Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

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Troll Lord
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Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by Troll Lord »

This weekend I'll work on the SR and the Encumbrance sections for the PH. Its scheduled to roll off to press next week.

But one thing I might work on and I would like to ask the communities thought.

As you know I hate changing this book. I don't want people feel compelled to buy the new printing (the new cover, ISBN and stock code is so that distributors are forced to announce it as a 'new' product). But I've had a few problems with the game, the barbarian for one, etc.

The only part of the game I think is not in the spirit is the pummeling grapple/overbearing rules. They work as they are. They are just complicated.

So I'm thinking of adding a clause where the contest is a simple Siege check. Strength for pummeling. Dexterity for overbear and grapple. No opposed roles. No this that or the other. You add your level. You add you attribute bonus. CK sets CL. Move on.

Thoughts?

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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by dachda »

Troll Lord wrote:This weekend I'll work on the SR and the Encumbrance sections for the PH. Its scheduled to roll off to press next week.

But one thing I might work on and I would like to ask the communities thought.

As you know I hate changing this book. I don't want people feel compelled to buy the new printing (the new cover, ISBN and stock code is so that distributors are forced to announce it as a 'new' product). But I've had a few problems with the game, the barbarian for one, etc.

The only part of the game I think is not in the spirit is the pummeling grapple/overbearing rules. They work as they are. They are just complicated.

So I'm thinking of adding a clause where the contest is a simple Siege check. Strength for pummeling. Dexterity for overbear and grapple. No opposed roles. No this that or the other. You add your level. You add you attribute bonus. CK sets CL. Move on.

Thoughts?

Steve
My thought is to keep the original more complicated but functional rules for pummeling/grappling, but add the simple siege check as an alternative method and note it is the CK's choice. That keeps the rules backwards compatible with earlier printings, but still offers the simpler mechanic for those wishing it.

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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by redwullf »

Sounds good, but the target's stats should somehow determine the CL, a form of AC vs the attack. I just think that when grappling, overbearing not all things are equal, and who your target is really matters. Size should be a factor too (try grappling a dragon).

It's probably taboo to bring up another system's ideas, but Pathfinder's "CMB" and "CMD" handle this pretty well. Though their system gets weak at higher levels, it's at least universal. ANY special attack/maneuver that isn't a strait melee/ranged attack (or a spell of course) uses the same mechanic. It's simply a base attack modifier and "armor class" for special combat maneuvers. What could be simpler?

At any rate, as long as creature toughness/strength, size, and number of appendages are factored in, any "universal" system would be welcome. Since we're talking Siege Engine, how about simply providing the rules (or easy table or formula) to determine the CL for the attack, such as:

HD + (-2 for small, 0 for medium, +2 for large) + (0 for bipeds, +2 for 4 or more legs/appendages)

Just thinking aloud here.
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moriarty777
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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by moriarty777 »

I applaud in continuing to bring everything in-line with the Siege Engine game mechanic but I do think that, Combat is a bit of a different beast to begin with. Siege doesn't apply to attempts to striking an opponent or disarming attempts for example so the fact that grappling and overbearing didn't wasn't out of the ordinary.

But I do like the idea of a siege check tied in for grappling, overbearing, disarming, etc. but there needs to be a set way to get the CL factoring in HD, Primes, and whatever else that might be needed.

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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by kreider204 »

I'm okay with changes to the PHB each printing as long as the Trolls genuinely feel that they improve the game, so don't be shy about that on my account. :) I've been a bit concerned about the barbarian myself, so I'd be interested in another take on it.

I like the idea of the simplified grappling / overbearing. The trick is the last bit about the CK setting the CL. It seems like that would have to include the target's level, STR mod, another +6 if the target's STR is a prime, another mod if there is a size difference, etc. - and then the CC would be so high as to be unrollable ...

On a related note: it seems like grappling rules cause difficulties for all sorts of games. What's up with that?!

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Troll Lord
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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by Troll Lord »

On making it a Siege Check I would definitely leave it up to the CK to establish the CL. Level/HD, dex bonus, size and any other factors the CK deems fit to put in there would be listed as possible examples. The chart idea, though a good one, would knock the formatting for a loop.

Also, it would definitely be an alternate system. I would not remove the existing one.

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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by CKDad »

I'm with the "Keep the current rules, add the simple SIEGE check as an alternative" camp. I actually *like* the rules as written for whatever reason.
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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by Snoring Rock »

Yeah, keep it like it is and add an alternative. I like it how it is. But I will try the other. CMD/CMB is the possitive for me in Pathfinder. Good idea.

