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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default The Fighter Fix that Broke Me

    The Myth of the Dungeon: Chronicles of the Fighter

    “In the beginning, there was the myth of the dungeon. Tales spread of four perfect archetypes descending into the depths of tombs and catacombs to plumb their unseen depths for treasures.


    • The Divine Healer: who empowered the warrior and healed all of their wounds
    • The Blaster Mage: who removed lesser foes and cleared a few obstacles.
    • The Canny Thief: who removed the traps and locks of the dungeon and supported the warrior in battle.
    • The Brave Warrior: who would fight whatever ruled the dungeon face-to-face, claiming ultimate glory.


    While this assemblage had many variations, from the charming skjald to the wild archer, each version of this tale followed the same basic structure. While most members would clear lesser obstacles, provide support, or fend off minor foes, the warrior (like so many of myth) would be the one to face the ultimate foe and leave his mark on the world.

    Alas, like all myths, there is scant truth that these pure archetypes ever existed and the bards grew tired of telling these stories. They longed for new stories: stories of strategy, research, and intrigue. Stories where combat became far rarer, where the brave warrior could not claim his glory. In these new stories, the minor roles that others had played was expanded. The divine, the arcane, and the canny could weave intricate story-lines spanning worlds and generations, joining together in uneasy harmony once more when the time for battle arose.

    Even with the dearth of combat, bards discovered that others liked these stories. So long as everyone could act and build their story, the act of combat was almost completely unnecessary. The Myth of the Dungeon firmly defeated, all were free to rejoice and new and more varied stories rose to the surface. All were free to rejoice… save for those who favored the brave warrior.

    Indeed, the brave warrior suffered intensely at the hand of these new stories. Known as “the fighter”, it was far too weak in a fight and had naught to add to stories beyond the battlefield. The first problem was fixed with ease as newer bards increased the strength of the fighter with each reimagining. The second problem was a far harder challenge, keeping true to the spirit of the fighter while removing it from the battlefield.

    With each and every strength already used, the answer reached was a grand cannibalization of archetypes to have come before. The fighter would be stitched to the lore and tongue of the skjald; be force-fed the senses and stride of the scout; be bloated with the leadership of the marshal. This was the decision reached by nearly all bards and listeners.

    This bard, however, arrives at a different conclusion, one that has been right in front of me for ages. The problem has never been that the fighter can’t act out of combat. Quite to the contrary, all that is wrong is that all others are expected to join in the combat. One last niggling legacy from the myth of the dungeon, each and every single archetype has some means to join in the battle. Of course the fighter would suffer, you see, for it and its variants alone were forced to share their throne for all of this time.

    No longer, I say. The myth of the dungeon is good and dead. If a story need not hinge on battle, let the fighter fight with such might that no other need ever touch a blade or wand. Let others take their part in the narrative and let the fighter, for perhaps the very first time, claim his throne for his own.”

    What I’m Doing Here (In Plain English):

    Welcome to the fighter fix that broke me. Feel free to pull up a seat and gnaw on the fractured pieces of my psyche. What you have here is a fighter fix that gets an at-will death effect at level 1 and moves on up from there. This thing is here one part joke, one part craziness, one part thought experiment, and one part earnest. On behalf of those last two parts, I’d like to explain what this is about if that stuff above is a bit too flowery or vague for your taste.

    It is generally accepted that the fighter “needs” to contribute outside of combat. While the old assumption of play was that combat would take a huge part of every campaign and that the fighter would (theoretically) be the best at it, we all know that there are lots of different adventures and campaigns in which combat takes a back seat and the fighter is left waiting for the next combat.

    With that said, I started wondering. In D&D, most obstacles outside of combat such as needing to find a trap, follow tracks, or getting an advance on payment either involve puzzle solving/role playing (where anyone can contribute) or amount to a single skill check, spell, or expenditure of money. Given that these non-combat elements are so simple, the only real difference that I see between the rogue picking a lock on a gate and the fighter killing the guard dogs beyond is that there’s this lingering expectation that everyone will be in the guard dog combat. As such, it can’t really be called the “fighter’s job”. Indeed, specializing in combat seems to mean that you have no special job at all.

