PDA

View Full Version : Articulate your Inexplicable Loathing of Non-Core.



Angry Bob
2011-01-29, 01:09 PM
When I asked my group, why they had a problem with my string of Warblades, Totemists, Crusaders, and Psychic Warriors, I couldn't get an answer beyond a knee-jerk "It's broken." Is there anyone here with an understandable reason for restricting 3.5 to core, other than having limited access to books?

To my mind, playing core only 3.5 is counterintuitive. If you want a more "traditional" fantasy setting and your players to have fewer options, play 2nd edition. If you want it to be more balanced, play Fourth. Don't screw 3.5 out of its biggest strength(lots and lots of customization) just because you can't be bothered to read and understand some extra material.

tl;dr: Do you have a well-thought out reason for playing 3.5 core only? What is it?

Go to town. I'm not here to defend my position. I'm here to try to understand why some people hate non-core.

Saint GoH
2011-01-29, 01:18 PM
The issue with 4e is its more like World of Dungeoncraft, and not D&D. Every edition prior to 4e has a certain feel to it. 4e feels like I'm back playing WoW again.

Now I'm all for splatbooks, but one guy I know is a little lost because he hates 4th ed, does not know 2e, so he sticks with 3.5 core. He doesn't like how his players abuse Dragon Mag feats and whatnot, and rather than sift through source books to find what he finds balanced he just bans it all.

Its a pretty generalized blanket ban, but some people don't have time (or patience) to learn a new system.The fact he also only plays Wizards and druids MIGHT have something to do with it also...

gbprime
2011-01-29, 01:20 PM
It's a question of power level. If one character is eclipsing the others, making them think "why am I even bothering rolling to hit when I could just wait two rounds and Baron Destructo there will finish him off" then you have a power imbalance. Adding non-core crunch to a mostly-core game is where said imbalance comes from.

A DM's job is to either incorporate said sources in such a way that power imbalances do not happen (either by limiting Teir 1 combos or loading the lower teir PC's up with extra magic items) or just banning it outright.

My gaming group takes a blended approach. Psionics are out, because only 1 or 2 people in the group have taken the time to understand their system. Incarnum is out for the same reason. And they're just starting to dabble with Tome of Battle and Tome of Magic.

snoopy13a
2011-01-29, 01:23 PM
Don't screw 3.5 out of its biggest strength(lots and lots of customization) just because you can't be bothered to read and understand some extra material.



I think that's the main reason. New classes, items, feats, spells, etc. increase the complexity of the game. They create new templates, new strategies, new enemies to fight and generally require more research.

Furthermore, a more cynical player may believe that new books are "broken" because they think game companies will increase abilities to sell books. Some people simply don't see any advantage to investing more time and energy to learn new information. Plus, they may believe that the new books will make their preferred playstyles obsolete. They understand core, they are completely fine with it and they don't want the game to expand.

dsmiles
2011-01-29, 01:27 PM
Its a pretty generalized blanket ban, but some people don't have time (or patience) to learn a new system.I generally don't ban anything anymore, unless I've read it, and believe it to be broken. I think this boils down to closed-minded-ness and patience more than time. I don't have much spare time on my hands, but I will still make time to read something that a player brings to me and says, "I want to play this." Open-minded DM's that allow splat and 3rd party stuff have a tendency to be the ones who improv more and plan less. That's the style of play that I enjoy, so that's what I try to do as a DM. Core is just as broken as the splatbooks, IMO, so why not allow splat?

Urpriest
2011-01-29, 01:31 PM
Part of the reason people think non-core is broken is because they think that non-core players are broken. Someone who plays non-core doesn't simply read one book and choose things that make sense for their character, they look through multiple books, which presumably means they've got higher standards. If you aren't satisfied with just core, then you're thinking about aspects of the game that they don't feel the need to think about, and the only aspect like that they're familiar with is powergaming. So people who go outside of core are thought of as powergamers.

TheGeckoKing
2011-01-29, 01:42 PM
I can only think of only a few reasons I could think of that are viable reasons to ban non-Core is;

Broken Stuff - This needs no explaining

Complicated Stuff/New System - Some DM's can't deal with running a game AND learning how in god's name Incarnum/Psionics/ToB works. I've read the book on Incarnum three times and i've still not got it, and i'm not running a game on top of that.

Wildly Differing Fluff - Yes, this is a vaild reason, depending on the circumstances. I'm not talking about a line of text that can be ignored, but some crunch is so intertwined with fluff it's hard to pry them apart, and then you get stuff like ToB which can veer into Naruto-y themed stuff easily (That 9th level Shadow Hand manuver alone is Anime incarnate), and i'm sorry, saying it doesn't fit in with the fluff CAN be a valid reason (Some people hate that reason when it comes up), because not everyone can be asked to re-fluff every dang thing the player wants.

But a blanket ban? No, that's just stupid. Core has 3 of the Big 5 in it, and the other two (Artificer and Archivist) depend on the DM (Crafting time and Spell Availability) so much it's just pathetically easy to stop them. NO, Mr Artificer, you can't have 3 days to make the Uber-Golem 3000 and NO Mr Archivist, you don't find a library that has Uber-Spell of Ultimate Desolation.
You can't do that in Core with Cleric/Druid/Maybe Wizard.

Greenish
2011-01-29, 01:50 PM
Complicated Stuff/New System - Some DM's can't deal with running a game AND learning how in god's name Incarnum/Psionics/ToB works. I've read the book on Incarnum three times and i've still not got it, and i'm not running a game on top of that.Meldshaping is often used as an example of a complicated subsystem, but I've never found it that bad. Basically, you choose a bunch of magic items to wear each day, and can invest power into them round by round (think Star Trek - full power to shields!).

(That 9th level Shadow Hand manuver alone is Anime incarnate)Normal attack +15d6 and a save vs a penalty is "anime incarnate" now? :smallamused:

Of course, the name is a pastiche/parody.

tyckspoon
2011-01-29, 01:56 PM
Meldshaping is often used as an example of a complicated subsystem, but I've never found it that bad. Basically, you choose a bunch of magic items to wear each day, and can invest power into them round by round (think Star Trek - full power to shields!).
Normal attack +15d6 and a save vs a penalty is "anime incarnate" now? :smallamused:

Of course, the name is a pastiche/parody.

For complicated subsystems, I think there's a large matter of player trust in there; if the GM doesn't have time to learn the system himself, he should be able to trust the player to learn and run the character accurately. "I don't have time to figure out what he's doing" is a valid reason to disallow stuff, but I like to think the people I play with aren't going to use my lack of time just to try and put one over on me like that. Although if you think the player himself isn't taking the time to figure out how his new character actually works.. yeah, ban away, that's just trouble.

Anime? Shadow Hand is the discipline that's all about being a Magic Ninja. Of course it has anime tones, that's where most of the source material on that archetype is. That doesn't mean the other 8 disciplines and 2 base classes in the book have to be or even lend themselves well to characters that are 'too anime'.

The_Scourge
2011-01-29, 01:58 PM
Speaking as a DM I don't allow ToB, Incarnum, Psionics or ToM simply because itan entire new way of doing things for everyone to learn and having to dig through five different books for each bogs down gameplay. The Completes the races series and the environment books (frostburn etc) are fine, great even and they use the same basic rules and mechanics as core (barring a few things which are by and large ignored) they are what gives 3.5 it's massive customizability and flavour.

Now having said that, as a player I loathe the first group I mentioned. Not because of brokenness but on aesthetic. I've never liked psionics in fantasy games, always seemed more scifi to me, and I much prefer my martial characters to not leap around like teenagers in a bad anime.
It might be that I play in low to mid optimized games and I hate comprimising the feel of a game for more power. I don't play to rofl-stomp everything in sight, I play to tell a good story.

EDIT: hiveminded on most of my thoughts

Hammerhead
2011-01-29, 02:00 PM
It takes long enough to level up with only one book at hand.

TheGeckoKing
2011-01-29, 02:05 PM
Anime? Shadow Hand is the discipline that's all about being a Magic Ninja. Of course it has anime tones, that's where most of the source material on that archetype is. That doesn't mean the other 8 disciplines and 2 base classes in the book have to be or even lend themselves well to characters that are 'too anime'.

I'm not saying it's all "too anime". I remember a player that asked the DM if he could swap out disciplines to have Diamond Mind, Iron Soul, and something else, to be a bit less magical and a bit more "I'm so strong I can break your back in 5 different ways." What I meant is, is that it CAN veer off into "too anime", and some DM's won't like that.

And yeah, I meant the name. I can't remember it, but I CAN remember it's not something that's not easily taken seriously.

Greenish
2011-01-29, 02:10 PM
And yeah, I meant the name. I can't remember it, but I CAN remember it's not something that's not easily taken seriously.Say it with me:

Five-Shadow Creeping Ice Enervation Strikeeeeeeeee!!!

:smalltongue:

Vemynal
2011-01-29, 02:13 PM
I don't ban anything

I just let my players know that if they go all uber cheese on me I reserve the full right to uber cheese them back

example: the d2 infinite damage crusader? His weapon gets sundered (if I'm feeling really mean it all gets disintegrated) and what do you know! The monster dropped a regular non-master work weapon for him to now use.

Wizard cheesing out? Hey guess what guys, the entire next dungeon is in an AMF (or you can always find a reason to deafen him if at lower levels before they can cure it)


Now for the well roleplayed and non-cheesey wizard? awesome new magical robes!

etc

Xyk
2011-01-29, 02:14 PM
I'm playing with 4 people who started the game in November and 2 people that started 2 weeks ago. I'm not going to expect them to learn more than is necessary to play (which is substantial) while also going to one of the top (read: most work) high schools in the country.

TheGeckoKing
2011-01-29, 02:14 PM
@Greenish...........Lol.

I do have another reason why non-Core might be banned;

Book-Dipping - "Hey boss, I've got this character, a Soulknife, and he's got a few feats from MoI, a few from XPH, a Prc from ToB, a couple of items from CompWarrior and this other book, and a Handle Animal'd pet from a Dragon Mag......."

