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kensai
2007-01-23, 01:00 PM
To play the devil's advocate here, should the classes be balanced? Or not?

If some class is inherently weaker than another, it still makes for great tales. For example, spell casters may well be stronger than everybody else of the same level, assuming that they are few, which they may well be. Not everyone has the spark for magic, after all. Further, giving the richness of the rules and details out there, loopholes and combinations that give an unexpected edge are bound to come up again and again, so balancing classes perfectly is like fighting windmills. Not that that should stop people from trying - the material creative folks come up with is very useful and interesting.

To get back to basics, balance imo does not mean that everyone should be equal. Rather, it means no one is superior to everybody else. The simplest case of such a balance is the rock-scissors-paper kind of balance; A defeats B most of the time; B defeats C most of the time; and C defeats A most of the time.

Here, it could be, for example, fighters vs. wizards vs. rogues. Those three could be designed so that one of the three kinds of characters is at a disadvantage vs another kind, and has an edge against the third. But who beats whom?

Perhaps, very early on fighters are practically spell-proof against the humble magics that a wizard can hurl, but they are usually not perceptive enough to detect rogues, and tend to get their throats cut. Novice rogues however lack the means to get past rudimentary arcane defenses, and are detected and defeated by simple spells. However, an advanced rogue gradually manages to avoid and spot spells and wards, and to hide his presence from scrying. At the same time, fighters get so tough that a rogue, a sure loser in a fair fight, is hard-pressed also in an unfair fight. An advanced wizard gets access to devastation massive enough to defeat the fighter.

Or, it could work the other way around, as long as the principle A > B > C > A remains intact. D20 as I know it does not aspire for that kind of a balance, as spellcasters start humble but eventually outgun everybody and everything else.

I wonder if that's a good thing?

KoDT69
2007-01-23, 01:17 PM
I agree 100%. Not every class is the best or the worst given any situation. The skill of the player can make a legendary Bard with all 10 stat scores, while the inexperienced player having a Wizard with all 18 stats could be mediocre at best due to gaming exprience. :smallsmile:

Druid
2007-01-23, 01:27 PM
The gane doesn't have to be completely balanced, the problem is that the gap between classes is astronomical. I do like your idea for a balance system, but what happens to classes that span multiple character roles, such as rangers of duskblades?

elliott20
2007-01-23, 01:32 PM
The problem that people often forget two things:

1. context:

The context of the campaign should set the frequency, and at the same time, the power of a particular class. Not everyone is going to be a wizard and not every wizard should be able to achieve wielding the 9th level spells, nevermind actually casting them 3-4 times a day.

So, how do you achieve this control of frequency? You have to make sure that if a character is as powerful, he needs to really pay for it. You want the power to see the future as it unfolds? Give up your left eye. You want the power to smite heathens with a single wave of your hand? Your other hand needs to be a stump. that, or you need to be ridiculously special to have this power. That way, even if your fighter finds himself routinely outclassed by the party wizard, you know that said party wizard had to pay a huge price for this power and deserves to be that powerful.

These are all things that are not inherent within the mechanics themselves.

The problem is when you leave this control of context in the hands of the GM and not in the hands of the system, while controlling every other aspect of the game. That is, if we follow game system's progression, the wizard merely needs to do the same amount of work as the fighter (as by virtue of the XP they must earn) to gain power that is exponentially more than the fighter.

So, while fighter A and Mage B have been adventuring the same amount of time, the two of them have done pretty much experienced similar events, Mage B has managed to achieve exponentially greater than fighter A. And this is supported by the very mechanics itself. The wizard doesn't need to expend more xp, or more of anything else, to gain the new spells that can make reality his biatch. no, he just needs to level up with the fighter at the same time and guess what, the fighter is now basically his beefed up henchman.

Granted, if the GM knows how to play his hand right, he would make the casters really earn every bit of overwhelming power they have over their peers. And that's fine. But when you force a GM to balance out a system that is inherently and mechanically balanced, you leave some people with less thought on the matter out in the cold.

2. efficiency

of course, we make the problem out like it's a routine david vs. goliath but truth of matter is, it shouldn't be as bad as people make it out to be, if the campaign world is built to feel more human.

why? Because humanity is not inherently efficient. Not every character of every class is going to immediately go for that golden combination of spells or feats or classes because it is UBER. There are an infinite amount of reasons why a 20th lvl mage might never have a single awesome power spell that destroys reality in his spell book. He might have decided that his magic would only be used to make people's lives easier and have dedicated his time to creating spells to create tools for everyday living, or maybe he's just too lazy to actually research wish and all that crap, or maybe he just doesn't like those spells.

But that's just my take on it.

MrNexx
2007-01-23, 01:39 PM
As I have added, there's also the narrative aspect. Unless your party does not have primary spellcasters, you cannot have a BBEG who is not a primary spellcaster (and I include psionics in the spellcaster slot) after a certain point; the necessity of anti-magic magic is too great for a non-spellcaster to be a credible threat.

Merlin the Tuna
2007-01-23, 01:43 PM
To play the devil's advocate here, should the classes be balanced? Or not?

If some class is inherently weaker than another, it still makes for great tales.This is true; in stories, characters frequently aren't equal, and it works out okay. No one is terribly upset if Sturm gets trumped by Caramon in every situation ever, if Superman has everyone's superpowers only better, or if Maud'Dib can see the future of everything everywhere and no one can do jack about it. (Just searching for examples here. No need to get picky about the ones I've given, I know they're not flawless.)

There's an important difference here, thought; those are stories, not games. We're dealing with a story written by (usually) a single author. And even if there are multiple authors, no one is strictly in charge of a single character in the story, and as the storytellers they can make anything happen that they deem appropriate.

D&D isn't like that, though. As a player, you have a core connection to a single character, and you don't have complete control over what happens to him -- that's what the rules are for. You don't get to say "Sturm moves forward and cuts down the entire enemy army." You get "Sturm advances and attacks. Bah, I missed." And since you've only got control over one character, you have a vested interest in his performance. If your character isn't doing anything significant, you're not doing anything significant. And if you're not doing anything of importance at the table, you're probably not having fun, which means that an in-game problem is likely to cause out-of-game problems. And that ain't good.

That isn't to say that these problems happen automatically. Sometimes the group isn't supposed to be equal; maybe you're the squire to a knight or paladin, and you're deliberately playing second banana to another PC (or, heavens forbid, a DMPC). Maybe you went into the campaign planning to be a non-combatant. The important thing here is intent. You wanted a less effective character, so it's acceptable (and even desired) when that's the outcome you get. But if you go into a normal game, typically the idea is to work as a team and contribute more or less equally -- class balance, or the lack thereof, forces this condition. Thus, it's a pretty key problem.

Shazzbaa
2007-01-23, 02:12 PM
I would consider the idea of everyone being the best at something to mean that the classes ARE balanced. In that respect... there should be balance of some kind... whether everyone's equal in power, or everyone has their niche of speciality. I personally prefer the latter, but I'd consider both to be balance.

Imbalance happens when someone's job becomes irrelevant, because someone else (A) eliminates the need for his job or (B) is better at his job than he is.
That's the problem that people are wanting to fix.

clarkvalentine
2007-01-23, 02:26 PM
In my experience, if players share roughly equal "spotlight time" - meaning everyone gets their moment to be important, about the same number of opportunities to do cool stuff and advance the story, then the PCs will appear to be balanced, even if one is vastly more powerful than another.

Edit: Of course, that's easier to pull off if the PCs are roughly equivalent in power level.

Iron_Mouse
2007-01-23, 05:20 PM
In D&D, and all, or at least most, other RPGs, including not only P&P but also CRPGs etc., we have archetypes. Let's just look at D&D.
We have 4 basic archetypes:
1. A warrior, who is supposed to fight at the frontline, to "tank" and to kill enemies in combat. That's the fighter.
2. A skillmonkey, who is supposed to scout, to bypass various obstacles (like locks or traps) who does other smart stuff outside of combat and in fights he stabs foes in the back. That's the rogue.
3. The priest, who is healing and supporting the other partymembers, is strong against undead and can maybe fight a little to help the warrior. That's the cleric.
4. The mage, who knows cool spells to blast foes with and help the party in various situations, who is really smart and knows a lot but is physically weak so that he needs the protection of a group. That's the wizard.

Now, do these classes fit into the archetypes? Not really.
1. The fighter, due to the lack of spells, class features and skills, can only do one thing: Fight. That's his job, that is the one and only thing he invests his training (=his XP) in. Nothing wrong with that, so far.
Now I would expect that he truly is the most badass warrior existing, who can stand at least a few rounds against every kind of enemy he encounters, without support. The strongest melee character around, even in a party with a conjurer, a wildshaping druid AND a war domain cleric. But he isn't. He's overshadowed, in his *own field*, by characters who are actually focusing on something different. He might be overshadowed, a little, by a raging barbarian or a smiting paladin. That's okay, rage and smite evil are limited.
But never by a caster.
2. The rogue (actually one of the better designed noncaster classes, imho) has good skills. This should be one of his strengthes. After all, skills are an important part of the game, right?
Well, if so, then WHY are many skills made completely obsolete by spells? Some of a pretty low level, actually? Knock is level 2, and it's pretty absolute. Absolute in a way that it opens ANY lock, even if it's DC 200 or something. No roll, no limit, just automatic. I wonder why the people in a D&D world actually bother with making locks when any apprentice wizard can open them anyway. Other skills, like jump or climb, are made useless by spells like fly, traps can be triggered with summons. Hide? Invisibility. Disguise? Alter self. Etc. pp..
Lucky rogue, still he gets sneak attack for stabbing around. But that shouldn't be his only role. At least imho.
3. The so called "priest" is quite not what one would expect. Not only he walks around in full plate wielding good weapons (which actually is ridiculous to begin with), he can also buff himself into the stratosphere and steal the fighter the show. Easily. Now you say, that's a selfish priest. He should rather buff the fighter and let him do his job! But he can't. His best buffs are self-only. His other buffs suck and he is forced to heal by touch.
People often say that it's no fun to play a support-only cleric. Yes, and I know why, because he totally SUCKS at this role. He actually was designed to be a self-buffed super-warrior from the start. Additional to healing, to turning undead, to having utility spells. In other games, I met people who actually enjoyed playing a (more or less pure) supporter, so I think it is quite possible. Something *is* really wrong here...
4. Oh yeah, the wizard. What is he doing? The wizard is not helping the party to solve problems, he is solving them by himself. He is not helping the party win fights, he wins them alone. At least he needs the protection from his comrades to survive, right? No, at least not at later levels, since insane protection spells make him more or less untouchable. The other characters are not even needed to mop up the foes that the wizard has incapicitated. They only save him a spell or two, which he otherwise had to use on summons or dominate...

