured or near death. The massive damage rule is nice, but I've rarely seen a game where it was implemented. So I've put together a little system that I hope to see playtested to make blasters and melee more effective.

The Rules

Enemies in battle (Not PCs) take penalties to actions while they are wounded. The penalty is based on the relative amount of health the creature has. The creature takes a -1 penalty in increments of 25% of its maximum health. For every 100 max hit points the creature has, this penalty is increased by 1. (A creature with 22 max hit points would take a -1 penalty per 5 hit points it lost, while a creature with 630 max hit points would take a -7 penalty per 135 hit points it lost)

If a creature has less than 10 maximum hit points, it takes a -1 penalty for every 1 hit point it was below its maximum.

The penalty applies to any d20 roll, save, or check other than a caster level check or a character level check. It also applies to weapon damage rolls. A caster takes the penalty to both his caster level and the save DCs of his spells.

The penalty is doubled for Concentration checks.

Additionally, when a creature falls below 50% of its max hit points, it is fatigued. No amount of rest will cure this, only when the creature's hit points are restored to above half its maximum will the creature no longer be fatigued. (Even magical healing such as restoration cannot cure this)

A creature who is below 25% of its maximum hit points is instead incurably exhausted until it recovers its lost hit points.

Undead, constructs, and oozes are immune to these restrictions, as the former two are purely magical in nature and oozes cannot feel pain.

That's it! What do you all think? How would you improve this?

Kenneth
2011-10-10, 01:29 PM
while the concept behind this is nice. that being that you suffer penalties at varying degrees of life. in reality it is a system that only really ever affects melee. As any half decently played ranged will never take damage from just being too far away, not there, or having the counter for what have you.

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 01:34 PM
while the concept behind this is nice. that being that you suffer penalties at varying degrees of life. in reality it is a system that only really ever affects melee. As any half decently played ranged will never take damage from just being too far away, not there, or having the counter for what have you.

You're right, but I only intended it to affect melee fighters anyway. If you're not taking damage, you shouldn't be penalized. I mean, sure, ranged characters won't be taking damage, but as archery is so pitifully bad in 3.5 anyway (and again, can't do anything but damage, which in the current system is either kill them or have them keep fighting) I'm okay with that.

Besides, even if it makes things slightly unfair for archers, this system is about being realistic. If I was charging towards you with a sword, and you managed to sink three arrows into my shoulder before I managed to get a swing off, it would probably not hurt you nearly as much as if I had sliced you up when I was at full health.

Kenneth
2011-10-10, 02:08 PM
while I concede your point on archery being a not well supported rol in 3.5 (mush like weapon+sheild)

what about casters? that was rreally in my mind at least what I was referring to. this is just another case of melee can't have nice things, and that makes me cry :(


being realistic is a great thing I think, but I also belvie that you need to balance it out with the fact that it is a fantasy game and the Players are supposed to be heros saving the damsels and defeating the dragon. WHile Archery trumped melee in real life ( look at the 100 years war for proof) the image of a knight with a few arrows in him tudging on despite or maybe becuase of the fact of being injured to land a death blow on the archer.


I just don't think that melee should be penalized even more so than it already is in 3.5. FOr me with this house rule in effect I would never play a melee centric character and just go wizard becuase i can use all my best abilities all day long and never worry about having to suffer any penalties, while mf greatsword weilder has to worry about getting hit once and then being more useless than normal.


Though. you do have a good idea nd I have something that I used in my d20 modern games. imma try to find those rules and post them up later tonight.

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 02:13 PM
while I concede your point on archery being a not well supported rol in 3.5 (mush like weapon+sheild)

what about casters? that was rreally in my mind at least what I was referring to. this is just another case of melee can't have nice things, and that makes me cry :(


being realistic is a great thing I think, but I also belvie that you need to balance it out with the fact that it is a fantasy game and the Players are supposed to be heros saving the damsels and defeating the dragon. WHile Archery trumped melee in real life ( look at the 100 years war for proof) the image of a knight with a few arrows in him tudging on despite or maybe becuase of the fact of being injured to land a death blow on the archer.


I just don't think that melee should be penalized even more so than it already is in 3.5. FOr me with this house rule in effect I would never play a melee centric character and just go wizard becuase i can use all my best abilities all day long and never worry about having to suffer any penalties, while mf greatsword weilder has to worry about getting hit once and then being more useless than normal.


Though. you do have a good idea nd I have something that I used in my d20 modern games. imma try to find those rules and post them up later tonight.

This system is more about penalizing monsters than PCs. Sure, PCs will be hurt by it, but as long as the party healbot is doing his job, those penalties won't last. Besides, if you win initiative, you can use your power to wound your opponent before they wound you, and then they have a lower chance of hitting you and deal less damage even if they do.

And even if you say "Casters will never take damage" that doesn't mean we should give melee magical immunity to being wounded. Especially when you can take the dragon down 600 hit points and it's still fighting like it was at the beginning. There's absolutely no penalty for wearing a creature down.

Siosilvar
2011-10-10, 02:34 PM
Creatures (both monsters and PCs) take penalties to actions while they are wounded. The penalty is based on the relative amount of health the creature has. The creature takes a -1 penalty in increments of 10% of its maximum health. For every 100 max hit points the creature has, this penalty is increased by 1. (A creature with 22 max hit points would take a -1 penalty per 2 hit points it lost, while a creature with 630 max hit points would take a -7 penalty per 63 hit points it lost)

That's effectively just -1 per the lower of 10% or 10hp.

At some point, gaining more HP hurts you, because you start taking terrible penalties to everything long before you die... your 630hp critter becomes practically useless after it starts taking a -14 penalty, because it has no way of succeeding on anything except with a natural 20, but it still has 80% of its hit points left.

-1 per 10% is probably good enough if you're dead-set on including this rule.


And even if you say "Casters will never take damage" that doesn't mean we should give melee magical immunity to being wounded. Especially when you can take the dragon down 600 hit points and it's still fighting like it was at the beginning. There's absolutely no penalty for wearing a creature down.

It doesn't mean melee needs immunity to wounds, you're right.

What it does mean is that melee now has something extra to worry about that casters don't - that they take penalties while doing their primary thing. If they don't want to, they need to focus even more on one-shotting their opponents or doing enough damage to completely disable them.

It's a good idea, but I don't think it works with the 3.5 system as written. You'd have to make melee just as good as the magic system to compensate for one of them taking penalties while doing what they're supposed to and the other one not taking penalties for doing what they're supposed to. It might be more realistic, but it doesn't necessarily make for a good game if you're using the rest of the 3.5 system.

