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    Default Re: Core only Bard

    All of SRD also means the Spelltouched feats are available. Some can be decent, many are at least amusing.

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    Your DM isn't doing class skills?

    Well.

    Get exactly 5 Ranks of Balance (so you aren't flat footed when balancing on your Grease).
    Get at least 5 ranks of Concentration, preferably more.
    Get exactly 1 rank of Decipher Script.
    Get at least a Rank in Handle Animal.
    Get exactly a Rank in Sleight of Hand.
    Get at least a Rank in Open Lock and Disable Device.
    Get at least 5 Ranks in Tumble.
    Max Use Magic Device, maybe even Use Psionic Device.
    Get several ranks in Autohypnosis.

    Get at least a rank in every knowledge, including Psionics. Make sure to take several ranks in the monster-identifying knowledge skills: Arcana, Dungeoneering, Local, Nature, Religion, The Planes, Psionics. Take at least a rank in Heal, so you can plausibly say you know about anatomy of any monster ever. "I have studied anatomy of all types of monsters and people, I should know something about anything we see, even if I am just determining its scholarly classification by 'type', by looking at it." Get 5 ranks in Knowledge History to bump your Bardic Lore check.

    Make sure your check on Knowledge Local is trained and +3 by the time you can cast Alter Self, so you know about Troglodytes and Lizardfolk with a Take 10. (13 int [for combat expertise] + 2 ranks = 13 on a Take 10).

    Remember the minimum to know SOMETHING about a creature is a knowledge check of 10+ the hit dice of the creature. You can Take 10 on this check if you have the appropriate skill trained, and are not currently in combat.

    And Knock Down is CRAZY useful.

    With:

    EWP: Spiked Chain
    Combat Expertise
    Improved Trip
    Knock-Down

    and some potions of enlarge person, you can do this:

    1.) Attack enemy with spiked chain
    2.) Deal over 10 damage, get a trip attempt
    3.) As you trip them, get a free attack on them via improved trip
    4.) When they try to stand up, they provoke an attack of opportunity, causing you to hit them...

    Also, learn the Take 10 rules. You CAN use them if there is a risk of failure, even if the failure would cause your death (ie, a climb check to climb a cliff or something). The game does not assume you are trying 10 times when you Take 10; you are just choosing to have an average roll on a skill, in the same amount of time it would take you to normally roll. You can Take 10 any time you aren't distracted by combat stress, or something like high winds or a major thunderstorm. You can't Take 10 on Bardic Lore.

    Get masterwork tools of every skill you consider remotely useful to you.
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2012-11-17 at 02:22 PM.

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    I should note our DM also isn't doing the "you need at least 1 rank to use trained only skills or knowledge skills."

    Also Psionics dont exist. He wont touch them.

    Our DM also loathes take 10s. My one big complaint with him is that he seems to care more about the dice roll than the actual modifier. -_-
    Last edited by Con_Brio1993; 2012-11-17 at 02:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Con_Brio1993 View Post
    I should note our DM also isn't doing the "you need at least 1 rank to use trained only skills or knowledge skills."

    Also Psionics dont exist. He wont touch them.

    Our DM also loathes take 10s. My one big complaint with him is that he seems to care more about the dice roll than the actual modifier. -_-
    Then write down the actual modifiers for things, including the Take 10 rules with page references, and give it as a guide to everyone.

    Google 'Chet Kindredcircle Skills' for some relevant bits. Approach the DM, out of game, while saying you are worrying about how he is handling skills, skill DC's, take 10, aid another, and skill modifiers. Ask him for a list of houserules regarding these things.

    Don't tell him what number comes up on the dice. Tell him the total skill modifier you roll, or you get with Take 10.

    Can you have autohypnosis without psionics? Notably, Stand Still is a GREAT feat for battlefield control if you don't have the total number of feats to go for combat expertise / improved trip / knock-down, and it is a general feat, that happens to be in the Psionic section. By itself, it has nothing to do with Psionics.