    While most people respond to this lack of a job by tacking capabilities onto the fighter, I chose to attack the problem from the other direction. I chose to question why everyone is expected to act in every combat. If anything, THAT seems to be the legacy left over from the “myth of the dungeon”. If it has been proven time and time again that minimal or even no combat can still be fun, why is every other class in the game so insistent on stomping around in the fighter’s turf?

    People discussing tiers sometimes mention that a theoretical class that kills anything would be just tier 4 without other abilities, a traditional example of how raw power =/= high tier. I have decided to more or less make that class a reality, going against the oft-repeated truism that making a fighter better at combat won’t help it. While other classes can still fight and a well-used caster still mops the floor with this guy, a party with this fighter will pretty much never require anyone else to ever join a combat and can handle everything on its own (unless facing a well-used caster, of course).

    Ironically, this souped-up fighter is only intended for games where combat isn’t the main focus and most characters aren’t focused on being bruisers. It’s the one character who has to step in when heads have to be busted or hydras have to be slain. This keeps a 1st-level guard looking threatening for far longer than in most games, giving inventive to remain unseen in stealth campaigns and remain civil (and lawful) in intrigue campaigns.

    And yeah, I do apologize for the hypocrisy in calling the main method of fixing the fighter cannibalization when this class obviates the need for just about every other martial class, a problem that the other method doesn’t run into (or at least not to the same degree). I also realize that this is probably on the high-power end of even what I was trying to do so a bit of reigning in may be necessary before inclusion in your campaigns.

    Obvious Concerns:

    What about XP?:
    Yeah, combat lingers on in D&D in part because it's the most codified way to gain XP. With that said, this fight does to combat what a rogue does to traps (which have CRs like monsters and can earn you XP after 2 dice rolls, one of which you can take 20 on). If there are any problems with how this thing treats combat (from how only one person participates or how this thing may be able to face advanced foes), I can almost guarantee that it already exists in the realms of traps and I don't hear too many complaints about traps.

    What about games without combat?:
    I... honestly don't see any reason why every class must be ready for a non-combat campaign. Unless you make a habit of dropping your players into campaigns completely blind, who would really choose to play "a fighter" in a campaign where there won't be any fighting. For me, that's just kind of common sense.
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2014-01-29 at 01:46 PM.
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    okay RoC, that is enough! the gitp boards can only take so much awsome, you might actually hurt somebody with this one!
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  2. - Top - End - #2
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: The Fighter Fix that Broke Me

    The Fighter


    Alignment: Any
    Hit Die: d10

    Class Skills:
    The fighter’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Listen (Wis), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), Spot (Wis), and Swim (Str).
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) × 4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier

    The Fighter
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special

    1st|+1|+2|+0|+2|Mighty Blows

    2nd|+2|+3|+0|+3|Iron Grit

    3rd|+3|+3|+1|+3|Alacritous Combatant

    4th|+4|+4|+1|+4|Fighter’s Challenge

    5th|+5|+4|+1|+4|Mettle

    6th|+6/+1|+5|+2|+5|Rain of Blows

    7th|+7/+2|+5|+2|+5|Sure Strikes

    8th|+8/+3|+6|+2|+6|Indomitable

    9th|+9/+4|+6|+3|+6|Vanquish the Mighty

    10th|+10/+5|+7|+3|+7|Legion of One

    11th|+11/+6/+1|+7|+3|+7|Improved Mettle

    12th|+12/+7/+2|+8|+4|+8|Inescapable

    13th|+13/+8/+3|+8|+4|+8|Masge Slayer

    14th|+14/+9/+4|+9|+4|+9|Full Guard

    15th|+15/+10/+5|+9|+5|+9|Army of One

    16th|+16/+11/+6/+1|+10|+5|+10|Canny Preparation

    17th|+17/+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10|Shrug it Off

    18th|+18/+13/+8/+3|+11|+6|+11|Killing Floor

    19th|+19/+14/+9/+4|+11|+6|+11|Peerless Precision

    20th|+20/+15/+10/+5|+12|+6|+12|Invincible Warrior[/table]


    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A fighter is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, medium, and light) and shields (including tower shields).

