PCs out of Balance - Need some Help

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Some background:
The campaign I play in has two DMs, me and another, who alternate
running adventures. While DMing, our personal PCs are always 'doing
research' in the background... i.e. not being played. The DM-PCs aren't
our current problem, though.

The Short Version:
The Player of our 5th Level Human Fighter, using a longsword and shield
in good armor seems hopelessly inadequate when compared to our 5th level
Half-Orc barbarian, using a Great Sword and middling armor. I need
ideas that will move the spotlight off the barbarian whenever combat
happens and onto the fighter for a while, so he has a chance to shine.
Otherwise, I fear the player will get discouraged and quit, which is no
fun for anyone.

The Long Version:
Our characters are currently in the 4-5 level range. One of the
fulltime players has a Half-Orc Barbarian that just plain lays down the
whoop-ass. The other full-time players are playing a human ranger,
specializing in ranged attacks of all sorts, and a human fighter,
specializing in melee combat.

The problem is that the damn barbarian, when you take into account his
high strength, rage, his BAB, and his +2 greatsword, he is regularly
dishing out over 20 points of damage a round, while everyone else is
averaging 5 or so.

Now, in my estimation, part of this problem is that none of the other
characters are so 'laser targeted' in the scope of their abilities, but,
even so, shouldn't it have taken more levels than 5 for the barbarian to
outstrip everyone else in pure combat monsteryness?

I am tempted to consider this a munchkin problem, but then again, the
only thing the player has done is go for the Great Sword, and, really,
wouldn't any self-respecting barbarian? Maybe a Great Axe.

I've tried to deisgn scenarios to highlight the Ranger's outdoor skills,
and that helps, but for the life of me, I can't imagine how to make the
Human Fighter feel useful, when standing anywhere near the Barbarian.

They are both designed to get in there and 'mix it up', but the
Barbarian has Rage, Higher hit points, etc.

Any ideas on how I can design a scenario or two to move the spotlight
off the barb onto the fighter?

Thanks
DWS
1054 answers Last reply
More about balance help
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    David Serhienko wrote:

    [snip]

    > I've tried to deisgn scenarios to highlight the Ranger's outdoor
    skills,
    > and that helps, but for the life of me, I can't imagine how to make
    the
    > Human Fighter feel useful, when standing anywhere near the Barbarian.
    >
    > They are both designed to get in there and 'mix it up', but the
    > Barbarian has Rage, Higher hit points, etc.
    >
    > Any ideas on how I can design a scenario or two to move the spotlight

    > off the barb onto the fighter?

    There's only so much you can do about this as the DM, as it comes down
    to what players choose for their characters, and how well they use what
    they chose. If the player isn't happy with playing a plain fighter,
    then he needs to look at other classes or options he could take on.
    Maybe he could go fighter/rogue and become a sneak attack specialist,
    for example, and take advantage of the barbarian for flanking. Adding
    a spellcasting class could also augment his fighting ability with the
    right spells. What kind of feat choices did he make, and are they doing
    anything for him?

    But that isn't what you asked, so: If you want to spotlight the
    fighter, you might have to focus the spotlight yourself. Come up with a
    plotline that is centered around the fighter, but doesn't leave out the
    rest of the group. Maybe the fighter inherits an estate, but has to
    take steps to keep it. Maybe he gets contacted by an old friend (maybe
    the fighter's former CO from his military days) to serve a cause or
    deal with an enemy.

    You could also pull some cheap shots, like seperating the party during
    combats so the fighter has to take on some opponents by himself, or at
    least without the barbarian around to upstage him. Perhaps a ship the
    PCs are on gets attacked by sahuagin during a storm; some PCs get
    washed overboard and have to fight the fish-men underwater, and the
    rest have to deal with the monsters still on board.

    Underground, you can use monsters like Umber Hulks to cause cave-ins to
    seperate the party into smaller groups, and the monsters' Confusion
    ability to seperate them further.

    Assassins with access to Arcane Lock and Darkness spells (for example)
    can make life interesting for a party staying in several rooms at an
    inn.

    Anyway, I think it's mostly the player's job to make his character
    useful and fun to play, so before you go about designing scenarios
    around this fighter, sit down with the player and figure out where he
    wants to go from here, and how he wants to get there.

    --
    Jay Knioum
    The Mad Afro
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    David Serhienko wrote:


    > Some pre-game back story stuff that might spark some ideas: One
    thing
    > that I did NOT mention, because I didn't think of it then, is that
    the
    > Ranger and Fighter met while in training to become Paladins as
    > teenagers. The Fighter 'washed out' and the Ranger decided that he
    > didn't want to live within the Code of Conduct. Thus, the Fighter is

    > still Lawful Good, but not a Paladin, and the Ranger is Chaotic
    Good...

    Do you have/use the Book of Exalted Deeds? Perhaps the Forces of Good
    have something in mind for this fighter above and beyond a Paladin's
    role. It'll take some careful handling on your end, but you might
    consider giving the fighter access to some of the Exalted feats and
    PrCs if the situation warrants it.

    --
    Jay Knioum
    The Mad Afro
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Several people have asked what Feats the Ranger and Fighter I mentioned
    have taken. I don't precisely know what they all are, actually, as I
    don't keep copies of the sheets.

    I know the Fighter has Power Attack, and I know the Ranger has Precise
    Shot, but anything else I said would be a total guess at this point.

    I am going to wait to respond to the most recent posts until I have that
    information (just emailed the player asking him).

    I do see several suggestions already that sound really useful, and I'll
    be taking adavantage of them.

    Some pre-game back story stuff that might spark some ideas: One thing
    that I did NOT mention, because I didn't think of it then, is that the
    Ranger and Fighter met while in training to become Paladins as
    teenagers. The Fighter 'washed out' and the Ranger decided that he
    didn't want to live within the Code of Conduct. Thus, the Fighter is
    still Lawful Good, but not a Paladin, and the Ranger is Chaotic Good...

    Might be something there to work with.

    Thanks for the replies so far. Hopefully, the Feat lists I get back
    will be helpful.
    DWS
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    David Serhienko wrote:

    > Some background:
    > The campaign I play in has two DMs, me and another, who alternate
    > running adventures. While DMing, our personal PCs are always 'doing
    > research' in the background... i.e. not being played. The DM-PCs aren't
    > our current problem, though.
    >
    > The Short Version:
    > The Player of our 5th Level Human Fighter, using a longsword and shield
    > in good armor seems hopelessly inadequate when compared to our 5th level
    > Half-Orc barbarian, using a Great Sword and middling armor. I need
    > ideas that will move the spotlight off the barbarian whenever combat
    > happens and onto the fighter for a while, so he has a chance to shine.
    > Otherwise, I fear the player will get discouraged and quit, which is no
    > fun for anyone.
    >
    > The Long Version:
    > Our characters are currently in the 4-5 level range. One of the
    > fulltime players has a Half-Orc Barbarian that just plain lays down the
    > whoop-ass. The other full-time players are playing a human ranger,
    > specializing in ranged attacks of all sorts, and a human fighter,
    > specializing in melee combat.
    >
    > The problem is that the damn barbarian, when you take into account his
    > high strength, rage, his BAB, and his +2 greatsword, he is regularly
    > dishing out over 20 points of damage a round, while everyone else is
    > averaging 5 or so.
    >
    > Now, in my estimation, part of this problem is that none of the other
    > characters are so 'laser targeted' in the scope of their abilities, but,
    > even so, shouldn't it have taken more levels than 5 for the barbarian to
    > outstrip everyone else in pure combat monsteryness?
    >
    > I am tempted to consider this a munchkin problem, but then again, the
    > only thing the player has done is go for the Great Sword, and, really,
    > wouldn't any self-respecting barbarian? Maybe a Great Axe.
    >
    > I've tried to deisgn scenarios to highlight the Ranger's outdoor skills,
    > and that helps, but for the life of me, I can't imagine how to make the
    > Human Fighter feel useful, when standing anywhere near the Barbarian.
    >
    > They are both designed to get in there and 'mix it up', but the
    > Barbarian has Rage, Higher hit points, etc.
    >
    > Any ideas on how I can design a scenario or two to move the spotlight
    > off the barb onto the fighter?
    >
    > Thanks
    > DWS

    Ah, the figher problem compounded by an optimization problem. This is a
    good puzzle. The figher is already outlcassed in two niches.

    Let me brainstorm. This stuff is iffy.
    - There's a final battle in the shrine of the Goddess of Serenity.
    Barbarian can't rage.
    - Get the fighter a flaming sword. Then trolls.
    - Have all NPC's look to the fighter as the respectable one, and listen
    to him. He becomes your face man.
    - Multiple waves of opponents.
    - Hammer and anvil. Attacks from one direction, followed by attacks from
    another. With the party broken apart, each must stand.
    - An illusionist opponent. Constant illusion based fights. The barbarian
    doesn't know when to rage, or rages too often.
    - Have them travel. Have a once-per-day encounter that leads into a
    longish series of easy fights. You want to draw out the barbarian until
    he has only one rage left, but he's not to the final fight yet.

    The difference between the two will get worse. The fighter has a hard
    time NOT being second class to the barbarian. Let the figher meet a
    weapons master who can change his feats around a bit, to things like
    combat expertise and tripping.

    CH
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    David Serhienko wrote:
    >
    > The Player of our 5th Level Human Fighter, using a longsword and shield
    > in good armor seems hopelessly inadequate when compared to our 5th level
    > Half-Orc barbarian, using a Great Sword and middling armor. I need
    > ideas that will move the spotlight off the barbarian whenever combat
    > happens and onto the fighter for a while, so he has a chance to shine.
    > Otherwise, I fear the player will get discouraged and quit, which is no
    > fun for anyone.

    Does the party use teamwork and group tactics much? If you can give the
    fighter a way to be useful outside of dealing as much damage as
    possible, it could solve your problem.

    Design encounters that require every character to bring at least one of
    his or her unique resources to bear. Force them to work together in
    order to survive. With luck and patience, combat becomes a team effort-
    everyone helping each other, playing to individual strengths, and
    shoring up individual weaknesses rather than front-liners competing to
    deal damage.

    Encourage the fighter to take tactical feats like Improved Trip. The
    fighter can use these to harass the foe while the barbarian deals lays
    down the damage. This may not be what the fighter is looking for. I
    see from your other post that the player spent a feat on power attack.
    That implies the fighter was hoping to be a damage-dealing fighter
    rather than a tactical one. Talk to the player. If the player is open
    to shifting focus, maybe give the fighter a chance to exchange some of
    those non-tactical feats for tactical ones.

