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Pillars of Eternity is not DnD.


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Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, specifically in turn-based mode, is very similar to DnD rules.
Granted, it is not "true" DnD, it may not even officially use licensed DnD rules, but it is closer to what that list above shows for "true DnD" than BG3 .

But as I said, I'm not veteran DnD player and whether Pillars of Eternity are true DnD or just DnD-like is not changing my above comments about BG3.

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Originally Posted by gmnenad
These are just an opinions but they underline differences in DnD vs non-DnD gamers -there are obviously expectations for "true DnD 5e" from one side and expectations for "DoS3" from the other side ( ie for BG3 to be similar but better than DoS2). [...
- "low DnD" mode ( practically DoS3 mode).

I understand that you liked DOS 2, but I don't want to have any of it in a DnD game. And that's what ladan said they are making when they announced BG3.

And it seems you have the notion, that every character need a lot of actions to have tactical depth.
I strongly disagree, you need lots of available choices.

Take chess for example. You only have 1 action per turn. But I think you will agree, that it's a very tactical game.
Maybe it's not fun for you, because you can't set the chess board on fire (at least not as an valid action concerning the roles of chess), but that doesn't mean it doesn't have deep, tactical choices you can make.

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If you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one.

Larian, pick a side whether it be DOS or D&D 5E combat. Stop meshing it together. It doesn’t work.

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Originally Posted by Lilybun
I honestly think the combat would go a massively long way with just 3 key changes
- in-depth reaction system
- shoving focusing on prone rather than home run yeets
- advantage/disadvantage removed from height and backstab
I need to spend more time with the system to really have an opinion, but so far it sounds fair. There are spells that can have enemies flying... I don't think it needs to be available to EVERY character, at no cost and bonus action. My guess is, that they want you and enemies in constant shuffle and fight for higher positions.... but so far it kinda seem to mostly overshadow other considerations.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
My guess is, that they want you and enemies in constant shuffle and fight for higher positions....
So, Fortnite, basically. grin

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Originally Posted by daMichi
I understand that you liked DOS 2, but I don't want to have any of it in a DnD game. And that's what ladan said they are making when they announced BG3.

And it seems you have the notion, that every character need a lot of actions to have tactical depth.
I strongly disagree, you need lots of available choices.

Take chess for example. You only have 1 action per turn. But I think you will agree, that it's a very tactical game.
Maybe it's not fun for you, because you can't set the chess board on fire (at least not as an valid action concerning the roles of chess), but that doesn't mean it doesn't have deep, tactical choices you can make.

I understand your position about DnD, and I already mentioned that it will be hard for Larian to walk middle ground in BG3.

Regarding actions - no, characters do not 'need' lot of actions, but it certainly helps. You need large number of combinations per fight in order to really have "tactical options" and chances for synergies. And combinations are influenced by number of choices AND number of actions per fight.

In chess, you have only one 'action per turn', but you have large number of choices per each turn ( 16 figures where some can move to 8-16 different spots, some to only 2, but lets say around 80 choices ). So in 4 turn 'fight' in chess you could theoretically select your 'tactics' out of 80^4= 40 million combinations. If we only look at 'meaningful' choices, ie those that make sense, then its much less, but still on each move you could probably on average consider dozens of potentially valid moves. Which means that 4-turn fight in chess still has 20k combinations - plenty to ensure that you need to *think* and tactically select best option, as opposed to just play whatever is available.

If we look at BG3, you have one main action per turn and one bonus action. Melee/ranged classes have only few main actions, and all have also just several bonus actions. So you have around dozen potential combinations of choices per turn, but that is total number - you have much less 'meaningful' choices, and you often end up in BG3 using same actions each turn, or selecting among 3-4 different turn plays at most. That means 4-turn fight in BG has just 256 meaningful combinations, not even comparable to chess.

Now, as I said, TWO things increase number of possible combinations: number of choices ( spells, attacks, cantrips, bonus actions...), and number of actions. But out of those two, number of actions has MORE influence.

