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Philosopher's Stone War III Changes Discussion

Discussion in 'Office of Strategic Influence' started by Raikage, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Raikage

    Raikage

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    Ok, I'm making this topic because, for those of you who don't know, I am hosting the next PSW (co-hosted by jumpluff), because von wants to kill everyone for being so bad at this game (j/k). This thread is going to cover all of the proposed changes for PSW III, and I'd like to hear your opinions on them, because there are quite a few significant ones.

    Stuff regarding Players

    There will still be 8 players, but I'll try to get a larger number of newcomers in if there is demand. So you could be looking at 3 or even 2 returning players.

    Also, players will be allowed to send in a list of classes in order of preference, and we will do our best to accommodate everyone. You don't have to list them in strict order either. For example, you can do:

    1. Rogue
    2. Shaman
    3. Cavalier/Warrior/Knight
    4. Everyone else.

    And yes, this means that you can do 1. Everyone if you wanna random.

    ____________________________________________________

    Setting

    No, we won't be blowing up Amesbury anymore. Instead, we'll be holding PSW III at Dunshaughlin, Ireland, near the Lia Fail. The date will be different as well. We'll most likely be holding it during the 1970s or such. This is so that cell phones, pagers, cameras, and other such gadgets are unavailable, while making taxis still available. If you want to use a house phone or a telegraph, be our guest.

    This also means that it'll be taking place during The Troubles. This won't have that much effect on gameplay other than making it even easier for players to do crazy things, cause it'll all be blamed on Ulster Loyalists.

    ____________________________________________________

    Heroic Champions

    We were thinking of renaming Sorcerer to Mage and Cavalier to Rider, to prevent confusion since Sorcerer and Cavalier are actual Pathfinder classes. After some discussion, we decided to just revert to F/SN classes since there's no real point in pretending otherwise. So the classes will be renamed to the following

    Knight - Shield
    Warrior - Berserker
    Cavalier - Rider
    Sorcerer - Caster
    Shaman - Savior
    Rogue - Assassin

    Archer and Sage will retain their names. This change actually increases the scope of legends for Knight.
    ____________________________________________________

    All Champions will have their innates revealed in the first post. This is for fairness because we're introducing a new class, the Sage, and we don't want that class to be the only one that people have no knowledge of. We will remove Monk in place of the Sage. Well, if for some reason a bunch of people absolutely want to have the Monk, we could think about it, but that's not part of the plans now. There are a number of reasons for removing Monk, but chief among them are limited legend selection and the lack of a really unique playstyle.

    The knowledge-based Sage initially proposed is in the spoiler tags below. We're currently proposing a minion-based Sage now.

    Show Hide
    The new proposed class, the Sage, will aim to have none of these weaknesses. A very wide variety of figures are selectable for the Sage. These include mythical wise men, legendary strategists, famous scholars, and ascetic religious teachers (some Monks qualify for Sage under this), or any other figures related to knowledge and advice.

    The Sage will be a versatile spellcaster, with a much, much larger number and variety of spells compared to the other two spellcasting champs. However, almost all of them will be low level spells purely for utility and divination, with only a small amount meant for combat, making him the weakest of the eight classes in direct combat. Instead, he uses his knowledge to aim at weaknesses and finish off injured combatants, while many of his utility spells get him out of sticky situations that other champions have no answer to.

    The Sage's first innate, Sage's Theurgy, allows him to pick spells from both the Divine and Arcane lists. The second, Absolute Knowledge, is threefold. It grants him select starting information on his opponent champs, brief knowledge of any battles that occur and their results, as well as knowledge on all Order Spell counts.


    This new minion-based Sage will still have a wide choice of legends to choose from, although the shift away from knowledge does mean that certain figures fit the new Sage more. Legendary strategists, writers, or teachers who are more suitable for acting as a central character controlling followers fit best, although philosophers and other wise men are still acceptable.

    The Sage is a versatile spellcaster, and specializes in having significantly more options than other champions. His first innate, Sage's Theurgy, allows him to pick spells from both the Divine and Arcane lists, while the second, Apostles of the Sage, allows him to command a number of minions who are capable of fulfilling different roles. However, his individual spells are not as powerful compared to the other two spellcasting classes, and his minions are also much weaker compared to enemy champions. The Sage is thus a jack-of-all-trades that is at his strongest when all of his abilities are fully utilized.

    The knowledge-based Sage we were originally envisioning was supposed to have an absolutely ginormous list of spells, but the current Sage will have a much smaller list, although still larger than the other two spellcasters. This is because of the added versatility offered by his minions. Frankly, minions have always been amazing in both PSWs, so I doubt this is a problem.

    ____________________________________________________

    We plan on changing Assassin as well. Here is the current concept, we appreciate all feedback on both the concepts as well as the numbers:

    - Sneak Attack nerfed to 5d6.
    - Assassin gains an extra innate: Assassinate. The Assassin can choose to observe a target for 3 rounds as a standard action each round, as long as he stays within 30 feet of his target. After the 3 rounds are up, the Assassin can Assassinate the target if he surprises his target within 1 minute. Assassinate is a melee attack that automatically hits and does 15d6 sneak attack instead of 5d6. If you're a ranged Assassin, you must still be within 30 feet. In addition, the Assassin can choose two more conditions to inflict on his target from the following list: stunned 1 round, staggered 3 rounds, -4 to STR or DEX 5 rounds, 50% miss chance or spell failure 3 rounds.

