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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    If you are playing a real character in a real world, and he doesn't use every tool at his disposal to save the world/save his friends/get paid/whatever his motivations are, then that's unrealistic.
    Every tool at who's disposal? The character or the player? There seems to be some confusion here.

    While certainly DMM: Persist is at the player's disposal, as he can simply leaf through a book and find it there, I can think of many reasons why DMM: Persist would not be at the character's disposal. Maybe he never found the right mentor to teach him that trick. Maybe he's not pious enough for his deity to grant him DMM: Persist. Maybe his deity, in its infinite wisdom, chose to grant him a different feat instead. Maybe he just never figured out how that persisting stuff works. All those things could happen in the real world. In the real world, we have plenty of example of people who lack a certain skill that might have been useful to them, because they just never got around to it. That's realistic.

    In summary, I think you're mistaken on the whole player-vs-character issue, and your appeal to realism makes no sense.

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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Read the post I am responding to. It is quoted in the post I posted.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    I asked my player to not cheese me with Polymorph. He laughed and said "that's a reasonable request" and then proceeded to cast the other spells he knew. He busted out Polymorph only when I had overestimated an encounter and the party needed saving. I think the trick about being a WIZARD is that you're a WIZARD. There are other things he can do well that highlight the party's strengths, too. I mean, I can understand that you're player is playing a gish and he wants to mix it up in combat with the rest of them, but he doesn't have to pull out a howitzer to deal with a mouse, right? I find that talking with players is usually the best choice. He can say stuff like "his character wouldn't do that" but that sort of takes away from the fact that you're playing a cooperative game and you aren't ACTUALLY your character. That's not an excuse for the actual person not to have sense and social tact enough to come to a reasonable compromise, given how much system mastery he has. I'm all for getting in character, but one person's immersion is at the expense of the majority's and that's not correct either.

    A mechanical solution would just be to use more magic against him. Mirror image, concealment, and mundane things like situations where he can't just ubercharge, like in cramped and winding halls, and defenseive measures like Elusive Target. Or throw more money and magical gear on the other members of the party and make them benefit from the wizard's explots, too. It's clear that one player is schewing the actual APL, so just buff all the other players to reach the new APL and throw more challenging encounters at them. It may be a sloppy solution, but to be fair, the scenario isn't the cleanest either when different people are getting different things from a collective experience.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    The gish in question has had access to polymooph for about 3-4 sessions already. He surprised me when he used it stating that particular troll. Should've looked into the creature more closely- mea culpa. In the encounters that have followed, the party has been either killed or knocked heavy into the negatives. I can take the gish down, yes. Any PC can be taken down: Dispel Magic all his buffs + a dimensional anchor at the end to keep him from abrupt jaunting and you have a glass cannon waiting to break, meanwhile, the party gets butchered.

    I like the insane aspect of the polymorph, and will likely apply it. Naturally, the player will argue against it because it is not in the spell's description, but it will hopefully see a lesser use of it. That, or call him aside and ask him to select a new form pending DM approval.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    I'm personally a fan of boosting your caster level and going Kelvezu. You end up with the potential to do damage if you need it while still having a good buff to your defense. You can still gish, but standard rogue shutdowns stop you. Might be an option to point out other forms like that instead of bladerager.
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Kelvezu is a nice monster to polymorph into. In the case of this gish, who weilds a falchion, does pounce apply to the weapon when he charges in his bladerager form? I know it applies to the monster's natural attacks (claws, in the case of the troll), but it never hurts to check. I'm guessing he does get a full attack with his blade on a charge, however.

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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    I'm going to chime in with another vote for remove polymorph from the equation.

    With most spells and combos there's a weakness in them somewhere, but polymorph always has an answer if you know your MM's well enough.

    The player's shown that he can't be trusted not to abuse the spell, so take it away.

    Messing around with adding houserules to the spell to make it unpleasant to use is just a passive-aggressive way of doing the same thing. Don't be passive-aggressive, just remove the spell.

