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Gamer Girl
2012-09-11, 10:27 PM
Ran a game for a new group of girls last weekend, and several of them were shocked by some of my house rules. Rules I've used for years and my normal players think of as 'just normal'. But they are house rules. The other comment was how ''balanced'' my game was from off of the new players. I'm not a big fan of ''balance'' anyway, so I did not care so much about that.

In any case, here are my top ten ''balanced'' fixes to 3.5:

1.The Silver Standard: Drop the idea of gold as the normal coin of the world and make it silver. Keep all the prices in the rules the same, but whenever coins are found in treasure make them silver. So if your goblin bandits would have 20 gold, make that 20 silver.

2.Unknown DCs: Never tell a player a DC. Simply describe what the player can see, and let them decide ''how hard it is''. This works amazing well to stop Roll-Players.

3.Vague Knowledge: Never tell a player absolute undeniable truth with a knowledge check or other skill check. Far too many games treat a skill check as a know everything about the game check. They should always be in the form of a rumor or half remembered book page. Also add in rumors and out right mistakes. This adds so much more flavor and again helps stop the role-players.

4.No Game Terminology: No NPC should ever use Official Game Rule Terms. And as DM, you should use them lightly or not at all. When you say Gorm is a Ranger, then it's easy for players to file him away as they know exactly want a ranger can do and not do. But if the players are told that Gorm is a WildWalker, they have no idea what he can or can't do.

5.Magical Side Effects and Changes: All magic should have a price. This would need to be more of a whole post, but it's simple enough to just add back in all the 2E magic rules.
By School:

Abjuration: Most abjurations are visible as some sort of magical effect, and many are harmful to touch(inflicting a point or two of damage or a minor effect based o the spell). Any abjurations in contact or overlapping have a 50% chance, plus 1% per spell level, of giving off a Side Effect. Roll once at the time of casting, though the effect maybe delayed. A simple roll on a Wild Magic table can be used in a pinch.

Conjuration/Summoning: Use the 2E teleport rules. Drop the ''you summon a copy'' idea and simply summon a 'real' creature. Any summoning spell has a 50% chance, plus 1% per level of a creature from the same plane as the creature you summoned tagging along. Up to 1d4 creatures per spell level can tag along with the summoned creature and the caster has no control over them.

Unless otherwise specified in the spell description, any created matter is the most basic and average for that type of item.

Divination: It is dangerous to read the thoughts of any creature. The creatures thoughts may effect your own. Base 30% chance, plus 1% per HD of the creature. Your type also has an effect, a human reading an elf mind has a +25% added, a dragon mind +50%, and reading an Aligned Outsider's mind(A demon or deva, for example) has a +75%. Treat as the spell confusion for one round per HD of the creature mind read.

Enchantment/Charm: None

Evocation: None

Illusions: None

Necromancy: Tampering with the life force of a creature not of your type can be dangerous. Animal, humanoid, monstrous humanoid, giant, ooze, plant and vermin all have no danger. Aberration, magical beast and dragon have a base of 50% plus 1% per HD of an side effect. An elemental or outsider has a 75% plus 1% per HD of an side effect. This effect is equal to a poison spell.

Transmutation: Changing ones shape is harmful, use 2E system shock rules. Or a simple Fort Save of DC 15 or be stunned and confused for 1d4 rounds. Also while in another form the mentality of the form may take you over. The base chance is 50% +1% per HD. The effect is similar to charm monster, where the transformed person will act like the creature of the shape they have taken. Every turn the effected creature gets a will save to end the mental effect. If the spell duration expires the effect is also ended.



The idea is not to punish magic, just to make it more fun and intresting!




6.Gods Eyes: If you use divine power, then your god is watching everything you do and is especially watching when you use their divine power to take actions. A god will at least weekly send each worshiper a sign that your ''on the right path'' or not. And as your god is watching every spell, you must only use them as your god wishes. Should you use your gods divine magic against their will...something will happen.

7.A Ton of Things: Make the whole universe bigger then a postage stamp. Never, ever have ''just one'' way of doing any thing. For example, don't just have doppelgangers as the sole disguise monsters, always have at least three possibility to pick from. The same with spells, never ''only have'' the spell 'Fly', but have three spells that can let a person fly. And if there is not one, make it up.

8.Unique Race Things: Make tons of things that only one race can use, both magic and mundane. You can add in the ''other races use at like half what the race does'' though. This could be a whole post too.

9.Monstrous Monsters: Anything that is not alive in the normal sense should be dangerous to touch or interact with. This includes Fey, Ousiders and Undead. Stealing outsider hit points with a vamperic touch is a bad idea. And reading a demans mind is a worse idea. Again this would sure need to be a whole post. But the idea is not not make all the mosters ''just stats''.

10.Status Que: Don't even bother with the world that changes to 'challenge' the players, just make everything the way it is. The castle guards are 11th level fighters if the players are 1st or 5th or 10th level.


So most of my fixes are very simple, but they have a huge impact on the game. Granted the last couple take some work, but it's work well worth it.

Just to give fair waring though, my House Rules don't mix well with Optimizing Player types. Especially two and three. More then one Optimizing Player has walked out of my game for (quote) "Not being able to play the game!'' And we all know what that means, right wink wink....

scarmiglionne4
2012-09-11, 10:42 PM
I was already doing some of these things, but that last one will REALLY help what I am working on right now. Thanks!

Tanuki Tales
2012-09-11, 11:02 PM
Just to give fair waring though, my House Rules don't mix well with Optimizing Player types. Especially two and three. More then one Optimizing Player has walked out of my game for (quote) "Not being able to play the game!'' And we all know what that means, right wink wink....

Erm, this gives the connotation that you're confusing "Optimizer" with "Power Gamer" or even worse, "Munchkin". :smallconfused:

bobthe6th
2012-09-11, 11:04 PM
Ran a game for a new group of girls last weekend, and several of them were shocked by some of my house rules. Rules I've used for years and my normal players think of as 'just normal'. But they are house rules. The other comment was how ''balanced'' my game was from off of the new players. I'm not a big fan of ''balance'' anyway, so I did not care so much about that.


but balance makes table flips less likely...



1.The Silver Standard: Drop the idea of gold as the normal coin of the world and make it silver. Keep all the prices in the rules the same, but whenever coins are found in treasure make them silver. So if your goblin bandits would have 20 gold, make that 20 silver.


so is the base ten system still in place? like 20 silver=200 copper=2000 x?



2.Unknown DCs: Never tell a player a DC. Simply describe what the player can see, and let them decide ''how hard it is''. This works amazing well to stop Roll-Players.


seems good. Though I would suggest telling them for things they do all the time. like a sailor knows how hard it is to tie a knot, as they do it endlessly.



3.Vague Knowledge: Never tell a player absolute undeniable truth with a knowledge check or other skill check. Far too many games treat a skill check as a know everything about the game check. They should always be in the form of a rumor or half remembered book page. Also add in rumors and out right mistakes. This adds so much more flavor and again helps stop the role-players.
[quote]

again, seems good...

[quote]
4.No Game Terminology: No NPC should ever use Official Game Rule Terms. And as DM, you should use them lightly or not at all. When you say Gorm is a Ranger, then it's easy for players to file him away as they know exactly want a ranger can do and not do. But if the players are told that Gorm is a WildWalker, they have no idea what he can or can't do.


yeah... that makes me cringe every time I see it. "yes the evil wizard, who happens to be level 10..." the classes are supposed to be abstractions for a reason.



5.Magical Side Effects: All magic should have a price. This would need to be more of a whole post, but it's simple enough to just add back in all the 2E magic rules.


this... can be funky. this would need to buff non broken casters a bit. making a character suffer for using there main class ability... kinda sucks. If a fighter took some damage every time he swung his sword, he would not be happy. So casters need somthing else to do...



6.Gods Eyes: If you use divine power, then your god is watching everything you do and is especially watching when you use their divine power to take actions. A god will at least weekly send each worshiper a sign that your ''on the right path'' or not. And as your god is watching every spell, you must only use them as your god wishes. Should you use your gods divine magic against their will...something will happen.


solid. makes having a god a real part of the character.



7.A Ton of Things: Make the whole universe bigger then a postage stamp. Never, ever have ''just one'' way of doing any thing. For example, don't just have doppelgangers as the sole disguise monsters, always have at least three possibility to pick from. The same with spells, never ''only have'' the spell 'Fly', but have three spells that can let a person fly. And if there is not one, make it up.


seems... confusing, but if the players are up to dealing with variety.



8.Unique Race Things: Make tons of things that only one race can use, both magic and mundane. You can add in the ''other races use at like half what the race does'' though. This could be a whole post too.


could be solid... but sounds like races become classes. and what about a person raised in another races culture?



9.Monstrous Monsters: Anything that is not alive in the normal sense should be dangerous to touch or interact with. This includes Fey, Ousiders and Undead. Stealing outsider hit points with a vamperic touch is a bad idea. And reading a demans mind is a worse idea. Again this would sure need to be a whole post. But the idea is not not make all the mosters ''just stats''.


seems like the "monsters" would need to be scaled back and up. used less frequently, but more powerful when they are.



10.Status Que: Don't even bother with the world that changes to 'challenge' the players, just make everything the way it is. The castle guards are 11th level fighters if the players are 1st or 5th or 10th level.


solid.



So most of my fixes are very simple, but they have a huge impact on the game. Granted the last couple take some work, but it's work well worth it.


so simple:smallconfused:... most of these are a homebrew system to themselves.



Just to give fair waring though, my House Rules don't mix well with Optimizing Player types. Especially two and three. More then one Optimizing Player has walked out of my game for (quote) "Not being able to play the game!'' And we all know what that means, right wink wink....

well, we get used to having to play without a GM in our hypothetical games, and most GMs just play "by the book." they fail to notice that P&P games are very flexible, and should be customized to fit the group. you seem to enjoy actually playing a RPG, rather then the tactical combat system the straight game offers. Not saying either way is right, just saying that this method is not for everyone.

SiuiS
2012-09-11, 11:21 PM
Silver standard doesn't just change the name "gold piece" into "silver piece" bob the sixth. There is still hold. Basically, everything costs ten times more than you are used to. Instead of getting 100 gold peces treasure, you get 10 (100 silver). This applies to NPCs too, though, so the bad guys aren't rocking expensive magic items.

Also, these really are simple. They are, at their heart, about trusting the DM and that things will be internally consistent.

Noctis Vigil
2012-09-11, 11:30 PM
1.The Silver Standard: Drop the idea of gold as the normal coin of the world and make it silver. Keep all the prices in the rules the same, but whenever coins are found in treasure make them silver. So if your goblin bandits would have 20 gold, make that 20 silver.

So nice to know I'm not the only one who does this. Everyone at my table knows I use the following:

10 Pewter = 1 Copper
10 Copper = 1 Silver (the monetary standard)
10 Silver = 1 Gold
10 Gold = 1 Platinum
10 Platinum = 1 Aurum (with Aurum being an ore I invented; it's basically crystallized magic. All magic items above +3 require at least 50% the cost be paid in Aurum)


2.Unknown DCs: Never tell a player a DC. Simply describe what the player can see, and let them decide ''how hard it is''. This works amazing well to stop Roll-Players.

This is less of a fix and more of a "well, DUH", IMHO. If you're telling the players the DCs and ACs they need to hit, yer doin it rong.


3.Vague Knowledge: Never tell a player absolute undeniable truth with a knowledge check or other skill check. Far too many games treat a skill check as a know everything about the game check. They should always be in the form of a rumor or half remembered book page. Also add in rumors and out right mistakes. This adds so much more flavor and again helps stop the role-players.

This is pretty much the same as #3 with a different focus.


4.No Game Terminology: No NPC should ever use Official Game Rule Terms. And as DM, you should use them lightly or not at all. When you say Gorm is a Ranger, then it's easy for players to file him away as they know exactly want a ranger can do and not do. But if the players are told that Gorm is a WildWalker, they have no idea what he can or can't do.

This...I only agree with this to a degree. For example, I might not call a Favored Soul a Favored Soul, but Ranger is more of a job description. I'd have to give this a "sometimes".


5.Magical Side Effects: All magic should have a price. This would need to be more of a whole post, but it's simple enough to just add back in all the 2E magic rules.

This is another one that can only work sometimes. I tend to play very magic heavy games (on the level of having Cleric/Druid/Sorcerer gestalted together), so heavy penalties on magic just wouldn't work in most my games. YMMV here.


6.Gods Eyes: If you use divine power, then your god is watching everything you do and is especially watching when you use their divine power to take actions. A god will at least weekly send each worshiper a sign that your ''on the right path'' or not. And as your god is watching every spell, you must only use them as your god wishes. Should you use your gods divine magic against their will...something will happen.

Love this, however, I would say instead of the god contacting them every X days or such, make the contact frequency change. So a first level Cleric might hear from his god once a year, but a 15th level Cleric might hear from him every few days.


7.A Ton of Things: Make the whole universe bigger then a postage stamp. Never, ever have ''just one'' way of doing any thing. For example, don't just have doppelgangers as the sole disguise monsters, always have at least three possibility to pick from. The same with spells, never ''only have'' the spell 'Fly', but have three spells that can let a person fly. And if there is not one, make it up.

Hmm. Not sure about this one; YMMV again. While I do agree that it can be good, try and make those duplicates actually different. So maybe one flight spell that grants wings and one that grants magical flight. Does this make sense?


8.Unique Race Things: Make tons of things that only one race can use, both magic and mundane. You can add in the ''other races use at like half what the race does'' though. This could be a whole post too.

This is a pretty good idea, although it could get annoying to keep track of fast.


9.Monstrous Monsters: Anything that is not alive in the normal sense should be dangerous to touch or interact with. This includes Fey, Ousiders and Undead. Stealing outsider hit points with a vamperic touch is a bad idea. And reading a demans mind is a worse idea. Again this would sure need to be a whole post. But the idea is not not make all the mosters ''just stats''.

This...is another YMMV thing. I use lots of fey in my games (about half my PCs usually have enough fey blood to at least trace in their backstories), so all fey being dangerous doesn't work for me, but undead most certainly would.


10.Status Que: Don't even bother with the world that changes to 'challenge' the players, just make everything the way it is. The castle guards are 11th level fighters if the players are 1st or 5th or 10th level.

This is a good thought, and one I wish got used more. Just because the players are level 43 doesn't mean every town should be inhabited by 20th level NPCs.

All in all, lots of good ideas here. Thanks for sharing! :smallsmile:

Eldan
2012-09-12, 04:23 AM
No debate on numbers 2,3,4, 6,7,10. 6 I always thought was in the rules more or less anyway.

Now, for the rest.

1 I'm not sure about. While I think D&D hands out too many magic items by default, I'm not sure what this does for balance. It seems to me the weaker classes need items much more than the stronger ones, so this seems to increase the gap.

5 Magical side effects are good. But be sure to tell the players first that such a thing exists. Good games start with communcation first, and telling a player "Oh, and now that you cast that spell, your eyes fall out" unexpectedly when they thought they were safe sounds dickish. A caster in the game world would know the dangers ouf magic, and whether they exist or not much influences how liberal they are with applying it.

8. I like in theory, but not in practice. D&D's races are too damn similar anyway. I see little reason why elves would be able to learn combat techniques a dextrous human wouldn't be able to pick up. Very few things make sense as being race-unique.

9. See 5. Monstrous monsters are good. But your demon mind-reading is a thing to watch out with. Yes, the idea is interesting. But tell your players first that such things can happen. The rules are only guidelines, ofcourse, but here, they specifically spell out that detect thoughts and any other mind reading spell I know has no feedback. If you ignore the published rules in such a way, give your players a general heads up that you will be doing so. Just "Oh, I may add dangerous consequences to magic in many applications. Just be careful, especially when monsters are concerned." And give them ways to find out, first. If magic is millenia old, someone will
have experienced this before and written down at least a vague hint. Knowledge checks are good here. As with number 3: no details. Just hints. "Be ye awaire of thee bloode of demonnes, for inne their veines flows thee power of eville"


So, my general comment is this: if you change hte rules, tell the players you will do so. Not how, just that you will. I think anyone reasonable should be able to accept that, but just springing it on them leads to fallout.

Yora
2012-09-12, 04:26 AM
None of those are really D&D 3rd Edition specific. I think they apply to pretty much all games.

Morph Bark
2012-09-12, 04:53 AM
It's not that none of those are really D&D 3rd Edition specific. It's that these aren't fixes at all.

5, 6 and 8 are the only ones with a mechanical meaning to them. 2, 3 and 4 are all just extra hassle. 7 is a good thing, but possibly not in other game systems or in more limited DnD worlds. 1 seems like it has good intentions, but the way you worded your example makes it sound like players would only get 1/10th of their normal WBL - which isn't what you mean, but it sounds like it.

Milo v3
2012-09-12, 05:00 AM
1.The Silver Standard: Drop the idea of gold as the normal coin of the world and make it silver. Keep all the prices in the rules the same, but whenever coins are found in treasure make them silver. So if your goblin bandits would have 20 gold, make that 20 silver.
You realise that it actually states that silver is the common money in the world. Its only that gp is worth more so it is currency between adventures.

Also I don't see how that really helps balance. It reduces resources they are expected to have so they are less likely to successed against appropriate level enemies.


2.Unknown DCs: Never tell a player a DC. Simply describe what the player can see, and let them decide ''how hard it is''. This works amazing well to stop Roll-Players.
Where does it say that you have to tell the player the DC? I don't remember reading that rule.


5.Magical Side Effects: All magic should have a price. This would need to be more of a whole post, but it's simple enough to just add back in all the 2E magic rules.
In my experience that generally just annoys people for using thier class features. It is especially unfair towards sorcerer's who despite being weaker than wizards have more chance in suffering.


6.Gods Eyes: If you use divine power, then your god is watching everything you do and is especially watching when you use their divine power to take actions. A god will at least weekly send each worshiper a sign that your ''on the right path'' or not. And as your god is watching every spell, you must only use them as your god wishes. Should you use your gods divine magic against their will...something will happen.It seems rather farfetched that the lords of existance would watch over every single cleric regardless of level, including the thousands of level on clerics.

I'd only do this to the Clerics who are exceptinally powerful.


7.A Ton of Things: Make the whole universe bigger then a postage stamp. Never, ever have ''just one'' way of doing any thing. For example, don't just have doppelgangers as the sole disguise monsters, always have at least three possibility to pick from. The same with spells, never ''only have'' the spell 'Fly', but have three spells that can let a person fly. And if there is not one, make it up.
I'm pretty sure that already exists considering the wide scope of creatures and spells which overlap a lot.


9.Monstrous Monsters: Anything that is not alive in the normal sense should be dangerous to touch or interact with. This includes Fey, Ousiders and Undead. Stealing outsider hit points with a vamperic touch is a bad idea. And reading a demans mind is a worse idea. Again this would sure need to be a whole post. But the idea is not not make all the mosters ''just stats''.
That sounds fine, as long as the players are aware of this stuff.

elpollo
2012-09-12, 06:01 AM
1.The Silver Standard:

I don't see the point, since it doesn't change anything, but each to their own.



2.Unknown DCs:

Is it common for people to tell players the DC before they attempt a check? I thought only giving them an idea of the difficulty was common practice.



3.Vague Knowledge:

Where are you finding these games? Why are you trying to stop the Role-Players as well as the Roll-Players - isn't there anyone that you game with who you like?



4.No Game Terminology:

Again, very common, although if someone described a character as a WildWalker to me that would still scream Ranger.



5.Magical Side Effects:

You know, it really sounds like you might be happier with a system that isn't D&D 3.5.



6.Gods Eyes:

Oh good, the DM gets to decide when a character isn't doing what they should. How could that go wrong?



7.A Ton of Things:

If there's one way to make a world feel real and huge it's to clutter it with 3 versions of everything. This is just pointless busywork - it's fine to refluff things as different things (having different villages call dopplegangers different things, having different mages call spells different things), but if you're suggesting having 3 spells for each spell level that does more or less the exact same thing (which is the impression I'm getting - perhaps I'm misunderstanding) then that's bizarre.



8.Unique Race Things:

... why?



9.Monstrous Monsters:

So you're going to go through the spell list and arbitrarily choose half the spells on there that don't work on certain enemies? Will the players know this beforehand, or do they get the "fun" of being screwed over as they try it?



10.Status Que:

(Status quo?) Again, do people regularly not do this?



So most of my fixes are very simple, but they have a huge impact on the game.

Your simple fixes are things that I thought (both through interacting with local players and reading forums) to be commonplace. Your couple taking some work are fixes in the same way that "I should make the Monk better" is a Monk fix.



Just to give fair waring though, my House Rules don't mix well with Optimizing Player types. Especially two and three.

You are confusing "Optimising" for a bad word. None of the players that I know who like to optimise (and that is many, with most happy to tone it down when required) would have any problem with rules 2 or 3, because they in no way inhibit optimising - what they do do is remove some of the metagaming, which is a completely different kettle of fish (and starting to explain to me where this personal war of "roleplaying versus rollplaying" that you seem to constantly tout is coming from).



More then one Optimizing Player has walked out of my game for (quote) "Not being able to play the game!'' And we all know what that means, right wink wink....

Considering that in other threads you have outright stated that you will secretly make things more difficult for anyone past your personal optimisation threshold without warning, it presumably means that they made a character you didn't like and got tired of being targetted.

... or is that not what you were getting at?

gkathellar
2012-09-12, 06:36 AM
How is this homebrew? Most of these don't even count as house rules, since they present no actual rules, and no actual mechanics. As best I can tell:
Items 1 and 10 are general world-building theory with no real mechanical impact, not house rules of any sort.
Items 2, 3 and 4 are just questions of group dynamics, and also not really house rules because the books say very little on this subject.
Items 7 and 8 seem to suggest that you have actual rules and mechanics and homebrew sitting around for use with them, but it's not presented, so they can't be evaluated.
Likewise for items 5 and 9, although the lack of concrete material for those is ... worrying, since if you're making those up on the fly they fall squarely into "screw over your players" territory.
Item 6 is just a suggestion in favor of railroading.

If you have actual content to look at, here, I'd absolutely love to see it.


Your simple fixes are things that I thought (both through interacting with local players and reading forums) to be commonplace. Your couple taking some work are fixes in the same way that "I should make the Monk better" is a Monk fix.

This, basically.

prufock
2012-09-12, 06:59 AM
1.The Silver Standard: Drop the idea of gold as the normal coin of the world and make it silver. Keep all the prices in the rules the same, but whenever coins are found in treasure make them silver. So if your goblin bandits would have 20 gold, make that 20 silver.
Dislike. This hampers all characters (since they're getting 1/10 as much wealth), but hurts characters with little or no magic more than those with more magic. Wealth by level is already (supposed to be) a balancing factor to the game - facing CR 10 monsters at level 10, you're expected to have magic items for level 10 wealth. Less wealth means you are relatively weaker.


2.Unknown DCs: Never tell a player a DC. Simply describe what the player can see, and let them decide ''how hard it is''. This works amazing well to stop Roll-Players.
I don't always tell players the DC either, though it isn't a hard and fast rule, and after a few attempts they figure it out, with which I'm OK. Savvy players will know DCs for many many checks anyway. They know how a jump check works, so if you tell them how wide a gap is, they will know the DC.


3.Vague Knowledge: Never tell a player absolute undeniable truth with a knowledge check or other skill check. Far too many games treat a skill check as a know everything about the game check. They should always be in the form of a rumor or half remembered book page. Also add in rumors and out right mistakes. This adds so much more flavor and again helps stop the role-players.
Dislike. A character with a +20 modifier to Knowledge (architecture) should be sure of things having to do with architecture. Saying that you never give a clear piece of information is like saying a mathematician is not quite sure how to do long division.


4.No Game Terminology: No NPC should ever use Official Game Rule Terms. And as DM, you should use them lightly or not at all. When you say Gorm is a Ranger, then it's easy for players to file him away as they know exactly want a ranger can do and not do. But if the players are told that Gorm is a WildWalker, they have no idea what he can or can't do.
This is a matter of mechanics/fluff divide, and I personally agree with you on some fronts. Class names, in my games, aren't synonymous with class mechanics, especially among people who aren't versed in the terminology. IE a "ranger" is someone who protects certain land borders, but that doesn't mean the character has any levels in the Ranger class. A Wizard class may be referred to as a "wizard," "sorcerer," "warlock," "mage," "witch," or what have you interchangeably. A "bard" is someone who performs, not necessarily a Bard class.
Also, many mechanical terms have no meaning. IE "level" has no meaning when referring to character builds (because "build" likewise has no meaning). Characters have sets of skills and abilities, but may not refer to those in the same terminology as the mechanics.
But that doesn't mean they NEVER use game terminology. And some game terminology I adapt to make it possible to explain "in character" - ie magic weapons and armor have first, second, third, fourth, and fifth degree enhancements.


5.Magical Side Effects: All magic should have a price. This would need to be more of a whole post, but it's simple enough to just add back in all the 2E magic rules.
This strikes me as a setting-specific kind of rule. It isn't necessary, and isn't really a balancing factor, but it's good flavour sometimes. Dark Sun has this kind of rule. I don't use it in my standard setting.


6.Gods Eyes: If you use divine power, then your god is watching everything you do and is especially watching when you use their divine power to take actions. A god will at least weekly send each worshiper a sign that your ''on the right path'' or not. And as your god is watching every spell, you must only use them as your god wishes. Should you use your gods divine magic against their will...something will happen.
Again, more a setting-specific thing than balancing mechanical thing. What about divine powers that worship no god?


7.A Ton of Things: Make the whole universe bigger then a postage stamp. Never, ever have ''just one'' way of doing any thing. For example, don't just have doppelgangers as the sole disguise monsters, always have at least three possibility to pick from. The same with spells, never ''only have'' the spell 'Fly', but have three spells that can let a person fly. And if there is not one, make it up.
This already exists. There are multiple ways of doing anything. Settings use small-ish regions because designing a whole world is incredibly intensive. My campaign setting takes place on a planet around the same size as earth, but the campaigns usually take place within one of a handful of kingdoms.


8.Unique Race Things: Make tons of things that only one race can use, both magic and mundane. You can add in the ''other races use at like half what the race does'' though. This could be a whole post too.
Again more setting than mechanical. I don't see how it's supposed to improve balance. I don't see why it's necessary.


9.Monstrous Monsters: Anything that is not alive in the normal sense should be dangerous to touch or interact with. This includes Fey, Ousiders and Undead. Stealing outsider hit points with a vamperic touch is a bad idea. And reading a demans mind is a worse idea. Again this would sure need to be a whole post. But the idea is not not make all the mosters ''just stats''.
I prefer "monsters should be alien" to this. It is in fact dangerous to interact with most non-humanoid races (and even most humanoid races!), but not in the way you seem to do it. Reading a demon's mind might be scary, but it isn't going to have a mechanical effect unless the monster stats call for it. Stealing outsider hit points is no different than stealing hit points from any other creature. Monsters are dangerous to interact with because they have alien morals, cultures, thought processes, and so on.


10.Status Que: Don't even bother with the world that changes to 'challenge' the players, just make everything the way it is. The castle guards are 11th level fighters if the players are 1st or 5th or 10th level.
In some ways yes, in other ways no. Yes in that the town guard is not going to suddenly jump to level 20 when the players reach level 20. However it IS the DM's job to appropriately challenge characters. The town guard of Hamletville the tiny hamlet should be of lower level than the town guard of Metropolis the huge city. Higher level adventures should be taking place in Metropolis.

Axier
2012-09-12, 08:32 AM
1.The Silver Standard: Drop the idea of gold as the normal coin of the world and make it silver. Keep all the prices in the rules the same, but whenever coins are found in treasure make them silver. So if your goblin bandits would have 20 gold, make that 20 silver.
I agree with this. I have thought about having people find less money and more things that they "could" sell anyway. You can still maintain WBL and have most money found not as much while items, which are harder to take all of them with you, more interesting. It also puts importantce on people who can determine the price of items. Besides, in a low-op setting, you can just have less magic items floating around anyway, so people need less money in the end.


2.Unknown DCs: Never tell a player a DC. Simply describe what the player can see, and let them decide ''how hard it is''. This works amazing well to stop Roll-Players.
This is fairly normal in most campagins. Especially when you have to make an improv series of checks because the players have all moved into a completely stray area, and you didn't plan on it.


3.Vague Knowledge: Never tell a player absolute undeniable truth with a knowledge check or other skill check. Far too many games treat a skill check as a know everything about the game check. They should always be in the form of a rumor or half remembered book page. Also add in rumors and out right mistakes. This adds so much more flavor and again helps stop the role-players.
Normal-ish. Some people just definitly know something. It happens, but some things just cant be known, or it would be vague depending on the character.


4.No Game Terminology: No NPC should ever use Official Game Rule Terms. And as DM, you should use them lightly or not at all. When you say Gorm is a Ranger, then it's easy for players to file him away as they know exactly want a ranger can do and not do. But if the players are told that Gorm is a WildWalker, they have no idea what he can or can't do.
I have made rangers and bards out of the expert class, and a Samurai/Jedi out of a gestalt Shadowcaster 20//Fighter 2/ Factotum 8/Soulknife 10 (There is someone on this forum I need to thank for this build). Sometimes, a class' name just happens to be the name of a profession. Although, fighters are usually Soldiers, Guardsmen, or the like; Rogues are almost never called rogue, and Wizards tend to be named after their focused schools (as an Evocation specialist would tend to call themselves and Evoker), or a generalist term like Mystic, Mage, Magician, ect. It really just tends to happen as it comes.


5.Magical Side Effects: All magic should have a price. This would need to be more of a whole post, but it's simple enough to just add back in all the 2E magic rules.
This needs a whole post... Magic having downsides really depends on the setting, and how magic works. I have been working on a system where mana flows in tides and sometimes people have an arcane spell failure chance just because of the time of day, or even a chance of a spell drawing too much power during a really high tide. It would, however, be very setting specific.


6.Gods Eyes: If you use divine power, then your god is watching everything you do and is especially watching when you use their divine power to take actions. A god will at least weekly send each worshiper a sign that your ''on the right path'' or not. And as your god is watching every spell, you must only use them as your god wishes. Should you use your gods divine magic against their will...something will happen.
This really just works with god worshippers. I prefer a Karma system based on the caster's alignment. If they do to many things outside their norm, they begin getting Divine Spell Failure, untill they have taken a new "mantra" and realigned their powers toward their new methods.


7.A Ton of Things: Make the whole universe bigger then a postage stamp. Never, ever have ''just one'' way of doing any thing. For example, don't just have doppelgangers as the sole disguise monsters, always have at least three possibility to pick from. The same with spells, never ''only have'' the spell 'Fly', but have three spells that can let a person fly. And if there is not one, make it up.
This is easy, and can be done on the "fly" by simple refluffing, I like.


8.Unique Race Things: Make tons of things that only one race can use, both magic and mundane. You can add in the ''other races use at like half what the race does'' though. This could be a whole post too.
Im not a big fan of race specific much, just because this is why I don't like some MMOs. Races end up doing cleche' roles if this goes to far.


9.Monstrous Monsters: Anything that is not alive in the normal sense should be dangerous to touch or interact with. This includes Fey, Ousiders and Undead. Stealing outsider hit points with a vamperic touch is a bad idea. And reading a demans mind is a worse idea. Again this would sure need to be a whole post. But the idea is not not make all the mosters ''just stats''.
I like the idea, but it does need a bit of focus. I think stealing HP from fey would give you some kind of distracting tingling sensation (-1 to rolls or something) followed by a strong aversion to Cold Iron (extra damage from cold iron), and a strong urge to do things within the powerful alignment of the Fey you drew from (Im Lawful Evil, and now the blood I stole makes me want to do Chaotically Good things!). Undead would likely not have any HP to draw from in sense, or damage you instead. Outsiders would vary based on their origin and biology. This would be a case by case basis.


10.Status Queo: Don't even bother with the world that changes to 'challenge' the players, just make everything the way it is. The castle guards are 11th level fighters if the players are 1st or 5th or 10th level.
Yea, it really just makes sense, but some people might get a little better over time, like a specific guard you met might be stronger and have a higher rank now, or the blacksmith you bought horseshoes from when you needed a horse to haul your load and you didn't have bags of holding, might have a few extra levels of expert, where he has learned more of his trade.

Gamer Girl
2012-09-12, 08:33 AM
this... can be funky. this would need to buff non broken casters a bit. making a character suffer for using there main class ability... kinda sucks. If a fighter took some damage every time he swung his sword, he would not be happy. So casters need somthing else to do...

Check out my Edit to the first post. I'm not talking about the 1d100 damage every time you cast a spell like poor Rastilin.



8. I like in theory, but not in practice. D&D's races are too damn similar anyway. I see little reason why elves would be able to learn combat techniques a dextrous human wouldn't be able to pick up. Very few things make sense as being race-unique.

That is the point, the races should not be so similar. The mind of each race is unique. They are not all just ''humans in rubber masks'', they are different races.


You realise that it actually states that silver is the common money in the world. Its only that gp is worth more so it is currency between adventures.

Also I don't see how that really helps balance. It reduces resources they are expected to have so they are less likely to successed against appropriate level enemies.

Most games give out gold by the bucket full. Most PC never have a problem with shopping at all. Simply put, things are not expensive enough in the game. You could do a complex supply and demand system, but making things ten times more expensive is easy and simple.


Dislike. This hampers all characters (since they're getting 1/10 as much wealth), but hurts characters with little or no magic more than those with more magic. Wealth by level is already (supposed to be) a balancing factor to the game - facing CR 10 monsters at level 10, you're expected to have magic items for level 10 wealth. Less wealth means you are relatively weaker.

This is quite a huge boost to non casters actually. It very much cuts down on the spellcaster with a ton of custom magic items, as remember they now cost ten times as much to make. And non spellcasters often rely on loot magic items, not item creation. Everyone is is equal when they go to magic mart.



Dislike. A character with a +20 modifier to Knowledge (architecture) should be sure of things having to do with architecture. Saying that you never give a clear piece of information is like saying a mathematician is not quite sure how to do long division.

Except other then math and a couple other sciences, the world does not work that way. Very few people have encyclopedic recall of every single fact in the world. And even in our world, anyone short of a PHD how has not had years of intensive education on a single topic, has a head full of myths, legends, stories, old wives tales, rumors, falsehoods and outright lies.

Ashtagon
2012-09-12, 08:43 AM
Again, very common, although if someone described a character as a WildWalker to me that would still scream Ranger.


"wildwalker" looks like a game term to me. Suppose the character was described as wearing well-worn leather clothing with a seashell motif and carrying a longbow slung over his shoulder? If the word "wildwalker" came up, it'd only be because someone in-character called him one.


And for those who say these aren't house rules, here is the #1 house rule in my game group:

* If you aren't the host for the game, you're providing the refreshments.

Yitzi
2012-09-12, 08:59 AM
1.The Silver Standard: Drop the idea of gold as the normal coin of the world and make it silver. Keep all the prices in the rules the same, but whenever coins are found in treasure make them silver. So if your goblin bandits would have 20 gold, make that 20 silver.

This will cut WBL by a factor of 1-100 depending on level (1 corresponds to coins that were already silver, 10 to gold, 100 to platinum), with all the benefits and hazards thereof. It does, though, raise the question of why more valuable metals are never made into coinage, to be found in long-lost treasures.


2.Unknown DCs: Never tell a player a DC. Simply describe what the player can see, and let them decide ''how hard it is''. This works amazing well to stop Roll-Players.

This isn't even a house rule, it's probably the "default" (if not most common) DMing style..

3.Vague Knowledge: Never tell a player absolute undeniable truth with a knowledge check or other skill check. Far too many games treat a skill check as a know everything about the game check. They should always be in the form of a rumor or half remembered book page. Also add in rumors and out right mistakes. This adds so much more flavor and again helps stop the role-players.[/quote]

But they should have learned some things. If anything, this breaks it more than fixing it.

What you can do, though, is have the certainty be based on how far they were from the DC on either side. So perhaps failing by 1-4 is they know they don't know, succeeding by 0-5 or failing by 5-9 is a rumor or half-remembered, and succeeding or failing by more means they're certain.


4.No Game Terminology: No NPC should ever use Official Game Rule Terms. And as DM, you should use them lightly or not at all. When you say Gorm is a Ranger, then it's easy for players to file him away as they know exactly want a ranger can do and not do. But if the players are told that Gorm is a WildWalker, they have no idea what he can or can't do.

Better: Gorm describes himself as a Wildwalker, and it's a knowledge check to know that's another term for ranger (and a higher DC check to know which official or made-up-on-the-spot ACFs are included).


Abjuration: Most abjurations are visible as some sort of magical effect, and many are harmful to touch(inflicting a point or two of damage or a minor effect based o the spell). Any abjurations in contact or overlapping have a 50% chance, plus 1% per spell level, of giving off a Side Effect. Roll once at the time of casting, though the effect maybe delayed. A simple roll on a Wild Magic table can be used in a pinch.

Conjuration/Summoning: Use the 2E teleport rules. Drop the ''you summon a copy'' idea and simply summon a 'real' creature. Any summoning spell has a 50% chance, plus 1% per level of a creature from the same plane as the creature you summoned tagging along. Up to 1d4 creatures per spell level can tag along with the summoned creature and the caster has no control over them.

Unless otherwise specified in the spell description, any created matter is the most basic and average for that type of item.

Divination: It is dangerous to read the thoughts of any creature. The creatures thoughts may effect your own. Base 30% chance, plus 1% per HD of the creature. Your type also has an effect, a human reading an elf mind has a +25% added, a dragon mind +50%, and reading an Aligned Outsider's mind(A demon or deva, for example) has a +75%. Treat as the spell confusion for one round per HD of the creature mind read.

Enchantment/Charm: None

Evocation: None

Illusions: None

Necromancy: Tampering with the life force of a creature not of your type can be dangerous. Animal, humanoid, monstrous humanoid, giant, ooze, plant and vermin all have no danger. Aberration, magical beast and dragon have a base of 50% plus 1% per HD of an side effect. An elemental or outsider has a 75% plus 1% per HD of an side effect. This effect is equal to a poison spell.

Transmutation: Changing ones shape is harmful, use 2E system shock rules. Or a simple Fort Save of DC 15 or be stunned and confused for 1d4 rounds. Also while in another form the mentality of the form may take you over. The base chance is 50% +1% per HD. The effect is similar to charm monster, where the transformed person will act like the creature of the shape they have taken. Every turn the effected creature gets a will save to end the mental effect. If the spell duration expires the effect is also ended.

Makes sense.


The idea is not to punish magic, just to make it more fun and intresting!

Be warned; some players treat anything of the sort "you might not survive the encounter" as a punishment.


6.Gods Eyes: If you use divine power, then your god is watching everything you do and is especially watching when you use their divine power to take actions. A god will at least weekly send each worshiper a sign that your ''on the right path'' or not. And as your god is watching every spell, you must only use them as your god wishes. Should you use your gods divine magic against their will...something will happen.

Obviously. I'd go so far as to say that a god can at-will replace any divine spell cast by their cleric by any other spell of the same or lower level that they can grant, or nothing at all. (Or they can retarget it, etc.)


7.A Ton of Things: Make the whole universe bigger then a postage stamp. Never, ever have ''just one'' way of doing any thing. For example, don't just have doppelgangers as the sole disguise monsters, always have at least three possibility to pick from. The same with spells, never ''only have'' the spell 'Fly', but have three spells that can let a person fly. And if there is not one, make it up.

Seems a good idea, if quite work-intensive for the DM.


8.Unique Race Things: Make tons of things that only one race can use, both magic and mundane. You can add in the ''other races use at like half what the race does'' though. This could be a whole post too.

Bit work-intensive and makes for a lot of useless treasure. I'd keep such effects to artifacts made up by the DM for that particular campaign.


9.Monstrous Monsters: Anything that is not alive in the normal sense should be dangerous to touch or interact with. This includes Fey, Ousiders and Undead. Stealing outsider hit points with a vamperic touch is a bad idea. And reading a demans mind is a worse idea. Again this would sure need to be a whole post. But the idea is not not make all the mosters ''just stats''.

Difficult, but perhaps worthwhile.


10.Status Que: Don't even bother with the world that changes to 'challenge' the players, just make everything the way it is. The castle guards are 11th level fighters if the players are 1st or 5th or 10th level.

Definitely. Make opportunities for all levels (the higher the level, the larger the area in which an opportunity can exist), and let them decide if they want to go pestering dragons at level 1 or killing goblins at level 20.


Just to give fair waring though, my House Rules don't mix well with Optimizing Player types. Especially two and three. More then one Optimizing Player has walked out of my game for (quote) "Not being able to play the game!'' And we all know what that means, right wink wink....

:smallsmile: But seriously, 3 is too much; I think my idea will help more without making the game unplayable for non-optimizer roleplayer types.

Razanir
2012-09-12, 09:04 AM
1.The Silver Standard: Drop the idea of gold as the normal coin of the world and make it silver. Keep all the prices in the rules the same, but whenever coins are found in treasure make them silver. So if your goblin bandits would have 20 gold, make that 20 silver.

Like has been mentioned before, silver actually is the standard in the world. Although you do have a point about where non-dragon monsters get all that gold


2.Unknown DCs: Never tell a player a DC. Simply describe what the player can see, and let them decide ''how hard it is''. This works amazing well to stop Roll-Players.

Never tell them DCs or ACs anyway. For me, I'll have game terms be like laws of physics, so your character knows his own hp and AC and stuff, and high rolls on knowledge will score you enemy AC or stuff.


3.Vague Knowledge: Never tell a player absolute undeniable truth with a knowledge check or other skill check. Far too many games treat a skill check as a know everything about the game check. They should always be in the form of a rumor or half remembered book page. Also add in rumors and out right mistakes. This adds so much more flavor and again helps stop the role-players.

With the exception of the above in my world, I agree


4.No Game Terminology: No NPC should ever use Official Game Rule Terms. And as DM, you should use them lightly or not at all. When you say Gorm is a Ranger, then it's easy for players to file him away as they know exactly want a ranger can do and not do. But if the players are told that Gorm is a WildWalker, they have no idea what he can or can't do.

Classes at least should be fine. Maybe mix it up a bit with wizards and sorcerers, but most of the classes are just normal English. Namely, barbarian, bard, cleric, fighter, monk, paladin, ranger, rogue and sorcerer/wizard should be common terms.


5.Magical Side Effects and Changes: All magic should have a price. This would need to be more of a whole post, but it's simple enough to just add back in all the 2E magic rules.

Seems a bit complicated to introduce


6.Gods Eyes: If you use divine power, then your god is watching everything you do and is especially watching when you use their divine power to take actions. A god will at least weekly send each worshiper a sign that your ''on the right path'' or not. And as your god is watching every spell, you must only use them as your god wishes. Should you use your gods divine magic against their will...something will happen.

Intriguing idea


7.A Ton of Things: Make the whole universe bigger then a postage stamp. Never, ever have ''just one'' way of doing any thing. For example, don't just have doppelgangers as the sole disguise monsters, always have at least three possibility to pick from. The same with spells, never ''only have'' the spell 'Fly', but have three spells that can let a person fly. And if there is not one, make it up.

Doppelgangers I agree, but why have multiple 'Fly' spells if they don't taste different fluff-wise?


8.Unique Race Things: Make tons of things that only one race can use, both magic and mundane. You can add in the ''other races use at like half what the race does'' though. This could be a whole post too.

