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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Tome of Battle at low levels

    Just want to get people's opinions on something. I'm starting a new campaign, and my DM has banned the Tome of Battle from use. One of his reasons for this is that we will be using pre-published modules and sticking to pretty low levels (not higher than 4-5), and he feels that, in this range, the ToB classes will be too powerful for the module and will make things too easy. What are people's thoughts on this?
    As a note, I'm not looking for ways to convince my DM otherwise - he's got other reasons not to want the Tome of Battle, and I've decided just to play something else. I'm just curious for future reference whether people have found this to be a problem.
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Well, to be fair, yes. It is strong at low levels.

    But then so are fighters, barbarians and paladins. Melee rocks at low levels, but is swiftly outclassed.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    I think someone over at the WotC boards did the math - at low levels, fighters and barbarians out-damage ToB classes most of the time. So I don't think there would be a problem using them in pre-published modules - and if it turns out he still thinks they ARE too powerful, what's wrong with simply adding a monster or two to the fights?
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Human Barbarian 1/Fighter 2

    Feats: Combat Expertise, Imp. Trip, Combat Reflexes, Power Attack.

    Equipment: Bunch of potions of Enlarge Person, guisarme.

    This guy is going to be as effective as any ToB character. He will enlarge himself, trip everything in range, Power Attack for 4 while doing it, and do a bunch of damage while keeping opponents down.

    Straight-up Barbarian outdamages Warblade, for the most part, except possibly at level 3.

    Monks suck, but monks suck anyway.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Of course, crusaders are the ownage at level 1. Crusader's strike and Martial Spirit, as well as 10+CON hp and steely resolve, make Crusader 1 among the strongest of first level characters, who can also heal their party.

    (Seriously, I think they can take down CR1 encounters on their own, with next to no difficulty)

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Cruasders are great at level 1. Beguilers and Druids (2-HD war-trained riding dog! Sunstroke spell!) are too. So are Barbarians (18 STR, rage, smaaaaaash).

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Who sucks at level 1 anyways? Even Truenamers don't suck at level 1.

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    RedSorcererGirl

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    Who sucks at level 1 anyways?
    Wizards and sorcerers, ironically. Even if they have something useful to do at first, they're out of useful spells after 1 encounter.

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    ToB at low levels is fine. Most of the maneuvers that are truly decisive at low levels, like Steely Strike, have counterbalances - in Steely Strike's case, it's what amounts to -4 AC. The others that provide bonuses are either situation-specific boosts or require a hit in the first place, which makes them neither worse or better than normal fighting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talya View Post
    Wizards and sorcerers, ironically. Even if they have something useful to do at first, they're out of useful spells after 1 encounter.
    Not really, especially with Sorcerors. Often, only one 1st level spell is enough to turn the tide of a battle, and only the Wizard is truly behind if a single spell doesn't do it. The Sorceror has enough to throw at least one spell per battle if he's focused on being a Sorceror, and the Wizard is still contributing if he's slinging rocks at the enemies instead. This is completely ignoring Daze, which can win an early-game battle if applied judiciously.
    HOW IS BABBY FORMED

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    Imp

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    I am presently playing a level 1 warblade.

    FEATS: Ex Weap: BS, WF: BS

    MANS: Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Steel Wind, Moment of Perfect Mind
    STANCE: Punishing Stance

    FIRST BATTLE: Only hit once (Only attacked Once) rolled SNB conc check, and made it, Damage = 1d10 + 1d6 (STANCE) + 1d6 (SNB) + 3 (STR) = 16 Damage

    That seems like a lot for a first level character, and I can do it every other round.


    SO how are warblades out done by Barbs?
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    (post #71 here: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...=139886&page=3)

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    RedSorcererGirl

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Cainen View Post
    Not really, especially with Sorcerors. Often, only one 1st level spell is enough to turn the tide of a battle, and only the Wizard is truly behind if a single spell doesn't do it. The Sorceror has enough to throw at least one spell per battle if he's focused on being a Sorceror, and the Wizard is still contributing if he's slinging rocks at the enemies instead. This is completely ignoring Daze, which can win an early-game battle if applied judiciously.

