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    Default Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    People on this forum and others talk about fixing the high tier classes and "shortening the gap" alot. This is an awful idea. Most of the time players wanna play what they see in the text, most get furious when they find out an errata hoses their new build they couldn't wait to show off. The real problem with tier one isn't that it is better than all the other players, it's that it's better than all the monsters that do not have a large amount of tier one levels.

    The easiest fix to this is just use a banned list that targets power feats like divine metamagic (or instead just get persist). But bringing all the lower tiers up into the top two would just make the game ridiculous.

    Another good fix is use spell components, the majority of DND games I have seen both on and offline do not do this, or only do it for a few significant spells that rarely get cast. Players ignore this part of the game, but if it is included it really throws the wizards action economy out of whack and makes him spend a whole lot more. But this isn't really a fix, it's just playing by the rules.

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Aemoh87 View Post
    People on this forum and others talk about fixing the high tier classes and "shortening the gap" alot. This is an awful idea. Most of the time players wanna play what they see in the text, most get furious when they find out an errata hoses their new build they couldn't wait to show off. The real problem with tier one isn't that it is better than all the other players, it's that it's better than all the monsters that do not have a large amount of tier one levels.

    The easiest fix to this is just use a banned list that targets power feats like divine metamagic (or instead just get persist). But bringing all the lower tiers up into the top two would just make the game ridiculous.

    Another good fix is use spell components, the majority of DND games I have seen both on and offline do not do this, or only do it for a few significant spells that rarely get cast. Players ignore this part of the game, but if it is included it really throws the wizards action economy out of whack and makes him spend a whole lot more. But this isn't really a fix, it's just playing by the rules.
    Spell Component Pouches.
    Also, I don't need a single feat to make life unpleasant as a T1 caster.
    Last edited by Doc Roc; 2011-07-11 at 02:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Spell Component Pouches.
    They are handy items, but they do not cover as much as some people think. I had a player get upset at our DM when he failed to cast identify since he lacked the components.
    Last edited by Aemoh87; 2011-07-11 at 02:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Aemoh87 View Post
    They are handy items, but they do not cover as much as some people think.
    They cover the vast majority of spells I use.
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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Then set him on fire. It'll get a few of 'em. The Spell component pouches that is.

    Note: I wouldn't actually advise doing this, it just leads to more headaches both in and out of game.
    Last edited by Lord Ruby34; 2011-07-11 at 02:08 PM.
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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    So the problem is that errata and houserules make changes, that players hate seeing. And the solution is to make houserules, bannings, and changes... that the players will like seeing? I fail to see how changing Fighters will make players upset while changing Wizards will make them happy.

    Also, Eschew Materials. Or just deal with the micromanagement issues and actually carry around a list of all these insignificant materials, and stock up as needed. It's not like spider web, peas, or iron is difficult to get ahold of anyways.

    [EDIT]
    Quote Originally Posted by Aemoh87 View Post
    I had a player get upset at our DM when he failed to cast identify since he lacked the components.
    Identify requires using 100gp of pearl, which is covered by neither Eschew Materials nor the spell component pouch. He would need to spend the 100gp on actual pearls in nearly any campaign, outside of ones where the DM prefers easy magical identification.
    Last edited by erikun; 2011-07-11 at 02:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    They cover the vast majority of spells I use.
    Yeah, alot of players start to move away from the high component spells, but it does make things slightly more interesting. I have played with esch.mat. and component pouches banned in a low magic setting and that was literally the best time I have ever had playing a wizard. Though I did get real greedy with gem drops.

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Aemoh87 View Post

    Another good fix is use spell components, the majority of DND games I have seen both on and offline do not do this, or only do it for a few significant spells that rarely get cast. Players ignore this part of the game, but if it is included it really throws the wizards action economy out of whack and makes him spend a whole lot more. But this isn't really a fix, it's just playing by the rules.
    Could you elaborate on this a bit more? I was under the impression that preparing a spell's components was a free action, unless said component was particularly large.

