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Sebastrd
2011-11-03, 05:19 PM
Tyndmyr asked, so here it is.

First, let's take a look at attack bonuses vs. AC bonuses, 3.5 version.

Typical Fighter attack at lvl 1 assuming 18 Str = (1+4) +5
Typical Fighter AC at lvl 1 with Full Plate, Large Shield, and 12+ Dex = (10+8+2+1) 21
Typical Rogue AC at lvl 1 with Leather Armor and 18 Dex = (10+2+4) 16
Needs to roll 16+ to hit the Fighter. Needs to roll 11+ to hit the Rogue.

Typical Fighter attack at lvl 5 assuming 20 Str (1 lvl up, +1 Str item), +1 weapon, Weapon Focus = (5+5+1+1) +12
Typical Fighter AC at lvl 5 with Full Plate +1, Large Shield +1, 12+ Dex , RoP +1, AoNA +1 = (10+9+3+1+1+1) 25
Typical Rogue AC at lvl 5 with Leather Armor +1, 20 Dex (1 lvl up, +1 item), RoP +1, AoNA +1 = (10+3+5+1+1) 20
Needs to roll 13+ to hit the Fighter. Needs to roll 8+ to hit the Rogue.

Typical Fighter attack at lvl 10 assuming 24 Str (2 lvl ups, +4 item), +3 weapon, Weapon Focus = (10+7+3+1) +21/+16
Typical Fighter AC at lvl 10 with Full Plate +2, Large Shield +2, 12+ Dex, RoP +2, AoNA +2 = (10+10+4+1+2+2) 29
Typical Rogue AC at lvl 10 with Mithral Ch. Shirt +2 and 24 Dex (2 lvl ups, +4 item), RoP +2, AoNA +2 = (10+6+6+2+2) 26
Needs to roll 8+/13+ to hit the Fighter. Needs to roll 5+/10+ to hit the Rogue.

Typical Fighter attack at lvl 15 assuming 28 Str (3 lvl ups, +5 item, +2 tome), +4 weapon, Weapon Focus = (15+9+4+1) +29/+24/+19
Typical Fighter AC at lvl 15 with Full Plate +3, Large Shield +3, 12+ Dex, RoP +4, AoNA +3 = (10+11+5+1+4+3) 34
Typical Rogue AC at lvl 15 with Mithral Ch. Shirt +3 and 28 Dex (3 lvl ups, +5 item, +2 tome), RoP +4, AoNA +3 = (10+7+6+4+3) 30
Needs to roll 5+/10+/15+ to hit the Fighter. Needs to roll 2+/6+/11+ to hit the Rogue.

Typical Fighter attack at lvl 20 assuming 32 Str (5 lvl ups, +6 item, +3 tome), +5 weapon, Weapon Focus = (20+11+5+1) +37/+32/+27/+22
Typical Fighter AC at lvl 20 with Full Plate +5, Large Shield +5, 12+ Dex, RoP +5, AoNA +5 = (10+13+7+1+5+5) 41
Typical Rogue AC at lvl 15 with Bracers of Armor +5 and 32 Dex (5 lvl ups, +6 item, +3 tome), RoP +5, AoNA +5 = (10+5+11+5+5) 36
Needs to roll 4+/9+/14+/19+ to hit the Fighter. Needs to roll 2+/4+/9+/14+ to hit the Rogue.

Over the course of 20 levels attack bonus continually gains ground on AC. By level 10 a fighter will hit a well defended target more than half the time, and a squishier target 75% of the time. By level 15 the fighter hits the well defended target 75% of the time, the squishier target on all but a 1. By level 10, a displacement spell provides better defense than armor. By level 15, items and spells that provide a miss chance are a better investment of a character's gp than the best armor. The disparity increases in direct proportion to level. This is why the Epic Level Handbook ends progressions for all classes.

Sebastrd
2011-11-03, 05:21 PM
Next, we'll look at attack bonuses vs. AC bonuses in 4E.

Typical Fighter attack at lvl 1 assuming 18 Str, +3 prof. weapon = (1+4+3) +8
Typical Fighter AC at lvl 1 with Full Plate and Large Shield = (10+8+2) 20
Typical Rogue AC at lvl 1 with Leather Armor and 18 Dex = (10+2+4) 16
Needs to roll 12+ to hit the Fighter. Needs to roll 8+ to hit the Rogue.

Typical Fighter attack at lvl 5 assuming 19 Str (1 lvl up), +1 weapon w/+3 prof. = (2+1+4+1+3) +11
Typical Fighter AC at lvl 5 with Full Plate +1, Large Shield = (10+2+9+2) 23
Typical Rogue AC at lvl 5 with Leather Armor +1, 19 Dex (1 lvl up) = (10+2+3+4) 19
Needs to roll 12+ to hit the Fighter. Needs to roll 8+ to hit the Rogue.

Typical Fighter attack at lvl 10 assuming 20 Str (2 lvl ups), +2 weapon w/+3 prof. = (5+1+5+2+3) +16
Typical Fighter AC at lvl 10 with Full Plate +2, Large Shield = (10+5+10+2) 27
Typical Rogue AC at lvl 10 with Leather Armor +2 and 20 Dex (2 lvl ups) = (10+5+4+5) 24
Needs to roll 11+ to hit the Fighter. Needs to roll 8+ to hit the Rogue.

Typical Fighter attack at lvl 15 assuming 21 Str (3 lvl ups), +3 weapon w/+3 prof = (7+1+5+3+3) +19
Typical Fighter AC at lvl 15 with Full Plate +3, Large Shield = (10+7+11+2) 30
Typical Rogue AC at lvl 15 with Leather Armor +3 and 21 Dex (3 lvl ups) = (10+7+5+5) 27
Needs to roll 11+ to hit the Fighter. Needs to roll 8+ to hit the Rogue.

Typical Fighter attack at lvl 20 assuming 22 Str (4 lvl ups), +4 weapon w/+3 prof. = (10+1+6+4+3) +24
Typical Fighter AC at lvl 20 with Full Plate +4, Large Shield = (10+10+12+2) 34
Typical Rogue AC at lvl 20 with Leather Armor +4 and 22 Dex (4 lvl ups) = (10+10+6+6) 32
Needs to roll 10+ to hit the Fighter. Needs to roll 8+ to hit the Rogue.

Typical Fighter attack at lvl 25 assuming 23 Str (5 lvl ups), +5 weapon w/+3 prof. = (12+1+6+5+3) +27
Typical Fighter AC at lvl 25 with Full Plate +5, Large Shield = (10+12+13+2) 37
Typical Rogue AC at lvl 25 with Leather Armor +5 and 23 Dex (5 lvl ups) = (10+12+7+6) 34
Needs to roll 10+ to hit the Fighter. Needs to roll 7+ to hit the Rogue.

Typical Fighter attack at lvl 30 assuming 24 Str (6 lvl ups), +6 weapon w/+3 prof. = (15+1+7+6+3) +32
Typical Fighter AC at lvl 30 with Full Plate +6, Large Shield = (10+15+14+2) 41
Typical Rogue AC at lvl 30 with Leather Armor +6 and 24 Dex (6 lvl ups) = (10+15+8+6) 39
Needs to roll 9+ to hit the Fighter. Needs to roll 7+ to hit the Rogue.

You'll notice that over the course of 30 levels, the chance for a fighter to land an attack against an opponent of the same level stays fairly constant.

This has an interesting side effect when creating enemies. Since there is little variance in these numbers between characters, it's very easy to assign attack and AC for monsters on the fly. Simply decide how often you'd like a monster to hit and be hit, then assign attack and AC based on the average numbers for that level.

Sebastrd
2011-11-03, 05:22 PM
3.5 spell DC vs. save progression.

Level 1 Spell DC with 18 relevant attribute = (10+1+4) 15
Level 1 character good save with 18 relevant attribute (primary, eg. Rogue reflex save) = (2+4) 6
Level 1 character good save with 12 relevant attribute (non-primary, eg. Cleric fortitude save) = (2+1) 3
Level 1 character poor save with 10 relevant attribute (usually non-primary, eg. Barbarian will save) = (0+0) 0
The character with a good save needs a 9+ or a 12+ to save. The character with a poor save needs a 15+ to save.

Level 2 Spell DC with 18 relevant attribute = (10+2+4) 16
Level 3 character good save with 18 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +1 = (3+4+1) 8
Level 3 character good save with 12 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +1 = (3+1+1) 5
Level 3 character poor save with 10 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +1 = (1+0+1) 2
The character with a good save needs a 8+ or a 11+ to save. The character with a poor save needs a 14+ to save.

Level 3 Spell DC with 20 (1 lvl up, +1 item) relevant attribute = (10+3+5) 18
Level 5 character good save with 20 (1 lvl up, +1 item) relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +1 = (4+5+1) 10
Level 5 character good save with 12 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +1 = (4+1+1) 6
Level 5 character poor save with 10 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +1 = (1+0+1) 2
The character with a good save needs a 8+ or a 12+ to save. The character with a poor save needs a 16+ to save.

