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TOPIC: Feedback Needed on Rules Changes for 2025 Combat/Classes

Feedback Needed on Rules Changes for 2025 Combat/Classes 3 months 4 weeks ago #49

I would be curious as to what the distribution of TD players in a year is, level wise. The forums of course skew higher, but what is the typical breakdown? Gencon must skew lower, as most players I have coached are fourth level characters, and many new or newly returning players.

My point being, maybe some of these changes might be better explored on the Prestige classes. I see few of these run, and maybe if they were more available, might give a path to explore cool character specialization and variants. Now, I certainly don't want to cheapen the Rod of Seven Parts or the Skull of Cavadar, but maybe there might be a way to give more access to the Prestige classes (get access at level 10 or 11 for example)
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Feedback Needed on Rules Changes for 2025 Combat/Classes 3 months 4 weeks ago #50

Jeff, as always, we appreciate you asking for feedback on proposed changes. Thank you for that. As to the proposed ideas:

1. I have the same concerns as addressed by many others. DEX is already an amazing stat. Having it apply to damage as well means from a pure power standpoint, the only reason is to make a melee build is for role play only. On average, I think melee builds should do more damage than archer builds as a trade off to the challenges a melee character has, such as retribution, auras, flying targets, etc.

2, 3, 5. I like these changes in theory. It makes sense that every stat should have a purpose, and currently the only reason to raise WIS is a saving throw and CHA for an extra figurine. There are some questions as to whether these changes only apply to staves and spells, or other attacks as well (like D&D 5E). I think the bonuses should only apply to spells and staves. If you want to swing a big hammer, you need STR. Again, I would like to protect the niche of the combat builds.

4) I like making Human and Elf Wizard feel different, but I rarely play either so don't have a strong opinion.

6. Monk's getting a WIS bonus to AC is inline with D&D. In practice, at least once you get to Nightmare level, Monks (along with other DEX builds) have such high ACs that it doesn't seem to matter. But I like the idea so that the monk isn't so fragile at lower difficulties.

7. I like it. It is a cool power that ties in with the idea that the Paladin is more of a protector than a melee beast.

8. I love Druids, and have played them in multiple systems. And their flexibility is one of their hallmarks. So I like the idea of jack of all trades if the Druid can actually do things. Speaking with animals is used rarely. I think I have seen the Paladin's Detect Evil help one time. Having a bunch of options is only fun if the options are relevant. In RPGs, one way the Druid is flexible is its polymorph ability. Currently, with the class necklaces, polymorph helps with defense (having a resistance) as it does with offence. Perhaps give the druid polymorph forms that can't outdamage the barbarian but give other capabilities they can use.

As to the the general discussion on comparing classes based on damage output, I have always visualized the following when playing fantasy RPGs. This is just in general; specific builds can break these tiers. And this not necessarily how I have seen it play out in TD.

Big Damage Dealers
Barbarian - few defenses and right in the line of fire
Wizards - glass cannons

Mid Tier
Fighters - among the highest damage at this tier but not in Barbarian/Wizard league
Monk - good damage and great defense
Paladin - good damage, great defense, some support plus the ability to go toe to toe with the big bads
Ranger - good damage and good party support abilities
Druid - highly flexible. jack of all trades

Support
Rogue - occasional high damage but mostly a skilled specialist for the party
Cleric - buff, heal with some damage
Bard - make everyone else better

In playing TD, the dual weapon builds (Ranger and Monk) seem out of line. I like Mike Steele's suggestions to limit bonuses on multiple attacks.
Last edit: by Jeff G.
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Feedback Needed on Rules Changes for 2025 Combat/Classes 3 months 4 weeks ago #51

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Hello Jeff!

I like the direction of the changes a lot. I wont be able to clearly go via address a very specific point, but I will do my best to be concise:

Point 1:
I believe this change makes dex simply too strong. It is a problem in current 5E DnD where it is quite a god stat, and this also devalues strength. Please see my chart below for how I think it shifts the value. Ranged damage already has inherent benefits (hitting flying, no retribution), and now if it gets damage from a Primary Ability Score we lose any incentive for our strength melee characters.

I think the question must be asked, by these rules, why would anyone ever choose to play a melee character? They seem just inferior. (See stat graph)

Points 2, 3 and 5:
The core of this issue is trying to make alternative stats viable. I think you're trying to keep to DnD's legacy too much here, as we have a game where WIS, CHA and INT currently do barely anything. So instead of keeping them, lets just condense them into something actually meaningful.

This also vastly simplifies the system we have to deal with as a bonus.

I present to my plan: Remove WIS, CHA and INT and replace them with Mental (MNT), a stat by casters, for casters.

