2 issues after last playtest

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More along the lines of balance issues, really.

1. Radiant lance is overpowered. I had a fighter, cleric and wizard in the test group and the cleric was slaying stuff left and right. 1d8+4 is a touch too much - maybe 1d6+1 would be better.

2. Finesse weapons give attack bonus, damage bonus and AC bonus based on the dex modifier. Given this, why would anyone want to play a str-based fighter, who has to split attack and defence between two stats? Slightly better resistance to grapples? Am I missing something here?
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Hey Dude,

Some notes:

1. Radiant Lance
Minor evocation
Your devotion reveals itself as a beam of light that shines from your holy symbol or weapon to burn a path through your foes.
Effect: Make a magical attack against one creature within 50 feet of you. On a hit, the target takes 1d8 + 4 radiant damage.



Radiant Lance:


  • Requires line of sight.

  • Can miss vs AC; for no dmg.

  • 1d8+4 = Min 5 / Max 12 DMG (Average 8.5 DMG)



Thats pretty fine really, considering that it is the Clerics go-to dmg spell for the next few LVs (if they are avoiding necromancy).

My playtest group seem to do 9 DMG average per successful attack (I know this because its the number I was most writing down). Wizard was overall the lowest hitting as they were leaning on their Magic Missile 2-5dmg, but once they cracked out their burning hands and started thinking creatively, ended up dropping a huge number of foes.

Could it be your other PCs were rolling low that night?
Were you taking full advantage of the Advantage/Disadvantage system?

2. No info for you man, sorry. Anyone?

2) What you are missing is that a STR-based fighter does not wear light armor, he'd opt for heavy armor. Look at the armor values: Heavy armor has the same AC as comparable light + 5 Dex (Dex 20). A Dex 18 character would be one AC below comparable heavy.

Advantage of heavy: Max AC at a given magnitude of cost even if STR is not maxed, and "only" 18 or, heaven forfend, 16.
Disadvantage of heavy: Can't sneak; 5 feet slower.

A character that relies heavily on stealth would go for Dex, light armor and finesse. Ditto for a character that relies heavily on ranged attacks.

Str-based characters are better protected against stat-sapping spells. Their Str gets sapped by 4 points, that'll hurt their ability to hit and do damage for sure. But they've still got full AC, equivalent to a +5 stat bonus.
A Dex-based fighter, on the other hand, not only has to deal with decreased damage output, but to add injury to insult, they'll get punched in the face more often now, too.

What emerges, then, are the two classic play styles: The Str-based figher stands at the front, dishes out in melee and takes what is thrown his way, even when he comes under adverse effects such as poison or magic. The Dex-based fighter can potentially (Dex 20) be just as "tank-ish", but when he gets poisoned or otherwise debuffed, he'll want to move around the battlefield, or hide, or do some other thing that will get him out of the line of fire.

Outside of raw combat, the two different play styles are a good complement to each other, as well:
The Str-based figher can bash in a door, or flip a table at a bunch of henchmen streaming into the room, or push that armoire in front of the door in order to keep them from streaming in.
The Dex-based figher can balance his way across a spike pit by means of a hastily arranged beam or log (possibly by the Str-based figher), in order to get to the guard room and close said spike pit. The Dex-based fighter can leap clear of dangers such as traps in the first place. The Dex-based fighter could swing over that lava pit on a rope, and land safely on the other side.
Ok, the radiant lance can miss, but fighting goblins at level 1 with an AC of 13 means a 7 or more to hit. And I'm comparing it to magic missile; sure it always hits, but it can be stopped by the shield spell, and hey, it's a wizard, they should be able to do more damage than a cleric. Even if it was reduced to 1d8+1 it'd be more reasonable, but as it stands, everyone in the entire group declared that it was OP, even the cleric player.

As for finesse; It's not difficult for a human character to start with 18 dex, and a str character has to pay 5000gp to get better AC, and even then his initiative is worse. I guess the difference comes down to RP style, if someone wants a strong guy vs a quick guy. In the next game I'll throw some grappling opponents into the fray and see how our dex fighter does.

Edit: After some thought, I can see that both types are very close to being even, given teh different other bonuses that str and dex provide. One of my group is going to play a str fighter so we can compare the two types. 
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Could it be your other PCs were rolling low that night?


Were you taking full advantage of the Advantage/Disadvantage system?



Everyone seemed to hit fairly often, but the cleric's attack was the highest in the group. The dex fighter was using a rapier, so was doing 1d6+4. 
Not sure what you mean by taking advantage of the advantage system; I was giving it out as the situation required, but in a straight, stand-up fight, there wasn't a lot of opportunity to say 'you have disadvantage because...' I mean, there usually has to be a reason ;) 
Epic fantasy action adventure! - free ebook

Could it be your other PCs were rolling low that night?


