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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    A new entry in the Top Ten: alignment rules have barreled their way in! (Whether this was a chaotic or a lawful act I don't want to try to figure out.)

    Quote Originally Posted by tiercel View Post
    I just don't like the mindset of "hey! we've created a new type of action that you can take every round, only, you have to be a spellcaster to do it, otherwise you just have to sit there and waste your "immediate action" while your spellcasting buddies get even cooler than you than they already were."
    [...]
    More on topic in terms of a specific immediate action that I find mind-boggling is the Abrupt Jaunt ACF (PHB II) for conjurer wizard-specialists.
    Yeah, swift/immediate actions are pretty asymmetrical, due to being developed partway through 3.x, and Abrupt Jaunt is kinda grody.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobthe6th View Post
    .. poorly written in places. requiring a feat to not nuke itself, and able to fear things forever. heck, the final ability apparently doesn't even work due to a CS ruling. as a class it is good, but as a piece of writing... good god man it is sad. gonna toss 3 votes onto DN just to make the point clear. any class that feat taxes you to use it is badly written, and if you don't put durations on things... well there is a hell for people that fail to label their graph axises that I think would fit.
    Can I narrow that down to the DN's fear aura duration (or lack thereof)? As I've mentioned, I prefer to keep things tight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Well, I'm out of votes now, but I just wanted to mention the whole Conjured Fire line of spells. They're blasts of fire, but they don't count as invocation because they're conjuration for no reason! They conjure a physical object, just like conjured sonic spells! Um, what?
    Also, orbs. There's nothing quite as awesome as a non-magical ball of pure magic force. Maximized.
    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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  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Answerer View Post
    I don't think Tomb-Tainted Soul was intended as a feat tax: I'm pretty sure Dread Necromancers were probably supposed to use Charnel Touch only on their minions and living enemies, not on themselves.

    Also, 2000 XP might be cheaper than a feat to you, and Necropolitan has an awful lot more to offer than does TTS. Plus Necropolitan's even in the same book...
    but still... you can so easily get the effect it should have been written in some how. one of your cool little abilities(the burst thingamy) is suicidal without the feat or template. it just has some really bad writing imbedded in it.

    but yeah the fear aura is the main problem
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by tiercel View Post
    Abrupt Jaunt definitely gets one vote. (It only doesn't get more votes because it's pretty specific and can be readily solved with one judicious stroke of a DM banhammer without really adversely affecting the rest of the game.)
    I'm going to use one of my still floating votes to add another to Abrupt Jaunt. Not only is it as cheap as mentioned above, my party always would argue about when exactly it would go off when triggered by an attack.

    Also, as much as I love the class to pieces, I think I'm going to have to pop one for Malconvoker too. Let's take (most likely) a conjurer, one of the more powerful wizard specializations, and give them access to 10th level equivalent spells at level 10, too. The only two reliefs are that a) they lose a caster level, and b) they won't likely take Abrupt Jaunt, due to having Rapid Summoning as an alternative, though that's not guaranteed.
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Hm, I am going to put an upvote on Tainted Scholar. Just because that it is easy to understand how broken it is and should have been caught.
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Kira_the_5th View Post
    Also, as much as I love the class to pieces, I think I'm going to have to pop one for Malconvoker too. Let's take (most likely) a conjurer, one of the more powerful wizard specializations, and give them access to 10th level equivalent spells at level 10, too.
    The whole "5 FREE LEVELS OF METAMAGIC!" thing is a joke. Given Summon mechanics, it's closer to +1 (SM6 for 1d3 SM5 Summons v. Malconvoker's SM5 for 2).

    EDIT: Well, +2 if you care about Extend on round/level spells past level 5 or so. But that's not something that usually matters at all.

    Malconvoker is hardly a no-brainer even for summoning specialists; it's pretty far from broken (as far as a caster class goes anyway).
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-07-13 at 11:29 AM.

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

    Good point, tuggyne...I'll stop being anticonformist for its own sake now; please switch the Spell Versatility vote to Tainted Scholar, because hahaha do I have to explain.

