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Fax Celestis
2007-07-28, 05:08 PM
What's your favorite D&D 3.5 book, and why?

bosssmiley
2007-07-28, 05:13 PM
At the moment: Tome of Battle. Those who have it understand, those who don't: "Stop reading this, go out and buy that book!"

I like to cuddle my ToB when I'm not using it in play. Were it not against all the laws of god and man I would marry that book. :smallbiggrin:
(and - knowing my luck recently - thread killed)

Yuki Akuma
2007-07-28, 05:16 PM
You first, Faxie.

Oh, alright. My favourite currently is World's Largest City. It's like a novel there's so much flavour text...

Fax Celestis
2007-07-28, 05:18 PM
My personal favorite has to be Magic of Incarnum. It's just so malleable.

...though I will admit I have a schoolgirl crush on MM-V right now.

Bosaxon
2007-07-28, 05:25 PM
PHBII FTW!!!

In all seriousness, the additional of viable core classes, varient class features, decent fighter feats, as well as content for new players (i.e. hints for character identies, advice for the table, and discussion about forming the party) serves as a practical addition for any player.

The Gilded Duke
2007-07-28, 05:29 PM
At the moment...
Expanded Psionics Handbook and Secrets of Sarlonna

In the Past.. Tome of Battle

bugsysservant
2007-07-28, 05:48 PM
I would go with ToB if there are hyper Batman powergaming wizards to compete against, because without it, ordinary meleers can't stand up. But if I'm in a group thats more focused on RPing, or flavor, I would have to go with the Magic item Compendium. There's just so MUCH! But for players, go with the PHB II. Also, I found the complete Scoundrel and Heroes of Horror to be the best to read, though not the best to actually play with.

Khantalas
2007-07-28, 05:51 PM
Heroes of Horror.
I also worship Raistlin1040.
I want to elope with it and marry it in Vegas. It has two of my favorite things in D&D, Archivist and Unholy Scion. In fact, I want to add Unholy Scion to everything so they can take levels in Fiend of Corruption. Which is a third favorite of mine.

Of course, I could easily replace it with Expanded Psionics Handbook, Tome of Magic, Tome of Battle or Frostburn, I just don't wanna.

ClericofPhwarrr
2007-07-28, 05:51 PM
This is such a hard choice! I have to go with Expanded Psionics Handbook, though.

Mr Pants
2007-07-28, 05:53 PM
Unearthed Arcana and the PHBII

I love variants and especially enjoy having so many options for my characters.

Inyssius Tor
2007-07-28, 06:06 PM
Probably Tome of Battle,
...though I will admit I have a schoolgirl crush on MM-V right now.

Saph
2007-07-28, 06:13 PM
Player's Handbook II for me.

Good classes, good feats, good spells. I use it more than any other non-core book bar the Spell Compendium.

- Saph

Dihan
2007-07-28, 07:05 PM
I like the Tome of Magic.

Jimp
2007-07-28, 07:10 PM
Lords of Madness

So much great information on some of the strangest yet most interesting monsters in D&D.

BrokenButterfly
2007-07-28, 07:28 PM
The core Monster Manual I think, or possibly Fiendish Codex One. The vast bestiary is my favourite part of the game by far.

Dhavaer
2007-07-28, 07:33 PM
Maybe Complete Mage? I do like the Eldritch Theurge.

Kizara
2007-07-28, 08:04 PM
Hard to really nail a particular book.

I like the Cwarrior, and refer to it alot.

I just bought cityscape and I find it has alot of flavour in it.

Lord Nyax
2007-07-28, 08:30 PM
Complete Arcane. Warlocks...are my friends.

Lord Iames Osari
2007-07-28, 08:38 PM
XPH. Psionics FTW!

nerulean
2007-07-28, 08:46 PM
I'm loving Complete Mage at the moment as well; Eldritch Disciple and Lyric Thaumaturge? Yes please!

That said, less fickle, more practical love goes out to Unearthed Arcana, book of variants that I think would be a great idea and then find and do not have to stat up for myself. Long live UA!

Drider
2007-07-28, 08:59 PM
my favorate fluffwise for a book is heroes of horror
my favorate crunchwise...complete warrior, i like a having an effective character, but ToB/magic-casting class gets rid of the challenge.
my favorate pictures are probably BoEF...j/k...semi-joking...
DON'T JUDGE ME!!!
roflmao

Quietus
2007-07-28, 09:01 PM
My personal favorite has to be Magic of Incarnum. It's just so malleable.

...though I will admit I have a schoolgirl crush on MM-V right now.

Oddly enough, I was about to look into that for a Dragonborn Dwarf I'm looking at drawing up.



Complete Arcane. Warlocks...are my friends.

That's kind of like saying Wizards are powerful. The extent to which you like Warlocks is... well, obscene.

Gralamin
2007-07-28, 09:04 PM
As a DM? Currently MM5, previously Draconomicon (Xorvintaal Likes them both however. I also found out Xorvintaal Battle Dragon's are scary!)

As a Player? Three way tie between Tome of Battle, Tome of Magic, and Expanded Psionics Handbook.

Saithis Bladewing
2007-07-28, 09:06 PM
I'm gonna have to say PHBII. I've found it the most useful of my books.

Dhavaer
2007-07-28, 09:12 PM
my favorate pictures are probably BoEF...j/k...semi-joking...
DON'T JUDGE ME!!!
roflmao

I found the BoEF pictures rather hit or miss. They were mostly quite good, but the gnome was just... urg. Looked like a catwalk model after a week without sleep.

Tengu
2007-07-28, 09:16 PM
Tome of Battle. It's so awesome that it's my favorite even though I've never read it.

Starsinger
2007-07-28, 09:18 PM
Magic's Pawn... Oh? D&D Book :smalltongue: Expanded Psionics Handbook... although the inability for a Psion to use Charisma instead of Int saddens me.

de-trick
2007-07-28, 09:26 PM
well I'm going with the book that 99.99999% D&D players get first thats right players handbook #1, a classic

(don't ask where I got the statics I guessed but should be close though)

Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick
2007-07-28, 09:46 PM
A three-way tie betwixt the MIC, Complete Scoundrel, and ToB.

Lemur
2007-07-28, 09:57 PM
Tricky choice, but I'd have to say the XPH. I likes me teh psionics.

Hadrian_Emrys
2007-07-28, 10:20 PM
ToB every swordsage thatever was, is, and will be are walking manifestations of my lurve.

brian c
2007-07-28, 10:23 PM
Tome of Battle. It's the first and probably only splatbook that I've ever bought (I only own that and a paperback PHB).

I do like CWarrior a lot though, and Libris Mortis. Unearthed Arcana and PHB2 for the variants.

Armads
2007-07-28, 10:24 PM
Tome of Battle. It simply rocks.

Neon Knight
2007-07-28, 10:26 PM
Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords.

Sornjss Lichdom
2007-07-28, 10:31 PM
Well the obviose ToB, but there are some powerful and over looked books, were would any spell caster be with out Spell Compediom, hm..?

technomage
2007-07-28, 10:39 PM
Frostburn because it's cool :smallcool:

and has frost folk :smallsmile:

namo
2007-07-28, 11:50 PM
Tome of Battle : finally, I am not bored by melee combat anymore.

XPH and Spell Compendium are close behind.

skywalker
2007-07-29, 12:37 AM
Surprise, surprise, Tome of Battle, PHB2, and Magic Item Compendium are all very, very close to my heart(with complete scoundrel right behind). Complete Warrior, too, is in there. I also have a soft spot for, get ready, get ready... Book of Exalted Deeds!(My friends call me "White Knight" and it was my first D&D book ever)

ImperiousLeader
2007-07-29, 01:01 AM
I'm caught between ToB and the Eberron Campaign Setting.

