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oxinabox
2009-08-08, 02:34 AM
What game mechanics do you find really annoying.

I find Dark herasies attribute Check system, stupid.
Roll a d%
if it is bellow your attribute, then you have succeeded. (this is fine, so far.)
But then not everything is equally easy.
So the GM allocates things as Simple, Difficault, Challenging etc (i'm notsure i've got the names right).
Which converts via a table into a degree of success you need to make, in order to succeed.

To determine your degree of success, work outhow out many multiples of 10 you rollled bellow your attribute. that is your degree of success.

so you an succeed, but not succeed enough to succeed.

What game mechanics do people find stupid?

lesser_minion
2009-08-08, 06:55 AM
The general rule is that you get between +30% and -30% to the characteristic for that specific test. The degree of success is meant to tell you how well you did assuming that you did succeed - e.g. a degree of success of 3 indicates a stunning performance while a degree 0 success is OK, but not exactly inspiring or stunning.

A mechanic I don't like would probably be the idea from Exalted that being unable to act is itself an action.

Dhavaer
2009-08-08, 07:08 AM
The character generation from World of Darkness. No group of attributes can ever be below average, if one in a group is, another will be above average.

AKA_Bait
2009-08-08, 07:10 AM
THAC0.

3.x grappling. Not only is it needlessly complicated, it frequently makes no sense.

oxinabox
2009-08-08, 07:21 AM
THAC0.

3.x grappling. Not only is it needlessly complicated, it frequently makes no sense.

Especially the way it says breaking a grapple is substitued for an Attack.
Which brings the qustion of can it be used as part of a full attack?
WHy didn't they jsut say it was a sandard Action.



The character generation from World of Darkness. No group of attributes can ever be below average, if one in a group is, another will be above average.
That is so true. even for you tertiary attributes you still have 3 dots, which means the only way not to have one above average is to put one dot in each, giving you something that is only slightly below average.
(2 is slightly bellow, 3 is slightly above, by out GM)

Also I hate that Craft isn't broken down in multiple subskills.
SO someone htat is good at fixing a computer's hardware can produce an artwork just aswell (or maybe one dot less if he took specialty)

Corlindale
2009-08-08, 07:41 AM
I actually quite like the degrees of succes system the OP mentioned - it sounds similar to WHFRP's. It depends on how well the GM uses it, though - degrees of succes does not make sense for all tasks.

I've always been a bit annoyed at active defense gameplay mechanisms, at least sometimes they can tend to bog combat down. Of course they can make good sense in some systems (I sort of like them in WFRP), but if the "defense action" is just some default roll you do every single turn, I think a static AC-system like D&D's works far better as it cuts the number of rolls made in combat in half.
The greatest sinner I've experienced in this area was a half-homebrewed version of GURPS wherein combat was painfully slow - I don't know how much of it was due to our combat houserules, though.

Kobold-Bard
2009-08-08, 07:41 AM
THAC0. ...

This drove me mad, I'm sure if it had been explained properly it would make sense, but I played 1ed Basic for 4 weeks and I still don't get it.

Altair_the_Vexed
2009-08-08, 08:14 AM
This drove me mad, I'm sure if it had been explained properly it would make sense, but I played 1ed Basic for 4 weeks and I still don't get it.
THAC0 was really simple once you stepped back from it.

Look at the name of the armour stat in D&D - Armour Class. The better the armour is, the lower the number? That's because 1st class armour is better than 2nd class armour. What's better than 1st class armour? Zero class armour. Okay, so that was a silly jump to make, but it stuck.

It used to be that you rolled your d20, added your stuff from STR, etc, and consulted a table. Thing is, the number you needed to hit AC zero could be used to see what you needed to hit all the other ACs, cause it was always a linear relationship.
You used tables, because the progression of your fighting ability was largely arbitrary. Only fighters and their subclasses got better every level. So recording the AC 0 target number was all you needed.
Simple! :smallwink:

Of course, giving a bonus instead of a table and making the AC the target number was easier, but no-one was thinking that way round because of the legacy of the war game roots. :smallredface:

Me, I can't stand Vancian Magic. It's so restrictive, in flavour as well as play. You have to have a few paragraphs of fluff to explain why it works like that, where most other systems hardly need any.
Give me spell points. Give me the MCWoD spell component system, in fact.

Justyn
2009-08-08, 08:31 AM
Me, I can't stand Vancian Magic. It's so restrictive, in flavour as well as play. You have to have a few paragraphs of fluff to explain why it works like that, where most other systems hardly need any.
Give me spell points. Give me the MCWoD spell component system, in fact.

I've always liked Vancian magic for the very reasons you dislike it: it's unnatural. Wizards learn magic via subverting their willpower over that of reality itself, their magic isn't natural, they, in effect, steal it. They pay for the power being able to cherry pick their magic by it not cooperating with them completely.

Gnaeus
2009-08-08, 08:45 AM
Games that use perception/skill checks to notice things that are BLATANTLY OBVIOUS.

i.e.US We are all seated around the bar, watching the door, waiting for the mark to come in. He isn't hiding or disguised, and we all have recent pictures of him that we are checking against faces...
DM: O.K. make a perception check.
US: WTF?

or
US: We are looking around for obvious cameras.
DM: OK, thats a simple security check. Roll security.
US: We don't have it.
DM: Then you can't make the check
US: WTF?

Both of these have come up in different games.

Jolly Steve
2009-08-08, 08:52 AM
I don't dislike Vancian magic, once it's explained. The trouble is that it isn't explained. The idea of spells being kind of alive, and there are only so many that you can force into your brain, is kind of cool. "You can cast this many spells a day for some reason" isn't.

EDIT: This rule, from Aftermath!, should win some kind of prize:

"ACCESS TO STORED ITEMS
In order to get an item which has been stored in a container, the character must get access to the container, open it and sort the desired item out from the other items in the container. The time taken in doing this can be of serious importance if this is being done in the middle of a desperate situation. The player should state that the character is beginning to get an item and inform the Gamesmaster of where it is kept. The character will then be engaged in the process for a number of Actions. The exact number should be known only to the Gamesmaster. The [sic] will announce to the player that he has found the item at the end of the Action on which it is "found"."

Ravens_cry
2009-08-08, 09:04 AM
3.5 D&D, and possibly others as well.
"No, your Gargantuan greatsword does NOT have reach."
"Yes, your Small Ranseur does"
That really burns my brain. I understand the length of the arms has something to do with reach as well, but as written, that rule neither fulfils from a Rule of Cool nor a Simulationist perspective. In my view, that means an utter rule failure.

AslanCross
2009-08-08, 09:33 AM
Especially the way it says breaking a grapple is substitued for an Attack.
Which brings the qustion of can it be used as part of a full attack?
WHy didn't they jsut say it was a sandard Action.



As a matter of fact, you can use it as part of a full attack, and you can attempt to escape multiple times in a round in place of the attacks you might get if you did a full attack.


To start a grapple, you need to grab and hold your target. Starting a grapple requires a successful melee attack roll. If you get multiple attacks, you can attempt to start a grapple multiple times (at successively lower base attack bonuses).


When you are grappling (regardless of who started the grapple), you can perform any of the following actions. Some of these actions take the place of an attack (rather than being a standard action or a move action). If your base attack bonus allows you multiple attacks, you can attempt one of these actions in place of each of your attacks, but at successively lower base attack bonuses.

...

Escape from Grapple

You can escape a grapple by winning an opposed grapple check in place of making an attack. You can make an Escape Artist check in place of your grapple check if you so desire, but this requires a standard action. If more than one opponent is grappling you, your grapple check result has to beat all their individual check results to escape. (Opponents donít have to try to hold you if they donít want to.) If you escape, you finish the action by moving into any space adjacent to your opponent(s).

It's only using Escape Artist that is a Standard Action.

oxinabox
2009-08-08, 09:49 AM
I actually quite like the degrees of succes system the OP mentioned - it sounds similar to WHFRP's. It depends on how well the GM uses it, though - degrees of succes does not make sense for all tasks.

That's Because Dark Herasy uses roughly the exact same system as WHFRP (Yes i know there was an inherent paradox in that last statement)

The problem I have with degree's of success,
Let me furthur explain my problem with degree's of success:
It's that degree's of success involve more thought. (it's takes more cpu cycles if you like)

eg
Degree of success system:
PLayers thoughts:
Roll.
1. Is it greater than my stat (if not then done)
2. Subtract dice roll from my stat.
3. Divide that by 10,
4. round down.

tell DM

DC system:
PLayers thoughts:
Roll.
1. Add my Stat (or Stat mod or whatever it's written down)
tell DM


either way: DM thoughts: (avoidable if players failed)
1.) How many degree's/what is DC required (may have to look in book).
2. )Is Player's number surfactant? (simple comparative value)


total steps:
So DC system: 3
Degrees of success system: 6 (or 1 if they fail)


Now lets put up StoryTeller system:
StoryTeller system:
GM/player: workout Die pool.
^that My take multiple steps:

Find appropriate base pool (eg Punch: Brawl + Str)
then things that add dice,
things that remove dice,
Is the size of the dice pool less than equal to zero
Do a Chance Roll
did it roll 1? => Dramatic Failure => Is there any consequences, if so do them.
Did it roll 10=> Add one sucess, continue rollign and adding sucesses until it doesn't roll a 10.

Dice pool greater than zero (norma rollign procedure)
roll dice pool of d10
Add the number of 8's, 9's and 10's to number of successes.

Are you entitles to an 8 again, 9 again or 10 again for this roll? *
If so, reroll any dice that rolled those numbers.
Count 8's,9's,10's
if you were entitled to an 8 again, 9 again or 10 again.
If so, reroll any dice that rolled those numbers.
Continue,


*FYI there are things that entitle you to 8 agains, and there are things that denie you 10 agains

Wow Story teller has a lot of steps, this implies that breaking things down into steps number of steps my not be the best way to analysis goodness of mechanic.
thing with storyteller is alot of it's condional, eg Chance roll normally don't happen, and if they do then normal roll procedure dones happen


and for final comparison:
Free form:
PC: I do X
GM: Cool, this is what happens:

Can some one put up WUSHU and GURPS check systems?

oxinabox
2009-08-08, 09:52 AM
As a matter of fact, you can use it as part of a full attack, and you can attempt to escape multiple times in a round in place of the attacks you might get if you did a full attack.

Not directly stated, my I argued that, but dm wouldn't listen.
"cos in the place of making an attack. and attack is a standard action. a full attack is a full round action where you get to make multiple attack rolls"
And i see his point.
But this is getting of topic.

ANyway it's a Bad mechanic cos nothing else is a attack action.
Everything else is move, standard, swift or free.
Would be better to make escape a move action and be done with it.
Move can be done instead of standard.
Thus everyone gets to attempts to escape from grapple each round.
If you escape the first time you get to make an attack as a standard action.
Otherwise you have the opportunity to try again

JMobius
2009-08-08, 09:57 AM
Linear dice systems, i.e. d20 et all.

Mongoose87
2009-08-08, 10:07 AM
Dual- and multi-classing, in 2e

Fiendish_Dire_Moose
2009-08-08, 10:08 AM
You know what game mechanic I hate? Steve. The guy who works on 4e engine blocks. That guy never shuts up! And he's a chauvinistic pig of a dude to-
We're.... We're talking about something completely different aren't we?

Delwugor
2009-08-08, 10:29 AM
I actually liked THAC0 and stole it when we where playing AD&D 1E because it simplified the attack tables to simple math done in my head.

No problem with Vancian magic as far as a game mechanics, it works and if the player knows his spells it can be done quickly. The problem is that it reduces the wonder and mystic that differentiates magic from the mundane.

I have the same view about the static defense mechanism - i.e AC and ST. It works and is fast but very flavorless. Active defense mechanisms really add an extra unpredictability to combat that I personally enjoy.

I'm not thrilled about the turning mechanics. Just a little to complex for my tastes.

Hide/Move Silently combination irks the crap out of me because someone has to succeed with 2 rolls instead of 1. The converse applies as well spot and listen. The sneak-perception houserule mechanics is easier and fast to do.

Grappling though is the absolute worst! IMO some WoTC game designer(s) had a doooh day and they probably should have taken it off as sick. D&D would have been much better off without it.

