Balance out of combat.

Sorry if this is something that has been brought up umpteen times already, my search-fu is weak.


Something that has always been a bit of an issue in the D&D (advanced, 2nd ed, 3, 3.5) games I have played in that have run for any length of time is “out of combat” balance. Different edditions have done better or worse at the combat balance, but the out of combat has always been a reel problem. What I mean is that initially thieves have plenty to do, but pretty soon a wiz can just pass the same challenges better. This lead to conversations like


Thief: “Awesome, at my new level I can climb walls with a 87% chance of success!”


Wizard: “That’s nice, I can cast levitate”


Thief: “I can pick loc…”


Wizard: “knock”


Fighter: “I can..”


Both: “Shut up fighter, we only bring you along in case a fight breaks out and we need a target dummy to keep monsters off us”


 


My concern as it stands is that combat balance seems from the most recent playpacket that combat balance is pretty good. But why does the fighter get nothing cool to do out of combat?


More specifically, fighters get the default background. 4 skills, one schtick.


 Clerics get the same, and an additional trained knowledge. Not huge amount extra, but they get spells, which often allow you to do additional fun stuff/make a contribution out of combat.


Wizards get the same +1 trained knowledge. Again, not a game changer, but get utility spells (which are)


Rogues. Extra skills, skill tricks, skill mastery, Rogue schemes.


The problem as I see it is between fighters and rogues. Rogues are now on reasonable parity with fighters in combat,  same MDD, same to hit bonus, same MDB. Slightly less able to stand and take it, but more ability to take advantage of position/advantage. As good as? Perhaps not, but the differences are in decimal places, not orders of magnitude.


Out of combat? Fighter gets to wait for combat, the rogue gets to shine.


So, if we are so keen on the rogue being comparable/balanced in combat (and we should be imo) why are we not seeing any evidence that the out of combat issue is being addressed. Seems like a bit of an elephant in the room atm.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how to address this? Or am I worried too much about something that probably isn't really that big a deal?
There is a 50+ page thread already ongoing on the front page where out of combat balance is the major issue.

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

Sorry if this is something that has been brought up umpteen times already, my search-fu is weak.


Something that has always been a bit of an issue in the D&D (advanced, 2nd ed, 3, 3.5) games I have played in that have run for any length of time is “out of combat” balance. Different edditions have done better or worse at the combat balance, but the out of combat has always been a reel problem. What I mean is that initially thieves have plenty to do, but pretty soon a wiz can just pass the same challenges better. This lead to conversations like


Thief: “Awesome, at my new level I can climb walls with a 87% chance of success!”


Wizard: “That’s nice, I can cast levitate”


Thief: “I can pick loc…”


Wizard: “knock”


Fighter: “I can..”


Both: “Shut up fighter, we only bring you along in case a fight breaks out and we need a target dummy to keep monsters off us”




  If only levitate and knock were as useful as infinite climbing and lock opening.  I also notice you glossed right over the finding and disarming traps portion, which knock doesn't do.  In previous editions to 3e, clerics could find traps, but since you didn't know what they did, it was very risk to just set them off.  In 3e, clerics sucked so badly at searching that the spell was next to worthless.  Summoning monsters also was iffy for the same reason.  Rogues were the reliable way to find and pass a trap or lock.

Wizard: "knock"

DM: "Roll a save or you're dead from the trap you just set off." 

Well, a warfare skill that fighters get training in for free would help a ton. It would encompass a little history, tactics, monster lore, etc.

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Wizard: "knock"

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true">
DM: "Roll a save or you're dead from the trap you just set off." 



Yes, getting a save-or-die effect (especially with a single bad roll of a d20 forcing a character-reroll at effectively random) in response for using a class ability/spell is a great way to punish your players for actually using their abilities and spells.

In the meantime: Wand of Find Traps; Wand of Detect Secret Doors; Wand of Knock; Wand of Silence; Wand of Invisibility. Look, it's everything your Rogue could do, only better! All in less-than-level-3 spells that convieniently fit into wands.

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

Wizard: "knock"
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true">
DM: "Roll a save or you're dead from the trap you just set off." 



Yes, getting a save-or-die effect (especially with a single bad roll of a d20 forcing a character-reroll at effectively random) in response for using a class ability/spell is a great way to punish your players for actually using their abilities and spells.