    Just remember, the fighter's combat strength is versatility, not raw
    damage capability. Remind the player of that, too, and maybe a solution
    will come up.

    - Tialan
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "David Serhienko" <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> wrote in message
    news:114jg3trvk9s68b@corp.supernews.com...
    > Now, in my estimation, part of this problem is that none of the other
    > characters are so 'laser targeted' in the scope of their abilities, but,
    > even so, shouldn't it have taken more levels than 5 for the barbarian to
    > outstrip everyone else in pure combat monsteryness?
    >
    > I am tempted to consider this a munchkin problem, but then again, the
    > only thing the player has done is go for the Great Sword, and, really,
    > wouldn't any self-respecting barbarian? Maybe a Great Axe.

    It sure sounds like pure & distilled power gaming to me.

    > I've tried to deisgn scenarios to highlight the Ranger's outdoor skills,
    > and that helps, but for the life of me, I can't imagine how to make the
    > Human Fighter feel useful, when standing anywhere near the Barbarian.
    >
    > They are both designed to get in there and 'mix it up', but the
    > Barbarian has Rage, Higher hit points, etc.

    Correct me if I am wrong, not terribly familiar with the barbarian(I play
    2E), but aren't they NOT allowed to wear any serious armor? If that's the
    case, just put them up against lots of "mildly tough" stuff. "Mildly Tough"
    monsters can hit with fairly reliable frequency on relatively unarmored
    opponents, but have a fairly difficult time hitting armored opponents.
    ALso, a "mildly tough" monster can hit with some force. That means that for
    every hit the fighter takes at X avg hp, the barbarian might take 3 hits at
    the same average. Hit points are no longer the deciding factor, armor is.
    Of course, this all hinges on the amount of armor a barbarian can wear, so
    it might be a moot point.

    --
    Jeff Goslin - MCSD - www.goslin.info
    It's not a god complex when you're always right
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Jeff Goslin wrote:
    > "David Serhienko" <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> wrote in message
    > news:114jg3trvk9s68b@corp.supernews.com...
    >
    >>Now, in my estimation, part of this problem is that none of the other
    >>characters are so 'laser targeted' in the scope of their abilities, but,
    >>even so, shouldn't it have taken more levels than 5 for the barbarian to
    >> outstrip everyone else in pure combat monsteryness?
    >>
    >>I am tempted to consider this a munchkin problem, but then again, the
    >>only thing the player has done is go for the Great Sword, and, really,
    >>wouldn't any self-respecting barbarian? Maybe a Great Axe.
    >
    > It sure sounds like pure & distilled power gaming to me.

    *shrug* Barbarians get most of their ability from being able to slug it
    out toe to toe, so Strength and Con are your best bet. Half-orcs favor
    barbarian, and give bonuses to strength and con. No surprise if both of
    these abilities are close to maxxed out... I'd consider that fairly
    typical, even for the least power gamerish type.

    Great swords and Great Axes do assloads of damage, and aren't in any way
    a special weapon, so I'd be surprised anyone wouldn't take one. In
    fact, with the exception of the fact that published adventures tend to
    feature magic longswords far out of proportion to any other type, I
    can't see why anyone would prefer a shield and a d8 damage to 2d6 damage
    and no shield.

    >>I've tried to deisgn scenarios to highlight the Ranger's outdoor skills,
    >>and that helps, but for the life of me, I can't imagine how to make the
    >>Human Fighter feel useful, when standing anywhere near the Barbarian.
    >>
    >>They are both designed to get in there and 'mix it up', but the
    >>Barbarian has Rage, Higher hit points, etc.
    >
    >
    > Correct me if I am wrong, not terribly familiar with the barbarian(I play
    > 2E), but aren't they NOT allowed to wear any serious armor?

    They can wear up to medium armor without extra feats or penalties to
    skill checks (think Chainmail or less). If they wear heavier armor,
    they lose their Fast Movement (+10 ft/round), and that's it.

    > If that's the
    > case, just put them up against lots of "mildly tough" stuff. "Mildly Tough"
    > monsters can hit with fairly reliable frequency on relatively unarmored
    > opponents, but have a fairly difficult time hitting armored opponents.
    > ALso, a "mildly tough" monster can hit with some force. That means that for
    > every hit the fighter takes at X avg hp, the barbarian might take 3 hits at
    > the same average. Hit points are no longer the deciding factor, armor is.
    > Of course, this all hinges on the amount of armor a barbarian can wear, so
    > it might be a moot point.

    Sadly, fairly moot, I think.

    DWS
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    David Serhienko <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> wrote:
    >The problem is that the damn barbarian, when you take into account his
    >high strength, rage, his BAB, and his +2 greatsword, he is regularly
    >dishing out over 20 points of damage a round, while everyone else is
    >averaging 5 or so.

    Does the barbarian always rage when going into combat? Do things ever
    play "I'm more than twice as fast as you are, so I'm going to use
    Spring Attack to ding you for a few points every raound, then get out
    of range"? Are there ever well-protected spellcasters with Will-save
    spells? Daze, even? Are the characters ever in a position (cramped
    quarters, like following wererats down tunnels, for example) where
    a greatsword can't be brought to bear?

    With the first point, you can send in a second sortie of troops
    after the barbarian comes out of rage, and is fatigued. With a net
    -6 to STR compared to in-rage, that's a big difference in combat
    potential.

    Of course, the fact that you have a party of all fighter-types is
    going to be a problem in all sorts of other ways...

    Donald
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Donald Tsang wrote:
    > David Serhienko <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> wrote:
    >
    >>The problem is that the damn barbarian, when you take into account his
    >>high strength, rage, his BAB, and his +2 greatsword, he is regularly
    >>dishing out over 20 points of damage a round, while everyone else is
    >>averaging 5 or so.
    >
    >
    > Does the barbarian always rage when going into combat?

    Anytime the combat looks 'interesting', which is to say anytime the
    opponents don't appear to be 'mooks' or 'redshirts'. Early on, I
    mistakenly introduced a magic item called 'rage berries', which allows
    the eater to rage the round after eating them.

    My thought was that everyone in the party would get a couple, as I
    thought the idea was interesting, and I would be amused to see the
    halfling sorceror raging away with her cute little staff, but the
    players decided to give them all to the barb.

    The Barb has a half dozen in a pouch, plus his daily allotment of
    Twice/Day, but no idea where to get more berries.

    > Do things ever
    > play "I'm more than twice as fast as you are, so I'm going to use
    > Spring Attack to ding you for a few points every raound, then get out
    > of range"?

    Not so far. Why? I am obviously missing something?

    > Are there ever well-protected spellcasters with Will-save
    > spells? Daze, even?

    A couple times, and he's been stupid lucky on his saves. I am always
    careful to not tailor my encounters to specifically nerf the PCs
    abilities, unless the BBEG knows them. In this campaign, the BBEGs
    haven't yet known who these interlopers were, or what they could do.

    I *do* try my best to play them as dangerously as I can imagine, though,
    once the fur starts flying, I use the best tactics I can think of.

    > Are the characters ever in a position (cramped
    > quarters, like following wererats down tunnels, for example) where
    > a greatsword can't be brought to bear?

    So far mostly outdoor areas, or areas meant for medium sized folks.

    > With the first point, you can send in a second sortie of troops
    > after the barbarian comes out of rage, and is fatigued. With a net
    > -6 to STR compared to in-rage, that's a big difference in combat
    > potential.

    Absolutely right! I should be pressuring them in waves when appropriate.

    > Of course, the fact that you have a party of all fighter-types is
    > going to be a problem in all sorts of other ways...

    I left out the other PCs that don't feel useless in my description.

    The Full Party (now referred to as the Lion's Gate Adventuring Cabal)
    consists of:

    Half-Orc Barbarian 5 (Player A)
    Human Fighter 5 (Player B)
    Human Ranger 5 (Player B)
    Halfling Sorceress 4 (Player A)
    **Elf Wizard 4 (DM 1)
    **Half-Elf Bard 4* (DM 2)
    Human Cleric 5 (NPC)

    * - The Bard is actually customized somewhat via use of 'Buy the
    Numbers', giving up some bardic knowledge, gaining sneak attack as a
    rogue, but at a slower progression.

    ** - These are the DM PCs. The way it usually works out is this:


    When I am playing, then you know the Wizard is coming (he's my only PC),
    which means Player A brings the Barbarian instead of the sorceress,
    which means we don't need more combat muscle, so Player B brings along
    the Ranger. DM 2 has only one PC, which will be sidelined, the Cleric
    still always comes along. We call this the A Team (since they were the
    first grouping we used).

    When I am DMing, then you know the Wizard is backgrounded (he's my PC),
    which means Player A brings the Sorceress. DM 2 has only one PC, so he
    brings the Bard, the Cleric always comes along (if the
    timeline/storyline allows it), which means we need some combat muscle,
    so Player B brings along the Fighter. We call this the B Team.

    The problem especially rears its ugly head when the storyline/plotline
    brings everyone together. It is still a problem when it is the Ranger
    and teh Barbarian, but it really gets bad when a plotline begins to
    approach the BBEG.

    We tend to run our plots so that the two teams are working on
    simultaneous quests, and, as the plots draw to a close, if possible, we
    two DMs try to find a way to tie them together if possible. Last time,
    brought my quest ALMOST to completion, consciously echoing plot threads
    in DM2's plot, and handed over the threads I had dangling, having never
    actually designed the end of it, just having vaguely pointed it in a
    certain direction, so the other DM could draw connections and make it
    part of his uberplot.

    Works great, and is a lot of fun, with two teams out there seeing half
    the picture, then they all come together and head off to win the day.

    At which point everyone just follows the half-orc, since there aren't
    really many CR5 or CR6 challenges he can't mow through in a round or
    two. Anything with higher CR teeters on the edge of a Total Party Kill
    if played effectively. If played INeffectively, then the barbarian is
    just that much more effective, since the players never pull their punches.


