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Killer Angel
2009-04-14, 02:54 AM
I've looked for a similar thread in the last two pages, but i've found none.

In forums we see a lot of arena confrontation wizard Vs fighter (or monks, etc.). They are unrealistic (and silly), but can be funny.
The debate usually starts when each "player" starts to argue on the "fair fight" condition: we normally have a range that varies from "wizard is no buffed and fighter is at 20' distance", to "fighter waits a dozen rounds making his armour glistening, while the wizard casts all the spells he needs".
This is not limited to wiz/fighter, but can be applied to every combination of caster / non caster or caster / caster, etc.

In the end, the question is: how can a fight such this (arena style) be fair?


In a Caster Vs fighter case, i think the fighter must be in range for a charge (even if he's an archer).
Generally, EVERY caster should start with his typical standard "setting", to reflect his normal level of awareness: IMO the wizard should not be buffed, except for all the spells with a duration hours/level, or for the ones permanencied, or some others (contingeny, application of feats/wands affectin' spells duration)... which are still a lot.
Note that this is totally unrelated with levels / equipment / splatbooks allowed.
What do you think? What is a "fair starting condition", and why is fair?

Quietus
2009-04-14, 04:26 AM
1) Any buffs that last hours/level are viable
2) Start somewhere around "Close" range (25 feet + 5 feet/2 levels)
3) Neither knows anything more than the class and level of their opponent
3b) Neither is specifically built to counter the opposing class
4) Spell lists, like feats, must be written out. No Schrodinger's wizards.

I think that's a fair start. I'm sure there's more, but the Wizard's biggest (but certainly not only) strength is in specific planning. Things almost ALWAYS come down to Schrodinger's Wizard versus Schrodinger's Fighter, who both invariably have every option available - the Wizard has every spell prepared a relatively unlimited number of times, while the Fighter has every feat, and possibly every PrC ability, known to WotC. Enough of that.

Tempest Fennac
2009-04-14, 04:54 AM
When I have duels with friends on another site, we tend to start at60' away while using similar classes and no pre-buffs. We also start at level 1 for simplicities sake, but starting at level 5 would probably result in duels lasing more then 1 round (we also tend to ban save-or-die abilities).

Talic
2009-04-14, 05:18 AM
The problem with allowing a wizard hours/level buffs is that it's not fair.

Realistic, perhaps, but not fair.

Lamech
2009-04-14, 05:32 AM
The problem with allowing a wizard hours/level buffs is that it's not fair.

Realistic, perhaps, but not fair.
How is that not fair? Especially at higher levels for when they last a day or more with extend? It would be similar to baning the fighters armour. Except the fighter probably doesn't wear armour to bed. Of course the real problem at higher levels is what is to prevent the wizard from leaving and coming back when hi is better prepared? Or doing something equally cheesy?

Talic
2009-04-14, 05:37 AM
You're confusing "sensible" and "reasonable" with "Fair".

Take this example.

A mountain lion and a housecat cross paths in the woods. Both are aware of the other. Both are within range to attack one another. Both are standing, and facing the other.

Is the fight fair? No.

There's a reason professional combatants IRL are seperated by weight class. No matter how you set the terms, you can't have a fair fight between characters of wildly disparate power levels.

Bayar
2009-04-14, 05:38 AM
Start with no buffs, no effects, no nothing. Want it ? Get it after rolling for initiative.

Then, have a symetrical map that doesnt give LoS/LoE from the first round. We dont want any one-shots.

Limit the things that everybody could abuse WITHOUT giving the opposition any fighting chance. (you know what I mean...locate city nuke, legions of undead, infinite stats, over-templated creatures, mind raping a commoner)
NOTE: An artificier using lesser globe of invulnerability 2 levels before a wizard so that he may become immune to the wizard's spells is still a viable tactic (and other stuff like this).

This is as close as fair will get.

mostlyharmful
2009-04-14, 05:43 AM
How is that not fair? Especially at higher levels for when they last a day or more with extend? It would be similar to baning the fighters armour. Except the fighter probably doesn't wear armour to bed. Of course the real problem at higher levels is what is to prevent the wizard from leaving and coming back when hi is better prepared? Or doing something equally cheesy?