As above, that starts to turn them into classes. Also the whole point of what if you were adopted?


9.Monstrous Monsters: Anything that is not alive in the normal sense should be dangerous to touch or interact with. This includes Fey, Ousiders and Undead. Stealing outsider hit points with a vamperic touch is a bad idea. And reading a demans mind is a worse idea. Again this would sure need to be a whole post. But the idea is not not make all the mosters ''just stats''.

1) Monsters are already more than 'just stats'
2) Why Fey?


10.Status Que: Don't even bother with the world that changes to 'challenge' the players, just make everything the way it is. The castle guards are 11th level fighters if the players are 1st or 5th or 10th level.

PC classes yes, level 20 commoners no


10 Pewter = 1 Copper
10 Copper = 1 Silver (the monetary standard)
10 Silver = 1 Gold
10 Gold = 1 Platinum
10 Platinum = 1 Aurum (with Aurum being an ore I invented; it's basically crystallized magic. All magic items above +3 require at least 50% the cost be paid in Aurum)

Mind if I steal this?

prufock
2012-09-12, 09:21 AM
This is quite a huge boost to non casters actually. It very much cuts down on the spellcaster with a ton of custom magic items, as remember they now cost ten times as much to make. And non spellcasters often rely on loot magic items, not item creation. Everyone is is equal when they go to magic mart.
I can't speak for your experience, but I don't see how this is possible. Non-casters need magic items more than casters do, because they can't replicate those wonderful spells otherwise. Spellcasters can already do pretty much everything, the magic items just make them able to do them better. Without items, you make it much more difficult for non-casters to fly, get extra actions, get one-way concealment, see invisible creatures, improve their skills/abilities/defense/offense, travel, etc.

Casters do all these things through spells, putting non-casters at a relative disadvantage. This means either spellcasters in your game simply don't do these things, or the non-casters are even more reliant on the spellcasters than they were before.


Except other then math and a couple other sciences, the world does not work that way. Very few people have encyclopedic recall of every single fact in the world. And even in our world, anyone short of a PHD how has not had years of intensive education on a single topic, has a head full of myths, legends, stories, old wives tales, rumors, falsehoods and outright lies.
Yes, but this doesn't apply to PCs (who are "very few people"). A +20 modifier IS like having a PhD and years of experience studying a subject. You are able to answer "really tough questions" (DC 30) as a routine check.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2012-09-12, 09:23 AM
2.Unknown DCs: Never tell a player a DC. Simply describe what the player can see, and let them decide ''how hard it is''. This works amazing well to stop Roll-Players.

Agreed, provided you can provide the player in question with a rough estimate. An experienced climber knows roughly how hard a wall is to climb or not based on minor things that a DM would likely often gloss over (the difference between DC 30 and DC 35, for example), and a player should have at least some idea of the relative difficulty for them. Not the EXACT DC, perhaps, but at least an approximation.


That is the point, the races should not be so similar. The mind of each race is unique. They are not all just ''humans in rubber masks'', they are different races.

But the difference in races is entirely dependent on the campaign world, and can be dictated entirely by flavor. Take Eberron, for example: Elves in Eberron that aren't acclimated to humans (i.e. those in Aerenal) feel vastly different.

We also have a problem with the fact that, quite frankly, most player are simply not able to wrap their minds around a non-human mind. Further, racial differences and cultures vary drastically by campaign setting: what I want my Elves to be (physically and culturally) may not line up to what you envision, so this is an impractical fix unless you want every DM to homebrew their own races on a campaign-by-campaign basis.


This is quite a huge boost to non casters actually. It very much cuts down on the spellcaster with a ton of custom magic items, as remember they now cost ten times as much to make. And non spellcasters often rely on loot magic items, not item creation. Everyone is is equal when they go to magic mart.

Spellcasters are better able to deal with non-customized items, actually: non-casters often require specific items, especially those who, like fighters, have feats or abilities that rely on certain types of weapon or armor. Unless you want the crazy unrealism of every loot drop being tailored to the non-casters in the party, this does actually hurt non-casters more than casters.


3.Vague Knowledge: Never tell a player absolute undeniable truth with a knowledge check or other skill check. Far too many games treat a skill check as a know everything about the game check. They should always be in the form of a rumor or half remembered book page. Also add in rumors and out right mistakes. This adds so much more flavor and again helps stop the role-players.

Except other then math and a couple other sciences, the world does not work that way. Very few people have encyclopedic recall of every single fact in the world. And even in our world, anyone short of a PHD how has not had years of intensive education on a single topic, has a head full of myths, legends, stories, old wives tales, rumors, falsehoods and outright lies.

True. But if you ask me to code up a "Hello World" program, for example, I'll get it 100% right all the time without any uncertainty. Sometimes someone DOES know something outright. Ask many people here about the basics of the d20 system, for example, or ask someone about something they specialize in. People KNOW things. My Druid should know basic herbalism like the proverbial back of his hand. He should be able to confidently recognize common animals and so forth. That animal is a squirrel...it's not something I once heard someone say he THOUGHT was a squirrel.

It also makes Knowledge skills worth a LOT less. Sometimes they should give you easy answers, although not easy solutions to plot-important problems. Still, if I want to know the recipe for a potion to hold off Lycanthropy, it's a more interesting plot if I KNOW the recipe but it requires difficult-to-acquire materials then if I can't remember the formula or just get it wrong.



5.Magical Side Effects and Changes: All magic should have a price. This would need to be more of a whole post, but it's simple enough to just add back in all the 2E magic rules.

...why is this necessary? I understand magic is overpowered, but making every casting of it potentially painful isn't exactly a good idea. That takes an entire series of classes and basically makes them "either do incredibly well and end encounters, or end up weakening yourself with side effects." All-or-nothing isn't a good balance. All of the effects suggested are painful and/or annoying, and having them happen approximately randomly wouldn't make me feel at all good about playing a caster.



9.Monstrous Monsters: Anything that is not alive in the normal sense should be dangerous to touch or interact with. This includes Fey, Ousiders and Undead. Stealing outsider hit points with a vamperic touch is a bad idea. And reading a demans mind is a worse idea. Again this would sure need to be a whole post. But the idea is not not make all the mosters ''just stats''.

I'm not sure I approve. Many of these things just make it rather incomprehensible for players, as they'll have trouble understanding what a monster does, and end up annoyed when these things come back to bite them. Especially since Knowledge skills won't necessarily give you the right information to fight properly. Correct abilities can already make monsters scary...excess changes like this make monsters irritating and un-fun, and although it does make them more alien the first time, it just limits what you can do against them in subsequent encounters.

Gamer Girl
2012-09-12, 11:11 AM
Better: Gorm describes himself as a Wildwalker, and it's a knowledge check to know that's another term for ranger (and a higher DC check to know which official or made-up-on-the-spot ACFs are included).

If you re-name something, and then just let a player roll the ''absolute all knowing knowledge check, then it's pointless and your just adding an extra step. (Dm-''Gorm is a Greenwoodsman''. Player-"What!? That is not an official D&D word! *Slams dice down on table to roll knowledge check* "Dm I demand you tell me what Gorm is in official D&D words!' Dm-"Um, a ranger".)



But seriously, 3 is too much; I think my idea will help more without making the game unplayable for non-optimizer roleplayer types.

From 'playtesting' my method for years, I can say it mostly effects and hurts the optimizers(the ones who are doing that ''See'' thing, but I'm trying not to mention that). See the non-optimizer, also known as the role-player, can just, you know, role-play to find out the answer to any question they might have in the game. Only the optimizer needs the immediate ''know everything'' knowledge to well, you know ''See'' at the game...

The ''clueless Knowledge'' has caused more then one optimizer to leave my game.


Doppelgangers I agree, but why have multiple 'Fly' spells if they don't taste different fluff-wise?

Each spell is different, and just with the published spells you have more then one way to 'fly' other then just the Fly spell. The idea is that any single spellcaster could do something at least two or three ways and you can't know for sure the way they did it(and hence know the game rules about it).



Why Fey?

Fey are a different type for a reason, they are 'aliens'. They are not natural creatures like birds or humans. It gives Fey back a big part of their ''classic danger''. Fey should have that ''element of danger to them''. Like if you dance with the Fey you can never go home again type thing.


Casters do all these things through spells, putting non-casters at a relative disadvantage. This means either spellcasters in your game simply don't do these things, or the non-casters are even more reliant on the spellcasters than they were before.

It has the most impact on magic item creation. As everyone has the same coin at Magic Mart. It also works with the Vague Knowledge, Lots of Stuff, Monstrous Monsters and No Game Words. When you put them all together, the caster can't automatically know what spell to use for the best effect...they have to guess.

Also, if you run a game that lasts longer then ''15 minutes'' for the lame 3 or 4 balanced encounters a day, then that is a big blow to spellcasters.


But the difference in races is entirely dependent on the campaign world, and can be dictated entirely by flavor. Take Eberron, for example: Elves in Eberron that aren't acclimated to humans (i.e. those in Aerenal) feel vastly different.

This is not campaign specific? Each one is a different race! It's like comparing cats and dogs(or Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals).



Spellcasters are better able to deal with non-customized items, actually: non-casters often require specific items, especially those who, like fighters, have feats or abilities that rely on certain types of weapon or armor. Unless you want the crazy unrealism of every loot drop being tailored to the non-casters in the party, this does actually hurt non-casters more than casters.

Most loot magic items (should) be of the most common types that can be used by everyone. It makes more sense for a craftier(say working for a small kingdom) to make say a cloak of resistance that anyone can wear, then making a pearl of power. And magic weapons and armor are maybe the most common magic items. Every 7th level orc fighter has an axe +1 or such.



It also makes Knowledge skills worth a LOT less. Sometimes they should give you easy answers, although not easy solutions to plot-important problems. Still, if I want to know the recipe for a potion to hold off Lycanthropy, it's a more interesting plot if I KNOW the recipe but it requires difficult-to-acquire materials then if I can't remember the formula or just get it wrong.

The idea is to stop Roll Playing by the Optimizers and others that ''See'' things differently. This type of player needs to know exactly what they are facing in order to get the maximum optimization or ''See'' effect. They can't do the 100 points of fire damage unless they know the creature is vulnerable to fire. Otherwise they might waste a spell or ability.

It has very little effect on the Role-Players. For example, if they Knowledge Check a recipe they will get six ingredients(two that are not needed, but they won't know that at the time). Then over the course of the next hour of role-playing and NPC interaction they can narrow it down to the four real ingredients.



...why is this necessary? I understand magic is overpowered, but making every casting of it potentially painful isn't exactly a good idea. That takes an entire series of classes and basically makes them "either do incredibly well and end encounters, or end up weakening yourself with side effects." All-or-nothing isn't a good balance. All of the effects suggested are painful and/or annoying, and having them happen approximately randomly wouldn't make me feel at all good about playing a caster.

Mostly for flavor and fun. And again this one mostly effects optimizers and other players that ''see'' things differently. All most all Role-Players, for example, love the idea that polymorphing into a wolf might make you go ''wild'' for a bit. It's only the ''see'' type players that are doing some awesome mega trip wolf form based combo attack that whine and cry when their character ''goes wild'' and they can't do their trip and 100 points of damage.

This is the second one that most Optimizers and ''See'' players leave my game over.

Eldan
2012-09-12, 11:15 AM
We seem to have very different ideas on what is or is not "optimization" and "roleplay", then. Let's leave it at that. I'll kindly withdraw from this thread before I say something stupid and get another infraction.

jaybird
2012-09-12, 11:27 AM
3.Vague Knowledge: Never tell a player absolute undeniable truth with a knowledge check or other skill check. Far too many games treat a skill check as a know everything about the game check. They should always be in the form of a rumor or half remembered book page. Also add in rumors and out right mistakes. This adds so much more flavor and again helps stop the role-players.


What? No. No. No. That's the single dumbest thing I've read on these forums yet.

You know what? I just rolled Knowledge (Nature). I can tell you for-damn-certain that a green leafy plant uses photosynthesis to convert CO2 into carbohydrates. Knowledge (History): I am willing to bet an infinitely large sum of money that the Battle of Berlin was between the Red Army and Wehrmacht. Knowledge (Engineering): if you're looking to cut a pipeline or railroad track, you should probably use a linear shaped charge like so /\ with whatever you want to blow up at the base of the open triangle.

Dumbest idea ever.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2012-09-12, 11:37 AM
This is not campaign specific? Each one is a different race! It's like comparing cats and dogs(or Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals).

I have run games where elves are basically just woodland humans. I have run games where elves were fey-touched forest spirits. I have run campaigns where elves were mutants created by radiation and magic. I have run campaigns where elves were tribal barbarians. The idea that elves are faster and weaker (+2 Dex, -2 Con) worked for all of them. So what more would you give elves that would let all interpretations and cultures that can be applied to them viable?


Most loot magic items (should) be of the most common types that can be used by everyone. It makes more sense for a craftier(say working for a small kingdom) to make say a cloak of resistance that anyone can wear, then making a pearl of power. And magic weapons and armor are maybe the most common magic items. Every 7th level orc fighter has an axe +1 or such.

But if I'm a specialized fighter...can I be sure it's a +1 Scythe? or a +1 Greataxe? If not, this hurts me. Can I make sure that armor is something I can use, or something I want? I can't.


The idea is to stop Roll Playing by the Optimizers and others that ''See'' things differently. This type of player needs to know exactly what they are facing in order to get the maximum optimization or ''See'' effect. They can't do the 100 points of fire damage unless they know the creature is vulnerable to fire. Otherwise they might waste a spell or ability.

It has very little effect on the Role-Players. For example, if they Knowledge Check a recipe they will get six ingredients(two that are not needed, but they won't know that at the time). Then over the course of the next hour of role-playing and NPC interaction they can narrow it down to the four real ingredients.

As a Role-Player, I would be MORE annoyed that my Druid wouldn't know something that seems relatively simple than I would be pleased to see optimizers knowing to deal fire damage. Not knowing things my character SHOULD know destroyed immersion more than basically anything else in the game. If I'm a 20th level Druid with max ranks in Knowledge(Herbalism), then I *should* know this stuff off the top of my head. I'm basically the single greatest source of knowledge on the subject in the WORLD. If I don't know it, who does?

Yeah, it doesn't work for everything...maybe some otherworldly root taxes my knowledge, or I don't know the exact effects of powdered Yggdrasil root on the psychology of the Mindflayer...but I should be able to take a good guess, and basic and even ADVANCED herbalism should be second nature to me.


Mostly for flavor and fun. And again this one mostly effects optimizers and other players that ''see'' things differently. All most all Role-Players, for example, love the idea that polymorphing into a wolf might make you go ''wild'' for a bit. It's only the ''see'' type players that are doing some awesome mega trip wolf form based combo attack that whine and cry when their character ''goes wild'' and they can't do their trip and 100 points of damage.

The bolded part of this is blatantly untrue. As a Role-Player (as you term it), I'm okay with a downside of some sort...but not randomized. Take the Vampire: the Masquerade game. Humanity there is a great mechanic: you know what sets you off, you know how you can avoid it, and you have some control over when and where this chance emerges. If things DO go south...well, that's just part of the game, and it can happen to ANY character equally. I'm sure as hell going to complain when I can't use basic functionality of my character due to randomization that occurs when using my basic abilities.

This just makes me feel penalized for using magic. I don't WANT to lose control of my character to random chance when using a basic ability. That's NOT fun. Making your basic ability (magic, in this case) have the ability to ruin your day makes USING your basic ability seem like a hard choice. It shouldn't be. Using a character's standard abilities shouldn't have that much risk associated with it. SPECIAL abilities that give advantages and you want to make using them a choice? Sure. I'm all for that. But basic character functionality shouldn't be penalized. What does the caster have to fall back on if everything carries a heavy risk?


Addendum

Don't differentiate Roll-Players from Role-Players. Anyone playing D&D over another system is playing it because they like the game mechanics and exploring them fully: FATE, SotC, Wushu, the Window, Risus, PDQ, Fudge...those are systems for pure Role-Players. Simple mechanics that let the story flow seamlessly with DM adjudication and often with player input. D&D has always been a complex system, and that's intentional. The difference in D&D is between players and munchkins, who are those always out to get the most out of the system. The ones with the cheesy builds that mix and match to get the most out of everything all the time.

Many of these rules are actually hitting the mechanical fun many players find in the game. Although that can help prevent munchkins, I can't support it. Perhaps using a different, less rules-heavy system would better suit your games.

Lemmy
2012-09-12, 11:50 AM
1.The Silver Standard: Drop the idea of gold as the normal coin of the world and make it silver. Keep all the prices in the rules the same, but whenever coins are found in treasure make them silver. So if your goblin bandits would have 20 gold, make that 20 silver.

I'm confused. Do you want to simply change terminology (so silver is effectively what gold is now), (in which case, what's the point? fluff?) or do you want to make everything effectively cost 10x more, so magic items are rarer? (in which case, won't that make martial classes suffer a lot more than casters?)


2.Unknown DCs: Never tell a player a DC. Simply describe what the player can see, and let them decide ''how hard it is''. This works amazing well to stop Roll-Players.

This is something I do, and it's indeed a great thing. When one of my players ask something like "What's the DC to climb this wall?" I usually answer something like "I dunno. Your character, though, believes it's quite a difficult task, but that with some effort, a reasonably strong person could do it"


3.Vague Knowledge: Never tell a player absolute undeniable truth with a knowledge check or other skill check. Far too many games treat a skill check as a know everything about the game check. They should always be in the form of a rumor or half remembered book page. Also add in rumors and out right mistakes. This adds so much more flavor and again helps stop the role-players.

I like this, but I try not overdoing the vagueness, otherwise, I feel it can be unfair to players who invested in knowledge skills.


4.No Game Terminology: No NPC should ever use Official Game Rule Terms. And as DM, you should use them lightly or not at all. When you say Gorm is a Ranger, then it's easy for players to file him away as they know exactly want a ranger can do and not do. But if the players are told that Gorm is a WildWalker, they have no idea what he can or can't do.

This is something I try to do all the time, although I gotta admit it sometimes slips my mind.


5.Magical Side Effects and Changes: All magic should have a price. This would need to be more of a whole post, but it's simple enough to just add back in all the 2E magic rules.

That sounds cool, but I'm not sure how it could impact gameplay and it's a lot of things to remember and math to do, so I'll refrain from using it. Nice idea, though.



6.Gods Eyes: If you use divine power, then your god is watching everything you do and is especially watching when you use their divine power to take actions. A god will at least weekly send each worshiper a sign that your ''on the right path'' or not. And as your god is watching every spell, you must only use them as your god wishes. Should you use your gods divine magic against their will...something will happen.

I thought this was already assumed by the rules, with Clerics and Paladins losing their powers and all that jazz. Although all the time sounds a bit intrusive, I can hear the Paladin saying "C'mon, Pelor! I'm in the bathroom! I won't befriend demons because of a stomach ache!"


7.A Ton of Things: Make the whole universe bigger then a postage stamp. Never, ever have ''just one'' way of doing any thing. For example, don't just have doppelgangers as the sole disguise monsters, always have at least three possibility to pick from. The same with spells, never ''only have'' the spell 'Fly', but have three spells that can let a person fly. And if there is not one, make it up.

Another wonderful advice. I admit I usually forget to do this, but I'm trying to fix that.


8.Unique Race Things: Make tons of things that only one race can use, both magic and mundane. You can add in the ''other races use at like half what the race does'' though. This could be a whole post too.

This is something I'm not sure about, I can see things like "dwarves use item X or spell Y coomonly, whereas humans prefer item A and spell B", but making something race-specific can be a problem depending on how good said something is.


9.Monstrous Monsters: Anything that is not alive in the normal sense should be dangerous to touch or interact with. This includes Fey, Ousiders and Undead. Stealing outsider hit points with a vamperic touch is a bad idea. And reading a demans mind is a worse idea. Again this would sure need to be a whole post. But the idea is not not make all the mosters ''just stats''.

I like this, I'll try to add it to my games (and be sure to tell players about it before doing so). Not so much fey or outsiders, but demons at least, should not be safely Vampiric Touch'ed.


10.Status Que: Don't even bother with the world that changes to 'challenge' the players, just make everything the way it is. The castle guards are 11th level fighters if the players are 1st or 5th or 10th level.

Dunno, despite what people say, the story does revolve around the PCs, even if the world doesn't. You don't throw a CR 18 Dragon on a bunch of 4th-level creatures. But I do agree that specific/recurring NPCs can and should have an appropriate character sheet (even if it changes with time).

BTW, those are some pretty kick-ass castle guards! They must be being paid a lot!

Overall, these are some nice ideas. Thanks for sharing.

Saidoro
2012-09-12, 12:00 PM
As a Role-Player, I would be MORE annoyed that my Druid wouldn't know something that seems relatively simple than I would be pleased to see optimizers knowing to deal fire damage. Not knowing things my character SHOULD know destroyed immersion more than basically anything else in the game. If I'm a 20th level Druid with max ranks in Knowledge(Herbalism), then I *should* know this stuff off the top of my head. I'm basically the single greatest source of knowledge on the subject in the WORLD. If I don't know it, who does?
I don't have much to add to this thread which hasn't already been said, but I would like to point out that 2 skill points are enough to become fluent in a language. That first level druid with 4 ranks in knowledge(Nature) spent as much time and effort learning about plants as it would for me to learn German and French. Even at low levels people who have invested in knowledge skills should have a solid grasp of all the basics.

Gamer Girl
2012-09-12, 12:09 PM
What? No. No. No. That's the single dumbest thing I've read on these forums yet.

You know what? I just rolled Knowledge (Nature). I can tell you for-damn-certain that a green leafy plant uses photosynthesis to convert CO2 into carbohydrates. Knowledge (History): I am willing to bet an infinitely large sum of money that the Battle of Berlin was between the Red Army and Wehrmacht. Knowledge (Engineering): if you're looking to cut a pipeline or railroad track, you should probably use a linear shaped charge like so /\ with whatever you want to blow up at the base of the open triangle.

Dumbest idea ever.

Well, this is a perfect example:smallwink:

You rolled to know about sunlight and photosynthesis and that is fine and vague. But can you tell me the exact chemical photosynthesis process for any random plant?

Knowledge History gets you the cliff notes of the Battle of Berlin, but can you tell me what day the battle started? How long did it last? What day did the battle end? What German unit was located in the west part of the city?

Knowledge (Engineering) can let you tell you how to blow up a pipe or track, but is not gonna tell you the best spot to do 1000d10 damage.

Saidoro
2012-09-12, 12:16 PM
You rolled to know about sunlight and photosynthesis and that is fine and vague. But can you tell me the exact chemical photosynthesis process for any random plant?
Yes. Yes he probably can. The photosynthesis process is exactly the same in any green plant.


Knowledge (Engineering) can let you tell you how to blow up a pipe or track, but is not gonna tell you the best spot to do 1000d10 damage.
As an engineer I feel somewhat insulted by this statement. I'm not even an architectural engineer and I could still probably muddle the best spot out from base principles.

prufock
2012-09-12, 12:18 PM
It has the most impact on magic item creation. As everyone has the same coin at Magic Mart.
It means less items for everybody, which means monsters are going to be relatively tougher, which means the CR system gets skewed (though CR isn't perfect anyway).

The casters can still get their items at half the price of everyone else, it's just that everyone gets less of them. If the problem is in the item creation feats, a more balanced way to correct this would be either a) do away with item creation feats for PCs or b) make item creation feats cost more. Instead of 1/2 the cost, how about 3/4 or 9/10?

The XP component is there to lever the cost of creation, though few people seem to worry about xp costs on the forums. In practice, though, I find few players are willing to commit the time necessary to create many magic items, as story elements will be occurring around them, the other characters will be out earning more xp and cash while the crafter is burning his.


It also works with the Vague Knowledge, Lots of Stuff, Monstrous Monsters and No Game Words. When you put them all together, the caster can't automatically know what spell to use for the best effect...they have to guess.
Casters often don't need to worry about "what spell is best." They'll just find a few excellent ones to use. "When in doubt, cast X."

Telonius
2012-09-12, 12:31 PM
If you re-name something, and then just let a player roll the ''absolute all knowing knowledge check, then it's pointless and your just adding an extra step. (Dm-''Gorm is a Greenwoodsman''. Player-"What!? That is not an official D&D word! *Slams dice down on table to roll knowledge check* "Dm I demand you tell me what Gorm is in official D&D words!' Dm-"Um, a ranger".)

Honestly, it seems a bit pointless to me. If the occupation is something that's common in the world, the player should automatically know basically what it is. He might not know something specifically, but a word will give a general idea of what the person does. The average person isn't going to know what "Trained in tiger-style Shaolin" means specifically, but is going to have a general idea of what a "kung-fu guy" can do. (If he really wants to know the specifics, a Knowledge (Kung Fu) check will tell him if it's tiger style or northern praying mantis, if that's important).

The typical things that a "Ranger" does are common enough that everybody should just know it.

If it's not, or is a term specific to a new area, here's how I'd expect it to go the first time he hears it:

DM (playing NPC): Gorm here is a Greenwoodsman.
Player (Out of Character): What's a Greenwoodsman?
DM: Do you have ranks in Knowledge (Local)?
Player: Yeah.
DM: Okay, roll to see what you know about them.
Player: .... 4.
DM: You have no idea.
Player (in character): A ... Greenwoodsman. I'm afraid I'm not from around here, what's that?
DM (playing Gorm): Oh, we track things in the woods, hunt a bit, look after travelers.
Player (out of character): Ah, so probably has levels in Scout or Ranger or maybe Druid, something like that.

If the player is actually trying to get the NPC to tell him his full stat block and build, that's a separate issue. I have never encountered this sort of player. If I did, I'd handle it out of character - point out that people generally don't tell you their whole life story (complete with summary of their training) within 10 seconds of meeting them.

Gamer Girl
2012-09-12, 12:45 PM
I have run games where elves are basically just woodland humans. I have run games where elves were fey-touched forest spirits. I have run campaigns where elves were mutants created by radiation and magic. I have run campaigns where elves were tribal barbarians. The idea that elves are faster and weaker (+2 Dex, -2 Con) worked for all of them. So what more would you give elves that would let all interpretations and cultures that can be applied to them viable?

Well, your talking about homebrew there? We would stick the the Core elves.




But if I'm a specialized fighter...can I be sure it's a +1 Scythe? or a +1 Greataxe? If not, this hurts me. Can I make sure that armor is something I can use, or something I want? I can't.

True, but this is true for a fighter in a 'normal' game too. And just like a normal game fighter, he will likely have to have a special weapon made. Or find a really good Super Mega Magic Mart.




As a Role-Player, I would be MORE annoyed that my Druid wouldn't know something that seems relatively simple than I would be pleased to see optimizers knowing to deal fire damage. Not knowing things my character SHOULD know destroyed immersion more than basically anything else in the game. If I'm a 20th level Druid with max ranks in Knowledge(Herbalism), then I *should* know this stuff off the top of my head. I'm basically the single greatest source of knowledge on the subject in the WORLD. If I don't know it, who does?

That's kinda the point: know one knows for sure. That a druid that has spent his life being Druidzilla has a 'infinite doctorate' and knows everything about everything in nature is a bit odd. So while he was shapechanging into T-rex's and biting demons in half, he somehow attended collage at the same time.



but I should be able to take a good guess, and basic and even ADVANCED herbalism should be second nature to me.

But that is my whole point, you can make a good guess! But it's still a guess and it could still be wrong. Guesses can be wrong! The point is that you are not rolling one die and absolutely knowing the undeniable pure truth of the universe.




This just makes me feel penalized for using magic. I don't WANT to lose control of my character to random chance when using a basic ability. That's NOT fun. Making your basic ability (magic, in this case) have the ability to ruin your day makes USING your basic ability seem like a hard choice. It shouldn't be. Using a character's standard abilities shouldn't have that much risk associated with it. SPECIAL abilities that give advantages and you want to make using them a choice? Sure. I'm all for that. But basic character functionality shouldn't be penalized. What does the caster have to fall back on if everything carries a heavy risk?

Well, it's not for everyone. As I've said, plenty of people walk out of my games (even after reading the house rule booklet and signing a paper that says they read it).




Don't differentiate Roll-Players from Role-Players. Anyone playing D&D over another system is playing it because they like the game mechanics and exploring them fully:
Many of these rules are actually hitting the mechanical fun many players find in the game. Although that can help prevent munchkins, I can't support it. Perhaps using a different, less rules-heavy system would better suit your games.

It only effects the ''fun'' of the optimizers, roll players and other ''see'' type players. And the vast majority of them just play the game to try and ruin the game and the fun for all. But my House Rules nicely keep them out, and lets all the other players have fun.

Eldan
2012-09-12, 12:55 PM
You really do not know what the word "optimization" means, do you? I recommend a dictionary.

Gamer Girl
2012-09-12, 12:57 PM
DM (playing NPC): Gorm here is a Greenwoodsman.
Player (Out of Character): What's a Greenwoodsman?
DM: Do you have ranks in Knowledge (Local)?
Player: Yeah.
DM: Okay, roll to see what you know about them.
Player: .... 4.
DM: You have no idea.
Player (in character): A ... Greenwoodsman. I'm afraid I'm not from around here, what's that?
DM (playing Gorm): Oh, we track things in the woods, hunt a bit, look after travelers.
Player (out of character): Ah, so probably has levels in Scout or Ranger or maybe Druid, something like that.

If the player is actually trying to get the NPC to tell him his full stat block and build, that's a separate issue. I have never encountered this sort of player. If I did, I'd handle it out of character - point out that people generally don't tell you their whole life story (complete with summary of their training) within 10 seconds of meeting them.

Your example is perfect. See that is Role-Playing! As opposed to Roll-playing:

Roll-Player:''My character sees Creature #14 in Encounter #4 and rolls a Knowledge Check to know that it is a half-elf ranger.''

Note that the players have no idea what class Gorm is. He could be any or even none of the nature type classes. But no player can say ''Well we know Gorm is a Ranger and that he knows Woodland Stride and only has one first level spell so he must be 7th level.''

And the idea that everyone in the world, much less the mutiverse, would use the same words for everything is just silly and the easy way out.

Just in the USA, for example, you will find different names for the ''rounded cylinder shaped sandwich'' and that ''dark, fizzy carbonated drink'' depending on where you go. And that is just one country.

Yitzi
2012-09-12, 12:59 PM
Well, this is a perfect example:smallwink:

You rolled to know about sunlight and photosynthesis and that is fine and vague. But can you tell me the exact chemical photosynthesis process for any random plant?

Knowledge History gets you the cliff notes of the Battle of Berlin, but can you tell me what day the battle started? How long did it last? What day did the battle end? What German unit was located in the west part of the city?

Knowledge (Engineering) can let you tell you how to blow up a pipe or track, but is not gonna tell you the best spot to do 1000d10 damage.

You make two very important points here:

1. Just because you pass a knowledge check to know something with definite certainty doesn't mean you know everything. That is as it should be; the higher their knowledge check, the more they learn. But that doesn't mean they have to be unsure about even the easy stuff.

2. Knowledge won't let you find something that doesn't exist. If there's no spot that does 1000d10 damage, no Knowledge check will make there be such a spot (it's probably a pretty easy check to know that no such spot exists, though.)


That's kinda the point: know one knows for sure. That a druid that has spent his life being Druidzilla has a 'infinite doctorate' and knows everything about everything in nature is a bit odd. So while he was shapechanging into T-rex's and biting demons in half, he somehow attended collage at the same time.

He's a druid; naturally it makes sense for him to have put a lot of work into understanding the object of his veneration (i.e. nature). He won't know literally everything, but can be expected to know quite a bit (not as much as someone who is devoting everything to K:Nature, but the absence of any way to represent such an individual in the mechanics is a different problem.)

Now, the idea that he can do all that on top of combat prowess and working on his spells and everything else in the course of a "1 to 20 in a year" campaign is absurd...but the problem isn't with Knowledge, it's with the fast-paced advancement.


But that is my whole point, you can make a good guess! But it's still a guess and it could still be wrong. Guesses can be wrong! The point is that you are not rolling one die and absolutely knowing the undeniable pure truth of the universe.

Of course not. But you can make a guess such that you're absolutely certain of some things. (Of course, then it might turn out that the reason you were absolutely certain is that the question really wasn't a very-low DC one but rather a very-high DC one that you epically failed. Such is adventuring.)

Djinn_in_Tonic
2012-09-12, 01:42 PM
Well, your talking about homebrew there? We would stick the the Core elves.

Tribal elves was straight from Eberron. The advantage of the current system is that I *can* make all of those things from the Core elves. I didn't change a single part of the stat block. That was all flavor adjustments.

Adding more abilities to flesh out a certain "culture" removes my ability to really do this without extensive homebrew.


True, but this is true for a fighter in a 'normal' game too. And just like a normal game fighter, he will likely have to have a special weapon made. Or find a really good Super Mega Magic Mart.

A normal game fighter has more money to spend on that weapon. My point is that you're still punishing the classes who rely on magic items for a greater portion of their power. For a Fighter, magic items are a huge boon. For a Wizard, they're a nice extra.


That's kinda the point: know one knows for sure. That a druid that has spent his life being Druidzilla has a 'infinite doctorate' and knows everything about everything in nature is a bit odd. So while he was shapechanging into T-rex's and biting demons in half, he somehow attended collage at the same time.

...I know a lot of things for sure. I will be able to pass a Knowledge(basic C++ code) check 100% of the time. There are thing in history that I just know, period, end of story. Yeah, some things I may take an educated guess on, but even I (and I'd probably be level 1, like most of us) know a lot of basic information off the top of my head. A 20th level character has DOZENS of skill points on me...and you're saying that character SHOULDN'T be sure of things?

Do you want a 20th level Wizard to get multiple possible answers on a Knowledge(Arcana) check that isn't a high enough DC to really be a challenge? If he CAN...where did all that training and knowledge go? :smalleek:


But that is my whole point, you can make a good guess! But it's still a guess and it could still be wrong. Guesses can be wrong! The point is that you are not rolling one die and absolutely knowing the undeniable pure truth of the universe.

Guesses can be wrong. My point is that sometimes we don't have to guess. Sometimes the characters SHOULD have knowledge the players don't...and it's often reasonable for that knowledge to be things they know cold, and DON'T have to guess on.



Well, it's not for everyone. As I've said, plenty of people walk out of my games (even after reading the house rule booklet and signing a paper that says they read it).

Fair enough. I just don't think it helps the game at all, from either a mechanical standpoint or an RP standpoint.


It only effects the ''fun'' of the optimizers, roll players and other ''see'' type players. And the vast majority of them just play the game to try and ruin the game and the fun for all. But my House Rules nicely keep them out, and lets all the other players have fun.

...this is both a blanket statement and also untrue. I definitely fall on the Role-Play side of your spectrum, but with these rules in place I'd much rather just ditch D&D for a more free-form game. D&D was MADE for people who like a bit of "Roll-Play." That's why it's such a robust system with so many options and so much mechanical interaction. If you want to cut that from D&D, it's a LOT easier to pick a system MEANT for less mechanical rule implementation.

Seriously. I enjoy Roll-Play, prefer Role-Play, and have done extensive system design/critiquing. I know what I'm talking about when I say this: D&D isn't a good system for minimizing Roll-Play, because it's INTENTIONALLY DESIGNED TO CONTAIN REWARDS FOR SYSTEM MASTERY. I can find you the article where a designer discusses the Toughness feat existing as a sort of "trap" for inexperienced players, if you desire it.

I also think a lot of gamers will take offense to your binary distribution of player types...I know I do. Enjoying the game aspect as WELL as the RP aspect doesn't make one a burden to a game.

jaybird
2012-09-12, 02:16 PM
Well, this is a perfect example:smallwink:

You rolled to know about sunlight and photosynthesis and that is fine and vague. But can you tell me the exact chemical photosynthesis process for any random plant?

Knowledge History gets you the cliff notes of the Battle of Berlin, but can you tell me what day the battle started? How long did it last? What day did the battle end? What German unit was located in the west part of the city?

Knowledge (Engineering) can let you tell you how to blow up a pipe or track, but is not gonna tell you the best spot to do 1000d10 damage.

Um...yes, actually. It doesn't really prove anything if I do, considering this is the internet, but rest assured - photosynthesis is the EXACT SAME PROCESS for EVERY PLANT. I'll leave it to you to figure out why, because gosh, what do I know about biology? You're right about history though - I haven't taken a single course in it. I'm sure a History major could tell you more though...oh wait, all they know are rumours about history. They think an American president was assassinated, and maybe a man went to the Moon? How about engineering? Well, for someone who professes to hate "rollplay" so much, why do you care if it's 1000d10 damage? :smallwink:

For reference - I haven't even finished my undergrad. That's, what, 1 rank with +3 for Class Skill (or 4 ranks for 3.5), with a +1 or +2 for Int? Let's be conservative and call it +5. With a +5, I can teach a high school level class at least somewhat effectively. How certain were your high school teachers about facts? Mine were pretty damn certain.

Tl;dr, no self-respecting player who knows even a bit of the game mechanics would ever play in your games.

RFLS
2012-09-12, 02:30 PM
Ran a game for a new group of girls last weekend, and several of them were shocked by some of my house rules. Rules I've used for years and my normal players think of as 'just normal'. But they are house rules. The other comment was how ''balanced'' my game was from off of the new players. I'm not a big fan of ''balance'' anyway, so I did not care so much about that.

In any case, here are my top ten ''balanced'' fixes to 3.5:

1.The Silver Standard: Drop the idea of gold as the normal coin of the world and make it silver. Keep all the prices in the rules the same, but whenever coins are found in treasure make them silver. So if your goblin bandits would have 20 gold, make that 20 silver.

2.Unknown DCs: Never tell a player a DC. Simply describe what the player can see, and let them decide ''how hard it is''. This works amazing well to stop Roll-Players.

3.Vague Knowledge: Never tell a player absolute undeniable truth with a knowledge check or other skill check. Far too many games treat a skill check as a know everything about the game check. They should always be in the form of a rumor or half remembered book page. Also add in rumors and out right mistakes. This adds so much more flavor and again helps stop the role-players.

4.No Game Terminology: No NPC should ever use Official Game Rule Terms. And as DM, you should use them lightly or not at all. When you say Gorm is a Ranger, then it's easy for players to file him away as they know exactly want a ranger can do and not do. But if the players are told that Gorm is a WildWalker, they have no idea what he can or can't do.

5.Magical Side Effects and Changes: All magic should have a price. This would need to be more of a whole post, but it's simple enough to just add back in all the 2E magic rules.
By School:

Abjuration: Most abjurations are visible as some sort of magical effect, and many are harmful to touch(inflicting a point or two of damage or a minor effect based o the spell). Any abjurations in contact or overlapping have a 50% chance, plus 1% per spell level, of giving off a Side Effect. Roll once at the time of casting, though the effect maybe delayed. A simple roll on a Wild Magic table can be used in a pinch.

Conjuration/Summoning: Use the 2E teleport rules. Drop the ''you summon a copy'' idea and simply summon a 'real' creature. Any summoning spell has a 50% chance, plus 1% per level of a creature from the same plane as the creature you summoned tagging along. Up to 1d4 creatures per spell level can tag along with the summoned creature and the caster has no control over them.

Unless otherwise specified in the spell description, any created matter is the most basic and average for that type of item.

Divination: It is dangerous to read the thoughts of any creature. The creatures thoughts may effect your own. Base 30% chance, plus 1% per HD of the creature. Your type also has an effect, a human reading an elf mind has a +25% added, a dragon mind +50%, and reading an Aligned Outsider's mind(A demon or deva, for example) has a +75%. Treat as the spell confusion for one round per HD of the creature mind read.

Enchantment/Charm: None

Evocation: None

Illusions: None

Necromancy: Tampering with the life force of a creature not of your type can be dangerous. Animal, humanoid, monstrous humanoid, giant, ooze, plant and vermin all have no danger. Aberration, magical beast and dragon have a base of 50% plus 1% per HD of an side effect. An elemental or outsider has a 75% plus 1% per HD of an side effect. This effect is equal to a poison spell.

Transmutation: Changing ones shape is harmful, use 2E system shock rules. Or a simple Fort Save of DC 15 or be stunned and confused for 1d4 rounds. Also while in another form the mentality of the form may take you over. The base chance is 50% +1% per HD. The effect is similar to charm monster, where the transformed person will act like the creature of the shape they have taken. Every turn the effected creature gets a will save to end the mental effect. If the spell duration expires the effect is also ended.



The idea is not to punish magic, just to make it more fun and intresting!




6.Gods Eyes: If you use divine power, then your god is watching everything you do and is especially watching when you use their divine power to take actions. A god will at least weekly send each worshiper a sign that your ''on the right path'' or not. And as your god is watching every spell, you must only use them as your god wishes. Should you use your gods divine magic against their will...something will happen.

7.A Ton of Things: Make the whole universe bigger then a postage stamp. Never, ever have ''just one'' way of doing any thing. For example, don't just have doppelgangers as the sole disguise monsters, always have at least three possibility to pick from. The same with spells, never ''only have'' the spell 'Fly', but have three spells that can let a person fly. And if there is not one, make it up.

8.Unique Race Things: Make tons of things that only one race can use, both magic and mundane. You can add in the ''other races use at like half what the race does'' though. This could be a whole post too.

9.Monstrous Monsters: Anything that is not alive in the normal sense should be dangerous to touch or interact with. This includes Fey, Ousiders and Undead. Stealing outsider hit points with a vamperic touch is a bad idea. And reading a demans mind is a worse idea. Again this would sure need to be a whole post. But the idea is not not make all the mosters ''just stats''.

10.Status Que: Don't even bother with the world that changes to 'challenge' the players, just make everything the way it is. The castle guards are 11th level fighters if the players are 1st or 5th or 10th level.


So most of my fixes are very simple, but they have a huge impact on the game. Granted the last couple take some work, but it's work well worth it.

Just to give fair waring though, my House Rules don't mix well with Optimizing Player types. Especially two and three. More then one Optimizing Player has walked out of my game for (quote) "Not being able to play the game!'' And we all know what that means, right wink wink....

Responding in order....

1. This poops all over some of the lower tier classes. Druids and Clerics and Wizards need exactly zero magic items to mess with reality. A fighter without magic weapons is asking to die. You've essentially proposed 1/10 WBL. That's....silly.

2. ....pretty sure this is outright suggested in the DMG. Good reprint, though. If you're worried about "roll-players" cheating, then have them roll the d20 on the table. This isn't hard.

3. Pretty sure you meant "roll players" here, again. Anyway, this is frankly ridiculous. "You're PRETTY SURE that that was a fireball. You might be wrong, though." to the level 20 wizard. I'd change this to "be aware of what the character would actually know."

4. Again, outright suggested in the DMG.

5. Hoboy. Okay. So, what you've done here is add an entirely new layer of complexity on to 5 of the existing 8 schools of magic. This is...less than desirable. I am ordinarily all for the nerfing of magic, but this seems like it's intentionally the most headachey way possible. Saying "it makes it more fun and interesting" doesn't mean that that's true. It sounds to me like a good way to spend a ton of time rolling d100s.

6. This is known as "adding flavor to your universe," which I believe may have been suggested somewhere.

7. See the above.

8. This is a preference thing; it'll be world-specific. If you run a uni-cultural game, this is a bad idea.

9. Again, this is basic DMing. Don't blindly follow the rules and stats. On the flip side...don't mess with the stats just to mess with your players.