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    I'm considering removing any 0-vote suggestions, and even more likely any negative-vote suggestions (any suggestions removed this way would free up the votes, I think; voting -1 to e.g. Wizard would therefore remove it from the list and free up a vote for each of three posters). Also, anyone have thoughts on increasing the total number of votes available? I honestly didn't expect to have over a hundred suggestions, and the "long tail" effect is impressive.

    Anyone have a better categorization for Featherman's "swift/immediate action movement" than Class Feature/Item?

    [Edit2: New weird statistics right here!]
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    Nearly half the suggestions (52) have only one vote. There are 9 negative votes so far; 25 voters have used all their votes, 22 have only used one, and the remaining 22 have mostly used between 2 and 5 votes each.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kira_the_5th View Post
    I'm going to use one of my still floating votes to add another to Abrupt Jaunt. Not only is it as cheap as mentioned above, my party always would argue about when exactly it would go off when triggered by an attack.
    Well, I think immediate action chronology is fairly straightforward, albeit unintuitive: it takes effect just before the triggering action resolves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grytorm View Post
    Hm, I am going to put an upvote on Tainted Scholar. Just because that it is easy to understand how broken it is and should have been caught.
    Yeah, a lot of these can be characterized the same way, though some more so than others.

    Quote Originally Posted by eggs View Post
    Malconvoker is hardly a no-brainer even for summoning specialists; it's pretty far from broken (as far as a caster class goes anyway).
    Is that a negative vote for Malconvoker? (You've only used 4 votes so far, so you've got plenty to spend.)
    Last edited by TuggyNE; 2012-07-14 at 11:16 PM. Reason: Statistics!
    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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  8. - Top - End - #188
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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
    Is that a negative vote for Malconvoker? (You've only used 4 votes so far, so you've got plenty to spend.)
    Oh, good point. I'll use those.

    Then I'll put a negative vote on the Malconvoker, 3 votes on Challenge Ratings and 2 votes on bloodlines.
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-07-13 at 06:55 PM.

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

    I'll withdraw my original Trap Sense vote, as it's a pretty minor issue and the person who negvoted it has a point. Instead I'll vote for Dragon Disciple (the original version, since I haven't yet read the Dragon magic rewrite, though I'd imagine it made no substantial changes since Wotco's policy seems to always be to grandfather things in). Aside from the easily-addressed "disqualify yourself from the class at level 10" issue, there's all sorts of weird wordings like "as if from having a high ability score" and "these ability increases stack". Plus, unless I miss my guess, once you reach the PrC's capstone and gain that half-dragon template, you've just volunteered for a +3 Level Adjustment which means you won't be leveling up again until ECL 18 at the soonest. Great concept, horrible early execution.

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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
    I'll withdraw my original Trap Sense vote, as it's a pretty minor issue and the person who negvoted it has a point. Instead I'll vote for Dragon Disciple (the original version, since I haven't yet read the Dragon magic rewrite, though I'd imagine it made no substantial changes since Wotco's policy seems to always be to grandfather things in). Aside from the easily-addressed "disqualify yourself from the class at level 10" issue, there's all sorts of weird wordings like "as if from having a high ability score" and "these ability increases stack". Plus, unless I miss my guess, once you reach the PrC's capstone and gain that half-dragon template, you've just volunteered for a +3 Level Adjustment which means you won't be leveling up again until ECL 18 at the soonest. Great concept, horrible early execution.
    Ido believe that you've missed your guess. It's stated somewhere (Sage, perhaps?) that you absorb the LA through the class levels, similar to how Dragon Devotee (RotD) is worded.

  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Well it doesn't say so, and likewise it doesn't say that the ability score increases you gain at various levels of the PRC are meant to be the bonuses you get from the half-dragon template, as opposed to stacking with those bonuses once you acquire the template at 10. So bad writing all around.

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

    3 votes for alignment, so much stupid
    2 votes for epic spellcasting
    1 votes for soulmelds, I like the system but it's poorly organized and hard to find what you're looking for
    1 vote for flat-footed rules
    1 vote for level adjustment
    1 vote for shivering touch
    1 for the Healer class, overspecialized and doesn't really do much a cleric can't, could have at least been built similar to the warmage

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

    3 votes for fiery fist (Feat, PHB 2). this feat allows you to spend 1 stunning fist use to wreath your hands and feet with fire, essentially turning your unarmed strike into a flaming weapon. there are 3 issues with this feat.

