A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 61 to 90 of 98
  1. - Top - End - #61
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Florida
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    I might have misunderstood you, then. Do you mean that monsters would still have HD, saves based on type and number of HD &c. &c., but developers would calculate, say, the number of HD a monster has based on the desired CR? If so, I have nothing against that.
    We're essentially building the monster backwards (CR determines secondary stats (total save bonuses, HP, final AC), which determines primary stats (ability scores, HD, natural AC), so I wouldn't quite say anything is based on HD, but some things have a simple linear relationship, in which case the reader might see either based on the other.

    As for types, I'm imaging each type has a half filled out spreadsheet. For example the giant type would have par HP, BAB, fort, and dex saves; it would have an above par fort save.

    As for keeping the linear relationship between HD and final stats, that's made more complicated by the fact that the relationship between HP and CR isn't linear (and probably shouldn't be), so we have to adjust the relationship between CR and one or more of #HD, size of HD, con score. This can be done a few ways.

    The first way is to change the number of HD per CR. This would absolutely break the simple relationship between HD and a bunch of other stuff. I wouldn't favor this since some abilities use #HD directly in mechanics, so I'd like to keep HD within a certain range of CR.

    The second way is to change the con scores. Since this affects fort saves, my instinct is to say this should be done sparingly.

    The third way is to change the size of hit dice. Any big change will, of course, involve breaking out of the D4-D12 range players are in. (as an aside, I assume nobody is actually manually rolling 48 d10 to determine a tarrasque's HP? That they're either using the supplied value or some computer that could handle 25 D36 just as easily?)

    My main inclination would be for the monsters' sheet to say HP and level separately with no indication about how they relate. Maybe something in advancement that says how many additional HP per CR.
    Excuses and explanations are different.

    Sometimes when there can be no excuses we must look the hardest for explanations.

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Troll in the Playground
     
    georgie_leech's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Calgary, AB
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    It's funny to see people discussing coming up with formulas for monster stats, when 4e did exactly that, and we all know how well that edition is loved here...
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    We should try to make that a thing; I think it might help civility. Hey, GitP, let's try to make this a thing: when you're arguing optimization strategies, RAW-logic, and similar such things that you'd never actually use in a game, tag your post [THEORETICAL] and/or use green text

  3. - Top - End - #63
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Jasdoif's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon, USA

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    I don't know. 3.5 is not famous for balancing stuff well. Some classes are ridiculously strong, others are garbage. Some races are damn good, others are a joke. Fixing that would necessitate rewriting the whole system, so why couldn't we just keep things simple and user friendly?
    Well, if the primary goal is keeping things simple and user friendly, I think it'd be to start with a system that is simple and user friendly. There are plenty of tabletop RPGs that are not D&D to choose from.


    That aside....I don't think it'd have to quite be as drastic as a system rewrite to address that....Most any campaign setting (or campaign, for that matter) will involve some degree of going over the modular races/creatures/classes/feats/spells and
    • Keeping what fits
    • Altering what doesn't quite fit
    • Dropping what conceptually doesn't fit
    • Dropping what mechanically would take too much effort to make fit
    • Adding what needs to fit
    . That doesn't sound too far from what you seem to be suggesting, and e.g. Arcana Unearthed doesn't use any of the "default" classes.

    Many of the imbalances in 3.x are linked directly to abilities being undervalued, restrictions being overrated, and/or deliberate design decisions to manipulate "balance" for something else; all entirely possible while being simple and user friendly (and perhaps even facilitated by it).
    Feytouched Banana eldritch disciple avatar by...me!

    The Index of the Giant's Comments VI―Making Dogma from Zapped Bananas

  4. - Top - End - #64
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Metastachydium's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    We're essentially building the monster backwards (CR determines secondary stats (total save bonuses, HP, final AC), which determines primary stats (ability scores, HD, natural AC), so I wouldn't quite say anything is based on HD, but some things have a simple linear relationship, in which case the reader might see either based on the other.

