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Olethros
2007-04-09, 10:44 AM
OK, Wizards Rule. Anybody who wants to be anything other than a tasty sack of experience for a wizard after 10th level should play a wizard, or maby cleric, or druid, but those are really just wizards with different spells anyway.

Im getting that out of the way, so we can move on.

I have never played a caster over 10th level, so there are some things I think I'm missing.

For those of you who have actually played a caster above 10th level, not just created a dream build for uber-death mage, how often have you become the supream grand pumba of your group, with all chalanges falling like water before you, the rest of the party superfluous thugs kept around to expidite the looting of the bodies?

For Everybody...

Are casters of this level never suprised, never caught off guard without all of there full defences up? Do the attacks never happen in that dark hour before dawn, when you've only had 7 hours sleep, possibly continuing over the course of the day, or week? Does no one get stabbed in there sleep anymore? Or more succinctly, why are we allways discussing the power of a caster in terms of a stand-up fight? Is there some uber powerfull combination of spells that prevents a player/character from ever being in a situation where the fight isn't fair?

Challenge Rattings assume fully rested characters. In my opinion, class balance does not. So is the problem with class balance really inherent in the classes themselves, or is it in the fact that so many of us when we DM the games, miss the parts where we should vary the kind and dimensions of battles/encounters? My guess is its actually some mix of the two, but I open it to debate.

Ninja Chocobo
2007-04-09, 10:55 AM
Are casters of this level never suprised, never caught off guard without all of there full defences up? Do the attacks never happen in that dark hour before dawn, when you've only had 7 hours sleep, possibly continuing over the course of the day, or week? Does no one get stabbed in there sleep anymore? Or more succinctly, why are we allways discussing the power of a caster in terms of a stand-up fight? Is there some uber powerfull combination of spells that prevents a player/character from ever being in a situation where the fight isn't fair?

Um. Yes, actually.
Magnificent Mansion combined with Private Sanctum prevents sleep-time ambush.
Celerity means that Wizards always go first, with Time Stop countering the repercussions from it.
Forcecage + Cloudkill means that if someone attacks you once, they'll never come after you again.

elliott20
2007-04-09, 10:55 AM
I have found that most casters in my group usually are not logic ninjas at high level and they usually do make a number of what some here would consider very human mistakes. They won't sleep in their MMM, they won't have celerity or foresight up 24/7, and they actually are quite vulnerable because their wizards aren't being played as semi-paranoid individuals with a god complex.

There is also the fact that the GM has often ensured that a large number of our foes tend to not play fair either, and have no qualms what so ever stabbing a wizard who has just depleted all of his spells in his sleep.

So, in gameplay situations? A PC wizard is hardly invincible.

Olethros
2007-04-09, 11:02 AM
Celerity means that Wizards always go first

I have no Idea what this spell does or where it comes from. I may just be being an idiout and its in the PHB, but I can't find it there, nore in complete Arcana.

Could somebody enlighten me?

Ninja Chocobo
2007-04-09, 11:05 AM
It's in the PHBII. Cast as an Immediate Action, it gives you a standard action, but you're dazed next round.
Greater Celerity gives you a full-round action.

Arbitrarity
2007-04-09, 11:10 AM
At 10'th level no, but 20th yes.

Most of the players in my group are pretty suboptimal, although some are wannabe twinks who have no idea how to go about doing it :/. I just built a wizard, who, with some help, took over a pretty impressive ship through virtue of 28 intelligence at level 9, cloudkill, and enemies with relatively poor saves.

The boat was only 60 ft long, an easy target for cloukill. 20 ft radius :D. 40 ft diameter.

Catch
2007-04-09, 11:22 AM
*snip

So, in gameplay situations? A PC wizard is hardly invincible.

A stupid PC wizard can certainly succumb to stabbity death without the DM resulting to "Rocks fall." However, if you're properly Batman (which can be done using only Core and RAW), Wizards are indeed virtually invincible.

It just gets easier with splatbooks. Having a brain helps too.

Olethros
2007-04-09, 11:26 AM
28 intelligence at level 9, cloudkill, and enemies with relatively poor saves.

The boat was only 60 ft long, an easy target for cloukill. 20 ft radius :D. 40 ft diameter.


How did you get an intelligence of 28 at level 9?

This is actually exactly my point about suggesting the uber-power of casters. You were in a possition of strength, while your enemies were without defence or ability of movement (I assume they couldnt sail the boat away from the death cloud). You need not be a student of Sun Tzu to predict victory for the caster. Also, a good alchamist could achive the same thing with a good pot of inhailed poison and a catapult.

Arbitrarity
2007-04-09, 12:12 PM
Ok, 18 int, +2 for boosts, +2 for grey elf, +2 for old, +4 for headband. 28.

Position of strength, hah. I was sailing on a smaller boat, with a smaller, weaker crew, with two other party members (half-dragon fighter and halfling rogue). The other boat had an alchemists fire canon. I was casting while our ship sunk, until we all got over to the other ship.

We stuck them there with a wall of force. Looked like this...

l
l
l (them)
\ (wall)
\ (us at last second)
l
l
l

Crunch. We still got hit with that canon. The wind dispersed the cloud in a round, so we only killed about... 1/2 their crew with it. Glitterdust also helped (poor pirates have lousy will saves). They had an ultimate magus, not that it helped them much. I actually used direct damage to deal with her :(.

Olethros
2007-04-09, 01:06 PM
Ok, 18 int, +2 for boosts, +2 for grey elf, +2 for old, +4 for headband. 28.


"old"? how do you get to be old? (no cracks about eating healthy etc)



Position of strength, hah. I was sailing on a smaller boat, with a smaller, weaker crew, with two other party members (half-dragon fighter and halfling rogue). The other boat had an alchemists fire canon. I was casting while our ship sunk, until we all got over to the other ship.


Your possition of strength is that

a)you were casting from a location difficult to be reached (sinking is not sunk).

b) your enemy was woefully undefended (you said yourself the pirates had horrible saves)

c) the deffences they did have (the ultimate magus guy) was incompetent, either due to bad tactics, bad recon. or under powered for the job.

d) it looks like you had 3 "PC Classes" they had 1, the strength/numbers of the mooks is largly irrelavent at that point.

Arbitrarity
2007-04-09, 01:15 PM
Mooks? None of their members were less than 4 HD, they had a CR 15 captain, at least 3 CR 10 fighters, an admittedly incompetent caster. We had a CR 12 captain, 1 CR 4 cleric, 1 CR 4 druid, 1 ECL 9 fighter, 1 ECL 9 rogue, 1 ECL 9 wizard.

Old is an age category, in PHB, under character description. Gives +2 to all mental stats, -3 to all physical stats. Venerable is +3/-6, middle age is +1/-1.

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-09, 01:24 PM
How do you get to be old? You state that your PC is old at character creation. That's not even an optional alternate rule. You can either choose an age, or roll a random age if you're into that.

Jasdoif
2007-04-09, 01:28 PM
Or more succinctly, why are we allways discussing the power of a caster in terms of a stand-up fight? Is there some uber powerfull combination of spells that prevents a player/character from ever being in a situation where the fight isn't fair? A wizard doesn't win by fighting fair, a wizard wins by utilizing (and creating, if necessary) a superior position, like everyone else. Archers don't refuse to attack distant melee attackers simply because "it's not fair." Melee fighters don't refuse to sunder bows because "it's not fair." Why should casters refuse to use their magic?

All of the discussions about caster power in terms of a "stand-up fight" that I've seen around here were proposed by people saying a very-high-level fighter can easily defeat a very-high-level wizard. A stand-up fight is a position of power for an archer or melee guy, they specialize in that kind of thing. Creating a scenario that favors the fighter isn't any different than altering a scenario to favor the caster. Except that the caster can do it for themselves in-game, not as an arbitrary backdrop for a discussion. (I'm sure you can find some of the threads where even those situations built to ensure the fighter's victory against the wizard fails to do so reliably.)


And teleport is a 5th-level spell, a standard action, a 99% chance of getting you to the vicinity of a spot you're very familiar with, and you can take three of your buddies with you when you get the spell at 11th level. A wizard has a very good chance of retreating from a situation they can't win.

Begle1
2007-04-09, 01:30 PM
Surely not all adventurers are under the age of 40.

Those that live to be that old get very substantial mental bonuses, but more substantial penalties.

It can actually get quite broken if you start statting out 80 year old human wizards or bards.

Counterspin
2007-04-09, 01:34 PM
Well, I don't generally play wizards because 1) they are super powerful, and 2) there's a lot of bookkeeping, but the last time I played a wizard I was indeed dramatically more useful than the rest of the part. Ray of exhaustion + quickened ray of clumsiness will drop lots of stuff in one round, since most monsters rely on big stacks of natural armor and have low dex scores. Same applies to most character-types who use heavy armor.
I was able to parlay that trick, along with spli-maximixed-empowered ray of clumsiness into total dominance.

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-09, 01:35 PM
What it boils down to is this - the more time you spend thinking about what you're doing, the stronger your caster will be. Preparation is everything. A wizard with contingencies, celerity, duelward, and a couple permanent buffs is going to be mighty hard to get the drop on - and spells like rope trick and MM ensure that any wizard over level 5 or so will be getting his 9 hours rest. What you don't use can't help you, though, so you have to actually spend some time preparing in order to have all that later.

With PrC's, yes, virtually everthing falls before you at high enough levels. I was just a caster in a brief epic game (Of note - there is nothing in all DnD more broken and overpowered than the epic casting system) that managed to figure out how to do anything - and I mean anything - at level 25. god mode, here we go. Even sub-epic, though, many of the 9th level spells are strong enough that you can crash even well-built challenges with little resistance. Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil, for instance, makes traps obsolete, as well as just about everything else.

That said, there are ways to make wonderfully effective characters that are not casters. The trick usually involves many of the same things - preparation, forethought, and cleverness. You don't *have* to be just a target for wizards after a certain level - especially in a tight-knit and balanced party with each player supporting the others. Unless a wizard plays a perfect combat, there's usually a way to take him down.

Some anti-wizard tactics (noncaster):

Pincushion - A ranger with big enough damage can axe through stoneskin and set readied actions to pop the wizard any time he tries spellcasting. It's hard to make concentration checks like that on a repeated basis.

Blitz - before celerity/timestop, getting in the wizard's face and giving him a grapple/hug to worry about is a good way to keep him from casting spells. Barbarians, monks, horseback combatants - if it can get in his face quickly, preferably while flying (boots of flying won't always be out of your price range, and a pegasus make a good paladin mount after a while.) it's a good choice.

Outwit - the character sheet may say "Int 36" but a wizard is only as smart, tactics wise, as whoever is playing him. If you can find a way to trick the wizard into a position of vulnerability, preferably right after a fight so that his contingencies/buffs/celerity/etc. will be gone, then you can fight him.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-09, 01:38 PM
Why are you splitting Ray of Clumsiness? It doesn't stack with itself, and it can't reduce dex below 1.

Ramza00
2007-04-09, 01:50 PM
You were in a possition of strength, while your enemies were without defence or ability of movement (I assume they couldnt sail the boat away from the death cloud). You need not be a student of Sun Tzu to predict victory for the caster. Also, a good alchamist could achive the same thing with a good pot of inhailed poison and a catapult.
Amazingly that is what makes the Wizard so good. He can shape the battlefield pretty much at will the higher in level he is.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-09, 01:59 PM
As for the OP--yeah, pretty much. At level 10 the wizard doesn't have foresight or time stop or anything, so you can catch him by surprise, but if you don't kill him in one round, he's probably going to fly out of reach and turn invisible, and then proceed to killify you. He's already got Rope Trick to prevent being killed in his sleep.

At level 20, the wizard literally can't be surprised, and will be popping into a Rope Trick or Magnificent Mansion before he's entirely out of spells.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-09, 02:12 PM
For those of you who have actually played a caster above 10th level, not just created a dream build for uber-death mage, how often have you become the supream grand pumba of your group, with all chalanges falling like water before you, the rest of the party superfluous thugs kept around to expidite the looting of the bodies?
Maybe 3 times. I generally let the rest of the group do stuff. It gets boring if you just single handedly destroy everything.


For Everybody...

Are casters of this level never suprised, never caught off guard without all of there full defences up? Do the attacks never happen in that dark hour before dawn, when you've only had 7 hours sleep, possibly continuing over the course of the day, or week? Does no one get stabbed in there sleep anymore? Or more succinctly, why are we allways discussing the power of a caster in terms of a stand-up fight?
I can make a wizard who can't be surprised, always goes first, and can't be found while he sleeps. Private Sanctum followed by a MMM takes care of all sleep problems and can't ever be found, even by gods. Foresight takes care of surprise and when extended it lasts 6 hours and 40 minutes.


Is there some uber powerfull combination of spells that prevents a player/character from ever being in a situation where the fight isn't fair?
Actually, if you remove the arbitrary constraints placed on the wizard in all of the fighter v. wizard arguments then the fighter will never have a chance. No fight against a wizard in a real game will ever be "fair" for his opponent.

The Gilded Duke
2007-04-09, 02:21 PM
Played a Psion (Telepath) at 12th level and the only non-melee character in the group. Actually hurt my optimization by trying to fill every single party roll besides meleer. Psion's aren't really wizards, but do have much of the power and crowd control of a full caster, with less limitations. I took care of most of the challenges without any problem. Used to have problems against high save creatures, but not after I picked up Ego whip.

I would be out of reach, or otherwise not noticed (I was a changeling and dressed like a hireling most of the time) making the concentration checks to silently manifest abilities. Things died, much easier to cause massave carnage and battlefield control then with a fighter or a rogue type.

Enlarged Energy Wall - Fire works wonders against mass charges.

We decided to not bother rolling the d6's at that point.

As far as weakness.. the limited power pool was definatley a weakness, so there were plenty of times I would hold back and let the rest of the party do the work just so I would have extra power points "Just in case". I imagine in war based games running out of spells would also be a problem for wizards, but they could also beat it by just conserving spells for the most opportune moment.

Tor the Fallen
2007-04-09, 02:24 PM
Remember, unless you're creating a cage with bars, it's Cloudkill THEN Forcecage!

Olethros
2007-04-09, 02:27 PM
Jade Tarem is making my point better than I seem to be able to at the moment.

Casters are terribly powerfull when you hit them at there strengths. Which (atleast lattely) is the point from which the powerfullness of casters has been argued. This is true if we are engineering PC on PC combat, or designing encounters that will be challenging to all-comers.

There strengths, when we boil it all down, are spells. If they can't cast them, because they are out, there being held, attacked, etc there a low HP, low(ish) AC meetsack. (Not new or astounding by any stretch, but stick with me a moment.)

My primary observation, is that if the casters in your group arn't atleast occasionally facing these conditions, the DM isn't doing there part in creating a challenging story/adventure. Alternativly, the party should be earning far less Exp, as the fights are clearly to easy.

To Arbitrarity, you had clear advantage, if looked at only in terms of 3 caster to one, the fact that they had lvl 10 fighters is meaningless if they cant get to you, especially if your smart enough to use your ship as cover. You didn't face the enemy on equal ground.

Note, I agree, if given the oportunity, you should NEVER face your enemy on even terms.

Finally a clerification, by "Stand-up-fight" I was refering to one where trully underhanded tactics were not employed by the non-caster, such as waves of low level mooks from multiple directions to deplete resources, attacking in the night, digging a pit outside the "Door" to the wizards MMM and filling it with snakes (mainly for comedy, but could get nast with better criters in the pit). I did not necessarily mean that caster A stands 40 paces from MeleeGuy B and someone shouts GO, though in that scenario I think most people on this forum are betting on the caster (myself included).

Indon
2007-04-09, 02:32 PM
I have neither played, nor ever seen played, a wizard who was optimized so much they trivialized encounters. Personally, I think that kind of character seems flat and uninteresting, not to mention there'd never be a reason for them to become an adventurer; instead, they'd just hire adventurers. That kind of wizard could be a fine NPC, though.

Really, I don't even understand why someone would make a character like that of any class (except by accident, perhaps, if it turns out you're used to more optimization than your group is); it just seems very boring.

ThunderEagle
2007-04-09, 02:41 PM
you don't have to optimise to trivialise encounters. In one low level game, the party wizard would just cast sleep or colour spray and we would win. heck, he even owned the minor boss with one colour spray. its that easy, and he wasn't even trying to actively trivialise encounters, just using effective spells.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-09, 02:42 PM
Jade Tarem is making my point better than I seem to be able to at the moment.

Casters are terribly powerfull when you hit them at there strengths. Which (atleast lattely) is the point from which the powerfullness of casters has been argued. This is true if we are engineering PC on PC combat, or designing encounters that will be challenging to all-comers.

There strengths, when we boil it all down, are spells. If they can't cast them, because they are out, there being held, attacked, etc there a low HP, low(ish) AC meetsack. (Not new or astounding by any stretch, but stick with me a moment.)

My primary observation, is that if the casters in your group arn't atleast occasionally facing these conditions, the DM isn't doing there part in creating a challenging story/adventure. Alternativly, the party should be earning far less Exp, as the fights are clearly to easy.

The point is that you can never force a level 20 wizard to face those conditions if that wizard is played at the optimum. A level 20 wizard can solo a CR 20 dragon easily. If your about to fight something that you can't beat you just teleport away and come back later to deal with the problem.


To Arbitrarity, you had clear advantage, if looked at only in terms of 3 caster to one, the fact that they had lvl 10 fighters is meaningless if they cant get to you, especially if your smart enough to use your ship as cover. You didn't face the enemy on equal ground.
Still not the point. In a game that isn't deliberately constraining the casters, you can't force an encounter on anything approaching "equal ground".


Note, I agree, if given the oportunity, you should NEVER face your enemy on even terms.
Its not opportunity. The wizard can choose the "battlefield" whenever he feels like in almost every case. The only time he can't is when facing another high level caster/magic.


Finally a clerification, by "Stand-up-fight" I was refering to one where trully underhanded tactics were not employed by the non-caster, such as waves of low level mooks from multiple directions to deplete resources, attacking in the night, digging a pit outside the "Door" to the wizards MMM and filling it with snakes (mainly for comedy, but could get nast with better criters in the pit). I did not necessarily mean that caster A stands 40 paces from MeleeGuy B and someone shouts GO, though in that scenario I think most people on this forum are betting on the caster (myself included).

Waves of low level mooks is easy, use your phantom steed to fly up out of range and wait for them to go home or just take pot shots at them with cloudkill. You have to find the MMM (maybe its on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean and that island is covered in permanent private sanctums) and then get to the MMM. Your last scenario is actually when the wizard is at his weakest. The fighter is prepared for the wizard and has him in a location that the wizard can't just leave and then come back later to deal with the fighter.

Gamebird
2007-04-09, 02:43 PM
For those of you who have actually played a caster above 10th level, not just created a dream build for uber-death mage, how often have you become the supream grand pumba of your group, with all chalanges falling like water before you, the rest of the party superfluous thugs kept around to expidite the looting of the bodies?

By the time I was 10th level as a wizard, yes, the rest of the party was only there to hold the monsters at bay while I (and the druid) killed them with spells. And this in a game where the DM had neutered battlefield control and I'd taken three levels of "suck" (Monk 2 and Expert 1) just to make the other PCs feel useful. I would have been much better off without the rest of the PCs sucking up my spell slots so I could buff them enough for them to survive.


Are casters of this level never suprised, never caught off guard without all of there full defences up?

Intelligently played - no they're not caught off guard. Not ever. Threatening their families works though, since a wizard will find it difficult to protect multiple people outside of himself who insist on continuing their life in a normal fashion.


Do the attacks never happen in that dark hour before dawn, when you've only had 7 hours sleep, possibly continuing over the course of the day, or week? Does no one get stabbed in there sleep anymore? Or more succinctly, why are we allways discussing the power of a caster in terms of a stand-up fight? Is there some uber powerfull combination of spells that prevents a player/character from ever being in a situation where the fight isn't fair?

Irrelevant conditions and all dealt with by other posters.

Dausuul
2007-04-09, 02:53 PM
Private Sanctum followed by a MMM takes care of all sleep problems and can't ever be found, even by gods.

Not true. From the SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/magesPrivateSanctum.htm):


This spell ensures privacy. Anyone looking into the area from outside sees only a dark, foggy mass. Darkvision (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#darkvision) cannot penetrate it. No sounds, no matter how loud, can escape the area, so nobody can eavesdrop from outside. Those inside can see out normally. Divination (scrying) spells cannot perceive anything within the area, and those within are immune to detect thoughts (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/detectThoughts.htm). The ward prevents speech between those inside and those outside (because it blocks sound), but it does not prevent other communication, such as a sending (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/sending.htm) or message (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/message.htm) spell, or telepathic communication, such as that between a wizard (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/sorcererWizard.htm#wizard) and her familiar (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/sorcererWizard.htm#familiars).Note that the protection against magical detection specifically works only on divination (scrying) spells. Any divination spell without the scrying descriptor (e.g., divination, commune) will work just fine.

Of course, getting to the entrance once you've located it will probably require a greater teleport, and you may have a lot of traps to deal with when you get there, but merely finding it does not require particularly high-level spells and can certainly be done.

martyboy74
2007-04-09, 02:59 PM
Intelligently played - no they're not caught off guard. Not ever. Threatening their families works though, since a wizard will find it difficult to protect multiple people outside of himself who insist on continuing their life in a normal fashion.

On the other hand, anyone who's actually playing one of these characters probably killed of his character's family/close relations/everyone he cares about in the backstory. If you're going to these lengths to be all powerful, that's a pretty silly weakness to leave in.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-09, 03:45 PM
Not true. From the SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/magesPrivateSanctum.htm):

Note that the protection against magical detection specifically works only on divination (scrying) spells. Any divination spell without the scrying descriptor (e.g., divination, commune) will work just fine.
Yeah, but now use one of the non scrying spells to find out the exact location of the MMM. Commune is yes or no answers, and if the deity can't scry on your location either then he can't no its location.

Divination gives 1 useful piece of advice. A useful piece of advice is not enough information to teleport their or find it in on a boat.


Of course, getting to the entrance once you've located it will probably require a greater teleport, and you may have a lot of traps to deal with when you get there, but merely finding it does not require particularly high-level spells and can certainly be done.
How can it be done in such a way that you can teleport there? Teleport requires that you have at least seen the place before, which would require scrying, which is blocked. Greater teleport can be done with a reliable description. Divination only gets you a piece of advice, which hardly qualifies as a reliable description.

Dausuul
2007-04-09, 03:57 PM
Yeah, but now use one of the non scrying spells to find out the exact location of the MMM. Commune is yes or no answers, and if the deity can't scry on your location either then he can't no its location.

Divination gives 1 useful piece of advice. A useful piece of advice is not enough information to teleport their or find it in on a boat.

A useful piece of advice could be an answer to the question "Where is the MMM most recently cast by [wizard name]?" Then you roll some Knowledge (Geography) or visit your local sage if necessary.

I'll concede that commune won't help since yes-or-no answers aren't that effective (unless you're willing to spend several weeks narrowing it down with "Is it north of 28 degrees, 5 minutes latitude?"). However, gods have access to epic-level divination magic, which can certainly pinpoint the MMM without having to scry it.

Or, if you're a 20th-level rogue with maxed UMD and access to 8th-level scrolls, just cut to the chase and cast discern location, which will give you chapter and verse about where the thing is.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-09, 03:59 PM
But how do you get into the mansion? RAW, there is no way. The something something Silver Key Eberronian PrC does let you enter Magnificent Mansions, but apart from that...

Olethros
2007-04-09, 04:12 PM
OOPs, missed a page :~/


Actually, it prevents scrying on the people inside the spell, not on the spell itself, or the area the spell is in. Yes, there is no scenario that I can propose that someone else can't compose a counter for. Give me some time with ALL the splatbooks at my disposal, and there is no counter I cannot also counter, and we havn't even opened the dark dirty dispicable door of DM fiat yet. After all in a dramatic story, sometime the bad guy finds a mysterious inscrutable way of getting through your inpenatrable deffences, especially if you have been using the same inpenetrable defences for weeks/months/years, etc. The last time I read MMM it didn't say "This spell makes it utterly and totaly imposible for anybody to ever disturb your rest, no matter what, not even if the DM says so, so there, Nener-nener-nener." Im not saying thats a good solution, but it is a solution for rules abuse.

Refresh my memory somebody, doesn't MMM have a material components cost? And if so, how are these mages affording to cast it nightly in perpetuity?

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-09, 04:13 PM
Even if MMM has a cost, rope trick doesn't, and that's all you really need after level 9.

Counterspin
2007-04-09, 04:15 PM
Urr, infinite money is pretty easy to obtain systemically for a caster. That aside the material components for the mansion cost a whopping 15g. And they're a reusable focus. Everything below quoted from SRD.

Focus

A miniature portal carved from ivory, a small piece of polished marble, and a tiny silver spoon (each item worth 5 gp).

Olethros
2007-04-09, 04:17 PM
Urr, infinite money is pretty easy to obtain systemically for a caster. That aside the material components for the mansion cost a whopping 15g. And they're a reusable focus. Everything below quoted from SRD.

Focus

A miniature portal carved from ivory, a small piece of polished marble, and a tiny silver spoon (each item worth 5 gp).

Ahh, ok, cool. I just didn't remember and my books are out of reach (wrong zipcode ATM)

Counterspin
2007-04-09, 04:17 PM
Then use the handy online srd http://www.d20srd.org

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-09, 04:22 PM
OOPs, missed a page :~/


Actually, it prevents scrying on the people inside the spell, not on the spell itself, or the area the spell is in. Yes, there is no scenario that I can propose that someone else can't compose a counter for. Give me some time with ALL the splatbooks at my disposal, and there is no counter I cannot also counter, and we havn't even opened the dark dirty dispicable door of DM fiat yet. After all in a dramatic story, sometime the bad guy finds a mysterious inscrutable way of getting through your inpenatrable deffences, especially if you have been using the same inpenetrable defences for weeks/months/years, etc. The last time I read MMM it didn't say "This spell makes it utterly and totaly imposible for anybody to ever disturb your rest, no matter what, not even if the DM says so, so there, Nener-nener-nener." Im not saying thats a good solution, but it is a solution for rules abuse.
What rules abuse? Using a 7th level spell exactly how it was intended to be used?

And how are you sure which private sanctum to scry on? There are hundreds if not thousands around the world.


Refresh my memory somebody, doesn't MMM have a material components cost? And if so, how are these mages affording to cast it nightly in perpetuity?

When I need money I just go out a solo an adult black dragon and take his hoard. Standard treasure for a CR 20 encounter is 80,000 GP. Dragons are triple standard. So 240,000 GP every month or so.

