PRE-PREP & SURPRISE
First, with regard to pre-buffing your party, I know that I could do just that in the classic and award winning father of this style of party (vs single player) game Baldur's Gate. Yes, I am that old and I have played D&D & AD&D Table Top. I never noticed that it unbalanced the game, especially when the enemies were often pre-buffed.
Unfortunately, to add such a feature in at this stage of the game would require a little more than a little computer time (depending on how complicated and/or balance you wanted it to be... because it was left out of the larger system (and within the game theory-and-mechanics). It would be a bit more realistic for the game - to determiner prior to every encounter - surprise status of sorts - whether the party was detected/heard allowing the enemy to pre-buff. So, intelligent creature rooms would have to have two pre-encounter states: (1) Standard No Buff & (2) Prepped & Buffed State - which would trigger according to 'surprise' status - of course, for PCs that would suck, if all the thieves and assassins in a room were invisible when you entered and your entire party is hit with multiple crushing poison backstabs... lol.
When I read the arguments against this concept, I find them a little hard (IMHO) as I have played a number of games from Baldur's Gate (and all the related AD&D Games), Drakensang, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Elder Scrolls (Daggerfall to Skyrim), Arcanum, etc.,. It might be how I am reading the comments (and misunderstanding them), but some folks suggest that it is not possible without screwing-up the game mechanics - but it has been done with some success.
It is not a completely unreasonable request and compromises could be reached - maybe allowing only certain spells, only L1 and L2 spells, or allowing only 1 or 2 buff spells per character... and it has been done pretty successfully in other games; however, the problem is... the game system was not originally designed to include these features/options and depending on how complicated you want the balances to be... it would involve a lot of additional computer programming which might be better spent on more content and encounters and richer story lines... right?
BEST ARGUMENTS AGAINST (IMHO):
"No Surprise" Mechanic - Casting spells is not a quiet endeavor and without a chance of being overheard or attracting the attention of nearby foes or wandering monsters... the argument that you can always prep in unrealistic fashion holds a lot of weight.
"No Foe Senses" - Building on the concept above, as the game stands now, other than line-of-eye within the visional zone (aka you are not longer in the fog-of-war zone and visible to the foes... you can never be heard. You can literally be right around the corner without a door or other barrier to obstruct sound and - as long as you have not triggered line of sight - you can literally cast spells, change armor (imagine going from robes to full plate) without being heard or detected, pretty silly...
"PC Psychic Powers" - Given you can save the game prior to any battle, you are go into the room and either get butt whipped and/or just reload without even fighting and you have pre-cogged the encounter so you know where everyone is located, what monsters, and all kinds of stuff that you could not know in the real world without successful recon. So you prep based on information you would never normally have...
MULTIPLE MAGIC ITEMS:
While it is true that magic (not being real) can be rationalized to work in many ways (DMs/GMs have come-up with countless magical theories to explain how things work and what limits exist)... however, at the root of these comes into play what use to be referred to as "Monty Hall" games were doles out absurd amounts of treasure, power, and magic and characters quickly become divine level beings. Some common limits from my long-running table top games runs as follows:
EXAMPLE 1: Magic Protection creates a NON-LAYERED aura of magical protective energy and so only the greatest protection level applies +5 Plate Mail does not stack with +3 Ring of Protection because it does not layer. +5 Magic only applies to the Armor (not most saving throws vs effects) and so the advantage is that +3 Ring covers all saving throws vs effects.
EXAMPLE 2: Magic auras sources are limited to 3 items on typical mortal which are not very closely located - not on the same hand (aka PC/NPC) - typically, 2 rings and a necklace (though theoretically you might allow 3 rings - one per hand and one on toes or one in ear - blah, blah, blah. It is game balance - if auras layer or stack and do not cross interfere - couldn't you wear 10 rings, 1 necklace, 10 toe rings, and say 10 earrings (5 per ear) and you wore... +3 Protection Items your character would be +30 to all saves plus add +5 plate and you are AC -42 (in table top games pretty much unhittable) or maybe you change 5 earrings from +3 protections to... fire resistance, lightning resistance, cold resistance, poison resistance, and 1 stored heal spell (if I remember correctly... Resistance means immune to mundane and 1/2 or 1/4 damage on magical variations rather than full or 1/2 damage - I think - it's been a long time - hehe) - but you get the point. Moreover, since plate mail is technically a composite of various pieces of armor and you do allow stacking each piece? Breast plated could be +3, each shoulder piece +5, etc.,... how many pieces make up plate armor? What if you woven magical rings into a chain links of chain mail, and so on... and... er, you get the point.
I mean - magic is not real - and you can govern your world how you want, however, I tended to play in long-running campaigns (as opposed to beer-and-pretzels or one-to-two off games), so some consistent game mechanics and theory were musts -- that is the reason to place strict limits on number of magical items which you can use at once, or aura-theory, and for limiting stacking of abilities. In some games, strict DM/GM might make you carry other magical rings that you were not using in lead-lined belt pouch to prevent magical cross interfere with the two you were wearing (once saw in a magic-jewelry-always-active-and-on game) though most games run on the - rings are inactive when not worn by a living being - then undead theory comes into play - want the answer in this game - animated corpses without possessing spirits could not benefit - meaning skeletons and zombies; however, ghouls on up possessed dark life force and triggered effect.
Anyway, coming back to PoE/PoE2, rather strict limits with regard to this second topic are pretty universal - prevents Monty Haul Games.
Mode: Monty Haul.
Any campaign where the gamemaster doles out huge amounts of experience/treasure/power/other rewards. Usually becomes stupefyingly pointless after the player characters become the most wealthy/powerful beings in the universe.
The greatest danger Gabriel's characters are likely to face is literally drowning in their platinum wealth.
Edited by TygerxEyes, 30 November 2017 - 12:18 AM.