I'm curious... (KotC design questions!)

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I'm curious... (KotC design questions!)

Postby Cainen » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:17 pm

Hello, first post here. I actually have a few questions as to the assumptions KotC was designed and playtested under. I have a bit of a background in D&D 3E character optimization, so naturally I have to wonder how many tenets of basic char-op knowledge were taken into account when you made the game. I've bolded the real questions; everything else is just the explanation for why I'm asking.

Now then. Judging from the posts I've looked at on Clerics, it doesn't seem like many people here are aware of how strong the Cleric class really is; on tabletop, it's considered one of THE most overpowered classes in the entire game's run and is only second to the Druid in power if all playable material is limited to the core books. Keep in mind that the difference between the Cleric and the Fighter, physically speaking, is an average of 1.5 HP per level and a lower BAB progression. They use similar stat spreads - a Fighter without at least a passable Wisdom is just asking to get blinded, confused, or even controlled and used against you, and the only way to get that is through having a decent Wisdom. Clerics, on the other hand, need Wisdom to cast spells AND happen to have Will as their second good save, making them resilient against disabling spells in general. The thing is, though, that the necessity of having a higher Wisdom than the Fighter is made up in spades by level 7 and ESPECIALLY by level 9; getting your BAB maxed, +6 to your Strength, and then a +4 Size bonus to it closes the Strength and BAB gap the two will have if the Fighter's pouring everything into Strength. Really, the only edge Fighters have on Clerics are combat feats, which isn't as much of a problem for the Cleric as it might seem; on top of Domains that can get you free feats at level 1, you only really have a handful of feats that are must-haves for combatants and every single one of them is within reach of a Cleric. And then we come to the real problem; the Cleric doesn't just fight like a Fighter. Oh, no. The Cleric does all of that while being a *full spellcaster*, which is akin to bringing a working and loaded AK-47 plus kevlar to a flintlock pistol duel.

Now, not all of that applies to the game itself. KotC actually does nerf Clerics to a somewhat more reasonable level by nixing Domains, forcing spell selection, and then forcing them to use a one-handed weapon if they want to cast spells in combat, but mathematically speaking, we're still looking at a Fighter with spells and Turn Undead in place of bonus feats.

Was the game ever designed around the idea of replacing all of your Knights with Clerics?

Now, for the next question... on to Wizards. Wizards are another class that's also considered pretty hideously overpowered in tabletop D&D, but it's not because of the damage they can put out - while KotC is similar in flavor, 3.5's different save mechanics - and ESPECIALLY its different HP/level - makes the Wizard's blasting relatively less effective, as they're still working with the same damage dice they did in AD&D BUT they're hitting things that are much more resilient. A Wizard who loves to throw fireballs everywhere is the least of your troubles when it comes to balancing; it's actually a LOT easier to make them run themselves dry because they have to cast their damage spells a lot more than just one time to kill everything. The real problem with Wizards is that if you have some understanding of what your opponents' weaknesses are, you can halve the strength of nine out of ten encounters that you'll run into with the same handful of spells. Don't believe me? Throw Glitterdust at an encounter of dumb brutes and then have your beatsticks take out the ones that AREN'T blinded; a blinded enemy loses almost all of their effectiveness if they're reliant on hitting things. Or, better yet, throw Web at your average encounter, sit a fair distance away, and have every single party member pelt the enemies that are still advancing with ranged weapons. Even encounters with magic immune monsters like golems aren't a roadblock to a Wizard who knows what he's doing; Wizards actually have THE most useful party buff in the game(Haste) on top of other really, really strong single person buffs.

When you designed the game, were you aware of how strong a Wizard's battlefield control is and how much weaker a blaster Wizard is when compared to their AD&D counterparts?

I'm actually interested in seeing how someone handles a 3 Cleric(2 frontliner/1 archer) 1 Mage(buffer/controller) party. I know for a fact that a frontliner Cleric will work and an archer Cleric should work so long as you remember that Dexterity, not Wisdom, is the stat that gets you the archery feats.

By the way, thanks for getting rid of the skill system; it makes the game feel more like a polished-up oldschool AD&D game, rather than a clunky simulation of 3E's lesser points.

Sorry for the wall of text.
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I'm curious... (KotC design questions!)

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Re: I'm curious... (KotC design questions!)