    As for types, I'm imaging each type has a half filled out spreadsheet. For example the giant type would have par HP, BAB, fort, and dex saves; it would have an above par fort save.

    As for keeping the linear relationship between HD and final stats, that's made more complicated by the fact that the relationship between HP and CR isn't linear (and probably shouldn't be), so we have to adjust the relationship between CR and one or more of #HD, size of HD, con score. This can be done a few ways.

    The first way is to change the number of HD per CR. This would absolutely break the simple relationship between HD and a bunch of other stuff. I wouldn't favor this since some abilities use #HD directly in mechanics, so I'd like to keep HD within a certain range of CR.

    The second way is to change the con scores. Since this affects fort saves, my instinct is to say this should be done sparingly.

    The third way is to change the size of hit dice. Any big change will, of course, involve breaking out of the D4-D12 range players are in. (as an aside, I assume nobody is actually manually rolling 48 d10 to determine a tarrasque's HP? That they're either using the supplied value or some computer that could handle 25 D36 just as easily?)

    My main inclination would be for the monsters' sheet to say HP and level separately with no indication about how they relate. Maybe something in advancement that says how many additional HP per CR.
    No misunderstanding, then. If you don't mind, I'll continue to dislike the notion that building monsters should follow rules fundamentally different from building PCs (I mean, if one likes that sort of thing, one can be my guest and go play 5e), and I'll continue to posit that the problem Doug brought up can be overcome through simpler means.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    Well, if the primary goal is keeping things simple and user friendly, I think it'd be to start with a system that is simple and user friendly. There are plenty of tabletop RPGs that are not D&D to choose from.


    That aside....I don't think it'd have to quite be as drastic as a system rewrite to address that....Most any campaign setting (or campaign, for that matter) will involve some degree of going over the modular races/creatures/classes/feats/spells and
    • Keeping what fits
    • Altering what doesn't quite fit
    • Dropping what conceptually doesn't fit
    • Dropping what mechanically would take too much effort to make fit
    • Adding what needs to fit
    . That doesn't sound too far from what you seem to be suggesting, and e.g. Arcana Unearthed doesn't use any of the "default" classes.

    Many of the imbalances in 3.x are linked directly to abilities being undervalued, restrictions being overrated, and/or deliberate design decisions to manipulate "balance" for something else; all entirely possible while being simple and user friendly (and perhaps even facilitated by it).
    I'll defer to your greater wisdom regarding how un/official campaign settings work. That said, I still think "treat CR as ECL and call it a day" is simpler than using monster classes, both for developers and players.

  5. - Top - End - #65
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Meridianville AL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    No misunderstanding, then. If you don't mind, I'll continue to dislike the notion that building monsters should follow rules fundamentally different from building PCs (I mean, if one likes that sort of thing, one can be my guest and go play 5e), and I'll continue to posit that the problem Doug brought up can be overcome through simpler means.



    I'll defer to your greater wisdom regarding how un/official campaign settings work. That said, I still think "treat CR as ECL and call it a day" is simpler than using monster classes, both for developers and players.
    CR as ECL only works if magic items are a negligible part of character power (so not in D&D) or if the monster as a monster has Magic items appropriate to a PC of its level/CR (so not in D&D) or if you don't care at all about balance.

    Take a monster equal to a level 10 character with NO GEAR, and add a bunch of +4 ability modifiers and a bunch of magic defenses and armor and weapons, and it looks a lot more dangerous than CR 10.

  6. - Top - End - #66
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Jasdoif's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon, USA

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    CR as ECL only works if magic items are a negligible part of character power (so not in D&D) or if the monster as a monster has Magic items appropriate to a PC of its level/CR (so not in D&D) or if you don't care at all about balance.

    Take a monster equal to a level 10 character with NO GEAR, and add a bunch of +4 ability modifiers and a bunch of magic defenses and armor and weapons, and it looks a lot more dangerous than CR 10.
    Interestingly, 4th Edition tried to address this....Creature formulae used total level (instead of half-level like PCs), and NPCs had an additional level-based bonus to abstract away the effects of gear the PCs were assumed to have (and a "magic threshold" if you wanted to explicitly equip an NPC in excess of that).


