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View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other Houserules: Tier 3, Simply



bekeleven
2014-07-15, 01:24 AM
Below I present the houserules I made for PbP campaigns. The really important parts are in purple. The ones that are actually a ton of trouble and only fix minor things are in orange. Issues that do not change game balance, but are instead built to encourage playstyles, smooth tension, or simplify mechanics, are in green.

Yes, the most important part of these rules is banning most spellcasters. Sorry, wizards, I prefer a rulesheet to the system rewrite required to make you balanced.

I address a few small issues that I've had problems with, like rapid reload with slings. I doubt I addressed every small issues ever. Currently these rules are under 2000 words.

Intro
Character Building: The power level weíre shooting for is tier 3/4. Infinite loops, action economy abuse, XP cost negation, time travel, and the like are right out. If you start to upset game balance, Iíll kick you into Jupiterís core. Generally I can spot these issues on character sheets. If you try to sneak something by me, it wonít lead to a better experience for anyone.

I donít ban multiple character submissions per player, but a max of one is getting in, so itís kind of wasting your time to do so.

Homebrew, Pathfinder and Dragon material are allowed case-by-case. I may reject things if the read is too long.

If you have a use for something Iím banning, and your use will not trip any of the reasons Iíve banned it, then ask and we can work something out. If you honest to god want to play a kobold and itís not because of Scaled Ones, Loredrake, Dragonwraught, Draconic Rite of Passage, or any other crazy reason, talk to me.

Backstories: Skirt length or longer. The longest backstory Iíve written for a D&D campaign was 2300 words (I was rejected for a character with a 12-word backstory, cíest la vie). Consider that a rough maximum. Feel free to do a 10-minute background (http://community.wizards.com/forum/4e-character-development/threads/1340441) in addition to a writeup, but I do expect one.

Dice: HP after first level is half (Bard with 10 con gets 6, 3, 4, 3, 4Ö). Point Buy is 32.

Alignment: Nearly everybody, with the exception of outsiders, is neutral. I recommend against a smite-based build. I donít care what alignment you make your character, but you should be part of the party. Donít build a kleptomaniac or a chronic backstabber. Ask if you want to break alignment restrictions on classes, please.

Misc: Massive Damage triggers only if you take over 50 damage and over half of your total HP. Walk and Chew Gum: You may perform a move-equivalent action in the middle of a movement action. Doing so takes a full-round action (2 move actions). Shield bonuses apply to touch AC.

Fixes: Some things need repair. Power Word Pain and Distract need to swap levels. Swordsage gets wisdom to AC in no armor. Martial Monk canít take weapon supremacy or epic feats. Things like this wonít be listed below. Most elements of RACSD (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?240218-quot-Common-Sense-quot-approach-to-rules-%28RACSD%29&p=13092074#post13092074post13092074) will be used. Ask if thereís anything you want clarified.

bekeleven
2014-07-15, 01:26 AM
Player Races
Bans: Greensnake Naga, All LA+0 anthropomorphic races, all awakened creatures. Kobold is banned in lieu of banning the 10 billion abuses individually. Mineral Warrior and Divine Minion are banned. Sarrukhs don't exist. Partial racial classes are not for every campaign. Talk to me first.

Race Rules: LA Buyoff is in effect. If you want to play something underpowered, talk to me and we can (maybe) buff it a bit. In general, 3.5 has enough stuff floating around to make a concept work at decent power without this.

Feral: Fast Healing is changed to DR. All abilities key off of Monster Hit Dice explicitly.

Half-Orc: Stat adjustments are Str +2, Int -2.

Petal: Too hilarious to disallow as a PC race.

bekeleven
2014-07-15, 01:27 AM
Base Classes
Bans: Any class with 9s is banned unless mentioned below (Archivist to Wu Jen), except Sublime Way. If you really need them for some reason, they may end up in-game with reduced ACFs and the adept spell progression. Artificers are banned.

