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Rulebook Heavily
Sep 18, 2010

IT IS SO WRITTEN IN THE EDDAS.


Ever seen or heard a variation of this?



Then this is the thread for you. We find/extrapolate/examine weird role-playing game rules and their interactions and laugh at them.

Some ground rules:

If you get offended at something someone's posted about your favorite game we'll point at you and laugh for being offended on behalf of a nerdy role-playing game.

If you want to be a pedant or start a reply to someone on something like "Actually," do post it but rein it in to just the one post and then drop it. Multi-page pedantic nerd arguments are dumb and boring, but clarifying something is fine.

It's mostly open season. No one should post HYBRID or FATAL. We'd post nothing else otherwise. If you don't know what those are, continue enjoying life.

Finally, always state the exact rules system and edition you're talking about if you can. How much you actually explain is up to you.

e: There is now another thread for stupid Magic/Card Game tricks. Also no videogames.

ee: Also, since this isn't grognards.txt (it will live again one day), every time you're deeply outraged over an awful thing in a game and post about it you also have to post a murphy's rule.

Rulebook Heavily fucked around with this message at Apr 7, 2013 around 20:46

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Rulebook Heavily
Sep 18, 2010

IT IS SO WRITTEN IN THE EDDAS.


Let's start with a little D&D 3.5.

If you cast the Darkness spell while in a completely dark room, you light up the darkness.

This is because Darkness causes a lighting condition called "Shadowy Illumination" rather than total darkness, replacing any other light source (or lack thereof) in the area. To wit, "In an area of shadowy illumination, a character can see dimly. Creatures within this area have concealment relative to that character. A creature in an area of shadowy illumination can make a Hide check to conceal itself.". This is lighter than actual darkness, which is ranked below it on the "Light sources and illumination table". Want to see in the dark? Cast Darkness today!

But wait! What if you want to remain invisible while seeing in the dark? Don't worry about it, no one could ever see you in a dark room even if you were holding a lit torch.

This is due to how light sources are tracked. Let's start with an important sentence: "Dwarves and half-orcs have darkvision, but everyone else needs light to see by." All light has a certain amount of radius in feet (or a cone of light) which changes the lighting condition in that specific area, but which in no way affects anything outside that area. Even if such a zone of light exists in the same dark room that you are in, you can't actually see it if you are outside it unless you yourself have light to see by because your vision is blocked by the darkness you're standing in. Also, you have an automatic 50% chance of failing to touch yourself because you can't see yourself, so there's no consolation to be had either.

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

"I was going through a time period where I was looking up weird stories involving necrophilia..."


Rifts has a class that was inspired by the game for the Nokia N-Gage.

LogicNinja
Jan 21, 2011

...the blur blurs blurringly across the blurred blur in a blur of blurring blurriness that blurred...


Rulebook Heavily posted:

Let's start with a little D&D 3.5.

If you cast the Darkness spell while in a completely dark room, you light up the darkness.

This is because Darkness causes a lighting condition called "Shadowy Illumination" rather than total darkness, replacing any other light source (or lack thereof) in the area. To wit, "In an area of shadowy illumination, a character can see dimly. Creatures within this area have concealment relative to that character. A creature in an area of shadowy illumination can make a Hide check to conceal itself.". This is lighter than actual darkness, which is ranked below it on the "Light sources and illumination table". Want to see in the dark? Cast Darkness today!

But wait! What if you want to remain invisible while seeing in the dark? Don't worry about it, no one could ever see you in a dark room even if you were holding a lit torch.

This is due to how light sources are tracked. Let's start with an important sentence: "Dwarves and half-orcs have darkvision, but everyone else needs light to see by." All light has a certain amount of radius in feet (or a cone of light) which changes the lighting condition in that specific area, but which in no way affects anything outside that area. Even if such a zone of light exists in the same dark room that you are in, you can't actually see it if you are outside it unless you yourself have light to see by because your vision is blocked by the darkness you're standing in. Also, you have an automatic 50% chance of failing to touch yourself because you can't see yourself, so there's no consolation to be had either.

Also Rogues can't sneak attack in darkness.

Cardinal Ximenez
Oct 25, 2008

"You could call it heroic responsibility, maybe," Harry Potter said. "Not like the usual sort. It means that whatever happens, no matter what, it's always your fault."


Cross-posting from the GURPS thread:

Cardinal Ximenez posted:

So... I think I've found a glitch in the rules. I haven't seen it pointed out elsewhere.

It relates to a use of "Costs Fatigue" described on Powers p. 101. You can make "chargeable" abilities which essentially function at a proportionate cost to the FP spent.

Corrosion Attack 1d (Costs Fatigue 1, -5%; Variable, +5%) [10]

Okay, so that's fine. But let's say we want to make it chargeable...

Corrosion Attack 5d (Costs Fatigue 3 [Max 5, 1/die], -15%; Variable, +5%) [45]

Also fine. But's let's crank it up!

Corrosion Attack 14d (Costs Fatigue 7 [Max 14, 1/die], -35%; Variable, +5%) [98]
Corrosion Attack 15d (Costs Fatigue 8 [Max 15, 1/die], -40%; Variable, +5%) [98]


You can now see where this is going. It gets worse.

Corrosion Attack 16d (Costs Fatigue 8 [Max 16, 1/die], -40%; Variable, +5%) [104]
Corrosion Attack 17d (Costs Fatigue 9 [Max 17, 1/die], -45%; Variable, +5%) [102]
...
Corrosion Attack 33d (Costs Fatigue 17 [Max 33, 1/die], -85%; Variable, +5%) [66]


which is cheaper than:

Corrosion Attack 8d (Costs Fatigue 4 [Max 8, 1/die], -20%; Variable, +5%) [68]


Crosscontaminant
Jan 18, 2007



Bulletproof Nudity is a classic, listed as part of the Cinematic Combat Rules on p417 of the Basic Set, Fourth Edition.

quote:

PCs with Attractive or better appearance can get a bonus to active defenses simply by undressing! Any outfit that bares legs, chest or midriff is +1. Just a loincloth or skimpy swimwear is +2. Topless females get an extra +1. Total nudity gives no further bonus to defense, but adds +1 to Move and +2 water Move.

Is it actually a good way to implement the thing where action heroes can shrug off attacks while not wearing much of anything?
Not really! No sane GM is going to use the rule across their campaign, and it's unfairly priced if enabled for one character with the Extra Option perk. The action hero thing is better modelled with some DR.
Do people actually use it?
Not that I can tell! I searched the GURPS forum, and couldn't find anyone saying they use it.
Why is it there?

