Page 9 of 36 FirstFirst 1234567891011121314151617181934 ... LastLast
Results 241 to 270 of 1056
  1. - Top - End - #241
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    And I do think this is an important distinction for this particular discussion, because one of the ways to solve the caster vs not-caster disparity is to open up a space for characters who are doing things most people can't do in the setting, but also aren't in any way casting spells.
    Well that depends on what you mean by "casting spells". Looking at 3e, I imagine 100% of people would agree that the Wizard is a "caster". But what about the Warlock? The Binder? The Warblade? The Incarnate? I think you can make varyingly reasonable cases for or against each of those, and I have seen people make most of them.

    Letting "Magneto's" player use "magnetism" as a fig-leaf for just making crap up cheapens the character.
    But doesn't saying "that doesn't work, it's not what your magnetism powers should do" cheapen the verisimilitude of magnetism powers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Irreleveant within the context of both the OP's Fighter vs Wizard that started this thread, and the context your contention that "magic-users" should solve their problems using magic. GISH are not magic-users, unless you're trying to redefine something under the table. And they certainly do not solve all of their problems using magic.
    What part of "gish" is inconsistent with "magic user"? As I understand it, a "gish" is a magic user who uses their magic to enhance their combat skills.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    In 3.X mundanes are bad at level 11. Other editions of D&D manage to keep class balance all the way to level 20-30 which is closer than 3.X has at levels 1-5.
    None of those editions allow me to play the kinds of characters 3e does. What is the best comparison to a 3.5 Druid/Planar Shepherd (of whatever plane demons come from) that I can play in whatever edition you think is best for this?

    IMO balance is a very small part of it. Mostly games just don't last that long, others the rules break down entirely past a certain point (and I am not talking about balance between options here, I mean the core rules of the game cease to matter), or they just aren't relatable to people.
    If people couldn't relate to characters that were very powerful, Superman would not be the most popular superhero of all time. The rules breaking down is just another self-fulfilling failure.

    You keep wrapping power level into concept, that js not what I am talking about.
    Power level is a part of concept. Superman's concept is not that he is fast, and is strong, and can jump*. It is that he is faster than a speeding bullet. And more powerful than a locomotive. And able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Or, you know, whatever particular power benchmarks whatever version of Superman we are talking has. If I want to play Superman, and you tell me I can't be faster than a speeding bullet, I have not achieved my concept. This is the exact same problem as you not wanting to have your Fighter eventually gain super strength.

    *: Well, usually he can fly, but I think it's obvious why I didn't put it that way.

    A guy who is really good with an AK-47 is mundane, a guy who can turn his skin purple and green with polka dots is not. However the former will be more useful on practically any mission which does not involve infiltrating a freak show.
    Missing the point. Yes, not all non-mundane things are better than all mundane things. But if mundane has any meaning at all, being non-mundane is better than being mundane. Can you write a Wizard who is balanced against Captain America? Sure. You can write several such Wizards. But there are many Wizards who are not balanced against Captain America. Like Doctor Strange.

    If the only "concept" you are willing to play are "better than everyone else,"
    Stop right there. Read what I wrote. Did I say "stronger than everyone else"? No. I said stronger than people without super strength. That does not mean stronger than everyone. Spiderman has superhuman strength. There are no (non-superpowered) humans stronger than him. But that doesn't mean no one is stronger than him. Hulk is stronger than him. Thor is stronger than him. Superman is stronger than him. Apollo is stronger than him. There are plenty of characters who are stronger than Spiderman (both in the sense of "more physical strength" and in the sense of "more powerful"). My concept is not that I am stronger than your character. It is that I am stronger than a specific benchmark -- the strongest of normal humans. The fact that you have specifically defined the range of characters you want to play as those who are normal humans is your problem, not mine. That is what I mean by "conceptual imbalance".

  2. - Top - End - #242
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2016

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    My biggest annoyance in 4e was the DM refusing to tell me what was a minnion and what wasnt and so I would constantly waste daily / encounter powers on 1hp mooks.

    I could imagine a wizard having similar problems if you dont tell them what level the monsters are and wasting their high level spells when a cantrip would do(or vice versa), while a fighter doesnt really have that problem.
    This is the whole point why wizards shouldn't be so powerful. By increasing encounters and keeping them off balance they will spend spells on weak enemies. They should have to really consider if they want to waste a spell. If you have two three encounters a day then the wizard is just going to blast and control everything in sight. My wizards and wizards in my campaigns literally made life or death decisions if they should just cast ray of frost or a crossbow or do they need to blast the hell out of the target with the biggest spell they got in their playbook.

    I work in rocket artillery and we can literally target hundreds of targets coming in from many different information sources but we have a limited amount of rockets to use due to resupply/logistics. We have to be selective in targets which wizards should be as well. You should punish your wizards/other casters who waste spells on everything on every encounter.

  3. - Top - End - #243
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    If people couldn't relate to characters that were very powerful, Superman would not be the most popular superhero of all time. The rules breaking down is just another self-fulfilling failure.
    He's not, Batman is. (According to a quick search and a university professor who got a Ph.D. in comics.)

  4. - Top - End - #244
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Guizonde's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    toulouse
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    This is not true. A ''weaker'' hero can defeat a ''more powerful'' foe in a lot of ways. The most basic, and the one done from the literal Dawn of Time, is to out smart a foe and be clever. And this is just as true in everyday life as it is in fantasy.

    Of course, the tricky part is you can't really have rules for being clever or smart.....and if you do, having a ''clever roll'' just does not really work out (''My character rolled a 25 and does something clever''). And this gets back to the Old School type of gaming vs the modern way. Say a character in a game comes up to a door that is locked and they wish to get past the door...what do they do:

    Well, the Modern Gamer immediately looks down at their character sheet and scans it for anything that says ''open door'' or something similar. If they find something, they will happy say they use it an open the door. If there is nothing on the character sheet that can be used to open a door, then will just shut down and quietly say their character just wanders away and does something else.

    The Old School gamer glances at their character sheet so they know what they have to start to work with and then try to figure out a way to open the door.

    This is a huge difference in style.

    Though, form all sides, both the Dm and the Players, doing the ''smart clever'' thing is HARD. After all to do it, For Real...you have the think of it For Real. And the Reality is: most people can't do it.



    But it is not just luck. It is a lot of skill. You can go toe to toe with monster X.....but if you catch them in a net and trick them into some quicksand...then you have a chance. Or doing something like tripping a foe or tricking them into charging off a cliff.



