Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby Grunker » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:46 am

So we're not really making fighters as powerful as casters. We're turning the non-casters into casters


This is a fundamental misunderstanding of Tome of Battle. There are several differences between the Tome of Battle classes and casters:

1) Maneuvers and stances are not expended in the same way as daily uses of abilities, thus, fighting classes keep one of their primary strong points - they do not run out of juice.

2) Maneuvers extremely rarely have area effects or manipulate the battlefield in the way spells do.

3) Maneuvers and stances only affect battles except in extremely rare cases (they do not give you access to teleporting, becoming invissible for prolonged amounts of time or similar).

4) Maneuvers and stances all require the user to be in melee to function.

Thus, Tome of Battle does not make fighters into casters at all. In point of fact, it is a geniously designed volume.

they're basically spells.


Spells that are weaker, affect only combat, have no verbal or somatic components, require attacking, can be refreshed with everything from a standard action to five minutes of rest (as opposed to a full nights sleep) and only in extremely rare cases have effects that even look like spells.

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).


Sounds good.
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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 BlueSalamander » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:13 pm

Thus, Tome of Battle does not make fighters into casters at all. In point of fact, it is a geniously designed volume.
I'm not saying it's a bad book, it does contain a lot of interesting stuff. But from the point of view of someone who's barely read the book, a lot of the powers sound un-fighter like. Particularly the ones I mentioned. Deal damage as if one category larger, that is what you should get by playing a Psychic Warrior, by asking the Wizard to cast Enlarge or Mass Enlarge, or simply by being a half giant with the appropriate penalties. It's not the function of a fighter to activate a power like this. I guess if we really wanted to give more power to the melee fighting classes but without going into the realm of magical effects, another way would be to focus on mounts, like giving them more opportunity to ride a war horse, griffin, wyvern or dragon and have the character trample enemies in a line path.

I understand the purpose of Tome of Battle; it is to make it more interesting to play a fighting class in pen and paper. Because in pen and paper you get only one character to control and so it can be boring if that character hasn't got options. But in a video game where you create and control the whole party there's no such problem. In games like Bard's Tale or Dark Sun the fighting classes have no options but to attack so that's what you do with them, and you reserve your tactical thinking for the spell casters. On this page http://www.enworld.org/forum/reviews/240556-tome-battle-book-nine-swords.html the first comment highlights the problem with ToB: it's unbalanced. I'm not surprised that it would be unbalanced. ToB classes are a bit like what you'd get by taking a Psychic Warrior and giving it a high BAB, high HP and replenishing PPs, IMO.

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).

Sounds good.
I'm going to rework the Monk. Also about DR in general - I'm thinking that it shouldn't stop all the damage received. It could stop all the damage except one point. That way, monsters and PCs attacking something with DR that they can't bypass would at least make a marginal contribution.
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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby Grunker » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:40 pm

ToB is far from unbalanced. The classes are strictly better than a Fighter or a Barbarian - true - but they are not as powerful as even a pure-class wizard, EVEN after the re-work.

Trust me on this. I've played with ToB in everything from low level campaigns to level 25 Gestalt :)
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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby BlueSalamander » Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:59 pm

Here's the summary of the changes I made to the classes using your insights:

General feats: Weapon Group Focus changed to Attack Focus and applies to all weapons, Improved Critical applies to all weapons.

Bard: added Fast Bard Spells ability from level 12

Monk: reworked on the basis of more unarmed damage, better ki strike, grapple bonus, and better stunning fist.

Rogue: removed Death Strike and added Improved Sneak Attack from level 4.

Death Knight: life drain deals 1d6+1 per two levels not 1d6 per two levels

Cleric: blood domain deals 1d6+1 per two levels not 1d6 per two levels.

Paladin: changed Holy Sword and Judgement spells.

Barbarian: added a feat to increase DR further.

Fighter: Tower Shield Expertise I and II merged into a single feat, Survival I II and III merged into two feats, Greater Weapon Group Focus changed into Greater Attack Focus, Weapon Group Specialisation changed into Damage Focus, Greater Weapon Group Specialisation changed into Greater Damage Focus, added Steady Charge feat.

Druid: added a feat to increase Natural Armor further, added a feat to increase constitution by two, Summon spells changed to move action, Protection from energy spells changed to move action, increased damage for call lightning/call lightning storm/chain lightning, increased effect for corrosion/mass corrosion.

Ranger: changed Careful Shot and Aimed Shot, added Critical Shot, Improved Careful Shot, Improved Aimed Shot and Improved Critical Shot, changed the feats, changed Archery Bonus, Summon spells changed to move action, Lesser Magic Arrow changed to free action, Greater Magic Arrow changed to free action, Exploding Arrow changed to free action.

Any comments are welcome! :)
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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby Grunker » Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:34 pm

Suffice it to say, I think the changes are definetely for the better but I still think the gap between casters and non-casters is too large. However, your changes are definetely good. I may comment on the details later :)
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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby BlueSalamander » Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:54 pm

Cool. I've also changed slightly the Paladin's Divine Grace (the original version seems way too much if the character's charisma is 18 or more), added Armored Casting feats for the Bard, Wizard and Sorcerer, and added a Firefly familiar for the Wizard.
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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby screeg » Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:58 pm

It mostly sounds good to me. What about limiting DR to 90 or 95% total, instead of a minimum of 1 point?
--EDIT-- right, that doesn't make sense. How about limiting it to 1-3 damage max?

Does an Armor Casting feat allow a wizard or bard to ignore 5 or 10% of the casting failure chance? I don't like that. (speaking of mixing up class abilities) I think armor restriction to spell casting should be absolute. Spell casters already have a TON of armor options without giving them access to leather, chain etc.

I miss spells like Spell Breach that knock down enemy Spell Resistance.
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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby BlueSalamander » Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:34 pm

screeg wrote:What about limiting DR to 90 or 95% total, instead of a minimum of 1 point? --EDIT-- right, that doesn't make sense. How about limiting it to 1-3 damage max?
The only problem with this is that it makes DR less useful. If the damage was just three points then the DR would not reduce it all.
Does an Armor Casting feat allow a wizard or bard to ignore 5 or 10% of the casting failure chance?
For the bard he would be able to wear medium armour, and for the casters they would ignore all the failure chance from armour if they have the right proficiency. So a caster would have to spend 4 feats to wear heavy without penalty. It's more something I envision for NPC casters, like a sect of full-plate spellcasters. For a PC Still Spell would be better usually.
I miss spells like Spell Breach that knock down enemy Spell Resistance.
There is one in the list: Lower Spell and Power Resistance (spell level 5).
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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby screeg » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:01 pm

BlueSalamander wrote:There is one in the list: Lower Spell and Power Resistance (spell level 5).

In that case, can you call it 'Spell Breach', or something a little more stylish?
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Re: Grunker's Comments on the Classes Thread

Postby BlueSalamander » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:04 pm

Yeah, or simply 'Breach'.
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