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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    *begins drown-healing in the flood of replies*

    By the way, all, given that we now have 56 suggestions, it's probably time to start pawing through the full list to see which ones you want to vote on; let's get those ten votes apiece spread out!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    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
    How's this: You can put up to one negative vote on any entry, starting with this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Are we talking about bad design, or about poor wording in explaining how things work?
    Quote Originally Posted by molten_dragon View Post
    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?
    Some of each, really. For example, candle of invocation is just bad design; it says what it means, and means what it says, and the result is stupidly broken. DWK is basically just poor wording: it took years for the web community to figure out exactly what was said.
    Now, teleport, despite being something of a story-breaker power, isn't really broken in the same sense; it doesn't mess up the mathematical core of the game, it just adds some unusually effective options. It's not even open-ended in the same way polymorph is.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    And, if you're going to put entire classes on the list, you should at least put the Druid and Monk there. The Druid is a full caster, and has innate polymorph ability, and comes with a free beatstick that tends to be better than the party fighter, so it is three classes wrapped in one. Broken straight from level one, which wizards markedly are not.
    And the Monk. Need I really say more? We've had so many threads about the class that at some point we were suggesting a subforum to drop the monk threads in. We've had whole guides dedicated to explaining exactly how sucky the monk is. It deserves to be near the top, because it's a class that wildly fails to live up to its promise, and a common trap for newbies.
    I'm only putting whole base classes in under protest, because that's usually too simplistic IMO ("lololol the whole PHB!"). However, arguably the entire monk class is just wrong, even in isolation, so that can go in. Tidy vote accounting much appreciated, BTW. Are you using your last vote for Polymorph?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doorhandle View Post
    Yeah, that earlier post was a vote for chicken infested.
    Also, th' accursed crab.
    Nope, cancer-mage +festering anger is still broken. 2+ strength per day = approx. 718 strength after one year.
    OK, assuming the other two are also votes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithril Leaf View Post
    Bonus points for cancer mage if you use the human varient with the sigil that gives you strength to determine bonus spells, whose name eludes me at the moment.
    I forget which illumian sigil it is too. Is this a vote for cancer mage?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Fiddler View Post
    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.
    Well, for better or for worse, people seem to actually use it. Downvote noted, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amoren View Post
    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.
    That's a pretty clear-cut example, and in errata no less!

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    2 votes - Description of Alignments (Rule). The paragraphs that launched ten thousand threads.
    I feel like some joke about millihelens and ugly rules is waiting to be made here.

    Quote Originally Posted by allenw View Post
    (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.)
    Heh, I'd forgotten about those almost entirely. Good ol' Paizo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomguy View Post
    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.
    Monsters are fine. I don't remember the name of the Frostburn spell any more specifically, unfortunately, although I know which one you mean; I'll mark down the vote once I get the name.

    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.
    Hah, wow. That's actually a new one on me.

    Quote Originally Posted by sreservoir View Post
    shaedling. shadow gossamer. note the restrictions.
    Mind expanding on this a little more? I vaguely recall something about this, but I don't have MM5 myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azernak0 View Post
    "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!"
    Truenamer vote noted.
    Are you also voting for IHS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonton View Post
    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.
    Actually I'm including 3.0, 3.5, and PF in here, just because I feel like it. So yeah, it's in!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubik View Post
    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).
    I've not yet been able to figure out what they were thinking when they made Synchronicity; it seems to be designed for the express purpose of breaking the action economy, and it's useless without shenanigans.

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    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.
    I can't do wildcards really, but everything else is duly noted.

    Quote Originally Posted by BCBrammer View Post
    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.
    I'm going to put you down for Void Disciple (1) then.
    Last edited by TuggyNE; 2012-07-09 at 09:22 PM. Reason: Bumping thread
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    "Common sense" and "RAW" are not exactly on speaking terms
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    the size is somewhat limited, and you can't let go of the item. beyond that, the ability does not restrict what sort of item you can make.

    magic items are items. (there's seriously been an attempt to read conjuring magic items as unworking by claiming magic items aren't items, really!) scroll of miracle? sure. dorje of reality revision? looks fine. ring of infinite mentally-activated-as-free-action wishes with infinite xp allotted? but of course!

    lots of things are items. some of them are even occasionally useful.
    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."

