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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    What really large numeric bonus works better than "ignore immunity to fire"?

    Not that I'm sure "I can burn Demons / Fire Elementals" is a concept that should exist, mind you, but, if it should, what big numbers are better than that simple statement?

    Let's say we go the "big numbers" route. So now The Seer" needs big numbers to view distant places. And we need to figure out just *how* big, creating penalties for seeing through stone and lead, let alone resolving issues of being able to see the sun.

    And if we do this, his ability is no different than what Sherlock Holmes has to spot clues. So The Seer can spot clues, and Holmes can see through walls.

    And both of them can probably beat the stealth bonus from Invisibility, so they both turn to stone from an invisible Medusa.

    Is that really what you want?

    I prefer win buttons, and logical interactions of meta-tags.
    Ok, let's use Warhammer as an example.

    In that game, whoever has the higher Initiative score strikes first. Simple.

    But then, whoever charges goes first regardless of initiative. Unless they are charging into cover, in which case they go last regardless of initiative. Or their opponent's have pikes, which allow you to go first when charged. Warhammer 40,000 also have grenades which negate both charging and cover.

    Then great weapons make you always strike last regardless of initiative.

    Then elves have a racial rule that allows them to always strike first. Some magic items grant their bearer a similar ability.

    Likewise, some races always strike last, and some magical curses cause you to always strike last.


    So, now, we have three problems:

    You need to create a priority system if both sides have abilities that make them strike first / last, or if they have both rules, which gets more complex and harder to remember as long as the game goes on.

    Second, Initiative itself is worthless as you rarely get into situations where it matters, to the point where in eighth edition initiative let you reroll attacks if you would strike first anyway.

    Third, as power creep came along, you got rules trying to top other rules; so you would get items that made you "Gain always strike first and lost always strike last. And your opponent gains always strikes last and loses always strikes first." or "You always strike first regardless of any other factors." And of course, who knows what happens when these rules meet one another?

    You also get the same weirdness you get in 5E D&D with advantage and disadvantage not stacking, but that is a whole other jar of birds.


    IMO it would have been much more elegant and easier for everyone involved to just have all of those things work as modifiers to the initiative score.

    But, again, we might just be using "win button" differently as it has very little bearing on your examples of scrying detectives or invisible medusa.
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  2. - Top - End - #152
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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    I do think the pacing and "feel" suffers when you cut out everything except the closest, most dramatic fights.
    Seems very relevant to this thread.

    And I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    Because those sound not at all plausible unless you're playing a Toon-style game? I'm not one for demanding gritty realism, but telling someone a joke, even a very fun one, isn't likely to produce much laughter if it happens mid-fight, and overwhelming laughter that prevents doing anything else even less so. The spell is basically dosing them with magic laughing gas / Joker venom, it's not just throwing a small pie.

    And conversely, casting THL at someone would generally be considered hostile - it's not a good way to make friends, whereas an actual joke might be.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    What logical progression do you think I'm saying there is? You just commented that it felt like something else must have changed between editions of D&D, I pointed out that something did any you agreed. I'm not saying the changes were the logical progression of the system or anything.
    Wow, have I ever thoroughly failed at communication with both of you. Let me try again.

    @icefractal, what you're saying has nothing to do with my post - literally, as it has to do with the topic of conversation, not my comments on it.

    So, the topic of conversation is players who cannot think beyond the buttons on their character sheets. My "Fighter who cannot figure out any way to make someone laugh, because he has no 'make people laugh' buttons to push" is simply an example of the topic of conversation.

    And more specifically, the conversation is about a claim regarding the *cause* of this phenomenon.

    @Cluedrew, the "logical progression" I am looking for had nothing to do with different editions, it's simple logic, like "the house is on fire, therefore we are getting burned" or "4e was terrible, therefore Wizards lost a lot of its players to Pathfinder". You can follow the logic from one sentence to the next. (Yes, even if they aren't separate sentences. But you can still follow what I'm saying, right?)

    But "things changed in 3e, therefore players now only look for buttons to push"? I can't follow that, and I can't ask future game designers to learn valuable lessons from that.

    Yes, 3e casters have numerous advantages over 2e casters, and I attempted to enumerate detail uh, "briefly mention" the ones my senile mind could remember.

    But I cannot draw the line from any of them to "and therefore people no longer try to tell jokes to make people laugh, or otherwise interact with the fiction outside explicit buttons on the character sheet".

    I mean, if you can be like, "Quertus, duh, it's obviously that, in any game where Wizards don't instantly lose their ability to cast spells when hit, nobody will ever attempt to do anything that isn't a button ever again in that system", by all means, point out what I've missed.

    But I do not see the logical connection, the logical progression of thought that produces "the changes between 2e Wizards and 3e Wizards caused the modern trend of players who only interact with the game through explicit buttons listed on their character sheets".

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    Also: You are arguing for win buttons but also being real hard on players who want a fighter to have more well defined, win button-like, abilities. If it works for a wizard why not a fighter? Should we start another caster/martial disparity thread?
    Pardon my senility, but I do not remember taking this stance. Care to quote / explain what you're interpreting this way?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Ok, let's use Warhammer as an example.

    In that game, whoever has the higher Initiative score strikes first. Simple.

    But then, whoever charges goes first regardless of initiative. Unless they are charging into cover, in which case they go last regardless of initiative. Or their opponent's have pikes, which allow you to go first when charged. Warhammer 40,000 also have grenades which negate both charging and cover.

    Then great weapons make you always strike last regardless of initiative.

    Then elves have a racial rule that allows them to always strike first. Some magic items grant their bearer a similar ability.

    Likewise, some races always strike last, and some magical curses cause you to always strike last.


    So, now, we have three problems:

    You need to create a priority system if both sides have abilities that make them strike first / last, or if they have both rules, which gets more complex and harder to remember as long as the game goes on.

    Second, Initiative itself is worthless as you rarely get into situations where it matters, to the point where in eighth edition initiative let you reroll attacks if you would strike first anyway.

    Third, as power creep came along, you got rules trying to top other rules; so you would get items that made you "Gain always strike first and lost always strike last. And your opponent gains always strikes last and loses always strikes first." or "You always strike first regardless of any other factors." And of course, who knows what happens when these rules meet one another?

    You also get the same weirdness you get in 5E D&D with advantage and disadvantage not stacking, but that is a whole other jar of birds.


    IMO it would have been much more elegant and easier for everyone involved to just have all of those things work as modifiers to the initiative score.

    But, again, we might just be using "win button" differently as it has very little bearing on your examples of scrying detectives or invisible medusa.
    Is it wrong that the Warhammer you described sounded brilliant?