10. Duh. This ain't Skyrim.

As for the last bit, you seem intent on continuing to commit the Stormwind Fallacy. (http://loremaster.org/content.php/146-The-Stormwind-Fallacy) Optimizers DO NOT necessarily lack role-playing ability. However, points 2 and 3 are things I've seen you discuss elsewhere, and if you're not lying to your players, (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13842508#post13842508) this shouldn't have anyone walking away.

Could you, perhaps, explain what "we all know what that means" means? I feel like offense should be taken.

Tanuki Tales
2012-09-12, 02:42 PM
-Snip concerning the use of "roleplayer" and "optimizer".

Stormwind Fallacy much? :smallconfused:

Edit: I'm also going to bow out of this thread as well. I don't believe it belongs in the Homebrew subforum in the first place (it seems more like a 3.5 discussion thread) and certain opinions are leaving a poor taste in my mouth.

Take care.

Ashtagon
2012-09-12, 02:48 PM
Um...yes, actually. It doesn't really prove anything if I do, considering this is the internet, but rest assured - photosynthesis is the EXACT SAME PROCESS for EVERY PLANT. I'll leave it to you to figure out why, because gosh, what do I know about biology? ...

Yes, indeed. What do you know about biology?

Not all photosynthesis in nature involves green chlorophyll. Some of it doesn't even involve plants. The earliest forms of photosynthesising life used a chemical reaction that is not sustainable in any sunlight-exposed region of Earth today.

What's the DC on this creature (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriental_hornet)?

jaybird
2012-09-12, 03:21 PM
Yes, indeed. What do you know about biology?

Not all photosynthesis in nature involves green chlorophyll. Some of it doesn't even involve plants. The earliest forms of photosynthesising life used a chemical reaction that is not sustainable in any sunlight-exposed region of Earth today.

What's the DC on this creature (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriental_hornet)?

Sure, there's other chromophores, like say, carotene, but like I said - I've only got a +5 :smallwink: I'm not sure how the point about things that aren't plants still being able to perform photosynthesis relates, though - my statement was exclusively about plants. What do you know about reading?

Oriental hornet -specific, fairly uncommon creature that's found in an area I've never gotten within a thousand kilometres of in my life? Probably a pretty high DC. I could tell you it's Animalia, Arthropoda, Insectae, that it's got an open circulatory system using haemolymph with all that implies, and it's got one hell of a sting. That's a pretty reasonable result for a DC 15 check.

Othesemo
2012-09-12, 03:25 PM
Your example is perfect. See that is Role-Playing! As opposed to Roll-playing:

Not really, no. I'm definitely in the latter category, and that's exactly how I would do it. I like acting.

Of course, not everyone can do it. Some years ago, I had a girl in my gaming group who could not role-play to save her life. Whenever she tried, she'd get nervous and mumble something like 'I ask him how he's doing,' and then slink into a metaphorical corner for half an hour. It took her more than a year to even be able to speak in character without blushing.

When I role-play, it's to compliment my roll-playing. It isn't in spite of it. Meanwhile, she couldn't role-play at all, and her knowledge of game mechanics was literally nill.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is this- don't assume that people with an interest in optimizing their character don't have any interest in playing the character (or need to be punished for whatever reason). And don't assume that not caring about optimization magically makes you a great role-player.

tallonRook
2012-09-12, 03:30 PM
Hi, I've never posted on this forum before but I have been lurking for a while. I had some thoughts on your fixes, and thought I might share them.

1. People have said this before, but you are hindering melee characters, not spellcasters. Your average spellcaster can cast spells that replicate the effects of most magic items, and it only takes up a few of their spell slots. Non-spellcasters have no such ability, and can only hope that their spellcasting party-mates will share. If you want to prevent casters from making too many magical items or something, why not just tell them that magical item crafting feats are banned, because it takes "certain skills" to do such a thing?

2. I don't think anyone ever tells their players this, unless it's really standard stuff, like jumping over a standard chasm and they want to hurry things up.

3. I really don't like this idea. For some things rumors are fine, but for standard things you do know for sure. I know certain knowledge FOR SURE. As a DM I do tell my players that some things are not known for certain, especially if it's especially exotic lore, but I would never say "Well, you kind of remember that gold dragons breathe fire, and they may have the ability to turn into ostriches." I'm not saying that the players know everything for sure, but as they get more experienced they do learn more things for sure. I've always thought that in the background characters have been training and studying, although it may not be 'on-screen'. I ask my characters what they've been doing between adventures, and most of the time they say things like training, studying, reading books, exercising, etc.

4. What are you defining as a specific game term? Is it words like level and hit points? If so, of course not. If it's things like wizard, cleric, oracle, etc, then that makes less sense.

5. A lot of people do magic differently, so I really don't have anything to say about this except that it's kind of a weak nerf.

6. The gods have time to monitor all of their spell-casters simultaneously? Wow. Also, this seems like a pretty terrible way to railroad a player if you don't like what they're doing.

7. Why does there need to be ten ways to do something? Wouldn't it be simpler to just have one way, from an in universe perspective? If someone else has already invented the spell fly, and you know about it, why would you invent a different one? I'm fine with minor spell adjustments, like if one variation of a spell makes you fly faster but in the air you're weaker, or you grow wings or something, but not completely different spells.
And I don't agree with having extra things just to have things. In standard DnD there's not just one shapeshifter. We have doppelgangers, succubi, changelings, some kinds of dragons, transmuter spellcasters, etc, and each of them has other sets of abilities besides being "the shapeshifters".

8. Why can't other races do these things? Is there a specific reason?

9. The monsters aren't just stats, but if I was going to make them different it would be from a psychological/roleplaying perspective, rather from a statistical perspective.

10. This is obvious.

On a final note, I'm not sure why you think that roleplaying and optimization (or as you call it, "roll-playing") are on opposite sides of the spectrum. I see them more as different axes on a graph of sorts. You can have a high level of optimization and a high level of roleplaying, low levels of both, medium levels, etcetera. My current character is one you'd probably call optimized, but I've also spent a decent amount of time developing her personality, backstory, how her skills translate to the real world, etc. When I play her, I expect to do well at both RP and combat scenarios, because I enjoy both.

Lord_Gareth
2012-09-12, 04:22 PM
Hey Gamer Girl, just a quick question here - if my character concept is, "Masterful martial artist on a journey to see the world outside of his home," should I choose Monk or Swordsage, and why?

Everyone else: I'm going somewhere with this, trust me.

Ashtagon
2012-09-12, 04:32 PM
What do you know about reading?

Not much. I'm functionally literate in only one language, although I can bluff my way through in a few others.

otoh, I never set myself up as an expert on reading.

Eldan
2012-09-12, 04:43 PM
Hey Gamer Girl, just a quick question here - if my character concept is, "Masterful martial artist on a journey to see the world outside of his home," should I choose Monk or Swordsage, and why?

Interesting. You made me interested in this thread again. I'll have to go buy a pack of pop corn tomorrow.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2012-09-12, 05:12 PM
Hey Gamer Girl, just a quick question here - if my character concept is, "Masterful martial artist on a journey to see the world outside of his home," should I choose Monk or Swordsage, and why?

:smallconfused:

Gareth, you have this strange habit of asking chains of questions that go somewhere, but I can never see where when you ask the first one.

...actually, that's a lie. I can see dozens of places you could go, I just don't know which one you'll pick. :smallbiggrin:

RFLS
2012-09-12, 05:16 PM
Interesting. You made me interested in this thread again. I'll have to go buy a pack of pop corn tomorrow.

Sadly, I doubt Gamer will repost.

Howler Dagger
2012-09-12, 06:40 PM
This is not campaign specific? Each one is a different race! It's like comparing cats and dogs(or Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals).


Analogy Fail:


Neanderthals are classified alternatively as a subspecies of Homo sapiens (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis)

Also, scientifically, Orcs, Humans, and Elves must (based on the default setting) be the same species because they can produce fertile offspring. So they are in fact Humans in Rubber Masks.

Also, I agreee with the sentiment expressed by elpollo about 6.


Oh good, the DM gets to decide when a character isn't doing what they should. How could that go wrong?

I think my main problem with your 'fixes' is that you (GamerGirl) and I have a different definition of what needs to be fixed. You want to fix the over-optimization and 'roll-playing' mindset (please correct me if I am wrong), and I want to fix the power gap between classes. So really to me, these fixes aren't fixing what I vies as the problem with 3.5.

(Also, I apologize if I assumed what you want to fix incorrectly)

jaybird
2012-09-12, 07:18 PM
Not much. I'm functionally literate in only one language, although I can bluff my way through in a few others.

otoh, I never set myself up as an expert on reading.

Good way of avoiding my point that I exclusively addressed photosynthesis in plants.

Also, I wasn't aware that admitting I only have a +5 in the skill is setting myself up as an expert.

Yitzi
2012-09-12, 07:24 PM
6. The gods have time to monitor all of their spell-casters simultaneously? Wow.

Which part of "god" don't you get? :smallsmile:


Also, this seems like a pretty terrible way to railroad a player if you don't like what they're doing.

Indeed; using it properly would require said gods to be played in-character (like any other NPC) rather than as a means for DM fiat.

Kholai
2012-09-12, 07:25 PM
1: As everyone says, this is terrible for those people silly enough not to be mages, but this is fine, they need to be kept in their place anyway.

I'd suggest expanding that to the Profession and Craft skills though (since if you earn an average of 25 GP a week making an honest living, why oh why would you risk death and track into the wilderness for a month to get 2 GP from fighting goblins?), and then overhauling the entire non-magical item system to make the mundane item economy actually work for the people who generally earn coppers per day.

2: Fair enough, you shouldn't do this anyway. I would assume that you'd be fair and keep that secret DC the same for everyone though, right? I'd hate to think that the game was about arbitrary decisions made by the DM based on personal bias rather than a fair estimation of difficulty.

3: Okay, if you insist, but at least be consistent:

No matter how high someone's base attack bonus, even if they roll a natural 20 with BAB 20, then they barely graze their target Human Commoner, and sometimes even hit someone completely different than they were aiming for.

No matter how high someone's jump check is, they can only jump ten feet. Sometimes in the wrong direction.

No matter how high someone's disguise skill is, they always end up looking like Elmer Fudd in drag.

Whilst, obviously, a knowledge check cannot account for knowing things that do not exist or nobody knows, why on Earth would knowledge checks for someone who, by virtue of having a genius level IQ, an eidetic memory, Skill Focus: Knowledge (Entomology), and about fifteen ranks in the topic be "half-remembering a page" when they spot a Palos Verdes Blue? They should nail it.

I doubt I'd care since I'd be asking NPCs politely for information, since I assume that any DM with this system in place would feed me all information I needed to keep their story moving along, but seriously if you're going to go there then by all means take the above suggestions as serious advice.

4: Why not just use game terminology without an immersion breaking dedication for not doing so? Multiclass NPCs frequently into competent optimal professionals geared towards a particular job, figure out what that job is and call them it, whether it's a game term or not. Lawful Good Monk/Cleric/Sacred Fist? No, Paladin. Warrior? Yeah, that's a good enough term for the Warblade drinking at the bar, not that I'm accusing you of ever even considering using TOB material.

5: Abjuration: So use Protection from Arrows as a damage spell, dealing ~2 damage a round with no save as long as the subject "touches" it? Let me shield bash with my Shield spell for 2 damage, or just block stuff with it to damage their weapons? Let my Entropic Shield deal damage to anyone who dares grapple me?

Thanks for boosting one of the neater schools of magic? Worst case a Protection from Evil on the party "Monk" should make his punches cause extra damage, and I can always just overload pesky enemy casters with abjurations until they collapse into a black hole of magic.

Conjuration: So... as a Good character I can summon a Unicorn to mess up the face of an Evil lumberjack, and have a 50% chance of summoning four sentient magical creatures whom I cannot-control-but-don't-really-need-to? Another bonus to casting, I like it.

And I can still use Conjuration for summoning non-creatures, which can deal evocation level damage? And Conjure me some perfectly ordinary mundane iron which I can sell for more gold than I'd see in a year of adventure? Neat.

I'd sort of have to research a baleful teleport spell though, because being able to kill anything I want ever with a "low" result at a 16% chance or have a 34% chance of dropping them for up to 20D6 damage or so makes for a freakishly awesome attack spell. Who needs saving throws when you're using percent dice? And who needs common sense when I can kill an earth elemental by teleporting them "low"?

Divination: So the fact that my Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma score are all actually five or more points higher than the mighty "Imp" I'm brainvestigating, and that my Will Save is actually +20 are all irrelevant, I still have a 108% chance of my mind collapsing? More percentile fun there.

Enchantment - Illusion: Why not make illusionists have a 75% chance to fall for their own illusion and a 25% chance of an Enchanter's spells rebounding on them or something? Why not have Evocation have a 3% chance of the mage losing control of the magical firepower and using Wild Magic rules as a result? This is so dull.

Necromancy: Why on earth is a Pseudodragon so hazardous to my health? I'm pretty sure I shouldn't have a greater than 50% chance of having my brain melted and my body infected when I deal with one, but hey, who can argue with arbitrary nonsensical percentiles? Not like this matters to your average Necropolitan Necromancer, but I feel sorry for your average cleric who tampers with their life force with an Inflict spell, because that's totally going to ruin their week.

Transmutation: Well, okay. Warlocks just got a save or die they can use at will until the target fails their arbitrary percentile roll for system shock.

When my elf turns into a dwarf (presumably on a drunken bet), who determines, after I fail my 51% arbitrary percentile roll, what is appropriate for a Dwarf with my elf's entire personality in his brain in terms of behaviour? You? I'm assuming yes, but only on a roll of 1-99 on a D100.

What about Polymorph any Object? Because we all know that the first thing my 16 BAB Gish (because who wouldn't prefer a character with levels in seven different classes, who spends their time buffing their party and wading in with the rest of the melee characters... rather than a Wizard who makes encounters meaningless with just one of their twenty or so spells? Some kind of powergaming monster, that's who) is going to pull off once they get that is going to be "Oh look now the party rogue gets to be a Cloaker or something. Forever." If they start moaning and fluttering around 50% of the time, that's going to be pretty embarrassing for all concerned, and when I turn into a Siabrie (And yes, I'd probably need to use a Bear's Endurance spell first to not "die absolutely horribly", but only the once, right?) it's going to be hard to save face when I randomly start yelling at someone to get off my (sandy) yard.

6: I'm sure this question has come up before, but if I serve the causes of Envy and Pride, do I get in trouble if I use my powers for personal gain, or non-personal gain? What about to show off by using powers for others? What about if it's for long-term gain but no immediate payoff? Do I roll a d100? Do you arbitrarily decide that my action isn't advancing the cause of "believing the universe owes me a living because I'm so great"? What if my deity is a chaotic neutral deity all about freedom? What percentile would I need to roll to determine what my deity's attitude is towards me doing whatever I wanted?

7: Cool, sounds neat.

8: So you've divided all wealth by ten, and to make up for it, your players get a lot of stuff that nobody wants or can use to sell? Or.... They just take ranks in the Use Magic Device like they were anyway? Seems reasonable.

9: Why would a spell explicitly designed to siphon energy off other living creatures and impart additional power to you based on the powers of unlife, granting you the limited ability to stave off death... Care about what target it is used on? This seems pretty random to be honest, there are better ways to differentiate creatures than through dealing with an incredibly specific case that would rarely come up.

10: Standard DMing as far as I'm concerned, sounds good to me.


Just to give fair waring though, my House Rules don't mix well with Optimizing Player types. Especially two and three. More then one Optimizing Player has walked out of my game for (quote) "Not being able to play the game!'' And we all know what that means, right wink wink....

Apparently I must be a great optimiser, because none of this even strikes me as a roadbump in the path to playing an effective, potent character who sensibly aims for being the best in his field. I wish I were a power gamer though, because apparently there are people who think not being terrible at what I'm supposed to be good at is the same thing and I may as well break reality just a little while I'm at it. Have you considered that maybe you're doing something else, like, I don't know, actively punishing people for not being incompetent? Playing favourites as DM? Manipulating things to artificially restrict players from playing their characters the way they want?

NichG
2012-09-12, 07:28 PM
On the Knowledge thing: conceptually, I think this is equivalent to saying that world culture has a certain level of knowledge, and no matter how mechanically high the PC gets their knowledge check they can never be certain about something that exceeds that level.

For instance, the most brilliant minds of ancient Europe would have told you with absolutely certainty that the sun revolves around the earth. They made their Knowledge checks... to know what the consensus belief of the time was. Examples continue to a time when the great minds of Europe would declare with certainty that all orbits must be circular, to statements about the existence of a luminiferous aether pre Michaelson-Morley. In a situation like that, there should be no DC which you can hit which would tell you 'no, it really is the other way around' based on a simple skill check. The reason being that it is information which is unavailable without some sort of testing, experimentation, or effort.

Magic complicates this of course. But what magic is doing is absolutely something that should be setting and DM dependent. One DM could say 'these spells let you access the knowledge of the gods themselves' (in which case while using the spells the 'world's' knowledge check is that of whatever deity they worship), while another could say 'these spells help you connect disparate facts you've seen over the course of your life' or even 'this spell makes the book that has the information you're looking for glow, in effect giving a bonus to Knowledge checks'.

A character who is all about 'knowing things', finding out new facts the world has never known is adventuring. If you were playing a fighter, you wouldn't roll a 'Ransack Ruins' check and skip the dungeon, and the same is true for discovery and figuring out brand new facts for knowledge-driven characters.

Flickerdart
2012-09-12, 07:56 PM
A character who is all about 'knowing things', finding out new facts the world has never known is adventuring.
Please tell me all about the dragon Einstein had to slay to come up with General Relativity, or the army of goblins Newton routed in order to discover his laws.

NichG
2012-09-12, 08:27 PM
Please tell me all about the dragon Einstein had to slay to come up with General Relativity, or the army of goblins Newton routed in order to discover his laws.

Sure. Einstein had to deal with 'the greatest mistake he ever made', the introduction of a cosmological constant which mysteriously made the math work but had no meaningful physical mechanism behind it at the time. Newton's adventures were a bit darker. The guy poked his own eyeball with a probe to try to understand vision and optics. These experiments and mental struggles are to scientists and philosophers what dungeon-delving is to a rogue.

But okay, lets look at more 'traditional adventuring' scientists. Galileo's fight with the church for example, or Darwin sailing to the Galapagos leading to the result that isolated species develop slight changes in their various characteristics, eventually amounting to the ideas behind evolution. A modern, 'everyday' example: glaciologists often have to go and spend months out in the arctic setting probes or recovering data in order to construct theories of how ice of that scale moves, forms, and melts.

The important point is, information or insight that lets one break past what the world accepts to be true is loot.

Flickerdart
2012-09-12, 08:35 PM
Sure. Einstein had to deal with 'the greatest mistake he ever made', the introduction of a cosmological constant which mysteriously made the math work but had no meaningful physical mechanism behind it at the time. Newton's adventures were a bit darker. The guy poked his own eyeball with a probe to try to understand vision and optics. These experiments and mental struggles are to scientists and philosophers what dungeon-delving is to a rogue.
A constant isn't an adventure. Stabbing yourself in the eye isn't an adventure. Both of these things are best represented not with the D&D encounter system, but with the skill system that already exists. Just like a multiclassing character is assumed to peek at the party wizard's book, it's safe to say that a character studying a subject will be making their own observations as they do so (and getting a bigger Knowledge bonus as a result) instead of blindly cramming on the topic. Considering that all work at the post-graduate level contributes, however slightly, to the sum of human knowledge, it's pretty clear that "no, you have to go do special things before you find out new stuff rather than just being involved in the academic process of learning and discovery" is not a good representation of anything at all. It makes much more sense to say that a character capable of consistently hitting DCs that would represent knowledge that isn't common or developed in his society has sunk enough effort into studying the subject that he's capable of forming new ideas simply as a byproduct of his continued engagement with the subject.



But okay, lets look at more 'traditional adventuring' scientists. Galileo's fight with the church for example, or Darwin sailing to the Galapagos leading to the result that isolated species develop slight changes in their various characteristics, eventually amounting to the ideas behind evolution.
The answer to a counterexample is not to provide examples that do fit your argument.

God Imperror
2012-09-12, 08:41 PM
I was going to comment on several things but it would be easier to cut to the point.

Then I wrote a snarky reply which I proceed to erase now, I will leave 2 comments though, since I believe they do sum up my opinion and might be helpful.


The idea is not to punish magic, just to make it more fun and intresting!

Wait... :smalleek: You thought those changes were somehow punishing magic? :eek:


Just to give fair waring though, my House Rules don't mix well with Optimizing Player types. Especially two and three. More then one Optimizing Player has walked out of my game for (quote) "Not being able to play the game!'' And we all know what that means, right wink wink....

Poor dude :smalleek: I guess he tried to play a non arcane spellcaster.

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-09-12, 09:14 PM
6. The gods have time to monitor all of their spell-casters simultaneously? Wow. Also, this seems like a pretty terrible way to railroad a player if you don't like what they're doing.

Which part of "god" don't you get? :smallsmile:

Technically, in 3e gods can only remotely sense a limited number of creatures/areas at once based on their divine rank. While they could approximate simultaneous observation of all their worshipers with a rolling-window approach that involves cycling among worshipers very fast, tallonRook's point stands: the gods are busy with keeping tabs on other gods (both allies and enemies), holy strongholds and artifacts, people/places/things important to their portfolio, and so forth, so expecting them to constantly keep tabs on all their priests is a bit much.

Prior editions had it so that divine casters could accomplish the weaker spells (0th-2nd level or so, if memory serves) through the strength of their own faith, then the next tier were granted by powerful servants of their deities, and only the highest-level spells required direct deific attention. The servants might keep an eye on mid-level priests, but in general gods and their servants (should) have better things to do than micromanage their servants. You can be a faithful cleric of your religion without having to keep perfect adherence to every last tenet every single day of your life, and you should be able to be faithful without the threat of a weekly status check hanging over you.


Whilst, obviously, a knowledge check cannot account for knowing things that do not exist or nobody knows, why on Earth would knowledge checks for someone who, by virtue of having a genius level IQ, an eidetic memory, Skill Focus: Knowledge (Entomology), and about fifteen ranks in the topic be "half-remembering a page" when they spot a Palos Verdes Blue? They should nail it.


On the Knowledge thing: conceptually, I think this is equivalent to saying that world culture has a certain level of knowledge, and no matter how mechanically high the PC gets their knowledge check they can never be certain about something that exceeds that level.

[...]

A character who is all about 'knowing things', finding out new facts the world has never known is adventuring. If you were playing a fighter, you wouldn't roll a 'Ransack Ruins' check and skip the dungeon, and the same is true for discovery and figuring out brand new facts for knowledge-driven characters.

I think there may be a bit of confusion here. The OP isn't complaining about characters being able to Knowledge (Physics) their way to developing atom bombs or anything like that; she's complaining that Knowledge checks are definitive (that you can know things with 100% certainty) and that they're too broad (that you just know about "all magic" or "all history" or the like), presumably because e.g. a tundra druid knowing about desert creatures or an abjurer knowing the niggling details about a rare and forgotten necromantic rituals seems too far-fetched.

However, as Kholai pointed out, this doesn't justify making all Knowledge checks unreliable, because characters are exceptional. Not "player characters are exceptional," but all characters. Real-world figures can generally be statted out as fairly low-level characters, and the Knowledge rules bear this out, since a "really tough question" is up to DC 30, which a level 1 character with max ranks, Skill Focus, and a 16 Int can hit a full 5% of the time.

I can sort of understand where the OP is coming from. Imagine if you will someone as knowledgeable in physics as Stephen Hawking, or a similar expert in another field. Actually, imagine someone as good with physics and chemistry, biology, geology, and the other "hard" sciences as Stephen Hawking is with physics, since if D&D has Knowledge (Arcana) as one field, Knowledge (Hard Sciences) seems reasonable. This person can be statted as that level 1 character above, and this person, when asked the toughest scientific questions known to modern humanity, knows the answer to 5% of them off the top of his head, and can answer more if his colleagues Aid Another or he has access to masterwork tools in the form of reference materials. That is pretty frikkin' impressive, wouldn't you say? That person has most of the knowledge and expertise of Stephen Hawking, Charles Darwin, Marie Curie, etc. combined, and more! Such a person would surely be revered as a scientific genius around the world and would have book deals, speaking engagement offers, and similar thrown at them every minute of every day.

Now consider a level 15 rogue with Skill Focus (Knowledge [Hard Sciences]) and max ranks in the skill, as well as Int 26. That's a +29 modifier, which means that he knows the answer to every single scientific question known to modern humanity. Every last one. Without rolling. Off the top of his head. Granted, level 15 characters are well into mythic and/or superhero territory, but that's just a bit excessive, don't you think?

If you don't like the way that works, though, the answer is not to make Knowledge ranks essentially useless as the proposed solution would do. Everyone has some questions that they cannot fail to know the answers to and everyone can make inferences to deduce or induce things they might not know, and neither case is allowed by the rumors-only model. Instead, if you want to "fix" Knowledge checks, here's how I'd start:
Change the Knowledge DCs to be more granular. You need more than Really Easy, Moderate, and Really Tough categories at DCs 10, 15, and 20+. I could easily see DCs from 5 to 60 in 5-point increments, with DC 5 being "knowing the name of the place your country's leader lives" and DC 60 being "knowing how to build the LHC by yourself from scratch and then program and oversee all of the tests it's meant to run."
Decouple monster knowledge DCs from level and use a rarity system instead. This both makes it a bit more logical (mid-level people would probably have heard more legends about high-HD red dragons than about some random 5-HD critter published in the latest Monster Manual) and allows you to make some creatures much more obscure without increasing their HD.
Introduce Knowledge specialties. This works better if you have a more condensed skill list where every skill has similar specialties, as in e.g. Shadowrun, since having a Knowledge (Arcana [Fire magic]) skill makes more sense alongside Athletics (Swimming [Endurance]) than alongside Swim, but it would allow you to account for druids who have never left one type of terrain, undead hunters who know about undead but not religious rituals, specialist wizards who are clueless outside their specialty, and so forth. If you're going with the every-5-points DC system, you could do something like "pick 2 specialties and 2 banned fields within each knowledge check, you get +5 with your specialties and -10 with your banned fields" or something similarly straightforward, or you could make it as fiddly and complex as you'd like.
Those tweaks should solve the "characters have very broad knowledge" and "it's too easy for characters to know everything" while still making Knowledge skills useful.

Chambers
2012-09-12, 09:36 PM
This is relevant:

I still stand by the argument that this is a fundamental difference between old school (basic D&D: 1 race/class, AD&D: very limted multi-classing) vrs new school (I buy a book and there is a class in their and I want it gimmie gimmie). The trend I see is old school = roleplayers, new school = optomizers.

Note to New school people: Don't listen to what you hear, you aren't a dork if you roleplay. It is ok to indulge in what D&D is all about, roleplay. If you try it and have a good DM, I guarantee you'll have a blast and won't care so much about optomizing.

Okay, that's it.

I'm hereby proposing a new logical fallacy. It's not a new idea, but maybe with a catchy name (like the Oberoni Fallacy) it will catch on.

The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy

Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa.

Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game.

Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse roleplayer if he optimizes, and vice versa.
Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically roleplayed better than an optimized one, and vice versa.

(I admit that there are some diehards on both sides -- the RP fanatics who refuse to optimize as if strong characters were the mark of the Devil and the min/max munchkins who couldn't RP their way out of a paper bag without setting it on fire -- though I see these as extreme examples. The vast majority of people are in between, and thus the generalizations hold. The key word is 'automatically')

Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's gameplay. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Roleplaying deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else.

A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other.

Claiming that an optimizer cannot roleplay (or is participating in a playstyle that isn't supportive of roleplaying) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.

How does this impact "builds"? Simple.

In one extreme (say, Pun-Pun), they are thought experiments. Optimization tests that are not intended to see actual gameplay. Because they do not see gameplay, they do not commit the fallacy.

In the other extreme, you get the drama queens. They could care less about the rules, and are, essentially, playing free-form RP. Because the game is not necessary to this particular character, it doesn't fall into the fallacy.

By playing D&D, you opt in to an agreement of sorts -- the rules describe the world you live in, including yourself. To get the most out of those rules, in the same way you would get the most out of yourself, you must optimize in some respect (and don't look at me funny; you do it already, you just don't like to admit it. You don't need multiclassing or splatbooks to optimize). However, because it is a role-playing game, you also agree to play a role. This is dependent completely on you, and is independent of the rules.

And no, this isn't dependent on edition, or even what roleplaying game you're doing. If you are playing a roleplaying game with any form of rules or regulation, this fallacy can apply. The only difference is the nature of the optimization (based on the rules of that game; Tri-Stat optimizes differently than d20) or the flavor of the roleplay (based on the setting; Exalted feels different from Cthulu).

Conclusion: D&D, like it or not, has elements of both optimization AND roleplay in it. Any game that involves rules has optimization, and any role-playing game has roleplay. These are inherent to the game.

They go hand-in-hand in this sort of game. Deal with it. And in the name of all that is good and holy, stop committing the Stormwind Fallacy in the meantime.

Inglenook
2012-09-12, 11:21 PM
I like most of these, at least to some degree. Although I don't know how well some of them would apply to 3.5.

NichG
2012-09-12, 11:21 PM
A constant isn't an adventure. Stabbing yourself in the eye isn't an adventure.

I beg to differ here, but it sounds like this path might devolve into matters of opinion. My point was not that Einstein rolled a d20+11 to hit his formulae with a Masterwork Glaive while Newton cast Magic Missile at the unknown, my point is that their distinctive discoveries were not the product of six seconds of going 'Um...', they were the product of a process of development that is no less involved and time consuming than a party of PCs going into a cave and finding loot.

I'd accept the argument that D&D is not designed with these kinds of 'adventures' in mind, but since this is a homebrew thread involving changes to the base game, I'm going to say 'yes, thats why some people are changing it'.



Both of these things are best represented not with the D&D encounter system, but with the skill system that already exists. Just like a multiclassing character is assumed to peek at the party wizard's book, it's safe to say that a character studying a subject will be making their own observations as they do so (and getting a bigger Knowledge bonus as a result) instead of blindly cramming on the topic. Considering that all work at the post-graduate level contributes, however slightly, to the sum of human knowledge, it's pretty clear that "no, you have to go do special things before you find out new stuff rather than just being involved in the academic process of learning and discovery" is not a good representation of anything at all.

Post-graduate work involves, y'know, work. People design experiments, perform them, test theories, etc. These are actions that in principle could be interesting to model in a tabletop game, especially one that is about discovery. Stating that 'the game should not attempt to model these things because a skill system exists' is a statement of personal preference, not some absolute fact.


It makes much more sense to say that a character capable of consistently hitting DCs that would represent knowledge that isn't common or developed in his society has sunk enough effort into studying the subject that he's capable of forming new ideas simply as a byproduct of his continued engagement with the subject.

Or you could take the interpretation that Knowledge skills are literally the ability to recall things you've seen, and have nothing at all to do with generating new insights. This is equally sensible (and since again we're talking homebrew here, what RAW has to say on the matter isn't actually relevant).



The answer to a counterexample is not to provide examples that do fit your argument.

I answered your counterexamples and provided my own: one case in which the adventure was admittedly secondary, but another in which the new knowledge was a direct byproduct of the adventure.



I think there may be a bit of confusion here. The OP isn't complaining about characters being able to Knowledge (Physics) their way to developing atom bombs or anything like that; she's complaining that Knowledge checks are definitive (that you can know things with 100% certainty) and that they're too broad (that you just know about "all magic" or "all history" or the like), presumably because e.g. a tundra druid knowing about desert creatures or an abjurer knowing the niggling details about a rare and forgotten necromantic rituals seems too far-fetched.


Alright, this is a point (or rather two points). I agree that my post did not address the matter of reliability so much as it addressed the matter of the genesis of knowledge, which wasn't the original issue.



However, as Kholai pointed out, this doesn't justify making all Knowledge checks unreliable, because characters are exceptional. Not "player characters are exceptional," but all characters. Real-world figures can generally be statted out as fairly low-level characters, and the Knowledge rules bear this out, since a "really tough question" is up to DC 30, which a level 1 character with max ranks, Skill Focus, and a 16 Int can hit a full 5% of the time.


I don't really agree here though. There is a lot of leeway to change this on the basis of an individual campaign. A DM could have a rule of thumb 'real people are Lv1', 'real people are born Lv1 and reach Lv5 as adults', or even 'real people are anywhere up to Lv20, but D&D's hitpoints and magic occupy a different kind of realism than the rest of the system' and could make that consistent. The assumption that characters in D&D must automatically be unthinkably good at everything is just that - an assumption. Its a perfectly fine way to play, but it isn't invalid for a DM to do something different.

Also, it comes down to 'what is a really tough question'? If Knowledge skills are basically recall-based, then we're talking the kind of stuff you find on Jeopardy, not 'how do I reconcile general relativity with quantum mechanics in the small, dense limit?' or 'how does the brain work?'. A 'really hard question' might be something like 'What is the amino acid sequence of hemoglobin' - its really tough for a person to just spout that off, but it still exists within current knowledge, but we're getting back to knowledge genesis here anyhow.



If you don't like the way that works, though, the answer is not to make Knowledge ranks essentially useless as the proposed solution would do. Everyone has some questions that they cannot fail to know the answers to and everyone can make inferences to deduce or induce things they might not know, and neither case is allowed by the rumors-only model.

I object to the assertion that this change 'makes Knowledge ranks useless' - its a false dichotomy. Knowledge ranks can still be useful without implying certainty. Lets frame this in the sense of a power independent of the existing systems, and then we could ask questions such as 'how good is this power?' without the preconceptions of the existing system.

Power: Instant Lookup (Subject)
Description: You can know what any book on (Suibject) in any library within 1000 miles of your location says instantly if you pass an Int-based check whose success range is roughly 25%-75%. This is a standard action, and may be repeated indefinitely but you may not retry after failing to read about a particular specific thing until your next level.

I'd say thats still reasonably powerful, personally. And it gives you exactly what a rumor-based system gives you - the most learned opinions that you can find. The main problem with a rumor based system is in the basal success rate, which is hard to know as a player. If a DM makes this reasonable, then its really more or less just as good as absolute Knowledge. If the DM rules that 'people don't know anything' then it makes it useless. But without knowing this number, its impossible to say that the system 'makes the skill useless'.

LordErebus12
2012-09-12, 11:41 PM
1. The Silver Standard: Drop the idea of gold and platinum as the normal coin of the world and make it silver. Keep all the prices in the rules the same, but whenever coins are found in treasure make them silver. So if your goblin bandits would have 20 gold, make that 20 silver.

2. Unknown DCs: Never tell a player a DC. Simply describe what the player can see, and let them decide ''how hard it is''. This works amazing well to stop Roll-Players.

3. Vague Knowledge: Never tell a player absolute undeniable truth with a knowledge check or other skill check. Far too many games treat a skill check as a know everything about the game check. They should always be in the form of a rumor or half remembered book page. Also add in rumors and out right mistakes. This adds so much more flavor and again helps stop the role-players.

4. No Game Terminology:
No NPC should ever use Official Game Rule Terms. And as DM, you should use them lightly or not at all. When you say Gorm is a Ranger, then it's easy for players to file him away as they know exactly want a ranger can do and not do. But if the players are told that Gorm is a Wild Walker, they have no idea what he can or can't do.

5. Magical Side Effects and Changes: All magic should have a price. This would need to be more of a whole post, but it's simple enough to just add back in all the 2E magic rules.

By School:

Abjuration: Most abjurations are visible as some sort of magical effect, and many are harmful to touch (inflicting a point or two of damage or a minor effect based off the spell). Any abjurations in contact or overlapping have a 50% chance, plus 1% per spell level, of giving off a Side Effect. Roll once at the time of casting, though the effect may be delayed. A simple roll on a Wild Magic table can be used in a pinch.

Conjuration/Summoning: Use the 2E teleport rules. Drop the ''you summon a copy'' idea and simply summon a 'real' creature. Any summoning spell has a 50% chance, plus 1% per level of a creature from the same plane as the creature you summoned tagging along. Up to 1d4 creatures per spell level can tag along with the summoned creature and the caster has no control over them.

Unless otherwise specified in the spell description, any created matter is the most basic and average for that type of item.

Divination: It is dangerous to read the thoughts of any creature. The creatures thoughts may affect your own. Base 30% chance, plus 1% per HD of the creature. Your type also has an effect, a human reading an elf mind has a +25% added, a dragon mind +50%, and reading an Aligned Outsider's mind (A demon or deva, for example) has a +75%. Treat as the spell confusion for one round per HD of the creature mind read.

Enchantment/Charm: None

Evocation: None

Illusions: None

Necromancy: Tampering with the life force of a creature not of your type can be dangerous. Animal, humanoid, monstrous humanoid, giant, ooze, plant and vermin all have no danger. Aberration, magical beast and dragon have a base of 50% plus 1% per HD of a side effect. An elemental or outsider has a 75% plus 1% per HD of a side effect. This effect is equal to a poison spell.

Transmutation: Changing ones shape is harmful, use 2E system shock rules. Or a simple Fort Save of DC 15 or be stunned and confused for 1d4 rounds. Also while in another form the mentality of the form may take you over. The base chance is 50% +1% per HD. The effect is similar to charm monster, where the transformed person will act like the creature of the shape they have taken. Every turn the effected creature gets a will save to end the mental effect. If the spell duration expires the effect is also ended.



The idea is not to punish magic, just to make it more fun and interesting!


6. God’s Eyes Are Everywhere: If you use divine power, then your god is watching everything you do and is especially watching when you use their divine power to take actions. A god will at least weekly send each worshiper a sign that you’re ''on the right path'' or not. And as your god is watching every spell, you must only use them as your god wishes. Should you use your god’s divine magic against their will...something will happen.

7. A Ton of Things: Make the whole universe bigger than a postage stamp. Never, ever have ''just one'' way of doing anything. For example, don't just have doppelgangers as the sole disguise monsters; always have at least three possibilities to pick from. The same with spells, never ''only have'' the spell 'Fly', but have three spells that can let a person fly. And if there is not one, make it up.

8. Unique Race Things: Make tons of things that only one race can use, both magic and mundane. You can add in the ''other races use at like half what the race does'' though. This could be a whole post too.

9. Monstrous Monsters: Anything that is not alive in the normal sense should be dangerous to touch or interact with. This includes Fey, Outsiders and Undead. Stealing outsider hit points with a vampiric touch is a bad idea. And reading a demon’s mind is a worse idea. Again this would sure need to be a whole post. But the idea is not to make all the monsters ''just stats''.

10. The Status Queue: Don't even bother with the world that changes to 'challenge' players, just make everything the way it is. The castle guards are 11th level fighters if the players are 1st or 5th or 10th level.


So most of my fixes are very simple, but they have a huge impact on the game. Granted the last couple take some work, but it is well worth it.

Just to give fair warning though, my House Rules don't mix well with Optimizing Player types, especially two and three. More than one Optimizing Player has walked out of my game for (quote) "Not being able to play the game!'' And we all know what that means, right wink wink....


sorry if it bugs you, but i went through it and fixed any grammar and spelling mistakes. I'm rather anal retentive about it sometimes. This interests me, the topic. I agree with almost every one of the above rules and many have already been my own rules for some time. Although your list comes closer to the mark of an idealized gaming world.

PS: perhaps Evocation magic has a chance of Fizzling or failing to work how you had planned. Whether its a big fizzle or a little fizzle depends on if its a higher level spell, plus any arcane spell failure that the caster may be taking.

The bigger the fizzle chance, the more likely you will be forced into an arcane mishap, such as an explosion of force damage nearby the caster or perhaps other forms of evoked chaos.

toapat
2012-09-12, 11:46 PM
4.No Game Terminology: No NPC should ever use Official Game Rule Terms. And as DM, you should use them lightly or not at all. When you say Gorm is a Ranger, then it's easy for players to file him away as they know exactly want a ranger can do and not do. But if the players are told that Gorm is a WildWalker, they have no idea what he can or can't do.

5.Magical Side Effects and Changes: All magic should have a price. This would need to be more of a whole post, but it's simple enough to just add back in all the 2E magic rules.

6.Gods Eyes: If you use divine power, then your god is watching everything you do and is especially watching when you use their divine power to take actions. A god will at least weekly send each worshiper a sign that your ''on the right path'' or not. And as your god is watching every spell, you must only use them as your god wishes. Should you use your gods divine magic against their will...something will happen.

7.A Ton of Things: Make the whole universe bigger then a postage stamp. Never, ever have ''just one'' way of doing any thing. For example, don't just have doppelgangers as the sole disguise monsters, always have at least three possibility to pick from. The same with spells, never ''only have'' the spell 'Fly', but have three spells that can let a person fly. And if there is not one, make it up.

8.Unique Race Things: Make tons of things that only one race can use, both magic and mundane. You can add in the ''other races use at like half what the race does'' though. This could be a whole post too.

9.Monstrous Monsters: Anything that is not alive in the normal sense should be dangerous to touch or interact with. This includes Fey, Ousiders and Undead. Stealing outsider hit points with a vamperic touch is a bad idea. And reading a demans mind is a worse idea. Again this would sure need to be a whole post. But the idea is not not make all the mosters ''just stats''.

10.Status Que: Don't even bother with the world that changes to 'challenge' the players, just make everything the way it is. The castle guards are 11th level fighters if the players are 1st or 5th or 10th level.


So most of my fixes are very simple, but they have a huge impact on the game. Granted the last couple take some work, but it's work well worth it.

Just to give fair waring though, my House Rules don't mix well with Optimizing Player types. Especially two and three. More then one Optimizing Player has walked out of my game for (quote) "Not being able to play the game!'' And we all know what that means, right wink wink....

1+2: Fine
3: This is just actually using RAW, you arent supposed to know everything about something unless you beat the Knowledge DC by 50. it is outright impossible to know everything if that something has a class level, as class levels have no Knowledge check to determine.
4: Specific terminology the game uses? not like how you do it. lets take the core 11:

Commoner:
Fighter and monk: That warrior dude
Cleric and Paladin: Cleric of some sort
Ranger: Forester
Druid: Despicable Treehugger
Wizard or Sorcerer: Damned Mages
Barbarian: Wildman or Barbarian.
Rogue: that sneaky twerp
Bard: That flirty bastard i punched out last week

5: Fair

6: No, not if it applies to paladins. FVS either. One is not supposed to report to a god, the other is the ingame equivalent of jesus.

7-10: pretty cool

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-09-13, 12:09 AM
I don't really agree here though. There is a lot of leeway to change this on the basis of an individual campaign. A DM could have a rule of thumb 'real people are Lv1', 'real people are born Lv1 and reach Lv5 as adults', or even 'real people are anywhere up to Lv20, but D&D's hitpoints and magic occupy a different kind of realism than the rest of the system' and could make that consistent. The assumption that characters in D&D must automatically be unthinkably good at everything is just that - an assumption. Its a perfectly fine way to play, but it isn't invalid for a DM to do something different.

In theory, yes, you can say real-life people are level 20, but to do that you have to handwave hit points, magic, the skill system, and a bunch of other stuff. The Alexandrian's Calibrating your Expectations (http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/587/roleplaying-games/dd-calibrating-your-expectations-2) article, while not without several flaws, was correct in its general point that low-level D&D is much closer to the real world than mid or high levels; by 9th level D&D characters are far beyond anything resembling reality. Making it so mid-to-high-level characters are on a real world standard requires much more work than just declaring it to be so.