It's not a punishment.  In 1e and 2e, traps were deadly.  Use knock willy nilly and you ended up dead.  That was the system.  In 3e, they could still be deadly to a wizard due to low hit points.  The point is that knock doesn't disarm traps, so it was a stupid way to try to open lots of doors.

In the meantime: Wand of Find Traps; Wand of Detect Secret Doors; Wand of Knock; Wand of Silence; Wand of Invisibility. Look, it's everything your Rogue could do, only better! All in less-than-level-3 spells that convieniently fit into wands.



Find traps is worthless unless you're a rogue or other class that uses search as a class skill.  Put it in a wand and it's even more worthless since at level three, that +1 bonus to your search is really going to find some traps!!! :rolleyes.

Knock is a good way to get killed or hurt.  Silence is a great way to reveal your presense to everything within 30 feet of you.  Invisibility is useless once you hit 7th level.  Far too many things have scent, tremor sense, blind sense, blind sight, see invisibility, skill tricks and true seeing for it to be a reliable way to sneak around.

Detect secret doors was a good one, but one spell does not replace the rogue.
Detect secret doors was a good one, but one spell does not replace the rogue.



There are a lot of reasons why this post is wrong in regards to 3.5, but I'm not going to crack my 3.5 books just to point out why.

If you have a 3.5 "batman" caster in your group, you don't need a rogue. If you don't believe this by this point, no amount of logic or sense will convince you of this. If you are unaware of this, then you are either very lucky, very unobservant, or have never played 3.5 with an experienced group.

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

Detect secret doors was a good one, but one spell does not replace the rogue.



There are a lot of reasons why this post is wrong in regards to 3.5, but I'm not going to crack my 3.5 books just to point out why.

If you have a 3.5 "batman" caster in your group, you don't need a rogue. If you don't believe this by this point, no amount of logic or sense will convince you of this. If you are unaware of this, then you are either very lucky, very unobservant, or have never played 3.5 with an experienced group.

Yes, any experienced wizard keeps open slots.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

Being able to climb and unlock doors 24/7 only matters if you're running through The Temple of Impossibly Steep Walls and Thousands of Locked Doors.

Because yeah, the Wizard can only Levitate as many times as he prepared it(Wand of Knock gives you enough Knocks to last for almost an entire campaign) and the Rogue can climb 24/7, but really, how often do you actually need to climb things? As long as that number is less than 1-2 between extended rests, the Wizard is going to always beat out the Rogue at it.
Does anyone have any thoughts on how to address this? Or am I worried too much about something that probably isn't really that big a deal?



I think it's probably this, to be honest.  Yes, a wizard can spend a spell slot on Knock, but why would you do that if you have a rogue with you?

While a fighter doesn't have the same baseline for skills that a rogue does, you can still easily make a character that's capable of contributing to non-combat situations as long as your party avoids skill overlap to some extent.  If you have a rogue and a fighter that both took Sneak and Climb, then the rogue will outperform the fighter, but no single character can be good at every skill and ability check. 
Detect secret doors was a good one, but one spell does not replace the rogue.



There are a lot of reasons why this post is wrong in regards to 3.5, but I'm not going to crack my 3.5 books just to point out why.

If you have a 3.5 "batman" caster in your group, you don't need a rogue. If you don't believe this by this point, no amount of logic or sense will convince you of this. If you are unaware of this, then you are either very lucky, very unobservant, or have never played 3.5 with an experienced group.



Doors regularly have more than one lock...knock only opens one lock at a time.  If a door has three locks on it you need three knocks to open it.  Knock also still doesn't take care of traps.  one check from the rogue unlocks all locks on the door. 


Doors regularly have more than one lock...knock only opens one lock at a time.  If a door has three locks on it you need three knocks to open it.  Knock also still doesn't take care of traps.  one check from the rogue unlocks all locks on the door. 



