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    Default Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    I can't say that I've played a full game of Pathfinder, though I have played a game of 3.P before. However, from what I've gathered, Pathfinder still seems to preserve the wide gap between casters (wizards, clerics, druids, sorcerers, psions, etc.) and mundanes (rogues, fighters, etc.)

    Now, I do understand that whether or not Pathfinder has buffed or nerfed casters overall is a bit controversial on this board. The intent of this thread is not to discuss this. Regardless of whether casters were indeed strengthened or weakened, and regardless of whether mundanes were indeed strengthened or weakend, as far as I can tell there is still a very wide gulf between them.

    I also understand that the idea of full casters tending to overshadow mundanes in mid-to-high-op games might also be controversial, but that's not the intent of this thread either.

    The intent of this thread is to ask: IF it is true that casters were overshadowing mundanes in 3.5, and IF it is true that Pathfinder did not fix this, then WHY was it not fixed?

    The idea that casters had far more tools to use in their toolboxes than their mundane party members seems to be one of the most widely-understood things on places like Giantitp, Minmax (and its previous iterations), even on WotC's own home boards. Yet, Pathfinder [apparently] did not completely fix this issue. From what I've gathered, it looks like Paizo seemed to agree with the idea only partially at most--certain extremely broken spells were fixed (or so I hear), but not all of them, and plenty more still cause trouble.

    So what I'm wondering is--why wasn't it fixed?

    My current hypotheses are...

    1) Paizo did not believe there was such an issue. For whatever reason, they believed that all that was needed was a bit of tweaking for some spells--otherwise, casters are relatively balanced relative to mundanes.

    2) Paizo agreed that, in theory, casters were overshadowing mundanes, but also believed that their target audience is not the type to play at a sufficient optimization level such that the caster-mundane gulf is much of an issue. If most of their target audience was playing non-optimized blaster wizards, healbot clerics, and sword & board fighters, then going through the titanic effort of fixing the caster-mundane balance problem would not have been worth it.

    3) Paizo agreed that, in theory, casters were overshadowing mundanes, but misunderstood the problem at a fundamental level that they believed their current solutions to the problem to be sufficient.

    Could anyone else shed some light on this? This phenomenon has always intrigued in game design, where players relatively quickly reveal fundamental balance problems and designers are very slow to fix them, if the problems are acknowledged at all.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Quote Originally Posted by 13_CBS View Post
    The intent of this thread is to ask: IF it is true that casters were overshadowing mundanes in 3.5, and IF it is true that Pathfinder did not fix this, then WHY was it not fixed?
    The point of Pathfinder was that it still essentially was 3e with some relatively minor tweaks and a retouched paint job. Turning the system on end to address its deep systemic faults would miss that point.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Shouldn't you ask Paizo these questions?

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    Shouldn't you ask Paizo these questions?
    I've been told that the people who asked such questions were often banned from their boards.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Paizo developers do not think casters overshadow mundanes.

    The point of Pathfinder was that it still essentially was 3e with some relatively minor tweaks and a retouched paint job. Turning the system on end to address its deep systemic faults would miss that point.
    Not really, there are lots of fixes for the common mundane classes in the homebrew forums which make them tier 3 without introducing any new subsystems at all, so there's no reason Paizo shouldn't have been able to do at least that much. Taking wizards or sorcerers down a few pegs would be a bit trickier (though possible, I mean, we have a tier 5 full caster, the healer...), but this may not be as much of an issue in-game as the best combat spells do not kill monsters, but rather make it easy for your party to kill them. What they could have done was give each casting class a more restrictive spell list.

    Unfortunately, the main reason they are unlikely to fix it soon is that they do not believe casters are really more powerful.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    SKR's feat point system seems to have some relevance to this discussion. It seems pretty clear, just looking at it, that its creator has little understanding of D&D 3.5 balance. Leadership costs 8, natural spell costs 5, weapon specialization costs 10, and two weapon fighting costs frigging 11. I don't know the extent to which that understanding effected pathfinder's balancing, but it seems telling at the very least.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Pathfinder is 3.5 with a paintjob, nothing new under the hood.