    DWS
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Alien mind control rays made David Serhienko <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> write:
    > The Short Version:
    > The Player of our 5th Level Human Fighter, using a longsword and shield
    > in good armor seems hopelessly inadequate when compared to our 5th level
    > Half-Orc barbarian, using a Great Sword and middling armor. I need
    > ideas that will move the spotlight off the barbarian whenever combat
    > happens and onto the fighter for a while, so he has a chance to shine.
    > Otherwise, I fear the player will get discouraged and quit, which is no
    > fun for anyone.

    against a diet of single, challenging melee foes, the barbarian is
    always going to kick the most ass, period. you'll just have to mix
    things up, pit the party against the unconventional.

    the schtick of the fighter class is a lot of feats. yours must have a
    few interesting ones by now, what are they? try playing to those.
    throw in an occassional scenario where the barbarian is hampered or
    takes a penalty, but not the fighter, because of some feat he's taken.
    globs of small, low hit point creatures like rats make cleave and great
    cleave really useful, and huge damage not so much.

    contrive a situation where one of the PCs may benefit from wearing a
    particular suit of heavy armor for a while. "this is the plate mail of
    kas, the rune guardians will probably recognize it and not attack the
    wearer and those with him while we're in the dungeon." with a modest
    bluff check, of course.

    the barbarian is more likely to be permanently married to his
    greatsword, the fighter might be more willing to pick up and use the
    interesting weapons. the silver kukri is suddenly really useful when
    the party meets the werewolves three rooms later.

    lots of little, hit and run encounters to wear out the barbarian.
    without his rage, and perhaps fatigued, the fighter might come to the
    rescue.

    barbarians usually can't read. hilarity ensues.

    --
    \^\ // drow@bin.sh (CARRIER LOST) <http://www.bin.sh/>
    \ // - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    // \ X-Windows: The defacto sub-standard.
    // \_\ -- Dude from DPAK
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 14:59:50 -0600, David Serhienko
    <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> wrote:

    >Some background:
    >The campaign I play in has two DMs, me and another, who alternate
    >running adventures. While DMing, our personal PCs are always 'doing
    >research' in the background... i.e. not being played. The DM-PCs aren't
    >our current problem, though.
    >
    >The Short Version:
    >The Player of our 5th Level Human Fighter, using a longsword and shield
    >in good armor seems hopelessly inadequate when compared to our 5th level
    >Half-Orc barbarian, using a Great Sword and middling armor.

    The problem here is that you have a member of a regular class
    competing with a super class. A situation like that arose in one game
    I ran, but it never turned out to be a problem because the regular
    fighter was the leader. Can you PrC him up? Does he have abilities
    the Barbarian doesn't that can be exploited?
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    David Serhienko <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> wrote:
    >> Do things ever
    >> play "I'm more than twice as fast as you are, so I'm going to use
    >> Spring Attack to ding you for a few points every raound, then get out
    >> of range"?
    >
    >Not so far. Why? I am obviously missing something?

    Because the Barbarian probably doesn't even carry a missile weapon?
    I suppose it's a little hard to get something with a Move of 80, though.

    How about opponents who fly?


    >At which point everyone just follows the half-orc, since there aren't
    >really many CR5 or CR6 challenges he can't mow through in a round or
    >two. Anything with higher CR teeters on the edge of a Total Party Kill
    >if played effectively. If played INeffectively, then the barbarian is
    >just that much more effective, since the players never pull their punches.

    How about things with DR X/bludgeoning? Does the barbarian carry a backup
    weapon (like a morningstar)?


    I still like the idea of playing to the Barbarian's weaknesses. Does he
    have a Charisma of 6, by chance? A lot of people don't like half-orcs,
    even when they don't have really low Charismas...

    Donald
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "David Serhienko" <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> wrote in message
    news:114k4ilg1inlk91@corp.supernews.com...
    > > It sure sounds like pure & distilled power gaming to me.
    >
    > *shrug* Barbarians get most of their ability from being able to slug it
    > out toe to toe, so Strength and Con are your best bet. Half-orcs favor
    > barbarian, and give bonuses to strength and con. No surprise if both of
    > these abilities are close to maxxed out... I'd consider that fairly
    > typical, even for the least power gamerish type.

    Well, that's the power gamer view of it. Someone who's more interested in
    the character than his stats might be inclined to first ask what kind of
    character he would like to play, not what class to select. It sounds to me
    like he let the stats lead the character, not the other way around.
    Encourage the other way around.

    REWARD the other way around. I award individual experience points almost
    EXCLUSIVELY for role playing efforts. Nobody gets extra for killing stuff,
    nobody gets extra for spell casting, nobody gets extra for doing much of
    anything EXCEPT role playing(and cracking jokes that make us laugh, oh, and
    good ideas too). Divide the experience for combat (and treasure, if you do
    that, we don't) equally among all characters, reward individual players for
    role playing their characters well. That will make it pretty damn clear
    when Thundar the Barbarian gets an individual reward of ZERO every game.
    He'll know how to get the rewards, it's just a question of whether he will
    do it or not.

    > Great swords and Great Axes do assloads of damage, and aren't in any way
    > a special weapon, so I'd be surprised anyone wouldn't take one. In

    A *ROLE* *PLAYER* might select a non-optimal weapon for it's CHARACTER, not
    for it's combat effectiveness. Why would any cleric pick club over mace,
    for example? A power gamer wouldn't. A role player might say "his family
    were seal hunters, he was as well, and he knows how to use a club
    well..."(or some other reason).

    > fact, with the exception of the fact that published adventures tend to
    > feature magic longswords far out of proportion to any other type, I
    > can't see why anyone would prefer a shield and a d8 damage to 2d6 damage
    > and no shield.

    That's the power gamer reason.

    > > Correct me if I am wrong, not terribly familiar with the barbarian(I
    play
    > > 2E), but aren't they NOT allowed to wear any serious armor?
    >
    > They can wear up to medium armor without extra feats or penalties to
    > skill checks (think Chainmail or less). If they wear heavier armor,
    > they lose their Fast Movement (+10 ft/round), and that's it.

    Make him a REAL barbarian then, using rule zero. No armor, like Conan or
    something, you know loincloth and scabbard, nothing more. ;)

    --
    Jeff Goslin - MCSD - www.goslin.info
    It's not a god complex when you're always right
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "David Serhienko" wrote
    >
    > I've tried to deisgn scenarios to highlight the Ranger's outdoor skills,
    > and that helps, but for the life of me, I can't imagine how to make the
    > Human Fighter feel useful, when standing anywhere near the Barbarian.
    >
    > They are both designed to get in there and 'mix it up', but the
    > Barbarian has Rage, Higher hit points, etc.
    >
    > Any ideas on how I can design a scenario or two to move the spotlight
    > off the barb onto the fighter?

    Its hard to say anything exact not know what feats the fighter has, but play
    to his strengths. One thing the fighter can do is wear heavy armor, so let
    him. Maybe throw in a nice suit of magic plate and a shield and let him
    become an AC machine.

    John
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 14:59:50 -0600, David Serhienko
    <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> scribed into the ether:

    >Some background:
    >The campaign I play in has two DMs, me and another, who alternate
    >running adventures. While DMing, our personal PCs are always 'doing
    >research' in the background... i.e. not being played. The DM-PCs aren't
    >our current problem, though.
    >
    >The Short Version:
    >The Player of our 5th Level Human Fighter, using a longsword and shield
    >in good armor seems hopelessly inadequate when compared to our 5th level
    >Half-Orc barbarian, using a Great Sword and middling armor. I need
    >ideas that will move the spotlight off the barbarian whenever combat
    >happens and onto the fighter for a while, so he has a chance to shine.
    >Otherwise, I fear the player will get discouraged and quit, which is no
    >fun for anyone.

    Battles with length. Enemies that come in waves. If the Barbarian rages,
    then he'll be a lot less effective later on when the rage wears off.

    The AC difference between the two is probably fairly substantial, 4-5
    points or so...some opponents who can hit the barbarian easily, but inflict
    non-hitpoint related ailments will cause the barbarian to not want to go
    toe-to-toe with those opponents, where the fighter can prevail due to not
    being hit.

    Level 6 should also help, since the Fighter will be getting an extra feat.
    The fighter feat boost isn't as noticeable in the early levels.
  16. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Jeff Goslin" wrote
    > "David Serhienko" wrote
    > > Now, in my estimation, part of this problem is that none of the other
    > > characters are so 'laser targeted' in the scope of their abilities, but,
    > > even so, shouldn't it have taken more levels than 5 for the barbarian to
    > > outstrip everyone else in pure combat monsteryness?
    > >
    > > I am tempted to consider this a munchkin problem, but then again, the
    > > only thing the player has done is go for the Great Sword, and, really,
    > > wouldn't any self-respecting barbarian? Maybe a Great Axe.
    >
    > It sure sounds like pure & distilled power gaming to me.

    What, you think a big strong barbarian should wield a dagger?

    John
  17. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "John Phillips" <jsphillips1@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
    news:i8p2e.22833$cg1.4563@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
    > > > I am tempted to consider this a munchkin problem, but then again, the
    > > > only thing the player has done is go for the Great Sword, and, really,
    > > > wouldn't any self-respecting barbarian? Maybe a Great Axe.
    > >
    > > It sure sounds like pure & distilled power gaming to me.
    >
    > What, you think a big strong barbarian should wield a dagger?

    At least he'd have character. ;)

    There are, of course, logical things to do, but it doesn't always mean "pick
    the weapon with the most damage potential". As long as you have *A* weapon
    that can realistically be used in combat, it doesn't much matter what it is.
    A paladin we had chose warhammer as his primary weapon, definitely NOT an
    optimal choice from a mechanics perspective, but it make him a paladin with
    CHARACTER.

    --
    Jeff Goslin - MCSD - www.goslin.info
    It's not a god complex when you're always right
  18. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Jeff Goslin wrote:
    > "John Phillips" <jsphillips1@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
    > news:i8p2e.22833$cg1.4563@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
    >
    >>>>I am tempted to consider this a munchkin problem, but then again, the
    >>>>only thing the player has done is go for the Great Sword, and, really,
    >>>>wouldn't any self-respecting barbarian? Maybe a Great Axe.
    >>>
    >>>It sure sounds like pure & distilled power gaming to me.
    >>
    >>What, you think a big strong barbarian should wield a dagger?
    >
    >
    > At least he'd have character. ;)
    >
    > There are, of course, logical things to do, but it doesn't always mean "pick
    > the weapon with the most damage potential". As long as you have *A* weapon
    > that can realistically be used in combat, it doesn't much matter what it is.
    > A paladin we had chose warhammer as his primary weapon, definitely NOT an
    > optimal choice from a mechanics perspective, but it make him a paladin with
    > CHARACTER.

    Had a Magic-User in 2e who insisted on wielding the battleaxe of a
    fallen comrade 'in his memory'. I applied the standard XP penalties at
    first.