It's not fair because it leaves the Wizard in such a good position that he'd almost always win (by high levels it's pretty much always short of Infini-cheese item loops).

The arena fight's biggest problem with spellcasters is that it invites novaing, when the caster knows he has no friends to buff or no encounter grind to beware of he can burn slots like their dollar bills and the banks have just done something stupid. No fighter or melee based character can keep up with a caster (especially a wizard) that want's to use all their highest slots to turn this one single encounter their way.

The second big problem for me is that a caster always has a way to leave and come back that some items even give fighters if they fork out the cash. If it's a sudden death match they weren't expecting most mages would port out and prep in comfort for a scry'n'die and only really extreme restrictions on time and movement get rid of that.

Killer Angel
2009-04-14, 05:51 AM
You're confusing "sensible" and "reasonable" with "Fair".

Take this example.

A mountain lion and a housecat cross paths in the woods. Both are aware of the other. Both are within range to attack one another. Both are standing, and facing the other.

Is the fight fair? No.



Well, the mountain lion and the housecat, have not exactly the same CR...
The power level between the combatants, should be the same (at least in theory).
Druid 10 Vs Monk 10 should be a fair fight. Or wizard 1 Vs standard housecat. :smalltongue:

Bayar
2009-04-14, 06:22 AM
Well, the mountain lion and the housecat, have not exactly the same CR...
The power level between the combatants, should be the same (at least in theory).
Druid 10 Vs Monk 10 should be a fair fight. Or wizard 1 Vs standard housecat. :smalltongue:

See, this is where it gets complicated. A druid cn dish out more combat offensive and defensive abilities with his triple A skills while the monk gets to base his abilities on his unarmed strikes and ki powers.

Being able to turn into a big-ass bear and just beating a monk senseless is not a fair fight. Being able to do massive melee damage with a frenzied berzerker, not get killed no matter how much damage you take and then voluntarily fail a swim check so you drown and go to 0 HP is definately NOT fair (and abuses RAW BTW).

So yes, no fight can be fair. If all fights were fair, there wouldnt be any winners and losers. There would only be lucky and unlucky people.

Fenix_of_Doom
2009-04-14, 06:26 AM
Well, the mountain lion and the housecat, have not exactly the same CR...
The power level between the combatants, should be the same (at least in theory).
Druid 10 Vs Monk 10 should be a fair fight. Or wizard 1 Vs standard housecat. :smalltongue:

Should not "is" unfortunately.

mostlyharmful
2009-04-14, 06:41 AM
There's also the issue of levels and how the game is played, if we're talking 3.5 then there's almost three completely different games I reckon, low, mid and high level arenas work out very differently.

The options and hp that low levelers have there's a lot of randomness involved, you live and die on the way the dice fall, sometimes a single die roll if you get critted or have to make a will save, smart casters generally have a better chance at survival but meh.

At mid level you've actually got a game, there's enough options and cash floating around that you can do a wide range of things and no-one's immune to them all (although some caster builds can come close), about levels 5 through 11 are in this range for me although YMMV, casters ahead but not always.

By high level it's a game of stacking shielding and immunities and well worded contingencies and splat book combing and CharOp guidelines and paperwork to crank out the highest numbers, best immunities, fastest responses and generally that squeezes out the non-casters.

KillianHawkeye
2009-04-14, 06:42 AM
The only possible fair fight (as in absolutely, completely fair) is between two characters with the same race, class, and feats who are both aware of each other in a large, empty room.


/thread

Bayar
2009-04-14, 07:01 AM
Then it just comes down to who wins innitiative and unleashes his Hadoken first.

Killer Angel
2009-04-14, 07:38 AM
See, this is where it gets complicated. A druid cn dish out more combat offensive and defensive abilities with his triple A skills while the monk gets to base his abilities on his unarmed strikes and ki powers.

Being able to turn into a big-ass bear and just beating a monk senseless is not a fair fight.

