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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    Crusader: A Paladin, without anything that actually makes Paladins useful other then their healing. People rave about them, and just say play this, despite the fact that paladins are better in almost all situations.
    I ... what. No. Look, Devoted Spirit is arguably the most powerful discipline in the book, with White Raven and Shadow Hand in runner-up positions*. Crusader gets two of those. Not only that, Crusader gets what is hands-down the best (and most interesting) recovery mechanic, which makes Crusader the best class for PrC entry despite its limits, since it can also use all 6 other disciplines better than the other two classes can. And let's not forget that delayed damage pool, eh? Or the access to sweet Tactical feats. Or Mettle. Or ... you know what, let's shift subjects. Let's talk about Paladins.

    Paladins are crappy half-casters with good feat support. They can get some pretty good saves, but only if they somehow have some ability score points left over from getting a respectable Constitution and Strength, and decent Wisdom. Several times per day, they can make a few of their attacks slightly less terrible against evil opponents, which ... sounds a lot like Strikes, but not as good (or, hey, like the Crusader's Smite, but not as good; that one also works). Lay On Hands is not terrible by comparison with other standard action healing (read: it is terrible), but again, relies on the Paladin having a high charisma, which again, is MAD. To top this off, they ... get a horse? HELLO WILD COHORT MY NAME IS REDUNDANCY.

    Now, paladins get some pretty slick feat support. Battle Blessing is almost as good as just having boosts and counters. And in the old news department, SotAO continues to exist and continues to make paladins and rangers playable if you can get around the fact that it imposes even more MAD on them. And then there's Serenity, I guess?

    But, leaving aside debates about whether Dragon Compendium counts as official content (it doesn't), are you seriously asserting that Wisdom SAD is of equal value to actual functional class features? Hell, you don't need more than two levels of Paladin to grab Serenity. That's like saying Monk is good because I'll probably dip a level or two in it for a Wisdom SAD build. All Serenity ever really gives is a reason to dip paladin, not a reason to actually use the class as a whole.

    Which leaves us with Crusader.

    their optimization ceiling is only T4
    Tiers describe relative ability with an equal degree of optimization, not where a class ends up with XYZ amount of optimization.

    A crusader only has white raven outside of combat (Mountain hammering Walls is still combat), paladins have healing and buffs in their spells.
    I see we've switched sides, since earlier you said the only things Crusaders have that Paladins don't are their healing.

    *You can argue Diamond Mind, as well, and Setting Sun has a high optimization ceiling, and OH NO, a wild Well-Balanced Sourcebook attacked (should have stayed out of that tall grass).
    Last edited by gkathellar; 2012-10-29 at 12:17 PM.
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    Where? Also weren't you called out on this in another thread?
    yes. i got called out by people who had not read the actual threads they were talking about.

    Go read the main thread, and the rogue explaination. It says specifically, other then Factotum, that skills dont matter, because of Factotum. This is partially an extension of the fact that the skills system is too complex and not in and of itself strong enough to be effective.

    As far as the tier system is currently concerned:

    Skills (Barring Factotum) Do not matter
    Being Useful only in combat is enough to make you Tier 3, despite the definition of Tier 3 being "Great at one thing, and useful when that one thing is inappropriate"
    A standard view of each class as it is at lvl 12. (this isnt nearly a problem. but it does make the system slightly less useful as a gauge.)

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    I see we've switched sides, since earlier you said the only things Crusaders have that Paladins don't are their healing.[/SIZE]
    Removed Content: Go look at paladin, the actual class. Dragon counts because it was published by WotC, even if it was written by Pazio.

    People rave about divine spirit, except, it is actually worse then Stone dragon. ok it can heal, in combat. Healing blows, mitigation is what you want. Stone Dragon has a Heavy Fortification stance and the ability to get significant DR. Divine Spirit? Piss off an enemy and heal through their damage like a WoW paladin, except DR>Healing. and at least Paladin healing can be used when not in combat, or be made useful with a free ACF that is in the book that The Giant wrote.
    Last edited by toapat; 2012-10-29 at 12:26 PM.


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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    The Paladin does have access to a bunch of other effects, like skills through Divine Insight, flight/debuffs/senses through mounts and turning-based feats, the potential benefits of SotAO, and some utility-oriented ACFs (including greater dispels, earthglide and what I think is the best printed version of Hide in Plain Sight).

