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Lord_Gareth
2010-09-29, 03:31 PM
No, seriously, what the hell? Why do DMs ban homebrew out of hand without giving it even a once-over to check the balance?

Fax Celestis
2010-09-29, 03:32 PM
Because checking for balance is work, and people hate work. Also people have little faith in their own capacity to judge balance.

arguskos
2010-09-29, 03:33 PM
Same question can be asked of Dragon Magazine, splatbooks, or anything else at all: because some of it makes the rest look bad, and knee-jerk reactions are easy.

Dragon Magazine has some bad content, sure, but it's not the majority. Splatbooks have some bad content, sure, but it's not the majority.
Homebrew has some bad content, sure, but it's not the majority.

*shrug* As responsible players, it's our job to help change hearts and minds in regards to this issue.

BRC
2010-09-29, 03:39 PM
No, seriously, what the hell? Why do DMs ban homebrew out of hand without giving it even a once-over to check the balance?
For the exact same reason we use published rule systems vetted by professional playtesters.

Homebrew is a gambit, it's an unknown quantity. You can't determine it's balance and the consequences of using it just by reading it over. You need to actually use it in a game, multiple games to get a good idea, any of which could be thrown totally out of whack due to the inclusion of said homebrew.

Now, it's one thing if you're playtesting, but many DM's may not want to use their game as a testing ground.

Yes the published material frequently isn't much better, but it seems safer.

You also have the fact of familiarity. If a player brings in some homebrew, the DM won't be as familiar with it, which can lead to problems when they forget what an ability does, or forget to factor a certain class feature into their adventure planning.

Now, obviously this is all a judgement call. A homebrew feat that, say, makes Spot and Listen class skills isn't much compared to a new base class with a unique spellcasting system, and class features that take pages to explain. But in the end it's up to the DM's judgement, and it's alot easier to say "No Homebrew" than to consider each homebrew players bring individually, and then explain why they accept some and deny others without making it look like they're playing favorites.

Starbuck_II
2010-09-29, 03:44 PM
Because Homebrew created the Lightning warrior! :smalltongue:

Shenanigans
2010-09-29, 03:44 PM
As a DM, most of the homebrew I get from players is rather on the overpowered side. When I suggest a way to tone it down a little, they tend to get resentful; if I let them play it as is, the other players tend to get upset.

I've seen some stuff in the Home Brew forums here that is much more balanced and which I'd have no problem letting someone use in a campaign I ran.

I think the other thing is that it can be hard to know how much a certain homebrew will affect a campaign that hasn't been designed for it. As was said above...work. :)

ffone
2010-09-29, 03:45 PM
Because studying 99 horrible overpowered Ultimate Katana Master prestige classes - and then arguing endlessly with salivating players about why no, it's not balanced - is not worth finding the 1 good one.

DMs: how to evaluate homebrew your players want:

-Playtest it on their PCs by having them face NPCs with it first (possibly w/o telling them). See if they whine about the encounter.

Thinker
2010-09-29, 03:46 PM
No, seriously, what the hell? Why do DMs ban homebrew out of hand without giving it even a once-over to check the balance?

Because most homebrew is awful.

Mark Hall
2010-09-29, 03:46 PM
I'm pretty much with BRC on this point... homebrew generally means extra work for a DM. In limited doses, most DMs don't mind it... I've made some tweaks to characters and classes in C&C, both at player's requests and at my own... but someone else's homebrew generally means going through the paper work, working it into the adventure, and adding its distinctiveness to our own.

Locutus don't play that.

Awnetu
2010-09-29, 03:47 PM
Because Homebrew created the Lightning warrior! :smalltongue:

Hey! The lightning warrior OBVIOUSLY sacrificed power for flavor when it gave up the familiar.

ffone
2010-09-29, 03:48 PM
Also, let me just rant about how much I hate dandwiki.com. It gives (sorta) the appearance of a mirror of d20srd.org, or another official site, but is chock full o' bad homebrew. I wish all my players' ISPs blacklisted it from 'em!

Fortunately, as a wiki, there are often feedback/comments/ratings about how godawful the stuff is.

While we're on the subject, though, anyone have an Epic Swashbuckler progression they figured out? Apparently there's no official one.

Also, yeah official stuff can be bad, but usually you can Google the name of an official class or feat, and find threads from this site, EnWorld, etc. where smart people like you guys have dissected it and figured out if it's overpowered or wonky. I do this with almost anything non-core my players ask to use.

I even ran across a thread at the old CharOp boards where a guy literally used 'the Google number' - the number of google 'hits' within he char-op board for each prestige class - as his metric for what to ban about a threshold. Nice and objective. (With some downsides, like Cavalier being ridiculously high in part b/c it had a 3.0 version by the same name, and can be an inspecific term for a paladinic or mounted char of any class, but it quite was clever I thought.)

Lysander
2010-09-29, 03:51 PM
I'm guessing a lot of the time saying "no homebrew" is a way of politely avoiding having to say "Your homebrew class is terrible! It is vomit and I hate it forever!"

Tyndmyr
2010-09-29, 03:52 PM
Because checking for balance is work, and people hate work. Also people have little faith in their own capacity to judge balance.

This. I admit that my default answer for non-official stuff is no, and I'm quite lenient about official stuff(no book is banned). The reason for this is simple...homebrew stuff varies wildly in quality, and I don't really want to go through every possible combination they come up with. I'll happily help them find an official variant that does what they like, or review it if none exists, but very rarely is the latter the case.

I suggest reviewing more popular sources of homebrew, such as D&D wiki, and you'll quickly understand why people tire of wading through it to find the few gems.

Actual things brought up by players in the past: http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Sphenisciphobia_(3.5e_Flaw)

http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Samurai_2_(3.5e_Class)

Both are of questionable quality, IMO. They are sadly not the worst things I have had requested by a long shot(including blatantly broken classes written by the player himself), but they're easily linkable.

FMArthur
2010-09-29, 03:53 PM
Also, let me just rant about how much I hate dandwiki.com. It gives (sorta) the appearance of a mirror of d20srd.org, or another official site, but is chock full o' bad homebrew. I wish all my players' ISPs blacklisted it from 'em!

Fortunately, as a wiki, there are often feedback/comments/ratings about how godawful the stuff is.

While we're on the subject, though, anyone have an Epic Swashbuckler progression they figured out? Apparently there's no official one.

Rules for playing an epic Swashbuckler: continue being useless. :smalltongue:

And yeah, dandwiki.com contains legendarily bad homebrew and honestly must have a large number of incredibly stupid contributors from what I've seen of their typical character builds and homebrew rules.

ffone
2010-09-29, 03:55 PM
I'm guessing a lot of the time saying "no homebrew" is a way of politely avoiding having to say "Your homebrew class is terrible! It is vomit and I hate it forever!"

That too. In the age of political correctness, saying 'no homebrew' is a lot less personal or subject to accusations of favoritism than hammering down one particular thing.


Rules for playing an epic Swashbuckler: Keep being useless.

lol, I'd agree generally....in this case it's on a daring outlaw build (feat to stack sneak attack with rogue levels)....though the consensus at giantitp seems to be that ToB stuff will still be much better....and that prepared primary casters will kick the pants off them in turn.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-29, 03:58 PM
Also, let me just rant about how much I hate dandwiki.com. It gives (sorta) the appearance of a mirror of d20srd.org, or another official site, but is chock full o' bad homebrew. I wish all my players' ISPs blacklisted it from 'em!

Yeah, I think that's my main beef with them. It's sometimes not obvious that stuff is homebrewed to newer players, who frequently just google for what they want, and are confused by the resemblance to d20srd.

Mark Hall
2010-09-29, 03:59 PM
Another answer, tied more to my group and 4.x: It's not in the Character Creator. Having the character creator makes flipping through tons of books for powers unnecessary, and makes it easy for the DM to keep track of what you can do. Homebrew, not being in the CC, is a pain... unless it's of a very limited scope.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2010-09-29, 03:59 PM
Because it's very hit-or-miss with most homebrewers.

I have seen games that will name a couple of homebrewers, and say outright "Anything by this person is fine, just run it by me first."

Normally, however, it's a lot of work on the DM.

jiriku
2010-09-29, 04:00 PM
Because studying 99 horrible overpowered Ultimate Katana Master prestige classes - and then arguing endlessly with salivating players about why no, it's not balanced - is not worth finding the 1 good one.
I've got you covered. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=157817) :smallbiggrin:

Nero24200
2010-09-29, 04:05 PM
Because studying 99 horrible overpowered Ultimate Katana Master prestige classes - and then arguing endlessly with salivating players about why no, it's not balanced - is not worth finding the 1 good one.

DMs: how to evaluate homebrew your players want:

-Playtest it on their PCs by having them face NPCs with it first (possibly w/o telling them). See if they whine about the encounter.

This. If you're happy with something is it really worth alot of extra reading on the off-chance it may improve it by a minor amount?

Now if theres a particular element your group doesn't like (say hypothetically...a specific class like fighter) then it may be worth looking for a homebrew fix, but otherwise it's not really worth the effort to search, read, then convince your gamming group as well (especially since your idea of an "ideal fighter class" could differ greatly, and once you throw the possibility on homebrew on the table they might start looking/stating up their own versions and comparing).

averagejoe
2010-09-29, 04:16 PM
Because checking for balance is work, and people hate work. Also people have little faith in their own capacity to judge balance.

Yeah, pretty much this, especially with newer DM's. Heck, I've disallowed official books just because looking up the parts the characters wanted seems like too much work. I'm a pretty lazy DM, though.

Also, the players inevitably bring homebrew along the lines of the ninja class that gets rogue skills, full BAB, d12 hit die, instant death attacks, monk abilities and so on. Because it's a realistic depiction of ninja abilities.

Ravens_cry
2010-09-29, 04:22 PM
Yeah, Home-brew follows Sturgeons Law to the letter. That doesn't mean there isn't good stuff, I am fairly proud of some of the stuff I have homebrewed, but it takes a lot of work to sort the wheat from the chaff. Unlike a splat book, it often really hasn't gone through even minimal play-testing and all too often doesn't seem to realize the implications of what changes it makes, as well as incorrectly using defined terms.

DragoonWraith
2010-09-29, 04:25 PM
Honestly, on these forums I don't see that much homebrew hate. Most games I look into are willing to look into it, and several even say that "homebrew from GitP is probably OK" - because we have some really quality stuff here.

That said, I expect DMs to work with players to make a character happen. DMing does take work; that's not going to change. Yes, there's such a thing as going too far, drowning a DM in requests, but I consider working with players regarding their characters to be one of the most important jobs that the DM has, so that should mean at least some willingness to consider unofficial classes, feats, spells, and disciplines. Any DM who blanket bans things is not really someone I'm personally interested in playing with, and I have withdrawn interest from games because of DMs who have banned too much material - even material I wasn't personally interested in using. Just because I like playing with DMs who are amenable to doing unique and interesting things, not with DMs who (seem to) feel that "saying no" is an important part of their job.

This is, of course, a massive over-simplification; there are innumerable completely good reasons to ban anything. And I have no problem with that; any DM who has explicit reasons for a ban, I have no issue with. It's when DMs just say "no" without even considering it, or worse, say "no" just because it's not personally something they like ("I don't like Tome of Battle's fluff, so you can't use it" is distressingly common), then I'm not interested. I'd never tell a DM that they can't run the game that way, of course - that's none of my business nor my place - but I will decide to move on to a different game.

Also, the social dynamics between Internet play and face-to-face play are obviously heavily involved. On the PbP forum, I can read the 16 questions, decide it's not for me, and move on. If instead you're over someone's house and the group is looking to play, compromise instead of agreeing to disagree becomes necessary, and as a result I'll be more willing to accept a DM's position even if I disagree with it. At the same time, I'd also be more willing to express my opinion, and if I'm honestly being more amenable to compromise, on some level I would expect the DM to be, as well.

It largely comes down to Umael's signature, which I've always considered excellent advice:
Have fun. It's only a game.
The GM has the final say. Everyone else is just a guest.
The game is for the players. A proper host entertains one's guests.
Everyone is allowed an opinion. Some games are not as cool as they seem.
Yes, the DM is in charge of adjudicating what is and isn't allowed. That is a responsibility as much as a privilege, however, and that can mean work. You cannot expect to have a decent gaming experience without acknowledging the fact that the DM, more than anyone else, is going to have to work to make that happen. It's not fair. And there has to be limits. But ultimately, "it adds work for the DM" is not, to my mind, in and of itself sufficient grounds for blanket bans.


YUnlike a splat book, it often really hasn't gone through even minimal play-testing and all too often doesn't seem to realize the implications of what changes it makes, as well as incorrectly using defined terms.
You have far more faith in WotC than I do.

WarKitty
2010-09-29, 04:27 PM
It is a lot of work. As a DM I run with mostly-homebrewed classes. It's great fun and it works well, but it takes forever!

Totally worth it for making my players happy though!

Ravens_cry
2010-09-29, 04:28 PM
You have far more faith in WotC than I do.
Wizards of the Coast can be bad, but hoembrew can be far, far worse.

Sewercop
2010-09-29, 04:30 PM
{Scrubbed}

Tyndmyr
2010-09-29, 04:34 PM
Oh, WoTC does mangle some things horribly. However, it's not so bad as homebrew, and not even as bad as some people here make it seem sometimes.

One homebrew trap for even experienced players is unanticipated combinations. See, every homebrewer wants their products to be useful. Perhaps not incantatrix or Planar Shepard strong, but viable choices to people whipping up a char with splatbooks available. This means they are balancing against perhaps the top 10% of PrCs available, since most PrCs are junk. This is a very small window to hit accurately.

Now, you also frequently want to make your PrC available to a variety of builds. If a PrC is only really good for one specific build, that really limits the use you can get out of it. So, most of them are at least useful for a few different builds, even if it's a fairly specific theme.

There's a *lot* of potential builds out there, and a lot of potential synergy. It's rather difficult to anticipate every possible combination. Someone'll come up with a build idea you hadn't thought of, and suddenly bam, balance can go out the window. This is true of everything. For instance, imagine any spell that reduces a players actions. Powerful on it's own, but what happens if used with Slow? If it's written such that it stacks, you suddenly have a killer combo.

So, even good homebrewers have a challenge to work with, given the volume of stuff out there. And certainly not everything I've been handed rises to that level.

DragoonWraith
2010-09-29, 04:37 PM
Oh, WoTC does mangle some things horribly. However, it's not so bad as homebrew, and not even as bad as some people here make it seem sometimes.

One homebrew trap for even experienced players is unanticipated combinations. See, every homebrewer wants their products to be useful. Perhaps not incantatrix or Planar Shepard strong, but viable choices to people whipping up a char with splatbooks available. This means they are balancing against perhaps the top 10% of PrCs available, since most PrCs are junk. This is a very small window to hit accurately.

Now, you also frequently want to make your PrC available to a variety of builds. If a PrC is only really good for one specific build, that really limits the use you can get out of it. So, most of them are at least useful for a few different builds, even if it's a fairly specific theme.

There's a *lot* of potential builds out there, and a lot of potential synergy. It's rather difficult to anticipate every possible combination. Someone'll come up with a build idea you hadn't thought of, and suddenly bam, balance can go out the window. This is true of everything. For instance, imagine any spell that reduces a players actions. Powerful on it's own, but what happens if used with Slow? If it's written such that it stacks, you suddenly have a killer combo.

So, even good homebrewers have a challenge to work with, given the volume of stuff out there. And certainly not everything I've been handed rises to that level.
But all of that is just as true of official material as it is of homebrew. And undoubtedly there are many gamers, brewers or not, who know the game far better than WotC does.

Kallisti
2010-09-29, 04:39 PM
To be fair, there's some doubt as to whether all splatbooks were adequately playtested (Lexicon of the Perfected Map, I'm looking at you)...

DragoonWraith
2010-09-29, 04:40 PM
To be fair, there's some doubt as to whether all splatbooks were adequately playtested (Lexicon of the Perfected Map, I'm looking at you)...
This is what I meant when I said Ravens_cry had far more faith in WotC than I do. I'm quite certain a rather large proportion of official material never saw actual testing.

DrWeird
2010-09-29, 04:42 PM
It's been repeated over and over so far, so let's go a little deeper and explore the topic on a more personal level.

Personally, I love homebrew. The same way I love a book I've never read, I love the potential to see something I've never seen before. My general rule, and one I would suggest, is a simple one; consensus, and By-Approval. For example, generally it's a group's consensus that I bring up whether or not they want an expanded homebrew fighter, or some sort of variant spellcasting system. Similarly, I believe in giving players a chance; if they show me a new class or prestige class, I take it into consideration, while also asking the rest of the party what they think about it, and what place it has in the party.

Funny enough, I don't allow the Tomes, or Incarnum. That might make my games here mighty unpopular. :smallamused:

Flickerdart
2010-09-29, 04:43 PM
The thing about homebrew is that you can never be sure what it's balanced against. For example, the Fighter "fix" that you see most of the time tried to make Fighters better than the meanest Batman Wizard. This is...not such a good idea.

Homebrew that's balanced against other content by the creator (such as Fax's d20r or the Tomes) is fine, because everything has a similar power level and you can easily see whether it's too powerful or not. Is your game rocket tag? If not, Tomes isn't for you. If it is, then it gives players options that aren't the Big 5.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-29, 04:46 PM
But all of that is just as true of official material as it is of homebrew. And undoubtedly there are many gamers, brewers or not, who know the game far better than WotC does.

I don't deny that many players may know the game better than WoTC...but most of those have far less writing experience. There are a few notable exceptions, but the average gamer hasn't taken on tasks comparable to writing a sourcebook.

And splatbook creep isn't bad. Balance improved since 3.0 in general, IMO. Broken classes were printed in 3.0, and worthless ones were printed late in 3.5. Therefore, I conclude that developers were not aiming for new PrCs to be in the top 10%, but just to fall somewhere in the general range of what came before in most cases. The goals are different.

And playtesting may get skipped for some first party material, but I'd still bet that it gets more playtesting before publishing than the average homebrew does.

Edit: Dr Wierd, I don't allow the homebrew Tomes either(not to be confused with ToB, which is awesome). It seems to assume a fairly TO level of play, and even with a very RAW centric group, and all official sources allowed, people tend to play somewhat differently than they assume. Players prefer to adventure till very low on resources, rather than a daily scry and die, for instance.

DragoonWraith
2010-09-29, 05:00 PM
Homebrew probably doesn't get much playtesting, it's true. Most of mine hasn't, at least so far as I know. That said, at least the homebrew on this site is in general excellent. I've read a lot of it, and it's rare for me to see bad ones. Heh, Milskidasith probably deserves as much credit for that as anyone, since he's an exceptional critic.

JonestheSpy
2010-09-29, 05:17 PM
I'm surprised it hasn't been pointed out yet, but most DM's I've interacted with IRL have a certain amount of rules-jiggering/homebrew in their own games.

I imagine trying balance out one's own personalized rules with someone else'd homebrew can be especially annoying.

I'm actually open to some homebrewing from players myself, but it's generally more about tweaking already existing stuff than coming up with new classes out of thin air (or pipe dreams...).

Mark Hall
2010-09-29, 05:22 PM
Homebrew probably doesn't get much playtesting, it's true. Most of mine hasn't, at least so far as I know.

Oooh, yeah. I've got some stuff for Palladium that looked fine, in theory... but in practice lead to a character who was nearly immune to magic by 4th or 5th level.

DragoonWraith
2010-09-29, 05:25 PM
Oooh, yeah. I've got some stuff for Palladium that looked fine, in theory... but in practice lead to a character who was nearly immune to magic by 4th or 5th level.
Yeah, but this is why you just need reasonable players who are willing to amend things during play. OK, if you know you don't have reasonable players (at least one person mentioned that in his experience his players haven't been), then yeah, homebrew is a problem, even if generally well-written, because of the testing thing, but I know that every game I go into playing any of my own homebrew, I state up-front that I am completely willing to tweak the homebrew as we go along to fix any problems that do come up. Fax can attest to that, for example; we had to tone down my Dualist quite a bit for a game.

Thrawn183
2010-09-29, 05:56 PM
Part of it is how the homebrew is brought up. I generally ask for something, present an argument for why I feel it isn't too powerful and then say that if the DM still doesn't approve, I'll never bring it up again.

Often when I'm DM'ing it becomes a back and forth of the player trying to convince me to allow the homebrew and then me getting fed up with it.

Really, if people put just a little bit more effort into making the group work as a whole, I think Homebrew would be more accepted.

Dralnu
2010-09-29, 06:15 PM
More work is a big reason, as people have mentioned. You have to test a homebrew in order to properly gauge its power. That takes work. DMs usually don't want to have their campaign a testing ground, because what happens if it breaks the game? Everything tastes purple and the character is suddenly a rogue? People usually think that a class was printed by WOTC, then it was already playtested and balanced. It's (generally) sound logic.

I'd also say that a lot of the homebrew, even the good stuff, is usually aiming for straight out of the box tier 3 status, much like ToB. A lot of less experienced players who have no knowledge of "tiers" or "optimization" will call these classes overpowered, and they'd be right -- in the context of their games with drow blaster wizards and half-elf rangers, those homebrew classes that can never be poorly made are way too strong. You can't say "omg but they're only tier 3 look at the DMM Cleric they're so balanced in comparison," when the cleric is playing a healer and trying to use holy symbols like improvised shurikens.

Morph Bark
2010-09-29, 06:20 PM
Personally? I love homebrew. I love to homebrew, too, as is evident from my extended homebrewers' signature and all, but that's something else.

If I DM a game and a player wants to play a homebrew class or race, I like to take a look first. If it is really horrible it is often easy to see for me, and if it is not, playtesting it might be fun. Luckily only one of my players is developing into a powergamer, sadly he is also the one who likes to include homebrew the most - mainly because while there are tons of base classes and PrCs in official DnD books, they don't cover the wide variety of occupations and abilities a character could have that they could (DnD doesn't have a fighter pilot, for instance). I tend to agree with that, but at the same time like to keep my guard up against over/underpowered/broken homebrew. Some of it is good, some of it is bad. Personally I find it easier to read through homebrew and allow it than Dragon material, but that's just me.

Elemental_Elf
2010-09-29, 06:25 PM
As a DM, most of the homebrew I get from players is rather on the overpowered side. When I suggest a way to tone it down a little, they tend to get resentful; if I let them play it as is, the other players tend to get upset.

I totally agree with this statement.

I also agree with some posters above that stated that Printed material has an illusion of being fair. Sure a lot of it isn't fair, strictly speaking, but at the very least it has had more playtesting than a homebrew ability.

Plus, its always easier to reject an overpowered ability when you're not staring at the guy who created it.

arguskos
2010-09-29, 06:34 PM
Tangent below. Read at your own peril.
You know what my biggest issue with brewhate is? The "oh, it's untested" claim. Well, DUH, people like you aren't LETTING me test it! How do you expect us to balance it perfectly to a real game when you refuse to permit us to test it at all?!

Come on people, sure, we can balance to a theoretical standard, but true in-game balance can only be achieved when you actually let us use it and see what needs to be changed. Stop hiding behind the "it's untested" excuse when you shoot it down.

Note: this is directed at no one in specific, but the general attitude in question. If you are offended... stop it, it wasn't directed at you. :smallwink:

Camelot
2010-09-29, 06:36 PM
I actually do allow homebrew from my players, though it's usually them coming up with ideas and me making the homebrew mechanics (I'm starting to do a lot (http://halforcbard.blogspot.com) of homebrew).

It is true that official material will be superior (compared to the rest of the official rules) to homebrew material, because it is tested by the same people who made the original rules (emphasizing tested). It takes a bit of work to make sure (or at least make probable) that your homebrew material isn't under- or overpowered, and most people don't do that bit of work. Also, when making homebrew, you have to think, "Is there any way I can create this concept using the official material without having to homebrew?" If not, homebrew away.

When you put in that work and thought, homebrew can actually turn out quite good.

true_shinken
2010-09-29, 06:37 PM
Homebrew has some bad content, sure, but it's not the majority.

D&D wiki disagrees with you.

BRC
2010-09-29, 06:41 PM
Tangent below. Read at your own peril.
You know what my biggest issue with brewhate is? The "oh, it's untested" claim. Well, DUH, people like you aren't LETTING me test it! How do you expect us to balance it perfectly to a real game when you refuse to permit us to test it at all?!

Come on people, sure, we can balance to a theoretical standard, but true in-game balance can only be achieved when you actually let us use it and see what needs to be changed. Stop hiding behind the "it's untested" excuse when you shoot it down.

Note: this is directed at no one in specific, but the general attitude in question. If you are offended... stop it, it wasn't directed at you. :smallwink:
Well, that's an interesting point. However, that dosn't exactly invalidate the DM banning the homebrew in question. They may not be willing to risk ruining their game in order to playtest the homebrew in question.

DragoonWraith
2010-09-29, 06:42 PM
Yeah... I don't really agree with you, arguskos, for exactly the reasons BRC said. I don't expect a DM to allow something he thinks is suspect just to "give it a chance"; that's not really his responsibility.

I do expect a DM to at least read over the homebrew so he knows whether or not it's suspicious.

arguskos
2010-09-29, 06:52 PM
Yeah... I don't really agree with you, arguskos, for exactly the reasons BRC said. I don't expect a DM to allow something he thinks is suspect just to "give it a chance"; that's not really his responsibility.

I do expect a DM to at least read over the homebrew so he knows whether or not it's suspicious.
But, then DMs should not use the "it's untested" excuse. That's bullcrap, since if they're unwilling to permit a test, how can they use that excuse?

If they have legit reasons, hey, cool, I'm fine with that (lack of time, lack of experience, doesn't fit into the world, etc). If they're trying to say "hey, you can't use it cause it's not tested", I'm calling bull on that. It's gotta be tested somewhere.

I'll not ask people to turn their games into my personal testing ground, but I will ask them to NOT use that excuse.

Elemental_Elf
2010-09-29, 06:58 PM
Tangent below. Read at your own peril.
You know what my biggest issue with brewhate is? The "oh, it's untested" claim. Well, DUH, people like you aren't LETTING me test it! How do you expect us to balance it perfectly to a real game when you refuse to permit us to test it at all?!