Ignoring that this would probably be an awful character, some DM's might ban non-Core to stop this.

dsmiles
2011-01-29, 02:15 PM
Say it with me:

Five-Shadow Creeping Ice Enervation Strikeeeeeeeee!!!

:smalltongue:

Five-Shadow Creeping Ice Enervation Strikeeeeeeeee!!!

That's what I love about ToB. The names are so fun to jump up and shout in the middle of combat! :smallbiggrin:

Greenish
2011-01-29, 02:18 PM
I do have another reason why non-Core might be banned;

Book-DippingIs there something inherently wrong with that?

The_Scourge
2011-01-29, 02:20 PM
I don't ban anything

I just let my players know that if they go all uber cheese on me I reserve the full right to uber cheese them back

example: the d2 infinite damage crusader? His weapon gets sundered (if I'm feeling really mean it all gets disintegrated) and what do you know! The monster dropped a regular non-master work weapon for him to now use.

Wizard cheesing out? Hey guess what guys, the entire next dungeon is in an AMF (or you can always find a reason to deafen him if at lower levels before they can cure it)


Now for the well roleplayed and non-cheesey wizard? awesome new magical robes!

etc

I try to avoid thinking like this because it lessens the fun of the game for players. It's the whole "giving something then taking it away" problem it causes less problems if you say no in the first place.

That and I'd rather the players not set fire to my person.

Fox Box Socks
2011-01-29, 02:20 PM
Honestly, I've never really understood the whole "it's broken" argument.

When I think of all the books published during the run of 3.5, the one with the most broken, overpowered, encounter-ending, game-busting, campaign-ruining options in it is the Player's Handbook, which stands head and shoulders above everything else as the most unbalanced book in 3.5.

The_Scourge
2011-01-29, 02:24 PM
And if you're a sensible DM you'll ban the chain gate insence of meditation nonsense as well. Just because it's there doesn't mean youy have to allow it.

TheGeckoKing
2011-01-29, 02:25 PM
Is there something inherently wrong with that?

Not really, it's just some players don't know when to stop, and it takes the gecko when they spend a good few minutes looking up stuff in a splatbook because they wanna remind themselves of ONE feat, or something.

HandofCrom
2011-01-29, 02:26 PM
You listed classes from ToB, XPH, and MoI, which I think are the books with the most divided base in 3.5. Many people love those books because they are balanced and have fun mechanics, as well as fluff they like. Many people hate those books because they think the fluff is horrible for the games they want, and do not want to have to deal with new and annoying mechanics. Otherwise, people can be anxious about players trying to use several books to Munchkin or having to learn new mechanics.

Greenish
2011-01-29, 02:28 PM
Not really, it's just some players don't know when to stop, and it takes the gecko when they spend a good few minutes looking up stuff in a splatbook because they wanna remind themselves of ONE feat, or something.If you can't remember how your character's abilities work, you should write them down, preferably with page references. I usually do that anyway.

And it's not too different from that core-only monk who wants to grapple. :smalltongue:

Starbuck_II
2011-01-29, 02:29 PM
@Greenish...........Lol.

I do have another reason why non-Core might be banned;

Book-Dipping - "Hey boss, I've got this character, a Soulknife, and he's got a few feats from MoI, a few from XPH, a Prc from ToB, a couple of items from CompWarrior and this other book, and a Handle Animal'd pet from a Dragon Mag......."

Ignoring that this would probably be an awful character, some DM's might ban non-Core to stop this.

Sometimes you need dipping to make a viable character since they put useful options scattered throughout every book (60% of books is junk for that type of character).
Look at fear effects: find me one good book for them for a martial character. You can find tiny bits in lots of book but very little in just one.

TheGeckoKing
2011-01-29, 02:30 PM
Well, I'm not saying the books are broken, and I didn't mean to pick out thoes books in particular. The point is some people go overboard with all the options they pick, and slow the game down looking them all up.
Maybe i've just had bad experiences :smallfrown:

Oh, and yeah, Munchkins. At least with Core-Only, it's easier to limit the damage they can do.

tyckspoon
2011-01-29, 02:31 PM
Well, I'm not saying the books are broken, and I didn't mean to pick out thoes books in particular. The point is some people go overboard with all the options they pick, and slow the game down looking them all up.


Again, player problem, not source problem. *Everything* on your character sheet should be annotated with source and, if possible, page reference, no matter if it comes from Core or not.

Edit: And summary of effect, when available. Fillable-PDF character sheets and spell/item cards make that really easy to do.

dsmiles
2011-01-29, 02:33 PM
Oh, and yeah, Munchkins. At least with Core-Only, it's easier to limit the damage they can do.

That's an easy fix. Just ban munchkins. Make your table a "Munchkin-Free Zone."

TheGeckoKing
2011-01-29, 02:33 PM
Then i've just had bad experiances, it seems. Dang sponge-brained Soulknife sucking so bad we volunteered to all lose a level to make him feel useful.........

Fox Box Socks
2011-01-29, 02:39 PM
I'm told that Soulknives actually aren't bad if you bump them up to full BAB.

Not fantastic, mind you, but not bad.

Volos
2011-01-29, 02:40 PM
I usually allow a healthy number of splat books in my games. In fact I viturally thrust them into the hands of my players, begging them to take something non-core. I get tired of seeing the same party of characters dealing with the same problems the same way every time. While each group is different and the same group can surprise you from time to time, if you only have core races and core classes to choose from it can get kinda repetative after a while. I actually ran a game in which I told the party they had to choose monsterous races or they couldn't play; just to make the game more interesting. Extra kudos went to the players who chose non-core classes or PrCs just for the fluff rather than the crunch. It was such a great campaign and I'm kinda sad that it had to end.

That being said, I have certian splat books that I will not let players anywhere near. And when I have players ask me for certian feats, AFCs, items, spells, ect that I am not 100% familiar with... I check the forums and generally look for guides on how to use X to break the game. If my player seems to be going down said path I either prepare myself or I tell them to pick something else. Psionics, ToB, ToM, Incarnium, and other books with non-standard rules never get into my games. The reason being that if a player can access a power, cast a spell, or use an item that is more effective than a Core Class would be at the same level, I disallow it. Or if a class is so ineffective (truenamer) then I tell them to pick something that works. I actually understand the rules in these books and I think the ideas are awesome... but these books in particular lend themselves to making a one-person-army character. ToB is the worst at this. The idea of a core party is to have melee guys with next to no ability to survive on their own, to have sneaky guys with next to no ability to survive on their own, and full casters who could survive on their own but who need meat shields. The casters buff the party, debuff the enemy, blast the baddies, and heal the party. The melee guys get a huge advantage from the buff/debuffing going on and shred the foes while keeping the caster and sneaky guy safe. The sneaky guy uses everyone else as a distraction and takes out the foes with sneak attack damage and special abilitys that give penalties to the foes. The casters use their magic to overcome obsticals, the melee use their muscle to overcome obsticales, and the sneaky guys use their skills to overcome obsticales. The books that are most commonly banned at the ones that take this dynamic and tear it to shreds, leaving no semblance of the game you knew and loved behind. I disallow certian books to keep the party working as a party.

dsmiles
2011-01-29, 02:41 PM
Then i've just had bad experiances, it seems. Dang sponge-brained Soulknife sucking so bad we volunteered to all lose a level to make him feel useful.........

Sponge Bob Soulknife Pants?

The_Scourge
2011-01-29, 02:43 PM
Some people aren't well versaed in spreadsheet-foo.
Have you evr actually tried to have all the info for a high level character on hand at all time? I'm DMing a Pathfinder tournament currently and one of the stipulations was that no laptops were alowed. Printed out, most players have to have a binder to keep all their stuff straight.

Yora
2011-01-29, 02:47 PM
tl;dr: Do you have a well-thought out reason for playing 3.5 core only? What is it?
I don't need to. Using more books doesn't add anything to the games I play. Most people I play with a completely new players, and they don't get bored by being limited to the options in the PHB.
Using more books only means I have to learn more classes, feats, and spells, and being able to explain them, and players will focus far too much on building their character sheets instead of developing their characters personalties.

But I stoped using 3rd Edition completely, because the game puts so much emphasis on character creation and advancement. If I were to run D&D games again, it would be older editions.

ScionoftheVoid
2011-01-29, 02:47 PM
I'm told that Soulknives actually aren't bad if you bump them up to full BAB.

Not fantastic, mind you, but not bad.

You have been told wrong.

The Soulknife can create a weapon weaker than those available for sale. They can briefly make it maybe slightly better than a buyable weapon. But then they lack hitpoints and armour proficiency in a frontliner, meaning they can spend the money they saved on weaponry toughening themselves up or go down rather quickly. Either way they're worse than most non-casters.

A Psychic Warrior with the Soulbound Weapon ACF is a competent Soulknife.

TheGeckoKing
2011-01-29, 02:50 PM
Sponge Bob Soulknife Pants?

I'm going to tell that player he should call his old character that when I see him next. You know the worst part? A level higher, and HE STILL SUCKED. We only had a Warlock, a Healbot Cleric, and a Rogue/Assassin, for gawd sakes.

Fox Box Socks
2011-01-29, 02:51 PM
The idea of a core party is to have melee guys with next to no ability to survive on their own, to have sneaky guys with next to no ability to survive on their own, and full casters who could survive on their own but who need meat shields. The casters buff the party, debuff the enemy, blast the baddies, and heal the party. The melee guys get a huge advantage from the buff/debuffing going on and shred the foes while keeping the caster and sneaky guy safe. The sneaky guy uses everyone else as a distraction and takes out the foes with sneak attack damage and special abilitys that give penalties to the foes. The casters use their magic to overcome obsticals, the melee use their muscle to overcome obsticales, and the sneaky guys use their skills to overcome obsticales.
See, that's kind of the main problem I had with core-only games: that philosophy really only worked on paper. In practice, the Fighter or Paladin or Barbarian or Rogue all eventually get eclipsed by the Cleric or Druid or Wizard. Without feat trees or obscure prestige classes or devoted splatbooks, the martial classes just got overshadowed by the casters after level 6 or so (Wands of Knock, Wands of Find Traps, and Mage Hand make Rogues cry). Martial guys are REAL strong at level one, but the Linear Fighter Quadratic Wizard problem is one that I experienced over and over and over again as games progressed.