    He made such a strikingly tragic figure, composing odes to his sworn
    blood brother, mercilessly hunting his friend's murderers and anyone
    involved, and killing them with that axe.

    I relented eventually, asking if he'd rather take a -8 penalty to hit,
    or continue with the XP penalty. He took the -8. And used the axe for
    the next two years, passing on items which were better, more appropriate
    to him, or both.

    DWS
  19. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 20:49:54 -0500, "Jeff Goslin"
    <autockr@comcast.net> wrote:

    >"David Serhienko" <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> wrote in message
    >news:114jjc3lnoa02b8@corp.supernews.com...
    >> Anytime the combat looks 'interesting', which is to say anytime the
    >> opponents don't appear to be 'mooks' or 'redshirts'. Early on, I
    >> mistakenly introduced a magic item called 'rage berries', which allows
    >> the eater to rage the round after eating them.
    >
    >First things first, "those berries mysteriously rotted, I dunno, it's crazy,
    >end of story, no discussion."

    Without refrigeration real berries wouldn't be good for more than a
    few days. They aren't rage raisins, after all.
  20. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "David Johnston" <rgorman@telusplanet.net> wrote in message
    news:4249c541.206970279@news.telusplanet.net...
    > >First things first, "those berries mysteriously rotted, I dunno, it's
    crazy,
    > >end of story, no discussion."
    >
    > Without refrigeration real berries wouldn't be good for more than a
    > few days. They aren't rage raisins, after all.

    Well, I have a feeling that they would be "magically enhanced" or something,
    in most people's eyes, so as to not rot. I have a feeling that our power
    gamer would throw a hissy fit if it wasn't an OBVIOUS rule zero
    implementation. "Magical stuff DOESN'T ROT!!! Whatchumean??" "I dunno,
    it's crazy, they rotted, what can I tellya."

    --
    Jeff Goslin - MCSD - www.goslin.info
    It's not a god complex when you're always right
  21. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Alien mind control rays made David Serhienko <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> write:
    >> Put them in situations where swinging a huge sword is not an option.
    >
    > By RAW, are there rules on fighting in cramped spaces with large weapons?

    none that help the fighter...

    Squeezing: In some cases, you may have to squeeze into or through
    an area that isn't as wide as the space you take up. You can
    squeeze through or into a space that is at least half as wide as
    your normal space. Each move into or through a narrow space counts
    as if it were 2 squares, and while squeezed in a narrow space you
    take a -4 penalty on attack rolls and a -4 penalty to AC.

    > Also, while I'm asking, I know you add 1.5x strength bonus when using a
    > two handed weapon, but shouldn't that bonus already have been figured
    > into the damage dice for the weapon when it REQUIRES two-handed use?

    no more so than 1x strength bonus can be figured into the damage dice
    for a weapon which requires one-handed use. that is, the strength
    bonus varies, why would a weakling get as much of a 'two-handed'
    benefit as a strong warrior?

    > Heh. Originally, there were two NPC clerics, one travelling with the A
    > Team, and one with the B Team.

    i still can't understand why nobody in a party would want to play a
    cleric. they're the most damn fun...

    > I'm going over to chat with DM2 about this an hour before session start
    > next time, because I see a problem in the making... The "All Orc
    > Theater" show is about to start if we don't do something.

    everyone knows orcs is no good and evil, its time fer a lynchin!

    --
    \^\ // drow@bin.sh (CARRIER LOST) <http://www.bin.sh/>
    \ // - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    // \ X-Windows: Simplicity made complex.
    // \_\ -- Dude from DPAK
  22. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Jeff Goslin wrote:
    > "David Serhienko" <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> wrote in message

    >>As an added bonus, they ALREADY have one of the two organized crime
    >>syndicates (that they are aware of) out for their blood, so, if
    >>necessary, I can use that as a hook to rid the party of unwanted loot.
    >
    > TWO crime syndicates are after them, and they are STILL alive?

    Understandable parse error. The party is aware of two crime syndicates
    in this very large City. There are more they aren't aware of. One of
    the crime syndicates is after their blood, due to very recent developments.

    > Wow, I'm either very impressed at the party's abilities or shocked at
    > the stupidity of your criminals! It's called an assassin's guild,
    > chief.

    For personal vendetta reasons, the party allied itself with Criminal
    Organization Number Two, in order to strike directly at the leadership
    cabal within Crime Syndicate Number One.

    Syndicate One has, in the weeks immediately following the loss of its
    leaders, devolved into predictable internecine warfare over who should
    take over the various operations, while suffering the also predictable
    depradations from outside gangs, muscling in on Syndicate One's former
    territory/operations.

    In the last week or so, though, it has all stopped. Syndicate One has
    dissappeared from sight, according to Syndicate Two, and the body of its
    main leader has been stolen from the Traitor's Gallows from which it hung.

    The party is not noticably concerned, although their erttwhile allies
    are quite disturbed, and have tried to warn the party, to little effect.
    The party will learn to recognize longterm consequences the hard way
    soon, I'd imagine.

    DWS
  23. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    freakybaby wrote:
    > In fact ten foot deep pit traps with opponent using longspears is
    quite fun
    > too widdle down an enemy with.

    That's what Jump skill is for...now, what happens when a
    jumping character is AO'ed halfway through their leap? ;-)

    Had some orcs that built crenelated defenses along a ledge
    that was a little above the ledge on the other side of
    a 10ft chasm. A higher ledge that kind of looked along
    the length of the chasm was also crenelated. A narrow
    bridge - about 8 inches wide - crossed the gap, and lots
    of orcs with pole arms were ready to knock people off it
    while their buddies on the high ledge plinked arrows at
    people. The party took one look and started searching
    for alternate entrances.

    Walt Smith
    Firelock on DALNet
  24. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    David Serhienko <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> wrote in
    news:114jg3trvk9s68b@corp.supernews.com:

    > Some background:
    > The campaign I play in has two DMs, me and another, who alternate
    > running adventures. While DMing, our personal PCs are always 'doing
    > research' in the background... i.e. not being played. The DM-PCs aren't
    > our current problem, though.
    >
    > The Short Version:
    > The Player of our 5th Level Human Fighter, using a longsword and shield
    > in good armor seems hopelessly inadequate when compared to our 5th level
    > Half-Orc barbarian, using a Great Sword and middling armor. I need
    > ideas that will move the spotlight off the barbarian whenever combat
    > happens and onto the fighter for a while, so he has a chance to shine.
    > Otherwise, I fear the player will get discouraged and quit, which is no
    > fun for anyone.


    Hit the barbarian with a Ray of enfeeblement, then a web spell to slow
    her/him down in a future combat just after the rage starts.

    Hammer the barbarian with ranged attacks for a the first couple of rounds.

    Drop a grease spell under the barbarian's feet.

    Gang up on him/her using reach weapons to gain flanking, stay out of his
    reach and the reach of the fighter as well, make them think through the
    combats

    Lure the barbarian into a net trap and have him swinging about twenty to
    thirty feet off the ground.

    Mainly set up some combats that favour planning and thought verus rather
    than just charging in and opening a can of whopp-ass.

    Use some kind of cover with a break in the cover, though where the break is
    it is actually some kind of pit trap or something else just as nasty.

    ####X#### # Is the perimeter
    # # X is a movable section for escaping
    # # PP is a break in the perimeter with
    # # a pittrap or something just as nasty
    ###PP####

    In fact ten foot deep pit traps with opponent using longspears is quite fun
    too widdle down an enemy with.
  25. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Jeff Goslin" <autockr@comcast.net> wrote in
    news:sfqdndMR0OOWm9ffRVn-vg@comcast.com:

    > "David Serhienko" <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> wrote in message
    > news:114jjc3lnoa02b8@corp.supernews.com...
    >> Anytime the combat looks 'interesting', which is to say anytime the
    >> opponents don't appear to be 'mooks' or 'redshirts'. Early on, I
    >> mistakenly introduced a magic item called 'rage berries', which
    >> allows the eater to rage the round after eating them.
    >
    > First things first, "those berries mysteriously rotted, I dunno, it's
    > crazy, end of story, no discussion." As DM, I do everything I can to
    > make sure that ALL characters are as useful as they can realistically
    > be, in comparison to others, while maintaining balance between the lot
    > of them. By introducing these rage berries, you've just pumped up one
    > of the characters to almost uber-god-level as compared to the others.
    >
    > Of course, the cruelest thing to do would be to have them spoil while
    > the barbarian isn't looking for them. Next major combat, he goes
    > reaching for his rage berries, THAT is when you inform his that the
    > berries are rotten. He'll bitch and moan and stuff, of course, but in
    > the end, this is one thing that you CAN control within the confines of
    > the game without it being "outside the rules".
    >
    > I'm sure that many people would disagree with me, mainly because for
    > whatever reason, nobody seems to like my ideas.

    Actually I like the idea, I would work it up slowly, havign a wisdom check
    made to notice the frist signs of almost sweet smelling smell of fruit
    rotting. Though have the berries still look normal though taste
    differently and have the reverse affects of rage now that they have rotted.
    Lets say -4 Str and Con -4 will saves and -4 AC, lasting number of minutes
    or hours equal to your unmodified Con.

    Or have the berries addictive and over time they become less useful with
    just a single berry eaten. Continued use would eventually require
    barbarians who have become addicted, to consume these berries just to enter
    their normal allotment of daily rages(once addicted these berries will
    never again, gain the barbarian additional rages beyond the daily
    allotment). And the rage now lasts a round per berry consumed with a max
    duration not to exceed your half your newly modified Con bonus.

    Just two thoughts on the matter of these berries.
  26. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    freakybaby <Here-I-Am@No-Where.com> wrote in
    news:Xns9629893D3604AHereIAmNoWherecom@216.196.97.142:

    <SNIP>

    > Gang up on him/her using reach weapons to gain flanking, stay out of
    > his reach and the reach of the fighter as well, make them think
    > through the combats

    Sorry I forgot about improved uncanny dodge, there is no flanking bonus,
    though multiple opponents with reach weapons surrounding the barbarian is
    still a good idea. If you want to up the stakes, toss in a rogue four
    levels higher to do sneak attacks on the barbarian.
  27. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 14:59:50 -0600, David Serhienko
    <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > I've tried to deisgn scenarios to highlight the Ranger's outdoor skills,
    > and that helps, but for the life of me, I can't imagine how to make the
    > Human Fighter feel useful, when standing anywhere near the Barbarian.