Crosscontaminant fucked around with this message at Feb 12, 2013 around 22:59

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007




In Continuum, when you first start learning athletics, you become literally incapable of running.

neonchameleon
Nov 14, 2012


Mors Rattus posted:



In Continuum, when you first start learning athletics, you become literally incapable of running.

It's sillier than that! You become literally incapable of moving if you run.

LightWarden
Mar 18, 2007


Over in D&D 3.5e Races of Stone gives us the feat "Fling Ally" for the fans of the Fastball Special, which lets you hurl an ally smaller than you as though that ally was a ranged weapon with an incredibly terrible range.



The Epic Level Hand book has Distant Shot, an epic level feat that lets you perform the epic level task of throwing or firing a ranged weapon against any target within line of sight.

On a clear night, you should have line of sight to the moon. With magical protection and maybe someone who doesn't need to breathe like a construct, undead, or adventurer with the right equipment, an epic-level fighter can start the space program. Given that the projectile hits the target within a round (six seconds), the fighter is throwing things at some significant percentage of the speed of light.

Except, well... the problem with line of sight is that checks made to Spot something take a -1 penalty per 10 feet of distance. Given that our moon is somewhere around 1.2 to 1.3 billion feet away, you're looking at a 120 million penalty to your check.

But wait, the moon is pretty big. Things take a penalty to their checks to hide based on how big they are. The Tarrasque, as a 50 foot tall killing machine, takes a -16 penalty to its checks to hide (and thus is incredibly difficult for your average commoner to spot if it's standing on the other end of a football field). The epic rules have options for creatures larger than colossal, which basically dictate that every time its size doubles, it moves up another category. 64 feet (2^6) is the bottom for Colossal, providing a (-8) 2^3 size penalty. The moon is 2159 miles wide, roughly 11.4 million feet. 8.3 million feet is around 2^23, which means the moon is somewhere around Colossal+17, and takes a 2^20 size penalty, multiplied by 4 to offset your spot check (2^22, or roughly 4 million).

You take a -120 million penalty to spot the moon, offset by a 4 million bonus because the moon is big. Unless I screwed up by a factor of 64, you probably can't see the moon.

The sun is roughly 400 times larger, but also roughly 400 times farther away, so no luck there. Other stars may range from the sun's size to 1500 times larger, but they're also 250,000 times farther away at minimum.

The skies above Greyhawk are black and empty. None have ever seen the stars.

Ratpick
Oct 9, 2012

And no one ate dinner that night.

LightWarden posted:

The skies above Greyhawk are black and empty. None have ever seen the stars.

Incidentally, that's also where Monte Cook has been hiding all this time.

e: To actually add some content to this thread: due to the way Knowledge skill DCs to recognize creatures are calculated in D&D 3.5, it's quite likely for a Cleric with maximized ranks in Knowledge (religion) not to be able to recognize their deity should their god appear before them in the entirety of their divine glory. This in a game where it's assumed that deities have corporeal forms that not infrequently make appearances on the Material Plane.

The DC to recognize a creature with the relevant Knowledge skill is 10+the creature's Hit Dice. Most deities have in excess of 30 hit dice, meaning that the DC to recognize a deity with Knowledge (religion) will be in the region of at least 40. A level 20 Cleric with maximized ranks in Knowledge (religion) and average Intelligence will have a +23 bonus to Knowledge (religion), meaning that they'll have only a 20% chance to recognize a deity with only 30 hit dice.

Also, the more powerful (and thus, likely more influential) the deity, the more difficult will they be to recognize.

Ratpick fucked around with this message at Feb 12, 2013 around 23:24

Rulebook Heavily
Sep 18, 2010

IT IS SO WRITTEN IN THE EDDAS.


Sometimes the rules just speak for themselves. From AD&D 1e:

quote:

Duo-Dimension (Alteration)
Level: 7 Components: V, S, M Range: 0 Casting Time: 7segments Duration: 3 rounds + 1 round/level Saving Throw: None Area of Effect: Personal

Explanation/Description: A Duo-Dimension spell causes the caster to have only two dimensions, height and width but no depth. He or she is thus invisible when a sideways turn is made, and this invisibility can only be detected by means of a true seeing spell or similar means. In addition, the duo-dimensional magic-user can pass through the thinnest of spaces as long as they have the proper height according to his or her actual length - going through the space between a door and its frame is a simple matter. The magic-user can perform all actions on a normal basis. He or she can turn and become invisible, move in this state, and appear again next round and cast a spell, disappearing on the following round. Note that when turned the magic-user cannot be affected by any form of attack, but when visible he or she is subject to triple the amount of damage normal for an attack form, i.e. a dagger thrust would inflict 3-12 hit points of damage if it struck a duo-dimensional magic-user. Furthermore, the magic-user has a portion of his or her existence on the Astral Plane when the spell is in effect, and he or she is subject to possible notice from creatures thereupon. If noticed, it is 25% probable that the magic-user will be entirety brought to the Astral Plane by attack from the astral creature.

The material components of this spell are a thin, flat ivory likeness of the spell caster (which must be of finest workmanship, gold filigreed, and enamelled and gem-studded at an average cost of 5,000 to 10,000 g.p.) and a strip of parchment. As the spell is uttered, the parchment is given a half twist and joined at the ends. The figurine is then passed through the parchment loop, and both disappear forever.

Every part of this spell is wonderfully bizarre.

Spoilers Below
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...


From D&D 3.5:

A Lyre of Building works as such: Once a week its strings can be strummed so as to produce chords that magically construct buildings, mines, tunnels, ditches, or whatever. The effect produced in but 30 minutes of playing is equal to the work of 100 humans laboring for three days. Each hour after the first, a character playing the lyre must make a DC 18 Perform (string instruments) check. If it fails, she must stop and cannot play the lyre again for this purpose until a week has passed.

Normally, this would be balanced by the fact that characters need to sleep, and may eventually miss that check. However, Warforged never tire.

Get a Lyre of Building and enough ranks in perform to always make the DCs and you can get the equivalent of 100 humans working 48 days straight done in the eight hours that those weak meatbags around you need to sleep every night. And you can keep playing forever.

So yeah, you stop in the middle of a forest to rest and when your human friends are sitting in their tents shivering and trying to rest their weak organic muscles then you sing them a lullaby and when they wake up there's a whole freshly made village, farm, industrial complex, mine shaft, aqueduct, temple to your favorite deity, or heavily fortified zombie-proof fortress surrounding them.

Sam the Human Cleric: Did you just build a four-lane highway around the Mountain of No Return while we slept?