Postby BlueSalamander » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:48 am

Hello Cainen!
Was the game ever designed around the idea of replacing all of your Knights with Clerics?
It was designed around the idea that having fighters is nice but not necessary. You do have to cast Divine Power to get the full BAB and in KotC it requires spending a battle round. In KotC 2 I'd like the fighter to be 'very nice, but still not necessary'.
When you designed the game, were you aware of how strong a Wizard's battlefield control is
Yes of course I knew that. Glitterdust isn't as useful when the enemy has the blind-fight feat. Web is overpowered in duration and DC.
and how much weaker a blaster Wizard is when compared to their AD&D counterparts?
They're still pretty good. Two fireballs in a row can wipe out most enemy groups. There's Empower metamagic too.
'Say there is a chunk of meat. Pirates will have a banquet and eat it! But heroes will share it with other people. I want all the meat!!' - Luffy in One Piece
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Re: I'm curious... (KotC design questions!)

Postby Cainen » Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:31 pm

You do have to cast Divine Power to get the full BAB and in KotC it requires spending a battle round.

Right, which is one of the things that would keep Clerics somewhat in check. How many fights are built to be a lot tougher on parties that have to spend a round buffing up this way - and perhaps even more importantly, how often are fights calibrated around a Fighter's attack bonus? If it's only sparingly, I can actually see Clerics leaving themselves unbuffed for smaller fights then letting loose with Divine Power + Divine Favor for big fights; a control wizard backing them up seems like it'd take a lot of the risk out of doing this.
Glitterdust isn't as useful when the enemy has the blind-fight feat.

25% concealment, a pretty hefty armor debuff(anywhere from -2 to -4, on average), and a mobility cut is still really, really good, especially for a 2nd level spell.
Web is overpowered in duration and DC.

Definitely. At least it's not as stupid as Black Tentacles. Never understood why the game designers thought it was a good idea to make a spell that was basically Save against Grapple, except with lots of damage and an inability to do anything for several rounds if you lose.
They're still pretty good.

Blaster Wizards are definitely still good enough, but 10d6 - or even 15d6 to 60 flat damage - doesn't mean as much when instead of 55 HP, the enemy's got anywhere from 80 to 140. I figure the difference between the two would matter a lot more if resource conservation was more important; when you only really need to cast two spells to do your job then can just faff about with wands, scrolls, or even a crossbow, you're a lot more efficient than the guy who needs to cast three to five a fight because wands and scrolls won't do the job.

Are you planning on having resting restrictions, optional or otherwise, in FWE?
Cainen
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Re: I'm curious... (KotC design questions!)

Postby BlueSalamander » Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:56 pm

How many fights are built to be a lot tougher on parties that have to spend a round buffing up this way
I guess that depends on how high you set your character abilities and HP rolls. If you start with low or average stats then the early battles may be very difficult without a fighter. The last time I played I had two clerics one fighter and one wizard. The fighter was always useful and I used Divine Power in difficult battles like the one against the Slaver Lords.
25% concealment, a pretty hefty armor debuff(anywhere from -2 to -4, on average), and a mobility cut is still really, really good, especially for a 2nd level spell.
[edited]In fact you don’t lose your Dexterity bonus to Armor Class with Blind-fight. Still, perhaps it's worth having a second feat to improve the melee chance further.
Are you planning on having resting restrictions, optional or otherwise, in FWE?
Yes. Ideally the party should be able to rest only after three or four battles, or more in some special cases.
'Say there is a chunk of meat. Pirates will have a banquet and eat it! But heroes will share it with other people. I want all the meat!!' - Luffy in One Piece
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Re: I'm curious... (KotC design questions!)

Postby Waterd103 » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:37 am

I'm spending more time in this game than maybe i should, making challenges and trying to beat them.
I find that the game without restriction is too easy because clerics are too powerful and creating items in general (specially scribe scrolls) is the absolute nuts. My point is, with scribe scrolls, I agree Clerics completely outmatches Fighter, and Wizard, and everything.
Now in the challenges I set for my self i have limited number of rest and no scribe scrolls. When that's the case, I've found that a team without a knight stand no chance. And I'm thinking on adding a second because it's so useful. The point is that the strength of the fighter is the ability to perform well all the time. The cleric with unlimited number of spells (aka scribe scrolls) is the unstoppable machine, but if his spells are limited, then it's another story.

I also find blaster wizards to be really weak. Wizard are there for buffs and debuffs. I think it has to do mainly with the battles in KOTC though. Most of the hard battles they are too spread for your AOE to be relevant. Wizards power comes from buffs and debuffs. Still in some not though battle fireball can save you a lot of health where you wipe out a nice amount of enemies. That is only relevant without infinite rests and scribe scrolls though.

I find scribe scrolls and unlimited rests destroy the purpose of the casters. They have number of spells slots for a reason right? Because with infinite rests and scribe scrolls both clerics and wizard could have 1 spell slot or 1000 and it really wouldn't make a big difference.

If you want to beat the game and don't care about abusing everything, the perfect team is 3 clerics and 1 wizard. You can ironman the game without even thinking.
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