    (The above assumes you've already asked the player to cut it out, and he's ignored that request.)
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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Indeed. I allowed the 5 MM. Mostly for encounter variety. Little did I know the gish would immediately choose that troll for his battleform. I will announce next session that that book is out and ask anyone wishing to cast polymorph to run the creature by me first. Either that, or ban polymorph completely.

    Cue in drama.

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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanBruce View Post
    Indeed. I allowed the 5 MM. Mostly for encounter variety. Little did I know the gish would immediately choose that troll for his battleform. I will announce next session that that book is out and ask anyone wishing to cast polymorph to run the creature by me first. Either that, or ban polymorph completely.

    Cue in drama.
    ........

    A player is abusing polymorph, so you're going to nerf yourself by removing an entire book of possible encounters instead of nerfing the player by simply banning a spell that's well known for being a problematic spell?

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    Kelb, recently it looks like you're the Avatar of Reason in these forums, man.
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    A valid point. It's just difficult to have to pull rule 0, especially when the player has been enjoying such trick for awhile.

    Will have to ban the spell, most probably.

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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanBruce View Post
    A valid point. It's just difficult to have to pull rule 0, especially when the player has been enjoying such trick for awhile.
    Well, if you ban the MM5, said player will go look for another powerful monster form to use. There are, as has been pointed out, quite a few.
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Another valid point. My game allows MM I-V. And I know there's a bunch of nasty stuff in there. I thought PH2 had an alternate rule for Polymorph.

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanBruce View Post
    Another valid point. My game allows MM I-V. And I know there's a bunch of nasty stuff in there. I thought PH2 had an alternate rule for Polymorph.
    Well, there's the Polymorph Subschool, which created a bunch of alternate spells that are much more controlled ways to do shapechanging.. but while Polymorph is a Polymorph Subschool spell, the Subschool rules specifically do not change how the PHB shapechanging spells work. So it doesn't really fix anything there..

    What you *could* do is tell him Polymorph is now banned, but he can choose to exchange it for perhaps a number of Polymorph Subschool spells (I know trollform is one of them, although it's the basic MM Troll) and if he wants another specific form you'll let him research that particular spell.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Honestly, I'd advise against banning/nerfing the spell straight, and suggest having an honest chat with the player first.

    The thing is he obviously is much better at optimizing than the rest of a party (if a full druid gets to be seriously outshined by a gish with 2 lost CL that hints at a pretty big mechanical skill difference) and sees nothing wrong with completely dominating encounters(otherwise he wouldn't be doing it). So if you're going to ban his favorite encounter dominating trick without making him understand that what he does is making the game worse, odds are he's perfectly able and willing to find another equally powerful encounter dominating trick(the main strength of wizards is that they have tons of extremely powerful tricks).


    Quote Originally Posted by Zdrak View Post
    While certainly DMM: Persist is at the player's disposal, as he can simply leaf through a book and find it there, I can think of many reasons why DMM: Persist would not be at the character's disposal. Maybe he never found the right mentor to teach him that trick. Maybe he's not pious enough for his deity to grant him DMM: Persist. Maybe his deity, in its infinite wisdom, chose to grant him a different feat instead. Maybe he just never figured out how that persisting stuff works. All those things could happen in the real world. In the real world, we have plenty of example of people who lack a certain skill that might have been useful to them, because they just never got around to it. That's realistic.
    On the other hand think something like a wizard: with maxed knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft he probably has at least a general idea what most spells ever discovered do and he can learn any of them at level up (and whenever he finds a scroll). Also, wizards tend to be quite smart as well. So I'd expect most wizards would be able to put two and two together and understand sooner or later that BFC and open ended effects (aka God wizard) are vastly superior to blasting. Hell, the optimization community has realized that in a couple of years with Int scores way below 18 on average.

