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No Balance Point for What?

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Categories Excluded From Balance Tags Edit

We already decided on no balance point for races, I don't think we should have one for weapons and other equipment either. What else should lack one? Surgo 15:54, November 12, 2009 (UTC)

Environments, Deities, Creatures / Templates, Builds, Flaws, and Traits all stick out as things that are already balanced by other factors or wouldn't be helped by this balance tag. It might be interesting to balance the spells / class ability bits along those lines, so I won't suggest them for exclusion. And we probably should not exclude campaign settings or quests, since the level that those are written to should be obvious for people interested in using them. - TarkisFlux 19:59, November 12, 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with the list that Tarman just set up, but would like to add my own two cents/clarifications/ammendments. Right off the bat, classes and feats are obviously things that need balance points, and this is already so. Then creatures, templates, races, deities (lol), etc, can be excluded, as they already are. Now then, on to the things that people are iffy on. Campaign settings shouldn't have a 'balance point' heresay, but instead, should have an 'intended balance point', or where that campaign setting is intended to be played at, and these 'intended balance points' should be more loose than with other things, seeing as a campaign setting can be adjusted to fit any level of balance, making it so that a campaign setting can be intended for monk level play, and then the DM can add a single flying, eye-beam shooting GIANT FROG, and suddenly you are wading deep into wizard territory. Next up though, you faceplant into spells and powers. This is quite obvious that these should be organized according to teirs of balance. For example:
Monk: Erase, Foresight
Fighter: Shocking Grasp, Meteor Swarm
Rogue: True Strike, Shapechange
Wizard: Color Spray, Wish
So yes, spells could very easily be said to have varying degrees of power to them. Though next, we smash into weapons, which are addressed below, and so I will adressed them below. → Rith (talk) 21:21, November 12, 2009 (UTC)
Monk: Erase, Foresight
Fighter: Shocking Grasp, Meteor Swarm
Rogue: True Strike, Color Spray
Wizard: Shapechange, Wish
Fixed. X3 But in a serious light, I've wondered, should we be keeping the Monk-Fighter-Rogue-Wizard standard for everything, or per catagory? For example for spells shouldn't it be things like Erase-Lightning Bolt-True Strike-Time Stop, or something like that? -- Eiji Hyrule 04:29, November 13, 2009 (UTC)
I don't want different names for the same standard in different contexts. If we're unhappy with those names in the broader context that they'll be used in, we should find a new set of balance level names. - TarkisFlux 04:40, November 13, 2009 (UTC)

Weapon Tangent Edit

If we don't want balance points for weapons and such, we need to decide on if we want a standardized format for weapons. For example, should they appear as in the PHB and be of comparable power, allowing a DM to easily say "yes" to whatever a player wanted, or do we want to allow things that deviate from how the core weapon rules work/balance, forcing DMs to not be able to say "yes" automatically, something that can give them the feeling that material on the wiki is unbalanced and doesn't follow the core rules (especially since it doesn't come with a balance tag). In short, if we do have items that deviate from the way that the core weapons are presented and balanced, they should be under a different variant rule page similar to how the armors from Races of War are presented. --Ghostwheel 16:26, November 12, 2009 (UTC)

We don't do that for races, so I don't see why it's necessary for weapons. An individual page can easily, say, give a minimum BAB for a weapon without taking a big penalty and remain balanced -- which is not in the PHB but is certainly doable on an individual weapon page. I don't see any value in sticking to a strict "PHB style ONLY" policy for equipment. The point is really to remain balanced with weapons as a whole (as in "is this individual page balanced"); there really is no levels of balance like there are with classes -- the only question is "is this level appropriate or not". Surgo 17:51, November 12, 2009 (UTC)
I get the feeling I'm communicating poorly right now, if this doesn't make any sense tell me and I'll come back later and try to re-explain. Surgo 17:57, November 12, 2009 (UTC)
While I agree with you in principle Surgo, the game doesn't really do level appropriate equipment in that way. Mundane stuff stops being level appropriate around level 2, and there isn't a method to boost that except through magicing it up. A level appropriate item at level 8, in the system as defined, is a +2/3 base item, not a +2/3 improved item that you couldn't learn to use until level 8. And while I don't give a shit about mundane equipment that is stronger than the rest of the stuff that you couldn't get until level 8, there are retraining issues for games that run at a lower balance point and wouldn't appreciate the base equipment power boost. I guess you could build the magic plusses into the base item and sorta make it all work (in fact, I'm going to go suggest that for the item we're probably all thinking about, which is not the Shamshir in case anyone thought it was), but just having better base equipment laying around doesn't work well at all. - TarkisFlux 19:59, November 12, 2009 (UTC)
That's my point too--having weapons that scale up (or one that are stronger than base weapons) is a very viable idea, but doesn't fit with the current paradigm for how base weapons work in D&D 3.x, and like variant armors from Races of War don't fit in with the "regular" armors found in the PHB and thus need their own page as well since so different from how armor normally works in D&D. --Ghostwheel 20:54, November 12, 2009 (UTC)
Well, I disagree that weapons should be stronger than base ones really, unless they are very much staggered in some strange way. I've always felt this way, and probably always will. Though, the statment that things should not be allowed because they deviate from the normal, is, word for word, saying that something is bad because it's different...
Are we being serious? I honestly think I've seen everything now. Are we really going to be pioneers into the world of 'racism for weapons'? This is ludicrous. If a weapon is on par with another weapon then it doesn't fucking matter how it works, cause it's on par with the preset markers. A weapon should never be thrown into doubt simply because it's different. It should only be doubted if it is inordinately powerful. Past this, I have little interest in the balance of weapons, and will always balance ones I create against PHB ones. Though, I will always try to make weapons interesting in their own ways. → Rith (talk) 21:21, November 12, 2009 (UTC)
With you mostly Rith, which is why I'm suggesting things to make more interesting weapons fit better into the general structure of the game on their relevant pages. The only issue I have is with 'better later' and totally dependent on retraining. If a weapon is better later, and I get to retrain all of my previous feat / class feature / whatever choices such that they support that new weapon as soon as or shortly after I acquire it then it is better than any comparable option at the point because 1) it's a better base that I can put the same magic stuff on top of, and 2) I haven't sacrificed or delayed any progression to get to it. If you can ignore it while it's not a better option and then take it when it is a better option without penalty, then the fact that it's better later doesn't mean anything. The only relevant bit is that it's better then your other options at some point, and that will be when you take it. If you assume that default items + standard magical advancement is rogue level (which I do, because that keeps up with challenges for the most part), 'better later' weapons exceed that as they level and push into wizard balance (and we're not doing balance tags on weapons). That's totally cool in my games (most of the time, there are limits I'm sure), but there are plenty of games where it's not cool because they don't play at a balance level that appreciates, or would benefit from item power scaling more than it does already. It would also be cool in games that don't allow retraining because then you have to make a sacrifice that balances it against other weapons (potentially anyway). - TarkisFlux 21:50, November 12, 2009 (UTC)
What I'm trying to say is there's no reason we can't have scaling weapons, with the weapon's scaling properties listed on the same page as the weapon itself. And then have a variant rule page that goes through all the exotic weapons and makes them scaling too. The initial weapon page should probably link to that variant rule page and say "this is meant to be used with this", but that's easy. Surgo 23:41, November 12, 2009 (UTC)
Just an add on, there's an easy way to handle "stronger than normal weapons" already built in the system with expected wealth. There's nothing actually special about magic per se that makes it cost 2000g for a +1, that's just the cost for something of that level of power. Ergo, were I to make the Mundane Sword of Awesome Reach and Tarrasque Juggling, and it was a level 8 item, well then I'd price it as something affordable for a level 8 person (maybe a little more actually, for the benefit of being mundane, my recommendation is 150% price and adjust from there from usefulness to comparable magical alternatives). This goes for scaling weapons, or weapons which just give you all the bonuses right there. If you need a reason for the large price, "it's extreme masterwork and requires the finest of adamantium and mithril blends from the mountains of Dwarvania". And that's why it costs 18,000g, so suck it up and buy it cause it's awesome.
Incidentally if the weapon has any similarities to others (say, my Sword of ARaTJ is rather longsword-ish) I suggest it shares similarities with that weapon as far as feats go, like how you can use Weapon Focus Longbow on a Greatbow (exotic). It will help you have a weapon and focus on it until the higher levels when you can buy the real deal. -- Eiji Hyrule 04:40, November 13, 2009 (UTC)
Of course, and I agree with you guys on the most part. I guess the only thing I have left to add to this discussion is the fact that a weapon shouldn't be forced into a variant rule just cause it uses a new mechanic. As such, my weapon article will likely point to, and recommend the variant rule of normally scaling exotic weapons, but will not explicitly state that it is intended to be used only with it, since that's not sensical, and wouldn't be true. Also, weapons should all generally be useful on about the same level, yadda yadda yadda, Eiji has a valid arguement. I'm glad we've gotten this settled, guys. → Rith (talk) 05:21, November 13, 2009 (UTC)

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