Also, it comes down to 'what is a really tough question'? If Knowledge skills are basically recall-based, then we're talking the kind of stuff you find on Jeopardy, not 'how do I reconcile general relativity with quantum mechanics in the small, dense limit?' or 'how does the brain work?'. A 'really hard question' might be something like 'What is the amino acid sequence of hemoglobin' - its really tough for a person to just spout that off, but it still exists within current knowledge, but we're getting back to knowledge genesis here anyhow.

Yes, I know. I wasn't talking about pushing the frontiers of science, I was just talking about known information. If it's in a research paper or textbook or the internet, Mr. Super Genius knows it.


I object to the assertion that this change 'makes Knowledge ranks useless' - its a false dichotomy. Knowledge ranks can still be useful without implying certainty. Lets frame this in the sense of a power independent of the existing systems, and then we could ask questions such as 'how good is this power?' without the preconceptions of the existing system.

Power: Instant Lookup (Subject)
Description: You can know what any book on (Suibject) in any library within 1000 miles of your location says instantly if you pass an Int-based check whose success range is roughly 25%-75%. This is a standard action, and may be repeated indefinitely but you may not retry after failing to read about a particular specific thing until your next level.

I'd say thats still reasonably powerful, personally. And it gives you exactly what a rumor-based system gives you - the most learned opinions that you can find. The main problem with a rumor based system is in the basal success rate, which is hard to know as a player. If a DM makes this reasonable, then its really more or less just as good as absolute Knowledge. If the DM rules that 'people don't know anything' then it makes it useless. But without knowing this number, its impossible to say that the system 'makes the skill useless'.

No, it's not a false dichotomy. If a Knowledge skill doesn't give you knowledge, there's no point in investing any ranks in it--firstly, because there already exist Gather Information, bardic knowledge, legend lore, and other means to give you rumors, legends, and other vague/unreliable information; secondly, because there would then be no way to represent what you know.

Would you also suggest changing Spellcraft such that when someone casts a summon monster III spell you need to make a DC 18 check to know that, well, y'know, you've heard that magic can summon things, or it can create them, or it can make illusions of them, and you're really not sure which one this is? How about making Appraise tell you, not a hard value with a chance of it being wrong, but rather that some people value your widget at 100gp and others value it at 2000gp and yet others 20gp? Certainly, having you get rumors or false information as a result of a failed check would be another way to lessen dependence on Knowledge checks and would be nicely flavorful, but it's a bad idea for your "know things" skill to actually be a "heard of things" skill.

The example you gave of Instant Lookup is indeed a useful power, as it's basically Fantasy Wikipeda. But it's not at all equivalent to a rumor-based system. First of all, chances are the library is going to have, y'know, facts in it, and secondly you have lots of books to cross-reference to determine reliability and consistency of information, which are both things that the rumor mill won't give you. Sure, if the only thing in the library is "Well, research concerning the Dark Beast of Darkness is inconclusive, but as far as Archmage Iggwilv can tell..." then you don't have any solid information, but in contrast to the rumor mill method (A) you know that the information is unreliable in this case, as opposed to having to guess whether a particular rumor is useful, and (B) if there isn't any reliable information out there, you know that to be the case instead of chasing down yet another rumor in the hopes of finding information you can't get with your own resources.

And finally, most DMs who dislike Knowledge skills for being too effective prefer to use it as a plot exposition mechanic, at least in my experience. These are the kind of DMs who say no, you can't tell anything about the MacGuffin, you need to go to the Grand Library or the Old Sage and ask them about it. Well, what if you've already been to the Grand Library and researched that before, or what if you've come across it in unrelated studies, or what if your mentor mentioned it? And even if you don't have explicit background information saying you've done that, why couldn't a PC be the wise old man for once and actually know something instead of talking to yet another hermit who knows all about something despite being in the middle of nowhere? That's what Knowledge is for, after all, to determine what your character knows without having to figure out exactly how he might have come by the information. If you want plot-relevant stuff to only be dispensed by plot-relevant NPCs, that's fine, just say so instead of leading people on with a rumor mill.

Craft (Cheese)
2012-09-13, 02:01 AM
1.The Silver Standard: Drop the idea of gold as the normal coin of the world and make it silver. Keep all the prices in the rules the same, but whenever coins are found in treasure make them silver. So if your goblin bandits would have 20 gold, make that 20 silver.

This makes buying magic items much harder but doesn't really accomplish anything else. (Really, given all of your other houserules I strongly expected to see a "Magic items can't be bought or crafted, ever, you have to quest for them" rule that every DM and their mother plays with at some point. It just seems like it'd be your sort of deal.)


3.Vague Knowledge: Never tell a player absolute undeniable truth with a knowledge check or other skill check. Far too many games treat a skill check as a know everything about the game check. They should always be in the form of a rumor or half remembered book page. Also add in rumors and out right mistakes. This adds so much more flavor and again helps stop the role-players.

Eh.... I'm gonna have to disagree with this one. A successful knowledge check, to me, means that the character has studied the subject carefully and is very confident that what they know about it is true. Fragments, misremembering, and rumors are represented by failures. If the problem is the Knowledge DCs are too easy, then raise them. Don't start giving the players misinformation when they succeed.


4.No Game Terminology: No NPC should ever use Official Game Rule Terms. And as DM, you should use them lightly or not at all. When you say Gorm is a Ranger, then it's easy for players to file him away as they know exactly want a ranger can do and not do. But if the players are told that Gorm is a WildWalker, they have no idea what he can or can't do.

This is a gaming philosophy thing, but I mildly to very strongly disagree with this.

1. Standard gaming terms exist for a reason. If a player gets a +5 Vorpal Longsword, and you want them to know exactly what mechanical abilities their longsword has, just ****ing tell them it's a +5 vorpal longsword. I can't stand watching people come up with some obnoxious way of talking around it, like some slimy politician who wants to raise taxes but knows people will reject the idea if he says so directly.

2. Players should always know exactly what mechanical options they have, unless not knowing what they're going to get when they use it is an explicit part of the mechanic like what spell a Rod of Wonder is going to cast next or something. Don't tell me my headband "Fills me with power", tell me it gives a +2 STR bonus. It doesn't make the thing feel mysterious or fantastical, it just makes the DM sound pretentious.

3. Taking a thing players already understand and calling it something else, in general, is just plain lazy. If you want the players to encounter a monster or a challenge they've never encountered before, actually come up with something they've never heard of before. Calling a Rabbit a Smeerp (or a Ranger a Wildwalker) is just lazy DMing. Furthermore it becomes increasingly ridiculous and forced once the players figure out the "new" thing is just an old thing with a new name and you have to come up with a new name to obscure it once again.


5.Magical Side Effects and Changes: All magic should have a price. ... The idea is not to punish magic, just to make it more fun and intresting!

Whether this works or not depends *very* strongly on the intended tone and setting of the game. This sort of thing works best when only NPCs can be actual wizards and the players are only capable of interacting with scrolls and wands.


6.Gods Eyes: If you use divine power, then your god is watching everything you do and is especially watching when you use their divine power to take actions. A god will at least weekly send each worshiper a sign that your ''on the right path'' or not. And as your god is watching every spell, you must only use them as your god wishes. Should you use your gods divine magic against their will...something will happen.

This idea absolutely horrifies me because of how much potential for abuse by the DM it has. The King says "Fetch me a bucket!" but the players wander off to do something they find actually interesting instead, so the cleric's god contacts them and say "WHYEST ART THOU NOT FETCHINGETH THINE BUCKET!?"


7.A Ton of Things: Make the whole universe bigger then a postage stamp. Never, ever have ''just one'' way of doing any thing. For example, don't just have doppelgangers as the sole disguise monsters, always have at least three possibility to pick from. The same with spells, never ''only have'' the spell 'Fly', but have three spells that can let a person fly. And if there is not one, make it up.

8.Unique Race Things: Make tons of things that only one race can use, both magic and mundane. You can add in the ''other races use at like half what the race does'' though. This could be a whole post too.

9.Monstrous Monsters: Anything that is not alive in the normal sense should be dangerous to touch or interact with. This includes Fey, Ousiders and Undead. Stealing outsider hit points with a vamperic touch is a bad idea. And reading a demans mind is a worse idea. Again this would sure need to be a whole post. But the idea is not not make all the mosters ''just stats''.

I'm not even going to begin as to why THESE are horribad ideas.

10.Status Que: Don't even bother with the world that changes to 'challenge' the players, just make everything the way it is. The castle guards are 11th level fighters if the players are 1st or 5th or 10th level.[/quote]

Ehh... I only half-agree with this. If we're talking about changing just the world, strictly, then yes, I agree. However, I do think the story should scale to meet the characters. The players should no longer be slaying 1/3 CR Goblins by the time they hit 10th level unless they specifically decide "Hey let's go kill some goblins just for ****s and giggles." They should also not be sent on a quest to slay a Great Wyrm Red Dragon while they're still at level 1, even if (actually, especially if) you intend for them to fail.


Just to give fair waring though, my House Rules don't mix well with Optimizing Player types. Especially two and three. More then one Optimizing Player has walked out of my game for (quote) "Not being able to play the game!'' And we all know what that means, right wink wink....

You really, really, really seem to hate these "optimizer types" (which by all indications sound like players who dare to pay attention to how the mechanics work instead of ignoring them and doing freeform) for apparently no reason. Did one of them break into your house and kill your children or something?

Kholai
2012-09-13, 02:28 AM
I think there may be a bit of confusion here. The OP isn't complaining about characters being able to Knowledge (Physics) their way to developing atom bombs or anything like that; she's complaining that Knowledge checks are definitive (that you can know things with 100% certainty) and that they're too broad (that you just know about "all magic" or "all history" or the like), presumably because e.g. a tundra druid knowing about desert creatures or an abjurer knowing the niggling details about a rare and forgotten necromantic rituals seems too far-fetched.

The OP is indicating that no matter what, never ever tell players the truth, or allow them to rock their absolute knowledge in a subject. At no point does the concept of expanding ranks in a skill outwards (Split Arcana, for example, into ancient mysteries, magic traditions, arcane symbols, cryptic phrases, constructs, dragons, magical beasts, each with their own separate check and ranks), just "you half remember reading about this on the back of a napkin you read in a bar that some drunk handed to you".

Whilst conceptually banning all knowledge from being worth the skill ranks is fine, I just want consistency here, to stop those powergaming Fighter 20s from hitting things, because there's no way in twenty levels that that guy in the plate armour wielding a greatsword could learn how to throw a knife or punch a dude in the face, and absolutely no way that anyone could roll a spot check to determine where someone is to attack them in the first place.


Also, it comes down to 'what is a really tough question'?

Presumably one which has an answer. And no, never, ever in a million years could even a level 7 character be within modern day human expectations. They can run across a greased tight rope, jump ten feet from a standing start, and that's about the time that the party bard can successfully use Sleight of Hand as a free action when taking 10, meaning they can lift an infinite number of small items from anyone within approximately within five feet of them during their turn, or climb a ceiling with greased handholds with absolutely no risk of falling.


Now consider a level 15 rogue with Skill Focus (Knowledge [Hard Sciences]) and max ranks in the skill, as well as Int 26. That's a +29 modifier, which means that he knows the answer to every single scientific question known to modern humanity. Every last one. Without rolling. Off the top of his head. Granted, level 15 characters are well into mythic and/or superhero territory, but that's just a bit excessive, don't you think?

Rogues have very few knowledge skills and that's cross class, but anyway, in this case, yes, they should probably at very least know the answer to every single scientific question whose answer is known to two or more people on the planet whose work has been published or recorded, as well as basic principles known that might help them deduce any further answers, and have an excellent idea of how they might get more answers, especially if they have complementary knowledge in other areas.

This isn't to say they can automatically know everything on sight based on their knowledge skill, but they would probably know how to go about finding the answer. There's a tree? Roll Knowledge Nature. Success? Well you're still too far from the tree to be sure but given the shape of the leaves that you can determine from here, it's in the Populus family. You could probably spend a bit of time examining it up close to determine more exactly.

As a counterpoint:

What's that? There's a shambling humanoid walking towards you, moaning and bits are falling off them, going "braaaaains"?

Well that's clearly a dwarf, or so the legend goes.

NichG
2012-09-13, 02:52 AM
No, it's not a false dichotomy. If a Knowledge skill doesn't give you knowledge, there's no point in investing any ranks in it--firstly, because there already exist Gather Information, bardic knowledge, legend lore, and other means to give you rumors, legends, and other vague/unreliable information; secondly, because there would then be no way to represent what you know.

...

The example you gave of Instant Lookup is indeed a useful power, as it's basically Fantasy Wikipeda. But it's not at all equivalent to a rumor-based system. First of all, chances are the library is going to have, y'know, facts in it, and secondly you have lots of books to cross-reference to determine reliability and consistency of information, which are both things that the rumor mill won't give you.


Sorry if this sounds too abstract, but 'what do we know really?'. When talking about things that are at all nontrivial, there are always tons of people who are certain its one way, and tons of people who are certain its another way. If anything, having some sort of cosmic assurance that 'if your check tells you something then it is true' is the anomaly, not the usual case. A library doesn't contain 'facts' in the absolute truth sense, it contains what people think are facts. Basically rumors. They might be really well-proven rumors, supported by tons of people, but at the end of the day anything that isn't a mathematical consequence of a formal logic system is going to potentially have some degree of uncertainty.

This is why I'm saying its a false dichotomy: You're arguing that the possibility for a Knowledge check to give wrong information existing is equivalent to guaranteeing that all your information is wrong. Really, the case is more that its depending on the fraction of information that ends up being wrong, which is absolutely a DM-dependent factor. If that factor is 1/2 then yeah, Knowledge isn't too useful. But what if its 1/10? 1/100? 1/1000?




And finally, most DMs who dislike Knowledge skills for being too effective prefer to use it as a plot exposition mechanic, at least in my experience. These are the kind of DMs who say no, you can't tell anything about the MacGuffin, you need to go to the Grand Library or the Old Sage and ask them about it. Well, what if you've already been to the Grand Library and researched that before, or what if you've come across it in unrelated studies, or what if your mentor mentioned it? And even if you don't have explicit background information saying you've done that, why couldn't a PC be the wise old man for once and actually know something instead of talking to yet another hermit who knows all about something despite being in the middle of nowhere? That's what Knowledge is for, after all, to determine what your character knows without having to figure out exactly how he might have come by the information. If you want plot-relevant stuff to only be dispensed by plot-relevant NPCs, that's fine, just say so instead of leading people on with a rumor mill.

Though this above bit is a little bit snarky, I think it gets to the fundamental reason for some of these changes proposed by the OP. There is fundamentally a tension between players, whose job it is to resolve situations, and DMs, whose job it is to provide players something to resolve (not to 'beat' them or to compete with them, but to basically give something for them to chew through). If players don't try to resolve things, nothing happens. If DMs don't provide something to resolve that resists instant resolution, everyone might as well go home.

Hopefully then its understandable why a DM might not want the players to have a bunch of things that directly guarantee resolution of certain broad classes of problems (such as 'we need to know something') with a single die roll, and why its not just a matter of the DM wanting their NPC to do the talking. If you don't have to go and seek out the answer, thats a lot of adventuring you're missing out on. If you don't follow false leads occasionally the plot goes too fast and the campaign ends, or has very forced extensions.

Craft (Cheese)
2012-09-13, 03:53 AM
Hopefully then its understandable why a DM might not want the players to have a bunch of things that directly guarantee resolution of certain broad classes of problems (such as 'we need to know something') with a single die roll, and why its not just a matter of the DM wanting their NPC to do the talking. If you don't have to go and seek out the answer, thats a lot of adventuring you're missing out on. If you don't follow false leads occasionally the plot goes too fast and the campaign ends, or has very forced extensions.

An adventure that could be solved with a single die roll if not for the arbitrary DM fiat is not a "very forced extension?"

TuggyNE
2012-09-13, 04:51 AM
Hopefully then its understandable why a DM might not want the players to have a bunch of things that directly guarantee resolution of certain broad classes of problems (such as 'we need to know something') with a single die roll, and why its not just a matter of the DM wanting their NPC to do the talking. If you don't have to go and seek out the answer, thats a lot of adventuring you're missing out on. If you don't follow false leads occasionally the plot goes too fast and the campaign ends, or has very forced extensions.

Fundamentally, there are, as you say, certain broad classes of problems that can be solved trivially by various chunks of the D&D rules. There are really only two ways to deal with this: either don't make adventures out of those problems, or don't use those parts of the rules. Now, naturally, this is (at least nominally) a homebrew thread; it's therefore logical to try to figure out ways to change the rules and reduce that pool of trivial problems. However, you always run the risk of, as Craft (Cheese) said, making a particular obstacle seem truly forced, if the players consider that they should reasonably be skilled enough (in some sense) to deal with it. (Example: disconnecting the campaign world from the Astral Plane because you dislike dealing with teleportation messing up your stories can be seen as a clunky move, and even railroading — often for good reason. Or setting all locks the players come across to be DC 60, because "they're special magical locks made out of adamantine and protected by wards against knock and divinations". At level 5.)

Usually, the best way to deal with a problem that's too easy is instead to make it more difficult in a way that makes sense within both the rules and the story, IMO; teleportation has its counters, and there are substitutes for locked doors. (Or, to put it another way: don't homebrew a hacky solution to what 3.5 has already solved.)

NichG
2012-09-13, 07:16 AM
An adventure that could be solved with a single die roll if not for the arbitrary DM fiat is not a "very forced extension?"

It depends on the rules. If you've got house-rules that that die roll doesn't do that thing, its no longer a 'very forced extension'. Thus the homebrew thread.

The fact is, D&D has things that instantly solve many traditional challenges of the fantasy genre. Some people embrace it and say 'okay, I'll just run the things that are still challenges!', other people say 'I am just going to say no when it comes up', and other people say 'heres how to change the system to remove this problem'. All are valid in themselves - the problem is when you hold one of those approaches to the standards of the others. Saying 'thats not how it works by RAW' isn't useful if the person you're saying it to is talking about how to fix a problem they have with RAW, just like saying 'you can just homebrew it' isn't useful when you're talking to someone who wants to run a RAW game.

If teleportation is screwing up your dungeon crawls, which is more forced: saying at the start of game that there is no teleportation magic, or arbitrarily constructing every important location in the game world out of anti-teleportation stone? I'd argue its a lot more honest to tell the players up front 'I'm houseruling this because I dont like what it does to the game'.

Yitzi
2012-09-13, 08:30 AM
If anything, having some sort of cosmic assurance that 'if your check tells you something then it is true' is the anomaly, not the usual case.

Which is why knowledge checks should be rolled secretly by the DM, with failure possibly producing false "knowledge". No "half-remembered you're not sure" is needed to make that work well.

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-09-13, 12:38 PM
The OP is indicating that no matter what, never ever tell players the truth, or allow them to rock their absolute knowledge in a subject. At no point does the concept of expanding ranks in a skill outwards (Split Arcana, for example, into ancient mysteries, magic traditions, arcane symbols, cryptic phrases, constructs, dragons, magical beasts, each with their own separate check and ranks), just "you half remember reading about this on the back of a napkin you read in a bar that some drunk handed to you".

Whilst conceptually banning all knowledge from being worth the skill ranks is fine, I just want consistency here, to stop those powergaming Fighter 20s from hitting things, because there's no way in twenty levels that that guy in the plate armour wielding a greatsword could learn how to throw a knife or punch a dude in the face, and absolutely no way that anyone could roll a spot check to determine where someone is to attack them in the first place.

I know the OP doesn't mention splitting skills, but the later debate on it (e.g. "how do you know about photosynthesis") and the general sentiment involved in nerfing knowledge skills implies that splitting up the skills would help mitigate the issue. Knowing about a small subset of X is presumably more palatable than knowing about X itself.


Rogues have very few knowledge skills and that's cross class, but anyway, in this case, yes, they should probably at very least know the answer to every single scientific question whose answer is known to two or more people on the planet whose work has been published or recorded, as well as basic principles known that might help them deduce any further answers, and have an excellent idea of how they might get more answers, especially if they have complementary knowledge in other areas.

This isn't to say they can automatically know everything on sight based on their knowledge skill, but they would probably know how to go about finding the answer. There's a tree? Roll Knowledge Nature. Success? Well you're still too far from the tree to be sure but given the shape of the leaves that you can determine from here, it's in the Populus family. You could probably spend a bit of time examining it up close to determine more exactly.

I was going with rogue to remove magical knowledge from the equation, and hey, he probably has Able Learner because he's a human. :smallwink: As for identifying a tree, I'd say identifying the family at first sight and then giving more details after a closer examination would be a good way to flavor making the check by just a few points: it takes you a bit of time to figure it out, but you get it in the end. If someone made it by 10 or 15, I'd have no problem with them saying "Oh yeah, I can tell even from here that that's a [blah] tree, the color of the bark totally gives it away."


Sorry if this sounds too abstract, but 'what do we know really?'. When talking about things that are at all nontrivial, there are always tons of people who are certain its one way, and tons of people who are certain its another way. If anything, having some sort of cosmic assurance that 'if your check tells you something then it is true' is the anomaly, not the usual case. A library doesn't contain 'facts' in the absolute truth sense, it contains what people think are facts. Basically rumors. They might be really well-proven rumors, supported by tons of people, but at the end of the day anything that isn't a mathematical consequence of a formal logic system is going to potentially have some degree of uncertainty.

While we could go on for quite some time about how only math can "prove" things and science is merely inductive and therefore fallible, equating that to a mere rumor mill is tending towards the "but it's only a theory!" line of reasoning. We may not have absolute certainty as to how gravity works, but that gravity works is a scientific fact. We may not have absolute certainty as to the absolute identity of a four-legged creature of the species Lupus canis familiaris, but outside of an epistemology debate you know it's a dog.


This is why I'm saying its a false dichotomy: You're arguing that the possibility for a Knowledge check to give wrong information existing is equivalent to guaranteeing that all your information is wrong. Really, the case is more that its depending on the fraction of information that ends up being wrong, which is absolutely a DM-dependent factor. If that factor is 1/2 then yeah, Knowledge isn't too useful. But what if its 1/10? 1/100? 1/1000?

But the proposal isn't for the possibility of giving wrong information; that's closer to the "fail by more than 5, get false information" take on Knowledge. The proposal is for the possibility of giving only information that could be either right or wrong with an unknown degree of certainty either way, with no additional mechanic for differentiating between the two. If you roll Knowledge (Physics) to see if you know about gravity, you could get anything from relativity to Newtonian mechanics to Intelligent Falling, and without an actual mechanic to fact-check it or a long and pointless quest to talk to some NPC who mysteriously knows the real answer when you can't, any (or all) of those could be correct--particularly given that this is D&D, and Intelligent Falling might actually be correct, with gravity quasielementals and everything.


Though this above bit is a little bit snarky, I think it gets to the fundamental reason for some of these changes proposed by the OP. There is fundamentally a tension between players, whose job it is to resolve situations, and DMs, whose job it is to provide players something to resolve (not to 'beat' them or to compete with them, but to basically give something for them to chew through). If players don't try to resolve things, nothing happens. If DMs don't provide something to resolve that resists instant resolution, everyone might as well go home.

Hopefully then its understandable why a DM might not want the players to have a bunch of things that directly guarantee resolution of certain broad classes of problems (such as 'we need to know something') with a single die roll, and why its not just a matter of the DM wanting their NPC to do the talking. If you don't have to go and seek out the answer, thats a lot of adventuring you're missing out on. If you don't follow false leads occasionally the plot goes too fast and the campaign ends, or has very forced extensions.

Speaking as a long-time DM, "we need to know something" should probably not be a plot hook in the vast majority of cases. If something is unknown, or a secret known to only a few, or hidden in some dusty tome in a crypt somewhere, then you can make an adventure out of it, but that's really nothing more than a fetch quest on the way to your actual conflict most of the time. If something is common knowledge, or at least isn't secret knowledge, the PCs should be able to determine it fairly readily. PCs should be able to identify monsters, spells, cities, historical events, nobles, and so forth. They live in the world, they come across that sort of thing.

Wanting to replace all certain knowledge about, say, monsters with rumors is like wanting to replace knowledge about cars with rumors. To us, a troll is a mysterious creature with strange capabilities, but to an adventurer it's something that a buddy of theirs ran into, or that took out a hamlet a few years back, or that they've read about before. To a character in D&D, a car is a scary non-magical contraption that manages to move on its own and make strange sounds; to us, it's that 10-year-old Toyota Camry that your neighbor has been driving for too long and should really get rid of now that the engine's started knocking a bit. The whole purpose of Knowledge checks is to separate out the real secret knowledge from stuff someone who actually lives in the world would know--and if you really want a particular thing to trigger a quest, either jack the DC up with circumstance modifiers or just handwave it as being unknown; much better to invalidate it in this one particular instance than to invalidate the whole skill.

NichG
2012-09-13, 03:27 PM
While we could go on for quite some time about how only math can "prove" things and science is merely inductive and therefore fallible, equating that to a mere rumor mill is tending towards the "but it's only a theory!" line of reasoning. We may not have absolute certainty as to how gravity works, but that gravity works is a scientific fact. We may not have absolute certainty as to the absolute identity of a four-legged creature of the species Lupus canis familiaris, but outside of an epistemology debate you know it's a dog.


The thing is, you're talking about cases here which are fairly low DC Knowledge checks in the modern era. They're things which are very well-supported or are a matter of definition (separate issue). Ask for fringe knowledge, and things will get a lot more blurry. And species classification is an ironic example, because its one of those things that got blurry since the introduction of genetics where we could actually do analyses to say what is likely to have evolved from what. Prior to that, taxonomy was based on macroscopic features, and it got a lot of things wrong.




Speaking as a long-time DM, "we need to know something" should probably not be a plot hook in the vast majority of cases. If something is unknown, or a secret known to only a few, or hidden in some dusty tome in a crypt somewhere, then you can make an adventure out of it, but that's really nothing more than a fetch quest on the way to your actual conflict most of the time.

Eh, I have to disagree here. I've heavily enjoyed campaigns where the 'actual conflict' was in fact figuring stuff out. A 7th Sea campaign set around figuring out what magic really was, a D&D campaign set around trying to figure out what was actually going on that was ending various parallel worlds, etc. Mystery is a big driver of gameplay, and its as 'tactical' as combat since there's the give and take of deciding what to do to figure things out versus the risk that what you're using to figure things out makes things worse.


If something is common knowledge, or at least isn't secret knowledge, the PCs should be able to determine it fairly readily. PCs should be able to identify monsters, spells, cities, historical events, nobles, and so forth. They live in the world, they come across that sort of thing.


It depends on the world. In some worlds theres the Briar, with innumerable wonders beyond it that few have returned to tell of. In other worlds you can go down to the market and buy a monster book. Both are valid styles of play.



Wanting to replace all certain knowledge about, say, monsters with rumors is like wanting to replace knowledge about cars with rumors. To us, a troll is a mysterious creature with strange capabilities, but to an adventurer it's something that a buddy of theirs ran into, or that took out a hamlet a few years back, or that they've read about before.


That monsters are commonplace is an assumption that does not hold in every DM's personal game. Again something to be aware of here.


The whole purpose of Knowledge checks is to separate out the real secret knowledge from stuff someone who actually lives in the world would know--and if you really want a particular thing to trigger a quest, either jack the DC up with circumstance modifiers or just handwave it as being unknown; much better to invalidate it in this one particular instance than to invalidate the whole skill.

I still object to the assertion that this 'invalidates' the skill. It adjusts its degree of power and utility on a DM-dependent basis, but thats all. Also, arbitrary cosmically high DCs is generally asking for an arms race - its not hard for a dedicated group of PCs of, say, 10th level to get pretty much any skill check result they want up into the one hundred range. I'd be inclined to say that making a habit of having reachable but exceedingly high DCs be common will invalidate the skill system much more quickly than changing the way Knowledge works, as everyone will realize that skill rank investment is irrelevant next to figuring out all the Lv1 and Lv2 spells that buff skills by 10 or 20 points each.

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-09-13, 03:54 PM
The thing is, you're talking about cases here which are fairly low DC Knowledge checks in the modern era. They're things which are very well-supported or are a matter of definition (separate issue). Ask for fringe knowledge, and things will get a lot more blurry.

And it is exactly those kind of low-DC Knowledge checks that suffer from the rumor-only rule. As I've already mentioned, I'd support a false information/rumor result on a failed check, so high-DC bits of knowledge such as the mentioned fringe cases might result in rumors, but making all knowledge checks suffer from that is the wrong approach.


And species classification is an ironic example, because its one of those things that got blurry since the introduction of genetics where we could actually do analyses to say what is likely to have evolved from what. Prior to that, taxonomy was based on macroscopic features, and it got a lot of things wrong.

What is this "genetics" and "evolution" of which you speak? :smallconfused: A DC 10 Knowledge (Religion) check will tell you that Obad-Hai and Ehlonna created dogs and other animals in their current forms.

(See why having a method for determining what character knowledge is an in-world known is a good idea? :smallwink:)


Eh, I have to disagree here. I've heavily enjoyed campaigns where the 'actual conflict' was in fact figuring stuff out. A 7th Sea campaign set around figuring out what magic really was, a D&D campaign set around trying to figure out what was actually going on that was ending various parallel worlds, etc. Mystery is a big driver of gameplay, and its as 'tactical' as combat since there's the give and take of deciding what to do to figure things out versus the risk that what you're using to figure things out makes things worse.

This view of "needing to know something" as a plot hook might be part of the cause of our disagreement. Figuring out "what magic really is" isn't the result of a Knowledge (Arcana) check, it's the description of what Knowledge (Arcana) is--of course you'd make some checks to see what you know about it to start piecing things together, go adventuring to pick up more obscure information to fill in the gaps, and so forth. Figuring out why parallel worlds are imploding isn't a result of a Knowledge (Planes) check--Knowledge (Planes) might tell you what possible ways there are to make parallel worlds implode, what sorts of causes fit the observed symptoms, and so forth.

If Knowledge is being treated like a magic 8 ball or a commune-/contact other plane-like nigh-omniscient source of information, I can see why people might want to limit it. Knowledge (X) measures what a character knows about X, so obviously if no one knows about some subset Y of X, Knowledge (X) won't tell you about it.


It depends on the world. In some worlds theres the Briar, with innumerable wonders beyond it that few have returned to tell of. In other worlds you can go down to the market and buy a monster book. Both are valid styles of play.

If a character has put ranks in Knowledge (Arcana), one can expect that that character does indeed know stuff covered by that skill. If in your game you want certain aspects of dragons, magical creatures, and such to be unknown, you can make those aspects unknown, as mentioned above--just make sure you inform the players ahead of time that all of the monster-identification aspects of Knowledge won't work as expected. If in your game you want that entire area of knowledge to be unknown (e.g. magic is just being invented, so no one is well-versed in it), tell your players that and don't let them take ranks in Knowledge (Arcana). Either of those is fine, just don't let a player decide his character knows stuff about stuff and then tell him, nope, just rumors.


That monsters are commonplace is an assumption that does not hold in every DM's personal game. Again something to be aware of here.

The OP is talking about "fixes" to 3.5. If one's campaign setting or game is far enough off the baseline of 3.5 that the average person in that setting or game hasn't seen a single monster, one wouldn't take those rule suggestions, would one?


I still object to the assertion that this 'invalidates' the skill. It adjusts its degree of power and utility on a DM-dependent basis, but thats all. Also, arbitrary cosmically high DCs is generally asking for an arms race - its not hard for a dedicated group of PCs of, say, 10th level to get pretty much any skill check result they want up into the one hundred range. I'd be inclined to say that making a habit of having reachable but exceedingly high DCs be common will invalidate the skill system much more quickly than changing the way Knowledge works, as everyone will realize that skill rank investment is irrelevant next to figuring out all the Lv1 and Lv2 spells that buff skills by 10 or 20 points each.

I'm not talking about ELH-style DC inflation here, just saying that if you're uncomfortable with characters being able to know a lot by being able to hit DC 30 regularly, you can increase the DCs somewhat for more granularity. It seems reasonable that DC 30 means "tough for your average low-level expert" and you might have higher DCs for "tough for high-level super-geniuses." Bardic knowledge is a level check with a DC 30 entry, for instance, so if a bard has to be mid-to-high level to reliably get the highest level of information, it makes sense that there might be DC 40 or 50 Knowledge checks.

And I stand by my assertion. If you changed Swim such that it didn't allow you to swim, just doggy paddle in calm bodies of water, I think you'd be justified in saying it invalidates the skill, because there is now no reason to invest ranks in it because it doesn't do anything of substance. As mentioned before, if you want rumors about something, you have Gather Information, bardic knowledge, legend lore, and more. Knowledge checks are the only mechanic determining whether your character knows something, and if it doesn't do that anymore, why bother?

RFLS
2012-09-13, 03:59 PM
Sooo....is the OP coming back?

Chambers
2012-09-13, 04:45 PM
I generally agree with Dice on the subject of Knowledge Checks. Here's a link to the OOC thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=251989) for a game I'm currently running. The game has just started recently and after being introduced to the situation the players have been trying to figure out what they know about the problem and think of possible solutions. As it turns out there's been a lot of knowledge checks related to many different subjects, with my DM answers starting in post 13.

The majority of Knowledge checks have hit DC's in the 30's and 40's so I've tried to give fairly detailed information about the subject. I'm actually glad that they've been making all these checks, as it allows me to give them background information on the setting, background information on the situation, and possible insights into solutions. I'm not handing out the answers, but there are leads and/or clues in the checks that have propelled them into different directions.

In some cases it's a simple yes/no. Are there other Mythals in Myth Drannor? I got a 28 History check. Nope, you've never heard of one.

Some players have made the same check for the same subject and gotten different results, with more or less detail depending on their check result. A 29 History got a fairly broad overview of an obscure topic (a specific small kingdom in a part of the world that has many obscure kingdoms that no one pays much attention to), though the overview was more or less a complete picture. A 42 History check on the same subject got more detailed background of the rulers of the kingdom, brief mentions of some of their exploits, and some conjectures on the type of specialized magic the rulers use. I would have also informed the player of the typical imports/exports, size of the populace, common religions and superstitions in the area and so on (The basic rundown on a country akin to the CIA Factbook) but I didn't think it was relevant and/or what they were interested in knowing.

Honestly sometimes I think I'm not putting enough information in the check results, as hitting DC's 40+ means to me that you know more than just something about the subject relevant to the situation on hand, but that you've got some specialized information that's not common knowledge. Unfortunately that could mean almost anything, so I'm trying to trim it down to what I think is most useful.

And yeah, I think there's times when a Knowledge check doesn't just give you all the answers. In the game linked to they are looking for clues about some dream magic, a field of magic that none of the characters are specialized in. However, the mages know as much about it as an expert in a general field would have knowledge of a very specialized subset of that field, i.e. General Practitioner -> Oral Surgeon. They know people throughout history that have used it, and those are the experts on the subject of dream magic that they need to talk to to learn more information. That or find a book on the subject. The Knowledge check that gave them the name of the dream magic expert and not much else wasn't a failed check; on the contrary it was successful in that they know who they need to talk to.

Doing that for every knowledge check would be horribly tedious and frustrating though.

TLDR; Knowledge checks shouldn't be held over the players heads like fruit they can just barely reach. As a DM I use them to drive the game forward by putting information into the players hands so that they can make plans with (usually) better information.

Yitzi
2012-09-13, 04:50 PM
3. Taking a thing players already understand and calling it something else, in general, is just plain lazy. If you want the players to encounter a monster or a challenge they've never encountered before, actually come up with something they've never heard of before. Calling a Rabbit a Smeerp (or a Ranger a Wildwalker) is just lazy DMing. Furthermore it becomes increasingly ridiculous and forced once the players figure out the "new" thing is just an old thing with a new name and you have to come up with a new name to obscure it once again.

It can be useful for verisimilitude if used sparingly, though. Not everyone uses the same terms for the same things.


This idea absolutely horrifies me because of how much potential for abuse by the DM it has.

Let's face it, if the DM wants to abuse things, things are hopeless anyway. The proposed rule change is great from an in-character perspective, and really gives a sense of "servant to a greater power" rather than just "another sort of caster"; as such, it's well worth the price of giving one more way to break the game to the guy who already can do "rocks fall, everybody dies."


Ehh... I only half-agree with this. If we're talking about changing just the world, strictly, then yes, I agree. However, I do think the story should scale to meet the characters. The players should no longer be slaying 1/3 CR Goblins by the time they hit 10th level unless they specifically decide "Hey let's go kill some goblins just for ****s and giggles." They should also not be sent on a quest to slay a Great Wyrm Red Dragon while they're still at level 1, even if (actually, especially if) you intend for them to fail.

Clearly. Although if there's a "general quest postings" thing, all those quests should be there; they'll just pick (or maybe even only be explicitly told) the level-appropriate ones.


You really, really, really seem to hate these "optimizer types" (which by all indications sound like players who dare to pay attention to how the mechanics work instead of ignoring them and doing freeform) for apparently no reason. Did one of them break into your house and kill your children or something?

Sounds more like a few too many cases of powergamers ruining games.

Tanuki Tales
2012-09-13, 05:03 PM
Sounds more like a few too many cases of powergamers ruining games.

Just chiming in for this and then I'm gone:

I think it's more likely her game was ruined by Munchkins than Powergamers going amok.

I know some view it as semantics, but I view the terms as such:

"Optimizer" is positive.
"Powergamer" is neutral.
"Munchkin" is negative.

Lord_Gareth
2012-09-13, 06:42 PM
Sooo....is the OP coming back?

I certainly hope so. I've got a big huge point to make here.

Gamer Girl
2012-09-13, 08:23 PM
IAnd finally, most DMs who dislike Knowledge skills for being too effective prefer to use it as a plot exposition mechanic, at least in my experience. These are the kind of DMs who say no, you can't tell anything about the MacGuffin, you need to go to the Grand Library or the Old Sage and ask them about it.

I go in a different direction. I want there to be mystery and wonder in the multiverse. When you can walk up to anything, and know exactly what it is...it is boring. Then your just doing ''oh I encounter item#467 in room#40''.

I understand that some players need and want to be know-it-alls. But I've found most of that type of player to just be cheaters, or worse 'opportunity optimizers'(They need to know about things so they can 'amazing' do their perfect effects.) Most role players are fine with ''it's a strange and unknown magical gate like effect'' and don't need to know every last game detail about everything.



This makes buying magic items much harder but doesn't really accomplish anything else.

Well, it makes everything more expensive. From ''playtesting'' for years I can tell you that it simply makes characters have less money. No characters in my games have rooms full of money.



1. Standard gaming terms exist for a reason. If a player gets a +5 Vorpal Longsword, and you want them to know exactly what mechanical abilities their longsword has...

I agree with this, and don't do the vague stuff when it's DM to player.



3. Taking a thing players already understand and calling it something else, in general, is just plain lazy. If you want the players to encounter a monster or a challenge they've never encountered before, actually come up with something they've never heard of before. Calling a Rabbit a Smeerp (or a Ranger a Wildwalker) is just lazy DMing. Furthermore it becomes increasingly ridiculous and forced once the players figure out the "new" thing is just an old thing with a new name and you have to come up with a new name to obscure it once again.

Well, it's not to mislead the players that much. After all most players can figure out that a 'Wildwalker' is a 'Ranger'. It's just making the world more complex. The people of the WestWood Forest call druids 'Woodlords', but the people of Ice Harbor call them 'White Ones'. The people of Crag don't call them goblins, they call them 'stink feet'. Sure it requires the players to pay attention and think, but I'm ok with that.

And I do hate the alternative: "OK, group, Encounter #7 is official starting. Your Encounter foe #1 are Goblins(look them up on pg.35 of the MM)''



You really, really, really seem to hate these "optimizer types" (which by all indications sound like players who dare to pay attention to how the mechanics work instead of ignoring them and doing freeform) for apparently no reason. Did one of them break into your house and kill your children or something?

I do hate the optimizers that either A) Purposely attempt to ruin the game for everyone(A recent example was the optimized archer that killed anything at like 500 feet, so there would be no role play in the game) or B) The Outright Cheating Optimizers.

NichG
2012-09-13, 08:27 PM
What is this "genetics" and "evolution" of which you speak? :smallconfused: A DC 10 Knowledge (Religion) check will tell you that Obad-Hai and Ehlonna created dogs and other animals in their current forms.

(See why having a method for determining what character knowledge is an in-world known is a good idea? :smallwink:)


Actually I really don't see your point here at all. This sounds like exactly what a player should receive if their character lives in a world where that is the generally believed thing. And I say it would still be just fine if that is not actually true, simply what the world believes. It would in fact be a nearly perfect example of where a Knowledge check should give you false information.

I could easily see a Cleric, a Wizard, and a Druid having the following discussion based on their checks:

Cleric gets a 30 on Knowledge(Religion): Obad-Hai is the god of nature, and so it is his hands that set the forms of the animals, including the dog. Oh, along with the little-known demiurgic proto-deities of the Selvarian Veldt of course.

Wizard gets a 30 on Knowledge(Planes): Actually, dogs probably aren't from this prime originally. The Ur-Dog might have been the Barghest, a monster that predates life on this world and makes its home on Gehenna, or perhaps the Fu-dogs of Mechanus or even the Howlers of Pandemonium.

Druid gets a 30 on Knowledge(Nature): There are lots of different kinds of dogs, and when they interbreed they inherit some traits of the father or the mother in combination. The domesticated dog was made by humans this way, by breeding out the more hostile traits of animals such as the wolf. It may be that Obad-Hai made the wolf, but mankind made the dog.

Each check has gotten information that 'the world knows' about that aspect of the question (whence the dog?), but the true answer remains unknown. It doesn't make the information you get useless, but it includes both true and false statements (and which are which depend on how it 'really' is which could be in line with any of those three stories).

This is why I suggest that one way to think about this is if 'the world itself' has a certain effective modifier for each Knowledge skill, which essentially sets the limit of reliable knowledge. Lets say its a +20 in each skill to approximate crudely. Things that are DC 10 'in general' are known by the world, because it can't fail that check. Things that are DC 30 will have various heterogeneous opinions and no one truth known by all (because half of the time its a failure and half of the time its a success). Things that are DC 41+ are basically unknown or systematically wrong.



If Knowledge is being treated like a magic 8 ball or a commune-/contact other plane-like nigh-omniscient source of information, I can see why people might want to limit it. Knowledge (X) measures what a character knows about X, so obviously if no one knows about some subset Y of X, Knowledge (X) won't tell you about it.


This was basically my objection, actually. More specifically, it was that even if you're using Knowledge to ask about the things it covers, there was a presumption that 'knowing if you succeeded' was equivalent to knowing if the information you got was cosmically 'true' or 'false'.



The OP is talking about "fixes" to 3.5. If one's campaign setting or game is far enough off the baseline of 3.5 that the average person in that setting or game hasn't seen a single monster, one wouldn't take those rule suggestions, would one?


This 'baseline' is really an invention though. We could talk about 'The Playground's D&D' and it might be a very different beast than the D&D played by any particular group, without deviating from the base rules of the game very much. Its more about the attitudes that the players and DM bring to the table than what the rules actually say. Nowhere in the rules of D&D 3.5 does it say that the DM must run a game about a world where monsters are known to the average person. Even if you take random encounter charts as mandatory, you could still have a world where civilization is in one place and the monsters 'past the borders'.



