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froglegg
Learned Scribe

317 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2010 :  00:45:59  Show Profile Send froglegg a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Christopher_Rowe

I voted human as well. I think I have insights into their psychology that I lack with the others! :)



LOL! Me too!

John

Long live Alias and Dragonbait! Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb the Realms need you more then ever!

On my word as a sage nothing within these pages is false, but not all of it may prove to be true. - Elminster of Shadowdale

The Old Grey Box gets better with age!
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6588 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2010 :  01:37:42  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nobody voted for tieflings, eh?

[/Ayrik]
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Alystra Illianniis
Great Reader

USA
3747 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2010 :  04:40:50  Show Profile  Click to see Alystra Illianniis's MSN Messenger address Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know a player who NEVER plays a "normal" race. It's always something unusual like a bugbear or lythari or warforged- usually with a template attached. On the rare occasions he playes a normal race, the class is always some bizarre alternate class like totemist or duskblade or something. He's fond of taking the most unusual race an/or class and then breaking it.

The Goddess is alive, and magic is afoot.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins" -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

"You idiots! You've captured their STUNT doubles!" -Spaceballs

Lothir's character background/stats: http://forum.candlekeep.com/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=5469

My stories:
http://z3.invisionfree.com/Mickeys_Comic_Tavern/index.php?showforum=188

Lothir, courtesy of Sylinde (Deviant Art)/Luaxena (Chosen of Eilistraee)
http://sylinde.deviantart.com/#/d2z6e4u
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6588 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2010 :  07:49:20  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Unusual is good. Drizzt, Elminster, Szass Tam, and Erevis Cale are "breakers" too, who have defied the norm and accumulated all sorts of Mary-Sue "special" powers. Love 'em or hate 'em, there's no denying these characters are popular. Far more than mere powergamer PCs because they actually accomplish worthy heroic (or anti-heroic, or villainous) deeds rather than abuse their abilities for no purpose beyond idle munchkin amusement.

[/Ayrik]
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Alystra Illianniis
Great Reader

USA
3747 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2010 :  20:56:24  Show Profile  Click to see Alystra Illianniis's MSN Messenger address Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A good point Arik, though I don't thing I'd include Drizzt in that list. He really doesn't have a lot of "powers", special or otherwise. As written, he doesn't even use the ranger spells! If I were to make a change to him, it would be to make him a non-casting variant of the ranger class.

The Goddess is alive, and magic is afoot.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins" -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

"You idiots! You've captured their STUNT doubles!" -Spaceballs

Lothir's character background/stats: http://forum.candlekeep.com/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=5469

My stories:
http://z3.invisionfree.com/Mickeys_Comic_Tavern/index.php?showforum=188

Lothir, courtesy of Sylinde (Deviant Art)/Luaxena (Chosen of Eilistraee)
http://sylinde.deviantart.com/#/d2z6e4u
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6588 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2010 :  22:09:48  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Drizzt's lost a lot of his glory these days, but in the beginning he was awfully cool. Outcast drow was unusual though not unheard of. In 1E/2E his unique power was a flat % chance of killing every opponent struck by his scimitars in combat, doesn't seem like much (when compared against Elminster having psionics, spellfire, and Chosen powers) but Drizzt used his scimitars a lot and I'm sure guys who duel against Drizzt don't like having a real chance of dying every time they're attacked. (Of course no PC could normally duplicate Drizzt's skill, no matter how über specialized.)

[/Ayrik]
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3477 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2010 :  22:33:17  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't necessarily blame Drizzt or even RAS for lost glory, but the spawning of the large fan-boy basis that seemed to really permeate the on-line RPG community and even PnP games as well. There's usually someone at the table (I'm the guy at our table) who wants to play the dual-blade wielding drow. To be apart of the normal drow who pay homage to Lloth, are chaotic and evil, and poison their allies for further gain isn't going to go well over the course of adventuring.

Even the very thought of playing a non-magical inclined Drow automatically makes people think someone is trying to play Drizzt. It's sad but true.

But I think Drow are actually a pretty fun race to play (in 4E anyways) and have a LOT of potential as a wide variety of classes from Warlock, Paladin (yes, there can be Drow paladins), Sorcerers, Fighters, and psionic classes like the Ardent. It's all in how you present your character that defines them, not race or skill or style.