ALOR
2007-07-29, 01:04 AM
well i'm going to be a little off of everyone else
I think my favorite is Dungeonscape currently, although i love most of the eberron stuff to and the MIC
(runs into hiding before everyone finds out he didn't like ToB)

Reinboom
2007-07-29, 01:27 AM
Player's Handbook 2 has the Beguiler in it- quickly becoming my favored class. If it wasn't for not knowing...
Spell Compendium has benign transposition, which I love! It also has Ruin Delvar's Fortune — which I am recently growing fond of. If only Beguiler could learn these. :(
Magic Item Compendium fuels everything else.
Tome of Battle has actually made me interested in playing a melee class.


So for most favored book - tie between PHB2 and Spell Compendium with MIC and ToB followed closely behind.

Morty
2007-07-29, 03:33 AM
Probably PHB II. It's just full of useful feats, spells, class variants, and much more. Spell Compendium is made of awesome too. I was severely dissapointed with Complete Arcane -I love wizards, but this books doesn't really provide much material- and ToB is largely overrated.

The_Chilli_God
2007-07-29, 03:47 AM
Complete Scoundrel

I know about the crap that it got about rust monsters on a stick and useless skill tricks and ineffective feats and all that.
But!
There's no other source-book in existence that quotes Han Solo and has the phrase "Downright Lucky Bastards" in the same page. I was in love from page 7.

Attilargh
2007-07-29, 04:00 AM
I'm tied between the Iron Kingdoms Character Guide and Iron Kingdoms World Guide. I just love Western Immoren, and gun mages, and warjacks, and warcasters, and bodgers, and everything else related to the Kingdoms.

AKA_Bait
2007-07-29, 08:32 AM
I'm going to have to go with Magic Items Compendium. I just like spiffy magic toys I guess.

Drider
2007-07-29, 08:51 AM
I found the BoEF pictures rather hit or miss. They were mostly quite good, but the gnome was just... urg. Looked like a catwalk model after a week without sleep.

...it's best to ignore some of them


*shudder*

Swooper
2007-07-29, 09:24 AM
Tough question. ToB, Complete Arcane, PHB2 and Quintessential Elf (OGL) all spring to mind.

CockroachTeaParty
2007-07-29, 11:08 AM
I would say the Expanded Psionics Handbook. It was my first 3.5 book, and eventually got me to switch over from 3.0. However... I lost it. :smallfrown:

So... Out of what I currently own... Yeah, I'll have to go with the Player's Handbook II. It beats ToB because it has better artwork. Some of the pictures in Tome of Battle are silly. My favorite picture in D&D is the one for 'Master Manipulator.'

drawingfreak
2007-07-29, 11:19 AM
The Original Player's Handbook, cause let's face it; without the PHB, where is the game?

Thrawn183
2007-07-29, 11:50 AM
ToB: It finally gave me the chance to play low strength-high damage melee's. It also made it so my low wisdom melee's didn't kill my own party. Ah, to finally have effective defenses against magic. *sniff*

I have no idea if they'll ever come out with more base classes or PrC's. I've never seen a book before where I was so torn between multiclassing or going the straight 20.

PHB II probably would be a close second. Then Complete Warrior for feats.

So: ToB>PHBII>C.War.>all others.

Arbitrarity
2007-07-29, 11:53 AM
*loves his ToB*
:smallsmile:

Gralamin
2007-07-29, 11:58 AM
The Original Player's Handbook, cause let's face it; without the PHB, where is the game?

More Balanced :smallamused:

Reinforcements
2007-07-29, 12:02 PM
I'd say it's a toss-up between Tome of Battle and Player's Handbook II. Both are just absolutely fantastic books.

[random rant] - Dammit, how is it that everyone seems to love ToB yet every ******* online DM refuses to let me use it?

Drascin
2007-07-29, 12:26 PM
Mmmm... tough question. Probably XPH, with ToB right behind. Don't misunderstand me, ToB is nothing short of magnificent, but the XPH has influenced every single campaign setting I've made since I got it. I refuse to DM an non-psionic campaign, and I have gotten to the point I feel I could run a psi-only campaign (no arcane or divine) and be perfectly content with it.

Everyman
2007-07-29, 12:52 PM
I've always been a fan of Complete Adventurer, since I'm a skill lover.

Also, I've recently developed a fling for the binders out of Tome of Magic.

puppyavenger
2007-07-29, 01:50 PM
SRD it's all I have.

PlatinumJester
2007-07-29, 02:34 PM
Book of Vile Darkess - the whole concept is cool. New poisons, torture and human body parts as spell components are just some of the cool stuff in there. I know you must be thinking what a weirdo for thinking that stuff is cool but there is something about it that compels me to read more, especially compared to BoED which was just lame.

As for ToB, it sounds good but I haven't seen it yet.

Zeta Kai
2007-07-29, 03:27 PM
As a DM who is currently running pirate campaign, I may that Stormwrack is a thing of genius.

Also, my only complaint about the thoroughly awesome Heroes of Battle is that it is far too short. I could craft armies all damn day.

Joltz
2007-07-29, 05:00 PM
A three-way tie betwixt the MIC, Complete Scoundrel, and ToB.
I second that.

Shiny loot/toys/item tables = Really fun fluff = freaking awesome melee combat

Among the books that haven't been mentioned (excessively) yet, I like Heroes of Horror. It has lots of DMing tips and I like the taint mechanic.

The Vorpal Tribble
2007-07-29, 05:06 PM
Expanded Psionics Handbook. Yeah, I know, big surprise. I adore psionics, and I absolutely love everything in it from the illustrations down to the creatures.

#2. Complete Scoundrel. This is the book I would have written if I'd known how. Its not just cool, it is actually imaginative! It encourages you to do something besides just cast this or slash that. Fantastic.

#3. This is a tough one... but probably Manual of the Planes oddly enough. I thoroughly enjoyed just reading through it, even if I'm told its not very in theme with the original concepts of the planes.

Then comes Heroes of Horror, Frostburn, and the Book of Exalted Deeds.

CASTLEMIKE
2007-07-29, 06:46 PM
XPH is pretty well designed. Sort of what the sorcerer should have been particularly with the different variants you can add now like Educated Wilder.

Matthew
2007-07-29, 10:02 PM
Probably Unearthed Arcana, as it is such a good collection of ideas to open up the RAW.

The Tome of Battle is probably my least favourite book, primarily because of all the hype surrounding it and the fact that when I finally got round to reading it, I thought it was 'okay'. It's the Harry Potter of D&D.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-29, 10:08 PM
The Tome of Battle... the Harry Potter of D&D.

You take that back! You take that back or I'll cut you while yelling an attack name out!

Starsinger
2007-07-29, 10:17 PM
You take that back! You take that back or I'll cut you while yelling an attack name out!

I love ToB! I wanna make a ToB character who uses different names for the attacks, like... "Flaming fist of the ravenous monkey that eats chicken!" instead of "Moment of Clarity" or whatever ^_^

Matthew
2007-07-29, 10:56 PM
The Tome of Battle... the Harry Potter of D&D.



You take that back! You take that back or I'll cut you while yelling an attack name out!

Hey, I call 'em like I see 'em (and also when it strikes me as funny). However, to avoid gaining a reputation as a certain regenerating Monstrous Humanoid that has a reputation for hassling goats and living under bridges, I will 'take it back', more or less.

Delaney Gale
2007-07-29, 11:17 PM
As a rapier duelist, I have such a schoolgirl crush on Diamond Mind swordsages it isn't funny. Tome of Battle may have a lot of hype, but I loved playing a poncy-as-all-get-out Diamond Mind swordsage in a ToB-only one-shot so, so much.

'sides that, the Magic Item Compendium. So useful! So convenient! So full of "Nine Hells, Delaney, we're NEVER LETTING YOU HAVE THAT!!!"

Exarch
2007-07-29, 11:20 PM
For me, probably the ToB. It saddens me even more, because all my friends think it's horrendously broken. Well, I'll show them what's "broken" when I play a wizard next. -.-

Other than that, I love the PHB2. So much usefulness and awesome feats.

CWarrior is fun. I wish I could get someone to let me use feats from the WoW book.

