One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
I guess for me, the most questionable points are...
If I understood the information correctly, in order to heal someone, a paladin hits them with their weapon. I don't care how the divine energy flows through their body to do things like healing and cure disease, but striking an injured companion seemed backwards. Did you interpret it the same way? To me, the healing for a paladin should be a gentle act, such as laying on hands or casting a spell. My first character was a paladin, Warrien Von Bane. Nice guy, eventually retired I guess.
Also, it isn't addressed in the article, but it seems to reason that paladin's would not have two different healing abilities. If they can smite an friend to heal them, doesn't it seem likely that they would no longer lay on hands? Why would they give a class multiple heal methods (other than maybe the cleric)?
The idea of radiating healing energy from your body without touching someone I don't care for unless it is in the form of a spell. I could maybe see giving a cleric who worships the god of healing that kind of power, making them more of a pacifist, this idea I like, but I just thought of it now, it isn't part of the article or any other 4th edition idea.
The paladin heals companions in a 5' distance around them without touching them in the example above. Maybe they radiate an aura of healing. Again this aspect isn't so bad but hitting them or an opponent with their weapon to release the energy? If you recall the article I posted several months ago where the adventures are fighting a dragon, the cleric scored a critical hit on the beast and somehow healing energy left their body as well and healed the group.
I know I'm not comfortable with the idea that all classes have a form of healing power, this takes to much challenge out of the game. I believe that the warlord heals themselves from what I have been reading. I have gotten the impression (but cannot state for certain, that the other classes have a healing power as well, probably on a lower scale than the cleric and paladin though. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
Looks to me like, "hit an enemy, heal a friend", or whatever the power allows. Can't really see how whacking a foe ties in with healing, it just seems to be a way to do 2 things at once. Not particularly inspiring or elegant. It doesn't say that Paladins no longer get to lay on hands, but to a younger audience being able to blast and heal would be more appealing. Not to me though. Note that the article says "D & D smites", which implies that Paladins may not be the only ones to get things like this.
I remember all too well that combat you posted; I also remember really not liking it.
As far as healing in general goes, I long ago banned spontaneous healing IMC because I saw it as a cheap and clumsy way to keep the action going for longer without the characters giving any real thought as to the consequences of a given combat. My players consider carefully getting into a fight because something nastier may be around the corner, and will catch them while they're still battered and bruised.
Yes, that was one of the charms of 1st edition. I don't like to see anyone lose characters and I wish even in my campaign it came up less than it does. But I certainly don't want to see the game get easier and players become lazier when it comes to making informed decisions about how to conserve their abilities. More of this will come with the "per encounter" and "per day" abilities. Personally, I found this to be one of the better challenges of roleplaying games. Kinda like learning the art of DMing. I don't want all of the difficulties fixed for me (Quest Cards I'm looking at you" because part of the challenge of the game (fun) is learning these things over time. These fun learning arts seem to be getting lost as the game progresses from one edition to the next.
I did like the spontaneous healing in 3rd edition. Not because it prolonged fights but because it was a good nod to the cleric class and I think they needed a boost. We have a paladin and myself (as you already know) in our group, with me clearly doing the majority of the healing. I like the fact that the spontaneous healing allows me to prepare other spells and I do frequently do get to use them rather than having to swap things out. I understand your point of prolonged fights and with the current rules I'm ok, but extending beyond that, no thanks.
I'd like to find a new way to conserve on PC deaths without taking away the danger factor.
The article didn't address laying on hands. But with the smite conforming to healing as well as attacking, I would be surprised if they retain it. I can't really see paladins having two methods of healing.
"Excuse me, but hold still will I wack you between the eyes with by longsword in order to heal you. If your lucky I'll roll a critical hit" Joke! _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
I think what happened IMc with spontaneous healing was that the other characters starting overstretching themselves in early combats knowing that the Cleric had a host of healing available. The Clerics then ended up using most of their memorised spells as swap-outs and seldom got much opportunity to cast anything interesting later on. So, by getting rid of spontaneous healing I actually managed to achieve the very thing it was probably designed to do. Weird, huh?
Yea, that is kinda a shame that what it was designed for turned out that way. Do you think it would have been different if the cleric just said no, and tried to get the party to learn to conserve their abilities in order to not take advantage of this rule? Have you considered reintroducing it in hopes that things wouldn't repeat themselves?