Consider hypothetical game where you have 3 meaningful choices per action and 2 actions per turn ( BG3 is close to that ) - In 4 turn fight you would have total of 3^8= 6500 combinations. Now, if we double number of potential choices (spells, bonuses...) we increase that to 6^8= 1.6M in theory, but in practice not all added spells will be meaningful or often used, so its much more modest increase. On the other hand, if we double number of actions per turn, keeping same spells and choices, we now have 3^16= 43M combinations - about 40x more than if we doubled number of available spells/bonuses . And, while most of these numbers are just guesstimate ballparks to illustrate my point, incidentally those 40M combinations with 4 actions per turn is comparable to 40M combinations in chess 4 turns.

But since gamers do not play game by enumerating all combinations, above is just to illustrate that 'more actions per turn' is more potent way to increase tactical variability.

So I do believe that BOTH more actions per turn, AND more choices per action ( spells, attacks, bonuses ) all increase number of tactical options and make combat more interesting.

But apart from cold math, there is also my experience from games that allow 4-5 actions per turn: it is MUCH easier in those to use interesting but not very powerful spells, thus it is MUCH more natural to get synergies in such game. In DoS2, you have lets say 8 AP per turn. Your normal attacks are usually 2 AP, your stronger attacks/spells are 3AP, and smaller/helper/bonus spells ate 1AP. It is obvious that you have much more tactical opinions from start at each turn - do I use 2 big or 3 normal attacks? If I use 2 big, it may still be less damage than 3 normal, but can I add some 1ap helper spell like haste or clarity or ... ? So you end up not only using 2-3 attacks per turn, you also often have choice to use some smaller spell that you would RARELY use in BG3 if it means you must forgo your only attack.

In short, single main action per turn means you simply can NOT use smaller, more interesting but weaker spells/attacks, if you want to play optimally. While in DoS2 and similar games with multiple actions per turn you CAN, without intentionally playing worse than if you used just attacks.


I'm sure this discussion has been done elsewhere on these forums, as it is part of "like DoS" vs "true DnD", so I just wanted to explain why I think more actions are good.

But again, I understand position of DnD players, and I agree that BG3 *was* advertised as DnD game. It may be that I personally find DnD rules as negative thing or inferior to DoS rules, but I'm sure there are many DnD players who think otherwise. Also, even if I consider BG3 worse than DoS2, I still consider BG3 as good game - and even if Larian makes it more DnD I will still plays it ( well, except if they remove advantage on higher ground - that would be showstopper for me I guess ). But I also believe there are many more casual non-DnD players that may be lost to BG3 if it become more DnD.

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From the way I see it, it's less about the number of actions per turn that you have and more about how impactful an action you take is. Yes, your amount of actions per turn won't change as you level up but the versatility of your available actions per turn will, plus your base actions are only a part of it, since reactions, synergies or other tactical maneuvers play a huge part as well. But to be fair, there is little of all this in the game, since we are just talking level 1 to 4 here and a lot is still missing or poorly implemented as of now.

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Originally Posted by gmnenad
I understand your position about DnD, and I already mentioned that it will be hard for Larian to walk middle ground in BG3.

Regarding actions - no, characters do not 'need' lot of actions, but it certainly helps. You need large number of combinations per fight in order to really have "tactical options" and chances for synergies. And combinations are influenced by number of choices AND number of actions per fight.

In chess, you have only one 'action per turn', but you have large number of choices per each turn ( 16 figures where some can move to 8-16 different spots, some to only 2, but lets say around 80 choices ). So in 4 turn 'fight' in chess you could theoretically select your 'tactics' out of 80^4= 40 million combinations. If we only look at 'meaningful' choices, ie those that make sense, then its much less, but still on each move you could probably on average consider dozens of potentially valid moves. Which means that 4-turn fight in chess still has 20k combinations - plenty to ensure that you need to *think* and tactically select best option, as opposed to just play whatever is available.

If we look at BG3, you have one main action per turn and one bonus action. Melee/ranged classes have only few main actions, and all have also just several bonus actions. So you have around dozen potential combinations of choices per turn, but that is total number - you have much less 'meaningful' choices, and you often end up in BG3 using same actions each turn, or selecting among 3-4 different turn plays at most. That means 4-turn fight in BG has just 256 meaningful combinations, not even comparable to chess.