Starscream
2009-08-08, 10:29 AM
Even though Turning Undead has become much more streamlined than it was in earlier editions (where every type of undead had its own entry on the table), it's still needlessly complicated.

Behold_the_Void
2009-08-08, 10:33 AM
You know what game mechanic I hate? Steve. The guy who works on 4e engine blocks. That guy never shuts up! And he's a chauvinistic pig of a dude to-
We're.... We're talking about something completely different aren't we?

Oh man I HATE that guy.

Anyway, I had a bit of experience with WoD's LARP system, which in general I didn't particularly care for but one thing that stood out in my mind was another character used a mental challenge to basically make my character change his mind despite it being wildly out of character for him to do so.

That bothered me quite a bit. I understand the mechanic from a balance perspective I guess, there needs to be a reason to not spec in punching dudes in the face, but I hate other people basically telling me how my character is supposed to act or feel.

bosssmiley
2009-08-08, 10:35 AM
3.5 D&D, and possibly others as well.
"No, your Gargantuan greatsword does NOT have reach."

...unless you yourself are Large size or larger, when the reach of both your arm ~and~ of the weapon will vary according to your size. :smallconfused:

Grapple (and the kabuki LARP shuffle that is melee combat generally) in 3E
Dice pool mechanics (I don't do polynomial probability breakdowns for fun FFS!)
The GURPS core mechanic ("It's bell curve time!" "No dad no!")
The Fading Suns VP system - all the worst aspects of close-ended d20 rolls and dice pools together in one handy kludge.

@oxinabox: Yer doing it wrong! Degrees of success only apply if your modified check succeeds. It's the same mechanic WFRP has used perfectly well for ~two decades now. The explanation in DH might be bad, but you shouldn't let RAW override your own common sense and prior experience.

Glyde
2009-08-08, 10:36 AM
Spells that cause instant death.

tyckspoon
2009-08-08, 10:50 AM
Not directly stated, my I argued that, but dm wouldn't listen.
"cos in the place of making an attack. and attack is a standard action. a full attack is a full round action where you get to make multiple attack rolls"
And i see his point.
But this is getting of topic.

ANyway it's a Bad mechanic cos nothing else is a attack action.
Everything else is move, standard, swift or free.
Would be better to make escape a move action and be done with it.
Move can be done instead of standard.
Thus everyone gets to attempts to escape from grapple each round.
If you escape the first time you get to make an attack as a standard action.
Otherwise you have the opportunity to try again

You may see his point, but his point is just wrong (also WotC royally screwed up the wording here- 'attack action' should be called 'attack equivalent' or something.) Trip, disarm, sunder, and starting-a-grapple attempts are also attack actions. An 'attack action' is not a unique type of Standard Action- taking a Standard Action just lets you make a single attack action (your DM has this backwards.) A Full Attack action lets you make attack actions up to however many attacks your BAB+other stuff allows. You can make a Full Attack entirely out of trip attempts if you want.

JMobius
2009-08-08, 10:54 AM
Anyway, I had a bit of experience with WoD's LARP system, which in general I didn't particularly care for but one thing that stood out in my mind was another character used a mental challenge to basically make my character change his mind despite it being wildly out of character for him to do so.

That bothered me quite a bit. I understand the mechanic from a balance perspective I guess, there needs to be a reason to not spec in punching dudes in the face, but I hate other people basically telling me how my character is supposed to act or feel.

Oh, right. Add silly things like PCs being mystically immune to social skills.

That whole thing is a bit of a grey area. The way I've heard it put best: PCs shouldn't be a special exception to the social skills any more than they should be immune to the martial skills of their fellow players, but if either one comes into play, it is just as much PvP.

Quirinus_Obsidian
2009-08-08, 10:57 AM
I don't dislike Vancian magic, once it's explained. The trouble is that it isn't explained. The idea of spells being kind of alive, and there are only so many that you can force into your brain, is kind of cool. "You can cast this many spells a day for some reason" isn't.


One word: Balance. If a wizard could cast 50 bajillion Time Stop's a day (Being able to cast one is way too powerful to start with) it would destroy time itself.

The magic system in DnD is flawed to the core.

First the game is entirely too dependent on it. Magic in DND is there for support; just like all the other characters fill a support need. Know your role.

Secondly, there are way too many spells to choose from. In a game that is designed around teamwork, why would one character (the spellcaster) need to turn itself into a Celestial Dire Bear to do melee combat, when there are others that are more capable of being a melee combatant? Why would a mortal (or immortal for that matter) wizard ever need the ability to manipulate time and space? Why would a druid need to cast spells while he was wildshaped into another form?

Third, why are there so many different systems of magic? Arcane, Divine, Psionics, Truename (broken), Pact magic, "Shadow Magic" (wtf), Invoking, etc.? Aren't these all ways of doing the same things? Sure there is some unique flavor to each one (I particularly like 3.5+ Psionics) but in the end, a lot of the above systems produce the same results: a single character that can dominate game play.

How to fix it? Because complaining about it is not going to do any good.

First: Some of the more broken things; high level polymorph effects, time manipulation, certain types of summoning, wild shaping, shape changing, all get "nerfed", or to use the correct term: "balanced".
-In a non-Pathfinder game, the original Wild Shape as per the PHB is gone. The PHB II shapechanger rules are in effect for Druids. Which also removes Natural Spell.
-Celerity, Time Stop, Reality Revision, Wish, Limited Wish, Miracle, and all the other time/space/reality manipulation are gone.
-Polymorph, shape change, alter self, etc. are very limited. You can only "transform" into a creature the same size category as yourself, for a shorter duration. There are other things about them too but in the interest of not trolling...
-Grease cannot catch fire. You need a different spell for that. Caustic Mire comes to mind.
-More creatures are given Spell resistance, and it also affects Divine spells in the same way it effects Arcane and Psionics.
-There is no such thing as "Assume Ability" or whatever it was that gave PunPun the brokenness.
-More emphasis put on problem solving, teamwork, and yes, melee combat and mundane social combat. I actually have rules for Social Combat. It works a lot like melee combat, with Social Attack, damage, "armor", etc. Pretty interesting.

There is a bit more that I changed in my game; perhaps some things are a little harsh, and maybe a little lenient in other ways, but that is what DND is about. Making the best game so that everyone enjoys themselves.

Tengu_temp
2009-08-08, 10:57 AM
You know what game mechanic I hate? Steve. The guy who works on 4e engine blocks. That guy never shuts up! And he's a chauvinistic pig of a dude to-
We're.... We're talking about something completely different aren't we?

Loosely related. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPHaahKa1Nk)

As for the actual topic, rolling for stats and especially rolling for HP really annoys me. Also, 90% of mechanics in Cyberpunk 2020, from the default character creation methods (one of them is super-random, the other forces you to min-max to the extreme or else you'll end up with a loser), to the reliance on armor and super-heavy guns in combat (apparently cyberpunk is not about guys in trenchcoats killing each other with handguns...), to the broken, as you'd call them in DND, save DCs (if you have 85% chance to succeed on an easy task, then your chance to succeed on an average one is 45%, and on a hard one is 0%. WTF?). And the less said about the cyberspace, the better.

Artanis
2009-08-08, 11:14 AM
Heavy Gear's core dice system. I like it, it works well for the most part, and in many stages it's much simpler than even d20...but ****ing hell can the other stages get annoying.

Critical fumbles that you have no 100% reliable way to avoid. That goes double for such fumbles that are core rules, rather than homebrew.

Square grids. Gimme hex grids any day.

Kemper Boyd
2009-08-08, 11:34 AM
Even though Turning Undead has become much more streamlined than it was in earlier editions (where every type of undead had its own entry on the table), it's still needlessly complicated.

The 4E version is pretty slick since it doesn't have any unique mechanics to it.

Curmudgeon
2009-08-08, 12:03 PM
D&D 3.0/3.5 Listen and Spot.

Penalties are linear with distance.
Bonuses for size are linear (+/4) with each doubling, making them inverse quadratic.

You can't possibly make a Spot check to notice the Moon rising. The penalty for the distance is (literally) astronomical, while the bonus for size is merely large.

Kemper Boyd
2009-08-08, 12:08 PM
D&D 3.0/3.5 Listen and Spot.

Penalties are linear with distance.
Bonuses for size are linear (+/4) with each doubling, making them inverse quadratic.

You can't possibly make a Spot check to notice the Moon rising. The penalty for the distance is (literally) astronomical, while the bonus for size is merely large.

Is this actually something that has ever mattered in a game?

Curmudgeon
2009-08-08, 12:29 PM
Is this actually something that has ever mattered in a game?
Yep. By official 3.5 rules an encounter doesn't start until someone makes a successful Spot or Listen check. So there was a Barbarian character standing guard outside camp on a clear, moonlit night, and enemies started attacking with arrows from a distance. The Barbarian failed to Spot them, and also failed to hear the cries from the camp when the party members were woken up by getting perforated. Following the rules, the sentry was the only one completely unaware that combat was happening. By taking up a supposedly good watch position that offered concealment, the enemies didn't Spot the sentry -- but the sentry was clueless until long after the combat was over, when the party members went looking for his body, assuming he had been killed.

magellan
2009-08-08, 12:37 PM
Tohit number = Thac0 - AC

I would love to meet a person who can explain to me what there is in that, that is hard to understand (It isnt the =, is it?)

I've given up to ever understand BAB though.

Kemper Boyd
2009-08-08, 12:38 PM
Yep. By official 3.5 rules an encounter doesn't start until someone makes a successful Spot or Listen check. So there was a Barbarian character standing guard outside camp on a clear, moonlit night, and enemies started attacking with arrows from a distance. The Barbarian failed to Spot them, and also failed to hear the cries from the camp when the party members were woken up by getting perforated. Following the rules, the sentry was the only one completely unaware that combat was happening. By taking up a supposedly good watch position that offered concealment, the enemies didn't Spot the sentry -- but the sentry was clueless until long after the combat was over, when the party members went looking for his body, assuming he had been killed.

Haha. People actually play the game like this?

Kemper Boyd
2009-08-08, 12:40 PM
Tohit number = Thac0 - AC

I would love to meet a person who can explain to me what there is in that, that is hard to understand (It isnt the =, is it?)

I've given up to ever understand BAB though.

Its difficult to grasp because whoever designed THAC0 didnt understand that negative numbers are stupid to use when you can actually avoid using them.

Clementx
2009-08-08, 12:40 PM
By taking up a supposedly good watch position that offered concealment, the enemies didn't Spot the sentry -- but the sentry was clueless until long after the combat was over, when the party members went looking for his body, assuming he had been killed.
You receive Listen penalties for intervening barriers and distance. If your sentry is so far away he can't make the DC(-10) to hear a combat at his camp, he isn't in a good watch position.

As for concealment and cover, you seem to be implying that a barbarian needs to be sitting in the middle of a copse to be hidden. You pick a corner of your square to determine the clarity of line of sight, to each corner of where you are looking. This means if you are on the edge of shadow/bushes/behind incomplete cover, you pick your corner on the edge, inflicting no penalty on your ability to see. Opponents suffer from your cover, since lines from them to your back two corners pass through the cover.

That is how you hide while fighting/observing in DnD. It has nothing to do with the distance/size penalties which break down beyond the maximum Spot distance and Fine-to-Colossal sizing.

Siosilvar
2009-08-08, 12:42 PM
Tohit number = Thac0 - AC

I would love to meet a person who can explain to me what there is in that, that is hard to understand (It isnt the =, is it?)

I've given up to ever understand BAB though.

Tohit number = AC
You roll 1d20+attack bonus.

AstralFire
2009-08-08, 12:44 PM
You receive Listen penalties for intervening barriers and distance. If your sentry is so far away he can't make the DC(-10) to hear a combat at his camp, he isn't in a good watch position.

On a quiet night, I bet you I could hear a battle going on at the opposite side of a football field, which would be DC 26. My Wis can't be above 14, and I'd be surprised if I had more than 3 ranks in Listen.

Kemper Boyd
2009-08-08, 12:47 PM
On a quiet night, I bet you I could hear a battle going on at the opposite side of a football field, which would be DC 26. My Wis can't be above 14, and I'd be surprised if I had more than 3 ranks in Listen.

