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Thread: ToB Explanation

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default ToB Explanation

    A few players in my group think that tomb of battle is really broken. I've tried explaining that a mage can outdo the classes in the book, but since we mainly do battles they think that they're more powerful i.e. being able to do mage damage every encounter without losing uses per day.

    They don't agree with the tier system (I have my issues with it too) so what would be some good examples to describe how ToB isn't brokenly OP?
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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    It isn't even mages, it's other noncasters. A Barbarian is capable of dealing 60+ damage/attack starting as early as level 6, and it gets exponentially higher as the Barbarian gains levels. The only real advantage martial adepts have over noncasters is the action economy, as all three classes are capable of doing something during other peoples' turns and capable of doing something more than "Charge, next round Full attack".


    Maneuvers are seemingly overpowered at levels below 6th, but at that level you need to be powerful in order to survive.

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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    Show them the terror of a Batman. Let them make a Tome of Battle character, and ruthlessly crush them.

    Or show them a charger. If you have a charger that isn't topping 100 at level 6, urdoinitwrong.

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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    tenth level caster, could be done at 6th with 5 arrows.


    letter bomb:
    20 castings of explosive runes:free
    20 pices of parchment: 4gp
    1 onvelope: .2 gp
    1/20 lb of sealing wax: .05gp
    1 charge ring of gliph of warding: 1100gp
    sum:1104.25 gp
    creation:
    1:cast explosive runes 20 times, once on each piece of parchment
    2:place all parchment into an onvelope, close onvelope
    3:while holding 9 axomatic +1 arrows place sealing wax, seal with gliph of warding wand signet ring, set as a spell ward with dispel magic as an area dispel as the spell, and the gliph set to go off when the letter is opened.
    result: the gliph and spell inside the gliph are at caster level 1, so the area dispel is 1d20+1 vs DC21 to dispel the explosive runes, so it fails on anything but a 20. When the runes fail to dispel, they go off, dealing 6d6 a piece to everything within 10ft. So if one nat twenty out of 20 chances, 19 go off dealing 114d6 damage(average 342 force damage) no save to ajacent creatures and allowing a save for half damage 10ft out. BOOM.

    if a ToB can do 342 in a 10 ft burst, then they can call it OP.


    also, introduce them to celerity.
    Last edited by bobthe6th; 2012-06-15 at 10:39 PM.
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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    Have them make any ToB character they want (avoid warforged) up to level 6ish, which is the tipping point for damage it would seem. Proceed to kill them in one round by telekinetic thrusting 250 pounds of poison at them as a level 5 psion. Or have a wizard kill them by doing whatever broken stuff a level 6 wizard can do. Just kill their ToB character with an ubercharger. Show them that there's tons of other stronger stuff.
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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    ToB suffers in the normal things that push melee's limits (though not as much as other noncasters) - group battles, encounters with battlefield control/difficult tactical terrain, flying encounters, fights against casters.

    And encounters above ECL 5 - ToB really is disproportionally strong in the early game.

    But if your point is that it's less broken than casters, don't try to do it by making the case that ToB classes aren't powerful (they are); make the case by showing that casters are - Lesser Planar Bind a Nightmare and some Formian Taskmasters and abuse their at-will 9th level spell effects at ECL 9; build a gish that singlehandedly shreds groups of higher-leveled monsters (BC, miss chances. teleports and winning the action economy are key); drop a scry-and-die wizard who doesn't even give its opponents an action in combat; point at a sorcerer or psion breaking the action economy in half; use pretty much any summoner with standard action casting (eg. Rapid Summoning Conjurer, Linked Power Psion, DMM:Rapid Cleric) to lock encounters down hard.

    But if you want to actually sell the players on using ToB (rather than just pointing at a few dozen of the areas where balance disintegrated), my best luck has been in running a game with the ToB classes on the table. Run some higher-powered encounters (but preferably not higher-leveled) where you get to begin to flex your optimizing muscles - interesting encounters with spellcasting monsters/enemies, tricky terrains, monsters that don't just walk up and trade attacks. This can demonstrate that ToB classes can be both challenged fairly easily and be fun to play.

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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    also, the letter bomb can then be carried by a unseen servant. which then opens the letter. three, and the taresque, the FREEKING BIG T, flops over. a little over 3000 gp, and 3 first level spells kills anything.

    that is when wizards get pointless.
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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    Quote Originally Posted by killianh View Post
    A few players in my group think that tomb of battle is really broken. I've tried explaining that a mage can outdo the classes in the book, but since we mainly do battles they think that they're more powerful i.e. being able to do mage damage every encounter without losing uses per day.
    One of the main things is that ToB classes *don't* do mage damage: even blasty wizard spells are generally more effective at doing what they're designed for that ToB classes. Granted, ToB generally has better single-target damage.