    Now, you have a wizard who understands playing God is the most expedient and safe way to achieve his goals, and this wizard and his companions get routinely put into life and death situations. Assuming he somewhat cares about his companions, what in-character justification he would have not to employ the best tactics at his disposal? Not doing so would put both him and his companions at greater risk of injury and even death and, assuming he means well for them, he probably wouldn't want that.
    Last edited by LordBlades; 2012-10-31 at 12:13 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    His spells are self buffs. He does enjoy the good fight, and loves taunting and picking up fights with the bosses (tossing an ice lance at the captain of an invading army is usually not the best course for negotiations), to the party's chagrin. His most commonly spells are:

    Blink

    Polymorph

    Wraithstrike

    Create Magic Tattoo

    With those, he wages into combat. Yes, I have knocked him down a few times, but if we compare the times he hits the floor vs. his party members, the difference is abyssmal. The other members are the full progression druid (using the PHB2 variant), a ranger, and a clr1/monk6/sacred fist 2.

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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Well, if you look at the tiers, you have a ranger (t4), a shapeshift druid (still technically tier 1, but it gives up both wildshape and animal companion, the two strongest combat abilities of the druid class), and a monk (with three levels of cleric all up.. still basically just a monk. t5) with a fully classed wizard (tier 1).

    And from their class choices, i'm guessing most of the rest of the party has put their feats into stuff like Endurance and Animal Affinity and whatever- feats that are relatively low op instead of stuff that would help them keep up with a tier 1 character.


    As a note, a Gish should be using those spells, and more than that. He is currently playing a weak wizard archetype (gish) and he's doing it without the full complement of spells he could be using. So he's essentially nowhere near as bad as it could be, the problem is that instead of being in the rear using BFC where people can ignore the fact he never dies, he's in the front row dodging bullets where people can't ignore the fact that he never dies.


    If you think he's too powerful for the group, there's a number of ways to fix that, from giving stuff to the other players to compensate, to banning the most (ab)used wizard spells, to asking him to take a PrC that gives him something thematically cool while toning down his casting.

    But yeah, most of the problem is that polymorph is wtf. Don't use it as written. In an earlier post I set some basic caps on what it can do, which makes it strong for a 4th level spell but still balanced.

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanBruce View Post
    His spells are self buffs. He does enjoy the good fight, and loves taunting and picking up fights with the bosses (tossing an ice lance at the captain of an invading army is usually not the best course for negotiations), to the party's chagrin. His most commonly spells are:

    Blink

    Polymorph

    Wraithstrike

    Create Magic Tattoo

    With those, he wages into combat. Yes, I have knocked him down a few times, but if we compare the times he hits the floor vs. his party members, the difference is abysmal. The other members are the full progression druid (using the PHB2 variant), a ranger, and a clr1/monk6/sacred fist 2.
    That's quite a tough situation. If this guy doesn't moderate himself heavily, there is simply nothing anyone but the druid can do in order not to be completely outclassed. He simply has a way better char, plain and simple.

    Probably the best bet is taking him aside and explaining he's not making the game enjoyable for you (and other players), and either ask him to tone it down (a lot) or allow him to rebuild his character as something with similar feel but much less power like a Duskblade, Hexblade, Suel Arcanamach or the like (from my personal experience most players are more open toward fully rebuilding their char rather than having to self-nerf/seeing it nerfed beyond any recognition).

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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Be a right shame if some Dispel Spam happened to him...
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Quote Originally Posted by LordBlades View Post
    So I'd expect most wizards would be able to put two and two together and understand sooner or later that BFC and open ended effects (aka God wizard) are vastly superior to blasting.
    A wizard, in-game, cannot determine 'Oh, he has a wisdom of 24, and is a cleric/favored soul multiclass, so he has only a 8% chance of being effected by my dominate person' unless the setting is very entertainingly Order of the Stick-like. I'm sure our physicists would be estatic if they could, in fact, open a handy book, pour over some quick math, and objectively explain a black hole. :P

    (He could get 'mages who aren't clerics or druids or several multiclasses or variable or other variable or third variable tend to have strong minds and low fortitudes', which can be itself easily broken with a bit of evidence going the ohter way)

    Thus, the evidence a given character - or even quite a few characters - see would change and be colored heavily by other factors. Even excluding the 'My school is best here's why' (which would likely be quite a few wizards or they wouldn't have specialized there, and thus throws a lot of things off), you get scenarios where:

    "Look, there were 10 kobolds there. I threw down a solid fog; but I didn't realize one of the kobolds was a low level caster themselves and they negated my whole effort, in which all of them literally died to a fireball."

