Toril 2.0: Feats

Gantoris
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Postby Gantoris » Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:30 pm

doublepost
Last edited by Gantoris on Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Apples and Oranges

Postby Gantoris » Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:30 pm

Let's not mince words here... now you are saying Rangers don't stack up to a 12th level Druid or Cleric.

I could have easily told you that. In fact there is not a single class that can stand up to a 7th level cleric/druid/wizard with a full compliment of spells. (Ok, now this sounds more like a pissing match... not intented) But spellcasters ARE the toughest in the game....they shape reality around them with their "magic" for goodness sake! ;) I'll show you an 11th level cleric that ownz everybody given three rounds of spell prep (divine power, divine might, bulls strength)... so it's not that hard to imagine that they would be tougher.

I'll show you an 11th level Fighter and stack it against a well thought out 11th level Ranger any day of the week.

Spontanious spellcasting for Rangers to make up for their limited situation spell list? I think that is a great idea. Although they do get the most powerful 1st level spell (entangle) early on in their spell progression, so there is never a reason to take detect plants or whatever :P

Anywho, this has been an enjoyable exchange of ideas Ragorn!

Now we are just left to see what 'tweeks' Shevy makes.

~Gantoris
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Postby Branthur » Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:25 pm

Pun-Pun rules you all.

Hey, you start throwing around CoDzilla, and I can bring up Pun-Pun.
Oh, and Gant? The enhancement bonus for strength from Divine Power doesn't stack with bull strengh. You need to stop playing GURPS.

Now to wait for Shev to post more. :P
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Postby Ragorn » Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:11 pm

CoDzilla is just a term used to describe a core Cleric or Druid played well. Pun-pun is an infinite-stat character built using ridiculous skills from obscure books :P
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Postby Branthur » Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:23 pm

Ragorn wrote:CoDzilla is just a term used to describe a core Cleric or Druid played well. Pun-pun is an infinite-stat character built using ridiculous skills from obscure books :P


Yes, yes, I know. Just giving you a hard time. Personally I like spirit shaman over druid, mainly because they change how shapeshift/poly works every other month. Too much of a headache.

Oh, and earlier you mentioned classes with full BAB and clerical caster progression. You're right, there's almost nothing...and to an extent it's not really needed in light of clerical spellcasting, but when you're looking for ranger build that likes casting, there's not much. About the only thing I could think of off the top of my head is Fist of Raziel. Not too bad on prerequisites, if you don't mind being an exalted character.
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Postby Oghma » Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:51 am

Get it right. The big 3 for 11th level clerics is Divine Power, Divine Favor, and Righteous Might. Of course, every spellcaster class has their "I win" buttons, it's just a matter of the save or time involved.
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Postby Tanji Smanji » Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:20 am

No freaking idea what any of you are talking about, I just hope it's better than that god awful D&D Online game.
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Postby Gantoris » Sun Sep 10, 2006 4:16 am

Tanji Smanji wrote:No freaking idea what any of you are talking about, I just hope it's better than that god awful D&D Online game.


No kidding Tanji, that was a flaming bag of dog poo for an MMO.

~Gantoris
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Postby Sarvis » Sun Sep 10, 2006 4:27 pm

Cirath wrote:
Gantoris wrote:Within a MUD setting as a ranger you get figher HP...


Cleric/monk hp, not fighter.

Shevarash wrote:1) Rangers will be cool


Is that allowed? Does that mean I can rally for anti-paladins now (including maybe a name change for that class)?


IF we're going 3.5 shouldn't you end up with Blackguards
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Postby Gantoris » Sun Sep 10, 2006 4:31 pm

Sarvis wrote:
IF we're going 3.5 shouldn't you end up with Blackguards


If I were to make an educated guess, you would be correct. In fact I'm sure there are a lot of educated guesses I could make about a lot of things ;) But again this would all be based on extensive grey matter devoted to Dungeons and Dragons information.