    No, seriously.

    So, let's ignore the "Gain always strike first and lost always strike last. And your opponent gains always strikes last and loses always strikes first." Because I suspect that that's the answer to my question of, "… where do we see this in MtG?".

    So, you've got a bunch of creatures fighting each other. And the question you want to answer is, "in what order is damage assigned?".

    Fair question.

    And one answer is, "it's assigned all at once, order doesn't matter". This is how most MtG combat is resolved, as well as how Battletech and Chaos Overlords work.

    And that's a perfectly valid answer. But let's say that we're not satisfied with that for our system, that we want "who goes first" to be an interesting minigame.

    2e D&D balanced ("balanced") smaller weapons strike faster, but for less damage.

    And that's… fine.

    But let's say that we realize that the purpose of polearms was to strike first (especially against a charge? Or just period?), and we want our system to faithfully emulate that.

    In fact, that's our driving goal: that our system faithfully emulates - or, at least, "really feels like" - the idea in our heads.

    So, if we decide that charging characters should strike first, except against polearms? We could say that, or we could give Charging charterers +X initiative, and polearms +2X initiative. For simplicity, let's say X=10 is sufficient to guarantee the results we want.

    Both sound almost equal easy so far, right?

    But then we decide that "cover" should affect initiative, because charging at a group that has cover seems dumb - at least as dumb as charging polearms. So, on the one hand, we could say, "charging cover makes you go last"; on the other hand / in the other system, we would say, "charging cover gives you -20 initiative (on top of the +10 for charging)". Or we could change charging to say, "grants +10 initiative, unless charging into cover, which grants -10 initiative".

    But what if the people charging are wielding polearms? They'll win initiative over defenders with polearms, and follow the "normal" initiative rules (whatever those are) when charging into cover. Is this the results we want? Is this how we picture fights working?

    Maybe yes, maybe no. If it's not, we probably need to revise the initiative system when the book with "cover" comes out.

    Let's say we like polearms charging polearms winning, but want polearms charging cover to lose. Well, when "cover" comes out, we just give "charging into cover" a -20 penalty (that *replaces* the normal cover bonus), and bang, our system works just like we envision it.

    Then our next book comes out with grenades. We know that we want grenades to, well, to negate cover (because throwing grenades into cover, we can hit you before we enter your defensive position? Really, I thought that the proper response to grenades was to take cover… shows what I know), but we can't just *say* that, because we're dedicated to encoding math.

    So, we modify the initiative rules to say that charging grants +10 initiative, unless charging into cover without grenades, at which point you take a -20. Or we encode grenades as granting +30 initiative, usable only when charging into cover.

    Is this really any better than making the decision tree that says…

    Win initiative if charging (unless against polearms without polearms) (or into cover without grenades)

    Else

    Lose initiative if charging into polearms and/or into cover

    Else

    Follow the "normal" initiative rules (whatever those are)

    I'm not seeing the numbers method as advantageous over the flowchart method. You have to encapsulate the same data either way - and numbers are much more prone to the unexpected interactions of polearms charging polearms, or Sherlock seeing through walls.

    (EDIT: and, IMO, "grenades grant +30 initiative" just isn't as obviously connected to their function as, "ignores the cover bonus"; that is, I find your words much more evocative than my numbers.)
    Last edited by Quertus; 2021-07-27 at 11:48 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I'm not seeing the numbers method as advantageous over the flowchart method. You have to encapsulate the same data either way - and numbers are much more prone to the unexpected interactions of polearms charging polearms, or Sherlock seeing through walls.
    The numbers method feels more universal/systemized, which has an appeal to some folks.

    I suspect both methods have edge cases where they produce weird results. Though, in my experience the numbers-based ones tend to get weirder faster.
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  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Seems very relevant to this thread.

    And I agree.





    Wow, have I ever thoroughly failed at communication with both of you. Let me try again.

    @icefractal, what you're saying has nothing to do with my post - literally, as it has to do with the topic of conversation, not my comments on it.

    So, the topic of conversation is players who cannot think beyond the buttons on their character sheets. My "Fighter who cannot figure out any way to make someone laugh, because he has no 'make people laugh' buttons to push" is simply an example of the topic of conversation.

    And more specifically, the conversation is about a claim regarding the *cause* of this phenomenon.

    @Cluedrew, the "logical progression" I am looking for had nothing to do with different editions, it's simple logic, like "the house is on fire, therefore we are getting burned" or "4e was terrible, therefore Wizards lost a lot of its players to Pathfinder". You can follow the logic from one sentence to the next. (Yes, even if they aren't separate sentences. But you can still follow what I'm saying, right?)

    But "things changed in 3e, therefore players now only look for buttons to push"? I can't follow that, and I can't ask future game designers to learn valuable lessons from that.

    Yes, 3e casters have numerous advantages over 2e casters, and I attempted to enumerate detail uh, "briefly mention" the ones my senile mind could remember.

    But I cannot draw the line from any of them to "and therefore people no longer try to tell jokes to make people laugh, or otherwise interact with the fiction outside explicit buttons on the character sheet".

    I mean, if you can be like, "Quertus, duh, it's obviously that, in any game where Wizards don't instantly lose their ability to cast spells when hit, nobody will ever attempt to do anything that isn't a button ever again in that system", by all means, point out what I've missed.

    But I do not see the logical connection, the logical progression of thought that produces "the changes between 2e Wizards and 3e Wizards caused the modern trend of players who only interact with the game through explicit buttons listed on their character sheets".



    Pardon my senility, but I do not remember taking this stance. Care to quote / explain what you're interpreting this way?



    Is it wrong that the Warhammer you described sounded brilliant?

    No, seriously.

    So, let's ignore the "Gain always strike first and lost always strike last. And your opponent gains always strikes last and loses always strikes first." Because I suspect that that's the answer to my question of, "… where do we see this in MtG?".

    So, you've got a bunch of creatures fighting each other. And the question you want to answer is, "in what order is damage assigned?".

    Fair question.

    And one answer is, "it's assigned all at once, order doesn't matter". This is how most MtG combat is resolved, as well as how Battletech and Chaos Overlords work.

    And that's a perfectly valid answer. But let's say that we're not satisfied with that for our system, that we want "who goes first" to be an interesting minigame.

    2e D&D balanced ("balanced") smaller weapons strike faster, but for less damage.

    And that's… fine.

    But let's say that we realize that the purpose of polearms was to strike first (especially against a charge? Or just period?), and we want our system to faithfully emulate that.