Come on people, sure, we can balance to a theoretical standard, but true in-game balance can only be achieved when you actually let us use it and see what needs to be changed. Stop hiding behind the "it's untested" excuse when you shoot it down.

Note: this is directed at no one in specific, but the general attitude in question. If you are offended... stop it, it wasn't directed at you. :smallwink:

{Scrubbed} Why should you get to test your homebrewed mechanics in-game with other people who probably had to sacrifice quite a bit (time, energy, planning, etc.) to join the game? You're willing to waste their time investment so you can play-test an ability/feat/class that could completely ruin the game session due to it being too powerful (or not powerful enough)?

That's the epitome of selfishness sir.

If you want to play test, then you have to do it out side of the normal game session.

Tukka
2010-09-29, 06:59 PM
But, then DMs should not use the "it's untested" excuse. That's bullcrap, since if they're unwilling to permit a test, how can they use that excuse?
It's not an excuse, it's a rationale. If you set the standard, "no untested material allowed in the game" then it is perfectly consistent to not allow the game to be used to test untested material.

ArcanistSupreme
2010-09-29, 07:01 PM
It's not an excuse, it's a rationale. If you set the standard, "no untested material allowed in the game" then it is perfectly consistent to not allow the game to be used to test untested material.

So no using the PHB? :smallwink:

Fax Celestis
2010-09-29, 07:03 PM
That's the epitome of selfishness sir.

I would rather indicate how selfish denying someone access to something that will allow them to better enjoy the game is.

Ravens_cry
2010-09-29, 07:04 PM
So no using the PHB? :smallwink:

Compared to a significant portion of homebrew, the Players Handbook is GOLD.

Siosilvar
2010-09-29, 07:05 PM
So no using the PHB? :smallwink:

No, the PHB has been tested.

Quality (of testing and of content) isn't assured, but it was tested.

true_shinken
2010-09-29, 07:05 PM
So no using the PHB? :smallwink:

:smallamused:
That's too snarky. Tested is a lot different from 'completly and utterly raped while craving for power'.
Like it is always said when people compain about the PHB being broken, this should be mention - if you actually follow the PHB's advice (with blaster wizards and healbot clerics, for example), the game stays reasonably balanced.

ArcanistSupreme
2010-09-29, 07:06 PM
Compared to a significant portion of homebrew, the Players Handbook is GOLD.

True, but using "must be tested" would still bar the PHB. Or "tested" at least needs further clarification.

EDIT:
:smallamused:
That's too snarky. Tested is a lot different from 'completly and utterly raped while craving for power'.
Like it is always said when people compain about the PHB being broken, this should be mention - if you actually follow the PHB's advice (with blaster wizards and healbot clerics, for example), the game stays reasonably balanced.

I submit the polymorph line. That requires very little effort to abuse, and can often be abused accidentally. And then I ask that you take a look at the poor monk. Did they really run a monk through a decent-length campaign before it was published?

Dralnu
2010-09-29, 07:06 PM
But, then DMs should not use the "it's untested" excuse. That's bullcrap, since if they're unwilling to permit a test, how can they use that excuse?

If they have legit reasons, hey, cool, I'm fine with that (lack of time, lack of experience, doesn't fit into the world, etc). If they're trying to say "hey, you can't use it cause it's not tested", I'm calling bull on that. It's gotta be tested somewhere.

I'll not ask people to turn their games into my personal testing ground, but I will ask them to NOT use that excuse.

If you're frustrated that you can't find games to test out your homebrew, a very easy fix is to DM games yourself. You can either 1) kindly encourage someone to use your homebrew 2) make it a DM-PC that moves with the party 3) Make the baddies use your homebrew class

And now you can test your homebrew!

arguskos
2010-09-29, 07:07 PM
{Scrubbed} Why should you get to test your homebrewed mechanics in-game with other people who probably had to sacrifice quite a bit (time, energy, planning, etc.) to join the game? You're willing to waste their time investment so you can play-test an ability/feat/class that could completely ruin the game session due to it being too powerful (or not powerful enough)?

That's the epitome of selfishness sir.

If you want to play test, then you have to do it out side of the normal game session.

{Scrubbed}

I wasn't advocating the concept of "dictate terms to the DM" but instead "stop using the excuse of 'it is untested thus you can't use it'" when no chance to test it is ever presented beyond games DMs run! Also, being called selfish is not only incorrect but mildly insulting. :smallannoyed:

I'd also like to make a note that this is a very slippery slope. If the rationale of "no testing in my game" holds across the board, where the hell are people supposed to test their work?

EDIT: At the ^, I do, frequently. It still is not enough time, since it's me DMing and using my custom work. Ever hear of confirmation bias? :smallwink:

true_shinken
2010-09-29, 07:09 PM
EDIT: At the ^, I do, frequently. It still is not enough time, since it's me DMing and using my custom work. Ever hear of confirmation bias? :smallwink:

Well, all those players on the table with you? You can ask their opinion.

Tukka
2010-09-29, 07:10 PM
True, but using "must be tested" would still bar the PHB. Or "tested" at least needs further clarification.

EDIT:

I submit the polymorph line. That requires very little effort to abuse, and can often be abused accidentally. And then I ask that you take a look at the poor monk. Did they really run a monk through a decent-length campaign before it was published?
By now, pretty much all 3.5 material is well-tested. That's how most experienced players know how ridiculous polymorph and such things can be.

ericgrau
2010-09-29, 07:11 PM
Ya for all the flak they get WotC still does 100 times more playtesting than any homebrew.

Splatbooks run into problems when that one broken thing slips through and everyone starts using it, ignoring the other 98% of the book, and you have to explain to people why that 3rd level spell or that one feat among many minor feats shouldn't be one shotting encounters at level 16. And no giving the BBEG his own broken 3rd level spell is a second problem not a solution.

Homebrew can be okay as long as you compare it against existing material and then err on the safe side when nerfing it. If it's different then even if it's worse it still adds another option which means more character versatility which means more power overall. Staying small also helps to avoid game changing mistakes. I'm not a big fan of home-brew classes, but I adore spells, feats and items.

ArcanistSupreme
2010-09-29, 07:12 PM
By now, pretty much all 3.5 material is well-tested. That's how most experienced players know how ridiculous polymorph and such things can be.

Key phrase is experienced players. Experienced players should also be able to judge a class's power level with a quick read-through. A lot of DMs without this experience/knowledge still use the "must be tested" rule.

Dralnu
2010-09-29, 07:13 PM
EDIT: At the ^, I do, frequently. It still is not enough time, since it's me DMing and using my custom work. Ever hear of confirmation bias? :smallwink:

But you would avoid that issue entirely if you encouraged someone to play your homebrew.

If it's a DM-PC that's adventuring as part of the party, the balance would be pretty easy to gauge, and you can simply ask your players.

Only the last option would be the hardest to truly test, since bad guys aren't PCs. I was just giving another option. Use the first two and you're fine.

BRC
2010-09-29, 07:13 PM
{Scrubbed}

I wasn't advocating the concept of "dictate terms to the DM" but instead "stop using the excuse of 'it is untested thus you can't use it'" when no chance to test it is ever presented beyond games DMs run! Also, being called selfish is not only incorrect but mildly insulting. :smallannoyed:

I'd also like to make a note that this is a very slippery slope. If the rationale of "no testing in my game" holds across the board, where the hell are people supposed to test their work?
Would you want somebody who just got their licence to be your pilot? Would you want somebody who just finished their degree to perform surgery on you? Would you be willing to take some medication, but be unwilling to participate in the clinical trials?
The stakes arn't nearly as high of course, but banning Homebrew is the same principle. "It needs to be tested, but not in my game" is a perfectly valid response. I'm not saying a DM is irresponsible if they allow untested homebrew in their game, I'm saying their justified either way.
If you want to playtest homebrew, I find it's a good idea to run a game yourself. Put the class in somebody elses hands, see what they do with it. See how it holds up in gameplay, you can just do a quick one-shot. Call up your friends, say "Hey, I want to playtest this homebrew I made". One of them plays your homebrew, and you have a

ericgrau
2010-09-29, 07:16 PM
Key phrase is experienced players. Experienced players should also be able to judge a class's power level with a quick read-through. A lot of DMs without this experience/knowledge still use the "must be tested" rule.

There's a nice flip-side to that where the inexperienced players don't know the exploits and thus only have a 2% chance of landing in a disaster. In fact I've still never seen something truly serious break apart a game.

true_shinken
2010-09-29, 07:19 PM
Up until now, I've seen two homebrewed classes that I'd actually incorporate in my games.
One is the famous Blue Mage, I'm sure it has been posted here in the playground as well, though I originally saw it back at 339.
The other is class built around Flash Step. Unfortunatelly, I can't seem to find it again, but it was posted quite recently by a poster trying to build a epic Swiftblade or something.
That's it. Most others do stuff that I can already do with other classes. Classes that are in books. Books that I paid for. Books that I can actually take for a game without printing anything. Books with pictures, even. So, yeah. I usually try to make the most out of my books, since I paid for them.
I'm not against homebrew or anything - I'm kind of a game designer myself, having worked on a few articles for my country's only RPG magazine back in the first decade of this century. It's just that when it comes to 3.5 D&D, there is so much material around in the books and in Dragon Magazines, with such a better presentation, that I'd much rather use it than a class sketched in a notebook.

arguskos
2010-09-29, 07:23 PM
You know people, that I wouldn't have brought this up if personal games were doing it. There is not enough time and it's just not always satisfactory.

And the key point seems to have been missed still. I'm only arguing against the use of an excuse in banning homebrew! It's a bad excuse, especially when there are SO MANY appropriate reasons to deny homebrew.

Lhurgyof
2010-09-29, 07:24 PM
This. I admit that my default answer for non-official stuff is no, and I'm quite lenient about official stuff(no book is banned). The reason for this is simple...homebrew stuff varies wildly in quality, and I don't really want to go through every possible combination they come up with. I'll happily help them find an official variant that does what they like, or review it if none exists, but very rarely is the latter the case.

I suggest reviewing more popular sources of homebrew, such as D&D wiki, and you'll quickly understand why people tire of wading through it to find the few gems.

Actual things brought up by players in the past: http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Sphenisciphobia_(3.5e_Flaw)

http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Samurai_2_(3.5e_Class)

Both are of questionable quality, IMO. They are sadly not the worst things I have had requested by a long shot(including blatantly broken classes written by the player himself), but they're easily linkable.

I think we should all go and sign up on D&D wiki, and then rate the classes and abilities there seriously. I already rated the Samurai 2 and basically halved it's rating. Niaive and inquisitive players deserve a real rating, not some BS the OP made up. :smallsmile:

Also, I tried rating the class, but it wouldn't factor in, so I had to manually edit and average it.

Elemental_Elf
2010-09-29, 07:30 PM
I would rather indicate how selfish denying someone access to something that will allow them to better enjoy the game is.

If you had read my post I was saying that you should not play-test mechanics in a normal game since most people have to sacrifice a lot of time and energy just to make it to the game each week. To waste their time to test your mechanics IS selfish. But perhaps I was too harsh. :)


{Scrubbed} I wasn't advocating the concept of "dictate terms to the DM" but instead "stop using the excuse of 'it is untested thus you can't use it'" when no chance to test it is ever presented beyond games DMs run! Also, being called selfish is not only incorrect but mildly insulting. :smallannoyed:

I'd also like to make a note that this is a very slippery slope. If the rationale of "no testing in my game" holds across the board, where the hell are people supposed to test their work?

EDIT: At the ^, I do, frequently. It still is not enough time, since it's me DMing and using my custom work. Ever hear of confirmation bias? :smallwink:

Perhaps I was too harsh, I was just taken aback by your post. :)

What I meant was that you shouldn't test your mechanics for the first time in-game because that CAN ruin people's fun (by being too good or too weak). If your DM is nice/smart, then he will take the time to test the mechanic by himself or with you either IRL or via the web. :)

The best place to, honestly test mechanics, is to find forums than you and your DM agree are good (like this one or the WOtC boards) where people will give you true feed back on the mechanics you homebrewed. With that forum's stamp of approval in hand, it should be fairly easy to get your DM to allow your homebrewed.

TK-Squared
2010-09-29, 07:38 PM
I think we should all go and sign up on D&D wiki, and then rate the classes and abilities there seriously. I already rated the Samurai 2 and basically halved it's rating. Niaive and inquisitive players deserve a real rating, not some BS the OP made up. :smallsmile:

Also, I tried rating the class, but it wouldn't factor in, so I had to manually edit and average it.

Simply because you're ignorant of the philosophy of crafting that the Tomes and it's subsequent materials were created on doesn't really justify going around just saying "This is OP". I'd advise giving reasons, if you're going to decry them.

Da Beast
2010-09-29, 07:43 PM
Well, that's an interesting point. However, that dosn't exactly invalidate the DM banning the homebrew in question. They may not be willing to risk ruining their game in order to playtest the homebrew in question.

An experienced DM should be able to tell if something is horribly overpowered that it will ruin his game all by itself. If not, he can deal with it the same way you'd deal with a character who became too powerful using published material; talk to the player about reworking his character, steal an overpowered item, or as a last result, just kill off the character.

Lhurgyof
2010-09-29, 07:44 PM
Simply because you're ignorant of the philosophy of crafting that the Tomes and it's subsequent materials were created on doesn't really justify going around just saying "This is OP". I'd advise giving reasons, if you're going to decry them.

Woah, dude. That's pretty harsh...

I was saying we should seriously rate them. You know, from a neutral standpoint.

TK-Squared
2010-09-29, 07:45 PM
Woah, dude. That's pretty harsh...

I was saying we should seriously rate them. You know, from a neutral standpoint.

Why, when they should be rated from a Tome standpoint?

Lhurgyof
2010-09-29, 07:53 PM
Why, when they should be rated from a Tome standpoint?

What do you mean "from a tome standpoint"?

You mean tomb of battle?

Voting from a standpoint other than neutral isn't very fair, it skews your opinion.

Edit: Also, inclusion of something else in your game doesn't make this class any better.

TK-Squared
2010-09-29, 07:57 PM
What do you mean "from a tome standpoint"?

You mean tomb of battle?

Voting from a standpoint other than neutral isn't very fair, it skews your opinion.

For a start, I apologize if I seemed antagonistic before, but allow me to clarify; your ignorance of the Tomes is yet again shown. That is not say that it is a bad thing, it is to say that it is skewing your view and your are rating something subjectively, rather than objectively.

The Tomes are a work by Frank and K; a series of 'sourcebooks' of their own homebrew material that attempt to create a balance on the level with the Same Game Test, which is used to derive the power and balance of a character class or option, based upon the definitions and explanations of encounter challenges in the DMG. They are often seen as very powerful by members of this board, I'm sure.

You can find them, more than likely, by searching for Tome of Necromancy, Tome of Fiends, Races of War and Dungeonomicon on your favourite search engine.

ArcanistSupreme
2010-09-29, 07:58 PM
There's a nice flip-side to that where the inexperienced players don't know the exploits and thus only have a 2% chance of landing in a disaster. In fact I've still never seen something truly serious break apart a game.

I'd say it's actually as high as a one in eleven chance. I did it even. I played a monk. My friends contributed meaningfully, and I did not. The game was hardly broken, but it was fairly disastrous overall.

Lhurgyof
2010-09-29, 08:03 PM
For a start, I apologize if I seemed antagonistic before, but allow me to clarify; your ignorance of the Tomes is yet again shown. That is not say that it is a bad thing, it is to say that it is skewing your view and your are rating something subjectively, rather than objectively.

The Tomes are a work by Frank and K; a series of 'sourcebooks' of their own homebrew material that attempt to create a balance on the level with the Same Game Test, which is used to derive the power and balance of a character class or option, based upon the definitions and explanations of encounter challenges in the DMG. They are often seen as very powerful by members of this board, I'm sure.

You can find them, more than likely, by searching for Tome of Necromancy, Tome of Fiends, Races of War and Dungeonomicon on your favourite search engine.

Samurai 2 is not in any of their homebrew books, in fact it is explicitly more powerful than the samurai they made for the tomes.

Edit: If you can find it in there, please tell me, if so, then I'm wrong. But I couldn't find the samurai 2, which is obviously explicitly more powerful than the normal samurai, which isn't so bad. (although it gets quite a lot of special abilities)

Beheld
2010-09-29, 08:05 PM
FYI, there are two D&D wikis, after the main administrators and the "owner" of the original one, the one so far linked, had a falling out.

They created their own D&D wiki, which is largely... Superior. But I'm biased.

Wiki 1 (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Main_Page)

Wiki 2 (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page)

So if you are going to go rate classes, you might want to choose one or the other, or both. Lots of overlap between the two, but also lots of not.

For example, check out the Wikia ones power rating, where it compares classes against their balance points, IE "Wizard level" and "Fighter level."

Fax Celestis
2010-09-29, 08:48 PM
The Tomes are a work by Frank and K; a series of 'sourcebooks' of their own homebrew material that attempt to create a balance on the level with the Same Game Test...

...which in some people's opinions is unsuccessful and/or action in the wrong direction. Frank and K are excellent designers, but they operate on a different set of fundamental assumptions and work with a base philosophy than many people (myself included) do not share. Giving them the pedestal wherein all other homebrew should be measured by them is presumptuous and giving them more credit than they are due. Why, instead, should we not give that pedestal to some of the fine designers we locally host here? Or even perhaps leave that pedestal with the original design and designers, operating under the assumption that wizards are supposed to be blasters and clerics are supposed to be buffers, relegating all classes to their intended Tier 3 status? In my own work, I tend to drift between Tiers 2 and 3, and I find it acceptable as my own baseline. But proscribing a doctrine wherein "if it does not match Tomes/Tier 1 material, it is garbage" is presumptuous, and far and away above the power level that most players are comfortable with in their games. I could just as easily proclaim my own work, or that of Draz, or The Demented One, or Afroakuma, or The Vorpal Tribble, or any number of people to be the New Gold Standard, but that doesn't make it widely accepted.

DragoonWraith
2010-09-29, 08:51 PM
In my own work, I tend to drift between Tiers 2 and 3, and I find it acceptable as my own baseline.
I certainly haven't read every D20r class, but my own readings of them have put them more at Tier 3-4. Just saying.

Morithias
2010-09-29, 09:11 PM
Would you want somebody who just got their licence to be your pilot? Would you want somebody who just finished their degree to perform surgery on you? Would you be willing to take some medication, but be unwilling to participate in the clinical trials?

That's the whole point of the license/degrees silly, they say you are qualified to do it. The schooling is the "testing", that's why in school YOU TAKE TESTS! Not to mention all legit medication go through tons of tests on rodents and things like that before they ever attempt it on humans.

Actually now that I think about it, how many people are actually "tested" on things like using a computer? No seriously I was using a computer when I was like 7, long before I ever had any testing, and for my last year of high school I was my school's IT department.

Beheld
2010-09-29, 09:15 PM
...which in some people's opinions is unsuccessful and/or action in the wrong direction. Frank and K are excellent designers, but they operate on a different set of fundamental assumptions and work with a base philosophy than many people (myself included) do not share. Giving them the pedestal wherein all other homebrew should be measured by them is presumptuous and giving them more credit than they are due. Why, instead, should we not give that pedestal to some of the fine designers we locally host here? Or even perhaps leave that pedestal with the original design and designers, operating under the assumption that wizards are supposed to be blasters and clerics are supposed to be buffers, relegating all classes to their intended Tier 3 status? In my own work, I tend to drift between Tiers 2 and 3, and I find it acceptable as my own baseline. But proscribing a doctrine wherein "if it does not match Tomes/Tier 1 material, it is garbage" is presumptuous, and far and away above the power level that most players are comfortable with in their games. I could just as easily proclaim my own work, or that of Draz, or The Demented One, or Afroakuma, or The Vorpal Tribble, or any number of people to be the New Gold Standard, but that doesn't make it widely accepted.

No one is claiming that they are on a pedestal and that everything else is trash. What has been said is that complaining because X is overpowered because it's clearly more powerful than a Fighter is a mistake.

If you design a class to be Wizard level, then it should be judged based on it's success at being that level.

Likewise, if someone designs a Fighter fix designed to be balanced against a Favored Soul... Calling it trash because who would ever play it when they could play a Druid is just as wrong for the same reason.

See my blatant promotion of the dungeons.wikia version where every class has a section called "Balance" and where the example Samurai class features the line:


Balance: Wizard

Whereas some other class could have "Balance: Fighter"

Fax Celestis
2010-09-29, 09:27 PM
No one is claiming that they are on a pedestal and that everything else is trash. What has been said is that complaining because X is overpowered because it's clearly more powerful than a Fighter is a mistake.

If you design a class to be Wizard level, then it should be judged based on it's success at being that level.

Likewise, if someone designs a Fighter fix designed to be balanced against a Favored Soul... Calling it trash because who would ever play it when they could play a Druid is just as wrong for the same reason.


Why, when they should be rated from a Tome standpoint?

Someone did proclaim such a thing.

Beheld
2010-09-29, 09:31 PM
Someone did proclaim such a thing.

Umm... No, they didn't. You should rate a Tome class from a Tome standpoint.

Yes, that's not saying that everything you write is trash, that's saying that if a class is designed for a specific type of game, it should be evaluated against it's success in that sort of game.

Fax Celestis
2010-09-29, 09:38 PM
Umm... No, they didn't. You should rate a Tome class from a Tome standpoint.

Yes, that's not saying that everything you write is trash, that's saying that if a class is designed for a specific type of game, it should be evaluated against it's success in that sort of game.

While the class linked was based around a Tome standpoint, the quote original post was talking in a broader fashion about the entire wiki (which I can guarantee is not Tome-centric) and also included a link to content that is decidedly not Tome material.

Beheld
2010-09-29, 09:45 PM
While the class linked was based around a Tome standpoint, the quote original post was talking in a broader fashion about the entire wiki (which I can guarantee is not Tome-centric) and also included a link to content that is decidedly not Tome material.

I disagree with your analysis of what he was saying should be evaluated on a Tome standard. Rather, instead, it seems he was talking about a specific rating provided to a specific class on that wiki.

Fax Celestis
2010-09-29, 09:46 PM
I disagree with your analysis of what he was saying should be evaluated on a Tome standard. Rather, instead, it seems he was talking about a specific rating provided to a specific class on that wiki.

If that is indeed the case, then I have spoken out of turn and I apologize. However, it certainly does not appear that way.

DragoonWraith
2010-09-29, 10:03 PM
Fax, I have to agree with Beheld - I'm pretty sure TK-Squared was referring to the Samurai2 that Lhurgyof was talking about, not about the general idea of going through and rating everything.

Lord_Gareth
2010-09-29, 11:19 PM
Wow, I didn't expect to start all this fighting >.>

Boren
2010-09-29, 11:41 PM
This. I admit that my default answer for non-official stuff is no, and I'm quite lenient about official stuff(no book is banned). The reason for this is simple...homebrew stuff varies wildly in quality, and I don't really want to go through every possible combination they come up with. I'll happily help them find an official variant that does what they like, or review it if none exists, but very rarely is the latter the case.

I suggest reviewing more popular sources of homebrew, such as D&D wiki, and you'll quickly understand why people tire of wading through it to find the few gems.

Actual things brought up by players in the past: http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Sphenisciphobia_(3.5e_Flaw)

http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Samurai_2_(3.5e_Class)

Both are of questionable quality, IMO. They are sadly not the worst things I have had requested by a long shot(including blatantly broken classes written by the player himself), but they're easily linkable.

I'd allow that feat in a frost burn game lol.
*as you climb to the peak of the ice flow the cave entrance looms before you. You see nothing between you and your goal save a vary large flock of penguins. AIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! runs screaming DM laughing*
Seriously however while I'm always willing to look over things my players want, some people might be newer to DMing and might have problems spotting some of the more subtle problems with home brew stuff. Some times its not even the homebrew itself but if you combined it with another official feat, spell, or whatever it creates a game breaker. The official content already has enough pun puns (hail to his scaliness) and locate city bombs for DMs to wach out for and home brew just adds another layer to all that so most DMs 'just say no'.
Please note that this is not the position I personally take; when I DM I'm willing to at least look at anything from any source, although I treat some sources as more suspect than others. Oh and never mistake 'I'll take a look at it' for 'I'll allow that in my game'.

PairO'Dice Lost
2010-09-29, 11:44 PM
I'm guessing a lot of the time saying "no homebrew" is a way of politely avoiding having to say "Your homebrew class is terrible! It is vomit and I hate it forever!"


That too. In the age of political correctness, saying 'no homebrew' is a lot less personal or subject to accusations of favoritism than hammering down one particular thing.

This is basically my reasoning whenever I say "no homebrew" for my PbP games. In my RL games, I'm basically open to anything they want to show me or make on their own; I trust them, they trust me, I'm the resident rules expert, I can tweak things as necessary, everything goes swimmingly. Here, though, I don't have that kind of trust and familiarity with most posters, so when I say something along the lines of "no homebrew, but I might allow some tweaking, subject to DM approval" what that actually means is "someone has either posted interest or PMed interest who I know will keep bugging me about homebrew that doesn't fit the setting and/or the power level, and I'd like an excuse to allow good homebrew while vetoing their suggestions."

Lhurgyof
2010-09-30, 07:36 AM
Fax, I have to agree with Beheld - I'm pretty sure TK-Squared was referring to the Samurai2 that Lhurgyof was talking about, not about the general idea of going through and rating everything.

Probably. But the point should be made that the samurai 2 is not linked to at all in the Tomes... and it is explicitly more powerful than the samurai given in the tomes, so it's pretty silly even compared to the tome stuff.

Edit: In fact, it doesn't even mention the tome AT ALL on the class page. That's pretty irresponsible, and most people wouldn't even know the context to take it in.

dsmiles
2010-09-30, 07:43 AM
No, seriously, what the hell? Why do DMs ban homebrew out of hand without giving it even a once-over to check the balance?