Also, I loathe Psionics.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-29, 11:27 PM
Also, I loathe Psionics.

Oh no! A type of magic that's *gasp* balanced!
How horrid!

brian c
2007-07-29, 11:55 PM
Oh no! A type of magic that's *gasp* balanced!
How horrid!

I don't care much for psionics either, never used them or allowed them in a game. I'm sure they're balanced, but I don't like psychic flavor in my fantasy RPG. It just seems awkward; that having been said, I know lots of people use it and love it, so good for them, just isn't my cup of tea.

Morty
2007-07-30, 03:08 AM
Oh no! A type of magic that's *gasp* balanced!
How horrid!

Plus it's boring, unoriginal -yuck, power point system- and -in my personal opinion- fits fantasy setting as punch fits nose. Not everything is about game balance, you know.

Fax Celestis
2007-07-30, 12:43 PM
Plus it's boring, unoriginal -yuck, power point system- and -in my personal opinion- fits fantasy setting as punch fits nose. Not everything is about game balance, you know.

I'll say it again: flavor is malleable, mechanics are not. Don't like the flavor? Change it around. That's easy.

bosssmiley
2007-07-30, 12:49 PM
The Tome of Battle is probably my least favourite book, primarily because of all the hype surrounding it and the fact that when I finally got round to reading it, I thought it was 'okay'. It's the Harry Potter of D&D.

Aaaawwwwww mate. Fair play, ToB might not be to all tastes (I know - and see the reasoning of - a couple of "Get your poxy wushu out of my D&D!" players myself); but how could you liken my much-thumbed and well-cuddled book of fighty goodness to that series, of all things? :smalleek:

I feel like you just kicked my dog now. I'm just... :smallconfused: :smallannoyed: :smallfrown: ...gutted.

Matthew
2007-07-30, 12:52 PM
Just struck me as funny and true, at the time. Feelings run strong for both products, and on both sides of the divide, almost to the point where their content is completely overshadowed by the opinions of their supporters and detractors.

Anywho I used the Take it Back Manoeuvre (Serpent's Tongue School) to take it back, but, as the Master says, not everything that was said can be unsaid...

Morty
2007-07-30, 12:54 PM
I'll say it again: flavor is malleable, mechanics are not. Don't like the flavor? Change it around. That's easy.

Good luck changing whole psionics flavor. Besides, it's not just about flavor, it's about power point system which is boring, uninventive and fits video games, but not D&D.


Aaaawwwwww mate. Fair play, ToB might not be to all tastes (I know - and see the reasoning of - a couple of "Get your poxy wushu out of my D&D!" players myself); but how could you liken my much-thumbed and well-cuddled book of fighty goodness to that series, of all things?

I feel like you just kicked my dog now. I'm just... ...gutted.

I'll Coup-de-Grace you by saying that I don't like ToB either, for resons similiar to Matthew's.

Person_Man
2007-07-30, 01:03 PM
I'm a sucker for the environment books, Frostburn, Stormwrack, etc. I tend to DM more then I play, so I want to be able to read a chapter, modify it slightly, and then then drop my PCs directly into it. Tome of Battle and the Completes are crunch tastic, but I don't really need them to make my plot or encounters more interesting or fun.

ALOR
2007-07-30, 01:12 PM
Good luck changing whole psionics flavor. Besides, it's not just about flavor, it's about power point system which is boring, uninventive and fits video games, but not D&D.

i couldn't agree more
I don't like Psionics flavor either , but at least with 2e version of Psionics it was a completly diffrent feel and mechanic than magic (even though it was unbalanced) . The current version is magic with spell points by a diffrent name.

AaronH
2007-07-30, 03:19 PM
I really like the Draconomicon. (did I spell that right?) I don't know, I have never used anything from it, but I just really love the books fluff and artwork.

PHB3.5 is great too, simply because of the ranger.

bosssmiley
2007-07-30, 03:24 PM
I'll Coup-de-Grace you by saying that I don't like ToB either, for reasons similiar to Matthew's.

Crazy [email protected] Radium-discovering (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Curie), heliocentrism-confirming (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolaus_Copernicus), Vienna-saving (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Vienna), tank-charging (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_cavalry), ToB-hating Poles!
Nearly as [email protected] crazy as the crazy [email protected] Finns! :smallbiggrin: :smallwink:

Exil3dbyrd
2007-07-30, 03:30 PM
complete Adventurer

ninjas, scouts, spellthiefs, theifish prestige classes galore... so many new ways to play a rogue... perfect for those of us who like to stay in the shadows :smalltongue:

brian c
2007-07-30, 03:52 PM
Good luck changing whole psionics flavor. Besides, it's not just about flavor, it's about power point system which is boring, uninventive and fits video games, but not D&D.

Strangely enough, even though I don't like psionics, I love the power points magic variant from UA, but only for sorcerers (hence my version of the class using that variant). Power points seem a little too complicated though, with how you can spend more on a power or whatever that's all about.

Krimm_Blackleaf
2007-07-30, 04:04 PM
Probably Fiendish Codex II, it's a mythology of Hell that I enjoy and have been looking for for ages. I really feel like I have a handle of the LE side of the underworld with it. Not to mention the amazing fluff the book packs.

Dizlag
2007-07-30, 04:05 PM
My favorite has got to be the Red Hand of Doom (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/dndacc/953857400) D&D Adventure. It has got to be the best $29.95 I've ever spent on a book, supplement, adventure, etc. It took me a year to run my group through it gaming every other friday night for about three-four hour sessions.

The adventures made sense, it had a nice flow to it, and I was able to adapt it to my 6 character party very easily. The players enjoyed the adventures and the urgency created by the horde advancing truly added a lot to the "feel" of those months of gaming.

And, as someone mentioned in a thread a week or so ago (sorry I forgot who that was) ... it's got "OF DOOM" in the title! How can you beat it?!?! :smallbiggrin:

Dizlag

tainsouvra
2007-07-30, 04:12 PM
I'd vote first for the Player's Handbook, primarily because there's a lot of untapped potential in there. Honestly, many players get so caught up in splatbooks that they forget where it all begins.

Beyond that, though, I'm going to have to add my vote in for the Expanded Psionics Handbook. Best treatment of psi they've done, and probably one of the best-balanced optional books out there...which is surprising if you've seen the 3.0 version (the "author" hadn't, I kid you not).

Starsinger
2007-07-30, 04:31 PM
Good luck changing whole psionics flavor. Besides, it's not just about flavor, it's about power point system which is boring, uninventive and fits video games, but not D&D.

I find MP, Spell Points, Mana, Power Points, I.S.P., P.P.E., what have you better than the stupid "vancian" system.

Fighter: Cast Knock
Wizard: I can't remember how...

Merlin the Tuna
2007-07-30, 04:37 PM
Good luck changing whole psionics flavor.Do I win for providing your impossible scenario two years in the past? (http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=470229) Because for the record, I hates me some time travel.
Besides, it's not just about flavor, it's about power point system which is elegant, sensible, and entirely in keeping with both the simplification initiative that has been driving the game for the last 7 years and traditional fantasy in general.Fixed that for you.
The Tome of Battle is probably my least favourite book, primarily because of all the hype surrounding it and the fact that when I finally got round to reading it, I thought it was 'okay'.Your least favorite book is one that you still thought was okay?

We need to get this man the Book of Exalted Deeds, stat.

Kioran
2007-07-30, 04:44 PM
I'll say it again: flavor is malleable, mechanics are not. Don't like the flavor? Change it around. That's easy.

I donīt quite get that hang-up. In second Edition AD&D you were actually supposed to houserule and customize, and small alterations to some mechanics are not more difficult than rewriting flavor if you have the imagination to project the outcome or the courage to revise your own rulings if proven faulty. It might not be RAW, but I donīt get why RAW should be more sacred than the canon background of your "crunch". Both must be uniform for "international"/comparative play, but can be reworked at your own game table......

