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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    The Dark Fiddler's Avatar

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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Truenaming (2), Drowning (2), Trap Sense (1), Cancer Mage (2), Invisible Blade Prerequisites (2). Can I give a negative vote to chicken infested? I don't think something made as an April Fool's joke deserves to be judged alongside materials published to actually be used.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Hm, perhaps this would work better if everybody could vote yes/no/neutral on each entry (instead of spreading 10 positive votes and 0 negatives around somehow). That would give a more balanced picture of what people actually consider broken. $.02
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Are we talking about bad design, or about poor wording in explaining how things work?

    Because many of the most infamously broken things don't seem too bad to me, when you read the description slightly differently.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Hmmm, on the subject of poorly written... Unlike the crab which was poorly designed/thought out, or the invisible blade, which was poorly split from the Master Thrower, I'd call out the errata for the naztharune rakshasa. While better than the base (which meant that naztharune would only have 1d6 sneak attack until they took levels of rogue) it was instead changed to them getting the sneak attack of a rogue of their total hit dice.

    So, class levels taken afterwards will continue to grant sneak attack. Go rogue/assassin and gain double the sneak attack progression! Or, better yet, Daring Outlaw Swashbuckler for, yet again, double sneak attack progression.

    Still one of my favorite monsters though, that and the marrulurk. Definately want to play a rogue using one of those some day.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Truenamer, no doubt.

    Myself I actually don't think Iron Heart Surge is that badly written, but oh well.
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    One for bad design and one for bad wording:

    Bad design: Ur-Priest.

    That one really do make me wonder if the designers ever played D&D. Easy entry, and 9th level spells in 9 levels. With its own spell-progression table. I mean, what? And its not just that, but it was reprinted in Complete Divine! "We've had a long time to see just how broken this thing is, so lets reprint it"

    Its not just bad design, its, well it is not having played the game at all.

    Bad wording: Versatile Spellcaster.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    I think Apocalypse from the Sky needs at least an honorable mention, for allowing for infinite, free major artifacts in one's spell component pouch.
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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Truenamer. Not for the DCs, but for the Law of Sequences, the 5 round duration, the laughably short range, and the single-target restriction.

    Candle of Invocation. Nuff Said.

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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    The tracking rules. They manage to bear no relation to actual tracking, as well as lending themselves so, so willingly to plot abuse or outright irrelevance.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Here are my votes (along with a couple new suggestions).

    2 votes - Description of Alignments (Rule). The paragraphs that launched ten thousand threads.

    2 votes - Paladin's Code (Class feature/Rule?). Maybe a subset of Alignment description, but I suspect this particular rule has caused more in-group conflict than any single rule in the book. Anything that forces other people in the group to play their characters in a certain way is just asking for OOC difficulties. Some of the Vows in BoED are guilty of this too, but at least they come with a big warning label. (If you're using BoED at all, you know what you're getting into).

    2 votes - Candle of Invocation. Acanous said pretty much all that's to be said about it.

    1 vote - Dust of Sneezing and Choking (Item). Hey, an "I win" button for 2400gp!

    1 vote - Truenamer mechanics (Class). Just all-around bad.

    1 vote - Iron Heart Surge (Maneuver). They really need to be a bit more specific.

    1 vote - Guidance of the Avatar (Spell). Just poorly thought-out. If it exists at all, it should be a much higher level.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Another vote for Shivering Touch.
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  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    What, no Prone Shooter or Monkey Lunge? They have my vote.

    (For the non-Pathfinder people: Prone Shooter allows you to ignore the (non-existent) penalties for shooting a crossbow or firearm while prone. Monkey Lunge lets you neutralize the -2 AC from the Lunge feat (which gives you reach) until the end of your turn as a standard action; which leaves you no way to actually attack that turn, since you just used your standard action. And Lunge only lasts until the end of your turn, so it's not like you could at least still make AoOs with reach with no AC penalty.)

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Right,
    Iron Heart Surge (2 votes)
    Trap Sense (2 votes)
    Drowning (2 votes)
    Dust of Sneezing & Choking (2 votes)
    Death (1 vote)
    Shivering Touch (1 vote)

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Are we allowed to include monsters in this? Because the CR of clockwork horrors and Elemental Weirds should definitely be up here.

    I'm putting a vote on that Blizzard spell from frostburn that has an area that's greater than it's range.

    And 1 vote for Iron Heart Surge, and 1 for Dust of Sneezing and choking.

