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Old 2012-05-23, 11:43 AM   #476
Tortuga Bañana
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Originally Posted by Sven Stryker View Post
Oh and on the subject of 3e Flaming vs. 4e Flaming, that's because 3e Flaming is too fucking good. If you have a weapon that does 1d12 damage, throwing a free 1d6 on it all the time is over a 50% average increase in damage.
Eh, sort of. Putting an average +3.5 damage on a weapon is of course great, but if we compare it to +1? +1d6 damage is not necessarily better than getting +1 attack (hitting more often) and +1 damage (dealing extra damage on every hit).

Per hit, the flaming longsword deals 2.5 extra damage (compared to a +1 alternative). That's not a ton though it may be the better choice for some characters. And sometimes extra damage is meaningless (such as against minions or enemies with very low HP). And you have to weigh that extra damage against the opportunity cost of the occasional missed attack.

The difference between these two became especially striking in 4e, where you're not just rolling a basic attack roll - your powers also have on-hit effects. For many characters, a little extra damage is much less important than triggering their class abilities.

And that, I think, is the big problem with +1/2/etc. enchantments. If they're necessary for progression, then they become something you take for granted. They're something the DM has to dole out as a rule, and so they aren't special. And, regardless, even if they aren't necessary for progression, then "hitting more often" is still considerably better than "dealing a little more damage per hit," especially when you're dealing with +2, +3, etc. Over time that becomes a big sucker's bet. I'll take +3 attack over almost any damage bonus.

You need a system where "+attack" and "+damage" are actual choices, and in 3e and 4e they really aren't. Hopefully 5e addresses that.
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Old 2012-05-23, 11:49 AM   #477
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Originally Posted by Sven Stryker
Nitpick: +1 is inherent in both since it's the minimum in 3e. However, I agree with what you're saying though of how it shouldn't be the same value as an additional +1. And yeah, 4e Flaming was nothing to write home about, but I hated all daily item powers period.
Yeah, that's what I meant but I am not good at posting today. Both items have an inherent +1 bonus. The 3e version is exploitably OP and provides a big bonus on top of that. The 4e version tries to balance it, but ends up just making Flaming lame.

This might not be completely correct, but my sense of the 4e math is that a +1 to hit is generally worth a +2 to damage. I'd rather see it so that you could have an Accurate Longsword that gave an accuracy bonus, or a Flaming Longsword that gave a damage bonus while it was on fire and other stuff. Or just a Mighty Longsword that gives a slightly bigger damage bonus without other effects.

edit: RE: Inherent Bonuses. I like using Inherent Bonuses to fix the system math because requiring magic items for math progression is incredibly lame, but I also think it makes 4e magic items even less interesting because they no longer provide any mathematical benefit, and just give the boring powers of 4e items. Magic items should always be interesting and useful.

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Old 2012-05-23, 11:56 AM   #478
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Originally Posted by Tortuga Mañana View Post
Eh, sort of. Putting an average +3.5 damage on a weapon is of course great, but if we compare it to +1? +1d6 damage is not necessarily better than getting +1 attack (hitting more often) and +1 damage (dealing extra damage on every hit).

Per hit, the flaming longsword deals 2.5 extra damage (compared to a +1 alternative). That's not a ton though it may be the better choice for some characters. And sometimes extra damage is meaningless (such as against minions or enemies with very low HP). And you have to weigh that extra damage against the opportunity cost of the occasional missed attack.

The difference between these two became especially striking in 4e, where you're not just rolling a basic attack roll - your powers also have on-hit effects. For many characters, a little extra damage is much less important than triggering their class abilities.

And that, I think, is the big problem with +1/2/etc. enchantments. If they're necessary for progression, then they become something you take for granted. They're something the DM has to dole out as a rule, and so they aren't special. And, regardless, even if they aren't necessary for progression, then "hitting more often" is still considerably better than "dealing a little more damage per hit," especially when you're dealing with +2, +3, etc. Over time that becomes a big sucker's bet. I'll take +3 attack over almost any damage bonus.