    The other big thing you'd need for CR as ECL to start looking viable is to remove all attempts to use "not expected to be available in all encounters" as a cost reducing factor, so CR and ECL have a stable(r) relationship. Of course, it stops looking much like D&D if you don't have Vancian casting or if what your wizard can accomplish with spells is on par with what anyone without spells can accomplish (hey, there's 4th Edition again).
    Last edited by Jasdoif; 2021-08-23 at 01:14 PM.
    Feytouched Banana eldritch disciple avatar by...me!

    The Index of the Giant's Comments VI―Making Dogma from Zapped Bananas

  7. - Top - End - #67
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Metastachydium's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    CR as ECL only works if magic items are a negligible part of character power (so not in D&D) or if the monster as a monster has Magic items appropriate to a PC of its level/CR (so not in D&D) or if you don't care at all about balance.

    Take a monster equal to a level 10 character with NO GEAR, and add a bunch of +4 ability modifiers and a bunch of magic defenses and armor and weapons, and it looks a lot more dangerous than CR 10.
    CR as ECL for the purpose of facilitating the usage of monstrous races doesn't have that issue, though, since nothing prevents a monstrous Pc from acquiring PC-quality gear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    The other big thing you'd need for CR as ECL to start looking viable is to remove all attempts to use "not expected to be available in all encounters" as a cost reducing factor, so CR and ECL have a stable(r) relationship. Of course, it stops looking much like D&D if you don't have Vancian casting
    Frankly, I'd absolutely prefer spontaneous casting were it not for the developers deliberately crippling it so that prepared can be so very much stronger. (And I'd readily trade prepared casting for the spell point system or something like the spirit shaman's spells retrieved.)

    or if what your wizard can accomplish with spells is on par with what anyone without spells can accomplish (hey, there's 4th Edition again).
    Yeah, a semblance of balance! What a horrible notion! (Not that I'm a big fan of how 4e basically uniformized everything, but still.)

  8. - Top - End - #68
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Jasdoif's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon, USA

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Frankly, I'd absolutely prefer spontaneous casting were it not for the developers deliberately crippling it so that prepared can be so very much stronger. (And I'd readily trade prepared casting for the spell point system or something like the spirit shaman's spells retrieved.)
    The spirit shaman thing is what Arcana Unearthed went with for all its spellcasters, along with a unified spell system. (I replaced and went through my Arcana Evolved books recently, is likely why I keep remembering examples for it; I don't think any of the version-like differences between Arcana Unearthed and Arcana Evolved have come up)

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Yeah, a semblance of balance! What a horrible notion! (Not that I'm a big fan of how 4e basically uniformized everything, but still.)
    Questions of how exactly to fill out a Venn diagram between "balanced" and "uniformized" aside; I'm still convinced that the period where Pathfinder was outselling 4th is the main reason WotC moved to 5th so much more quickly than they did to 4th (or have yet to do for what I assume will be 6th)...and why 5th resembles 3.x much more than it does 4th.
    Feytouched Banana eldritch disciple avatar by...me!

    The Index of the Giant's Comments VI―Making Dogma from Zapped Bananas

  9. - Top - End - #69
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Meridianville AL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    CR as ECL for the purpose of facilitating the usage of monstrous races doesn't have that issue, though, since nothing prevents a monstrous Pc from acquiring PC-quality gear.
    Um, that IS the issue. The monster as PC acquires PC quality gear and is VASTLY more dangerous than it should be because it has all the monster abilities for CR X + all the gear that a PC of level X is getting half or more of his power from.

  10. - Top - End - #70
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Angelalex242's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Gonna throw in a point where Durkon did not in fact make his save.

  11. - Top - End - #71
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Metastachydium's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    The spirit shaman thing is what Arcana Unearthed went with for all its spellcasters, along with a unified spell system. (I replaced and went through my Arcana Evolved books recently, is likely why I keep remembering examples for it; I don't think any of the version-like differences between Arcana Unearthed and Arcana Evolved have come up)
    Never read through those, but I like the way it sounds.

