Eleiminate the Coup Des Grace or Allow Hirelings

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Duniagdra
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Eleiminate the Coup Des Grace or Allow Hirelings

Post by Duniagdra » Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:36 am

I question has been asked in chat, and I'm forced to put this ti the Arena community.

As Rangers, Druids, Wizards and Sorcerers are allowed companions/familiars that also can interact in the matches, do we allow those lacking in such the ability to have a single Hireling to protect themselves against specific attacks?

The Coup Des Grace is also brought up in chat and thus, I must bring this to you to discuss. Should the Coup Des Grace be permitted in the arena? Spells can be cast to disable a foe, then comes the coup des grace to end the match. Do we instead say that a standard attack be made? After enough levels have passed, the Coup Des Grace may reach a point that makes it harder to kill out-right, but forces a Fortitude save to survive. Spells have been a long running problem for some in how to handle them as the durations and area effects can cover an entire arena. Do we say that a Coup Des Grace is not permitted during an active spell effect?
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Re: Eleiminate the Coup Des Grace or Allow Hirelings

Post by shai-hulud » Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:43 pm

What about trained animals? A Fighter with Handle Animal can train animals. Since Handle Animal is a class skill, it is technically "part of his class". Of course, then you get into some problematic areas. Some animals have costs, but many more don't. How does one determine the cost of an animal? The druid gets his for free. The familiar costs 100gp. What does it cost for the fighter? That is a tough one.

More on additional creatures in arena fights:
A 5th level evil cleric, a 7th level necromancer, and and 8th level sorcerer all have the ability to Animate Dead. It is a costly proposition, but the number of hit dice of undead can be truly staggering. A well prepared caster controlling an army of undead is truly a force to be reckoned with.
A 3rd level evil cleric of Earth and Fire with the Improved Turning feat can command undead, earth, and fire creatures of up to 2 HD. A commanded creature is essentially a mind slave. This means that the character can the following creatures commanded by 3rd level: So, a 3rd level character is capable of bringing in an entourage of CR 1 and 2 creatures with him.

At higher levels, characters can use Planar Ally to gain an outsider to help them out. Planar Binding potentially can grant you an ally. Gate can grant you epic allies... For instance, a wizard is capable of casting Gate at 17th level. He has a caster level of 17. According to the Gate spell, he can control any creature he calls of up to 17x2=34 HD. He chooses to call a CR 26 monster. So long as he controls the creature for no longer than 17 rounds, he pays only 5,000gp worth of material components. This is essentially an auto-win for the wizard. He can even add the Pseudonatural template (also from the epic level section of the SRD) for even more wrong creatures to be called for service. Of course, having two wizards battling it out with their Gated creatures would be AWESOME!!!

Next, consider summoned creatures: A summoner can potentially bring into the battlefield a whole host of creatures, as well. Each round, he has the potential to bring in another ally.

Anyway, with all of these different ways of filling up the arena with creatures, we need to set limits. The original idea was to ban Animate Dead (as it becomes unnecessarily confusing, and too difficult to determine what bodies are lying around for animation). Additionally, commanded creatures were out (as it is too powerful to have that many hit dice of mind slaves at such a low level). I don't see a problem with Hirelings per se, but I think it important to set new prices. The costs for hirelings in the SRD are per day. These hirelings would be per battle. And, there is a high likeliness that they could be killed (as they tend to be commoners).

I don't think that eliminating Coup de Grace is a good idea. Some fighters are strong enough to kill a character in a single blow as it is. Unless we are banning high strength scores, I don't think we should ban Coup de Grace, either. Simply find a way to wake yourself up. For instance, how about an item that can be stored inside armor. It is a vial of acid. When a character falls asleep, it breaks the vial, and deals 1 hp damage to the vial's owner. That is enough damage to wake up the person. Color Spray is a little more complicated. It renders a character unconscious. I would be more worried about a sorcerer who specialized in that...
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Re: Eleiminate the Coup Des Grace or Allow Hirelings

Post by admin » Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:25 pm

How about eliminating ALL Casters? (i.e. NO magic casting class)
That should help to eliminate most of these problems, would it not?