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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by Traveller »

Troll Lord wrote:This weekend I'll work on the SR and the Encumbrance sections for the PH. Its scheduled to roll off to press next week.
I don't have much to say in the notes I sent you two weeks ago on SR because that should be a relatively easy fix, although I might recommend putting the information about SR1 into both places where SR is mentioned in the book. If you're choosing to keep Cheeplives' encumbrance system, I would encourage you to take a look at my notes, especially the link to Cheeplives' post where he simplifies the system and thus improves upon it.

One last thing: you cannot be afraid to make changes when something clearly isn't working properly or gets in the way of the fun. There is a difference between change for the sake of fixing things, and change for the sake of change. You do the former while WotC does the latter. The results are evident in that we have (generally) happy people here and frustrated and upset people there.

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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by MormonYoYoMan »

Anything which (a) simplifies the rules, (b) quickens play, and/or (c) uses the Siege Injun (so I don't have to remember yet another rule!) -- I favor.
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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by redwullf »

MormonYoYoMan wrote:Anything which (a) simplifies the rules, (b) quickens play, and/or (c) uses the Siege Injun (so I don't have to remember yet another rule!) -- I favor.
+1

I bet that pretty much summarizes the attitude of most of us here.
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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by Relaxo »

I was thinking keep the old and add the new, now having read MYOYO's post, I'm like, hmmm... But if it fits, I say keep both. I agree with Moriarty, it's OK for combat to be different, since you don't use a Siege check to attack, you use BtB progression

(yes, arguably, it's a siege check, but sort of not)

Summary: I say keep the old and add the new option, but perhaps edit both to be as short and clear and concise as possible. (which is always good)

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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by MattyHelms »

Troll Lord wrote:On making it a Siege Check I would definitely leave it up to the CK to establish the CL. Level/HD, dex bonus, size and any other factors the CK deems fit to put in there would be listed as possible examples. The chart idea, though a good one, would knock the formatting for a loop.

Also, it would definitely be an alternate system. I would not remove the existing one.

Steve
Sounds like the way to go.

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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by Lord Dynel »

Steve, I agree that I like the systems as written. I would personally ask you to do something more with the withdrawing rules, but that's just me. :D

I think you can keep it pretty much as-is, and make it a SIEGE check. I'd make it so that a grappling attacker would make a Strength SIEGE check (in my opinion, Str would work best) with a CL of the defender's strength modifier, dexterity modifier and BtH modifier. Size difference modifiers would also add to the CL. The defender may then attempt to break the grapple, making the same check. If the defender cannot break, the attacker (on his/her next round) can hold the defender down, or can damage the defender for 1-2 (1-3, or 1-4, whichever) plus strength points of damage. Note that the attacker doesn't need to make a check once the initial check succeeds. You could even say that if a defender is in the "Dodge" or "Evade" manuevers, the attacker cannot grapple the defender (or does so at additional CL).

Overbearing works pretty much the same.
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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by Omote »

The current rules (4th printing) for grappling, overbear, etc. are complex when compared to the standard C&C rules, but only a little bit more so. The are not exactly intuitive from the first read through, but such complex maneuvers such as these are complex situations. There is a point where game mechanics can be too simplified and CKs will feel they have to create new rules (yet again) to cover these situations.

In my opinion, the current grappling/overbearing rules work. They take a bit of thinking, but over the past 2-3 years, I don't see a ton of people complaining about them. Sure, discussions start over these topics, but in the end, the current rules are in the spirit of the C&C rules and work just fine. Don't change the rules yet again, and give people the impression that this book is another edition.

As these esteemed posters above me have indicated, if you would put an alternative rule in the section covering these combat maneuvers, go for it. That is a great idea and makes C&C that much more flexible and keeps the 4th printing in total line with the new 5th printing. I couldn't agree more.

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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by Relaxo »

oh, I'm SO for keeping the 4th printing Barbarian if that was up for discussion.
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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by zombiehands »

I really like the pummeling, grappling and overbearing rules. If you they are changed make them all STR siege checks not DEX. I don't like it being just level based, it should be BtH based or all of a sudden rogues will be grappling kings. So please don't do that!

The one thing I would change is touch attacks. At least for spells, I would not make a attack roll associated with it.
In my games I dropped the attack roll and it seems to just make things simpler. I don't have to track an additional AC. For ranged touch attacks I just make it an attack roll.

As far as other changes I would like to see, it would be name on the similar powers the same thing. By that drop the name the ranger's "conceal" for Hide, drop the barbarian "deer stalker" from climb and survival.

