Last call[edit source]

I was on the brink on giving up on this site, as the impression was that "edit constructively" meant "if you don't like it, rip mercilessly and don't respond to questions relating to making the author better." The biggest red flag was the complete lack of input into giant spider silk or the bardic duel discussion in the original war song. This is going to be my last attempt to see if my style of play is accepted here at all. So if you think I truly suck, let me know and I'll let you be.--Teh Storm 18:10, June 9, 2010 (UTC)

all styles of play are accepted, and i don't think anyone has said you suck. You may not have the best or most well thought out ideas, but no one is throwing insults. IF you don't like it on this site no one is forcing you to stay (at least to my knowledge, who knows whats goin on on your side of the monitor :P ) No need to get all emo, chill out --NameViolation 18:27, June 9, 2010 (UTC)
There's really no need to get dramatic. Changes scroll by very fast, so often times things that you put on the talk page just won't get seen. Nobody's fault, recent changes scrolls fast. If you want actual fast and immediate feedback, you should go to the chat. That's what it's there for. Surgo 18:58, June 9, 2010 (UTC)
I can't find either of those articles, so I'm not even sure what happened there in the end, though I remember the original war song using your perform bonus and that being seen as problematic for reasons that I thought were spelled out. I happen to think your ideas are just as valid and worthwhile as anyone else's around here, but I also recognize them as informed by an older style of play. People who started playing in the 3.x days have a very different set of expectations than those who started with an older edition. It's just not the same game as it was, the design ideals have shifted rather strongly. Some of the older tropes, like disposable characters and volatile rolls, are met with pretty strong push back by people who didn't grow up with it. Since you enjoy those older tropes, or have a fond nostalgia for some of them (full disclosure: like I do), some of the stuff you write up incorporates these things and doesn't work for people who didn't have those experiences or who want a more controlled outcome. They just want different things than you do. So what?
Anyway, when I was editting this for formatting yesterday I took a quick look at it. If I'd seen anything glaringly wrong I would have pointed it out already. I'm worried that the Str and Dex replacement isn't enough, since it's basically level +3 (or 16 at level 13... which isn't particularly great for a level 5 spell), but I haven't really thought through the who package yet. In other words, "no news is good news". - TarkisFlux 19:30, June 9, 2010 (UTC)
Edit - Found the old war song stuff. Bardic duel is probably fine, depending on actual mechanics; keeping everyone in range isn't much worse than a wall of stone / thorns. I'd probably make it level 5 even. - TarkisFlux 19:49, June 9, 2010 (UTC)
Until you consider that a Bard casting such a spell can take away all of a Dragons attack bonus and armor class. The lack of classes that can gain perform would be game breaking--Teh Storm 20:38, June 9, 2010 (UTC)
Since I haven't actually seen the mechanics for the thing in question, just the thing where you said you wanted to keep everyone in range, I'm not actually sure what you're getting at. Yes, a spell that made you lose numerical things based on the casters perform check would be bad. So don't do that. - TarkisFlux 20:43, June 9, 2010 (UTC)
Ideally, Bardic Duel would have the same mechanics as it's lesser, War Song, with the addition of creating a defined area for the battle to take place and the spell effecting everyone in that radius. For now, let us work with War Song revised. How could I make Bardic Duel work without giving Bards the ability to force dexterity and strength go down to zero?--Teh Storm 20:49, June 9, 2010 (UTC)
It's not reasonable for you to ask anyone here to look at a deleted page (which most people don't even have access to) to discuss mechanics. As far as I'm concerned, this is the only war song on the table. If you want to refer to the old one regularly, you should put it back up, reprint the relevant mechanics, or ask for it to be restored.
Anyway, you're going for separate things here, and I see no reason why they have to be joined into one. You want to boost the Bard, which this does. You also want a debuff, which is actually problematic when paired with a large buff (since it's roughly equivalent to giving yourself an even bigger buff), so you probably shouldn't do that without substantially decreasing the buff ability. And you want to create a defined area for the battle space, which any flavor of wall spell does when the area is fixed. So you make a "wall" spell of radius X that is centered on whatever space is between you and your target when you cast the spell. You could add that to the existing war song if you wanted and boost the level if you wanted, but I don't see a compelling reason for it. And then you're done. Bard gets big buff and gets to define the battle space. - TarkisFlux 21:34, June 9, 2010 (UTC)