Non-core books help in that regard.

Remmirath
2011-01-29, 02:53 PM
Non-core seems to me to be an increasing path of cheesiness leading up eventually to 4th edition. Also known as 'stop getting your Magic the Gathering sounding class names and feats in my D&D, please'. :smalltongue:

That's not really all of it, though, it's just something that bugs me. If that was the only thing I didn't like about it I might just avoid ever saying the names or something.

First off, I'll start by saying that if I am DMing a game for a group other than my usual group I will say anything goes so long as I've got a chance to look over it first (and, of course, if upon looking over it I discover it won't work at all I'll tell them). I don't outright ban things unless they are truly, terribly broken or over-powered (and I dont recall ever actually having to do that).

I'll try to articulate my problems...

One: I like the core classes, and usually I like their mechanics. I'd much rather fighters be fighters, clerics be clerics, et cetera. Now, in the spirit of honesty, I'll add that I would still be playing 1st or 2nd edition if a switch to 3rd hadn't been brought upon us by losing our books (and by the time we got new ones, one of the other people in the group liked 3rd way more). I do in fact like the mechanics of 3rd - but I like the general sort of... aesthetics, I suppose, of earlier editions better. So I want to play 3rd with the usual cleric/mage/fighter/thief set-up. Since the others in my normal group agree with me, this works out fine.

Two: Most splatbooks that I've read have been reasonably balanced within themselves, but not terribly well balanced with other things, and sometimes there doesn't seem to have been much thought to how these things will interact with already existing spells and such. Some are broken compared to other things, some are over-powered.
(No matter how many times I read broken being used as over-powered here, I think of it as the opposite.)

Also, there are very few things that are really terribly overpowered in core and core alone. They typically need some catalyst from outside core to become overpowered, or a DM who isn't doing quite as they should (Wish should be more like your ticket to hell than your ticket to ultimate power, for instance). D&D (at least up to and including 3rd) is I think pretty obviously not meant to played by RAW, it's meant to played by rules as interpreted by the DM - and that usually eliminates almost all of the possible cheese right there.
(I grudgingly admit that some things, such as Time Stop, are basically broken - but they are the exception and not the rule. Grudging because I like the idea of Time Stop, but I don't use it.)

Also, and of relevance to my usual game, non-core classes tend to break down spectacularly at epic levels - or that has been my finding from the few I've seen tried. Some of them break even worse than the Arcane Archer, and that's saying something, since epic Arcane Archers are some of the most useless characters I've ever seen. Some, on the other hand, get really over-powered. Some work fine, of course, but the more weird abilities the class has the more likely they are to break down at epic.

Three: For a lot of the new classes and such, I really dislike the 'fluff' aspect. Like I said earlier above, class names seemed to drift more towards things like 'Wildstone Shaper' or 'Initiate of the Bloodheaven Triad' or whatever (obviously those are made up examples). There's something about such names that just grates on me, and I find the fluff of those classes tends to grate on me as well. So I don't use them. Part of this may have to do with that we run almost exclusively homebrew settings, and often these classes are just jarring within such settings.

Four: Don't fix what ain't broke. As in, my usual game runs perfectly well with the core classes and the few others that we typically make use of and our house rules. Introducing other classes would throw off the balance, and we all already like what we've got - so why change it? Just for the sake of it? I don't see the point of that.

Five: Maybe I'm weird, but I like trying to make my characters different using the same classes. I like making two or three fighters who have the exact same class but are pretty different from each other. I also prefer to rely on the roleplaying aspect to define my characters rather than the stats aspect. The stats are to kill stuff and back up roleplaying, in my opinion. (And I do certainly like killing stuff, but it still takes a back seat to roleplaying.) If I come up with a concept where a non-core class actually fits the best, I will use it - but that's been pretty rare, and usually restricted to a few classes.

As an aside, the non-core classes I use at times are: Legendary Dreadnought, Divine Emissary (whenever there is a character in that position, obviously I don't go sticking it on random people), Fist of Raziel, Dragon Ascendant, Psionicist, Psychic Warrior, Wilder, and sometimes (fixed to be vaguely competent) Soulknife and some other classes from the Draconomicon. I couldn't say for sure why I like those and dislike others, but they usually either bring something you can't quite get with core classes alone and that I want to have or they work well to add on at epic levels.

To Sum Up If That Was Too Long: I generally like how things were in 1st end 2nd edition better, but my group much prefers the mechanics of 3rd and I like them equally. So, I prefer playing 3rd core. I also dislike silly class and feat names, which seem to have become increasingly more prevalent as non-core went on. I do not ban non-core, however, I simply usually avoid it. The rare times I run across a non-core class I do like I will use it.

Greenish
2011-01-29, 02:53 PM
Psionics, ToB, ToM, Incarnium, and other books with non-standard rules never get into my games. The reason being that if a player can access a power, cast a spell, or use an item that is more effective than a Core Class would be at the same level, I disallow it.That's not a reason to ban psionics, ToM or MoI, and only works for ToB if you compare ToB classes to core non-casters. :smallconfused:

[Edit]:
The Soulknife can create a weapon weaker than those available for sale. They can briefly make it maybe slightly better than a buyable weapon. But then they lack hitpoints and armour proficiency in a frontlinerSoulknives actually have d10 hitdie, like some other frontliners I could name.

dsmiles
2011-01-29, 02:55 PM
See, that's kind of the main problem I had with core-only games: that philosophy really only worked on paper. In practice, the Fighter or Paladin or Barbarian or Rogue all eventually get eclipsed by the Cleric or Druid or Wizard. Without feat trees or obscure prestige classes or devoted splatbooks, the martial classes just got overshadowed by the casters after level 6 or so (Wands of Knock, Wands of Find Traps, and Mage Hand make Rogues cry). Martial guys are REAL strong at level one, but the Linear Fighter Quadratic Wizard problem is one that I experienced over and over and over again as games progressed.

Non-core books help in that regard.

I prefer the term "screwed" to "overshadowed." It's more appropriate. Without splat, there's no use for melee characters after, say, 5th - 7th level.

EDIT:
That's not a reason to ban psionics, ToM or MoI, and only works for ToB if you compare ToB classes to core non-casters. :smallconfused:
Especially not psionics. Psions are wizards. (With a different casting mechanic and more balance.)

Volos
2011-01-29, 03:21 PM
See, that's kind of the main problem I had with core-only games: that philosophy really only worked on paper. In practice, the Fighter or Paladin or Barbarian or Rogue all eventually get eclipsed by the Cleric or Druid or Wizard. Without feat trees or obscure prestige classes or devoted splatbooks, the martial classes just got overshadowed by the casters after level 6 or so (Wands of Knock, Wands of Find Traps, and Mage Hand make Rogues cry). Martial guys are REAL strong at level one, but the Linear Fighter Quadratic Wizard problem is one that I experienced over and over and over again as games progressed.

Non-core books help in that regard.

I've actaully never had a problem with martial classes not comparing to the casters in my games. My players learn to work together or to die together. Wand of Knock? Awesome... the door has fifty locks and is made of cold iron. By the way, there are a few hundred undead charging at you. Wand of Find Traps? Awesome, you found the trap... it's the whole room. The room falls down a few floors and now you are surrounded on all sides by lead and the cieling is collasping. Wand of Mage Hand? Awesome... the key is actually a huge stone arm that you need to reattach to that statue... while it's attacking you.

I run a style of game that lets everyone shine at what they do because if they don't they probably aren't going to survive or finish their quest in time. Yes, casters can outshine the sneaky and melee classes, but if they do who is going to take care of the caster only problems? I address ballance issues in core with making challenges that players must overcome as a group with everyone doing their own part.


That's not a reason to ban psionics, ToM or MoI, and only works for ToB if you compare ToB classes to core non-casters. :smallconfused:

Yes it is. Classes are concidered broken if they can do something before Non-Core can. For example Ur-Priest. Largely concidered broken for it's early access to 9th level spells, high SR vs Divine spells, and ability to suck spell like abilites out of monters/people. Summon a monster X, suck it's spell like ability, rape the game. Psionics, or atleast what I have seen my players ask for in psionics, attempts to do things better/faster/stronger than the core classes they are emulating. The way to work with Psionics is to run psionic creatures and NPCs, which would mean you entire campaign setting would have to incorperate those features/rules. My settings usually don't, so I get offended when a potential player ignores the history I emailed him and just asks if he can X > Y > Z said power and rule the world. I did run Psionics once and I ran with psionic monsters and NPCs, making it a challenge for the player who was using the Psionic rules. He actually cried foul. He was upset that the monsters could either counter or deal with his powers. This is the issue I run into, is that if a player wants a certian class or feat, and then have it used on them... they get upset and claim that your game is no longer fun. I realize this isn't always the case, but it seems to happen to me more often than not. It is just like watching your little brother play a video game, punching in some cheat codes, and then getting upset that the game suddenly got harder to compensate. Players want power, and I don't mind them wanting it. But I will give it to them on my terms so that I can keep the game challenging and fun for everyone involved.

ScionoftheVoid
2011-01-29, 03:32 PM
Soulknives actually have d10 hitdie, like some other frontliners I could name.

Dammit! I should really check these things or just not post them. That's twice in one day, now. And both on Psionics. Study, laze about, or re-read Psionics? Decisions, decisions...

Greenish
2011-01-29, 03:41 PM
Yes it is. Classes are concidered broken if they can do something before Non-Core can.Okay, so 3/4 of EPH classes can manifest psionic powers before core classes. I hope you're aware that warlocks get invocations before core classes, and many PrCs from Complete series gain casting before core fighters do.