The open house rule I always use is to make Clerics spell casting score CHR and make WIS more of perception. Heck one on the definitions of charisma is "A divinely conferred power or talent."
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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by Arduin »

zombiehands wrote:I really like the pummeling, grappling and overbearing rules. If you they are changed make them all STR siege checks not DEX. I don't like it being just level based, it should be BtH based or all of a sudden rogues will be grappling kings. So please don't do that!
True. Outside monk types, it should primarily be str & size. I'm quicker than a gorilla type but, he'll pummel/grapple/overbear me into the ground, all else being equal.
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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by zombiehands »

Yeah, there is weight classes in wrestling/boxing for a reason.
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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by nightstorm »

I know it's too late now, but what would be really nice is to have a long list of difficulties. Like say
climbing a sheer wall DC:8
things that don't have levels or hit points to determine their difficulty.

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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by Traveller »

Not every instance of climbing a wall can be covered by a flat challenge class, which is why you don't find such a list in the book. This is something left up to CK to determine.

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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by Arduin »

nightstorm wrote:I know it's too late now, but what would be really nice is to have a long list of difficulties. Like say
climbing a sheer wall DC:8
things that don't have levels or hit points to determine their difficulty.
Not really any need when you understand the underlying mechanics of the Siege Engine (see CKG for details).

Just decide what the approx. % chance would be for an average person to accomplish. Set CL from that. Done.
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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by gideon_thorne »

I'd like to note here that many of Trav's comments in the edits of this book have me in absolute stitches. "The weapons need a diet" :lol:
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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by Lord Dynel »

I'm not piling on you, nightstorm, so my apologies if it sounds like I am (or we are). Since I'm a believer in less die rolls, I don't like the static chart-after-chart approach of set CLs for every thing possible. I like having some power to rationalize that the monk and rogue can make the climb automatically, but the cleric, the illusionist and the heavily-armored fighter have to make the check. To me, that makes sense. It's a sound rationalization.

For me, I guess it's not having the players dictate to me their chances that I like. I'm assuming that the Trolls decision not to publish CL odds wasn't because of this, but it's a nice side-effect for me. I'll readily admit that I like 3.x D&D, but this was one of the things that I detested (a little :)) - working a DC out for something only to have a player tell me that the DC in the book says different.
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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by Traveller »

gideon_thorne wrote:I'd like to note here that many of Trav's comments in the edits of this book have me in absolute stitches. "The weapons need a diet" :lol:
What can I say? The dry approach to proofreading/editing just wasn't working for me. :lol:

Though as the deadline was approaching I had to get a bit more serious. *sigh*

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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by gideon_thorne »

Traveller wrote:
gideon_thorne wrote:I'd like to note here that many of Trav's comments in the edits of this book have me in absolute stitches. "The weapons need a diet" :lol:
What can I say? The dry approach to proofreading/editing just wasn't working for me. :lol:

Though as the deadline was approaching I had to get a bit more serious. *sigh*
But through sleepless nights and dangerous hallucinations untold, I managed to get this monster conquered. :lol: :)
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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by KaiserKris »

Troll Lord wrote:But I've had a few problems with the game, the barbarian for one, etc.
If you or someone else could answer this- what is the problem with the barbarian that you see? Because I myself see probably the most fun and flavourful class in the whole bunch, and a vast improvement over the 3/3.5e-ish barbarian that existed in previous printings.

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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by MormonYoYoMan »

I wanna hear more about the hallucinations! :D
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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by Troll Lord »

KaiserKris wrote:
Troll Lord wrote:But I've had a few problems with the game, the barbarian for one, etc.
If you or someone else could answer this- what is the problem with the barbarian that you see? Because I myself see probably the most fun and flavourful class in the whole bunch, and a vast improvement over the 3/3.5e-ish barbarian that existed in previous printings.
I wasn't clear here. I had a few problems with the barbarian so I rewrote it for the 4th printing. It will not change for the 5th printing. I'm very happy with the primeval approach it now has.

I'm still out on this overbearing/pummeling deal. Mulling it over...will probably mull it over until the book comes back from the printers and then realize, CRAP!

Thus the fate of many decisions in the Troll Dens. hhaha

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Re: Players Handbook Corrections and Additions

Post by KaiserKris »

Troll Lord wrote: I wasn't clear here. I had a few problems with the barbarian so I rewrote it for the 4th printing. It will not change for the 5th printing. I'm very happy with the primeval approach it now has.
Steve
I'm glad to hear it, because I'm very much in agreement. I never used barbarians in games before, and now I do.

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