Arcane Archer & Monk Stats (split)

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Post by daveyeisley on Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:43 pm

MannyJabrielle wrote:That would work too, lower DC overall, but higher DC for characters with lower AA levels, it would kinda make it a drawback to focus on AA beyond the first 10 levels though.

As for casting stat, that doesn't seem to jive when I think about it...That would be out of sync with imbue arrow, which uses dex for it's DC, and would seem to favor those PCs which take the minimal 10 AA levels for the arrow (and favor their arcane class) over those who go for broke and take 30 AA. The 30th level AA should logically be far deadlier with the AA abilities than the dabblers.

Yeah, thats the logic basically. Investing extra levels in Monk doesnt raise the stunning fist DC (though it does scale with overall character level).... nor does investing class levels raise individual spell DCs for casters (they just get new higher level spells with higher DCs, which is sort of like spells scaling with overal character level except it stops when you hit 9th level spells). Increasing the DC of a specific spell/ability usually takes stat boosts, or feat investments (improved stunning fist, or spell focus). The 30th level AA is already getting the scaling attack/damage bonus to enhance any arrow they fire in exchange for the levels invested.
It would make sense to have a feat made available, but cranking the DCs just for dropping in levels would be a bit much.

Monks are usually focused more on dex than wis (because just like AA's, they need dex for AB-weapon finesse- and AC)... sort of like AA's being more focused on dex than their casting stat. Because the effect is magical (sort of like how stunning fist uses Ki energy) its more logical to use a non-physical stat to establish DC.

Using dex for imbue arrow DC makes no sense to begin with, honestly.... that should probably be changed.
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:59 pm

But the fundamental flaw in the logic of that analogy is assuming -all- monks go dex, and have still have equal power with stunning fist. They don't. A wisdom based monk is going to have a far more powerful DC, and wisdom is the stat more associated with monk abilities... or rather, it's THE stat associated with monk abilities.

AC wise the dex based monk and wisdom based monk are equals (+10 from dex isn't going to give any more AC than +10 from wisdom), but with the wisdom based monk winning out again because they don't lose their wisdom AC from flatfoot. A dex monk can negate that fact with multiclassing... but then we're not discussing a class's abilities, we're discussing character builds and min-maxing a PC, a mutually exclusive topic

The only point where the dex monk will be superior is AB with taking the weapon finesse feat.... at the expense of their primary class stat and abilities dependent upon such. And that is completely expected, you give something up to gain something else.

Gotta remember too that it's Arcane "Archer", not "Arcane wizard/sorc really good with a bow". Arcane Archers may have arcane in the name, but they are not spell casters, they don't gain any new spells or caster levels for the spells they gained in their wizard/sorc/bard class. They give up the traditional walking-nuke-platform status to focus on adding some minor magical aspects to their archery. Beyond the base requirements for accessing the PrC, there is absolutely no synergy between the AA's abilities and the wiz/sorc/bard abilities beyond imbue arrow, and that's only in PnP, not NWN.

While true more levels doesn't increase spell DCs, it's rather a smoke and mirrors argument to suggest that spell casters don't benefit from more levels. Dice rolls and ability to penetrate SR are substantial gains from levels, far more valuable than stat modifier to DC rolls.

It's also suffers a fault in logic in that not all class abilities follow the same pattern spells do. Particularly with the PrCs, class level is FAR more important a role that stats. Even with the base classes, cleric, paladin, their abilities rely more on class level than stats, even while their spells rely on stats for DC boosting. Assassins are the oddman out in that their primary class function uses INT in it's DC while the class itself is fundamentally dex based, yet even there, death attack doesn't follow the stunning fist example, instead of a max 20 + modifier to the DC for character level, it's possible to achieve 30 DC + modifier for the assassin levels....

which flows perfectly with the statement that the character focused in the class should have a better use of the ability than the dabbler.

As for imbue using dex in the DC. It's that "Give something up to gain something else" argument... NWN AA's gave up the ability to do the actual imbue arrow ability for a simple fireball. *IF* the ability worked in NWN like it does in PnP, by all means, it should use caster stat in it's DC, and even caster level for penetration/dice rolls. But it doesn't. In return for the gimped ability, NWN AA's got a better deal on the DC and damage output for a fireball.
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Post by daveyeisley on Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:06 pm

MannyJabrielle wrote:But the fundamental flaw in the logic of that analogy is assuming -all- monks go dex, and have still have equal power with stunning fist. They don't. A wisdom based monk is going to have a far more powerful DC, and wisdom is the stat more associated with monk abilities... or rather, it's THE stat associated with monk abilities.

AC wise the dex based monk and wisdom based monk are equals (+10 from dex isn't going to give any more AC than +10 from wisdom), but with the wisdom based monk winning out again because they don't lose their wisdom AC from flatfoot. A dex monk can negate that fact with multiclassing... but then we're not discussing a class's abilities, we're discussing character builds and min-maxing a PC, a mutually exclusive topic

The only point where the dex monk will be superior is AB with taking the weapon finesse feat.... at the expense of their primary class stat and abilities dependent upon such. And that is completely expected, you give something up to gain something else.

Gotta remember too that it's Arcane "Archer", not "Arcane wizard/sorc really good with a bow". Arcane Archers may have arcane in the name, but they are not spell casters, they don't gain any new spells or caster levels for the spells they gained in their wizard/sorc/bard class. They give up the traditional walking-nuke-platform status to focus on adding some minor magical aspects to their archery. Beyond the base requirements for accessing the PrC, there is absolutely no synergy between the AA's abilities and the wiz/sorc/bard abilities beyond imbue arrow, and that's only in PnP, not NWN.

While true more levels doesn't increase spell DCs, it's rather a smoke and mirrors argument to suggest that spell casters don't benefit from more levels. Dice rolls and ability to penetrate SR are substantial gains from levels, far more valuable than stat modifier to DC rolls.

