Author Topic: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think  (Read 12271 times)

Offline RobbyPants

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Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« on: January 06, 2016, 08:26:52 AM »
The only time I see this feat mentioned is when someone is building a Factotum and trying to give it as large of a pool of Inspiration Points as possible. Looking at the text, the thought is the first time you take it, you get one point, then the second time, you get two more points (for a total of three), and three more the next, etc.

Quote
Benefits: When you take this feat for the first time, you gain 1 inspiration point.

Special: You can take this multiple times. Each time you take this feat after the first time, the number of inspiration points you gain increases by 1 (for example, you gain 2 inspiration points if you take the feat a second time). The maximum number of times you can take this feat is equal to your Intelligence modifier.

However, those points don't actually stack; the benefits of the feat overlap. So, the first time you take it, you gain 1 IP. The second time, you instead, gain 2 IP (not for a total of 3). This is explained in the "benefit" section where feats are explained (emphasis mine):

Quote
What the feat enables the character ("you" in the feat description) to do. If a character has the same feat more than once, its benefits do not stack unless indicated otherwise in the description.

 In general, having a feat twice is the same as having it once.

Font of Inspiration does not explicitly say that it stacks, ergo, its effects overlap. Compare and contrast to Toughness:

Quote
A character may gain this feat multiple times. Its effects stack.

The stacking is explicit, so it works.


So, basically, the author chose a particularly odd way to simply say "Special: You may take this feat multiple times, and its effects stack. Each additional time you take it grants you an additional Inspiration Point."
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Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2016, 11:41:24 AM »
Holy cow I've been replaced!

Seriously through, you went against common forum misconception and read the material and drew your own conclusions, and found appropriate inherited rules to back the interpretation. And then shared it publicly, even knowing it's a nerf which generally less than well reachieved by any user base.

Great job Robby, both on the research and the step forward.
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Offline Soft Insanity

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2016, 11:46:56 AM »
Except somebody emailed the author and asked him how it works.  Basically, it works like everybody has been using it.  (I'm too lazy to link it because I don't have to, but it's out there)  He then said something along the line of if you don't like it, don't use it.

It's not the only feat that works using the (N^2+N)/2 formula either.

Behold:

Psionic Talent [Psionic]
You gain additional power points to supplement those you already had.

Prerequisite
Having a power point reserve.

Benefit
When you take this feat for the first time, you gain 2 power points.

Special
You can take this feat multiple times. Each time you take the feat after the first time, the number of power points you gain increases by 1.

The difference being the formula is now (N^2+N+2)/2

For some strange reason, that VERY OLD feat has worked the same way and had the same wording and never gets discussed because it's not as important as Font.  I wonder why nobody ever brought it up before font was a thing...I mean there were only years in between.

Oh, yeah "unless indicated otherwise in the description."  Both of them make use of that clause.  Now it all makes sense.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 11:53:56 AM by Soft Insanity »

Offline Soft Insanity

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2016, 11:48:48 AM »
Holy cow I've been replaced!

Seriously through, you went against common forum misconception and read the material and drew your own conclusions, and found appropriate inherited rules to back the interpretation. And then shared it publicly, even knowing it's a nerf which generally less than well reachieved by any user base.

Great job Robby, both on the research and the step forward.

Except he's wrong.  And therefore you are too.  You're ignoring the "here's the exception" that's in the rule you quoted.  It's a willful ignorance that I find quite charming.

Offline Eviltedzies

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2016, 12:23:51 PM »
To try and point out how the feat trumps your general rule about feats not stacking:

The benefit statement of the feat implicitly says "the first time you take this feat, you gain 1 inspiration point". This implies, but does not concretely say, taking the feat successively grants additional points.

This implication is further reinforced by the statement "Each time you take this feat after the first time, the number of inspiration points you gain increases by 1". So reading this directly very easily says taking it a second time grants 1 more inspiration point than taking it the first time; thus, taking it a second time grants 2 points instead of 1. The earlier statement of "after the first" reinforces this concept by informing us that a change of mechanics occurs each time you take the feat again.