    Well, the fighter _should_ have a significantly higher AC, so high BAB
    creatures will hit the barbarian much more often, or for more damage
    (via Power Attack). Also, the fighter's higher AC should give him more
    staying power, so rig things so there are several encounters in a day
    without a chance to reat up between them - the barbarian will have to
    fight one or more without rage, and his poor AC will add up over time.

    However, when all's said and done, barbarians are better meleeists
    than fighters, and there's not much you can do about it. The fighter
    needs to start taking bow feats and become a multi-role ranged
    combatant/meleeist. This flexibility is the fighter's strength - none
    else is as good at multiple roles.


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  28. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 20:53:20 -0500, "Jeff Goslin"
    <autockr@comcast.net> carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > > I am tempted to consider this a munchkin problem, but then again, the
    > > only thing the player has done is go for the Great Sword, and, really,
    > > wouldn't any self-respecting barbarian? Maybe a Great Axe.
    >
    > It sure sounds like pure & distilled power gaming to me.

    What? Because he's playing a barbarian that took a good weapon? You're
    sounding like Cope.

    > Correct me if I am wrong, not terribly familiar with the barbarian(I play
    > 2E), but aren't they NOT allowed to wear any serious armor? If that's the
    > case, just put them up against lots of "mildly tough" stuff. "Mildly Tough"
    > monsters can hit with fairly reliable frequency on relatively unarmored
    > opponents, but have a fairly difficult time hitting armored opponents.

    The way 3.x is set up, not being able to wear heavy armour isn't a big
    deal. In fact, aside from the full-plate wearing 'tanks' (as often
    clerics as fighters or paladins) just about everyone will be wearing
    chain shirts (or mithral breastplates when they can afford them). This
    is one of the things I dislike about D&D in it's current incarnation,
    though it's not nearly so bad if PCs are limited to 25- or 28-point
    buy (so their stats are in the range the game assumes).

    > ALso, a "mildly tough" monster can hit with some force. That means that for
    > every hit the fighter takes at X avg hp, the barbarian might take 3 hits at
    > the same average. Hit points are no longer the deciding factor, armor is.
    > Of course, this all hinges on the amount of armor a barbarian can wear, so
    > it might be a moot point.

    It's actually about the only advantage a fighter has. Also, the
    fighter needs to consider moving from a longsword to a bastard sword
    or a dwarven waraxe.

    The problem is that the high-AC advantage of the figther isn't enough
    past about 9th level, when the barbarian has enough rages to last
    through any likely day's encounter's, and has a bit of DR, so he takes
    a bit less damage per hit. It gets even worse at 11th plus level, when
    the barbarian's Greater Rage kicks in (even more Str and Con when
    raging).

    Essentially the barbarian is incredibly powerful in melee, if he just
    closes and smashes. That and some wilderness stuff is about all
    they're good for, but unless you find breaking things and hurting
    people in an honest face-to-face way boring, that's all they need to
    be good at. Of all the classes in D&D3.x, barbarian is the class I'd
    give a newbie to play - it's powerful and simple to design and play,
    with only one real resource concern (should I rage now, or save it for
    later?)


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  29. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Rupert Boleyn" <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz> wrote in message
    news:nq2k415t7ccj2h0k369l57fn3e5e53us37@4ax.com...
    > On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 20:53:20 -0500, "Jeff Goslin"
    > <autockr@comcast.net> carved upon a tablet of ether:
    >
    > > > I am tempted to consider this a munchkin problem, but then again, the
    > > > only thing the player has done is go for the Great Sword, and, really,
    > > > wouldn't any self-respecting barbarian? Maybe a Great Axe.
    > >
    > > It sure sounds like pure & distilled power gaming to me.
    >
    > What? Because he's playing a barbarian that took a good weapon? You're
    > sounding like Cope.

    I suppose it's just a co-ink-ee-dink that he's a maxed out fighter type,
    huh? Sure.

    If the player has EVER played a fighter that WASN'T optimal, but instead
    chose his character "traits" to emphasize character and story, you might
    have a point, but I'd be hard pressed to envision a person who has one
    totally optimized character who doesn't have a whole cadre of them stacked
    on the bookshelf. Is it a stereotype, sure, fine, whatever, but if the shoe
    fits...

    Maybe the original poster will come back and tell us that this is NOT the
    case, that the player in question always strives to create unique
    characters. However, I would have a hard time believing that, mainly
    because if it's a unique character, why does it sound like every other
    min/max optimized power gaming character I've ever heard of? That's hardly
    unique, now is it? Of course, it could just be a pure coincidence, but
    let's just say I won't be holding my breath on that one.

    > The way 3.x is set up, not being able to wear heavy armour isn't a big
    > deal. In fact, aside from the full-plate wearing 'tanks' (as often
    > clerics as fighters or paladins) just about everyone will be wearing
    > chain shirts (or mithral breastplates when they can afford them). This
    > is one of the things I dislike about D&D in it's current incarnation,
    > though it's not nearly so bad if PCs are limited to 25- or 28-point
    > buy (so their stats are in the range the game assumes).

    Again, not familiar with 3E barbarians per se, but that sounds *AWFULLY*
    unbalanced. I can see why a power gamer would play a barbarian, though.
    Almost no AC penalty and all those powerful attack options? Sounds great.

    > It's actually about the only advantage a fighter has. Also, the
    > fighter needs to consider moving from a longsword to a bastard sword
    > or a dwarven waraxe.

    So instead of reigning in the power gaming of ONE player, you want to create
    a powergaming monster in ANOTHER player? Kinda self-defeating, isn't it?
    He doesn't want TWO tanks, he wants ZERO tanks, from the sounds of it.

    > The problem is that the high-AC advantage of the figther isn't enough
    > past about 9th level, when the barbarian has enough rages to last
    > through any likely day's encounter's, and has a bit of DR, so he takes
    > a bit less damage per hit. It gets even worse at 11th plus level, when
    > the barbarian's Greater Rage kicks in (even more Str and Con when
    > raging).

    I get the picture... really, I do...

    > Essentially the barbarian is incredibly powerful in melee, if he just
    > closes and smashes. That and some wilderness stuff is about all
    > they're good for, but unless you find breaking things and hurting
    > people in an honest face-to-face way boring, that's all they need to
    > be good at. Of all the classes in D&D3.x, barbarian is the class I'd
    > give a newbie to play - it's powerful and simple to design and play,
    > with only one real resource concern (should I rage now, or save it for
    > later?)

    Would the reverse also be true? That new players tend to select barbarians
    for that reason(easy to play, easy to build, easy to utilize as intended)?
    If that's the case, I have to wonder if there is a "progression" of
    chracters that players go through, from Barbarian(?) to <insert whatever you
    consider hardest class to play here>.

    --
    Jeff Goslin - MCSD - www.goslin.info
    It's not a god complex when you're always right
  30. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Jeff Goslin wrote:
    > "Rupert Boleyn" <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz> wrote in message
    > news:nq2k415t7ccj2h0k369l57fn3e5e53us37@4ax.com...
    >
    >>On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 20:53:20 -0500, "Jeff Goslin"
    >><autockr@comcast.net> carved upon a tablet of ether:
    >>
    >>
    >>>>I am tempted to consider this a munchkin problem, but then again, the
    >>>>only thing the player has done is go for the Great Sword, and, really,
    >>>>wouldn't any self-respecting barbarian? Maybe a Great Axe.
    >>>
    >>>It sure sounds like pure & distilled power gaming to me.
    >>
    >>What? Because he's playing a barbarian that took a good weapon? You're
    >>sounding like Cope.
    >
    >
    > I suppose it's just a co-ink-ee-dink that he's a maxed out fighter type,
    > huh? Sure.
    >
    > If the player has EVER played a fighter that WASN'T optimal, but instead
    > chose his character "traits" to emphasize character and story, you might
    > have a point, but I'd be hard pressed to envision a person who has one
    > totally optimized character who doesn't have a whole cadre of them stacked
    > on the bookshelf. Is it a stereotype, sure, fine, whatever, but if the shoe
    > fits...

    This is a first time player of table top RPGs. He's done the Diablo
    thing, and played Baldur's Gate, I believe. Take that for what you will.

    > Maybe the original poster will come back and tell us that this is NOT the
    > case, that the player in question always strives to create unique
    > characters. However, I would have a hard time believing that, mainly
    > because if it's a unique character, why does it sound like every other
    > min/max optimized power gaming character I've ever heard of? That's hardly
    > unique, now is it? Of course, it could just be a pure coincidence, but
    > let's just say I won't be holding my breath on that one.

    When he asked which class to choose, we told him to play either a
    fighter or a barbarian, based on the 'simplicity' of the classes. He
    sussed out the half-orc choice himself.

    He also wanted to play a wizard, but we convinced him that would be a
    bad idea as a starting character... too many choices, too many
    'specialty' cases to worry about while trying to pick up the standard
    rules. He still wanted a spellcaster, so we suggested Sorceror as the
    best choice, for a new player. That character is a female halfling
    sorceror. A pretty weak build, IMO. The wizard character makes her
    look like an apprentice, even though they have the same XP.

    >>The way 3.x is set up, not being able to wear heavy armour isn't a big
    >>deal. In fact, aside from the full-plate wearing 'tanks' (as often
    >>clerics as fighters or paladins) just about everyone will be wearing
    >>chain shirts (or mithral breastplates when they can afford them). This
    >>is one of the things I dislike about D&D in it's current incarnation,
    >>though it's not nearly so bad if PCs are limited to 25- or 28-point
    >>buy (so their stats are in the range the game assumes).
    >
    > Again, not familiar with 3E barbarians per se, but that sounds *AWFULLY*
    > unbalanced. I can see why a power gamer would play a barbarian, though.
    > Almost no AC penalty and all those powerful attack options? Sounds great.

    Its a textbook case of Video Gaming influenced game buidl choices. But
    there is nothing non-Core going on here. One serious problem is that
    the REST of us didn't go for min/max type PCs.

    >>It's actually about the only advantage a fighter has. Also, the
    >>fighter needs to consider moving from a longsword to a bastard sword
    >>or a dwarven waraxe.
    >
    > So instead of reigning in the power gaming of ONE player, you want to create
    > a powergaming monster in ANOTHER player? Kinda self-defeating, isn't it?
    > He doesn't want TWO tanks, he wants ZERO tanks, from the sounds of it.

