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Dalor Darden
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USA
3695 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2019 :  06:34:53  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Once upon a time in the Realms Bards were a greatly feared group of mighty individuals.

In modern games Bards aren't seen as melee combatants very often...and so such groups as the Harpers are lessened for it I think.

In 1e AD&D and "Ye Ol' Grey Box" to be a Bard you had already been a fighter of at least 5th level (back when that meant something) and a thief of at least 5th level. Once a character obtained their bardic abilities they were gaining druidic powers too...

Later editions of the game changed Bards a great deal, and I'm not sure this was the best thing to do for the various groups/individuals that had previously been known as powerful warriors who could don plate armor for a battle, then later don leather armor to sneak into the enemy camp and still later hunt down a fleeing foe in the wilderness.

Has anyone else felt the loss of these stalwarts of the original Forgotten Realms? One of my own characters (a Fighter turned Thief on his way to Bard) essentially would be nothing like what he originally was.

Does anyone know of a Bardic "conversion" of some sort for the new 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons that is more in line with their more combat/wilderness orientation that existed prior to 2e AD&D when they became arcane casters without their former combat abilities?

AD&D for me!

Irennan
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Italy
3015 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2019 :  07:03:20  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
5e Bards can be viable in melee (actually, they can be powerful in melee while also being full spellcasters). You have two Bardic archetypes dedicated to that: the College of the Sword (basically, a Sword Dancer) and the College of Valor (battle Bard who inspires his fellow warriors). I don't think there's a Druidic Bard archetype, but in 5e, starting at 10th level, Bards can have access to a number of spells of your choice (of any level that you can cast) from other classes, so you can pick Druid spells to recreate the flavor.

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/

Edited by - Irennan on 21 Feb 2019 07:04:49
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Dalor Darden
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USA
3695 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2019 :  07:06:24  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmmm...having to wait a while for the druidic power is how it used to be; so yeah, that could create some of the flavor for sure.

I'll check out the College of the Sword archetypes...5e is rather new to me to actually play in, so I'm hoping it will be fun :)

AD&D for me!
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Diffan
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3580 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2019 :  13:33:30  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dude, Bards are pretty great in 4th and 5th Editions. Valor bards in 4e are great to have in a party and are good melee combatants. Same with college of Valor (see the plug?) in 5th Edition.

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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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

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15709 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2019 :  19:07:23  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Personally, when (NOT 'if') they do a 6th edition, they really should just release it with the four base classes (five, maybe, if people really like psionics that much, but it should be optional). Then they can do the 'tier' thing they did in 4e, but do it right - after a certain point you sub-class into 'fusion' classes. In other words, if you want to be paladin, you should have to be at least a 3rd lev. fighter, AND multi-class into priest. Then you get a 'synergy' (a system I created and discussed many years ago) - like the Paladin's mount - for FREE (not really, because you have to take specific levels of the base classes, and be at certain levels within those classes, to 'get the goodies').

To make it a bit more complex, you could possibly add skill levels into the prerequisites as well, like a thief-acrobat would have to be Rogue, and then have like 5 levels in Perform: Acrobatics to get the synergy bonus.

That way, you can create ANY class you want out of the base four (or five). You want a bard? You need to be a fighter first, take one level of MU, and then have a certain number of levels in Perform: {whatever it is you want to do}. You want to be a singer? or a lutist? you take perform in those, and then depending on how many levels you have in it, is what you can do with it (what bardic Abilities you get). For a system like this to work, I would suggest that levels over 5 cost two skill points, for 'exceptional ability' (heroic tier), and levels over 10 would cost three (epic tier). That way, normal people (NPCs) could have up to five levels of 'Singing' or whatever, and be very good (and maybe even have 'supernatural' abilities because of it), but they can't do the truly crazy stuff (UNLESS they are a written-up special NPC that COULD do those things).

It might be simpler, at that point, to just go with a skill-based system entirely... but then it wouldn't be D&D anymore. Hence my idea for psuedo-skill based system with D&D flavor.