Granting only an additional per feat as you are suggesting is in direct conflict to the grammer of the feat. (1+1 /= 1) I can't recall the direct source, but I believe specific text always trumps general rules. (Including the rule your reference about feats not stacking) The failing of the wording of the feat is in that it does not directly say "taking this feat multiple times stacks", but instead says it through the description of granting additional inspiration points per successive selection of the feat.

Offline Soft Insanity

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2016, 12:35:37 PM »
The failing of the wording of the feat is in that it does not directly say "taking this feat multiple times stacks", but instead says it through the description of granting additional inspiration points per successive selection of the feat.

The true failing of the feat is that it doesn't increase your refresh-able pool at all.  It just says "have some points" and by the rules once you use them they vanish and all you have to show is an empty feat.  If the OP had said that, I'd have nothing to say.  As it is, and as you further elaborated on, the grammar supports the current handling of the feat the same as it does psionic talent.

So yes, font of inspiration does grant fewer points than people think...because they never refresh after being used.  Only the ones gained through class do. (per the last sentence in the inspiration entry)

Most players take it 4-5 times anyway.  The reality is, factotum is a terrible class once you realize belt of battle can 1. be made with more charges and 2. be made slotless.  That's even before considering that psionic talent is actually a stronger feat capable of giving you more standard actions.

Offline RobbyPants

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2016, 12:53:30 PM »
Except somebody emailed the author and asked him how it works.  Basically, it works like everybody has been using it.  (I'm too lazy to link it because I don't have to, but it's out there)  He then said something along the line of if you don't like it, don't use it.
There's a big difference between what the author meant and what the author wrote. If there hasn't been an errata issued, then the author was wrong (at least in how it was written).


It's not the only feat that works using the (N^2+N)/2 formula either.

Behold:

Psionic Talent [Psionic]
You gain additional power points to supplement those you already had.

Prerequisite
Having a power point reserve.

Benefit
When you take this feat for the first time, you gain 2 power points.

Special
You can take this feat multiple times. Each time you take the feat after the first time, the number of power points you gain increases by 1.

The difference being the formula is now (N^2+N+2)/2

For some strange reason, that VERY OLD feat has worked the same way and had the same wording and never gets discussed because it's not as important as Font.  I wonder why nobody ever brought it up before font was a thing...I mean there were only years in between.
That VERY OLD feat also works the same way. There is nothing in there saying it stacks; only that it can be taken multiple times. This feat is not a counter example to what I posted, earlier.


Oh, yeah "unless indicated otherwise in the description."  Both of them make use of that clause.  Now it all makes sense.
...Except that it never states that it stacks. The feat rules say very clearly that they don't unless the feat says. All both of these feats say is that the number you gain is increased once for each additional time you take the feat. If it doesn't stack, it overlaps. So, a gain of +2 overlapping a gain of +1 is still... +2.
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Offline Eviltedzies

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2016, 01:08:53 PM »
Robby - Your completely ignoring the rule that states specific text trumps general rules in all cases. The non-stacking clause about feats is a general rule whereas the wording of the feat is specific text that overrules.

Either that or your very poorly arguing that the words "they stack" MUST be added to ANY feat regardless of wording or it cannot stack with itself even if the grammatical text indicates otherwise.

Offline Soft Insanity

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2016, 01:38:12 PM »
Either that or your very poorly arguing that the words "they stack" MUST be added to ANY feat regardless of wording or it cannot stack with itself even if the grammatical text indicates otherwise.

That's part of why I'm having trouble following his logic.  I've been playing so long that when I look at something that obviously stacks, it never occurs to me that someone would say "it doesn't stack".

The funniest part is, if they don't stack...you can retrain the under font to a top font.  The game never goes back to look because they don't stack, now does it?  That is to say:
Font 1 gives you 1 point
Font 2 gives you 2 points, never cares about Font 1 again
retrain Font 1 to Font 3
Font 3 gives you 3 points, never cares about Font 2 again
retrain Font 2 to Font 4
....
profit.

