[Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

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[Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Zarhon on Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:04 pm

Discuss any items you consider below the curve, or otherwise not worth their money in this thread.

My opinions on the arsenal:
Spoiler:
Hookblade - 1000 Gold
Weapon
When you damage a creature with a single-target attack, you may choose a second creature. Those two creatures are considered adjacent to each other until the end of the battle.
Not quite that useful, unless you heavily rely on adjacent attacks.
Sneaky Bastard Sword - 1000 Gold
Weapon
Twice per battle, you may use the following combat talent.
[-1] Sneaky Bastard - Minor Utility
Until the end of your turn, target creature has vulnerability 1 to your attacks.
Why does this have a 2/battle limit, considering it already cost a pips to do, and does very little?
Longbow - 1500 Gold
Weapon
You may use the following combat talent.

[-2] Take Aim - Minor Utility
Your next single target attack this turn deals +5 damage.
Inferior to the "Heavy Blade", both in cost and practicality of use (initiative penalties are only bad for those relying on first strikes).
Staff of the Bodysnatcher - 3000 Gold
Weapon
Once per battle, you may use the following combat talent.

[+3] Trading Places - Standard Utility [1/Battle]
You control target creature’s next turn. That creature controls your next turn.
Inferior to the cheaper "Staff of Domination" and the costlier "Staff of the Mindslaver". The +3 Pips is outright detrimental, since the creature is likely to spend those pips attacking you or your allies!
Orb of Holy Light - 5000 Gold
Weapon
One per battle, you may use the following combat talent.

[0] Conjure Sphere of Light - Standard Utility [1/Battle]
You conjure a Sphere of Light. It has the following stat block

Sphere of Light - 10 HP
[0] Brilliant Glow - Standard Utility
Up to 6 allies regain 5 hit points

[0] Holy Rebuke - Interrupt Utility
Trigger - An enemy targets the Sphere of Light with a single target attack
Effect - That creature suffers vulnerability 2 until the end of your next turn.
For its gold cost/summon limit, that's a pretty weak/frail conjuration...

Orb of Infinite Fire - 10,000 Gold
Weapon
Once per battle, you may use the following combat talent.

[0] Conjure Fiery Sphere - Standard Utility [1/Battle]
You conjure a Sphere of Fire. It has the following stat block

Sphere of Fire - 10 HP
[0] Firewave - Standard Attack
Up to 6 enemies take 1d8 damage

[0] Inexorable Flame - Interrupt Attack
Trigger - An enemy targets the Sphere of Fire with a single target attack.
Effect - The Sphere of Fire deals 1d12 damage to the triggering creature.
Anotther underpowered and frail conjuration, for its huge cost.
Vorpal Sword - 15,000 Gold
Weapon
You may use the following combat talent.

[-7] Snicker-Snak! - Standard Attack
When you use this talent, choose one;
A) Deal 8d20 damage to target creature. If you roll a 20, you may activate all three of your special moves at once.
B) Deal 4d20 damage to target creature and all creatures adjacent to it. If you roll a 20, you may activate all three of your special moves at once.
Considering it's cost, this weapon will almost never be used.

Robes of the Reaper - 1000 Gold
Armor
You may spend a minor action to learn which non-minion enemy has the lowest health.
Fairly useless, especially with Deathwatch.
Gambler’s Armor - 4500 Gold [Created by White Eyes]
Armor
You have Resist 6 and Vulnerability 13.
This is effectively suicide armor. Useful only against minions or with a hefty amount of attack-negating options - anything else will have you risk death each battle.

Jenkins’ Chicken - 1000 Gold
Trinket
You may use the following combat talent once per battle.

[0] LEEEROOOY JEEEENKINSS! - Interrupt Utility [1/Battle]
Trigger - You roll initiative.
Effect - You let out a taunting and idiotic shout. Until the end of your next turn, all enemies suffer a -4 penalty to damage on attacks that do not include you as a target.
Not quite appealing/useful for an effect that works for the first round only, and encourages enemies attacking you.

Fate-Sealed Mirror - 1000 Gold
Trinket
Once per battle, you may use the following combat talent.

[0] Fate Exchange - Free Utility [1/Battle]
You and target willing ally exchange hp totals.
Great item, but it's 1/battle limit severely limits it usefulness.

Dimensional Cape - 1000 Gold
Trinket
Once per battle, you may use the following combat talent.