And to go along with what Alystra was saying about Drizzt's "stats", 4E has done a fairly accurate job in recreating what Drizzt is capable of in combat and NONE of his powers can be reproduced by PCs. That makes him very unique to me.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Alystra Illianniis
Great Reader

USA
3747 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2010 :  22:35:51  Show Profile  Click to see Alystra Illianniis's MSN Messenger address Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not entirely true- I've done it myself, and without even going to the specilist lengths that he did. Granted, I used a bard with the Dervish PrC to do it, but it IS possible. Granted, my PC doesn't have the chance to kill on every hit like that, but he does quite a bit of damage on a hit, and with his mobility and dervish abilities, is able to hit multiple targets in a round without much chance of being hit himself. (He wears NO armor, just a pair of bracers and a protective item!) I don't consider him a Mary Sue type, either, since he's only level 12 ATM. But you can see what I mean about being uber-powerful. In all statted editions, Drizzt himself is not even an epic or even exceptionally high level character. (16 ranger in 2nd, 10 figher/2 bbn/4 ranger in 3rd and 3.5) It's just how he's been portrayed in the novels that make him seem that way. In a real game, he could be defeated fairly easily by a mid-level party.

The Goddess is alive, and magic is afoot.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins" -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

"You idiots! You've captured their STUNT doubles!" -Spaceballs

Lothir's character background/stats: http://forum.candlekeep.com/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=5469

My stories:
http://z3.invisionfree.com/Mickeys_Comic_Tavern/index.php?showforum=188

Lothir, courtesy of Sylinde (Deviant Art)/Luaxena (Chosen of Eilistraee)
http://sylinde.deviantart.com/#/d2z6e4u
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6588 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2010 :  03:22:25  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Diffan

Even the very thought of playing a non-magical inclined Drow automatically makes people think someone is trying to play Drizzt.
Worse - any kind of character who picks two-scimitar fighting gets accused of the same. A shame, since it's actually a fine weapon choice for dual-wielding, even for a dwarf.

Drow haven't been a popular race choice at my table because of the strongly negative base NPC reactions towards drow (and PC drow usually aren't welcomed by other drow, either) ... the fact that, away from the Underdark, drow don't really have any advantages over other elves ... minor penalties or blindness suffered in bright light (which I'm not an unreasonable bastard about, but I strictly enforce) ... gender-restricted multiclass options ... the racial ECL modifier which my players complain is too expensive in view of the abilities drow characters gain in return ...

[/Ayrik]
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Alystra Illianniis
Great Reader

USA
3747 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2010 :  04:44:09  Show Profile  Click to see Alystra Illianniis's MSN Messenger address Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Can't be reproduced in 4th ed? See, that's one of the reasons I refuse to ever play 4th again. Tried it ONCE. Did not work well- my half-dragon/Moon elf Bard 1/Paladin 8 (was a conversion from the original 2nd ed version half-dragon) simply did not convert properly, and it was just no fun to play with the purely hack-n-slash focus of 4th. I've never seen a single NPC with "powers" that could not be duplicated, outside of certain Chosen, and even those abilities can be taken by a PC who meets the requirements and has been granted them by the deity in question through role-playing. Drizzt should be no exception in that regard. He really doesn't even HAVE any special or unique "powers"- just really good fighting skills. Most any PC (or NPC, for that matter) could gain similar abilities with the right skill/feat set (I don't know about 4th, I personally found the powers system in it too confusing, not to mention that what I saw of it did not fit ANY of my PC's of the time!) If you have a link to his current stats, I'd love to see them, just to see what you mean by "unobtainable skills". IMO, NO NPC should be allowed to have abilities that a PC can't- it's too unbalancing to the game to make them "rules-breakers" in that respect. I'm all for making a character unique, but not at the expense of players saying "Why can't I do that?!" It's not really fair to give NPC's a skill-set that no PC's can ever have.

Arik, I totally agree about the unfortunate tendency for people to play dual-wielding drow and especially about the scimitar. Might I suggest sabers as an alternative? LOL, my drow bard uses a pair, and it does similar damage, is both slashing and piercing, and weighs about the same, but is slightly longer in general, and gives a more dashing look, with the slender blade- more in keeping with swashbuckling types, IMO!

The Goddess is alive, and magic is afoot.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins" -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

"You idiots! You've captured their STUNT doubles!" -Spaceballs

Lothir's character background/stats: http://forum.candlekeep.com/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=5469

My stories:
http://z3.invisionfree.com/Mickeys_Comic_Tavern/index.php?showforum=188

Lothir, courtesy of Sylinde (Deviant Art)/Luaxena (Chosen of Eilistraee)
http://sylinde.deviantart.com/#/d2z6e4u
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6588 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2010 :  08:20:10  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
lol, actually I use rules which add emphasis to shield use. My logic is that players may want to automatically master two-weapon styles (who doesn't want to do double the damage each round, eh?) and that's great, but real history shows weapon-and-shield was used by warriors for centuries whereas dual-weapon styles were generally a great rarity and reserved for only the most capable champions. Shields keep people alive, simple as that; the D&D rules don't do them any justice at all (c'mon, nothing but a 1 point AC bonus?) so my group fixed that a bit - my players are as likely to min/max selections for shield, dual-wield, or two-hander because none of them "suck" any more.