I completely agree... i used the word "should" for this reason.
I don't think a monk have some chance against a Druid of the same level. The same for a fighter Vs a wizard... and the power gap is increasing when levels grow up.
They are on an equal power level only in theory... the way they can contribute in a party and having fun, is an entire different topic and I don't want enter in it, but in an arena they cannot be on par, even with the same character level.
That said, i wonder about the "setting condition": IMO giving a caster (even against another caster) buff spells with a minutes (or rounds)/level duration, not only it's not fair, but it's unrealistic... if the arena tries to simulate a "real" combat, we should suppose a "real" wizard, and the "real" casters (arcane or divine) don't live in a nova-condition.

Talic
2009-04-14, 07:50 AM
Well, the mountain lion and the housecat, have not exactly the same CR...
The power level between the combatants, should be the same (at least in theory).
Druid 10 Vs Monk 10 should be a fair fight. Or wizard 1 Vs standard housecat. :smalltongue:

Very well. How about an Allip (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/allip.htm), CR 3....

and a Tarrasque (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/tarrasque.htm), CR 20.

Tale of the CR? The Tarrasque should demolish... However, it will be reduced to a permanent catatonic state in a matter of 6 hits... Which the Allip can land on a 2 or better.

This is an example of how a couple status effects can vastly skew a fight.

Let's look at a Nova Strike.

Level 20 wizard, level 20 fighter.

Assume no buffs, but no LOS starting. Wizard's first actions will be:
Ghostform, move into the floor (draw rod of quicken, greater, while moving), Quickened Superior invisibility.

2?: Move out of floor (draw rod of maximize, greater, while moving), Quickened True Seeing, Maximized Time Stop.

T1: Maximized Maw of Chaos, Quickened Delay Blast Fireball. Drop Rod of quickened, draw another.
T2: Maximized Maw of Chaos, Quickened Delay Blast Fireball. Drop Rod of maximize, draw another.
T3: Maximized Maw of Chaos, Quickened Cloudkill..
T4: Maximized Maw of Chaos, Quickened Forcecage (small).

Now, anything in that death trap takes the following:
480 damage per round (4 maximized Maw of Chaos)
40d6 fire damage, 140 average damage (2 delay blast fireball)
4 Will saves versus stun
1d4 Con damage per round (Fort Half)

620 average damage, 4 chances to stun, and a HP draining effect, immediately, along with invisible barriers.

And that's not full wise use of resources. But Novas generally aren't. They're brutal, and they use a whole day's worth of resources all at once...

Fighters can't do that.

Killer Angel
2009-04-14, 08:21 AM
Very well. How about an Allip (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/allip.htm), CR 3....

and a Tarrasque (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/tarrasque.htm), CR 20.

This is an example of how a couple status effects can vastly skew a fight.

Let's look at a Nova Strike.

Level 20 wizard, level 20 fighter.

(snip the pain inflicted by the wizard to the poor fighter)




Well, i know that summoning Allip is one of the ways to kill a Tarrasque, but i don't think a single allip can overcome Big T.
But i see your point... and yes, I know that CR often are not a real measure of the power of creatures.

And for the nova strikes, what can I say? You're right, but probably my point wasn't clear: i don't want to set a challenge in which a fighter 20 (or 10) have a chance to beat a wiz of equal level.
Generally, i think we can say that in an arena, there's no match between caster and non-caster.
But everytime someone sets a contest, there are different ideas on the set-up, all based on a supposed "fairness".

My opinion is that, by logic, a caster should have active all his long-lasting buffs, but not the short-term spells. Even if this is too much harsh for the opponent.
After all, we can set challenge between a divine caster and an arcane one. Or between a caster and a magic-user monster... in those scenarios, the setting gains importance.

JellyPooga
2009-04-14, 08:33 AM
A fair fight would consist of a minimum of 4 Rounds (no, not 6-second game rounds, but 'Rounds' like in a boxing match), each of which with a different "Win Condition" other than death, which the characters do not know about before the start of the Round (Characters with methods of Divination may use those methods to attempt foreknowledge).
Killing your opponent without fulfilling the "Win Condition" re-sets the match to the beginning of that Round.
The time between Rounds should be such that short duration effects (buffs, etc.) expire before the next Round, but not so long so that a Wizard could rest and reprepare spells (for example, in a 4 Round match, 2 to 3 hours between each Round would be appropriate to represent a 8 to 12 hour 'adventuring day').
There is no 'restore to full HP' or any similar arbitary effects between Rounds; all healing/restoration must be done through the use of your class/racial abilities or equipment.