[0] Hideaway - Minor Utility [1/Battle]
You cease to exist and can take no actions until the start of your next turn. While in this state of nonexistence, you can affect no creature and no creature can affect you in any way. At the start of your next turn, you reappear.
Not very useful unless there's an emergency or a need to delay an extra turn.

Bracers of Speed - 1000 Gold
Trinket
You gain a +4 bonus to initiative.
Completely inferior to the Talisman of Haste.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Ramsus on Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:25 pm

Hookblade: lol, yeah it's not useful if nobody in the party has adjacency attacks. You could say the same for any talent, trait, or item about the things they're focused on. Overall, it's really good. One of my favorite items really.

Fate-Sealed Mirror: Has to be limited (maybe not 1/battle).

I'm surprised you left out the Sword-Chucks which are at their best when they're the only attack you do and at the worst when you do anything but the attack they grant.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Nehiel Mori on Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:35 pm

I have to disagree about the Dimensional Cape. I built a character focused on using Dimensional Cape, Blast from the Past and the Dimensional Cape to deal respectable damage while being untargetable 4/5 turns.

Also Vorpal Sword has to be costed at its price, its balanced to be costed that much and meant more as a joke item. We know no one is going to take it, its still fun to make builds round rushing to it with Gold is Power and trying to do what you can with the item.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  A1C Bronymous on Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:56 pm

Bullshit no one's going to take it, first chance I get with a character that has or can get that much gold, I'm taking it.

Also, I find most items to be fairly unusable, and ESPECIALLY weapons. Any weapon that attaches a pip cost is pretty worthless, since I can probably be spending those pips on something better from my own talent pool, and run a combo. Armors are ok, but you really have to get to lvl3-4 before you can start actively profiting from them. Trinkets are in that same vein, but many of them are meant to be incorporated into your build, rather than just add to it, and pip costs for some of those again make those a less amiable choice.

Most of the specific "underpowered and now useless stuff" I would mention are things that got nerfed for being "overpowered and too useful" in the past, like Quickblade and Boomstick.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  thematthew on Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:30 am

Also the point of Staff of the Bodysnatcher is to combo with Psychic Surge to get 7 pips and the enemy dominated on turn 2 without any real rebuke because you (read it) are stunned for that turn it controls.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Philadelphus on Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:50 am

Zarhon wrote:Discuss any items you consider below the curve, or otherwise not worth their money in this thread.

Hookblade - 1000 Gold
Weapon
When you damage a creature with a single-target attack, you may choose a second creature. Those two creatures are considered adjacent to each other until the end of the battle.
Not quite that useful, unless you heavily rely on adjacent attacks.
Wait until you see what I'm going to do with this the next time we fight a multi-enemy battle in Luna's Shadow Walkers. It's gonna be great! sunny 
Two words: Explosive Arrow  Very Happy 

Zarhon wrote:
Sneaky Bastard Sword - 1000 Gold
Weapon
Twice per battle, you may use the following combat talent.
[-1] Sneaky Bastard - Minor Utility
Until the end of your turn, target creature has vulnerability 1 to your attacks.
Why does this have a 2/battle limit, considering it already cost a pips to do, and does very little?
It could be quite useful with the right talents (such as Exploit Weakness) that do extra damage depending on if the creature is suffering Vulnerability (or a status-effect in general). This was my second choice after Hookblade.
Though I will agree the 2/battle does seem slightly small. I suppose that's a consequence of its low cost, though.

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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  A1C Bronymous on Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:33 am

Philadelphus wrote:Wait until you see what I'm going to do with this the next time we fight a multi-enemy battle in Luna's Shadow Walkers. It's gonna be great! sunny 
Two words: Explosive Arrow  Very Happy 

Except I'm pretty sure that any time we fight multiple enemies, they are usually adjacent to one another. So spending 1000 gold to swap one adjacent enemy out for another is kind of a waste of 1000 gold, unless you SPECIFICALLY need to hit the two guys on the ends.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Ramsus on Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:35 am

If you're fighting more than two enemies they're not all adjacent to each other. They're only adjacent to the guys next to them.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  A1C Bronymous on Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:40 am

Yeah that's what I meant. Unless specifically stated otherwise, all enemies in a multi enemy fight are already going to have enemies adjacent to them- and sometimes, the enemies at the two ends are ruled adjacent to each other as well.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Ramsus on Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:43 am

Yeah but, the point is to make all the enemies adjacent to one of them so that your fireballs and whatnot hit 8 guys instead of 3.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Z2 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:46 am

Robes of the Reaper are pretty pointless, but spending 1000 gold to just 'have a minor' has its own uses I suppose.

