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    Quote Originally Posted by vrigar View Post
    Awesome discussion!
    If there is any direction the posts here steered me toward is that there are spells which break the game balance (which book is "Shivering Touch" from anyway?) and I'm glad my DM won't allow them.
    I'm happy to see the many points of view but I'm pretty sure I won't be taking part in optimizers' game.
    Most of the overpowered spells are Core. Gate, shapechange, polymorph are big ones. Invisibility, fly, and teleport are less-broken-still-broken ones that still mean wizards are playing a completely different game than fighters or rogues.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    The fighter has expendable resources too - his HP won't last for 10 encounters unless he has fast healing.
    Depends how you manage your resources. You're surely not arguing that a wizard can retreat to a distant fortress between encounters, but that a fighter can't arrange some form of healing ability?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    The wizard can retreat into an impenetrable fortress between encounters and regain all his spells. You can't force him to have 10 encounters in a day if he doesn't want to.
    Sure I can. I run games where there's a plot. One that doesn't accomodate 8 hour gaps.
    Last edited by Togo; 2012-07-30 at 01:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boci View Post
    How many tier 1 classes are made significantly better by full BAB (the only one who really cares is the cleric and maybe the artificer)? You want a warrior mage, then a sorcerer would also be a valid choice, since they could choose from this list: Fighter, Monk, CA Ninja, Healer, Swashbuckler, Rokugan Ninja, Soulknife, Expert, OA Samurai, Paladin, Knight rather than simply the CW samurai.
    Rays almost always hit to begin with, full BAB takes that from "have to be pumping touch AC" to "hope for a natural one". Adding full BAB and larger hit dice to a tier one doesn't actually do much, but they're still tier one and therefore superior to everyone else by definition. None of a tier five's capabilities will raise a tier two anywhere near tier one, nor will any tier three be bumped up by adding a tier four class's abilities. The top two tiers are defined by their ability to break the game, and in the case of tier one to be able to do it in multiple ways on the same character. Gestalting will never help to breach that bubble - all this fix actually does is reduce the number of effective tiers, it doesn't actually move anything around significantly in the ones that matter the most to balance. The tier three-and-four gestalts would be largely balanced with one another, as would the tier two-and-fives with themselves and the tier one-and-sixes within that group.

    Also, it pretty much invalidates having a tier five or six class if you're gestalting it with a tier one or two. If you're playing effectively the lower tier class is basically just acting as a passive bonus to your saves, hp and to-hit while the higher tier class does the legwork. You certainly could make a gish using this system, but it would probably be more effective to do it with a three-and-four combination unless you particularly need something limited to tiers two and up - in which case it's just mitigating the prevalence of multi-classing.

    I think danzibr's "quick and dirty" fix might actually work fairly well if tiers one and two were simply not allowed - or using them with a gentleman's agreement to do the benevolent form of the god wizard playstyle and generally avoid things which would make the game unenjoyable for the other players (including the DM).


    Shivering Touch is in Frostburn, however, most of the game-breaking spells are in Core (in all splatbooks put together there may be a few more game-breakers than there are in Core, particularly if you rule out powers which work almost exactly like Core spells). Many of the more subtle ones - more game-changers than -breakers - are actually staples of the game: Fly, Teleport, Scrying and the related things which almost flat-out remove portions of the game (passive terrain difficulties, travel and investigation, mostly). Then there's Polymorph, the more powerful Summon spells, almost any form of Calling effect and things like Wish when obtained from a cost-free source.