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Postby Sarvis » Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:55 pm

Well, from my limited experience with the 3.5 ranger (playing Temple of Elemental Evil) rangers were a pretty functional class. Mine actually had more kills than anyone else in the party, but I think this may have been due to:

1) Giving him al the best weapons/armor.
2) Stupid AI frequently choosing to run past the guy with high dex and that feat that lets you make as many AoOs as your dex bonus.

My second playthrough I took 3 half-orc warriors with max str, and pwned everything. Even that stupid giant in the bone fields was dead by level 3, whereas my other party couldn't do it until after clearing a good portion of the temple.


The real problem with the 3.5 ranger for me isn't power level, but focus. They've turned the ranger into more of a scouting class than a fighting class. In fact, if they'd created a new PrC called Scout, it would probably look a lot like the new ranger! Part of the problem is the new d8 hit die, which all but excludes a ranger from melee. He doesn't have the HP OR the AC needed to last in a fight, especially when you consider the other d8 classes can all wear heavier armor.

In fact, since ranger's lose so many of their abilities in armor heavier than leather, they are pretty much forced to have a high dex... and that's a disadvantage all it's own.





Ragorn wrote:A lot of the problem is not actually with Rangers, but with game mechanics that Rangers tap into. The Favored Enemy bonus is fine, but the fact that NPCs are broken into 30 different groups means the opportunity to use it might be scarse. If I could rewrite the system, I wouldn't tie Favored Enemy into monster types... I'd set up 8 or 10 categories, such as surface humanoids, subterranean humanoids, beasts, magical beasts, undead, etc. Nobody is going to take (or use) Favored Enemy Humanoid (aquatic) unless you have prior knowledge of the adventure.



I like this idea. I might modify it to choosing a region, and having the bonus apply to every type of monster found in that region. So you'd pick forest, and get bonuses against goblins and such, or caves and get bonuses against... err... I dunno, troglodytes? Would probably need to give fewer FE's (and rename it to something more sensible) to keep the ranger from having bonuses against everything though. It makes a bit more sense to me, if rangers are supposed to be living in non-civilized environments they'd have to learn the best way to deal with all the nasties IN those environments to survive.


As for other suggestions for improving rangers, I still like the new ranger class build I posted a LONG time ago: http://www.torilmud.dyndns.org/phpBB2/v ... hp?t=13255
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Postby Cirath » Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:59 pm

Sarvis wrote:IF we're going 3.5 shouldn't you end up with Blackguards


Possibly, though I would hope it wouldn't be treated as a prestige class. Personally, I would be happy if only the spell list got looked at. I mean, really, harm at ninth circle? Even rangers get better than that.

Sarvis wrote:In fact, if they'd created a new PrC called Scout, it would probably look a lot like the new ranger!


You are close. There is a class called Scout, and it is a sort of ranger/rogue hybrid with no spells.
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Postby Branthur » Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:13 pm

Sarvis wrote:In fact, since ranger's lose so many of their abilities in armor heavier than leather, they are pretty much forced to have a high dex... and that's a disadvantage all it's own.


You've mentioned this a few times before, and I have to admit that I find it interesting that you actually believe this. :)

Do dex fighters do, on average, as much damage as a strength fighter? No, of course not. But wearing lighter armor and having a high dex is not a disadvantage.

Feats - Power fighter takes power attack/cleave line of feats. Dex fighters go the route of weapon finesse/dodge/mobility/spring attack/and the line of multiple hits on spring attack feats (can't recall the name of them offhand).

Sure, the power fighter does more damage...but if you've played in any actual tabletop D&D, the LAST thing you want to do is stand toe to toe with a dragon, or a giant. Go in, hit a couple times, and go out. Dex fighters do that MUCH better.

Power fighters generally have a lower dex, as you stated. This means that their reflex saves are worse than that of a dex fighter, their initiative is lower, and their dex based skills are worse.

Light armor actually provides MORE defense as you go up in levels, not having to deal with the hampering of the dexterity penalty on the heavier armors. If you look at some builds on the WotC BBS, in general the high AC builds use Light or NO armor. One of the best pieces of armor you can get is a chain shirt, and that is light armor. Make some chainmail out of Mithril, that counts as light armor as well.

