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  1. - Top - End - #811
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    Default Re: Wizards should be better than fighters.

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    A lot of people just don't like to play a character who's awesome because they were born to it, whether that's as subtle as having a dragon two or three generations back in the family tree to which all of their magic can be credited or as blatant as being a Half-Dragon Fighter who gets much more awesomness mileage out of the Half-Dragon part than the Fighter part. And that's not a fighter-specific issue; for instance, I've known plenty of people who don't like playing clerics, druids, or even warlocks because they see that as just being an extension/mouthpiece of their patron deity/outsider rather than being badass themselves.
    I haven't encountered that mentality myself but I can see what you mean. Personally, "chosen ones" in any fiction is something of a pet peeve for similar reasons. So yeah, something like that might not be the ideal justification. I'm beginning to think that the easiest explanation might just be "training enough (and/or using the right techniques) gives you superhuman abilities".

    Oh, and one mythological badass that might fit your list is Ajax, whose main claim to fame is that he was pretty much the only big name in the Trojan War that didn't get a ton of help from the gods.

  2. - Top - End - #812
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    Default Re: Wizards should be better than fighters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    Oh, and one mythological badass that might fit your list is Ajax, whose main claim to fame is that he was pretty much the only big name in the Trojan War that didn't get a ton of help from the gods.
    No help other than being descended from one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    Yes, you've made it clear that anyone who has any complaints about imbalance is/has a lazy GM in your opinion.
    Not what I said.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    As I feel like I've asked before, would you say that any of those are as powerful and versatile as a caster? No?
    You have asked before, yes, and I've answered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    Yes, this is where we'll keep disagreeing, I suspect. I could understand you not caring if classes were badly balanced, but actually preferring it seems so strange to me.
    Okay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    Honestly, I don't care about exactly how it's solved mechanically, I'm sure there are many ways that could work. I care about the end result, ie. classes being more balanced.
    "I don't care how, they should just do it."
    The problem is, "how" is the whole point of design. Anyone can declare a lofty goal and then leave the actual work up to someone else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnimeTheCat View Post
    I think there should be a gap between a non-spellcaster and a spellcaster, but I think it should exist in a distinct way. A non-spellcaster who has devoted an equal portion of time and effort in to their craft as a spellcaster has should absolutely be able to do things that aren't easily replicated by a single spell, especially if those things cost the non-spellcaster more resources than gold (for scrolls to scribe) or a daily use of a rechargable resource. I think that ToB took a huge stride in what I think the "right direction" is, but I don't think it did enough to differentiate the abilities of those non-spellcaster characters from the spellcasters. Again, my thought process is not that they need to be homogeneous and all be able to contribue the same ways in every situation. I don't think a non-spellcaster has any business being able to open portals to other planes/worlds/realms. That can't really be explained no matter how much you focus on yourself and work hard on a physical, martial, personal, spiritual, emotional level. But, what can be explained is an innate resistance to the things that occur on those planes/worlds/realms, such as being innately resistant to varying degrees of planar traits due to how tough your training has been which has honed your body into a true temple to yourself, and those resistance should scale with level. It's something that is explainable and can be applied with different fluff to nearly any non-spellcaster class without dipping in to the supernatural or magical. A gap still remains, but it's a different kind of gap. The spellcaster will have to expend resources to attain the same kind of resistance while the non-spellcaster does not. I think that kind of gap can exist, but it can exist while simultanously being balanced to the overal game mechanics.
    I would need specifics; general resistance to planar traits is primarily covered by things martials already have, like higher fortitude saves, higher hit points, and general damage resistance (incluading resistance to energy and nonlethal). Resistance to the traits of specific planes would depend on what traits exactly you're resisting. I do agree that casters should have to use buffs to get some of the same defenses martials get natively - but that's already the case in PF and certainly in 5e.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnimeTheCat View Post
    I don't know about "Separate but Equal", but I think "Different but Equal" is a good theory, and there are examples of it working well, such as shadowrun. Cyberware can bridge the gap between physical and technical, but can't reach in to the magical, while magicians can bridge between physical and magical, but do tend to have a more difficult time in the technical (no skillwires, essence loss from cyberware, etc). Technomancers are, unfortunately, just really really good at the matrix, and that comes at the cost of not being able to really efficiently bridge in to the physical, but at the same time the game is balanced in the physical to allow for characters to be viable with minimal investment, or spectacular with heavy investment. Shadowrun does a pretty good job of each characte being "Different but Equal". Though... shadowrun isn't a class and level based game, so I know that's not really an appropriate game-to-game comparison. It does, however, support the theory of "Different but Equal" being viable.
    Science Fantasy has the advantage of Clarke's Third Law, meaning the technology can keep up with the magic without straining disbelief. Starfinder is perhaps the best popular example of this outside of Shadowrun, but even Pathfinder has these elements. To my knowledge, 5e doesn't yet (officially anyway), but its framework is simple enough that you could simply brew something.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnimeTheCat View Post
    This is what I mean by "Different but Equal". It's a different form of versatility/power, neither subservient to, nor eclipsing, each other. For example, let's look at things that high level wizards do. They create demiplanes from which they can project their consciousness and manifest in the material where they conduct their business and can even use that to do entire missions. What's something really cool, but not that, that a highly trained, legendary weaponsmaster should be able to do? Well, for starters, they should have a certain level of renown that they can throw around. I don't think it is good for the game to go the route of earlier editions and give them followers/cohorts (effectively giving them in-class leadership) because that definitely boggs the game down and it's just basic minionmancy. But what if they can simply use their renown in place of social skills. They are so well known that they can simply walk in to the king's court and make monstrous requests from a kingdom and have them granted. Hmm... Thinking about it that doesn't really work either, because the wizard would have that renown too right? Well, maybe a high level fighter doesn't need something like that, maybe they're just able to resist specific effects, be they magical or non-magical in origin. So, maybe add their class level to their HD for resisting magical effects that depend on HD, like Blasphemy or Color Spray, or Sleep. And, maybe they add their class levels to their saves against disease and poison. Couple that with an innate resistance to planar attributes and you have made a class more unique in itself, closing (or at least changin) a gap, though not entirely, and bringing a slight bit more balance to the system. Their power is different, you still play a wizard if you want to be able to create demiplanes and whatnot, but you play a fighter if you want to become a paragon of mortal physical might.
    Sure, resistances again, why not. Personally, I think Path of War covers a lot of this if you think the base system isn't enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnimeTheCat View Post
    I think there is more that can be done to raise the power and versatility of non-spellcasters without making them the same as spellcasters.
    ...
    I've been playing PF more than 3.5 lately and I do applaud Paizo for this, but anything they can do, even with PoW, can be replicated by magic and that is something I don't like. I like for the classes to have some kind of meat to them that is unique, and I don't think that PF did enough to provide that.
    More than systems like Path of War or Stamina do? Again, I would want to know specifically what abilities are missing. Even you didn't seem to lie