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    While the entire polymorph line has both confusion and overpower issues, Polymorph Any Object really stands above the rest. I honestly don't know which uses of it are appropriate and which are abuse.

    I'll also mention Practiced Manifester, which does not affect your "powers per day" (is there any class with a powers per day limit?) but doesn't say if it affects your points from a high ability score.

    And yet another vote for Iron Heart Surge.
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  16. - Top - End - #46
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    I don't suppose Spell to Power counts?

    Also, another vote for Iron Heart Surge.

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    I don't really get what you want us to vote on here. Is it supposed to be stuff that's the most badly designed? Or stuff that's horribly overpowered? Or stuff that simply isn't explained well?
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  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Forced Dream - Ambiguously written, horribly conceived, poorly executed. How could this possibly be a good idea?
    Haunt Shift - Nightmarishly complex, poorly written, breakable like crazy.
    Practiced Manifester - Ugly copy/paste job that doesn't make sense in its system, leaves ambiguity in execution.
    Jack of All Trades - The writer doesn't know how skill ranks work.

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    shaedling. shadow gossamer. note the restrictions.
    if you do have to refer to me by name, I do prefer it lowercase. or "res" works.

    if you do have to use a pronoun for me, I do prefer "it."

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    "Yo, IHS. I'm really happy for you, Imma let you finish but Truenamer had one of the worst things of all time. One of the worst things of all time!"

    Yeah, Truenamer.

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    I'd have to go with Ex/Su/SLA abilities, Natural abilities and the interaction between the RC and the MM.

    Also the DWK, which isn't on your lists. Those are the two most contentious things I can think of, so they're the worst as far as being badly written and opaque.

    Otherwise, as far as power, I'd go with Candle of Invocation and the Delay Death->Drowning trick.

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    I know this is a 3.x thread, so I don't expect this to count as an official vote, but I'm personally a fan of Prone Shooter from Pathfinder.

    It allows you to ignore the penalties for firing a crossbow or firearm while prone... ignoring the fact that there are no penalties for firing a crossbow or firearm while prone.
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  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by dspeyer View Post
    I'll also mention Practiced Manifester, which does not affect your "powers per day" (is there any class with a powers per day limit?) but doesn't say if it affects your points from a high ability score.
    Erudites get unique powers per day. But they're still powers per day.

    Also, the vast majority of Complete Psionic. There're like 10 usable things in the whole book. The rest are broken, worthless, or duplications of things that should've been condensed (such as a feat that says "Choose a weapon; you can now turn your mind blade into it;" could've saved a good six pages that way).

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  24. - Top - End - #54
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    QuickLyRaiNbow's Avatar

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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Oh, the Lucid Dreaming skill. Oh my god it's so ridiculously ridiculous.

  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    The first ten that come to mind:

    • Leadership (feat)
    • Iron Heart Surge (maneuver)
    • Drowning (rule)
    • Truenamer (class)
    • Whether or not you lose the features of a prestige class if lose its prereqs (rule)
    • Dragonwrought (feat)
    • Diplomacy (skill)
    • Grapple (rule)
    • Epic spellcasting (rule)
    • Free actions (rule)

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Clever Wrestling!

  27. - Top - End - #57
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Another vote for Leadership. Actually anything which works differently for PCs and NPCs fits into that category, including Diplomacy.

    Metamagic shenanigans are inherently destabilizing/overpowering (i.e., they'll wreck your game), so I think Incantatrix (free metamagic!) should be on the list.

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Void Disciple is a very poorly-written prestige class from Complete Divine. The worst part about the Void Disciple is his trademark ability, Voidsense. There are no specific rules on its use, for example, no duration is listed. This class can really wreck a campaign due to the ambiguity of its abilities, which are basically tools for scrying with no risk and no chance of resistance or failure.

    This is just plain poorly written, not really mechanically broken, but I think this qualifies more than any of the top ten currently listed, as they are merely extremely powerful, but not necessarily wholly worst-written.

  29. - Top - End - #59
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Clever Wrestling!
    It looks pretty cut and dry to me. What makes a bonus based on the enemies size weird?

  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    It looks pretty cut and dry to me. What makes a bonus based on the enemies size weird?
    Cause if you get bigger than medium, it turns off, and invalidates Reaping Mauler if you took that class, turning off the entire class. And you want to get bigger than medium to grapple...

    Basically, it should say: "Clever wrestling. Requires: Improved Grapple or Improved Grab. When grappling larger creatures, you get a bonus to your grapple check or escape artist check for escaping a grapple or pin. The bonus is +2 for each size category the creature is bigger than you."

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