It's also suffers a fault in logic in that not all class abilities follow the same pattern spells do. Particularly with the PrCs, class level is FAR more important a role that stats. Even with the base classes, cleric, paladin, their abilities rely more on class level than stats, even while their spells rely on stats for DC boosting. Assassins are the oddman out in that their primary class function uses INT in it's DC while the class itself is fundamentally dex based, yet even there, death attack doesn't follow the stunning fist example, instead of a max 20 + modifier to the DC for character level, it's possible to achieve 30 DC + modifier for the assassin levels....

which flows perfectly with the statement that the character focused in the class should have a better use of the ability than the dabbler.

As for imbue using dex in the DC. It's that "Give something up to gain something else" argument... NWN AA's gave up the ability to do the actual imbue arrow ability for a simple fireball. *IF* the ability worked in NWN like it does in PnP, by all means, it should use caster stat in it's DC, and even caster level for penetration/dice rolls. But it doesn't. In return for the gimped ability, NWN AA's got a better deal on the DC and damage output for a fireball.

There is no assumption. The word "all" was never used. The word "usually" was used, and is used appropriately.

Wis is the stat associated with "Ki" abilities. The wis based monk does not win out, because the dex based monk will have just as good AC as well as a good AB, which the wis based monk will have a subpar AB. The logic holds just fine in that respect, its part of the class's built in balance. There are trade offs. I also have to completely disagree that there is any one "primary ability" for the monk class. They are a melee class, and as such, the physical stats are just as essential if not moreso than the "Ki" stat is (wisdom). If anything, the monk class is the class that benefits most from having well rounded stats. If you focus on wisdom as a monk, your melee abilities will be subpar and that will hamper the effectiveness of your "Ki" abilities.

AA's gain a LOT from dex (they dont even have to invest a feat to gain their dex bonus to AB on their primary attack form). Having their other class abilities gain *extra* benefits from dex (such as increased DC) isn't balanced. There is no tradeoff if the only stat they need is Dex. They gain little to no benefit from strength, and they have no more need for Con than any other class. As they are using Arcane energy to imbue magic into their arrows, and they draw that skill from being an Arcane caster, their casting stat is central to the effectiveness of any ability that uses such energies.... and this also creates a built-in balance to the class.
If you want to focus on the AA's "arcane imbue" abilities you should need casting stat, and this would rightfully cost you in the area of attack/defense.
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Post by daveyeisley on Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:36 pm

Also the casters gaining benefit from more levels.... umm, shooting
arrows doesnt allow for Spell Resistance. Thats one of the benefits to
putting your arcane power into them, you dont *NEED* caster levels....
you are trading them for better attack bonus and more powerful
enchanted arrows. The benefit of caster levels to help spells penetrate
SR in no way supports the idea that more levels invested in AA should
add to imbue DCs.
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:02 am

I don't agree it was used appropriately. It rather implies all more than anything else.

I do not see how you can say the dex based monk wins out. Subpar monk abilities compared to the wis monk, loss of that dex AC unless multiclass (and in which case, as I stated before, then we're discussion min-maxing a pc, not class abilities), and now that I think about it, the only way the wis-monk's AB is subpar is if you're comparing to a fighter. The logic is faulty. Better class abilities and more reliable AC is subpar? Really?

And while the monk does a lot of meleeing... fact is wisdom AC... wisdom based. boost to stunning fist, wisdom, Quivering palm... wisdom, improved ki strike... wisdom. Only other monk class feature that requires anything other than wisdom is improved stunning fist... but that too requires wisdom as well as dex. If all that doesn't say "primary class stat", I have no idea what would possibly meet the criteria then.

As for AA's not having to "invest a feat" to have dex used for their bows.... uhm.... *every* bow/xbow uses that stat for AB regardless of class, with the exception of taking zen archery to use wisdom instead?... To further that argument... fighters gain a LOT for STR (they don't even have to invest a feat to gain their str bonus to AB on their primary attack form). Makes for a silly argument, doesn't it? Any reason why it's NOT silly when discussing ways to gimp AA's?

As for having their other abilities benefiting from dex being 'unbalanced", that's frankly an absurd argument.... It's as absurd as saying wizards shouldn't have their abilities benefit from their main stat.

AA's gain just as much benefit from STR as any other combat class. If anything, the limitation an AA deals with isn't so much not having enough strength, but not having a high enough mighty property on a given bow to utilize the extra strength. Should they have access to enough of the mighty property, they can benefit just as much as a melee dexer does from higher STR with their finessed weapons.

Given the subpar damage a bow does without mighty, to suggest that there is no tradeoff is lacking any real examination of the class and NWN archery in general. Take a dex based AA with 10 STR and 50 dex, compare to a STR based fighter with 10 dex and 50 STR. Both using a 1d8 base damage weapon. The fighter is going to outpace the archer in damage. 1d8+20 vs 1d8+15(assuming AA30). Add in the aspect of you can have only 1 elemental damage type on an arrow vs the oodles of of damage can put onto a melee weapon.... The AA is obviously far less effective without the STR added.

And as I said before.. *IF* imbue arrow worked as it did in PnP, by all means, apply the caster stat to the DC. Use the caster levels for the imbue as well.

But the plain, simply, ugly truth is, this isn't PnP, and I simply do not comprehend the opposition to a suggestion making NWN AA's as robust in playability as their PnP counterparts.

As for the "built in balance".... It would be built in balance as well then if wizards required dex for their DCs..... let's assume for a moment that your logic works. Wizards do not need any other stat than intelligence. They gain NO benefit -at all- from strength, have no more need for con than any other class.... thus, that their primary ability which so completely supports their primary attack form is equally unbalanced.

If your logic holds... then wizards should require dex for hitting targets with fireballs, lightning bolts, ect... if AA's are SO intruding into the realm of arcane with their special arrows that they should have to rely on a secondary stat for their unique abilities, it is only consistent that in throwing projectiles at targets, even magical projectiles, wizards are intruding equally into the realm of the missile-masters... but the logic is faulty, and thus the argument is absurd, no matter which class it's applied to. AA's should no more have to rely on INT than wizards should have to rely on DEX to employ their class features.

Also the casters gaining benefit from more levels.... umm, shooting arrows doesnt allow for Spell Resistance.