    Mighty Blows (Ex): As a fighter, you excel at taking down foes with minimal effort. Whenever you successfully attack and damage a creature, it is instantly slain if its HD - any negative levels it possesses is equal to or less than your fighter level. Otherwise, it gains a temporary negative level until it next heals naturally (this negative level never results in actual level loss). Constructs and Undead are subjected to these negative levels and Death Ward and similar effects fail to protect against them. This ability does not affect successful touch attacks that you make. At your option, you may choose to deal a living creature nonlethal damage equal to twice its maximum hp instead of slaying it.

    Spectral Slayer: With the aid of magic, not even foes without bodies can present an obstacle to a fighter. Extraordinary class features of the fighter function against incorporeal foes.

    Iron Grit (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, you have the ability to shake off most forms of physical harm. If a source of damage would deal less damage than half of your current hit points, halve that damage before applying damage reduction, energy resistance, and so forth.

    Alacritous Combatant (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, you can fight and react at tremendous speeds in combat. You may add half of your fighter level to initiative checks you make and to the number of attacks of opportunity you may make each round. Furthermore, melee attacks made against you by creatures you are aware of without this class feature provoke attacks of opportunity.

    Fighter’s Challenge: (Ex) Starting at 4th level, a fighter can call out enemies as a swift action, forcing all hostile creatures that can hear or see your challenge to come after you. Each affected target must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Cha modifier). With a successful save, a creature reveals its presence or its hostile intentions if its presence is already known (though its location is not pinpointed if unknown). With a failed save, the creature can be pinpointed in its current location and can take no aggressive actions that don’t involve trying to harm you for 1 round.

    When a creature you are aware of fails by 5 points or more, it must do everything in its power to harm you for 1 round and you may place one of the following restrictions upon it until the end of the encounter as it is blinded by honor or rage: may not move away from you; may not make ranged attacks; or may not cast spells or activate spell-trigger items. If a creature successfully harms you with a melee attack, all ongoing effects from this class feature end at the start of the next round.

    Whenever you use this ability, you may impose a stacking -1 penalty both to your AC and to future Will saves of affected foes against this class feature until the end of the encounter. Each time you use this class feature and no hostile foes see or hear your challenge, you suffer a stacking -1 penalty to attack roll for 24 hours as you are left looking foolish. While this is not a mind-affecting effect, only creatures with an intelligence score can be affected (though they need not understand you). Creatures observing you through divination effects aren’t affected by this class feature.

    Mettle (Ex): Starting at 5th level, a fighter can withstand the worst that the world can throw at him. Whenever you make a successful Fortitude or Will save against a magical effect that normally has partial effects on a successful save, you instead suffer no effects at all.

    Rain of Blows (Ex): Starting at 6th level, a fighter can deliver a vast series of blows even as he moves about. As a full-round action, you may move up to twice your land speed and make your full attack at any point during the movement (moving between attacks if desired).

    Sure Strikes (Ex): Starting at 7th level, a fighter rarely needs to worry about missing when it comes to attacking. When wielding magical weaponry, you suffer no miss chance against incorporeal creatures (unless gained from a separate source). Further, the fighter ignores cover less than total cover and concealment less than total concealment. Finally, the fighter treats any dice result on an attack roll lower than 5 as a natural 5 (a natural 1 no longer causes an attack to automatically miss).

    Indomitable (Ex): Starting at 8th level, a fighter is skilled enough in combat to ignore most blows and escape even what should have been fatal. You gain immunity to fear effects and suffer no damage from nonmagical manufactured weaponry. More impressively, any effect or source of damage that would slay you while you possess at least half of your maximum hit points instead reduces your hit points to 1. This ability doesn’t function to protect you against death by suffocation, negative levels, or Constitution damage or drain.

