Our group has a big doubt: how can we make a blind character viable? One of our players made a awesome story about a little child who was cursed to be blind for ever. That child trained hard to become a monk and he achieve it!
So, how can we play with this character in a balanced way? I was looking for rules for blindsight and tremorsense, but it might be a little OP. Anyone has a better idea?
Which system are you playing? (Also, which level and any special char creation rules?)
In 4e, there's a Thri-Kreen feat — Thri-Kreen Antennae — which gives Blindsight 1. Some high Paragon/Epic gear can give tremorsense or blindsight.
If you don't mind having a little character-sheet improvisation, you might consider doing something like this: • She has Blindsight or Tremorsense 2/5/10 or 1/2/3 or 2/3/5, scaling up by tier, or whatever you want to give her. (I'd do Blindsight 2/3/5, if it were me.) • She is considered Blind within her "blindsight" area, as per the Monster Keyword (ie, immune to gaze effects, but no other penalties/restrictions). • Outside of the area, she is considered Blinded (All attacks are -5 for Total Concealment; -10 to Perception checks; grants CA to those outside her blindsight; can't have CA against anyone outside her blindsight area, and so on).
So she gets a benefit within her blindsight range (no concealment penalties, even for invisible, and a different way of determining if something's hidden from her, and so on); on the other hand, she gets a penalty outside the area (as listed above). She likely won't be worrying much about the ranged attack penalties she'd be taking, but the permanent state of CA would cancel out any benefits for the concealment ignorance. Might even give her a minor +2 perception & insight bonus for checks involving things within her blindsight radius.
• Ad Hominem— Attacking the person's circumstances, not addressing the argument. • Ad Hominem Abusive (Personal Attack)— Insulting the person, not addressing the argument. • Ad Hominem Tu Quoque— Saying the person's inconsistent, not addressing the argument. • Appeal to Authority/Belief/Common Practice/Consequence of a Belief/Emotion/Fear/Flattery/Novelty/Pity/Popularity/Ridicule/Spite/Tradition— Using emotion instead of Fact. • Bandwagon— Use of peer pressure. • Begging the Question— Assuming premises which haven't necessarily been agreed to. • Biased Sample— Using a sampling which may not properly represent the whole. • Burden of Proof— Shifting it to the wrong side. • Circumstantial Ad Hominem— Attacking the person's interests in supporting their argument. • Composition— Assuming that the whole has the same qualities as individual parts. • Confusing Cause & Effect— Assuming that one thing causes another because they appear in conjunction. • Division— Assuming that the individual parts have the same qualities as the whole. • False Dilemma— Assuming that only two options exist. • Gambler's Fallacy— Assuming the odds have changed because of past occurances • Genetic— Assuming a perceived defect in the origin of a claim is proof of a defect in the claim. • Guilt by Association— Attacking others who agree with the claim. • Hasty Generalization— Assuming a quality based on too small a sample size. • Ignoring the Common Cause— Assuming there is no outside cause of two connected things. • Middle Ground— Assuming the midpoint of two extremes must be correct. • Misleading Vividness— Assuming a colorful anecdote outweighs statistical evidence. • Poisoning the Well— Using unprovable claims about the person instead of addressing the argument. • Post Hoc— Assuming that something caused something else simply because it happened first. • Questionable Cause— Assuming that one thing causes another. • Red Herring— Using irrelevant evidence to divert a discussion. • Relativist Fallacy— Asserting that a claim may be true for some but not for the speaker. • Slippery Slope— Assuming the inevitability of one event based on another. • Special Pleading— Claiming exemption without justification. • Spotlight— Assuming individuals that get the most attention to be indicative of the whole. • Straw Man— Misrepresenting the opposing argument. • Two Wrongs Make a Right— Justifying something unethical/immoral as response or pre-emption to something else unethical/immoral.
Response to those who like to compare 4e to a Video GameShow
Also, I find that the "D&D 4e is like an MMO" argument is often a sign of someone who is deliberately being obtuse and/or is potentially ignorant of actual MMO play. As someone who only ended a 6-year World of Warcraft addiction a year ago, I can say that most of your bullet points actually don't match up to the truth of it.
In D&D 4e, you can choose a hybrid, you can choose to play one class as though it were another (people played Warlords as Bards frequently, when the edition first came out, and Rangers were refluffed to Monks), you can focus your class on its secondary role (a Warlock who is more controller than striker, for instance), you can multiclass, and you can create a particular concept (a mounted lancer, a charger, etc.) within the mechanics via feats, choice of powers, and choice of skills. You decide which set of stats you use--are you a Chaladin, Straladin, or Baladin?--and you have ultimate influence on how your character turns out in the end. Yes, powers require you to be using a particular weapon within your class's available selection, but the powers are not themselves tied to the gear. Powers tied to weapons or armor are typically powers that belong to the item, not to the character class that's most likely to use it.