    Questions of how exactly to fill out a Venn diagram between "balanced" and "uniformized" aside; I'm still convinced that the period where Pathfinder was outselling 4th is the main reason WotC moved to 5th so much more quickly than they did to 4th (or have yet to do for what I assume will be 6th)...and why 5th resembles 3.x much more than it does 4th.
    And especially why it appears to borrow stuff straight from PF.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    Um, that IS the issue. The monster as PC acquires PC quality gear and is VASTLY more dangerous than it should be because it has all the monster abilities for CR X + all the gear that a PC of level X is getting half or more of his power from.
    So RHD and racial abilities are suddenly more valuable than class levels with class features? That's new to me.

  12. - Top - End - #72
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Meridianville AL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    So RHD and racial abilities are suddenly more valuable than class levels with class features? That's new to me.
    Um, you are taking a monster, which is STATED to be CR X (in the rules), which is STATED to be equal to class level X (ditto), and then ADDING gear to it. Claiming it is still equal to level X is claiming that gear is WORTHLESS! X+Y = X ONLY if Y=0, and Y is here the entire value of all PC gear.

    Or you can claim that the initial claim that CR X is comparable to class level X is wrong, which makes ALL NPCs unbalanced.

    Additionally, you appear to have FAILED TO NOTICE, that CR=ECL means that a monster can have MORE racial HD than a comparable character would have levels, so a racial level need NOT be equal for the monster to be far too powerful.
    Last edited by Doug Lampert; 2021-08-24 at 10:29 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #73
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Metastachydium's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    Um, you are taking a monster, which is STATED to be CR X (in the rules), which is STATED to be equal to class level X (ditto), and then ADDING gear to it. Claiming it is still equal to level X is claiming that gear is WORTHLESS! X+Y = X ONLY if Y=0, and Y is here the entire value of all PC gear.

    Or you can claim that the initial claim that CR X is comparable to class level X is wrong, which makes ALL NPCs unbalanced.
    Let's see what the developers think about this through an example, specifically that of the frost giant jarl! It gets 8 class levels and a +8 to its CR. How much is its gear from that? Well, not much: it gets a +2 weapon, a +2 armour, a +2 cloak of CHA and a minor ring of fire resistance. Which is to say, a negligible amount of gear for a 22 HD creature.

    Additionally, you appear to have FAILED TO NOTICE, that CR=ECL means that a monster can have MORE racial HD than a comparable character would have levels, so a racial level need NOT be equal for the monster to be far too powerful.
    Where the difference between the number of RHD and CR is so large as to be relevant, we're mostly talking about 30 HD creatures with an 1d8 slam attack or something of that sort, though. Or do you think those critters are immensely powerful?

  14. - Top - End - #74
    Troll in the Playground
     
    georgie_leech's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Calgary, AB
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Let's see what the developers think about this through an example, specifically that of the frost giant jarl! It gets 8 class levels and a +8 to its CR. How much is its gear from that? Well, not much: it gets a +2 weapon, a +2 armour, a +2 cloak of CHA and a minor ring of fire resistance. Which is to say, a negligible amount of gear for a 22 HD creature.
    It's also missing the point: A Frost Giant Jarl is CR 17. A level 17 PC has a lot more than just that gear. Specifically, around 300000gp worth of more gear. So you've already got significant differences between how one designs an NPC and one designs a PC.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    We should try to make that a thing; I think it might help civility. Hey, GitP, let's try to make this a thing: when you're arguing optimization strategies, RAW-logic, and similar such things that you'd never actually use in a game, tag your post [THEORETICAL] and/or use green text

  15. - Top - End - #75
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Metastachydium's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    It's also missing the point:
    Quite on the contrary,

    A Frost Giant Jarl is CR 17. A level 17 PC has a lot more than just that gear. Specifically, around 300000gp worth of more gear. So you've already got significant differences between how one designs an NPC and one designs a PC.
    because the 8 class levels bump its CR by 8. Doug argued that PC gear is accounted for in the 1 level = +1 CR equation, but the jarl gets basically none of the gear but the entire CR bump.