The responsibility of course lies with the GM. A GM stupid enough to ask the guy on watch to roll if he notices his camp is under attack (unless the enemy is actually sneaking in) should not be a GM.

Swiftblu
2009-08-08, 12:51 PM
The responsibility of course lies with the GM. A GM stupid enough to ask the guy on watch to roll if he notices his camp is under attack (unless the enemy is actually sneaking in) should not be a GM.

When a rule must be replaced by GM fiat to not be broken, it's a bad rule.

Kemper Boyd
2009-08-08, 01:02 PM
When a rule must be replaced by GM fiat to not be broken, it's a bad rule.

I think the rules also say that the GM decides when someone needs to roll their skills. The Listen rules might not be particulary good but they're good enough for most purposes.

AstralFire
2009-08-08, 01:03 PM
I think the rules also say that the GM decides when someone needs to roll their skills. The Listen rules might not be particulary good but they're good enough for most purposes.

The thread is about pet peeves. They don't necessarily have to think that it renders a system unplayable or anything.

Skorj
2009-08-08, 01:10 PM
Tohit number = Thac0 - AC

I would love to meet a person who can explain to me what there is in that, that is hard to understand (It isnt the =, is it?)

I've given up to ever understand BAB though.

The THAC0 system actually worked great, and was fast to use, once you hit a level where all ACs were negative anyway. It became BAB system using (AC-20), so you were working with smaller numbers. Meh, I preferred 1E with the tables - it gave you something to put on your DM screen!

I like the basic mechanic from 3.5. 15 is easy, 25 is hard(ish). I think there's room for improvement - there should be well-established difficulty levels that are easy to remember and apply to everything - but it's the right approach. As the DM, I don't need to decide the DC ahead of time, just roll and tell me what you got. If it's impressively high or low, I don't need to worry about what the DC actually was: regardless of your skill level, if your result was a 5, or a 45, I know what that means in game. I can work out the exact circumstantial modifiers if the roll turns out to be "close", which is only about 1/3rd of the time, which greatly speeds gameplay.

D% systems have two big problems:

They have a very limited range. It's hard to start people with less than a 20-30 in skills, and the best you can effectively get is 90-100. Fine for strange contemporary but not impressive for heroic fantasy.
They make "degree of success" an annoying math problem on every die roll. A roll of "10" means something different if your chance of success was 20 vs 90. This makes it a lot harder to know when I need to figure the exact circumstance modifiers.

Die pool systems are really a huge pain, unless the reason you play an RPG is to enjoy the physical action of rolling dice (not that there anything wrong with that :smallamused:). Everything takes forever to roll, and it's not at all intuitive how degree of skill affects chance of success.

Swiftblu
2009-08-08, 01:11 PM
The rules for social skills and how much people like the PCs in GURPS 4e are really annoying. The "reaction roll," though center-weighted, is still too random to determine the average person's reaction to the PCs, and the influence rolls feel much too "all or nothing" to me. Additionally, the built-in fear rules are not only clunky and hard to run (roll 3d6; if you roll above [Will-scariness], add your margin of failure to a second 3d6 roll; compare your result on the second roll to a table that shows your reaction to the scary), but produce results that, again, vary far too much for my tastes.

None of these mechanics make you feel like you're taking calculated risks with a chance for success and failure; they make you feel like you're playing craps.

Kemper Boyd
2009-08-08, 01:15 PM
The thread is about pet peeves. They don't necessarily have to think that it renders a system unplayable or anything.

Personally, I think twisting a rule for something it's not really supposed to do (see:D&D physics) and then arguing that its bad doesn't really make sense.

AstralFire
2009-08-08, 01:18 PM
Personally, I think twisting a rule for something it's not really supposed to do (see:D&D physics) and then arguing that its bad doesn't really make sense.

I think the degrees of difference between the selectively physics-compliant Peasant Railgun (to use a popular D&D physics trick) and "the Listen system fails if you're in a football field sized area" are so vast as to make this comparison ineffectual. One requires a contrived setup that will never occur without being intended to, the other is very plausible to occur in the middle of the game.

If I had been the DM at Curmudgeon's game, I would have let the Barbarian hear what was going on, sure, but if a rule is good - I should be able to make an intuitive ruling on an easily plausible situation and not find that the reality of the mechanics is incredibly disparate.

Kemper Boyd
2009-08-08, 01:20 PM
D% systems have two big problems:

They have a very limited range. It's hard to start people with less than a 20-30 in skills, and the best you can effectively get is 90-100. Fine for strange contemporary but not impressive for heroic fantasy.
They make "degree of success" an annoying math problem on every die roll. A roll of "10" means something different if your chance of success was 20 vs 90. This makes it a lot harder to know when I need to figure the exact circumstance modifiers.


This is actually only the case in poorly designed precentile systems. Check out Unknown Armies for one that actually has a good system.



Die pool systems are really a huge pain, unless the reason you play an RPG is to enjoy the physical action of rolling dice (not that there anything wrong with that :smallamused:). Everything takes forever to roll, and it's not at all intuitive how degree of skill affects chance of success.

I agree with this one. I've only seen one dice pool system that's actually good, and that's ORE. The old WoD system was especially bad in a mathematical sense, and it also had stupid design decision that made judging your actual chance of success almost impossible. For example, for a difficult roll you might roll a few dice less from your pool, your difficulty is 9 and you have to have at least 4 successes.

jmbrown
2009-08-08, 01:53 PM
I hate 3.5s skill system plain and simple. The scaling difficulty of DCs ensures that a character who doesn't put full points into his skills will have a higher chance of failing even the simplest tasks. Opposed checks are even worse especially when it comes to spot/listen and hide/move silently; in short, there are more ways to increase the latter set of skills than the former.

My other beef with the skills system is x4 at 1st level. This isn't a problem when you begin at 1st level, but beginning at higher levels and multiclassing, players will (logically) choose the class with the most skill points so they can benefit from that level 1 boost. As a DM, you can't come up with a good argument against this because there's no restrictions against it. As long as the player mentions it in their back story, there's no logical argument against a rogue/fighter beginning level 1 as a rogue instead of a fighter.


The rules for social skills and how much people like the PCs in GURPS 4e are really annoying. The "reaction roll," though center-weighted, is still too random to determine the average person's reaction to the PCs, and the influence rolls feel much too "all or nothing" to me. Additionally, the built-in fear rules are not only clunky and hard to run (roll 3d6; if you roll above [Will-scariness], add your margin of failure to a second 3d6 roll; compare your result on the second roll to a table that shows your reaction to the scary), but produce results that, again, vary far too much for my tastes.

None of these mechanics make you feel like you're taking calculated risks with a chance for success and failure; they make you feel like you're playing craps.

The average person isn't supposed to check against the PCs. A passerby, store owner, bar tender, and anyone who doesn't have a direct impact on the PCs and their goals are generally neutral. You roll a reaction check when it actually matters like the PCs are meeting an important contact, they're trying to convince a guard into letting them pass, or they bump into a group of thugs who are considering if they should mug the players or not.

As far as the roll seeming random, the idea is that a character's first impression of the PCs will pretty much dictate their actions. Think about it; a rival gang already hates you. Nothing you say short of a miraculous speech will make them remotely friendlier. If someone is unfriendly or indifferent, it's easier to piss them off than it is to make them friendlier.

(Also the book says the GM can "opt" to do it meaning it's never required :D)

This applies to influence rolls as well. If you try flirting with a girl at a bar who has no interest in you, you have a higher chance of making her mad than making her interested. Even if she is interested in you, one wrong word has more impact on a person's opinion and it takes twice the work to make up for it (just like in real life!).

In short, I save reaction rolls for important NPCs and only those where a change in reaction will have some kind of impact on the game itself. Smart PCs will avoid influence rolls unless they're absolutely necessary because the results for failing can be disastrous.

I will agree on the fear checks which is why I use them only when something out of the ordinary happens. A man's head impaled on a pike in a medieval setting is uncommon but not unexpected whereas a man's head impaled on a pike in Time's Square would probably send several hundred people fleeing. Also, the effects of the higher rolls on fear screw you up so badly you get flaws or even send you into shock.

Yeah, fear rolls are best saved for horror games.

Curmudgeon
2009-08-08, 01:57 PM
I think the rules also say that the GM decides when someone needs to roll their skills. The Listen rules might not be particulary good but they're good enough for most purposes.
Nope; the rules specify a single reactive Listen check automatically when there's a new noise. If that noise continues, the rules are different. Ditto for something new coming into sight.
Every time you have a chance to hear something in a reactive manner (such as when someone makes a noise or you move into a new area), you can make a Listen check without using an action. Trying to hear something you failed to hear previously is a move action.
Every time you have a chance to spot something in a reactive manner you can make a Spot check without using an action. Trying to spot something you failed to see previously is a move action.
Not knowing that he failed his first (reactive) Spot and Listen checks, the Barbarian never tried again. To cope with the rules the Barbarian should have been using 2 move actions every round, one for a Spot recheck and the second for a Listen recheck. But not being fully aware of those details of the skill rules, the Barbarian's player just had him sit there, expecting to automatically notice sights and sounds around him. With 0 ranks in both skills there really wasn't much hope.

Basically, the D&D perception rules give you a single chance to become aware of something new, and then you're required to declare that you're using move actions to make rechecks -- when you don't know that you need to make any rechecks. Hence, my pet peeve.

The Demented One
2009-08-08, 02:10 PM
Mass combat rules in Exalted. Love the game, but they're too complicated to be worth using.

Clementx
2009-08-08, 02:17 PM
But not being fully aware of those details of the skill rules, the Barbarian's player just had him sit there, expecting to automatically notice sights and sounds around him. With 0 ranks in both skills there really wasn't much hope.
Which means the party put the less observant member on watch, and he didn't pay particular attention to anything. Surprise surprise he missed the ambush.

"I am being extra cautious and observant" is all it takes to get two checks each round while doing nothing else. I doesn't matter if the player knows he can do this. A non-sadistic DM would grant the character doing nothing else on watch the move-action rerolls, because its sensible for the character to be doing that. Of course, he should have informed the player of the rules for watching the first time it came up, if the player is new.

If players are scouring dungeon walls with Search checks and wanting double-rerolls, inform them that they are exploring at 5 squares per minute.

Skorj
2009-08-08, 06:11 PM
This [d% systems suck] is actually only the case in poorly designed precentile systems. Check out Unknown Armies for one that actually has a good system.


Would you have a link or a brief description of the mechanic? I'm working on a complete homewbrew right now, and trying to avoid having it end up on this list. :smallsmile:

Devils_Advocate
2009-08-08, 08:15 PM
Tohit number = Thac0 - AC

I would love to meet a person who can explain to me what there is in that, that is hard to understand
Since you asked: I see how the numbers in the equation relate to each other just fine. But... it doesn't tell me how to use a d20 roll to decide whether I hit someone or not. For example, suppose that I have a Thac0 of 10 and I'm attacking someone with AC 5. I roll a 12. Do I hit him or not? The "Tohit number" is 5, but what does that tell me? Am I trying to beat it or what? If so, do I win if I roll over or under in crazy backwards AC land? Do I add or subtract anything else, or are all of the modifiers already factored in to my Thac0? If they are, how do they factor in? Either way, am I going to have to add penalties or subtract bonuses anywhere? And if I do: Why the hell would anyone design the system like that?

I'm sure it's simple once you already know how it works, but I don't know how it works.


I've given up to ever understand BAB though.
The amount of BAB that a character gets for each of his classes depends on the number of levels he has in each class and is given in the tables for those classes. Add up the BAB for all of his classes to get the character's BAB. BAB is added to attack rolls. Iterative attacks are a bit complicated, but other than that it's

Melee attack bonus = BAB + Strength modifier + size modifier
Ranged attack bonus = BAB + Dexterity modifier + size modifier + range penalty
You hit if d20 + attack bonus + any other relevant modifiers equals or exceeds the target's armor class.

The d20 system compares an attack number with a defense number, and whoever has the higher one wins. Other than what happens on a tie, it's perfectly clear. On the other hand, I still have no idea how a Thac0 roll gets resolved.

