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    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    My two cents on this.

    Save or Die spells are supposed to keep its effect useful while scaling. A lot of spells end up useless as they dont grow or do so too slowly. Non-damage versions versions of everything from Sleep on up still exist.

    Harm from older editions could reduce the target to 1d4 hit points possibly from a starting values in THOUSANDS. It was meant to be a high risk, high reward. That it was but it also was usually a Clerics one Turn kill combo.

    Toning spells like to actual damage values is much more fair. However that can also make it seem like there are no guaranteed death methods and instead its like a videogame. What happens when you fall into a bottomless hole, say you need a class that can avoid all traps 100percent?
    Or you can get rid of massive scaling Hit Points, and Levels themselves while you're at it.

    But those are two of the sacred cows of D&D.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Or you can get rid of massive scaling Hit Points, and Levels themselves while you're at it.

    But those are two of the sacred cows of D&D.
    So yes, if you stop playing D&D you can avoid the problems. Because if you do so, you're getting rid of the entire system. Which is a rather baby and bathwater solution to a problem that only really exists (in acute form) in a single edition. Neither 4e nor 5e (both of which have scaling HP and levels) suffer from this particular problem. And doing so (especially changing the scaling HP) changes the genre--you no longer have heroic fantasy, you have something much more gritty. Which may be to some people's taste, but it's not to mine.

    Biased comment is biased.
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    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Quite frankly, in 3.5, all sorts of things beat all sorts of other things. Mind blank beats dominate monster and is lower-level. Greater dispel magic has a 50-50 chance to beat epic spells. And if you're objection is seriously that the mundane is too good at his job, that's score 1 for mundanes who actually do stuff.
    The objection is that the mundane is defined as being the best at his job, which is not how those counters work (you remember the thread about "countering hard counters"?). Also, the "hard counter" paradigm geuinely is bad, and should be replaced by something like opposed caster level checks.

    I mean, yeah? As in, yeah the veteran is better at tech than the wizard? It's not like a hang glider with an ego or literally anything remotely explosive are beyond people's capabilities at this point.
    Missing the point. The default setting of D&D doesn't have "hang gliders with an ego". It's a medieval setting, and adding more technology changes the setting. Unless that technology only works for Veterans, in which case we're right back at magic.

    I'm aware that something I don't want to do is possible but that doesn't help me do what I want to do.
    You're missing the point. The claim being made is that extreme skill is a form of magic in the setting. That's how the Bard works. That's how all the core Rogue PrCs work (seriously, they all give you magical powers). That's how it works form the perspective of people in the historic era we're emulating. If you told a medieval guy about a warrior who killed any enemy he fought and could craft devices beyond the worlds greatest craftsmen, he would not say "that seems like something a regular person could achieve by training". He would say "that seems like magic".

    Quote Originally Posted by lesser_minion View Post
    EDIT: We're on the second to last page. Do we want another thread?
    I believe the convention is to let this thread die, wait until someone posts a new thread on a nominally related topic, then rehash the same arguments with a randomly permuted subset of the participants.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    I don't want to use magic. There's your justification for me not using magic.
    Cool. And I don't like the idea of running away from giant monsters. So I don't play at low level. It turns out the entire game does not exist to service you.

    Quote Originally Posted by lesser_minion View Post
    Horrible abilities aren't somehow OK just because some casters also have horrible abilities.
    The thing to understand about Jormengand is that they genuinely think the Truenamer is a well designed class. So when they sit down to write something, they assume that making insane assertions about how abilities "just work" and ignoring all the related rules and precedent is how you are supposed to do things. It should not surprise you at all that a class they wrote is a garbage fire of brokeness because all it's abilities are asserted as "just working". Notably this is not actually how casters work, and is not in any sense necessary to compete with them. finger of death doesn't specifically negate all possible defenses against it. Saying your instant death ability counters "a clause in its stat block explicitly preventing it from being instantly killed" is the kind of think you expect to see out of children playing cops and robbers, not serious efforts at game design. "I have a super death lazer, it goes through your shield! Nuh uh, I have an ultra shield, it stops every kind of lazer even ones that say they go through shields! Nuh uh, I have an omega lazer, it can't be blocked even by things that say they block omega lazers!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    It's almost like people actually gain strength from conviction in real life.
    Consider this ability:

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD, Balor
    Flaming Body (Su): The body of a balor is wreathed in flame. Anyone grappling a balor takes 6d6 points of fire damage each round.
    As written, that is a Supernatural ability. Would you consider an ability with the exact same effect mundane on the basis that "It's almost like people actually have a body temperature in real life."? If not, why is "it's almost like people actually gain strength from conviction in real life" a sufficient explanation?

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    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    So yes, if you stop playing D&D you can avoid the problems. Because if you do so, you're getting rid of the entire system. Which is a rather baby and bathwater solution to a problem that only really exists (in acute form) in a single edition. Neither 4e nor 5e (both of which have scaling HP and levels) suffer from this particular problem. And doing so (especially changing the scaling HP) changes the genre--you no longer have heroic fantasy, you have something much more gritty. Which may be to some people's taste, but it's not to mine.

    Biased comment is biased.
    I'm pretty sure you can have heroic fantasy without massive scaling hit points.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    The Mod Wonder: Oh, look, page 50. May I suggest that those of you who are still into this topic reconvene soon, with some more narrow focuses?
    The Cranky Gamer
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  6. - Top - End - #1476
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    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    I'm pretty sure you can have heroic fantasy without massive scaling hit points.
    Only by significantly toning down the damage progression, and if that dragon doesn't hit much harder than a regular human, that's not what I'd call heroic fantasy.
    -------------------------------
    On a different tack, I decided to compare the class features of 3.5e fighters with 3.5e sorcerers. Fighters are notoriously T4, Sorcerers T2. The major class features of each class are simple: fighters get bonus feats, sorcerers get spells.