Level 4 Spell DC with 21 (1 lvl up, +2 item) relevant attribute = (10+4+5) 19
Level 7 character good save with 21 (1 lvl up, +2 item) relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +2 = (5+5+2) 12
Level 7 character good save with 12 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +2 = (5+1+2) 8
Level 7 character poor save with 10 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +2 = (2+0+2) 4
The character with a good save needs a 7+ or a 11+ to save. The character with a poor save needs a 15+ to save.

Level 5 Spell DC with 22 (2 lvl ups, +2 item) relevant attribute = (10+5+6) 21
Level 9 character good save with 22 (2 lvl ups, +2 item) relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +2 = (6+6+2) 14
Level 9 character good save with 12 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +2 = (6+1+2) 9
Level 9 character poor save with 10 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +2 = (3+0+2) 5
The character with a good save needs a 7+ or a 12+ to save. The character with a poor save needs a 16+ to save.

Level 6 Spell DC with 24 (2 lvl ups, +4 item) relevant attribute = (10+6+7) 23
Level 11 character good save with 24 (2 lvl ups, +4 item) relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +3 = (7+7+3) 17
Level 11 character good save with 12 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +3 = (7+1+3) 11
Level 11 character poor save with 10 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +3 = (3+0+3) 6
The character with a good save needs a 6+ or a 12+ to save. The character with a poor save needs a 17+ to save.

Level 7 Spell DC with 28 (3 lvl ups, +5 item, +2 tome) relevant attribute = (10+7+9) 26
Level 13 character good save with 28 (3 lvl ups, +5 item, +2 tome) relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +3 = (8+9+3) 14
Level 13 character good save with 12 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +3 = (8+1+3) 12
Level 13 character poor save with 10 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +3 = (4+0+3) 7
The character with a good save needs a 6+ or a 14+ to save. The character with a poor save needs a 19+ to save.

Level 8 Spell DC with 28 (3 lvl ups, +5 item, +2 tome) relevant attribute = (10+8+9) 27
Level 15 character good save with 28 (3 lvl ups, +5 item, +2 tome) relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +4 = (9+9+4) 22
Level 15 character good save with 12 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +4 = (9+1) 14
Level 15 character poor save with 10 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +4 = (5+0+4) 9
The character with a good save needs a 5+ or a 13+ to save. The character with a poor save needs a 18+ to save.

Level 9 Spell DC with 30 (4 lvl ups, +6 item, +2 tome) relevant attribute = (10+9+10) 29
Level 17 character good save with 30 (4 lvl ups, +6 item, +2 tome) relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +4 = (10+10+4) 24
Level 17 character good save with 12 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +4 = (10+1+4) 15
Level 17 character poor save with 10 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +4 = (5+0+4) 9
The character with a good save needs a 5+ or a 14+ to save. The character with a poor save needs a 20 to save.

Level 9 Spell DC with 32 (5 lvl ups, +6 item, +3 tome) relevant attribute = (10+9+11) 30
Level 20 character good save with 32 (5 lvl ups, +6 item, +3 tome) relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +5 = (12+11+5) 28
Level 20 character good save with 12 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +5 = (12+1+5) 18
Level 20 character poor save with 10 relevant attribute, cloak of resistance +5 = (6+0+5) 11
The character with a good save needs a 2+ or a 12+ to save. The character with a poor save needs a 19+ to save.

A character with a primary attribute that correlates to a good save has an increasingly good chance of saving.
A character without a primary attribute that correlates to a good save has a roughly 40% chance of saving.
A character without a primary attribute that correlates to a poor save starts at a 25% chance to save and by level 13 has a very slight chance of saving.

Note that many 3.5 spells, especially at higher levels, can range from debilitating to deadly. Any character with a poor Will or Fortitude save is always at risk of being one-shotted by a caster. You also end up with odd situations like the rogue with improved evasion that's virtually immune to spells with a Reflex save, but will die to any kill spell with a Will or Fortitude save.

Sebastrd
2011-11-03, 05:23 PM
4E spell attack vs. Fortitude/Reflex/Will defense progression.

Typical Caster attack at lvl 1 assuming 18 relevant attribute = (4+0) +4
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 1 with an 18 relevant attribute and a +2 class bonus = (10+4+2) 16
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 1 with an 18 relevant attribute = (10+4) 14
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 1 with a 12 relevant attribute = (10+1) 11
Needs to roll 12+, 10+, or 7+ to hit the particular defense.

Typical Caster attack at lvl 5 assuming 19 Stat (1 lvl up), +1 implement = (2+4+1) +7
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 5 with a 19 (1 lvl up) relevant attribute, a +1 amulet, and a +2 class bonus = (10+2+4+1+2) 19
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 5 with an 18 relevant attribute and a +1 amulet = (10+2+4+1) 17
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 5 with a 12 relevant attribute and a +1 amulet = (10+2+1+1) 14
Needs to roll 12+, 10+, or 7+ to hit the particular defense.

Typical Caster attack at lvl 10 assuming 20 Stat (2 lvl ups), +2 implement = (5+5+2) +12
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 10 with a 20 (2 lvl ups) relevant attribute, a +2 amulet, and a +2 class bonus = (10+5+5+2+2) 24
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 10 with 20 (2 lvl ups) relevant attribute and +2 amulet = (10+5+5+2) 22
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 10 with 13 (1 lvl up) relevant attribute and +2 amulet = (10+5+1+2) 18
Needs to roll 12+, 10+, or 6+ to hit the particular defense.

Typical Caster attack at lvl 15 assuming 21 Stat (3 lvl ups), +3 implement = (7+5+3) +15
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 15 with a 21 (3 lvl ups) relevant attribute, a +3 amulet, and a +2 class bonus = (10+7+5+3+2) 27
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 15 with 21 (3 lvl ups) relevant attribute and a +3 Amulet = (10+7+5+3) 25
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 15 with 13 (1 lvl up) relevant attribute and a +3 amulet = (10+7+1+3) 21
Needs to roll 12+, 10+, or 6+ to hit the particular defense.

Typical Caster attack at lvl 20 assuming 22 Stat (4 lvl ups), +4 implement = (10+6+4) +20
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 20 with a 22 (4 lvl ups) relevant attribute, a +4 amulet, and a +2 class bonus = (10+10+6+4+2) 32
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 20 with 22 (4 lvl ups) relevant attribute and a +4 Amulet = (10+10+6+4) 30
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 20 with 14 (2 lvl ups) relevant attribute and a +4 amulet = (10+10+2+4) 26
Needs to roll 12+, 10+, or 6+ to hit the particular defense.

Typical Caster attack at lvl 25 assuming 23 Stat (5 lvl ups), +5 implement = (12+6+5) +23
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 25 with a 23 (5 lvl ups) relevant attribute, a +5 amulet, and a +2 class bonus = (10+12+6+5+2) 35
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 25 with 23 (5 lvl ups) relevant attribute and a +5 Amulet = (10+12+6+5) 33
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 25 with 14 (2 lvl ups) relevant attribute and a +5 amulet = (10+12+2+5) 29
Needs to roll 12+, 10+, or 6+ to hit the particular defense.

Typical Caster attack at lvl 30 assuming 24 Stat (6 lvl ups), +6 implement = (15+7+6) +28
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 30 with a 24 (6 lvl ups) relevant attribute, a +6 amulet, and a +2 class bonus = (10+15+7+6+2) 40
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 30 with 24 (6 lvl ups) relevant attribute and a +6 Amulet = (10+15+7+6) 38
Typical Fort/Ref/Will Defense at lvl 30 with 15 (3 lvl ups) relevant attribute and a +6 amulet = (10+15+2+6) 33
Needs to roll 12+, 10+, or 5+ to hit the particular defense.

Again, over 30 levels the chance to land an attack remains nearly constant.

Note that because all defenses are based on the better of two stats, it's very unlikely for a character to have more than one poor defense.

SamBurke
2011-11-03, 05:40 PM
Oooooh. I can't wait to see who's more balanced!:smallamused:

The Reverend
2011-11-03, 06:18 PM
i still maintain 4E is an awesome Fantasy tactical skirmish system, just add talking in character for the role playing experience.

The Boz
2011-11-03, 06:34 PM
This thread is relevant to my interests.

Hiro Protagonest
2011-11-03, 06:38 PM
i still maintain 4E is an awesome Fantasy tactical skirmish system, just add talking in character for the role playing experience.

Oh? And what did 3.5 add that 4e didn't?

ExtravagantEvil
2011-11-03, 06:50 PM
I feel a flame war on the horizon :smallannoyed::smallmad::smallfurious::smallfrown: . I hope this thread stays civil because I've heard much analysis on 3.5, it being my primary and preferred system, but not much so on 4e other than on the concept of internal balance. A comparison though, in an objective, near scientific manner seems interesting.
So I hope this thread stays civil as long as possible, I really do.

For the sense of interim discussion though, I do prefer 3.5 to 4e, though I have fun in either system. I personally 3.5 to 4e though, because I found a greater sense of customization and a "You think it, I can build it." mentality to it. I still have fun in 4e, which has fun combat, and I still think you can roleplay as much in 4e as you can in any edition, there may be less focus on Diplomatic or Bluff mechanics and a skill test system I don't particularly like, but it can still be roleplayed in well regardless.

stainboy
2011-11-03, 06:56 PM
Sebastrd, everybody involved in that argument can calculate simple probabilities. No one needs it demonstrated to them that a high level fighter usually auto-hits his first attack.

