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  1. - Top - End - #481
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by death390 View Post
    look at the rest of the section. i said that while refluffing like that is "ok" its also NOT equivalent to changing the energy type. what IS equivalent is changing slashing/piercing/bludgeoning, i could see an axe that has spines instead of a actual blade being a piercing axe, or a axe that was never sharpened being a bludgeoning axe. similar to a tapered sword is piercing (rapier).
    Okay? That's still homebrew, not refluff. And it's homebrew that I've done before and gotten approved by a GM (Iolian Warblades, which were slashing short swords for my pirate character). But I presented it as a houserule/custom item, not as refluffing, because it made a mechanical change to an existing item

    refluffing is more accuratly shown by having a handaxe look like a battleaxe or a dagger looking like a greatsword. this is due to the fact that is how it was in 3.0 where the only difference between a battleaxe and a handaxe was the size of the weapon compared to the wielders size.
    Refluffing is best shown as whatever the hell you want it to be, so long as you don't modify the mechanics. I've seen incarnum turned into machinery, I've seen wizards turned into scientists, I've seen bows turned into guns. But in none of these cases did the mechanics for any of it change. Not once. Not even a little. Because it was refluffing, not houseruling.
    Last edited by Keledrath; 2018-01-02 at 09:02 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #482
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by P.F. View Post
    Not core. In the core rules, different energy types are different. Which I was careful to contrast against the energy type design philosophy esposed by splatsource authors. Honestly "orb of" is a trigger phrase for me, so I probably won't be participating in any discussions predicated on the existence of those spells.
    core is more unbalanced than most of the splats. orb of X is spell compendium (originally tome and blood, reprinted in complete arcane) which is THE splat for spells. if you arn't going to participate if i use orb of X then you will end up not participating because it is the best version of what i am talking about and will continue to use it as an example.

    EDIT:

    players handbook spells
    fire: 17 50%
    cold: 9 26%
    elec: 5 15%
    acid: 3 9%

    total: 34 energy spells
    that's it, hell that is almost nothing for a single energy type elementalist. its not even a good sample size. though the %'s are about equall when you discount frostburn.
    Last edited by death390; 2018-01-02 at 10:15 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by BassoonHero View Post
    No, the problem is that the limit one can achieve with physical brute force from a human body is low, very, very, very low, so obviously someone pursuing strength via muscles is not going to get far.
    This is certainly true in 3.5, but I don't think that it's an inevitable feature of the fantasy genre. Look at wuxia. Look at mythology. Look at what "peak human" means in the DC universe. I think that "strength via muscles" can do some pretty amazing things if the system allows for it.

  3. - Top - End - #483
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by death390 View Post
    look at the rest of the section. i said that while refluffing like that is "ok" its also NOT equivalent to changing the energy type. what IS equivalent is changing slashing/piercing/bludgeoning, i could see an axe that has spines instead of a actual blade being a piercing axe, or a axe that was never sharpened being a bludgeoning axe. similar to a tapered sword is piercing (rapier).

    refluffing is more accuratly shown by having a handaxe look like a battleaxe or a dagger looking like a greatsword. this is due to the fact that is how it was in 3.0 where the only difference between a battleaxe and a handaxe was the size of the weapon compared to the wielders size.
    I don't think damage type is fluff. There are game mechanics which are contingent on physical damage types. What's more, there are design trends which follow each different type. Refluffing is like how if I don't like how the axe in the PHB looks like a "D" and I want a "C" or a "]" shaped blade, then I can draw the axe however I want it.
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  4. - Top - End - #484
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Different energy types are very much like different damage types (piercing, slashing, bludgeoning); they are useful in different situations.

    Does this affect balance? Yes. Does it meaningfully affect balance? No, because the margin of balance in 3.5e is so much wider than the advantage or disadvantage that an unchangeable energy type gives. Basically, it is like complaining about a drop of water in an ocean of unbalance.

    The roleplaying that this creativity opens up is pretty immense. It is 85% fluff, 15% mechanical change. That is worth it. Does this mean it should presumed to be allowed? No, but its very reasonable. Is this optimisation? No more so than choosing a different damage type - i.e., it could be, but very easily might not be. Is this a toxic type of optimisation? No.