Hookblade I consider so outstandingly worthless that I find myself annoyed just by the fact that I have to scroll past it to look at the actual items.

Dimensional cape is actually an item I really like. The ability to duck out with a minor is perfect for dealing with delayed reactions or dodging a devastating -pip move from the enemy.

Most of the 1000 gold or less items I don't object to for the simple fact that they provide SOMETHING for a variety of builds that you might want to buy with your leftover cash after getting the items you actually care about.

Gamblers' armor is pretty worrisome, if you have ways to increase your resistance beyond six it becomes pretty cool, and the fact that the resist still counts means that you pretty much block or take 7 extra, but the fact that it can be part of a decent avoidance build and does just what it says - gamble - tells me that it isn't a bad item... It could be a bit cheaper though, as something to have the potential danger and interesting methods of balancing it make it fun - but having to shell out 4500 bits for an item that can backfire horribly does make it a little impractical.

I WHOLLY agree on the objection to the sheer SQUISHINESS of the orb summons, the fire orb in particular will likely last no time at all... granted, a conjurer with a number of conjuration bolstering moves could get away with keeping them alive, and if it DOES stay alive it's pretty cool, but for 10,000 gold the sheer likelihood that it will 'fizzle' does seem a bit problematic... Orb of light isn't quite as bad...
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Philadelphus on Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:45 pm

Ramsus wrote:Yeah but, the point is to make all the enemies adjacent to one of them so that your fireballs and whatnot hit 8 guys instead of 3.

This.

Or, in two more levels I can get Boomstick, make every enemy adjacent to every other enemy, then trigger Explosive Arrow with Boomstick to really give the DM a headache. Razz

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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  A1C Bronymous on Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:47 pm

That's probably better. Tack on Wizard's Robes, and you've got a web of destruction.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Quietkal on Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:56 pm

Talisman of Illness needs some sort of change.
2000 gold for -2 penalty on save throws you inflict, when you could instead take Training Certificate for Persistent Hex with -3 on save throws and the ability to turn into Surefire hex.
Granted, you could take it so you get -2 and Surefire's double roll, but it should at least be culpable to Persistent Hex.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  ZamuelNow on Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:46 am

Thoughts:

[0] Conjure Sphere of Light - Standard Utility [1/Battle]
You conjure a Sphere of Light. It has the following stat block

Sphere of Light - 10 HP
[0] Brilliant Glow - Standard Utility
Up to 6 allies regain 5 hit points

[0] Holy Rebuke - Interrupt Utility
Trigger - An enemy targets the Sphere of Light with a single target attack
Effect - That creature suffers vulnerability 2 until the end of your next turn.
For its gold cost/summon limit, that's a pretty weak/frail conjuration...

Orb of Infinite Fire - 10,000 Gold
Weapon
Once per battle, you may use the following combat talent.

[0] Conjure Fiery Sphere - Standard Utility [1/Battle]
You conjure a Sphere of Fire. It has the following stat block

Sphere of Fire - 10 HP
[0] Firewave - Standard Attack
Up to 6 enemies take 1d8 damage

[0] Inexorable Flame - Interrupt Attack
Trigger - An enemy targets the Sphere of Fire with a single target attack.
Effect - The Sphere of Fire deals 1d12 damage to the triggering creature.
Anotther underpowered and frail conjuration, for its huge cost.

Really wish these two would get looked at.  If they were minor actions or automatically summoned at the start of battle it would be a little different.  And Conjure Fiery Sphere should still be lower in price.

Vorpal Sword - 15,000 Gold
Weapon
You may use the following combat talent.

[-7] Snicker-Snak! - Standard Attack
When you use this talent, choose one;
A) Deal 8d20 damage to target creature. If you roll a 20, you may activate all three of your special moves at once.
B) Deal 4d20 damage to target creature and all creatures adjacent to it. If you roll a 20, you may activate all three of your special moves at once.
Considering it's cost, this weapon will almost never be used.


*chuckles*

Robes of the Reaper - 1000 Gold
Armor
You may spend a minor action to learn which non-minion enemy has the lowest health.
Fairly useless, especially with Deathwatch.

I think Deathwatch may be the reason why this armor is this way since Deathwatch is a +3 standard action and minor actions are considered -3 to standards.

Jenkins’ Chicken - 1000 Gold
Trinket
You may use the following combat talent once per battle.