And there aren't any arcane archers throwing about (*checks spells per day table on the wiki*) 36 spells at a base int score of 19, many of which can dish out more damage, can apply far greater range of negative effects, ect.... and and many of which don't even require as much as a touch attack. Are you really going to hold to the suggestion that the AA's 3/day fireball is so absurdly powerful that it needs to be gimped?

Thats one of the benefits to putting your arcane power into them, you dont *NEED* caster levels.... you are trading them for better attack bonus and more powerful enchanted arrows. The benefit of caster levels to help spells penetrate SR in no way supports the idea that more levels invested in AA should add to imbue DCs.

It supports the idea COMPLETELY. Class ability... more levels in class ability = better class ability.

Let's simplify.

Caster levels = ability to punch through SR, the "magical armor class" as it were, and better dice rolls, it all depends on the myriad of spell effects arcane casters have at their disposal.

More caster levels equates to better SR penetration, better damage.

Or simply More Caster Level = Better at casting spells.

Are we all in agreement? Good.

Ok, moving on.

AA levels = ability to hit through AC, nastier arrows, not nastier arcane spells, but nastier magical arrows, the realm of the arcane "archer".

More AA levels should then equate to better ability to punch through AC, and better arrows.

Or more simply, more AA levels = better arcane archer arrows goodness.

I don't know how much more simply I can state this simplistic concept.

More class levels = better class abilities.

And again, tis the Arcane Archer, sir, not Arcane Wizard Really Good with a Bow. The abilities are not spells. They don't require memorization/spells known as do spells, the arrows are simply not capable of the magnitude or variety traditional arcane casters have at their disposal.

They are spell-like abilities, along with several many other abilities used by various other classes, none of which require the gimping you seem to be suggesting AA's are in such dire need of in regards to their spell-like abilities. The arrows are unique abilities of the AA class. They aren't spells.... just as a 20th level AA isn't going to have the 9th level spells like energy drain, greater spell mantle, 20th level wizards/sorcs are not going to have "hail of arrows" or Arrow of Death. Apples and Oranges. Both are tasty, both are round. Both grow on trees! But they're not the same thing.

But again... *if* imbue arrow was actually the imbuing of magical spells as per PnP, YES apply those standards to the imbue arrow ability. But it's not. Nor are ANY of the other AA abilities direct copies of any sorc/wizard spell, and thus should NOT be considered spells requireing caster levels/caster stats, ect.
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Post by daveyeisley on Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:40 pm

Wow... umm, Im not going to dignify your whole term paper on this topic with full attention because it is obvious you are trying to confuse an issue by dragging irrelevant and unrelated information into the discussion for the purpose of attacking logic that is sound in an attempt to obfuscate the poor balance of your suggestion. We have done this before, you will never budge no matter HOW much logic/sense I make, or how much precedent I point out in the game mechanics, and no matter how many times I try to refocus you back to the relevant points of the debate.

Class levels of a specific class, whether it be base or PrC dont increase DCs. They dont. Its not in the mechanics of the system, and it isnt supposed to be. That is by design. Character levels, yes. Class levels, no.

If you want to increase DC without spending a feat, you are going for a stat boost, and any class ability that involves any sort of supernatural, spell-like, or pseudo-magical effect or component is based off of a NON-physical stat. Thats how it is, thats how it should stay. Thats how balance works.

Banter all you want, drag up all the examples you can think of to try and confuse the issue, I really have no plans to waste my time any further with it. The above are the facts of the balance issue. If The Amethyst Dragon decides to unbalance AA's ability DCs, rather than just giving them a boost by scaling them with character level (and maybe adding a feat for dc boost), thats his call. I am content to have pointed out where it departs from game balance and precedent.
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:25 am

Ok, and I didn't read any thing beyond your first paragraph, which was nothing but a massive personal slam. Very logical and sound.

Bravo, you da man.
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Post by inthecorridors on Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:35 am

Is there still time to pop my popcorn for the latest installment of Dave and Manny will be forced to/should just agree to disagree, or are we winding down now? Wink
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Post by daveyeisley on Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:53 am

Nah, no need. Learned my lesson from the Mundane Melody debate.

When Manny and I disagree, time wastage ensues. What should have been a short, focused debate turned into a few days of drivvel.

Last time I was the one who recieved the insults and personal attacks, so this time, I just let him know why its not worth my time.

If thats a "massive personal slam" to him, he can go back and read what he wrote in both this thread and that one.... maybe it will click for him.... maybe not. He can dish it out, but doesn't take it well (and my above post wasn't even on the level of some of what came my way previously).
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Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:18 am

This is why I decided to add a section just for character build and game mechanics debates. Smile

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Post by MannyJabrielle on Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:28 pm

Ok, wow.

Could I ask that this thread be locked, apparently it's not so much about the AA topic, but rather wanting to dredge up that mundane melody debate.
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Post by daveyeisley on Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:54 pm

MannyJabrielle wrote:apparently it's not so much about the AA topic, but rather wanting to dredge up that mundane melody debate.

So far off the mark its hysterical.
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:41 pm

Yeah, know I asked the thread to be closed, signalling my disinterrest... but I just can't help this one remark since I glanced over it Smile

Class levels of a specific class, whether it be base or PrC dont increase DCs. They dont. Its not in the mechanics of the system, and it isnt supposed to be. That is by design. Character levels, yes. Class levels, no.

Assassin (death attack), Dragon Disciple (breath weapon), Shadowdancer (shadowdaze), Pale Master(undead graft), Blackguard(inflict serious/critical wounds), Arcane Archer(imbue arrow), Shifter(many shape's abilities).

All those PrCs have abilities who's DC's are modified by class level, not character level Smile That, by the way, is 7 of the 12 default Prcs. Harper scouts I think can be included, but I'm not sure how their sleep DC is figured, even if not, that's still more than half the PrCs, and all of the PrCs that have abilities that have DCs factored into them.

Druids can be included with shifters in that they share dragonshape and druid class level is included in the breath weapon DC

Smile
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Post by daveyeisley on Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:19 pm

*golf clap*

Thanks for the info on PrCs.

Not much help on the matter of death arrow DC (which was the original DC issue and was obviously designed not to scale for a reason, its a ranged save or die with no SR or spell protection allowed), or the non-physical stat bonus issue from a balance perspective.

Based on your above info, imbue arrow also already scales with AA level. It should be based of a non-physical stat, however.

If you are going to make death arrow scale with level, the monk formula works fine. Either way, whether you go by character level/2 or by AA level (which would mean only epic AA's can get any DC bonus at all for Death Arrow) the DC should max at 30 or less before stat mod.
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:49 pm

You're welcome, wouldn't want you to keep basing your arguments on blatantly false information afterall Smile
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Post by Eric of Atrophy on Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:51 pm

Guys, guys, guys ... go to your corners, and sit for a spell. Honestly, despite the mechanics of the game, one way or the other, we're all still friends here. Right?
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Post by daveyeisley on Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:04 pm

MannyJabrielle wrote:You're welcome, wouldn't want you to keep basing your arguments on blatantly false information afterall Smile

If you think that was the basis of my argument, you missed the point. Or maybe you got it from the get go, and refuse to acknowledge it.

Game balance may not be your strong suit, but youre sure good at referencing the wiki. Go you.

Smile
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:30 pm

No, never claimed it was the basis of your argument. I did however claim it was better to base your arguments on facts...

And thank you, good to know you're still resorting to personal attacks... shame on me for thinking basing arguments on factual information was a good thing. I should have stuck to the "sound logic" of using the 'precedent in game mechanics' which is factually wrong.

By anyway...

Based on your above info, imbue arrow also already scales with AA level. It should be based of a non-physical stat, however.

Why? By your own logic, we must use precedent already present in the game mechanics and are not allowed to deviate from such, yes? There is no precedent for the stat only being int/wis/cha... which leads to:

If you want to increase DC without spending a feat, you are going for a stat boost, and any class ability that involves any sort of supernatural, spell-like, or pseudo-magical effect or component is based off of a NON-physical stat. Thats how it is, thats how it should stay. Thats how balance works.

Yes, you're going for a stat boost, but sorry, shadowdancer and blackguard are just as good a precedent as any other. Spell like abilities, using physical stat modifiers. That is a factually correct statement, as in that's how it *really* is.

If you are going to make death arrow scale with level, the monk formula works fine. Either way, whether you go by character level/2 or by AA level (which would mean only epic AA's can get any DC bonus at all for Death Arrow) the DC should max at 30 or less before stat mod.

I'm not sure what math you're using for that statement, but that you seem to be stating that only epic AA's would get any DC bonus doesn't work with any math I know of. Examine the following

Fighter 9, bard 1, AA30.
With the stunfist style DC, would get 30+ modifier.
With Imbue/shadowdaze style DC, 40+ modifier.

Fighter 29, bard 1, AA 10.
With Stunfist style DC, would get the same... 30+modifer.
With imbue/shadowdaze style DC, you would get 20+modifier.

Now... if you have any illusion that this would somehow make the DC's overpowered compared to stunfist style DCs... I would like a really clear explaination of how 20>30 is a true statement.

You can slam me all you want saying my sense of balance is weak, but I think the plain facts of the matter show that my endorsement of the imbue/shadowdaze style DC would actually LOWER the average DC's of those abilities, while endorsing the stunningfist style DC would INCREASE the DC flat across the board.

I would ask, what is more balanced, a level 10 AA having the same DC's as a level 30 AA, or a level 10 AA having a DC proportionate to his level while the 30 AA had DC's proportionate to his?

I am inclined to think that the method that keeps the relative power proportionate to investment would be more balanced than the method that gives everyone the same regardless of investment.

Not much help on the matter of death arrow DC (which was the original DC issue and was obviously designed not to scale for a reason, its a ranged save or die with no SR or spell protection allowed), or the non-physical stat bonus issue from a balance perspective.

Ok, so let's assume it's balanced the way it is...

daveyeisley wrote:
MannyJabrielle wrote:Ah...

While on topic of Arcane Archers... another suggestion.

Death arrow. 1 use per day, DC 20. Flat, no change by level in either usage or DC, so a level 30 AA's arrow of death is no different at all from a level 10 AA's arrow of death, and at a piddly 1 use a day, it's not any use at all, particularly for the higher level baddies who will only fail on a 1 roll.

Could this ability be tweaked to have it's DC scale to AA level like imbue arrow?

even better... use the monk's stunning fist formula (substituting casting stat for WIS).

We must suffer that same horrible sense of game balance, as you seem to be agreement that a scaling DC would be an acceptable idea Smile
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Post by daveyeisley on Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:47 pm

No, never claimed it was the basis of your argument. I did however claim it was
better to base your arguments on facts...

Really? Are you certain? I must be misreading the following:

You're welcome, wouldn't want you to keep basing your arguments on blatantly
false information afterall

A direct statement that I have been basing my arguments on false info, if I have ever seen
one. The concept of it being better to base them on facts is implied, perhaps, but not
stated, and not relevant anyhow.

Razz



Based on your above info, imbue arrow also already scales with AA level. It should be
based of a non-physical stat, however.

Why? By your own logic, we must use precedent already present in the game mechanics
and are not allowed to deviate from such, yes?

Why has been explained already, quite clearly. Please reference the discussion points
regarding magical abilities DCs and non-physical stats.

There is sound logic in following balance precedent that is consitently apparent in existing
mechanics. PnP is MUCH more consistent and better balanced than NWN, and I dont think there
will be much argument to that statement if any. And before you go and try to make the
discussion about "this isn't PnP, its NWN", remember that consistent balance mechanics are
desirable in ANY design situation, and The Amethyst Dragon has made much effort to persue that consistency
and balance in Aenea. It just so happens that PnP has much more consistent and effective
balance mechanics than NWN, and they should be applied in Aenea whenever possible for the
above reasons.

There is no precedent for the stat only being int/wis/cha

This is "blatantly false". Time to take your own medicine.

That precedent is clear enough in the calculations for the DCs of other magical abilities,
such as Stunning Fist, Quivering Palm, All Arcane or Divine Spellcasting (thats well over
200 separate magical abilities), Use Magic Device (the catchall skill for mimicking magical
capabilities, oh... looky... CHA), and the host of other spell-like abilities in PnP that
all use int/wis/cha.

And all that is only considering magical abilities that have a DC calculation. There are a
number of magical abilities that grant bonuses to allies or apply penalties/effects to
enemies, and they are also based off of non-physical stats.

Monk AC bonus, Divine Might, Divine Shield, Divine Grace, Dark Blessing, Lay on Hands, Final
Stand, and Turn Undead.

There are four exceptions(and only in Bioware's universe): Imbue arrow, Shadow daze, and the
two Inflict wounds feats.

All the other magically based abilities use non-physical stats to calculate DCs, or have no
stat mod included at all. (and look, these are all PrC abilities that were either badly
adapted or don't even exist in PnP, *gasp*)

Should these four be changed? Yup, cuz they are magical and magic is derived from
int/wis/cha. No good reason for them to be exceptions, considering how they work.

Yes, you're going for a stat boost, but sorry, shadowdancer and blackguard are just
as good a precedent as any other.

AA's and shadowdancers have one ability each, and blackguard has two versions of the inflict
wounds ability to measure against 200+ other magical abilities? This is simple. They are
*not* anywhere *near* being a "as good a precedent", especially considering the fact that
Imbue Arrow is badly adapted from PnP (even by your own account) and should use spell
forumla DCs and hence doesnt count as precedent for squat, shadow daze doesnt even exist in
PnP, and inflict wounds is a *spell* in PnP(much like imbue arrow) and is calculated using
the spell forumula, which uses casting stat.

The abilities in question may constitute Bioware's attempt to apologize for limitations in
the games coding deadlines/ability to follow the PnP rules for those classes, but that
doesnt make them well balanced or qualify them to be used as examples of consistency or
precedent. Quite the contrary.

Rather than try and justify why these 4 bastard children abilities should be left alone, why
not try and justify changing these classes to work closer to how they are supposed to
(blackguards are supposed to be spellcasters like paladins, assassins should be able to cast
spells and actually "one-shot" enemies with death attack, pale masters and RRDs should get
1/2 caster level progression, etc)?

Not that it needs much justification.... the PnP system is better than NWN in just about
every way(where the two diverge) with a very few notable exceptions.

Or is this not about improving the game, but rather wasting my time in some semantical
drivvel?

I'm not sure what math you're using for that statement, but that you seem to be
stating that only epic AA's would get any DC bonus doesn't work with any math I know
of.

The non-epic AA gets Death Arrow at level 10. They get no AA levels past that, meaning that
if the DC is based on AA level, the DC is static once they get the ability. It will not
improve for them without stat increase, hence they get no bonus.

The epic AA is already getting Imbue DC bonus as well as enchant arrow bonus over and above
the non-epic AA. Having the death arrow DC scale with character level/2 will at least give
the non-epic AA something that scales.

Fighter 9, bard 1, AA30.
With the stunfist style DC, would get 30+ modifier.
With Imbue/shadowdaze style DC, 40+ modifier.

Fighter 29, bard 1, AA 10.
With Stunfist style DC, would get the same... 30+modifer.
With imbue/shadowdaze style DC, you would get 20+modifier.

Now... if you have any illusion that this would somehow make the DC's overpowered compared
to stunfist style DCs... I would like a really clear explaination of how 20>30 is a true
statement.

I said that the DC should max at 30 before stat mod. That should be the *cap* placed on it.
No matter which calculation you go with, the DC shouldnt be allowed to scale past 30 base.
This is because the "With Imbue/shadowdaze style DC, 40+ modifier" is unbalanced for a
ranged save or die. 30 is really pushing the limits considering that you dont have to crit
(like dev. crit) and you dont have to be in melee, study a target for 3 rounds and then land
a sneak attack, or penetrate SR or spell mantles/protections.

The only real balance comes in it being a 1 shot deal.


You can slam me all you want saying my sense of balance is weak, but I think the
plain facts of the matter show that my endorsement of the imbue/shadowdaze style DC would
actually LOWER the average DC's of those abilities, while endorsing the stunningfist style
DC would INCREASE the DC flat across the board.

Your sense of balance may not be "weak" per se, but it is not "strong".
Your sense of balance seems to have no issue with the 40+stat mod calculation.
Thats the problem.

Just to get a base 30 DC you should have to invest a feat or two (though you could consider
PrC prerequisites to count for this)... but getting a 40 base DC is off the charts
ridiculous for a ranged, non-spell, save or die effect.

All the PrC abilities that allow saves that high should be capped at 30 (even death attack).
30 is a decent number because it outpaces base save bonus, (which gives the initiator and
edge), but allows for a target with high save bonuses (through various means) to have a
close to 50/50 shot if the initiator has not focused on the stat mod in the calculation
(which I again assert should be non-physical... hell, even death attack uses Int instead of
Dex and its not even magical).

If the initiator *has* focused on the stat mod in question, then they wind up with a heavy
numerical advantage.

I would ask, what is more balanced, a level 10 AA having the same DC's as a level 30
AA, or a level 10 AA having a DC proportionate to his level while the 30 AA had DC's
proportionate to his?

The level 10 AA would only have the same DC if he was the same character level as the PC
with 30 AA levels, and yes, that is more balanced than the level 40 PC with 30 AA levels
having a base 40 DC, while the other level 40 PC has 10 AA levels and only a 20 DC.
The level 40 PC with 30 AA levels has already gotten way better enchant arrows for his
investment, he shouldnt have a 20 point advantage to imbue/death DCs as well, especially not
when that 20 point gap takes his DCs over 30 before the stat mod is even added.

I am inclined to think that the method that keeps the relative power proportionate
to investment would be more balanced than the method that gives everyone the same regardless
of investment.

If the enchant arrow, and the imbue didnt improve (imbue should cap at 30, mind you), then
everyone would gain the same. As it stands, every does *not* get the same, regardless of how
Death Arrow is changed. For both balance and consistency sake, both imbue and death arrow
should follow a similar formula, and cap at 30.

If you make imbue arrow and death arrow DC only scale with AA level, and enchant arrow also
only gets better with AA level, then the AA PrC multiclassing synergy drops to crap.