    I would try two comparisons. First, compare maneuvers to equal level spells, and show that the maneuvers are by and large less powerful. For example, 3rd level ranged touch damage strikes tend to do 5d6 or 6d6 to a single target, whereas 3rd level wizard damage spells tend to do (level)d6 to an area, or to a single target and attach a rider effect. Later maneuvers compare even worse to equally leveled spells. Also point out that casters have spells that can be complete game changers (battlefield control, large everyone-buffs, etc.), and ToB has nothing like that.

    The second comparison I would try is to warlock. Both warlock and ToB characters go all day, and they're probably roughly on par with what they can do power wise. Warlocks do less damage, but do it from range (while flying and invisible, possibly), and are better at causing status effects and shutting down opponents.

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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    Quote Originally Posted by killianh View Post
    A few players in my group think that tomb of battle is really broken. I've tried explaining that a mage can outdo the classes in the book, but since we mainly do battles they think that they're more powerful i.e. being able to do mage damage every encounter without losing uses per day.

    They don't agree with the tier system (I have my issues with it too) so what would be some good examples to describe how ToB isn't brokenly OP?
    Most maneuvers aren't that great damage. The majority of damaging ones are Standard Action, meaning you lose any extra attacks you might otherwise have had. Mostly they're just cool little useful things you can do for some variety. It's really not a big deal.
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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    I think you need to show them a pounce barbarian first, and then point out that the ToB classes are (mostly) not going to dish out as much damage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    "Cold is better for cooking food than heat!"=wrong. As simple as that.
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    But we even have real world examples of cold cooking, so is it so unreasonable to say that in a fantasy world that could be the norm and that cold COULD be better than heat for cooking?

    You can produce several million pounds of Tarrasque steak every day! (Better hope he's edible.)

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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    I would say that White Raven Tactics might be an exception. That maneuver is wicked!
    Last edited by Jacque; 2012-06-16 at 07:34 AM.

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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacque View Post
    I would say that White Raven Tactics might be an exception. That maneuver is wicked!
    That's simply because it is the best maneuver ever, followed by IRON HEART SURGE and Mountain Hammer, and then the 9th-level maneuvers, mainly for their utility.

    Plus White Raven Tactics is partially also very strong because you can give an extra turn to a spellcaster buddy for another Save-or-Die/Lose/Suck.
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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    Honestly, Tome of Battle is all utility baby. Warblades *generally* don't do more damage than the typical Fighter 2 / Barbarian 18. Hell, I would say that the Horizon Tripper could do more damage than a straight Warblade because they can still take Pounce, Whirling Frenzy, and Shock Trooper. Before level 6, when the full BAB'ers get their second swing, Warblades win. They can blow their big maneuver, standard attack flourish, and do it again. At level 6+? Well, full attack is usually better.

    What the Warblade has that the Fighter/Barbarian doesn't is utility. IHS, White Raven Tactics, Sudden Leap, Emerald Razor. The only thing that a Fighter/Barbarian can do is full attack kill. The Warblade has better maneuverability (*zing*?) with the ability to move and get a far more powerful attack than is usually possible without Pounce.

    Showing them the lack of doing 60+ damage a round at level 6 will probably help. It certainly is not broken, aside from the wording on Iron Heart Surge but all that takes is DM intervention when it comes up.

    "No, gravity still exists."
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    Where it gets a little sketchy is something like Entangle or Anti-magic Zone.
    Last edited by Azernak0; 2012-06-16 at 08:40 AM.

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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    Quote Originally Posted by Azernak0 View Post
    It certainly is not broken, aside from the wording on Iron Heart Surge but all that takes is DM intervention when it comes up.

    "No, gravity still exists."
    "No, the sun still exists."
    Where it gets a little sketchy is something like Entangle or Anti-magic Zone.
    [Tangent] I've always said that iron heart surge prevents them from being affected by something like entangle, but doesn't end the entire tangle. Sure, there's no way the RAW could actually be read that way, but I feel like it comes pretty close to RAI. [/Tangent]

    Also, I would be a little leery of showing whatever other relatively high-op option which isn't a "standard" way of playing things (which includes things like lion totem barbarian, dungeon crasher, etc.). A lot of low-to-mid-op groups will look at that and go "Well sure, lion totem barbarian is broken, pounce is normally an EPIC FEAT. Great, you've shown it's less broken than another broken thing. That doesn't mean anything."

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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    Quote Originally Posted by Salanmander View Post
    Also, I would be a little leery of showing whatever other relatively high-op option which isn't a "standard" way of playing things (which includes things like lion totem barbarian, dungeon crasher, etc.). A lot of low-to-mid-op groups will look at that and go "Well sure, lion totem barbarian is broken, pounce is normally an EPIC FEAT. Great, you've shown it's less broken than another broken thing. That doesn't mean anything."
    I've literally not seen a non-lion barbarian in a game in years. (I think the game I just joined might be the first instance.) It's high-op only relative to low-op melee; it's still not going to be as game-breaking as a wizard or psion at high levels.