Dausuul
2007-04-09, 04:28 PM
But how do you get into the mansion? RAW, there is no way. The something something Silver Key Eberronian PrC does let you enter Magnificent Mansions, but apart from that...

Eh, just sit there and throw greater dispels at the thing until you roll high enough to make it go poof. The SRD doesn't say what happens then, but at best (from the wizard's perspective) the sleeping wizard is now lying at your feet, with his last casting of foresight worn off and open to a coup de grace. At worst, if the DM feels especially vindictive--and a DM who's had to deal with this sort of paranoid wizardry is probably pretty vindictive by this point--everything in the MMM simply ceases to exist, wizard included.

Of course, this itself requires a fairly high-level caster, or a bunch of scrolls of greater dispel at a high caster level... or one scroll of disjunction. Nevertheless, against an opponent with sufficient resources, the wizard is not invincible.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-09, 04:36 PM
MMM says effect: an extradimensional mansion. I'm not sure how you'd go about targeting that with a dispel (or disjunction), since it's, well, extradimensional. You can target the door, I guess, but RAW, we have no idea what that would do. Even if it does work, however--no, wizards aren't invincible... against other high-level casters. It's everything else that they're invincible against.

You're also going to trip an Alarm as you get near the door, incidentally, awakening the wizard.

Really paranoid wizards cast their MMM inside a Rope Trick. I really have no clue what'd happen if the Rope Trick was dispelled. The MMM would suddenly open into nothingness, or maybe into the astral plane.
Boy, if only Wizards had thought this through.
(Well, no. REALLY paranoid wizards then cast a Rope Trick inside one of the MMM's rooms. But that's getting ridiculous.)

KoDT69
2007-04-09, 04:36 PM
OK now we're not talking hypothetical wizard slaughters a fighter in a room 1 million miles underground or anything. Now it seems we're looking at the power level of higher level full casters in general in practical application of a game session. Indeed you can claim invincability all you want, but in a real game session, there can be so many factors that have yet to be posted. Your 20th level caster could be the assassination target of a divine being, or demon lord of some sort. I'm sure he/she has stepped on many toes on the way to level 20. All the hiding and paranoia in the multiverse can't make your 9th level spells immune to higher powers. So in the grand scheme, the DM only has to alter his NPC's to meet the caster strategy if you have an extreme powergamer out to achieve godhood himself. ANY class can get smacked down in a real session against a competant DM if it's called for. Not saying you should smack down a player just because you feel like it, but to keep their attitude in check with the integrity of the gaming group.
Tippy, as our resident (as far as I can tell, no offense to anyone else tho :smallwink: ) wizard power-gaming pro and DM, what kind of stuff do you throw at your party at these higher levels that really put the casters in a pinch? Or what situations has your DM thrown at you to really catch you unprepared? I always remind the players, there is always someone out there faster, stronger, and smarter... :smallbiggrin:

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-09, 04:40 PM
...yes. The DM can have a ridiculously-out-of-proportion, also-spellcasting NPC take down the wizard.
Um.
So...?

KoDT69
2007-04-09, 04:44 PM
Or the creatures or NPC's could be those with immunities corresponding to the caster's common tactics. The point is in a real game no PC is invincable, or it would be pointless for any of the other players to show up. Or the DM could just use superior tactics. Just because your wizard is level 20 and the DM let you get every spell in the multiverse at your disposal does not mean higher level guys aren't out there.

Latronis
2007-04-09, 04:50 PM
Dont forget all this private santum MMM rope trick nonsense is occuring in there personal demi-plane aswell

>_<

Dausuul
2007-04-09, 04:50 PM
MMM says effect: an extradimensional mansion. I'm not sure how you'd go about targeting that with a dispel (or disjunction), since it's, well, extradimensional. You can target the door, I guess, but RAW, we have no idea what that would do.

If the spell's "point of origin" is within the area of the dispel, you can dispel it. The point of origin is pretty obviously the door. Ergo, dispelling it works.

The interesting question is whether the contents of the MMM count as being within the AoE as well. Again, this is really a matter of DM discretion, and wizards who are trying to break the game and be invulnerable are exceedingly unwise to expect help from that direction.


Even if it does work, however--no, wizards aren't invincible... against other high-level casters. It's everything else that they're invincible against.

Question: Does a rogue with UMD and several high-level scrolls count as a caster? Such a rogue is effectively a spellslinger for a brief time, so perhaps it should be considered "caster on caster;" however, the rogue is traditionally considered a non-caster class.


You're also going to trip an Alarm as you get near the door, incidentally, awakening the wizard.

If the rogue knows the alarm is there, which a simple detect magic would answer, all he has to do is include it in the area of the dispel/disjunction. Even if this isn't possible, the wizard's foresight is still down and he hasn't had time to prep spells, and I'm a rogue with Improved Initiative and ungodly Dex. The wizard is now fighting me on something much closer to my terms. Especially if I wait until I know he's just been in a big fight and burned up most of his magic.


Really paranoid wizards cast their MMM inside a Rope Trick. I really have no clue what'd happen if the Rope Trick was dispelled. The MMM would suddenly open into nothingness, or maybe into the astral plane.

Or the whole shebang would explode like a bag of holding inside a portable hole...


Boy, if only Wizards had thought this through.
(Well, no. REALLY paranoid wizards then cast a Rope Trick inside one of the MMM's rooms. But that's getting ridiculous.)

Agreed. :)

Storm Bringer
2007-04-09, 05:00 PM
Out of intrest, is thier some reason why anti magic spells/effects/items appear to be ignored by convention in these mage vs. eveything else fights?

I'm new here, and i really don't see why.

Latronis
2007-04-09, 05:04 PM
Because a wizard can still utilise AMF better, rendering noncaster amf obsolete

I_Got_This_Name
2007-04-09, 05:04 PM
The Mansion is unaffected by outside conditions, from the spell description, so it looks like the worst a dispeller could do is to dispel the portal, which leaves the mage stuck in the Mansion until he decides to teleport out.

KoDT69
2007-04-09, 05:09 PM
They are not core, they counts as custom items. We normally do not consider custom stuff that requires DM intervention. There is also a buttload of spell combos that are overpowered and hence the biased toward the wizard class by powergamers. My guess is that any decent DM getting these stunts pulled on a continual basis will become annoyed, as will the rest of the group. That in turn may cause a smack-down of epic proportions :smallbiggrin:

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-09, 05:18 PM
Or the creatures or NPC's could be those with immunities corresponding to the caster's common tactics. The point is in a real game no PC is invincable, or it would be pointless for any of the other players to show up. Or the DM could just use superior tactics. Just because your wizard is level 20 and the DM let you get every spell in the multiverse at your disposal does not mean higher level guys aren't out there.

The caster's "common tactics" are diverse enough that nothing's immune to all of'em.

No PC is invincible, but some are a whole lot closer to it than others. It's not pointless for the other players to show up, but it can start feeling that way.

KoDT69
2007-04-09, 05:22 PM
The caster's "common tactics" are diverse enough that nothing's immune to all of'em.

No PC is invincible, but some are a whole lot closer to it than others. It's not pointless for the other players to show up, but it can start feeling that way.

And I can agree with all of that :smallcool: It's always more fun when each player gets a time in the limelight!

Dausuul
2007-04-09, 05:22 PM
The Mansion is unaffected by outside conditions, from the spell description, so it looks like the worst a dispeller could do is to dispel the portal, which leaves the mage stuck in the Mansion until he decides to teleport out.

If the portal is dispelled, the mansion goes with it because the portal is the point of origin. If you really want to split hairs, the portal itself is neither inside nor outside the mansion--it's the dividing line between the inside and the outside. So the portal being dispelled is not an "outside condition."

In any case, "condition" implies an ongoing effect, not somebody hitting the portal with a spell.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-09, 05:36 PM
If the spell's "point of origin" is within the area of the dispel, you can dispel it. The point of origin is pretty obviously the door. Ergo, dispelling it works.
I wouldn't say the point of origin is the door. The door's on the edge of the MM, the point of origin is... actually, there isn't a point of origin. The door is part of the spell, though, so I suppose it's reasonable to dispel it.


The interesting question is whether the contents of the MMM count as being within the AoE as well. Again, this is really a matter of DM discretion, and wizards who are trying to break the game and be invulnerable are exceedingly unwise to expect help from that direction.
I'd say it doesn't make any sense for the contents of the MM to count as being within the AoE. How do you even justify that? I could see saying that anything within range of the door (provided it's an area dispel) gets affected if the door is open, but other than that, no way.


Question: Does a rogue with UMD and several high-level scrolls count as a caster? Such a rogue is effectively a spellslinger for a brief time, so perhaps it should be considered "caster on caster;" however, the rogue is traditionally considered a non-caster class.
It's effectively being a caster, really. I'm not sure why you'd want to be a Rogue with UMD instead of an Arcane Trickster or something, at any rate.


If the rogue knows the alarm is there, which a simple detect magic would answer, all he has to do is include it in the area of the dispel/disjunction. Even if this isn't possible, the wizard's foresight is still down and he hasn't had time to prep spells, and I'm a rogue with Improved Initiative and ungodly Dex. The wizard is now fighting me on something much closer to my terms. Especially if I wait until I know he's just been in a big fight and burned up most of his magic.
Rule #1 of High-Level Wizardry: always have an escape route. Namely, a Teleport left unused, maybe a scroll or two.



Or the whole shebang would explode like a bag of holding inside a portable hole...
No, that's quite explicitly Portable Hole + Bag of Holding only, and a remnant of older editions. Besides, there's a difference between extradimensional spaces and nondimensional spaces.


Out of intrest, is thier some reason why anti magic spells/effects/items appear to be ignored by convention in these mage vs. eveything else fights?

I'm new here, and i really don't see why.
Because you have to be a spellcaster to cast Antimagic Field. There are no AMF items.

Olethros
2007-04-09, 05:53 PM
You can't teleport out of the mansion, extradimensional trave is not possiblet hrough teleportation by RAW, and, as pointed out, the Mansion is an extradimensional space.

This does raise an interesting question, what happens to the occupants of the mansion when the durraton runs out?

Im also suddenly picturing a scene ot of hero with hundreds of archers with a redied action to shoot the mage from all directions as he steps out of the mansion with +1 arrows.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-09, 05:56 PM
Yeah, you can't TP but you can plane shift.

Olethros
2007-04-09, 06:23 PM
You move yourself or some other creature to another plane of existence or alternate dimension. If several willing persons link hands in a circle, as many as eight can be affected by the plane shift at the same time. Precise accuracy as to a particular arrival location on the intended plane is nigh impossible. From the Material Plane, you can reach any other plane, though you appear 5 to 500 miles (5d%) from your intended destination.

Note: Plane shift transports creatures instantaneously and then ends. The creatures need to find other means if they are to travel back.




I read this as you cant plane shift out of the mansion, as it isn't on the material plane.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-09, 06:34 PM
I read this as you cant plane shift out of the mansion, as it isn't on the material plane.
You don't have to be on the material plane to plane shift. You are going from an alternate dimension to the material plane. You are guaranteed to end up at least 5 miles away from the people bothering you.

KoDT69
2007-04-09, 06:38 PM
Then could somebody Plane Shift into your MMM?

greenknight
2007-04-09, 06:40 PM
I read this as you cant plane shift out of the mansion, as it isn't on the material plane.

Plane shift works on any plane, but the plane you start from can limit which other planes you can access. The Prime Material Plane is special, since all other planes of existance are available.

Dausuul
2007-04-09, 06:41 PM
Then could somebody Plane Shift into your MMM?

That was my first thought, but the SRD says "only you and those you designate can enter the mansion" and "the place can be entered only through its special portal." So, probably not.

Of course, if you are unceremoniously disjunctioned out of your mansion and find yourself lying at the feet of a grinning rogue who's got initiative on you and a couple of poisoned daggers just itching to plunge repeatedly into your prone and flat-footed self, the question is moot.

Jasdoif
2007-04-09, 06:42 PM
Then could somebody Plane Shift into your MMM?Since the MMM isn't even remotely near the size of the 5 mile minimum offset of plane shift, I would say not.

To say nothing of the difficulty to acquire a rod that would take you into the appropriate extradimensional space.

Woot Spitum
2007-04-09, 06:44 PM
The problem isn't that wizards are invincible, the problem is that all the best ways to counter them are spells, mostly spells on the wizard/sorceror spell list. There are plenty of anti-wizard tactics, but wizards are the best with them.

Clementx
2007-04-09, 07:13 PM
Which makes sense. Arcane magic is a tricky thing- it requires tricky bypasses, which are by nature arcane spells. Divine magic is generally more direct- you undo a Heal spell by smacking the recipient until it loses 150hp again.

As for wizards being invincible, they can force their opponents to go to long lengths to attack them (and believe it or not, people can find your mansion if you make it in the same place for long enough (Divination = "Where will [wizard] leave the Material Plane from next?", and setting up new places requires more spells to improve security).

Wizards being invincible while actively adventuring 4 encounters a day against a variety of opponents in a realistic world where leaving for nine hours undoes most of what you were accomplishing, that is much harder. The demon lord is not going to stop his invasion of Celestia, and the Lich Queen is going to replenish the guardians that were killed. And believe it or not, no game is going to focus on encounters that can be solved simply by teleporting in, casting 5 spells, and teleporting out again 3 minutes later.

TOAOMT
2007-04-09, 08:50 PM
Any DM who has a PC wizard as a god is simply not doin' it right. Can a fully rested fighter take on a fully rested wizard assuming they're both level 20? No... but at the end of the day who do you think is going to win that fight? As for "Kill the wizard" tactics, how does waiting outside the mansion door and sneak attacking him as he exits? Sneak attacking, etc. I've played plenty of DM vs. Players games and I manage to come out as often as not even playing a rogue with the DM running a megatwink wizard as the boss NPC. A superior player can beat a twinked build, and on even skill levels the twinked build still means little if you're doing PvP.

I_Got_This_Name
2007-04-09, 09:33 PM
Even if a Mansion can be dispelled (not entirely sure on the intent. It's a broken spell either way, so dispellability isn't an issue), and can't be teleported from (my mistake. Plane Shift it is), simply waiting outside the door is a waste. The mage is guaranteed to leave the mansion with all hours/level buffs already running, and those are enough to guarantee a round of safety. Toss on the permanent Arcane Sight that the mage has little reason not to use (120 foot Detect Magic, automatically pinpoint auras, and more information, all for just 1,500 EXP? Where do I sign?) and it's nigh-impossible to hide from the mage.

Even if he can't see through the door from the inside (could have sworn he can, but don't have a reference), there's still only one possible ambush point (right outside the door); any later, and the mage looks around and locks on to the rogues' items' aura, and then it's game over for the rogue.

Also, given that I can have 13 hours of Overland Flight per day here, I'd be more likely to stick the Mansion portal in the air than on the ground, and no "short phrase" nor "cryptic rhyme or omen" will give away that position without some heavy bending of definitions or DM pettiness (oh, sure, they might know that I'm in the air. However "127 miles from Sharn, bearing 247.3, altitude 12,000 feet" is hardly a short phrase. More like three).

The weakpoint here, though, is that most of the time, most mages who abuse MMM like this will be too lazy to properly hide it; I'd even consider just popping one up right where I'm sitting (or, above where I'm sitting).

A wizard has even better endurance than a fighter, at high levels. Sure, the fighter can keep swinging his sword until he runs out of HP and the wizard has a limited number of spells, but a proper wizard will be able to do whatever the fighter was doing without running out of spells until the end (or possibly not at all). However, the Wizard has one advantage: nine hours off in someplace that doesn't exist, and all spells are back online, and adapted for whatever the Wizard's fought so far. Fighters don't have that luxury; they not only have to camp in the open (unless they have a wizard to give them a camp), but their resources can take four days to come back (assuming 8 HP/level, counting CON, plus some bonuses such as 1st level), unless they have a cleric to heal them, in which case they're still relying on a caster.

If the demons were attacking, and I could only have one high-level character, they'd be a wizard. Offline for nine hours every four appropriate fights (in this case, EL = CL-4), for an average of 2.25 hours per fight, instead of the fighter, who's offline for four days whenever he runs out of resources (also four fights where EL = CL-4), for an average of 24 hours per fight.

Casters have more recovery ability than melee-types do. Any time a wizard will have to retreat to his mansion for nine hours is a time that the fighter needs to rest for four days, assuming the wizard has been casting efficiently (and not blasting). Items don't count because they just delay the time when you need to rest for four days (until you run out of potions). Any use of healing spells demonstrates this principle, since the person doing the actual recovering is a caster.

Olethros
2007-04-09, 09:59 PM
I qoute again from RAW "From the Material Plane, you can reach any other plane, though you appear 5 to 500 miles (5d%) from your intended destination.

Note: Plane shift transports creatures instantaneously and then ends. The creatures need to find other means if they are to travel back."

No where in that does it say you can travel from any plane to any other plane. It says you can travel from the prime material plane to any other plane, and once there you will have to find some other means back. It does not say that you must cast this spell again to get back for instance. (puposfully splitting hairs at this point, after all if we can logic ninja spells we can logic ninja rules)

In responce to the "Nine hours off" argument. Has nobody ever been placed in a scenario where letting the badguys have there way for 9hourse will result in "loss" even if the wizard technically survives? (Our illustrius OOTS current plotline is a fine example.)

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-09, 10:31 PM
Olethros, "You move yourself or some other creature to another plane of existence or alternate dimension." That's pretty clear.

The bit about the Material Plane just tells you where you can go from the Material Plane, since it'll be the most common place players cast Plane Shift. Other planes aren't necessarily linked together. It in no way means that you can ONLY plane shift from the material plane.

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-09, 10:45 PM
In responce to the "Nine hours off" argument. Has nobody ever been placed in a scenario where letting the badguys have there way for 9hourse will result in "loss" even if the wizard technically survives? (Our illustrius OOTS current plotline is a fine example.)

Oh yes, to be sure. However, when you know that much about your enemy's plans, that makes wizards more effective, not less. It's pretty weak DMing to make the following situation in a vacuum:

"You have to move to place X in Y time without stopping to rest, or else the world will be destroyed."

Generally when you get to the point that you know your enemy's timetable the wizard has already repurposed his spell selection to fight the enemy's tactics.

Also, at high-high levels, a wizard can leave a few slots blank and fill them in just 15 minutes.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-09, 10:50 PM
Also, at high-high levels, a wizard can leave a few slots blank and fill them in just 15 minutes.
I do it almost all the time.

Toliudar
2007-04-09, 11:36 PM
The point is that you can never force a level 20 wizard to face those conditions if that wizard is played at the optimum. A level 20 wizard can solo a CR 20 dragon easily. If your about to fight something that you can't beat you just teleport away and come back later to deal with the problem.

I think the clearest answer to this is "story". If the wizard is facing a time crunch, multiple opponents not previously known to them, a situation that they don't have an opportunity, to scry out in advance - then their absolute immunity goes away. Tippy, your scenario works - a couple times. If a wizard is in a situation where they're having to deal with multiple locations, multiple threats, and a time limit, it limits his/her ability to control the universe.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-09, 11:45 PM
True. You can railroad the wizard into a situation where he can't drastically alter the battlefield. But it is very hard to explain IC why the wizard chooses to deal with that situation.

Dausuul
2007-04-10, 12:06 AM
True. You can railroad the wizard into a situation where he can't drastically alter the battlefield. But it is very hard to explain IC why the wizard chooses to deal with that situation.

Because otherwise the mighty demon lord will complete his thousand-year scheme, emerge from the Abyss, manifest in his true form on the material plane with ten thousand balors and several million lesser demons, and set about wiping out all resistance to his rule. Said resistance most certainly including any pesky 20th-level wizards that might make nuisances of themselves.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-10, 12:09 AM
Wizard: "Ah damn. Stupid demon. Oh well, time to visit the house in Union."
*Plane Shift*
*Greater Teleport*

Not the wizards problem anymore. Or he can just gate in infinite titans and let them destroy the demon hoards.

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-10, 12:12 AM
Because otherwise the mighty demon lord will complete his thousand-year scheme, emerge from the Abyss, manifest in his true form on the material plane with ten thousand balors and several million lesser demons, and set about wiping out all resistance to his rule. Said resistance most certainly including any pesky 20th-level wizards that might make nuisances of themselves.

And every other 20th level wizard/paladin/warrior/cleric-of-opposed-alignment/etc... all of whom are going to just sit around and watch as the demon lord takes down this one wizard, right?

Olethros
2007-04-10, 12:25 AM
And every other 20th level wizard/paladin/warrior/cleric-of-opposed-alignment/etc... all of whom are going to just sit around and watch as the demon lord takes down this one wizard, right?

While I agree with the basic sentament from a "reality" standpoint, a basic premise of any fantacy/adventure story is the "Hero-present." Which is to say, if you are a protagonist, and the action is happening near you, it is your problem as aid/others/those better equiped to deal, will inevetably be to late/needed elsewhere/washing hair.

From a DM standpoint, a player who responds to "the evil (good) menace will achieve victory unless you act fast" with "plane shift, teleport, somebody elses problem," should politly be asked to turn in his character sheet, congradulated on his victory in a roll-playing game you can't win, and if your feeling generous, allowed to re-roll at lvl1, with strict allignment/character concept restrictions.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-10, 12:36 AM
While I agree with the basic sentament from a "reality" standpoint, a basic premise of any fantacy/adventure story is the "Hero-present." Which is to say, if you are a protagonist, and the action is happening near you, it is your problem as aid/others/those better equiped to deal, will inevetably be to late/needed elsewhere/washing hair.

From a DM standpoint, a player who responds to "the evil (good) menace will achieve victory unless you act fast" with "plane shift, teleport, somebody elses problem," should politly be asked to turn in his character sheet, congradulated on his victory in a roll-playing game you can't win, and if your feeling generous, allowed to re-roll at lvl1, with strict allignment/character concept restrictions.

Fine, then the DM cant' complain when I gate in enough titans to fill every square inch of the material plane and have then all attack every demon that they see. All the titans then disappear. Its RAW legal.

How could you justify this wizard sacrificing himself to attempt to defeat this giant demon horde? It is in character for him to leave. Demon horde's invading the prime material is something best left for epic characters to handle.

JoeFredBob
2007-04-10, 12:39 AM
Wizard: "Ah damn. Stupid demon. Oh well, time to visit the house in Union."
*Plane Shift*
*Greater Teleport*

Not the wizards problem anymore. Or he can just gate in infinite titans and let them destroy the demon hoards.

Congratulations. You have proven that a wizard can avoid death. Whoop de doo. Perhaps we enjoy, you know, playing a game. With plot. In which the characters are involved. In any group I've been in if that happened it would be considered a character leaving the plot, and that player would roll up a new character.

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-10, 12:48 AM
Congratulations. You have proven that a wizard can avoid death. Whoop de doo. Perhaps we enjoy, you know, playing a game. With plot. In which the characters are involved. In any group I've been in if that happened it would be considered a character leaving the plot, and that player would roll up a new character.

Ah, hang on now. Lets look at this situation:

A horde of demons is invading the material plane for the sole purpose of not allowing the wizard to rememorize spells while forcing him to fight them. That's the original scenario, from a few posts back. Or rather, that's the scenario's purpose.

The wizard responded (E. Tippy's reply) with a move combo that allowed him to rememorize spells and stated that the wizard really didn't have to fight them.

The universal reply from the other side was "You can't do that! It goes against the plot!"

E. Tippy's reply was, essentially, "What plo..? Fine, then I cheese my way to victory."

And now the response was "You can't do that for vaguely defined reasons! They still have to do with plot!"

A demon lord invading is not a plot. It's a scenario. E. Tippy's response was a scenerio solution - and a perfectly viable one. If not the running-away one, the I-kill-the-demons one was a good answer.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-10, 12:49 AM
Congratulations. You have proven that a wizard can avoid death. Whoop de doo. Perhaps we enjoy, you know, playing a game. With plot. In which the characters are involved. In any group I've been in if that happened it would be considered a character leaving the plot, and that player would roll up a new character.
That is what we call railroading. Lets look at the standard party of 4 level 20 characters. This is IC mind you.

Wizard: "Hey, some demon lord just came through a portal to this plane with a huge horde of demons. What should we do?"
Cleric: "I think we should go and fight them"
Fighter: "Thats a great idea, now how exactly do you plan on destroying a whole horde of demons. The devils have been fighting them in the blood war for the past couple of thousand years and haven't made much head way. We are 4 people."
Rogue: "Yeah, I'm not so keen on this. There is a good chance that I could end up dead."

*Everyone thinks for a bit*

Wizard: "I just had an idea. We all want to do good, but realistically we can't defeat the demon horde. Their are other heroes in the land better equipped to handle this, and who knows, the gods may intervene. We haven't adventured much or done much good on the other planes of existence. I say we go visit Union or Sigil and go do some good there. We may even come across something in our travels that allows us to take on this demon horde with a better chance of success."
Cleric: "Well I don't really like it but your right, its better than staying and dieing here."
Fighter: "Yeah, maybe we can come back later and deal with these demons after we are more experienced."
Rogue: "Hmm, visiting the other planes woudl be fun and I am much more likely to survive, I'm in."


See. How can you IC justify the characters staying around for almost certain death?

If the DM wasn't all railroadey he would come up with other quests and keep them adventuring around the other planes for 5 or so levels and then have them find an artifact or information that allows them to come back and deal with the demon horde.

Olethros
2007-04-10, 12:50 AM
The original scenario was that if the wizard used his normal tactics to memorize his spells, THEN it would allow a deamon lord to etc. etc. etc.



How could you justify this wizard sacrificing himself to attempt to defeat this giant demon horde? It is in character for him to leave. Demon horde's invading the prime material is something best left for epic characters to handle.

A)Who said anything about the wizard sacrificing himself?
B) The whole point is that if the wizard pushes it to the limits, and ideally he has a party of other adventurers around him who don't need 8 hours rest to regain effectivness, he can STOP the demon hord from invading in the first place. The demon hord is the consiquence of inaction/relience on comfortable tactics, not the challenge to overcome
C) How do we know it's in character for the wizard, if the wizard is of good alignment, he has most likely been championing good for 20lvls of adventuring. So now, at the pinical of his power, he's gonna run because he doesnt have time for a nap?
D) A good DM will have allowed for the posibility of success, you may have to search for it, think outside the box, take risks you wouldn't normally take, etc, but its probably there. If it isn't, runing won't help, where ever you go will simply be invaded by deamons, negated, destroyed, whatever.
E) What epic characters? For that matter, what other 20 lvl character other than you and your party? It isn't unreasonable to postulate that you are the only 20th lvl anythings still on this plane, and the beliefe in epic lvl has even less bassis unless your character has run into NPC's of this calaber.