    1. you just conjured fire as an EX ability? the feat doesn't say it's supernatural, so it defaults to EX as a feat.

    2. it lasts forever? no duration is listed, so you now have permanently burning hands and feet.

    3. you burn yourself and your equipment? no immunity to the fire produced by this effect is listed, so unless you are otherwise immune/resistant to fire, using this feat is a quick way to kill yourself.

    -1 wizard. it wasn't poorly designed or written, it's just powerful.

    3 votes for dragonblood subtype. any dragon type creature automatically qualifies for anything with dragonblood subtype as a prerequisite.

    3 votes for LA.
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    I... Can't really disagree with the general consensus here. One vote for each of the top ten, except I'll put a vote for Tainted Scholar instead of alignments.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by lunar2 View Post
    3 votes for fiery fist (Feat, PHB 2). this feat allows you to spend 1 stunning fist use to wreath your hands and feet with fire, essentially turning your unarmed strike into a flaming weapon. there are 3 issues with this feat.

    1. you just conjured fire as an EX ability? the feat doesn't say it's supernatural, so it defaults to EX as a feat.

    2. it lasts forever? no duration is listed, so you now have permanently burning hands and feet.

    3. you burn yourself and your equipment? no immunity to the fire produced by this effect is listed, so unless you are otherwise immune/resistant to fire, using this feat is a quick way to kill yourself.

    -1 wizard. it wasn't poorly designed or written, it's just powerful.

    3 votes for dragonblood subtype. any dragon type creature automatically qualifies for anything with dragonblood subtype as a prerequisite.

    3 votes for LA.
    I don't get it; how, exactly, is this badly written?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by lunar2 View Post
    3 votes for fiery fist (Feat, PHB 2). this feat allows you to spend 1 stunning fist use to wreath your hands and feet with fire, essentially turning your unarmed strike into a flaming weapon. there are 3 issues with this feat.

    1. you just conjured fire as an EX ability? the feat doesn't say it's supernatural, so it defaults to EX as a feat.

    2. it lasts forever? no duration is listed, so you now have permanently burning hands and feet.

    3. you burn yourself and your equipment? no immunity to the fire produced by this effect is listed, so unless you are otherwise immune/resistant to fire, using this feat is a quick way to kill yourself.
    I have to take issue with this one:

    It has a specified duration: it clearly says "For the rest of your turn". So it cover your attacks for the round, as well as attacks of opportunity.

    It is specified as a ki ability. They fall usually into supernatural abilities.

    And I don't see why you would believe you're vulnerable to flames created by your own ki. That's silly.
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Hmm, no responses yet to my idea of trimming unpopular suggestions. Of course, we only have one net negative entry so far anyway.

    Cancer Mage's burgeoning Str score bumps it up two places, and alignment continues its rampage, charging from #9 to #5. Epic spellcasting apparently used its mysterious powers as well to move up a single place. Drowning is slowly sinking....

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    Nearly half the suggestions (49) have only one vote. There are 11 negative votes so far; 29 voters have used all their votes, 20 have only used one, and 18 of the remaining 20 have used between 2 and 5 votes each.


    Quote Originally Posted by lunar2 View Post
    3 votes for dragonblood subtype. any dragon type creature automatically qualifies for anything with dragonblood subtype as a prerequisite.
    Do you mean they need not meet any other prerequisites? If so, yeah that's pretty broken. (Especially with wyverns or pseudodragons or dragonnes or DWK....) Otherwise, it's not too horrible, in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aricandor View Post
    I... Can't really disagree with the general consensus here. One vote for each of the top ten, except I'll put a vote for Tainted Scholar instead of alignments.
    I had been wondering when someone would vote this way!

    Quote Originally Posted by St Fan View Post
    I have to take issue with this one:

    It has a specified duration: it clearly says "For the rest of your turn". So it cover your attacks for the round, as well as attacks of opportunity.

    It is specified as a ki ability. They fall usually into supernatural abilities.