    In fact, that's our driving goal: that our system faithfully emulates - or, at least, "really feels like" - the idea in our heads.

    So, if we decide that charging characters should strike first, except against polearms? We could say that, or we could give Charging charterers +X initiative, and polearms +2X initiative. For simplicity, let's say X=10 is sufficient to guarantee the results we want.

    Both sound almost equal easy so far, right?

    But then we decide that "cover" should affect initiative, because charging at a group that has cover seems dumb - at least as dumb as charging polearms. So, on the one hand, we could say, "charging cover makes you go last"; on the other hand / in the other system, we would say, "charging cover gives you -20 initiative (on top of the +10 for charging)". Or we could change charging to say, "grants +10 initiative, unless charging into cover, which grants -10 initiative".

    But what if the people charging are wielding polearms? They'll win initiative over defenders with polearms, and follow the "normal" initiative rules (whatever those are) when charging into cover. Is this the results we want? Is this how we picture fights working?

    Maybe yes, maybe no. If it's not, we probably need to revise the initiative system when the book with "cover" comes out.

    Let's say we like polearms charging polearms winning, but want polearms charging cover to lose. Well, when "cover" comes out, we just give "charging into cover" a -20 penalty (that *replaces* the normal cover bonus), and bang, our system works just like we envision it.

    Then our next book comes out with grenades. We know that we want grenades to, well, to negate cover (because throwing grenades into cover, we can hit you before we enter your defensive position? Really, I thought that the proper response to grenades was to take cover… shows what I know), but we can't just *say* that, because we're dedicated to encoding math.

    So, we modify the initiative rules to say that charging grants +10 initiative, unless charging into cover without grenades, at which point you take a -20. Or we encode grenades as granting +30 initiative, usable only when charging into cover.

    Is this really any better than making the decision tree that says…

    Win initiative if charging (unless against polearms without polearms) (or into cover without grenades)

    Else

    Lose initiative if charging into polearms and/or into cover

    Else

    Follow the "normal" initiative rules (whatever those are)

    I'm not seeing the numbers method as advantageous over the flowchart method. You have to encapsulate the same data either way - and numbers are much more prone to the unexpected interactions of polearms charging polearms, or Sherlock seeing through walls.

    (EDIT: and, IMO, "grenades grant +30 initiative" just isn't as obviously connected to their function as, "ignores the cover bonus"; that is, I find your words much more evocative than my numbers.)
    Why do I feel I just read a programming language tutorial?

  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    I think it comes down to, let's call it "Rules Complexity" vs "Execution Complexity"
    Goal: Charges go first, except against Polearms or people in cover, unless the person charging has a grenade or other cover-ignoring weapon.

    Under the Flowchart system you say

    "Attacks resolve in initiative order. Chargers resolve first, unless the target of the charge has a polearm or is in cover, in which case the defender goes first, unless the attacker has a grenade.

    Under the "Number" system you say: "Attacks resolve in initiative order, highest to lowest"
    and in the Charging rules you say: "Charging gives +20 initiative against Exposed (not in cover) enemies"

    And then in the Polearm rules you say "+40 initiative when defending against a charge"

    And in the Grenade rules you say "The target of this attack is considered Exposed"


    And so resolving charging with a grenade against a bunch of pikemen in cover requires consulting 4 different rules before learning that the Pikemen go first, but it keeps the core "initiative" rules simple and easy to process for when you're just having your Axemen (initative 3) fight Swordsmen (initiative 5).

    Which one to use depends on how many edge cases need to be accounted for with which frequency.
    If 90% of your attacks are fairly straightforward, but there are some weird edge cases, you want to use Numbers.

    If a decent portion of your attacks involve some special priority rule, you want to use flowchart.

    Magic is a good example of a Flowchart game: Damage resolves simultaneously, Unless one side has first strike.
    And then "This card has super mega first strike" is a special rule on the card itself, rather than built into the core game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Calthropstu View Post
    Why do I feel I just read a programming language tutorial?
    Because you basically did. Programming and game design have a lot in common.
    Last edited by BRC; 2021-07-27 at 12:05 PM.
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  6. - Top - End - #156
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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Honestly, the Warhammer thing sounds less like "rules that function by absolute allowances/disallowances are bad" and more like "rules that aren't thought out in advance and try to layer new conditions into a system that wasn't designed to be extensible are bad". Grenades, for example, really should not need special interactions with charging. The polearm charges thing seems like an awkward attempt to handle attacks of opportunity. Overall, my instinct looking at the rules as described is not to say "this just needs to be normalized into numbers" but "this needs to be burned down and replaced by something that was planned out in advance for the cases I want it to cover".

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    In large part because they have this opportunity-cost (almost) free "I do everything" by pushing a button. Spell slot, win game (hyperbole alert).
    How is that not an opportunity cost? I can understand the position that simply going "expend resource, solve problem" is boring (though I think you take it farther than justifiable), but saying that it's anything close to "opportunity-cost free" seems to be in complete defiance of the facts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    Abilities that do things are great. Abilities to do all the things are boring and impossible to balance (well, I suppose we could create a system where all the classes can do all the things but personally I would find that very boring and bland).
    Well, spells aren't really "abilities that do all the things". (Almost) every spell has some relatively limited functionality that does a specific thing. knock unlocks a door. charm person makes someone your friend. plane shift takes you to another world. teleport takes you a long distance in this world. But knock doesn't do anything in a social encounter, and teleport is useless if your destination is on the Elemental Plane of Fire. Maybe having all those abilities at once is a problem, but it's really hard for me to see how it's a bigger problem than having none of them. Even if the Wizard has a wider range of potential options than the Rogue or the Fighter, comparative advantages can easily keep them in the game as long as they have some options (and those options aren't simply worse than the Wizard's).

  7. - Top - End - #157
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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPeasant View Post
    Maybe having all those abilities at once is a problem, but it's really hard for me to see how it's a bigger problem than having none of them. Even if the Wizard has a wider range of potential options than the Rogue or the Fighter, comparative advantages can easily keep them in the game as long as they have some options (and those options aren't simply worse than the Wizard's).
    Yeah, maybe it's an issue when some classes can do almost anything and outperform other classes even in their supposed specialties. And who ever said that the alternative was having no abilities? I absolutely think that a hypothetical balanced system should lift up some classes in addition to pushing down others.

    And as I alluded to earlier, it's not just about balance. A wizard with spells that can do anything is rather flavorless from a mechanical perspective. Forcing them to specialize would make them more balanced and more interesting (That's obviously very subjective, but so's pretty much anything in this discussion).