Class Rules: No multiclass XP penalty. Fractional BAB and saves, with +2 bump added only once. ACF chaining and equivalencies are allowed on a case-by-case basis. If you want to play something underpowered, talk to me and we can (maybe) buff it a bit. In general, 3.5 has enough stuff floating around to make a concept work at decent power without this. All of my homebrew base classes are in play, although some are modified below.

Barbarian: I recommend using the Professional (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=332829) mundane class fix.

Beguiler: Uses the Bard spell progression.

Binder: Online vestiges are banned.

Factotum: To balance with reduced spell power, Factotumsí max spell level is reduced by 1, but you can cast multiple spells from your (new lower) maximum level. Cunning Breach fails against spell immunity. Cunning defense does not stack with improved cunning defense. Cunning Brilliance works off a limited list we will create.

Fighter: I recommend using the Professional (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=332829) mundane class fix.

Healer: Keeps its full progression.

Hexblade: Use the Creator's Fix (http://dictummortuum.blogspot.com/2011/08/hexblades-handbook.html).

Monk: The Monk gets full base attack bonus. Monks have pounce and the ability to lower SR as a free or immediate action. At level 4, monks get powerful build. At level 8 they can apply flurries to standard action attacks. At level 12, they can apply flurries to attacks of opportunity.

Paladin: Codes are relaxed somewhat (including variant paladins). Battle Blessing is a bonus feat. Full turn undead as a cleric, once it's gained. Full caster level. Smites are per encounter. That said, keep in mind alignment norms above. Do not rely on detection and smiting.

Ranger: Effective druid level for animal companions is equal to ranger level minus 3. Hit Dice are D10. A level 6 ranger gets a bonus feat, which can be Sword of the Arcane Order, even if she does not meet the SotAO prerequisites. Wild-Shape is recommended, but see the Shifter (below). If you do not take Wild Shape, gain both combat styles.

Rappeler (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=307935) (Homebrew): Uses the Bard spell progression.

Rogue: I recommend using the Professional (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=332829) mundane class fix.

Shifter (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=15807014) (Homebrew): This class is tier 2 as written. If you wish to use it, I will work with you to craft a fair assortment of familiar forms. I have a lot of experience with this. There will be no Myconid Sovereigns, Shaedlings, Ushemoi, Dire Tortoises, Darktentacles, etc. Empowered Arcane Shape is nerfed.

Shugenja: Uses the Bard spell progression.

Truenamer: Banned. I really donít want to deal with it.

Warlock: Eldritch blast may full attack for iteratives. Damage is fixed up to equal sneak attack. 4+Int Skill points per level. Warlocks get an invocation every level, but must take a blast essence or shape every 5 levels.

Warmage: Keeps its full spell progression.

bekeleven
2014-07-15, 01:28 AM
Prestige Classes
Bans: Anima Mage, Apostle of Peace, Arcane Heirophant, Cancer Mage, Chameleon, Divine Crusader, Dweomerkeeper, Halruuan Elder, Incantatrix, Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil, Moonspeaker, Planar Shepherd, Rainbow Servant, Shadowcraft Mage, Sublime Chord, Thrallherd, Ur-Priest. If I missed a prestige class thatís similar in power to these ones, you may wish to ask me. If you have a really good build that needs one of these for reasons other than their crazy spell shenanigans, talk to me.

Prestige Class Rules: Any prestige class that fully advances casting should have nontrivial entry requirements. If it's just a straight base class upgrade, the first level will not advance casting. This is my call. If you have a prestige class that has nontrivial entry requirement (more than a crappy feat, please), ask if that justifies full casting. Legacy Champion and uncanny trickster cannot extend classes past max pre-epic.

Invisible Blade: Reduce depreciated entry requirements.