    This works as a nerf to Bedeviling Aura Assassin and also encourages trickery with stuff like Bluff/Disguise/Diplomacy/Invisibility/Stealth.

    ____________________________________________________

    Summoners

    First, some changes to school powers:

    Counterspell Mastery can't be used together with Dispel Magic.

    School effects that replicate banned spells such as the Controller subschool's Irresistible Demand are similarly banned. So you can use Irresistible Demand on NPCs, but not on PCs, because Dominate Monster is usable on NPCs.
    ____________________________________________________

    Ok, the next big change is to the summoners. This is based on a discussion pluff and I had with von. We also want to rename the Wizard/Summoner PSW class to avoid confusion with the PF class (the following paragraph was super confusing), so just for now, we're using the working name of 'Master' until we think of something better.

    The newly proposed Master can be thought of as a mix of a Level 20 Summoner's defenses and a Level 10 Wizard's offenses:

    -Level 20 Summoner HP and saves. This means all Masters will have base +6/+6/+12 saves as well 20 d8 hitdie. This means that Champions are now allowed to attack Masters (Knight's Cover will be rebalanced in such a case).
    -Certain Summoner class features. Right now, the only things I want are Bond Senses and Greater Shield Ally (can only be used on the Champion's Master)

    -Level 10 Wizard magic abilities. This means that the spell available to you are that of a Level 10 Wizard's, and you cast accordingly. School powers and specializations will be allowed, but still as that of a Level 10 Wizard. For example, Counterspell Masters still only get 2 immediate counterspells a day, and Enhancement's Perfection of Self is +5.
    -Level 10 Wizard skills, BAB etc.

    The rationale behind this change is to get rid of the Master protection rule which is a 'big rules headache', as von puts it himself. Making sturdier but unprotectable Masters also makes tactics in this game more in-depth, compared to before when you just stuck your wizard by your Champion and that was it. Also, higher saves is a nerf to SoD spells.

    This is just a working version though. For example, pluff and I aren't that comfortable with Masters having more HP than certain Champs on average (Sorc has d6 hitdie whereas Summoners have d8) or even equal HP on average. One way to solve this could just be to make Masters have level 15 Summoner defenses or such...But we definitely need more discussion and input on this.
    ____________________________________________________

    Spells

    Just for confirmation, you CAN use touch spells and abilities on yourself.

    All Evocation and other high-damage spells will be unnerfed. Fire Snake, Cone of Cold, and Lightning Arc will be buffed.

    The following save-or-die/disables will be removed from the spell list:

    Stinking Cloud
    Deep Slumber
    Hold Person/Monster
    Black Tentacles
    Confusion
    Phantasmal Killer
    FEEBLEMIND
    Symbol of Sleep
    Baleful Polymorph
    Suffocation
    Mind Fog

    And next, specific cases:

    Magic Aura - Banned on Mana Founts.

    Fire Snake - Creatures who fail their save catch on fire. These creature take 3d6 fire damage on your next turn and are then allowed a new Reflex save to extinguish the flames. If they fail, they take another 3d6 fire damage the next turn, and are then allowed another save. This continues until the flames are extinguished.

    Cone of Cold - Creatures who fail their save become fatigued for 10 rounds.

    Lightning Arc - Pick one creature who failed its save against this spell. It is dazed for its next turn and can take no actions.

    Mage Armour - Doesn't work on Champions.

    Shield - Doesn't give extra AC to Champions already holding shields. You can still cast it to beat Magic Missiles.

    Bullet Shield - Reduced to +2 VS Champion ranged weapons.

    Stoneskin (Both versions) - +4 Weapons don't count as Adamantine for the purposes of overcoming Stoneskin. Still limited to DR 5 on Champions.

    Grease - Only lasts one round when used on Champion weapons.

    Icy Prison - Reflex negates, not partial. If you attack to destroy the ice, there is no damage spillover to the person encased in the ice.

    Fear - It is legal to do things like attempt to Dimension Door/Teleport out with allies if you're feared. If your allies refuse to leave, you MUST attempt to escape by yourself. In fact, if you have no other means of escape and you're feared, you MUST attempt to use these escape methods, unless you will definitely provoke an AoO, in which case you cower.

    Charm/Dominate series of Enchantments, Magic Jar - Doesn't work on PCs.

    Oppressive Boredom - Increased to level 3.

    Phantasmal Web - A character who saves can automatically break his allies out of the illusion.

    Planar Binding/Polymorph Spells (Beast Shape, Elemental Form, Undead Anatomy etc.) - Technically there are no changes to these spells, but I must warn you that I will exercise my discretion when it comes to these spells. Pretty much everything that current players want to do will still be legal, it's just certain combos that might be discovered that I'm wary of.

    ____________________________________________________

    Mana Founts

    Regarding founts, I believe that the fount system is superior to quests. I think the basic idea behind the fount system is very nicely designed, it just needs some fixes to the execution and it'll work. In addition to this, the fount system is already designed and has been done before, giving us more of an idea on how it will work, and encourages more PvP plotting outside of mere combat.