As I understand it, most two-weapon styles were actually refinements of fencing combat, and the second weapon was often employed primarily in a defensive role; that is, basically almost like a shield of sorts.

[/Ayrik]
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Alystra Illianniis
Great Reader

USA
3747 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2010 :  08:49:01  Show Profile  Click to see Alystra Illianniis's MSN Messenger address Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
True, but most shields don't act as a weapon, either. In a fantasy setting, it's pretty much anything goes- sticking to or emphasising shield use might tend to lock players into the mentality that they HAVE to have one...

The Goddess is alive, and magic is afoot.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins" -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

"You idiots! You've captured their STUNT doubles!" -Spaceballs

Lothir's character background/stats: http://forum.candlekeep.com/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=5469

My stories:
http://z3.invisionfree.com/Mickeys_Comic_Tavern/index.php?showforum=188

Lothir, courtesy of Sylinde (Deviant Art)/Luaxena (Chosen of Eilistraee)
http://sylinde.deviantart.com/#/d2z6e4u
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6588 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2010 :  09:38:48  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The movie 300 showed Spartans armed with heavy 3' diameter round bronze shields (what D&D calls "medium" or "large" shields); they used their shields quite aggressively indeed, very much like a second weapon which often inflicted almost lethal damage. Of course this is a product of Hollywood, special effects, and CGI - and to make it worse the tale is told as remembered (and embellished) by a hardened Spartan veteran in a sort of bardic "heroic legend" format where everything is larger, more epic, more monstrous, more valiant and brutal than could actually be possible ... yet methinks it's still a fine demonstration of potential shield use in combat. Far more exciting in the hands of a trained warrior than a paltry base -1 AC bonus and 1d4 bash damage.

Still, two-weapon styles are a staple of fantasy heroism. Scimitars would seem (to me) to be far easier to wield in this manner than a larger pair of blades (longswords, sabres, rapiers). To wield a pair of the larger, longer, heavier blades you would need a great deal of practice, extraordinary coordination, very good balance, stand a bit on the tall side, and have two strong sword arms. D&D complicates things by handling weapon definitions a bit badly, for example: the terms "longsword" and "sabre" (or "saber") were applied over several centuries and several countries to a refer to any of a wide variety of very different sword types.

I would think large-sized races could wield two swords as easily as a medium-sized human could wield a pair of short swords or daggers, requiring much less specialized dedication to do so effectively. A centaur could use a pair of longswords quite easily, indeed with its larger body mass and superior balance/stability it could probably even wield any pair of large two-handed blades or pole-weapons with little difficulty. Conversely, a powerfully sturdy but awkwardly short (medium-sized) dwarf would probably have trouble simultaneously managing two blades much bigger than standard 30" long scimitars. A large-sized (or larger) character using a shield scaled to his body size would basically be carrying an impenetrable wall higher and wider than his attackers could scale (imagine a giant-sized Spartan carrying a "medium" shield with a 10' diameter). These are just my opinions, I know they contradict some game rules, but they help emphasize the hand-to-hand abilities of larger races.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 20 Dec 2010 09:54:39
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3477 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2010 :  16:00:28  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alystra Illianniis

Can't be reproduced in 4th ed? See, that's one of the reasons I refuse to ever play 4th again. Tried it ONCE. Did not work well- my half-dragon/Moon elf Bard 1/Paladin 8 (was a conversion from the original 2nd ed version half-dragon) simply did not convert properly, and it was just no fun to play with the purely hack-n-slash focus of 4th.


Really, not every charcter from previous editions is going to convert well. That's the simple truth of the matter. You "could" play a Dragonborn (for the statistics) and re-flavor the character however you see fit. It's just a bunch of numbers and stats, the skin/flavor/appearance is purely up to you.

As for a Bard/Paladin, that combo is extreamly effective as they both synergize from one ability score CHA and are of two different roles. The paladin is arguably the best Tank in the game and the Bard is a versatile and unique leader, offering great protective capabilites and combative techniques. AND you add in the racial statistics from the Dragonborn (+2 Str, +2 Cha) and it makes it even more effective. Since you only had 1 level in bard, I would've suggested going straight paladin and Multi-classing Bard OR you could do a Hybrid of the two (which also works well). And add in more ritual spells to increase the non-combative spellcasting flavor.