R

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Re: Eleiminate the Coup Des Grace or Allow Hirelings

Post by Duniagdra » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:19 pm

shai-hulud wrote:A whole lot of writing...
I agree that Coup de Grace shouldn't be eliminated. I bring it up only because it was talked about in chat and i wanted to get input from others.

I agree that hirelings, if allowed, should be at a higher rate, and higher level hireling could be acquired also. Regardless of who or what the gladiator is, I think a limit of no more than one "extra" should be enforced to keep matches from getting out of hand. The only thing this would not apply to are tournaments, as they have other rules applied, defined by Judge and/or players. I'd say that animate dead and summoning spells or any other spell/ability that allows to bring other creatures to your aid be permitted as long as they adhere to the one extra rule. So, If your wizard has his familiar, all summoning spells or anything that would permit him to gain the assistance of another become restricted, until the familiar is dead.
admin wrote:How about eliminating ALL Casters? (i.e. NO magic casting class)
That should help to eliminate most of these problems, would it not?

R
Simple? Yes, that would be simple. Is it fair though? No.

I'm open to discussion on costs of hirelings and what, if anything, they would be capable of doing in the arena.
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Re: Eleiminate the Coup Des Grace or Allow Hirelings

Post by shai-hulud » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:47 pm

Ok, so a 5th level cleric prepares a Desecrated area (25gp of unholy water). He then asks the Arena to bring him a Ha-Naga skeleton. He puts 500gp worth of onyx in the skeleton's eyes, casts Animate Dead, and he now has a Colossal companion with the following stats:

Ha-Naga Skeleton
Size/Type: Colossal Undead
Hit Dice: 20d12 (130 hp)
Initiative: +19 (+15 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative)
Speed: 60 ft., fly 120 ft. (perfect)
Armor Class: 27 (-8 size, +15 Dex, +10 natural armor), Flat-footed 12, Touch 17
Base Attack/Grapple: +10/+34
Attack: Coil whip +10 melee (4d6+8)
Full Attack: Coil whip +10 melee (4d6+8), sting +5 melee (2d8+4), bite +5 melee (4d8+4)
Space/Reach: 30 ft./ 20 ft.
Special Attacks: --
Special Qualities: Immunity to Cold, DR 5/Bludgeoning, Darkvision 60 ft., Undead Traits
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +21, Will +12
Abilities: Str 27, Dex 40, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1
Skills: -
Feats: Improved Initiative

That is one heck of a creature to be facing at 5th level!!!
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Re: Eleiminate the Coup Des Grace or Allow Hirelings

Post by Duniagdra » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:56 pm

This "extra" cannot be higher than your current level.
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Re: Eleiminate the Coup Des Grace or Allow Hirelings

Post by shai-hulud » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:23 pm

What about for a limit, one summon spell may be active at any given time (so casting another summon spell dispels the previous one)? For animate dead, how about no individual skeleton can have more hit dice than the character has caster level, and no zombie can have more than 2x the hit dice that the character has caster level? This would likely be a decent limiting factor for both summons and animate dead (at least, I can't think how to break it at the moment).

A character would be permitted as many creatures as they like to bring in that they have animated. Animated undead last for one match only. Each match, the character must expend gold to create the undead anew. Additionally, undead can be equipped. If an undead is destroyed, its equipment is destroyed along with it. Otherwise, the equipment remains, and may be used in a future match, should the necromancer create the undead again. How does that sound?

