Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby Tiavals » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:54 am

A few quick remarks:

Death Knight's Lifedrain:
I think it's fine as it is. The way I see it, it isn't something you use instead of attacking, but when you can't attack at all. Say you are grappled(or grapple someone). You can't attack normally, but you can use lifedrain. Or when the enemy has too high an AC, so you should use it since it's a touch attack. Or if your weapons can't penetrate the DR. Or if you can't make a full attack for some reason. Plenty of ways for it to be useful. So, it's point is flexibility in my book, allows for a variety of tactics.

As for Monk and pounce:
As I said in the monk thread, I fear Pounce would make monks use (heavy)weapons, since there's no point in using unarmed if you have pounce. Just use a greatsword and charge at the enemy, since it'll do a lot more damage if properly enchanted(which it likely is. Suppose a simple +1 holy greatsword, that's 4d6+1 against most foes already. Plus strength bonuses for a 2h weapon. More than the monk can ever do!). If Pounce doesn't exist, the monk is likelier to use his feats for something else than Weapon Group 2h-swords. And Tiger's Leap is meant to be a bonus, I thought, something to give a boost to the monk. Now, if Flurry worked with Pounce, I guess it might be a different case. The original monk-poll was a variant between 2 totally different monk builds, so it might be worth thinking about again. If it's Medium BAB, and Flurry works with Pounce, I can live with it.
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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby Grunker » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:38 am

Why not just say that the Monk cannot use Pounce except with its unarmed attacks?
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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby Tiavals » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:40 pm

I guess you could, but you'd have to allow it to be used with light weapons and flurry of blows too. It would make the monk special, since Pounce is a rare ability. But on the other hand, it might limit the grappling abilities of the monk, since a monk might rather grapple after a move, instead of single attack. But if you can pounce, you might grapple a lot less. Though I suppose it's a preference question. The monk is normally worse than a fighter at grappling, due to his low BAB and probably lower STR. I guess the unarmed damage is higher, but that is rarely the point of grapple. Though I guess it would still remain an option anyway, especially if monks get a grapple bonus as you suggested.

In short: If monk could only use monk weapons and unarmed with Pounce, it might be good.

On Monks using armor...

You can make a half-giant monk that uses full plate, without losing too many abilities, yes?

At the moment, you only lose:
AC bonus
Tumble
Fast movement
Evasion

For a half-giant monk, that might be a nice enough trade to make it worth it. You'll probably rely on grapple, so you don't really need those abilities most of the time, and a full plate is superior when grappling as opposed other forms of AC. Though I guess you'll have to use a feat or two.

Is this a real option for those who want to use it, or a design oversight?

You might even use a tower shield or some other kind of shield!
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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby BlueSalamander » Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:12 am

1) It's rarely interesting to play characters that auto-attack and nothing else from my point of view.
My point of view is that I would take a barbarian in the party if I thought that he would be powerful enough. My choice wouldn't be based on the number of options he has.
I do see the class as something that should be simpler than the fighter. The fighter often has to choose a new feat among a big list and think about what his best fighting style should be.
Agreed that the abilities can be passive but then we have to determine that the class isn't powerful enough as is.

2) Highest attack bonus? It has the same BAB as other fighting classes.
I mean combined with the Strength bonus from Raging, his total attack bonus can easily exceed that of a fighter.

4) The examples I provided was only to give you an idea what Rage Powers are about - not finite suggestions! If you dislike bite, that's fine, but the concept of rage powers is what's important.
Okay. It's just that when I looked at Pathfinder first, I thought 'why did they make the barbarian, who should be simple, into something more complicated like that'.

5) I hold to the belief that non-casters are underpowered. This is almost a given truth in D&D.
I agree that non-casters are not as powerful when levels increase but I have no problem with this. I see them as having a slightly different purpose in the party. They protect the casters, deal with enemies that resist magic, and they continue fighting even when the casters are disabled or out of spells (which often happens in the early levels).
I don't think that it's possible to have non-casters be as powerful as casters in the later levels.

A Bladesinger may cast a spell quickened a number of times per day, for example. So you could give the Bard the ability to do this once each five levels (5, 10, 15, 20). That is, cast a Bard spell as a free action once per day per fifth level.
Yes, I like that idea.

[death knight smite] But it isn't now... is it? Have I missed something completely?
You're right, I think I confused it with the Cleric's smite ability. :D

[death knight life drain] You might not (why, by the way?), but I fear Life Drain will be a very bad ability if it isn't altered in some way. I specialize this dude in attacking, it will almost always yield more damage (and offense is often the best defense), so if I'm pressed to use Life Drain it will often be because I've already lost. Making a vampiric touch that takes up my ability to attack seems pretty bad.
Because it's more complicated and because you may kill the target with your single attack before even being able to drain. Otherwise I get your point, but it's a way of healing without calling on the cleric. I suppose it could make the target fatigued on top.

[druid] Up the power of the spell list. How you actually do this is up to you, but I honestly think it's needed
How about simply make all druid summon spells 'free action' and give +1 per level on Call Lightning and Call Lightning Storm.

