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  1. #1801
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    Default It's all in the way you look at things.....

    In a Wizards career, a Magic Wand is almost a standard piece of equipment. In DDO, you hardly see Wands drop in Treasure.
    In our playstyle, a Wizard "Creates" Magic Wands using a special procedure we made possible.

    Wands are created over a long period of research and experimentation. In this reasearch there is one componant he can not obtain without adventuring.......raw gemstones.
    Like a Druid collecting special erbs and plants, a Wizard's Wand creation requires specific gems.
    During his reasearch, sometimes experiments fail and the precious gems are destroyed, delaying his progress. If he is lucky and does everything correctly, he perfects and completes a Magic Wand that augments his spell casting capacity.

    This is a way of looking at DDO in a more "Classic" way. THAC0 continues to experiment and try to bring to it's players more of an old school adventure experience.

  2. #1802
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    Default Gamenight!

    Placekeeper.......
    Last edited by intruder1; 12-19-2013 at 04:16 AM.

  3. #1803
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    Default Gamenight!

    Last night, 4 adventurers braved the spider infested caves of Wisperdoom. Two of our compatriots, Cogoiler the Rogue and Calibhan the Cleric, were absent and their absence ended up being sorely missed.

    Did I mention "sorely"?

    We numbered 4.....Fighter/Cleric, Ranger, Wizard and Bard. We encountered monsters we had never encountered before, Arcane "Hounds" that were tough AND had the nasty habit of infecting us with disease with successful bites!
    More, some type of Sorcerers that were very capable of wiping out half our small band with powerful Fireball Spells and Acid Rain!

    Last night, we strayed from our tried and true strategy of "don't fight toe to toe with a group who knows what they are doing!"
    We had become quite proficient at splitting a Monster group apart in order to nullify any casters AOE's..........but that tactic evaded us last night.
    In a heated battle, our Ranger was the first to fall.....followed quickly by our Figher/Cleric.
    The remaining Wizard/Bard team valiantly succeeded in one more encounter, but then decided they didn't have the resources to continue and made their way out.

    The Quest was (IMO) an excellent adventure and if we had kept to proven tactics, may have done better.
    But, then again.....maybe not.

    We also playtested our Arcanes with "revised" criteria in their spellcasting.
    Generally, the idea was to ease up on the "primary attribute" buffing, which EVERY Spellcaster in DDO does, and "give monsters a chance to actually make their saving throws."

    Kierik and Grondley have been in THAC0 from the beginning and are very good players with a great sense of fairplay........
    That being said......you could not miss the concern in their voices (much like our trusty Rogue) when spells began to fail......and fail......and fail.
    Only after switching to another spell-type, did the caster realize that the monsters were resistant to the previous attacks and spells began to take effect.
    This first playtest proved that the concept is valid and the PLAYER skill of spell selection is in full effect.
    Fighters already know this skill, as applied to Weapon Selection. Now we add another D&D basic factor to our playstyle.

    Note: This obviously is VERY optimistic for me to say after only one playtest, but when everyone one in the world keeps saying "this can't be done", I have to be very optimistic.
    It is un-nerving to the players too because they are "unsure", but that also is a basic concept in D&D.......and what makes the game fantastic to play.
    Last edited by intruder1; 12-19-2013 at 04:21 AM.

  4. #1804
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    Quote Originally Posted by intruder1 View Post
    Last night, 4 adventurers braved the spider infested caves of Wisperdoom. Two of our compatriots, Cogoiler the Rogue and Calibhan the Cleric, were absent and their absence ended up being sorely missed.

    Did I mention "sorely"?

    We numbered 4.....Fighter/Cleric, Ranger, Wizard and Bard. We encountered monsters we had never encountered before, Arcane "Hounds" that were tough AND had the nasty habit of infecting us with disease with successful bites!
    More, some type of Sorcerers that were very capable of wiping out half our small band with powerful Fireball Spells and Acid Rain!

    Last night, we strayed from our tried and true strategy of "don't fight toe to toe with a group who knows what they are doing!"
    We had become quite proficient at splitting a Monster group apart in order to nullify any casters AOE's..........but that tactic evaded us last night.
    In a heated battle, our Ranger was the first to fall.....followed quickly by our Figher/Cleric.
    The remaining Wizard/Bard team valiantly succeeded in one more encounter, but then decided they didn't have the resources to continue and made their way out.