    As an aside, the value of the Energy Substitution feat is the flexibility.
    Last edited by Aimeryan; 2018-01-02 at 11:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by death390 View Post
    core is more unbalanced than most of the splats. orb of X is spell compendium (originally tome and blood, reprinted in complete arcane) which is THE splat for spells. if you arn't going to participate if i use orb of X then you will end up not participating because it is the best version of what i am talking about and will continue to use it as an example.

    EDIT:

    players handbook spells
    fire: 17 50%
    cold: 9 26%
    elec: 5 15%
    acid: 3 9%

    total: 34 energy spells
    that's it, hell that is almost nothing for a single energy type elementalist. its not even a good sample size. though the %'s are about equall when you discount frostburn.
    Yes, because the orb spells are well known for their balance. Not like they're the primary candidate for mailman builds or anything, for their ability to ignore high normal AC, spell resistance, and antimagic fields all at once, while being combined with decent-for-your-level damage, plus fire comes with an incredible rider effect.

    People take energy substitution and orb of fire together for a reason
    Last edited by Crake; 2018-01-03 at 12:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan View Post
    Playing a wizard the way GitP says wizards should be played requires the equivalent time and effort investment of a university minor. Do you really want to go down this rabbit hole, or are you comfortable with just throwing a souped-up Orb of Fire at the thing?
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  6. - Top - End - #486
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    The best example of how energy types were originally linked to specific spell ideas is Fireball itself. Go ahead and try to find another blasting spell with full Long range that compares favorably in any way- the only one is Scintillating Sphere, an obvious "refluff" found in Spell Compendium. . . except not.

    Scintillating Sphere is originally from Magic of Faerun, tagged with some extra fluff as originating from Halruaa, but most importantly: It had Medium range.. Like many spells in Spell Compendium (and items in Magic Item Compendium), it had a mechanical drawback in exchange for it's mechanical advantage. In exchange for ignoring the normal electricity vectors to have a sphere the same size as Fireball, it got less range. Ice Burst is similar, Medium range, and the larger burst size is accounted for by the reduced maximum damage.

    Just because someone wrote a later book that buffed a spell or item doesn't mean that the original design was for it to be that way.

    And that range is actually a huge deal when people are going on about flying monsters and flying wizards all the time. Knowing that you can only use certain types of energy to hit people at Long range means you can enter that range with the proper defenses with impunity, unless the DM is hosing you with a special build or the player is being rewarded for a special build.
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  7. - Top - End - #487
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    Yes, because the orb spells are well known for their balance. Not like they're the primary candidate for mailman builds or anything,
    To be fair, "Best damaging spells" and "Best damaging build" both translate to "Viable" rather than "Broken" for the amount of effort put in.
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  8. - Top - End - #488
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    To be fair, "Best damaging spells" and "Best damaging build" both translate to "Viable" rather than "Broken" for the amount of effort put in.
    Depends. Thing are going to get weird when it leads to a paradigm shift.

    It happened quite early in Pathfinder, that direct damage spells got better at BFC than pure BFC spells, making for a drastic shift in how GOD Wizards work.

    Edit: Tangentially, this is coupled with how scaling/fixed conditions function and what kind of unwanted synergy can come out of using them.
    Last edited by Florian; 2018-01-03 at 05:14 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #489
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aimeryan View Post
    Different energy types are very much like different damage types (piercing, slashing, bludgeoning); they are useful in different situations.

    Does this affect balance? Yes. Does it meaningfully affect balance? No, because the margin of balance in 3.5e is so much wider than the advantage or disadvantage that an unchangeable energy type gives. Basically, it is like complaining about a drop of water in an ocean of unbalance.

    The roleplaying that this creativity opens up is pretty immense. It is 85% fluff, 15% mechanical change. That is worth it. Does this mean it should presumed to be allowed? No, but its very reasonable. Is this optimisation? No more so than choosing a different damage type - i.e., it could be, but very easily might not be. Is this a toxic type of optimisation? No.

    As an aside, the value of the Energy Substitution feat is the flexibility.
    this is basically what i was trying to convey but was unable to. thank you. there really needs to be a specific word for this concept. i used fluff because it seemed closest to what i was trying to say, and homebrew has a lot of negative connotations for people. its also not quite homebrew because its a re-skinning(?) of something else. does the re skin alter things other than just fluff yes (damage type), but at the same time that doesn't preclude the fluff from the re-skin.
    Quote Originally Posted by BassoonHero View Post
    No, the problem is that the limit one can achieve with physical brute force from a human body is low, very, very, very low, so obviously someone pursuing strength via muscles is not going to get far.
    This is certainly true in 3.5, but I don't think that it's an inevitable feature of the fantasy genre. Look at wuxia. Look at mythology. Look at what "peak human" means in the DC universe. I think that "strength via muscles" can do some pretty amazing things if the system allows for it.