Grod_The_Giant
2011-10-10, 02:37 PM
Hmm. Fairly simple and fairly effective. Maybe two effective- those 10% penalties are going to stack up, fast. I agree that the system hurts melee warriors most, although that aspect certainly makes sense. Two suggestions:

1. Apply the penalty to all rolls the injured character makes. It makes things even simpler to remember, and it makes a certain amount of sense- I bet you'd have trouble dodging or identifying a spell if there was a sword in your gut.

2. Maybe reduce the penalties just a bit? Apply the penalties every 20%, instead of every 10%? That would also make it a bit easier to keep track of, since you'd need to remember fewer benchmarks.

Yitzi
2011-10-10, 02:43 PM
I would advise against having the penalties to d20 rolls scale with hit points. Otherwise, a 1000 hit point creature can (assuming there's a decent chance of missing when it's not wounded) be made largely ineffective with only 100 damage. It's as bad as wizards with save-or-lose, if not worse.

Well, unless you like the "win the fight with a single attack" paradigm of those wizards...

YouLostMe
2011-10-10, 02:53 PM
Just as a general rule, I'm putting my opinion out against penalties based on damage taken. As you take more damage, you become easier to kill, and having a PC be easier to kill as it gets weaker really really bad, IMO. Also, I saw a comment about party Healbots, and I do believe you already know that Healbots aren't always in D&D parties--your system should be a reflection of that fact, and shouldn't force Healbots.

In addition, I can't emphasize how awful this would be for a DM or a low-level player. As a DM, calculating the 10% marks for all of my enemy combatants is more bookkeeping than I want to do. And as a PC with 6 HP, taking a knife from a goblin could literally put you out of combat completely, even if you're not dead, because of that DAMN PENALTY TO ACTIONS.

I'd reduce the benchmarks to 2, or 3 if you really want to push it. 50% and 25% is all you need. At those places you'd get -2 and then -4 to actions. Those are hefty penalties, especially if you're being insane and putting them on save DCs--it's effectively a death sentence.

Finally, I agree with SioSilvar about not increasing the penalty based on max HP. Penalties scale, so increasing penalties would cry.

Ziegander
2011-10-10, 02:54 PM
You're right, but I only intended it to affect melee fighters anyway.

I'm sorry, but what the ****? Melee fighters suck worse than anything else in the game already, and you want to slap them with HUGE penalties to everything they care about without meaningfully effecting any other characters in the game whatsoever, and you went into this fully intending to do so?

This doesn't sound like anything you've given a lot of thought. It sounds completely idiotic to me.

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 03:41 PM
I'm sorry, but what the ****? Melee fighters suck worse than anything else in the game already, and you want to slap them with HUGE penalties to everything they care about without meaningfully effecting any other characters in the game whatsoever, and you went into this fully intending to do so?

This doesn't sound like anything you've given a lot of thought. It sounds completely idiotic to me.

I went into this fully intending it to penalize monsters, not PCs. If a PC is taking damage, he needs to get healed anyway. I agree that melee PCs have a hard time already, but this system also makes their attacks more powerful, as when they strike an opponent, their attacks deal more than just damage, they impose significant penalties.


Scaling penalties is a bad idea

The higher a creature's hit points, the higher their HD, and that means the higher their BAB is. The penalties are intended to scale with BAB, not with hit points, so that a creature who has 20 BAB suffers a penalty to hit that is as significant as a creature with 4 BAB.


Otherwise, a 1000 hit point creature can (assuming there's a decent chance of missing when it's not wounded)

There is no "decent chance of missing" when a creature with 1000 HP is not wounded. A great wyrm red dragon has 660 hit points. It has +49 to hit. The average AC of a 20th level character is 40. Optimized AC can be 45. There is no chance of missing, let alone a 'decent' chance of missing.

FireJustice
2011-10-10, 03:42 PM
Yeah. I really see what you are aiming for. It's not bad per se, but it won't fix much.

Everything is more math intensive and may break the rhytm. (not a huge thing)

Now rocket-tag (and odious part of d&d combat) is even more blatant.

The one who hits first may knock a penalty so great that he autowins.
penalty to eveyrthing? this includes to-hit, damage and CA. How can you hit back.

Your example may be good for monster, that can have 500+ HP.

A PC with lot of luck and other stuff may have ~200 HP, at level 20.
10% of that is just 20 damage, anyone do lots more in one hit at that level.

You see where i'm trying to get? At level 10 with ~120 HP, its just 12 damage per -1. One warrior using -6 on his two handed power attack do that just with his bonus damage.

But enough of saying why that won't work as it is.

One solution adopted by Mutants and Masterminds IIRC is like.
You don't have HP per level, you have a "toughness" value.
Every time you get hit. You make a toughness save using that damage as DC. If you pass, nothing really happens. If you fail, you get a "wound token".
Every wound token you have gives you -1 in everything.
If you get (i don't remember) 10 wounds tokens or more, you may die.

Not saying to make a exact copy, just look deeper in that and see how it work.

Ziegander
2011-10-10, 03:46 PM
I went into this fully intending it to penalize monsters, not PCs. If a PC is taking damage, he needs to get healed anyway. I agree that melee PCs have a hard time already, but this system also makes their attacks more powerful, as when they strike an opponent, their attacks deal more than just damage, they impose significant penalties.

But you know that melee monsters hit more often than melee PCs and typically (unless we're talking about uberchargers or tome of battle) deal a lot more damage too. Requiring powerful healing to be used on the melee PC every round is not an indicator of a good rules change.

I can't think of any way that this would ever work in a standard D&D game and feel like a good idea...

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 03:47 PM
Yeah. I really see what you are aiming for. It's not bad per se, but it won't fix much.

Everything is more math intensive and may break the rhytm. (not a huge thing)

Now rocket-tag (and odious part of d&d combat) is even more blatant.

The one who hits first may knock a penalty so great that he autowins.
penalty to eveyrthing? this includes to-hit, damage and CA. How can you hit back.

Your example may be good for monster, that can have 500+ HP.

A PC with lot of luck and other stuff may have ~200 HP, at level 20.
10% of that is just 20 damage, anyone do lots more in one hit at that level.

You see where i'm trying to get? At level 10 with ~120 HP, its just 12 damage per -1. One warrior using -6 on his two handed power attack do that just with his bonus damage.

But enough of saying why that won't work as it is.


Yes, 10% was too much, that's why I followed You Lost Me's suggestion, sort of, and made it every 25% instead. Now there are only 3 penalties.