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

    Wow, the thread really got stalled by that page glitch.

    Anyway, I forgot to mention that I changed some of my votes around. Current list: dust of sneezing and choking, chicken-infested, IHS (because it's so absurdly open-ended), drowning (because either healing or infini-drowning is terrible), candle of invocation (yeah....), adamantine horror (level 9 SLA at-will at CR 9 = terrible), elemental weird (either free-action divinations or their other stupid abilities would be enough alone), nightstick (couldn't you have made it un-stacking?), planar bubble (so brokenly unlimited), epic spellcasting (either useless or unstoppable).

    So far, only four of you have used up your votes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    "Common sense" and "RAW" are not exactly on speaking terms
    Projects: Homebrew, Gentlemen's Agreement, DMPCs, Forbidden Knowledge safety, and Top Ten Worst. Also, Quotes and RACSD are good.

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

    Yeah, I have to agree with Truenamer. My "Naughty Words" section of my guide wouldn't exist otherwise. To this day, I still find at least one new and stupid thing whenever I do a full read-through of the Truenamer chapter. You can imagine how many times I've read it. There's still more.

    I don't know if I'm actually voting for it, but I'd like to list a lot of the Factotum's abilities for consideration. The Factotum is very well-designed, but very poorly written.

    Most of the other obvious stuff is already being covered. I'll speak up if I think of anything else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    arguably the entire monk class is just wrong, even in isolation, so that can go in.
    Ah, if I have any votes left just put them on monk for now.

    Come on people, vote monk! If you've been on this forum for more than a month you must have seen one of the ubiquitous monk debates, such as here or here. What other rules flaw has spawned forum memes like 'monkday'?




    (edit) also, if this thread gets any longer maybe you should list the top-15 or top-20 options?

    (edit edit) I'm going to downvote drowning, because it isn't abusable in actual gameplay and because most DMs will intuitively get it right; the abuse comes from an overal nitpicky reading of the rules, and it is clear from writing and context what is actually meant. It doesn't belong in a list of truly crappy designs.
    Last edited by Kurald Galain; 2012-07-10 at 02:56 AM.
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    I feel the need to mention these:

    Dirge Singer (PrC): Specifically designed for bards, but doesn't stack with bard levels or allow bards their already slow spell progression? Thank you. -.-

    Favored Soul (Class): Not really a bad class honestly, but badly written. A divine caster that doesn't get turn undead, domains or even Knowledge (Religion)? Those things are somewhat required for, well, divine stuff.
    Bonus points for being the only caster class in all of 3.5 that has split casting stats. (CHA for bonus spells, WIS for DC's.)

    Level Adjustment and Challenge Rating (Rule): Look we all understand the point for them, but did you have to make them so convoluted? Especially making LA's apply differently for PC's and monsters? Really?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by NikitaDarkstar View Post
    Bonus points for being the only caster class in all of 3.5 that has split casting stats. (CHA for bonus spells, WIS for DC's.)
    Archivist (HoH) and Healer (MH) would like to have a word with you...

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Yeah, I have to agree with Truenamer. My "Naughty Words" section of my guide wouldn't exist otherwise. To this day, I still find at least one new and stupid thing whenever I do a full read-through of the Truenamer chapter. You can imagine how many times I've read it. There's still more.

    I don't know if I'm actually voting for it, but I'd like to list a lot of the Factotum's abilities for consideration. The Factotum is very well-designed, but very poorly written.
    I would be more than surprised if you didn't vote for Truenamer, after all you've been through.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    (edit) also, if this thread gets any longer maybe you should list the top-15 or top-20 options?
    Hmm, that's a possibility, but right now more than half of the suggestions have only one vote (one even has zero).
    Also a Top Ten has more punch.
    Don't worry, though, the list of suggestions is sorted by votes, and is sorta-kinda sort-stable on time.