  16. - Top - End - #76
    Troll in the Playground
     
    georgie_leech's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Calgary, AB
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Quite on the contrary,



    because the 8 class levels bump its CR by 8. Doug argued that PC gear is accounted for in the 1 level = +1 CR equation, but the jarl gets basically none of the gear but the entire CR bump.
    Which kind of works against your idea that CR=ECL is an effective way to decide how powerful a given NPC/Monster would be as a PC:

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    CR as ECL for the purpose of facilitating the usage of monstrous races doesn't have that issue, though, since nothing prevents a monstrous Pc from acquiring PC-quality gear.
    Either a monster-as-PC lacks a lot of the various magical doodads the game expects you to pick up along the way (various forms of resistances, immunities, utility items, etc.), or they end up significantly more powerful than your estimate because you're adding significantly more wealth than what an NPC of equivalent CR would get. And that is going to be a problem with any amount of play; the loot you get from WBL is based on the average treasure you're getting over the levels. Under the assumption that CR = ECL, a Frost Giant shoud join up with a party of level 9 adventurers. That Frost Giant that (for some reason) builds towards being that Jarl specifically would gain roughly 300000 gp worth of loot and magical equipment as the rest of the party levels from 9 to 17; that same Jarl plucked from the Monster Manual or SRD to join a level 17 adventuring party has none of that. So CR clearly makes a poor guide as to what ECL a monster should be.

    Not that the existing rules are much better. I certainly wouldn't peg a Frost Giant as ECL=18, but that's what you get if you combine 14 RHD with LA +4.
    Last edited by georgie_leech; 2021-08-25 at 06:19 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    We should try to make that a thing; I think it might help civility. Hey, GitP, let's try to make this a thing: when you're arguing optimization strategies, RAW-logic, and similar such things that you'd never actually use in a game, tag your post [THEORETICAL] and/or use green text

  17. - Top - End - #77
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Metastachydium's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    Either a monster-as-PC lacks a lot of the various magical doodads the game expects you to pick up along the way (various forms of resistances, immunities, utility items, etc.), or they end up significantly more powerful than your estimate because you're adding significantly more wealth than what an NPC of equivalent CR would get. And that is going to be a problem with any amount of play; the loot you get from WBL is based on the average treasure you're getting over the levels. Under the assumption that CR = ECL, a Frost Giant shoud join up with a party of level 9 adventurers. That Frost Giant that (for some reason) builds towards being that Jarl specifically would gain roughly 300000 gp worth of loot and magical equipment as the rest of the party levels from 9 to 17; that same Jarl plucked from the Monster Manual or SRD to join a level 17 adventuring party has none of that. So CR clearly makes a poor guide as to what ECL a monster should be.
    That's a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. First and foremost, I don't see why anyone would use the monster with class level combos if it is actively detrimental, since one can just add those levels oneself. Further, as far as I'm concerned a player of a given level (i.e. ECL) has a WBLevel appropriate for that level. That's what WBL is about.
    Also & anyhow, a core-only nighter or ninja 20 has the same ECL and CR as a druid 20. If you want balance, you have come to the wrong place.

    Not that the existing rules are much better. I certainly wouldn't peg a Frost Giant as ECL=18, but that's what you get if you combine 14 RHD with LA +4.
    And let's not even get started on how they gave LA +18 to that one monster for a bunch of SLAs! (Parenthetical remark: for the record, PF doesn't claim its method is perfect. It basically says "use with caution" and "ideally, monstrous PCs should play in monstrous parties").

  18. - Top - End - #78
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Because the author doesn't care about what is optimal or statistical likely. He cares about what makes an interesting story.
    And as someone familiar enough with D&D to laugh at the references and fun-poking but unfamiliar enough to have like, no idea what tactical options even exist, I'd say he hits that mark.