Just pointing out that conversions don't necessaril HAVE to be exact or identical (mechanics wise), and a lot of the work is purely cosmetic.

quote:
Originally posted by Alystra Illianniis

I've never seen a single NPC with "powers" that could not be duplicated, outside of certain Chosen, and even those abilities can be taken by a PC who meets the requirements and has been granted them by the deity in question through role-playing. Drizzt should be no exception in that regard. He really doesn't even HAVE any special or unique "powers"- just really good fighting skills. Most any PC (or NPC, for that matter) could gain similar abilities with the right skill/feat set (I don't know about 4th, I personally found the powers system in it too confusing, not to mention that what I saw of it did not fit ANY of my PC's of the time!) If you have a link to his current stats, I'd love to see them, just to see what you mean by "unobtainable skills". IMO, NO NPC should be allowed to have abilities that a PC can't- it's too unbalancing to the game to make them "rules-breakers" in that respect. I'm all for making a character unique, but not at the expense of players saying "Why can't I do that?!" It's not really fair to give NPC's a skill-set that no PC's can ever have.


Maybe "skills" is the wrong word, where I mean to say maneuvers and such. Drizzt's stat block in 4E (which is what I meant during this discussion from the beginning) has elements that PCs do not have access to. These Exploits aren't listed in some manual or Power Book for a PC to pick up and use. They are presented in Drizzt's stat block and only in his stat block. Exploits like Four Fang Assault, Spine of the World Avalanche, and Neutralizing Parry are purely Drizzt and aren't powers that any ol' PC can choose at a certain level. They embody Drizzt unique fighting style, form, and technique in which he, himself has perfected.

That's not to say that he's broken, Uber-munchkin, or over-balanced. He's a strong level 21 Solo Skirmisher with Ranger abilities (Hunter's Quarry) and has the movement abilitis like a cat, and of course he has Guenhwyvar. In 4E, Drizzt has reached Epic levels.

But that's the very nature of 4E. The rules for creating Monster are separate from the rules on making Player Characters. Monsters often have double or even triple the amount of hit points PCs have. In Solo fights (such as with Drizzt) your asking 4-6 PCs to take one 1 creature, so naturally the creature has to be effective in attacking multiple targets multiple times through out the battle. Drizzt (using Spine of the World Avalanche) can make up to 5 attacks in a round. No power (by itself anyways) is available to PCs can do that. BUT he doesn't have access to Rituals or Utiliy powers or Feats
and no way to heal up in combat. There are no Healing surges for him. He has to rely on is 700 some HP.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3477 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2010 :  16:24:47  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arik

The movie 300 showed Spartans armed with heavy 3' diameter round bronze shields (what D&D calls "medium" or "large" shields); they used their shields quite aggressively indeed, very much like a second weapon which often inflicted almost lethal damage. Of course this is a product of Hollywood, special effects, and CGI - and to make it worse the tale is told as remembered (and embellished) by a hardened Spartan veteran in a sort of bardic "heroic legend" format where everything is larger, more epic, more monstrous, more valiant and brutal than could actually be possible ... yet methinks it's still a fine demonstration of potential shield use in combat. Far more exciting in the hands of a trained warrior than a paltry base -1 AC bonus and 1d4 bash damage.

Still, two-weapon styles are a staple of fantasy heroism. Scimitars would seem (to me) to be far easier to wield in this manner than a larger pair of blades (longswords, sabres, rapiers). To wield a pair of the larger, longer, heavier blades you would need a great deal of practice, extraordinary coordination, very good balance, stand a bit on the tall side, and have two strong sword arms. D&D complicates things by handling weapon definitions a bit badly, for example: the terms "longsword" and "sabre" (or "saber") were applied over several centuries and several countries to a refer to any of a wide variety of very different sword types.


I have a 3.5 character that uses his sheild as a secondary weapon. With feats like Agile Shield Fighter, Sheld Ward, Shield Sling, and obviously Improved Shield Bash the weapon can easily become a great off-hand weapon. Add in some nicely enchanted Shield Spikes and a return weapon property (I think there is a weapon crystal that can do this) and your a regular Captain America. He is definitly one of my better characters.

But having done a lot of LARPing, I for one know the effectiveness of a good shield bash. Not only can they knock your opponent's balance off, but knock them down entirely. Such an attack can easily rattle your opponent, make them drop their weapon or shield all the while offering solid protection. When using the shield's edge, this can easily cut flesh, gouge eyes, break noses, and knock out teeth.


4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

Edited by - Diffan on 20 Dec 2010 16:34:54
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Alystra Illianniis
Great Reader

USA
3747 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2010 :  18:45:38  Show Profile  Click to see Alystra Illianniis's MSN Messenger address Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dragonborn- bleh. I don't care for them, but it was apparently the only way to go in 4th with him, and did not even work power/ability-wise. It was not just a question of appearence, but of how he worked both in-game and story-wise. That PC was created with a very specific BG in mind (mother was an elven spellsinger/priestess, father obviously the dragon) who inherited/learned a bit of "spellsong" from his mother and later became a holy knight of a human deity. I built him to reflect that, and the 4th ed mechanics (dragonborn traits included) simply did not work for him. That includes rituals, etc. They don't/didn't work for several of my other PC's, for the same reasons- their abilities in-game and in-story simply did not translate to 4th.

Regarding Drizzt- epic level?! Ye gods, give a guy a hundred years, and he becomes a munchkin.... Another reason I dispise 4th ed- it turned what few NPC's remained into uber-level munchkies, with little real connection to normal PC/NPC rules. Not having those "skills" detailed anywhere but in a stat block is rediculous for several reasons. For one thing, it starts to shred credibility of the character. And what do those skills even MEAN?! If it's not listed as a power/skill/ritual/whatever that others have access to, it should not be in there at all. Drizzt is NOT so unique that others can't learn the same skills. Even in Homeland, there were MANY others who know the same maneuvers- Zaknafein taught at the Academy for years, and was Weapon Master of House Do'Urden LONG before he taught them to Drizzt. His teachings would have survived, even if he did not. And there are other "styles" of fighting that are similar,; even Entreri knew many of the same moves as Drizzt, which is why they were always so evenly matched. Ellifain also learned his style- EXACTLY- in order to challenge him. So it's silly to have him suddenly have skills that no one else does. The basic premise is flawed.

Shields- Ididn't mean to say that they CAN'T be used as a weapon- just that historically, they were not typically used for that purpose. The occasional bash or rush with one is not generally the major purpose of a shield, and larger ones are simply too heavy to do this much before tiring- which would cause the person doing so to end up losing the fight very quickly, one would think. If you can't keep holding it up, it will not protect well. That goes for in-game, as well. There should be arule for that, I think.

Sabers- was referring to the "standard" sabers used by cavalries and for ceremonial uses from 1500-1800's The blade is usually slightly longer than a scimitar, but weighs less due to the narrow width. Like the "dress" swords used by Marines even today. They are very light and well-balanced, and the added hand-guard on many of the earlier ones adds protection that a scimitar does not have. Length is not really even a factor, as I am only 5', and had little difficulty with the one's I've tried out, in spite of my size. I've held and practiced with several when searching for one (preferably a pair!) to buy, and love them for their relative ease of use. It's like a scimitar and a rapier's secret love-child, in many respects!

The Goddess is alive, and magic is afoot.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins" -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

"You idiots! You've captured their STUNT doubles!" -Spaceballs

Lothir's character background/stats: http://forum.candlekeep.com/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=5469

My stories:
http://z3.invisionfree.com/Mickeys_Comic_Tavern/index.php?showforum=188

Lothir, courtesy of Sylinde (Deviant Art)/Luaxena (Chosen of Eilistraee)
http://sylinde.deviantart.com/#/d2z6e4u
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3477 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2010 :  19:48:11  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alystra Illianniis

Dragonborn- bleh. I don't care for them, but it was apparently the only way to go in 4th with him, and did not even work power/ability-wise. It was not just a question of appearence, but of how he worked both in-game and story-wise. That PC was created with a very specific BG in mind (mother was an elven spellsinger/priestess, father obviously the dragon) who inherited/learned a bit of "spellsong" from his mother and later became a holy knight of a human deity. I built him to reflect that, and the 4th ed mechanics (dragonborn traits included) simply did not work for him. That includes rituals, etc. They don't/didn't work for several of my other PC's, for the same reasons- their abilities in-game and in-story simply did not translate to 4th.


*shurgs* well I tried. One reason may be because the Ability scores were lacking OR put in other areas that weren't really required. A paladin and bard both need High Charisma (we're talking 18 starting out) and then own down the line. I've come across the same problem, as many conversions don't mesh well. The large versatility of 3E to a more focused view of 4E isn't going to allow for every single fighting concept ever known and that goes for magical concepts as well. For an example, a Wizard/Sorcerer isn't very optimial and rather lack-luster as both require a heavy focus on two different ability score (though Eladrin can now pull it off quite nicely) but you get my drift.

I think this is the big reason why many designers at that time said "Hey, finish up your current adventures and stat up some new characters for 4E." Simply put, conversions are never the same.

quote:
Originally posted by Alystra Illianniis

Regarding Drizzt- epic level?! Ye gods, give a guy a hundred years, and he becomes a munchkin.... Another reason I dispise 4th ed- it turned what few NPC's remained into uber-level munchkies, with little real connection to normal PC/NPC rules. Not having those "skills" detailed anywhere but in a stat block is rediculous for several reasons. For one thing, it starts to shred credibility of the character. And what do those skills even MEAN?! If it's not listed as a power/skill/ritual/whatever that others have access to, it should not be in there at all. Drizzt is NOT so unique that others can't learn the same skills.


So a century of warfare isn't going to boost your ECL 4 levels? C'mon, even without knowning what he did for all those years I'd figured 3-5 levels EASY. And despite a level increase, he's far from being a munchkin. Few, if any, monster stats I've seen so far could be labeled as such. Drizzt is a pretty strong encounter for a level 20 group of PCs (if they decide to fight him) but that's about it. Level 22 and higher could probably take him easily. The one thing about him is that he's statted out with all his magical gear, something thats uncommon in monster stat blocks. And can you elaborate on how combative stat blocks shreds the credibility of the character? As if there was some deeper meaning listed in his (albiet) crappy stat block from the FRCS. His "skills" as you keep calling them are just names for what he does in combat. They define how he would attack someone just as a Mage NPC would have magic missile, orb of force statted out in their block.

What has to be understood is that there is a separation between NPC building and Monster building. Monsters are just blocks of stats for PCs to eat through. Drizzt was done up with a Monster stat block and a small encounter for PCs to meet him and fight him (or possibly help save him). And as such, his stats were worked to reflect how he would perform in combat. Nothing more. It's the DM's job to inject the reasons why he's there, why he's against the PCs (or why he's in a mess the PCs have to get him out of) and so forth.

quote:
Originally posted by Alystra Illianniis

Even in Homeland, there were MANY others who know the same maneuvers- Zaknafein taught at the Academy for years, and was Weapon Master of House Do'Urden LONG before he taught them to Drizzt. His teachings would have survived, even if he did not. And there are other "styles" of fighting that are similar,; even Entreri knew many of the same moves as Drizzt, which is why they were always so evenly matched. Ellifain also learned his style- EXACTLY- in order to challenge him. So it's silly to have him suddenly have skills that no one else does. The basic premise is flawed.


Right, and that was centuries ago that he was studying under Zak. Many of Drizzt moves would be rather similar to those of other Drow fighters and even Entreri and thus cross over into their fighting schemes. But as the years pass, as they interact with new threats, their tactics change. But again, we're arguing semantics of what a monster can do and what a PC can do. Most Monsters don't have the ability to heal themselves in combat (ie using Healing Surges) where as PCs have access to dozens of spells, prayers, and powers that do just that.

quote:
Originally posted by Alystra Illianniis

Shields- I didn't mean to say that they CAN'T be used as a weapon- just that historically, they were not typically used for that purpose. The occasional bash or rush with one is not generally the major purpose of a shield, and larger ones are simply too heavy to do this much before tiring- which would cause the person doing so to end up losing the fight very quickly, one would think. If you can't keep holding it up, it will not protect well. That goes for in-game, as well. There should be arule for that, I think.


I think it depends on the style of shield, the peroid in history, and the culture in question. Romans generally didn't use their shield for offensive tactics. It was used to make a wall, period. When the Romans fought other shielded opponents, they used a Pilum which was designed to hit a shield and stick, making it heavy to hold and opening up gaps in their defenses.

The Greeks OTOH, used their shields with a mind for versatilty. Sure it was bronze and wood but they used it in every which way they could, often using the edge to do what I mentioned earlier.

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Ayrik
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Posted - 21 Dec 2010 :  04:46:46  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Diffan

What has to be understood is that there is a separation between NPC building and Monster building. Monsters are just blocks of stats for PCs to eat through. Drizzt was done up with a Monster stat block and a small encounter for PCs to meet him and fight him (or possibly help save him). And as such, his stats were worked to reflect how he would perform in combat. Nothing more. It's the DM's job to inject the reasons why he's there, why he's against the PCs (or why he's in a mess the PCs have to get him out of) and so forth.
What's your source for this?