    Vanquish the Mighty (Ex): Starting at 9th level, a fighter gains skill at fighting stronger creatures, though they are still at personal risk. When facing a creature with at least 5 more HD than you possess fighter levels, your mighty blows class feature delivers two negative levels instead of one. Further, you can strike out at the extremities of large and monstrous foes, threatening all creatures that threaten you (even if beyond your normal threatened range).

    Legion of One (Ex): Starting at 10th level, a fighter can turn into an engine of wanton destruction. When making a full attack or using rain of blows, subtract the HD of your target from the Base Attack Bonus of each successful attack and you gain an additional attack as part of the same action, made at the resulting Base Attack Bonus. If the result would be +0 or lower, no additional attack is gained.

    Improved Mettle (Ex): Starting at 11th level, a fighter can shrug off most magic with the greatest of ease. Even when you fail a Fortitude or Will save against an effect that normally possesses a partial effect with a successful save, you only suffer that partial effect.

    Inescapable (Ex): Starting at 12th level, a fighter knows how to keep their foes on edge and prevent them from escaping. Creatures you threaten may not take 5-foot steps, use the tumble skill, or cast defensively. Further, you may move a distance up to your speed between the actions of any two creatures any number of times per round, so long as the total distance moved in this way each round doesn’t exceed your speed.

    Mageslayer (Ex): Starting at 13th level, a fighter knows how to deal with spellcasters. Casting spells with casting times of 1 swift action or 1 immediate action provokes attacks of opportunity from you. Further, your attacks ignore miss chances and bonuses to AC gained from spells and ignore the presence of magical barriers (such as wall of force or wings of cover). Finally, summoned creatures are treated as possessing HD equal to the caster level of the spell summoning them for the purpose of your mighty blows and vanquish the mighty class features.

    Full Guard (Ex): Starting at 14th level, a fighter is incredibly difficult to harm through most means. You ignore extra damage from critical hits or sneak attacks and halves all ability damage and ability drain you would take from any source (rounded up). You add your full armor and shield bonuses to your touch AC and may spend an immediate action to negate a single ranged attack made against you, so long as you are aware of the attack (siege weaponry may not be negated in this way).

    Army of One (Ex): Starting at 15th level, a fighter can transform into a hurricane of blades and carnage. Whenever you make a full attack or use your Rain of Blows class feature, you may double the reach or range increment of your weaponry and may make an additional attack at your highest base attack bonus. This extra attack stacks with effects like haste.

    Canny Preparation (Ex): Starting at 16th level, a fighter is ready for just about anything. You are never surprised and may always act in a surprise round. Further, any action you ready remains readied until it is taken, you ready another action, or 5 rounds pass. Finally, you may spend any amount on a weapon with unspecified properties within a community (so long as you don’t spend over the gp limit of the community) and name the properties of that weapon later on as a free action (this may only be performed once per weapon).

    Shrug it Off (Ex): Starting at 17th level, a fighter can all but ignore even the strongest of magical effects. Whenever a fighter fails a Fortitude or Will save against a magical effect, all consequences other than hit point damage have no effect for 1d4+1 rounds, counting towards the normal duration of the effect. If the effects would have an instantaneous duration or the effect is restricted to a certain range or area that you leave in that period, you are completely unaffected by consequences other than hit point damage.

    Killing Floor (Ex): Starting at 18th level, a fighter can dart about the battlefield with ease, striking at any foe to give even the slightest of openings. The area you threaten is increased by your remaining movement for the round through your inescapable class feature. When an attack of opportunity is provoked by a creature beyond your normal range, you have to move into a square that threatens the target (counting towards your limit for the round with inescapable) before you can make your attack.

    Peerless Precision (Ex): Starting at 19th level, a fighter can deliver shots with perfect regularity, removing all variables from the battlefield. You may take 10 on attack rolls. Once per encounter, you may declare an attack to automatically hit so long as the foe is within range.