Order of the Bow Initiate: Uses 3.0 version from Sword and Fist.

bekeleven
2014-07-15, 01:29 AM
Feats
Bans: Extra Spell an Extra Spell Slot are banned. Persist Spell is banned. Metamagic Reducers are almost all banned Ė mention if you want one in a build. Battle Jump, Body Fuel, Earth Spell, Exalted Companion, Exalted Wild Shape, Initiate of Mystra, Item Familiar, Leadership (and any variation thereof), Planar Touchstone, Reserves of Strength, and Shock Trooper, are banned. Many feats seem useless outside of cheese (Alternative Source Spell, for instance, is used exclusively for hunting ethergaunts). All +2/+2 Skill Feats are removed from any prerequisite lists.

Feat Rules: Any and all methods of exchanging feats for other feats follow the restrictions of Retraining in PHB2. One flaw is allowed. All skill-boosting feats use their pathfinder equivalents, which are strictly better. Weapon Finesse is granted for free. I buff many crappy feats below. Combined feats count as all feats you qualify for, for purposes of prerequisites. If you need a different crappy feat, talk to me and we can maybe work something out.

Dodge: Uses Pathfinder Dodge. When the prerequisites are met, includes Mobility and Spring Attack.

Great Fortitude: Includes Toughness and Improved Toughness.

Invisible Spell: +1 Level Adjust.

Iron Will: Includes Blind-Fight.

Lighting Reflexes: Includes Quick Draw when prerequisites are met. Quick Draw can be used as "Quick Holster" once per round.

Point-Blank Shot: Includes Far Shot.

Two-Weapon Defense: When the prerequisites are met, this includes Improved and Greater versions.

Two-Weapon Fighting: When the prerequisites are met, this includes Improved and Greater versions.

Weapon Focus: When the prerequisites are met, this includes Greater Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, and Greater Weapon Specialization.

bekeleven
2014-07-15, 01:30 AM
Spells and Powers
Bans: Celerity Line, all Polymorph spells, all calling spells. Delicate Disk. Forced Dream, Linked Power, Magic Jar, Psychic Reformation, and True Mind Switch are banned. Guidance of the Avatar, Divine Insight, Consumptive Field, Delay Death, Energy Transformation Field, and Loveís Pain are banned. Most spells above 6th level are banned, even castable through items, but can be used in the creation of existing non-banned items. For instance, Ring of Three Wishes is banned, but a Tome of Clear Thought is allowed. I donít want to play gotcha with a caster, but: this list is not meant to be exhaustive if there are spells with effects exceedingly similar to spells listed. For instance, other spells that give more than +5 to skill checks (like Guidance or Divine Insight).

Spell Rules: Blast of X (in the conjuration school), Doom Scarabs, Cloud spells, Orb spells, and Vitriolic X are moved to the evocation school. Any other spell whose only purpose is to deal damage is moved as well. Healing spells are moved from conjuration to necromancy. If you attempt to negate expensive material or XP components of any spells through any means, talk to me first or weíll be talking after.

Mage Armor: Moved to Abjuration.

Emotion: Emotion is a 4rd level spell, on the list of any class that gets one of its components. It can replicate the effects of Rage, Good Hope, or Crushing Despair.

bekeleven
2014-07-15, 01:31 AM
Items
Bans: Thought Bottle, Manyfanged Dagger, Dust of Sneezing and Choking, Aboleth Mucus.

Item Rules: Item combination as found in the MiC. Standard effects added with no premium, and items may be combined with +50% the cost of all items except for the most expensive. Remember that besides combining existing magical items, all custom magical items must be run by me. Yes, this includes your headband of wraithstrike.

Great Crossbow: Treated as a heavy crossbow for most things.

Sling: Can be Rapid Reloaded as a free action.

Hanuman
2014-07-15, 03:21 AM
Pretty good list of bans, keeps players fairly equal if it's important.

@Backstory Length
I've always thought of backstory length as a negative thing in a depth:length ratio kind of way.

bekeleven
2014-07-25, 11:48 PM
Pretty good list of bans, keeps players fairly equal if it's important.

@Backstory Length
I've always thought of backstory length as a negative thing in a depth:length ratio kind of way.