    (edit edit) I'm going to downvote drowning, because it isn't abusable in actual gameplay and because most DMs will intuitively get it right; the abuse comes from an overal nitpicky reading of the rules, and it is clear from writing and context what is actually meant. It doesn't belong in a list of truly crappy designs.
    Hmm, arguably dead would hit the same line of reasoning, except more so.
    As a side note, this uses up your last vote for now, so Monk is still at 2.

    Quote Originally Posted by NikitaDarkstar View Post
    Level Adjustment and Challenge Rating (Rule): Look we all understand the point for them, but did you have to make them so convoluted? Especially making LA's apply differently for PC's and monsters? Really?
    I'm gonna split these apart and mark you down for one vote each, if that's fine with you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    "Common sense" and "RAW" are not exactly on speaking terms
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Fourth Edition

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

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    Hmm, arguably dead would hit the same line of reasoning, except more so.
    As a side note, this uses up your last vote for now, so Monk is still at 2.
    I count only nine upvotes.
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I count only nine upvotes.
    Ah, let me clarify: a negative vote counts against your total. I'll update the OP to make it a little easier to understand.
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    "Common sense" and "RAW" are not exactly on speaking terms
    Projects: Homebrew, Gentlemen's Agreement, DMPCs, Forbidden Knowledge safety, and Top Ten Worst. Also, Quotes and RACSD are good.

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

    Gimme 3 on the dust, 3 on Hulking Hurler, 3 on the Forsaker Prestige Class, and downvote "Wizard" once
    Quote Originally Posted by Fredaintdead View Post
    *high fives*
    Someone get this man a medal, because he either reads my posts or my mind.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by gorfnab View Post
    Archivist (HoH) and Healer (MH) would like to have a word with you...
    And Spirit Shaman
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    3 for Iron Heart Surge
    3 for Cancer Mage
    3 for Truenamer
    1 for Drowning

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Okay, my vote for the Polymorph Line (and just put PAO under there, it's the same thing); Candle of Inv; Tainted Scholar; Shivering Touch; the Su/Ex/SLA rule; Prec Apprentice; Persist Spell; Nightstick; the monk; and the monk again.
    Okay, let me amend that. Under the current voting system, it only really matters if you put three votes on one entry. So three votes each for shivering touch, monk, and precocious apprentice, and I'll continue to downvote drowning.
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    Post Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    3 votes for: Genie monsters. Efretti and Noble Djinn able to cast wish multiple times a day XP free is one of the main things that makes Candle of Invocation and Planar Binding broken. Fix this and you fix or at least reduce many other problems.

    3 votes for: Persistent Spell feat. Overpowered plus ambiguously written. The whole "fixed or personal range" limitation (whatever "fixed" means) and cheezy ways to overcome that (and whether they work) lead to countless debates. Fix this and you rein in many broken builds.

    3 votes for: Initiate of the Seven Fold Veil PrC. Overpowered plus ambiguously written. Do wardings effect you? Do they block antimagic fields?

    1 final vote for the current leader: Iron Heart Surge maneuver. I Iron Heart Surge the sun, enough said.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    Some of each, really. For example, candle of invocation is just bad design; it says what it means, and means what it says, and the result is stupidly broken. DWK is basically just poor wording: it took years for the web community to figure out exactly what was said.
    Now, teleport, despite being something of a story-breaker power, isn't really broken in the same sense; it doesn't mess up the mathematical core of the game, it just adds some unusually effective options. It's not even open-ended in the same way polymorph is.
    Okay, in that case put me down for:

    Iron Heart Surge (1)
    Truenamer (1)
    Tainted Scholar/Tainted Sorcerer (1)
    Beholder Mage (1)
    Ur-Priest (1)
    Planar Shepherd (1)
    Manipulate Form (1)
    Thought Bottle (1)
    Persist Spell (1)
    Monster races - The whole LA and RHD thing just doesn't work most of the time (1)
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    We're up to 68 total, and all the Top Ten have at least four votes.