Now, how could that translate here? Who knows, other than Shev. I'm sure he'll enlighten us. But to say that a dex fighter is at a disadvantage is a joke. It boils down to play style.
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Postby Sarvis » Sun Sep 10, 2006 11:32 pm

Light armor does not in any way provide more AC than heavy armor. You mean to say that you _can_ get a better AC, but that is provided by dex... and in order for it to work you need a LOT of +dex gear, and you need to max out your dex to the detriment of your other stats. In the end, you can end up with like <i>2</i> higher AC than a str based warrior. Meanwhile he'll do more damage per hit than you do per round, will have more freely chosen feats, and probably more hitpoints. (Remember that while the dex warrior still needs str to do damage, the str warrior does not need dex so he has extra stat points to play around with in a buy system. Also the dex warrior needs to buy a feat to use his dex mod for melee, which means he gets to choose one less feat than a str based warrior.)


Let's consider some basic builds without magic.

Max dex at level 20: 24
So that's AC10 base + 7 dex bonus + 1AC (padded armor)
Total AC: 18

Str based warror: AC10 base + 8AC (Full Plate)
Total AC: 18


Looks like a tie to me. Oh, except that the guy in plate doesn't have to worry about being caught flatfooted or anything else that negates dex bonus to AC. No shield included because it applies a penalty to the dex based warrior, and the str based warrior will use a two-handed weapon.


Now to look at damage:

Dex warrior - 14str +2 bonus
Weapon: Spiked Chain 2d4 (strongest finesseable weapon, though it might be better to go rapier for crits.)
Damage Min: 1 + 2 = 3
Damage Max: 8 + 2 = 10
Crit Max: 18 + 4 = 22

Str Warrior: 24str +7 bonus
Weapon Greatsword 2d6
Damage Min: 2 + 10 (2handed strength bonus) = 12
Damage Max: 12 + 10 = 22
Crit Max: 24 + 20 = 44

The crit damage for the dex warrior just barely equals the normal max damage for a str warrior. The crit for a str based warrior is pretty much just insane.

You mentioned fighting a dragon? Well, aside from the general silliness of attempting that... I'd note that a Very Old (or older!) dragon will only take damage from the dex fighter when he <i>crits</i>, whereas the str warrior will only occasionally fail to hurt one. (Damage reduction is just one more thing that completely screws dex builds in combat.)

So what do dex fighters have? Skills, and a slightly better dex save. Oh right, and slightly better mobility on the battlefield... which can almost always be ignored in video game terms, and with my PnP group as well since we don't set up the grid or anything.

You're correct that there are a lot of dex based skills, but they are all situational and not necessarily useful (Escape Artist comes to mind.) There are only 3 str skills, but they are both more likely to come up and more important when they do.

So what you get with a dex warrior is a fighter with fewer feats, who loses his AC completely in a half-dozen situations, and can't damage various enemies due to DR. But hey, they can hide slightly well, run away and take half damage from a fireball REALLY well! (Just don't ask him to do anything useful like climb or swim. Or kill things.)
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Postby Branthur » Mon Sep 11, 2006 12:55 am

OK, you speak of being silly in attacking a dragon, and then step it up by proposing attacking a dragon with no magical weapons? Dragons' DR is ##/magic, so any magical weapon will bypass it. Let's get that silliness out of the way right now.

Read again, my friend. I gave you that power fighters do more damage than dex fighters. And this, of course, is assuming both are melee fighters, instead of the dex fighter going with archery, where they would be superior anyway. That is not the issue, as much as you would like to make it.

The two types are different focuses. A brute fighter is going to concentrate on damage in a single stroke, and focus his feats accordingly. A dex fighter goes for longer distance survivability, increasing his movement, his AC, and his dodging. While the brute fighter is going to be wearing full adamantine platemail with heavy fortification, the light fighter is going to be wearing a mithril chain shirt or elven chain, enchanted with nimbleness, moderate fortification. The power fighter is going to take combat brute, power critical, cleave, great cleave, etc. The light fighter is going to go with spring attack, elusive target, combat reflexes.