Psionics, or atleast what I have seen my players ask for in psionics, attempts to do things better/faster/stronger than the core classes they are emulating.Psionics work much like magic, but are by and large weaker than it. Neither psions nor wilders are stronger than core-only wizards or sorcerers, and a splatbooked bard can easily keep up with the psychic warrior. Soulknife isn't going to outshine anything anytime soon.

ScionoftheVoid
2011-01-29, 03:43 PM
-snip, but referring only to the psionics bit-

How do you find that? Unless you're not using psionics-magic transparency, things should be as defended against psionics as magic (and transparency is recommended, with a point made that you should expect problems if you don't use it). Psionics is largely slightly worse than magic, being slightly better at blasting and action economy abuse (but that leads to running dry far more often than a Wizard or Sorcerer would) but worse at most other things. Psionics can't even do illusions of most kinds, nor necromancy. Psionic classes certainly shouldn't require tailoring more than any other classes.

Fiery Diamond
2011-01-29, 03:49 PM
My rule as a DM is
-All core, barring a few spells, is allowed.
-Exception to the above: campaign-specific, certain classes may be disallowed for flavor reasons.
-There are heavy houserules and alterations, which I give up front.
-If you want something non-core, bring it to me for evaluation first. I'll usually say yes to things once I've had the chance to look them over, but not always: it depends on power and flavor.

Also, there are multiple spells in non-core that do the same or nearly the same thing as each other, for the same class spell list, which are different spell levels. This requires judgment calls. (I think there are two Dispelling Screen-type spells which are essentially the same but are different spell levels, for example)

GoodbyeSoberDay
2011-01-29, 03:53 PM
When I asked my group, why they had a problem with my string of Warblades, Totemists, Crusaders, and Psychic Warriors, I couldn't get an answer beyond a knee-jerk "It's broken." Is there anyone here with an understandable reason for restricting 3.5 to core, other than having limited access to books?

To my mind, playing core only 3.5 is counterintuitive. If you want a more "traditional" fantasy setting and your players to have fewer options, play 2nd edition. If you want it to be more balanced, play Fourth. Don't screw 3.5 out of its biggest strength(lots and lots of customization) just because you can't be bothered to read and understand some extra material.

tl;dr: Do you have a well-thought out reason for playing 3.5 core only? What is it?

Go to town. I'm not here to defend my position. I'm here to try to understand why some people hate non-core.I have read enough to know non-core is generally less broken than core. That said, I have a question for you: are your characters consistently more powerful than the rest of the party's characters? If so, they may be viewing a spurious correlation between (your) use of non-core material and overpowered characters, and you might have to admit that you're the overpowering element.

Czin
2011-01-29, 03:57 PM
Taking a little time out from my current session (well, time out of the 30 minute break any way) to say this. I don't ban anything because I already have everything. My rabid thirst for knowledge and capacity to digest it (as long as it can hold my interest any way) lets me understand most things thrown at me after a day or so of reading through it. As I have never gotten in a session where the DM(s) ever banned anything, I have no experience with the mind set.

Czin
2011-01-29, 04:01 PM
Okay, so 3/4 of EPH classes can manifest psionic powers before core classes. I hope you're aware that warlocks get invocations before core classes, and many PrCs from Complete series gain casting before core fighters do.
Psionics work much like magic, but are by and large weaker than it. Neither psions nor wilders are stronger than core-only wizards or sorcerers, and a splatbooked bard can easily keep up with the psychic warrior. Soulknife isn't going to outshine anything anytime soon.

I wouldn't necessarily agree with your second statement, the psion in my group is more or less on par with the sorcerer (in-character they have a friendly rivalry and try to out-do one another constantly) and the semi-optimized erudite similarly is a near perfect match up for the semi-optimized wizard. Though the fact that the Erudite and Wizard are played by people who are identical twins who think very similarly (and whose mother had the damnable idea of giving them infuriatingly similar names, though they thankfully have different tastes in clothing or I'd never be able to tell them apart) IRL may have something to do with it.

Ravens_cry
2011-01-29, 04:05 PM
I would be more open to other books, if I had those books. Sadly I don't, only starting this hobby after the 3.5 development cycle, so the SRD and stuff from Wizards that they published online is about the only sources I can legally use. I would indeed like to let players use other sources but I don't think it is very fair to ask to use a book the DM doesn't have access to.
A nice thing about Pathfinder is how much is under OGL and hence their SRD site; that is good for us mingy gamers despite my love of dead tree texts.

Angry Bob
2011-01-29, 04:05 PM
I have read enough to know non-core is generally less broken than core. That said, I have a question for you: are your characters consistently more powerful than the rest of the party's characters? If so, they may be viewing a spurious correlation between (your) use of non-core material and overpowered characters, and you might have to admit that you're the overpowering element.

See all of those different classes? All of those characters were in two campaigns. First: Warblade, Crusader, Totemist(with a side of barbarian), Warblade, TPK. Current campaign: Warblade, Warblade, Psywarrior, and now, I'm going to try a druid just to shut them up. I kept dying through a combination of bad luck and being the only guy that's built to actually walk up to an enemy and eat their face. The other players can't wrap their heads around me not wanting to play a fighter or a paladin or a barbarian instead.

Greenish
2011-01-29, 04:15 PM
I wouldn't necessarily agree with your second statement, the psion in my group is more or less on par with the sorcerer (in-character they have a friendly rivalry and try to out-do one another constantly) and the semi-optimized erudite similarly is a near perfect match up for the semi-optimized wizard.I said they aren't stronger than core casters, and your experiences seem to confirm that.

Though the player is always a huge variable.

Fox Box Socks
2011-01-29, 04:17 PM
Wand of Knock? Awesome... the door has fifty locks and is made of cold iron. By the way, there are a few hundred undead charging at you.
Irrelevant. Knock opens doors (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/knock.htm), regardless of how many individual locks are on the door. In fact, I'd say a Wizard with a Wand of Knock is BETTER equipped to deal with that situation than a Rogue, who would be forced to spend fifty actions opening a door while getting chewed on by Undead (as compared to, say, the Wizard, who'd most likely cast Web to keep the undead at bay before using the wand to open the door).


Wand of Find Traps? Awesome, you found the trap... it's the whole room. The room falls down a few floors and now you are surrounded on all sides by lead and the cieling is collasping.
Explain to me how a Wizard or Cleric (who have access to teleportation magic and could theoretically escape the trap) is worse off than a Rogue (who doesn't).


Wand of Mage Hand? Awesome... the key is actually a huge stone arm that you need to reattach to that statue... while it's attacking you.
I run a style of game that lets everyone shine at what they do because if they don't they probably aren't going to survive or finish their quest in time. Yes, casters can outshine the sneaky and melee classes, but if they do who is going to take care of the caster only problems? I address ballance issues in core with making challenges that players must overcome as a group with everyone doing their own part.
Maybe that works for your games. All I'm saying is that's simply not my experience with core-only gameplay. There were caster problems, and then there were non-caster problems, and the casters were really, really good at solving both at the same time

Greenish
2011-01-29, 04:20 PM
Explain to me how a Wizard or Cleric (who have access to teleportation magic and could theoretically escape the trap) is worse off than a Rogue (who doesn't).I think he thinks that lead blocks all magic.

Czin
2011-01-29, 04:20 PM
I said they aren't stronger than core casters, and your experiences seem to confirm that.

Though the player is always a huge variable.

You said psionics are by and large weaker than magic. Sure psionics don't get updated with every splat book (or virtually any splatbook for that matter with a few things like lords of madness being a rare exception) but I have always found that when played by people with similar tactics and optimization they're more or less equal.

dsmiles
2011-01-29, 04:21 PM
I think he thinks that lead blocks all magic.

No, just x-ray vision. :smalltongue:

ScionoftheVoid
2011-01-29, 04:22 PM
You said psionics are by and large weaker than magic. Sure psionics don't get updated with every splat book (or virtually any splatbook for that matter with a few things like lords of madness being a rare exception) but I have always found that when played by people with similar tactics and optimization they're more or less equal.

Which is why the Erudite and Wizard are both tier 1 and the Psion and Sorcerer both tier 2. Those being your examples of classes on equal standing, and all.

Greenish
2011-01-29, 04:24 PM
You said psionics are by and large weaker than magic.But that wasn't my second statement. :smalltongue:

But obviously, YMMV.

Czin
2011-01-29, 04:25 PM
Which is why the Erudite and Wizard are both tier 1 and the Psion and Sorcerer both tier 2. Those being your examples of classes on equal standing, and all.

Correct, any way my session is going to start back up in a few minutes so I have to run.

ScionoftheVoid
2011-01-29, 04:32 PM
Correct, any way my session is going to start back up in a few minutes so I have to run.

Okay, but as a final note, Erudite isn't OGL or in the XPH, so it's (theoretically) used less often. Using only the XPH psionics are indeed slightly weaker than Core magic.

CycloneJoker
2011-01-29, 04:54 PM
Just for the record, on psionics. I have, in my opinion, a fair bit of experience with Psionics, and I must say that, unless you consider the sorcerer broken, the only non-tricky, loop-hole or munchkin-style broken things are, the Erudite, the S2P Erudite, and the freaking Subverted Psion. I lack sufficient information to say that about some PrCs, but anyone who says Psionics is busted might as well be saying "Martial classes are broken because there's the d2 crusader." It is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

Also, S2P Erudite>Wizard.

Fox Box Socks
2011-01-29, 05:00 PM
I think he thinks that lead blocks all magic.
I'm still confused why he thought cold iron locks on the door would make a difference :smallcool:

I've generally found that Psionics being broken really has less to do with how broken it actually is and more to do with how much people grok it conceptually. 90% of the people who think that Psionics just isn't something they want in their D&D also just "happen" to believe that the rules for it are busted. Conversely, 90% of the people who feel it has a place in their game just "happen" to believe that it's balanced just fine.

