Base Attack Bonus thoughts

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Base Attack Bonus thoughts

Postby Sock Puppet » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:26 pm

in 3e, all classes start off essentially identical in terms of BAB, and by level 20, the difference ranges from +10 to +20. In other words, they start off with all classes being more or less the same in melee, and ending up with martial characters having a clear advantage in melee. In the 3e "sweet spot", that translates into fighters having about a +3 bab advantage over wizards. That's kind of small. More importantly, this leads to the problem where by high levels, you are either reliably hitting the enemy on a 2+, or reliably missing except when you roll a 20.

Compared to this, 4e went for a flat + (level / 2) bab. Various class features then serve to give melee classes the intended boost, but the attack bonus never reaches the really big numbers. Instead, damage grows quite quickly.

I'm thinking that 4e had the right idea here. A key part of a game is to keep the players interested. Die rolls which are too easy or too hard are inherently uninteresting, because the result is so predictable. Keeping the bab numbers always close together helps preserve the level of randomness, which makes for more interesting game play. And by using damage multipliers and bonuses instead of bab bonuses, it becomes easier to calculate exactly how much of a benefit a given modifier represents.

Saving throws have a similar issue, in that by high levels, they become always win or always lose situations, especially if a characters optimises his good saves.

So, something like this...

BAB = character level / 2 (round down) for all classes.

Damage bonus = +1 per class level in a "medium bab" class; +2 per class level in a "good bab" class. Make appropriate adjustments for off-hand, natural, two-hand weapon, and other special case attack rules.

Iterative Attacks: Gone. Possibly restore them with the use of a feat, but their requirement to effectively stand still while the caster could still move and fire was a behind-the-curtains nerf for martial classes anyway.

Save bonus: character level / 3 for all classes (same as current poor save).

Good saves: Classes with good saves receive the appropriate "+2 save bonus" feat (eg. Iron Will) as a bonus feat at 1st level. If you multi-class, you don't get this bonus again for your second class with a good save.

Still a rough draft idea, but opinions? This is, as written, far from balanced, but more to throw down the idea.
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Re: Base Attack Bonus thoughts

Postby Angel Tarragon » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:41 pm

Sock Puppet wrote:Save bonus: character level / 3 for all classes (same as current poor save).

Good saves: Classes with good saves receive the appropriate "+2 save bonus" feat (eg. Iron Will) as a bonus feat at 1st level. If you multi-class, you don't get this bonus again for your second class with a good save.

Still a rough draft idea, but opinions? This is, as written, far from balanced, but more to throw down the idea.

This screws characters that start with a base save of +2 that automatically qualify for a feat because of it.
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Re: Base Attack Bonus thoughts

Postby Havard » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:20 pm

Keep in mind that fighters will also usually have more combat oriented feats giving them an additional advantage in combat. Also, they will usually have a higher STR score again increasing their combat ability.

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Re: Base Attack Bonus thoughts

Postby Ashtagon » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:22 am

Havard wrote:Keep in mind that fighters will also usually have more combat oriented feats giving them an additional advantage in combat. Also, they will usually have a higher STR score again increasing their combat ability.

-Havard


Fighters get feats that give an additional +1 on attack rolls. Wizards get feats that give them the ability to roll maximum damage, no hit roll needed. One of these is not like the other. Wizards also have higher INT scores, granting them more spells.
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Re: Base Attack Bonus thoughts

Postby Havard » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:06 pm

Ashtagon wrote:
Havard wrote:Keep in mind that fighters will also usually have more combat oriented feats giving them an additional advantage in combat. Also, they will usually have a higher STR score again increasing their combat ability.

-Havard


Fighters get feats that give an additional +1 on attack rolls. Wizards get feats that give them the ability to roll maximum damage, no hit roll needed. One of these is not like the other. Wizards also have higher INT scores, granting them more spells.


True. Fighters still have the advantage of striking an unlimited number of times, while spellcasters have a very limited number of times they can cast maximized spells.

Not saying they balance eachother out completely, but it is worth taking into consideration. Metamagic feats rarely came into play IMC, but that may not be representative of all campaigns.

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Re: Base Attack Bonus thoughts

Postby Angel Tarragon » Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:28 pm

Ashtagon wrote:Fighters get feats that give an additional +1 on attack rolls. Wizards get feats that give them the ability to roll maximum damage, no hit roll needed. One of these is not like the other. Wizards also have higher INT scores, granting them more spells.

Perhaps then iterative attacks could be based on one's Strength bonus? The higher the bonus, the more iterative attacks. Perhaps with this a penalty could be applied to each iterative attack beyond the first, making this like the the monk's flurry of blows at low levels; on the flip perhaps by focusing more energy into a single iterative attack, one gains a better chance to strike their opponent.
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Re: Base Attack Bonus thoughts

Postby Gecko » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:37 pm

Since I've never had any high level 3.x games, I can't really comment on the OP and whether that's a good change or not.... but some other points have been raised in the discussion that I can comment on.

TAD wrote:
Sock Puppet wrote:Save bonus: character level / 3 for all classes (same as current poor save).

Good saves: Classes with good saves receive the appropriate "+2 save bonus" feat (eg. Iron Will) as a bonus feat at 1st level. If you multi-class, you don't get this bonus again for your second class with a good save.

Still a rough draft idea, but opinions? This is, as written, far from balanced, but more to throw down the idea.

This screws characters that start with a base save of +2 that automatically qualify for a feat because of it.


how so? Can you give an example?

ashtagon wrote:
Havard wrote:Keep in mind that fighters will also usually have more combat oriented feats giving them an additional advantage in combat. Also, they will usually have a higher STR score again increasing their combat ability.

Fighters get feats that give an additional +1 on attack rolls. Wizards get feats that give them the ability to roll maximum damage, no hit roll needed. One of these is not like the other. Wizards also have higher INT scores, granting them more spells.


Though in order to compare them you also would need to consider if your apotheon system has any changes to metamagic... (does it? I don't recall at the moment)

TAD wrote:Perhaps then iterative attacks could be based on one's Strength bonus?


Thematically wouldn't Dexterity make more sense than Strength? Or did you suggest Str for balance reasons?
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Re: Base Attack Bonus thoughts

Postby Sock Puppet » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:01 pm

The idea of giving "good save" classes the appropriate save bonus feat is an attempt at streamlining things. I recognise this means that a character can't have both a good save and the feat, but I regard that as a feature, not a bug. It helps flatten the differebnce between classes in the purely numerical areas (classes should be differentiated in what they do actively, not on their passive features, which aren't excisting).

My comment upthread about fighter feats vs wizard feats was a cynical comment on the 3e RAW, not a comment on the ideal situation. I recognise that magic needs to be dramatically changed, but I don't have time yet to write it up formally. fwiw, most metamagic is going away. In RAW, it mostly serves to balance damage spells against save-or-die spells, which is the wrong way to fix wizards.
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