Also, if you get high-enough level, you should be able to use multiple synergies (more than one sub-class), but then you are sacrificing pure raw power in a single progression for versatility (and thus, something akin to 3e's paradigm).

Rethinking a little of what I just wrote, it would probably make more sense to have a fifth 'Druid' class rather than a psionicist (which can be its own skill progression based off INT & WIS), because in order to make a ranger, you'd have to be a fighter and branch into Druid (so you would get 'Ranger synergies'). The problem, as I see it - and as Dalor is pointing-out with this thread - is that the D&D classes have become too far removed from their stereotypes (iconic/historic perception). My son is playing a druid in a 5e game at his uncle's house, and he is completely overshadowing the rest of the group, to the point where they just lay around and say, "let Justin handle it". It shouldn't be that way - the 5e druid is WAY OP. They took all the old-school balancing aspects out of the game so that no class feels 'nerfed', but that just ruins the experience for others, because these classes have become OP (I noticed this with the Cleric in 3e as well - it became a Gish class).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 23 Feb 2019 02:14:29
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Lord Karsus
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USA
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Posted - 22 Feb 2019 :  04:58:26  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-Sounds easy for like a video game and pretty complicated for a pen and paper thing.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

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Vol I- The Elves of Faerūn
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3580 Posts

Posted - 22 Feb 2019 :  15:15:14  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Personally, when (NOT 'if') they do a 6th edition, they really should just release it with the four base classes (five, maybe, if people really like psionics that much, but it should be optional). Then they can do the 'tier' thing they did in 4e, but do it right - after a certain point you sub-class into 'fusion' classes. In other words, if you want to be apladin, you should have to be at least a 3rd lev. fighter, AND multi-class into priest. Then you get a 'synergy' (a system I created and discussed many years ago) - like the Pladin's mount - for FREE (not really, because you have to take specific levels of the base classes, and be at certain levels within those classes, to 'get the goodies').


Honestly, that's just not D&D's style though. Looking back as far as 1e, you had multiple classes aside from the big 4. Sure they were broken down from some of the big 4 (Paladin & Ranger) but enough changes in XP charts, class features, and prerequisites that they might as well have been their own separate classes. Then the Bard was it's own class in 1e too so...

One of the things I think 5e did right was by reducing the need for a ton of different classes, by modern D&D standards anyhow. I mean there's no Cavalier or Arcane Archer class (they're Fighter archetypes), there's no Avenger class (Paladin archetype), no Hunter class (Ranger archetype), etc. Compare this to 3e/3.5/PF's literally hundreds of base classes and changes to archtypes OR 4e's dozens of base classes and sub-classes.

No to mention that the Basic game (the free 5e one you can get online) is still Core 4 - Fighter, Wizard, Rogue, Cleric with 1 sub-path each (the most iconic IMO). I think it should be on the onus of the DM to determine what, if any, content should be allowed at the table but flush it out as much as possible because no every DM is going to go about it the same. For example I LOVE all the options of modern D&D classes. Please give me 4 different ways to make a cool Vampire character. Or a dozen different styles of Paladins or 8 different monster races. Because from that, I can pair down or expand upon to make my game better. It's easier to say "The game will have X and Y options, Z options are restricted" rather than saying "ok, well now I have to go and make my own Z options because no one's done the work yet."

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

To make it a bit more complex, you could possibly add skill levels into the prerequisites as well, like a thief-acrobat would have to be Rogue, and then have like 5 levels in Perform: Acrobatics to get the synergy bonus.

That way, you can create ANY class you want out of the base four (or five). You want a bard? You need to be a fighter first, take one level of MU, and then have a certain number of levels in Perform: {whatever it is you want to do}. You want to be a singer? or a lutist? you take perform in those, and then depending on how many levels you have in it, is what you can do with it (what bardic Abilities you get). For a system like this to work, I would suggest that levels over 5 cost two skill points, for 'exceptional ability' (heroic tier), and levels over 10 would cost three (epic tier). That way, normal people (NPCs) could have up to five levels of 'Singing' or whatever, and be very good (and maybe even have 'supernatural' abilities because of it), but they can't do the truly crazy stuff (UNLESS they are a written-up special NPC that COULD do those things).