    Quote Originally Posted by AnimeTheCat View Post
    I want to give an answer to a question I'm constantly asking myself about Pathfinder and 3.5, "What would be the point of learning swordplay/martial arts/physical combat at all in such a setting?"
    The reason is that in-universe, magic is more difficult to learn. You need either a PhD, a special bloodline, or divine providence.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnimeTheCat View Post
    I assume by three pillars you mean magic/skill/combat right? the classic magic-user/thief/warrior trio, or am I incorrect?
    No, I mean D&D's Three Pillars: Combat, Exploration, and Social Interaction. In the most basic sense, you're either in town, in a dungeon, or in between. I mention this because there are certainly fantasy games like Diablo or World of Warcraft where casters and noncasters are on the same footing, but those games generally have just one pillar (Combat) and everything outside of that is handled by NPCs.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnimeTheCat View Post
    So I think that non-spellcasters should be able to replicate haste or celerity type effects, but without downside. At high levels (or even mid levels) they should be well beyond the abilities of any "normal" or even highly trained warrior, in to the realm of the physically unbelievable. They've honed their bodies and muscles to such an extreme that they're able to act with lightning speed, even out of their standard combat turn. Pathfinder kind of adds this, but it's with Mythic and costs a mythic point to do, with sudden strike (or immediate strike... can't recall the ability). Things like that, being able to act out of turn without penalty and without expenditure of resources, should be something special and unique to non-spellcasters (of the specifically martial variety). Non-spellcaster skill focused characters should absolutely be able to use their skills in unusual ways, such as using stealth to actively disappear from sight (HIPS, but more accessible to non-spellcasters) or Bluff to spin such intriquite lies that the target actually forgets something (like a guard catches you, but you spin such an intriquate lie that they forget the crime you've committed). I guess what would make those unique to those classes is that it doesn't cost them resources to do so (except skill points). It's hard to think of things that spellcaster's can't do because of how heavily the magic in 3.PF has been focused on. I think that acting multiple times in an turn, similar to an Initiative Pass from Shadowrun, would be something to add to non-spellcasters, again explained as them having honed their bodies to be pure machines capable of more than is though to be humanly possible.
    I'm fine with HiPS and extra actions. Again, these are things martials already have, especially (once again) with Path of War.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnimeTheCat View Post
    I think above I gave a few examples of ways you can mesh the two without nixing iconic abilities of spellcasters, but while also closing the gap. I also would never go so far as to say "melee combat is a martial only thing". That's far too broad. Shapeshifting is a uniquely spellcaster thing, but Self-Buffing doesn't need to be, and mind control/posession I think could be replicated with specialized skill use. Make sure there's opportunity cost, like being able to self-buff on an at-will basis comes at the cost of being hyper resistant to mental attacks or something, or being able to effectively mind control somebody with diplomacy come at the cost of not being able to use stealth to beat scent. I'm not saying there should be no non-spellcaster opportunity cost, but that I think there should be more options that give bredth and versatility to classes.
    Diplomacy is far too binary to be used as mind control; that's the mistake 3.5 made. There's no chance to resist it, fight it off or get it removed, you just roll a high number and everyone is fanatically devoted to you, even the Big Bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnimeTheCat View Post
    Psyren, I know I responded to you the most, but I really think you're asking the right questions and I think that I may be able to use them to come up with the "right" answers, at least in my mind. I'm not trying to target you or anything like that, you've just had the most thought provoking statements and questions.
    No problem and sorry for the delay in replying.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
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  3. - Top - End - #813
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    Default Re: Wizards should be better than fighters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    Honestly, I don't care about exactly how it's solved mechanically, I'm sure there are many ways that could work. I care about the end result, ie. classes being more balanced.
    I, for the record, do care how it's done, at least within a boundary range. I suspect you do, as well, though I could be wrong.