    But I think it should be pretty reasonable to assume that for someone posting an advice thread about picking up ToB for the first time in a specifically low-op group, most Paladins in that game are going to suck, and most Crusaders are just going to walk around on top of them.

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    yes. i got called out by people who had not read the actual threads they were talking about.
    The guy with the threads in his sig didn't read the thread...

    Go read the main thread, and the rogue explaination. It says specifically, other then Factotum, that skills dont matter, because of Factotum. This is partially an extension of the fact that the skills system is too complex and not in and of itself strong enough to be effective.
    I have. Rogue is listed as not being Tier 3 because frankly it's worse as a skill-monkey than the Factotum, not that skills are therefore useless, especially when that is not the focus of your class. And even then Rogue is considered a high Tier 4 and called the second best skill-monkey class.

    So going by the Crusader and the definition of Tier 3: Good at one thing and not useless at a bunch of other things.

    What is the Crusader good at? Tanking.

    What are a bunch of other things that the Crusader at least can do? Healing, Diplomacy, Breaking things, can reroll a save. And that's without looking at their maneuvers to see what out of combat capabilities they have.

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by eggs View Post
    The Paladin does have access to a bunch of other effects, like skills through Divine Insight, flight/debuffs/senses through mounts and turning-based feats, the potential benefits of SotAO, and some utility-oriented ACFs (including greater dispels, earthglide and what I think is the best printed version of Hide in Plain Sight).

    But I think it should be pretty reasonable to assume that for someone posting an advice thread about picking up ToB for the first time in a specifically low-op group, most Paladins in that game are going to suck, and most Crusaders are just going to walk around on top of them.
    i think one of the questions this raises is, is exactly what qualifies as High Op? there is so much stuff that makes paladin reasonable powerful, that it becomes questionable. obviously Serenity and SotAO would be High Op, but the rest?

    also, whats this HiPS ACF? you talking about UDK?


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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    yes. i got called out by people who had not read the actual threads they were talking about.

    Go read the main thread, and the rogue explaination. It says specifically, other then Factotum, that skills dont matter, because of Factotum. This is partially an extension of the fact that the skills system is too complex and not in and of itself strong enough to be effective.
    You mean this line (4th paragraph under top spoiler)?

    The real reason that rogue is tier four is that factotum is just plain better. As a skill monkey, a factotum has no cross class skills and most likely has more skill points as well given its emphasis on INT.
    It seems fairly transparent that the argument being made in the above quote is that rogue fails at being a skillmonkey because there are noticeably better skillmonkeys. It does not say that skills are worthless for other characters. Just that, you know, for a skill specialist, the rogue is pretty lackluster.

    But okay, you don't buy that? Because two paragraphs down, we get this:

    The rogue is a solid class, part of the must have four for a team. It's the second best skill monkey class out there with it's 8 points per level and easy ability room to pick up a good score in int.
    It's important to remember that the "this is why class X is in tier Y" bits consist of a group of quotes from users who contributed.

    And then, over on the reasoning for Paladin's T5 position, we get this little gem (third-to-last spoiler, second paragraph):

    They have very little to offer skill wise outside of diplomacy, but to even take that a Paladin would require 12 int since their two skill points would be spent in Handle Animal and Ride.
    Now, moving on.

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    Removed Content: Go look at paladin, the actual class. Dragon counts because it was published by WotC, even if it was written by Pazio.
    I'm looking at a class that is strikingly devoid of abilities after 5th level, the only saving grace of which is, appropriately enough, Divine Grace.

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    People rave about divine spirit, except, it is actually worse then Stone dragon. ok it can heal, in combat. Healing blows, mitigation is what you want.
    Conventional wisdom holds that healing sucks chiefly because healing eats actions. For exactly this reason, Devoted Spirit probably has the only non-terrible healing in the game, on account of having abilities that heal without cutting into its action economy.

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    Stone Dragon has a Heavy Fortification stance and the ability to get significant DR. Divine Spirit? Piss off an enemy and heal through their damage like a WoW paladin, except DR>Healing.
    You know, you're right. Stone Dragon is yet another thing which makes Crusaders vastly superior to Paladins.