    Any suggestions on better organizing the addendum of suggestions? It's getting pretty unwieldy now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Okay, let me amend that. Under the current voting system, it only really matters if you put three votes on one entry. So three votes each for shivering touch, monk, and precocious apprentice, and I'll continue to downvote drowning.
    I'm not entirely sure I'd agree with that assessment. Can you explain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruiser1 View Post
    3 votes for: Persistent Spell feat. Overpowered plus ambiguously written. The whole "fixed or personal range" limitation (whatever "fixed" means) and cheezy ways to overcome that (and whether they work) lead to countless debates. Fix this and you rein in many broken builds.
    I have actually been seriously considering homebrewing a "Persevering Spell" metamagic to replace it, with different mechanics (no auto-24h-duration, for one thing).

    Quote Originally Posted by molten_dragon View Post
    Planar Shepherd (1)
    For now I'm considering this separate from the existing Planar Bubble entry, despite wishing to fold them together.
    Quote Originally Posted by molten_dragon View Post
    Monster races - The whole LA and RHD thing just doesn't work most of the time (1)
    By this do you mean the current "LA rules" entry, or something a little different? For now I'm assuming the former, but correct me if I am incorrect.
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    "Common sense" and "RAW" are not exactly on speaking terms
    Projects: Homebrew, Gentlemen's Agreement, DMPCs, Forbidden Knowledge safety, and Top Ten Worst. Also, Quotes and RACSD are good.

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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?)
    Yes, the Erudite. Which is in the same book as Practiced Manifester. And, come to think of it, gets two votes from me for being extremely sloppily written (although unlike many people I actually think it's a good class, just not a good writeup; with a little tinkering it makes a nice alternative to the psion).

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubik View Post
    Erudites get unique powers per day. But they're still powers per day.
    Ah, ninjaed. But I'm still voting for Erudite (twice, as stated before).

    Quote Originally Posted by dspeyer View Post
    And yet another vote for Iron Heart Surge.
    Okay, I'm speaking in ignorance here so I might be out of line, but I think this might be less broken than people seem to think it is (though it could still qualify for bad wording, so this isn't a neg-vote or anything yet). Curmudgeon pointed out on the Simple Rules Q thread that you can't initiate a stance while unable to move or unable to take actions, so while IHS is still quite broad, it doesn't cure the truly nasty conditions like Stunned or Petrified, because you can't use it while affected by such things. Again, please ignore me if everyone already knows this, I'm kinda late to the party with all of 3E and still haven't even read Tome of Battle.

    Quote Originally Posted by eggs View Post
    Jack of All Trades - The writer doesn't know how skill ranks work.
    I had interpreted JoAT as proof that having a half-skill rank gave you the ability to use the skill, since you were trained in it. I know there's at least one rule that says otherwise, but JoAT might have been intended to override that rule, and they just weren't explicit as they should have been (though again that does qualify as bad writing).

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubik View Post
    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).
    And then there are the senseless nerfs. Damn you CPsi!
    Agreed on both counts. I'll toss one vote toward the Exotic Weapon Mind Blade feats as well. The nerfing of Astral Construct is infuriating, but doesn't count as bad writing so much as a decision I strenuously disagree with. And likewise, the Divine Mind is a horribly weak class, very badly designed, but not especially badly-written.

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    Another vote for Leadership. Actually anything which works differently for PCs and NPCs fits into that category, including Diplomacy.
    I can't say as I agree here, personally. Granting the players "chosen one" status and saying the rules of the universe are different from them is a perfectly legitimate stylistic choice which the DM has every right to make, and having the rules default to it isn't unreasonable if the designers were of the opinion that this was a good way to run games. Even if they were mistaken in that belief, it was a legitimate perspective for them to work from when trying to manufacture a product whose intended purpose was for people to have fun; some people might not have fun knowing that they're super-special Mary Sues in a universe of nameless mooks, but others very well might, so the company was within its rights to make that call, IMO.