It would be more useful to focus on what's wrong with that. For example, there's a strong correlation between monster level and high natural AC. A lizardman has a +5 natural AC bonus, a solar has a +21 natural AC bonus. Solars don't have scales or adamantine skin or anything, that gigantic bonus is just a kludge to keep up with attack scaling. The writers clearly believed that AC should scale with level, and yet didn't do that for PC classes. That's bad design and needs to be thrown out.

Also, I started this argument near the beginning of the 5E thread, and I think I worded my initial post poorly. Rather than stating that 4e has better math I should have called out just the specific parts of 4e's math that work well. 4e monsters use different rules than PCs, and the monster math is pretty bad. I probably shouldn't have framed it as 3e vs 4e anyway. A lot of people (including me) don't want anything to do with 4e math if it comes with 4e's design goals or class/power system.

E: NAD stands for Non Armor Defense, right? Every time I read that I hear Beavis giggling.

Curious
2011-11-03, 07:06 PM
Oh? And what did 4e add that 3.5 didn't?

Fixed that for you. :smalltongue:

Hiro Protagonest
2011-11-03, 07:19 PM
Fixed that for you. :smalltongue:

So then why is 4e worse? It's valid if you don't want to buy the books all over again, but that's not the argument I usually see.

Curious
2011-11-03, 07:23 PM
So then why is 4e worse? It's valid if you don't want to buy the books all over again, but that's not the argument I usually see.

Oh, I'm not saying 4e is worse. I just don't like it. There is another whole thread where I expressed my opinion via several articles by the Alexandrian. I'll see if I can't find that. However, I will say this; I don't like the fact that your class determines your role, rather than your build. It is simply far too much pigeon-holing for my tastes. Also, multiclassing just sucks.

EDIT: Ah, here we are.

Dissociated Mechanics (http://thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/dissociated-mechanics.html).
General (http://thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/playtesting-4th.html).
PF vs 4e (http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/2734/roleplaying-games/pathfinder-vs-4th-edition-grrr).

Sebastrd
2011-11-03, 08:41 PM
3.5 skill progression.

Typical character at lvl 1 assuming 18 relevant attribute, max ranks = (4+4) +8
Typical character at lvl 1 assuming 14 relevant attribute, max ranks (cross class) = (2+2) +4
Typical character at lvl 1 assuming 10 relevant attribute, untrained = (0+0) +0

Typical character at lvl 5 assuming 20 (1 lvl up, +1 item) relevant attribute, max ranks = (5+8) +13
Typical character at lvl 5 assuming 14 relevant attribute, max ranks (cross class) = (2+4) +6
Typical character at lvl 5 assuming 10 relevant attribute, untrained = (0+0) +0

Typical character at lvl 10 assuming 24 (2 lvl ups, +4 item) relevant attribute, max ranks = (7+13) +20
Typical character at lvl 10 assuming 14 relevant attribute, max ranks (cross class) = (2+6) +8
Typical character at lvl 10 assuming 10 relevant attribute, untrained = (0+0) +0

Typical character at lvl 15 assuming 28 (3 lvl ups, +5 item, +2 tome) relevant attribute, max ranks = (9+18) +27
Typical character at lvl 15 assuming 14 relevant attribute, max ranks (cross class) = (2+9) +11
Typical character at lvl 15 assuming 10 relevant attribute, untrained = (0+0) +0

Typical character at lvl 20 assuming 32 (5 lvl ups, +6 item, +3 tome) relevant attribute, max ranks = (11+23) +34
Typical character at lvl 20 assuming 14 relevant attribute, max ranks (cross class) = (2+11) +13
Typical character at lvl 20 assuming 10 relevant attribute, untrained = (0+0) +0

By level 10, an untrained character cannot succeed on a check that a trained character wouldn't have to roll for. In the case of a cross class trainee, this doesn't happen until closer to level 20.

Passed level 5 or so it becomes implausible to present a character with a challenge that requires an untrained skill to overcome.

Sebastrd
2011-11-03, 08:42 PM
4E skill progression.

Typical character at lvl 1 assuming 18 relevant attribute, trained = (4+5) +9
Typical character at lvl 1 assuming 14 relevant attribute, untrained = (2+0) +2
Typical character at lvl 1 assuming 10 relevant attribute, untrained = (0+0) +0

Typical character at lvl 5 assuming 19 (1 lvl up) relevant attribute, trained = (2+4+5) +11
Typical character at lvl 5 assuming 14 relevant attribute, untrained = (2+2+0) +4
Typical character at lvl 5 assuming 10 relevant attribute, untrained = (2+0+0) +2

Typical character at lvl 10 assuming 20 (2 lvl ups) relevant attribute, trained = (5+5+5) +15
Typical character at lvl 10 assuming 15 (1 lvl up) relevant attribute, untrained = (5+2+0) +7
Typical character at lvl 10 assuming 11 (1 lvl up) relevant attribute, untrained = (5+0+0) +5

Typical character at lvl 15 assuming 21 (3 lvl ups) relevant attribute, trained = (7+5+5) +17
Typical character at lvl 15 assuming 15 (1 lvl up) relevant attribute, untrained = (7+2+0) +9
Typical character at lvl 15 assuming 11 (1 lvl up) relevant attribute, untrained = (7+0+0) +7

Typical character at lvl 20 assuming 22 (4 lvl ups) relevant attribute, trained = (10+6+5) +21
Typical character at lvl 20 assuming 16 (2 lvl ups) relevant attribute, untrained = (10+3+0) +13
Typical character at lvl 20 assuming 12 (2 lvl ups) relevant attribute, untrained = (10+1+0) +11

Typical character at lvl 25 assuming 23 (5 lvl ups) relevant attribute, trained = (12+6+5) +23
Typical character at lvl 25 assuming 16 (2 lvl ups) relevant attribute, untrained = (12+3+0) +15
Typical character at lvl 25 assuming 12 (2 lvl ups) relevant attribute, untrained = (12+1+0) +13

Typical character at lvl 30 assuming 24 (6 lvl ups) relevant attribute, trained = (15+7+5) +27
Typical character at lvl 30 assuming 17 (3 lvl ups) relevant attribute, untrained = (15+3+0) +18
Typical character at lvl 30 assuming 13 (3 lvl ups) relevant attribute, untrained = (15+1+0) +16

The difference between trained and untrained is never greater that 11. Through 30 levels a trained character will always be about 50% better than an untrained character.

However, the untrained character's skills will remain relevant. In a case where the whole party needs to be stealthy, even an untrained character will have a chance to sneak by the mooks and foot soldiers. If the party needs to ride out a blizzard, even the party members not trained in endurance can survive. Challenges which require the entire party to utilize a particular skill remain viable no matter the character level.

DrBurr
2011-11-03, 08:54 PM
So your saying in 4e a Fighter's accuracy against an Even enemy is roughly the same no matter what level...

Wasn't that the design philosophy of 4e Combat? That Combats will scale with Level maintaining an Roughly Equal Level of Challenge

I don't see the Point of this Thread, its just another excuse for flaming, 4e and 3.5e are different games, just play the one you like and stop trying to constantly prove one is better then the other

Jothki
2011-11-03, 09:50 PM
Does math need a point?

Anderlith
2011-11-03, 09:56 PM
What is the point of playing a game that doesn't increase or decrease the difficulty as you play? Why not just add variety & not so many superpowers?

SamBurke
2011-11-03, 10:06 PM
What is the point of playing a game that doesn't increase or decrease the difficulty as you play? Why not just add variety & not so many superpowers?

Funny thing: at high levels, casters win. Saves are almost impossible. Melee? Due to massive NA bonuses, they're doing OK. It's EASY at higher levels in 3.5.

HILARIOUSLY EASY.

We're talking about about floating coach battlefields. Vast crowds of mages sitting on their celestial recliners, drinking +8 Tequila, owning any other class.

In short, to answer your thought: for melee, it's still a big challenge. Things are unfair.

DrBurr
2011-11-03, 10:12 PM
Does math need a point?

Typically yes, to prove something. Though if the OP is actually just interested in displaying differences then I applaud them, but in past experience its usually just some stab at saying one is better then the other

What is the point of playing a game that doesn't increase or decrease the difficulty as you play? Why not just add variety & not so many superpowers?

The 4e Design view is that A Monsters Level reflects they are designed to fight a Hero of that Level on Even Footing, acting as A Baseline for encounters. SO if a DM wants a Hard Encounter he adds two Levels, if the DM wants an easy encounter decrease it two levels. So the Game can either be Harder or Easier depending on how the DM designs the Encounter not because your five Levels Higher.