    Invincible Warrior (Ex): Starting at 20th level, a fighter may persist through all manner of wounds, even those that would slay a lesser creature. You gain immunity to the mighty blows class feature, are not disabled at 0 hit points, do not fall unconscious at -1 hit points or fewer, and do not die at -10 hit points or fewer. While at -10 hit points or fewer, you gain a negative level whenever you are damaged and at the end of each round (even if normally immune to negative levels).
    I'm try not to be too vain but this was too perfect not to sig.
    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Fury View Post
    okay RoC, that is enough! the gitp boards can only take so much awsome, you might actually hurt somebody with this one!
    At long last, I have an extended signature

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Amechra's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Fighter Fix that Broke Me

    Heh. I like it. I like it a lot.

    It really offers a different vantage on the issue at hand.
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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Fighter Fix that Broke Me

    RoC, allow me to sincerely, SINCERELY apologize for anything I might have done that caused you to fall to such depths
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    Default Re: The Fighter Fix that Broke Me

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    In D&D, most obstacles outside of combat such as needing to find a trap, follow tracks, or getting an advance on payment either involve puzzle solving/role playing (where anyone can contribute) or amount to a single skill check, spell, or expenditure of money. Given that these non-combat elements are so simple, the only real difference that I see between the rogue picking a lock on a gate and the fighter killing the guard dogs beyond is that there’s this lingering expectation that everyone will be in the guard dog combat. As such, it can’t really be called the “fighter’s job”. Indeed, specializing in combat seems to mean that you have no special job at all.

    While most people respond to this lack of a job by tacking capabilities onto the fighter, I chose to attack the problem from the other direction. I chose to question why everyone is expected to act in every combat. If anything, THAT seems to be the legacy left over from the “myth of the dungeon”. If it has been proven time and time again that minimal or even no combat can still be fun, why is every other class in the game so insistent on stomping around in the fighter’s turf?
    For what it's worth, this is exactly what playing 1st and 2nd edition D&D was like for me growing up. The main focus of the game was exploration. Each dungeon contained many different types of challenges. Virtually all challenges (including combat) could be resolved in a few minutes or less, and sometimes a single die roll. The different classes were good at resolving different types of challenges. The game was very much about resource management (hit points, conserving limited spells, conserving limited magic items, etc) and trying to AVOID combat (which was generally the most costly and dangerous way to get treasure). When combat did occur, it was usually the Fighter or Paladin that stood in front and quickly resolved it, unless the Wizard felt like it was important enough to spend a spell on.

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    Default Re: The Fighter Fix that Broke Me

    For mighty blows... what if instead of an instant kill effect, it only gave the target a negative level? That way as the fighter hits the enemy and their health decreases they become more and more weary. An enemy at full HP would be a lot more effective than one at 1 HP... What if all attacks did this, not just the fighter's?
    Last edited by Darkweave31; 2014-02-28 at 02:36 PM.
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    Default Re: The Fighter Fix that Broke Me

    I feel like Mighty Blows could make some fights beyond trivial as there are some creatures that have fewer HD than they have CR, even at higher levels. CR 8 ogre mage takes one arrow and dies from a level 5 fighter, what?

    Don't get me wrong, I like it (clear the mooks! Whirlwind attack is might be useful) and the class as a whole is wonderful, but that bit just made me stumble while reading.
    Last edited by Tacitus; 2014-02-28 at 04:45 PM.
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    Default Re: The Fighter Fix that Broke Me

    Love this, love everything about this, I'm going to play it as soon as possible.
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    Default Re: The Fighter Fix that Broke Me

    This alters the game is a fundamental way, as noted by Person Man. I don't think it's a good way though.

    As Person Man said, with a class like this the game becomes about exploration and resource management. Let's ignore that dipping in this class gives a Totemist the ability to bust out something like 18 negative levels per round at range at level 3-4, add a couple psychic warrior levels and you can probably make a level 5ish guy that can easily kill CR 15 monsters from a safe position. Let us assume that the game is about a series of small challenges, and the fighter excels at one type of such challenges - fighting. Here's why this game doesn't work.