Since when? At least in 3.5, each lock was a separate check, while Knock could defeat up two two barriers in one casting. from the SRD

The knock spell opens stuck, barred, locked, held, or arcane locked doors. It opens secret doors, as well as locked or trick-opening boxes or chests. It also loosens welds, shackles, or chains (provided they serve to hold closures shut). If used to open an arcane locked door, the spell does not remove the arcane lock but simply suspends its functioning for 10 minutes. In all other cases, the door does not relock itself or become stuck again on its own. Knock does not raise barred gates or similar impediments (such as a portcullis), nor does it affect ropes, vines, and the like. The effect is limited by the area. Each spell can undo as many as two means of preventing egress.



In 4E, separate rituals and checks were required for each lock.

And it is not a given, or even exceptionally common, for doors to have multiple locks. Putting multiple locks on all your doors serves no purpose except to drag out the game and make routine tasks into a chore.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how to address this? Or am I worried too much about something that probably isn't really that big a deal?



As was stated, there is a huge thread on this issue already.  But if you are looking for pointers at your own DDN table:

- I think the restricted number of spells in DDN really helps the utility issue.  The wizard can't just cast utility spells willy nilly, without limitting combat effectiveness.

- be sure you are using the parry ability correctly.  MDD recharge every turn (not every round) so a fighter can parry and deal damage quite well in the current packet.  Parry really takes the fighter to the next level in combat, and add the 'Protect' ability and the fighter is really useful to the party. 

- different situations allow different characters to shine.  Fighter is best in combat (and best in combat with fewer more difficult enemies, rather than a swarm - depending on abilities), wizard may be better at a single high stakes utility situation, but the rogue will be best at repeated challenges. 

I do wish that it was easier to build a fighter with solid social skills (the leader diplomat) - and I guess you can have CHA as a third stat and still have a perfectly functional fighter . . .
Where does the wand of Knock that obviates the party thief come from?  How does a wizard in a party acquire this item, and why?
"When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish." D&D Outsider
People aren't seriously trying to argue away the supreme dominance of the 3.5 caster, are they?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Well, have they already solved this?

The wizard doesn't have nearly as many spell slots so its unlikely he'll spend them on utility spells to do something that another character can alrwady do.

Also wands aren't the vast pool of low level spells that they used to be. And there's no magic mart to simply go buy them at any how.
They've already mentioned that knock is going to be separated from lock picking by some combination of:

a.) Creating a loud noise (here they come...)
b.) Being not as effective as a rogue
c.)  Taking longer (I think)

So they're aware that spells should only be cheap facsimiles of a skilled man's work.  Hopefully no one in this thread has an issue with that philosophy.

Moving on, warrior-types do need more niches and options out of combat.  So, let's brainstorm some skills:

Weight-lifting:  Proper application of strength is 50% muscle and 50% technique.  Used for moving boulders, raising portcullises, and getting kicked out of Planet Fitness.

Tactics:  The art of war is more than just swinging swords and slinging spells.  Any proper military tactician positions his soldiers expertly to take advantage of the environment at all times.  This skill can be used to shift everyone in the party X feet when a combat breaks out, or to grant some kind of bonus during suprise rounds.  (Yeah, this is combat.)


That's all I got.  The problem is that the class archtype doesn't give us much to work with.  Fighters are strong and they fight well.  The current consensus is that they're the best of the martial classes in combat.  If you want more to do as a fighter out of combat, don't be a fighter.  Be a paladin, monk, or ranger.

The out-of-combat stuff is really a bit of a non-issue anyway because the class-specific things are just speedbumps overcome by a d20 roll.  Any good adventure has plenty of other stuff out of combat that's much more interesting and any class can participate in:  dialogue, mystery, drawing conclusions, moral conundrums, strategy, riddles, etc.
On another note, If you are a wizard and opening something yourself, you are doing it wrong. that's what Summon Monster 1 (for a celestial Monkey) is for. You tell him to open it, he dies, he reforms on the celestial plane, no harm done.
I always imagined a cosmic waiting room where all the Celestial creatures sit around waiting to be summoned and then sharing stories about being used for mundane things like opening doors, drinking unknown potions, or doing the mage's taxes.
Where does the wand of Knock that obviates the party thief come from?  How does a wizard in a party acquire this item, and why?



 RAW you can buy one in the right sized towen, failing that they were not hard to craft and craft wand was one of the better item creation feats probbaly after craft arms/armor and wondrous item.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Being able to climb and unlock doors 24/7 only matters if you're running through The Temple of Impossibly Steep Walls and Thousands of Locked Doors.