Mr. Fab the Warforged Bard: Negative, I build a four-lane highway through the Mountain of No Return. The reinforced tunnel support arches are designed to withstand over 10,000,000 metric tonnes of rock (far beyond the mere 7,533,927 metric tonnes that compose the mountain). I also included a few tactical inlets in case any monsters moved into it in the last thirty minutes, some drainage troughs in the event of flooding, and an automated toll-booth to collect payment from travelers (and they said my ranks in trap making were wasted). I'll just be registering this new highway with the Department of Transportation after we deal with the Bad Guy.

Sam: ... well at least our return trip will be speedy.

Also, you can say that you literally built this city with rock and roll.

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

"I was going through a time period where I was looking up weird stories involving necrophilia..."


Rulebook Heavily posted:

Sometimes the rules just speak for themselves. From AD&D 1e:


Every part of this spell is wonderfully bizarre.
And to complement that we have the tesseract dungeon which I know first appeared in an issue of Dragon or Dungeon in the 1980s and was refreshed as an actual thing that you could travel through in 4E.

Piell
Sep 3, 2006



In D&D 3.5 it costs 1800 gp to dig a 10 foot deep pit and cover it in sticks.

Besides magic, there are two methods for mass transportation. The first method requires a large number of unskilled laborers, one for every 30 feet between destinations. To start, line up all the peasants 30 feet apart, then have them all delay until they're at the same initiative. The first peasant picks up whatever you need transported (bags of holding loaded with objects are a good choice here) as a move action, walks 30 feet as a second move action, and then drops it, where it is then picked up by the second peasant, and so on. You can then either have the peasants walk back to their starting point or carry something the other way in the second round. This costs 17.6 gp per mile per day. Assuming the peasants work 8 hours a day, have average strength, and carry their maximum light load each round, they can move 47.52 tons per day in each direction. You can move more weight if you decrease the distance between peasants to 20 feet, so that they can carry a heavy load each way. The cost per mile per day goes up to 26.4 gp, but you can move 144 tons each direction per day.

The other way for fast travel without magic is to get someone with at least +19 to ride. Then, place a line of saddles over a series of posts 5 feet apart. You can mount/dismount as a free action with a DC 20 ride check, so mount on one side of the, dismount on the other side, mount the next post, and so on. You can ditch the saddles if you get someone able with +24 to ride.

LightWarden
Mar 18, 2007


Ratpick posted:

Incidentally, that's also where Monte Cook has been hiding all this time.

e: To actually add some content to this thread: due to the way Knowledge skill DCs to recognize creatures are calculated in D&D 3.5, it's quite likely for a Cleric with maximized ranks in Knowledge (religion) not to be able to recognize their deity should their god appear before them in the entirety of their divine glory. This in a game where it's assumed that deities have corporeal forms that not infrequently make appearances on the Material Plane.

The DC to recognize a creature with the relevant Knowledge skill is 10+the creature's Hit Dice. Most deities have in excess of 30 hit dice, meaning that the DC to recognize a deity with Knowledge (religion) will be in the region of at least 40. A level 20 Cleric with maximized ranks in Knowledge (religion) and average Intelligence will have a +23 bonus to Knowledge (religion), meaning that they'll have only a 20% chance to recognize a deity with only 30 hit dice.

Also, the more powerful (and thus, likely more influential) the deity, the more difficult will they be to recognize.

This goes down the other way too in 3.5e. Any knowledge with a DC 10 is considered to be "common knowledge" and thus you can make checks to figure it out without any ranks in the knowledge skill. As you said, the DC to identify a creature is 10 + its Hit Dice, and since every creature rounds to at least one hit die, the minimum DC to identify something is DC 11, meaning it's not common knowledge. Thus, you cannot identify a dog or a human being without having ranks in knowledge skills. And knowledge skills are cross-class for commoners. Even if a commoner decides that he or she is going to know the poo poo out of things and pumps 4 skill points into a cross-class skill to get a +2 to the check (or maybe +3 if this commoner is extremely intelligent), you're still looking at a 30% to 40% chance of failure. And if you fail a knowledge check, you can't try again until you level up. It could be years, assuming a commoner ever gains a level.

If you tell a commoner that you're an elf, the commoner has no real way to verify or discredit your claim. Hell, if you tell the commoner that the commoner is an elf, the commoner has no real way to verify or discredit your claim. Life as a commoner is a haze of uncertainty and second-hand knowledge.

Now you know why there are so many half-breeds.

Speak of offspring, it's maybe a DC 15 check to tell that a baby dragon breathes fire or whatever and is immune to the same element- a check that can be made by a 1st level character with reasonable intelligence and some training in the skill. But it's a DC 30 check to figure out that the dragon's parents also breathe fire and are immune to the same element- you're going to need a sage to figure this one out.

Similarly, it's a DC 11 check to identify a dirt farmer, and a DC 30 check to identify a legendary hero.

LightWarden fucked around with this message at Feb 12, 2013 around 23:59

Piell
Sep 3, 2006



In D&D 3.5 it's cheaper to buy a +1 Shuriken of Spell Storing and pay a cleric to cast Cure Moderate Wounds or Cure Serious Wounds into it than it is to buy a potion of Cure Moderate Wounds or Cure Serious wounds. True, you take 1d2+strength damage when you use them, but the advantage you get is throwable healing!

neonchameleon
Nov 14, 2012


Ratpick posted:

The DC to recognize a creature with the relevant Knowledge skill is 10+the creature's Hit Dice. Most deities have in excess of 30 hit dice, meaning that the DC to recognize a deity with Knowledge (religion) will be in the region of at least 40. A level 20 Cleric with maximized ranks in Knowledge (religion) and average Intelligence will have a +23 bonus to Knowledge (religion), meaning that they'll have only a 20% chance to recognize a deity with only 30 hit dice.

Also, the more powerful (and thus, likely more influential) the deity, the more difficult will they be to recognize.

It's more amusing than that.

"I thought this cave was deserted. What's that?"
"A baby red dragon. From the ridge markings and the position of the horn it's the child of the legendary Arcaladrax, Mother of Dragons, despoiler of the Kingdom of Thernos. We should hurry."
"And what's that outside the cave?"
"I don't know. It's a huge red flappy thing that's coming this way. It looks pissed at something."
"But what is it? It looks a bit like the baby here but much bigger."
"I don't know. It's not like anything I've seen before."

And the red dragon incinerates the PCs.

LightWarden
Mar 18, 2007


Piell posted:

In D&D 3.5 it costs 1800 gp to dig a 10 foot deep pit and cover it in sticks.