    Now, because we can stare at game mechanics, we can determine that 'Only that one kobold could have solved the solid fog - it was actually a very good solution, and if the wizard had had a second one it would've been useful'. But from the wizard's point of view, it was, "Hey, Fireball sure seemed effective. I still don't like it, though, that's why I banned evocation."

    And that's ignoring level specific things - toughness is an awesome feat if you are level one, to the point where it's rough to argue that a level 1 d4HD guy wouldn't take 'doubles my survivability'.

    It also ignores, say, campaign settings where... let's say everyone was a batman-style wizard. Then, 20 years ago, a plucky group of adventurers went out to save the world from X or Y. They had with them a half-elven warmage who was upset at the whole batman-style wizard thing and out to prove them wrong, and said very popular by the end of the game warmage helped his party take out I dunno Lloth, while becoming a hero to people everywhere and a beacon that brought the human and elven people together. Lots of people would hop on the evocation bandwagon.

    In that setting, 'most wizards' would probably blow up stuff with evocations.

    And finally, like... people are pretty notoriously lazy. Maybe it's easier to pick up necromancy than abjuration. Or maybe it's the same effort, but it's portrayed as being easier and thus budding apprentices are encouraged to go with I dunno enchantment over illusion. Or maybe that apprentice really just wanted to make that girl he likes fall in love with him and went enchantment for that reason, then got swept up in this save the world nonsense. Or maybe after countless studies, the warmage academy made by that half-elf who stopped lost is by far the most effective group at solving the planar invasions that happened afterwards. Or...
    Last edited by Kantolin; 2012-10-31 at 11:17 AM.
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Quote Originally Posted by Kantolin View Post
    "Hey, Fireball sure seemed effective. I still don't like it, though, that's why I banned evocation."
    I don't think there's an ingame equivalent to banning a magic school. I mean, I'm an electrical engineer with no knowledge in mechanical engineering, but I didn't ban the mechanical school of engineering, I just never got around to studying it.

    Ingame, a character would probably say he "could never figure out those Fireball incantations", or "never got around to learning it because I was busy with other stuff" or "allergic to bat guano" or something like that.

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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Quote Originally Posted by Zdrak View Post
    I don't think there's an ingame equivalent to banning a magic school. I mean, I'm an electrical engineer with no knowledge in mechanical engineering, but I didn't ban the mechanical school of engineering, I just never got around to studying it.
    Haha, that's true. ^_^

    Although the one possible common exception is necromancy - a lot of people who ban it ban it 'because they refuse to learn dark/evil magic'. So that might be one example where someone would consciously ban something and not just 'didn't have time to work on it as I was too busy focusing to be an illusionist or sommat'.

    But yeah, that is true.
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    I would say Dispel, throw some dopplegangers at him, no persist on the wraithstrike, so he runs out of slots, or focus on stopping him from moving. Solid fog takes him out, as he can't see, so no jaunting, and it takes several rounds for him to escape. He can d-door/teleport, but you can fog again. after you do this, you could suggest that he tone it down a bit, to give the others a chance...
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    An amusing counter to Blink is to throw in the occasional wandering monster on the ethereal plane. Not one to over do.
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Quote Originally Posted by Kantolin View Post
    A wizard, in-game, cannot determine 'Oh, he has a wisdom of 24, and is a cleric/favored soul multiclass, so he has only a 8% chance of being effected by my dominate person' unless the setting is very entertainingly Order of the Stick-like. I'm sure our physicists would be estatic if they could, in fact, open a handy book, pour over some quick math, and objectively explain a black hole. :P

    (He could get 'mages who aren't clerics or druids or several multiclasses or variable or other variable or third variable tend to have strong minds and low fortitudes', which can be itself easily broken with a bit of evidence going the ohter way)

    Thus, the evidence a given character - or even quite a few characters - see would change and be colored heavily by other factors. Even excluding the 'My school is best here's why' (which would likely be quite a few wizards or they wouldn't have specialized there, and thus throws a lot of things off), you get scenarios where:

    "Look, there were 10 kobolds there. I threw down a solid fog; but I didn't realize one of the kobolds was a low level caster themselves and they negated my whole effort, in which all of them literally died to a fireball."