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by Togo View Post
    Depends how you manage your resources. You're surely not arguing that a wizard can retreat to a distant fortress between encounters, but that a fighter can't arrange some form of healing ability?
    Not using their own class abilities they can't. They have to rely on wealth, other people or otherwise a source that isn't the fighter class. The fortress is admittedly a bit more prepared than many player-character wizards would be, if using only their own spells to build and maintain it, but it is within their capabilities should they choose to spend that time. If we count items - which, to be fair, are an assumption of the game - then the fighter can extend his day with healing while the wizard can extend his with scrolls and/or wands and still be free to leave at any time; a feat still beyond the fighter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Togo View Post
    Sure I can. I run games where there's a plot. One that doesn't accomodate 8 hour gaps.
    I can't fault that as a way to keep a caster in check, but if it's a plot at all vulnerable to sequence-breaking it would probably be the tier ones and twos that would have the means to do it.
    Last edited by ScionoftheVoid; 2012-07-30 at 02:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScionoftheVoid View Post
    Rays almost always hit to begin with, full BAB takes that from "have to be pumping touch AC" to "hope for a natural one". Adding full BAB and larger hit dice to a tier one doesn't actually do much, but they're still tier one and therefore superior to everyone else by definition. None of a tier five's capabilities will raise a tier two anywhere near tier one, nor will any tier three be bumped up by adding a tier four class's abilities. The top two tiers are defined by their ability to break the game, and in the case of tier one to be able to do it in multiple ways on the same character. Gestalting will never help to breach that bubble - all this fix actually does is reduce the number of effective tiers, it doesn't actually move anything around significantly in the ones that matter the most to balance. The tier three-and-four gestalts would be largely balanced with one another, as would the tier two-and-fives with themselves and the tier one-and-sixes within that group.

    Also, it pretty much invalidates having a tier five or six class if you're gestalting it with a tier one or two. If you're playing effectively the lower tier class is basically just acting as a passive bonus to your saves, hp and to-hit while the higher tier class does the legwork. You certainly could make a gish using this system, but it would probably be more effective to do it with a three-and-four combination unless you particularly need something limited to tiers two and up - in which case it's just mitigating the prevalence of multi-classing.
    Its a quick and dirty fix, what do you expect? Short of mass banning, your not going to fix the problem with a couple of sentences.
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    See, its not really about spells like Shivering Touch.

    Each character has a set of tools, and as with all tools there is variety. Some are only good for one task, some are made for one but can handle others and some are pretty universal but not exceptional at any one.
    You can look at Tiers as a measure of what tools each class offers:
    Tier 6: one or two shoddy specialized tools tools
    Tier 5: One specialist tool
    Tier 4: A set of one kind of tool, such as a set of hammers or screwdrivers
    Tier 3: The tools to fulfill one job - such as car repair - and maybe a few others
    Tier 2: Specialist tools fine-tuned for one job
    Tier 1: You get a whole machine job and can make new tools if you need them.
    Well, kinda like that.

    A Wizard can solve social situations (Charm Person), stealth missions (invisibility, silence), subdue enemies (Hold Person), investigate clues (divination, knowledge skills), absorb enemy hits (summon monster), hinder enemies (fog spells), weaken enemies (bestow curse), strengthen allies (bulls strength etc.), disable traps (summon again) bypass terrain obstacles (fly, teleport) and so on and so forth.
    He can do every sort of job

    A Bard (the only core T3 class) can handle social situations (Charm Person, charisma skills) and strengthening his allies (Bardic Music, spells). He can also do some hindering (illusions) and maybe stealth (potentially skills, some spells).
    Or take a Warblade (or Swordsage or Crusader). He has a variety of tools he can use in combat that allow not just damage but also control, protection and such.
    He can do one job very well and offers some secondary tools.

    A Rogue (T4) can handle traps (skills) and stealth (skills). In combat he needs alllies to support him (via flanking) and his main advantage (sneak attack) doesn't work against a lot of enemies. .
    He does one job very well, but his secondary tools are only occasionally useful.

    A Fighter (T5) can do one thing - fighting. Worse yet he can only do that one thing in one, maybe two, specific ways. He doesn't offer any substantial secondary skills.
    He does one job, but without any variety within that job - so maybe he can't even do it in a given situation.

    T6 is obviously bad, so no example needed.