    I agree too. I'm very big on ''restricting'' all characters...not just spellcasters, so much so that I think it is a normal part of the game. A character should all ways be at ''less then 100%''.
    this has become a trademark in our gaming circle. each veteran tries to beat out the "play the sheet" mentality out of the newbies. each dm keeps going deeper into the tough nut to crack that is a fragile balance between psychopathy and solvable by a 5 year old. essentially, what would you do in your character's shoes? if the answer is "bust out a spell/ fantasy ability", that means you're either taking the easy way out or the dm misjudged the "multiple ways out of a problem" conundrum. in your locked door example, my team would usually ask the following:

    -is the door trapped?
    -is the door locked?
    -how is the door locked? multiple locks? barred from the other side?
    -is there a slit to unhinge the door?
    -are the hinges visible?
    -are we packing lockpicks?
    -are we packing a shotgun?
    -are we packing a crowbar?
    -what are we doing naked in an rpg?

    do you notice how late in the questions relevant sheet reading is necessary? and we're not "old-school gamers" either. we just try to cultivate "outside the sheet thinking" because we find it's more fun and challenging. it might also explain why we always have a crowbar in our iso-standard adventuring backpack, along with a mirror, a notebook and crayons, and a monkey wrench.

    of course, the vets let the newbies try to figure it out first. most times, sheet readers call foul at first, until the vets start asking the leading questions. once in a blue moon, the newbie throws a curveball that makes even the dm gawp in the brilliant simplicity of the bypass. we live for those moments. high fives between dm and players are not unheard of, as well as retelling the moments of glory/ infamy of all the different characters.

    my preferred methods of problem solving? asking nicely (somebody has to have the key, right?), subtlety (unhinging the door or picking the lock), violence (using the crowbar to smash the door in), explosives (blame formative years in redneck virginia), and setting things on fire and running away (because who isn't a firebug in real life rpgs?) in that order. kind of a flow chart, really.
    regarding my choice of sustenance:
    Quote Originally Posted by Raimun View Post
    I'm going to judge you.
    My judgement is: That is awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by DigoDragon View Post
    GM: “If it doesn't move and it should, use duct tape. If it moves and it shouldn't, use a shotgun.”
    dm is Miltonian, credit where credit is due.

  5. - Top - End - #245
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    He's not, Batman is. (According to a quick search and a university professor who got a Ph.D. in comics.)
    IGN has him at number 1, and that was the first result I got for "most popular superheroes 2017". Obviously it's possible there's some other list where Batman is #1, but I doubt that Superman is anywhere outside the top 5 on any list you could find, so I think the point still stands.

  6. - Top - End - #246
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Arbane's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Let's unpack this about. From how I see it, there are at least five different arguments involved here:

    1: People should not be allowed to play character's without supernatural abilities.
    2: Fighter's cannot have supernatural abilities.
    3: Characters without supernatural abilities have to suck.
    4: When creating a fictional setting people need not limit themselves to real world physics.
    5: If you are going to break the laws of reality in some element of your setting you shouldn't be allowed to adhere to it in others.

    For number one, I wholeheartedly disagree. People should be allowed to play whatever archetypes they want. There are plenty of "mundane" characters in both the media which inspired D&D as well as the media which has been inspired by D&D, and it seems stupid to shut these people out in the cold, and there really isn't any reason to do so aside from hurting the egos of people who like to play super powerful characters and don't like the thought of mere muggles being able to compete with them.
    The problem with that is sometimes, there needs to be a certain amount of compromise between the players' concepts and the campaign premise the GM has in mind. If the game's going to be about courtly intrigue, the guy playing a mentally defective berserker is being a jerk. If the game's going to be about fighting opponents with more supernatural powers than can fit on one sheet of paper (ie, high-level D&D), wanting to play someone with no mojo of their own makes your character.... less than useful, generally.
    Imagine if all real-world conversations were like internet D&D conversations...
    Protip: DnD is an incredibly social game played by some of the most socially inept people on the planet - Lev
    I read this somewhere and I stick to it: "I would rather play a bad system with my friends than a great system with nobody". - Trevlac
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    That said, trolling is entirely counterproductive (yes, even when it's hilarious).

  7. - Top - End - #247
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2016

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    There are actually rules that detail spell avaliablity and cost in 3rd edition and its offshoots. A wizard can get pretty reliable access. Wizards can also take any spells for their level up spells. Also "the wizard has decent spells because the DM screwed up", just what?

    I'm not really sure how not knowing if goblins are 6th or 1st level is more important to a wizard than the fighter standing in front. Running a bunch of encounters with level 1 mobs against high level parties seems like a huge waste of OOC time just to troll wizarda. I guess at worst the wizards hold their action for one round?

    And magic missile completely changes gameplay but mirror image doesn't? Have you been smoking hobbit lwaf?
    Who says they are charging from the front of the party? Its more to get the wizard to never know what encounter he should conserve and what encounter he should cast spells.

    Never said MM was game changing. I was making a point that allowing full access to spells and the wealth which to buy them will always lead to ruin and OP characters ruining the game for anyone who wants to play a weaker class. The point was the wizard was happy to get magic missile at 5th level.

  8. - Top - End - #248
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2016

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    No. That sound absolutely miserable. If you don't want people casting spells, don't let them play casters. If you let them play casters, let them cast spells.
    They can cast all they want. Its the ability to get everything they want is the problem and leads to problems. I am a fairly powerful mid level wizard in PC town. I can sell one 4th level spell and maybe one or two minor magical items each year and live like a god fairly easy. Why should I sell to my competition? What is his motivation to allow you access to another powerful spell? I view magic users as generally egotistical about their own power level and would horde spells that few have or are extremely powerful. This is why most have to be guild members or belong to a national wizard org that requires service to the state. Players just want to run around and kill stuff/solve problems etc. So unless you are adventuring in the local area you grew up in I highly doubt the local extremely powerful wizards are just going to sell to an outsider without good reason.

  9. - Top - End - #249
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Talakeal's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The New Mexico Wastelands
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    But doesn't saying "that doesn't work, it's not what your magnetism powers should do" cheapen the verisimilitude of magnetism powers?
    You really don't see how a character with limits to their power is more flavorful than someone who can do everything?

    Also, getting into pseudo-magnetism and electromagnetic photon interactions isn't really dealing with "magnetism" as it is defined and does not break my verisimilitude any more than saying that night crawler can't also time travel because technically space and time are the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    If people couldn't relate to characters that were very powerful, Superman would not be the most popular superhero of all time.
    Superman is mostly popular because he was "first," and has become sort of the generic icon of Super Hero comics in the same way that Mcdonalds is the most popular restaurant in the world despite most people agreeing their food isn't very good.

    But Superman isn't really hard to relate to, he is mostly just a guy who has all his stats turned up to 11(billion) and can fly and shoot lasers. That's pretty easy to understand, and it is in a totally different realm of power than something like a 3.5 wizard.

    Also, note that while he occasionally pulls weird powers out of his backside (mostly in the Silver Age) this are almost always ignored in later issues and dramatic adaptations because they would make for weird un-relatable stories. For example, Superman can move at speeds that only the Flash and similar speedsters can perceive, yet for some reason when he is fighting another brawler, so Doomsday, he does so at roughly the same speed as a human combatant would because it wouldn't be dramatic or entertaining for the fight to be over in a period of time faster than a human can perceive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    The rules breaking down is just another self-fulfilling failure.
    Could you please elaborate on this point? I am not quite sure what you are trying to say here, and responding to conjecture is just going to be tilting at straw-men.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    Power level is a part of concept. Superman's concept is not that he is fast, and is strong, and can jump*. It is that he is faster than a speeding bullet. And more powerful than a locomotive. And able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Or, you know, whatever particular power benchmarks whatever version of Superman we are talking has. If I want to play Superman, and you tell me I can't be faster than a speeding bullet, I have not achieved my concept. This is the exact same problem as you not wanting to have your Fighter eventually gain super strength..
    Question for you:

    You say that you're power level is implicitly linked to you're concept. In the previous thread you said that you liked games with drastic advancement where characters changed radically over the course of the game rather than just facing "different colored orcs,"

    Out of curiosity, what does you're ideal game look like?