Certainly a chronological listing of life events can lose me - deep as a puddle and all. I actually built a vecna-blooded human factotum infiltrator for two games. You can compare their writeups if you like - Here's a 2300 (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eTp7a0mEaovt_l76tEAU54DtjHaI1nAVNoFF9U6_hdk/edit) word one, and here's a 2000 (https://docs.google.com/document/d/14rhnLpwPEJtlbFFZBj6uQgGhecanzf4M7bRnP4ySVd8/edit) word one. They're different in format, and neither is a chronological listing of significant life events.

So, same race, same class, same template. But given the freedom of 3 empty pages each can distinguish itself as its own concept. If they just listed college education and important contacts, then yeah, that's way overdoing it. This (http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=722851) is probably the longest "listing life events" backstory I've written, at ~600 words, designed to start play with the character in a bind.

gooddragon1
2014-07-26, 02:03 AM
So if I were gonna play a character it would be this:

Race: Elan (lives forever, a good guy's work is never done, doesn't need to eat most of the time, starting age? absolute minimum possible. Optimized? No it's not but w/e)
Class: Cleric (heal the nasty conditions, buff allies, not squishy if charged)
Domains: Good and Trickery Domains (I'm a good person but I like to use my brain sometimes because I have no skill, these domains are who I am, it just happens that Polymorph any object is on one of them but I don't really care too much about it)
Alignment: Neutral Good (The law is useful but there are exceptions needed to help people, you could make me play neutral but I'd act neutral good... it's just who I am)

Notes: As long as you didn't throw something at the party that required a 9th level spell to deal with I think I'd be okay. I think the phrase I hate to hear most from a DM is "You should be able to deal with this at your level". I hate it very much. I don't believe in backstories but I could make one if I had to.

Feats: Touch of Healing (a reserve feat that allows you to heal allies up to half (more specifically it takes your highest level heal spell memorized into account and heals for 3 times the spell level up to half their hit points so a 3rd level spell heals 9 and if a fighter has 2/50 hp you can heal them up to 25 hp), then whatever (maybe toughness a few times).

Equipment: Defensive focus (who will heal the people otherwise?), let other party members and occasionally summons (limit 1 if possible because lazy and is not nice to overshadow others) deal with stuff.

Why not a druid? Hippy. The woods are there... so are the bugs, and the poison ivy, and the mugginess, and the regret of life for choosing to sleep on a rock, and the...
Why not a wizard? Squishy and you sort of cheese unintentionally.

bekeleven
2014-07-31, 02:07 AM
Dragon, did you post in the wrong thread? I'm not actively recruiting for a PbP campaign. And if I were, your character wouldn't fit the houserules in this thread.

gooddragon1
2014-07-31, 02:18 AM
Dragon, did you post in the wrong thread? I'm not actively recruiting for a PbP campaign. And if I were, your character wouldn't fit the houserules in this thread.

I know, I was just showing a contrasting point of view.

bekeleven
2014-07-31, 02:35 AM
I know, I was just showing a contrasting point of view.

Eh. If a player has a concept in mind that fits the cleric, and can't be fit by anything else, then that's a shame. The point of my rules was to kill the top tiers without a system rewrite. A cleric with adept spell progression is still 3 and possibly 2, but few would enjoy playing one.

If the concept is a backliner that supports and heals allies, play a bard (with marshal dip), don't focus on melee, be awesome. If the concept is a divine warrior, play a healer, use sanctified spells, and be tier ~4.

I never throw something at a party that requires 9th level spells because my parties don't use them. Also, nothing does require them (except shoutouts like Tarrasque or what have you) because they break the CR curve. If you have a 17th level party in an encounter that they could only win with 9th level spells, the encounter is probably CR 28+.

Generally when balancing an encounter or module, I shoot for: An optimized factotum/Bard/Warblade/Binder party could breeze it, a mid-op Warlock/Healer/Barbarian/Rogue party could do it with moderate challenge, and nearly any Monk/Paladin/Swashbuckler/Soulknife party would have severe difficulty.