    Now, because we can stare at game mechanics, we can determine that 'Only that one kobold could have solved the solid fog - it was actually a very good solution, and if the wizard had had a second one it would've been useful'. But from the wizard's point of view, it was, "Hey, Fireball sure seemed effective. I still don't like it, though, that's why I banned evocation."
    Even without full access to the game mechanics, simple conclusions along the lines of :
    a) people are largely unhindered by wounds, they perform just as well until they drop dead.
    b) a spell that deals damage will therefore incapacitate an opponent only if it kills him/her
    c)most spells that deal damage are unable to kill a tough opponent in a single casting
    d) a spell that directly incapacitates an opponent has a pretty good chance of taking him/her out of the fight in a single casting.
    a+b+c+d=incapacitating spells are a superior choice to damage.

    Also, if wizards are at least 10% as inquisitive as real life scientists, I'd expect quite a lot of game mechanics to be known in setting. I mean stuff like HD (see the ton of spells that reference HDs and that simply wouldn't work without them existing as an in-game notion), DCs(I'd totally see a wizard doing experiments with harmless save or lose spells like sleep on subjects with or without int-boosting stuff on for example).



    Quote Originally Posted by Kantolin View Post
    It also ignores, say, campaign settings where... let's say everyone was a batman-style wizard. Then, 20 years ago, a plucky group of adventurers went out to save the world from X or Y. They had with them a half-elven warmage who was upset at the whole batman-style wizard thing and out to prove them wrong, and said very popular by the end of the game warmage helped his party take out I dunno Lloth, while becoming a hero to people everywhere and a beacon that brought the human and elven people together. Lots of people would hop on the evocation bandwagon.
    I'm assuming a functional world, not one where stuff hangs in the air waiting for the PCs to save the day. If the problem the warmage is solving was of any significance, a wizard would be a lot better prepared to both know about it and solve it before the warmage has finished walking to where he needs to go to solve it. If the warmage got to it, it will only be because the Batman wizards consider it not worth their attention and resources.



    Quote Originally Posted by Kantolin View Post
    And finally, like... people are pretty notoriously lazy. Maybe it's easier to pick up necromancy than abjuration. Or maybe it's the same effort, but it's portrayed as being easier and thus budding apprentices are encouraged to go with I dunno enchantment over illusion. Or maybe that apprentice really just wanted to make that girl he likes fall in love with him and went enchantment for that reason, then got swept up in this save the world nonsense. Or maybe after countless studies, the warmage academy made by that half-elf who stopped lost is by far the most effective group at solving the planar invasions that happened afterwards. Or...
    I'm talking average, not exception, and people, on average, will gravitate toward efficiency.

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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Evokers are good at some stuff. Like if you want to kill a whole bunch of little dudes.

    There would be evokers. It'd just be a specialized role in wizardry, like there are lots of dentists but relatively few who specialize in treating one specific kind of tooth ailment.

    Given the real world examples of 'who wants to be a doctor/lawyer', it's pretty ridiculous to say that humans are incapable of working out the most successful path to their goals.

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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    A & B (And depending on optimization and enemy, C) are in fact true. now:

    Quote Originally Posted by LordBlades View Post
    d) a spell that directly incapacitates an opponent has a pretty good chance of taking him/her out of the fight in a single casting.

    (....)

    Also, if wizards are at least 10% as inquisitive as real life scientists, I'd expect quite a lot of game mechanics to be known in setting. I mean stuff like HD (see the ton of spells that reference HDs and that simply wouldn't work without them existing as an in-game notion), DCs(I'd totally see a wizard doing experiments with harmless save or lose spells like sleep on subjects with or without int-boosting stuff on for example).
    This one is the one I have trouble with.

    You can take a thousand experiments with farmer joe and come the conclusion that your spells have a 85% chance of putting him to sleep, and then discover it's a 75% vs Farmer John, and a 95% chance vs Farmer Jane. Now, you know these three guys, so after some experimentation it makes sense to you - Farmer John is by far the most wise, while Farmer Jane is a dunce.