In our campaign we have a similar problem, not with divine spell use but rather with the wizard. She puts a big emphasis on firebased spells and throws them around left and right until suddenly they are all gone. She refuses to try a wand. We are conspiring to get her one for Christmas. The moment her spells are gone (often one encounter, rarely lasting for two) it's back to "I got to heal, we can't continue".
Depending upon what's going on in the game, sometimes she gets the "To bad we have a deadline, we need to get going. Pull out a wand or your sword" (she has 1 level in fighter). If things aren't that pressing, the reaction is in the form of a lecture. Typical response received is her tongue being stuck out at us.
I learned to say no very quickly, not to undermine the groups efforts but to simply solve the very problem you dealt with. The ability was put in the game to give us clerics a little more elbow room so that hopefully folks would take up religion more and play us. With great power, comes great responsibility. I think I heard that somewhere before but I can't recall where. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
I compromised a little by allowing Divine casters to take the Spontaneous Healing feat if they really wanted it. So far, no takers. The cleric in question was actually an npc under my control; the problem went away because he became a lot more militant and less compliant with pc wishes. He is now quite a major npc member of the party.
I've often heard it said that the cleric class is underpowered but I've not found that to be the case IMC. None of my players are currently running a cleric so I've got 4 npc ones on the go at the moment; a Radiant Servant Of Pelor; the aforementioned Heironeoun; a Dwarven priest of Moradin and a Halfling of Brandobaris. I love running them all (not at the same time), and they're all pretty solid on the power front. I know, I know. Where is Istus in all this? Just not in demand at the moment, ouch! Sorry.
As for your conundrum with the Mage; I'm going to be diplomatic here, you never know who's reading this. A couple of my players would be nodding in agreement.
Finally; once again you torment me with trivia I must know. First of all it was the The Knights Of Ni/Nee, now it's the power and responsibility thing. I can't remember who said it either. Aghh!
In 1st edition days, I never had an interest in playing a cleric. It wasn't until we started the current campaign (end of 2nd edition, awaiting 3rd), that we jumped back into D&D. I wasn't impressed by the class per se, but it was actually a picture in dragon magazine which inspired me to create...well me. I always loved the picture and we were discussing what characters we would play, when I suddenly declared "I know what my character is going to look like" After reviewing the picture one more time, I decided cleric.
For me, playing a cleric was more about making the character interesting than it was liking the class itself. I threw a lot of background and personality into the character which is where 90% of the fun has been for me.
I understand your not having a cleric of Istus in your collection. It really requires a special person...and you have to be chosen. The religion isn't as flashy as say Heironeous so I do understand. I think in most groups, non fighting type of religions are not going to be as popular over all. Again, I turned it into a roleplaying thing and actually went pacifcist for the most part. Good contrast with a fire happy wizard and a paladin.
Christmas is coming around the corner so maybe we will buy her a wand or two. Any recommendations?
Uncle Ben, peter parker, spiderman, I just figured it out. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
The way of thinking IMC tends to be; if you're going to use the spell regularly, put it in a wand. If it's a special occasion spell, generally information gathering stuff, have it on a scroll. So the npc mage has a wand of magic missile (at 5th level), which proved particularly useful recently when stumbling across a hive of incorporeal undead activity, and scrolls of Tongues, Detect Secret Doors, Passwall and the like.
It may seem a little dull. In fact it is extremely dull, but pragmatism often dictates that wands of MM, Fireball and Lightning Bolt are often very useful. It can turn the mage into a panzerfaust on legs but I guess that's where the skill of the player making the character interesting comes into play. Is it possible to blow stuff up and be interesting? Yes. Just like a clodhopper of a fighter can be.
So go on (come on?), Eileen; treat your poor, misunderstood, and slightly stroppy by the sound of it mage, to a wand of exciting mayhem this Christmas.
And I'm sure I shall bestow upon her the finest wand gold can buy. So what do you think, go with bone or wood...simple or intricate design....wand of what kind of mayhem? I'll be doing my shopping in Greyhawk City if I get back in time (from Barovia) for the holidays. Then there is the situation of how to wrap it. Use papyrus, leather, cloth? What color wrapping? Design on the wrapping? Would a bow be appropriate or would it be a little to 21st century contemporary look? What do you think?
More importantly....What are your getting ME for Christmas? I keep checking the mailbox at the temple but nothing has arrived yet! Don't tell me your one of those last minute shoppers!
And I still think I have a great Theme song. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
If you've got a world to save how come you've got the time to worry about wrapping a wand up?
