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DnD3.5e: Allowing PrC's???

   
Allowing PrC's???

Hello all, I'm here on behalf of the Crossroads Inn with a question I need lots of input on because I'm having trouble forming a solid opinion on whether or not to include PrC's.

Please read this whole post before responding as there are several unique factors to consider for this game.



Relevant Character Creation Rules



Please under no circumstance let this topic drift into discussion of Tiers as that is banned on MW.

As the head GM of the project, it is my job to organize and maintain game balance.

I will assure you that while you might be concerned that game balance in this kind of model is impossible to maintain, we have figured out a proprietary system that I won't bother explaining but you can feel free to peruse the entire wiki if you are concerned with how it works.

What we are currently considering is whether or not to allow PrC's and I've decided to ask the MW community about what they think.

There are several points to make for and against this, but lets stick with the big one for now.

My primary concern as Head GM is game balance, further, the game does not allow evil alignment and that restriction will not be changed to include any PrC (assassin, blackguard, etc.). It is worth noting we cater to beginner level players as well as old school min/max munchkins, so the goal is to even out the power balance and create the least amount of power spread. This is tough though because the system is already imbalanced by design.

I realize fully that certain characters are level specific, for example at level 1 a Barbarian or Psi is probably going to steal the show (as far as combat goes), less so at level 20 (especially since we're using WBL).

Now I'm not a fan of strictly banning the arcane caster PrCs and allowing the others because that will undoubtedly create a backlash from the community at some point (How come he gets to but I don't? It's not that big of a deal!?!?! I promise I won't abuse my powers!).

In no case is a PrC considered a nerf, if anything they are power enhancers, incredibly so with the arcane casters.

The question posed though, is something for the experienced players to give their opinions on... (please note we do offer several variants already).

Going back to the caster classes, is a Wizard/Loremaster/Archmage compared to, say, Rogue really that much more world shattering than straight Wizard vs. the same Rogue? When you play a Rogue, Fighter, Monk, etc. you know you have to work within the limitations of the class. Wizards, Clerics, and Druids, with or without PrCs, are only limited by the creativity of the player and the oversight of the DM at top tiers.

Is giving them a further boost (essentially making them infinity +1 rather than just plain old infinity) while giving the other classes a boost a reasonable sacrifice in the interest of evening out the playing field? And more specifically, does this decrease the over all power spread or decrease it?

When answering please keep in mind that I'm not a whiz at D&D though I do understand PBP and RPGs very well. Much like the US President, while I run the CRI, I don't know how half of it gets done. I act as a mouthpiece, oversee it, take corrective actions and help stimulate policy, but that's about it, so please offer the technical system specific jargon and then translate at layman level (I need both).

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sidenote:
Before anyone asks, we are accepting more DM's but we are not yet accepting more players until we get more DMs signed off. Please do not post here with interest. DM interest can be posted by responding to THIS THREAD.
Thanks everyone who responds for participating in this discussion since it's not an easy solution since we (the council) have been in deliberation on the topic for about two weeks with great points being brought up by both sides but neither really producing a strong winning argument for or against the inclusion.

By limiting things to core only, with exceptions to toys for casters no less, you have already scrapped what small semblance of balance there is in 3.5. Allowing the core PrCs will do nothing to change this. Most of the core non-caster PrCs are barely worth taking. Some are arguably worse than sticking with your base class. Some of the core caster PrCs, on the other hand, are worth looking at even in high-op builds.

No, I wouldn't say the power spread will get much wider. Anyone playing a wizard who knows what they're doing can already utterly destroy a non-caster if they're enough of a prick to do so. But you aren't exactly leveling the playing field either. If that's your goal, you need to allow access to other splats or institute some heavy houseruling.

Zela's right. Noncaster PrCs are still mostly worthless against core casters, comparative power levels. For that matter, the caster PrCs are only nominally stronger than the core caster classes. And most can't even claim that, if only because either the class itself or the prerequisites take away caster levels. And there's nothing worth the price of a caster level.

But, yeah, CoDzillas don't require splatbooks. They can break the game straight out of the SRD in the hands of even a novice player. Wizards... take a little bit more skill and forethought. But can still pull it off.

well before we continue down this hole, we aren't adding non srd to allow that anyone can come in and play without having access to books. This is more accommodating to players as a whole and allows us a wider player base. Adding more books is not going to happen, just so we don't bother pursuing that.

Short of banning some classes, there's not much you can really do. then There are places were you can find the books for free and things, but I really wont expand on that because of a lot of peoples view on 'piracy' and things.

There are some builds that really screw a caster *cough*Grapler Fighters*cough* and such things but it is really hard for srd martial classes to out DPS casters short of Two-weapon-Power Attack-Great Cleave of doom! and even by the time you get to that your casters can drop 6d6 fire balls and bend the fabric of reality on a minutely basis.

Just remember that once you get up next too them their handful of hitpoints will go away fast if they can't get away *and that any level 1 orc with your standard great-axe can 1 shot a 2nd to 3rd level wizard.

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There are places were you can find the books for free and things, but I really wont expand on that because of a lot of peoples view on 'piracy' and things.
People's view are less important concerning "free" books than the Site Rules.

<<...>>

SRD PrCl aren't going to change game balance; as has been mentioned already, they don't really affect the power-gap between casters and 'muggles'.

Allowing PrCl, however, does make certain archetypes (slightly more) playable (e.g.
Eldritch Knight
gish,
Mystic Theurge
dual casters,
Duellist
cloak-and-dagger style fighter, ...).

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Originally Posted by Cnyperos View Post
There are some builds that really screw a caster *cough*Grapler Fighters*cough*
*coughFreedomofMovementcoughHeartofWatercoughGreaterBlinkcoughDimensionHopcoughDimensionSt epcoughDimensionDoorcoughTeleportcough*

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Originally Posted by Solo View Post
*coughFreedomofMovementcoughHeartofWatercoughGreaterBlinkcoughDimensionHopcoughDimensionSt epcoughDimensionDoorcoughTeleportcough*
Please expand on this build structure and what you're getting at. Like I said, I don't know all the ins and outs of the system, pretty much just enough to perform my duties. I'm learning as fast as I can but it's slow going as I have a ton of responsibilities with this and various other projects.

Also I'd like to point out something here:

The CRI, while it does have a PvP arena to kill time in, there are no substantial rewards for it (max bet is 5 gold per level and no XP) so the PvP aspect isn't terribly what I'm concerned about, but rather, usefulness to the game environment.

Granted, a decent DM will find ways to challenge each PC uniquely for each adventure, but the question is "how much is doing that going to break willful suspension of disbelief and kill story immersion?" ...for the average experienced DM in a PBP environment. At a certain point one does need to wonder if the wizard can just port in and out and do the whole adventure with a few spells, then why have a party at all? Everyone needs to at least be useful in the environment, and these are one shots, not campaigns, so the aspect of PC investment in the world (player contacts and associations) isn't a factor realistically.

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Originally Posted by World of L_Tiene View Post
Please expand on this build structure and what you're getting at. Like I said, I don't know all the ins and outs of the system, pretty much just enough to perform my duties. I'm learning as fast as I can but it's slow going as I have a ton of responsibilities with this and various other projects.
The things Solo listed are all core spells that allow mobility. What he's saying is that a caster has oodles of ways to get away from a mundane build, even a build designed to lock him down.

And yes, the core casters CAN do pretty much anything and fill any role in the party in a pinch, whereas the mundane guys can't. There ARE ways for casters to flat-out break the game and render the adventure moot if for some reason they want to. That's the imbalance in the system that everyone speaks of and why it's not all that uncommon to ban certain classes entirely. Even though there are some melee builds that can keep up with a blaster in raw damage, they will otherwise lack utility both in and out of combat. That's not just a PVP issue. It can be hard for a DM to challenge everyone in an adventure if the party has a large power spread or if a party member is only useful in one type of situation.




 

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