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    and at least Paladin healing can be used when not in combat
    Wand of Lesser Vigor says hi. Out of combat healing is trivial, and perhaps more importantly to this line of argument, its necessity is mitigated by the presence of effective in-combat healing with low opportunity costs.
    Last edited by gkathellar; 2012-10-29 at 12:48 PM.
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    also, whats this HiPS ACF? you talking about UDK?
    The Gnome paladin in the CoV web enhancement (Shadow Cloak?).

    It's Extraordinary, but it gets the abilities that are normally reserved for the Supernatural version (hiding without cover).

    EDIT: I have mostly seen it used in Underdark Knight builds, though. Mostly because Air Gnome's picked for its not-breathing thing, and at that point, HiPS is as good a Remove Disease replacement as any.
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-10-29 at 01:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    Conventional wisdom holds that healing sucks chiefly because healing eats actions. For exactly this reason, Devoted Spirit probably has the only non-terrible healing in the game, on account of having abilities that heal without cutting into its action economy.

    You know, you're right. Stone Dragon is yet another thing which makes Crusaders vastly superior to Paladins.
    1: Conventional Wisdom says Healing sucks if you can do anything to prevent that damage from being taken.

    2: No, its not. Unless your DM is that much of a **** that they do not allow you to get a Homebrewed +5 Mithral Fullplate of Heavy Fortification, you shouldnt need a class feature to buy a pretty obvious to take peice of equipment.


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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    1: Conventional Wisdom says Healing sucks if you can do anything to prevent that damage from being taken.
    Steeley Resolve says hi. Crusader has a built in prevention mechanic.

    I personally like Crusader a lot, so I'm pretty biased here, though I would guess that Crusader/RKV and Paladin's OP ceiling are pretty similar, just that Crusader takes a lot less effort and book-diving to have at a reasonably strong level.

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    2: No, its not. Unless your DM is that much of a **** that they do not allow you to get a Homebrewed +5 Mithral Fullplate of Heavy Fortification, you shouldnt need a class feature to buy a pretty obvious to take peice of equipment.
    Yes, because Heavy Fortification is the only thing Stone Dragon does, right? And because saving yourself the room for other uses of your WBL is likewise worthless.
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    The nice thing about Tome of Battle is that it can help craft a melee character to do decently at anything you want it to do. If you group is low op, any of these will work.

    • Access to disciplines -- Swordsage gets the most access and most maneuvers to start an encounter, but it a has a bad recovery mechanic (see below). Warblade has access to more disciplines, but you might reasonably argue that Crusaders disciplines are better.
    • Don't forget that the feats Martial Study and Martial Stance can add a maneuver to a base class that would not ordinarily have access to. So if one feat from a Shadow Hand maneuver would be interesting on your Crusader you can usually get it with some feat choices.
    • Recovery Mechanics -- Swordsage is the worst recovery mechanic of the three. Crusader will always have a maneuver ready for you to use, but you have less choice of which maneuver and Warblade lets you recover all your maneuvers simply by normally attacking.
    • Adaptive Style Feat can help improve Swordsage's recovery mechanic and to allow you access to maneuvers during an encounter that you might not normally keep readied. It still will cost you a whole round just meditating.
    • Weigh how long your fights and encounters normally last, Swordsage is great, but it can't blast its maneuvers every round and last through a long fight. If you have other things to do other than use maneuvers, Swordsage can be a great class. If they last longer, then Crusader and Warblade are better choices.
    • I like ToB classes best as a splash to make a better rogue or make a better Paladin. Maneuvers get better at higher levels, but often just have some low level options makes playing a melee class so much more fun, so don't just focus on ToB, look to see how ToB can make other classes more fun for you and your group, especially in a low op game.

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Be a swordsage with shadow hand, setting sun and tiger claw.
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    WBL
    By the point you can afford a +10 fullplate, your WBL gets you enough gold each level to get a few other peices of gear the next level/, the thing is, nothing has Heavy Fort that is published, making it unobtainable as far as TO is concerned barring one stance in ToB.


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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    What level are you planning on starting at and playing to?

    Because low op, I think it would be fun to play:

    Unarmed Swordsage Variant into Shadow Sun Ninja.
    Focus on Setting Sun, Shadow Hand, and just a touch of Tiger Claw

    That way you don't need a weapon you can just punch, since both advance unarmed damage. I would focus on Setting Sun maneuvers for Throws to be good at positioning enemies for your friend's characters. The Shadow Hand Maneuvers allow you to debuff enemies for your friend's characters.

