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Old November 22nd, 2009   #1
Atraeyu
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Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

I posted this in a thread that mentioned Monk and Bard debate and I'm starting a new thread so it can be continued properly. Necroticpus suggested it was about time for a new one and also mentioned Rangers as a class for discussion. So without further ado, let the happy conversation and bloodshed ensue.

'Well, Ive never contributed to either Bard or Monk battles on here. But a Monk cant really multiclass and in this game, not actual DnD, but this game, there seem to always be better options. Most who give Monk a shot regret it and try again with something more effective, especially in the later game.

Where a Bard does get a lot of flack and may not be absolutely vital can take on all the diplomacy face character type skills and do very well, as well as all of the rogue aspects by taking a level or two there to give a class skill in things like disable device and open lock. you have one character meant to handle ALL of the non-combat type things without problem and have everyone else focused on death to the rest of the evil world.

The important thing to note is a Bard *can* easily be made to be an amazing combatant as well. where he takes responsibility of essentially every chest needing unlocking, every skill choice in NPC conversation, every trap needing disabling, and does it all with absolute ease when built right. theres no reason you cant give him a reach weapon and specialize him in tripping, or an excrutiatingly valid option in focusing him in enchantment spells like sleep, charm person, etc. which he gets most if not all of such spells. or both. these arent the only options of course, but hes no less useful than any character in combat, especially with *entire* party buffs that other classes cant do, while being decidedly more effective to an exponential degree outside of combat.

Admittedly, i hated Bards. With a passion even. Then i tried one. Ill never have a party without one from this point on.

Monks, i didnt like. Tried a couple, actually. Still dont like them. If not dislike them more than before.

Im unaware of these heated discussions but these are my opinions on both matters and id truly enjoy hearing points against Bard or for Monk. Maybe someone knows something i dont. Everyones opinions are more than welcome.'

Rangers are a class that I don't understand the debate on. Full Ranger is iffy, but a level or to for some full BAB love, free combat feats, favored enemy, and even some useful class skills like Listen and Survival. The spells arent amazing but helpful and Id personally prefer to just MC Druid before taking a Ranger very far for those and the Animal Companion, which is less useful than a Druids as well. Not that they're necessarily amazing additions to the party, but better a Bear than a Wolf, right?

Rangers easy to see the pros and cons for me, though. It's easy to see both sides if a debate is necessary, it just comes down to what you want out of a character, splashing a little for some benefits or going full can both produce a top character. Monks however, I'd still really like to hear the real positives for one that would offset it's crippling drawbacks in late-game.
And Bards I suppose I understand some of why they're seen as less useful, when the mindset is 'why have this support character adding a +1 to everyones hit when I can have another whirlwind attacking glaive-user or a fireball throwing wizard making a bigger difference in combat?' but this isnt the correct focal point or even truth.

Bards have a stigma, theyre "support", they sing and make everyone a little happier and suddenly they fight a tiny bit better. crappy support-ish spells. crappy attack bonus.

Not true.

They are the optimal 'out-of-combat' class, though i wont stress this point as its adding to the idea of 'in-combat' incompetence. The spells are amazing, a ton of them are what classes like wizards and sorcerers focus on a lot of the time actually, incapacitating and controlling considered a better option than a lot of evocation and damage spells by a lot of people. And with a medium BAB, he does just fine in combat as well, no worse than the full Rogues some people seem to swear by, at least. (which i still dont understand) And considering going a level or so in Rogue is a good idea anyway, you get a bit of Sneak Attack too.

Consider he'll also be buffing everyone with huge durations all day, he'll hit more often than a Rogue, Druid, etc., as well as the rest of the party.

Sorry, I know I just added a Wall of Text to a Wall of Text.

tl;dr version of my current opinions:

Bard- WOO! Roll it up, beat the game. Hell, solo it if you want.
Ranger- Pretty, but not serious relationship material. Dip it and drop it.
Monk- Bleh. Something smells like awful.