Sine
2011-01-29, 05:01 PM
I would be more open to other books, if I had those books. Sadly I don't, only starting this hobby after the 3.5 development cycle, so the SRD and stuff from Wizards that they published online is about the only sources I can legally use. I would indeed like to let players use other sources but I don't think it is very fair to ask to use a book the DM doesn't have access to.
A nice thing about Pathfinder is how much is under OGL and hence their SRD site; that is good for us mingy gamers despite my love of dead tree texts.
There are plenty of ways to get free pdf books, though I prefer real books myself. Which is what eBay is for. :smallsmile:

Or, there's always the "lend me your book for a week so I can read up on what you want to play" option.

Half-Orc Rage
2011-01-29, 05:03 PM
I don't see it as a balance issue but a trust issue. First off, there was a player in a campaign I was in who played the shadowcaster from Tome of Battle. The DM really didn't know this material and I think the player got away with a lot of stuff he shouldn't have. I don't know the material either, but according to you guys it's a Tier 3 class and should not have dominated the game so much. The DM seemed like he was reining the player in a bit before the campaign ended abruptly, to be fair.

Second, I don't actually own all these books, so if I'm running a game I'm putting a lot of trust on the players to not be like that guy when I allow them to use a book I don't have. It's not like 3rd edition books are still in stores or that I have tons of money to get them all on ebay, or if I really want to pay so you can play that warblade.

Finally, this may come as a shock to many of you optimizers who can quote all the books verbatim, but this is a really freaking involved, complex game already. There are so many feats, classes, prestige classes, and spells to keep track of even when you actually grasp the more basic rules, which still takes a while for new players. Let's throw something else big and complex in there, like psionics, or totems, or some completely new system to layer on top of the existing system. Some people actually want to play the game on a casual, friendly level and don't stay up debating builds online.

Greenish
2011-01-29, 05:09 PM
I'm still confused why he thought cold iron locks on the door would make a difference :smallcool:Well, it's not that far-fetched that a door with a huge load of cold iron locks would be more difficult to enchant with an Arcane Lock (which would invalidate the rogue's lockpicking skills). :smalltongue:

[Edit]:
Second, I don't actually own all these books, so if I'm running a game I'm putting a lot of trust on the players to not be like that guy when I allow them to use a book I don't have. It's not like 3rd edition books are still in stores or that I have tons of money to get them all on ebay, or if I really want to pay so you can play that warblade.Aside from the fact that warblade is in the 'net for free along with all ToB maneuvers, wouldn't it be the player's job to provide the book she wants to use if the DM doesn't have it?

Let's throw something else big and complex in there, like psionics, or totems, or some completely new system to layer on top of the existing system.Totems, if you mean the barbarian variants, are pretty simple, and mostly offer stuff that's already in core. Psionics is pretty simple and intuitive system.

CycloneJoker
2011-01-29, 05:12 PM
I don't see it as a balance issue but a trust issue. First off, there was a player in a campaign I was in who played the shadowcaster from Tome of Battle. The DM really didn't know this material and I think the player got away with a lot of stuff he shouldn't have. I don't know the material either, but according to you guys it's a Tier 3 class and should not have dominated the game so much. The DM seemed like he was reining the player in a bit before the campaign ended abruptly, to be fair.

Second, I don't actually own all these books, so if I'm running a game I'm putting a lot of trust on the players to not be like that guy when I allow them to use a book I don't have. It's not like 3rd edition books are still in stores or that I have tons of money to get them all on ebay, or if I really want to pay so you can play that warblade.

Finally, this may come as a shock to many of you optimizers who can quote all the books verbatim, but this is a really freaking involved, complex game already. There are so many feats, classes, prestige classes, and spells to keep track of even when you actually grasp the more basic rules, which still takes a while for new players. Let's throw something else big and complex in there, like psionics, or totems, or some completely new system to layer on top of the existing system. Some people actually want to play the game on a casual, friendly level and don't stay up debating builds online.

Two things: One, I don't think it's worth playing the game if you can't trust the other players. Two, it's really easy to train your memory. If I try, and I care, I could probably quote an entire book, verbatim, or at least the parts I care about. It's not hard.

Ravens_cry
2011-01-29, 05:17 PM
There are plenty of ways to get free pdf books, though I prefer real books myself. Which is what eBay is for. :smallsmile:

Or, there's always the "lend me your book for a week so I can read up on what you want to play" option.
Legally, dear, legally. I am fussy like that.
eBay is amazing, but as the books become collectors items they are becoming incessantly more expensive, as if they weren't already.
:smallfrown:

GoodbyeSoberDay
2011-01-29, 05:17 PM
See all of those different classes? All of those characters were in two campaigns. First: Warblade, Crusader, Totemist(with a side of barbarian), Warblade, TPK. Current campaign: Warblade, Warblade, Psywarrior, and now, I'm going to try a druid just to shut them up. I kept dying through a combination of bad luck and being the only guy that's built to actually walk up to an enemy and eat their face. The other players can't wrap their heads around me not wanting to play a fighter or a paladin or a barbarian instead.I guess that's different. If you keep dying then stepping the power up by playing a Druid might be a good idea, core-spite or not.

Angry Bob
2011-01-29, 05:22 PM
Actually, don't get the wrong idea. I'm not trying to spite anyone or show that core's the most broken thing, because I don't have the energy to get into that with them right or wrong. Most of our difficulties in this campaign stem from not having out of combat healing. So me and the other guy that went down last session are rerolling a cleric(him) and the druid I mentioned. Using the shapeshift variant, so I don't have to keep track of wild shape or an animal companion.

Techsmart
2011-01-29, 05:25 PM
Personally, it depends on who i'm running a session with and how much time I have to prepare. If it is with my usual playgroup, everything flavor-appropriate in the setting is allowed (i did not allow samurai, for example, because the area they were in did not have samurai). If I have time to prepare, I will discourage some things (such as ones where I have to learn another system on top of the existing one) due to being complicated, but if I will ultimately allow most things (since any attempts at cheese get hit hard with rule 0). If I am with people I don't play with much, with little preparation, i start banning in bulk just to make things simpler. It allows me to focus more on the story than the rules.

stainboy
2011-01-29, 07:48 PM
Psionics - Gets a bad rap from earlier editions. XPH is excellent, but 3.0 was poorly done and 2e was a straight mess. If you played 2e Dark Sun, you look at Graft Weapon and remember some thri-kreen munchkin with four duo-dimensional vorpal battleaxe arms. Read that last sentence and tell me you don't want to ban psionics, at least for a second.

Traditionalists get hung up on the fluff too. They see pictures of glowy-eyed chicks with facial tats and crystal swords and they think "this wasn't anywhere in Lord of the Rings." Which is a shame because psionics does some traditional fantasy archetypes way better than Vancian. Try making a creepy oracle or an elementalist blaster in both systems, and the psion usually comes out cooler.


Incarnum - Probably gets banned a lot for being hard to understand. This book holds the world record for highest density of fantasy whargarrbl. I read about how many essentia a meldshaper binds to his crown chakra necrocarnum soulmeld and my eyes glaze over. I miss books written by Gary Gygax. He would have called meldshapers "incarnum-users."

Anyway, meldshapers incarnum-users tap into a collection of pantheistic soul energy to make temporary items. Their power is to wear souls as hats. And if you're a really spooky, evil incarnum-user, you torture souls to make evil hats. Didn't some JRPG do this already?

Totemists avoid most of the JRPG-wank, and they're even pretty cool, but they're almost deliberately confusing. It's hard to figure out what a totemist does at a glance because the book doesn't tell you. A totemist looks like a skillmonkey with a few underwhelming swappable feats, until you read through all the soulmelds. The soulmeld list describes Girallon Arms as "+2 climb and grapple checks." This same power also gives you four claw attacks at 2nd level, and can be combined with other soulmelds using those natural attack rules no one understands, but you'd never know it without hunting down the long description. Hard to blame DMs for being suspicious.

Greenish
2011-01-29, 08:03 PM
Incarnum - Probably gets banned a lot for being hard to understand. This book holds the world record for highest density of fantasy whargarrbl. I read about how many essentia a meldshaper binds to his crown chakra necrocarnum soulmeld and my eyes glaze over. I miss books written by Gary Gygax. He would have called meldshapers "incarnum-users."

Anyway, meldshapers incarnum-users tap into a collection of pantheistic soul energy to make temporary items. Their power is to wear souls as hats. And if you're a really spooky, evil incarnum-user, you torture souls to make evil hats. Didn't some JRPG do this already?

Totemists avoid most of the JRPG-wank, and they're even pretty cool, but they're almost deliberately confusing. It's hard to figure out what a totemist does at a glance because the book doesn't tell you. A totemist looks like a skillmonkey with a few underwhelming swappable feats, until you read through all the soulmelds. The soulmeld list describes Girallon Arms as "+2 climb and grapple checks." This same power also gives you four claw attacks at 2nd level, and can be combined with other soulmelds using those natural attack rules no one understands, but you'd never know it without hunting down the long description. Hard to blame DMs for being suspicious.I love Incarnum, but I have to admit your description is very apt.

Fox Box Socks
2011-01-29, 08:24 PM
There are many, many things I don't like about 3.5, but chief among them is Ivory Tower Game Design (http://www.montecook.com/cgi-bin/page.cgi?mc_los_142), the concept of which makes me want to track down Monte Cook and strangle him with a garden hose. Basically, the books are written to be obfuscating on purpose, so that the guy that knows the rules like the back of his hand (read: "system mastery") has an edge at the table. Example: you know how everyone's always whining about how the grapple rules are written in a language other than English? Yeah, they were written that way on purpose. Why? To incentivize people to learn them, because if they do, then they'll be the only person at the table that knows how the grapple rules work, which carries a considerable advantage if you decide to build a character that grapples on a regular basis.

