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The 3.5 Fighter Class

   
And then there's simply the Eschew Materials feat, which bypasses most irrelevant components.

Honestly, tracking spell components in any more detail than "you have a spell component pouch" is a terrible idea and serves only to make the game less fun for everyone. Power gamers will find ways to circumvent the restriction, regular players will just avoid the class and new players will never even think of playing the class. So either there's no change at all, or the enjoyment of everyone diminishes.

Bottom line: you shouldn't attempt to fix bad mechanics by making them annoying to use.


On the topic of the fighter, their core problem is definitely that they just don't have all that many options available to them. Feats aren't a good replacement for actual class features, and even with class features they remain rather unimpressive outside of specific builds that can deal significant amounts of damage. Any Fighter fix should give them chances to be more versatile out of the box. More skill points, adaptive feats, actual special abilities and the like. Find out what "Fighter" means to you and enable them to fulfill that class's fiction.

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Originally Posted by Actana View Post
And then there's simply the Eschew Materials feat, which bypasses most irrelevant components.

Honestly, tracking spell components in any more detail than "you have a spell component pouch" is a terrible idea and serves only to make the game less fun for everyone. Power gamers will find ways to circumvent the restriction, regular players will just avoid the class and new players will never even think of playing the class. So either there's no change at all, or the enjoyment of everyone diminishes.

Bottom line: you shouldn't attempt to fix bad mechanics by making them annoying to use.
That's the reply I keep getting from people. But the more I think about it the more I feel like what you are actually doing is bypassing a built in balancing tool that was designed into the system explicitly to control mage power creep by forcing spellcasters to economize on their spell use not just on a daily but on a more global basis.

Like say you only have enough components for 3 uses of invisibility with you. Suddenly that means you need to think much more carefully on when you use that spell.

And who is going to be the one tracking all those materials? The GM? The player? Wizards are already tracking their spells known, spell slots, expended spells, and whatever other things they have. And you want them to also track their materials?

And what about acquiring the materials? Are wizard materials readily available in stores? How does a wizard gather them? Who determines what materials are available in what place? Slowly but surely, you go into a hell of minutiae that nobody really cares about that serves only to add more bookkeeping and tedium to the game. And what about their price and weight? What's stopping a player from stuffing their entire backpack full of flying rodent poo? How about enemies? Would the GM also have to track the spell components of enemies since they'll be looted afterwards as well?

While it almost might look like a sound idea in theory, I find that the more one things about it, the more insanely tedious the idea becomes in practice.

As for built in balances, the spell component pouch assumes that it holds everything the wizard needs. I'm not sure what place spell components had in earlier editions, but by 3.5 I feel the writers included them simply for the sake of earlier editions. Using spell slots already works as resource management. The game doesn't need a second layer of it for spells.

Also, Eschew Materials.

No, its RAW that if you have a spell component pouch, stuff like that is accounted for already unless there is an additional cost stated.

And I forget which one of you said it, but thats why I wanted to make the martial and partial caster classes variants of the Fighter class, to include the generic option - it would improve feat selection and give them class features that scale (Granted, Monk has its own issues, but still, Monk class features with a bunch of feats?) I also think weapon focus/specialization should be a class feature of fighters that scales, maybe the bonus is 1/2 fighter level instead of the static bonuses for them AND I'd disregard the fighter bonus feat list and it would just be an untyped bonus feat progression.

The generic option would be meant for people who want to just 'be a fighter' without any of the fluff of the other classes.

An option I saw on someone's google drive from another site was to remove all spells level 7 and above from the game until epic levels. (You'd still get higher spell slots, but would use them on level 6 and lower spells).

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Originally Posted by PPQ_Purple View Post
Out of curiosity how much of that changes if you narrow things down to just the SRD available spells AND keep track of spell components?
If you limit only the spells to Core? Well, you've cut off many of the spellcasters' most powerful options, but their Core-only options aren't far behind. Fly, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Glitterdust, Grease - these are all low(ish)-level, Core options. As for the most decried, overpowered L9 spells... Wish, Miracle, Shapechange, Time Stop, Mordenkainen's Disjunction...

The vast majority of them also don't have expensive material components, and cheap components are ignored if you have a spell component pouch. Even if you go all evil and start sundering people's pouches, they could always take Eschew Materials. It's not a balanced drawback if one feat can fix it, and anyway it's too all or nothing (again - you're too powerful, or you can't do anything).

You're probably never going to balance martials and casters completely without it being ridiculous so long as you're happy for casters to do magical things that aren't humanly possible in real life, but limit martials to those which are (even at a stretch). However, you could give the meleers a bit of a bump, and the Fighter especially really seems to have gotten the short end of the stick (at least after like L1-6).

Well, I'm a Raymond Feist fan and I don't mind late game party imbalance (because I think its more realistic, if that makes any sense in a fantasy setting), the issue just becomes keeping the game fun for everyone. So far I think that'd be easier to do in PbP because its less disruptive to split a party on PbP than it would be tabletop.

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Originally Posted by Actana View Post
And who is going to be the one tracking all those materials? The GM? The player? Wizards are already tracking their spells known, spell slots, expended spells, and whatever other things they have. And you want them to also track their materials?
I really don't see why that is so much of an issue. It's just extra numbers on the character sheet. No different from tracking any other sort of ammo really.

Plus, if you have a system that takes a certain amount of effort to play and you are not willing to put that amount of effort in you should change the system you are playing (like I did) and not alter the system to your liking.

And besides, if you can't figure out a way to use an excel spreadsheet for something in your game (I do and I run freeform for crying out loud) than where is the fun in that?

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And what about acquiring the materials? Are wizard materials readily available in stores? How does a wizard gather them? Who determines what materials are available in what place?
That I imagine would be a major part of the balancing power of it. If a player is breaking your game too much using one ability or the other too often cut off his material supply.

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Slowly but surely, you go into a hell of minutiae that nobody really cares about that serves only to add more bookkeeping and tedium to the game. And what about their price and weight? What's stopping a player from stuffing their entire backpack full of flying rodent poo?
Again, I imagine that this would also be part of the whole balancing feature thing.

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How about enemies? Would the GM also have to track the spell components of enemies since they'll be looted afterwards as well?
Enemies only have that loot which the GM wants to give the players. Duh.

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While it almost might look like a sound idea in theory, I find that the more one things about it, the more insanely tedious the idea becomes in practice.
All I know is that there is this entire layer of complexity built into the system that would indeed make spell casting more difficult, complex and make it potentially more balanced that everyone is ignoring all the while calling for something to balance spell casting.


Either way this is all conjecture. We can't know for sure unless someone here comes out and runs such a game. And I would be very curious indeed to see how a game run with full spell component tracking and no cheap copouts like that feat would unfold. I imagine it would in fact be much more balanced.

Considering most people don't even keep track of weight in inventory, would find it hard to believe that even if the rule was implemented people would bother keeping track of it. PF has an optional expensive components rules, as quite honestly just buying spell component pouch equivalent for the PC is pocket change, even at level 1. Components tracking on top of it, only hurt the weakest branches of wizard schools (Evocation, Necromancy) and divine spellcasters are totally fine.

Except the problem still stands: you're attempting to fix a problem by making it annoying/difficult/tedious to use. None of those three are good ways of solving a problem. The "fix" only serves to complicate matters, and drives away people who would otherwise want to play a caster. The spells themselves will be just as powerful as before, but now they exist at the whim of the DM who can take away your spell components or not give you a chance to refresh them and thus leaving the wizard useless.

I'll give you this much: used properly, it might well balance wizards. However, it would still be an extremely tedious way to balance them, as well as one that entirely hinges on the DM's whims to allow the refreshing of spells.

Give me higher power fighters instead, thank you very much.

(As a side note, the point about enemy loot is simply that the DM would also have to mark down what's in the component pouches of enemy spellcasters as well, giving the DM a lot more work on the prepping front as well. Unless somehow the enemy's pouch mystically disintegrates as they die, leaving no components to loot. Which is, well, bad. But I don't really want to make this into any larger point.)




 

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