    The higher your classes tier, the more jobs it can do and the more variety it has within the job. Which matters because not every tool can be used all the time - melee is bad against flying enemies, undead are immune to sneak attacks, charging doesn't work in difficult terrain and so on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boci View Post
    Its a quick and dirty fix, what do you expect? Short of mass banning, your not going to fix the problem with a couple of sentences.
    I know, that's why I was open to danzibr's despite it probably having significant flaws as well. I just thought yours was less effective than the one you were presenting it as a replacement for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vrigar View Post
    Awesome discussion!
    If there is any direction the posts here steered me toward is that there are spells which break the game balance (which book is "Shivering Touch" from anyway?) and I'm glad my DM won't allow them.
    I'm happy to see the many points of view but I'm pretty sure I won't be taking part in optimizers' game.
    As much as I would like to spend a nice long hour responding with my opinion on everything that has been said (that shall have to wait) I think you missed the point where the tier system is independent of optimization.

    A) Broken options exist in core too. Banning Frostburn doesn't help anything (there are a lot of cool options for lower tier characters in it). I would say that it is good knowledge of the tiers that would help a DM ban the right things.

    i) As an offshoot of this, the system holds true regardless of the sources allowed. Assuming the same levels of optimization, you could have PHB, (wizard/fighter), and any completes that DON'T have wizard support in them, and the versatility of a shock trooper fighter still pales in contrast to a PHB only "intelligently prepared" (fly, invisibility, glitterdust, fogs) wizard. To bring the original scenario into the picture, a PHB only optimized wizard still has better ways to deal with a black dragon than an optimized to the teeth fighter (with all sources allowed)

    B) The assertion that the tier system doesn't come into play in some peoples' games is not a valid basis to evaluate efficacy of the system on. Every DM plays different, I've seen some who don't use dice rolls for social interactions at all, and I've seen some who don't throw anything but combat encounters at their players. Thus the tier system exists in the vacuum of RAW. Keeping all else the same there are trends that exist. This is outlined in the tier system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Togo View Post
    Depends how you manage your resources. You're surely not arguing that a wizard can retreat to a distant fortress between encounters, but that a fighter can't arrange some form of healing ability?
    He can, but doing so requires use of non-class resources. Doing this, while not a bad idea, means he's still resources behind.

    Sure I can. I run games where there's a plot. One that doesn't accomodate 8 hour gaps.
    Casters can deal with endurance situations fairly well at higher levels. Reserve feats, scrolls, wands, and of course, giant piles of spell slots mean that going over a standard four encounters is no big thing.

    As an example of a decently optimized caster, I'll point to the one I'm playing currently. I don't list consumables or spells prepped on there, as it's an in-person game, and frequently changing things are scribbled on paper, but a level 6 wizard with a +11 int mod is not generally going to run dry on spells.
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    you want to fix the class imbalance? pick a limited number of classes that work in your campaign/setting.

    example, in a setting i'm working on, the PC classes are:

    adept (homebrew class, think cleric or wizard with bard spells per day and druid chassis), barbarian, beguiler, dread necromancer, upgraded fighter, upgraded healer, rogue, upgraded warmage.

    the npc classes are: expert and magewright.

    so, all the PC classes are T3-4, and both NPC classes are T5. There, all available classes are balanced, and all have something different to offer to the party.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScionoftheVoid View Post
    I know, that's why I was open to danzibr's despite it probably having significant flaws as well. I just thought yours was less effective than the one you were presenting it as a replacement for.
    Only unless you ban tiers 1 and 2 (or the gentleman's agreement works), then it doesn't do much to change the power imbalance. Mine may change the game more, but at least it reduces the disparity, if by nothing else than by reducing how many steps each build can be removed from each other.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrigar View Post
    If there is any direction the posts here steered me toward is that there are spells which break the game balance (which book is "Shivering Touch" from anyway?) and I'm glad my DM won't allow them.
    What do you mean your DM won't allow them? Do you play core-only?

    Because core-only is the most broken system ever. Sure, wizards have to wait another couple levels and optimize more to be able to kill a dragon solo, but fighters can't kill a dragon at all. He doesn't have the damage output necessary ("double digit" isn't enough. Twentysome damage a round at level 7... isn't enough). The best he can do is be a half-decent tripper. Meanwhile, the wizard turns into a hydra and gets tons of attacks. At level 7. Then there's the spells that dictate how the battle plays out. Solid Fog, Wall of Force, Wall of Stone (which is an excellent spell to have during downtime in war or nation-building games, in addition to its combat use), Wall of Iron (which is also good to have for nation-building/war. You instantly trade 50 GP and a bit of iron for a lot of iron), Evard's Black Tentacles... at lower levels, Grease and Color Spray are at the top tier of power.