It might be simpler, at that point, to just go with a skill-based system entirely... but then it wouldn't be D&D anymore. Hence my idea for psuedo-skill based system with D&D flavor.

Also, if you get high-enough level, you should be able to use multiple synergies (more than one sub-class), but then you are sacrificing pure raw power in a single progression for versatility (and thus, something akin to 3e's paradigm).


Basically it just sounds like you want GURPS. I mean...there's already a game that does that. I believe Fuzion and Atomic Fuzion (which uses HEROES system) does that too. You can customize your character down to what type of Pauldron his armor has and the difference of breast-plates and greaves up through crafting your own spells from scratch. It's a lot of work, a LOT of math, but well worth it I guess? But you're right, that wouldn't be D&D and D&D loves it's classes.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Rethinking a little of what I just wrote, it would probably make more sense to have a fifth 'Druid' class rather than a psionicist (which can be its own skill progression based off INT & WIS), because in order to make a ranger, you'd have to be a fighter and branch into Druid (so you would get 'Ranger synergies'). The problem, as I see it - and as Dalor is pointing-out with this thread - is that the D&D classes have become too far removed from their stereotypes (iconic/historic perception). My son is playing a druid in a 5e game at his uncle's house, and he is completely overshadowing the rest of the group, to the point where they just lay around and say, "let Justin handle it". It shouldn't be that way - the 5e druid is WAY OP. They took all the old-school balancing aspects out of the game so that no class feels 'nerfed', but that just ruins the experience for others, because these classes have become OP (I noticed this with the Cleric in 3e as well - it became a Gish class).



I can't say I've seen a druid yet in our 5e games, so I don't know exactly what's broken about them but it can't be worse than 3.5's Druid in terms of OP-ness. As for classes losing their imagery - I think it's simply adapting to what your current customer base expects based on other popular aspects. Similar things from other genres are being folded into D&D and have been for a long while now. I mean in 1976 if you asked a DM to play a Death Knight most would probably laugh at you or say you're an OP munchkin. Now? There's a class, sub-path, prestige class, or template for that which would allow you to play along side other PCs in a party. Ask a 1e DM if you can play a werebear and you'll likely be killed by the party, another group of NPCs, or have so many restrictions as to make that option worthless. Now? Heck 4E had a theme that allowed you to shape-change into a Bear/hybrid form at 1st level that was also balanced with other parts of the game. My llluskan Berserker werebear was a cool character that was on-par with everyone else, no brokeness there.

I guess I feel that D&D has evolved to incorporate outside stimuli as to better accommodate players of this generation. The ones who've been playing World of Warcraft, Skyrim, Diablo, Dragon Age, Guild Wars, etc. Luckily games of previous editions are still a thing, and getting more popular with the OSR crowed so there's still a vibrant community there making things for older-style games.

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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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6752 Posts

Posted - 22 Feb 2019 :  22:21:14  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
1E bards - along with 1E monks, druids, paladins, assassins, barbarians, and cavaliers - were potent.
2E left druids and paladins mostly intact but nerfed bards (and the others) into subclasses with limited merits.
3E built up from 2E.
Later editions built up from 3E.

Druids and paladins continue to remain largely unchanged, aside from mildly reformatting them to fit into new game rules. But bards (and the others) are simply not inspired by 1E anymore. It's almost as if WotC wants people to forget about such potent class options (although I think the real truth is that WotC's designers/authors are largely unfamiliar and uninterested in ancient High Gygaxian D&D rulesets.)

(It's amusing that whenever Realmslore wants characters who are especially potent they still turn to 1E ... so we sometimes get a Drizzt or a Finder Wyvernspur or a Malark Springhill, the "last" adherents of 1E-powered classes, the last masters of secret techniques, etc, extraordinarily powerful and versatile and capable in comparison to all their later-edition contemporaries.)

[/Ayrik]
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3695 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2019 :  00:45:58  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree, in 1e some classes were very potent...a result of lucky dice rolling to play exceptional characters.

Hell, even playing a Ranger was a fortunate and rare occurrence for a player...probably why I loved playing a ranger so much!

Of course the "lowly" Bard took serious dice rolls to get to play:

A minimum of 15 Strength as a fighter with a 17 Dexterity so that you could dual class to thief later; and that followed by a minimum at the time becoming a Bard of 15 Strength, Wisdom, Dexterity and Charisma...on top of a minimum 12 Intelligence and 10 Constitution.

If someone managed to roll 17, 15, 15, 15, 12, 10 on 3d6 then hells yes they deserved a powerful class like Bard!

AD&D for me!
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15709 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2019 :  02:23:14  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
But as Diffan pointed out, we no longer live in a "rewards based on merit" culture. Today's players 'want ALL the toys, all the time", and "it isn't fair" if someone else can have something you can't. Its why D&D (as it currently stands) no longer holds my interest. Come to think of it, its why interacting with other human beings no longer holds my interest.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3695 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2019 :  02:48:34  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

But as Diffan pointed out, we no longer live in a "rewards based on merit" culture. Today's players 'want ALL the toys, all the time", and "it isn't fair" if someone else can have something you can't. Its why D&D (as it currently stands) no longer holds my interest. Come to think of it, its why interacting with other human beings no longer holds my interest.



Sad eh?

It is honestly one of the reasons I still play 1e/2e. When a party meets a Paladin, Ranger etc they know they are meeting someone special.

Bards doubly so.

"You mean Gartor Tenblades is a Bard?! We need to tread carefully folks!"

Little does the party know that their patron, Torgar of the Tengold Tavern and Inn is one and the same!

AD&D for me!
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3580 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2019 :  06:17:54  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

But as Diffan pointed out, we no longer live in a "rewards based on merit" culture. Today's players 'want ALL the toys, all the time", and "it isn't fair" if someone else can have something you can't. Its why D&D (as it currently stands) no longer holds my interest. Come to think of it, its why interacting with other human beings no longer holds my interest.



Since when did rolling luckily for stats = merit in D&D? The few times I played AD&D 2e we usually rolled 4d6, drop the lowest and assign where you want to. Heck the 1e DMG even says this is a clearly viable option to generate stats. So the possibility of getting that vaunted 17 in Charisma wasn't nearly all that impossible.

Also, we're talking about a game that most people want to share and partake in what happens. This is largely why I quit DM'ing mid- to late-levels of 3.5 (and won't touch pathfinder) because the games balance was ridiculous. Yep, even running a "core only" game meant that casters by a specific level completely dwarfed everyone else. The laser-focus on balance in the later two editions was, IMO, directly related to 3e's complete lack of any of it.

As for the initial post, really nothing's stopping you from going Fighter 5/ Rogue 5/ Bard 10 to capture that feeling. Is it because this path isn't forced as the only way to bard-hood? To me, to get the sense of what you want - Fighter (champion) 5/ Rogue (thief) 5/ Bard (college of swords) 10. Take the Outlander background so you can have skills like Survival (wilderness tracking especially) and it's Jack of All Trades feature really help shore up any skill deficiencies they might have.

So with this a character can:
1) wear all armors and wield all weapons.
2) Get Expertise via the Rogue feature and allow you to make two of your proficient skills great, then twice again with the Bard.
3) Jack of All trades makes skills your not proficient with good.
4) Getting the Skilled Feat gives you proficiency with 3 more skills of your choice.
5) You get healing via Bard spells and the Fighter's second wind.
6) You can make multiple attacks per turn via Fighter's Extra Attack feature plus a Fighting Style (two with College of Swords) and you get a critical hit on all 19 rolls with a weapon.
7) You get at-will cantrips that can be used in a variety of combat and non-combat ways.
8) Lastly you get up to 5th level spells, knowing a total of 14 and with Magical Secrets, you can select two spells from a whole different class and add them to your bard class (using Charisma as your casting ability).

So what's this again about Bards losing their mighty status? I'm not entirely sure what one is really looking for here? ^^This^^ hits most of the notes you were trying to get yes?

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 23 Feb 2019 06:19:57
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
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Posted - 23 Feb 2019 :  13:24:11  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gygaxian D&D had plenty of entitled, arrogant, powergaming, munchkin players as well - along with plenty of gullible, blundering, weak, biased DMs who tolerated them - it's not at all a new thing exclusive to new players and to new D&D.

1E UE even offered "Method V" for generating ability scores (for human PCs only). The ridiculous number of dice being rolled would almost assured that stat requirements for the desired class (and a bunch of other classes) would easily be met.

[/Ayrik]
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
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Posted - 23 Feb 2019 :  15:24:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One of the most ridiculous powergaming concepts I ever heard was from a 1E player. His group had a house rule that allowed them to cast multiple magic missiles, but hold them in reserve, until later... He actually described it as firing off a rack of missiles, because there would be so many of them held and then fired at once.

The same guy also bragged about how his 10th level paladin could easily kill a dragon -- even a great wyrm! -- by himself, and he was genuinely puzzled when I responded with "not if I was running the dragon."

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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3580 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2019 :  16:22:09  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

One of the most ridiculous powergaming concepts I ever heard was from a 1E player. His group had a house rule that allowed them to cast multiple magic missiles, but hold them in reserve, until later... He actually described it as firing off a rack of missiles, because there would be so many of them held and then fired at once.


I don't know much about 1e but that sounds pretty ridiculous. I mean isn't one of the big things about early D&D disrupting Spellcasting as a balance point?

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

The same guy also bragged about how his 10th level paladin could easily kill a dragon -- even a great wyrm! -- by himself, and he was genuinely puzzled when I responded with "not if I was running the dragon."


Haha I made that mistake once. In 3.5 I had a 12th level Paladin (über-charger) rush in to kill the BBEG and as I leapt in with a charging smite and Rhino's Rush spell....it ended up being an illusion in front of a pit trap. *derp*. Never made the blind-charge decision again lol.

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 23 Feb 2019 16:23:25
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6752 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2019 :  17:50:17  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
I don't know much about 1e but that sounds pretty ridiculous. I mean isn't one of the big things about early D&D disrupting Spellcasting as a balance point?
Every rules edition has its own peculiar quirks and balance issues and gamebreaking exploits. This example was probably abusing technicalities, the letter and not the spirit of the rules. To be honest, it's not even that bad if the PCs and their NPCs adversaries use the same rules, and some groups prefer epic godlike level 99+ playstyles anyhow (which isn't my thing but if they're into it then more power to them.)

1E spells keep gaining damage dice every level without limit and PCs could "hold" spells ready indefinitely (provided they weren't struck, distracted, etc).
2E was broken in many places where enthusiastic new-edition rewrites and lazy old-edition copypasta overlapped.
3E gave us Pun-Pun and so much more.
4E and 5E will have gamebreakers, too, even if they haven't yet been discovered.

[/Ayrik]
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3580 Posts

Posted - 24 Feb 2019 :  05:20:01  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Every rules edition has its own peculiar quirks and balance issues and gamebreaking exploits. This example was probably abusing technicalities, the letter and not the spirit of the rules. To be honest, it's not even that bad if the PCs and their NPCs adversaries use the same rules, and some groups prefer epic godlike level 99+ playstyles anyhow (which isn't my thing but if they're into it then more power to them.)


Yep, you're right. Usually it's abuse and deviation from the spirit of the game that causes the significant brokenness.

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

3E gave us Pun-Pun and so much more.
oh man, there's
so much there. Clerics that can perpetuate 24-hr spells, core Druids, Cheater of Mystra, dragoon charger, enervator (literally can drop someone 17 levels with 5th and 4th level spell slot), etc.