As for backstories: No, I like backstories. It doesn't have to be long. A paragraph is acceptable. But if you're just like, "I'm joe the healer. I come from... that room at the inn. My parents were... the same race as me. Growing up I... wanted to heal people." Yeah, no. Some groups run hack+slash, when you're sitting around a table drinking beer in the wee hours I prefer it. But I much prefer some RP for PbP. And you can't RP if you don't know who you are. Vague intentions ("I like helping" etc) rarely cut it.

When I outline I'll often have a character appear in a small role or scene. Then I get to writing it and suddenly I can't figure out what he/she would say, how to react to what's happening, so I have to take a break and invent a history. In these circumstances it's often a short history, answering the question of where they came from and why they're now here. That's enough for a bit character. Main characters need biographies, 200 word minimum.

So the real question is, do you want to be RPing a main character or a walk-on? Make more than one dimension. Once you have, writing it down is the easy part.

Carl
2014-07-31, 08:53 AM
If you have a 17th level party in an encounter that they could only win with 9th level spells, the encounter is probably CR 28+.

This is patently false and a look at the average saves for stuff at that tier shows why. Anything CR28 with average for CR or better save will pass any save any 17th level party can dish out on anything but a natural one. Miricale/Wish aside.

bekeleven
2014-07-31, 11:34 AM
This is patently false and a look at the average saves for stuff at that tier shows why. Anything CR28 with average for CR or better save will pass any save any 17th level party can dish out on anything but a natural one. Miricale/Wish aside.

Why does that make that false?

"Parties can defeat level-appropriate challenges without level 9 spells" and "Parties with tier 1s can defeat higher CRs" are not exclusive. Use things that don't require saves, there are plenty.

Besides, a wizard can easily have a save DC of 40 or more by this point, and average will saves for CR28 is only +31.5. 9th level spell, spell focus is DC 20. 18 starting int, +5 Tome, +6 Enh, +2 race, +3 age, +10 horseshoes of flame, +5 levels, then get your artificer to give you +1. Or use the cold DC combo, snowcasting, wear icemail armor, dragontouched, draconic aura (cold), spell focus/greater (cold), easily makes up a difference. Or be a killer gnome casting illusions.

So yeah, tier 1s can do whatever they want. But the best stuff isn't just save-or-die. That's what being batman is all about. If you can't solve ELH challenges with Shapechange you've failed as a gamebreaker.

Carl
2014-07-31, 01:55 PM
There's nothing bar Wish/Miracle, (at least in core), that doesn't allow a save that can deal with CR 28, likewise anything CR 28 or close enough to eb a threat to it has far too many HD for shapechange to allow you to change. Gate/Elemental Swamr e.t.c. are eithier DM resitricted or summon creatures far too weak to be a threat. Likewise without racial silliness and assume every uses the same sort of starting age the best ability modifier to DC is +10, so including core feats you cap out at is 31. if your letting your group exceed that then you inherently breaking what was clearly intended to be the realistic maximum. (IMO Cores biggest issue by far is not laying this kind of stuff out in some kind of guidelines so not just bad hacks would go writing sourcebooks that break them).

Don't get me wrong, 9th levels absolutely break CR appropriate encounters. But if you don't let them move beyond the basic assumptions on things like starting age, race, or DC enhancers core allows they can't scale anywhere close to CR28.

bekeleven
2014-07-31, 02:51 PM
Uh, if you use a list of spells that's "Core only and none of the most powerful 9ths" then restrict to core feats and core creatures, then maybe a wizard would have trouble with CR+11 challenges. I'm not disagreeing there. Are you also banning astral projection? Because that would work too.

That's significantly different from "A wizard can't fight CR+11 challenges in the ELH." A Wizard with 9s has effective power to beat any challenge that gets its CR based on being a meatbag, which to be honest is a lot of them. Maybe most.