[fighter feat to reduce death threshold] It is of course your choice, but I would never pick this feat under any circumstances. If my fighter is down I'm already losing. Maybe in an ironman game it would be kindda relevant, but if not, I don't think it would be.
I don't see how fighting in negative HP helps, though. It's more likely to get you killed, with the usual XP and gold loss. Going unconscious would mean that you can be revived with a heal, and no XP or gold loss.

[fighter damage feats] As I said, my suggestions are not a complete solution. If you want I can make one (say, six new fighter feats total)?
Well, I'm not sure.

[remove weapon specialisation] I didn't realise you agreed with that perspective.
I do because less is more sometimes.

[monk stun] the ability as it is now is underwhelming and too random.
Is it though? if a monk deals a full attack and it hits three or four times you end up with an almost 50% chance of stunning the enemy.

[monk pounce] It would make it what it should be; a fast fighter type that can move easily around the battlefield without too many restrictions.
I need to think about this more.

[ranger] You could instead opt for a single Careful Shot with a +2 bonus. That gives you one attack with a +16 bonus.
True, true, but what if you only have a single Death arrow and you need the best chance to hit. Anyway, we can also increase the chance to hit on a Careful Shot.

I think for a rogue, which is certainly weaker than a fighter in your iteration, it would be alright. It's not that big of a win, really, especially considering the low HP of the class.
Maybe a 75% reduction instead. For the sake of the AI :-)

From 10th level, the Rogue may add its Dexterity modifier to damage when it sneak attacks.
Yeah, as an alternative to Death Strike, maybe. But instead of Dex we could make something else come into play. Like Intelligence.
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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby Grunker » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:15 am

I don't think that it's possible to have non-casters be as powerful as casters in the later levels.


Tome of Battle - The Book of Nine Swords disagrees with you ;)

How about simply make all druid summon spells 'free action' and give +1 per level on Call Lightning and Call Lightning Storm.


Wow. That sounds pretty crazy. It's hard to know for sure what that'd do to the class, because on one hand, it sounds really, really powerful, but on the other hand what would the Druid do with its standard action then? So I guess it would be fine?


[fighter damage feats] As I said, my suggestions are not a complete solution. If you want I can make one (say, six new fighter feats total)?

Well, I'm not sure.


OK. Let me know when you are :)

[monk stun] the ability as it is now is underwhelming and too random.

Is it though? if a monk deals a full attack and it hits three or four times you end up with an almost 50% chance of stunning the enemy.


That's not how percentages work ;)

5 rolls of 10% does not equal 50% chance.

Again, it's your decision, but this kind of randomization harms a player's ability to make tactical choices. The ability becomes a stroke of luck that makes life easier for the player on some occassions but the player cannot factor the ability into his or her way of playing as he can't rely on it.

[remove weapon specialisation] I didn't realise you agreed with that perspective.

I do because less is more sometimes.


Great. What are you gonna substitute it with?

Anyway, we can also increase the chance to hit on a Careful Shot.


Or allow the bonus to be used on Aimed Shots? That would also make one want to sacrifice a full attack for an aimed attack more often.

Maybe a 75% reduction instead. For the sake of the AI


Hehe, OK then.

Yeah, as an alternative to Death Strike, maybe. But instead of Dex we could make something else come into play. Like Intelligence.


Hmm. How about this: Instead of Death Strike, on level 14 they gain an AC bonus equal to their Intelligence modifier. On level 18 they gain a damage bonus on Sneak Attacks equal to their Intelligence modifier.
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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby BlueSalamander » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:01 pm

[druid] Wow. That sounds pretty crazy. It's hard to know for sure what that'd do to the class, because on one hand, it sounds really, really powerful, but on the other hand what would the Druid do with its standard action then? So I guess it would be fine?
With the standard action he can fight or cast an offensive spell. As I said a druid won't have more than one summoned creature at a time so you'd only use the free action at the beginning of a tough fight. Once the creature is summoned you can't use it again.

A résumé of my latest druid ideas:
- Nature's Vigor at around level 10 could give +2 strength and constitution.
- All Summon spells are free action
- All Protection from Energy spells are free action since fire, cold, etc are part of nature
- Add +1/level damage for call lightning and call lightning storm.
- A new level-5 spell, Protection from Ability Loss, Personal (Enchantment. Duration Until Rest. You gain immunity to ability damage and drain.)

[monk stun] 5 rolls of 10% does not equal 50% chance.
Okay but the percentage for the monk goes from 5% at level 1 to 25% at level 20. If we consider a monk of level 10, he's got a 15% chance on a good hit.

So now let's assume three successful hits. The chance of not stunning is 85% x 85% x 85% = 61% so the chance of stunning is 38%.

With four good hits the chance to stun becomes 48%. So in two rounds of full attack (and each round two good hits) there's almost a 50% chance to stun for a level-10 monk.

[weapon feats] What are you gonna substitute it with?
Not decided yet, but we could have the weapon specialisation feats apply to all weapons instead, and keep groups for proficiencies only.

[ranger] Or allow the bonus to be used on Aimed Shots? That would also make one want to sacrifice a full attack for an aimed attack more often.
Mmmm, no. I think just reducing the dodge penalty to -2 would be quite okay actually. Otherwise if there's no penalty and the character takes the expert feat, he basically gets a +2 attack bonus on all attacks at low level (at low level there's only one attack per round so no penalty from losing attacks). And at higher levels the current design already increases the bonus to +4 with Improved Careful Shot.

[rogue] Hmm. How about this: Instead of Death Strike, on level 14 they gain an AC bonus equal to their Intelligence modifier. On level 18 they gain a damage bonus on Sneak Attacks equal to their Intelligence modifier.
Got to think on this.
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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby Grunker » Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:04 pm

On free druid summoning: Sorry, I misread it as making ALL druid spells free actions.

- Nature's Vigor at around level 10 could give +2 strength and constitution.
- All Summon spells are free action
- All Protection from Energy spells are free action since fire, cold, etc are part of nature
- Add +1/level damage for call lightning and call lightning storm.
- A new level-5 spell, Protection from Ability Loss, Personal (Enchantment. Duration Until Rest. You gain immunity to ability damage and drain.)


I like all of these except the new spell :)

With four good hits the chance to stun becomes 48%. So in two rounds of full attack (and each round two good hits) there's almost a 50% chance to stun for a level-10 monk.


There's 50% that he MIGHT stun. And that's without debating the fact that the ability cannot be relied upon tactically.

Not decided yet, but we could have the weapon specialisation feats apply to all weapons instead, and keep groups for proficiencies only.


I'd applaud this! There are some people who would not though, I guess.

Mmmm, no. I think just reducing the dodge penalty to -2 would be quite okay actually. Otherwise if there's no penalty and the character takes the expert feat, he basically gets a +2 attack bonus on all attacks at low level (at low level there's only one attack per round so no penalty from losing attacks). And at higher levels the current design already increases the bonus to +4 with Improved Careful Shot.


I still feel the ability won't be used much if at all after level 5 then.
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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby BlueSalamander » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:03 pm

Grunker wrote:
I don't think that it's possible to have non-casters be as powerful as casters in the later levels.

Tome of Battle - The Book of Nine Swords disagrees with you ;)

I've just had a quick look through it. I suppose you refer to the Maneuvers eh?
Two comments about this:

1) they're basically spells. Some examples from the book:

Wyrm's Flame (L8 Desert): cone of fire deals 10d6 fire damage
Strike of Righteous Vitality (L9 Devo): successful attack grants Heal spell
Adamantine Bones (L8 Stone): gain DR 20/adamantine
Shadow Blink (L7 Shadow): Teleport 50 ft through shadows as swift action
Giant's Stance (L5 Stone): deal damage as if one size category larger
Dancing Moongoose (L5 Tiger): make an extra attack with each weapon
Hand of Death (L4 Shadow): touch renders foe paralyzed for 1d3 rounds
Distracting Ember (L1 Desert): fire elemental appears, flanks enemy

So we're not really making fighters as powerful as casters. We're turning the non-casters into casters (or at least semi-casters like the original Paladin and Ranger).

2) the maneuvers still don't grant nearly as much power as good spells like True Resurrection, Mass Heal, Mass Hold Monster or Horrid Wilting because many of them just affect a single target.

[monk]There's 50% that he MIGHT stun. And that's without debating the fact that the ability cannot be relied upon tactically.
Agreed but an ability with a percentage allows a smooth progression through the levels. If we want a progression based on changing effects then it's a lot harder to find a smooth progression that is not overpowered or underpowered at times.

[ranger careful shot]I still feel the ability won't be used much if at all after level 5 then.
Then it should provide +4 from the beginning, not +2 at the beginning and then +4 later on.
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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby SilentLion » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:41 pm

BlueSalamander wrote:
[weapon feats] What are you gonna substitute it with?
Not decided yet, but we could have the weapon specialisation feats apply to all weapons instead, and keep groups for proficiencies only.

I'm liking this, too.

Personally (ideally) I would prefer semi-randomized loot/shops and/or a master smith who can forge weapons on-demand (so I sell the +5 Avenger sword and use the money to have a +4 adamantine halberd of smiting/whatever forged for my specialist fighter - losing some gold value in the process of course).

But if this doesn't work (I understand that this would mean much more work for you, including implementing functionality/interface similar to crafting) your solution sounds like a good compromise.
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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby BlueSalamander » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:24 am

Concerning the Monk, I'm not keen on Pounce. That sounds overpowered to me.
To make the Monk really unique, how about giving him a Ki Strike that increases at every level? By level 20 he would then bypass 20 points of DR.
The Stunning Fist percentage can be removed and we can make Stunning Fist work like in the SRD (an ability useable once per day for every four levels, like a Paladin's Smite Evil).
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