1) A series of Rounds more accurately represents a full days worth of adventuring and the balance of the various abilities the respective Classes have with regard to limited use per day abilities. This would prevent the Wizard Nova-ing in the first Round, for example.
2) Different 'Win Conditions' force the character builds to be more versatile and represent the various challenges an adventurer can expect to encounter. You can't, for example, just build a one-trick pony (e.g. Dungeoncrasher), because a truly better character will have more than one "trick".
3) The time between Rounds ensures that buffs and such are more fairly used.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-04-14, 09:24 AM
For those saying that the Wizard shouldn't go Nova, that is what's supposed to happen. A single ECL 20 player vs a CR 20 opponent is supposed to be a 50/50 shot at victory requiring all your daily resources. Your supposed to win and then pass out for 8 hours due to injuries. The fact that the Wizard only blows half his high-level spell slots shows that he's winning even easier than should be possible.

JellyPooga
2009-04-14, 09:56 AM
For those saying that the Wizard shouldn't go Nova, that is what's supposed to happen. A single ECL 20 player vs a CR 20 opponent is supposed to be a 50/50 shot at victory requiring all your daily resources. Your supposed to win and then pass out for 8 hours due to injuries. The fact that the Wizard only blows half his high-level spell slots shows that he's winning even easier than should be possible.

The problem with the "nova theory" as you explain it is that a Rogue or Fighter is balanced by the fact that they can do what they do all day long without limit whereas a Wizard is balanced by the fact that his resources are limited. With that limitation removed, it's obvious which is going to appear superior. A Fighters resources are his HP...and that's it! If he uses them all, he dies. A Wizard has far more resources to expend (i.e. his spell slots, not to mention a plethora of equipment like Scrolls and Wands that aren't available to the Fighter), so when a Wizard expends all his resources he's actually "spent" a lot more than the Fighter has. The fact of the matter is that the Wizard-Nova is not a good representation of how "powerful" a Wizard is in comparison to, say, a Fighter. All it shows is that a Wizard can go nova and it's really impressive.

For Example: You could theoretically send thousands of low CR (1-3) mooks against a Fighter 20 one at a time and he would be able to deal with every single one of them without breaking a sweat, go home at the end of the day and get a good nights kip after a few brews. A Wizard 20 on the other hand, unless he forfeits the encounter by buggering off to replenish his spells, will start to struggle once his spells and their durations run out.

The example is flawed, but I think you get my point.

tyckspoon
2009-04-14, 10:17 AM
For Example: You could theoretically send thousands of low CR (1-3) mooks against a Fighter 20 one at a time and he would be able to deal with every single one of them without breaking a sweat, go home at the end of the day and get a good nights kip after a few brews. A Wizard 20 on the other hand, unless he forfeits the encounter by buggering off to replenish his spells, will start to struggle once his spells and their durations run out.

The example is flawed, but I think you get my point.

And, for example, a Wizard 20 could cast something like Wall of Fire (duration: Concentration) sit down behind it, and watch it toast mooks all day long, while reserving every other single spell slot in case any of them should happen to survive that to potentially threaten him (and a Wiz 20 should be just as physically capable of beating down a low CR mook as a Fighter anyway; part of being a mook involves getting your ass handed to you even by the weak skinny man with the quarterstaff). Meanwhile the Fighter is being slowly worn down by inexorable math: Some of the mooks will roll 20s. Sometimes he will roll 1s. Sooner or later he will take damage, and sooner or later that damage will outpace his own healing (although the Combat Form feat that grants Fast Healing, if in play, would probably keep him going for effectively forever in a one-mook-at-a-time situation.)

Edit: Aww, Combat Focus is time-limited and only usable 1/encounter. So.. yeh, eventually the Fighter gets worn out.

Eldariel
2009-04-14, 10:59 AM
If the Wizard needs to fight the whole horde without a random ally to hit things for him, he'll just use a Planar Bound/Gated outsider to deal with the trivial opponents (who cannot even damage the said outsider due to DR, and even if they could, there's still Fast Healing to deal with) - alternatively, he'll Shapechange, but as that spell is slightly more broken, I probably wouldn't. I suppose you could just use Polymorph along with some protective magic to much the same effect.