Edit: Whether you want to roll high or roll low is implicit in the knowledge I already have of the system. It's just that working it out takes enough effort that I'm not even willing to try, which is telling. "Let's see. Subtracting a high AC gives a low Tohit number. But having a low armor class is good in this system, so the better your armor class, the higher the Tohit number. A good armor class makes someone harder to hit, so OH SCREW THIS!"

jmbrown
2009-08-08, 08:23 PM
THAC0 = To Hit AC 0

For every point above AC 0 you subtract from your THAC0. For every point below AC 0 you add to your THAC0.

If your THAC0 is 19 and your enemy has AC 7, you hit him on a roll of 12 or higher (19 - 7 = 12). If a modifier adds a bonus to your THAC0, you subtract it. If a modifier has a penalty you add it. This applied to saving throws as well (you roll above your score to save, positive modifiers subtracted and negative modifiers added).

Yes, THAC0 was completely retarded and I don't understand how it survived 25 years. When I taught new players, I made them record their THAC0 as negative numbers. A THAC0 of 10 would be written

THAC0 = -10

That way they knew a modifier of +2 would give them a THAC0 of 8 and vice versa.

It was nice that THAC0 never went below 1 and AC never went below -10 so there was never a way to trick out your AC is disgusting ways. In 3.5 terms, your AC is basically capped at 30 and your BAB capped at +19. Multiple attacks were based on your proficiency and speed in the chosen weapon. Only fighter and the fighter sub-classes could have multiple attacks based on proficiency which made martial characters much more desirable in early editions.

Devils_Advocate
2009-08-08, 08:36 PM
If a modifier adds a bonus to your THAC0, you subtract it.
Ah, of course. You add by subtracting. How could anyone possibly have trouble with something so intuitive?

oxinabox
2009-08-08, 08:44 PM
@oxinabox: Yer doing it wrong! Degrees of success only apply if your modified check succeeds. It's the same mechanic WFRP has used perfectly well for ~two decades now. The explanation in DH might be bad, but you shouldn't let RAW override your own common sense and prior experience.
I said that.
rerread my post.
Or even just the last bit of the analysis:



total steps:
So DC system: 3
Degrees of success system: 6 (or 1 if they fail)

Curmudgeon
2009-08-08, 09:48 PM
Which means the party put the less observant member on watch, and he didn't pay particular attention to anything. Surprise surprise he missed the ambush.
Pretty much. The arcane spellcasters wanted to make sure they had an uninterrupted night's sleep, and they said they could fix the Barbarian's fatigue from being on watch all night with Ray of Resurgence in the morning.

Telonius
2009-08-08, 10:04 PM
My top two annoyances (both in 3.5): Dispel Magic and Grappling. Dispel is a royal pain in the butt to adjudicate. Grappling involves too many steps.

huttj509
2009-08-08, 10:33 PM
Thac0 and BaB explained

Thac0: You hit if

Roll + AC > Thac0

BAB: You hit if

Roll + BaB > AC

Hmmm, These look similar.

Roll + AC > Thaco

Roll - Thaco > -AC

Roll + (20 - Thac0) > (20 - AC)

The BaB is 20 - Thac0, and the new AC is 20 - AC

So if your thaco was 15 at level 5, now your BaB is +5 at level 5. If your AC was -5, now it's 25. What this does is keeps everything in the form of "larger number is better." When you level, things like your BaB go up if they get better. An AC Bonus makes the number larger, etc.

2E had some issues with things like a -2 AC bonus, which were confusing, as negative numbers are generally considered a bad thing (heck, they're negative). A -2 to AC was good, but a -2 to hit was not, things like that.

PumpkinJack
2009-08-08, 10:59 PM
Encumbrance. After years of playing video games, I don't want to keep track of how much my character can carry and how that load affects the character's movement. Removing encumbrance may be unrealistic but it removes the royal bummer of a party finally discovering the big treasure only to realize they can't take it home with them. We usually ignore this rule, thankfully.

Vancian magic. All explanations aside, I hate having to figure out my memorized spells for each game day. It's time-consuming and boring for the other players who are ready to start playing. Even though sorcerers are way under-powered compared with wizards, I usually play sorcerers just so I don't have to worry about keeping track of so much stuff.

oxinabox
2009-08-08, 11:31 PM
Vancian magic. All explanations aside, I hate having to figure out my memorized spells for each game day. It's time-consuming and boring for the other players who are ready to start playing. Even though sorcerers are way under-powered compared with wizards, I usually play sorcerers just so I don't have to worry about keeping track of so much stuff.
I love Vancian magic for exactly that reason.
It's much easier if you use a spell list. cystal keep has one ,and i have another that just includes core
and just got through notating how many of eah you prepared eachday.
and when you learn a new spell tick the box

edit: spelling

Xenogears
2009-08-09, 12:04 AM
Encumbrance. After years of playing video games, I don't want to keep track of how much my character can carry and how that load affects the character's movement. Removing encumbrance may be unrealistic but it removes the royal bummer of a party finally discovering the big treasure only to realize they can't take it home with them. We usually ignore this rule, thankfully.

Well thats why you carry a book of scrolls of town portal.

Oh wait thats Diablo.... I suppose teleport scrolls would work almost as well but be ludicrously expensive. Meh just get all those extra-dimensional storage bags.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-08-09, 12:06 AM
Well thats why you carry a book of scrolls of town portal.

Oh wait thats Diablo.... I suppose teleport scrolls would work almost as well but be ludicrously expensive. Meh just get all those extra-dimensional storage bags.Or you could buy a pack of Riding Dogs. Far cheaper than a magical solution, and they can carry their own rations.

chiasaur11
2009-08-09, 12:11 AM
Or you could buy a pack of Riding Dogs. Far cheaper than a magical solution, and they can carry their own rations.

Or get a henchman.

It's like a bag of holding, a trapfinder, and a decoy, rolled into one self propelled package!

lsfreak
2009-08-09, 12:11 AM
Encumbrance.

It's even a bigger problem when you actually follow the ridiculous coin sizes listed in the PHB. One coin weighs a little less than a US half-dollar. Sell a +2 sword and the merchant hands over an 80 pound bag of gold.

quick_comment
2009-08-09, 12:23 AM
3.X grappling

Not only is it too confusing, its far too limited. You cant break arms, you cant choke people to death, you cant do anything fun. I wrote up (what I thought was) a better version in the homebrew forums, but it got no replies.

Xenogears
2009-08-09, 12:25 AM
3.X grappling

Not only is it too confusing, its far too limited. You cant break arms, you cant choke people to death, you cant do anything fun. I wrote up (what I thought was) a better version in the homebrew forums, but it got no replies.

There was a feat in oriental adventures that let you choke people to unconsciousness while grappling.

quick_comment
2009-08-09, 12:30 AM
There was a feat in oriental adventures that let you choke people to unconsciousness while grappling.

That shouldnt take a feat.

It takes less than an hour to teach someone how to do a gilloutine choke on an untrained person.

Edit: The feat also doesnt let you hold the choke for a few dozen rounds to kill them either, does it?

Xenogears
2009-08-09, 12:30 AM
That shouldnt take a feat.

It takes less than an hour to teach someone how to do a gilloutine choke on an untrained person.

Well neither should choking up on a reach weapon but we have the short haft feat as well.

Xenogears
2009-08-09, 12:32 AM
I love vatican magicfor exactly that reason.
It's much easier if you use a spell list. cystal keep has one ,and i have another that just includes core
and just got through notating how many of eah you prepared eachday.
and when you learn a new spell tick the box

I know I shouldn't make fun of typos but now all I can think of is the pope casting spells....

quick_comment
2009-08-09, 12:34 AM
Well neither should choking up on a reach weapon but we have the short haft feat as well.

Choking up on a weapon and fighting to your full effectiveness is probably pretty hard to do. I mean, it shouldnt be a feat, but its basically fighting with another weapon that has awkward balance.

But requiring a feat to choke someone out is like requiring a feat to deal lethal damage with an axe.

Xenogears
2009-08-09, 12:35 AM
Choking up on a weapon and fighting to your full effectiveness is probably pretty hard to do. I mean, it shouldnt be a feat, but its basically fighting with another weapon that has awkward balance.

But requiring a feat to choke someone out is like requiring a feat to deal lethal damage with an axe.

Well apparently in the DnDVerse you need pinpoint accuracy to choke someone.

jmbrown
2009-08-09, 12:42 AM
In D&D verse, targeting any specific body part is essentially a "called shot" which was a battle option in early editions that made combat more realistic but not any fun at all. Unlike other games with targeting body parts, your armor doesn't make you harder to damage. Helmets prevented critical hits or something to that extent, but a person in full plate with the visor down was susceptible to losing an eye via a critical hit from a sling stone.

Xenogears
2009-08-09, 12:44 AM
In D&D verse, targeting any specific body part is essentially a "called shot" which was a battle option in early editions that made combat more realistic but not any fun at all. Unlike other games with targeting body parts, your armor doesn't make you harder to damage. Helmets prevented critical hits or something to that extent, but a person in full plate with the visor down was susceptible to losing an eye via a critical hit from a sling stone.

Well clearly the stone went through the eye hole of the visor. Clearly.

Jolly Steve
2009-08-09, 02:44 AM
People who don't like Vancian magic:

you might like microlite20 - www.microlite20.net


The guy who said that D&D magic is too complicated:

you might like Swords & Wizardry - www.swordsandwizardry.com - or Labyrinth Lord - www.goblinoidgames.com/labyrinthlord.htm - or Basic Fantasy - www.basicfantasy.org


People who don't like the grapple rules:

you might like Basic Fantasy - www.basicfantasy.org


All these are free, and basically D&D. You could probably just use the rules you liked in a 3.5ed game if you wanted.

The New Bruceski
2009-08-09, 02:49 AM
My peeve is any system where sometimes rolling high is good and sometimes rolling low is good (and I don't mean "the enemy rolling low to hit me is good!"). Mainly because those get jumbled and result in people needing to take time to say "am I trying to roll above or below my saving value?" Bonuses and penalties also get twisted when this is going on.

daggaz
2009-08-09, 03:43 AM
It's even a bigger problem when you actually follow the ridiculous coin sizes listed in the PHB. One coin weighs a little less than a US half-dollar. Sell a +2 sword and the merchant hands over an 80 pound bag of gold.

To be fair, the coin weights are fairly accurate. My aunt once gave me 90 dollars in pennies. Even tho I was 12 years old, I had to get a shopping cart to cart them in to the bank. The tough canvas money bag they gave me to bring them in actually ripped as I brought them inside. Luckily, I managed to catch the tear in my hand, so no resulting copper explosion of 7 solid days of labor all over the bank floor.

Personally, I like paying *some* attention to things like encumberance, how many arrows you have, and mundane gear and its uses... Especially in lower level games.. I think it adds a dimension many people overlook and can make the game more challenging in a fun way. No, you do not have infinite arrows (as a DM I have no problem tracking this for the players). Yes, you could do that, if only you had brought a grappling hook to go with your rope, a few pitons would help too. Yes, that is a great use for chalk and a whistle. Hey, your halfling wizard with strength 6? Yeah, he can barely carry his backpack and spellbook. Better make good friends with the half-orc.

But then again, I prefer survival-type campaigns, at least in the beginning before the plot really thickens.

Kemper Boyd
2009-08-09, 04:26 AM
Would you have a link or a brief description of the mechanic? I'm working on a complete homewbrew right now, and trying to avoid having it end up on this list. :smallsmile:

Briefly, it's like this and I hope I remember it right because my book was stolen:

You got four stats (Body, Speed, Mind, Soul) that normally are between 30 and 70. Then you have skills which are sorted under the appropriate stat. The stat is the max amount of skill you can have. There are a bunch of free skills you get (two-three per stat) and then you can use points to buy extra skills.

Having a skill above 10% means you're actually somewhat qualified at whatever, so you automatically succeed at any everyday action, like loading and cocking a gun, if you have Firearms 10%. You only need to roll under your stat to succeed at noncritical but difficult actions (like taking a difficult shot at a stationary target when you have all the time you need). When actions are both difficult and critical, you need to roll under your skill, like for instance shooting at someone in combat.