    You then step into a dungeon and fight a kobold. Is this Farmer John? Farmer Joe? Farmer Jane? Every other kobold you've fought has had a will save significantly worse than Farmer Jane's. This one, however, took iron will/steadfast determination and has a surprisingly high wisdom(/con), so the wizard's odds are actually only like a 25%, but he doesn't know that - he's just informed it doesn't work. Or, potentially worse, he gets lucky and his 25% succeeds, resulting in it failing him later when he's now relatively certain it will work. Or, after a lot of 25% kobolds, he then starts running into 95% kobolds but is not informed about this.

    I mean, this doesn't mean 'They are incapable of coming to the conclusion that save or lose is better than damage', but it does mean it's perfectly feasible to not come to that conclusion, especially with every other potential error involved. I mean, there are far more effective keyboard layouts for faster typing, but everyone's used to qwerty typewriter keyboards, so it kinda stays that way. You know there's gonna be the, "But when I was facing off against those 30 kobolds, one metamagiced fireball took them all out in one blast - and nevermind when I blew up the Lich of the North Wind while he had me make a fortitude save, not knowing that I'd taken three feats and a class feature specifically to make my fort save amazing."

    Then depending on the setting, those examples can /easily/ become the more common result. The result doesn't /have/ to be 'Anyone who does damage is an idiot', it just has the option of being.

    (And this all ignores high-optimized damage builds, scattered immunities

    I'm assuming a functional world, not one where stuff hangs in the air waiting for the PCs to save the day. If the problem the warmage is solving was of any significance, a wizard would be a lot better prepared to both know about it and solve it before the warmage has finished walking to where he needs to go to solve it. If the warmage got to it, it will only be because the Batman wizards consider it not worth their attention and resources.
    You mean a wizard 'could' be a lot better prepared, and if a warmage got to it, it 'could' be because the Batman wizards consider it not worth their attention.

    I mean, if nothing else, nothing says the wizards were all cooperating with each other. There are a lot of reasons why people who could be helping aren't in many circumstances, and these reasons do not automatically have something to do with PCs.

    I mean, I said '20 years ago, a plucky group of adventurers'. That sounds like NPC backstory to the current game more than PCs that the world is based around. :P

    (And regardless of why it happened, that'd result in a heck of a lot more warmages anyway - so the sequestered 'I don't care' mages would end up dying out or liching, since I want to be like that guy. And then well... they might not even /care/ about that.)

    I'm talking average, not exception, and people, on average, will gravitate toward efficiency.
    Maybe you have different presumptions than I do. I expect your average person to gravitate towards the easy. Most people will take a windy mountain path rather than try to straight-climb the mountain, after all.

    ~
    Edit: Although that'd be a funny conversation. Batman wizard realizes 'Hey, I'm getting old' and decides to go find an apprentice as none of the other batman wizards care either. Goes and finds a kid, who's like, "Wha? I don't wanna be like you, you're boring and selfish. I wanna be like that guy, he saved the world."

    And amidst trying to convince the kid otherwise, he could even go try to duel the warmage... except now that warmage is quite epic while the batman wizard is nowhere near so.

    Edit2: So the batman wizard kidnaps the kid to try to hold onto him long enough to obtain programmed amnesia or similar spells, resulting in his now distraught family seeking whatever aid they could muster, resulting in yet another plucky group of adventures showing up, resulting in another slightly higher level batman wizard seeing the first one's demise as a threat to his way of life and thus stepping in to help, while a third shrugs at this whole 'apprentice' nonsense and becomes a Lich before discovering that it horribly changes your mindset so he's not at all what he once was, resulting in what actually sounds like a kinda cool campaign setting!
    Last edited by Kantolin; 2012-10-31 at 02:12 PM.
    Beginnings usually happen over trifles... even if it's a coincidence...