Grod_The_Giant
2011-10-10, 03:50 PM
If a PC is taking damage, he needs to get healed anyway.

The guy playing the cleric won't like that. Especially if (as is likely) everyone is getting hit, and he's blowing through healing spells like water because he needs to heal every single time someone gets hit.

Looking back, I didn't realize quite how bad the math was. I'd honestly go down to something like:

25% damage- fatigued
50% damaged- exhausted
75% damage- dazed

gkathellar
2011-10-10, 03:52 PM
Aside from penalizing melee even further (and demanding the existence of "the party healbot," a loathsome, boring and inefficient role), this system significantly increases the power of fast-healing and regeneration, which will almost certainly need review if you're dead-set on using this.

I'm not clear on why HP can't simply be a metaphor a buffer zone between your character and taking actual lethal hits, as it were. HP damage has always struck me as "running out of luck," not "I have this many swords embedded in my pancreas.


Besides, even if it makes things slightly unfair for archers, this system is about being realistic. If I was charging towards you with a sword, and you managed to sink three arrows into my shoulder before I managed to get a swing off, it would probably not hurt you nearly as much as if I had sliced you up when I was at full health.

If the point of this system is realism, then three arrows in someone's shoulder should permanently ruin the shoulder and probably kill them.

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 03:54 PM
The guy playing the cleric won't like that. Especially if (as is likely) everyone is getting hit, and he's blowing through healing spells like water because he needs to heal every single time someone gets hit.

Looking back, I didn't realize quite how bad the math was. I'd honestly go down to something like:

25% damage- fatigued
50% damaged- exhausted
75% damage- dazed

25% fatigue is really bad for PCs, actually. And 50% is worse. Characters cannot rage or charge when they are fatigued, and a -2 penalty to Strength and Dex is going to affect a melee character MUCH more than a giant or a dragon or even a treant. But at that 50% mark, a -6 penalty to Strength and Dex would basically shut the character down, while barely scratching the surface of a titan or a dragon.

See the problem with no scaling? PCs will always have problems with small penalties, but powerful monsters won't.


Edit:

If the point of this system is realism, then three arrows in someone's shoulder should permanently ruin the shoulder and probably kill them.

Yes, but that's the real trick, finding a balance between "I'm not dead yet" and "I'm a level one commoner". D&D is a game of heroes, so the ability to take damage from monsters is important, but it also makes no differential between a tiger who has just woken up from a nap and a tiger who just got hit by a fireball or having its skull smashed in by a morningstar.

Ziegander
2011-10-10, 03:55 PM
Looking back, I didn't realize quite how bad the math was. I'd honestly go down to something like:

25% damage- fatigued
50% damaged- exhausted
75% damage- dazed

Good god, no. Dazed. What, permanently? Great, now I'm at 25 out of 100 health and I just can't act. I might as well be dead.

The reason I say that there's no way I can imagine a system like this working in D&D is because the players get into 4 encounters per day. the monsters get into 1 encounter in their lifetime. This is what is called, in the biz, a Death Spiral mechanic, because it means that the more you are damaged, the more likely you are to die. Players are dealt literally thousands more damage than any monster or NPC in any game ever. The game is already inherent balanced against the PCs, a mechanic like this just escalates their demise. In the short term, a 1 encounter vacuum, yes, it can be used against team monster; however, even by the end of the 1st day this mechanic will be showing how much it penalizes the players.

gkathellar
2011-10-10, 03:56 PM
The higher a creature's hit points, the higher their HD, and that means the higher their BAB is. The penalties are intended to scale with BAB, not with hit points, so that a creature who has 20 BAB suffers a penalty to hit that is as significant as a creature with 4 BAB.

What? Penalties don't need to scale with BAB in d20 systems, a 15% penalty is just as relevant at level 16 as it was at level 4. True, higher-level characters have more potential. sources of AB, but it doesn't seem like this system should be designed to follow that.

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 04:00 PM
What? Penalties don't need to scale with BAB in d20 systems, a 15% penalty is just as relevant at level 16 as it was at level 4. True, higher-level characters have more potential. sources of AB, but it doesn't seem like this system should be designed to follow that.

That's not true at all. A -3 penalty to a character with 4 BAB is devastating, but a -3 penalty doesn't matter to a character with 20 BAB nearly as much. (Especially when the 4 BAB character had 18 Str and the 20 BAB character has 38 Str)

It's not a 15% penalty.

And then there are damage rolls to consider. If you do hit, a -3 penalty to damage doesn't matter at all. Meanwhile, a -8 penalty to damage can actually seriously change whether a creature is dealing 100 damage a round or 70 (depending on its number of attacks)

Ziegander
2011-10-10, 04:12 PM
D&D is a game of heroes, so the ability to take damage from monsters is important, but it also makes no differential between a tiger who has just woken up from a nap and a tiger who just got hit by a fireball or having its skull smashed in by a morningstar.

Let me ask you something: In real life, if you hit a tiger with a fireball, do you think it's going to be any less effective at murdering you with its claws than it would have been if you hadn't?

Another couple of points:

1) D&D is indeed a game of heroes, so the ability to not be completely ****ed upon taking damage from monsters is important.

2) A tiger that has its skull smashed in by a morningstar is a dead tiger (or maybe hovering between life and death, Staggered, at 0 hp), not one that you successfully hit for 1d8+4 damage.

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 04:14 PM
Let me ask you something: In real life, if you hit a tiger with a fireball, do you think it's going to be any less effective at murdering you with its claws than it would have been if you hadn't?

Another couple of points:

1) D&D is indeed a game of heroes, so the ability to not be completely ****ed upon taking damage from monsters is important.

2) A tiger that has its skull smashed in by a morningstar is a dead tiger (or maybe hovering between life and death, Staggered, at 0 hp), not one that you successfully hit for 1d8+4 damage.

Alright, Zie. So then what's your suggestion for making damage a viable strategy, and making a barbarian or a fighter feel viable and not like a tank or an aggro who exists solely to soak damage while they wait for battlefield control and save-or-dies?

Edit: I'm sorry, that was rude. But please, offer some advice on how to fix this instead of just dismissing my entire premise every post.

Seerow
2011-10-10, 04:20 PM
Alright, Zie. So then what's your suggestion for making damage a viable strategy, and making a barbarian or a fighter feel viable and not like a tank or an aggro who exists solely to soak damage while they wait for battlefield control and save-or-dies?