    You'll never get out of hand with number of maneuvers per encounter, but you'll have stuff to do when you don't want or have an available maneuver.

    The first level Shadow Sun Ninja ability grants great in encounter healing for yourself and your friends. Plus, Shadow Sun has some great ways to help you get around on the battle field. Lots of fun ways to try to increase your unarmed damage to increase your healing.

    I'm especially fond of Sudden Leap from Tiger Claw discipline as a way to move as a Swift action early in the game. Scent Stance or Blood in the Water Stance are fine prerequisites for Sudden Leap. Later the Dancing Mongoose line maneuvers are good to pick up since they add two additional attacks and four additional attacks as a boost.

    Pick up the Adaptive Style feat eventually, then find a way to hide for a round and recharge all your maneuvers in an encounter.

    If you go past level 15 you might look into picking up the Master of Nine Prestige Class. That will give you a great number of high end maneuvers from any of the different disciplines and its a good way to have a character that grabs the feel of Tome of Battle. My advice would be to dip into Crusader and or Warblade in the first few levels to help meet the prerequisites later for Master of Nine. Something like 4 Swordsage/1 Crusader/10 Shadow Sun Ninja/5 Master of Nine.

    Just because you have Unarmed Strike doesn't mean you can't use a weapon for maneuvers.

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by Felyndiira View Post
    *snip*
    Arguing that Healing is preferable ever, even when both paladins with divine spirit (Dungeonscape) and anyone who bothers to get Divine Spirit (tome of lazy but effective execution) strikes get to heal as essentially free actions, does not change the fact that healing in 3.5 is counteracted by the fact that even if healing was consistently powerful enough to matter, you do not have things like the Healing Shields that healers in WoW get, where their overhealing becomes temporary HP.

    In a little cleaner wording: Mitigation and Prevention cost less, last longer, and are more reliable then healing, because the math in 3.5 is screwed up at every level.

    and no, I want the Tier System to be rewritten, because it either doesnt apply to its own definitions, nerfs classes when it shouldnt, and it treats combat as a much larger number of things then it should.

    I wont argue certain classes (Fighter and Paladin are Tier 5, for obvious reasons that cant be argued, No class features, and horrible core attribute requirements, are both terribad.) as being out of place, it acknowledges that certain classes skirt the edges of tiers, and marks them. The points you made about Maneuvers, didnt change the fact that they are primarily, baring White Raven and Shadow Hand, Combat based. sure, you can be amazing at combat, but a crusader will be useless if he needs to heal the contact outside of combat. Saying "But they get a good skill list" is not justification, if the Rogue isnt T3 despite being the second best but more reliable skillmonkey, then you cant say that for anyone else.


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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Here is probably the most comprehensive comparison ever done between crusader and paladin, under the assumption that core+ToB are the only available books.

    The two are so close to equal that it's ridiculous to seriously argue that either is noticeably better than the other out-of-the-box.

    Crusader has the higher op floor, paladin has the higher op ceiling. Can we drop this now?
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-10-29 at 04:42 PM.
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    and no, I want the Tier System to be rewritten, because it either doesnt apply to its own definitions, nerfs classes when it shouldnt, and it treats combat as a much larger number of things then it should.

    I wont argue certain classes (Fighter and Paladin are Tier 5, for obvious reasons that cant be argued, No class features, and horrible core attribute requirements, are both terribad.) as being out of place, it acknowledges that certain classes skirt the edges of tiers, and marks them. The points you made about Maneuvers, didnt change the fact that they are primarily, baring White Raven and Shadow Hand, Combat based. sure, you can be amazing at combat, but a crusader will be useless if he needs to heal the contact outside of combat. Saying "But they get a good skill list" is not justification, if the Rogue isnt T3 despite being the second best but more reliable skillmonkey, then you cant say that for anyone else.
    In a non-provocative manner, I'd suggest you write one. It's been a while since there's been an update, it's a hodgepodge of various writers, and I'm sure an update would be appreciated.

    If.

    You take input on relative tiers, if you have a consistent set of definitions, and if you're willing to admit when you may be wrong. Don't tackle this and then just write "here's what I think." Be sure you're taking input and being consistent.
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Crusader. Most fun recovery mechanic, best low level survivability, great branching options for progression, decent school selections.