    Meh. I find that for the most part, level 1 spells are less than optimal, for sorcerers especially, because while Sleep and Daze can be great, no sorcerer wants to be stuck planning to have to trade them out later when the HD limit takes effect (HD limits on spells are stupid, btw.) A wizard can at least take those and not worry about it.

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    A Barbarian with 18 strength and a greatsword, when raging, does 2d6 + 9 = 16 average damage per hit, exactly equal to your warblade, with a higher attack bonus and he can do it every round instead of every other round. Granted, rage is only 1/day, but 13 damage per hit without it still isn't bad and he won't have the AC penalty. If you make him a half-orc or (especially) a full orc, his damage goes even higher.
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Quote Originally Posted by McClintock View Post
    I am presently playing a level 1 warblade.

    FEATS: Ex Weap: BS, WF: BS

    MANS: Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Steel Wind, Moment of Perfect Mind
    STANCE: Punishing Stance

    FIRST BATTLE: Only hit once (Only attacked Once) rolled SNB conc check, and made it, Damage = 1d10 + 1d6 (STANCE) + 1d6 (SNB) + 3 (STR) = 16 Damage

    That seems like a lot for a first level character, and I can do it every other round.
    You have to make a concentration check and an attack roll, and you still aren't at the top of your class there.

    SO how are warblades out done by Barbs?
    Easily. 18 STR + Rage = 22 STR, more if you go with Half-Orc. A +2 bonus to hit, and a +3 bonus to damage, assuming you're two-handing. With Power Attack, that's quite a bit of damage, and you're not really losing anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talya View Post
    Meh. I find that for the most part, level 1 spells are less than optimal, for sorcerers especially, because while Sleep and Daze can be great
    Daze is a cantrip, and cantrips are rarely powerful enough to trade out instead of a better spell. Sleep is pretty much -the- spell until you hit your HD cap, so it's one of the spells that fit perfectly with a tradeout.

    A wizard can at least take those and not worry about it.
    So can a Sorceror.
    Last edited by Cainen; 2008-05-16 at 09:58 AM.
    HOW IS BABBY FORMED

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Quote Originally Posted by douglas View Post
    A Barbarian with 18 strength and a greatsword, when raging, does 2d6 + 9 = 16 average damage per hit, exactly equal to your warblade, with a higher attack bonus and he can do it every round instead of every other round. Granted, rage is only 1/day, but 13 damage per hit without it still isn't bad and he won't have the AC penalty. If you make him a half-orc or (especially) a full orc, his damage goes even higher.
    Did either of you notice he was assuming 16 Str, a 1d10 weapon, and Rage is only once per day? Everything you did to boost your damage, he can do too.
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    Did either of you notice he was assuming 16 Str, a 1d10 weapon, and Rage is only once per day? Everything you did to boost your damage, he can do too.
    Again, he's making concentration checks against their AC, too. He has to hit them twice to do another bit of damage, and he can't rage, either - he's hitting fewer times, and as a result, he's not going to be the most powerful thing in existence. He has an upper limit of +8 to his Concentration checks, and I estimate +5-+6 instead - which is roughly where he is with attacking in the first place. It's not a matter of damage. It's a matter of hitting consistently, and he's not really going to be doing that with SNB. With Steely Strike, yes, but his average damage is also lower there.
    HOW IS BABBY FORMED

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    I'll throw in Warlock for one of the stronger level one classes, if you take the Summon Swarm Invocation. A 10' by 10' shapeable area that autohits and forces two save or sucks? AND you still have your move action free? Nice.

    Bonus points if your take the Dark Speech Feat and use your invocation to create a hivemind that will cast as a 6th level sorcerer. You only get to do that once, though, then your DM will ban the Dark Speech feat forever.
    Last edited by Tokiko Mima; 2008-05-16 at 10:35 AM.

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Ok, I'm a GM.
    I've also had players that wanted to use TOB.

    So, stepping outside of the whole mechanics aspect for a moment, I can understand where your GM is coming from.

    It might not occur to every player, but most GM's like to know what's going on at their table so that they can actually arbitrate with authority.

    Nothing is more annoying to me than when, after I make a ruling, or explain a mechanic, a player pipes up "hey, uh, it actually works like this, see?"...and they end up being right.