Edit: I'm sorry, that was rude. But please, offer some advice on how to fix this instead of just dismissing my entire premise every post.

I like my solution: Using WP/VP, but instead of all damage going straight to WP on a crit, or when beating the DT, it just deals a point (maybe a few points for a crit or really damaging attack), of WP damage. Then give penalties for accumulating WP damage.

Your tanking characters will be the guys with really high DTs, because they can take a hit without getting seriously hurt. On the other hand, a lot of monsters, mooks, and squishies, will have lower DTs, so they're in more danger of taking real damage, and thus also taking the penalties and **** associated with that.

Ziegander
2011-10-10, 04:29 PM
But please, offer some advice on how to fix this instead of just dismissing my entire premise every post.

Well... that is my advice. You cannot make damage "count" without an entire overhaul of the game. So unless you want to do that you shouldn't try this. That's my advice. I'm not just dismissing your premise I'm giving you sound analysis on the nature of the game itself that shows why your premise doesn't work.

The "best" way I can see something like this working is to remove Con modifier from hp per level, have creatures sustain an Injury when reduced to 0 hp, have hp reset to full with 5 minutes of downtime or upon sustaining an Injury, and have creatures start dying after sustaining a number of Injuries equal to their Con modifier.

Then you can plug penalties into the number of Injuries sustained.

Cure spells would restore hp as normal and if a Cure spell would have excess healing it removes an Injury, sets hp to 0, and then heals the excess. The Regenerate spell would automatically remove all injuries.

Fast Healing and Regeneration would have to be dealt with. I'd say that Fast Healing never removes injuries, while Regeneration can remove them like Cure spells do (if the creature has any injuries and regenerates up to full hp, it resets to 0 hp, removes an injury, and regenerates any extra hp remaining).

I still don't like the way that works very well, because it's still death spiral-y, but the mechanics at least favor the PCs a lot more.

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 04:30 PM
I like my solution: Using WP/VP, but instead of all damage going straight to WP on a crit, or when beating the DT, it just deals a point (maybe a few points for a crit or really damaging attack), of WP damage. Then give penalties for accumulating WP damage.

Your tanking characters will be the guys with really high DTs, because they can take a hit without getting seriously hurt. On the other hand, a lot of monsters, mooks, and squishies, will have lower DTs, so they're in more danger of taking real damage, and thus also taking the penalties and **** associated with that.

That system involves recalculating every monster in the Monster Manual's hit points, as well as their VP and DT. It's a fine system, but I don't think many DMs will go for that much extra work.

Mulletmanalive
2011-10-10, 04:31 PM
I actually use < 50% = Fatigued, < 25% = Exhausted, <10% is staggered.

It works pretty well as a set of penalties and actually encouraged caution in my games. It also meant that, in my lower healing environment [no wands] that players were more likely to defend, prepare, wcoordinate with the healer and so on.

Whether this would work in a normal game is unknowable because i genuinely don't play what gets called "normal" D&D around here and never have, but it's seen some good play.

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 04:32 PM
Well... that is my advice. You cannot make damage "count" without an entire overhaul of the game. So unless you want to do that you shouldn't try this. That's my advice. I'm not just dismissing your premise I'm giving you sound analysis on the nature of the game itself that shows why your premise doesn't work.

The "best" way I can see something like this working is to remove Con modifier from hp per level, have creatures sustain an Injury when reduced to 0 hp, have hp reset to full with 5 minutes of downtime or upon sustaining an Injury, and have creatures start dying after sustaining a number of Injuries equal to their Con modifier.

Then you can plug penalties into the number of Injuries sustained.

Cure spells would restore hp as normal and if a Cure spell would have excess healing it removes an Injury, sets hp to 0, and then heals the excess. The Regenerate spell would automatically remove all injuries.

Fast Healing and Regeneration would have to be dealt with. I'd say that Fast Healing never removes injuries, while Regeneration can remove them like Cure spells do (if the creature has any injuries and regenerates up to full hp, it resets to 0 hp, removes an injury, and regenerates any extra hp remaining).

I still don't like the way that works very well, because it's still death spiral-y, but the mechanics at least favor the PCs a lot more.

That doesn't help anything. You're still only penalizing a creature who drops to 0 HP, which doesn't help the fighter or barbarian's attacks carry any weight. It doesn't help make melee any better at all.

You lower a creature's HP, and then when they take, say, 143 damage (the hit points of a Mature Adult black dragon, who is a CR 14), they get a single penalty. Then they go back up to full hit points and you have to fight them again with a single penalty. That doesn't representing "wearing a creature down" at all.

Ziegander
2011-10-10, 04:35 PM
That doesn't help anything.

Actually, it makes Cure spells a little more relevant and it makes the PCs a little more durable over the course of a campaign. Hell, it's even slightly more realistic than the normal hp model.


It doesn't help make melee any better at all.

And neither does your system.

Are you after realism or are you after making melee better? Or are you after some magic genie bottle that makes melee better strictly through the avenue of altering how hit point damage works?

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 04:41 PM
Actually, it makes Cure spells a little more relevant and it makes the PCs a little more durable over the course of a campaign. Hell, it's even slightly more realistic than the normal hp model.


See my above edited post.



And neither does your system.

Are you after realism or are you after making melee better? Or are you after some magic genie bottle that makes melee better strictly through the avenue of altering how hit point damage works?

I want a fighter to be able to weaken a creature with 500 hit points after his attack of 50 damage. I want there to be a purpose behind the fighter attacking a creature, other than hoping he survives long enough to kill the creature with 400 more hit points than him, when it deals around 40 more points of damage per round than him. I'm trying to narrow the margin between a melee character's attacks and a caster's save-or-sucks.

I'm trying to make it so that if a character hits a monster for 300 points of damage, he is rewarded for that high output, rather than the monster simply turning around and eating him, then the wizard getting his turn and petrifying it or turning it into a cat or simply killing it.

Ziegander
2011-10-10, 04:55 PM
See my above edited post.

I'm not saying my system is perfect. I wrote it in like 5 minutes or less. I said it was the best way I could imagine something like this working without radically overhauling all of D&D, and I still said it didn't work that well.


I want a fighter to be able to weaken a creature with 500 hit points after his attack of 50 damage. I want there to be a purpose behind the fighter attacking a creature, other than hoping he survives long enough to kill the creature with 400 more hit points than him, when it deals around 40 more points of damage per round than him.


I'm trying to make it so that if a character hits a monster for 300 points of damage, he is rewarded for that high output, rather than the monster simply turning around and eating him

And you're never, ever going to do those things by simply attaching penalties to melee creatures based on how much damage has been dealt to them. At least not without feeling very contrived.