Of course, this means that the GM needs to think a lot about when he actually asks for a roll, but in general it's a very good system, since the built-in difficulty in the system means you don't have to meddle with modifiers a lot.

magellan
2009-08-09, 04:38 AM
So the confusing part is: "What is a To hit number"? Ok, didn't see that one coming, you roll need to roll higher with this one ;) (BAB and AC in 3rd ed by themselves dont tell you if you need to roll above or below either)

And i can even understand the "subtraction is harder" argument. But what were you guys telling your players about ThacO that you managed to confuse them?
I personally said never anything else but "Thats your Thac0, to hit armor class 0. To get your to hit number you subtract the targets armor class from your thac0. You need to roll over that." (verbose version, first and last sentences were sometimes left out)
Never managed to confuse anybody with it, or found somebody who didn't understand it.

Lycar
2009-08-09, 05:02 AM
Tohit number = Thac0 - AC

I would love to meet a person who can explain to me what there is in that, that is hard to understand (It isnt the =, is it?)

Why so complicated? Your Thac0 is your DC for an attack roll.

The enemy's AC is the modifier for your attack roll.

If your Thac0 is 18, you want to roll a 18+ to score a hit. If your foe's AC is 5, you add 5 to your roll. If your foe's AC is -1, you subtract one from your roll.

Easy. :smallwink:

EDIT: So I didn't read up to #59 before posting this. Sue me. :smalltongue:

Lycar

Jalor
2009-08-09, 10:10 AM
Nowhere is it stated in 3.5 D&D that creatures without land speeds do not get to use the Jump skill. A Dire Shark is fast enough and has good enough Strength to jump quite high.

Ia Dungeons and Dragons, shark jumps you!

tyckspoon
2009-08-09, 10:23 AM
To be fair, the coin weights are fairly accurate. My aunt once gave me 90 dollars in pennies. Even tho I was 12 years old, I had to get a shopping cart to cart them in to the bank. The tough canvas money bag they gave me to bring them in actually ripped as I brought them inside. Luckily, I managed to catch the tear in my hand, so no resulting copper explosion of 7 solid days of labor all over the bank floor.


That's.. nearly 50 pounds worth of pennies consisting of 9,000 coins. The same weight worth of D&D's massive coins would only be about 2500 GP- trading in large numbers in actual GPs would be like carrying around half-dollar coins to make major purchases. No sane person would do it.

AstralFire
2009-08-09, 10:24 AM
Nowhere is it stated in 3.5 D&D that creatures without land speeds do not get to use the Jump skill. A Dire Shark is fast enough and has good enough Strength to jump quite high.

Ia Dungeons and Dragons, shark jumps you!

Well, it can jump out of water, and Dolphins do that quite well.

However:

None. A Jump check is included in your movement, so it is part of a move action. If you run out of movement mid-jump, your next action (either on this turn or, if necessary, on your next turn) must be a move action to complete the jump.

If you have 0 movement, I believe you get to move 5 feet as a full-round. So you end up with the amusing quirk that a shark with an astronomical jump check on land from Strength and magic bonuses...

Well, let's see: Str 23. Advance it 36 HD, pump all ability score increases into Str, so 32. +6 enh bonus, 38. +4 manual, for 42. Cast Jump for +30. -18 for having no land speed. Skill Focus and synergy and feats for +7. All your ranks in Jump, so 57.

+92. Average roll is 102. He jumps 50 feet long. 5 feet a round is 10 rounds is 1 minute. If we can figure out an easy way to get him a running start (does it count if he was running the round before?) then we get double the jump length and duration.

Congratulations, we have just made a shark that floats through air for a solid minute to softly land 50 feet away.

That's what I call a Jawesome Hangtime.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-09, 10:28 AM
Well, it can jump out of water, and Dolphins do that quite well.

However:


If you have 0 movement, I believe you get to move 5 feet as a full-round. So you end up with the amusing quirk that a shark with an astronomical jump check on land from Strength and magic bonuses...

Well, let's see: Str 23. Advance it 36 HD, pump all ability score increases into Str, so 32. +6 enh bonus, 38. +4 manual, for 42. Cast Jump for +30. -18 for having no land speed. Skill Focus and synergy and feats for +7. All your ranks in Jump, so 57.

+92. Average roll is 102. He jumps 50 feet long. 5 feet a round is 10 rounds is 1 minute. If we can figure out an easy way to get him a running start (does it count if he was running the round before?) then we get double the jump length and duration.

Congratulations, we have just made a shark that floats through air for a solid minute to softly land 50 feet away.

That's what I call a Jawesome Hangtime.

Creatures without land speeds can't jump on land.

AstralFire
2009-08-09, 10:30 AM
Creatures without land speeds can't jump on land.

Is that covered somewhere explicitly?

And spoilsport. :smallsigh: We'll just have to make a Mermaid with

Mer-aculous Hangtime

Fiendish_Dire_Moose
2009-08-09, 10:35 AM
Is that covered somewhere explicitly?

And spoilsport. :smallsigh: We'll just have to make a Mermaid with

Mer-aculous Hangtime

You're grounded. Go to your room until your father gets home.

The mechanic I have probably grown to hate the most, was opposed tripping, and disarming. This mostly came from a poor DM however.

potatocubed
2009-08-09, 10:52 AM
Leaving D&D aside, the mechanic that winds me up the most is the thing from Promethean where anyone you talk to more than twice starts trying to kill you.

And the RŲtschreck mechanics from oWoD (they might be different in nWoD - I haven't checked) that had your badass night predator fleeing in abject terror from a dude with a cigarette lighter. That was stupid.

The 'gobble dice' system from Reign is also pretty bad. It makes defending yourself from multiple attackers really difficult - which can be a bug or a feature depending on how you like your game - but it's carried over to lying and sneaking, making both tasks virtually impossible.

I can probably think of more, but none of them trump that Promethean thing for me.

Zuki
2009-08-09, 11:29 AM
Well, let's see: Str 23. Advance it 36 HD, pump all ability score increases into Str, so 32. +6 enh bonus, 38. +4 manual, for 42. Cast Jump for +30. -18 for having no land speed. Skill Focus and synergy and feats for +7. All your ranks in Jump, so 57.

+92. Average roll is 102. He jumps 50 feet long. 5 feet a round is 10 rounds is 1 minute. If we can figure out an easy way to get him a running start (does it count if he was running the round before?) then we get double the jump length and duration.

Congratulations, we have just made a shark that floats through air for a solid minute to softly land 50 feet away.

That's what I call a Jawesome Hangtime.

You crunched all those numbers just so you could make that pun, didn't you!?

quick_comment
2009-08-09, 11:39 AM
You know, nothing stops you from adding amphibious and winged templates to a shark....


That would make an AWESOME campaign. The sharks have evolved lungs and wings, and are coming to end the world. BBEG is a great white bloodclaw master.

Swordguy
2009-08-09, 11:54 AM
Since somebody hates every given dice resolution mechanic, I'll through a non-dice resolution mechanic out there for your reading pleasure:

D&D 3.x: CR, EL, ECL. Figuring it all out and know what to use when and how. Screw you WotC. Just....screw you.

PLUN
2009-08-09, 12:29 PM
Sleeping to regain abilities. Sure, I don't mind it for say, 4eds Daily abilities (which honestly, I think you can adventure quite competently without; they're a safety net when the going gets REALLY tough, not a reliable mode of attack), and hit point recovery through rest makes a lot of sense. It's when your main abilities, what your role is, only works a certain amount of times a day it really rubs on me.

D&D is an obvious culprit. The last ed of Star Wars also encouraged a good nap between Force Battles, and while Saga still encourages a rest at the end of a hard day getting shot at, the Jedi isn't twiddling her thumbs in the afternoon while the soldier fumbles through his stash and is all set. To me the end of a day is literally that - you've been through more than three encounters, for example. You retreat, battered and bruised, or possibly triumphant, and everyone involved licks their wounds. Sleeping because the sorceror has somehow ran 'out' of boundless arcane power for the day at low levels always stuck in my craw.

So yeah, systems that are almost wholly dependant on abilities/day annoy me.

Sliver
2009-08-09, 03:03 PM
My other beef with the skills system is x4 at 1st level. This isn't a problem when you begin at 1st level, but beginning at higher levels and multiclassing, players will (logically) choose the class with the most skill points so they can benefit from that level 1 boost. As a DM, you can't come up with a good argument against this because there's no restrictions against it. As long as the player mentions it in their back story, there's no logical argument against a rogue/fighter beginning level 1 as a rogue instead of a fighter.


Well really, you prefer a bucket of skill points over a bunch of extra HP you are sure to get because you get the MAX HP roll of the fighter HD at first level, instead of the puny rogue HD?

quick_comment
2009-08-09, 03:06 PM
Well really, you prefer a bucket of skill points over a bunch of extra HP you are sure to get because you get the MAX HP roll of the fighter HD at first level, instead of the puny rogue HD?

Sometimes there is no downside though.

Take an anima mage build. It will always begin with binder, rather than wizard. Why? The binder gets more hp.

Kylarra
2009-08-09, 03:13 PM
Well really, you prefer a bucket of skill points over a bunch of extra HP you are sure to get because you get the MAX HP roll of the fighter HD at first level, instead of the puny rogue HD?
4hp is generally worth less than 24 extra skillpoints.

Open Minded (5 extra skillpoints) VS Toughness (3hp) as feat comparison.

Sliver
2009-08-09, 03:20 PM
4hp is generally worth less than 24 extra skillpoints.

Open Minded (5 extra skillpoints) VS Toughness (3hp) as feat comparison.

Say that to the rogue/fighter that could have -6, but he is dead because of those skillpoints... Although I wasn't really serious earlier..

chiasaur11
2009-08-09, 03:40 PM
You know, nothing stops you from adding amphibious and winged templates to a shark....


That would make an AWESOME campaign. The sharks have evolved lungs and wings, and are coming to end the world. BBEG is a great white bloodclaw master.

Bonus points for a Samuel L Jackson analogue who gets eaten halfway through in mid speech.

PumpkinJack
2009-08-09, 07:59 PM
I love Vancian magic for exactly that reason.
It's much easier if you use a spell list. cystal keep has one ,and i have another that just includes core
and just got through notating how many of eah you prepared eachday.
and when you learn a new spell tick the box

Well, the beguiler / dread necromancer / warmage spell lists are probably the easiest but I like picking an occasional off-theme spell for variety which you can't really do with those three.

PumpkinJack
2009-08-09, 08:10 PM
Well thats why you carry a book of scrolls of town portal.

Oh wait thats Diablo.... I suppose teleport scrolls would work almost as well but be ludicrously expensive. Meh just get all those extra-dimensional storage bags.

The fact that everyone and their mother has bags of holding says to me that no one wants to deal with encumbrance anyway. Why not get rid of the encumbrance rules and then you wouldn't NEED bags of holding? All that number-crunching is just too much for me. If I wanted to crunch numbers for fun, I would have been an accountant.

jmbrown
2009-08-09, 08:58 PM
As a rule of thumb, encumbrance only needs to be counted for class abilities that turn off when they have a medium load and characters with 16+ dexterity. Most heavily armored people already have a 20' movement and won't bother doing physical skills like climb and swim while armored.

I am glad 3.5 removed the stupid penalties to swim. 3.0 was more realistic since even the slightest weight will screw over a world class swimmer, but tracking what was it? -1 per 5 lbs of equipment? Ridiculous.

Doug Lampert
2009-08-09, 09:31 PM
4hp is generally worth less than 24 extra skillpoints.

Open Minded (5 extra skillpoints) VS Toughness (3hp) as feat comparison.
It's not even 4 HP, it's D10+6 vs. D6+10, that's four HP if all your dice roll ones, but it averages 2 HP vs. 24 skill points.

Sliver
2009-08-10, 12:08 AM
It's not even 4 HP, it's D10+6 vs. D6+10, that's four HP if all your dice roll ones, but it averages 2 HP vs. 24 skill points.

W.. What? We were talking about first level, max HP there. If you take rogue first level you have those 24 skill points and a 6+con HP from first level. If you take fighter first level, you have 10+con HP from first level. Thats 4 HP vs. 24 skill points as the advantages of taking rogue vs fighter at first level.
Are you accounting for next level? If so, there is no reason for this really..