Power Check[edit source]

For this spell, I used only the core rules perform skills. I would like two feedback points: do the powers match the performance, and are there any other perform skills that should be represented?--Teh Storm 20:49, June 9, 2010 (UTC)

Can you clarify if you're supposed to be using your perform skill (and thus the instrument) during the duration of this spell? It matters a bit if you have to actually have both of your hands tied up playing your wind instrument or if you just have to have it on you. - TarkisFlux 21:36, June 9, 2010 (UTC)
The spell is a full round cast time, in which you are saying words of power while using your instrument (or possibly costume or mask, if you are accessing Comedy, Act, etc.) as a focus for the spell. Hence, the components are verbal and an arcane focus.--Teh Storm 01:48, June 10, 2010 (UTC)
That doesn't actually address my question (though I had missed the 1 round action cast and think that needs to get dropped to a standard; it's just a buff after all). So let's try it a different way: if I go with a wind instrument version, do I have to keep playing my flute or whatever while the spell is going or can I toss my flute in a bag and use my hands for other things? - TarkisFlux 02:26, June 10, 2010 (UTC)
They just have to keep it on them if they want to use the power.--Teh Storm 17:06, June 10, 2010 (UTC)
Ok. Some preliminary things then. All of these are contingent on a rogue / wizard balance level, and you don't have one specified in the spell so these might not even be relevant to the mark you're aiming for. So I guess you should pick a balance level before you read anything else here, and if it's not rogue or wizard you should skip this and say so. But I'm gonna write it anyway, while the thoughts are still here.
The piano one sucks (unless there's a travel piano that I'm not aware of), because it's a basically stationary effect. It needs to be something like level/2 fire damage shuriken + rapid shot + automatic burning sphere of range = perform ranks (round down to nearest 5) to make up for the fact that you can't move and you lose the spell if anyone moves you. Yes it's strong, but since you're a sitting duck it just means that people will just attack you from range or attempt to bullrush you to end the effect, so it needs to be.
The other effects are hit and miss. Acting gives you a single extra attack that deals a few dice of cold damage. Comedy doesn't give you a an extra attack (unless you off hand wield it, since I'm not sure how big it is), but boosts all of your main attacks and gives you an unlimited ranged blind. It's flat better than acting. Dance kinda sucks compared to everything else, on-hit save-or-daze feels like a solid boost for it. Oratory is fine because it's real damage with a type that is made of awesome, and doesn't actually need anything else to go with it. Percussion gives you crappy damage and a single extra off-hand attack that doesn't make up for it, and a tiny range action that takes too long. It's bad. String is awesome in idea, but less so in practice. Full round action touch attack? Pass. Line of lightning with a reflex save? Take. Wind might be interesting if it affected anyone attacking you with melee as well, but as is it ignores everyone with reach, and the full-round save ball isn't useful. Sing isn't bad, but needs better range to compete at this level.
So, my suggestions: standardize things a bit. For the "weapon" things, boost their attack action damage, give them a special thing to go along with it, and call it done. Acting probably needs to become a "weapon" thing, since a single off-hand bash just doesn't compete with the other things you've written. The energy damage things should just be d6/2 levels so you're almost as strong as a single weapon using flanking rogue (though d6/3 levels probably isn't bad for fighter level), and then a standard action special thing on top of that. For the non-"weapon" things you should stick with the same die range (or give them on hit things like I suggested for dance), but worry less about the special thing. They still get their regular weapon thing, in some cases they get it on top of the other thing (see: wind). I think the Str and Dex adjustments are completely unnecessary in this setup, and probably aren't worth anything in this version without a +6 boost anyway. Lastly, you need to get over this "full round action" thing that you have. Your special things in here need to be standard action things. Nothing you have written as a full round action is good enough to justify making the bard lose his move as well. - TarkisFlux 17:52, June 10, 2010 (UTC)
By way of answering what you actually asked for feedback on, I think your abilities largely match with the performance types in terms of flavor. Comedy is Gallagher (or however it's spelled) or slapstick, dance is dance, strings get all electric, song is black canary, etc. The only one I don't see fitting is acting. I'm pretty nonplussed by the acting drama mask buckler, and would probably give them an cold damage weapon and mirror image as a standard action (the "cast" of the production so to speak). Alternately a mirage arcana style effect, so they can "set the stage". Otherwise I think you've got pretty good fits in general, and I can't think of anything to add. - TarkisFlux 21:29, June 10, 2010 (UTC)
On your previous point, if I should choose one effect on which to base all the others as a standard, which would you recommend?--Teh Storm 18:47, June 11, 2010 (UTC)
I'd go with Comedy. It upgrades your basic attack actions (so the dice matter, unlike in acting, where they kinda don't) and provides you with a decent standard action special effect. Set the number of dice and the strength of the special effect based on the balance level you're going for. - TarkisFlux 19:20, June 11, 2010 (UTC)