Let's take a more realistic look at that equipment again, shall we? If we're going to assume 20th level characters, then let's give them 20th level gear when looking at AC (remember, I'm giving you the damage output of the power fighter..there is no contest).

Power Fighter
Base AC 10 + Full Adamantine Plate +5 Heavy Fortification + 1 dex + Amulet of Natural Armor +3 + Ring of Protection +4 + Heavy Shield +5 Animated = AC 38

Dex Fighter
Base AC 10 + Mithril Chain Shirt +5 Nimbleness, Mod. Fortification + 8 dex + Amulet of Natural Armor +3 + Ring of Protection +4 + Heavy Shield +5 Animated = AC 41

Equivelent gear, approximated. They are about even, with the dex fighter having a slight edge. I'm not even using the celestial chainmail armor which would give the dex fighter more of an advantage. Their BAB will be the same, their approximate hitroll will be about the same, as the power fighter will be using strength, and the dex fighter will assumibly have weapon finesse as one of their feats, just as the power fighter will presumably have power attack. Oh, as an aside, if the dex based fighter is a Ranger, he has an excellent Spot check (or should), and therefore is rarely flatfooted. And while the dex fighter is occasionally of a lesser AC due to surprise, the brute is having more trouble with touch attacks. Of which there are many.

By style dex fighters use weapons that crit more often than power fighters, though that is relative.

What does all this mean for an online game? Nothing. Which is what I'm trying to point out to you. :) We don't know how dex vs power fighters are going to be implemented, if at all, since not much has actually been said on the issue.

Dex fighters are NOT at a disadvantage vs Str fighters. They just do things differently.

I think one of the main issues you're having here is that you have not played tabletop, or at least if you have, very little. Apparently you view Strength based fighters as "better". I'm simply showing you that they are better in some areas, and not in others. The Strength fighter can do more damage. The dex fighter has more survivability when the fireballs start flying and the giant starts swinging his club.

Feats? Let's look at a general breakdown of what these two might take (and why not, since this is the FEATS thread).

Power -
1st - Power Attack F1 - Weapon Focus (greatsword)
F2 - Cleave
3rd - Improved Sunder
F4 - Weapon Specialization (greatsword)
6th - Power Critical F6 - Great Cleave
F8 - Combat Brute
9 - Improved Crit (greatsword)
F10 - Close Quarters Fighting


Dexterity -
1st - Weapon Finesse F1 - Weapon Focus (rapier)
F2 - Dodge
3rd - Mobility
F4 - Spring Attack
6th - Elusive Target F6 - Combat Expertise
F8 - Improved Trip
9th - Karmic Strike
F10 - Sidestep

There, using the same number of feats, two different fighters with two different focuses that are very playable. There is no disadvantage. Just different play styles.

And all of this is BESIDES the discussion of Rangers. Which I have already posted my opinion of. I have nothing more to say on the subject.
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Postby Sarvis » Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:33 am

I never said a dex build wasn't _playabe_, just that they were underpowered compared to strength builds. Hell almost anything is <i>playable</i> in D&D because it's a group game, and the group can make up for your weaknesses, and the DM isn't generally trying to kill you anyway.

You also keep waving away the damage done as if it were immaterial, but for my money it's much easier to survive those fireballs when you kill the caster in one shot because of all that damage. Like I said with my ToEE party, the strength based fighters were able to kill him at level 3. The only reason that worked is because they hit so hard that the giant only got one attack!

There's also many more ways to end up flatfooted than a failed spot check, such as entangle or paralysis spells. Rangers are inferior to other classes in D&D, and part of the reason for this is that strength is the most important stat for combat while rangers _need_ high dex. Lowering their HP just exacerbates the problem.
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Postby Arilin Nydelahar » Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:10 am

Instead of balls, i'm thinking Branthur has two d20's hanging.
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Postby Gormal » Mon Sep 11, 2006 5:27 am

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Postby Tasan » Mon Sep 11, 2006 7:44 am

Can we leave all the speculation and general crap out of this thread and leave it to actual questions about actual facts posted by Shev? Kthxbye.
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Postby Ragorn » Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:11 pm

Tasan wrote:Can we leave all the speculation and general crap out of this thread and leave it to actual questions about actual facts posted by Shev? Kthxbye.