  8. - Top - End - #158
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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    Yeah, maybe it's an issue when some classes can do almost anything and outperform other classes even in their supposed specialties. And who ever said that the alternative was having no abilities? I absolutely think that a hypothetical balanced system should lift up some classes in addition to pushing down others.
    How you frame the argument influences the solutions you'll come to. If you focus the conversation on "the Wizard is too good", that pushes the conversation towards nerfing the Wizard. If you focus the conversation on "the Fighter is not good enough", that pushes the conversation towards buffing the Fighter. And I think to a large degree, the latter is a more productive tack.

    I also think the framing of the "can do almost anything and outperform other classes even in their supposed specialties" catastrophizes the problem to a degree that's unhelpful. It's true that the Wizard can out-fight a Fighter, but that has less to do with the fact that the Wizard's combat self-buffs are too good and more to do with the fact that the gap between those classes is really, really big. At a given level of optimization, a Gish Wizard is going to be less effective than a dedicated caster Wizard. Now, I'll acknowledge that's not terribly comforting for the Fighter, as he's outclassed either way, but I do think it's important to understanding and solving the problem (for example, I think not understanding the differences in power between various approaches to Wizard-ing are why many suggestions for blanket nerfs to the Wizard end up incentivizing broken strategies).

    (Also: the focus on "the Wizard can do anything" bothers me, because the Wizard really can't. In the overwhelming majority of campaigns, the cost of scribing things into your spellbook is a real constraint for Wizards, and mean that they merely do a sufficiently broad range of things to be effective in most circumstances. It's the Druid and the Cleric who really cause problems here, because they actually can wake up tomorrow and prepare exactly the spell that solves exactly this adventure with zero warning or opportunity for even a stringent DM to veto. But I think on some level these conversations are more about clusters of classes than specifically the Wizard and the Fighter, so it's not a terribly important point.)

    But as far as things go, comparative advantage is a real thing, and it means that you genuinely don't need everyone to have explicitly-protected niches for characters not to step on each-other's toes. Consider a party with a Cleric, a Wizard, a Dread Necromancer, and a Beguiler. It's true that the Wizard and the Cleric can both do necromancy. It's true that the Wizard has access to (almost) all the spells on the Beguiler's list. It's even true that the Wizard can pull out some healing, through things like planar binding and that the Cleric could use anyspell to provide arcane utility. Yet for the most part, they aren't going to do that. Because the Dread Necromancer is better at Necromancy than the other characters. And the Cleric is better at healing. And the Beguiler is better at navigating social situations. Roles are implicitly protected, because that's the optimal way to use resources.

    Now, that's not perfect, and it relies in part on fuzzy social things that you can't entirely guarantee. But personally, I think that party works better and is more interesting than one that's balanced around classes like the Fighter and the Rogue (or even the Warblade), so I think that paradigm is a better place to start than the low end is.

    And as I alluded to earlier, it's not just about balance. A wizard with spells that can do anything is rather flavorless from a mechanical perspective. Forcing them to specialize would make them more balanced and more interesting (That's obviously very subjective, but so's pretty much anything in this discussion).
    I think that's absolutely a fair argument. I think that the Dread Necromancer is a better class than the Wizard even completely outside of any balance concerns. But I think that argument is almost never the one that people who talk about the Wizard being broken put forward, and while I'm sympathetic to it, I'm still skeptical that the overall effect of moving based on those people's complaints will be positive.

  9. - Top - End - #159
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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    I think a lot of the reason this is a perennial discussion is the nature of the Wizard in a Vacuum.

    The Theoretical Wizard is a class that can do anything, better than classes that can do, like, three things. If you pick a given simple problem in D&D (With some exceptions), there's usually an answer for how a Wizard would be the best person to deal with it, due to their expansive spell list.
    Pick a lock? Wizards have Knock. Deal Damage? Wizards can bypass damage altogether with Save-or-Lose spells, and if that fails, Fireball, Disentegrate, ect.
    Get into secure places? Invisibility, spider climb, fly, dimensional door, all that and more!

    Now, at the table, any given wizard is going to be constrained by a thousand factors, but it's hard to construct such situations in the hypothetical.

    The Fighter can always deal damage, the Rogue can always pick a lock. The Wizard may be able to do either of those things depending on how recently they had a good lie-down, what they thought they had to do today, and what they think they're going to need to do before their next naptime.


    But the question is "Who solves this problem better, a Fighter, or a Wizard" not "A fighter, or a wizard who has gone through 2 moderate encounters, is holding a bunch of spell slots for an expected escape-under-fire before the next long rest, and habitually makes sure they always have Mage Armor, Feather Fall, and Invisibility prepared even if they don't have specific plans to use them that day."


    There's also the difference of the DM perspective vs the Player perspective.

    From a DM perspective trying to design obstacles, a lot of it comes down to "What is going to be trivialized by the Wizard bringing the right spells", while from a Player perspective, it's rarely an issue when the Wizard spends a spell slot to overcome something. It's not interesting, but you rarely mind.
    Last edited by BRC; 2021-07-27 at 01:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPeasant View Post
    How you frame the argument influences the solutions you'll come to. If you focus the conversation on "the Wizard is too good", that pushes the conversation towards nerfing the Wizard. If you focus the conversation on "the Fighter is not good enough", that pushes the conversation towards buffing the Fighter. And I think to a large degree, the latter is a more productive tack.
    It's true that framing the argument is important but I would personally have it both ways in this case. I don't want the wizard nerfed to the fighter's level but nor do I want the fighter buffed to the wizard's.

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPeasant View Post
    (Also: the focus on "the Wizard can do anything" bothers me, because the Wizard really can't. In the overwhelming majority of campaigns, the cost of scribing things into your spellbook is a real constraint for Wizards, and mean that they merely do a sufficiently broad range of things to be effective in most circumstances. It's the Druid and the Cleric who really cause problems here, because they actually can wake up tomorrow and prepare exactly the spell that solves exactly this adventure with zero warning or opportunity for even a stringent DM to veto. But I think on some level these conversations are more about clusters of classes than specifically the Wizard and the Fighter, so it's not a terribly important point.)
    Indeed. We could probably replace "wizard" with "druid" and "fighter" with "rogue" in most of these arguments without changing much.