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-08-10, 12:13 AM
W.. What? We were talking about first level, max HP there. If you take rogue first level you have those 24 skill points and a 6+con HP from first level. If you take fighter first level, you have 10+con HP from first level. Thats 4 HP vs. 24 skill points as the advantages of taking rogue vs fighter at first level.
Are you accounting for next level? If so, there is no reason for this really..He's accounting for next level. A non-human Rogue 1/Fighter 1 with 10 Int, 10 Con gets to choose between 34 SP/11.5 HP and 16 SP/13.5 HP.
18 skill points vs 2 HP. Pretty nice trade.

Micky Pain
2009-08-10, 12:45 AM
D&D mostly, for me....so many things that I don't like, but here's a few:

D20 - never a big fan of it.

Spell Sots - I know that spell, but I haven't prepared it today or already used it, so I can't remember how to cast it buhuhu.

Levels (that goes for most systems) - kill a few badies and suddenly, out of nowhere I can have a new skill...wtf?

Strict classes - restricting what you can be, what you can do, what you can learn, the fact that there are actual "builds" out there to make class XY the best it can possibly be really takes the uniqueness out of any character, because you can be sure there's tons of the exact same making out there, only varying by hair color and name.

Flame me if you must...

Armor Class - at least as a sole means of defense. True, it makes combat much faster if you skip a parry roll, but it also turns combat into Diablo-style hack'n'slash.

AgentPaper
2009-08-10, 02:05 AM
So yeah, systems that are almost wholly dependant on abilities/day annoy me.

This +5. Having an ability X times a day just makes the power of that ability fly all over the place depending on the campaign. In 4E it's better, because only a few (if powerful) abilities work that way, and they're spread out evenly among the classes. However, in 3.5 especially, where each and every single class is either entirely dependent on X/day abilities, (all casters, basically) OR has none whatsoever. Which just means you have to have EXACTLY the amount of encounters per day that they designers intended, or someone is going to suck.

If you have only 1 or 2 encounters in a day, the wizard is going to unload his nasty spells every single time and the fighter won't get to do much. While on the other hand, if you have a dozen battles in a day, (and assuming a wand of healing or some such to heal between fights) the wizard is going to run out of tricks fast (especially at low levels) and then be forced to sit there while the fighter continues to hack away the same as he's been doing since morning.

Of course, this problem is kinda moot in the first place because so many spells are so powerful that they'll allow the wizard/cleric/druid etc to be a better fighter than the fighter all day long, but even if you fixed that, the system would still be borked.

I also see AC as a unified defense to be kinda silly, as well as strength helping you hit while dexterity does nothing. (huh? Me so strong I can cut a fly in half blindfolded. Right.) Of course, to fix this you would have to turn AC into two things: Ability to not get hit, and the ability to be hit but not hurt. Which is fine in theory, but probably just too many extra numbers and rolling and headaches to worry about in a tabletop game, so I'm quick to forgive it. (same with levels/classes/etc) Now in a computer game on the other hand...:smallwink:


Oh, and if you're talking about a Fighter X/Rogue X and the HP difference, you gain 2 HP for taking your first level as a fighter instead of a rogue. This is because, if you're switching your first level to fighter, you need to switch a different level to rogue. Having fighter instead of rogue as the first level gives you +4 hit points, but having rogue instead of fighter as a normal level makes you lose 2 hit points, so in the end it's a net gain of 2 HP.

Similarly, switching from fighter to rogue as first level gives you +24 skill points, (6x4) but since you then have to switch a level of rogue to fighter later on, it makes you lose 6 skill points, making it a net gain of 18 skill points total. So then it's a matter of 18 skill points vs 2 HP, and of course you have to factor in that those 18 skill points are spent on the rogue skill list, which is just plain better except for the lack of Ride and Handle Animal.

Micky Pain
2009-08-10, 02:27 AM
I also see AC as a unified defense to be kinda silly, as well as strength helping you hit while dexterity does nothing. (huh? Me so strong I can cut a fly in half blindfolded. Right.) Of course, to fix this you would have to turn AC into two things: Ability to not get hit, and the ability to be hit but not hurt. Which is fine in theory, but probably just too many extra numbers and rolling and headaches to worry about in a tabletop game, so I'm quick to forgive it. (same with levels/classes/etc) Now in a computer game on the other hand...:smallwink:


Having a proper defense never really slowed us down....

We played D100 - basically, you roll two d10 - to succeed at anything, you have to roll lower than your talent score, with rolling lower than 1/10 of your talent score being a critical success.
The amount you rolled under your score is the "success by" number.
In case of battles to either parry, dodge or whatever you have to roll a "success by" of more than the guy that tried to hit you.
If you parry, you parry and move on - if hit however the armor class kicks in to determine how much of the damage received gets absorbed by the armor.

Might sound a bit complicated, but once you're in it it's really fast, and it actually involves you more in the battle instead of just waiting for the GM to tell you how much damage you took.

(we had way more advanced stuff as well, such as self imposed penalties in one round to get a bonus the next or trading one attack for an extra defense move, etc, but that's beside the point....)

Telonius
2009-08-10, 03:14 PM
Nowhere is it stated in 3.5 D&D that creatures without land speeds do not get to use the Jump skill. A Dire Shark is fast enough and has good enough Strength to jump quite high.

Ia Dungeons and Dragons, shark jumps you!

Strangely enough, this might be realistic (http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2009/08/10/ruiz.shark.boat1.wsvn).

Sinfire Titan
2009-08-10, 04:23 PM
D&D mostly, for me....so many things that I don't like, but here's a few:

D20 - never a big fan of it.

I prefer WFRP's Percentiles myself, but only one or two others in my group share this sentiment.


Spell Sots - I know that spell, but I haven't prepared it today or already used it, so I can't remember how to cast it buhuhu.

As it has been explained before, this is a result of WotC removing Jack Vance's flavor from the Vanican system. In his writings, spells are partially living beings who leap into your mind (preparing a spell transfers it from your spellbook into your mind). When you cast them, they take effect and then return to their original source. It isn't actually memorizing the phrases and gestures, it's taking the spell out of your book, putting it into your brain, then throwing it at someone. When it resolves, the spell returns to the book and you have to prep it again.


Levels (that goes for most systems) - kill a few badies and suddenly, out of nowhere I can have a new skill...wtf?

I'd have to write out 30 pages of text to justify this, but I have an idea in my head that justifies it with style. I'm just a lazy bastard right now.


Strict classes - restricting what you can be, what you can do, what you can learn, the fact that there are actual "builds" out there to make class XY the best it can possibly be really takes the uniqueness out of any character, because you can be sure there's tons of the exact same making out there, only varying by hair color and name.

Classes make some sense to me: You are training to be effective at a specific type of ability (spellcasting, fighting, skills). From the sounds of it, you prefer more of a WW style, no?


Flame me if you must...

Armor Class - at least as a sole means of defense. True, it makes combat much faster if you skip a parry roll, but it also turns combat into Diablo-style hack'n'slash.

Tome of Battle or spellcasters are the only answer to this. Casters make AC irrelevant outright, and the Bo9S gives balanced mechanics with regards to reactive combat.








My pet peeve? The fact that multiclassing sucks for so many classes to the point that it makes specific concepts nearly impossible in certain groups. Ever try playing a Gish in a group that is essentially Core-Only? From level 1 on up? In a campaign where the DM makes leveling up completely arbitrary and based solely on how well you "role play" your character (read: sucking up to the DM)?

Ravens_cry
2009-08-10, 04:44 PM
The fact that everyone and their mother has bags of holding says to me that no one wants to deal with encumbrance anyway. Why not get rid of the encumbrance rules and then you wouldn't NEED bags of holding? All that number-crunching is just too much for me. If I wanted to crunch numbers for fun, I would have been an accountant.
I am not the biggest fan of encumbrance either, but bags of holding are too much fun not to have. And um. . unless your playing the fluffiest rpg in existence, along the lines of Cops and Robbers, Crunching numbers IS what you do for fun. Not big numbers, not hard numbers, but still numbers.

AstralFire
2009-08-10, 04:45 PM
In this case it's more like chewing numbers tenderly.

Micky Pain
2009-08-10, 09:21 PM
Classes make some sense to me: You are training to be effective at a specific type of ability (spellcasting, fighting, skills). From the sounds of it, you prefer more of a WW style, no?


I'm not saying "no classes whatsoever", I'm just not a big fan of classes restricting what you can do, what you can learn and how you develop your character. Certainly, it depends on the underlying system how foundamental the need for classes is, I'm just saying I prefer a character class being a description, not a restriction.



Tome of Battle or spellcasters are the only answer to this. Casters make AC irrelevant outright, and the Bo9S gives balanced mechanics with regards to reactive combat.


I like having the abilty to parry/dodge/evade/run like a chicken as my first wall of defense, and armor class as a factor determining how much of the damage I receive gets absorbed.

As for levels, the system I played a lot used points gained through good roleplaying to increase attributes (strenght, endurance, etc) and all skills were increased with a "learning-by'doing" system :
percentile based, but can be increased above 100; 10 successful uses of the skill raises it by 2 points, 20 failed attempts raised it by 1 and a "perfect" success gave 1D4 extra points; skills could be raised anytime the requirements were fulfilled - except in battle.


From all the systems I tried it still felt the most natural, and yet it was quite simple. Battles/NPC situations were always interesting since you never really knew their skills (no "well, a fighter level x can't have more than y in skill z etc), and every single character in our group was indeed a character and not merely a template.

Morandir Nailo
2009-08-11, 12:17 AM
Dice pools. I want things to be quick and simple - I'd much rather roll 2d6, 1d20 or d% and add/subtract a modifier than go through the process of assembling a pool, rolling it, counting successes, canceling out successes based on how many 1s I rolled, rerolling max successes, and finally reaching a total, which (depending on the game) is compared to a target number which might be determined by someone else following the same process, who will likely not roll until after I've rolled, thus making things even slower. The big offender I'm thinking of here is Exalted. I know other games use much smaller pools, but it's still too slow for my tastes.

Mor

Terraoblivion
2009-08-11, 12:41 AM
Except of course that the procedure you described is in fact not the one used in Exalted, but the one used in the old World of Darkness which featured both ones subtracting successes and variant target number, neither of which is in later White Wolf productions. Not only that in Exalted you don't reroll tens they are just two successes and in the second edition your roll will be against a static number rather than a contested roll.

Curmudgeon
2009-08-11, 01:52 AM
Counting dice twice. Hero System has you count your dice twice, adding up all the d6 values the first pass, then counting up your 1s and 6s the second pass. Tedious, especially in Champions where you roll a lot of dice.

warmachine
2009-08-11, 04:22 AM
Mongoose Traveller default character creation, which is apparantly similar to the original Traveller character creation. When I create a character, I typically start with his/her name, defining shtick and other, key capabilities, his weaknesses, pivotal moments in his life history and reason for adventuring rather than a saner job. Then I start with stats, fine tuning the character concept for team roles or point cost limits as appropriate. Traveller uses a random career history. This produces a character very different from what I originally envisaged. This destroys the pivotal moments of the character's life history and, thus, destroys the reasons he chooses to adventure with a bunch of misfits in a dangerous area. The character turns into a collection of random numbers with no personality.

However, it would be incorrect to say I find this really annoying. I find this ****ING FRUSTRATING!

Schylerwalker
2009-08-11, 04:38 AM
My gaming group has one house rule, which we use for all the games we play.

Use common sense!

You can see the moon and sun rise, regardless of distance and size penalties.

You don't have to make a Listen check to hear a companion ask you a question from ten feet away.

You don't have to make attack and grapple rolls and Fortitude saves to eat a sandwich.

If a rule is obviously foolish, ignore it or make up something simple; don't whine about it and waste time trying to figure how many silly, nonsensical scenarios you can make out of it!

Oh, and for Christ's sake...read the bloody rulebook before buying it, so that you won't have to whine about the rules in first place!

potatocubed
2009-08-11, 04:44 AM
You don't have to make attack and grapple rolls and Fortitude saves to eat a sandwich.

You do if it's a mimic. :smalltongue:

huttj509
2009-08-11, 04:51 AM
Mongoose Traveller default character creation, which is apparantly similar to the original Traveller character creation. When I create a character, I typically start with his/her name, defining shtick and other, key capabilities, his weaknesses, pivotal moments in his life history and reason for adventuring rather than a saner job. Then I start with stats, fine tuning the character concept for team roles or point cost limits as appropriate. Traveller uses a random career history. This produces a character very different from what I originally envisaged. This destroys the pivotal moments of the character's life history and, thus, destroys the reasons he chooses to adventure with a bunch of misfits in a dangerous area. The character turns into a collection of random numbers with no personality.

