Dumb Questions

Discussion on playing Earthdawn. Experiences, stories, and questions related to being a player.
ChrisDDickey
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Re: Dumb Questions - Displace Self

Post by ChrisDDickey » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:30 pm

The Undying wrote:I'm setting aside a lot of variables that could come into play here
What you are setting aside is my entire point for that section. It would be nether unknown nor unreasonable for an 8th circle fighter (stat'ed out as an actual PC) to have a magic weapon that gives a +1 or +2 to his attack test. He may have a blood promise that he has fulfilled giving him another +2. A rank 3 or 4 thread to a group pattern would give another +3 or +4. Now your Typical 8th circle melee fighter has a step 22 attack test instead of a step 15. Your 8th circle wizard on the other hand is likely to have an Avoid Blow talent of only around the 14 that you calculated, plus any spell enhancements they have. Without any spell enhancements a step 14 roll has less than a 9% chance of exceeding a step 22 rolls.

I don't think I am over-analyzing this. I think I am correctly analyzing this. And it is not that the fighter is special. The Wizard might have something near a step 22 for his Spellcasting roll as well. But his Avoid Blow roll is likely to be considerably less than his spellcasting roll. A player will always look for ways to improve his most important rolls. For a Wizard that is Spellcasting and Willforce. For a melee fighter, it is melee attack.

Help me out here people, Look at your tables. What step numbers are your journeymen rank melee fighters rolling for their primary attacks?
What step numbers are your spellcasters rolling for avoid blow? - both inclusive and exclusive of spell buffs?
The Undying wrote:Plus, in the old thread, we entirely went over a great reason to use Displace Self, regardless of other spells improving AB: avoiding multiple attacks thanks to the movement provided by Displace Self.
Except that the movement effect only triggers if the avoid roll is successful, In the 90% of the times a circle 8 wizard's unaugmented step 14 avoid blow roll fails to avoid the step 22 melee attack, the spell does nothing.

I am not saying that spellcasters should not bother with learning Avoid Blow, I am only saying that DS all by itself does no good at all unless the caster makes his AB roll, and that DS is unlikely to do any good when facing a melee adept of equal rank without a second spell that actually buffs the AB roll. Now granted few GMs spec out most of their NPCs with full PC bonus'. Most are kind of a "minimally effective circle 8". And a Master Wizard on the other hand, with 15 ranks of Avoid Blow and one or two spells boosting it with 4 extra threads each can merrily dance around a whole group of journeyman warriors without getting a single glove laid on him.

But the 3 basic points I am trying to make here is that:
(1) Unless the melee attacker has more than 1 attack per round, DS's benifits are minimal.
(2) Unless the spellcaster can make his AB rolls against his opponents attacks DS does nothing at all.
(3) Both 1 and 2 being true will usually require ether magical assistance beyond that provided by the DS spell, or a spellcaster of much higher challenge rating than the opponent.

Dodge Boost.
We seem to be coming at Dodge Boost from totally different directions. In my original post that got lost when the forum locked just before I posted it, I had a paragraph where I wondered how popular Dodge Boost actually was, since it is a spell that can buff everybody in the party except the Wizard casting it (Since Wizards and Illusionists are the only two disciplines who have no access to Avoid Blow at Novice levels), and by the time a Wizard can learn AB, he can also learn Energy Shield. Until then Mage Armor provides physical protection that everybody can use and strikes me as the better physically protective buff in a great many situations.

The Undying wrote:So, is Energy Shield better than Dodge Boost when that hand loss isn't an issue? Yes, most definitely. Will this be an issue in most case? No, probably not. But does Energy Shield usurp Dodge Boost? No, most definitely not, that condition change is huge.
I agree with all that.
The Undying wrote:For example, let us take an entirely reasonable party composition where the Wizard is the only person who has AB. Might be a little unorthodox, but it could happen. After all, only the following Disciplines have AB as a Discipline Talent: Air Sailor, Archer, Beastmaster, Swordmaster, and Warrior. So, you are saying that a Wizard MUST run around with a spell that provides no meaningful bonus to his companions?
ChrisDDickey wrote:But if you can only find a place in your matrixes for one Avoid Blow enhancer, it must be Energy Shield.
You are setting up a straw man. Rephrasing what I said into something totally different, then refuting what you wish I had said instead of what I actually said.

Your example is actually extremely unreasonable. First off, once again, the Wizard and the Illusionist disciples are the only two disciplines that have no access to Avoid Blow at the Novice level. So you are positing a party where nobody chose to get AB until the wizard did as his 6th circle Talent Option (having taken his 4 spell matrix as his 5th circle TO). Then you are saying that that I would insist that he use Energy Shield as his buff of choice.