    I don't mind a combat monster, but I never expected the unreal
    difference in raw combat ability between a 16 str fighter at 4th level
    and a raging half-orc barbarian of the ame level. It's ridiculous.

    What I really want is to find a way to let the barbarian be a raw damage
    dealing machine WITHOUT making everyone else (especially the fighter)
    feel like window dressing. Preferably without having to pump anyone
    else, or nerf the barbarian... so tactics advice for my monsters, I
    suppose, is waht I need...

    My problem is that, so far, everything I can think of that slows down
    the bar poses an unreasonably increased risk to the rest of the party.

    >>The problem is that the high-AC advantage of the figther isn't enough
    >>past about 9th level, when the barbarian has enough rages to last
    >>through any likely day's encounter's, and has a bit of DR, so he takes
    >>a bit less damage per hit. It gets even worse at 11th plus level, when
    >>the barbarian's Greater Rage kicks in (even more Str and Con when
    >>raging).
    >
    >
    > I get the picture... really, I do...
    >
    >
    >>Essentially the barbarian is incredibly powerful in melee, if he just
    >>closes and smashes. That and some wilderness stuff is about all
    >>they're good for, but unless you find breaking things and hurting
    >>people in an honest face-to-face way boring, that's all they need to
    >>be good at. Of all the classes in D&D3.x, barbarian is the class I'd
    >>give a newbie to play - it's powerful and simple to design and play,
    >>with only one real resource concern (should I rage now, or save it for
    >>later?)
    >
    > Would the reverse also be true? That new players tend to select barbarians
    > for that reason(easy to play, easy to build, easy to utilize as intended)?
    > If that's the case, I have to wonder if there is a "progression" of
    > chracters that players go through, from Barbarian(?) to <insert whatever you
    > consider hardest class to play here>.

    NO idea. Historically, I always play pure Human Fighters, based purely
    on the fact that the lack of special abilities etc in 1e and 2e meant I
    could focus on the Personality of my character without other players
    trying to impose their personal ideas of what my characters Race and
    Class are supposed to be like... this is mostly due to being involved
    in groups including many new players over the years.

    DWS
  31. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 23:41:27 -0500, "Jeff Goslin"
    <autockr@comcast.net> wrote:


    >> It's actually about the only advantage a fighter has. Also, the
    >> fighter needs to consider moving from a longsword to a bastard sword
    >> or a dwarven waraxe.
    >
    >So instead of reigning in the power gaming of ONE player, you want to create
    >a powergaming monster in ANOTHER player? Kinda self-defeating, isn't it?
    >He doesn't want TWO tanks, he wants ZERO tanks, from the sounds of it.

    All he asked for is a way to keep the other guy from feeling like an
    expendable supporting character. A greater degree of parity would
    help in that regard. I mean, I wouldn't use a Barbarian class in the
    first place, but having let one in, it's hard to scale back.
  32. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "David Serhienko" <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> wrote in message
    news:114kcenov6j8n11@corp.supernews.com...
    > > I suppose it's just a co-ink-ee-dink that he's a maxed out fighter type,
    > > huh? Sure.
    > >
    > > If the player has EVER played a fighter that WASN'T optimal, but instead
    > > chose his character "traits" to emphasize character and story, you might
    > > have a point, but I'd be hard pressed to envision a person who has one
    > > totally optimized character who doesn't have a whole cadre of them
    stacked
    > > on the bookshelf. Is it a stereotype, sure, fine, whatever, but if the
    shoe
    > > fits...
    >
    > This is a first time player of table top RPGs. He's done the Diablo
    > thing, and played Baldur's Gate, I believe. Take that for what you will.

    It's not *REALLY* a judgement on the player, since everyone goes through
    that power gaming min/maxing stage at some point in their role playing
    gaming lifespan. He's new, and the thing to do when you're new to role
    playing is try to use the rules to your advantage as best as possible to
    compensate for a lack of "real" role playing. We've all done it, if only
    for a short time at the beginning of our role playing careers.

    However, there's a strange thing that happens. If the player is actively
    rewarded for this behavior, it will only be reinforced, and he'll never
    progress as a role player. You need to let everyone know that you'll only
    reinforce what YOU want to reinforce. Stop giving out individual combat
    experience, make it a group award, and reward players individually for role
    playing and ingenuity.

    > When he asked which class to choose, we told him to play either a
    > fighter or a barbarian, based on the 'simplicity' of the classes. He
    > sussed out the half-orc choice himself.

    Ah, a monster of your own making, huh? ;)

    > He also wanted to play a wizard, but we convinced him that would be a
    > bad idea as a starting character...

    Well, I'd agree there, but that's about the only stock character I wouldn't
    advise a newbie to take. Even a cleric is pretty straightforward if you
    just want to be the healing machine...

    > best choice, for a new player. That character is a female halfling
    > sorceror. A pretty weak build, IMO. The wizard character makes her
    > look like an apprentice, even though they have the same XP.

    It sounds to me like you might also be a power gamer, so the problem might
    be that the apple isn't falling far from the tree. Something to consider.

    > Its a textbook case of Video Gaming influenced game buidl choices. But
    > there is nothing non-Core going on here. One serious problem is that
    > the REST of us didn't go for min/max type PCs.

    Well, you're only rewarding his choices. How is he supposed to learn it's
    not something that will work for your group if he gets gobs of experience
    for his choices?

    > > So instead of reigning in the power gaming of ONE player, you want to
    create
    > > a powergaming monster in ANOTHER player? Kinda self-defeating, isn't
    it?
    > > He doesn't want TWO tanks, he wants ZERO tanks, from the sounds of it.
    >
    > I don't mind a combat monster, but I never expected the unreal
    > difference in raw combat ability between a 16 str fighter at 4th level
    > and a raging half-orc barbarian of the ame level. It's ridiculous.

    16? Well, call it a bit of power gaming on MY part if you like, but I
    always change the highest rolled stat in a group to an 18 so a character can
    place that on his prime requisite. It works for us, providing heroic but
    not unbalanced characters. The 18 is rule zero'd into prime req, btw.

    > What I really want is to find a way to let the barbarian be a raw damage
    > dealing machine WITHOUT making everyone else (especially the fighter)
    > feel like window dressing. Preferably without having to pump anyone
    > else, or nerf the barbarian... so tactics advice for my monsters, I
    > suppose, is waht I need...

    Well, personally, I don't think that's going to happen. You can change up
    tactics only so much before it becomes "unrealistic". I'd either "nerf" the
    barbarian or beef up the fighter.

    > My problem is that, so far, everything I can think of that slows down
    > the bar poses an unreasonably increased risk to the rest of the party.

    Of *COURSE* it does, that's the whole point!! Make them actually THINK
    about fights they get into!

    --
    Jeff Goslin - MCSD - www.goslin.info
    It's not a god complex when you're always right
  33. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    In article <XoadnYEOJadq3dffRVn-2w@comcast.com>,
    "Jeff Goslin" <autockr@comcast.net> wrote:

    > "John Phillips" <jsphillips1@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
    > news:i8p2e.22833$cg1.4563@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
    > > > > I am tempted to consider this a munchkin problem, but then again, the
    > > > > only thing the player has done is go for the Great Sword, and, really,
    > > > > wouldn't any self-respecting barbarian? Maybe a Great Axe.
    > > >
    > > > It sure sounds like pure & distilled power gaming to me.
    > >
    > > What, you think a big strong barbarian should wield a dagger?
    >
    > At least he'd have character. ;)

    You are an adherent of the "creativity equals random design choices"
    school of roleplaying, I see.

    > There are, of course, logical things to do, but it doesn't always mean "pick
    > the weapon with the most damage potential". As long as you have *A* weapon
    > that can realistically be used in combat, it doesn't much matter what it is.

    Do these characters have sound, in-character reasons to want to die
    screaming in the mud with their entrails in a steaming pile beside them?
    If not, then playing a character who seeks out a combat career armed
    with a suboptimal weapon is *rotten* roleplaying.

    In real life, throughout history, people whose business is fighting have
    been very keenly interested in which weapons and techniques maximised
    their chances of living. There were differences of opinion about which
    was best, to be sure, but no one ever knowingly brought a knife to a gun
    fight of their own free will.

    > A paladin we had chose warhammer as his primary weapon, definitely NOT an
    > optimal choice from a mechanics perspective, but it make him a paladin with
    > CHARACTER.

    No. It made him a paper doll with an unusual weapon pasted onto one
    hand, and made him ridiculously implausible as a character. If that's
    what you call CHARACTER you could almost write computer program that
    will generate a million PC's with CHARACTER in a minute.

    I say almost, because you'd have to find a way to filter out the choices
    that actually work well together. Because people whose characters use
    the best weapons and tactics available, because they prefer to live
    rather than die, are just being boring munchkins.

    Kevin Lowe,
    Tasmania.
  34. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Tue, 29 Mar 2005, David Serhienko wrote:

    > Rupert Boleyn wrote:
    >> David Serhienko wrote:
    >>
    >>> Also, while I'm asking, I know you add 1.5x strength bonus when using
    >>> a two handed weapon, but shouldn't that bonus already have been
    >>> figured into the damage dice for the weapon when it REQUIRES
    >>> two-handed use?
    >>
    >> No, it's not.
    >
    > I know it isn't, I guess I was asking why not?

    Basically, so that a character doesn't do more STR-based damage wielding
    two small weapons than they do wielding a big two-handed weapon.

    One-handed weapon: x1 STR bonus.
    Two-handed weapon: x1.5 STR bonus.
    Two weapons: x1 STR bonus in primary hand, x0.5 STR bonus in off hand.

    Hoe this helps,

    Gary Johnson
    --
    Home Page: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg
    X-Men Campaign Resources: http://members.optusnet.com.au/xmen_campaign
    Fantasy Campaign Setting: http://www.uq.net.au/~zzjohnsg/selentia.htm
  35. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 20:48:30 -0600, David Serhienko
    <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > Great swords and Great Axes do assloads of damage, and aren't in any way
    > a special weapon, so I'd be surprised anyone wouldn't take one. In
    > fact, with the exception of the fact that published adventures tend to
    > feature magic longswords far out of proportion to any other type, I
    > can't see why anyone would prefer a shield and a d8 damage to 2d6 damage
    > and no shield.

    Magic shields provide another type of AC boost.

    > They can wear up to medium armor without extra feats or penalties to
    > skill checks (think Chainmail or less). If they wear heavier armor,
    > they lose their Fast Movement (+10 ft/round), and that's it.