Or a third of that cost in raw materials if you're going to build it yourself. It requires some premium dirt and sticks.

Assuming you're a hero the likes of which the world has never seen who has devoted every fiber of your being to trap-making and rolls nothing but natural 20s in the process of making it, it'll take you about two weeks to build it.

If you're some dirt farmer? Average results around maybe half a year.

This is because 3.5e tracks progress in crafting in silver pieces (equal to ten times the final target's cost in gold), where you multiply your skill check result by the target difficulty number, and make one check a day until you finish it up. While this may be fine for cheap adventuring gear, it goes bananas once you start dealing with items that are in the hundreds or thousands of gold pieces in value, since you're going to be chipping away at the target for weeks even with an awesome skill (and given two items of equal value, the one that's easier to make will take longer to make).

Of course, if you're a 9th level wizard with a pile of sticks and dirt, you can finish this up inside of six seconds.

Rulebook Heavily
Sep 18, 2010

IT IS SO WRITTEN IN THE EDDAS.


3.5 yet again (look we've had thirteen years to poke it to bits okay):

Let's look at the Tower Shield.

quote:

Shield, Tower
This massive wooden shield is nearly as tall as you are. In most situations, it provides the indicated shield bonus to your AC. However, you can instead use it as total cover, though you must give up your attacks to do so.

Wait a minute, total cover?

quote:

Total Cover
If you don’t have line of effect to your target he is considered to have total cover from you. You can’t make an attack against a target that has total cover. The shield does not, however, provide cover against targeted spells; a spellcaster can cast a spell on you by targeting the shield you are holding.

"You" includes your equipment, so congratulations! By cowering behind your shield you have made both yourself and it completely invulnerable to enemy attacks. They can't even target you. Only spellcasters can arguably even try to due to the special exception they get.

But wait, what can you do in cover?

quote:

Cover and Hide Checks
You can use cover to make a Hide check. Without cover, you usually need concealment to make a Hide check. ... Total cover or total concealment... obviates the need for a Hide check, since nothing can see you anyway.

By cowering behind your shield and trying to hide yourself, you have made yourself and your shield invisible. You can do this anytime, anywhere.

e: Except if you are standing in direct sunlight, that is. You have to use your shield to give yourself shade first.

Rulebook Heavily fucked around with this message at Feb 13, 2013 around 00:19

Myriad Truths
Oct 13, 2012


Here's one from 4e which I cannot claim credit for.

quote:

This entirely theoretical build is designed to teleport the sun offensively. In theory, it steadily destroys the universe, or instantly destroys the planet. For less violent options, you can merely teleport your enemies into space, onto visible stars or the moon, or to remote mountains.

Requirements:
Cosmic Connection (Cosmic Soul's L30 feature) changes all ranged powers to ranged sight.
Space Vortex (L23 Psion attack) teleports your target to within 5 squares of you. It also incidentally makes a basic attack at +8 to attack and damage. In case the Sun has a pretty good basic attack.

Optional (make everything more awesome):
Mirror Darkly (L6 Warlock) allows you to originate attacks and other effects from it, instead of yourself.
Paladin’s Truth (Paladin feat) allows you to ignore immunities on targets marked by you.
Horns of Balinor (Holy Symbol) makes space vortex mark your target, so that paladin’s truth lets you ignore immunities (in case your DM claims stars are immune to being teleported).

Note that these are all easily combined, via multiclassing, hybriding, or being a tiefling for secrets of belial. For example, be a tiefling psion/paladin.

Process:
1. Pick two stars in the sky that you can see. Create a mirror darkly near one. Use Space Vortex on the other one, teleporting the second star close to the first star. This should steadily destroy the rest of the universe. Supernovas may accelerate the process.
Repeat Step 1 every 5 minutes.
2. Attack the sun overhead and teleport it to within 5 squares of you. Use “Merge with the Cosmos” (L26 Cosmic Soul) to avoid death, achieving immortality now that _everything_ is inside a star.

Special: If anyone attempts to interfere with your plan, teleport them onto the sun (save or die) or, more reliably, somewhere they won’t get a save, like a distant mountain or the moon if it has an atmosphere and isn’t hindering terrain.

dwarf74
Sep 2, 2012

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.


Myriad Truths posted:

This entirely theoretical build is designed to teleport the sun offensively.
This... this is the best thing I have ever seen. And at 30th level, gently caress it, go to town! Ruin the universe!

LightWarden
Mar 18, 2007


In D&D 3e and its offspring, they decided to better define various game status conditions to make the game more readable, modular and understandable. So, it'll explain that a character who is dazed, nauseated, or stunned will be unable to act and vulnerable to enemies, while one who is paralyzed will be even easier prey. But while those conditions explicitly say that you aren't able to take actions, but take a look at characters who are unconscious or dead. The dead are missing their souls and can't heal, but there are no rules that say that they can't act. Even if you assume the "knocked out" part of unconscious implies that you can't take physical actions, there's nothing stopping you from taking mental actions while unconscious, and you can be hit with the "dead" status effect without ever being unconscious first. So if a character is hit by Finger of Death or an assassin's death attack, you can still wander around and do your thing just without being able to heal up from anything.

Rocket Ace
Aug 11, 2006

R.I.P. Dave Stevens


Piell posted:

In D&D 3.5 it costs 1800 gp to dig a 10 foot deep pit and cover it in sticks.

Besides magic, there are two methods for mass transportation...

Isn't there a way to make a rail gun using a line up of peasants a mile long using a free action to pass a canon ball to each other? As it travels so far in such a short amount of time it gathers momentum and can destroy castles?

I can't remember all the details, but it was pretty funny...

LightWarden
Mar 18, 2007


3.5e has the Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords, a book designed to give fighting characters more awesome abilities divided amongst nine different schools of battle. One of these schools is Iron Heart, focusing on determination and weaponskill to achieve almost supernatural things.

One of those maneuvers is Iron Heart Surge.

Tome of Battle posted:

Iron Heart Surge
[...]
Your fighting spirit, dedication, and training allow you to overcome almost anything to defeat your enemies. When you use this maneuver, select one spell, effect, or other condition currently affecting you and with a duration of 1 or more rounds. That effect ends immediately.
[...]

There are lots of things you can use this maneuver for. Iron Heart Surge your way out of a debilitating spell, or maybe shake off a disease or poison. But what is an effect? Can you use Iron Heart Surge to end hunger or thirst? What about the infirmity of old age? Or poverty?