    And I don't see why you would believe you're vulnerable to flames created by your own ki. That's silly.
    Is that a negative vote, or just neutral?
    Last edited by TuggyNE; 2012-07-14 at 11:38 PM.
    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

    I'm going to have to suggest the Feinting rules for this. Opponents getting to add their base attack in addition to their sense motive is a poor design and makes this a less then optimal route for combat.

    So my votes will go like this:

    +3 for Feinting

    +3 for Paladins code

    +3 for Dust of Choking and Sneezing

    and +1 to Alignments.
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    I've decided I need a negative vote on Alignment; it isn't really even a rule, the fact that it's vaguely defined is a function of human psychology more than a failing on the writers' part. Anyway, I love the concept so I figure I should defend it (I would even do two negvotes on it if that were an option, I like it that much; I wouldn't go as far as three since it does admittedly have some issues, just not enough that I think it belongs in the top ten). I'll go check my votelog in a minute and figure out which vote to drop.

    EDIT - One very long "minute" later, let's drop my duplicate vote on Bloodlines; they are fairly horrible for play purposes, but the writing isn't especially awkward by the standards we're setting here, and upon re-reading them I do vaguely like the general concept (just not the execution), so one vote against them should be sufficient So that becomes my negvote against alignment. I'm beginning to think we (or at least I) should sequence votes in priority order or something....

    Quote Originally Posted by St Fan View Post
    And I don't see why you would believe you're vulnerable to flames created by your own ki. That's silly.
    For the same reason that some people think that monks aren't proficient with their own unarmed strikes. Some people read the rules with extreme literalness.
    Last edited by willpell; 2012-07-15 at 12:35 AM.

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

    Changing my votes....

    {table]sonofzeal (old) | candle of invocation (1), Pazuzu (1), Truenamer (1), Void Disciple (2)
    sonofzeal (new) | candle of invocation (2), Pazuzu (2), Truenamer (1), Void Disciple (3), alignment (-1), Monk Proficiencies (1)
    [/table]
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    high-fives the creator of the expanded alignment system

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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
    high-fives the creator of the expanded alignment system


    I've been meaning to re-write that actually. My wording wasn't as clear as I'd like at certain points on Good/Evil, and Law/Chaos could use some tweaking as well. I don't know when I'll get around to it though.
    Last edited by sonofzeal; 2012-07-15 at 04:55 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JadePhoenix View Post
    sonofzeal, you're like a megazord of awesome and win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
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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
    For the same reason that some people think that monks aren't proficient with their own unarmed strikes. Some people read the rules with extreme literalness.
    Okay... but in this case, can we really talk about badly-written rules when it's the players who fail reading comprehension?
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    People have been discussing that Chicken-Infested flaw; is there an online source for it that I can read? If not it's cool, I just thought I'd ask.

    Quote Originally Posted by St Fan View Post
    Okay... but in this case, can we really talk about badly-written rules when it's the players who fail reading comprehension?
    Yes. It's not "the" players, it's "some" players, and as the company making the game, Wizards should have been responsible for making sure that even the slow children in their audience could probably figure out how to play, instead of having such sloppy writing that even the best and brightest would have trouble figuring some things out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    I've decided I need a negative vote on Alignment; it isn't really even a rule, the fact that it's vaguely defined is a function of human psychology more than a failing on the writers' part. Anyway, I love the concept so I figure I should defend it (I would even do two negvotes on it if that were an option, I like it that much; I wouldn't go as far as three since it does admittedly have some issues, just not enough that I think it belongs in the top ten). I'll go check my votelog in a minute and figure out which vote to drop.
    In theory, yes, Alignment is just flavor, a guideline of how to play your character. However, this breaks down when it introduces rules that play off of this (i.e. class restrictions, spell effects, etc). If you're going to have alignment as a descriptor, that's fine, and you can go ahead and let the players decide where to draw the lines. However, if you go and make it so that there are other rules that follow these very strictly (Must be lawful good for Paladin, cannot be lawful for Barbarian, must be partly neutral for Druid…) and place penalties on (some of) these if you don't follow the rather vague set of "rules" exactly, then something is wrong… And then you have the Smite series, the Detect alignment series, and the Protection from alignment spells/abilities, which can be difficult to tell whether or not they work if Alignments are vague generalities (luckily, these typically one care about one element of the alignment, not both combined)
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Ksheep View Post
    In theory, yes, Alignment is just flavor, a guideline of how to play your character. However, this breaks down when it introduces rules that play off of this (i.e. class restrictions, spell effects, etc). If you're going to have alignment as a descriptor, that's fine, and you can go ahead and let the players decide where to draw the lines. However, if you go and make it so that there are other rules that follow these very strictly (Must be lawful good for Paladin, cannot be lawful for Barbarian, must be partly neutral for Druid…) and place penalties on (some of) these if you don't follow the rather vague set of "rules" exactly, then something is wrong… And then you have the Smite series, the Detect alignment series, and the Protection from alignment spells/abilities, which can be difficult to tell whether or not they work if Alignments are vague generalities (luckily, these typically one care about one element of the alignment, not both combined)
    Honestly, I think most of the conflict comes from our culture generally using Consequentialist ethics (generally Utilitarianism), and D&D generally assuming a Deontological framework that makes sense within the genre but clashes with people's intuition. And, honestly, I rarely see it come up as a problem in most games. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen alignment itself be a problem. Paladin vows, sure.