Bring some homebrew to my table, I'm more than happy to check the balance and the flavor. If the balance isn't good, I'll sit down with the homebrewer and go over the bad parts. If the flavor doesn't match, I'll come up with something on the spot and be like, "could you play it with this fluff instead?"
Really, how hard is it to look at a couple of pieces of paper and check balance?
No homebrew hate here, since I homebrew a lot of my campaigns myself, I'd be more than happy to have help. :smallbiggrin:

Yahzi
2010-09-30, 07:43 AM
Homebrew is what DMs do to give their world flavor.

If you are going to modify the DM's background setting, you kind of need to work that out with them in advance.

Beheld
2010-09-30, 07:58 AM
Probably. But the point should be made that the samurai 2 is not linked to at all in the Tomes... and it is explicitly more powerful than the samurai given in the tomes, so it's pretty silly even compared to the tome stuff.

Edit: In fact, it doesn't even mention the tome AT ALL on the class page. That's pretty irresponsible, and most people wouldn't even know the context to take it in.

Yeah, the Samurai 2 is really weird, because what apparently what happened is someone either edit bombed it, or they, copied it over completely from Frank and K, even leaving the Author block the same, but then added random +1 stat increases, and the little "For every 5 kills with his Ancestral Weapon, the Samurai receives 2d8+4 of health back." line.

But you'll notice the stat increases were left out of the text, and so actually don't do anything, so in fact, it's identical to the Tome Samurai except in that one ability.

I assume it was just edit bombed, and then never completely fixed.

J.Gellert
2010-09-30, 08:00 AM
My old DM always let me use homebrew, it was the other players that would cringe sometimes. One of them is very "purist", PHB only. But eventually everyone would go along with it.

It's not as if the stuff published by WotC is playtested significantly more than homebrew I ever made :smallbiggrin:

Lhurgyof
2010-09-30, 08:03 AM
Yeah, the Samurai 2 is really weird, because what apparently what happened is someone either edit bombed it, or they, copied it over completely from Frank and K, even leaving the Author block the same, but then added random +1 stat increases, and the little "For every 5 kills with his Ancestral Weapon, the Samurai receives 2d8+4 of health back." line.

But you'll notice the stat increases were left out of the text, and so actually don't do anything, so in fact, it's identical to the Tome Samurai except in that one ability.

I assume it was just edit bombed, and then never completely fixed.


Ahh, ok. That would make sense. It did seem weird to me. Plus it gets bonus feats at certain levels.

Edit: Plus, a lot of their classes would get a low wording/formatting score from me, they have WAY too many special abilities.

hamishspence
2010-09-30, 08:06 AM
Where does Dicefreaks's Guide To Hell fall on the "good homebrew-bad homebrew" scale?

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 08:28 AM
Why, when they should be rated from a Tome standpoint?

The Tomes are not an objective standard to rate things by. I disagree with the Tome philosphy in general, which basically boils down to fixing the power differential by assuming everyone plays at or near a TO level of brokenness, and attempting to give an equal level of brokenness to all.

While this is balance, of a sort, I feel it's not a very desirable way to balance things, and does not mesh with how the vast majority of people attempt to play the game. So, for most people, that class is pretty broken.

Edit: The poor copying/editing that would lead new players to believe it has even more power and the like is further evidence that it's not a great entry. I don't blame that on the authors of the tomes, but poor presentation is not uncommon in homebrew.

Aharon
2010-09-30, 08:29 AM
@Lhurgyof
That, I don't understand. If the abilities are badly worded or formatted, this should influence the wording/formatting score. The number of abilities, however, should only be taken into account when judging the power of the class, IMO.

Psyx
2010-09-30, 08:50 AM
To sell 3rd party books, there has to be something worthwhile in them.
Most writers seem to think that 'worthwhile' means 'broken crunch', and simply write unbalanced things in order for people to 'want' their product.

The alternative is that it has been poorly thought out, poorly play-tested, or just plain dumb and fan-boy.

Plus, using one piece of third party crunch opens the floodgate of players asking for other pieces. Considering the number of third party products out there, it's really not viable for the GM to read them or, or buy them. It's easier to have a blanket 'no' ruling than open floodgates.

Sure: Some third party stuff is good. Most isn't.

but then... look at RotD...

Beheld
2010-09-30, 08:52 AM
The Tomes are not an objective standard to rate things by. I disagree with the Tome philosphy in general, which basically boils down to fixing the power differential by assuming everyone plays at or near a TO level of brokenness, and attempting to give an equal level of brokenness to all.

Well I don't think anyone is claiming they are an objective standard, merely the subjective standard by which Tome classes should be judged. Just like whatever balance point Fax Celestis choose is the standard to be used to judge those classes.


Edit: Plus, a lot of their classes would get a low wording/formatting score from me, they have WAY too many special abilities.

I have to agree with the others on this.

Why would you detract from the wording and formatting because they have "too many abilities" that has nothing to do with it.

Lhurgyof
2010-09-30, 08:58 AM
@Lhurgyof
That, I don't understand. If the abilities are badly worded or formatted, this should influence the wording/formatting score. The number of abilities, however, should only be taken into account when judging the power of the class, IMO.

It's a jumbled mess and takes up a large ammount of space. It's not very close to actual D&D formatting. If it's a base class that gets more special abilities than a monk, it gets too much.

The Glyphstone
2010-09-30, 09:02 AM
I have to agree with the others on this.

Why would you detract from the wording and formatting because they have "too many abilities" that has nothing to do with it.

I think that depends on what abilities are in question. If it's something like:


Tough: At Level 2, the Punchmonkey class gains +2 Con.
Super Tough: At level 4, the Punchmonkey gains an additional +2 Con.
Super Duper Tough: At level 6, the Punchmonkey gains an additional +2 Con.
Crazy Tough: At level 8, the Punchmonkey gains an additional +2 Con.
Super Crazy Tough: At level 10, the Punchmonkey gains an additional +2 Con.
Super Duper Crazy Tough: At level 12, the Punchmonkey gains an additional +2 Con.
Insanely Tough: At level 14, the Punchmonkey gains an additional +2 Con.
Super Insanely Tough: At level 16, the Punchmonkey gains an additional +2 Con.
Super Duper Insanely Tough: At level 18, the Punchmonkey gains an additional +2 Con.
Fantastically Tough: At level 20, the Punchmonkey gains an additional +2 Con.


It could be written/formatted:


Tough: At 2nd level and every even-numbered level afterwards, the Punchmonkey class gains a cumulative +2 Con.


The first is unnecessarily bloated with near-identical 'abilities' that could be far more cleanly worded, as in the second example.

dsmiles
2010-09-30, 09:14 AM
Plus, using one piece of third party crunch opens the floodgate of players asking for other pieces. Considering the number of third party products out there, it's really not viable for the GM to read them or, or buy them. It's easier to have a blanket 'no' ruling than open floodgates.


Really? I can make time for players to have more fun. I also feel no need to buy the books for all the 3rd party stuff.
If they want a piece of 3rd party material in the game, they just have to bring it to me, and I'll read it and ckeck it for balance with both the fluff and crunch. The game isn't just about me having fun, after all.
A blanket 'no 3rd party material' rule can ruin people's fun, and I have no wish to be the turd in their punchbowl.

TK-Squared
2010-09-30, 09:16 AM
Samurai 2 is not in any of their homebrew books, in fact it is explicitly more powerful than the samurai they made for the tomes.


I apologize, but I had assumed that "Samurai 2" was the Tome Samurai after a quick overview of it. The "Samurai 2" article is, as Beheld noted, a carbon copy of the Tome Samurai but with bad ideas put into the table. I was, however, also referring to Horde Breaker, which he commented on.



If that is indeed the case, then I have spoken out of turn and I apologize. However, it certainly does not appear that way.


This was the case; I was pointing out that a Tome class should be judged by the merits of the Tome philosophy, which was bought about by the comments regarding the Samurai and Horde Breaker, both of which I had assumed were unchanged variations of the originals (Horde Breaker is, as far as I am aware).

Ignition
2010-09-30, 09:41 AM
Depends. I mean, I homebrew basically everything I do these days, taking what exists and tweaking it and conning my GM coming to group consensus that the character will be more interesting if we push this rule or change that ability or whatever. I do it in papercuts and tightening of a screw here or there, though; I rarely commit to having a whole new class or a whole new sub-system, especially when the broad - in less charitable language, unbalanced - "flavorful" mechanics I come up with turn out to be horribly impractical, and slow the game down trying to reconcile them.

I'd be a big hypocrite if I said I hated homebrew, or at least, all homebrew but my own, but on the other hand, I kind of do :smallwink: Conceptually, I love that people put forth the effort to customize their games, and the group's game experience, as much as possible. That said, in execution, it often ends up bogging things down, because everyone has to learn the limits of the new class or race or whatever, which is easier said than done. In addition, a lot of the changes that are implemented via homebrewed base classes already exist, in more balanced forms, elsewhere in the canon of the system; I use "balance" loosely, here, loose enough to fall off altogether in a stiff breeze :smallwink:

It's really less of a problem of balance, and more of a problem of teamwork. Honestly, GMs have enough to do to worry about each player being their own special star in the story, each one running their own system or canon of homebrew; the majority of sane GMs will do that anyway, and making that job more difficult isn't really necessary. RPGs are ultimately a team game, like soccer or American football, and part of working together is having some kind of unifying goal and tactics - which, ideally, is what the system provides, though not always.

In a generalized system - Savage Worlds and the like - homebrew is encouraged, and in fact necessary. The more specific a system is to its setting, however, the more holes are created by attempting to wedge in something new. Plus, it's just easier on the GM to use a system to its fullest extent, rather than trying to do it better - provided, of course, the system clearly isn't capable in some area, in which case you may want to try a different system, anyway.

Saintheart
2010-09-30, 09:48 AM
In my case, I don't hate homebrew, I just fear it.

I fear it because I'm not an experienced enough DM to necessarily prepare for all the eventualities and LEGO-style builds that come out of sanctioned WOTC products, let alone what might happen if one starts clicking homebrew into the mix on top of that. If players get too powerful, I can't challenge them; and if I can't challenge them, there's not much point and/or suspense in a game of D&D.

Dirty Harry once said "A man's got to know his limitations". Mine is powerful optimisation just on WOTC options, and trying to balance or plan for homebrew. About the only tactic I've got against rampant optimisation is unashamed plagiarism: if my players go Pun-Pun on me, they may wipe one major opponent, but they'll have those same cheesy Pun-Pun options used against them later on.

Violet Octopus
2010-09-30, 10:41 AM
Among the people I play with, dislike for homebrew tends to fall into:
* too lazy to learn anything beyond the PHB
* "this isn't shivering touch, true, but it's power creep and doesn't fit with what the other players are doing", which also tends to apply to things like ToB and Incarnum.
* or the "this concept is really wacky and doesn't fit the campaign" camp. I showed my friends the Blasphemous Preacher once, and while they thought it was cool, I doubt I'd get to play one in the campaigns they tend to run. Dervish/Rogue with aberrant feats or fluff, fine. Binder, yeah, OK. True Xenotheurge, hell no.

I personally love homebrew, and am happy to let people play anything that's below Tier 1, doesn't mechanically overshadow another player's role (e.g. Ranger vs. Falling Star Crusader), and where the concept isn't completely incompatible with the campaign I want to run. I also have the time to review stuff, but I understand that my friends are not in the same position.

Ignition
2010-09-30, 10:57 AM
doesn't fit the campaign

This is the absolute core of my issue, summed up in four words :smallwink:

Psyx
2010-09-30, 10:59 AM
Really? I can make time for players to have more fun. I also feel no need to buy the books for all the 3rd party stuff.
If they want a piece of 3rd party material in the game, they just have to bring it to me, and I'll read it and ckeck it for balance with both the fluff and crunch. The game isn't just about me having fun, after all.
A blanket 'no 3rd party material' rule can ruin people's fun, and I have no wish to be the turd in their punchbowl.

I don't actually have a masochistic streak wide enough to run 3.5. I usually use my homebrew system, which means that if someone wants something: I go and write it for them, and think about it long enough to balance it - a step omitted by most third party writers.

How's THAT for making time for my players? :smallwink:


I don't think that saying 'no' to any add-on can 'ruin' anyone's fun, really. There are what... 70 base classes? I can't see -on a role-playing basis- why there isn't enough there that someone's entire experience would be ruined by an omission. In my experience, the only players who sulk because 'extra' stuff can't be bought in are generally annoyed because their blaggy new prestige class of +4STR per level just got nixxed. If someone just wants 'fluff', then it's easily enough fitted into one of the existing classes or whatever.

Very few 3rd party supplements really add any depth to the game (arguably a lot of WOTC ones don't either...). By reading and assessing something for a player, it opens a floodgate of new rules and blag to learn that really doesn't improve the game very often.

Peregrine
2010-09-30, 11:01 AM
Wizards of the Coast's material also has one key advantage over homebrew, besides professional playtesting: massive post-publication playtesting. That doesn't make it better than homebrew, but it makes it a lot easier for DMs to go out and find out what others' opinions have been.

Zaydos
2010-09-30, 11:06 AM
I like homebrew, if its from a source I at least somewhat trust (which means these forums). I will check things over for mechanics, but I tend to trust the PEACHing process here as most broken things get caught fairly quickly. I do tend to try and grab things that look ~Tier 3; especially since I've never had to deal with well-played casters so something that's Tier 2 in power and doesn't require thought to make it so is something I'll be wary of.

I will sometimes veto something for fluff reasons; it just doesn't fit into the world.

DragoonWraith
2010-09-30, 11:12 AM
This is the absolute core of my issue, summed up in four words :smallwink:
All homebrew ever doesn't fit into your setting, no matter what it is, and you know this without looking at it? :smallconfused:

dsmiles
2010-09-30, 11:16 AM
There are what... 70 base classes?

Granted, they exist, but the guys and gals I game with generally own more 3rd party stuff than 'official' WotC...stuff (edited for politeness). None of us have ToB or Incarnum. Between us, we have all the 'Complete' books, and PHBs I & II, DMGs I & II, and MM I-IV. And a veritable crapton of 3rd party stuff. Mostly Mongoose with some Green Ronin and Swords & Sorcery thrown in for good measure (pllus the BoEF :smalleek:). We usually have to find a reason to use WotC...stuff, instead of finding a reason to use 3rd party stuff. We find it more fun to play than the WotC...stuff.

DragoonWraith
2010-09-30, 11:25 AM
Granted, they exist, but the guys and gals I game with generally own more 3rd party stuff than 'official' WotC...stuff (edited for politeness). None of us have ToB or Incarnum. Between us, we have all the 'Complete' books, and PHBs I & II, DMGs I & II, and MM I-IV. And a veritable crapton of 3rd party stuff. Mostly Mongoose with some Green Ronin and Swords & Sorcery thrown in for good measure (pllus the BoEF :smalleek:). We usually have to find a reason to use WotC...stuff, instead of finding a reason to use 3rd party stuff. We find it more fun to play than the WotC...stuff.
While I have similar opinions on a lot of WotC ...stuff, it's a shame that you're missing the two things written by WotC that are actually, generally good. Tome of Battle and Magic of Incarnum are easily, far-and-away the best balanced and best designed systems WotC wrote for 3.5.

And... I've only looked at a little bit of 3rd party stuff, but I haven't been overly impressed by Green Ronin or Mongoose.

dsmiles
2010-09-30, 11:37 AM
While I have similar opinions on a lot of WotC ...stuff, it's a shame that you're missing the two things written by WotC that are actually, generally good. Tome of Battle and Magic of Incarnum are easily, far-and-away the best balanced and best designed systems WotC wrote for 3.5.

And... I've only looked at a little bit of 3rd party stuff, but I haven't been overly impressed by Green Ronin or Mongoose.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I've read them, and I'm pretty sure at least one of the guys I game with owned them at one point (he bought everything that came out of WotC's money-grubbing little brains). We preferred the The Slayers d20 magic system over Incarnum (and converted all of the WotC spells that fit that system), and ToB just wasn't that great for us. Stances and Maneuvers didn't fit the way we played.

Ignition
2010-09-30, 12:04 PM
All homebrew ever doesn't fit into your setting, no matter what it is, and you know this without looking at it? :smallconfused:

It's far easier, not to mention more effective in the long run, to err on the side "No, with exceptions" than "Yes, with exceptions".

If I say "No," the homebrewer has the opportunity to sell me on it and help me see that my setting, and the game at large, would benefit from its inclusion; the homebrewer and I can sit down and come to a consensus over how that homebrew affects other parts of the setting, and in so doing, likely strengthen both the homebrew content and the setting. We do our homework first, and in the process, solve problems before they start. It's win-win! :smallbiggrin:

If I say "Yes," there's no dialog, just passive acceptance. The homebrewer gets his way, either because I don't care enough to look over his proposal, or because I'm afraid of offending his sensibilities by turning down his perfectly reasonable ideas. If there's a problem down the line neither of us foresaw, then I am in less of a bargaining position to say "Well, now we can't have Homebrew Content Number Fifty-Eight, because it's bad for the game and unfun for the players/GM". It devolves into "Well you okayed it before!" and no one's willing to back down, and the game grinds to a halt until the issue is resolved.

To be fair, homebrew is not my only target for the "No, but sell me on it" attitude, but that is what is on topic here :smallwink:

DragoonWraith
2010-09-30, 12:24 PM
See, that's totally reasonable.

But the thread topic was DMs who say "No homebrew" and leave it at that. I'd generally consider it rude to see that rule, and then say "I know you said no homebrew, but this would be really cool!" - you have to let me know there's opportunity for persuasion, you see.

Ignition
2010-09-30, 12:27 PM
Fair enough, haha. Then again, I'm used to people arguing with me whether I tell them to argue with me or expressly deny them the pleasure :smallwink:

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 01:07 PM
See, that's totally reasonable.

But the thread topic was DMs who say "No homebrew" and leave it at that. I'd generally consider it rude to see that rule, and then say "I know you said no homebrew, but this would be really cool!" - you have to let me know there's opportunity for persuasion, you see.

I am ok with people who take "no homebrew" to mean "don't bother asking".

If you want, you can tell me your character concept, and I'll help you build it. It'll be effective if I do so. If your concept doesn't revolve around something inherently imbalanced, ways exist within the rules to make it. Therefore, homebrew is unnecessary.

Cogidubnus
2010-09-30, 01:10 PM
Myself, I always at least read the stuff people bring me, and try to make an informed decision. Some things, like spending 6 skill points to get a feat, I block, because if a build is "feat-starved" (As far as I'm concerned, 4 feats by level 9 is good going), but high on skill points, it's that way for a reason. Generally I don't like people totally change the way their character ought to work, but other than that will roll with it. If it turns out to be too powerful, a polite discussion ensues.

Fax Celestis
2010-09-30, 01:12 PM
If you want, you can tell me your character concept, and I'll help you build it. It'll be effective if I do so. If your concept doesn't revolve around something inherently imbalanced, ways exist within the rules to make it. Therefore, homebrew is unnecessary.

Not always.

DragoonWraith
2010-09-30, 01:13 PM
If your concept doesn't revolve around something inherently imbalanced, ways exist within the rules to make it. Therefore, homebrew is unnecessary.
Absolutely, positively false.

PairO'Dice Lost
2010-09-30, 01:20 PM
Absolutely, positively false.

Eh, depends on what he means by "inherently unbalanced." Sword & board is weak enough that you basically require homebrew to make it worthwhile, so if that falls under "inherently unbalanced" due to being too weak relative to TWF and 2HF, I can see where he's coming from, even if I don't completely agree. If he means something along the lines of "Anything less than Iot7V or RSoP power can be done just fine within the rules," then I agree with you.

valadil
2010-09-30, 01:26 PM
Because it's a slippery slope. If I allow one dragon magazine feat, players are going to ask for others. It's easier for me to draw the line at no dragon magazine than somewhere in the middle of it. And if I draw the line in the middle, there's going to be one player with DM content and one without. That's a situation I'd prefer to avoid.

Homebrewed content is potentially worse. The players can keep adjusting it until it's exactly one step below too powerful. AND they're more likely to take it personally when you don't like the idea that they spent time and energy to create.

That said, my current group is pretty cool so I'm letting them get away with plenty. Half the players have material from Dragon. I haven't vetoed anything they've suggested, aside from Bard of All Trades (+3 to untrained skills. I'll let them stick with JoAT, which is only +2). The bard even made up his own powers and revamped the Orc race (though he ultimately didn't use it) and I approved all that stuff. No harm done so far. We're also talking about options to make rituals more feasible and adjusting some of the values as we go.

They're all mature players who aren't jealous of each others' power gaming. With a group like this, homebrew is cool.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 01:26 PM
Eh, depends on what he means by "inherently unbalanced." Sword & board is weak enough that you basically require homebrew to make it worthwhile, so if that falls under "inherently unbalanced" due to being too weak relative to TWF and 2HF, I can see where he's coming from, even if I don't completely agree. If he means something along the lines of "Anything less than Iot7V or RSoP power can be done just fine within the rules," then I agree with you.

Sword and board can be useful in certain situations. I admit that it's underpowered, but builds exist.

Now, if you are annoyed that a swashbuckler is not actually proficient with bucklers, I treat that as monk w regards to unarmed attacks. Clearly, the designer overlooked something obvious. It's a very minor change to an existing class whose balance is fairly well known. A minor house rule perhaps, but doesn't qualify as home brew.

You don't need custom classes and such to make sword and board viable.

Fax Celestis
2010-09-30, 01:27 PM
You don't need custom classes and such to make sword and board viable.

There are concepts that physically do not exist in the rules. Homebrew is for those situations, if no others.

DragoonWraith
2010-09-30, 01:29 PM
You don't need custom classes and such to make sword and board viable.
Before Tome of Battle, you did.

But there are plenty of concepts that simply, flat-out don't exist. There is no Binder/Meldshaper dual-progression PrC. There is nothing like my Swordmage. Et cetera.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 01:30 PM
There are concepts that physically do not exist in the rules. Homebrew is for those situations, if no others.

Refluffing is always acceptable, and is encouraged. With that in mind, there's fairly few concepts that are actually impossible to represent in D&D. The most legitimate one I can think of is the speedster concept, which unfortunately can't be done in anything like a balanced way in D&D. Action economy is just too powerful.

Fax Celestis
2010-09-30, 01:34 PM
Refluffing is always acceptable, and is encouraged. With that in mind, there's fairly few concepts that are actually impossible to represent in D&D. The most legitimate one I can think of is the speedster concept, which unfortunately can't be done in anything like a balanced way in D&D. Action economy is just too powerful.

Oh? What about a cleric/psion dual-progression PrC? A divine/divine dual progression PrC? What about a feat that lets you shield your allies by stepping into the way of incoming fire or swapping spaces with them? What about a monster that your experienced players don't have the stats for memorized already? How about an intelligent, finesse-based fighter worth taking beyond three levels? A divine duskblade? A psychic duskblade? A party buffer that doesn't have spellcasting that doesn't suck like the marshal? A build-your-own-spell spellcaster? A shapeshifter class without spellcasting? A targeted debuffer that doesn't rely on spellcasting?

This is just off the top of my head. There are more.

DragoonWraith
2010-09-30, 01:39 PM
Challenge: replicate, even remotely, any of the following using only WotC material (taken from my own work)
Swordmage (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=149724) (magical melee attacks; some spells do this but not enough to make a class of)
Midnight Occultist (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=157493) (Binder/Meldshaper PrC. Does not exist in WotC material)
Spell Weaver (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140987) (Cha-based prepared Arcane spellcasting)
Viz-Jaq'taar (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=151306) (see Traps)
Karsite Artisan (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142115) (Artificer/Binder PrC; does not exist in WotC material)
Child of Sea and Sky (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140309) (Binder/Druid PrC; does not exist in WotC material)
All-Thief (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=129956) (stealing more than just Spells)
Dualist (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=120771) (parrying and counter-attacking)

Emmerask
2010-09-30, 01:40 PM
Tyn is partly right at least, most stuff can be build using the existing classes/feats/skills etc some things however would be badly represented using the existing sources like for example an allomancer (mistborn series).

Yes you could use some wuyen + master of the unseen hand thingy but I doubt it will have the same "feel" to it and the refluffing effort would in my oppinion exceed the making from scratch effort in that regard.

So I as a dm am not completely opposed to homebrew but I would first always look if existing options may cover the homebrew and then maybe allow it after some playtest work and of course questions to the playground :smallwink:


Challenge: replicate, even remotely, any of the following using only WotC material (taken from my own work)
Swordmage (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=149724) (magical melee attacks; some spells do this but not enough to make a class of)
Midnight Occultist (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=157493) (Binder/Meldshaper PrC. Does not exist in WotC material)
Spell Weaver (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140987) (Cha-based prepared Arcane spellcasting)
Viz-Jaq'taar (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=151306) (see Traps)
Karsite Artisan (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142115) (Artificer/Binder PrC; does not exist in WotC material)
Child of Sea and Sky (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140309) (Binder/Druid PrC; does not exist in WotC material)
All-Thief (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=129956) (stealing more than just Spells)
Dualist (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=120771) (parrying and counter-attacking)

* swordsage
* no idea there
* wizard int to cha based (less skillpoints would make him a bit weaker even)
that in my oppionion is not really homebrew you just refluff something a tiny bit
*no idea atm
* "
* "
* "
* swordsage heavy on counter attack maneuvers

DragoonWraith
2010-09-30, 01:51 PM
Swordsage doesn't match Swordmage at all. Swordsage still uses weapons; the Swordmage does not. Arcane Swordsage would be closer, but yeah.

Wizard with Int to Cha is homebrew. Yeah, mine is somewhat more involved, but both are still homebrew. Basically admission that homebrew is necessary.

Crusader actually works better, since some Devoted Spirit maneuvers fit quite nicely, but still, it's quite a bit different.

Emmerask
2010-09-30, 01:55 PM
Hm then we have different opinions about what homebrew is. I´m not saying you are wrong about the "official" definition but for me homebrew involves more then the mere switching of a main attribute.