Now, as I said, TWO things increase number of possible combinations: number of choices ( spells, attacks, cantrips, bonus actions...), and number of actions. But out of those two, number of actions has MORE influence.

Consider hypothetical game where you have 3 meaningful choices per action and 2 actions per turn ( BG3 is close to that ) - In 4 turn fight you would have total of 3^8= 6500 combinations. Now, if we double number of potential choices (spells, bonuses...) we increase that to 6^8= 1.6M in theory, but in practice not all added spells will be meaningful or often used, so its much more modest increase. On the other hand, if we double number of actions per turn, keeping same spells and choices, we now have 3^16= 43M combinations - about 40x more than if we doubled number of available spells/bonuses . And, while most of these numbers are just guesstimate ballparks to illustrate my point, incidentally those 40M combinations with 4 actions per turn is comparable to 40M combinations in chess 4 turns.

But since gamers do not play game by enumerating all combinations, above is just to illustrate that 'more actions per turn' is more potent way to increase tactical variability.

So I do believe that BOTH more actions per turn, AND more choices per action ( spells, attacks, bonuses ) all increase number of tactical options and make combat more interesting.

But apart from cold math, there is also my experience from games that allow 4-5 actions per turn: it is MUCH easier in those to use interesting but not very powerful spells, thus it is MUCH more natural to get synergies in such game. In DoS2, you have lets say 8 AP per turn. Your normal attacks are usually 2 AP, your stronger attacks/spells are 3AP, and smaller/helper/bonus spells ate 1AP. It is obvious that you have much more tactical opinions from start at each turn - do I use 2 big or 3 normal attacks? If I use 2 big, it may still be less damage than 3 normal, but can I add some 1ap helper spell like haste or clarity or ... ? So you end up not only using 2-3 attacks per turn, you also often have choice to use some smaller spell that you would RARELY use in BG3 if it means you must forgo your only attack.

In short, single main action per turn means you simply can NOT use smaller, more interesting but weaker spells/attacks, if you want to play optimally. While in DoS2 and similar games with multiple actions per turn you CAN, without intentionally playing worse than if you used just attacks.


I'm sure this discussion has been done elsewhere on these forums, as it is part of "like DoS" vs "true DnD", so I just wanted to explain why I think more actions are good.

But again, I understand position of DnD players, and I agree that BG3 *was* advertised as DnD game. It may be that I personally find DnD rules as negative thing or inferior to DoS rules, but I'm sure there are many DnD players who think otherwise. Also, even if I consider BG3 worse than DoS2, I still consider BG3 as good game - and even if Larian makes it more DnD I will still plays it ( well, except if they remove advantage on higher ground - that would be showstopper for me I guess ). But I also believe there are many more casual non-DnD players that may be lost to BG3 if it become more DnD.

In regards of tactical depth, the number of actions is not very important, in my opinion. The game needs to be balanced around the number of actions every participant has, but apart from that, it doesn't really matter.

If every participant has 10 actions per round, then of course you have to make sure that you have enough meaningful things to do in that round, and that you still get a certain amount of rounds. If every fight is over after only 1 round, it would get boring fast. The same, if every fight takes 100 rounds, then probably every fight will feel like a chore after some time.

As you said yourself, it needs to feel like you are doing something meaningful every round.

And I think you can achieve that with DnD quite well. There are ~495 spells, and approximately 75 feats. Every class has also distinct abilities and flavours. And e.g. for the spells, there are not many redundancies.
E.g. Bless is the only spell, that adds to your to-hit chance per se. Of course there are other spells that give advantage, which also results in a better to hit chance, but mechanically different.

What's different now in DnD compared to DOS is that I can't use powerful abilities very often - the more powerful, the less often I can use it. In DOS after 3 rounds or so you can reuse every ability. In DnD I can use a spell like 4 times ... Then my characters have to rest. So I need way way more planing and tactical thinking when to use which spell or ability. Because resting is not always possible, especially if I am in a dungeon.