    Can he have the psionic weaponry and armor and universal items be magic instead? That adds a significant amount of options to equipment, and there is precedent (that was how Magic Item Compendium did it).
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2012-11-17 at 02:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Can you have autohypnosis without psionics?
    I doubt it. If the skill isn't auto listed on mythweavers, it probably wont be allowed by him.

    edit: Probably nothing from psionics. Whether it be equipment, spells, or whatever.
    Last edited by Con_Brio1993; 2012-11-17 at 02:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Core only Bard

    edited my post previous to yours, double check it.

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    Kobold

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    Stand Still is NOT a Psionic Feat. It just happens to be in the Psionic section. It has nothing to do with psionics, other than the fact that someone decided to print it originally in XPH, and it thus got into the psionics section of the SRD. It is NOT psionic. It's General, and it is a melee feat that a 2 int animal could take!

    So what you are saying is that this ISN'T a Core+SRD game, then? And that there are significant houserules? :|
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2012-11-17 at 02:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Stand Still is NOT a Psionic Feat. It just happens to be in the Psionic section. It has nothing to do with psionics, other than the fact that someone decided to print it originally in XPH, and it thus got into the psionics section of the SRD. It is NOT psionic. It's General, and it is a melee feat that a 2 int animal could take!

    So what you are saying is that this ISN'T a Core+SRD game, then? And that there are significant houserules? :|
    He claims it to be core only, but I think he has a different definition of core.

    Well that's a rather sad thing to discover. I'll see if I can talk to my DM.

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    Default Re: Core only Bard

    I sent you a PM, did you get it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    I sent you a PM, did you get it?
    Yes. I'll talk to my DM.

    I think the reason he doesnt care about the set DC for skills rule is because that makes Diplomacy basically mind control as a free action. So he just makes up his own DCs.

    He also thinks the dice represents luck, and that luck can overcome skill. Which is why he cares so much about the dice roll. In our game a nat 20 on a skill roll is an automatic success no matter what. And a 1 an automatic failure... It's led to at least 1 character death.
    Last edited by Con_Brio1993; 2012-11-17 at 04:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Con_Brio1993 View Post
    Yes. I'll talk to my DM.

    I think the reason he doesnt care about the set DC for skills rule is because that makes Diplomacy basically mind control as a free action. So he just makes up his own DCs.

    He also thinks the dice represents luck, and that luck can overcome skill. Which is why he cares so much about the dice roll. In our game a nat 20 on a skill roll is an automatic success no matter what. And a 1 an automatic failure... It's led to at least 1 character death.
    "I jump to the moon". Try that several times. When you roll a 20, you will succeed. That's why a 20 is not an auto success on a skill, and a 1 is not an auto failure on a skill.

    Also, his fumble rules?

    "Take ten 1st level warriors, in melee with 10 straw dummies (medium inanimate objects, AC5).
    The warriors make their 1 attack per round, for 2 minutes (20 rounds); the dummies make no attacks during this time. If, after 2 minutes of battering straw dummies, any of the warriors are dead or dying then the GM must butter his fumble rules and eat them."
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2012-11-17 at 04:26 PM.

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    It sounds like your GM should have said, "I am running a game that uses a few D&D 3.5e rules to let me play out my power trip fantasies, with a huge amount of house rules, many arbitrary and for no other reason than to encourage chaos at the table and random death, and ignoring various rules at my whim. I am going to call this game Core Only, but that would totally be a lie. No, I won't tell you what rules those are, just make a character, and have a few backup characters, muahahahahah!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    "I jump to the moon". Try that several times. When you roll a 20, you will succeed. That's why a 20 is not an auto success on a skill, and a 1 is not an auto failure on a skill.

    Also, his fumble rules?

    "Take ten 1st level warriors, in melee with 10 straw dummies (medium inanimate objects, AC5).
    The warriors make their 1 attack per round, for 2 minutes (20 rounds); the dummies make no attacks during this time. If, after 2 minutes of battering straw dummies, any of the warriors are dead or dying then the GM must butter his fumble rules and eat them."
    He'd DM veto the jump to the moon thing, but lying to the guard that you are the great great grandson of the BBEG even if you have 0 in bluff will work on a 20 most likely.