    Do you constantly cycle out characters? Do you only play with other people who like to start out with super high powered characters (who are roughly on the same level) and then only go up from there?

    What system do you usually play? What power level? What optimization level?


    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    Stop right there. Read what I wrote. Did I say "stronger than everyone else"? No. I said stronger than people without super strength. That does not mean stronger than everyone. Spiderman has superhuman strength. There are no (non-superpowered) humans stronger than him. But that doesn't mean no one is stronger than him. Hulk is stronger than him. Thor is stronger than him. Superman is stronger than him. Apollo is stronger than him. There are plenty of characters who are stronger than Spiderman (both in the sense of "more physical strength" and in the sense of "more powerful"). My concept is not that I am stronger than your character. It is that I am stronger than a specific benchmark -- the strongest of normal humans. The fact that you have specifically defined the range of characters you want to play as those who are normal humans is your problem, not mine. That is what I mean by "conceptual imbalance".
    Here's the thing, at first that's what I thought you were saying and I typed out a response that boiled down to "Super strength is nice, but it isn't the be all and end all of a character. You can have a guy who is super strong on the same team as people without super strength and they can all still contribute to the plot in different ways," but then I saw that you went on to say "If I am going to have powers beyond the mundane, I have to be better than mundanes. By definition." which is the part that I was objecting to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    Missing the point. Yes, not all non-mundane things are better than all mundane things. But if mundane has any meaning at all, being non-mundane is better than being mundane. Can you write a Wizard who is balanced against Captain America? Sure. You can write several such Wizards. But there are many Wizards who are not balanced against Captain America. Like Doctor Strange.
    Sure. You can make wizards at whatever power level you like.

    If you only want to play games with super powered wizards go for it, it is only the insistence that it has to be that way that I am objecting to.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, an old school RPG of Gothic Fantasy. Download full rules at heartofdarknessrpg.com

  10. - Top - End - #250
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Zanos's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Dublinmarley View Post
    Who says they are charging from the front of the party? Its more to get the wizard to never know what encounter he should conserve and what encounter he should cast spells.

    Never said MM was game changing. I was making a point that allowing full access to spells and the wealth which to buy them will always lead to ruin and OP characters ruining the game for anyone who wants to play a weaker class. The point was the wizard was happy to get magic missile at 5th level.
    All of this insistence that wizards need specific, detailed worldbuilding and encounter design to keep in line while fighters don't seems to be an admission that maybe wizards are too powerful.
    If any idiot ever tells you that life would be meaningless without death, Hyperion recommends killing them!

  11. - Top - End - #251
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2016

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    All of this insistence that wizards need specific, detailed worldbuilding and encounter design to keep in line while fighters don't seems to be an admission that maybe wizards are too powerful.
    No its more that DMs need to use the resources available to them to control the game. The system is not broken but the mindset of players and DMs is broken. Just the fact that wizard characters are created expecting to get high enough level to take a dip in this prestige class and with the right feats and skills means your players feel entitled to succeed. Your encounters don't scare them. The drama isn't drama and the scene is not set and they don't expect to die. The party to me would feel more like a bunch of kids who start screaming in the store when they don't get ice cream if you allow them to get everything they want. The reward for succeeding and roleplaying is really nothing if all you do is get rewarded. Now if you struggled many times and now you finally got a character high enough who can take a prestige class then the reward and investment in that character makes it just way more satisfying. Its just inconceivable to me god wizard PCs and complaining about it is even a thing.

    Arrows with silence cast on them alone nerfs most wizards and there is no save since its not cast on you. Several archers with low level clerics plus scrolls hiding way behind the lines makes quick work of them. Evil parties can gather information on enemies just as easy as the party can. If a new sheriff(PCs) comes into town and starts wiping out groups of bad guys with tons of spells then the info about them gets around fairly quick. Enemies will prepare and react accordingly. Once you start doing crazy things to mess with their power they will eventually curb behavior and start killing everything wasting spell power. That's when the real fun begins. Then the big bad attacks and oh so sad you wasted your spells on killing nobodies. Your wizards should be paranoid about casting a spell that could be used in another encounter.

    Dead magic zones are always fun.

  12. - Top - End - #252
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    If you are playing a hard simulationist game then more power to you. But denying that most RPG rules are purely simulationist and include no gamist or narrative elements (to say nothing of other concerns not modeled by the "big 3") is a bit naive.
    I wrote "one of them", not "the only one" or "the most important". And while i actually do prefer simulation heavy games, i don't talk about pure ones. As pure games of any kind basically never happen because they are boring.

    But while the importance of the simulation aspect of rules varies, only by going to e.g. pure narrative games it will actually vanish.

    To use an example, in the 20th anniversary edition of the White Wolf games Player characters and important NPCs have 7 health levels while the vast majority of NPCs have only 3. Such superhuman toughness is never mentioned anywhere in the setting, as far as I can tell it is purely a narrative mechanic to keep combat moving quickly while at the same time keeping PCs tough enough that you don't have to stop the game to roll a new character every twenty minutes.
    Always understood it as meaning those individuals have exceptional toughness and could act far longer than one would expect given species and body structure.

    I remember reading an article talking about Wild Bill Hickok. Now, he has a reputation as a legendary gunfighter because he survived more shoot-outs than anyone else, but the author of the article asserted that it was merely a statistical anomaly. Someone had to be the lucky guy who survived more shootouts than anyone else, and it just so happened to be him. People noticed this and attributed it to him having super combat skills and a legend grew around him, but in truth (at least according to the article's author) it was just dumb luck.
    Surviving a shootout may be luck, but it is not a 1 in 1000 chance. Surviving 10 shootouts in a row will get you to 1 in 1000 if each of them had a 50:50 chance of survivl. But afaik shootouts were far not nearly that deadly.

    So yes, the whole career of Bill Hickok may be roughly as likely as one of those rare heroic deed discussed earlier. And don't forget that he died in a shooting.

    So even if that is still pure luck with no skill involved at all, that would completely be in line with my former argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    But doesn't saying "that doesn't work, it's not what your magnetism powers should do" cheapen the verisimilitude of magnetism powers?
    Basically because "having power over X" doesn't mean "able to influence every microscopic thing somehow interacting with or through X at an arbitrary scale". Even superpowers have limits and powerlevels. Because otherwise nearly every superpower would be omnipotence as everything interacts with everything else.
    Last edited by Satinavian; 2017-11-17 at 03:14 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #253
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Dublinmarley View Post
    No its more that DMs need to use the resources available to them to control the game. The system is not broken but the mindset of players and DMs is broken. Just the fact that wizard characters are created expecting to get high enough level to take a dip in this prestige class and with the right feats and skills means your players feel entitled to succeed. Your encounters don't scare them. The drama isn't drama and the scene is not set and they don't expect to die. The party to me would feel more like a bunch of kids who start screaming in the store when they don't get ice cream if you allow them to get everything they want. The reward for succeeding and roleplaying is really nothing if all you do is get rewarded. Now if you struggled many times and now you finally got a character high enough who can take a prestige class then the reward and investment in that character makes it just way more satisfying. Its just inconceivable to me god wizard PCs and complaining about it is even a thing.