    Or... well, there was one, that stemmed partly from the DM and the PC understanding the situation differently. The PC thought the villains were effectively holding hostages, and were thus cooperating with non-evil-but-morally-dubious actions for the sake of the hostages, while the DM hadn't actually intended the "hostages" as such, per se. One out-of-character conversation sorted that out, and they decided to with the player's interpretation.

    This example even overlaps with the above, because the DM's whole issue was that the PC's actions were, while not evil in and of themselves, having fairly evident evil consequences. She was coming from a Consequentialist framework where that would have made the actions themselves bad. But a look through the various relevant rules established that it's not the consequences that matter, it's the actions themselves - and as long as the actions weren't evil, and the PC remained committed to the greater good even if she couldn't pursue it very well under the circumstances, then she wasn't losing Exalted status.

    It's not the alignment rules themselves that are a problem, it's people's muddied thinking about ethics in general. The rules could certainly be better-worded and more nuanced, and there's a few really odd parts like poisons vs ravages, but it's not the horrible mess some people claim.

    Paladin vows though? Yeah, kinda messed up. Possibly worth a vote.
    Last edited by sonofzeal; 2012-07-15 at 09:58 AM.
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  27. - Top - End - #207
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Well, I would expect people to read the top of the list and base their votes on that; so it should be no surprise that anything near the top gets cumulatively more votes.

    I think the best way to get a meaningful statistic out of this is to let people cast one vote on each entry in the list, and let them vote "broken", "not broken" or "never heard of this / don't care". $.02
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  28. - Top - End - #208
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    I'd was originally going to cast two votes the way of the Vorpal weapon enhancement, until I reread its description. It's stupid-powerful, IMO, but not badly written... but I hate hate HATE save-or-die effects, and this "confirm the crit and he's dead trololol" (with no way to defend against or negate it) ability moreso.
    So... actually make that one vote for Vorpal. >:D

    Also, 1 downvote for Alignment. I don't think concepts like chaos, evil, good, and law are quite as ambiguous and subjective as people often try to make them. In my 22 years of gaming, most (at least 90%) of the arguments over alignment I've been witness to have typically been the result of idiotic nitpicking and hair-splitting, rather than trouble with the Alignment system itself.
    That, and the fact people keep forgetting or willfully ignoring that alignment isn't a DMhammer to force a PC's actions... even though the books themselves (2E and 3.5 PHB, and PF core book) say exactly that quite explicitly. I've lost count of how many topics I've seen in various forums over the years that amounted to "DM says I can't do X because I'm alignment Y; HELP?" >:-\

    As an aside, how is it murder isn't necessarily always an evil act?