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPeasant View Post
    But as far as things go, comparative advantage is a real thing, and it means that you genuinely don't need everyone to have explicitly-protected niches for characters not to step on each-other's toes. Consider a party with a Cleric, a Wizard, a Dread Necromancer, and a Beguiler. It's true that the Wizard and the Cleric can both do necromancy. It's true that the Wizard has access to (almost) all the spells on the Beguiler's list. It's even true that the Wizard can pull out some healing, through things like planar binding and that the Cleric could use anyspell to provide arcane utility. Yet for the most part, they aren't going to do that. Because the Dread Necromancer is better at Necromancy than the other characters. And the Cleric is better at healing. And the Beguiler is better at navigating social situations. Roles are implicitly protected, because that's the optimal way to use resources.
    Sure, I agree that a class based system should have both specialists and jack-of-all-trades type classes. I do think wizards are generally too powerful to fill that role though. If we base the power curve on them being decent but not great in all areas, the actual specialists have to be quite ridiculously good.

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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    The Fighter can always deal damage, the Rogue can always pick a lock.
    Unfortunately not true in all systems and/or at all times.

    A weaponless D&D fighter in, say 5e, is "damage" equal to an unarmed high strength wizard without spells, and the rogue can't do anything to a lock without a specific set of tools. D&D these days being heavily a "is there a rule explicitly allowing me to..." system.
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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    My problem with "i win buttons" in DnD from the Dm side is that they function (or are expected to function by at least a significant minority of the community, even today) in situations where they narratively shouldn't. There's nothing wrong with magic spells (or other powers) being "i win" buttons against small town prison doors or orc bandits, this provides needed moments of catharsis and/or heroism, but the games very often have these spells be just as powerful or close too against "The Vault of Kings" or "The Dragon Lord". Now, you can change this when you DM, but i think the rules should do more to bake this expectation into the core game.

    It was mentioned that having nothing but close battles is frustrating, and I'd agree, but i don't think most DnD (or similar) games do enough to provide clear mechanical delineation for hard and easy "moments" as we can reference from narrative. Too often, i find the games set up the rules so that either everything can be made easy, or everything will be hard.
    Last edited by NorthernPhoenix; 2021-07-27 at 05:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernPhoenix View Post
    My problem with "i win buttons" in DnD from the Dm side is that they function (or are expected to function by at least a significant minority of the community, even today) in situations where they narratively shouldn't. There's nothing wrong with magic spells (or other powers) being "i win" buttons against small town prison doors or orc bandits, this provides needed moments of catharsis and/or heroism, but the games very often have these spells be just as powerful or close too against "The Vault of Kings" or "The Dragon Lord". Now, you can change this when you DM, but i think the rules should do more to bake this expectation into the core game.

    It was mentioned that having nothing but close battles is frustrating, and I'd agree, but i don't think most DnD (or similar) games do enough to provide clear mechanical delineation for hard and easy "moments" as we can reference from narrative. Too often, i find the games set up the rules so that either everything can be made easy, or everything will be hard.
    The alternative being that, for example, every single high-value vault has a permanent anti-magic zone around it to avoid being automatically opened by a single knock spell. Which quickly ends up spiraling into the kind of "powerful magic is ubiquitous" fare that many people seem to love in settings like FR but which I find incredibly uninteresting. I'd much rather just have knock spells only work on locks with a DC up to a certain level; that seems like a simple, elegant solution.
    Last edited by quinron; 2021-07-27 at 06:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    From a DM perspective trying to design obstacles, a lot of it comes down to "What is going to be trivialized by the Wizard bringing the right spells", while from a Player perspective, it's rarely an issue when the Wizard spends a spell slot to overcome something. It's not interesting, but you rarely mind.
    I think both of these perspectives stem to a large degree from the fact that other classes don't have these capabilities.

    On the DM side of things, the fact that it's just the Wizard (or spellcasters in general) with these types of capabilities makes it easy to look at things in terms of "how do I stop people from blowing up my plot" instead of the (in my view) more productive view of "how do I write adventures that are appropriate for the capabilities of the party". Because most classes don't have anything like teleport, it's easy to look at the Wizard as an outlier and say "teleport breaks the game", when I think the more accurate view is to accept that "travel a long distance" is simply not a good challenge for a party of 9th level characters.

    For the players, the Wizard solving a problem feels boring because (in a lot of cases) the only tool the party has for that problem is to point the Wizard at it. teleport is a powerful strategic movement ability, but it's not the optimal solution for every single travel-related problem (though it is at least arguably good enough early enough that it crowds out interesting trade-offs). However, the Rogues and Fighters of the world don't bring anything to the table for a challenge like that, meaning the party defaults to using the Wizard's teleport. That makes what could be an interesting decision with meaningful choices into "push button, solve problem", and feeds into the DM side of the problem by making these challenges seem uninteresting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    Sure, I agree that a class based system should have both specialists and jack-of-all-trades type classes. I do think wizards are generally too powerful to fill that role though. If we base the power curve on them being decent but not great in all areas, the actual specialists have to be quite ridiculously good.
    I think there are a few things you should consider on that front.

    First, I just don't think it's accurate that specialists need to be "quite ridiculously good" to keep up with the Wizard. The gap between the Wizard and the lesser full casters is really not all that big. The Spirit Shaman and the Sorcerer are worse than the Wizard and the Druid, but not to such a degree that those classes can't keep up or even sometimes be MVP in a party of Wizard-tier classes. And some of those classes are specialists. The Dread Necromancer is genuinely better at commanding a big horde of zombies than a Wizard or Cleric is. If that's what you want to do, you should play a Dread Necromancer. The issue is more that 3e spreads over a big power band, so there are relatively few classes that compete appropriately with any given class.

    Second, I think to some degree talking about "power level" is kind of pointless. Power is inherently contextual. The Wizard isn't "powerful" in some objective sense, it's powerful relative to the expected opposition. And one of the nice things about 3e D&D is that challenges have numbers attached to them, so if you tune the power up you can just move the numbers around. The important thing isn't really the power level per se, but play patterns. So you don't want to ask "do you want the power level of characters to be more like the Wizard or the Fighter". You want to ask "do you want characters to play more like the Wizard or the Fighter". Because the power level you want is always going to be "whatever the power target is", so the fact that any given class is above or below that in some other context shouldn't really be relevant.

    Third, I think you overrate the degree to which the Wizard is inherently a jack-of-all-trades. The Wizard (and here I mean the Wizard specifically) is customizable. It's true that you can pick up every single spell and scribe them all into your spellbook. But that really isn't as practical as people think, and in practice the Wizard's spell list ends up matching the needs of the party. And you need to think carefully before eliminating that, because if you don't have some character who can adaptively fill out their ability suite from a very wide range, you need every character to have access to a much wider range of problem-solving tools than they do currently. Otherwise, you'll inevitably end up with parties where characters don't have the abilities they need to solve the problems they face.