That's the most obvious reason to me why stacking is important.  It's so devastating that the whole int max font thing has no bearing on it at all.

Offline ketaro

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2016, 02:12:35 PM »
Robby - Your completely ignoring the rule that states specific text trumps general rules in all cases. The non-stacking clause about feats is a general rule whereas the wording of the feat is specific text that overrules.

Either that or your very poorly arguing that the words "they stack" MUST be added to ANY feat regardless of wording or it cannot stack with itself even if the grammatical text indicates otherwise.

But there is no specific text in the feat that actually says "this feat stacks with itself", like every other feat that actually stacks with itself includes.

Offline RobbyPants

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2016, 02:21:06 PM »
Robby - Your completely ignoring the rule that states specific text trumps general rules in all cases. The non-stacking clause about feats is a general rule whereas the wording of the feat is specific text that overrules.
The general rule is "they don't stack", and this is explicitly stated that this general rule is overcome by explicitly stating they stack. Guess what's lacking from FoI and Psionic Talent? That explicit wording.

Guess what's present in other feats that stack? That explicit wording.


Either that or your very poorly arguing that the words "they stack" MUST be added to ANY feat regardless of wording or it cannot stack with itself even if the grammatical text indicates otherwise.
It's not "very poorly" when the rules state that. Explicitly.

Edit:
The rules say that feats don't stack unless they say they do. We have examples of other feats that do explicitly say they stack. FoI and PT both lack this declaration; what they have is language saying that what you gain increases. Of course, if the feat doesn't stack, then the gain overlaps.

Arguing that it saying that the gain increases each time "counts as an exception to the general rule" is circular reasoning. You have to assume that what would otherwise be a statement of overlap didn't actually mean that... without any reason other than assertion to believe it in the first place.


But there is no specific text in the feat that actually says "this feat stacks with itself", like every other feat that actually stacks with itself includes.
Yes, this. This is what I'm saying.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 02:50:48 PM by RobbyPants »
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Offline Soft Insanity

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2016, 03:14:15 PM »
What the feat enables the character ("you" in the feat description) to do. If a character has the same feat more than once, its benefits do not stack unless indicated otherwise in the description.

"Indicated Otherwise" is not the same as "it says so".  If they want it to be "it says so" they would have wrote that, going along with your whole what the author says and means argument.  See how that turns around on you when pointing to any rule and not just the one you're misinterpreting?

At the end of the day, if you don't like font of inspiration, don't question how people read it...just say "it works this way in my game" and be done with it.  While you're at it I suggest just upping the inspiration points for the factotum to something reasonable, limiting the extra standard actions to 1 per turn, and still telling players it's a complete waste of a class for anything more than 3 levels.  Let's be honest, Brains over Brawn is the real star of the class.

Offline IlPazzo

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2016, 03:56:46 PM »
At the end of the day, if you don't like font of inspiration

For the point of this thread, it does not matter how you like it.

RAI it clearly stacks. It makes sense. It's even balanced when not abused.

RAW is a different story.

What FoI says in it's Special section is the feat works differently if you have it multiple times, not that it stacks or any equivalent form.

Offline RobbyPants

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2016, 04:00:03 PM »
What the feat enables the character ("you" in the feat description) to do. If a character has the same feat more than once, its benefits do not stack unless indicated otherwise in the description.

"Indicated Otherwise" is not the same as "it says so".  If they want it to be "it says so" they would have wrote that, going along with your whole what the author says and means argument.  See how that turns around on you when pointing to any rule and not just the one you're misinterpreting?
Actually, looking back on it, the point I was making about overlapping vs stacking probably isn't as good as I was stating. The overlapping/stacking rules only apply to bonuses/penalties, and IPs/PPs wouldn't count as that. So, I'm going to drop that part of the argument.