And it says that "that effect ends" not "that effect ends for you", so if you use it to shake off a spell cast on your whole group, it ends the spell entirely for everyone, not just relieving them of the effect for a round.

Well, Drow and Orcs are blinded by bright light, and dazzled if they linger in it. So if a drow in daylight uses Iron Heart Surge... daylight ends immediately.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

The ensmuggenest.

In GURPS Third Edition, the amount that telekinesis can move in the original core rules doubles with every rank. You can guess what's coming next.

It is possible to build a character on 75 points that has enough telekinesis ranks to move the moon. (Most characters start with 100 points.) Sadly, my copy got destroyed, or I'd lay out the math - it involved buying "telekinesis only" to reduce the cost and then taking enough negative attributes and drawbacks to have over 140 or so points to play with. Somewhere around rank 25-35 the game's power levels snap.

This flaw was fixed in later printings.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at Feb 13, 2013 around 01:23

neonchameleon
Nov 14, 2012


LightWarden posted:

3.5e has the Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords, a book designed to give fighting characters more awesome abilities divided amongst nine different schools of battle. One of these schools is Iron Heart, focusing on determination and weaponskill to achieve almost supernatural things.

One of those maneuvers is Iron Heart Surge.


There are lots of things you can use this maneuver for. Iron Heart Surge your way out of a debilitating spell, or maybe shake off a disease or poison. But what is an effect? Can you use Iron Heart Surge to end hunger or thirst? What about the infirmity of old age? Or poverty?

And it says that "that effect ends" not "that effect ends for you", so if you use it to shake off a spell cast on your whole group, it ends the spell entirely for everyone, not just relieving them of the effect for a round.

Well, Drow and Orcs are blinded by bright light, and dazzled if they linger in it. So if a drow in daylight uses Iron Heart Surge... daylight ends immediately.

The depressing thing about Iron Heart Surge is that it might be able to end gravity by the rules as written but it can't end dazes or dominates because it takes an action to use.

gnome7
Oct 21, 2010

who's this LITTLE SPAGHETTI?? ??


Rocket Ace posted:

Isn't there a way to make a rail gun using a line up of peasants a mile long using a free action to pass a canon ball to each other? As it travels so far in such a short amount of time it gathers momentum and can destroy castles?

I can't remember all the details, but it was pretty funny...

Incorrect! The "peasant rail gun" does not have any inherent momentum mechanics and is actually just a rapid postal system. That said, it is a postal system that takes less than one round to complete.

How it works is you need a line of people, all within Reach of each other. This is easiest with a line of peasants because peasants are everywhere in D&D and clearly don't have anything better to do than stand around. That's step 1.

Step 2: Have every single peasant take a Readied Action to take an item from the guy next to them. As long as the peasant they are taking the item from consents to give it up, this does not require a roll. Readied actions also happen BEFORE the thing that triggers them - in this case, a guy standing next to them with an item to take.

Step 3: Hand the guy on one end of the line an item, say, a 10 foot pole. Suddenly, the Readied Actions kick in, and the guy next to him has the 10 foot pole the moment before the guy you gave it to has it. This repeats on down the line.

Step 4: 10,000 peasants later and the moment you hand off the 10 foot pole, the 10 foot pole is now in the next town over. If momentum had mechanics in D&D, it would be traveling above terminal velocity and likely destroy anything in front of it. But D&D 3.5 has no momentum mechanics, so all that happens is you just delivered an item faster than a teleport spell.

You can do this trick with anything that the peasants are capable of lifting, including halfling party members.

LightWarden
Mar 18, 2007


The Tri-Stat system published by Guardians of Order before they went out of business and used in Big Eyes, Small Mouth (BESM) before going for a failed attempt at a universal system had some similar gimmicks where things went up by a factor of ten with ranks for many of them, or by factors of two or five for others, except they weren't super keen on setting caps for the number of points you could dump into things.

Compounding issues was the fact that some ability you could put points in would create a pool of points you could use to buy abilities at a rate larger than the number of points you were dumping into the ability. Giant robots paid out at something like a four or five to one rate, under the assumption that a large clunky robot would be hard to use all the time, except you could take some of those extra points and use them to turn it into a skintight suit of power armor.

Oh, and there were rules for mini-mecha where you spent points to get robot buddies each at a tenth of the value of your big robot, and at level six you could get 50 of them. Those mini mechs could spend points on being able to merge, combining into a mecha valued at the sum of their points. So you could get a mecha five times more powerful than you were which you could ride around in, using your mecha suit.

Recursive point-dumps were ridiculous.

LightWarden fucked around with this message at Feb 13, 2013 around 02:04

50 Foot Ant
May 7, 2007

Good people deserve good things.


In Pathfinder Ultimate Combat there is a feat called Prone Shooter.

quote:

If you have been since the end of your last turn, you can ignore the penalty the prone condition imposes on ranged attack rolls you make using a crossbow or firearm with which you have a weapon focus.
Special If you have the Prone Slinger feat, Weapon Focus (sling) satisfies this feat's Weapon Focus prerequisite, and you can apply this feat's benefit to attack rolls you make using a sling with which you have weapon Focus.

OK, sounds good, right?

Wait, what's this? Prone?

quote:

The character is lying on the ground. A prone attacker has a –4 penalty on melee attack rolls and cannot use a ranged weapon (except for a crossbow). A prone defender gains a +4 bonus to Armor Class against ranged attacks, but takes a –4 penalty to AC against melee attacks.

Well, what about under crossbow? Maybe it has a penalty there?

Nope.

So basically it's a useless feat that unless you know that the crossbow doesn't have a penalty to attack, you just got suckered into losing a feat.

Rulebook Heavily
Sep 18, 2010

IT IS SO WRITTEN IN THE EDDAS.


Time for even more heavy lifting in 3.5. Let's look at some of the grapple rules!

quote:

Several characters can be in a single grapple. Up to four characters can grapple a single opponent in a given round. Opponents that are one size category smaller than a character count for half, opponents that are one size category larger than a character count double, and opponents two or more size categories larger count quadruple.

quote:

No Movement
You can’t move normally while grappling. You may, however, make an opposed grapple check to move while grappling.

quote:

Move
You can move half your speed (bringing all others engaged in the grapple with you) by winning an opposed grapple check. This requires a standard action, and you must beat all the other individual check results to move the grapple.

You are allowed to intentionally fail any check you are called upon to make. Let's say you are a normal human and get eight halflings to grapple you. You begin by making an opposed check against all the halflings to move the entire pile, with all the halflings intentionally failing their checks. Then every halfling does the same, with every other participant intentionally failing their check.