As for books: I like the UA and PHB II, as well as complete Warrior. All three books make good supplements, and easily some of the best things to pick up after Core. But the Core books - now, theyīre awesome if you donīt actively endeavor to break them. Iīm DMing a core-only campaign IRL right now (slightly altered version of the "Above and Below" I also started here as PbP game), and my players and I are perfectly content with their Rangers, Monks, Rogues and Clerics.

Matthew
2007-07-30, 04:44 PM
Your least favorite book is one that you still thought was okay?

We need to get this man the Book of Exalted Deeds, stat.

As I explained, it is not my least favourite book because of the content, but because of the huge overreaction to that content, much like Harry Potter is my least favourite children's fantasy series not because of the content (which I thought was okay), but because of the huge overreaction to that content.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 04:49 PM
I'd vote first for the Player's Handbook, primarily because there's a lot of untapped potential in there. Honestly, many players get so caught up in splatbooks that they forget where it all begins.

Untapped potential?
Like... like what?

Exarch
2007-07-30, 04:51 PM
Oh no! A type of magic that's *gasp* balanced!
How horrid!

Yikes, who said anything about not liking it because it's balanced? I generally don't like playing as caster period.

I like Power Point system, I just don't like psionics. I don't think it fits in well with the Arcane and Divine casting. I like psionics for a future or current setting type game, but not historical fantasy.

And no, it's not very easy to rewrite the flavor for psionics. It's not Arcane, and it's not Divine, what else could it be?

Kioran
2007-07-30, 04:57 PM
Untapped potential?
Like... like what?

Like having a base structure that is still lightweight and free enough to build interesting encounters with, If some creativity is applied? I used an Adept in my current campaign, who was, in the PbP incarnation, not even recognized as such. I can freely use humanoid enemies with class levels besides normal Monsters without huge power/CR disparities. Using these limited mechanics is easier on my new players (in my RL-group) and clears our heads for more RP (I agree itīs not a prerequisite, but it works for us).
All in all, Core-Only is not a cesspool of misery if your players and you play in a more relaxed, laid-back fashion.

Hell, I have surprised my players by simply applying a template (fiendish in this case) to the NPCs I sicced on them in the past. I didnīt need an MM V to do it.......

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 05:01 PM
So... "god magic" and "mumble-and-gesture" magic fit, but "mind magic" somehow doesn't? I don't get it. Nobody ever suggests that Mind Flayers "don't fit in D&D". What makes mind powers somehow science-fiction? Especially the kind of mind powers D&D psions have?
Mercedes Lackey's books are quite popular, have telepathy and other mind-magic, and no one accuses them of being sci-fi.

There's lots of other things it could be. Look at the Tome of Magic, which introduced three new non-arcane-or-divine types of magic. Off the top of my head, I could reflavor Psionics as another kind of arcane magic, as another kind of divine magic, as bringing the dreamworld into reality, as compact-powers Warlock style, as powers gained through a fundamental knowledge and understanding of the world and how it works, as ki powers...

As to whoever said "boring"--how is it any more boring than sorcerers? And "uninventive"--c'mon, spell slot magic is taken directly from Jack Vance's books.

Starsinger
2007-07-30, 05:04 PM
So... "god magic" and "mumble-and-gesture" magic fit, but "mind magic" somehow doesn't? I don't get it. Nobody ever suggests that Mind Flayers "don't fit in D&D". What makes mind powers somehow science-fiction? Especially the kind of mind powers D&D psions have?
Mercedes Lackey's books are quite popular, have telepathy and other mind-magic, and no one accuses them of being sci-fi.

There's lots of other things it could be. Look at the Tome of Magic, which introduced three new non-arcane-or-divine types of magic. Off the top of my head, I could reflavor Psionics as another kind of arcane magic, as another kind of divine magic, as bringing the dreamworld into reality, as compact-powers Warlock style, as powers gained through a fundamental knowledge and understanding of the world and how it works, as ki powers...

As to whoever said "boring"--how is it any more boring than sorcerers? And "uninventive"--c'mon, spell slot magic is taken directly from Jack Vance's books.

Hell, it could just be personal magic... replace Sorcerer's crunch with Psions's and call Psionics Sorcery instead. Then you have Divine magic which comes from above, Sorcery which comes from within, and Arcane magic which comes from without.

Matthew
2007-07-30, 05:07 PM
Actually, you do get some people objecting to Psionic Illithids, which is why the 'Magic' version exists. Magic is a tricky issue overall.

Gygax apparently thought that Psionics were ill suited to his original vision of D&D, but hr still included them in the AD&D PHB.

Options are nice to have, but they needn't be used in every setting. I don't use Psionics in my Fantasy Games for the same reason I don't use Magic in my Sci Fi Games. That's not to say I never would, just that I would regard it as an unconventional descision for me to include it.

A lot of it comes down to how simple or complex you want your game to be.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 05:10 PM
Actually, you do get some people objecting to Psionic Illithids, which is why the 'Magic' version exists. Magic is a tricky issue overall.

Gygax apparently thought that Psionics were ill suited to his original vision of D&D, but hr still included them in the AD&D PHB.
Oh, come on. "Magic" illithids have an ability called "Psionics", and they're that way because psionics were released after the MM. Mind Flayers are blatantly psionic. (And in the MM they're psionic, one might note, without using psionics mechanics--see? The flavor is separate from the system.)


Options are nice to have, but they needn't be used in every setting. I don't use Psionics in my Fantasy Games for the same reason I don't use Magic in my Sci Fi Games. That's not to say I never would, just that I would regard it as an unconventional descision for me to include it.
It's obvious why magic doesn't fit in science fiction games.
It's not obvious why psionics, mind magic, which isn't scientific in any way, doesn't fit in fantasy games.

Starsinger
2007-07-30, 05:14 PM
It's not obvious why psionics, mind magic, which isn't scientific in any way, doesn't fit in fantasy games.

Especially when you have spells like, Telepathic Bond, Telekinetic Sphere, Telekinesis, Phantasmal Killer (where you project an image directly into someone's mind), that blur the line between magic and psionics.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 05:16 PM
Exactly.
Telekiesis spell = mmmm, high fantasy!
Telekinesis-based psionic powers = ack, science fiction, get it away?

Exarch
2007-07-30, 05:24 PM
I have no objection to Illithids being Psionic. They should be, that's their niche (aside from unfathomable, malevolent dictators). I just don't like psionics for PCs or other, normal NPCs. It's something that doesn't sit well with me. I see ki as something other than magic, same with martial maneuvers (some Shadow Hand and Desert Wind aside) but still fantasy.

I'm under the impression that the Shadow Mage, or whatever, and their Mysteries are still a form of Arcane Magic. Same with the Truenamer, it's using the true name (the arcane name) in order to effect things. I know there's another one, but I can't think of what it is off the top of my head.

And while yes, Mercedes Lackey does use psionics...I'm not a huge fan of her. She's not bad, but not my favorite.

Exarch
2007-07-30, 05:28 PM
Yes, there are telepathy spells in the Arcane magic system. Detect Thoughts and all that jazz that's been listed would indeed fall under that. But that's still Arcane in origin. And it's not a whole nother list. There's lots of spells that deal with tricking or affecting a person's mind - look at the Illusion school.

And if Psionics is accepted in both historical and future settings, then why isn't Arcane magic?

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 05:29 PM
I have no objection to Illithids being Psionic. They should be, that's their niche (aside from unfathomable, malevolent dictators). I just don't like psionics for PCs or other, normal NPCs. It's something that doesn't sit well with me. I see ki as something other than magic, same with martial maneuvers (some Shadow Hand and Desert Wind aside) but still fantasy.
I... why? Why is "ki" and the Sublime Way "not magic but still fantasy", and OK for PCs, but psionics somehow not--even though fantasy creatures (mind flayers) use it?
If it's an acknowledgedly irrational prejudice, well, I can't really argue with that but I can suggest that you suppress it: I, like some others, have an irrational prejudice against gnomes, but that doesn't mean I don't allow them in my games or grumble when someone plays one.