    Medium armour costs everyone 10'/round of movement. One of the
    barbarian's useful features is that extra 10' of move, so losing it
    for +1 AC (less if your Dex is good) is dumb. As for heavy armour -
    that would require a feat, and cost lots of move. It's not a good
    choice for a barbarian.


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  36. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    David Serhienko wrote:
    > Jeff Goslin wrote:
    >
    >> "David Serhienko" <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> wrote in message
    >> news:114jjc3lnoa02b8@corp.supernews.com...
    >>
    >>> Anytime the combat looks 'interesting', which is to say anytime the
    >>> opponents don't appear to be 'mooks' or 'redshirts'. Early on, I
    >>> mistakenly introduced a magic item called 'rage berries', which allows
    >>> the eater to rage the round after eating them.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> First things first, "those berries mysteriously rotted, I dunno, it's
    >> crazy,
    >> end of story, no discussion." As DM, I do everything I can to make sure
    >> that ALL characters are as useful as they can realistically be, in
    >> comparison to others, while maintaining balance between the lot of
    >> them. By
    >> introducing these rage berries, you've just pumped up one of the
    >> characters
    >> to almost uber-god-level as compared to the others.
    >
    >
    > I realize that now. I thought, hey: 12 berries, a couple for each PC
    > isn't too powerful, since their effectively Rage potions. Speaking of
    > which, I neeed to be more careful tracking the Rage duration in the
    > future. I've been letting the Barb's player do it, but I noticed last
    > session that he wasn't tracking consumable items like oil flasks, so
    > maybe I should be a bit less trusting here, until the message sinks in.

    Just wait till they learn the trick of shuffling them around the party
    from time to time. Those 12 rage berries will mystically reproduce!

    - Ron ^*^
  37. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On 30 Mar 2005 04:00:15 GMT, drow <drow@bin.sh> wrote:

    >> Heh. Originally, there were two NPC clerics, one travelling with the A
    >> Team, and one with the B Team.
    >
    >i still can't understand why nobody in a party would want to play a
    >cleric. they're the most damn fun...

    I know. (When I get to play, rather than just DMing), the other
    players all insist that they "don't want to be the cleric", whereas I
    think:
    -> Two good saves
    -> Decent BAB and Hit Points
    -> Enough spells to let me be better than the fighter, given about 30
    seconds of warm-up.
    -> Everybody is my "friend", nobody will attack me of their own
    accord, and if I want to make them know they need me, just withold
    healing for a few encounters.
    -> Really good at killing off undead

    I think part of the problem players have is a percieved lack of
    uniqueness to any given build. Like the OP said at some point, he and
    the other DM came up with almost exactly the same cleric character,
    completely separately. Of course, clerics *do* have a fair bit of
    customisabliity, but it's not immediately obvious.

    Perhaps part of the problem is that (almost) all clerics:
    -> Heal
    -> Wear heavy armour, carry a heavy shield, and wield a mace
    -> Aren't *very* good at anything until they've had a chance to cast
    their spells.

    Any suggestions for fixing these problems? I'm thinking that a
    Monk/Cleric cross could be pretty cool; a wizened sage type who also
    happens to kick ass in combat, not to mention having the favour of his
    deity...

    Jordan
  38. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 21:52:03 -0600, David Serhienko
    <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > >>Also, while I'm asking, I know you add 1.5x strength bonus when using a
    > >>two handed weapon, but shouldn't that bonus already have been figured
    > >>into the damage dice for the weapon when it REQUIRES two-handed use?
    > >
    > >
    > > No, it's not.
    >
    > I know it isn't, I guess I was asking why not?

    Because if you did this strong people might find it advantaegous to
    use a '1-handed' weapon in both hands, rather than a 2-handed weapon.
    This would particularly apply to longswords vs bastard swords. Also,
    weapon damage is what's intrinsic to the weapon. The x1.5 multiplier
    for 2-handed use represents the extra leverage you get.


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  39. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 23:41:27 -0500, "Jeff Goslin"
    <autockr@comcast.net> carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > If the player has EVER played a fighter that WASN'T optimal, but instead
    > chose his character "traits" to emphasize character and story, you might
    > have a point, but I'd be hard pressed to envision a person who has one
    > totally optimized character who doesn't have a whole cadre of them stacked
    > on the bookshelf. Is it a stereotype, sure, fine, whatever, but if the shoe
    > fits...

    Jeff, making a half-orc barbarian with a two-handed sword hardly shows
    this.

    > Again, not familiar with 3E barbarians per se, but that sounds *AWFULLY*
    > unbalanced. I can see why a power gamer would play a barbarian, though.
    > Almost no AC penalty and all those powerful attack options? Sounds great.

    Actually, you take a - to AC when raging, and you get only the base
    feats everyone gets. Barbarians have lots of HP, and when raging even
    more (but when the rage wears off they go away, which can out you
    negative or kill you), and extra strength when raging. However, they
    aren't very flexible - light, fast melee fighters that do lots of
    damage, and get smacked around a lot is about all they are in combat.

    Fighters are more flexible, but it's very hard to make a fighter that
    can pump out the damage in melee that a barbarian can.

    > Would the reverse also be true? That new players tend to select barbarians
    > for that reason(easy to play, easy to build, easy to utilize as intended)?
    > If that's the case, I have to wonder if there is a "progression" of
    > chracters that players go through, from Barbarian(?) to <insert whatever you
    > consider hardest class to play here>.

    Not that I've seen, though people who develop an interest in the
    tactical options D&D's combat system offers often move to fighters,
    because the extra feats let you explore them more effectively - you
    can build a fighter that specialises in disarming and tripping people
    much more easily than a barbarian that does that.


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  40. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    > David Serhienko carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > > > > Also, while I'm asking, I know you add 1.5x strength
    > > > > bonus when using a two handed weapon, but shouldn't
    > > > > that bonus already have been figured into the damage
    > > > > dice for the weapon when it REQUIRES two-handed use?
    > > >
    > > > No, it's not.
    > >
    > > I know it isn't, I guess I was asking why not?

    Sorry for piggybacking, but there's a very, very simple answer to
    this:

    Because a two-handed weapon is not a two-handed weapon
    to everyone. A character one size larger can use it as
    a one-handed weapon (at -2 to hit), and a character two
    sizes larger can use it as a light weapon (at -4 to hit).

    This means that the damage increase from being wielded two-handed
    should stay right where it is: on the character wielding the weapon.

    --
    Nik
    - remove vermin from email address to reply.
  41. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    David Serhienko wrote:
    >
    > There is a significant difference in Overruling the results
    > of a Spot check to salvage an entire game and over-ruling
    > the spot skill to work only when it is convenient for me.

    There's another solution that doesn't require you to metagame-punish
    the players. I already deleted your post where you mentioned it, or
    I'd respond there, sorry.

    You mentioned that they use the rage berries on fights with people who
    look like "nonmooks".

    Solution: Put some effort into making the mooks seem like nonmooks.
    To some degree, this is similar to a kobold-bravado scenario Goslin
    suggested elsewhere. Put real detail into their descriptions, have
    separate character sheets for them (that the players can see exist,
    but can't read)... Despite them being War1s, etc. Then write a
    nonmook up with no more than a short statblock to remind you of his
    abilities (this works best if you're very familiar with the nonmook),
    among other stat blocks of mooks and nonmooks, and describe the
    nonmook in a seemingly bored fashion.

    They will probably use the rage berries in the wrong situations, and
    if not, they'll probably hoard them until they can better determine
    which fights it's best to use them in, in which case the spoilage has
    a more reasonable in-game rationale than just "when it's convenient".

    --
    Nik
    - remove vermin from email address to reply.
  42. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Nikolas Landauer wrote:
    > David Serhienko wrote:
    >
    >>There is a significant difference in Overruling the results
    >>of a Spot check to salvage an entire game and over-ruling
    >>the spot skill to work only when it is convenient for me.
    >
    >
    > There's another solution that doesn't require you to metagame-punish
    > the players. I already deleted your post where you mentioned it, or
    > I'd respond there, sorry.
    >
    > You mentioned that they use the rage berries on fights with people who
    > look like "nonmooks".

    Yes. And this, rarely, since, as was brought to my attention earlier,
    the Barbarian doesn't tend to NEED more than his allotted two rages a
    day very often.

    > Solution: Put some effort into making the mooks seem like nonmooks.
    > To some degree, this is similar to a kobold-bravado scenario Goslin
    > suggested elsewhere. Put real detail into their descriptions, have
    > separate character sheets for them (that the players can see exist,
    > but can't read)... Despite them being War1s, etc. Then write a
    > nonmook up with no more than a short statblock to remind you of his
    > abilities (this works best if you're very familiar with the nonmook),
    > among other stat blocks of mooks and nonmooks, and describe the
    > nonmook in a seemingly bored fashion.

    Hmm. I'll mine your comment for useful advice, but respectfully
    disagree with some of it.

    Playing up the mook encounters as if they were non-mook is good advice,
    but I can't go along with the other... That's a sort of bait and switch.

    Better would be to play up EVERY encounter as if they were non-mook, and
    not let the players know that an encounter has been inserted just to
    spice up their time on the road, or what have you.

    > They will probably use the rage berries in the wrong situations, and
    > if not, they'll probably hoard them until they can better determine
    > which fights it's best to use them in, in which case the spoilage has
    > a more reasonable in-game rationale than just "when it's convenient".

    I would have little problem with the Rage Berries if they were fewer in
    number, actually, so, I thank you for the idea.

    If I can play up all enocunteres to entice Raging, either natural or by
    Berry, the berry supply remaining should be 'chewed into' nicely soon.

    If they end up hoarding the last three or so, well, no big deal. They
    have no idea where to get more, and I'm not going to tell them unless
    they expand time and effort commensurate with their gain.

    Once they are down to one or two berries, the barbarian will have to be
    far less cavalier with using Rage. Thus, the decision remains his, and
    he isn't nerfed.

    This is, of course, a far better solution than stealing his berries.

    DWS
  43. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    In article <me-571EBC.00260831032005@news01.comindico.com.au>,
    Kevin Lowe <me@private.net> wrote:
    >In article <XoadnYEOJadq3dffRVn-2w@comcast.com>,
    > "Jeff Goslin" <autockr@comcast.net> wrote:
    >> A paladin we had chose warhammer as his primary weapon, definitely NOT an
    >> optimal choice from a mechanics perspective, but it make him a paladin with
    >> CHARACTER.
    >
    >No. It made him a paper doll with an unusual weapon pasted onto one
    >hand, and made him ridiculously implausible as a character. If that's
    >what you call CHARACTER you could almost write computer program that
    >will generate a million PC's with CHARACTER in a minute.