    But I guess people who haven't really examined how the game works will indeed jump to that conclusion. In that case, there's no help for it; the OP is playing with a group whose hair-trigger reflex is "everything which disrupts my expectations is banned and broken."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    "Cold is better for cooking food than heat!"=wrong. As simple as that.
    Quote Originally Posted by moritheil View Post
    But we even have real world examples of cold cooking, so is it so unreasonable to say that in a fantasy world that could be the norm and that cold COULD be better than heat for cooking?

    You can produce several million pounds of Tarrasque steak every day! (Better hope he's edible.)

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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    Just show them a core Wizard 20. Problem solved.

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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    You can literally ignore everybody adivce about being a batman wizard or lion pounce barbarian and all of that stuff that takes feats and certain items and all dat.

    make a Druid, thats it just make a druid THEN have that druid wildshape, BANGO now show them evertthing that any ToB class can do teh druid can do and unlike those classes can actually have an 8 in everything but wisdom and still be the most powerful melee creature ever seen!

    Pounce wildshape inot a big ol' cat
    trip. wolf me up!

    super grapple? snake time or whats that its water. octupus time! .. oh whats that part deux you cannot breathe under water.. too bad

    Maul.. bear time!

    and that is totally ignoring th fact that you have a fgihter as a minion ( im referring to animal companion


    but you can point out that 9th manuevers are only equal to like 5th or 6th level spells.

    but, would wager a guess that these few players also think that a fighter is just as powerful as a cleric, druid, or wizard.

    that normally seems to be teh case when people rant about ToB classes and them being OPed.

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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    I think everyone else got it. Short answer is just trounce them with something that they think is weaker. 'cause these guys really need to be taught a lesson.

    These are the same guys that ban ToB in a game for being over powered but allow StP Erudites, Wizards, Druids, Uberchargers, and Hulkling Hurlers.
    Last edited by CIDE; 2012-06-16 at 04:11 PM.

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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    I've had to do this twice.


    First time we were not allowed any class not in the PhB. I wanted to be Warblade, but was denied. So I played a druid. Regardless, I totally out-shined the blaster Sorc and Core-PrC only Eldritch Knight.

    The second was the first time I played a Wizard. Ever.

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    Me: "I plane shift"
    DM: "What? Where?! You can't Plane Shift!"
    Me: "To my Genesis Plane!"
    DM: "What?!"

    Me: "My Genesis Plane. I made it with a scroll. It's where I keep the clone of myself, my Simulacrum lab, and my extra Spellbook."

    Later...

    DM:"You take an arrow." *Start Rolling*
    Me: "You activate my Contingent Mass Hold Person."
    DM: "What?!"
    Me: "Roll a Will save for all of those punks."
    DM: "How are you doing this?"
    Me: "Imma Wizard, Harry."
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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    I agree with Salanmander. The best way to show that ToB isn't overpowered is by gently pointing out that they aren't doing as much or as applicable damage as the very blaster casters they seem to think are powerful. The other side of the coin is to point out that the fact that ToB people can go all day and casters can't is irrelevant because there are only ever four fights a day, so a caster with 12 or so spells never has to worry about running out.
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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    Admit it, you were saving this one up for such a moment.
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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    I think showing them a druid that isn't that optimized should be fine. You don't need to go over board but druid is A) Core, B) Essentially 2 or more fighters due to animal companion. Nothing fancy.
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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    Character 1:

    Human, Spirit Lion Totem, Whirling Frenzy Barbarian 6

    Feats:
    Power Attack
    Battle Jump
    Improved Bull Rush
    Shock Trooper

    Items of note: A +1 Gloryborn Valorous Greatsword (a +2-equivalent weapon) and a +2 Enhancement item of strength.

    Assumptions: He starts with an 18 strength.

    Here is his attack routine on a Whirling Frenzy-enabled Heedless Charge, jumping at the enemy to enable Battle Jump, with full power attack, at level 6:

    Attack 1:
    25 str (+7)
    -2 to hit from whirling frenzy
    +6 bab to hit
    +1 enhancement to hit

    Damage: 2d6
    +1 enhancement
    +10 strength (7 +3)
    +1 Gloryborn
    +12 Power Attack

    Multiplier x3 = Battle Jump (x2) + Valorous (x2)

    Damage on first attack is 6d6+72

    So +12/6d6+72

    Attack 2:
    25 str (+7)
    -2 to hit from whirling frenzy
    +6 bab to hit
    +1 enhancement to hit

    This is the same as the first attack, so +12/6d6+72

    Attack 3:
    25 str (+7)
    -2 to hit from whirling frenzy
    +1 bab to hit
    +1 enhancement to hit

    +7 to hit

    Damage:
    2d6
    +1 enhancement
    +10 strength (7+3)
    +1 Gloryborn
    +2 power attack

    So this is +7/6d6+42

    Then ask them if Tome of Battle is broken or not.