Last edited by Atraeyu; November 22nd, 2009 at 03:35 AM.
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Old November 22nd, 2009   #2
Necroticpus
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

Lol, no one's touching this one yet. Ok, I'll go.

Bards

I really dislike bards because they are a jack of all trades, master of none. They seem like a class that was built for parties who "just want to get by". They are exceptional at nothing but will do in a pinch for different functions. I guess you could say that they are better than nothing.

If you come across a wicked hard locked chest, the bard is most likely going to fumble the ball because he just doesn't have the huevos (sp?), experience or the ability to open it like a master thief would. Same with traps.

If you're staring down a chain demon with a retinue of lesser demons, they can maybe do some good as cannon fodder or just keeping one busy until The Death Dealer (i.e. fighter) can get to them with his/her vorpal claymore of kick-assyness.

If you're surrounded by a group of 30 bugbears, a wizard with some area affect spells and/or perhaps some meta feats will be able to lay it down and get the party out of a sticky situation where the bard probably isn't going to drop any bugbears with a stunning rendition of "No Scrubs" or "Nothing Compares To You".

If the party just got the living crap kicked out of them by The Vice Lords, a local evil gang, and is in dire need of some healing in order to recoup, the cleric throws a few spells around in the name of Kali and BANG!, everyone is ready to get stomped again because they're at full health. The bard might be able to heal the magic user, if they are low enough level to only have about 20 hit points.

The rest are just hybrid characters and don't draw my attention so much in this context, but they are all generally better at what they do than the bard.

If you need to know if there's an inn to stop and rest at between the jungles of chult and the wild coast, the bard's your man/woman. They know inns in great detail all over the country. If you need to impress the children of a town, they can sing the Barney song while dancing, juggling and doing a puppet show. Afterwards, they can make balloon animals and origami animals. The only thing they are good at is social stuff. Maybe they can arrange to see the king because the castle's day man saw him perform "gregory and the ear wax monster massacre" at the local market and thought it was exemplary.

Bards are pretty much for role playing, not for dungeon crawling. In this capacity, they are good for replaying the game and making it harder for yourself.

Rangers

If you were playing a campaign where a lot of the time was spent outdoors, the ranger is all over it but their advantages do not translate well for dungeon crawling. Favored enemies are mildly interesting but generally, there just isn't enough tough monsters to consider it useful, unless perhaps they chose kobolds, gnolls, goblins or orcs, which would be a waste.

Animal companions are useful for keeping a creature busy until the fighters can get to them. They are cannon fodder.

Everything else about them is sub-par. I prefer taking the straight classes like fighter/rogue/wizard/cleric. Again, they are in the game for replay value after you have played the game, beaten it and now want to make it a challenge by handicapping your party.

Monks

Monks can be ok, but I prefer the fighter/rogue multiclass to the monk. They can lay it down a little bit but the fighter/rogue is much more efficient at killing, and that's what the temple is all about.

Again, the monk is for replay value, handicapping your party to make the game more of a challenge.

Summation

It all comes down to how one likes to play the game. I definitely prefer the straight classes but I do play the hybrids to try something different every once in a while. All the hybrids are a handicap to a party in my mind. I dislike the barbarian, the paladin and the sorcerer as well, but the druid definitely has more value than the other hybrids. If you give them the crafting feats, they absolutely rock because they get all the animal spells to make all the stat enhancing items so your wizard doesn't have to waste spell learns on them.
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Old November 22nd, 2009   #3
Ranth
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

I believe this was mentioned before, but since bards and rogues share the same BAB, can the bard not be a decent archer after he buffs the party? I believe there has been a case made about uber rogue archers.
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Old November 22nd, 2009   #4
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

I brought up rangers in the previous thread. The context was classes that don't bring much to a party.

There's nothing a bard can do that other classes can't do as well or better. They also don't bring much to the other class if they multiclass. But, the bard can do the work of several other characters, if the load isn't too heavy. Plus, in other games, they can use equipment that no one else can.

What do you guys do when you want to build a beter bard?