I'm not talking about ELH-style DC inflation here, just saying that if you're uncomfortable with characters being able to know a lot by being able to hit DC 30 regularly, you can increase the DCs somewhat for more granularity. It seems reasonable that DC 30 means "tough for your average low-level expert" and you might have higher DCs for "tough for high-level super-geniuses." Bardic knowledge is a level check with a DC 30 entry, for instance, so if a bard has to be mid-to-high level to reliably get the highest level of information, it makes sense that there might be DC 40 or 50 Knowledge checks.


The problem is you need ELH-style DC inflation to actually achieve your design goal here. Lets take a party with a Lv3 Cleric. He has an Int of 12 and one skill rank in a particular Knowledge skill, for a +2 modifier.

The Cleric uses Guidance of the Avatar for a +20 competence bonus, then Divine Insight for a +8 insight bonus, and has a net +30 modifier on this Knowledge skill. This is without pulling out the stops, since you can also use Improvisation for a Luck bonus (though I have to count my swift actions carefully here, I might need a RKV to pull that one off) and you can get a morale bonus from Heroism or Inspire Competence. Oh, and use Lore of the Gods not for the bonus, but just so you can take 20 so you always get a check result of 50 given time. At Lv3.

Basically, 'if you don't want them to succeed make the check harder' is really awful advice for skills, because it is possible to trivially boost skills much higher than any kind of real investment would require. Players generally only resort to such things if they feel they need to, but once the trick is found it becomes standard.

Of course, this might inspire you to ban Guidance of the Avatar, Wieldskill, and Divine Insight, which I think would be just fine too, but make sure you get all of them (Glibness for +30 Bluff, Jump for bonuses to Jump, Camoflauge for huge Hide bonuses, ...)

TuggyNE
2012-09-13, 08:28 PM
I do hate the optimizers that either A) Purposely attempt to ruin the game for everyone(A recent example was the optimized archer that killed anything at like 500 feet, so there would be no role play in the game) or B) The Outright Cheating Optimizers.

Strictly speaking, these are munchkining jerks, although some of them technically obey the rules.

They are not properly termed optimizers, they do not speak for actual optimizers, and allowing them to call themselves optimizers does no one any favors.

(Technically, also, insta-killing all enemies does not remove many roleplay opportunities; it does, however, annoy fellow players and the DM because no one else gets to do anything during combat — including rolling any dice, except perhaps initiative — and it's impossible to make challenging combats without having a good chance of near-TPK.)

Seerow
2012-09-13, 08:31 PM
I certainly hope so. I've got a big huge point to make here.

Which is why your post will never be answered.

Chambers
2012-09-13, 08:54 PM
I understand that some players need and want to be know-it-alls. But I've found most of that type of player to just be cheaters, or worse 'opportunity optimizers'(They need to know about things so they can 'amazing' do their perfect effects.) Most role players are fine with ''it's a strange and unknown magical gate like effect'' and don't need to know every last game detail about everything.


Just to give fair waring though, my House Rules don't mix well with Optimizing Player types. Especially two and three. More then one Optimizing Player has walked out of my game for (quote) "Not being able to play the game!'' And we all know what that means, right wink wink...."

Please see the Stormwind Fallacy that I quoted above. These type of comments imply that Optimizers (as you call them) aren't role-playing (or aren't doing what you consider role-playing). Role-playing and optimizing are not mutually exclusive. This is important to understand.

toapat
2012-09-13, 08:56 PM
*snip*

Im going to break this down into 4 points:

Knowledge Checks are only ever supposed to come to the level of pulling out the proper manual if you exceed the check by 50 or more. Using them right is a good thing.

You would do much, much better to lift the idea of Bobthe6th: WBL is not Money, it is just procured as magic items at level up. actual money is procured as is seen necessary

Renaming things instead of just doing brief descriptions that make sense for the rank of people you are asking. Ask a commoner what Drizzit does and he will say run around protecting the woods with his jade tiger. As a Paladin Order, and they are going to say he is a rather mopey protagonist who learned martial combat and the ways of the woodland Rangers. On the other hand, using Names shouldnt happen unless you really want to PO the players.

Those are called Munchkins. They deserve to be murdered.

Amechra
2012-09-13, 09:00 PM
Eh, I disagree with your use of optimizers; it sounds like you are lumping them all together, instead of just referring to "those *******s who ruin everyone else's fun."

A lot of these are just good DMing skills; I do actually "scale" the world to the PCs, though, using the fact that levels are really just an abstraction to adjust the difficulty to around where it would be relative to them (since, you know, the players will never actually see the character sheets of the people they are interacting with, and it feels a bit more organic to me. Of course, I've been DMing for a while, and I can whip out a full encounter at the drop of a hat, from off the top of my head...)

Drawbacks for using magic... yikes, where to begin?

I like the idea behind some of them, but... percentile checks just slow down the game.

If you really want magic to have drawbacks, you might want to look at, for example, 7th Sea (to explain, sorcery in that game is a result of one of your ancestors being a guy who formed a Bargain with a group of demons (usually); each form of magic has a Tell (fire mages have little flames in their eyes, Porte (portal makers) have bloodstained hands, and Sorte (prophecy) has your eyes turn grey when you use it.) and a Complication (fire mages cause emotions to flare, porte users have to make a check when going through a portal or... never come out the other side, and Sorte users can take physical damage from the strands of fate whipping their flesh if they mess up.) On top of that, in a metaplot sense, magic of that sort breaks down the barrier leading to the demons (fire burns the barrier, Sorte lets demons see through, and Porte tears it)) for ideas.

In other words, don't have it be "roll a percentile check, then roll on this table"; in fact, if I can find it, I saw a simple system where you slap some penalty off a list onto spells higher than 3rd level, which range from "you need a staff or something to cast this" or "the effect takes place over 2 rounds, rather than being instantaneous, giving people time to disrupt it."

You can even have the same spell use different alterations, and give different ones out as treasure ("alright, this guy is selling scrolls of Amandius' Slow Rising and Enchant Witch's Broom"

"What do they do?"

"Both of them let you fly.")

Yitzi
2012-09-13, 09:29 PM
I go in a different direction. I want there to be mystery and wonder in the multiverse. When you can walk up to anything, and know exactly what it is...it is boring. Then your just doing ''oh I encounter item#467 in room#40''.

I understand that some players need and want to be know-it-alls. But I've found most of that type of player to just be cheaters, or worse 'opportunity optimizers'(They need to know about things so they can 'amazing' do their perfect effects.) Most role players are fine with ''it's a strange and unknown magical gate like effect'' and don't need to know every last game detail about everything.

Some do, and some "opportunity optimizers" are interested not in perfect effects but rather on roleplay-based optimization (which tends to make the game more fun for everyone rather than less).

In any case, giving partial information in response to knowledge checks (especially in conjunction with using homebrewed material so they can't just look in the book) is a far better way to foil such individuals than giving information with uncertainty. "You don't know" on some things is better for wonder and mystery than "you're not sure" on everything.


Well, it makes everything more expensive.

Past the first few levels, magic items are the only things that are expensive enough to really make an impact.

Also, why shouldn't an accomplished adventurer have a stronghold with a lot of money he got from adventuring?


Well, it's not to mislead the players that much. After all most players can figure out that a 'Wildwalker' is a 'Ranger'. It's just making the world more complex.

So it's essentially the roleplay renaming that's suggested right in the Core rulebooks. That's not a house rule, it's simply taking an excellent idea from the books which isn't in the SRD (something few DMs seem to do, unfortunately.)


A recent example was the optimized archer that killed anything at like 500 feet, so there would be no role play in the game

He's a powerful character killing innocent NPCs? That sounds like the sort of bad guy that an adventuring party (maybe even one that's specialized to deal with such people; remember that every build has weaknesses) would be called in to deal with.


or B) The Outright Cheating Optimizers.

This is where the "DM as judge" role comes in. Depending on the level of cheating, you might do anything from simply undoing the cheats to banning them from the group. Also, remember that when you as the DM contradict an overt rule, you're using Rule 0 (which should be done sparingly and always acknowledged as such), but when you interpret an unclear rule, that's just part of your general job. (You do need to be open to hear logical/exegetical arguments for alternate interpretations, at least as long as it doesn't interfere with the game.)

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-09-13, 09:54 PM
I go in a different direction. I want there to be mystery and wonder in the multiverse. When you can walk up to anything, and know exactly what it is...it is boring. Then your just doing ''oh I encounter item#467 in room#40''.

I understand that some players need and want to be know-it-alls. But I've found most of that type of player to just be cheaters, or worse 'opportunity optimizers'(They need to know about things so they can 'amazing' do their perfect effects.) Most role players are fine with ''it's a strange and unknown magical gate like effect'' and don't need to know every last game detail about everything.

Define "most roleplayers." See, if I'm roleplaying an intelligent wizard who knows a lot about magic, I want my wizard to be intelligent and know a lot about magic. I don't want my wizard to be completely mystified because the DM thinks that PCs knowing things is bad.

A few points on roleplaying knowledge:

1) If a PC has max ranks in Swim, its player is telling you that they want their character to be a good swimmer. If a PC has max ranks in Craft (Metalworking, its player is telling you that they want their character to be a good smith. If a PC has max ranks in Knowledge (Nature), its player is telling you that they want their character to know a lot about nature. Why do you insist that the latter is bad and powergame-y but the others aren't? Why do you want to stymie a bookish nerd character but let the Olympic athlete off easy?

2) If knowing everything about a certain thing makes it boring, my job must suck. I'm a software engineer, and I can quote you the specs of my company's servers, explain every line of code in the portion of the product I work on, and rattle off dozens of C++ and Python library functions and their behavior. Yet just because I have that kind of background knowledge doesn't mean that I get to work and think "Oh, gee, I'm writing yet another example of Framework #37 for Server Cluster #14 using Design Pattern #98"--if I ever get that jaded, it's time to retire, because there's enough new and interesting details in "merely" implementing something like that to hold my attention. As I said before, basic knowledge is not a plot hook, it's a means to an end.

3) I hate to say it, but it sounds like you're relying on "wonder" and "mystery" as a crutch. If a PC recognizing that the big green critter in front of him is a troll makes your encounter less interesting, it's probably a boring encounter already. If a PC casting speak with dead solves your mystery, it's probably a simplistic mystery already. If a PC knowing that drow and mind flayers don't like each other messes up your Underdark intrigue, it's probably pretty shallow intrigue already. Conversely, if you do a different excellent accent for each of fifteen different nobles and make them all memorable, knowing all about their heraldry and historical squabbles won't lessen your players' interest in their family politics. Wonder comes from description of effects, characterization of NPCs, and other details, not mere lack of knowledge.


Actually I really don't see your point here at all. This sounds like exactly what a player should receive if their character lives in a world where that is the generally believed thing. And I say it would still be just fine if that is not actually true, simply what the world believes. It would in fact be a nearly perfect example of where a Knowledge check should give you false information.

I think you're missing the point with this and the wizard/cleric/druid example. In D&D, the gods did create everything. It's not a certain point of view or something that sages argue about in their spare time, it's a fact, and anyone with any ranks in Knowledge (Nature) or Knowledge (Religion) would know that. Having a way to inform players "No, this is how the world really works" is necessary in such a case, since it doesn't work like the real world.

Similarly, in a d20 Modern setting, your character shouldn't get a "certain point of view" answer when rolling Knowledge (Biology), he should be getting information about germ theory, cell theory, and genetics, not spontaneous generation, homunculi, and blending inheritance--and with a DC 5ish check, at that.


The problem is you need ELH-style DC inflation to actually achieve your design goal here. Lets take a party with a Lv3 Cleric. He has an Int of 12 and one skill rank in a particular Knowledge skill, for a +2 modifier.

The Cleric uses Guidance of the Avatar for a +20 competence bonus, then Divine Insight for a +8 insight bonus, and has a net +30 modifier on this Knowledge skill. This is without pulling out the stops, since you can also use Improvisation for a Luck bonus (though I have to count my swift actions carefully here, I might need a RKV to pull that one off) and you can get a morale bonus from Heroism or Inspire Competence. Oh, and use Lore of the Gods not for the bonus, but just so you can take 20 so you always get a check result of 50 given time. At Lv3.

And? With exactly the same buffs, a creature can see objects that are completely invisible by squinting really hard, jump head-first off a four-story building and land without a scratch, forge someone's signature without having ever seen it before, and more. Skill abuse is a thing, and doing amazing things with skill checks is also a thing. I didn't say I didn't want PCs to succeed at Knowledge checks--I've been arguing for PCs having good Knowledge, you may have noticed--I just said that if you don't like that characters can know about your plot device with just a DC 30 check, you could introduce higher-DC categories.

Lord_Gareth
2012-09-13, 10:09 PM
Which is why your post will never be answered.

Evidently so. Someone PM me if the OP decides to address my question, if it's not too much trouble.

Eldan
2012-09-13, 10:17 PM
I doubt that will ever happen. From reading earlier discussions with her, it seems quite obvious that she cherry picks which arguments to reply to and ignores the uncomfortable ones that go against her cozy little world surrounded by evil optimizers.

NichG
2012-09-13, 10:31 PM
I think you're missing the point with this and the wizard/cleric/druid example. In D&D, the gods did create everything. It's not a certain point of view or something that sages argue about in their spare time, it's a fact, and anyone with any ranks in Knowledge (Nature) or Knowledge (Religion) would know that. Having a way to inform players "No, this is how the world really works" is necessary in such a case, since it doesn't work like the real world.


What do you mean 'in D&D'? D&D is a mechanical system with a bare-bones minimal setting attached. Maybe if you said 'in Faerun' or 'in Greyhawke' or even 'in Planescape'. But are you seriously saying I can't as a GM use D&D to run a game where the gods didn't create everything or even didn't create anything? Because that is incredibly easy to disprove. Heck, look at Eberron, the canonical 3.5 setting series - the gods there are far less important.



Similarly, in a d20 Modern setting, your character shouldn't get a "certain point of view" answer when rolling Knowledge (Biology), he should be getting information about germ theory, cell theory, and genetics, not spontaneous generation, homunculi, and blending inheritance--and with a DC 5ish check, at that.


If in d20 Modern someone makes a check to determine for example 'how should I treat cancer?', would you still maintain that there is a single, absolutely and universally correct answer that he should receive and furthermore he should know that this is the answer and is absolutely correct?

There's a reason we keep coming back to the really trivial DCs. They're things that have so much support behind them theres not really much question in people's minds as to the answer. There are tons of questions to ask which don't fit this mold - questions where there are many proposed answers and we honestly don't know which one is right. This uncertainty is interesting, and one can absolutely take advantage of it to make for interesting dynamics in a game.



And? With exactly the same buffs, a creature can see objects that are completely invisible by squinting really hard, jump head-first off a four-story building and land without a scratch, forge someone's signature without having ever seen it before, and more. Skill abuse is a thing, and doing amazing things with skill checks is also a thing. I didn't say I didn't want PCs to succeed at Knowledge checks--I've been arguing for PCs having good Knowledge, you may have noticed--I just said that if you don't like that characters can know about your plot device with just a DC 30 check, you could introduce higher-DC categories.

And what I said in response is, this doesn't solve the problem. You were arguing 'if you don't want them to know yet make the DCs higher' and my counterpoint was 'it doesn't matter what you make the DCs, they can hit it anyhow'. All doing this does is encourage skill abuse to still hit the DCs. Its far better to just out and say 'I don't care if you get an infinite check, you don't know that'. Its more honest anyhow, and doesn't lead to player-vs-GM antics that degrade the game as a whole.

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-09-13, 10:56 PM
What do you mean 'in D&D'? D&D is a mechanical system with a bare-bones minimal setting attached. Maybe if you said 'in Faerun' or 'in Greyhawke' or even 'in Planescape'. But are you seriously saying I can't as a GM use D&D to run a game where the gods didn't create everything or even didn't create anything? Because that is incredibly easy to disprove. Heck, look at Eberron, the canonical 3.5 setting series - the gods there are far less important.

Granted, there are settings like Dark Sun and Eberron that change the default assumption. I should have prefaced that with a "Given the assumption in core that there are racial deities that created each race, that D&DG gives gods the ability to create creatures in their portfolio, etc." But I thought my point would be clear from the context of gods creating creatures in [most] D&D [settings] vs. evolution in the real world, that there are differing assumptions between D&D reality and real reality and Knowledge checks as-is are the best way to convey those differences.


If in d20 Modern someone makes a check to determine for example 'how should I treat cancer?', would you still maintain that there is a single, absolutely and universally correct answer that he should receive and furthermore he should know that this is the answer and is absolutely correct?

I maintain that anyone who makes a DC 30 Knowledge (Medicine) check in d20 Modern would know the current treatments for cancer, the methods for applying them, and their benefits and drawbacks--and that anyone who knows all of that would know that they have accurate knowledge on the subject to the limits of human knowledge. I have been saying the entire time that Knowledge deals with what is known to humanity, not some hypothetical future and/or unknowable knowledge. If the question deals in a subject on which we have a single, absolute, universally correct answer such as in formal logic or math, then yes, you can get that answer and know that your research hasn't been lying to you since you started learning arithmetic.


There's a reason we keep coming back to the really trivial DCs. They're things that have so much support behind them theres not really much question in people's minds as to the answer. There are tons of questions to ask which don't fit this mold - questions where there are many proposed answers and we honestly don't know which one is right. This uncertainty is interesting, and one can absolutely take advantage of it to make for interesting dynamics in a game.

And as has been mentioned several times now, it is precisely those trivial things that undermine the entire concept of Knowledge-as-rumors. I've been arguing for the fact that people with Knowledge ranks know things, finally and absolutely. Not in the sense of a third-person omniscient perspective, but in the sense that there are things a character knows that he knows he knows, reducing it all to maybe knowing things or partially knowing things or the like defeats the entire purpose of the Knowledge subsystem, and any epistemological hand-wringing about knowing what you know is fascinating in real life but irrelevant for a game.

All of the side debate about what exactly a DC 50+ Knowledge check is secondary to that point: that if you make all Knowledge checks just give rumors as the OP suggested, it might make sense for the higher end of things but makes none at all for the lower DCs that cover common knowledge.


And what I said in response is, this doesn't solve the problem. You were arguing 'if you don't want them to know yet make the DCs higher' and my counterpoint was 'it doesn't matter what you make the DCs, they can hit it anyhow'. All doing this does is encourage skill abuse to still hit the DCs. Its far better to just out and say 'I don't care if you get an infinite check, you don't know that'. Its more honest anyhow, and doesn't lead to player-vs-GM antics that degrade the game as a whole.

...and that's precisely what I've been saying, that if you want your plot device du jour to be mysterious just say no one knows. :smallconfused: Adding granularity to DCs was a continuation of my earlier suggestion of a different way to restructure the Knowledge system, and not related to the central "Knowledge-as-rumors is unworkable" point.

gooddragon1
2012-09-13, 11:12 PM
Ran a game for a new group of girls last weekend, and several of them were shocked by some of my house rules. Rules I've used for years and my normal players think of as 'just normal'. But they are house rules. The other comment was how ''balanced'' my game was from off of the new players. I'm not a big fan of ''balance'' anyway, so I did not care so much about that.

In any case, here are my top ten ''balanced'' fixes to 3.5:

1.The Silver Standard: Drop the idea of gold as the normal coin of the world and make it silver. Keep all the prices in the rules the same, but whenever coins are found in treasure make them silver. So if your goblin bandits would have 20 gold, make that 20 silver.

2.Unknown DCs: Never tell a player a DC. Simply describe what the player can see, and let them decide ''how hard it is''. This works amazing well to stop Roll-Players.

3.Vague Knowledge: Never tell a player absolute undeniable truth with a knowledge check or other skill check. Far too many games treat a skill check as a know everything about the game check. They should always be in the form of a rumor or half remembered book page. Also add in rumors and out right mistakes. This adds so much more flavor and again helps stop the role-players.

4.No Game Terminology: No NPC should ever use Official Game Rule Terms. And as DM, you should use them lightly or not at all. When you say Gorm is a Ranger, then it's easy for players to file him away as they know exactly want a ranger can do and not do. But if the players are told that Gorm is a WildWalker, they have no idea what he can or can't do.

5.Magical Side Effects and Changes: All magic should have a price. This would need to be more of a whole post, but it's simple enough to just add back in all the 2E magic rules.
By School:

Abjuration: Most abjurations are visible as some sort of magical effect, and many are harmful to touch(inflicting a point or two of damage or a minor effect based o the spell). Any abjurations in contact or overlapping have a 50% chance, plus 1% per spell level, of giving off a Side Effect. Roll once at the time of casting, though the effect maybe delayed. A simple roll on a Wild Magic table can be used in a pinch.

Conjuration/Summoning: Use the 2E teleport rules. Drop the ''you summon a copy'' idea and simply summon a 'real' creature. Any summoning spell has a 50% chance, plus 1% per level of a creature from the same plane as the creature you summoned tagging along. Up to 1d4 creatures per spell level can tag along with the summoned creature and the caster has no control over them.

Unless otherwise specified in the spell description, any created matter is the most basic and average for that type of item.

Divination: It is dangerous to read the thoughts of any creature. The creatures thoughts may effect your own. Base 30% chance, plus 1% per HD of the creature. Your type also has an effect, a human reading an elf mind has a +25% added, a dragon mind +50%, and reading an Aligned Outsider's mind(A demon or deva, for example) has a +75%. Treat as the spell confusion for one round per HD of the creature mind read.

Enchantment/Charm: None

Evocation: None

Illusions: None

Necromancy: Tampering with the life force of a creature not of your type can be dangerous. Animal, humanoid, monstrous humanoid, giant, ooze, plant and vermin all have no danger. Aberration, magical beast and dragon have a base of 50% plus 1% per HD of an side effect. An elemental or outsider has a 75% plus 1% per HD of an side effect. This effect is equal to a poison spell.

Transmutation: Changing ones shape is harmful, use 2E system shock rules. Or a simple Fort Save of DC 15 or be stunned and confused for 1d4 rounds. Also while in another form the mentality of the form may take you over. The base chance is 50% +1% per HD. The effect is similar to charm monster, where the transformed person will act like the creature of the shape they have taken. Every turn the effected creature gets a will save to end the mental effect. If the spell duration expires the effect is also ended.



The idea is not to punish magic, just to make it more fun and intresting!




6.Gods Eyes: If you use divine power, then your god is watching everything you do and is especially watching when you use their divine power to take actions. A god will at least weekly send each worshiper a sign that your ''on the right path'' or not. And as your god is watching every spell, you must only use them as your god wishes. Should you use your gods divine magic against their will...something will happen.

7.A Ton of Things: Make the whole universe bigger then a postage stamp. Never, ever have ''just one'' way of doing any thing. For example, don't just have doppelgangers as the sole disguise monsters, always have at least three possibility to pick from. The same with spells, never ''only have'' the spell 'Fly', but have three spells that can let a person fly. And if there is not one, make it up.

8.Unique Race Things: Make tons of things that only one race can use, both magic and mundane. You can add in the ''other races use at like half what the race does'' though. This could be a whole post too.

9.Monstrous Monsters: Anything that is not alive in the normal sense should be dangerous to touch or interact with. This includes Fey, Ousiders and Undead. Stealing outsider hit points with a vamperic touch is a bad idea. And reading a demans mind is a worse idea. Again this would sure need to be a whole post. But the idea is not not make all the mosters ''just stats''.

10.Status Que: Don't even bother with the world that changes to 'challenge' the players, just make everything the way it is. The castle guards are 11th level fighters if the players are 1st or 5th or 10th level.


So most of my fixes are very simple, but they have a huge impact on the game. Granted the last couple take some work, but it's work well worth it.

Just to give fair waring though, my House Rules don't mix well with Optimizing Player types. Especially two and three. More then one Optimizing Player has walked out of my game for (quote) "Not being able to play the game!'' And we all know what that means, right wink wink....

Sorry, I'm an optimizing player and a roll player and I sympathize with the guy who walked out. Some of us don't like to have to deal with that much fluff to get to the crunch of the game.

1-Don't care much :/.
2-You don't have to tell me, I'll gauge it from successive attempts or other methods.
3&4 (a bit on 2)-I will metagame like a *****.
5-Good optimizers don't need magic to break mechanics. The 1d2 crusader actually uses very little magic.
6,7,8,10-meh
9-I like monsters that are just stats :(.

Magic: There are a few problem spells but really not that many if your optimizers trust you not to throw things at them they couldn't reasonably handle.

Personally, I let other players in the group do the role playing while I take care of the roll-playing.

Currently playing a thri-kreen monk 1, warblade 1
20 strength and punishing stance
5 attacks with flurry each dealing
2d6+5 or 10d6+25 if all of them connect. Could have been worse. Could have been an amphibious anthropomorphic giant squid for 9d8+9d6+72 damage at that level. So, I am holding back but I severely resent this notion of shoehorning into role playing for people who don't enjoy it just because the DM does.

This is my backstory (also doubles as a holy symbol):
http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_full_width_scaled/hash/25/84/25842b0f413470ea9af8a46a2b177f66.png

Telok
2012-09-14, 03:40 AM
I wouldn't have any problems in the OP's game. A decent character, half a page of backstory with a couple of hooks in it, and a willingness to trust the GM. It's role-playing time, away we go.

#1 just moves things away from wheelbarrows full of gold and magic-marts. Nothing about it says that there isn't a thriving trade in high value art, rare gemstones, and magic items. It's just that you don't dump 46+ lbs of gold on a table at market and get a shiny dagger in return.

#s 2, 3, and 4 are just role playing. It's traditionally been the point of the game.

#5 is a move back to magic being dangerous and powerful. The actual changes really only trim back some of the batman wizard tricks without the GM having to go and alter each spell individually. I've done something similar with the game I'm running but I restricted it mostly to teleportation, flight, Identify, and Alter Self. The OP probably doesn't need to plan massive magical immunities and counters for the bad guys and if the player is willing to take the risks of magic then their successes will be spectacular.

#6 is also something similar to what I do.
Requirement: The cleric must worship a god. I will not allow a Lawful Good cleric to worship the philosophy of “Randomly doing whatever I want without any responsibilities” and getting the Death and Pain domains from doing so.
This is an excerpt from the religion text I give my players. Religion works a little differently than most people are used to as well. Modern games use gods a vague power sources for spells and effects, some of them may empower cults or religions as well but they are generally uninterested and uninvolved in the world. I take my cues from the ancient Greek and Roman mythology. Here the cults and religions are constructs of humanity meant to organize and spread worship, and the gods don't care about this. The gods care about heroes and deeds, sacrifices and piety, reward and punishment. They are perhaps a little bit too enthusiastic about the sacrifices and punishment for people's comfort, but you can't really do anything about immortal and invincible deities that tend to flatten cities whenever they have a minor hissy fit. On the plus side there are real benefits to being a pious and faithful believer. The most basic if these is divine intervention when you are about to die. When a pious believer would die from damage they make a level check against the absolute value of the negative damage and lose Piety (tracked by the DM, not player info) equal to their level and how much they missed the level check by. As long as the character has sufficient Piety to pay, they return to life at 0 hp and conscious on their next turn. Raise Dead and that sort of thing ignores Piety unless the character has managed to accrue a negative value, in which case there are divine repercussions.

See the crawlgods file for pious acts for each god.

#7 depends entirely on how much time you want to sink into your world building. It's a pretty good idea but also a heavy investment. If your world or story only needs one set of shapechangers then the other two are wasted effort. Of course there are ways to cheat this, I'd just copy the doppleganger's power and past it onto another critter that has a different style.

#8 is just #7 applied to racial feats, weapons, and PrCs.

#9 combats the two problems of rubber suit monsters (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PeopleInRubberSuits) and "it has stats so we can kill it." Fey are immortal creatures of magic who live by unusual rules, undead are abominations against nature, demons are angels who fell so hard and long that they are the very epitome of vile nastiness. These are supposed to be monsters not pińatas.

#10 NPC levels are pretty borked in basic 3.5, every GM has to pick a point of NPC prowess that they are comfortable with and work out the consequences. I generally use 4-8 for most people and 10-14 for exemplary individuals, all based on age and life experiences. Of course I also start my games at levels three or four too.

This stuff is mostly saying that the OP runs a role playing game adhering more closely to the books of Tolken or McKiernan, as opposed to a Naruto/Pokemon mash-up with flying talking ninja fish. This also serves as an effective filter to cull the potential players who want a combat engine with a role playing side dish.

hobo386
2012-09-14, 03:45 AM
I doubt that will ever happen. From reading earlier discussions with her, it seems quite obvious that she cherry picks which arguments to reply to and ignores the uncomfortable ones that go against her cozy little world surrounded by evil optimizers.


No, you know what? I have a question. I will ask this question every time I see people use the Stormwind Fallacy, to the point where people might confuse my honest ponderings for spam....

If my character concept is, "Masterful martial artist on a journey to see the world outside of his home," should I choose Monk or Swordsage, and why?

Milo v3
2012-09-14, 03:56 AM
If my character concept is, "Masterful martial artist on a journey to see the world outside of his home," should I choose Monk or Swordsage, and why?

You could be a fighter, or a barbarian, or a monk, or a swordsage.
I'd be a Barbarian with a claw attack or improved unarmed strike, but the rage is reflavoured to be a skilled and swift focus in combat.

The faster speed and increased stats would really help, especially if I'm utilising my revision.

Craft (Cheese)
2012-09-14, 05:41 AM
Well, it makes everything more expensive. From ''playtesting'' for years I can tell you that it simply makes characters have less money. No characters in my games have rooms full of money.

The only things of mechanical consequence that you can buy (that aren't already trivially inexpensive) are magic items. The only thing aside from that then is RP-related stuff like "Okay, so I use the bajillion gold I got from looting that dragon's hoard to buy every last apartment block in the city, and then I evict everyone and allow goblins to move into the houses instead!"


Well, it's not to mislead the players that much. After all most players can figure out that a 'Wildwalker' is a 'Ranger'. It's just making the world more complex. The people of the WestWood Forest call druids 'Woodlords', but the people of Ice Harbor call them 'White Ones'. The people of Crag don't call them goblins, they call them 'stink feet'. Sure it requires the players to pay attention and think, but I'm ok with that.

This is the wrong *kind* of complexity. It makes things harder to remember and keep track of but it doesn't actually make the world any deeper or more interesting. It's comparable to (though obviously not as extreme as) actually speaking Sindarin when you're roleplaying an Elf NPC and refusing to translate for the players, even if their character knows Elvish. Learning Sindarin just to speak with that NPC doesn't make the game more fun or the world more immersive, it's just busywork.


No, you know what? I have a question. I will ask this question every time I see people use the Stormwind Fallacy, to the point where people might confuse my honest ponderings for spam....

If my character concept is, "Masterful martial artist on a journey to see the world outside of his home," should I choose Monk or Swordsage, and why?

Commoner, obviously. Stories can't possibly go in interesting directions if the characters just succeed at whatever they're attempting to do, so to roleplay effectively you need to make a character who drags the party down with their incompetence and makes mistakes constantly.

Acanous
2012-09-14, 05:51 AM
I agree on the Cleric portion. Clerics of a deity should really be recieving more of that Deity's attentions.

You aren't picking up your spells from dusty tomes or from innate blood magic.
You are asking someone in particular for each of your spells.
Every. Single. Day.
And they're giving them to you.

Now, lower level clerics? Sure they can get away with a few infractions- they haven't earned the Deity's trust all the way yet, they're still falliable.
Higher level clerics, the deity is trusting with the ability to reshape the world around them. You pull of something against that deity's wishes, there's gonna be a talking to.

Mechanically, of course, most players will just play a cleric "Of a Cause". Because they don't want to be railroaded but still want a divine caster who is not a Druid.

Unless you're in Faerun, in which case you pick a God or you're a powerless Cleric.

Cleric choice of Deity is a big deal, it's supposed to be a limiting factor on what the cleric can and can't do, much like how a Wizard has a spellbook. If you don't take the proper actions to give a nod to that fluff on the class feature, the DM can take it away from you based on your actions.

Just today, in fact, I had a cleric take holy damage instead of healing someone, because that someone had murdered other clerics of the same deity, and then proceeded to desecrate (The spell) the temple, then strew remains about in a profane manner, before burning the whole place.

The cleric didn't know, but the God did, and heck no he's not going to let one of his followers heal that heretic.
(It was only "Spell level" in damage, FYI, and the cleric immediately went and cast "Commune" to find out why things went wrong there. It's not a *Normal* thing to have happen. When Divine spells backfire, something is VERY WRONG)

Craft (Cheese)
2012-09-14, 06:26 AM
I'm not too sure about the deity thing from an RP perspective either. My philosophy is, a Cleric's relationship with their deity is such an integral part of the character that it should really be something the player should decide and handle.

Yes, this relationship can be neglected and abused, but IMO this isn't sufficient as an excuse to give blanket control over it to the DM. "Your god disagrees with you and now your powers don't work" is bad form in the same way (and for the same reasons) as "Oh, by the way, while you were away your home village was destroyed and everyone you know and love is dead."

elpollo
2012-09-14, 06:29 AM
Just today, in fact, I had a cleric take holy damage instead of healing someone, because that someone had murdered other clerics of the same deity, and then proceeded to desecrate (The spell) the temple, then strew remains about in a profane manner, before burning the whole place.

The cleric didn't know, but the God did, and heck no he's not going to let one of his followers heal that heretic.
(It was only "Spell level" in damage, FYI, and the cleric immediately went and cast "Commune" to find out why things went wrong there. It's not a *Normal* thing to have happen. When Divine spells backfire, something is VERY WRONG)

Precisely my point. Rather than, say, achieving anything, the cleric has a spell slot wasted, takes damage from a vengeful god who has time to smite his loyal followers but not to explain himself, and has no idea why. If he's got Commune prepared he can now waste 10 minutes and a level 5 spell to try and find out why he's being punished (assuming the target hangs around for that long), but considering that he's limited to "Yes/No" questions there's no guarantee that the players will figure out why they just got screwed over. They might be able to figure out it has something to do with the man in question, but if they don't happen to ask the right questions then they could end up in a position where the cleric now wants to kill a man (who is innocent in the eyes of the rest of the party) because his god wants him dead for some reason, and if he doesn't then he risks another smiting.

That's if he has Commune prepared, of course. Potentially the Cleric now can't risk casting any spells for the next 8-24 hours, because he's got no idea what part of "healing this wounded man" his god has an issue with. Worse: what if the cleric now tries to heal himself? He's just tried to aid an enemy of the god, so wouldn't healing himself warrant another good smiting?

Yitzi
2012-09-14, 06:34 AM
And? With exactly the same buffs, a creature can see objects that are completely invisible by squinting really hard, jump head-first off a four-story building and land without a scratch, forge someone's signature without having ever seen it before, and more. Skill abuse is a thing, and doing amazing things with skill checks is also a thing. I didn't say I didn't want PCs to succeed at Knowledge checks--I've been arguing for PCs having good Knowledge, you may have noticed--I just said that if you don't like that characters can know about your plot device with just a DC 30 check, you could introduce higher-DC categories.

Or better yet, remove the methods that optimizers use to get such insane check values. Unlike the other methods, that hurts optimizers far more than it hurts legitimate players, which will actually help with the munchkin-bashing. (Remember, munchkins don't care about winning, they just care about being better than the other players.)


Just today, in fact, I had a cleric take holy damage instead of healing someone, because that someone had murdered other clerics of the same deity, and then proceeded to desecrate (The spell) the temple, then strew remains about in a profane manner, before burning the whole place.

The cleric didn't know, but the God did, and heck no he's not going to let one of his followers heal that heretic.
(It was only "Spell level" in damage, FYI, and the cleric immediately went and cast "Commune" to find out why things went wrong there. It's not a *Normal* thing to have happen. When Divine spells backfire, something is VERY WRONG)

I would've had the Cure spell turn into an Inflict one instead, but I suppose a tiny bit of damage could be an ok signal too (though I still feel it sends the wrong message to have any damage as a result of something he honestly couldn't be expected to know).

Acanous
2012-09-14, 07:20 AM
Precisely my point. Rather than, say, achieving anything, the cleric has a spell slot wasted, takes damage from a vengeful god who has time to smite his loyal followers but not to explain himself, and has no idea why. If he's got Commune prepared he can now waste 10 minutes and a level 5 spell to try and find out why he's being punished (assuming the target hangs around for that long), but considering that he's limited to "Yes/No" questions there's no guarantee that the players will figure out why they just got screwed over. They might be able to figure out it has something to do with the man in question, but if they don't happen to ask the right questions then they could end up in a position where the cleric now wants to kill a man (who is innocent in the eyes of the rest of the party) because his god wants him dead for some reason, and if he doesn't then he risks another smiting.

That's if he has Commune prepared, of course. Potentially the Cleric now can't risk casting any spells for the next 8-24 hours, because he's got no idea what part of "healing this wounded man" his god has an issue with. Worse: what if the cleric now tries to heal himself? He's just tried to aid an enemy of the god, so wouldn't healing himself warrant another good smiting?

I didn't say the slot was wasted ō.0
Just that he took damage instead. In this case, it was 3 damage. If the cleric had not prepared Commune (Or Contact other plane, etc) the God would *Know* that, being that it was the one in charge of granting that cleric his spells today, and would have taken a different tact.
Further, the cleric had tried to *unknowingly* aid an enemy of the God. Thus the wrist-slap. If he had KNOWINGLY aided an enemy of the God, then *YES*, you're losing *ALL* your divine spellcasting until you atone, as per the entry on Ex Cleric.
(But in such a case, the spell would go through before you lost your casting powers, just so the deity can be sure that's what you were going to do, and so you can feel it happen as a direct result)

chaotician375
2012-09-14, 08:03 AM
What? No. No. No. That's the single dumbest thing I've read on these forums yet.

You know what? I just rolled Knowledge (Nature). I can tell you for-damn-certain that a green leafy plant uses photosynthesis to convert CO2 into carbohydrates. Knowledge (History): I am willing to bet an infinitely large sum of money that the Battle of Berlin was between the Red Army and Wehrmacht. Knowledge (Engineering): if you're looking to cut a pipeline or railroad track, you should probably use a linear shaped charge like so /\ with whatever you want to blow up at the base of the open triangle.

Dumbest idea ever.

First of all watch your tone. Were all free to our opinion and just because you disagree doesnt mean you get to be a jerk about it. I beleive what Gamer Girl means is that you dont know what private James Johansen did in the Battle of Berlin. Or (using an example that might actualy come up in a D&D game) a Knowlage (history) check about the Great Eluvian War of the 3rd era would tell you about the battles fought between the Elven City States of the Eluvian Wilds, and the Drow who rose from the Underdark to conquer their surface dwelling radial brothers.

What you probobly wouldnt learn is that the Drow launched their war at the behest of Algemesh, the dark demigod and bastard son of Grummish and Lolth, who sought the fall of the Surface Elves to feed his deep seeded hatred of them.

It's not about denying players known facts , it just means that they dont spontainiously learn something no one ever knew about the subject matter because they rolled a 20. Something like that takes years of research and study to know.

Milo v3
2012-09-14, 08:48 AM
It's not about denying players known facts , it just means that they dont spontainiously learn something no one ever knew about the subject matter because they rolled a 20. Something like that takes years of research and study to know.

Actually what she suggested implies even if they get a 50 on Knowledge (Nature), previous checks identified it as a canine (Probably) and its common knowledge to know what a dog is, the answer will still:

always be in the form of a rumor or half remembered book page.

Regardless of if its a dog and everyone should be able to tell with a glance.

Kholai
2012-09-14, 08:52 AM
First of all watch your tone. Were all free to our opinion and just because you disagree doesnt mean you get to be a jerk about it. I beleive what Gamer Girl means is that you dont know what private James Johansen did in the Battle of Berlin. Or (using an example that might actualy come up in a D&D game) a Knowlage (history) check about the Great Eluvian War of the 3rd era would tell you about the battles fought between the Elven City States of the Eluvian Wilds, and the Drow who rose from the Underdark to conquer their surface dwelling radial brothers.

What you probobly wouldnt learn is that the Drow launched their war at the behest of Algemesh, the dark demigod and bastard son of Grummish and Lolth, who sought the fall of the Surface Elves to feed his deep seeded hatred of them.

It's not about denying players known facts , it just means that they dont spontainiously learn something no one ever knew about the subject matter because they rolled a 20. Something like that takes years of research and study to know.

I would point out that having an opinion doesn't entitle you for others not to point out that it is dumb, quite the contrary actually. You're just as free to have an ignorant opinion as an insightful one.

However, you, and most who defend this position aren't even defending what the OP states, but some kind of made up version of your own devising.

I repeat:


3.Vague Knowledge: Never tell a player absolute undeniable truth with a knowledge check or other skill check. Far too many games treat a skill check as a know everything about the game check. They should always be in the form of a rumor or half remembered book page. Also add in rumors and out right mistakes. This adds so much more flavor and again helps stop the role-players.

For assisting reading comprehension, the relevant parts are bolded.

1: Never. Never means never, not for photosynthesis in leafy plants, not for learning the cause of a war between elven nations.

1b: Or any other skill check: This means Never tell a player absolute undeniable truth about the world.... With their spot check.

2: Always be in the form of rumour or half-remembered factoids: Always. If you look at a cow, you heard a rumour that it's actually got four hooves, you can't, according to 1b, actually look at the cow and confirm or deny that fact.

3: Add in rumours and misinformation: Always lie to your players, even if they rolled a 203, the player rolling spot to look at the cow apparently hallucinates and decides that it's actually coloured hot pink. This contravenes your knowledge check of course, which tells you that all cows are bright blue and have flippers for eyes.

So yes, it really is "all about denying players known facts", that's what the OP said. If they had later corrected themselves on this matter then it would be a different story, but so far all I've spotted is their defending that position, because only powergamers do anything that doesn't involve following the track wherever it leads.

Nowhere did the poster you just straw-manned talk about learning secret facts hidden from the world and known only to an elite cabal of ten immortals who guard that information with all their power, and it definitely isn't "spontaneously learning" anything; they technically did that when they invested that skill point into knowledge in the first place.

A Knowledge check is about knowing a proportion of the available knowledge on a subject, the higher your roll, the more of the relevant information you know about something. Roll a 75 on that History check, you probably would recall the exact death toll on every battle, who led each side in each encounter, and anything else recorded by any source you might reasonably have access to.

Meanwhile in the OP's world, you'd probably decide that the war was between dwarves and my little pony enthusiasts, until they were conquered by dragons, because idiocy = roleplaying.

RFLS
2012-09-14, 08:52 AM
Actually what she suggested implies even if they get a 50 on Knowledge (Nature), previous checks identified it as a canine (Probably) and its common knowledge to know what a dog is, the answer will still:


Regardless of if its a dog and everyone should be able to tell with a glance.

^This. Gamer's made it very clear that this is her stance; see the post I linked earlier, her OP, or any of her responses. As far as she's concerned, players don't KNOW anything.

Milo v3
2012-09-14, 09:09 AM
^This. Gamer's made it very clear that this is her stance; see the post I linked earlier, her OP, or any of her responses. As far as she's concerned, players don't KNOW anything.

And as far as she's concerned, any players who do want to have any sense of immersion by say, knowing what there character is experiencing, is obviously trying to ruin the game of everyone.