    And it's not an accident, that's what they wanted as a product so that's what they got.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    I think it was a combination of 1 and 2. Pazio seems to be fairly bad at optimizing, or more likley not trying with many monsters, and may have misjudged the extent of the problem.

    Also, part of the issue may be that the worst spells for this sort of thing are all high-level, and for the most part pazio seems to stop near level 13, ex: pathfinder society. That isn't to say there aren't low level spells that can cause issues.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doorhandle View Post
    I think it was a combination of 1 and 2. Pazio seems to be fairly bad at optimizing, or more likley not trying with many monsters, and may have misjudged the extent of the problem.

    Also, part of the issue may be that the worst spells for this sort of thing are all high-level, and for the most part pazio seems to stop near level 13, ex: pathfinder society. That isn't to say there aren't low level spells that can cause issues.
    I've always though it was interesting that Pathfinder Sociaty sticks it's fingers in it's ears and goes "LALALAI'MNOTLISTENINGLALALA" on the problems in it's own system through GM fiat at lower levels, banning of higher levels and banning of crafting as a basic kiss off to the fact that they KNOW they took something broken and made it the best thing ever for every caster.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    There are two ways to bring casters and mundanes on the same level.

    Option one is to bring mundanes up the tiers - you'd probably need something like the Tome of Battle, a way for noncasters to emulate effects that casters use and/or create powerful effects not easily copied by a spell (Stealth/Invisibility, looking at you).

    Option two is to bring casters down on the mundane level by heavily limiting their options. This could mean limiting spell slots, crucifying the spell list, and so on.

    The common link between both of these is that they require a significant overhaul of the system:
    1. you're no longer playing a wizard but something more similar to (for instance) the dread necromancer or the beguiler.
    or
    2. you're no longer playing a fighter but a 'warblade' (whatever the Paizo interpretation of the ToB would be).

    Now, Paizo did make some changes and limitations when they reintroduced casters (the polymorph line of spells took a beating, druids actually need physical stats now), but they were either unable or unwilling to change enough parts of the game to really fix the class balance.

    This could be in part because they wanted Pathfinder to be familiar to the 3.5 players who were looking for a new system but didn't want to try or was unhappy with D&D 4.0.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Quote Originally Posted by WhatBigTeeth View Post
    The point of Pathfinder was that it still essentially was 3e with some relatively minor tweaks and a retouched paint job. Turning the system on end to address its deep systemic faults would miss that point.
    This. Their focus was backwards compatibility and continuing what other people liked, not restructuring the game at the level needed to remove the gap between mundanes and casters.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    Leadership costs 8, natural spell costs 5,
    Okay, that's pretty interestin--


    weapon specialization costs 10, and two weapon fighting costs frigging 11.
    What?! Weapon Specialization costs twice as much as Natural Spell? But...why?

    Quote Originally Posted by SKR
    1. Something that gives you an extra attack better than an equivalent feat that doesn't.Two-Weapon Fighting is better than Weapon Focus because TWF gives you one more opportunity to use Weapon Focus (and Power Attack, and Weapon Specialization, and Cleave, and Improved Critical, and Improved Disarm...)


    But...improved critical and improved disarm aren't even that great in the first place and...

    Oh god...

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Quote Originally Posted by 13_CBS View Post
    Okay, that's pretty interestin--




    What?! Weapon Specialization costs twice as much as Natural Spell? But...why?





    But...improved critical and improved disarm aren't even that great in the first place and...

    Oh god...
    Yeah... it's pretty horrific. You just keep reading it, and you find more and more horribly priced feats. I think those are some of the worst though. There's also stuff like skill focus at 10, lightning reflexes at 10, manyshot at 12, and... quicken spell at 5. It's just one horrible understanding of balance after another. They're not all incorrectly priced, but they are often enough to indicate a person who just doesn't know the first thing about balance. Also, improved trip is priced at 8, and as you mentioned, improved critical is at 10. He doesn't even understand balance within the different archetypes.