Edit: okay, so "ki" is nonmagical but OK, arcane Detect Thoughts and Telepathic Bond are mind-flavored but OK, but psionic Detect Thoughts and Telepathy are not OK because... they come from mind-over-body internal energies, which is pretty much how ki is often described?
Buh?


I'm under the impression that the Shadow Mage, or whatever, and their Mysteries are still a form of Arcane Magic. Same with the Truenamer, it's using the true name (the arcane name) in order to effect things. I know there's another one, but I can't think of what it is off the top of my head.
Nope. Truenaming is based on an entirely different concept than arcane magic--the True Name has nothing to do with traditional spellcasting--and Shadow Magic is intentionally different in flavor, drawing on the Plane of Shadow rather than casting spells (Psionics Reflavoring: psions are like Shadowcasters, but they draw on the Plane of Dreams rather than the Plane of Shadow).


And while yes, Mercedes Lackey does use psionics...I'm not a huge fan of her. She's not bad, but not my favorite.
Yeah, but she's inarguably fantasy. Psionics fits in fantasy just fine; the fact that it's occasionally (and in a very different way) used in sci-fi doesn't change that. I mean, heck, weird animals are used in sci-fi, too; that doesn't mean that weird animals are non-fantasy.

Edit: because psionics can be altered to have vaguely science-y fluff, instead of the magic-y fluff they have in fantasy books in D&D.

Saph
2007-07-30, 05:35 PM
Exactly.
Telekiesis spell = mmmm, high fantasy!
Telekinesis-based psionic powers = ack, science fiction, get it away?

Chill out, will you? People associate psionics with sci-fi because psionics IS frequently associated with sci-fi. If you have a problem with that, take it up with Hollywood. You can reflavour chainsaws to be compatible with high fantasy, too, but they still aren't what most people think of when they imagine a fantasy world.

On the whole I like the psionics system, but I don't think it dovetails quite so well into the standard D&D world as the other magic systems.

- Saph

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 05:39 PM
I'm fine when people's first immediate association is sci-fi.
It's when they decide that they don't/can't fit into fantasy that I'm puzzled, given that they have, can, and do.

Matthew
2007-07-30, 05:46 PM
And yet you aren't puzzled when people cannot see magic interacting with Sci Fi? That sounds bogus to me. Magic and Sci Fi work together mechanically just as well as Psionics and Sci Fi, because they really are just different names for the same thing - physics warping effects.

The key difference is obvious, Physics is renamed Magic for Sci Fi (the Force is another option).

[Edit]
Oh yeah, and Magic Illithid Psionic effects are Spell Like Abilities and Arcane in nature, unless you use Psionics; the source of the effect is a big difference.

Exarch
2007-07-30, 05:52 PM
Lorlei, I'd be willing to say that your prejuidice against gnomes is entirely rational. I can't stand the buggers myself.

Ki is different than psionics because it focuses on attuning one's body and finding your perfect sense of self and yada yada yada. It's really just strict training to ascend yourself. Sort of like how martial maneuvers are just a whole lot of training. Both of these are a commonly used theme in the fantasy genre.

And what are the arcane words to magic if not some form of the true name of a word? That's how I use Arcane magic being used.

Saph
2007-07-30, 05:56 PM
If it's an acknowledgedly irrational prejudice, well, I can't really argue with that but I can suggest that you suppress it: I, like some others, have an irrational prejudice against gnomes, but that doesn't mean I don't allow them in my games or grumble when someone plays one.

If you're willing to play a gnome and design builds for one, it can't be all that strong a prejudice. :P

- Saph

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 05:58 PM
If you're willing to play a gnome and design builds for one, it can't be all that strong a prejudice. :P

- Saph

I'm not willing to play a gnome! Come to think, I haven't played a dwarf since that one time, either. I don't like them. "Ooh look at us we're all grumbly and drunk and Scottish. Also cubes."
That doesn't mean that I hate Races of Stone...


Edit: the arcane words to magic are... well, it's not clarified anywhere. I do seem to recall the language of magic being Draconic, though. Truenaming is about the True Names of things, not the Draconic names of things.
As for ki, it's "strict training" that lets you freakin' teleport (Abundant Step) and do other magical things. It's mind-over-body internal-energy... like psionics. Which can also involve strict training. Just as ki exists in the fantasy genre, so does psionics; Mercedes Lackey, like I said, is probably the most popular example. Besides, "common" is kind of irrelevant, don't you think? Gelatinous cubes are pretty fantastical, but they're not exactly a common theme...

Edit: matthew, they have an ability called Psionics. It's a "spell-like ability" because there weren't really better game terms for that kind of thing. Illithids have always been psionic in flavor and in abilities.
As for "magic", it's because "magic" and "science" are pretty much polar opposites. Magic, by definition, is doing stuff that physics doesn't let you. You can reflavor "magic" to be things that scientific devices do, sure, and frankly with soft sci-fi that's pretty much how it goes. Psionics, on the other hand, doesn't have anything that clashes with fantasy things--and fantasy psionics is pretty damn fantastical. I create big explosions of fire/ice/etc. with my mind! Then I fly and teleport. With my mind.

Earthstar_Fungus
2007-07-30, 05:59 PM
Oh, I'd say Lords of Madness, because I loves me some squid peoples. Also, I learned the meaning of the word somnolent from that book.

tainsouvra
2007-07-30, 05:59 PM
Untapped potential?
Like... like what? I've seen it happen more than once that someone pull out a prestige class, new base class, or a combination of the two only to come up with something nearly indistinguishable during actual play from a couple pages out of the PHB or DMG. Players reinvent the wheel on a regular basis, Nale (OotS) is the personification of that whole problem.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 06:09 PM
I've seen it happen more than once that someone pull out a prestige class, new base class, or a combination of the two only to come up with something nearly indistinguishable during actual play from a couple pages out of the PHB or DMG. Players reinvent the wheel on a regular basis, Nale (OotS) is the personification of that whole problem.

...why is that a problem? The mechanics are presumably different, so they're getting a different game experience with similar flavor. If you really want to cut things down to unique flavor, well, you don't need most of the PHB classes for that! You have Fighty Guys, Casty Guys, and Sneaky Guys, and that's all you need (and True20, I think, does pretty much that; aren't there UA classes that are something along those lines too?).

Exarch
2007-07-30, 06:25 PM
The thing about Psionics is that there are lots of abilities that bend and break physics, just like magic. To name a few from popular media; Akira, Gallerians, Parasite Eve.

On the D20 side, I'm not familiar enough. However, I do know that in D&D 3.0 there was an ability that let you graft weapons inplace of your arms. If that's not physics bending...well... Levitation is another manner that psionics breaks physics.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 06:30 PM
Umm, of course psionics aren't actually possible--neither is faster than light travel... but scifi generally pretends that it is (or rather, somehow will be). But if you pretend it's scientifically doable, then it stops being magic, just because the word basically means "stuff that isn't possible".

tainsouvra
2007-07-30, 06:33 PM
...why is that a problem? The mechanics are presumably different, so they're getting a different game experience with similar flavor. No problem at all... (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0050.html)

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 06:35 PM
No problem at all... (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0050.html)

Except... that has nothing to do with core vs. noncore. Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard are all core classes. That has to do with getting overly complicated.
And a fighter/rogue/wizard doesn't, you know, sing songs in combat...

sktarq
2007-07-30, 06:37 PM
Unearthed arcana-how to drive my players nuts with a halfdozen different kind of barbarians.

Fax Celestis
2007-07-30, 06:37 PM
I donīt quite get that hang-up. In second Edition AD&D you were actually supposed to houserule and customize, and small alterations to some mechanics are not more difficult than rewriting flavor if you have the imagination to project the outcome or the courage to revise your own rulings if proven faulty. It might not be RAW, but I donīt get why RAW should be more sacred than the canon background of your "crunch". Both must be uniform for "international"/comparative play, but can be reworked at your own game table......