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    In a little cleaner wording: Mitigation and Prevention cost less, last longer, and are more reliable then healing, because the math in 3.5 is screwed up at every level.
    Fair enough

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    The points you made about Maneuvers, didnt change the fact that they are primarily, baring White Raven and Shadow Hand, Combat based.
    There's a problem with how you're defining combat. For instance, you define using mountain hammer to smash through a wall as combat. Going that route, open lock (and maybe even disable device and the likes) are also combat-related, since they perform a function that can be duplicated by mountain hammer (namely, opening locks).

    A crusader can perform out-of-combat healing as well. Hit a rock, a piece of cloth, or air, heal people; nowhere in any of the maneuvers (at least that I remember) does it ever say that a crusader must actually hit a CR-appropriate enemy to grant healing to anyone. At 17th level, they can duplicate a Heal spell, which is quite powerful if you need to heal the king of, say, taint (and if you need to bash in some unworn rags to do so, no one will complain).

    In fact, there are a ton of uses for stuff that can be construed as "out of combat". Do you suspect that the king's dinner is poisoned? Is someone trying to poison you? Iron Heart Surge does that. Are you subjected to an out-of-combat save? Any of the save replacing lines will work wherever you are at the moment. Do you need to chase down a thief? You can always use quicksilver motion. Plus, crusaders also have diplomacy as a class skill, so

    If you define "non-combat" as just "stuff you can only accomplish with skills" then sure, crusaders only really get craft, diplomancy, and knowledge (religion) as class skills. However, what makes an out-of-combat save so different from, say, a wizard's fly? Why is smashing through the environment "combat", but using illusions to recreate a different environment would be considered something else? It seems almost like you're defining "non-combat" like that to specifically boost the rogue while hurting all of the non-beguiler classes (keep in mind that under your definition, a lot of what the dread necro does is also "combat" - even creating undead armies and such).

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    sure, you can be amazing at combat, but a crusader will be useless if he needs to heal the contact outside of combat. Saying "But they get a good skill list" is not justification, if the Rogue isnt T3 despite being the second best but more reliable skillmonkey, then you cant say that for anyone else.
    Rogues get 4 more skill points per level than crusaders do (8+Int instead of 4+Int). They also have Int as a dump stat, and are MAD enough that the prospect of a dump stat is significant to them.

    Since crusaders get diplomancy (and intimidate as well as a knowledge skill), it really just falls on the rogue's superior skill list to define them as "reliable skillmonkey" - in order to add stealth, a rogue must spend points on move silently and hide. To add infiltration, the rogue must also spend points in disguise, gather information, and possibly forgery. A lot of rogues also want spot and listen to make sure that they can spot stuff, and diplomancy for social situations. Even if he could get most of the skills on his skill list somehow, it comes down to adding the following capabilities (that are "not combat", thus discounting stuff like tumble):

    Stealth and Infiltration
    Social Skills (all ToB classes can contribute to this with diplomacy)
    Spotting Stuff

    A rogue sacrifices every bit of combat versatility for these three things (he doesn't even get any more knowledge skills than the crusader!), forcing him to basically rely on either sneak attack or wealth to do other tricks. The rogue can perform marvelously at the stuff he actually spent points in (which for a rogue with 14 INT is only 10 skills per level), and will likely only cherry pick the top three + a few combat ones like tumble. He isn't an omnipotent skill monkey that can do everything under the sun like a wizard is; skills are still limited, and a rogue is similarly limited in the number of skills he could focus on (unlike the factotum, who can actually perform ALL of them including all of the knowledge ones, and isn't MAD in the least).

    So yes, if you define stealth and spotting stuff as being inheritantly more important than combat, then the rogue can do more than a crusader and should be T3. Somehow, though, I really question that belief - it's easy to throw the word "skill-monkey" out there and glorify the greatness of rogues, but the idea of tiers is to think of it another way: how many times will a rogue actually be able to contribute to something in a typical D&D campaign? What about a crusader/warblade with diplomacy?

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by Felyndiira View Post
    *snip*
    1: Mountain Hammer vs Door is combat, because the rules it uses are the Hardness rules for combat. Barring the fact that Hardness is linked into HP (which only recently got errata'd out), anyone with a Pickaxe, Axe (if wood), or Hammer can beat their way through a wall. Open Lock/Disable Device are skill checks.