    It seems to me it would make sense for a follower of Moradin to use the god's
    favourite weapon. Even if it is numerically suboptimal.
    --
    "Yo' ideas need to be thinked befo' they are say'd" - Ian Lamb, age 3.5
    http://www.cs.queensu.ca/~dalamb/ qucis->cs to reply (it's a long story...)
  44. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Lots of people wanted to know what Feats the Fighter, Ranger and
    Barbarian in this little sotry have taken.

    Ranger - Track, Point Blank Shot, Quick Draw, Rapid Shot, Weapon
    Focus (Composite Longbow), Endurance.

    Fighter- Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, Cleave, Weapon Focus and
    Specialization (Longsword), Toughness.

    Some of those listed are Ranger abilities, rather than feat choices.

    I Know that the Barbarian has Cleave, which means he also has Power
    Attack, so that should be all of them.

    DWS
  45. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    David Serhienko wrote:
    > madafro@sbcglobal.net wrote:

    > > Do you have/use the Book of Exalted Deeds? Perhaps the Forces of
    Good
    > > have something in mind for this fighter above and beyond a
    Paladin's
    > > role. It'll take some careful handling on your end, but you might
    > > consider giving the fighter access to some of the Exalted feats and
    > > PrCs if the situation warrants it.
    >
    > I've thought about that a bit. I'd already been seriously
    considering
    > having the Fighter be the center of the next adventure cycle I run.
    I'd
    > been thinking that I could have it be a Family Affair (since the
    Player
    > has done a LOT of work to flesh out the Fighter's family background).

    > Tying in a Holy/Celestial angle at the same time could be fun, but
    doing
    > both at once would likely marginalize everyone else.

    Hard to suggest anything without knowing the fighter's family history,
    but it's encouraging that the player has gone into that kind of detail.
    Perhaps the fighter has a sister or female cousin that has been
    consigned to a nunnery since she was small, and has recently developed
    a baffling case of stigmata on her fifteenth birthday. The markings
    portend some kind of Big Thing that the girl must accomplish, and the
    fighter's task (along with his companions if they so choose) is to
    protect her while she does it. The girl could be destined for
    martyrdom in the name of a good but unpopular and dangerous cause, or
    will bear a Child of Significance.

    Perhaps the prophecy associated with this girl involves her as a
    martyr, and a second, nameless force that must deal the deathstroke for
    her to finally accomplish her purpose. The fighter may be destined to
    fill that role, much as it may pain him to do so.

    Anyway, I'm painting with a broad brush. Any key hooks in this
    fighter's family history that you might grab onto?

    --
    Jay Knioum
    The Mad Afro


    >
    > The goal, though, isn't so much to make the Fighter and Barbarian be
    > equal, as to make them FEEL equal, so any story that puts the Fighter
    in
    > the Center Role for a while will work.
    >
    > If I add a Holy/Celestial angle to the Family Affair that is open to
    any
    > PCs that are interested in the Holiness, I get to feature the
    Fighter,
    > without making him a Mary Sue.
    >
    > DWS
  46. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    madafro@sbcglobal.net wrote:
    > David Serhienko wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >>Some pre-game back story stuff that might spark some ideas: One
    >> thing that I did NOT mention, because I didn't think of it then,
    >> is that the Ranger and Fighter met while in training
    >> to become Paladins as teenagers. The Fighter 'washed out'
    >> and the Ranger decided that he didn't want to
    >> live within the Code of Conduct. Thus, the Fighter is
    >> still Lawful Good, but not a Paladin, and the Ranger is Chaotic
    >
    > Good...
    >
    > Do you have/use the Book of Exalted Deeds? Perhaps the Forces of Good
    > have something in mind for this fighter above and beyond a Paladin's
    > role. It'll take some careful handling on your end, but you might
    > consider giving the fighter access to some of the Exalted feats and
    > PrCs if the situation warrants it.

    I've thought about that a bit. I'd already been seriously considering
    having the Fighter be the center of the next adventure cycle I run. I'd
    been thinking that I could have it be a Family Affair (since the Player
    has done a LOT of work to flesh out the Fighter's family background).
    Tying in a Holy/Celestial angle at the same time could be fun, but doing
    both at once would likely marginalize everyone else.

    The goal, though, isn't so much to make the Fighter and Barbarian be
    equal, as to make them FEEL equal, so any story that puts the Fighter in
    the Center Role for a while will work.

    If I add a Holy/Celestial angle to the Family Affair that is open to any
    PCs that are interested in the Holiness, I get to feature the Fighter,
    without making him a Mary Sue.

    DWS
  47. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Clawhound wrote:
    > David Serhienko wrote:

    <snip my original post>

    > Ah, the figher problem compounded by an optimization problem. This is a
    > good puzzle. The figher is already outlcassed in two niches.
    >
    > Let me brainstorm. This stuff is iffy.
    > - There's a final battle in the shrine of the Goddess of Serenity.
    > Barbarian can't rage.

    Fun one time solution.

    > - Get the fighter a flaming sword. Then trolls.

    Let's label this an 'arms race' solution =)

    > - Have all NPC's look to the fighter as the respectable one, and listen
    > to him. He becomes your face man.

    I can try that. Or, rather, since the party makeup makes this somewhat
    unreasonable (high charisma wizard, bard and sorceress), I can have the
    NPCs express more obvious distress and reluctance to deal with a half-orc.

    > - Multiple waves of opponents.

    Definately.

    > - Hammer and anvil. Attacks from one direction, followed by attacks from
    > another. With the party broken apart, each must stand.

    Together with above, this will be fun.

    > - An illusionist opponent. Constant illusion based fights. The barbarian
    > doesn't know when to rage, or rages too often.

    No reason I can't include an illusionist as a part of the remnants of
    the Criminal Cabal they shattered. I know the CC is going to seek
    revenge, but I haven't decided how.

    > - Have them travel. Have a once-per-day encounter that leads into a
    > longish series of easy fights. You want to draw out the barbarian until
    > he has only one rage left, but he's not to the final fight yet.

    Useful tip. I'll just have to not do it too often.

    > The difference between the two will get worse. The fighter has a hard
    > time NOT being second class to the barbarian. Let the figher meet a
    > weapons master who can change his feats around a bit, to things like
    > combat expertise and tripping.

    I don't mind the barbarian being better. My problem is, of course, how
    MUCH better he is. Maybe I need to adjust my understanding of what a
    Fighter is, but I always imagined it as being the single most useful and
    versatile in combat. Versatility it has... usefulness in combats that
    can be forced toe to toe is an iffy proposition.

    DWS
  48. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Kevin Lowe" <me@private.net> wrote in message
    news:me-571EBC.00260831032005@news01.comindico.com.au...
    > > > What, you think a big strong barbarian should wield a dagger?
    > >
    > > At least he'd have character. ;)
    >
    > You are an adherent of the "creativity equals random design choices"
    > school of roleplaying, I see.

    No, I'm just not interested in being a slave to the mechanics. If everyone
    in REALITY chose to wield the same weapon, we wouldn't need several options,
    now would we? People choose their weapons for a variety of reasons. Yes,
    they want something effective, but it doesn't have to be OPTIMALLY effective
    in every instance. Why would someone opt for a battle axe over a great
    sword? Maybe they were a lumberjack, who knows.

    In the world you imply that you live in, nobody would select a weapon to use
    that was generically good, but would opt for the specifically good.
    Everyone would choose the two handed sword over the eminently more versatile
    long sword.

    > Do these characters have sound, in-character reasons to want to die
    > screaming in the mud with their entrails in a steaming pile beside them?

    The biggest gun is always the best gun, is that the ticket?

    > If not, then playing a character who seeks out a combat career armed
    > with a suboptimal weapon is *rotten* roleplaying.

    Of course you'd have reasons for it! I'm not suggesting for example
    randomly assigning a TRIDENT to a nomadic tribesman of the northern desert
    or some such thing! Club for the seal hunting family, Spear for the family
    of proud spear carriers(or something), Axe for the guy who was a
    disillusioned lumberjack, etc etc.

    > I say almost, because you'd have to find a way to filter out the choices
    > that actually work well together. Because people whose characters use
    > the best weapons and tactics available, because they prefer to live
    > rather than die, are just being boring munchkins.

    Well, if I'm wrong, so be it, but it sure sounds to me like the original
    poster's problem stemmed NOT from a character, but from the min/maxing of
    the mechanics. I'm not saying that EVERYONE who picks an optimal weapon is
    a munchkin, what I am saying is that if the mechanics drive the majority of
    character design decisions, then yes, such a player is a power gamer,
    without much doubt.

    --
    Jeff Goslin - MCSD - www.goslin.info
    It's not a god complex when you're always right
  49. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Donald Tsang wrote:
    > David Serhienko <david.serhienko@ndsu.nodak.edu> wrote:
    >
    >>>Do things ever
    >>>play "I'm more than twice as fast as you are, so I'm going to use
    >>>Spring Attack to ding you for a few points every raound, then get out
    >>>of range"?
    >>
    >>Not so far. Why? I am obviously missing something?
    >
    >
    > Because the Barbarian probably doesn't even carry a missile weapon?

    That's true.

    > I suppose it's a little hard to get something with a Move of 80, though.
    >
    > How about opponents who fly?

    OOOO! A Wyvern would be fun! Gotta wait til Mr Wizard is outta his
    Direct Damage artillery, though for this to work out =)

    >>At which point everyone just follows the half-orc, since there aren't
    >>really many CR5 or CR6 challenges he can't mow through in a round or
    >>two. Anything with higher CR teeters on the edge of a Total Party Kill
    >>if played effectively. If played INeffectively, then the barbarian is
    >>just that much more effective, since the players never pull their punches.
    >
    > How about things with DR X/bludgeoning? Does the barbarian carry a backup
    > weapon (like a morningstar)?

    He does, actually.

    > I still like the idea of playing to the Barbarian's weaknesses. Does he
    > have a Charisma of 6, by chance? A lot of people don't like half-orcs,
    > even when they don't have really low Charismas...

    I really should play this up more. I do mention it from time to time,
    but it got old.

    Note to self: Discipline, Grasshopper, Discipline. People just now
    enjoying peace after ten years of war with Orcs on the other side will
    *not* be thrilled to see Half-Orcs.

    DWS
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