Restructured flavor doesn't have the potential of being horribly horribly broken, unbalanced, or nonfunctional--all problems that rebuilt mechanics do have the potential to suffer from.

tainsouvra
2007-07-30, 06:38 PM
Except... that has nothing to do with core vs. noncore. Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard are all core classes. That has to do with getting overly complicated.
And a fighter/rogue/wizard doesn't, you know, sing songs in combat... It's about needless complication of things that are already available in a basic format.

If you don't see the problem, that's fine, no harm in it. It's not that the characters aren't viable...but it's still funny to a lot of us.

Matthew
2007-07-30, 06:39 PM
Edit: matthew, they have an ability called Psionics. It's a "spell-like ability" because there weren't really better game terms for that kind of thing. Illithids have always been psionic in flavor and in abilities.

Sure, but these are the variants available for DMs who don't want to use Psionics, so presumably they aren't Psionics in the sense of 'the Psionic system'
As for "magic", it's because "magic" and "science" are pretty much polar opposites. Magic, by definition, is doing stuff that physics doesn't let you. You can reflavor "magic" to be things that scientific devices do, sure, and frankly with soft sci-fi that's pretty much how it goes. Psionics, on the other hand, doesn't have anything that clashes with fantasy things--and fantasy psionics is pretty damn fantastical. I create big explosions of fire/ice/etc. with my mind! Then I fly and teleport. With my mind.
[/QUOTE]
Er what? Psionics do physics defying stuff all the time and they certainly don't prohibit the existence of very un physics type stuff. Just look at Warhmmer 40,000, Star Wars, [I]Babylon 5 or Event Horizon. Psionics is just back door magic for Science Fiction and it is completely unfettered as to what it can do.

To put it another way, what kind of Fantasy Settings do you have in mind when you think of Psionics as appropriate? What kind of Sci Fi settings do you have in mind when you think of Magic as inappropriate? As far as I can see there is room for both in all because they are pretty much the same thing.

Fax Celestis
2007-07-30, 06:40 PM
...Psionics is just back door magic...

If you'll allow me to quote just this one bit: Exactly.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 06:44 PM
It's about needless complication of things that are already available in a basic format.

If you don't see the problem, that's fine, no harm in it. It's not that the characters aren't viable...but it's still funny to a lot of us.

You'll have to illustrate what you mean, I'm afraid. Noncore classes can be *less* complex (why play a Fighter/Rogue swashbuckler when you can play a Swashbuckler? Of course, Swashbuckler/Fighter/Rogue works best mechanically...), or more specialized (Warmage), but they're typically not just needless complications of already-availible things (and if those happen, they happen in core, too--as you illustrated with the fighter/rogue/wizard--my point is, after all, that this has to do with complexity and nothing to do with sourcebooks).

talsine
2007-07-30, 06:51 PM
i've acutaly re-flavored psionics rules ot be sorcery in my game, its makes the sorcerer feel special, instead of being a wizard with less spells like they to play out.

that asside, my favorite book right now is probably Complete Champion. Not be cause its a good book, its pretty poor actualy, no, its because it's got a good druid/monk hybird class with good feral flavor. i've been waiting for this class since 3.0 and it only took them 7 years to do it. blah

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 06:54 PM
i've acutaly re-flavored psionics rules ot be sorcery in my game, its makes the sorcerer feel special, instead of being a wizard with less spells like they to play out.
I kind of like that idea--it fits a sorcerer better, as she no longer needs spell components, arcane phrases, and the like, she just... manifests her abilities. So to speak.

tainsouvra
2007-07-30, 07:19 PM
Rachel Lorelei, perhaps it can easiest be said this way: I consider reinventing the wheel more complex than rolling the wheel we have.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 07:21 PM
Rachel Lorelei, perhaps it can easiest be said this way: I consider reinventing the wheel more complex than rolling the wheel we have.

But WotC reinvents the wheel for you. You just pick up and use the new, reinvented wheel.
And sometimes it's a wheel of cheese, but no more often than happens in the PHB...

tainsouvra
2007-07-30, 07:28 PM
But WotC reinvents the wheel for you. You just pick up and use the new, reinvented wheel. It's still reinventing the wheel, it's just someone else doing it (and no less amusing for the change)...and that's only true from the player's side. From the DM's side, unless it's a major suspension-of-disbelief moment, he needs to do some wheel-reinventing too.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 07:30 PM
It's still reinventing the wheel, it's just someone else doing it (and no less amusing for the change)...and that's only true from the player's side. From the DM's side, unless it's a major suspension-of-disbelief moment, he needs to do some wheel-reinventing too.

How so? The wheel is different (a Swashbuckler is mechanically different from a fighter/rogue, after all) in some important ways, and what's the difference between a Fighter/Rogue PC, a Swashbuckler PC, and a Swashbuckler/Fighter/Rogue PC for the DM?

Fax Celestis
2007-07-30, 07:35 PM
Mechanics ≠ Fluff. I can play a catburglar as a Sorceror, a ninja as a Ranger, a samurai as a Fighter, or a barbarian as a Rogue. How you make your character is up to you: the mechanics are merely a tool as to representing that character.

tainsouvra
2007-07-30, 08:23 PM
what's the difference between a Fighter/Rogue PC, a Swashbuckler PC, and a Swashbuckler/Fighter/Rogue PC for the DM? Depends. If class levels poof out of the sky with no relation to the game world, and if your character is the only person in the campaign of that class that your party will ever encounter, it takes nothing extra. Otherwise...

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 08:31 PM
Depends. If class levels poof out of the sky with no relation to the game world, and if your character is the only person in the campaign of that class that your party will ever encounter, it takes nothing extra. Otherwise...

Of course they have some relation to the game world, but characters don't go "hey, I'm taking a level of swashbuckler." The character is a swashbuckler. This could mean he's a Fighter/Rogue, or that he's a Swashbuckler. Whether he encounters other Fighter/Rogues, other Swashbucklers, or both, I can't see how that matters.

tainsouvra
2007-07-30, 08:38 PM
Of course they have some relation to the game world, but characters don't go "hey, I'm taking a level of swashbuckler." The character is a swashbuckler. This could mean he's a Fighter/Rogue, or that he's a Swashbuckler. If a swashbuckler isn't a Swashbuckler, then what is a Swashbuckler doing instead of being a swashbuckler?

See how silly it gets? That's the sort of thing I was talking about.
Whether he encounters other Fighter/Rogues, other Swashbucklers, or both, I can't see how that matters. If classes matter to the game world, for example if there are schools for Fighters, then adding another class is something the DM needs to do before the player puts it on his character sheet. If classes don't matter to the game world, and they thus poof out of the sky, then I already said that it wouldn't make too much difference.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 08:56 PM
If a swashbuckler isn't a Swashbuckler, then what is a Swashbuckler doing instead of being a swashbuckler?
A Swashbuckler can be a swashbuckler. A Fighter/Rogue can also be a swashbuckler. Remember that OotS strip about Samurai classes? Exactly.


See how silly it gets? That's the sort of thing I was talking about. If classes matter to the game world, for example if there are schools for Fighters, then adding another class is something the DM needs to do before the player puts it on his character sheet. If classes don't matter to the game world, and they thus poof out of the sky, then I already said that it wouldn't make too much difference.
No, that's not really silly.
How can there be schools for Fighters in a game world? "Fighter" is strictly an OOC concept, as are classes. In character, "fighter" is just "someone who fights". They don't know anything about feats or classes. There might be a school for warriors, but a Fighter and a Warrior could both attend it--the Fighter would just learn more things. A Swashbuckler could attend it, too, and learn a rapier-and-dagger nimble fighting style.

A game world which does know what classes are, IC--now *that's* silly. As witness, OotS.

Fax Celestis
2007-07-30, 09:10 PM
A game world which does know what classes are, IC--now *that's* silly. As witness, OotS.

