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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    Now, party balance doesn't mean you have to have a set roster of characters, but it does mean that you try not to make characters that excel at everything (Unless the entire party is built along those lines). So , if Bob makes a fighter, you don't go and make a war domain cleric and muscle him out of his job. There are plenty of options in the game, that you shouldn't have this problem.
    For 5e, isn’t that particular scenario almost the opposite of muscling them out of a job, though? If Bob makes a Fighter, and Joe makes a War Cleric so Bob can use his Protection fighting style when they charge the enemy together surrounded by Spirit Guardians or warded by Bless, Bob is usually having a good time.

    If Bob builds an archer but doesn’t take the archery fighting style or Sharpshooter, and Joe builds an optimized Elven Samurai archer with Sharpshooter and elven accuracy and doubles Bobs damage while using the same schtick, then you have a problem.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Definitions don't really help when we are talking about subtlety, nuance, or intention.

    In this case is "working towards a goal" an in or out of character thing? There is a dissonance as the characters will likely have to sabotage their in character goals in order to make everyone feel better at the table.
    Is that a problem?, Characters are just imaginary constructs, I don't believe that sabotaging character goals matters in the least, specially when compared to making everyone feel better at the table.
    Last edited by zinycor; 2019-09-16 at 10:42 PM.
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    Is that a problem?, Characters are just imaginary constructs, I don't believe that sabotaging character goals matters in the least, specially whn compared to making everyone feel better at the table.
    Some people enjoy RPing and getting into their character's head, and constantly coming up with excuses to sabotage their character's goals can really interfere with that.

    On the same token, some people play to win, or at the very least enjoy the tactical elements of the game, and constantly having to hold back is frustrating for them.
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Some people enjoy RPing and getting into their character's head, and constantly coming up with excuses to sabotage their character's goals can really interfere with that.

    On the same token, some people play to win, or at the very least enjoy the tactical elements of the game, and constantly having to hold back is frustrating for them.
    Weird. Hopefully I never have to play with such people
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Some people enjoy RPing and getting into their character's head, and constantly coming up with excuses to sabotage their character's goals can really interfere with that.

    On the same token, some people play to win, or at the very least enjoy the tactical elements of the game, and constantly having to hold back is frustrating for them.
    Pretty much. these people are part of the group as well. its disingenuous to assume that the goals of the "group" are always beer and pretzels stuff. if these people are social enough to work with you, should you not be social enough to work with them? otherwise its just a tyranny of the majority.
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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    The term is Expy
    Ah, thanks. It's not really part of my vocabulary yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Why? Because no one wants to play the sidekick.
    Incorrect. Some people do enjoy playing the sidekick.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    Let me edit that so it makes sense to me.

    "'Balance' is only a concern if you make it so. [...] You just have to walk into the RPG with the right expectations."
    => If you don't have fun because of unbalance in the game, that's your fault for not having the good expectations for the game, not the game designer's (or DM) fault for making a broken system.

    => “if you choose a class that is weak compared to that of the other players, and that bothers you, it’s your fault for caring about balance.

    frankly, you are conflating "balance issues" with "having fun" here. If you are playing the game and not having fun.... yeah... that is your fault.... either change your expectations to start having fun, or find a different game with different players.

    If you make a monk when everyone else made wizards, then why are you whining about "how unfair and unfun it is"?

    Here's what I don't get. And I realize my experiences have been lucky compared to some. If I play a monk, its because I have a concept for a character that is a monk. And I get to play that character. And I get to have fun. If the rest of the party is made out of wizards.... so what? I still get to find my place in the "story" and play it out. I guess i'm lucky in having DMs and players that don't act like the mythical T1 super characters portrayed as existing on this forum, but that I have never found in real life. And I'm also lucky in that I have a strong enough force of personality when playing to make my impact on the game regardless.

    Now, I -personally- have no problem with you redesigning the game or trying to improve balance. I think the game would benefit from it. But the game isn't BROKEN without those improvements. I've been in many high level games where t4 characters are on the same team with t1 characters and everybody has fun, everybody contributes, everyone is part of the victory, everyone is party of the story.
    Thank you. You clearly get where I'm coming from, and can express it far more clearly than I am able.

    I don't bother playing a character that isn't fun for me to play, but "fun to play" is not limited to the set "mechanics", let alone "mechanical contribution".

    Quote Originally Posted by Zuras View Post
    For 5e, isn’t that particular scenario almost the opposite of muscling them out of a job, though? If Bob makes a Fighter, and Joe makes a War Cleric so Bob can use his Protection fighting style when they charge the enemy together surrounded by Spirit Guardians or warded by Bless, Bob is usually having a good time.