  19. - Top - End - #79
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Jasdoif's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon, USA

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    That's a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. First and foremost, I don't see why anyone would use the monster with class level combos if it is actively detrimental, since one can just add those levels oneself. Further, as far as I'm concerned a player of a given level (i.e. ECL) has a WBLevel appropriate for that level. That's what WBL is about.
    Theoretically at least, a creature with a given CR should pose a challenge to a character with the same ECL. The character will of course have equipment appropriate to their level, so if the creature doesn't have equipment then its base abilities need to be adequate to pose a challenge...so then if that adequate-on-its-own creature gets equipment, it's going to be superior than it was.

    This has much more to do with how much of a character's power is expected to come from gear, though....As well as the DMG trying to have it both ways, in this case; it says a monster PC is supposed have (PC) wealth-by-level for its ECL, while a monster NPC's equipment is supposed to meet NPC Gear Value (by level) for its actual class levels only.
    Last edited by Jasdoif; 2021-08-25 at 12:06 PM.
    Feytouched Banana eldritch disciple avatar by...me!

    The Index of the Giant's Comments VI―Making Dogma from Zapped Bananas

  20. - Top - End - #80
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Metastachydium's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    Theoretically at least, a creature with a given CR should pose a challenge to a character with the same ECL. The character will of course have equipment appropriate to their level, so if the creature doesn't have equipment then its base abilities need to be adequate to pose a challenge...so then if that adequate-on-its-own creature gets equipment, it's going to be superior than it was.

    This has much more to do with how much of a character's power is expected to come from gear, though....As well as the DMG trying to have it both ways, in this case; it says a monster PC is supposed have (PC) wealth-by-level for its ECL, while a monster NPC's equipment is supposed to meet NPC Gear Value (by level) for its actual class levels only.
    The reason why I brought up the jarl is that it doesn't get anything even remotely resembling PC quality gear, and yet evry one of its class levels boost the CR by a +1. This either means that CR does not account for gear or that a PC level is worth more than a +1 if gear is accounted for. In either case, the CR=ECL approach works just fine (i.e. it doesn't cause larger balance issues than what is already inherent to the system).

  21. - Top - End - #81
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Jasdoif's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon, USA

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    The reason why I brought up the jarl is that it doesn't get anything even remotely resembling PC quality gear, and yet evry one of its class levels boost the CR by a +1. This either means that CR does not account for gear or that a PC level is worth more than a +1 if gear is accounted for. In either case, the CR=ECL approach works just fine (i.e. it doesn't cause larger balance issues than what is already inherent to the system).
    I think it's more likely that the specific case of the frost giant jarl doesn't meet the expectations placed upon it; it doesn't approach the gear a PC would have (as you mention), and the +2 frost greataxe alone is almost twice the expected NPC gear value for its eight class levels. That the jarl's supposedly ill-suited for a player character (as indicated by its level adjustment being "—"), despite the base frost giant being otherwise, doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in its use as an example for a situation involving ECL. Given that it appears in the original Monster Manual, I suspect the rules/guidelines for advancing a creature by class levels weren't solid when the jarl was written/ported.


    And for the record, for what little these examples are worth:
    • One of the Eberron sourcebooks (Five Nations, I think) has entries that explicitly call out that the CR was increased to reflect higher-quality gear than normal.
    • The random dungeon section in Miniatures Handbook supports using "a creature’s CR as the rough equivalent of a PC’s level" if someone wants to play an unusual creature.
    Feytouched Banana eldritch disciple avatar by...me!

    The Index of the Giant's Comments VI―Making Dogma from Zapped Bananas

  22. - Top - End - #82
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    Theoretically at least, a creature with a given CR should pose a challenge to a character with the same ECL.
    Forgive me as I've missed most of the conversation, and I'm in no way deeply knowledgeable of D&D rules, but...

    Isn't a given CR considered a challenge to a party of four characters of the equivalent level? Or is that equivalence valid only for D&D 5E?