Yes, there are only so many powers available, and these will be what you do in battle; this is all that the designers created. Yes, there is a time-frame in which they can be used; this has always been the case, even in the days of Vancian casting. Yes, there are suggested builds, but you can routinely ignore those if it pleases you; the only parts of a class you have to take are the class features, and even those have options at this point. But the only way that this can be considered at all conflatable with MMO character building/playing is if you are deliberately ignoring all of that.
In WoW, you choose a class and you're done. No multiclassing or hybridization, no way to mimic one class with careful building of a different one. There is a firm dividing line on what is a WoW class. No secondary roles or creative concepts, either; you're going to be what the class sets out to be, and that's it. You'll always have the same stat allocation as another of your class, because you get set numbers as you level up, and you've got at best four options--and that's only the Druid class--to build, and if you plan on running dungeons, particularly heroic level ones, or raiding, you'd better not even think of deviating from the single defined best build on the talent tree for what you want to do. It was only recently, with the complete tear-down and recreation of talent trees for Mists of Pandaria, that there was a concept of there being anything but the one best build that people who calculated such mechanical advantages (the folks on Elitist Jerks, for example), and the people who did things like achieve "World First" at various top-tier raids set precedent for.
Also, no class will ever not have a specific set of powers; all Priests in WoW have the same baseline, with deviation only based upon their talent tree specialization, where a D&D4e player could take whatever power in their class pleases them. Any Retribution Paladin will be the same as any other in terms of powers, because that is what a RetPally is. Any Assassination Rogue will always have the same powers as another, etc. All powers are always on specific cool-downs, but will always be there when they start a battle, where a 4e PC might enter an encounter with only At-Wills, or without their Daily powers due to what plot has done up until that point. Furthermore, no power that is not already specifically tied to an item will ever "require" you have that item, to my recollection. Classes get all their powers based on class; gear only gives bonuses to stats, possibly cuts down cast times for abilities or cooldowns, grants temporary extra bonuses to stats (the latter two most often on the raid tier equipment), and on rare occassions an extra power that may or may not be valuable, as some are only special effects instead of valuable abilities.
Most honest/open response on why DDN needs to be InclusiveShow
I've always felt it is in the best interests of D&D to be as inclusive across the playerbase as they can be and still have a game. I've never felt though that making a game that was inclusive within a group was very useful or even desirable. DM's and players can decide amongst themselves what options or restrictions they want for their games. I tend to lean to the DM to make most of those decisions but again that is a group specific thing.
Having said that. I get the distinct impression that there are a lot of players on these boards who come from groups that generally ruled against their own desires. It's almost like they are an oppressed minority from a gaming perspective. I also get the impression that they tend to advocate against things that if available their fellow group members might like and vote them down on.
Do a lot of you feel this way?
Just for clarification...here are some examples... 1. Alignment restrictions as an option. 2. Alignment Mechanics 3. Martial healing 4. Races being included or not.
I know my perspective is not that I often play at tables where my likes are not represented. Instead, my perspective comes from the many years I spent being a bad DM. I was a bad DM because my guidance came from the books, and the books gave bad advice. The books told me that alignment was a useful approach to roleplaying, so I went with it even though it felt kind of weird to me. Now I know that, at least in my style of running games, alignment destroys rp. I trusted the books to give good advice, and it messed up my game. Now I'm much more mature as a DM, so I know how to take advice with a grain of salt. And I still learn new stuff every session I run.
I don't want future DMs to go through my problems again. There's a big enough DM shortage as it is. DMing well is hard.
The biggest thing I had to unlearn in my process of becoming a good DM was the idea that the game is a simulation of a world. I understand many DMs prefer a more simulationist approach, although I am always skeptical simply because I would have said the same thing until I learned and grew as a DM. This doesn't mean their approach is completely invalid, but it still gives me a personal twinge when I see a regression back to 3e era sim style gaming.
I also have noticed many groups where one or two old-school players run a whole group's playstyle because the newer players aren't even aware there are other ways of doing things. The newer players tell me stories of things they hated in the session, and I end up explaining to them how those things they hate are very fixable, and in fact are fixed in the newer edition of the game their older players have told them is terrible.
In regard to things like martial healing, I don't think it's necessary for it to be in the game for the game to be fun. However, the attitude that says martial healing is terrible and shouldn't exist is an attitude that, to me, reveals a wrongheaded approach to the game. Therefore, my fight for it to be an option is to help legitimize the more narrative approach that I think is what most players want, but many don't know is possible, because they've never been exposed to it.
Remember Zatochi the blind samurai? When you lose sight at birth, other senses such as hearing, smell, touch compensates and becomes almost supernatural. (This is also true in RL. Amazing how blind birth individuals function without sight.)