    ~ Final Fantasy Tactics

  27. - Top - End - #57
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Quote Originally Posted by LordBlades View Post
    On the other hand think something like a wizard: with maxed knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft he probably has at least a general idea what most spells ever discovered do and he can learn any of them at level up (and whenever he finds a scroll). Also, wizards tend to be quite smart as well. So I'd expect most wizards would be able to put two and two together and understand sooner or later that BFC and open ended effects (aka God wizard) are vastly superior to blasting.
    Well, you may think so, but a simple observation of that wonderful phenomenon we call Real Life (TM) shows otherwise. We can easily find a lot of people who are very smart, yet are working in a sub-par profession, have made subpar life choices, just because they either feel like it, or never got around to do the other stuff.

    Yes, if you want to optimize, you can always find an in-character justification for having this specific spell or that specific PrC. And on the other hand, if you want to play an exceptionally smart wizard who has a bit subpar choices of spells and PrCs, you can find in-character justification for that too. Maybe he just never got around to learning that particular tactic. Maybe he didn't have the right mentor in the academy. Maybe he has instictive fear of aberrations, and doesn't want to cast any spells that create tentacles. And it is realistic, because in real life, it happens. In real life, people avoid lucrative careers because that type of career or education don't feel right for them.

    In-character justification can be found for pretty much everything. But honestly, feats and PrC and mechanical builds are never about character's choices. It would be foolish to claim they are. Those are player choices. The in-character justification just covers the player's desires.

    Which is not necessarily a bad thing. I'm just opposed to the type of argument that says, "hey, it's not me optimizing, it's my character!"

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Quote Originally Posted by Zdrak View Post
    Well, you may think so, but a simple observation of that wonderful phenomenon we call Real Life (TM) shows otherwise. We can easily find a lot of people who are very smart, yet are working in a sub-par profession, have made subpar life choices, just because they either feel like it, or never got around to do the other stuff.

    [...]

    Which is not necessarily a bad thing. I'm just opposed to the type of argument that says, "hey, it's not me optimizing, it's my character!"
    I'm sorry, but there are only so many doctor and lawyer jobs/degrees that they hand out to the world at large - and there is incredibly fierce competition for those degrees/jobs.

    I know people who have spent every minute of every day doing things to be more the ideal doctor/lawyer/politician/[other thing they see as optimal].

    Yeah, there are 13 int wizards who specialize in force spells.

    And 24 int wizards who just are fascinated with summoning.

    But the fact of the matter is, if something works better, or achieves [better] results by some set of universally admired standards, people will work super hard to get it. Being a wizard is probably seen as prestigious in a world with magic (barring prejudice or whatever), and inside wizardry there will be all the normal human politics and crap about which discipline of wizardry and what techniques are better, but at the end of the day certain disciplines of wizardry/jobs earn more money/slay monsters better. And so the more clued in, smarter apprentice wizards will study that. And some of them will get it wrong. And others will just be obsessed with something else. And some of them will settle for being sub-par because their girlfriend left them and their self-esteem has been shattered forever. And some will take safe jobs being an evoker for the town guard because they have a family now. But at the absolute cutting bleeding edge of the top tier companies(i.e. ADVENTURERS), you won't find those people. You will find the people who found and pursued the most effective course. Because those people are the ones that became the high powered lawyers/god wizards, and all the rest of the people who didn't are doing crappy jobs/dead.

    So you could expect a decent portion of non-dead adventuring wizards to be using effective spells and effective classes and effective feats. It's not about 'wanting' to optimize and 'justifying' it. It's about whether you think high powered corporate lawyers get paid the big bucks by pure chance or if they tried to become corporate lawyers from the age of 14 and succeeded.

  29. - Top - End - #59
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    I know people who have spent every minute of every day doing things to be more the ideal doctor/lawyer/politician/[other thing they see as optimal].
    Ooh, me too. So!

    We have people who want to be a lawyer, which is being compared to people who want to be a powerful wizard.

    So obviously they're studying for the Uniform Bar Exam - the UBE is best for portability of scores across state lines, after all. There are tons of classes and extra things you can do to help you study for the UBE - a good friend of mine was drowning in that just last year in fact, it's a lot of work!

    Oh wait, that's only in a few states - and not most of the largest legal markets: It doesn't hold in california, DC, New york (Although they're considering it), Florida, and several others. So /obviously/, the best one is the Multistate Bar Examination - the MBE is the best for portability of scores across state lines. They test mostly based on common law and the Uniform Commercial Code, so you have to study those.