    He actually takes a 1 in battle as an automatic miss most of the time. At worst its a dropped weapon, or something that takes 1 round to bounce back from. And planned combat is generally easy enough that it isn't ever a danger.

    The worst thing is skill rolls. The commoner rolls a 20 on his bluff check to tell you to jumping in a volcano is fine? Welp you somehow believe him unless you roll a 20. (He doesnt seem to realize bluffs can suffer penalties for being outlandish.)

    Trying to sneak around and roll a 1 despite having some obscene +14 modifier? Your roll of 15 is treated like a 0 and you end up alerting every guard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    It sounds like your GM should have said, "I am running a game that uses a few D&D 3.5e rules to let me play out my power trip fantasies, with a huge amount of house rules, many arbitrary and for no other reason than to encourage chaos at the table and random death, and ignoring various rules at my whim. I am going to call this game Core Only, but that would totally be a lie. No, I won't tell you what rules those are, just make a character, and have a few backup characters, muahahahahah!"
    In his defense, only 2 characters have died. Everyone else has only gotten into really difficult situations due to dice fails. He tries to avoid death when possible.
    Last edited by Con_Brio1993; 2012-11-17 at 04:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Core only Bard

    So you have pointed out the part of the PHB where it says, "Unlike with attack rolls and saving throws, a natural roll of 20 on the d20 is not an automatic success, and a natural roll of 1 is not an automatic failure." and you've described why that is the case? To enable more predictability and reasonable competence at skills? Along with Take 10?

    http://brilliantgameologists.com/boa...?topic=11034.0 <-- also, that is a guide of ways to scout. Most of the stuff isn't relevant to a core only game, but the stuff on taking 10 IS relevant.

    It sounds like his absurd skill rules is causing him to have to ad hoc ways to keep characters alive... which don't always work. He is causing himself trouble, with these absurdly chaotic and unrealistic and extremely unbalanced and ill-advised skill changes...
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2012-11-17 at 04:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Core only Bard

    http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/...expectations-2 Maybe read that, as well...

    Also, is he rolling confirmation on fumbles and crits on skills, against an appropriate DC?

    Another thread on skill fumbles and crits... http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...php?p=14018199
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2012-11-17 at 04:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    So you have pointed out the part of the PHB where it says, "Unlike with attack rolls and saving throws, a natural roll of 20 on the d20 is not an automatic success, and a natural roll of 1 is not an automatic failure." and you've described why that is the case? To enable more predictability and reasonable competence at skills? Along with Take 10?

    http://brilliantgameologists.com/boa...?topic=11034.0 <-- also, that is a guide of ways to scout. Most of the stuff isn't relevant to a core only game, but the stuff on taking 10 IS relevant.

    It sounds like his absurd skill rules is causing him to have to ad hoc ways to keep characters alive... which don't always work. He is causing himself trouble, with these absurdly chaotic and unrealistic and extremely unbalanced and ill-advised skill changes...
    Yes I have explained that the game does not have crit success or failures on skill rolls. He said he was using a home-rule of crit success so that even the most crazy of plans could succeed with pure luck if we wanted to try them. The critical failure was thrown in to "balance" that.

    I also realize how important taking 10 is. He hates it because it circumvents "luck." And is boring in his opinion.

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    Can you ask him to consider adding confirmation rules on the critical successes and critical failures? For in combat and out? And it's boring for people to be realistically competent at things they are competent at, and would be able to do in real life?? That's what Taking 10 is about -- helping this aspect of the game in simulating real life scenarios, so people don't suck at doing things when not under stress... just like real life!
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2012-11-17 at 05:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Can you ask him to consider adding confirmation rules on the critical successes and critical failures? For in combat and out? And it's boring for people to be realistically competent at things they are competent at, and would be able to do in real life?? That's what Taking 10 is about -- helping this aspect of the game in simulating real life scenarios, so people don't suck at doing things when not under stress... just like real life!
    I did ask him about confirmation, at least for in combat.

