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A List of Passive Defences?

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lycar View Post
Sooo... almost all I see here are spells or other magical effects. Anything the poor maligned martials can do to defend themselves? Outside of AC and HP I mean.
Aside from getting the finger-wagglers to buff them? Well, there are a few combat maneuvers (not the ToB type) that can help, but bull rushing and tripping don't work well at higher levels and don't work as well as magic at lower ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFred View Post
Almost everything interesting in D&D is a magical effect.
Exactly.

Although, to be fair, at least Fighters got some Nice Things via splatbooks. Some of the Advanced Armour/Weapon Training options are outright good. Of course, one of the best is where the Fighter apes the casters and magics up his weapon. At least that way, they do not need to beg the casters for spells.

Cut/Smash from the Air on the other hand are sort of parries vs. ranged attacks and

Spellcut lets them use their BAB as their save vs. certain magical attacks.

Well, martial types like the barbarian and fighter get high AC, which helps to avoid attacks, lots of hit points and a high Fortitude save to guard against a lot of damaging/deadly spells, and high Strength and BaB which helps against special attacks (though not a whole lot is going to out-grapple a purple worm). So basically a decent layer of defence against everything but Will saves. Rogues get stuff like Evasion, Uncanny Dodge (which the barbarian gets too), Slippery Mind, a good Reflex save...er, that's about it.

Martial classes can also get a handful of feats like Blind-Fight, Deflect Arrows and Dodge to help their defences...I can't think of anything else at the moment.

AC stops being relevant past a certain point- everything that wants to hit you will hit you, unless you have concealment or something else that grants a miss chance (and many of those can be foiled by True Strike).

It's less that you can't get an AC high enough to avoid getting hit and more that it's not worth while to do so. To get that crazy sky high AC, you need to ignore other defenses, the ones that are actually more important by those levels.

I'm not convinced that either of those are true - it's not actually that hard to have a decent-ish AC for not too much investment, and some characters can easily get very high ACs. The problem is that at the higher levels, the gap between high and low ABs has gotten very big - the prime example are dragons who have a lot of full-BAB HD for their CR and big Str scores to boot, so you need a pretty darned big AC to go toe-to-toe with them. That means that typically a miss chance is more valuable than AC, but not that AC isn't relevant - it raises the bar a bit, stops random mooks from destroying you, helps prevents things like Power Attack, etc. The best defence at most levels is usually just not standing next to the guys trying to hit you, I find.

Also, martial classes don't get the best AC - some of them (not Barbarians) get heavy armour, which helps a bit, especially early on. However things like (Greater) Mage Armour compete with that pretty well, plus casters get all those other buffs (e.g. Barkskin/Dragonskin/Spider Skin, Bite of the WereX, Shield, Halo of Sand, Sirine's Grace, etc). Characters like Abjurant Champions and some psionicists can get crazy-high ACs.

The thing with "everything cool is magical" is a bit of an issue, but it's almost impossible for it not to be true. It's often said that real life is most accurately represented by levels 1-6, so by the time you hit or top that range your martials are already performing nigh-superhuman feats that only Olympic Athletes and Jason Statham can perform - without magic. Basically, a L20 Fighter shouldn't even exist - they should say that Fighter goes up to maybe L10, tops (probably less) and stop pretending that "guy with a sword" can be balanced against "reality-shaping wizard who has his own demiplane", "12ft demon with four arms who can throw fireballs" or "Elder Evil from beyond mortal comprehension".

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFred View Post
The thing with "everything cool is magical" is a bit of an issue, but it's almost impossible for it not to be true. It's often said that real life is most accurately represented by levels 1-6, so by the time you hit or top that range your martials are already performing nigh-superhuman feats that only Olympic Athletes and Jason Statham can perform - without magic. Basically, a L20 Fighter shouldn't even exist - they should say that Fighter goes up to maybe L10, tops (probably less) and stop pretending that "guy with a sword" can be balanced against "reality-shaping wizard who has his own demiplane", "12ft demon with four arms who can throw fireballs" or "Elder Evil from beyond mortal comprehension".
This here is exactly why I find the very idea of non-magical classes being balanced with magical classes frankly insane. The first are bound by the rules of physics and abide by the laws of the material world. The second grab those laws by the balls and make them do what they want or just flat out ignore them and substitute them for their own rules. It makes no sense that a mid to high level fighter should be equal to a mid to high level spellscaster.

I'm all for adding more options to warrior/rogues/non-magical classes to do cool maneuvers, pull off stunts like you see in action movies and more. But at some point, these non-magical classes need to get their hands on magic as well, otherwise they will be left behind.

And it's not like DnD/Pathfinder doesn't have plenty of options to add magic to a warrior/rogue/non-magical class's arsenal even without going full on gish.

Though to be fair, martial does not have to mean mundane. That's why supernatural abilities exist, after all: They allow you to do magic that's not quite spells.

So why is it that people feel the need to have all classes balanced?

Personally I have no issue with the nigh impotent Wizard who can cast any number of reality-reshaping spells and literally adventure from the safety of his own tower. However, I do ask my players who play wizards over level 13 WHY they go adventuring... Many come to the conclusion that they no longer need to and have lower level wizards in parties of higher level martial characters. I feel there isn't anything wrong with that, and most of the time neither do they - they get to level up faster!

I do make life a little harder for casters through house rules too but that's another topic.







 

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