Questions about perceived inequities between characters derived from differences in capability.

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59
votes
11answers
7k 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 ...
55
votes
6answers
10k views

How are Fighters Linear but Wizards Quadratic?

The phrase "Linear Fighters, Quadratic Wizards" gets bandied about a lot, but I've found I don't have a good way to explain it to newer players. The tier system post has some examples of how wizards ...
39
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
33
votes
12answers
4k views

What to do when your character is just too good?

I'm playing in the Paizo Pathfinder Jade Regent adventure path and we're having a good time so far (campaign blog and session summaries). However, as my character has gone up in power I'm now ...
31
votes
11answers
29k views

What makes clerics so strong in D&D 3.5?

I'm just starting a campaign for the first time with a couple of friends, and I've been told that certain classes like cleric are really strong; some people even say they're overpowered. What is it ...
31
votes
12answers
7k views

How to balance a very-low magic campaign

Recently, my players and I got kind of bored with the fact that Pathfinder relies heavily on magic items than martial prowess for fighting classes. I realize and accept the fact that spellcasters are ...
30
votes
13answers
3k views

How does a DM correct the balance after accidentally giving the players too much gold?

Inspired by some of the answers to Pitfalls of using the optional 'XP for Gold' rule in a Basic D&D Retro Clone game? As DM/GM, you slipped up and ended up giving the PCs significantly ...
30
votes
3answers
16k views

Is the old “Linear Fighters Quadratic Wizards” problem still around in 5e Basic?

(This question is a comparison to 3.x, though things might have been different in 4e) In 3.5e there is a large power and capability gap between fighters and wizards that fighters couldn't hope to ...
27
votes
10answers
2k 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 ...
27
votes
2answers
32k views

Has 5e fixed the balance problems of the monk at all?

Many people believe that the monk has balance issues (and is underpowered) in 3.5e and Pathfinder. The goal of this question is not to debate that point but to see what changes the Monk has undergone ...
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 ...
24
votes
11answers
5k views

What can I do to prevent a player from breaking the game?

Several of my friends are starting a game pretty soon, and one of the players is a great guy, and fun to play with EXCEPT, he plays with the objective of optimization, while everyone else plays much ...
23
votes
11answers
6k views

What are my options when other members of the party think my character is too powerful?

I've recently started playing DnD 5e with a group of friends, all of whom are very inexperienced - myself and the DM included. We all agreed at the start we were aiming for a very casual game ...
23
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I reward creative combat improvisation without making it overpowered?

I have a level five fighter who enjoys using the terrain as a weapon in a somewhat WWE style. I am at a loss as to how to go about adjusting the damage he does for the less than by-the-book actions. ...
23
votes
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 ...
22
votes
4answers
3k 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. ...
21
votes
5answers
655 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" or "Hammer of the Mage". Its effect is that everything non-organic you touch ...
20
votes
7answers
24k views

Is two-weapon fighting only as a full-round action balanced versus fighting with a two-handed weapon?

One of the players in a Pathfinder game in which I am playing is arguing that characters should be able to get the additional attack for fighting with two weapons when attacking as a standard action, ...
20
votes
3answers
5k 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. ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Does Pathfinder have the character imbalance problem that D&D 3.X has?

Many agree that D&D 3.X has a tier "problem" (or system or classification, depending upon your preference). I enjoy the basic rule set of 3.X but have a hard time having fun with a system that is ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Are psionics overpowered or especially exploitable?

My DM is very picky about what materials we're allowed to use, pretty much PHB only, and we can't multiclass until level 6. I really like psionics, and would especially like to play a psionic warrior ...
17
votes
9answers
744 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
752 views

How to GM “An arresting skinner” in a balanced, fair and fun way

In Apocalypse World, the social and beauty oriented class Skinner has a move called "An arresting skinner" which does pretty much what it promises: An arresting skinner: when you remove clothing, ...
16
votes
10answers
17k views

Vow of Poverty, overpowered or underpowered?

I have read plenty of things about the Vow of Poverty in forums, and i have seen both opinions expressed. If i understand it correctly, it does work on the assumption of a linear magic item ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

How do I balance an all-spellcaster party?