Basic speed is 30 feet, and you move half your speed each time. 9 x 15 makes 135 feet moved in one round, or six seconds. You're already achieving a speed greater than that of a normal person in a flat out run (which is quadruple speed, or 120 feet in six seconds). But what happens when you have a bonus to your speed, like from being a Monk? In fact, let's make every participant a level 3 Monk, for a base speed of 40. You're now moving at 180 feet every six seconds by rolling around like a katamari. Extrapolate that to level 20 monks and you achieve the dizzying speed of 405 feet, which is about 45,7 miles per hour.

But wait, it gets better! If you somehow contrive to give people an alternate move speed type (swimming, flying or burrowing), you can tumbleweed your way through the ocean, the air and even tunneling through the earth at dizzying speeds! Climb speed will allow you to climb any surface while rolling along with no chance of falling down, and the rare "sand" speed allows you to swim through desert sands. He who grapples the spice grapples the universe!

Piell
Sep 3, 2006



Pfft, 45 miles per hour is for chumps.

The REAL way to move fast is by getting two people with at least +99 Sleight of Hand. A DC 80 Sleight of Hand checks lets you "disappear" someone by displacing them up to 10 feet away. Normally this is a standard action, but you can make it a free action by taking -20 to the skill check. Thus, two people with +99 sleight of hand can alternate shifting each other, giving them infinite speed. For more fun, nothing says you can't shift them vertically, so now you have flight as well.

Piell
Sep 3, 2006



Speaking of high skill checks, it's possible to make a guy that jumps so well people become fanatic followers who will give their lives to serve you.

50 Foot Ant
May 7, 2007

Good people deserve good things.


Let's have some more Rifts!

In Rifts there is a suit of power armor called a Glitter Boy. This suit is full of problems. Number one, the muzzle velocity of the suit's primary weapon system is a whopping MACH 2. Apparently this is extremely fast, despite the fact that the Boom Gun is a railgun and modern muzzle velocities are, say, 1,575 m/sec for the main gun of an M1A1 main battle tank. Then add in that the Boom Gun fires a flechette round, with a maximum range of like 2 miles, and does some of the most damage in the game. Why? Because gently caress you, that's why. Supposedly the flechettes don't spread out, are made of tungsten steel, and are able to blow a hole through a line of 10 M1A1 tanks with no problem. This flechette round does 3d6x10 MDC per shot, where an M1A1 has (IIRC) 15 MDC. Then this powerful weapon creates a sonic boom that is a weapon unto itself, because apparently no other cannons cause a sonic boom.

Originally, in the Core Rule Book (published in the late 1980's) the Glitter Boy carried a whopping 100 rounds of ammunition for this weapon, each round being seven inches long and 2.5" wide. However, in the Rifts Ultimate Edition Revised, from a few years ago, the amount of rounds is raised to 1,000. Now, this is obviously an error in editing, but when brought up to Kevin Sembedia, he denied it, saying that the pictured ammunition pack could easily hold 1,000 rounds. The pictured ammunition pack is only about 3 to 4 feet wide, and only about 10 inches to a foot thick. There is no physical way that this could hold 1,000 rounds, yet the ammunition capacity stays.

In the original setting a limited nuclear exchange coinciding with solar planetary alignment, and some other stuff, caused the Rifts to open, which spawned superstorms, earthquakes, exploding volcanos, and the resurgence of ley-lines, which blasted through the landscape light freight trains made of glowing blue light. Now, that was cool, and seemed reasonable, since the superstorms went on for years, almost obliterating mankind. Since each death increased the potential psychic energy of the leylines, since everyone had potential psychic energy and it doubled upon their death and went into the nearest ley-line, the ley lines grew powerful with the mass death, until finally it wasn't a cascading effect. Weird, impossible, but kind of cool.

However, in the remake, the coming of the Rifts caused the Yellowstone Super-Volcano to explode with such force that it destroyed NORAD. Which is hundreds of miles away and buried inside a mountain. So apparently the entire mid-West exploded.

In the original sourcebook one, the distance between town is listed as THOUSANDS OF MILES. That's right, in between Shithole A and Shithole B is thousands of miles of untouched wilderness.

According to Rifts canon, laser weapons that are capable of completely blowing a hole through a modern day tank are totally silent. Because they are light, and light is silence. The lasers are hotter than the sun ( and often fired from a pistol the size of a 9mm Baretta) but yet they do not cause any heat expansion in the air and subsequent collapse around the superheated air, like a lightning bolt. When it was pointed out to Kevin Sembedia that they would make noise, he preferred to ignore it and claim that because lasers were light they were silent.

The way monster HP (Megadamage Capacity) is done, their whole body has the same MDC as their main body. If a monster has 800 MDC, if you want to cut its eyelashes you would have to do 800 MDC per eyelash in order to cut it. How they trim their nails or cut their hair is a mystery.

Most weapons have ridiculously short ranges. Despite having advanced targeting computers, laser guidance, and all the bells and whistles of super-technology, they have worse ranges than modern combat systems, despite supposedly being superior to modern equipment in every way.

You think you know caster superiority thanks to 3.5? Rifts doesn't even pretend. A low level mage can get a spell called "Impervious to Energy" which makes them immune to lasers, particle beams, ANY energy weapon, and some grogs argue that it makes you impervious to KINETIC energy, meaning that nothing can hurt you. Spell casters are some of the most overpowered things you will ever encounter.

One of the main evil groups is the Coalition States. Despite using advanced technology like power armor, rayguns, railguns, working with nuclear reactors, not a single soldier can READ! Apparently this feared military force who deals with weapons of mass destruction capable of doing atomic weaponry damage, operates advanced mecha and power armor, creates robots and does DNA splicing, not a single one of them can loving READ! Imagine that. A modern army, dealing with advanced technology, where nobody can even do basic math or read the instruments that are screaming "WARNING! REACTOR MELTDOWN IN PROGRESS! REPENT!" Now, supposedly, the CS had visors and software that read written messages for them, but apparently everyone in the Coalition States is incapable of learning to read like children do, which is having something read to them and their basic human pattern recognition teaching them the words.

In the Palladium game system a characters Physical Prowess (think Dexterity) does not help with a character's ability to use a firearm. While it helps with bows, thrown weapons, it does not help with firearms? Why? Because Kevin Sembedia read the report of how many bullets were fired in Vietnam compared to the enemy killed, and completely failed to understand anything about it, only taking with him that something as silly as dexterity could not matter with firearms.