    He said in combat he only makes you miss 90% of the time so he wasn't going to do confirmation rules.

    I forgot to ask about skill checks. I imagine he and the other players will reject it, because they don't want to have to reroll successes.

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    Well.... the success would be against, you know. The DC of success anyway. It would just be to switch a success to a fantastic success.

    Did you read the calibrating your expectations thing?

    Basically, it helps cement the idea that if you have a +8 or a +11 or (gasp) a +15 mod on something... you are insanely good at that thing, and the game is meant to let you succeed at that. That's why having a +11 higher on your hide and move silently check than an enemy's spot and listen check basically means, as long as you time your movement and stay in concealment and cover and they don't remove that cover or concealment, you pretty much won't be discovered while stealthing. This is an intentional part of the game! Skills are meant to be powerful, and high modifiers in skills is supposed to be a Really Big Deal!
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2012-11-17 at 05:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Well.... the success would be against, you know. The DC of success anyway. It would just be to switch a success to a fantastic success.

    Did you read the calibrating your expectations thing?

    Basically, it helps cement the idea that if you have a +8 or a +11 or (gasp) a +15 mod on something... you are insanely good at that thing, and the game is meant to let you succeed at that. That's why having a +11 higher on your hide and move silently check than an enemy's spot and listen check basically means, as long as you time your movement and stay in concealment and cover and they don't remove that cover or concealment, you pretty much won't be discovered while stealthing. This is an intentional part of the game! Skills are meant to be powerful, and high modifiers in skills is supposed to be a Really Big Deal!
    Yes I realize this. I think he finds "invincibility" to be boring. "Whats the fun if you have no risk of being discovered?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Con_Brio1993 View Post
    Yes I realize this. I think he finds "invincibility" to be boring. "Whats the fun if you have no risk of being discovered?"
    "There would be risk, of course. Just not from lack of skill or skill checks. Risk from removal of of cover or concealment, due to circumstance or enemy action. Risk from Scent and similar, if I get too close to an animal. Risk from Detect Magic, should someone have that up. Risk from a freak hailstorm making things more difficult. And I wouldn't be able to do it in combat -- it would have to be a scouting mission. And the point is, I invest a huge amount of character skills in being competent -- sometimes superhumanly competent-- at things. Why shouldn't I have a payback from that investment?? Otherwise there is no point at being good at any skill, ever! All you have to do is get to the point where you are 'okay'! Why are you giving a huge nerf to every class that gets 6 skill points a level or higher, or every intelligence-based class? The Wizard, after all, can just cast Silence and Invisibility and Levitate, and do everything I otherwise could do anyway! Or the Druid could change to a Hawk and not care if they get discovered as they fly over things! This is a game where certain characters are supposed to be invulnerable to anything lower level characters can do, or even anything an army of lower level characters can do. That's kinda the point of having levels with such a dramatic increase in overall competency!"
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2012-11-17 at 06:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Core only Bard

    http://antioch.snow-fall.com/files/m...%2031%2011.doc

    Maybe you could read that as well? That's another way to help the GM -- and you -- calibrate your expectations (or at least those the system presents by its numbers) appropriately. Does he understand that level 7 and up characters are Superhero type Superhuman, and are really not supposed to be threatened at all by normal folk? Does he not get that Barbarians of sufficient level surviving falls at Terminal Velocity is a design feature of the game (not a bug!)?? After all, its only 20d6!

    Also, I made a (non-core) level 9 Druid that should be able to solo any size armies of mundane people (of mostly npc classes, mostly Warriors with a few fighters, some Experts, some Adepts, some Aristocrats, maybe some Bards, maybe some Clerics) of levels 4 and under.

    http://www.thetangledweb.net/forums/....php?cid=54924

    A Core Druid could probably do this by level 12, and definitely by level 15.
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2012-11-17 at 06:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    http://antioch.snow-fall.com/files/m...%2031%2011.doc

    Maybe you could read that as well? That's another way to help the GM -- and you -- calibrate your expectations (or at least those the system presents by its numbers) appropriately. Does he understand that level 7 and up characters are Superhero type Superhuman, and are really not supposed to be threatened at all by normal folk? Does he not get that Barbarians of sufficient level surviving falls at Terminal Velocity is a design feature of the game (not a bug!)?? After all, its only 20d6!