    Arrows with silence cast on them alone nerfs most wizards and there is no save since its not cast on you. Several archers with low level clerics plus scrolls hiding way behind the lines makes quick work of them. Evil parties can gather information on enemies just as easy as the party can. If a new sheriff(PCs) comes into town and starts wiping out groups of bad guys with tons of spells then the info about them gets around fairly quick. Enemies will prepare and react accordingly. Once you start doing crazy things to mess with their power they will eventually curb behavior and start killing everything wasting spell power. That's when the real fun begins. Then the big bad attacks and oh so sad you wasted your spells on killing nobodies. Your wizards should be paranoid about casting a spell that could be used in another encounter.

    Dead magic zones are always fun.
    Personally I used casters quite a bit and in fact silence arrows would not be as much a problem as you say.
    1: Arrows specifically have a good chance of being destroyed when shot(due to the arrow rules).
    2: The opponent basically lose an attack to neutralize you until you use a move action to get out of silence to cast your spells(yes you can move right after an arrow is shot near you and silence have a short range) I mean it have a 20-ft radius which means that if you have a 30 foot move speed you can get out of it in a single move action(and most people have a 30 foot move speed especially if he can cast flight)
    3: Many generic boost spells helps crazily to get out of the silence zone like boosts that make you incorporeal(helps moving away when you can go thought thin walls), magic jar(just shift in the body of one of the archers), overland flight(moving in 3d helps a lot),spider climb(now the archers needs to shoot arrows that sticks in walls and that is homebrew since by raw an arrow hitting a wall is destroyed since it is an attack at the wall) and a lot of others.
    4: Prepare some silent spells or use the silent metamagic or cast one of the spells that allows to still cast while silenced or take one of the 5000000 prcs that gives a way to auto silent all the spells.


    So arrows with silence are not as much a problem as you believe(Unless in very very very cramped zones(in which case your archers and cleric would die clubbed by the druid turning in a dangerous thing(which is why some people says that druids are T1 even if you have no idea how to play)) which are extremely dangerous to fighters because it prevents them to flee hydras).
    On the other hand tanglefoot bags with silence are more a problem but since tanglefoot bag needs a short range touch attack and that a caster probably have mirror image and creates solid fogs it is not as easy to use as you believe(because if you miss he can just walk away and then cast a spell on his turn and you did spend your attack).

    And guess who you needed for having that many silence generating objects?
    A bard or a cleric! Which are both casters!(3/4 caster and full caster and bard is famously known for being awesome and purely better than mundanes at everything(basically it is high tier 3))
    Oh and your opponent needs for spamming silence(which they will need since silence is not a all day lasting spell so you should cast it only when the battle is close) to have either not so low level clerics or multiple clerics and in both cases know that silence have a vocal component.
    (Which is why in my group we joke about the fact that silence is in fact a spell where you just scream so strong that no noise other than your scream can be heard)
    Since those archers are low level if you act first you can just neutralize them all in one spell(unless you like overcred encounters in which case it means that it was not easy to counter the caster) and if the archers and the cleric are all high level then the adventurers probably have a high level caster and so have overland flight all day(which means that you need to dispel them before countering them with silence arrows)

    If you are low level enough for being harmed by archers then it was a balanced encounter and so if you spend one good spell to beat them it was normal since a balanced encounters are supposed to spend 25% of the party resources.
    If you are high level enough for the encounter to be lower cr than you then you probably spend some of your low level spells to beat it(like that variant of fireball that deals low damage over an huge aoe) and so spent spell slots which does not matters when you meet the bbeg.(do not forget that casters are not obligated to use their highest level spells when casting spells)
    Last edited by noob; 2017-11-17 at 03:48 AM.

  14. - Top - End - #254
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    IGN has him at number 1, and that was the first result I got for "most popular superheroes 2017". Obviously it's possible there's some other list where Batman is #1, but I doubt that Superman is anywhere outside the top 5 on any list you could find, so I think the point still stands.
    I think it was an overall stat over their entire life time, I would have to track down the professor again to know for sure. But regardless I realized I actually replyed to the wrong thing. What I should have been asking is what does "The rules breaking down is just another self-fulfilling failure." mean?

  15. - Top - End - #255
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Guizonde View Post
    in your locked door example, my team would usually ask the following:
    I all ways find most players that have not gamed with me before don't really understand that they can ''try to do anything''. Like the character has a door they can't open, and they can't pick the lock or break the door...so they just shut down. They are really amazed when someone suggests something like ''going through the wall'' or ''ok, we take the door off of it's hinges'' or even ''ok, we wait for someone else to open the door...then".

    Quote Originally Posted by Guizonde View Post
    do you notice how late in the questions relevant sheet reading is necessary? and we're not "old-school gamers" either. we just try to cultivate "outside the sheet thinking"
    Outside the Sheet thinking.

  16. - Top - End - #256
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    You really don't see how a character with limits to their power is more flavorful than someone who can do everything?
    I'm saying that flavorful limits are not limits. They can be if you couple them with mechanical limits, but then you don't really need the flavorful limits.

    Also, getting into pseudo-magnetism and electromagnetic photon interactions isn't really dealing with "magnetism" as it is defined and does not break my verisimilitude any more than saying that night crawler can't also time travel because technically space and time are the same thing.
    But it does for some people. Charles Stross's space opera series (Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise) works the way it does because he was working from the position that faster-than-light travel implies time travel. You are not the only person playing the game.

    Out of curiosity, what does you're ideal game look like?
    Like 3e, but with better balance and good implementations of some of the ideas from 4e.

    From 3e:
    -A variety of character classes with a variety of resource management systems (e.g. Binders, Crusaders, and Sorcerers all play differently).
    -Characters have powers that have the potential to change the world (e.g. fabricate, teleport, planar binding).
    -Character power progression is fairly rapid.

    From 4e:
    -Skill Challenges were a good idea. The implementation was bad, but if you change from counting failures to counting rounds to determine when the challenge ends, you have a fairly good system to use for adjudicating non-combat encounters.
    -Tiers were a good idea. The Heroic/Paragon/Epic distinction does, in theory, a good job of delineating different power levels where different concepts are appropriate. Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies do a good job of allowing Fighters or Rogues to scale to high level without having to make the classes themselves magical.
    -The direction the game went with monster classes has potential. Saying something is "an artillery monster" or "a brute monster" is more useful in a lot of ways than saying it is "an outsider" or "a dragon". Also, something like the Solo/Elite/Normal/Minion distinctions is good.
    -Rituals cost too much, assumed too many combat abilities, and didn't do enough, but the separation of combat and non-combat powers is a good idea.

    Other:
    -Random magic items are the best solution for making magic items feel impressive. However, that necessitates that magic items not be required for defeating challenges.
    -The game should have good systems for mass combat and kingdom management.
    -The game needs a better default setting.
    -The game needs a better advancement system than XP.

    I think that covers most of it.

    What system do you usually play? What power level? What optimization level?
    3e, mid to high optimization. I'm not sure what distinction you're trying to draw between "power level" and "optimization level".