    2: The point is, if rogue's Skillchimp hood isnt good enough to be said that it makes them "T3", then the tier system is not following the rules it set out. Skills themselves being built badly doesnt change that, and you cant say "But i have Diplomacy, the second most powerful skill" to say that your class belongs in T3.


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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    *snip*
    I see that your look at tiers define "stealth" as having about the same weight as "combat" (as you define combat) as a whole. Which is fine - this is an area that we both will have to eternally disagree with. When I look at "versatility" as defined in the tier system, I see categories of skills as only a component of that, and as only one potential solution to a problem. A situation that requires "stealth" can be bypassed using other things - say you encounter a situation where you need to steal the macguffin from a royal vault: did you just kill that ogre that has been threatening the kingdom, and asked for the macguffin as a reward for your heroism? Did you just heal the king's disease and received the macguffin as a gift? Did you diplomacy your way into the king's favor or bluffed the king into it? Did you just smash the entirety of the

    You can easily railroad something like "stealth" as absolutely mandatory for a campaign, but then again, I can easily railroad something like "combat with a flying, mind-affecting immune beastie" as an impossible situation for a beguiler. (Sure, the beguiler can use magic items to overcome this problem, but then again, so could the crusader or warblade.) You can try to bypass him, but if he's a threat to the kingdom and you have to kill him? The almighty, versatile T3 beguiler is now pretty helpless. A rogue is similarly disadvantaged against a pretty huge array of creatures. Sure, you can compensate for everything with wealth, but magic items throws all arguments of balance out as a monk who maxed UMD and has enough UMD boosters can, with a magic mart, do everything under the sun as well.

    The core of our disagreement, I think, is the weight that you're giving to stuff like hide/move silently and forgery/disguise. Are they useful? Certainly. However, you think of them as vital as the agglomeration of things you call "combat", while I argue that they are simply a tool to a means. If you want something dead, you might approach that thing with fire, or a sword, or negative levels, or with an army of minions, or by finding that cupcake-shaped Achilles Heel and sticking in the +5 cupcakes of villain slaying. If you want an item behind the evil beastie, you can sneak past him, or you can try applying diplomacy, or you can blow the heck out of the thing with a maneuver. If an anti-magic field is ruining your plans, you can use more conventional means, or IHS the anti-magic field away and re-enable all of your options.

    The crux of the argument being, a lot of the things you call "combat" can be applied to more general situations and give the very classes you're saying are "combat-only" a way to handle most situations. They won't handle everything with ease, true, but no T3 class should handle everything with ease. "Being useful in other situations" might mean that the crusader is using diplomacy to inspire troops while the rogue is infiltrating the enemy to prepare for a war. It might mean that the crusader is showing his might and getting the king to trust his skills enough to let him lead his soldiers. It does not extend to "solving all problems direct with a single roll of the dice."

    The rogue T3/T4 argument also depends significantly on how much you value combat. If you think each individual (or each important) skill is as important as combat as a whole (or a significant part of combat), or if you think adding disguise and bluff makes a rogue that much better at versatility, you might weigh "skill points" as being much more important. I personally believe what you dismissed as "combat" to be itself a multi-faceted versatility; a good number of situations can be solved by brute force if you have enough firepower, and the crusader has a good arsenal of weapons while the rogue has a dagger and must depend on magic items to contribute adequately to many combat situations. In other words, the rogue is very poor at combat, which hurts it more than not having move silently or spot does for the ToB classes.

    Basically, "if you give the monk invisibility, detect magic, and silence 2/day, does it suddenly make him tier 3"? I would say no even according to the tier guidelines, and you may choose to read it differently. Stealth isn't an entire distinct area; it's a sub-function - the number of times where combat would solve a problem should be, by D&D, much greater than the number of times where stealth would solve a problem (counting overlaps as ties).

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    1: Mountain Hammer vs Door is combat, because the rules it uses are the Hardness rules for combat. Barring the fact that Hardness is linked into HP (which only recently got errata'd out), anyone with a Pickaxe, Axe (if wood), or Hammer can beat their way through a wall. Open Lock/Disable Device are skill checks.
    Using combat mechanics does not make something in combat. If that were the case you could claim that everything is combat since they use standard, move, and full-round actions which all only come into play in combat.

    Out of combat is a situation not the use or lack thereof of a mechanic.