Over the years, rangers have been one of my favorite player classes when the goal is role playing. Especially if multiclassing is limited. (Was half-elf ranger/cleric from AD&D2?) But fighters make better archers and dual-wielders. Tracking should be fun, but isn't. OTOH, ranger does multiclass well with other non-fighter classes. I like it with cleric or rogue.

Monks bring their own "flavor". But they can't wield or wear anything interesting and they don't multiclass well. I like to give 1 or 2 ranks to magic-users, but they are a waste of level progression. I also like them as a basis for building a "Sword Saint".

In addition, my "real life" class is probably monk after 27 years in the Guardian Angels and 17 years in traditional martial arts.

One the most useless classes is sorceror. I think Prishella is a broken character because one of her two classes is wasted. Leave her dialog the same and make her a pure sorceror.
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Old November 22nd, 2009   #5
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

I like having a bard in the party occaisionally. Stat them out for archery (good dex, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot), maybe take 1 level of fighter for the bonus feat and long bow proficiency (and drop all the skill points into Intimidate since you don't get it as a bard) and give them healing spells and spells like Tasha's Laughter, Charm Person, and Hold Person and you've got a great face man that can give the party a boost in combat (Inspire Courage lasts until you use a different Bardic Music, cast a spell or use the World Map. That's a constant +1 (or more) to hit and damage.) and potentially take enemies out of the fight with one spell. I'm using a bard in my point-buy trial right now and completely happy with him.

Monks are much better in PNP when they can make use of their different abilities. They're also mage-killers, between their saves, ridiculous mobility to get past the frontlines to attack the mage, and then grab the mage and choke him to death, disrupting their spells all the way. In ToEE, not so useful, though I'll still throw one in the party for variety once in awhile.

Rangers in 3.0/3.5 suffer from being a weird in between class between fighters and rogues with some minor nature stuff tacked on top, but without some of the better bonuses of either. Favored Enemy is really useful if you happen to fight the enemies you pick (Goblinoids and Giants being two really good choices in ToEE) but not as good a rogue's sneak attack or a fighter's feat progression. Much like the monk, they're better in PNP when they can make better use of their additional abilities.

And I don't find the sorcerer useless. I actually have a sorceror more often than I do a wizard in ToEE. The ability to spam damage spells is really useful, whereas the breadth of spells a wizard can know doesn't come into play as often as it does in PNP.

Last edited by Kalshane; November 22nd, 2009 at 03:04 PM.
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Old November 22nd, 2009   #6
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

I agree. The breadth of spells is more useful in crafting. I like a continual rain of fireballs alternating with high level magic missile strikes myself. Also, not having to do that ridiculous spell memorization. That's why I think Pishella should be pure sorceror.

I personally have more use for a wizard because I like to "tailor" their spell loadout for certain fights, do a little crafting and, especially, pick up new spells from scrolls (hoarder). If I was restricted in my spell choices, I would probably go without a spell user.
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Old November 22nd, 2009   #7
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

In ToEE none of these 3 is much good, because there are no PrCs. That said, there can be some point to 1 level of Monk for a Druid; 1 level of Bard can get you Inspire Courage, and Ranger can help make a Rogue build that's not so squishy.
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Old November 22nd, 2009   #8
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

I'm playing a monk in an RL game and decided to try the build out in TOEE. Not sure what to compare it to but Wiz1, Monk 1,2,3,4... Make him a strength monk, take enlarge person. The extra reach and the damage dice upgrade help to beef up his fighting. Also, the one level of wizard let's him use scrolls and wands. I have the other mages make scrolls of mage armor for him and anything else where a bit of duration is handy. In the RL game, he has +2 caster level, so his spells last bit long.
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Old November 22nd, 2009   #9
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