    If Bob builds an archer but doesn’t take the archery fighting style or Sharpshooter, and Joe builds an optimized Elven Samurai archer with Sharpshooter and elven accuracy and doubles Bobs damage while using the same schtick, then you have a problem.
    Only if you make it a problem. Alternately, you can enjoy the disparity in mechanical contribution. Just look at Gimli.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Some people enjoy RPing and getting into their character's head, and constantly coming up with excuses to sabotage their character's goals can really interfere with that.

    On the same token, some people play to win, or at the very least enjoy the tactical elements of the game, and constantly having to hold back is frustrating for them.
    Hmmm… I'm not a fan of contrivance, or of poor role-playing. I'd need to head this one off in session 0, planning characters that I can roleplay properly, and still work towards the group's goals. Tell me the target, and I'll choose a character accordingly. Happily, my tactically inept signature academia Wizard is generally great for this.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    I cannot emphasize this enough, some people do not auto-see classes as difficulty settings. I do not do not this, and don't care or want to. what I want. is for them to be styles of play that don't impact difficulty. I'd much rather have a class be a flavor of ice cream or pizza. you have your flavor, I have mine, no ones flavor is better, but we can all enjoy the pizza. and just because you want anchovies shouldn't impact my plain cheese slice.
    Agreed 100%.

    Quote Originally Posted by moonfly7 View Post
    I know we're talking about rpgs in general, but I play 5E mostly. And here's what I have to say for dnd, which is where I see the party balance thing a lot:
    Just because another dude killed 50 guys with fireball, does not make your sword and shield obsolete.
    I've seen this mentality so much, and I've even seen people who main casters getting pissed because they think it's stupid to play a non magic class.
    "Party balance" (ugh just saying it hurts me) if it's even a thing, only exists in our minds. Really and truly.
    That wizards fireball? It was his whole turn. He's done now. And you better believe he's bored and wishing he hadn't eaten all the Cheetos two hours ago. Your swordy boi though? On his turn he's got everything to do, no wasted action options, depending on how he's built, he can do crazy stuff with actions, bonus actions, and more actions. Even going so far as too get an extra reaction on everyone else's turn.
    But both the wizard and the fighter are "balanced" both can contribute. And it goes for every class in every system. Every subclass too (yes, even 4 elements monk)
    Bottom line, if your not having fun because of "balance issues" ots probably not the parties class choices that are an issue, it's your attitude.
    Rpgs are people games, and 99% of the time people are the real issue in them.
    The other 1 percent is bad homebrew and game design.
    Could you clarify what you mean here?

    Are you saying that fighters are better because they roll more dice than the wizard even if they accomplish less?

    And are you actually saying that 99% (or is that 100%) of professionally published games do not have any serious balance issues? If so, what systems are so egregious that they actually make that 1%?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Hmmm… I'm not a fan of contrivance, or of poor role-playing. I'd need to head this one off in session 0, planning characters that I can roleplay properly, and still work towards the group's goals. Tell me the target, and I'll choose a character accordingly. Happily, my tactically inept signature academia Wizard is generally great for this.
    Again, it depends on what the groups goals are, and if you are talking about OOC goals or IC goals.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    Weird. Hopefully I never have to play with such people
    So what do the people you play with find fun about that game?

    Isn't the idea of everyone deriving fun from making sure everyone else has fun ultimately circular and meaningless?
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post

    So what do the people you play with find fun about that game?

    Isn't the idea of everyone deriving fun from making sure everyone else has fun ultimately circular and meaningless?
    And since I don't play games in order to find a meaning or improve at life.... Am totally fine with it being meaningless.
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    And since I don't play games in order to find a meaning or improve at life.... Am totally fine with it being meaningless.
    I am saying that the statement "its fun because its fun" is logically meaningless, not the activity it is describing.
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  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Incorrect. Some people do enjoy playing the sidekick.
    Yes, that is occasionally true. Not most people, and even for those that do, propably not all the time. I've yet to stumble on a game that supports the idea. All the games I've seen - by no means every game in existance, but quite a few - are based on the assumption of balance, despite the often obvious lack thereof.


    I'm sorry, but despite your correct nitpick, I feel my point stands: No one wants to play the sidekick (generally speaking - exceptions do exist).

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Yes, that is occasionally true. Not most people, and even for those that do, propably not all the time. I've yet to stumble on a game that supports the idea. All the games I've seen - by no means every game in existance, but quite a few - are based on the assumption of balance, despite the often obvious lack thereof.


    I'm sorry, but despite your correct nitpick, I feel my point stands: No one wants to play the sidekick (generally speaking - exceptions do exist).
    There's an important puntualization to be made here, I feel. I don't mind playing the sidekick if me being the sidekick was an explicit part of designing the character.

    If the game presents two options as roughly equal, these options shuld actually be roughly equal, because "Well, you intended to make a cool warrior that defends his friends, but you ended up as Inspector Zenigata" has a very different feel for a player than "you chose the bumbling sidekick options and are having a blast being silly". There is little that makes a player bristle more than not being able to play the character they wanted to play.