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Except for druid, the tier 1 classes are all really harmless. It's their spell list that are the major source of problems. Any attempts to tone down tier 1 classes have to limit their spell lists, anything else has no effect.
    A wizard or psion does not have any broken class features, they have just very powerful spells and powers.
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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    So the problem is that errata and houserules make changes, that players hate seeing. And the solution is to make houserules, bannings, and changes... that the players will like seeing? I fail to see how changing Fighters will make players upset while changing Wizards will make them happy.

    Also, Eschew Materials. Or just deal with the micromanagement issues and actually carry around a list of all these insignificant materials, and stock up as needed. It's not like spider web, peas, or iron is difficult to get ahold of anyways.
    Don't change anything, just banned what breaks the game and hope your players can accept that their ultimate wizard build doesn't need to show up at the table. There is no fix for tier one other than players not playing it up to snuff.

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Or just play E6. That should solve everything.
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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    I think Yora got it, really. Some spells at higher levels (and a few at lower ones too), especially some with poor wording or concepts behind them, help to break the game over their knee. Banning or altering certain spells (for example, to help balance summons, especially by Gate, I considered a house rule where you have to make contact with a creature and work out a deal with it before you can summon it into battle, since just throwing sapients at your enemies until everything's dead is both somewhat evil and outright ridiculous) seems like it would fix most of the problems without changing anything related to the actual class mechanics. They'd still be powerful, of course, but not the monsters that turn games upside-down.

    Druids, though... As mentioned, those are a bit different. Some other solution would be needed there.

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiro View Post
    I think Yora got it, really. Some spells at higher levels (and a few at lower ones too), especially some with poor wording or concepts behind them, help to break the game over their knee. Banning or altering certain spells (for example, to help balance summons, especially by Gate, I considered a house rule where you have to make contact with a creature and work out a deal with it before you can summon it into battle, since just throwing sapients at your enemies until everything's dead is both somewhat evil and outright ridiculous) seems like it would fix most of the problems without changing anything related to the actual class mechanics. They'd still be powerful, of course, but not the monsters that turn games upside-down.

    Druids, though... As mentioned, those are a bit different. Some other solution would be needed there.
    With druids, my group bans natural spell. I feel that this only is possible because ever player in my group hates druid flavor with a passion, and the only time druid has been played is for Arcane Heirophant (bad ass familiar edition) or to make a squirl master. But druid is a doozy.

    Another solution I use as a DM is don't let them get high level. It can be annoying but I am up front about it. I like to finish my "story" in the low teens. After that the party can rip my world piece by piece and I don't feel that bad.

    Oh and ban game breaking or very poorly worded material.
    Last edited by Aemoh87; 2011-07-11 at 02:25 PM.

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Amnestic View Post
    Could you elaborate on this a bit more? I was under the impression that preparing a spell's components was a free action, unless said component was particularly large.
    Yeah, I don't get it either; The pouch is assumed to have every feasible material component for every spell ever, barring this that have an outlined GP cost. The Identify one has a 100 gp pearl in there, so yeah, different. ...Which kind of makes me want to roll a wizard and just be MacGuyver pulling things out of it.

    Hungry? Well I've got a bunch of tiny tarts from my Hideous Laughter left over.
    Need to trip some guy? Leftover glass beads from Globe of Lesser Invulnerability.
    Someone backtalks me? Slap them with the severed hand of a good aligned cleric. Yeah, I know that spell too.

    I actually have no idea if that would work, but it would be hilarious.
    Last edited by Terazul; 2011-07-11 at 02:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Terazul View Post
    Yeah, I don't get it either; The pouch is assumed to have every feasible material component for every spell ever, barring this that have an outlined GP cost. ...Which kind of makes me want to roll a wizard and just be MacGuyver pulling things out of it.

    Hungry? Well I've got a bunch of tiny tarts from my Hideous Laughter left over.
    Need to trip some guy? Leftover glass beads from Globe of Lesser Invulnerability.
    Someone backtalks me? Slap them with the severed hand of a good aligned cleric. Yeah, I know that spell too.

