Official D&D 4th edition Thread

Discussion in 'Games: RPG & Miniatures' started by darthmythos, Jan 11, 2008.

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  1. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Some good.
    Some bad.

    One thing I've noticed about a lot of the source books is that if they do enclude new powers/exploits/spells/whatever for an existing class, it is almost always exclusively oriented around the new "build" that is promoted in the book. Divine Powers, for example, has a Guiding Priest or Guardian Cleric or some such. There were no new feats that benefitted the existing Devoted Cleric or front line cleric. The only thing I saw that was remotely helpful for my Devoted Cleric was a new at-will power (Astral Seal if you're interested).
    The only feat I looked at was a new channel divinity, which was essentially useless, because the only benefits it would give were to prayers exclusive to the new classes introduced by the Divine Powers book.

    We have one guy in our group--the only one currently with a stable income (he's a HS teacher)--who buys all of the books as soon as they come out. So far, now one has built a character from outside the core PH classes. Sure, we've got some gear from Adventurer's Vault and the theives and fighters have grabbed some feats from Martial Powers, but that's about it.
    Oh, one player made a Shadderkai (or however you spell it) brutal rogue, but no classes have been used, and I'm not sure what the racial bonuses are, if any--might as well just play a human.
  2. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    There's always the WOTC updates for the Character builder.
  3. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    We have 2 campaigns running, with 7 players in each, and we have barely scratched the possibilities in the PH. With 2-3 builds for each class, and then modifying for race, it would take us a long, long time to get it all.
    Plus we like to do some stuff for ourselves.
  4. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    The DMG 2: It is a good book, since just about everyone has something they can learn from it.

    Chapter 1 is the "Group Storytelling" section, and it has Robin Laws' fingerprints all over it. Which is good, because he's a very interesting guy who knows his stuff. It talks about storytelling structure and building a narrative, how to monitor things like dramatic tension and turn points/story branches. It talks about cooperative story arcs where you ask the players questions about how the world works and incorporate their answers, as well as ideas for how to make sure your characters aren't just a bunch of Joes hired for the same job who don't know each other or anything. It talks about roleplaying hooks, and how to use vignettes so it's not just you talking to yourself, but incorporating other players by giving them a role and a brief summary of what's going on. Finally, it talks about the mechanics of making other characters work with the PCs, like companion characters, or adjusting a temporary character to lower or higher levels so he or she can roll with the players without completely dominating the fight or being completely useless.

    Chapter 2 is "Advanced Encounters", and has some suggestions for encounters that have objectives. It also goes into a bunch of different character types and some suggestions for how you might tailor your play style to better engage them or otherwise influence each other. There's discussion for running combat encounters for large or small groups, and how to make it interesting without being over or underwhelming. There's a section on encounter pacing, and how to avoid the five minute workday nova. There's also a section on designing the encounter, and some suggestions for how to lay out terrain to make moving around interesting, as well as environmental hazards/benefits and new rules for terrain powers, which are things like dropping chandeliers or pushing walls onto people or swinging on ropes and such. There's a section on trap use, and how to make it interesting instead of "crawl forward 5 ft, check for traps" with new traps (and the 4e rules for old ones like boulders or flooding rooms). There's also a sample encounter where they put it all together.

    Chapter 3 is "Skill Challenges", which covers skill challenges. It opens by explaining the revised system in case you didn't read the errata, and goes on to describe how you should try to have more skill options than you have players so you can avoid the problem of one player mashing Diplomacy while everyone else rolls to assist or sits on hands. It discusses how you can use skill challenges to cover a variety of options, such as longer time-frames, multiple stages, branching outcomes, options without skill roles, and tiered consequences based on number of successes/failures. It also has a number of different example challenges with a variety of interesting options and ideas, it's rather neat.

    Chapter 4 is "Customizing Monsters" and has a bunch of options you can use to take normal monsters and then make them feel more like they're part of a thematic group (such as fey monsters having teleportation, charm or invisibility options). There's also new templates for elite monsters.

    Chapter 5 is another big meaty chapter, this time on "Adventures". We've got alternative rewards, for options that might feel more interesting and heroic than just giving them increasing piles of treasure, like divine blessings, training by grandmasters of your art, or boons granted by visiting certain seriously legendary places or doing great and daring deeds. There's also some ideas for rewarding treasure in terms of item components, which are really cool, since you do things like harvest fragments from enemy monsters, gain help from NPCs to lend some power/aid, and visit exotic locations to forge it. It's another system of finding treasure at about the same pace as "let's pull this weapon from the hands of the defeated", meant to complement it and make things more interesting. More artifacts, including the return of ones like the Rod of Seven
  5. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Borrowed a copy from a friend and seriously I want this book, like you said warden there's a lot of advice in here for general gaming.
  6. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Divine Power notes
    I saw a number of options for the powers. Unfortunately, none of them seemed better than the ones I already had from the PH1. More to the point, the powers that I was interested is swapping out did not have any replacements that were better. The only thing I ended up taking was swapping out Priests Shield at-will (which by lvl10 I'd used only once) for Astral Seal (which, with the rogue in the group constantly bouncing into places he'd get hurt faster and more often than he could recover his healing surges, is a very good thing). The Priestess I'm playing is a human devoted cleric of Melora, goddess of nature, wilderness, and sea. I did not see a new channel divinity feat that looked helpful. Maybe I missed it. The only one I was seriously considering was +2 bonus when using 4 powers that didn't belong to clerics.

    that said, now that she's made it to lvl10, I may take another look at the book.