Revised Powers[edit source]

They look more consistent now, will get on with the larger analysis later. Had a thought that you might want to transform the masterwork focus into the "weapon" for the duration of the spell. It already happens with some of them, but doing it more generally would allow you to take your piano with you and be mobile instead of tied to it. - TarkisFlux 14:47, June 16, 2010 (UTC)

Until you consider that lap pianos were the popular traveling keyboard instrument. They are detailed in song and silence, and only weigh about 3-6 lbs.--Teh Storm 20:46, June 17, 2010 (UTC)
Are they only found there? Song and Silence is 3.0 not 3.5, and to my knowledge wasn't reprinted in 3.5. Most of the information found in books like Song and Silence, Sword and Fist, Tome and Blood, etc, were rolled up into the Complete series (Complete Divine, Complete Champion, Complete Scoundrel, etc). If it's in one of those, or in Arms and Equipment, I'd say you're good. If not, you could always add it to the wiki, and then link the two articles together.--Tavis McCricket 22:08, June 17, 2010 (UTC)
1) Arms and Equipment Guide is 3.0. 2) Anything not reprinted in a 3.5 book from 3.0 is valid in 3.5. --TK 11:08, June 18, 2010 (UTC)
Inb4 grand pianos. -- Eiji Hyrule 13:24, June 18, 2010 (UTC)
"2) Anything not reprinted in a 3.5 book from 3.0 is valid in 3.5" Word? I have to go kick someones ass in RL now, thanks.--Tavis McCricket 17:15, June 18, 2010 (UTC)
While we are all at this fun yet mind-blowingly dull rules siting, the PHB doesn't site individual musical instruments. They have two flat prices (masterwork and mundane) and a flat weight of 3 pounds. So the keyboard player would only be in trouble if the DM was a vindictive bastard anyway.--Teh Storm 03:44, June 19, 2010 (UTC)
My cowbell is damn heavy... wait, was that a goddamn PIPE ORGAN I just saw? -- Eiji Hyrule 04:30, June 19, 2010 (UTC)
D&D is rules. It may be 'boring' to cite them, but it is essential to know them. That being said, I chuckled when you rule-lawyered a portable keyboard.--Tavis McCricket 06:16, June 19, 2010 (UTC)
Since when? If "D&D is rules", why the hell does nearly every book present optional and variant rules that can be ignored? Why is this site even feasible? If the rules are the rules, then why doesn't everyone on here have to run everything they come up with by Wizards of the Coast or have a seance with Gary Gygax? Because D&D, WOD, Space 1889, the Hero System, all RPGs are lets pretend with dice. The rules exist to prevent the stupid little kid arguments, but sometimes the rules themselves create rules-lawyer arguments. To come up with some examples off the top of my head- broken economy systems, hit points, grappling, item creation times, and weightless gold syndrome are all examples of some of the clearly broken and unbelievable rules that everyone who plays D&D signs up to ignore. If "D&D is rules", this whole website, and those like it, are void.--Teh Storm 19:28, June 20, 2010 (UTC)
Weightless gold weighs 50 coins to the pound? Anyhow, carry on. Your point is otherwise intact. -- Jota 21:45, June 20, 2010 (UTC)
Storm, I dare you to come up with a stream of less relevant factoids for you to use as an argument. D&D is rules. Without rules, it ceases to be a game. I make no claims to them being immutable, absolute, or infallible. If they were, then yes, this site would cease to be feasible. But I never said that did I? My statement was directed specifically at what you said " While we are all at this fun yet mind-blowingly dull rules siting..."
Even if you change them, replace them, ignore them, or hate them, rules still exist, and they form the basis for any pen and paper RPG, D&D or otherwise. They are the game. This isn't an opinion, this isn't my take on things. All the supplements and sourcebooks that get published are rulebooks, and contained within are rules. Rules for combat, rules for commerce, rules for player advancement, rules for low level, rules for epic level. And it's around those rules that we play out characters, play our roles, and play this game. Without rules, we're just men who sit around talking about how cool and badass we are, without having actually done anything.