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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Yeah, that. The baseassumption when playing D&D especially is that we're playing heroic fantasy. I've played bumbling sidekicks too, and court intrigue, and grim and gritty, and pulp action, and I've done all of those both in D&D and in other more specialized systems. But if someone tells me "D&D" and nothing else, I'm going to assume it will be a game of heroic fantasy. If someone invites me to join a D&D group and gives me no further details, I'm going to build a heroic fantasy character, which comes with some assumptions.
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  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Incorrect. Some people do enjoy playing the sidekick.

    __________________________________________________ _______________________________

    Thank you. You clearly get where I'm coming from, and can express it far more clearly than I am able.

    I don't bother playing a character that isn't fun for me to play, but "fun to play" is not limited to the set "mechanics", let alone "mechanical contribution".

    __________________________________________________ _______________________________


    Only if you make it a problem. Alternately, you can enjoy the disparity in mechanical contribution. Just look at Gimli.

    __________________________________________________ _______________________________


    Hmmm… I'm not a fan of contrivance, or of poor role-playing. I'd need to head this one off in session 0, planning characters that I can roleplay properly, and still work towards the group's goals. Tell me the target, and I'll choose a character accordingly. Happily, my tactically inept signature academia Wizard is generally great for this.
    I think the balance issue isn't the fact that you can end up with a much weaker/stronger character than others, I think the real problem is that the game sets the expectation that a Monk is on equal footing with a Wizard if both of them are straight from the book, when generally they are not.

  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drascin View Post
    There's an important puntualization to be made here, I feel. I don't mind playing the sidekick if me being the sidekick was an explicit part of designing the character.

    If the game presents two options as roughly equal, these options shuld actually be roughly equal, because "Well, you intended to make a cool warrior that defends his friends, but you ended up as Inspector Zenigata" has a very different feel for a player than "you chose the bumbling sidekick options and are having a blast being silly". There is little that makes a player bristle more than not being able to play the character they wanted to play.
    Agreed. Although .. I'm talking more from the perspective of class design than character design. As in, why would I chose to play a specialist, if the generalist can do my job (and every other job) too .. only better. And that's the D&D problem, right? The mage can fight better than the fighter, and rogue better than the rogue. That is problematic, independently of whether you have fun playing a sidekick by choice - the fact that honestly, you will be a sidekick no matter what, because you chose to play the class you did.

    Obviously, that's not universally the case. Even in D&D, the mage needs levels before he can outperform various classes at their specialty, and it also depends on levels of optimization. But .. sometimes, if you chose not to play the mage .. well then you also chose to be the sidekick.

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuras View Post
    For 5e, isn’t that particular scenario almost the opposite of muscling them out of a job, though? If Bob makes a Fighter, and Joe makes a War Cleric so Bob can use his Protection fighting style when they charge the enemy together surrounded by Spirit Guardians or warded by Bless, Bob is usually having a good time.

    If Bob builds an archer but doesn’t take the archery fighting style or Sharpshooter, and Joe builds an optimized Elven Samurai archer with Sharpshooter and elven accuracy and doubles Bobs damage while using the same schtick, then you have a problem.
    Mutazoia is talking about 3.X, where War Cleric was basically "Fighter, but Better", even without too much optimization (provided, of course, that the Cleric takes the obvious buff spells.). One who also happens to be a full caster.

    (That's why the word Clericzilla got thrown around a lot.)

    Of course the 3.X Cleric can also choose to play a more supporting role, but anyone who choose War (+ some other domain) Cleric will likely wade into melee (or sometimes shoot as an archer, but there are better domains for that) because that's what the domain is built for.

    Balance is far tighter in 5e. Clerics in particular got nerfed a lot, with most buff spells requiring concentration. The number of spell slots has also been sharply curtailed, while the number of expected encounters (per day) has gone up.

    (And personally IMHO they went a bit overboard, with frontline Cleric archetypes having really anemic melee options despite being, well, frontline archetypes. Only way to 'fix' it is to take SCAGtrips.)
    Last edited by NNescio; 2019-09-17 at 04:08 AM.
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  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    Here's what I don't get. And I realize my experiences have been lucky compared to some. If I play a monk, its because I have a concept for a character that is a monk. And I get to play that character. And I get to have fun. If the rest of the party is made out of wizards.... so what? I still get to find my place in the "story" and play it out.
    I think it's more that Quertus seems to imply that someone (else) has to play a wallflower for the game to be fun. Assigning that role to someone that don't want it, and then just telling them to change their expectation to not make it a problem, is not cool.