As your wizard is prone to moody moments I suggest an inbuilt curse on the wand; it triggers at the first sign of any hissy fit, unleashing upon her a Dominance effect, compelling her to shut up and do something useful instead of whining about needing rest and recuperation. (BTW, she's not likely to be reading this, right?)
As for your present, what kind of prophet are you? Surely you already know what it is? That's why I didn't bother to wrap it.
Funnily enough your theme song always gets played a lot on radio over here at Christmas time. So I'm in a shop (shopping of course), and over the radio comes the sweet and not at all slightly irritating tones of Dexy's; cue one startled Halfling, ducking behind the nearest clothes rack just in case it's you recruiting for your latest "holy cause" and looking for an unemployed cutpurse. And I wonder why security looks at me strangely.
First of all, I have time to worry about wrapping because I can multi-task. Secondly, you seem to assume I would actually do the wrapping myself? Uh...I don't think so. We have servants at my parents mansion for such "tasks", not to mention my chamber maid at the temple. Then there is the occasional character that walks into the temple seeking our divination services. Sometimes these poor chaps don't have the money for a proper donation, so we quest them instead. I think having someone wrap presents (so I don't have to) would be an excellent quest. So you see...saving the world and wrapping Christmas gifts is all about time management. You would know that if you weren't in the tavern getting sloshed and falling out of your chair before you can finish your little ditty.
Umm....the wizards your biggest fan, she practically leaps to the computer everytime Ragr pens his near bardlike words....Not. Truth be known, the wizard doesn't even know you exist, so you might as well stop trying to show off your legs. I don't think I'd say the wizard is moody, she consistent.
1. Burn everything.....
2. Argue with the paladin about what constitutes good.
3. Say's "Fine, Whatever", or "I'll do it my way"
4. Goes back to burning everything.
She even tried burning down the humble little homes of the poor folks in Ravenloft in an effort to get rid of zombies. Somehow she just assumed that the buildings were empty. They weren't. Great roleplayer though. Seems the paladin and wizard have different views of "good" when it comes down to the details. They agree on the bigger picture but that's where it stops.
I like your suggestion of the Dominance effect and compelling her to end her whining and do something constructive. Excellent suggestion.
As for your present, what kind of prophet are you? Surely you already know what it is? That's why I didn't bother to wrap it.
First of, I'm a spoiled Prophet, by the way, when referring to me as Prophet, please CAPITALIZE.....I have an image to maintain. The song you heard, was a foreshadowing to make sure buy the expensive gift. Now you realized that the trinket you got me was the stocking stuffer right? And that the real gift was to be from the Tiffany Legacy Collection The Open square drop earrings, for pierced ears. Round brilliant diamonds in platinum. Here's the shopping address:
And don't give me that "I don't have that kind of money, for crying out loud your a rogue...go find some. By the way....when you were at the Imperial Tower of Foreshadowing D&D Doom, did you acquire a souvenier of any kind? Seems some funny man was here the other day asking all sorts of questions about you! _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
What sort of "funny man"? Most of the sorts I meet are a little twisted at the very least. Was the fellow wearing beige? Ever since I visited the Tower of Laughable Pantheons that colour really freaks me out.
As for the Tiffany link; are you insane Prophet? I could buy the whole of Elmshire for that kind of lolly. Look, I'll save you something from one of my crackers.
I suppose if you insist on buying me the entire village of Elmshire I will accept your generous offer. I have no idea what I'm going to do with a whole village of halflings though. I suppose the temple could use repainting. Are your "friends" any good at painting, yardwork, masonry, or similiar activities? Perhaps they are good at gardening. I'm guessing you want to be in charge of them as well?
I regret to hear that your are suffering from "beige syndrome". I think it is necessary to properly analyze the issue in order to help my good friend Ragr. Why don't you lay down on the sofa and tell be all about it. Exactly how long have you been suffering from episodes of beige which cause you to freak out and what kind of reaction are you having? Why do you believe that it may be related to the Tower of Absolute Arrogance and Gluttony? I'm not suggesting that it isn't, but rather trying to find the root of your difficulties so that you may be saved from this horrible fate.
The "funny man" I was speaking of was wearing a beige knit sweater with dirty overalls on underneath. He claimed he was your soon to be father in law who went by the name "horrid- hair feet" or something like that. He was carrying a pitchfork and said something about you marrying his daughter. He stormed in here and looked all over, under the bed, in the closet, even in the temple (probably figured it was the last place he'd find you). So is there something your not telling me?