If I now use 1 - 2 (DnD) or 2 - 3 abilities/spells per character per turn (do I use 1 small ability and 1 big ability, or 3 small abilities in DOS) does not make much difference when you are controlling 5 or 6 characters, at least in my opinion.

I am the same opinion as you, it's the synergies that count, and there are lots of them in DnD.

Sadly right now we don't have a lot of spells and feats implemented in bg3. And those that are in the game are not always implemented correctly.
Same goes for mechanics.

So I understand completely that you think the combat in BG3 is lacking. It absolutely is.

But it really depends on Larian to implement the core stuff for level 1 - 4. Then - I am quite sure of it - there would be quite more choices per turn. And you would also get other possibilities to get advantage than just from height, namely through tactical usage of your spells and abilities.

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The shorter everyone's turn is (due to having just A+BA), the sooner next round starts and you can take action with your character(s) again.

Also: One round represents 6 seconds. It makes no sense to have multiple actions per round other than by using rare abilities/spells.

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Woh, so many messages here !

I feel the need to react to a few things some said.

* BACKSTAB : the Backstab added by Larian does not make the game more tactical at all : just more tedious and the 5e rules are not adapted/balanced for any facing/direction/backstab logic. Both you and the enemies can run around you FREELY and backstab every single turn! Backstabbing existed in past versions where running around a target could provoke an Attack of opportunity, which no longer is the case in 5.

So, if you want to, you can move to backstab every turn without much risk : just tedious. I have seen Gnolls move behind me, strike, and then move back in front of me. The notion that this is a cool or tactical addition is an illusion.

* FUN AND OPTIMISATION : I understand making things more streamlined or more fun, I am NOT requesting 100 % 5e rules, BUT many changes are not at all based off making things better. For example, Mirror Image was easy to implement in their engine, but some designer decided to radically change the effect: not more fun nor more streamlined, just a radical redesign for some random unknown whim.

BETTER EXAMPLE : the Wizard's Find Familiar spell is implemented in a way that is NOT fun at all. In 5e, though the Familiar is rather weak, you can cast it as a Ritual (no slot cost) and Wizards do not even need to prepare (but it cost some gold). In BG3, some RANGERS have the benefit of casting Find Familiar as a Ritual. So why not the Wizard? (because design errors: Early Access)

Even in Solasta (which can only use the free license SRD bits of 5e), I am not asking them to 100 % respect the rules : 5e rules are not perfect. But Larian designers should not butcher the rules on a whim without more thought. As far as I know, Larian is the ONLY game studio to have been given the license to use 5e rules (i.e. other games won the right to use the name D&D and Forgotten Realms, but cannot use the full 5e rules).

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@Baraz

Good examples. I'm hoping that mirror image is just a placeholder. Same goes for invoke duplicity.

And yes, what Solasta has done correctly is a get the core rules down and *then* homebrew. (I'd actually like to see greenmage become an official 5th ed class) No one wants %100 RAW -- I'm fine with not having to finding diamonds to cast revivify, fine with changes to ranger class -- but getting things like find familiar correct would be nice.

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I think something that people unfamiliar with 5e aren't grasping, is that limitations on action economy are what give certain classes and subclasses their identity.

In 5e, every class has the ability to use their action to disengage, hide, dodge, and dash as an action. This represents taking the majority of your 6 seconds in a round to utilize it in a way that is situationally greater than simply attacking or casting at you foe.

Certain classes are so adept at maneuvering or sneaking that through their class features, they gain the ability to use some of them as bonus actions instead. These classes include rogues, monks, and to a lesser extent; rangers and eagle barbarians. The ability to use these actions as bonus actions gives these classes an edge that really makes them feel like they are a step faster than their other party members and solidifies their character identity.

That doesn't mean that other classes don't have things to bring to the table with their bonus actions. While the speedsters have an edge on the maneuverability side; Barbarians, fighters, and paladins may be using their bonus actions to attack with reckless rage, smite effects, or GWM/PAM. These heavy hitters came to brawl, and they're gonna use their bonus actions to bring the pain.