    Wanting to play a wallflower is no problem. If you say that someone should play a wallflower in this game, guess what, that someone is yourself. Liking unbalanced parties is fine. Expecting someone else to only play murderhobo #3 to indulge your preference for unbalanced groups is not. But if you want that role yourself, by any means help yourself.

  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Could you clarify what you mean here?

    Are you saying that fighters are better because they roll more dice than the wizard even if they accomplish less?

    And are you actually saying that 99% (or is that 100%) of professionally published games do not have any serious balance issues? If so, what systems are so egregious that they actually make that 1%?
    What I speculate?

    It's the usual "Fighters are balanced relative to casters because they get to do their shtick all day as opposed to casters who get limited spell slots" argument.

    Which in 3.X is patently false because of how powerful and flexible spells are, the number of spell slots (more than enough to cover 1.5x the expected number of encounters), and the fact that HP itself is a limited resource.

    But things changed in 5e; casters are far more limited especially in early-mid levels. A lot of spells are nerfed, spells no longer auto-scale (you need to spend higher level spell slots to "upcast", a spell like a manifester pouring more power points into a power), and most stronger spells like BFCs and buffs and some DoT effects are keyed to "concentration" (basically meaning you can only have one "concentration" spell active). On the other hand Fighters get to full-attack every time with full movement (so do others, but Fighters get far more attacks), get per encounter resources (well, per 1 hour "short rest", but that's how they settled for implementing "per 2 encounters" diegetically) that let them break the action economy (Factotum-style) and pull off ToB inspired maneuvers, and can heal themselves to keep on fighting. (Everyone can also heal themselves out of combat when taking a short rest, by using a 4E Healing Surge-esque mechanic). All of which make the "Fighter can do its shtick" more often a far more cogent argument.

    (Of course, high-level Wizards are still an issue, as they can summon and create minions and have a lot of long-duration spells that they can precast and 'carry around' with them. They also get some no-save-you-just-suck options. Other 'arcane' casters can also join in the fun. 'Divine' casters, not so much, but Druid also kinda get some of the 'arcane' options, plus they also make for better minionmancers.)

    But fundamentally to me, this just reinforces the importance of balance; 5E is better balanced* than 3.X, making it harder for classes to inadvertently outshine another one. (Or "deliberately", at least not without a higher degree of "systems mastery". )

    (*This isn't necessarily without 'tradeoffs' though. To me, 5E achieves this by limiting options [sometimes with arbitrary-seeming limitations] and with a more 'vague' ruleset that necessitate players asking for DM permission to do something that is either not present or not clarified clearly in the rules. Which, well, isn't necessarily bad [it's kinda like older editions, in a way], but a tradeoff.)
    Last edited by NNescio; 2019-09-17 at 04:59 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by NNescio View Post
    But fundamentally to me, this just reinforces the importance of balance; 5E is better balanced* than 3.X, making it harder for classes to inadvertently outshine another one. (Or "deliberately", at least not without a higher degree of "systems mastery". )

    (*This isn't necessarily without 'tradeoffs' though. To me, 5E achieves this by limiting options [sometimes with arbitrary-seeming limitations] and with a more 'vague' ruleset that necessitate players asking for DM permission to do something that is either not present or not clarified clearly in the rules. Which, well, isn't necessarily bad [it's kinda like older editions, in a way], but a tradeoff.)
    Take note that 5e is also balanced around Fighters. In 5e, a reasonably-built and played fighter with a +1 sword and no other magic items can still contribute a lot against 99% of the monsters in the game, unlike 3.X, where high-level monsters were usually far more fantastical than the default Fighter. Some people like it, the others point out that this design decision turned most enemies into sacks of HP and damage with little individuality ability-wise.
    Last edited by Ignimortis; 2019-09-17 at 05:16 AM.
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Obviously, that's not universally the case. Even in D&D, the mage needs levels before he can outperform various classes at their specialty, and it also depends on levels of optimization. But .. sometimes, if you chose not to play the mage .. well then you also chose to be the sidekick.
    OK, I want to hit this first:

    Balance to the table.

    That's probably my primary Playground meme.

    If you choose to play X, and sometime choose to play Y, and your characters aren't balanced? That's on you. You have failed to balance to the table. For clarity, that's on y'all, y'all have failed.

    If someone doesn't want to play a "sidekick" ATM, but they end up that way, then someone had failed to create a properly balanced character.

    "The fault is in our selves, not in our Stars, that we are to be Caesar's underlings." Or in Caesar, if he's the one outside the group's balance range.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drascin View Post
    There's an important puntualization to be made here, I feel. I don't mind playing the sidekick if me being the sidekick was an explicit part of designing the character.

    If the game presents two options as roughly equal, these options shuld actually be roughly equal, because "Well, you intended to make a cool warrior that defends his friends, but you ended up as Inspector Zenigata" has a very different feel for a player than "you chose the bumbling sidekick options and are having a blast being silly". There is little that makes a player bristle more than not being able to play the character they wanted to play.
    Agree with the 1st paragraph.

