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Baldur's Gate 3 - the 2nd thread


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On 3/8/2020 at 4:31 AM, sorophx said:

Original Sin 2 has a good story? are you on crack? that's one of the blandest games ever story wise... I guess now I know why Larian's games are so popular. people can't tell a good story from a bad one, too many games, too much time spent playing mediocre crap, harder and harder to separate the good from the bad, I guess, in this sea of mediocrity.

Good story? No. Great quest design? Yes. Larian has always had pretty good design but their actual writing was never good. They're kind of like Piranha Bytes that way.

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On 3/17/2020 at 9:24 PM, IndiraLightfoot said:

You have already taught me a lot about D&D 5th Ed, but can you perhaps list your worst disappointments, like a few condensed points, if you feel like it and have the time. Thx for your posts!

I'd say I really don't know quite how to rank things to get to a few condensed points, I'm going to regret my decisions later I think. 😄

  • Rules wordings. The game is really assinine about this. Punching someone with a fist? It counts as a "melee weapon attack", but not an "melee weapon" or "attacking with a melee weapon". You have to keep in mind whichever kind of attack your spell/ability/feat ties into, and your GM might have to ruin your carefully planned out turn and have you restart your planning. This is not a problem specific to melee, but they're the ones that most often get hit the hardest by this.
  • Concentration: You can only keep one concentration spell active at a time. Great in some ways, but a hassle to keep track of and makes spells that hold your concentration much less appealing. You will also almost always choose the same non-concentration spells, because it gives you one less thing to remember, which leads to a very much cookie-cutter feel.  A cleric will always have Spiritual Weapon handy, it's non-concentration, uses a bonus action and it's a relatively low level spell. Spiritual Guardians is the same thing, use an action to cast, Concentration, does Continous AoE damage that scales with spell slots spent, and slows down enemies for a 10minute period or until your concentration is broken..
  • Feats: Ties into the one above. You have very few feats, they come at fixed points in the class and not tied to character level, can be used to either raise stats or get a feat. Some feats are just so very much better than others. War Caster gives you advantage (Roll 2d20 and pick the highest dice) on Concentration checks against damage, allows you to use Somatic spells without needing a free hand (So you can have a weapon and shield always at the ready, instead of having to drop your weapon and pick it up from the ground if you want to cast a spell) and let's you cast a single target spell as an opportunity attack. Or you can take Weapon Master and gain proficiency in 4 weapons and +1 to your Dex or Str ability score. Not bonus, score. Yay.
  • Skills; Are generally all determined at character creation, if you want a new skill you have to use a Feat to gain 3 different skills or tools. You don't dole out points anymore, skills are your ability score + proficiency bonus (That rises with character level), so if something changes after character creation you will have to sacrifice that build you wanted next time you get an Ability Score Improvement (Feat) if you want to learn that skill. Or spend months with a personal trainer, paying him every day.
  • "Bounded Accuracy": 5E is based around this, essentially all checks and ability scores are "limited" to 30, except when they aren't, so they've limited the scaling on everything. Proficiency bonuses range from +2 to +6, you only apply this bonus to things you are proficient in. So you can't really roll for attributes anymore, because those stat bonuses are worth too much, if you get lucky you can start with +5, so you apply that as a wizard would to Intelligence, the Cleric - devout as he is - chooses Religion as a skill, he has studied under the High Priest of Amaunator - but he will still, statistically, be schooled about his own religion by that Wizard, until level 13 when they will be equals.. Doesn't really help with point buy either, since Intelligence is less important than both Wisdom  and Constitution, and possibly Strength if the cleric wants to punch people in the face for whatever silly RP reason. And that "bound" is not very difficult to break in various ways, rogues and bards get "expertise" in certain chosen skills allowing them to double their proficiency bonus, so hitting +10 in a skill by level 5 is far from hard. So you will end up with cookie cutter attributes aswell, 15-14-13-12-10-8, I actually ended up the second smartest character in a group because I refused to use the cookie cutter attributes, with 10.
  • General encounter balance. The game is "balanced" around 6-8 medium combat encounters per day. If you don't mind that kind of slog, the game will eventually become somewhat balanced, because the casters will be able to do bugger all because they will be out of spell slots since they recharge on long rests, and fighters, monks , rogues and warlocks will become more balanced since they recharge on short rests. My group would never stand for something like this, it'd be a boring non-stop grind, but if you don't do this your casters will have access to all of their slots, so you need to up the ante - and it's easy as all hell to wipe a party this way because the maths get thrown out of whack.
  • The monsters. 3.5Ed had tables for upping monsters level, 5e does not, so you have to improvise. I wanted my group to have an encounter against a minotaur in a mansion, it'd be an easy encounter for the group. I gave the minotaur a chain-mail upping his AC by two, increased his attack bonus by +1 and 34 more HP to even out the action imbalance. Nearly wiped the group out.
  • Classes. Certain classes have really been left by the wayside. I felt so bad for the GM's girlfriend that decided to play a Beast Master Ranger...
  • Magic Items. They're supposedly really rare now, meaning that the only way to really get a magic item is through dungeons since you can't buy a magic sword for your fighter. And your fighter really, really needs that magic weapon, because while casters don't care about mundane weapon resistance/immunity, because spells, Melee Warlocks, monks and shapeshifter druids get "natural" magic weapons after a while, your ranger, rogue and fighter don't ever get something like that. "Oh, look, a golem... anyone wants pizza? I'm sitting this one out"...
  • ... "Hey guys, the pizza is getting... I was about to say cold, but it mutated legs and walked out... Oh, and me and Mindy started a family, and now our daughter works at the nursing home. Speaking of which, she wonders if anyone here needs their diaper changed?" **** me if some fights won't turn into a slogfest, especially at higher levels when casters have to plow through the books to find out the exact wording of a spell, check the AoE range, reference either the drawn board or ask the GM to specify the exact positioning of enemies, double check the action economy if they can actually do what they planned, and then execute. The fighter rolls his three attackrolls, the rogue gets two rolls, back to the next caster... Atleast the old editions had morale rolls for enemies that could cut things short, but why have any replacement rules for that?

 

Wow, I have to send a kudos to whoever decided on the time between auto-saving time  on the forum software, I got 3 hard reboots out of nowhere. Also, sorry for the rantiness Indira, I tend to grow bitter from remembering I've had to play 5e for months while waiting for my favourite game to come up again..

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Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. - H.L. Mencken

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11 hours ago, Azdeus said:
  • Rules wordings. The game is really assinine about this. Punching someone with a fist? It counts as a "melee weapon attack", but not an "melee weapon" or "attacking with a melee weapon".

Conclusion: it's a game designed by lawyers.

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7 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

Conclusion: it's a game designed by lawyers.

Funny, sad and true - it detracts alot from the game. It's quite often things come to a screeching halt, just because someone forgot the exact phrasing of something. There are whole doc's with twitter clarifications about rules from the designers to keep track of, plus Unearthed Arcana changes besides the "normal" erratas. I found out that the Ranger errata is now invalid because they designed the extra splatbooks around the players guide gimped version Ranger because they don't want "two versions" of the class floating around.

Really annoying too, because the errata Ranger class is not wholly useless... But if you combine it with the extra classes released in Xanathar's Guide to Everything you get an absolute beast of a class, atleast in combat. Now you're bad at combat and worse ranger than a Scout Rogue.

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Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. - H.L. Mencken

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28 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

My group is still playing 3.5 and has no desire to change, and although there are some occasional discussions to be had, it's nowhere near as bad as that.

I'm jealous, my players wanted to migrate from 3.5 to 5e, because they wanted to homogenize the games, one other GM ran 5e, and I ran 3.5e, and they convinced me that it'd be better. I got to read the 5e rules after I agreed to migrate... Discussions are one thing, but it becomes literal lawyering of the worst kind in 5e because the game is written that way.

Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. - H.L. Mencken

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Eh...I've always played with groups that "Rule 0"ed stuff we didn't like or didn't want to deal with.  If the game rules aren't fun for the group (including the DM) they gotta change.

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One thing to take away from Azdeus's informative posts here seems to be that turning 5th Ed D&D into a computer game is both heaven and hell, and Larian seems to be pretty creative. I suspect that Larian's CRPG version of it might be more fun rule-wise than the cryptic and contradictory PnP rule books. 

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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15 minutes ago, Amentep said:

Eh...I've always played with groups that "Rule 0"ed stuff we didn't like or didn't want to deal with.  If the game rules aren't fun for the group (including the DM) they gotta change.

The group I play with like the perks and simplicity of 5e more than they dislike the things I do, there aren't only downsides to the system.

  

1 minute ago, IndiraLightfoot said:

One thing to take away from Azdeus's informative posts here seems to be that turning 5th Ed D&D into a computer game is both heaven and hell, and Larian seems to be pretty creative. I suspect that Larian's CRPG version of it might be more fun rule-wise than the cryptic and contradictory PnP rule books. 

Doing a computer game out of it will be a boon, and I don't doubt that Larian will be able to change the descriptions and stuff, things will be automated and you won't be able to argue with a computer GM. Though that'd be a funny easter egg 😄 

I'm sort of curious to see how they will handle the action economy or if they'll just have action points or similar. 

Edited by Azdeus

Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. - H.L. Mencken

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I'm not saying there aren't good things; Rule 0 is keep what you like and modify the rest. But if you're having fun with the rules as is, minor quibbles aside...

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It's a pity they didn't do this earlier while 4E was still the current version. All the time playing 4E I had the feeling that the rules were meant to be adapted to computer games, that just never really happened.

From the outside, having never played it, 5E looks like the incestous offspring of 3E and 4E.

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2 hours ago, Oner said:

I've heard 4E took inspiration from MMOs, if that's true it's not surprising if the system was begging for a video game adaptation.

4E came up with abilities that fall into four different categories: At-Will, Encounter, Utility and Daily, and they do exactly that. You can either use them every round, once per encounter or once per long rest which isn't necessarily a day but never mind that. You can select new powers and replace old ones you don't like at level up. Utility powers can be limited to once per encounter or day depending on the power.

It also made multiclassing weird. Multiclassing was a line of feats you took where you could essentially shuffle some powers around and possibly qualify for your multiclasses's progression paths later on but you'd need to multiclass within your role and to a class using the same primary stat for this to even work in any way. Work meaning to not gimp your character. Essentially you'd just take the MC feat not to roleplay something but to gain access to a certain class trait you'd like. In order to drive home how useless the first multiclass feat sometimes was, often they'd just allow you to pick an At-Will of your multiclass and make it a daily power for your character. An encounter power if you're lucky. MCing to Rogue allowed you to sneak attack once per encounter and gave thievery skill training.

Later MCing feats allowed to swap an encounter, utility and daily power between classes. That is where it would get interesting, alas, is that really worth four feats?

It also had the cookie cutter stat spreads.

You had a couple of stat spreads to choose from in the PHB, but realistically only three of them made sense, and that are the ones where you can put 18 in your primary stat (with a +2 bonus for your race, choose accordingly or gimp yourself). Everything else is a bad choice. Every build path has a clear primary stat and depending on the complexity or your choices a clear secondary and perhaps a tertiary stat.

Unless you roll for stats that leaves three viable choices under the rules:

18 13 13 10 10 8

18 14 11 10 10 8

18 12 12 10 10 10

The second one being the most common because you can have a 20 and an 16 in your primary and secondary stat. The first one looks deceivingly interesting but falls flat as you'll want to increase your primary stat by leveling up and racial bonuses come as even numbers. It's pointless to have two 13s there, that's dead weight.

In order to fix the weird multiclassing later revisions introduced hybrid classing - a concept where you're two classes at once, but with one character level and special rules for all possible combinations. A veritable nightmare to work with. Mixing abilities is a pain the arse, the rules aren't at all clear especially when it comes to level increases and eventually you'll just wish you went single class instead.

Plus the actual amount of viable hybrid builds is somewhat limited and further constrained by what's already in your party. I played a Warlord/Cleric combination specifically to combo buff and increase group mobility. It's not a good combination in general but it worked for the party.

You can even top that off by taking the MC line of feats on a hybrid. Hm.

Edited by majestic
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2 hours ago, Amentep said:

I'm not saying there aren't good things; Rule 0 is keep what you like and modify the rest. But if you're having fun with the rules as is, minor quibbles aside...

Hard though when you're not the only GM, since the majority of 5e is played with the other GM nowadays, I've adapted to those rules he runs with to not confuse people. I'm definetly not having fun with the rules, but as I said, I keep showing up hoping we will be playing some Mutant Chronicles or similar.

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Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. - H.L. Mencken

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so there is going to be rolling for stats... i can see how i spend hour just rolling for stats again xD

I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think, I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech, and freedom of choice. I'm the kinda guy that likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecue ribs with the side-order of gravy fries?" I want high cholesterol! I wanna eat bacon, and butter, and buckets of cheese, okay?! I wanna smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section! I wanna run naked through the street, with green Jell-O all over my body, reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly may feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiene"

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Then, let's roll! (I have a masochistic streak, meaning that I may just as well accept the character that I roll right off the bat.)

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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2 hours ago, KaineParker said:

If true that's the dumbest decision I've heard about this game.

you can roll or select from limited pool

I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think, I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech, and freedom of choice. I'm the kinda guy that likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecue ribs with the side-order of gravy fries?" I want high cholesterol! I wanna eat bacon, and butter, and buckets of cheese, okay?! I wanna smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section! I wanna run naked through the street, with green Jell-O all over my body, reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly may feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiene"

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6 hours ago, Chilloutman said:

you can roll or select from limited pool

that doesn't sound better. And I betcha the limited pool is sucky enough to 'encourage' you to roll. Its a TRAAAAAAAAAAAP! 😄

I'll bet ye've got all sorts o' barmy questions! (She mimics your heroic stance) Greetin's, I have some questions... can ye tell me about this place? Who's the Lady o' Pain? I'm lookin' fer the magic Girdle of Swank Iron, have ye seen it? Do ye know where a portal ta the 2,817th Plane o' the Abyss might be? Do ye know where the Holy Flamin' Frost-Brand Gronk-Slayin' Vorpal Hammer o' Woundin' an' Returnin' an' Shootin'-Lightnin'-Out-Yer-Bum is?

 

Elderly Hive Dweller

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If the limited pool is the 27 points you get to distribute between ability scores (all starting at 8 ) like in the PnP game (which also has rolling btw), then you can get a pretty decent stat spread.

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Just now, Oner said:

If the limited pool is the 27 points you get to distribute between ability scores (all starting at 8 ) like in the PnP game (which also has rolling btw), then you can get a pretty decent stat spread.

Depending on how they adapt the rules, it's close to gamebreaking to allow rolls, comparatively the pointbuy is pure **** since RAW you can't start with more than base 15 (And then add+2 from your race) for your highest stat. Starting with 18+2 for a 20 which is absolute max without legendary items/equipment. 17 gives you +3, and 20 +5 modifier, that's 6 or so levels difference in base proficiency. I might be off a bit on that number, I don't have the books infront of me right now.

Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. - H.L. Mencken

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A video game might allow you to reroll indefinitely, but in PnP you're more liable to get a subpar roll, and while the point buy version won't net you broken stats, you will likely start with 16-17 in your most favored stat and 13-14 in your secondary ones, which is perfectly reasonable? You'd have to be a filthy powergamer to call it **** for not letting you start with 17 in everything. 😛

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3 hours ago, Oner said:

A video game might allow you to reroll indefinitely, but in PnP you're more liable to get a subpar roll, and while the point buy version won't net you broken stats, you will likely start with 16-17 in your most favored stat and 13-14 in your secondary ones, which is perfectly reasonable? You'd have to be a filthy powergamer to call it **** for not letting you start with 17 in everything. 😛

Comparatively, it's key here 😛

Because of bounded accuracy challenge rating is balanced around pointbuy, I had a level 6 Ranger with rolled stats be on par with a group of level 11's if you discount spellslots and slight hp disadvantage. 

You get a Proficiency (Base bonus to skills and other things you are proficient with every 4th level, starting at +2@lvl 1. So, 1, 5, 9, 13

So if they limit the level cap to 10, you can have a Max proficiency bonus of +4, while a 20 in an attribute is +5...

Edited by Azdeus

Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. - H.L. Mencken

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