Grr
2007-04-10, 12:52 AM
An anti-magic field will cripple a wizard. A rogue/assassin with poisoned daggers and a readied action can decimate the wizard at that point.


Its RAW legal.
Anyone attempting to pull some kind of bull**** like that with me as DM leaves the game and doesn't come back. Ever. Quoting rules and saying you can do it, RAW, earns you a one-way ticket to Lonely Town. As the DM, I'm there to make sure everyone, myself included, has fun. Smart ass power gaming rules lawyers ruin games.

Counterspin
2007-04-10, 12:56 AM
Olethros started this thread claiming that he was interested in hearing why we thought wizards were powerful. Clearly he, like most of us, he's already made up his mind. Of course, I don't start threads soliciting opinions just so I can trash them.
Once you bring up the plot of the campaign, you've lost the argument. Plot and setting have such a radical effect on game balance as to be immaterial here. If the whole thing happens in an AMF, then wizards aren't great, shockingly. That's why all the real arguments on this topic are strict discussions of RAW. It's the only basis that all of us people, scattered across the world in our different games have for discussion.
Wouldn't it just be easier to admit that MMM is broken? We all are clearly thinking it, and yet we spent a page arguing what is clearly a fact. A big part of the wizard's power is his capacity to avoid plot and rest at will.
And if MMM is broken, guess what, wizards are overpowered. See how I did that?

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-10, 01:03 AM
The original scenario was that if the wizard used his normal tactics to memorize his spells, THEN it would allow a deamon lord to etc. etc. etc.

While this is better, such an extreme consequence - of which the only effect on the party is that it negates a couple of the wizard's advantages - is generally indicative of railroading.




A)Who said anything about the wizard sacrificing himself?
B) The whole point is that if the wizard pushes it to the limits, and ideally he has a party of other adventurers around him who don't need 8 hours rest to regain effectivness, he can STOP the demon hord from invading in the first place. The demon hord is the consiquence of inaction/relience on comfortable tactics, not the challenge to overcome
C) How do we know it's in character for the wizard, if the wizard is of good alignment, he has most likely been championing good for 20lvls of adventuring. So now, at the pinical of his power, he's gonna run because he doesnt have time for a nap?
D) A good DM will have allowed for the posibility of success, you may have to search for it, think outside the box, take risks you wouldn't normally take, etc, but its probably there. If it isn't, runing won't help, where ever you go will simply be invaded by deamons, negated, destroyed, whatever.
E) What epic characters? For that matter, what other 20 lvl character other than you and your party? It isn't unreasonable to postulate that you are the only 20th lvl anythings still on this plane, and the beliefe in epic lvl has even less bassis unless your character has run into NPC's of this calaber.

A) Demon Hordes are nothing to sneeze at. If well designed, they're hard and nasty and they have magic powers and all thier tactics and decisions are based on merit and intelligence. A wizard, even at level 20, is going to have serious problems. There's also the rather ridiculous nature of the scenario - "We can save the world if only we don't let the wizard rememorize spells!"

B) This has already been answered twice in this post alone.

C) Odd, usually it's paladins that are being attributed with the Lawful Stupid alignment. The wizard knows there's no shame in coming prepared. Granted, he should be prepared anyway, at level 20, but there's no point in doing less than your best if it can be avoided. It comes down to cost benefit analysis -something wizards have to be good at. :smallamused:

D) A DM who encourages a party to think outside the box is a good DM. A DM who only leaves one solution to a problem in such a way that one - one - of the party members is shafted right before the big fight is railroading and petty.

E) It is unreasonable. You're the most powerful beings on this plane. Except for these other things. They came here from another plane. They hate you. They're so strong that they can track you down and kill everyone and everything within 8 hours (or 15 minutes, if you really want to stick it to the wizard), but you can avoid this by making the wizard sub-optimal right before a big, campaign-defining fight so that the other party members can feel more special.

Edit (to Grr): Good for you! Well, actually, hang on a minute. Let me give you a scenario that is surprisingly similar to one posted here:

You, a powerful wizard, are tasked with the destruction of a ridiculously powerful force. There is no realistic external help. There are no McGuffins. There will not be a Deus ex Machina. The force will kill everything in a short amount of time. Do you:

A) Use knowledge of the rules of game mechanics and logic to defeat them and save the day?

B) Decide that, really, you should be able to beat 2000+ Demons of unknown type without using your best effort, and get cooked by hellfire?

Congrats! If you picked A, you're now on the track for Lonely Town. If you picked B, you're dead. See the conundrum?

And assassin has nothing on Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil. :smallamused:

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-10, 01:04 AM
The original scenario was that if the wizard used his normal tactics to memorize his spells, THEN it would allow a deamon lord to etc. etc. etc.
So you are sending a whole demon horde to the prime material because you are pissed off that a wizard is taking to many naps?


A)Who said anything about the wizard sacrificing himself?
How else do you expect a single level 20 to take on a whole demon horde?


B) The whole point is that if the wizard pushes it to the limits, and ideally he has a party of other adventurers around him who don't need 8 hours rest to regain effectivness, he can STOP the demon hord from invading in the first place. The demon hord is the consiquence of inaction/relience on comfortable tactics, not the challenge to overcome
Its a railroad consequence. See above. And if I wanted to I coudl make a wizard who can destroy that whole demon horde without the gate trick. Use arcane genesis to create a demiplane where 9 hours there equals 1 round on the material plane. Visit it to regain spells after every encounter, I coudl take out that demon horde in a week or 2 on my own.


C) How do we know it's in character for the wizard, if the wizard is of good alignment, he has most likely been championing good for 20lvls of adventuring. So now, at the pinical of his power, he's gonna run because he doesnt have time for a nap?
No. He runs because how can he really believe that he stands a chance of winning? If he is dead then the demon horde will still be doing evil and he won't ever have a chance to defeat it. It he is alive and on another plane he may eventually find an artifact or some such that allows him to defeat the horde.


D) A good DM will have allowed for the posibility of success, you may have to search for it, think outside the box, take risks you wouldn't normally take, etc, but its probably there. If it isn't, runing won't help, where ever you go will simply be invaded by deamons, negated, destroyed, whatever.
Metagame knowledge. Why woudl the wizard believe that he has any chance of success? The players may know that they can succeed, otherwise the DM wouldn't have thrown the challenge at them, but the character wouldn't.

Remember to roleplay.


E) What epic characters? For that matter, what other 20 lvl character other than you and your party? It isn't unreasonable to postulate that you are the only 20th lvl anythings still on this plane, and the beliefe in epic lvl has even less bassis unless your character has run into NPC's of this calaber.

Actually it is highly unreasonable to assume that you are the only level 20's and that no epic exists. You can reach level 20 with a year's worth of random encounters. 4 equal CR challenges per day means that you gain a level every 3.25 days. So it would take 65 days to reach level 20 ingame.

If you follow the suggested 4 equal CR encounters per day.


An anti-magic field will cripple a wizard. A rogue/assassin with poisoned daggers and a readied action can decimate the wizard at that point.
Not really. An AMF requires that you be another caster (which no one has said can't defeat a level 20 wizard). And even then AMF's aren't that powerful.


Anyone attempting to pull some kind of bull**** like that with me as DM leaves the game and doesn't come back. Ever. Quoting rules and saying you can do it, RAW, earns you a one-way ticket to Lonely Town. As the DM, I'm there to make sure everyone, myself included, has fun. Smart ass power gaming rules lawyers ruin games.

I don't know of anyone who would actually pull it ingame. At least I wouldn't until a DM threw a demon horde at me because I slept to much, and then he wouldn't let me run away.

Olethros
2007-04-10, 01:06 AM
Counterspin is right, we have traveled farther afield than I had intended, and
I think we all do agree that the caster, wizards for this thread in particular, are powerfull, wether or not ithe descriper "over" needs fo in front of that is surely a point we will never come to consensus on. My goal was to get at why opinions lie where they do, what actual in game experiences people have had enforcing those, and the ideas for "balance" that don't involve re-writing rules.

That said, I am rather enjoying the field the discussion has ended up in and don't feel it is to far deviated from the original post. If its alright with you all that is :~)

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-10, 01:08 AM
Counterspin is right, we have traveled farther afield than I had intended, and
I think we all do agree that the caster, wizards for this thread in particular, are powerfull, wether or not ithe descriper "over" needs fo in front of that is surely a point we will never come to consensus on. My goal was to get at why opinions lie where they do, what actual in game experiences people have had enforcing those, and the ideas for "balance" that don't involve re-writing rules.

That said, I am rather enjoying the field the discussion has ended up in and don't feel it is to far deviated from the original post. If its alright with you all that is :~)
Hey fine with me. I like these discussions.

As for balance, when I DM in RL I ignore it. I have good players who don't act cheap so I don't have problems with it.

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-10, 01:13 AM
Hey fine with me. I like these discussions.

As for balance, when I DM in RL I ignore it. I have good players who don't act cheap so I don't have problems with it.

I don't mind either. And yes, no one has said that a wizard should do all this stuff, just that he could.

Grr
2007-04-10, 01:17 AM
Edit (to Grr): Good for you! Well, actually, hang on a minute. Let me give you a scenario that is surprisingly similar to one posted here:

You, a powerful wizard, are tasked with the destruction of a ridiculously powerful force. There is no realistic external help. There are no McGuffins. There will not be a Deus ex Machina. The force will kill everything in a short amount of time. Do you:

A) Use knowledge of the rules of game mechanics and logic to defeat them and save the day?

B) Decide that, really, you should be able to beat 2000+ Demons of unknown type without using your best effort, and get cooked by hellfire?

Congrats! If you picked A, you're now on the track for Lonely Town. If you picked B, you're dead. See the conundrum?

And assassin has nothing on Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil. :smallamused:
There's a difference between using what powers and abilities your character has, and abusing the rules to the point that none of the creators foresaw that issue coming up. This crap about gating in infinite titans is just one of the stupid things that would never, ever be allowed in any game I've ever played in or will play in.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-10, 01:18 AM
I don't mind either. And yes, no one has said that a wizard should do all this stuff, just that he could.
Exactly. Anyone who thinks that you should do most of this stuff deserves a book to the head.

Anyone who doesn't think you can do this stuff similarly deserves a book to the head.

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-10, 01:23 AM
There's a difference between using what powers and abilities your character has, and abusing the rules to the point that none of the creators foresaw that issue coming up.

Oh, do tell.


This crap about gating in infinite titans is just one of the stupid things that would never, ever be allowed in any game I've ever played in or will play in.

Ah, but any game created by an experienced DM like yourself (I'm assuming) would feature solutions to problems that didn't require cheese, yes? The scenario listed, or at least the one that this was the response to, did not.

Counterspin
2007-04-10, 01:24 AM
Olethros "the ideas for "balance" that don't involve re-writing rules"

That, up above this text, is lunacy. Balance in this context, means fixing, and fixing requires you to rewrite or rework the rules. Thus you're asking how you can rewrite the rules without rewriting the rules.
Why do so many people have this ridiculous attachment to the current rules? So much so that it let's then produce sentences like the one above? WOTC has no such attachment. They're constantly issuing changes and erratta, and let me tell you there's several people on this board I trust way more than them to make changes.
If you want do get down to brass tacks, WOTC clearly believes that arcane primary casters, as written, are irredeemably broken from the point they get fourth level spells, or more exactly one fourth level spell - polymorph. Polymorph is banned for anything other than item creation in Living Greyhawk, i.e. Wizards' sanctioned play.
Wizards has decided they don't want to deal with polymorph anymore, so they produced a replacement, the bite spells from the Spell compendium. And if Wizards has decided they don't want to deal with polymorph anymore, I think that's grounds for a rules change.

Olethros
2007-04-10, 01:25 AM
As per the deamon hord will pop if you don't stop them in 8 hours.


(Edit, plot IS hypothetical, even if my little diatribe sounds otherwise)
Im sory I didn't take the time to detail out the entierty of a plot that culminated in a frenzied whirlwind of action. Where the rising action took years of in-game roleplaying, taking the character all the way from lvl1 to 20. I had hoped that would be assumed, I willnot make such a folly again.

The point is not that the Tiranacle DM dropped a plot in the charcters laps, complete with a countdown timer ticking off in the sky. It is that, by the nature of the story told, the action will occassionaly reach a peak that does not allow for the normal rest cycle of 4 encounters and pop-off for a good nights rest. Such a situation is hard on all the characters, fatigue could actually become an issue for fighters other than a spell effect, corse thats where endurance comes in. The fact that it is harder on the casters simply highlights one of there weeknesses, just as flying/incoporial creatures highlights a weekness of melee types. Someone mentioned roleplaying, not all wizards are sniveling cowards when the chips are down. I can esily envision a wounderfull roleplaying scene where the fighter walks up to the wizard and asks why he's got on that discarded chain shirt and just stabed that goblin instead of just hitting it with another magic missile? (my sleep addled ideal responce at this oint is "Iv'e been out of spells for a day and a half, so I adapted, its what Im good at.")

It is not inherently railroading to place players in difficult situations, heck, its specifically encouraged in the DMG. Better ST's will do this in an organic, uncontrived (atleast feeling) manner. But occasionally having the wolves come into camp during 2nd watch instead of 1st or 3rd is ok too.

Grr
2007-04-10, 01:36 AM
Oh, do tell.
Pretty much anything included in any munchkin build thread. I'm all for out of the box thinking, but only if it adds to the enjoyment of the game for everyone. Filling a bag of holding with vials of alchemist fire and then ripping the bag open by some means over a ship just doesn't make me enjoy running the game.

I prefer cinematic and dramatic solutions that don't resort to cheese. Like in Dead Man's Chest with the gunpowder and rum in the net. Anyone can see what they're trying to do. A seemingly empty bag flying through the air is unremarkable.

I guess I like semi-realistic solutions over highly magical ones.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-10, 01:36 AM
As per the deamon hord will pop if you don't stop them in 8 hours.


(Edit, plot IS hypothetical, even if my little diatribe sounds otherwise)
Im sory I didn't take the time to detail out the entierty of a plot that culminated in a frenzied whirlwind of action. Where the rising action took years of in-game roleplaying, taking the character all the way from lvl1 to 20. I had hoped that would be assumed, I willnot make such a folly again.
Oh, so the party has spent 20 levels attempting to stop the demon horde? See that is different.


The point is not that the Tiranacle DM dropped a plot in the charcters laps, complete with a countdown timer ticking off in the sky. It is that, by the nature of the story told, the action will occassionaly reach a peak that does not allow for the normal rest cycle of 4 encounters and pop-off for a good nights rest.
Why though? Ingame before I have told the rest of the party, keep adventuring. I need to regain my spells. I'll teleport to you in about 9 hours. The telepathic Bond can ahndle any emergency communication that is needed.


Such a situation is hard on all the characters, fatigue could actually become an issue for fighters other than a spell effect, corse thats where endurance comes in. The fact that it is harder on the casters simply highlights one of there weeknesses, just as flying/incoporial creatures highlights a weekness of melee types. Someone mentioned roleplaying, not all wizards are sniveling cowards when the chips are down. I can esily envision a wounderfull roleplaying scene where the fighter walks up to the wizard and asks why he's got on that discarded chain shirt and just stabed that goblin instead of just hitting it with another magic missile? (my sleep addled ideal responce at this oint is "Iv'e been out of spells for a day and a half, so I adapted, its what Im good at.")
What is stopping them from resting for 9 or so hours though?


It is not inherently railroading to place players in difficult situations, heck, its specifically encouraged in the DMG. Better ST's will do this in an organic, uncontrived (atleast feeling) manner. But occasionally having the wolves come into camp during 2nd watch instead of 1st or 3rd is ok too.

Oh its easy to do at low levels. The problem is doing it at level 20 is nigh impossible with a well played and optimized wizard. You could maybe fore 6 encounters before the wizard rests, but that requires good planning and is only doable a few times before it seems contrived.

Olethros
2007-04-10, 01:46 AM
What is stopping them from resting for 9 or so hours though?

Oh its easy to do at low levels. The problem is doing it at level 20 is nigh impossible with a well played and optimized wizard. You could maybe fore 6 encounters before the wizard rests, but that requires good planning and is only doable a few times before it seems contrived.

The simple answere is, at the moment, I don't know, I havnt run such a story yet, though I am really getting a strang desire to. My only point is that, such a contrivance does exist, it must, as all stories must when the bounds of fantacy are as wide as a D&D scope allows. And I agree completly, at high levels this sort of situaton can't happen often, ideally it would only happen once, as it would represent one of the most potentially impressive situations for the caster, anything more, and it woud be terribly cheep.

Grr
2007-04-10, 01:48 AM
Oh its easy to do at low levels. The problem is doing it at level 20 is nigh impossible with a well played and optimized wizard. You could maybe fore 6 encounters before the wizard rests, but that requires good planning and is only doable a few times before it seems contrived.
Easy to do at any level.

Plot Synopsis: Ragged portals have begun opening up all over the kingdom, spewing countless demons and devils for a time before sealing up. Divinations and research quickly reveal these tears are merely a pre-cursor to a larger and more permanent portal. A particularly powerful oracle has stated, you have ten days to find a solution or see your home, your family and friends decimated by the demonic hordes. Dimensional magic has become unstable.

The Big Problem: Limited time to find a solution. Random portals appearing all over the place, requiring your attention since the demons are too powerful for anyone else to deal with. Ignoring them will lead to massive suffering, death, pestilence, and plague as the demons have free reign for years to come, even if you figure out how to stop the permanent portal.

I think you're also forgetting that not every encounter has to be one in which you engage in combat. A group of fleeing refugees can interrupt your rest just as easily as anything else. In that situation, you're going to be very lucky to get some rest, or you're going to have a lot of demons running around when you're done resting.

edit: I'm actually in the process of writing a campaign where demons have infiltrated the clergy of a powerful and influential religion in preparation for an all out incursion into the realm. The solution to stopping the final assault, the big portal, is most likely the party sacrificing themselves to seal the portal from the other side. The player's might surprise me though and live.

Which would lead to an epic campaign as the players venture forth into the infernal realms of the demons and devils, seeking a way to escape. Unlike other heavy magic influenced settings, planar travel and other similar magics are very rare indeed.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-10, 01:57 AM
Easy to do at any level.

Plot Synopsis: Ragged portals have begun opening up all over the kingdom, spewing countless demons and devils for a time before sealing up. Divinations and research quickly reveal these tears are merely a pre-cursor to a larger and more permanent portal. A particularly powerful oracle has stated, you have ten days to find a solution or see your home, your family and friends decimated by the demonic hordes. Dimensional magic has become unstable.Isn't the railroad grand?


The Big Problem: Limited time to find a solution. Random portals appearing all over the place, requiring your attention since the demons are too powerful for anyone else to deal with. Ignoring them will lead to massive suffering, death, pestilence, and plague as the demons have free reign for years to come, even if you figure out how to stop the permanent portal.Hey I know. Lets do this the easy way. I wait until the permanent portal is done, use improved invisibility and shapechange, and then greater teleport to the permanent portal. I cast disjunction to destroy it and then use celerity to get a standard action. I teleport away.

No more permanent portal for you.


I think you're also forgetting that not every encounter has to be one in which you engage in combat. A group of fleeing refugees can interrupt your rest just as easily as anything else. In that situation, you're going to be very lucky to get some rest, or you're going to have a lot of demons running around when you're done resting.I'm sleeping in an MMM so none of that bothers me. If you won't allow that then I will sleep inside of a forcecage.

Counterspin
2007-04-10, 02:05 AM
Oh man, I was gonna try the whole "arguments from your personal campaign are entirely irrelevant" line again, but hey, that's not getting any play. This is a fun game, and I would like to play it too.

Plot synopsis : A fighter wakes up, he's been teleported into a room with no exits. His armor has been stripped away. And there's a monster in the room, oh yes, a huge slavering monster which... flies I guess, and has a range attack, and ... maybe, oh wait I've got it, it's immune to non energy damage. The fighter has been stripped of all of his equipment. Sure, he's doomed, but think of the role playing possibilities!

The big problem : You're totally going to buy it, because your DM has decided that "rocks fall you die" is too pithy. Nothing to do but surrender your character sheet to the shredder.

Where's your big scary fighter now, huh, not so tough now is he?

I would like to claim, in advance, victory for the pro wizard side of the argument, now that I have revealed the fighter's grand weakness.

Pro Tip When you get a character to -10 or fewer hit points he dies!

Grr
2007-04-10, 02:17 AM
Isn't the railroad grand?
It's not railroading. It's an epic story waiting to be told. The characters have the choice to let their homeland fall into chaos and ruin or they can attempt to stop it. I've never forced my players to do anything they don't want to. What I do expect, however, is for them to play their characters appropriate to the personality, morals, etc. that they've been playing the characters with.

Hey I know. Lets do this the easy way. I wait until the permanent portal is done, use improved invisibility and shapechange, and then greater teleport to the permanent portal. I cast disjunction to destroy it and then use celerity to get a standard action. I teleport away.
You're assuming a disjunction would work on it and assuming I would allow spells from the PHB II like Celerity.


I'm sleeping in an MMM so none of that bothers me. If you won't allow that then I will sleep inside of a forcecage.
So you would just idly sleep away the night, while some of your comrades get slaughtered by demons? All for a good nights rest?

Artemician
2007-04-10, 02:28 AM
So you would just idly sleep away the night, while some of your comrades get slaughtered by demons? All for a good nights rest?

What you might not understand here, is that being good does NOT mean being stupid. A level 20 Wizard will have bucketloads of int, more than enough for him to know that trying to take on ANY enemy without his greatest strength, a.k.a. spells, is tantamount to suicide. He may not like it, but he knows this, and therefore he will rest.

Terry Pratchett best summed in up, in an exchange between Captain Carrot and Commander Vimes

Vimes: Your girlfriend has been kidnapped, and you're going to sleep?
Carrot: Yes, sir. It wouldn't do any good if I was all tired out when we caught them up, would it?

Grr
2007-04-10, 02:36 AM
That intelligent wizard would also realize not to blow all their spells on each combat, using them only as necessary and utilizing other methods to deal with the problems that crop up, just in case something should keep them from being able to fully rest for eight hours.

Scrolls, wands, potions, clicky items. A single spell or two from the wizard can turn the tide of combat in their allies favor. Or the wizard could blast everything with four or five spells and weaken themselves considerably. The wizards true talents don't like in blasting everything. Instead the wizard is best at controlling combat. Controlling the field.

Even something as simple as a wall of stone dividing the enemy forces for a few moments is enough.

Jasdoif
2007-04-10, 02:56 AM
You're assuming a disjunction would work on it and assuming I would allow spells from the PHB II like Celerity.I don't quite understand your stance here. I mean, if your plan is ultimately to send them into the nether regions in shut down the portal from the other side in a suicide mission, wouldn't it be prudent for the wizard to at least try to disjunction the portal first? They can always trod through your plan if the disjunction fails, afterall....

Even without Celerity, surviving one round to get a (quickened) teleport off has far better odds than...well, pretty much anything on a foreign and hostile plane, especially if you've increased restrictions on planar travel. And the wizard being willing to risk his/her own life (dimensonal lock / AMF + grappling, or the portal being an artifact and the wizard failing the save from disjoining it) to save his/her comrades from certain death...is that not epic storytelling?

Dausuul
2007-04-10, 07:59 AM
I don't quite understand your stance here. I mean, if your plan is ultimately to send them into the nether regions in shut down the portal from the other side in a suicide mission, wouldn't it be prudent for the wizard to at least try to disjunction the portal first? They can always trod through your plan if the disjunction fails, afterall....

Sure, but it's safe to assume the disjunction will fail. The portal is presumably a natural planar connection and thus not subject to being disjoined, even if demons were involved in creating the conditions that led to it. Or there's some other reason disjunction won't work--it's not hard to come up with possibilities. Demon lords are smart. They wouldn't design thousand-year schemes that could be foiled by something as simple as a disjunction spell.

Setting aside the details of individual campaigns, RAW suggests four encounters per day. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the DM will design the adventure so that the PCs are, in fact, challenged with four encounters per day. Therefore the wizard does not get to go nova in one encounter (e.g., the foresight/celerity/time stop/ubercheese discussed above) and then saunter off to his magnificent mansion to catch up on his sleep. If he attempts this, he can expect either to fail outright or to face Dire Consequences of some kind.

The simplest Dire Consequence is some kind of time limit such as the "ticking portal-to-hell scenario" discussed above. D&D has a long tradition of grand storylines which revolve around trying to stop the Evil from getting Out (or In depending on your point of view). If the Evil has a fixed timeline for getting Out, you cannot engage in leisure adventuring.

Now, it does bug me that D&D requires DMs to concoct these time-pressure scenarios, or to devise others which prevent teleporting away to sleep all the time--what I call "caster narcolepsy." And I will certainly concede that magnificent mansion is a problem spell, and that casters are crazy broken at these levels. However, it's not some bizarre perversion of RAW to suggest that a plan for wizard invincibility which relies on going nova and then popping off to sleep is seldom relevant in the context of an actual game.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-10, 08:07 AM
You can nova at least 3 times per day. And encounters do not have to be combat. So 3 combat encounters and 1 other encounter per day is enough for the wizard to get the 4 encoutners per day.

Dausuul
2007-04-10, 08:12 AM
You can nova at least 3 times per day. And encounters do not have to be combat. So 3 combat encounters and 1 other encounter per day is enough for the wizard to get the 4 encoutners per day.

That's up to the DM, and if I'm a DM dealing with a wizard who likes going nova, that fourth encounter is damn well gonna be combat. You certainly cannot count on having that accommodating one "other" encounter.

Nor can you count on every encounter consisting of a single Large or smaller-sized foe who can be forcecaged and cloudkilled to death. You could, of course, teleport away, sleep, and adjust your spell selection to get exactly the right combo for this particular encounter... oh, no, wait, you can't, because you don't have all friggin' year.

JoshuaZ
2007-04-10, 09:57 AM
Really paranoid wizards cast their MMM inside a Rope Trick. I really have no clue what'd happen if the Rope Trick was dispelled. The MMM would suddenly open into nothingness, or maybe into the astral plane.
Boy, if only Wizards had thought this through.
(Well, no. REALLY paranoid wizards then cast a Rope Trick inside one of the MMM's rooms. But that's getting ridiculous.)

No they don't. The SRD says in the Rope Trick entry "It is hazardous to create an extradimensional space within an existing extradimensional space or to take an extradimensional space into an existing one" which means that trying to pull those stunts can lead swiftly to the DM declaring that bad things have happened to the wizard or the wizard's stuff (and this isn't really DM fiat, since it is right in the text). Furthermore, under some readings of that it would mean that it will be dangerous to bring a bag of holding or many other useful magical objects into a rope trick or an MMM.