RFLS
2012-09-14, 09:20 AM
And as far as she's concerned, any players who do want to have any sense of immersion by say, knowing what there character is experiencing, is obviously trying to ruin the game of everyone.

I wouldn't go that far; I think she's genuinely trying to run what she believes to be an enjoyable game for her players. I just think she's a little misguided... I'd still like to see a coherent explanation of her views other than "Old School Gamers are just...better, and optimizers are bad at roleplaying, they walk away from my tables because they "just can't play" if you know what I mean *wink* *wink*"

Zaydos
2012-09-14, 09:34 AM
I love knowledge skills, my players know this and most of them have either Knowledge (Local) or Knowledge (the Planes) (explanation: it's a Planescape game with half the action taking place in Sigil). 4 of the players are new and taking those on faith that they're useful, the other 2 are old-timers that have played in the campaign for months and have come to the realization that they are the best skills with the possible exception of Diplomacy + RP. That said: I have yet to have an adventure that's ruined by a knowledge check. The big mysteries of the campaign, why the planes are suddenly shifting from their traditional positions, is something that the gods themselves don't even know and it doesn't matter if you make a DC 30 or 50 Knowledge check; it's simply unknown (it's cause is actually in the Spire which is 100% dead magic and cannot be perceived with magic and is something that hasn't happened since the gods stopped it at the dawn of time). At the same time they can make a Knowledge check to know what a raksha is, know what bars are frequented by Harmonium officers, identify what clientele a bar caters to based upon what alcohol it serves, identify chaos stone, determine that something is a rift in existence, etc. Now this is not to say that there is not a place for rumors and speculations. They found a rift in reality so they tried knowledge checks about it. Since this was something that previously only theoretically could exist they got multiple conflicting theories. When they asked if chaos stone could cause the rift they got the answer that it was within it's theoretical capabilities but beyond its normal effects and that if it did not cause the rift (it didn't) it was exasperating it (it was). So there is a time and place for vague answers, adventures deal with the unknown, the never before discovered, and yes there are varying levels of success (DC 16: A raksha is a dangerous fiendish being which looks like a tiger-man with a backwards palms. DC 21: A raksha is a dangerous fiend hailing from Acheron. Shapeshifters, their natural forms are those of tiger-men with backwards palms. Legend says only a blessed crossbow bolt through the heart can kill them permanently. They are said to be able sorcerers. DC 26: A raksha is a dangerous fiend hailing from Acheron, where they rule whole cubes as their infernal domain. Shapeshifters, their natural forms are those of tiger-men with backwards palms. They are resistant to weapons except for those designed to thrust and pierce and even these must be blessed. They have access to spells of the 3rd circle making them dangerous foes. DC 31: Something something, politics, etc.) and as you can see not all of it is true.

In short: Always remember never to use always or never. Knowledge should sometimes, in some situations give hearsay and rumor and even misinformation, but it should usually give reliable information.

Final note: Plants have three different types of photosynthesis, C3 ("default"), C4 (mainly grasses but a few other angiosperms), and CAM (cacti for example).

elpollo
2012-09-14, 09:41 AM
I didn't say the slot was wasted ō.0

So you didn't.



Just that he took damage instead.

But you are still punishing a player for not having knowledge of something.



In this case, it was 3 damage. If the cleric had not prepared Commune (Or Contact other plane, etc) the God would *Know* that, being that it was the one in charge of granting that cleric his spells today, and would have taken a different tact.

So because the worshipper can expend more of their resources to find out why they're being punished (and indeed have sacrificed some of their abilities to remain in a position where they can commune with their god) they are punished more harshly than someone who doesn't bother leaving this line of communication open?



Further, the cleric had tried to *unknowingly* aid an enemy of the God. Thus the wrist-slap. If he had KNOWINGLY aided an enemy of the God, then *YES*, you're losing *ALL* your divine spellcasting until you atone, as per the entry on Ex Cleric.
(But in such a case, the spell would go through before you lost your casting powers, just so the deity can be sure that's what you were going to do, and so you can feel it happen as a direct result)

'Unknowingly' being the key word. The god is aware that the cleric isn't intentionally or knowingly doing wrong, and rather than communicating its displeasure to the cleric in a reasonable way (allowing the cleric to avoid such mistakes in the future) it just lashes out and leaves the cleric to figure out what it's done wrong (leaving the possibility of it not being figured out and the mistake repeated).

Yitzi
2012-09-14, 10:08 AM
Further, the cleric had tried to *unknowingly* aid an enemy of the God. Thus the wrist-slap.

I feel that wrist-slap is more for "stuff you should have known but didn't". Something someone can't be expected to know doesn't even call for a wrist-slap; essentially it's as if they couldn't help it.

NichG
2012-09-14, 10:09 AM
I would point out that having an opinion doesn't entitle you for others not to point out that it is dumb, quite the contrary actually. You're just as free to have an ignorant opinion as an insightful one.

However, you, and most who defend this position aren't even defending what the OP states, but some kind of made up version of your own devising.


Fair enough. However, in a situation like this you can approach things in one of two ways. You can approach it from the point of view of trying to 'win the argument', or you can approach it from the point of view of trying to extract useful ideas or insight from something that you don't entirely agree or disagree with.

I think discussing these 'straw men' has been more interesting and useful than discussing the literal interpretation of the OP's post (which honestly is doubtfully held to even in their own games). I mean, we've already identified roughly three categories of things a Knowledge check 'could' do ('common' knowledge that everyone agrees on, borderline knowledge where there's still conflict, and the genesis of totally new knowledge) and explored various opinions on those three categories. Regardless of the OP, I feel that's a useful endeavor, and it is still on topic with regards to the OP in the sense that it addresses the ideas that lie behind the suggestion if not the literal wording of it.

Really when it comes down to it, the OP's post was phrased in an unfortunately incendiary fashion, which has probably lead to more posts with a mindset of trying to 'win' the argument. Without that, I'd think people would be more willing to give the benefit of the doubt about things which are phrased poorly.

Eldan
2012-09-14, 10:12 AM
I feel that wrist-slap is more for "stuff you should have known but didn't". Something someone can't be expected to know doesn't even call for a wrist-slap; essentially it's as if they couldn't help it.

Mhm. In that situation, I could see the cure spell not working, but not punishing the player on top of that. From there on, the player could consider why it didn't work and figure out the truth, it would be the god giving him a pointer that something was wrong. But adding damage on top of it just seems like the god in question being unnecessarily aggressive to his servant.

Noctis Vigil
2012-09-14, 10:19 AM
But you are still punishing a player for not having knowledge of something.

OK, I've stayed out of this for a while now, but I really can't ignore that one.

YES, he did the right thing, IMHO. If the player does something that causes a reaction (either good or bad) that they don't know because they don't have the previous knowledge about it, it is not the GM's roll to stop that from happening, it is the GM's job to make sure a means is there for them to find out what the heck happened. The deity in this case gave a 3HP warning that something might possibly be up and something might possibly be out of whack. By causing those 3HP of damage, he stopped the player from doing an action that would have led to far more dire consequences (in this case, the loss of holy powers until atonement had been done). And let's face it: at the level of play you have Commune at, 3HP is pretty much unnoticeable. The GM simply poked the player to let him know he might be about to do something very very wrong, and just hard enough to let them know they should take the time to find out what.

Following the logic you've stated here ("punishing a player for not having knowledge of something"), I would by default not be allowed to put traps or ambushes in my dungeons, since by not knowing about them my players might be punished (poison damage or hit with a surprise round). There are ways around this (divinations, search/spot checks, et cetera), and using them will take up some kind of resource, be it a spell slot or the time spent to look around.

So yes, if a player is about to do something that would cause "a very bad thing" the GM may at his discretion do a not-so-bad warning thing.

The Zoat
2012-09-14, 11:26 AM
Mostly for flavor and fun. And again this one mostly effects optimizers and other players that ''see'' things differently. All most all Role-Players, for example, love the idea that polymorphing into a wolf might make you go ''wild'' for a bit. It's only the ''see'' type players that are doing some awesome mega trip wolf form based combo attack that whine and cry when their character ''goes wild'' and they can't do their trip and 100 points of damage.

Gamer, if a character has the exact feat selection required to trip and do such a large amount of damage, he is assumed to have done this before and risen up to his level using a similiar strategy, thus his feat selection. Retroactively making it fail is just saying "No your character's method does not work, period." If it really is so imbalanced, just get the offender's character changed out.

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-09-14, 12:15 PM
YES, he did the right thing, IMHO. If the player does something that causes a reaction (either good or bad) that they don't know because they don't have the previous knowledge about it, it is not the GM's roll to stop that from happening, it is the GM's job to make sure a means is there for them to find out what the heck happened. The deity in this case gave a 3HP warning that something might possibly be up and something might possibly be out of whack. By causing those 3HP of damage, he stopped the player from doing an action that would have led to far more dire consequences (in this case, the loss of holy powers until atonement had been done). And let's face it: at the level of play you have Commune at, 3HP is pretty much unnoticeable. The GM simply poked the player to let him know he might be about to do something very very wrong, and just hard enough to let them know they should take the time to find out what.

Why would a cleric's patron deal damage to the cleric when the target is to blame, though? There's nothing wrong with sending a warning or message of some sort, but that just fails to get the right message across. As others have noted, if the cleric takes damage from casting a spell it implies that the cleric did something wrong, which would just make them not want to cast any more spells for fear of angering their patron.

A better approach would be to either damage the target instead of healing them, have the spell fail on that target but remain uncast, give the cleric a small vague vision along the lines of augury, or something else that makes it clear that the cleric isn't the one at fault. If he keeps trying to do what his patron is obviously telling him not to, though, that's when a slap on the wrist would be appropriate.

NichG
2012-09-14, 12:32 PM
I'd personally go for something flashy, like the healing light spitting, bubbling, and sliding off the target's skin like corrupted goo. Its also nice and mean to the target, since it implicates him as some kind of demonic creature when its really just the deity messing with the spell visuals.

Yitzi
2012-09-14, 02:03 PM
Following the logic you've stated here ("punishing a player for not having knowledge of something"), I would by default not be allowed to put traps or ambushes in my dungeons, since by not knowing about them my players might be punished (poison damage or hit with a surprise round). There are ways around this (divinations, search/spot checks, et cetera), and using them will take up some kind of resource, be it a spell slot or the time spent to look around.

The difference is that getting hit by a trap or ambush isn't a punishment. It's a natural consequence of the lack of knowledge, not a punishment; it has no sense of "deserved" associated with it. A slap on the wrist is a type of punishment (albeit a minor one just to make a point), so should not apply where the target didn't actually do anything wrong (not knowing what they couldn't be expected to know doesn't qualify).

Tyndmyr
2012-09-14, 02:07 PM
These aren't fixes. These are advice. This is not homebrew.



Knowledge (Engineering) can let you tell you how to blow up a pipe or track, but is not gonna tell you the best spot to do 1000d10 damage.

As an engineer I feel somewhat insulted by this statement. I'm not even an architectural engineer and I could still probably muddle the best spot out from base principles.

Yeah, that's pretty trivial, actually. I'm also a non-architectural engineer(software, as it turns out...pretty damned far away), and I could do that with ease.

If Knowledge(Architecture & Engineering) does not actually tell me anything useful in game about architecture or engineering, I'll just, yknow, put my skill points somewhere useful. Uncertainty is basically "I did poorly on that knowledge check, and thus received incomplete information". As an example, please reference Elder Evils, which contain different information blocks for different DC results. Don't just make knowledge skills worthless.

Also, optimizers are different than munchkins. Optimization is merely the process of improving something so that it functions better. Please do not slander a ton of people because you're unfamiliar with the language involved.

Also, on a side note, the whole "role-playing vs roll-playing" sets my teeth on edge. Roll-playing hasn't been a clever phrase in several decades, at least. Nor can you reasonably summarize up gamers into one of these two camps with any accuracy. I'm sorry you've had trouble with some poor sports. Attempting to categorize the rest of the entire world based on them is probably not going to win you many friends, though.

Kalrany
2012-09-14, 02:42 PM
I have to agree, this is more of a 3.5 than a Homebrew.

Let me clarify one thing -- I mean role-play as in acting first and formost, and when you are acting you are telling a story. In a story, conistancy of character is critical.

comments:
1. M'eh, it could work, or you can make specific things more expensive with a bit of world-building. As the DM, I control the economy and can just say that due to any number of things (magical rarity, long-term drought, scarcity of material in the area, loss of knowledge, etc), the actual purchase price is inflated to X and the basic cost outlined in the book is little more than wholesale. :smalltongue: I like this because things can cost different amounts at different locations or at different times. It can be fun -- there have been a couple of interesting scenes trying to haggle down a price that requires sucessful role-playing, and even some rolling.

2. Maybe the games I have been in for any capacity have been odd, but that has been standard in all the various settings I have been in (D&D and other, with various GMs). I have never given/gotten raw numbers, but instead descriptions and interpretations that give me the same information. The role-playing involved in a GMs narration should tell you enough information to decide what you should do without relying on it. Same with your own stats/skills/feats. It was only if your role-playing was not convincing, or you are trying something that you might fail at, that we even brought out the rule sheets and dice. And when that time came, all rolls were announced out loud, and THEN if there were any modifiers (ie feats, skills, bonuses, etc...) those would also be announced. The GM would take into account the roll and role-playing would commence again.

3. Yes, and no. Again, in my experience, this is the DM having to do some more work. Some knowledge is general, some specific to disciplines, some just flat out rare as can be, some so rare that it is nigh on impossible to determine even if one is an expert. This is a value judgment on the DMs part. What I and others I have played under have done is set multiple targets for information depending on background, skills, feats, classes, and actual role-playing. (I liked the dog exmaple above. The general question of "it's a dog" was implied in all of them, but question for the "the origin of the dog" differed by character. If all you needed to know was that it was a dog, then the party is golden. The rest can be useful depending on the situation.) Again, if there was ambiguity as to if the player would know something, then the dice would come out for a specific factoid, but you still had to role-play it. For things that needed to set in stone or was very rare, we would write out the info and then give information based on the roll. Meta-gaming was not allowed, so you had to look at your character and really know how they would interact with the setting for these things. Even when we had the situations of natural 20s (which basically had the fact sheet handed over as "you know this"), this was not a game-breaker, but it might mean the GM had to be more cleaver in adding additional obstacles if they are desired. Sometimes we got "you have no way of knowing that", unless you could reasonably point to something in your back-story (but you had better be convincing and that is very very very hard. Kinda like getting a real-life 20 in your own acting skill sometimes. :smallwink:) Other times the players would be told rumors with varying degrees of accuracy, which would be woven into the storyline as the characters had to determine which was wheat and what was chaff. This could lead to some interesting sidequests, or unique plot twists. It helps when the players are good actors and don't meta. :smallamused:

4. Eh, it depends on how much your players meta-game. If they can't divorce themselves from using all player knowledge and just focus on character knowledge, then it can be necessary. Usually it was taken care of with a "and how would your character know that?" interruption from the DM. But it requires honesty and good faith. We usually went with, "the rule books are guides but not the final say." If you expect (or at least hope to expect) the bad guys to have some twists, but you don't know what they are, you need to work (role-play mostly, or adventure) it out from in-game. One of the things about the 3rd edition series that was really cool was the way that very different characters can be designed from the same base (i.e. a fighter can be a war hardened shield basher, a dissolutioned ex-cavalry soldier, an aristocratic sword expert, a cold blooded mercenary, or a tactically cunning general... you name it). So there can be differences between what you know and what your character knows and what the GM knows is actually important. :smalltongue:

5. Ug, no. Far too complicated for too little gain, personally. There are other ways to work with magic as it already is through world-building and campaign design. If you want to house-rule changes, it is not that hard to do so. Usually the opposition just has as much magical access and some homebrewed spells to negate any undesired effects. Again, it means you have to be a bit flexible and to think on your feet, but it's not overly difficult.

6. Doing something to annoy your God is a bad idea -- but all the games I have participated in whatever capacity usually had it be immediate as divine sight covers a wide ground. The idea that all could be watched was within the bounds of the gods -- I don't think anyone ever questioned divine multi-taking. :smallcool: "You have the feeling that X would not approve of this" and "you have the sence of X smiling/laughing at you" were common comments to various clarics.

7. Again, world building. Literally. Continental maps when the campaign did not even get out of single country. History of long lost civilizations. Unknown races and places steeped in lore. Forgotten spells. Epic heroes forgotten in time. Ancient ruins awaiting exploration. Whispers in the dark of things unknown and glory untested... The more work the GM puts in, the easier it is for the characters to have consistent and believable back-stories. It also leaves many escape routes for a blindsided DM. Those are actually some of the most fun from both sides of the board.

8. Not a huge fan of race qualifiers, typically. The best I have seen this done was in campaign with a clear class system and very brutal politics. Lots of dynastic plots and militaristic storylines, so cross racial specialties were next to impossible due to lack of exposure and available teachers. The next was with a mixed modern setting, where genetics blended with magic to create the limiters.

9. Interesting, but again it's world building. Depending on the characters background, they may know what can be done and what can be gotten away with (a very important distinction across the board, actually). Game-play may dictate very careful communication for effective role-playing.

10. I not sure about this one. I think that challenges should be level appropriate, but not outside believability. If you can't scale the individuals encountered (i.e. evil rogue to power-mad dragon), then you need to change what is required of the players. This falls on the GM to be creative as much as consistent. Using this scenario of 11th level fighter guards, the 1st level players may have to avoid capture, the 5th break in for a prize (treasure, information, etc), the 10th to accomplish a task (kill the garrison, trick them into abandoning the castle, release them from an enchantment, etc). I think that mixing both story types keeps things fresher than just picking one or the other. :smallbiggrin:

I agree with others who have pointed out the difference between Optimizers :smallsmile: and Munchkins :smallyuk:. A lot of things that you want to address can be done with GM work, player communication, and actual role-playing. The games I have been a part of require both game mechanics knowledge and role-playing knowledge. It also means that back-stories are critical to the success of the character, as they act as a crystallizer for both the DM and player. I have written full on short-stories (even small novellas :smallredface:) for a number of characters. The goal is to provide a reason a mage a certain set of spells, a fighter a special weapon, the cleric which divine path they follow, and so on. With a well fleshed out back-story, the DM can plan on what *is* that base/general knowledge, how the character is likely to act in certain situations, how the character will likely advance, etc. We would often play out short mini-scenes of role-play to test or define some aspect that may be hard to understand or portray from the back-story alone. There were many games days where die rolling was extremely minimal to nonexistent, because we could role-play the from the character sheet and back-story alone. Of course, there were others where it was rapid rolls and bloody stand-offs. Both were equally as fun since they were both necessary for the plot! :smallbiggrin:

:smallcool: Remember to ride the "high Cs" of GMing: Copious consistency, careful construction, constant communication, curious cast, credible characters, compatible conditions, capable contestants, cleaver conundrums... :smallwink:

Huh... It appears I have become smiley-happy. I better end this quick!

Gamer Girl
2012-09-14, 05:50 PM
Please see the Stormwind Fallacy that I quoted above. These type of comments imply that Optimizers (as you call them) aren't role-playing (or aren't doing what you consider role-playing). Role-playing and optimizing are not mutually exclusive. This is important to understand.
{Scrubbed}

hobo386
2012-09-14, 05:56 PM
{Scrubbed}

Hiro Protagonest
2012-09-14, 05:57 PM
I think that 'Wind' is just full of hot air. Of course Optimizers don't role play well, that is not the game they are playing.

Just look at the opposite: The Summer Breeze Fallacy: A good, deep, passionate, totally immersed Role-Player is also, simultaneously a beyond awesome Optimizers. But Wait, That Is Not True! I come from a very heavy RP gaming background and can tell you that the average Hardcore Role Player can not optimize even if you directly tell them what to do. It's kinda like the deep role players just don't have the mind for optimization, they just don't care.

Yet, from the other side, the hardcore optimizer is not only going all crazy about the rules to get every possible mathematical advantage, but at the same time is also the best deep role player in the world.

Anyone want to wonder why optimizers can do everything, but role players can't?

Hon, if that were true, then nobody could make Exalted work. Why? Because the Storytellers with heads for mechanics couldn't do the setting justice. The ones with heads for fluff wouldn't be able to see all the broken stuff and probably wouldn't bother with all the errata.

Flickerdart
2012-09-14, 06:04 PM
I think that 'Wind' is just full of hot air. Of course Optimizers don't role play well, that is not the game they are playing.
No, that's incorrect. They're both playing D&D.



Just look at the opposite: The Summer Breeze Fallacy: A good, deep, passionate, totally immersed Role-Player is also, simultaneously a beyond awesome Optimizers. But Wait, That Is Not True! I come from a very heavy RP gaming background and can tell you that the average Hardcore Role Player can not optimize even if you directly tell them what to do. It's kinda like the deep role players just don't have the mind for optimization, they just don't care.

Yet, from the other side, the hardcore optimizer is not only going all crazy about the rules to get every possible mathematical advantage, but at the same time is also the best deep role player in the world.

Anyone want to wonder why optimizers can do everything, but role players can't?
You appear to be confused.

The claim is not that optimization skill correlates to good roleplaying. The claim is that it does not correlate to bad roleplaying. In the same vein, good roleplaying absolutely does not correlate to bad optimization skills.

Gamer Girl
2012-09-14, 06:05 PM
Hey Gamer Girl, just a quick question here - if my character concept is, "Masterful martial artist on a journey to see the world outside of his home," should I choose Monk or Swordsage, and why?

Everyone else: I'm going somewhere with this, trust me.

In general, I don't get involved with character creation. A player in my game is free to make any character they want to, with in the game rules and the house rules.

But if the player asked, I would say "You should not limit yourself to just two classes like that. Any class could be a ''martial artist'', for example several (Forgotten Realms) gods have martial artist type clerics.

But if they were 'set' on the two classes: "I don't see much difference in the two classes power wise. The monk is by far the easier class to play, as when anything happens in the game you can just take an action. The Swordsage is basically a spellcaster, so unless your on top of all your ''not spells'' you will have a hard time taking actions in the game, exactly like a player that is not on top of their spells as a spellcaster. Plus the Swordsage has that annoying stand ability or whatever it is where they can alter reality by standing. So it would be up to you as the player too keep track of how you are standing and altering reality and when you wanted to change it. If you, as the player, forget to move your characters left foot, they you will be stuck standing in the one your using. And keep in mind that your character may need to be active up to 16 hours in a game day, and that I don't do 15 minute days so you can have all your spells and non-spells back for every single encounter."

Eldan
2012-09-14, 06:09 PM
I think that 'Wind' is just full of hot air. Of course Optimizers don't role play well, that is not the game they are playing.

Just look at the opposite: The Summer Breeze Fallacy: A good, deep, passionate, totally immersed Role-Player is also, simultaneously a beyond awesome Optimizers. But Wait, That Is Not True! I come from a very heavy RP gaming background and can tell you that the average Hardcore Role Player can not optimize even if you directly tell them what to do. It's kinda like the deep role players just don't have the mind for optimization, they just don't care.

Yet, from the other side, the hardcore optimizer is not only going all crazy about the rules to get every possible mathematical advantage, but at the same time is also the best deep role player in the world.

Anyone want to wonder why optimizers can do everything, but role players can't?

That was hilarious, thank you. How long did you have to practise that before you could type it with a straight face?

***

That's like saying scientists can not enjoy poems. Programmers can never like music. Artists can't do their taxes without asking someone for help. No one is that cripplingly specialized.

I like my game heavy in roleplaying. I have written multi-page backstories. When I run sessions, they often run for four, five hours without any combat or really anything done besides talking and the one or other skill check.

And yet? I optimize. Optimization means taking the resources you have and making a goal work with them. If I want to tell a story about a fighter, then guess what? He should be able to fight well. Wizards should be able to cast spells. And if I want to play a one-legged blind man, then I want the rules to show that. D&D is a game with rules. Using the rules is part of the game.

God Imperror
2012-09-14, 06:12 PM
The X is basically a spellcaster, so unless your on top of all your ''not spells'' you will have a hard time taking actions in the game, exactly like a player that is not on top of their spells as a spellcaster. Plus the X has that annoying stand ability or whatever it is where they can alter reality by standing. So it would be up to you as the player too keep track of how you are standing and altering reality and when you wanted to change it. If you, as the player, forget to move your characters left foot, they you will be stuck standing in the one your using. And keep in mind that your character may need to be active up to 16 hours in a game day, and that I don't do 15 minute days so you can have all your spells and non-spells back for every single encounter."

What is X? :smallconfused:

Seriously I don't know. What class are you talking about?

Gamer Girl
2012-09-14, 06:14 PM
{Scrubbed}

Flickerdart
2012-09-14, 06:15 PM
{Scrubbed}
I'm not sure you understand what optimizing or, or what optimizers do. In fact, I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about at all, because that's definitely not an example of any game I've ever seen played.

Chambers
2012-09-14, 06:16 PM
But if they were 'set' on the two classes: "I don't see much difference in the two classes power wise. The monk is by far the easier class to play, as when anything happens in the game you can just take an action. The Swordsage is basically a spellcaster, so unless your on top of all your ''not spells'' you will have a hard time taking actions in the game, exactly like a player that is not on top of their spells as a spellcaster. Plus the Swordsage has that annoying stand ability or whatever it is where they can alter reality by standing. So it would be up to you as the player too keep track of how you are standing and altering reality and when you wanted to change it. If you, as the player, forget to move your characters left foot, they you will be stuck standing in the one your using. And keep in mind that your character may need to be active up to 16 hours in a game day, and that I don't do 15 minute days so you can have all your spells and non-spells back for every single encounter."

That's not how Swordsages, or any Martial Adept class works. They have maneuvers that they can expend during an encounter and at the end of the encounter they get those maneuvers back with a 5 minute rest. They can adventure all day without having to worry about not having their manevuers available (as long as they have at least a 5 minute rest between encounters).

Stances are a type of maneuver that you have grossly misrepresented.

Stances (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20060802a):

Stance: A stance is a special type of maneuver. Each stance is a particular fighting pose that grants a martial adept special benefits and options. For example, the Tiger Claw discipline teaches stances that allow the user to unlock her feral, animalistic nature. Unlike other maneuvers, most stances can remain in effect for an indefinite time. All stances a character knows are available to her at all times. A character can adopt a stance, or change from one stance to another, as a swift action.



{Scrubbed}

I'm not sure how to respond to this, as it seems you are willfully misinterpreting what the Stormwind Fallacy is.

Hiro Protagonest
2012-09-14, 06:17 PM
{Scrubbed}

...Either you're purposely misleading the player, or you really have barely any idea how ToB works outside of secondhand comments on the forum.

ToB classes have
Maneuvers - Most are Extraordinary, but the swordsage gets some teleports and shadow and fire manipulation. The other swordsage disciplines give you powers that are Extraordinary, not magical. At low-levels, the only levels where characters are not expected to have crazy powers, maneuvers hew closer to real-life fighting techniques than spells. Not "now, to swing your sword more effectively" techniques taught to beginners, formalized techniques of people like the Germans.
Stances - One stance at a time, swift action to switch to any other stance you know or leave stance, can stay in stance indefinitely unless rendered Helpless (as in, the condition).
Maneuver usage - You start each encounter with all readied maneuvers. You can switch which of your known maneuvers are readied with five minutes of time spent meditating or going through katas.

toapat
2012-09-14, 06:20 PM
How Wrong this is.

Tempest Stormwind Lampshaded the Falacy because its true. Roleplaying and Optimization are not mutually exclusive. What you are thinking of is TO, not Character Optimization. Theoretical Optimization is the laying siege to the rules, as is Munchining. Roleplaying has no place in there because it is not the point of the excersizes. Chuck is a highly roleplayable character, whose right arm is a space program, and who runs faster then Sonic the Hedgehog. He has a lazy couchpotato roommate, and inbetween throwing some unlucky CE Shlub into the sun once a week, they watch the Crystal ball and have humorous commentary on bad roleplay.

Stormwind and some of the other TO regulars are playing a campaign where they throw together new oneoff's each week, and have fun with silly, effective builds. it is pretty clear they are hamming it up while doing so.

Optimization more typically reffers to building a character who is effective at their concept and that you enjoy.

Eldan
2012-09-14, 06:22 PM
{Scrubbed}

I have never met anyone who plays like that. Why should they? They could just get a computer game to do that. They are much better at it than DMs.

But again, since it seems that once again, you are picking single posts to reply to and ignoring others.

I run games. My games rarely have much combat. Ask my players: I've run four, five hour sessions without any combat and maybe three, four dice rolls. All talking. I've written hundreds of pages of world-background and creature fluff.

And yet, I optimize. I like doing both. Optimizing does not mean having to win each encounter. Optimization does not mean that you don't care about backstory. It certainly doesn't mean cheating: that's basically admitting defeat. It does not mean going outside the setting restraints or being unreasonable. Optimization means taking the resources the game gives you and building a character who fits into the game you are playing and is competent at what their story says they should be competent at. If my character is a war veteran, they should be able to handle a sword better than most people. If my character is a wizard, then by all means he should know spells and have a broad knowledge base. If he's an urchin who has survived for fifteen years on the street by stealing, then he should be good at stealing. That's optimizing. Taking a backstory and translating it into a character.

***

So, do you have any traumatic events in your childhood where someone crushed your favourite toy and called it optimization? Because by now, selective blindness is the only reason I can see for refusing to logically argue with anyone to such a degree.

Gamer Girl
2012-09-14, 06:26 PM
That's like saying scientists can not enjoy poems. Programmers can never like music. Artists can't do their taxes without asking someone for help. No one is that cripplingly specialized.

{Scrubbed}

hobo386
2012-09-14, 06:28 PM
{Scrubbed}

Eldan
2012-09-14, 06:29 PM
Okay. Since long, well-structured posts seem to cause you to not reply to them, here's my as a shorter version.

I'm an optimizer. I run games as a DM that are four hours of just talking. How does that work?

hobo386
2012-09-14, 06:30 PM
{Scrubbed}

Eldan
2012-09-14, 06:32 PM
Plus she misread my post again. I never said scientists are also great ad writing poems. Just that some scientists also enjoy the arts. In fact, from looking at my department, there's always music running somewhere. We're not making it. We just enjoy it, too.

Gamer Girl
2012-09-14, 06:34 PM
...Either you're purposely misleading the player, or you really have barely any idea how ToB works outside of secondhand comments on the forum.


I don't own the book. I flipped through it once years ago and though the idea of giving fighters spells was silly. I've never had a reason to buy it, or even read it.

Though tons of players in my game love the book and use it. I let them, as my world is so 'unbalanced' and 'unfair' that it really does not matter what crazy rules they use to try and break the normal flow of the game. For example, an encounter in my game might take as long as 20 rounds, so that nicely gets rid of 'once an encounter stuff', and even mid level spellcasters can see a spell duration run out on them during an encounter.

Flickerdart
2012-09-14, 06:35 PM
titanic effort at pigeon-holing people into narrow categories
I am an interactive designer. I do a lot of work in programming (HTML/CSS/JS), visual thinking, and usability, as well as a healthy bit of writing. Mine is a field that requires both logic and creativity, which, according to you, is impossible. By your narrow and misguided conception of humanity, my entire field and I cannot exist. Yet here we are.

God Imperror
2012-09-14, 06:35 PM
By your examples, how many actors are also hard science doctorates? And how many Phds can act?


*Raises hand* (well the doctorate is on the way at the moment I have just a major in chemical engineering and a major in industrial engineering, my artistic company got a semi decent award a couple of months ago with a play about the Roman games and stuff)

On the other hand other things about me that are not typical and tend to freak people out. I read a lot, I spend most of my time reading, and I read quite fast. I also have a really good memory and I can easily recall most of the things that I read with ease. Most of my teachers since I was like 6 years old noticed that I suck at writing correctly, it is like the most basic orthography completely escapes me. All of them, encouraged me to read more, they believed that if I read I should improve my writing, it was obvious if I see how the word is written I should get it right, don't I? Well, no. I fail at that, I fail hard. And I read, a lot.

Der_DWSage
2012-09-14, 06:37 PM
{Scrubbed}

Wow. This is so wrong that I don't even know where to start.

First of all, allow me to show you this article of 8 celebrities with PhDs (http://www.cracked.com/article_15753_8-celebrities-you-didnt-know-were-geeks.html) just to cruelly crush your first point into the ground, and let you read an amusing site while you're at it. And that was just half-remembered knowledge from a (web)page combined with a Gather Information check, using Masterwork Tool (Google)!

Second, so you're saying that no one can have a bachelor of science and a bachelor of arts, because the two are so wildly disconnected that no one could ever do so? I'll be sure to change my major tomorrow, since that's exactly what I'm doing.

And third...so I can't RP a Lawful Good Paladin to the point where some gamers at the table are considering converting to his religion, sheerly out of being drawn to natural charisma, good arguments, and the fact that he's stood between them and death at one point or another?

I think, in conclusion, people like myself just break reality for GamerGirl. I apologize for any paradoxes that show up in your house.

tl;dr version of this post:I disagree with everything GamerGirl says, and didn't particularly want to get involved in this because I knew I'd get nasty...even though I find the arguments against her insightful, amusing, and wonderful to watch. But that last comment made me twinge in ways I didn't know were possible, and got me to nerd-rage.

tl;dr version of the tl;dr version:I disagree, in a mildly rude manner.

Eldan
2012-09-14, 06:38 PM
Though tons of players in my game love the book and use it. I let them, as my world is so 'unbalanced' and 'unfair' that it really does not matter what crazy rules they use to try and break the normal flow of the game. For example, an encounter in my game might take as long as 20 rounds, so that nicely gets rid of 'once an encounter stuff', and even mid level spellcasters can see a spell duration run out on them during an encounter.

Urgh. I'd never have the patience for that. I think that's one of hte major reasons I optimize in 3.5. Combat is incredibly boring, I want it to be over as quickly as possible so we can go back to the roleplaying.

But I guess someone such as you would enjoy massive combats over roleplaying.

IncoherentEssay
2012-09-14, 06:43 PM
{Scrubbed}

It's fairly simple: no one (well, maybe a very rare few) wants to be defined by their weaknesses. Players good at both tend to consider themselves part of both groups. Players good at one or the other will generally go by that, though might consider themselves primarily roleplayers anyways.
And the players who suck at both? Will still consider themselves roleplayers, since you can't really disprove it all that easily. As a result there's a larger than expected group of self-proclaimed roleplayers that can't optimize, resulting in the mistaken assumption that RP/OP are somehow an either/or situation and that rules-cluelesness somehow grants RPing-superpowers.

hobo386
2012-09-14, 06:44 PM
*Raises hand* (well the doctorate is on the way at the moment I have just a major in chemical engineering and a major in industrial engineering, my artistic company got a semi decent award a couple of months ago with a play about the Roman games and stuff)

On the other hand other things about me that are not typical and tend to freak people out. I read a lot, I spend most of my time reading, and I read quite fast. I also have a really good memory and I can easily recall most of the things that I read with ease. Most of my teachers since I was like 6 years old noticed that I suck at writing correctly, it is like the most basic orthography completely escapes me. All of them, encouraged me to read more, they believed that if I read I should improve my writing, it was obvious if I see how the word is written I should get it right, don't I? Well, no. I fail at that, I fail hard. And I read, a lot.

You aren't that unusual. Most engineers tend to have quite broad spectrums of knowledge and interest.

Gamer Girl
2012-09-14, 06:45 PM
First of all, allow me to show you this article of 8 celebrities with PhDs (http://www.cracked.com/article_15753_8-celebrities-you-didnt-know-were-geeks.html) just to cruelly crush your first point into the ground, and let you read an amusing site while you're at it. And that was just half-remembered knowledge from a (web)page combined with a Gather Information check, using Masterwork Tool (Google)!

I never said it was impossible....all I said was how many and left the question. But you proved my point. Lets say there are 1,000 actors, so you found eight, eight, that have Phds. Ok, so it's not impossible. But then look at the other 982 actors.....



Second, so you're saying that no one can have a bachelor of science and a bachelor of arts, because the two are so wildly disconnected that no one could ever do so? I'll be sure to change my major tomorrow, since that's exactly what I'm doing.

I never said it was impossible, though guess I did not make it clear that I was just saying it was ''very unlikely''. After all two of the women in my group also fit that description.



tl;dr version of this post:I disagree with everything GamerGirl says, and didn't particularly want to get involved in this because I knew I'd get nasty...even though I find the arguments against her insightful, amusing, and wonderful to watch. But that last comment made me twinge in ways I didn't know were possible, and got me to nerd-rage.

I do have that effect on people:smalltongue:

Gamer Girl
2012-09-14, 06:48 PM
Urgh. I'd never have the patience for that. I think that's one of hte major reasons I optimize in 3.5. Combat is incredibly boring, I want it to be over as quickly as possible so we can go back to the roleplaying.

But I guess someone such as you would enjoy massive combats over roleplaying.

I do enjoy massive Role Playing combats, much more like a cinematic fight scene then a couple second video game boss fight.

I wonder how you find combat boring?

Eldan
2012-09-14, 06:48 PM
No reply yet:



I'm an optimizer. I run games as a DM that are four hours of just talking. How does that work?

God Imperror
2012-09-14, 06:49 PM
You aren't that unusual. Most engineers tend to have quite broad spectrums of knowledge and interest.

Thanks I actually believe that, though some times people have their minds more closed than normal.


But then look at the other 982 actors....


And you can't define people by their job.

Is actor something other than a job in English?

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-09-14, 06:51 PM
I never said it was impossible....all I said was how many and left the question. But you proved my point. Lets say there are 1,000 actors, so you found eight, eight, that have Phds. Ok, so it's not impossible. But then look at the other 982 actors.....

So what you're saying is that the proportion of the general population that can both act well and do math well is fairly small. You know what activity involves both acting and doing math, and is performed by a fairly small proportion of the general population?

RPGs. :smallamused:

Seriously, I don't see why anyone would deny the possibility that there are RPG players who can both handle the rules and get into character, since RPing is exactly the sort of hobby that would appeal to someone who does both well.

Eldan
2012-09-14, 06:52 PM
There are two things I enjoy in roleplaying most of all. Talking with other people, mostly on philosophical topics and the scientific analysis of the world we are in inside that game, and solving problems. A combat is a problem to be solved. You have an opponent, you work out a strategy, you solve the combat, and it should be over. That solution can be the right spell, it can be finding the right argument to convince the opponent to give up peacefully, it can even be surrendering to a superior force.

But a combat that takes 20 rounds of trading blows? It's tedious. It takes up hours that could be spent exploring the world and the character's motivations. I don't come to a game to spend 20 rounds of grinding someone's defences down to a degree where I can finally defeat them. If I wanted that, I'd get a boxing bag and write "Endboss" on it. Same experience, and I'd get physical fitness out of it too.

It's strange. Here you are, arguing for page after page that optimizers can not possibly enjoy story and that they are all simple-minded idots who can neither speak a full sentence nor enjoy anything out of combat, while you are a superior species of PURE ROLEPLAYER, and then you talk about how you love extremely long combat, which for me was always the epitome of the rules-loving number-crunching combat-player.

How does that work?

Flickerdart
2012-09-14, 06:56 PM
I do enjoy massive Role Playing combats, much more like a cinematic fight scene then a couple second video game boss fight.

I wonder how you find combat boring?
"I roll my full attack."
"Ok, now the monster rolls a full attack."

That's not very cinematic. You might be describing it in fancy ways, but that's really what low-op combat boils down to (and as demonstrated by your D&D Borg 'example' you clearly have no problem boiling things down).

Forgive me if I prefer Eldan's way of playing, which is actually interesting and engaging and allows me to interact with the world and doesn't waste my time.

toapat
2012-09-14, 07:00 PM
I never said it was impossible....all I said was how many and left the question. But you proved my point. Lets say there are 1,000 actors, so you found eight, eight, that have Phds. Ok, so it's not impossible. But then look at the other 982 actors.....

if we were to take a cross section of 1000 actors, who are not from hollywood, the number who have anything less then a Masters is going to be bellow 50%, why? Because Morons cant act.

Acting, and Roleplaying, both take alot of intelligence. you know what takes intelligence? Optimization. Typically the people who are going to make the best RPers are going to be the ones who have a grip on the rules, understand the setting, and know how to write a character. Clearly, you dont know how to do this.

Eldan
2012-09-14, 07:05 PM
I try to pay attention in long combats, I really do. But from my experience? I joined a Shadowrun group once. I thought "Cool! Secret Agents, Cyberpunk, infiltration, magic, should be awesome!".
In the end, most missions came down to running into some kind of hall and gunning down bad guys for half the session. The other half was still enjoyable, since I played the party face and talked circles around Johnsons and other NPCs. But once the long combats start... at around round four, I'll start building dice towers or take out my notebook and do some sketches and writing while the others do their turns.

hobo386
2012-09-14, 07:11 PM
I try to pay attention in long combats, I really do. But from my experience? I joined a Shadowrun group once. I thought "Cool! Secret Agents, Cyberpunk, infiltration, magic, should be awesome!".
In the end, most missions came down to running into some kind of hall and gunning down bad guys for half the session. The other half was still enjoyable, since I played the party face and talked circles around Johnsons and other NPCs. But once the long combats start... at around round four, I'll start building dice towers or take out my notebook and do some sketches and writing while the others do their turns.

I feel sorry for you. Most shadowrun combat ends in 1-2 rounds since guns kill people so quick.

The rest of the game is coming up with overly convoluted plans and having them fail miserably because you forgot to account for the cops wondering what happened to the telephone pole your troll is lugging around, which is super fun.

Eldan
2012-09-14, 07:20 PM
Yeah, that was what I was hoping for. That said, this was only the worst example. I don't have hte stomach for long fights even with good DMs.

elpollo
2012-09-14, 07:29 PM
Following the logic you've stated here ("punishing a player for not having knowledge of something"), I would by default not be allowed to put traps or ambushes in my dungeons, since by not knowing about them my players might be punished (poison damage or hit with a surprise round). There are ways around this (divinations, search/spot checks, et cetera), and using them will take up some kind of resource, be it a spell slot or the time spent to look around.

It is significantly different. Entering a dungeon (or any such place) means that you are accepting an inherent risk. You know there might be monsters, you know there might be traps, you know there might be ambushes. Casting a spell, however? I'm looking at the spell entry for Cure Serious Wounds, and nowhere am I seeing anything about it potentially costing me 3 hit points. It is arbitrarily punishing a player for no good reason (and yes, those 3 hit points may not seem like a lot when you're at full, but they seem like a hell of a lot more when you're low on hit points or spells).



So yes, if a player is about to do something that would cause "a very bad thing" the GM may at his discretion do a not-so-bad warning thing.

I cast Commune to find out why my god is angry with me. In doing so I sacrifice my ability to cast Scrying. Because of such, I cannot check on the Vizier, who is known to be a potential risk, and as such he assassinates the local king, who also happens to be head of the church of my god. I've done something which has stopped me from finding out about an action that hinders my god. I must therefore be punished.

Alternatively, gods could stop punishing their clerics for not thinking 15 moves ahead. If you want to punish your players for not scry-and-dying your plot so be it, but do not then have the gall to complain about players optimising and trying to "beat the game". Every action, when followed to the full extent of what it has stopped or allowed, will eventually lead to something against your own interests. Nobody is interested in playing that game.



Well people are. I know it's cool to say and think that everyone is great at everything, but that is not how people work. People are set. And you can't define people by their job. You have to go by the persons mindset. By your examples, how many actors are also hard science doctorates? And how many Phds can act?