    The second - specific to a particular system - is a presentation issue. It would be nice if 3e explicitly stated how weak the Wizard was (at its floor), to warn new players to take stronger classes.

    Quote Originally Posted by MeimuHakurei View Post
    I think the balance issue isn't the fact that you can end up with a much weaker/stronger character than others, I think the real problem is that the game sets the expectation that a Monk is on equal footing with a Wizard if both of them are straight from the book, when generally they are not.
    My poor academia mage could have been replaced with a bag of flour for all he's brought to the table in the last 10ish levels with the party with the Monk MVP.

    But, yeah, I agree that it's a presentation issue, which leads to an issue of setting false expectations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Agreed. Although .. I'm talking more from the perspective of class design than character design. As in, why would I chose to play a specialist, if the generalist can do my job (and every other job) too .. only better. And that's the D&D problem, right? The mage can fight better than the fighter, and rogue better than the rogue. That is problematic, independently of whether you have fun playing a sidekick by choice - the fact that honestly, you will be a sidekick no matter what, because you chose to play the class you did.
    Talking of class design (etc) seems out of place for the question of why does the *party* need to be balanced.

    We're not disagreeing that false expectations are bad. Or that hidden imbalance can lead to those false expectations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Obviously, that's not universally the case. Even in D&D, the mage needs levels before he can outperform various classes at their specialty, and it also depends on levels of optimization. But .. sometimes, if you chose not to play the mage .. well then you also chose to be the sidekick.
    And you should be able to make that choice. Agency - it starts before the dice are rolled.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelle View Post
    I think it's more that Quertus seems to imply that someone (else) has to play a wallflower for the game to be fun. Assigning that role to someone that don't want it, and then just telling them to change their expectation to not make it a problem, is not cool.

    Wanting to play a wallflower is no problem. If you say that someone should play a wallflower in this game, guess what, that someone is yourself. Liking unbalanced parties is fine. Expecting someone else to only play murderhobo #3 to indulge your preference for unbalanced groups is not. But if you want that role yourself, by any means help yourself.
    Wow. Um, no, that's not what I'm saying at all. Let's try again.

    I am saying that balance is not a synonym for fun. I am saying that balance is *not* required for fun.

    That doesn't mean that imbalance is required for fun.

    I am not taking about forcing a role on people; I'm taking about people not trying to force a role on themselves.

    And, if you haven't caught on, I've played my signature academia mage whose contribution for 10 levels could have been replaced by a bag of flour. I've played a Sentient Potted Plant for Pete moss' sake. How in the world did you ever get the idea that "someone else" should play the sidekick?

  20. - Top - End - #80
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    OK, I want to hit this first:

    Balance to the table.

    That's probably my primary Playground meme.

    If you choose to play X, and sometime choose to play Y, and your characters aren't balanced? That's on you. You have failed to balance to the table. For clarity, that's on y'all, y'all have failed.

    If someone doesn't want to play a "sidekick" ATM, but they end up that way, then someone had failed to create a properly balanced character.
    Well - I don't disagree. But it's easier to create a balanced character if the system isn't inherently unbalanced. Again, by a simple choice of spells (and some levels), the mage can be a better rogue than the rogue, and a better fighther than the fighter. And that's not on anyone at the table, that's on WoTC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Talking of class design (etc) seems out of place for the question of why does the *party* need to be balanced.

    We're not disagreeing that false expectations are bad. Or that hidden imbalance can lead to those false expectations.

    And you should be able to make that choice. Agency - it starts before the dice are rolled.
    The party is, after all, based on classes that are defined by the game, not the players.

    And it's not really a choice. It is, if anything, a false choice. You're not chosing to be a sidekick, you're chosing to play the fighter - and by default that makes you the sidekick.

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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Let me rephrase this question, because its asked by optimizers a lot:

    "If you make a (CLASS PRESENTED AS EQUALLY VIABLE OPTION TO OTHER CLASSES) when everyone else made (CLASS THAT ONLY EXPERIENCED EXPERIENCED PEOPLE KNOW IS BETTER THAN OTHER CLASSES), then why are you whining about "how unfair and unfun it is"?"

    the thing you presuming is obvious is not obvious. please stop assuming its obvious. It is not obvious. this thing is not obvious and some would prefer this difference you think is obvious to actually BE obvious instead of assumed to be not be obvious when its not obvious. did I mention it that its not obvious yet? because its not obvious and also not obvious. its not self-evident.

