4E In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective - Page 18
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  1. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    You are factually incorrect on this point. I played at level 16, and nothing was going down from one hit, unless it was a minion. A level 1 (non-minion) goblin has between 25 and 29 HP. As a level 16 character, my at-will arrows still only deal 1d8+10 (or so). Even my encounter powers could fail to break 25, if I rolled low.
    Here's the general rule of thumb about at-will damage:
    If you're a striker in 4e, you ought to be doing your level*2 damage. Creatures gain 8 hp per level, so if you gain 2 every level, you kill an at-level standard in the same number of hits.

    So if you're a striker, you ought to be doing about 32 damage with your at-wills at 16th. As an example, a Rogue starting with an 18 Dex/16 Cha would end up with a 22 Dex/20 Cha at 16th. Sly Flourish does 1d4+Str+Cha as a baseline because of that. You ought to have a +4 weapon at 16th. You do +3d6 sneak attack damage. That's 1d4+15+3d6 or 28 right there. A Ranger doing Twin Strike with a 22 Dex & Quarry ought to do 2d10+8+2d6 or 26.

    This is PHB only kind of stuff here and you're doing half that damage...
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  2. #172
    I enjoyed 4e for what it was: an excellent tactics game.

    As a melee character (fighter I think?) I had a lot of fun using footwork lure and such to rearrange the enemy positions for a perfect stomp by my friends.

    I don't see how it harmed roleplaying in any way, because that's on the players and the GM. You can roleplay appropriately in any system, and the rulebook and dice only come out when "them's fighting words" situations happen.

    It did restrict you to narrow class options in terms of stat progression, but that's true, to some extent, with any class-based game. And it doesn't tell you how to roleplay your character.

    Comparing it to 5e, yes, my barbarian can take a few levels of sorcerer at any point "organically" in 5e just because that makes sense in character, but if I don't plan for it ahead of time, I'll be seriously shooting myself in the foot.

    4e is more restrictive to prevent inexperienced players blowing themselves up like that.

  3. #173
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    Minions with one hit point may not have been the best idea, but at least it was a new idea. 4e was full of new ideas. Some carried over or evolved into 5e (and other systems).

    What will 5e pass on to other games? There are very few innovations offered from this edition. Just refinements from older ones. Well done, I might add. But I suspect D&D has peaked in terms of system design and innovations.

    So rather than complain what 4e didn't accomplish or satisfy personally for what it didn't do, we should appreciate what it did that no edition will likely ever do again: innovate new ideas, and dare to try something new.
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  4. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    The consistency is that the Hill Giant has 9hp, whether it's facing a level 1 party or a level 20 party, or a band of hobgoblins. Those 9ph represent an objective fact about that creature, which is that it can survive an impact of a given quantifiable force, and falls to anything greater than that.

    Of course, 9hp is significantly on the low side for a hill giant, but the rules tell us that these do exist. This one is just significantly less tough than its brethren. It probably doesn't get in a lot of fights. Likewise, it's possible for a goblin chieftain to have more than 9hp. It's possible for the world's toughest goblin to be tougher than the world's weakest giant. But in every case, that HP total still represents its ability to withstand an impact of given force.
    Or, alternatively, and still well within the bounds of HP as explained by Mr. Gygax, this particular giant, while just as tough as other giants, simply lacks the connections to fate and luck needed to avoid a particularly skilled thrust made by a dwarf fighter with his trusty bastard sword on the rd of Crackrock in the Forest of Grin, land of Kinergh. It is really that simple.

    And when we are talking about humans who gain dozens, possibly even 100 hit points, over time, it is pretty hard to justify it any other way, as @Tony Vargas has just pointed out.