This here campaign I'm about to unfold is going to feature 2-3 players, 2 of which definitely want to get spellcasting characters and the third is very likely to go down the same path. Q: How do I ...
16
votes
6answers
3k views

How to help my low-level spellcaster PCs feel more useful

My party right now consists of a pair of incredibly optimized characters (a half-orc fighter and a ranger/scout), one fairly well optimized character (a swashbuckler who's thinking about mutliclassing ...
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 ...
15
votes
7answers
29k views

Are 5e Rangers competitive with other core classes?

Rangers have a lot of flavor and interesting utility spells and abilities. However, it's not clear from a quick reading of the class whether they are mechanically competitive. Their Beast Master ...
14
votes
7answers
4k views

How much of an issue is “Linear Fighters, Quadratic Wizards” in 2nd edition AD&D?

The concept of Linear Fighters, Quadratic Wizards is an issue that makes Fighters less useful in later editions. There is a question on here talking about the issue in 5e, and the issue in 3.5e is ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Would it cause balance issues to combine the warhammer and war pick?

The vast majority of the historic warhammer heads found have a pointed and a blunt end. The horseman's pick was a weapon of Islamic origin used by cavalry during the Middle Ages in Europe. ...
13
votes
10answers
3k views

Should I allow a Wondrous Item on level 1 character creation?

I'm starting a new 3.5 campaign, using only the 3 core books for character creation, and starting all my players off at level 1. One of my players has written a (rather good) backstory for his ...
13
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
1k 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, ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Is the Cancer Mage overpowered?

I am running a D&D 3.5 campaign, and a player wants to go for the Cancer Mage prestige class in the Book of Vile Darkness. Is this prestige class overpowered, as defined in this question?
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Balancing a monk variant with full base attack bonus

I'm gearing up for a 2-person campaign (my wife and myself, with myself as DM). The party will be two characters, with occasional hirelings/NPCs. One of the characters will be a DMPC (we've run one ...
13
votes
4answers
616 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
375 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Does allowing players to choose spells from the Spell Compendium unbalance the game

Druids and Clerics (and also Paladins and Rangers) have, compared to other spellcasters, the advantage that they can prepare spells from a fairly big pool of spells. Now, if you let your players ...
12
votes
5answers
522 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

How would one create a balanced dragon PC?

I'm running a DnD 5e campaign and had a dragon-born sorcerer with Draconic Bloodline as a sorcerous origin that used the level 9 Wish spell to wish to become a "true dragon." Are there any rules ...
12
votes
5answers
506 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
4k views

Balancing a mixed game in nWoD

Jadasc raised a great point here. There are few problems that can challenge a mage that won't completely outclass a vampire, unless the vampires are extraordinarily experienced or well connected ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Is a spell with an attack roll “an attack” for the purpose of Sneak Attack?

Sneak Attack says: When you attack a creature and hit, you can deal extra damage to that target if you have advantage against it or if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it and that ...
12
votes
2answers
546 views

What are the consequences of making Quicken Spell an exception to the spellcasting action economy?

When I say 'Spellcasting Action Economy' I mean the rules that state when you cast a spell (Cantrip or otherwise) as a bonus action during your turn, the only other spell you can cast that same turn ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

how do I deal with telekinesis abusers?

I have a wizard and a psion blaster type that keep flinging grenades, light sabers, and over sized swords at everything. The swords are not magical, so fly through spell resistance, anti-magic ...
12
votes
4answers
522 views

In FATE, what is the relative value of each characteristic?

There are a lot of FATE variants out there, but most have a few common types of characteristics in common: a number of aspects, a base number of fate points (refresh), skills/abilities, stunts, and ...
12
votes
4answers
570 views

How do I get the non-magic-user in the party to feel more valued?

Issue: I'm running a long campaign and recently one of my players mentioned feeling a bit left out, not being a caster. I kind of have to agree; all the PC's are pretty well-rounded so there isn't ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

Two players compete for same role - how do I balance this?

I have a D&D 3.5 group of four players, the classes are; Wizard, Rogue, Barbarian, and Swashbuckler, the level of the players is 4. (Having no healer is part of the game, not part of my question) ...
11
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 ...