New Blog Post: Are Magic-Users Too Weak, Part II

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SmootRK
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Re: New Blog Post: Are Magic-Users Too Weak, Part II

Post Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:19 pm

For me, it is not necessarily that MU are too weak... MU are clearly (as your statistical analysis shows) are fairly powerful additions to the party, especially in some make or break combats.

In my mind, it is that 1st level MU are perceived to have so little to do except for that single powerful spell. They (players of MUs) feel fairly useless except for those few moments where they fire off that critical spell; they just lack interesting things to do between those (real/leveled) spell castings.

This is why I like a few house-rules like arcane bolts/strikes so they feel like they are doing magical things in combat (basically takes place of firing off darts/daggers). I also like cantrips for doing various magical bits.... Not because of a some great power lift, but because it gives the player more small opportunities for little magical stunts.
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Re: New Blog Post: Are Magic-Users Too Weak, Part II

Post Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:23 pm

Yeah, I too find that the problem is that some players see a magic user as being a boring PC to play. For me, I let players roll up a PC and if they want to be something specific, I let them add to whatever ability is needed to be what they want . . . they just have to subtract the equal amount of points from some other ability.

Some players just do not match up with well with a magic user PC and will not have fun playing. I have a couple of murder hobos and there is no sense trying to get them to be clerics or magic users. And so, I let them be some sort of fighter.

But there have been players at the table who just "fit" into being a magic user. They are usually laid back folk who are cerebral and like to think through situations and such. There is actually a lot for them to do in the game as a magic user.

I have added cantrips into my game though. They are not that powerful and do not make that much of impact . . . but they do give players, especially cerebral players, something extra to play with during their round.
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Solomoriah
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Re: New Blog Post: Are Magic-Users Too Weak, Part II

Post Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:07 pm

Dimirag wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:35 am
I don't know the limitation or complications of your program Solo, so I may be asking too much...
Could we have the battle results of the 4 classes with full optional rules (OR) mode?
Putting this together right now. There are a few of your options I don't understand:
Dimirag wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:35 am
Cleric
-Magical Healing (spells since first level/healing pool/lay on hands OR)
I get "spells since first level." What are the others? I couldn't find them in Luigi's "Cleric Options" supplement.

Further, since the cleric is a front-line character in this setup, he can't cast spells anyway.
Dimirag wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:35 am
Thief
-Can backstab each opponent once per combat ("I backstab the fighter's opponent" OR)
The simulation assumes that monsters (and PCs) move up from the back row automatically as front row figures die. This means there is no concept of the "fighter's opponent" because the death of one goblin means he now faces another (generally) and if there are two or more units on one side and only one on the other, both front liners gang up on that one figure. THEREFORE, this one is really hard to test. (Honestly, even if I did it a different way, this isn't how things work in game anyway.)

Also, the cleave option is hard to do with this setup. For each initiative number, all characters and creatures who are on that number act; after they have all acted, the simulation "reaps" the dead ones, which has the effect of reassigning opponents. The second attack would have to come after the reaping phase, and another reaping phase would follow that. I'll think about it, but I'm not doing it this time through.

SO... I'm omitting the things I mentioned above.

... and now I've run it. Remember, I didn't do all the things noted above, only most of them.

Results: 99% of the time, the PCs win. 85% of the time (that's all combats, not just where they win), all four walk away.

WOW. They seem rather unstoppable... but wait...

How about two battle mode? 89% of the time, the party wipes out all 8 goblins (in two consecutive combats). All four survive 53% of the time. Thus, 47% of the time, someone dies, and 11% of the time it's everyone.

Even when you allow the party to become "unstoppable" the mortality rate for two battles is higher than you might prefer. The moral of my story remains firm... resting up after one battle is really the smartest thing to do.
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Solomoriah
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Re: New Blog Post: Are Magic-Users Too Weak, Part II

Post Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:22 pm

Incidentally, for the "arcane bolt" fellows, I ran another simulation. This was the same as the dagger-throwing simulation, so the thief has five daggers to throw using his missile AB of +2, but the magic-user has effectively unlimited "arcane bolts" doing 1d4 that he aims using his INT bonus. This gives him an AB of +2 just like the thief rather than the +1 he had in the original missile simulation.

Result: Player characters win 89% of the time. This is a 1% improvement over the standard missile simulation. The average battle length is 4.6 rounds, with a maximum of 20 rounds (in which case, the thief may have exhausted his daggers, but the magic-user is still going strong). In 27% of the combats where the party wins, the battle runs more than 5 rounds; this more than likely accounts for the 1% difference in overall wins. I suspect, for short combats, the "arcane bolt" makes very little difference indeed.
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chiisu81
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Re: New Blog Post: Are Magic-Users Too Weak, Part II

Post Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:22 am

Curious about that script; possible to share here or on your github?
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Re: New Blog Post: Are Magic-Users Too Weak, Part II

Post Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:28 pm

Ack, it's pretty crappy. I'll consider it.
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Dimirag
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Re: New Blog Post: Are Magic-Users Too Weak, Part II

Post Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:09 pm

I get "spells since first level." What are the others? I couldn't find them in Luigi's "Cleric Options" supplement.

Further, since the cleric is a front-line character in this setup, he can't cast spells anyway.
This came from your idea of removing healing spells and giving Clerics a healing ability, one suggestion was a d6 pool, and other was using the paladin's lay on hand.

The idea is that a surviving cleric can heal himself or another party member after the first battle.
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Solomoriah
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Re: New Blog Post: Are Magic-Users Too Weak, Part II

Post Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:29 am

Okay, I did it. The github repo is here:

https://github.com/Solomoriah/level1sim

The program uses standard Python 2.7, and to analyze the results you'll also need SQLite3 installed.

Interesting test I just ran. Say you're tough on your players and make them roll hit points straight, no rerolls or max values. Just how hard are you being on them?

Code: Select all

Single Battle Win Rate
--------------------------
Straight HP Rolls: 62.50%
Roll HP Twice:     88.31%
Max HP:            95.63%
Now you know... wow.
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Mr Dark
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Re: New Blog Post: Are Magic-Users Too Weak, Part II

Post Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:36 pm

Interesting post and the numbers do dispel the myth.

My 2 cents on the who thing is that the Magic Dart option is, as you said, just flavor and works just like a thrown dagger so it is one I use. I also allow them to use crossbows as well which allows for them to still do something after the spell. Sleep is also very underutilized by players but once they know the damage it can do...yeah.
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Mazirian
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Re: New Blog Post: Are Magic-Users Too Weak, Part II

Post Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:12 pm

I wonder what the results would be if the simulation was ran once with a standard party, then once again with the magic user replaced with a fighter, or any other class, really. Ignoring things like the usefulness of thieves outside of combat, the two simulations should provide equal results if the magic user is comparably powerful to other classes, right?
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