Techniques to offset perceived inequities among player characters derived from differences in capability.

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4
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2answers
221 views

Which level would be appropriate for this homebrew Mass Dimensional Anchor?

Since dimensional anchor is sometimes used as a protection from teleport-esque spell, I am going to devise this mass version of spell. My initial thoughts are presented here: Dimensional Anchor, ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

Balancing Spellcasters; Spontaneous Casters versus Prepared Casters

So ask any optimizer and they'll almost always tell you the same thing: in 3.5 classes that prepare spells are better than spontaneous spellcasters. It's generally not thought of as even a contest. ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I mitigate the power of Spitting Cobra Stance?

The Ranger has an encounter power called Spitting Cobra Stance that seems grossly over-powered—in one group I play in, the Ranger will enter Spitting Cobra Stance at the beginning of combat, and ...
10
votes
3answers
675 views

How should I handle nerfing a player for the purposes of game balance?

Background I run a Live Action Role-Playing game on a monthly basis (from March through November) for anywhere from 10-30 PCs (with 3 other Plot members and anywhere from 0-10 NPCs). The majority of ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do Weapon Mastery feats have the requirements they do?

I've been playing and DMing in Epic tier for some time now, and have introduced quite a few house rules already (mostly common ones - free expertise feats, free improved defences), and I'm wondering ...
8
votes
2answers
316 views

How do I keep a horror-like feeling with supernatural powered PCs?

I'm going to use Savage Worlds to run a horror campaign in a modern day setting; think X-Files or Supernatural. My players all agree and are excited about the horror concept, but they want to be able ...
8
votes
5answers
615 views

Last-minute system-related second thoughts before starting a game

I'm looking at starting a game with a bunch of friends. Between us, we have very little RPG experience; one of the party has played a little before (Pathfinder, I think) and I played a handful of ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

How much can/should a single owned item be worth at most?

How much can any single possession take up a character's wealth? For this question, I'd like answers that operate under the presumption that wealth-by-level isn't a minimum but instead a target. I've ...
16
votes
9answers
558 views

How can I encourage my group to become more well rounded?

My gaming group tends to each go in their own direction for character creation. Sometimes this leads to great games where folks are strongly opposed on dramatic elements and character interaction is ...
18
votes
5answers
502 views

Is it plausible that characters can invent devices in a medieval setting, and how should one balance it?

To illustrate what I mean, let me give a quick example: In The Dark Eye, there is a Staff Ritual named "Hammer des Magus" (no idea what the term is in English). Its effect is that everything ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Are Strength and Dexterity balanced in Vampire the Masquerade? If not, how can I fix it?

Since Revised edition, I have found that Dexterity is a very powerful trait and that Strength is not so important. Dexterity + Wits determine initiative, which is a big advantage in combat. ...
26
votes
7answers
2k views

How to encourage a player's creativity without breaking the game?

I've just started a new D&D 4e campaign with a new group of players. One of my players came straight from 2nd edition, and has never played 4e before. She doesn't seem to grasp the layer of ...
23
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4answers
3k views

Monster Manual 1 - Is it balanced? Should I balance it?

I've been DM'ing a little lately 4 edition D&D and of course I'm confused again: My first adventure was a big question mark, I didn't use the exact guidelines for creating an encounter and ...
10
votes
7answers
443 views

Differing Starting Points Levels

The GM of a GURPS game I'm playing in has set the game's point level at 150. However, he has also made the option available to take 250 or 75 points at the beginning, with the understanding that the ...
8
votes
11answers
1k views

Balancing players' rolls, not characters

I have been the worst dice-roller in my party as far as I can remember. Be it D&D 3.5, 4th Edition, or any other dice based system, the goddess of luck has always been mean to me. To give you an ...
7
votes
3answers
420 views

Is maximum PC hit points going to unbalance the game?