But outside that and long-lasting summons, the Wizard can only deal with a number of encounters equivalent to the number of Wands, Scrolls and prepared offensive spells he happens to have. Unless he has some item offering infinitely usable offensive abilities available. But yeah, generally Wizards just use summons/calling to deal with large numbers of trivial crap. A Pit Fiend has no trouble doing that, for example, and is a fair game for Greater Planar Binding (Moment of Prescience all but guarantees victory in the opposed Charisma-check). While the Pit Fiend is having his fun - if you don't want to break things with Shapechange - you can just enjoy some manner of Invisibility (no low CR creatures can really detect invisibles) while flying, under your usual contingency, Heart of X-series and so on.

Bayar
2009-04-14, 12:23 PM
A fair fight would consist of a minimum of 4 Rounds (no, not 6-second game rounds, but 'Rounds' like in a boxing match), each of which with a different "Win Condition" other than death, which the characters do not know about before the start of the Round (Characters with methods of Divination may use those methods to attempt foreknowledge).
Killing your opponent without fulfilling the "Win Condition" re-sets the match to the beginning of that Round.
The time between Rounds should be such that short duration effects (buffs, etc.) expire before the next Round, but not so long so that a Wizard could rest and reprepare spells (for example, in a 4 Round match, 2 to 3 hours between each Round would be appropriate to represent a 8 to 12 hour 'adventuring day').There is no 'restore to full HP' or any similar arbitary effects between Rounds; all healing/restoration must be done through the use of your class/racial abilities or equipment.


One minor problem: Hevard's Fortyfing Bedroll. You can now have all spell slots full and re-prepare your spells with 1 hour of rest.


And we should definately organise one of those arenas. Sounds fun (especially for a warforged artificier).

Talic
2009-04-14, 12:38 PM
Well, i know that summoning Allip is one of the ways to kill a Tarrasque, but i don't think a single allip can overcome Big T.
But i see your point... and yes, I know that CR often are not a real measure of the power of creatures.


A single Allip can, and will, overcome Big T. Every time. The Tarrasque's natural weapons cannot hit incorporeal targets. The Allip is essentially immune to the only method Big T has for dealing damage, and is 95% accurate against its defenses.

JellyPooga
2009-04-14, 12:47 PM
One minor problem: Hevard's Fortyfing Bedroll. You can now have all spell slots full and re-prepare your spells with 1 hour of rest.

Meh, banned item :smallwink: Seriously though, in any arena fight there should be rules of the sort that bans certain items, abilities or spells because of the very nature of the contest. HFB is one such item, as might having a pre-raised army of skeletons, for example.


And we should definately organise one of those arenas. Sounds fun (especially for a warforged artificier).

Whilst not normally fond of arena myself, I think it'd be interesting to see the outcome of my thought exercise as I think it would make a change from the clear cut arena battles we've come to expect between Casters and Others. If anyone else would care to express an interest, I'd be willing to arrange one over at RPoL (http://www.rpol.net).

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-04-14, 01:31 PM
Meh, banned item :smallwink: Seriously though, in any arena fight there should be rules of the sort that bans certain items, abilities or spells because of the very nature of the contest. HFB is one such item, as might having a pre-raised army of skeletons, for example.How much are you going to ban? Necromancy, Planar Binding, and methods to regen spells faster are all things that SRD-only Wizards are expected to do. I also think the Wizard should be allowed to kill the Fighter. If the goal is to get to an item before the other person, a way to guarantee victory is simply making sure that the other person can't reach it at all.

That said, I do think doing it at 20th is insane. By that point, there really are no fair challenges. Go at 10th level, at least then the laws of physics still apply. I'd also say maybe not cometitions against one another. A challenge based on actual gameplay(IE ambushed by bandits, follow fleeing bandits back towards their encmpment, cross a trapped bridge under fire from bandit archers and kill them, reach center of encampment and kill bandit leader) is much closer to what the classes will be expected to do than simply facing off against another character in a fantasy Olympics. Then, see which came closer to victory.