    Also, I made a (non-core) level 9 Druid that should be able to solo any size armies of mundane people (of mostly npc classes, mostly Warriors with a few fighters) of levels 4 and under.

    http://www.thetangledweb.net/forums/....php?cid=54924

    A Core Druid could probably do this by level 12, and definitely by level 15.
    Not sure if he understands that. We're all level 3-4 right now.

    And actually, I think almost every NPC is basically leveled in some class. Every random guard outlevels us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Con_Brio1993 View Post
    Not sure if he understands that. We're all level 3-4 right now.

    And actually, I think almost every NPC is basically leveled in some class. Every random guard outlevels us.
    And now we get to another problem of his game. He doesn't understand that there are NPC classes for a reason... and that player characters are supposed to be exceptional?

    In Core+SRD-Psionics, here are the relatively weak/un-versatile base classes:

    Commoner, Expert, Aristocrat, Warrior, Fighter, Monk, Paladin (suitable for npc classes; they are somewhat simple and don't have many options)

    Here are the relatively stronger/versatile/competent classes:

    Adept, Barbarian, Ranger, Rogue, Bard, Sorcerer, Cleric, Druid, Wizard

    Note that the 'actual' NPC classes are Commoner, Expert, Aristocrat, Adept, Warrior.

    Here's a town generator that uses the DMG rules. Unfortunately, those posit an absurdly high amount of high level spellcasters (so his position is defensible, technically):

    http://www.myth-weavers.com/generate_town.php

    There are other, better ways to generate towns, of course...

    I wrote something up here:

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...74&postcount=6

    That you could look at. The idea is to generally, assume that normal folk are under level 6 for the most part, with most folk being levels 1-3 and that 'heroic' classes are absurdly rare. Anyone who is level 7 is Superhuman, and should be treated as such.

    Veterans of an army could be, say, Fighter2/warrior2. Town Guard could be Expert1/Warrior1, or Expert1/Warrior1/Fighter1 (cause you need spot and stuff to be a town guard, right?)

    The King or a major General (perform oratory!) could be a Bard 5 or Aristocrat1/Bard5, perhaps. The Pope-equivalent is a Cloistered Cleric 8, perhaps.
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2012-11-17 at 10:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Core only Bard

    Yeah I'm not sure on all the NPC levels, but my level 3 Druid was trying to sneak into a castle and got swiftly dealt with by 2 royal guards. I was almost one-shotted to death, since they both dealt like 12 or so damage in a single attack.

    They also had high enough reflex saves to get past my Entangle easily.

    Yeah he doesn't understand how rare player classes are. Two other players fought a pimp that turned out to be a level 1 Monk.
    Last edited by Con_Brio1993; 2012-11-17 at 06:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Core only Bard

    Does he know about the non-heroic arrays?

    NPC's should probably have one of these arrays:

    11, 11, 11, 10, 10, 10
    OR
    13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8

    or -very rarely-
    15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8

    Does he know that??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Con_Brio1993 View Post
    Animate rope seems not too great?
    Entangled is a good condition to impose on enemies. Animate Rope is a save vs entagled. However, it's a bit more action-expensive than some other ways, so you'll need to get your monk buddy to throw it, but for a first level spell is not bad. Not as good as Grease, but has other uses besides combat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Does he know about the non-heroic arrays?

    NPC's should probably have one of these arrays:

    11, 11, 11, 10, 10, 10
    OR
    13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8

    or -very rarely-
    15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8

    Does he know that??
    No I don't think so.

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    Default Re: Core only Bard

    It sounds like he hasn't actually read various important parts of the DMG and Mosnter Manual...

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