Talk:Adorable (3.5e Equipment)

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RatedLike.png Tarkisflux likes this article and rated it 3 of 4.
I'm pretty neutral on the effect here. It's a targeting RPS style trade, with some (likely forgettable) skill bonuses tossed in on top. Yeah, it can stack with itself with is a bit weird for armor, but I don't care at all about AC stacking in this case given the ways around it and the opportunity cost of actually doing it. All that would leave this at a neutral, something useful but not particularly interesting or revolutionary. But the idea of death knights in fuzzy adorable armor to blunt the attacks of paladins is amusing, and so a like it gets.
RatedLike.png Leziad likes this article and rated it 3 of 4.
I think it fun, the bonuses are otherwise pretty unremarkable. Overall my opinion is positive.
RatedOppose.png Ghostwheel opposes this article and rated it 0 of 4.
If the stacking part wasn't there it would be okay. But causing someone to fall off the RNG, particularly defensively, is one of the worst offenses in system design.
RatedFavor.png Fluffykittens favors this article and rated it 4 of 4!
"You swing at the Balor. You are distracted by just how cute his fluffy earmuffs and hello kitty jacket are and miss."


>Adorable may be taken multiple times, the bonuses stacking.

I can't think of any way this could possibly be abused. +2 ac versus a fucktonne of creatures and a infinitely stacking +2 to diplomacy? It's the most balanced thing I've ever seen. Fluffykittens (talk) 02:57, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

It's intentional. You trade +1 AC (from enhancement) for +2 AC against a more limited set of creatures. Evil creatures (common) and things immune to morale effects (anything mindless, so many Undead and Constructs) will ignore it. The skill bonus was mostly gravy. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 03:04, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
The skill bonus is untyped, and stacks with all of the other ridiculous item boosters out there. Was that intentional? - Tarkisflux Talk 04:05, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
I suppose I should apply a typing to the skill bonus (since it is intended to stack with itself, but not necessarily other boosters). -- Eiji-kun (talk) 04:21, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
The armor bonus by itself is far from broken, but it's the bloody shit cherry on top of the stacking bullshit diplomacy bonus. Reign in the skill bonus, and it'll be fine. As of now, adorable armor can very easily turn anyone into a diplomancer, even by accident.Fluffykittens (talk) 05:15, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Even though it doesn't stack with the most common bonus type now? That's changed.
If it's still a problem, I'll just drop it to +1 bonuses so you cap out at +5 instead of +10. Presumably though you'd be rocking a up to +30 Ring of Diplomacy anyway if you were going for that. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 05:36, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
I'd just make it so the morale penalty to enemy armor stacks and not the bonuses to diplomacy etc. (and keep it a competence bonus). Fluffykittens (talk) 05:59, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Eh, I just don't see it. If you were a real diplomancer, you'd be getting a +10 or greater from something else anyway, so it's not really a useful bonus to them. That said, seems easier to drop it to a +1 instead of +2, it IS gravy after all. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 06:05, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Works fine now.Fluffykittens (talk) 06:28, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

On the armor bonus[edit]