    The Quest was (IMO) an excellent adventure and if we had kept to proven tactics, may have done better.
    But, then again.....maybe not.

    We also playtested our Arcanes with "revised" criteria in their spellcasting.
    Generally, the idea was to ease up on the "primary attribute" buffing, which EVERY Spellcaster in DDO does, and "give monsters a chance to actually make their saving throws."

    Kierik and Grondley have been in THAC0 from the beginning and are very good players with a great sense of fairplay........
    That being said......you could not miss the concern in their voices (much like our trusty Rogue) when spells began to fail......and fail......and fail.
    Only after switching to another spell-type, did the caster realize that the monsters were resistant to the previous attacks and spells began to take effect.
    This first playtest proved that the concept is valid and the PLAYER skill of spell selection is in full effect.
    Fighters already know this skill, as applied to Weapon Selection. Now we add another D&D basic factor to our playstyle.

    Note: This obviously is VERY optimistic for me to say after only one playtest, but when everyone one in the world keeps saying "this can't be done", I have to be very optimistic.
    It is un-nerving to the players too because they are "unsure", but that also is a basic concept in D&D.......and what makes the game fantastic to play.

    Last night's adventure was lots of fun.

    Tukcc, to summarize: we are free to take racial enhancements. PrC enhancements are restricted: no attribute modifiers, jack is limited, sustaining song is gone. It only has a single point, so it cannot be limited like Jack. What about items that boost DCs? Do we have a "target" DC for level 1 spells? Is Heighten Spell off limits? SLAs are off limit?

  5. #1805
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magiker View Post
    Last night's adventure was lots of fun.

    Tukcc, to summarize: we are free to take racial enhancements. PrC enhancements are restricted: no attribute modifiers, jack is limited, sustaining song is gone. It only has a single point, so it cannot be limited like Jack. What about items that boost DCs? Do we have a "target" DC for level 1 spells? Is Heighten Spell off limits? SLAs are off limit?
    If anyone is sitting on a hoard of "useless" plat, I'd love to have some of it. Bards can change their spells, but the cost is prohibitive in our playstyle. I'd like to rearrange some of my selections.

  6. #1806
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magiker View Post
    Last night's adventure was lots of fun.

    Tukcc, to summarize: we are free to take racial enhancements. PrC enhancements are restricted: no attribute modifiers, jack is limited, sustaining song is gone. It only has a single point, so it cannot be limited like Jack. What about items that boost DCs? Do we have a "target" DC for level 1 spells? Is Heighten Spell off limits? SLAs are off limit?
    No Spell Focus......As Fedora pointed out, we'll keep them for possible inclusion later if this proves unworkable.
    Normal 4 Level Ability Increase OK.
    Racial Enhancement Ability Increase OK.
    Class Enhancement Ability Increase Restricted.
    Heighten and Other Meta's are OK, they have increased SP costs to keep them in line.
    Archmage Tree is OK so far, except first point is an SLA: Invisibility. That should be OK, but none of the other SLAs.
    Pale Master Tree is OK so far, but only the first point for the Skeletal Knight.
    Eldrich Knight Tree should be OK, further research is needed.

    I'll get back to you on Sustaining Song.

    Below is what I think will keep a Spell Caster in line with our playstyle.
    Change the First Ability Dice roll from d10+6 to just d10, otherwise character creation as before.
    Do not use any Spell Focus Feats.
    Require Ability Increases every 4 Levels to be for Primary Attribute.
    Allow only RACIAL Enhancement to Increase Primary Stat.
    Do not use Class Enhancement Ability Increases.
    Do not use Class Enhancement "Spell-Like Abilities", EXCEPT Archmage:Invisibility (The first has to be taken in order to use ANY other in tree)
    Only place ONE point in Pale Master Tree: Skeletal Knight (In order to keep him balanced)
    Heighten is allowable because it limits itself with increased spell points.
    Dragonmark SLA's are OK because they are limited to "between rests", which in our playstyle means "no reloads".

    With these guidelines, a typical character starts with a 10% chance to have a 16 Primary Attribute, otherwise a 14 or 15.
    That gives him a DC from 13 to 15 with first level spells.
    At 4th Level, he adds +1 to his DC from the progression ability increase and from the Racial Enhancement ability increase.