Oh, you'll have to explain the crackers thing....I have no idea what you mean....sorry. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
Me, in charge? Oh, that would be so dull. It's much more fun using and abusing those self important so called "leaders", than actually being one.
You'd best re-read the story of my heroic, but ultimately futile, exploits in the Tower Of Numpties to explain my beige-phobia. If you see that fellow again tell him from me that I don't know his daughter and to quit his wishful thinking about having me as a son-in-law; I believe the technical term is "reflected glory", it's the price I pay for fame. He's not the first and sure won't be the last to try and shake me down like this, and if he persists, he's gonna meet my friend the "rib-tickler" some dark night.
I meant Christmas crackers. Surely you have them in your strange and distant land.
I have re-read the account of your tale of the Tower of Endless Edition Errata and found the references to beige in which you refer. Could one of your clever jokes once again slipped past my narrow visioned outlook on life? When I read it at first I was thinking Tharizdun.....but it was the wrong color.....
Clearly you must explain yourself Sir?
Should I see this stranger once again toting his daughter in question I will politely inform him that you skipped town. I do however have a overwhelming dislike towards violence and will be no part of "rib tickling".
it's the price I pay for fame.
So you have to pay bards to sing fictitious songs and speak not-so-true epic poems about you in order to become famous? WOW!!!
What a disapointment. And here I thought you were the real deal.....
So does this mean your really only 1st level still...2nd? You said you had been around since first edition....what did you do with all your time?
Christmas crackers.......now that someone has explained it to me....I guess we use the term cookies. I expected it was a Christmas snack of some kind but didn't know the specific meaning....I had even looked it up in the online dictionary to garner your meaning....but no avail. Once again, you educate me.....Clearly you are a scholar and a gentleman!
Thankyou for the wonderful Christmas gift of Elmshire. I had no idea that you were so influential. Not everyone can simply give an entire community away as a Christmas gift.
I'm thinking of having everyone move out of the village and have a lakeside mansion built there. Elmshire isn't that big anyway and I'm sure Greyhawk City can handle the refugee influx.....So now I suppose everyone on Canonfire will have to change their maps and remove Elmshire....Should I call it Eileenshire? No, not quite the right ring to it. Any suggestions?
Perhaps I should keep the little folks around...I'd hate to ask them to move out. But what to do with all of them? Any of them know how to properly roast a duck? _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
Okay this one seems pretty easy to explain to me. This is a Paladin from Diablo 2. The way it works in the game is paladins just have Auras that give the party certain powers, (much like a marshall in 3.5) so i guess it just goes along with WotC's grand plan to make 4e as much like playing a videogame as possible. (D&D inspires CRPG's, CRPG's inspires MMORPG's, MMORPG's inspire D&D, talk about a vicious circle)
My video game knowledge is virtually non-existant. Could you explain the Diablo comparison in detail so I get I better idea of what you mean. I have never played (but have heard of) the game so I have zero clue as to how to picture these aspects working. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
The typical video game paladin is a "buffer". In the case of Diablo2, the paladin has a number of auras to choose from. Just like a D&D paladin has the protection from evil and resist fear effect in a radius around them, only with a wider range of options.
I'm not sure why he thinks these smites are like that, they seem to be active combination skills: attack the enemy and buff the party at the same time isn't really the same as a permanent radius buff.
It seems to be a trend in 4e that they are removing or toning down the number of purely defensive or buff actions. Instead, they are all being triggered by some offensive activity. Clerics hit the bad guy and it fires off a party heal. Paladin hits the bad guy and it does something else on top of that.
It seems they feel that non offensive actions are boring, so they don't want anyone to have to chose to spend a round not attacking.
Personally, I abhore combat. I think war is a terrible thing (in most cases) and that everyone in the Flanaess should live peacefully side by side and any differences should be moderated by an incredibly charismatic individual such as myself.
I mean really, you have blood, gore, sweat (not me though I glisten), torn fabric, chinks in armor, nicked weapons....people to step over, people crying in anguish, and the armor and weapons are way to heavy when you have a STR score of 8. Honestly, its no good.
The worst kind of war is the kind that includes troglodytes and giant bugs....terrible, terrible thing.