    A quick calculation shows that (except at 1st level), a fighter gets about 1/4 as many bonus feats (cumulative) as a sorcerer knows spells (also cumulative). To have rough balance, that means that a fighter feat must be "worth" about 4 times as much as a sorcerer's spell. To account for the other things like BAB, proficiencies, bigger HD, I'll knock that down to 2x as much.

    Is each fighter bonus feat worth 2x as much? Not even close.

    Making it worse,
    a) the bonus feats come from a very narrow list, restricted to basically just combat effects. Most of them are trap options in fact.
    b) the sorcerer can trade out a spell known every other level. While slow, this allows ditching poor-scaling spells for better ones or fixing mistakes.
    c) sorcerers draw from the wizard list, which is huge and varied, including a large variety of non-combat capabilities.
    d) fighter feats are often locked behind prerequisite chains, making you have to waste precious feats on useless things (dodge anyone?)

    Purely from a system perspective, this is crappy design. One potential fix would be to give fighters actual class features or make fighter bonus feats actually worth something and exclusive (which is the same thing). Do that and start trimming the spell bloat and you'd come closer to parity without slaughtering any sacred cows or destroying any reasonable concepts.
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  7. - Top - End - #1477
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    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    I also want to imagine agile quick witted Rogues saving said Knight, and I don't want either of them to need to stand aside while some neckbeard wearing a pointed hat and a blue bathrobe with stars and moons sewn on it, gestures and mumbles.

    Is that too much to ask?
    In D&D past level 7 or so? Unfortunately, yes. Unless there's a way to give someone else Evasion I don't know about.

    It's occurred to me a few times in threads like this: A scene I see a lot in fantasy art is an armored knight using their shield to block a dragon's firey breath. YOU CAN'T DO THIS IN D&D.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Is it wrong that mundane characters and dragons are allowed to exist in the sa...

    ...silly me, of course it is. Can't have anyone playing the character that they want to, can we?

    EDIT: I also find it hilarious that you brought this up in a discussion of, of all characters, the mountain. He's not allowed not to be a spellcaster because dragons!
    "Mundane" characters in D&D stop existing around level 6, or maybe 10. The question then is whether you want an effective non-mundane character, or a speed-bump in plate armor.

    If you want to play an E6 game, have fun with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    I don't want to use magic. There's your justification for me not using magic.
    ".... Have you tried NOT playing D&D?"

    How would you feel about someone in a semirealitic modern-day military game who flatly refused to use any weapon invented after 1000AD?
    Last edited by Arbane; 2017-12-29 at 01:11 PM.
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    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Magic in every way is a fact of life in Dungeons and Dragons. After reading this thread I think its a denial problem.

    Either tolerate magic and its uses or choose not to. Don't just keep complaining about magic.

    There have been many suggestions. Its possible to customize games to reduce magic or increase physical abilities. 4th and 5th are whole editions that do that. Have you tried them?

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    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    The Mod Wonder: Oh, look, page 50. May I suggest that those of you who are still into this topic reconvene soon, with some more narrow focuses?
    I think you'e just trying to gather the troublemakers in one thread :D

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    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbane View Post
    In D&D past level 7 or so? Unfortunately, yes. Unless there's a way to give someone else Evasion I don't know about.

    It's occurred to me a few times in threads like this: A scene I see a lot in fantasy art is an armored knight using their shield to block a dragon's firey breath. YOU CAN'T DO THIS IN D&D.
    You can, if you interpret a shield as cover, and make use of the cover bonuses to saves. Table 44 in the 2e DMG lays out bonuses, with 25% cover (a small shield) giving a +2, a medium shield giving a +4, and a body shield (90% cover) giving a +10 AND half damage on a failed save, and no damage on a successful one... and you can take cover behind your shield to increase its percentage coverage. Your shield would have to make an item save, but that's why Beowulf had a metal shield made... metal's saves against Magical Fire are a lot better than the thin wood of a shield.

    Quote Originally Posted by RazorChain View Post
    I think you'e just trying to gather the troublemakers in one thread :D
    I don't have any idea of what you're talking about.
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    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    The Mod Wonder: Oh, look, page 50. May I suggest that those of you who are still into this topic reconvene soon, with some more narrow focuses?
    If you don't mind me asking, why are threads supposed to end at page 50? I've definitely seen threads overstep that, and topics are allowed to last longer. Is there some horrifying technical thing happening in the background?

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    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    If you don't mind me asking, why are threads supposed to end at page 50? I've definitely seen threads overstep that, and topics are allowed to last longer. Is there some horrifying technical thing happening in the background?
    Threads are capped at 50 pages, that's why you have "Threadname Mark X" floating around these forums.
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    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    If you don't mind me asking, why are threads supposed to end at page 50? I've definitely seen threads overstep that, and topics are allowed to last longer. Is there some horrifying technical thing happening in the background?
    The Mod Wonder: As I understand it, there's a chance of instability or some other problem with super-long threads that we're trying to head off. I am not one of the more technical mods, so I don't precisely know. We try to stop them at 50, but some slip through the cracks.

    But, this seems as good a place as any to lock this thread. If you're going to restart, consider narrowing the scope.
    The Cranky Gamer
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    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
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