Quietus
2009-04-14, 02:02 PM
And, for example, a Wizard 20 could cast something like Wall of Fire (duration: Concentration) sit down behind it, and watch it toast mooks all day long, while reserving every other single spell slot in case any of them should happen to survive that to potentially threaten him (and a Wiz 20 should be just as physically capable of beating down a low CR mook as a Fighter anyway; part of being a mook involves getting your ass handed to you even by the weak skinny man with the quarterstaff). Meanwhile the Fighter is being slowly worn down by inexorable math: Some of the mooks will roll 20s. Sometimes he will roll 1s. Sooner or later he will take damage, and sooner or later that damage will outpace his own healing (although the Combat Form feat that grants Fast Healing, if in play, would probably keep him going for effectively forever in a one-mook-at-a-time situation.)

Edit: Aww, Combat Focus is time-limited and only usable 1/encounter. So.. yeh, eventually the Fighter gets worn out.


This is part of the problem. You're using Schrodinger's Wizard; How often is Wall of Fire even mentioned as being HALFWAY useful on these boards? How often does ANYONE recommend preparing it? But your Wizard, oh, he's got one prepared for just this occasion...

What, are you carrying an entire library worth of scrolls on you?

JellyPooga
2009-04-14, 02:03 PM
How much are you going to ban? Necromancy, Planar Binding, and methods to regen spells faster are all things that SRD-only Wizards are expected to do.

Whilst they are things that a Wizard may be expected to do over the course of his career, certain things are simply not appropriate for an arena match. Having a pre-Planar Bound Pit Fiend in addition to your full complement of spells and abilities is not Wizard vs. Opponent anymore...it's Wizard+Pit Fiend vs. Opponent. I would have to consider carefully what would be banned and what would not, but I suspect the 'banned' list will be fairly small and as fair as I can make it (it won't be limited to just spells either...these things are not just to limit the Wizards competing...Leadership, for example, will also be off the books).


I also think the Wizard should be allowed to kill the Fighter. If the goal is to get to an item before the other person, a way to guarantee victory is simply making sure that the other person can't reach it at all.

I like the automatic assumption that the Wizard will kill the Fighter and not vice-versa :smallbiggrin: but seriously, no. As I've mentioned a Wizard-Nova is not the intention of Caster vs. Non-Caster balance and allowing the contestants to "win by default" like that defeats the object of the exercise. The point is not to demonstrate that a Wizard-Nova is an impressive thing to watch, but to determine the player who can build the most effective character over a series of challenges.


That said, I do think doing it at 20th is insane. By that point, there really are no fair challenges. Go at 10th level, at least then the laws of physics still apply. I'd also say maybe not cometitions against one another. A challenge based on actual gameplay(IE ambushed by bandits, follow fleeing bandits back towards their encmpment, cross a trapped bridge under fire from bandit archers and kill them, reach center of encampment and kill bandit leader) is much closer to what the classes will be expected to do than simply facing off against another character in a fantasy Olympics. Then, see which came closer to victory.

This I agree with and was pretty much my intention, with the exception that I'd mix it up between PvP, Pv'Traps' and Pv'Monsters'. I also considered having a series where you'd pit the same character but at different levels against 'the gauntlet' (so to speak, different challenges for the different levels, obviously). That way, builds that rely on being level X to work at all would not be viable because they'd fail at the lower levels. As a rough guide, I was thinking Levels 3, 7, 11 and 15.

Fenix_of_Doom
2009-04-14, 02:57 PM
This is part of the problem. You're using Schrodinger's Wizard; How often is Wall of Fire even mentioned as being HALFWAY useful on these boards? How often does ANYONE recommend preparing it? But your Wizard, oh, he's got one prepared for just this occasion...

What, are you carrying an entire library worth of scrolls on you?

And how often do you get a near unlimited horde of cr 1-3 mooks thrown at you? never? That's why wall of fire is rarely mentioned. Of course also it's in evocation, a school almost every optimiser bans and thus never uses(exception being elven generalist).

The beauty of it all is that you don't really need wall of fire prepared, for extraordinary circumstances such as this, you use limited wish or shadow evocation if you banned evocation.

Dr_Horrible
2009-04-14, 04:36 PM
Nobody ever uses Wall of Fire. But they do in fact use, oh right, Shapechange into a Dragon and breath fire, thus killing an arbitrary number of mooks.