"How many world class scientists are also world class actors, therefore how many optimisers can be roleplayers?". Really? You actually believe there to be anything to that argument?

Roleplaying and optimising are different skills. So are addition and speaking, driving and swimming, and running and throwing. Are people generally going to be better at one than the other? Of course. Does that lend any credance to the idea that being good at one somehow limits you in the other? Dream on. Do you honestly believe that "being able to create a competant character for your favourite roleplaying system and being able to portray it as a reasonable human being" is the same as "being able to perform the lead in a West End musical and being the head of the physics department at MIT"?



if we were to take a cross section of 1000 actors, who are not from hollywood, the number who have anything less then a Masters is going to be bellow 50%, why? Because Morons cant act.

You have made a number of completely incorrect assumptions (not least of which being that people without a Master's degree are somehow morons). Making up figures does not help anyone's argument. Let's just stop it, shall we?

hobo386
2012-09-14, 07:44 PM
Yeah, that was what I was hoping for. That said, this was only the worst example. I don't have hte stomach for long fights even with good DMs.

On the other hand, here are some of the problems I *have* run into while playing shadowrun (3E).

There are the following roles:
-Rigger (rigging rules)
-Decker (decking rules)
-Mage (astral plane rules, magic rules)
-Street Sammy/PhysAdept (combat rules, cyberwarer rules/power rules)
-Face (availability rules)
-Infiltrator

With the exception of Face and Infiltrator, each needs to know a huge set of rules, and with the exception of Infiltrator, each requires a completely different mindset and type of gamer. And unfortunately, Faces and Infiltrators are the two runner types that you can really survive without.

So you need 4 different players each who fully grasp a complex rule system, each with the mindset required to play their own character (personally, I have a hard time with matrix and astral plane stuff, so yeah). Finally, you need a GM who understands everything. And that is a lot of stuff to understand.

The other problem is that Shadowrun has too much split-screen time. The decker is bypassing security in the matrix, you mage is assessing and taking care of magical threats, your rigger is scouting with drones, sending in artillery, and getting the getaway car ready, while your street sammy is using his 6 initiative passes (or a single grenade) to kill the group of Aztech guards that just noticed you. That is a lot to manage at once, and can get a little boring if your GM can't handle it.

EDIT: Also, a map of Seattle really helps.

Milo v3
2012-09-14, 07:57 PM
May I ask for Gamer Girl's definition of the following things, so that we might understand your point of view:

Actor
Optimiser
Roleplayer

toapat
2012-09-14, 08:15 PM
You have made a number of completely incorrect assumptions (not least of which being that people without a Master's degree are somehow morons). Making up figures does not help anyone's argument. Let's just stop it, shall we?

just because americans are taught from a young age that performers are very successful, does not contradict the fact that they are also taught that the better your degree, the better your cut in life. getting there because of talent is nowhere near as common as getting there because you went to a dedicated school for it, and got a job because of headhunters at those schools. I was not referring to musicians either, most of whom are not there because of systematic education

kardar233
2012-09-14, 08:17 PM
I'm actually really curious to see a transcription of a campaign of Gamer Girl's. I've never actually met someone who monotonously empowers their character to the point where they blast everything to pieces and say "Next".

In my experience, the people who just go through an encounter and say "Next" are actually really bad at optimizing. We're talking TWF Ranger using Bastard Swords here, sometimes without even OTWF. These people take a cursory look at the mechanics and say "well, that looks really overpowered, I'll play it".

Being good at optimizing takes a certain level of commitment. You need to sit down with your books and ask yourself "What makes a character good?" You need to figure out how to solve the problems that your character carries as part of the game system (like mobility issues for melee characters, damage issues for ranged etc.) and you need to painstakingly collate solutions. Once you get good at it you can start doing it at speed (I ran a basic TWF DFI Bard off in about 15 minutes last week) but if you really want make a powerful character it takes time.

Now you don't get that kind of commitment from people who don't care about the game. The most time I ever spent on a character was for a 20th level Gestalt campaign a while back. I was totally devoted to the concept (a ridiculously powerful and extremely silly time-traveling mage who whizzes about ensuring that creativity is always preserved) and I poured myself into it. At one point I was offered chocolate cake and chocolate ice cream together with fresh strawberries, and I replied "not until I've finished the R's in Spell Compendium." That was how devoted I was to making it into the game with this character.

I can't imagine that someone who only cares about the game as a way to prove their superiority would spend days or even hours perfecting a character.

The other issue I'd like to address is that of roleplaying. I'm not sure that I would be able to roleplay well in an environment that Gamer Girl describes. In order to roleplay I need to have a character and a personality to go with it. I carry around about five premade personalities with me, which isn't usually an issue because I'd only use one or two at any given time.

In a game like Gamer Girl describes, however, I'd find myself quickly running out of personalities for the characters I'd be playing as they'd be dying on a regular basis. I'd soon run into the issues of "hey, this guy's just like Drazhar from last week" or "so, who is your character actually?" Furthermore, I wouldn't be able to effectively start a new one from scratch due to the fact that he'd end up dying soon.

So, I have to ask: Do your players really have the creative chops to create an entirely new personality from whole cloth every time they have to reroll? Because that's a pretty tall order; professional improv groups usually only have two characters in a single show. If you've managed to get a group of people good enough to be professional improvisers and interested enough in playing D&D then I'd say your one of the luckiest DMs out there. However, I expect that the characters start feeling very samey after not very long.

Ialdabaoth
2012-09-14, 08:17 PM
[QUOTE=hobo386;13899650]The other problem is that Shadowrun has too much split-screen time. The decker is bypassing security in the matrix, you mage is assessing and taking care of magical threats, your rigger is scouting with drones, sending in artillery, and getting the getaway car ready, while your street sammy is using his 6 initiative passes (or a single grenade) to kill the group of Aztech guards that just noticed you. That is a lot to manage at once, and can get a little boring if your GM can't handle it.

Note: combining the 'Rigger' and 'Decker', and simplifying all combat-time/face-time 'decking' into a "let it ride" single-roll system, really helps this problem.

The Face starts talking to the Johnson or Mark, while the Hacker declares that he's going to go digging for info related to whatever the Johnson or Mark is talking about. Then feed his successes into the Face's dice pool, as you (the GM) describe the kind of dirt that the Hacker is pulling up.

Once combat engages, the Hacker can start using combat drones to help out the Sam; "manning the get-away vehicle" can be an assumed secondary task. My recommendation is to have the Hacker allocate their attention between the tasks they're managing; at the end of each turn, simply narrate their progress on all but their primary task.

Lord_Gareth
2012-09-14, 08:27 PM
In general, I don't get involved with character creation. A player in my game is free to make any character they want to, with in the game rules and the house rules.

This part is bad. Getting involved with character creation gives you two major opportunities as a DM. The first is mechanical - it lets you pre-emptively weed out any problematic or unknown abilities that you perhaps do not want in your campaign or that are above the optimization level of your group. The second is fluff-based; it lets you help the player choose mechanics that fit their concept (in this case, "Masterful martial artist") and also get a head for their backstory and where they're going with their character. Character creation is the first place you should be involved as a DM.


But if the player asked, I would say "You should not limit yourself to just two classes like that. Any class could be a ''martial artist'', for example several (Forgotten Realms) gods have martial artist type clerics.

And admittedly the choice I presented was needlessly binary; there's numerous ways to make a 'martial artist', even if you define a martial artist as being a character that fights unarmed. With that in mind, I'm glad you chose to address the binary choice, because I believe I've identified the source of your misunderstanding.

If my options to express my concept are Monk and Swordsage, the first thing I'm probably going to check is the mechanical capabilities of my class. No, stay with me here. I'm going places with this. The reason I check the mechanics first and not the written fluff is because the mechanics are the rock-solid methods by which a character interacts with their campaign worlds; in the absence of house rules, they literally define what you can and cannot do in a campaign. So if I want my traveling martial artist to be 'masterful' then I'm going to want to look at which class provides a mastery of martial arts.

So I check Monk first, and I find that Monk has some class features that encourage fighting unarmed and unarmored. Good so far! They get some bonus feats that sound like things martial artists do too - stunning fists and trip attacks and that kind of thing. So far, so great. And then the trouble starts. Monks get an increased speed, but if they use it their flurry doesn't function. They can slow their own falls, but not fly (and how often do you fall in a campaign, anyway?). They've got good saves but nothing else to defend them against magical attacks. Their damage starts to lag behind rapidly, and now I'm kinda wondering what I can do with these Monk levels. A quick check-through of various Prestige Classes reveals a few that look pretty awesome, but they all require me to multiclass as a spellcaster and that's not where I'm heading, so I turn to the Swordsage to see what it has going.

So, I check the Swordsage. Immediately I notice that the basic Swordsage uses armor and weapons, and that's a bit of a turn-off until I see the variant that trades out the armor in exchange for an unarmed strike progression. Score! They get something called 'maneuvers' and another thing called 'stances', and I'll need to check that out later - except that all their class features (except Evasion, another solid plus for a martial arts concept) seem to reference the things. Reading the Maneuver system takes a little bit, but it basically seems to be some kind of upgraded version of melee attacks that work a lot like combat maneuver feats (Imp Trip and friends) and a lot of them look like things martial artists are supposed to do anyway (jumping with great skill, moving with incredible speed, throwing enemies, shattering brick walls with my face) with a few fantasy-fu techniques like Monks have, but way earlier (teleporting, flaming fists, shadow strikes). Stances are also a martial arts concept I'm familiar with, and these ones even have the goofy names I've come to know and love (fun fact: Stance of the Hawk and the Twin Heavens Stance both come from IRL swordplay). Cool stuff! And the only thing "bad" is that if I use one maneuver in a round (two if the first one was a Boost), I can't use another or make a normal attack.

In the end equation, I go with Swordsage, because I feel that the Monk's style is too conflicting and wild (Flurry of Blows in particular strikes me as being kinda flailing) for the smooth, cat-like concept I have in mind, and begin to roll up my pilgrim as a 1st level Swordsage.

The thing about optimization is it comes in three flavors. The one you rail against is munchkinry. Munchkins cheat. They fudge die rolls. They bring in third-party material without telling you, lie about pre-reqs, or use dubious RAW in-game. The second kind is theoretical optimization - thought experiments never meant to see gameplay, like Pun-Pun or Bear Bearington the Bearbarian. The last is practical optimization, which is when a person says, "I have this concept in mind, and I'd like it to be the best it can be for this group."


And the thing about PO is that everyone does it. Did you assign your highest ability score to INT while playing a wizard? You just PO'd. Did you invest in Weapon Specialization for your Greatsword fighter? You just PO'd (in this case, badly, but you did anyway). Sometimes, practical optimization is about bringing a bad class up to the level of other players (like rolling up a Sword of the Arcane Order paladin in a party full of mid-op sorcerers and druids) and so you reach for raw power. Most of the time, though, it's about making a character concept function at all. If I want to be a masterful martial artist, Monk is a very poor choice because I'm TELLING my fellow players something ("My character is good at martial arts,") while DEMONSTRATING the opposite. You wouldn't let a player call himself a master of elemental magic if he didn't know any such magic, would you? It's the same basic idea, applied universally.

Our complaints about these house rules is that you're making it even harder for people to use those mechanics to express their concepts. If my character is supposed to be a master scholar leaving his safe library for the first time in order to adventure, unreliable Knowledge skills make my character look like a fool instead of an accomplished student. If you cut off or obstruct melee's access to magical items, you make the very existence of non-magical people of importance questionable. You're interfering in the fluff of your game and creating story loopholes by favoring certain mechanics over others - and subtracting fun as a result.

Oh, and one last thing - often times, accomplished optimizers will make choices that are objectively sub-optimal in order to fit their concept. As the first example that comes to mind, I'm currently creating a first-level wizard for a campaign a friend of mine is running. Part of my character's flavor and backstory is that she's been cursed with a sort of semi-undeath, caught between two states as a punishment for the deeds of her ancestors. To help represent this mechanically, I've taken the Tomb-Tainted Soul feat (causing her to be healed by negative energy and harmed by positive energy) despite the fact that there's better things to spend my feat slot on. Where the 'optimization' part comes in after that is learning some negative-energy spells so that I can heal myself in an emergency - and it makes perfect sense for my character because she's lived with this curse her whole life and is well aware of how it works.

TL;DR - Please take some time to get to know the rest of the gaming community before you decide to just roundly condemn it.

RFLS
2012-09-14, 08:48 PM
-snip-

Well said. I hope to see a reasoned rebuttal from Gamer Girl sometime soon. In the meantime...


I'm an optimizer. I run games as a DM that are four hours of just talking. How does that work?

I still haven't seen a response to this.

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-09-14, 08:57 PM
And the thing about PO is that everyone does it. Did you assign your highest ability score to INT while playing a wizard? You just PO'd. Did you invest in Weapon Specialization for your Greatsword fighter? You just PO'd (in this case, badly, but you did anyway).

This makes a lot of sense, since apparently optimization makes Gamer Girl really PO'd. :smallamused:

Djinn_in_Tonic
2012-09-14, 09:07 PM
Agreed with the majority here. How do you account for the fact that I'm a great optimizer who plays those characters in campaigns, have at least one entry on the Theoretical Opitimization boards under the "Campaign Smashers" section...and yet can cite at least a half-dozen people who would call me one of the best role-players they have ever encountered? By your logic, Gamergirl, tht's not possible. How can you explain that? I've even optimized AND topped the role playing charts IN THE SAME CAMPAIGN. Optimizing sometimes makes sense for a character: Udk was an incredibly powerful barbarian, if a bit dumb, but his ability to end some encounters in 1-2 hits disn't mean he wasn't the most-loved character by players and DM alike.

Gamer Girl
2012-09-14, 09:31 PM
This part is bad. Getting involved with character creation gives you two major opportunities as a DM.

After years of gaming, as DM I step back when a player creates a character. I've found that far too often a DM is way to over bearing an influence. If the DM even makes a suggestion, far too many players take it as an order. It's very easy for a player to end up with a character the DM mostly made, and not one the player made or wants to play.

I don't worry about mechanics, that is what the House Rules are for(and everyone gets a copy and they even sign a little ''I read this note''). I get involved most in the backstory, but I still let the player take the lead.





And the thing about PO is that everyone does it. Did you assign your highest ability score to INT while playing a wizard? You just PO'd. Did you invest in Weapon Specialization for your Greatsword fighter? You just PO'd (in this case, badly, but you did anyway). Sometimes, practical optimization is about bringing a bad class up to the level of other players (like rolling up a Sword of the Arcane Order paladin in a party full of mid-op sorcerers and druids) and so you reach for raw power. Most of the time, though, it's about making a character concept function at all. If I want to be a masterful martial artist, Monk is a very poor choice because I'm TELLING my fellow players something ("My character is good at martial arts,") while DEMONSTRATING the opposite. You wouldn't let a player call himself a master of elemental magic if he didn't know any such magic, would you? It's the same basic idea, applied universally.

Everyone but me:smallbiggrin: My game is the type of game where Grand Wizard Orni has an intelligence of 10. Orni is 18th level and can only cast cantrips. Rath(the 2E sample character in the PH) with his 8, 14, 13, 13, 7 and 6 ability scores is a normal character in my game. I encourage players to do the random rolls for abilities and not the other 'pick' methods.

The thing is how you define things like ''the power level of a class'' or ''a function of a class'' and such. You kinda getting close to saying that if a character does not do a set amount of damage, or any other thing, that they are no good. So if your playing a 'martial artist' that can't jump over the moon, then they are pointless. But my game is full of characters like that. Blunderfoot was a thief with a Dex of 3! He was ''one of the worst thieves in the world''(naturally), but the character is still remembered to day by all my players for all his wild and crazy game play. But no one remembers that character that ''killed a whole army with one hand behind his back'' or whatever.






Our complaints about these house rules is that you're making it even harder for people to use those mechanics to express their concepts. If my character is supposed to be a master scholar leaving his safe library for the first time in order to adventure, unreliable Knowledge skills make my character look like a fool instead of an accomplished student. If you cut off or obstruct melee's access to magical items, you make the very existence of non-magical people of importance questionable. You're interfering in the fluff of your game and creating story loopholes by favoring certain mechanics over others - and subtracting fun as a result.

It depends. Players don't need the 'perfect knowledge of everything' to play the game. Unless they are trying to 'do' something shady. For example a 'shady' character needs to know the exact official game type of a monster so they can automatically know if they can cast charm person on the monster or not. Some players like the 'Automatic Roll To Know All', as it's quick and easy; it's a one roll to win the encounter and ultimately the game. And this is a big reason why a lot of combat in D&D lasts like three rounds; the players Know Everything. I like the game with mystery and vagueness, and combat that lasts form then a couple rounds.

And I missed the post about why making things cost ten times more hurts fighters? Everyone gets the same basic amount of loot treasure cash wise, so everyone is equal at Magic Mart. It does cost a spellcaster ten times the normal cost to make an item, but that does not effect a fighter. Plus the spellcaster has ten times the cost for components. Plus there is magic item loot. After 5th level or so every single humanoid foe will have magical loot. And fighter types will always out number spellcaster types. An evil wizard has a group of fighter thugs, but an evil warlord does not have a group of wizard thugs.




TL;DR - Please take some time to get to know the rest of the gaming community before you decide to just roundly condemn it.

It all started with just a couple suggestions....

Hiro Protagonest
2012-09-14, 09:35 PM
I think you missed my post.


Hon, if that were true, then nobody could make Exalted work. Why? Because the Storytellers with heads for mechanics couldn't do the setting justice. The ones with heads for fluff wouldn't be able to see all the broken stuff and probably wouldn't bother with all the errata.

Just for the record Exalted is a White Wolf game. That means it's RP-heavy. It also has power levels where your chargen character is as strong as a Greek hero, and has the potential to get up to the level of... oh... Marvel Thor (for Solars) or engame Asura (for Infernals). It's also totally unbalanced, with nice little gems like Sidereal Martial Arts, which has styles which are either ridiculously weak, ridiculously powerful (like the one that lets you stand on top of Mount Meru and kill everyone in Creation), or don't work.

Milo v3
2012-09-14, 09:39 PM
And I missed the post about why making things cost ten times more hurts fighters? Everyone gets the same basic amount of loot treasure cash wise, so everyone is equal at Magic Mart. It does cost a spellcaster ten times the normal cost to make an item, but that does not effect a fighter. Plus the spellcaster has ten times the cost for components. Plus there is magic item loot. After 5th level or so every single humanoid foe will have magical loot. And fighter types will always out number spellcaster types. An evil wizard has a group of fighter thugs, but an evil warlord does not have a group of wizard thugs.

The thing is that Fighters and other non-mages, need magic items for survival at high level, mages do not. By your ruling Fighters need to be level 8 for a +1 weapon. By that stage wizards are using turning into dragons, gaining DR 10, summoning celestial lions and fiendish giant eagles, making everything their ally, animating armies of skeletons, spreading diseases, inflicting negative levels, and burning anyone who attacks them with melee.

Also may I ask for your definition of the following things, so that we might understand your point of view:
•Actor
•Optimiser
•Roleplayer

RFLS
2012-09-14, 09:42 PM
{Scrubbed}

NichG
2012-09-14, 09:44 PM
I'm going to go devil's advocate here a bit, just because the thread has made me realize something. I'm going to ask for a little rope to hang myself here:

There is an important but pretty rare skill that the best roleplayers will have. That is in some sense the ability to enjoy suffering.

What I mean by this is specifically the ability to enjoy bad things happening to one's character, one's party, one's goals, so long as those bad things are dramatically interesting. Not just the ability to go along with it, the ability to actually find that fun, and more to the point to ability to separate that out-of-character fun from the in-character suffering or whatever.

Now, why do I say this is important? Well, as a player you have a lot of tools to make sure nothing bad ever happens to you. You can build a character who will always win, you can metagame choices to avoid things that are going to be bad, etc. At some level we all do this subconsciously because we don't enjoy suffering. Someone who has transcended that reflex can play anything in any company - a commoner to a god - so long as there are dramatically interesting things going on.

The litmus test for this is how people respond when something like "I got turned into a demon for trying to vampiric touch that imp?" happens. If they're flexible enough to take that and make something fun out of it, that makes them more valuable as a player (regardless of any opinions of whether or not the GM 'should do that' - someone who is adaptable and flexible and can generally make their own fun is far better to have at a table than someone who cannot).

What does this have to do with the OP? Well, the majority of those houserules are in some way or another harmful to the PCs. I don't think its entirely wrong that those rules will act as a player filter and ensure a certain subset of players who are willing to stay at the table. However I do think that the way they've been presented as discouraging 'optimizers' is not quite right. As someone pointed out several pages back, you can optimize around those rules too, and the harsher or weirder they are the more they'll attract people looking for a challenge.

I guess the thing that has really made this clear is all of the furor that is being generated over the Cleric taking 3hp damage when healing someone bad example. There have been several posts going 'Well what if the cleric were low on hitpoints? What if he needs that spell slot later? What if...' which seem to me to be indicative of a fixation on that small penalty possibly interfering with the Cleric's abilities in the short term, rather than a willingness to generally roll with things.

Note: I'm not saying that optimizers tend not to have this attribute, or that all roleplayers do, or anything of the sort. I'm simply saying that there actually could be something that the OP is unconsciously selecting for here.

kardar233
2012-09-14, 09:45 PM
{Scrubbed}

Whoa whoa man, simmer down. We're in squinting distance of a reasonable conversation here, let's not get the mods involved.



I'm going to go devil's advocate here a bit, just because the thread has made me realize something. I'm going to ask for a little rope to hang myself here:

There is an important but pretty rare skill that the best roleplayers will have. That is in some sense the ability to enjoy suffering.

What I mean by this is specifically the ability to enjoy bad things happening to one's character, one's party, one's goals, so long as those bad things are dramatically interesting. Not just the ability to go along with it, the ability to actually find that fun, and more to the point to ability to separate that out-of-character fun from the in-character suffering or whatever.

Now, why do I say this is important? Well, as a player you have a lot of tools to make sure nothing bad ever happens to you. You can build a character who will always win, you can metagame choices to avoid things that are going to be bad, etc. At some level we all do this subconsciously because we don't enjoy suffering. Someone who has transcended that reflex can play anything in any company - a commoner to a god - so long as there are dramatically interesting things going on.

The litmus test for this is how people respond when something like "I got turned into a demon for trying to vampiric touch that imp?" happens. If they're flexible enough to take that and make something fun out of it, that makes them more valuable as a player (regardless of any opinions of whether or not the GM 'should do that' - someone who is adaptable and flexible and can generally make their own fun is far better to have at a table than someone who cannot).

What does this have to do with the OP? Well, the majority of those houserules are in some way or another harmful to the PCs. I don't think its entirely wrong that those rules will act as a player filter and ensure a certain subset of players who are willing to stay at the table. However I do think that the way they've been presented as discouraging 'optimizers' is not quite right. As someone pointed out several pages back, you can optimize around those rules too, and the harsher or weirder they are the more they'll attract people looking for a challenge.

I guess the thing that has really made this clear is all of the furor that is being generated over the Cleric taking 3hp damage when healing someone bad example. There have been several posts going 'Well what if the cleric were low on hitpoints? What if he needs that spell slot later? What if...' which seem to me to be indicative of a fixation on that small penalty possibly interfering with the Cleric's abilities in the short term, rather than a willingness to generally roll with things.

Note: I'm not saying that optimizers tend not to have this attribute, or that all roleplayers do, or anything of the sort. I'm simply saying that there actually could be something that the OP is unconsciously selecting for here.

I have to say this is a pretty good point. It takes a good roleplayer to accept loss as part of the game and roll with it. I encourage my DMs to try and anticipate my cunning plans and throw wrenches in them, and it's more fun when something goes drastically wrong. However, there's a major issue here.

It's the line that matters. I've been in plenty of campaigns where we've lost lots and had to claw our way back up from very little, but it's always been feasible.

In a recent campaign, a character of mine who wasn't extremely powerful herself had built a support network of incredibly powerful people, including her cohort, a massive magic-powered robot made of impossibly tough dragonscale and controlled by the bound soul of a dragon. She had moved up into the biggest leagues of them all, trying to take on the dragon-god that had woken and was waiting for a chance to eat everyone else (for reference, this is Toruk in the Iron Kingdoms). And suddenly, in one fell swoop she loses her cohort, her greatest ally on the inside and no one else has the time for her as they're all fighting for their lives.

This doesn't burn in the "ooh, that really hurt" sense, that one that's good for roleplay. This is "congratulations, your character has been kicked out of the saving-the-world league and has to go back to the killing-boars league". There isn't even a dramatic corpse left behind to say "oooh, nearly made it". It doesn't end with a bang, it ends with a whimper.

It's important to know where the line is. Having characters repeatedly killed with little chance to develop them or their goals is across it for me.

RFLS
2012-09-14, 09:48 PM
Whoa whoa man, simmer down. We're in squinting distance of a reasonable conversation here, let's not get the mods involved.

You're right; I apologize to the other people on the thread and to Gamer Girl. I was out of line. Mods, slap me with a warning if you must, but I'll stay civil; you don't need to lock the thread.

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-09-14, 10:10 PM
I'm going to go devil's advocate here a bit, just because the thread has made me realize something. I'm going to ask for a little rope to hang myself here:

There is an important but pretty rare skill that the best roleplayers will have. That is in some sense the ability to enjoy suffering.

Suffering is fine, but logic and cause and effect are important parts of that. The line between "Oh man, do you remember the time Borz fell into three pit traps in a row? Best night ever!" and "Dammit, this DM just keeps trying to mess with us" is based on what makes sense and what you can expect. If you seek out a dragon at low levels, try to fight it, and end up dying, that's different from a DM dropping a dragon on you out of nowhere for a TPK.

In the "cleric takes damage for healing a villain" example, the problem isn't taking damage per se, it's that there's no logical reason for him to take the damage when it's the villain that committed the crimes and the cleric couldn't know about it; it would make more sense for the target to take the damage, or the spell to not work, or the cleric to receive a vision, because those make it clear that the villain is the one who angered the deity, and the cleric is just being warned about it. Taking damage for healing the villain would make sense if the cleric had already been warned and was trying again, or if the cleric did know about it beforehand and decided to heal him anyway, because in that case the cleric is deliberately going against his patron's wishes and so actual punishment rather than mere correction makes sense.

In the "Knowledge doesn't work" example, the problem isn't that the players aren't learning information about the monsters, necessarily, it's that there's a disconnect between the player's expectations ("I put ranks in Knowledge, Knowledge lets you know stuff, therefore I know stuff") and the DM's expectations ("No, actually, you don't know stuff, you get guesses and rumors and that's it."). Further, having no way to know about things via background or incidental knowledge doesn't lead to the fun kind of suffering, the "But I don't wanna be turned into a toad again!" kind; it just leads to long debates with the DM as to what you could reasonably have heard about something, quibbles over how common certain knowledge should be, accusations of metagaming, and all that stuff that makes the players suffer rather than the PCs.

Yawgmoth
2012-09-14, 10:13 PM
My game is the type of game where Grand Wizard Orni has an intelligence of 10. Orni is 18th level and can only cast cantrips. Rath(the 2E sample character in the PH) with his 8, 14, 13, 13, 7 and 6 ability scores is a normal character in my game. I encourage players to do the random rolls for abilities and not the other 'pick' methods. Honest question time: What do you think this adds to the game? To be more specific, how does this make the game that you run more enjoyable for your players? How does having NPCs who are incompetent in their own class enrich anything? What reason do you have for making characters that do not make any sense by any measure, fluff or rules-wise?

I'm genuinely curious.

Scarlet Tropix
2012-09-14, 10:24 PM
...But no one remembers that character that ''killed a whole army with one hand behind his back'' or whatever.


Just to add my two cents here, but I don't think this is true in all cases. Maybe it's true in your games, but not in everyone's. I'm sure we can all agree that the fallacy that optimization = bad roleplayer is a false one, so it's likely that such a player is going to either roleplay poorly regardless of what he's built himself or it could simply be that they're not being given the chance because they're simply not being challenged.

If we assume that there is no major crime in playing a powerful character, and I would hope that we can, we should also acknowledge that if competent characters don't get a chance to distinguish their awesome characteristics, it's not necessarily fault on the part of the player. A hero can only be as interesting as the villains he faces. If a PC is carving through everything without resistance and their only crime is that they put a little more thought into their class choices, I dare say that the appropriate response might be for the DM to step up the game a bit, if that's what the group is moving towards.

I started out with nothing but the core 3.5 books. I thought monk was a great class once. We played beer-and-pretzels D&D and it was great. But as I learned more about the game, I realized that some things were better than others, and when I did that I wasn't willing to deliberately gimp myself when I could roleplay a character just as well with a better class feature or feat. And there's nothing wrong with that either. It allows you more freedom as a DM, and it can allow you to raise the stakes of a game if you really work at it.

Sure, no one in their right mind is going to allow wish chains or candles of invocation that stack. But that's certainly not what anyone in this thread is advocating. We just want our characters to function the best that we know how to make them so that we can play an awesome adventurer and have fun with friends. And that's what we're playing this for, right? The rush of excitement and dare I say it, fun?

I think there are plenty of opportunities to make that character that ''killed a whole army with one hand behind his back" memorable. It's just about how you WORK it.

Milo v3
2012-09-14, 10:29 PM
I'm sure we can all agree that the fallacy that optimization = bad roleplayer is a false one.
Actually Gamer Girl has repeatedly said about how she believes that optimization = bad roleplayer.

Scarlet Tropix
2012-09-14, 10:32 PM
Actually Gamer Girl has repeatedly said about how she believes that optimization = bad roleplayer.

If she really believes that, I would love it if she could take the time to prove that to be universally the case.

Milo v3
2012-09-14, 10:33 PM
If she really believes that, I would love it if she could take the time to prove that to be universally the case.

So would the rest of us.

Zaydos
2012-09-14, 10:35 PM
I loved Rath. I sometimes enjoy the purely random character building of 4d6 as rolled (or even 3d6 as rolled), and even I can see no excuse to call someone a Grand Wizard whatever their level if they can only cast cantrips. If I rolled a character with Int 10 I wouldn't make them a wizard because it challenges verisimilitude to do so, such a person lacks the penchant for arcane talent to master wizardry, and would not be accepted by a wizard as an apprentice. At the same time should one exist they'd have every reason in character to pick up an item that allowed them access to stronger magic and the potential (circlet of int +X). None of this is optimization, this is just maintaining a self-consistent world.

As for the problems with magic... they need the actual rules typed out and the players should be aware of them but they are not necessarily problematic; I just ran an adventure taking place in Wild Magic and all the characters knew was that weird stuff could happen (we even switched to Rules Lite for one action a piece when someone broke reality), and my favorite character when he was being brought back to finish the campaign (I had started it, handed it over to someone else to DM, and then we were going to finish up co-DMing) got people to remark about how much I hated him because of the bad stuff that happened to him (he was also my most optimized) and even then I'd be peeved at just random "your magic messes up"... well more random than his already randomized CL. If you want bad stuff to happen to the players do it by story telling.

Also as a note about 2e character gen it worked better when the system expected you to gen characters a few dozen times till you got a good one which 3.X doesn't. It can be made to work for 3.X but it skews numbers (making the DM's job harder) and is in general an awkward fit.

Lord_Gareth
2012-09-14, 10:39 PM
After years of gaming, as DM I step back when a player creates a character. I've found that far too often a DM is way to over bearing an influence. If the DM even makes a suggestion, far too many players take it as an order. It's very easy for a player to end up with a character the DM mostly made, and not one the player made or wants to play.

I don't worry about mechanics, that is what the House Rules are for(and everyone gets a copy and they even sign a little ''I read this note''). I get involved most in the backstory, but I still let the player take the lead.

Letting the player take the lead is a great habit and I legitimately applaud you for it, but it's still good to be involved if only in the capacity of observer on the mechanical end of things.


Everyone but me:smallbiggrin: My game is the type of game where Grand Wizard Orni has an intelligence of 10. Orni is 18th level and can only cast cantrips. Rath(the 2E sample character in the PH) with his 8, 14, 13, 13, 7 and 6 ability scores is a normal character in my game. I encourage players to do the random rolls for abilities and not the other 'pick' methods.

And this right here is what I was talking about earlier, actually. If Grand Wizard Orni has a 10 intelligence, what makes him so Grand? Is he called Grand because of his prodigious girth, the fattest in twelve kingdoms? Is he called Grand because he has enough political leverage to crush anyone that dares mock his utter incompetence in the magical arts? Going further, how did he survive to become an 18th level wizard when he evidences literally no aptitude for the art - hell, when he doesn't even have enough aptitude for most wizards to consider him as an apprentice, let alone an equal? In the case of Mr. Rath, how does he overcome his (substantial) natural shortcomings in order to succeed at his chosen profession?


The thing is how you define things like ''the power level of a class'' or ''a function of a class'' and such. You kinda getting close to saying that if a character does not do a set amount of damage, or any other thing, that they are no good. So if your playing a 'martial artist' that can't jump over the moon, then they are pointless. But my game is full of characters like that. Blunderfoot was a thief with a Dex of 3! He was ''one of the worst thieves in the world''(naturally), but the character is still remembered to day by all my players for all his wild and crazy game play. But no one remembers that character that ''killed a whole army with one hand behind his back'' or whatever.

Wasn't what I meant at all, and I think you managed to either misread or ignore a substantial section of my post. Let's revisit this: my problem with Monk when choosing to put mechanics on a 'masterful martial artist on a quest to see the world outside of his home' concept isn't that Monk is weak (which it is) but because the Monk's mechanics are so clashing and inconsistent that it makes their style come across more like a drunken brawler than an elegantly trained warrior. I would consider, say, the Barbarian non-appropriate for the same reason, just like I wouldn't consider the Scout or Paladin classes for that concept. Swordsage was chosen because its style allows for elegant fluidity in combat (thus fulfilling the 'masterful' part of the concept) while also having out-of-combat skills that a traveler or pilgrim might find useful or desirable.

Mr. Blunderfoot is not necessarily an example of what I'd consider a poorly-made character. If you set out to make a clumsy thief, then clearly you're already part-way there (incidentally: good Asmodeus in Baator, 3 Dex? How'd you flavor that?). The rest of the way there is asking yourself questions like, "Okay, so he's not picking any locks any time soon - how does he steal and get away with it? Is he a smooth talker? Does he intimidate people in shakedowns? Just grab a sledgehammer and beat the door in?" These considerations help make sure that the player (who is playing the character) doesn't have to spend entire encounters failing to contribute or, worse, sitting on his ass because he has no relevant abilities. I mean, hell, my Warblade wasn't the best diplomat in the world but his training in court etiquette (mechanically: ranks in Know (Nobility and Royalty) and Diplomacy) meant that he could make Aid Another checks to help our party face out when it was really important.


It depends. Players don't need the 'perfect knowledge of everything' to play the game. Unless they are trying to 'do' something shady. For example a 'shady' character needs to know the exact official game type of a monster so they can automatically know if they can cast charm person on the monster or not. Some players like the 'Automatic Roll To Know All', as it's quick and easy; it's a one roll to win the encounter and ultimately the game. And this is a big reason why a lot of combat in D&D lasts like three rounds; the players Know Everything. I like the game with mystery and vagueness, and combat that lasts form then a couple rounds.

No, the biggest reason that combat in D&D lasts, "like three rounds," is that both the published monsters and the PCs hit like speeding mack trucks hauling loads of dynamite. Additionally, you also seem to be operating under a misunderstanding of how the Knowledge check works; almost all monsters (and topics!) have gradients to the check, where certain DCs reveal SOME information and higher ones reveal more and more. If your character can succeed at, oh, a DC 18 check they might recognize that a particular reptilian-seeming monster is actually a relative of the true dragons (mechanically: reveals dragon subtype) and increasingly high DCs tell you that it's a linnorm and reveal its strengths and weaknesses. If a PC can succeed at those super-high Knowledge DCs (often a feat that isn't possible until they're many levels above the monster in question) then frankly they deserve to know everything that they can about their enemy.


And I missed the post about why making things cost ten times more hurts fighters? Everyone gets the same basic amount of loot treasure cash wise, so everyone is equal at Magic Mart. It does cost a spellcaster ten times the normal cost to make an item, but that does not effect a fighter. Plus the spellcaster has ten times the cost for components. Plus there is magic item loot. After 5th level or so every single humanoid foe will have magical loot. And fighter types will always out number spellcaster types. An evil wizard has a group of fighter thugs, but an evil warlord does not have a group of wizard thugs.

This has been said a million times, but I will say it again - the problem is not fighting spellcasters. The problem is fighting monsters. Do you know what undead, dragons, demons, devils, yugoloths, modrons, slaadi, gargoyles, harpies, hydras and a million other monsters all have in common? You need magic to fight them. Spellcasters, of course, have/are/generate magic on their own and thus for them magical items are a handy bonus that isn't really necessary. Fighters and their cousins, on the other hand, have no native magic of their own and thus require those items in order to penetrate damage reduction, deal the correct kind of damage to pierce regeneration, chase flying/burrowing/climbing monsters, fight in darkness and a million other things that become necessary in order to simply KEEP UP with the classic foes that have been around since 1e. That's what causes the problem, Gamer Girl.


It all started with just a couple suggestions....

A couple of suggestions made in a highly hostile and holier-than-thou tone that you've maintained through the entire thread.

SaintRidley
2012-09-14, 10:51 PM
Gamer Girl, your examples indicate to me that for a character to be roleplayed well, you expect them to simply be utterly incompetent.

That's... Well, I'm not sure what that is. But it sure is something all right.

Yawgmoth
2012-09-14, 10:57 PM
I think there are plenty of opportunities to make that character that ''killed a whole army with one hand behind his back" memorable. It's just about how you WORK it. This is the important distinction. Saying "I cast my Sudden Empowered/Maximized Meteor Swarm and do 300 damage to everything in the area" is boring. But the epic battle between Haldon Selhorys, Archmaster of the Divine Fire and Qorblax, the Unending Maw and its horde of autonomous teeth is a story. It involves a high powered character and is interesting because you have spells being thrown and pseudopods being swung and one-liners being made and dialogue between the two and things that are happening that makes it memorable. It's all in how you frame it.

Scarlet Tropix
2012-09-14, 10:59 PM
This is the important distinction. Saying "I cast my Sudden Empowered/Maximized Meteor Swarm and do 300 damage to everything in the area" is boring. But the epic battle between Haldon Selhorys, Archmaster of the Divine Fire and Qorblax, the Unending Maw and its horde of autonomous teeth is a story. It involves a high powered character and is interesting because you have spells being thrown and pseudopods being swung and one-liners being made and dialogue between the two and things that are happening that makes it memorable. It's all in how you frame it.

Thank you, Yawgmoth.

toapat
2012-09-14, 11:06 PM
This has been said a million times, but I will say it again - the problem is not fighting spellcasters. The problem is fighting monsters. Do you know what undead, dragons, demons, devils, yugoloths, modrons, slaadi, gargoyles, harpies, hydras and a million other monsters all have in common? You need magic to fight them. Spellcasters, of course, have/are/generate magic on their own and thus for them magical items are a handy bonus that isn't really necessary. Fighters and their cousins, on the other hand, have no native magic of their own and thus require those items in order to penetrate damage reduction, deal the correct kind of damage to pierce regeneration, chase flying/burrowing/climbing monsters, fight in darkness and a million other things that become necessary in order to simply KEEP UP with the classic foes that have been around since 1e. That's what causes the problem, Gamer Girl.

This is why Bobthe6th's Proposal to separate WBL from Money was ****ing brilliant. Money being a RP thing and Wealth being a gameplay thing is much better then having a Dragon who is for some reason extremely poor despite being several million years old.

Craft (Cheese)
2012-09-15, 12:43 AM
Gamer Girl, your examples indicate to me that for a character to be roleplayed well, you expect them to simply be utterly incompetent.

That's... Well, I'm not sure what that is. But it sure is something all right.

Good stories are born in conflict, and conflict is born in struggle and failure. Thus successful character can't be interesting, and thus an incompetent character is more interesting than a competent one.

Milo v3
2012-09-15, 12:47 AM
Good stories are born in conflict, and conflict is born in struggle and failure. Thus successful character can't be interesting, and thus an incompetent character is more interesting than a competent one.

Yes. Let us all play elves with humanoid levels and 8's in each ability.

hobo386
2012-09-15, 01:09 AM
Good stories are born in conflict, and conflict is born in struggle and failure. Thus successful character can't be interesting, and thus an incompetent character is more interesting than a competent one.

REDACTED, but I'll bite.

A character is interesting because of the disparity between the his actions (as well as their outcomes) and the perceived expectations of him.

Superman is boring because he has every ability ever (though morality and patriotism somewhat redeem him, I guess?).

Batman is interesting because despite being a normal human, he perfected himself to the point where he is so competent that he can keep up with Supes and the rest.

This is why people love Batman. This is why people love Iron Man. This is why people love Spiderman. They ARE competent. The use their COMPETENCE to succeed against normally insurmountable odds.

SaintRidley
2012-09-15, 01:14 AM
Hobo, I believe the color they're using is meant to indicate sarcasm.

Milo v3
2012-09-15, 01:19 AM
REDACTED, but I'll bite.

A character is interesting because of the disparity between the his actions (as well as their outcomes) and the perceived expectations of him.

Superman is boring because he has every ability ever (though morality and patriotism somewhat redeem him, I guess?).

Batman is interesting because despite being a normal human, he perfected himself to the point where he is so competent that he can keep up with Supes and the rest.

This is why people love Batman. This is why people love Iron Man. This is why people love Spiderman. They ARE competent. The use their COMPETENCE to succeed against normally insurmountable odds.

Fully agreed, except I think superman is a cop-out. But that's a completely different argument.

Blue text generally means sarcasm on these forums.

Mystic Muse
2012-09-15, 01:25 AM
Hobo, I believe the color they're using is meant to indicate sarcasm.

It is. Blue has started being used as the color for sarcasm around here.

I personally consider myself between a roll-player and a role-player. I like creating roles for my characters and presenting those roles within the mechanics when possible. If I feel like my character can shine with what they currently have, I will even take substandard options just because I have no idea what optimization level the rest of my group is capable of.

One of my favorite classes is the Paladin. I enjoy the concept of somebody empowered solely by their belief in good to the point where their belief gives them actual abilities. I also tend to give them similar personalities, but that's because Paladin gives you very little room for variation in personality sometimes.

I occasionally prefer being the DM, because I like the range of characters I can make while doing that. I love rule zero, because it allows me to create things like a Paladin who is friggin' monstrous but nobody knows why they don't fall, an insane God who wants to rid the world of the thing she friggin' represents because of the horrible ways everybody abuses it, and all sorts of other cool stuff I couldn't make as a player.

I also like scaring the heck out of my players with non-standard monsters. No, this dragon doesn't have spellcasting, other than a couple SLAs, but it does have plenty of stuff you'll never find anywhere in the standard rules (I like using my dragon monster classes. Spellcasting feels tacked on).

This ramble brought to you by the insane person with a ton of pony avatars.

Now, for my personal opinion of the rules.

1. Bad idea. This just makes me want to use Vow of Poverty.

2. Throwing a curveball every once in a while is fine so long as it's not something intended to screw over a player who put ranks in something in the belief it'd be useful.

3. Bad idea, will just get a player who thought they were putting their ranks in something that would be useful ticked off.

