Sunday, January 08, 2006

A question of balance

So I recently made this feat tree for an upcoming product:

Strength Training

You have worked hard to improve your Strength. Although it takes a lot of training and sacrificing immediate benefits, you will eventually be much stronger than your peers.

Strength Training 1: Your Strength increases by +1 at 6th level (this is in addition to the ability increases all heroes receive every 4 levels).

Strength Training 2 (prerequisite Strength Training): Your Strength increases by +1 at 12th level (this is in addition to the ability increases all heroes receive every 4 levels)

Strength Training 3 (prerequisite Strength Training 2): Your Strength increases by +1 at 18th level (this is in addition to the ability increases all heroes receive every 4 levels)

Someone on the ENWorld boards commented they thought this was unbalancing.

So what do you guys think? I obviously think its kosher, mostly because of the prescribed level "cooling off periods".

Basically, my thought process is +3 to a stat by 18th level not unbalancing. +3 by 5th level (if you didnt have to wait), unbalancing.

Any thoughts on this? I liked it, its different.


Steve Peterson said...

Sorry about the slow reply.

It's probably fairly nice -- essentially 2 feats for a +1 to hit and damage with all melee weapons as compared to +1 to hit and +2 damage with a specific weapons for Weapon Focus/Specialization.

But that also doesn't seem completely out of whack. It'd likely be more problematic if applied to spell-casting stats -- or, actually, just so appealing that it tends to dominate the feats taken by the players.

It might work better as a d20 Modern style talent -- though I'm still unclear on whether talents are supposed to be more or less powerful than feats.

Chuck said...

Well actually I did a tree just like that for every ability score.

I think making someone wait till 18th level to get a +3 to an ability, which also means they need to take 5 levels in a Basic Class, is ok. But that's why I was asking ;)

On the issue of feats vs. talents, my personal feeling is that talents should be weaker than feats.

The Plus talents in d20F sure seem to imply that from WOTC's perspective- 2 talents=1 feat.

I also took that into account when designing these talents that improve ability scores.

I seem to recall there was a feat in Stan's Modern Player's Companion that gave a +1 to an ability score. With no waiting or level requirement.

So again I thought I was ok.


Steve Peterson said...

The plus talents in d20F seemed to imply that as well -- but I'd sure charge a lot more than one feat for Evasion and that comes out as a single talent, so I'm very confused. Anyway, I thought the d20F 2fers were a belated recognition that some of the talents were vastly worse than others.

I'm always a little fuzzy on the level requirements for feats too. Is the implication that higher level feats are worth more, and thus should generate more benefits? Seems that way with the higher level Toughness feats, but that sort of means you're ripping yourself off if you take one of the regular, unjuiced feats at 15th.

Regarding the needing 5 lvls in a basic class -- that's where I thought making them talents might help. If they're feats then I can pick them up with regular lvl progression; as talents they're limited to advancing in the basic class.

Chuck said...

Right- the way I see the talents is a recognition that most entry level talents are much weaker than feats.

Something like Savant. To me the plus feats are there to let you get more things like Plan.

Of course you mention Evasion, which is an entry level talent, but Evasion is a ridiculous entry level talent.

So we have to write that off for the purpsoe of this discussion :)


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