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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Khellendross's Avatar

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    Default Ban Lists for most games...

    I am going to be running some games and I'm at the end of my character creation guide that has what source books I allow without approval, my house rules etc and ban lists on magic items, feats, spells etc so that there aren't any hickups during game play.

    I've done everything but the ban lists and have done searching on google and here but no luck finding what most people ban from their games. Items, prestige classes and spells etc that are broken and cheesy. Does anyone have any links or what you'd ban yourself as a DM?

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    I flat out ban the use of the Book of Vile Darkness.

    Though this is mostly because my group has a broken sense of morality and would try to skew everything as a good or neutral act. -_-

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    The Test of Spite has a ban list of some of the most broken stuff.

    I've also seen people blanket ban classes above a certain tier. Tier 3 is my personal favorite.
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    'Adding up numbers' is completely independent of roleplay. What you're saying makes as much sense as "peeling a banana is not a good way to drive."


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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Candle of invocation.

    Just...look at it.

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    My list consists of:
    -Book of Nine Swords.
    -Tome of Magic.
    -Complete Psionics (but not the XPH!).
    -Anything I recognize from seeing often in Optimization forums/threads.


    ps. I require everything is passed by me for approval. Even Core stuff.
    I just want someone to hold me and tell me they love me. Especially when I am sad.


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    The man who is dominated by fear of death is already dead.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Book of Erotic Fantasy.

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    Escheton's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pika... View Post
    My list consists of:
    -Book of Nine Swords.
    -Tome of Magic.
    -Complete Psionics (but not the XPH!).
    -Anything I recognize from seeing often in Optimization forums/threads.


    ps. I require everything is passed by me for approval. Even Core stuff.
    BOOOOO!!!!

    also: don't forget magic of incarnum

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Is this a game with just a few of your friends, a game with people you know less than well, or something with people you don't know at all?

    What kind of stuff you "should" ban should depend on this, and your given group's playstyle.
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    Khellendross's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Not looking to ban books per-say but certain things that people tend to exploit that breaks the game.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Quote Originally Posted by Khellendross View Post
    I am going to be running some games and I'm at the end of my character creation guide that has what source books I allow without approval...
    None.

    There you go.

    Seriously. Don't allow anything with blanket approval. Be in the loop for all the players' character creation. Don't ban things outright, see how they intend to use them and allow or disallow them on that basis. (Some things will have to look very hard to find a basis that would see them allowed, of course...)

    The only things where I'd agree with banning in advance by sourcebook are such things as psionics, ToB, ToM, Incarnum etc. if you yourself aren't familiar with the sub-system. Even then, there's no reason to ban individual feats or items if your player can provide you with the text for them.

    Core contains plenty that is broken. The splatbooks with the most egregious brokenness outside core contain plenty that is harmless. Just talk to your players, make sure you both understand where they want to take their characters and what they'll be capable of, and as a group agree on the power level and tone of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Khellendross View Post
    Not looking to ban books per-say but certain things that people tend to exploit that breaks the game.
    Anything open-ended. Summoning. Polymorph. Wild Shape. Cleric and Druid casting needs a careful eye kept on it, since they can pick whatever spells they want each morning out of all the sources in play. Full casters in general are a combinatorial hell and it'd be a good idea to get players to draw up spell lists in advance both to give you a clear picture of their powers and to cut down on bookkeeping at their end.
    Last edited by kamikasei; 2010-06-06 at 01:12 PM.

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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Ban core. It makes for a surprisingly refreshing game.
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    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Ban core. It makes for a surprisingly refreshing game.
    So going to try this sometime, and if anyone else tries it I'll just get my truenamer out

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pika... View Post
    -Anything I recognize from seeing often in Optimization forums/threads.
    Truenamers?

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Quote Originally Posted by Prodan View Post
    Truenamers?
    Clerics, Wizards, Druids, ToB, Erudites, Archivists, Power Attack...

    It could end up a big list, if 'often used for Char-Op' is the criteria for banning.
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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Yeah... games that ban wizards. I played a game where the DM didn't allow arcane magic except Bards. He said his world was very rare with magic.