    For example, they could achieve perfect game balance by having only one class, with no options at all. This one class can only be one race and has just one progression track. It has special abilities, but everyone has the same special abilities because everyone is playing the same class.

    That would be perfectly balanced. It would also be boring as heck.

    4e showed me just the sort of issue I could have with solid balance. I understand and have no reason to doubt that 4e was a remarkably well-balanced game. But they achieved this balance by having there be nothing but martial adepts in the game. There were no spellcasters. No skill-based characters. No binders or incarnum users or people with ki pools. It was all martial adepts with encounter and daily powers. It made it fairly easy to balance, but it also made it a perfectly fine and probably reasonably fun fantasy battle simulator that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike D&D.

  4. - Top - End - #814
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    Default Re: Wizards should be better than fighters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    No help other than being descended from one.
    That goes for pretty much anyone mentioned in Greek myths, my point was that he's one of the few considered to have done his deeds "on his own". But sure, you're right about his ancestors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Not what I said.
    My apologies, you've used the "any GM that isn't lazy can deal with an imbalanced party" so many times I just assumed it's what you meant again. Still, why is it preferable that a GM — even if they can adapt to it — should have to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    You have asked before, yes, and I've answered.
    The question was meant to be rhetorical — my point was that no, they aren't, so their existence doesn't do anything to create the more balanced game I'm wishing for.

    I'm not saying "there should be non-casters with mystical backgrounds and/or abilities", I'm saying "there should be non-casters that are as powerful and versatile as casters and mystical backgrounds might be one in-game justification for them".