    Edit: Crap. I just noticed that run and endurance are priced the same as natural spell, and toughness is priced one higher.
    Last edited by eggynack; 2013-05-22 at 09:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    There's a reason SKR is....not looked upon favorably by pretty much anyone in the optimization, homebrewing, or theorycrafting community. I've heard second or third-hand that his interpersonal conduct on the Paizo forums leaves something to be desired as well, but can't confirm that.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    There's a reason SKR is....not looked upon favorably by pretty much anyone in the optimization, homebrewing, or theorycrafting community. I've heard second or third-hand that his interpersonal conduct on the Paizo forums leaves something to be desired as well, but can't confirm that.
    I don't read their forums(in fact I don't even know where they are) but from looking at his site I can guess he's arrogant and not as clever as he thinks. The "Books I've written" page is very telling, in particular. I had to search carefully in some of the older ones to find the entry for his name amongst all the other people that made them.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    The problem with truly balancing mundanes and casters is that it is hard to do without making martial classes feel like spellcasters, or nerfing casters so much to the point where they no longer have much room for customization.

    I will not say one way or the other for myself, but 4th ed tried to balance all the classes and some claim that it changed the game so radically that it no longer felt like D&D.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    Yeah... it's pretty horrific. You just keep reading it, and you find more and more horribly priced feats. I think those are some of the worst though. There's also stuff like skill focus at 10, lightning reflexes at 10, manyshot at 12, and... quicken spell at 5. It's just one horrible understanding of balance after another. They're not all incorrectly priced, but they are often enough to indicate a person who just doesn't know the first thing about balance. Also, improved trip is priced at 8, and as you mentioned, improved critical is at 10. He doesn't even understand balance within the different archetypes.

    Edit: Crap. I just noticed that run and endurance are priced the same as natural spell, and toughness is priced one higher.
    You know, overpricing weapon focus and such I can slightly understand. I too once like my '+x to attack/damage roll' stuffs. At least it was common misunderstanding. But skill focus, tougness, and quicken spell!? Even I got from very early on that the former two suck and the latter is gold.

    I didn't read the article for I have neither will nor guts for it. That sounds like worse than a trainwreck.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Salbazier View Post
    You know, overpricing weapon focus and such I can slightly understand. I too once like my '+x to attack/damage roll' stuffs. At least it was common misunderstanding. But skill focus, tougness, and quicken spell!? Even I got from very early on that the former two suck and the latter is gold.

    I didn't read the article for I have neither will nor guts for it. That sounds like worse than a trainwreck.
    It's not really a train wreck. It's just a train wreck. I suppose I should clarify. The idea, the base underlying principle of pricing feats at different levels based on their power level, is a good one. It's good enough that Sonofzeal wrote up a revised version hereabouts. Pathfinder is at no loss for good ideas, and I think that shows through in a lot of the things that they've done.

    However, he doesn't really understand game balance at all. I've listed a lot of examples of horribly priced feats, and I could probably continue doing so for awhile. Like, I don't even think I've mentioned that skill focus is at 10, and the +2/+2 variants are at 9. Those aren't ridiculous in relation to each other, but when you set them next to leadership at 8, it just becomes crazy buns. Did I mention dodge at 7? Dodge is at 7. It exemplifies a lot of the issues that went into pathfinder remaining imbalanced despite years of study into what made 3.5 imbalanced. The system has some good ideas, of which I think that archetypes are some of the coolest, but this isn't the guy I want closing the gap between casters and mundanes. I don't even think he knows it's there, even after all this time. That's why I brought up the feat point system, because I see it as a microcosm of pathfinder's balance issues.
    Last edited by eggynack; 2013-05-23 at 02:21 AM.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rezkeshdadesh View Post
    The problem with truly balancing mundanes and casters is that it is hard to do without making martial classes feel like spellcasters, or nerfing casters so much to the point where they no longer have much room for customization.