If you add inherent benefits to dealing hit point damage, aside from reducing the total number closer to 0, the melee monsters will benefit more than the players every single time. There's just no way around that without significant rewriting a rebalancing. If a melee PC of X level always had a better attack bonus and dealt more damage with his attacks than CR X monsters, then something like this would "help melee be more effective" even if it would still death spiral against the PCs in the long run. I don't think you're interested in going down that avenue, and even if you were it would only heap more trouble on the players than it's worth.

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 05:07 PM
And you're never, ever going to do those things by simply attaching penalties to melee creatures based on how much damage has been dealt to them. At least not without feeling very contrived.

If you add inherent benefits to dealing hit point damage, aside from reducing the total number closer to 0, the melee monsters will benefit more than the players every single time. There's just no way around that without significant rewriting a rebalancing. If a melee PC of X level always had a better attack bonus and dealt more damage with his attacks than CR X monsters, then something like this would "help melee be more effective" even if it would still death spiral against the PCs in the long run. I don't think you're interested in going down that avenue, and even if you were it would only heap more trouble on the players than it's worth.

I'm not saying that melee won't have a harder time playing, but I think it would be more rewarding and more fun than the current system. I mean, I'd rather fight to inflict penalties and require healing than sit there plinking with a sword and get ripped to shreds.

Melee is boring. It's basically pointless. It's really hard for you to see an advantage post level 9 over playing, say, a caster or a Tome of Battle warrior. Unless you absolutely optimize your damage, and there are so many obstacles to that (Damage Reduction, Regeneration, Flying, Incorporeal, Fast Healing and even really high AC) you won't get to see much use out of your attacks other than the killing blow, if you get to land it.

Combine that with how few skill points a fighter gets and how few out-of-combat options they have, and you're just stuck with a really boring, unsatisfying character.

Besides, with my updated system, a barbarian with 212 hit points would need to take 53 hit points of damage before he took a single -3 penalty. Meanwhile, a titan would take a -4 penalty to his attack and damage rolls after only 92 damage.

Kenneth
2011-10-10, 05:33 PM
I think the big picture you are missing here is a HUGE one.

PCs face several encounters a day, and hundreds or perhaps thousands in theri life times form levels 1-20.

while the monster's they go up against only ever face 1 encounter in thier entire lifespans.


while I agree with you base premise the whole point of 212 Hp im alive and fully functioning 103 HP im alive and fully functioning 30 hp im alive and fully functioning 1 HP im alive and fully fucntioning 0 hp oo im unconcious.
has never really made mush sense. but then again there are no rule to weilding a huge greatsword in a 5 fot corrider or the simple fact of silly D&D physics which would make such a weapon weigh. I think around 3 tons or so if my off the top of my head math is correct.

all in all, i have to say that HP as abracst while maybe somehwta flawed just seems to work the best.

if for no other reason that the simple facts I point out at the very beginning of my post. any thing that puts a penalty on an action means the PCs are going to be suffering from it a whole lot more than any monster anybody everwhere can ever think of.


and then there is the even bigger disparaity of power you are creating between melee and casters. now when the fighter swings his sword, his only 1 real trick, he is going to suffer some HUGE penalties over the course of his adventurign career, while mr wizard man cna spam his ords of sound all day long and never suffer the same pentaly while in relaity twisting the very fabric of the time space, metaphysical contiuum I would think would put a MAJOR strain on one's phsyche as well as body..

Domriso
2011-10-10, 05:37 PM
I dunno. I kinda like the system. I prefer a system similar to Seerow's, with Wounds and Vitality, but I could see this working.

Also, kudos to staying calm through all the responding, Neo. You did way better than I would have.

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 05:39 PM
I think the big picture you are missing here is a HUGE one.

PCs face several encounters a day, and hundreds or perhaps thousands in theri life times form levels 1-20.

while the monster's they go up against only ever face 1 encounter in thier entire lifespans.


while I agree with you base premise the whole point of 212 Hp im alive and fully functioning 103 HP im alive and fully functioning 30 hp im alive and fully functioning 1 HP im alive and fully fucntioning 0 hp oo im unconcious.
has never really made mush sense. but then again there are no rule to weilding a huge greatsword in a 5 fot corrider or the simple fact of silly D&D physics which would make such a weapon weigh. I think around 3 tons or so if my off the top of my head math is correct.

all in all, i have to say that HP as abracst while maybe somehwta flawed just seems to work the best.

if for no other reason that the simple facts I point out at the very beginning of my post. any thing that puts a penalty on an action means the PCs are going to be suffering from it a whole lot more than any monster anybody everwhere can ever think of.


and then there is the even bigger disparaity of power you are creating between melee and casters. now when the fighter swings his sword, his only 1 real trick, he is going to suffer some HUGE penalties over the course of his adventurign career, while mr wizard man cna spam his ords of sound all day long and never suffer the same pentaly while in relaity twisting the very fabric of the time space, metaphysical contiuum I would think would put a MAJOR strain on one's phsyche as well as body..

Like I said, I, as a player, would rather face those penalties and know that my attacks were really making a difference than simply stand there and swing my sword without seeing anything really happen to the monster's ability to kill me.

I mean, a wizard can swing a sword. There are whole classes built around that. So why can a melee character not debuff his enemies?

Kenneth
2011-10-10, 06:03 PM
yes that is a semi point but you miss what I was trying to get across.


yeah the wizard can get into melee and blah blah hp loss blah pentalities just like a barbarian would..


but unlike a melee who sole role is to walk up and smakc things hard with pointy stick, and suffer crazy big penalties for doing so. the wizard or any caster at all suffers no penalties form casting their spell.

what I would want from this HP F***S over melee rule is for you to somehow come up with a spell casting variant that does the same for casters, that would only be fair.

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 06:58 PM
yes that is a semi point but you miss what I was trying to get across.


yeah the wizard can get into melee and blah blah hp loss blah pentalities just like a barbarian would..


but unlike a melee who sole role is to walk up and smakc things hard with pointy stick, and suffer crazy big penalties for doing so. the wizard or any caster at all suffers no penalties form casting their spell.

what I would want from this HP F***S over melee rule is for you to somehow come up with a spell casting variant that does the same for casters, that would only be fair.

Alright. I'm putting a rule in that casters suffer a penalty to the save DC of their spells, as well as their caster level.