Personally? I found Magic of Incarnum to be no more thick and confusing than, say, the Player's Handbook. The only difference is that you have to read the Player's Handbook to play the game, and you don't have to read Magic of Incarnum if you don't want to. And, as it turns out, a whole bunch of people don't want to.

dsmiles
2011-01-29, 08:30 PM
Personally, I'll never understand the blanket banning of non-core. Granted, I'll ban a book, but only until I understand it (read: a session or two). Once I understand something, if it fits the campaign world's fluff, it's made available. If it doesn't fit the fluff, I'll selectively ban the stuff that doesn't fit. I've been known to ban core stuff just as much as non-core stuff, as far as campaign setting fluff goes (mostly Gnomes and Halflings in favor of Goblins and Orcs).

Runestar
2011-01-29, 08:41 PM
Non-core is pretty much the only way you can narrow the gap between casters and non-casters, so yeah, try to use it. Even better if you convince the druid to use the stealth-nerf that is shapeshift (PHB2). :smallamused:

They even tried to rein in wizards by marketing direct damage as being sexy again (complete mage). :smalltongue:

GoodbyeSoberDay
2011-01-29, 08:44 PM
There are many, many things I don't like about 3.5, but chief among them is Ivory Tower Game Design (http://www.montecook.com/cgi-bin/page.cgi?mc_los_142), the concept of which makes me want to track down Monte Cook and strangle him with a garden hose. Basically, the books are written to be obfuscating on purpose, so that the guy that knows the rules like the back of his hand (read: "system mastery") has an edge at the table. Example: you know how everyone's always whining about how the grapple rules are written in a language other than English? Yeah, they were written that way on purpose. Why? To incentivize people to learn them, because if they do, then they'll be the only person at the table that knows how the grapple rules work, which carries a considerable advantage if you decide to build a character that grapples on a regular basis.

Personally? I found Magic of Incarnum to be no more thick and confusing than, say, the Player's Handbook. The only difference is that you have to read the Player's Handbook to play the game, and you don't have to read Magic of Incarnum if you don't want to. And, as it turns out, a whole bunch of people don't want to.Ivory Tower Game Design isn't actually true. It's a cop out from one of the designers embarrassed for not realizing Dodge was awful.

stainboy
2011-01-29, 09:08 PM
Example: you know how everyone's always whining about how the grapple rules are written in a language other than English? Yeah, they were written that way on purpose. Why? To incentivize people to learn them, because if they do, then they'll be the only person at the table that knows how the grapple rules work, which carries a considerable advantage if you decide to build a character that grapples on a regular basis.

I doubt the grapple rules were deliberate obfuscation. Other rules-heavy games don't handle it any better. D&D assumes that all combatants are at sword's length away from each other and when you change that you have to write exceptions to dozens of combat rules. (I've never thought 3.5 grappling was too bad. My first two 3e games both had grappler monks so I got used to using it.)

Making Toughness bad on purpose is pretty ridiculous though.

Starbuck_II
2011-01-29, 09:17 PM
Personally? I found Magic of Incarnum to be no more thick and confusing than, say, the Player's Handbook. The only difference is that you have to read the Player's Handbook to play the game, and you don't have to read Magic of Incarnum if you don't want to. And, as it turns out, a whole bunch of people don't want to.


Incarnum isn't very good at revealing itself.
I never realized you knew all the melds of your class at 1st level when I first read it. I though you just knew the number listed (the number you can shape).

Took someone mentioning it on the boards before I did.

Essentia is the only easy mechanic. You never (in general, there are a few exceptions) lose any, but you store some here or there (solmelds/Chakra).

Sine
2011-01-29, 09:36 PM
Legally, dear, legally. I am fussy like that.
eBay is amazing, but as the books become collectors items they are becoming incessantly more expensive, as if they weren't already.
:smallfrown:
Honey, where there's a will there's a way (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_21?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=player%27s+handbook+3.5&sprefix=player%27s+handbook+3.5).

I hear fairly regularly about people snagging 3.5 books for dirt cheap prices at used book stores; in fact someone mentioned doing so just this week for $10 (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26692957/A_little_help_plz).

Yahzi
2011-01-30, 12:05 AM
tl;dr: Do you have a well-thought out reason for playing 3.5 core only? What is it?
I can't fit all those classes into my world.

For my last campaign I created a kingdom with 40 counties, and I knew how many people with levels were in each county, and what those levels were. I knew who cast Cure Disease for the Captain of the Guard in West Undaal after an unfortunate encounter with a prostitute; I knew that the Wizard of Carrhill had two Curates in his town, one Gold and one White; I knew that the counties of the Near Wild had only one druidess capable of Reincarnation.

It's important to me, as a DM, to know these things. And when there are an effectively unlimited number of classes with an unknown number of powers, I can't.

Also, if you want a game where you can customize your character, why are you playing D&D? The entire point of classes is that your character inhabits an archetype, and you role-play within that framework.

Although, to be fair, for my GURPS campaign I also computer-generated every single noble and wizard, so maybe it's just me. :smallbiggrin:

senrath
2011-01-30, 12:21 AM
Also, if you want a game where you can customize your character, why are you playing D&D? The entire point of classes is that your character inhabits an archetype, and you role-play within that framework.

Because some of us want to have some control over customizing our characters without having to go through the hassle of customizing every single little detail.

CycloneJoker
2011-01-30, 12:43 AM
I can't fit all those classes into my world.

For my last campaign I created a kingdom with 40 counties, and I knew how many people with levels were in each county, and what those levels were. I knew who cast Cure Disease for the Captain of the Guard in West Undaal after an unfortunate encounter with a prostitute; I knew that the Wizard of Carrhill had two Curates in his town, one Gold and one White; I knew that the counties of the Near Wild had only one druidess capable of Reincarnation.

It's important to me, as a DM, to know these things. And when there are an effectively unlimited number of classes with an unknown number of powers, I can't.

Also, if you want a game where you can customize your character, why are you playing D&D? The entire point of classes is that your character inhabits an archetype, and you role-play within that framework.

Although, to be fair, for my GURPS campaign I also computer-generated every single noble and wizard, so maybe it's just me. :smallbiggrin:

Dude, you're making me look like bad, and I have an entire mythology, 2,000 year history for each empire, and starts of languages for 5 empires. :smalleek:

MeeposFire
2011-01-30, 03:26 AM
I can't fit all those classes into my world.

For my last campaign I created a kingdom with 40 counties, and I knew how many people with levels were in each county, and what those levels were. I knew who cast Cure Disease for the Captain of the Guard in West Undaal after an unfortunate encounter with a prostitute; I knew that the Wizard of Carrhill had two Curates in his town, one Gold and one White; I knew that the counties of the Near Wild had only one druidess capable of Reincarnation.

It's important to me, as a DM, to know these things. And when there are an effectively unlimited number of classes with an unknown number of powers, I can't.

Also, if you want a game where you can customize your character, why are you playing D&D? The entire point of classes is that your character inhabits an archetype, and you role-play within that framework.

Although, to be fair, for my GURPS campaign I also computer-generated every single noble and wizard, so maybe it's just me. :smallbiggrin:

Well this is a discussion on 3.5 D&D which does the worst job at utilizing archetypes by class. 3.5 is more "build your character ala carte" than playing an archetype (though you can build a character to fit an archetype if you so choose).

Every other edition of D&D is very different and hold more to what you are thinking. Basic, 1e, 2e, and 4e hold to class archetypes very strictly (to varying degrees of course). 3.5 is the exception so I think what you are describing does not exist as a dominant option. Playing a class archtype with few customizations (such as a wizard20) is exceedingly rare in 3.5. You are more likely to find a wiz5/prcA10/PrcB5 even in a core only game and that is just the tip of the iceberg. This in itself is not so bad as it lets you build a character by "buying" abilities as you go but it does have the result of making classes as archetypes weaker.

huttj509
2011-01-30, 03:54 AM
I think disallowing assorted classes for flavor reasons is a valid response, but...

For some situations you may want to say "no, BUT...". The reason for this is that a number of classes someone may find mechanically appealing may be flavorfully objectionable, and vice versa. For example, psionics. Perhaps the idea of mental powers or something about it doesn't fit in your campaign, but the player's interested in the mechanics. It's easy to say "no psionics, it doesn't fit", but it may be better to say "psionics doesn't really fit, can we treat it as a little known style of magic instead?" Now, sometimes the player wants the archetype rather than the mechanics, and that poses a more difficult issue, "It's a low magic mideval type setting" "I wanna be a ninja!" "Um, how about a stealthy acrobatic thief?" "No, a ninja!".

Similarly, if the issue with ToB is some of the, for example, shadow hand or burning blade maneuvers as being too flashy or magical for a more non-magical setting, restricting certain schools would seem reasonable, and/or not allowing the swordsage specifically, as the mystic ninja stuff tends to be a strong shtick with him, but a warblade could easily fit fine.

Now, if the flavor issue's with the flashy magical maneuvers in a setting that's fine with people throwing fireballs, summoning angels, and various gish-classes...well, then we have a problem :-)

There's a few reasons I can see outright disallowing various supplements:

Wanting all players on an even footing especially if some may not have time/access (look, Billy's new to this, and I don't want a lot of extra stuff around that might confuse him, so tone it back, ok?). And yes, the DM is a player.

Not being familiar with the content/mechanics, not having time to familiarize, and not trusting player to catch all the nuances mechanically and communicate them as needed (let's be nice and assume they're missed unknowingly).

Not wanting to deal with the ethical/moral issues that the supplement brings up, in a situation where the supplement mechanics are explicitly not intended to be divorced from the fluff (BoED/VD, I'm looking at you, saint template explicitly states that it's an artificially low LA because of the roleplaying constraints and ability to fall, HARD, if you violate them).


Other than that it seems there's a lot of room for compromise. Have an issue with a particular class/prestige class in a book, ban that, but not the whole book.


BTW: Title is totally loaded/biased. If it's an inexplicable loathing, it cannot be explained, and the title seems to assume that any dislike of non-core is inexplicable.

Ravens_cry
2011-01-30, 03:57 AM
Honey, where there's a will there's a way (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_21?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=player%27s+handbook+3.5&sprefix=player%27s+handbook+3.5).