If I could paraphrase an excerpt from a AD&D 2e book, Dungeons and Dragons is akin to two kids playing cops and robbers. Eventually, as they run around the living room firing imaginary weapons at each other, one will make a claim to have hit the other, a claim that will be invariably denied. What separates D&D from two kids playing in the living room, is that D&D has rules to dictate if the cop actually hit the robber. Without rules, we're just playing pretend. Too quote, cite, argue, and create new rules is to quote, cite, argue, and expand upon the very essence of D&D.--Tavis McCricket 00:44, June 21, 2010 (UTC)
Some of us just want to play pretend, but being contentious adults (or significantly advanced children), don't accept the story telling of others ("I shot you!") when it contradicts our own goals. So we have rules not because we want rules, but because we fail at playing pretend. -Cedges 04:12, June 21, 2010 (UTC)
Meh, I just think that rules should never be a replacement for thinking. Or creativity. Or common sense for that matter. There are long sessions in any D&D game where rules are never referenced because it is obvious and clear what is and should be happening. I can't remember the last time I ever had someone roll Diplomacy for anything. I have never had initiative rolls for ambushes. I rarely look up equipment or service prices unless there is a stable government and a complacent culture, which is extremely rare in my worlds. I try to avoid die rolling entirely outside combat, sometimes even then. I feelings toward rules can be expressed below. (just replace guns with rules and duct tape with creativity)
"Never fight your wars with guns. Guns make you stupid. All wars should be fought with duct tape. Duct tape make you smart."
- Michael Westen, Burn Notice
--Teh Storm 19:59, June 21, 2010 (UTC)
You are creative once. Then you codify how to do such a creative move in the future. If it is too situational to codify, then it doesn't become part of the rules. Rules are really just finished sets up duct tape set up so that you don't have to constantly recreate the most basic creative element. Further, rules allow for emergent behavior to develop. If you spend too much time without rules, trying to figure out how to do action X takes too much time for your team members to try to synergize with it. Also, initiative is rolled in ambushes only for the non-surprised characters. Then initiative is rolled for those who were surprised for the first real round of combat. Keeps things streamlined. Havvy 08:17, June 22, 2010 (UTC)
Storm, stay on topic, and stop trying to be subtle with your insults. You're not. If you think rules are stupid, then why the hell are you on a wiki about rules? I'm glad that your style of DMing and play is a hit with you and your social circle. However, the more you talk, the more obvious to me it becomes that you don't actually play D&D. It seems like you barely play something resembling a d20 system. Nothing wrong with that, until you start screaming that it's D&D, and it's better than what we do, and that we're stupid non-RPers with too many guns and not enough tape.
If we didn't have tape, my dear Storm, we wouldn't have all these badass guns.--Tavis McCricket 19:39, June 22, 2010 (UTC)
I do play D&D, with a wide variety of social circles, especially at cons. Con groups are fun. Besides, if this wiki was really about rules, then there would be an utter lack of any original material. I visited this site because you guys had ideas. I joined this site to share mine. And you guys have some awesome ideas, some of which I use. I know most of my responses are critics, but really they are me sharing some of my ideas for how something could make sense or work better. Everyone on this site is a mechanic and inventor, able to engineer worlds and dreamscapes that can manifest themselves in dice and paper. Credendo Vides, "by believing one sees". While our visions may differ, they all spawn from one mans idea, and we are the carriers of his dream.--Teh Storm 03:54, June 23, 2010 (UTC)