Well what about casters? What do they get? Casters get a spellbook full of spells to play with. Clerics have more bonus action spells than you could ever ask for. Sorcerers can spend sorcery points to turn action cost spells into bonus actions instead. Bards have inspiration for their bonus actions and can choose a couple spells from other classes if they want even more to do with their bonus actions. Druids have wild shape and again... spells. Warlocks... rangers... paladins... spells.

As a character levels up, they gain access to more and more possibilities as to what they can do in their turn. So most classes already have options to look to for their bonus actions. One's that don't can generally take a feat to give them more freedom in their bonus actions. There's also the ability to duel wield to get bonus action attacks.

The problem with diluting the distinction in action economy is that it kills variety and destroys class identity. Arcane tricksters barely feel more roguelike than a Wizard that took the criminal background, due to the Cunning Action handout. What's the point of taking the shield master feat, when everyone got the most important part of it for free? Why would I ever want to play an Eldritch Knight, when anyone can replicate their iconic 7th and 18th Level War magic feature by dual wielding? Why would I pick a control caster and pick spells that give my party members advantage on attacks when advantage comes freely. The list goes on.

Having options is fun, which is why you pick classes that have the options you want, because those options make you feel like you are that class. If everyone is special, then no one is.

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Originally Posted by Baraz
Even in Solasta (which can only use the free license bits of 5e), I am not asking them to 100 % respect the rules : 5e rules are not perfect. But Larian designers should not butcher the rules on a whim without more thought. As far as I know, Larian is the ONLY game studio to have been given the license to use 5e rules (i.e. there is one other studio making an action game using the D&D name, but it does not require 5e rules as such).

To be precise, all of the 5e rules are released under the Open Gaming License that Solasta uses. What Larian has is a license to use WotC-owned and DnD-related IPs and trademarks.


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The base OGL (SRD5) also doesn't cover a lot of races, classes and subcalsses, many spells or most feats - this is why a lot of that game's races are custom-to-world, and their subclasses are not the same, etc.,

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Please, please, please do not make it to the core rules. D&d rules are for tabletop games. They are boring when used in a computer games.

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Well, the homebrew variatons where Larian moved away from the core pnp rules ended up making combat even more boring. Either by making classes similar, making tactics almosty non-existant (aside from leaping over enemies to backstab or to get high ground), as well as making a lot of abilities/spells pointless.

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Originally Posted by TheFoxWhisperer
Well, the homebrew variatons where Larian moved away from the core pnp rules ended up making combat even more boring. Either by making classes similar, making tactics almosty non-existant (aside from leaping over enemies to backstab or to get high ground), as well as making a lot of abilities/spells pointless.


EXACTLY!

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Originally Posted by Evandir
I think something that people unfamiliar with 5e aren't grasping, is that limitations on action economy are what give certain classes and subclasses their identity.

In 5e, every class has the ability to use their action to disengage, hide, dodge, and dash as an action. This represents taking the majority of your 6 seconds in a round to utilize it in a way that is situationally greater than simply attacking or casting at you foe.

Certain classes are so adept at maneuvering or sneaking that through their class features, they gain the ability to use some of them as bonus actions instead. These classes include rogues, monks, and to a lesser extent; rangers and eagle barbarians. The ability to use these actions as bonus actions gives these classes an edge that really makes them feel like they are a step faster than their other party members and solidifies their character identity.

That doesn't mean that other classes don't have things to bring to the table with their bonus actions. While the speedsters have an edge on the maneuverability side; Barbarians, fighters, and paladins may be using their bonus actions to attack with reckless rage, smite effects, or GWM/PAM. These heavy hitters came to brawl, and they're gonna use their bonus actions to bring the pain.

Well what about casters? What do they get? Casters get a spellbook full of spells to play with. Clerics have more bonus action spells than you could ever ask for. Sorcerers can spend sorcery points to turn action cost spells into bonus actions instead. Bards have inspiration for their bonus actions and can choose a couple spells from other classes if they want even more to do with their bonus actions. Druids have wild shape and again... spells. Warlocks... rangers... paladins... spells.

