"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick
I think Mr. Mearls has a good point about the thief losing some of his identity over the editions. Once some of his schtick became available to other classes in the form of skills, the class lost a great deal of its uniqueness. Especially outside of combat.
The rules should be tools, well-wrought and easy to use, that help build those situations. In the hands of players, such tools are options, ideas, and possibilities that come to life in play—guideposts to help make D&D as funny, scary, and enjoyable as possible. The rules are a springboard to an exciting, engaging, and imaginative game; good ones are neither a straitjacket nor so empty that they suggest nothing.
Polaris,That's a rather jaded view of a Thief don't you think?Maybe I played them different then others but I never stole or cheated from my party and I found ways to contribute every game to the success of our adventures.
Polaris,I can certainly understand your point, then.I guess I was lucky in that my gaming group didn't play like that. There were some guys in other groups I knew that played Chaotic Neutral and Evil thieves like that but none of my gaming group did. We knew not to becuase stealing from buddies causing problems, both in game and at the table. None of my group's GMs rewarded people for acting that way. Quite the opposite, actually. So for me it was trying to be pragmatic and trying to be a nice guy. I never realized that a whole lot of people played it differently.
58292718 wrote:I love Horseshoecrabfolk.
What I love most about them is that they seem to be the one thing that we all can agree on.
One of the things 4E did was balance each of the classes by their role in combat. While I think balance extends beyond combat, combat is a good place to start...
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5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."
"You want The Tooth? You can't handle The Tooth!" - Dahlver-Nar.
"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly" - E. Gary Gygax
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When I look at the thief I picture the trap disarming, wall climbing, pocket picking, scoundrel who has lots of tricks up his sleeve and will go the distance to fill his pockets. I think there should be "Skill Specialties" that each class has towards certain skills. I know everyone can use these skills but make some of them go just that little extra mile when dealing with a certain class that isn't open to other classes.
As long as non-roleplaying isn't balanced with combat abilities all will be fine.
I, in no way, shape or form, am not interested in any non-combat abilities. Roleplaying is make belief- I think I can handle creating it up on the fly. I guess I can point the Rogue- Thief from Heroes of the Fallen Lands squarely on Mike's shoulders.
I think they should have brought in the thief as a martial controller — using agility, wits, and sneaky-basterdness to hinder enemies. Instead of backstabbing, this thief trips enemies into each other, distracts them with hijinks, tosses around slippery oils or other impediments, etc.
To better balance the classes, the design team set aside noncombat functions and looked solely at what each class does in a fight. We then balanced their abilities across the board, while following a similar process for noncombat abilities. By cutting off any bleed in balance between those areas, we created characters that are on equal footing across every part of an adventure, rather than creating a situation where player characters are balanced only if you look at all the encounters as a whole.
What’s the rationale behind the shade’s healing surge penalty? Why give them this penalty without an offsetting bonus?Balancing the loss of a healing surge is a tricky matter. It’s sort of like taking out a loan without any promise that you’ll have to repay it. When we balance something like this, we have to look at the race’s role in the game session as a whole. We can’t just look at combat, as healing surges are a strategic resource.With that in mind, the shade’s racial ability is a powerful tool. A shade traveling in the middle of a group is effectively invisible. At night, a shade can evade detection with ease. While the racial ability’s standard action cost makes it a suboptimal choice in many combat situations, outside of a fight its at-will usage makes it a powerful, versatile tool. In addition, a smart shade can begin most combats hidden.Since the racial power focuses on strategic play, we decided to balance it with a strategic penalty.
With that in mind, the shade’s racial ability is a powerful tool. A shade traveling in the middle of a group is effectively invisible. At night, a shade can evade detection with ease. While the racial ability’s standard action cost makes it a suboptimal choice in many combat situations, outside of a fight its at-will usage makes it a powerful, versatile tool. In addition, a smart shade can begin most combats hidden.
Since the racial power focuses on strategic play, we decided to balance it with a strategic penalty.
Yay for flip-flopping design decisions - balancing in-combat benefits with out-of-combat benefits is now a-ok.
Nice re-hash of what Mearls wrote four years ago on the evolution of the Rogue in Wizards Presents: Races and Classes.