D&D 4th Edition Rule-of-Three: 06/12/2012




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  1. #1

    Rule-of-Three: 06/12/2012

    You've got questions - we've got answers! Here's how it works: each week, [WotC's] Community Manager will be scouring all available sources to find whatever questions you're asking. They pick three of them for R&D to answer. This week it's fighters, tactical combat, and spell failure.

    Read Rule-of-Three: 06/12/2012 on D&D Insider here!


    Last edited by Morrus; Tuesday, 12th June, 2012 at 06:35 AM.

 

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    I'm sad to see material components making a comeback - many of them are just thinly-veiled science jokes or worse, puns. I don't mind keeping track of expensive material components! But I'd be annoyed to play at a table where I can't cast spells B and C because my "contains everything whatsoever" component pouch washed down the river, but A and D are okay because for whatever reason they don't require fussy little components.

    (Is it just me, or is the fact that component pouches are all-inclusive indicative of what a waste of time it is to even mention them? It's like the system is self-aware of how stupid it would be to make you track guano amounts, or send you back home to shop because you leveled up and gained new spells with new component needs.)

    Looking forward to the fighter stuff very much!

    Ambivalent on the casting-in-armor thing. One way is one style of play, one way is another. *shrug*
    Last edited by dammitbiscuit; Tuesday, 12th June, 2012 at 10:28 AM.

  • #3
    It's a money sink.
    Just like the Healing kits or ammo.

    And a plot device.
    If the DM wants you to be able to cast spells, your pouch is always full.
    If the DM needs to lock you up and throw you in a dungeon, your pouch is out of bat guano. Sorry Charlie.

    I for one welcome "rules" that give me the freedom to make up my own at times to further the story. My players trust me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dammitbiscuit
    I'm sad to see material components making a comeback - many of them are just thinly-veiled science jokes or worse, puns. I don't mind keeping track of expensive material components! But I'd be annoyed to play at a table where I can't cast spells B and C because my "contains everything whatsoever" component pouch washed down the river, but A and D are okay because for whatever reason they don't require fussy little components.

    (Is it just me, or is the fact that component pouches are all-inclusive indicative of what a waste of time it is to even mention them? It's like the system is self-aware of how stupid it would be to make you track guano amounts, or send you back home to shop because you leveled up and gained new spells with new component needs.)
    I find myself on the entirely other side of this. I love the horrible puns and science jokes in the spell components. I like the idea of an arcane caster missing her props at a key moment. Much like arrows, I don't want them to be an accounting exercise, but I do like to have 'em around.

    As for the rest of it: I'm happy to see a bit more complexity on the fighter in the next round (but happy what they showed us was the simplest build -- it's perfect for a newbie), but I'm hesitant about OA's and flanking.

    First, flanking is easy to handle in ToTM: "I move into flanking position" (move action). Enemies can spend a move action to move OUT of flanking position, if they want. Okay, maybe it fits in a tactical combat module, too ("only two characters on opposite sides of a creature flank it), but there could be a simple rule without making fights too complex.

    Second, OA's...slightly concern me. I think they're looking at it in the right light (as something to prevent fleeing), but they do need to be careful not to open that Pandora's Box of cascading attack rolls too far.
    Last edited by Kamikaze Midget; Tuesday, 12th June, 2012 at 12:39 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    OA's...slightly concern me. I think they're looking at it in the right light (as something to prevent fleeing), but they do need to be careful not to open that Pandora's Box of cascading attack rolls too far.
    Well, so far Pandora's box is wide open in the other direction; fleeing opponents is the last thing that bothers me in the rules as presented - the "four rank grinding rotation" is far worse!
    Last edited by Balesir; Tuesday, 12th June, 2012 at 02:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balesir
    Well, so far Pandora's box is wide open in the other direction; fleeing opponents is the last thing that bothers me in the rules as presented - the "three rank grinding rotation" is far worse!
    For you, maybe. For me, I'd rather have an in-and-out skirmish than having players second-guessing their actions and grinding the game to a halt because you want to get out of the goblin pile.

    There's a middle ground, which I think they're working toward, and I'm not against a more cautious disengage from melee myself (just saying, "When in melee with an enemy, you cannot move freely, but you can Disengage, moving a few feet away from them" works for me!), but I do not want to see square-counting and path-mapping and loads of off-turn rolling coming back go the game any time soon.
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    Material components? Meh, never used them as an accounting mechanic, arrows either. For our group, tracking either would get in the way of the story . Powerful item that has x charges? Then yes, that we track.

    Very interested in what combat manuevers will look like.

    Glad to see OAs get less rigid. When we used a battlemat it would just lead to very static and boring combats
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    I don't think material components as 3e had them will be there. Rather, I think they will be things needed to complete a spell. Alarm in the playtest doc already has one; the bell that is a focus. I could forsee something similar for scry or animate dead, but I don't think bat guano and grave dirt are going to be necessary...
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    For flanking, during our playtest, my group used the "Help" action to give one of their companions advantage on their next turn. I don't know if that was an intended use of the Help action, but it fit in with something one of the designers said that if you spend an action setting something up (like for instance a rogue hiding), you should receive advantage on your next turn. This just allowed someone else to spend their action instead.

    In one particular case, the prone dwarf fighter bit the leg of the hobgoblin warlord in order to give advantage to the cleric firing Searing Light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    There's a middle ground, which I think they're working toward, and I'm not against a more cautious disengage from melee myself (just saying, "When in melee with an enemy, you cannot move freely, but you can Disengage, moving a few feet away from them" works for me!), but I do not want to see square-counting and path-mapping and loads of off-turn rolling coming back go the game any time soon.
    Sure, it doesn't need to be very complex - the suggested "use your action to disengage safely or attract attacks from all you disengage from" would work fine - it would stop all the rank swapping shenanigans as well as auto-flee and the rest quite nicely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gundark View Post
    Glad to see OAs get less rigid. When we used a battlemat it would just lead to very static and boring combats
    This sort of comment just mystifies me. I don't know how you managed this (except maybe through 3.X's "full attack" mess), but our 4e combats are (a) done on a battlemat and (b) almost always extremely mobile. The only exceptions have been when either fighting in a corridor or on ice (in which case one side manoeuvred just fine but the PCs had trouble moving at all!)
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