I hear fairly regularly about people snagging 3.5 books for dirt cheap prices at used book stores; in fact someone mentioned doing so just this week for $10 (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26692957/A_little_help_plz).
Well, good luck with to them, I will also be scouring my local area for such. Not that it is likely, but you never know. Tis' the fun of thrift stores after all.

Samurai Jill
2011-01-30, 04:36 AM
It's a question of power level. If one character is eclipsing the others, making them think "why am I even bothering rolling to hit when I could just wait two rounds and Baron Destructo there will finish him off" then you have a power imbalance. Adding non-core crunch to a mostly-core game is where said imbalance comes from.
Given that the core classes of 3.5 are themselves hideously unbalanced, I'm not sure I buy that logic. I think it's reasonably well-established that higher-level wizards have single spells that are worth more than the entire Monk class.

No, the problem is that (A) certain non-core classes become hideously unbalanced in unexpected ways that the players and GM haven't yet evolved informal rules for working around (e.g, don't expect monks to actually contribute, please don't spam your instant-kill spells, do not use polymorph, etc. etc. etc.)

And, (B), that certain non-core classes are actually startlingly well-balanced- e.g, Psionics, the Tome of Battle- but only relative to the Tier 1 core casters, which pisses off players who are used to monopolising show-stopping powers, or conversely have been conditioned to not use those powers by the aforementioned unarticulated social rules.

I don't know about the relative merits of various classes' "fluff", since any subculture which calls these things 'fluff' obviously doesn't consider them very important in the first place.

dsmiles
2011-01-30, 09:05 AM
Given that the core classes of 3.5 are themselves hideously unbalanced, I'm not sure I buy that logic. I think it's reasonably well-established that higher-level wizards have single spells that are worth more than the entire Monk class. I honestly don't buy that logic at all. There's no "not being sure" about it. Psionics and ToB are far more balanced against the core casters than the core meleers are. Admit it, guys and gals, fighters suck (though the first four levels have their uses).

I don't know about the relative merits of various classes' "fluff", since any subculture which calls these things 'fluff' obviously doesn't consider them very important in the first place. Not true. We call it fluff, but when your making a crunchy peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich, you can't do it without both ingredients. Granted, I've heard of people who try to, but I'm sensing that the general opinion on this board is the same as mine. I just like a little more fluff on my sandwich than most people.

Now I'm hungry. :smallannoyed:

Earthwalker
2011-01-30, 09:26 AM
My reason to ban all none core is a simple one. Laziness.
As a GM I only own the core books, but if a player came with his own books and a character from them I would not want to have to read all the new rules and books linked to his character just to play the game, so I just play core only.

The Glyphstone
2011-01-30, 09:32 AM
I honestly don't buy that logic at all. There's no "not being sure" about it. Psionics and ToB are far more balanced against the core casters than the core meleers are. Admit it, guys and gals, fighters suck (though the first four levels have their uses).
Not true. We call it fluff, but when your making a crunchy peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich, you can't do it without both ingredients. Granted, I've heard of people who try to, but I'm sensing that the general opinion on this board is the same as mine. I just like a little more fluff on my sandwich than most people.

Now I'm hungry. :smallannoyed:

On the other hand, sometimes people are too attached to the default fluff, rather than being willing to alter or completely rewrite it while maintaining the mechanics. To extend your sandwich metaphor, if I'm making a crunchy peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich, the recipe I'm reading off the back of Brand A Peanut Butter Jar might call for using Brand A Fluff. But I can buy Brand B Fluff instead, or Brand C, or if I'm particularly good at making, mix my own homemade marshmallow fluff, and I'll end up with a good sandwich in all cases. My homemade one might be even more delicious because of a secret family recipe, who knows.

dsmiles
2011-01-30, 09:38 AM
On the other hand, sometimes people are too attached to the default fluff, rather than being willing to alter or completely rewrite it while maintaining the mechanics. To extend your sandwich metaphor, if I'm making a crunchy peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich, the recipe I'm reading off the back of Brand A Peanut Butter Jar might call for using Brand A Fluff. But I can buy Brand B Fluff instead, or Brand C, or if I'm particularly good at making, mix my own homemade marshmallow fluff, and I'll end up with a good sandwich in all cases. My homemade one might be even more delicious because of a secret family recipe, who knows.

Stop that. You're making me even hungrier. (Gimme your secret recipe.) :smalltongue:

But the brand of fluff doesn't matter, just that it's there. The crunch is not explicitly tied to that particular fluff, but fluff needs to be there to support the crunch. The two are tied together, in a generic brand sort of way. Yes, I prefer Fluff (default brand), but Kraft Marshmallow Fluff works in a pinch.

Hazzardevil
2011-01-30, 10:09 AM
In the game I am currently running I encourage use of things outside of core.
Thisis because teh big 3 in core break everything without trying too hard. (I must admit though, druid isn't as good at breakign stuff as wizard or cleric)
Also I think teh main reason I like stuff outside of core is I have lots of PDF's so I can access msot books in existents without much problems.
I can also still access teh crystal keep stuff apart from it's on another website.
I generally encourage stuff otuside of core so players can try new ideas that aren't used often.

Sine
2011-01-30, 10:26 AM
For example, psionics. Perhaps the idea of mental powers or something about it doesn't fit in your campaign, but the player's interested in the mechanics. It's easy to say "no psionics, it doesn't fit", but it may be better to say "psionics doesn't really fit, can we treat it as a little known style of magic instead?"
Isn't that what psionics is already?

I'm not picking on you, I just always recognized psionics as a kind of magic. Is "I stare at you with glowing eyes to blow you up" meaningfully different than "I wiggle my fingers at you to make you blow up"? :smallconfused:


I can't fit all those classes into my world.

For my last campaign I created a kingdom with 40 counties, and I knew how many people with levels were in each county, and what those levels were. I knew who cast Cure Disease for the Captain of the Guard in West Undaal after an unfortunate encounter with a prostitute; I knew that the Wizard of Carrhill had two Curates in his town, one Gold and one White; I knew that the counties of the Near Wild had only one druidess capable of Reincarnation.

It's important to me, as a DM, to know these things. And when there are an effectively unlimited number of classes with an unknown number of powers, I can't.

Although, to be fair, for my GURPS campaign I also computer-generated every single noble and wizard, so maybe it's just me. :smallbiggrin:
It's not...oh forget it. I've met a couple DMs who do this, but yeah it's you.

Greenish
2011-01-30, 11:00 AM
I don't know about the relative merits of various classes' "fluff", since any subculture which calls these things 'fluff' obviously doesn't consider them very important in the first place.You, dear sir or lady, are obviously talking out of your posterior.

(I must admit though, druid isn't as good at breakign stuff as wizard or cleric)Oh yes it is, and it does it easier than the other core classes. The ol' joke about turning into a bear riding bear shooting bears serves well to demonstrate how intuitive the strengths of a druid are.


It's easy to say "no psionics, it doesn't fit", but it may be better to say "psionics doesn't really fit, can we treat it as a little known style of magic instead?"Isn't that what psionics is already?I was just about to point out the same. :smallcool:

dsmiles
2011-01-30, 11:30 AM
The ol' joke about turning into a bear riding bear shooting bears serves well to demonstrate how intuitive the strengths of a druid are.Those strengths being bears, bears, and more bears, eh? :smalltongue:

Volthawk
2011-01-30, 11:37 AM
Those strengths being bears, bears, and more bears, eh? :smalltongue:

And fire (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0359.html). Don't forget about the fire.

Samurai Jill
2011-01-30, 01:01 PM
You, dear sir or lady, are obviously talking out of your posterior.
Look, D&D already has a default implied setting that mixes staples of Wuxia/Chinoiserie with the amoral swordwinging archetypes of Sword and Sorcery, some bowdlerised translations of Tolkien/Dunsany and a dash of quasi-Celtic mysticality for good measure. I'm not saying I don't sympathise with complaints about various characters not 'fitting' with a given setting, but that ship has sailed some time ago.

Greenish
2011-01-30, 01:05 PM
Look, D&D already has a default implied setting that mixes staples of Wuxia/Chinoiserie with the amoral swordwinging archetypes of Sword and Sorcery, some bowdlerised translations of Tolkien/Dunsany and a dash of quasi-Celtic mysticality for good measure. I'm not saying I don't sympathise with complaints about various characters not 'fitting' with a given setting, but that ship has sailed some time ago.Now we've gone from "anyone who uses word 'fluff' doesn't care about it" to "no one who plays D&D should care about fluff".

This merely confirms my point. :smallamused:

Coidzor
2011-01-30, 01:15 PM
For my last campaign I created a kingdom with 40 counties, and I knew how many people with levels were in each county, and what those levels were. I knew who cast Cure Disease for the Captain of the Guard in West Undaal after an unfortunate encounter with a prostitute; I knew that the Wizard of Carrhill had two Curates in his town, one Gold and one White; I knew that the counties of the Near Wild had only one druidess capable of Reincarnation.

There is something to be said for breathing room to add in new characters to your world, man. :smalleek:

Samurai Jill
2011-01-30, 01:16 PM
Now we've gone from "anyone who uses word 'fluff' doesn't care about it" to "no one who plays D&D should care about fluff".

This merely confirms my point. :smallamused:
What 'point'? You insulted me, made no real argument, and are now busily ignoring my actual points in response to what I tentatively imagine your complaint might have been. (And yes, I happen to think 'fluff' is a terribly derogatory term for elements of RP that are often more important or enjoyable than the formal mechanics.)

tyckspoon
2011-01-30, 01:16 PM
Now we've gone from "anyone who uses word 'fluff' doesn't care about it" to "no one who plays D&D should care about fluff".