    I propose a number of changes to the fount system:

    1) Reduce the amount of mana given by founts, and limit how long founts last. This is so that there isn't stockpiling of mana.
    2) Don't make fount creation/destroying take up spell slots. Make them free abilities instead, but limit the amount of founts you can create per day. This is so the previous problem where players don't pack scrubbing spells doesn't occur.
    3) More areas in the city. We already planned to make a more detailed map anyway, and this will help make fount placement more in-depth since there are more areas.
    4) Reduce time required for creating/destroying founts. This allows people to place founts at more interesting places.
    5) Give a mana reward for each enemy fount you destroy. This encourages people to stop turtling and go on the offensive.
    6) Give players a starting amount of mana. This is to counteract the other changes and ensure players aren't fucked over if they have a bad Day 1.

    A fount can be anything as long as it's not too big (ask me if you want confirmation on specific items). So you could make a section of the wall in your house a fount. However, once a fount moves, it is no longer considered a fount. So you could make yourself a fount and not move the whole day and get 100 mana at the end of it. This also means making some air a fount is not a good idea, for example, cause it's bound to move.

    Making or destroying a fount takes 5 minutes and requires no spell slots. Masters are able to sense mana founts automatically.

    Current numbers would be 300 starting mana, 100 mana a day per fount for 3 days, and 100 mana for destroying an enemy fount. You'd be allowed to make 2 founts every day.

    We are considering that vanilla mana abilities idea as well since von suggested it. Right now we're considering 50 mana for a +2 on one attack roll, +2 AC vs one attack roll, +2 Spell Resistance vs one spell, or +2 on a save vs one spell. You can't stack a bonus more than once, so you can't spend 400 mana for a +16 to hit on one attack. We may also limit the number of times you can use these minor bonuses a turn to three or a similar number.

    Champion abilities that require mana will scale according to the amount of mana used, with no cost/very little cost for the lowest level of such abilities.

    All proposed changes are up.
  2. vonFiedler

    vonFiedler Visualize It
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    As I said on IRC, I like the flavor of the Sage. I like the Red Magic mechanic of the Sage. I like that has a unique feel as a strategist champion.

    But I don't think it is well executed here. What you are gonna end up with is Shaman 2.0, another character that struggles during the end-game (and much worse). I don't even really like the Reverse Rogue idea at all (showing up and killing people's leftovers). There has to be other ways to execute a strategist character.

    Also even as of writing this I kinda liked the divination idea, but then I realized something. That isn't unique, that is the Archer. With his Day 4 massacre Lightwolf cemented the fact that the Archer's most defining characteristic is not range or true sight but his ability to track. Unfortunately as is the Sage is a sort of Archer/Rogue/Shaman/Sorcerer, a master of nothing.

    Not to mention that revealing things about other players early takes away the fun mystery element, especially when the Sage could spread the news.
  3. Agape

    Agape

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    Red mage? Magus base class!

    On the whole the idea seems nice, but it would need someone skilled in combat munchkinization to do offense effectively, atm the sage is basically forced to ally with a spike damager. A skilled player could force the personalized abilities to serve combat (see LW and ginga), but in the hands of a new player I fear the sage means autolose.

    Divine/Arcane casting seems nice, but the spell lists would need to be carefully thought of to encourage interesting combos. Personally I'd want to see the return of Finger of Death but perhaps the wish is futile. :)

    The whole "utility class" idea should be perfected more. I suggest giving the player more leeway in ability-making, because IMHO a lore-restricted approach would hinder designing an utility champ a lot more than a melée champ. (iPhone autocorrect >_>)

    On the whole I think the sage should be left 90% finished and design the class to the end with the to-be player.

    What should be discussed is the scale and type of his spells and his attribute dependency. I dunno about the attributes, but imho intmaxing should be discouraged. About spells, the Spell synthesis inate of the mystic theurge class is very interesting. I suggest spontaneous casting, perhaps some multiround spells? Spells that take preparations to cast? A magic circle? Other ways to expand the magic system? The vanilla PF magic is rather combat-oriented and could use something interesting outside of combat. (mana founts anyone? City areas linked to spell schools?)

    Ugh yeah I think the whole game should be thought over to make it flow better. Especially non-combats. I liked Von adding backstories to the game's flavor, that could be implemented further.

    This all assumes that the basic structure is left unchanged, ie the game is something between a full pvp tournament and a mini-campaign. I would myself steer it more towards a mini-campaign than completely stripped pvp. Reward RP more?
  4. jumpluff

    jumpluff princess
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    Well, naturally we would suggest new players steer clear of the Sage. This is aided by our use of the compromise between the preferences system and the randomised system: if you have preferences, send them in and we'll do our best, but if you're feeling lucky, don't submit anything or submit a very vague preferences list and we'll surprise you. It's just logical that simple classes are better for new players; I realised pretty early on getting the Warrior was a blessing, as it's one of the most straightforward classes in the game and I lack(ed) confidence. Of course, as mentioned in the OP, we also want to give a lot of players who didn't get in PSW2 the chance to play PSW3. Experience level is all relative (hint: PSW1 -> PSW2).