    Then there's the Multistate Performance Test - that's good in 33 jurisdiciions of the US, and is really helpful as it's a performance test to mimic real life legal tasks these future lawyers may take. Or in California, you get a test far more difficult than the MPT but it's not useful anywhere else and it's up in the air if it's 'better' or 'worse'.

    Then for a case you might want someone may ask, "So who did you take your one year apprenticeship under?" in which you go 'Wha?', and someone else responds 'Sorry, you didn't write in legal subject and have it discussed by a committee', in which someone else asks, 'How about your nine month pupilage?' "Did you get your three year apprenticeship after the meester title?" and all of these ways are objectively and unarguably 'best' and any one who argues against them is an idiot despite not synchronizing with each other... so uh, you decide to go with the one that works near where you live (or where you want to live) instead. And later you might decide you don't care anymore about this crap and want to swap to enchantment since illusion keeps failing you Move to Fiji; you somewhere in there got your bachelors of law anyway. (But little did you know that it /isn't/ actually easier in Fiji!)

    Now, I am aware that there are holes in this particular comparison. :P It's just meant to point out 'There are a lot of routes people take to be practicing lawyers or powerful wizards'. And I mean, this excludes the people who say 'screw law school', study law on their own, pass the bar, and become lawyers (Which works in quite a few states). Or the people that, once they finally become lawyers, are poor lawyers in general or apathetically just use it to pick up paychecks. Or those who disadvantage themselves for moral or ethical or familial or whatever reasons and end up making sub-par options based on that. Or the people who are really really smart, great at law, and end up being teachers despite teaching having terrible pay and being exceptionally stressful.

    Now, a wizard can totally decide 'The best wizards use battlefield control spells' and go do that. I'm totally not saying that's not allowed - a highly optimized wizard can in fact make sense. It's just that it's not unreasonable - or even out of the ordinary - to presume that a or even most wizards can decide, 'The best wizards blow up stuff' and go do that. This is especially setting specific - if the setting is composed primairly of level 20 battlefield control wizards who control the populace, then everyone probably sees that as the best option (Or perhaps the weapon of the regime). If the setting is composed primarily of level 20 blaster mages, then everyone probably sees that as the best option (Or, again, rebels against it). If the setting has extremely rare spellcasters and you'll never see one, then people will pick spells based on what has specifically been useful to them in the recent past (Hey, we tend to fight a lot of groups with low reflex saves! Hey, we tend to fight single enemies with terrible fort saves! Dangit, everything everywhere has spell resistance! Nothing we've fought /yet/ has been immune to mind affecting or had a good will save!)... or possibly, your spellcaster will use whatever his mentor used (My grandfather used his ice magic to save the town when it was attacked by red dragons, so I always wanted to be an ice mage just like him) (Sure he was evil, but did you see the way Mindmaster Cerebremancer Nancy managed to control like half the continent before his plans went awry? Now /that's/ power!).

    (And really, the highest level adventurers probably 'have friends' and 'are lucky' moreso than use any particular tactic in combat.)
    Last edited by Kantolin; 2012-10-31 at 03:46 PM.
    Beginnings usually happen over trifles... even if it's a coincidence...

    ~ Final Fantasy Tactics

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Regarding Wraithstrike

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    It's about whether you think high powered corporate lawyers get paid the big bucks by pure chance or if they tried to become corporate lawyers from the age of 14 and succeeded.
    Uhm, both!? They tried to become corporate lawyer and succeeded, however it is by mere chance that they decided to. Many equally talented people either never got around to trying, or decided they are more interested in trying something else, or tried but failed due to various life circumstances that have nothing to do with innate talent or work.

    Yeah, there are 13 int wizards who specialize in force spells.

    And 24 int wizards who just are fascinated with summoning.
    And Int 13 wizards who are fascinated with summoning.
    And Int 24 wizards who specialize in force spells.
    And everything in between. Just like in .... wait for it ... wait for it ... the real world.
    Last edited by Zdrak; 2012-10-31 at 03:39 PM.

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