I wouldn't say it's "instead" of the armor bonus, since you can easily get +5 full plate of 5x adorable and get a whopping 8 (base) + 5 (enhancement) + 10 (adorable) = 23 to AC just from armor... and then there's more if you pick up a shield. I would definitely not make it stack with itself. --Ghostwheel (talk) 06:33, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Sure, you can easily get that for the low, low price of 100,000 gold. Spanambula (talk) 09:11, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
A price high-level characters would be more than willing to pay to fall off the RNG, and MUCH cheaper than a +10 weapon. --Ghostwheel (talk) 11:56, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Yyyyyes, but here's the thing: in high-level play even unoptimized characters have long since begun to fall off the RNG as they hyperspecialize in their roles, gaining large bonuses in one area, usually causing a lack of bonuses in other areas. Looking at all the other stuff you can get with 100,000, a +23 armor that's only +13 against a goodly number of monsters in no way seems egregious. Also, even in core games AC scales much more slowly than other things (like, say, attack rolls). I think if a PC is willing to sink half his WBL at 15th level into one losable, destroyable item, they can go for it. Lastly why are we talking about +10 weapons pre-epic? Spanambula (talk) 12:48, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
The reason that AC lags behind attack bonus is so that iterative attacks are on the RNG. That's what the system is predicated around. Obviously you're not going to buy this in a campaign where you fight mainly evil and mindless enemies, but if you're fighting good and neutral enemies for the most part, then this is way too powerful. And don't say silly things like buying +10 armor at level 15. At level 15 they could buy a +1 armor of 5x adorable and get a huge boost to AC compared to everyone else. And we're talking about +10 weapons pre-epic because you're supposed to have those pre-epic. Epic begins either at +11 total enhancements, or +6 to weapon enhancement. Just like +5 armor of 5x adorable would be a suit of +10 armor. Finally, anything that the players have access to, the DM should also be able to use. How would you like to go up against someone with this armor and be entirely ineffectual against him? But seriously. Falling off the RNG, especially on the defensive side, is bad for the game. I don't understand how people can't see that. --Ghostwheel (talk) 12:55, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
If we're going to go down the "hypothetical campaign where we only fight creature X" road we're not going to get anywhere, nor do I feel that's an acceptable standard by which articles should be judged. You were the one who mentioned +10 armor in a high-level game, and I tend to think of 15th level as the low end of high-level, so that's why I'm saying "silly things" like +10 armor at 15th level. Anyway, falling off the RNG defensively in only one area (such as AC) is hardly overpowering. Now if something the party is supposed to fight has disproportionately high AC, unusually high high saves, high touch AC, mettle, improved evasion, miss chance... THEN that's poor design, since that shuts everyone down. But if something just has high AC, that shouldn't make an entire group ineffectual against it, ESPECIALLY at high levels of play. Spanambula (talk) 17:42, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
AC is one of the four defensive stats. Becoming virtually immune to 1/4 of the types of attacks that target you (more, since many enemies target AC, and this even works vs. touch attacks) is huge. You still have a ton of other resources to invest into other stats. Saying, "It's only one of the four defensive stats" is a poor excuse. You shouldn't fall off the RNG in any stat, especially not from just one item. --Ghostwheel (talk) 18:24, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Monsters typically have huge attack bonuses, also touch attacks. High Ac is generally a pretty poor defense compared to miss chance or total cover. --Leziad (talk) 21:42, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

(reset indent) "Becoming virtually immune to 1/4 of the types of attacks that target you" Intelligent, high level, nonevil creatures typically are either closet trolls (like Big T) or have spellcasting and other abilities that target your saves (like Angels and Dragons). And as Leizad was discussing, greater blink + displacement + cover is often better than armor and available at much lower level. Fluffykittens (talk) 22:24, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

(RESET INDENT, now with extra edit conflicts) EIJI EXPLODES INTO THE EVENT! A new challenger has arrived!

Alright, now that the inevitable Wheeling has occurred, I can stop holding back and observing how things play out. Needless to say I disagree with the slavish devotion to Arengi, God of 50/50, or the idea that high attack bonuses were planned by WotC for the purposes of iterative attacks, but I'm gonna show that things aren't anywhere near as dramatic as Ghost puts it.

Trigger warning! The RNG gets totally molested, violated, and defiled in this hot and dirty tell-all! Viewer discretion is advised. Pegi +18. Rated R.

So let's take a journey to level 15. You're actually a pretty modest fighter; full BAB (+15), only a +7 ability modifier for attack, and a +3 weapon. You are also non-evil and non-mind effecting immune. Before even accounting anything for feats, flanking, or the like you are packing a +25 to attack. Our target AC is 33, the theoretical adorable full plate of RNG molestation +5. You need to roll.... an 8. Those seem like pretty good chances against someone who has apparently dumped half their WBL into pimping their full plate. They could try to put on some other defensive tricks, but it turns out turning them from being hit on an 8 to an 18 entirely wipes out their WBL, so that's not reasonable.

Of course, the typical situation isn't man vs man, it's man vs beast. The things you face are rarely human, nevermind sporting full plate, nevermind adorable full plate. So let's take a look from the other side. Grab some random CR 15 monsters here (surprisingly few in Core); Adult Bronze Dragon, Mummy Lord, Marut, Mature Adult Brass Dragon, Adult Red Dragon, Adult Silver Dragon, Old White Dragon. Right off the bat we can drop the Mummy Lord (Undead and Evil) and the Red Silver and White Dragons (Evil) since this won't apply to them. You are instead fighting goods and neutrals.

The Adult Bronze has an attack bonus of +21, the Marut has an attack bonus of +22, and the Mature Adult Brass is also +22. You wear the legendary Arengi-Bane Armor, gain your AC 33... and are hit 45% of the time! They need to roll an 11 to hit you, 12 for the bronze. That doesn't sound like the optimized tank to me. And when you're in a party you're expected to take on plenty of these guys a day, if you're fighting a boss who may be CR +4, their attack bonuses will be higher than this.