    Anyway, Raikage's interpretation of von's basic concept of the minion innate is honestly pretty simple as far as combat goes, but with lots of room for diversity -- and with the kind of spell list we were envisioning, creativity would be necessary to fully capitalise on it, and weird situations would be the environments that bring out the best in it... If you want to spam all the staple universally-applicable offensive spells, you want Sorcerer / your summoner, not Sage. We want it to still be able to fight capably, and that's the main problem I see at the moment as far as design goes. I mean naturally we want more thoughts on the skeleton of the class, it's still being worked on, but it doesn't have to be unnecessarily complicated. That's just my opinion anyways; I can't speak for Raikage. My personal opinion would be (as a player) I would be attracted to the minion class, because that innate is awesome, but I wanna hear more ideas!

    Either way, an experienced player would be a natural fit for the Sage, especially as it takes a different approach to the other seven classes.

    As for leeway in ability-making... not everyone designs their character for the host(s)!

    I would really like to talk about bringing mana founts back and making more champion abilities with them, but like von said on IRC it's just one more complicated thing to keep track of and I hope we can talk about that when we're done with Sage and maybe some other pressing issues :D I don't even really know Rai's opinion on the issue for sure, to be honest~
  5. LightWolf

    LightWolf lightwoof
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    Firstly, I love the idea of Sage. My main problem this game was that I had little to play around with, lacking the utility that my bard provided(how could you guys say no one was defined by their minions in the past games, my bard was THE THING in PSW1). Bard had access to more spell, he was all about utility, no spell lists needed, I had slots I could cast anything in. And here the Sage serves as a great replacement! The ability to cast so many low level non combat spells is great, sure most are meh, but if you have access to so many, your are bound to find some interesting combo!

    As for the two Sage ideas, I myself can't decide which is better! I love information, give a kill and crapload of inspecting roles and you have a happy mafia player. With the information your small spells turn into great weapons, something you probably wouldn't use normally, may be the thing that stops a champ cold(Ability based on words, music, etc being clearly heard? Cast a magic that can deafen yourself, use a sound making magic to cover it!). The minion option is fun too, ipl's handmaidens were okay, but they were just clones of each other, the fact you could build a mini party for combat is great, access to multiple class features means your small spells turn into even better ones, not to mention a few feats that could effectively go with this(The give self buffs to those standing next to you while they stand next to you could give your back row archers a buff like Gravity Bow(so many low level self ranged fighting buffs)). It's also very interesting from the RP view, since you could have much more interesting inter party conversations, when it comes to champ and summoner, their personalities are kind of similar, but the minions could have a different personality each. Not to mention, a planned ambush would be much more effective than most classes just due to the sheer amount of things you can do in a surprise round.

    Now one thing I really enjoyed about the first game, was not the fighting, but I what I did when not fighting, and that was trying to create adventages for the upcomming fights. Geasing people, disturbing people's setup, generally infogathering, rumors etc. This game I pulled one thing I enjoyed at the start of the game(which failed since ginga showed up while I was still there) and the rest was just really tracking down everyone and their mother, so I could find them easier when needed(which worked, I do regret not taking more divination tactics, I kind of ignored them both due to my tracks and how the school did nothing me first game). This game just went on ridiculously quickly, sure the first few days took much longer, but due to people being much more adamant about fighting when ever possible. Mostly because they were given no reason not to, Founts where the reason to set up early, your fighting and escape powers depended on your mana, and for that you had to save up. While mana was too complicated, giving us otherthings to do, things that can net us benefits, to be specific I mean side quests.

    Side quests have a lot of potential, and could be created as the game goes on and be shaped by the actions of the players. Say ipl just took Agape's first order, in doing so killed a few bystanders. The family of one wants revenge. Naturally that isn't the best example, but just proof that quests could lead directly to fighting. Indirect fighting could be created from situations where two quests conflict(Protect/Kill the Mayor) or where two people end up going for the same quest. Naturally the way of getting sidequests needs to be worked out, but I really think this game can't be just about PVP. Well similar to quests, strong NPCs could be created, who when defeated could give out a buff which lasts for a day?(I so didn't steal that from LoL)

    Either way, I will love to play or watch this game(And hopefully not sub in, I'm scared how a game with a sub would end up like).

    tl;dr version: I say nice things about Raikage's ideas so I can get in and play Sage because no one loves inspects and strategising as I do.
  6. Raikage

    Raikage

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    Edited in the setting for people who wish to discuss it.

    Well, since von has made it clear that the Archer is definitively based on tracking, then there is really no real need for the knowledge Sage, because that was supposed to be one of his defining characteristics as well, and it's obviously not good to have two of those.

    So, I'll edit in the new, minion-based Sage later, when I arrive at work. I'll also make a post responding to Agape and LW, I like some of the points they brought up.
  7. Aura Guardian

    Aura Guardian

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    For a minion-based sage, spells that block the opponents' movement and spells that summon monsters would add some beneficial specialization, IMO.

    1) minions attack enemy
    2) Summoner uses Wall of Force
    3) minions keep attacking
    4) summon flying monsters to keep attacking

    I'm not certain how the minions would be balanced, so I don't have anything I could say in that regard. However, a minions and support spells-only champ would be very interesting to see function.