    Metamagic shenanigans are inherently destabilizing/overpowering (i.e., they'll wreck your game), so I think Incantatrix (free metamagic!) should be on the list.
    No argument here; if free metamagic was an easy across-the-board thing it might be cool, but having some able to get it and others not is pretty awful.

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    I forget which illumian sigil it is too.
    Bonus spells from Strength is Aeshkrau (and Dexterity is Uurkrau).

    Quote Originally Posted by NikitaDarkstar View Post
    Favored Soul (Class): Not really a bad class honestly, but badly written. A divine caster that doesn't get turn undead, domains or even Knowledge (Religion)? Those things are somewhat required for, well, divine stuff.
    I think the lack of Knowledge: Religion was intended to be a nod to their not having formal clerical training, but why they get Arcana instead is baffling. Personally I'm glad they don't have domains or turn undead, but it would be nice if they got more from their deity than just a favored weapon. I also don't like that they invariably get either angel wings or demon wings - what if I want to play a FS of, say, Obad-Hai or Primus? Or the Great Mother, who is Evil but has nothing whatsoever to do with demons apart from living in the Abyss.

    I'll throw in one vote for FS just because I'm pretty sure it doesn't have its starting gold listed (at least not where I could find it while making three of them on separate occasions), so for a class that's intended to be a slightly more militant Cleric, it's rather a problem not being able to tell whether I can afford a suit of decent armor at level 1.

    Oh, and that brings me to a new one which gets two votes: the entire Equpment chapter of PHB, where they randomly attached nonsensical costs to items. Tower shield? 30 GP. Masterwork dagger? 302 gp. Masterwork Greatsword? 350 gp. Suit of Full Plate? 1500 gp. Masterwork Full Plate? 1650 gp. Spiked masterwork Full Plate with a masterwork shield with masterwork spikes? You get the idea. To say nothing of how silly the entire thing becomes when your GM starts you at level 2 and uses the WBL table to entirely invalidate the concept of various classes having different amounts of gold at CC. So yeah, two votes for the entire mess of equipment costs, starting gold and WBL.

    Bonus points for being the only caster class in all of 3.5 that has split casting stats. (CHA for bonus spells, WIS for DC's.)
    This is false. The Archivist from Heroes of Horror gets bonus spells from Wisdom but is otherwise powered by Intelligence.

    (And ninja'ed again.)

    Level Adjustment and Challenge Rating (Rule): Look we all understand the point for them, but did you have to make them so convoluted? Especially making LA's apply differently for PC's and monsters? Really?
    This was intentional and more or less reasonable; there's a sidebar in one of the books which explains their logic. CR and ECL measure different things; a monster doesn't care whether its powers are usable once per hour or once per day, because you'll usually kill it or be killed by it within an hour of meeting it. But for a player the difference is huge, since the once per hour power can be used in like eight fights before an adventuring day might end. There are doubtless other ramifications of the difference. CR is for monsters that are there to be killed; LA is for creatures that can be played. I would like it if they had provided LA for all monsters (just earlier today I was thinking about a clairsentient Udoroot who telecommutes to the dungeon), and they could have put more thought into how much LA a given monster race or template is worth (+2 for Celestial, are you kidding me?), but the concept overall isn't a bad one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Okay, let me amend that. Under the current voting system, it only really matters if you put three votes on one entry.
    I'm not really counting votes; I think it's more like a measure of certainty. I'm putting one vote toward things that I find dubious, two to thinks that are definitely screwy, and would put three toward something that was utterly and completely absurd. I have yet to see anything that I'm certain would be worth three.
    Last edited by willpell; 2012-07-10 at 08:23 AM.