    Character 2:

    Druid 6
    Fleshraker with Fleshraker Animal Companion.
    Feats of Note: Natural Spell, Augment Summoning, Ashbound.

    Abilities of note: High Wisdom

    Items of note: Wooden Breastplate of some sort (there are a ton of strong as iron woods) and Wilding Clasp. Barding for animal companion.

    Spells of note: Venomfire, Luminous Armor, Entangle (and similar spells, briar web, plant growth, spike growth, etc.) Arctic Haze, Summon Nature's Ally II and III

    Tactics: Luminous Armor on self and animal companion prefight, venomfire on self and animal companion. Summon Hippogriffs and D3 Hippogriffs, and have them fly over locked down enemies with battlefield control spells, and attack them from the air. Lock party down with Entangle and similar spells (there are a WHOLE TON! Entangle, Briar Web, spore field, etc. etc.). Kick ass in melee with that jumping pounce thing and crazy acid damage, picking off things at the edges of the battlefield control zones while the hippogriffs get things from the air. Anything that gets out of or to the edge of the BFC gets mauled by you and the animal companion. Be incredibly hard to hit, and hit incredibly hard.
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2012-06-17 at 03:25 AM.

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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    I think the obvious answer, if you are the DM, is to say "ToB is allowed; it's my game. If you think it's overpowered, go ahead and make one; I'm not worried about it."

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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    ToB basically helps make melee fun again by giving fighter-types more options in combat.

    That's really all there is to it, IMO.
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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    Quote Originally Posted by killianh View Post
    They don't agree with the tier system (I have my issues with it too) so what would be some good examples to describe how ToB isn't brokenly OP?
    Run a core only blaster sorcerer as a DMPC ... let them see how he can cast scorching ray all day every day and do just as much damage.

    PS. a lion totem, frenzy alternative class feature barbarian is hardly a good defence against the player arguments ... when you are dumpster diving the splat like that they'll call you on it unless that level of optimization is par for the course in the group, which it almost certainly isn't. His players are right in that ToB significantly increases the power of averagely optimized melee characters, the point is to show it's not a problem ... not that with enough splat you can do similar things without ToB.
    Last edited by PinkysBrain; 2012-06-17 at 10:19 AM.

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    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Attack 1:
    25 str (+7)
    -2 to hit from whirling frenzy
    +6 bab to hit
    +1 enhancement to hit

    Damage: 2d6
    +1 enhancement
    +10 strength (7 +3)
    +1 Gloryborn
    +12 Power Attack

    Multiplier x3 = Battle Jump (x2) + Valorous (x2)

    Damage on first attack is 6d6+72

    So +12/6d6+72

    Attack 2:
    25 str (+7)
    -2 to hit from whirling frenzy
    +6 bab to hit
    +1 enhancement to hit

    This is the same as the first attack, so +12/6d6+72

    Attack 3:
    25 str (+7)
    -2 to hit from whirling frenzy
    +1 bab to hit
    +1 enhancement to hit

    +7 to hit

    Damage:
    2d6
    +1 enhancement
    +10 strength (7+3)
    +1 Gloryborn
    +2 power attack

    So this is +7/6d6+42
    Power attack doesn't work like that. If you want that +12 it's a -6 to all of your attacks that round (and +12 damage to all three attacks). You don't just get 2x your BAB as a damage bonus.

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    Answerer's Avatar

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    Jan 2012

    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscredwin View Post
    Power attack doesn't work like that. If you want that +12 it's a -6 to all of your attacks that round (and +12 damage to all three attacks). You don't just get 2x your BAB as a damage bonus.
    Not if you have Shock Trooper (which he almost certainly does). Then it's a -6 to AC.

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Salanmander's Avatar

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    Oct 2009

    Default Re: ToB Explanation

    Quote Originally Posted by PinkysBrain View Post
    Run a core only blaster sorcerer as a DMPC ... let them see how he can cast scorching ray all day every day and do just as much damage.

    PS. a lion totem, frenzy alternative class feature barbarian is hardly a good defence against the player arguments ... when you are dumpster diving the splat like that they'll call you on it unless that level of optimization is par for the course in the group, which it almost certainly isn't. His players are right in that ToB significantly increases the power of averagely optimized melee characters, the point is to show it's not a problem ... not that with enough splat you can do similar things without ToB.

    This. Showing something is WORSE doesn't do anything to show that ToB is fine. The "but look at this WAY MORE BROKEN thing!" argument is like saying "Dude, eating doughnuts all day is fine! You *could* be eating deep-fried butter."

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