Were you taking full advantage of the Advantage/Disadvantage system?



Everyone seemed to hit fairly often, but the cleric's attack was the highest in the group. The dex fighter was using a rapier, so was doing 1d6+4. 
Not sure what you mean by taking advantage of the advantage system; I was giving it out as the situation required, but in a straight, stand-up fight, there wasn't a lot of opportunity to say 'you have disadvantage because...' I mean, there usually has to be a reason ;) 



Its situational, and players should also be using tactics to try and trigger it. We had a player use a firework to deafen/distract a foe, in order to disorient him, making him disadvantaged for the next round. Pure roleplay, beautiful execution.

As for 1. At level 1 a Cleric is the representitive of a God. A Wizard is Magic user with a book. I'd argue that a Lv1 Wizard should not be able to out damage a Cleric, its simply that its what we are used to and there for feels odd.

The cleric will be out damaged at lv2 and lv3, they will stil be leaning on that cantrip, where as everyone else will have moved on.

Just saying.

Could it be your other PCs were rolling low that night?


Were you taking full advantage of the Advantage/Disadvantage system?



Everyone seemed to hit fairly often, but the cleric's attack was the highest in the group. The dex fighter was using a rapier, so was doing 1d6+4. 
Not sure what you mean by taking advantage of the advantage system; I was giving it out as the situation required, but in a straight, stand-up fight, there wasn't a lot of opportunity to say 'you have disadvantage because...' I mean, there usually has to be a reason ;) 



Its situational, and players should also be using tactics to try and trigger it. We had a player use a firework to deafen/distract a foe, in order to disorient him, making him disadvantaged for the next round. Pure roleplay, beautiful execution.

As for 1. At level 1 a Cleric is the representitive of a God. A Wizard is Magic user with a book. I'd argue that a Lv1 Wizard should not be able to out damage a Cleric, its simply that its what we are used to and there for feels odd.

The cleric will be out damaged at lv2 and lv3, they will stil be leaning on that cantrip, where as everyone else will have moved on.

Just saying.


And a wizard summons powerful arcane might to do his thing. If being a cleric is the be-all end-all as you suggest, then we should all just play clerics by this logic. Wizards don't get healing magic, they've typically been utility and offensive in power, so why should the class that gets healing and support stuff also out-damage him, to say nothing of the clerics better hitpoints, ability to wear armour and do melee etc, and that's mostly at the first few levels too. I stand by my earlier point - 1d8+4 is too much for a cantrip.

Glad your players are thinking outside the box with stuff like that firework; my team doesn't seem to have grasped that concept yet, despite my suggestions. I suspect they're still thinking in terms of absolute rules, as opposed to what could conceivably be done in RP terms. My guys LOVE to argue rules, always have, so this is a bit of a shock to their system ;)
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Everyone seemed to hit fairly often, but the cleric's attack was the highest in the group. The dex fighter was using a rapier, so was doing 1d6+4. 
 




That is your problem right there, your fighter is using dex. Fighter's need to use strength, otherwise they aren't going to be as powerful as a fighter can be. The fighter should be doing 1d10 (or 1d12) +4 damage per turn and can do 1d10+1d6 (expertise dice) + 4 per turn. That is a lot more damage then 1d8+4. Radiant Lance is not too strong, it is the average damage a cleric would be doing if he was instead using a weapon. (Which likely would be 1d10 or 1d12 + strenth, so it is probably less damage before you account for the attack bonus being higher with the spell.) Depending on his race, the cleric could be doing even more then that with a normal weapon. Radiant Lance should be at least as powerful as a cleric would be using a weapon.


Your player has chosen to use dex, which is not the norm for a fighter and I would consider a bad build for a fighter. (Now if that is what he wants to play, no argument from me, but he is choosing to be less powerful in favor of story, that isn't a problem with the cleric's Radiant Lance, it is just the nature of the game).


I would say that likely the other players  in the group have made similar choices, not maximizing their potential damage and instead choosing more favorable story elements. The only character that the Cleric should be doing more damage than constantly is the wizard (who gets all his bang at once). I honestly think the issue stems from the chioces your players made, and not the power level of the cleric.
It's a fair point that a dex fighter sacrifices damage for mobility, and really the radiant lance is only as good as a crossbow with 18 dex now that I think about it. We'll be running another session this friday so I'll shake things up a bit and see how they go ;)
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Andkeep in mind that Wizards are too weak. Ray of frost at d6+3 does have a 100 ft range NF slows opponents by 10ft, so you could say it is comparable. But to get d8+4 out of a cantrip the wizard has to use a touch spell, Shocking grasp. Problem isn't with Cleric -- wizards just aren't up with the other pc classes yet. Hopefully, next update will revise spells. (this one sure didn't).
 
For me the wizard is not week. it is (finally) balanced with the other classes. The big problem with it is that it need more player skill to play its role well.

