A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    I do think that the current fight is… well, I’m fine with the general premise of “Team Serini is incredibly dangerous”, but I’d say the Order is being incapacitated a bit too much before turning it around for me to entirely like it - it feels like the competence they’ve gained in the last book or two has been reset. They did okay in BRItF and really well in UD - and the final fight in BRItF was mostly the team trying to run away while the Dining Room fight would have been a complete loss if not for Belkar and Durkon breaking through at just the right moments.
    It may not be intentional, but this is pretty faithful to the game. High level D&D, especially in 3.5, is basically rocket tag. And from a narrative perspective the stakes are continuously increasing, so seeing the Order struggle more against encounters does make sense.


    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    We see how Belkar and Haley match up against Crystal and Bozzok: Haley loses while Belkar manages to stall until Bozzok leaves.

    Another thing to mention is that we're sort of talking about their builds, but their stats can always be outweighed by good tactics.
    I saw this less as a statement of Belkar being objectively stronger than Haley, and more that he was the right tool for the job. Similar to how Haley is doing well against Serini and Sunny while Belkar is doing basically nothing to help in that fight. It's just not a scenario where his particular strengths come to bear.
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  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    I saw this less as a statement of Belkar being objectively stronger than Haley, and more that he was the right tool for the job. Similar to how Haley is doing well against Serini and Sunny while Belkar is doing basically nothing to help in that fight. It's just not a scenario where his particular strengths come to bear.
    That's a good point - Belkar's culinary prowess was a key part of the fight with Bozzok.
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    I saw this less as a statement of Belkar being objectively stronger than Haley, and more that he was the right tool for the job. Similar to how Haley is doing well against Serini and Sunny while Belkar is doing basically nothing to help in that fight. It's just not a scenario where his particular strengths come to bear.
    Not sure this is true. There was nothing specialised about the fight with Bozzok etc. It was simply who was better in a stand up fight.

    In this fight, Hayley was the only one left capable of doing anything. If it had been her hit with the emotion spell and Belkar who simply lost his weapon, it might have been Belkar who grappled Serini after using his jump skill. Indeed, early in the encounter a lot of the speculation was around Belkar winning the encounter with his dinosaur companion, and that might have been what happened if the ruling on how it interacted with the anti-magic ray was different.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Bah, Belkar guts a vampire cleric of roughly the same level faster than she can cast.
    Belkar fought the same vampire Durkon did and was taken out of commission in one round.

  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    There was nothing specialised about the fight with Bozzok etc.

    It was simply who was better in a stand up fight.
    Haley isn't good in stand-up fights. She's a rogue and is better suited to the back line or hit-and-run.

    Belkar held his own because he's a melee combatant. It's his job to be up in the thick of it. He was *specialised* for that role, so he did better in it, but that's not a criticism of Haley's skills.

  6. - Top - End - #126
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    Haley isn't good in stand-up fights. She's a rogue and is better suited to the back line or hit-and-run.

    Belkar held his own because he's a melee combatant. It's his job to be up in the thick of it. He was *specialised* for that role, so he did better in it, but that's not a criticism of Haley's skills.
    Oh, yes I appreciate that Hayley is not specialised for that sort of fight. But my point was that that will be the majority of fights they run into.

    Belkar is not really specialised for that sort of fight either (Roy is). Belkar is quite versatile - he was just as good at hit and run as Hayley after Azure City fell (he actually rescued Haley after Tsukiko cornered her), and he also used hit and run effectively against Miko.

    That's why I was judging it by running through their encounters so far. Noone will shine all the time, but some will more than others. The fact that Haley struggles in situations they run into reasonably often is a mark against her. If we talk about how good a person is in combat we can't just disregard the situations they're not specialised in (unless that's a very narrow set of situations).

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    Belkar fought the same vampire Durkon did and was taken out of commission in one round.
    Lack of intel can do that to you.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Lack of intel can do that to you.
    Let's back up a step:

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I'm not disagreeing with you, but the fight against Malack is a difficult point to consider, since Malack was also a Cleric.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    AND a vampire. The fact that Durkon even held his own is impressive.
    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Bah, Belkar guts a vampire cleric of roughly the same level faster than she can cast.
    I think touting Belkar's skill against vampires as a point in his favor against Durkon is a bit shabby considering they fought the same vampire, and Durkon put up a decent fight while Belkar was taken out in one round.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Remember when V took down Z? S/he did it by attacking him with a crossbow ("I believe the appropriate appellation is "Sneak attack, bitch!") Because one set of skills wasn't useful as another in that situation.