    You are factually incorrect on this point. I played at level 16, and nothing was going down from one hit, unless it was a minion. A level 1 (non-minion) goblin has between 25 and 29 HP. As a level 16 character, my at-will arrows still only deal 1d8+10 (or so). Even my encounter powers could fail to break 25, if I rolled low.
    I would leave someone like @MwaO to comment on this in detail, but I find it unlikely to say the least. I'm sure it is POSSIBLE to neglect your attack capability to a great degree, but even level 1 PCs generally do the sorts of damage you are talking about here (Level 1 sword and board fighter, 16 STR, long sword, making an at-will attack, and assuming the player took even one feat which helps damage, is already at 1d8 + 5, and this is a low damage output PC using his worst attack. Give him 16 levels and he's now got STR 20, and at least a +3 weapon. This already got me to 1d8 + 10 and I have EIGHT FEATS to spend which can improve on that.). You're also unlikely to use at-will powers at all at level 16, you have 4 encounter powers, not to mention benefits from PPs, possibly racial and theme stuff, etc. Plus probably a dozen magic items worth of effects, your allies are constructing constant benefits, often to damage, etc. It would be very unusual for a fighter to do less than 20 points of damage at this level, and that would be the low end of his capability. Any sort of level 16 striker probably can't even do under 25 damage, even if he tried, and there's no chance at all of missing against an AC of 17...

    When he was in charge, he may have made that suggestion, but the rules didn't force it on anyone. You could still play it without the inconsistency, if you wanted to; and many people chose to. Fourth Edition was unique because they removed that possibility.
    No, you cannot, the inconsistency is always there. Nor does 4e really, when it comes down to it, treat things differently in anything like realistic play (where AD&D characters are healed back to max hit points before the next day starts in the vast majority of cases for example). Surges add some options in narrative terms, etc. but in normal play I never found that the story being generated at the table was really all that different, it was just easier to do it in 4e.
    Laugh Saelorn laughed with this post

  5. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by MwaO View Post
    Here's the general rule of thumb about at-will damage:
    If you're a striker in 4e, you ought to be doing your level*2 damage. Creatures gain 8 hp per level, so if you gain 2 every level, you kill an at-level standard in the same number of hits.
    You're talking about strikers, though. I'm talking about characters of that level, in general. The assertion was that any arrow from a level 16 character would deal enough damage to kill a level 1 goblin, which is why it should be fair to model them as a minion, since they're dead in one hit either way. Rogues and Rangers aren't the only ones capable of firing a bow, and my fighter can definitely kill a level 16 minion far more easily than a level 1 standard goblin. That's even more true of wizards.

    In practice, strikers wouldn't want to spend their attacks on minions, since their bonus damage would wasted. Minions are exactly the sort of thing that wizards are supposed to deal with, specifically because wizards are good at dealing trivial damage over a large area. Whether you model a creature as a high-level minion or low-level standard becomes something that players need to know, because it determines which character they should send to deal with it. The two models are not interchangeable.

  6. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    You're talking about strikers, though. I'm talking about characters of that level, in general. The assertion was that any arrow from a level 16 character would deal enough damage to kill a level 1 goblin, which is why it should be fair to model them as a minion, since they're dead in one hit either way. Rogues and Rangers aren't the only ones capable of firing a bow, and my fighter can definitely kill a level 16 minion far more easily than a level 1 standard goblin. That's even more true of wizards.
    Err, that's not exactly what the person was talking about. Basically, if you're using an at-will, you should be able to defeat low level creatures really fast. That's what happens in real life when a martial arts sensei goes up against someone with minimal combat training. The martial artist takes them down really fast, because they don't even know what's going on.

    In any case...
    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    Whether you model a creature as a high-level minion or low-level standard becomes something that players need to know, because it determines which character they should send to deal with it. The two models are not interchangeable.
    The decision is automatically made by the DM based on the PC's level. High level fight? Minion. Low level fight? Standard. Done. An 8th level Standard Ogre Savage as an example is the same creature as a 16th level Ogre Bludgeoneer. Against a 16th level party, the 8th level has a +13 vs AC attack. A 16th level PC likely has at least a 31 AC, 33 if a Defender, so the presence of an 8th level Standard is kind of pointless. It isn't hitting anything. The Bludgeoneer on the other hand has a +21. So it hits the party on somewhere between 10-12 on the die roll.

    Why doesn't the Bludgeoneer have Angry Smash? For roughly the same reasons you won't see a typical Sensei try a risky move against a world champion level martial artist not only does the Sensei expect that the champ has seen it, but the risk is incredibly high that it opens up the Sensei to defeat. Similarly, the Bludgeoneer realizes it is hopelessly outclassed and does low risk, defensive swings that don't do a lot on a hit. But at least, it maybe survives until the next round.