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernPhoenix View Post
    My problem with "i win buttons" in DnD from the Dm side is that they function (or are expected to function by at least a significant minority of the community, even today) in situations where they narratively shouldn't.
    I disagree with that. Setting aside the perils of applying narrative reasoning to TTRPGs (in short: not everyone has the same view of the narrative as you), I think that you're missing what the existence of those abilities communicates. It's not that knock "applies when it narratively shouldn't", it's that certain narratives aren't appropriate for a character with knock. And that's okay. Different people like different things, and different character belong in different contexts. The stories you can tell about Indiana Jones aren't the stories you can tell about Superman, in either direction. That doesn't make Indiana a bad character, and it doesn't make Superman a bad character. It makes them different characters. And that's a good thing, because you can tell more stories that way.

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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPeasant View Post
    I think both of these perspectives stem to a large degree from the fact that other classes don't have these capabilities.

    On the DM side of things, the fact that it's just the Wizard (or spellcasters in general) with these types of capabilities makes it easy to look at things in terms of "how do I stop people from blowing up my plot" instead of the (in my view) more productive view of "how do I write adventures that are appropriate for the capabilities of the party". Because most classes don't have anything like teleport, it's easy to look at the Wizard as an outlier and say "teleport breaks the game", when I think the more accurate view is to accept that "travel a long distance" is simply not a good challenge for a party of 9th level characters.

    For the players, the Wizard solving a problem feels boring because (in a lot of cases) the only tool the party has for that problem is to point the Wizard at it. teleport is a powerful strategic movement ability, but it's not the optimal solution for every single travel-related problem (though it is at least arguably good enough early enough that it crowds out interesting trade-offs). However, the Rogues and Fighters of the world don't bring anything to the table for a challenge like that, meaning the party defaults to using the Wizard's teleport. That makes what could be an interesting decision with meaningful choices into "push button, solve problem", and feeds into the DM side of the problem by making these challenges seem uninteresting.
    Hmm, do you have any ideas on how to make Fighters and the like have more things to bring to the table?
    For transporation, you could probably build a set of synergy relating to riding. Say, when in a village or larger settlement, Rogues can always take an hour and "find" a single horsecart of normal size and storage capacity that the party can then buy for a nominal cost/steal without anyone noticing (depending on whether it's a Good or Evil party member). Meanwhile, when Fighters are driving a horse cart, they give an extra 1 mph per level on a horse and make it able to run for 1 extra hour without rest for the first level and every three levels thereafter; this has no negative consequences on the horses, though it cannot take effect during a horserace. So Rogues can consistently find a means of transportation, and Fighters can make the transportation more efficient.
    Similar effects can be devised for other methods of transport (Rangers instinctively known how to read star maps and winds, letting them roll a D10 to take 2% to 20% of the time off of the sailing trip; Artificers can improve mechanical vehicles in-transit, bracing it against ambushes and actually netting the party some cash, and so on).


    The issue here though is that while some players may make use of this, especially in a low-magic setting, Teleport is just to the point and very effective. Instead of "we can use the Rogue and Fighter to find a cart and rush us to Landonsburg by tomorrow evening instead of next week and save the Baron from being executed!" you get "we can use the Wizard to teleport directly to Landonsburg by lunchtime today!".
    Last edited by Squire Doodad; 2021-07-27 at 08:45 PM.
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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Calthropstu View Post
    Why do I feel I just read a programming language tutorial?
    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    Because you basically did. Programming and game design have a lot in common.
    Lol. I use my words oddly at times, but that bit is what I tend to refer to as "thinking" - something very few people (programmers or otherwise) seem capable of doing. When I grumble at work that people can't think, I'm (usually) complaining that no one is able to actually, systematically break a problem down into anything reasonable and remotely resembling what they are actually trying to solve.

    Curiously, I was actually more than anything trying to *fail* at thinking - or, rather, I was trying very hard not to think very hard about the problem. Because I *wanted* the unplanned, ill-conceived, likely-to-have-errors feel. My hope in doing so was that it would encourage people to think (normal usage) about how both systems might fail, and what fixing them might look like.

    Of interest to me is the fact that I tend to view rules through the lens of, "if I wrote these rules as code, and gave them this input, what result would I get?".

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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPeasant View Post
    I think both of these perspectives stem to a large degree from the fact that other classes don't have these capabilities.

    On the DM side of things, the fact that it's just the Wizard (or spellcasters in general) with these types of capabilities makes it easy to look at things in terms of "how do I stop people from blowing up my plot" instead of the (in my view) more productive view of "how do I write adventures that are appropriate for the capabilities of the party". Because most classes don't have anything like teleport, it's easy to look at the Wizard as an outlier and say "teleport breaks the game", when I think the more accurate view is to accept that "travel a long distance" is simply not a good challenge for a party of 9th level characters.

    For the players, the Wizard solving a problem feels boring because (in a lot of cases) the only tool the party has for that problem is to point the Wizard at it. teleport is a powerful strategic movement ability, but it's not the optimal solution for every single travel-related problem (though it is at least arguably good enough early enough that it crowds out interesting trade-offs). However, the Rogues and Fighters of the world don't bring anything to the table for a challenge like that, meaning the party defaults to using the Wizard's teleport. That makes what could be an interesting decision with meaningful choices into "push button, solve problem", and feeds into the DM side of the problem by making these challenges seem uninteresting.
    Part of the issue is that it's impossible to predict what things are going to "Not be a challenge" for the wizard.

    Let's use Knock as an example. The DM is designing an adventure for a party without a rogue, or other designated lockpicker.

    At some point, the party will encounter a locked door.

    now, the GM doesn't know if the Wizard is going to prepare Knock or not (They certainly might). If they havn't, then they could try to break this door down, or seek out the Guard with the key and get it from them, or find another way around.

    If the wizard DID prepare Knock, then the challenge is trivialized.

    And the GM might not know which is the case until after the start of session, because the session has to be build with every potential spell list the wizard could have in mind.
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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    snip about Warhammer
    It may seem logical to you, but its pretty convoluted in actual play, and your examples leaves out the fact that the majority of ASF / ASL abilities are just one of special rules of a character, race, or item. It also creates weird narrative disconnect where the initiative stat is more or less meaningless, and weird cases were an elf (Initiative 5 but always strikes first) is sometimes faster than a vampire lord (initiative 8 but no always strikes first) and sometimes slower depending on what the enemy is armed with.

    I personally feel it would be much simpler to just have an "initiative modifiers" chart somewhere in the book with one unified mechanic (much like they do for determining who won a round of combat) rather than having to look up and remember half a dozen different rules from all over the book(s).