    I actually have no idea if that would work, but it would be hilarious.
    Out of the pouch it is free. But some arcane focuses are large and clumsy. Even though most wizards can get around this by having most focuses and components readily availible. Sometimes this is difficult or not possible... or not planned for.

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Aemoh87 View Post
    Out of the pouch it is free. But some arcane focuses are large and clumsy. Even though most wizards can get around this by having most focuses and components readily availible. Sometimes this is difficult or not possible... or not planned for.
    In my D&D games going forward, I've decided that spell component pouches get used up over time: after 20 spells (that require material components normally assumed to be in a pouch), it's empty and needs to be re-filled. Basically, SCPs are now ammunition. My players are okay with this, so I guess it's a good change.

    I don't want to turn D&D into a massive bookeeping session, but at the same time...live spiders, man.

    Not to mention some spell components really make me wonder. "Dirt from the grave of a ghoul" implies that someone had to find a grave with a ghoul in it and start grabbing dirt.

    Ghouls usually object to this kind of thing*. You'd figure there'd be enough of a hazard involved in acquiring ghoul grave dirt that it would cost more than a pittance.

    ------------------------
    *"this kind of thing" being living beings.
    Last edited by Rogue Shadows; 2011-07-11 at 02:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Aemoh87 View Post
    Out of the pouch it is free. But some arcane focuses are large and clumsy. Even though most wizards can get around this by having most focuses and components readily availible. Sometimes this is difficult or not possible... or not planned for.
    The only one I can think of off-hand is the 2x4' mirror for Scrying, which costs 1000 gp so it's out of the deal anyway.

    Pretty much the majority of spells use "pinches of this", "handfuls of that". Anything larger tends to have an associated GP cost anyway.

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    As for druids...

    I think it's a class that needs some serious ground-up reexamination to fix.

    Core D&D gives us four main spellcasters: Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, and Wizard. Three of these classes, to balance out all the spells they get (in theory), get very few class features (Sorcerer and Cleric have 19 dead levels, Wizard has 15) otherwise and a small, limited skill selection.

    Druid gets full casting, good skill selection, no dead levels, and an excellent selection of spells.

    Of course it's too powerful! Look at it! there are other classes in the PHB that get a mixture of spells and class features: The bard, the ranger, and the paladin. But none of them get full casting! And of the classes in the PHB that get no or few dead levels, three of them can't cast spells at all! (barbarian, monk and rogue)

    If you removed the druid's spellcasting entirely, you'd still have a pretty decent class, at least as compared to the other classes in the core rulebook, if a little weak at low levels prior to being able to shapeshift. It'd no longer be Tier 1 at all but I'd be immensely surprised if it dropped down to Tier 4 or lower.

    Were I a part of Wizards of the Coast in 2003 when 3.0 was getting updated to 3.5, I would have totally re-designed the druid class to either

    a) not be a full caster, or
    b) not be a caster at all, and emphasize the shapeshifting aspect more.
    Last edited by Rogue Shadows; 2011-07-11 at 03:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Shadows View Post
    Not to mention some spell components really make me wonder. "Dirt from the grave of a ghoul" implies that someone had to find a grave with a ghoul in it and start grabbing dirt.
    If I was a spellcaster and knew I would need dirt from the grave of a ghoul for spells, then at the first grave of a ghoul I came across, I would dig up all the dirt from it. Graves are typically six feet deep, usually around six feet tall and around three feet across. That's 108 cubic feet of dirt, or around 13,000 pounds of dirt. I'm fairly sure that six tons of dirt from a single grave will be enough for my entire adventuring career, or will bring in huge amounts of money if it is worth anything in selling.

    And before anyone says anything about lawkeepers, note that most ghouls don't have graves in areas very well populated... at least, not anymore.

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Terazul View Post
    Yeah, I don't get it either; The pouch is assumed to have every feasible material component for every spell ever, barring this that have an outlined GP cost. The Identify one has a 100 gp pearl in there, so yeah, different. ...Which kind of makes me want to roll a wizard and just be MacGuyver pulling things out of it.