Because yeah, the Wizard can only Levitate as many times as he prepared it(Wand of Knock gives you enough Knocks to last for almost an entire campaign) and the Rogue can climb 24/7, but really, how often do you actually need to climb things? As long as that number is less than 1-2 between extended rests, the Wizard is going to always beat out the Rogue at it.


Reposting since it was the last post of a page and probably mised.
There are people who don't have the forum set to 40 posts per page?  Still?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I always imagined a cosmic waiting room where all the Celestial creatures sit around waiting to be summoned and then sharing stories about being used for mundane things like opening doors, drinking unknown potions, or doing the mage's taxes.


My first DM actually explained that when you summon something, it came from some other plane, somewhere.  Meaning things like "Summon Feast" ended up actually rather bad for the person whose feast you just summoned.  A full day's worth of preparation, and then whoosh.  Or Summon Nature's Ally, that wolf was just doing normal wolf things and then whoosh, oh crap why am I fighting a dracolich?

D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
People aren't seriously trying to argue away the supreme dominance of the 3.5 caster, are they?



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Where does the wand of Knock that obviates the party thief come from?  How does a wizard in a party acquire this item, and why?



 RAW you can buy one in the right sized towen, failing that they were not hard to craft and craft wand was one of the better item creation feats probbaly after craft arms/armor and wondrous item.



Are we talking about 3.5 now, or the Next playtest? 


I hate to dump responsibility for this off on the DM, but why would the DM grant a player the tools to obviate another player's character?  Why would a player want to obviate his playmate's character?


Making an easy to craft, disposable magic item with a few dozen copies of a utility spell was bad game design, sure enough.  The problem wasn't that the wizard could cast a spell that does the rogue's job; it was that the wizard could trivially and frequently produce a slightly superior effect.  If the wizard had to sacrifice some firepower and plan ahead to do it, he'd be mad to memorize Knock when there's another character in the group who can fairly reliably pick locks.  Knock would be the sort of spell you sit down and prepare only when the rogue fails, or if there's no rogue in the party.  You don't bust out the power to alter reality itself just to do what your friend could do with a few bits of tempered iron.

If opening the lock is as little to the wizard as pulling an inexpensive gizmo out of his robes and pointing it at the lock, then there's a game balance problem.  Thankfully, removing the problem is as easy as removing the gizmo. 

Make it prohibitively expensive or tedious to make, and harder to buy.  What town watch is going to allow shopkeepers to sell a little wooden stick that lets the wielder break into peoples' houses with a word?  That's not the sort of thing honest people have any business buying!  You want a magical breaking and entering stick, you're going to have to go through the thieves' guild to get it, and why would a thieves' guild sell people a little wooden stick that puts them out of work?


"When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish." D&D Outsider

I hate to dump responsibility for this off on the DM, but why would the DM grant a player the tools to obviate another player's character?  Why would a player want to obviate his playmate's character?



In practice it's less a question of "I am wizard in a party with a rogue. I think I'll memorize spells to make him useless". It's more a question of "my party has no rogue and I am thinking of making a character to fill the party's needs. Do I play a rogue and handle traps/doors through at-will skill rolls while being a semifragile weapon based combatant, or play a wizard and handle traps/doors through utility spells while being a fragile spell-based combatant?"

And at higher levels, at least, the wizard is clearly the more effective choice both for utility and combat. At level 1 the rogue is definitely in the lead in both. 
I do think there should be different approaches to dealing with the same problem. Just as there should be healers that aren't clerics, there should be trap disarmers that aren't rogues. Some kind of arcane character makes sense as a possibility, conceptually. A wizard, or perhaps an artificer.
The anguish tends to come in from:
1) the perception that the wizard just plain does the roguishness better than the rogue.
2) the perception that the wizard does combat better than the rogue as well, making him all around better.
3) the perception that the wizard also has further utility that the rogue can't emulate (aside from literally emulating a wizard with Use Magic Device).