    As for the grenades thing, yeah it feels pretty unintuitive, but its something that will make sense if you play a realistic modern shooter video game; grenades are indirect fire weapons with a delay, and the best use for them is to flush people out of cover; for example if someone is in a building covering all of the entrances and you try to walk in you will get shot to pieces, so instead you lob a grenade into the building and then shoot anyone who runs out, effectively reversing the situation.
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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Is it wrong that the Warhammer you described sounded brilliant?
    I mean it's something of a mess of versions of the tabletop wargame rules...

    In 8th Edition:

    Normal initiative order was just "resolve attacks in order of highest to lowest initiative*". If models on different sides have the same initiative resolve them simultaneously. Initiative was a scale from 1-10. Almost all stats capped at 10.

    If a model has Always Strikes First/Last they Always Strike First/Last, and if they have Always Strikes First and higher inititative they reroll misses.

    If models on both sides have Always Strikes First/Last then they fight simultaneously and do not reroll misses.

    If a model for some reason gains Always Strikes First and Always Strikes Last at the same time they cancel out and the model attacks on its normal initiative.

    In 8th Charge did not modify initiative order. It granted +1 to combat resolution** and some models had a special rule called Impact Hits which applied a certain number of hits on the turn it charged before all combat, including before challenges***.

    (There were no current units that used Pikes, so there were no up to date rules for them)


    * Models on the same side could have different initiatives, eg. a Knight and his horse, or a special character in a regiment.

    ** Remembering that this is a game of formed regimental combat, combat resolution was basically "who won this round and was it winning enough to make the enemy break and rout".

    *** Special characters in a regiment could issue a challenge to a one on one duel if there was a special character in the other regiment. That means they fight only each other. If the challenge is refused then the special character in the challenged regiment moves to the back rank and cannot take part in the combat. (Some characters had to issue and accept challenges if they were in a position to do so, one even issued a challenge you weren't allowed to refuse)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    It may seem logical to you, but its pretty convoluted in actual play, and your examples leaves out the fact that the majority of ASF / ASL abilities are just one of special rules of a character, race, or item. It also creates weird narrative disconnect where the initiative stat is more or less meaningless, and weird cases were an elf (Initiative 5 but always strikes first) is sometimes faster than a vampire lord (initiative 8 but no always strikes first) and sometimes slower depending on what the enemy is armed with.
    On the other hand, the Initiative 5 basic Elf probably isn't doing much to the (not even special character) Vampire Lord because he needs a 4+ to hit (WS4 vs WS7), then a 6 to wound (S3 vs T5), and then the Vampire Lord would almost certainly have at least heavy armour and shield, even if neither were magical, so that's a 4+ save.

    So the Elf only has a 4% chance to wound the Vampire Lord, and then gets demolished in response, and so do the two guys standing next to him, because the Vampire Lord hits on 3, wounds on 2, and at strength 5 hits hard enough to deny the Elf a save.

    If you want a narrative explanation for that it's the one where the faster combatant dances through a hail of blows with contemptuous ease and slaughters the mooks opposing them.
    Last edited by GloatingSwine; 2021-07-28 at 06:44 AM.

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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    @Cluedrew, the "logical progression" I am looking for had nothing to do with different editions,
    Reading back I now I understand why you thought I was answering a larger question, but I'm trying really hard to not turn this into a caster/martial disparity thread so I actually stopped after that. If you are still curious we can move this to a caster/martial disparity thread.

    Pardon my senility, but I do not remember taking this stance. Care to quote / explain what you're interpreting this way?
    It isn't actually a stance you formally stated. Its more... I bias I want you to examine? A corner case I would like you to elaborate on? I'm actually not exactly sure because there were two statements (which I have requoted for convince) are not actually contradictions but they do point in very different directions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I prefer win buttons, and logical interactions of meta-tags.
    [...]
    But why would that make the Fighter say, "I don't have 'tickle' or 'tell joke' as a button to push on my character sheet, so there's no way I could possibly make anyone laugh. Unlike the Wizard, who gets Tasha's Hideous Uncontrollable Laughter."?

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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    Hmm, do you have any ideas on how to make Fighters and the like have more things to bring to the table?
    Rather than try penciling in features on the narrow design scope of fighter there needs to be a change to the definition of fighter and co.

    The wizard, the cleric, the paladin, the sorcerer, the totemist, the binder... these classes are all defined in terms of their power source. From that we derive a variety of level appropriate things each of them can do.

    Fighter, rogue and company are cast in specific terms of what they do. The fighter assumes “use pointy stick” will always be relevant and comes with no unique support for anything beyond that. Rogue’s scope is a bit broader but it never really evolves beyond its starting point.

    Conceptually something like the monk is a good idea, gaining new powers that redefine its capabilities and opportunities for interacting with the world as it grows in levels. We’ve just seen terrible implementation of monks in most cases.

    Figure out a concept for the fighter that can grow to have relevance alongside the water running, super jumping, X-ray vision, lie detecting when in physical contact monk; the healing, curing, buffing, flying mount summoning paladin; the warlock who can jump from shadow to shadow, change the party’s appearance with illusions, and ask objects about their previous owner.

    If the extent of a fighter’s impact can be trivially approximated by N castings of summon beatstick V he’s a pile of numbers, not a class.
    Martials’ concepts don’t evolve past the mundane
    High levels aren’t just lower levels with bigger numbers
    Martials have the tools they need for relevance

    Pick 2

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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by jinjitsu View Post
    The alternative being that, for example, every single high-value vault has a permanent anti-magic zone around it to avoid being automatically opened by a single knock spell. Which quickly ends up spiraling into the kind of "powerful magic is ubiquitous" fare that many people seem to love in settings like FR but which I find incredibly uninteresting. I'd much rather just have knock spells only work on locks with a DC up to a certain level; that seems like a simple, elegant solution.
    That's certainly an elegant solution to the door example in particular. I think these games would benefit greatly from expanding such an example to all forms of "i win button". This would allow for more clear delineation and ease of preparation for "hard" (or "close") and "easy" (there for cartharsis) battles, encounters, and scenes.

