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At what point did you realize wizard=god, fighter=suck?
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:56 am    Post subject: At what point did you realize wizard=god, fighter=suck? Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The Den has some folks here who know the mechanics of D&D in and out and can point out objectively why the mechanics lead to one class out-classin' another.

But, in your own experience, how did you find out about this? Was it a slow inkling through extended campaigns or was it the moment you saw Color Spray as a level 1 spell?


For myself, I got a naggling feeling when I first played a level 12+ game of 3e as a Fighter with Whirlwind attack. Monsters were maiming me in single rounds and then the Wizard turned into a Dragon and mauled them, shooting fire everywhere,

It got me thinking "somethin... ain't right here"


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Libertad
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It was when I DMed the Shackled City Adventure Path, back in high school when 3.5 was still recent. There was a big bad-ass dragon named Hookface, and he was terrorizing a town that was evacuating during a volcanic eruption. The party Barbarian was planning on climbing to the top of the tallest building that the dragon was flying around, and would then jump off and Power Attack him while two-handing a greataxe and raging. I thought that this plan was fucking awesome.

The party wizard cast a save-or-die spell on the dragon when they got within range. Hookface failed his save.

And then I realized something. Warrior and roguish classes didn't get a big arsenal of spells, didn't get area of effect attacks, didn't get save or dies; their primary shtick was damage.
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Seerow
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

My first experience with 3e was a DM who thought it was a good idea to start a handful of noobs at epic levels. I wound up going with a einhander fighter using a rapier, prestiged into duelist, and a lot of feats like combat expertise and improved disarm.

Mind you this is an objectively terrible character even among fighters. I can think of very few less optimized characters that weren't intentionally trying to. But it was a very quick wake up into "Wow I suck and literally can't do anything".
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the_taken
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Early 3e game, I played a level 10 fighter specializing in scythe wielding, because what's better than a death bringer than one that looks like death. Went up against a hobgoblin spear thrower riding a red dragon. My fighter was eaten in the first round, digested, eliminated and forgotten. The party wizard's player called me an idiot, cast Black Tentacles and a few other things while the Cleric cast Windwall and Protection from Energy. They tag teamed the dragon and gobbo. The rogue had snuck past earlier and put all of it's treasure in a bag of holding and saved everyone time. They told me to play a monk, because those guys are actually good.

Then I played several monks, because they kept dying on me. After a while, I stopped playing and just browsed the optimization forums for ideas.
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Winnah
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

2e. Played a lot of one off or weekend games with a group of friends, during high school. I somehow wormed my way into an ongoing game with local university students, via a friends older brother.

Line up of included a Dwarf Fighter/Thief, Elf Ranger, Human Paladin, Human Fighter and a Barbarian from one of the 2e Completes series. All of these guys had at least 1 18 in their characters stat array, priority in Strength and Dexterity, half of these guys had percentile strength. As the new guy, I was instructed that I had to play the 'healer.' So I made a Druid due to some above average, but not truly exceptional rolls.

I had missed the first couple of games, so the DM told me that my character appeared unconscious in a clearing, apparently tripping balls on some mushrooms he had found earlier in the week. I shrugged and went along with it, trying my best to fit in until the other players decided they would rob my character while he was unconscious. Then I had to assert myself.

After a slow start, the party revealed they were tracking a merchant caravan that had gone missing. Fast forward to the combat encounter with bandits and orcs. 2 of the melee guys were knocked out in the first round as they ran into combat. Things were looking bad until my character cast Entangle, then the rest of the group picked off the bandits with ranged attacks.

The game pretty much progressed like that for the rest of the campaign. The power disparity did not really dawn on me until my 3rd or 4th level Druid took out a troll by himself with a small group of Animal Friendship dogs and snakes backed up by a Charmed bear. The Paladin's and the Human Fighters players both lost it and started calling me a munchkin, telling my I was cheating somehow or exploiting the rules and telling the DM he was doing a bad job because my character should not have been so much more effective than their warriors with 18/50+ Strength, that he was being too soft on me personally because I was still in high school, blah blah blah.