    There's also even more powerful spells. Time Stop. Polymorph any Object. Shapechange. Teleportation in any form. Summon Monster/Nature's Ally (minionmancy is a worthwhile pursuit for core-only casters). Planar Ally/Binding. Gate. Astral Projection from a super safe secret fortress that you cast permanent warding spells on (not one of the fog ones, otherwise you get pesky adventurers falling into your hideout), then Plane Shift back to the material plane. Die, then Plane Shift back to the material plane (you are now ageless. Combine with Astral Projection to be effectively immortal).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Togo View Post
    Depends how you manage your resources. You're surely not arguing that a wizard can retreat to a distant fortress between encounters, but that a fighter can't arrange some form of healing ability?
    A) I'm sorry if I double post, but given that I was semi-ninjaed (this thread seems to be moving fast) I'll risk it.

    B) While a distant fortress would take some optimization, (as mentioned by someone before me) for any wizard who saw rope trick and thought of it as a neat shelter to rest in would see magnificent mansion and reach the same conclusions (no optimization needed for this btw). Just because one encourages the lack of a 15 minute adventuring day through plot (see my previous point that the evaluation has to be independent of DM style (though I agree this is a good habit to practice)) doesn't mean that even perfectly "kosher" use of these spells doesn't totally invalidate the "midnight ambush" or "survival through the night" (be it ambushes or environmental) tropes that the DM might throw at the party.

    C)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jade Dragon View Post
    Stuff Jade Dragon said.
    While I am inclined to agree with your statement, it might be wise to note that any of your suggestions could be seen as optimization (not many "non optimizers" see a hydra as the go to polymorph choice) which would perpetuate the "Okay I am glad I don't optimize this much! My group doesn't apply to tiers!" misconception. (my opinion, I don't mean to sound condescending)
    Last edited by maysarahs; 2012-07-30 at 02:58 PM.

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    Core Wizard is nastier than a splatbook non-caster. And I really don't think that's a problem.

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    I'm a big fan of the Tier System as a model to explore potential strengths and weaknesses in the system.

    For example, as a DM, I always want to make sure that the murderer in a murder mystery can duck Detect Thoughts/Evil/Lemons and has some means of negating Speak with Dead and Raise Dead used on their victims. I will also be wary of a party consisting of a Monk a Druid a Wizard and a Paladin, and make sure people understand the classes they're using (Druid/Wizard need to be mature enough not to go God Mode, Monk/Paladin need enough skill to play their classes well).

    But it isn't a perfect model. Obviously. It assumes roughly equal optimization within the party. It assumes RAW with a small or insignificant amount of homebrew. It doesn't take setting or narrative restrictions into account. That is okay. You still have to use your own skill and judgement to create a challenging game which all of your players will enjoy. But it is a useful tool which can help you do those things better than if you didn't have it available.

    TL;DR: People who treat Tier as inerrant Gospel are being foolish. People who believe using the Tier System damns you to BadWrongFun Hell are also being foolish. The people who think the Tier System has limited utility in their games and the people who think it is a useful tool in general, are both doing it right.

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    Core Wizard is also nastier than a non-Core Wizard, because while both will easily deal with almost any opposition, non-Core mundanes at least have things they can do to stop the Wizard if he's not trying very hard on that day. In Core, there are no relevant tools for mundanes defending against a Wizard as early as level 3. Using crappy non-MIC magic items to replicate the tools you need to stay relevant lags far behind the point where you need the stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by A_Moon View Post
    How many times, when the Fighter says "I draw my sword", did you just want to smack that cheating-optimizer in the face and say "No! You don't draw your sword! You draw Orcus!". When the Cleric says "I run away from Orcus!": "No! You run into Orcus! Rogue tries to hide? He hides behind Orcus! The bard in a tavern on the other side the town tries to order a drink? How about a nice frothy mug of Orcus?
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    Think of "Fighter vs Wizard" as "Bear vs Human". A wizard who prepares only blasting spells is the equivalent of a human attacking a bear with his bare hands in the middle of an open field. An optimised wizard is the equivalent of a human who attacks a bear while it's asleep, from a stealth helicopter armed with heat-seeking missiles, while wearing powered armor designed to outfight bears, calls in some soldiers for assistance, has a tracking device already planted on the bear, and contaminates every source of food and water near the bear with a poison which affects only bears. Oh, and the helicopter is a drone that he's controlling from the other side of the planet.