Hi Folks
I guess it depends on how you play the game. I will confess I have never used the Sorcerer or the Bard at all, and have only used Monk with Meleny (giving her 2 levels of Monk before sending her the rest of the way as a Druid). In my opinion Rangers can be very useful in ToEE. I usually have a Fighter and a War Domain Cleric up front, a Wizard in the middle, and a Rogue/Wizard in the rear. My fifth PC is either a Druid or a pure Ranger (Archer build). The last time I used a Ranger, she had the most kills of anyone in the party (at least that's what the logbook said). The thing I like about a Ranger Archer is that you can deal a lot of damage (with a crafted weapon) and also have someone to deal with the "leakers" that get past your "tanks" and try to attack the Wizard (the Temple Bugbears for instance). You will notice that my other "rear guard" is a Rogue/ Wizard. I have never used a "pure" Rogue, as I don't see much benefit from doing so. 4 Levels of Rogue give you all the lockpicking and trap deactivating skills you need, and then the Wizard spells make him a decent "fire support speciallist". Yes, the sneak attack damage is nice. I would rather have a second wizard to cast "Grease", "Tasha's Uncontrollable Laughter", and extra Fireballs on the enemy.
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Old November 23rd, 2009   #10
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

I guess I have to add my 5 cents to this "sigh"

I find bards to be excellent support characters. Their spells and abilities are great for buffs and debuffs, as well as being a secondary healer to the party (or primary esp. if you don't bring a cleric and/or druid). They don't need to be awesome at killing stuff, that's what fighters do; their power lies in making those fighters kill things a lot more efficiently. As for chest opening and what-not, "Knock" can take care of most of that - and without the hassle of needing the skill points and making a good roll (in the TOEE game, there is only one chest un-openable by the spell).

Don't have any ranger PnP experience, but they don't do anything in TOEE that a fighter or barbarian can't do better.

Monks have their uses - at high levels when their fists get treated as Lawful wpns, they can help a great deal against the Demons and what-not. On the other hand, fairly useless in early to mid-game. I can see the point about mage-killing, but I don't see how a ranger or a fighter with bow focus is not more efficient at that task.

Can't believe someone dissed sorcerors. It's one of the most awesome classes. They work best if you taylor them to do some one specific thing, but after you do, the guy becomes great at it. A buff/debuff specialist? You've got it (remember that NPC in the nodes?). A summoner? You've got it. A Ceaseless Battery of Doom? You've got it. They're also more versatile - they may memorize less spells, but they can cast them spontaneously; the ability to substitute a higher-level spell slot for a lower-level spell can come pretty useful in a pinch, too. The only reason I can see to get a wizard is for the extra feats (crafting); in a battle, when you just wish you had memorized an extra Fireball instead of Dispel Magic, you'll remember what I said about sorcerers
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Old November 23rd, 2009   #11
GuardianAngel82
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

Yes. That's true. Depending on what spells you choose, sorceror's are good at repeatedly doing one thing. I use mine for general fire support. (Fireballs, Magic Nissiles,etc.) But because wizards have more use all around, sorcerors are usually my second spell-caster.

I can't believe it took D&D six rule sets to dump spell memorization.
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Old November 23rd, 2009   #12
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

MY best sorcerer experience thus far was the one with Augment Summoning. Have the guy summon armies of tough, big bastards, then buff them to make them even deadlier.
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Old November 23rd, 2009   #13
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

Nice topic!

Let's see:

BARD

I really think bards totally rock (even those who prefer other musical genres).

First off: i just love them RPwise.. but maybe I am just biased due to being a fan of the "order of the stick".

Secondly: their versatility it's just great.. they always find something to do in a party, in every occasion. They have a lot of skill points (just 2 less than rogue) and access to a lot of cool abilities (just multiclass it to rogue for 1 level and youll be able to play it as a rogue for everything except combat aproach and plus having a lot of usefull spells, probably more usefull outside combat than else) which they can learn without maluses whatsover (not like what I've read about bards not being able to open locks as rogue.. why not? they can max any class skill without probelm and they have just -2 skill less than rogue... considering they have "knock" and other meta-spells that help them along the way i would say that, even skill wise, they can be more effective than rogue) and they are not limited as wizards with just cast-cast-cast role.