Actually, metagame games are sometimes fun in an amusing sort of way.

tainsouvra
2007-07-30, 09:23 PM
A Swashbuckler can be a swashbuckler. A Fighter/Rogue can also be a swashbuckler. Remember that OotS strip about Samurai classes? Exactly. I believe you have officially, utterly, and irrevocably sucked all the fun out of that play on words.
How can there be schools for Fighters in a game world? "Fighter" is strictly an OOC concept, as are classes. In character, "fighter" is just "someone who fights". They don't know anything about feats or classes. There might be a school for warriors, but a Fighter and a Warrior could both attend it--the Fighter would just learn more things. Actually, no, that would be a houserule. The DMG explicitly states that a Warrior has experience in fighting and related areas but not sophisticated training. A would-be warrior who receives specialized training is a Fighter instead. A Fighter who learns more is a higher-level Fighter. A Warrior who learns more, but doesn't get specialized training, is a higher-level Warrior.
A game world which does know what classes are, IC--now *that's* silly. As witness, OotS. As counter-witness, page 132 of the DMG, among others. It's not unusual, in D&D, for classes to actually have a specific in-world presence.

Raistlin1040
2007-07-30, 09:27 PM
Rokugan (OA 3.5). But Drow of the Underdark is a close second. With Spell Compendium and the Draconomicon tied for third.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 09:35 PM
I believe you have officially, utterly, and irrevocably sucked all the fun out of that play on words. Actually, no, that would be a houserule. The DMG explicitly states that a Warrior has experience in fighting and related areas but not sophisticated training. A would-be warrior who receives specialized training is a Fighter instead. A Fighter who learns more is a higher-level Fighter. A Warrior who learns more, but doesn't get specialized training, is a higher-level Warrior.
Okay, then, the Warrior would start taking Fighter levels--but he wouldn't know he was a "Warrior" and not a "Fighter".


As counter-witness, page 132 of the DMG, among others. It's not unusual, in D&D, for classes to actually have a specific in-world presence.
Did you actually read the page? It talks about what each of the classes might do--it does NOT say that they know what class they are!
It would be patently ridiculous for characters in a serious game to know their class, IC. Class is not an IC concept, any more than hit points are. A character know that he's a nimble fighter who relies on precise strikes and is good with people--he doesn't know whether he's a Fighter/Rogue or a Swashbuckler. He can't know--there's no such thing as "classes" IC, except the kind you attend.

tainsouvra
2007-07-30, 09:43 PM
Okay, then, the Warrior would start taking Fighter levels--but he wouldn't know he was a "Warrior" and not a "Fighter". In your campaign. If you're going to claim that D&D/d20 works that way, though, back up your claim.
Did you actually read the page? Yes, and thank you for asking. Now that we have established that I am literate, hopefully we can continue.
It talks about what each of the classes might do--it does NOT say that they know what class they are!
It would be patently ridiculous for characters in a serious game to know their class, IC. Class is not an IC concept, any more than hit points are. A character know that he's a nimble fighter who relies on precise strikes and is good with people--he doesn't know whether he's a Fighter/Rogue or a Swashbuckler. He can't know--there's no such thing as "classes" IC, except the kind you attend. Please refer to the section on page 132-133 about guilds and organizations, as classes come up several times with regard to campaign-relevant organizations.

You may consider it an absurd OOC concept, but that is your opinion rather than D&D canon, unless you have a primary source that trumps the multiple times classes are referred to in building a campaign.

TheLogman
2007-07-30, 09:51 PM
I really like the Tome of Magic, but the Psionics Handbook, and MM 3 are close seconds.

BardicDuelist
2007-07-30, 09:56 PM
I would have to say that Complete Adventurer is my favorite, although PHB2 is a very close second. I love my skill monkeys, but PHB2 is so useful.

My most used book (outside of core), would be the spell compendium, because if I don't have a ludicris number of skills, I need a ludicris number of spells.

Arbitrarity
2007-07-30, 10:49 PM
Class is certainly an IC concept! Sigil Prep (http://www.sigilprep.com/index.htm) demonstrates this to be so!

Examples:
SPELLTHIEF

The Program: An unusual program, the Spellthief major teaches one of the rarest of arcane methods, the ability to use other people's spells. You also learn a few spells on your own, though we use the Wizard School's spell library to research them. Plagiarism is strictly forbidden, except in Plagiarism class, where creative thought will not be tolerated.

"I don't understand. Every time Lidda's boyfriend comes over, I forget Wall of Force." --Naull, 4th year human wizard

"And then I used the Wall of Force spell I borrowed and cast it between Krusk and the tackle dummy..." --Sebbin, 3rd year halfling spellthief

"I'll pay for the Resurrection spell, but I regret nothing." --Krusk, half-orc football player, on academic suspension

BARBARIAN
The Program: Why teach Barbarianism? Most barbarians were brought up that way, right? Sigil Prep sees the value of training in every field of adventuring study. Sigil Prep is the only major institute in the Great Wheel that offers a comprehensive Barbarian program. Required classes include Weapons Study and Handling, Anger Management, Advanced Anger Management, and Mighty Advanced Anger Management. There are no reading requirements for this program if Barbarian is your only major.

“It helps me learn control and focus. I can proudly say I injured 15 opposing quarterbacks last season.” –Krusk, 3rd year orc barbarian and offensive tackle

“Every school has its bullies, but only Sigil Prep goes out of their way to train them.” –Kailey, 4th year tiefling sorcerer and outspoken cynic

“My tribe has been an active force on the plains of my native Krynn for one thousand years. We speak with the rivers, we run with the wind, we bask in the glowing gift of life from our sun. But it wasn’t until I came to Sigil Prep that I realized the value of cafeteria nachos.” –Morrow Rainfall, 1st year human barbarian

tainsouvra
2007-07-30, 10:54 PM
That is both hilarious and awesome.

Kioran
2007-07-31, 02:06 AM
Restructured flavor doesn't have the potential of being horribly horribly broken, unbalanced, or nonfunctional--all problems that rebuilt mechanics do have the potential to suffer from.

No, but it might give anyone access to all the broken stuff which is around already. So if I play my "Fighter", but use druid levels and call my Wild shape "champion form" or just a short burst of energy or whatever, Iīm still a lot more powerful, since I even have spells, and some say Wild shape is broken as is (and I agree). I didnīt make a houserule - I changed "fluff" (which is, imo, houseruling), yet still now Iīm a position to break the game. Also, my mechanics might be counterintuitive for my class. I changed the way the game is played, even if the Mechanics remain the same, since Iīve changed what the mechanics apply to. Putting a Porsche Motor into a Dodge is still a modification, allthough I didnīt alter either motor or changed the principle of locomotion.

If I play with a new group, srangers, or over the net, itīs time for RAW. But with my players, who I trust and respect (and which only have one rampant Munchkin), Iīm not afraid to houserule somethings - I can even change them back if it really screws the game (hasnīt happened so far). And for the record - fluff-wise the PHB rocks, since most classes (except druid and Paladin) are only loosely defined, and you have fluff flexibility without houseruling fluff changes.

Thatīs why Core is awesome in the right hands. If people canīt handle it and want new shiny toys and explicit things which can be relatively well reproduced by multiclass core characters (Dread Pirate anyone?). HAving these characters out of the box simply makes the process of creating them less creative. Having them as additional two-level dips for twinking also doesnīt make the game better (Formwind Stallacy: "I, min-maxer, just need to mention the Stormwind fallacy to convince everyone I always RP to the tilt. In fact, since Iīve invested more time in my char, I have a closer bond. So minmax = good rp.). It creates another power-lvl. Whether that is intended is up for the group to decide.

And now......let me introduce you to the last secret (*whisper*): unoptimized Characters, like the OoTS and others, actually give you tons of fluff flexibility, since you can take levels in many things without sucking compared to your friends and challenges

Morty
2007-07-31, 04:09 AM
@Merlin the Tuna:


Fixed that for you.