    If you bring in splatbooks then an optimised bear becomes twice as large and has acid claws, while an optimised human gets a laser gun mounted on his helicopter. It still doesn't change the odds.

    A class with UMD as a class skill, by the way, is the equivalent of a bear with opposable thumbs.
    Last edited by Prime32; 2012-07-30 at 07:05 PM.
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    I never really understand people who say you don't have to use the tier system. I have found the tier system is much akin to the periodic table in the real world. You can acknowledge it, use or ignore it. Nothing you do changes the fact that a system of classifying the basic tenants of the world exist.

    The other thing is that most games are self balancing, or at least would good players should be. Personally I tend towards brutal optimization. I also like casters. As a player, I counter these tendencies by crippling my characters as a part of their characterization. Sorcerer afraid of magic, playing the same concept on a binder, cleric would is afraid brazen displays of power offend Pelor, simple concept changes.

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    Interesting that fortresses cost nothing, apparently. A fighter (or any non-tier 1-2 character) with an item of some kind of healing is all out of $, yet tier 1-2 characters apparently have a class feature: free sweet kip. No doubt guarded by great wyrms that grovel at the caster's feet while he's visiting home.

    Again & again the same broken spells keep being mentioned. It's laughable. It's just SO easy to play the game WITHOUT shapechange, polymorph, ect.

    If teleportation is undesirable, move them up spell levels, ban some (or all).

    Silly, stupid cheese like free wishes via Efreeti "farming" is the worst of examples. Such a character would get away with such exactly twice; strike 3 resulting in a crushing (as in permanently fatal) retaliation. A gang of advanced &/or classed efreet & NPC mercs of EL+5 come to put an end to such shennanigans. If that fails, EL+6 arrives, EL+7, on up to the Efreet God/Sultan & a planet disintegrating force of allies, if need be. Not that that is every going to happen, the first group comes larded with as many wishes as it takes. Such a tactic simply means GAME OVER. Even the densest munchkin will catch on.

    If you have idiot players that are going to try such bull****, a good game for them to play BEFORE they can try such themselves is a mission working for some Effreet Noble to take down just such a foolish spell chucker. Reward: 3 reasonable wishes! & some $. Huzza! (and object lesson implanted).

    I'm not sure exactly how candy-ass all the published adventures are for d20, but NONE of the "invincible Tier 1" stuff would fly for any serious HL adventures. Teleport type magics? blocked from this spot. Divinations? Sorry, Screened vs that. Who the hell are these L18 characters going up against? Static Tombs & humanoid type warrior tribes? Dragons that are in hibernation in known locations? LOL. (Not that those shouldn't happen occassionaly...just to show how HL the characters actually are/show off/feel nice).

    Ban Frostburn? why? ban the spell that offends (shivering touch & lesser ST). Or fix it (not hard there at all!). This is symptomatic of more bad DMing...BAN it all! No, the idea is to ban what doesn't work for your/the game. As some have pointed out, the splats actually bring a great deal to the "lesser" lights of the game. They are also quite suitable for a specific campaign. You need not include much (if anything) from Frostburn in your Oriental/Jungle based game, or FR stuff in Eberron. In fact, most of it you SHOULDN'T.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GenghisDon View Post
    Interesting that fortresses cost nothing, apparently. A fighter (or any non-tier 1-2 character) with an item of some kind of healing is all out of $, yet tier 1-2 characters apparently have a class feature: free sweet kip. No doubt guarded by great wyrms that grovel at the caster's feet while he's visiting home.
    When you can basically print money with Wall of Iron or Stone to Flesh/Flesh to Salt, AND bind/construct creatures to build stuff for you (and grovel for you while you're at it), then yes, fortresses are practically free. Healing items, on the other hand, are not - pretty much the only thing a Fighter can use to heal himself is a Healing Belt, which heals a tiny amount of damage before becoming useless for the day. Casters go with wands instead, which are much more cost-effective and versatile (since you can drop a ton of charges per day).