    I've suggested these guidelines in order to NOT restrict Items that may be found later on that add to his abilities and/or DC's.
    Items such as these, because they are so darned rare, will become immensely valuable IF found.

  7. #1807
    Community Member Fedora1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by intruder1 View Post
    No Spell Focus......As Fedora pointed out, we'll keep them for possible inclusion later if this proves unworkable..
    I did? lol

    *looks through thread grumbling about getting old and memory not what it used to be*

  8. #1808
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fedora1 View Post
    I did? lol

    *looks through thread grumbling about getting old and memory not what it used to be*
    At least I THINK it was you.
    Well, it was one of you that pointed out that they could be held back and not thrown away. Or something to that extent.

  9. #1809
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    Default Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    It appears I'll not manage to get into game this week with THACO afterall. Wife is home and the new knee is working great. She is doing quite well, although she is in need of constant care for the next couple of weeks.

    I hope to see you all Monday January 3rd , Olladra willing and the creek don't rise!

    Y'all have a Merry Christmas and a safe, fun New Year!

    -Sam

  10. #1810
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    One of our Guild Rangers asked me the other night about an appropriate target skill level for Creeping (Hide and Move Silent).
    I had not done any tests with these skills, so I ran a quick test (which actually took about an hour).

    While I do not have any concrete results with this single test, the observation was surprising.
    (some descriptions I will be using sound like I know what they are, but it is just for lack of a better explanation)

    Test subject was a 7th Level Ranger, with 19 in both Hide and MS Skills.
    I placed him in "Searing Heights" and put him about 20 feet from a single monster with a CR of 6, and just stood there (in Creep).
    The first indication you're using the skills is the single white "eye" to the right of your character.
    When you are within the "frontal arc" of a monster, it starts rolling dice and comparing it's SPOT skill to your HIDE skill and you see a single white "eye" above it and it flashes each time a dice is rolled.
    If you get closer, the single eye icon becomes two and they turn yellow. Closer still, they become 3, then 4 and are red. The more "eyes", the more of a bonus to it's SPOT.

    The same action is also conducted using the monsters LISTEN skill against your HIDE skill, except that it "hears" 360 degrees.

    Now, at a CR of 6, you might expect a Monsters Record sheet to be similar to your own. This Ranger had a 17 SPOT and 16 LISTEN skill scores, so I would assume the Monster had somewhat the same.

    IF, and I say IF, the scores were simply compared, and a bonus from the "eyes" applied, the detection might be about 50%.
    After 15 trips into Searing Heights, and standing in the same spot, in front of the same monster.....it detected me 100% of the time!
    Mind you, not immediately. Sometimes a minute, sometimes as long as 4 minutes, but eventually I was always spotted.

    Next, I cast the HIDE and MS spell enchantments on myslf that raised each score to the 28-29 level range and did the comparison all over again.
    (Yeah, I have a lot of patience)

    Results?........the SAME.
    The eye icons would blink, and after anywhere from 2-4 minutes, I was spotted.

    This seemed "Broke", so I re-conducted the test in the "Hills" on the edge of the Harbor.
    Same conditions, but stood in front of a lowly CR 1 Monster.
    The results were the same. My 7th level Ranger was eventually spotted.
    The one difference was that in the "Hills", my character could be spotted from 2-3 different Monsters at once, and I never new who would spot first.
    But when I was forced out of Creep, everybody immediatey spotted me.

    Now I was confused, so I ran the test in the Waterworks against CR .5 and CR .25 Kobolds.
    Same darned results.

    Initial oppinion is that each SECOND that a character is "capable" of being seen OR heard, dice are being rolled and SOME bonuses and penalties are being applied.
    That by itself does not explain why detection is always successful. That is until I considered the dice roll may be d20 and a "Natural 20" is rolled and considered "always succeeding".

    Distance from the monster is important, the closer the more of a chance.
    Duration is KEY. The longer you remain in "line of sight", the more of a chance you are eventually seen OR heard.

    The above observations are initial and results are oppinions only at this point.
    But ALL of the Guild should be aware of this information.

  11. #1811
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    Back before the Stealth revamp you could, with a high enough Hide and MS, walk right up to a similar CR or lower creature and it would not notice you - ever. Hell, I even used to bump into them sometimes and NO reaction.