Or, if the goal is to not let the mooks get some item or whatever: Wall of Stone. Game over.

There are a hundred ways a Wizard can beat a wave of "infinite" CR 3 mooks at level 20.

Eldariel
2009-04-14, 04:50 PM
This is part of the problem. You're using Schrodinger's Wizard; How often is Wall of Fire even mentioned as being HALFWAY useful on these boards? How often does ANYONE recommend preparing it? But your Wizard, oh, he's got one prepared for just this occasion...

What, are you carrying an entire library worth of scrolls on you?

Which is why I suggested an option practically every Wizard has available - Planar Binding.

JellyPooga
2009-04-14, 05:05 PM
There are a hundred ways a Wizard can beat a wave of "infinite" CR 3 mooks at level 20.

The idea is not that there are lots of them, but a lot of 'waves' if you will. Thus Shapechanging into a dragon is only good for as long as the spell lasts and still only kills 1 mook per wave because that's how many mooks are in said wave. Sure there's a hundred different ways for a Wizard to kill a mook, but can he do all of them in one day? The answer is no, because he is limited by the number of spells he can cast in that day.

The point I was trying (unsuccessfully) to illustrate was that while a Fighter remains just as effective as he'll ever be from the 1st round of a day to the last (give or take), the Wizard sharply drops in effectiveness the more encounters he is forced to, uh, encounter. My example was flawed (as I mentioned) which provoked the responses I got (and expected), but I was rather hoping that people would look past the specifics of the example and through to the general point of it...

Dr_Horrible
2009-04-14, 06:12 PM
The idea is not that there are lots of them, but a lot of 'waves' if you will. Thus Shapechanging into a dragon is only good for as long as the spell lasts and still only kills 1 mook per wave because that's how many mooks are in said wave. Sure there's a hundred different ways for a Wizard to kill a mook, but can he do all of them in one day? The answer is no, because he is limited by the number of spells he can cast in that day.

Once again, I am well aware of the waves. But since a Wizard can remain Shapechanged for an entire day even in core, that has nothing to do with anything. Since he can animate all the skeletons of the first 200 waves, he can then have those skeletons defend against the mooks for an arbitrary amount of time while he rests. What I said is, there a hundred different ways to kill an infinite wave of mooks. No he can;t do them all in one day. He can however do any one of them, and thus, every level 20 Wizard can kill an infinite number of mooks.


The point I was trying (unsuccessfully) to illustrate was that while a Fighter remains just as effective as he'll ever be from the 1st round of a day to the last (give or take), the Wizard sharply drops in effectiveness the more encounters he is forced to, uh, encounter. My example was flawed (as I mentioned) which provoked the responses I got (and expected), but I was rather hoping that people would look past the specifics of the example and through to the general point of it...

And what I am pointing out is that you are wrong. A fighter runs out of HP, and then dies. A wizard has infinity bajillion ways of regaining spells without suffer any setbacks at all.

The game sets a limit on the number of encounters a day, it does not then revoke that limit if you have an all fighter party. Because the all Fighter party needs breaks more then other groups.

Take a level 20 Fighter against a Formian Queen. Wall of Force. Now the fighter needs items to teleport. Those items have uses per day. The fighter can only take so many Formian Queens a day. The Wizard on the other hand, can Planar Bind a Pit Fiend 6-7 times a day, and then he can use his own spells to break walls of force, and then he can teleport, and then he can shapechange into a burrowing creature, and then he can cast Etherealness and go through the floor, and then he can regain all his spells in a single hour while the animated corpses of Formian Queens and Pit Fiends guard him.

Encounter limits protect Fighters, not Wizards, because Wizards can set their own limits, and Fighters have to hope that the DM is nice to them.

Endless mooks is not a challenge for the Wizard, but for the Fighter.

Chronos
2009-04-14, 06:58 PM
The beauty of it all is that you don't really need wall of fire prepared, for extraordinary circumstances such as this, you use limited wish or shadow evocation if you banned evocation.And even a disbelieved shadow wall of fire still does enough damage to kill most mooks. And, of course, if the wizard has any sort of foreknowledge of those thousands of mooks (and really, most classes should be able to find out about something like that ahead of time even without divination spells: Armies that size aren't subtle), then he will prepare Wall of Fire that day, if he has evocation.