No, you didn't. For you, psionic points may be elegant, etc. but for me they're overly simplified, boring and fit video games, but not D&D. Quit implying that your way of playing D&D is the only right way.
Psionics, as written , doesn't make much sense. Psionics in fantasy shouldn't have classes, powers, items, and everything written in tables. It's bad enough when magic is like that. If you change it so it's magic, good for you. But some people prefer vancian casting. I don't give a damn it's a ripoff from Jack Vance's novels. For me, the guy had great idea inventing it.


I find MP, Spell Points, Mana, Power Points, I.S.P., P.P.E., what have you better than the stupid "vancian" system.

Fighter: Cast Knock
Wizard: I can't remember how...

Oh, please. This arugment is so done to death is not even funny anymore. Just because you're misinterpretating how the system works, doesn't mean it's bad.
And besides, this whole "flavor can be changed" thing really bugs me. It's true to the certain extent, but if we treat flavor as completely unnecesary and expendable, there's no need to play anyone else than wizards, clerics, druids and artificers or maybe psions. After all, it's just flavor, we can play them as someone else.

ImperiousLeader
2007-07-31, 12:09 PM
Psionics, as written , doesn't make much sense. Psionics in fantasy shouldn't have classes, powers, items, and everything written in tables. It's bad enough when magic is like that.

D&D is a class based system, how the frell are you supposed to implement psionics, magic, or anything?!? I don't understand this at all. Seriously, if that's your beef, may I suggest GURPS?

I like Psionics just fine, but rarely have the opportunity to use it.

The system does have an elegance to it, but I have to admit I'd prefer that powers were more general and psionists got fewer of them. I know, energy powers ... but consider the classic telekinetic. I find it annoying that I have to drop three powers known to emulate all a wizard does with a single telekinesis spell.

Morty
2007-07-31, 12:15 PM
D&D is a class based system, how the frell are you supposed to implement psionics, magic, or anything?!? I don't understand this at all. Seriously, if that's your beef, may I suggest GURPS?

So? D&D is class system, but for psionics one class would do just fine. Of course, this class should use some system different than "I have set-in-stone powers I can use until I run out of power points". This way, you know, it would be psionics, instead of just magic with different flavor.

ImperiousLeader
2007-07-31, 01:01 PM
Why are you picking on Psionics for class creep? How many arcane caster classes are there? Trapfinding classes? Melee combat classes? Incarnum Classes? I don't see why you're singling out Psionics when it's a part of D&D and exhibits many of the flaws that D&D does as a whole.

Morty
2007-07-31, 01:05 PM
I didn't "pick" on psionic class creep. Classes are the smallest problem. It's not that I dislike psionics because it's got many classes, I belive it shouldn't have many classes because it's psionics. Thing is, psionics isn't any different than magic in D&D, and it's not how psionics in fantasy should in my personal opinion look like. Multiple classes are part of it, along with set-in-stone powers and psionic items.

tainsouvra
2007-07-31, 01:24 PM
So? D&D is class system, but for psionics one class would do just fine. It really wouldn't, though. It was tried in a previous edition and bombed spectacularly. Forced specialization is a key factor in the balance of this edition. It also keeps to the genre a little better, which is nice.

CrazedGoblin
2007-07-31, 01:28 PM
Complete Warrior for the pictures hehe :smalltongue:

Matthew
2007-07-31, 01:47 PM
It really wouldn't, though. It was tried in a previous edition and bombed spectacularly. Forced specialization is a key factor in the balance of this edition. It also keeps to the genre a little better, which is nice.

Man, that's one thing I really hate about this edition. Forced specialisation annoys the hell out of me. It's one of the reasons I like Fighters.

tainsouvra
2007-07-31, 01:58 PM
Man, that's one thing I really hate about this edition. Forced specialisation annoys the hell out of me. It's one of the reasons I like Fighters. The list of powers/feats they give as generally-available is basically a sampling of arcane power, but not quite as good as a Wizard can boast. The specialist lists tend to either allow things that Wizards don't usually get or have the potential to surpass them within that specialty. Each character gets a combination of general and specialist abilities, making for characters that are generally-capable without stomping the Wizard's toes, and bring at least one thing to the table that was worthwhile in comparison.

Not saying you shouldn't be irked over forced specialization, it does rule out the concept of the "master of all things psionic" that players sometimes want (I've wanted to make a psionic generalist before too), but I do feel it was a viable solution to their balance concerns.

Starsinger
2007-08-01, 02:13 AM
Man, that's one thing I really hate about this edition. Forced specialisation annoys the hell out of me. It's one of the reasons I like Fighters.

So instead of someone who is good at something, you prefer someone who's good at nothing?

LemonSkye
2007-08-01, 02:43 AM
Complete Adventurer, Complete Warrior, PHB II and Unearthed Arcana, in alphabetical order only. I also like Magic of Incarnum, but I've found that once you start hitting higher levels, the benefits of magic items start outpacing those of soulmelds, whether shaped or bound.

Matthew
2007-08-02, 07:37 PM
So instead of someone who is good at something, you prefer someone who's good at nothing?

Er, what? No, I prefer for Rangers not to be forced to take Bow or Two Weapon Fighting and for Characters to have the option of being good at a diverse number of things without it meaning that they suck, becasue they are not excellent at something else.

psychoticbarber
2007-08-02, 08:30 PM
Definitely ToB or Magic Item Compendium for me.

The first because finally I have melee classes that don't stop being pointless after 5th level (I'm also using Bears_With_Laser's fighter fix and Fax's Paladin and homebrewing a Monk).

Magic item compendium because I like only having to open one book to equip my characters.

Ceridan
2007-08-02, 10:19 PM
So... "god magic" and "mumble-and-gesture" magic fit, but "mind magic" somehow doesn't? I don't get it. Nobody ever suggests that Mind Flayers "don't fit in D&D". What makes mind powers somehow science-fiction? Especially the kind of mind powers D&D psions have?
Mercedes Lackey's books are quite popular, have telepathy and other mind-magic, and no one accuses them of being sci-fi.

There's lots of other things it could be. Look at the Tome of Magic, which introduced three new non-arcane-or-divine types of magic. Off the top of my head, I could reflavor Psionics as another kind of arcane magic, as another kind of divine magic, as bringing the dreamworld into reality, as compact-powers Warlock style, as powers gained through a fundamental knowledge and understanding of the world and how it works, as ki powers...

As to whoever said "boring"--how is it any more boring than sorcerers? And "uninventive"--c'mon, spell slot magic is taken directly from Jack Vance's books.

I Think I am in Love

Ceridan
2007-08-02, 10:31 PM
Mechanics ≠ Fluff. I can play a catburglar as a Sorceror, a ninja as a Ranger, a samurai as a Fighter, or a barbarian as a Rogue. How you make your character is up to you: the mechanics are merely a tool as to representing that character.

I could not have said it better myself.

NephandiMan
2007-08-02, 10:48 PM
Spell Compendium. Batman works best when all his tools are on a single belt.

Leon
2007-08-03, 10:43 AM
A Trivumate of Stormwrack, ToB & PHB2

Leon
2007-08-03, 10:47 AM
A Swashbuckler can be a swashbuckler. A Fighter/Rogue can also be a swashbuckler.

All Swashbucklers are Swashbucklers, but not all Swashbucklers are Swashbucklers

Dalan Graycloak
2007-08-03, 01:38 PM
I'd say the Complete Mage (Love the section on playing different types of mages - i.e. blaster, strategist, etc. - not everyone has to be Batman) and some of the concepts like the Reserve Feats. Overall it's packed with useful stuff.

The Libre Mortis is also good for both DM's and players, although it could have used some more fleshing out (if you'll forgive the pun).

The Magic Item Compendium I think does a good job in putting the fun & coolness back in magic items - I also like how they took some of the items from other books that I thought were overpowered and rebalanced them. I also love having more items with re-useable charges. I hate wasting money on "disposible" magic items.

And of course, the Player's Handbook, the classic.

azule74
2007-08-13, 02:43 PM
Mine would have to be the Races of the Dragon. I have always wanted to play a Dragon as a PC, and with how many feats a figher gets, I have just about made a PC Dragon with no LA!!! Still needs some fine tuneing though.