No.

I take the middle ground between Sarvis and Branthur. Yes, high-Dex characters can typically get a higher AC than full plate wearers, but not by much. The max Armor + Dex bonus to AC from a mithril chain shirt or a mithril breastplate is +10. Wearing normal full plate with 12 Dex gives you +9.

Spring Attack is a good tactic, but it's not a viable long-term character build. Springing in, taking one attack, and springing out again becomes trivial even at midlevels, when the Str Fighter is taking two or three whacks and doing much more damage. And it takes you four feats to get to the place where you can even do that, while the Str Fighter has taken Focus and Spec, and other feats that directly impact his combat ability. There is a feat in the PHB2 (Bounding Assault) which lets you take a second attack during a Spring Attack, but it has a +12 BAB requirement.

Continually Spring Attacking also makes your Combat Reflexes less valuable... doesn't matter how many AOOs you're entitled to if you're not in range to take one.

The Str Fighter has several other combat advantages as well, namely use of trip, bull rush, overrun, disarm, and grapple. While you can use Dex to defend against most of these attacks, initiating these actions is done via a Strength check. Your 10-Strength Swashbuckler misses out on these combat options.

Combat ability isn't even a question... Str > Dex. However, Dex Fighters do better out of combat, where their Jump, Climb, and Swim checks are weighed down by a suit of 50 pound full plate. If you're in a campaign where mobility is critical, your Dex Fighter might find himself able to overcome challenges that the tank cannot. If you're in a dungeon slog, your higher Climb check may never be used.

This is why many Dex-based prestige classes give insight bonuses to AC, bonuses to one-handed weapons, or bonuses to single attacks... because it's not very appealing to play a straight Dex guy with the core rules. That goes for Rangers as well. There isn't anything in core to help them balance out all the tricks they lose by neglecting their Strength score.
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Postby Sarvis » Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:45 pm

Tasan wrote:Can we leave all the speculation and general crap out of this thread and leave it to actual questions about actual facts posted by Shev? Kthxbye.


No.

Can we mind our own business and not get offended by what other people are doing maybe?
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Postby Ragorn » Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:48 pm

In the last campaign I played as a player, I had a 9th level Githzerai Monk. I built him for defense, and went the Dex/Finesse route with high saves and lots of armor class. By 9th level, he had AC 32 and absolutely retarded saving throws. The problem with him was, he didn't really do anything in combat. He couldn't trip, he couldn't disarm, he couldn't grapple, and he hit for something like 1d8+2. It was like he wasn't even there... he couldn't be hit or affected by spells, but he also had very little positive impact on the fight, even when Flurrying.

In my current campaign, one of my players is a 12th level Bugbear Fighter/Barbarian with 26 Strength, a spiked chain, and Improved Trip...
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Postby Branthur » Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:02 pm

PHBII introduces a lot of feats that really help out the dex based fighter, such as being able to take those multiple attacks on a spring attack, etc. :)
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Postby Sarvis » Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:08 pm

So you're saying dex fighters only become viable when you spend a ton of extra money on optional rulebooks? :P
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Postby Branthur » Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:33 pm

Not what I said, Sarvis, but nice try.
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Postby Shevarash » Mon Sep 11, 2006 5:38 pm

Luckily, I'm the only that has to spend a ton of money on optional rulebooks in order to implement them into the MUD.
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Postby Vigis » Mon Sep 11, 2006 5:42 pm

Shevarash wrote:Luckily, I'm the only that has to spend a ton of money on optional rulebooks in order to implement them into the MUD.


If it gets too expensive, you could always pawn Shar's ring :P
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Postby Ragorn » Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:29 pm

Branthur wrote:PHBII introduces a lot of feats that really help out the dex based fighter, such as being able to take those multiple attacks on a spring attack, etc. :)

Right, but you're still burning feats to be able to do what a Strength Fighter can do without them (in this case, take multiple attacks). With Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Finesse, and Bounding Assault, you're now five feats deep to be able to attack twice a round at level 12.