    What a shock to find out that just about every major bad guy, and even minor, were wizards. Yet we couldn't read their spellbooks, as none of us knew how to read a spellbook. Go to a town to sell, and people attack us for being wizards, despite the fact we have saved them numoerous times from the evil wizards that always attacked them. Go fig.
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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Again, another vote for: do not blanket ban or approve anything. Ask your players to state what they're planning on doing, and consider it on its own merits. A PrC that's otherwise broken might allow a player to play an otherwise awful base class. A feat that's broken when used with some things might not be if the player uses it on something weak. For example, Divine Metamagic (Persist Spell) is pretty damn broken, with the Cleric having things like Divine Favor and Divine Power that are ridiculous as 24 hour spells, but it the player just wants to Persist something flavorful on his character, that might be fine. Depends on the spell, in that case.

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    My intention isn't to blanket ban but to take out the big ones. Candle of evocation and thought bottle for example or things that make you invincible like that twice fallen of shar thing.

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Or maybe I should rephrase myself. to be more like what things I'll keep an eye on for abuse.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Candle of invocation you should watch out for.

    Tainted scholar and Tainted Sorceror are both borked. Be careful in allowing them.

    Incarnate construct template from Savage species. It has LA-2 Not LA- LA-2. There's a lot you can do with two free levels.

    Be careful what forms people take if you allow shapechange and Polymorph.

    That's about all I can say.
    Last edited by Mystic Muse; 2010-06-06 at 01:32 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dracons View Post
    Yeah... games that ban wizards. I played a game where the DM didn't allow arcane magic except Bards. He said his world was very rare with magic.

    What a shock to find out that just about every major bad guy, and even minor, were wizards. Yet we couldn't read their spellbooks, as none of us knew how to read a spellbook. Go to a town to sell, and people attack us for being wizards, despite the fact we have saved them numoerous times from the evil wizards that always attacked them. Go fig.
    Wipe the miserable town off the face of the planet. That'll teach them for treating you like you were evil.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Quote Originally Posted by kamikasei View Post
    Seriously. Don't allow anything with blanket approval. Be in the loop for all the players' character creation. Don't ban things outright, see how they intend to use them and allow or disallow them on that basis. (Some things will have to look very hard to find a basis that would see them allowed, of course...)
    +1

    The danger from cherry-picking lots of supplements isn't so much that supplements are more broken than core, it's that someone might cherry-pick from amongst things you might be less familiar with and wind up, between core+supplement, with some kind of concentrated/combo brokenation.

    This said, most players really aren't malicious greedy people who are out to destroy your game. Mainly you are really looking to *help* players who see/have a "cool idea" and keep their cool idea from turning into a one-trick pony character who they will be asking to replace three game sessions from now when they get bored of it.

    The other thing you will want to be keeping an eye out for is wildly *different* levels of optimization between your players. While this isn't always necessarily a huge problem (some people just enjoy more casually put-together "beer and pretzels" builds and others feel the need to tweak), you just want to avoid the players of less-optimized characters from feeling outshined all the time in everything by their more-optimized partymates ... and avoid the players of the more-optimized characters from feeling resentful of their "weak" more casually-designed companions.

    *Personally*, the BoED/BoVD send up red flags for me because there is more in there that is potentially problematic than most books -- some in terms of balance, but also particularly in terms of play. Being Exalted is kinda a big deal, read: "paladin code of conduct issues dialed up to 11."

    Generally, I just try to look for mechanics/tricks that act as major multipliers, widely open-ended use of a single mechanic with few restrictions, or "getting something for nothing/very little".

    In the first case you have things like incense of meditation or, of course, the necklace of prayer beads for specifically level/HD sensitive spells.

    In the second case polymorph is a huge, glaring example. (Even druid wildshape, to a lesser degree -- animal forms are somewhat less wide-open, especially if you are careful about not allowing equipment to just morph along for the ride. Still.)

    In the third case, it can be a one-level dip into a frontloaded PrC, Divine Metamagic: Persistent Spell (something that turns an only occasionally useful resource -- Turn Undead -- into a constantly useful and *very* powerful ability), possibly even metamagic rods. Oh, and "divine inheritance" -- that many divine spellcasters get their spell lists expanded for *free* with every expansion you allow into the game, whereas most other characters at least have to expend some form of limited resource to take advantage of the new choices.

    But... yeah, all this rambling aside, there's relatively little I would just absolutely blanket *ban*. Just be involved in the creation process, try to spot any problems at the time of creation, and let your players know that if something happens that upsets the game that you reserve the right to have a particular item/class/spell/build reconsidered, that's all.

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    I ban or limit anything that can rewrite its ability list daily. But that's more because it eliminates a playstyle that I can't abide than it is for balance.

