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Removing Saving Throws
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Aycarus
Journeyman


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:27 am    Post subject: Re: Removing Saving Throws Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Murtak wrote:
Aycarus wrote:

Your assumption for diversification appears to rely explicitly under balanced circumstances; where all combats are essentially nothing more than battles where every character's abilities are still available. In any campaign with even the slightest bit of flavour, this doesn't happen. If you need the target to be polymorphed, a fear spell will be useless - similarly, a fighter inflicting damage will be useless.


So you want to balance your mechanics based on "flavour"? Guess what, in most of DnD it does not matter all that much how you defeat your opposition. Quite often - heck, nearly always - I do not care at all whether my opponent has just been polymorphed into a bunny or turned into a statue or held. So when I can use a spell that stacks with that of my party members or I can use a spell that does not .... guess what, we are all using the same spell, simply because it is the only thing that makes sense, and unless I am playing an extremely stupid character being grossly inefficient is against my flavor. In all likelyhood the party will still be better off using the same spell even against resistant enemies. At least in todays DnD the different characters still do different things.


I disagree completely with you there. If it never mattered how you defeated your opposition, then you're not playing very good D&D; under that assumption there would only be use for one kind of spell - straight damage dealing. Why? Because at least this type of spell stacks with what the type of damage the remainder of the party is dealing. A wizard becomes nothing more than a ranged fighter with a few creative attack forms and accessory spells that are useful outside of combat.

Ignoring setting or flavour is impossible. If you're playing a fire wizard and the DM sends you up against nothing but fire-resistant opponents, your character's going to be fvcking useless. Can this be balanced out with game mechanics? No. Any specialization whatsoever can be easily countered by an adversarial DM. Now does this imply specialization is bad? Again, no... You've got to assume that your DM isn't going to be an adversary to some degree; but it's something you can't counter by imposing game mechanics on him.
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FrankTrollman
Serious Badass


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 27147

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:15 am    Post subject: Re: Removing Saving Throws Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Aycarus wrote:
Now does this imply specialization is bad? Again, no... You've got to assume that your DM isn't going to be an adversary to some degree; but it's something you can't counter by imposing game mechanics on him.


I don't understand why this sentiment would make it somehow a good idea to split the game into a handful of distinct strategies which mandate full cooperation from the entire party to function "properly".

In the "Save or Die" rubric, everyone pretty much does their own thing, and synergy happens between the party because everyone is trying different stuff to find the weak point of the enemy and once they do the battle is over. In the thing you are proposing, the enemy's resistance is going to make your attacks take a longer or shorter time to take them out, but since the enemy goes down as soon as any one pile hits their sweet-spot rather than when you happen to find their weakness, there's no damned reason for anyone to not be on the same boat that everyone else is.

Now, everyone can still have setups that build up the same kind of damage and yet operate against different resistances. That might be a good idea. One character could specialize in a sword while another specializes in fire and it still adds up o "physical damage". Similarly, you could have a party of fast talkers, charmers, and stone singers who all accumulated good will damage until they won... or whatever.

---

Now, I don't really like "Save or Die!" as a mechanic. But it is balanced and fun (albeit, not particularly well suited to a long-running campaign). It rewards diversity, is simple to play, requires little in the way of player training, and is entirely functional all around. In fact, "Save or Die!" works better than the D&D Hit Point system by a considerable margain.

So if you want to unify the mechanics of D&D, it would make a fvcktonne more sense to change the swords to work like Polymorph than it would be to try to make Polymorph work like swords.

---

That being said, I still prefer a middle ground, in which you modify Saves to have a gradual effect within the saving throw. Which is, as you'll recall, exactly what I had proposed some months back.

Damage Dice need to go. That need is all consuming.

-Frank
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Aycarus
Journeyman


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:41 am    Post subject: Re: Removing Saving Throws Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
Aycarus wrote:
Now does this imply specialization is bad? Again, no... You've got to assume that your DM isn't going to be an adversary to some degree; but it's something you can't counter by imposing game mechanics on him.


I don't understand why this sentiment would make it somehow a good idea to split the game into a handful of distinct strategies which mandate full cooperation from the entire party to function "properly".


Sorry, I probably should have specified that I meant that post in the context of analysis in general - not for my system in particular.

Quote:
In the "Save or Die" rubric, everyone pretty much does their own thing, and synergy happens between the party because everyone is trying different stuff to find the weak point of the enemy and once they do the battle is over. In the thing you are proposing, the enemy's resistance is going to make your attacks take a longer or shorter time to take them out, but since the enemy goes down as soon as any one pile hits their sweet-spot rather than when you happen to find their weakness, there's no damned reason for anyone to not be on the same boat that everyone else is.


The idea I'm hoping to preserve is that regardless of how capable players are at dealing damage, one particular approach may take too long. Arguably, this needs to be balanced if it has any hope of not appearing like either the "nothing-or-die" side or the "no-reason-for-diversity" side. Is there room in between the two? Yeah, I imagine so. But it's as you stated - a matter of making the unified dynamics either work on the saving throw side or the mass-polyhedrals side.

Quote:
That being said, I still prefer a middle ground, in which you modify Saves to have a gradual effect within the saving throw. Which is, as you'll recall, exactly what I had proposed some months back.


Dunno... wasn't really around some months back. I'm still trying to go through the posts to catch up Smile That said, I think that's equally reasonable now. I chose to go with damage dice rather than retaining saving throws, and the result is similar, at the very least. I think I'll play around with some changes to this system so that it uses a single d20 roll and compare probably resubmit for comments.

Quote:
Damage Dice need to go. That need is all consuming.


People love their polyhedrals, especially if they're platonic solids Tongue

Sma wrote:
Which would actually be fine if thereŽs only Charm Person and Baleful Polymoprh out there, but last time I checked the PHB alone had 100+ spells in it, granted there will be some overlap but youŽll still be having to deal with more than one damage track which is oen more than we have to deal with now. So yes this provably involves more bookkeeping.


I actually went through the spell list tonight. I think polymorph/transmutation is the only additional form of cumulative damage I could see reasonably implemented. There are a few things that could deal alternative forms of damage, such as petrification damage (hold person) or sensory deprivation damage (blindness/deafness). All other kinds of damage mentioned in the spell description examples I gave, such as charm and finger of death, don't stack. You cast charm once and roll damage dice, it has its effect. The amount of damage dealt doesn't matter and so doesn't need to be recorded.
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