    1) Overspecialization kills the game. Suppose you have a party of four, one optimizes for fighting, one optimizes for busting the skill system open like a nut, one optimizes for casting spells that solve stuff and being very versatile, and one optimizes for recharging batteries. You can easily ignore combat entirely at this point because the fighter will kill everything and with unlimited (or stupidly cost efficient) healing there won't be any consequence. You can then ignore almost anything that doesn't put a strong time limit or doesn't immediately threaten the group, because the wizard will spend 15 minutes studying then cast Solve Situation Greater. Since the wizard doesn't need to spend stuff on fighting (except trivial protections to make sure the fighter has the time to kill stuff... but then again, who cares, there's a healbot as long as you don't die), the wizard can devote his resources towards more spell slots, more versatility et cetera. What's left is basically traps and other situations that immediately threaten the group and can't be solved by violence (which means... essentially just traps). The fourth guy can just boost his skills through the roof and let the group waltz through these scenarios.

    There is no tension left, the game is boring micromanagement.

    2) Suppose you fix the above and make sure everybody can still somehow be challenged by their situations. Or at least have meaningful resources to spend on it. You have the fighter locked in a minigame of rolling dice to kill stuff, the rogue locked in a minigame of rolling dice to not die, the healbot that rolls dice to see how many meaningless spells he must cast to make sure the rest of the group does the true work. And then you have the guy who does everything else ever.

    Notice any problem?

    3) Suppose you fix the above. Since you want to avoid giving everybody something to do, you force the wizard to hyperspecialize or something until his area of expertise is as narrow as the rest of the group. You now have four onedimensional characters that completely and utterly solve one situation alone and struggle to get through anything else. For most people, the best parts of the adventure are going to be "anything else". We have more fun by cooperating, coordinating, trying to use our resources creatively and overcoming hardships than we get from selecting the right pokemon team member to send against the fighting / skill / spell gyms.

    If the game is more fun when you are not doing what you specialized in, why did you even specialize in something?

    4) Suppose you fix the above. Likely because your group is one of the groups that actively wants different spotlight moments and severely segregated minigames as the gameplay (which is not how most people play, as evidenced by the general trend in 3.P sales vs OSR sales). You now have a game that allows you to create a character that specializes in one and only one thing, that isn't extremely competent in that one thing because it would break the game, that must still rely on coordination and teamwork to get things done in his area of expertise but somehow still doesn't give other players the power to succeed on your area of expertise alone, and that somehow ignores the problem represented by the magic user and the boredom of the healbot role.

    It still won't work. For most people, at least.

    4a) Most groups want or expect to tell a story while playing. Pure dungeon crawls or otherwise "pitting your wits against DM challenges" are extremely rare, because PC games are objectively better at providing those experiences (for most people, just assume I say "for most people" every like second word I say okay, this is a generalization). This type of gameplay clashes against story structure, which wants each players to solve problems based on narrative rather than mechanics. You also want to make sure each characters' weaknesses are challenged to make them prove their worth, which is against the purpose of this rule system.

    4b) Most groups will break the structured challenges if you aren't in a strict railroad, and just find ways to go around it. There are very few problems that can't be solved with appropriate amounts of violence. If you add a few suggestions here and there, there is VERY LITTLE that can't be thoroughly solved. Morality can be an obstacle, but if you ever have a game that places morality as a hindrance you can expect people to devolve into murderhobos in a heartbeat. "Who cares about those fake people anyway let's just kill them."

    4c) Dramatic tension is unbalanced between the roles. You said everyone is expected to participate in every fight - that's true and it's there for a reason. If you think about it, there are very few stories that use fighting that DO NOT have a final boss confrontation. This is because fighting is cathartic, it's kill or be killed, it's resonant, epic and fun. Everybody wants to be part of that fun. You don't just say "no screw you the boss is too powerful just be a cheerleader in the angle for the paladin" and expect it to go over well with the players.