    If you only want to play games with super powered wizards go for it, it is only the insistence that it has to be that way that I am objecting to.
    If you read my posts. that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying the game should support having characters who are, across the board, ahead of whatever benchmark that you are setting as "peak mundane". Not because I specifically want to be stronger than you, but because I want to reach benchmarks that are higher than you are willing to allow your character to match. I am absolutely on board with the game doing Lord of the Rings. What I am opposed to is your belief that your LotR character must be allowed in every possible campaign, while my character concepts need not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    Basically because "having power over X" doesn't mean "able to influence every microscopic thing somehow interacting with or through X at an arbitrary scale". Even superpowers have limits and powerlevels. Because otherwise nearly every superpower would be omnipotence as everything interacts with everything else.
    Sort of. On the one hand there are specific things Magneto can't do. But that doesn't inherently mean that "magnet powers" can't do those things. Just that Magneto can't. Hell, Magneto's power varies across various incarnations, but they all have the same nominal power. Even characters who don't have as focused of a power set have things they can't do because they happen not to have that particular level of power.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I think it was an overall stat over their entire life time, I would have to track down the professor again to know for sure. But regardless I realized I actually replyed to the wrong thing. What I should have been asking is what does "The rules breaking down is just another self-fulfilling failure." mean?
    I mean that designers say "people don't play high level" so they don't put in the work at high level, so it doesn't work well, so people don't play high level. I firmly maintain that people totally would play high level/high power campaigns if the rules worked as well for them as they do for low level/low power campaigns.

  17. - Top - End - #257
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Talakeal's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The New Mexico Wastelands
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    I'm saying that flavorful limits are not limits. They can be if you couple them with mechanical limits, but then you don't really need the flavorful limits.
    I don't follow. You can design from fluff or crunch. Are you saying that no fictional character has ever had flavorful limits to their powers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    But it does for some people. Charles Stross's space opera series (Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise) works the way it does because he was working from the position that faster-than-light travel implies time travel. You are not the only person playing the game.
    You are welcome to play your guy who can teleport through time and space or who can manipulate all electromagnetic interactions.

    What I am saying is that it is weird that it breaks your verisimilitude for me to play a character who DOES have limits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    3e, mid to high optimization. I'm not sure what distinction you're trying to draw between "power level" and "optimization level".
    By the first I mean what in game level do you normally play at, like 1-20, or 11+, or e6, or EL only, etc. For optimization level I mean does your group tend to make use of "forum exploits" like chain gating solars or Pun-Pun, and if so which ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    If you read my posts. that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying the game should support having characters who are, across the board, ahead of whatever benchmark that you are setting as "peak mundane". Not because I specifically want to be stronger than you, but because I want to reach benchmarks that are higher than you are willing to allow your character to match. I am absolutely on board with the game doing Lord of the Rings. What I am opposed to is your belief that your LotR character must be allowed in every possible campaign, while my character concepts need not.
    I am not saying a LoTR character is viable at all levels of play either.

    What I am saying is that in level 1-20 D&D a mundane character can already handle most every situation in the game if they are built for it. In 3.X the problem with mundane characters is that they are one trick ponies who are annoying to play. Creating some more versatile mundane characters, say a hypothetical class with War-Blade combat abilities, Bard skills, and Monk defenses, could easily hang with a full caster at 20th level without breaking the game from either a fluff or mechanical perspective.

    There are also a lot of broken spells, but I don't think you are opposed to fixing those, and even if you aren't there is nothing stopping a mundane character from simply buying a magic item and going all in on the crazy.

    Now sure, if you want to play a variant campaign that takes place at super high epic levels or where you alter the rules so that everyone has a ton of at will supernatural abilities or whatever then yeah, maybe mundane characters don't have a place there, but we aren't talking about such a hypothetical game but rather what standard 1-20 3.5 D&D should be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    I mean that designers say "people don't play high level" so they don't put in the work at high level, so it doesn't work well, so people don't play high level. I firmly maintain that people totally would play high level/high power campaigns if the rules worked as well for them as they do for low level/low power campaigns.
    I guess its a sort of chicken and the egg thing then. I guess we will just have to disagree about whether balance problems cause disinterest or disinterest causes imbalance, although there is probably some degree of truth in both ideas.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, an old school RPG of Gothic Fantasy. Download full rules at heartofdarknessrpg.com

  18. - Top - End - #258
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    30.2672° N, 97.7431° W
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    [QUOTE=Cosi;22578520] I'm saying that flavorful limits are not limits. They can be if you couple them with mechanical limits, but then you don't really need the flavorful limits.[?QUOTE]

    Fluff limits that have no actual mechanical effects are not limits. A limit has to be something that can and will occur/be encountered. Superman's weakness to Kryptonite is a limit. Superman having a weakness to a specific species of space hamster, that can only live in a 10 meter area of the planet Dolomite, in the Shasta galaxy, in Dimension 12 is not a limit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    I mean that designers say "people don't play high level" so they don't put in the work at high level, so it doesn't work well, so people don't play high level. I firmly maintain that people totally would play high level/high power campaigns if the rules worked as well for them as they do for low level/low power campaigns.
    The problem is, you have to design your framework to handle high level/high power play from the beginning. The challenge is, planning THAT far ahead, when you are unsure that your game is going to sell enough/be popular enough, to justify all that work. If you don't do it from the start, and try to patch things in with splats later, you are going to end up with 3.X levels of brokenness, with 20 different splats, that were barely checked with the core system, combining with each other into monstrosities of class/power combo's that nobody could have seen coming.

    This is the basic problem with D&D: OD&D capped out at level 10. AD&D raised that bar to 18, but they didn't really adjust the rule set to compensate...just added tougher monsters and bigger spells, and things started getting a little shaky. 2nd Ed. raised the bar another 2 levels (initially) with out re-adjusting the rules. Then the "expert" rules came out and things went to hell in a hand basket pretty quickly. But then, TSR was trying to push out as much product as they could toward the end there, as their other RPG's weren't selling so well.

    3.X came along and things started descending into the lower planes of hell like a lead filled duck. Wizards got a HUGE power boost, while at the same time, had most of their balancing shackles removed. Initial play tests showed wizards to be quite OP, so what does WoTC do? Buff the rest of the world to compensate. But they forgot (or didn't realize it would be necessary) to buff the mundane classes as well. Which, honestly, would have worked out better by just adjusting the power levels of wizards (and the rest of the world) back down to original levels. All the extra splats, with new classes, PRC's and feats just keep things lurching further and further, until the higher levels/power levels just kick the system right over on its ass.

    There were reasons WoTC's D20 system flopped in the game stores when they released it the first time. It wasn't balanced. Copy pasta in most of the 2nd Ed. AD&D data verbatum, and the imbalance from one system aggravates the imbalance from the other, and you get the perfect storm of instability...especially at the higher levels that were never originally intended to exist..

    IMHO I think the original game designers for WoTC just REALLY liked playing casters, and just wanted them to be more badass, and less dependent on the Mundane classes tanking for them.... I've seen this happen in LARPs, when people set down to update the rules, people tend to try to make their favorite class stronger, and nerf the classes that would normally be able to counter them.
    Last edited by Mutazoia; 2017-11-21 at 03:06 AM.
    "Sleeping late might not be a virtue, but it sure aint no vice. The old saw about the early bird and the worm just goes to show that the worm should have stayed in bed."