Grod_The_Giant
2011-10-10, 07:58 PM
OK, thank you for explaining what you've been trying to do. It sounds like you understand some of the problems facing melee characters (namely, boring to play) and are seeking broad ways to fix that. For which I commend you. However, the consensus is pretty firm that this isn't the best way to do that.

Honestly, it looks like the best way of salvaging this is to apply the penalties ONLY to monsters. Sure, it's not consistent, but if your goal is to make melee 'matter' more, rather than just to make the HP system more realistic, it might work.

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 08:04 PM
OK, thank you for explaining what you've been trying to do. It sounds like you understand some of the problems facing melee characters (namely, boring to play) and are seeking broad ways to fix that. For which I commend you. However, the consensus is pretty firm that this isn't the best way to do that.

Honestly, it looks like the best way of salvaging this is to apply the penalties ONLY to monsters. Sure, it's not consistent, but if your goal is to make melee 'matter' more, rather than just to make the HP system more realistic, it might work.

Alright, well, done.

Siosilvar
2011-10-10, 08:43 PM
That's not true at all. A -3 penalty to a character with 4 BAB is devastating, but a -3 penalty doesn't matter to a character with 20 BAB nearly as much. (Especially when the 4 BAB character had 18 Str and the 20 BAB character has 38 Str)

It's not a 15% penalty.

I don't think this got responded to.

A -3 penalty is a -3 penalty no matter what your attack bonus started as.

Because of the way the d20 curve works, a -3 penalty matters just as much at +4 to hit as it does at +20 to hit, because the AC you're attacking scales as well.

If the +4 is attacking AC 14, then they'll need a 13 to hit with that -3 penalty. Likewise, the +20 is attacking AC 30 and will also need a 13 to hit with the same penalty. Either way, there's a 27% reduction in hits.

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 08:49 PM
I don't think this got responded to.

A -3 penalty is a -3 penalty no matter what your attack bonus started as.

Because of the way the d20 curve works, a -3 penalty matters just as much at +4 to hit as it does at +20 to hit, because the AC you're attacking scales as well.

If the +4 is attacking AC 14, then they'll need a 13 to hit with that -3 penalty. Likewise, the +20 is attacking AC 30 and will also need a 13 to hit with the same penalty. Either way, there's a 27% reduction in hits.

And as I pointed out to Yitzi, when dragons are getting +49 to hit, against an average AC of a character at level 20 being 40, it's irrelevant.

And since I made the penalty enemy-only, the penalty is supposed to be decently high. And there's no real problem with letting it scale, since the difference between a monster's ability to maul you and your ability to dodge it scale completely differently.

Yitzi
2011-10-10, 09:07 PM
There is no "decent chance of missing" when a creature with 1000 HP is not wounded. A great wyrm red dragon has 660 hit points. It has +49 to hit. The average AC of a 20th level character is 40. Optimized AC can be 45. There is no chance of missing, let alone a 'decent' chance of missing.

Why are you comparing a CR 26 monster to a level 20 character? A level 20 character should be compared to a CR 20 monster, e.g. an old red dragon (attack bonus of only 36, so even against AC 40 that's a somewhat small but ok chance of missing.)

Furthermore, how do you get that a level 20 character has an AC of 40? Unless he's just plain neglecting AC, or using a glass cannon build (e.g. shock trooper), he can easily get:
10 base
+13 from +5 mithral full plate (cost 35,500)
+3 DEX bonus (assuming he starts with 12, that's gloves of dexterity for only 16,000)
+5 natural armor (even if the MIC combination/slot rules for basic features aren't being used, it's at most 75,000)
+5 ring of deflection (50,000)
+7 from a +5 animated heavy shield (cost 49,000)
For a total of 43, at a cost of only roughly 225,000, or a bit over a third of his WBL.
And that's nowhere near optimized. Optimized would mean actually putting something other than cash into it, such as taking combat expertise, or using a defending weapon (this is neglecting the possibility of 2WF defending cheese), or a duelist/monk with high INT, WIS, and DEX (all of which add to AC) and fighting defensively (which by level 10 duelist gives +13 melee AC for only -4 attack)...and I'm sure there are more options in non-core.

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 09:30 PM
Why are you comparing a CR 26 monster to a level 20 character? A level 20 character should be compared to a CR 20 monster, e.g. an old red dragon (attack bonus of only 36, so even against AC 40 that's a somewhat small but ok chance of missing.)

Furthermore, how do you get that a level 20 character has an AC of 40? Unless he's just plain neglecting AC, or using a glass cannon build (e.g. shock trooper), he can easily get:
10 base
+13 from +5 mithral full plate (cost 35,500)
+3 DEX bonus (assuming he starts with 12, that's gloves of dexterity for only 16,000)
+5 natural armor (even if the MIC combination/slot rules for basic features aren't being used, it's at most 75,000)
+5 ring of deflection (50,000)
+7 from a +5 animated heavy shield (cost 49,000)
For a total of 43, at a cost of only roughly 225,000, or a bit over a third of his WBL.
And that's nowhere near optimized. Optimized would mean actually putting something other than cash into it, such as taking combat expertise, or using a defending weapon (this is neglecting the possibility of 2WF defending cheese), or a duelist/monk with high INT, WIS, and DEX (all of which add to AC) and fighting defensively (which by level 10 duelist gives +13 melee AC for only -4 attack)...and I'm sure there are more options in non-core.

That's assuming that the character in question is proficient with medium armor and heavy shields, and can wear them both without losing class features. (IE, not a rogue, not a ranger, not an arcane caster, not a druid, not a monk)

In other words your set-up only applies if the character in question (using the Core-only builds you love so much) is a fighter, barbarian, paladin or cleric. That's four, out of the 11 base classes. Not "average" at all.

And I was working under the assumption that most characters would be wearing light armor (since that is the average of proficiencies in Core, and most closely reflects the bonus that arcane casters and monks can get with their AC boosts), so I ended up with 40.

(+10 +5 mithral breastplate
+3 Dex (assuming average Dex here, no items because putting an item slot towards buffing Dex assumes you have the room for it in your build)
+5 natural armor
+5 Ring of Deflection)

So I actually ended up with 33 without anything else, then I threw in the +7 from the animated steel shield because rangers and rogues can wield them for a total of 40.

Now, that adult red dragon does have a final attack bonus of +36, that's true. But it also has 13th level sorcerer casting, which will allow it to use transformation on itself, among other things, which can easily round out to a +40 or so to hit if it uses multiple spells to influence its attack power.