    Which is one of the reasons the devs decided to make the change. Now, no matter how high your skill, you will - eventually - ALWAYS be spotted. IF you stand still. Once you see those multi eyes popping over their heads you should make a bee line to their flank - in an arc preferably, in shadows preferably. If your skills are high enough, they MIGHT not notice you as you move. I've circled around creatures that were popping 2 eyes, and they never went to 4, and I was usually just about the radius of a Bless spell. But my skills were usually AT LEAST twice my level - if not more.

    It also depends greatly on what type of enemy you are approaching. It seems casters have a higher Listen and Spot score, as well as rogue types, which only makes sense. Wolves seem to not have as good scores as you would think, while Wargs do - in spades.

    'Course - all this is just rough experience talking. I don't have the where-with-all to conduct the experimentation that Intruder does.

    Stealth works, to a degree - but not like it used to. Back before the revamp I would've directed people to read the posts by Ghoste and others who specialized in stealth, but now - while his methods are still pertinent - the results are not at all the same. They are still informative though.

  12. #1812
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    My understanding is that the white eyeball means the opponent is starting to gain bonuses to its Spot check, and those bonuses escalate over time. So, yes, you will be spotted every single time if you remain in plain sight long enough.

  13. #1813
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    Quote Originally Posted by intruder1 View Post

    Initial oppinion is that each SECOND that a character is "capable" of being seen OR heard, dice are being rolled and SOME bonuses and penalties are being applied.
    That by itself does not explain why detection is always successful. That is until I considered the dice roll may be d20 and a "Natural 20" is rolled and considered "always succeeding".

    Distance from the monster is important, the closer the more of a chance.
    Duration is KEY. The longer you remain in "line of sight", the more of a chance you are eventually seen OR heard.

    The above observations are initial and results are oppinions only at this point.
    But ALL of the Guild should be aware of this information.
    Quote Originally Posted by zefjoe View Post
    'Course - all this is just rough experience talking. I don't have the where-with-all to conduct the experimentation that Intruder does.

    Guys, guys, once again, this is all clearly explained in the wiki. Not saying testing can't be fun, and testing is good if something isn't WAI, but if you are trying to figure out how the mechanic works post U19, there's no reason to re-invent the wheel when the blueprint has already been published.


    PER WIKI:


    A hidden character can be detected with a successful Spot check, depending on the distance from an enemy and whether the character is standing within the enemy's line of sight. Enemies are continually vigilant. When a player is close, Spot symbols above their head (a "+" symbol with one, two or four eyes, in white, orange and yellow colors in order of critical detection) begin to flash above the enemy's head as it tries to hone in on the player.



    The symbols and their changes represent the enemy's Spot bonuses, which grow as long as the player is within the enemy's visual arc. Hide works as a buffer against immediate fail of a Spot check. Hide, however, cannot ultimately stop a Spot attempt to succeed but only to slow it from succeeding.



    Players may see one to three eye symbols over their head. With Update 19, these eyes are a warning to the player that an enemy is attempting to Spot them. The greater the number of eyes, the more likelihood that the player will be soon detected. A stealthed player that sees any eyes about their character should find better cover immediately.
    A discovered player will see a large red eye symbol above an enemy's head.



    It is now possible to escape from an enemy's sight by first putting sufficient distance from an enemy (reducing their ability to hear you), breaking the line-of-sight between the player and the enemy, and then returning to stealth. An enemy will search for you for a time and then stop. While enemies are pursuing you, they don't get Spot bonuses.


    Note the bold parts. If you just camp out in front of an enemy in stealth he will eventually see you, but if you move out of line-of-sight and are in stealth, the enemies will eventually stop looking for you.


    This comes in handy when being chased by critters who have spotted you. If you can run off, cast invisibility or get out of line of sight and then go back into stealth, the critters will have a much more difficult time finding you - if at all. You just sit and wait and they'll quickly give up searching for you and any dungeon alert you may have triggered will also eventually dissipate.
    Last edited by Postumus; 12-25-2013 at 01:15 AM.