And yes I did agree with you in my post that homebrew sometimes can´t be avoided though in a lot of the homebrew stuff I´ve seen it could have been by using certain class combinations.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 01:55 PM
Oh? What about a cleric/psion dual-progression PrC? A divine/divine dual progression PrC?

Ur-priest is great at solving problems like this.


What about a feat that lets you shield your allies by stepping into the way of incoming fire or swapping spaces with them?

Available as a spell, and as an item. The lack of availability as a feat doesn't mean the idea is impossible.

For shielding allies from incoming fire, I reccomend a tower shield.


What about a monster that your experienced players don't have the stats for memorized already?

There are a *lot* of published monsters. Also, there's refluffing. Also, there's progression. It's amazingly easy to find existing things to challenge


How about an intelligent, finesse-based fighter worth taking beyond three levels?

That's not a build. That's a class complaint. You CAN make intelligent, finesse based fighters.


A divine duskblade?

Alternative Source Spell.


A psychic duskblade?

Magic/psionic transparency is default. Also, there's the spell points variant in UA.


A party buffer that doesn't have spellcasting that doesn't suck like the marshal?

Refluff spellcasting. Done.


A build-your-own-spell spellcaster?

If you want more flexible magic than allowed by anything in D&D, then I fear the power meter on this idea is horribly, horribly broken. Magic simply does far too much in D&D to allow it this much flexibility.


A shapeshifter class without spellcasting?

Well, there's shifter races. Lycanthropes of all sorts, too. I really can't see a build here that can't be done.


A targeted debuffer that doesn't rely on spellcasting?

Refluff spellcasting. Alternatively, use things like stand still, if you want. Immobilizing people is a debuff. Tripping people is arguably a debuff. So are things like exaustion. Those are all existing possibilities.


This is just off the top of my head. There are more.

Again, my responses are just off the top of my head. I'm fairly certain there are more solutions to each of those.

Fax Celestis
2010-09-30, 02:02 PM
Ur-priest is great at solving problems like this.Really? I'm fairly certain that Ur-Priest is single-progression.


Alternative Source Spell....does not do what I am saying.


Magic/psionic transparency is default. Also, there's the spell points variant in UA. ...does not do what I am saying.


Refluff spellcasting. Done.Not done. I said without spellcasting, not "with things that are pretty much spells except in name."


Well, there's shifter races. Lycanthropes of all sorts, too. I really can't see a build here that can't be done.Really? You think that it's acceptable that the only way to be "that dude who shapeshifts" is to either suck up a hefty LA, stick with basic racial features, or go druid?


Refluff spellcasting.I said without spellcasting, not "with things that are pretty much spells except in name."

DragoonWraith
2010-09-30, 02:07 PM
Hm then we have different opinions about what homebrew is. I´m not saying you are wrong about the "official" definition but for me homebrew involves more then the mere switching of a main attribute.
Actually, if you look at the Spell Weaver, you'll see it's not even much more than a Wizard variant. A different form of specializing, class features instead of Bonus Feats, and that's about it.


And yes I did agree with you in my post that homebrew sometimes can´t be avoided though in a lot of the homebrew stuff I´ve seen it could have been by using certain class combinations.
And what is the problem with that? "Certain class combinations" often suck, either because they weren't intended or because WotC has some really poor class designers.


Again, my responses are just off the top of my head. I'm fairly certain there are more solutions to each of those.
Didn't get mine, and "refluff spellcasting" won't do it for mine, except perhaps the first.

Emmerask
2010-09-30, 02:13 PM
And what is the problem with that? "Certain class combinations" often suck, either because they weren't intended or because WotC has some really poor class designers.

Sometimes there is absolutely no problem with that especially if the combination as you said simply sucks without homebrew.
Sometimes however the combination would not suck and the homebrew is just there to make it even better, this is where I as a dm take an issue with it :smallwink:

If the player tells me that the approximation (and using different classes/feats is in most cases just that) is just not really what he wants the character to be then that is perfectly fine and a reasonable argument :smallsmile:

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 02:19 PM
Really? I'm fairly certain that Ur-Priest is single-progression.

It is. However, using rapid progression classes is another way to end up with a similar result to normal dual class progression. The point is that the end build is doable with existing tools, not that there is always a class that explicitly lays it out for you.


...does not do what I am saying.

It makes his spells divine. It does exactly what you required. If you need specific spells, there are things like Extra Spell. It depends on the specific idea the player wants, but it's generally doable.


...does not do what I am saying.

Spell points mechanically work like power points. Again, it depends on exactly what you really want, but realistically, you're citing build options. Not finished builds. If you want "A dexterous, stealthy fighter who uses psionics", that can be arranged. Easily.


Not done. I said without spellcasting, not "with things that are pretty much spells except in name."

Bardic Music is also a lovely buffing option. There's a wild variety of ways to buff things. And Marshall does do this, you just dislike it.

Again, focus less on "class that does X" and "can I make a char that does X", and the problem fades away.


Really? You think that it's acceptable that the only way to be "that dude who shapeshifts" is to either suck up a hefty LA, stick with basic racial features, or go druid?

Or, yknow, spellcasting. Or items. Shapeshifting is remarkably accessible throughout D&D, it's gonna take some resources. It's not terribly tough to work into a build, though.


I said without spellcasting, not "with things that are pretty much spells except in name."

I gave you a few targetted debuffs that melee can commonly do. That's without getting into specialized builds like intimidaters. Those can be quite nasty at making a single opponent useless.

I'll get to Dragoons after I have time to read his. Wouldn't be fair to do it off just the name.

DragoonWraith
2010-09-30, 02:24 PM
I'll get to Dragoons after I have time to read his. Wouldn't be fair to do it off just the name.
Appreciated. Though the dual-progression PrCs, at least, seem pretty obvious from the start: those combinations don't exist within WotC products.

Fax Celestis
2010-09-30, 02:27 PM
It is. However, using rapid progression classes is another way to end up with a similar result to normal dual class progression. The point is that the end build is doable with existing tools, not that there is always a class that explicitly lays it out for you.I said, "a divine/psionic dual progression PrC." You have not demonstrated one.


It makes his spells divine. It does exactly what you required. If you need specific spells, there are things like Extra Spell. It depends on the specific idea the player wants, but it's generally doable.I said "a divine duskblade". A duskblade who happens to call his arcane spells divine spells is not a 'divine duskblade', because he's still doing the same things an arcane duskblade would do.


Spell points mechanically work like power points. Again, it depends on exactly what you really want, but realistically, you're citing build options. Not finished builds. If you want "A dexterous, stealthy fighter who uses psionics", that can be arranged. Easily. I said no such thing. I said "A psychic duskblade." Spell points are not psionics, and the psychic warrior doesn't get the ability to channel/quick-cast like the duskblade does.


Bardic Music is also a lovely buffing option. There's a wild variety of ways to buff things. And Marshall does do this, you just dislike it.I said 'non-bard'. The Marshal doesn't do this: it tries, and fails. Repairing it is impossible without homebrew.


Or, yknow, spellcasting. Or items. Shapeshifting is remarkably accessible throughout D&D, it's gonna take some resources. It's not terribly tough to work into a build, though.I said "no spellcasting." Why is it so very difficult to do anything without spellcasting? I want a melee warrior who turns into a variety of animals and tears his opponents to pieces and who disdains magic. This is a concept that is not available in the game.

Ignition
2010-09-30, 02:30 PM
Also, keep in mind, not every game is D&D, and not all homebrew requires/is based on/etc. D&D. You could have a homebrew all about coin flipping, or a generalized version of the White Wolf systems, or whatever. Granted, this is primarily a D&D board, but not every solution exists in 3.5 :smallwink: It is fallible and glitchy, even when taking the core material. They know this, or else they wouldn't have put out 4E, and now 4Essentials, and likely a 4.5E and so on into the end times. Honestly, all this stuff existed first as homebrew, and getting it printed for money does not make it more legitimate than getting it printed off your laser printer. While I agree that most concepts can be pieced together, however kludgy, from 3.5, this doesn't make 3.5 the golden standard system.

I can totally get behind players wanting something that doesn't exist in whatever system I'm playing, provided it makes sense in the setting. I'm even willing to adjust the setting to accomodate the players, with their input and analysis. The problem of homebrew comes in a few flavors: when it is pretty obvious the homebrew only exists to power a sick invincibility combination; when the homebrew has nothing to do with the game world, and does not benefit anyone at the table except for the homebrewer's personal fetishes for certain kinds of fluff; or simply makes the person in question the entire focus of the game world to one degree or another, either via raw mechanical power or via plot devices or whatever.

As I said before, if it isn't overpowered for its own sake, if it isn't just your fetish material, and it isn't going to turn the game into "You, The Game, Also Starring The Other Players To A Much Lesser Degree", then convince me of that prior to the game starting. I'm eager to work with anyone to make a game more fun, provided they can be approached and conversed with in reasonable ways.

calar
2010-09-30, 02:33 PM
I find often boils down to paranoia. When a player approaches a DM with a new mechanic that they want to try out, a DM's first thought is often what kind of loophole is the player trying to create by adding this mechanic. Since the loophole could come from any corner of the ruleset, including obscure thrid party references, a DM is likely just to disallow it instead of searching the annals of Dnd rules looking for the loophole. If exploited properly, most loopholes can devestate campaign balance.

PlzBreakMyCmpAn
2010-09-30, 02:34 PM
several even say that "homebrew from GitP is probably OK" - because we have some really quality stuff here.Hmm I'd like to ask about this. Perhaps it deserves its own thread. Dragoon, if you want to split this off its fine with me.

But what I've seen is that the homebrew here is nearly as bad as all the rest. Its usually not created by optimizers who have the corpus of 3.5 under their belt and look at each new ability for how it may combine with others.

For instance while most aren't geared towards tier 1 they often do things much better in the levels 4-8 range than any other combination of classes out there, which doesn't look good.

Since I'm after consensus do you agree that this is bad, or is it acceptable risk?

Emmerask
2010-09-30, 02:35 PM
I find often boils down to paranoia. When a player approaches a DM with a new mechanic that they want to try out, a DM's first thought is often what kind of loophole is the player trying to create by adding this mechanic. Since the loophole could come from any corner of the ruleset, including obscure thrid party references, a DM is likely just to disallow it instead of searching the annals of Dnd rules looking for the loophole. If exploited properly, most loopholes can devestate campaign balance.

Just allow it with the "anytime I see something not intended I can just rule zero it on the spot" clause :smallwink:

DragoonWraith
2010-09-30, 02:35 PM
I find often boils down to paranoia. When a player approaches a DM with a new mechanic that they want to try out, a DM's first thought is often what kind of loophole is the player trying to create by adding this mechanic. Since the loophole could come from any corner of the ruleset, including obscure thrid party references, a DM is likely just to disallow it instead of searching the annals of Dnd rules looking for the loophole. If exploited properly, most loopholes can devestate campaign balance.
I can't imagine ever DMing for anyone I couldn't trust to be a reasonable person and try to let everyone have fun. Do you really DM for people you assume are going to try to ruin the game?

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 02:44 PM
I said, "a divine/psionic dual progression PrC." You have not demonstrated one.

I made the claim that desired builds are possible. Not that every possible class is available. D&D is more than just a collection of classes.


I said "a divine duskblade". A duskblade who happens to call his arcane spells divine spells is not a 'divine duskblade', because he's still doing the same things an arcane duskblade would do.

So...he's a duskblade, with divine spells. I'm confused as to what you want. If you want access to specific spells from specific lists, that's also doable. But if you ask for a divine duskblade, and I give you a duskblade that casts divinely, that sounds pretty close unless you provide additional information.


I said 'non-bard'. The Marshal doesn't do this: it tries, and fails. Repairing it is impossible without homebrew.

Well, you said non-spellcasting. Bardic music isn't spellcasting, per se. So, it's a non spellcasting way to buff. It's not the only such way, but it's a fairly useful way. Savage Bard might be a fun option, if you're trying to avoid typical casterish feeling stuff. Gets you barbarian-type stuff to go with your music. Depending on the exact feel you want, I'd probably reccomend specific dips and feats.


I said "no spellcasting." Why is it so very difficult to do anything without spellcasting? I want a melee warrior who turns into a variety of animals and tears his opponents to pieces and who disdains magic. This is a concept that is not available in the game.

Master of many forms. Does not advance spellcasting. Advances shapeshifting. Very diverse shapeshifting. You'll also be fairly good at melee.

Jayabalard
2010-09-30, 02:48 PM
A shapeshifter class without spellcasting?Variant ranger (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#ranger), with either of the existing no ranger variants without spellcasting mixed in?

Zaydos
2010-09-30, 02:51 PM
Psion/Ur-Priest doesn't really cover a theurge class; you get worse casting than a mystic theurge with that. Mystic Theurge can function, it's weaker than either wizard or cleric but it can function; but this is actually worse than a mystic theurge and doesn't function at most optimization levels.

Although I will say Wildshape Ranger + MoMF = melee shapeshifter; use a non-casting ranger variant and you don't even have magic.

Fax Celestis
2010-09-30, 02:55 PM
Well, you said non-spellcasting. Bardic music isn't spellcasting, per se. So, it's a non spellcasting way to buff. It's not the only such way, but it's a fairly useful way. Savage Bard might be a fun option, if you're trying to avoid typical casterish feeling stuff. Gets you barbarian-type stuff to go with your music. Depending on the exact feel you want, I'd probably reccomend specific dips and feats....but the only way to get bardic music involves getting spellcasting. In all of my searching, I have not yet found an option that trades spellcasting from the bard for anything. There's a Pathfinder prestige class (the battle herald) which has a rough approximation, but you still end up with the spellcasting you used to qualify for the class.


Master of many forms. Does not advance spellcasting. Advances shapeshifting. Very diverse shapeshifting. You'll also be fairly good at melee.You still have to get wildshape from somewhere to get in. All sources that give wildshape also give spellcasting in some form, unless you're looking at the divine minion template which (a) limits you to some very specific forms; (b) may not actually count (as MoMF needs "wild shape class feature", and divine minion provides it as a template feature); and (c) is frequently banned because it leads to pun-pun.

Thinker
2010-09-30, 02:57 PM
You still have to get wildshape from somewhere to get in. All sources that give wildshape also give spellcasting in some form, unless you're looking at the divine minion template which (a) limits you to some very specific forms; (b) may not actually count (as MoMF needs "wild shape class feature", and divine minion provides it as a template feature); and (c) is frequently banned because it leads to pun-pun.

Wildshape Ranger + non-spellcasting variant.

Fax Celestis
2010-09-30, 02:58 PM
You can enter as a wildshape ranger in a game that allows the Champion of the Wild ACF from the oft-banned Complete Champion (or use the still-magical non-spellcasting Complete Warrior ACF), but that also means that you're not doing your shtick for a full quarter of your character's career (since it kicks in at 5th level). Maybe you can convince your DM to allow the PHB-II druid ACF (shapechange) to apply to a wildshape ranger, but then your shapeshifting is (a) vague; and (b) homebrewing that the ACF is applicable to a ranger.

Beheld
2010-09-30, 03:15 PM
There's also a huge subset of ideas that consist of something like this:

"Inherent Magic that doesn't run out along theme X." There only existing ones are Warlocks who shoot Lazers, and DFAs who breath fire.

If you want a Force theme, or a Cold theme, or a Storm theme, or a Fire theme, or a anything not a Warlock or DFA, you literally can't replicate it within in the rules without homebrew.

Also, any sort of playable demon is impossible. Or even multiple kinds of Demons.

Jayabalard
2010-09-30, 03:23 PM
Tyndmyr: With that in mind, there's fairly few concepts that are actually impossible to represent in D&D.
Fax Celestis: Oh? What about <snip>A shapeshifter class without spellcasting?
Several people: Wildshape ranger, non-spellcasting variants


You can enter as a wildshape ranger in a game that allows the Champion of the Wild ACF from the oft-banned Complete Champion (or use the still-magical non-spellcasting Complete Warrior ACF), but that also means that you're not doing your shtick for a full quarter of your character's career (since it kicks in at 5th level). Maybe you can convince your DM to allow the PHB-II druid ACF (shapechange) to apply to a wildshape ranger, but then your shapeshifting is (a) vague; and (b) homebrewing that the ACF is applicable to a ranger.I don't really see this as a valid counter. People have shown that it's possible, so you should gracefully let that one go as a bad example. Continuing like this just detracts from the actual valid examples you could be making.


Also, any sort of playable demon is impossible. Or even multiple kinds of Demons.With the right refluffing (and really, not that much is required) , straight favored soul 20 is not a bad "demon"

Ravens_cry
2010-09-30, 03:26 PM
Dude, Beheld, Sorcerers are MADE of inherent magic. No, they aren't all-dayers like the examples you chose, but their fluff basically IS they don't get their magic from no book learnin' like them Wizards do.

Ignition
2010-09-30, 03:26 PM
I can't imagine ever DMing for anyone I couldn't trust to be a reasonable person and try to let everyone have fun. Do you really DM for people you assume are going to try to ruin the game?

Though outside the realm of this thread, I'll respond anyway: Yes, because I have very limited trust for people regardless of the situation, especially when there is an exchange of 'power'/'control', so to speak. When you want to introduce a new element into the game, that's giving you, the player, more power and control over the game. That isn't a problem, but it is inherently dangerous to the stability of the game; the more cooks you introduce to a kitchen, the more likely you are to spoil the stew, you see what I mean? It is that stability that the GM has to focus on, and it is that stability that many players don't necessarily notice until it's so out of whack that it's an unsolvable situation. Hence my "No, but sell me on it" position - if you give me a reason to trust this will work, I can trust it, but if you tell me to 'just trust you', you're probably going to be disappointed when I don't :smallwink:

Trust is earned, not implied, sorry. :smallwink:

Fax Celestis
2010-09-30, 03:28 PM
valid examples you could be making.

So the fact that I can't play it in a game that starts at first level and plans to end at fourth doesn't count?

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 03:33 PM
You can enter as a wildshape ranger in a game that allows the Champion of the Wild ACF from the oft-banned Complete Champion (or use the still-magical non-spellcasting Complete Warrior ACF), but that also means that you're not doing your shtick for a full quarter of your character's career (since it kicks in at 5th level). Maybe you can convince your DM to allow the PHB-II druid ACF (shapechange) to apply to a wildshape ranger, but then your shapeshifting is (a) vague; and (b) homebrewing that the ACF is applicable to a ranger.

Well, yes. With enough banning, options close down. However, banning viable options from official sources does not prove a need for homebrewed options.

Shapechanging rarely kicks in at low levels in significant amounts. Druid doesn't kick into shapechanging until level 5 either. Getting it at the same level as a druid isn't at all unreasonable.

You could alway, yknow, have spellcasting, but not use it. Just because your class gives it to you as an option doesn't mean you have to cast. Sure, you could actually use one of the optimization tricks to get rid of spellcasting if you REALLY care that much, but just ignoring a class feature seems pretty easy.

Beheld:

Inherent magic is quite frequent. A sorcerer's magic is inherent, not learned. Do you mean unlimited magic instead? This is also available, via reserve feats, or using the recharge magic variant. However, it's often limited for balance reasons. There are of course also the options you selected. That gives you a pretty good variety to choose from.

Themed magic? Elemental magic? There are a ridiculous number of ways to get those. Force Missile mage would be the option for a force specialist, which is probably the rarest of the lot. Specialized casters exist for even rather fine grained specializations, and comprise a rather well covered area in D&D 3.5

Playable demon? Well, we've got hellbred, tiefling and it's lesser cousin. Demons are a subset of outsider, and plenty of outsider options exist, that are flavorfully like demons. But if you've absolutely, gotta be a true demon, there's always Dretch, Hezrou or Succubus and Vrock. There are more, but that's just within core.

Fax Celestis
2010-09-30, 03:35 PM
Well, yes. With enough banning, options close down. However, banning viable options from official sources does not prove a need for homebrewed options.

Shapechanging rarely kicks in at low levels in significant amounts. Druid doesn't kick into shapechanging until level 5 either. Getting it at the same level as a druid isn't at all unreasonable.And what I am saying is that sticking it behind an arbitrary "ECL 5+" barrier because that's the only way existing to get it is unnecessary.


You could alway, yknow, have spellcasting, but not use it. Just because your class gives it to you as an option doesn't mean you have to cast. Sure, you could actually use one of the optimization tricks to get rid of spellcasting if you REALLY care that much, but just ignoring a class feature seems pretty easy.Why would I forgo using a class feature? Why would my character, who hates magic with a burning fiery passion of a thousand flaming suns afire, have or want the capacity to use it?

Jayabalard
2010-09-30, 03:35 PM
So the fact that I can't play it in a game that starts at first level and plans to end at fourth doesn't count?You can't play an earthshattering wizard in such a campaign either; if you choose to play at a low power level, then complaining that this limits you is rather absurd no?

If you're going to play only at this low of a level, then you're limited to something like shifter. Or play a barbarian (say, one of the animal totem ones), refluff rage => you turn into an animal for the duration of rage with no other abilities gained (remember you are playing strictly at a low power level, so you shouldn't be gaining more abilities than that).


Why would I forgo using a class feature?Because you hate magic with a burning fiery passion of a thousand flaming suns afire. Ask a hard one.

Why would my character, who hates magic with a burning fiery passion of a thousand flaming suns afire, have or want the capacity to use it?Lots of people have the capacity to do things they don't want to do.

Fax Celestis
2010-09-30, 03:37 PM
You can't play an earthshattering wizard in such a campaign either; if you choose to play at a low power level, then complaining that this limits you is rather absurd no?

The difference is that I can still play a spellcaster. I physically cannot play a shapeshifter. That is entirely what homebrew is for.

Jayabalard
2010-09-30, 03:43 PM
The difference is that I can still play a spellcaster. I physically cannot play a shapeshifter. That is entirely what homebrew is for.If you're not expecting a mechanical advantage, you can do it strictly via refluffing.

If you're expecting a mechanical advantage, you're making the same type of argument (albeit to a lesser degree) that someone who wants the wish spell available at lvl 1-4.... ie: you're asking for an ability that isn't appropriate to the power level that you're playing at.


There's also a huge subset of ideas that consist of something like this:

"Inherent Magic that doesn't run out along theme X." There only existing ones are Warlocks who shoot Lazers, and DFAs who breath fire.

If you want a Force theme, or a Cold theme, or a Storm theme, or a Fire theme, or a anything not a Warlock or DFA, you literally can't replicate it within in the rules without homebrew.This one really doesn't make any sense to me. Lots of classes have inherent magic, and others can be refluffed into using inherant magic. Many of them can be themed.

Fax Celestis
2010-09-30, 03:47 PM
If you're not expecting a mechanical advantage, you can do it strictly via refluffing.

If you're expecting a mechanical advantage, you're making the same type of argument (albeit to a lesser degree) that someone who wants the wish spell available at lvl 1-4.

I expect neither. The point that I am trying to make is that there are indeed situations not covered by game mechanics. Whether or not these are situations that require homebrew is immaterial--the point remains that there are situations where homebrew is a valid option (if not the only option).

Someone comes to you and says, "here lookit this, it's a wizard who gains feats like a fighter", they're being a tool. Someone comes to you and says, "I have this concept that is difficult/impossible to represent with existing rules, can we appropriate from X/make new material so that I can remain true to my concept?" is just trying to enjoy the game. Denying them that enjoyment out of hand is unnecessary: at least give them the chance to prove themselves.

Zaydos
2010-09-30, 03:55 PM
You can physically play a shape-shifter. There's the Shifter and Hengeyokai races which allows minor shapeshifting, or even druid spells such as Aspect of the Wolf or the shapeshifter variant. Or even werewolf using the monster class progression from the Savage Species web enhancement. This is truly limited shapeshifting but you're also dealing with 4th level and lower characters which are supposed to be limited in their abilities.

Now homebrew would allow a non-magical version of the shapeshifter variant of the druid, which would be a cooler idea (is there a homebrew for that?) but it is not necessary. Ideal != necessary. While Draconic feats, spells that are better for dragonblooded characters or for sorcerers, and such are ideal for representing "I'm a sorcerer who gains his power from draconic blood" you can do the same thing with just the Player's Handbook. It might mean taking suboptimal choices (Burning Hands instead of MM) but it can be done. I remember Nent the halfling sorcerer (cusp of the change from 3.0 to 3.5) who had Lesser Orb of Fire, Sleep, and Cause Fear; he was a sorcerer descended from a brass dragon. Now with all the books that have been published since I could make him much stronger, but he was a fun character. I could give him Draconic Lineage (Brass) and drop the sleep spell (sleep is good, but he was built as a 3rd level character and we kept fighting things with 5+ HD), I could do several things, but they weren't needed.

Now there are several concepts that just aren't playable without homebrew. A cleric/ardent themed about a god of healing isn't really playable as an ur-priest; no domains, completely stunted psionics. Or a psionic version of duskblade. Shapechanging, though, wasn't the best example.

Nerdanel
2010-09-30, 03:56 PM
That other thread got locked while I was writing, so I'm posting my reply here, since this topic is closely related and I don't want that typing go to waste. I'll show it's possible to talk about bad homebrew classes without trolling. As a sometime writer, contructive criticism is very important, while gushing doesn't help you improve even though it may massage the ego.

---

Okay, I'll try to be constructive:

The lalomancer (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Lalomancer_(3.5e_Class)) is so powerful magically that it makes its closest equivalent the sorcerer cry, and the wizard too, for that matter. On top of that, Lalomancer's overpoweredness is not helped by the fact that its HD, BAB, and skills are better than the wizard and the sorcerer and that it has all the good saves. On the other hand, lalomancer lacks a familiar, has no bonus feats like the wizard, and has fewer spells known than the sorcerer. This is not nearly enough for balance. It is also noteworthy that lalomancers get to be proficient with a single weapon. This can be any weapon, such as a spiked chain.

A level 1 lalomancer starts the game with a single level 1 spell it can cast several times, assuming a half-way sensible build. A level 1 sorcerer has a similar supply level 1 spells (except it has two to choose from) and level 0 spells on top of that. The problem comes from how the level 1 lalomancer has an at-will level 2 spell on top of that. A sorcerer won't receive level 2 spells until level 4 and even then has a very limited supply of them. A wizard won't receive level 2 spells until level 3.