Siosilvar
2011-10-10, 10:12 PM
1) Why is your light-armored character without pumped Dex taking attacks? Monks can add Wisdom bonus as well (probably another +3-4), Druids can get hefty NA bonuses, Wizards and Sorcerers ought to not get hit at all through a variety of methods, Bards and Rogues will have better Dex if they're going to melee, and Rangers... rangers are out of luck, unless they pick up a Defending weapon or two.

2) Attack bonuses at CR 20: Black dragon +34, Brass Dragon +31, Bronze Dragon +30, Copper Dragon +29, Balor +31, Red Dragon +36, Silver Dragon +28, Pit Fiend +30, Tarrasque +57.

...I had an argument going somewhere with this, but I forgot what it was. I got distracted by noticing you changed the penalty increments from 1/10 HP to 1/4, which I think cans most of the arguments I was going to make.

YouLostMe
2011-10-10, 10:23 PM
If the goal of this is to make people really watch their health, then you need a system other than D&D. This isn't supportable without making non-melee types WAY stronger. If the goal of this is to (as you said somewhere in this thread) have fighters that inflict statuses on their opponents instead of just HP damage, get away from core and play Tome of Battle. This option really isn't viable with an overall fix.

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 10:38 PM
If the goal of this is to make people really watch their health, then you need a system other than D&D. This isn't supportable without making non-melee types WAY stronger. If the goal of this is to (as you said somewhere in this thread) have fighters that inflict statuses on their opponents instead of just HP damage, get away from core and play Tome of Battle. This option really isn't viable with an overall fix.

It's not going to make people watch their health. I just made it enemy-only. And yes, I could play Tome of Battle, but not every DM allows that. And besides, that's only an option for me. The real, true, core idea behind all of this was to make it so when a group of characters attacked an appropriate or slightly higher CR creature for their group, they could use team tactics to weaken it and wear it down without needing to rely on magic. (In other words, damage becoming an actually effective strategy without being powerful enough to one-shot creatures)

Take for example, a party that has a fighter, a rogue, a ranger, and a cleric.

The fighter attacks and tanks, the ranger snipes, the rogue backstabs and the cleric is either healing or buffing. (IIRC, clerics get some battlefield control outside of Domain choice, but not much, and battlefield control isn't really that helpful against a single enemy)

So in this situation, the only thing your side is doing is damage, and not exactly optimized damage. If you want to kill the creature before it kills one of you, you have to be able to wound it somehow. Besides, it kind of doesn't feel as dramatic or tense if you're just going "I stab the dragon" and it keeps attacking you just as strong as it was when you started until "I hit for 20" "The dragon dies".

Additionally, this system might allow characters to realize when the monsters they're fighting are getting weaker without requiring a Heal check, just because their ability to dish out damage and hit successfully is dropping.


...I had an argument going somewhere with this, but I forgot what it was. I got distracted by noticing you changed the penalty increments from 1/10 HP to 1/4, which I think cans most of the arguments I was going to make.

It's okay. I know I have a tendency to be a bit hardheaded and unreasonable, but when I ask for PEACH, I really do want PEACH. Everyone was right, the 10 separate, stacking penalties came both too early to be realistic and ended up being too powerful. So I figure 1/4 would be much better, but still noticeable, as I kept the scaling HD part.

YouLostMe
2011-10-10, 11:14 PM
Well if HP-grinding isn't interesting, I'd go as far as to say that this idea, while possibly appealing to some people from the outset, would just become HP-grinding after a while. But it would be HP grinding that got easier over time, since you'd hurt them more often and hurt them worse. HP-grinding where the HP goes faster because you're using power attack, basically.

It doesn't actually solve the boringness of combat for those spam-attack types, because the boringness of combat for those guys arises from a lack of viable options, not from the fact that HP damage isn't complex enough.

NeoSeraphi
2011-10-10, 11:16 PM
Well if HP-grinding isn't interesting, I'd go as far as to say that this idea, while possibly appealing to some people from the outset, would just become HP-grinding after a while. But it would be HP grinding that got easier over time, since you'd hurt them more often and hurt them worse. HP-grinding where the HP goes faster because you're using power attack, basically.

It doesn't actually solve the boringness of combat for those spam-attack types, because the boringness of combat for those guys arises from a lack of viable options, not from the fact that HP damage isn't complex enough.

I understand that, but this is just an overall fix that would apply to the whole party. I personally would probably just stick to trying to get Tome of Battle approved for more interesting options, but if a player in my group was happy playing a general fighter or perhaps a melee bard, this would give him just a little something extra. (Actually, for some strange reason, most of my friends love bards. I think it's because we all like the implied (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce9J-J30B3o) epicness (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5JMuURuLMc&feature=related))

FireJustice
2011-10-10, 11:25 PM
one point everybody forgets is a Wizard can use "no-save spells" or save-partial damage spells or even save-or-die spells

a fighter can only attack one (its so easy to negate a full attack). If he fails its like he just lost his turn. If he does damage, he the monstes still like 100% of his power.

Byzantine
2011-10-10, 11:51 PM
Before I dive head first into this can of worms, I would like to point out that HP, it's functions, and it's ability to apply to anything has been debated since pretty much the system was invented. It's not perfect, it just is.

That said, it's hard to impose an in-combat penalty too much. You are fighting: The adrenaline is pumping, you're focused on your target and on not getting hit. Fighting, as a character, isn't necessarily fun. That said, there isn't a whole lot you can do to make it more interesting for the player. Instead, I describe what happened with a hit to help break the monotony of "You did 1d8+4 points of damage".

Suddenly, that 1d8+4 becomes disemboweling the poor snot that dared stand against you. (Low level example, mind you.)

The way I deal with hit points and negatives is different. First, I go on the assumption that HP is ~75% pain tolerance and hit redirection, and ~25% actual blood loss. If you take a certain percentage of damage-to-HP in a single hit, there's a chance that it actually causes an Injury of sorts. It could do any number of things, depending on how you were hit, and what by. After about 10% health remaining, you are fatigued from blood loss. 5%, and you start taking penalties to other things. (If you like my style, I'm happy to post some more data on it.)

No system is perfect. Yours might work for you, it might not. But it is, and always will be, a controversial subject.

That said, yours definitely has potential for a nitty-gritty campaign where every hit counts. It's not, however, good for your normal high-fantasy style game.

Ziegander
2011-10-11, 12:14 AM
From your comments in this thread Neo, I surmise that your primary motivations for this project are:

1) Fighters are boring.

2) Fighters are underpowered.

3) You aren't allowed to play Tome of Battle.