However, it would be incorrect to say I find this really annoying. I find this ****ING FRUSTRATING!


If I remember from my Traveller book correctly (in another state), you can die during character creation as a result of your random job history. Hey, a military background is dangerous!

Oslecamo
2009-08-11, 07:28 AM
Strict classes - restricting what you can be, what you can do, what you can learn, the fact that there are actual "builds" out there to make class XY the best it can possibly be really takes the uniqueness out of any character, because you can be sure there's tons of the exact same making out there, only varying by hair color and name.

This has nothing to do with there being classes or no classes, because if you're using completely free point buy, there will still be super combinations superior to others. Like in Exalted, where everybody and their mother has a perfect defense or dies horribly.

If you claim that your system has no uber combinations, it's surely because there aren't armies of nerds working day and night on that system, or that you haven't searched the net enough.

Also, +1 for the common sense. The DM/GM/ST is there for a reason.

AstralFire
2009-08-11, 08:53 AM
If a rule is obviously foolish, ignore it or make up something simple; don't whine about it and waste time trying to figure how many silly, nonsensical scenarios you can make out of it!

Oh, and for Christ's sake...read the bloody rulebook before buying it, so that you won't have to whine about the rules in first place!


The thread is about pet peeves. They don't necessarily have to think that it renders a system unplayable or anything.

I'm quite sure these fine people know their way around Rule Zero when it should be used for verisimilitude. Doesn't make the rule more logical.

Also, taking rules to their illogical conclusion is often funny (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6684658#post6684658).

warmachine
2009-08-11, 09:03 AM
If I remember from my Traveller book correctly (in another state), you can die during character creation as a result of your random job history. Hey, a military background is dangerous!
That would frustrate me even ****ing further. I can be denied a character concept not because the GM states it'd be too useless in the campaign setting, it's too similar to another PC, its roles overlap with another PC or a major personality or social clash with another PC, but I merely got unlucky with a dice roll. That would be so unfun that I'd reject the game as designed by a cluless twit.

warmachine
2009-08-11, 09:35 AM
Different starting HP and skill points at 1st level then other levels in D&D. This means a Fighter 1/Rogue 1 is mechanically different from a Rogue 1/Fighter 1. Also, that NPC classes suck compared to PC classes, particularly Commoner, even for doing their job. These ruin the consistency and elegance of multiclassing. I get annoyed by inconsistency and inelegance. Of course, this is so starting adventurers are heroic, not pathetic. What I also find annoying is that this solution was invented rather than making stating adventurers 3rd level.

Ianuagonde
2009-08-11, 10:37 AM
Knowledge skills. The DC to identify something is 10 +HD. Without ranks in the skill, your max result is 10.

So the average commoner is unable to identify a horse, unless he takes Know (nature). The average dwarven fighter is unable to recognize an orc, unless he takes Know (local). And you can't tell what kind of dragon you're facing unless you take Know (arcana).

"You see a dragon soaring through the sky, approaching fast. It's scales are a dull red colour, and you don't know what kind it is."

Really?

jmbrown
2009-08-11, 11:16 AM
Knowledge skills. The DC to identify something is 10 +HD. Without ranks in the skill, your max result is 10.

So the average commoner is unable to identify a horse, unless he takes Know (nature). The average dwarven fighter is unable to recognize an orc, unless he takes Know (local). And you can't tell what kind of dragon you're facing unless you take Know (arcana).

"You see a dragon soaring through the sky, approaching fast. It's scales are a dull red colour, and you don't what kind it is."

Really?

You can't take knowledge checks untrained so the average commoner doesn't even know his neighbors name (knowledge local) or the name of the lord that taxes him (knowledge nobility and royalty).

This ranks up to the "you can't see the moon rising" in terms of how oblong 3.5's skills are.

quick_comment
2009-08-11, 11:19 AM
Commoners cant even know their own names.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-11, 11:23 AM
Filthy lies. "Untrained" only means you can't get a result over 10, not that you can't use the skill at all.

Telonius
2009-08-11, 11:33 AM
Answering a question within your field of study has a DC of 10 (for really easy questions), 15 (for basic questions), or 20 to 30 (for really tough questions).

So take a Commoner1 with INT 10 and no ranks in Know (Local). In order to know the name of the mayor, where the tavern is, if murder is illegal, or his own mother's name, he technically has to roll 10 or better. He has a 45% chance of failing that check (fail on 1-9, succeed on 10-20). Even with max ranks, he'll fail 35% of the time (fail on 1-7, succeed on 8-20).

Not quite as bad as "can't," but it's still ridiculous. (Though I suppose it might explain why Gather Information checks take 1d4+1 hours).

AstralFire
2009-08-11, 11:36 AM
I don't think the Knowledge system was at all meant to handle things you were directly told to your face.

tyckspoon
2009-08-11, 11:41 AM
So take a Commoner1 with INT 10 and no ranks in Know (Local). In order to know the name of the mayor, where the tavern is, if murder is illegal, or his own mother's name, he technically has to roll 10 or better. He has a 45% chance of failing that check (fail on 1-9, succeed on 10-20). Even with max ranks, he'll fail 35% of the time (fail on 1-7, succeed on 8-20).

Not quite as bad as "can't," but it's still ridiculous. (Though I suppose it might explain why Gather Information checks take 1d4+1 hours).

This is what the Take 10 rules are for. They don't solve the underlying weirdness of the rules, but they do plaster over some of the gaps.

Curmudgeon
2009-08-11, 11:47 AM
You can't take knowledge checks untrained so the average commoner doesn't even know his neighbors name (knowledge local) or the name of the lord that taxes him (knowledge nobility and royalty). Hold on there!
Untrained

An untrained Knowledge check is simply an Intelligence check. Without actual training, you know only common knowledge (DC 10 or lower).

Answering a question within your field of study has a DC of 10 (for really easy questions) Knowing your neighbor's or your lord's name is common stuff, so DC 10. You can "take 10" on this check if you're not distracted (by combat, for instance). So you'll basically never fail if you've got INT 10, and you'll just have to work at remembering (i.e., be forced to roll) if you've got below-average Intelligence.

But yeah, you can't identify any humanoid's race without at least 1 rank in Knowledge: local, or tell a horse from a mule without 1 rank in Knowledge: nature.

jmbrown
2009-08-11, 11:55 AM
But yeah, you can't identify any humanoid's race without at least 1 rank in Knowledge: local, or tell a horse from a mule without 1 rank in Knowledge: nature.

This is still really, really funny to me.

"Is that a bird or a squirrel? *rolls raw intelligence check, comes up with a 1*"

Ianuagonde
2009-08-11, 11:58 AM
But yeah, you can't identify any humanoid's race without at least 1 rank in Knowledge: local, or tell a horse from a mule without 1 rank in Knowledge: nature.

Thank you.

I was indeed talking about identifying creatures with Knowledge skills, not everything else you can do with it. But thanks for clearing it up!

tyckspoon
2009-08-11, 12:02 PM
So you'll basically never fail if you've got INT 10, and you'll just have to work at remembering (i.e., be forced to roll) if you've got below-average Intelligence.


Which leads into one of the other annoying things about Knowledge checks- if you fail it once, you fail it forever. That slightly dim Commoner who has forgotten his neighbor's name can never remember his neighbor's name unless somebody else tells him what it is; he'll always know good ol' Farmer Bob as 'that guy who lives next to me.' Knowledge checks make no distinction between "I don't know anything about that at all" and "I wasn't thinking about that particular thing when you asked me to make the check."

Telonius
2009-08-11, 12:07 PM
Hold on there!
Knowing your neighbor's or your lord's name is common stuff, so DC 10. You can "take 10" on this check if you're not distracted (by combat, for instance). So you'll basically never fail if you've got INT 10, and you'll just have to work at remembering (i.e., be forced to roll) if you've got below-average Intelligence.

This also leads to some more rules weirdness:

Distractions or threats (such as combat) make it impossible for a character to take 10.
So, a 10-INT peasant will automatically succeed in remembering something if you ask him politely, but has a chance at forgetting his name if you try to Intimidate it out of him.

tyckspoon
2009-08-11, 12:13 PM
This also leads to some more rules weirdness:

So, a 10-INT peasant will automatically succeed in remembering something if you ask him politely, but has a chance at forgetting his name if you try to Intimidate it out of him.

Which kinda makes sense, but see above- if you scare him and he flunks the Knowledge check, he has forgotten his name forever. You can literally scare information out of somebody's head completely (alternately, you can rule that since he has at some time in the past successfully made that Knowledge check to know his own name, he never has to make it again. If you know it, you know it- that would be the flip side of Knowledge's statement that if you fail a check, you just absolutely don't know something.)

jmbrown
2009-08-11, 12:13 PM
This also leads to some more rules weirdness:

So, a 10-INT peasant will automatically succeed in remembering something if you ask him politely, but has a chance at forgetting his name if you try to Intimidate it out of him.

This makes sense. If Joe Shmoe was getting beaten by Big McLargeHuge he'd probably be too stunned to say anything at all.

Quincunx
2009-08-11, 12:14 PM
Which leads into one of the other annoying things about Knowledge checks- if you fail it once, you fail it forever. That slightly dim Commoner who has forgotten his neighbor's name can never remember his neighbor's name unless somebody else tells him what it is; he'll always know good ol' Farmer Bob as 'that guy who lives next to me.' Knowledge checks make no distinction between "I don't know anything about that at all" and "I wasn't thinking about that particular thing when you asked me to make the check."

That sounds par for the course for anomic individuals, although your point still stands.

Twilight Jack
2009-08-11, 12:16 PM
Which leads into one of the other annoying things about Knowledge checks- if you fail it once, you fail it forever. That slightly dim Commoner who has forgotten his neighbor's name can never remember his neighbor's name unless somebody else tells him what it is; he'll always know good ol' Farmer Bob as 'that guy who lives next to me.' Knowledge checks make no distinction between "I don't know anything about that at all" and "I wasn't thinking about that particular thing when you asked me to make the check."

Not true. Knowledge checks are only necessary to know things that are outside your own firsthand experience. Once a fighter encounters a red dragon and learns that it breathes fire, he now knows that some dragons do, without any ranks in Knowledge: Arcana. If he's got a wizard buddy who tells him that ALL red dragons breathe fire, while green ones breathe acidic gas, he'll know that too.

The slightly dim commoner knows his neighbor's name is Farmer Bob because he's met his neighbor and introduced himself.

The rogue recognizes orcs from horses on sight because he's seen orcs and horses before.

Knowledge skills are only necessary for knowing about things outside your firsthand experience. The wizard rolls her Knowledge when she first encounters an Umber Hulk in order to determine whether she's read anything about these creatures that might provide useful information on dealing with them. If she later learns firsthand about the creature's confusing gaze, she doesn't need to roll a Knowledge check to remember that the next time she encounters an Umber Hulk. If she makes it a point to go do some research on Umber Hulks and learn about that particular creature, then she doesn't need to roll Knowledge to remember what she learned.

Specific character knowledge gained through firsthand experience isn't governed by the skill; the skill is only necessary to pluck specific knowledge from a broader general base of education.

Telonius
2009-08-11, 12:19 PM
Not true. Knowledge checks are only necessary to know things that are outside your own firsthand experience. Once a fighter encounters a red dragon and learns that it breathes fire, he now knows that some dragons do, without any ranks in Knowledge: Arcana. If he's got a wizard buddy who tells him that ALL red dragons breathe fire, while green ones breathe acidic gas, he'll know that too.

The slightly dim commoner knows his neighbor's name is Farmer Bob because he's met his neighbor and introduced himself.

The rogue recognizes orcs from horses on sight because he's seen orcs and horses before.

Knowledge skills are only necessary for knowing about things outside your firsthand experience. The wizard rolls her Knowledge when she first encounters an Umber Hulk in order to determine whether she's read anything about these creatures that might provide useful information on dealing with them. If she later learns firsthand about the creature's confusing gaze, she doesn't need to roll a Knowledge check to remember that the next time she encounters an Umber Hulk. If she makes it a point to go do some research on Umber Hulks and learn about that particular creature, then she doesn't need to roll Knowledge to remember what she learned.