    Hungry? Well I've got a bunch of tiny tarts from my Hideous Laughter left over.
    Need to trip some guy? Leftover glass beads from Globe of Lesser Invulnerability.
    Someone backtalks me? Slap them with the severed hand of a good aligned cleric. Yeah, I know that spell too.

    I actually have no idea if that would work, but it would be hilarious.
    I'm no rules expert, but I don't think there's anything barring you from doing so (as I recall, abuse of the Chicken-Infested Flaw involves pulling loads of stuff from your spell component pouch). And since it's a free action, you can pull out as much stuff as you want within 6 seconds.

    As for Arcane Focuses/Expensive Materials, I believe it's the size/shape/preparation - not the cost - which is relevant to the action economy. An expensive diamond can still fit in the spell component pouch, and could thus feasibly be drawn from it as a free action. Obviously you would need to go ahead and purchase said expensive diamond beforehand, but merely relating to action economy, cost is not relevant...I think?

    Unless the material/focus was obnoxiously large, I doubt I'd enforce it. Material components for the most part are more fluff than anything else. I doubt enforcing them would have any real negligible effect on a spellcaster's action economy in the long run.

    But that's just me :P

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    If I was a spellcaster and knew I would need dirt from the grave of a ghoul for spells, then at the first grave of a ghoul I came across, I would dig up all the dirt from it. Graves are typically six feet deep, usually around six feet tall and around three feet across. That's 108 cubic feet of dirt, or around 13,000 pounds of dirt. I'm fairly sure that six tons of dirt from a single grave will be enough for my entire adventuring career, or will bring in huge amounts of money if it is worth anything in selling.
    True enough, I suppose...

    Material components for the most part are more fluff than anything else.
    I agree with this for the most part, at least insofar as the "free" spell components are concerned. I'm still going to use a depeleting spell component pouch as mentioned above. This means that players will just buy more pouches, but I'm cool with this - my verisimilitude will of been restored.

    I did, however, recently go through each spell in the PHB, paying attention to the spell components involved, and wrote down a list of spells that use components that cost actual money, like raise dead. I'm going to make sure to enforce that from now on.

    One more thing...

    Identify specifies that the 100-gp pearl material component is crushed and mixed with wine, and this admixture is drank, as part of the spell.

    This tells me two things.

    1) Now I know why adventurers make a beeline for the nearest tavern after every adventure;
    2) The intoxication rules from the Arms & Equipment Guide are going to do work next time I run a game.
    Last edited by Rogue Shadows; 2011-07-11 at 02:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Amnestic View Post
    I'm no rules expert, but I don't think there's anything barring you from doing so (as I recall, abuse of the Chicken-Infested Flaw involves pulling loads of stuff from your spell component pouch). And since it's a free action, you can pull out as much stuff as you want within 6 seconds.

    As for Arcane Focuses/Expensive Materials, I believe it's the size/shape/preparation - not the cost - which is relevant to the action economy. An expensive diamond can still fit in the spell component pouch, and could thus feasibly be drawn from it as a free action. Obviously you would need to go ahead and purchase said expensive diamond beforehand, but merely relating to action economy, cost is not relevant...I think?

    Unless the material/focus was obnoxiously large, I doubt I'd enforce it. Material components for the most part are more fluff than anything else. I doubt enforcing them would have any real negligible effect on a spellcaster's action economy in the long run.

    But that's just me :P
    More spells have large materials/focuses than people think. Obviously a diamond could be in a pouch waiting, but how many diamonds do you have? Would this make you change how you cast, I know it does to my party. Also my favorite spell, thunderlance, requires a small spear. Since my character is already small, that small spear defenatly does not fit in his pouch.

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Aemoh87 View Post
    Another good fix is use spell components, the majority of DND games I have seen both on and offline do not do this, or only do it for a few significant spells that rarely get cast. Players ignore this part of the game, but if it is included it really throws the wizards action economy out of whack and makes him spend a whole lot more. But this isn't really a fix, it's just playing by the rules.
    Not really. First off, spell component pouches negate everything about this, by the rules.

    Secondly, Eschew Materials negate everything about this, by the rules.