    because, I cannot emphasize this enough, some people do not auto-see classes as difficulty settings. I do not do not this, and don't care or want to. what I want. is for them to be styles of play that don't impact difficulty. I'd much rather have a class be a flavor of ice cream or pizza. you have your flavor, I have mine, no ones flavor is better, but we can all enjoy the pizza. and just because you want anchovies shouldn't impact my plain cheese slice.
    This. Just this.
    People, I know I'm going to get flamed for this one, but I'm about to lay down the hard truth:
    A lot of people, some of which seem to congregate on these forums, have every bit of DND mapped out like a video game. Like:
    Foreclosed is better than mushroom, it does the same thing but adds more.
    But they do that with classes.
    I don't think anyone will care, but this is what I personally think. Ignore me if you don't like it:
    No class is really better than the other. Not really. It's all about your play style and opinions. Me, I would love to rant about martial all day, my opinion is they're better. But when I'm being honest, I can easily see that that's not true. Every class is good, and if your clever, they can fit in anywhere.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zuras View Post
    For 5e, isn’t that particular scenario almost the opposite of muscling them out of a job, though? If Bob makes a Fighter, and Joe makes a War Cleric so Bob can use his Protection fighting style when they charge the enemy together surrounded by Spirit Guardians or warded by Bless, Bob is usually having a good time.

    If Bob builds an archer but doesn’t take the archery fighting style or Sharpshooter, and Joe builds an optimized Elven Samurai archer with Sharpshooter and elven accuracy and doubles Bobs damage while using the same schtick, then you have a problem.
    So, this the other misconception at work: if to dudes do the same thing, they step on the other dudes toes. And one guy has to bequeath to the one who "did it first".
    That is not true. Morally or balance wise.
    Everyone vpuld be exactly the same class, or very similare classes, and still play in the party together effectively, and happily, while filling the same roles.
    I once played in an all bard party. We called it the bardy, and we ended up killing an adult black dragon at level 7 in 2 rounds. We used teamwork. And we never had a session zero to make sure we all made different bards. S lot of us maxed out persuasion. A few of use made performance our shtick. Some of us lied REALLY well. And none of us had a skill we wanted to be the best at that another guy didn't already do, too. But you know what? It's still one of my favourite games of all time. I have never in my life, before or since, played a game with such teamwork and persision. We all worked together without thinking, all inspiring the others(figuratively and actually) and we all for the most part played instruments and did magic. We even has two melee bards, same subclass. They did great work together.
    So what's all this I here about that dude needing to not pick locks? Or that wizard trading because I was a wizard first. If you have a party balance problem, it's not the class choices, it's the people playing. And you just need to talk it out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Some people enjoy RPing and getting into their character's head, and constantly coming up with excuses to sabotage their character's goals can really interfere with that.

    On the same token, some people play to win, or at the very least enjoy the tactical elements of the game, and constantly having to hold back is frustrating for them.
    I dont know why theres a difference here, in my experience, the mad, craxy tactical min msxers role play the hardest. And are so logic fueled you can just talk to them.
    All DND problems can be solved by talking. ALL of them. Every one. Whether it's to the DM or another player. Just be polite, and talk it out
    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Agreed 100%.



    Could you clarify what you mean here?

    Are you saying that fighters are better because they roll more dice than the wizard even if they accomplish less?

    And are you actually saying that 99% (or is that 100%) of professionally published games do not have any serious balance issues? If so, what systems are so egregious that they actually make that 1%?



    Again, it depends on what the groups goals are, and if you are talking about OOC goals or IC goals.



    So what do the people you play with find fun about that game?

    Isn't the idea of everyone deriving fun from making sure everyone else has fun ultimately circular and meaningless?
    No, that's no what I'm saying at all about the fighter and wizard. I dimply used them as an example. I'm saying no class really has a leg up, and, that mechanically, everyone is really mostly ok, and opinions cause the divide. As for the percentage thing, I'm saying almost every time I see or here about a RPG problem, it can be routed back to communication between people. Often times we forget that the system isn't sentient, and we blame it, when it's others choices or views that made us upset. DND is a social game, and 99% of all problems are social in it.
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Wow. Um, no, that's not what I'm saying at all. Let's try again.

    I am saying that balance is not a synonym for fun. I am saying that balance is *not* required for fun.

    That doesn't mean that imbalance is required for fun.

    I am not taking about forcing a role on people; I'm taking about people not trying to force a role on themselves.

    And, if you haven't caught on, I've played my signature academia mage whose contribution for 10 levels could have been replaced by a bag of flour. I've played a Sentient Potted Plant for Pete moss' sake. How in the world did you ever get the idea that "someone else" should play the sidekick?
    Yeah, I know, that's why I said it seems like you imply that. But I do think you come off as thinking that imposing imbalance will lead to more fun, though. And I think that was pointed out to you in another thread; that's only due to correlation, not causality. If people don't mind playing an negatively unbalanced character, they can have fun playing an unbalanced character. Sure, that's fine and self-evident, but lots of people do mind that. The only sane default when starting a game is to expect everyone to want to be balanced, but let people gimp themselves if they so want.