I don't like randomization in character creation/advancement, so my preference is to not roll for hit points, but to take a fixed value every level. PCGen gives me several options, and Pathfinder ...
4
votes
2answers
335 views

The use of an intelligent magical item. When is it appropriate and how powerful should it be?

This is my first question, so forgive me if I seem to miss some of the protocols. I'm running a D&D 3.5 custom campaign setting, I tend to be a "low magic" and very high rp kind of guy focusing ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Power levels of RIFTS classes

Someone posted this link to a set of "tiers" for D&D 3.5 classes, and it got me thinking. I haven't played RIFTS in forever, and one of the reasons is the wide disparity in class power and ...
7
votes
6answers
526 views

Adjusting Combat Balance

My Problem My players all seem to have +5 defenses and attacks over the monsters, in addition to the health and more deadly abilities... and they're in appropriate gear for their level (+2 gear at ...
42
votes
11answers
4k views

Is there a limit to Rule 0?

Rule Zero: All other rules can be changed by the GM. I appreciate that there is a massive amount of work that goes into be a GM and the last thing that any GM wants or deserves is to have his ...
7
votes
1answer
275 views

Will changing an artifact sword to another weapon type impact game balance much?

I have an ongoing campaign, that started with a vampire-paladin who is now a blackguard — he fallen to the dark side, thanks to Nightbringer. Then he lost the sword: he wanted to control ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

How can you balance a system without making it bland?

In one of my long-term PvP LARP games, we've done a lot of work trying to balance the system we're using, either by banning certain "classes" or "powers" or by altering their specs slightly to make ...
11
votes
2answers
332 views

Assisted healing (and Inspiring Leadership) game balance

I renamed this question because I didn't estimate the problem correctly, which actually seems to be localized to assisted healing. The old title was "How do I restrain Inspiring Leadership". (Strands ...
5
votes
2answers
132 views

How would I run a game of Legend without a Battlemap?

Since both battle-mats and miniatures tend to be fairly expensive (and I would personally prefer a more descriptive style of battles anyway), I was wondering how one might run a game of Legend without ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I offer players a balanced opportunity to take powerful races, without adjusting their level?

I'm planning to run a Planescape game in 3.5 and want to offer players the opportunity to play unusual characters within the system. Ideally power level wouldn't be a concern, but some players might ...
3
votes
4answers
322 views

How to limit weapons on Agents of Oblivion?

Well, we recently started playing the Campaign Setting by Reality Blurs, which is a "Perfect Cocktail between horror and Espionage", and tough we're liking it, there's not a guideline to limit ...
3
votes
2answers
135 views

How can I balance magic in a setting that imposes penalties on its use?

I am starting an adventure in a custom setting that may end up as a campaign, depending on popularity. However, part of what makes the setting unique is that magic is illegal and severely punished by ...
8
votes
1answer
333 views

Help me evaluate this homebrew Pokémaster class

So one of my players dropped this bomb on me during the discussion stages for a campaign we're going to start soon - he wants his character to be a Pokemaster. Reading through the class though, it ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

My players almost die in my encounters every time. Does this mean my encounters are too hard?

I'm running my first campaign with three friends. This is the first time any of us have done any table-top role-playing. I'm working the party through the H1: Keep on the Shadowfell campaign using ...
4
votes
1answer
209 views

How can I maintain game balance at extremely high levels of power in a point-build system?

More specifically, how do I keep the game fun when all parties involved are extremely powerful? The game I'm asking this about is a Wild Talents 2nd Edition game where everyone is built on a budget of ...
25
votes
10answers
1k views

How do I balance game interactions between a giant mecha that can level cities and its pilot?

I have had recurring trouble with a subject I like, and would like to implement into my games, but can't find a good way to do so: mechas (big huge robots) From a system point of view, it is usually ...
6
votes
2answers
387 views

Would a greatsword that is +1/+3 vs aberrations unbalance my game?