    I'm trying to understand the conversation, since I don't know much about how CE and ECL are used.
    Last edited by TuringTest; 2021-08-25 at 04:58 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #83
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Jasdoif's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon, USA

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by TuringTest View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    Theoretically at least, a creature with a given CR should pose a challenge to a character with the same ECL.
    Forgive me as I've missed most of the conversation, and I'm in no way deeply knowledgeable of D&D rules, but...

    Isn't a given CR considered a challenge to a party of four characters of the equivalent level? Or is that equivalence valid only for D&D 5E?

    I'm trying to understand the conversation, since I don't know much about how CE and ECL are used.
    "Challenge" may have been a poor choice of wording on my part.


    ECL is "effective character level", and the same number as level in typical cases. How well ECL actually handles the atypical cases is a point of much contention; but that's the number used in situations like these.


    A single creature of a given CR is indeed supposed to be challenging to a party of four characters of the equivalent ECL; but that comes with the definition of "challenging" meaning the party is expected to win with competent play, but consume about one-fifth of their resources (hit points, spells, etc.) doing so.

    By "a challenge" I meant that (without knowledge of starting conditions) both sides could reasonably expect to win, there's no foregone conclusion....Which is also about where four creatures of a given CR would rate against a party of four characters of the equivalent ECL.
    Last edited by Jasdoif; 2021-08-25 at 05:36 PM.
    Feytouched Banana eldritch disciple avatar by...me!

    The Index of the Giant's Comments VI―Making Dogma from Zapped Bananas

  24. - Top - End - #84
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    danielxcutter's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Seoul
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Judging by how hard some monsters got shafted by the ECL system, it does seem that the designers were at least trying to keep monstrous characters from being PCs. Look at the Blue.
    Cool elan (no not that kind) Illithid Slayer by linkele.

    Editor/co-writer of Magicae Est Potestas, a crossover between Artemis Fowl and Undertale. Archive Of Our Own FanFiction.net DeviantArt
    We also have a TvTropes page!

    Currently playing: Red Hand of Doom(campaign journal)

    Extended signature here.

  25. - Top - End - #85
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Metastachydium's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    I think it's more likely that the specific case of the frost giant jarl doesn't meet the expectations placed upon it; it doesn't approach the gear a PC would have (as you mention), and the +2 frost greataxe alone is almost twice the expected NPC gear value for its eight class levels.
    Heh. It's almost as if these people had no idea what they were doing.

    That the jarl's supposedly ill-suited for a player character (as indicated by its level adjustment being "—"), despite the base frost giant being otherwise, doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in its use as an example for a situation involving ECL. Given that it appears in the original Monster Manual, I suspect the rules/guidelines for advancing a creature by class levels weren't solid when the jarl was written/ported.
    What or what isn't playable according to the Wizards is not a very reliable metric, if you ask me.

    And for the record, for what little these examples are worth:
    • One of the Eberron sourcebooks (Five Nations, I think) has entries that explicitly call out that the CR was increased to reflect higher-quality gear than normal.
    • The random dungeon section in Miniatures Handbook supports using "a creature’s CR as the rough equivalent of a PC’s level" if someone wants to play an unusual creature.
    Man, 3.5 is a mess!

    Quote Originally Posted by TuringTest View Post
    Forgive me as I've missed most of the conversation, and I'm in no way deeply knowledgeable of D&D rules, but...

    Isn't a given CR considered a challenge to a party of four characters of the equivalent level? Or is that equivalence valid only for D&D 5E?

    I'm trying to understand the conversation, since I don't know much about how CE and ECL are used.
    Yes, that is correct. But each PC class level is worth a point of CR too (so, for instance, a 0 RHD creature with ten class levels is officially considered a challenge of a party of four 10th level PCs).

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Judging by how hard some monsters got shafted by the ECL system, it does seem that the designers were at least trying to keep monstrous characters from being PCs. Look at the Blue.
    Preach it! For it is true!