Specific character knowledge gained through firsthand experience isn't governed by the skill; the skill is only necessary to pluck specific knowledge from a broader general base of education.

That would be a reasonable, sensible way to look at it. Unfortunately that's not how it's written up.

Aedilred
2009-08-11, 12:23 PM
The problem I have with degree's of success,
Let me furthur explain my problem with degree's of success:
It's that degree's of success involve more thought. (it's takes more cpu cycles if you like)
I think part of the problem is that you're conflating Degrees of Success with Test Difficulty. The Difficulty is a modifier applied based on how difficult the task is; the DoS determines how much you've succeeded.

Difficulty is a modifier applied before the test is taken that determines what the player has to roll to succeed.

Degrees of success are calculated if the test has been passed to determine whether the player is entitled to any extra bonuses on account of their awesome rolling.

The player always knows that lower is better, so although they may not in all instances be fully aware of the "pass mark" they should have a reasonable idea of whether they've passed spectacularly or epically failed. The maths is all at the GM's end, and to be honest I've never found it particularly difficult.

sonofzeal
2009-08-11, 12:23 PM
So, a 10-INT peasant will automatically succeed in remembering something if you ask him politely, but has a chance at forgetting his name if you try to Intimidate it out of him.
That's actually not so unrealistic. How many times have you been put on the spot and forgotten some simple word or fact that was just on the tip of your tongue...



Anyway, my pet peeve is Vancian Casting. Not because it's unrealistic, although it does lead to stupidness like how an ALMIGHTY POWERFUL EPIC WIZARD can't cast Light more than a dozen times without special training in the form of metamagic feats, or how a 9th level Druid can only use Transmute Mud to Rock once or twice even though they've got oodles of other things they can do. I understand the whole "set up rituals at the beginning of the day and complete them quickly later" explanation, and it does make a bit of sense. My complaint is that it's counterintuitive, arbitrarily limiting, fiddledy to work with, and requires far too much bookkeeping. Compare to the 3.5 Psi system, which solves every single one of those problems without being overly complicated, ungodly powerful, or pathetically weak.

Matthew
2009-08-11, 12:42 PM
Heh, heh. THAC0 discussions are always hilarious; some people do find the mechanic really annoying, though, but I urge anybody who wants to discuss whether or not it really is to post in the Why THAC0? (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=113845) thread I posted two months ago (which is therefore not yet necromancy, if I understand the rules aright). For some reason people love derailing threads with discussions of THAC0, but when it has its own thread discussion peters out... :smallfrown:

I have to admit, knowledge checks and really the whole D20/3e skill system I find pretty frustratingly bad (though honestly that stuff about not being able to see the sun is demonstrably a crock). Roll under your attribute on 1d100 not so much, but it does get a bit annoying when degrees of difficulty have to be calculated in and negative modifiers applied to the die roll, but that is often the case when large negative modifiers are involved.

The Vancian magic system I can take or leave.

John Campbell
2009-08-11, 07:06 PM
I also see AC as a unified defense to be kinda silly, as well as strength helping you hit while dexterity does nothing. (huh? Me so strong I can cut a fly in half blindfolded. Right.) Of course, to fix this you would have to turn AC into two things: Ability to not get hit, and the ability to be hit but not hurt. Which is fine in theory, but probably just too many extra numbers and rolling and headaches to worry about in a tabletop game, so I'm quick to forgive it. (same with levels/classes/etc) Now in a computer game on the other hand...:smallwink:

It's really not that complicated. D&D's already got almost all of the pieces there, but doesn't use them effectively.

The best d20-based combat system I've seen is from A Game of Thrones d20. The key differences are:

Armor doesn't provide AC; it provides DR - and a significant amount, relative to the amount of damage typically done. My plate-armored combat monster can shrug off hits from a longsword, unless the attacker is very strong or crits, and even then he has to roll well to hurt me.

Shields provide AC, and a lot more than in D&D - a large shield is +8 AC. You can choose to attack through the shield rather than around it, though, in which case it doesn't provide its AC bonus, but the damage goes to the shield, and to your opponent only if there's leftovers after destroying the shield (which usually takes several blows).

Characters get a Defense progression that increases as they level, similarly to BAB, that forms the base of their AC. (3/4 Defense for most of the martial classes; 1/2 for the non-martial. Only Knaves and Water Dancers (read: Rogues and Duelists) get full Defense progression.)

Hit point totals run much lower, because they no longer have to encompass the character's ability to defend himself in combat, which is now covered by Defense. My ECL 10 Giant's Blooded combat monster has only 55 hp. I'm still superhumanly tough, but falls from great heights can still worry me.

If you take enough damage (about half your Con) from a single blow, you have to make a Fort save or lose consciousness, and, whether you remain conscious or not, you're bleeding HP.

Attacks are opposed rolls, too - AC is 1d20 + modifiers instead of a flat 10 + modifiers - which does slow things down a bit, and doesn't make a huge difference mechanically, except that it allowed them to eliminate the 1/20 auto-miss/auto-hit thing.

Curmudgeon
2009-08-11, 07:32 PM
Which leads into one of the other annoying things about Knowledge checks- if you fail it once, you fail it forever. That slightly dim Commoner who has forgotten his neighbor's name can never remember his neighbor's name unless somebody else tells him what it is; he'll always know good ol' Farmer Bob as 'that guy who lives next to me.' The dim Commoner gets a new shot at remembering Farmer Bob if he adds a rank in Knowledge: local. So it's not a permanent condition; just a nasty memory block.

Still hinky, but not quite as bad as "never remembering".

tiercel
2009-08-11, 08:44 PM
(3.x) polymorph.

Leaving aside the balance issues, the mechanics are a pain. To start off, the entire spell isn't even under polymorph -- you have to flip back and forth between it and alter self. You change attributes, possibly sizes, then have to add in all the relevant modifiers. You change type, which is more than just a label or "what you can targetted by for the purposes of spells." Then there is the issue of what happens with your equipment.

Over the course of 3.x, how many revisions/FAQs/Rules of the Game articles/etc have there been attempting to make some sense out of this hash? (And this is all just addressing the mechanics, never mind the horrible imbalance of the spell.)

Honestly, the monomorph versions (trollform etc.) make more sense to me since they are more specifically designed, easier to use, and you kinda tend to stat and use only a few standard polymorph forms anyway. (Especially ones that let you keep all your equipment, which is a big deal as you get higher level.)

Micky Pain
2009-08-11, 09:15 PM
If you claim that your system has no uber combinations, it's surely because there aren't armies of nerds working day and night on that system, or that you haven't searched the net enough.

Also, +1 for the common sense. The DM/GM/ST is there for a reason.

There's no builds because you raise the skills by using them, not by "buying" points in them. Even if you try to make the exact same character twice it's still determined by how your dice fall.

As fort the armies of nerds...well, as I said, it's a custom system so at most there's maybe 30 people out there playing it.

I'm not saying it's the best thing since sliced bread, just the most fun I had role-playing any system (except maybe floating vagabond cos it's weird and one session of fatal cos we were drunk).
My point is, our system felt a lot more natural to me, unlike most other systems I tried where character development had more of a multiple choice vibe.

Doug Lampert
2009-08-11, 09:26 PM
My gaming group has one house rule, which we use for all the games we play.

Use common sense!

You can see the moon and sun rise, regardless of distance and size penalties.

You don't have to make a Listen check to hear a companion ask you a question from ten feet away.


The errors you cite are SYMPTOMS of a broken subsytem, not seeing the sun isn't the real problem. The real problem is, if I can't see the sun or moon that tells me the range/size penalties to spot are seriously screwed up (in the case of D&D one is geometric and the other linear, and the two need to scale the same, whoops). This doesn't only apply to the sun and moon, it applies to ANYTHING relatively big and far away.

Seeing a dragon at long range uses the same modifiers as seeing the sun at long range. It's more or less impossible to hide from a level appropriate dragon in D&D 3.x because it sees and hears you first. The size bonus for you seeing the dragon is too small, and the dragon's higher spot score ignores the trivial fact that it doesn't get this small bonus.

But that's minor compared to your second example. If I can't hear normal conversation at 10' that tells me that the listen rules are almost hopelessly screwed up. That no one ever even looked at the sample DCs for ordinary activities and asked if they were reasonable.

I then know to either play a different system or completely throw out this subsystem, if no one noticed this the game simply wasn't playtested by people who care what the rules actually say. (D&D 3.x knowledge skills and diplomacy have breaks of this importance, tying DC to HD with a baseline that makes sure that NOTHING with one or more HD is common knowledge and the flat diplomacy DCs are both something no-one who'd used these rules as they are actually written could have come up with. The conclusion is that the playtesters ignored these rules rather than playing by them, so why can't the designers then give us what they actually tested?)

sofawall
2009-08-11, 09:37 PM
The dim Commoner gets a new shot at remembering Farmer Bob if he adds a rank in Knowledge: local. So it's not a permanent condition; just a nasty memory block.

Still hinky, but not quite as bad as "never remembering".

How many second level commoners do you know? Most of the time, Farmer Bob will remain eternally forgotten.

deuxhero
2009-08-11, 09:48 PM
So all this conversation on knowledge skills needing to be high to know trivial things, and there is yet to be a Bear Lore post?

holywhippet
2009-08-12, 12:28 AM
For Dark Heresy, the problem I found in my games was when the party tried to be sneaky. None of us were trained in stealth so we had to make a test against 1/2 of our agility. Give that was generally 30 or less before being halved the odds of all of us succeeding was pretty low. As a result, in trying to be stealthy at least one of us would fail badly and thus make a lot of noise. This generally required the DM to make something bad happen.

For D&D 3rd edition, here's a scenario I can't quite understand.

Say you have 2 characters, both are level 5 human fighters. Both are wearing the same armour. However the first fighter has a +2 DEX bonus to AC while the second have a -2 DEX penalty to AC.

During some adventuring something happens to rob them both of the DEX bonus to AC (say blinding for example). Now, what happens to their AC values?

Say only the one with a DEX bonus loses it. That make no sense - neither can react using their DEX so why should they have a different AC at this time.

However, consider if both lose their DEX modifiers to AC and are at the exact same AC value. This suggests that the low DEX fighter is so inept they actually stagger into the blows they are trying to avoid. They would be safer if they didn't try to avoid blows in combat at all.

NPCMook
2009-08-12, 12:57 AM
Earthdawn's Step system.

Blackfang108
2009-08-12, 09:19 AM
For D&D 3rd edition, here's a scenario I can't quite understand.

Say you have 2 characters, both are level 5 human fighters. Both are wearing the same armour. However the first fighter has a +2 DEX bonus to AC while the second have a -2 DEX penalty to AC.

During some adventuring something happens to rob them both of the DEX bonus to AC (say blinding for example). Now, what happens to their AC values?

Say only the one with a DEX bonus loses it. That make no sense - neither can react using their DEX so why should they have a different AC at this time.

However, consider if both lose their DEX modifiers to AC and are at the exact same AC value. This suggests that the low DEX fighter is so inept they actually stagger into the blows they are trying to avoid. They would be safer if they didn't try to avoid blows in combat at all.

Thye lose their Dex bonus, if any.

Not their Dex Penalty.

hewhosaysfish
2009-08-12, 11:04 AM
Thye lose their Dex bonus, if any.

Not their Dex Penalty.

He considered that possibility:



Say only the one with a DEX bonus loses it. That make no sense - neither can react using their DEX so why should they have a different AC at this time.


The Dexy-Fighter's AC drops because he isn't dodging. But the fighter with the Dex penalty still has a lower AC... perhaps because he is dodging even less than the guy who isn't dodging.
:smallconfused:

Jack Zander
2009-08-12, 11:45 AM
The PHB describes a character with a low dexterity to be so clumsy that they actually dodge into blows.

But none of that makes sense when you realize that a level 1 commoner with DEX 10 is still dodging during normal combat. When you are flat-footed, you are unable to dodge. If anything, chatacters who are flat-footed should have a 0 Dexterity for a -5 penalty (the same penalty objects get because they aren't dodging).