    Quote Originally Posted by GenghisDon View Post
    I'm not sure exactly how candy-ass all the published adventures are for d20, but NONE of the "invincible Tier 1" stuff would fly for any serious HL adventures. Teleport type magics? blocked from this spot. Divinations? Sorry, Screened vs that. Who the hell are these L18 characters going up against? Static Tombs & humanoid type warrior tribes? Dragons that are in hibernation in known locations? LOL. (Not that those shouldn't happen occassionaly...just to show how HL the characters actually are/show off/feel nice).
    Blocking teleport and divinations requires, all together now, magic.
    Last edited by Flickerdart; 2012-07-30 at 03:28 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by A_Moon View Post
    How many times, when the Fighter says "I draw my sword", did you just want to smack that cheating-optimizer in the face and say "No! You don't draw your sword! You draw Orcus!". When the Cleric says "I run away from Orcus!": "No! You run into Orcus! Rogue tries to hide? He hides behind Orcus! The bard in a tavern on the other side the town tries to order a drink? How about a nice frothy mug of Orcus?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    Think of "Fighter vs Wizard" as "Bear vs Human". A wizard who prepares only blasting spells is the equivalent of a human attacking a bear with his bare hands in the middle of an open field. An optimised wizard is the equivalent of a human who attacks a bear while it's asleep, from a stealth helicopter armed with heat-seeking missiles, while wearing powered armor designed to outfight bears, calls in some soldiers for assistance, has a tracking device already planted on the bear, and contaminates every source of food and water near the bear with a poison which affects only bears.

    If you bring in splatbooks then an optimised bear becomes twice as large and has acid claws, while an optimised human gets a laser gun mounted on his helicopter. It still doesn't change the odds.
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  21. - Top - End - #81
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    ...If some classes have a bunch of abilities that force a DM to strictly regulate sources, throw severe mass bans around and crack down on players' potential hijinks with fiat, it does seem kind of safe to say that those classes have a bunch of ways to break the game.

  22. - Top - End - #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScionoftheVoid View Post
    Rays almost always hit to begin with, full BAB takes that from "have to be pumping touch AC" to "hope for a natural one". Adding full BAB and larger hit dice to a tier one doesn't actually do much, but they're still tier one and therefore superior to everyone else by definition. None of a tier five's capabilities will raise a tier two anywhere near tier one, nor will any tier three be bumped up by adding a tier four class's abilities.
    That last sentence is not strictly true. A Shadowcaster is often put into the tier 4 category due to its low castings per day and inflexible design, but if you add it to a more flexible tier 3 it actually cranks it into tier 2 range due to the Shadowcaster getting some quite potent spells at higher levels. Or at least that is MO.

  23. - Top - End - #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrigar View Post
    Awesome discussion!
    If there is any direction the posts here steered me toward is that there are spells which break the game balance (which book is "Shivering Touch" from anyway?) and I'm glad my DM won't allow them.
    The problem is, the book with the densest amount of game breaking spells in it is the 'player's handbook'.

  24. - Top - End - #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    Think of "Fighter vs Wizard" as "Bear vs Human". A wizard who prepares only blasting spells is the equivalent of a human attacking a bear with his bare hands in the middle of an open field. An optimised wizard is the equivalent of a human who attacks a bear while it's asleep, from a stealth helicopter armed with heat-seeking missiles, while wearing powered armor designed to outfight bears, calls in some soldiers for assistance, has a tracking device already planted on the bear, and contaminates every source of food and water near the bear with a poison which affects only bears. Oh, and the helicopter is a drone that he's controlling from the other side of the world.