    2: The point is, if rogue's Skillchimp hood isnt good enough to be said that it makes them "T3", then the tier system is not following the rules it set out. Skills themselves being built badly doesnt change that, and you cant say "But i have Diplomacy, the second most powerful skill" to say that your class belongs in T3.
    Rogue isn't Tier 3 because it's skillchimp hood makes it just average at a whole bunch of things, but not great at anything. It can be said of the Rogue that it is passable in every single situation, but not the best. Martial classes are better in combat by a wide margin. In the ability to pull random crap through skills Factotum beats it. And in being the party face the Bard is just better designed for that niche. In sneaking around you can't beat a Beguiller. But the Rogue can pass at all that without actually being good in one thing without some optimization, and even then with the same amount of optimization the classes listed above are just better at it.

    But the Crusader has one thing it is pretty damn good at, without optimization. Tanking, or if you really want to broaden out the whole category into the binary good in combat or out of combat it is good in combat. Very good.

    In other things, it has a few good tricks that means it isn't useless in other situations. Breaking things is one. Healing is one. Diplomacy is one. Hell, I'm pretty sure it has a stance that technically let's it take 10 on skill checks or something like that, even in stressful situations, and probably more I'm forgetting since I don't remember the last time I played the class.

    So yes it has 1 thing it's really good in. And a bunch of things it's passable in, but not great. That's the definition of Tier 3.

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Are you quite done yet with your "is not" - "is, too" dialogue?

    --

    More on-topic:
    Reading this thread or basically any page that talks about Warblades and Crusaders, you'll find that either class is described as having "the best recovery method". So which is it?

    Well, they are totally different and in part a matter of personal taste. I guess you could write up a kind of "X is the best" in the way that Alignments are described in the PHB.

    Note that the Swordsage is not a contender. ;)

    So let me explore a bit what's good and what's bad about either method:

    Warblade: spend a Swift Action; then either skip a Standard Action or perform an attack -- even a Full Attack will work.
    Why it's good: it's both fast and simple. You refresh almost whenever you want to refresh, even if it's every other round. You can keep spamming your best moves with minimal cooldown.
    Drawbacks: you don't get a lot of readied maneuvers, so you'll have to refresh pretty often, and regular attacks are a bit bland compared to all that maneuver goodness. Also, you can't double move while refreshing.

    Crusader: this one's simple in theory but can get a bit tricky in the details. You simply refresh automatically when all your maneuvers have been granted.
    Why it's good: Read the previous line again. You don't need to do anything, it's automatic and doesn't cost any kind of action. In theory you can never run out.
    Drawbacks: Maneuver assignment is random. It can happen that the maneuver you really really need right now is withheld for up to three rounds. (or up to two with the proper feat.) Also, your maneuvers are kind of "use it or lose it" - if you haven't initiated a maneuver before there's no maneuver left to be granted, it goes back into the stack and may or may not be included in the new deal.
    Lastly, you sort of have to make maneuver cards to keep track of them. Personally I'm not a friend of that, but it's a personal pet peeve.

    On a different note, the Crusader recovery seems to leave some room for misinterpretations. I know of a group whose (otherwise quite D&D-savvy) players honestly believe - or used to believe - that Crusaders just never run out of maneuvers. Their interpretation ran somewhat along the following lines:
    "Every round, a maneuver is granted to you. Any expended maneuver goes back into the stack of withheld maneuvers. Once all your maneuvers have been granted, you can spend a maneuver each round and immediately get it back at the end of the turn. You have all your maneuvers, all the time."

    (In quotes and italics to emphasize that this is _not my opinion_. I explained to one of their players how it didn't work that way, but I don't know if they have corrected their interpretation.)

    So, of course, if the Crusader refresh actually worked like the part in italics, then yes, it would be the best refresh by far. But it doesn't. I don't know if this interpretation is common for some reason, but it's totally not what the rule actually says.

    My verdict: sure, both are good, but since I am convinced that Luck Is The Enemy, I personally definitely prefer the Warblade method.
    Last edited by Firechanter; 2012-10-29 at 07:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Even when you're not Idiot Crusader, the Crusader method can be really exciting. You can flip your card on your turn and go "Greater Divine Surge!? Hextor yes! You're going down!" It leads to some nice moments.
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by Felyndiira View Post
    *Snip*
    You focus too much on combat solutions. The point is, a Rogue can beat the crap out of someone (to an extent), they can sneak around and steal the macguffin, they can (not well) help out the king with his sick daughter.