    But if you're looking for things which are overtly broken, Polymorph and Planar Binding/Gate effects of any sort are at the top of the list. Unfortunately, they're staples of the genre, so adjudication typically turns into asking your players not to be ***** about them.

    The biggest things I'd say should be blanket-banned without exception are effects which eliminate nontrivial experience/material costs (ie. Dweomerkeeper, StP Erudite) or which reduce metamagic costs (ie. Divine Metamagic, Dweomerkeeper, Incantatrix). Those typically are the easiest ways to break the game in two.
    Last edited by Pluto; 2010-06-06 at 01:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    I figured out what I am going to do. Thank you everyone.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    If your group wants a balanced party, they need to decide what tier they are playing at. Do they all want to be reality rewriting Gods, lowly men who try to be heroes against seemingly impossible odds, or somewhere in between?
    "It doesn't matter how much you struggle or strive,
    You'll never get out of life alive,
    So please kill yourself and save this land,
    And your last mission is to spread my command,"

    Slightly adapted quote from X-Fusion, Please Kill Yourself

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    Again, another vote for: do not blanket ban or approve anything. Ask your players to state what they're planning on doing, and consider it on its own merits. A PrC that's otherwise broken might allow a player to play an otherwise awful base class. A feat that's broken when used with some things might not be if the player uses it on something weak. For example, Divine Metamagic (Persist Spell) is pretty damn broken, with the Cleric having things like Divine Favor and Divine Power that are ridiculous as 24 hour spells, but it the player just wants to Persist something flavorful on his character, that might be fine. Depends on the spell, in that case.
    Agree completel here, exspecially the bolded part. I remember we had good times with our blaster sorcerer incantatrix...

    One should ban things case-by-case, IMO.
    Last edited by Kaiyanwang; 2010-06-06 at 01:49 PM.
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  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Khellendross's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    For the most part my character creation guide is done. It will need tweaks but I'm happy with it.
    Last edited by Khellendross; 2010-06-06 at 02:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Quote Originally Posted by Escheton View Post
    BOOOOO!!!!
    I get that a lot...


    Quote Originally Posted by Escheton View Post
    also: don't forget magic of incarnum
    Oh yeah, forgot to mention that one.
    I just want someone to hold me and tell me they love me. Especially when I am sad.


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    Titan in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pika... View Post
    I get that a lot...
    To be honest I was more worried about that one:

    Quote Originally Posted by Pika... View Post
    Anything I recognize from seeing often in Optimization forums/threads.
    Just because it was used in a powerful/gamebreaking build doesn't mean you platers are going to use it in the same way.
    "It doesn't matter how much you struggle or strive,
    You'll never get out of life alive,
    So please kill yourself and save this land,
    And your last mission is to spread my command,"

    Slightly adapted quote from X-Fusion, Please Kill Yourself

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    DragoonWraith's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pika... View Post
    I get that a lot...

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention that one.
    You ban the two best books ever published for 3.5, what do you expect?

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    The Vorpal Tribble's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ban Lists for most games...

    I'm probably the most lenient DM there is in regard to books and such. As long as it's made by Wizards or Bruce R. Cordell I allow it.

    I've yet to have any characters which really out showed the other and no matter what their equipment or cheesy stuff they still seem to have problems powergaming in my games.

    I can usually adapt to anything, and my games are equally divided between fight, social and puzzle, so everyone has a chance to shine.

    Now, saying that, I do ban certain things because they irk me or they always seem to be played in the 'exact' same manner:

    Elves
    - Yes, all elves. I redesigned the fey-touched to be a +0 LA to be their replacement. Want drow, come from an earth fey, want aquatic elves, you're momma was a water fey, etc.

    Tieflings
    - Most of the time anyways. Every game I've played or DM'd with a Tiefling char the play has been agonizing in one aspect or the other. They come in three flavors only it seems:
    #1. Whiny Emos (why did my mother cast me out? WHY OH WHY?)
    #2. Blood-Thirsty Demon Wannabees (takin' after m'daddy!)
    #3. Sweet and Sappy Bad-Ass (I renounce my demon heritage, and want to spread love, but if you even look at me wrong I'll still tear your head off for whatever reason)

    Thri-kreen Monks
    - Though just adding up all the attacks annoy me (especially double-weapons), they can break the monk believe it or not)

    Warlocks
    - Will you PLEASE show more imagination than zapping anything that gets in your way and choosing the EXACT same spells everyone else I've ever played with did?

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