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

    Most borked for PF is probably the Synthesist Summoner, with Antagonize coming closely behind. What, you can find anything to do with pounce, three natural attacks and the ability to pretty much completely dump three stats? Mix the two for even moar rage!
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    1 for Synthesist (no need for physical stats? Really?)
    1 for Dust of sneezing and choking (costing gold really, if it was unnattainable it would be fine)
    1 for Reincarnation (resetting age categories? Really?)
    1 for Cancer mage (name alone qualifies)
    1 for flaws (specifically being able go get feats for them)
    1 for 3.5 shapechanging/polymorph/whateveryouknowwhatimean
    1 for vow of poverty (a nice idea in theory, only used for min/maxed resulting in poor role-playing in practice with dumb rules regarding not being able to use items)
    1 for epic spellcasting (I'd vote for the epic rules in general, but spellcasting does stand out since we have to be specific)
    1 for Kobolds as true dragons (I actually like Kobolds, but every time I use them I get confronted with the stigma of them being used to abuse stuff)

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

    1 for Truenamer (DCs work how, exactly?)
    1 for Drowning (Although I see how it was SUPPOSED to work, they just wrote it horribly)
    1 for Adamantine Clockwork Horror (Disintegrate, Implosion, and Disjunction at will? Been nice knowing you)
    1 for Monk (Sounds great in concept, except not)
    1 for Monstrous Crab (Nearly killed half my group with this one)
    1 for Cancer Mage (So many ways to abuse this, and yet so useless…)
    1 for Ride-By Attack (Yeah…)
    1 for Alignment (Again, yeah…)
    1 for Paladin Code (Timmy asked you to tell his mother that he was staying at your house when he's actually somewhere else? I can't, that would be lying… but I can't NOT, cause that would be willingly betraying a friend. Looks like I'm losing my paladin-hood)
    1 for Vow of Poverty (WOO! Marginal benefits for the price of crippling deficiencies!)
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    What.

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

    Because of what I heard about it, I propose the Ice Assassin. Yay!
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Actually, I want to add two votes to Void Disciple.

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    1) Void Suppression. No-save-just-lose for 90% of the monsters out there, and 95% of PCs. Just switch their Int and Str, or Con and Cha, and laaaaaaugh.

    2) Moment of Clarity. Grant an ally any feat for a few rounds. Worth noting is that you specifically can't grant Ancestor feats, but Epic feats are, apparently, good to go. If you can't find a way to horribly break this, you aren't trying hard enough.

    3) Sense Void. Okay, so you can sense stuff anywhere except across planar boundaries, at the cost of a piddly Spellcraft check. This raises a whole series of questions: can others sense you when you're like that? Since you're leaving your body, can you use purely mental actions in that state? Can you move around? How long does it last? Does it count as a divination effect? What can block it? RAW's lack of statement implies very dire answers...

    - There's no listed method of detecting if someone else is using this.
    - There's nothing preventing the use of mental actions in this state, and there's not even a mention of it requiring concentration.
    - There's no method of moving (but see the previous)
    - There's no limit on duration given.
    - It's never referred to as a divination, nor as scrying, despite the obvious similarities.
    - Given that, there's no RAW method I've heard of to block it, short of planar boundaries. Illusions work, though.

    In other words, it's potentially "Scry and Die" on steroids. Can't be blocked, can't be detected, doesn't require familiarity, never runs out, and by RAW your mind is actually there, meaning you can start chucking out whatever mental action whatnots you happen to have available with zero fear of reprisal.