    Also, actually forcing people to pay attention to tactics would be wonderful.
  8. Raikage

    Raikage

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    Ok, edited the OP. Keep checking the OP cause I will be editing it regularly!

    On to answering posts.

    Well Agape, I kinda feel sorry for you cause I think most of your post was directed at the old knowledge-based Sage, which has been more or less shelved now :`(

    Since we're removing the 'pick off injured people' aspects of the Sage, you don't need to worry about the combat aspects of the Sage anymore. He is no longer meant to be the weakest in combat, and in fact he will be fairly straightforward in combat as jumpluff said.

    Regarding his spells: his spells will still be low level. I don't want to reveal everything about how his spells are built, but most of the spells I'll allow him to pick will be support-based, so think stuff like buffs to his minions. He will still have some damaging spells and some healing/defensive spells, but not at all comparable to Sorc/Shaman.

    I am also hesitant to change too many things at once, to be honest. Besides this extra class, we also have changes to the summoners + balance changes to specific spells in mind, so I'd rather changes to the style of the game to be more RP-based wait for the next game.

    Pluff: LW actually brings up a nice point about mana founts. I am myself neutral to them, but yeah, I'd rather discuss mana founts later rather than now.

    LightWoof: Glad to hear you like the idea. Regarding your point on founts/side quests - I didn't play PSW1 myself so I don't have much experience with how founts function. Von said that he felt like founts don't actually have that much impact. I get what you're trying to say regarding them though, basically we should have incentives for people to do things other than fight/turtle. But, same as what I told Agape, I don't want to change too many things at once.

    AG: Originally we wanted to consider that for the Sage, but I quickly realized a problem: no map. I honestly think it would be frustrating for the Sage to do stuff like any kind of complicated positioning, and the same goes for tactics, because of the lack of a map.
  9. Agape

    Agape

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    The minion list should be given by the hosts, else we'd end up with a sage using 6 lantern archons (looking at you, AG). Also do animated undead count as minions for HD purposes? As in will the sage get only his special minions or animate dead as well?

    Also, google draw works really well as a map for online gaming. It really is easy to use. Though nit good for psw since we do fights over irc (2 windows open problem)
  10. Raikage

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    Agape: We build the minions together with the Sage user. Think of them as mini-champs. Animated undead have nothing to do with the Sage powers, unless your Sage's minions are undead. Animate dead is unlikely to be a Sage spell, but the summoner can cast it normally.

    And yes, the problem with using maps online is that it takes too long. Imagine if we had a 3v2 encounter and everyone had to check both windows. Encounters could take literally 10 hours...
  11. vonFiedler

    vonFiedler Visualize It
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    You keep bringing up the notion of rebalancing Knight's Cover ever since I suggested the beefier summoner. On IRC Jumpluff said it was because when everyone knows about the innate it becomes useless. However, that has nothing to do with why Knight's Cover was useless in PSW2.

    We have to go way back not to just PSW1, but the PSW Board Game. Champions had Attack cards that could be used for offense or defense. If a Summoner and their Champ was in an encounter, the opponent could attack the summoner but if they had any cards to defend themselves with they would instantly counterattack. If they got caught with no defense cards this was a game over. Since Card games have random elements and bluffing this worked well, it was a risk reward system. Even Order Spells weren't lifelines as they are here because this system worked so well (instead Order Spells were just limited super cards). Because you could always get caught with no defense and Summoners had business of their own to do (which was running around town using Ritual Cards and scrubbing other Rituals) it was a very viable strategy to split up your forces. So you can imagine the true power of the Knight, whose summoner was never in danger. The Knight was the only player who always should keep their characters together, and that was the Knight's playstyle.

    But then in PSW1 no one ever split up their forces, and this could have led to a very short game because of the strict rules of D&D. What I did with AOOs as a quickfix was frankly bullshit. If not for the fact Evocation was so strong Knight's Cover would have been useless in PSW1 too. In PSW2 with few damage spells being cast Knight's Cover became totally useless. So by getting rid of these AOOs Knight's Cover becomes relevant again.


    Founts, frankly I'm shocked that people actually want these back. Mana just piled up eventually and few people even looked for opponent's founts. Those that found them never had packed the spells to scrub them, because the Fount system was also a strain on your spell list. After PSW ended I also didn't think spells actually warranted mana costs, and I still don't really think so.

    When you talk about people fighting much quicker and teaming up much more readily, my perspective as the host is that it had nothing to do with Founts but with just how competitive this game has been compared to the last one. Every returning member cared more, the newbies cared more, and even with expanded backstories fights quickly got personal (I mean we are still a friendly group but you guys kept trying to place ooc blame on who instigated fights when everyone is equally to blame from what I saw). Frankly I'd be much more interested on suggestions on how to avoid teaming up in the next game as it's a standard right now that teams implicitly trust each other until the end.

