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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    You tried to drop the topic in a manner that dripped contempt for the opinion for your opponents. Implying they were beneath you. Even though we are right, and you are wrong.

    There are no rules for what you say (there's nothing in that link that supports your argument. It says nothing whatsoever about alignment).

    Therefore, I ask you to improve your manners.
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  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Marlowe View Post
    You tried to drop the topic in a manner that dripped contempt for the opinion for your opponents. Implying they were beneath you. Even though we are right, and you are wrong.

    There are no rules for what you say (there's nothing in that link that supports your argument. It says nothing whatsoever about alignment).

    Therefore, I ask you to improve your manners.
    EDIT: No, not going to sink to that level. I've proven my point, gave you my argument and my support for it and you still refuse to listen. I will not sink to the level of ad hominems. I believe we're done here.
    Last edited by Arcanist; 2012-10-29 at 04:03 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    I agree. Because I am done feeding you.
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  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    OOF! Thought I was done with this thread. Really done.

    Venger:Yup, it's nice to know what people thought when they designed the classes. And I like to use that advice when it makes for a better game. I don't see alignment restrictions making for a better game. When I'm a PC, I play the straight and narrow. When I'm the DM, I like to say "sure, why not?".

    We are supposed to be having fun after all.

    Willpell: Nothing in the rules supports your interpretation, and neither will I as a DM. And really, that's all I have to say. When I PLAY a Warlock, I try to stay Chaotic.
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  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    I see the npc problem as two-fold.

    1) Classed npcs are rarely ever worth 1-1 cr increase. Are you telling me that a fighter20 is comparable to a tarrasque or equivalently-cr'ed dragon? However, recalibrating their cr definitely falls into dm-fiat territory, which is outside Wotc's jurisdiction. A warrior9 is cr8? Um...a 9-HD white dragon with the same stats is just cr4...

    While we do have non-associated class rules, they tend to favour mostly spell casters. I am embarrassed to say that while I have a lot of criticisms, I have no ready answers.

    2) Some races/classes/prcs simply don't synergize with each other. You can't just slap a few classes together and expect them to just work. Elder evils has this bodak ranger/blackguard. A bodak stinks in combat, relying on it death gaze. You go slap on classes meant for melee, and which do nothing to augment its signature ability. The end result is a frankenstein monster that can't do anything properly for its theoretical cr.

    I don't think there is any easy answer. The most obvious solution - don't built your character this way, may lead to less room for customisation. You want to focus on tricking a monster's sole strength, it risks becoming a 1-trick pony. Maybe mix and match different monster types to help make up for each other's weaknesses?

    Perhaps what we can do is to start reworking some of their stat-blocks? It doesn't have to be over the top - even a simple fighter3/wizard9 becomes much more useful when converted to a fighter1/wizard5/eldritch knight6. Shall we start a new thread for this or do this here?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I can never understand WOTC's reasoning; taking RAW as a whole is like grabbing a book filled with fortune cookie sayings and basing your life off of them.
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  6. - Top - End - #126
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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    How about we just have an NPC-building contest, and submit all entrants for the use of any DM that cares to use them.?
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  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    The problem is that if you're claiming to be Evil, you'd look like an idiot to carry a Holy Mace, as there's no way that it would be useful enough to be worth the negative level you take for holding it. So you'd be tipping off the fiends you're trying to con that you're almost certainly not what you say you are. Either you're Good or you're gimping yourself, and either way you lose the respect of your "minions" and quite possibly get attacked by them.
    UMD can trick an item so don't take the negative level. How do they knoiw he doesn't have it? (he doesn't but they don't know this)

  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marlowe View Post
    How about we just have an NPC-building contest, and submit all entrants for the use of any DM that cares to use them.?
    I was planning on doing a homebrew NPC gallery for PF, but I wanted to make some examples first.
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  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    So... Any more NPCs that don't meet their PrC requirements on time or are otherwise impossible in some way? Those are always fun. Or maybe I should treat "first derailed thread" as some kind of right-of-passage thing.
    Last edited by Sith_Happens; 2012-10-29 at 12:09 PM.
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    Yes there is Sith.