1) There are no issues with radiance lance it is very balanced, that damage in avarege is comparable with the other weapons choices of cleric, as well as with the weapon choices of other classes.
Both, Shocking grasp and ray of frost as the same power that radiance lance. Shocking grasp deny reactions and has the same damage (allowing the wizard get a better position on table), ray of forst slow the foe (again alloing the wizard get a edge).

For comparissom my lvl1 PC at this time.
cleric: AC 17 (chainmail + shild) / mace +3 to hit 1d6+1, radiance lance +5 to hit 1d8+4 / 10 hp
fither slayer: AC 16 (chainmail) / greatsowrd +6 to hit 1d12 + 3 (or 1d12+1d6+3) / 12 hp
rogue thug: AC: 15 (Leather, +4 Dex) / short sword or bow 1d6+4 (or 3d6+4 with SA)/ 8 hp
wizard: AC 12 /magic missile, shocking grasp +5 to hit 1d8+4/ 6 hp

the damage throgthput: fither > thug > cleric > wizard
or wizard > fither > thug > cleric whem wizard use lvl1 spells.

2) finesse weapons (d6 on avarege) are worse than martial weapons (d10 on avarege), they are buid for rogues not for figthers. Like another editions the only reason to fither use Dex is if he is an archer.
I think a cleric's cantrips shouldn't be as powerful as his weapons, and they certainly shouldn't be more powerful than a wizard's. If anything, it should be the other way around, after all a cleric's primary duty is keeping the other guys up and at it rather than being one of the primary damage-dealers. Don't forget that they also get high armor and hp compared to a mage.
It's a good thing the magic-users finally get something to use in a fight after they've expended all their higher spells, but the cleric has armor and a mace, and doesn't need spells to dish out punishment. 
I think a clerics spells should be at least as good as his weapon if not better. Nor do I think a cleric's primary duty should be forced to be keeping the other guys up. A combat cleric should be an option. Which is why I favor splitting the clerics spell list in two and having two spell slots, and more healing options.
I think a cleric's cantrips shouldn't be as powerful as his weapons, and they certainly shouldn't be more powerful than a wizard's. If anything, it should be the other way around, after all a cleric's primary duty is keeping the other guys up and at it rather than being one of the primary damage-dealers.

Well, that's one version of the cleric. It lacks historical or mythological foundation, apparently originating with a couple of guys at a game company in the late 1970s, but it's there.

However, there's no good reason for it to be the only version of the cleric. There is no shortage of historical clerics who were absolutely useless at healing but quite capable of doing damage.

Or why there can't be fully competent healers who aren't clerics, since most historical and mythological healers weren't clerics.

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
Sure, but then we're talking about completely different classes or even systems... I'm talking in context of the D&D cleric, which has always been the walking medicine cabinet. If you want a faith-based fighter, then go for a paladin.
Of maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to create a fighting specialization for the cleric, one that channels some of his divine-inspired powers into combat?  Maybe depending on which deity's follower he is, as a peaceful deity would probably focus much more on healing than combat, whereas a god of war would certainly want to imbue his followers with some combat prowess.
Yeah Radiant Lance can be pretty suprising to the other level 1 party members. But it will become weaker compared to everybody elses features later (sneak attack progression etc.)
What if they went back to 1d8 + (1 per level)?  Let's even speculate that we don't need to cap that at +5.  I wonder how people would feel about it then.
The metagame is not the game.
Maybe a dice upgrade like the fighters advantage dice? 1d8 at 1st level, 1d10 at third and so on... or an extra die every few levels? Though, as it's supposed to be basically a practice spell, I don't feel it would be right for it to improve, at least not that much. 
The only issue I had with Radiant Lance was that it made melee attacks obsolete... why attack with your hammer when you can do more damage from range? Maybe it's working as intended though I don't know.

Our cleric was using Radiant Lance every round except for when she wanted to use Cure Light Wounds. I'd have like to have seen it switched up a bit.
There is basically 2 cleric builds right now if you want good melee go dwarf and make Boost STR. Your wis will be low but you wont need it all that much.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

I dont see why the cleric even needs a "holy-symbol Laser-gun"  He has armor and weapons to rely on.  the wizard has his spells and an at will MM is perfectly normal.   A radiant lace was great as a spell with a limited use in 3.5 as searing light but an at will weaker version is too much.  Not every class has to be even in a fight in so far as damage goes.  Let the classes play their roles.  A Cleric will shine in combat when fighting a horde of undead, a vampire, or demons.  Every class cant be the hero all of the time, its up to the DM to spread the spotlight and let them use their specialization. 
Thats like saying every class only needs one build. Alot of times someone is forced to play the healer, at he can play bit his way. I dont see any problem with laser clerics and I dont think wizards are going too be weaker than them.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.