    - L. Long

    I think, therefore I get really, really annoyed at people who won't.

  19. - Top - End - #259
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    The problem is, you have to design your framework to handle high level/high power play from the beginning. The challenge is, planning THAT far ahead, when you are unsure that your game is going to sell enough/be popular enough, to justify all that work.
    This is very true. Though I always start right at the beginning and assume the game will last.

    Of course making a game last is really a whole other topic, but you really need to pick your players...and not just ''game with your friends'' or ''game with anyone you can''.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post

    3.X came along and things started descending into the lower planes of hell like a lead filled duck. Wizards got a HUGE power boost, while at the same time, had most of their balancing shackles removed. Initial play tests showed wizards to be quite OP, so what does WoTC do? Buff the rest of the world to compensate. But they forgot (or didn't realize it would be necessary) to buff the mundane classes as well. Which, honestly, would have worked out better by just adjusting the power levels of wizards (and the rest of the world) back down to original levels. All the extra splats, with new classes, PRC's and feats just keep things lurching further and further, until the higher levels/power levels just kick the system right over on its ass.
    This is the problem right here. And I would note, adding back in the 2E shackles works great.

  20. - Top - End - #260
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Zale's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Somewhere Warm
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Ok, now replace "author" with "rules of the game".

    Bob wasn't "more powerful" than the grizzly bear in universe, but he won because the author said so.

    Likewise the level 9 fighter isn't "more powerful" than the dragon in universe, but he still stands a good chance of winning because the game rules say so.

    Both of them are meta-game influences that don't necessarily have any direct correlation to any force inside of the fiction.


    Or to put it another way, sure let's go with #4, maybe the game runs on confirmation bias. Say in the fictional world a thousand adventurers fight a thousand dragons every century, and 999 of them died a horrible burning death. But we are going to sit down and down and tell the story of the one guy who was lucky enough to come out on top.
    I mean, if a person can consistently kill dragons, I don't think it's wrong to say they are, at least, better at fighting than a dragon.

    "Power" is a really abstract concept, so a fighter can be less powerful than a dragon, but still beat one in a fight. If the dragon can turn the entire area into an ash-laden hellscape, ruining entire kingdoms with the power of her poison breath, or whatever, then she could still be considered more powerful than someone who's really good at killing dragons.

    If that makes sense?
    On a quest to marry Asmodeus, lord of the Nine Hells, or die trying.

  21. - Top - End - #261
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    30.2672° N, 97.7431° W
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    This is very true. Though I always start right at the beginning and assume the game will last.

    Of course making a game last is really a whole other topic, but you really need to pick your players...and not just ''game with your friends'' or ''game with anyone you can''.
    I'm actually talking about designing the system itself to handle high level/high power play. If the mechanics of your rule set break down before your players get pass the "half way mark" of level progression, you have a serious problem
    "Sleeping late might not be a virtue, but it sure aint no vice. The old saw about the early bird and the worm just goes to show that the worm should have stayed in bed."

    - L. Long

    I think, therefore I get really, really annoyed at people who won't.

  22. - Top - End - #262
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I don't follow. You can design from fluff or crunch. Are you saying that no fictional character has ever had flavorful limits to their powers?
    There's a difference between "things you can't do" and "limits on your powers". Consider a Shadowrun Mage. There are, presumably, various spells this mage might or might not know. He might know heal or levitate or stun bolt or physical mask. Or he might not know those spells. But I don't think you could reasonably claim that the spells he didn't know somehow represented "limits" on him in the sense that we're talking about. Even if he doesn't know physical barrier now, he could just go out and learn that later.

    Similarly, the "limits" on Magneto are in essentially two categories. First, his abilities have to somehow be "magnet powers". Second, he has whatever amount of magnet powers this particular incarnation of Magneto has. Sometimes his powers have a very high degree of precision. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes he flies. Sometimes he doesn't. My contention is that the real limit is better understood in terms of the specific powers he does or doesn't have, rather than the abstract "must have magnet fluff" limit. Particularly, this model is better at explaining the power discrepancies between different incarnations of Magneto than one that understands him as having a flavorful limit.

    What I am saying is that in level 1-20 D&D a mundane character can already handle most every situation in the game if they are built for it. In 3.X the problem with mundane characters is that they are one trick ponies who are annoying to play. Creating some more versatile mundane characters, say a hypothetical class with War-Blade combat abilities, Bard skills, and Monk defenses, could easily hang with a full caster at 20th level without breaking the game from either a fluff or mechanical perspective.
    This is not true. That character does not compete with our hypothetical Druid/Planar Shepherd. He doesn't fight as well as the Druid does. He doesn't have utility that competes with the Druid. He doesn't have minions that compete with the Druid. He doesn't have strategic level powers in the way the Druid does.

    Also, you've picked a class that is repeatedly criticized as "not mundane", a class whose mundane abilities end at their skill list and Bardic Knowledge (bardic music is Su or Sp, spells are spells), and a class that draws on supernatural power and eventually turns into an outsider. How exactly is that "mundane"?

    There are also a lot of broken spells, but I don't think you are opposed to fixing those, and even if you aren't there is nothing stopping a mundane character from simply buying a magic item and going all in on the crazy.
    Sort of. I'm in favor of making it so that you don't randomly get a world-conquering demon army because someone forgot to check if "things that you can summon with planar binding" and "things that can cast planar binding" overlap. I am absolutely in favor of you eventually getting a world-conquering demon army (or angel army, or elemental army, or whatever).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    Fluff limits that have no actual mechanical effects are not limits. A limit has to be something that can and will occur/be encountered. Superman's weakness to Kryptonite is a limit.
    I think weaknesses are different from limits. Barring things like "immunity to kryptonite" there are no powers Superman can't have because of his Kryptonite weakness.

    The problem is, you have to design your framework to handle high level/high power play from the beginning. The challenge is, planning THAT far ahead, when you are unsure that your game is going to sell enough/be popular enough, to justify all that work. If you don't do it from the start, and try to patch things in with splats later, you are going to end up with 3.X levels of brokenness, with 20 different splats, that were barely checked with the core system, combining with each other into monstrosities of class/power combo's that nobody could have seen coming.
    I don't think you have to do the work in advance. You have to have a high level understanding of how things fit together, but you don't have to do all the work. I also think that pretty much any edition of D&D is a lock to sell enough books to justify putting in the work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    This is the problem right here. And I would note, adding back in the 2E shackles works great.
    No, it wouldn't. There are good ideas in earlier editions (there are good ideas in most editions). For example, random magic items probably are better than purchased ones. Also, moving the HP curve down again is a good idea just from an accounting perspective. But the DMing advice in 2e, and the way casters work, and the ways spells were written are all terrible, and we should not go back to them.

  23. - Top - End - #263
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GreatWyrmGold's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    In a castle under the sea
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Spoiler: My thoughts on the OP's solutions
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by rs2excelsior View Post
    1) Magic is extremely limited.
    At this point, there's really no reason to have dedicated magic-users and mundane characters. You might have low-mythic characters who are mostly mundane with one or two magical tricks, or animesque characters who use magic to perform everything vaguely within human limits at once, but you wouldn't have a guy with a bow and a guy with bow-like magic missiles. If you're going to have different character types, you need them to do different things.