One of the reasons I banned wizards, and classes of similar power.

Arkhaic
2014-07-31, 02:53 PM
Why are you nerfing the beguiler? It's tier 3 already.

bekeleven
2014-07-31, 03:00 PM
Why are you nerfing the beguiler? It's tier 3 already.

It's the top of tier 3, and gets foresight, time stop, and moment of prescience. At lower levels it gets freedom of movement + true seeing + Great Invis, which together break 2/3 the encounters of their CR or lower. Plus color spray, sleep, and glitterdust save-or-loses every encounter until level 5, when they get glibness and all encounters against intelligent enemies start to fail.

It's a small list with a high wheat-to-chaff proportion, and they cast it all spontaneously. I just delayed access a couple of levels.

Note that I also banned the dread necro, because of its crazy minionmancy, but its spell list is otherwise worse. Fewer save-or-lose at low levels, and its only real encounter shut-down is... death ward? Maybe another I missed?

Carl
2014-07-31, 04:24 PM
Uh, if you use a list of spells that's "Core only and none of the most powerful 9ths" then restrict to core feats and core creatures, then maybe a wizard would have trouble with CR+11 challenges. I'm not disagreeing there. Are you also banning astral projection? Because that would work too.

That's significantly different from "A wizard can't fight CR+11 challenges in the ELH." A Wizard with 9s has effective power to beat any challenge that gets its CR based on being a meatbag, which to be honest is a lot of them. Maybe most.

One of the reasons I banned wizards, and classes of similar power.

You don't need to ban any of the 9's technically. Off the top of my head about half are SOS/SOD stuff. Shapchange has a HD limit that makes the really scary stuff inaccessible till epics, The rest are various forms of summons or direct damage, (lol irrelevant) and all either have a creature call in type/limit that keeps the CR inflation down, or are subject to DM fiat on what comes through, (which with a non-idiot DM amounts to the same thing as a CR limit). The same DM fiat applies to Wish/Miracle technically, those too are just such annoying spells that it's far easier to ban them than to try and deal with them via fiat. Astral Projection just puts an ethereal copy of you on the Astral Plane so unless the campaign takes place entirely there it's virtually worthless since as soon as you need to actually do anything in the material plane you have to end it get up, go off and actually do something. It would probably be awesome to make permanent on a kingdoms messengers, or create a circle version of it for the same purpose. But as anything related to a campaign on any other plane it's nigh worthless unless i missed an exploit or something.

The only way for 9's to break things to the point of beating stuff 11 levels up is an idiot DM that either doesn't employ DM fiat on the stuff he can to claw their power down, or that allows non-core stuff that would either give spells that are powerful enough for the job without innately allowing DM fiat, or non-core stuff that allows the effects of existing 9's to be pushed to levels way above what core allows.

Like i said, i'm not saying banning 9's is a bad call, because they break CR appropriate encounters quite firmly. But the point they hit the wall is a lot lower if an idiot isn't sitting in the DM's chair.

Daws2727
2014-07-31, 04:43 PM
Looks good...

bekeleven
2014-07-31, 07:59 PM
You don't need to ban any of the 9's technically. Off the top of my head about half are SOS/SOD stuff. Shapchange has a HD limit that makes the really scary stuff inaccessible till epics, The rest are various forms of summons or direct damage, (lol irrelevant) and all either have a creature call in type/limit that keeps the CR inflation down, or are subject to DM fiat on what comes through, (which with a non-idiot DM amounts to the same thing as a CR limit). The same DM fiat applies to Wish/Miracle technically, those too are just such annoying spells that it's far easier to ban them than to try and deal with them via fiat. Astral Projection just puts an ethereal copy of you on the Astral Plane so unless the campaign takes place entirely there it's virtually worthless since as soon as you need to actually do anything in the material plane you have to end it get up, go off and actually do something. It would probably be awesome to make permanent on a kingdoms messengers, or create a circle version of it for the same purpose. But as anything related to a campaign on any other plane it's nigh worthless unless i missed an exploit or something.