It gets worse. The lalomancer keeps receiving new spells each level, and new powerful at-wills every few levels. On level 6 all of the lalomancer's spells get automatically quickened. This allows it to go nova very effectively and every single encounter, using its at-wills supported by the normal spells. Then on level 15 the lalomancer gets a level 9 spell as an at-will. Among others, this spell can be Shapechange, Timestop or Gate. A level 15 lalomancer can be Shapechanged into a dragon or whatever is the most situationally useful 24/7 or Gate in two batches of Solars per round. (Quickened level 9 spell = effective spell level 13 while a level 15 sorcerer's best spells are level 7.) It is not stated if the lalomancer has to pay XP or other cost. I'd advise the DM to decide on yes, since otherwise the class is even more overpowered than it already is. There is also the issue of the level 20 at-will which according to the text should be level 10 while spells stop at level 9. It is unknown if that's meant to be a level 9 spell anyway, a lower-level spell with metamagic, or an epic spell. This should be clarified.

The lalomancer needs a severe toning down in power. For one thing, I think the at-wills should be weaker than the limited spells. Also, access to quickened spells, if not dropped entirely, needs to be severely limited somehow, such as by uses/day and/or by max spell level to which it applies. There are other things, but those two are the most severe and liable to break the game.

Fax Celestis
2010-09-30, 03:56 PM
Shapechanging, though, wasn't the best example.

Wasn't the only one I gave.

Jayabalard
2010-09-30, 03:57 PM
Wasn't the only one I gave.You've spent more than a page sticking to it rather than just saying "yeah, that's a bad example, but what about X" ... you can't be surprised at people pouncing on the low hanging fruit.


I expect neither. The point that I am trying to make is that there are indeed situations not covered by game mechanics. Whether or not these are situations that require homebrew is immaterialThis particular example goes directly back to

Tyndmyr: With that in mind, there's fairly few concepts that are actually impossible to represent in D&D.
Fax Celestis: Oh? What about <snip>A shapeshifter class without spellcasting?

So it's not really immaterial.

Don't get me wrong, I think that there are probably things that can't be done in game without home brew, and a FAR larger list of things that can't be done in game without home brew as well as they can be done with home brew... you're just using bad examples.


Someone comes to you and says, "here lookit this, it's a wizard who gains feats like a fighter", they're being a tool. Someone comes to you and says, "I have this concept that is difficult/impossible to represent with existing rules, can we appropriate from X/make new material so that I can remain true to my concept?" is just trying to enjoy the game. Denying them that enjoyment out of hand is unnecessary: at least give them the chance to prove themselves.Maybe it's just me, but I don't think that many people would have disagreed with this.


A minor house rule perhaps, but doesn't qualify as home brew.Well, I went back a page to make sure I had caught everything ... IMO this is "no true scottsman" territory.

Fax Celestis
2010-09-30, 04:05 PM
Maybe it's just me, but I don't think that many people would have disagreed with this.

There are people in this very thread who would have because OMG IT IS TEH HOMEBROOZ IT MUST BE TEH BORXZORZ. -_-

As a designer, nothing makes me happier than knowing someone played one of my classes and came back and told me about how it went. People (not everyone, but a couple) so far have posted that doing such is unacceptable under any circumstances no not even then because it is too much of a hassle. The designer of the class in question (at least around here), is merely a PM away, so I fail to grasp why people can't just ask the person who made the class about it. It happens to me all the time. I have to constantly delete stuff from my inbox, because I have run out of space many times from people asking about my work. But apparently it is too much effort to send someone a three-sentence PM, asking about the fundamental design decisions of a class. Here, I'll even write one!


Dear [designer],
I recently had a player ask about your [homebrew], posted [here]. Tell me a little about how strong this class is, and what kind of game you feel it should be balanced in?
Sincerely,
[name]

Jayabalard
2010-09-30, 04:11 PM
There are people in this very thread <snip>Really? lets find out how many people respond to that statement with anything like that.


But apparently it is too much effort to send someone a three-sentence PM, asking about the fundamental design decisions of a class.They'd also have to create an account here. And spend time reading your response and formulating followup questions. Then there's the lead time between when they send you a PM, and when they get a chance to log back in and see your response for each exchange. I'd say they'd burn at least an hour or 2, scattered over at least 2-3 days to really get a good feel for the class. That's certainly more time invested than many people are going to be willing to spend, and rightly so.

Thinker
2010-09-30, 04:12 PM
Dear Fax,
I recently had a player ask about your Radiant Pyrearch, posted [here] (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=168655). Tell me a little about how strong this class is, and what kind of game you feel it should be balanced in?
Sincerely,
Thinker

Fax Celestis
2010-09-30, 04:23 PM
Dear Fax,
I recently had a player ask about your Radiant Pyrearch, posted [here] (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=168655). Tell me a little about how strong this class is, and what kind of game you feel it should be balanced in?
Sincerely,
Thinker

In a game that allows d20r material, it is a medium-strength PrC. Outside a game that follows the d20r system changes, it is likely unusable without a replaced spell list. However, if you include Heroic Feats (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=167251) in your game (which, if you've included bloodline feats from Dragon Magic or PHB-II, then these should seem familiar), the radiant pyrearch increases slightly in power, but anyone else who has a heroic feat (even just one) will similarly increase in power. The warlord (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=165950) is the best entry for it, but a d20r paladin (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33551) can also enter. Realistically, it can be entered as early as seventh, but I wouldn't doubt it would be entered closer to tenth (for, say, a Warlord 5/PrC 5/Radiant Pyrearch 10).

The Pyrrhic Victory aura seems strong, but it must be remembered that fire damage is the most commonly resisted element: many enemies will be outright unaffected by the damage, especially at higher levels.

Sincerely,
Fax

Lev
2010-09-30, 04:24 PM
No, seriously, what the hell? Why do DMs ban homebrew out of hand without giving it even a once-over to check the balance?
Because DM's don't trust their players to be responsible.

Ignition
2010-09-30, 04:35 PM
I think we're beyond the point of objectively stating whether homebrew is good or bad, and more into taking the camps of "I homebrew, and homebrew is great!" versus "I don't homebrew, and you're a (derogatory term) for homebrewing!". Which is not constructive or helpful to either side :smallwink: Suffice it to say, each side of the debate has something to gain for making their side look good, or at least making the other side look bad, rather than coming to any sort of consensus.

Wouldn't it be more useful to find ways of making homebrew applicable to games, and techniques and standards which help make non-professionally-created content both more useful to the general public, and help GMs pick out the gems and avoid the turds?

I think it would be useful to turn the conversation towards this topic: making good homebrew, and convincing GMs to use it. Even our esteemed veteran homebrewers likely agree there is bad homebrew that exists, stuff that is so blatantly poor or so blatantly overpowered; even our most jaded GMs - myself included - recognize the utility of getting players involved in world and mechanic creation/tuning to make the game more applicable to their specific circumstances.

Thoughts? Concerns? Thrown fruit? :smallwink:

Zaydos
2010-09-30, 04:51 PM
Personally I like the PEACHing system. It does tend to outshine fighters, and the like, though, but is normally roughly on par with the later WotC materials. The only problem is that sometimes the unoptimized base mechanics get compared to what classes can do if optimized, and that becomes a problem if this class is then optimized. Usually, though, you can skim over the posts and replies and get a good idea if something is balanced or not.

A few tier 2 classes get through to, and these tend to be easier to make into a tier 2 character than WotC's tier 2s (as those often require rules mastery and book delving), but most of these are fairly obviously geared towards a certain power level.

Actually I find it very useful when I know what classes the homebrew was made to be balanced against (is it supposed to be equal to a warblade or a fighter?) and then a quick check to see if it is.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 04:56 PM
Challenge: replicate, even remotely, any of the following using only WotC material (taken from my own work)

I enjoy a good challenge. Consider it accepted!


Swordmage (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=149724) (magical melee attacks; some spells do this but not enough to make a class of)

First off, I have minor balance issues with this class. It has full BaB, 9th level spellcasting as SU that ignore SR, and can be cast once per iterative attack. Given that they are arcane spells*, shenanigans to add spells to a class list lead to hilariously broken places.

You also have infinity symbols in spells per day boxes. You also hit 9th level spells as a spont caster at level 17. Considering these involve things like using a prismatic wall chunk as a shield, which lead to rather creative possibilities, I would say that this class would be concerning from a power perspective.

For the general concept, I'd suggest swordsage with a splash of soulblade. You create your own weapon, and you get lots of special attacks. Arcane swordsage is a possibility if you want a closer replication, but that's also considered a bit troubling balance wise.

*they are described as both spells and incantations. Both these words have defined meanings elsewhere, so it's possible for some confusion to exist on this point.


Midnight Occultist (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=157493) (Binder/Meldshaper PrC. Does not exist in WotC material)

I admit, binder is not a class my players typically select, so I'm not as familiar with it as I am with most material. It appears to favor someone focusing on binding, with a side dose of Incarnum.

Therefore, I'd suggest making use of the Heresy and Orthodoxy variant of binder, allowing one to make use of your cleric level to your binder level for the purpose of pact augumentation. Then, you've got the sapphire hierarch PrC from MoI, which is your general divine/meldshaping dual class PrC. The bonus feat granted from the combo is kinda nice, too, and can be used to boost whatever your favorite portion of this three part combo is. Improved Binding may be a fun choice.
Plus, you also pick up some divine spellcasting in addition to binding and meldshaping. It's not exactly the same as your class, but it follows the same general theme.

There may be further techniques used to optimize the binder/meldshaper combo known to those who play those classes, but as mentioned, not my best area. I found some passages that indicate that binding is divine, but couldn't find anywhere that actually stated it. If a way exists to define it as arcane or divine, then everything above becomes needlessly complicated.


Spell Weaver (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140987) (Cha-based prepared Arcane spellcasting)

It's a wizard with a worse casting stat. Personally, just playing a vanilla wizard should entirely replicate the effects of this character in game. Merely place your extra skill points in social skills to compensate for the lower cha modifier.

Spellweaving is almost identical to wizards spellbooks, as there is no requirement that a wizard use only a single spellbook, and spellbooks can come in almost any form as well. This is actually vaguely similar to a spellscale's abilities, with the use as scroll bit.

Spont metamagic is available with a feat. It's also available via prestige classes(incantatrix being the juiciest choice here), or by using UA variants. This is quite easy to replicate extremely similar characters with, even with just the SRD.


Viz-Jaq'taar (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=151306) (see Traps)

Monk/rogue prc, with a power point pool, and an anti-magic bent. It also grants a coupla stances from ToB. This class is pretty all over the place.

First off, counterspelling. Bust open complete adventurer, and dig out the magic churches. If magic exists in your setting(and without it, this class would be odd), then these are quite reasonable. Notice the last bonus on the list gives you counterspelling. Without knowing or preparing the spell, identifying it, or having an action readied.

Maneuvers. Take a dip in the ToB class that best fits you(swordsage would be closest to this class, most likely). Thanks to half IL in non initiator classes, you'll still be quite respectable in this regard.

Traps. These aren't really traps, they're constructs. Very limited constructs. Break open your eberron books. They have all the construct crafting stuff you need. If you really want more of a trap feel, with less construct focus, trapsmith instead. The transdimensional aspect is just odd, though. I believe the entire point of multiple planes is that you ARENT on them all at once.

This PrC is really best replicated by a bunch of dips, since it draws a little from so many sources. The dips would likely be more practical, too, since picking up all the prereqs, both implicit and explicit to make it useful would be a bit of a pain.


Karsite Artisan (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142115) (Artificer/Binder PrC; does not exist in WotC material)

See the other dual class fun stuff involving binder. If you decide to venture outside of strictly official territory, it's easiest to just rule that binder is either arcane or divine for the purposes of prereqs. It solves all these issues at once, without writing a specific class for each possible combination.


Child of Sea and Sky (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140309) (Binder/Druid PrC; does not exist in WotC material)

See above.


All-Thief (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=129956) (stealing more than just Spells)

There's a little known PrC in Cityscape called Urban Savant that does exactly such metagame grabbing of information off the target. It's unusual for classes to get to that level of abstractness, though. I suspect that's intentional.

However, your capstone is pretty broken. The ability to steal things from others permanently is pretty powerful. Especially class features. See, spellcasting is a class feature. So...yeah. You could take that. It would function based on the targets stats at time of taking, too. So...that wizard is now a smart commoner. You became a high level wizard, in addition to your normal stats, as a standard action. Permanently. And you can still do this to four other casting classes(more with cheese).

No, you can't normally replicate this short of pun-pun like cheddar. That's a good thing.


Dualist (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=120771) (parrying and counter-attacking)

Yay for swordsage. Select manuvers appropriate to the theme. I suppose it could also be done with warblade, if you didn't mind investing some feats.


For fun, someone mentioned a divine/divine and psion/divine dual progression.

Alternative source spell, there you go.

For added fun, there's also geomancer for general dual progression utility between any spellcasting classes. So, if you need to mix in shadow magic or something odd, there you are. That, combined with Alternative Source Spell(or other shenanigans) is a very versatile solution. Not always the most optimized solution, but usually a viable one.


And Jaya is correct. There ARE a few concepts that don't fit into established D&D classes. I gave an example of one, the Flash. That sort of character just doesn't have much in the way of options available in 3.5....but that's partially a limitation of the system. Hard to design a character that can act exceedingly rapidly without opening up lots of broken options. However, it IS an example of a completely missing concept. There's just fairly few in 3.5, due to the sheer volume of material.

jgumbyrx
2010-09-30, 05:37 PM
3 things:

{Scrubbed}

2) as far as homebrew goes .... the DMG actually actively encourages homebrew for PrCs (and is explicitly prefered), and provides specific guidance as to the cooperative relationship between player and DM. Essentially, all published PrCs are just examples; basically providing the imagination for groups who lack it.

3) F.Y.I. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=9455572#post9455572) :mitd:

:twocents:

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 06:17 PM
Woah...random thought on the all-thief.

It's permanent stolen abilities are capped at 1/2 class level. They normally use the targets stats to determine the benefit...ie, you use them exactly as the original caster did. Now, there are a coupla classes(Legend Champion, for instance), that, as a class feature, progress other classes at every level.

Therefore, you have an exponentially increasing infinite* cap on permanent steal able things. Since essentially everything in the game is permanently stealable, it's pun-pun in one handy package.

*Where infinite is the amount of characters with such classes in your campaign world.

Benly
2010-09-30, 06:35 PM
For me, dual-progression PrCs for pairings that aren't currently supported are the most likely homebrews to be accepted, simply because it seems unreasonable to me that if binder, psion, and wizard are allowed, binder/wizard and psion/wizard can dual-progress but binder/psion can't. (I wrote up a binder/psionic PrC years ago, but never put it online - I might try to dig it out sometime.) These dual-progressions are something that it feels like WotC would have inevitably published if "side classes" got anything like the level of support that the core classes do.

That's pretty much my metric for considering homebrew stuff in the first place: "Does it do something that is otherwise not adequately supported but feels like it should be, and does it do that thing well?" Of course, "feels like it should be" is purely subjective, and "does it do that thing well" is the notorious problem of homebrew balance.

Zaydos
2010-09-30, 06:48 PM
For me, dual-progression PrCs for pairings that aren't currently supported are the most likely homebrews to be accepted, simply because it seems unreasonable to me that if binder, psion, and wizard are allowed, binder/wizard and psion/wizard can dual-progress but binder/psion can't. (I wrote up a binder/psionic PrC years ago, but never put it online - I might try to dig it out sometime.) These dual-progressions are something that it feels like WotC would have inevitably published if "side classes" got anything like the level of support that the core classes do.

That's pretty much my metric for considering homebrew stuff in the first place: "Does it do something that is otherwise not adequately supported but feels like it should be, and does it do that thing well?" Of course, "feels like it should be" is purely subjective, and "does it do that thing well" is the notorious problem of homebrew balance.

These types of classes are the most likely for me to accept too. I add an extra reason, too. I love theurges in general so they always make me happy.

Beheld
2010-09-30, 06:50 PM
This one really doesn't make any sense to me. Lots of classes have inherent magic, and others can be refluffed into using inherant magic. Many of them can be themed.

Note the statement "Inherent magic that doesn't run out."

There is a drastic difference in concept from "I am the Mighty Storm Wizard, I cast Stormy spells a limited number of times per day, and then run away to hide and save up for tomorrow." and "I am the Mighty Storm Lord, I shoot lightning out of my hands whenever I want, and can summon fog whenever I want, and can cause it to rain all around me whenever I want."

Likewise "I cast Magic Missile 4 times a day, and Wall of Force twice a day" is very different from "I can fire Force attacks at you all day, and summon a Wall of Force anywhere at any time."

And there are ways to balance those abilities against Spells per day classes such that they are genuinely playable. Heck, Lightning Bolt at will isn't even impressive at level 5, much less at level 7. But all the same, WotC has never even pretended to give options like that outside of a few token reserve feats, the Warlock class, and the DFA class.

If the Warlock and/or DFA had about 30 times as many invocations and breaths and utterances, that covered a much larger field of available themes (instead of being "eldritch power, and dragony" only), maybe you could cover those concepts. But as is, you can't.


Beheld:

Inherent magic is quite frequent. A sorcerer's magic is inherent, not learned. Do you mean unlimited magic instead? This is also available, via reserve feats, or using the recharge magic variant. However, it's often limited for balance reasons. There are of course also the options you selected. That gives you a pretty good variety to choose from.

I mean exactly what I said, inherent magic that doesn't run out.

And no, that's not a lot of variety, it's pretty much none at all. Make it rain around them at any time? Make a Fog cloud at any time? Shoot lightning (There might be a crappy reserve feat that does only the damage one, but frankly, anything that does something so poorly that a Commoner does it better with NPC wealth isn't worth counting.)

And likewise, Warlocks and DFAs have incredibly limiting choice of invocations. You can be like a Dragon, or you can be like someone touched by a Demon, but you can't be anything else.


Themed magic? Elemental magic? There are a ridiculous number of ways to get those. Force Missile mage would be the option for a force specialist, which is probably the rarest of the lot. Specialized casters exist for even rather fine grained specializations, and comprise a rather well covered area in D&D 3.5

Yes, there a ridiculous number of ways to get themed or elemental magic that runs out. But there is a ridiculous number (zero) of ways to get it so that it doesn't run out.


Playable demon? Well, we've got hellbred, tiefling and it's lesser cousin.

We've got human with forehead bumps, human with forehead bumbs, human with forehead bumps.

I don't mean "Be a Wizard with pointy horns." I mean "Be a Demon." Demons do specific things, they fight with natural weapons, have some SLAs, Greater Teleport at will, fly over CR X, ect. Being a forehead bump Wizard, or forehead bump Fighter doesn't count as being a demon.


Demons are a subset of outsider, and plenty of outsider options exist, that are flavorfully like demons. But if you've absolutely, gotta be a true demon, there's always Dretch, Hezrou or Succubus and Vrock. There are more, but that's just within core.

Note that I said "playable" Anything which is definitionally of a CR half that of a real character is not playable.

I mean, "You can always be a Vrock (If your campaign starts at level 18, and a valid fight that you are supposed to contribute to is against a Balor)." is not actually an option to play a demon.

Morithias
2010-09-30, 07:09 PM
My group homebrews and even erratas the WOTC stuff we don't like or find stupid. Like the Urban Soul, we basically all looked at it and said "remove the part where he gets sick outside of cities" because a. the class was weak as is, and b. We feel that unless you're playing in a campaign where that sort of stuff is suppose to work, like Ravenloft class abilities shouldn't make you unplayable like that.

A lot of the homebrew stuff I've seen is actually pretty decent, sure a lot of it falls into high tier 3, to high tier 2 areas. The broken stuff you can usually see a mile away. I find that Sturgeon's Revelation does apply here. But I've also found for almost every single class that people have called overpowered, one can simple say "PHB wizard", and shut down almost all of their power arguments.

Hell if WOTC actually was "balanced" the Magic vs Melee debate wouldn't even exist.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 07:16 PM
Note the statement "Inherent magic that doesn't run out."

There is a drastic difference in concept from "I am the Mighty Storm Wizard, I cast Stormy spells a limited number of times per day, and then run away to hide and save up for tomorrow." and "I am the Mighty Storm Lord, I shoot lightning out of my hands whenever I want, and can summon fog whenever I want, and can cause it to rain all around me whenever I want."

Likewise "I cast Magic Missile 4 times a day, and Wall of Force twice a day" is very different from "I can fire Force attacks at you all day, and summon a Wall of Force anywhere at any time."

And there are ways to balance those abilities against Spells per day classes such that they are genuinely playable. Heck, Lightning Bolt at will isn't even impressive at level 5, much less at level 7. But all the same, WotC has never even pretended to give options like that outside of a few token reserve feats, the Warlock class, and the DFA class.

If the Warlock and/or DFA had about 30 times as many invocations and breaths and utterances, that covered a much larger field of available themes (instead of being "eldritch power, and dragony" only), maybe you could cover those concepts. But as is, you can't.



I mean exactly what I said, inherent magic that doesn't run out.

And no, that's not a lot of variety, it's pretty much none at all. Make it rain around them at any time? Make a Fog cloud at any time? Shoot lightning (There might be a crappy reserve feat that does only the damage one, but frankly, anything that does something so poorly that a Commoner does it better with NPC wealth isn't worth counting.)

And likewise, Warlocks and DFAs have incredibly limiting choice of invocations. You can be like a Dragon, or you can be like someone touched by a Demon, but you can't be anything else.



Yes, there a ridiculous number of ways to get themed or elemental magic that runs out. But there is a ridiculous number (zero) of ways to get it so that it doesn't run out.

So, basically, you want something like reserve feats, but with variety, and with the full power of regular spells, all day long.

That IS the recharge magic variant I mentioned early. It's power level is...high. There's a reason it's not terribly popular in actual use. But, it does exist.

Zaydos
2010-09-30, 07:21 PM
So, basically, you want something like reserve feats, but with variety, and with the full power of regular spells, all day long.

That IS the recharge magic variant I mentioned early. It's power level is...high. There's a reason it's not terribly popular in actual use. But, it does exist.

No what they're asking for is something like Invocations with another theme.

Personally I find Fey warlocks fairly easy to build without going into homebrew. But when you want a true elementalist from that you need to make some new invocations all your own.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 07:24 PM
No what they're asking for is something like Invocations with another theme.

Personally I find Fey warlocks fairly easy to build without going into homebrew. But when you want a true elementalist from that you need to make some new invocations all your own.

You can add the different energy descriptors to eldritch blast. If you like fire, you can have fire all day long. Heck, you can do dual progression with a fire based wizard class if that just isn't enough fire. So, you can have invocations, reserve feats, AND fire spells. Replace descriptor as preferred for element of your choice.

And recharge magic acts pretty much like invocations anyway. You can blast away all day long. Therefore, pick the class with the spells you want. Any class will do. You then have exactly what you want.

Morph Bark
2010-09-30, 07:27 PM
With all the heatedness that seems to be in here now, I will offer something different by talking about what homebrew has seen use in my campaigns:

The Overdrive Knight (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19528458/Overdrive_Master_P.E.A.C.H_by_Moonsprite): First used in my third campaign, the first campaign that had homebrew in it. The player played a homebrewed race I made myself that was essentially the Rito from the Legend of Zelda. It went remarkably well. The player could fill multiple roles as long as he dedicated his Drives right and took care not to overuse his spell points.

The Pokémaster (http://www.scshop.com/~ritaxis/pokemaster.html): Refluffed and renamed in our campaign as the Jewel Summoner, this class was combined with the Zora race from the Legend of Zelda - which I homebrewed myself just like the Rito. The characters itself was really weak and the player tried to have him focus on ranged combat utilizing an 18th-century style pistol, but his strongest point were still his monsters. At level... I dunno, 6 or so, he started with a unicorn, a hydra, a lupinal and a succubus under his command, enough to create some variety (and hilarious RP possibilities to boot, especially since there were only two players and me as the DM). At some points in the campaign a monster of his seemed to come to overshadow the Rito Overdrive Knight so I challenged this player with trying to make sure his monsters always stayed with him, rather than be stolen, slain, left behind, etc. While I do very much think the class was way powerful, overpowered even with the right monsters (at the end he gained a Ghaele and so suddenly had cleric casting - or when his unicorn became a half-dragon, half-celestial shadow creature), we mostly did it all for fun and to playtest a little with homebrew, see what it'd be like. And it turned out great the way we handled things.

The Limit Warriors (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19528498/The_Limit_Warriors): Our fourth campaign lasted not long, but was very much fun and saw the rise of a trend continuing in the rest of our campaigns, namely that infants of enemies that were encountered/slain are to be adopted and raised properly. The players took the Limit Knight (later the Limit Monk when the Knight died) and the Limit Sniper. We all fell in love with the Limit classes, although the players loathed the weapon creation stuff for the Knight and Sniper and we still think the Martyr should not be and the Psion and Mage aren't necessary and the system makes them stronger than the Sorcerer/Psion they are based off of. The Ninja and Freak we thought interesting too, but they did not see play.

Limit Dragoon (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=168962): The Limit Knight and Sniper were not the first brush we had with the Limit system Animana made, as I homebrewed the Dragoon myself after thinking it required its own class. The Overdrive Knight from our third campaign gained a young boy as his cohort at some point, who became a Limit Dragoon, which turned out rather well. Damage-wise and AC-wise, he was stronger than either of the other characters (the Jewel Summoners' hydra excluded), but not as much as to steal the spotlight in any way, and his appearance allowed the Overdrive Knight to play a little more blasty with his magic, or cooperate with the cohort for flanking and such.

DBZ stuff (http://www.scribd.com/doc/6908976/DBZ-v51): Took me a little bit to find this PDF again, but I think the system is awesome and well-made, even if in the fifth campaign it was completely overshadowed by the other character, which kind of made the player feel bad and ultimately this campaign lasted no longer than a session or two. The set-up and division between races, classes and PrCs is good and making differences between the various energy techniques that prevail in DBZ was well-reasoned.