    Basically, Sense Void is god mode. A Planar Sheppard//Beholder Mage would have reason to fear a Void Disciple.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Okay, I'm speaking in ignorance here so I might be out of line, but I think this might be less broken than people seem to think it is (though it could still qualify for bad wording, so this isn't a neg-vote or anything yet). Curmudgeon pointed out on the Simple Rules Q thread that you can't initiate a stance while unable to move or unable to take actions, so while IHS is still quite broad, it doesn't cure the truly nasty conditions like Stunned or Petrified, because you can't use it while affected by such things. Again, please ignore me if everyone already knows this, I'm kinda late to the party with all of 3E and still haven't even read Tome of Battle.
    You've actually touched on part of why it's badly written, in a roundabout way. It seems designed to be the kind of 'warrior powers through magical bindings through sheer determination' thing we're all familiar from fiction, but the way it's written means that:
    - you CAN'T use it to break free from Domination/Paralyzation/other classic things you'd expect to break with it, because you are prevented from initiating it, but
    - you CAN use it on a huge array of things that don't fit into that theme at all, both because it's written as ending the effect rather than making you personally immune and because it's so vague about what conditions it can erase (I concentrate all my determination and - cause the Anti-Magic Field to collapse?)

    So yeah, the reason people object isn't that it's overpowered on the things you'd expect it to be used on; they think it's badly written because it's useless for those things and overpowered against completely unexpected, unrelated things.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Ah, if I have any votes left just put them on monk for now.

    Come on people, vote monk! If you've been on this forum for more than a month you must have seen one of the ubiquitous monk debates, such as here or here. What other rules flaw has spawned forum memes like 'monkday'?

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

    So we can't put two or three downvotes on one of the choices?
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Looks like I've got 7 additional votes to cast, so here they are:
    • Manyfang Dagger (Serpent Kingdoms, page 152): 3 votes
    • Alter Self spell line: 1
    • Monk class: 2
    • Epic Spellcasting: 1

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

    One vote per thing for me, there's so much bad even in core that concentrating on one thing means missing other deserving targets.

    I'm giving strong preference to core and SRD material as more likely to come up in actual games with people not deliberately looking for cheeze. [Edited to add, and I use up all my votes without leaving core or duplicating a vote. So stuff like IHS is off the hook.]

    I'm voting NEGATIVE on Candle of Invocation, because the item is clear, and not a problem. The problem is the spell Gate. This is blatant. The candle's abusive uses all center on giving you access to the spell, candles don't do squat some other item that grants access to the spell wouldn't except make it cheaper and come on line sooner.
    [Edited to add: If candle of invocation didn't exist we'd have builds using scrolls of gate and some way to activate them. Removing the item without fixing the spell simply doesn't help, and the problem with the item is ENTIRELY in that it casts the spell. The item is seen as problematical because it's the easiest way to access Gate and thus is used in all the TO designs, but it's the spell that causes the problems. Heck, once I get a spell-like wish from Panzuzu or whatever I can simply wish for a resetting trap of Gate and avoid all the wishing for candles.]

    -1 Candle of Invocation

    Dust of Sneezing & Choking
    Drowning
    Diplomacy
    PaO duration/Alter Self/Polymorph/Shapechange
    Monk
    Gate
    Grapple
    Planar Ally/Binding Line of spells
    Spell-like abilities ignoring all components

    [Edited to add, again, things like Genies are a problem because they're EASY ways to get access to spell-like wish, but the problem is spell-like wish and many monsters have that.]
    Last edited by Doug Lampert; 2012-07-10 at 12:13 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    -1 Candle of Invocation

    Dust of Sneezing & Choking
    Drowning
    Diplomacy
    PaO duration/Alter Self/Polymorph/Shapechange
    Monk
    Gate
    Grapple
    Planar Ally/Binding Line of spells
    Spell-like abilities ignoring all components
    Drop Monk from my list and add Magic Device Traps.
    Monk is mearly moderately inneffective and poorly synergized. Magic Device Traps completely negate the idea that the guidelines on item creation are guidelines for the DM to ESTIMATE prices rather than rules for the PCs to abuse.

    When: "Of course I can build a trap of Cure Minor Wounds activated by someone reaching into it on my spell-pouch. I don't want some undead messing with it." is one of the LESS abusive uses of a rule you know it's got problems.

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