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    The problem is, "how" is the whole point of design. Anyone can declare a lofty goal and then leave the actual work up to someone else.
    Indeed, it is, but I'm not demanding that someone should make me a game with balanced classes. I'm arguing against your claims that doing so would be either impossible to do or bad if it succeeded.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I, for the record, do care how it's done, at least within a boundary range. I suspect you do, as well, though I could be wrong.
    Yes, of course, I wouldn't want "balance at any price" or something like that, as you pointed out there are bad examples of that, I just meant that I didn't care about the specifics. As I talked about earlier in the thread, I very much want different classes to maintain their own "identity".
    Last edited by Batcathat; 2020-04-13 at 02:25 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #815
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    Default Re: Wizards should be better than fighters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    Still, why is it preferable that a GM — even if they can adapt to it — should have to?
    Because the alternative is forcing every other table to your desired balance point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    I'm not saying "there should be non-casters with mystical backgrounds and/or abilities", I'm saying "there should be non-casters that are as powerful and versatile as casters and mystical backgrounds might be one in-game justification for them".
    ...
    Indeed, it is, but I'm not demanding that someone should make me a game with balanced classes. I'm arguing against your claims that doing so would be either impossible to do or bad if it succeeded.
    It's not impossible. There are folks who, like you, don't care about the justification/means as long as you get to the endpoint you want. You might even be correct that the last time they tried that bombed for completely unrelated reasons. You may get the edition you want one day.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
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    Default Re: Wizards should be better than fighters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Because the alternative is forcing every other table to your desired balance point.
    How is that different from "forcing" the current (im)balance on people?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    It's not impossible. There are folks who, like you, don't care about the justification/means as long as you get to the endpoint you want. You might even be correct that the last time they tried that bombed for completely unrelated reasons. You may get the edition you want one day.
    Yeah, we'll see. Maybe you'll even find that more balanced (but distinct) classes isn't inherently bad.

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    Default Re: Wizards should be better than fighters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    How is that different from "forcing" the current (im)balance on people?
    Because banning classes or abilities your table doesn't like (or can't deal with) is easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    Yeah, we'll see. Maybe you'll even find that more balanced (but distinct) classes isn't inherently bad.
    I don't think anything is inherently bad once I see it work. (Hey, maybe I'll learn Swedish...)
    Last edited by Psyren; 2020-04-13 at 02:53 PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
    Cheers to Psyren the MVP "naysayer".
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    Default Re: Wizards should be better than fighters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Because banning classes or abilities your table doesn't like (or can't deal with) is easy.
    Sure, it's doable (even if it's hard getting around the fact that spell casting itself is so versatile and powerful), I just think it'd be easier to balance the classes if they didn't start out so far apart.

    And like I suggested earlier, the hypotethical system could even include different tiers of classes (with lowers ones being easier to play) if that's something people want, as long as the top tier ones didn't just include casters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    I don't think anything is inherently bad once I see it work. (Hey, maybe I'll learn Swedish...)
    That's nice (biten om att det inte är något dåligt, inte det om att lära sig svenska. Jag undrar hur bra det har översätts med hjälp av en viss sökmotor), so what's up with your "as they should be" response to me calling casters in PF and 5e more powerful than non-casters?

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    Default Re: Wizards should be better than fighters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    Sure, it's doable (even if it's hard getting around the fact that spell casting itself is so versatile and powerful), I just think it'd be easier to balance the classes if they didn't start out so far apart.
    You think that even in 5e? Have you played it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    That's nice (biten om att det inte är något dåligt, inte det om att lära sig svenska. Jag undrar hur bra det har översätts med hjälp av en viss sökmotor),
    Quite well as it turns out

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    so what's up with your "as they should be" response to me calling casters in PF and 5e more powerful than non-casters?
    Just because I like something better doesn't mean the opposite is inherently bad - again, just because I've never seen it done well doesn't mean it's impossible.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
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  10. - Top - End - #820
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    Default Re: Wizards should be better than fighters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    I've routinely said that I think 3.5 is too unbalanced. PF and 5e are my preferred benchmark.
    I don't consider them to be much better. The only thing that differs in the Fighter/Wizard disparity in PF/5e is their combat gap, as in, Fighters are more valuable in combat, and Wizards are less prone to breaking combat outright (though still very capable of it, especially in PF1e). Their out-of-combat gaps are pretty much the same, because Fighters still stop progressing as a concept around level 7, while Wizards just keep breaking their limits every two levels.

    Actually, I've heard a lot of good things about PF 2e in that regard. Well, when I say good things, I mean "a lot of people complaining about casters being weak", but after analyzing the problem, I can say that I don't think that's the case. It's more of "many out-of-combat spells are now rituals accessible by everyone" and "CC spells aren't instantly deleting an enemy from play for the duration", which I think sounds really good and I might actually look into PF2 again because of that.
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