Of course, there are many more classes, but most are more or less variations or hybrids of these archetypes. The main problem is still there, though. The druid is overpowered in a very similar way to the cleric, the sorcerer is not much better than the wizard and the barbarian has similar problems as the fighter.

In an ideal game, the perfect party needs a fighter just like it needs a wizard, it needs a rogue just like it needs a cleric. All classes are, more or less, equally useful, at every level from 1 to 20. All have their own fields where they can shine, and no one else touches them there. No class features, skills, feats etc. are ever made obsolete by some spell (or other class feature, skill or feat). Everyone can give his best, without worrying that he might outshine someone else.
After all, every class needs the same XP to level up. No class should get noticeably "more" for the same effort.

MrNexx
2007-01-23, 05:29 PM
Actually, I think part of the problem comes from the change from 2nd edition's "memorization" to 3.x's "preparation".

"Memorization" assumed that the spells were still mostly uncast... you had to cast them from square one, and so the casting times were fairly long.

"Preparation" assumes that the spells are mostly cast, and just need to be released, so casting times are very short... the wizard doesn't need his protective screen, because he's got standard action (or faster) self-buffs that can take care of it.

Bosh
2007-01-23, 05:47 PM
Because in games people don't like to be constantly overshadowed. Lack of balance isn't fun. Marry and Pippen didn't have any players who complained that they weren't as good at killing things as Aragon and Boromir.

Jamin
2007-01-23, 06:26 PM
The real question is why not balance class?

Real a little inbalance is fine but DnD although bearable is just dumb.

Desaril
2007-01-23, 07:10 PM
I agree with Elliot20 that game balance is not something that happens through mechanics. The designers, who are apparently very thoughtful, mature, experienced players, created a system of mechanics to 1) support the genre and 2) provide game balance. I'm not sure, but I believe that #1 was more important that #2. In other words, the rules are designed to simulate the characters in heroic fantasy.

Rule based game balance goes out the window once you have a GM who doesn't run his game like the designers did in playtesting. If the skinny 14 yr old who was picked on by bigger stronger kids and played Magic the Gathering is the DM, fighter types may have a harder time in his game (consciously or not).

Even if the GM is a mature, insightful and creative person trying her best to be fair to the players and faithfully represent the genre, it will still differ from the designers intent.

Each GM has the opportunity to make the game great or ruin it. Balancing classes is a GM-based solution, not a rules-based solution.

Furthermore, I find that most posters who find the classes unbalanced are comparing them to each other. I don't believe the designers tested class balance against each other. D&D does not have a truly unified system of creature/character creation. PC classes are supposed to be used primarily for PCs, who don't fight each other NPCs with PC classes are supposed to be exceptional threats). So the question should not be whether a high level fighter can defeat a high-level wizard, but whether they can contribute meaningfully to a campaign.

To me, 10th level is high, so I may have a different perspective, but all of the classes are still relevant at that level. If instead, your campaign is beginning to unbalance toward the casters, the GM should award them less experience and magic and the fighters should increase in levels and power to balance the game. If the fight is easier for the wizard, they deserve less experience.

Indon
2007-01-23, 07:20 PM
I wonder why the people in a D&D world actually bother with making locks when any apprentice wizard can open them anyway.

Because most DM's play a higher-magic environment than their sourcebooks would imply.

So there's one level 19 archdruid on the planet; so what? The PC Druid reaches whatever level he feels like without having to kill and scheme his way up a chain of ever-more-powerful druids. He can even hit 20 if he so pleases.

Generally, NPC wizards have tiny spell lists compared to even semi-optimized PC wizards. Why? Magic ain't _that_ common. Even if you practice it.

People, even rich people, die every day. And yet for them, Raise Dead services are rarely availible. But if you're a PC, there might as well be a ressurect-o-matic in every town... more likely one in your party.

Khantalas
2007-01-23, 07:35 PM
Actually, if you play nice and proper, there is no raise'r'us in every town. Because the cost of raise dead puts the spell over the cost of spells more or less available to general public.

ExHunterEmerald
2007-01-23, 07:35 PM
The short answer is, anyone who isn't slinging magic around is getting trampled--not just the characters, but their players.
People are getting a backseat to other people by virtue of the fact they like the warrior archetype over the mage one--or even if they just want to play one.
Everyone wants to contribute and have fun, and generally finding yourself outclassed at every instance is a bit frustrating.
So, while it makes sense for someone who can rearrange existence on a whim to be stronger than a guy with a big stick, it doesn't (necessarily) make for fun gameplay for the entire group.
Besides, one could argue that as well-maybe PC classes are meant to be like the legendary warriors of old, the Hectors, the Achilles, th--...I'm going to stop here, because I've been reading the Iliad and I can't get past the Greek heroes.

Bloodred
2007-01-23, 07:43 PM
..., but what happens to classes that span multiple character roles, such as rangers of duskblades?

Are you implying that Rangers are actually useful?? :smallsigh:

Wonderboy
2007-01-23, 07:46 PM
So, um, does anyone else actually not have the whole Wizards being far more powerful problem coming up?

I haven't really dealt with it at all.

clarkvalentine
2007-01-23, 08:08 PM
So, um, does anyone else actually not have the whole Wizards being far more powerful problem coming up?

I haven't really dealt with it at all.

Honestly, our group hasn't had to deal with it, we tend to really, really not optimize our PCs. The tank (fighter/platinum knight) in our Dragonlance group was by far the most dangerous in a fight. My wizard PC was really underoptimized, but the mechanics fit the character concept.

Indon
2007-01-23, 08:19 PM
So, um, does anyone else actually not have the whole Wizards being far more powerful problem coming up?

I haven't really dealt with it at all.

Honestly, neither have I. Probably because while my group loves optimizing characters, they mostly love optimizing _quirky_ characters. Playing yet another spellcaster-with-readied-action-for-everything probably gets boring after a while... but honestly, I've never done it since it _already_ seems boring for me.

Raum
2007-01-23, 09:08 PM
So, um, does anyone else actually not have the whole Wizards being far more powerful problem coming up?

I haven't really dealt with it at all.
Not very often, but then the group I play with seldom gets into the higher levels (Our 2+ year campaign has just recently leveled into the teens.).

Of course I also don't believe that not playing games where it is a factor means I should stick my head in the sand and pretend there's no problem.

Renegade Paladin
2007-01-23, 09:12 PM
Are you implying that Rangers are actually useful?? :smallsigh:
Ummmm... Yes? :smallconfused:

Wehrkind
2007-01-24, 12:11 AM
How can you say that game balance doesn't come through mechanics? The rules are there to keep one person from saying "I win" and it being fact. They define the framework for determining success or failure. It has very little to do with how you run the game, and everything to do with the potential of each class in this case.

I will say that again: The POTENTIAL power of each class is what is important to balance. Just because your players don't optimize and play sub-optimal characters doesn't make the game balanced, it makes the characters balanced. If someone can do something within the rules that makes them vastly more powerful, that is where imbalance comes up.

Real world analogue: Country A and Country B. A has nuclear weapons; B does not. A is nice and does not threaten nuclear war with B, and negotiates with them as an equal. Are they equal in power balance? Obviously not. Country A has capabilities far beyond that of B, whether they use it or not.

In D&D, a wizard can by the RAW becomes terrifyingly powerful at high level with relatively little effort. A cleric can outclass a fighter at fighting by RAW at moderate level. I am not talking in terms of "OMG the DM totally is a magic fanboy and gives the casters easy breaks". That would be house ruling. I am talking Rules As Written (by the game designers.) Basic Wealth By Level Guidelines and spell progression and aquisition, etc.
Surely, a cleric or mage can nerf themselves by making decisions away from power ("doing it wrong" to quote Logic Ninja) but they just as easily can do it right, and make everyone else look like school girls at an NFL game.

The simple fact that so many people say "Clerics and Mages are not ubar in my games because of (we don't allow easy access to spells) or (we don't optimize)." demonstrates the fact you either have to house rule the system (changing RAW, which is what most proponants of balance desire) or have players who like to make sub-optimal choices, at which point you might as well house rule in sub-optimal choices as required, and call it a day.

CuthroatMcGee
2007-01-24, 12:32 AM
I think a lot of people assume that wizards and sorcerers (and the other casters) are playing the game to dominate it; that they're only working with the party until they hit, say, level 10-12, at which point they plan on destroying everything and establishing themselves in an invincible tower, plane-jumping and killing whatever they feel like. I think people assume players play as spellcasters because they make a conscious decision that they want to show up the rest of the party.