You need a system where "+attack" and "+damage" are actual choices, and in 3e and 4e they really aren't. Hopefully 5e addresses that.
Actually, it really is flat better than the +1 attack and damage.
1d12+1d6 averages to 10. Hitting 50% of the time is 5 DPA
1d12+1 averages to 7.5. Hitting 55% of the time is 4.125 DPA
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Old 2012-05-23, 11:56 AM   #479
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Accurate Longsword: +1 to attack
Mighty Longsword: +2 to damage
Flaming Longsword: Daily power, minor to activate, for duration of encounter, +1d6 fire damage

I think something like that, at very low levels, is a reasonable balance if my math is right (and if 5e math is comparable to 3e and 4e). It will always depend on the character, though. A ranger who fires two arrows per turn likes +1 a lot more than the fighter who swings a longsword. A barbarian who mostly mows through minions will probably want a flaming greataxe to use against the boss. Etc. And even then you still do not necessarily solve the whole "+attack is a lot better than a 'balanced' +damage if you have on-hit effects."

edit: Sven, it is flat better mathematically and like I said, at low levels it may be a better choice for some characters. But D&D characters are not measured according to their DPA. In 4e, at least, you're making, what, 3-5 attacks per encounter, on average? The difference between +2 attack and +2d6 damage is huge. Maybe not mathematically, over time, but that's pretty significant in reducing swinginess in combat. Rolling a bunch of high damage attacks against some goblins doesn't balance out missing 4 times in a row versus a boss.
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Old 2012-05-23, 12:13 PM   #480
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Yeah, I meant to say that. +1d6 damage on every hit might be too good on its own, but is definitely too good when its only worth +1 and you can keep adding more +1d6s on top of it.

That doesn't mean 4e Flaming isn't too fucking bad. There is a huge middle ground between +1d6 every hit and +1d6 once a day. I think the concept of it being +1, and also Flaming, complicates it because if wasn't already providing +1 attack/damage from being magic at all, Flaming could take more responsibility and just provide a significant fire damage bonus. Combining it with an inherent +1 enhancement either makes it too good or too nerfed.
By granting all attacks made through it the "Fire" keyword, it did provide a significant fire damage bonus; to builds which were based around dealing fire damage.

4e's static damage type alteration provided through the weapons means that you've got much more width and breadth available to power-choice, when playing builds like, say, a Storm Sorcerer, or an Exorcist of the Silver Flame.
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Old 2012-05-23, 12:19 PM   #481
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A longsword that is on fire should be useful generally, not just to system mastery builds.
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Old 2012-05-23, 12:23 PM   #482
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Yeah, for all that I think you're being a bit too hard on the 4E magic items system, that's a generally good design choice. I think it might have been better if it was +1d6 fire damage once per encounter or something. The problem with giving a flaming sword a flat damage bonus is that it gets exponentially better as attacks per round go up. If you can attack twice as often with the same accuracy, that sword is twice as good for you, and multi-attacks are already crazy good.
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Old 2012-05-23, 12:29 PM   #483
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ENWorld has posted guidelines for discussing the playtest there, and I infer from it that the play agreement isn't going to allow completely public discussion:

http://www.enworld.org/forum/new-hor...-here-enw.html
Quote:
Please don't:

Repost any mechanics
Post any of the rules or character sheets
Create video blogs or podcasts of live play
Put game mechanics into shared adventures
Edition war

Please do:

Discuss your opinions
Thrash out what works and what doesn't
Stay polite to people you completely disagree with
Share adventures with generic mechanics ("This room has 4 goblins in it.")
Share your experience in actual play
Pretty disappointing but I guess it's pretty standard for a beta, even though it's open to all. I was in the first stage of the 13th Age playtest and they handed the materials out to anyone who asked, but didn't want them discussed online. Of course discussing an indie game is different from discussing "the" RPG, and its not like every RPG forum on the internet isn't going to be discussing the system? And its not like they aren't posting about the system publicly themselves? We'll see what the actual agreement says.
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Old 2012-05-23, 12:32 PM   #484
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So... anyone can see these rules, but you can't talk about them?