This merely confirms my point. :smallamused:

I would say rather "the fluff of D&D is already weird enough that it doesn't take much work to fit new things into it." If you're making your own world, then your fluff can be focused and consistent enough that things might actually not fit well, but if you're playing Greyhawk or Realms or Eberron.. well, there's a place for pretty much everything, and the explanation for it can be anything from "exotic foreigner" to "some loony god got bored again and invested this schmuck with unusual abilities just to see what would happen." Happens a lot in the Realms.

Fox Box Socks
2011-01-30, 01:23 PM
Maybe it's just me, but as a DM, I've never really put much stock in "You can't play X because X doesn't fit into the game I want to run". I've always viewed the DM's job to be somewhere between arbiter, referee, and player; the DM needs to ensure that players are having fun. You know what's fun? Playing the character you want to play.

When not using a published setting (and I lean towards kitchen sink settings), the first thing I do, before anything else, is ask what kind of characters the players want to play. Then my job is to craft a world where a party of, say, a Lizardfolk Psion, a Hazodee Rogue, a Human Totemist and a Dwarf Wizard makes sense. New player wants to join an existing game? I help them build a character that makes sense given the narrative of the world while recognizing that since the purpose of the narrative is to facilitate fun, its law are by no means hard and fast.

It's a game. If they're not trying to tear the game in half, let them play what they want.

Greenish
2011-01-30, 01:25 PM
(And yes, I happen to think 'fluff' is a terribly derogatory term for elements of RP that are often more important or enjoyable than the formal mechanics.)This seems to be a problem of communication. I've never used "fluff" as derogatory, or seen it as less important or enjoyable than the "crunch" (is that supposed to be terribly derogatory too?), and I was quite put off by you claiming such. My reply was insulting, for I'd been insulted.

Coidzor
2011-01-30, 01:30 PM
Fluff? Derogatory? ...Who is being belittled then? :smallconfused:

I mean, I've certainly heard people talked down to or insulted for caring too much about their own narrow interpretation of purposely nebulously vague fluff text, but that was directed at the person rather than the fluff itself.

Except in cases where the fluff is just badly written, but then it's being hated because it's badly written, not because it's fluff.

:smallconfused:

I would say rather "the fluff of D&D is already weird enough that it doesn't take much work to fit new things into it." If you're making your own world, then your fluff can be focused and consistent enough that things might actually not fit well, but if you're playing Greyhawk or Realms or Eberron.. well, there's a place for pretty much everything, and the explanation for it can be anything from "exotic foreigner" to "some loony god got bored again and invested this schmuck with unusual abilities just to see what would happen." Happens a lot in the Realms.

Isn't part of the point of them is that there's blank space on the map sot hat they can say "here there be dragons," or have them as a convenient place to introduce anything new that an individual DM or later devs want to roll out without having to rise a new continent out of the sea or go through some kind of edition-changing cataclysm?

dsmiles
2011-01-30, 01:52 PM
Isn't part of the point of them is that there's blank space on the map sot hat they can say "here there be dragons," or have them as a convenient place to introduce anything new that an individual DM or later devs want to roll out without having to rise a new continent out of the sea or go through some kind of edition-changing cataclysm?I've always thought so, but even still, if someone wants to run a certain type of campaign, something may not fit and/or need to be re-fluffed. It happens. I like to keep "Here there be dragons" on the majority of each map I draw, with just vague outlines of borders to delineate one city-state/country/empire from another (leaving out cultural/government/economy stuff until the last minute), so that the campaign world can adapt to the players. But sometimes, the campaign world is laid out for you, with no room for exceptions. "Magic Ninjas" in Dark Sun? Not likely, right? The less specific game worlds (Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Spelljammer, Ravenloft), and the homebrew ones, usually leave room for new splat, but specific ones (like the aforementioned Dark Sun, Birthright, Mystara, Hollow World) really don't leave much room. As much as it sucks, sometimes it happens.

Greenish
2011-01-30, 02:24 PM
"Magic Ninjas" in Dark Sun? Not likely, right?Here (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20040723b) you go. :smalltongue:

dsmiles
2011-01-30, 02:32 PM
Here (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20040723b) you go. :smalltongue:

Not quite what I had in mind when I said "Magic Ninjas." (Come to think of it, I think I got that term from you in the first place.) That would be a Psychic Ninja. :smalltongue:

Greenish
2011-01-30, 02:35 PM
Not quite what I had in mind when I said "Magic Ninjas." (Come to think of it, I think I got that term from you in the first place.) That would be a Psychic Ninja. :smalltongue:And psionics are just one system of magic. QED, a magic ninja. :smallamused:

Besides, I'm more of a magic pirate person meself.

dsmiles
2011-01-30, 02:39 PM
And psionics are just one system of magic. QED, a magic ninja. :smallamused:

Besides, I'm more of a magic pirate person meself.

Yeah, but you know what I meant...

Should we shout it together? :smallbiggrin:

Five-Shadow Creeping Ice Enervation Strike!!!!

Hammerhead
2011-01-30, 02:39 PM
This seems to be a problem of communication. I've never used "fluff" as derogatory, or seen it as less important or enjoyable than the "crunch" (is that supposed to be terribly derogatory too?), and I was quite put off by you claiming such. My reply was insulting, for I'd been insulted.
fluff n

1. soft fibers from fabrics such as wool or cotton that accumulate in small light clumps... figurative entertainment or writing seen as trivial or superficial.

(OAD)

The term definitely underplays the value of its subject.

dsmiles
2011-01-30, 02:42 PM
fluff n

1. soft fibers from fabrics such as wool or cotton that accumulate in small light clumps... figurative entertainment or writing seen as trivial or superficial.


The term definitely underplays the value of its subject.

You're forgetting the most important definition of Fluff (http://www.marshmallowfluff.com/pages/homepage.html). :smallcool:

Greenish
2011-01-30, 02:45 PM
fluff n

1. soft fibers from fabrics such as wool or cotton that accumulate in small light clumps... figurative entertainment or writing seen as trivial or superficial.


The term definitely underplays the value of its subject.Hardly. The meaning of words changes, and is defined by context. "Fluff" in the context of RPGs isn't just entertaintment or writing, nor is it necessarily seen as trivial or superficial.

See also:

crunch |krən ch |
noun
1 [usu. in sing. ] a loud muffled grinding sound made when crushing, moving over, or hitting something : Marco's fist struck Brian's nose with a crunch.
2 ( the crunch) informal a crucial point or situation, typically one at which a decision with important consequences must be made : when it comes to the crunch, you chicken out.
a severe shortage of money or credit : the Fed would do what it could to ease America's credit crunch.
3 a physical exercise designed to strengthen the abdominal muscles; a sit-up.Not quite what we mean by it in this context.

Hazzardevil
2011-01-30, 03:25 PM
And fire (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0359.html). Don't forget about the fire.

Yes, a druid can do that but that hardly screws teh mechanics so much, a druid doesn't have save or dies. so the rest of teh party can still damage whatever it is.

Also how does a druid do the whole wildshape into a bear, riding a bear, summoning bears every round anyway?

I understand the summoning and the transforming but how does the druid manage to ride his animal companion if they are both bears?

dsmiles
2011-01-30, 03:26 PM
Yes, a druid can do that but that hardly screws teh mechanics so much, a druid doesn't have save or dies. so the rest of teh party can still damage whatever it is.

Baleful Polymorph begs to differ. :smalltongue:

Half-Orc Rage
2011-01-30, 03:46 PM
Two things: One, I don't think it's worth playing the game if you can't trust the other players. Two, it's really easy to train your memory. If I try, and I care, I could probably quote an entire book, verbatim, or at least the parts I care about. It's not hard.

1) I agree with you, but it took me a long time to get there. I played with guys who were like Brian from KoDT and thought they could get one over on the DM, if they even bothered to do that much work rather than just outright try to cheat. It's only after getting back to D&D, and playing that last campaign where I realized what I really wanted from a game was to have fun and have a good social experience, and not hang out with weird OCD guys who can't function in normal society.

2) I don't know if you have a photographic memory or what, but that's not me. I can quote a few authors I like, couple Bible passages, but I don't think I'd ever memorize a whole book. I know D&D 3.X better than any other game I've ever played and I still need to look up spells sometimes. I don't think I am deficient in this, I haven't seen too many people in person who knew the rules better than I did.

Again, it's not like I am anti- anything non-core, I have many supplements and have played many different races, classes, and prestige classes over the years. But I am not sure where this attitude comes from that the DM has to allow everything from every book published by Wizards or they are somehow being irrational or unfair. That's almost like having an attitude that there can be no house rules or something. At the end of they day it's your game.

CycloneJoker
2011-01-30, 04:09 PM
1) I agree with you, but it took me a long time to get there. I played with guys who were like Brian from KoDT and thought they could get one over on the DM, if they even bothered to do that much work rather than just outright try to cheat. It's only after getting back to D&D, and playing that last campaign where I realized what I really wanted from a game was to have fun and have a good social experience, and not hang out with weird OCD guys who can't function in normal society.

2) I don't know if you have a photographic memory or what, but that's not me. I can quote a few authors I like, couple Bible passages, but I don't think I'd ever memorize a whole book. I know D&D 3.X better than any other game I've ever played and I still need to look up spells sometimes. I don't think I am deficient in this, I haven't seen too many people in person who knew the rules better than I did.

Again, it's not like I am anti- anything non-core, I have many supplements and have played many different races, classes, and prestige classes over the years. But I am not sure where this attitude comes from that the DM has to allow everything from every book published by Wizards or they are somehow being irrational or unfair. That's almost like having an attitude that there can be no house rules or something. At the end of they day it's your game.

I, unfortunately, do not have an eidetic memory, but memory, for me, is really a matter of willpower over anything else. I had my Ogre Kingdoms book memorized, at least the crunch and all the relevant rulings, errata, and such, but since I switched over to Elves, I forgot a lot. I also used to have, like, five Poe poems memorized, but since I hadn't done anything with them in a while, they sorta decayed.

Also, if I had to ban one book, it would probably be Comp. Divine. I've been considering it for a while, but mostly I just go by rule 0.

Also, what do you have against people who can barely function in society? :smalltongue: