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No more GM sucker punches, and the gameplay challenges thereof


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Interesting that you chose baseball to make your point. Baseball is fair because players are considered to be roughly equal in ability. Some players may be worse at certain things, and others may be better at them, but a game between two Major League teams is exciting because the players are considered close enough in ability that either could win if they played the game well enough. Luck is involved, but the reason we call it the "major league" is because it represents the top players in the sport. This is why you don't see MLB players going up against Little League teams, and why steroids are (theoretically) banned from the MLB. Because it is supposed to be fair (read: everyone is on a roughly level playing field). A sucker punch is the equivalent of steroid use by one team in order to beat the other. It's not fair. You can like it, and you can argue for it, just like some people argue for steroid use in the MLB. But it is fundamentally unexciting to know that one team is juicing, as far as I'm concerned.

 

I'm not going to touch your whole "If you want a good story, read a book" thing, though I will say that you're deluding yourself if you think unfairness equates to challenge, because the two are fundamentally antithetical.

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"Insta-kill doesn't make a game with unlimited saves challenging. It just makes it repetitive."

 

Nope. Simply not true. Games that have insta kills abilities are definitely challenging. To say otherwise is delusional. Why do you think people are fearful of things such as wyverns, medusas, or even ghouls? Because they have abilities that   change combat in an instant unlike say an orc with axe who can do damage. But, being killed, turned to stone,or even paralyzed are actual true threats no matter your level (saving throws and resistances not withstanding).

 

Now, I'm not a proponent of just throwing these characters at random  to 'surprise' players in a situation where they had no chance because that IS silly and unfun. But, to ban these abilities is weak willed and  lessen challenge. Challenge is about having different encounters and these things bring variety.

 

 In M&M7 going into the lower dwarven mines where the medusa live is definitely a threat and parties have to be pepared.

 

Now, as for 'savescumming'.. O really don't care if people do it. It's a SP game so if people want to 'savescum' inbetween every 'round' to try to avoid these attacks (or criticals for that matter) let them. Developing a game  around that is just a waste of resources. The only person you should be worried about 'save scumming's is yoruself. And, if you hate doing it, just iron man mod. I'm not a fan of IMM though because too many things an go wrong that isn't the player's fault and sicne there will always more combat and danger in a CRPG than a pnp game the risk of 'losing's is phenomenally high. Afterall, you will never likely fight a a small army of vamps in pnp like you did in BG2,  or other CRPGs.

 

 

"though I will say that you're deluding yourself if you think unfairness equates to challenge, because the two are fundamentally antithetical."

 

Except, I don't think 'insta death' attacks are unfair. At all. The players have ways to deal with them just like they have ways to deal with taking normal damage (better armour, better dodge, killing melee monsters before they enter melee, healing, etc.,e tc.). How is this any different? It's different.

 

Why do people ant things to be simplifed? Variety and challenge go hand and hand so if you start saying a, b, c, d,e, and f should not be allowed there's not much left outside of sheer direct damage. That's cool BUT all the time? L A M E

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Instant kill spells aren't completely banned, you just have a small opportunity to react to it when it hits.

We don't know what the requirement to countering the effects will be yet. Maybe it will be really hard, which makes it an instant kill in most situations.

The reason the bonus time is added, is because death is permanent in that world, and you have a lot less chance of getting through the game without savescumming than in IE games. Unless you eat a Disintegrate spell you have a pretty good chance of reviving that character there.

Also we don't know if there even will be a Deathward like spell in PoE, since there's no prebuffing and by the time you see the enemy casting the spell chances are it will be too late to protect whatever character is being targeted.

There's clearly a give and take here, and not just dumbing down the game.

The difference is that in IE games you can reload and prebuff yourself to counter the enemy effects and cakewalk it, but here you won't be able to do that.

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Let your mind go off INSTA-KILL. 

 

This is not D&D ruleset. People don't die and get raised back in life saying: 'Oh boy, what did I miss ?'

 

This is 'Pillars of Eternity', soak on it while you still have the time man.

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Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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"This is not D&D ruleset. People don't die and get raised back in life saying: 'Oh boy, what did I miss ?'"

 

If that's the way you dealt with death in DnD, that's a failue of yours not DnD.

 

Yeah, and guess what people will do with death in PE? RELOAD. LMAO Just like every other game with perma death (ironman mode notwithstanding).

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"This is not D&D ruleset. People don't die and get raised back in life saying: 'Oh boy, what did I miss ?'"

 

If that's the way you dealt with death in DnD, that's a failue of yours not DnD.

 

 

 

In my D&D Campaigns I keep resurrection powers to very few privileged, charismatic and not-known-to-the-grand-masses people. Otherwise the world starts to crumble by default. So my PCs know in advance that if they die this will most likely be the end, barring special circumstances.

 

With this told, I avoid sucker punches as well, using them in very few encounters.

 

 

In PoE there will be NO resurrection at all, so sucker punches go out the window, Josh said that, no point in this discussion anymore.

Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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Yeah, and guess what people will do with death in PE? RELOAD. LMAO Just like every other game with perma death (ironman mode notwithstanding).

 

 

If one or more people in your party fall unconscious all you have to do is finish the fight with people still standing, then unconscious party members will be revived. Gave Over (and reload) is when whole party falls.

Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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"In my D&D Campaigns I keep resurrection powers to very few privileged, charismatic and not-known-to-the-grand-masses people. Otherwise the world starts to crumble by default. So my PCs know in advance that if they die this will most likely be the end, barring special circumstances."

 

Then why were you bashing DnD ressurection/raise dead? The way you describe is the way it should be. Raise Dead is not some pamby bamby spell. Death is not something that one can shake off in DnD for giggles. If it is, it's being played wrong (like most CRPGs).

 

 

"If one or more people in your party fall unconscious all you have to do is finish the fight with people still standing, then unconscious party members will be revived. Gave Over (and reload) is when whole party falls."

 

I know. That's even worse. Thankfully,  we get an option to make it if you die you die. None of this mamby pamby KOTORish-JEish-NWN2ish- new age nonsense.

 

(beining actually unconcious (ie. through sleep spell) is different than  'dead' but not really dead nonsense). L A M E And, not a good defense of the this game's default 'death' system.

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"This is not D&D ruleset. People don't die and get raised back in life saying: 'Oh boy, what did I miss ?'"

 

If that's the way you dealt with death in DnD, that's a failue of yours not DnD.

 

Yeah, and guess what people will do with death in PE? RELOAD. LMAO Just like every other game with perma death (ironman mode notwithstanding).

Actually most of the time in Baldur's Gate when someone died I just raised them or went back to town and paid some chump change and did it there.  I only reloaded on nonsense like my character failing a instant death save which forces a reload or situations where my party was simply wiped (few and far between).

 

In PoE you do understand death is permanent right?  If a party member dies they are dead, the end.  Since death carries a metric crap ton more weight because of this it shouldn't happen like a joke every other encounter.

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turn a corner in some random dungeon and get hit by a bus? splat. dead. game over. stupid? sure, but that is what we is talking 'bout. these unpredictable encounters that has a high probability o' causing a party wipe is not enhancing game fun. being entertaining is the goal... not to be "challenging," though only the most obtuse would see the aforementioned bus mauling as a challenge. 

 

 

is funny (well, is funny assuming you are English... or high,) but stoopid.

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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There's clearly a give and take here, and not just dumbing down the game.

 

I agree, that's a nice short summary. The offense got less absolute, but so did the defense.

The Seven Blunders/Roots of Violence: Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle. (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)

 

Let's Play the Pools Saga (SSI Gold Box Classics)

Pillows of Enamored Warfare -- The Zen of Nodding

 

 

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"This is not D&D ruleset. People don't die and get raised back in life saying: 'Oh boy, what did I miss ?'"

 

If that's the way you dealt with death in DnD, that's a failue of yours not DnD.

 

 

 

In my D&D Campaigns I keep resurrection powers to very few privileged, charismatic and not-known-to-the-grand-masses people. Otherwise the world starts to crumble by default. So my PCs know in advance that if they die this will most likely be the end, barring special circumstances.

 

With this told, I avoid sucker punches as well, using them in very few encounters.

 

 

In PoE there will be NO resurrection at all, so sucker punches go out the window, Josh said that, no point in this discussion anymore.

 

 

That's not how the D&D rules are written though. Raise Dead is a level 5 cleric spell, therefore available to any cleric of level 9 or above. In a world that has clerics of level 9 and above, it would not be a rare service – not available to the masses perhaps, but certainly to the privileged.

 

I also houseruled around this problem in various ways in my different campaigns, for many of the same reasons.

 

FWIW Planescape is IMO the best and truest D&D setting. Why? Because it takes those absurd D&D rules and provides coherent in-game explanations for more of them. Trouble is D&D wasn't designed for Planescape, it was designed for Mystara, and the rules really don't work for Mystara.

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"That's not how the D&D rules are written though. Raise Dead is a level 5 cleric spell, therefore available to any cleric of level 9 or above. In a world that has clerics of level 9 and above, it would not be a rare service – not available to the masses perhaps, but certainly to the privileged."

 

You do realize the cost of raise dead  as well as requirements. Perhaps, you should read the 2nd Edition DMG. And, it was no different in earlier editions or 3e. Again, raise Dead is not mamby pamby spell that can be spammed for giggles. LMAO

 

 

"FWIW Planescape is IMO the best and truest D&D setting. Why? Because it takes those absurd D&D rules and provides coherent in-game explanations for more of them."

 

No. Planescape is no different than other DnD settings since it encompasses ALL DnD settings (prior to silly 4E lol).  It's doesn't explain ther spells any differently.

Edited by Volourn

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"This is not D&D ruleset. People don't die and get raised back in life saying: 'Oh boy, what did I miss ?'"

 

If that's the way you dealt with death in DnD, that's a failue of yours not DnD.

 

 

 

In my D&D Campaigns I keep resurrection powers to very few privileged, charismatic and not-known-to-the-grand-masses people. Otherwise the world starts to crumble by default. So my PCs know in advance that if they die this will most likely be the end, barring special circumstances.

 

With this told, I avoid sucker punches as well, using them in very few encounters.

 

 

In PoE there will be NO resurrection at all, so sucker punches go out the window, Josh said that, no point in this discussion anymore.

 

 

That's not how the D&D rules are written though. Raise Dead is a level 5 cleric spell, therefore available to any cleric of level 9 or above. In a world that has clerics of level 9 and above, it would not be a rare service – not available to the masses perhaps, but certainly to the privileged.

 

I also houseruled around this problem in various ways in my different campaigns, for many of the same reasons.

 

FWIW Planescape is IMO the best and truest D&D setting. Why? Because it takes those absurd D&D rules and provides coherent in-game explanations for more of them. Trouble is D&D wasn't designed for Planescape, it was designed for Mystara, and the rules really don't work for Mystara.

 

 

 

Yes, it is a Lv 5 Spell, so you need to be Lv 9 to get it. However:

 

 

Core D&D rules encourage a Campaign where less than 1% of the population are adventurers or highly trained people (or priests highly recognized in the eyes of their deity for that matter). Now picture that a good portion of those clerics do not perform temple services, but are of the adventuring type like maybe your PC Cleric (and those people usually end up dead during an adventure along with their party).

 

Abiding to such a social structure brings balance to a Campaign and makes you think that it can be quite rare to find that Priest who can raise the dead. Also imagine how famous such a person would be if his powers where known to the greater public or the royalty, but better yet, how big kind of troubles such fame would bring unto him/her.

 

 

 

Of course the world is much more balanced (and realistically structured) by 2nd edition rules, where for someone to achieve Lv 9 is a great accomplishment and requires a looooot more effort than the following D&D editions.

Edited by constantine

Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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Not to mention the heavy cost to both caster and receiver of raise dead. Not to mention the spell only works within a certain time frame and with an actual intact body. Nott to emntion the fact the 'soul' has to want to return. Not to mention the fact that the divine being powering the spell has to give the okay. Again, raise dead is not a mamby pamby spell like magic missle that can be cast for giggles over a tea party.

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I re-read the descriptions in the PHB and DMG (AD&D 2e). Here are the limitations:

 

  • Body must no older than 1 day / caster level, i.e., 9 days old, tops, for a 9th level caster.
  • Recipient of the spell has CON permanently lowered by 1 point.
  • Recipient must make Resurrection Survival check or be permanently dead.
  • Recipient must be human or demi-human, unless DM rules otherwise.
  • Any missing body parts won't be restored. (Of course there is other magic that can do that.)

There is no mention of the soul having to want to return, cost to the caster, or required divine approval. (Some of that was added in 3e though, precisely because resurrection-on-order is so obviously absurd.)

 

However the core rules as written do not impose any limits beyond that. So a L9 priest could cast Raise Dead 365 times a year. If one person out of 10,000 was a L9+ priest, that'd be enough to keep a fair-sized town's aristocracy in Raise Deads at will. Which is silly, wherefore all the houseruling to make it less so.

 

D&D is badly broken, and AD&D is ludicrously broken. This is just one of the ways.

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I re-read the descriptions in the PHB and DMG (AD&D 2e). Here are the limitations:

 

  • Body must no older than 1 day / caster level, i.e., 9 days old, tops, for a 9th level caster.
  • Recipient of the spell has CON permanently lowered by 1 point.
  • Recipient must make Resurrection Survival check or be permanently dead.
  • Recipient must be human or demi-human, unless DM rules otherwise.
  • Any missing body parts won't be restored. (Of course there is other magic that can do that.)

There is no mention of the soul having to want to return, cost to the caster, or required divine approval. (Some of that was added in 3e though, precisely because resurrection-on-order is so obviously absurd.)

 

However the core rules as written do not impose any limits beyond that. So a L9 priest could cast Raise Dead 365 times a year. If one person out of 10,000 was a L9+ priest, that'd be enough to keep a fair-sized town's aristocracy in Raise Deads at will. Which is silly, wherefore all the houseruling to make it less so.

 

D&D is badly broken, and AD&D is ludicrously broken. This is just one of the ways.

well, to be fair, a 9th level cleric in 2e were not an every-town kinda personage. rogue's gallery stats for rigby list him as level 9 and serten gets all the way to 15. rogue's gallery were, admittedly, 1st edition, but leveling didn't become faster in second, so am thinking it is fair to use such well-known iconic characters as a guide. also, rez fail were based 'pon constitution and average con o' 9 is gonna result in a fail rate of 30%.  if you died originally 'cause o' age or general poor health (constitution) those fail chances is gonna be even less forgiving. furthermore, any dm is gonna have the cleric beholden to tenants of faith such that random or your example spam resurrections of the aristocracy would be seeming unlikely.  

 

HA! Good Fun!

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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"There is no mention of the soul having to want to return, cost to the caster, or required divine approval. (Some of that was added in 3e though, precisely because resurrection-on-order is so obviously absurd.)"

 

DMG dude.  Also, defacto, the god the cleric worships (barring campaigns that don't use gods and just stick with priests using natural abilities powered by their own  morality beliefs)

 

 

"Recipient must make Resurrection Survival check or be permanently dead."

 

Again, this is the big one that people miss. The spell doesn't always works. On top of that your con is lowered so if you die more times you have EVEN less of a chance to survive another casting. Your typical human has a 9 or 10 con.  A priest is not going to bother trying on some random punk. Raise Dead also doesn't work on elves (in old times maybe 3E changed that) so another limiting factor as you then have to use ressurection. A good priest is not going to use it on evil characters or likely vice versa. You are basing this on lame ass CRPGs.

 

 

"D&D is badly broken, and AD&D is ludicrously broken. This is just one of the ways."

 

No, no it isn't. Things that are 'badly broken' don't survive for decades, dude.  You obviously don't know how to play the game. That's on you not on it.

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You sure about that? The only mention of Raise Dead I found in the DMG is on page 75. It does not mention wanting to return, cost to the caster, nor required divine approval. I may be mistaken about this, though, so if you have a reference, please post it. I've got the book on hand so I can look it up right away.

 

Perhaps you're thinking of 3d edition? That does mention wanting to return (in the spell description; couldn't find a reference in the DMG), but it nerfed the Resurrection Survival thing you're banging on about now as well as the permanent CON loss. And still no mention of required divine approval.

 

The rest of your stuff is exactly what I mean by houseruling -- additional limitations, on top of the rules as written, to patch up a mechanic that would otherwise be absurdly broken.

 

As to badly broken things not surviving for decades... one word: Scientology.

Edited by PrimeJunta

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No. No. No. Do your own research. IMPORTANT NEWSFLASH: All priest spells are gifts from your god. They can tell you no anytime they want. I don't have any 2e books anymore. Have a 3e book though. But, read up on clerics, religions, and their relationship with the gods 9again, in campaigns that have gods).

 

As for 3e, that's b/c 3e was made by people who want to make things easier and that continue to an even worse fashion in 4e. System shock/ressurection survival were awesome. It also helped deal with things that caused mass damage and the like.

 

Again, let me even more clear, raise dead is not a mamby spell that can be cast willy nilly for giggles. It's not available in every village or town. It's not just sued on everyone. It needs god approval. It needs character approval (many players will refuse raise dead  to avoid the con loss and just make a new one :p). It doesn't always work and when it does work it means that next time it'll work even less likely. And, this is permenant con loss. There is no way to 'fiix' it.

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