By the way, Bayar, the Locate City nuke doesn't need to be banned for arena fights, because it's much less powerful than many core options that folks always allow. If it works, it does a truly insane amount of damage, but it only has about a 1 in 400 chance of working: The victim needs to fail two different saves vs. a first-level spell, or suffer a mere 2 points of damage.

Killer Angel
2009-04-15, 02:28 AM
Kinda sad...
i was hoping to see if it was possible so set some standard condition for an arena fight, regardless of the characters or monster partecipating, and after some suggestion, the thread boiled down to how wizards are strong and cool (which I already know).
Meh, probably it's also my fault. :smallredface:

emeraldstreak
2009-04-15, 05:07 AM
Arenas conditions are never 100% fair for everyone.

However, large international arena results are fairly representative for their respective set of conditions.

grautry
2009-04-15, 05:11 AM
I think that some of you are actually answering two separate questions.

1) What constitutes a realistic fight?
2) What constitutes a fair fight?

Assuming a realisitic fight to the death(and a high level) you'll have an astral projected wizard. Or a scry-and-die wizard. Or a wizard who Gates in an uber-monster to help. Or one who goes back to his Genesis demiplane with the Timeless trait where he'll use Contact Other Plane to ask an exhaustive list of questions about every tactic that he might suspect the fighter of using. He'll also have a dozen Contingencies. Maybe he'll have Clones. Or a Contingency to transport him upon death to a friendly cleric capable of casting True Resurrection. But probably? All of the above. He'll also have every possible hour/level or permanencible buff that he can have. And as a bonus he'll go Nova.

In a fair fight on the other hand, you'll be forced to place a number of rules that limit the wizard, so that some semblance of balance can be achieved. The problem is that I don't think it's really possible to create an environment where this fight will be in any way balanced without completely discarding or drastically altering half of wizard capabilities. And such a fight won't really tell you anything about balance between the classes because real game environment will be vastly different.

Kaiyanwang
2009-04-15, 07:21 AM
Just to: shapechange has been updated in rules compendium to 1 min/level.

This could not change things, but I see people continue to think that you can chancge shape all the day long. (Well you could cast a second shapechange :smalltongue:)

Bayar
2009-04-15, 08:40 AM
But in core only, it is not. Yeah, it is good to update the spells, as long as you allow the books the spells have been updated in (a guy said he wanted to make a druid, but his DM would not allow spell compendium. he did allow the complete series which resulted in quill blast abuse).

Kaiyanwang
2009-04-15, 08:48 AM
But in core only, it is not. Yeah, it is good to update the spells, as long as you allow the books the spells have been updated in (a guy said he wanted to make a druid, but his DM would not allow spell compendium. he did allow the complete series which resulted in quill blast abuse).

Not to be offending but this is IMHO a false problem. if you discover that something has been fixed, apply the fix, if the source is official and you need said fix. Period.

Dr_Horrible
2009-04-15, 10:43 AM
Just to: shapechange has been updated in rules compendium to 1 min/level.

This could not change things, but I see people continue to think that you can chancge shape all the day long. (Well you could cast a second shapechange :smalltongue:)

Huh Wuh Huh!?

So Rules Compendium, the supposedly clarification only book changed the duration of a spell that has never had it's duration changed across years of errata, including the errata specifically for that spell. In the mean time, while it was making up new rules, it of course didn't actually fix any of the problems of shapechange that make it so broken to begin with.

Way to go WotC.

By the way, you can still have it all day because there are several ways to Persist it.

Kaiyanwang
2009-04-15, 11:06 AM
Way to go WotC.

If you want to confirm the fact that the previous edition was unbalanced and the new shining one will fix all the balance issues, is a good way to go, IMHO.



By the way, you can still have it all day because there are several ways to Persist it.

Yeah, true. Even if the ways are several, you can fix all the problems barring cheesy combos and with reasonable players, with the unbeatable wizard existing only in thread like this.

Respectfully, I've seen what happen when discussions like the one in act are taken seriously and I don't like at all the overreacting dumbing down magic took in the new edition.

Just my opinion, of course.