    The Sensei here can be represented as a Solo or Elite(going up against a low level PC), a Standard(going up against a similarly talented mid-level PC or against another Sensei) or a Minion(going up against a high-level PC/world champion). And if you watch how that actually happens in reality, that's what really happens. Rousey defeated a couple of opponents in D&D time while unarmed as an example with one 'hit', with her opponents literally knowing exactly what she was going to try to do to them, yet being unable to stop it. They weren't minions against other opponents, but they were against her.

    Example of Rousey defeating someone in 12 seconds:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lv3wBntoJk8
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  7. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by MwaO View Post
    Err, that's not exactly what the person was talking about. Basically, if you're using an at-will, you should be able to defeat low level creatures really fast.
    If they aren't talking about the fighter's basic attack with a longbow, then they aren't addressing the issue I'd raised. I was giving them the benefit of the doubt.
    Quote Originally Posted by MwaO View Post
    The decision is automatically made by the DM based on the PC's level. High level fight? Minion. Low level fight? Standard. Done. An 8th level Standard Ogre Savage as an example is the same creature as a 16th level Ogre Bludgeoneer.
    You're not saying anything new here. A high-level minion will die the first time it's impacted by a single arrow, and a lower-level standard enemy will not. A fighter at level 12 (or 22, or 30) can kill a level 16 ogre bludgeoneer by shooting it with an arrow, but can't kill a level 8 ogre savage with the same shot. So, what's the truth? How grievous an injury can this ogre actually sustain, before it collapses? Or are you honestly claiming that one damage from a level 16 fighter is the equivalent of 111 damage from a level 8 fighter?
    Quote Originally Posted by MwaO View Post
    Against a 16th level party, the 8th level has a +13 vs AC attack. A 16th level PC likely has at least a 31 AC, 33 if a Defender, so the presence of an 8th level Standard is kind of pointless. It isn't hitting anything. The Bludgeoneer on the other hand has a +21. So it hits the party on somewhere between 10-12 on the die roll.
    Again, your quantum ogre is being very inconsistent with its abilities. Can it reliably hit the fighter, or not? The difference between an ogre hitting you, and an ogre not hitting you, is significant. Those narratives are not equivalent at all.

    If the ogre swings its club, how likely is it to injure the fighter? Does it hit on a 12, or does it need a 20? Can the fighter approach this ogre with a reasonable expectation of avoiding injury, or is it a gamble? You can't have it both ways.

  8. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    Again, your quantum ogre is being very inconsistent with its abilities. Can it reliably hit the fighter, or not? The difference between an ogre hitting you, and an ogre not hitting you, is significant. Those narratives are not equivalent at all.
    What you're describing as quantum, I consider realistic? If you're an Ogre fighting an 8th level PC, you fight differently than if you're fighting a 16th level one. Just as a highly trained fighter fights another highly trained fighter much differently than a world class one or a beginner. Watch an out-classed boxer fight Mike Tyson he had 9 fights against opponents lasting less than a minute, all of which involved his opponents trying to rush in and land a big blow before he took them down. The ones at his level that caused longer fights where he couldn't just smack them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    If the ogre swings its club, how likely is it to injure the fighter? Does it hit on a 12, or does it need a 20? Can the fighter approach this ogre with a reasonable expectation of avoiding injury, or is it a gamble? You can't have it both ways.
    Sure I can. The Ogre hits on a 12 when taking normally unacceptable risks, on a 20 when taking acceptable risks. It judges the normally unacceptable risks as acceptable because it realizes it won't contribute at all if it doesn't do that.

    (Edit: And it has sufficient reasons to fear a lack of contributing that it doesn't just immediately try to run away instead)
    Last edited by MwaO; Tuesday, 21st May, 2019 at 04:29 PM.

  9. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by MwaO View Post
    Sure I can. The Ogre hits on a 12 when taking normally unacceptable risks, on a 20 when taking acceptable risks. It judges the normally unacceptable risks as acceptable because it realizes it won't contribute at all if it doesn't do that.
    Well, I'll give you this: That's an entirely new argument. It's not a good argument, by any means, but it's new.

    An ogre can't choose to become susceptible to instant death, in exchange for increasing its accuracy. Even if it's assuming a reckless fighting style (which is represented through other mechanics, and doesn't change your HP total directly), that wouldn't make them susceptible to death through random spider bites and curses. An impact or energy transfer that only deals 1 damage would be utterly incapable of killing an elephant, even if the elephant is asking for it.

