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DnD3.5e: An Argument that Dragon Compendium is not " Dragon Magazine"

   
Vow of Poverty is not overpowered. Losing all equipment is not overpowered. Put a VoP fighter against a regular fighter of equal level and the latter will always win. Put a VoP wizard against a regular wizard of equal level and the one with a better spell selection will win, as always.

And arguing that it helps out classes like the monk really gets us nowhere but the agreement that monks are...less than powerful.

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Originally Posted by Greyfeld View Post
I don't know that I would mark Nymph's Kiss as overpowered. It's good for skillmonkey builds, but that's about it. It happens to not suck, but I don't know that's a reason to call it overpowered.
The term "overpowered" is in relation to other options available. Compare Nymph's Kiss to Skill Focus, Acrobatic, or any other feat that gives a bonus to skills. Most give a one-time +3 bonus to a single skill or +2 to two. Nymph's kiss gives +4 points at 1st level and another +1 at each additional level, which you can use however you like. It then goes on to give a +2 bonus to any Charisma-related checks (which includes tons of skills, turning checks, binding checks, spell effects such as Planar Binding or Command Undead, and god knows what else), and a +1 bonus to all saving throws against spells and spell-like abilities. The bonus to Charisma-checks alone is incredibly powerful, but combined with everything else knocks it well and truly out of the ballpark.

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Originally Posted by Atomic Dog View Post
The term "overpowered" is in relation to other options available. Compare Nymph's Kiss to Skill Focus, Acrobatic, or any other feat that gives a bonus to skills. Most give a one-time +3 bonus to a single skill or +2 to two. Nymph's kiss gives +4 points at 1st level and another +1 at each additional level, which you can use however you like. It then goes on to give a +2 bonus to any Charisma-related checks (which includes tons of skills, turning checks, binding checks, spell effects such as Planar Binding or Command Undead, and god knows what else), and a +1 bonus to all saving throws against spells and spell-like abilities. The bonus to Charisma-checks alone is incredibly powerful, but combined with everything else knocks it well and truly out of the ballpark.
I haven't heard of anybody using Skill Focus in part of a character build, outside of PrC prereqs, since.... well, ever. If we're going to compare it to crappy feats that nobody takes, we may as well compare Toughness to Improved Toughness and Dodge to Desert Wind Dodge or Expeditious Dodge.

Some feats are just bad, are almost never used without extenuating circumstances (like being a core-only game), and should never be used as a yardstick for balance.

DM has final say. If you don't like what that DM says, don't join his game.

If he claims the book isn't permitted, it's not. Doesn't matter what it is.

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Originally Posted by Greyfeld View Post
I haven't heard of anybody using Skill Focus in part of a character build, outside of PrC prereqs, since.... well, ever. If we're going to compare it to crappy feats that nobody takes, we may as well compare Toughness to Improved Toughness and Dodge to Desert Wind Dodge or Expeditious Dodge.

Some feats are just bad, are almost never used without extenuating circumstances (like being a core-only game), and should never be used as a yardstick for balance.
Yes, that's a great reason for arguing how Nymph's Kiss isn't an overpowered feat. "I'm going to list a bunch of feats that I don't like. Ergo, Nymph's Kiss is perfectly balanced." I'm not sure how that works as an argument in your head, but here in the real world it's a pretty bad one.

Or did you not just try to say that 23 skill points to use however you want (and potentially more if you go into epic levels), +2 to a ton of useful and powerful checks that stacks with anything, and a bonus to saving throws that also stacks with everything, all from one feat, is totally balanced because Toughness and Skill Focus are pretty boring feats?

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Originally Posted by Atomic Dog View Post
It then goes on to give a +2 bonus to any Charisma-related checks (which includes tons of skills, turning checks, binding checks, spell effects such as Planar Binding or Command Undead, and god knows what else), and a +1 bonus to all saving throws against spells and spell-like abilities. The bonus to Charisma-checks alone is incredibly powerful, but combined with everything else knocks it well and truly out of the ballpark.
Pity there's no errata fixing it, because (leaving strict RAW now) reading the feat, it seems to me that all benefits apart from the bonus skill point per level should only apply to fey-related matters.
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Originally Posted by Nymph's Kiss
(...)Benefit: Fey creatures regard you as though you were fey. You gain a (...) bonus on all Charisma-related checks and a (...) bonus on all saving throws against spells and spell-like abilities.
Adding "These bonuses apply only to checks dealing with fey creatures or against spells and spell-like abilities from fey creatures, respectively." would fix the feat.
(And is, what I am doing for my games).