Even in ToEE they really shine imho (in p&p they aer just 10 times better tough: with illusion and high diplomacy skills you have the world at your knees! i think fireball/cone of cold/sleep it's just dull compared to the cool things that you can do with the spells you have as a bard).

To summarize:

- Very cool buffs for the party (sinergies for skills, combat bonuses and stuff, and this won't stop you from fighting most of the times like you had often to do in ad&D)
- even without multiclassing access to many of the best skills (stealthing ones, diplomacy ones and so on) with a lot of skill points
- access to a lot of usefull and STRONG spells (yes, dispell magic it's a strong spell, as many others are) which are casted like a sorcerer char (which means taking healing spells it's always a good idea for any level, considering that just before sleeping it's like having a good cleric with "spontaneous casting").
- access to good equipment without the need of taking particular feats (even shields!).
- avarage combat abilities that makes them not useless as wizards when not casting spells (they can be actually really good witha bow considering they often have good DEX).
- i think that in a party with a mage they just give you "enough" arcane power (so your mage don't have to memorize spells you could always need like dispell magic and such) plus helping rogue taking some skills he couldn't handle without having to have invested everything in intelligence and having some avarage combat abilities (sosething sorcerers don't have... all while instead retainging the same cool sorecerer spell mechanic: no need of memorization).

- and, most of all, really fun cause of their versatility.


RANGER

Always like the role.. yet must say i loved them more in ad&d: what I don't like it's the fact that they force you to play it as a "dex-char" if you want to take full advantage of the class features (while in ad&d i loved the class and i used it to make my barbarian-like chars.. still use it for them tough since i multiclass ranger 1/barbarian xx).

Basically, to me, the ranger should have been just a warrior with no bonus feats but access to many more skill points and skills (as it was back in ad&d: substantially something in between warrior and rogue) and those cool druid/survivalist features (track, animal companion and so on).
Instead i am almost FORCED to be some legolas wannabe (what about rangers as Minsc, I would neverequip with something different from a great sword... of you can go for the "bow route" while raising STR as your best attribute.. yet you would be a gimped ranger)

Yet, if you make their cookie-cutter ranger dual wielind and bows it's quite an effective character.

I agree on the fact that it probably doesn't shine as much in ToEE as in a p&p game where survival can be a very nice skill.. yet if you are going dual wield/bow (or, expecially, both.. very nice with the quick draw feat) it has all the feats a warrior wuold have to take, plus more skills, access to magic and animal companions.. not even having to raise dex as high as a warrior would have to (only option to make a str base dual wielding character).


MONK

Never liked those.. first off i always disliked the role.. I don't immagine my forgotten realm adventures played with or against ninjas.. if I wanted them ižd go play with a manga inspired game!

Gameplay wise I think they can be quite effective in p&p with very good magic resistence (basically that's what they shine for: fighting against mages) and great mobility topped with nice skills (jump acrobatic and stuff that with monks works special) and no armor encumberance.. In ToEE i think they just suck due to the fact all the cool skills he would have and that would help him greatly in battle (jump, acrobatic and so on) aren't in.


P.S. spell memorization rocked imho.. and it was part of the cool tactical decision of any caster to decide which spell to memorize... or else you could go for a sorcerer/bard which knew less spells but were much more versatile with them!

p.P.S. why having a sorcerer when you can have a bard? considering the arcane power you lose you get tons more versatility.. and i'd always pick a wizard over a sorcerer due to bonus feats and more spells known (while less spells per day and "spontaneous casting" it's well covered enough by the bard since it all the utility spells you may eventually need to cast in that occasion but wouldn0t want to memorize it with your mage being it too much situational).

Last edited by cremo; November 23rd, 2009 at 07:28 PM.
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Old November 23rd, 2009   #14
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

Perhaps Co8 could expand the monk by making a prestige class for them called the MMA Fighter. They would suck at weapons but all their moves would cause lethal damage if they choose and they have an easier chance to cause knockback while not being able to knocked back by something and they would have a bunch of special submitting moves to incapacitate opponents without doing any damage.