Of course I never said, or even implied anything like that. Note the phrase "find a place in your matrixes". If nobody in the entire party is at all interested in AB, then of course you will not be putting any of the AB buffing spells in the matrix. However, in this weird situation, if for some perverse reason you did decide to to put an AB buffing spell into your matrix, then ES is still the clear choice (Gives you a solid bonus to two talents that you have, and if you are kind enough to cast it on your buddies who have no interest in defense, at least gives access to the talents to those who have a hand free. Maybe one of them will try it on a whim and decide they like avoiding blows).

But I never said or implied or even agree that Energy Shield is the best buff spell ever (it's not, Shield Willow is). I do think ES is the most generally useful of the three Wizard Avoid Blow buffing spells. That is all I said, and I stand by that statement. And to bring this rant back to where it started, I can think of very few cases, all involving large CR imbalances, where I would cast DS without also casting ES or at least DB.

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Kosmit
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Re: Dumb Questions

Post by Kosmit » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:46 pm

Maybe there should be another section for mechanical questions only? Some of the rules clasification may be both Players and GM.

Also it would be nice to remind people to use [3ed] and [4ed] because some folks still play old edition and might need some help ;)

Tattered Rags
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Re: Dumb Questions

Post by Tattered Rags » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:56 pm

I still kinda want a developer to step in and describe what was intended by "indirect attack" in the 4E Displace Self spell, as that is an area of potential benefits that can't be discussed without more clarity.
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Dougansf
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Re: Dumb Questions - Displace Self

Post by Dougansf » Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:18 pm

ChrisDDickey wrote:
Dodge Boost.
We seem to be coming at Dodge Boost from totally different directions. In my original post that got lost when the forum locked just before I posted it, I had a paragraph where I wondered how popular Dodge Boost actually was, since it is a spell that can buff everybody in the party except the Wizard casting it (Since Wizards and Illusionists are the only two disciplines who have no access to Avoid Blow at Novice levels), and by the time a Wizard can learn AB, he can also learn Energy Shield. Until then Mage Armor provides physical protection that everybody can use and strikes me as the better physically protective buff in a great many situations.
Everyone can benefit from Dodge Boost because Avoid Blow is a Default Skill that everyone can use.

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BTL
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Re: Dumb Questions

Post by BTL » Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:31 pm

Maybe, it's really a stupid question, and I'm just old-fashioned, but can we stop using this Thread as dump for mainly anything?
IMHO any topic appreciate an own Thread. Ideally with a distinct headline. Even if the author mind his question irrelevant, now or then someone will have the same or a very similar question, surly.

I really like a kind of a smaltalk thread, where you can exchange about everything concerning Earthdawn, but well defined problems are going to get lost, and people who may be interested in a topic will just miss the chance parting in it, because the discussion vanishes in a molech of a fifty-somthing-pages Thread.
In concrete terms the Forum is no 24 hours old and this Thread is on page 2.

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The Undying
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Re: Dumb Questions

Post by The Undying » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:29 pm

@ChrisDDickey

You do you, man. I really don't think anything else can be said on this topic. I am pretty steadfast in "right tool for the job" and you are pretty steadfast in "if you only have room for one, it must be Energy Shield." We've both said our piece, really not much else to say.

@BLT

Totally feel free to start new threads! Remember that the forums tend to be pretty slow, this was the trending thread when the old forum was taken down (already at four pages), and the transition kinda happened mid-discussion. I agree, separate threads are definitely help, and there's always a risk with grab-bag threads like this stumbling into a topic that takes more than a single question-answer pair.

Slimcreeper
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Re: Dumb Questions

Post by Slimcreeper » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:24 am

Also, this thread is for Dumb Questions! Not debate!

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The Undying
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Re: Dumb Questions

Post by The Undying » Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:52 am

Slimcreeper wrote:Also, this thread is for Dumb Questions! Not debate!
Some "dumb" questions spark debate. :D IIRC, the original question about Displace Self was just a "I don't see how this is useful, can someone explain it," which is pretty tame. The explanation sparked a few more questions, but then it started trailing off into opinion-land.

As BLT said, really, the best approach I can see is just sticking with single-topic threads. That way, if/when more questions about a single topic come up, or debate ensues, it's self contained. Trying to keep a "this thread is for simply Q&A" will inevitably lead to debates (haha) about when something should leave the "simple" Q&A thread and go to a dedicated thread, resulting in fragmentation on the topic in the first place. However, as I am want to say, "you do you" - not my place to tell people how to post/play/whatev.

Maybe a better approach would be to have a FAQ sticky, one for the Players subforum and one for the GM subforum. However, if we go that route, I would HIGHLY suggest Mataxes/Bogie nominate some community moderates who are the only ones with write permissions to those stickies.

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Kosmit
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Re: Dumb Questions

Post by Kosmit » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:24 am

I will agree on separate topic with proper titles.

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Bogie
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Re: Dumb Questions

Post by Bogie » Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:50 pm

There is also a way to split posts off from a thread as well. We can play around with trying that if there is a topic that bubbles up and seems to warrant its own post.
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