I was forced, on threat of other players leaving the game, to retire my druid character an bring in another. The thief character I brought in managed to backstab exactly one opponent before getting killed, which made a couple of players very pleased. Then I got another lucky set of rolls and brought in an illusionist...
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Juton
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

To this day I have yet to see a real honest to goodness god wizard, or anything similarly powerful. I first saw the difference when I first tried the same game test. For the record you can make a martial character that can perform pretty well in that, but it takes a lot of work and that character can easily be outperformed by a Druid with just a little bit of optimization.
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hogarth
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

1E AD&D, although I would have said that something more like "cleric=awesome, fighter=so-so".
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Mask_De_H
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It came in three waves for me: my very first character was a Rogue and I thought to myself I should carry some acid flasks and Alchemist's Fire because blowing shit up is awesome. And it was; I didn't quite put together the Flasked Avenger concept, but I had TWF and threw some flasks at a mummy as a last-ditch sorta thing. For...various reasons I also had a command item that made Grease, so I caught the thing flat-footed and ruined its day with Sneak Attack.

Naturally, since that owned so hard I wanted to do it again, and ended up bumming in the back of the book for spells; Wizards could do Grease and they could tentacle rape people (I was 13 and that shit was funny to me), among other things. I thought this was the coolest thing ever and wanted to be a caster right then and there, but sadly, the campaign ended and I was already like level 5.

Next wave, I was a Ranger in a semi-high level game and was lurking around the CO Board. Leadership was OKed for me, so I went to making a backup Wizard. Said Wizard ended up being the only survivor when the dice went pear shaped and my Dervish (and two others) went zombie aggro on the team. The Wizard Sleet Stormed a horde and PBed an Angel who proceeded to be a dick to her, but ultimately delivered her from evil. This character, in one combat, outdid the party's normal output in damage and control throughout the campaign. I ended up playing a Warlock after that because I felt bad and got into a row with the actual powergamer in our group.

Most recently, I was playing in a level 1 game in PbP and even Deafened and blowing a quarter of my spells on bad spell failure rolls, my PF Wizard put down more enemies than anyone else (Color Sprayed 3 guys to uselessness, shot two others dead out of 10).
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I had heard about it from friends way before actually playing D&D (my parents were convinced for a long time that it lead to mental health breakdowns even if they didn't believe in the Satanic cult theory, which delayed my entry to the hobby). My first experience with it was playing Pool of Radiance, because neither my parents nor I realized it was D&D until after I'd bought and installed it as part of one of those collections, and they didn't actually care enough to fight me over it when I'd already sunk about a month's worth of allowance into it.

I tried to keep a balanced party of different classes, matching up races to classes based purely on stereotype and making the (fortunately mostly accurate) assumption that it would turn out mostly optimal. It quickly dawned on me that the Fighters were nothing but meatshields for my Magic User, so that he could cast Sleep, Stinking Cloud, or Fireball as appropriate to the current situation. My Cleric's Hold Person was a staple of my fighting strategy throughout practically the whole game. My Fighters were mostly just there to clear out minions so my casters wouldn't waste spells on them.

It wasn't until later when I was actually playing a game that I realized how much it sucked to play just the Fighter (this was a 3.5e game instead of 1e, but it didn't make much difference). Fortunately, the group created some setting-specific benefits for the Fighter which basically gave him anime sword-magic powers to level things out.
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Avoraciopoctules
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Juton wrote:
To this day I have yet to see a real honest to goodness god wizard, or anything similarly powerful. I first saw the difference when I first tried the same game test. For the record you can make a martial character that can perform pretty well in that, but it takes a lot of work and that character can easily be outperformed by a Druid with just a little bit of optimization.


Same thing here, pretty much.

EDIT: if there are high level fighters in one of my group's games, they will inevitably end up with DM fiat magic powers and/or supertech they are super-proficient in compared to lower-BAB PCs.


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MGuy
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I learned it the first time I made a character to play instead of DMing all the time. I decided 2 levels in that my Wizard didn't have to do anything but Scribe scroll then summon spam his way through a dungeon.
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Ikeren
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Lots of CoDzilla, relatively few OP wizards in my group.

I've personally run a DMM:Persist cleric in a RL game though, and it was hilarious. DM kept giving people insane custom magic items and monsters were CR 1-8 higher; which made it a really fun "heroes" style campain despite us being level 7
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Maxus
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

When I was looking at joining an epic campaign and began to realize that barring items or being a Barbarian or Monk, melee types are still stuck to 20/30 feet a round movement speed and four attacks in a fullround action (barring feats), which didn't feel very epic.

Whereas wizards and clerics got shit like Verdant Tsunami and Nailed to the Sky.

It took me a while longer, but that's where it started.
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Aryxbez
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Avoraciopoctules wrote:


EDIT: if there are high level fighters in one of my group's games, they will inevitably end up with DM fiat magic powers and/or supertech they are super-proficient in compared to lower-BAB PCs.