    I will not say one way or the other for myself, but 4th ed tried to balance all the classes and some claim that it changed the game so radically that it no longer felt like D&D.
    I would encourage you to look at some of the hombrewed martial classes on these forums. Many of them (I'm a fan of jiriku's, personally) retain the flavor of core classes, bump them up to tier 3, and don't have any silly "per-encounter" or "you can ready X moves at a time" effects attached. Casting classes can be brought down to tier 3 most easily by limiting their spell lists (something in between "gets every spell in the game", like a wizard, and "gets only a few bad spells", like a healer).
    Now, that doesn't make it easy--WotC apparently had trouble designing tier 3 mundane classes (hence their "magic but not really and not called magic so we can pretend it is martial" stuff in ToB, or all of 4th edition, for that matter). But, as the homebrewers have shown, it is perfectly plausible to create tier 3 martial classes with nothing that remotely resembles a magic-esk/supernatural class.
    I think part of the problem is that WotC's two primary attempts at "fixing" martial classes, ToB and 4th edition, both just ended up like alternate-magic systems with different fluff. As a result, people who limit themselves to official 1st party content see "no way" to make mundanes any good.

    Now, just because we have great homebrew out there, that doesn't mean you should expect professional game designers like SKR to catch on. But it does mean I hear awful grinding sounds whenever people say that it is impossible to make mundane characters good without turning them into spellcasters
    At the same time, though, making them tier 1-2 without plain stupid effects (you win automatically, always) is actually considerably more challenging. However, most people seem to prefer tier 3-4 ranges, so this is okay. From there, the issue is just that Paizo's designers have trouble understanding the weaknesses of tier 5 classes.

    EDIT:
    I don't even think he knows it's there, even after all this time.
    He explicitly stated (can't find the quote right now...) that the alleged power gap between casters and noncasters is a myth spread by people with agendas.
    That's right, everyone, there is some sort of evil political motive you are promoting by spending 10 seconds or more thinking about game balance! What possible sort of "agenda" could people have for trying to disrupt SKR's own sense of balance? Who knows! It is an evil conspiracy aimed to trick Paizo into nerfing the poor, underloved, underpowered wizards
    Last edited by 137beth; 2013-05-23 at 02:50 AM.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Quote Originally Posted by 137ben View Post
    He explicitly stated (can't find the quote right now...) that the alleged power gap between casters and noncasters is a myth spread by people with agendas.
    That's right, everyone, there is some sort of evil political motive you are promoting by spending 10 seconds or more thinking about game balance! What possible sort of "agenda" could people have for trying to disrupt SKR's own sense of balance? Who knows! It is an evil conspiracy aimed to trick Paizo into nerfing the poor, underloved, underpowered wizards
    Yeah, I hear about that one a lot. I've never actually seen the quote in person, so I decided to obliquely reference the sentiment rather than mention when he explicitly stated what I implied was true. It's pretty hilarious that he thinks fighters and wizards have any kind of equality between them, and I'd love to see that quote if anyone can find it. I don't think I've ever really experienced the whole "SKR acting crazy" thing first hand, outside of the feat point system I posted.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Understand that quadratic wizards and linear warriors is not a bug its a feature.

    Seriously you are telling reality to sit down and shut up.

    This goes back well before 3.0, unless some ancient foggie wants to tell me how different it was in Chainmail days or something I'd imagine its at the begining. Many spells have not changed much, I remember dread Imprisonment in BG II and many a save scum before I got the right spells figured out to counter it.

    Pathfinder is built as a compatible update to 3.5, it was never all that likely to resolve this and frankly wasn't trying. There's some obvious patches (wall of iron having no gold value) but all the basic things are the same. Why? Because that was the idea, there was no more 3.5 so they started their own to keep publishing new material in the same mold. Most of their books are setting pieces or adventures, not splatbooks detailing five new elf variations.

    Pathfinder is mechanically less interested in making everybody equal then in making everybody fun to play. They aren't entirely uninterested (polymorph was fixed, etc) but the broad structure is still there. Casters still get a bigger more open box of tools to choose from, thus have more options, thus played to win tend to end up higher in power.

    Of course changing that and it wouldn't look like D&D anymore, Wizards tried it and ended up with 4E. You like 4E good for you, but its just not the same game anymore whether its good/bad or just different.

    More to gameplay then simple perfect balance anyways. Yeah it sounds nice for everybody to be equally effective, but that makes no sense given the range of potential threats an adventurer can face.

    Quote Originally Posted by 13_CBS View Post
    I've been told that the people who asked such questions were often banned from their boards.
    Having been there I would say it would have been for cause not some jackboot thugs in groupthink.

