Talk:The Same Game Test (DnD Guideline)
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Why aren't any of the tests given sufficient detail to actually run them?
A hallway filled with magical runes that do... what? --Ghostwheel 06:39, 11 July 2009 (MDT)
- Explode, go beep, kill you, etc. --TK-Squared 14:43, 11 July 2009 (MDT)
- That isn't good enough. What, specifically, do the runes do? The saves they target, their effects, and their damage types determine how well a given character with some selection of equipment will perform. This test doesn't accomplish anything unless everyone is playing by the same rules.
- Think there might be a chance of getting this statted out a little more extensively? (How many shadows makes a horde?) --Ghostwheel 07:01, 13 July 2009 (MDT)
- Try some ingenuity. Like 12 Shadows make a horde (A CR10 Encounter) --TK-Squared 11:47, 13 July 2009 (MDT)
- How do you know 12 shadows make a horde?
- According to "Organization" terminology used in the Monster Manual, 12 is usually a "band" which doesn't seem synonymous with horde. After band is "tribe", used to describe organizations of over 100. Swarms are defined as 300 non-flying creatures (1000 if flying). That might be closest to a definition of swarm, IMO. -- Syneran 11:12, 2 March 2012 (MST)
Okay, here comes Frank's explanation about this, as I've heard it.
- Back in the 3.0 days, the CR chart listed your actual percentage of survival, of a party of four, against a challenge of CR. With CR=party level, the party is supposed to win and expend 40% of their resources in doing so. At a CR 4 higher, their chance of survival is supposed to be 50%. That's "Win and survive at any cost."
- The same section also contained rules on adjusting the party's CR based on party sizes other than 4. Decreasing the party size increase the CR of an encounter by 2. Do it twice, and you're left with one person, who should have, on average, a 50% chance (on average) of beating encounters with a CR equal to his level.
- In the 3.5 DMG, this information was written out in words, without the actual numbers, partly as an effort to make the 3.5 DMG substantially longer than the 3.0. WotC is like that sometimes. The underlying assumptions are still the same, they're just harder to see.
This is the underlying assumption of the Same Game Test. It may not be exactly right, but it has the benefit of being concrete and having few variables. A party of 4 can cover each other. When someone's alone, their strengths and weaknesses show more clearly. Therefore, it's possible to build a specific character and run him through the gauntlet and see if he's posing an credible threat to monsters of his CR. And, well, it has the added bonus of generating more interesting character classes, because they have to develop to keep up with the crazy-ass monsters. Genowhirl 23:44, 23 August 2009 (MDT)
- So I shouldn't be worried if a class I make kills everything it fights from the Lv. 10 Same Game Test except the Trolls? (The Fire Giant was really a fluke failed Fortitude Save.) --Suezotiger 02:09, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
- He's probably a little OP. If you've uploaded the class to the wiki, I can look over it if you post a link, if you want. --Badger 02:21, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
- It's also likely you're not interpreting the test the way it's commonly perceived by those who reference it regularly. I'd be interested in hearing how you beat the horde of shadows. -- Jota 04:11, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
- Passing the same-game test means going about 50/50 for your level, against the variety of challenges. So, yeah, if it can whip everything at it's level, it's probably overpowered. --Genowhirl 17:23, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
- Looking over the challenges, it's difficult for me to imagine a bard overcoming any of them, unless equipped with items specifically designed for certain challenges. What sort of gear should the characters be equipped? To be standardized, it should be all non-magical? In which case, would the bard class pass even 20% of the challenges? -- Syneran 11:12, 2 March 2012 (MST)
- Normal treasure/gear. I mean, that's safely assumed, as the SGT was originally meant for you to try a character out against some level-appropriate challenges. And, no, the bard is not going to do well at this. The Bard is horribly dependent on other characters, and has nothing unique they truly shine at that can make enemies worry, without really going specific in its build. The same with the Monk, and to a degree, things like the Fighter or Paladin. That's actually what the SGT was originally designed to test--whether or not a character could pull their weight against level-appropriate foes. Ideally they're able to handle 50% of the challenges, but different characters (again, ideally), should be able to handle different types of challenges (many small monsters vs. one big one, etc) so a group has their bases covered. If you're making a new character class, it's also handy--you can try a few potential builds with that class and see how it does, when you're not really trying to milk every advantage, and how that compares to when you're pulling out the stops.
- The sad fact is, not all things made by Wizards of the Coast--heck, not all things in the SRD material was created equal, so some semi-objective testing helps. It's easy to point fingers at druids and wizards--except monsters also get spells and crazy abilities fighter-types can't overcome, so if you want to tone down magic, you're re-writing several hundred pages of spells and monster entries. Frank and K (the guys who wrote up the SGT) took the other approach--inviting fightery-types to come play with the big boys. If you're interested, take a gander at the Tomes--The Tome of Necromancy, the Tome of Fiends, the Dungeonomicon, and Races of War. Each one includes some rewrites/spot fixes of D&D, along with some rants/explanations of said rewrites. You may--heck, you probably won't agree with everything they say, but they usually make for interesting reading. --220.127.116.11 19:00, 2 March 2012 (MST)
Is this even compatible with 5th edition? 5e classes and races operate under a different standard of balance, assuming that characters must perform in all aspects of the game, and that there must be both challenge and risk present in all aspects of the game, not just combat. As a consequence, classes like bard and ranger are not on par with the other classes in combat, but a fighter can't match a bard in social situations, nor can it match a ranger during exploration. Everything in 5e is built around the three pillars of adventure; combat, socialization, and exploration, and in that context, all exist on a fairly even playing field. It's probably one of the most well-balanced editions yet. --Kydo (talk) 23:34, 29 May 2016 (MDT)
- Late reply; This is just my personal take on the matter, so please consider it in that light:
- All editions of D&D have Socialization and Exploration in them, and even entire books have been published to support that. The reason the SGT more often considers combat capability is, aside from player culture, because that's where classes tend to show difference in balance that matters on a fundamental level. I won't argue that 5e does it better or worse (that'd just be a "x edition is better than y edition" argument, and those are largely a matter of taste), but I do think it is still true in this regard.
- Ultimately, Social and Exploration encounters have traditionally been in the hands of your Dungeon Master more-so than in the hands of the player. Your DM makes the maps, determines the secret passageways, calculates the modes of overland travel, controls the NPCs, comes up with personalities, where their disposition with the character starts at, and more often than not directly manipulates what their thoughts or reactions to any situation might be. While it is entirely likely that a character can make up for shortcomings in combat by excelling in these two areas, there is significantly less objective truth here; The DM is key to the result in any social or exploration situation.
- This is not necessarily true for combat. While the DM can sway combat or fudge rolls, or declare something is immune for some IC or Canon reason, that doesn't have to be assumed. The creature or character has very real mathematical values that can be crunched to achieve an objectively true comparison that doesn't rely on DM input (an "all DMs being equal" comparison, I suppose you can say). Combat also happens to be one of the few areas where player character interaction is a roll of the dice and a mathematical number game, not subject to the whims of roleplay, as players are not necessarily required to participate in games of "Bluff and Sense Motive" with each other (the rule escapes me, but I believe D&D has traditionally suggested against forcing PCs to adhere to such checks against each other in social situations).