These perceptions are based on the reality of the game, but also overlook enough particulars that some tables observe the opposite. (They see that their rogue sneaks/picks/disarms much better than their wizard, they see that their rogue fights more effectively than their wizard, they see that their rogue has utility their wizard lacks (such as healing with UMD).) Part of this is just the basic Vancian v At-Will divide: Vancian will always outshine at-will in whatever the Vancian throws his limited daily resources at, but he only has so much daily resources to throw around. The Vancian doesn't shine in the areas he declines to bother with. Typically this includes whatever an at-will character has covered anyways. Why waste resources duplicating efforts.

        
Detect secret doors was a good one, but one spell does not replace the rogue.



There are a lot of reasons why this post is wrong in regards to 3.5, but I'm not going to crack my 3.5 books just to point out why.

If you have a 3.5 "batman" caster in your group, you don't need a rogue. If you don't believe this by this point, no amount of logic or sense will convince you of this. If you are unaware of this, then you are either very lucky, very unobservant, or have never played 3.5 with an experienced group.



"Batman" casters were enabled by DMs who didn't think spells through.  Silence reveals itself instantly to everyone in 30 feet.  Knock sets off traps.  Detect traps was a worthless spell.  Invisibility is commonly seen through.  Those are all facts.  I still play 3e, so while you have to crack open your musty books, this is all fresh knowledge to me.
"Batman" casters were enabled by DMs who didn't think spells through.


The designers were the ones who made the spells.

Jan 8, 2013 -- 12:49PM, Maxperson wrote:

"Batman" casters were enabled by DMs who didn't think spells through.



The designers were the ones who made the spells.


I always thought that this line of thought is, hãã, weird. I mean, the designers made the spells, the book has this spell, we buy the book to use what is in there, and when something goes wrong is the DM who use book? I mean, it's like we are supposed to not use spells that were there. Why we don't get book that we will use the spells in there? I mean, I prefer books that I will use all that's in, then books that I will use only a part of it.
Where does the wand of Knock that obviates the party thief come from?  How does a wizard in a party acquire this item, and why?



They're cheap to make in 3e.  So if the DM puts everything on hold while the wizard takes weeks to make the dozens of each type of wand everyone argues that the wizard has, the wizard can cast those low level spells all day long.  They just aren't as worthwhile as a lot of people think.
People aren't seriously trying to argue away the supreme dominance of the 3.5 caster, are they?



Not at all.  It's just that knock, invisibility, yada yada don't replace a rogue.  They're a good stop gap if you don't have a rogue or the rogue is incapacitated, but they are inferior to the rogue.
If your 3.5 wizard is inferior to the rogue, the wizard is doing it wrong.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
If your 3.5 wizard is inferior to the rogue, the wizard is doing it wrong.



I didn't say he was.  I said that invisibility, detect traps, silence and knock are inferior to a rogue.  Are you really arguing that those 4 spells are what cause caster superiority?

"Batman" casters were enabled by DMs who didn't think spells through.  Silence reveals itself instantly to everyone in 30 feet.  Knock sets off traps.  Detect traps was a worthless spell.  Invisibility is commonly seen through.  Those are all facts.  I still play 3e, so while you have to crack open your musty books, this is all fresh knowledge to me.



this right here is something that I really think impedes the spread of the game.  Putting the onus on the DM to balance classes through extensive knowledge of spells and abilities is asking a lot. 

Want to be a good DM? You better know every spell and its effects and potential counters, and the potential counters someone who knew every spell might put in a dungeon, and do it in a way where the utility classes can feel useful . . . sure, people who have been playing for years do it.  But the more we restrict the people who can be DM, the more restrict the people playing the game out there.

Add to the fact that countering "Batman" casters requires a lot of tacfully saying "no," when lots of DM advise out there starts with "try to say yes," and it makes the issue even more difficult, even for experienced DMs.  IF the wizard does spend the resources to learn and memorize and cast a utility spell, is that really the time to explain to them how useless it is?
Wizards can also alter environment, like reshaping stone or turning it to mud, or interect indirectly with it. And this without having to make any skill check.
And there's the option, that every experienced wizards use, to leave open slots instead of memorizing situational out of combat utility spells.

D&D next just removed the limitation of having to leave open slots by giving free casting directly from spellbooks through rituals, and "balanced" it by increased casting time…

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.