  14. #1814
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    Quote Originally Posted by Postumus View Post
    Guys, guys, once again, this is all clearly explained in the wiki. Not saying testing can't be fun, and testing is good if something isn't WAI, but if you are trying to figure out how the mechanic works post U19, there's no reason to re-invent the wheel when the blueprint has already been published.
    As I stated, this was a first observation. Done on impulse "Just to see".
    I have indeed read the section on this in the wiki some time ago, but I never take information verbatum, from any text or person.

    Hide is indeed a buffer, but this does not explain why a Hide Skill of 19 and then 29 is Spotted roughly within the same amount of time.
    Further, being Spotted in the same amount of time by 2 different Monsters with a 5 (or more!) CR difference between them.

    I suspect the information in the Wiki was posted via the Turbine explanation of how it's SUPPOSED to work, but has anyone really nailed these rules down as WAI?
    They MIGHT not be WAI and no one has spent the time to discover it.

    No harm done. You must have merely misunderstood my intent. ( I LIKE testing, it confirms my faith in a product)

  15. #1815
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    Default Ah, another Jewel

    Just a reflection from an Elite Difficulty point of view.

    Quote Originally Posted by Someone else
    I think the issue i have noticed is with traps.

    Creatures are fine, but if you dont have a rogue in your party you are often screwed...While this is ok sometimes...it should not be the norm.

    I would like to see more traps on chests, and less traps on hallways. so that moving around and fighting is alot easier...but when you open a door or a chest....uh oh boom!

    Also...saves never work for traps...or at least very rarely....out of ten traps...you should be able to save maybe 6 times....or 8 or 9 times if you have bloated saves. But as it stands on hard or elite, saves are non existant, you may achieve 1 out of 10 saves.

    now the hard core players will say...your just being a wuss, or you can get around traps...and maybe that is so if you can handle playing the game and getting frustrated by traps for awhile. but for alot of people the traps are too much...not everyone wants to play a rogue, how about some love for the other classes.
    I couldn't agree more, Elite is a difficult environment for non-focused characters.

    As it has been stated by Turbine, "Quests have been designed around the Normal Difficulty".
    It is this group's focus to establish guidelines that keep Normal Difficulty Challenging to Players.
    By doing this, we allow characters to develope a broader range of functions within their Classes.

  16. #1816
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    Looks like the Holiday Spirit is embracing us.........
    I probably will be absent tonight.

  17. #1817
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    Quote Originally Posted by intruder1 View Post
    As I stated, this was a first observation. Done on impulse "Just to see".
    I have indeed read the section on this in the wiki some time ago, but I never take information verbatum, from any text or person.

    Hide is indeed a buffer, but this does not explain why a Hide Skill of 19 and then 29 is Spotted roughly within the same amount of time.
    My point is, what you 'discovered' was published a few days after the U19 changes occurred. With the amount of time THACO spends creeping about in dungeons, I'm surprised your group didn't notice this much earlier.


    Quote Originally Posted by intruder1 View Post
    Hide is indeed a buffer, but this does not explain why a Hide Skill of 19 and then 29 is Spotted roughly within the same amount of time.
    Too many variables to explain why definitively, but did your characters' move silent skill scores also vary from 19 to 29? Also, depending on where you camp out, monsters will eventually bump into if you are in their search/patrol path. Your hide & move silent skills could be 50 and you will still get noticed if you are camping out in the wrong spot.


    Quote Originally Posted by intruder1 View Post
    Further, being Spotted in the same amount of time by 2 different Monsters with a 5 (or more!) CR difference between them.

    Not that surprising. You're assuming that the monsters have significantly different spot/search/listen scores just because their CRs are different. Their skill scores could be much closer together than their CR ratings lead you to believe. The same way a CR8 ogre can have worse a reflex save than a CR3 kobold, monster type and class probably has as much to do with affecting spot/search/listen skills as does CR, if not more.


    Also your sample set is so small, how do you know the low level CR monster didn't just get luckier rolls than the higher level CR monster?
    Last edited by Postumus; 12-26-2013 at 05:08 PM.

  18. #1818
    Community Member zefjoe's Avatar
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    I have found on my alts that I stealth with exclusively that if I put my Hide and MS skill at twice my level or better, then I usually can edge around a creature that is popping two eyes for two or three "blinks", if I'm careful and it's not moving. The creature usually does not escalate to more eyes if I do it right and I can flank it and approach from the back quickly. Then I get my SA.
    However a moving creature, with the changing visual arc, always does a better job at detecting - since you can't match it's threshold precisely.

