buzz wrote:
And in general, can you give me an idea about the math behind some of the tables? How are tables listing damage that includes crits or attack penalties calculated? In particular, how were the numbers in the Power Attack table figured? I'm not sure I understand how you get the steep curve of "Lvl 14 Normal".
I assume you mean the True Strike and Power Attack chart.
I used the following characters--relatively unbuffed but still reasonable approximations of what characters could do:
Level 5: Fighter 1/Wizard 4 with a 14 strength, Weapon Focus, and +1 greatsword
Atk +7 for 2d6+4
Level 7: Ftr 1/Wiz 6/Eldritch Knight 2 with a 14 strength (16 with gauntlets of ogre power), +2 greatsword, and Weapon Focus
Atk +12/+7 for 2d6+6
Level 14: Ftr 1/Wiz 6/Eldritch Knight 7 with 14 strength (18 with belt of giant strength, +3 greatsword, and Weapon Focus
As I noted in the side legend, the figures don't include crits so the math was pretty simple:
Normal meant: charge in round 1 followed by a full attack
True Strike+Power Attack meant casting true strike in the first round and charging with full power attack in the second.
The basic formula I used is: average damage=chance to hitxaverage damage per hit
I then repeated this as necessary to account for all of the attacks.
For normal, I also played around with the attack and damage numbers a bit until I came up with a reasonably advantageous amount of Power Attack--after all, the character in question has Power Attack, so it's silly to figure his average damage without it when he's not casting true strike.
There are a some questions that could be raised about the assumptions behind the table--for instance, what if the level 14 character uses quickened true strikes? Or what if the character casts true strike and moves up to the target in round 1 and then uses a full attack in round 2 instead of charging? That was one of the reasons I opted for a chart instead of a table. It's not supposed to show the exact break point where a given character's damage will improve when he casts true strike and charges the next round. Instead, it's supposed to illustrate the point that simply attacking a low-mid AC enemy twice normally is likely to do more damage than using true strike one round and attacking the next.
For tables that did include crits, I generally started with % chance to hit x average damage per hit and added %chance to threaten x % chance to confirm x average extra damage per hit to it. So it could be simplified to (Chance to hit)(average damage per hit + (chance to confirm)(average extra damage per crit)). On 20/ x2 weapons like most spells, that could be further simplified to (1.05)(chance to hit)(average damage per hit). That, of course ignores some corner cases, but yields a generally accurate result.
For spell damage, the general formula is: Average damage= (chance to save)(average damage on successful save) + (Chance to fail save)( average damage on a failed save). If Spell Resistance is included, then that changes to (1-chance to resist spell)(((chance to save)(average damage on successful save) + (Chance to fail save)( average damage on a failed save)). Evasion obviously simplifies matters a lot.
On charts where I compared specific spells--for instance the Empower Spell vs. Higher Level spell chart, I started with an assumed base character--for instance, that chart assumed an 11th level wizard with a 21 int, greater spell focus in any relevant school, and greater spell penetration. After all, if you're comparing how blasters might fare with a different strategies, you should make sure that the basis of your comparison is similar to the typical or recommended blaster.
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Still, rock on. I will buy any and all of this series.
I'm glad to hear it. I'm hoping Joseph invites me on for the cleric book next myself, but rogue/bard sounds good too.