    If you bring in splatbooks then an optimised bear becomes twice as large and has acid claws, while an optimised human gets a laser gun mounted on his helicopter. It still doesn't change the odds.
    Is it bad that I was confused as to if this was an example, or an actual game?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenghisDon View Post
    Again & again the same broken spells keep being mentioned. It's laughable. It's just SO easy to play the game WITHOUT shapechange, polymorph, ect...

    Silly, stupid cheese like free wishes via Efreeti "farming" is the worst of examples.

    If you have idiot players that are going to try such bull****, a good game for them to play BEFORE they can try such themselves is a mission working for some Effreet Noble to take down just such a foolish spell chucker. Reward: 3 reasonable wishes! & some $. Huzza! (and object lesson implanted)...

    I'm not sure exactly how candy-ass all the published adventures are for d20, but NONE of the "invincible Tier 1" stuff would fly for any serious HL adventures. Teleport type magics? blocked from this spot. Divinations? Sorry, Screened vs that...
    Get off your high horse.

    It's unbelievable how presumptuous this is. Who are you to say anyone's playing wrong?

    Are your players making intelligent decisions? THEY'RE BAD PLAYERS AND SHOULD BE PUNISHED. Are they using their abilities to the fullest? MAKE THEM REGRET THE DAY THEY CROSSED YOU. Are they making you look like you put in insufficient work? POST HOC BANS AND RETRIBUTION ALL AROUND.

    Come on, seriously? Saying 'no reasonable player would ever do this!' isn't an argument against the tier system; it's an argument for it! Banning teleportion magic or polymorph spells or Shivering Touch or Wish economies or whatever; fine, but you never hear about having to ban Improved Sunder and Improved Disarm. That by itself sorta demonstrates the gulf in power.

    I'm not the kind of person to get offended by stuff about a game on a message board, or even the kind of person who gets offended at anything, really. But this attitude is actually kinda offensive.

  26. - Top - End - #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    QFT.
    Don't like the tier system? Don't use it.
    '

    The tier system didn't start as a tool, it started as an observation. Its like math that way, it doesn't care if you want to use it or not, when you want to know numbers, you're still using math to find them, and when you want to know why your party's wizard is out-classing the party's rogue despite all things being equal(including optimization), you're still using the tier system, even if you don't like it.

    Admittedly, there's flaws in the observation(Was just talking to Djinn about one of those), but at its basic level, you really can't take it out of the system without simply playing a different system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Togo View Post
    Depends how you manage your resources. You're surely not arguing that a wizard can retreat to a distant fortress between encounters, but that a fighter can't arrange some form of healing ability?
    Option 1: Ropetrick (plus a 'door' for really clever critters)

    Option 2: (Greater) Teleport

    Option 3: Planeshift + Genesis(+Rapid time traits to negate issues of time requirements)

    So yeah, the wizard can escape to a safe place between encounters using class features.

    What class feature allows the fighter to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Togo View Post
    Sure I can. I run games where there's a plot. One that doesn't accomodate 8 hour gaps.
    This, on the other hand is a point, and one that helps weaken per-day classes. On the other hand, DMM Clericzilla.
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  27. - Top - End - #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenghisDon View Post
    Interesting that fortresses cost nothing, apparently. A fighter (or any non-tier 1-2 character) with an item of some kind of healing is all out of $, yet tier 1-2 characters apparently have a class feature: free sweet kip. No doubt guarded by great wyrms that grovel at the caster's feet while he's visiting home.
    Mordenkainen's Magnificient Mansion et al. Genesis. Permanent wall spells. And so on, and so on.

    Yes, wizards do have a class feature called "Awesome kip".
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenghisDon View Post
    I'm not sure exactly how candy-ass all the published adventures are for d20, but NONE of the "invincible Tier 1" stuff would fly for any serious HL adventures. Teleport type magics? blocked from this spot. Divinations? Sorry, Screened vs that. Who the hell are these L18 characters going up against? Static Tombs & humanoid type warrior tribes? Dragons that are in hibernation in known locations? LOL. (Not that those shouldn't happen occassionaly...just to show how HL the characters actually are/show off/feel nice).
    Exactly. It's spellcasters vs. spellcasters. There's a few good Play-by-Posts going on in MinMax Boards currently for instance; a friend was telling me how his Ardent/Swiftblade is technically useless. However, he can still contribute since the rest of the party is also made of optimizers so they know they'd make him useless and thus instead play on his level and buff around him and debuff the enemies and let him do the HP damage. The rest of the party is full casters and they could replicate his ability to destroy beings without excessive damage fairly easily. As such, this is a tier 1 party where he, as a high tier 2, is underpowered. If he didn't have casting, he couldn't do anything with the foes they go up against.