If you make the two DCs scale with character level, AA's are more synergistic for
multiclassing, and focused epic AA's still rule ranged combat with up to more than double
the enchant arrow bonus of non-epic AA's. Thats more balanced.

We must suffer that same horrible sense of game balance, as you seem to be agreement
that a scaling DC would be an acceptable idea Smile

We always agreed on the idea of scaling the DC. I never gave any indication to the contrary.

I think Pale masters and Epic Spells should have better DCs, too. ( I know The Amethyst Dragon bumped up the
epic spells, but they are still quite "meh", crid has non epic spells that get better DCs,
and that just isn't right).

I just said the reason there is an obvious reason the DC doesnt scale by default.

I never used the word horrible, either. I just said it isnt your strong suit.

You probably misinterpreted my meaning on the "max at 30" point, as the balance issue is
with potential for DCs over 30 before stat mod with your suggested calculation(Bioware's
bastard child).
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:12 am

daveyeisley wrote:
There is no precedent for the stat only being int/wis/cha

This is "blatantly false". Time to take your own medicine.

Blatantly false? The precedent is there, in the game mechanics, you've acknowledged their existence. You do not agree with them. That much is obvious. But because you don't agree with them they suddenly what... disappear?

Should these four be changed? Yup, cuz they are magical and magic is derived from
int/wis/cha. No good reason for them to be exceptions, considering how they work.

Guess we'll just have to disagree on that. I don't think they should be changed. They work fine with the physical stat boosts for modifiers, and not causing some huge shift in balance and power that weakens other classes in any respect. They make the classes overall enjoyable for the players that chose them.

And oddly, I thought this was a game where the point was to enjoy oneself. I've played in many a tabletop session where the DMs had house rules that weren't 100% straight out of the book... they were enjoyable, and in no way inferior to sessions where strict adherance to the rulebook was observed.

AA's and shadowdancers have one ability each, and blackguard has two versions of the inflict
wounds ability to measure against 200+ other magical abilities? This is simple. They are
*not* anywhere *near* being a "as good a precedent"

Vs

Class levels of a specific class, whether it be base or PrC dont increase DCs. They dont. Its not in the mechanics of the system, and it isnt supposed to be. That is by design. Character levels, yes. Class levels, no.

A very very mutable argument?

They don't exist... oh wait, fact shows they do. Ok, we're going on 'not good enough precedent' now. It's not sound logically for a persuasive argument at all.

And you've miscounted. 3 classes that use physcial stat modifers, but 7 all in all that use class level for DCs. Examples of where there are separate but similar rules that work decently enough. Even among those 7, not all use the class level in the exact same way.

If you want to strictly adhere to PnP only. Precedent is still in RDD and assassin, class level for both cases, physical stat for the DC with RDDs. I don't have any of the rulebooks with any of the other PrCs NWN adapted in them, so I can't examine the PnP verions of them.

Rather than try and justify why these 4 bastard children abilities should be left alone, why
not try and justify changing these classes to work closer to how they are supposed to
(blackguards are supposed to be spellcasters like paladins, assassins should be able to cast
spells and actually "one-shot" enemies with death attack, pale masters and RRDs should get
1/2 caster level progression, etc)?

Not that it needs much justification.... the PnP system is better than NWN in just about
every way(where the two diverge) with a very few notable exceptions.

Because that would be great if the classes were implemented just as they were in PnP and it would be fantastic if NWN could be played just like PnP.

BUt the fact is, they aren't, and it can't, so we make do with coming up with ideas to make NWN not only closer to PnP in ways that are indeed possible, but also enjoyable beyond what's NWN out of the box as a whole, even if it doesn't adhere strictly to PnP.

Or is this not about improving the game, but rather wasting my time in some semantical
drivvel?

That you wish label arguments of those who disagree with you as drivel is your choice, what you do with your time is really no concern to me. If you cannot accept that my ideas to improve the game are not about Dave, whether you agree with them or not, that's on you.

The non-epic AA gets Death Arrow at level 10. They get no AA levels past that, meaning that
if the DC is based on AA level, the DC is static once they get the ability. It will not
improve for them without stat increase, hence they get no bonus.

Ah, thank you, that does clear up your meaning.

The epic AA is already getting Imbue DC bonus as well as enchant arrow bonus over and above
the non-epic AA. Having the death arrow DC scale with character level/2 will at least give
the non-epic AA something that scales.

Agreed, however, I hold the different opinion that the 'more class levels = better class abilities' is far more intuitive, and just as balanced.

I said that the DC should max at 30 before stat mod. That should be the *cap* placed on it.
No matter which calculation you go with, the DC shouldnt be allowed to scale past 30 base.
This is because the "With Imbue/shadowdaze style DC, 40+ modifier" is unbalanced for a
ranged save or die.

30 is really pushing the limits considering that you dont have to crit
(like dev. crit) and you dont have to be in melee, study a target for 3 rounds and then land
a sneak attack, or penetrate SR or spell mantles/protections.

The only real balance comes in it being a 1 shot deal.

Understandable, but I do not believe it to be unbalanced, nor believe that a cap must be instituted on this, or any other DC. If strict adherence to PnP rulebooks is the guideline, I don't recall seeing any instituted caps.

Ranged or not ranged should have no bearing on the DC. If we're going to place in extra factors such as ranged, then to be consistent (which seems to be your overall opinion, no?) we would have to take into consideration mitigating factors in other DCs as well. Ranged dev crits should have mitigating modifiers based on the fact that it's ranged as well... that just opens a whole can of worms... 1 use per day vs 3 uses per day vs 5 uses per day vs unlimted uses per day... ick.

Your sense of balance may not be "weak" per se, but it is not "strong".
Your sense of balance seems to have no issue with the 40+stat mod calculation.
Thats the problem.

Nope, no issue with a 40+mod DC for those who've invested for it. Sorry if it's difficult for you to understand that I can have a different opinion than you without my sense of balance being weaker.

The level 40 PC with 30 AA levels has already gotten way better enchant arrows for his
investment, he shouldnt have a 20 point advantage to imbue/death DCs as well, especially not
when that 20 point gap takes his DCs over 30 before the stat mod is even added.

To be clear on your argument then, it's not entirely about a simple consistent rule, but rather taking into consideration mitigating factors such as number of other abilities a class has as well? Is there a formula you're using for this consideration?

If the enchant arrow, and the imbue didnt improve (imbue should cap at 30, mind you), then
everyone would gain the same. As it stands, every does *not* get the same, regardless of how
Death Arrow is changed.

Except for when discussing the discreet ability of Death Arrow.

If you make imbue arrow and death arrow DC only scale with AA level, and enchant arrow also
only gets better with AA level, then the AA PrC multiclassing synergy drops to crap.

Drops to crap? I think the numbers previously posted illustrated quite clearly that the AA with only 10 levels would retain the same DC as what they have currently. No synergy is lost.

AA's who invested past 10th would see a return for the investment in *all* abilities, particularly their top ability. There is nothing inherently wrong with all a classes abilities improving, not just ratio of abilities, whichever ratio you wish to choose.

Those who don't focus past 10th wouldn't lose anything with their death arrows. 10+class level of 10 still equals 20

If you make the two DCs scale with character level, AA's are more synergistic for
multiclassing, and focused epic AA's still rule ranged combat with up to more than double
the enchant arrow bonus of non-epic AA's. Thats more balanced.

I don't think how to min-max multiclass builds should not really be a factor when discussing a discreet ability. I don't see how it makes anything more balanced either way. It makes multiclassing and min-maxing builds more robust and easier to accomplish, but that's the only benefit I'm seeing.... and honestly I'm focusing on discreet abilities, not multiclassing issues.

We always agreed on the idea of scaling the DC

Good. The arguments preceding this indicated otherwise to me honestly.

I like the class level+modifier method. We'll have to agree to disagree with if the modifier is this stat or that.

I like the disrupt/knockdown/silence arrows use class level. I think it's a great model for the AA's first single arrow ability. I've illustrated my reasons.
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Post by daveyeisley on Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:25 pm

Blatantly false? The precedent is there, in the game
mechanics, you've acknowledged their existence. You do not agree with them.
That much is obvious. But because you don't agree with them they suddenly
what... disappear?

And the predictable denial comes.

You are either confused or willfully mixing up the
"precedent" with the handful of "exceptions" to that
precedent. Exceptions that do not make logical sense, and should be altered for
consistency sake.

Guess we'll just have to disagree on that. I don't
think they should be changed. They work fine with the physical stat boosts for
modifiers, and not causing some huge shift in balance and power that weakens
other classes in any respect. They make the classes overall enjoyable for the players
that chose them.

And oddly, I thought this was a game where the point was to
enjoy oneself. I've played in many a tabletop session where the DMs had house
rules that weren't 100% straight out of the book... they were enjoyable, and in
no way inferior to sessions where strict adherance to the rulebook was
observed.

As irrelevant as this bit is... the reverse viewpoint is
also valid. The change would not make the class less overall enjoyable. Matter
of fact, by making the mechanics more intuitive and consistent with the rest of
the game, it could be *more* enjoyable.

AA's and shadowdancers have one ability each,
and blackguard has two versions of the inflict

wounds ability to measure against 200+ other magical
abilities? This is simple. They are*not* anywhere *near* being a "as good a
precedent"

Vs

Class levels of a specific class, whether it be base
or PrC dont increase DCs. They dont. Its not in the mechanics of the system,
and it isnt supposed to be. That is by design. Character levels, yes. Class
levels, no.

A very very mutable argument?

They don't exist... oh wait, fact shows they do. Ok, we're
going on 'not good enough precedent' now. It's not sound logically for a
persuasive argument at all.

LOL!!!

Nice, Manny. Nice. At least before you were doing a decent
job of concealing when you take quotes from me out of context.

That little x vs. y bit above is on two separate points, yet
you want to smoosh them together to compare them. I remember something you
wrote about apples and oranges... LOL.

I'm sure you and anyone else who cares to read all this will
be happy to go back and read what each of those quotes was in reference to, and
keep in mind those points were separate.

The only part of the class levels point that I was incorrect
about was some of the PrC mechanics. That doesnt make the whole point invalid.
Some PrC mechanics using class level in DC doesnt mean ALL should, in fact,
they should be considered as inconsistent with the base core class mechanics
and rewieved for update if there is not a very good reason for the disconnect
(which there isnt in all but one case).

And you've miscounted. 3 classes that use physcial
stat modifers, but 7 all in all that use class level for DCs. Examples of where
there are separate but similar rules that work decently enough. Even among
those 7, not all use the class level in the exact same way.

Miscounted? 3 classes that use physical stat mods, all of
which are PrC classes, two of which have abilities in question which do not
even exist in PnP, and NONE of which follow PnP mechanics properly. No, I think
our counts are in agreement there.

I didnt count anything else except the hundreds of other
abilities that set the precedent you dont want to ackowledge Smile

Thanks for pointing out more inconsistencies in the PrC
mechanics. All the more reason to review and update them wherever possible with
the goal of adding features that are missing and revamping the mechanics for
consistency.

Because that would be great if the classes were
implemented just as they were in PnP and it would be fantastic if NWN could be
played just like PnP.

BUt the fact is, they aren't, and it can't, so we make do
with coming up with ideas to make NWN not only closer to PnP in ways that are
indeed possible, but also enjoyable beyond what's NWN out of the box as a
whole, even if it doesn't adhere strictly to PnP.

You are the one who used the words "strictly
adhere" not me. I used consistent... but even I will allow there are times
when exceptions need be made. The important part is having a very very solid
and good reason for divergence. In only one case in this entire discussion is
there a good reason for the exception, and in that particular case its still
not even necessary to have that inconsistency as changing it to be consistent
wouldnt hurt the ability... it would actually improve it.

That you wish label arguments of those who disagree with you
as drivel is your choice, what you do with your time is really no concern to
me. If you cannot accept that my ideas to improve the game are not about Dave,
whether you agree with them or not, that's on you.

Of course its all about me. The game was designed for me,
and Aenea, too. Nothing anybody else thinks or says makes any difference.
Muahahahahahaha!



Now, please go back and read those words again, and I am
sure that you, like me, will know full well how ridicuous they sound and are.
This was not, never has been, and should not be about me, or about you. I
provide input on these forums to help improve the game for everybody. I am sure
you would claim the same? As such, not wasting people's time *IS* a concern to
me. Maybe you should consider making it one to you?

The epic AA is already getting Imbue DC
bonus as well as enchant arrow bonus over and above the non-epic AA. Having the death arrow DC scale with
character level/2 will at least give the non-epic AA something that scales.

Agreed, however, I hold the different opinion that the 'more
class levels = better class abilities' is far more intuitive, and just as
balanced.

Already explained precisely why its not "just as
balanced" in this case and have also presented precedent and and reasoning
to back it up. Investing levels in a class doesnt make every single ability of
that class better, and in this case, AA's best and most central class ability
already does benefit from that logic. The other abilities can be made to scale,
but make more sense to go off character level. You disagree, thats fine... but
the basis for that disagreement becomes important.

Understandable, but I do not believe it to be
unbalanced, nor believe that a cap must be instituted on this, or any other DC.
If strict adherence to PnP rulebooks is the guideline, I don't recall seeing
any instituted caps.

The other caps are built into the calculations. The maximum
DC values.

Just about every single DC based ability in the game caps at
30 or below before stat mod, with the exception of a handful of the PrC
abilities.

Stunning fist : caps at 30

Devastating Crit: caps at 30

Quivering palm: caps at 30

Spellcasting: caps at 25 (and only with 3 feats invested for
each school)

Epic spellcasting: capped at less than 30 (I believe The Amethyst Dragon set
it to 20 something?)

Why is that? Well...

Consider where base save bonuses cap at, and you may see
it...

Base save maxes at 26.

Getting a base DC30 against a base save 26. Thats balanced.
Attacker has a 20% advantage from the get-go, but bonuses and dice rolls can
shift that significantly.

Base DC40 against base save 26? A 50% shift in probability
from the above? Not balanced, sorry.

Ranged or not ranged should have no bearing on the DC. If
we're going to place in extra factors such as ranged, then to be consistent
(which seems to be your overall opinion, no?) we would have to take into
consideration mitigating factors in other DCs as well. Ranged dev crits should
have mitigating modifiers based on the fact that it's ranged as well... that
just opens a whole can of worms... 1 use per day vs 3 uses per day vs 5 uses
per day vs unlimted uses per day... ick.

Ranged dev crit caps at base DC30 no matter what. Death
arrow should too.

While I think that scaling AA dcs with character level/2 is
more balanced, makes multiclassing better, and doesnt require adding additional
math to make the DC cap at 30.... if it were to scale with AA level, it should
still cap at 30 for balance.

Nope, no issue with a 40+mod DC for those who've invested
for it. Sorry if it's difficult for you to understand that I can have a
different opinion than you without my sense of balance being weaker.

Dont apologize to me, really. I am the one who feels bad
that you don't see what I am trying to show you.

If 40+mod DC is acceptable, then other classe’s DC based
abilities should be able to also reach those heights if they “invest for it”,
and the base saves should be adjusted to make the probabilities balanced… but
you aren’t suggesting any of that (and I am certainly not either).

To be clear on your argument then, it's not entirely
about a simple consistent rule, but rather taking into consideration mitigating
factors such as number of other abilities a class has as well? Is there a
formula you're using for this consideration?

That bit was in response to your "everybody shouldnt
get the same for different investment" argument. They don't and they won't
regardless. So that point was moot and not relevant.

If the enchant arrow, and the imbue didnt
improve (imbue should cap at 30, mind you), then

everyone would gain the same. As it stands, every does *not*
get the same, regardless of how Death Arrow is changed.

Except for when discussing the discreet ability of Death
Arrow.

If you want to discuss consistency and then try to isolate
that discussion to considering only one ability, then you are wasting our time.

Drops to crap? I think the numbers previously posted
illustrated quite clearly that the AA with only 10 levels would retain the same
DC as what they have currently. No synergy is lost.

My comparison was between how it would be scaling with
characterlevel/2 and how it is now. I never said there was good synergy the way
things are. There isn't, AA multiclassing synergy is crap. Scaling with
character level/2 would help with that issue.

AA's who invested past 10th would see a return for
the investment in *all* abilities

Why? Other classes dont. That would unbalance AA's by
comparison.

We always agreed on the idea of scaling the
DC

Good. The arguments preceding this indicated otherwise to me
honestly.

That would definitely seem to be a result of not reading
what I am writing.

Remember that I was the one who suggested using the monk
formula? From the very beginning I have been a proponent of scaling the DC using
that method.

I didnt want to assume that you were picking a fight for no
reason, or that you were just ignoring the words I was taking the time
to type... but once this debate got going, it became more and more
apparent that just might be the case. Hence my earlier post about not
wasting the time with it.
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:58 pm

daveyeisley wrote:And the predictable denial comes.

You are either confused or willfully mixing up the
"precedent" with the handful of "exceptions" to that
precedent.

Actually, no, not confused, and actually willfully using the definition of "precedent" as it is in the English Dictionary.

As for the rest, you made a few points that had some logic to them, some that still suffer from faulty logic, but overall, I'm am finding your belligerence and need to incessantly lace personal insults in every chance you get rather tedious, so I'm done here. Awsome job on whatever witty comeback you will respond with, I'm sure it'll be a real zinger, sorry I didn't provide a "term paper" for you to troll on.
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Post by daveyeisley on Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:23 pm

Actually, no, not confused, and actually willfully using the definition of "precedent" as it is in the English Dictionary.

Ah. I see. Then perhaps you would like to factor into your reasoning the afore mentioned 200+ spells and abilities before you conclude that 4 prestige class abilities (3 of which should not exist) somehow establishes a more (or even equivalent - read "just as good")consistent pattern?

I'm am finding your belligerence and need to incessantly lace personal insults in every chance you get rather tedious

Kettle to Pot, kettle to pot... you are *black*.
daveyeisley
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Post by Eric of Atrophy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:16 am

Wow. On the bright side, I'll probably have a 40-level character by the time you two wind down!
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