As a character levels up, they gain access to more and more possibilities as to what they can do in their turn. So most classes already have options to look to for their bonus actions. One's that don't can generally take a feat to give them more freedom in their bonus actions. There's also the ability to duel wield to get bonus action attacks.

The problem with diluting the distinction in action economy is that it kills variety and destroys class identity. Arcane tricksters barely feel more roguelike than a Wizard that took the criminal background, due to the Cunning Action handout. What's the point of taking the shield master feat, when everyone got the most important part of it for free? Why would I ever want to play an Eldritch Knight, when anyone can replicate their iconic 7th and 18th Level War magic feature by dual wielding? Why would I pick a control caster and pick spells that give my party members advantage on attacks when advantage comes freely. The list goes on.

Having options is fun, which is why you pick classes that have the options you want, because those options make you feel like you are that class. If everyone is special, then no one is.

I love this post. Is there anyway we could have this pinned? I agree that it's more important that the game is fun and each class has their own meaningful space. Actions are currently overshadowed by jump, dip, backstab, higher ground, etc. and it makes combat stale.

Whether Larian chooses to implement more homebrew or be truer to DnD the game needs to be changed where classes matter and actions have a premium (limited in use or associated with a cost).

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Originally Posted by DragonSnooz
Originally Posted by Evandir
I think something that people unfamiliar with 5e aren't grasping, is that limitations on action economy are what give certain classes and subclasses their identity.

In 5e, every class has the ability to use their action to disengage, hide, dodge, and dash as an action. This represents taking the majority of your 6 seconds in a round to utilize it in a way that is situationally greater than simply attacking or casting at you foe.

Certain classes are so adept at maneuvering or sneaking that through their class features, they gain the ability to use some of them as bonus actions instead. These classes include rogues, monks, and to a lesser extent; rangers and eagle barbarians. The ability to use these actions as bonus actions gives these classes an edge that really makes them feel like they are a step faster than their other party members and solidifies their character identity.

That doesn't mean that other classes don't have things to bring to the table with their bonus actions. While the speedsters have an edge on the maneuverability side; Barbarians, fighters, and paladins may be using their bonus actions to attack with reckless rage, smite effects, or GWM/PAM. These heavy hitters came to brawl, and they're gonna use their bonus actions to bring the pain.

Well what about casters? What do they get? Casters get a spellbook full of spells to play with. Clerics have more bonus action spells than you could ever ask for. Sorcerers can spend sorcery points to turn action cost spells into bonus actions instead. Bards have inspiration for their bonus actions and can choose a couple spells from other classes if they want even more to do with their bonus actions. Druids have wild shape and again... spells. Warlocks... rangers... paladins... spells.

As a character levels up, they gain access to more and more possibilities as to what they can do in their turn. So most classes already have options to look to for their bonus actions. One's that don't can generally take a feat to give them more freedom in their bonus actions. There's also the ability to duel wield to get bonus action attacks.

The problem with diluting the distinction in action economy is that it kills variety and destroys class identity. Arcane tricksters barely feel more roguelike than a Wizard that took the criminal background, due to the Cunning Action handout. What's the point of taking the shield master feat, when everyone got the most important part of it for free? Why would I ever want to play an Eldritch Knight, when anyone can replicate their iconic 7th and 18th Level War magic feature by dual wielding? Why would I pick a control caster and pick spells that give my party members advantage on attacks when advantage comes freely. The list goes on.

Having options is fun, which is why you pick classes that have the options you want, because those options make you feel like you are that class. If everyone is special, then no one is.

I love this post. Is there anyway we could have this pinned? I agree that it's more important that the game is fun and each class has their own meaningful space. Actions are currently overshadowed by jump, dip, backstab, higher ground, etc. and it makes combat stale.

Whether Larian chooses to implement more homebrew or be truer to DnD the game needs to be changed where classes matter and actions have a premium (limited in use or associated with a cost).


Agreed, that post is actually perfect! <3

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