DMGp43: Non level 1 characters can't spend more than 50% WBL on a single item.
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No one managed to find a 3rd permanent benefit gained through a printed adventure that had no cost. Extra retard points go to soro for listing rituals & magical locations that (unlike the one mentioned in the OP), you know, have costs. So since no one else was able find a third example, I finally did: Dungeon Magazine 153's 6th page of Touch of Madness has an artifact called Tears of Ioun that with exposure (but not ownership) gives the Aberrant Blood feat to humanoids. The real question became how to find it. This brings me to:The Finder
One explosion later that commoner level transforms in only a path to become the world's best detective ... if you need to find things.
Human Psion 5 / Chameleon 5 / Cerebremancer 5 / Psychic Theurge 5
Either Psychic Reformat (you are a psion, after all) yourself to go from a Shaper to a Seer after your last Chameleon level (you'll have the levels to support the prereqs with the cross-rank skill cap and thanks to able learner it does not cost any extra skill points) or retrain. You can also be an Apprentice(Criminal) [DMG2p177] with the Skil knowledge [UA81] feat at 3 for Bluff & Disguise but it isn't as elegant. EDIT: See the Magical Training + sanctum spell + southern Magician / alternate source spell feats below. These could eat up your flaws and 6th level feat, but your 9th-18th level feats are still open.
Finding important things or powerful people has always been tricky in D&D. Its balance is of concern to every murder mystery or behind the scenes, powerful wizard story in a multitude of campaigns. The go to sources for core attempt to locate a creature or locate an object are woefully underpowered, purposely. Anyone with mind blank, form-changing, mislead, or nondetection laugh at these spells even if you happen to be within 2000' of a fully buffed circle mage who has cast these spells to find you. The same goes for objects (nondetection or PAO only). There are additional restrictions of needing to know exactly what you are after, especially when Vecna blooded is in play. Most players looking for something don't know a target's exact nature. They certainly won't have it less than a half mile away.
The solution (for important things) is time. Characters under level 11 typically don't have access to means to defeat standard divinations and people generally don't want to find nonlegendary items. The Finder doesn't have time to find your favorite spoon. He uses the Legend Lore spell that allows a bard (or high level wizard or even higher level cleric) plus 3 days to almost 3 and a half months (average of 2 months) to "fish" for information based off intercepting legendary information.
Normally Legend Lore has a limit. Specifically it can get you detailed information about what you are looking for. But it can't get you exactly what you want. This is where Hypercognition comes in. It can help you deduce the exact location of what you want. But it needs enough "fuel" to zero in on your target. A nice DM might allow your standard PC to simply hire two separate NPCs to do the castings for you. This bends the rule that most NPCs offering casting services won't accompany the PC. But even more than that it could be very plausible that a standard seer 20, even after being dropped in the correct place and after being told the relevant information from three Legend Lore castings may not have enough experience with the castings to use it as fuel for Hypercognition. Only by having them in the same character is it a likely guarantee. Of course this won't work well with rapidly moving targets, but that opens up other potential information leaks which may result in more normal methods working.
Sample use of "The Trick":
The Finder can be hired to get a PC to the Tear of Ioun so that the PC can benefit from the bonus after exposure. How the PC knows about the effects of the Tear of Ioun is left as an excersize to the reader, but the sample NPCs with the listed bonus feat is RAW.
The finder takes the time to cast Legend Lore three times. The first time, the Finder only knows of the Tear of Ioun as a rumor. It gives the vague and incomplete information that Tear of Ioun isn't what it used to be after being used by the Kaorti. This directs him to more detailed information, allowing a better legend lore result next time. Specficially, Legend Lore reveals that the Kaorti using the Tear of Ioun happened long ago, according to legend, near the small town of Wellspring near the Kadagast Mountains. The last Legend Lore casting could take place in the town of Wellspring (the Finder can teleport/shadow walk, etc). It doesn't take long for the last Legend Lore casting to point to a deserted tower in the Kadagast Mountains past the Harrow Wood.
Upon an instant visit to this location, Hypercognition can deduce the location of the stole Tear of Ioun by illithid agents of an illithid named Shathrax residing in a fortress under Wellspring. Now standard methods (stone tell/location item/locate creature/etc) can be used to directly locate the Tear of Ioun after returning to Wellspring. Upon doing so, the Finder will have earned his pay of time+spells.
Why This Build?:
Could a lot of other builds do this? Yes. Could RAW cheese my like triple 9 build do this? Yes. But this build is elegant and does the trick even when using the balanced spellcasting progression (with no 9th level spells or powers): Specifically all 6th level spells and powers plus any 7th or 8th level powers you want to learn via an 8th level, power-swapping only version of psychic chirurgery. For those who haven't read over the last year this basic part of my 3e fixes, here is how to equalize spell progressions for all classes: a maximum of 0th spells are gained at level 1, 1st level spells at level 2, 2nd at level 4, 3rd at 6, 4th@8, 5th@10, 6th@13, 7th@16, & 8th@20. For psionics you can already manifest anything of your ML (still have the PP of a psion 15) and with a major BL and Practiced Manifestor your ML=15+3+4 without Overchannel. Those could be your 2 [psionic] feats if you have nothing better to do.
Michael Clarke Duncan (in the picture) died three months after the show. It was his last time on-screen.
I'm suddenly thinking of that one giant walking construct dungeon in Final Fantasy 4.Final Fantasy IV had the Giant of Bab-il (SNES American translation).And it was basically a planet-attacking monstrosity requiring multiple kingdom's of high tech armies to check it before you to infiltrate. It's basically an elder evil, but old school.
That Mogo picture makes me wonder if he had an evil counterpart? Like Atropus, the elder evil. I wonder if we could reverse-engineer the actual atropus stats from the aspect stats. The little (gargantuan) aspect has 58 strength... The real deal is 700miles in diameter.
Hmm. reverse engineering the "aspect" template via FCI web enh:(click to show/hide)-11 to -14 CR (-33% to -66%)
-aquatic if its a non-main subtype
-size to become Large if larger (adjusts natural weapons), -5th subtype
-1 langauge sometimes
-lowlight or true seeing (sometimes replaced by see invis) unless incorp, usually -scent xor -75% darkv' if high
100 telepathy max (generally 300' prior)
-11 to 16HD (-50% to -75%) skill & stat ratios are fairly exagerated rather than constant mod ratios
fast heal 5 max (generally 10 or 15 prior)
-50% DR but type stays the same
-50% (sometimes -66%) nat if above 7 otherwise min of 6 (size change are in addition to this)
-1 [M-A] unless central to fluff, type trait, or energy immunity if corporeal
-100% SR (~13+HD)
-33% move speed (rounded up) if more than 40', not to reduce fly below 60'
-2 or 3 of the stronger natural attacks or -magic armor unless central to fluff. -50% natural attack if only attack
-50% enh on weapon
-100% SA except action advantages like gaze/swallow which loses about 50% of its effects
-1 or 2 SQ (-50% aura range if kept)
-14 to 18 SLAs (-100%) unless important to concept, then only 1/3 remain at about 50% strength
feats are generally the non-advanced version, although weaker feat versions of SA might be needed
Lastly, stats are about -33% to -50%
Reversing that is tricky since applying the pseudo template removes information similar to derivatives. So when we integrate back the original (x^1 +C -> x^0+0), it won't be exact. Still it's close enough if you assume the original to not have absurd starting values in the grey area. Here's the real Atropus' stats:It also has low gravity, can eat you, and has a non-impulse engines speed of 40,000 ft (2,438 m/s)(click to show/hide)CR46 to 69, 132 to 264HD (which add skill ranks), fast heal 30 to 60, DR 30/epic & good, Colossal+ x15, Undead (evil), blind, blindsight 500' to 2000', unlimited range lifesense within the plane, 60' negative energy aura, atleast 3000' telepathy, 55 to 76 nat, SR 145 to 277, 4 8d8 slams /w death crit & con plus energy drain at atleast the same relative strength, 150' fly, up to 36 more SLAs, 1 to 2 more special qualities, and stats of atleast 58,13,0,25,24,31 with a total between 302 and 453. I suggest 90,20,0,40,50,108 or 114,29,0,50,90,170.
Good luck not cheesing that 3.4k hp.
Here's some good publicity to an old post I found:For the record: JaronK has, I would argue, a very reasonable tier system, based on quite good (but not amazing) optimization. He has
bebehaved both reasonably and intelligently.
If you have a problem with the placement of one of the classes in the tiers, google for it, and if it hasn't been addressed before, start a thread, and we can all discuss the specifics.
I have quite the post about Psionic Artificers on the handbook discussion page, but thought I'd hear if anyone has handled the class in actual play, specifically if full transparency wasn't in play. I've already reproduced the entire (altered) class text for others to follow along about the variant. I'm mainly interested in how the variant changes the artificer class, so there's little need to get worked up about where to place the original Artificer in the tiers.
Every core feat, yes. All splat books only assume core unless they reference something else. So yes, in core, a barbarian was the ultimate mundane class. But there was no factotum or warblade there. Anyways, I have useful things for you:
Unfortunately all the other artificer handbooks are unfinished. Does this handbook fully obsolete the old ("tier 0") one? There is no synopsis of the Crafting Handbook or Soro's tier 4 artificer claims. There should be. There's also a lot of extra prose in the handbook (Attributes & Attune Weapon feat, I'm looking at you). Here's the only useful part from the last attempt:BAB: Divine Power. Persist it
Special Attacks: (Cloud of Knives!)
Class Archetypes: Ring of Evasion and Skill boosters. clockwork armor.
Feats and Skills: spells grant feats or skill bonuses.
Sneak Attack: Hunter's Eye
Rage: Gutworm symbiont from Fiend Folio.
Spells up to 6th: For the Warforged, Wand Bonding lets you cast spells from wands using your infusion slots instead of charges. (City of Stormreach, page 119)
Lastly, the Psionic Artificers section is way too small, especially for the tier 0 rumors surrounding it (hint, they're false). The handbook says things like "you will need to go through and make psionic variants of all of the various homunculi as well," which isn't true. You can't expect your DM to homebrew extra material just because the normal versions don't work for your variant. The Psi Arti simply needs to multiclass like an arcane swordsage if you want to get the most out of it. Just so everyone is clear on the variant, I've faithfully converted the entire class:(click to show/hide)Psionic artificers are similar to Artificers, but they craft psionic items instead of psionic items. A Psionic Artificer is treated as a standard artificer for purposes of meeting feat or prestige class prerequisites. A character cannot have levels in both artificer and psionic artificer.
Hit die: d6
Starting gold: 5d4 x 10gp
Skill points: 4 + Int
Skills: Appraise, Concentration, Craft, Disable Device, Knowledge (architecture and engineering), Knowledge (psionics), Knowledge (the planes), Open Lock, Profession, Psicraft, Search, and Use Psionic Device
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Psionic artificers are proficient with all simple weapons, with light and medium armor, and with shields (except tower shields).
Power Points / Day: As Psychic Warrior. Specifically 0, 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, 15, 19, 23, 27, 35, 43, 51, 59, 67, 79, 91, 103, 115, 127.
Infusions: a psionic artificer is not a manifester, but he does have the ability to imbue items with psionic infusions. Psionic infusions are drawn from the same artificer infusion list (see Chapter 5: Magic). They function just like powers and follow all the rules for powers. For example, a psionic infusion can be dispelled, it will not function in an antipsionic area, and a psionic artificer must make a Concentration check if injured while imbuing an item with a psionic infusion.
A psionic artificer can imbue an item with any infusion from the list without preparing the psionic infusion ahead of time. Unlike a psion or psychic warrior, he does not select a subset of the available psionic infusions as his known psionic infusions; he has access to every psionic infusion on the list that is of a level he can use.
It is possible for a psionic artificer to learn psionic infusions that are not on the normal artificer infusion list. These might include ancient psionic infusions he finds in the ruins of Xen'drik or secret psionic infusions known only to the members of certain guilds or organizations. When he encounters such a psionic infusion, a psionic artificer can attempt to learn it by making a Psicraft check (DC 20 + power level). If this check succeeds, he adds the psionic infusion to his list. If not, he can try again when he gains another rank in Psicraft, assuming he still has access to the new psionic infusion.
To imbue an item with a psionic infusion, a psionic artificer must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the psionic infusion level (Int 11 for 1st-level psionic infusions, Int 12 for 2nd-level psionic infusions, and so forth). The save DC is Intelligence-based.
Like manifestors, a psionic artificer's ability to manifest powers is limited by the power points he has available. His base daily allotment of power points is given on the accompanying table. In addition, he receives extra power points per day if he has a sufficiently high Intelligence score (see Table 2—1: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells, page 18 of the Expanded Psionic's Handbook).
A psionic artificer's psionic infusions can only be imbued into an item or a construct (including warforged). He cannot, for example, simply imbue an ally with animal affinity. He must instead imbue that ability into an item his ally is wearing. The item then functions as a belt of giant strength for the duration of the infusion. He can, however, imbue animal affinity directly on a construct or a character with the living construct subtype, and psionic infusions such as psionic repair light damage and iron construct function only when imbued on such characters.
Many psionic infusions have long casting times, often 1 minute or more. a psionic artificer can spend 1 action point to imbue any infusion in 1 round (like a power that takes 1 round to manifest).
Like a manifester, a psionic artificer can apply metapsionic feats he knows to his psionic infusions. Like a psion, a psionic artificer can apply a metapsionic feat to a psionic infusion spontaneously, but doing this requires extra time. A psionic artificer can craft alchemical items as though he were a manifester.
A psionic artificer cannot automatically use a power trigger or power completion item if the equivalent power appears on his infusion list. For example, a psionic artificer must still employ the Use Psionic Device skill to use a wand of light, even though light appears on his infusion list.
Each day, a psionic artificer must focus his mind on his psionic infusions. He needs 8 hours of rest, after which he spends 15 minutes concentrating. During this period, the psionic artificer readies his mind to hold his daily allotment of power points. Without such a period of time to refresh himself, the character does not regain the power points he used up the day before. Any power points used within the last 8 hours count against the artificer's daily limit.
Craft Reserve:: A psionic artificer receives a pool of points he can spend instead of experience points when crafting a psionic item. Each time the psionic artificer gains a new level, he receives a new craft reserve; leftover points from the previous level do not carry over. If the points are not spent, they are lost. A psionic artificer can also use his craft reserve to supplement the XP cost of the item he is making, taking a portion of the cost from his craft reserve and a portion from his own XP.
Artificer Knowledge: A psionic artificer can make a special artificer knowledge check with a bonus equal to his psionic artificer level + his Int modifier to detect whether a specific item has a psionic aura.
The psionic artificer must hold and examine the object for 1 minute. A successful check against DC 15 determines that the object has psionic qualities, but does not reveal the specific powers of the item.
A psionic artificer cannot take 10 or take 20 on this check. A particular item can only be examined in this fashion one time; if the check fails, the psionic artificer can learn no more about that object.
Artisan Bonus: A psionic artificer gains a +2 bonus on Use Psionic Device checks to activate an item of a kind for which he has the prerequisite item creation feat.
Disable Trap: A psionic artificer can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20. Finding a nonpsionic trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a psionic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the power used to create the trap.
A psionic artificer can use the "Disable Device"skills/disable-device/ skill to disarm psionic traps. Usually the DC is 25 + the level of the power used to create the trap.
A psionic artificer who beats a trap's DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with his party) without disarming it.
Item Creation (Ex): A psionic artificer can create a psionic item even if he does not have access to the powers that are prerequisites for the item. The artificer must make a successful Use Psionic Device check (DC 20 + manifestor level) to emulate each power normally required to create the item. Thus, to make a 1st-level dorje of crystal shard, an artificer would need a Use Psionic Device check result of 21 or higher. To create a Eyes of the Power Leech (manifester level 7th), he would need a check result of 27 or higher to emulate the power leech prerequisite.
The psionic artificer must make a successful check for each prerequisite for each item he makes. If he fails a check, he can try again each day until the item is complete. If he comes to the end of the crafting time and he has still not successfully emulated one of the powers, he can make one final check—his last-ditch effort, even if he has already made a check that day. If that check also fails, then the creation process fails and the time, money, and XP expended to craft the item are lost.
For purposes of meeting item prerequisites, an artificer's effective manifester level equals his psionic artificer level +2. If the item duplicates a power effect, however, it uses the psionic artificer's actual level as its manifestor level. Costs are always determined using the item's minimum manifestor level or the psionic artificer's actual level (if it is higher). Thus, a 3rd-level psionic artificer can make a dorje of energy ball, since the minimum manifester level for energy ball is 5th. He pays the normal cost for making such a dorje with a manifestor level of 5th: 5 X 3 X 12.5 = 187 gp and 5 sp, plus 15 XP. But the scroll's actual caster level is only 3rd, and it produces a weak energy ball that deals only 3d6 points of damage.
An artificer can also make Use Psionic Device checks to emulate nonpower requirements, including alignment and race, using the normal DCs for the skill. He cannot emulate skill or feat requirements, however, including item creation feat prerequisites. He must meet the manifester level prerequisite, including the minimum level to cast a power he stores in a psionic tattoo, power stone, or dorjes.
An artificer's psionic infusions do not meet power prerequisites for creating psionic items. For example, an artificer must still employ the Use Psionic Device skill to emulate a power to create a dorje, even if that power appears on his infusion list.
Bonus Feat: A psionic artificer gains every psionic item creation feat as a bonus feat at or near the level at which it becomes available to manifesters: He gets Imprint Stone as a bonus feat at 1st level, Scribe Tatoo at 2nd level, Craft Universal Item at 3rd level, Craft Psionic Arms and Armor at 5th level, Craft Dorje at 6th level, Craft Cognizance Crystal at 9th level, Craft Psicrown at 12th level, and Craft Psionic Construct at 14th level.
In addition, a psionic artificer gains a bonus feat at 4th level and every four levels thereafter (8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th). For each of these bonus feats, the psionic artificer must choose a metapsionic feat or a feat from the following list: Attune Magical Weapon, Craft Construct (see the Monster Manual, page 303), Exceptional Artisan, Extra Rings, Extraordinary Artisan, Legendary Artisan, Dorje Mastery.
Craft Homunculus (Ex): At 4th level, a psionic artificer can create a homunculus as if he had the Craft Construct feat. He must emulate the power requirements as normal for making a psionic item, and he must pay all the usual gold and XP costs (though he can spend points from his craft reserve). A psionic artificer can also upgrade an existing homunculus that he owns, adding 1 Hit Die at a cost of 2,000 gp and 160 XP.
If a psionic artificer gives his homunculus more than 6 Hit Dice, it becomes a Small creature and advances as described in the Monster Manual (+4 Str, —2 Dex, damage increases to Id6). The homunculus also gains 10 extra hit points for being a Small construct.
A psionic artificer's homunculus can have as many Hit Dice as its master's Hit Dice minus 2. No matter how many Hit Dice it has, a homunculus never grows larger than Small.
Retain Essence (Su): At 5th level, a psionic artificer gains the ability to salvage the XP from a psionic item and use those points to create another psionic item. The psionic artificer must spend a day with the item, and he must also have the appropriate item creation feat for the item he is salvaging. After one day, the item is destroyed and the psionic artificer adds the XP it took to create the item to his craft reserve. These points are lost if the psionic artificer does not use them before gaining his next level.
Metapsionic Power Trigger (Su): At 6th level, a psionic artificer gains the ability to apply a metapsionic feat he knows to a power trigger device, such as a dorje. Using this ability expends additional charges from the item equal to 1 + 1/2 the number of additional power points normally required to employ the metapsionic power.
A psionic artificer cannot use this ability when using a power trigger device that does not have charges.
Metapsionic Power Completion (Su): At 11th level, a psionic artificer gains the ability to apply a metapsionic feat he knows to a power completion device, such as a power stone. He must succeed on a Use Psionic Device check with a DC equal to 20 + twice the total number of power points required to manifest the metapsionic power normally. For example, applying the Empower Power feat to a power stone of ego whip has a DC of 20 + (2 × 5), or 40. A psionic artificer can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Int modifier.
Skill Mastery: At 13th level, a psionic artificer can take 10 when making Psicraft or Use Psionic Device checks, even if stress and distractions would normally prevent him from doing so. This ability circumvents the normal rule that a character cannot take 10 on a Use Psionic Device check.0 on a Use Psionic Device check.
Commentary: "A psionic Artificer cannot emulate spells to create magic items." [MoEp42] This seems to imply that DMs are not to have the full transparency variant in effect. If that is the case, Psionic Artificers are automatically Tier 2. All of the magical flexibility they used to have is now gone. Now they are just stuck with their 3 really overpowered infusions (Spell Storing Item, Metamagic Item, and Item Alteration). If those are already off the table for regular artificers, then that's another tier drop. You're like a bard or psywar, but still above a UMD rogue.
Things would get really hairy for you if scrolls/wands & power stones/dorjes were banned. But fear not! If your DM thinks a whopping 3 tiers worth of nerfing might have been too harsh, you might be able to stay Tier 3 with liberal use of Psychic Reformation: "The subject can also choose to forget powers it acquired when advancing to its current level, replacing them with new ones." Just multiclass Psion and enjoy the powers known!
The good news is that Psionic Artificers would have 46 powers known since the list doesn't change much: 13 at level 1! In E6, the class is its won 6 class level long dip complete with 29 spells know. Level 7 only offers some (eternal) wand stretching and level 10 is a dead level in case you wanted 5th level infusions. You don't. They're bad, as are the 6th level ones. There infusion list is:(click to show/hide)# level Name
1 1 Ablative Armor
2 1 Armor Enhancement, Lesser
3 1 Energy Alteration
4 1 Enhancement Alteration
5 1 Indisputable Possession
6 1 Inflict Light Damage
7 1 Metamagic Scroll -> ? Metapsionic Stone ?
8 1 Natural Weapon Augmentation, Personal
9 1 Pending Potion
10 1 Resistance Item
11 1 Skill Enhancement
12 1 Spell Storing Item -> Power Storing Item (presumably stores powers)
13 1 Weapon Augmentation, Personal
14 2 Armor Enhancement
15 2 Elemental Prod
16 2 Lucky Blade
17 2 Natural Weapon Augmentation, Lesser
18 2 Reinforce Construct
19 2 Toughen Construct
20 2 Weapon Augmentation, Lesser
21 3 Adamantine Weapon
22 3 Armor Enhancement, Greater
23 3 Blast Rod
24 3 Construct Energy Ward
25 3 Lucky Cape
26 3 Metamagic Item - > MetaPsionic Item (affects power trigger items)
27 3 Power Surge
28 3 Stone Construct
29 3 Suppress Requirement
30 4 Censure Elementals
31 4 Concurrent Infusions
32 4 Construct Energy Ward, Greater
33 4 Iron Construct
34 4 Item Alteration
35 4 Natural Weapon Augmentation
36 4 Weapon Augmentation
37 5 Dominate Living Construct
38 5 Inflict Light Damage, Mass
39 5 Repair Light Damage, Mass
40 5 Slaying Arrow
41 6 Disable Construct
42 6 Inflict Moderate Damage, Mass
43 6 Natural Weapon Augmentation, Greater
44 6 Repair Moderate Damage, Mass
45 6 Total Repair
46 6 Weapon Augmentation, Greater
First of all, Nifft, you are doing a wonderful job of trying to keep the posting on topic, with concise rules quotes. So I commend your cat-herding instincts.Of course, no one found anything I was missing but even Soro had to mention that there were "good posts" in the thread, no others of which were as detailed...You're currently suggesting that we use a FAQ entry which blatantly contradicts the rules as the basis for inferring an unstated rule.SORO TRIGGER WARNING! SORO TRIGGER WARNING! :P What do I know; maybe he'll let it go this time. He certainly made a strange entrance already.
To be useful without reading all the ... back and forth ... a nice list might help. Who wants to fill in every single requirement with rules quotes? I seem to recall we collectively failed this task when I asked for it years ago. Yes, I know that the casting rules are a mess and are everywhere ( :shakefist), but I'll start:
0) Let's just ignore the minimizing CL tricks for now. They tend to get people excited when someone innocently asks if the below as precedence or not when there seems to be a way to take a CL penalty (like the mage slayer feat line)
1) CL Minimums:Quote from: SRDYou can cast a spell at a lower caster level than normal, but the caster level you choose must be high enough for you to cast the spell in question, and all level-dependent features must be based on the same caster level.2) Minimum spellcasting ability score:QuoteTo prepare a spell the wizard must have an Intelligence score of at least 10 + the spell’s level. ... A spellcaster always has the option to fill a higher-level spell slot with a lower-level spell. A spellcaster who lacks a high enough ability score to cast spells that would otherwise be his or her due still gets the slots but must fill them with spells of lower level.I find it strange that the rules are presented for wizards. Perhaps the RC has a more generic version? I'm lazy.
3) The ability to cast spells (which almost always comes from a class). Example:Quote from: SRDA bard casts arcane spells.... He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time4) You can only refresh spells 1/day:Quote from: SRDAfter resting, a wizard must study her spellbook to prepare any spells that day. ... When preparing spells for the day,5) During 1/day refreshes, no refreshing slots used too recently:Quote from: srdWhen she prepares spells for the coming day, all the spells she has cast within the last 8 hours count against her daily limit. ... As with wizards, any spells cast within the last 8 hours count against the sorcerer’s or bard’s daily limit.6) Resting time:Quote from: SRDTo prepare her daily spells, a wizard must first sleep for 8 hours. ... A sorcerer or bard needs 8 hours of rest (just like a wizard)7) Spell renewal time of 1 hour or 15 minutes:Quote from: srdIf she wants to prepare all her spells, the process takes 1 hour. Preparing some smaller portion of her daily capacity takes a proportionally smaller amount of time, but always at least 15 minutes, the minimum time required to achieve the proper mental state. ... he spends 15 minutes concentrating. (A bard must sing, recite, or play an instrument of some kind while concentrating.) During this period, the sorcerer or bard readies his mind to cast his daily allotment of spells. Without such a period to refresh himself, the character does not regain the spell slots he used up the day before.8) Casting aids (only for some casters or spells):Quote from: SRDThere is one major exception: A wizard can prepare a read magic spell even without a spellbook. ... a wizard must study her spellbook to prepare any spells that day.9) Spells Known:Quote from: SRDFirst you must choose which spell to cast. ... If you’re a bard or sorcerer, you can select any spell you know.Some classes (such as cleric) know all their spells. Wizards have special rules about their spellbook. Who wants to find those for me?
10) Slots:Quote from: SRDThe various character class tables show how many spells of each level a character can cast per day. These openings for daily spells are called spell slots.11) High enough level in class:Quote from: SRDIn addition to having a high ability score, a spellcaster must be of high enough class level to be able to cast spells of a given spell level.This extremely relevant rule is buried in the ability score area. I have no idea why. Also it nebulously references what we know to be your classes spell table progression (see above)
12) Spell Requirements:Quote from: SRDTo cast a spell, you must be able to speak (if the spell has a verbal component), gesture (if it has a somatic component), and manipulate the material components or focus (if any)Additional components have additional text in the preceding the spell text in the book they are found. For instance Abstinence components are in BoED.
13) Casting interruption:Quote from: SRDIf something interrupts your concentration while you’re casting, you must make a Concentration check or lose the spell.There are various anooyances, most all of which force oncentration checks. Likewise, counterspelling is a kind of interruption to normal spellcasting that can make casting not work.
14) Once the spell takes effect, various things can make it not do much. See stacking rules. Other situations would be antimagic fields, wild magic zones etc.
So what did I miss? I'm sure its a few. I'll re-order these once we think we've finished the list entirely.
Greetings from 5 years in the future. I realize that this thread got derailed and moved over to Mechanical Writing to discussing mechanical changes to the idea of SoD's. I also see that no one wanted to reply to BB (who stopped posting within a few months of the above. Unfortunately IP'ing is relevant, but I won't discuss it due to its polarization.
I have an answer to the question, but I'll start with SoS's first. SoS's are just beefy debuffs. They are the kind of thing that would disappoint a combatant, but not shock them. The lesser form of SoS's are debuffs: "Okay so I have a -2 to hit now? Whatever." No harm no foul. SoS's make whoever say, "Wait, how long am I out of combat, playing with my navel?" "2 rounds." "Ug. Fine."
SoD's however we all know enough for me to not give an example. On the Debuff -> SoS -> SoD scale, the DC's should be the deciding factor. Most debuffs aren't that painful until they are stacked more than twice. Therefore most debuffs that allow a save are worthless: the odds are that your opponent will make one of his saves goes up, meaning that you have to put even more effort (wasted actions) into achieving your goal. One of the smaller problems with 3.5 is that too many debuffs allow saves, when they shouldn't. This causes people to save "Meh, I won't bother using that ability, much less investing to get it because I can't count on it." The juice isn't worth the squeeze. It's just a debuff.
But SoS's having a failure followed by a success isn't a problem. After all, you put in more effort and got the binary condition you desired. Sure people are going to try to pump their DC (not possible without cheese for many situations), but still, the pain to gain ratio feels right against players. However, just like CR is not equivalent to LA in templates because at wills for a monster that's going to die in one combat is vastly different from an at will for a PC who will use it all campaign, SoS's against monsters is potentially more powerful, especially if it can be spammed at a decent DC. This requires a balance tweak, so keep reading.
SoD's are the nuclear option. People like to complain about how they are too powerful when used against players, but all that really means is that players should invest in immunities. They can do so without cries of metagaming or other suspension of disbelief problems. However, monsters can't. It is reasonable for all the PCs to have a nice list of immunities. It would be unreasonable for all the monsters to do so. Therefore once a player gets their hands on a SoD, expect them to spam it at every opportunity. After all, it is a good tactical decision. That's when the campaign "immune response" hits and people complain about DM metagaming.
The solution is to simply follow the "useful useless spell" route that FF1 took (See my FF1 as D&D thread). The basic idea is that in FF1, players have access to SoD's but they never use them. Why? Because they always fail. Yes, some of them are bugged and yes some bosses have immunities, but the ones that don't still seem to always "roll well" to avoid the affect. It's actually quite easy to reproduce this in D&D and it solves the SoD/SoS problem: monsters always take 20 on all their rolls. Now suddenly, you can look at a creature's save entry and know if it will fail a save or not without having to slow down the game with rolls. This should be enough for any custom built opponents, although pre-built ones will still need their secondary statistics doubled (but that's a discussion for another time).
Players should be told up front that monsters don't play by the same rules (they already don't which is why most creature entries are unplayable for PCs) and to simply expect that steamrolling a campaign as a caster won't work. In general, mundanes won't notice the difference because they use HP damage. You'd think that casters PC would complain before they go cry into their phenomenal cosmic power but I've found that they tend to enjoy the game more when they aren't pressured into spamming daze/sleep/web/charm monster/baleful polymorph/etc to "win." They get to play that blaster/summoner/utility role without feeling guilty about being "suboptimal."
An extra bonus is that a DM may decide to manipulate the roll for rule of cool reasons so that NPCs can fail saves (and your players would be none the wiser). This allows story telling that would be clunky and awkward in a system that has been had its mechanical guts reworked. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.
I see why 3rd edition conglomerated the turn all at once. The number chains are a nice record, but the look intimidating as well. Here's one attempt to gain granularity without using the oldschool initiative count chains:
A) Let's say that Orcus and Pelor duke it out. Both have many free actions available. Who gets to use their free actions first matters. Presumably initiative should be used here. B) The same thing should go for immediate actions for a caster and a raging barbarian. The immediate actions, like the free actions, can count as their own little column for initiative. With me so far? AB) If Orcus fights the raging barbarian, I would think his free actions would get to go before the Barbarians' immediate action, even though this is a RAI, grey area.
What if we apply this idea to move, standard, & swift actions (in order), so that they have their own miniature "turns"? Does the detail pay off without too much time lost?
Longhand details:(click to show/hide)Specifically, the timing and number (2?) of free then immediate actions doesn't need to change, but other actions order would matter: starting full round or x round actions / taking move actions, finishing full round actions or taking standard actions, taking swift actions and finishing x round actions. As usual you can "save up" actions so that a rogue can swift action teleport with an item before full attacking, just as he would do under the less granular, turn-all-at-once initiative system.
Basically if you are taking an action between two other actions (a full round action is a move + a standard action), then you need to start it as soon as the quicker action starts. When the second part of the action rolls around, you finish up. So in the case of a full round action, that would be at the end of the round. X round(s) actions finish as normal, ie. upon the start of your first action in the initiative order which translates here to your move action (assuming you decide to use your move action).
The reason that move actions occur before standard actions is, well, that's the way combat already flows. Think of it as "rewarding" uncommon move actions over more common standard actions. Likewise, that is why swift actions come after move+standard actions, which comprise a full round action but isn't used up by it. Swift actions are already king in 3e and there's no reason to make them any stronger by making them preempt move actions.
Having 1-3 quick cycles shouldn't take too much more time than a full turn, especially if players have to pay attention to more consistent involvement in combat rather than just play on their phone for a minutes at a time before stopping to plan out their turn all at once. It will be better able to "queue" any common actions they tend to use. Most monsters won't have unusual actions, so it shouldn't be too much work for the DM, especially if he has...
Since we already had a spreadsheet:
Since presumably free & immediate actions already used initiative count when relevant, all we are doing is mapping possible giving move, standard, & swift actions their own miniature "turns." What the players and DM would be deleting is the word "Free", "Move", "Standard" and "Swift" each round in said spreadsheet upon reaching that phase of the round. The columns labeling would be the same as the above, but players would now use the broken up move/standard/swift area and could keep track of some of the oddball circumstances without keeping track in their head.
Time for another pseudo-handbook list, this time Item Crafting!
There are tons of item creation feats, most of which only get minimal notation in the handbooks, so I went and made up a list just to get a better feel for the options. And there are LOTS of options.
Spell Completion(click to show/hide)The standard spell completion item is the scroll. There is a section in Complete Arcane on variants for scrolls, but there are two big feat variants, namely Inscribe Power Stone and Etch Schema.
The differences are as follows:
Scrolls (PHB): cheap material; Spellcraft DC 20 + spell level or read magic to use; arcane and divine separate; single use; CL 1st for feat
Power Stones (XPH): strong material; Psicraft DC 15 + power level to use; psionic only; single use; ML 1st for feat
Etch Schema (MoE): strong material; Spellcraft DC 20 + spell level to use; arcane, divine, and infusions crossover; costs 16x a scroll; 1/day forever; CL 10th for feat
I'm pretty sure I don't have to go on about the awesome of schemas. Their only downside is that you need to be 10th level before you can make them, and they don't support psionics, blade magic, and other variants, though psionics gets a semi-equivalent with powered up tattoos.
Use-Activated/Triggered(click to show/hide)The standard use-activated item is the potion. Again, Complete Arcane lists a number of variant items. There are however a rather large number of feat variants, including the triggered variants.
The full range breaks down as follows:
Potions (PHB): weak material; limited effects; limited level (1st-3rd); CL 3rd for feat; arcane or divine
Spellvial (MoE): weak material; limited effects; limited level (1st-3rd); weak prestige class (CL 7th equivalent if a feat); costs 1-1/2x regular potion; arcane or infusion only
Universal Potion (MoE): weak material; limited effects; limited level (1st-3rd); weak prestige class (CL 10th if a feat); costs 2x regular potion; open-ended spell use; arcane or infusion only
Tattoo Magic (Rac): no material; limited effects; limited level (1st-3rd); uses up a magic item slot; arcane or divine; use does not provoke AoO
Skull Talisman (Fr): bulky/disturbing material (skulls, up to large size); limited effects; CL 6th for feat; costs 2x regular potion; any level spell; arcane or divine
Martial Script (ToB): weak material; Martial Lore DC 15 + creator level to use and Literacy or Martial Lore DC 20 + creator level to use; IL 1st; martial scripts only
Psionic Tattoo (XPH): no material; limited effects; limited level (1st-3rd); limited number (20); ML 3rd for feat
Attune Gem (Mag): strong material; arcane only; requires Craft (gemcutting); CL 3rd; no action to use but trigger conditions may be too limited for anyone but the creator
Inscribe Rune (PG): strong material; divine only; requires Craft (varies); CL 3rd; no action to use but trigger conditions may be too limited for anyone but the creator
"Improved" Inscribe Rune (PG): strong material; divine only; requires prestige class (CL 8th equivalent if a feat); adds trigger conditions and charges like a wand
"Greater" Inscribe Rune (PG): strong material; divine only; requires prestige class; allows charges per day at 8x cost or permanent at 40x cost
Contingent Spell (CAr): no material; arcane or divine; 2x cost; limited number (equal to HD); trigger conditions may be too limited
Spell Mantle (LE): doesn't create a contingent spell, but lets you activate it
Psionic Seal (Online): places a psionic tattoo on an object; ML 7th; special
For the psionic seal feat, given the history and concept, it would work really well as the feat needed to use the "Getting Wired" material from Mind's Eye. If you treat it that way, then all the options of that are added in. Those are extensive enough you should check the specific handbook on it.
A whole lot of options here, mostly involving excessive specializing on just what sort of potion or pseudo-potion you want to make, including additional specialties based on the type of power you are using.
Most of these seem to come down to ways to put different kinds of lipstick on different kinds of pig until you hit the Psionic Seals. Even the runes would default to schemas unless you absolutely, positively, don't want to put something on your spell list.
Spell Trigger(click to show/hide)This is the wand family. It is pretty straightforward except for the psionic equivalent of staves, and the slightly obscure scepter.
Wand (PH): limited level (1st-4th); arcane and divine separate; tons of feats to abuse them; CL 5th
Scepter (LE): limited level (1st-7th); arcane and divine separate; no feats to abuse; can hold 2 spells but increased charge use for spells above 4th if it does; CL 9th and knowledge (history)
Staff (PH): really expensive; arcane and divine separate; CL 12th; uses your caster stat
Runestaff (MIC): easily to abuse with custom items; caster lists separate; CL 12th - uses Craft Staff feat; adds to spells known/requires your spell slots to use
Dorje (XPH): psionic only; ML 5th
Psicrown (XPH): manifester only; ML 12th; effectively a staff but uses your head item slot
Other than remembering that scepters and runestaves exist, there isn't much of a surprise here. If there were custom items and feats, or relevant houserules making scepters equivalent to wands, then shenanigans would almost certainly ensue.
Command Word, Continuous, and Use-Activated(click to show/hide)Pretty much "all the rest of the junk". There is more psionic duplication here, but the real fun comes with another slew of specialized variants roaming about.
Wondrous/Universal Item (PH/XPH): CL/ML 3rd; wondrous covers arcane, divine, and other expanded types, universal covers psionic only; this is pretty much everything that isn't a weapon or suit of armor with a few exceptions
Magic/Psionic Arms and Armor (PH/XPH): CL/ML 5th; all your not-so-mundane fighting needs
Craft Cognizance Crystal (XPH): ML 3rd; a cognizance crystal is basically a psionic pearl of power but for some reason requires its own feat to make
Portal (FRCS): makes magic portals so you can build the Tippyverse; requires Craft Wondrous Item
Rune Circle (RS): this is minor variant in Races of Stone covering non-mobile items; CL 5th
Rod (PH): half-wondrous item, half-arms, all separate feat; CL 9th
Forge Ring (PH): another body slot, another separate feat; CL 12th
Craft Construct/Psionic Construct (MM/XPH): requires Craft Wondrous/Universal Item and Craft Magic/Psionic Arms and Armor; unleash your mechanical hordes!
Looking at it there seems to be a bunch of gratuitous feat taxing going on, along with the psionic tax. Really, how exactly are rods and rings different from wondrous items or arms? And why the feat tax for portals and rune circles? Are people that determined to make stuff to not use on their quest they need another feat tax?
Weirdness(click to show/hide)Just to include them all there are a couple of additional bits available.
Bind Elemental (ECS): craft a very limited group of items heavily dependent on the Eberron setting
Craft Aboleth Glyph (LoM) subsumes the various Inscribe Rune feats (see above); adds some special "Master Glyphs"; requires you to be an aboleth
Craft Crystal Weaponry (OA): specific to the Rokugan setting, crafts weapons to overcome a particular type of DR
Grell Alchemy (LoM): thoroughly undeveloped, but if you want to make a half dozen items listed in Lords of Madness or pester your DM for more, there's a feat for it
Grafting (FE, LM, MoE, RDr, SK, Und): not one but a baker's dozen of feats for going the fantasy cyborg, complete with 2 different systems for the effects of the grafts; check the handbook on these for details
Infusions (MW): potions in herbs for druids in Masters of the Wild; a bit redundant but there if you want them
Talisman (OA): potions in the form of tchotchkes for shamans and others in Oriental Adventures; even more redundant but again there if you want them
Above are the items you can make. These are ways to make them worse.(click to show/hide)Attune Magic Weapon (ECS): bond with a weapon for combat bonuses
Dorje Mastery (CP): augment the power or DC of a dorje
Double Wand Wielder (CAr): use two wands at once
Dual Dorje (CP): use two dorjes at once
Enhance Item (ELH): allows the craft to use his ability score modifier instead of the default minimum for the Saving Throw of an item; even I understand the horror this will unleash
Exceptional Artisan (ECS): craft faster
Extraordinary Artisan (ECS): craft cheaper
Improved Flight Item (Sh): makes better flight items; somewhat dependent on the Eberron setting
Extra Rings (ECS): wear more rings
Legendary Artisan (ECS): craft for less xp
Master Staff (ELH): use a spell slot to power a staff; technically Epic level
Portal Master (PG): make cheaper portals
Reckless Wand Wielder (CAr): raise the CL of a wand
Sanctify Relic (CD): pick a patron divine power, get a super-cheap magic item with extra powers for a spell slot or feat; the published examples vary rather wildly in value; mostly just an excuse for a cost reduction
Wand Mastery (ECS): raise the DC of a wand
And now of course someone should wander along and explain how to optimize (or ignore) all of these. I just get the list ready for use. :D
The fluff fits (but if you're stabbed, getting tipsy is the worst of your problems). RAW ... it's pretty clearly not supposed to do that. But it's not broken. Casters clear things of poison all the time.So, archery didn't suck in 3.0? Good to know. Where's that "3.0 was better" thread, anyway...They stacked in 3.0. In 3.5, they don't.Do note, it’s the weapon’s enhancement that raises the DC. The ammunition’s enhancement bonus stacks with the projectile weapon’s enhancement bonus, so you could, in theory, raise the DC of your poison by +10.
Is this true? I figure since they're both enhancement bonuses, they'd overlap rather than stack.
Open-Minded seems pretty good for my purposes. Just to max out as many skills as possible. We use pathfinder skill system, so Open-Minded is a lot better than it would be normally.You mean you're a caster who can now stretch 2+int skills even further? 3.f was so naive.
every DM should have anything that can manage true seeing use the effect if it A) knows illusions exist and B) wants to be able to trust what it sees.
I saw a quote over on En World (saved from 339) that made a lot of sense. Please hold off those knee-jerk reactions until I can deconstruct it:QuoteYou will be amazed at how few players really want to play in that gritty low fantasy, low magic, low power campaign you have drawn up. After all, isn't that just another way to make your PCs more fragile, giving you more control to stroke your fragile ego with? "
It was speaking of a poll of your players:
"3) High --- Mid --- Low Magic (She picked Mid)
4) High --- Mid --- Low Power (She picked High)
5) Dark --- Average --- Light Tone and Mood"
And it's true. Lot's of DMs want to run 3 as low as possible, 4 as low as possible and 5 as high as possible. Even when it's still a G-rated campaign, this is still something that players might sniff a bit of player abuse in there. The reason why is simple: it's incredibly easy to DM. DM's have enough work to do and it makes them lazy when it comes to doing work that benefits others (their players).
How this relates to the WBL discussions is, I interally knew the above, although I hadn't seen it replicated so succinctly. See all the "magic marts are needed for my fighter but my DM wants us all to never have items/nice things" threads. When the opening poster replies that his DM says no to VoP for being too powerful, everyone calls the DM a noob, explains how weak VoP actually is compared to RAW 3e, and then suggests playing a druid to punish the bad DM.
And said DM has totally earned it, because he's basically saying "I want to punish/prevent you for trying anything I can't control." The extremes on the scale I mentioned above there are really just one way of doing that. But WBL isn't special and there are other ways of doing that: "No Psionics, Tomb of Battle is banned, flaws are OP" etc.
Maybe, for all their player hostility, WotC actually saw those things. It wasn't hard. They were everywhere. And obviously they wanted people to enjoy using their product / buy it more. So what could they do? They simply said "Fine, if we're going to have DMs that refuse to use WBL, let's just throw it out." And they did. They did it so well that their system works even with DMs who are scared a 2,000gp ioun stone would instantly break their fragile campaign setting.
So just because a DM likes the baseline (which happens to fit very well into a model players had been conditioned to be wary of) doesn't mean that the system is doing anything wrong. Good DMs like TJ show that the changes can be used for good. So great job WotC. You made the most out of a chronically bad situation.(click to show/hide)
Aside from everyone's secret, burning desire to play Setzer in D&D, why would you want an airship? Is it really worth 92k?
In a 6 second round, a character has a 3second standard attack and a 2 second move and a 1 second swift action, there-abouts
I'm looking for source-legal, permanent benefits that have no cost in gold pieces for characters who partake various WotC adventures/campaigns. Things I've found so far:
2) Elder Evils has Ragnorra [ElE98] whose strong sign (when the comet is visible) gives Twisted Life which if you fail checks to allow HD corruption gives the Aberration type along with darkvision 60', +2con & -4cha. Must be LA+0 since “All other characteristics of the creature remain unchanged.” Note that
1) Warp Touch is another of my pet favorites, which is RAW able to be gained by spamming Planeshift into the raw chaos limbo (assuming you can survive it)
0) Lastly, one of my other fun finds that was the campaign-specific Altar of the Dragon Eye [EotLQ10]. It doesn't really count because it is a magic location, but just broken so it doesn't list a cost. RAW it costs nothing but only works once. It gives the Aberrant Dragonmark feat as a bonus feat. If your DM insists on counting the benefit against WBL, it would be betwen 2-4k
So who's got a third? I'm sure there are tons of those little benefits for other adventures. If you list something that has a cost, it doesn't count.
Edit: I did. "Dungeon Magazine 153's 6th page of Touch of Madness has an artifact called Tears of Ioun that with exposure (but not ownership) gives the Aberrant Blood feat to humanoids"
Oops, I did it again: 5th level characters can, after a (bardic) knowledge check be only 1 greater teleport away from the Basin of Deadly Dust which has a nonmagical fine-sized construct dust that "requires one month of exposure. These creatures are known as tain-touched, and their natural armor bonus increases by 4." [Sand202]
- Attribute mods: He wants the math to be more complex. No seriously. You can remove them, but then you have fractions rather than integers. Or your can double everything. It's like he doesn't consider how to change this. I suppose he's welcome to show us how its done and do all the re-balancing work, though. I won't hold my breath.
- Wizard spells: Fluff is mutable. Is the spell prepared spell or not? Neeeeeeext
- Monks: 5e problems compared to the 5th tier 3e class.
- Saves: You mean the defenses after position, AC, SR, and immunities?
- AC: armor & shield boni can instead boost DR. Yes, DR should apply to all damage. He got this one right. :)
- Annoying Deaths: He wants permadeath. Okay. But most folks around here say that death means a reroll, since that "annoyance" makes you poorer and more likely to die again even more. He seems to have a problem with mechanics he hasn't fully considered the reprecussions of. Perhaps he's more worried about maintaining fluff, despite high level casters being rare, much less peasants being able to afford 5k all at once.
- Too many casters: Well, yes 3e is caster edition. But the solution is to nerf them, not somehow conglomerate all of their power into one giant monolith. Won't somebody please think of the balance? He is correct that the prepared vs spontaneous division is down awkwardly. Again, the solution is to nerf the higher powered one so that prepared can't prepare more than one of the same spell. Then it simply becomes "lots:1/each" vs "few:SPAM-SPAM-SPAM!" Simple. But he's wrong about paladins and rangers being forced to be casters (See CW ACFs) and that the spell lists are the same with bards. Although casters do need nerfs, I'll again point out that I've balanced them simply and relatively quickly without ham-handed bans.
- Power Gaming: because races are where all the power is? Lol. Anyway does ya want racial customization, or not? If you do, there will be more powerful combinations than others. By the way, dwarf druids are more powerful than, say, half-elf ones. So, yes, I do want a dwarf druid, for sure. Unless humans are on the table. They are the "other" best core race. Its a toss up between them when it comes to druids. As a minmaxer I'm doing exactly what he said I wouldn't (in core only), but maybe he has been called stupid many times before...
- Alignment: LOL. Spoken like a true neutral. I think he's proving the point about humans' general alignment in D&D. It's like terrorists blowing up people to prove how peaceful their philosophies are. :banghead Extra points for sounding like a comic book villian.
- Magic items: aren't made nearby. They come from planes people haven't even heard of. There's just ferried into somewhere nearby. I know it sounds crazy, unless you've ever been to a retail store ever in your life. Anyways his numbers about magic items versus GDP is way off. Eventually a party will get there, in which case you won't be "plucky adventurers" saving little kingdoms anymore. They'd be teleporting to their cushy hide out, wearing their rings of sustanence. He's just plain wrong about having to sell items to upgrade them (see MIC rules). Again, he's off about how much a solid silver castle would actually be appraised at. This is what happens when you don't take ranks in appraise. :P
"Chris Tavares Dias is the literary equivalent of that crusty burnt cheese at the bottom of the fondue pot." Also after most of the comments disagreed, he closed them. Extra lol.
1. Not really.
He is both wrong about "every" numeric increase giving you "something" in the "old days", as well as mistaking a deliberate feature for a flaw in rolling a linear probability against a bell curve generated base, particularly when said bell curve generated base has been replaced by a variable point buy base.
However, other than having to be careful in rewriting the rules, there is nothing inherently absurd about replacing the ability scores with the modifiers and just going from there. Instead of rolling against an ability score, which I'm not sure even happens anymore, you would roll against a static DC 10 with the modifier, and the whole thing would be a near statistical wash.
As it happens, I noted something quite similar myself in respect to supplanting damage ranges with "average" damage results as "4th" edition progressed.
2. In this case you are way too kind. This is JUST the anti-Vancian rant yet again. Never mind no original solution, he doesn't even have an original complaint.
3. For this the problem goes deeper.
He whines specifically about "high fantasy", casually handwaving past any consideration of whether people want their D&D to actually be high fantasy, and gratuitously bypassing the relatively low-fantasy Thomas Convenant books which very prominently featured mundane martial artists. (It is difficult to quantify that series as high or low fantasy. It normally proceeds as low, but the background and villain are high and beyond.) But guess what? When those mundane martial artists come up against the high end mystical threats they suddenly wind up with crises of effectiveness when they realize they can't punch colons up through throats, and so can't really hang and bang with the big boys.
4. The Save or Die argument combined with the Active or Passive Defense argument combined with the Who Should Roll argument.
But he cannot be bothered to even address them all in a functional manner.
5. Not really.
He conflates protection against being burned by brushing up against something hot with actual protective clothing worn by firefighters with the impact and piercing protection of armor, completely forgetting that people, you know, die from heat stroke while wearing armor, but it should absolutely protect you from being burned even as your breastplate turns into a pressure cooker.
He struggles to make a Realist vs Simulationist argument, but falls far short.
Oh, and "increased complexity".
6. He wants to ignore how attitudes about the game have changed without seeming to be aware of them. Not particularly impressive.
7. No, he is complaining more the number of caster classes, not how many people want to be casters. He wants to reduce all spell slingers to wizards and druids, and everyone else gets to run around being mundane. Apparently customization can only be for spear fodder.
8. More than that. See above where he wanted to reduce the number of caster classes? Yeah. He doesn't seem to realize that by cutting out such variants he is actually contributing to the stereotyping that he despises because he wants such limited potential.
Likewise he also wants to handwave any sense of distinction between races. After all, if an orc can be as awesome a wizard as an elf, what exactly is the difference between being an orc and an elf? Fangs versus pointy ears?
That right there is the handwaving of fluff that made "4th" edition so absurd, effectively confessing that the designers had no ability to write distinctive fluff.
9. "Wah! I hate alignment! I hate fantasy archetypes! I don't care about genre!"
Wait, was I supposed to read anything else there, particularly after his previous complaints about power gaming and too many caster classes?
10. And here we get into the difference between literature and games.
As a matter of fact, I remember a book where the party went off on their quest with 2 greater artifacts, 1 lesser artifact, and 1 suit of armor worth more than a country. Along the way they picked up a few more lesser artifacts and a dozen or so magic items. They didn't buy those items, but most were custom selected for them, including the lesser artifact.
That book is of course The Lord of the Rings.
But never mind what people thought of them wandering around with such fabulous treasures, let's focus on how many peasants they could have fed with them. Even though, you know, one of the lesser artifacts was actually super-fertile magic earth that helped rebuild a country that had been devastated, enabling people to eat.
Overall, you are way too kind.
- Wizard spells: Fluff is mutable. Is the spell prepared spell or not? Neeeeeeext2. In this case you are way too kind. This is JUST the anti-Vancian rant yet again. Never mind no original solution, he doesn't even have an original complaint.
The best part about this one is that the blogger is somehow trying to use literary history to mock Vancian casting, as though Vancian casting had a non-literary origin.
PBMC, you are indeed too kind.
Over the last several days, I've noticed my Steam account & client doing increasingly odd things. It's gotten to the point where if I can't get them resolved, I think I'm thinking about just using reddit & pirating video games that I would otherwise buy. This is a big about-face for me because I was just starting to like their workshop & mod forums. Atleast on Nexus Mods I can use whatever browser or IP I feel like without constantly having to check a spam email "account for verification" codes.
To be fair, I've never really bought into the idea of DRM. Either you are going to like a game and support it monetarily, or you won't. Perhaps this is too black and white, but it doesn't seem like a simple issue to me. The fact that all of them are poorly coded, buggy, obstacles to your enjoyment doesn't help. For instance, try softlinking Blizzard's battlenet client post-install. See what happens.
The actual problem is that I one day found I could no longer reply to mod submissions for a AAA title I legally own that is only available through steam. I was starting to become a big member of a really cool gaming community. And then I simply couldn't post.
I tried going through their FAQ, but basically all it says is that since I am a prolific poster, their automatic system believes I am a spammer. So I went over to their help forum and found other people with my problem. No one had any resolutions other than "give Valve money." I thought it was laughable, until I saw everyone was serious.
The sheeple there actually think paying to post on public gaming forums is not a problem. Perhaps they've never heard of Reddit. Apparently years ago their TOS changed without anyone ever knowing. Now their "free" forums aren't free anymore. But they aren't behind a paywall, so I was never wise to the bait and switch they pulled.
Unlike a legitimate company, Steam has no support phone number. There is no live chat support. I put in an email ticket, but the status checking on it has been deleted. Their system won't let me make another because the first one was deleted without resolution. I even tried to post on a mod's wall to ask for help but ... I can't post there either.
The true irony is that I was about to buy another AAA title on steam. That's on indefinite pause, while I consider torrenting DRM free versions of the steam games I've already legally bought.
And to top it off, someone tried to purchase some playstation VR thing on my apple account (despite me recently changing the password to a long, complex string). I felt so relieved I had decided to stop using Apple's store (and let the card on file lapse) exactly to reduce my attack surfaces. I see no reason to start using Steams' store and take another risk. I know that the apple account hack had to have been on Apple's end because I had stopped using the account months ago. And Apple has far better security (and support) than Steam, which is basically just a shell company middle man.
What should I do? I refuse to pay extortion money to a company that clearly doesn't care just to post on forums. Am I just SOL?
I think just SOL. I've never had any issues with Steam, but... I don't get involved in communities. It's just a game installing thing for me.
Yeah I think because I've already been called a spammer, I'm going to just own up. I'll buy my next game early and then become the scourge they fear.
Basically I'm going to perfect the ultimate "LET'S ALL SH|T ON VALVE" thread, and then spam it, subtly. I know they will be okay with this, because the whole point is they don't care about spam. They just want their extortion money.
Looks like another gamer who wanted to play legally found out cracked games are more stable, secure, and even often better supported.
After my last successful thread, it occurred to me when thinking about how much I enjoy tanking in LoD (DotA with multiclassing), and that the build goals are very similar to various D&D abilities. As a result I'm going to explain through matching DotA terms when tanking fails and when it succeeds.
First let's imagine a regular DotA match. You are up against normal, well-rounded enemies. You have a normal, well-rounded team that picks:(click to show/hide)A debuff/support like Warlock (cleric heals, fog-like slows, damage-sharing, and some distraction summons with flame shield) who wants the following items before late game: mana boots (bestow power), a mek (heal aura, mass heal with an aoe DR), janggo (haste aura), and pipe (high self SR, healing aura, and team SR)
A lockdown/nuke (stunner) caster like Lion (line-based daze, 1 round PAO, disintegrate) who wants to get dagon (another disintegrate), hex stick (another 1 round PAO), euls (time hop), and boots
A carry (DPS) like nevermore (get lots of WBL and attack things until they are dead. Has a negative DR aura) who treads (iterative), MoM (wraithful strike weapon), lothar (invisiblity), buriza (+damage, keen weapon with unusually high multiplier and threat range)
An annoyance factor (skillmonkey) like SA who forces enemies to use resources to detect, wards (claivoyance/scry), adds to paranoia, occasionally lockdowns enemies, and is just a huge information gatherer. This character decides not to carry, but could if necessary. Items include BoT, wards, dust, manta
So its up to you to pick the tank. Even the skillmonkey, if spotted, could go down in a round, the casters surely would, and the carry needs you to buy some time before they can down enough enemies that they can win a 1v1.(click to show/hide)You decide to pick DK and max stats (more HP, AC), dragon's blood, get one in your stun (single target melee, 1 round), maybe later you'll farm lanes with dragon's breath (a little bonus to WBL).
By level 10 if you've farmed well, you'll have 2.5k HP (150HP in D&D terms), 6hp/sec regen, +60% armor (AC of 35), 20stats (belt of magnificence +2 version), an urn (lay on hands), treads (another +2 to con and a speed weapon that stacks with haste), heart (+30% hp with out of combat fast heal), and blademail (5 enemies each take 30 damge if they kill you in the round that you use the item and they damage you equally.
So you are nice and beefy for your level. Your job is to take one for the team. Enemies deal 100 damage a second, 200 if its a DPS. In a round you take 600-1200 damage (35-70hp in D&D terms). You can wade into 1 normal enemy and live for several rounds while your carry cleans up. Or your can 2v2 and die if it takes 3 rounds. Or you can take on 3 or more but die in about 6 seconds.
You should feel like canon fodder because you are. What's the problem with the above?(click to show/hide)The only way to live from all of the above scenarios is to decide to not tank (ie not be targetable). This is equivalent to going invisible, or moving away (think slark's ult in DotA). Common D&D logic is that you have no way to force your enemies to fight you. Either you can't survive their attacks or you do because they refocus. But that's nonsense because "successful" tanks aren't then allowing your enemies to attack (because you can't survive the attacks). Of course they will refocus when you are not there. Even on the tankiest "standard" kind of DotA character, you can't walk into several opponents on an even-level encounter and not expect to die. Oddly, the boards is okay with this mirror in D&D.
But I'm not.
The problem with tanking isn't that enemies won't fight you, its that you'll die when you do (you're a bad tank). So what's a good tank? One that survives an entire team wailing on them. Sure you'll not be able to fight back, so you better have some allies doing the DPS, but you won't die; you'll keep tanking for a long time. You'll do your job.
Let's look at a standard LoD tank build:(click to show/hide)morph (all Str+Dex -> con), dispersion and backtrack (50% psuedo evade, aka auto-heal, a fifth of it hurts nearby enemies), reincarnate (once a minute upon death become invulnerable for a round then come back at full HP), craggy exterior (25% chance for enemies to lose their action attacking), borrowed time (any damage lower than your current hp heals you, a third of it damages nearby enemies)
Now at level 10, you'll have about 3k+ HP (175HP in D&D terms), 6hp/sec regen, +50% armor (AC of 25), 100damage with:
tranquil boots (no dps), heart (+30% hp with out of combat fast heal), butterfly (evasion), halberd (hp, evasion totalling 50%), and blademail (all enemies take damage = x1.5 what they dealt to you if activated during borrowed time with a later Agh, and you don't die. 3 round cd means you can stagger it before and after bt and reinc). For reference on huskar Rosh only deals 200 damage total to this build in a full minute of tanking.
This means we could soak up the following damage:(click to show/hide)175hp*(2.25+infinite+2.25+infinite on last hit+2.25)=1575 damage (in D&D terms) assuming we only took 175 damage during borrowed time. This is like having more than 8 of the above tanks all in one character.
It's even better if you can back away for just 4 rounds (another 8 gives you borrowed time again), but although that goes against the spirit of continuous tanking, its highly reasonable to assume you simply lived through one battle and all your abilities are back up for the next one.
So the question becomes, how do we build a D&D character that can tank over 1500 effective damage in less than a minute?
Let's start by copying the DotA abilites as closely as we can:(click to show/hide)Butterfly+Halberd's (now stacking) 50% evasion is easy total concealment with greater concealing amorphia.
50% psuedoheal is Empyreal Ecstasy. You will want to make sure you DM understands the difference between damage dealt and damage taken, as it needs to interact a specific way with the below (to match warcraft 3's triggered mechanics). The 20% damage reflection which could be done with a purposely nerfed Affinity Field that didn't include the healing part This seems in line with a custom Bend Reality.
Craggy Skin's 25% is hard. It would be like a 1/4 chance to already have a readied action to make opponent lose an action. It's like a percentile, very specific synchronicity that doesn't discharge itself. This might be doable with some purposely limited TO.
morph sounds like psychofeedback.
(DotA) Reincarnate sounds like a contingent true res. It would have to be reset out of battle. Definitely optimizable with craft contingent spell, revivify, and some other spells.
Borrowed Time is similar to a nerfed Timeless body (see the above for LoD's Aghnim scepter part).
A Heart of the Torrasque is lots of HP + fast heal
Various other items for AC, DR, speed, SR, and HP are doable.
Blademail. Here's a sticking point. It's like an auto share pain for anything that attacks you, but only if they hit you, not if you take damage on your own. And its twice as strong (used to be 100%, now 75% to 52% to 0% depending on items). As you can see, blademails are quite strong, too strong in my opinion for regular DotA. We don't have to have it at the full 100% strength, since we are assuming enemies like we'd find in regular DotA (no 1 shotters or permastompers or mc wraiths, or haunt chains, etc). I'd allow a limited wish/bend reality to alter a Share Pain so that attackers are considered willing, but only for the round that the spell is cast. Retributive amulet doesn't work on spells or ranged attacks, but could be 'fixed' of that with the above. Empathic feedback is in the same boat but it unfortunately [mind-affecting]
It looked like a ardent 1 (magic mantle) / Erudite X / warblade or crusader 1 might be able to pull off most of this. You don't have to pull out all the stops to get tons of HP (draconic polymorph, might of the city, kiss of the vampire, etc) but it helps. Thoughts?
Bonus:(click to show/hide)By cranking our con so high, and some ToB maneuvers, we won't have to worry about non-rapid-fire saves.
Iron Heart Surge!You saw the bonus, huh?Best tank is Sorcerer with Wings of Cover, Wings of Flurry, Ruin Delver's Fortune, and Greater Blink.Uh, ghost-touch weapon + see invis + attack iterations?Regeneration & Diehard :vYeah I'm trying to actually take the damage without shenanigans (delay death,etc), ie actually tank rather than abuse some invulnerability bug. Those do sometimes happen in LoD...I confess I may have missed your answer to thisThe tl;dr answer is, we simply suck at making tanks. We build "standard" dota heroes, not LoD heroes (thinking outside the box).Quote(I don't play DotA, so you lost me with some of the jargon)I tried to translate everything into D&D terms, so let me know if I missed a spot.QuoteI didn't see you address the issue of why your enemies should focus on you. It doesn't matter that you are literally unkillable if the enemies can just ignore you and kill the rest of your team instead.Well they shouldn't, but they will. Trust me. I have watched thousands of very intelligent players who know that you have a megatank focus the tank. Why? Because you are in their face, and they want to kill you.
I can count on one hand the number of times I've watched a whole team literally ignore a super-tank and solely consider his team. We're talking no attacks wasted, completely walking around, "go let him attack our base" kind of ignoring. Hell, I build super tanks all the time, and I still don't ignore them when they get in my face -- even if I don't have a DPS build. Now imagine your enemies have never seen a supertank before. I gaurantee they will focus you, if you play correctly -- agressively and seemingly vulnerable. This is why we have to actually take damage, rather than just avoid it all.
Put another way, it becomes "imagine your enemies will never fight you. Maybe, you're a supertank, or maybe they are dominated/throwing the game. Now imagine all the things you can get away with." By that point, you've almost won everything before you start. Its obvious, and your enemies do know that. So they won't ignore you.QuoteYou have to be able to deal "enough" damage that they can't simply ignore you, or provide some other annoyance factor that makes them want to target youThis is surprisingly easy, imho. Again, see the "Do you know how to wreck havoc if you knew no one would try to stop you?" question above.
Clearly, then, tanking should be left to Druids who cast Wall of Bears.Did someone allude to a Bear Build?That's funny I was thinking low OP, t4 glaivelock (amulet of natural attacks works, right? or is magic mantle/transdimensional power necessary), so no webs, plus flight and ddoor. Fight tentacles with tentacles?QuoteUh, ghost-touch weapon + see invis + attack iterations
Probably want to add Pounce to that list for when you finally make it through Solid fog, grease, black tentacles, and webbing to reach the arcane death machine.From a purely D&D viewpoint, tanks are highly impractical. Sure it may not be wise to ignore the unkillable guy and let him roam around your lair while you kill his friends. But at the same time, that might actually be the smartest thing you can do. He's bound to run headlong into a multitude of traps, attract more attention than he can handle and eventually just be completely overwhelmed by to many enemies that he simply can't do a dignificant amount of damage to due to his defensive focus.On a standard tank, the "overwhelm" part does apply. But supertanks are different. You won't have any base left by the time the party is dead and the anti-tank slog can begin. Again this is a "you've won before you started" situation, assuming your enemies know to do this (which they won't).QuoteIn the way? Tumble, fly, burrow, translocation, teleport, etherial jaunt, ranged weapon, reach weapon, being knocked proneeveryone flies (can fliers be tripped?), but thicket of blades is great for stopping the standard rogue tactics to pierce the frontline. Casters are assumed to have anticipate teleport for their own safety, but yes snipers can focus your party, if they chose to. That's why you either get in their face or have the DPS focus them first.Quotejust stand in the way and be a neusance for as long as you can before you inevitably get locked down... But hey, if you are anticipating being locked down, then you might be able to put up a well timed barrier between the enemy and your allies and with any luck be back in the game before they get through.Yes being a nuisance is fun. And then what you said after that is a big no no no. The point is to actually take the damage: to actually tank. Not to run and hide and force your enemies to refocus to your party members. You successfully hold agro because you stay there and are getting hurt.there aren't really any good drawing aggro tactics extant in 3E D&DBecause they aren't necessary, assuming you can actually tank. Comon, this is the whole point of the thread.
a "Supertank" is someone who takes damage (not avoids it by being untargetable or forces enemies to otherwise waste their actions).Successfully, yes. Standard tanks don't actually do this: they die quickly when focus-fired.QuoteA "Supertank" should coerce enemies in to attacking him - he should be attacked because enemies are afraid of the consequences of not attacking himIdeally, yes. I don't underestimate the "all up in their grill" approachQuoteIf you attack a "Supertank", you lose because that's what he wants you to do, so that his allies can kill you. If you don't attack a "Supertank", you lose because then he'll kill you.Or do any number of awful things to an opponent who isn't bothering to properly fight/defend. But yes, often out of coincidence, supertanks have well above average DPS / DPR.Honestly, I think using the DotA, et al. metaphor is more confusing than helpful.Sorry, but it was necessary for me to realize the difference between standard tanks and super-tanks. The first is the usual 30 Con Crusader Ruby Knight Windicator + necrotic empowerment + Improved toughness, etc while the second thinks "1000 damage? I'm not breaking a sweat. I'll walk it off in a minute."QuoteIn D&D enemies don't usually have a "base" or something that is essential for them to defend.They certainly do in a lot of printed adventures, and I'd venture normal, private campaigns too. Different enemies defend different things, of course.QuoteFurther, part of the tactical role of a tank in D&D is to soak up hits for the squishier characters.I agree. Usually enemies "focus" attacks on very few targets. By being the target, you protect the squishies.Quotethat doesn't really tell us anything about D&D, which is a turn-based PnP cooperative RPG and not a pseudo-RTS competitive computer game.it has a) highly similar, although often simplified D&D abilities, b) complex rule interactions, c) highly motivated tactical actions. My point was even better. When people say "Then you're enemies will stop attacking you" I counter: 1) they don't know if you're going to die in another round or two, 2) They've never seen anyone take multiple swords to the face and live, 3) they are in a struggle for their life (supertanks can attack too) and not calmly analyzing the situation. But in LoD DotA, all of those things are not true and yet players still focus super tanks. Therefore I conclude that enemies will as well in D&D (outside of some highly assholish behavior from a metagaming DM).QuoteThat I can wrap my head aroundGood. I know how to build Supertanks in DotA. I'm less familiar with the boards trying (in non-TO manners) in D&D.QuoteTrouserfang Dwarf can suck up as much straight damage as you can con your DM into, for exampleI didn't realize people took that build seriously. I still laugh when I see it. It has all the usual TO problems: 'how do you walk with snakes in your pants?' 'How do you force the snakes to bite?' 'How do you get them to recharge their poison after they bit you once?' etc etc
I'm hoping to stay away from TO, although I was mentioning that a lot of "normal"ish tanking abilities in DotA seem quite powerful by D&D standards and might require light rule-bending for faithful D&D replicas.