Granted, ENWorld has typically been really interested in minding their P's and Q's.
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Old 2012-05-23, 12:35 PM   #485
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anything talked about here would probably get reposted to SA pretty quickly
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Old 2012-05-23, 12:38 PM   #486
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I imagine ENWorld just wants to prevent people from copy-pasting huge chunks of rules text. I doubt WOTC cares if people on some forums discuss the rules in detail, assuming such discussion doesn't involve verbatim, playable rules text.
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Old 2012-05-23, 12:42 PM   #487
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Wizards is supposed to create their own forum for discussion, but that's different than a big public forum like ENWorld or even our own humble thread. I'm not sure how thoroughly we'll be able to talk about what works and what doesn't if it has to be like "I think what the rogue does could use some work."
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Old 2012-05-23, 12:43 PM   #488
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sven Stryker View Post
Actually, it really is flat better than the +1 attack and damage.
1d12+1d6 averages to 10. Hitting 50% of the time is 5 DPA
1d12+1 averages to 7.5. Hitting 55% of the time is 4.125 DPA
If you're fighting enemies you currently had a 50/50 shot to hit, sure. The worse you need a to-hit bonus the better it becomes. Suppose you need a 16 or better before the enchantment: +fire goes to 2.5 DPA, and the +1 goes to 2.25. If you need an 18 to hit, they're even; after that the +1 pulls ahead. Plus, as TT said, most of the damage-per-attack from a melee type won't be coming from the weapon in 3e anyway. Barbarians will be adding 1.5*STR bonus, rogues will be adding Xd6 Sneak Attack, Paladins will be Smiting - and any added damage that outweighs the 1d6 flaming makes the + to hit a better deal.

What breaks that down completely in 3rd edition is the existence of the (Greater) Magic Weapon spell. For 3rd-level spell slot the fighter suddenly gets to have the best of both worlds all day long, and so any party with that spell would want +1 (Flaming/Icy/'Lectric/Stunning/etc.) weapons instead.

ON-TOPIC: It's going to be incredibly hard to discuss the playtest without bringing up specific mechanics. That's the POINT of a playtest, to bring specific mechanics under a magnifying glass to see if they work.
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Old 2012-05-23, 12:51 PM   #489
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In what world are you playing where you need an 18 to hit? That's not even a real scenario unless your DM is just a dick.
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Old 2012-05-23, 12:52 PM   #490
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Originally Posted by Sven Stryker View Post
In what world are you playing where you need an 18 to hit? Your DM is just a dick then.
...
Fighters get iterative attacks in 3rd edition. The damage from those is just as valuable, and it's awfully likely to need a high attack roll given the stacking -5 penalty on them.
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Old 2012-05-23, 12:54 PM   #491
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Right, forgot about that stupid as shit mechanic. I hope like hell that doesn't come back for 5e. -5 per consecutive was bloody stupid.
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Old 2012-05-23, 12:54 PM   #492
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Originally Posted by Lapak View Post
ON-TOPIC: It's going to be incredibly hard to discuss the playtest without bringing up specific mechanics. That's the POINT of a playtest, to bring specific mechanics under a magnifying glass to see if they work.
ATM it seems WOTC is more concerned with the general feel of the game. Obviously, mechanics contribute to that, but I think WOTC is much more interested in a comment like:

"I like the wizard's spell list - it includes all the classic spells I'm looking for! I love casting magic missile."
"I hate the wizard's spell list! Where is magic missile?? I'm giving up D&D forever!!"

and less comments like:

"Magic missile's DPS is quite sub-optimal *adjusts glasses*"
"I've run a thorough analysis of this rogue's schemes projected viability at level 20 and I have to say I have some serious concerns."

But again I don't think WOTC is really concerned with keeping a public playtest under wraps. I'm sure we'll be able to discuss specific mechanics. WOTC just doesn't want other people to be able to play the system based on our forum posts.
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Old 2012-05-23, 12:57 PM   #493
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I actually wrote at DDXP that Magic Missile didn't do enough damage
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Old 2012-05-23, 12:57 PM   #494
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Reading through the magical item thing, I'm struck with two thoughts.

First, that all their vaunted claims of cool items will be worthless if they're making the math as flat as they're claiming to. Under this sort of situation, I don't give two fucks if you hand me the coolest sounding sword in the world if a much less cool one lets me hit monsters better. You wanna know when magic items really, really felt cool? When I played 4e with inherent bonuses and never had to care, ever, about how it effected the actual mechanics of combat. Instead I could focus entirely on what sort of weird and cool stuff it does. I could have like two magic items tops and everything still worked out perfectly. So if you're going for completely flattened math, you sure as hell better make sure those +5 swords aren't roaming around.

Secondly, I can't help but feel that Schwalb's biggest problem, the biggest reason magical items no longer feel cool, is simply because he's no longer 12. There's always - always - a lot of talk about "Getting back the FEEL of D&D," and that always seems to be followed by "So we're changing it back to how it was When I First Played It."
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Old 2012-05-23, 1:00 PM   #495
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Yeah, the big problem is def that he's a baby and not that 4e items are boring as shit
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Old 2012-05-23, 1:05 PM   #496
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Yeah, the big problem is def that he's a baby and not that 4e items are boring as shit
Yeah, that's totally a thing I said. You sure got me there.

Better change my title: Totally Owned by Lizard Wizard
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Old 2012-05-23, 1:07 PM   #497
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3E and 4E making items more or less fundamental parts of a character was dumb, and contributes to them not feeling cool. I think it would be more interesting if characters could only use a small number of magic items at a time. Like, maybe three, tops, not including things like potions and alchemy. If any individual character only has one or two items, then you have "Cormac, who has an awesome lightning gauntlet" and not "Cormac, who has a lightning gauntlet and six other items."

But all the problems with magic items aside, rose colored glasses for the game you played when you were 12 is actually a big problem with RPG design.
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Old 2012-05-23, 1:07 PM   #498
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First, that all their vaunted claims of cool items will be worthless if they're making the math as flat as they're claiming to. Under this sort of situation, I don't give two fucks if you hand me the coolest sounding sword in the world if a much less cool one lets me hit monsters better. You wanna know when magic items really, really felt cool? When I played 4e with inherent bonuses and never had to care, ever, about how it effected the actual mechanics of combat. Instead I could focus entirely on what sort of weird and cool stuff it does. I could have like two magic items tops and everything still worked out perfectly. So if you're going for completely flattened math, you sure as hell better make sure those +5 swords aren't roaming around.
This is exactly where I stand on magical items. I would really prefer static bonuses be an inherent thing for characters, where they made the math work in spite of magical items and not because of magical items. When the DM gives me a staff that converts all of my spells to force damage, I should be going "Oh this is going to prove useful" instead of "Shame I will replace it in three levels for a bigger static bonus to attack rolls."
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Old 2012-05-23, 1:07 PM   #499
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D&D threads are terrible enough. Can we please not turn this into ProfessorCirno's Magnificent Mansion.
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Old 2012-05-23, 1:10 PM   #500
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3E and 4E making items more or less fundamental parts of a character was dumb, and contributes to them not feeling cool. I think it would be more interesting if characters could only use a small number of magic items at a time. Like, maybe three, tops, not including things like potions and alchemy. If any individual character only has one or two items, then you have "Cormac, who has an awesome lightning gauntlet" and not "Cormac, who has a lightning gauntlet and six other items."
Agreed.

One of the main problems I've seen with a lot of talk elsewhere on how people would "fix" fighters would be to make magical items a sort of "class ability" for them. While that works for some people, I can't imagine anything more boring then having the "fighter" become little more then a list of Toys Someone Else Made For Him.

In my totally perfect ideal game, a character would have, like, one major defining magic item, maybe two or so minor ones. Or no major magic item and a few different odds, ends, and strange devices that does who the hell knows what. There's plenty of space for both the archtype of the "Elric" style character who's characterized just as much by his magical sword as he is by his other character traits, and for the "Fafnir and the Grey Mouser" style character who constantly get cool magic weapon, then throw them or break them or otherwise lose them in an adventure, only to replace them again, and keeps the name for them the whole way through.

Edit: Or the "Iron Man" who's decked out in a ton of magical equipment but, like, that is his class, Being The Guy With All The Cool Equipment. AKA the Artificer. But "Iron Man" shouldn't really be the default for the Fighter.
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