    I'd be interested in seeing a Quest System to replace Founts, it is something I always thought about but I mean it is definitely a big deal from a balance perspective. If everyone thinks it sounds fun, I'd say give it a try.
  12. jumpluff

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    Well, battling against the forces of Raikage's laggy internet, Raikage, von, and I kinda discussed some of the problems Raikage and I see arising from the summoner change, and one thing we felt might be significant was the similarity in feel of the summoner and champ for the person who gets Sorcerer, particularly if we undo the Evocation nerf. As you can see in the OP, one thing that made us uneasy was the possibility of having summoners sturdier than their champions (though of course they will not have equivalent AC to the champions). It's also difficult for us to compare Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci because their builds were very different (one spell reliant and around before the Evocation nerf, one with more reliance on inbuilt offenses), but I suppose that could probably wait for postgame when more people will have seen da Vinci's character sheet.

    It's still badass, and of course the summoners will not have the incredible offensive potential that defines the Sorcerer. So, opinions on that would be very much appreciated, as if people are still hyped for Sorcerer (von said it was the most desired class in PSW1-2, and I know I at least wanted a spellcasting champion) and want to play it and whatnot, it's not actually a problem.

    And if the HP disparity truly is an issue (bearing in mind the heavily affected classes are Rogue and Sorcerer, and Sorcerer is intended to be a glass cannon), it is my opinion at least that a slight buff to HP would be better for them than going down to, say, level 15 defenses and doing it halfway, which results in summoners not being protected by the champion attack of opportunity rules and not really being bulky enough to withstand an assault from them. One thing I like about the sturdier summoners is that defending your summoner is now a legitimately important tactical element.

    Knight's Cover was quite weak in PSW2, maybe not for the reason we told von, but moreso because summoners have barely been scratched. In general the focus moved from summoner vs. summoner to champion vs. champion in PSW2, I suppose for the reasons outlined in von's post and the Evocation nerf. Now Raikage feels that it might be a little too strong with the summoner change, but some of the other innates are very strong too. What does everyone else think?
  13. Agape

    Agape

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    I miss IRC right now :/

    Regarding the Master balance: perhaps let players choose between offense and defense oriented masters? The defense oriented one could have the base d8 HD and lvl 10 spells. Maybe also trade arcane spec. for AC or something defensive? For the offensive one, perhaps drop saves and/or HD but allow higher level wiz spells? Level 13 or 15 wizard? Perhaps spontaneous caster? Trading 20d2 hp for versatility or power is appealing to me. Also this or something like this would make masters more personalized.

    Also would this master change affect their base point value?

    I agree that the summoner protection rule was kinda against the PF combat rules, but this buffing of summoners makes me wonder if the combat is going to be even more complex...? But I really do support the master idea. (I optimized my Mage for survival and I did survive a champ full attack! With -17 HP!)
  14. jumpluff

    jumpluff princess
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    Well, without being able to talk to Rairai 'cause he just left and stuff, I feel like both of these possibilities (increased base point value and higher level spells) just exacerbate my problem with the similarity between summoner and Sorcerer, not to mention the fact that I really don't want a lot of the higher level spells flying around and I doubt Raikage does either. Furthermore, I think summoners are already very customisable, as you have eight schools, almost an excess of subschools, the possibility of going Universalist, feats, spell list flavour (since we're retaining the wizard spell list with changes, which will be a later topic of discussion), stats, etc. to tinker with. And as you can see from how some people designed their summoners to synergise with their champions this game, the potential for versatility is great (it's too bad everyone decided the best way to go was Illusion or Abjuration though, with props to you and icecoolblue... I'm actually hoping our intention to let in even more newbies results in more school diversity...). It's almost overwhelming as it is :x

    Also offensive summoner + Knight makes me want to cringe >_<! I guess hypothetically you could make Knight's Cover do less for the offensive summoner, but my other concerns are still valid imo...

    Increased base point value is something to consider, yeah, my tentative working opinion right now is that since we intend to go with mostly level 10 wizard abilities, particularly offensively, 15 and 25 is sufficient, but it could change.

    Don't get me wrong, though! I don't see enhanced customisability as a bad thing at all though, so I'd be interested if you had any more ideas on that, preferably ones that won't result in everyone running around with Isaac Newtons~ <3

    And, yeah, I hope this will make combat more complex (I prefer to think of it as tactically enriched), because you now have to take defensive strategies into account in both your day plans and your encounters.

    ETA: { 20:44:54 PM } <&Flonne> but yeah thanks for posting and remember i accept a number of forms of bribery
    { 20:45:02 PM } <&Flonne> in order to coerce raikage into letting my dream playerlist happen

    I take PayPal as well! Or just hugs and flattery, my ego is very susceptible n_n
  15. LightWolf

    LightWolf lightwoof
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    While I believe the surprise element was a major thing about Knight's Cover(it wasted a lot of turns), the main problem lied in the mentality of this game. First thing people heard was, summoners got more strudy, and with that it wasn't that they got too bulky to be killed, but people believed it would be easier to focus on chapions, instead or risking aoos in addition to their normal attacks, even with the powerful fireballs gone, the summoners are still extremly frail.

