Recently I was playing in a friend Craig’s rather awesome homebrew campaign and one of the best examples of the REALITY of game balance hit me upside the head like a fist. I am playing a tiefling magister with access to a ton of amazing third-party spells and feats. Due to a series of magister feats I even have an eidolon.
Crazy stuff right?
Well the eidolon is a humanoid with a lot of RP point buys (He has a good Charisma score after all) and it isn’t a weapon exploiter. But with a suite of amazing transmutation and abjuration buffs (seriously, magister is wicked good) and the amazing damage potential it was no surprise that I had the exact spell I needed to defeat the monsters closing in on our party.
What was this broken, crazy OP spell you ask?
That’s right, I turned the tide with a cantrip.
I just MIGHT have heightened it to 7th level.
But it was the only tool at our disposal that allowed our party to function. Why? Because the GM planned well, presented a great challenge (a foe with a heightened deeper darkness spell), and the perfect imbalance ocean of design presented a situational balance where a Pathfinder Core Rulebook spell trumped the piles of dice blasts, third party awesome and my cherubic eidolon’s wrath.
This more than anything is why when I hear people complain about bloat, imbalance, or blanket denial of third-party product I just hear: “I am too [insert excuse] to actually think about my game.”
Tell me it is for a worldbuilding flavor or consistency and I will hand the ban-hammer to you myself but blanket denial is as much a lack of faith in the Core Rules as it is condemnation of third-party work.