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

4E and 5E will have gamebreakers, too, even if they haven't yet been discovered.



I'll say this about the latter two editions, the investment in Char-Op isn't nearly as rewarding as it was in 3e and before. 4e does have it's issues, namely Rangers being crazy powerful and dealing a ton of damage vs more casual strikers like the Avenger or even Barbarians. Warlords take the cake for being the best Leaders as they can dish out free attacks all day long. In paragon tier they're letting Rangers use Twin Strike 2-3 times per ROUND (adding their Hunter's Quarry damage too). Wizards were infamous for the Stunlock build which just tells an enemy "nope, no turns for you for 2, 3, 4 rounds". But again, these aren't world destroying capabilities. No one is killing Gods, destroying the world, causing cataclysmic events, etc.

5e, I honestly don't have a clue? I have zero desire to break the game. I think most works fairly evenly assuming the DM isn't letting the PCs take too many short rests thus giving classes that rely on that mechanic extra oomph (and most classes have some short rest gimmick). Ive seen people say Paladin/Sorcerer is crazy since they can use Sorcerer slots for Smite (which now triggers after the attack is resolved, thus no expended slots for misses). I do believe that is RAI tho.

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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Jaz660
Acolyte

Australia
4 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2019 :  23:24:52  Show Profile Send Jaz660 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I tend to think of bards more as massive social media peddlers , journalists , comics or performers , documentary makers in modern context. That’s a massive group pushing opinions in a low information age by comparison with little ability to verify truth. So bards as folk of power from any class even before melee or spellpowers. Using modern analogies also helped end bard pigeon holing when I considered the class.
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The Masked Mage
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USA
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Posted - 04 Mar 2019 :  04:45:06  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Certainly - I originally played a bard, long ago. After they were changed they became pretty much useless in game terms. The tiny spells they eventually learned never balanced out their lack of fighter skills or thief's abilities.
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Varl
Learned Scribe

USA
272 Posts

Posted - 04 Mar 2019 :  16:33:50  Show Profile Send Varl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't know how other editions treated the bard, but if there's one thing I think bards should have that they never really acquired as far as I know, is song and music magic. Give them some fighting ability, some rogue abilities etc., but ideally IMO, it would be unique magic that sets the bard apart from all the other classes as well as from the amalgam the bard has become.

Look at the cover of Crypt of the Shadowking. The bard there is playing his instrument and invoking (hopefully) a unique spell from the flute that will (again, hopefully) repel the undead, destroy the undead or perhaps even calm that undead creature. [And no, I haven't read the novel yet, so please no spoilers]. That picture has always inspired me whenever someone asks "What is a bard?"

Bards IMO need to be unique as a class again. The abilities they can draw on through music and song needs to be spells/powers no other class can access, similar to the powers accessible by the psionicist. It's the only way to get the bard out of the amalgamated mess it's sunk into. Give them melee abilities, rogue skills, whatever if you wish, but their focus should always be on the power of music and song. It's what they do best.

"Intimidation is a weapon of the Legion. Intelligence is not." -Illidan Stormrage

Edited by - Varl on 04 Mar 2019 16:35:51
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VikingLegion
Senior Scribe

USA
391 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2019 :  00:58:35  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

I agree, in 1e some classes were very potent...a result of lucky dice rolling to play exceptional characters.

Hell, even playing a Ranger was a fortunate and rare occurrence for a player...probably why I loved playing a ranger so much!

Of course the "lowly" Bard took serious dice rolls to get to play:

A minimum of 15 Strength as a fighter with a 17 Dexterity so that you could dual class to thief later; and that followed by a minimum at the time becoming a Bard of 15 Strength, Wisdom, Dexterity and Charisma...on top of a minimum 12 Intelligence and 10 Constitution.

If someone managed to roll 17, 15, 15, 15, 12, 10 on 3d6 then hells yes they deserved a powerful class like Bard!



I can't possibly disagree any stronger with everything you typed. In your scenario, one bad night on the dice, no... one bad *minute* on the dice during character creation night dooms you to years and years of not being able to play the character you were hoping for. Meanwhile, the DM's little brother, or best friend, or girlfriend who wants to try the game out shows up an hour late, pulls out their sheet, and miraculously has ALL the pre-requisites for their super-powered class, because they did their character creation one-on-one with the DM the night before. No honest, they did!

The entire trajectory of your character arc over the course of several RL *years* should not be determined in the first 30 seconds of session one. That is hot garbage. This is not a case of "millennial entitlement" speaking. It is simply a desire to see every player at the table able to utilize the same resources to have fun, not 1 or 2 dominating the rest of the peasants. If you plant on countering with "No, it can be fun to play a character with poor stats", sure, maybe for a session or three as a gimmick. But not if you plan to invest years into it and are railroaded into playing something completely against the archetype/name/role/backstory you had brewing in your head before sitting down to roll those fateful dice. A point-pool system is the only method I will ever enforce on my players. There will be thousands of opportunities for the players to cry foul or favoritism over the course of the campaign, let's not start off Night One with it.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 05 Mar 2019 :  03:02:14  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've come to like the point-buy system, myself, but there's still something fun about rolling up a character. My last couple of DMs that wanted dice rolls were generous; one was 4d6, drop the lowest, 7 or 8 times, drop the lowest, and make two sets of stats -- then pick the one you like and arrange it however you want. Another basically said to keep rolling sets of 6 or 7 until you had a good set.

One of my all-time favorite characters was from a single set of 4d6/drop the lowest stats. As I was staring at this goofy range of stats, wondering what I could do, my DM said "You could play a minotaur!" I ran and grabbed my friend's Humanoids Handbook and proceeded to flesh out a character that remains a fave, 25 years later.

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Kentinal
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Posted - 05 Mar 2019 :  21:00:30  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The one thing about take dice as rolled is that the player gets to act different rolls. One time roll a fighter as best choice, next time maybe a thief etc. The player gets to act (Play different roles) more as opposed to I always want to be a Paladin (preferred class) and must have the rolls to do that.
Some like to diversity offered by chance, others prefer the tested and true.
Neither is the correct answer for a player or DM, the overall purpose is to have an enjoyable game experience. Three dice in order was hard to get playable character so reroll often indicated, 4 drop lowest in order generally provided a playable class. Assigning rolls (3 or 4) or point buy allowed the player option to choose most times. Use what works best for your game.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Diffan
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Posted - 05 Mar 2019 :  21:53:19  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I almost always allow my players to choose their creation method. They can take the point buy option or roll 4d6 and drop the lowest. Usually they get one set of rolls (barring anything abysmal like the total amount of points total less than 20 points etc.) Same goes for things like HP per level (except 4e, where it's fixed).

I feel the onus for creative process lies with the person who's going to be playing that character for the long haul of a campaign. I wouldn't want someone who's bored at the table because they rolled poorly and had to settle for say, a wizard with bad AC/HP, simply because they only got one good score and the wizard is really the only one class that is single ability dependant (aka SAD).

My only exception is for people who make characters away from the table at session 0. They have to use point buy and use only source material for their options. It's more for fairness sake and so I can quickly determine what's going on with their character.

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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sleyvas
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USA
7853 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2019 :  22:48:09  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

I agree, in 1e some classes were very potent...a result of lucky dice rolling to play exceptional characters.

Hell, even playing a Ranger was a fortunate and rare occurrence for a player...probably why I loved playing a ranger so much!

Of course the "lowly" Bard took serious dice rolls to get to play:

A minimum of 15 Strength as a fighter with a 17 Dexterity so that you could dual class to thief later; and that followed by a minimum at the time becoming a Bard of 15 Strength, Wisdom, Dexterity and Charisma...on top of a minimum 12 Intelligence and 10 Constitution.

If someone managed to roll 17, 15, 15, 15, 12, 10 on 3d6 then hells yes they deserved a powerful class like Bard!



I can't possibly disagree any stronger with everything you typed. In your scenario, one bad night on the dice, no... one bad *minute* on the dice during character creation night dooms you to years and years of not being able to play the character you were hoping for. Meanwhile, the DM's little brother, or best friend, or girlfriend who wants to try the game out shows up an hour late, pulls out their sheet, and miraculously has ALL the pre-requisites for their super-powered class, because they did their character creation one-on-one with the DM the night before. No honest, they did!

The entire trajectory of your character arc over the course of several RL *years* should not be determined in the first 30 seconds of session one. That is hot garbage. This is not a case of "millennial entitlement" speaking. It is simply a desire to see every player at the table able to utilize the same resources to have fun, not 1 or 2 dominating the rest of the peasants. If you plant on countering with "No, it can be fun to play a character with poor stats", sure, maybe for a session or three as a gimmick. But not if you plan to invest years into it and are railroaded into playing something completely against the archetype/name/role/backstory you had brewing in your head before sitting down to roll those fateful dice. A point-pool system is the only method I will ever enforce on my players. There will be thousands of opportunities for the players to cry foul or favoritism over the course of the campaign, let's not start off Night One with it.



When I DM, yep, point buy is the way its done. Mainly because I also don't want to have the reverse ("no, I honestly rolled this at the house... 4 18's and 2 16's"). All my recent DM's (which by the way, in all honesty, I'm on about 2 years since I've had a group) have wanted us to roll. Not against it mind you, but I can appreciate point buy as a DM, and I have no problem with it as a player. That being said, when I DO DO point buy, its general with more points than what the rulebooks say.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7853 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2019 :  22:49:37  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

I agree, in 1e some classes were very potent...a result of lucky dice rolling to play exceptional characters.

Hell, even playing a Ranger was a fortunate and rare occurrence for a player...probably why I loved playing a ranger so much!

Of course the "lowly" Bard took serious dice rolls to get to play:

A minimum of 15 Strength as a fighter with a 17 Dexterity so that you could dual class to thief later; and that followed by a minimum at the time becoming a Bard of 15 Strength, Wisdom, Dexterity and Charisma...on top of a minimum 12 Intelligence and 10 Constitution.

If someone managed to roll 17, 15, 15, 15, 12, 10 on 3d6 then hells yes they deserved a powerful class like Bard!



I can't possibly disagree any stronger with everything you typed. In your scenario, one bad night on the dice, no... one bad *minute* on the dice during character creation night dooms you to years and years of not being able to play the character you were hoping for. Meanwhile, the DM's little brother, or best friend, or girlfriend who wants to try the game out shows up an hour late, pulls out their sheet, and miraculously has ALL the pre-requisites for their super-powered class, because they did their character creation one-on-one with the DM the night before. No honest, they did!

The entire trajectory of your character arc over the course of several RL *years* should not be determined in the first 30 seconds of session one. That is hot garbage. This is not a case of "millennial entitlement" speaking. It is simply a desire to see every player at the table able to utilize the same resources to have fun, not 1 or 2 dominating the rest of the peasants. If you plant on countering with "No, it can be fun to play a character with poor stats", sure, maybe for a session or three as a gimmick. But not if you plan to invest years into it and are railroaded into playing something completely against the archetype/name/role/backstory you had brewing in your head before sitting down to roll those fateful dice. A point-pool system is the only method I will ever enforce on my players. There will be thousands of opportunities for the players to cry foul or favoritism over the course of the campaign, let's not start off Night One with it.



When I DM, yep, point buy is the way its done. Mainly because I also don't want to have the reverse ("no, I honestly rolled this at the house... 4 18's and 2 16's"). All my recent DM's (which by the way, in all honesty, I'm on about 2 years since I've had a group) have wanted us to roll. Not against it mind you, but I can appreciate point buy as a DM, and I have no problem with it as a player. That being said, when I DO DO point buy, its general with more points than what the rulebooks say.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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