And there would only be one World's Heavyweight Champion at any given time, at 20th level. In order to attain the title, one would have to be 19th level and challenge and beat the current titleholder in single combat in front of many witnesses. No donkey or rabbit punches and no hitting in the groin. You win by knocking your opponent out, making them submit or making them tap out. No foreign objects. This isn't wrestling.

The current 20th level World's Heavyweight Champion is BrockLesnar. He is in the hospital at the moment with an intestinal infection but when he comes out and is ready, then the challenges can commence.

Last edited by Necroticpus; November 23rd, 2009 at 08:46 PM.
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Old November 23rd, 2009   #15
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

The only reason Rangers have any prominence/importance in NEW D+D games is simple: the movie trilogy Lord of the Rings. End of debate.

I was an old school gamer and rememeber the original game well. Rangers were an almost strictly OUTDOOR class, adding fighter and druidic ability to give the character the outdoor flavour. But the fact Aragorn is a Ranger does not EQUAL what the original Ranger in AD+D was. In fact, I have no idea other than a fighter what Aragorn could be.

Remember, D+D is controlled by WoTC, and they are very careful about following trends to boost sales. Rangers in the old AD+D games were rare simply most campaigns were not heavily favoured to outdoor scenarios. I cannot recall a single ORIGINAL AD+D module that uses a Ranger character. And I collect so I can recall a lot.

The Bard, if anyone recalls properly, was actually an ADDENDUM to the rules since they were considered, IF PROPERLY PLAYED, too powerful for the game AS IT WAS. This is TOTALLY different from the TOEE game we have.

In the context of the TOEE game, the Ranger is a waste of character; the fighter is better as a full archer user, the track skill is useless, the Bard is nice but cannot equal the full fighter archer (elven of course).

I suppose the answer depends on how you look at it but had the movie Lord of the Rings NEVER come out the Ranger would not NEARLY be the class it is. History serves as my reminder.

What ever happened to the Cavalier class, anyway? Too powerful? Unplayable?

Funny it seems trends are easier to follow than playing a characters' true dictatums.
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Old November 23rd, 2009   #16
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Necroticpus View Post

The current 20th level World's Heavyweight Champion is BrockLesnar. He is in the hospital at the moment with an intestinal infection but when he comes out and is ready, then the challenges can commence.
No matter how tough Brock Lesnar cannot dodge bullets and everyone who would want to present some to him knows what he looks like, which cannot be said of the aforementioned bullet providers......

The local bar bully beats you up but you then go out and cut his brake cables..... who wins in the end......
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Old November 24th, 2009   #17
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfly View Post
No matter how tough Brock Lesnar cannot dodge bullets and everyone who would want to present some to him knows what he looks like, which cannot be said of the aforementioned bullet providers......

The local bar bully beats you up but you then go out and cut his brake cables..... who wins in the end......
This is true but anyone who isn't evil is not going to do cowardly stuff like that. They stand up for themselves and present, so everyone knows what the score is and what happens if he wins the challenge. Not sneak around to his back and off him, gaining nothing but notoriety and warrants for their arrest for premeditated murder. Maybe even mob justice, which I fully encourage.

Monks are lawful so I figure their prestige class must be as well. Even if they are lawful evil, there are certain codes and ethics they would follow.
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Old November 24th, 2009   #18
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfly View Post
The only reason Rangers have any prominence/importance in NEW D+D games is simple: the movie trilogy Lord of the Rings. End of debate.

I was an old school gamer and rememeber the original game well. Rangers were an almost strictly OUTDOOR class, adding fighter and druidic ability to give the character the outdoor flavour. But the fact Aragorn is a Ranger does not EQUAL what the original Ranger in AD+D was. In fact, I have no idea other than a fighter what Aragorn could be.