As for hirelings, how about the following:
Hirelings have no stats. They are non-combatants. They can be used as an extra pair of arms for carrying equipment. They can get in the way (of both you and an enemy). They have a movement speed of 30'. They cost 10gp per match. They can do things like, wake you up if you fall asleep. Carry you around (carrying capacities would be set for all hirelings). Pick up or drop items (they are magically compelled never to throw items directly at an enemy, but they can carry a flask of oil and spread it in a square of an oncoming attacker). They cannot speak (i.e. they cannot provide an additional set of eyes and ears for spot and listen checks).

For animals, how about a character can have a number of animals with hit dice equal to four times his ranks in Handle Animal. A single animal can have no more hit dice than the number of ranks in Handle Animal. Animals must be reared from birth. They are persistent (in other words, they last between matches), but they have upkeep costs. For rearing fees, how about HD^2x25gp and for upkeep, how about HDx10gp/match (so a heavy warhorse, instead of its normal cost, would be 400gp (100gp more than normal) to rear, and 40gp/match. Animal companions and familiars are special circumstances. Animal companions cost a rearing fee, but no upkeep fees.

Would this balance things out a bit?
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Re: Eleiminate the Coup Des Grace or Allow Hirelings

Post by shai-hulud » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:28 pm

That still leaves commanded undead/creatures. I dunno what to do about that. It is potentially just another couple of skeletons for a cleric, or possibly it is some god-awefully powerful undead that completely unbalances the match. Perhaps command undead can have an alternate use in the arena?
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Re: Eleiminate the Coup Des Grace or Allow Hirelings

Post by admin » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:52 pm

The Arena has these 'problems' because at its core, D&D was not designed to do PvP (like other game have been, like counter-strike and such). Classes were not necessarily balanced against each other, but rather to use a 'niche' within a GROUP of adventurers... Each class has its strengths and weaknesses, but put together, allow for a powerful set of abilities to bear on the Adventure.

That said, the discussion above, seems to delve in additional exceptions, thus adding more complexity to an already complex Rule book for the Arena... I have been promoting simplicity, as it is my belief that people are interesting in having fun, and not spending an hour analyzing and reading a rule system for the Arena.

So here are a couple of SIMPLE solution that will cut all the complexity down to a non-issue:

A) Turn the Arena from a PvP, to a PvE game, like that Lion game. All the above problems will fade to bad memories, and everyone will be happy not to be Coup-de-Graced by a Player. It would ALSO simplify ALL the rules, AND draw more people to the Arena.

B) Disallow Casting classes. This will erase all headaches causes by Spells

:2c:

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Re: Eleiminate the Coup Des Grace or Allow Hirelings

Post by Duniagdra » Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:10 pm

Perhaps there could be a point here? Agreed, D&D (and Pathfinder) was not built for PvP, but Party vs Encounter. I've been taking some time to think this over. Not a single class was built for face-offs with other classes, but intended really to fight in a team setting against a common enemy/challenge.

How might this sound,

The current schools remain in place. The current Gladiators remain in place. The current progress resorts back to first. We change the arena from PvP to PvE (E=Encounter/Environment). We drop the Victory Points and return to the standard XP Progression System. The PvE will be based on CR or EL (as defined by the rules. We also add a grouping called Missions.

Environs would be like what shai started with the Lions. Encounters would be a short run challenge. These two would be close to the same in XP and duration of the Match.

Missions could be a short-run adventure. I'm actually working on one right now. A mission would consist of at least three encounters that a party of at least two must overcome. Missions could also be a series of skill challenges, or a mix of both.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Eleiminate the Coup Des Grace or Allow Hirelings

Post by admin » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:23 pm

I suspect that PvE would generate more interest than PvP (for which D&D is not designed to do)... And it would really simplify all aspects, as I mentionned in (A).

Playing a single [short] mission would probably also appeal to those who want to join a PbP, but don't see any room left - or don't see any they would like... AND you could more easily 'choose' which mission you care to try out...

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Re: Eleiminate the Coup Des Grace or Allow Hirelings

Post by kabkal » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:23 pm

I like the idea of missions or short adventures. And would be willing to play in, and DM a few as well.
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