KoDT69
2007-04-10, 10:46 AM
I'm sure someone will chime in "It doesn't specifically say that in the RAW" in regards to the Bag of Holding inside a MMM, and "But that IS DM fiat" about the ill consequences just because there is no specific repercussion lister as per RAW. That's OK because NO game is completely RAW anyway, like it matters. The first time your DM makes a judgement call that is not specifically covered by RAW, he has houseruled. It can't be avoided.

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-10, 10:55 AM
It's not railroading. It's an epic story waiting to be told. The characters have the choice to let their homeland fall into chaos and ruin or they can attempt to stop it.

No, it's actually railroading. Your "choice" is really no choice at all, as you've stated on multiple occasions. Everything the wizard does leads to the same conclusion - a fight he's ill prepared for with a bunch of badass demons. The power level of the game doesn't mean jack - it just makes it a higher level railroad.

Olethros
2007-04-10, 11:15 AM
4 encounders a day is the recomended number of encounters, not an absolute maximum. Also, if each of those encounters takes say 10 minuets, and happen to occure say 6 hours apart, than you have both the requisite number of encounters/day and the inability to rest 8 hours.

The idea is not the DM "railroading" players into sub-opt "death camp" games. Its that situations will arise where the character just cant sleep/heal/etc. It makes the challenges more exciting. In our "if we don't stop the bad guy in time, the deamons eat the universe" example, the mage probably knows ahead of time that this is the last time he can be sure of a full nights rest, and so can adjust the tactics appropriatly. It isn't ment to place him in a possition of complete weekness, mearly reminf him he has weakness, which he then has to work around.

Sir Giacomo
2007-04-10, 11:37 AM
Hi everyone,

referring to Olethros' original post, I'd join in what likely everyone here has posted to varying degrees: yes, wizards (and sorcerers) are increasingly difficult to catch off-guard with increasing levels. But they never get untouchable, even at level 20. So no need to resort to hordes of demons whatever.

Just as some first shots as to an arcane caster's vulnerabilities/countermeasures vs their magics
- MMM: can be found (see invisibility) and dispelled (may need several attempts)/disjuncted (is automatic). If the MMM is in M's private sanctum, dispel that first. If with alarm, dispel that etc. Non-caster npcs like rogues may do that with sky-high UMD, or those with access to ring of spell storing, or the approx. 30-40% of creatures of CR 13 or higher with access to dispel (as per Monster Manual).
- anti-location/intelligence/research tactics of wizards can be foiled by other spells like contact other plane, commune or the simple extraordinary ability of bards "bardic knowledge" which gives you said wizard's childhood nickname with a DC 30. So if said hiding wizard ever interacts with anyone, that bard is likely to know where the MMM hiding place normally is, what spells he normally prepares, gather information checks can lead you to whether today the caster had an epic battle depleting his resources etc.
- extra action spells/surprise preventer: foresight is only of limited duration and only prevents the wizard being surprised, moment of prescience is not applicable to initiative rolls. The maxed INI non-caster can still go first. This also means that the wizard will not be able to use any celerity spells, since that is an immediate action which cannot be used flat-footed.
- every rogue can steal a wizard's spellbook from him with a DC 20 sleight of hand, it does not matter if the wizard notices it or not. With a -20 penalty (or a +40 modifier), that rogue can steal stuff safely as free action, virtually robbing the wizard blind of all spell components, the spellbook, and magic items that are currently not in his hands and of small and smaller size.
- Generally: anti-magic-fields are the bane of casters. Often it has been posted on these boards that only other casters can use that, and use that better than non-casters. This is of course not true. Again, an UMD maxed Rogue or any other with a ring of spell storing with AMF is an awesome threat for a caster, since the non-caster retains all extraordinary abilities (like feats and rage), while the caster loses almost all class abilities at once, once inside the AMF. If the caster can stay at range, or move out of the AMF before succumbing to attacks and AoO, then the AMF is less of a threat, of course. Vs big monster using AMF like demons or dragons, that is a more tricky issue again.
Ah, and btw, the non-caster with AMF up moves through the Alarm/M'sPrivateSanctum/MMM like a knife through hot butter, getting served a sleeping wizard on the platter.

- Giacomo

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-10, 12:00 PM
- MMM: can be found (see invisibility) and dispelled (may need several attempts)/disjuncted (is automatic). If the MMM is in M's private sanctum, dispel that first. If with alarm, dispel that etc. Non-caster npcs like rogues may do that with sky-high UMD, or those with access to ring of spell storing, or the approx. 30-40% of creatures of CR 13 or higher with access to dispel (as per Monster Manual).

If it can be found it can be destroyed. By you can't find it and no fighter will be able to destroy it.


- anti-location/intelligence/research tactics of wizards can be foiled by other spells like contact other plane, commune or the simple extraordinary ability of bards "bardic knowledge" which gives you said wizard's childhood nickname with a DC 30. So if said hiding wizard ever interacts with anyone, that bard is likely to know where the MMM hiding place normally is, what spells he normally prepares, gather information checks can lead you to whether today the caster had an epic battle depleting his resources etc.
Pick 100 random exotic locations (such as the top of a mountain or the middle of the sahara desert) and place a permanent private sanctum in each. Now you go to a random one whenever you need to cast the MMM.


- extra action spells/surprise preventer: foresight is only of limited duration and only prevents the wizard being surprised, moment of prescience is not applicable to initiative rolls. The maxed INI non-caster can still go first. This also means that the wizard will not be able to use any celerity spells, since that is an immediate action which cannot be used flat-footed.
Extended foresight lasts 6 hours and 40 minutes. Cast it twice and your good for the day.


- every rogue can steal a wizard's spellbook from him with a DC 20 sleight of hand, it does not matter if the wizard notices it or not. With a -20 penalty (or a +40 modifier), that rogue can steal stuff safely as free action, virtually robbing the wizard blind of all spell components, the spellbook, and magic items that are currently not in his hands and of small and smaller size.
It costs 12,500 GP for a Blessed Book. Every wizard should have at least 2 copies of their spellbook hidden in locations that only they know about.

And the one kept on the wizards person is stored in a possum pouch, underneath his twilight mithril breastplate. You won't be pickpocketing it.


- Generally: anti-magic-fields are the bane of casters. Often it has been posted on these boards that only other casters can use that, and use that better than non-casters. This is of course not true. Again, an UMD maxed Rogue or any other with a ring of spell storing with AMF is an awesome threat for a caster, since the non-caster retains all extraordinary abilities (like feats and rage), while the caster loses almost all class abilities at once, once inside the AMF. If the caster can stay at range, or move out of the AMF before succumbing to attacks and AoO, then the AMF is less of a threat, of course. Vs big monster using AMF like demons or dragons, that is a more tricky issue again.

AMF's don't do much at all to a level 20 wizard. They actually weaken whoever is using one.


Ah, and btw, the non-caster with AMF up moves through the Alarm/M'sPrivateSanctum/MMM like a knife through hot butter, getting served a sleeping wizard on the platter.

- Giacomo

You fail to account for finding the MMM. And AMF suppresses the MMM, it doesn't end it. So the only affect is that the wizard can't leave his MMM through the portal until the AMF wears off.

Counterspin
2007-04-10, 12:04 PM
Giacomo
I believe you're right in your interpretation that a MMM can be dispelled. It's a DM call, in general, because the MMM doesn't exist on the Prime Material plane, but for balance reasons I'm for the capacity. Still, this is the thing that I would use contingency for. This is when I'm most vulnerable, and there's no risk of misinterpreting "If my MMM is disrupted" as a trigger.

Your bardic knowledge thing is silly. The argument is that the the wizard is paranoid. He's using teleport to get away from civilization, so no one except him knows where the hiding place is. If the knowledge isn't out there to obtain you can't get it with bardic knowledge. There is no entry on the bardic knowledge chart for "Known by few or one who would never share that information unless tortured or mind controlled" you'll note.

If this epic battle happened near where you are planning this assault on the wizard you don't need bardic knowledge, you need a newspaper, or a trip to the local pub, so I don't see why you'ld bother with bardic knowledge. If it was far from you, you have no access to that information, so you'ld be out of luck. Bardic knowledge doesn't magically inform you of world events, it's a systemic way to represent things you already know.

As for the rogue stealing everything that a wizard owns, all you've pointed out is that the slight of hands rules are also broken. In any game where that is a viable strategy wizards are going to attach their component pouch and spellbook to themselves. Or alternatively they can just store their spell components in something too big to steal, I guess.

Grr
2007-04-10, 12:11 PM
No, it's actually railroading. Your "choice" is really no choice at all, as you've stated on multiple occasions. Everything the wizard does leads to the same conclusion - a fight he's ill prepared for with a bunch of badass demons. The power level of the game doesn't mean jack - it just makes it a higher level railroad.
It's not railroading. The players have a choice. They can let their homeland fall to ruin or they can try to stop it. Both choices have consequences and can lead the campaign in two entirely different directions.

1. Great Success - The players charge through the portal, succeed in closing it, but perhaps at the cost of their own lives. Any that survive the BBEG must find a way to return to their own realm.

2. Moderate Success - The players discover a way to close the portal temporarily. The BBEG is still out there, marshaling his power once again. The players have only bought themselves some more time to find a more permanent solution.

3. Failure - Either the players choose not to face this problem or they fail in some manner, but live on. Demons have overrun their homeland and are subjugating the kingdom. The players have a number of choices at this point.

3a. Join the resistance
3b. Flee to a neighboring kingdom, organize a force there
3c. Flee to a distant land and hope the demons are stopped by someone else


Plenty of choices for the players and as the DM, I don't really care which way it goes. They all will make for lengthy stories to be told and played.

Counterspin
2007-04-10, 12:25 PM
If the characters are all good, as is often the case, then that is most assuredly railroading. Given their alignment, they have no choice but to go along with the plot.
If they are other alignments, I suppose there's less of an argument, but it's probably still railroading. Railroading is when the GM forces you to interact with the plot in a certain way because there aren't any other real options. Letting your world be consumed by demon hordes is only a choice in the mind of a GM desperate to avoid a railroading charge.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with railroading. It's a staple of D&D play, and I use it all the time. I think it's somewhat better to pitch the campaign to the players first and then say "make characters that will be interested and get involved with these events" but it's admittedly a matter of taste.
Don't reject your railroading guys, embrace it! Just use it with disgression.

Toliudar
2007-04-10, 12:36 PM
I find that arguments that divorce characters from context - the paranoid and solitary wizard, without attachments, patterns, or responsibilities to other individuals - to be hilarious in a role playing game. Of course, such a character could be played - probably in a solo setting - but really, how much fun would that be?

I think in regular gaming situations, with more than one player, it becomes the GM's job to figure out ways for the wizard not to completely dominate play. Yes, wizards are powerful. Yes, under ordinary circumstances, they can escape pretty much any situation. The reason for them choosing not to act in that way need not be apocalyptic. "Mom just told me she really wanted that sceptre (currently held in location X/possession of creature Y/etc etc) for her birthday, and the party's in an hour" might be a fun and workable scenario that imposes a time limit on success.

I thought that we were talking about ways to impose limits on the wizard's win, without rewriting the rules. That' what we're talking about. It doesn't have to be mechanics. And constraints are not the same as railroading.

Counterspin
2007-04-10, 12:45 PM
Again with the same crazinesss "impose limits on the wizard's win, without rewriting the rules." Limits are rules. The sentence is self contradictory. The basic premise is bankrupt, because the only way to correct for a wizard's power is through the GM making more rules or a rules change. Because they're overpowered, i.e. significantly more powerful than their equal level fellows.
Additionally Toliudar, why does where a wizard sleeps have any effect on the things you mentioned? Just because a wizard sleeps on the other side of the planet doesn't mean that he isn't doing stuff in his hometown, interacting with other characters, etc. You're coming up with a bunch of unrelated fluff that really has no impact on anything.

Inyssius Tor
2007-04-10, 12:49 PM
Toliudar: Yeah, Tippy said (in another thread) that he actually did this stuff once. It worked... but wasn't exactly great fun to play.

Counterspin: If it was my adventure, I would say that the portals were only kingdom-wide for the time being. It most certainly would not be railroading; the characters could ally with the extraplanar hordes, or they could try to throw some kind of army together, or they could attempt to track down some uber-powerful-yet-reclusive wizard who can fix everything, or they could run away to some other kingdom.
The fact that, if they're all Good, they feel obligated to storm the fortress of Hell... well, that isn't railroading any more than "my son was captured by slavers, if you can't help me he'll be freaking enslaved" is. You're lawful good, you go help the kid.

Dausuul
2007-04-10, 12:49 PM
If the characters are all good, as is often the case, then that is most assuredly railroading. Given their alignment, they have no choice but to go along with the plot.
If they are other alignments, I suppose there's less of an argument, but it's probably still railroading. Railroading is when the GM forces you to interact with the plot in a certain way because there aren't any other real options. Letting your world be consumed by demon hordes is only a choice in the mind of a GM desperate to avoid a railroading charge.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with railroading. It's a staple of D&D play, and I use it all the time. I think it's somewhat better to pitch the campaign to the players first and then say "make characters that will be interested and get involved with these events" but it's admittedly a matter of taste.
Don't reject your railroading guys, embrace it! Just use it with disgression.

Um... okay. If you get ambushed by a ravenous monster, is that railroading because you have to do something about it or get eaten? You have to defend yourself or flee, there are no other real options. A definition this broad renders the whole concept meaningless.

IMO, "railroading" means obvious and implausible efforts by the DM to force the characters back onto the path of the plot whenever they stray. An example would be, if the characters decide they don't want to investigate the dungeon, suddenly one of them has her cohort kidnapped by a monster out of nowhere that then runs into the dungeon. Well, gee, wonder what we're supposed to do.

Now, when the DM sets up the scenario as "Demons will invade your world in 10 days if their scheme is not foiled," that isn't railroading, that's the plot. Here's a situation, deal with it how you please. Sure some of your options are better than others, but that doesn't mean you're being "railroaded" into choosing the non-bad options.

Grr
2007-04-10, 12:56 PM
Letting your world be consumed by demon hordes is only a choice in the mind of a GM desperate to avoid a railroading charge.
No, it's not. Did you ever read anything about the Midnight campaign setting? It was totally about a world where the BBEG won and he's so powerful he can't be beaten. The driving force in the setting was just about survival. Not about defeating the BBEG.

As the DM, I'm totally willing to let the bad guy win if the players make bad decisions. It's just another thread in the tapestry of the story I'm weaving. I'm pretty sure you don't know the first thing about real railroading. You seem to think every D&D game should be like an MMO, where the characters just wander around doing whatever quests they feel like it because the rewards are good.

That's not what rpg's are about at all. They're about choices and consequences within a living, breathing world. If the players decide to ignore some plot hooks you throw out to them, take note of what happens if no one does anything. Maybe a gnoll raid on a small village that the players failed to stop means a clue, trapped in the tower of a dusty old mage in the village is destroyed, making a later adventure that much harder to complete successfully.

Just because the players aren't in the immediate area, doesn't mean things stop happening. When the cheesy wizard takes nine or ten hours to go replenish their spells in their supposedly perfect safety, the world keeps turning. Things keep happening and the wizard could face some bad consequences because of their decision.

Wizards are powerful, but only for a short time. That's why in a real game, they can't just pop over to the swamps and solo kill a black dragon for it's loot or go rest in safety whenever they feel like it. Things happen and keep happening and the wizard won't be able to do everything. Wizards are best as support casters for their groups.

Olethros
2007-04-10, 01:13 PM
Now were really into the logic game, a personal favorite of mine. :smallsmile:


Again with the same crazinesss "impose limits on the wizard's win, without rewriting the rules." Limits are rules. The sentence is self contradictory.

This argument is a falacy. Limits are not neccessarily rules, no more so than all rules impose limits.

Let us Examine;
A) It is currently a rule that a wizard must rest 8 hours before he can (re)memorize his spells. B)It is currently a rule (of nature if you like) that there are a fixed number of hours in a day, traditionaly set at 24 for ease of understanding. C) It is also true that any given task, or suite of tasks, will require a specific minimum amount of time to accomplish, which is to say, there is a limit to haw fast, no matter how efficient you are, something can be accomplished. D)"Deadlines" exist, both as a construct of mortal society (paper due) and as a natural part of the envirnment (If I don't mate by sundown, all the females will be infertal).

If D falls in such a distrobution that C can not accomidate A than a Wizard will not be able to both rest and accomplish the desired goal.

Which is to say, If something takes 16 hours to get done, and I only have 23 hours left to do it in, I wont get to rememorize my spells in that "adventure."

I have imposed a limmit on the abilities of the wizard, but created no-new rules, nore altered any existing rules. Heck I didn't even need rule B.

Now in a rich full story, the taks could take many days/weeks to accomplish, with time for maby a few "good nights rest." But when and how frequent those rest periods will be is an uncertainty. This forces a wizard to re-think his spell expendatures, sparce out casting more, alter his spell list (maby memorising 4 timestops isnt a good idea anymore, maby it is if you cast them at different times), and maby be forced to go a little while as the crappiest fighter in the group (note, he still isnt useless, he provides flanking, can aid, is hopefully a treasutrove of usefull information on the monsters/puzzles/etc encountered).

Though my dear sweat mum woke me early because she needs a sprig of elder red wyrm liver for dinner in 2 hours or shell be the laffing stock of the PTA is way to funny an idea not to use someday.

Counterspin
2007-04-10, 01:24 PM
Well, grr, firstly, you can take your presumptions and throw them out the window. I've made no such attacks on you, I simply disagree on usage of a term, and you're pulled out the whole "Boo hoo, you're not a real role player" argument. Whatever. Spare me.

How is a wizard buggering off to sleep for eight hours significantly different from, I don't know, the eight hours he has to sleep anyway, plotwise? Particularly if he takes his buddies with him?
In a real game they certainly can "pop over to the swamps and solo kill a black dragon for it's loot or go rest in safety whenever they feel like it" because there's magic that allows them to do that. That magic works just as well in "real games" whatever that means.

"Things happen and keep happening and the wizard won't be able to do everything"

Well, yeah, if a wizard doesn't have time to do something, he can't do it. Swell. And noones ever said that wizards can do anything to the point of defeating time and space constantly(Time stop, after all, does at least hold back time, and there's lots of fun stuff to do with space.

Wizards are best as support casters for their groups.

Well that's a thrilling sentence, but not one backed up by any evidence. I think the best way to support your group is to kill the bad guys, rather than buffing. Killing one bad guy a round is better than haste, that's for sure, and disabling several is even better.

NullAshton
2007-04-10, 01:31 PM
Well, grr, firstly, you can take your presumptions and throw them out the window. I've made no such attacks on you, I simply disagree on usage of a term, and you're pulled out the whole "Boo hoo, you're not a real role player" argument. Whatever. Spare me.

How is a wizard buggering off to sleep for eight hours significantly different from, I don't know, the eight hours he has to sleep anyway, plotwise? Particularly if he takes his buddies with him?
In a real game they certainly can "pop over to the swamps and solo kill a black dragon for it's loot or go rest in safety whenever they feel like it" because there's magic that allows them to do that. That magic works just as well in "real games" whatever that means.

"Things happen and keep happening and the wizard won't be able to do everything"

Well, yeah, if a wizard doesn't have time to do something, he can't do it. Swell. And noones ever said that wizards can do anything to the point of defeating time and space constantly(Time stop, after all, does at least hold back time, and there's lots of fun stuff to do with space.

Wizards are best as support casters for their groups.

Well that's a thrilling sentence, but not one backed up by any evidence. I think the best way to support your group is to kill the bad guys, rather than buffing. Killing one bad guy a round is better than haste, that's for sure, and disabling several is even better.


Isn't it generally assumed that fighting a dragon in it's lair is a bad idea, would be way over it's normal CR, and to fight a dragon at it's usual CR you'd have to fight it on equal ground?

Counterspin
2007-04-10, 01:31 PM
Why can't people get it through their heads that if we toned the wizard down you wouldn't have to create whole campaigns with the goal of forcing a wizard to be sub-optimal for one day? You'ld just be able to go about whatever plot line you liked, without needing to come up with cross-planar invasions to rein in the wizard.

As for Null Ashton's comment above, I'm not sure where you're going with it, or why you quoted my whole previous post. Clarify, please?

Grr
2007-04-10, 01:36 PM
I never said anything about you not being a real roleplayer. Just said you have no business criticizing people for their campaign structure and saying it's railroading. You really don't have a clue what real railroading is.

It doesn't have to be a cross-planar invasion. It could be simple war between two kingdoms. Or the wizard ticked off the wrong dragon with all his dragon hunting, and now he's got cults, assassins, other wizards and the like after him. I only used the demon invasion plot because that's the one I'm currently writing. It's a full campaign, from lvl 1 to whenever they finish. There's foreshadowing out the butt throughout the entire campaign. So it's not like the whole incursion is going to be a total surprise.


In a real game they certainly can "pop over to the swamps and solo kill a black dragon for it's loot or go rest in safety whenever they feel like it" because there's magic that allows them to do that. That magic works just as well in "real games" whatever that means.
No, you can't. It simply doesn't work that way in a real campaign setting. There aren't just an unlimited number of dragons sitting around on hordes of treasure waiting for you to hunt them down and kill them with no effort. Any DM that lets you do that, is a moron.


Well that's a thrilling sentence, but not one backed up by any evidence. I think the best way to support your group is to kill the bad guys, rather than buffing. Killing one bad guy a round is better than haste, that's for sure, and disabling several is even better.
You're a typical nuke wizard player that doesn't understand the subtlety of controlling the battlefield. The only way you think you contributed to the battle is by killing something in a spectacular display of arcane might.

I'm glad I don't have you as the wizard in my party.

edit:

Why can't people get it through their heads that if we toned the wizard down you wouldn't have to create whole campaigns with the goal of forcing a wizard to be sub-optimal for one day?
Wizards are fine. It's only certain spell combinations from splatbooks and stupid DM's that make them overpowered.

Sir Giacomo
2007-04-10, 01:41 PM
If it can be found it can be destroyed. By you can't find it and no fighter will be able to destroy it.
(...)
Pick 100 random exotic locations (such as the top of a mountain or the middle of the sahara desert) and place a permanent private sanctum in each. Now you go to a random one whenever you need to cast the MMM.
(...)
You fail to account for finding the MMM. And AMF suppresses the MMM, it doesn't end it. So the only affect is that the wizard can't leave his MMM through the portal until the AMF wears off.

I admit and admitted that it is increasingly difficult to catch an arcane caster off-guard with rising levels. And by lvl 20 it should be nigh impossible, worthy for such a powerful wizard. Mind blank is great protection, as is the MMM/MPS combo.
However, the fighter will be able to destroy it by simply walking through with an AMF. The magic will still be up, but the moment he touches the MMM, the wizard is there in front of him - without his magic, and with your tactics of not using forsight in the MMM, flat-footed, surprised and possibly sleeping.
Finding the MMM in the first place is much trickier.
As a DM I would probably have a rival npc caster let his familiar, with various non-detecting means plus invisibility etc. and of tiny size, sneak into the equipment of said wizard. This familiar could be scried and detected from whereever.



Extended foresight lasts 6 hours and 40 minutes. Cast it twice and your good for the day.


The lvl 20 caster may do it that way. Before that, it's a bit more difficult. But even for lvl 20: you can cast the stuff three times with a greater rod of extending; so it would need 5 slots of your 9th level spells to protect you all day. That means all 9th level slots are gone (1 at best is left if you are a specialist).
Additionally, the only thing the foresight does is that an opponent gets no surprise round vs the wizard. The wizard can still lose the initiative. The spell does NOT exactly predict what kind of threat will happen, but just gives an instantaneous hunch enough to prevent an opponent's suprise round, plus some insight bonuses. That's it. Powerful, but no never-lose-button.



It costs 12,500 GP for a Blessed Book. Every wizard should have at least 2 copies of their spellbook hidden in locations that only they know about.


The blessed books themselves do not provide any magical means of non-detection. So they need to be warded vs locate objects or discern locations. The best way to do that is to keep the books on the wizard with mind blank up (or give the book to trusted friends with mind blank up, but those can get caught). Plus, if the wizard hides the books somewhere he needs to use two greater teleport spells to get there and back without the risk of being mundanely shadowed/tailed/followed, that means 2 7th level spell slots used up per day for such tactics.
Again, overall powerful wizard options available, but not untouchable.



And the one kept on the wizards person is stored in a possum pouch, underneath his twilight mithril breastplate. You won't be pickpocketing it.


A masterthief will. It does not matter where they are hidden/covered by te RAW (and with so many powerful spells around, why shouldn't the non-casters have some really powerful high-level tactics available?). The only quite safe place is a handy haversack, but that the rogue may try to sunder and the items would then drop out. Again, no 100% safety.



AMF's don't do much at all to a level 20 wizard. They actually weaken whoever is using one.

They do weaken everyone (since the magical equipment except artifacts get non-functional), but they weaken the wizard more, who then also loses his spellcasting abilities. A monk with an AMF up, winning initiative and charging 140-180 feet (outside true seeing range) will get the wizard.
The only thing saving a wizard in such a situation is a contingency spell set to "teleport me away as soon as an AMF gets in vicinity of 15ft". But that is fairly specific and also highlights the vulnerability of the contingency spell.
The contingency spell is a powerful tactics, but it is not foolproof. It cannot go off covering all contingencies. Plus, clever opponents can trigger it, leaving the wizard open for the next attack.

Finally, one more option for all the DMs out there (or vice versa, players trying to weaken a powerful BBEG arcane caster): the nightmare spell.
Depending on the situation, you basically shut down the spell refreshing power (whether in MMM or elsewhere) of a caster. The save can suffer a penalty of up to -15 (situation-specific), and you can get several 9th level arcane casters to do it every day. The only help is a mind blank spell, again, available to arcane spellcasters from lvl 15/16, or being an elf.

- Giacomo

Counterspin
2007-04-10, 01:41 PM
Grr, I just don't understand where you're going with all this. If there is a dragon, and I'm stronger than it, and I can find it, I can kill it and take it's loot. This is true for members of all classes. I don't understand how doing so indicates that my DM is an idiot, particularly since that is the classic D&D storyline.
And the line "disabling several is even better" should be pretty indicative of where I am on the controller/nuker side of the equation, so yeah, you're wrong on your quick read.
I wasn't criticizing people about railroading, in fact I view railroading as a necessary and useful tool. To quote myself "there's nothing wrong with railroading"

Jannex
2007-04-10, 01:41 PM
I may be misconstruing what I hear some people saying, but it's sounding an awful lot to me like there are people claiming that plot = railroading. I mean, maybe some people enjoy complete sandbox games with no storyline, but is that really what roleplaying is about? Is that what a DM must provide every single game in order to avoid the accusation of railroading? In any setting with the barest semblance of verisimilitude has events which transpire, and to which the PCs can choose to react in any number of ways or not at all, and each of those options has a consequence associated with it. This, I would think, is fairly basic, and intrinsic to the exercise. This does not strike me as "railroading."