  26. - Top - End - #86
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Jasdoif's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon, USA

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Judging by how hard some monsters got shafted by the ECL system, it does seem that the designers were at least trying to keep monstrous characters from being PCs. Look at the Blue.
    What's interesting about the Blue is that the 3.0 Blue had three powers, most significantly charm person, at-will with a manifester level of 8th. I could see thinking that called for a level adjustment....

    Hobgoblins, conversely, were victims of seriously overrating the impact of ability score increases.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Heh. It's almost as if these people had no idea what they were doing.
    You can see why I'm not particularly moved when bad individual examples are found
    Feytouched Banana eldritch disciple avatar by...me!

    The Index of the Giant's Comments VI―Making Dogma from Zapped Bananas

  27. - Top - End - #87
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    danielxcutter's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Seoul
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    What's interesting about the Blue is that the 3.0 Blue had three powers, most significantly charm person, at-will with a manifester level of 8th. I could see thinking that called for a level adjustment....

    Hobgoblins, conversely, were victims of seriously overrating the impact of ability score increases.
    Standard goblins, orcs, and half-orcs have a total of -2 to stats while PC races tend to have a total of 0. Kobolds used to be even worse but got a LOT of goodies in later sourcebooks.

    Oh, and the 3.5e Blue is basically just the normal goblin, except the bonus is into Int instead of Dex and they have a power point from the start... which means they still have a stat total of -2. And they have an LA adjustment of +1, while the has the same stat total and is arguably underrated at LA +0 due to how many things you get.

    To be fair, I think the devs did misjudge more things than active malice(like overvaluing martials way too much), but I'd say for them, the imbalance is mostly a failure in terms of degree rather than direction(or well existence). The Astral Construct nerf is a fine example of why I'm entirely willing to suspect them of more than just incompetence.
    Cool elan (no not that kind) Illithid Slayer by linkele.

    Editor/co-writer of Magicae Est Potestas, a crossover between Artemis Fowl and Undertale. Archive Of Our Own FanFiction.net DeviantArt
    We also have a TvTropes page!

    Currently playing: Red Hand of Doom(campaign journal)

    Extended signature here.

  28. - Top - End - #88
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Linworm View Post
    /shrug
    Whatever the faults of the D&D game balance might be they're no justification to handwave away faults in the writing, from any writer, ever.
    It's up to these authors to hide their plot contrivances and narrative devices so the reader doesn't see the cogs moving behind the curtain, not for us to turn a blind eye because "it's someone else's to blame".
    Not that blaming has anything to do with this, criticism is not blaming, and conflating the two isn't healthy.
    This presumes that the Order failing their saves is a fault in the writing, which it isn't. We got an interesting and challenging fight out of it. The only "problem" with it is that it may be statistically unlikely under D&D rules (which the comic is not 100% strict about- a one in a million chance is explicitly a sure thing in this comic) under a given set of assumptions.

  29. - Top - End - #89
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodSquirrel View Post
    This presumes that the Order failing their saves is a fault in the writing, which it isn't. We got an interesting and challenging fight out of it. The only "problem" with it is that it may be statistically unlikely under D&D rules (which the comic is not 100% strict about- a one in a million chance is explicitly a sure thing in this comic) under a given set of assumptions.
    The problem is that this sort of thing changes how the reader engages with the story. For example, the more blatant author fiat is, the harder it is to maintain one's suspension of disbelief.
    Last edited by Hurkyl; 2021-09-18 at 05:49 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #90
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

    Join Date
    Mar 2016

    Default Re: Are save-based attacks too overpowered in OOTs-verse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurkyl View Post
    The problem is that this sort of thing changes how the reader engages with the story. For example, the more blatant author fiat is, the harder it is to maintain one's suspension of disbelief.
    Yeah, the "it makes for a better story" answer doesn't do much for me either. You could apply that answer to any plot hole in any fiction that handwaving something made for a better story.

    If the story required Serini to be a challenge for the party it could have been accomplished by other means. Perhaps Serini had other allies, perhaps a couple of members of the Order were trapped outside the cave when it was sealed or perhaps there's some indication that Sunny has higher than normal save DC for some reason.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •