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Messages - Dictum Mortuum

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1
Min/Max 3.x / Re: Planning on reworking the paladin handbook
« on: November 15, 2016, 10:01:03 AM »
If anyone wants to contribute, use this link https://www.penflip.com/DictumMortuum/paladin-handbook?invite=dAhnbJK6

2
Min/Max 3.x / Re: Planning on reworking the paladin handbook
« on: November 02, 2016, 10:45:15 AM »
Here's the piece about the aspects

Quote
## class breakdown

Here's a detail regarding paladin: it's a complicated class. Most of the classes have a degree of complexity to them and some have a deceptively simple class features table, like the cleric or the wizard. A simple look at the paladin's table is enough to understand that there are multiple things going on at the same time, especially at the early levels.

The truth is that unless you just spend all of your levels in the paladin class, you will have a very hard time keeping all your class features in the same power level; this is not generally encouraged in the optimization community, as paladin is already a weak class, so you'll have to specialize to make yourself useful.

Indeed, don't let yourself get fooled to think that most of the abilities of the paladin are acquired at the first five levels. It seems that the class is front-loaded, when in reality each additional paladin level improves many of its abilities. Smite evil, turn undead, spellcasting and special mount are all abilities that are not static.

In order to help you pick up abilities and prestige classes as you progress in the paladin class, I will categorize the paladin's class abilities in four aspects with distinct names. These are the champion, the cavalier, the templar and the commander.

The champion is the warrior aspect; a champion paladin tries to optimize his main combat skill, smite evil, in order to deal high amounts of damage.

The cavalier is the horseman; a cavalier paladin improves his performance in combat by focusing on the synergy between him and his special mount.

The templar is the aspect with the most connection to the divine. A templar paladin uses spells, turn undead, [domain] and [divine] feats to increase his combat prowess.

The commander is the leader of the group. A commander paladin supports his followers by applying buffs and acting as the party face with his skills.

These categories are an abstraction that I have devised and they are meant to give you a direction during character creation and when you need to make a choice at level-ups. They are not to be blindly followed. For example, if your champion just gained a level and you are pondering whether you should get a feat that increases your special mount or your smite ability, think it through; that special mount enhancing feat may be the correct choice for you after all. In this distinction there is room for hybrids and at a certain point it is encouraged.

Here is how the class feature chart should look, with some additional breakpoints that aren't visible in the one in Player's Handbook:

| Level | Special                                  |
| ----- | ---------------------------------------- |
| 1     | Aura of good, detect evil, smite evil 1/day |
| 2     | Divine grace, lay on hands               |
| 3     | Aura of courage, divine health           |
| 4     | Turn undead, spell level 1               |
| 5     | Smite evil 2/day, special mount          |
| 6     |                                          |
| 7     |                                          |
| 8     | Mount advancement, spell level 2         |
| 9     | Remove disease 1/week                    |
| 10    | Smite evil 3/day                         |
| 11    | Mount advancement, spell level 3         |
| 12    | Remove disease 2/week                    |
| 13    |                                          |
| 14    | spell level 4                            |
| 15    | Remove disease 3/week, smite evil 4/day, mount advancement |
| 16    |                                          |
| 17    |                                          |
| 18    | Remove disease 5/week                    |
| 19    |                                          |
| 20    | Smite evil 5/day                         |

3
Min/Max 3.x / Re: Planning on reworking the paladin handbook
« on: October 26, 2016, 04:49:25 AM »
So up until now I have these from your comments:

- Naming combinations of aspects is going to result in a lot of arbitrary names, so I shouldn't do it.
- Rename lord to something else. Commander is better I think.
- Harmonious knight, inspire courage, from smite to song and all those abilities are fitting to the "Commander" archetype I think.

@aDMg I have the following draft planned to put in the guide regarding alignments (OK, I am referring to LG, but you get the idea) :

Quote
moral dilemmas

The paladin is the base class out of the Player's Handbook that has the most strict alignment restriction. By definition, paladins are always of the lawful good alignment and they don't only have to act in the name of good and order, but they also have a code of conduct that they must abide to.

Before you continue reading the guide, it's important to refresh the definition of alignment, as it is a mechanic that causes a lot of problems within groups. As mentioned in Player's Handbook:

Alignment is a tool for developing your character's identity. It is not a straitjacket for restricting your character. Each alignment represents a broad range of personality types or personal philosophies, so two characters of the same alignment can still be quite different from each other. In addition, few people are completely consistent.

I have encountered people with different opinions on alignments that range from indifference to extremism. My personal view on alignment is that it's a good mechanic to determine the outcome of certain spells and effects and to give your character a roleplay direction. However, it is not a good mechanic to use if you want to resolve philosophical arguments on ethics or determine which NPC you should punish.

Ethics is a branch of philosophy that investigates questions like "Is this action right or wrong?". Philosophers like [Plato](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato), [Immanuel Kant](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Kant) and [Friedrich Nietzche](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Nietzsche) have been trying to resolve questions like this for thousands or years. Based on these facts, it's understandable that these ethical questions are not going to be solved by the alignment system.

The problem here lies in the simplicity of the alignment system. It uses two axes - good/evil and law/chaos, which is suitable for a fantasy game like Dungeons and Dragons; the alignment system tries to make choices simple and not complicated. This works fine for most classes that do not have mechanical implications, but in the case of paladins and their code of conduct, the ethical simplicity of alignments and the ambiguity of the code do not mix that well.

If you want to play a paladin and your party is cool about it, then great. If you feel that your dungeon master or teammates are punishing you because of your class choice, this is not cool and you should have a talk about it. Remind them that, according to the rules, alignment is not meant to restrict your character and that it should not be taken far too seriously. Additionally, the restrictions that paladins get compared to the benefits that the class provides are just not worth it; you are not playing this class for the mechanical benefits - you are doing it for the style.

4
Min/Max 3.x / Planning on reworking the paladin handbook
« on: October 21, 2016, 06:10:28 AM »
I am planning on reworking the paladin handbook. I believe that we know the state of D&D 3.5e as a whole, so I am in a much better position to create a guide that won't need to be updated whenever a new sourcebook is released.

The new information that I am going to introduce to the guide is a more thorough breakdown of the paladin class. I'm planning on having the following arbitrary aspects:


The champion is the warrior aspect; a champion paladin tries to optimize his main combat skill, smite evil, in order to deal high amounts of damage.
The cavalier is the horseman; a cavalier paladin improves his performance in combat by focusing on the synergy between him and the special mount.
The templar is the aspect with the most connection to the divine. A templar paladin uses spells. turn undead, [domain] and [divine] feats to increase his combat prowess.
The lord is the leader of the group. A lord paladin supports his followers by applying buffs and acting as the party face with his skills.
This way a player can focus on the aspect(s) that he prefers and maximize it.

Do you find this class breakdown useful?
Would you change any of the names to something more fitting?
Would you like it if the combinations (e.g. lord-cavalier or templar-champion) had distinct names and description?
Are there any other aspects that I am missing?
Would you move an ability to a different aspect? (e.g. skills to the templar)

Thank you in advance, Dimitris

5
Min/Max 3.x / Re: How To: Full Wizard Casting and 16.5 BAB!
« on: November 12, 2015, 05:28:44 AM »
I know that this isn't helping, but if you are going to go through all those loops to get 16+ BAB, then it's probably better to get arcane disciple in a domain with divine power and persist it.

You only have to invest one feat and it doesn't hurt your build.

6
I ... REALLY like this. Do you have aberrations in there? The roper illithid is a known-powerhouse.

Have you weighted various specials? I would suggest having a total "special" category as well, since some forms you will want purely for the true seeing, etc. Also (Su)'s are harder to get than the (Ex)'s.

I'm planning to include all available wild shape forms.
Currently I'm storing each form's specials as a comma separated string, so it's a bit hard to extract and weight each one of them. Maybe I'll have to revise my schema a bit, because there are certain forms that you just want for the specials.

7
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20183245/site/druid/changelog.html

Quote
Added 'total defense' rating to the wild shape forms, which is the total of rating + dex + con + natural armor + speed + special.
Added 'total offense' rating to the wild shape forms, which is the total of rating + attacks + str + dex + size + special.
All total scores are now normalized to the following set: [0,1].
Applied a weight of 1/2 to constitution, as it just contributes to saving throws and some rare con-based ability DCs.

8
Applying weights for each attribute is easy, determining the correct ones is difficult. I will apply a *0.5 weight to con, since it only contributes to saving throws and some con-based DCs (I think).
Yeah, I'm halfway inclined to think you should split it somehow, between offensive and defensive forms, because some forms care about strength above all else while others couldn't care less. Dexterity's always good, at least. Might be worth indicating enhance wild shape based stuff too, because some of those granted abilities are ridiculous, especially on the aberration forms.

I'm going to create two additional scores then.

1. Total score = as is.
2. Defensive score = size (< medium is better due to +AC) + speed + dexterity + constitution + natural armor + special.
3. Offensive score = size (as is - bigger is better) + attacks + strength + dexterity + special.

I'm pondering the possibility of including special abilities that can be unlocked by enhance wild shape or assume supernatural ability, possibly by providing the users a toggle button or something like that.

9
D&D 5e / Re: Unearthed Arcana: SyllaBear, the Lone Ranger
« on: October 03, 2015, 10:54:16 AM »
did anyone notice that they get proficiency in wisdom & dexterity saving throws? That's awesome for a first level dip.

10
I dunno that it makes sense to use a scoring system that judges all special abilities in the same fashion makes all that much sense, though I suspect that's largely a thing of convenience. More changeable is the fact that you apparently have strength, dexterity, and constitution with the same weight, or at least I would assume that's the case, despite the fact that constitution is the clearly inferior stat of the three. Finally, as a really plausible thing that I can tell isn't present, it'd be really nice to have maneuverability of flight included. Specifically, the critical thing here is average to good, as that gives you hover, which means a lot more maneuverability options and the ability to easily summon while airborne. Your organizational system is really sexy though, I gotta say.

Applying weights for each attribute is easy, determining the correct ones is difficult. I will apply a *0.5 weight to con, since it only contributes to saving throws and some con-based DCs (I think).

I will try to include a 'flight maneuverability' column to the entries, you are right about hover.

11
Creations & Ephemera / Re: I Need Some Help. Please Read.
« on: October 01, 2015, 08:30:12 AM »
Come to Greece!

I'm working for a software company, so if you are a programmer, I could arrange an interview (possibly over skype) for you.

It's kind of a long-shot, but, hey, maybe a drastic change like that will help you get better.

12
Off Topic Fun / Re: Something Stupid I Just Realised.
« on: October 01, 2015, 08:18:08 AM »
useful if you're making a 'spell chanting' game

13
Min/Max 3.x / Re: Creating a druid handbook, need your input on a template
« on: September 30, 2015, 09:05:26 AM »
- Filtering by specific abilities is very troublesome - I don't think I can do it realistically.
- Filtering by type is a request that I can do however. I will implement it soon.
- I've created a google form for data entry. Anyone that wishes to help may do so. I will be responsible for transferring the data to the sqlite database and I will share it, should anyone care for it.

Form for data entry:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1vUieeGNdaToJtvtIsmO56pqvh-_YaydbuNnpAavWD10/viewform

I have currently added animals from all monster manuals and some dragons from the following link:

http://web.archive.org/web/20080919131238/http://forums.gleemax.com/wotc_archive/index.php/t-404381

14
Min/Max 3.x / Re: Creating a druid handbook, need your input on a template
« on: September 28, 2015, 10:48:32 AM »
It's interesting, and fun to watch all the forms bounce around when you pick a new sort order.

Definitely needs hit dice though, since that's a big limit on what a druid can turn into.

Aha! I knew that I had forgotten something! I will implement it - the HD are actually in the database but it's not binded in the template.

15
Min/Max 3.x / Creating a druid handbook, need your input on a template
« on: September 28, 2015, 08:47:58 AM »
So I have created a page that enables you to sort the forms that you can acquire using wild shape based on different attributes.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20183245/site/druid/animal.html

What you see

A list of all available wild shape forms (it's incomplete - but it's useful for this testing phase). I've built an sqlite database that contains the forms and turns them into html boxes.

Each of those boxes represents a form. A form has a list of all those abilities and a total score, which is calculated based on the abilities that the form has.

Code: [Select]
score = size + speed + special + rating + attacks + str + dex + con + natural armor

size = (1 if diminutive ... 7 if gargantuan)
speed = (total ft * weight, weight = 0.9 if swim, 1.1 if burrow, 1.2 if fly, 1 otherwise)
special = 1 per special ability

Because the result of speed is somewhere in the hundreds and natural armor rarely is higher than 10, all scores are normalized before they are added to the total score, according to the popular formula:

Code: [Select]
normalized = (value - min)/(max - min)
Initially, the forms are ordered by total score.

Additionally, the set [min score, max score] is broken up into four segments; the items that belong to each segment are then assigned a color code - red, black, blue and navy (the color coding that I traditionally use).

What you can do

1. Filter forms according to their color or book. These can be combined - you may want to select only those forms that fall into the blue category from MMII for instance; to do this you just click on a blue header and then click on the 'monster manual II' book (or in reverse order - that works, too).
2. Reset a specific filter. If you want to see all the available options from monster manual II, regardless of their color code, you'll have to reset the color filter. To do this just control + click on the blue header. The same works for books.
3. Ban. If you shift + click on a color or a book then the boxes that belong to that category will be hidden. There is no reset for this kind of filter unless you refresh the page. This is useful if your DM bans a specific book, but doesn't make much sense for colors.
4. Change the order of the forms. Just click on an attribute and the forms will be automatically sorted based on that attribute. You can combine orders - e.g. order them first by speed and then by natural armor. The active order will color the appropriate attribute(s) with a grey background, so that you know which ordering is currently active.
5. Vote for a specific form by pressing the tick symbol on the top left of the box. Your vote will be kept and it will mildly influence the rating of a specific form. If the vote was successfully taken, then the tick sign will change color to black.

What I want input on

1. Is this thing useful? I'm planning to extend this to animal companions, summons and spells.
2. If anyone has problems using the page with his browser, please notify me.
3. I'm not much of a designer - do you find the design attractive? Anything that could be improved?

Finally, if anyone could help me out with data entry, as it's a slow and painful process (and my free time is limited), please send me a message.

16
D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / Re: Why would you ever sunder anything?
« on: August 27, 2015, 03:42:56 AM »
Can't you sunder spell component bags, bowstrings and quivers/arrows? Or even at low levels, sundering nonmagical equipment should be fine.

17
Min/Max 3.x / Re: I present to you the LaTeX 3.5e template!
« on: August 05, 2015, 04:32:23 AM »
https://github.com/DictumMortuum/dnd-latex

Forgot about this topic. Files commited for anyone who wants to use them.

I just might look into this, assuming it's relatively easy to translate LaTeX to SQL >.>

I might dissapoint you, but they have nothing to do with each other :p

Now I wouldn't say that...

That's actually an awesome package :p

18
Min/Max 3.x / Re: I present to you the LaTeX 3.5e template!
« on: August 03, 2015, 03:25:27 PM »
https://github.com/DictumMortuum/dnd-latex

Forgot about this topic. Files commited for anyone who wants to use them.

I just might look into this, assuming it's relatively easy to translate LaTeX to SQL >.>

I might dissapoint you, but they have nothing to do with each other :p

19
Min/Max 3.x / Re: I present to you the LaTeX 3.5e template!
« on: August 01, 2015, 06:13:32 AM »
https://github.com/DictumMortuum/dnd-latex

Forgot about this topic. Files commited for anyone who wants to use them.

20
D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / Re: Paladin advice
« on: July 30, 2015, 05:37:41 AM »
I generally dislike the tier system, but if you're going to be casting spells higher than 4-5, even if it's just one spell per level, then I don't think anyone would consider you tier 5.

So the answer is that it really depends on your domain choice. Time, summoner, strength, war. Wrath gives rhino's rush + righteous might.

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