    Or its changed since.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soras Teva Gee View Post
    Understand that quadratic wizards and linear warriors is not a bug its a feature.
    I don't think you really understand what linear warriors quadratic wizards really means. It's a pretty awful method of constructing a game, because it just means that different players are bored at different levels instead of everyone having a consistently good time. Leaving that aside, neither 3.5 nor pathfinder truly follows the dogma of linear warriors quadratic wizards, though I suspect that they're trying to. In order to create a balance of that variety, you need one class to be highly powerful at level one, and another class weak at level one, and then the initially powerful class scales much slower than the initially weak class. In these systems, this is utterly untrue.

    Wizards, if they are ever weaker than fighters, scale far too quickly to fit into this framework. Some claim that they pass the fighter at level 5 or so, while others contend that it happens right at the start of the game. This is even more true in the case of druids. There is actually no level at which a fighter surpasses a druid in 3.5. At the very instant of character creation, the druid is already significantly more powerful than the fighter, and it just gets worse and worse as time goes on.

    Finally, the idea that getting rid of the imbalance in the game would make it incredibly samey is patently untrue. Just look at the tier system, and lop off everything above and below tier 3. Just in that one tier, you have somewhere around 6 completely different systems acting in balance. Let's do a quick count off. You have casting, in the form of beguilers, the ToB system, in the form of all of those classes, psionics in the form of psychic warriors, The system used by binders, and factotums, which are both rather different than everything else in that tier, whatever you qualify the wildshape ranger as, which also has a different mechanical system from everything else there, and the incarnum system, in the form of totemists and incarnates. You can create a game with many radically different mechanics, and have them all be balanced with each other, and not sacrifice much variety in the process. You could remove power from wizards, and still have wizards, and you could add power to fighters, and still have fighters. It's hard, but it's possible, and any other contention is mistaken.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    I suppose this comes down to the age old concepts that have existed in DnD for a long time. Pathfinder just didn't really think to consciously change it. And I do think it would require a conscious change of the very concept, not just an attempt at balance but going back to the foundation.

    This concept can be summed up in:

    "What can magic do? Well... anything. It's magic."

    and

    "What can non-magical people do? Well... umm... stuff we deem moderately realistic. It's not magic. They're bound to the rules of reality as we think of them."

    As long that concept remains, the gulf remains no matter how you try to balance it. 4th closed it, mostly because they shifted the concept from "Well... anything. It's magic" to "It's just another, different way to accomplish the same thing" mechanically. So the gap closes.

    But yeah. It's all down to that "Well magic isn't REAL, so it shouldn't be bound by Reality" and "Well... swordfighters/thieves/martial artists ARE real, so they should be bound to Reality."
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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    SKR's feat point system seems to have some relevance to this discussion. It seems pretty clear, just looking at it, that its creator has little understanding of D&D 3.5 balance. Leadership costs 8, natural spell costs 5, weapon specialization costs 10, and two weapon fighting costs frigging 11. I don't know the extent to which that understanding effected pathfinder's balancing, but it seems telling at the very least.
    SKR... Pelor, what a joke. Not that I'm any good at game design, but at least I have the sense to know that. I think he is one of those people who plays a particular way, and if you don't play the game like him, then you're doing it wrong. Which is a bummer because his rules don't suggest that fireball is better than stinkinh cloud, but he seems to be a fireball and TWF is totally awesome so let's make ot bad sort of dude.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    I've always though it was interesting that Pathfinder Sociaty sticks it's fingers in it's ears and goes "LALALAI'MNOTLISTENINGLALALA" on the problems in it's own system through GM fiat at lower levels, banning of higher levels and banning of crafting as a basic kiss off to the fact that they KNOW they took something broken and made it the best thing ever for every caster.
    It's ridiculous that PF was all "we're fixing 3.5", then doesnt fix it to the extent that post-level 12 is banned because, well, it's ridiculously broken. Broken not just in a gamist sense, but simulationism breaks down when you basically get to play the Avengers in pseudo-medieval pseudo-earth.

    Quote Originally Posted by 13_CBS View Post
    Okay, that's pretty interestin--




    What?! Weapon Specialization costs twice as much as Natural Spell? But...why?





    But...improved critical and improved disarm aren't even that great in the first place and...