    That character is also why I called it wallflower instead of sidekick, it is a literal wallflower :)

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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Balance is not required for fun. But what I think is required is information. YOu can play an unbalanced game and have fun with it. But everyone should have a general idea of what's going to happen going into it. That's my entire point.
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I am saying that the statement "its fun because its fun" is logically meaningless, not the activity it is describing.
    Did I do such statement?
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    Did I do such statement?
    No, you didn't. But you are implying that your groups goal is to have fun, and have not stated what it is in the game that provides fun for your group, merely that it is not RPing a character or overcoming tactical challenges.

    Quote Originally Posted by moonfly7 View Post
    I'm saying no class really has a leg up, and, that mechanically, everyone is really mostly ok, and opinions cause the divide. As for the percentage thing, I'm saying almost every time I see or here about a RPG problem, it can be routed back to communication between people. Often times we forget that the system isn't sentient, and we blame it, when it's others choices or views that made us upset. DND is a social game, and 99% of all problems are social in it.
    Depends on the game. For most games I would say balance is "close enough" if nobody intentionally tries to break the game, other systems, like D&D 3.5 of Rifts, not so much

    Also, sometimes people fundamentally want different things out of the game, and no amount of talking will solve the problem. I am slowly learning this the hard way.

    Quote Originally Posted by moonfly7 View Post
    I dont know why theres a difference here, in my experience, the mad, craxy tactical min msxers role play the hardest. And are so logic fueled you can just talk to them.
    All DND problems can be solved by talking.
    Depends.

    For example, say the evil wizard has hired the same band of orcish mercenaries who slaughtered my family to be his bodyguards. If we are battling them, and our mission is to kill the evil wizard to disrupt his ritual of doom, me choosing to chase down and kill the fleeing orcs to avenge my family before dealing with the wizard is a situation where playing to win and playing to RP are directly at odds.

    Likewise, a mid-level 3.5 wizard would be more likely to "win" if he simply cut the fighter loose and kept the fighter's share of the treasure for himself. This is true both in and out of character, but is a terrible idea for the fighter player's fun; in this case the winning move for the rest of the group is for the fighter not to play.

    Quote Originally Posted by moonfly7 View Post
    Everyone could be exactly the same class, or very similare classes, and still play in the party together effectively, and happily, while filling the same roles.
    I once played in an all bard party. We called it the bardy, and we ended up killing an adult black dragon at level 7 in 2 rounds. We used teamwork. And we never had a session zero to make sure we all made different bards. S lot of us maxed out persuasion. A few of use made performance our shtick. Some of us lied REALLY well. And none of us had a skill we wanted to be the best at that another guy didn't already do, too. But you know what? It's still one of my favourite games of all time. I have never in my life, before or since, played a game with such teamwork and persision. We all worked together without thinking, all inspiring the others(figuratively and actually) and we all for the most part played instruments and did magic. We even has two melee bards, same subclass. They did great work together.
    A party where everyone plays the same class is by definition balanced, against each other if not the world.

    Bards are generally considered the best balanced class in D&D, very close to the power level expected by the CR system, and a very versatile jack of all trades to boot. So I am not surprised that you had good results with an all bard party, but that is a point in favor of balanced games, not against.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    The second - specific to a particular system - is a presentation issue. It would be nice if 3e explicitly stated how weak the Wizard was (at its floor), to warn new players to take stronger classes.
    I don't know if you meant this as a joke, but choosing what is general considered the strongest class in the game and then claiming it needs a warning for being to weak comes off as a bit cheeky. I don't even know if a mage has a lower floor than other classes when played badly, unless you are talking about some hyperbolic situation where they are intentionally screwing themselves over and have a greater ability to do so because they are so powerful.
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I don't know if you meant this as a joke, but choosing what is general considered the strongest class in the game and then claiming it needs a warning for being to weak comes off as a bit cheeky. I don't even know if a mage has a lower floor than other classes when played badly, unless you are talking about some hyperbolic situation where they are intentionally screwing themselves over and have a greater ability to do so because they are so powerful.
    Quertus has communication issues, but seems to do everything in good faith. I think the point is that 3e wizards, to a new-to-gaming player and at first level, are the same 'hyper-fragile, has 1-2 spells for the whole dungeon, Magic Missile sounds better than Sleep, even though it is weak at 1st level' character that they were in AD&D. That a wizard becomes near limitless to an experienced player and at levels ~7+ not being relevant if you die to an orc at level 1.