    Combat is anything where the rules are built out to represent the abstract application of force. (Crusaders beat paladin here, but because they have more varied, less-meta needing options)

    Stealth is the attempt to perform actions without detection. If you need a set of fake IDs, or to get into a space people dont want you do be. (Paladins and Crusaders have no advantage over eachother here)

    Non-Combat Interactions such as the use of paladin as a medical doctor (their class features make them great ones), or the Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive skills, rely on primarily roleplay, but can be supported by class features. (crusaders have Intimidate, but they do not have the ability to use Maneuvers without combat interactions. A Paladin can use remove Disease, Dispel magic, and Lay on Hands outside of/without provoking combat)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    *Snip*
    Actions are a representation of approximate time it takes (as arbitrarily determined by WotC) to do something, not a combat mechanic.


    Except here is the point you are missing: Being able to contribute no matter what (such as a rogue "can" do, but is limited as a result of a horrible in execution skill system) is the Criteria of T3, Not does one thing EXCEPTIONALLY well. Does one thing Exceptionally Well is T4.


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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    @Fire Chanter - I'm not entirely sure they even heard you. They didn't seem to earlier when I said something, either. I was seriously hoping toapat would take a crack at a tier list, given that he thinks the current one is flat out wrong.
    Last edited by RFLS; 2012-10-29 at 07:29 PM.
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by RFLS View Post
    @Fire Chanter - I'm not entirely sure they even heard you. They didn't seem to earlier when I said something, either. I was seriously hoping toapat would take a crack at a tier list, given that he thinks the current one is flat out wrong.
    More like ignores itself to just place some classes in locations as according to how much people love ToB.

    as has been said, Crusader has a higher optimization floor, but what im adding is it isnt as remotely flexible as paladin is.

    Refreshing Debate:

    Warblade can force reset their maneuvers
    Crusader loves its D4, you can potentially go longer, but it is all chance
    Last edited by toapat; 2012-10-29 at 07:35 PM.


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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    Combat is anything where the rules are built out to represent the abstract application of force. (Crusaders beat paladin here, but because they have more varied, less-meta needing options)
    Good to see that you've changed your line on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    Except here is the point you are missing: Being able to contribute no matter what (such as a rogue "can" do, but is limited as a result of a horrible in execution skill system) is the Criteria of T3, Not does one thing EXCEPTIONALLY well. Does one thing Exceptionally Well is T4.
    Mm. Well, let's actually go to the source material, instead of just talking about it.

    Tier 3: Capable of doing one thing quite well, while still being useful when that one thing is inappropriate, or capable of doing all things, but not as well as classes that specialize in that area.
    Emphasis mine.

    Now, of course, you have your argument that Crusaders only excel in combat ... but, as has been stated, they're useful in a variety of other situations, even if they specialize in ones that involve fighting. They have social skills to help out when it's time for talking. They have heals to help out when it's time for healing and it has been graciously pointed out, a Crusader can always just punch the floor in order to heal out of combat (presumably through the power of sick drumbeats). And they have the ability to break things when object-based challenges present themselves. So, to me, that sounds like Crusaders could practically be used to codify Tier 3.
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Crusaders (especially Idiot Crusaders) can also use WRT to double someone else's actions, so if time's of the essence, the Rogue is going to unlock that door or check that trap twice as quickly as they otherwise would.
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    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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    Default Re: Tome of Battle: Which Class?

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    hey have social skills to help out when it's time for talking. They have heals to help out when it's time for healing and it has been graciously pointed out, a Crusader can always just punch the floor in order to heal out of combat (presumably through the power of sick drumbeats). And they have the ability to break things when object-based challenges present themselves. So, to me, that sounds like Crusaders could practically be used to codify Tier 3.
    1: Skills dont count for anyone other then factotum. Rogue would be low Tier 3 if they did.
    2: No, you cant. The ground is not a Creature. Healing, as has been said, is useless because the math of the game does not allow healing to be viable. If the ground is a creature, have fun, you just aggroed a planet.
    3: Saying "oh, but they can break things" is bull, anyone can break things, an Adamantine Pick and Adamantine Axe are pretty cheap if they dont have magical enhancements at later level.


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