As a DM and player, I never found defensive or non-aggressive things boring. I think that classes should have a balace of both. People need to learn that there is more to D&D and other roleplaying games than just hack and slash. I wish they wouldn't return the game to that kind of mentality. There is so much to be had from the roleplaying aspect of these games. It's a shame to see it regress in nature. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
Well, the game originated as a tactical miniatures skirmish game and its apparently being moved back in that direction, except with an anime/video game polish instead of a wargames one.
That doesn't mean I don't think the new game will allow for RP. Even 1e did that and it had NOTHING to support such things mechanically (no skills or anything else).
I also like the trade offs between attack and defense, but there have always been a vocal contingent of players that have hated the "spend x time before a big fight buffing" or "having" to play the cleric. I know that in early editions it was usually the cleric that was hardest to get someone to play. Part of that was that many modern americans really don't understand religion or how to RP a priest and feel uncomfortable doing it. But a good part of it was that clerics often felt they couldn't do anything themselves because they spent all their time on others.
Of course, this was also the era where you'd get Dragon Magazine articles trying to prove that Druids could and would function in a dungeon environment because so many seemed to think that wasn't true...
In 3e clerics are the best powergamer class by far, which has helped boost their popularity. But they still have something of the old stigma amongst the non PG crowd. Apparently, WotC is getting a lot of both kinds of feedback from their convention players and other feedback.
Similarly, there is a long running thread of complaint that fighters were kind of limited. The best strategy (only strategy in 1/2 e) was to run up and plant yourself next to the monster and throw dice. The equivalent of the "clickfest" complaint of some computer games. Feats helped, but most of the ones that don't directly enhance your swinging are kind of dubious. So WotC wants to enhance the fighters' experience by giving them their own "spells" so to speak.
I can see where they are coming from with that. Its not really addressing my needs as a gamer, but its not a bad decision really. What I do find disturbing, though, is the spread of MMO terminology and the return of class role pigeonholing into tabletop games. One of the best things about 3e was that it gutted the worst of the class role stereotypes by allowing so much customization. Its hilarious (and frustrating) to watch these two mindsets openly clash in D&D Online, which I like to play as well.
MMO Player: "YOu are a fighter! You should be doing this!"
D&D Player: "Nah, I took these feats and those options and multiclassed a bit, so I actually do this, that, and the other."
MMO Player: "But you have the fighter icon by your name. This is what fighters do!"
D&D Player: "Uhh, this isn't WoW. Sorry..."
Anyway, we'll see when the game comes out just how good or bad it is. It does sound like there's a lot of good ideas in it. And they may well be playing up the differences just to make it sound more worthwhile. I'm sure we've all seen that before. 2e was a pretty damp squib, if you ask me. AD&D needed a lot of things addressed, but 2e didn't go nearly far enough to be worth the cost.
With 3e to 4e, its more debatable. The great virtue of D&D, imho, has always been that its very simple. There are more realistic games out there and more fantastic games out there, but most of them are more cumbersome to actually play. 1/2e were very easy to play and you could run really crazy fights without a lot of problems balancing them against your actual party. 3e is still that way, though its pretty easy to buy your way out of that simplicity. I think many of the designer comments about simplicity are targeted at the folks who look at 30+ base classes, 700+ PrCs, thousands of feats and spells, and just melt.
I think a big failing of WotC's (in terms of the health of the game, not in terms of their bottomline, which aren't compatible in this case) is the failure to reinforce that the DM should be deciding what is and isn't appropriate for their particular campaign. A wide open game will crush a lot of DMs. And that's what they've largely encouraged with the kinds of foes in many Dungeon adventures, with "Fight Club" and "Elite Opponents" and the many other PG oriented articles on their website.
I ran a campaign where I didn't allow clerics, druids, paladins, or rangers. I allowed archivists, favored souls, and scouts instead. Fit the world and its religious system better. And the only PrCs I allowed that weren't tied to specific organizations were the 'friendly multiclass enablers' like Mystic Theurge, Eldritch Knight, etc. It kind of boggled the players' minds for a bit (well, not the PrC thing, I'm always a tightwad about those), but they adapted and it went quite well.
Anyway, I think that WotC is trying to regain control of the game with 4e and fix some of the big problems they see. But I don't think its players like you and I that they actually encounter at their conventions, webforums, and other feedback sources. Also, they are definitely trying to make the game more computer game friendly so they can expand their franchise there. I bet a D&D Online 2 using 4e rules will be a lot easier to do than the current one. Little consolation for the pure p&p player, but definitely part of WotC's design thinking.
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