4E In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective - Page 19
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  1. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    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.
    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?
    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.
    The difference isn't so big. The level 1 goblin MIGHT survive the first 'hit', but it gets hit automatically! So it WILL DIE at the 2nd blow (assuming the first is only an at-will). The minion has a 50/50 chance to also survive the first attack, roughly. The difference really isn't that great here.

    Yes, some higher level goblin minion could hit a bit more, and probably on average will do a bit more damage overall, but the difference is pretty negligible when you're talking maybe at most 10% of a PC's hit points, not to mention surges and such.

    The fiction sure appears to be the same to me. I disagree about your "narratives are not equivalent at all", Gygax has already long since explained this. 'hit' and 'miss' in D&D are simply not what the words would seem to imply, and again, you cannot paper over that (except again at really low levels, sort of). 4e leverages that fact a LITTLE more than, say, 2e, but not really that much.

    So, yeah, the minion manages to do some damage, which might simply be "he fights desperately and he's pretty tough, you exert yourself a bit before he goes down" and the non-minion's miss could be "his spear simply bounces off your +4 adamantine plate armor".

    Again, AD&D narratives would likely be the same in similar scenarios.

  2. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    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
    I think this would all be more interesting/successful if utilized in an engine that would purpose built to cater to it. Shouldn't really be hard...

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbdulAlhazred View Post
    The fiction sure appears to be the same to me. I disagree about your "narratives are not equivalent at all", Gygax has already long since explained this. 'hit' and 'miss' in D&D are simply not what the words would seem to imply, and again, you cannot paper over that (except again at really low levels, sort of). 4e leverages that fact a LITTLE more than, say, 2e, but not really that much.
    Gygax hasn't been relevant to the industry in thirty years. His opinions are meaningless.

    I'm glad that you found some happiness, by buying into his transparent rhetoric, but most players have higher standards than you do. Most players aren't willing to accept that a hit on the die could be a miss within the narrative, and that's why 4E fared as poorly as it did. Appealing to Gygaxian rhetoric is not a winning strategy with players who know better.

    I've said it before, but 4E is the edition which actually delivers on Gygax's promise; and very few people actually wanted that sort of thing, in practice.
    Last edited by Saelorn; Friday, 24th May, 2019 at 08:49 PM.

  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post

    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 contemptible foes, you decide to make it interesting, striding unconcerned about the field, and trying showy tricks you wouldn't risk against a real threat.
    For some reason this reminded me of Runequest where they track closely "how" you advance perhaps the above tricks might allow one to gain experience fighting foes which are significantly beneath your capability when otherwise the DM wouldn't grant them.

  5. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garthanos View Post
    For some reason this reminded me of Runequest where they track closely "how" you advance perhaps the above tricks might allow one to gain experience fighting foes which are significantly beneath your capability when otherwise the DM wouldn't grant them.
    Oh, that's an idea! It might also work for *ahem* 'solo' play ...

  6. #186
    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    Gygax hasn't been relevant to the industry in thirty years. His opinions are meaningless.


    I'm glad that you found some happiness, by buying into his transparent rhetoric, but most players have higher standards than you do. Most players aren't willing to accept that a hit on the die could be a miss within the narrative, and that's why 4E fared as poorly as it did. Appealing to Gygaxian rhetoric is not a winning strategy with players who know better.


    I've said it before, but 4E is the edition which actually delivers on Gygax's promise; and very few people actually wanted that sort of thing, in practice.
    Just going to hop into the conversation here.

    I don't really understand how people not liking such feature translates to them having a higher standard for their tabletop experience.

  7. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWayofPie View Post
    Just going to hop into the conversation here.

    I don't really understand how people not liking such feature translates to them having a higher standard for their tabletop experience.
    I wasn't really going to touch it. No doubt I'm doing it wrong, and have been since 1975! hehe.

  8. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWayofPie View Post
    I don't really understand how people not liking such feature translates to them having a higher standard for their tabletop experience.
    It's a really weird, really old issue.

    When D&D was naught but a misfiring neuron in Dave Arneson's brain, there was a not too popular wargaming hobby, and, since it was essentially historical reenactment on sand tables using tin soldiers, "realism" was a highly coveted - and very elusive - quality.

    So, when various innovations passed through the minds of Gygax & Arneson - in what order, thanks to legal battles, we'll never know for sure -and emerged first as Chainmail, then D&D, there was a harsh line of criticism of hit point gain with level as profoundly unrealistic. If hit point damage represented the destructive force imparted by a weapon on it's target - as the weapon tables, with bigger weapons doing more damage, and STR mods would seem to indicate (and as the prior use of hit points in the Ironclads wargame would also imply) - then the only way a character could gain hps would be to become larger, or change it's material composition.
    So D&D characters either grew to giant size, or went from glass to flesh, to wood, to stone to iron to vibranium or something - both of which would be ludicrous.

    EGG defended his court-awarded-full-custody brain child with an exhaustive treatise, in the 1e DMG.
    It seemed to quiet the critics, or maybe they just died of lead poisoning or old age.

    For about 30 years it stood as the sole official explanation of what hps represented. It still does, actually: no other has been officially offered, nor has anything official contradicted it.

    Yet, c2008, it became fashionable to criticise D&D for /no longer/ modeling hps solely as destructive force vs material strength, "as it had always done before."
    When confronted with EGG's 30yo old treatise, they reacted - and are still reacting - as you see here.

    Even out of all this wackiness, though some interesting developments have come. My favorite is the Highlander explanation of hps: adventurers are a supernatural race apart, with the power to absorb the life force of their slain foes (as XP) to increase their own power (levels) & life force (hp).
    Last edited by Tony Vargas; Saturday, 25th May, 2019 at 11:37 PM.
    XP AbdulAlhazred, TheWayofPie, Aldarc gave XP for this post

  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWayofPie View Post
    Just going to hop into the conversation here.

    I don't really understand how people not liking such feature translates to them having a higher standard for their tabletop experience.
    "Higher Standard" -->Because of blatant disgusting arrogance of course. The edition wars made it acceptable AND since 4e lost those well it somehow still is.
    Last edited by Garthanos; Sunday, 26th May, 2019 at 06:15 AM.

  10. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garthanos View Post
    "Higher Standard" -->Because of blatant disgusting arrogance of course. The edition wars made it acceptable AND since 4e lost those well it somehow still is.
    Meh, there's always the ignore list if one is so inclined. Personally I find that there's always something people will end up saying that is annoying, and then again they'll say something interesting or insightful so best to let it all pass. I will happily play 4e or some variation thereof as long as I can still roll dice
    XP Saelorn gave XP for this post

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