The only way for 9's to break things to the point of beating stuff 11 levels up is an idiot DM that either doesn't employ DM fiat on the stuff he can to claw their power down, or that allows non-core stuff that would either give spells that are powerful enough for the job without innately allowing DM fiat, or non-core stuff that allows the effects of existing 9's to be pushed to levels way above what core allows.

Like i said, i'm not saying banning 9's is a bad call, because they break CR appropriate encounters quite firmly. But the point they hit the wall is a lot lower if an idiot isn't sitting in the DM's chair.

Fiend Folio: Zodar is 16 HD, Sunwyrm 12 HD. An abrupt jaunt wizard could defeat a CR26 Infernal with any one of these, or a CR 34 Phaethon. Most Abominations would be tricker since they're immune to most attack forms and have SLAs, plus no access to weapons dipped in god's blood and whatnot. I suppose you could Wish for some, but it falls outside the purview of the standard Wish uses.

Lords of Madness: Overseer Beholder 14 HD, Urophian 12 HD. Any one of these four creatures could defeat a Behemoth (CR 18-19), Brachiasorous (CR 23), Colossi (CR 24-33), Devastation Vermin (CR 39-50), Primal Elementals (35), Gloom (25), Golems (21-25), Ha-Naga (22)... the majority of creatures in the ELH.

Let's try core. Guardian Naga or standard beholder can defeat anything I just listed, besides the abominations, with Ghost Touch Weapon and incorporeality method of your choice. Actually, so could most forms, although some will take longer. Being a beatstick doesn't make one very resistant to alternate attack forms.

There's no creature in the ELH that can kill a level 17 wizard because none of them wield Githyanki Silver Swords (Astral Projection from your magnificent mansion/demiplane, then Plane Shift to the material plane. Extra life!). Maybe one or two that have soul-trapping effects, I haven't compared the rules in-depth.

Wish and Gate both have non-fiat uses (they say you can try improvising, or one of our standard effects...) and either will win a fight with over half the creatures in the ELH.

At minimum, use Tippy's trick and make a scroll of Ice Assassin of your enemy.

These are all discussed to death on these forums and known as the basic ways for wizards to break balance. There are others, but they're generally more complicated. Or involve Sarrukhs.

Also, most optimized wizards will be Incantatrixes, Sevenfold Veilers, Halruuan Elders, Wyrm Wizards, Tainted Scholars, etc. and have those additional tricks up their sleeves.

So yes: Access to 9s, be they wish, gate, miracle, shapechange, astral projection or Ice Assassin, can break nearly any encounter, especially CR-appropriate ones. Chain Contingency, Foresight, Time Stop, or Greater Spell Matrix can make doing so much easier. Hindsight breaks with metamagic. There are other tricks available to divine casters or psionics.

It's possible, although not easy, to break the game with 6th level spells. But you can't do so nearly as badly, there are no extra lives or save game psions, etc., and the problem is manageable enough that a DM doesn't have to say "I ban half the 8th and 9th level spells in every book, plus half of all prestige classes designed for your class" to do it. These house rules are designed to be fast and simple, so I'm not going to comb through every spell in the game and vet them if I don't have to, and I don't have to, because I'm not making a system rewrite.

Even a core-only wizard can effortlessly defeat a CR50 Devastation Beetle. There are plenty of ways to do it. The easiest being just fly, rain down damage of your choice, win.

Coidzor
2014-08-02, 01:01 AM
Do you really have multiple character submissions per player that often? Or is that more of a prospective PbP player thing? :smallconfused:

bekeleven
2014-08-02, 03:44 AM
Do you really have multiple character submissions per player that often? Or is that more of a prospective PbP player thing? :smallconfused:

I've never run a PbP D&D on these forums, but I've seen it happen a couple times in other games I've joined.

In one case one person got in twice and had to RP two characters. It was a thing. I would not have done that had I GMed.