[0] LEEEROOOY JEEEENKINSS! - Interrupt Utility [1/Battle]
Trigger - You roll initiative.
Effect - You let out a taunting and idiotic shout. Until the end of your next turn, all enemies suffer a -4 penalty to damage on attacks that do not include you as a target.
Not quite appealing/useful for an effect that works for the first round only, and encourages enemies attacking you.

Actually sounds like a decent tanking item in the mindset of redirecting enemies away from teammates who need the first turn for prep time.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  A1C Bronymous on Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:30 pm

According to playtesting that anyone on here is welcome to go see (Xel's character in ABominable Antagonist), Vorpal Sword is actually the most overpowered and unbalanced thing by a long way. I'm pretty sure it does in fact outweigh its cost- if you have it, you don't need any other weapons, only need two or three pip builder talents, and with the right traits can score too much damage every other turn or so. It doesn't need to be on here.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  ZamuelNow on Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:35 pm

I'm trying to figure out if Vorpal Sword:

  • Needs to be more expensive
  • Higher pip cost
  • Limited number of times per battle
  • Cost a Standard and Minor Action to use
  • Cause a debuff/penalty to the user
  • Combination of the above


'More expensive' would obviously be the least useful way to balance since it doesn't fix the actual problem.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Zarhon on Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:00 pm

'More Expensive' is actually impossible - it already costs the maximum you can have in money (you need to be lvl10 and have no other items). Only way of making it more expensive would require one to take the "Gold is Power" trait to go over the 15k limit.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Quietkal on Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:19 pm

I think it just flat needs to be nerfed. It might be balanced for its gold cost(don't know if that's true), but it's almost too high a cost with too high a reward.
Make it more like...
Vorpal Sword - 8000 gold
Weapon
You may use the following combat talent.
[-7] Snicker-Snak! - Standard Attack
When you use this talent, choose one:
A) Deal half of 6d20 damage to target creature. If you roll a 20, you may activate all three of your special moves at once.
B) Deal half of 3d20 damage target creature and all creatures adjacent to it. If you roll a 20, you may activate all three of your special moves at once.
Still lots of die rolling, pretty significant damage, and possible all crits, but able to be taken at level 6. Level 4 if you take the gold trait.


Last edited by Quietkal on Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  ZamuelNow on Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:30 pm

Zarhon wrote:'More Expensive' is actually impossible - it already costs the maximum you can have in money (you need to be lvl10 and have no other items). Only way of making it more expensive would require one to take the "Gold is Power" trait to go over the 15k limit.
Gold is Power was actually what I was thinking of. Or, play where it's officially considered gold thus there's ways of earning more or multiple players pool everything onto one character. Still not the best of balancing options of course.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Quietkal on Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:15 pm

Some feedback on my suggestion for Vorpal Sword would be nice.

On another hand, let's talk Gambler's Armor. Vuln 13 is terrifying.
Don't get me wrong, it's sound mathematically in that you take an additional 7 damage from attacks that get past it. But it's just so much vuln players see it and they just think "nope, no thank you. not worth the gold cost to be immune to small attacks only to have big attacks automatically bloody/ KO me." DM's aren't going to do combat with a character in Gambler's Armor if they know there's no chance to deal damage to them, and players know this, and don't want to either skip combats because they can't be damaged, or have to live on that precipice of "when's the big attack coming and how soon is it going to kill me?".

So what can we do to make this item worth it?
-Lower the gold cost
Simplest option would be to lower the gold cost and make it a 2500-3000 gold cost item. This off-sets the gold-cost balance though.
-Change the drawback
More complex, but probably the best option. Greatly depends on what the drawback would be replaced by.
My current favorite for replacement is "You have Resist 1. Whenever you would take damage, flip a coin. If you win, you have Resist 6 until the damage trigger finishes resolving."
-Flat remove it
Nobody uses it. Just remove it before someone figures out how to Munchkin it and have infinite Resist.
-???
Profit
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Philadelphus on Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:27 am

Quietkal wrote:DM's aren't going to do combat with a character in Gambler's Armor if they know there's no chance to deal damage to them, and players know this, and don't want to either skip combats because they can't be damaged, or have to live on that precipice of "when's the big attack coming and how soon is it going to kill me?".
There's a happy middle ground here: enemies doing about 8-10 damage (1d8, 2d4, 1d10, etc.). The armor blocks most attacks but every once in a while the player takes a hit that requires some patching up, and could get knocked out if they take multiple hits too soon in a row. But that's why it's called Gambler's Armor, I guess...