Time-sensitive events are common narrative elements in all sorts of storytelling media, including roleplaying games--and also, coincidentally, in real life. Sometimes, action X must be accomplished within Y time frame, or the bomb will go off/you will fail to meet your contact/the souflče will be ruined/you'll miss your favorite television show. Sometimes, that time-frame doesn't allow a wizard to get his 8 hours of sleep. His need for that 8 hours of sleep is a weakness of his class--just as a rogue's utter ineffectuality against anything immune to critical hits is a weakness of his class. When you run games, do you never send constructs or undead up against your party, because it wouldn't be fair to the rogue? Because if you do, I'd love to play in one of your games.

Counterspin
2007-04-10, 01:44 PM
I would say that if there's only one plotline, yeah, it's all railroading, pretty much. There's only one track to travel down, all the way to the horizon, that's the basis for the name right? But again, despite what grr writes, I don't think railroading is a negative thing, so I'm not worried that it's so prevalent.

Sir Giacomo
2007-04-10, 01:48 PM
Jannex brings up a very valid and important point here. The weaknesses are built into the classes in the rules so that it all balances out WITHOUT needing to railroad characters, nerf casters, always prevent casters from ever sleeping during the adventure etc.

The challenge is simply to find them, both from a DM's and a player's viewpoint.

- Giacomo

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-10, 01:56 PM
I know this has been said before, but I feel the need to re-iterate it.

A lot of people seem to be arguing that wizards are just fine because the DM will build the game/plot/world in such a way that they face difficulties or restrictions, or are in some other way prevented from dominating.

Does anyone feel the need to build a campaign/plot/setting in such a way as to keep the fighter from single-handedly vanquishing every encounter?

Hmm, I wonder why not.

As has been mentioned, fighters and rogues (for instance) have certain enemies they are weak against. Those are built into the default rules of the game. Undead, constructs, aberrations, etc. will always be around at any CR level to give the rogue a difficult time. Similarly there will be ethereal/flying/casting monsters that the fighter has trouble dealing with (admittedly at high levels there are probably too many.) So even just rolling on the random encounter tables, the rest of the party will meet things that give them trouble, and will have to work as a team.

But for the wizard, the game has to be specially tailored? That in itself indicates that there's a problem, at least to me.

I also don't see how these threads always turn into "Here is a powerful wizard strategy." vs. "No DM would ever allow you to do that." There's a very easy answer, and I'm sure both BWL and Emperor Tippy are familiar with it: don't play the uberoptimized wizard every game. Because it's not fun. That solution is IMO just as reasonable as "The DM makes sure you can never prepare enough spells for the given encounters." Oh wait, it's more reasonable.

Grr
2007-04-10, 01:58 PM
I would say that if there's only one plotline, yeah, it's all railroading, pretty much. There's only one track to travel down, all the way to the horizon, that's the basis for the name right? But again, despite what grr writes, I don't think railroading is a negative thing, so I'm not worried that it's so prevalent.
Again, you clearly display your ignorance of what railroading truly is. Plot != Railroad. The plot is there to give the players a long term goal and for the DM to tell a story with. How you get from Point A (the beginning) to Point B (the end) is pretty much entirely up to the players. I have certain key points that I like to hit along the way, but I won't force the players to hit them. These key points in the plot are turning points that can change the ultimate outcome. They may also provide major benefits to the players that make their tasks easier to complete.

Sandbox campaigns are much harder on the DM then storyline campaigns are. If you want sandbox, go play Oblivion or Morrowind. No DM needed. You can run around and do all the widdle meaningless quests you want to and never have to worry about what happens because you character doesn't do something important to the main storyline.

As the DM, I'm there to tell a story and the players are there to take part in it and put their own spin on it. Not to write their own and force the DM to try and accommodate four to six different story lines all at the same time.

This is an example of railroading:

The party is traveling from the village of Glaverston to a small trading post where they heard they can pick up some supplies they couldn't in the village. Along the way, brigands ambush the players and are driven off. Now the DM wants the players to pursue the brigands to discover some MacGuffin to lead them on further adventures.

The players instead continue on their way, happy to have driven off the brigands. This angers the DM who spent hours of his time writing out the adventure for the brigands camp and the dungeon that the MacGuffin leads them to. So he throws more brigands at the party. If they still don't get the hint, the angry DM might throw a powerful force in the way of the players and make them run away.

That is railroading. Having an overall plot to the campaign is not. It's the whole reason for the term campaign.

edit:


But for the wizard, the game has to be specially tailored? That in itself indicates that there's a problem, at least to me.
Spell resistant monsters. Need I say anything more?

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-10, 02:08 PM
Spell resistant monsters. Need I say anything more?Wait, if all you need is to throw some spell resistance monsters in there, what's the point of this whole "you have to save the world in limited time" plot that keeps the wizard from preparing spells? Besides, (as I'm sure many people are about to ninja me by pointing out) there are many things a wizard can do to beat SR monsters.

That's the problem with this argument, is it goes like this

A: wizards are too powerful
B: no, because of spell resistance monsters (or AMF rogues, or whatever).
A: Ok, here's 3 ways to beat those.
B: but they are also beaten by magic-item-equipped fighters (or archers. or whatever.)
A: Here's a tactic that will not be defeated by such things.
...
B: But a good DM will set the game up so you can't DO those things.

Which is putting special restrictions on the wizard, which IMO proves they have a power problem.

Edit:
another argument progression I really love:

A: wizards have a power problem because of certain broken spells/combinations.
B: No, wizards - and their spells - are just fine by RAW.
A: what about (for instance) timestop-cloudkill-dimensional-anchor-forcecage?
B: that's not broken because of (again, for instance) initiative problems
A: Ok, celerity.
B: Tactics like this are cheesy and no DM would allow them.

Which IMO proves that the DM has to make changes to what the wizard can RAW legally do, to power them down. But somehow it's supposed to prove that the spells are just fine? What?

Grr
2007-04-10, 02:15 PM
Wait, if all you need is to throw some spell resistance monsters in there, what's the point of this whole "you have to save the world in limited time" plot that keeps the wizard from preparing spells? Besides, (as I'm sure many people are about to ninja me by pointing out) there are many things a wizard can do to beat SR monsters.
The plot thing is just pointing out how just because a wizard can do something, doesn't mean it's the right course of action to take. The plot is in fact just about saving their homeland, not the world. If they really want to, they can flee their homeland and let it fall. Or they can stay and fight, but if they take the time to rest every night in safety, bad things are going to continue happening while they're resting. It's about choices and what happens as a result of them.


That's the problem with this argument, is it goes like this

A: wizards are too powerful
B: no, because of spell resistance monsters (or AMF rogues, or whatever).
A: Ok, here's 3 ways to beat those.
B: but they are also beaten by magic-item-equipped fighters (or archers. or whatever.)
A: Here's a tactic that will not be defeated by such things.
...
B: But a good DM will set the game up so you can't DO those things.

Which is putting special restrictions on the wizard, which IMO proves they have a power problem.
A fighter can keep fighting all day long, as long they have more than one hit point left. A rogue can do the same thing. The wizard can't. Extended battles that deplete large numbers of spells weaken them. Expecting four encounters only per day is ridiculous. The nature of the plot will determine the pacing of encounters. A good wizard will know this and pace themselves.

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-10, 02:22 PM
4 encounters between rest periods is the stated default for balance purposes.

Edit: therefore, while changing things up so that the party occasionally has to fight 5 or 6 or even 8 battles before resting is a valid thing to put extra pressure on them, you can't do it for a whole campaign without acknowledging that your'e doing something different from the expectation. Which falls under "special restrictions that limit the wizard."

Olethros
2007-04-10, 02:26 PM
Before I write anymore Grr, Counterspin, please don't guip at each other. Id like to see this conversation continue.

To SpiderBrigade, actually I DO specifically set some of my encounters/adventure points to specifically limit the fighters functionality in them, especially at lower levels. Lets face it a 2hand weapon fighter with powerattack, cleave, and greatcleave can very likely take out ever mob of koblads he hits untill level 5, all he needs the caster for is to patch him up every so often. So I throw the occassional incoporial, DR, undead, flying/higher groun, encounter in there so the casters arn't sitting around going "god fighters are way to powerfull (magic missile for 3hp)"

The fact that I have to do the thing for wizards (other casters also) more at high level, where it is harder for me, and the thing for fighters at lower level, where I can just pop in an appropriat monster, does not indicate "THE GAME IS BROKEN."

That asside, I never said the game couldn't be broken, only that it is not inherently so.

Grr
2007-04-10, 02:29 PM
4 encounters between rest periods is the stated default for balance purposes.

Edit: therefore, while changing things up so that the party occasionally has to fight 5 or 6 or even 8 battles before resting is a valid thing to put extra pressure on them, you can't do it for a whole campaign without acknowledging that your'e doing something different from the expectation. Which falls under "special restrictions that limit the wizard."
I didn't say it happened for the entire campaign. Just that any number of attacks from any number of foes or sleep disruptive encounters can happen at any time. The pacing of the plot, the choices the characters have made... those dictate the frequency of the encounters. Not some arbitrary rule that the DM has to follow for balance purposes.

For example the ridiculous dragon-hunting wizard. It might work once, but word will get around to the other dragons and they'll do something about it. Hire assassins, minions & mooks, set up traps... they'll know how to defeat a wizard. Dragons are after all, very intelligent. Usually moreso than the wizard.

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-10, 02:44 PM
The fact that I have to do the thing for wizards (other casters also) more at high level, where it is harder for me, and the thing for fighters at lower level, where I can just pop in an appropriat monster, does not indicate "THE GAME IS BROKEN."

That asside, I never said the game couldn't be broken, only that it is not inherently so.Well, I for one would never argue that the game is unplayably bad. Clearly lots of people play games with both fighters and wizards in them, and have fun. Even people who know how to break a wizard can do this.

The problem is, (and this is why the threads get so heated) some people won't even agree that the game can be broken in the course of normal play. To them, an overpowered wizard is essentially cheating, even though he's just using abilities he has access to by RAW.

There's also a big difference between "I throw some more varied monster types at the party" and the things you have to do to limit casters. As you mention. That's what I'm getting at.

@ Grr:
So the wizard is only under this kind of pressure...sometimes? That sort of defeats your whole argument, from where I'm standing. You're caught on a dilemma: either

A) the wizard's power is mitigated by the fact that he can't depend on having time to rest (in which case the threat of non-resting needs to be constant)

or B) the wizard is not under constant threat of non-resting, in which case he rests and uses his full power.

If A, you're doing something special to curtail the wizard. If B, all of the arguments about why the wizard wins are in full effect.

Latronis
2007-04-10, 02:49 PM
- anti-location/intelligence/research tactics of wizards can be foiled by other spells like contact other plane, commune or the simple extraordinary ability of bards "bardic knowledge" which gives you said wizard's childhood nickname with a DC 30. So if said hiding wizard ever interacts with anyone, that bard is likely to know where the MMM hiding place normally is, what spells he normally prepares, gather information checks can lead you to whether today the caster had an epic battle depleting his resources etc.

and a bardic knowledge check can't reveal something that the wizard and only the wizard knows.


- every rogue can steal a wizard's spellbook from him with a DC 20 sleight of hand, it does not matter if the wizard notices it or not. With a -20 penalty (or a +40 modifier), that rogue can steal stuff safely as free action, virtually robbing the wizard blind of all spell components, the spellbook, and magic items that are currently not in his hands and of small and smaller size.


And the rogue may just find himself trapped in a 10' x 10' windowless forcecage cell with a cloudkill as the book vanishes to a safe location the moment he touches it.

Grr
2007-04-10, 02:56 PM
The problem is, (and this is why the threads get so heated) some people won't even agree that the game can be broken in the course of normal play. To them, an overpowered wizard is essentially cheating, even though he's just using abilities he has access to by RAW.
No, they're twisting the rules and trying to justify it by saying it's done rules as written, rather than what the DM feels would be appropriate for their campaign.


@ Grr:
So the wizard is only under this kind of pressure...sometimes? That sort of defeats your whole argument, from where I'm standing. You're caught on a dilemma: either

A) the wizard's power is mitigated by the fact that he can't depend on having time to rest (in which case the threat of non-resting needs to be constant)

or B) the wizard is not under constant threat of non-resting, in which case he rests and uses his full power.

If A, you're doing something special to curtail the wizard. If B, all of the arguments about why the wizard wins are in full effect.
Neither. It's actually a flaw with how hit points work. The rules just aren't very clear on how long a fighter or rogue can keep fighting. There's nothing clear cut about fatigue or exhaustion. The fighter with 10 hp left fights as well as he did when he had 200 hp, even if he's been fighting for days.

There's no mention of fatigue in the index in with the PHB or DMG. The only reference I could find quickly, is on pg 122 of the PHB and it's about sleeping in medium or heavy armor. A -2 str/dex penalty and not being able to charge or run isn't much of a penalty to a high level fighter.

Olethros
2007-04-10, 02:59 PM
We could very well argue, that the "Im so paranoid I have 10 remote locations for me MMM" wizard is also so paranoid that he witholds spells durring combat "because you never know what is going to happen, I might not get to sleep tonight" This could very well result in the death of other party members/failure in mission/the wizard is kicked out of the group. For those that read 8-bit theater, red mages original refusal to actually cast his spells is a primary, and comical, example of how debilitation "paranoia" actually is.

Counterspin
2007-04-10, 03:00 PM
Grr - "Sandbox campaigns are much harder on the DM then storyline campaigns are. If you want sandbox, go play Oblivion or Morrowind. No DM needed. You can run around and do all the widdle meaningless quests you want to and never have to worry about what happens because you character doesn't do something important to the main storyline."

I'm sorry that you continue to treat this as a confrontation, belittling me at every turn. First I was a bad roleplayer, then I was a bad wizard, and now I'm what, a bad DM, all because we disagree on how to define railroading, a term that appears in no dictionary and has no hard definition, and which I used in a totally non offensive way. I'm not sure who you're angry with, but it certainly shouldn't be me.

As for everyone else, a wizard is not paranoid if there are actually people who will go to extreme lengths to kill him. Those killers do exist, so he's not paranoid. He's just a guy doing his best to survive.

Latronis
2007-04-10, 03:04 PM
Neither. It's actually a flaw with how hit points work. The rules just aren't very clear on how long a fighter or rogue can keep fighting. There's nothing clear cut about fatigue or exhaustion. The fighter with 10 hp left fights as well as he did when he had 200 hp, even if he's been fighting for days.

HP is an abstract system, that represents battle effectiveness (its a ratio of your damage potential\damage you can take vs your opponents) without resorting to a death spiral, which while somewhat realistic is bad for gaming. A fighter with 10hp though he has the same BAB and AC and damage is not as effective as he was 3 days ago with 200hp. He is at that level literally about to collapse and a single blow will often do it. He just can't effectively continue to fight for much longer.

Grr
2007-04-10, 03:07 PM
I'm sorry that you continue to treat this as a confrontation, belittling me at every turn. First I was a bad roleplayer, then I was a bad wizard, and now I'm what, a bad DM, all because we disagree on how to define railroading, a term that appears in no dictionary and has no hard definition, and which I used in a totally non offensive way. I'm not sure who you're angry with, but it certainly shouldn't be me.
Maybe you should learn what railroading really means before you try to tell someone that their plot is one big railroad.


HP is an abstract system, that represents battle effectiveness (its a ratio of your damage potential\damage you can take vs your opponents) without resorting to a death spiral, which while somewhat realistic is bad for gaming. A fighter with 10hp though he has the same BAB and AC and damage is not as effective as he was 3 days ago with 200hp. He is at that level literally about to collapse and a single blow will often do it. He just can't effectively continue to fight for much longer.
Wrong.

The fighter does just as much damage at 10 hp as he did at 200 hp. There's nothing that slows him down at all, just because he has 10 hp left. The fighter is just as effective. The only difference is how long they can survive taking hits. Damage output per attack is unchanged.

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-10, 03:07 PM
No, they're twisting the rules and trying to justify it by saying it's done rules as written, rather than what the DM feels would be appropriate for their campaign.When, exactly? No, really, I want to know. What combination is "twisting the rules?" I'm not saying you're doing this, but nine times out of ten when someone uses this argument, "what the DM feels would be appropriate for their campaign" really means "the DM feels certain spell combos are cheesy/overpowered, and should not be used." Which, guess what: means houseruling to remove a balance problem.

So yes, please clarify which tactics are "bending the rules."

Grr
2007-04-10, 03:19 PM
When, exactly? No, really, I want to know. What combination is "twisting the rules?" I'm not saying you're doing this, but nine times out of ten when someone uses this argument, "what the DM feels would be appropriate for their campaign" really means "the DM feels certain spell combos are cheesy/overpowered, and should not be used." Which, guess what: means houseruling to remove a balance problem.

So yes, please clarify which tactics are "bending the rules."
Yes, it means house ruling a balance problem that the DM feels is cheesy and overpowered. However, it's not limited to just spell casters. Spells are the most obvious though. Especially when you take spells from a dozen different sources and use them together.

Olethros
2007-04-10, 03:31 PM
For me personally, you want to teleport to remote location X that somehow you know of, place a permenent santum on, cast MMM to get some sleep where you cant be stabed in your sleep by a pesky rouge, that isn't breaking game balance. You have used atleast 3 spell slots/day, or some other expendable resource, to do this. If I as a DM think this is an unwise use of those 3 spell slots, it is my responcibility to point this out, either in polite side conversation, or with a plotline where such actions are unadvisable/imposible.

Same goes for Forsight/Celerity/Timestop/buff/buff/buff/forcecage/cloudkill, (I don't know the "optimal sequence here) ha, you thought I was suprised. OK, go for it, use it even resembling often (in the world of combat, the same trick done 3 times is a recipe for suicide), and expect a responce like, Awsome, you countered the Roge4/assasin4, who was the apprentice of, and distraction for, Rogue10/Assasin10 Ring of greater invisibility, boots of flying, helm of teleportation etc,etc,etc, who' was watching you for the 3 rounds you killed his apprentice. I know, there are countermoves for both of these counters, thats what makes the game fun.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-10, 03:43 PM
If you kill everyone with your forcecage/cloudkill, how would word get out that you do that? Someone who is capable of analyzing the specfics--namely, another wizard--has no reason to tell everyone about it, since they'd rather keep the Arcane Mysteries of Magic secret. Furthermore, how WOULD they tell everyone about it? They could tell a hired assassin, but it's not like an invisibile rogue 10/assassin 10 is much of a concern.

Grr
2007-04-10, 03:49 PM
For me personally, you want to teleport to remote location X that somehow you know of, place a permenent santum on, cast MMM to get some sleep where you cant be stabed in your sleep by a pesky rouge, that isn't breaking game balance. You have used atleast 3 spell slots/day, or some other expendable resource, to do this. If I as a DM think this is an unwise use of those 3 spell slots, it is my responcibility to point this out, either in polite side conversation, or with a plotline where such actions are unadvisable/imposible.

Same goes for Forsight/Celerity/Timestop/buff/buff/buff/forcecage/cloudkill, (I don't know the "optimal sequence here) ha, you thought I was suprised. OK, go for it, use it even resembling often (in the world of combat, the same trick done 3 times is a recipe for suicide), and expect a responce like, Awsome, you countered the Roge4/assasin4, who was the apprentice of, and distraction for, Rogue10/Assasin10 Ring of greater invisibility, boots of flying, helm of teleportation etc,etc,etc, who' was watching you for the 3 rounds you killed his apprentice. I know, there are countermoves for both of these counters, thats what makes the game fun.
Spells like timestop are the reason I make them earn their spells when they level, rather than simply assume they get free spells at each level. The magic shops like a candy store simply don't jive with my DM style. Magic is supposed to be, well... magical. Not the equivalent of moder day technology where everyone has access to it.

Dausuul
2007-04-10, 04:09 PM
I can't speak for anyone else, but my position is as follows:

#1. Casters are crazily overpowered at high levels.
#2. This does not mean that casters automatically win the campaign at high levels.

The chief balancing factor on high-level casters is the RAW guideline of 4 encounters a day. A DM who adheres to this guideline and hits the PCs with 4 encounters a day will find casters to be still way too strong, but not utterly untouchable.

The effort involved in forcing a high-level caster to actually face all 4 encounters in the same day is non-trivial, substantially harder than providing a challenge for the party fighter. This is a major flaw in the system and needs to be fixed. However, playing "by the book," it is part of the DM's job to do what it takes to produce those 4 encounters.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-10, 04:10 PM
Magic is supposed to be, well... magical. Not the equivalent of moder day technology where everyone has access to it.

First of all--in D&D, everyone who can afford it IS supposed to have access to it!

Secondly, the PCs aren't everyone. They're a small, incredibly wealthy (at higher levels) subset of people. The vast majority of people will never see a magic item.

Latronis
2007-04-10, 04:13 PM
Maybe you should learn what railroading really means before you try to tell someone that their plot is one big railroad.


Wrong.

The fighter does just as much damage at 10 hp as he did at 200 hp. There's nothing that slows him down at all, just because he has 10 hp left. The fighter is just as effective. The only difference is how long they can survive taking hits. Damage output per attack is unchanged.

Your reading comprehension really is subpar

I said damage potential compared to damage you can take is reduced, as in how much damage you can deal before biting it, I even later stated that damage isn't changed. Your HP is a measure of effectiveness. You've been fighting for 3 days you simply can't take much more, indeed with 10hp one hit is quite likely the end of you. A fighter can't fight forever with 10hp because he will be taking damage, hence he's nigh-useless\a liability without magical aid and\or plenty of rest.

Grr
2007-04-10, 04:13 PM
First of all--in D&D, everyone who can afford it IS supposed to have access to it!
Wrong. You're assuming every campaign setting is precisely the same and follows the PHB and DMG 100% as they are.

Grr
2007-04-10, 04:15 PM
Your reading comprehension really is subpar
Your insults are really pathetic.


I said damage potential compared to damage you can take is reduced, as in how much damage you can deal before biting it, I even later stated that damage isn't changed. Your HP is a measure of effectiveness. You've been fighting for 3 days you simply can't take much more, indeed with 10hp one hit is quite likely the end of you. A fighter can't fight forever with 10hp because he will be taking damage, hence he's nigh-useless\a liability without magical aid and\or plenty of rest.
Damage potential from a fighter with 10hp is the same as a fighter with 200hp. There's no statistical difference between them when it comes to dealing damage. That's the only point I was making. You're bringing in other factors into that I don't simply care about. A wizard that has used up spells over the past three days without rest simply doesn't have the same capabilities as they did when they had all their spells. The fighter does. His ability to cause damage is unchanged.

KoDT69
2007-04-10, 04:39 PM
If you kill everyone with your forcecage/cloudkill, how would word get out that you do that? Someone who is capable of analyzing the specfics--namely, another wizard--has no reason to tell everyone about it, since they'd rather keep the Arcane Mysteries of Magic secret. Furthermore, how WOULD they tell everyone about it? They could tell a hired assassin, but it's not like an invisibile rogue 10/assassin 10 is much of a concern.

Actually a Resurrection spell is not all that hard to come by if you face wizards that are capable of this :smalltongue: Just an observation.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-10, 04:44 PM
Wrong. You're assuming every campaign setting is precisely the same and follows the PHB and DMG 100% as they are.

No, I'm not. I AM assuming that the Wealth By Level guidelines for PCs apply in every campaign setting, because they are. That's one of the standard things D&D is based and balanced on.

Grr
2007-04-10, 04:44 PM
Ressurection, contingency upon death spells, scrying the subject of the forcecage at the time of death, and even divinations will work as long as you don't try targeting a protected target.

Grr
2007-04-10, 04:46 PM
No, I'm not. I AM assuming that the Wealth By Level guidelines for PCs apply in every campaign setting, because they are. That's one of the standard things D&D is based and balanced on.
No, you are wrong. Wealth By level guidelines.

"First, your return to shore was not part of our negotiations nor our agreement so I must do nothing. And secondly, you must be a pirate for the pirate's code to apply and you're not. And thirdly, the code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner."

Guidelines. Not rules. Deal with it. You're wrong. Not every campaign is created with the WBL chart in mind. Even if it's a low-to-no magic setting and uses the WBL, there's plenty of things other than magic items to spend the money on.

Latronis
2007-04-10, 04:52 PM
Your insults are really pathetic.

Damage potential from a fighter with 10hp is the same as a fighter with 200hp. There's no statistical difference between them when it comes to dealing damage. That's the only point I was making. You're bringing in other factors into that I don't simply care about. A wizard that has used up spells over the past three days without rest simply doesn't have the same capabilities as they did when they had all their spells. The fighter does. His ability to cause damage is unchanged.

You just miss the point, every post. Without fail.

Yes the fighter's ability to cause damage is unchanged, hes still useless being even squisier then a mage then a liability when he falls and someone else has to use valuable actions to stabilize, if indeed he even managed to stay above -10hp which is a pretty big if at high levels.

Simple fact is 10hp fighter is less effective then a 200hp fighter, the latter simply being able to survive to deal more damage.

But i forgot you don't care how effective a fighter is after he's been fighting for 3 days without rest.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-10, 04:55 PM
They're gudelines because it's hard to impossible to get that precise value with the sum of magic items. Dismissing them because "oh, they're just guidelines" is a fundamental mistake, because PCs with varying levels of wealth are drastically more or less effective. Campaign settings don't change this. Eberron, Dragonlance, whatever--PCs are SUPPOSED to have about that much in equipment. Monster CRs are based on it. Traps are based on it.

You can significantly change the nature of the game, give easier monsters and lower loot, but it's even harder to balance things this way. WBL is one of the baseline assumptions of the game--I'm not sure why that's so difficult to accept.

Also, you might want to avoid saying things like "deal with it. You're wrong." in a discussion.

Jannex
2007-04-10, 05:01 PM
Railroading, as I have always heard the term used in a roleplaying context, is when the DM makes it such that the PCs' actions are wholly irrelevant and ineffective, unable to affect their surroundings in any manner that deviates from the DM's script. Here's an example of railroading that I have experienced as a PC.