    There are situations where one class will outshine another one.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    In terms of how effective they should be, if the author didn't have to nerf them for the plot, this is probably an accurate representation of their usefulness:

    1) V

    2) Durkon









    3) Everyone else.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    Let's back up a step:

    I think touting Belkar's skill against vampires as a point in his favor against Durkon is a bit shabby considering they fought the same vampire, and Durkon put up a decent fight while Belkar was taken out in one round.
    It's not quite as simple as that. Let's take a look at fight with the Thieves' Guild again! People argue that the respective efficacies of Haley and Belkar against Bozzok and Crystal are nonindicative because the situation played to Belkar's strengths. Let's not get into the extent to which this is a valid point. If correct, this is a fair argument.
    The fight with Malack is the reverse of this situation: while Haley was far better acquainted with the capabilities of Bozzok and Crystal than Belkar, Belkar was at a serious disadvantage against Malack from the get-go since he didn't know he's a vampire and even if he did, he is likely to know less about intelligent undead than Durkon (who has native access to Knowledge (religion)). As a cleric, Durkon is also far better equipped to deal with a vampire (good Will saves + high Wisdom, access to spells in general and positive energy effects to fire off in particular) than Belkar (poor Will, low WIS, no spells). And yet, when he knew he'll be up against a vampire and made arrangements to boost his efficacy against them, Belkar managed to one-shot a vampire cleric with roughly the same number of levels as Malack, while Durkon lost his fight despite being a better tool for the job, mechanically speaking.

    Not that the thing with vampire clerics wasn't only a semi-serious argument. I place Durkon second-to-last
    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    in no small part as a result of his preferring to play support <and being built mainly for that> (although it also bears nothing that the three martials are better with weapons and V has superior offensive capabilities with spells, so he's pretty much destined to stay far from the top).
    Last edited by Metastachydium; 2021-09-20 at 07:36 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Like all Hulk vs. Superman comparisons, the only thing being measured is combat power.

    But there are a lot of things that magnify combat power indirectly. As Roy famously said, "That's how you use an intelligence modifier in combat!"

    Haley used her charisma to defeat Bozzok and Crystal.

    Belkar used his stubborn anger to defeat the hydra.

    Durkon used his empathy to defeat Greg.

    Elan used puppetry to defeat an island full of orcs.

    V used hir vocabulary to defeat a room full of ninja-goblins.

    For Roy, defeating a tough monster with his sword makes sense
    For Haley, defeating that same monster requires she make use of her force multipliers.

    They can both get the job done. But Roy has the advantage in a vs. challenge because force multipliers are extremely situational.

  13. - Top - End - #133
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Roy's sword also has powers only he can access, which we haven't fully explored yet, and that could come in extremely handy later. So that is another tangible capability he brings to the party that no one else could.
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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Roy's sword also has powers only he can access, which we haven't fully explored yet, and that could come in extremely handy later. So that is another tangible capability he brings to the party that no one else could.
    He's also a leader. There's an old adage about "a dozen soldiers ably led can beat a hundred without a head" so Roy's leadership is why this A-Team even works together at all.
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    Agency means that they {players} control their character's actions; you control the world's reactions to the character's actions.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct!

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    He's also a leader. There's an old adage about "a dozen soldiers ably led can beat a hundred without a head" so Roy's leadership is why this A-Team even works together at all.
    Oh I know, I covered that earlier in the thread
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Oh I know, I covered that earlier in the thread
    Are we allowed to be in violent agreement like that?
    *off to check forum rules*
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by greenstone View Post
    Agency means that they {players} control their character's actions; you control the world's reactions to the character's actions.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct!

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Are we allowed to be in violent agreement like that?
    *off to check forum rules*
    I think the unofficial rule is that you have to pretend that you actually made a slightly different point than the one he originally made, and then argue about that for three more pages before going into a tangent about Star Wars.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    I never know when the SW digression is appropriate. I keep trying LotR and Harry Potter, but that's never really appropriate.

    One thing I have noticed in determining character power is that an optimal scenario for spellcasters is always assumed.

    Time and again I was required to play the party wizard because I was the only member of our group that could keep a non-multiclassed wizard alive to level 3. Most of the time in a dungeon crawl you are micro-managing every cantrip casting and hoping for a chance to rest and replenish your half-exhausted spells per day. This never happens before boss battles.

    A wizard that can alter the boss encounter to favor the good guys is valuable, but it takes a good meatshield to get him there, to keep the mooks from killing him, and to get his behind (and his last level 1 spell) back to a safe camp.

    V has never been swarmed by mooks while Roy was around. But look what happened in Azure City when he wasn't.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    V has never been swarmed by mooks while Roy was around.
    Well, at least not when Roy's subordinates were obeying his orders: Defense is for Losers!
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    At level 8 it is a good debate which of these guys was more useful in which situations.

    At level 17+, which is where V almost certainly is now, there is no debate and the author has to constantly railroad/nerf V with the plot.

    Roy's strength is he can fight for the team as a front liner and soak up damage... which a wizard can do with magic. V doesn't have conjuration (part of the plot railroading) so he's limited to transmutations like shapechange or illusions, but either can be used to exceed the value of Roy as a frontliner.

    Hayley, Elan and Belkar have functions that are similarly replaceable by magic. Durkon and Elan can heal, but so can potions. If utilized properly, the wizard should be far and away the most useful character. Roy is no more useless than the rest of the team should be in practice.

    V can replicate the role of any of the rest of the team with magic, but none of them can do what he does with magic. His magic is also just more powerful. I had a thread I started on here where I asked how V could theoretically beat Xykon in 1 round. Numerous plausible suggestions were made.
    Last edited by TooSoon; 2021-09-21 at 03:59 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    At level 8 it is a good debate which of these guys was more useful in which situations.

    At level 17+, which is where V almost certainly is now, there is no debate and the author has to constantly railroad/nerf V with the plot.

    Roy's strength is he can fight for the team as a front liner and soak up damage... which a wizard can do with magic. V doesn't have conjuration (part of the plot railroading) so he's limited to transmutations like shapechange or illusions, but either can be used to exceed the value of Roy as a frontliner.

    Hayley, Elan and Belkar have functions that are similarly replaceable by magic. Durkon and Elan can heal, but so can potions. If utilized properly, the wizard should be far and away the most useful character. Roy is no more useless than the rest of the team should be in practice.

    V can replicate the role of any of the rest of the team with magic, but none of them can do what he does with magic. His magic is also just more powerful. I had a thread I started on here where I asked how V could theoretically beat Xykon in 1 round. Numerous plausible suggestions were made.
    If V wanted to emulate Roy, he could. Not as well as Roy because V will always be a few combat feats behind. And there will be time limits Roy never has to worry about. And there will be buff spells eating up V's spells per day. And V won't be able to use hir best spells in combat because the mooks will be nailing that crappy AC.

    So, no. Outside of scenarios which begin with V at full strength, there's not a snowball's chance that V could be as good as Roy. And the worst part of this oft-disproven theory is, while the wizard is playing at fighter, where's the party wizard?

    Oh, and in one to six hours when the wizard needs to rest, who is going to stand guard?

    Essentially, when you melee-buff a wizard you use up half your arcane spell slots and trade in a great wizard for a mediocre (temporary) fighter. It's an idea that can be made to work in theory or in Neverwinter Nights, (where you can rest and replenish spells as often as you like,) but it always fails in tabletop.
    Last edited by brian 333; 2021-09-21 at 05:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    It's very easy to decimate V.

    https://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0627.html

    If there's one thing Eugene and V have in common, it's thinking that magic is all-powerful.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    If V wanted to emulate Roy, he could. Not as well as Roy because V will always be a few combat feats behind. And there will be time limits Roy never has to worry about. And there will be buff spells eating up V's spells per day. And V won't be able to use hir best spells in combat because the mooks will be nailing that crappy AC.

    So, no. Outside of scenarios which begin with V at full strength, there's not a snowball's chance that V could be as good as Roy. And the worst part of this oft-disproven theory is, while the wizard is playing at fighter, where's the party wizard?

    Oh, and in one to six hours when the wizard needs to rest, who is going to stand guard?

    Essentially, when you melee-buff a wizard you use up half your arcane spell slots and trade in a great wizard for a mediocre (temporary) fighter. It's an idea that can be made to work in theory or in Neverwinter Nights, (where you can rest and replenish spells as often as you like,) but it always fails in tabletop.
    We're talking about a level 17+ wizard being used optimally, not subject to plot railroading. If V had conjuration he just summons something stronger than Roy to be a meatshield, or more likely a whole bunch of somethings. V can also turn into stuff much stronger than Roy with Shapechange, or use illusions to create foes stronger than Roy. Roy being strong outside of battle isn't terrible useful.

    Just have a party of 6 wizards if you want to know where the wizard is while one wizard is doing something else. Magic can be used to replicate all the stuff the others can do and more.
    Last edited by TooSoon; 2021-09-21 at 06:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    We're talking about a level 17+ wizard being used optimally, not subject to plot railroading. If V had conjuration he just summons something stronger than Roy to be a meatshield, or more likely a whole bunch of somethings. V can also turn into stuff much stronger than Roy with Shapechange, or use illusions to create foes stronger than Roy. Roy being strong outside of battle isn't terrible useful.

    Just have a party of 6 wizards if you want to know where the wizard is while one wizard is doing something else. Magic can be used to replicate all the stuff the others can do and more.
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    This isn't a story about optimized... Anyone, really.

    This is a story about characters.
    While true, TooSoon has a point. V, even with conjuration banned wouldn't have to go gish to emulate Roy's frontline fighterness, they could just make a shadow conjuration or dominate something big and nasty.

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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Heck, they know Polymorph and the most they’ve used it for is to turn into a badger to dig under the sand. Even if they don’t turn into something big and strong, they could still turn into something small and hard to hit while retaining their casting abilities.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    It's not quite as simple as that. Let's take a look at fight with the Thieves' Guild again! People argue that the respective efficacies of Haley and Belkar against Bozzok and Crystal are nonindicative because the situation played to Belkar's strengths. Let's not get into the extent to which this is a valid point. If correct, this is a fair argument.
    Also worth noting: Haley was fighting the thieves' guild for some time before Belkar joined the battle... in an enclosed area, which is not ideal for an archer She was still doing well until Crystal (her personal nemesis) gimped her by destroying her bow. Belkar came in late to a fight that Haley had already been fighting on her own for a while. He admittedly embarrassed Crystal and had the upper hand against Bozzok, but I think the circumstances are enough to say it's not a clear-cut indicator of superior combat skills.


    And yet, when he knew he'll be up against a vampire and made arrangements to boost his efficacy against them, Belkar managed to one-shot a vampire cleric with roughly the same number of levels as Malack, while Durkon lost his fight despite being a better tool for the job, mechanically speaking.
    Do you mean HPoH? It's not really fair to count him since he literally exposed his chest for Belkar to stake.
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  28. - Top - End - #148
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    We're talking about a level 17+ wizard being used optimally, not subject to plot railroading. If V had conjuration he just summons something stronger than Roy to be a meatshield, or more likely a whole bunch of somethings. V can also turn into stuff much stronger than Roy with Shapechange, or use illusions to create foes stronger than Roy. Roy being strong outside of battle isn't terrible useful.

    Just have a party of 6 wizards if you want to know where the wizard is while one wizard is doing something else. Magic can be used to replicate all the stuff the others can do and more.
    To summon something that is stronger than Roy requires using a spell slot that could have been used to attack or weaken the enemy. Thus, you have already nerfed your wizard.

    On the other hand, a few really low level spells that buff Roy make him more powerful than anything you could summnn.

    Transforming into something more powerful than Roy similarly nerfs your wizard, and possibly makes spellcasting impossible. There, you have a mediocre fighter now, but who's your wizard?

    And let's say it takes a day to get back to a safe rest area. Who is going to get your tired, out of spells, less than Expert HP character back alive?

    And I'd be willing to bet Level 16 Roy can beat anything a Level 17 wizard could summon anyway.

    The optimal use of a fighter and wizard together by far surpasses anything two fighters or two wizards can do. Feel free to playtest this. I have, in every edition up to 3.5. Multiple times.

    And keep in mind when you playtest that by the time you get to the boss, your melee wizard will have used up a lot of spell slots my escorted wizard never had to use.

  29. - Top - End - #149
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    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    On the other hand, a few really low level spells that buff Roy make him more powerful than anything you could summnn.
    I don't know, a 38 HD Solar not only fights like a high level fighter, but has loads of Angel powers on top of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    And I'd be willing to bet Level 16 Roy can beat anything a Level 17 wizard could summon anyway.
    Oh, well if we're assuming level 17 that gets rid of the bonkers that is Gate, but he only took a hit from one of these. IIRC he didn't kill it.

    I mean that WAS after the team collectively fought a Summon Monster 9 Sand Elemental though...
    "Besides, you know the saying: Kill one, and you are a murderer. Kill millions, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god." -- Fishman

  30. - Top - End - #150
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2020

    Default Re: Roy Greenhilt is useless?

    The argument that Roy is useful because if the wizard in the party turns into a dragon or something, then the party loses their caster, only makes sense if we assume Roy needs to be in the party to begin with. A party of 6 wizards can do everything the current party can do and more is the point.

    Roy is useful because the story demands he is, but in reality he (like most of the party) is functionally useless compared to the casters. Fortunately the story is written in a way that plays that down.

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