Also I have yet to see a player who would skip combat because they can't be damaged. Most of the ones I know would be raring for a chance to slaughter enemies without taking a scratch.

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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Zarhon on Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:36 am

Philadelphus wrote:
Quietkal wrote:DM's aren't going to do combat with a character in Gambler's Armor if they know there's no chance to deal damage to them, and players know this, and don't want to either skip combats because they can't be damaged, or have to live on that precipice of "when's the big attack coming and how soon is it going to kill me?".
There's a happy middle ground here: enemies doing about 8-10 damage (1d8, 2d4, 1d10, etc.). The armor blocks most attacks but every once in a while the player takes a hit that requires some patching up, and could get knocked out if they take multiple hits too soon in a row. But that's why it's called Gambler's Armor, I guess...

Also I have yet to see a player who would skip combat because they can't be damaged. Most of the ones I know would be raring for a chance to slaughter enemies without taking a scratch.
The thing is, when someone has gambler's armor, this automatically forces the DM to "limit" many of his other high-damage attacks (otherwise he risks killing the player due to luck), as well as force him to make normally-weak enemies to do 8 damage minimum (cause why have combat at all if they win by default?). He has to balance the damage not around the entire party, but around this one individual who will die or be immortal otherwise.

The DM can't do "you lose 80-90% of your max hp" power attacks, since that risks killing the player. And since it's fairly easy to get "defeated" with that armor on, what normally leads to a easily fixed KO is instead them being booted out of combat (an experience that sucks on its own and gets boring if combat gets prolonged).

It's an item that makes combat balancing a lot harder/trickier for the DM and does little favors for the player (or his allies), due to said damage balancing.

An idea on how to improve upon the rather terrible drawback: Why not make it start low, and then "ramp up" from there with each hit? It starts off with a small amount of vulnerability, but whenever the target takes some damage (or "fully blocks" it), the amount of vuln increases, or has a chance to.

So for instance, you start battle with 7 resist and 3 vuln. You take a hit that goes through your resist. As a reaction to that, the armor's vuln increases, say, to 6. This continues on till it reaches a set "maximum" amount.

Alternately, it can work the opposite way, with resist: Each "hit" you take decreases your resist, turning it into vulnerability.

Gambler's Armor
You have 7 Resist and 3 Vulnerability. Whenever you prevent any damage with your resist, the Vulnerability amount increases by +3. Vulnerability cannot go higher than 15.

Gambler's Armor
You have 8 Resist. Whenever you prevent any damage with your resist, the Resist Value decreases by 2, and you gain +2 Vulnerability, stacking with itself (but not other sources of Vulnerability).
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  Philadelphus on Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:23 pm

Zarhon wrote:The thing is, when someone has gambler's armor, this automatically forces the DM to "limit" many of his other high-damage attacks (otherwise he risks killing the player due to luck), as well as force him to make normally-weak enemies to do 8 damage minimum (cause why have combat at all if they win by default?). He has to balance the damage not around the entire party, but around this one individual who will die or be immortal otherwise.

The DM can't do "you lose 80-90% of your max hp" power attacks, since that risks killing the player. And since it's fairly easy to get "defeated" with that armor on, what normally leads to a easily fixed KO is instead them being booted out of combat (an experience that sucks on its own and gets boring if combat gets prolonged).  
Nothing forces the DM to do anything. Assuming there are other players in the combat who aren't wearing the armor, he can have enemies with a range of damage, some of it less than 7, some of it more. He can also surreptitiously choose the targets of various attacks, within reason. And death, after all, is always a risk in combat. This just gives it a slightly higher chance in return for being immune to small damage (meaning you can probably heal yourself up to full between hits).

Also, it's 13 Vuln, right? So let's say the PC is at a single HP. In order to hit -30 HP and actually die an attack would have to do 18 damage, which is quite a bit. Presumably anyone willing to take the risk of this armor is also going to be taking things like Misdirection or Stunning Heron's Hoof or Iron Shield to protect them from the occasional hit.

I mean, let's put it in perspective: in most RPGs you die at a whole lot higher than -30 HP. It's actually really difficult for a PC to die in this game. And really, combat's no fun if there isn't a risk of failure in there somewhere. Gambler's Armor increases the risk slightly higher than I'd personally like, but I'm sure there are people out there who like it.

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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

Post  ZamuelNow on Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:29 pm

I'd also like to point out that the system now has "lose life" options that entirely bypass resist/vuln.
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Re: [Combat Items] "What is overshadowed, underpowered, impractical?" - discussions

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