Masked Demon (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=71073): This PrC is made by Krimm Blackleaf and was utilized by the second player in the same campaign as the DBZ-based character. He was completely overpowered in comparison to any other character in previous campaigns and overshadowed the DBZ-based character utterly, resulting in the campaign's swift end and the return to the campaign with the Overdrive Knight and Jewel Summoner (Pokémaster). The main problem was prolly that the Inner Demon feat is horrendously overpowered, granting a class feature that an entirely class depends on so easily. Hence why I think it is one of Krimm's lesser works.

Kantian Paladin (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Kantian_Paladin_(3.5e_Class)): Our sixth campaign began after the third ended for the second time (prematurely, yet again) and the Overdrive Knight/Limit Knight/Limit Monk/DBZ player took up this class in combination with a Lilty race I had homebrewed (based off the Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles race). His swift casting made him quite formidable, but due to the player being hardly an optimizer and sticking to other roles more so that other characters could do their thing kept him from sticking out like a sore thumb. While I think this class needs revising some, it's not bad in basic set-up, and even less so fluff-wise.

Autoplate Pilot (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Autoplate_Pilot_(3.5e_Class)): Stemming from the second player wanting to play a mecha pilot, he took up this class with a homebrew Draenei race I had made (yeah, I should post all these homebrew races, just like I did on gleemax once), but he thought the first level was, in his words, "really lame". So we put in that his Autoplate was Large rather than Medium. In the end, he became just too wicked AC-wise as he found all kinds of things to make it higher and higher, and I regretted having him become Large so early on. I can't really comment on the rest of the class other than that, sadly, as at one point the characters became incredibly warped and this one turned into a Gargantuan Undead Warforged of some sort. So yeah.

Chozo Warrior (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=3121.0): Briefly before changing to the Kantian Paladin, the first player played a half-chozo Chozo Warrior made by Prime32. It went really well and it was a breakaway from his usual paladin/knight-like stuff since he preferred melee bigtime, so it was refreshing to see, and the class turned out to function really well, no problems at all. Compared to melee and ranged folks, it was good, even when compared to the Large Autoplate Pilot. Since the campaign lacked Tier 1s or Tier 2s due to the two-player set-up, I can't comment in that direction, but I'd say it's a good and solid Tier 3 that makes ranged combat more interesting for sure.


...and I think that just about covers all of it, besides my homebrew races.


EDIT: Pardon me, the Lilty I mentioned was not my work - I mixed that up due to the amount of game-based races I have created. The race can be found here (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19541898/The_Lilty_38;_Selkie_(D38;D-Style)) along with the Selkie. Both are flavourful and, in my opinion, well-made.

Zaydos
2010-09-30, 07:31 PM
You can add the different energy descriptors to eldritch blast. If you like fire, you can have fire all day long. Heck, you can do dual progression with a fire based wizard class if that just isn't enough fire. So, you can have invocations, reserve feats, AND fire spells. Replace descriptor as preferred for element of your choice.

And recharge magic acts pretty much like invocations anyway. You can blast away all day long. Therefore, pick the class with the spells you want. Any class will do. You then have exactly what you want.

2 fire invocations does not an elementalist make; and does anyone even use recharge magic? That's worse than most any homebrew out there.

Lhurgyof
2010-09-30, 07:39 PM
Note that I said "playable" Anything which is definitionally of a CR half that of a real character is not playable.

I mean, "You can always be a Vrock (If your campaign starts at level 18, and a valid fight that you are supposed to contribute to is against a Balor)." is not actually an option to play a demon.

There's always Savage Species' monster classes.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 07:45 PM
2 fire invocations does not an elementalist make; and does anyone even use recharge magic? That's worse than most any homebrew out there.

It's reasonable for lower tier casters. Like all balance, it depends on what the rest of your party is, though. Obviously, handing that to a warmage is going to be much more reasonable than handing it to a tier 1 class.

Beheld, the core playable demon races start at +2 LA. Thats not unplayable. It may not be the most optimal choice for power, but that's an entirely different ball of wax. And that's only if you insist on the label demon. You can get outsider stuff, and demonic-like fluff at +0 LA with lesser tiefling. And that IS a pretty optimization friendly race choice.

Lack of accessibility to demonic stuff might have been an issue in 2nd, when they tried to reduce that sort of thing, but it's not really a big deal in 3.5. There's a huge variety of evil stuff there, and demons are right smack in the middle of that. You can make deals with em, get evil grafts on you, get demonic or possessed weapons, go to hell, all that great stuff. The whole demon aspect(or formerly demon like creature trying to make good, should you prefer) is rather well covered.

Camelot
2010-09-30, 07:57 PM
Challenge: replicate, even remotely, any of the following using only WotC material (taken from my own work)
Swordmage (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=149724) (magical melee attacks; some spells do this but not enough to make a class of)
Midnight Occultist (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=157493) (Binder/Meldshaper PrC. Does not exist in WotC material)
Spell Weaver (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140987) (Cha-based prepared Arcane spellcasting)
Viz-Jaq'taar (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=151306) (see Traps)
Karsite Artisan (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142115) (Artificer/Binder PrC; does not exist in WotC material)
Child of Sea and Sky (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140309) (Binder/Druid PrC; does not exist in WotC material)
All-Thief (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=129956) (stealing more than just Spells)
Dualist (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=120771) (parrying and counter-attacking)

4th edition:

* Reflavored Swordmage (why call it a swordmage if it doesn't use a sword?)
* Vestige Pact Warlock
* Reflavored Bard
* Assassin who uses mostly implement attacks
* Artificer
* Druid|Beastmaster Ranger
* This is a unique one
* Ranger|Rogue with a lot of immediate interrupts/reactions

Personally, I love homebrew, and it looks like you really know what you're doing (with my limited knowledge of 3rd edition). But I just had to take your challenge (you said WotC material, you didn't specify edition!).

T)

Beheld
2010-09-30, 08:02 PM
So, basically, you want something like reserve feats, but with variety, and with the full power of regular spells, all day long.

No, I don't want the full power of regular spells at will and variety. The whole points was specialized theme magic.

If you are the Storm King, you don't get to cast Polymorph, and if you are the Force Mage you don't get to cast Control Weather.

There would also probably be some limiters in there, depending on the ability, like Wall of Force, should probably be at will, but limited to one per round or something, since in general wall of X at will can get a little weird fast, except maybe Fire, since that's only a damage area.

But since there is literally no way in the game to ever get a class that can shoot force missiles, summon small walls of force, and have a floating Bigby's hand follow them around without homebrew, if I want to do that, I have to homebrew (Or steal someone else's homebrew).


Beheld, the core playable demon races start at +2 LA. Thats not unplayable. It may not be the most optimal choice for power, but that's an entirely different ball of wax.

The core playable demon race singular starts at +2LA, and 2 Racial HD, or level 4.

And there is no way to play a dretch, and advance as a Demon, you have to instead advance as a classed character aka, write "I are retarded" on your sheet, because while A Dretch only slightly unplayabley bad at level 4, a Dretch with class levels is even more unplayably bad, and doesn't do demon like things, and therefore doesn't even represent the concept at all.


You can get outsider stuff, and demonic-like fluff at +0 LA with lesser tiefling. And that IS a pretty optimization friendly race choice.

I agree, you can play Wizard with forehead bumps at every level. But that doesn't apply to playing a Demon. By doing Demon things.


There's a huge variety of evil stuff there, and demons are right smack in the middle of that. You can make deals with em, get evil grafts on you, get demonic or possessed weapons, go to hell, all that great stuff. The whole demon aspect(or formerly demon like creature trying to make good, should you prefer) is rather well covered.

Yes, you can play not a demon lots of way. I'm more interested in playing a Demon. Who does the things Demons do.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 08:20 PM
No, I don't want the full power of regular spells at will and variety. The whole points was specialized theme magic.

If you are the Storm King, you don't get to cast Polymorph, and if you are the Force Mage you don't get to cast Control Weather.

There would also probably be some limiters in there, depending on the ability, like Wall of Force, should probably be at will, but limited to one per round or something, since in general wall of X at will can get a little weird fast, except maybe Fire, since that's only a damage area.

So play a warmage. Pick prestige classes that match your style. Or play a sorcerer, and select spells that you feel are appropiate. Themed sorcerers are not that unusual of an idea. Just because the wizard class exists doesn't mean you HAVE to pick it.


But since there is literally no way in the game to ever get a class that can shoot force missiles, summon small walls of force, and have a floating Bigby's hand follow them around without homebrew, if I want to do that, I have to homebrew (Or steal someone else's homebrew).

Magic Missile?

Wall of Force at a low caster level?

Mage hand? Or Greater Mage hand?

All of which are on the sorc/wizard spell list?


The core playable demon race singular starts at +2LA, and 2 Racial HD, or level 4.

True. If that's a problem, as I said, non-core is an option. There are trade-offs, sure. You can't start off with full-on awesome demonhood at level 1. You can definitely be pretty demonic, though.


And there is no way to play a dretch, and advance as a Demon, you have to instead advance as a classed character aka, write "I are retarded" on your sheet, because while A Dretch only slightly unplayabley bad at level 4, a Dretch with class levels is even more unplayably bad, and doesn't do demon like things, and therefore doesn't even represent the concept at all.

You can do demon like things even if it doesn't say demon in the description. Playing with fire, playing the appropriate alignment, worshipping the appropriate god and working for their ends. Not hard.

You may not like the power level, but there's no need to be offensive about it. They are weak on hitpoints, but have some great traits, such as a coupla immunities and 100' telepathy. Those are abilities that remain very valuable even at high levels. Especially if you drop a feat on mindsight. The resistances and DR will help compensate for your lower hp until you have enough class levels for it to not matter.

If you really, really want to just "be a demon", you could always take racial HD. Im not sure what the goal of this would be, but if you really feel class progression is a bad thing, it can be avoided.


I agree, you can play Wizard with forehead bumps at every level. But that doesn't apply to playing a Demon. By doing Demon things.

Yes, you can play not a demon lots of way. I'm more interested in playing a Demon. Who does the things Demons do.

There is no [demon] type. There is just the outsider type. Tieflings have it. Because they are descended from demons. They look kinda demonic, too. How demonic they act is entirely up to you, the player.

Zaydos
2010-09-30, 08:26 PM
Select list of invocations dealing with force !/= cast magic missile, wall of force, and greater mage hand a few times per day each.

Also there is a (Tanar'ri) subtype, and Tanar'ri are the majority of creatures called demons in D&D (and in sources that can't use the word tanar'ri they're Demons once more); tieflings aren't demons but humans with a little of their blood and refluff it how you want it doesn't get Tanar'ri traits. Really though the solution here is to actually assign playable LA's as opposed to unplayable ones. Or play gestalt; succubus is great in gestalt.

DragoonWraith
2010-09-30, 08:34 PM
First off, I have minor balance issues with this class. It has full BaB, 9th level spellcasting as SU that ignore SR, and can be cast once per iterative attack. Given that they are arcane spells*, shenanigans to add spells to a class list lead to hilariously broken places.

You also have infinity symbols in spells per day boxes. You also hit 9th level spells as a spont caster at level 17. Considering these involve things like using a prismatic wall chunk as a shield, which lead to rather creative possibilities, I would say that this class would be concerning from a power perspective.

For the general concept, I'd suggest swordsage with a splash of soulblade. You create your own weapon, and you get lots of special attacks. Arcane swordsage is a possibility if you want a closer replication, but that's also considered a bit troubling balance wise.

*they are described as both spells and incantations. Both these words have defined meanings elsewhere, so it's possible for some confusion to exist on this point.
From a fluff perspective, Incantations are a type of spell. From a mechanics perspective, the class doesn't get any Spell Slots and therefore couldn't use any Spells added by a PrC. At least, that was the intent.

As for general issues with its power - yes. This is one that very much needs testing, and the high-level stuff is all entirely pulled out of my ass. I was playtesting it, but my DM got RL'd and had to stop.


I admit, binder is not a class my players typically select, so I'm not as familiar with it as I am with most material. It appears to favor someone focusing on binding, with a side dose of Incarnum.

Therefore, I'd suggest making use of the Heresy and Orthodoxy variant of binder, allowing one to make use of your cleric level to your binder level for the purpose of pact augumentation. Then, you've got the sapphire hierarch PrC from MoI, which is your general divine/meldshaping dual class PrC. The bonus feat granted from the combo is kinda nice, too, and can be used to boost whatever your favorite portion of this three part combo is. Improved Binding may be a fun choice.

Plus, you also pick up some divine spellcasting in addition to binding and meldshaping. It's not exactly the same as your class, but it follows the same general theme.
Not a... terrible answer, I suppose. But I'm having a hard time calling that "not homebrew" at that point. Anyway, it doesn't quite work out the same - for one thing, the original Binder fluff is present in my PrC, which it isn't in your adaptation, and more importantly, "binding with a dash of meldshaping" is not really the case; the advantage of the class is that you get new soulmelds based on the Vestiges you bind. Your Sapphire Hierarch wouldn't really get anything like that. The addition of Divine Spellcasting may or may not be a plus, depending on the desired character.


There may be further techniques used to optimize the binder/meldshaper combo known to those who play those classes, but as mentioned, not my best area. I found some passages that indicate that binding is divine, but couldn't find anywhere that actually stated it. If a way exists to define it as arcane or divine, then everything above becomes needlessly complicated.
No, it's not Divine. Vestiges are specifically non-deific, which infuriates/scares both the deities and their clerics.


It's a wizard with a worse casting stat. Personally, just playing a vanilla wizard should entirely replicate the effects of this character in game. Merely place your extra skill points in social skills to compensate for the lower cha modifier.

Spellweaving is almost identical to wizards spellbooks, as there is no requirement that a wizard use only a single spellbook, and spellbooks can come in almost any form as well. This is actually vaguely similar to a spellscale's abilities, with the use as scroll bit.

Spont metamagic is available with a feat. It's also available via prestige classes(incantatrix being the juiciest choice here), or by using UA variants. This is quite easy to replicate extremely similar characters with, even with just the SRD.
Yeah, except the class was basically designed for the sake of a decent Ultimate Magus with Sorcerer. And you can't play an artistic/intuitive mage if most of your spellcasting is Wizardry. It just doesn't work. Yeah, you can put points in Cha-skills as a Wizard if you want, but you can't play a low-to-medium Int Wizard. It just can't be done.


Monk/rogue prc, with a power point pool, and an anti-magic bent. It also grants a coupla stances from ToB. This class is pretty all over the place.

First off, counterspelling. Bust open complete adventurer, and dig out the magic churches. If magic exists in your setting(and without it, this class would be odd), then these are quite reasonable. Notice the last bonus on the list gives you counterspelling. Without knowing or preparing the spell, identifying it, or having an action readied.

Maneuvers. Take a dip in the ToB class that best fits you(swordsage would be closest to this class, most likely). Thanks to half IL in non initiator classes, you'll still be quite respectable in this regard.

Traps. These aren't really traps, they're constructs. Very limited constructs. Break open your eberron books. They have all the construct crafting stuff you need. If you really want more of a trap feel, with less construct focus, trapsmith instead. The transdimensional aspect is just odd, though. I believe the entire point of multiple planes is that you ARENT on them all at once.

This PrC is really best replicated by a bunch of dips, since it draws a little from so many sources. The dips would likely be more practical, too, since picking up all the prereqs, both implicit and explicit to make it useful would be a bit of a pain.
Eh, the version on the Forums needs to be updated; I have better versions of it on Fax's Wiki. It is all over the place. But neither Trapsmith nor general construct crafting matches what the Viz-Jaq'taar does at all. The feel I was going for was very specific (replicating the mechanics of the Diablo II Assassin Trap skills in 3.5), which doesn't exist anywhere else in 3.5 to my knowledge.


See the other dual class fun stuff involving binder. If you decide to venture outside of strictly official territory, it's easiest to just rule that binder is either arcane or divine for the purposes of prereqs. It solves all these issues at once, without writing a specific class for each possible combination.
Again, I'd see that as at least borderline homebrew. Also, it wouldn't really make sense in terms of spell levels (9 total) versus vestige levels (8 total).


There's a little known PrC in Cityscape called Urban Savant that does exactly such metagame grabbing of information off the target. It's unusual for classes to get to that level of abstractness, though. I suspect that's intentional.

However, your capstone is pretty broken. The ability to steal things from others permanently is pretty powerful. Especially class features. See, spellcasting is a class feature. So...yeah. You could take that. It would function based on the targets stats at time of taking, too. So...that wizard is now a smart commoner. You became a high level wizard, in addition to your normal stats, as a standard action. Permanently. And you can still do this to four other casting classes(more with cheese).

No, you can't normally replicate this short of pun-pun like cheddar. That's a good thing.
Spellcasting is specifically prevented; there's a line in there about class features that scale (the example given is Sneak Attack, but preventing the stealing of spellcasting was really what I was going for). I do agree with you, the capstone is dangerous. Just don't let someone abuse it. Ultimately, as a designer, I have to draw the line somewhere in terms of preventing cheese. To word things so that it would be "safe" would be hideously complicated, if not impossible, and simply nixing the feature because of possible abuse does not sit well with me either. Which is an advantage I, as a homebrewer, have over WotC - they really should be trying to make their work as close to abuse-proof as is reasonable. I don't really have to do that.


Yay for swordsage. Select manuvers appropriate to the theme. I suppose it could also be done with warblade, if you didn't mind investing some feats.
Doesn't work quite the same way; I'm also surprised that you say Swordsage, when Devoted Spirit maneuvers fit the bill much better (and Army of One maneuvers that much better).


Woah...random thought on the all-thief.

It's permanent stolen abilities are capped at 1/2 class level. They normally use the targets stats to determine the benefit...ie, you use them exactly as the original caster did. Now, there are a coupla classes(Legend Champion, for instance), that, as a class feature, progress other classes at every level.

Therefore, you have an exponentially increasing infinite* cap on permanent steal able things. Since essentially everything in the game is permanently stealable, it's pun-pun in one handy package.

*Where infinite is the amount of characters with such classes in your campaign world.
Yeah, I don't design with clearly broken things like Legacy Champion in mind. I just don't.

Beheld
2010-09-30, 08:38 PM
Apparently Zaydos understands me just fine, I can let him do this for me.

1) Being a Demon is still something, even if it's not a type, you can still be a Demon, or not. In this case, I want to be a Demon.

2) "Inherent magic that does not run out." Warmages and Sorcerers run out.

3) Dretch with class levels, in addition to being four levels behind real characters don't do the things Demons do.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 09:14 PM
From a fluff perspective, Incantations are a type of spell. From a mechanics perspective, the class doesn't get any Spell Slots and therefore couldn't use any Spells added by a PrC. At least, that was the intent.

Ah, well, then it's actually not terribly off from a glaivelock(ignoring power testing and tweaking)...perhaps with a splash of ToB.

I'll admit, ToB made this sort of thing a lot easier. There was something of a hole before it arrived.


Not a... terrible answer, I suppose. But I'm having a hard time calling that "not homebrew" at that point. Anyway, it doesn't quite work out the same - for one thing, the original Binder fluff is present in my PrC, which it isn't in your adaptation, and more importantly, "binding with a dash of meldshaping" is not really the case; the advantage of the class is that you get new soulmelds based on the Vestiges you bind. Your Sapphire Hierarch wouldn't really get anything like that. The addition of Divine Spellcasting may or may not be a plus, depending on the desired character.

Hmm, true, there's no real tie between the two sides, and that's a weakness. That could be roleplayed, granted, but I'm afraid my optimization-fu isn't good enough with these classes to delve deeper into the mechanics. I want to say that geomancer can be used to progress any of these classes, though, so there's possibilities out there for those who know this area better to explore.


No, it's not Divine. Vestiges are specifically non-deific, which infuriates/scares both the deities and their clerics.

Ah, it's language like "Unlike other divine yadda yadda, vestiges..." that gets me. I realize that's hardly enough to be definitive, and conflicts with implications about their relationships with dieties, but it's suggestive, and used occasionally. Meh, perhaps just WoTC types being sloppy.


Yeah, except the class was basically designed for the sake of a decent Ultimate Magus with Sorcerer. And you can't play an artistic/intuitive mage if most of your spellcasting is Wizardry. It just doesn't work. Yeah, you can put points in Cha-skills as a Wizard if you want, but you can't play a low-to-medium Int Wizard. It just can't be done.

Ah, the traditional method is to use a pair of int based casters. Personally, I don't mind straying a bit from the numbers, either. Playing a character below his potential in an area is quite doable. Sometimes people are quite intelligent within one domain, but not nearly so bright outside of it. I'd say that someone who is terrific at casting need not be otherwise brilliant, even if there is a big number on his character sheet.

I keep recalling an odd class in a web enhancement, though...I believe one actually exists, but I can't recall the name of it.

An alternative solution is to take that feats that make a single spell slot prepared(there's a reverse version to make a single spell slot spont, too. Both are quite useful). Then, you can take two cha based arcane classes directly into ultimate magus. Technically, you don't even need a second class to qualify, using this method, but if you don't have a second class, what's the point of bothering with dual progression?


Eh, the version on the Forums needs to be updated; I have better versions of it on Fax's Wiki. It is all over the place. But neither Trapsmith nor general construct crafting matches what the Viz-Jaq'taar does at all. The feel I was going for was very specific (replicating the mechanics of the Diablo II Assassin Trap skills in 3.5), which doesn't exist anywhere else in 3.5 to my knowledge.

Well, constructs with built in traps are quite doable, in a wide range of varieties. Certainly, construct crafting is more flexible, but again, you can choose to have your character focus on a specific area of his abilities.

I admit, the transdimensional existence across four planes does puzzle me a bit, but perhaps that's difference in the newer version.


Again, I'd see that as at least borderline homebrew. Also, it wouldn't really make sense in terms of spell levels (9 total) versus vestige levels (8 total).

It's got precedent, in shadowcaster, which is another of the odd quasi-casting systems, that explicitly qualifies for MT anyway. Kind of odd, since they did make the Noctomancer, so it wasn't even strictly necessary.

The level thing shouldn't be a problem, since it advances as your original casting class, not by referencing spell levels directly.


Spellcasting is specifically prevented; there's a line in there about class features that scale (the example given is Sneak Attack, but preventing the stealing of spellcasting was really what I was going for).

That does limit it then...but it's still immensely powerful, to be able to steal non-scaling abilities is still pretty crazy. For instance, you have plenty of monsters that have, as a class ability "casts as a level x cleric" or what have you. For them, it doesn't scale. Still totally worth nabbing. Anything that lets you permanently take abilities is going to be pretty crazy balance wise.

I believe that does make it non-infinite, though. The only class abilities I can recall that increase a former class all scale.


I do agree with you, the capstone is dangerous. Just don't let someone abuse it. Ultimately, as a designer, I have to draw the line somewhere in terms of preventing cheese. To word things so that it would be "safe" would be hideously complicated, if not impossible, and simply nixing the feature because of possible abuse does not sit well with me either. Which is an advantage I, as a homebrewer, have over WotC - they really should be trying to make their work as close to abuse-proof as is reasonable. I don't really have to do that.

I agree that making such an ability both useful and still safe is likely impossible, because of the sheer volume of existing targets for it. But no doubt you realize that holding yourself to a lower standard than WoTC, even with such a reason, might be troubling to DMs, who likely don't want to consider(or are not comfortable considering) the balance of each possible target as they select opponents.

Doesn't work quite the same way; I'm also surprised that you say Swordsage,
when Devoted Spirit maneuvers fit the bill much better (and Army of One maneuvers that much better).

Was going more by class, since you can add other styles via feat, and for some reason, I think of both duelists and swordsages as being very fast, similar fighters. I agree, though, you certainly don't have to use swordsage for that, and have an excellent point about Devoted Spirit. ToB's flexibility is enough that if you *really* wanted to, you could probably make a decent duelist with any of the three, I suppose. Or all three, if you're feeling froggy.

Zaydos
2010-09-30, 09:21 PM
Geomancer only progresses one class at a time, and does that poorly. Also I think the problem wasn't "swapping x to vestiges" as much as that vestige levels scale on a different medium than spell levels which complicates things.

And here's a challenge a sorcerer/dragonfire adept that actually works.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 09:21 PM
Apparently Zaydos understands me just fine, I can let him do this for me.

1) Being a Demon is still something, even if it's not a type, you can still be a Demon, or not. In this case, I want to be a Demon.

What exactly defines being a demon? Do you simply require that the description include the word "demon"? Is any kind of refluffing entirely forbidden? This seems odd, given that refluffing is explicitly encouraged in many places in D&D. Regardless, options for being an actual demon, as described in D&D, have been given.


2) "Inherent magic that does not run out." Warmages and Sorcerers run out.

Not with recharge magic (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/rechargemagic.htm). They can, if they wish, cast at the darkness all day long. Thats what recharge magic is. This has already been covered.


3) Dretch with class levels, in addition to being four levels behind real characters don't do the things Demons do.

Well, what are the things that demons do? Or, more properly, what things do you want to see your demon do? Because most demons use abilities that are found in identical format in class abilities. SLAs are common. Resistances and immunities are common, and you get them from dretch.

Basically, this is you saying "I wanna be a demon", and everything I suggest, you tell me "That's not really a demon". So tell me, what defines being a demon to you?

senrath
2010-09-30, 09:26 PM
That does limit it then...but it's still immensely powerful, to be able to steal non-scaling abilities is still pretty crazy. For instance, you have plenty of monsters that have, as a class ability "casts as a level x cleric" or what have you. For them, it doesn't scale. Still totally worth nabbing. Anything that lets you permanently take abilities is going to be pretty crazy balance wise.


Those are racial abilities, and can't be targeted by the All-Thief.

Edit: Of course, I'm still not sure about the balance of that ability, anyway.

The Glyphstone
2010-09-30, 09:28 PM
Great Modthulhu: This is evidentally a hot-button topic for many people, but please remember to keep discussion and debate civil.

DragoonWraith
2010-09-30, 09:35 PM
Ah, well, then it's actually not terribly off from a glaivelock(ignoring power testing and tweaking)...perhaps with a splash of ToB.

I'll admit, ToB made this sort of thing a lot easier. There was something of a hole before it arrived.
Yuuup.


Hmm, true, there's no real tie between the two sides, and that's a weakness. That could be roleplayed, granted, but I'm afraid my optimization-fu isn't good enough with these classes to delve deeper into the mechanics. I want to say that geomancer can be used to progress any of these classes, though, so there's possibilities out there for those who know this area better to explore.
I'm reasonably confident that there is just not enough material to combine the two.


Ah, it's language like "Unlike other divine yadda yadda, vestiges..." that gets me. I realize that's hardly enough to be definitive, and conflicts with implications about their relationships with dieties, but it's suggestive, and used occasionally. Meh, perhaps just WoTC types being sloppy.
I think it was mostly to sort of give people a frame of reference to compare the Binder to. I agree it's kind of sloppy, but there it is.


Ah, the traditional method is to use a pair of int based casters. Personally, I don't mind straying a bit from the numbers, either. Playing a character below his potential in an area is quite doable. Sometimes people are quite intelligent within one domain, but not nearly so bright outside of it. I'd say that someone who is terrific at casting need not be otherwise brilliant, even if there is a big number on his character sheet.

I keep recalling an odd class in a web enhancement, though...I believe one actually exists, but I can't recall the name of it.

An alternative solution is to take that feats that make a single spell slot prepared(there's a reverse version to make a single spell slot spont, too. Both are quite useful). Then, you can take two cha based arcane classes directly into ultimate magus. Technically, you don't even need a second class to qualify, using this method, but if you don't have a second class, what's the point of bothering with dual progression?
OK, so we have "ignore your ability scores and take a self-nerf" and "abuse a poorly worded feat to allow a bizarre combination of unintended classes work", vs. "use this simple homebrew class that actually works as intended". Why do you prefer one of the former answers? Why do you consider the latter answer "unnecessary"?


Well, constructs with built in traps are quite doable, in a wide range of varieties. Certainly, construct crafting is more flexible, but again, you can choose to have your character focus on a specific area of his abilities.
As a Swift action?


I admit, the transdimensional existence across four planes does puzzle me a bit, but perhaps that's difference in the newer version.
That's more an attempt to address as many caster "no" buttons as possible. No taking an Ethereal Jaunt and ignoring her class features.


It's got precedent, in shadowcaster, which is another of the odd quasi-casting systems, that explicitly qualifies for MT anyway. Kind of odd, since they did make the Noctomancer, so it wasn't even strictly necessary.
Yeah, I know, but Shadow Magic is much closer to Vancian than is Pact Magic.


The level thing shouldn't be a problem, since it advances as your original casting class, not by referencing spell levels directly.
Yeah, but it makes pre-reqs awkward. 7th level spells (a la Archmage) are quite a bit different from 7th level Vestiges.


That does limit it then...but it's still immensely powerful, to be able to steal non-scaling abilities is still pretty crazy. For instance, you have plenty of monsters that have, as a class ability "casts as a level x cleric" or what have you. For them, it doesn't scale. Still totally worth nabbing. Anything that lets you permanently take abilities is going to be pretty crazy balance wise.

I believe that does make it non-infinite, though. The only class abilities I can recall that increase a former class all scale.
Racial feature, as has been mentioned. I'm pretty sure no class allows you to just "cast as an X level" anything.


I agree that making such an ability both useful and still safe is likely impossible, because of the sheer volume of existing targets for it. But no doubt you realize that holding yourself to a lower standard than WoTC, even with such a reason, might be troubling to DMs, who likely don't want to consider(or are not comfortable considering) the balance of each possible target as they select opponents.
Meh, I consider my class well-designed from the perspective of its intent and from the perspective of communicating its intent. And, when possible, I will word things to avoid abuse - compare the wording on Midnight Occultist's Pact Magic section with the Anima Mage's Soulbinding feature for an example. I reworded it rather than use the standard blurb because Anima Mage leaves open a huge abuse (that is, it will give you an Effective Binder Level even if you don't already have one). I do consider these things, in some cases (as with the above), more so than does WotC. But some times I have to make a decision that says "I like this feature, and there's no way to enforce its safety but there are plenty of fair ways to use it."


Was going more by class, since you can add other styles via feat, and for some reason, I think of both duelists and swordsages as being very fast, similar fighters. I agree, though, you certainly don't have to use swordsage for that, and have an excellent point about Devoted Spirit. ToB's flexibility is enough that if you *really* wanted to, you could probably make a decent duelist with any of the three, I suppose. Or all three, if you're feeling froggy.
Yeah, I actually have a pretty cool (IMO) version of the Dualist here (http://wiki.faxcelestis.net/index.php?title=Dualist/Adept) that turns it into a ToB PrC.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 09:37 PM
Geomancer only progresses one class at a time, and does that poorly. Also I think the problem wasn't "swapping x to vestiges" as much as that vestige levels scale on a different medium than spell levels which complicates things.

And here's a challenge a sorcerer/dragonfire adept that actually works.

I am mildly tempted to just start answering "gestalt".

Well, for starters, both pretty much want dex, cha, and con. The order might be slightly different, but you don't really have any MAD problems. If playing a kobold isn't a problem, shenanigans exist for boosting sorc level, giving you some freedom to play around with dropping levels into DFA. This isn't great, but all dual classing abilities are designed around you being behind a straight caster anyhow, so being +2 levels up to start with on your sorc side allows you some compensation, so you can afford the necessary warlock dip to qualify for eldritch theurge. That puts you barely behind standard dual progression, and you also have some fun warlock toys to mess with.

You could use archivist instead, I suppose, allowing you to gain the sorc only spells, at the price of a bit of MAD. It would avoid the kobold-specificity, which is a plus, though, and it's much less complicated. Pop into Eldritch Disciple, and life is good. Your DFA level ends up slightly higher this way, but no warlock toys. Archivist is pretty good in general, though, and it opens up turn undead, which gives you access to DMM. So, no real shortage of power here.

Jayabalard
2010-09-30, 09:53 PM
Apparently Zaydos understands me just fine, I can let him do this for me.

1) Being a Demon is still something, even if it's not a type, you can still be a Demon, or not. In this case, I want to be a Demon.

3) Dretch with class levels, in addition to being four levels behind real characters don't do the things Demons do.This sounds an awful lot like an argument based on the "no true scottsman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman)" fallacy.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 09:58 PM
OK, so we have "ignore your ability scores and take a self-nerf" and "abuse a poorly worded feat to allow a bizarre combination of unintended classes work", vs. "use this simple homebrew class that actually works as intended". Why do you prefer one of the former answers? Why do you consider the latter answer "unnecessary"?

It's not so much ignoring your ability scores as an alternative interpretation of them. There is a very, very wide range of acceptable actions from a given set of ability scores...the character sheet is a guideline. You can occasionally act outside your alignment. The barbarian doesn't have to be an idiot, etc.

I'm quite comfortable with allowing very high levels of optimization in builds. Complex builds don't generally worry me. Untested material does. Plus, I know a pretty good amount of the first party material. It's a given that homebrew is going to require me to learn it. It's not a given that the homebrew will be simple, or work as intended. Heck, half the homebrew I've been handed has been along the lines of "I scribbled these ideas in a notebook". It's vastly easier to just say "I don't allow homebrew, but if you tell me what character you want, I guarantee I can build it".

If it really turns out to be something that I just can't pull off, but is a valid option, I favor very small changes, as they are least likely to have unforseen consequences. For instance the aforementioned examples of "Monks ARE proficient with their fists" or "for purposes of prereqs, binder counts as divine"
are relatively simple. They can fit on a very short list of house rules, and are relatively easy for other players to understand at a glance. Custom PrCs require more investment.


As a Swift action?

Heck, with minor spell abuse(Unseen Crafter), you can have things made for you by invisible servants, which you can direct as a free action. And sadly, that's explicitly what that spell is made to do. You don't have to have just one either, and the servants are around for day/caster level. It's a second level spell.

So yeah, you can set traps rapidly.


That's more an attempt to address as many caster "no" buttons as possible. No taking an Ethereal Jaunt and ignoring her class features.

I would stick with transdimensional spell for that, allowing the effects to reach across planar boundaries. There's precedence for that.


Yeah, I know, but Shadow Magic is much closer to Vancian than is Pact Magic.

A bit. They're called mysteries and the like. Then we have truenaming which is just...odd. That's one area where drastic intervention IS called for. As a class, it just makes me sad. Incidentally, there's a third party version of this that's older, and IIRC, somewhat better, in quintessential sorcerer. Been a long time since I looked at it, though.


Yeah, but it makes pre-reqs awkward. 7th level spells (a la Archmage) are quite a bit different from 7th level Vestiges.

Happens. It comes up a lot with different prestige classes. Some PrCs just don't work well in practice for some base classes. Some base classes end up with a lot more practical options, or entering PrCs earlier. The most obvious example is wizard vs sorc. Plenty are even designed for either, but can be much easier to enter with wizard. Changing this would require entirely reworking pretty much everything.


Racial feature, as has been mentioned. I'm pretty sure no class allows you to just "cast as an X level" anything.

Good call. At a minimum, I don't think there's a "cast as an X level" anything worth wasting a permanent slot on. You can emulate it to a degree, by stealing SLAs and such(dweomerkeeper springs to mind), but that is somewhat more limited.


Meh, I consider my class well-designed from the perspective of its intent and from the perspective of communicating its intent. And, when possible, I will word things to avoid abuse - compare the wording on Midnight Occultist's Pact Magic section with the Anima Mage's Soulbinding feature for an example. I reworded it rather than use the standard blurb because Anima Mage leaves open a huge abuse (that is, it will give you an Effective Binder Level even if you don't already have one). I do consider these things, in some cases (as with the above), more so than does WotC. But some times I have to make a decision that says "I like this feature, and there's no way to enforce its safety but there are plenty of fair ways to use it."

Oh, Im not ripping on your wording...I've seen far, far worse. And WoTC isn't perfect either. But the entire philosophy of keeping a feature, and relying on the DM to make players use it responsibly is one that some people will view with worry. I try to avoid it, personally, because my view of what is a fair way to use it may differ from my players, and it's nice to have a relatively clear list of what's acceptable. As much as possible, anyway.

Beheld
2010-09-30, 10:19 PM
What exactly defines being a demon? Do you simply require that the description include the word "demon"? Is any kind of refluffing entirely forbidden? This seems odd, given that refluffing is explicitly encouraged in many places in D&D. Regardless, options for being an actual demon, as described in D&D, have been given.

Being a Demon is about fighting, acting and looking like a Demon, and being able to do the non fighting demon things that demons also do. refluffing can help somewhat, but saying "you can just declare yourself to be a Demon" does very little to actually make you act like a Demon.

Things that make up a Demon will be addressed below.


Not with recharge magic (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/rechargemagic.htm). They can, if they wish, cast at the darkness all day long. Thats what recharge magic is. This has already been covered.

Recharge magic casters also run out, and that still does nothing to address the listed abilities that don't exist as spells. But no, recharge magic does not in any way constitute such a not running out themed character. Instead, you run out the very first round. You can't cast Lightning Bolt twice in a row at all.

Abilities not covered by spells: Permanent Floating Bigby Force Hand, Making it rain around you, an Aura of sapping cold.


Well, what are the things that demons do? Or, more properly, what things do you want to see your demon do? Because most demons use abilities that are found in identical format in class abilities. SLAs are common. Resistances and immunities are common, and you get them from dretch.

Demons have the following thematic things:

1) Resistances, DR, Immunities.
2) Have combat SLAs.
3) Finish off weakened enemies with natural attacks.

Non combat things: Eat souls to get more powerful, Greater Teleport at will, make bargains (technically Devils, but they are both the same in every so far listed category),

Most demons do not use things found in class abilities, most demons use SLAs and Natural Weapons.

Fawsto
2010-09-30, 10:31 PM
Well, I've got to say that some people are resistant to homebrew due to sheer balance work.

It is a bit more common to resist homebrews due to the content of the work. If, for example, the DM or the other Players don't like "X", any homebrew based or related to "X" will be resisted.

Although they seemed resistant, my group has revealed itself very open to homebrews, much to my surprise. It even inspired me into a series of homebrews for my next Eberron game.

Personaly, I like homebrews.

DragoonWraith
2010-09-30, 10:38 PM
It's not so much ignoring your ability scores as an alternative interpretation of them. There is a very, very wide range of acceptable actions from a given set of ability scores...the character sheet is a guideline. You can occasionally act outside your alignment. The barbarian doesn't have to be an idiot, etc.

I'm quite comfortable with allowing very high levels of optimization in builds. Complex builds don't generally worry me. Untested material does. Plus, I know a pretty good amount of the first party material. It's a given that homebrew is going to require me to learn it. It's not a given that the homebrew will be simple, or work as intended. Heck, half the homebrew I've been handed has been along the lines of "I scribbled these ideas in a notebook". It's vastly easier to just say "I don't allow homebrew, but if you tell me what character you want, I guarantee I can build it".

If it really turns out to be something that I just can't pull off, but is a valid option, I favor very small changes, as they are least likely to have unforseen consequences. For instance the aforementioned examples of "Monks ARE proficient with their fists" or "for purposes of prereqs, binder counts as divine"
are relatively simple. They can fit on a very short list of house rules, and are relatively easy for other players to understand at a glance. Custom PrCs require more investment.
Require more investment but work better. All of your counterexamples don't work as well, require not just optimization (which I don't mind) but jumping through hoops (which just seems unnecessary).

I understand about learning a class - but I'd be surprised if it's nearly as difficult as you seem to think it is, considering how much effort you're willing to put into avoiding it.


Heck, with minor spell abuse(Unseen Crafter), you can have things made for you by invisible servants, which you can direct as a free action. And sadly, that's explicitly what that spell is made to do. You don't have to have just one either, and the servants are around for day/caster level. It's a second level spell.
Yeah, I know. But then you need to have them pre-made for you, because you're not creating and fielding them in the same Swift Action. My class does. And that's very important to the theme and feel of the character I was going for with that class.

Also, the fluff is extremely anti-magic. As in, no personal magic, at all, ever. You can use magic items (that's what the traps are, after all), but spellcasting is denied to you. Can't have that fluff while abusing spells.


I would stick with transdimensional spell for that, allowing the effects to reach across planar boundaries. There's precedence for that.
Notice that the Traps do have Transdimensional Spell-like Ability (which doesn't really exist so far as I know but is trivial enough). Transdimensional Spell only works if I'm the one spellcasting, which in that class's case, it is not.


A bit. They're called mysteries and the like. Then we have truenaming which is just...odd. That's one area where drastic intervention IS called for. As a class, it just makes me sad. Incidentally, there's a third party version of this that's older, and IIRC, somewhat better, in quintessential sorcerer. Been a long time since I looked at it, though.
Kyeudo's and Kellus's fixes are pretty popular. I haven't really gone through Kyeudo's, but I like a lot of Kellus's, though I have some disagreements on certain points.


Happens. It comes up a lot with different prestige classes. Some PrCs just don't work well in practice for some base classes. Some base classes end up with a lot more practical options, or entering PrCs earlier. The most obvious example is wizard vs sorc. Plenty are even designed for either, but can be much easier to enter with wizard. Changing this would require entirely reworking pretty much everything.
Or you can homebrew a replacement for when the WotC class doesn't quite fit - see my remade Telflammar Shadowlord, done to use Shadow Hand maneuvers instead of Shadow Jump.


Good call. At a minimum, I don't think there's a "cast as an X level" anything worth wasting a permanent slot on. You can emulate it to a degree, by stealing SLAs and such(dweomerkeeper springs to mind), but that is somewhat more limited.
Yeah, I went with that wording because at least off the top of my head, I can't think of anything too bad that you could do with it. And by definition, anything you could do with it, someone else could have already done with it, so... yeah.


Oh, Im not ripping on your wording...I've seen far, far worse. And WoTC isn't perfect either. But the entire philosophy of keeping a feature, and relying on the DM to make players use it responsibly is one that some people will view with worry. I try to avoid it, personally, because my view of what is a fair way to use it may differ from my players, and it's nice to have a relatively clear list of what's acceptable. As much as possible, anyway.
I agree; I did take steps to limit it, instead of just saying "you can steal stuff permanently; be careful not to overpower the game", I did put specific limits on it. Are they enough? Probably not. Do they go a long way to eliminating the obvious problems? I think so. The fact that there is almost certainly something out there that will break it doesn't seem like a huge problem to me, if only because anything that would seems like it would have to be broken to begin with (and therefore the All-Thief isn't exactly causing a new problem).

Beheld
2010-09-30, 10:58 PM
On a homebrew balance note.

Apparently, Tynamr, you refuse any homebrew on the basis that it can be created in the rules.

So if two PCs show up, and one wants to be a Force Mage, and the other wants to be Demon, you'll tell one of them to be a Sorcerer with recharge magic, and the other to be a Vrock.

One of them plays a variant which causes the EL to increase more than just doubling the number of PCs, IE a Sorcerer with recharge is considered superior to two Sorcerers, and the other is an LA mess that literally contributes less than a character 7 levels lower.

That's... not an actual party that can ever be balanced, and is a larger difference than between most homebrew.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-30, 11:12 PM
Being a Demon is about fighting, acting and looking like a Demon, and being able to do the non fighting demon things that demons also do. refluffing can help somewhat, but saying "you can just declare yourself to be a Demon" does very little to actually make you act like a Demon.

Things that make up a Demon will be addressed below.

I look forward to finding out what a demon is.


Recharge magic casters also run out, and that still does nothing to address the listed abilities that don't exist as spells. But no, recharge magic does not in any way constitute such a not running out themed character. Instead, you run out the very first round. You can't cast Lightning Bolt twice in a row at all.

Those are slots, not spells. You can use a spell in a higher level slot. Ideally, you highten it, for a better save, but that's not required. So, yeah, you can just blast lightening bolt all day.

And it still doesn't negate reserve feats, which you disliked entirely on a power basis, despite being very close to eldritch blast, power wise.


Abilities not covered by spells: Permanent Floating Bigby Force Hand, Making it rain around you, an Aura of sapping cold.

Ok, duration of mage hands...concentration. Sonorous Hum makes that automatic, without you paying it any attention whatsoever. So, yeah, you always have one around. Or, you could blow a whopping 900g to have mage hand at will.

Making it rain, or cold? Please. The list of such spells is too long to list.


Demons have the following thematic things:

1) Resistances, DR, Immunities.

These are easy. Dretch has these, and they can be acheived in many, many ways.


2) Have combat SLAs.

You can get SLAs from classes. Archmage, if you want to stay core. Plenty of other means exist. Select the ones that you find most appropriate.


3) Finish off weakened enemies with natural attacks.

Also not impossible to get. Or even difficult. Templates are probably the simplest, but some races start with this by default. Natural attacks are not hard, though they're not especially demonic in nature. Lots of things have them.


Non combat things: Eat souls to get more powerful,

Wait, that's not listed in the Demon section of the SRD. Where you getting that from?


Greater Teleport at will,

Demons in general? No. The SLAs of demons vary wildly, and yes, high level outsiders in general typically have a means of teleportation, at least self only, but certainly not all demons. For example, only 6/16 in Hordes of the Abyss have greater teleport, and for them, it's invariably self-only.

If that's an ability you want, it's possible to get it, but it's a tradeoff in class abilities, and it's certainly not something all demons have, any more than all demons have fire based SLAs. Certainly plenty do, but definitely not all.


make bargains (technically Devils, but they are both the same in every so far listed category),

Devils and demons are not at all the same. They're both evil outsiders, sure, but things diverge from there. In particular, making bargains with beings that embody chaos is generally not considered wise.

But if you really want to get into this sort of thing, it is possible. You can make bargains. Dedicate yourself to an elder evil, or negotiate via diplomacy or what have you. This works much better as a devil, since the whole lawful shtick of devils provides a better atmosphere for bargains, but even in Hordes of the Abyss, there's a class that makes bargains with demons to inhabit their body. The possibilities with possession are interesting.


Most demons do not use things found in class abilities, most demons use SLAs and Natural Weapons.

SLAs and natural weapons are found in class abilities. Lots of them. There are still too many options for builds to list at this point, I'd be asking the player for more information than just "a demon" still.

Jayabalard
2010-10-01, 12:06 AM
Demons have the following thematic things:

1) Resistances, DR, Immunities.
2) Have combat SLAs.
3) Finish off weakened enemies with natural attacks.
Several of the examples given have all of these things.


Non combat things: Eat souls to get more powerful,I'm not sure how well that statement is actually supported by the standard D&D mythology. Source?


make bargains (technically Devils, but they are both the same in every so far listed category), Any PC can make bargains. You don't even have to be demonlike in any way.


Most demons do not use things found in class abilities, most demons use SLAs and Natural Weapons.Suggestion: give a specific example of a specific demon that you think can't be created in D&D according to the rules rather than being so vague..

Mystic Muse
2010-10-01, 12:18 AM
I've got nothing against it, you just have to run it by me before using it. I don't allow dragon magazine unless I can actually get a look at the article or thin.g they want to use

senrath
2010-10-01, 12:21 AM
Yeah, my general rule is "Run it by me first. Also, if I allow it and later on it causes problems, I'll work with you to fix those problems."

Beheld
2010-10-01, 12:25 AM
Those are slots, not spells. You can use a spell in a higher level slot. Ideally, you highten it, for a better save, but that's not required. So, yeah, you can just blast lightening bolt all day.

I am aware of how the rules work, thank you. If you can't use the same ability twice in a row, then you aren't a mage like that doesn't run out.


And it still doesn't negate reserve feats, which you disliked entirely on a power basis, despite being very close to eldritch blast, power wise.

No, I dislike them because with two exceptions, they don't do anything but damage, and they do a very poor amount of damage, usually about half an Eldritch Blast without any essences.


Ok, duration of mage hands...concentration. Sonorous Hum makes that automatic, without you paying it any attention whatsoever. So, yeah, you always have one around. Or, you could blow a whopping 900g to have mage hand at will.

A Bigby hand is not a Mage hand. A Mage hand does nothing. A Bigby hand does combat appropriate actions.


Making it rain, or cold? Please. The list of such spells is too long to list.

All the time, once again. You keep taking sentences that say "I want to do A in a B way." and then you say "But you can do A in a C way, or D in a B way, why are you complaining."

Also, there aren't. There is Control Weather, and for cold there's some spells in frostburn that don't really do much.


These are easy. Dretch has these, and they can be acheived in many, many ways.

Not many ways that allow you to do the other things.


You can get SLAs from classes. Archmage, if you want to stay core. Plenty of other means exist. Select the ones that you find most appropriate.

No. You can't get SLAs from classes. Archmage SLAs... are incredibly few, and oh yeah, require you to be level 14 minimum.

So far your example "Demon" build is Dretch 4/Wizard 13/Archmage 1, and he brings one whole SLA to the table.


Also not impossible to get. Or even difficult. Templates are probably the simplest, but some races start with this by default. Natural attacks are not hard, though they're not especially demonic in nature. Lots of things have them.

Right... by... taking templates.

So now we are a Dretch 4/+3 LA Template/Wizard 13/Archmage 1, and we bring one whole SLA to the table at ECL 21.

I'm impressed.


Wait, that's not listed in the Demon section of the SRD. Where you getting that from?

None of the text describing monsters is listed in the SRD.


Demons in general? No. The SLAs of demons vary wildly, and yes, high level outsiders in general typically have a means of teleportation, at least self only, but certainly not all demons. For example, only 6/16 in Hordes of the Abyss have greater teleport, and for them, it's invariably self-only.

If only there were some way to get a self only greater teleport outside of homebrew... oh right. Everything is possible without homebrew, except the things that need homebrew.


If that's an ability you want, it's possible to get it, but it's a tradeoff in class abilities, and it's certainly not something all demons have, any more than all demons have fire based SLAs. Certainly plenty do, but definitely not all.

It's tradeoff is being a level 10+ character. You have a choice, you can either be a level 9 character at level 18, or you can never ever have Greater Teleport at will as an SLA. Or you can Homebrew.


But if you really want to get into this sort of thing, it is possible. You can make bargains. Dedicate yourself to an elder evil, or negotiate via diplomacy or what have you.

So, when I explained that I wanted my character to be the being people iconically make deals with, you thought I wanted to be a human with forehead bumps who worships and elder evil.


SLAs and natural weapons are found in class abilities. Lots of them. There are still too many options for builds to list at this point, I'd be asking the player for more information than just "a demon" still.

Once again, here you are saying "If you just light 12 levels on fire you can fight with natural weapons" but that's not helpful in compositing a character.

You want to know what a demon is:

At level 6 I want to be doing this (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/demon.htm#babau). At level 12 I want to be doing this (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/demon.htm#hezrou). At level 14 I want to be doing this (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/demon.htm#glabrezu). At level 20 I want to be doing this (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/demon.htm#balor).

You'll not that all of those have decent attack bonuses, a few starter SLAs to begin an ambush, protections, the ability to summon others of their kind, ect.

They all run a similar attack pattern in tactics, but do it at progressively higher levels.

Those are all Demons, and it's absolutely possible to build a class that straight up lets that happen and progresses uniformly from 1-20. But that has to be a homebrew class, and it can't be done even remotely by using Wizard's material.

And yes, I know you are about to tell me that ten levels in X grants Y natural attacks, and 20 levels in Wizard grants the ability to summon demons and cast some of your spells as SLAs and six other things that combined create a level 46 character who can do all the things that a Demon can do, at half the power. But if someone wants to actually play one they can't do that using wotc rules.

Zaydos
2010-10-01, 12:44 AM
Personally if someone wanted to play a full-fledged demon I'd check the abilities, and assign a reasonable LA.

I would not let a full-fledge Glabrezu with Elite Ability Scores and full PC gear into a game as a Lv 14 character.

Besides that making fighter and barbarian cry some more; unless you're dealing with optimized casters they have abilities you shouldn't at Lv 14. An at-will 8th level spell, another 8th level spell; a continuous 5th/6th level spell with a costly material component. Wish. Now I could go on (size, +20 Str, BAB +12, super high natural armor; + Items and PC stats).

Now I would work with a player to make it possible. In gestalt I'd assign a reasonable LA based off of those in the books (because LA approximately works as written in gestalt). Specifically I said they had to pay XP costs with Wish and gave Glabrezu a +8 LA, because this was gestalt.

Out of gestalt I'd slash some LAs and then do the same. Vrock needs an LA, I'd have to read over everything it can do before I gave it one but I'm guessing it probably needs a +3 or +4... not a +9.

No homebrew yet, just doing the DM's job of balancing LAs as SS suggests. House rules yes, homebrew no.

Now if someone wanted to play a build your own demon... they'd have to sell me on the fluff.

Mystic Muse
2010-10-01, 12:47 AM
Psst. Beheld, I don't know if they've made all of the ones you mentioned yet but Oslecamo's (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=165439) monsters seem fairly reasonable. Depends of course upon the power level of your campaign.

Zaydos
2010-10-01, 12:52 AM
Psst. Beheld, I don't know if they've made all of the ones you mentioned yet but Oslecamo's (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=165439) monsters seem fairly reasonable. Depends of course upon the power level of your campaign.

Now those I'd look over and consider. There are some -ethergaunt- I'd definitely not allow, but the power level does vary, and it's a few minutes to glance over them.

Mystic Muse
2010-10-01, 12:58 AM
Now those I'd look over and consider. There are some -ethergaunt- I'd definitely not allow, but the power level does vary, and it's a few minutes to glance over them.

Yeah, I consider the power level to be over the top on a few of them too but the ones I've looked at, seem entirely reasonable.

Beheld
2010-10-01, 01:07 AM
Psst. Beheld, I don't know if they've made all of the ones you mentioned yet but Oslecamo's (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=165439) monsters seem fairly reasonable. Depends of course upon the power level of your campaign.

Actually, those are explicitly some of the things that I'm talking that homebrew can do and WotC can't.

Lord_Gareth
2010-10-01, 01:11 AM
One thing that may help players who are wanting to play homebrew (especially their own) is to admit that it's a work in progress that probably needs tinkering, then be willing to work with the DM to determine what changes are campaign-specific and what others are going to be permanent revisions to the material in question. Getting all annoyed that the DM doesn't like this invocation or that item is only going to fuel the fire, folks.

Krimm_Blackleaf
2010-10-01, 01:34 AM
Masked Demon (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=71073): This PrC is made by Krimm Blackleaf and was utilized by the second player in the same campaign as the DBZ-based character. He was completely overpowered in comparison to any other character in previous campaigns and overshadowed the DBZ-based character utterly, resulting in the campaign's swift end and the return to the campaign with the Overdrive Knight and Jewel Summoner (Pokémaster). The main problem was prolly that the Inner Demon feat is horrendously overpowered, granting a class feature that an entirely class depends on so easily. Hence why I think it is one of Krimm's lesser works.

Hm. I am going to alter this feat and quite possibly the class now.

Edit: Altered for balance.

Beheld
2010-10-01, 01:36 AM
Personally if someone wanted to play a full-fledged demon I'd check the abilities, and assign a reasonable LA.

See their is no such thing as reasonable LA. Any number, 0-infinity is unreasonable.

But my point wasn't to slap in a straight Glabrezu, but merely that the "Tactics" section of each of those monsters is pretty similar, and follows a pattern that I would like to see replicated in a class.

Morph Bark
2010-10-01, 04:12 AM
Hm. I am going to alter this feat and quite possibly the class now.

Edit: Altered for balance.

Hah, thanks for noticing. I was about to think my attempt at making this thread a bit more lighter-hearted and honest and helpful would be in vain. Your other homebrew has not (yet) seen use in any of my campaigns, even though much of it looks interesting and most things I have actually read over more thoroughly (admittably few, though) seemed balanced enough, as if aimed for a higher Tier 3 (also admittably, I didn't know of the Tier system until much later - then again I don't think it existed yet when I first came across your homebrew).

Jayabalard
2010-10-01, 07:16 AM
I am aware of how the rules work, thank you. If you can't use the same ability twice in a row, then you aren't a mage like that doesn't run out.I don't really understand this... it looks exactly like that to me.


No, I dislike them because with two exceptions, they don't do anything but damage, and they do a very poor amount of damage, usually about half an Eldritch Blast without any essences.Damaging reserve feats: Acidic Splatter, Clap of Thunder, Fiery Burst, Invisible Needle, Storm Bolt and Winter's Blast. Blade of Force and Holy Warrior are melee damage increases. That's maybe a third of the existing Reserve feats. In general, the damaging spells do 1d6/lvl of spell held in reserve, which is approximately 1/2 your caster level, which is in line with Eldritch blast.

Now, you can dislike them for some other reason, but this excuse is pretty invalid.


All the time, once again. You keep taking sentences that say "I want to do A in a B way." and then you say "But you can do A in a C way, or D in a B way, why are you complaining."You're being incredibly vague, so you shouldn't be surprised when someone responds to what you said rather than what you meant... you're not saying anything nearly as clearly as "I want to do A in a B way" ...


for cold there's some spells in frostburn that don't really do much.Remember, you can refluff things to be cold based easily.

Lhurgyof
2010-10-01, 07:38 AM
I am aware of how the rules work, thank you. If you can't use the same ability twice in a row, then you aren't a mage like that doesn't run out.



No, I dislike them because with two exceptions, they don't do anything but damage, and they do a very poor amount of damage, usually about half an Eldritch Blast without any essences.



A Bigby hand is not a Mage hand. A Mage hand does nothing. A Bigby hand does combat appropriate actions.



All the time, once again. You keep taking sentences that say "I want to do A in a B way." and then you say "But you can do A in a C way, or D in a B way, why are you complaining."

Also, there aren't. There is Control Weather, and for cold there's some spells in frostburn that don't really do much.



Not many ways that allow you to do the other things.



No. You can't get SLAs from classes. Archmage SLAs... are incredibly few, and oh yeah, require you to be level 14 minimum.

So far your example "Demon" build is Dretch 4/Wizard 13/Archmage 1, and he brings one whole SLA to the table.



Right... by... taking templates.

So now we are a Dretch 4/+3 LA Template/Wizard 13/Archmage 1, and we bring one whole SLA to the table at ECL 21.

I'm impressed.



None of the text describing monsters is listed in the SRD.



If only there were some way to get a self only greater teleport outside of homebrew... oh right. Everything is possible without homebrew, except the things that need homebrew.



It's tradeoff is being a level 10+ character. You have a choice, you can either be a level 9 character at level 18, or you can never ever have Greater Teleport at will as an SLA. Or you can Homebrew.



So, when I explained that I wanted my character to be the being people iconically make deals with, you thought I wanted to be a human with forehead bumps who worships and elder evil.



Once again, here you are saying "If you just light 12 levels on fire you can fight with natural weapons" but that's not helpful in compositing a character.

You want to know what a demon is:

At level 6 I want to be doing this (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/demon.htm#babau). At level 12 I want to be doing this (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/demon.htm#hezrou). At level 14 I want to be doing this (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/demon.htm#glabrezu). At level 20 I want to be doing this (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/demon.htm#balor).

You'll not that all of those have decent attack bonuses, a few starter SLAs to begin an ambush, protections, the ability to summon others of their kind, ect.

They all run a similar attack pattern in tactics, but do it at progressively higher levels.

Those are all Demons, and it's absolutely possible to build a class that straight up lets that happen and progresses uniformly from 1-20. But that has to be a homebrew class, and it can't be done even remotely by using Wizard's material.

And yes, I know you are about to tell me that ten levels in X grants Y natural attacks, and 20 levels in Wizard grants the ability to summon demons and cast some of your spells as SLAs and six other things that combined create a level 46 character who can do all the things that a Demon can do, at half the power. But if someone wants to actually play one they can't do that using wotc rules.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Monster Classes from Savage Species. Gives you EXACTLY what you're asking for. There's a few demons there.

Beheld
2010-10-01, 07:43 AM
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Monster Classes from Savage Species. Gives you EXACTLY what you're asking for. There's a few demons there.

No, Monster classes from Savage Species violate the playable restriction.

A vrock is a level 9 character, not a level 18 character.

Lhurgyof
2010-10-01, 08:07 AM
No, Monster classes from Savage Species violate the playable restriction.

A vrock is a level 9 character, not a level 18 character.

But they are playable, they get HD, BAB, Saves, and stuff like normal characters, along with the ability increases and everything else. It may take a hefting ammount of levels, but they do get nothing but their SLA and stuff.

If you want ALL the abilities of a Vrock at low levels, well then yes, the game can't do that, because you'd outshine most characters of your level.

hamishspence
2010-10-01, 08:14 AM
Not to mention that (unlike a normal demon) your character will benefit from rolled (or point buy) stats- instead of having 10s and 11s across the board.

Beheld
2010-10-01, 08:35 AM
But they are playable, they get HD, BAB, Saves, and stuff like normal characters, along with the ability increases and everything else. It may take a hefting ammount of levels, but they do get nothing but their SLA and stuff.

If you want ALL the abilities of a Vrock at low levels, well then yes, the game can't do that, because you'd outshine most characters of your level.

No, being able to do X at level 20, where X is a be a level 10 character, is not actually being able to do X.

If you have all the abilities of a Vrock at level 11 you are not going to outshine most characters, you are going to be outshined by most characters. That's actually a direct statement of the games rules. If you don't get all Vrock abilities till level 18, you are actually going to be outshined by all character at all levels. And that's why it's not playable.

Commoners have BAB, Saves, and HD, and they have more than an ECL 18 Vrock. But they still aren't playable.

true_shinken
2010-10-01, 08:49 AM
Available as a spell, and as an item. The lack of availability as a feat doesn't mean the idea is impossible.
As a class feature, as well. Devoted Defender, Sword&Fist.


That's not a build. That's a class complaint. You CAN make intelligent, finesse based fighters.
Also, Daring Outlaw, Duskblade, Warblade.



Yes, there a ridiculous number of ways to get themed or elemental magic that runs out. But there is a ridiculous number (zero) of ways to get it so that it doesn't run out.

Warlock. Refluff. 'nuff said.



The Overdrive Knight (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19528458/Overdrive_Master_P.E.A.C.H_by_Moonsprite):
I loved this.


The Pokémaster (http://www.scshop.com/~ritaxis/pokemaster.html):

This looks very overpowered, IMHO.

Fax Celestis
2010-10-01, 09:19 AM
I look forward to finding out what a demon is.

[...]Dretch

Okay, look.

This is a dretch.
http://www.rustyham.com/tier/dretch.jpg

This is a demon.
http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs5/i/2004/355/a/4/I_just_like_to_scare_you_by_nicole1725.jpg

This is a dretch.
http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs39/f/2008/351/d/6/Dretch_by_mr_author.jpg

This is a demon.
http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs11/i/2006/203/9/8/Cthulhu_Rising_by_higherdepths.jpg

This is a dretch.
http://th00.deviantart.net/fs70/PRE/f/2010/255/f/e/dretch_by_silviodb-d2ymnj5.jpg

This is a demon.
http://th02.deviantart.net/fs5/PRE/i/2004/350/e/d/the_witch_king_by_sephiroth012000.jpg

Note how the demon doesn't look like a dretch.

true_shinken
2010-10-01, 09:22 AM
Note how the demon doesn't look like a dretch.
Fax, slow down, dude. You're bordering on agressive here.

Reverent-One
2010-10-01, 09:31 AM
Note how the demon doesn't look like a dretch.

These are demons. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/demon.htm)

Note how the dretch is on that list. Given that Beheld didn't specify which of the many types of demons he wanted to be, Dretch is an acceptable suggestion.

Fax Celestis
2010-10-01, 09:32 AM
Fax, slow down, dude. You're bordering on agressive here.

I am confused by Tyndmyr's incapacity to budge in that homebrew is occasionally necessary. If I say "I want to do X", and you say "You can do Y, which is sort of like X's red-headed stepchild, oh and you can't do it for Z levels", I'm not getting X: I'm getting a poor substitute. As a player, this would annoy me at the game table, especially given the capacity to say, "Here, here is a 20 level class that lets me do X, but it wasn't made by WotC." If you cannot take five minutes to sit down with the player and go over what he went out of his way to find so that he could play his concept, well...I don't know what to tell you.

Fax Celestis
2010-10-01, 09:33 AM
These are demons. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/demon.htm)

Note how the dretch is on that list. Given that Beheld didn't specify which of the many types of demons he wanted to be, Dretch is an acceptable suggestion.
He rather did.

You want to know what a demon is:

At level 6 I want to be doing this (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/demon.htm#babau). At level 12 I want to be doing this (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/demon.htm#hezrou). At level 14 I want to be doing this (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/demon.htm#glabrezu). At level 20 I want to be doing this (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/demon.htm#balor).

true_shinken
2010-10-01, 09:34 AM
I am confused by Tyndmyr's incapacity to budge in that homebrew is occasionally necessary. If I say "I want to do X", and you say "You can do Y, which is sort of like X's red-headed stepchild, oh and you can't do it for Z levels", I'm not getting X: I'm getting a poor substitute. As a player, this would annoy me at the game table, especially given the capacity to say, "Here, here is a 20 level class that lets me do X, but it wasn't made by WotC." If you cannot take five minutes to sit down with the player and go over what he went out of his way to find so that he could play his concept, well...I don't know what to tell you.

I even agree with you, but by now you should have realized Tyndmyr won't budge. That's his view and you can't change it.
He even accept's 'minor homebrew' such as refluffing or fixing obvious class problems (like Monk's and Swashbuckler's proficiency problems).
Just let it slide. You can't win at everything forever. Though Akal_Saris gets pretty close at IronChef.

Reverent-One
2010-10-01, 09:35 AM
He rather did.

Yes, he did post he wanted to be 4 different types of demons, AFTER the post of Tyndmyr's that you quoted.

Fax Celestis
2010-10-01, 09:36 AM
Yes, he did post he wanted to be 4 different types of demons, AFTER the post of Tyndmyr's that you quoted.

Irrelevant. He noted earlier--when it was first brought up--that dretch was unacceptable. Further, it is an example of a concept that is not covered by WotC material that could be easily covered by homebrew material.

true_shinken
2010-10-01, 09:44 AM
Irrelevant. He noted earlier--when it was first brought up--that dretch was unacceptable. Further, it is an example of a concept that is not covered by WotC material that could be easily covered by homebrew material.

Well, let's take the babau for example. Being a character with 7 hit dice at level 6 is just wrong, for starters. He also wants full base attack, 8 skill points per level, sneak attack, a unique ability (protective slime), ability to summon demons, greater teleport at will...
I mean, is it surprising that you can't do this by the rules? This would be absolutely, completely, utterly broken. One guy is playing a Warblade and you suddenly show up with a same level character with better BAB, more skill points and a few tricks he can't ever replicate? Heck, you even get spell resitance. Immunities. Resistances. Telepathy!
Too much is too much. And that's exactly what he said he wanted at level 6.

Reverent-One
2010-10-01, 09:44 AM
Irrelevant. He noted earlier--when it was first brought up--that dretch was unacceptable. Further, it is an example of a concept that is not covered by WotC material that could be easily covered by homebrew material.

He claimed Dretch was unaccaptable without giving a real reason as to why it "wasn't a demon", or even what a demon was.

And obviously Tyndmyr and others disagree with that example.

Lhurgyof
2010-10-01, 09:55 AM
Well, let's take the babau for example. Being a character with 7 hit dice at level 6 is just wrong, for starters. He also wants full base attack, 8 skill points per level, sneak attack, a unique ability (protective slime), ability to summon demons, greater teleport at will...
I mean, is it surprising that you can't do this by the rules? This would be absolutely, completely, utterly broken. One guy is playing a Warblade and you suddenly show up with a same level character with better BAB, more skill points and a few tricks he can't ever replicate? Heck, you even get spell resitance. Immunities. Resistances. Telepathy!
Too much is too much. And that's exactly what he said he wanted at level 6.

Exactly, there's a reason that monster classes have so many levels- to BALANCE it.

hamishspence
2010-10-01, 10:01 AM
Unfortunately Wizards may have gone too far the other direction.

Still- the point is sound- some LA is needed, even if not quite as much as is often used.

Beheld
2010-10-01, 10:03 AM
Well, let's take the babau for example. Being a character with 7 hit dice at level 6 is just wrong, for starters. He also wants full base attack, 8 skill points per level, sneak attack, a unique ability (protective slime), ability to summon demons, greater teleport at will...
I mean, is it surprising that you can't do this by the rules? This would be absolutely, completely, utterly broken. One guy is playing a Warblade and you suddenly show up with a same level character with better BAB, more skill points and a few tricks he can't ever replicate? Heck, you even get spell resitance. Immunities. Resistances. Telepathy!
Too much is too much. And that's exactly what he said he wanted at level 6.

Except that I already spelled out that those are the kinds of things I want to do at that level, not specifically exactly that, which is why a homebrew 1-20 demon progression that looks sort of like a Babua when that is level appropriate, and sort of like a hezrou when that is level appropriate.

For example, the class might have some specific features:

d8 HD, all good saves, full bab.

Some natural attacks at level 1, some DR that scales with level, and resistances/immunities that come in every few levels till they have all of them.

Starting around level 3-6 start getting a few SLAs to use like Demons use them.

ect.

Emmerask
2010-10-01, 10:04 AM
The problem is that Tyndmyr and others seem to think that the approximation to the goal using different wotc classes/feats etc is close enough and for some reason they dismiss everyone who wants a closer approximation which in a lot of cases only homebrew can offer.

It is a valid argument to say that the compromise using different classes is not really what you are looking for. Sure it is up to the dm to allow or disallow it but in the end as a dm you want your players as happy as possible in regards to his character so homebrewing something is a valid choice to increase their happiness. I don´t quite see why this has to devolve into a flamewar :smallsmile:

true_shinken
2010-10-01, 10:12 AM
d8 HD, all good saves, full bab.

Some natural attacks at level 1, some DR that scales with level, and resistances/immunities that come in every few levels till they have all of them.

Starting around level 3-6 start getting a few SLAs to use like Demons use them.

ect.
This already looks like too much. Full base attack bonus, DR and all good saves at low levels is already 'wait, what?'. Getting decent natural weapons on top of that, easily getting extra attacks while all other classes need a lot of effort to gain them... and you still get SLAs? That's beyond the Big Five, dude... and they are already too much.
You could, though, build a character with a few of those abilities. There are rules for those. You could start as a tiefling caster (or warlock, if you are set on SLAs) then into Acolyte of the Skin. That would eventually get most of wha you want, without the gamebreaking part. You can't have all the cookies in the jar for a reason.

Saph
2010-10-01, 10:16 AM
I'm kind of with Tyndmyr on this one. My default answer to homebrew tends to be 'no'. This isn't so much because I think homebrew is inherently bad as because I like the game world to be as consistent and accessible as possible, and I'd rather work within the rules than bring in something new.


Situations in which I'll allow homebrew

A player wants something that genuinely isn't covered by the rules: As pointed out above, this is pretty rare because most character concepts can be represented in 3.5 rules one way or another. But if a player wants something weird or specific enough, a homebrew option may be necessary.
A player really wants to try something out: If a player's found something and absolutely set his heart on it, I'll at least give it a look. Note however that this is subject to:

Situations in which I won't allow homebrew

Material is unclear or badly presented: Looks matter. If something is ugly, badly formatted, or vague, I'll probably throw it in the bin.
Material's main purpose is to boost power: If your concept genuinely can't be represented within the rules, that's one thing. If it can be represented in the rules, it's just that it isn't as strong as other options, then tough luck.
Player has a short attention span: Sadly, in my experience, the kind of players who seem most keen on playing a homebrew class/race/whatever tend to be the same kind who'll change their character within 2 sessions. I'm not going to do the work to learn something unless you're likely to be playing it long enough to matter.
Material doesn't fit for whatever reason: No, you can't play your Pokemon Hunter Moogle. No, I don't care how balanced it is.

Fax Celestis
2010-10-01, 10:21 AM
This already looks like too much. Full base attack bonus, DR and all good saves at low levels is already 'wait, what?'. Getting decent natural weapons on top of that, easily getting extra attacks while all other classes need a lot of effort to gain them... and you still get SLAs? That's beyond the Big Five, dude... and they are already too much.
You could, though, build a character with a few of those abilities. There are rules for those. You could start as a tiefling caster (or warlock, if you are set on SLAs) then into Acolyte of the Skin. That would eventually get most of wha you want, without the gamebreaking part. You can't have all the cookies in the jar for a reason.

You have missed the point.

Whether or not what he is throwing out there is 'broken' or not (and depending on those SLAs, it may not be), the point remains that there are concepts that are literally not covered by existing rules.

How's this: I want to play a character who knows things. He's brilliant. But I don't want to have to rely on magic for my knowledge: my knowledge should be expansive, non-magical, and directly applicable to combats. One could point at Knowledge Devotion, but that requires turn undead (which basically requires spellcasting) to be usable frequently. One could point at the bard or any other class that gives Lore, but they, too, also give spellcasting.

If I, as a player, come to you and say "here is this 20 level class. It gains lore at 1st level, takes the Dark Knowledge feature from the Archivist, gains a bonus feat that augments that Dark Knowledge every five levels, has Knowledge Devotion at 2nd level (and a supporting class feature that powers such an ability but does nothing else 3+Int times a day), has the ranger's Favored Enemy (to demonstrate advanced knowledge of specific kinds of creatures) and also a class feature in which he can determine weaknesses of monsters he has chosen Favored Enemy for, has all skills as class skills, a d8 HD, 1/1 BAB, and good Fortitude and Reflex saves. I call it the Monster Hunter/Giles", why would you deny that out of hand? Because I made it, instead of someone you've never heard of making it and putting it in a book? :smallconfused:


Material's main purpose is to boost power: If your concept genuinely can't be represented within the rules, that's one thing. If it can be represented in the rules, it's just that it isn't as strong as other options, then tough luck.

And if the original material frankly sucks, like, say, the Marshal? What then?

Milskidasith
2010-10-01, 10:24 AM
This already looks like too much. Full base attack bonus, DR and all good saves at low levels is already 'wait, what?'. Getting decent natural weapons on top of that, easily getting extra attacks while all other classes need a lot of effort to gain them... and you still get SLAs? That's beyond the Big Five, dude... and they are already too much.
You could, though, build a character with a few of those abilities. There are rules for those. You could start as a tiefling caster (or warlock, if you are set on SLAs) then into Acolyte of the Skin. That would eventually get most of wha you want, without the gamebreaking part. You can't have all the cookies in the jar for a reason.

While that's a lot, that is hardly beyond the big five... they don't really care about having an amazing chassis (which is what this gets), they just care about spells. Basically all of the big five (besides druid) have pretty awful base proficiencies, skills, HD, saves, etc. But they've got spells, so who cares?

tyckspoon
2010-10-01, 10:25 AM
. and you still get SLAs? That's beyond the Big Five, dude... and they are already too much.


That's a really extreme claim.. what he described sounds more like a Totemist with demonically-themed abilities traded for versatility in choosing soulmelds. Actually, you could get pretty close with a reduced requirement for homebrew by creating new demonically-influenced soulmelds to use. Something like shape effect: gain claws, Bind to Totem: Babau Slime, d4 +1d4/essentia bonus to claw damage and reflective when struck, bind to hands: Sneak Attack dice. Most of the effects can be done in existing melds, even (there's a dozen ways for Totemists to get natural attacks, you can teleport around with the Blink Dog shirt) the visual effects would just be unfitting.


Knowledge Devotion, but that requires turn undead (which basically requires spellcasting) to be usable frequently

Knowledge Devotion is the one Devotion feat that doesn't use the Turn Undead/uses per day mechanic; it's a constant bonus as long as you can make the appropriate Knowledge DC.

true_shinken
2010-10-01, 10:26 AM
While that's a lot, that is hardly beyond the big five... they don't really care about having an amazing chassis (which is what this gets), they just care about spells. Basically all of the big five (besides druid) have pretty awful base proficiencies, skills, HD, saves, etc. But they've got spells, so who cares?
I'm talking about level 6 and below; 6 is the level where he stated he wanted to be babau-like.
At those levels, the bad chassis REALLY hurts.


That's a really extreme claim.. what he described sounds more like a Totemist with demonically-themed abilities traded for versatility in choosing soulmelds.
Wait, does the Totemist get full base attack and all good saves? I believe not.
If he can get what he wanted by playing a Totemist, his point is moot anyway.

Zaydos
2010-10-01, 10:27 AM
Hence my suggestion of looking at the creature and assigning a more reasonable LA. It's house ruling, which is only a step away from homebrew, but in the case of actually playing a demon either you get a poor substitute with a class or you do this.

If you want those powers with 0 LA then you're asking for someone overpowered and broken, only matched (and beaten) by optimized casters (which I have yet to see someone play or even suggest outside of high power gestalt and even then they were only semi-optimized).

If you want them from level one, then you can work with your DM to make a SS monster progression so that you are a demon from level one, just not a full powered one :smallconfused: Okay those sometime make my head hurt fluffwise but I've used them and when the LA is reasonable (which it can be, a red dragon with its LA reduced by 3 is reasonable without LA buy-off, it is worse in combat than a crusader but has flight, bc, better non-Fort saves, it is probably low Tier 3 high tier 4 a perfectly reasonable place to be).

Edit: Problem is below Lv 6 a host of immunities, resistance, and SLAs is broken.

Fax Celestis
2010-10-01, 10:29 AM
If he can get what he wanted by playing a Totemist, his point is moot anyway.

You can...if you homebrew demonic soulmelds.


Knowledge Devotion is the one Devotion feat that doesn't use the Turn Undead/uses per day mechanic; it's a constant bonus as long as you can make the appropriate Knowledge DC.
Inconsistency + memory like a sieve made of swiss cheese = Faxfail