    Nice rundown on the PH2
  7. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Can someone explain to me the hybrid classes I am hearing about that will be coming out in PHB3? For some reason I am thinking of multi-classing, but that can't be right.
  8. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    I would have gone with Power of Life, since it gives free temporary HP another ally whenever you hit with Astral Seal, which is really good. Not that it matters, but there's another cleric at-will which is Wis vs. Will, Gaze of Defiance. It's in the character builder and compendium, but there's no domain feat support.

    Anyways, Hybrid isn't unlike 2nd edition multiclassing. When you're a hybrid character, you're two classes at once, though instead of your XP being divided between the two, each class sort of functions at reduced capacity. You get half of your HP and surges from one class and half from the other, you get any weapon or implement proficiencies either class has, but you only get the armor proficiencies that both classes share. Implement powers can be used with any implement that either class can use (so if you're a wizard/invoker, you can use invoker powers with an orb and wizard powers with a rod). You can select three trained skills from a combined list of class skills, with some classes enabling you to select an extra one (though you don't get auto-trained, so you can have a wizard with no arcane skill) Each class provides somewhat reduced power option for its basic role, be it striker damage that only works with the powers of its class, a marking ability that only works on one target at a time, or a leader's minor action ___ Word that you can only use once per encounter. You must make sure that you have at least one power of each type from both classes whenever possible (thus, for your two at-wills, you select an at-will from each, and once you hit level 3, you select your level 3 encounter power from the class you didn't select your level 1 encounter power from. Once you hit level 7, you can select your level 7 encounter power from either, or even retrain one of your earlier ones, so long as both classes are represented in your selection).

    To gain other abilities from one of your classes, you can get the Hybrid Talent feat, which lets you select a class ability (such as a paladin's Lay on Hands or maybe its Armor proficiencies, or a Rogue's Rogue Weapon Talent or maybe its Rogue Tactics ability). You can only select this feat once, so a bunch of powers probably won't work to their full extent if they have some rider for a specific type of character. You count as both your classes for the purpose of choosing feats and paragon paths, and you also have the option to go Paragon Hybrid, where you don't take a paragon path and instead gain a Hybrid Talent, and gain extra encounter/utility/daily powers in place of the normal paragon path powers. You can multiclass as normal.

    Hybrid characters are a "use with caution" build, since you can build things that are pretty interesting, or things that are utterly useless and have you pulled in too many directions to be effective. Generally speaking, you can fill multiple roles but probably should not be the only one filling those roles because you're likely to do a lesser job, making a hybrid a better choice once you already have four other roles solidly filled.
  9. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    There seems to be some classes that favour it more than others.

    For instance, the Half-Ef Bard that I play on enworld would be right at home with it. The Pally I play at the table not so much.

    BTW, I had no idea playing a Bard would be so much fun.

    In other news, Wizards are being really horrible with Paypal as they first wanted a credit card (which I don't have) for my DDI subscription and now they want me to ring them.
  10. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    My dwarf fighter managed to completely screw up the DMs tactics last week. He ran down the stairs we'd just found while the theif was futzing about looking for traps and hidden doors. There was a room at the bottom of the stairs, and a door right in front of him. He charged into the door.
    "fine, roll to hit"
    "crit!"
    "oh crud. Well, they were waiting with readied actions behind the doors to spring an ambush as soon as someone opened a door. Fortunately, the monster made the dex check, or he'd have fallen down the stairway behind him and taken more damage. The ambush is blown. Everyone place your minis somewhere on the stairs behind Barg."

    It was a session of many crits and few fumbles.
  11. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    The dice gods were kind to you that day.

    At my first D&D session we kept rolling Nat ones. [face_plain]

    Anyone have any ideas how I can convince the DM to let me attack with my shield?
  12. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    shield is for defense. That's why it's called a shield, not a sword/mace/hammer. That is why it is listed in the armor section, not the weapon section.
    Now, there is the feat "Shield Push" that lets you push an enemy if you hit with an attack of opportunity/fighter challenge, but that's about it.
    Otherwise, you might be able to get by with the "impromptu weapon" stats, but that's it.
  13. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    1. It's made of metal
    2. It's hard
    3. What if I had spikes or a spiked boss on it? That would hurt, right?
  14. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    There is a spiked shield in adventurer's vault that can be used as a weapon.
  15. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    The fun thing is that spiked shields count as light blades, so you can do interesting things like use them as a swordmage or rogue, or enchant them into throwable weapons and become CAPTAIN AMERICA.
  16. MercenaryAce Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2005
    star 5
    I would like to point out in the real world that the shield was in fact used as much for offense as defense (well, light shields anyway, good luck hitting someone with a tower shield). Still, hasn't shield bash been an ability for DnD for a while now?