    TOB is an entirely different rules set, which means more reading, which means more work. GM's have a lot on their shoulders as it is.

    Give him one good reason why he'd want to actually familiarize himself with a bunch of new classes and new rules...then talk about introducing your pimped out Warblade.

    Also, IMHO, by it's very nature (Tomb of Battle) deemphasise all other aspects of the D&D experience, in favor of a strongly, if not purely combat and mechanics game focus.
    I know there's no right or wrong way to play D&D, and if that's what you want to do, go right ahead. I just think that doing so means that you're missing out on the full richness of the D&D experience that made the game great in the first place.

    >>>Ok, I admit, after this point, I got a little carried away, this has been building up for a long time. My answer to the original question is basically, no, I think TOB is fairly well balanced, hence that not being the reason most GM's disallow it.
    If you care to hear it all, then it's below.<<<
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    Point two, even less related to mechanics is flavor.

    I'm sorry, but the way I look at TOB is a way to get your Exhalted "epic" combat "kicks" while your still playing D&D.

    Don't get me wrong, I've played Exhalted. It's a great game for what it is.

    But, when I play D&D, I want to play D&D (whether as DM or player). Maybe it's just me, but I have a hard time suspending my disbelief when the dwarf in my party is running around killing things with "Saphire Nightmare Blade" technique!

    If you want to play Exhalted, and be short with a beard, YOU CAN DO IT!

    If you want to play D&D and kick gnoll tail, then play the dwarven barbarian going for that sick PRC!

    Or, if you must play using TOB, cause mixing your genre's is what you do regularly for a good time, then get a GM (or somehow convince yours) to run a completely TOB Campaign. I even think there's a whole chapter in that book that explores this very idea.

    NOW, bringing it back to your question: Are TOB classes too powerful at low level? What little I know of them is, per the consensus so far, stricktly speaking, no.

    But, I do think that TOB PC's, if min-maxed "properly", can become slightly more effective than standard PC's for short spurts.

    Which brings me to my final point: There's basically 3 types of players that want to play using TOB.

    1. Anime Fan's who can't find a GM (or "Storyteller" if you're a WW hardliner) to run Exhalted at the moment, as I mentioned above.

    2. Combat monkey's that ONLY want to smash things when they play D&D.

    3. Min-Maxer or Munchkin who want's to squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of every suplement to make the most uber-powerful PC who's always capable of wiping out at least half the party if they ever turned on him/her.

    To the people in category number 2 who are experienced D&D players, you've either never been exposed to everything the game has to offer, or you're playing the wrong game.

    To the people in category 3, not every problem can or even should be solved with your "Warpike". Try to rekindle your enjoyment of char. gen. by playing something that you've never played before from the PHB, or even the Complete series, maybe with a twist that you've never seen done before.
    You might suprise yourself with how powerful a PC you can actually come up with (I know I have)!


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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Quote Originally Posted by douglas View Post
    A Barbarian with 18 strength and a greatsword, when raging, does 2d6 + 9 = 16 average damage per hit, exactly equal to your warblade, with a higher attack bonus and he can do it every round instead of every other round. Granted, rage is only 1/day, but 13 damage per hit without it still isn't bad and he won't have the AC penalty. If you make him a half-orc or (especially) a full orc, his damage goes even higher.

    How, when you rage, do you not take a minus to AC?

    Let's assume fair information

    STR 18
    FEATS: WF: GS & Power Attack
    same maneouvers & feats

    +6 to hit, +6 on concentration check (which is the AC you have to hit anyway), 2d6 + 1d6 + 1d6 + 6 = 10-30 = Avg 20 every other round avg 17 every round, and no fatigue at the end of encounter, no minuses to will save, and no stinky orc smell from not being human.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrall_Of_Ao View Post
    It might not occur to every player, but most GM's like to know what's going on at their table so that they can actually arbitrate with authority.

    Nothing is more annoying to me than when, after I make a ruling, or explain a mechanic, a player pipes up "hey, uh, it actually works like this, see?"...and they end up being right.