    Oh god...
    You should find SKR's PF TWF&flurry monk errata. He had a little freak out on the Paizo boards.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    There's a reason SKR is....not looked upon favorably by pretty much anyone in the optimization, homebrewing, or theorycrafting community. I've heard second or third-hand that his interpersonal conduct on the Paizo forums leaves something to be desired as well, but can't confirm that.
    I have never interacted with the guy, but the way he got bent out of shape over flurry of blows and twf was ridiculous. He basically said monks couldnt do both because it didn't make any sense. Something along the lines of "they only have two arms!!" When it was pointed out monks can RAW use headbutt, that a kung fu master should be able to beat the crap out of someone, and the penalties from twf made it not so bad, he on the spot issued errata so he didnt lose the argument.

    Another paizo developer then showed up in the thread and was basically like "SKR is the boss and this is official errata now but I kinda wish it didnt go down this way".

    I found all this with google, so it's probably still out there. The whole debacle left a bad taste in my mouth regarding SKR.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soras Teva Gee View Post
    Understand that quadratic wizards and linear warriors is not a bug its a feature.

    Seriously you are telling reality to sit down and shut up.

    This goes back well before 3.0, unless some ancient foggie wants to tell me how different it was in Chainmail days or something I'd imagine its at the begining. Many spells have not changed much, I remember dread Imprisonment in BG II and many a save scum before I got the right spells figured out to counter it.

    Pathfinder is built as a compatible update to 3.5, it was never all that likely to resolve this and frankly wasn't trying. There's some obvious patches (wall of iron having no gold value) but all the basic things are the same. Why? Because that was the idea, there was no more 3.5 so they started their own to keep publishing new material in the same mold. Most of their books are setting pieces or adventures, not splatbooks detailing five new elf variations.

    Pathfinder is mechanically less interested in making everybody equal then in making everybody fun to play. They aren't entirely uninterested (polymorph was fixed, etc) but the broad structure is still there. Casters still get a bigger more open box of tools to choose from, thus have more options, thus played to win tend to end up higher in power.

    Of course changing that and it wouldn't look like D&D anymore, Wizards tried it and ended up with 4E. You like 4E good for you, but its just not the same game anymore whether its good/bad or just different.

    More to gameplay then simple perfect balance anyways. Yeah it sounds nice for everybody to be equally effective, but that makes no sense given the range of potential threats an adventurer can face.



    Having been there I would say it would have been for cause not some jackboot thugs in groupthink.

    Or its changed since.
    I think this is more or less it. Mundanes arent allowed to do cool stuff because they are mundane. Magic is magic. That's why a level 3 wizard gets to be stealthier than a level 3 rogue. It's "balanced", mechanically, on the fact that a level 3 wizard only gets to out sneak the rogue for ten or so minutes a day.

    It really grinds my gears when someone is like "you could never do that in real life; take a -20 penalty and you need two useless feats." Bro, I am a level 10 barbarian; I'm a super hero. You didn't complain about Iron Man "hacking DNA" and the hulk and every other retarded superhero breaking every law of thermodynamics with absolutely no explanation.

    I think it has to do with the nerd communities obsession with swords. Some of them know some things about swords, so they want the swords to match what they know about swords. But no one knows anything about magic, so hey, whatever, here's a spell that wins you everything forever. I guess we'll make it fair by saying you can only cast it a limited number of times.

    Paizo also flat out doesn't like optimizers. They're **** is written so poorly that it's basically, "hey if this could be abusive and you abuse it, you have a bad DM." I feel that there is a real over reliance of rule 0 in their material.

    [edit]
    on my phone. I apologize for my grammar, diction, and syntax. Editing is too difficult to fix it. :(
    Last edited by Spuddles; 2013-05-23 at 04:31 AM.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Quote Originally Posted by 13_CBS View Post
    I can't say that I've played a full game of Pathfinder, though I have played a game of 3.P before. However, from what I've gathered, Pathfinder still seems to preserve the wide gap between casters (wizards, clerics, druids, sorcerers, psions, etc.) and mundanes (rogues, fighters, etc.)