    2) Magic is limited not in effect, but in use.
    This is close to how D&D is supposed to work; spellcasters are awesome, but they can't be awesome all the time, so they need allies to be marvelous when the casters are stuck being just pretty cool. But this doesn't work that well in practice. 15-minute adventuring day aside, you have a lesser version of Shadowrun's decker problem.
    In short, deckers are (unsurprisingly) mostly good at hacking. They don't have the resources to be good at both hacking and combat or whatever. Hence, they take the spotlight when hacking problems come up, but can't contribute much outside of those situations. As long as they can contribute a little, that's not terrible for them, but it does mean there are significant sections of the game where only one player is relevant to solving the current obstacle. That's not always terrible, but when you're playing at a tabletop, having half or two-thirds of the table just sitting around isn't generally a good thing.
    Limited-use magic isn't exactly the same, but it's similar. Sometimes the wizard is doing awesome and the rest of the party isn't as engaged; sometimes the rest of the party is awesome and the wizard isn't engaged. It's hardly optimal. Limiting the use of magic can support other balancing methods, but it's not good on its own.

    Anything where magic is limited over the course of a character's lifetime (e.g, 1000 spell levels and you're done, or lose 1 HP permanently each time you cast a spell, or something) is ridiculously hard to balance. Some characters would hoard their resources, ending up far less powerful than expected; others would blow through their resources (and characters) rapidly. It leads to a potentially-interesting campaign dynamic, especially if long-lived characters get boons that don't easily transfer to other party members if they die, but it's not going to work all the time.

    3) Magic is unreliable.
    There are two extremes. There's technical unreliability (in dice terms, 4d10+29) where the result is reasonably predictable, with only a small chance of randomness going awry. Then there's extreme unreliability (1d100), where a given action could solve the challenge, do nothing, anything in between, or maybe even make the problem worse. The first (obviously) doesn't solve the problem; the second serves to frustrate more than balance, unless the game is slapsticky enough that it could be funny. I'm not sure there's a happy medium.

    4) Boost mundanes instead of nerfing casters.
    Some variation of this would probably work. Though, as you mentioned, it probably makes "mundanes" into essentially users of different magic. I, personally, see that as a feature and not a bug. I'd rather have characters differentiated by what they do than how they do it.

    5) Hyper-specialized casters.
    And here we're back to the decker problem.

    6) Magic is just better, change the "one character" paradigm.
    I don't have enough experience in multi-character games to comment on this.

    Spoiler: My Thoughts on a Solution
    Show

    When your house falls down, you should check to see if the problem was in the walls or the foundations. If it was the walls, your job is simple. However, I think the problem is in the foundations.
    Why do you need separate archetypes of characters who only use magic and characters who never use magic? (Or at least characters who are only good at magic and characters who are no good at magic.) Sure, you have fantasy archetypes like Aragorn and Gandalf, but putting aside questions of if you should try to adapt literary characters to a completely different medium without changing them, you don't need to keep such an extreme divide between them. (After all, even Aragorn had a little magic, and even Gandalf used a sword one or twice.)
    I'm inclined to view magic as a tool that people can use. In our world, there is (to simplify) no such thing as a divide between specialized computer-users and specialized non-computer-users. There are people who mostly develop computer skills and don't have a lot of other skills, and people who focus on other skills but still use computers when they're convenient, but there is also a continuum of people in between, and the extremes are barren. Similarly, perhaps create a world where everyone (or at least everyone of PC caliber) can use both magic and nonmagic skills. There might be a defender who uses armor, magical shields, and sheer stubbornness to prevent others from harming his allies. There might be a ranged attacker who uses arrows to precisely target spells at targets they cannot strike. There might be healers who use both mundane herblore and divine prayers to make people better. And so on.


    You might not like this specific idea, and that's fine. You can use my foundation without taking the walls. The important point to take home is something I said earlier: Distinguish characters by what they do, not how they do it. Figure out the "how" later. You'll get what you want more simply and effectively if you do that.


    Spoiler
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    Magic tends to provide out-of-context solutions or create out-of-context problems.
    Which is mostly because magic is practically defined as "anything in the setting which would be out-of-context in our world". That, in turn, is why I don't think magic/mundane is a good way to divide up character specialties. Or anything else--I mean, it's all in-context to them.
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
    Quotes, more

    Negative LA Assignment Thread
    The Tale of Demman, Second King of Ireland, a CKII AAR, won a WritAAR of the Week award. Winner of Villainous Competition 8
    Fanfic

    Avatar by Recaiden.

  24. - Top - End - #264
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Zale's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Somewhere Warm
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    So let's talk about Exalted's Sorcery.

    In Exalted, everyone is basically a BADASS KUNGFU DEMIGOD (Which is also the name of a TTRPG system).

    Everyone has awesome powers, and they aren't "magic" in the sense of D&D. They're not anymore unnatural than a bird flying, really. They're natural outgrowths of people's personal abilities and capacities most of the time, viewed through a strange lens.

    But there isn't a "null magic zone" that makes them go away. They're part of the world, not an overlay (like how they are in D&D).

    The reason I bring this up is that Sorcery exists, and casting a spell is different from using your charms to punch someone over a mountain.

    Charms are the powers Exalts get because of who and what they are, which resonate with certain themes and stem naturally from some part of the Exalt-

    Spells are a grab-bag of seemingly unrelated effects that people who know sorcery can learn and cast. This is one of their major advantages- depending on what sort of Exalt you are, there are things you can't really do. Solars are the exalts of human perfection and radiant sunlight, so they can't drain people's lifeforce or turn into birds.

    Spells, however, can be created that allow them to do those things.

    But being a Sorcerer isn't necessarily better than not being one. Spells are a handy tool, but even if you don't pick them up you'll still be an incredibly competent person with a lot of amazing powers. Lunars can turn into a bear and eat people's faces without ever having to cast a spell, and a Solar can battle an army to a standstill all on their on.

    Of course, most people would argue that the way Exalted solves the problem is just by giving everyone magic, and they aren't wrong- but the magic isn't like the way D&D views magic. In D&D, Magic is an artificial overlay over the "real world". We know this, because you can turn it off and everything continues to work.

    Creating the equivalent in Exalted, an area where Exalt's Charms don't work, would basically be the same as making the area cease to exist. A "Null-Essence" area would remove the fundamental underpinnings that make up physical matter and govern natural laws.

    Just a thought.
    On a quest to marry Asmodeus, lord of the Nine Hells, or die trying.

  25. - Top - End - #265
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Talakeal's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The New Mexico Wastelands
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Zale View Post
    I mean, if a person can consistently kill dragons, I don't think it's wrong to say they are, at least, better at fighting than a dragon.

    "Power" is a really abstract concept, so a fighter can be less powerful than a dragon, but still beat one in a fight. If the dragon can turn the entire area into an ash-laden hellscape, ruining entire kingdoms with the power of her poison breath, or whatever, then she could still be considered more powerful than someone who's really good at killing dragons.

    If that makes sense?
    Yes, that absolutely makes sense.