"Supertech and super-prof" you say, well...crap, on the way of doing something like that for a character that's a Barbarian...

Coincidences aside though, I'm sure the rules have been smacking me in the face with it, just been too dense to ever notice. I took me till around 2006? when I was perusing the D&D boards, when discussions on how class imbalance, spellcasters better than non-casters was all the rage. Then, given that wake up call, I started to spend my time on the boards reading up all about why this was so, my curiosity quite peaked. Hell I even learn a deeper detail now and then as to why on here on occasion, but, find not all among my friend group is on the same page there I don't think (especially the one in particular who bought Pathfinder...).

Astounding, ran games, and made warrior types all the time, but didn't notice how non-awesome they were. I guess it goes with the Monk logic that Lago has spoken of in the past, we "want to Believe!", to point we're essentially wearing Beer Goggles. On bright side, I could totally see the game was unbalanced at Epic Levels, I think that's obvious to everyone, knowledge of caster superiority or not.
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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

When I played 2E, I realized wizards were awesome at higher levels, but we never played to a high enough level where fighters sucked. At the time, I thought this was balanced out by wizards being quite pathetic at low level. But everyone seemed to understand that wizards were awesome, because if I ever ran any sort of "mirror match" encounter, they'd all jump on the wizard ASAP so they could stay alive.

It took me a while of 3E to realize that fighters just weren't as good as they were in 2E, but then again, I made the mistake of thinking Fireball was useful because it was good in 2E. Again, I also didn't run things to very high levels, so I just didn't see the problems.

It wasn't until I got on the forums that I realized just how good wizards could be and how crappy fighters were.
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ckafrica
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A 3.0 game and my first time really playing a caster (cleric). I had introduced him to replace the other cleric whose player had left so he was 15th or something (It had been a long campaign) when we were fighting a BBEG vampire. I realized that I could have killed him at any point with one spell but I held off so the melee players had a chance to get some actions in. It was only when they were looking ragged that I SoDed him. Also buffing up that same character to out DPS several of the DPS characters.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Played assorted 2e games where Wizards were awesome, except when everything saved on 2 or better, and had MR up the ass. Switched to 3e, and started the first game as a Druid. Hound was MVP. Started looking ahead, and compared my build to fighters, saw that I was going to be a better fighter + spells.

Stopped fighting so much, because it made fighter look bad, cast more spells, still made fighter look bad, started looking at Wizard spells, saw that in many ways they were even better than Druid spells.

Became very confused at why DM never used arbitrarily high MR save on a 2 monsters. Looked at MM. Saw that SR and saves where on a scale that, as long as we kept pushing, never got to that stupid no effect point. Clicked times infinity.
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JigokuBosatsu
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hmm, I think as early as basic some part of me realized it, but because I was very young and stupid I didn't acknowledge it. All the characters I ever made were wizards, except for the occasional assassin or evil paladin because I was 12. It didn't help that the first people I had an opportunity to fully play D&D with were old school Gygaxians, so it didn't matter how powerful your wizard was, you could get thrown in a sack and beaten into unconsciousness.
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tzor
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I do know it was well after 1E. It took a while for all the 1E assumptions to wear off.

The general notion was that clerics rocked but no one wanted to play them. People wanted thier combat guys using swords. Fighters were nice but some still wanted spell flavor. These players generally played Rangers.

The first major campaign I DMed involved two rangers named "Death (to the enemies of good) and Destuction (of all that is evil)."

There were a lot of things that really put limits on wizards in 1E. Some of those limits were removed in 2E. Almost all of the limits were removed in 3E.

Back in 1E, the fighter was the energizer bunny that kept going and going while the wizard was the one trick pony that as daffy duck once said, "Yea, I know, but I can only do that once." (This was after he self immolated on stage to upstage bugs.)

So sure, the wizard could do something fantastic, but that was it and there was always the next room to explore. The limitations on wizards in 1E (as well as their lack of amor and pathetic hit points) always gave the advantage to the fighter at low levels.
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hogarth
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

tzor wrote:
Fighters were nice but some still wanted spell flavor. These players generally played Rangers.
[..]
Back in 1E, the fighter was the energizer bunny that kept going and going while the wizard was the one trick pony that as daffy duck once said, "Yea, I know, but I can only do that once."

I find it a bit ironic that, in your game, you considered rangers as spellcasters (considering they don't get spells until level 8) but you considered wizards as one-trick ponies -- a level 8 1E wizard was certainly not a one-trick pony!
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I realized it pretty damn fast because one of my first "campaigns"--scare quotes because it was rather brief-- featured a DM who wanted to run an all-elves campaign.* We ended up with a group that featured ranger/rogue, a druid and three fucking wizards. The party's low hitpoint total intimidated him so we started out at level 3 too. We were all dumb newbs but the way the deck was stacked we inevitably ran into some of the good stuff.

*I think that elves are generally lame, but it was the only game in town.


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josephdietrich
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I sort of realized after a few years of DMing 1st edition AD&D, but what really crystallized it was upon reading the Dark Sun campaign setting when it came out in 1991. A world ruled by immortal wizard kings who Did It Right and now squash anyone else who tries to get to their level? Why isn't every D&D world like this?
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tussock
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Never really hit that in Mentzer-basic, though enemy Magic-Users were crazy nasty as they could dump everything in one fight (and start invisible and flying, though at least they only had a handful of spells). Used to keep mid-level PC Fighters in the game with awesome magic swords. Exotic mounts for enemy Fighters was common, all sorts of monsters.

Up through 9th level in 2nd edition it was OK, the Fighters owning the daily grind and big battles against hordes, while Wizards handled the nasty boss monsters (and the Psionicist just fucked the world, without ever beating anything). I understand at higher levels that switched back as Fighters got the saves and AC to stand against the big boys, and the Wizards could only affect the terrain and hordes because of growing MR, saves, and immunities.

The casters were much harder to defeat if they put their mind to it, they just all played cautiously and conservatively because the days could be long and spell recovery was a bitch (plus, fuck all hit points).

In 3e I noticed about when hitting 8th level, when everyone started dumping their multiclassed LA'd characters out for pure spellcasters, on account of even the few levels of spellcasting anyone had was far better than anything else they could do. Soon after, 14+ Con and 18+ caster stat became the default. Enemy casters became a bit more of the glass cannon, rocket tag, etc. Quickly got worse for the poor monsters, which had become a nightmare to prep. Not good.

I argued for years that Fighters make the grade in 3e at higher levels because the casters can polymorph and buff them into something useful, but it turns out the casters do consistently better without them there because those same spell slots can make the casters immune to anything the monsters can do. A well-buffed high level Fighter is pretty awesome in 3e though, even if ultimately dead weight.

3.5 didn't fix anything, other than make it much harder to buff or multiclass the Fighters into relevance, and stopped Wizards specialising themselves into occasional irrelevance.

4e doesn't have any classes worthy of the names. The 4.5 Fighter (Slayer) still takes all evening to kill a single Goblin, it's not D&D.
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cthulhudarren
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If casters have save or dies, I think that melee's should get save or dies too. And I don't mean death from massive damage.
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Lago PARANOIA
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Aryxbez wrote:

Astounding, ran games, and made warrior types all the time, but didn't notice how non-awesome they were. I guess it goes with the Monk logic that Lago has spoken of in the past, we "want to Believe!", to point we're essentially wearing Beer Goggles. On bright side, I could totally see the game was unbalanced at Epic Levels, I think that's obvious to everyone, knowledge of caster superiority or not.


As for me, while the seeds for realizing this were laid down pretty early in my D&D career (you can read about the story here), for awhile I had always been under the presumption that noncaster suckage was strictly a D&D-trope. That outside the confines of that particular game casters and noncasters were pretty much on the same level, if not between characters then at least conceptually. I mean, I remember how awesome Lord of the Rings and Willow was. Noncasters like Legolas and Madmartigan kicked some serious ass and even though I had to admit that they weren't as awesome as Barmoda and Sauruman, I just subconsciously thought that it was just because the wizards were simply higher level. If the fighters just gained a few more levels they could do things just as awesome as turning an army into pigs.

I didn't actually start to realize how fucking bogus fighters were compared to wizards just as a general fantasy theme until I started doing some freeform roleplay later derived from games similar to D&D.

I remember the exact moment, too. I was roleplaying Ramza from Final Fantasy Tactics as his Squire class and someone else was roleplaying a Black Mage. By the strict game mechanics the Squire was better in the combat minigame, but when we were roleplaying out of those strict confines I totally realized bullshit like 'dash into enemy' or 'wield an axe' was totally fucking lame compared to my partner's using his skills to start a campfire/signal flare, channel electricity to run machines, etc.. And I totally noticed that non-casters in general had bullshit non-abilities that you couldn't even narratively tell that someone had unless you had a game shoving it in your face.
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