The bonus skill points are more in line with power when one considers that it is an exalted feat - with all that 'RP/Fluff'-balancing inherent in these type of feats.

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Originally Posted by Atomic Dog View Post
Yes, that's a great reason for arguing how Nymph's Kiss isn't an overpowered feat. "I'm going to list a bunch of feats that I don't like. Ergo, Nymph's Kiss is perfectly balanced." I'm not sure how that works as an argument in your head, but here in the real world it's a pretty bad one.
Instead of making things up, you should try actually reading what I said.

Skill Focus and all the other "+2 to X skill" feats are universally panned as underpowered and worthless on
And before you go on a rant about how optimization boards are just people who are trying to break the game, so they don't count, those boards actually deal with creating characters within the design parameters set for the specific campaign. They're essentially the best of the best in "what works and what doesn't."
every optimization board under the sun. And with good reason. Skill optimization is easy; between items (both magical and mundane), spells, racial bonuses, class bonuses, ability score boosts, and situational modifiers, there's no reason a person should ever have to burn one of their 7 life-time feat slots on a piddly +2/+3 bonus to a single skill.

That's why I said those feats suck. Not because "I say so, and you're wrong," but because I've been playing D&D 3.5 for almost nine years, and I've done the appropriate legwork to have a general idea of what sucks and what doesn't.

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Originally Posted by Atomic Dog View Post
Or did you not just try to say that 23 skill points to use however you want (and potentially more if you go into epic levels), +2 to a ton of useful and powerful checks that stacks with anything, and a bonus to saving throws that also stacks with everything, all from one feat, is totally balanced because Toughness and Skill Focus are pretty boring feats?
First of all, you're not looking at "23 skill points to use however you want." You don't have just 20+ skill points dumped into your lap for a 1-time expenditure of a feat. You get an extra skill point per level, which is enough to max out a single extra skill. A nice bonus for somebody low on skill points, and needs that extra point to make their build work.

The extra skill point for playing a human character is a nice perk, but most people play the race because of the extra feat, not the extra skill point. That should tell you how "amazing" those extra "23 skill points" are, compared to the feat slot.

I'm not going to argue about the potential usefulness of the rest of it, because I already know it's useful. That's sort of the point behind a feat. But I also think you overestimate the power a few numerical increases really have. It basically means the character will fail a little less often in a couple areas.

The way it stands, skills already have a hard time staying relevant, due to the presence of magic. Combine that with the glut of save-or-suck effects that can screw over the PCs on a bad roll, and I just don't see the problem. The bonuses are all very small, they just happen to be spread out among multiple situational areas, which makes it seem more powerful than it really is.

The fact that this feat isn't required for every Charisma or skillmonkey build under the sun should be the first huge tip-off that it's not overpowered.

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Originally Posted by Atomic Dog View Post
Yes, that's a great reason for arguing how Nymph's Kiss isn't an overpowered feat. "I'm going to list a bunch of feats that I don't like. Ergo, Nymph's Kiss is perfectly balanced." I'm not sure how that works as an argument in your head, but here in the real world it's a pretty bad one.

Or did you not just try to say that 23 skill points to use however you want (and potentially more if you go into epic levels), +2 to a ton of useful and powerful checks that stacks with anything, and a bonus to saving throws that also stacks with everything, all from one feat, is totally balanced because Toughness and Skill Focus are pretty boring feats?
But it just gives you free marginal stat bonuses on different places and you may or may not need some of them. Sure skill focus is a cruddy feat, but it has it's own purpose that you may sometimes need, like throwing one skill check off the roof or a PrC requirement.

Nymph's Kiss is like a bargain bin buy one take two feat while Skill Focus is a very simple "I want pie, I get pie" kind of deal.

Prestige class requirements are not valid justifications for the existence of shitty feats.

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Originally Posted by Greyfeld View Post
Instead of making things up, you should try actually reading what I said.
I did. Perhaps you just don't realize what you're actually saying.

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That's why I said those feats suck. Not because "I say so, and you're wrong," but because I've been playing D&D 3.5 for almost nine years, and I've done the appropriate legwork to have a general idea of what sucks and what doesn't.
Case in point. "I've been playing for nine years, so I think I know what I'm talking about" = "I say so, and you're wrong."

Also, ooh, a whole nine years, huh? That's a lot of experience! Except, maybe, compared to the people who've been playing since the 80s or so, of which there's doubtlessly handfuls of players posting here who have. Myself included.

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Skill Focus and all the other "+2 to X skill" feats are universally panned as underpowered and worthless on
And before you go on a rant about how optimization boards are just people who are trying to break the game, so they don't count, those boards actually deal with creating characters within the design parameters set for the specific campaign. They're essentially the best of the best in "what works and what doesn't."
every optimization board under the sun.
Sorry, but yes, one of their goals is to break the game. And yes, Skill Focus does come up from time to time, particularly when they're relying on a skill check to make their cheese work. Heck, one of the reasons they dip into a level of Marshal is to score the free Skill Focus (Diplomacy) alongside the associated aura. Truenamer optimization uses it a lot, too, as do a few other specific builds.

But it doesn't matter how badly you view Skill Focus. It doesn't change the fact that Nymph's Kiss is, far and away, more powerful than most other feats, especially those that are comparable. Which is what "overpowered" means. Heck, it's more powerful than a lot of class features for crying out loud. The simple truth is that it's roughly equivalent to three separate feats. A feat that gives you a +2 unnamed bonus to Charisma checks would be desirable for many builds. A feat that gives you a +1 unnamed bonus to all three saves isn't bad, either, and is already more powerful than its contemporary feat Luck of Heroes (a regional feat that only gives a +1 luck bonus). And certainly one that gives you an infinite number of skill points based on level, insuring that you have at least one class skill that is always maximized (but the freedom to spend those points however you like) most certainly is worth a feat on its own, too.

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First of all, you're not looking at "23 skill points to use however you want." You don't have just 20+ skill points dumped into your lap for a 1-time expenditure of a feat. You get an extra skill point per level, which is enough to max out a single extra skill. A nice bonus for somebody low on skill points, and needs that extra point to make their build work.
Sorry, but yes, you are getting 23+ skill points to use however you want. Nothing stops you from applying them to different skills as you progress, and as you yourself just effectively pointed out, that alone is worthy of a feat. Nevermind that many games (or, in PbP land, most games) start above 1st level, too.

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The extra skill point for playing a human character is a nice perk, but most people play the race because of the extra feat, not the extra skill point. That should tell you how "amazing" those extra "23 skill points" are, compared to the feat slot.
You know those optimization threads you read that makes you think you're a pro gamer? You should go read them over a bit more. The bonus skill point is often mentioned as more than just a nice perk. Cases in point, all taken from the first three I punched into Google.

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I'm not going to argue about the potential usefulness of the rest of it, because I already know it's useful. That's sort of the point behind a feat. But I also think you overestimate the power a few numerical increases really have. It basically means the character will fail a little less often in a couple areas.
Wow. Reallly? So now you're essentially arguing that most feats -- you know, all the ones that only give a few numerical increases -- are worthless because all they mean is that "the character will fail a little less often in a couple areas?"

Well sure, if that's your opinion, I can see why you think Nymph's Kiss is nothing special. But then, neither is a +5 greatsword or a +6 cloak of charisma, or any other magic item/class features/feat/ability that just gives a few numerical increases to a character. I thought you other arguments were pretty bad, but this one is... just... wow.

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The way it stands, skills already have a hard time staying relevant, due to the presence of magic. Combine that with the glut of save-or-suck effects that can screw over the PCs on a bad roll, and I just don't see the problem. The bonuses are all very small, they just happen to be spread out among multiple situational areas, which makes it seem more powerful than it really is.
You mean like, oh I don't know, charm or command X spells? You know, those spells with those opposed Charisma checks?

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The fact that this feat isn't required for every Charisma or skillmonkey build under the sun should be the first huge tip-off that it's not overpowered.
Really? I see it quite a few times after yet another quick search. You must have missed these threads after those nine long years, I guess.




 

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