Funny it seems trends are easier to follow than playing a characters' true dictatums.
The whole dnd ranger concept was modelled on Aragorn in the first place. If he isn't a ranger no-one is.
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Old November 24th, 2009   #19
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

There are better models for rangers than Aragorn. He was on his way from being Strider to becoming the King. He hardly touches a bow in LotR.
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Old November 24th, 2009   #20
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

I have never tried the bard in any D&D game or computer game. I guess the bard just doesn't suit my style of play. I like the tactical play more so than the strategic play in combat. I rarely use buffs. If I do, I'd rather have them on magical items like gauntlets rather than cast them over and over each day.

Monks tend to be designed to do well without using very many magical items. When playing a game like D&D, part of the appeal is finding magical items (particularly weapons) and using them. The only time I've every used one is in another computer D&D game for a specialised high AC build. Even with that build, I wield magical daggers. I find that magical weapons are way cooler than the monk's unarmed strike. I ended up not using a major feature of the monk which feels like a waste to me.

I have used a ranger in ToEE and found him to be inferior to the fighter. I have played with both an archer ranger and an archer fighter. The archer fighter is simply better because of more feats available and weapon specialisation and greater weapon focus. I'd rather have a +2 damage consistently rather than a +2, +4 or +6 damage that doesn't kick in very often. When fighting non-favoured enemies, I feel my ranger abilities are wasted where as weapon specialisation and greater weapon focus is never wasted. The only one real benefit of playing a ranger in ToEE that I can see is that he can craft Amulets of Natural Armour and that is only if I don't also have a druid. The animal companion is just underpowered and is little more than a speed bump and gets in my way some time.
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Old November 24th, 2009   #21
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

that's teh point... why ranger = bow ?
I think that it's just a poor concept to associate a class to a specifical combat style..
I mean.. this way we could have 3 different classes out of the warrior just by forcing you to choose you "path" at level 1: go to sword/shield, dual wielind or 2 handers..

As i said, I think ranger should be defined by the access to more skills and skill points, as well as some special features like animal companion and stuff and minor magic (but personally i don't like the "magic concept".. i mean, i just "pretend" that the ranger knows how to make healing salves with herbs, or pretend "entangle" it's a "trap" and so on).

By forcing ranger to be a dual wielder and/or bow user you are making it a cookie-cutter class much more than others..


Anwyay, despite this problem that forces you to play a class they way other want you to play it, i think the ranger is a strong class even in ToEE.. ok a warrior can have more talents and slight more hp BUT as a ranger:
- you do get some bonus talents (that's what combat style is, that's a 2 talent bonus in ToEE if i recall it right).
- you do get a lot more skill points and, most importantly, access to uber skills like hiding/move silently which let you position yourself before engaging someone in combat
. you get favored enemy (which, if you choose the right favored-enemies - i.e. humans - , it's really uber)
- you get animal companion (not as usefull as in p&p but still it's nice)
- you get cool magic (healing/entangle/long strider)


If you just calculate raw numbers, maybe you can end up making a warrior archer with better bab/dmg statts than a ranger.. yet you just have to consider how many more things the ranger can do to think if it's worth it (and btw survival isn't useless in TOEE if you play on ironman and want to avoid being wiped out by random encounters).

Last edited by cremo; November 24th, 2009 at 01:38 PM.
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Old November 24th, 2009   #22
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

Well, there are "monk weapons" that don't waste most monk abilities - like quarterstaff, or monk spade. At higher levels though, with fists treated as lawful, it is certainly a waste.
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Old November 24th, 2009   #23
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

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monk spade
This reminds me of the Shoveller from Mystery Men.
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Old November 24th, 2009   #24
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfly View Post
The only reason Rangers have any prominence/importance in NEW D+D games is simple: the movie trilogy Lord of the Rings. End of debate.

I was an old school gamer and rememeber the original game well. Rangers were an almost strictly OUTDOOR class, adding fighter and druidic ability to give the character the outdoor flavour. But the fact Aragorn is a Ranger does not EQUAL what the original Ranger in AD+D was. In fact, I have no idea other than a fighter what Aragorn could be.