The CS supposedly has doctors and scientists that develop advanced weaponry, genetic theory, DNA splicing to create hybrid creatures, advanced armor, yet nobody is taught to read, but these scientists can read! How do they figure out who is a genius, if everyone is an illiterate unable to do math? Do they just pick random people to educated and call them scientists?

If you really want to read something bizarre, read about the Siege of Tolkeen military campaign. Supposedly run by geniuses, the war was one disaster after another that a child could have seen happening. The excuse of "The Coalition brought TOO MANY SOLDIERS!" to this massive battle is one of the reasons they supposedly came so close to defeat. Seriously, it's one of the most ridiculous scenarios I've seen in a game. The whole thing just reeks of someone who couldn't be assed to do a single bit of military research or talk to any consultants, but wanted to make the most EPIC AND AWESOME war ever in a gaming system. Seriously, set alongside the Siege of Tolkeen the whole Fall of Zhentil Keep makes more sense.

Finally, for the weirdest reason, while there is a price to have e-clips (ammunition magazines for energy weapons) recharged, nowhere in any of the original books I owned (all of them till about 1998) was the price for an e-clip recharger. Apparently the only people who knew how to charge e-clips were bucktoothed overall wearing hillbilly shopkeepers in these towns thousands of miles apart, and they did it through fairy magic.

Welcome to a peek inside the game of Rifts, based on the Palladium System. Don't get me wrong, I like the game, and play it with my friends, but I had to do less houseruling for 3.5/PF to avoid caster supremacy and fix broken things than I had to do to Rifts just to make it make sense.

darthbob88
Oct 13, 2011


Piell posted:

Speaking of high skill checks, it's possible to make a guy that jumps so well people become fanatic followers who will give their lives to serve you.

The Jumplomancer. I think you can actually do that with any skill; persuade people to follow you based on a Hide/Move Silently/Disguise check("I don't know who that is, I can't see him or hear him, but I'll follow him anywhere"), Knowledge(Religion)("..And that's why Pelor's the best god.""No, you're the best god! All hail Dudebro!") or any of a dozen other skills. I saw one that relied on an Alphorn and the Perform skill. I think you drop the bonus for using a masterwork instrument, but it hits everybody for 1d10 miles. "I don't know who that is blatting away up on the mountain, but I'll lay down my life for him."

darthbob88 fucked around with this message at Feb 13, 2013 around 03:01

neonchameleon
Nov 14, 2012


Housecats. Just housecats.

A 2e domestic cat had a THAC0 of 20, an AC of 6, and a bite doing one point of damage and a claw and potential rake doing a point and a half each.

Against a Veteran (L1) fighter with Str, Dex, and Con 14 and no armour, the fighter has an average of 6 hit points. The Cat hits 50% of the time - it's doing 0.5+.75+.375 = 1.625 DPR - or over 1/4 of the fighter's hit points per round. The fighter (wielding whatever weapon he's trained in but not specialised in) hits only about a third of the time.

Never mind a wizard, a housecat in 2e is almost a match for a veteran fighter unless the fighter's wearing armour or using his favoured weapon. Two domestic cats will probably kill a veteran fighter - and if the fighter's only using improvised weapons (-2 to hit as not proficient), one's probably a fair fight.



In 3.5 the standard cat has an AC of 14, an attack bonus of +4 and has three attacks each doing a minimum (and maximum) of 1 point of damage. It's not as dangerous. Or is it.

This time our housecat attacks Sir Rustsalot. Now Sir Rustsalot is an aristocrat with average stats (all 10s and 11s), but being an aristocrat he can afford and is wearing full plate armour. AC 18. BAB+0. Hit points 5 (average). And attacking with a gauntlet. Both sides hit on 14s. Our cat gets three attacks and an opportunity attack for every attack Sir Rustsalot makes and needs to hit five times before Sir Rustsalot hits once. I think the odds are in Sir Rustsalot's favour here, but not by much if so.

Two housecats are simply going to murder Sir Rustsalot even in plate armour.

Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Cats of War!

MadRhetoric
Feb 18, 2011

I POSSESS QUESTIONABLE TASTE IN TOUHOU GAMES


An Apocalypse World quickie: it is incredibly easy to make a character with a shotgun that literally hits like a train.

Take a Battlebabe. Give her Merciless (+1 harm). Give her a custom gun with Shotgun base (3 harm close reload messy). Put the big or hi-power options on it (+1 harm) and AP Ammo on it (+ap). That's 5-harm close reload messy ap. A grenade launcher is 4 harm area.

What does Mister Lumpley say 5-harm is equivalent to?

AW pg 162 posted:

5-harm and more:
big explosions
being run over by a train (ap)
being tied down and chopped in half with an axe
drowning (ap)

That's some king hell poo poo. If you don't want the AP, give it both big and hi-power. 6 harm (5 without Merciless). Take the Gunlugger's Bloodcrazed on top of Merciless and make it 7 harm/6 harm (ap). You and your boomstick now hit like the fist of an angry god.

And a 3.5 trick as dirty as AW is. The Epic Level Handbook introduces Epic skill tasks with Epic DCs. One of these skills is Escape Artist.

With a DC 80 Escape Artist check, you can pass through an "extremely tight space", defined as such:

d20 SRD posted:

Extremely Tight Space
This is the DC for getting through a space when one’s head shouldn’t even be able to fit; this can be as small as 2 inches square for Medium-size creatures. Halve this limit for each size category less than Medium-size; double it for each size category greater than Medium-size. If the space is long, such as in a chimney, multiple checks may be called for.

So a Medium sized creature can crawl into its own mouth, and two Small sized creatures could hide in that Medium sized creature's eye sockets. And then the whole thing could disappear up another Medium creature's rear end. Multiple checks may be necessary for that last one, since the colon is pretty long.

How do you make a DC 80 check, you ask? Like a lot of things in 3.5, it relies on a Wizard. There's a spell in the BoVD called Sadism. It gives you a +1 luck bonus for every 10 damage you have done last turn. This doesn't have a cap, nor does it need to be done on a single target, or even on a living target. So you take a spell like Fireball or Cone of Cold and shoot thousands of really tiny things with it. Assume you do thirty damage to 1000 tiny things each. Congrats, you now have a +3000 luck bonus to your skill checks for a round. You can use that to disappear up your own rear end 37.5 times over.

MadRhetoric fucked around with this message at Feb 13, 2013 around 03:10

Rasamune
Jan 19, 2011

MORT
MORT
MORT


In Apocalypse World, when a Hardholder has sex with someone, she has the ability to give him gifts worth 1 point of barter, at no cost to herself.

There is no restriction against the recipient giving the gift back.