  10. - Top - End - #490
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Depends. Thing are going to get weird when it leads to a paradigm shift.

    It happened quite early in Pathfinder, that direct damage spells got better at BFC than pure BFC spells, making for a drastic shift in how GOD Wizards work.
    I mean, it didn't shift the paradigm in 3.5. Damage was good, BFC stayed good. It's not Orb of X's fault that Paizo messed up.
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  11. - Top - End - #491
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    I mean, it didn't shift the paradigm in 3.5. Damage was good, BFC stayed good. It's not Orb of X's fault that Paizo messed up.
    Oh, it is. They showcased the power of rider effects, especially when the debuff effect is stronger than the damage. Folks wanted their Orbs back and started taking a deeper look at the system to find ways to do so, first replicating the Orbs, then going on from there and applying that logic to Fireball, Cone of Cold, and so on.

  12. - Top - End - #492
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Oh, it is. They showcased the power of rider effects, especially when the debuff effect is stronger than the damage. Folks wanted their Orbs back and started taking a deeper look at the system to find ways to do so, first replicating the Orbs, then going on from there and applying that logic to Fireball, Cone of Cold, and so on.
    It's still not Orb of X's fault that Paizo didn't know how to deliver on that because their only knowledge of game design was how to rip someone else's work lock, stock and barrel into their own cash cow. Orb of X was never the problem, and you can tell by the fact that it never really broke anything in 3.5 without an amount of effort that would allow you to break anything anyway.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by death390 View Post
    core is more unbalanced than most of the splats.
    That is an opinion, but one which is hard to support or contradict because no splatbooks function without core. In my humble opinion, the core rules, all their flaws notwithstanding, are the central standard for interpreting game mechanics and inferring game design philosophy. YMMV void where prohibited etc.

    players handbook spells
    fire: 17 50%
    cold: 9 26%
    elec: 5 15%
    acid: 3 9%
    Fire is the most common energy type, but is also the most commonly resisted. However, it is also a very common weakness, for what that's worth. Acid is rare and does relatively less damage than a similar-level fire or cold spell.

    This all looks fine to me.


    total: 34 energy spells
    that's it, hell that is almost nothing for a single energy type elementalist. its not even a good sample size. though the %'s are about equall when you discount frostburn.
    Well it's plenty and more for a fire-type elementalist. Air-mages usually get the electricity spells but also get various wind and weather-related spells to make up for that. Alternately, I have had characters use lightning-and-thunder as a theme, which adds some sonic spells to the mix. I have honestly never once had a player choose acid as their preferred energy type.

    In any case, no one in any of the groups I game with has objected to writing new spells to fill the niche, so long as those spells are in line with the design philosophy we were playing under. I have had no problem refluffing shout as thunderclap or grease as blackice. Hell when I play a caster half of the spells on my character sheet don't match the name on the SRD.

    What does match is the exact effects of the spell when my friends look it up. If your table is okay with a cryomancer whose coldball is so frigid it ignites straw and paper and melts lead and gold while being utterly ineffective against fire elementals, then have at! That might be a bit too much for a game I'm DMing, but in truth most of my friends would be fine with it.
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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    It's still not Orb of X's fault that Paizo didn't know how to deliver on that because their only knowledge of game design was how to rip someone else's work lock, stock and barrel into their own cash cow. Orb of X was never the problem, and you can tell by the fact that it never really broke anything in 3.5 without an amount of effort that would allow you to break anything anyway.
    Still got a hate-on with Paizo for handling the d20 OGL stuff more successful than WotC did?

    We just didn't discuss Orb back in the day, because the other broken or OP stuff overshadowed it, like Persistomancers or Circle Magic. Imagine discussions without Spelldancer, Hathran or Incantratrix, were would we land?

    That's basically all because of the fundamental design decision done by WotC back then to treat everything as stand-alone and only in reference to the core.

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    Default Re: Why hate optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Still got a hate-on with Paizo for handling the d20 OGL stuff more successful than WotC did?
    "Better than WotC, on a good day" is not exactly a high accolade, especially when you're taking WotC material with known problems, surgically extracting those problems, and creating a few new ones along the way.
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