    4d) Resource management is easily busted. It is an integral aspect of this type of game, but the simple fact that we are not playing a videogame and people expect some form of "realism", plus you can recharge your powers based on time traditionally, means you have to face the 5 minutes workday in all its glory. Except that it's not a 5MWD and it's more like "let's try to game the resource system in any possible way because that's the name of the game we're playing". Which can be fun, if very well balanced, but if there's even just one leak it's going to become a solved problem, and irrelevant. Add the presence of the internet and the hivemind of all players will likely break the game before you even release it.


    ----


    So all in all, I think this direction is not going to work for most people because it's going against what people want to do, in a way that creates bad gameplay and that directly opposes the strengths of this medium. It's more or less like trying to write a book about something that people loathe, with bad spelling bad writing bad editing and a difficult-to-read font, while spending thousands of pages to describe complex choreographies and action scenes without any psychological depth.
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: The Fighter Fix that Broke Me

    Wow, didn't expect this guy to come back (especially as it never reached my extended sig) but I guess I can't complain.

    Tacitus: A well-optimized level 5 rogue can likely take out a CR 8 trap on his own and a level 7 wizard can kill a level 20 fighter. The CR system we work with had never exactly been the best, though higher CRs typically come with more defenses (the CR 8 ogre mage you used can fly and turn invisible, for example). If you have any specific ideas, however, I am open to suggestions.

    The Mormegil: In this respect, I simply expect that we have had very different experiences in gaming as I run with very different assumptions regarding the topic of "tension".

    • I am currently running a high-level epic campaign that has been going for 60 pages and at least half of a year on this forum. In that time, there have been... 2 bouts of real combat (plus one for a solo quest someone did) and I don't think any stressful situation has really been resolved through dice rolling. To be perfectly clear, this party consists of an uber-powerful healer, two very martial characters, and a high power caster who can (of course) do anything but who loves to blast. In spite of the dearth of combat, however, everyone seems to be invested in the game and I manage to challenge them all without giving specific actions a particularly large chance of failure (as "challenging" high epic characters in that way is often either futile or ridiculous in execution). At the moment, one stubborn character in the campaign has had his kingdom ransacked by a being that true sight reported to be himself right before a fungal plague was discovered to infect most of the kingdom.
    • Before that game, I was running a (supposedly) horror campaign for 1.5 years. After a few encounters, I realized that encounters were making the characters (the bad kind of) anxious and so I cut back while turning the horror into more of a cosmic kind, threatening players through their homes and loved ones (and through a pyramid head knock-off, though that's unrelated). One of the central mechanics was a way to make literal wishes at any time in exchange for parts of their memory... which was used maybe 3 times in the entire campaign (and always for the benefit of another). Another mechanic was that dying didn't seem to hurt... them... but they still went to incredible lengths not to die. By the time they reached the final boss, the players were all but flat-out told that they would lose in a fight and were bound to have some degree of "good ending" but they fought to complete a puzzle (requiring no dice rolling on their part) before an uncertain deadline ended. Instead of witnessing a miraculous natural 20, I watched in awe as my players created their own spread sheet to figure out the puzzle entirely on their own.
    • I have seen large numbers of games of politics, intrigue, exploration, and investigation where dice rolls are used to flesh out what people can do without serving as a main catalyst of tension. Hell, I've seen a few games that seem to be fine with nearly no "tension" at all (I've always been tempted to run slice-of-life in the d20 system). Besides, free-form RP somehow manages to exist without resource management OR tension (other than tension from a greater situation, such as a relative being kidnapped or a countdown tot he apocalypse).


    To be fair, the way you describe most campaigns is perfectly accurate (I'm not crazy enough to think my games are typical ). I acknowledge that most games accept the truism that everyone needs to fight. I have merely seen from my own experience that fighting is not necessary for most games and that the catharsis of combat, while nice, is not the only potential draw for a game (though it is pretty easy to work with). In those games where combat isn't a central theme, it just seems wrong that the fighter should seem redundant instead of doing its job in the few instances where combat DOES arise. This class is probably best thought of as an unorthodox fighter for unorthodox games.
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2014-03-01 at 10:57 AM.
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    okay RoC, that is enough! the gitp boards can only take so much awsome, you might actually hurt somebody with this one!
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    Default Re: The Fighter Fix that Broke Me

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    The Mormegil: In this respect, I simply expect that we have had very different experiences in gaming as I run with very different assumptions regarding the topic of "tension".