4. Eeeh, it depends. Really, in my games, saying "It's a Paladin" means Jack squat in terms of what they can expect, because I use homebrew a LOT.

5. Bad idea. There are better ways to fix magic.

6. Gods have better things to do, and not every Divine Power being is powered by a God. Paladins are explicitly powered by the ill-defined forces of good itself, and Gods don't qualify. The point of this is that Good itself should be incapable of being wrong about what's good and what's not. Gods can be entirely wrong about what's good/right and what's not. Let's take my earlier example of the insane God. Originally, she was Lawful Good. Over time, several factors pushed her towards evil, and now she is intent on removing all magic from the land forever. I am currently debating whether she's even redeemable or not. I really think the most likely outcome for her at this point is that there is nothing left inside her. There is nothing left to appeal to, no way to convince her what she's doing is wrong. She has no beating heart any longer, no trace left of her humanity, there is just nothing inside her. Nothing at all. She is pathetic and sad, and empty, and death is the absolute kindest mercy the PCs could give her.

Or maybe she is redeemable. Maybe it's extremely costly to try, but it's worth it. Maybe there is something inside her that realizes exactly what she's become, and she wants somebody to stop her. Or, maybe the PCs end up screwing it up big time, doing something like taking away her power. This would be the absolute worst thing they could do. The absolute best result they could hope for is that she decides to drink herself to death.

7. Again, depends. This sounds like it could be a lot of extra work for the DM with little to no actual payoff.

8. Bleh. I don't feel like this adds all that much.

9. I agree with not making monsters just stats. This fix of making them excessively dangerous, not so much.

10. Again, I'd want this defined a little better, and it depends on the campaign.

Acanous
2012-09-15, 02:16 AM
It is significantly different. Entering a dungeon (or any such place) means that you are accepting an inherent risk. You know there might be monsters, you know there might be traps, you know there might be ambushes. Casting a spell, however? I'm looking at the spell entry for Cure Serious Wounds, and nowhere am I seeing anything about it potentially costing me 3 hit points. It is arbitrarily punishing a player for no good reason (and yes, those 3 hit points may not seem like a lot when you're at full, but they seem like a hell of a lot more when you're low on hit points or spells).




I cast Commune to find out why my god is angry with me. In doing so I sacrifice my ability to cast Scrying. Because of such, I cannot check on the Vizier, who is known to be a potential risk, and as such he assassinates the local king, who also happens to be head of the church of my god. I've done something which has stopped me from finding out about an action that hinders my god. I must therefore be punished.

Alternatively, gods could stop punishing their clerics for not thinking 15 moves ahead. If you want to punish your players for not scry-and-dying your plot so be it, but do not then have the gall to complain about players optimising and trying to "beat the game". Every action, when followed to the full extent of what it has stopped or allowed, will eventually lead to something against your own interests. Nobody is interested in playing that game.


Right, so.
1: The entry for Divine Magic being messed with by the granting power is in Cleric, I believe, not in CSW.

2: If the cleric has reason to Scry on the Vizier, he can ask about that as well during the Commune. He may not have the same depth of information about the Vizier from asking with Commune that he would get out of a Scry, but then again, the Vizier doesn't get a save VS Commune.

3: My games are pretty high op, with the party currently in the middle of (And the cause of) a war between two cities, one run by a church, one run by a necromancer, and the third run by a sorceror.
There's an undead Tainted Scholar involved. I'm very much not complaining about my players optimizing. In fact, I'd preffer them to think further ahead and apply more thought to their actions- because in truly high-op play, Roleplaying starts to take center stage.

4: I don't know why this should matter so much, but apparently it does, so I'll clerify:
The cleric was an NPC.
I didn't do this to a player, this was the in-game warning "If you do stuff that crosses purposes with your deity as a cleric, actions will be taken, and here's something like what you might expect."
There is no cleric in the party, or any divine spellcaster for that matter. Doing this shows the party that the gods are paying attention to the things they are doing.

5: The kind of divine action taken is dependant on your god, and what that god thinks you can handle. A cleric of Gruumsh or Lolth could expect a harsher backlash than a cleric of Tyr. Clerics of Chaotic deities would have to do something much more direct to get any backlash, but would also recieve much less divine guidance. Clerics of Lawful deities would have a structured church to fall back on, and would get much more direct, more accurate information if they asked.

Now, to GG:
I play a lot of high-op games. Wizards who have their own demiplane, who astral project then plane shift, who have Mind Blank and Persisted Invisibility, and a Contingeancy (Plane Shift) for "If my life is ever endangered" are considered to have taken "The bare minimum" protective measures. Encounters rarely last more than one round, two if the enemy somehow manages to pull a surprise round.
By level 13, any group with a Wizard in it, fights only what encounters they choose to.
The thing is, when you get to the point where your character can do anything, *what* do you *do*, and *why*?
It becomes a Roleplay exercize. The higher the op, the less dice you have to break out, the more of the session is spent exploring characters and motives.

The problem exists only if *Some* of the party is well-optimized, and *Some* of the party is not. Then there is a disparity which makes the latter category feel useless, and the DM can't challenge the party without flat-out killing some of the members.

hobo386
2012-09-15, 02:55 AM
Hobo, I believe the color they're using is meant to indicate sarcasm.

Does this forum also have a word for facepalming at yourself? Cause I might need that one too.

Ashtagon
2012-09-15, 03:58 AM
Fully agreed, except I think superman is a cop-out. But that's a completely different argument.

Blue text generally means sarcasm on these forums.

No it doesn't.

Milo v3
2012-09-15, 03:59 AM
No it doesn't.

That is exactly why I said, generally.

hobo386
2012-09-15, 04:32 AM
That is exactly why I said, generally.

I think they saying no sarcastically?

Acanous
2012-09-15, 04:35 AM
Also, I'd like to let it be known that the player was actually the guy getting healed. He was a Barbarian, who, at the end of a Rage, was dropped to -8, and was dragged by the party monk to that temple.
If the cleric's spell had spontaniously changed to Inflict *Anything*, that player'd be dead.

From a DMing standpoint, that seemed like a bad idea at the time...

Milo v3
2012-09-15, 04:50 AM
I think they saying no sarcastically?

No actually. Ashtagon specifically uses Blue for emphasis, rather than sarcasm.

Kholai
2012-09-15, 05:51 AM
I never said it was impossible....all I said was how many and left the question. But you proved my point. Lets say there are 1,000 actors, so you found eight, eight, that have Phds. Ok, so it's not impossible. But then look at the other 982 actors.....
{Scrubbed}

Gamer Girl
2012-09-15, 06:07 AM
{Scrubbed}

Milo v3
2012-09-15, 06:14 AM
As an Englishman, please note that our sarcasm is in black.

Well played English. Well played. :smallamused:


I still just don't get it. A fighter with a +1 weapon is equal to a wizard with a spellbook full of spells? I'm not sure fighters need magic items to survive, at least no more then every other character.
+1 Bastard Sword doesn't equal Polymorph, let alone polymorph will all the other spells a level 8 wizard has.


I guess I must stress, again, that spellcasters quickly run out of spells in most of my games. When you have an character active 16 game hours a day, they will run out of spells. And should a spellcaster blow through say 2/3's of their spells in just like three encounters at say game time 10 am, then that spellcaster still needs to be awake, active and doing things for the next 10 game hours or so. I don't let players do the 15 minute day thing(''I'm low on spells, lets rest/cheat/pause game as save point so my character is always 100%'')
I don't do a 15 minute game either. But making it so that wizards are forced to do nothing in most of combat would be very annoying.


1.Actor:One who plays a role.
2.One who gets the most of of the math side of the game. Type a are normal, type B are bugs that do it to ruin the game for everyone and type C are the cheaters.
3.Someone who plays a role.
Why does only the optimizer get alternatives?
For example a type A roleplayer is normal, type B are bugs that do it to ruin the game for everyone and type C are the cheaters.

Roleplayers can ruin a game by talking to everyone and asking questions about every single little detail, and they can cheat just as easily as optimizers.

Also getting most of the math side, means that you understand the rules of the game. How is that a bad thing? Everyone should know the rule of the game they are playing.

God Imperror
2012-09-15, 08:17 AM
I still just don't get it. A fighter with a +1 weapon is equal to a wizard with a spellbook full of spells? I'm not sure fighters need magic items to survive, at least no more then every other character.

With your adjustment to wealth, a fighter won't be able to afford a +1 weapon until level 8, and that is expending most of its resources on it. That means it doesn't have any mean of surviving a Shadow (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/shadow.htm) a CR 3 monster until level 8 and that is expending most of its wealth. A level 3 wizard with its spellbook (free at level 1) can use command undead to not only defeat the shadow but also get a pet, that is in every way better than the fighter.

See a problem there?

Acanous
2012-09-15, 08:40 AM
I still just don't get it. A fighter with a +1 weapon is equal to a wizard with a spellbook full of spells? I'm not sure fighters need magic items to survive, at least no more then every other character.

I guess I must stress, again, that spellcasters quickly run out of spells in most of my games. When you have an character active 16 game hours a day, they will run out of spells. And should a spellcaster blow through say 2/3's of their spells in just like three encounters at say game time 10 am, then that spellcaster still needs to be awake, active and doing things for the next 10 game hours or so. I don't let players do the 15 minute day thing(''I'm low on spells, lets rest/cheat/pause game as save point so my character is always 100%'')


Heya GG :3
On the first point (A +1 sord is not equal to spellcasting) you are both agreeing on the same thing. The +1 Sword is not equal to a wizard's spellcasting. However, a lv 8 Wizard *Will* have, at bare minimum, 19 different spells he can cast. 4 of which are 4th level spells. With a single feat (Eschew Materials), that Wizard does not need to pay for material components that are less than 1 GP. Which is Every Illusion, Evocation, Abjuration, most Conjurations, and quite a few Transmutations and Divinations.

This is *Lv 4 and lower*, by the way, I know the prices go up with higher level spells.

So the Wizard spends one feat, and can cast his 19 spells for free. He has sunk No gold into his primary method of attack (Spellcasting), and can still fight challenges roughly equal to his level.

The Fighter, however, cannot affoard even a +1 sword until level 8, meaning he cannot defeat encounters as low as CR 3, until Level 8, and even the he HAS to spend most of his money on it.

This is why we believe your Silver-Based system favors the spellcasters, the mundane people are further behind than normal.

On the other point:
Spellcasters (Wizards in particular) can generally end an encounter with 1-2 spells. If the encounter takes more than that, something unexpected has happened, or the Wizard has prepared oddly ineffective spells for the situation. Both are *Possible*, but experienced Wizard players will have *Something* for it, anyhow, and usually won't have to cast more than three spells. Even if Combat takes 8 rounds. (Usually, after the Wizard's frst turn, everything else is just mop up anyhow)

The only instances I can think of where the party had a primary spellcaster above level 5 and the combat DID take longer than 3 rounds, are ones where the enemy was immune by fiat.

Alabenson
2012-09-15, 09:16 AM
I still just don't get it. A fighter with a +1 weapon is equal to a wizard with a spellbook full of spells? I'm not sure fighters need magic items to survive, at least no more then every other character.

What you seem to be willfully refusing to acknowledge is the fact that fighters need magical items if they want to even attempt to compete with spellcasters. A fighter with a +1 weapon may not be equal to a wizard with a spellbook, but how does depriving said fighter of a +1 weapon help matters?


I guess I must stress, again, that spellcasters quickly run out of spells in most of my games. When you have an character active 16 game hours a day, they will run out of spells. And should a spellcaster blow through say 2/3's of their spells in just like three encounters at say game time 10 am, then that spellcaster still needs to be awake, active and doing things for the next 10 game hours or so. I don't let players do the 15 minute day thing(''I'm low on spells, lets rest/cheat/pause game as save point so my character is always 100%'')

To me, this says that, if I'm a wizard, I have every incentive to optimize so that I can end encounters with a single spell. Why bother to burn through all of my spells in the first encounter of the day when I can cast evard's black tentacles and then fix myself a drink while the encounter is slowly crushed to death?



You seem to be of the opinion that in order to be interesting a character needs to be incompetent in some way. While I might be inclined to agree that a genuinely flawed character can be interesting, it is how that character overcomes said flaws that makes him interesting. A character who's so flawed that they fail at everything is every bit as boring as a super-character who always succeeds.

Also, "years and years of gaming experience" do not inherently make your beliefs correct. Most of us here have "years and years of gaming experience", and quite a few of us seem to disagree with you.

HeadlessMermaid
2012-09-15, 09:23 AM
The only instances I can think of where the party had a primary spellcaster above level 5 and the combat DID take longer than 3 rounds, are ones where the enemy was immune by fiat.
Wait, what? "Immune by fiat"? That's all?

Don't the bad guys EVER roll a successful saving throw in your games? Are ALL the wizard's spells "Save: none, SR: nope"? Does the wizard ALWAYS have line of sight/effect, and is the group NEVER fooled by illusions, diversions, clever ruses?

No value judgements whatsoever, I'm just curious.

Lord_Gareth
2012-09-15, 09:27 AM
Also, "years and years of gaming experience" do not inherently make your beliefs correct. Most of us here have "years and years of gaming experience", and quite a few of us seem to disagree with you.

Hell, I've been playing since 2e and I disagree with her.

More to the point, GG (incidentally, awaiting a reply to my last point) - it's not that the fighter needs a +1 weapon, though this will become necessary eventually to pierce DR/Magic. It's that the fighter needs to, say, fly (lest he be overwhelmed by imps, erinyes, stirges, gargoyles, harpies, list goes on and on...). He needs to be able to see in darkness somehow (lest he be overwhelmed by devils who can see perfectly, or drow spellcasters that don't need to see at all, or...). He needs a ready source of fire, acid, and/or holy damage (mundane and fiendish regeneration, AWAAAAY!). He needs some method of either gaining pounce or imitating it or he won't deal enough damage for monsters to consider him a threat. If he's a tripper, he needs some method of changing his size. If he's an archer, he needs a method of putting out more arrows per shot.

All of those things require magical items (unless you're playing a Ranger or a Paladin, who can gain some of them natively). Slicing a fighter - or rogue, or samurai, or monk or WHATEVER's - access to those magical items cripples them when facing the kind of iconic monsters that have been around FOREVER, and certainly doesn't help them in other cases as well.

Seerow
2012-09-15, 09:28 AM
Wait, what? "Immune by fiat"? That's all?

Don't the bad guys EVER roll a successful saving throw in your games? Are ALL the wizard's spells "Save: none, SR: nope"? Does the wizard ALWAYS have line of sight/effect, and is the group NEVER fooled by illusions, diversions, clever ruses?

No value judgements whatsoever, I'm just curious.

Sure, the Wizard doesn't always instantly win. The times when he does, combat is one round, or over in the surprise round before round 1 starts.

Remember 3 rounds is 12 actions for a normal 4 man party. Very few on CR encounters can survive against that, even if your party is relatively low-op. My experience is also 2-4 rounds as the average 3.5 fight length, unless the encounter is designed particularly defensive, or well above our level. And my group intentionally avoids some of the more broken parts of 3.5 (ie most encounter destroying spells)

Gamer Girl
2012-09-15, 09:52 AM
Heya GG :3
On the first point (A +1 sord is not equal to spellcasting) you are both agreeing on the same thing. The +1 Sword is not equal to a wizard's spellcasting. However, a lv 8 Wizard *Will* have, at bare minimum, 19 different spells he can cast. 4 of which are 4th level spells. With a single feat (Eschew Materials), that Wizard does not need to pay for material components that are less than 1 GP. Which is Every Illusion, Evocation, Abjuration, most Conjurations, and quite a few Transmutations and Divinations.

First note your 'minimum' is based off of an optimizing player. You can have a wizard with an intelligence of 12, who at 8th level can not cast 4th level spells. I don't go for the idea of ''unless my character has an 18 in the needed primary ability(and that is like five out of six of them)''.

And every spell has cheap components? Even if your only talking about core.



The Fighter, however, cannot affoard even a +1 sword until level 8, meaning he cannot defeat encounters as low as CR 3, until Level 8, and even the he HAS to spend most of his money on it.

So the figher can't shop at magic mart until 8th level? Even if that was true(and he could buy other stuff, for sure), your over looking loot. At around 4-5th level a fighter will start to encounter foes with magic items, including magic weapons. So that is another way for a fighter to get a magic weapon, other then shopping.





On the other point:
Spellcasters (Wizards in particular) can generally end an encounter with 1-2 spells. If the encounter takes more than that, something unexpected has happened, or the Wizard has prepared oddly ineffective spells for the situation. Both are *Possible*, but experienced Wizard players will have *Something* for it, anyhow, and usually won't have to cast more than three spells. Even if Combat takes 8 rounds. (Usually, after the Wizard's frst turn, everything else is just mop up anyhow)

The only instances I can think of where the party had a primary spellcaster above level 5 and the combat DID take longer than 3 rounds, are ones where the enemy was immune by fiat.

Then, oddly, my whole game is unexpected. Wizards just can't to that kind of crazy optimizing auto win in my game.

God Imperror
2012-09-15, 09:55 AM
So the figher can't shop at magic mart until 8th level? Even if that was true(and he could buy other stuff, for sure), your over looking loot. At around 4-5th level a fighter will start to encounter foes with magic items, including magic weapons. So that is another way for a fighter to get a magic weapon, other then shopping.

How did said monsters bought magic items, if they could not afford them by your pricing of magical items?

If they crafted them, how did they craft them, since by your pricing they cannot afford the materials to craft them, nor do they have spellcasters with enough casting capabilities to craft them?

How were we supposed to know that based on the "simple suggestion" of reducing wealth by level by 10?

Defeating enemies that drop magic weapons at level 4 still doesn't help the fighter facing the shadow at level 3, when it is a CR appropriate encounter.

Eldan
2012-09-15, 09:57 AM
So the figher can't shop at magic mart until 8th level? Even if that was true(and he could buy other stuff, for sure), your over looking loot. At around 4-5th level a fighter will start to encounter foes with magic items, including magic weapons. So that is another way for a fighter to get a magic weapon, other then shopping.

Uhm.

He's saying that because that was your rule. Your rule says that you reduce everyone's WBL by a factor of ten, so fighters can not afford or get swords.

Gamer Girl
2012-09-15, 10:01 AM
Wait, what? "Immune by fiat"? That's all?

Don't the bad guys EVER roll a successful saving throw in your games? Are ALL the wizard's spells "Save: none, SR: nope"? Does the wizard ALWAYS have line of sight/effect, and is the group NEVER fooled by illusions, diversions, clever ruses?

No value judgements whatsoever, I'm just curious.

I wonder this too.

No judgements, just what I have seen: The optimized table games. They more or less role-play for a bit, then have a combat encounter. The encounter is almost always very simple. Mins are placed on the board, and the fight starts. The DM has lots of 'minions' (and it's not a 4E game), so the players can zap and slaughter tons of monsters. The Dm does 'time saving things' like one saving throw for a group of twenty orcs. So the DM rolls a '1' and 20 orcs are fully effected by the spell.

They never..ever have any complex battle areas(though they do love them when they are in my game). They just about always fight on flat 100 foot square battle feilds. Even just the idea of cover(like plastic trees) is ''too much work''. And the DM is always 'fair', they would never say 'attack the characters when they are climbing and can't be 100% effective. And foes never use much more then the easy to dispel magic effects that only last a round.

Eldan
2012-09-15, 10:03 AM
I'll post my question for a fourth time, then.

I am an optimizer. I have run games that are four hours of talking with no dice rolls. How does that fit your theory?

In fact, I hate minis and battle maps with a passion.

Gamer Girl
2012-09-15, 10:05 AM
How did said monsters bought magic items, if they could not afford them by your pricing of magical items?

If they crafted them, how did they craft them, since by your pricing they cannot afford the materials to craft them, nor do they have spellcasters with enough casting capabilities to craft them?

How were we supposed to know that based on the "simple suggestion" of reducing wealth by level by 10?

Defeating enemies that drop magic weapons at level 4 still doesn't help the fighter facing the shadow at level 3, when it is a CR appropriate encounter.

You have read the D&D rules, right? Monsters need magic, just like characters, to be a challange. Just look at the sample NPC's in the DMG. Even a mid level Oni living in a cave ''somehow'' has a club+2. Magic items are common in D&D.

Gamer Girl
2012-09-15, 10:07 AM
I'll post my question for a fourth time, then.

I am an optimizer. I have run games that are four hours of talking with no dice rolls. How does that fit your theory?

In fact, I hate minis and battle maps with a passion.

{Scrubbed}

Eldan
2012-09-15, 10:18 AM
Huh. Well ,that was an unexpected answer.

If only I knew that deep in my heart, I could be a member of the roleplayer master race.

God Imperror
2012-09-15, 10:20 AM
You have read the D&D rules, right? Monsters need magic, just like characters, to be a challange. Just look at the sample NPC's in the DMG. Even a mid level Oni living in a cave ''somehow'' has a club+2. Magic items are common in D&D.

I actually laughed out loud, look at the DMG pg. 135. Even a 3rd level character can afford a +1 weapon.

Alabenson
2012-09-15, 10:25 AM
4th times a charm answer.

I'd say you were a poser or Optimizer in name only. You just optimizer to fit in with the 'cool kids'. You are a role-player at heart.

So, people who roleplay can't optimize because we happen to enjoy the mechanical aspect of the game as well as the roleplay aspect, but only because we want to "fit in".

And you base this belief on what, exactly?

Eldan
2012-09-15, 10:28 AM
Man. All those times where I spent hours going through books to find feat and prestige class combos. All of the handbooks I read. I could have saved all that time for roleplaying, if only I had realized that this wasn't the real me! I could have shed my optimizer cocoon and hatched into a beautiful roleplayer!

Djinn_in_Tonic
2012-09-15, 10:29 AM
I wonder this too.

No judgements, just what I have seen: The optimized table games. They more or less role-play for a bit, then have a combat encounter. The encounter is almost always very simple. Mins are placed on the board, and the fight starts. The DM has lots of 'minions' (and it's not a 4E game), so the players can zap and slaughter tons of monsters. The Dm does 'time saving things' like one saving throw for a group of twenty orcs. So the DM rolls a '1' and 20 orcs are fully effected by the spell.

I've done the same in what you'd call "RP" tables. Shortcuts to make minions go down easier, get back to the RP faster, and show what heroes the PCs are? Sure!


They never..ever have any complex battle areas(though they do love them when they are in my game). They just about always fight on flat 100 foot square battle feilds. Even just the idea of cover(like plastic trees) is ''too much work''. And the DM is always 'fair', they would never say 'attack the characters when they are climbing and can't be 100% effective. And foes never use much more then the easy to dispel magic effects that only last a round.

Tell that to the DM of my latest game. Three optimizes who love role play were at the table, and we has fights on ships in storms involving grasping tentacles and weather effects, fights on cliffs against flying monsters where we were reduced to throwing stones at monsters exploiting our lack of range, and one fight in a constructed 4-level cavern where the enemies were invincible until we destroyed their power crystals (which required skills and puzzles rather than damage), and spent much of the fight knocking us around when we were climbing, casting spells, or otherwise vulnerable.

Again, EVERY character at that table was optimized (4 players, 3 people good at optimization, and we helped the last guy). The DM just adjusted the encounter so that we could be optimized and not have that break the game. being effective and powerful is NOT synonymous with either a poor game OR a lack of role play.

And to address your previous comments: we weren't trying to "blend in." we all love optimizing AND love role play...and we're good at both, EVEN AT THE SAME TIME. Can your theory account for that?

SaintRidley
2012-09-15, 11:02 AM
And to address your previous comments: we weren't trying to "blend in." we all love optimizing AND love role play...and we're good at both, EVEN AT THE SAME TIME. Can your theory account for that?

I'll give you a preview of how her theory is likely to account for it. "You're lying."

Glimbur
2012-09-15, 11:12 AM
I wonder this too.

No judgements, just what I have seen: The optimized table games. They more or less role-play for a bit, then have a combat encounter. The encounter is almost always very simple. Mins are placed on the board, and the fight starts. The DM has lots of 'minions' (and it's not a 4E game), so the players can zap and slaughter tons of monsters. The Dm does 'time saving things' like one saving throw for a group of twenty orcs. So the DM rolls a '1' and 20 orcs are fully effected by the spell.

They never..ever have any complex battle areas(though they do love them when they are in my game). They just about always fight on flat 100 foot square battle feilds. Even just the idea of cover(like plastic trees) is ''too much work''. And the DM is always 'fair', they would never say 'attack the characters when they are climbing and can't be 100% effective. And foes never use much more then the easy to dispel magic effects that only last a round.

I'd like to give you a reading assignment (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116095). It's rather a lot of pages of thread, but it's an example of play from an optimizer playing an evoker to prove a point, a monk enthusiast playing an unusual monk, a rogue, and a cleric. There are interesting combats as well as RP. You could probably find other examples on the PbP section of the forum, but this one was kind of famous a few years back.

Scarlet Tropix
2012-09-15, 11:33 AM
4th times a charm answer.

I'd say you were a poser or Optimizer in name only. You just optimizer to fit in with the 'cool kids'. You are a role-player at heart.

I'm the best roleplayer in my group. I'm also the best optimizer. I'm the one that got everyone else I know into the game, and I love both acting and being a functional party member. Please, tell me more about how people like us are trying to fit in with the cool kids. Or tell me I must be a bad roleplayer. I really want to hear your excuse for me. I want to hear it so bad.

Der_DWSage
2012-09-15, 11:47 AM
First note your 'minimum' is based off of an optimizing player. You can have a wizard with an intelligence of 12, who at 8th level can not cast 4th level spells. I don't go for the idea of ''unless my character has an 18 in the needed primary ability(and that is like five out of six of them)''.

I just...I have to go back to this. This isn't just 'not optimizing.' Between this and your 'grand' mage who could only cast cantrips, I have to wonder about everything you do.

Because it really sounds like you either go out of your way to be useless (And quite possibly a drag on the party) or you're being spiteful to prove a point. With your 20-round combats, I suspect the former.

A wizard with an above-average intelligence score is not an optimizer. That is someone who is playing a wizard. Just like there are very few Halfling Barbarians with 8 STR, 8 DEX, 8 CON, but have 18s in WIS, INT, and CHA. Sure, it -could- be done, but that is not a Barbarian. That is a man with martial training that gets angry a lot, but is otherwise intelligent, sociable, and insightful. To the point of having PhDs and winning nobel prizes.

By your logic, every single character in OotS is an optimizer, because V can cast spells above 2nd level as a 13th+ level character, Belkar is an optimizer for being able to dual-wield, and the police chief in Freeport who clawed his way up 6 levels of warrior? Optimizer, because he knew his head from a hole in the ground.

At this point, I have to wonder about your definition. Is an optimizer a person who makes a character at all proficient and capable in their chosen profession? Is that what this boils down to? If so, I think you'll safely find that 99% of the board disagrees, and it would have saved a lot of time if you'd said so at the beginning.

lunar2
2012-09-15, 01:55 PM
By your examples, how many actors are also hard science doctorates? And how many Phds can act?


got to reply to this one. don't know about what level of degree they got but, here goes:

Lisa Kudrow got a Bachelor of science degree in biology.

Elizabeth Shue B.A. in political science

Brian May (musician, but still) has a Ph.D. in astrophysics. HAH!

Rowan Atkinson M.SC. in electrical engineering.

Greg Graffin (musician again) masters in geology, Ph.D. in evolutionary biology.

Mayim Bialik (finally, an actor) Ph.D. Neuroscience.

Dolph Lundgren Masters in chemical engineering

Ken Jeong is an actual medical doctor

Milo Aukerman Ph.D. in biochemistry

Graham Chapman was another medical doctor

so, yeah. you can actually be good at 2 things at once.

Lord_Gareth
2012-09-15, 02:16 PM
Gamer Girl, this whole 'ignoring the posts I make in response to your statements' thing is getting a bit old, and is also a serious breach of debate etiquette.

The-Mage-King
2012-09-15, 02:35 PM
Gamer Girl, this whole 'ignoring the posts I make in response to your statements' thing is getting a bit old, and is also a serious breach of debate etiquette.

Ah, but you obviously can't be good at debate etiquette and roleplaying at the same time.

hobo386
2012-09-15, 02:55 PM
{Scrubbed}

SaintRidley
2012-09-15, 04:50 PM
{Scrubbed}

Just to Browse
2012-09-15, 05:19 PM
{Scrubbed}

Milo v3
2012-09-15, 05:22 PM
So the figher can't shop at magic mart until 8th level? Even if that was true(and he could buy other stuff, for sure), your over looking loot.
No you can't afford a +1 weapon, which is worth 20,000 by your rules. With Wealth By Level a character wont have enough money to buy it until 8th level.


At around 4-5th level a fighter will start to encounter foes with magic items, including magic weapons. So that is another way for a fighter to get a magic weapon, other then shopping.
That is based their WBL and treasure statistic, but with the costs increased, the a general NPC shouldn't have enough wealth to obtain a +1 weapon until 8th level.



4th times a charm answer.

I'd say you were a poser or Optimizer in name only. You just optimizer to fit in with the 'cool kids'. You are a role-player at heart.
{Scrubbed}

:smallannoyed:

EDIT:


This argument started a kajillion years ago
4 days ago......

RFLS
2012-09-15, 05:28 PM
{Scrubbed}

Yeah, so, this was less than constructive. If you don't like the argument, don't post. The rest of us are still waiting for an argument (in the logical sense of the word). I have yet to hear one from the OP with a) clearly stated and indubitable premises, b) valid argument form, and c) a conclusion.

Milo v3
2012-09-15, 05:30 PM
I have yet to hear one from the OP with a) clearly stated and indubitable premises, b) valid argument form, and c) a conclusion.

Or one of those three....

RFLS
2012-09-15, 05:32 PM
Or one of those three....

No, see, that's the problem- she's always got 1 or 2, but you need all three to be right.

HeadlessMermaid
2012-09-15, 05:51 PM
More to the point, GG (incidentally, awaiting a reply to my last point) - it's not that the fighter needs a +1 weapon, though this will become necessary eventually to pierce DR/Magic. It's that the fighter needs to, say, fly (lest he be overwhelmed by imps, erinyes, stirges, gargoyles, harpies, list goes on and on...). He needs to be able to see in darkness somehow (lest he be overwhelmed by devils who can see perfectly, or drow spellcasters that don't need to see at all, or...). He needs a ready source of fire, acid, and/or holy damage (mundane and fiendish regeneration, AWAAAAY!). He needs some method of either gaining pounce or imitating it or he won't deal enough damage for monsters to consider him a threat. If he's a tripper, he needs some method of changing his size. If he's an archer, he needs a method of putting out more arrows per shot.
I understand perfectly why you say this, but I'd like to explain why, although it's reasonable, it's not a universal truth. Before doing that, however, please allow me to yell "Well OBVIOUSLY roleplaying and optimizing aren't mutually exclusive!" (Phew, I really wanted to get it off my chest.) I won't get into that at all, I'll only talk about styles of play.

So, here's the deal. Your conclusions make perfect sense for some (perhaps most) styles of playing D&D. But that doesn't cover the full spectrum. Because there's an underlying assumption in your rationale, and it goes more or less like this:

"The encounter begins the moment we become aware of the monster, and ends a few rounds later. In between, there's just us, the resources we have at hand, the monster, and the terrain/environment. That's all there is to it."

But there's another style of play, not everyone's cup of tea but equally valid, which assumes something else entirely.

Let's use as an example The Fighter Without Magic Items Vs The Flying Monster. It's such a classic fantasy trope. The hero draws his sword, fearlessly approaches the creature, and at that moment it spreads it wings and flies! What will the hero do? Will he fly after it? How will he fly without magic items?

Well, he doesn't always have to. If he can't, he simply has to think of something else. He could take out his bow, for starters. Climb somewhere high and jump on the creature. Throw a net at it and bring it down. Lure it into a trap. Trick it to swallow a bunch of ditherbombs. Craft a big mean lasso. Find its lair, and wait for it there. Capture its offspring and blackmail it. Roam the country and raise a small army of archers. Seek the local wise man who knows its weaknesses. Kill an ox, fill it with poison and leave it as bait out in the open.

...Or, um, he could just ask the friendly wizard to cast "Fly" on him. :smalltongue:

Even without the "correct" magic items, the possibilities are endless as long as the following apply:


The player doesn't assume it should all end in a few rounds, with the resources he happens to have at hand when he first encounters the monster.
In fact, he will gladly make an entire side-quest out of it if he has to. The "gladly" part is crucial - the whole point is to have a good time.
The player doesn't mind fleeing for dear life at first contact. (I know, I know, undignified.) Because HE'LL BE BACK, and this time he'll be prepared.

When none of the above applies, then yes, I agree with you. The fighter is totally screwed without magic support (carefully selected magic items and/or a God Wizard behind him). But it's not a universal truth, as I hope I showed. It applies to some styles of play, while with others it's not even an issue.


And to finish, I'll state the obvious:

Some people would hate to play like that and would be bored to tears, and some would love it. That doesn't mean anyone does it "wrong". We all have our preferences (personally, I like a little bit of both worlds), and we all tend to defend them, especially when someone insults us out of the blue for no apparent reason - wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more. But in the end, it's all subjective.
:smallsmile:

Milo v3
2012-09-15, 05:52 PM
No, see, that's the problem- she's always got 1 or 2, but you need all three to be right.

Except she hasn't given us any indubitable premises, nor has it held valid argument form.

Just to Browse
2012-09-15, 06:38 PM
{Scrubbed}

lesser_minion
2012-09-15, 06:45 PM
A character who's so flawed that they fail at everything is every bit as boring as a super-character who always succeeds.

What makes you think that these characters are as worthless at Gamer Girl's table as they might be at yours?


Gamer Girl, this whole 'ignoring the posts I make in response to your statements' thing is getting a bit old, and is also a serious breach of debate etiquette.

Whether you mean to or not, you're helping to dogpile the poor girl. It's not really reasonable to complain about her not responding to your posts.

hobo386
2012-09-15, 06:54 PM
I hate this thread, this OP, and the people debating it. This argument started a kajillion years ago, and the fact that you people are spending time on it instead of making beautiful homebrew material makes me shrivel and cry. And also play league of legends.

I was going to argue that I was busy homebrewing, but then I realized I was much better at homebrewing alcohol than P&P material.

Der_DWSage
2012-09-15, 09:44 PM
...Gimme some of that, Hobo. I'm gonna drink until the OP's arguments start making sense.

Acanous
2012-09-15, 09:56 PM
Wait, what? "Immune by fiat"? That's all?

Don't the bad guys EVER roll a successful saving throw in your games? Are ALL the wizard's spells "Save: none, SR: nope"? Does the wizard ALWAYS have line of sight/effect, and is the group NEVER fooled by illusions, diversions, clever ruses?

No value judgements whatsoever, I'm just curious.
No, quite often the enemy will be behind cover, or in the air, or invisible. Personally, as a DM, *I* enjoy using illusions- but the encounters never last more than 3 rounds, unless something has gone horribly wrong.

Here's the thing- in an even-level encounter, if the enemy has not been defanged or killed within the first three rounds, the party is in seriously bad shape. They need to retreat, regroup, and come back later.
Enemies do make saving throws, yes, but some things just plain don't care.
It is tradition, for example, for the party Barbarian to carry Dust of Sneezing and Choking just in case.
Now I know what you're thinking: "But what if you're ambushed at night by flying enemies?"...Rope Trick. We don't get ambushed at night unless we're being tracked by an enemy that has Dispel Magic. (Meaning not a random encounter)
That's at lv 5, mind. By lv 13, the party only encounters what enemies they choose to, on their own terms. Only plot-centric, recurring villains are an exception to this, and they need to take measures to force a combat.


First note your 'minimum' is based off of an optimizing player. You can have a wizard with an intelligence of 12, who at 8th level can not cast 4th level spells. I don't go for the idea of ''unless my character has an 18 in the needed primary ability(and that is like five out of six of them)''.

And every spell has cheap components? Even if your only talking about core.

In our example, we had a lv 8 Wizard. Assuming you STARTED with a 12, you got two ability increases. Your INT is 14 NOW.
It would be *Very bad play* to begin with a 10 int and try being a wizard. You are, at lv 1, not able to use half of your class features. Unless you were deliberately trying to sneak something by the DM (Such as breaking Lv 1 economics by seling your spelbook, then immediately retraining into Fighter and having much better starting gear)

As a DM, I would be incredibly leery of any player with a 10 INT playing a Wizard. There's a word for this, it's called "Smurfing". It's a form of munchkinry where you take options that LOOK weak in order to sneak a powerful build under the DM's radar. Any attempt the DM makes to nerf the build seems heavy-handed and needlessly cruel to the other players, because the PC is already weak and useless.

Further, with any reasonable point-buy, you can have a 14 in INT. My example holds, without an 18. At lv 8, that Wizard has access to all he needs to end a CR 8 encounter, but in your system, a fighter does not.

So long story short, Wizards don't put a 10 in INT, unless all their other stats are 8. Even then, be a Binder.
As for Components being cheap, Yes. Yes, lv 4>=spells are cheap. There are a few exceptions, like Scry or Create Undead, but they're not the rule, and are also very unlikely to see play in low level.
Now, what can I cast for free with Eschew Materials?
Fog Cloud, Glitterdust, Spider Climb, Light, Alter Self, Shield, Mage Armor, Phantasmal Killer, any Image spell, Shadow Conjuration, any Summon Monster, any Orb of X spell, Fireball, Scorching Ray, Touch of Idiocy, Enervation, Bestow Curse, Solid Fog, Evard's Black Tenticals, Sleep, Color Spray, Grease....
...Not an exhaustive list...

The Wizard can cast all of his 19 spells at lv 8, easilly, without having to spend a single copper. In fact he can MAKE money off of them, by scribing scrolls. Which in your system, would net him a phenominal profit, as they retain their value and break the system.
A lv 1 wizard could do this. ANY lv 1 wizard. No op required, Scribe Scroll comes with the class, and a lv 1 wizard scribing a lv 1 spell pays practically nothing to do so.
Even a Wizard with 10 int.


So the figher can't shop at magic mart until 8th level? Even if that was true(and he could buy other stuff, for sure), your over looking loot. At around 4-5th level a fighter will start to encounter foes with magic items, including magic weapons. So that is another way for a fighter to get a magic weapon, other then shopping.

So wait, the enemies aren't subject to your /10 loot rule?
That's doubly unfair. Your fighter now has to, with no magical items, beat NPCs that have magical gear. Then, assuming he somehow won, he takes that magical gear, which apparently didn't help the person he just killed, and uses it.
Even if it's a +1 Scimitar and he's got Weapon Focus: Greatsword.
Guess he'll just have to go kill more people to take their stuff so he can sell it for half and buy the thing he needs at the magic mart as per your suggestion... But that *Really* doesn't sound like Roleplay to me.



Then, oddly, my whole game is unexpected. Wizards just can't to that kind of crazy optimizing auto win in my game.
They certainly can, and they don't need to optimize to do so.
A Human illusionist with a 12 int can beat any nonintelligent enemy. That's like, anti-op, but still true.
There is no situation that Conjuration cannot solve. Usually SR: No and Save: None.

Even in your system, where certain schools are finnicky and punish the caster, your wizard could just be an illusionist.
I've played a no-op wizard. Straight wizard. Nothing but illusion spells. As a challenge from a DM. Went from 1-15 before he threw in the towel. "There's nothing I can do that will challenge you".
Playing *Solo* against CR= enemies. lv 1 to 15. No feats not in core, spell selection rigorously monitored, no non-illusion spells.

There are three big schools in 3.5: Transmutation, Conjuration, and Illusion.
You've got some nerfs in there for two of the three. But the nerfs you have only really handicap Transmutation. Conjuration, as usual, just doesn't care.
I could very easilly play an illusionist who likes to have some fog spells on tap, maybe a couple orbs. He'd be big on smoke and mirrors.
He'd end encounters in a round or two.

So I guess what I'm saying is, if your wizard players aren't ending encounters in a single round, they are either unreasonably bad at applying the right tool to the job, which streaches plausability (They're eventually going to have a spell left that will end an encounter, there's too many that do) or they are deliberately humoring you because they know you like long encounters.

The third potential option is that you house rule that a single spell won't end an encounter, either by adding more enemies, additional magic effects, or making your monsters immune somehow. Done occasionally this is good, but every time? That's bad.

RFLS
2012-09-15, 11:57 PM
Whether you mean to or not, you're helping to dogpile the poor girl. It's not really reasonable to complain about her not responding to your posts.

"Poor girl" may be an understatement. She's been at the center of numerous debates on this or similar subjects for a long time; it's hard to believe that she didn't start any of them.

lesser_minion
2012-09-16, 06:10 AM
"Poor girl" may be an understatement. She's been at the center of numerous debates on this or similar subjects for a long time; it's hard to believe that she didn't start any of them.

Perhaps not, but that doesn't mean that she enjoys being dogpiled, or that she meant to get herself dogpiled.

Eldan
2012-09-16, 07:45 AM
Honestly, that just tends to happen when you make sweeping, slightly insulting accusations against most of the bord membership and certainly most of the more prominent members and then refuse to argue them logically, to the point of ignoring any reply that includes any sort of reasoning you don't like.

It comes across as sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting LALALA.

Acanous
2012-09-16, 08:28 AM
and here I thought some girls *Liked* getting dogpiled.

>.>
<.<

lesser_minion
2012-09-16, 08:53 AM
Honestly, that just tends to happen when you make sweeping, slightly insulting accusations against most of the board membership and certainly most of the more prominent members and then refuse to argue them logically, to the point of ignoring any reply that includes any sort of reasoning you don't like.

I'm pretty sure she isn't deliberately ignoring or insulting anybody -- however, some people are definitely overestimating how easy it is to articulate a decent response when there are twenty or more posts you're expected to respond to.

Lord_Gareth
2012-09-16, 08:54 AM
I'm pretty sure she isn't deliberately ignoring or insulting anybody -- however, some people are definitely overestimating how easy it is to articulate a decent response when there are twenty or more posts you're expected to respond to.

Which is why I live in a cryogenic tube, with only my brain active and connected to the internet.

...What?

Seerow
2012-09-16, 09:28 AM
I'm pretty sure she isn't deliberately ignoring or insulting anybody -- however, some people are definitely overestimating how easy it is to articulate a decent response when there are twenty or more posts you're expected to respond to.

This sort of thread has been her MO for a long time now. She knows full well what she's doing with each post. It's not like she's new to the forum and has no idea what sort of reactions her posts are going to incite. Her posting is a deliberate attempt to bait a large percentage of the user base of this forum.

RFLS
2012-09-16, 10:30 AM
I'm pretty sure she isn't deliberately ignoring or insulting anybody -- however, some people are definitely overestimating how easy it is to articulate a decent response when there are twenty or more posts you're expected to respond to.

I'm pretty sure you're wrong... She definitely goes out of her way to tell us what terrible gamers we all are on a regular basis, and never provides, you know, proof or anything as to why we're so terrible.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2012-09-16, 11:53 AM
I'm pretty sure you're wrong... She definitely goes out of her way to tell us what terrible gamers we all are on a regular basis, and never provides, you know, proof or anything as to why we're so terrible.

The first part seems unintentional, but the lack of acknowledgement to counterpoints doesn't help show it'a unintentional.

The Glyphstone
2012-09-16, 03:59 PM
Great Modthulhu: Thread locked for review.