Really, making damage "count" or "more realistic" are far from the goal, right? Because now you're applying penalties for lost hit points to monsters only, which solves the issue of making the game even more lethal for the PCs than it already is, but utterly shatters the notion of making anything realistic.

There have got to be numerous better ways to make Fighters more interesting and more powerful, without resorting to Tome of Battle, and without resorting to a contrived monster death spiral mechanic.

Ashtagon
2011-10-11, 12:27 AM
More realistic solution:

Re-introduce the morale rules from 1e/becmi rules.

Under older rules systems, any creature reduced to 50% hp, and any group reduced to 50% of their numbers, had to make a morale check or flee/surrender. This is, incidentally, far more realistic than the current "fight to the death" model used.

Ziegander
2011-10-11, 12:41 AM
More realistic solution:

Re-introduce the morale rules from 1e/becmi rules.

Under older rules systems, any creature reduced to 50% hp, and any group reduced to 50% of their numbers, had to make a morale check or flee/surrender. This is, incidentally, far more realistic than the current "fight to the death" model used.

This works well for creatures fighting only as part of their survival instincts, but intellectually advanced creatures fight for many different and more complex reasons and will very often fight to the death if pressed to it.

Still, automatically causing mindless or animal-intellect monsters to flee after being reduced to a certain % of their HP is removed wouldn't be entirely amiss. The realism is there and mechanically it helps make the game less lethal to PCs.

YouLostMe
2011-10-11, 01:23 AM
Perhaps provide a one-turn penalty to actions for a character who takes a certain amount of damage. The penalty could be 1-4, depending on damage, and would only last 1 turn. That way one guy could be like "Oh **** getting ganked gotta retreat" and find a way to have monsters not stabify him for a turn, but wouldn't constantly be afraid of getting his face smashed in because of a lucky crit or somesuch.

Noctis Vigil
2011-10-11, 01:27 AM
I personally use the HP system from the Book of Experimental Might. Grace and HP. Basically, a fair bit of your HP actually represents your luck, swiftness, et cetera, and the rest is your actual health. This works well, and explains away why having 40% of your max HP means you're still up and kicking: the 60% lost was used up luck, not physical wounds.

I do agree that there will never be a perfect HP system, so DMs will have to hunt down the one that works best for them.

I do like your system, but I wouldn't personally use it (I GM strictly gestalt, and this would hurt far more than it would help in a gestalt game, I feel). For a single class game, though, this would be nice, although I would make the penalties larger for casters who take damage. Pain will be far more distracting to a caster than it will be to someone who is trying not to think and is fighting strictly on muscle memory.

Just my two cents. Hope it helps. :smallsmile:

Ashtagon
2011-10-11, 05:59 AM
This works well for creatures fighting only as part of their survival instincts, but intellectually advanced creatures fight for many different and more complex reasons and will very often fight to the death if pressed to it.

Still, automatically causing mindless or animal-intellect monsters to flee after being reduced to a certain % of their HP is removed wouldn't be entirely amiss. The realism is there and mechanically it helps make the game less lethal to PCs.

Even intelligent creatures have something that amounts to morale. Consider the discipline of modern UK troops against WW2 Italian soldiers.

And it wasn't "at 50% hp they will flee", it was "at 50% hp, roll to see what they do". This does, however, require the GM to roleplay monsters and such believably, instead of making them find to the death. A skill that many GMs lack.

Yitzi
2011-10-11, 12:55 PM
That's assuming that the character in question is proficient with medium armor and heavy shields, and can wear them both without losing class features. (IE, not a rogue, not a ranger, not an arcane caster, not a druid, not a monk)

None of those characters have any business being within melee range of a melee-focused enemy. Melee rogues and monks should be going after softer targets, and all the others are ranged.


In other words your set-up only applies if the character in question (using the Core-only builds you love so much) is a fighter, barbarian, paladin or cleric. That's four, out of the 11 base classes. Not "average" at all.

Until you weight for who's supposed to be going into melee. (And if the dragon tries to avoid the melee character and go after softer targets, that's what combat control and attacks of opportunity are for.)


and most closely reflects the bonus that arcane casters and monks can get with their AC boosts

Not at all; light armor is worth 9 or 10 AC, a monk gets 4 just from his class and another 5-6 or so from wisdom and then 8 from bracers of armor, while a wizard gets 4 from shield and 8 from the bracers.[/quote]


(+10 +5 mithral breastplate
+3 Dex (assuming average Dex here, no items because putting an item slot towards buffing Dex assumes you have the room for it in your build)

What sort of build doesn't have room for gloves of dexterity? And if not, he can at least get an ioun stone or customize a combined or off-slot item.


So I actually ended up with 33 without anything else, then I threw in the +7 from the animated steel shield because rangers and rogues can wield them for a total of 40.

Even anyone else except an arcane caster or monk can use an animated mithral buckler (ACP of 0 means proficiency doesn't matter).


But it also has 13th level sorcerer casting, which will allow it to use transformation on itself, among other things, which can easily round out to a +40 or so to hit if it uses multiple spells to influence its attack power.

Yes, if it goes gish (and has the prep time) it could pump things somewhat. That's what dispel magic is for.


1) Why is your light-armored character without pumped Dex taking attacks? Monks can add Wisdom bonus as well (probably another +3-4)

More like 5-6 by high levels (and that's assuming without tomes.)


and Rangers... rangers are out of luck, unless they pick up a Defending weapon or two.

Or fight in natural terrain and pump their Hide modifier, giving them total concealment within 60' and total invisibility outside (this is assuming they snipe, of course.)


one point everybody forgets is a Wizard can use "no-save spells" or save-partial damage spells or even save-or-die spells

Congratulations; you've just explained why wizards are broken. This is about fighters, though, and comparing them to a broken class doesn't actually prove anything about them except that they're not that broken.


a fighter can only attack one (its so easy to negate a full attack).

Really? How can you easily negate a full attack? (Note that anything that provokes an AoO doesn't count as "easily", as that means he gets 2 attacks rather than just one.)


There have got to be numerous better ways to make Fighters more interesting and more powerful, without resorting to Tome of Battle, and without resorting to a contrived monster death spiral mechanic.

I favor (and have on the pipeline) turning them into the "ok, we play by my rules now" physical-combat class. So when the fighter's against a high-DEX low damage build he gives up AC for DR, when he's against a high-STR low-DEX build the enemy has to use DEX for attack (but makes it as a touch attack), when he's against a heavily armored class and has trouble hitting at all he can make attacks as touch attacks (at a penalty to damage), etc.