I play my wizard and my fighter-cleric because I like them. I like the wizard's dedication to knowledge, and I like my warrior-priest of St. Cuthbert's dedication to law and justice, and his willingness to fight and die for it. People usually play the characters they do because that's what interests them, not because those classes are the most powerful. If the players are considerate of their teammates (as I would hope everyone is) then they won't show up the party's fighter or rogue or bard or whoever.
Remember, no one 'wins' at D&D.

Wehrkind
2007-01-24, 12:47 AM
*sigh* it isn't a question of "OMG I want to play DER UBAR character and win at D&D and make my friends think I am a god!!!!!!" It's a matter of the fact that some classes CAN do it, and other NEVER can.
Essentially your position seems to be that even though the Wizard can show up every class in every encounter, he shouldn't because that would be inconsiderate, and thus the rules are ok. So essentially, so long as the wizard does not play his class to it's potential, i.e. makes sub-par decisions on how to solve a given problem, there is no power imbalance.
My position is: Why allow a power imbalance in the rules that forces a class to sit on it's thumbs in order to not show up either players.

Ever see the Incredibles? It is sort of like that. It is no fun to be capable of doing something, but having to wait for your comparatively slow team mates to do it so they feel "special." Yes, it can be roleplayed to make sense, but if every wizard is a dottering fool, or an unfocused fool who doesn't know how to wield their power, it sort of gets a little old. It is much more fun for players to be able to improve their skills and abilities to the best they can, exulting over new and clever combinations than to say "Eh, what the hell, I will just cast lightning bolt... can't be too good."

XagencyX
2007-01-24, 12:50 AM
Interesting points made by all, and a fine post by Wehrkind. I would like to point out that the knowledge of individual players also plays a major role in the perceived balance of classes. For example, in our group, we tend to try and kill each other on a regular basis. As such, we have learned little tips and tricks developed solely to aid us in killing off PC classes. As a fighter/rogue 12/4, Half-Celestial Elf, my character in our last game completely destroyed a level 20 wizard. In my experience, a good balance can be achieved through knowledge, tactics, and luck. But then again, I may be horribly wrong, heh. :smallsmile:

CuthroatMcGee
2007-01-24, 01:09 AM
I see what you're saying, Wehrkind, but I don't think it's a question of choosing to play an unoptimized character. I think it's a question of recognizing other player's strong points.
If there was a good rogue on my team, I wouldn't bother even learning Knock, because unlocking locks is already covered. I would put some other spell in my level 2 slot, to maximize the group's power. I wouldn't need Invisibility or Summon Monster 4 or Boar's Strength, because those are covered by the rogue and fighter. I'd take things like True Seeing or Acid Arrow or Shatter, because those provide things that my groups probably needs. Optimizing the spells for the group's benefit, not for my own. I don't think the wizard needs to justify to the group his staying there.

Shazzbaa
2007-01-24, 01:17 AM
So, um, does anyone else actually not have the whole Wizards being far more powerful problem coming up?

I haven't really dealt with it at all.

I haven't played high levels yet, and we have no arcane caster, so no. :smalltongue: But as I've said before, our cleric has already shown that we need him a lot more than he needs us.


I think a lot of people assume that wizards and sorcerers (and the other casters) are playing the game to dominate it; [...] I think people assume players play as spellcasters because they make a conscious decision that they want to show up the rest of the party. [...]If the players are considerate of their teammates (as I would hope everyone is) then they won't show up the party's fighter or rogue or bard or whoever.
Remember, no one 'wins' at D&D.

I do agree with you; the aforementioned cleric is quite good at letting all of us melee people have a whack at the bad guys while he does his spell-casting thing. He's only used Righteous Might once, when he really, really needed to. This strikes me as a good thing, and a good attitude for the cleric/wizard/whathaveyou's player to have.
However.
I've heard enough real-life stories on one of the other balance threads (...they're all starting to run together [email protected][email protected]) that I can see that it isn't always the wizard's fault. Sometimes it's just a guy who wants to play a wizard, knows how he wants to play his wizard, and discovers to his horror that playing said wizard has put him leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the party. He can try to hold back, but "holding back" is different from "not stepping on the others' toes," and I can understand a player being frustrated by needing to hold back.

If you can take Action A or Action B, and ActA is already being taken care of by the fighter, and you decide to take ActA, and do it BETTER than the fighter, then you're stepping on his toes.
However, if all you get is ActionC, and ActC makes ActionsA and B irrelevent... then there's not a whole lot you can do about the fact that you're unbalanced. You could hold back take ActC poorly... but nobody really wants to do that.

I do agree that steps should be taken to avoid stealing others' thunder, and I totally advocate letting the Fighter handle Action A while you take Action B in the former situation,... but it seems like the scenario with Action C has, in fact, happened more than a few times to people in high-level games, and that's the point where there's something wrong with the mechanics to the point that it needs to be fixed.

****

Of course, note, I say all of this on principle. I haven't had a bad experience with arcane casters yet, and if I never do, I'll never worry about whether they're balanced or not because it won't much matter. However I agree that, in terms of the RAW being Fair and Balanced, the rules need to be rewritten for classes to be balanced for every group, and for people to be able to play what they want to play without worrying about being hated for being too powerful.

XagencyX
2007-01-24, 01:29 AM
One question I've got. I've mostly played Core, with a few supplements thrown in on occasion. So, what happens in the many, many extended rulesets when someone activates an antimagic field in the middle of your wizard or cleric's doom bringing? Aside from Silver Fire, in the FR setting, is there really anything that cancels that out, besides a hefty fighter or paladin?

Renegade Paladin
2007-01-24, 01:38 AM
Other than getting the hell out of the antimagic field? Not a whole lot.

XagencyX
2007-01-24, 01:45 AM
I put forth a hypothetical situation. Let us say that your party has encountered a number of fighters. Talks break down, and init is rolled. One or two of the fighters, or more, depending on the various Dex scores of your party, gets first go. Noting that you have two clerics and a wizard, (mind you, this is simply an extreme example, taking into account the topic at hand) one of the fighters readies an action to activate an item that produces an antimagic field the moment one of your casters attempts to cast a spell. At this point, you have a party of fighters against your magic heavy party, and suddenly your magic doesn't work. What happens when your two clerics, a wizard, and Bob the Stubborn, (fighter, of course) have to face a party of four fighters on their own terms, with no magic at hand? Please feel free to pick my post apart at your discretion. :smallsmile:

MeklorIlavator
2007-01-24, 01:51 AM
well, we can assume the casters had contigency, but maybe it never specified antimagic fields, so I would suggest running away, then casting forcecage around the fighter. Mop up at your own leisure.

clericwithnogod
2007-01-24, 01:52 AM
3. The priest, who is healing and supporting the other partymembers, is strong against undead and can maybe fight a little to help the warrior. That's the cleric.

The archetype is cleric not priest, and it is intended to fight well, not just a little. There is a class that just heals, called the...Healer. It's in the Miniatures Handbook. It's not that popular, so you might not have heard of it or forgotten it.

The role of a cleric in the party is fighting and casting in support of their god's tenets and the party's goals. And, they can heal/buff/remove adverse conditions. Which they have to do to the other party member's benefit in place of doing something they would rather do on their turn quite often. Somebody has to do it, it's a rotten job, and making them ineffective at anything else just makes it worse.

The cleric is not a supporting castmember. He's a as much a star of the party as the fighter or wizard and should have his share of limelight at times other than when turning undead (which only works at low-mid levels, if the whole adventure environment hasn't been crafted to nullify the ability, and is often more trouble than it is worth).

The fact that someone can make a cleric that can fight better than some fighter builds (which doesn't mean much, since almost any melee build is better than a fighter build) is no reason to make the entire class less enjoyable to play. It's an oddity, not game-breaker. And, if he's doing the things a cleric has to do, he's not getting to fight as much as a fighter and he's less effective at all of the other things he has to do.

These threads haven't been about balance, they've been about relegating the cleric to cohort for the rest of the party. In a game of heroic fantasy, most people don't want to be limited to being just a cog in the machine.

Wehrkind
2007-01-24, 01:58 AM
XagencyX: Your wizard flies off on his Phantom Steed and summons things to kill you, or waits until your field goes away and then kills you.



I'd take things like True Seeing or Acid Arrow or Shatter, because those provide things that my groups probably needs. Optimizing the spells for the group's benefit, not for my own. I don't think the wizard needs to justify to the group his staying there.

Don't take acide arrow. It isn't that great. Perhaps part of the problem with the perception of mages as something other than "all that and a bag of chips" is that it is the innocuous spells that are killers. If a spell does damage, it probably isn't too good, with rare exception. There are a tonne of save or suck/die spells out there that mitigate problems much faster. For example, Acid Arrow is better replaced by Glitter Dust. Blind the bugger and watch it not touch much. Of course, Blind works well too. Hideous laughter removes it from combat for quite some time (has the best material componant EVER as well.) Those are just level 2 spells, and I am not even good at this. Logic Ninja had a much better list in the thread about how to be Batman.

Once you get to higher levels though, that's when the problems start. Why cast Ice Storm when Confusion will make enemies stab each other for you? Or Charm Monster to make certain one does. Seemingly low powered spells become enormous with just a little bit of clever tossed in.

Like I said, I am not very good at it, but the tricks are there.

XagencyX
2007-01-24, 02:01 AM
Thank you, MeklorIlavator, and exellently put, clericwithnogod. Most of the characters I play are mainly melee builds, and are quite good at what they do. All of the classes have their place, and if used properly, can be made to unbalance the game. A player with a well built fighter/multi, and a sound knowledge of tactics can vastly unbalance the game in his favor, as much as a player with a caster character and a solid understanding of what that character can do.

As an aside, some of the arguments put forth seem to assume that your fighter build will simply be standing there, whacking away at his foe. Mobility is one of the keys to controlling a battlefield, and with magic items as prevalent as they are in many game worlds, there's no reason your fighter can't be fully mobile in 3 dimensions by mid to high levels.