The party had just returned from a successful job, and the pirates from whom we had accepted the job invited us to celebrate our success with them. Anyone who did indulge in the festivities ended up drugged into unconsciousness, and anyone who did not was knocked out with a blow to the back of the head. We woke up, bound and imprisoned on a ship. We could not escape our bonds, even by taking 20 on an Escape Artist check. None of the other ideas we tried in order to free ourselves worked. Finally the pirates dropped us off on a deserted archipelago, where the plot was waiting for us.

That is railroading--when anything the PCs try to do that deviates from the DM's script, just fails. Merely having a coherent narrative plotline is not railroading, by any definition of the term I've ever encountered.

That said, I'll be the first to agree that wizards, under the RAW, are egregiously overpowered. There's a reason I don't play them. (Okay, to be honest, that reason is that I despise prepared spellcasting with an unholy passion. But the point stands.) Of course, many higher-level monsters are probably designed with wizards and other primary-casters in mind, and so parties without major arcane support would most likely be obliterated by many "level-appropriate" encounters at higher levels, so the problem strikes me as a difficult one to solve.

Grr
2007-04-10, 05:02 PM
You just miss the point, every post. Without fail. Nope, you're missing the point. I don't care about their ability to take damage. There are creatures capable of doing more then 100 damage a round. Whether the fighter has 10 hp, 100hp, or 200hp really doesn't matter when you look at numbers like that.


Simple fact is 10hp fighter is less effective then a 200hp fighter, the latter simply being able to survive to deal more damage.
Wrong. A fighter with 10 hp is just as effective while attacking as a fighter with 10000 hp. The amount of your hitpoints don't matter at all when it comes to dealing damage.


But i forgot you don't care how effective a fighter is after he's been fighting for 3 days without rest.Exhausted and fatigued, which aren't in the index of either the PHB or DMG at most, lose -3 atk/dmg and -3 ac/reflex. They move at half-speed. Three points of damage is nothing at higher levels and a fighters BAB + bonuses outstrips a measly 3 point loss to their total attack bonus. Both of which can be made up for with spells.

The rules for exhaustion and fatigue are poorly documented and poorly implemented. Aside from a mere three point loss, the differences between a fighter that's been going three days and one that just joined the battle are statistically insignificant.

I have a 12th lvl fighter that does 2d6+16 per attack. Whoop de doo... he's doing 2d6+13 now and moves at half-speed. How many hit points I have left isn't even a factor.


WBL is one of the baseline assumptions of the game--I'm not sure why that's so difficult to accept.
Wrong again. Guidelines are just that. Guides that you can choose to accept or dismiss. They are not set in stone rules that every campaign has to follow. A no-magic setting using the WBL chart would be very different from a high magic setting. So again, you're wrong.

Latronis
2007-04-10, 05:09 PM
How many hit points I have left isn't even a factor.

oh so you continue to deal damage after your body explodes into gory chunks do you?

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-10, 05:10 PM
"It's gettin' hot in here..."

Seriously, Latronis, Grr, - calm down and stop taking shots at each other. This is a decent thread. Please don't spoil it. I honestly never thought I'd see a thread where BWL was not the most contrary poster, but...

Hate the post, not the poster!

Backing this up, they're called wealth by level guidelines because the DM can change it all on a whim. And yes, Grr, if the DM wants to restrict the wizard and put him in bad situations he won't perform as well. Wizard players usually aren't stupid and can see what you're doing though - there's only so many times you can force him not to rest without him getting suspicious. And BWL has a point - saying "Deal with it. You're wrong." adds nothing to your argument and reflects badly on you - and no one else.

Ignoring hit points is just silly. When did we start arguing about fighters?

And also, the WBL argument is silly. "The wizard can't do anything because he has no money." Ok, now I'm a sorcerer with eschew materials, and you have most of the same problems.

Can we get this back to wizards?

Grr
2007-04-10, 05:13 PM
oh so you continue to deal damage after your body explodes into gory chunks do you?
The point is, regardless of how many hit points the fighter has left, the capability for them to cause damage is the same. That cannot be said of a wizard that has depleted their spells. Get over the hit point issue or just shut up already. It's not the point. When spells can do over 150 pts of damage in a single round and monsters can do twice that, how many hp's you have left in any given round is not the issue.

I wouldn't be so contrary, Jade, if people would stop trying dilute the point I was making with irreverent gibberish.

Gamebird
2007-04-10, 05:14 PM
The last time I read MMM it didn't say "This spell makes it utterly and totaly imposible for anybody to ever disturb your rest, no matter what, not even if the DM says so, so there, Nener-nener-nener." Im not saying thats a good solution, but it is a solution for rules abuse.

I don't see how it's "rules abuse" when it's exactly what the spell was designed to do. No different than a guy with a longbow shooting an enemy 200' away. A longbow is designed to attack people at range. MMM is designed to protect occupants from interruption of their rest and dangers of the environment.


So in the grand scheme, the DM only has to alter his NPC's to meet the caster strategy if you have an extreme powergamer out to achieve godhood himself.

I don't think anyone's discussed achieving godhood here. We're talking about a NORMAL high level wizard. The DM can, of course, design most of his encounters to specifically single out and nerf the wizard (or sorcerer). But in that case, as Spider_Brigade has made clear, you're going out of your way to nerf the wizard. Pretty much an admission that the wizard needs nerfing.


And believe it or not, no game is going to focus on encounters that can be solved simply by teleporting in, casting 5 spells, and teleporting out again 3 minutes later.

Really? Most games devolve to that, when the casters get high enough level. Hanging around the enemy and letting him poke you with sharp objects is pretty stupid and most casters have either WIS or INT as a primary. (I suppose you could reason that a sorcerer might stick around, imagining that no one would dare to harm their awesomeness.) Even the fighters and rogues are usually on-board with the casters on the benefits of blitzkrieg raids on their enemies and then retreating to positions of strength. Sun Tzu, dude.

Again, a DM *could* go out of their way to design situations to counter this (removing certain spells, having gods curse the PC casters, hordes of demons, unstable portals all over the place that ONLY the PCs can deal with and ONLY if they never rest again, etc.) But in those cases the DM *IS* going out of his way to nerf the casters.


Any DM who has a PC wizard as a god is simply not doin' it right.

A god? No, of course not. But I'd say that any PC wizard who wasn't substantially stronger/more able/flexible/'more competent at killing bad guys and surviving' than any non-caster, is simply not doin' it right.


Can a fully rested fighter take on a fully rested wizard assuming they're both level 20? No... but at the end of the day who do you think is going to win that fight?

The wizard. Because a fighter who isn't augmented by casters is going to have a lot more trouble surviving 4-6 CR-appropriate encounters at level 20 than a wizard will.


A superior player can beat a twinked build, and on even skill levels the twinked build still means little if you're doing PvP.

Something I haven't seen mentioned here is the supremacy of being the one to choose the time and place of combat. A superior player (twinked build or not) will do his utmost to control when and where the combat takes place. A wizard (or sorcerer) is best at this because of their spell choices at high level. They have spells specifically designed to allow them to control whether they fight now or later - Teleport, Dimension Door, Dimensional Anchor, MMM, Rope Trick, Invisibility, Contingency and so on. It's a LONG list. PCs are usually in the very advantageous position of getting to pick when and where they fight. For one thing, if they weren't, they'd die unless the DM really mollycoddled them.

In PvP or in a game, the side that attacks first has an enormous advantage because they usually have picked a time when they were buffed and ready. Since it is difficult to be buffed and ready at all times (though a high level primary caster has a lot of hours/level spells available, and is an idiot if they didn't buy a Rod of Greater Extend), the attacking side will likely win.


The weakpoint here, though, is that most of the time, most mages who abuse MMM like this will be too lazy to properly hide it; I'd even consider just popping one up right where I'm sitting (or, above where I'm sitting).

It is true that the player will almost certainly be dumber than their character and have spent far less time considering how to optimize his safety. Though the wizard that I played had six or seven pages of defences, standard operating procedures and so on, not counting character sheets for guards, cohorts and hirelings, or the hours of game time spent making allies, investigating possible enemies, exploring the astral, ethereal and shadow planes contiguous with her home, etc.

The real issue is whether the DM is willing to allow the player of a high level arcane caster to absorb their time with things the character would do, because it is within their power and they are highly motivated to do, because their life and that of their loved ones depends on it. If the DM allows it, then there is a huge investment of time as the player lays out his character's defences, conferences with the DM/NPCs about it, makes Knowledge checks, inquires about the defences other NPCs of similar level and ability have set up, etc. Plus the aforementioned role play.

If the DM does not allow this, then the DM is really being unfair if he then claims the wizard doesn't have any complicated defenses set up.


A wizard has even better endurance than a fighter, at high levels. Sure, the fighter can keep swinging his sword until he runs out of HP and the wizard has a limited number of spells, but a proper wizard will be able to do whatever the fighter was doing without running out of spells until the end (or possibly not at all). However, the Wizard has one advantage: nine hours off in someplace that doesn't exist, and all spells are back online, and adapted for whatever the Wizard's fought so far. Fighters don't have that luxury; they not only have to camp in the open (unless they have a wizard to give them a camp), but their resources can take four days to come back (assuming 8 HP/level, counting CON, plus some bonuses such as 1st level), unless they have a cleric to heal them, in which case they're still relying on a caster.

Does no one else consider Summon Monster and Vampiric Touch? Or similar wizard methods to heal themselves? Or just having the wizard use a melee weapon or crossbow (or if an elf, a longbow) when the situation doesn't warrant using a spell?

My wizard usually spent about a quarter of the battle moving around and looking at things rather than casting. It was often vitally important that I (with a good Will save and permanent Arcane Sight) noticed the illusions, figured out which enhancements were on which enemies, and with this information enabled the melee types to be more useful.

A wizard doesn't have to cast continually. Or even every encounter.


There's a difference between using what powers and abilities your character has, and abusing the rules to the point that none of the creators foresaw that issue coming up. This crap about gating in infinite titans is just one of the stupid things that would never, ever be allowed in any game I've ever played in or will play in.

Infinite titans = crap.
MMM or Rope Trick to avoid being disturbed during rest =/= crap.
Presience to avoid being surprised =/= crap.
Celerity to react quickly =/= crap.
Teleport to get away from a tactiacally unsound position =/= crap.
Dimensional Anchor to make sure your foe can't escape =/= crap.
Forecage/Cloudkill to slay your foe =/= crap.

There's a difference between letting a player use the abilities the character has, as they were intended to be used by the creators, and claiming any use of such abilities is abusive.


Filling a bag of holding with vials of alchemist fire and then ripping the bag open by some means over a ship just doesn't make me enjoy running the game.

I prefer cinematic and dramatic solutions that don't resort to cheese. Like in Dead Man's Chest with the gunpowder and rum in the net. Anyone can see what they're trying to do. A seemingly empty bag flying through the air is unremarkable.

I guess I like semi-realistic solutions over highly magical ones.

Let's replace your bag of holding with a big barrel of alchemist's fire, with Shrink Item cast on it. How is this different from the gunpowder and rum in the net? Is your complaint not about the drama or magic, but that the rum/gunpowder was easily thwarted and the shrunken barrel dropped by an invisible flying wizard (or Mage Hand) is not?

It's not cheesy. Alchemist's Fire is made to set people on fire. Mage Hand is supposed to move things. It's not cheese if it is a perfectly reasonable combination, clearly intended by the writers.


When the cheesy wizard takes nine or ten hours to go replenish their spells in their supposedly perfect safety, the world keeps turning. Things keep happening and the wizard could face some bad consequences because of their decision.

As opposed to... what? Is rememorizing spells always cheesy? Is the archer cheesy for buying more arrows? Is the fighter cheesy for getting another sword after his is sundered? Is the rogue cheesy for wanting to sleep somewhere reasonably safe, like in the MMM or Rope Trick?

The occasional interruption - fine. But frequent interruptions just beg for escalation. If standard use of a Rope Trick invites all manner of bizarre plot convolutions, then I'd expect the wizard's player to construct all manner of bizarre convolutions of their own to avoid it.


No, you can't. It simply doesn't work that way in a real campaign setting. There aren't just an unlimited number of dragons sitting around on hordes of treasure waiting for you to hunt them down and kill them with no effort. Any DM that lets you do that, is a moron.

The problem is that past level 9 or so, a DM has to do one of two things: 1) hope and pray the full caster PCs don't use their abilities, in the interest of having a fun game, or 2) make a very unrealistic or unstable campaign setting, such as the proposed "hordes of demons".

Because in a "real" campaign setting, there are things out there other than the PCs and the monsters immediately in front of them. There are evil cults, dragons, beholders, and whatever assortment of monsters the DM has populated the world with. That's what makes it "real" - that there are things in the world other than the PCs and their story. If these other things exist, then a highly intelligent caster can study, at their leisure, various foes and determine the one(s) most vulnerable to a sudden raid.

Of course the DM can contrive that the wizard missed a vital detail, but to do so consistently is not "real". It's fake. It's the DM twisting the game world's verisimilitude to prevent the PC from using legitimate abilities.


Wizards are fine. It's only certain spell combinations from splatbooks and stupid DM's that make them overpowered.

Naw, they're overpowered by core too, when compared to non-casters. Just not as much.


A masterthief will. It does not matter where they are hidden/covered

Here's another great illustration of why getting to choose time and place of attack rock. A high level rogue with maxed Sleight of Hands (heck, even a low level one) can rob people with virtually no chance of failure. Then he can walk off with the loot and be all the richer. You don't need to bother with killing your target - messy and risky. Just steal and walk. By the RAW, there's no way to block it without high level magics, which it is ridiculous to think the majority of society would have.

This is another area where the RAW creates a broken situation. It's just exploited less frequently and dramatically than wizards casting normal spells.


Does anyone feel the need to build a campaign/plot/setting in such a way as to keep the fighter from single-handedly vanquishing every encounter?

Hmm, I wonder why not.

Exactly.



eh, I'm bored now.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-10, 05:14 PM
Wrong again. Guidelines are just that. Guides that you can choose to accept or dismiss. They are not set in stone rules that every campaign has to follow. A no-magic setting using the WBL chart would be very different from a high magic setting. So again, you're wrong.

There ARE no "set in stone rules that every campaign HAS to follow", you can always change whatever you like. That doesn't change the fact that WBL is vital to the game, as "set in stone" as anything else in the book, like Time Stop and Divine Power existing. Balance is based on characters having a certain amount of equipment. A level 20 party with no magical equipment just plain can't handle a CR 20 challenge. The farther away you get from level 1, the more the impact will be.

Again--it's a guideline because nobody is going to have EXACTLY 88,000 gp in cash + equipment. One person might have 92,537 and another might have 84520. But why is it so hard to believe that game balance (such as it is) is based on the assumption that characters are equipped with level-appropriate gear? Considering how much equipment affects character ability?

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-10, 05:18 PM
Wrong again. Guidelines are just that. Guides that you can choose to accept or dismiss. They are not set in stone rules that every campaign has to follow. A no-magic setting using the WBL chart would be very different from a high magic setting. So again, you're wrong.But anybody running a no-magic setting would have to do some serious rebalancing to deal with monsters with magic-based abilities, magic-vulnerable DR, etc. The point is not that any game is FORCED to use the WBL, but the WBL, similar to CR and other rules/guidelines, are what has been used to set the baseline of balance. Which is what we're talking about here.

Grr, no one going to argue that if you're custom-tailoring your campaign world, availability of magic items, wealth, and a host of other factors, you can fix almost any balance issue.

But when you continually bring out those techniques for dealing with powerful wizards, you're basically proving that they'd be overpowered in a vanilla, "run straight from the DMG" kind of game. Which some people play. And they're not "playing the game wrong," either.

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-10, 05:18 PM
with irreverent gibberish.

An ominous choice of wording. :smallamused:


But anybody running a no-magic setting would have to do some serious rebalancing to deal with monsters with magic-based abilities, magic-vulnerable DR, etc. The point is not that any game is FORCED to use the WBL, but the WBL, similar to CR and other rules/guidelines, are what has been used to set the baseline of balance. Which is what we're talking about here.

Grr, no one going to argue that if you're custom-tailoring your campaign world, availability of magic items, wealth, and a host of other factors, you can fix almost any balance issue.

But when you continually bring out those techniques for dealing with powerful wizards, you're basically proving that they'd be overpowered in a vanilla, "run straight from the DMG" kind of game. Which some people play. And they're not "playing the game wrong," either.

QFT. Right there.

Grr
2007-04-10, 05:19 PM
That doesn't change the fact that WBL is vital to the game, as "set in stone" as anything else in the book, like Time Stop and Divine Power existing. Balance is based on characters having a certain amount of equipment.
Wrong. WBL is not vital the game at all.


But when you continually bring out those techniques for dealing with powerful wizards, you're basically proving that they'd be overpowered in a vanilla, "run straight from the DMG" kind of game. Which some people play. And they're not "playing the game wrong," either.
The WBL argument is separate from the wizard debate. It was started because I said magic should be magical, not a technological equivalent to modern day.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-10, 05:23 PM
Back that up a little.

Consider monsters with DR/magic, special abilities with DCs that assume you'll have magic items boosting your saves, ABs that assume your AC will be magically boosted, ACs that are much, much harder to hit without magical equipment.
Consider that at level 20 fighters without magic items will be taken out by spells, SLAs, and monster abilities with saves virtually every time and will be able to splatter each other into a fine mist with Power Attack because of their ridiculously low AC.

Consider how much tougher, and disproportionately so from monster to monster, enemies become when you don't have magic items.

How, despite all that, is WBL "not vital to the game"?

And given that WBL is the default assumption of the DMG, how on earht are you justified in saying that that's not how it "should be"?

Grr
2007-04-10, 05:29 PM
Back that up a little.

Consider monsters with DR/magic, special abilities with DCs that assume you'll have magic items boosting your saves, ABs that assume your AC will be magically boosted, ACs that are much, much harder to hit without magical equipment.

Consider that at level 20 fighters without magic items will be taken out by spells, SLAs, and monster abilities with saves virtually every time and will be able to splatter each other into a fine mist with Power Attack because of their ridiculously low AC.

Consider how much tougher, and disproportionately so from monster to monster, enemies become when you don't have magic items.

How, despite all that, is WBL "not vital to the game"?

And given that WBL is the default assumption of the DMG, how on earht are you justified in saying that that's not how it "should be"?
WBL isn't vital. It's my campaign and I say so. That's all that matters. People assuming every campaign is the same are wrong and that every campaign / DM uses stock monsters straight out of the MM's are wrong. If I'm running a low-magic setting, dmg resistant or spell using monsters are going to be rare, very tough foes to beat.

Olethros
2007-04-10, 05:31 PM
Sorry Grr, even I am gonna have to wiegh in against you.

That a Fighter still hits the same number of times for the same damge/round is not in anyway in debate. But the effectivness of a character is not depended apon a single round of combat, if that were the case wizards would seem much less effective (so what if your forcecage traps the fighter, it doesn't kill him).

Unless every monster you face at 10hp falls to your first assult, you're not effective anymore. Especially if your role in the party is to hold off the badguy from the rest of the party.

To Bearw/Lazer,
Yes, even if you kill everybody you fight with your forcecage-combo-of-doom, if you repeat the process enough, it will get out that this is a tactic you impliment "alot." And beieve me, any tactic that becomes predictable will be taken advantage of. If nothing else, now I don't need powerfull divination magics to predict the days events.

Now a mage that varies up his tactics, only breaks out the super-nova-killer-combo on rare occssions, won't suffer this sort of rut.

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-10, 05:32 PM
WBL as-is is not nescessarily vital, but some kind of wealth is. Without it, VoP monks and Sorcerers with Eschew Materials become the two most powerful classes in the game. What wealth system are you using, Grr?

Jasdoif
2007-04-10, 05:32 PM
WBL isn't vital. It's my campaign and I say so. That's all that matters. People assuming every campaign is the same are wrong and that every campaign / DM uses stock monsters straight out of the MM's are wrong. If I'm running a low-magic setting, dmg resistant or spell using monsters are going to be rare, very tough foes to beat.OK...so we're talking about your D20 campaign and not D&D. Got it.

Deepblue706
2007-04-10, 05:33 PM
That's an incomplete sentence, Grr. WBL is not vital to the game at all, if you're not concerned with how the game was made.

4d6 drop 1 is a stat-rolling method designed to produce above-average level heroes. This is the offcial method of 3.5. No, a game doesn't need it to exist - in fact, many people, including myself, enjoy playing 3d6 to change things up. I love playing a 3 CON 12 INT wizard.

Why is 4d6 drop 1 the method? Well, you see, the problem with 3d6 is the great variety of characters you'll get. Someone might have an 18 or two. YOUR highest stat might be a 10.

3.5 assumes that most characters will be within a certain distance from one another, stat-wise. It even says reroll if your numbers turn out sucky.

Now, why is all of this important? CR, which is the Challenge Rating, is not arbitrarily made up. It is a number devised to give a good idea of what should be an appropriate encounter for PCs following the designs of the game. If you're using 3d6, you'll probably need to adjust CR.

WBL is something that is also factored into this: if you don't let your players have the funds to buy their gear, it could end up giving you similar results as playing 3d6 characters would per 3.5 edition's CR system. The Wizard of a party who decided to buy a wand of fireball with his cash might be alright, but the Fighter who bought a +1 Longsword? Yeah, he got toasted because he couldn't afford better armor.

WBL, stat-rolling, CR...these are all connected. Ignoring one is like playing blackjack without using odd-numbered cards.

Jannex
2007-04-10, 05:35 PM
As a total non-sequitur, I'd like to point out that WBL is an anagram for BWL.

That is all. Please resume.

Let's hear it for amusing randomness to release tension? :smallbiggrin:

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-10, 05:36 PM
...and in your custom-modded campaign, balance has to be refigured. Are you seriously telling me encounters will be equally difficult if the fighter 20 has a longsword +5, and if all he has is a plain old quarterstaff?

THAT's the point. Not that the d&d gods are somehow going to show up and smite you if you run a non-WBL game. LOTS of people run non-WBL games. Or gestalt. Or low-magic. But you can't turn around and use that as a yardstick for how balanced the default, generic game -which DOES use those guidlines, that's what they're FOR- really is.

Deepblue706
2007-04-10, 05:36 PM
As a total non-sequitur, I'd like to point out that WBL is an anagram for BWL.

That is all. Please resume.


Bealth Wy Level?

Grr
2007-04-10, 05:37 PM
Unless every monster you face at 10hp falls to your first assult, you're not effective anymore. Especially if your role in the party is to hold off the badguy from the rest of the party.
And you people keep ignoring this point. HIT POINTS DON'T MATTER. If the dragon does a full attack on you and does 300 points of damage, you're just as dead if you started at 200 as you are if you started at 10. Got that? Hit points don't matter in this debate. Whether you have 10 hp or 200 hp, you still have the same capability to cause damage. Hit points don't matter.


WBL, stat-rolling, CR...these are all connected. Ignoring one is like playing blackjack without using the odd-numbered cards.
Challenge ratings are a crapshoot anyway. You're lucky if they're anywhere near the correct value. I used some stock monsters once against a typical party. Two CR3 creatures against a party of six level fours. They decimated the party because they could fly and had reach weapons and a +7 atk bonus before you take into account anything else.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-10, 05:37 PM
WBL isn't vital. It's my campaign and I say so. That's all that matters. People assuming every campaign is the same are wrong and that every campaign / DM uses stock monsters straight out of the MM's are wrong. If I'm running a low-magic setting, dmg resistant or spell using monsters are going to be rare, very tough foes to beat.

Yeah, if you rebalance the entire game, you can ignore WBL. Similarily, if you rebalance the entire game, you can play without spellcasters, or do other such things. The point, WBL is as "how it's supposed to be" as anything else in the rulebook. Moreso, even, because not following it changes how the game works significantly.

In any case, the point of this was that PCs are supposed to have access to magic items and to use magic like technology. The WBL backs this up. You can change this, but then we're not talking about D&D anymore, we're talking about your wacky "low-magic" campaign. Yes, magic is supposed to be freely availible to the PCs. You can change this, but that doesn't alter how D&D as a whole works and is designed.
You're playing a radically different game, and then you say that that's how the game is SUPPOSED to work.

Hit points do matter, because you're not going to take 300 points of damage per attack. You're going to take 20 or 30 per hit. There's a difference between soaking up the dragon's full attack and barely surviving, and between being killed by its first attack and having the rest of the attacks splatter the rogue. Then there's the fact that you're now vulnerable to even low-damage attacks (magic missile, Finger of Death's damage on a successful save). Sure, you can still do damage... but if you're at 200 HP, you will do more damage before you die than if you're at 10 HP, because you won't die as quickly.

Sir Giacomo
2007-04-10, 05:39 PM
and a bardic knowledge check can't reveal something that the wizard and only the wizard knows.

Yes, you're right. However, if that wizard ever talks to an intelligent creature and lets it live, though, that information is ripe for gathering/researching/bardicknowledging.
At some point in his career, the wizard HAS to interact. Even if he battles creatures like ancient dragons, during the course of that encounter (and if he does not defeat the monster), the monster may have learned something by reading the mind, doing a divination whatever.
Once again, a lvl 20 wizard should be nigh untouchable, but within the whole campaign there are still ways for 20 lvl npcs (his CR rating), like a 20 lvl npc bard who will then know such things. Whether they use that is an entirely different matter.


And the rogue may just find himself trapped in a 10' x 10' windowless forcecage cell with a cloudkill as the book vanishes to a safe location the moment he touches it.

Hey, that is a cool effect! How is it done? Seriously, would like to know. But if the rogue has the CR worthy of a wizard able to do these spells, he even as an npc has the realtively cheap equipment to easily brush aside these threats and UMD discern location the object he has attached to the book with sovereign glue and follows it with a teleport effect (pays a wizard to scry it if need be). There is no such thing as "safe" in the DD system, it's quite robust. The MMM comes close, but is not without cracks, either, as several in this thread, including myself, have already shown.

@SpiderBrigade:
You have listed quite nicely the way many discussions on the board go when balance of casters/non-casters is concerned, but in my opinion interpreted incorrectly: Yes, for every tactics there is a countertactics. What does this tell you about "Wizards being overpowered"?
Wizards are powerful. They should be. As should the other classes with rising levels, as they are. Still, they all remain vulnerable.
A class whose only defense at levels where dragons, balors, mighty npc assassins walk the campaign and challenge them, the wizards just barely cling to life by throwing the mightiest of spells between them and their measly hit points and physical skills. That, plus the dependence on being able to refresh the spell repertoire from a book (if a wizard) or being limited in choice (if a sorcerer) makes them vulnerable still. Powerful, yes, but not untouchable.