Casting Time[edit source]

So, it's not actually a 1 round casting time, it's a full round action casting time. Which isn't prohibited anywhere that I'm aware of, but is a very non-standard casting time. This is the only spell that I'm aware of that uses such a thing. Is this a typo (and you meant it to be 1 round), or is this intentional?

Regarding my previous assertion that it would be better as a standard action cast time, the only difference is that as a standard action they still get to move before or after. They don't have enough actions left to actually use any their new abilities. Is there a reason you don't want them moving before/after buffing themselves in a round? - TarkisFlux 04:34, June 10, 2010 (UTC)

Opportunity to interrupt. This spell is powerful, and there should be at least one shot for those opposed to this spells use to negate it. A good example is a NPC bard villain using this spell, resulting in the player having one round to try and stop the villain from becoming a powerhouse.--Teh Storm 17:09, June 10, 2010 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with that call, in that I don't actually see this as making them a powerhouse since they can't cast spells while it's active and this is just making up for that, but it's not mine to make. Casting time should be 1 round then, and not 1 full round action, since full round action has the same interrupt potential as standard action. - TarkisFlux 17:13, June 10, 2010 (UTC)

Balance Level[edit source]

This spell needs one. It's probably fighter. - TarkisFlux 15:04, June 25, 2010 (UTC)

On a full attack, you're looking at 15d6 damage a round at 15th level, 18d6 (108 max) at 20th level. And that's not with melee touch attack, but normal melee attacks. A monk can do 10d10 (100) damage with a full attack, more accurately. This spell allows a bard to do a potential 8 damage more than a monk per round (however, since the monk gets 5 attacks, he needs less bonus damage to overtake the bard in DPR), by giving up the ability to cast spells for 20 rounds.
As it stands, I say it's a monk level spell. If the attacks were touch attacks, and/or if it was 1d6/2 levels (30d6 damage), then yeah, I could see fighter, maybe rogue (if you did both).--Tavis McCricket 22:52, June 25, 2010 (UTC)
Honestly, I just write stuff like this to describe things I see or would like to see, with no balance level in mind. So, if anyone would like to do a rate and balance check and label for this spell, I'll take back seat and leave it to the people would want it to have a rating.--Teh Storm 00:51, June 26, 2010 (UTC)
Have you read our balance levels? Do you have one that you wanted to aim for? Cause that is very helpful for our community to help determine whether an option is good or bad for it's intended power level. But if you don't have an intended power level and don't even care where it falls after you've written it, then someone will just assign a balance rating to this for you and you can not worry about it. - TarkisFlux 02:20, June 26, 2010 (UTC)
I have read the balance levels and the test used to determine them, and I simply don't work that way. I try to create material that I would not be embarrassed to bring before the Wizards on the Coast, so I just compare to what was already written. That is also why, as I have just said, I am perfectly content to let you guys assign one based on how you perceive it.--Teh Storm 21:19, June 27, 2010 (UTC)
That's fair, though there is a rather wide gap between some things that WotC has written. I just wanted it all to be clear :-) - TarkisFlux 21:30, June 27, 2010 (UTC)
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