    And even if an ogre could choose to have 1hp, though, why would it? If these ogres are acting in the capacity of underling, then an underling with 111hp is far more valuable than one with 1hp, for flanking and cover bonuses if nothing else.

  10. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by MwaO View Post
    Sure I can. The Ogre hits on a 12 when taking normally unacceptable risks, on a 20 when taking acceptable risks. It judges the normally unacceptable risks as acceptable because it realizes it won't contribute at all if it doesn't do that.
    Options like that go way back. I mean, 3e had 'fighting defensively,' sure, but back in the day DMs would assign all sorts of modifiers. Before there even was a barbarian, one DM I played with would let you 'rage' (I don't think he called it that) getting an attack bonus & taking an AC penalty - something my Druid in his game did on a number of occasions, because Celtic warriors, though not the notorious berserkers, were known for such things, and I was trying to break the hippie stereotype too many players had of the class back then.


    In 4e, I pulled a trick like we're talking about doing with monsters, but with NPCs, once. In a adventure-within-an-adventure scenario, the regular PCs were trying to obtain the aid of guest-PC wizard, who was semi-retired, running a school, the city's rulers really liked having her around, so they kept adventurers away as much as possible. So there was a whole skill challenge of political maneuvering involved, and, in the middle of it, the guest PC takes some of her students on a dungeon expedition to clear out some Dire Corbies (not even in 4e, AFAIK - they were 2hd monsters back in the day), but it turns out the scouts got it very wrong, and they were Hook Horrors (paragon monsters in 4e).
    So I wanted this combat where the PCs rescue the guest star and her proteges from this case of deadly mistaken identity. A 10-level gap is prettymuch untenable in any - well, any game that uses levels, really, unless it uses hundreds of 'em. But statted as minions (with a trait that allowed they were Dying at 0 hps, so could be saved with timely healing), though, they participated, and the PCs had to make an effort to protect them, but it wasn't a futile effort, because the monsters /could/ actually miss them, and because of all the marking, forced movement, and other forms of control in 4e.

    From that (see I get to my points eventually, you just have to bear with me), I got the idea that it'd be cool to have options for actual to PCs do that sort of thing, stretch to contribute when wildly outclassed, since it's an heroic sorta thing to do. I never more than mused on it, though, but (starting with the premise that PCs are ~equiv to elites), it might look something like:

    Over Your Head: In desperate straights against superior foes, you guard yourself with extra care and don't dare riskier attacks

    • Your attack bonus and all defenses & other level-based checks increase by 5.
    • The first time you are hit, regardless of damage inflicted, you are reduced to your bloodied value, you cannot heal up above bloodied for the rest of the encounter.
    • You cannot use Daily powers.


    Out of Your League: A battle rages beyond your ken, you desperately try to avoid destruction, and put the utmost effort into your most dependable attacks... you have no chance, but you might be able to tilt the balance, just a little, if you're lucky...

    • Your attack bonus and all defenses & other level-based checks increase by 10.
    • When you are hit, regardless of damage inflicted, you are reduced to 0 hps. (Effects that do not take attack rolls damage you normally, and you can be healed.)
    • You cannot use Encounter, Daily or Utility powers, you cannot spend Action Points.



    And, hey, why not go the other way:

    Toying With Them: "I am going to duel him left-handed, otherwise is over too quick." Faced with contemptable foes, you decide to make it interesting, striding unconcerned about the field, and trying showy tricks you wouldn't risk against a real threat.

    • You take a -5 penalty to attacks and all defenses & other level-based checks, but gain a +5 bonus to Saving Throws.
    • You gain temporary hps equal to your maximum hps. The first time you spend a healing surge, you gain temporary hps equal to your surge value, as well.
    • You can use any of your standard-action Encounter Power attacks as a Minor Action, if you choose to use one as a standard action, instead, it is not expended until you use it as a Minor action; your encounter powers that are not standard actions are not expended when used, but can only be used 1/round. When you spend an Action Point, you gain the use of a second, bonus Action Point that you must expend before the end of the Encounter. At the End of the Encounter, you can regain one Daily that you used in it.
    • I can't think of anything right now, but some enhancement to p42 improvised actions might be fun
    Last edited by Tony Vargas; Thursday, 23rd May, 2019 at 12:15 AM.
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