Also, Wehrkind, that strategy relies on your wizard being able to escape to do the aformentioned things. In many cases it would be possible, but what about in a tight dungeon corridor. What if the opponent has a greater move rate than you, or scores a lucky crit? It's all about how you use the tools, not the tools themselves, that determines your perceived game balance. IMHO, at least.

Wehrkind
2007-01-24, 02:05 AM
No one wants to make the cleric a heal bot (despite the fact that is pretty much the healers role in a lot of games that people like). All I am saying is that they probably should not be better fighters than fighters. When it gets to the point that is better to have two clerics than a cleric and fighter, something is wrong.

Edit (simuninja'd):


As an aside, some of the arguments put forth seem to assume that your fighter build will simply be standing there, whacking away at his foe. Mobility is one of the keys to controlling a battlefield, and with magic items as prevalent as they are in many game worlds, there's no reason your fighter can't be fully mobile in 3 dimensions by mid to high levels.

There is no reason why Clerics can't get the exact same items as a fighter. They just also happen to have spells to augment those items.

XagencyX
2007-01-24, 02:17 AM
Hmm...you make a very interesting point...
:: scribblescribblemakingaclericdoommachinescribble ::

But once again it comes down to your tactics, and how you use your tools. Yes, your cleric can be an amazing fighter, but he also has to take the time to heal and buff other characters. At least, provided he hasn't wiped out all of the competition in the first round or two, heh. I usually stick with high Cha combat characters, act as the faceman for the party, and give out hints. Other people will play differently, and as long as you have a competent group, balance shouldn't be a major issue. I will admit, however, that there are cases where balance can become an issue. In those situations, something should be done to fix the problem before it ends your campaign. But for the most part, we've managed to avoid balance issues through cleverness and thorough abuse of the rules. :smallbiggrin:

Kantolin
2007-01-24, 02:48 AM
Hey, this sounds fun. *Steps in*


I put forth a hypothetical situation. Let us say that your party has encountered a number of fighters. Talks break down, and init is rolled. One or two of the fighters, or more, depending on the various Dex scores of your party, gets first go.

Skimming ahead, that's 4 fighters. I assume the fighters are of equal level to the party?


Noting that you have two clerics and a wizard, (mind you, this is simply an extreme example, taking into account the topic at hand)

So here we have 3 PCs, vs 4 NPCs of equal level. That's significant run potential, but is beatable potentially since they're fighters, and the assumption is that the PCs stuck around anyway. Just making sure I understand this...


one of the fighters readies an action to activate an item that produces an antimagic field the moment one of your casters attempts to cast a spell. At this point, you have a party of fighters against your magic heavy party, and suddenly your magic doesn't work. What happens when your two clerics, a wizard, and Bob the Stubborn, (fighter, of course) have to face a party of four fighters on their own terms, with no magic at hand? Please feel free to pick my post apart at your discretion.

Hello Bob. Welcome to the campaign. O_o Although I guess it's easy to forget you have a fighter along :smallbiggrin: So, for now let us ignore Bob the Stubborn and see how the party fares without him.

Anyway, the resulting outcome depends on a couple small factors. We can assume, on average, the wizard will win initiative as on average, a wizard will have a higher dexterity than a cleric (As clerics don't care about dex in the slightest, due to full plate).

A) Let's assume, at first, that the item when activated uses the spell 'antimagic field' on the activator.

That response is easy. The wizard's first action will likely be a quickened win-the-battle-since-they're-fighters, prompting the readied action to bring up the field.

The (very) surprised wizard can then step more than 10ft away from the fighters, thus leaving the 10-ft-radius antimagic field. Said wizard can then plop either a wall of stone or a wall of force to dome in the fighters. Either of the clerics could also contribute a wall of stone. The fighters are unlikely to be able to escape said walls, especially as they're stuck in an antimagic field.

They then can either go celebrate their victory, or wait for the antimagic irritation to wear off. Or go teleport off somewhere and teleport back when the fighters are sleeping, beat them up, and take their lunch money. Or something.

Victor: Clerics/Wizard.


B) Now, let's assume that this mysteirous item puts an antimagic field in a ludicrously wide area of effect such that it's far above and beyond the confines of the spell

Now things get tougher. The wizard is immediately useless; his best option would be to see if he can find the end of the effect's radius via turning and flat-out running at 120ft. If it's within any kind of reasonable reach, he can return, verbally (preferably in some fashion the enemy fighters cannot understand) explain to the rest of the party the end, and get himself carried as the group starts their (timed so they all do so simultaneously) flat-out-run, ending in a brisk teleport the instant they got out of the field.

If that can't be done, he's best taking out his crossbow (longbow if he's an elf) and trying to keep his distance.

Now, the major fight is between the two clerics v the four fighters. ACwise, they're exactly on par with the fighters (Both have just as full plate, both have whatever else they're using). The trouble is, the fighters have an increased base attack bonus, while the clerics have a lower one, and the fighters are usaully one point up in damage due to a martial weapon (excluding the war domain), and one point per level up in hit points.

...so the one clincher they have up their sleeve is domain abilities. Staying core here, the only domains that relevantly function in this situation unless they're undead fighters or something: Death, Destruction, Luck, Protection, Strength, Travel, War

Luck fails here. Protection fails worse, and I'd advise against War... not enough help here.

Now, Strength-Destruction is just one round, but that's an almost guaranteed one-round smashing for a heck of a lot more than the fighters can deal out, so there's potential there.

Travel, exclusively if the enemy fighters are grapple-focused. Snuffing grapplefighters hardcore.

And then the tricky death domain, which isn't too good against fighters, but does mean that if you can get one within death touch range, you can actually win here.

So the real trouble comes from the fact that it's 4 v 2. But with the cleric's high AC, their still-good ability to hit things (I mean, the Fighters have ACs of 19, or 21 if they have shields. That's not very good), and decent hit points, they can make a seriously good showing before bowing out, especially if the wizard gets lucky on the crossbow, appropriate use of strength/destruction, and death.

Another option is in the utilization of special substances. Sure, the fighters can use them to, but that gives the wizard something with potentcy to do here... sticking a fighter to the ground with a tanglefoot bag could help, and smokesticks are great for covering your escape.

So whee, that was fun. The major flaw is that it's 4 v 3, where one is useless. If you threw in a third cleric it'd be a bit more even, and Cleric/Cleric/Cleric/Wizard would do a better job than Fighter/Cleric/Rogue/Wizard, especially if the enemy fighters were smart and beat the crap out of the potentially-a-threat-with-low-HP-rogue.



....and as a note, my favorite class in D&D is the fighter. ^_^ I just don't keep delusions about my use in combat.

Wehrkind
2007-01-24, 02:54 AM
Yea, that sums it up pretty well. Go Kantolin.

Renegade Paladin
2007-01-24, 02:54 AM
If you want to run cleric/cleric/cleric/wizard, any DM with sense will inundate everywhere you go right down to the friggin' city streets with traps. :smalltongue:

Kantolin
2007-01-24, 02:59 AM
If you want to run cleric/cleric/cleric/wizard, any DM with sense will inundate everywhere you go right down to the friggin' city streets with traps. :smalltongue:

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/findTraps.htm

In trapworld, I'd wand that one up. I would like to also point out that a ten foot pole and a puppy solve a lot of traps.

Puppies are such useful little things. ^_^

XagencyX
2007-01-24, 03:12 AM
:: tips hat to Kantolin :: Well played, indeed. :smallsmile:

clericwithnogod
2007-01-24, 03:15 AM
I put forth a hypothetical situation. Let us say that your party has encountered a number of fighters. Talks break down, and init is rolled. One or two of the fighters, or more, depending on the various Dex scores of your party, gets first go. Noting that you have two clerics and a wizard, (mind you, this is simply an extreme example, taking into account the topic at hand) one of the fighters readies an action to activate an item that produces an antimagic field the moment one of your casters attempts to cast a spell. At this point, you have a party of fighters against your magic heavy party, and suddenly your magic doesn't work. What happens when your two clerics, a wizard, and Bob the Stubborn, (fighter, of course) have to face a party of four fighters on their own terms, with no magic at hand? Please feel free to pick my post apart at your discretion. :smallsmile:

Depending on the level and equipment, this can be pretty deadly. You'd hope that the extreme planned tactical advantage would have been accounted for in determining the level of the opponents. If not, you might have to retreat and regroup.

But, simply triggering a Contingent teleport spell that moves the party to safety (though, the teleport affects only party members you're touching, so you'd have to be standing on one foot or biting someone as it goes off to take everybody - Perform:Twister) or running away could cause the party to fail in their mission. If your party has no goal beyond beating the encounter at hand, it's easy to jump away and come back. If you're on a rescue mission or averting a catastrophe (natural or monster-made), you might be forced to tough it out, even if it means taking a casualty. And, let's face it. There aren't a lot of plot hooks that say, "Mighty warriors and wizards, go beat these four guards in a hallway." So, you're probably there to do something else.

I've actually been in adventure where something like this happened. Our party went in a dungeon entrance, an anti-magic field stripped all of our buffs, the door closed behind us, and there was a group of enlarged, reach-weapon-wielding, duergar fighters guarding the hall - enlarged, reach-weapon-wielding, duergar fighters whose every feat and piece of eqipment was selected to fight in that one hallway. The whole party died and the duergar staked our bodies in front of the dungeon as a warning to others.

Assuming this isn't a pure death trap though, you're at a serious disadvantage when stripped of your buffs if you're relying on your clerics as your sole fighting power. One round of inaction to get them back up is a long time and coupled with a surprise round it can be an eternity, especially in a near ambush. Not being able to get them back up at all in an anti-magic field makes it even worse, particularly as then you can't even fall back on casting.