    However, just because you "can" do something or even "did" do something does not mean you are better at it, it could just be a lucky fluke.

    My initial point was that a plucky underdogs who defeat superior odds through intangible things like heart, cunning, tenacity, or playing on their opponent's overconfidence is, in my mind, more heroic than a big power house who simply crushes his opponents because he is smarter, stronger, faster, better, etc.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, an old school RPG of Gothic Fantasy. Download full rules at heartofdarknessrpg.com

  26. - Top - End - #266
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lord Raziere's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Zale View Post
    So let's talk about Exalted's Sorcery.

    In Exalted, everyone is basically a BADASS KUNGFU DEMIGOD (Which is also the name of a TTRPG system).

    Everyone has awesome powers, and they aren't "magic" in the sense of D&D. They're not anymore unnatural than a bird flying, really. They're natural outgrowths of people's personal abilities and capacities most of the time, viewed through a strange lens.

    But there isn't a "null magic zone" that makes them go away. They're part of the world, not an overlay (like how they are in D&D).

    The reason I bring this up is that Sorcery exists, and casting a spell is different from using your charms to punch someone over a mountain.

    Charms are the powers Exalts get because of who and what they are, which resonate with certain themes and stem naturally from some part of the Exalt-

    Spells are a grab-bag of seemingly unrelated effects that people who know sorcery can learn and cast. This is one of their major advantages- depending on what sort of Exalt you are, there are things you can't really do. Solars are the exalts of human perfection and radiant sunlight, so they can't drain people's lifeforce or turn into birds.

    Spells, however, can be created that allow them to do those things.

    But being a Sorcerer isn't necessarily better than not being one. Spells are a handy tool, but even if you don't pick them up you'll still be an incredibly competent person with a lot of amazing powers. Lunars can turn into a bear and eat people's faces without ever having to cast a spell, and a Solar can battle an army to a standstill all on their on.

    Of course, most people would argue that the way Exalted solves the problem is just by giving everyone magic, and they aren't wrong- but the magic isn't like the way D&D views magic. In D&D, Magic is an artificial overlay over the "real world". We know this, because you can turn it off and everything continues to work.

    Creating the equivalent in Exalted, an area where Exalt's Charms don't work, would basically be the same as making the area cease to exist. A "Null-Essence" area would remove the fundamental underpinnings that make up physical matter and govern natural laws.

    Just a thought.
    Yeah, exactly. this is what people fail to understand about this type of "magic" Exalted runs on a lot of ancient old world logic, and in ancient times, magic was just the word people used for events all around them: lightning strikes something? magic, some god struck something because they're angry. guy suddenly starts acting weird? magic, they've been possessed. food suddenly spoils? magic, some decay spirit got to it and screwed it up. none of it was thought as "unnatural" or something "beyond" the world, it was just as intrinsic to the world's existence as gravity or the nuclear forces. in short, it was the primitive word for physics, because they were too ignorant to actually know how things worked. therefore all natural events they couldn't explain? MAGIC.

    clear magic you can just turn on and off is a very modern idea. and kind of a boring one.
    My Fan Fiction:
    To Catch A Mew
    A Kalos based pokemon fan fic. Now up to Chapter 20!



  27. - Top - End - #267
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Talakeal's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    The New Mexico Wastelands
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    This is not true. That character does not compete with our hypothetical Druid/Planar Shepherd. He doesn't fight as well as the Druid does. He doesn't have utility that competes with the Druid. He doesn't have minions that compete with the Druid. He doesn't have strategic level powers in the way the Druid does.

    Also, you've picked a class that is repeatedly criticized as "not mundane", a class whose mundane abilities end at their skill list and Bardic Knowledge (bardic music is Su or Sp, spells are spells), and a class that draws on supernatural power and eventually turns into an outsider. How exactly is that "mundane"?
    Yes, druids are broken. I did not say a mundane character could compete with a full caster (as they currently exist), merely that they could handle most anything that the DMG would suggest is an appropriate challenge for a character of their character (barring an NPC T1 caster obviously).

    IMO the only thing that is not mundane about the war-blade is that they forget their maneuvers at odd times. And yes, I was talking about the bard's skills and Bardic knowledge, which is why I explicitly said the bard's skills.

    I don't see a monk's defenses as being in any way supernatural. Saving throws are clearly not supernatural and I can find a mundane class with every good saving throw, just not at the same time. AC bonus, Evasion, and Still mind are all EX abilities that don't seem supernatural in any way (unless you are sticking to strict RAW and letting evasion move you into hammer-space). Purity and wholeness of body are a bit supernatural, I didn't think about those but the game thinks they are EX and they don't really matter that much.

    And spell resistance is indeed listed as a SU ability, but in my mind there is nothing more realistic than magic not being able to do something as we all know magic doesn't exist.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, an old school RPG of Gothic Fantasy. Download full rules at heartofdarknessrpg.com

  28. - Top - End - #268
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Zale View Post
    Everyone has awesome powers, and they aren't "magic" in the sense of D&D. They're not anymore unnatural than a bird flying, really. They're natural outgrowths of people's personal abilities and capacities most of the time, viewed through a strange lens.
    No. Stop. That's not how it works. "Magic" isn't unnatural in D&D. The laws of nature are different in D&D. You are making a distinction without a difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Yes, druids are broken.
    Yes, which is why the game balance should be rebalanced so they aren't broken. But if you think the solution to make them not broken needs to be "take away abilities" rather than "change challenges", you are explicitly saying that the game shouldn't support my character concept, exactly like I have been claiming you are saying and you have been denying saying all along.

    And to be clear, that is fine, but if that is what you are saying about my concept I see no reason why I should support the game including yours.
    Last edited by Cosi; 2017-11-21 at 05:05 PM. Reason: Clarity

  29. - Top - End - #269
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Zale's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Somewhere Warm
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    No. Stop. That's not how it works. "Magic" isn't unnatural in D&D. The laws of nature are different in D&D. You are making a distinction without a difference.
    They aren't so different that the world radically changes from ours when the magic is turned off.

    The mere fact that it's possible to "turn off the magic" indicates that the magic is not strongly integrated into the functioning of the setting. Sure there are places in D&D where the world operates under different principles, but those so scarcely interact with how magic works that it's disingenuous to link them.

    Oh, this plane is made of fire and so fire spells are marginally more powerful.


    D&D magic feels like a random assortment of magical effects that have been stripped of their metaphysical origins and justifications, rammed together and placed without roots into a setting.

    In some versions of Exalted, for example, it's possible to almost trivially call up the spirits of the dead to talk to them. Anyone can do it, because it just takes blood and a bunch of half-muttered words.

    You can do a lot of magical seeming things just by talking to the spirits that are in charge of them. A village shaman can do a lot without ever casting what the setting defines as "a spell" purely by propitiating the right local gods.

    It's a different set-up than how D&D works.
    On a quest to marry Asmodeus, lord of the Nine Hells, or die trying.

  30. - Top - End - #270
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Changing the "Caster beats Mundane" paradigm

    Quote Originally Posted by Zale View Post
    They aren't so different that the world radically changes from ours when the magic is turned off.
    So, what, Exalted is "more magic" because they didn't put antimagic field in it?

    Yeah, not buying it.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •