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It's about time!Edit

Glad to see you finally came over to the dark side. I was watching your contribs on D&D Wiki since they are often a good read (besides the bickering with Hooper). I'll probably be bothering you again about that "Force Master" base class I'm working on :-). --208.90.100.111 21:26, September 5, 2009 (UTC) (Aarnott -- having technical difficulties logging in. Opened a ticket with the wikia staff).

Be happy to help :-) And would be glad if you'd give your thoughts as well on my firest "real" homebrew class :-D --Ghostwheel 21:32, September 5, 2009 (UTC)

Yay!Edit

Now I don't have to ask you to move your guide to roles in the party over here (since I plan on referencing it with some regularity). -- Jota 21:29, September 5, 2009 (UTC)

Yeah... people on there are... >_> Yeah... >_> I mean, saving the Reflexman build? Really?? --Ghostwheel 21:32, September 5, 2009 (UTC)

SorryEdit

Heard ya got banned for 2 days by Mr. Meany for trying to help me out. Sorry bro. That guy is really starting to piss me off. Anyway, thanks for trying to help me out. You do good work on this site. --Jay Freedman 05:48, September 7, 2009 (UTC)

You know, there's a better wiki right here ;-) --Ghostwheel 05:53, September 7, 2009 (UTC)
Haha. Yeah but, you have to play with the big boys here. And they got standards. Of course, I might be up to the challenge. But don't expect anything as good as your Marshal class out of ol' Jay. Peace! --Jay Freedman 05:58, September 7, 2009 (UTC)
Never know until you try, and won't get better without practice *shrug* --Ghostwheel 06:00, September 7, 2009 (UTC)
Also, we may have standards, but that doesn't mean we won't help bring articles up to those standards. --Andrew Arnott (talk, email) 13:50, September 7, 2009 (UTC)

My Dislike of Crafting Edit

Why? Because it can easily break experience, and takes CWBL (page 135 of the DMG) out of the DM's hands. --Ghostwheel 05:12, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

Thanks! Edit

Hey, thanks again for helping me out with the character I will be playing soon. The info you gave was a HUGE help!--Zeshion 01:33, September 23, 2009 (UTC)

You're welcome :-) Always glad to help --Ghostwheel 01:37, September 23, 2009 (UTC)

My class Edit

Why did you propose it for deletion? It was created 15 minutes ago.

Because the wiki policy is to keep incomplete things in sandboxes, or to delete them within 7 days. I believe the template says that. If you complete the class within 7 days, or move it to a sandbox, you'll have nothing to worry about--you still have a whole week before anything happens. --Ghostwheel 00:51, October 19, 2009 (UTC)
Mind telling me how I move it? I only been on the dark side for a few days now. Still need to learn the ropes.

Disable the Category View extension Edit

Under More->Preferences. Please. Right now. Every time you edit a page that <noinclude>s its categories, that page gets screwed up. Surgo 21:04, November 1, 2009 (UTC)

Special:Ask page Edit

How to use: http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Special:Ask?title=Special:Ask&q=[[Category:User]]+[[Category:3.5e]]+[[Category:Prestige+Class]]+[[Balance+Point::Rogue]]&po=%3FLength%0D%0A%3FBalance+Point%0D%0A&sc=0&eq=yes (thanks Tarkis!)

Another example: http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Special:Ask?title=Special:Ask&q=[[Category:User]]+[[Category:3.5e]]+[[Category:Prestige+Class]]+[[Balance+Point::!Fighter]]+[[Balance+Point::!Monk]]+[[Balance+Point::!Wizard]]+&po=%3FLength%0D%0A%3FBalance+Point%0D%0A&sc=0&eq=yes
And another: http://dungeons.wikia.com/index.php?title=Special:Ask&offset=0&limit=500&q=[[Category:User]]+[[Category:3.5e]]+[[Category:Base+Class]]&p=format%3Dbroadtable&po=%3FBalance+Point%0A
And in a page: {{#ask: Author::Ghostwheel Balance Point::Rogue }}

Question Edit

Why is the domain wizard varient on the Wall of Cheese ? It doesn't seem to have any problems to me.

The standard wizard is pretty damn strong; the domain wizard is cheesy because it takes no penalties while not only having extra bonus slots per day, but also gains access to non-wizard spells that can come from any class list as long as you rationalize it into the specific domain, and getting access to those spells without the need to spend spells learned spots or buy/research them. --Ghostwheel 21:23, November 7, 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, spaced Edit

Hey I forgot to tell you, I made that feat based on Strong Grip its called Overbearing Blow, I forgot to tell you when I made it but don't worry, I only now remembered to ad Strong Grip to the prequisites.--ThirdEmperor 09:13, November 9, 2009 (UTC)

n/p, Though you might want to clarify the feat--is it just the weapon's base damage, the damage the weapon would deal with all its enhancements, add on strength, or normal damage that you would have dealt? --Ghostwheel 09:15, November 9, 2009 (UTC)

Cost of Speed enhancement Edit

(Bonus to speed)^2 * 30 --Ghostwheel 19:47, November 23, 2009 (UTC)

The Songblade Edit

Dude, I just looked on the discussion page for the songblade and I really can't thank you enough for all the arguments you put up for my work. I really appreciate your help.

You're welcome, and I'm glad I could help :-) --Ghostwheel 01:42, November 25, 2009 (UTC)

Question. Edit

Hey, would you take a look at the genasi variant I made, and tell me what you think? I'm trying to build a LA 0 variant that has racial abilities that actually come in handy.--ThirdEmperor 09:33, November 30, 2009 (UTC)

Sure, I'll go have a look --Ghostwheel 08:07, December 3, 2009 (UTC)
Thanks.--ThirdEmperor 08:17, December 3, 2009 (UTC)
Posted, hope my comments help :-)
/me tries to keep to constructive criticism and tries to offer alternate suggestions ;-) --Ghostwheel 08:18, December 3, 2009 (UTC)

Deletion Edit

I regret to inform you that the page Chainsword (3.5e Equipment)) was deleted, to have the page restored and/or moved to a sandbox, please contact the administration. --Leziad 21:50, December 3, 2009 (UTC)

Nah, I don't mind--it was never a serious article, just an example of why something specific didn't/doesn't work too well and isn't balanced. --Ghostwheel 23:14, December 3, 2009 (UTC)

Idea Edit

PrCs replace levels in a class's progression, rather than interrupting it. (Obviously every level of a class would have to be worth taking.) Forget spellcasters for a moment. Multiclassing works by replacing level X with the level X of another class. If you get an ability that requires a former ability and don't have the former ability, it defaults to the former ability. (So if a Tome Fighter got Improved Foil without having Foil, it'd default to Foil). --Ghostwheel 11:07, December 11, 2009 (UTC)

I can definitely see your reasoning behind this, but I would like clarification for if this applies only to prestige classes, only base classes, or both. --Undead Knave 02:37, February 24, 2010 (UTC)
Only to base classes--prestige class abilities would need to be taken from first level and on. Let's give an example. Let's say you took the following as your progression: Fighter 2 -> Marshal 1 (3) -> Fighter 1 (4) -> Marshal 1 (5). For the first two levels, he would check the first two levels of the Fighter progression, and get two feats. At the third level, he'd check what a 3rd level marshal gets - Awesome Blow and "Shake it off", and would get access to those two, as well as to the Battle Order points a *1st* level marshal would get. Next he'd take a level of fighter--fourth level fighters get another feat. Then a level of marshal--check what marshals get at fifth level, and he'd get "Move move move!" and "Stand your ground!"--but not the second level version, but instead the 1st version, with his effective class level for that being equal to the number of levels he has in marshal (2).
Does that make sense? If they then took a PrC, it would interrupt both the classes--but if they broke off from the PrC, took some more class levels, and came back, they would need to continue in the PrC from where they left off, especially since some caster PrCs are meant to lose CLs, and wouldn't lose them if they didn't do so. Does all that make sense? I feel it might make the character-building process a lot more interesting (perhaps overly complicated though), but as long as you used mainly classes that had decent class abilities at every level, it should all work more-or-less unless I'm missing something. --Ghostwheel 02:57, February 24, 2010 (UTC)
It makes sense to me for the most part, and that is what I had believed you meant originally, but that does lead me to a few more questions. How would this affect classes with requisite class features for their special abilities or "codes of conducts". As an example: A character begins as a Barbarian and takes this up through level 5. At level 6, it decides it wants to be able to avoid magic in a more efficient manner and takes a level (Level 6) of Samurai to net the Parry Magic ability (which requires an Ancestral Weapon). It decides to play the tank for its allies and take a level (Level 7) in Knight granting it Bastion of Defense and Draw Fire, however as it hasn't taken the knightly oath, it would be unable to use Draw Fire (which requires an action).
I realize that the above character is unlikely, but I also realize that these occasions could occur, so the possibility must be considered. --Undead Knave 03:23, February 24, 2010 (UTC)
All prereqs would be gotten--but at their lowest level. So when he picks up the level in Samurai, he gets the ancestral weapon, but its enhancement bonus would be kept as though he were a first level samurai unless he took more levels in samurai. When taking the level in Knight, he would get all the benefits, including the increased damage that Designate Opponent would get, as well the the requisite Code of Conduct. However, both of these would be far weaker than that of a full knight, balancing it out. He'd miss out on Mounted Combat though, as well as the higher-level damage from Designate Opponent though, since he didn't take more than one effective level in knight. In short, he gets enough that the abilities matter... but not enough for them to make a huge difference despite the fact that he's getting level 7 abilities. --Ghostwheel 04:27, February 24, 2010 (UTC)
Someone suggested this over on GitP (albeit via a totally different method), and I think it's too easily borked. Maybe if you totally forgot spellcasters, maybe, but a factotum 1, whatever 6 (warblade, psion, wizard, etc), factotum 1 (cunning surge), whatever 12, just for example, is not especially comparable to other characters who have to go through six other levels of factotum to get cunning surge's potential awesomeness (giving up high level spells, powers, and maneuvers -- now no longer applicable in many cases). Now I do agree that the character building ramifications are positively salacious, but I think it opens up a really precarious can of worms. Think fighter bonus feats, or rogue sneak attack dice, maybe. I mean, assuming every ability gained is level appropriate, then in theory this is a great idea. But that's not always the case, and some abilities are better than others. Also, how would this deal with maneuvers known, maneuvers prepared, power points, powers known, invocations, eldritch blast, familiars/animal companions/mounts (just to name a few examples), and all that jazz? -- Jota 05:39, February 24, 2010 (UTC)
Without The One Feat, Factotums getting Cunning surge wouldn't be too problematic at level 8 from only a single level or two in the class, what with how many IP they would have (only that of a first or second level Factotum). For other things like the above, it would default to the lowest one, each level counting as "+1 level", so even if you take Warblade at level 5 for the bonus feat, if it's your first level you'll only get 3 maneuvers known and readied, though they'll be of higher level due to the IL rules. If you took another Warblade level at level 9, you'd get another bonus feat (from a fairly small list, at that), but would only have the maneuvers known and readied of a second-level Warblade. This works well for martial adepts, but psionic and invocation classes may be weaker in this case, since they don't have the IL rules working for them. However, overall (at least for psionics) their abilities are inherently stronger than many martial classes, so it'd balance out. Plus, I'd sincerely hope that "decent" classes have better abilities than just +1d6 SA or an extra fighter bonus feat--if they don't, it's probably not a class you'd take normally anyway in a rogue-level game (which would be what this would be geared for.). --Ghostwheel 06:35, February 24, 2010 (UTC)
It was already listed that this manner of building was ignoring spellcasters. I imagine that this would be for a low/no magic world, however, I can think of a manner that spellcasters could be kept level appropriate (for spellcasters, at least). Were you just to assume that it counted as the lowest level you don't have, you'd be doing essentially the same thing as with fighter builds. What this means is you couldn't multiclass into Wizard at Level 20 and be able to automatically cast Level 9 spells unless they otherwise could (perhaps by being a Level 19 Sorcerer who just decided to start studying). If this were the character's first arcane class level, they would only be able to cast cantrips and 1st Level spells. The same would go for Divine spells and Psionic powers. --Undead Knave 01:36, February 25, 2010 (UTC)
In general it would be more geared to rogue-level games, where spellcasters don't use "I win" powers, but the things you listed could certainly work for them without a problem, using the same rules that I listed about for other caster-like classes. One of the upsides to this is that it makes dead levels nonexistant; it also makes building characters a lot more interesting, opens up a ton of new options, allows good class abilities to compete for a specific level, stops people from cherry-picking a number of classes (can only cherry-pick one or two at low levels) and gets rid of the "suck now for power later" classes by having interesting and cool class abilities available far faster. What do you guys think? --Ghostwheel 02:44, February 25, 2010 (UTC)
This method seems like it would work pretty well. It could probably use some fine tuning, but so can everything but the ALMIGHTY. I would probably suggest it to some players in my group if I had a group. --Undead Knave 02:52, February 25, 2010 (UTC)
I think the basic idea that when you take level X in class Y you get that class's level X power in some shape is pretty solid, though I'm concerned about the "weakest version of power" provision you have. I haven't actually broken out classes to see if this is the case or not (because we're using a non-specified and potentially hypothetical set of classes), but my worry is that you would wind up with a lot of non-level appropriate abilities by doing that and drop your rogue level game to a fighter level one. I think if you truly don't have dead levels, and made every set of powers gained by every class at every level something interesting and worthwhile you could probably do away with it entirely (though at that point you could probably go classless and just have a list of powers you can take at various levels along with costs paid in reduced BAB, saves, and skill points at those levels, but that might be a bit extreme... I'll quit with the aimless babbling now.). - TarkisFlux 03:04, February 25, 2010 (UTC)

If you don't mind. Edit

Hi, I am gonna be GMing an interesting kind of campaign soon, and to spare you the details I am gonna need a lot of custom classes. You wouldn't happen to mind if I used the sharpshooter, would ya?

Sure, go right ahead, that's what they're there for :-) --Ghostwheel 04:49, December 12, 2009 (UTC)

Deleting Forums Edit

Really? You want to delete dead forum topics instead of leaving it up for posterity and topic history reference? I'm not opposed to doing it, I'm just not sure it's necessary in the same way as clearing article detritus is. Was there any reason other than inactivity you wanted them taken down? - TarkisFlux 06:43, January 11, 2010 (UTC)

Not really--there was an issue, it was resolved, and there's not much that's meaningful there. I don't really mind either way, just didn't seem like there was anything worthy there to keep, so they're as good as detritus. That said, I don't really mind either way. --Ghostwheel 06:51, January 11, 2010 (UTC)

Saves Variant Edit

Ghost posted this in response to a blog I wrote, but it's a bit beyond the scope of said blog. So here it is again, where we can discuss it more completely.

"In the current system, people can be wildly off the RNG on both sides of the spectrum as far as saves go, between multiclassing combined with high ability score and characters who don't multiclass with poor saves and low ability scores. Can you think of any way to standardize it?
"One thought that came up, though I'm not too happy with it, is that all characters have a bonus to saves equal to their level, can choose one or two saves at first level to gain +2 to, and any changes to their abilities past first level don't affect their saves. Thus, let's say someone plays a character with 14 dex, 16 con, and 8 wis; they choose Ref and Wis for their +2 bonuses, and for the entire game their saving throws for Ref, Fort, and Will are +4, +3, and +1 respecitvely, adding their character level to each one. Worst case scenario (without taking racial modifiers into account) under standard point buy is a person taking 18 in their stat along with the +2 bonus (6+character level) while another person has 8 in a stat without taking the bonus (-1+character level). The difference between the two is 7--barely on there without running off the RNG. What are your thoughts on this, and do you have any better ideas as far as saves go?" - Ghostwheel

The scaling of saves sucks. It really really does. Your good save starts with a +2 bonus, and then goes up every 2 levels. If we assume that you have the same number in your save adjusting attribute as whatever opponent you are facing has in their save DC adjusting attribute, then those wash out and you have a +1 or +2 advantage, and you keep this barring any attribute tampering since save DCs grow at the same rate. The issue is that people boost attack stats, and not defense stats, so the guy who is casting or whatever at you is going to boost the attribute that raises his save DCs. Between level boosts and attribute items, you can average another +1 every 4 levels or so, so for ease let's just say that casters who care about being casters increase their save DCs by +3 every 4 levels. If you want to keep up with that as a defender, you need to pick up a cloak of resistance that scales to roughly 1/4th of your level. That doesn't get you ahead, that just lets you keep up with their stat boosting. In a few cases (rogues and reflex saves, CoDs and will saves), the stat that is your attack stat is also a defense stat you care about, and you're probably getting an extra +1 every 4 levels on top of your regular growth and mandatory save item, so you can actually start to excel at these saves. Or you can take advantage of the recurring +2 starting bonus for multiclassing and get a save that started to exceed caster DCs, but that bonus rate is basically uncalculable and more akin to a small one time boost that eventually gets swallowed up than a scaling boost like the other things. In all of this I'm ignoring wish economy / inherent boosts because those are employed by both sides and largely wash (though there is a small jump if you get all your +5 stats at the same time, but it goes away quickly).

Your poor save just sucks, and you get relatively worse with it even if you have resistance items and everything else. I'm actually ok with this in principle, because I want characters on different development tracks, but the way it was actually done in game sucks in practice.

What you have done with your proposal is cut out the part where people could occasionally boost a relevant attribute and get nice defensive things for it, cut out the multiclassing save weirdness and eliminated the concept of a poor save progression by making one save progression, and set the scaling for saves at or above an optimized save DC scaling. So, one by one...

  1. No more attribute boosting for saves - I sorta see where you're going with this, but I think a more elegant solution might be to just cap player stats (which also serves to reign in modifier differences all over the place). This allows players to still benefit from boosting an attribute, but sets an upper limit on how wide apart the modifiers can be similar to just fixing them at first level. And by setting an upper limit, you redirect player attention from charging ahead to the highest value they can possibly attain to spreading out resources maximizing as many attributes as possible in order of preference.
  2. One save progression - Yes, this absolutely cuts out multiclass boosting weirdness and makes saves not fall behind. One of the Tomes suggested just reducing the good save progression of all classes beyond the first by 1, and I think that works better in general at holding down the crazy without sacrificing multiple save tracks. But I actually like multiple tracks in principle, so this might just be a design principle disagreement.
  3. More than the rest of these, I disagree with your decision to add level to base saves. This piece, when paired with your other restrictions, actually makes caster save DCs fall behind save bonuses without extensive feat optimization and full wish economy inherent boosts. If you start with a 14 in a save stat and take a +2 on that save, you match the +4 a caster is probably getting to his DCs from his stat, so those wash like they used to. Then your base grows 1 point every level, exceeding the caster's DCs growing at half of that, three quarters of that if they boost their casting stat as often as possible, and maybe the same if they invest strongly in keeping their DCs up with feats and misc things. Everyone basically gets better as saving against everything as they grow in level, which is a substantial nerf to characters that attack saves. And this is before they put on resistance items or take save feats. It's the reverse situation from before, instead of being basically unable to get ahead in saves, you're not able to get ahead in save DCs, which is going to make you even less likely to cast spells not of your highest level and DC. I don't see anything good coming from this scaling option at all.

And I'm going to have to stop there, want to get it posted but I need to get some other things done... - TarkisFlux 18:49, February 26, 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for being so verbose--unfortunately I got kinda lost there, so I'll try to address the points you raised :-)
  1. I don't think limiting player stats is that good of an idea, since that would change the whole game rather than just saves. It would mean that all abilities would need to be changed and measured evenly against the lower stat gains, and that's such a far departure from 3.5 that the ramifications may go so far as to make the game almost unplayable. A system that tried to do this was 4e, and I'm not entirely sure how well it came out, but characters are used to having around +12 to their primary stat by level 20, and that's such a giant change within the game that I'm not sure how it'd end up...
  2. That would still leave some people off the RNG, I think--even with standardizing saves across the board, you still have a potential 7 difference before racial ability modifiers are taken into account, so I don't think that'd work either.
  3. Rather than 10 + spell level + mod, the DCs for spells in my game is 10 + 1/2 HD + mod; let's look at the numbers. Let's say at level 20 (we'll ramp it up to extreme levels so that any bugs will be magnified) a character could have anywhere from +19 to a save (20 - 1 ability mod) to +26 (20 + 4 mod + 2 chosen at first level); on the other hand, a player's DC would be equal to 32 (10 + 10 for 1/2 character level + 12 mod) with another potential +2 from Greater Spell Focus. This... actually comes out to be about perfectly at the point that I'd like it to be. To be honest, I'm surprised myself. And even if it weren't, it still might not be a problem since rather than PvP I'd rather concentrate on being able to have monster DCs be comparable and standardized with this simple rule depending on the party's level.
What do you think? --Ghostwheel 01:21, February 27, 2010 (UTC)
Short answers, since I'm swamped with work but want to get this up tonight :-/
  1. 4E did no such thing with attributes, and in fact has more boosts more often. What it did do is stick everyone on the same save / attack schedule in a fashion similar to what you are proposing here. And just because people are used to running around with +12s doesn't mean it was ever necessary to let them, or that you can't go back from it now. I could go on at length about how it doesn't matter if you cap players attributes if the majority of foes that the fight are similarly capped NPCs, with case studies and situations and everything because most of those just cancel each other out, but monsters are a potential kink in that plan that I don't have time to investigate at the moment. So I'll just say that replacing your +12 with a +5 isn't as big a deal as you think it is and move on for now.
  2. I sort of referenced this in the blog response but missed it here. Off the RNG because of low attribute modifiers is a special case that I don't think even counts as breaking the RNG and is a necessary consequence of allowing poor tracks and poor attribute mods. As I want both of those things, I don't even care about it, but as you don't I'm chalking that up to design decision differences.
  3. Let's take a look at 1st level with your example. Save DC is 14 (unless it's round up for these to better mimic spell levels, in which case it's 15). Guy with good save has a +7. That's a spread of 7 (or 8) at first level, compared with only 6 at 20th level. While spellcaster does all of the stat boosting he possibly can and some modest optimization (I'm sure he could squeeze a couple more points out), guy with good save does nothing and then still has a better chance of resisting spellcaster's powers at the end of the day. If guy with good save took a level appropriate resistance item and a crappy save feat he's broken the RNG on those saves. Spellcasters get less effective as you level in that system even if they put substantial effort into not doing that. This is especially insulting because the save guy doesn't do a damn thing, doesn't make any relevant decisions in the save game, and still winds up on top.
More later. - TarkisFlux 05:07, February 27, 2010 (UTC)
I'm not talking about all the extra boosts. In 4e, you get your starting stats, which aren't far off from those in 3e. From there, again, without regarding options and boosts, two of your scores are going to advance by up to +8 while all your other scores advance by +2. So if all starting scores were the same (they aren't, but bear with me for this example), you'd have a maximum difference of 3 by level 30. In 3e on the other hand, there are tons of boosts. With just the basics in core, you can jump up to 12 difference. That 3 vs. 12 is what I was talking about when I said that 4e tried to limit the difference between starting and ending numbers.
Now let's look at the first level example; at we'll say the DC begins at 15 and rises by one every level. The person with 8 and no boost in their save has a total of +0 to their save (-1 mod + 1 character level) and has a 30% chance of succeeding against an average effect. On the other hand, the person who has 18 in their primary stat and trained in it has +7 (4 mod + 2 training + 1 character level) and has a 65% chance of succeeding. This looks pretty fair; on the other hand, someone who is about "average" (IMO) will have a 12 in the stat and train in it, giving them +4 (1 mod + 2 training + 1 character level) and will succeed half the time, which is exactly what I'm shooting for--that players fail around half the time against effects. I realized I didn't write it in when I wrote the above, but I'd cut out all resistance-based additions to saves, which, barring feats, will keep the above chance of success for all three potential characters the same from level 1 through 20. Also, remember that I mentioned that all DCs of characters are equal to 10 + 1/2 their HD + their ability mod. So if the spellcaster does nothing but invest in their primary mod, they'll still be at around the same place on the RNG for the above characters from level 1-20 (and instead of tomes and traditional ability boosts, characters in the system I'm thinking about get +1 to two saves every 2 levels, which allows the progression to be smooth instead of jumping at level 16ish from the acquisition of tomes).
Does something not make sense? It looks like it works to me so far... --Ghostwheel 07:36, February 27, 2010 (UTC)
I think I see the disconnect. I don't actually care about keeping your stats close together, I care about keeping your stats in the same range as everyone elses' if your going to be pitting yours against theirs in some way. This is basically the same thing as you did with your fixed initial bonus, where you lock everyone into the same range of modifiers. We even both agree that the +12 is part of the scaling problem of saves, because you can easily get a +12 to your attack stat but generally don't bother getting it for your defense stats and that pushes their attacks to the far end or off of your defense RNG. The difference is that I'm willing to say that the +12 does bad things to scaling and throw it out or otherwise disallow it, whereas you're saying that the +12 does bad things to scaling but we can't touch it and so we have to account for that ahead of time. At least that's what I think we're saying at each other.
I should point out that I used your numbers above without actually double checking them, and so I missed a bonus in my above example. I did not include the greater spell focus +2, so a spell guy who invests all of his stat boosts and the available core feats into keeping his shtick up is exactly where he started in success rates after 20 levels. But this behavior is straight up bizarre. If you don't want people to have different chances of success or failure from levels 1 to 20 why are you even allowing stat boosts to affect either side of the equation? They just make you do extra work. You could achieve the exact same result by making saves attribute mod + level and making spell DCs attribute mod + level. And if you don't get to adjust your attribute mods at all, then you have your perfect, unchanging success rates over all 20 levels, and you still get to be better or worse against people of different levels. You're already dropping save items, dropping stat items (at least with respect to saves and spell DCs, you can keep them and apply them to everything else if you like) doesn't seem like that big an additional change.
Now, I actually don't like that solution because it does lots of things that I think are extraordinarily boring (like fix characters in a non-changing success rate from creation to retirement), but it's what you seem to want and it's the easiest way to get it. It's also better than your solution, because it frees casters from pouring all of their resources into their attack stat to just keep running on the hamster wheel (unless you like punishing them for some reason). I honestly don't know how to express my disgust for the idea that you can pour all of your stat boosts, items boosts, inherent boosts, and every available core feat into your primary shtick and not see any positive gain from it when the opposing party isn't investing anything at all in opposing your investments... it's seriously as bad as the old save system, you're just sticking it to the other side now. No matter what you invest, you can't get ahead, and if you ever stop investing because you recognize it's a crappy game you start to suck. If you don't want them to ever gain in proficiency at it, don't make them pour significant character resouces into staying in the same place. It's just mean. - TarkisFlux 09:24, February 27, 2010 (UTC)
For clarity, I meant starting stat + level for both sides of the save / DC equation as a way to get that firm success rate you want, I just missed the "starting" portion when I wrote that last night. As a small bonus, it also allows people who take spell focus to actually get ahead by a small amount that is exactly the same math wise as someone who take weapon focus, making those things more equitable. It's still canceled by someone taking a save feat, but that sort of two-sided arms race isn't a problem. - TarkisFlux 19:08, February 27, 2010 (UTC)
That's the thing--I don't care that much about keeping characters' saves and DCs equal in relation to each other--PvP isn't the main focus of the system. Instead, I'm looking for a way to standardize saves around the board so I can be told that a party of level X needs an encounter built, and have a chart that tells me that the DC should be Y at that level--and for it to work.
That said, it doesn't actually affect it very much--people are going to invest in their primary stat first (which is why I also give +1 to a secondary stat for diversity and options) and will focus on it to the exclusion of virtually everything else. This is a given. Since I'm already handing out ability score increases for "free", the only cost is the magic item--and even that can easily be taken with IP.
At any rate, it sounds like we just differ on opnions of how system design should be handled--thanks for the help though :-) --Ghostwheel 21:11, February 27, 2010 (UTC)
I don't really have anything to add except to the argument but I gotta ask don't you find it odd that this site is full of people that like D&D so much that they spend truck-loads of time trying to change it so it isn't D&D. I mean if you have problems with D&D system that are that bad, why not just write your own system? Or even a D20 setting with altered rules?--ThirdEmperor 22:16, February 27, 2010 (UTC)
That's actually exactly what I'm trying to do--there are so many problems in D&D that I'm taking out the parts that I don't like and replacing them with rules that are practical, streamlined, and balanced. --Ghostwheel 22:22, February 27, 2010 (UTC)
Actually I thought of something to add, and here it is, why scale saves or DCs at all? Simplifies things and gives a actual impact to those crappy save feats, heck you could do the same for BAB and AC so that Weapon Focus would be relevant.--ThirdEmperor 22:39, February 27, 2010 (UTC)
That is actually very close to what I'm doing--the thing is though, that players like to watch the numbers on their character sheets rise as they gain XP. In both theory and practice, the chance of success is the same (except when you add modifiers such as Weapon Focus, Spell Focus, and so on) but the numbers scale to keep players happy and give them a sense of growth. However, just as they grow so do their challenges, which keeps them comparatively equal for what I'm trying to achieve. --Ghostwheel 22:43, February 27, 2010 (UTC)
I'd just not get into scaling at all, feats and class features are enough keep me happy, the only problem I can see here is that AC would be way higher than attack bonus do to the armor and shield bonuses, one way around this would be to make armor subtract from damage instead of adding to AC, wouldn't be that big of a change seeing as you would have to overhaul equipment completely to make it workable.--ThirdEmperor 22:58, February 27, 2010 (UTC)
That would be true if attack bonus went up at the same rate as AC; however, there's enhancements to ability scores, magic weaponry, and so on. To have AC keep up, you actually need to do something extra on top of natural armor, deflection, armor, and shield bonuses. For grimoire games, players add 3/4 of their BAB to AC as an untyped defense bonus. --Ghostwheel 23:11, February 27, 2010 (UTC)
Okay, assuming no BAB bonuses to attack or AC and full AC and attack bonus boosting items and a breastplate and heavy shield at level 20 how would AC not be higher than attack bonus?--ThirdEmperor 00:34, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
In that case, AC would far outweigh attack bonus, and PCs would rarely be able to hit similar enemies. --Ghostwheel 00:56, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
Alright BAB must remain in order to balance it out, but scaling saves are a waste of time and calculation, I'd just say you add nothing but your ability mod and feat bonuses to saves and DCs and leave it at that. --ThirdEmperor 01:19, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
Exactly--and that's what the above basically does, rather than the base D&D save system. The only difference is that players feel that their character has grown, and that they could easily resist the fireball from 10 levels ago if it were lobbed at them now. It's more for player enjoyment than anything else. --Ghostwheel 01:24, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
Er, I dunno, I don't think that saves increasing with spell level is a good idea, but it don't matter all that much. Any thoughts on how to revise the spell system?--ThirdEmperor 01:32, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
Personally, for spells specifically, I have three variants I use to try to balance them; first, all DCs are equal to 10 + HD + modifier, which allows low-level spells to still be viable against opponents at higher levels. Next, I use this variant to make it so that spellcasters don't autokill an encounter, so that monsters have a chance of disrupting spellcasting, and so that tanks become valuable as defenders, since now the wizards need them to stop enemies from wrecking their spells. Finally, I use this variant to allow spellcasters to act on a per-encounter basis, and not to completely lose out if one of their spells is disrupted. Another addition that's not completely related to spells is the "save ends" mechanic from 4e, where debilitating effects (such as glitterdust, for example) have a 55% chance of going away at the end of the target's turn--this makes it so that enemies aren't completely wiped out without a chance of fighting back after a single spell, and does the same for PCs who would otherwise be affected by effects that make them useless and the game not-fun in general. Still, YMMV. --Ghostwheel 01:57, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
Nice choices, and the BAB bonus to AC sounds workable, but I'd drop it to 1/2 and limit it to non-monsters so ACs don't get ridiculously high.--ThirdEmperor 04:23, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks--and I've tried all kinds of numbers, but 3/4 worked best all around. And yeah, monsters use special stats and aren't affected by this. --Ghostwheel 04:56, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
Any thoughts on how to fix spells? I had an idea, clerics would get to choose two domains, and every two levels they would get a at-will power from each domain, maybe with a small recharge time. For wizards it would be much the same only with domains, whaddya think?--ThirdEmperor 05:14, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
See above. If a spell is still problematic, increase its recharge time to as long as you like. That allows them to cast spells at will basically, so is good enough IMO. --Ghostwheel 05:25, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
But certain spells are OP at any cost, disintegrate and glitterdust are deadly as hell and honestly the recharge time don't matter, the players will just wait outside the villians doorstep then take him down in one hit.--ThirdEmperor 05:36, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
How long will they wait? A day? How about a week? A month? More? The beauty of the recharge system is that you can make the time for recharge however long as you want it.
D&D needs some rules about the passing of time for this to be effective.--ThirdEmperor 05:50, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
Ok

Yes, we have serious design disagreements, but I'm not ready to walk away just yet. I'm going to take issue with a few points. First, "people are going to invest in their primary stat first [...] and will focus on it to the exclusion of virtually everything else. This is a given." This is not a given. This is only true if you allow it. I have already proposed two situations where it is not allowed and the system doesn't go off and die. Similarly, it did not die back in 2e when you basically couldn't raise your casting attributes significantly, and even if you did it had zero effect on your casting efficacy. Currently, people invest in their primary attribute because they want to improve at casting things. People do not improve with your setup in the sense that they don't get better at doing things with their primary attribute, they just get bigger numbers. I would call that a meaningless and unnecessary investment. I would also call it non-free because you require them to invest in this area so that they can remain at the same level of efficacy, and this does not allow them to invest in other places where they might actually gain in efficacy. The cost then is the lack of investment in an area where they might actually see an improvement. It is an attribute point tax that you do not require non-casters to pay. The only attribute boosts that even matter for these characters are the secondary ones you give that they have to put elsewhere, because those might actually impact them in some way. If you do not want people to improve and you want them to get bigger numbers because people like bigger numbers, you can just give them bigger numbers as I suggested.

You also said, in response to 3rdEmp, "the thing is though, that players like to watch the numbers on their character sheets rise as they gain XP. In both theory and practice, the chance of success is the same (except when you add modifiers such as Weapon Focus, Spell Focus, and so on) but the numbers scale to keep players happy and give them a sense of growth. However, just as they grow so do their challenges, which keeps them comparatively equal for what I'm trying to achieve." Again, you can achieve this by just giving them bigger numbers. My suggestion for not allowing attribute investment to increase spell DCs and instead just scale both saves and DCs at the same rate does this exact thing that you want, and does it without requiring meaningless investment. I fail to understand why you are so stuck on the idea that people need to be able to raise their save DCs with attribute investment when you don't actually want that investment to mean a damn thing.

Lastly, you have one of your primary design goals explained as "I don't care that much about keeping characters' saves and DCs equal in relation to each other--PvP isn't the main focus of the system. Instead, I'm looking for a way to standardize saves around the board so I can be told that a party of level X needs an encounter built, and have a chart that tells me that the DC should be Y at that level--and for it to work." Your PvP concern is misplaced, and I don't care about it either. But you are completely discounting PC on NPC fights for some reason, which is what this is actually intended to address, so I can only assume that you don't use them anymore. If you had actually said that or otherwise implied that you didn't see how to extend NPC modifiers directly to monsters I would have gone on to say that this is still relevant as you want a rogue level game where CR = level. So if you want a table that gives you these things, and have it actually work, you can just scratch out the part where I wrote level and write in CR and you now have your table. PCs add initial attribute modifier + level to saves, and that has a range of (-1 to +4). Monsters add CR to save DCs, and since you know the initial range of PC saves you can just make a few columns on a table for "awesome spellcaster (CR +5, dedicated spellcaster (CR+3), mediocre spellcaster (CR+1), and tertiary spellcaster (CR-1)" and then you don't even have to do addition anymore. It's a completely standardized and straightforward table you can just look values up on, and it's already got a standardized scaling chance of success against the PCs. It's also the same basic progression PCs would use, so you don't have to learn two different advancement schemes.

The only reason I can think of to not do that is because you think that letting players boost their casting save DCs by conscious application of attribute points is a Good ThingTM even when it doesn't actually result in improvement. And you haven't made that case at all. You've just said that people want bigger numbers, which this gives them, but you don't want them to have a better % chance against equal CR foes as they grow in level, which this also gives them, and you want a table that you can just look stuff up on and have it work, which this does for PCs, NPCs, and monsters.

In a somewhat related point, I think you need to take a closer look at the math behind 4e. Neither of us likes the structure they built on top of it, but 4e really tried to do a standardized scaling success rate over 30 levels and would have done a really good job of it if the designers and freelancers had actually stuck to their bonus limitations. The math underneath it all is probably a better starting point for this type of project than 3.5e.

That's... kinda what I meant to do for saves anyway... mind coming on the channel so we can clear up misunderstandings? --Ghostwheel 23:49, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
No time at present, this and Jay's blog response took more time this morning than I actually had. Maybe tonight. - TarkisFlux 00:12, March 1, 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I don't know how this conversation continued on the channel as I can't get on the damn thing, but I'd like to say that so far Tarkisflux has been arguing much the same argument I was, except far better than I did and with a different point in mind. So here's what I have to say (please don't kill me for it) why bother? The whole game scales with level, bigger damage, attack bonuses, skill ranks but at the same time the enemies get more health points, higher AC and DCs skyrocket, so nobody really gets anywhere. The only thing that ever makes you truly better at anything is your feats, so why bother, give out more feats and ditch BAB, Save Bonuses, DC increases by spell level and hitpoints per level.
Feats are what make your character unique, even supposedly "monk level" feats like weapon focus do something awesome, they actually make you better at something instead of just making it look that way.--ThirdEmperor 07:12, March 1, 2010 (UTC)
Well, in the chat I got him to consider a game without attribute boosts instead of his pre-accounted for, expected, and required to keep up attribute boosts. For a number of reasons that I still don't agree with it was abandoned, and he went back to his original plan. And then, because I was tired of trying track all of his houserules and convince him that when people say "better" they don't mean bigger numbers they actually mean greater percentage of success against the same cr targets as yourself, I just helped him fix his numbers and went on to do other stuff.
The thing is, ghost is very concerned with RNG management, and keeping people from getting bonuses that push them off the top of it. I think he's gone too far by completely negating the part of attribute boosts where they make you more effective instead of just having a bigger number and trying to keep everyone on the same RNG instead of just firmly planted in their own, but it's his game and what he wants and so on. But you're not wrong that you could get that by stripping out level based bonuses, it just also strips out the part where you are less likely to affect a higher level creature and more likely to affect a lower level creature. And that's a desirable thing to have in the system for him, so he needs level based modifiers to account for level differences. You don't actually get beter or worse at fighting dudes who are your level in his setup, and in that sense your level isn't really meaningful, but it matters quite a bit when you start leaving your local CR group.
But to make his pre-accounted for save DC math work out, where you gain +18 over 20 levels, you need to gain the same to your save bonuses over 20 levels. Rather than boost item bonuses and recalculate those costs he opted to skip a couple of increases to bring it down, which is probably the better call anyway (note for Ghost: revising suggested miss levels to 2 and 18 (or 1 and 19 if you gain from HD on even levels) instead of what i suggested last night, since those are closer to levels you won't be getting a boost in save DC; details upon request). And then once it matches, yeah, feats are actually a way to get ahead because they provide a bonus that isn't just auto-countered because of scaling. But you have to make the scaling work before they can actually make you better at it insteak of just appearing to do so. If you don't you either hand out extra power with feats (like the regular setup) or not enough / quickly lost power (like his old setup). If you want feats and class features to break the balance, you have to actually have a balance first. - TarkisFlux 13:58, March 1, 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps a small explanation would help; the system is heavily based around one opponent for every PC. This is a rogue-level game, so for the moment assume that attacks are the primary methods of targeting opponents, and the primary (just about only) way to kill them is through damage. I worked the numbers so that on average, a damage-dealing character could take out an enemy in 4 rounds, while an enemy can take out said PC in around 8 rounds. This takes into account misses from rolling low, and is required to keep a sense of "challenge" in the game. Without it, if an enemy could be defeated in 2 rounds (which it will if virtually all attacks hit, on top of optimization, since I didn't optimize the PC too much), which makes the game a cakewalk rather than a challenge. People will generally invest in their highest stat; that gives me two options (since I'm keeping stat investments in the game, and having them affect things like attack) if I want to keep things challenging. The first is to scale back AC so that people who invested priamrily in their primary attack method hit more often, and give monsters gobs an enormous increase in HP to make sure that they are still killed in around four rounds. This can lead to one of the criticisms of 4e of where monsters feel "sumo-padded" with HP. The other choice is to keep AC scaled at around the same level as attacks, trusting that characters hit only half the time and making their attacks count more when they hit. This also has the side-effect of making tactics more worthwhile. For example, if you completely invest in a character's primary stat and hit on a 5 or higher, flanking and tripping aren't going to change your chances of hitting much. On the other hand, if you hit on an 11 or higher, tactics, class features and teamwork becomes a lot more important, since just a +1 or +2 to hit can affect the average DPR greatly. The important thing is to make sure that monsters are a challenge by having them die after around 4 rounds on average of PC attacks. The other way to make them challenging is to allow them to die faster, but have them deal proportionally more damage to characters--for example, a monster who dies in 2 rounds might be able to kill a character after 4 rounds of attacks. This would allow them to stay challenging, but has a much higher chance of being affected by luck and a higher chance of PCs dying from two or three bad rolls, and is also something I don't want. Kinda rambled on, but I hope that explains a few things.
That said, I trust your knowledge of the numbers enough to take your advice and make the levels in which you don't increase your saves 1 and 19 without knowing why, though if you'd like to offer an explanation I'd certainly welcome it. :-) That said, it only really matters for PvP, since I'll be basing monster DCs on what the saves of an average character will be at level X--so if they gained +1 to saves at every odd level instead of every even level (for example), the DCs would naturally be 10 lower by level 20 than I gave them +1 at every level. Since it's completely based on what the PCs would have at level X, the progression doesn't matter too much except when PvP is involved (since I don't use NPCs-built-as-characters for enemies). --Ghostwheel 07:35, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
Numbers first. You're trying to tailor the save DCs of players to the save modifiers of everyone, which isn't any different than trying to tailor the save DCs of monsters to the save modifiers of everyone else. It's the same chart with different headers. You should probably plot these out for PCs (except for the base attribute mods) even though you don't care about PvP because level = CR and then you'll have the table you want anyway.
Anyway, guy who makes save DCs gets a +1 every even level from your every even HD thing, and anothr +1 every 4 levels from your attribute boost thing. Which isn't smooth, but it's what you get if you put it on 1/2 HD rounded up. If we treat the attribute boost as making up for the hole left at the level below it, which makes it sorta smooth and doesn't allow casters to get ahead of savers, you still have holes at 1, 5, 9, 13, and 17. Attribute items probably happen / upgrade around 5, 9, and 13, so those holes are largely plugged. There's nothing to do about the hole at 1, but it's the first level of the game and no one have a bonus to anything anyway so you just don't give an extra +1 to saves at that level. Which still leaves a hole at 17, and you can not boost saves there instead of 19, but i thought the numbers looked more like what you wanted and were a bit smoother if you moved the hole to 19. If you plot the progressions out and compare you'll see what I mean.
And then your general thing... To be honest, I think you long ago moved past the point where the d20 framework was the best or even reasonable for this sort of thing. While I understand the desire to just patch the familiar until it does what you want, there are just better / more efficient ways of getting the same thing. If TGD was up I'd go find the TNE thread where they discussed eliminating hp in favor of a scaling damage track system which was paired with a Combat Advantage Number, or CAN, that you worked up over a few rounds. It let you wipe low level opponents, build up to taking out equal level opponents, and made you work harder against higher level guys. Which seems like it would do what you want more effectively than tracking HP (with it's associated scaling issues) and various status effects. - TarkisFlux 17:58, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
Have a spreadsheet link that shows your proposed saves plan and how it stacks up against the save DCs you expect PCs / monsters to have. I have left out starting attribute bonuses and initial +2s from the equation since those don't scale, and I wanted to highlight the scaling proper. - TarkisFlux 20:47, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks a lot! I was really able to see what you meant. And here's the finished product! --Ghostwheel 10:41, March 10, 2010 (UTC)

Saves Variant, Revised Edit

For any who still care, after thinking about it a lot more, I went with 1/2 character level + ability modifier (scaling past first level) + resistance bonus + class level in the end. Check it out here. --Ghostwheel 16:56, June 14, 2010 (UTC)

So it's "10 + level/2 + balanced wealth attribute bonuses + probably higher starting stat + feats and crap" vs. "d20 + level/2 + balanced wealth attribute bonuses + balanced wealth resistance bonuses + class bonus" now? It looks fine as long as you expect the feats and crap to balance with the resistance bonus, or otherwise don't mind that you are more likely to make a save against an equal CR opponent at higher level than at lower level. - TarkisFlux 18:24, June 14, 2010 (UTC)
About right, but at higher levels, you're going to have one stat on average that fails around 60-70% of the time if you spec in two other stats that each add to different saves. --Ghostwheel 18:32, June 14, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I forgot you had variant stat boosting for levels and wishes and things in your wealth rules.... So, accounting for that, and plugging numbers into ye olde spreadsheet link, we have that you break even on saves if the caster doesn't take any specialty feats and you don't happen to be boosting your save stat all the time (since your resistance bonus matches their inherent stat boost progression, though you get yours first). If you do boost your save stat, you get an extra +1/4 levels on top of that that they need to match with feats and crap to keep their success rate the same as your levels go up. So for some characters saves get easier, and for others saves get harder (assuming any sort of caster optimization), but it's within a +/-3 ish range and basically fine. - TarkisFlux 18:49, June 14, 2010 (UTC)
Also, there is a BIG DC jump (3 points) in the chart because of how people get bonuses (the inherent and enhancement and level bonuses all match up) at level 12. Shifting the enhancement bonuses to a level earlier would eliminate the 3 point jumps, and just shift around where existing 2 point jumps happen for the guys making the saves, and result in a generally smoother progression if you cared about that sort of thing. - TarkisFlux 19:00, June 14, 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it should end up being too much of a problem, since character DCs jump at exactly the same time, and monsters are already calibrated to the average of what PC saves/DCs would be at appropriate levels. Do you mention it more as a problem with a sudden jump in power, rather than something to do with balance? --Ghostwheel 19:11, June 14, 2010 (UTC)
Characters who are boosting save stats get the same jump, and characters who aren't get a 2 point jump but were 1 ahead already and wind up at the same point anyway. So yeah, it's just a smooth curve thing, not a balance thing. Unless your monsters are already on a smoother curve, in which case there will be some odd level based variability in success rates (not balance issue causing, just not consistent) and a smoother curve will help even that out. - TarkisFlux 19:24, June 14, 2010 (UTC)
One conundrum I've had was whether to round up or round down as far as saves are concerned after determining the average high/low saves. In the end I went for a smooth progression that sometimes rounds down, and sometimes rounds up. Do you have any advice on whether to round down or up always, and why? --Ghostwheel 05:04, June 15, 2010 (UTC)
If you don't follow a consistent rule, you make people refer to a table all of the time. Which isn't a big deal, it's just slightly slower in the long term as you rely on lookup / memorization instead of lookup / quick math. But there's no strong reason to always do up or down or whatever, your tables don't have to follow any pattern at all if you don't want them to as long as they're complete. - TarkisFlux 06:03, June 15, 2010 (UTC)

Sith/ Jedi class suggestions Edit

I need to fill the various missing parts in my Sith/ Jedi (3.5e Class), and would love any concept input from you. Also you have become one of the 3 co-authors of the Viveka Spectre (3.5e Prestige Class), thanks for the help. --Franken Kesey 00:35, March 10, 2010 (UTC)

Help with a Class Edit

Hi, Ghostie. I'm having difficulty translating an idea to mechanics (as well as coming up with class features) for a new class I'm designing (see User:Aarnott/Lego Bin 7). The concept is basically a character that doesn't do much themselves, but instead has lots of dudes that do stuff for him. I'm hoping to have the class on the same balance level as the Toxinblade/Marshal/Sharpshooter and also be able to multiclass nicely with other classes (much like those three classes do). Any comments and suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. --Andrew Arnott (talk, email) 19:40, March 16, 2010 (UTC)

New base class I'm working on here: Aarnott/Lego Bin 13. I'm not done the final ability, but besides that, let me know what you think (if you have time). I'm not sure if I'm venturing in dangerous territory by allowing luck rerolls to power class abilities and also have the feats work on a per-encounter basis. Thanks! --Andrew Arnott (talk, email) 18:17, June 10, 2010 (UTC)

HEY DUDE Edit

It's me Jason Bagby About my primordial pages I'm working on them and should be done soon--Jason Bagby 01:27, March 24, 2010 (UTC)

And when it's done, the incomplete tags may be removed. You've got 7 days. --Ghostwheel 01:28, March 24, 2010 (UTC)
I deleted them, discuss it before adding new sections to the wiki please (or use sandbox at least). --Leziad 01:30, March 24, 2010 (UTC)
So wait I can't add anything new don't get me wrong here I don't want to spam up anything I just want to contribute so please talk to me before you delete my stuff please peace g2g--Jason Bagby 01:56, March 24, 2010 (UTC)
Monster entries, classes and builds are one thing, but don't add in ridiculous amounts of infrastructure ("Add New User __", etc.) for things that aren't needed. There isn't enough information on what the heck "Primordials" even are, so you appear to be adding logs of pages and edits and crap without actual content. The purpose of adding wiki infrastructure pages is to support content, not the other way around. So add some content pages (monsters, dieties, whatever) first. --Quantumboost 02:20, March 24, 2010 (UTC)
<Admin Voice>New pages are fine. Whole new sections are probably fine too (assuming they don't already work in existing sections or work better as subsections of existing sections). They require changes that you aren't making and admins would like to know about, but they're probably fine. But your stuff... I just don't know what you're trying to do. Your articles don't follow our naming conventions (why is "User" in front of all of your pages, and why don't they have the (3.5e/4e Whatever) trailers?), aren't formatted properly in some cases... it's just bizarre. I don't want to crap on your contributions, but I don't understand where you're going or what you're doing. And that makes it hard to help you.</Admin Voice>
Sorry this is on your talk ghost :-/ - TarkisFlux 02:26, March 24, 2010 (UTC)
Well if that is it then I think I can fix everything.--Jason Bagby 00:46, March 25, 2010 (UTC)

Wiki Tags Edit

Thanks for helping me clear them up, little rusty, and this is a new format for me.-Tavis McCricket 01:41, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

No problem, glad to be of help :-) --Ghostwheel 01:42, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Another Idea - Social Combat Edit

Had another idea the other day--what if one made social encounters a mini-game within themselves, rather than resolving them as a simple check? This would not only add a measure of roleplaying to it (which the DM could reward with a +2 or -2 bonus depending on what the player said they were doing in response to what and how well they RPed their argument), as well as make it far more interesting when convincing people of things.

It would be basically a maneuver system in the same way that ToB works; every character would be able to choose 3 social maneuvers at first level, and for every, say, 3 ranks in a social skill they would able to get another one. One would get an "attack bonus" to social maneuvers equal to one-half level + starting cha mod (or Str for Intimidate if someone picked up something like Hulking Brute--could make more for different ability scores if they make sense), and one would use one's maneuvers, and be able to regain them with a full-round action or something similar.

AC would be similarly gotten; people would have a certain amount of social HP based on something-or-other, and maneuvers would include things like "Witty repartee", "Scathing Retort", "OBJECTION!", "Falsify Claim", "Certain Alibi", "Sway Crowd", "Incite Audience" and so on, and some maneuvers would require different things, such as needing to be larger than your target or a certain amount of ranks in certain skills.

Once you've lost all your social HP, you've been reduced to muttering yourself, a sputtering mess, or your credibility has been completely shattered in the eyes of those you're trying to convince. Four "disciplines" are all that is needed, Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive, though I suppose one could create other ones based on other skills, or perhaps a specific Bluff maneuver could allow one to use Sleight of Hand, for example. Thoughts? --Ghostwheel 05:50, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Having a Social Combat subsystem would definitely emphasize socialization more strongly than it is in the current system. New subsystems are significantly harder to pull off than most other types of rules modifications, and I don't know of any successfully implemented and finalized SocCom system - but there's a first time for everything. Good luck, if you decide to go ahead with it. --Quantumboost 06:03, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
It's not a bad thing to want (I attempted one a while back myself that I was never completely happy with), but it is hard to pull off. There's lots and lots of existing material that needs to be addressed before this sort of thing can be bolted onto the system unfortunately :-/. I know you're probably going to say "Wizard level, not in play and not relevant" at this, but you may also need to determine how spells like charm, suggestion, domination, fascination, and whatever else interact with this setup. And even if those are out, you have default skill uses like lying and detect lying and attitude adjustment and whatever on top of rogue level class abilities like bardic music that need to be sorted and explained in these new terms or edited out. Which just makes it complicated, not unworkable.
If you're going to reduce someone to a muttering mass anyway, you might want to consider just using the same HP pool as combat to reduce bookkeeping; the end result is very similar to that of stabbing them repeatedly. It's not a bad call to keep them separate of course, but you miss out on being able to beat someone to within an inch of their life and then social them more easily to get their agreement on something. Likewise you also can't social them to within an inch of their giving up and then murder them for near free. These only matter if you want them of course, and I'm not suggesting that this is a better way to go with it :-).
While it certainly could make socializing more valuable or easier to pull off (mostly by giving more detailed rules for what victory means and when it happens), I'm not sure that this adds any roleplaying that isn't there already. How do people who don't have "Falsify Claim" present evidence that devalues an opposing position? Is there a set of generic maneuvers that everyone can use, or do people get stuck trying to reflavor the maneuvers they have on hand to fit with what they wanted to say? It looks like it limits players more than the 1 check model, where you could make your 1 check mean lots of things. I actually think you'd be better off with a universal set of maneuvers based off of skills that anyone could use whenever, with more powerful versions available for selections. That way you keep your freedom to say whatever while also adding in some of the tactical complexity you seem to want.
It's more involved than the 1 check model, but that's only a good thing if this is supposed to be a more important portion of the game. If it's not an important part of the game, or if it doesn't do enough to be worth the extra time spent on it, I'd say that the 1 check model is superior actually (even if the results needs to be seriously toned down) since it lets you get back to the rest of the game more quickly. I actually think that social stuff should be worth something and so the interaction should be more complicated than 1 roll so I'm not disagreeing with your direction, I'm just pointing out a stumbling block. - TarkisFlux 17:54, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
An interesting idea for sure. I probably wouldn't use it mostly because I like social interactions to play with less rules rather than more. Sometimes Magical Tea Party has its rewards and I find the more you put rules into something the less people want to be to come up with creative ideas that the rules wouldn't explain. In particular, I find that 4e plays much more like a miniatures game that 3.5e does because of its very well defined rules.
Then again, I am doped up on painkillers after my surgery yesterday, so I might just be rambling :P. --Andrew Arnott (talk, email) 20:06, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the replies everyone! Let's go one at a time...
@QB: As I mentioned in chat, despite the great effort that might be needed, I think it might be worth implementing. The rules for social interactions in D&D are rather scarce, and this would allow the DM to challenge players not only on the battlefield, but also in social "encounters" that can remove daily resource (-ish, HP?).
@TF: I'm actually planning on having social HP as part of regular HP--though only a fraction of it that you can lose. (Cha score = total social HP, to a max of their regular HP? Perhaps a number of "successes" required based on the number of PCs taking part in the social encounter? Need to think on it more.) And the social HP you lose is later deducted from your total HP. As far as your specific example goes... well, that's what Bluff's for. Present false evidence, or make something up on the spot. It's risky, but the reward can be great, which will go into the mechanics (more social damage dealt?) I plan on having the "basic" maneuvers you can choose from as universal as possible, with options that can be expanded to most things one would say. The "higher" maneuvers will be more specialized... but also more powerful. And there might be a set of universal maneuvers that anyone can use, kinda like the Special Attacks in the PHB (Bull Rush, Trip, etc). As far as things like spells go, they're basically encounter-enders like Glitterdust is for combat. Enemies would have a bonus or penalty to AC depending on how friendly they are, and charm person would heighten the penalty; domination would make their effective AC/social HP 0, fascinate might be a social version of daze (which they have a chance to get out of whenever they're "attacked", and suggestion can fairly well remain the same as it's been. For the one-check system... there are a number of things that I don't like about it (if you want me to expand on them, mention them in a future post?), and a DM can always handwave a social encounter if he wants to, or if it's obvious that the PCs will win. This variant is one for more social-oriented games, where you can have a sort of combat without actually fighting--a way for the DM to challenge players who aren't built for combat in political or espionage games, something that D&D doesn't support too well atm--though it could. RP is currently a miniscule part of the game according to the rules, and this would expand it.
@Aarnie: One can always go back to Magical Tea Party if one wants; homebrew is always at the discretion of the DM, who can decide as he wishes. 3.5 has a number of pitfalls, newbie traps, and bad rule design in general; rather than having to resort to MTP or a single roll of the dice, I'd like to expand it to something where the players actually work hard and sweat at working towards a goal in social encounters, rather than the result being decided by whim of a DM or reduced to a single die roll, especially in long and complicated negotiations. 3.5e is a miniature game. The rules are just so unbalanced and frustrating (grapple) that I see that people sometimes forsake the tactical aspect of combat because it's often complicated or because combat is incredibly unbalanced. (Not that 4e is better in some respects, but I'm trying to work towards making it a balanced game. After all, if you don't really have rules and follow them, the game can easily devolve to, "What does the DM decide happens?" or MTP. --Ghostwheel 09:18, April 11, 2010 (UTC)

Improving Demonic Heritage Edit

Hi, I'm Nimlin. I saw where it said you were the one to look at my feat. If you'd tell me what my errors were in formatting, I'd appreciate it. I haven't really done this before. And if you'd tell me what else I could put in there to make it more complete, I'd love to hear back from you. :)--Nimlin 03:14, April 18, 2010 (UTC)

Amazing Character Optimizations! Edit

I love the character optimizations you did, I would have never guessed that at level 3 you could do 20d6+12 damage all by yourself, in my games I don't usually see that until at least level 14 or 15, I also liked your "machine gun assassin" I thought that that was an interesting thought, you are definitely good at finding those tiny loopholes to do that extra damage, good job!

Thanks :-D I worked really hard on some of those--a few were a really tight to fit in all the feats for. Most of my optimizations are usually for rogue-level games, but it's nice to see what the system can put out, and to get ideas or inspiration for characters and builds that you want to follow, allowing you to be both flavorful and effective. --Ghostwheel 18:38, April 25, 2010 (UTC)

Thoughts? Edit

Anything in my sandbox welcomes input, but I'm looking for your opinion on my fighter variant. Specifically:

  • Filling in the dead levels at 9th, 13th, and 17th (which are spaced evenly, conveniently enough).
  • Capstone class feature. Thinking of having two, one from each "type" of fighter (or, one offensive and one defensive). Thoughts?
  • General input of what is already established.

--Tavis McCricket 20:25, April 30, 2010 (UTC)

I echo Tarkis's statement; changing the RNG leads to Bad Things, and "DR fixes things" is a really bad argument to make about it due to how high damage easily scales. --Ghostwheel 23:22, May 1, 2010 (UTC)
Poke.--Tavis McCricket 19:46, May 25, 2010 (UTC)

DnDWikiEdit

Hello there! Looking at D&D at Wikia I came from Wikipedia to D&D Wiki. After many discussions with User:Surgo we came to the conclusion, that we want to combine efforts by merging the two wikis dealing with D&D. I have now started importing articles form there specifically in the new namespace "DnDWiki". From there, I think they should be adapted to conform to policies here - and some things have to be discussed, as this material mainly deals articles based on published, not homebrew information. This will probably take quite some time, so I think we may need something other than your usual "Incomplete" template for that namespace. Maybe I should have raised that question before, but I wanted to see first if the Export/Import procedure that has been talked about really works. If you like, please also have a look at DnDWiki:Introduction. Daranios 19:29, June 3, 2010 (UTC)

Sublime Singer optimized build does not work. Edit

Just letting you know that the Sublime Singer optimization build does not work as listed.

The reason this build does not work properly is because when you first enter Virtuoso, you must select the class your spell progression applies to. Since the first level of Virtuoso is picked up before Sublime Chord, the spell progression is applied to the bard class. Once this spell progression is selected, it cannot then be changed at a later date to effect the Sublime Chord progression. Thus the build would not attain 9th level spells, but would instead have spell the progression of an 18th level Bard and a 2nd level Sublime Chord. —Preceding unsigned comment added by HeBear (talkcontribs)

The actual wording is "before adding the prestige class level", and only sets the requirement that you advance some spell casting class that you had before your current level of virtuoso. The later wording regarding having to choose one of multiple preexisting spell casting classes isn't even more restrictive, since it just says that you can only advance one progression at a time if you have more than one preexisting spellcasting progression before you start the class (if you really wanted to be a literal semantic jerk, you could argue that the wording allows you to advance 1 spellcasting progression from before you took the class in addition to every one that you took afterwards and be on decent ground, but I would laugh in their face). I see no general ban on changing the advanced class after your first spell casting advancement selection. So the build appears solid and your analysis appears flawed. - TarkisFlux 16:54, June 15, 2010 (UTC)
What he said. --Ghostwheel 00:00, June 16, 2010 (UTC)

2nd Opinion Edit

So am I just a jackass, or do I have a point?--Tavis McCricket 22:21, June 17, 2010 (UTC)

You have a point and then some. I'm just tired of arguing with idiots who don't listen to reason or logic even when you strip it, autopsy it, and lay all its organs nice and neat with labeled diagrams. --Ghostwheel 01:31, June 18, 2010 (UTC)

Hello, Sir. A kudos and two questions for you. Edit

I'm a bit new 'round here, but I just looked over your balanced wealth variant and must say I'm very pleased you made this. It's a little complex, but I'm just so glad someone formulated this, personally because I felt like wealth was too important to characters compared to inherent abilities; at some levels it felt like giving NPCs only 1/2 the gear knocked down their CR by 2. I look forward to trying this out sometime.

I honestly was going to leave you this message just to say "kudos" on the work, but I also ended up having questions. This might've been made clear, though if so I missed it: are the particular magic weapons, such as a flaming axe or keen bow, still bought, using wealth according to the DMG table? Or are they more like inherent abilities of any item owned by the character, like the enhancement abilities?

Secondly, the Merciful boost according to the Boost Enhancement Examples allows the weapon to deal nonlethal damage with no penalty on attack rolls. In the DMG (page 225), the Merciful ability causes the weapon to deal an extra 1d6 damage, and all damage is non-lethal. Was this a purposeful omission? If not, how should the extra damage from the activated Merciful ability progress, if at all, compared to the damage enhancement examples?

Much appreciated. And I'm sorry that despite having two questions, I used four question marks. Misleading, I know. 70.176.126.181 23:46, June 21, 2010 (UTC)Quilliard

I'm not Ghostwheel, but I have some experience playing with his system so I will try to answer to the best of my abilities. The basic premise as I understand it is that the magic of the weapon comes from the abilities of the character, thus they are not paid for. This only accounts for the bonuses provided in the CWBL tables, and a separate pool of cash is allotted for miscellaneous magical items that are not in the table. So the man makes the sword, not the other way around.
As for the merciful enchantment, I'm guessing that it operates in the same fashion as the other enhancements do: It deals damage proportional to the base numerical enhancement of the weapon (so a weapon with a +1 bonus deals +1d6 points of damage and a +2 bonus grants 2d6 extra damage). - TG Cid 01:25, June 22, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the compliments :-D If you like that, check out my system revision (WIP), Grimoire of the Balanced Wheel.
Yep, thanks for catching that, forgot that it did more than convert damage to nonlethal.
And yeah, in this item most magic items are supposed to be found or bartered for rather than just bought with half a room full of gold, which is why the CWBL tables have completely nixed from the equation, giving the DM full control while still setting benchmarks to the number of magic items players can have/use and keeping them at the right level regardless of whether they get any magic items or not as far as the RNG goes. --Ghostwheel 03:22, June 22, 2010 (UTC)

Simplified Races Edit

Karrius and I were talking the other day about races, and came up with an interesting idea that I wanted some more input on before writing up; what if instead of the usual things that races get, they just got a few cool abilities? Remove ability bonuses, forget for a moment about the things no one really cares about, and give races cool abilities that can benefit any character. All races get three abilities, one combat, one utility, and one passive.
For example, an elf might get as his combat one the ability to reroll an attack or force a foe to reroll a save against a save (basically the same thing, in reality) once per encounter, as a passive ability the ability to make it so that no one is surprised in his party is he's not surprised at the start of combat, and the ability to ignore one square of difficult terrain per round as a utility ability.
On the other hand, a halfling might be able to reroll a save or force an opponent who attacks him to reroll an attack on per encounter as a combat ability, small as a passive ability (+1 to AC and attack, etc), and hide in plain sight (though still requires cover or concealment) as a utility ability.
Thoughts from anyone? --Ghostwheel 04:48, July 1, 2010 (UTC)

It does seem interesting, but to me it's just making more changes to the game which don't need to be made. Maybe made as additions...?...well I don't know. If people like it, they'll use it; if not, they won't. That's what homebrew's about, so I say, go for it.
I wouldn't make small a passive ability, by the way, as it hinders as much as it helps. This may be okay with what you're thinking of as abilities, and I don't have any better idea for a Halfling ability.
I do like the elf's passive and utility abilities, they really fit. No so sure about its combat one.
The different racial abilities, such as secret doors and stone cunning, were meant to make each race offer a special ability in the dungeon setting. Sometimes these abilities' usefulness was restricted based on class choice (Yay the ranger with a -1 Int can make a search check reflexively!). I like the idea of abilities which are more useful regardless of class, and also would encourage parties to be more diverse. Quilliard 05:05, July 1, 2010 (UTC)
Sounds promising. Anything that dumps the old race-class straitjacketing by dumping overly class-synergistic abilities and stat adjustments is a good alternative. You should write it up. - TarkisFlux 16:36, July 1, 2010 (UTC)
Another example: Duergar; Passive ability: Stability (lose 1/3 speed, +4 vs. being moved or tripped, no speed penalty when encumbered or in armor). Combat ability: Enlarge Person 1/encounter as a swift action, lasts one round. Utility ability: Invisibility 1/minute as a swft action, lasts one round. --Ghostwheel 00:14, July 2, 2010 (UTC)
About the smallness as a racial ability; does this include bonuses to Dex, and penalties to Str and/or Con? I assume it isn't intended to.
Besides that, I liked what I looked at. I'm still making up my mind about the whole no-ability score differences, but that's just me. Quilliard 16:53, July 2, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, and nope, no bonus to Dex or penalty to Str from being small. --Ghostwheel 22:34, July 2, 2010 (UTC)

Vow of Nonviolence Edit

Hey there, I noticed you have the Vow of Nonviolence on your Wall of Cheese. I was wondering how you would balance this so that it isn't so, well, cheesey, and also, do you consider Vow of Peace to be cheese as well?Quilliard 17:25, July 3, 2010 (UTC)

Yes, and I can't really think of a way to balance it. Much of my beef with the feats is that they make the game less fun for everyone, since you have to constantly force your party members not to kill prisoners, which is often aggravating. I dislike those two feats much like I dislike Frenzied Berserker--classes or abilities with flavor requirements or which force you to do specific things can easily make the game less fun for everyone else at the table. --Ghostwheel 23:59, July 3, 2010 (UTC)
I agree that flavorful stuffs which hamper other player's actions are not normally preferable, though if agreed upon, I enjoy such dramatic changes. So, looking at the vow of peace, do you think it's buff, or not, in terms of balance? Quilliard 21:18, July 7, 2010 (UTC)
In terms of balance, it looks to be wizard-level, and I wouldn't allow it in my games personally. --Ghostwheel 05:04, July 8, 2010 (UTC)

Burn the Witch! Edit

Yes, yes, I know this will probably spawn some ire or negative comments, but I figured I'd try to see what people think anyway; what do you think of splitting casting stats so that casters are less SAD? For example, for a wizard you could have Int decide spell DCs, Wisdom limit what level spells you could take, and Charisma limit your bonus spells. Keep in mind that I'm thinking of this within the framework on both the recharging magic variant, so bonus spells aren't too important, and balanced wealth which gives +6 to all stats as part of its natural progression, as well as +1 to two stats at every even level. Thoughts? --Ghostwheel 03:39, July 5, 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure there's really that huge of a difference either way, except perhaps (and even then) for gishes, who may need to invest their stats elsewhere. Given the inherent (eventual) +6, it practically is only two score dependency, with the real trade being a little Con or Dex (maybe Cha) to get just a bit of Wisdom at first level. As you point out, bonus spells aren't that big of a deal given the recharge variant, and you can still get your Charisma quite high (as high as your Intelligence, if you'd like). Gishes will have Spiritual Weapon, which mitigates most MAD issues they would have otherwise, making the trade-off imposed by this ruling between Dexterity or Constitution and Charisma. Bonus spells aren't likely to be integral to survival, given you still have whatever spells are offered to you as part of the core chassis, and a little boost to AC and initiative/a few extra hit points is likely to have a similarly minimal effect on your overall chances of survival, so whatever floats your boat I guess (with regard to implementation). -- Jota 04:15, July 5, 2010 (UTC)
I understand that you're targeting re-design of spellcasters here specifically, but I imagine that the overall intent is to rework all Single Ability Dependent classes with something like "must avoid characters that can just pimp out a single stat to win DnD". Has there been other overhaul of what ability scores will likely be controlling for all characters? Also, under the framework you are aiming toward, is it still easily possible/manageable to pimp out singular stats above all others? It seems like, if that is controlled, there wouldn't be a need to split up casting duties. Then again, I may be overlooking something. --Ganteka Future 22:23, July 7, 2010 (UTC)
3 attribute MAD with only 2 boosts to spend? It looks like you still max DC and then split between spell level and spell recharge. It probably means you go for 2 16s in point buy and then you don't spend attribute boosts on other things anymore... which drops DCs by a point and cuts you back in some other areas. It's not bad, but I'm not sure how much that gets you. - TarkisFlux 00:52, July 8, 2010 (UTC)
@Guntank: I think the primary offenders are spellcasters; even the marshal, for example, could be viable single-stat but gains a lot more versatility from having high dex/str/con since without those all he can use is his own abilities while the others open up all kinds of options such as Stand Still. I think making a fix for spellcasters would fix the most problematic cases. That, and the marshal doesn't really "win" at D&D even with a single stat.
@Tark: Sounds good enough for me :-) You wouldn't even need to put more than 13 into the "cast spells up to this number" ability as long as you don't mind waiting until level 18 to get 9th level spells due to the +6 enhancement bonus one gets to all ability scores. Even just that's better than requiring just one ability score, while allowing me to bump down the monster tables by one to account for the fact that spellcasters won't all be starting with an 18 in every stat, as well as to allow meleers who use DCs (like a number of martial maneuvers) to be viable where currently they're rather sucky since their DC is often lower due to having to invest in multiple ability scores. Thoughts? --Ghostwheel 05:09, July 8, 2010 (UTC)

Discipline Weapons Edit

I imagine a good number of your builds would substantially benefit from discipline weapons (the enhancement, not the legacy weapons), provided you don't group it in the same category as a short sword of subtlety. The basic combat rogue could start with swashbuckler, dip swordsage (Assassin's Stance), pick up Daring Outlaw anyway (since you don't actually need rogue levels), and then have a Shadow Hand discipline weapon for a constant +3 to hit, provided you don't change stances. In typing that, I can imagine your response, and yet I feeling compelled to mention it. The Nightcrawling Shadowpouncer also would have Shadow Hand, given the focus there, and maybe even Tiger Claw too, since you could justify being in Blood in the Water with a dual discipline weapon. Feral Shifter also seems to assume Assassin's Stance for the most part, as do the Mobile Blender and the Righteous Rager. Anything that has Blood in the Water as it's primary focus can get Tiger Claw, since Blood in the Water is more or less your default option in most cases. I'm not sure there's really a 'default' stance for warblades, per se, so those might be a little trickier given you'll probably pull strikes from several disciplines, ditto for crusaders, though their narrower focus (especially for those that are Thicket of Blades focused -- I see all three Glaive builds are, as is the Mindspider Infiltrator) means it could be worthwhile. -- Jota 04:24, July 21, 2010 (UTC)

Sure could, though that'd involve a whole lotta recalculation of DPR. If someone else wants to do it, go ahead, else people can figure it out for themselves :-P
That said, how do you add a discipline weapon enhancement to an eldritch glaive without homebrew? :-P heh --Ghostwheel 08:12, July 21, 2010 (UTC)

Little questions about some banning... Edit

I love your list, but I cannot understand some of your choices.

Why those things are in the Wall?

  • Artificer,
  • Abjurant Champion,
  • Divine Metamagic,
  • Knock-Down,
  • Gate.

About Divine Metamagic I agree the default one is crazy, but I always thought the version in the errata was fine. Thanks. Ezzetabi 16:34, July 25, 2010 (UTC)

  • Artificer - A class made for breaking CWBL, broken at very low levels (useless) and at very high levels (has access to every spell on every spell list basically, also blastificers).
  • Abjurant Champion - Breaks away from the RNG completely, having far higher AC than other characters to the point where monsters who have even a small chance of hitting him auto-hit his allies.
  • DMM - Persisting the big 3 cleric spells (Divine Favor, Divine Power, Righteous Might) makes meleers cry.
  • Knockdown - Cheesy as hell. You shouldn't be able to auto-trip someone on every single attack you make, since any half-decent meleer above level 3 is going to deal more than 10 damage per hit.
  • Infinite wishes, tons of ancient celestial gold wyrms to fight your battles for you... the possibilities are endless.
Hope that explains em. Not familiar with the DMM errata though. --Ghostwheel 18:26, July 25, 2010 (UTC)
I think I got it, but can expand your acronyms? What does CWBL, RNG means?
About Divine Metamagic: the errata forces the character to select a metamagic feat that already has (in normal version) and allows to use divine metamagic only on divine spells. So it is still powerful, but you need twice the feats and in order to use it on arcane spells you need to take the Alternative Source Spell feat too.
This leads to another question: isn't Persistent Spell the real offender? Make a few rounds spell lasting 24 hours seems the problem: the Divine Metamagic examples you posted are in direction (in fact it would be in my Wall).
I am asking because I might need to DM an high level non-epic champaign and I would like to avoid unnecessary headaches. Again, thanks. 79.10.9.243 22:13, July 25, 2010 (UTC)
CWBL is Character Wealth By Level which is, as I understand it, the amount of resources each character has available for spending throughout out the game. Characters capable of crafting/enchanting their own equipment can essentially bypass this by making items on their own instead of paying market value for them. This gives them money to spend on things like stat boosters and other goodies that you can't craft yourself (like the aforementioned wish spells and gold dragons), putting them a step ahead of their less strapped comrades.
The RNG is the Random Number Generator, which is central to D&D because the whole point of rolling dice is to introduce an element of randomness to the game. If your attack bonus or Armor Class is so ludicrously high that you don't even need to roll to hit (since not everyone plays with 1 as an auto-fail all the time) or your opponents couldn't hit you unless they roll a natural 20, then the purpose of the RNG is rendered moot.
As for Divine Metamagic, yes, Persistent Spell is the most commonly cited offender, but I think the main problem is that in the end you are trading turning attempts for Metamagic that doesn't boost the level of the spell, which is why something like divine power that could never normally be persisted now can be. The same possibility applies to other forms of Metamagic; they just aren't talked about as much as Persistent Spell because of the large gap in spell power now available. So Divine Metamagic can basically be abused across the spectrum of spell levels. - TG Cid 01:16, July 26, 2010 (UTC)
What Cid said; DMM can be used with Quicken, Sculpt, and a host of other problematic spells. Perhaps if you capped the level of the modified spell level to what you could cast might make it more balanced (so you couldn't DMM Persist a level 3 spell until CL 17 when you could cast level 9 spells), but even then it might be problematic, and personally it's easier to just ban it than make the changes since clerics have an incredible number of tricks up their sleeve, even without DMM.
That said, if you want to bypass many of the problems that plague D&D, two systems that you might want to look at are the Tome and Grimoire systems; in the Tome system, the expectation is for most people to be around the level of the wizard, cleric, and druid. That means that my banned list is unbanned, you expect encounters to be decided on the first round, people die at the drop of a hat often enough, and PCs are for the most part the masters of their own destiny, with the ability to bypass DM decisions and story plots with "I win" cards (divination, teleportation, plane shifts, "I win" cards, scry-and-die, etc). Personally, I don't like this mindset, but there are many who espouse its greatness. It can be found below (see IGTN's post), starting with Races of War at the top.
The other system that changes D&D is the Grimoire system revision, something I created and am working on codifying, with much of the material already written. Its mindset is at a lower power level, expecting players to be at around the level of the martial adept. Battles are more cinematic, traditionally taking around 8 rounds to complete, and tactics can play a large role in the combat since over time they can make a big difference.
For the most part, characters are enforced to the SGT, and are balanced against each other as far as damage and options go for the most part while still being very different, and against monsters who have an easy table with which to create them. The new classes in the Grimoire system follow the "pre-optimized but unoptimizable" guideline for the most part, where a newbie can pick up one of them and be effective even if they take Toughness ten times, while even players with a high system mastery will find it hard to optimize the classes too much.
Furthermore, characters for the most part don't have the ability to break the game, and the wealth system has been redone to keep everyone more balanced wealth-wise and stop the imbalance between casters and attackers, as well as reduce the "Christmas Tree" effect that high-level characters can at times find themselves in. The system also contains a number of minor adjustments to casters to lower their overall power in combat without needing to change actual spells. I need to complete codifying the system, but you can check out what's written up here, more of the rules I plan on codifying officially and adding design notes are here, and you can find the quick-and-easy monster creation tables here.
For the most part, I created the revision to make it easy on the DM to balance encounters quickly and easily, and make the game overall more balanced. Obviously since I made it, I prefer this option over the Tome one, though many prefer the Tome system revision.
Let me know if you've got any other questions :-) --Ghostwheel 02:34, July 26, 2010 (UTC)
Your link to the tomes is bugged; it should be written as [http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Tome here]; using double-brackets to try to link to a category instead adds it to the page, which I'm pretty sure is not what you meant.
Also, minor nitpick, but the Tome series was started with the Tome of Necromancy, then Fiends, then Dungeonomicon, then RoW; coincidentally, that's also the order from least to most extreme changes. Personally, I'd recommend starting with the Dungeonomicon, then RoW, then if you're curious or DMing going back to Fiends and Necromancy, unless you really want to play a non-Monk warrior (bring RoW to the front; Monks are in the Dungeonomicon), or play/DM fiends or necromancers (bring the appropriate book to the front), unless you're a stickler for reading things in order.
Also, a point you mentioned that I want to emphasize is that all of the plot-avoidance in the Tomes is already in D&D. The Tomes do very little to change the spell list, and there only when it doesn't work. The difference is one of playstyle; conventional D&D involves the DM tearing his hair out when the PCs use these abilities, Tome D&D changes the playstyle to one where the DM throws adventures the PCs want at them and laughs with them when they derail the adventure completely. PCs ruling their destiny is a style difference, not really mechanical; the existing derail abilities are open to more people, but off-hand I can't think of many new ways for a wizard to break the world. Grimoire D&D apparently (I haven't read the Grimoire system in much depth yet) cuts off access to the derail spells to let the DM focus his energies elsewhere. --IGTN 04:29, July 26, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for catching that, not sure why the link didn't work, I'll remove the link above so it's removed from the page categories. Also thanks for catching the chronological order of Tome stuff, I'd forgotten what was first and in which order they came afterwards.
And that's true--Grimoire focuses more on DM ease, where a DM can prepare an adventure for the players without having to worry that they'll find out who killed the maid on the first day with a Commune spell or that they'll teleport to the MacGuffin and out without much trouble, or that they'll scry-and-die the BBEG after the second encounter. It instead focuses on more "traditional" (might be the wrong word) adventures, such as those seen in various books where most of the characters don't just teleport to where the BBEG is, kill him, and are back for tea a minute later.
Some of the inspiration I got for the way I see Grimoire games being run comes from series such as the Dragonriders of Pern, Royal Assassin/Tawny Man, Discworld, The Princess Bride, Song of Ice and Fire, Sword of Truth, The Riftwar Saga, The Wayfarer Redemption, and the Stainless Steel Rat. In many of those magic is present and fantastic, but it's not quite at the same level as say, Wheel of Time, where casters are virtually omnipotent compared to "normal" people regardless of how skilled the normal people are. I especially enjoyed how magic was illustrated in Royal Assassin and Tawny Man series, particularly the differences between the Skill and the Wit and the extent to what each of those could do.
This is done in two ways, neither requiring one to actually change how any of the spells work: lengthened spellcasting and recharging magic. The first makes it so that meatshields are actually important, since casters can often be squishy, and requiring them to take a round to cast a spell means that they're vulnerable in the "off" round, making good tanks important (and incidentally creating a role for traditional knight-defenders of mages) as well as allowing enemies to respond to magic either by attempting to disrupt a spell or scatter if they recognize the spell being cast. It's also just "feels" right in my mind that most spells require time to conjure and cast, rather than everything being done in a fraction of a round (though YMMV with this concept).
Second is the recharging magic variant, which allows casters to be able to use their spells every combat without being made useless towards the end of the day. This variant might make spellcasters more powerful... but it's actually a limiting factor as well that allows the DM to limit which spells can be used how often by changing the recharge time of specific spells. If glitterdust only recharges once every 24 hours (or however long, according to the DM's discretion), it's less likely that the character will spam it every encounter, and if teleport only recharges once an hour it's less likely that a character will teleport in and kill an enemy since there might be other enemies waiting for them--especially what with spellcasting being lengthened to a whole round. Basically, it's a way for the DM to limit powerful spells that have the potential for derailing a plot without having to actually change the spell or ban it completely--simply change the recharge time on any specific problematic spells to suit your campaign. It's true that this can be as good as banning the spell, but I don't think that DMs should be afraid of doing so if it threatens their campaign and style, and this variant might give them a freer license with which to exercise their power.
There's also minor variants to specific effects, such as monsters being able to save every round against debilitating effects like Glitterdust or Stinking Cloud, and save-or-die effects instead doing 10 damage per level on a failed save, but the main balancing factor for spellcasters comes from the above. Hope that explains how spellcasters are toned down in the Grimoire system. --Ghostwheel 04:54, July 26, 2010 (UTC)
I read your Grimorie and I agree with the most part; I'd also like the idea of a different power level; and overall I hate the Christmas Tree effect; it is annoying that a Fighter MUST find a decent weapon of choice to be effective. Unfortunately your Grimore changes the game so deeply that I cannot probably convince my players. I prefer using few house rules (like your Wall) and keep the game as is as much as possible. I'd like to write down this house rules here for a friendly confrontation, but since I am not a English native speaker and many English-speakers seems sharks against strangers I never did it. About my questions about the Wall: I am somewhat still puzzled about the presence of Knock down: I always saw it as a good way to cover the power gap between casters and meleers. Ezzetabi 20:03, July 26, 2010 (UTC)
A big reason is because it's cheap and cheesy. That said, I don't want meleers to be at the same level as casters, I want casters (and most other character) to be around the level of very good meleers. Getting a chance to trip with every single attack at no detriment is too powerful for my taste. --Ghostwheel

Shower of Arrows Question. Edit

I am working on building a character based off your Shower of Arrows build. I can not find the Arcane Hunter ability you have listed under the first level taken as a Ranger? Where is it located? And Shouldn't the Favoured enemy: Undead be for the first level of Ranger not the 4th level of Scout. Thanks for putting up a awesome archer build in any case.

Never mind, I think I found it finally. But now I have the question of what would Favoured enemy Arcanist really do for the build? And how is Skirmish advancing without more levels of Scout? Sarelth 18:53, July 26, 2010 (UTC)

Swift Hunter feat for advancing skirmish damage, and the Arcanist as a favored enemy allows you to sneak attack all sorts of miscellaneous critters that have spell-likes. They might not be prevalent at very low levels, but by higher levels most enemies count as that, allowing you to get extra damage when attacking them. Hope that helps :-) --Ghostwheel 19:37, July 26, 2010 (UTC)
That makes a lot more sense, was having trouble finding some of the feats. Think I found all the ones on the build now, except the Dead Eye feat you mention in the Further optimization section. Hunting it down now though. Thanks. Sarelth 20:36, July 26, 2010 (UTC)
Yep, n/p. Dead Eye is in Dragon Compendium, though I personally recommend this feat instead. --Ghostwheel 21:42, July 26, 2010 (UTC)

Non-Arcane Blaster? Edit

Hey, I'm a long-time fan of your optimized character builds. I had an idea for a rogue/bard or artificer build that would use the use magic device skill to use wands. Using the Metamagic Spell trigger feat of the artificer ability of the same name to maximize, double cast, split, and use other metamagic feats to improve wand damage. I prefer the artificer's ability because it doesnt state a limit to how many charges you can expand at a time. I like the feat Cull Wand Essence from Magic of Eberron; I think the 10d6 is on average better than a lvl 4 spell, even though there are some feats from the complete books and the eberron books that raise the wand's caster levels. Perhaps using a quicken spell and then take your turn to use two more wand attacks from the Complete Arcane feat: double wand wielder. IF using a total of about 37 charges, and using a quickened split-ray maximized twin-spell wand use and then double wand attack, each split-ray maximized twin-spell, with the 10d6 damage from the cull wand essence, I get about 720 damage. Can you improve this build in any ways? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.185.124.161 (talkcontribs)

To tell the truth, I could probably optimize such a build further, but I disapprove of artificers in general and this build specifically because it can break the game in so many ways. It's builds like that which give optimizers a bad name in many circles, causing over-reactions by DMs who've played with such builds before to ban multiple books because someone exploited the system. Artificers by their very nature are bad for game balance, and that route is one of the worse ones to take with them since it makes most challenges non-existant, often leading to a frustrated DM and other players who are also disgrunted since you kill everything on the first round with the above metamagic'ed wand. --Ghostwheel 23:11, July 29, 2010 (UTC)
Well I in general agree with you about the Artificer: its a class that has no real party role and it is too over powered, able to fit into almost any role too well. But it does work for the biuld lsightly better than the rogue/bard optimization I originally thought of. I actually plan to the character in a broken campaign, with other overly-optimized characters (Ithink the DM plans us to fight lesser deities and epic level creatures at only level 12 or so). Would you have any ideas for a bard/rogue of the same build idea?--24.185.124.169 23:49, July 29, 2010 (UTC)[GuyWhoWantsAdvice] 21:43, July 29, 2010
As a bard/rogue? Not really, though you might as well be an Expert if all you really want is UMD *shrug* --Ghostwheel 02:33, July 30, 2010 (UTC)

Question about your guide to party roles concerning the defender Edit

You wrote that too many people play the "sword-n-board" build and it often fails because they can not deal enough damage to not be ignored. Would'nt the goad feat or the knight's abilities easily correct this problem, or is it not that easy? 24.185.119.2 23:31, August 6, 2010 (UTC)

I personally find Goad to be too limited--in fact, so much so that I decided to write a version that fits more closely to what I believe it should do. I also created feats like this to help defenders further. While the knight can do the "defendery" job alright, they're not quite as effective as I think they should be--however, you should check out the Tome Knight for a knight that's able to get enemies to target him much more effectively through the use of Designate Opponent. --Ghostwheel 00:03, August 7, 2010 (UTC)

Just a Question Edit

For the homebrew feat you created called Zen Exaltation, would you say that the extra damage would be multiplied by a critical or not? I guess what I'm basically asking is, is the extra damage just added on, or should it be considered an addition to the base damage of the weapon being used? Yellojacket 16:50, August 10, 2010 (UTC)

Additional damage die are not multiplied by critical modifiers. --TK 16:57, August 10, 2010 (UTC)
What TK said. --Ghostwheel 21:44, August 10, 2010 (UTC)

Apology Edit

I don't really know what I messed up on but then again editing wikis is new to me, but I do apologize for changing something that shouldn't have been changed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wyverian (talkcontribs)

No problem, just be sure to check with people who know what they're doing before adding things on official pages :-)
(A good way to check quickly is by going on the IRC challenge--I'm sure there will generally be people there who are more than happy to help.) --Ghostwheel 23:49, September 1, 2010 (UTC)

Identity Edit

You appear to be a swift and constant editor, like I am on my home wiki. Who art thou?--May the true lore ever be protected and Kept in the mighty tomes. 17:27, September 2, 2010 (UTC)

I am that I am. --Ghostwheel 17:29, September 2, 2010 (UTC)
[grin] Ah, finally, something cryptic. I do have a question...Whilst this place does not seem to have the fanon title, there is a lot of fanon content. I would create my world on here, but is there anything I should know, kee-aye?--May the true lore ever be protected and Kept in the mighty tomes. 17:31, September 2, 2010 (UTC)
Only that the process is most arduous and requires much exacting of code. There are a few things that are generally no-nos, but people are kind enough to point out your mistakes before they linger for too long 'pon the breadth and length of the wiki. Beyond that, do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. --Ghostwheel 17:37, September 2, 2010 (UTC)
Ah, I knew it had something to do with code. I'm horrible with code. I shalt do my best despite this. And fear not, I know the boundaries from my home wiki, most venerable Ghostwheel. Thank thee.--May the true lore ever be protected and Kept in the mighty tomes. 17:46, September 2, 2010 (UTC)
Not a problem; if you plan on dreaming up a setting within which players grow and battle the most terrible of foes, a good place for the first footstep would be at the top of this page. --Ghostwheel 17:50, September 2, 2010 (UTC)
'Twill be kept in mind. I am not much good with writing and campaigning, but I will surely be bringing my most powerful of characters and most fearsome of monsters with which to establish msyelf.--May the true lore ever be protected and Kept in the mighty tomes. 17:53, September 2, 2010 (UTC)
Good luck be upon ye, young scribe, and may your footsteps never wander afar from a warm fire and a welcome hearth. I shall keep to my place and watch from the shadows, but be sure to call upon me once more should you require further assistance. Until then, I depart for places deep within the nether. --Ghostwheel 17:56, September 2, 2010 (UTC)
Fare thee well, Ghostwell.--May the true lore ever be protected and Kept in the mighty tomes. 17:57, September 2, 2010 (UTC)

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