Remember, D+D is controlled by WoTC, and they are very careful about following trends to boost sales. Rangers in the old AD+D games were rare simply most campaigns were not heavily favoured to outdoor scenarios. I cannot recall a single ORIGINAL AD+D module that uses a Ranger character. And I collect so I can recall a lot.
I'm gonna have to call you out here. I played a Ranger in the 'Giants' modules (and the Drow follow ups), and it was ideally suited. In AD&D 1st edition Rangers got 2 hit dice at level 1 (and an extra 1 at level 10) even though d8 rather than d10, plus they had a damage bonus of +1 per level against humanoids and giantish opponents and gained surprise more easily. They were clearly modelled on Aragorn and my Ranger used a Longsword and had high Strength (min Str was 13 but min Dex was 6).

Completely different to the mincing namby-pambies that pass as Rangers these days.
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Old November 24th, 2009   #25
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

Yeah 3.5 was supposed to de-wimp the 3.0 Rangers. :zzz:
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Old November 24th, 2009   #26
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

I think the concept of a range warden (how I think of Rangers) class is pretty cool, but without using Pathfinder rules I'd never use it because it is too limiting using only two fighting archetypes. I think the magic they do get would be better in the use of appropriate woodsy skills with survival,herbs, traps, etc. However I'd argue that I think that 3E Rangers are more based on Drizzt then Aragorn, with the two weapon specialization and animal companion. I'd say that for pnp D&D I much prefer the Scout over the Ranger.
If I wanted to make a ranged combatant I cannot use a Ranger if I want them to be a crossbowman, slinger, or peltast without Pathfinder or House rules.

As for monks it is a class that I've never used because I feel the class isn't really appropriate unless it took place in a more Asian campaign.

I simply love bards, I'm glad some people see how potent and cool a class it is.

Last edited by MonkeyLancer; November 24th, 2009 at 09:01 PM.
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Old November 24th, 2009   #27
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

[QUOTE=Necroticpus;90629]This is true but anyone who isn't evil is not going to do cowardly stuff like that. They stand up for themselves and present, so everyone knows what the score is and what happens if he wins the challenge.

QUOTE]

A little naive I think. Winning is winning, pure and simple. Why fight face to face to lose when you can do something thoughful, planned and purposeful and win? I note the Assassin class from the original AD+D game is no more. What a pity....
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Old November 24th, 2009   #28
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thurstrum View Post
The whole dnd ranger concept was modelled on Aragorn in the first place. If he isn't a ranger no-one is.
Show me one instance where Aragorn casted spells.
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Old November 24th, 2009   #29
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

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Originally Posted by Thorsson View Post
I'm gonna have to call you out here. I played a Ranger in the 'Giants' modules (and the Drow follow ups), and it was ideally suited. In AD&D 1st edition Rangers got 2 hit dice at level 1 (and an extra 1 at level 10) even though d8 rather than d10, plus they had a damage bonus of +1 per level against humanoids and giantish opponents and gained surprise more easily. They were clearly modelled on Aragorn and my Ranger used a Longsword and had high Strength (min Str was 13 but min Dex was 6).

Completely different to the mincing namby-pambies that pass as Rangers these days.
You are playing the original version as intended on a original module. Of course the DM has a lot whether it will do or not. But the model of the Ranger as it is in D+D in the latest version is clearly motivated by the movies LOTR. No question.

I only played a Ranger once and found it interesting. I was an Elven character so had the woodland advantage even more (thank God for Unearthed Arcana).

The older game was harder and I would venture that a character from the original AD+D game compared to what is out now is the superior character, even from the same class.
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Old November 24th, 2009   #30
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Re: Monks, Bards, and Rangers. The 'other' white meat options.

The 1st Edition rangers were based on Aragorn in the LotR books, with a smattering of other stuff like Jack the Giant-killer.

Rangers from 2nd Edition on were based on Drizzt. (Which is where the whole dual-wielding thing came from.)

3.5 tacked on the bow option to try to make them less pigeon-holed.
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