But, the abusive player preys upon the good nature of the DM and everyone's desire to have fun. Despite the fact that his big Righteous Might enspelled butt is obvious to everyone - from a distance, he'll complain that the DM isn't being fair and whine and cry whenever his buffs are countered. The gish player complains when his character spends a lot of time on the ground at -something hit points for the first half-dozen or more levels. And any number of other players that don't want to accept the negatives inherent in their optimization try to pressure the DM into changing the game and other players into paying for their power. You can add to that the clerics should just heal and buff me all the time people too. Especially, the druids who don't memorize heals or buffs and expect the cleric to be healing and buffing them and their animal companion and the charge into a horde of enemies absorbing full attacks fighters counting on the cleric running up, miraculously being ignored by all of the enemy, and casting a heal spell on them every round.

XagencyX
2007-01-24, 03:19 AM
Of course, there's always the possibility of the truly suicidal character of any class with a potion of enlargement, 10 lbs. of black powder, and a bag of alchemist's fire. For those time the enemy must, must die under any and all circumstances.

Bosh
2007-01-24, 04:43 AM
Balance is allowing different players roughly equal amounts of time in the spotlight. If your balance is:

-Casters get the spotlight when outside of anti-magic fields.
-Meleers get the spotlight when inside anti-magic fields.

Then something is SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY wrong with game balance. There are simply vastly more situations in which a caster is more useful than a meleers than vice versa (as long as both are optimized to the same degree and use equally intelligent tactics, which is why I continue to play meleers without being overshadowed, most of my party can't/won't/doesn't play casters and have them act anywhere near to their full potential, the closest thing we have to a munchkin almost always plays skillmonkey classes).

hewhosaysfish
2007-01-24, 05:05 AM
Balance is allowing different players roughly equal amounts of time in the spotlight. If your balance is:

-Casters get the spotlight when outside of anti-magic fields.
-Meleers get the spotlight when inside anti-magic fields.

Then something is SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY wrong with game balance.


Absolutely.
The idea that a magic-heavy party could be given a run for their money by a group of fighters with an item of AMF, while true, is pretty lame. How many times could a DM use that in a campaign before it got old? Only really once...
Unless he wants to write a campagin where some mage-killing organisation has been mass-producing these AMF orbs and giving them to bands of thugs with the instruction "Beat up those smug spell-casters".

Kantolin
2007-01-24, 05:14 AM
Antimagic field land!

It's an ocean of fun!

...then the Balor kills everybody!

If you ask me, it helps considerably to have the plot focus on the fighter for a time. That way, even if he's not doing much in combat, he still feels relevant.

clericwithnogod
2007-01-24, 05:28 AM
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/findTraps.htm

In trapworld, I'd wand that one up. I would like to also point out that a ten foot pole and a puppy solve a lot of traps.

Puppies are such useful little things. ^_^

1. You get a bonus equal to half your Cleric level meaning you need to cross-class max search and have the same magic items a Rogue would have to boost this skill to reliably detect traps appropriate to your level.

2. You can't disarm traps like a Rogue can. While there are other methods of bypassing most traps, they tend to take time, be noisy or use up other resources.

If you want a cleric that's a trap monkey, you're better off with a Kobold (preferably cloistered) Cleric with the Kobold domain. This makes you the full equal of the Rogue with Search and Disable Device as class skills, the ability to use Disable Device to disarm magical traps and all the other trap monkey goodness. And, you can cast Find Traps to pump up your roll.

You also get access to in the Dragonwrought, Improved Dragon Wings and other Kobold goodness.

Whamme
2007-01-24, 05:51 AM
Actually, D&D in a world like Niven's "The Magic Goes Away" stories would be interesting. Magic Just Wins (except given weak wizards or so forth - "It is a poor Wizard who cannot defeat a lone Swordsman")... but there are dead spots (and the number thereof are growing).

A world scattered with Anti-Magic Fields equalises things, yes?

Edit: And Demons and so forth need to avoid such areas or be destroyed...

Bosh
2007-01-24, 07:23 AM
A world scattered with Anti-Magic Fields equalises things, yes?
Yeah, but it probably wouldn't be much fun.

Shazzbaa
2007-01-24, 07:30 AM
Kantolin -- A puppy? I take it you're an evil cleric, then? ^^;

Re: The cleric

I'm not saying "the cleric should only heal/buff melee people and not ever do anything cool or fun." I understand that clerics, as written, are built to be part warrior as well as spellcaster. But clerics, as written, are also considered to be vastly overpowered.

The thing is, clerics are full casters. But in addition to being full casters, they're capable of being better fighters than the fighter. Clearly, the cleric needs to be good at casting, good at fighting, or mediocre at both... not good at both.
Since we already have a "holy warrior" class -- the paladin -- it seems natural to me that the cleric should be pushed in the direction of being the best at casting, and not as good at fighting (thus the usual suggestion to take RM away and give it to the paladin). That doesn't mean he has to suck at fighting as much as the wizard... he just shouldn't ever be able to be the best at it.

Raum
2007-01-24, 08:28 AM
Kantolin -- A puppy? I take it you're an evil cleric, then? ^^;It doesn't have to mean evil, is it "evil" to use police dogs? How about bomb sniffing dogs? Or in D&D terms, a summoned first level monster?


Re: The cleric

I'm not saying "the cleric should only heal/buff melee people and not ever do anything cool or fun." I understand that clerics, as written, are built to be part warrior as well as spellcaster. But clerics, as written, are also considered to be vastly overpowered.I agree with you but are the problems caused by the class or by the spells and feats? I tend to think it's the spells (Divine Power, Righteous Might, etc) and feats (Divine Metamagic) which make the cleric overpowered. The only real problem in the basic class is the presumed access to all cleric spells.


The thing is, clerics are full casters. But in addition to being full casters, they're capable of being better fighters than the fighter. Clearly, the cleric needs to be good at casting, good at fighting, or mediocre at both... not good at both.
Since we already have a "holy warrior" class -- the paladin -- it seems natural to me that the cleric should be pushed in the direction of being the best at casting, and not as good at fighting (thus the usual suggestion to take RM away and give it to the paladin). That doesn't mean he has to suck at fighting as much as the wizard... he just shouldn't ever be able to be the best at it.Agreed. Problem is, remediating individual spells is the hardest method of resolving balance issues. There are too many spells with extremely varied functional power levels. Even worse, there are new ones coming out in every book. :/

clericwithnogod
2007-01-24, 08:36 AM
The thing is, clerics are full casters. But in addition to being full casters, they're capable of being better fighters than the fighter. Clearly, the cleric needs to be good at casting, good at fighting, or mediocre at both... not good at both.
Since we already have a "holy warrior" class -- the paladin -- it seems natural to me that the cleric should be pushed in the direction of being the best at casting, and not as good at fighting (thus the usual suggestion to take RM away and give it to the paladin). That doesn't mean he has to suck at fighting as much as the wizard... he just shouldn't ever be able to be the best at it.

He is capable of being better than a fighter if the fighter is built poorly. If you make your cleric as good a fighter as a well-designed pure fighter (which is as good as the least powerful way to build a melee combatant) or any competently designed melee build, he won't cast as well.

Nine levels of casting with your feats, prestige classes and ability scores focused on melee is nowhere near the same as nine levels of casting with your feats, prestige classes and ability scores focused on casting. It leaves you at the bare minimum necessary for your casting to be meaningful.

And, if you ignore prestige classes, you're ignoring a large determinant in power, particularly at high levels. Nothing you do to the base classes means anything if you ignore the existence of prestige classes to boost power. Their requirements for non-optimal feats to enter make a lot of pure cleric or pure fighter feat chains look a lot less appealing, meaning you have less power at mid levels when you're taking Dodge and Iron Will.

The cleric needs to be able to do two things, cast something other than heals/buffs/removes and fight, effectively to ensure that he can do something meaningful on the turns that he isn't required to use his action healing/buffing/removing. His need to spend his actions in the game doing something that is generally considered a chore rather than fun make it necessary that he be able to take advantage of what opportunities there are to shine on his remaining turns. Mediocre isn't effective and it sure isn't shining. The bard casts and fights at a mediocre level, and it doesn't shine much. Unless your DM has guest hot chicks/guys on webcam as NPC actors, there really isn't a lot of satisfaction in being the best at seducing the barmaid/barman in-between adventures.

He fights a little less than as well as a fighter by default and casts a little less well than a wizard by default. He can get that to fighting better sometimes at the price of casting even worse all the time or fighting even worse to cast almost as well. With the consensus seeming to be that stragiht fighters aren't effective in combat, making anything that is supposed to fight be worse than a fighter at fighting is sadistic.

Paladins are nice holy warriors if your idea of a holy warrior is centered on a European Mounted Knight kind of ideal, but that archetype doesn't fit many cultural settings and falls flat if your deity is a god of, say mercenaries and sell-swords rather than knights or evil knights. The cleric, with it's domains and spellcasting versatility, is a holy warrior that can be crafted to reflect the players vision of the god or ideals he is representing, while filling the meta-game role of healer/buffer/remover.

If anything, paladins should be a prestige rather than base class with their narrow focus and restrictive ethos that affects other party members, which if it weren't for the Frenzied Berzerker and MMO-inspired Knight's taunt ability would be the worst class aspect in DND gaimng.

elliott20
2007-01-24, 10:09 AM
Personally, I'm not saying that all classes should be complete equals. That can't be done without making things monotonous. The core though, is when you're given the ability to make other classes obsolete too quickly too often. And this often happens when a class gets powers that is not scaled to the designers' own progression scheme.

look at it this way, both a wizard and a fighter levels up

fighter: cool, I get an extra d10 hit points, +1 to BAB, 2 skill points and maybe a feat.

wizard: I get d4 hit points, 2 skill points, and stop the flow of time itself.