    Anyway, I was looking at the draconomicon the other day and I was really impressed on the amount of attention they gave to dragon psychology, something pretty much useful only for roleplaying. Especially the part that explains that since they are largely solitary animals, they don't have many of the psychological adaptions we do for getting along in groups....I never thought of that, but it certainly has far reaching implications and is very interesting.
  17. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    I see it similar to d6 Melee/Brawling Parry skill.
    Lots of players say "I Dodge the melee/brawling attack." Well, Dodge is a skill for avoiding Ranged attacks. Melee Parry and Brawling Parry are skills used to avoid Melee and Brawling attacks. Dodging a blade master armed with a sword is a 0-effect action.
    "but in the movies, they dodge behind obstacles all the time to avoid clubs & swords an' stuff."
    OK, but the Parry skills are all inclusive: then include all the bobbing, weaving, and hiding behind objects, as well as trying to deflect an attack with a block.

    Likewise, a number of the 4th ed fighter exploits/powers/whatever require that the fighter have a shield, or just give better bonuses. I see Tide of Iron, for example, as hitting someone with a weapon, pushing them back with the shield, and stepping forward to occupy the space you just cleared. There are also feats like Shield Push that let you push someone/thing who ignores the fighter challenge and grants the attack.
    Likewise, just the fact that you're holding a shield may mean that the reason the enemy missed was you smacked the blow aside or even hit him with it.
    Now I'm sure somewhere there's a 2 weapon ranger munchkin who will take 2 spiked shields for light blades and the AC/Reflex bonuses, but it seems kinda silly.

    Why smack someone with a shield that only does d6 when you have a weapon that does d8 or d10 or d12? Seems silly to me.
  18. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Because I am LG and want some non-lethal damage, maybe?

    My shield's more a kite than a tower, I'd say.
  19. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    There is no non-lethal damage anymore.
    Your option is that when you reduce someone/thing to 0hp or lower, you can choose to knock out instead of kill.
  20. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Boo.

    There goes my dream. I'll see what the DM says, I do have Tide of iron but only as an Encounter power.
  21. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    One of the books (adventurer's vault?) also has a magic throwing shield ala Captain America.
  22. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Yay! I found it! In Martial Power!

    You knock your adversary off balance with your shield and follow up with a strike.

    Encounter Martial
    Standard Action Melee 1
    Requirement: You must be using a shield.
    Target: One creature
    Attack: Strength +2 vs. Reflex
    Hit: 1d10 + Strength modifier damage, and you push the target 1 square and knock it prone.
    Special: If you are a dwarf, the attack deals extra damage equal to your Wisdom modifier.
    Special: When charging, you can use this power in place of a melee basic attack.

    Though unless I'm a fighter, I'd had to Power Swap into it.
  23. JoinTheSchwarz Comms Admin & Community Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2002
    star 8
    So my current campaign is finally going to end. Having spent a good year through a plot-heavy sandbox-style campaign, I thought to do something fun and simple. I'm currently preparing a short campaign (levels 1 to 10) I'm calling "The Classic Run", and I'm basically comverting what I consider the nine or ten best old school modules.

    I started with The Village of Hommlet, then moved to The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, and I'm currently converting Keep on the Borderlands. I'm surprised by the ease of the conversion, truth be told. Other than widening some map areas, changing the excessive treasure from the original adventures and placing standard trasure parcels, writing up some moderately complex skill challenges, and working on the encounters themselves... well, this @#$% is writing itself! I actually said "wow" when I looked at my version of Lareth the Beautiful. Say what you want, but 4E is a gift for the DM!

    I've been planning some stuff to give that old school feeling I'm looking for. Mike Mearls blogged about roaming monsters, and I think I'm bringing them back. And I might bring back the "roll 4 dice, discard the lower" system back.

    What do you think? Have you tried anything similar?
  24. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    What's that one called?
    Seems like something my dwarf fighter would be able to use next level.
  25. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Shield Bash. It's a level 1 encounter power, though it does have a level 3 equivalent, Shield Slam.

    Shield Slam
    You follow up a successful attack by slamming your shield into the enemy, knocking him aside.
    Encounter Martial
    Free Action Melee 1
    Trigger: You hit an enemy with a melee attack
    Requirement: You must be using a shield.
    Target: The triggering enemy
    Attack: Strength + 2 vs. Fortitude
    Hit: You push the target 1 square and knock it prone.

    It's not as good as there's no dice behind it. :(
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