Icewind Dale novel trilogy (1988-1990)
FR5: Savage Frontier (1988 1E) - Drizzt's NPC stats are detailed as R10.
FR7: Hall of Heroes (1989 2E) - Drizzt's (and Guenhwyvar's) game stats are written by RAS, detailed as R10, with "special" advantage:
So accurate are his wicked cuts, that if Drizzt's "to hit" roll exceeds the minimum required for a hit by more than 5, he scores double weapon damage and has a base 10%, plus or minus 3% per level difference between him and his opponent, chance of killing the foe instantly.
Dark Elf novel trilogy (1990-1991)
Menzoberranzan (1992 2E) - Drizzt's (and Guenhwyvar's) updated NPC stats are detailed as R15, with "special" advantage:
... so accurate are Drizzt's wicked cuts, that if his attack roll exceeds the minimum required for a hit by more than 5, he scores double weapon damage (this also applies to the backstab) and has a base 10%, plus or minus 3% per level difference between him and his opponent, chance of killing the foe instantly.
Legacy of the Drow novel tetralogy (1992-1996)
FRCS (Running The Realms) (1993 2E) - Drizzt's NPC stats are described as R15 ("special" advantage vanished).
Menzoberranzan CRPG (1994 2E-ish) - Drizzt is an NPC (initially R15) who joins the party for a while.
Heroes' Lorebook (1996 2E) - Drizzt's (and Guenhwyvar's) NPC stats are detailed as R16.
The North (1996 2E) - Drizzt NPC stats are briefly mentioned as R16.
Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark (1999 2E) - Drizzt's stats are described as R16.
The Accursed Tower adventure (1999 2E) - Drizzt's NPC stats are given in the NPC Appendix as R16.

... and then Drizzt just got too repetively emo, predictably invincible, and basically boring so I just stopped reading about him, although he's been name-dropped into almost every FR product written since about the mid-1990s. The last decade has seen another bunch of trilogies and tons of game material involving Drizzt.

Drizzt is most definitely more than a "block of stats" and - in the D&D game - features prominently as a recurring important/famous NPC. I'll point out that each time a book lists Drizzt's stats it also adds another page or so of fluff about him ... he's got about one page of stats and five pages of mini-novel describing him as a deeply overdetailed character. Certainly not designed to be dropped in front of the party as a pointless monster encounter. His character progression, at least as far as I've bothered to track, has been gradual and consistent with his loot/experience gains in the novels and stories. I don't like Drizzt (more accurately, I used to but I've just gotten sick of him) but I wouldn't accuse him of being a munchkin or having game-breaker powers ... he has the RAS-designed "special" advantage I don't like (useless and unfair game mechanic which is really only handy for handwaving "randomly rolled" Drizzt instant killshots), and is a little heavy on magical toys, and is of course too iconic to ever be slain, but is otherwise (from a character sheet perspective) not particularly remarkable.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 21 Dec 2010 05:08:07
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Diffan
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Posted - 21 Dec 2010 :  05:08:01  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Again, referring to Drizzt in 4E and the separation between monster building and NPC building within that specific edition. And his stats were described in Dungeon #171 (Oct. 2010).

The encounter is named:
Campaign Workbook
Hero Battle: Drizzt

This article is designed for your PCs to meet Drizzt and possibly fight him. He believes the PCs are working for the drow of House Mizzrym (probably unknowingly) to gain the fabled map of Gauntlgrym and despoil the famed dwarven city. Once you've convinced him that your not apart of that plot, Drizzt still is wary of your motivations and is under the impression you could be possible Netheril spies.

The PCs have a choice of trying to dissuade Drizzt, by using the rules of a Skill Challenge or fight him out right. His stat block is created the way you would see a Monster in 4E with specific powers and exploits that are unique to Drizzt.

There is some back story to him, why he feels strongly about stopping the PCs and a great way for players to "square off" against one of Faerun's greatest heroes. All in all, the encounter isn't meant as a TPK or a Drizzt bloodbath. The author of the article even suggests that once Drizzt reaches a certain HP level to retreat from combat or, (and this I made up a bit) if the battle swings in his direction not to kill off the PCs but subdue them for interrogation at Mithral Hall.

For the most part, his stats (ie, what is described in the small stat-block) is just that, his stats on how he perfoms in combat. Nothing more. IF you want to use him further in your campaign, then the DM will have to inject some creativity for further plot Hooks, though they add in some plot hooks of their own in the article.

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Wooly Rupert
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Perhaps we could get back to the original topic...

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Alystra Illianniis
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Posted - 21 Dec 2010 :  06:17:22  Show Profile  Click to see Alystra Illianniis's MSN Messenger address Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan




So a century of warfare isn't going to boost your ECL 4 levels? C'mon, even without knowning what he did for all those years I'd figured 3-5 levels EASY. And despite a level increase, he's far from being a munchkin. Few, if any, monster stats I've seen so far could be labeled as such. Drizzt is a pretty strong encounter for a level 20 group of PCs (if they decide to fight him) but that's about it. Level 22 and higher could probably take him easily. The one thing about him is that he's statted out with all his magical gear, something thats uncommon in monster stat blocks. And can you elaborate on how combative stat blocks shreds the credibility of the character? As if there was some deeper meaning listed in his (albiet) crappy stat block from the FRCS. His "skills" as you keep calling them are just names for what he does in combat. They define how he would attack someone just as a Mage NPC would have magic missile, orb of force statted out in their block.

What has to be understood is that there is a separation between NPC building and Monster building. Monsters are just blocks of stats for PCs to eat through. Drizzt was done up with a Monster stat block and a small encounter for PCs to meet him and fight him (or possibly help save him). And as such, his stats were worked to reflect how he would perform in combat. Nothing more. It's the DM's job to inject the reasons why he's there, why he's against the PCs (or why he's in a mess the PCs have to get him out of) and so forth.



Right, and that was centuries ago that he was studying under Zak. Many of Drizzt moves would be rather similar to those of other Drow fighters and even Entreri and thus cross over into their fighting schemes. But as the years pass, as they interact with new threats, their tactics change. But again, we're arguing semantics of what a monster can do and what a PC can do. Most Monsters don't have the ability to heal themselves in combat (ie using Healing Surges) where as PCs have access to dozens of spells, prayers, and powers that do just that.



Centuries? Uh, just a hundred years, even after the Spellplague, and from what I've read of him since then (a preview chapter of Gauntlegrym; unfortunately I can't get the entire book at this time) he spent another forty years in Mithril Hall- apparently in relative PEACE. So I don't see him gaining that many levels in just sixty years, and even if he did, that doesn't really explain him learning all these "new" combat maneuvers. His style never changed much through nearly twenty books, why would it change in just a couple of decades later?

Hero Battle, huh? Figures. Just when I thought WotC could not sink any lower... That stat block appears to be during his and Bruenor's search for Gauntlegrym (gee, just in time for the new book- imagine that!) rather than later, so I don't even see him gaining new powers or combat skills in that time. And certainly not four whole levels! When (and where) is he supposed to have learned them? What do those maneuvers you listed even DO?! There should be some point and logic to them, or they shouldn't be there. It looks like they are indeed treating him as just another monster to fight in that encounter, despite what the article SEEMS to say. That's just depressing. But everything I've seen of th ed so far points toward it being strictly combat-oriented, which takes away a lot of the appeal of the game, IMO. Retreating from a fight just so PC's don't kill him off? That would NEVER happen in-character. Treating Drizzt as a simple monster to fight is just- sad.

Arik, don't forget his write-up in the 3.5 FRCS and brief mentions in the 3.5 Silver Marches book. I sort of agree about him appearing in EVERY book, but I do still like the poor emo knife-ear. Although he seems to be less so of late, at least in the latest book. I guess forty years is long enough to get over losing one's true love.

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Ayrik
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Posted - 21 Dec 2010 :  07:47:47  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's a lot of 1E and 2E monsters which would make interesting PC races, yet have apparently been lost or discarded. Plus any number of "known" races (beholder, medusa, lamia, etc) which could easily follow the non-evil outcast drow character model.

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Alystra Illianniis
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Posted - 21 Dec 2010 :  08:12:45  Show Profile  Click to see Alystra Illianniis's MSN Messenger address Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm, medusas would be problematic- for obvious reasons. I don't imagine a beholder would be welcome anywhere, either, no matter how "good" it was. However, a troll or goblin MIGHT, provided it could get past the initial reactions.

The Goddess is alive, and magic is afoot.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins" -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

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Quale
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Posted - 21 Dec 2010 :  13:34:15  Show Profile Send Quale a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Of the traditional races, humans, they are the most easiest to roleplay. Only for npcs I like gnomes (those secretive in the cities), dwarves (gold), changelings and yuan-ti (purebloods).

Of the exotic races, tieflings (particularly nycaloth, rakshasa or succubus) are cool if not played too often. I played a kamerel and an axiomite, but both had human minds. The plant races are interesting, the volodni or that race in Dragon with a stupid name. Also eladrin (pre4e) or sidhe, thri-kreen, derro, and a few giants.

I can't stand dragon-people, half-orcs and warforged (Mieville's Remade Sage mentioned, nimblewrights, quesar or maugs much better).
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_Jarlaxle_
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Posted - 21 Dec 2010 :  13:53:46  Show Profile Send _Jarlaxle_ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alystra Illianniis

I don't imagine a beholder would be welcome anywhere, either, no matter how "good" it was.


But who would dare to tell him so?
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