Combat Specializations Supplement

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Clever_Munkey
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Re: Combat Specializations Supplement

Post Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:28 pm

Solomoriah wrote: Are you aware of balance issues with the proposed supplement? I'm curious now... I hadn't looked at the math that closely.
I was referring to my own work, which I'm pretty sure has some issues.
Longman wrote: This wasn't the project I had in mind. I personally think Combat Options needs to be changed, in order for the proposed Fighter Specialization supplement to work.
I agree that this fighter specialization supplement will probably have to step on the combat options supplement's toes in order to fit in, but I was seeing this as more of an extension of that supplement, rather than a revision. The beauty I see in the combat options supplement is how universal it is. Anyone can do most of the things which provides more choices for everyone including the GM.

Perhaps we could look more along the lines of a sort of "Fighter Options" where we can present the rules somewhat a la carte in a way that does not necessitate changing the Combat Options Supplement, but certainly leaves that possibility, similar to the Magic User Options.

Of course I don't want to take your project away from you, and however it ends up I'm interested in seeing the final result.
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Longman
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Re: Combat Specializations Supplement

Post Sat Feb 20, 2016 6:40 pm

Solomoriah wrote:Longman, to be honest, I don't want to see Combat Options changed at all. It is perfect, or as near as can be to perfect, in my opinion. It has the high degree of simplicity of application that I expect from Basic Fantasy supplements, and I use almost all of it in my game more or less "as is." I have no interest in anything more complex than the supplement as it now exists.

I do understand that others have differing views on the subject, though, and do not want to be (nor to appear to be) a petty tyrant.
Hey, it's cool. I don't think that of you, at all. But judging from the lack of response to this, no one else is particularly interested in seeing the Combat Options supplement changed either, and the project as I envisaged it is maybe moving too far away from the 'Basic' spirit of the game.

For the record, the changes I suggested were to improve the situation of fighters relative to other classes.

Existing classes like 'Ranger' and 'Paladin' and even 'Great Way Adept' have buffs which can be more powerful than current buffs for fighters in Combat Options. If such characters can also employ 2 weapon fighting, it seems to me that things are weighted towards those classes, and the additional exp cost for those classes is insufficient to pay for the extra power.

The sticking points for me are:

- I think two-weapon combat should be for fighters only, and should cost a rank to obtain. It is pretty powerful.
- I think proficiency ranks should be obtained faster - or at least, there should be the option for that.
- I think the table for weapon specialization should miss the 3 attacks / 2 rounds phase. If someone wants to totally specialize in a weapon, they should end up with 2 attacks a round by 7th level, in the average game.

By 7th level, a Ranger is getting 3 attacks per 2 rounds with the bow anyway, the Paladin is a fairly powerful healer and can cure diseases, and the mage can turn people into toads!

Also, a lot of players of the game seem to imagine thieves to be tougher than the basic rules suggest, and are always looking for ways to buff them up - like two-weapon fighting. My solution is that they need to become fighter-thieves to get access to that sort of fighting style. The ordinary specialized thief is not actually a combat wombat and shouldn't act like one, otherwise the fighter gets left behind, again.

That's been my experience with this game, and other versions of Dungeons and Dragons I have encountered: the ordinary melee fighter gets left behind. It happens when buffed up characters from supplements or splat-books are in a party with the fighter character from a basic rule-set. The other characters are always better.

But hey, if you have been running Combat Options and it has been working fine in balanced games for many years, then I can see why you would want to keep things the same.

In that case, it would be easily possible to make another 'Fighter Options' supplement that focused entirely on different uses for specialization slots and didn't change any current rules. Most of the raw material is already there, in mine and Clever Munkey's drafts.

I'm happy if someone does that, but it wasn't what I intended.
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Solomoriah
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Re: Combat Specializations Supplement

Post Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:46 pm

Combat Options works great for me, in fact... but I don't use any added classes except Illusionist and Druid. Optional classes are the fastest way to screw up game balance, as you are seeing. I did write the Ranger in the Rangers and Paladins supplement, and rewrote Winter's Paladin for that supplement as well, but I actually never use them.

Thus, in my environment, the only combat competition for the Fighter are the Cleric (or Druid) and the Thief. The Thief does actually have a small advantage at lower levels, but that falls away in the mid-levels and continues to decline from there; Clerics have a lesser advantage at low levels that disappears quickly. Adding my basic specializations to the Fighter only helps the situation a bit, and two-weapon combat benefits basically everyone equally.

This is why I think having a specific supplement (let's call it Fighter Options) which gives enhanced specialization rules is a good idea. It would be most useful to those using the Rangers and Paladins supplement, for exactly the reasons you specified. But for someone like me who uses very few classes (and specifically omits those two), it would actually be overkill.

Also, your approach removes two-weapon-using Thieves, and assumes a new combo class of Fighter/Thief; I'm not sure, statistically, that characters with that combo would make sense even with the Fighter specialization added (even if two weapon combat were to be made a type of specialization). I personally like Thieves using two weapons (thinking specifically about the fellow in the second Conan movie).
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Longman
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Re: Combat Specializations Supplement

Post Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:06 am

Two weapon using thieves are OK by me...two-weapon using clerics and mages, not at all. I just don't think that is part of the shtick of either class.

And, if you allow thieves to use two-weapon wield, it makes no sense to disallow rangers and other supplementary fighter type classes to do it. And they are powerful enough, anyway.

Maybe there is some compromise to be reached where anyone can two weapon wield, but specialized fighters can do it much better.
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Solomoriah
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Re: Combat Specializations Supplement

Post Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:03 am

Combat Options allows any class to use two weapons, but with unpleasant penalties unless the character has a high Dexterity. I will agree, on the surface, that it seems unreasonable for Magic-Users, but I don't see why Clerics (who traditionally are considered as combat-trained as Thieves) would not do so. In practice, I've never had a Magic-User character use two-weapon combat... the penalties combined with their general lack of combat capability discourage them from bothering.
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