As you can see, these two levels are not exactly giving each character similar and equally beneficial powers.

And that in my opinion, is okay. Why? Because just like a paladin who can smite, his advantage only lasts for so many times a day and then he's basically a fighter without bonus feats. And magic is SUPPOSED to be fantastic. It's SUPPOSED to break the laws of reality.

The problem, however, is when it comes time to replenish these resources. A paladin might have the ability to get a +6 to hit and +12 to damage about 3-4 times a day, but that same wizard can probably STOP TIME about 3-4 times a day, in addition to doing all sorts of other interesting stuff. And the only difference between their replenishing process, is an extra hour of prep time in the morning.

Consequentially, magic users can now break the laws of reality on a very frequent basis and not blink once about it because really all they need to get it back is just some sleep, a cup of coffee and some reading time. In this case, the non-caster classes start feeling like the bike you have in your garage when your car is capable of using water as fuel. Sure, you can ride your back every so often just for fun. But chances are, for MOST things you do in your life, you'd use your energy efficient car.

Orzel
2007-01-24, 10:13 AM
I dont know about your games but I've seen many favored powered clerics get their butts handed to them in a picnic basket by fighters. I've seen many divine casters get Improved Blah into pulps. Others get debuffed 1 round into melee range with warriors by the warriors' magic buddies. Others are stabbed and AoOed during the 2-5 rounds of buffing.

The balancing is needed because some classes are trying to do the most allowed by "reality", others punch it in the face. It's like when my 6 year old cousin gets mad and "fights" me. Outside of a sneak attack or weapon unbalance he has no chance to win and would aid me little if I brought him to solve a difficult problem.

The real problem with casting is the time spent casting. Casters can cast faster than non-caster can possibly stop them. If a caster wants to buff 3 spells on himself or use a 3 spell kill combo, it should take 3 turns. Enough time for a noncaster to run up and bash his skull in if not halted by another party member. This Quickened, Timestop, Contingency, Cage, and Teleport nonsense is the problem.

If DnD had New Yorkers, there would be self shooting teleporter hunting dispel arrows in every major shop.

elliott20
2007-01-24, 10:21 AM
If magic was as common in these campaigns as the adventurers usually would portray them, an AMF should be a standard issue equipment for any decently stocked convenient store. Hell, you could probably buy "anti-amf" devices at seedier places.

Renegade Paladin
2007-01-24, 12:26 PM
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/findTraps.htm

In trapworld, I'd wand that one up. I would like to also point out that a ten foot pole and a puppy solve a lot of traps.

Puppies are such useful little things. ^_^
Congratulations. You now have Trapfinding and at most half ranks in Search. The spell doesn't automatically tell you the traps are there; it just lets you use your Search skill as a rogue. And Search isn't a class skill for clerics. :smallamused:

Marius
2007-01-24, 12:55 PM
Actually there's a lot of things that the wizard could do in an antimagic field while the non-casters are useless without their little magic items. A wizard could still cast Wall of Force or Forcecage and just wait until the field goes away. He could summon some creatures and keep them as long as he makes caster level checks. Plus how many antimagic fields are going to be around?

Piccamo
2007-01-24, 12:59 PM
If you're dissatisfied with the Vancian system of magic utilized in the PHB, use a different magic system, such as Pact Magic or even Psionics.

Renegade Paladin
2007-01-24, 01:36 PM
Actually there's a lot of things that the wizard could do in an antimagic field while the non-casters are useless without their little magic items. A wizard could still cast Wall of Force or Forcecage and just wait until the field goes away. He could summon some creatures and keep them as long as he makes caster level checks. Plus how many antimagic fields are going to be around?
How many forcecages are going to be around? They're expensive. Cast it every day and your wizard will quickly be a pauper.

Also, sorry, creatures summoned into the field will, in fact, wink out. The caster only has to make a caster level check if the field is used offensively against them, i.e. it is cast with them already in the area as opposed to them going into it or being summoned into it after the fact.

Piccamo
2007-01-24, 01:44 PM
How many forcecages are going to be around? They're expensive. Cast it every day and your wizard will quickly be a pauper.

Also, sorry, creatures summoned into the field will, in fact, wink out. The caster only has to make a caster level check if the field is used offensively against them, i.e. it is cast with them already in the area as opposed to them going into it or being summoned into it after the fact.

Unfortunately the Wizard could also go into the "mining" business and just keep on creating Walls of Iron for sale. While it may force down the local economy, he could keep moving around and doing it and have all the money he needs (plus DnD doesn't have realistic markets). Also, AMF's aren't nearly as effective against casters as people seem to think they are.

MrNexx
2007-01-24, 01:44 PM
The problem, however, is when it comes time to replenish these resources. A paladin might have the ability to get a +6 to hit and +12 to damage about 3-4 times a day, but that same wizard can probably STOP TIME about 3-4 times a day, in addition to doing all sorts of other interesting stuff. And the only difference between their replenishing process, is an extra hour of prep time in the morning.


Which is another point in 2nd edition's favor, actually, towards limiting the power of high-level casters: Memorizing the high-level spells took substantial time. Sure, a high-level wizard could toss off all the spells he wanted, but it might take him upwards of a week to rememorize all of them. In 3.x, it takes him 9 hours... a nap and a quick re-through of his TOME OF ARCANE POWER. It was a significant limiter on a wizard's willingness to exhaust himself.

Jorkens
2007-01-24, 01:45 PM
If magic was as common in these campaigns as the adventurers usually would portray them, an AMF should be a standard issue equipment for any decently stocked convenient store. Hell, you could probably buy "anti-amf" devices at seedier places.
F'rinstance, if I was a reasonably paranoid ruler, I wouldn't be happy sleeping or generally hanging around somewhere where any eejit with enough wizard levels could teleport in, slit my throat and then teleport out again...

Piccamo
2007-01-24, 01:46 PM
Let's keep this just a debate about wizards, instead of mixing in 3e v 2e. We don't need to revive those trends again :smalltongue:

Renegade Paladin
2007-01-24, 01:56 PM
You can put up teleportation wards without resorting to total antimagic.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-01-24, 02:05 PM
I imagine that a lot of people in D&D-style fantasy worlds opt for magical ward security systems. It's just so prevalent everywhere.

Seriously. Even commoners can be adepts.

Kantolin
2007-01-24, 02:05 PM
Yigads.

I was just pointing out that it is feasible for a cleric to be able to find traps with at least similar efficiency to the rogue. If you're not in trapworld, have one cleric have a decent search skill and find traps may be plenty, especially if it's an elf.

If you are in trapworld, then I'd have one cleric focusing a little on, grabbing Skill Focus(Search), and having a decent intelligence (Maybe Wisdom/Int/Con/Str). Hey look, I'm doing the job similarly effectively to the rogue, while I'm quite a bit more useful in other situations (Not all rogues take skill focus(search) and get a half-caster boost to search, afterall... that about makes up for being in class).

Cloistered cleric is better for this scenario, yes, but a creative party can get around a rogue, while still relishing in the glory that is CoDzilla. And if the party is hit by the trap - hey look, three clerics! ^_^


Kantolin -- A puppy? I take it you're an evil cleric, then? ^^;
^_^ Heh, more of a joke than anything else. But if I lived in trapworld, I'd definitely utilize some method of psuedo-summoning a creature even if we did have a trappy rogue. Much rather a not-quite-there creature takes a hit (thus returning home, and not dying bloodily) than my good friend, on the irritable chance that he rolls a 1 on his search.

o_o This trapworld sounds like a terrifying place. I think I'd rather move to antimagic field land - they need a good salespitch for that one, it sounds like an amusement park. ^_^

Indon
2007-01-24, 02:06 PM
I am in agreeance that if you're playing the kind of campaign where powerful magic exists so casually, that people in that world should react to that accordingly.

As I've said in another thread, powerful spells in such a world would be monitored and controlled by guilds or organizations of powerful wizards, in a similar way that nuclear weapons are controlled in the real world. There are many other ways NPC's would react to spells that just aren't explored in the environment of D&D, or most DM's campaign worlds.

Edit: And about Trapworld... that's what the 10-foot pole is for, didn't you know?

Marius
2007-01-24, 02:12 PM
How many forcecages are going to be around? They're expensive. Cast it every day and your wizard will quickly be a pauper.

Well if you are in such danger I think that spending some gold won't matter. And if you don't want to spend money you could still cast Wall of force or just leave the place using DD or teleport or use any other spell that works in a AF. The point is that a caster could still have options while the rest is stuck.



Also, sorry, creatures summoned into the field will, in fact, wink out. The caster only has to make a caster level check if the field is used offensively against them, i.e. it is cast with them already in the area as opposed to them going into it or being summoned into it after the fact.

True, my mistake.

Jorkens
2007-01-24, 02:16 PM
You can put up teleportation wards without resorting to total antimagic.
What about invisibility? Or passwalling? Or both? But what I'm getting at isn't really that antimagic fields are going to be anywhere, more that if magic gives you good ways of killing people or stealing their stuff, anyone worth killing or with stuff worth taking is going to want some sort of protection against it. It's much like the way that armour technology tends to keep pace pretty well with weapon technology.

Kantolin
2007-01-24, 02:23 PM
It's much like the way that armour technology tends to keep pace pretty well with weapon technology.
I want to say that's not quite true in Japan.