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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xervous View Post
    If the extent of a fighter’s impact can be trivially approximated by N castings of summon beatstick V he’s a pile of numbers, not a class.
    Truth. As an interesting comparison I recall that AD&D had some monsters with traits like "immune to non-silver attacks" or "immune to all non-blunt damage", along with the famous "immune to weapons of less than +X" and a (short) chart of how many hit dice a monster had to have to count as a +X with its natural attacks. People these days deride the golf-bag of weapons approach, but the fighter classes were seriously the best at using them by quite a wide margin due to some real niche protection. The monster summons of those days couldn't compare to an actual fighter. Add in the fighters having the best AC and the monster trait "immune to magic" being actual real immunity instead of faking a better save or being a 3/fight metagame hack, and people liked playing fighters.
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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by jinjitsu View Post
    The alternative being that, for example, every single high-value vault has a permanent anti-magic zone around it to avoid being automatically opened by a single knock spell. Which quickly ends up spiraling into the kind of "powerful magic is ubiquitous" fare that many people seem to love in settings like FR but which I find incredibly uninteresting. I'd much rather just have knock spells only work on locks with a DC up to a certain level; that seems like a simple, elegant solution.
    Didn't knock have the problem that it didn't work on portcullis and similar things ? So it is trivially easy to build mundane vaults that are immune to knock. And that is how a normal vault in D&D land should work. Too much hassle for regular doors or chests, so knock still retains its use.

    Often there is no need for permanent anti-magic as long as you just keep potential magical abilities of your opponents in mind.
    Last edited by Satinavian; 2021-07-28 at 10:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    I mean, the easier answer to Knock is that "Secure vaults have multiple Locks", potentially multiple locks that all use the same key (So you only need to keep track of one key), but you put 10 locks on the vault, so a wizard who wants to Knock the thing open requires 10 spell slots.

    As a tangent on magical security, I have, in my settings a pretty ubiquitous low-power magic device in the form of a wax seal keyed to a Detect Magic spell that breaks if a spell 1st level or above is either cast or targeted within, say, 20 feet of it (It doesn't give you any indications WHAT spell, just that something WAS cast), which can be rigged to ring a bell or other basic alarm.

    It doesn't pick up active magic (So you could cast Invisibility and slip through), but it will detect, say, somebody casting Dimensional Door, or walking up and using Charm Person on the guards.
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    I don't know if you've noticed, but pretty much everything BRC posts is full of awesome.
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    So, Astronaut, War Hero, or hideous Mantis Man, hop to it! The future of humanity is in your capable hands and or terrifying organic scythes.
    My Homebrew:Synchronized Swordsmen,Dual Daggers,The Doctor,The Preacher,The Brawler
    [/Center]

  26. - Top - End - #176
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Vacation in Nyalotha

    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Telok View Post
    Truth. As an interesting comparison I recall that AD&D had some monsters with traits like "immune to non-silver attacks" or "immune to all non-blunt damage", along with the famous "immune to weapons of less than +X" and a (short) chart of how many hit dice a monster had to have to count as a +X with its natural attacks. People these days deride the golf-bag of weapons approach, but the fighter classes were seriously the best at using them by quite a wide margin due to some real niche protection. The monster summons of those days couldn't compare to an actual fighter. Add in the fighters having the best AC and the monster trait "immune to magic" being actual real immunity instead of faking a better save or being a 3/fight metagame hack, and people liked playing fighters.
    I was going to include “or N hirelings”, because it’s mostly the golf bag that’s doing the work, the fighter just happens to be the one holding it. Sure you might need more golf bags to get to a comparable output of one fighter, but you still are able to equate the fighter’s contribution to a multiple of some basic numeric element. The higher level fighter just equates to a larger number of hirelings but never achieves things of note that can’t be solved by throwing multitudes of npcs at.
    Martials’ concepts don’t evolve past the mundane
    High levels aren’t just lower levels with bigger numbers
    Martials have the tools they need for relevance

    Pick 2

  27. - Top - End - #177
    Banned
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Most people do not like close battles. In fact, for most people, they prefer battles to take place far far away from them.

  28. - Top - End - #178
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2020

    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Xervous: you're forgetting two things. One, high level fighters were the best at throwing hirelings at things, they got the largest amount of actual loyal followers. Two, a high-level fighter could make Character Level attacks per turn against 0th level hirelings, so if the enemy had a fighter, there go your caddies...

    Oh, there was also a third thing. Fighters had naturally highest potential for strength and were capable of using strength increasing items to a higher degree than other classes. (There was a fair number of other magical items too that only benefited fighters or benefited them more than other classes.) So a high-level fighter was better at utilizing the golfbag approach as a single entity than others.

    Put together, replacing a high level fighter with hirelings was theoretical more than practical. More often than not, the one utilizing those hirelings was the fighter.

  29. - Top - End - #179
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    the GM doesn't know if the Wizard is going to prepare Knock or not (They certainly might). If they havn't, then they could try to break this door down, or seek out the Guard with the key and get it from them, or find another way around.

    If the wizard DID prepare Knock, then the challenge is trivialized.
    I realize that Knock is just an example, but since it's practically the poster example when this comes up, I'm going to address it directly -

    What challenge? You list "break this door down" as an option, and that's something you can do without even rolling. As it should be for most doors; doors being indestructible plot walls is usually a video-gamey thing that TTRPGs don't benefit from, IMO.

    Constraints like being subtle can rule out that solution, but they can also rule out Knock - more easily than they can rule out lockpicking in fact, since Knock just opens things indiscriminately, making it hard to avoid triggering a mechanical or magic alarm. Or just have someone stand guard and observe whether people use the proper key or not.

    And overall, people put too much emphasis on doors, IMO. They're just inanimate objects, it would be rather insulting if they could stymie so-called adventurers forever.


    Secondly, and this is more of an IMO, but if the adventure design/planning requires knowing the party's exact capabilities, it's too tight / challenge-focused for my preference. I don't want an obstacle course precisely tailored to my skills, I want an obstacle that makes sense in the context of the game world and what we're doing.
    Last edited by icefractal; 2021-07-28 at 01:26 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #180
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: Do people really enjoy close battles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Of interest to me is the fact that I tend to view rules through the lens of, "if I wrote these rules as code, and gave them this input, what result would I get?".
    As guy designing a system I think a big thing your missing is that people have limited RAM and a slow CPU clock speed. You're notnpeogramming for windows, or even DOS, you're programming on an old TI calculator.

    Thus the more elegant the solution the better it is. I have written mechanics that if followed would be great, but they are forgotten about by my test groups (sometimes by me as the gm!). This means using tricks such as a UI that reminds players of the rules, or having differant modes of play so players can focus on only needing to remember small sections of the rules at a time.

    Your example above would be fine if that was all the game was, but it's not. It's a small part of a larger mess. 40k can sort of get away with this using well laid out rulebook and giving lots of time to resolve a single battle. It also doesn't have any larger mode of play to keep track of (you dont need to worry if fighting this battle will make the god Emperor mad at you).

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