    Give another vote each to Candle of Invocation, drown-healing :-P, ...and the Truenamer. I like the Truenamer, I really do... but I don't think it was playtested enough. If it had been, maybe using and adjudicating the Utterances wouldn't have turned out quite so clunky.
    And, since I'm new here... what exactly is everyone's problem with Truenamers, anyhow?
    Last edited by Batou1976; 2012-07-15 at 10:58 AM.
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  29. - Top - End - #209
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Batou1976 View Post
    That, and the fact people keep forgetting or willfully ignoring that alignment isn't a DMhammer to force a PC's actions... even though the books themselves (2E and 3.5 PHB, and PF core book) say exactly that quite explicitly. I've lost count of how many topics I've seen in various forums over the years that amounted to "DM says I can't do X because I'm alignment Y; HELP?" >:-\
    I've often thought that alignment should perhaps work by a points-based system - every act has a morality value, adjusted based on circumstances, and a certain number of evil acts eventually make you Evil if not balanced by good acts, with perhaps automatic accumulation of points of whichever side is dominant, so that the slope grows slipperier once you pass a tipping point and start to find the once-taboo idea growing more seductive. It'd be very difficult to adjudicate well, and very easy to do so poorly, and double that on the L/C axis. But for a video game or something it'd be perfect, and for a game where the DM doesn't mind being a little OCD, it might work.

    As an aside, how is it murder isn't necessarily always an evil act?
    "Murder" always should be, but "killing" needn't be, not when morality is objective and the future can be prophecied. "Pre-emptive execution", of someone who "will" (or perhaps even "very probably might") do major Evil deeds in the future, can be an act in the service of Good, as long as the arbiters involved are unquestionably trustworthy. In my game, I tend to go with the assumption that they actually are, but people don't always believe those who say so, especially in areas where Evil is dominant - the Church of Hextor is so good at spin-doctoring their own image that when a paladin stomps into town and Detects Evil on the cleric and says he's gotten a positive reading, the cleric can fairly easily convince the people that the paladin is lying - most of them don't believe that paladins never lie, and even if they did, it's not hard to convince them he's just a knight claiming to be a paladin and that his Detect Evil was just an act or a magical forgery.

    And, since I'm new here... what exactly is everyone's problem with Truenamers, anyhow?
    Mostly that they're really, really weak...and more to the point, completely nonfunctional unless optomized like crazy, to an extent that would make any other class extremely powerful. The Truespeak check DC goes up by 2 for every HD of the target, even when the target is the Truenamer himself, so if all he does is put max ranks into the skill, he gets less able to buff himself with every level he gains. His enemies will probably be getting tougher at about the same rate, so he'll be hard pressed to affect them, and most of the effects are pretty weak (though a couple are surprisingly strong). As high as the Truespeak DCs are, you pretty much have to play someone with maxed-out Intelligence, maximum ranks in Truespeak, a Skill Focus for it, and as many boosts as your DM will let you pile on, and you will still fail your utterances fairly often (them being at-will is the only thing that makes it even remotely worth trying, but many combats will be over long before you'll be glad of the unlimited uses because your first several tries unluckily failed in spite of you trying really hard). Worst of all, the two Laws really tie your hands in what you can hope to accomplish.

    For a more detailed assessment, check out this long-beloved guide: Zaq's Truenamer guide/warning.
    Last edited by willpell; 2012-07-15 at 11:19 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #210
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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
    I've often thought that alignment should perhaps work by a points-based system - every act has a morality value, adjusted based on circumstances, and a certain number of evil acts eventually make you Evil if not balanced by good acts, with perhaps automatic accumulation of points of whichever side is dominant, so that the slope grows slipperier once you pass a tipping point and start to find the once-taboo idea growing more seductive. It'd be very difficult to adjudicate well, and very easy to do so poorly, and double that on the L/C axis. But for a video game or something it'd be perfect, and for a game where the DM doesn't mind being a little OCD, it might work.
    We had something like this in a game I was in. More of a "three strikes" rule, with really obviously one-sided things causing insta-shift (although it was usually only one step in whichever direction). However, this could lead to some annoyances for the players.

    "Your Lawful ranger just shot the BBEG in the middle of his speech? That's a shift toward chaotic. You decided to escape the jail during the jailbreak? Another shift toward chaotic. Wait, you're complaining that it was a DMPC that started the jailbreak, and that the rest of the party left? Oh well, ruling still stands." [/dramatization] (Wasn't actually QUITE that bad, but had some ruling that were close).
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