If you're going to play a Dex Fighter, you need to go archery. You still can't disarm, sunder, or trip (though there are ranged feats in Complete Warrior that will let you do these things), but at least you get multiple attacks while maintaining your defense. It's just a shame you STILL have to burn feats to be able to attack effectively (Point Blank and Precise Shot at the very bare minimum).
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Postby Shevarash » Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:43 pm

Feats are meant to be burned, man.

For what its worth, while I am not doing a straight 3.5 conversion, I am using information from multiple sources (not just the PHB) as well as original content to create 2.0. There's certainly an issue with balancing Str/Dex fighers, but I assure you that this, and anything else applicable, will be addressed based on what is best for the MUD, as opposed to a slavish 3.5 implementation.
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Postby Sarvis » Mon Sep 11, 2006 7:07 pm

Branthur wrote:Not what I said, Sarvis, but nice try.


That was tongue in cheek man, chill. (Though it's not out of the bounds of logic, considering you were saying how important Spring Attack was to dex builds and then responded to Rag's concerns with a feat out of an optional rulebook.)

Shevarash wrote:Feats are meant to be burned, man.


I think his concern is that you HAVE to take those feats, rather than being able to burn them on things you actually want.

There's certainly an issue with balancing Str/Dex fighers, but I assure you that this, and anything else applicable, will be addressed based on what is best for the MUD, as opposed to a slavish 3.5 implementation.


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Postby Ragorn » Mon Sep 11, 2006 7:57 pm

Shevarash wrote:Feats are meant to be burned, man.

For what its worth, while I am not doing a straight 3.5 conversion, I am using information from multiple sources (not just the PHB) as well as original content to create 2.0. There's certainly an issue with balancing Str/Dex fighers, but I assure you that this, and anything else applicable, will be addressed based on what is best for the MUD, as opposed to a slavish 3.5 implementation.


For my money, it's very easy in the Toril landscape to balance out Strength vs. Dex Fighters, much moreso than in D&D. Simply put, Toril has tanks, while D&D does not. Your Strength Fighter, with Power Attack, Cleave, and Improved Sunder, is a form of melee damage. He can take a few hits, rescue some casters, whatever, but the brunt of his defense is made up of armor, which is not an infallible system.

Your Dex Fighter gains access to more defensive feats, like Dodge, Combat Expertise, Mobility, and Spring Attack. Maybe rescuing provokes an attack of opportunity, unless you have Spring Attack. Maybe activating combat skills has a lag time proportional to your character's initiative roll, allowing Dex Warriors to recover from command lag faster. I dunno, loads of ideas come out when you base Toril 2.0 on 3.5 rather than being enslaved by it.
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Postby Ashiwi » Sat Sep 16, 2006 4:47 pm

I've been looking at some of the feats and it's made me wonder... I know this list will be pared down drastically, but there are some feats on there that would be very nice to be able to use in the game. Actually, it would be very nice to have REASON to have to use them in the game. Some of the ones that come to mind do things like affect your climb, jump, tumble, use rope, sleight of hand, and decipher script checks.

Are features going to be built into the existing zones that use checks like this, or will they be implemented in only new zones, if used at all? Being able to use features like this opens up amazing potential for creative zone building, adding to the depth of what is already in the game.

Will checks like this even be added into 2.0?
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Postby moritheil » Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:24 pm

Having to worry about feats and such in Toril is like a collision of two separate worlds - tabletop and online.

3.5 balance and min/maxing arguments hinge almost entirely on what splatbooks are in use and what feats/spells are available - to say nothing of the rulings that individual DMs make about their use.

There will be plenty of opportunity for argument after what is available and how it works is established.
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Re: Toril 2.0: Feats

Postby Todrael » Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:59 pm

Shevarash wrote:General Feats

This is the catch-all category where a large number of feats reside. General feats can affect your character in many, many ways - such as providing a bonus to a certain skill or attack, add hitpoints to your character, improve saving throws in a variety of ways, grant new abilities to your character, and much, much more.


Will there be crafting (scroll, potion, item creation) feats?
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