    I do not want to give a spoiler example of the biggest move against summoners this game, so I will use smaller example. Thanks to teleport tactican, ipl nearly killed a summoner, after a single hit he was way down, imagine what if he tried to full attack! Now one thing I never got, why Raikage+AG didn't instakill ipl... All they needed was to eel Don then use AG's aura, no more aoo and sneak attacks on the summoner, that's an instant order(unless they champ aoos count as a supernatural ability, even then a 1v2 with the target being a the summoner is an easy one, especially if Raikage manages to stun). Fact is Knight would have been more useful if people actually tried to go for it, but the thing is, it's still weaker compared to most innates, with no active use. I'd rather have the ability remade to be honest, to some form of active defense, giving Knight more utility, (in addition to making the class just all around more defensive, for the most defensive class it took crazy damage) buffing his allies in some form. I liked Tyr's taunt as a knight skill, it meant the knight did what it had to, absorb the damage for the team, and it was balanced by the negatives that others hit him harder. It'd still protect the Summoner, but also all you allies. While it means your summoner still has problems when it comes to ambushes, those just seem like a legit way to defeat him. Naturally you can come up with your own ideas, or use that of others, I'm just pretending to help to get into the game!

    EDIT: nvm spoilers if Agape already mentioned it. The most bulky summoner in the game, who was in SHADOW FORM, ended up being killed, the only true summoner death was the strongest summoner...
  16. vonFiedler

    vonFiedler Visualize It
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    Let's just say he wasn't killed IN Shadow Form...
  17. Aura Guardian

    Aura Guardian

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    1) Raikage did not start to use the eel immediately, so IPL got to fire off his defensive powers
    2) Champions were still able to AOO if I attacked the summer, regardless of my aura
    3) I don't think Knight's Cover would have been negated by the eel, though I don't know, but regardless, I'd still have been AOOed
    4) The dance + invulnerability burned a turn from me
    5) Raikage did not know I was a glass cannon then
    6) IPL had surprise

    (the fight was ended by me dropping IPL down a pit, where he teleported out with both order spells intact)
  18. Mekkah

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    cavaliers need to be nerfed because mounted units are just too strong
  19. jumpluff

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    If only you knew... (lol I'm kidding, von and icb)
  20. Raikage

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    Agape: Honestly, I think that there's enough customization for masters already. I feel that spell school and subschool specialization gives enough customization. As jumpluff already knows, there's quite a number of builds out there that you guys are sleeping on, so I am loathe to increase complexity for added customization which is, imo, not necessary. Also, I don't want there to be any higher level spells in the game, which I'm sure you'll understand simply because of how broken high level spells are.

    I don't intend to give masters more stats. Combat is probably gonna become somewhat more complex, but at the very least I think that added complexity of this scale is something acceptable.

    LightWolf: I never figured out how Eel worked exactly until it was too late - and it in fact contributed directly to my death. Also, I was under the impression that Champions could in fact tank physical attacks for their Summoner in addition to AoOs. I guess this confusion is just another reason to remove this rules nightmare.

    I actually agree, I'd like to remake Knight's Cover, if only because it's one of the least interesting innates. But I definitely don't agree that it's weak with our current Master set-up.

    Regarding founts, I believe that the fount system is superior to quests. I think the basic idea behind the fount system is very nicely designed, it just needs some fixes to the execution and it'll work. In addition to this, the fount system is already designed and has been done before, giving us more of an idea on how it will work, and encourages more PvP plotting outside of mere combat.

    I propose a number of changes to the fount system:

    1) Reduce the amount of mana given by founts, and limit how long founts last. This is so that there isn't stockpiling of mana.
    2) Don't make fount creation/destroying take up spell slots. Make them free abilities instead, but limit the amount of founts you can create per day. This is so the previous problem where players don't pack scrubbing spells doesn't occur.
    3) More areas in the city. We already planned to make a more detailed map anyway, and this will help make fount placement more in-depth since there are more areas.
    4) Reduce time required for creating/destroying founts. This allows people to place founts at more interesting places.
    5) Give a mana reward for each enemy fount you destroy. This encourages people to stop turtling and go on the offensive.
    6) Give players a starting amount of mana. This is to counteract the other changes and ensure players aren't fucked over if they have a bad Day 1.
  21. Agape

    Agape

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    All other fount changes Raikage suggested are nice and should definitely be put into the game, but I don't see #1 fixing mana stockpiling. In the endgame people would still have absurd amounts of mana unless there are really cool new mana abilities. Perhaps make mana reset every morning? Or make mana only accessible while in proximity of a fount?

    Regarding founts: I didn't like the mana costs of summoner spells, that limited the summoners' capabilities :/ An alternative approach could be to only power champs' abilities with mana. (Fits in lore as well!)

    What about giving every champ some vanilla mana abilities in addition to their personal powers (Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica!)? Like using mana to absorb or negate damage to the master, teleporting to the master (swift action?), taunt etc.

    Completely random ideas: Buy an order spell for 10k mana! Heal the champ/master for 5k! Respec the master for 5k! Cast Finger of Death with 9001 mana!

    Also mana potions. Sell 'em.
  22. Raikage

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    Well Agape, what I had in mind would be a much lower amount of mana given by founts. Could be something like 300 starting mana, 100 mana a day per fount for 3 days, and 100 mana for destroying an enemy fount. You'd be allowed to make 2 founts every day. This would create a very mana-tight environment. Obviously I'd love some input on the numbers.

    I don't think we're gonna put mana costs on summoner spells if we do use mana founts.