My current D&D 3.5 campaign is about aberrations and I want to give my low-level characters an advantage against aberrations. (They're level 2 at the moment). One of my players is playing a ...
28
votes
7answers
1k views

What makes a character/creature/power/ability/etc. over-powered?

In generic terms, what makes something, regardless of what game it's being used in, over powered? I hear the term a lot, and while I can recognize it when I see it in-play (often due to someone ...
7
votes
4answers
492 views

Pathfinder Battle Royale!

A friend and I were thinking about doing a Colosseum battle to the death with our group, for game sessions when not everyone was there, or just to let people test out character builds. What we were ...
11
votes
5answers
435 views

How can I stop a large level disparity from being a problem?

In my campaign, my players each have several different characters at the home base. Every session, they pick which one they want to play. However, some players always use the same one and so have more ...
6
votes
3answers
878 views

Minor Effects for Magical Items

I tend to prefer high-magic fantasy games, where magical items can be purchased (at around the DMG prices, in D&D) in many large(ish) towns - it's common for the very well-off to have magical ...
12
votes
5answers
442 views

How can I balance an enemy that my players might encounter at different levels?

My story revolves around 8 angels that my players must defeat. The thing is I want them to look for them in no particular order. How can I balance an enemy easily in advance, since they may encounter ...
6
votes
4answers
681 views

What can be done to maintain balance in a magic system in which mages must construct their own spells?

I'd like to build a magic system in which every spell is a one-off. A spell is created to serve a particular purpose and is cast once. I'm thinking that the time and place of the casting would be ...
12
votes
4answers
960 views

How can one prevent the gadgeteer edge in Savage Worlds from becoming overpowered without banning or nerfing it into oblivion?

According to the text in the Deluxe Edition of Savage Worlds, the Gadgeteer edge available to weird scientists (WS) allows a player to indefinitely accumulate devices at a rate of one per session, ...
10
votes
3answers
630 views

Players rolling all of the dice in D&D 4th Ed

I was looking at the variant rules listed in the Unearthed Arcana, and noticed one that I think could work pretty well in 4th Ed. Players Roll All The Dice Basically it turns the monster's attack ...
5
votes
1answer
418 views

What steps should I go about to balance a character class?

I'm trying to tweak/balance the Wizard (and to a lesser extent the Cleric) class(es) in Pathfinder. The two things that really irritate me are: Spell components. Tongue of frog and Eye of newt ...
9
votes
1answer
712 views

Will magic items with raw stats break game balance in DnD4e?

I, and all the players in my campaign, are all experienced WoW players. (Multiple 85s, reminiscences of 40-man raids when your class — no matter who you were — sucked but was somehow better, etc.…) I ...
11
votes
4answers
506 views

Rules modifications for Exalted Clinches

In the basic rules for Exalted a successful clinch allows the attacker to do the all of following: Squeeze the target for damage Reduce the targets DV to zero Changes the tick on which the target ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Leaders Healing too powerful/polarizing in 4e?

My friend and I were having a discussion about Leaders in D&D 4e. At any rate, it was suggested that it would be better if our party had fewer leaders rather than more: their main purpose ...
7
votes
1answer
178 views

Using Arms Law with HARP: does this affect play balance?

I've played HARP using both the rules in the core rulebook for combat, as well as those presented in Martial Law. I felt neither gave a good result but Martial Law was better. I've played Rolemaster ...
2
votes
1answer
341 views

Rebalancing the Orc Brutes in Thunderspire labyrinth?

The Orc Beserker is a miserably designed sack of hitpoints: Orc Berserker HP 66; Bloodied 33 AC 15; Fortitude 17, Reflex 13, Will 12 Speed 6 (8 while charging) Greataxe ...
11
votes
2answers
324 views

What's the easiest way to adjust a module intended for 5 players so that it can accommodate 6 players?

I'm playing with a 6 character group in the H series of modules, Keep on the Shadowfell and Thunderspire labyrinth, which are both intended for 5 players. Frankly the combats are usually too easy, ...