"Batman" casters were enabled by DMs who didn't think spells through.  Silence reveals itself instantly to everyone in 30 feet.  Knock sets off traps.  Detect traps was a worthless spell.  Invisibility is commonly seen through.  Those are all facts.  I still play 3e, so while you have to crack open your musty books, this is all fresh knowledge to me.



this right here is something that I really think impedes the spread of the game.  Putting the onus on the DM to balance classes through extensive knowledge of spells and abilities is asking a lot.



There really isn't much onus, though.  Invisibility is seen through easily by a lot of creatures.  That just happens regardless.  Knock sets off traps.  That's on the DM, but it's an easy one since knock doesn't say it disarms the traps.  Detect traps is worthless.  That's not on the DM at all.  The spell is simply worthless.  Silence is the only one that really takes the DM thinking about things.  Absolute silence is deafening in it's obviousness.  Any living thing that can hear within 40 feet will automatically be aware that there is a spell caster nearby and be on alert. 

Add to the fact that countering "Batman" casters requires a lot of tacfully saying "no," when lots of DM advise out there starts with "try to say yes," and it makes the issue even more difficult, even for experienced DMs. 



This is true. The advice has gone too far the other way with regard to saying yes.  You shouldn't always say no, but you shouldn't always be looking for ways to say yes, either.  






Jan 8, 2013 -- 12:49PM, Maxperson wrote:

"Batman" casters were enabled by DMs who didn't think spells through.





The designers were the ones who made the spells.


I always thought that this line of thought is, hãã, weird. I mean, the designers made the spells, the book has this spell, we buy the book to use what is in there, and when something goes wrong is the DM who use book? I mean, it's like we are supposed to not use spells that were there. Why we don't get book that we will use the spells in there? I mean, I prefer books that I will use all that's in, then books that I will use only a part of it.



The problem wasn't that the DM was allowing the spells to be used; it was that he wasn't properly resolving the outcome of the spell being cast.

Knock has a higher chance of opening a really stubborn door than a rogue; it also sounds like a shotgun blast.  Silence turns off sound so that the user can't be heard, but the sudden cessation of all noise in a 30' radius is much more noticeable in most situations than the gentle pitter patter of little wizard feet.  Detect Traps lets you know the trap is there without giving you any tools to deal with it beyond the forewarning (which you could've got off the guy who's going to have to disarm it now that you've wasted reality-bending power to divine its existence).  

I'm not a fan of the attitude that you're entitled to any resources listed in any source you care to bring to the table, mind you.  I've got a rulebook with a vorpal sword in it; that doesn't mean there's going to be one in the campaign.  It's up to the game group to determine the scope of a campaign, and that might preclude the use of some resources that are in the books on hand.  Regardless of how many tools you own, you only use the ones you need for the project you're working on.
"When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish." D&D Outsider
There really isn't much onus, though.  Invisibility is seen through easily by a lot of creatures.  That just happens regardless.


But then the onus is on the encounter design.  

"Hooray!  I can cast invisibility... hey why are we only going against creatures that detect invisibility!"

"Hooray!  I can cast knock... hey, why are all the locked doors suddenly also trapped?"

"Hooray!  I can cast detect traps... hey, why are all the traps I detect tied to treasure that would be destroyed if merely set off from a distance rather than disarmed?"

If the solution is a never-ending game of escalation, which slowly but surely eliminates perfectly viable encounter design choices, that's still poor game design.  

This is true. The advice has gone too far the other way with regard to saying yes.  You shouldn't always say no, but you shouldn't always be looking for ways to say yes, either.


The onus shouldn't be on the DM in the first place.  If the designers aren't bothering to think about these issues, they aren't doing their jobs.
Thanks wrecan, that's exactly right. 

Encounters are designed by the DM.  And these issues speak to heavily to encounter design, and put a lot of work on the DM.  The DM has to decide when you face these things, and when these are incredibly important to class balance and enjoyment at the table, it is a lot of work for the DM.  Which, as a starting point, requires the DM to know the effects for all of these spells. 

(if I keep following wrecan around the forums and agreeing with him, people will start to think I'm just an alternate account he made to agree with himself)
(if I keep following wrecan around the forums and agreeing with him, people will start to think I'm just an alternate account he made to agree with himself)


Shut up, left-brain.  They're gonna figure it out!
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