"But wait! They're supposed to hit you a lot, because iterative become worse and worse." Sure.

If most monsters followed those rules.

Most monsters enjoy natural weapons, never degrading beyond -5. And in the case of the dragons you decided to pick on today they often come with a lot of natural weapons. (Incidentally this is why I don't think AC was designed with iterative attacks in mind.) Or perhaps they are feeling cheeky, noticed that you're skimping on your cloak of resistance because you need to afford a weapon strong enough to care, and decided to cast a spell. Or, because it's level 15, maybe they've gotten access to any number of the means to become immune to this spell via magic.

You could spend 100,000 gp on armor that will work, sometimes, to get AC 33. Or you could spend it on +5 armor (25k), +5 deflection (50k), +5 natural (50k), a little more but the same AC, and functional against everyone (and frankly there is likely a cheaper way to do this too, this is just vanilla). Or you could do as most fighting types do by these levels and either dump AC, or find a miss chance to survive.

At the end of the day, I think you and your 45% chance to be hit will be fine. You could tank it up further, grabbing a +5 tower shield, completing nerfing your weapon and offensive output, using Combat Expertise... and by that time you are hyperspecialized. And that's normal, because you are performing your role of tank while the rest of the party is presumably covering your weaknesses. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 22:42, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

A, you should bump that up by another 6 or so for +4 amulet of natural armor and +4 ring of protection, and B. mapping what you can do compared to an equivalent PC class is a good way to see how the numbers roll out because CR is borked and monsters don't really count.
Here's what the numbers would actually look like in my opinion:
  • We'll leave the attacker as you wrote him, at an attack bonus of +25.
  • The defender won't only spend all their gold on the armor, since that would be disingenuous and a poor test of what would actually occur. So instead, we'll spend about the same 125k that you did with the second example, but go with something far more realistic. +3 armor of 5x adorable, a +4 ring of protection, and a +4 amulet of natural armor gives up a total of 10 (Base) + 8 (natural armor/deflection) + 1 (dexterity) + 21 (armor) for a total of 40 AC, having spent 128k on armor. That means that you need to roll an 18 or higher to hit with your +25, and your iterative attacks are meaningless.
If that doesn't satisfy you, then I don't know what will, and since you're letting others "soften me up" before having your shot at me, I'll simply leave my rating and we don't need to discuss this anymore. --Ghostwheel (talk) 05:55, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