Though this is Besides my point, and I'm sure someone will rip my above paragraph apart, The Point is some ppl like 4e others like 3.5e, and arguing over which is "better" is pointless, childish and won't ever solve anything, not to mention is kind of annoying that their seems to be a new Edition war Thread every other week

Anderlith
2011-11-03, 10:21 PM
Though this is Besides my point, and I'm sure someone will rip my above paragraph apart, The Point is some ppl like 4e others like 3.5e, and arguing over which is "better" is pointless, childish and won't ever solve anything, not to mention is kind of annoying that their seems to be a new Edition war Thread every other week

Sometimes two!:smallbiggrin:

DrBurr
2011-11-03, 11:22 PM
Sometimes two!:smallbiggrin:

Lol yes very True:smallbiggrin:

Kerrin
2011-11-03, 11:37 PM
What is the point of playing a game that doesn't increase or decrease the difficulty as you play? Why not just add variety & not so many superpowers?
I think every edition of D&D has tried to scale opponents to the level of the characters. For example, at low levels marauding orc warriors might be a challenge, at middle levels trolls or elementals might be a challenge, at high levels full dragons might be a challenge, and at ridiculous levels hunting down Orcus on his home plane might be a challenge.

The interesting things for me as a character as I progress through the levels are that I have different strengths and kinds of challenges along the way, that the game easily supports throwing challenges at me that are below or at or above my abilities, and that gaining levels also means gaining new ways/abilities to tackle challenges.

Mando Knight
2011-11-04, 12:08 AM
E: NAD stands for Non Armor Defense, right? Every time I read that I hear Beavis giggling.
That's the reason it stuck, actually. Shortening your not-AC defenses (or non-armor defenses or however you want to phrase it) to NADs drives in a fairly accurate point: target them rather than the enemy's AC and you're more likely to cause them to roll on the ground in pain.

However, I will say this; I don't like the fact that your class determines your role, rather than your build. It is simply far too much pigeon-holing for my tastes.
If that's your biggest dislike, WotC is working on changing that, within some constraints (you can't yet be totally self-sufficient without some kind of ludicrous build). Besides the sub-classes that they've been introducing with the more recent books (such as the Slayer, a Fighter who like the Barbarian is a tough-as-nails Striker rather than a Defender like the original version of the Fighter; or the new Barbarian build from the Feywild book, which will be a Defender when he's calm... and then fly into a Rage when he needs to totally wreck stuff), they've slowly added character options that give your character at least some ability to branch out into the other roles.

Cleisthenes
2011-11-04, 12:33 AM
Level 9 Spell DC with 32 (5 lvl ups, +6 item, +3 tome) relevant attribute = (10+9+11) 30
Level 20 character good save with 32 (5 lvl ups, +6 item, +3 tome) relevant attribute = (12+11) 23
Level 20 character good save with 12 relevant attribute = (12+1) 13
Level 20 character poor save with 10 relevant attribute = (6+0) 5
The character with a good save needs a 7+ or a 17+ to save. The character with a poor save needs a 20 to save.

Really? No resistance bonuses at all?

No luck bonuses or anything like that?

No morale bonuses either? No stat bonuses to weak stats?

Acanous
2011-11-04, 01:05 AM
Also, in 3.5, some skills have synergy, or are affected by morale bonus, or can be pumped by class features/feats(Usually a trap or prereq for PrC but can happen)

I have a half-elven Bard/Marshal build who has +32 diplomacy by lv 5. Tainted Scholar can get your save DCs over 100 by what, lv 7?
While in 4th you are very much playing your class, and in 3.5 you can much more easilly customize through multiple roles, if you want to pigeon-hole yourself in 3.5, you can do it faster, harder, and better than is possible in 4e.

I like to think of the systems like cars. If you want to go buy a new Mazda from the dealership, that's 4E. Here's your class, it comes with these options, messing with it voids the warranty.

If you went to a parts store, picked up a body kit, did the whole thing custom from the ground up and added whatever features you wanted to add, that's 3.5e. You want it to go fast? Here's some Nos. You don't have to be street legal if you don't run it on public roads.
But people who don't put the time and effort into learning how to build it and drive it, are gonna suck at it and end up with lemons. Which doesn't happen if you just go to the dealership.

Much like in the underground racing circuit, people who custom built their cars don't take kindly to folk who bought a stock model. Even if they both hit the same tracks, they aren't in the same racing league.

It got worse when WoTC cancelled 3.5 support. Now the 3.5 players ARE underground, figure they worked their asses off to get another sponsorship in Pathfinder, and there's some resentment towards 4e because of it.

Edit: This is not to say that 4E players are worse at system mastery or put less effort into the game, but that system mastery in 4e matters less, and the game was designed so that people who just picked it up will be able to contribute on the same level. If you don't know the system in 3.5, you'll crash and burn, possibly taking your party wih you. If you don't know it in 4e, you're lovably inept.
In short, 3.5 has a much lower floor and higher ceiling than 4e.

PairO'Dice Lost
2011-11-04, 04:02 AM
I think every edition of D&D has tried to scale opponents to the level of the characters. For example, at low levels marauding orc warriors might be a challenge, at middle levels trolls or elementals might be a challenge, at high levels full dragons might be a challenge, and at ridiculous levels hunting down Orcus on his home plane might be a challenge.

This is true, though every edition has scaled things in different ways. Personally, I prefer the 1e/2e scaling over 3e or 4e scaling. In 4e, percentages stay basically static as you level; in 3e, save DCs and attack rolls begin to win out over saving throws and AC. In 1e and 2e, though, saving throws improved massively with level (to the point that you mostly made your strong saves on 2+ or 3+ by max level) and DCs were hard to boost, and while AC didn't scale with level it was fairly easy to get high AC. This meant that instead of any given character having a 50/50 shot to affect any given creature, or instead of casters and power attackers owning at later levels, it was really a defender's game--you didn't need to worry as much about being one-shot, and melee types were the ones you wanted to reliably break through AC--which made class vs. class and character vs. monster balance generally better than in 3e while keeping classes nicely distinct.

The interesting things for me as a character as I progress through the levels are that I have different strengths and kinds of challenges along the way, that the game easily supports throwing challenges at me that are below or at or above my abilities, and that gaining levels also means gaining new ways/abilities to tackle challenges.

This is another thing I like about 3e, that combat isn't just comparing the same numbers as you level. At low levels, things are pretty swingy and you want every +1 or +2 from high ground and flanking and such to give you the advantage. At mid levels, you can fairly reliably buff your own numbers through spells, items, tactics, etc., but you have to start to worry about immunities or miss chances or SR or other non-AC/non-save defenses. At high levels, you're pretty much guaranteed to land your spell or your weapon hit numerically, but there are so many additional defenses and ablative layers and immunities and such that you really have to have a multifaceted attack plan to win reliably.

The combat game advances from being mostly about tactics, to being mostly about strategy, to being mostly about logistics, so the tenor of combat changes from small scale to large scale as much as other aspects of characters do over the same levels. I like that sort of progression, as it ensures that high levels feel different from low levels in many different ways.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-04, 07:10 AM
Let's summarize.

1. Attack vs AC. Yes, it climbs. But it HAS to. Look at iteratives. If you still had the 50% chance to hit the lower AC targets you started with, they would be pretty pointless, would they not? And if this were the case, would not melee damage fall off terribly?

Just because the chance isn't the same doesn't mean that the whole system is out of wack.

1.5. Yes, spell emulating items for miss chance are more inexpensive than armor. Note that they are almost invariably x/day uses with fairly short durations. For a given price level, they SHOULD be cheaper than an always on defense.

2. Spell Save DCs

So? Classes and feats exist to provide bonuses to save DCs and saves. Yes, if you blithely ignore your weakness for 20 levels while those targetting them improve themselves, you'll be in more danger. Likewise, if you focus on shoring up your strong points, you can make them highly unlikely to fail. Or, you can pursue a balanced option if you like. Nothing prevents you from doing this.

You have mistaken options for brokenness.

3.

By level 10, an untrained character cannot succeed on a check that a trained character wouldn't have to roll for. In the case of a cross class trainee, this doesn't happen until closer to level 20.

So? I have never learned to pick locks in real life. Real locksmiths routinely open locked doors for people. They routinely succeed at tasks I find impossible. This is true for a great many specialties. For instance, many of the most mundane tasks for a surgeon, I would have basically no chance of success at, because I just haven't had the training.

It's not at all an unreasonable model. I would argue that a model that keeps untrained people and trained people at comparatively equal likelihood to succeed, even as the trained person gets better and better, is the problematic one.

If you chose to ignore a skill for 20 levels, you SHOULD be failing at anything that challenges the experts in it.

As for 4e:
Rituals are pretty much a waste. The entire system.
Skill Challenges are broken (http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/1665/roleplaying-games/skill-challenges-wtf).

These are notably large portions of the game, and are fairly central to the system.

Oh? And what did 3.5 add that 4e didn't?

3.5 has a much more supported world simulation aspect to it. Non-combat options are far higher in 3.5 on a book for book basis(search it, I counted em once upon a time, 3.5 was about double).

3.5 also has a much greater diversity of subsystems that are functionally different. Yes, 4e has added some, but a great many of their classes use the same mechanical power structures.

Note that not everyone may care for these things, but 3.5 definitely contains many things 4e does not.

Funny thing: at high levels, casters win. Saves are almost impossible. Melee? Due to massive NA bonuses, they're doing OK. It's EASY at higher levels in 3.5.

HILARIOUSLY EASY.

We're talking about about floating coach battlefields. Vast crowds of mages sitting on their celestial recliners, drinking +8 Tequila, owning any other class.

In short, to answer your thought: for melee, it's still a big challenge. Things are unfair.

From actual experience playing epic level campaigns, this is highly overrated on the internet. Monsters approaching and exceeding CR 20 tend to have more and more immunities, for instance. They're not generally immune to physical damage, though. Pop open your copy of Elder Evils. A charger build is pretty clearly the best way to take these suckers down.

I will grant that the tier spread is wider in 3.5 than in 4e, but it's not nearly so wide as people make it out to be. The truenamer or the charger are still extremely useful contributors at level 20.

I do also agree that high tier/level combat involves a greater degree of strategy, ablative defenses, and so forth in 3.5. Ideal play is not static. But, in a game, should it be?

2011-11-04, 08:41 AM
I don't like the fact that your class determines your role, rather than your build. It is simply far too much pigeon-holing for my tastes.

You can certainly make builds that break role. Paladins are defenders as written but can play strikers or leaders as well. If that doesn't apply for what you're playing, pick your role first and then choose a class that fits that role.

Rituals are pretty much a waste. The entire system.

How do you figure? Personally I think rituals are merely neglected. Players complain that wizards don't have utility options and then skip over the entire list of available rituals. Maybe that's because the rituals are presented as optional. Maybe it's because so many players were introduced to 4e through Encounters and LFR, where modules are written with no expectations of character ability.

In my last 4e game I threw a lot of weird situations at the players. Typically they flailed about, trying to throw skills or powers at the situation. Then they remembered their rituals. Granted I was more generous with rituals than may have been necessary, but I wanted to make sure they had weird, esoteric rituals in their arsenal. This let me throw more involved obstacles at them and I wouldn't even bother to come up with a solution. Given enough rituals, they could almost always apply three or four and find a way around my challenges.

Reverent-One
2011-11-04, 08:54 AM
As for 4e:
Rituals are pretty much a waste. The entire system.

Not at all. Specific rituals suffer from WoTC's kneejerk attempt to make sure magic options aren't too powerful and going too far with that, especially the PHB rituals, but not only do I think they learned from this and improved a number of the later rituals, the system itself is actually a good idea.

Skill Challenges are broken (http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/1665/roleplaying-games/skill-challenges-wtf).

Really? You're pulling this out again? :smallsigh:

Tyndmyr
2011-11-04, 09:13 AM
How do you figure? Personally I think rituals are merely neglected. Players complain that wizards don't have utility options and then skip over the entire list of available rituals. Maybe that's because the rituals are presented as optional. Maybe it's because so many players were introduced to 4e through Encounters and LFR, where modules are written with no expectations of character ability.

In my last 4e game I threw a lot of weird situations at the players. Typically they flailed about, trying to throw skills or powers at the situation. Then they remembered their rituals. Granted I was more generous with rituals than may have been necessary, but I wanted to make sure they had weird, esoteric rituals in their arsenal. This let me throw more involved obstacles at them and I wouldn't even bother to come up with a solution. Given enough rituals, they could almost always apply three or four and find a way around my challenges.

They require gold, time and, IIRC, a feat. Non trivial amounts of the first two.

So, in practice, they're very rarely effective solutions, and I see them mostly discarded as such in play. Of all the people I know IRL that actually play 4e, without exception they avoid all rituals that are not a blatant DM plot device.

Rev, I will agree that the core of BOTH systems is generally weaker, and they patched a lot of weaknesses(or at least, provided less broken alternatives) in later supplements to both. Seems to be a consistent WoTC trend, IMO.

And yes, I'm aware that they attempted to fix skill challenges. That only supports the assessment that they were broken.

Reverent-One
2011-11-04, 09:19 AM
Rev, I will agree that the core of BOTH systems is generally weaker, and they patched a lot of weaknesses(or at least, provided less broken alternatives) in later supplements to both. Seems to be a consistent WoTC trend, IMO.

Which would seem to imply that the system itself isn't totally a waste, just that it had some bugs to fix. Just like 3.0, 3.5, and pretty much every system in every other RPG I've seen.

And yes, I'm aware that they attempted to fix skill challenges. That only supports the assessment that they were broken.

That wasn't what you said though. You said they are, present-tense, broken, then linked to an article in which every single complaint hasn't been true for years. Sure, the issues were there when it first came out, but they're since been fixed and if we're talking about the game now, they have no place in the discussion.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-04, 09:28 AM
Which would seem to imply that the system itself isn't totally a waste, just that it had some bugs to fix. Just like 3.0, 3.5, and pretty much every system in every other RPG I've seen.

So? The point of this is comparing the engines. The OP is holding that the 4e engine is objectively better mathematically than the 3.5 engine.

I don't think we need to declare 4e to be a total waste to disprove that.

That wasn't what you said though. You said they are, present-tense, broken, then linked to an article in which every single complaint hasn't been true for years. Sure, the issues were there when it first came out, but they're since been fixed and if we're talking about the game now, they have no place in the discussion.

The article has updates for the errata. It summarizes them as a slight improvement, but the system is still mostly unworkable.

2011-11-04, 09:39 AM
They require gold, time and, IIRC, a feat. Non trivial amounts of the first two.

So, in practice, they're very rarely effective solutions, and I see them mostly discarded as such in play. Of all the people I know IRL that actually play 4e, without exception they avoid all rituals that are not a blatant DM plot device.

They're not effective depending on the problem. Most of the time I see problems where there's a ritual free solution and the ritual is considered the easy button. Nobody wants to spend time/money to make the problem easier. But when no ritual free solution exists, they become a lot more reasonable.

Time isn't always a valuable resource. In a dungeon crawl they can certainly take 10 minutes or an hour for a ritual. 8 hours for raise dead is expensive, but it's raise dead. Given how quickly players will attach themselves to a solution that works once and then apply it everywhere, I have no objection to a ritual's time cost being a circumstantial expense.

As far as the gold cost goes, I'm biased. I've only GMed the one group and had several players who had no qualms about burning through consumables. Other players might have needed more pushing.

In the second half of the game I also started encouraging their ritual use by giving out residuum as loot. When they have the stuff on hand it's a lot easier to make the call to use it than when someone has to pony up some GP. The other benefit of giving it out as loot is that it's easy to modify. I gave out residuum concentrate that gave a bonus to the ritual check. You could just as easily give out a variety of residuum that speeds up the ritual.

Reverent-One
2011-11-04, 09:40 AM
So? The point of this is comparing the engines. The OP is holding that the 4e engine is objectively better mathematically than the 3.5 engine.

I don't think we need to declare 4e to be a total waste to disprove that.

The point is you said that the entire ritual system was a waste. This is the point that I was disagreeing with. I'm not getting involved in the OP's argument at all.

The article has updates for the errata. It summarizes them as a slight improvement, but the system is still mostly unworkable.

Actually, the article you linked to has no such updates, I know the author wrote another one that did, but you didn't link to that one. And as we've discussed before, the SC system is not in the least "mostly unworkable" anymore.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-04, 09:53 AM
The point is you said that the entire ritual system was a waste. This is the point that I was disagreeing with. I'm not getting involved in the OP's argument at all.

A system that doesn't really get used without notable DM intervention to ensure it does so is basically a waste.

Note that many games have these, and this should not be construed as a problem only 4e has.

Actually, the article you linked to has no such updates, I know the author wrote another one that did, but you didn't link to that one. And as we've discussed before, the SC system is not in the least "mostly unworkable" anymore.

Ah. Well, in that case, the other article is on the same blog, and should not be terribly difficult for an interested person to discover.

Reverent-One
2011-11-04, 10:00 AM
A system that doesn't really get used without notable DM intervention to ensure it does so is basically a waste.

I don't consider the DM being willing to throw open-ended challenges at the party really being notable DM intervention.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-04, 10:27 AM
I don't consider the DM being willing to throw open-ended challenges at the party really being notable DM intervention.

Open-ended challenges, in my experience, do not cause use of the ritual system. It's insufficient.

Let me use an example from 3.5. Multiclass xp penalty rules. Sure, it's a small bit of rules...but a LOT of people ignore them entirely. Not everyone, sure, but enough that it's pretty notable. That's a sign of rules not being designed properly in some way.

Reverent-One
2011-11-04, 10:34 AM
Open-ended challenges, in my experience, do not cause use of the ritual system. It's insufficient.

*Shrugs* Depends on the players. I also have to wonder how great your experience is on the matter.

Let me use an example from 3.5. Multiclass xp penalty rules. Sure, it's a small bit of rules...but a LOT of people ignore them entirely. Not everyone, sure, but enough that it's pretty notable. That's a sign of rules not being designed properly in some way.

Lots of people ignore them entirely because they actively dislike those rules.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-04, 11:12 AM
*Shrugs* Depends on the players. I also have to wonder how great your experience is on the matter.

I'll grant that 3.5 is highly favored in my area, but this is a very notable hotspot for gamers. I've got two dedicated game shops that are somewhat decent within a short drive, and I also frequent the one in dover. Due to the nature of my job(coding), I socially know a disproportionate number of gamers, some of which play 4e. I've played a campaign of it myself, back when it was fresh. I've seen no shortage of people online also claim that their group makes little to no use of rituals unless the DM explicitly brings it up.

So, it seems quite common.

Lots of people ignore them entirely because they actively dislike those rules.

Yeah, but that's not the root cause. The root cause is WHY do they actively dislike those rules.

And if you make a game that players actively dislike...that's a bad game. The same can be said for subsets of a game. "Do the players like and use it" is the ultimate test of success, and it's useful for finding weak points within a system. Not ALL types of weak points, but some of them, yes.

Reverent-One
2011-11-04, 11:26 AM
I'll grant that 3.5 is highly favored in my area, but this is a very notable hotspot for gamers. I've got two dedicated game shops that are somewhat decent within a short drive, and I also frequent the one in dover. Due to the nature of my job(coding), I socially know a disproportionate number of gamers, some of which play 4e. I've played a campaign of it myself, back when it was fresh. I've seen no shortage of people online also claim that their group makes little to no use of rituals unless the DM explicitly brings it up.

So, it seems quite common.

It also seems quite common for people like valadil to speak up for them as well.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-04, 11:28 AM
He described them as "neglected". That's evidence for my view.

Reverent-One
2011-11-04, 11:33 AM
He described them as "neglected". That's evidence for my view.

Or he just means that they're neglected by people with your view. Looking at that in context with the rest of what he says, that is the likely meaning.

2011-11-04, 11:36 AM
Yeah, but that's not the root cause. The root cause is WHY do they actively dislike those rules.

I think part of it is because they're practically optional. While I had made good use of rituals in my games, most players ignore them. If your PCs don't have rituals, as a GM you're probably not going to throw ritual puzzles at them. I think people who do this end up looking down on that chapter of the book that they skip over. Or they get upset that one player has to burn a feat so that the group has access to raise dead and sending.

I also think rituals get ignored because powers are so heavy. By the book or by the builder, when you make a character you spend a lot of time reading through powers. After finishing up with that, the last thing you want to do is read through a list of rituals, especially if you know they're optional. Whenever I've played a ritual caster I've said to myself I'd come back to the rituals later. I rarely do because most GMs or RPGA modules don't need you to use them. And yes, this is coming from the guy arguing in favor of rituals :-)

2011-11-04, 11:43 AM
He described them as "neglected". That's evidence for my view.

Your view is that they are a waste. I say they're currently being wasted. There's a difference. 4e culture currently neglects rituals. Maybe people will learn to write challenges that aren't solved by rolling powers or skills. Maybe not. I'm not willing to conclude that they're a waste yet.

2011-11-04, 11:44 AM
Hm the first thing that jumped to my eye was:

"Typical Fighter AC at lvl 1 with Full Plate, Large Shield, and 12+ Dex = (10+8+2+1) 21"

Iīm not 100% certain about the raw money rules (because I mostly donīt play by them ^^) but isnīt the typical amount of gp something around 800?

which would put a full plate which costs 1500gp for a medium humanoid well out of the league :smallwink:

A half plate is much more realistic I think

And if the fighter has indeed wbl legal why would the rogue only buy stuff for ~100gp when the fighter has spend around ~2000?

Tyndmyr
2011-11-04, 11:49 AM
Your view is that they are a waste. I say they're currently being wasted. There's a difference. 4e culture currently neglects rituals. Maybe people will learn to write challenges that aren't solved by rolling powers or skills. Maybe not. I'm not willing to conclude that they're a waste yet.

If they are not currently used...then it's a waste currently. Yes, 4e may change to make them not a waste....but until they get around to doing so(which is a rather notable task), it's a very underutilized part of the system.

Emmerask, you're also correct. Full plate at level 1 is rather unusual.

2011-11-04, 11:52 AM
My suggestion for lvl1 would be:

give the fighter a half plate (600gp)
give the rogue a masterwork weapon (600gp)

which puts the rogue and fighter quite a lot closer together :smallwink:

Reverent-One
2011-11-04, 11:56 AM
Your view is that they are a waste. I say they're currently being wasted. There's a difference. 4e culture currently neglects rituals. Maybe people will learn to write challenges that aren't solved by rolling powers or skills. Maybe not. I'm not willing to conclude that they're a waste yet.

I can't see that being a good thing, a problem that can't be solved except in very specific ways is bad for a game since it can lead to the party hitting a brick wall. Really, they just need to continue making interesting rituals that people will want to use.

2011-11-04, 12:03 PM
I can't see that being a good thing, a problem that can't be solved except in very specific ways is bad for a game since it can lead to the party hitting a brick wall. Really, they just need to continue making interesting rituals that people will want to use.

I was mostly referring to sessions where the only challenges are combat and skill challenges. 'Beat up some thugs' and 'gain favor with the mayor' are not things that require rituals.

Tytalus
2011-11-04, 12:07 PM
Typical Fighter AC at lvl 1 with Full Plate, Large Shield, and 12+ Dex

No 1st level character will have a full plate, much less a full plate and a shield. The best you can do with your average of 150gp is scale + heavy shield (ignoring tower shields, which have other restrictions): AC 17, not 21. If you want a good weapon and/or a bow, even that might be too much.

Your assumptions for the "average" fighter are off for the other levels, too. You assume the fighter spends the following percentages of the money he should actually have (WBL) only on weapon, STR-boost and AC improvements (ignoring essential items such as save boosters) alone. Obviously, anything above 100% doesn't make any sense for an "objective" comparison. Even allocation almost 100% while disregarding other essential items seems hardly "typical".

Level 01: over 1005% of available funds (without weapon)
Level 05: over 112% of available funds
Level 10: over 120% of available funds
Level 15: about 95% of available funds
Level 20: about 42% of available funds

Aside from the unrealistic assumptions for ECL 1, 5 and 10, you are apparently introducing a strange trend, where higher level character invest relatively less of their wealth in arms & armor. Was that intentional?

Over the course of 20 levels attack bonus continually gains ground on AC.

I'm not sure it's advisable at all to compare your to hit-bonus to arbitrarily (*) equipped player (!) characters. Why not compare it to the average AC of appropriate encouters from the MM?

I've seen a set of aggregated stats for 3.5 somewhere, and for 4.0 as well (http://www.enworld.org/forum/4e-discussion/229092-lots-statistics-monster-manual.html).

My own copy tells me that the average 3.5 ACs from the MM1 are 15.28, 17.16, 22.58, 29.75, and 36.44 for CR 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20, respectively. Not great, but probably more realistic that looking for ACs of creatures that players aren't supposed to ever attack (other PCs). If you want to restict the comparison to non-monsters (why?), it would make more sense to use the ACs of the sample NPCs in the DMG (18, 21, 24, 28, 34, for the relevant levels).

A character with a primary attribute that correlates to a good save always has a roughly 50/50 chance of saving.
A character without a primary attribute that correlates to a good save has a progressively worse chance to save - by level 11 the chance is 25%.
A character without a primary attribute that correlates to a poor save starts at a 25% chance to save and by level 11 will only save on a 20.

You are doing a comparison without any resistance items? How is that objective in any sense?

It's fairly well known that saves in 3.5 are serious business and that you are ill-advised to neglect them. Since you can affect a save with minimal investment, it's surprising you disregarded that options. E.g., a 20th-level character can improve a weak save (+6 base, no attibute bonus) by 100% for a mere 3.8% of his WBL (resistance item +5, stat boost +2), a 15th-level character with 10%, 16% at 10, and 11% at 5. Hardly unreasonable. Not only that, the main part of the investment benefits both other saves as well. It's hard to imaging a PC without a save item, especially when it comes to the higher levels - it's like asking to die, as you numbers showed.

TL;DR: The analysis is not realistic / objective.

---

(*) 3.5 allows for more customizability regarding equipment.

Barlen
2011-11-04, 01:07 PM
No 1st level character will have a full plate, much less a full plate and a shield. The best you can do with your average of 150gp is scale + heavy shield (ignoring tower shields, which have other restrictions): AC 17, not 21. If you want a good weapon and/or a bow, even that might be too much.

.
.
.

TL;DR: The analysis is not realistic / objective.

Excellent response to the OP. But also note, excellent starting point by the OP. I'd love to see this discussion stay on track (and stick to the mathematics). Any chance we can see this in graph form?

Great work even if it needs to be refined.

Sebastrd
2011-11-04, 04:11 PM
No 1st level character will have a full plate, much less a full plate and a shield. The best you can do with your average of 150gp is scale + heavy shield (ignoring tower shields, which have other restrictions): AC 17, not 21. If you want a good weapon and/or a bow, even that might be too much.

Your assumptions for the "average" fighter are off for the other levels, too. You assume the fighter spends the following percentages of the money he should actually have (WBL) only on weapon, STR-boost and AC improvements (ignoring essential items such as save boosters) alone. Obviously, anything above 100% doesn't make any sense for an "objective" comparison. Even allocation almost 100% while disregarding other essential items seems hardly "typical".

You're just proving my point. If the best AC money can buy can't keep up with attack bonuses, how do you expect a more typical AC to fare?

I'm not sure it's advisable at all to compare your to hit-bonus to arbitrarily (*) equipped player (!) characters. Why not compare it to the average AC of appropriate encouters from the MM?

I've seen a set of aggregated stats for 3.5 somewhere, and for 4.0 as well (http://www.enworld.org/forum/4e-discussion/229092-lots-statistics-monster-manual.html).

My own copy tells me that the average 3.5 ACs from the MM1 are 15.28, 17.16, 22.58, 29.75, and 36.44 for CR 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20, respectively. Not great, but probably more realistic that looking for ACs of creatures that players aren't supposed to ever attack (other PCs). If you want to restict the comparison to non-monsters (why?), it would make more sense to use the ACs of the sample NPCs in the DMG (18, 21, 24, 28, 34, for the relevant levels).

Again, you're proving my point. One of the 3.5 "features" constantly trumpeted is how PCs and monsters use the same rules. However, monsters must break the rules, generally with arbitrarily high natural armor bonuses, in order to keep up.

You are doing a comparison without any resistance items? How is that objective in any sense?

It's fairly well known that saves in 3.5 are serious business and that you are ill-advised to neglect them. Since you can affect a save with minimal investment, it's surprising you disregarded that options. E.g., a 20th-level character can improve a weak save (+6 base, no attibute bonus) by 100% for a mere 3.8% of his WBL (resistance item +5, stat boost +2), a 15th-level character with 10%, 16% at 10, and 11% at 5. Hardly unreasonable. Not only that, the main part of the investment benefits both other saves as well. It's hard to imaging a PC without a save item, especially when it comes to the higher levels - it's like asking to die, as you numbers showed.

My bad. I suppose I'll get around to adjusting the numbers for resistance items. However, note that I did not include DC boosters like spell focus feats or items, and that even the +6 bonus a 20th level character can add still only brings the poor save up to a +11 and you would still need a 19 or 20 to save.

Sebastrd
2011-11-04, 05:00 PM
So? I have never learned to pick locks in real life. Real locksmiths routinely open locked doors for people. They routinely succeed at tasks I find impossible. This is true for a great many specialties. For instance, many of the most mundane tasks for a surgeon, I would have basically no chance of success at, because I just haven't had the training.

It's not at all an unreasonable model. I would argue that a model that keeps untrained people and trained people at comparatively equal likelihood to succeed, even as the trained person gets better and better, is the problematic one.

If you chose to ignore a skill for 20 levels, you SHOULD be failing at anything that challenges the experts in it.

In my opinion, it is an unreasonable model. You have never learned to pick locks, but you are also not a heroic adventurer.

A typical adventurer should reasonably expect to pick up a few things from her own experience as well as learning by watching her more skilled companions.

An untrained layman shouldn't be expected to troubleshoot and repair an internal combustion engine. It is reasonable to expect a layman to change a tire, replace a battery, or change their own oil.

Also, note that at no point do the numbers show "untrained people and trained people at comparatively equal likelihood to succeed". They do show that although an untrained adventurer learns and becomes better over time, the trained adventurer always maintains their advantage.

stainboy
2011-11-04, 06:23 PM
They require gold, time and, IIRC, a feat. Non trivial amounts of the first two.

So, in practice, they're very rarely effective solutions, and I see them mostly discarded as such in play. Of all the people I know IRL that actually play 4e, without exception they avoid all rituals that are not a blatant DM plot device.

Level has a lot to do with it too. 4e rituals cover about character levels 1-9 from AD&D/3e, but they're spread over 30 levels. If you start the game at level 1 you have to play for several months of real time before you qualify for enough rituals to care.

I remember reading this campaign log on fa/tg/uys (that I probably shouldn't link here because you know 4chan) about some character pulling this awesomely sociopathic plot derailment with rituals. He had a lot going in his favor: short game so he didn't have to care too much about gold, and the DM rolling with it (to her credit). But I still couldn't figure out how he was able to throw around so many rituals. The plot was this low-level story about a bunch of diplomats that I'd have run at about level 3. Then he described a combat and I realized they'd started this game in high paragon.

Tytalus
2011-11-07, 06:43 AM
You're just proving my point.

That's fine, but I'm not interested in proving or disproving a point. Rather, I want to make sure we are actually using realisitic assumptions before we derive any points from them.

If the best AC money can buy can't keep up with attack bonuses, how do you expect a more typical AC to fare?

You'll see that, with increasing level, your typical characters spend less and less of their available wealth on AC (from over a thousand percent to less than twenty). And you derive from the numbers that AC can't keep up. That seems problematic.

One of the 3.5 "features" constantly trumpeted is how PCs and monsters use the same rules. However, monsters must break the rules, generally with arbitrarily high natural armor bonuses, in order to keep up.

I don't see how you can conclude that (objectively) from the numbers presented (you don't even look at NA bonuses here). That bigger things thend to be tougher doesn't seem arbitrary to me.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-07, 09:27 AM
In my opinion, it is an unreasonable model. You have never learned to pick locks, but you are also not a heroic adventurer.

A typical adventurer should reasonably expect to pick up a few things from her own experience as well as learning by watching her more skilled companions.

It's a reasonable possibility(and an excellent justification should someone wish to train it), but it isn't at all mandatory or universal. Plenty of people have little to no interest in learning things in certain fields.

An untrained layman shouldn't be expected to troubleshoot and repair an internal combustion engine. It is reasonable to expect a layman to change a tire, replace a battery, or change their own oil.

Those are fairly common skills, but they are hardly universal. I know plenty of people who cannot perform one or more of the above tasks. In D&D terms, performing these would be relatively easy checks compared to say, replacing an engine. But you'd likely want them such that

Also, note that at no point do the numbers show "untrained people and trained people at comparatively equal likelihood to succeed". They do show that although an untrained adventurer learns and becomes better over time, the trained adventurer always maintains their advantage.

You've misread. The point is that someone who trains and practices never becomes better relative to the guy who never touched it in his life. This is very common in the 4e skill system. Relative to each other, you stay the same, despite the trained person generally using the skill much more and the other guy basically avoiding it whenever possible. After all, it's a rare skill check in which you don't try to justify rolling your higher available skills.

In 3.5, there is a much greater spread of skills. As you improve your performance with a skill, you improve relative to EVERYONE else who has not also opted to improve it. This more closely models reality.

Now, you can argue why there is another motivator more important than realism, but you can't really argue that the 4e model is realistic.

Acanous
2011-11-07, 09:33 AM
another thing of note: The Rogue isn't using his full starting WBL. He could have some Alchemist's fire for a ranged touch attack+SA damage, or a sling. Rogues excell at midrange fighting, and fighting from surprise. If we compare say, average Hide/Move Silently to Spot/Listen, The Rogue you have listed there starts with +8/+8, and the Fighter's Spot/Listen are going to be abysmal, at +3/+3 if you spent all his skill points on the cross-class skills.
Given that's highly unlikely, and the fighter's build isn't going to give a wis bonus normally, you're looking at the rogue having a +40% chance of launching a projectile during the surprise round, and further a +15% chance of going first, given those stats.

Ignoring racials, and starting with the Alchemist's fire, that rogue misses on nat 1-6, both on the surprise round and the first round, if he goes before the fighter. 1-7 if he goes after.
Mathematically, that rogue has a 70% chance of dealing 1d4+1d6 followed by a further potential 1d4+1d6, or at worst, another d4. Plus the fighter continues to burn, so if the combat continues, there's a real chance that rogue could up and win by taking a full retreat action.

First level fighter HP, assuming 16 con, is 13. Average damage is 2, 3 for the fire, and 3, 4 on the D6. That fighter averages at 1 HP, and on fire, during the beginning of round 2.

navar100
2011-11-07, 09:43 AM
The analysis confirms my suspicion. (No negativity intended on using the word "suspicion".) The combat values of 4E stay the same for all levels, i.e need to roll a 12 to hit at level 1, need to roll a 12 to hit at levels 10, 20, and 30. This is part of why I didn't care for 4E. Being high level does not mean anything because you're aren't relatively better than you were at level 1. Some DMs and players like this, which is part of why they play 4E.

Yes, it sucks to be a character at high level in 3E needing a 19 to make a save, but for me that suckage is a feature, not a bug. This is where the DM comes in. Such an attack should not be common, and the party should be able to handle it before it happens (able to get immunity to the attack, a large bonus to the saving throw, ability to undo the effect of the failed save, etc.). Some DMs and players resent this, which is part of why they switched to 4E.

It comes down to an individual's tastes. I prefer 3E.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-07, 09:57 AM
If no actual odds are changed as a result of leveling, there is no purpose to leveling, and that segment of the game becomes unnecessary math.

The entire purpose of leveling IS change.

Frozen_Feet
2011-11-07, 11:13 AM
Being high level does not mean anything because you're aren't relatively better than you were at level 1.

But you are actually better. The challenges that used to be lethal are now cakewalk. You'll be tackling bigger and badder enemies. You can flat-out do more than in the past.

Equal level opponents are not the extent of the system. Any decent GM should know enough to mix it up.

If anything, encounters between equal level characters staying roughly constant is a sign of a working level system. It means levels are actually doing their job in measuring character power!

I don't get where the idea comes that the only change that matters is the on in comparison to your peers, and not that in comparison to everything else.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-07, 12:51 PM
As people become better, they almost invariably become more specialized.

So, at level x+5, the fighter should be better at stabbing, climbing or whatever he does than the wizard than he was at level x.

navar100
2011-11-07, 01:19 PM
But you are actually better. The challenges that used to be lethal are now cakewalk. You'll be tackling bigger and badder enemies. You can flat-out do more than in the past.

Equal level opponents are not the extent of the system. Any decent GM should know enough to mix it up.

If anything, encounters between equal level characters staying roughly constant is a sign of a working level system. It means levels are actually doing their job in measuring character power!

I don't get where the idea comes that the only change that matters is the on in comparison to your peers, and not that in comparison to everything else.

In 4E I could kill beholders in one hit. They're minions but still beholders. Every levels as minions. Their threat level in attacking scales to level, but they all die in one hit. This represents you're so good you can kill these creatures on one hit. That's a staple from cinema. It's the lieutenants and BBEGS you have to actually fight. These lieutenants and BBEGs scale in attack threat to level as well. In all cases, however, according to the analysis your chance of success does not change. It is more than just flipping a coin, but it's not a lot more.

In 3E, to show how good you are bad guys are of lower CR. Previous campaign at level 6 we fought distrachans. It was a tough battle that took "forever". Saves were failed often, losing Charisma. We needed a lot of healing afterwards. Level 18 we fought distrachans again, the pets of a BBEG of the adventure arc we have yet to face. It was a cakewalk. No one failed a save, so no one lost Charisma. The distrachans were killed in one or two hits. No one in the party lost even a hit point. It was an easy battle but meant to be. It was fun to experience what was once a threat were now pansies. You don't get that in 4E. In 4E, you use minions. You could use the same solo creature you fought 8 levels ago such that you hit on a Natural 2 or 3 with 3 hits killing it, nothing is really stopping you, but the game instead encourages you to use minions, kill it with one hit but with an AC enough that you still need a 12 or higher to hit as you did 8 levels ago against the bad guys you faced then. You use higher numbers, but your power hasn't changed.

Reverent-One
2011-11-07, 01:37 PM
In 3E, to show how good you are bad guys are of lower CR. Previous campaign at level 6 we fought distrachans. It was a tough battle that took "forever". Saves were failed often, losing Charisma. We needed a lot of healing afterwards. Level 18 we fought distrachans again, the pets of a BBEG of the adventure arc we have yet to face. It was a cakewalk. No one failed a save, so no one lost Charisma. The distrachans were killed in one or two hits. No one in the party lost even a hit point. It was an easy battle but meant to be. It was fun to experience what was once a threat were now pansies. You don't get that in 4E. In 4E, you use minions. You could use the same solo creature you fought 8 levels ago such that you hit on a Natural 2 or 3 with 3 hits killing it, nothing is really stopping you, but the game instead encourages you to use minions, kill it with one hit but with an AC enough that you still need a 12 or higher to hit as you did 8 levels ago against the bad guys you faced then. You use higher numbers, but your power hasn't changed.

So how do you figure characters that are able to fight off a massive number of enemies that previously were a threat to them in one on one combat not think they've increased in power and ability?

navar100
2011-11-07, 03:42 PM
So how do you figure characters that are able to fight off a massive number of enemies that previously were a threat to them in one on one combat not think they've increased in power and ability?

??

In 4E, you do that starting at level 1 via minions. The only difference at levels 5, 10, 20, 30 is what the name of the monster is and the severity of the damage they can inflict on you if they hit. In all cases, the odds of hitting for both sides remain the same.

Frozen_Feet
2011-11-07, 04:15 PM
??

In 4E, you do that starting at level 1 via minions. The only difference at levels 5, 10, 20, 30 is what the name of the monster is and the severity of the damage they can inflict on you if they hit. In all cases, the odds of hitting for both sides remain the same.

But odds of victory and survival are quite a bit different. Even if your chance of hitting with a single attack stays roughly the same, it's a very different prospect if you only need one hit to win instead of several. So you're still getting better.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-07, 04:21 PM
But odds of victory and survival are quite a bit different. Even if your chance of hitting with a single attack stays roughly the same, it's a very different prospect if you only need one hit to win instead of several. So you're still getting better.

This is true, but it is, again, a less accurate model. A master swordsman should have a much easier time scoring a hit than a novice.

Hiro Protagonest
2011-11-07, 06:08 PM
I don't see how you can conclude that (objectively) from the numbers presented (you don't even look at NA bonuses here). That bigger things thend to be tougher doesn't seem arbitrary to me.

For dragons, with their thick scales, it makes sense. Solars? Not so much.

navar100
2011-11-07, 06:49 PM
But odds of victory and survival are quite a bit different. Even if your chance of hitting with a single attack stays roughly the same, it's a very different prospect if you only need one hit to win instead of several. So you're still getting better.

That's only the difference between a minion and the soldier/solo.

Tehnar
2011-11-07, 07:08 PM
First a few words on the presumed model:

Saves in 3.5, as you level, increase a lot. That is you are much more likely to make a save at level 20 then at lvl 1. This is mainly due to the amount of buffs, magic items and class features you can pick up as you go.

Secondly, the big mechanical problem that put me off from 4th edition, is that your attacks, AC, NAD's etc have a very narrow band of values they can take. Also enemies of around a certain level have a very narrow band of values for their attacks, AC, etc.

In 4th its very hard to reliably customize your PC's variables, both in and out of combat.

Given that in 3.5 its fairly easy to customize your PC's variables in a wide band, that means that 3.5 mechanics allow more interesting characters.

stainboy
2011-11-07, 09:28 PM
For dragons, with their thick scales, it makes sense. Solars? Not so much.

A solar doesn't have special thick hide or anything (at least not fluff-wise) but it could reasonably be better at dodging or parrying than a level 1 kobold. If we want solars to be harder to hit than kobolds (and the 3e writers did) then that AC scaling should be built into the game math rather than kludged with natural AC bonuses.

Speaking of kludges, 4e minions are a kludge that comes from:

setting the starting point for monster HP scaling too high
trying to spread the game over too many levels, so that past a certain level no linear HP scaling formula could produce a one-shottable monster that can still hit the PCs

Saying they're a narrative device is just an excuse, because I've been able to field one-shottable monsters since I was twelve years old DMing Basic.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-08, 09:22 AM
Well...they ARE a narrative device(and are appropriate in narrative styled games, like 7th Sea, in which they work quite well). But 4e isn't very narratively styled. It's a bit of an oddity in the system.

I mean, I quite like minions/brutes in some systems that are intended to have a very cinematic style of gameplay, but 4e is much, much more about tactical combat. As such, it feels quite out of place to me. So, they're also a kludge.

Infernalbargain
2011-11-08, 04:10 PM
The issue it seems with fourth edition is that one really cannot specialize. You cannot make a character that can attack with reckless abadon and to balance that out you cannot make a character that can parry like pro. What we have in third edition is that characters can only attack with reckless abadon because AC just cannot keep up. What we ought to have happen is that it should take a very aggressive character to break the defenses of a defensive character. Fourth edition does have the idea right that defenses should be able to keep up with offenses, however, the problem is that everyone is shoehorned into that region of balance. If we pit two highly aggressive characters against each other then it should turn into the rocket tag that we see in third edition. The big problem in third edition is that defenses are worthless.

Tehnar
2011-11-08, 07:16 PM
The issue it seems with fourth edition is that one really cannot specialize. You cannot make a character that can attack with reckless abadon and to balance that out you cannot make a character that can parry like pro. What we have in third edition is that characters can only attack with reckless abadon because AC just cannot keep up. What we ought to have happen is that it should take a very aggressive character to break the defenses of a defensive character. Fourth edition does have the idea right that defenses should be able to keep up with offenses, however, the problem is that everyone is shoehorned into that region of balance. If we pit two highly aggressive characters against each other then it should turn into the rocket tag that we see in third edition. The big problem in third edition is that defenses are worthless.

Actually without going into PvP realms, and the ensuing crazy optimizations that follow from that, defenses are very valid in 3.5

You can decide in what you want to specialize in. High AC is useful. While some monsters will still have a very good chance of hitting you, they won't be able to power attack for much then.

You can also decide to specialize in saves, and with a small percentage of resourses you can get very high saves, that you practically can't fail.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-11, 12:16 PM
Yeah, defenses are most definitely not worthless. For some chars at some points in time, other defenses are worth more than AC...but that's a much more detail oriented thing.

You can most definitely build an effective defensive char in a number of ways without delving into crazy optimization.

Vitruviansquid
2011-11-12, 10:00 AM
IMO, what it seems to boil down to is that the metagame (in the video game sense of how the game is played) for 4e doesn't change drastically as you level up, whereas the metagame for 3.5 does.

I don't particularly care to argue whether this is a good or bad feature. >_>