    Now, I do understand that whether or not Pathfinder has buffed or nerfed casters overall is a bit controversial on this board. The intent of this thread is not to discuss this. Regardless of whether casters were indeed strengthened or weakened, and regardless of whether mundanes were indeed strengthened or weakend, as far as I can tell there is still a very wide gulf between them.

    I also understand that the idea of full casters tending to overshadow mundanes in mid-to-high-op games might also be controversial, but that's not the intent of this thread either.

    The intent of this thread is to ask: IF it is true that casters were overshadowing mundanes in 3.5, and IF it is true that Pathfinder did not fix this, then WHY was it not fixed?
    In my humble opinion, the game has evolved but the designers didn't.
    In 2nd edition the wizard had just enough spell slots to make the fight easier allowing the fighter (who could dish out reliable damage and soak up just as much) to finish it. Cleric was party buffer / negative condition removal kit.
    PF designers still think that after 13+ years, the game will still be the same. Wizards will use the spells to aid in, not dominate battles, and out of combat scenarios will be resolved with "roleplaying" (despite every adventure asking for knowledge, sense motive and a staggering amount of every other skill. Once or twice per adventure most commonly so a cleric with 2 spell slots giving him +5 to the skill will be more useful than the party face).
    They still worship the "balanced" formation (fighter, cleric, rogue, wizard) of the party, despite 3.5 edition dishing this concept altogether in the middle of its lifetime (DMG2 has suggestions when the party deviates from this "holy formation") and despite the fact that a rogue deals LESS damage than a fighter, and less reliably too.
    PF is new material of course but in many ways a step behind, sometimes reinventing the wheel (wordcasting - abandoned) and sometimes not even bothering to do so (disinterest over ToB, psionics and just about every other alternate magic system)
    Another angle would be that as a free product (pfsrd) and continuation of 3.5 edition, it has a positive reaction, leading to the misleading conclusion that everything is okay with the product.
    Last edited by peacenlove; 2013-05-23 at 05:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcturusV View Post
    But yeah. It's all down to that "Well magic isn't REAL, so it shouldn't be bound by Reality" and "Well... swordfighters/thieves/martial artists ARE real, so they should be bound to Reality."
    ...and when you try to give meleers, something with some magical flavor (ToB?), you'll have flame wars about wuxia and so on...
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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    D&D is also incredibly modular and tries to be everything for everyone, from hogwarts to beowulf, call of cthulhu to bram stoker's dracula.

    A coherent, elegant, balanced system is kind of impossible, I think, when you want to cover as many genres and game types.

    Rules oddities do lead to some strange in game behavior, like low level wizards with tower shields and magebred riding dogs.

    But there is enough stuff for dnd that with attentive players and dm, you can literally play anything, including concepts that arise out of rules intersections themselves, like flask rogues (RIP) or intelligent sandwiches.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soras Teva Gee View Post
    Understand that quadratic wizards and linear warriors is not a bug its a feature.

    Seriously you are telling reality to sit down and shut up.

    This goes back well before 3.0, unless some ancient foggie wants to tell me how different it was in Chainmail days or something I'd imagine its at the begining. Many spells have not changed much, I remember dread Imprisonment in BG II and many a save scum before I got the right spells figured out to counter it.
    Actually if you go back far enough you realise that the designer knew the wizard was much more powerful than the fighter. They didn't try to balance it by making the spell less powerful or the fighter better, that's a modern approach. But they did balance it. How ? Fighter could use more magic items and more importantly wizard needed far more XP than anything else to level up. So they were easily 1 or 2 level behind.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    Pathfinder, as well as D&D 3.5, are "high fantasy", meaning that magic and mythological creatures are way up and above what vanilla mortals can do. That`s simply the idea behind the genre.

    In essence: "Fighters make holes in things, mages alter reality." If you want to change that, you might want to look for more realistic "low fantasy" settings or low magic campaigns with restricted class choices (or have a great DM that shapes things so the non-casters can shine just as much).

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    Default Re: Pathfinder--why the gap between casters and mundanes?

    A good example of a system where there is balance between casters and everyone else is Legend. After the lowest levels everyone can do cool impossible stuff. Of course, it was written by people who understand what was wrong with 3.5. (I understand it originally evolved from the test of spite on this very board)

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