I already covered the amulet and ring. In the first example, if they get it (+5s in those examples) wipes their WBL completely. Yeah, you can get +4s, but you still have an unacceptably small amount of money for anything which isn't not-armor. In the second example, I did add it already, showing that you reach the same AC, though universal, for only 25k more.
CR is borked, but CR is what we're supposed to be going for. And unless a CR is violently off base (crab, I'm looking at you) it's pretty close enough for our purposes. If anything, seeing how many of our opponents were dragons, beings with the defacto Awesome subtype, we may very well have been undershooting.
Where is the 21 armor coming from? +3 with 5x adorable is 13, not 21. Nevermind, I got it. It's full plate. Anyway, like I said you can totally armor it up, but that is a LOT of money. I would not just shrug off at the amount spent. Oh, and I should mention, since it is sure to come up, all this ignores the meta about AC and diminishing returns. And I'd be worried about losing 10 AC sometimes against things which aren't too uncommon, especially at higher levels. This is, if anything, relatable to things like favored enemy where you are either doing great, or doing awful. That's another story though.
Also, your sodium content is a bit high there Ghost. I know you're incorporeal, but perhaps you should invest in that +5 amulet of natural armor. I'm not "softening you up". There isn't a conspiracy here. Actually if anything I thought I was being merciful so you wouldn't think you were being ganged up on while Span was debating with you. Relax bro. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 06:04, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
The only diminishing returns that you get when it comes from armor is the cost of it. You actually get increased returns the higher it is, as long as it doesn't go higher than they'd need to hit with a 20. (So, going from needing an 11 to needing a 12 to hit increases your chance to dodge by 10%, but going from needing a 19 to hit to needing a 20 to hit increases your chance to dodge by 100%.
Beyond that, I've done a LOT of math on the system, and I've seen time and again just how important iterative attacks are to maintaining balance, and why it's important for attack to outpace AC. I invite you to do the quite strenuous math yourself, especially with a power attack calculator. If you don't want to do all that, believe me. If you don't want to do that either, then there's not much more to say. --Ghostwheel (talk) 16:49, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, there are diminishing returns on cost, but I was actually talking about the meta here. That is, if you are able to hit someone on a 10, and their AC rises so you can only hit them on a 12... it's useful but they'll probably still attack you. But if they were already having trouble hitting you, say, with a 16, and your AC now needs an 18 they will probably forgo targeting you since their actions are best spent killing the party. It's the whole paradox that the tank needs (lower) AC than glass cannons or bruisers so he can be targeted. My point here is that at a certain point you no longer become a target, at least not for physical threats.
Minor nitpick; increasing a number by one is a 5% benefit, not 10%. Also, the system technically caps at 5% and 95% because natural 1s and natural 20s. Anyway...
Which brings me to emphasizing again that AC is only one of four defenses (five if you count status effects as a separate thing) and that it's ok to optimize one at the sake of others. Thanks to limits in level, wealth, ability scores, etc, you can be fairly good at all four defenses, or wonderful in one and average or worse in others, but you can't have wonderful defenses everywhere. As long as the price is sufficiently high, thus acting as an anchor keeping you from maximizing your other defenses, I am ok with this. I suppose you could say PCs strive to become puzzle monsters; you don't use magic on the golem, you don't use physical on the mobile fortress, you don't use negative energy on the undead... and likewise, you don't use a sword on the guy with a million AC, you make him make a Reflex save. You don't use touch attacks on the nimble monk. You don't use Reflex saves on the rogue. This becomes less and less of an issue the higher level you go too. At low levels you can't at least say that the variety of options isn't available yet, and this is true, but at level 15 you have to expect AoEs, saves of all kinds, physical, flight, and all other kinds of hazards.
On Power Attack, actually I'm pretty well aware of the math behind it. I think you might be assuming I am unaware of all the math that you and others have done, but I'm not. Mostly the issue comes down to how important the information is in a game. IMHO, you assign omni-importance to maintaining RNG on this one area (AC) and ignoring how it interacts with the other three defenses, with the game's meta, and with cost. And frankly trying to account for everything is annoying and difficult since they change each others values and important in strange and difficult to predict ways. I'd like to say I have a grasp on it, but its via intuition instead of number crunching. Of course it's important to test it out after to see how it goes. So far so good.
Where was I... right, Power Attack. So, we've been running with an example of someone focusing on AC. As I said, half your wealth is nothing to sneeze at, I think I could call this guy an AC build. Thing is, not everyone is as AC focused. While most try to pull "enough", they can acquire "enough" through other means. Buffs. Miss chances. Tactics. Or simply not caring and piling on the hp. The point I'm making is that there are enough "non AC builds" floating out there whose AC is not very impressive where Power Attack and iterative attacks are very real and very effective threats. The fact that this AC Focused guy manages to foil the efforts of those using Power Attack or iterative attacks shows that that is working as designed!
This was a bit of a rambling mind-flow, but I hope you do understand I'm not just flailing around going "fuck yo math!" or anything. I'm just saying that there are other variables which take precedence. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 01:12, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Uh Oh! A wild Tarkis appears armed and ready to argue technicalities! Eiji, Ghost's percentages aren't wrong, they're just looking at the event from a different perspective. If you get hit on an 11+ (10 numbers), getting that up to 12+ (9 numbers) is a 10% drop in the number of times that you get hit. It is also 10% increase in your dodge chance, since you're going from 50% dodge to 55% dodge. And I don't think he was wrong about the auto hit thing, since he said hit on 19+ (2 numbers) to 20+ (1 number, and he identified the lack of benefit of going above this point), I think he just made a mistake and didn't recognize that as a 50% drop in the (already small) number of times you get hit. Now, I think that's an extremely unhelpful way to look at the numbers from a systemic view because it's ignoring the rest of the events on the RNG to focus on only a small portion of it, we're talking about differences on 1 in 20 times in these particular examples. 19 rolls out of 20 it won't even matter. It's only a really helpful characterization if you want to feel better about a +1 bonus, because 10% or 50% sounds better. But it's not technically wrong when phrased properly.
That out if the way, it shouldn't be surprising that I'm with Eiji and Span on this stacking not being a big deal at level 15 in a high balance game. I think it would be a larger problem at level 15 in a moderate or low balance game, and maybe in a lower balance H game that was focused on weapons and damage because so many other effects were considered unfun or something, but those games are off the rails by that point anyway without artifact swords or other shenanigans and I have a hard time being really worried about them. I'm kind of surprised that no one has discussed the opportunity costs of taking this 5 times in the discussion. Aren't there vastly more useful things you can stack on armor instead of this? - Tarkisflux Talk 04:49, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
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