Yes, they can circumvent AMFs. They can fool powerful monks with illusions. They can dominate weak-willed fighters and keep at bay barbarian hordes with walls of forces. They can frustrate the evil high priest's research efforts. But it is a daily struggle for survival.

Most discussions on wizard power heats up not because they wield too powerful spells that cannot be handled by a DM (while they allegedly can much more easily handle rogues which cannot be detected due to their sky-high hide skills, fighters dishing out 300-400 damage per round and more, archers doing the same, but at 400 Metres, and monks being almost impossible to catch/overcome/escape their stun attacks.)
- the discussions come about because several on these boards believe some spells are some sort of "auto-win" and refuse to see any opposing tactics/drawbacks/problems in the rules. In another thread there were actually complaints if a cleric would ever be in danger of losing his spellcasting power if he misbehaves (as envisioned in the rules by the section ex-clerics/atonement), saying that is "houseruling" or "unfair". A lot of the power fallacies come about by ignoring those parts of the rules that are counterbalancing the power.
- plus, the discussions come about because it IS highly challenging to both DM and play a high-level DD3.5 game. There are some threads out there discussing that pcs (all pcs, not just the casters!) basically reach superhuman abilities by level 5. Magic, which continually breaks laws of physics is very difficult to gauge in its effect. And all classes have access to magic, only the spellcasting classes on a more regular basis.

- Giacomo

Deepblue706
2007-04-10, 05:40 PM
Yeah, if you rebalance the entire game, you can ignore WBL. Similarily, if you rebalance the entire game, you can play without spellcasters, or do other such things. The point, WBL is as "how it's supposed to be" as anything else in the rulebook. Moreso, even, because not following it changes how the game works significantly.

In any case, the point of this was that PCs are supposed to have access to magic items and to use magic like technology. The WBL backs this up. You can change this, but then we're not talking about D&D anymore, we're talking about your wacky "low-magic" campaign. Yes, magic is supposed to be freely availible to the PCs. You can change this, but that doesn't alter how D&D as a whole works and is designed.
You're playing a radically different game, and then you say that that's how the game is SUPPOSED to work.

Howz ziss go? Quoted fer uh....what's it called? Truth.

Grr
2007-04-10, 05:41 PM
In any case, the point of this was that PCs are supposed to have access to magic items and to use magic like technology. The WBL backs this up. You can change this, but then we're not talking about D&D anymore, we're talking about your wacky "low-magic" campaign. Yes, magic is supposed to be freely availible to the PCs. You can change this, but that doesn't alter how D&D as a whole works and is designed.
Wrong. It's still D&D even if the campaign setting is low-magic. It's still D&D if the campaign setting is no magic. Magic and vast sums of wealth are not necessary to make the game D&D. D&D is just a set of rules and guidelines that the DM can mold and shape at their whim. It's still D&D however.

As long as there are dungeons and dragons, it's D&D. =p

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-10, 05:42 PM
I will say this, BWL, you do come across sounding like WBL is some kind of holy writ, which it really isn't. I think you know that, but that's just the vibe you send out.

The point you're not seeing, Grr, is that the more you talk about your custom modifications, and things that are core expectations for D&D that a wizard "can't depend on" in your game, the less your results have to do with anyone elses, especially if they're running a less-altered game. It's like saying a minivan can beat a mustang in a race...only the minivan has jet engines custom-installed.

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-10, 05:42 PM
And you people keep ignoring this point. HIT POINTS DON'T MATTER. If the dragon does a full attack on you and does 300 points of damage, you're just as dead if you started at 200 as you are if you started at 10. Got that? Hit points don't matter in this debate. Whether you have 10 hp or 200 hp, you still have the same capability to cause damage. Hit points don't matter.

Ah, but if the dragon attacks for 40, you're not as dead starting with 100 hit points as you would be if you started with 10. This enables you to do more damage. That's what everyone else is getting at. Not everything attacks for ludicrous damage. The other thing they're getting at is that hit points do matter - the moment you run out.


Challenge ratings are a crapshoot anyway. You're lucky if they're anywhere near the correct value. I used some stock monsters once against a typical party. Two CR3 creatures against a party of six level fours. They decimated the party because they could fly and had reach weapons and a +7 atk bonus before you take into account anything else.

What were they? I'm curious. The only crapshoot CRs are in the Book of Vile Darkness, IMO. Those seem to be just made up. CRs in other places tend to be indicative of relative power to other monsters, if nothing else.

Edit: And spiderbrigade brings up another good point. The more you alter your campaign world, the less your results are relevant to the argument.

I'm running a campaign where all the animals and vermin - all of them - have been hit with one giant awaken spell. That means they can think/plan/talk and all that stuff. That's a houserule. The game is still DnD, but I can't go into an online debate and talk about animals and vermin as though that's how they work in everyone's campaign.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-10, 05:42 PM
Giacomo: the rules for trapping things with spells are in the DMG. You can use those with your spellbook. A one-shot, say, Plane Shift or Teleport Object trap (Plane Shift the book to a Bag of Holding somewhere in, or Teleport the book to a friendly Temple of Boccob that's agreed to store it for you because you regularly buy things from them) can make the book vanish as soon as the rogue touches it. Extra traps can be used to harm/trap the person touching the book, too.

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-10, 05:44 PM
Wrong. It's still D&D even if the campaign setting is low-magic. It's still D&D if the campaign setting is no magic. Magic and vast sums of wealth are not necessary to make the game D&D. D&D is just a set of rules and guidelines that the DM can mold and shape at their whim. It's still D&D however.

As long as there are dungeons and dragons, it's D&D. =pYeah, it's also still D&D if you house-rule that fighters have 100 HP per level, are immune to magic, and all their attacks automatically kill at level 1. It's going be balanced differently from what most people play, though.

Sir Giacomo
2007-04-10, 05:45 PM
BWL: Thanks, will use traps on spellbooks like that for my next wizard character! Sounds like a sound tactics.

- Giacomo

Grr
2007-04-10, 05:46 PM
WBL as-is is not nescessarily vital, but some kind of wealth is. Without it, VoP monks and Sorcerers with Eschew Materials become the two most powerful classes in the game. What wealth system are you using, Grr?
I don't use any chart to determine how wealthy characters should be. The pace of the campaign setting and the setting itself determine that. Look at Dark Sun. Metal is worth more than its weight in gold, whereas in Forgotten Realms, a suit of golden armor is worth more than it's equivalent weight in steel. Wealth is relative.


Ah, but if the dragon attacks for 40, you're not as dead starting with 100 hit points as you would be if you started with 10. This enables you to do more damage. That's what everyone else is getting at. Not everything attacks for ludicrous damage.
No, but the capability is there. That was the only point I was making.


What were they? I'm curious. The only crapshoot CRs are in the Book of Vile Darkness, IMO. Those seem to be just made up. CRs in other places tend to be indicative of relative power to other monsters, if nothing else.
I don't recall their specific name, but they were basically really strong, winged lizardmen with spears.

Deepblue706
2007-04-10, 05:47 PM
Wrong. It's still D&D even if the campaign setting is low-magic. It's still D&D if the campaign setting is no magic. Magic and vast sums of wealth are not necessary to make the game D&D. D&D is just a set of rules and guidelines that the DM can mold and shape at their whim. It's still D&D however.

Okay....

GUY

Stop saying "wrong". You're not really helping your image here.

Remember? The thing with the cards I said? Maybe you didn't read it, whatevr. But, anyway...yeah, you can play Blackjack with half of the deck missing, but trust me - casinos don't do that.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-10, 05:47 PM
Wrong. It's still D&D even if the campaign setting is low-magic. It's still D&D if the campaign setting is no magic. Magic and vast sums of wealth are not necessary to make the game D&D. D&D is just a set of rules and guidelines that the DM can mold and shape at their whim. It's still D&D however.

As long as there are dungeons and dragons, it's D&D. =p

It's technically still "D&D", but the game is very different. It plays differently, it's balanced differently.
And, more relevantly to the discussion, "low/no magic" is not how the game is supposed to be played. It's doable, if you change the rules a lot, but you said that that's how it's supposed to be.
The fact that WBL is so important to game balance and that lots of parts of the game assume it shows that that's not the case.

If you really like low-magic so much, why not just run Iron Heroes, anyway?

Edit: Grr, characters in Dark Sun are just usually low-level. High-level Dark Sun characters should very well have magic and psionic equipment. It doesn't mean anyone else does and it doesn't make the world high-magic, but the PCs are supposed to follow the WBL guidelines. That's how it is in the fan 3.0 adaptation of Dark Sun, and that's how it'd be in any official 3.x release of Dark Sun.

Grr
2007-04-10, 05:48 PM
WBL is not vital to game balance. The DM is vital to game balance. That's it. Anything else is just guidelines for the DM to use when crafting an encounter for the PC's to face, regardless of what the setting is or how wealth is determined.

Spoiler for Deepblue:

wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wr
ong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wron
g wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong
wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wro
ng wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong
=)

Deepblue706
2007-04-10, 05:50 PM
Hey, you know, I could live without arms, too.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-10, 05:51 PM
WBL is not vital to game balance. The DM is vital to game balance. That's it. Anything else is just guidelines for the DM to use when crafting an encounter for the PC's to face, regardless of what the setting is or how wealth is determined.

If you ignore WBL, you essentially can't use any published material that deals with combat (or conflict in general). It takes an enormous amount of work to properly balance the game if you're not following WBL (take the disparity between fighter AB/damage and their AC, for example). I'd say that's pretty vital. It's as vital as any of the rules (which, incidentally, it's possible to play without).

Maybe you ignore the CRs, but the MM is the way it is for a reason. The basic design of the game assumes characters will have a certain amount of equipment at each level, and you are therefore incorrect when you say that characters aren't supposed to have easy access to magic. Quit dodgin' that fact.

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-10, 05:53 PM
Oh, missed the spellbook thing.

Giacomo - complete arcane also has things you can do to your spellbook to make it durable. You can have it be protected from water, aging, elemental attacks, physical attacks - you can even have it float alongside you on a bolt of lighting.

Sir Giacomo
2007-04-10, 05:55 PM
Er....sorry to interrupt a WBL discussion running in circles (and btw, I am a strong believer in the WBL guidelines of the DMG)...
...@BWL:where is that stuff on the traps again in the DMG? I tried the traps section on magic traps (pp.66-67), but it only says that some spells are meant to be traps and can be disarmed by a rogue with DC 25+spell level (not too challenging for a high-level npc rogue). Plus, would there be a way to increase that DC for the rogue?
Thanks!

- Giacomo

Sir Giacomo
2007-04-10, 05:55 PM
....you can even have it float alongside you on a bolt of lighting.

That sounds stylish, thanks for the hint, Jade_Tarem!

- Giacomo

Edit: I also remember somewhere in the complete arcane that tattoos could function as a spellbook with certain rules- that would be proof vs stealing...

Grr
2007-04-10, 05:57 PM
If you ignore WBL, you essentially can't use any published material that deals with combat (or conflict in general). I'd say that's pretty vital.
I don't use any published adventures and such anymore. Not ever. It's worthless except as a springboard for my own ideas.


Maybe you ignore the CRs, but the MM is the way it is for a reason. The basic design of the game assumes characters will have a certain amount of equipment at each level, and you are therefore incorrect when you say that characters aren't supposed to have easy access to magic. Quit dodgin' that fact.
[Scrubbed] When I throw an encounter at the PC's, I know what they can handle and tailor it to their strengths and weaknesses. Most of the time, the only stats I have written down for a monster are its AC, HP, and attacks. Sometimes I even ignore HP and let it die when its appropriately dramatic for the fight. I don't use CR at all for determining XP or rewards. I make it all up on the fly and make it consistent with the style of the campaign setting.

I learned long ago that relying on the CR of monsters is a ridiculous way to balance things. Something that should have been easy for the party to deal with (six lvl 4's vs two cr 3's) turns out to be damned difficult to beat. Or something that I planned to be a difficult encounter (one cr 8 vs four lvl 6's) is a cakewalk because the PC's do something that totally negates the power the creature had.

CR is a ridiculous way to try and balance things. You can't really balance an encounter until you've tried it out on actual players and not bored playtesters or some mathematical simulation. In addition to that, the enviroment in which the encounter takes place is an issue.

Because of that, I threw out the entire CR system and ignore it. It's junk. Ad hoc xp rewards for combat and quest advancement are the best way to do it. Only the DM can truly know what reward to give the players. Not some worthless tables in a book.

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-10, 06:05 PM
Great. By that reasoning, between the ignoring how the game's meant to work and the DM-cheating, you should be playing a system-light or systemless game. I prefer systems-light games, myself; I'm in a Spirit of the Century game right now that's more fun than any D&D I've seen. I've run systemless games, and really, prefer it.
How is any of that relevant?

You said characters aren't supposed to have easy access to magic. People have shown you that, yes, they are. That'd be your cue to go "whoops, my bad", not to go off on a rant about how published adventures are crap and using the MM is for stupid DMs, which is insulting to those perfectly good DMs who use MM monsters.

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-10, 06:28 PM
The MM is that way for stupid DM's that can't handle creating their own stuff on the fly.

Well, now. That's a wee bit harsh. It's also a blanket insult - the Fireball of put-downs. :smallannoyed: Some of us inferior DMs who aren't, apparently, as cool as you use the MM when looking for random encounters to spice things up or as a way of not having to custom-tailor every friggin' fight in a high-combat section of the campaign. The WotC people aren't stupid, and you certainly don't know thier game better than they do, which is how your recent posts sound. DM's who use the material aren't stupid either - in fact, they're getting their money's worth. And this may come as a shock for someone to whom the core rules are apparently anathema, but some of the monsters do fit very well with aspects of a campaign - any campaign.

Understand this - you can scream "I'm... too sexy for the core rules, too sexy for the dice rolls, so sexy it huuuuuurts" at the top of your lungs, but that doesn't contribute anything to this argument (because moving the argument to a nonstandard setting such as yours invalidates it) and you are *really* not making many friends with statements like this.

Grr
2007-04-10, 06:37 PM
Great. By that reasoning, between the ignoring how the game's meant to work and the DM-cheating, you should be playing a system-light or systemless game. I prefer systems-light games, myself; I'm in a Spirit of the Century game right now that's more fun than any D&D I've seen. I've run systemless games, and really, prefer it.
How is any of that relevant?
Plenty relevant. You could ask anyone that's played in any of my games if they ever had any issues with the way I ran them. Most of them would probably never know I don't stat out unimportant npc's and monsters unless I told them. Magical items, spells, the classes themselves are still made using the D&D rules (for the most part). The game mechanics are the same. d20 + stuff vs. DC = success or failure. Just because I don't stat out pointless monsters that are there to whittle down player resources doesn't make it not D&D. I just prefer to not waste my time creating perfect stat blocks for every encounter. It also gives me plenty of leeway to wing it when the players do something totally off the wall.


You said characters aren't supposed to have easy access to magic. People have shown you that, yes, they are.
No, they haven't. They've shown that there are guidelines for what WoTC pulled out of their ass and said, "Hey! This is balanced!". This notion of balance is a ridiculous one. Nothing will ever truly be balanced. The DM's job is to make sure things stay on an even keel for the most part so that everyone has fun. Fun. Did you forget about that word? I kinda find fun is the reason I play RPG's.


That'd be your cue to go "whoops, my bad", not to go off on a rant about how published adventures are crap and using the MM is for stupid DMs, which is insulting to those perfectly good DMs who use MM monsters.
[Scrubbed] That's why they're there. For DM's that don't care whether an encounter is really challenging or not for their players. I've played under some DM's like that. It's ridiculous. They'll throw some CR whatever that matches our level range and be totally shocked and surprised when we get killed in one or two rounds.

Party 1 - Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric
Party 2 - Monk, Bard, Sorceror, Druid

Both are basic parties. Are you going to tell me that the same CR 4 monster is going to be equally challenging to both parties? Let's take a rust monster for example. Party 2 is gonna have an easier time with it since the bard and sorceror can hit from range, the druid can possibly shapeshift and the monk doesn't use metal items. Thus the rust monster is actually an easier encounter for that group than the CR would suggest. Party 1 is going to have a harder time of it because of the weapons and armor the characters may or may not use.

CR is, once again, a crapshoot. You're best off just making the stuff up on the fly to fit your party's playstyle.

edit:
Hah, just read the Forcecage spell. 1500gp of Ruby Dust gets used up each casting. No wizard is going to be able to reasonably insure they have an unlimited supply of that. A smart DM will use pricey spell components like that to limit how often spells like that get cast.

Counterspin
2007-04-10, 06:46 PM
Wow, grr's last post is the single most offensive way to phrase a sentiment that we can all agree on "The CRs in the book aren't great and vary by party composition."

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-10, 06:55 PM
Plenty relevant. You could ask anyone that's played in any of my games if they ever had any issues with the way I ran them. Most of them would probably never know I don't stat out unimportant npc's and monsters unless I told them.

Well, they do now.:smallamused:


Magical items, spells, the classes themselves are still made using the D&D rules (for the most part). The game mechanics are the same. d20 + stuff vs. DC = success or failure. Just because I don't stat out pointless monsters that are there to whittle down player resources doesn't make it not D&D. I just prefer to not waste my time creating perfect stat blocks for every encounter. It also gives me plenty of leeway to wing it when the players do something totally off the wall.

The mechanics are not the same, by definition. You are an individual DM. This means that you DM differently from other DMs. This doesn't make your perspective or thiers invalid. What you're missing, though, is that you aren't on the same page, book, or even planet as BWL and Spiderbrigade. A debate typically agrees on a set of rules - and the RAW is usually the one used on this forum. All you're doing now is arguing for the validity of a third party system that's mostly made up and claiming that you're smarter and more badass than everyone else on the thread and WotC put together.


No, they haven't. They've shown that there are guidelines for what WoTC pulled out of their ass and said, "Hey! This is balanced!". This notion of balance is a ridiculous one. Nothing will ever truly be balanced. The DM's job is to make sure things stay on an even keel for the most part so that everyone has fun. Fun. Did you forget about that word? I kinda find fun is the reason I play RPG's.

Go back to Emporer Tippy's earlier posts. The arguments for wizards (which we have now deviated way away from) are what they could do, not what they should do or how it works to have the most fun. A wizard that kills every encounter it comes across is not fun - but niether is a DM that arbitrarily hands down encounters to try to force equality among party memebers. Also, every group games differently - your group seems to enjoy your style of gaming, and that's great. The greater majority, though, seem to enjoy a more structured game. Also, WotC did not "pull the CR values from thier ass" - CR is as follows: A CR of 5 indicates that a party of 4 5th level adventurers with WBL and all party roles filled will expend 1/4 of thier daily resources (spells, hp, item usage) on that fight. They didn't get every single CR perfect, especially at higher levels where the greater complexity of the spells in question allows for intelligent players to come up with combonations of spells that are more powerful than the sum of thier parts, but the CR readings are not the completely invalid system you claim that they are.



Using monsters straight out of the MM's is for stupid and lazy DM's. That's why they're there.

You don't catch on very fast, do you? Not only is this technically against the forum rules, it's rude.


For DM's that don't care whether an encounter is really challenging or not for their players.

Yeah, you certainly know what other DMs do and don't care about based on whether or not they use the MM...:smallconfused:


I've played under some DM's like that. It's ridiculous. They'll throw some CR whatever that matches our level range and be totally shocked and surprised when we get killed in one or two rounds.

I'm sensing that you've had a bad experience with this in the past. It doesn't invalidate the CR system, it invalidates the DM.


CR is, once again, a crapshoot. You're best off just making the stuff up on the fly to fit your party's playstyle.

This is just a repetition of an earlier arguement.

Can we get back to wizards? Someone make a contestable point about wizards, please....

Olethros
2007-04-10, 07:07 PM
And you people keep ignoring this point. HIT POINTS DON'T MATTER. If the dragon does a full attack on you and does 300 points of damage, you're just as dead if you started at 200 as you are if you started at 10. Got that? Hit points don't matter in this debate. Whether you have 10 hp or 200 hp, you still have the same capability to cause damage. Hit points don't matter.


Hit points don't matter, hmm, ok. I have an idea, I will DM a game for you, we will run all of the same rules you play a fighter, but you will only get 1hp/level +con mod. Your compatriats will all get 12/level +con modifier, regardless of class.

The fact is at any level there are monsters that can hit kill some party members. When fully rested its usually not the fighter that gets hit killed.

The original ratio they were refering to is talking of the idea of Damage Potential (DP) DP is a game design concept that is actually figured mathamaticaly by comparing How long a character is expected to stay in combat, number of rounds, and the amount of damage done per round. A character class that hit kills every monster in one round, or a monster that can hit kill any class in one round, are both going to be considered broken.

Take your dragon whose full attack can do 300 hp damage with a full attack. Yes, if all his attacks hit, and they all do full damge, etc. HP don't matter if you only started with 101. But manny of those attacks won't hit, barring very bad luck. But the first swing from the dragon is almost definetly going to hit. Its unlikely that it will deal 100hp by itself, but it is very likely it will do more than 10.

Now I agree, a 10hp fighter, has more damage potential than a wizard with no spells (including scrolls/wands/etc). and a wizard with no spells AND 10hp is a ultra sad thought.

Grr
2007-04-10, 07:09 PM
Well, they do now.
They don't read these forums.


The mechanics are not the same, by definition. You are an individual DM. This means that you DM differently from other DMs. This doesn't make your perspective or thiers invalid. What you're missing, though, is that you aren't on the same page, book, or even planet as BWL and Spiderbrigade. A debate typically agrees on a set of rules - and the RAW is usually the one used on this forum. All you're doing now is arguing for the validity of a third party system that's mostly made up and claiming that you're smarter and more badass than everyone else on the thread and WotC put together.
The mechanics are the same. The monsters uses the same d20+atk bonuses to hit things. They use the same weapons to do damage. They have the same AC mechanics. The only thing I don't use all the time is HP, because it's unimportant in most encounters. Monsters die when they need to and I feel its appropriate. Usually this means in one or two good hits. Three if the players are rolling crappy. It speeds up gameplay and makes for a more enjoyable evening.


Go back to Emporer Tippy's earlier posts. The arguments for wizards (which we have now deviated way away from) are what they could do, not what they should do or how it works to have the most fun. A wizard that kills every encounter it comes across is not fun - but niether is a DM that arbitrarily hands down encounters to try to force equality among party memebers. Also, every group games differently - your group seems to enjoy your style of gaming, and that's great. The greater majority, though, seem to enjoy a more structured game. Also, WotC did not "pull the CR values from thier ass" - CR is as follows: A CR of 5 indicates that a party of 4 5th level adventurers with WBL and all party roles filled will expend 1/4 of thier daily resources (spells, hp, item usage) on that fight. They didn't get every single CR perfect, especially at higher levels where the greater complexity of the spells in question allows for intelligent players to come up with combonations of spells that are more powerful than the sum of thier parts, but the CR readings are not the completely invalid system you claim that they are.
No, the supposed CR = 1/4 resources is ridiculously flawed. I've seen lvl 4 parties tear through CR 6 encounters as written in the MM without getting touched or using anywhere near 25% of their resources and get blasted by some CR 4 encounter and nearly die. CR's as written are horribly flawed and nowhere near representative of any kind of balance.

The only way to balance anything is to do it yourself for that specific party.


I'm sensing that you've had a bad experience with this in the past. It doesn't invalidate the CR system, it invalidates the DM.
So I'm a bad DM for thinking two CR 3 creatures would be a nice, quick encounter for six level four PC's? The party got decimated by them in the first few rounds until someone got the idea to make a lasso and roped one down. The other one attacked a few more times and then fled. That single encounter took several PC's to near death and knocked one into negatives. That's far more than 25%.


I try to leave off saying stuff like this, but: this is an opinion, not a fact. CR is far from perfect, and does rely on the DM's judgement, but you're getting a little ridiculous with your recent posts. You are NOT all that and a bag of chips. You are NOT smarter than the WotC development staff. You are NOT better than DMs who use the monster manual. You are NOT so earth-shatteringly awesome that your opinions and experiences are true for everyone. Get back to wizards, you're just embarrasing yourself now.
I am definitely smarter than the people that rely on CR's. WotC even said it in the books themselves that CR's are only a, here's that word again, guideline. You should not ever rely on them to be the sole judge of what is an appropriate encounter. The only person that can truly make an appropriate encounter for the party, is the DM themselves. If they keep up to date on what the characters capabilities are.

edit -

Take your dragon whose full attack can do 300 hp damage with a full attack. Yes, if all his attacks hit, and they all do full damge, etc. HP don't matter if you only started with 101. But manny of those attacks won't hit, barring very bad luck. But the first swing from the dragon is almost definetly going to hit. Its unlikely that it will deal 100hp by itself, but it is very likely it will do more than 10.
CR 21 red dragon full attack: +40 bite, +35 claws (twice), +35 wings (twice), +35 tail slap + bite +40 with haste.

Lvl 20 fighter, full plate +5, shield +5, rop+5, natural armor+5, Dex+1, Dodge feat = 42 ac. That dragon's going to be hitting an awful lot. Total damage would be 8d6+6d8+66 for a range of 80 to 176 pts of damage. In addition to that, the dragon can grapple with that bite attack and fling the warrior for an additional 9d6 damage (9 to 54 dmg) putting it over 200+ damage. I'd said with a +35, they're going to be hitting quite often.

Olethros
2007-04-10, 07:14 PM
OK, so as the OP, id like the mention that this thread is crashing. I think we had a very nice discussion on mages and now thats over, I am sad.

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-10, 07:17 PM
Ayup, looks like it.

The Glyphstone
2007-04-10, 07:19 PM
Understand this - you can scream "I'm... too sexy for the core rules, too sexy for the dice rolls, so sexy it huuuuuurts" at the top of your lungs, but that doesn't contribute anything to this argument.

Arguements nonwithstanding, I am SO sigging this...:smallbiggrin:

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-10, 07:25 PM
Thanks, I do try... :P

NullAshton
2007-04-10, 07:33 PM
Hey, anyone ever thought about if they have an amulet of adaptation? A steal at 9,000 GP, and suddenly force cage + cloudkill is useless.

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-10, 07:40 PM
Well, yes, but that removes the chance for you to get an amulet or periapt that would be more versatile, like one for Con or Wis or Natural Attacks. Most people's anti-wizard strategies don't go that far.

Although you could buy one and just put it on when the wizard tried that combo. That could work. Still, you just spent 9000 gp to counter something that took the wizard about 100gp to scribe. And you're still trapped.

Grr
2007-04-10, 07:49 PM
Or you could buy the Necklace of Adaptation and have the party wizard enchant it further with natural armor or stat bonuses or whatever you want.