    The Bugsucker, the sample Symbiote in Savage Species, is illegal by both 3.0 AND 3.5. The Stirge is a Beast/Magical Beast, neither type is eligable for the symbiote template.
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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    I wonder why so many of these NPC's are illegal? . I mean... I could believe that some of the writers were just bad at the rules but the sheer amount of illegal NPC's is starting to stretch that theory. Making a character is not that hard. Plus alot of these were made with the prestige classes (for example) at the forefront of their minds. Its really strange that a lot of the sample NPC's in the books fail to qualify for the PRC's they're supposed to be representing.
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  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    I wonder why so many of these NPC's are illegal? . I mean... I could believe that some of the writers were just bad at the rules but the sheer amount of illegal NPC's is starting to stretch that theory. Making a character is not that hard. Plus alot of these were made with the prestige classes (for example) at the forefront of their minds. Its really strange that a lot of the sample NPC's in the books fail to qualify for the PRC's they're supposed to be representing.
    There are plenty of reasons for why these NPC might have flaws in their build that would otherwise disqualify them. My personal favorite being that the characters were made before the classes were fully complete and were never updated to meet the prerequisites of the class. It's a stretch, but it IS a possibility. Since WoTC often leaps before it looks

  13. - Top - End - #133
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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    The short answer is Editing.

    I'm sure that the sample NPCs were legal at some point in the development of the class. I'm guessing that the class was tweaked before publication and they ran out of time to double check the sample NPC.
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  14. - Top - End - #134
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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    There are plenty of reasons for why these NPC might have flaws in their build that would otherwise disqualify them. My personal favorite being that the characters were made before the classes were fully complete and were never updated to meet the prerequisites of the class. It's a stretch, but it IS a possibility. Since WoTC often leaps before it looks
    I'm fairly sure my extremely mild Hexblade example (not illegal or bad, just way too many skill ranks) from before indicates that they planned to give the HB more skill points than they actually did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marlowe View Post
    I'm fairly sure my extremely mild Hexblade example (not illegal or bad, just way too many skill ranks) from before indicates that they planned to give the HB more skill points than they actually did.
    Wouldn't be surprised to figure that the Developers had planned for the class to be a Skill Monkey at first and then figured "Nah, we'll just dump it as a Duskblade wannabe".

    Tragic really.

  16. - Top - End - #136
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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    It's noticable that the Hexblade and Warlock are two classes with strangely low skill points relative to their number of class skills.

    Warlock doesn't suffer too much here, simply because Warlock is stat-independent, can afford a reasonable INT without gimping more core abilities too much and are supposed to be mostly human anyway.

    Hexblade, on the other hand, needs good physical stats and CHR, so generally has to make INT a lower priority. Having so few skill points and so many useful class skills starts to hurt.
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  17. - Top - End - #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    Okay, picking a random book ... let's see, Complete Warrior. Cavalier NPC on page 20. The build itself isn't technically illegal, but the numbers they provide just don't add up.

    Strength 19 (+4), with Weapon Specialization (Lance) and weapon Specialization (Longsword). The statblock has him doing 1d8+6 damage with a +1 lance and 1d8+6 with a +1 longsword. The damage should be:

    Lance (assuming he's wielding it 1handed mounted, since there's a heavy shield in his inventory): 1d8+4(Str)+1(enhancement)+2(specialization)=1d8 + 7

    Longsword (again assuming 1handed): 1d8+4(Str)+1(enhancement)+2(specialization) = 1d8+7

    His attack (to-hit) numbers don't take into account one the following: +1 bonus to Lances or Swords granted by the first two levels of Cavalier, or +1 from magic weapons.

    His AC is listed as 24, with a dex of 14, +1 full plate, and a +1 heavy shield.
    However, the AC should be:
    10 + 8 (full plate) + 1 (magic) + 2 (shield)+1(magic) + 1 (max dex) = 23
    So either they forgot Full Plate has a max dex, or forgot to note that it was mithral; but in either case they added in the magic bonuses even though the attack numbers seemed to all disregard magic bonuses.

    ... and that's on the third NPC of a randomly-selected book. I may have missed something on the first two.
    You know what the funny thing is? This build is not only mechanically unsound, it would be illegal for the character given to take levels in Cavalier. The class prerequisites require a lawful alignment, but the NPC is listed as Chaotic Neutral, which is something I always found odd. At best, this character can no longer take any levels in Cavalier. At worst, it is an illegal character.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    Wouldn't be surprised to figure that the Developers had planned for the class to be a Skill Monkey at first and then figured "Nah, we'll just dump it as a Duskblade wannabe".
    I'm pretty sure the Duskblade came later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    I'm pretty sure the Duskblade came later.
    It did. But the point still stands. The Hexblade has some nice flavour of its own but is underpowered and even a little mechanically dysfunctional. "Failed Duskblade" sums it up reasonably well. "Prototype Duskblade written before we knew what we were doing" sums it up perfectly.
    Last edited by Marlowe; 2012-10-30 at 08:15 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marlowe View Post
    It's noticable that the Hexblade and Warlock are two classes with strangely low skill points relative to their number of class skills.

    Warlock doesn't suffer too much here, simply because Warlock is stat-independent, can afford a reasonable INT without gimping more core abilities too much and are supposed to be mostly human anyway.