...I believe. I'm not a history major, so I'm very likely wrong. ^_^ But while people built armour to beat weapons in Europe, I believe in Japan people built weapons to beat armour.

clericwithnogod
2007-01-24, 02:57 PM
o_o This trapworld sounds like a terrifying place. I think I'd rather move to antimagic field land - they need a good salespitch for that one, it sounds like an amusement park. ^_^

Trapworld actually could be pretty fun... But, in trapworld I think you'd have people making traps, most-likely kobolds which are so good at it, that it would require you to eke out every possible bonus to disarm them. You'd probably also expect to encounter portcullises and/or sliding walls directly behind doors that open inward such as to prevent you from getting in with a simple knock spell (as knock specifically mentions that it doesn't work on a portcullis and the descriptions for elves and dwarves seem to indicate that a sliding wall and secret door are completely different things).

You could then be make nifty trapworld security systems that required a reult of X to disarm the trap on a door, but only on a result of X plus the difference between what a rogue and anyone else could reach do you realize that the trap mechanism has to be in a specific position to raise the portcullis behind the door that you unlocked with your Knock spell. And, while the party scrambled to figure out what kind of magic they needed to open the door, the DM could kick back with a smug smile thinking, "How's that wand working for you now cheese boy?" :smallbiggrin:

Sulecrist
2007-01-24, 02:58 PM
I want to say that's not quite true in Japan.

...I believe. I'm not a history major, so I'm very likely wrong. ^_^ But while people built armour to beat weapons in Europe, I believe in Japan people built weapons to beat armour.

I hate to say it, but I think "in Japan, people built weapons" would sum it up better. ;)

But if you look at something like the Dacian Falx, and other weapons like it, you'll find a paper to beat rock, instead of a rock to break scissors.

Kantolin
2007-01-24, 03:04 PM
And, while the party scrambled to figure out what kind of magic they needed to open the door, the DM could kick back with a smug smile thinking, "How's that wand working for you now cheese boy?" :smallbiggrin:
And you know what's even better?! The rogue might not roll a high enough number to unlock the door!

Hilarity would ensue as the PCs just stood there confused for hours at a time, assuming that since Knock didn't work, nor did the Rogue's pick locks, they could not open the door! Why, nothing would be more hilarious than having the entire party be forced to turn around after spending hours throwing themselves at a door they can't open!

But works for trapworld, I suppose... it's just that trapworld would get extremely unfun in moments, and that's including the rogue.


But if you look at something like the Dacian Falx

The whosa whatzit now? O-o

Golthur
2007-01-24, 03:44 PM
Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falx) is your friend. Well, except when it's wrong. :tongue:

krossbow
2007-01-24, 04:07 PM
How many forcecages are going to be around? They're expensive. Cast it every day and your wizard will quickly be a pauper.





I don't know; Force cages are a HELLA lot more common than random anti-magic fields. :smalltongue:


Not to mention all the ways magic users make bank at high levels (Those spells have so many monetary functions its not even funny).
________
ZR750F (http://www.cyclechaos.com/wiki/Kawasaki_ZR750F)

Ghostwalker
2007-01-24, 04:32 PM
I don't know; Force cages are a HELLA lot more common than random anti-magic fields. :smalltongue:


Not to mention all the ways magic users make bank at high levels (Those spells have so many monetary functions its not even funny).

The real question about forcecage (and similar high cost spells) is not how much money you have but how much ruby dust is there to buy? And who controls the production? And since forcecage is so great how many other spell casters are competing for it?


As for random anti magic fields, there are location which can screw with spell casting in many different ways and if I was a bunch of non spell caster looking to take out a bunch of caster I would try to lure them to one of those locations (Of course that easier said then done) before attacking them.

Matthew
2007-01-24, 04:34 PM
I want to say that's not quite true in Japan.

...I believe. I'm not a history major, so I'm very likely wrong. ^_^ But while people built armour to beat weapons in Europe, I believe in Japan people built weapons to beat armour.

This is a strange belief.

clockwork warrior
2007-01-24, 04:45 PM
alright, i have seen tons of threads about the balance issue, and i just dont get it.

im in a game that started at 20th level, and i play a wizard 15 archmage 5, and the fighter of the group (some paladin/rouge mix with a prestige class in there) and the rogue do more damage than anyone, so i just dont see why every freaks out it (btw, the group also has 2 clerics, and a druid, but the fighter and rogue are still trumping everyone)

Vance_Nevada
2007-01-24, 04:47 PM
Travel, exclusively if the enemy fighters are grapple-focused. Snuffing grapplefighters hardcore.

Travel does NOT work like this. It grants Freedom of Movement style immunity against magical restrictions on movement. It won't help you in a grapple at all.

Common misconception.

Rest of the post was fine, though.

Golthur
2007-01-24, 04:48 PM
alright, i have seen tons of threads about the balance issue, and i just dont get it.

im in a game that started at 20th level, and i play a wizard 15 archmage 5, and the fighter of the group (some paladin/rouge mix with a prestige class in there) and the rogue do more damage than anyone, so i just dont see why every freaks out it (btw, the group also has 2 clerics, and a druid, but the fighter and rogue are still trumping everyone)
Well, admittedly, the balance problems are overemphasized here, but the point of a wizard isn't to do damage. If he does, he's suboptimal. :amused:

Marius
2007-01-24, 04:48 PM
The real question about forcecage (and similar high cost spells) is not how much money you have but how much ruby dust is there to buy? And who controls the production? And since forcecage is so great how many other spell casters are competing for it?

It really doesn't matter, we all know that wizards are really good at finding stuff and we are talking about at least a 15th level wizard (since he can cast forcecage) so I don't think it'll be too hard to find some rubys and smash them to dust. Not only that! A high level mage could create the rubys if he really wanted! A DM could say "oh you can't find rubys, they are all gone" but he could just say "forcecage is banned".



As for random anti magic fields, there are location which can screw with spell casting in many different ways and if I was a bunch of non spell caster looking to take out a bunch of caster I would try to lure them to one of those locations (Of course that easier said then done) before attacking them.

And what would they do once the mage teleports out of it? Wait in terror knowing that he could be scrying them waiting for them to drop their guard to kill them slowly and painfully :smallbiggrin:

Ghostwalker
2007-01-24, 05:02 PM
It really doesn't matter, we all know that wizards are really good at finding stuff and we are talking about at least a 15th level wizard (since he can cast forcecage) so I don't think it'll be too hard to find some rubys and smash them to dust. Not only that! A high level mage could create the rubys if he really wanted! A DM could say "oh you can't find rubys, they are all gone" but he could just say "forcecage is banned".



And what would they do once the mage teleports out of it? Wait in terror knowing that he could be scrying them waiting for them to drop their guard to kill them slowly and painfully :smallbiggrin:
And it not completely banning rubies dust it's only giving them enough for a few casting unless they want to devote time gating more of it. Or giving them the choice make that nice magic ring you wanted or get 10 more castings or forcecage.

You have never played a mage in a wild magic zone have you? Or fought a battle next to a sleeping god who as a chance of being woken every time a spell cast which is a game over situation for everyone involved? These are examples there are many more that any DM can come up with to make the lives of PCs more interesting.

Bears With Lasers
2007-01-24, 05:04 PM
alright, i have seen tons of threads about the balance issue, and i just dont get it.

im in a game that started at 20th level, and i play a wizard 15 archmage 5, and the fighter of the group (some paladin/rouge mix with a prestige class in there) and the rogue do more damage than anyone, so i just dont see why every freaks out it (btw, the group also has 2 clerics, and a druid, but the fighter and rogue are still trumping everyone)

That's because you're thinking in terms of doing damage. Instead of, y'know, winning with no save.

I don't know what the clerics are doing, but it's pretty clearly not casting Divine Favor/Divine Power/Miracle and wading into combat or using Implosion and the like to destroy things, and the Druid probably isn't turning into two Force Dragons.

ken-do-nim
2007-01-24, 05:37 PM
alright, i have seen tons of threads about the balance issue, and i just dont get it.

im in a game that started at 20th level, and i play a wizard 15 archmage 5, and the fighter of the group (some paladin/rouge mix with a prestige class in there) and the rogue do more damage than anyone, so i just dont see why every freaks out it (btw, the group also has 2 clerics, and a druid, but the fighter and rogue are still trumping everyone)

On the flipside of the damage output argument (which Bears and others have already chimed in on), you should find that your defenses are far superior to the others. I've seen many a well-played melee character kick butt, then die. You, on the other hand, should be taking very little damage. With project image and greater invisibility, you can be projecting an invisible point of power that can do all your casting and you don't even need to be with the rest of the party. You can lag behind, invisible, floating near the ceiling. The dragon breathes on the party? You laugh, "Gee, that had to hurt." Your image doesn't take damage, yet it can go right up to the dragon and vampiric touch. (Btw, your familiar is your body's eyes and ears while your senses are in your projected image).

Anyway, project image is just one example of an amazing defensive spell (which wasn't discussed too much in Logic Ninja's article if you read that), but I think you get the idea.

Also speaking of offense, you've got the archmage making spaces in area of effect spells, right? Check out horrid wilting and wail of the banshee. It's a sweet combo to use either of those and make spaces so your allies don't get hurt.

Roderick_BR
2007-01-25, 01:40 PM
I'll throw in my two cooper pieces quickly:
High level spellcasters should be powerful? Yes. It's their role.
High level spellcasters should be so powerful they can shade anything others do? No. But they can. With core, RAW, and without effort. Sometimes by accident.
As it was said, it's not fun to play a warrior type, if you hardly have the chance to do something while the spellcaster solves it all by himself.
I remember a comic where a group from SJA (Society of Justice) is fighting some villain, Supergirl (the latest one) came in and finishes the fight. Everyone stares at her, and she thinks to herself "Kal (Superman) told me about it. Everyone puts an effort to fight the bad guy, and a kriptonian fist solves the problem quickly."
I don't mind when my fighter is weaker than the wizard in game terms, the problem is being overshadowed because you are too weak compared to them.

The major point here is what a fighter gets at higher level. Lot's of hit points? Good BAB? Keep him from acting and that's it.