While I do think to wording used is rather weird, I do agree that there is no reason to believe that a gain would overlap a previous gain. So, it looks like it does work as previously thought.


At the end of the day, if you don't like font of inspiration, don't question how people read it...just say "it works this way in my game" and be done with it.  While you're at it I suggest just upping the inspiration points for the factotum to something reasonable, limiting the extra standard actions to 1 per turn, and still telling players it's a complete waste of a class for anything more than 3 levels.  Let's be honest, Brains over Brawn is the real star of the class.
Whether or not I like FoI has nothing to do with the basis for my argument. You're deliberately mischaracterizing what I'm saying and questioning my motives in a feeble attempt to dismiss what I'm saying.
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Offline Eviltedzies

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2016, 04:16:01 PM »
The important thing is all our Factotums are safe.  :clap

As an aside, I can see your original side of the argument Robby, but D&D has never been kind where it comes to grammar and theoretical physics. Oh those poor cat girls....  :bigeyes

Offline Soft Insanity

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2016, 04:28:21 PM »
Whether or not I like FoI has nothing to do with the basis for my argument. You're deliberately mischaracterizing what I'm saying and questioning my motives in a feeble attempt to dismiss what I'm saying.

Which is why I was trying to give you an out but you eventually saw the same thread I saw from 2013.  You know, the one where everybody changed their mind like you just did.  Well, imagine that thread from 2013 as it was in 2009, except now imagine someone actual told the truth about what the author said in the email (that it is triangular).  I played alot of factotums back in 2009, and that thread was pretty important due to being timely.

You never bothered to address my prior points because you already dismissed them even tho they are all perfectly valid.  Honestly, would you rather have to remove the retraining rules from your game, or have the feat stack as intended?

If you're running a game with your interpretation, you might as well give up on any sort of fair play once a player realizes you only need 2 fonts, downtime, and a few gold to get as much inspiration as they desire.  My point remains...the system never bothers to go back and check if something overlaps, ONLY IF IT STACKS.

Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2016, 05:20:59 PM »
Except somebody emailed the author and asked him how it works.
Yeah, I did and he said it dosen't stack, he also said that if Soft Insanty ever tried using hearsay and alledged claims to prove a point you should never listen to him. :p

I'll catch up on the rest when I havr more than a 3 inch keyboard.
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Offline Soft Insanity

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2016, 05:30:31 PM »
Yeah, I did and he said it dosen't stack, he also said that if Soft Insanty ever tried using hearsay and alledged claims to prove a point you should never listen to him. :p

Can't wait to see what wrong conclusion you also jump to.

Offline Ice9

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2016, 07:53:13 PM »
Actually, looking back on it, the point I was making about overlapping vs stacking probably isn't as good as I was stating. The overlapping/stacking rules only apply to bonuses/penalties, and IPs/PPs wouldn't count as that. So, I'm going to drop that part of the argument.
Just to throw fuel on the fire ... the effect of Toughness is also a "gain" rather than a bonus/penalty, so it shouldn't be necessary to say that the effects of taking it multiple times stack.  Unless that rule does apply to gains as well.   ;)

Or ... it could just be less than entirely consistent wording, in one or both cases.  But where's the fun in that?   :tongue

Offline Jackinthegreen

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Re: Font of Inspiration grants less points than people think
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2016, 08:36:49 PM »
Oh the joys of rules lawyering.

General notes about Font of Inspiration (and many other feats, with a few tweaks to the words):  The wording is such that it can be interpreted as to not confer stacking benefits (perhaps as the author originally intended, but we don't have a citation at the moment like we do with the Warlock's Hideous Blow invocation).  If you're a DM who allows this feat, it's your job to make note of the possibilities regarding its wording and intent and decide for yourself how you are going to allow it in the game.

It would be nice to have a link to what the author (looks to be Eytan Bernstein) had to say about it since claiming "so and so said such and such" on the internet doesn't have much meaning without citations.

Hm, perhaps rewriting various D&D things to be technical and crystal clear while still being approachable would be a nice project.