    TOB is an entirely different rules set, which means more reading, which means more work. GM's have a lot on their shoulders as it is.
    The OP specifically states that his DM thinks the book is overpowered for low levels, and says nothing about the DM lacking familiarity with the material. Obviously he's familiar enough that he feels he can declare it overpowered.

    That a DM should only allow game elements he feels he knows well enough to handle is obvious, eminently reasonable, and just about universally agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrall_Of_Ao View Post
    Also, IMHO, by it's very nature (Tomb of Battle) deemphasise all other aspects of the D&D experience, in favor of a strongly, if not purely combat and mechanics game focus.
    This sounds simply bizarre to me. Would you similarly object that Tome of Magic focuses on magic, and is therefore too narrow and deemphasizes melee, skill use, and social dealings? It's called Tome of Battle because it presents options for characters whose nice is battling, like, with weapons 'n' stuff. Singling it out for this objection, when every other splatbook has the purpose of exploring some one theme or aspect of the game more than others, seems perverse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrall_Of_Ao View Post
    Which brings me to my final point: There's basically 3 types of players that want to play using TOB.
    I have had two ToB characters on these boards. I do enjoy anime, but am guessing this is that special coded meaning of the word that is an expletive rather than a meaningful noun, so I'm going to say your point 1 doesn't cover me. Neither were played for over-the-top displays, to beat on things to the exclusion of all else, or to min-max the character to death and solo CR+4 enemies in one swift action. They were played because I had an idea and the classes let me represent those ideas through cool and tactically interesting abilities.

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Really, most classes suck at first level. Even a barbarian (or warblade, or whatever) with a decent Con will still go down to a single good axe crit, which will happen about once per 40 times an enemy swings at you. Or, of course, two or three regular hits from many things. Almost anything any of the party members can do has only a little better than even odds of working (the warriors can miss, and the casters' spells can be saved against). Druids are still powerful even at first level, due to having an expendable fighter as a class feature, and warlocks are powerful, thanks to the area-effect guaranteed hit of a swarm. I don't know crusaders well enough, but they might be OK, too. Everyone else, though? Glass cannons, except without the cannon part.
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrall_Of_Ao View Post
    1. Anime Fan's who can't find a GM (or "Storyteller" if you're a WW hardliner) to run Exhalted at the moment, as I mentioned above.

    2. Combat monkey's that ONLY want to smash things when they play D&D.

    3. Min-Maxer or Munchkin who want's to squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of every suplement to make the most uber-powerful PC who's always capable of wiping out at least half the party if they ever turned on him/her.
    I first want to preface my rebuttal to this by saying I like how you think, and would probably thoroughly enjoy playing in your games based on your post. I like D&D when combat is a last resort, when there are other solutions, when roleplaying and what is traditionally "Downtime" in a city becomes more important than what happens in the adventure (and subsequently ceases to be downtime and ends up getting played out). I prefer a more traditional fantasy world; if I want to play exalted I'll play exalted (which I am doing, btw. There's room for both types of settings!) I put roleplaying, stylistic, and thematic concerns far above optimization.

    And I love Tome of Battle.

    See, I find single-class characters clicheed, cookie-cutter, carbon-copy concepts. (Woah, alliteration.) I don't want to play a ranger. Or a sorcerer. Or a wizard. Or any other single idea. I want to play something unique. That uniqueness is partially done in the character background and concept, but I take a holistic approach to gaming -- the stat block IS the skeleton of the character and must support every bit of fluff you build into the character background. And even though optimization takes a backseat to every other consideration, I still want to be just as effective as possible. For casters this can be difficult. You can't multiclass much without choosing a PrC that continues spellcasting progression. For melee characters, your choices are greater, but your range of effectiveness is lower. I find TOB enables all sorts of character concepts that would otherwise be nearly impossible to build effectively. The more choices you have, the more variety in classes and PrCs and abilities, the easier you can make the character you want to make, rather than making a_Ranger_23.

    My idea of a ranger.

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Thrall, I respected your opinion up until:
    [quote=Thrall_of_A1. Anime Fan's who can't find a GM (or "Storyteller" if you're a WW hardliner) to run Exhalted at the moment, as I mentioned above.[/quote]
    Well, no, I don't like Exalted or anime that much, so I'm not in number 1...

    2. Combat monkey's that ONLY want to smash things when they play D&D.
    Smashing stuff? Like a barbarian? I'm just going to assume you're implying you believe magic should rock high-level play.

    3. Min-Maxer or Munchkin who want's to squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of every suplement to make the most uber-powerful PC who's always capable of wiping out at least half the party if they ever turned on him/her.
    No, they'd play a DMM cleric, a Druid with natural spell or a wizard.

    So, liking Tome of Battle (because it's damn well more fun than etiher tripping or rolling d20s and saying "I attack"), and not fitting into those three categories, where do I fit in?

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Thrall, I respected your opinion up until:
    [quote=Thrall_of_A1. Anime Fan's who can't find a GM (or "Storyteller" if you're a WW hardliner) to run Exhalted at the moment, as I mentioned above.[/quote]
    Well, no, I don't like Exalted or anime that much, so I'm not in number 1...

    2. Combat monkey's that ONLY want to smash things when they play D&D.
    Smashing stuff? Like a barbarian? I'm just going to assume you're implying you believe magic should rock high-level play.

    3. Min-Maxer or Munchkin who want's to squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of every suplement to make the most uber-powerful PC who's always capable of wiping out at least half the party if they ever turned on him/her.
    No, they'd play a DMM cleric, a Druid with natural spell or a wizard.

    So, liking Tome of Battle (because it's damn well more fun than etiher tripping or rolling d20s and saying "I attack"), and not fitting into those three categories, where do I fit in?

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Just a few hours ago, me and my friends played an arena type of game. Free for all, 1v1v1v1. We did it twice. One player won both. See if you can guess which?

    These were the characters, all ECL 5:
    Level 5 Air Goblin Swordsage, focusing on Shadow Hand and Desert Wind, dual-wielding shortswords, with Shadow Blade and Weapon Finesse feats, me.
    Level 4 Catfolk Ranger, a typical archer.
    Level 5 Half-orc Ranger, with a giant wasp mount (Arms and Equipment), dual-wielding lances.
    Level 3 Feral Half-Ogre Barbarian using claw attacks.

    Now, go ahead and guess. The answer and how it went down is in spoilers.

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    As some of you may guess, the feral half-ogre barbarian won both. On the first round, it ended with a duel between me and him, which he won at 0 hitpoints after I did the Burning Blade, Flashing Sun, Assassin's Stance + invisibility (potion) combo on him. I rolled like hell and missed on two of the hits. He got one attack on me, and I died. I would also like to point out that I had spent the whole match invisible, while the others pounded each other to dust. This was mostly becouse the flying ranger was constantly out of range, and the others kept on running. Damn you, landspeed 20 feet.

    Second round, I manage to down the giant wasp-riding ranger by teleporting on his mount while invisible, and Death Marking his mount and Flashing Sun him. That's when the half-ogre got me. Then the other ranger decides to run, provokes an AoO, and promptly dies.

    How I wish I had taken Shadow Garrote instead of Death Mark.

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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    Who sucks at level 1 anyways? Even Truenamers don't suck at level 1.
    Everyone.

    Oh, you meant on a relative scale?

    Psychic Warriors, actually. One Power, only Bonus PP, BAB +0. Lots of 1 round/level durations.

    Rogues? BAB +0, no Weapon Finesse yet. But ... +1d6 Sneak Attack and their skill array are pretty impressive at this point.

    Truenamers ... I dunno. They can hit their Truenaming DCs pretty consistently, but they have only one Utterance. Yeah, they suck at level 1.

    Bards. One bard song per day, lame spellcasting.
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  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Thrall, I have to say--I am very disappointed in you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrall_Of_Ao View Post
    Ok, I'm a GM.
    I've also had players that wanted to use TOB.
    So, stepping outside of the whole mechanics aspect for a moment, I can understand where your GM is coming from.
    It might not occur to every player, but most GM's like to know what's going on at their table so that they can actually arbitrate with authority.
    Nothing is more annoying to me than when, after I make a ruling, or explain a mechanic, a player pipes up "hey, uh, it actually works like this, see?"...and they end up being right.
    TOB is an entirely different rules set, which means more reading, which means more work. GM's have a lot on their shoulders as it is.
    If I have the time to run a game, I have the time to flip through a few books. Tome of Battle isn't complicated.
    I also don't mind when my players turn out to be right.

    Give him one good reason why he'd want to actually familiarize himself with a bunch of new classes and new rules...then talk about introducing your pimped out Warblade.
    That reason is that playing a melee character is boring. If I want the fighter to be remotely effective, he will trip, trip, trip, attack, attack, attack, take an AoO, trip, attack, take an AoO, trip attack.
    If I'm playing a barbarian, then I just full attack and charge. Over and over.
    Tome of Battle lets me play a melee character that's actually fun to play.

    Also, IMHO, by it's very nature (Tomb of Battle) deemphasise all other aspects of the D&D experience, in favor of a strongly, if not purely combat and mechanics game focus.
    I know there's no right or wrong way to play D&D, and if that's what you want to do, go right ahead. I just think that doing so means that you're missing out on the full richness of the D&D experience that made the game great in the first place.
    Thrall, this is patently ridiculous considering that there's a character class called the Fighter, which has no abilities other than fighting. It is ridiculous to suggest that Tome of Battle is somehow all about combat, while the PHB martial classes aren't.

    Tome of Battle doesn't deemphasize roleplaying any more than the Complete Warrior does.
    In fact, the classes in ToB are all more fun for roleplayers than the standard melee classes, because they can do more outside of combat and they can represent more character concepts.


    Point two, even less related to mechanics is flavor.
    I'm sorry, but the way I look at TOB is a way to get your Exhalted "epic" combat "kicks" while your still playing D&D.
    Don't get me wrong, I've played Exhalted. It's a great game for what it is.
    But, when I play D&D, I want to play D&D (whether as DM or player). Maybe it's just me, but I have a hard time suspending my disbelief when the dwarf in my party is running around killing things with "Saphire Nightmare Blade" technique!
    If you want to play Exhalted, and be short with a beard, YOU CAN DO IT!
    If you want to play D&D and kick gnoll tail, then play the dwarven barbarian going for that sick PRC!
    Or, if you must play using TOB, cause mixing your genre's is what you do regularly for a good time, then get a GM (or somehow convince yours) to run a completely TOB Campaign. I even think there's a whole chapter in that book that explores this very idea.
    This is also completely wrong, Thrall. Have you actually read the book? Or just flipped through it, seen "Sapphire Nightmare Blade", and put it down?

    You don't have to shout out your maneuver names. Using SNB involves examining your opponent, focusing, and striking at a precise time.

    Iron Heart, Stone Dragon, White Raven, Tiger Claw, Diamond Mind... the basic gist of these disciplines is hitting stuff. White Raven hits it and does tactics, Diamond Mind does so with precision and focus, Tiger Claw does so in a savage manner, and so on.
    But they're just hitting things. Just in a more fun way than "I full attack".

    Tome of Battle is just as based on Western myths and ideas as it is on Eastern--if not more. The Swordsage is the Eastern class; the Warblade is all THIS IS SPARTA, and the Crusader was meant to be a knight templar.

    NOW, bringing it back to your question: Are TOB classes too powerful at low level? What little I know of them is, per the consensus so far, stricktly speaking, no.

    But, I do think that TOB PC's, if min-maxed "properly", can become slightly more effective than standard PC's for short spurts.
    At low levels, no, not any more than normal characters.

    Which brings me to my final point: There's basically 3 types of players that want to play using TOB.

    1. Anime Fan's who can't find a GM (or "Storyteller" if you're a WW hardliner) to run Exhalted at the moment, as I mentioned above.
    I'm not an anime fan. The reasons I like Tome of Battle have nothing to do with anime or Exalted. Why are you assuming that Tome of Battle characters have glowing battle auras and shout out their attack names? The last Tome of Battle-using character I made was a gritty streetfighter.

    Tome of Battle can represent the fencing master, the samurai, the marshal with a cause, the charismatic, tactical combat leader, the gritty mundane mercenary, the warrior-assassin, the mystical warrior-sage, and more. It does this better than other books do.

    2. Combat monkey's that ONLY want to smash things when they play D&D.
    I'm not one of these either. The reason I, and a lot of other people, like Tome of Battle, is that they let us make martial characters who are actually competent at something outside of combat (and aren't Druids or Clerics). Combat-monkeys that only want to smash things would choose Fighters or Barbarians.

    3. Min-Maxer or Munchkin who want's to squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of every suplement to make the most uber-powerful PC who's always capable of wiping out at least half the party if they ever turned on him/her.
    That's just insulting, and the people like that wouldn't bother with Tome of Battle classes, they'd make a Druid or another spellcaster.

    I like Tome of Battle because it is a good, well-balanced supplement that makes melee characters fun, versatile, and interesting (mechanically) to play.


    To the people in category 3, not every problem can or even should be solved with your "Warpike". Try to rekindle your enjoyment of char. gen. by playing something that you've never played before from the PHB, or even the Complete series, maybe with a twist that you've never seen done before.
    You might suprise yourself with how powerful a PC you can actually come up with (I know I have)![/SPOILER]

    -TOA
    The PHB has wizards and druids. Anyone looking for Real Ultimate Power is already there.

    We're in a game. I think you already know that I'm not a twisted munchkin out to get every ounce of power, I'm not an anime fan, and I'm not all about smashing things.

    And I like ToB. What now?
    Last edited by Rachel Lorelei; 2008-05-16 at 03:06 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrall_Of_Ao View Post
    1. Anime Fan's who can't find a GM (or "Storyteller" if you're a WW hardliner) to run Exhalted at the moment, as I mentioned above.

    2. Combat monkey's that ONLY want to smash things when they play D&D.

    3. Min-Maxer or Munchkin who want's to squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of every suplement to make the most uber-powerful PC who's always capable of wiping out at least half the party if they ever turned on him/her.

    To the people in category number 2 who are experienced D&D players, you've either never been exposed to everything the game has to offer, or you're playing the wrong game.

    To the people in category 3, not every problem can or even should be solved with your "Warpike". Try to rekindle your enjoyment of char. gen. by playing something that you've never played before from the PHB, or even the Complete series, maybe with a twist that you've never seen done before.
    You might suprise yourself with how powerful a PC you can actually come up with (I know I have)![/SPOILER]
    I am neither of these three, but I love Tome of Battle. How many meleers have you played? After a while, they get boring. "I move and hit it/I full attack/I charge/I trip." That's all they do. I like to play tactically, and Tome of Battle means I don't have to be a caster to be able to.

    I agree with your point that people in category 2 are missing out.

    But your final "advice" is dubious at best. Why should people restrict themselves to trying something new from the PHB or the Completes? Why not try something new from, say, Tome of Battle?

    To the OP: No, it's not overpowered at low levels. ToB characters will deal less damage than PHB meleers, but make up for it with better survivability plus more in-combat and out-of-combat options. They're also better at helping a party; a Crusader gives healing, White Raven users give huge boosts to the party, and other schools can debuff enemies for the rest of the party.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: Tome of Battle at low levels

    I'd have to agree with others on this thread that there are more than simply three different kinds of ToB players. Some players want to try the system out of curiosity, others enjoy the mechanics and consider them more fun than core combat options. Sure, I enjoy some anime now and then, but I don't picture my swordsage shouting his maneuvers' names out loud when he attacks, nor do I picture over-the-top Soul Caliber style particle effects every time I swing a sword.
    Tome of Battle is simply fun stuff. It unfortunately suffers from what psionics suffered a few years ago: it's new. New mechanics and new flavor has a tendency to evoke pretty powerful emotions from people, especially if these rules threaten to disrupt a GM's perfect little campaign world dynamic. It took me a long time to talk one of my DM friends to let me play a psionic class, but these days most DMs I know wouldn't think twice about letting me play a psion. Tome of Battle and Tome of Magic are the new 'bad boys' on the block, immediately creating suspicions of cheese or clashing flavor.
    Hopefully when 4E comes out everyone will be all up in arms, and perhaps dilute some of the negative stigma attached to these great supplements. Maybe then I can play a shadowcaster or crusader without having to construct a thirty page thesis on how my character will not ruin the game...
    Last edited by CockroachTeaParty; 2008-05-16 at 02:38 PM.

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