Imagine this:
---------------------------
1st level fighter: So, I can use this bastard sword, and I have this cool set of armor. And 10 whole hit points. And you?
1st level wizard: I don't have armor, and have only this staff, and 4 hit points. But check this: I can shot this light at a guy, and I never miss. I can do it twice a day.
1st level fighter: That's cool. A sure hit twice a day cames in handy.
--
4th level fighter: Hey, look at this: now my sword deals 2 more points of damage.
4th level wizard: Badass.
--
5th level wizard: Take a look: I can blow a fireball once a day. It takes 5d6 of damage, and can hit several at once.
5th level fighter: Awesome! It always hit?
5th level wizard: Almost. People can dodge it to take half damage. Some can avoid it completely.
5th level fighter: half 5d6 a day to multiple enemies is still good.
--
9th level fighter: And now I have a bigger chance of scoring a critical hit. Double damage a lot more.
9th level wizard: Neato. And I can fill an area with this poisonous cloud to kill weaker creatures, and weaken bigger monsters.
--
17 level wizard: Dude! I can make rain fire from the sky! And you?
17 level fighter: I... got weapon specialization... again...
---------------------------
Imagine a high level wizard that instead of 6th+ spell levels, would continue getting more 1st-5th level spells? Sucky, eh? Same happens to fighter. And paladins and rangers to a degree.
If a fighter does not take a PrC, he gets stuck with getting the same old stuff he got 10 levels ago.

MrNexx
2007-01-25, 01:44 PM
And for most PrCs, he gets variations on stuff he got a few levels ago.

Druid
2007-01-25, 03:05 PM
At level 11 wizards can start binding djinns for unlimited wishes. Game over, fighters lose.

Renegade Paladin
2007-01-25, 03:15 PM
That's because you're thinking in terms of doing damage. Instead of, y'know, winning with no save.

I don't know what the clerics are doing, but it's pretty clearly not casting Divine Favor/Divine Power/Miracle and wading into combat or using Implosion and the like to destroy things, and the Druid probably isn't turning into two Force Dragons.
You know, I never got how divine power is supposed to make the cleric better at melee than the fighter by itself. It makes the cleric into a fighter without bonus feats. Great. The fighter is a fighter with bonus feats. And martial weapons. And all the other buffs the cleric has would frankly be better spent on the fighter for precisely this reason. And if you're tossing around destruction instead, then the melee buffs become rather irrelevant.

Piccamo
2007-01-25, 03:18 PM
Divine Favor and Divine Power are self-buffs only. Now you have someone who has full spellcasting (more buffs via quickened spells and whatnot) and the same melee ability as the fighter.

Renegade Paladin
2007-01-25, 03:25 PM
Divine favor isn't all that great; it caps at +3 to attack and damage, and by the time it caps out the fighter can (and probably has) taken Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, and Greater Weapon Focus for +2 to attack and damage... and has Combat Expertise, Cleave, Improved Disarm, Improved Sunder, Improved Critical, or any of a whole boatload of other combat feats, plus a better weapon. The cleric can either put his melee ability almost on par with that and keep his remaining spellcasting ability... or he can make that badassery even more badass via stat buffs, shield of faith, and so forth and still keep his remaining spellcasting ability. What's the point of divine power if you intend to thereafter sit in the back and toss around save-or-die cheese? It makes a good backup for the front line, but using it to be the primary front line fighter all the time is a waste.

Jayabalard
2007-01-25, 03:30 PM
It doesn't have to mean evil, is it "evil" to use police dogs? How about bomb sniffing dogs? Or in D&D terms, a summoned first level monster? If you're using them without regard to their lives, then yes, I say that qualifies as evil, or at least non-good. At least, the implication that puppies + a 10' pole = safe from traps seems fairly evil to me.

as for balance: A powerful wizard (or sorceror) should be more powerful than an equal level fighter... as long as they have spells they can use. Wizards should always be conserving their magic; if they're not, then that offers a pretty obvious solution: manage the campaign so that they cannot afford to blow all of their magic at anyone one time.

There should also (imo) be additional costs for that level of power; I'm trying to remember if it was the old Conan RPG or Powers an& Perils, but as I recall some fairly grisly downsides to being a wizard.

Unless wizards are a dime a dozen (and maybe even if they are, since wizards hoard power like dragons hoard treasure) you shouldn't be able to walk into "ye olde spell shoppe" and pick up new spells. Nor should a wizard be able to research new spells unless they take some serious time off of adventuring and build up a lab specifically for that purpose (and really, they wouldn't be an adventurer if they were that type of wizard). Just spontaneously gaining 2 spells per level, especially at high levels, is silly. They should represent side quests (or full quests in and of themselves for the most powerful spells) and should probably involve hunting down artifacts/books/scrolls involved in other's research, making some sort of sacrifice, deal with a more powerful wizard or outsider, etc.

which, of course, tends to make people think that I "hate wizards"

Piccamo
2007-01-25, 03:37 PM
Divine favor isn't all that great; it caps at +3 to attack and damage, and by the time it caps out the fighter can (and probably has) taken Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, and Greater Weapon Focus for +2 to attack and damage... and has Combat Expertise, Cleave, Improved Disarm, Improved Sunder, Improved Critical, or any of a whole boatload of other combat feats, plus a better weapon. The cleric can either put his melee ability almost on par with that and keep his remaining spellcasting ability... or he can make that badassery even more badass via stat buffs, shield of faith, and so forth and still keep his remaining spellcasting ability. What's the point of divine power if you intend to thereafter sit in the back and toss around save-or-die cheese? It makes a good backup for the front line, but using it to be the primary front line fighter all the time is a waste.

I'm sorry I was thinking of Righteous Might:

This spell causes you to grow, doubling your height and multiplying your weight by 8. This increase changes your size category to the next larger one, and you gain a +4 size bonus to Strength and a +2 size bonus to Constitution. You gain a +2 enhancement bonus to your natural armor. You gain damage reduction 3/evil (if you normally channel positive energy) or damage reduction 3/good (if you normally channel negative energy). At 12th level this damage reduction becomes 6/evil or 6/good, and at 15th level it becomes 9/evil or 9/good (the maximum). Your size modifier for AC and attacks changes as appropriate to your new size category. This spell doesn’t change your speed. Determine space and reach as appropriate to your new size.
...
All equipment you wear or carry is similarly enlarged by the spell. Melee and projectile weapons deal more damage. Other magical properties are not affected by this spell. Any enlarged item that leaves your possession (including a projectile or thrown weapon) instantly returns to its normal size. This means that thrown weapons deal their normal damage (projectiles deal damage based on the size of the weapon that fired them).

The Cleric on a round by round basis could conceivably quicken save or die spells and be a melee powerhouse simultaneously, via Divine Metamagic. The problem stems from all the options they have versus a regular fighter.

MeklorIlavator
2007-01-25, 03:37 PM
Remember, when summoned monsters die, they just go back to wherever they were summoned from, no actual death.

Renegade Paladin
2007-01-25, 03:59 PM
I'm sorry I was thinking of Righteous Might:


The Cleric on a round by round basis could conceivably quicken save or die spells and be a melee powerhouse simultaneously, via Divine Metamagic. The problem stems from all the options they have versus a regular fighter.
I had thought you might. So now we're looking at the cleric becoming marginally better than the fighter for 1 round/level once per day, maybe twice or three times if he really has nothing better to do with his 5th level spells.

Piccamo
2007-01-25, 04:01 PM
Well he really doesn't have anything better to do with it, especially with persistent spell he could do it all the time. The real melee brokenness comes from CDiv with the Divine Metamagic and the nightsticks, which give free extra turnings, also presented there.

Marius
2007-01-25, 04:05 PM
I had thought you might. So now we're looking at the cleric becoming marginally better than the fighter for 1 round/level once per day, maybe twice or three times if he really has nothing better to do with his 5th level spells.

I would say a lot better if the fighter isn't buffed and he could still cast heal on himself if he has to... or any number of other usefull spells like Spell Resistance. So he can fight better than a fighter and still be a full caster...

Bears With Lasers
2007-01-25, 05:13 PM
I had thought you might. So now we're looking at the cleric becoming marginally better than the fighter for 1 round/level once per day, maybe twice or three times if he really has nothing better to do with his 5th level spells.

A melee cleric can certainly afford to memorize four Righteous Mights. Of course, he only needs it for the tougher fights (Divine Power is plenty, or even Divine Favor, when you have easier opponents), so he can certainly get away with three or two.

Vance_Nevada
2007-01-25, 05:20 PM
Divine favor isn't all that great; it caps at +3 to attack and damage, and by the time it caps out the fighter can (and probably has) taken Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, and Greater Weapon Focus for +2 to attack and damage...

Of course, what you're also saying here is that one first level spell adds a better bonus than THREE of the Fighter's feats. That's a hell of a trade-off.

Yes, the Fighter probably also has Improved Disarm - the Cleric has Implosion, or something like that. Much nastier.

Bears With Lasers
2007-01-25, 05:26 PM
The fighter needs to be punched if he took Improved Disarm.

Renegade Paladin
2007-01-25, 05:37 PM
Well, to be fair to him, if he has Improved Disarm punching's all you're going to be able to do to him. :smallamused:

Piccamo
2007-01-25, 05:40 PM
This is a team game. The Cleric and the Fighter aren't going to be duking it out; they'll be duking it out with a big monster.

Bears With Lasers
2007-01-25, 05:52 PM
Well, to be fair to him, if he has Improved Disarm punching's all you're going to be able to do to him. :smallamused:
Except that he's not all that likely to disarm you, what with your AB-boosters.
And you're likely to trip him, what with Imp. Trip and Large size.

And once he's tripped, you get an effective +8 to your disarm checks on top of your higher AB.

Hmm.