Mental will add:
  • Focus
  • Will Save
  • Figurine Slot
  • Mystic Staff Hit

Required Errata: All existing tokens that provide a bonus to CHA, WIS and INT instead now provide a bonus to MNT. All tokens that provided more than 1 of those stats has the sum of the stats taken, divided by 2 rounded up. (i.e. a Bead of the Deeper One which provides +1 CHA, +1 WIS and +INT now 2 MNT, which was 3/2 rounded up)
(sunhide Robe two provides +9 DEX and +5 MNT)



Point 4:
I like this change

Point 6:
This is fine, if we take the above change just let this happen with the MNT stat

Point 7:
To keep things simple with the MNT stat change I'd suggest:
Every point of Focus now adds +1 to Paladin's Lay on Hand Pool

Point 8:
I like this plan, its gonna involve getting into the nitty gritty, so I will save that conversation for later.

Note: How did I come up with my objective scientific value for usefulness of ability scores? Simple! Math.
What math you may ask? That's classified :P

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Last edit: by Impy.
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Feedback Needed on Rules Changes for 2025 Combat/Classes 3 months 4 weeks ago #52

As an addendum to my points on #4-

I started as Wizard and switched to Elf Wizard specifically because of the fewer slide spells. It feels odd to decide to make the class that had fewer slide spells be the slide spell class going forward.
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Feedback Needed on Rules Changes for 2025 Combat/Classes 3 months 4 weeks ago #53

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This is going to take some time to get my head around, but at first blush dex seems strong.

I'm also curious if caster classes that can double dip say dex/int/wis/etc would then be better off throwing Thors rather theb spell casting. Assuming they can double dip that way, again I'll need to think about it.

Man theres a lot going on this year. Everyone please keep making the effort to be civil and constructive :)
Semper Gumby, Always flexible.

Sartre sits in in a coffee shop and asks for a coffee without cream. The barista apologizes “Sorry, we don't have any cream. Can I offer you a coffee without milk instead?”
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Feedback Needed on Rules Changes for 2025 Combat/Classes 3 months 4 weeks ago #54

Mike Steele wrote:

Matthew Hayward wrote:

Mike Steele wrote: Jeff, I think you're missing the biggest change needed. The Ranger and Monk need to be limited to bonus damage only being applied to one attack per turn, instead of potentially two. Allowing them to apply their bonus melee damage to both attacks is the most unbalancing thing in the game currently.


I would have vigorously agreed at some point, but this situation has been going on so long that now other classes have ways to also double-dip into their damage bonus on a round:
...
I can't think of an elegant solution here


Put a rule in place that only one damage bonus can be applied per character per turn. If a Monk or Ranger hit twice, only one hit gets a damage bonus. If a Druid hits in melee and with a spell, only one gets a damage bonus. If an attack or spell hits multiple targets, the damage bonus is a pool spread over the targets instead of applied in full to each. If two damage spells are cast in a turn, only one gets a damage bonus. Etc, etc.


This seems like a good solution to me - if combat DMs can handle the extra mental load of tracking it.

It might even be simpler for them in some cases (Less additions to perform by reference to the party card).

Note: This is already how spells that hit all targets work.
Last edit: by Matthew Hayward.
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Feedback Needed on Rules Changes for 2025 Combat/Classes 3 months 4 weeks ago #55

kurtreznor wrote: Second, the big hurdle in making this not awful in every way is that the druid needs to actually be effective in all the types of abilities, while being less so than the classes that are best. Given the nature of TD, this is very difficult to achieve.


100% agreement.

If polymorph/melee can't be your primary attack, you won't dedicate much to that ability, and hence you won't be able to deal any damage.


Maybe there is an opportunity here to re-use the AC-15 spell slide mechanic.

Perhaps Polymorphed Druids could hit when polymorphed on a static AC-15 using melee to-hit bonus?
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Feedback Needed on Rules Changes for 2025 Combat/Classes 3 months 4 weeks ago #56

Sorry if I am repeating anything. I have only skimmed this thread.

8. I think one way to make the Druid more of a jack-of-all-trades would be to give them fewer spells, but group the spells like a Bard's spells -- so maybe they get 4/4/3 for 4th level and 5/4/3/2 at 5th level. This way they can use their slots for the type of druid they want to play.

Then add Minor Wild Shape as a 0-level spell. They could polymorph into 1 of several non-combatant (or maybe always only do 1 pt. of base damage) forms which give useful powers. Some of these were mentioned elsewhere (Bat, Dog,...)

Also add regular Wild shape as a 2nd level spell. They could choose 1 of several shapes which all have the same combat wheel (printed on the puck, like the Monk's puck), but each has a different power. The Dire Hedgehog has retribution damage, the Alligator crits on 19-20 and can function under water, the Eagle can make melee attacks at range... stuff like that.
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Feedback Needed on Rules Changes for 2025 Combat/Classes 3 months 4 weeks ago #57

Mike's suggestion on limiting Monk and Ranger damage via off-hand is a good one. One option would be for the off-hand to just be weapon damage only.

Re: #1: This works in 5e D&D but only because there are fewer ways to increase range damage than melee damage. In TD, there are similar ways to increase both sets of damage. One possible fix is to make Dex damage 1/2 of the to-hit bonus and have ranged damage bonuses be less frequent (caster still getting focus bonuses.)