Sound, smell, touch has to be the means for the player to process the information of his/her surroundings in place of sight. What this means for the game is that the dm has to translate how much info the blind pc has of his surroundings into workable skill challenges.
In return for his loss of sight at birth, & to balance the game for this pc so he isn't just a handicapped, useless baggage for other players, you need to give him extra bonuses for his Perception skill (relating to sound, smell, touch & not sight) to make him "special" or supernatural with those 3 senses.
Means when combat starts, in the beginning of each round for the pc, he has to make perception check (miner DC perhaps 15) to know exact location of combatants, and what they are doing. if his perception roll is high enough (lets say 25), he gets no normal -5 penalty to his attack. If not he gets the -5. Sound of hearts beating, breathing, armor brushing against one another, sensing movement of air, the smell of sweat...etc.
To make this workable for the player you really got to give him the high perception skill he needs so that majority of the time, he knows npc's locations & he don't get the -5. Special thing about this player is that he can be extremely effective in complete darkness or against invisible players and easily find hidden npc's (even by the sound of their heart beating etc).
Even perception checks for an ambush...while others primarily may depend on sight, this player hears the foes, smells the scent in the air etc. or notice unnautral silence to notice possible ambush. He also gets to roll like the rest.
Also give him bonus to his insight skill as well. By picking up change of tone of voice, change of breathing, rapid heart beating...this pc can tell when someone is lying or telling the truth.
also since he has to sort of feel his way on the grid & not simply walk off a cliff, trip himself or fall into a pit, you can stipulate that as long as he moves only half his speed, he can automatically avoid such things. But if he moves his full speed, he is moving without feeling his way and he can trip, fall, run into anything that may be in his way. (Understand this is huge disadvantage In combat for the pc, having to move half speed. So, help him make it count when he gets to his opponant. Balance him out with exeptional damage...perhaps a better magical weapon.)
help him make his blind pc cooool and functional this way. This is what i would do for your pc. Luv his choice of trying this interesting pc out.
Also don't allow other players on the table to expect to be able to do the same simply by closing their eyes & demand same DC as the blind pc. Sometimes players can be so cheesy. Tell them this only applies to this blind pc because his other 3 senses developed beyond theirs.
or use Swmabie's break down with existing blindsight & tremore sense.
The character bio is really well thought out? The other players are happy with his story?
Then just roleplay the blindness. Treat him exactly as a normal character otherwise. Saves you a lot of time working out rules and you can get on with the game. If he is blind from birth, his other senses will mean he can effectively "see".
Bingo. He gets hit by something? It's because he's blind. He fails a perception check? Blind. He MAKES a perception check - Blind, so other senses are heightened. The Blinded condition causes some sort of disorienting sensory feedback, or pain, hence the penalties. Etc etc. Reflavour, that's what it's for.
In "The Last Airbender" cartoon series there is a blind character - Toph - who effectly see's through what could be termed tremorsence. She is so effective that other characters seem to forget she is blind and will point writing in a book and say look at this, or hold a wanted poster in front of her, Have you seen this - Um no, I'm blind, remember...
It would be interesting to figure out the how to balance. They effective can sense any creature with some small distance - 20-30' maybe (or scale it by tier?), but not any farther. Immune to effects of darkness/blindness even magical. Cannot read or write. Maybe a penalty to social skills (the blindness is manifested physically - milky eyes, or scars, or something - and turns offers off), bonus to dungoneering and thievery for being able to sense vibrations. Maybe they have to be barefoot to sense vibration in the ground, and then suffer hieghtened terrain penalties. Or just reduce their speed by 1 or 2 depending on the kind of terrain in general.
Could go through lots of options. I think I would want to talk it over with the rest of the players first to make sure they were OK with it. Maybe get their ideas for benefits and drawbacks while still making the character effective/balanced with the rest of the party.
I agree. If the player wants mechanical differences to play a part of the character, that's when you worry about it. If not, just roll with it for storyline purposes. No need to rework the rules unless you need to after all.
Not to edition war or anything (since this is more about the forums than editions), but I think it's amazing how people's attitude's about this have changed over the years. The OP got 6 positive, helpful replies. I had a blind character in a campaign I ran back in 3rd edition. When I posted for suggestions in the forum, numerous posters were downright apopleptic at the very idea of allowing a blind character to be functional, and I received very few replies consisting of more than "if she wants to blind, let her be, but don't give her anything in return. That's Powergaming".
That's only tangentially edition warring, Paladin, and you make a solid point. Previous editions were very simulationist in their approach. Mechanics and fluff were indivisible in many ways. 4e is highly narrativist in its approach and so mechanics and fluff are easily separated out. My players frequently come up with the most awesome character concepts, but when you look under the hood, it's nothing out of the ordinary. I'm reminded of one of my players who played a sentient owlbear named Owl Dirty Bastard (grapple fighter hybrid).