D&D 4th Edition Discussion: What to do about themes, if anything.




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  1. #1
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    Discussion: What to do about themes, if anything.

    Cheers,

    Since this is on the verge of passing, thought it would be good to start this new thread.

    I like themes, and would love to see custom L4W style themes implemented.

    Available for retro-fitting current characters, i.e. I've always been a Temple Acolyte, or as part of character creation.

    Thanks
    Last edited by CaBaNa; Monday, 9th May, 2011 at 11:36 PM.
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    It seems necessary at this point to choose either Dark Sun style themes or CC style themes and move forward from there. The two don't seem overly compatable.
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    Is there someplace on the web where those of us who don't pay for DDI currently can look at the full text of one or two representative themes, just to get a more concrete idea of what we're talking about here?
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    Taken from the side column. I don't think it's very representative, but it may help you get the idea.

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    Thanks, that's useful. In what way do you consider that one to be non-representative? Underpowered?
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    Quote Originally Posted by covaithe View Post
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    Thanks, that's useful. In what way do you consider that one to be non-representative? Underpowered?
    Compared to the Dark Sun themes: It starts with a Daily and an Encounter as opposed to just an encounter* and it has no follow up powers. It also has no theme specific Paragon Paths.

    Compared to the CC themes: It starts with that extra daily. It does not have a level 5 or 10 theme feature.

    *two DS themes have a kicker (A PP or a Skill)

    -Dark Sun themes are presented with a free encounter power, almost all of which are attack powers. These powers are keyed off of the PCs "Primary ability modifier." They tend to range somewhere between the potency of an at-will and a class Encounter power.

    After that, they present one power for each level between 2 and 10 (excepting 4 and 8) which may replace a PCs usual choices for that level.

    The DSCS presents 3 or 4 feats for each theme supporting their schtick or free encounter power.

    -The new themes grant a PC an encounter power or something similar (Alchemist grants 1 free alchemical item/short rest). They also offer a new feature at levels 5 and 10. These features vary about as greatly as the level 11 and 16 features of Paragon Paths.

    Some of the CC themes also have utility powers presented for levels 2, 6 and 10.

    There are no feats presented in the first CC Themes article.
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    Sounds like... a bit of a mess, balance-wise. Bleh.

    Thinking out lot for a moment, it seems like our options are:

    • No themes. Pros: Clearly balanced. Less work for us, since we don't have to come up with local themes. Cons: Players like options. I have a half-baked theory that one of the reasons L4W has done so well is that we're fairly permissive when it comes to new content.
    • CC themes, DS themes, and local themes comparable to DS. Pros: maximum options; character reviewers don't have to worry about what source a theme is from. Munchkin-friendly! Cons: Munchkin-friendly! Nontrivial balance issues. We'd have our work cut out for us coming up with local themes to match DS, I think. Especially if feats are involved.
    • CC themes and local themes comparable to CC themes. Pros: moderate options, moderate amount of work. Probably reasonably balanced, assuming we don't screw it up. Cons: Still some work to make and balance these things. Judges have to check where themes came from on new character sheets.
    • CC themes only. If you don't have DDI, tough. Pros: easy to implement. Cons: not fair to players without DDI; judges still have to know where themes come from.


    Anything I've forgotten?

    I think the ideal world would be CC themes and local themes comparable to CC, but if that's going to happen, someone needs to start proposing some themes.
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    Themes do represent a certain level of power-creep, with this first set I think it may be best, if we keep it to a minimum.

    The encounter power and daily option seems a bit much to begin with. I'd like to see the waters tested with the encounter* power version.

    *(Don't mind the psionics getting their PP, or the concept of an extra skill/+2 to skill/Learn a language option.)

    EDIT: Local themes only is what I'm suggesting, I guess... Not much work, relatively small power creep, test that, and if it meshes well, begin opening up more options.

    * Local Themes only - Stripped version, comparable to DS, without feat support.
    Last edited by CaBaNa; Tuesday, 10th May, 2011 at 09:58 PM.
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    I don't think there are any themes out there that actually give an Encouter and Daily other than the one linked above and that's being published by ENWorld in their Zeitgeist AP so it wouldn't really be in the running for L4W.

    I'd like to add the following to Covaithe's options above:

    DS themes and local themes comparable to DS themes. Pros/Cons: same as Covaith's option 3.

    The DS themes seem more balanced in a general way, though I've not seen the rest of what's coming from the CC at this point (obviously).
    "It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds"
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    I like twilsemail's option above as well. In fact, any option that doesn't get too carried away with the power-creep sounds great. I like themes from a character building perspective in both fluff and mechanical.
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