With a sufficiently permissive MC, a Hardholder's vagina can be made into an unlimited money-making machine.

Dareon
Apr 6, 2009


LightWarden posted:

In D&D 3e and its offspring, they decided to better define various game status conditions to make the game more readable, modular and understandable. So, it'll explain that a character who is dazed, nauseated, or stunned will be unable to act and vulnerable to enemies, while one who is paralyzed will be even easier prey. But while those conditions explicitly say that you aren't able to take actions, but take a look at characters who are unconscious or dead. The dead are missing their souls and can't heal, but there are no rules that say that they can't act. Even if you assume the "knocked out" part of unconscious implies that you can't take physical actions, there's nothing stopping you from taking mental actions while unconscious, and you can be hit with the "dead" status effect without ever being unconscious first. So if a character is hit by Finger of Death or an assassin's death attack, you can still wander around and do your thing just without being able to heal up from anything.

Unfortunately, while dead (In most situations, I grant you that instant death effects may nullify this) you are still unconscious because your nonlethal/subdual damage (0) exceeds your HP (-10).

So let's talk about Monks in 3rd and 3.5. Everyone knows what a monk is supposed to do, right? It's just like one of your Japanese animes. They punch. They're supposed to be good at it, but thanks to various mechanical vagaries, they're outclassed by most other melee classes. However, by the rules as written, they're actually much worse than that.

To understand why, we'll have to take a look at weapons and proficiency with such. Weapons are divided into three categories: Simple (Most anyone can pick them up and hit with them, they usually deal low damage or have other drawbacks), Martial (Your various knightly weapons) and Exotic (Weird stuff, contains most foreign (read: Glorious Nippon) weapons, usually have higher damage or some special feature).

Simple, Martial, and Exotic Weapons posted:

Anybody but a druid, monk, or wizard is proficient with all simple weapons. Barbarians, fighters, paladins, and rangers are proficient with all simple and all martial weapons. Characters of other classes are proficient with an assortment of mainly simple weapons and possibly also some martial or even exotic weapons. A character who uses a weapon with which he or she is not proficient takes a -4 penalty on attack rolls.

Okay, now... wait, what was that about monks?

quote:

Monks are proficient with club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, and sling.

Oh, well, that's not really a problem, right? I mean, we'll be punching things.

The unarmed strike is classified as a simple weapon. Yes, monks are not proficient with the core weapon of their class. This means that at first level, a min-maxed monk with 18 Strength will have +0 to hit (+4 Str bonus, -4 nonproficiency) with his primary attack, placing him on par with Marcus the Ineluctable flailing around with his quarterstaff.

LightWarden
Mar 18, 2007


darthbob88 posted:

The Jumplomancer. I think you can actually do that with any skill; persuade people to follow you based on a Hide/Move Silently/Disguise check("I don't know who that is, I can't see him or hear him, but I'll follow him anywhere"), Knowledge(Religion)("..And that's why Pelor's the best god.""No, you're the best god! All hail Dudebro!") or any of a dozen other skills. I saw one that relied on an Alphorn and the Perform skill. I think you drop the bonus for using a masterwork instrument, but it hits everybody for 1d10 miles. "I don't know who that is blatting away up on the mountain, but I'll lay down my life for him."

There's some funny things when you screw around with distances and scales.

For example: the bard. Many people mock bards. Those people are fools.

One of the bard's most basic abilities is Inspire Courage, which lets the bard perform to grant a bonus to attack and weapon damage rolls, as well as bonuses to defend themselves against attacks that charm or frighten them. This bonus is granted to all allies who can hear the performance, and scales with the bard's level, capping out at +4 for a 20th level bard. Not too shabby.

Except for the fact that 3e never does anything by halves, so there's a pile of things that boost Inspire Courage.

The Song of the Heart feat from the Eberron Campaign Setting boosts all of your bard effects by one.

The Inspirational Boost spell from Spell Compendium boosts Inspire Courage by one.

The Badge of Valor from the Magic Item Compendium also boosts Inspire Courage by one.

Vest of Legends from the Dungeon Master's Guide II lets you function as a bard five levels higher.

The Words of Creation feat from the Book of Exalted Deeds just *doubles* your bonus. Where that multiplier comes in is kind of uncertain, with conservative estimates just multiplying your class bonus, while others argue that it should hit everything else. It comes at the cost of 3d4 nonlethal damage per round, but if you're immune to nonlethal damage by being a warforged or something, you can jam with the angels all day.

Fire it all up and you're looking at somewhere between +11 and +14 to hit and damage on every attack, which is enough to allow your party to punch way above its weight class thanks to increased accuracy while hitting like a truck in the process. Multiattackers love you because that bonus applies to every attack they make in a round, while even single attackers can profit by dumping that attack bonus via Power Attack.

If you prefer damage over accuracy, Dragonfire Inspiration from Dragon Magic lets you replace your +11 to hit and damage with +11d6 fire damage per hit, letting each attack hit with the force of a fireball. If you've got the right feats, you can add sonic damage instead, and Spell Compendium gives the creaking cacophony spell to make all enemies in range take +50% sonic damage. There's nothing stopping you from doing both either if you want attack and damage, using either two bards or a bard and a harmonizing weapon (Magic Item Compendium).

But why stop there? The bonus applies to you and any allies who can hear you sing. There's the aforementioned alphorn for an audience that can hear you for miles, but even if that doesn't fly with your DM, there's the resounding voice spell in Heroes of Battle that lets you be heard for 100 feet per caster level. Have your cleric buddy cast a properly metamagiced version and you can basically sing for miles all day. Fortunately, even if your allies and enemies are out of sight but within earshot, there's no risk of your enemies getting hopped up on your sweet jams.

+11 to hit and damage kicks the balance around in a party of adventurers, but it completely rocks the boat when you start throwing it on a pile of weak creatures such as peasants. A proper inspiration will let someone's grandma one-punch an orc warrior- throw it on something actually dangerous and you will see results.

In one corner, we have the Mongol Horde, bent on pillaging the city.

In the other? Two bards, and every housecat they villagers could find.

Confident of their victory, the horde charges, only for the bards to begin to rock out.

And a thousand cats burst into flames, descending onto the horde in a crowd of feline fury, slaying horse and rider with a single blow each.

Bards are a ridiculous large-scale force multiplier. Fear them.

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demota
Aug 12, 2003

I could read between the lines. They wanted to see the alien.



An old standby favorite of mine, Bear Lore. If you ever come face to face with a Dire Bear, you'd better hope you have a good Nature roll if you want to comprehend the methods it might use to hurt you.

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