    • I am currently running a high-level epic campaign that has been going for 60 pages and at least half of a year on this forum. In that time, there have been... 2 bouts of real combat (plus one for a solo quest someone did) and I don't think any stressful situation has really been resolved through dice rolling. To be perfectly clear, this party consists of an uber-powerful healer, two very martial characters, and a high power caster who can (of course) do anything but who loves to blast. In spite of the dearth of combat, however, everyone seems to be invested in the game and I manage to challenge them all without giving specific actions a particularly large chance of failure (as "challenging" high epic characters in that way is often either futile or ridiculous in execution). At the moment, one stubborn character in the campaign has had his kingdom ransacked by a being that true sight reported to be himself right before a fungal plague was discovered to infect most of the kingdom.
    • Before that game, I was running a (supposedly) horror campaign for 1.5 years. After a few encounters, I realized that encounters were making the characters (the bad kind of) anxious and so I cut back while turning the horror into more of a cosmic kind, threatening players through their homes and loved ones (and through a pyramid head knock-off, though that's unrelated). One of the central mechanics was a way to make literal wishes at any time in exchange for parts of their memory... which was used maybe 3 times in the entire campaign (and always for the benefit of another). Another mechanic was that dying didn't seem to hurt... them... but they still went to incredible lengths not to die. By the time they reached the final boss, the players were all but flat-out told that they would lose in a fight and were bound to have some degree of "good ending" but they fought to complete a puzzle (requiring no dice rolling on their part) before an uncertain deadline ended. Instead of witnessing a miraculous natural 20, I watched in awe as my players created their own spread sheet to figure out the puzzle entirely on their own.
    • I have seen large numbers of games of politics, intrigue, exploration, and investigation where dice rolls are used to flesh out what people can do without serving as a main catalyst of tension. Hell, I've seen a few games that seem to be fine with nearly no "tension" at all (I've always been tempted to run slice-of-life in the d20 system). Besides, free-form RP somehow manages to exist without resource management OR tension (other than tension from a greater situation, such as a relative being kidnapped or a countdown tot he apocalypse).


    To be fair, the way you describe most campaigns is perfectly accurate (I'm not crazy enough to think my games are typical ). I acknowledge that most games accept the truism that everyone needs to fight. I have merely seen from my own experience that fighting is not necessary for most games and that the catharsis of combat, while nice, is not the only potential draw for a game (though it is pretty easy to work with). In those games where combat isn't a central theme, it just seems wrong that the fighter should seem redundant instead of doing its job in the few instances where combat DOES arise. This class is probably best thought of as an unorthodox fighter for unorthodox games.
    Those games seem like crazy fun. But yeah they're not typical, and you can't exactly expect people to run with it. It's the same old story: if you run a game in a way it's not intended to be run (e.g. not using the rules, for the most part) you might have fun, you might have LOTS of fun, but it's not exactly because of the rules is it. I mean, those campaigns could have been run in basically any RPG system with but a few exceptions, and it wouldn't have made a difference. If you write rules that have certain assumptions, you can bet players will come at the table with those assumptions in mind. They might not mind playing something else, but if they wanted to play good ol' Dungeons and Full Attacks, an almost rules-free approach will leave them flat, angry or worse. In fact, if a player expects to play by the rules, you bet he'll find ways to USE the rules even if you didn't want to (I had this happen before quite a few times - the most flagrant example was a player trying to bypass a puzzle lock by casting detect secret doors because it "explicitly states that I would learn how to open the door by concentrating 3 rounds").

    Anyway, I agree with your last paragraph. :)
    Useless arcane powers are better than no arcane powers!

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