#2 and #3 Agree - this should work - especially with the limited number of tokens enhancing these stats currently available. It will create a desire for players to get additional tokens boosting these stats.

#4 - Several thoughts:
I am ok with this but recommend looking at Ashenne's interactions as part of the changes (ie avoiding conflicts between Mage amulet abilities and the new class cards.) For example, having elf wizards have similar damage as they do now but crit on 19-20 and 18-20 using Sharpen or the ring of wizardry would create interesting "spiky" damage opportunities.
Another consideration is multi-casting by elf wizards. It is pretty common at NM+ difficulty for both types of wizards to cast multiple spells the first couple rounds of combat. If the elf wizard is sliding, in-person would need a second (or third sometimes) puck for them and the apps would need similar updates for VTD. Although limiting, one possible solution would be to have 1 spell at each spell level that is a non-sliding spell then indicate any second spell casting by the elf wizard must be a non-sliding spell. That would make life a lot simpler in this scenario.
The wizard spells would need some love to keep elf wizard from being the only wizard people pick.
As an aside, I am ok with the alertness spell going away and NPC initiatives being adjusted. It's something of an automatic on NM+ difficulty.

#5 - I recommend giving Paladins the same CHR bonus but for to hit and damage on weapon attacks. This would be a sizable boost for them. I'm not sure bardsong needs bonuses beyond where it is now - the current ones are pretty huge.

#6 and 7 sound fine but chr makes more sense as a paladin's primary stat. Old school paladins needed a 17 chr to qualify and not a very high wisdom score. All versions since 2nd edition have keyed off chr for paladins - players may be more used to seeing that. Maybe instead of more healing via lay on hands, use a 5e mechanic of smiting. Let the paladin dump lay on hands points or trade out spells for more damage (ie I add 10 damage to this attack from my lay on hands (likely renamed - maybe "holy knight") pool.

#8 - Wherever you go with druid, please give those with Iktomi's the ability to fully utilize it - it was one of the class legendaries that didn't shine as much as wizard, monk, fighter, and cleric.

I assume changes in powers and spells will be in a different post. When you get there, please consider making level 4 vs level 5 substantially different. Level 4 is normal difficulty entry-level players (for the most part) - the spells, abilities, etc don't scale well into level 5 (spell saving throw levels, stat boosting spells, etc don't apply equally at level 5.)

Lastly, it makes sense to have a discussion thread on the prestige class cards to make sure they are updated in line with the primary class cards.

Thank you for getting player feedback - how engaged you are with the community means a lot to us.

Fred
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Feedback Needed on Rules Changes for 2025 Combat/Classes 3 months 4 weeks ago #58

Regarding #4:
As actual Elf/Wizard players have pointed out, (non-Elf) Wizards have more slide Spells than Elf Wizards today, so it's strange Elves become the slide Spell class while (non-Elf) Wizards become the no-slide Spell class.
I'd like to add another token of evidence: the 2022 Uncommon Crown of Evocation is exclusively available to (non-Elf) Wizards, and grant +1 to-hit on slide Spell.

If one Wizard is to be identified by having more slide Spells, it should be the one that both has more of them and has more supporting tokens around them.
Cleric main / Druid secondary
Last edit: by Ho-Yi Fung.
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Feedback Needed on Rules Changes for 2025 Combat/Classes 3 months 4 weeks ago #59

Ho-Yi Fung wrote: Regarding #4:
As actual Elf/Wizard players have pointed out, (non-Elf) Wizards have more slide Spells than Elf Wizards today, so it's strange Elves become the slide Spell class while (non-Elf) Wizards become the no-slide Spell class.
I'd like to add another token of evidence: the 2022 Uncommon Crown of Evocation is exclusively available to (non-Elf) Wizards, and grant +1 to-hit on slide Spell.

If one Wizard is to be identified by having more slide Spells, it should be the one that both has more of them and has more supporting tokens around them.


This will bring some love back to the Figurine of Power Bat
Wir sind Glücksritter
Wir stürzen die Tyrannen
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Feedback Needed on Rules Changes for 2025 Combat/Classes 3 months 4 weeks ago #60

1) I'm hesitant to endorse suggested change #1. As of now, the "big three" stats provide the following:

STR: + melee to-hit and damage, but no HP, AC, or saves
DEX: + ranged to-hit, + reflex saves, +AC, but no HP or ranged damage
CON: + HP and + fort saves, but no AC, + to hit, or + damage

DEX already does three things, while STR and CON only do two. It seems odd to give DEX ranged damage as well. I echo the concerns of other posters that this would highly incentivize ranged combat builds at the expense of melee builds. Since my main character is a Barbarian, this concerns me. Sure, I could build a DEX-loaded Barbarian who throws Thor's or shoots Io's, but that seems weird when the class is supposed to specialize in two-handed melee weapons. (Unless there is a desire to de-emphasize melee builds.)
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