    A Hide and MS skill below twice my level is usually pointless as far as approaching and maneuvering closely is concerned. I'm always spotted quickly once inside an extended "range".

    Also as Postumus suggests, a critters CR does not necessarily give you an idea as to IT'S Spot and Listen skill. Much like player classes, mob skills vary upon their classes and types.

    I've creeped up on wolves, regardless of their CR, and SA'd them. But not wargs. Hobgoblin warriors are usually deaf as a post, but not clerics. It's safe to just assume that if an enemy would have a high wisdom stat or could boost that stat or spot skill with magic, then it will be VERY hard to sneak it.

    If you can't invest enough points into Hide and MS to bring them to twice your level, then you should leave stealth to the stealthy, and stay to the rear.

  19. #1819
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    Quote Originally Posted by Postumus View Post
    My point is, what you 'discovered' was published a few days after the U19 changes occurred. With the amount of time THACO spends creeping about in dungeons, I'm surprised your group didn't notice this much earlier.
    Up til now, I (we) hadn't given it much thought. I haven't discovered anything. I tested what was published, and have found it non-conclusive.


    Quote Originally Posted by Postumus View Post
    Too many variables to explain why definitively, but did your characters' move silent skill scores also vary from 19 to 29? Also, depending on where you camp out, monsters will eventually bump into if you are in their search/patrol path. Your hide & move silent skills could be 50 and you will still get noticed if you are camping out in the wrong spot.
    Yes.
    Stationary watching a stationary target.
    The problem there is there ARE too many undocumented variables, hence we draw the best conclusion we can from the evidence we have.


    Quote Originally Posted by Postumus View Post
    Not that surprising. You're assuming that the monsters have significantly different spot/search/listen scores just because their CRs are different. Their skill scores could be much closer together than their CR ratings lead you to believe. The same way a CR8 ogre can have worse a reflex save than a CR3 kobold, monster type and class probably has as much to do with affecting spot/search/listen skills as does CR, if not more.
    Agreed. Without documented Save, Ability and Skill scores from DDO monsters, I am refering to the Monster Manual (Book not DDO version), which does list this stuff and what DDO is supposed to be based on.


    Quote Originally Posted by Postumus View Post
    Also your sample set is so small, how do you know the low level CR monster didn't just get luckier rolls than the higher level CR monster?
    Didn't I say I tested 15 times in each case? As I do more, the confidence will increase.
    Bottom line is I'm just observing what happens. If the "published" mechanic is correct, I'll see appropriate results.
    If there are too many unknowns, we'll just make judgments based on what we see.
    Last edited by intruder1; 12-26-2013 at 09:02 PM.

  20. #1820
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    After some thought, I think I might have some ideas that will "balance" Wizards and Bards to Normal Difficulty (our Guild playstyle)

    The Main problem is there just too much available in the way of DC boosting spell efficiency stuff.
    The "Game" allows the choice of an 18 INT to start with, then gives you Spell Focus and greater Focus, then gives you a INT increase every 4 levels, and then gives you a slew of INT increases from the Enhancement Trees.
    Add to this the ever-popular Magic Items with +1, +3, +5, etc INT , and there you have it.

    Then Add Feats and Enhancements to give your caster more Spell power.
    Then add SLA's that drop the SP cost to less than 5.

    It's no wonder Wizards can be "crafted" into such powerful characters.
    And in Normal Difficulty, that is a game-stopper.

    In older editions there is the Ability range of 3-18 from 3d6. Fair enough. They didn't have all that extra stuff to boost your Primary, so you HAD to be able to start with a decent number.

    Ability rolls could be made to give a character scores in the 9-16 range, with 15's and 16's Rare, and 17's and 18's posssible but really Rare.
    Expect Primary Abilities to be 14 or 15 at Creation.

    Do NOT use Spell Focuses from Feats at all.

    Place your first 10 Action Points in the RACIAL Tree before going to the Class (Prestige) Enhancements.
    Do NOT use any SLA's.
    Abilities that have a limited number of uses is OK because we don't use Rest Shrines.

    These 3 Suggestions aren't that difficult to understand.
    After testing it has shown to reduce the effectiveness of spell-casting without completely de-fusing it.

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