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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoiMagnus View Post
    Though I don't think that's what Quertus intended to say, it is not that hard to read what he understood in the text:

    "'Balance' is only a concern if you make it so. [...] You just have to walk into the RPG with the right expectations."
    => If you don't have fun because of unbalance in the game, that's your fault for not having the good expectations for the game, not the game designer's (or DM) fault for making a broken system.
    => “if you choose a class that is weak compared to that of the other players, and that bothers you, it’s your fault for caring about balance.”
    You have expressed my point more eloquently than I could. Thank you.

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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    Let me edit that so it makes sense to me.

    "'Balance' is only a concern if you make it so. [...] You just have to walk into the RPG with the right expectations."
    => If you don't have fun because of unbalance in the game, that's your fault for not having the good expectations for the game, not the game designer's (or DM) fault for making a broken system.

    => “if you choose a class that is weak compared to that of the other players, and that bothers you, it’s your fault for caring about balance.

    frankly, you are conflating "balance issues" with "having fun" here. If you are playing the game and not having fun.... yeah... that is your fault.... either change your expectations to start having fun, or find a different game with different players.

    If you make a monk when everyone else made wizards, then why are you whining about "how unfair and unfun it is"?
    That only follows if you assume that the player who made the monk knew his character would be weaker than the characters who made wizards. This is not universally the case.

    In addition, there is nothing wrong with wanting the basic archetypes the game proposes to be balanced among each other, and it is normal to expect that they are reasonably balanced.
    Last edited by patchyman; 2019-09-17 at 02:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    I just realized that I didn't actually answer the OP.

    In my opinion, balance is sort of an illusion and achieving matters as much as the group decides it matters.

    Also the way the game is run might result on certain combinations seeming more powerful than others.

    The first thing to have in mind regarding balance among the classes, is that you only need to balance your table, not the whole game. No need to worry about broken combos if they aren't present at your table, don't worry about a PC stepping on the role of a class that isn't present at your game.

    Second; take your time to rebalance things, if a certain feature seems too powerful or weak, face the party with different sorts of challenges before applying your own changes. Maybe the imbalance isn't as big as you think

    Third; Take into account your players input in detecting imbalances and problems related to balance.

    Fourth; imbalance is good, having a group that lacks magic, healing, or tanks, etc... is always entertaining, since players need to come up with inventive solutions. On the other hand, having a character the rest of the party can trust on one aspect, while being a drag at other times is always a great character.

    Fifth: Be respectful towards your players, if you are going to nerf them, be gentle and explain your reasoning.
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    Default Re: Why does the party need to be balanced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    So, I think the problem with "lane"-based thinking is that it is complicated by two opposed schools of thought: rules-first and character-first.

    Suppose I want to make a Hermione espy (sp?) in 3e D&D. Well, clearly, she's a Wizard (Harry). Or witch, but 3e doesn't really have a witch class. Without brewing new spells, about the most iconic spell she can replicate at low levels is Aloha Mora. So, clearly, opening locked doors is her big thing. Then some Rogue player is a jerk, and goes and puts ranks in Open Lock, becoming the party goto lock opener, with the party only falling back to the Hermione espy rare occasion. His flimsy defense for his **** move? It's not because his character actually cares about it. No, it's just because "that's what Rogues do".

    Here, the Wizard's player was thinking in terms of their character; the Rogue's player was thinking in terms of the rules.

    IMO, neither are "right". IMO, noone has any "right" to a lane. If your fun necessitates your character fulfilling a particular role (that's your problem, and) you either a) need to optimize sufficiently that you defacto fill that role, or b) get "character X fills role Y" added to the gentleman's agreement.
    The problems with this analogy are that all the significant characters in the Harry Potter books are wizards; they are stories not games; and while Hermione is the best in her year, the other main characters have things that they are good (and better than Hermione) at. Hermione doesn't have access to every spell written via the Magic Mart (or the Forbidden Section of the library), and she isn't better at flying or Quiddich than Harry by dint of being a better Witch. Also, Harry is the hero by virtue of Author Fiat. Hermione's role is as much researcher, friend and planner as it is lock picker. If Rowling had introduced a muggle character who could pick locks then it would hardly impact on Hermione at all (but see how hurt Ron got when he thought Harry was moving in on his role as Hermione's love interest). As you say, you can create a bunch of wizard PCs who have different characters and interests, but a system like D&D is poor for that. I always take Knock, divination spells, and brew potions; you fly around on a broomstick, blasting, casting specialised abjurations and having high will saves. That's fine, but we are effectively keeping to our lanes. Unless we use some sort of specialist wizard subtypes who are limited to those roles, it becomes trivially easy for my Hermione character to load up on Overland Flight as well as Teleport, and start spamming evocations as much as you do, just by selecting a different payload on spell. It's far easier for a wizard to steal a rogue's lane than for a rogue to turn up and steal a wizard's.
    Last edited by Nightcanon; 2019-09-17 at 04:49 PM.

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