    They're all fine with that though since they're playing what they want and the campaign is going on. And the DM is challenging them with stuff appropriate for a Tier 1-2 game so the Ardent's power level is the minimum level on which that campaign is playable. But none of that changes the fact that far as powerlevel goes, Ardent/Swiftblade is way underpowered there.


    All this pretty much should just show that there is a very real gap between what kinds of encounters parties composed of different tiers, or characters of different tiers can handle. You can simply throw much more varied, difficult, dire encounters and quests at a tier 1 party than you can at a tier 3, or a tier 5 party. Mixed parties generally go by the highest tier party member but the rest will feel left out if he has to go all-out and play to his limits.

    All this assumes competent players with sufficient mechanical skills to play any class near the peak potential and decent mechanical grasp of the rules & character construction of course; basic veteran's skill set. It's fairly irrelevant what a character can do by the rules if a player does not know the rules in the first place, and it's fairly irrelevant what actions a player has available if he doesn't know their function well enough to use them intelligently.

    EDIT: 3 posts on the next page that's not showing up. Did we break the forums or something?
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  29. - Top - End - #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Togo View Post
    As does the dragon?
    A black dragon needs to be CR 16 to cast Dispel Magic, this is explicitely a level 7 character example. A CR 7 black dragon can't cast any spells at all, and has no SR.

  30. - Top - End - #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenghisDon View Post
    Interesting that fortresses cost nothing, apparently. A fighter (or any non-tier 1-2 character) with an item of some kind of healing is all out of $, yet tier 1-2 characters apparently have a class feature: free sweet kip. No doubt guarded by great wyrms that grovel at the caster's feet while he's visiting home.

    Again & again the same broken spells keep being mentioned. It's laughable. It's just SO easy to play the game WITHOUT shapechange, polymorph, ect.

    If teleportation is undesirable, move them up spell levels, ban some (or all).

    Silly, stupid cheese like free wishes via Efreeti "farming" is the worst of examples. Such a character would get away with such exactly twice; strike 3 resulting in a crushing (as in permanently fatal) retaliation. A gang of advanced &/or classed efreet & NPC mercs of EL+5 come to put an end to such shennanigans. If that fails, EL+6 arrives, EL+7, on up to the Efreet God/Sultan & a planet disintegrating force of allies, if need be. Not that that is every going to happen, the first group comes larded with as many wishes as it takes. Such a tactic simply means GAME OVER. Even the densest munchkin will catch on.

    If you have idiot players that are going to try such bull****, a good game for them to play BEFORE they can try such themselves is a mission working for some Effreet Noble to take down just such a foolish spell chucker. Reward: 3 reasonable wishes! & some $. Huzza! (and object lesson implanted).

    I'm not sure exactly how candy-ass all the published adventures are for d20, but NONE of the "invincible Tier 1" stuff would fly for any serious HL adventures. Teleport type magics? blocked from this spot. Divinations? Sorry, Screened vs that. Who the hell are these L18 characters going up against? Static Tombs & humanoid type warrior tribes? Dragons that are in hibernation in known locations? LOL. (Not that those shouldn't happen occassionaly...just to show how HL the characters actually are/show off/feel nice).

    Ban Frostburn? why? ban the spell that offends (shivering touch & lesser ST). Or fix it (not hard there at all!). This is symptomatic of more bad DMing...BAN it all! No, the idea is to ban what doesn't work for your/the game. As some have pointed out, the splats actually bring a great deal to the "lesser" lights of the game. They are also quite suitable for a specific campaign. You need not include much (if anything) from Frostburn in your Oriental/Jungle based game, or FR stuff in Eberron. In fact, most of it you SHOULDN'T.
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