    Hexblade, on the other hand, needs good physical stats and CHR, so generally has to make INT a lower priority. Having so few skill points and so many useful class skills starts to hurt.
    Hexblade was probably intended as a fighter alternative. Since fighters get 2+int mod skill points, hexblade followed suit. Also, because this was so early in the 3.5e development cycle, certain novel features (like ability to cast spells in armour, or heck, even an improved familiar with full bab) might have been deemed too powerful in theory, and so the rest of the abilities weakened to compensate (but turned out to be non-issues in actual gameplay).
    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I can never understand WOTC's reasoning; taking RAW as a whole is like grabbing a book filled with fortune cookie sayings and basing your life off of them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runestar View Post
    Hexblade was probably intended as a fighter alternative. Since fighters get 2+int mod skill points, hexblade followed suit. Also, because this was so early in the 3.5e development cycle, certain novel features (like ability to cast spells in armour, or heck, even an improved familiar with full bab) might have been deemed too powerful in theory, and so the rest of the abilities weakened to compensate (but turned out to be non-issues in actual gameplay).
    Hexblade's designer Mike Mearls actually stated just that^here is the quote (taken from the Hexblade Handbook)

    The hexblade suffers a little because he came on the scene relatively early in 3.5's life. As R&D pushes the boundaries of the game, we learn that some things we thought were risky or potentially broken aren't. Other times, we learn things that look fine don't actually work in play. Armored mages fall into the first category. Them seem really powerful, but in the long run they aren't. Spells and magic items allow an unarmored mage to build great defenses. The spell mage armor is as good as medium armor, and its duration allows most mages to keep it active at all times. If you compare the hexblade to the duskblade from PH 2, you can see how the thinking has changed. If you want to boost the hexblade, I'd try the following changes:

    Good Fortitude save
    Curse ability usable 1 + the hexblade's Cha modifier per day
    Curse ability usable as a swift action
    Curse ability does not count as used if the target makes his saving throw
    Ability to cast in light or medium armor and while carrying a light shield or buckler
    At 6th level, the hexblade can cast one hexblade spell per day as a swift action, as long as its original casting time is a standard action or faster. He gains an additional use of this power at levels 8, 11, 14, and 18.

    The key to the hexblade is his curse ability, but it's a little un-fun to have it so limited in use. The hexblade also has trouble casting spells and using his melee attacks, so shifting spells to swift actions fits in with the idea of an armored mage. (These are by no means official. They're just off the top of my head changes I'd consider making.)
    Emphasis mine.
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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    The reason why most of the NPCs are illigal bothers me, too. This happens in other P&P rpgs as well. For example The Black Eye, a good known german pen and paper. There exist NPCs with feats they canīt have. The best thing, NPC and feat are written by the same author

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    That RPG is called "The Dark Eye" in english, Seltsamuel, as a black eye in englisch is what a german would call "Blaues Auge".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runestar View Post
    Hexblade was probably intended as a fighter alternative. Since fighters get 2+int mod skill points, hexblade followed suit. Also, because this was so early in the 3.5e development cycle, certain novel features (like ability to cast spells in armour, or heck, even an improved familiar with full bab) might have been deemed too powerful in theory, and so the rest of the abilities weakened to compensate (but turned out to be non-issues in actual gameplay).
    I think it's more meant to be an alternative Paladin than an alternative Fighter. The similarities are too many for me to chalk up to coincidence. Curse and Smite happen at (about) the same levels, Arcane Resistance is just a worse Divine Grace, Mettle pairs up with Divine Health, the familiar pairs up with the special mount (the familiar comes one level sooner, granted, but it's also much less cool out of the box), they get spells at the same rate . . . clear Paladin-analogue, in my mind. The point stands either way, of course, since both Paladins and Fighters get crappy skill points, but hey.
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    Default Re: Worst Prebuilt NPCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    I think it's more meant to be an alternative Paladin than an alternative Fighter. The similarities are too many for me to chalk up to coincidence. Curse and Smite happen at (about) the same levels, Arcane Resistance is just a worse Divine Grace, Mettle pairs up with Divine Health, the familiar pairs up with the special mount (the familiar comes one level sooner, granted, but it's also much less cool out of the box), they get spells at the same rate . . . clear Paladin-analogue, in my mind. The point stands either way, of course, since both Paladins and Fighters get crappy skill points, but hey.
    I believe (and please forgive me for my reductionism. This was a while ago. I didn't know much.) that when I had to sum up the Hexblade to somebody who'd never heard of it I said "They're exactly like Paladins. Only instead of being self-righteous, dictatorial, and divine they're selfish, sulky, and arcane".

    And now I'm playing one.
    Last edited by Marlowe; 2012-10-30 at 02:33 PM.
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