    If you ditch spell component pouches, it makes the game suck. See, now the wizard is playing inventory on hundreds of items. Once he finds them, he can typically carry ridiculous amounts of them, so the actual quantity is mostly irrelevant...but they must be tracked. And it means that for the weirder bits, you'll have the ever-so-entertaining "search for another spell component" quests. Surely those will improve your story and enthrall your players. Between removing/delaying the story and adding TONS of boring accounting, it basically just makes wizards a lot less fun, without really mucking with power significantly.

    Not worth it, IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aemoh87 View Post
    More spells have large materials/focuses than people think. Obviously a diamond could be in a pouch waiting, but how many diamonds do you have? Would this make you change how you cast, I know it does to my party. Also my favorite spell, thunderlance, requires a small spear. Since my character is already small, that small spear defenatly does not fit in his pouch.
    Wait, a small spear, as in a Small-sized spear, or a small spear, as in a spear that is not very big?

    I cast confusion.
    Last edited by Rogue Shadows; 2011-07-11 at 03:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Aemoh87 View Post
    Another solution I use as a DM is don't let them get high level. It can be annoying but I am up front about it. I like to finish my "story" in the low teens. After that the party can rip my world piece by piece and I don't feel that bad.
    I let someone else reply to this.
    Quote Originally Posted by McSmack View Post
    Or just play E6. That should solve everything.
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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Aemoh87 View Post
    Out of the pouch it is free. But some arcane focuses are large and clumsy. Even though most wizards can get around this by having most focuses and components readily availible. Sometimes this is difficult or not possible... or not planned for.
    Handy Haversack. Unless it's so big that you can't fit it in, you've got it at your fingertips.

    No adventurer over level 4 leaves home without one.

    But seriously, as far as 'fixing' T1 classes, at least for Wiz and Sorc, there's a simple solution: follow the same game plan as the beguiler/DN/Warmage. You have a very explicit spell list, and it's almost impossible to get outside of it. But you still have useful and fun class abilities in addition to your spells. Sure, you can't break the game multiple ways simultaneously, but you can still bring a lot to the gaming table.
    Last edited by ShneekeyTheLost; 2011-07-11 at 03:10 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by McSmack View Post
    Or just play E6. That should solve everything.
    No, because Wizard or Druid 6 is still overpowered by comparison, just less-so.

    E6 doesn't fix the problems. If DnD as a whole were a pool filled with burning napalm, E6 would be the equivalent of sticking your leg in the shallow end. There's still a problem, but not as bad as swimming in it.


    But that's the fun part about DnD: Everything burns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Shadows View Post
    Wait, a small spear, as in a Small-sized spear, or a small spear, as in a spear that is not very big?

    I cast confusion.
    Let's not forget that there is a Heavy weapon properity. As such, you can have a Heavy Heavy Mace. Or a Heavy Light Mace. Or a Large Heavy Light Mace.

    And then you cast shrink item, giving you a small Large Heavy Light Mace.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Rogue Shadows's Avatar

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    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    Let's not forget that there is a Heavy weapon properity. As such, you can have a Heavy Heavy Mace. Or a Heavy Light Mace. Or a Large Heavy Light Mace.

    And then you cast shrink item, giving you a small Large Heavy Light Mace.
    Or a smal Large heavy heavy mace. It's also possible to grow items, giving you a large large heavy heavy mace, or a large large heavy light mace...

    I think we're drifting into another sketch.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OracleofWuffing's Avatar

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    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Fixing Tier 1 is pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Aemoh87 View Post
    More spells have large materials/focuses than people think. Obviously a diamond could be in a pouch waiting, but how many diamonds do you have?
    Assuming that the diamond has no specific cost, as many as I need.
    "Okay, so I'm going to quick draw and dual wield these one-pound caltrops as improvised weapons..."
    ---
    "Oh, hey, look! Blue Eyes Black Lotus!" "Wait what, do you sacrifice a mana to the... Does it like, summon a... What would that card even do!?" "Oh, it's got a four-energy attack. Completely unviable in actual play, so don't worry about it."

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