Still, you just spent 9000 gp to counter something that took the wizard about 100gp to scribe. And 1500 gp to cast just one time. Ruby dust ain't cheap and probably isn't easy to find at the drop of a hat either.

NullAshton
2007-04-10, 08:07 PM
You don't need to replace your amulet at all. Put your regular amulet on first, then the necklace of adaptation. Your regular amulet takes precedent. If you need the amulet of adaptation, simply remove your regular amulet, and put it back on. The necklace of adaptation will be the current amulet, and it takes barely any time at all.

It's also useful for a lot more stuff. Cloudkill, acid fog, inhaled posions, vacuum, underwater, various monster special attacks... no adventurer would be complete without one.

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-10, 08:07 PM
Right, but it's still not something you see a lot of.

Olethros
2007-04-11, 01:43 AM
So a thought I had on the cloudkill combo problem. The cloud moves away from you at a rate of 10'/round, and has a radios of 20' this means that the most "bang" you get out of the spell is 4 rounds of poisony goodness. Against our helpless fighter, he will, on a rough average ignoring his saving throw, loose 8points of con in this time (4hp/lvl, so 80 hp at lvl 20). This is deffinetly te suck, but he aint dead. And if he has a potion of greater restoration (can you do that, I forget the potion rules?) He is feeling much better. Deffinetly a suckage combo, but unless you follow it up with more clouds, or some other spells, he is just pissed off and in a cage.

Tor the Fallen
2007-04-11, 01:47 AM
And 1500 gp to cast just one time. Ruby dust ain't cheap and probably isn't easy to find at the drop of a hat either.

Greater teleport.


So a thought I had on the cloudkill combo problem. The cloud moves away from you at a rate of 10'/round, and has a radios of 20' this means that the most "bang" you get out of the spell is 4 rounds of poisony goodness. Against our helpless fighter, he will, on a rough average ignoring his saving throw, loose 8points of con in this time (4hp/lvl, so 80 hp at lvl 20). This is deffinetly te suck, but he aint dead. And if he has a potion of greater restoration (can you do that, I forget the potion rules?) He is feeling much better. Deffinetly a suckage combo, but unless you follow it up with more clouds, or some other spells, he is just pissed off and in a cage.

You can take move actions, so you can walk (fly) around the forcecage.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-11, 01:50 AM
So a thought I had on the cloudkill combo problem. The cloud moves away from you at a rate of 10'/round, and has a radios of 20' this means that the most "bang" you get out of the spell is 4 rounds of poisony goodness. Against our helpless fighter, he will, on a rough average ignoring his saving throw, loose 8points of con in this time (4hp/lvl, so 80 hp at lvl 20). This is deffinetly te suck, but he aint dead. And if he has a potion of greater restoration (can you do that, I forget the potion rules?) He is feeling much better. Deffinetly a suckage combo, but unless you follow it up with more clouds, or some other spells, he is just pissed off and in a cage.
Thats why you use the variant with solid walls. So the cloudkill can't get out.

Tor the Fallen
2007-04-11, 01:52 AM
You can take move actions, so you can walk (fly) around the forcecage.

Cloudkill is rnds/min, not concentration, dumbass.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-11, 01:56 AM
Cloudkill is rnds/min, not concentration, dumbass.
Did you just call yourself a dumbass?

I wonder if its against the rules to flame yourself ;)

Tor the Fallen
2007-04-11, 01:58 AM
Did you just call yourself a dumbass?

I wonder if its against the rules to flame yourself ;)

Hey, he posted it, not me :smallannoyed:

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-11, 02:02 AM
Hey, he posted it, not me :smallannoyed:
I'm utterly confused with your last 3 posts.

Tor the Fallen
2007-04-11, 02:03 AM
Me too. I made a simple mistake, and then this jerk is calling me an a**hole. What gives?

Grr
2007-04-11, 02:08 AM
Greater teleport...
... doesn't do crap when jewelers just don't have that quantity of gems and jewels available. Nor does it help at all when you don't know where to find more after you've depleted someone's small stock of it. Just because the PHB says something costs X amount of gold means it's always available, 100% of the time everyone. Even the DMG refutes that. Wealth limits on towns and villages based upon their size.

Not that I use them since they're arbitrary charts that have no basis in reality and are there for lazy DM's.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-11, 02:09 AM
Me too. I made a simple mistake, and then this jerk is calling me an a**hole. What gives?
Who called you an a**hole?

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-11, 02:09 AM
... doesn't do crap when jewelers just don't have that quantity of gems and jewels available. Nor does it help at all when you don't know where to find more after you've depleted someone's small stock of it. Just because the PHB says something costs X amount of gold means it's always available, 100% of the time everyone. Even the DMG refutes that. Wealth limits on towns and villages based upon their size.

Not that I use them since they're arbitrary charts that have no basis in reality and are there for lazy DM's.
One Plane shift and your in Union or Sigil. All problems with supplies are now solved.

Olethros
2007-04-11, 02:31 AM
Cloudkill is rnds/min, not concentration, dumbass.

Just in case your calling me the dumbass.

A) Cloudkill is in Min/level, not rounds/min.
B) what does that heve to do with the fact that the cloud moves, outside of your direction or control.

Now I think i see the argument being made where, I the wizard, run around the cage so that "away from me" causes the cloud to orbit the poor trapped fighter. I have to say this doesnt work, and deffenetly violates the spirit if not letter of the rule.

Additionaly, the next line reads

"Figure out the cloud's new spread each round based on its new point of origin, which is 10 feet farther away from the point of origin where you cast the spell."

So accepting the the cloud changes direction as you move.

Rnd1 Cloud is cast, centered on point A.
Rnd2 Cloud center moves 10' to point B.
Rnd3 Wizard moves to a point perpendiculay to the line AB, adjasent to B. Could moves to point C.

According to a strict adherence to the RAW, which is neccessary to argue the cloud changes direction, point C must be 10' farther away from point A than point B was, which is to say, point C must be 20' away from point A. This means the cloud will actually move 17.3 (approx) feet away from B.

Even by the interpretation that the cloud changes direction, you cant keep it in the same place indefenetly, not even for the total duration (in minuets).

As for the "windowless forcecage traps gass." Were back into DM call mode. Cloudkill says nothing about the cloud being containable/existing as smaller parts, etc. It says a 20' cloud rolls away and down hill. I could see a DM rule that, any part of the cloud seerated from the area of effect instantly dissapates.

Turcano
2007-04-11, 02:35 AM
Cloudkill is rnds/min, not concentration, dumbass.


Hey, he posted it, not me :smallannoyed:


Me too. I made a simple mistake, and then this jerk is calling me an a**hole. What gives?

Wow. I've never seen a spontaneous manifestation of DID over the internet before. Fascinating.

Grr
2007-04-11, 02:43 AM
One Plane shift and your in Union or Sigil. All problems with supplies are now solved.
Once again, you people keep assuming every campaign is the same. You really need to stop assuming that just because it's in the PHB/DMG/MM, means your character has access to it.

Olethros
2007-04-11, 02:57 AM
Once again, you people keep assuming every campaign is the same. You really need to stop assuming that just because it's in the PHB/DMG/MM, means your character has access to it.

OK, lets assume youre saying that, the multiverse is not a constant on all campaign worlds, and that you perfer thet sigil does not exist in games you run.

Now, breeth deap for a second, its OK.

We all agree that you don't have to use Sigil if you don't want to. And that you could set ruby dust in your world so rare, that a wizard would be lucky to get his hands on the stuff enough times to cast the spell 6 times in his whole life. This is completly within your power. I will go out on a limb and say that nobody hear will continue to assume that conversations that include refrences to WBL tables, Cannon Story Materials, The Monster Manual, The Rules of D&D beyond the occasional use of multisided dice, apply to games you run.

The rest of us, however, are talking about far more generic settings, you may go so far as to say the vanilla worlds of D&D. I agree that these settings probably lack the right tapestry of culture, commerce, and society that your worlds contain, but we don't know, and in the scope of this thread don't want to know, all the details of your world. Just as you don't know the varriations I have woven into my homebrew world designes.

Getting angry because somebody mentioned a common fix for the hurdle proposed, because you don't offer it in your game, bellitles us all, and doesn't contribute to our enjoyment of the polite discorse.

Grr
2007-04-11, 03:01 AM
Even a generic vanilla D&D setting isn't going to have piles of 1500gp worth of ruby dust just lying around waiting to be bought. That's something that would have to be specially acquired. Not every problem can be solved by throwing money and spells at it. Wizard fanboys need to get over that perception.

Jasdoif
2007-04-11, 03:18 AM
As for the "windowless forcecage traps gass." Were back into DM call mode. Cloudkill says nothing about the cloud being containable/existing as smaller parts, etc. It says a 20' cloud rolls away and down hill. I could see a DM rule that, any part of the cloud seerated from the area of effect instantly dissapates.Well...cloudkill references fog cloud, which has a standard spread effect.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm#spread
Some effects, notably clouds and fogs, spread out from a point of origin, which must be a grid intersection. The effect can extend around corners and into areas that you can’t see. Figure distance by actual distance traveled, taking into account turns the spell effect takes. When determining distance for spread effects, count around walls, not through them. As with movement, do not trace diagonals across corners. You must designate the point of origin for such an effect, but you need not have line of effect (see below) to all portions of the effect.So walls block a spread.

A solid forcecage is composed of six faces of force, forming a solid cube. A spread can't escape it, because it has to count around walls and not through them, and there's no way for it to get out of the forcecage. I can easily see a ruling that, since cloudkill rolls along the ground, it's affected by terrain features, like the ground and walls, and is thus contained by the forcecage.

(For reference, incendiary cloud (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/incendiaryCloud.htm) is much more specific on how it moves.)

Roethke
2007-04-11, 03:39 AM
Even a generic vanilla D&D setting isn't going to have piles of 1500gp worth of ruby dust just lying around waiting to be bought. That's something that would have to be specially acquired. Not every problem can be solved by throwing money and spells at it. Wizard fanboys need to get over that perception.


Well, bringing some logic into it, any place where it is relatively common to have say, 100gp gems, will also be likely to have plenty of gem dust. It's the natural detritus from cutting and polishing stones.

Now it won't be lying about in piles, but a city with a fine gem-dealer or three should be able to act as a supplier. A wizard worth his salt should know to secure his spell components, and at that point, traveling to several such cities shouldn't be a big deal.

CockroachTeaParty
2007-04-11, 04:00 AM
Sorry, I haven't the time right now to read through the whole thread... but I've got an interesting fact to throw in here.

If this has already been mentioned, I apologize.

It is said that a wizard always goes first thanks to celerity and greater celerity. Although you can cast an immediate action spell when it's not your turn, you cannot use immediate actions while you are flat footed.

As quoted from the SRD:
"sing an immediate action on your turn is the same as using a swift action, and counts as your swift action for that turn. You cannot use another immediate action or a swift action until after your next turn if you have used an immediate action when it is not currently your turn (effectively, using an immediate action before your turn is equivalent to using your swift action for the coming turn). You also cannot use an immediate action if you are flat-footed (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/conditionSummary.htm#flatFooted)."

So, it's still quite possible to get the drop on a wizard, with a simple surprise round and perhaps beating the wizard in initiative, as he will be flat-footed until his first turn.

I don't see celerity as being nearly so useful now... granted, all the wizard has to do is survive the surprise attack or ambush before he unleashes his celerity - time stop - cloudkill nonsense, but a lot can happen in a surprise round... like an assassin's death attack, or an unpleasant improved grapple attack...

Grr
2007-04-11, 04:15 AM
Well, bringing some logic into it, any place where it is relatively common to have say, 100gp gems, will also be likely to have plenty of gem dust. It's the natural detritus from cutting and polishing stones.1500gp of ruby dust is a LOT of dust. Maybe a lifetime of cutting dust.


Now it won't be lying about in piles, but a city with a fine gem-dealer or three should be able to act as a supplier. A wizard worth his salt should know to secure his spell components, and at that point, traveling to several such cities shouldn't be a big deal.
Traveling to a number of cities and taking the time to go to each shop would be time consuming and not as instant as some people claim it would be. Most people don't appreciate having customers just "pop" and pop out. There are also possible encounters along way. Maybe one of those dragon hired assassins has been camping out a known jeweler the wizard frequents.

The Glyphstone
2007-04-11, 04:32 AM
Sorry, I haven't the time right now to read through the whole thread... but I've got an interesting fact to throw in here.

If this has already been mentioned, I apologize.

It is said that a wizard always goes first thanks to celerity and greater celerity. Although you can cast an immediate action spell when it's not your turn, you cannot use immediate actions while you are flat footed.

As quoted from the SRD:
"sing an immediate action on your turn is the same as using a swift action, and counts as your swift action for that turn. You cannot use another immediate action or a swift action until after your next turn if you have used an immediate action when it is not currently your turn (effectively, using an immediate action before your turn is equivalent to using your swift action for the coming turn). You also cannot use an immediate action if you are flat-footed (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/conditionSummary.htm#flatFooted)."

So, it's still quite possible to get the drop on a wizard, with a simple surprise round and perhaps beating the wizard in initiative, as he will be flat-footed until his first turn.

I don't see celerity as being nearly so useful now... granted, all the wizard has to do is survive the surprise attack or ambush before he unleashes his celerity - time stop - cloudkill nonsense, but a lot can happen in a surprise round... like an assassin's death attack, or an unpleasant improved grapple attack...

Celerity's good, but the key comes when you combine it with an Extended Foresight. That prevents you from ever being suprised or flat-footed, and thus you can always use Celerity.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-11, 04:50 AM
Celerity's good, but the key comes when you combine it with an Extended Foresight. That prevents you from ever being suprised or flat-footed, and thus you can always use Celerity.
Yep.

And just to stop this before someone wants to argue it. You can cast a quickened spell in the full round action given to you by greater celerity. Immediate actions use your next TURNS quickened action. Greater Celerity gives you a full round action, it doesn't change your place in the initiative order or use your action from the next turn.

Roethke
2007-04-11, 04:51 AM
1500gp of ruby dust is a LOT of dust. Maybe a lifetime of cutting dust.


Well, this is getting kind of silly, but I'd write it off to a matter of interpretation. I've always assumed that X gp worth of dust meant dust from X gp worth of gems (i.e. buy a 100 gp gem, and grind it up) rather than at whatever the scrap rate is. Seen this way 1500 gp isn't all that much (nothing to sneeze at, but we're not running any mines dry).

And in any event, I'd be surprised if it's a 'lifetime' of dust. These things are supposed to fit in component pouches, not require backpacks full of gem dust.

In addition, it would kind of raise the question of why anyone would have bothered researching the spell in the first place (or give great incentive to creating a version with a more accessible, if no less costly, component).



Traveling to a number of cities and taking the time to go to each shop would be time consuming and not as instant as some people claim it would be. Most people don't appreciate having customers just "pop" and pop out. There are also possible encounters along way. Maybe one of those dragon hired assassins has been camping out a known jeweler the wizard frequents.

Well, sure on the assassin, but that's why the Wizard knows about jewelers in many cities (They would tend advertise, or at the very least, the nobles would know.). Heck, the wizard wouldn't even have to go to the shops, or only once. If I were the wizard, I'd make some sort of arrangement with jewelers for their scraps. Or, if he must, simply teleport near the store (a ten minute walk outside of town?) or where have you, then walk in like everyone else, then walk out, and teleport away. Or take rooms in an inn and make a weekend of it.

Anyhow it's just once scenario. Of course, as DM, you can limit access to a spell or components, but at some point it's easier to houserule and say 'magic doesn't work like that in my game' than to try to come up with ever more elaborate in-game ways to explain it.

----
More generally, I think that's the heart of people's beef with your approach, (well that and the hostility). It's a given here, that houserules and homebrews are a good approach to dealing with some of the peculiarities of the system, or adding your own personal flair. Heck, there's an entire forum devoted solely to these sorts of fixes and creations. But in this forum, the d20 & General RPG, WoTC D&D (or whatever system is under discussion) is the frame of reference, and it becomes difficult to hold a discussion if the answer to every question is "DM Fiat". We know that answer, and it's fine as far is it goes.

But part of the charm of RP, at least for some people, is the notion that they're interacting in a world that exists independently of their PC's and the DM, according to a (mostly) predictable set of rules. The DM is less of an omnipotent being, and more of a moderator. Without that sense of PC control, I think something is lost. And it's really, really, hard to keep that sense of consistency if ad hoc houserules come up all the time.

~R

Pocket lint
2007-04-11, 08:44 AM
How to kill a wizard, for a rogue.

Alternative 1: You, as a rogue, get assigned to kill this uber-twink wizard.

Find out where the wizard usually hangs out. Gather information is your friend. He has to buy spell components *somewhere*...
Buy a ring of Spell Storing, with an AMF, or some similar item generating an AMF
Buy some masterwork manacles, or something like that. Clip one of the manacles to one of your arms.
Oh, and bring a dagger or eleventyfive.

Get to the place. Now hide somewhere where the wizard is likely to pass, such as outside his favourite pub, a loo, wherever. As soon as you notice the wizard approaching, turn on the AMF and prepare an action to...

First round. Wizard steps into your AMF, and his Celerity pops. Your prepared action kicks in, and you snap the other manacle to the wizard. Guess what - he's now in an AMF, with no working magic, and can't get away.

Second round: Stabbety fun
Third round: Stabbety fun
.... etc.

Alternative two: The gods drop you both into a circular, well-lit arena, with nothing to hide behind.

Round 1. Bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.

Dausuul
2007-04-11, 10:01 AM
How to kill a wizard, for a rogue.

Alternative 1: You, as a rogue, get assigned to kill this uber-twink wizard.

Find out where the wizard usually hangs out. Gather information is your friend. He has to buy spell components *somewhere*...
Buy a ring of Spell Storing, with an AMF, or some similar item generating an AMF
Buy some masterwork manacles, or something like that. Clip one of the manacles to one of your arms.
Oh, and bring a dagger or eleventyfive.

Get to the place. Now hide somewhere where the wizard is likely to pass, such as outside his favourite pub, a loo, wherever. As soon as you notice the wizard approaching, turn on the AMF and prepare an action to...

First round. Wizard steps into your AMF, and his Celerity pops. Your prepared action kicks in, and you snap the other manacle to the wizard. Guess what - he's now in an AMF, with no working magic, and can't get away.

Second round: Stabbety fun
Third round: Stabbety fun
.... etc.

Alternative two: The gods drop you both into a circular, well-lit arena, with nothing to hide behind.

Round 1. Bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.

Sadly, Foresight would probably warn the wizard not to enter the AMF.

What you really want to do is have three rogues. Rogues #1 and #2 hang out near the wizard in disguise. Rogue #1 has the Ring of Spell Storing, and readies an action to activate the ring the moment the wizard starts casting. Rogue #2 has the manacles, and readies an action to manacle the wizard the moment Rogue #1 activates the ring.

A few rounds pass. No imminent danger yet, nobody's doing anything, Foresight doesn't go off.

Then Rogue #3 declares his intention to shoot an arrow at the wizard. Foresight triggers. The wizard starts casting Celerity. Rogue #1's readied action triggers. She fires off the ring and Celerity fails. Rogue #2's readied action triggers. He manacles the wizard to Rogue #1's wrist.

Now you can stabbity death. :)

Latronis
2007-04-11, 11:09 AM
And the wizard can be in a sculpted AMF that renders your ring innert anyway

Olethros
2007-04-11, 11:28 AM
Even a generic vanilla D&D setting isn't going to have piles of 1500gp worth of ruby dust just lying around waiting to be bought.

*Sigh*

A quantity of gem dust worth 1500gp can be bought in any populated area where the towns "gold limit" is greater than 1500, unless the DM says otherwise. We allready covered that once the DM starts saying otherwise because he has a different vision of the world than the RAW, we can't really have an open discussion on the matter.

-break-

I would like to pose the economical quandry that perhaps 1500gp of ruby dust is in fact a very small amount of dust, far less than what one would aquire from grinding 1500gp worth of rubies. In an economical system where the edjucated craftsman/proprieter knows there are such things as spell components, and knows that the crazy wizard likes to roll into the shop, still smoldering from kicking over a dragon hord, and be willing to drop an inormerant sum of gold for the throw away scraps from that ring he just finished for the prince, it is very likely that the minimum amound of dust needed will be set at the maximum value said crazy wizards are like to pay.

Conversly, if a wizard roles in and hands the gem-cutter a 100gp ruby and askes for it to be ground up. The gem-cutter has the savy to charge "labor" fees that mysteriosly come out to 1500gp/minimum amount of dust.

Counterspin
2007-04-11, 11:47 AM
Why are we arguing about what's in the DMG with someone who doesn't use any it again? So far in this thread he's rejected city wealth, wealth by level, and easy access to magic. I don't think Grr could even pick the DMG out of a lineup, he plays such a deeply houseruled game.

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-11, 12:18 PM
...which, let me stress again, is fine! Heavy houseruling makes games fun, most of the time. Grr and his players presumably are having a good game of it.

But it does mean that his game experience has so little in common with the "default" assumptions of the game, that a balance discussion across both circumstances just completely breaks down.

Basically here's what I see happening:

A: Using the rules as written, wizards are pretty broken. They need housruling to fix.
B: No, wizards are just fine by RAW.
A: Errr...no, because they can do XYZ.
B: But they can't DO that because in my game I don't run things that way.
A: Isn't that a houserule?

Olethros
2007-04-11, 12:30 PM
Im still thinking about this pile of dust.

Alternativle it might be a giant Sack of dust, like a pillow case or something. Becase a fine powder of gem dust is, outside of spell component usage, rather worthless. After all a gem derives most of its value from its ability to be cut, set, and used in fine jewlery.

Or, its a small amount of dust, because even though the dust itself is useless/worthless it requiers vasts amounts of man-hours and special equoment to produce.

This is why I wish they would just write 1 gram of ruby dust, costing 1500 (standard).

huh, I need to work less, game more.

Pocket lint
2007-04-11, 01:23 PM
Sadly, Foresight would probably warn the wizard not to enter the AMF.
Drat, I thought Foresight only gave you "no surprise/flatfooted", but the darn thing gives you advance warning too. That's not so bad, though, the trouble is (surprise, surprise) that non-Core Celerity spell that lets the wizard get an action in beforehand.

But the rogue can keep doing this all day ... and remember, he's hidden, not invisible, AND he's completely impervious to any scrying spells the wizard might cast. Until he's in a position to strike, there's no reason for him to move at all. All the wizard knows is "Danger! Danger! Don't take that next step!", with no other explanation than that.

Let's say the wizard uses his Celerity for some casting. Unless that spell is Teleport of some variety, he's screwed. Levitate/Fly et al are useful, but you don't get to move AND cast during the action it gives you. Time to move in.

If he *doesn't* do that... wait. Either he needs to voluntarily step into the AMF, or waste his Celerity somehow. Otherwise he can still get away, through Celerity+Teleport.

There is one thing that's threatening the rogue at this point: Disjunction. That's the only spell that will affect an AMF, but it requires that the wizard knows where to cast it. As long as the rogue stays hidden, the wizard isn't going to know this. Unfortunately, Disjunction is also part of the anti-fighter tactics of Timestop+Disjunction+Cloudkill+Forcecage, so if the rogue reveals himself, he'd be chancing his AMF to stay up. I don't know the odds offhand, but I doubt they're ones I would bet my life on.

As for the wizard doing the shaped AMF thing, let me quote the SRD:

Two or more antimagic fields sharing any of the same space have no effect on each other..

Granted, Celerity + Foresight is a powerful combination - unless the wizard chooses to teleport to home *every* *single* *time* his Foresight tingles, the rogue has pretty much a guaranteed kill. And the wizard can get spells more cheaply than the rogue can.

In the arena case, assuming the rogue has his AMF ring, that's his ticket to surviving. That, and hoping the wizard doesn't disjunct it away. Otherwise, he's SOL. Sure, the wizard has all the escape options - any kind of flying spell that lets him stay more than 10' away would keep him out of the rogue's reach. And when the AMF wears off, it's barbecue time...

This tactic doesn't require a rogue, by the way, just someone who can use a Ring of Spell Storing and has a decent Hide skill.

ZekeArgo
2007-04-11, 01:37 PM
Let's say the wizard uses his Celerity for some casting. Unless that spell is Teleport of some variety, he's screwed. Levitate/Fly et al are useful, but you don't get to move AND cast during the action it gives you. Time to move in.

Going to stop here. Two Words: Phantom Steed

Counterspin
2007-04-11, 01:37 PM
SpiderBrigade : Grr already knows I don't think there's anything wrong with his game, I've told him as much.

Pocket lint
2007-04-11, 01:44 PM
Going to stop here. Two Words: Phantom Steed
Nopes, doesn't work:
1) He *still* doesn't get to cast AND move during his celerity-created one single standard action.
2) The mount starts out standing next to him. He's not instantly teleported into the saddle. One move action to mount, or a Free action with a good enough ride skill - if you have a move action available. Which he hasn't, since his round hasn't started. And YOU try to mount a steed while you're dizzied...

ETA: Or was it dazed, even? (still don't have PHBII) In that case, he doesn't get the move action to begin with, so no free-action mounting.

ThunderEagle
2007-04-11, 01:46 PM
Celerity, greater. its a move and standard action in one.

Gamebird
2007-04-11, 02:05 PM
Even a generic vanilla D&D setting isn't going to have piles of 1500gp worth of ruby dust just lying around waiting to be bought. That's something that would have to be specially acquired. Not every problem can be solved by throwing money and spells at it. Wizard fanboys need to get over that perception.

In a core D&D setting, YES, there will be ruby dust available to purchase in any settlement of appropriate size. There will be, because the DMG says it will be and the setting we're discussing is CORE. Ie, not yours, not house-ruled. The wizard might have to travel to get to a settlement of appropriate size, but that's hardly an inconvenience for a guy who likely knows how to Teleport. He learned his spells somewhere, from someone. And it is entirely reasonable that in the process of learning Forcecage, he inquired about likely source locations for components. We're talking about a wizard who already knows the spell. By RAW, spell learning at level-up happens automatically. Now most DMs I know say the wizard has to spend some time learning/training/whatever, and/or that it's assumed he learned it during some convenient recent downtime. But that's a house-rule. By RAW, you just learn it instantly when you level up and it appears in your book free of charge, without needing to find a teacher.


1500gp of ruby dust is a LOT of dust. Maybe a lifetime of cutting dust.

No, it's precisely 1500 gp of ruby dust. No more, no less. It may consist of a single grain, or perhaps 10 pounds or more. It doesn't matter how much it is, but only how much it costs. If ruby dust is exceedingly rare or stupidly common is irrelevant. All that matters is the spell requires however much ruby dust 1500 gold will buy.