    We are considering that vanilla mana abilities idea actually, von suggested it. But we don't want these abilities to be too powerful, especially since it's supposed to be a game where mana is in short supply. It'd be minor, cheap stuff like 50 mana for a +2 on one attack roll, +2 AC vs one attack roll, +2 Spell Resistance vs one spell, or +2 on a save vs one spell, for example. If you want to burn a lot of mana, use your champion special powers.
  23. LightWolf

    LightWolf lightwoof
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    Wouldn't this make early game pretty boring though? It completely destroys strong utility champion abilities as an option, since they are strong, they'd cost a lot. Not to mention this would still not change the fact people would just be hoarding mana, more mana means more power, and those vanilla effects can turn out to be ridic with a lot of mana(unless you disallow using multiple different ones on the same move). It clearly discourages early skirmishes, and makes the earlygame focus on making and destroying founts. Most champs do depend on their abilities, if one manages to stock up on mana well a fight can be quite one sided(300 starting, Day 4 no founts lost would equal 300+2*300+2*200+2*100=1500) though with the removal of monk vision they will be pretty hard to find... Bar the fact Day 1 would be everyone casting perma Detect Magic...(reminds me why didn't I do that after the monk died this game... that was the only reason I didn't use it, didn't want to be a glowing spot in his eyes).

    My main problem with founts is that generally we will make at least one of our abilities ourselves, and even the ones made by the host will kind of be hard to balance mana cost wise. Someone finds a combo with a low manacost ability and a spell and bang it is a cheap powerful combo? You can't really hotfix the cost, since that'd most likely change the balance of the manacosts, banning the combo is possible, but kind of evil if it isn't broken just price effective.

    The more I think about mana, the more I think von's right about it being not worth the trouble. UNLESS, you provide champs with their abilities cost free, and mana can be spent to power them up, makes it possible to do early skirmishes, without solely rellying on the low mana you have at that point, basically you can fight and still save the mana(fighting without your cool abilities is booooring).

    Now one thing about founts is, that for spells I'd love to have more interaction with them, even with Detect Magic, it will be pretty hard to find them, especially with detailed maps, there should be spells that are made for fount hunting AND fount protecting. Fights happening over the protection of founts are pretty interesting, especially how the failure to protect it could instantly turn into more mana for the enemy, also maybe the fount could empower allies within a certain range? Maybe return of laylines as more wellknown points the could be contested and lead to far more interesting fights(did we ever have a fight where three sides fought?). So much potential but so hard to balance.

    I'm really unsure about the whole mana thing, but it seems like the easiest to do non PvP objective.

    Now about targeting summoners, I have actually wondered about that mess for a long time now. In PSW1, the champs taking arrow hits for their summoner was commonplace, but I don't recall any summoner being protected from melee attacks, this might be only for those who can't aoo at range. Not really sure about it this game, never tried to shoot at a summoner. What is the range limit for aooing with a melee champ when your summoner is attacked? We really need to make such things clear in a FAQ next game.
  24. Agape

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    Just a quick note: 50mana for +2 to hit is very strong, it should be 1,5-2 times more expensive than the +2 AC/save cost to be balanced. Idk about SR.

    About the other numbers: I really think some medium-strong mana-abilities should happen, especially the damage absorption. But even without those there will be a huge gap between those minor buffs and champ abilities. For example with the current proposal I would use the +2 to hit buff every single attack because it is strong. Whatever happens, players will use the best minor buffs. A nice minor buff would be to reroll an attack or a save.

    But on the whole the minor buffs seem awkward and complex, especially if they are nerfed to be standard actions. I suggest using mana only for champ abilities and the semi-strong support abilities I suggested.

    Btw: I liked the idea of one-shot abilities (dailies as well). They support strategical thinking.

    About the master-sorcerer conflict: I don't see a problem here. 15 points versus 25 and 3 champ abilites are stellarly different templates and will make the Sorc/Mage always unique. See Newton and Da Vinci. Always fun!
  25. Raikage

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    Lightwolf: Well, we already talked about this on IRC but basically Champ abilities will scale according to how much mana you pump into them, and they'll be costless/very low cost at their lowest levels.

    Frankly, if someone managed to get to Day 3 without using any mana in fights and without losing any founts while the other seven players are moving around placing their own founts and trying to destroy enemy founts, then he deserves that 1500 mana.

    Honestly, I don't see why monk vision is necessary to find founts, Detect Magic is a cantrip and you have Arcane Sight if you want to replicate monk vision. A more detailed map doesn't make it harder, because the total area of the city is still the same, they're just divided into smaller portions. You don't need to spend extra time searching. Similarly, there are enough spells for warding founts, such as a number of illusions or abjurations, plus all the symbol spells. Be creative.

    I can allow the player to make his own ability but balancing is up to the DM's discretion, and this includes mana cost :/

    Agape: If you're a class with 4 attacks, you'll spend 200 mana for a +2 to hit on everything in a full attack. For 50 more mana, Robin can Triple Shot and Newton can use Principia. Not worth it at all. Also, reroll is way stronger compared to a +2 bonus that you need to decide on before the roll even happens.

    Well, since there is mana scaling with champ abilities now, there is no more gap for 'mid-range' abilities, at least.

    Yeah, since it appears that players don't have a problem, I won't be messing with Mage/Rogue.

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