4e Clone − help create it!

Yaarel

Adventurer
Frankly, as a 4E lover, I'm strongly interested in fewer ability scores, not more​.


Ability Bonuses

Your ability bonuses define the things that you tend to be good at. Your aptitudes. For example, a high Strength bonus makes you inherently good at various challenges that need you to be physically strong.



Physical Ability Bonuses

Strength represents your brute strength, toughness, and size.
Dexterity represents your precise motion, skillful athleticism, and dodging.

Mental Ability Bonuses

Intelligence represents your five senses, analysis, and intuition.
Charisma represents your social skills, empathy, and willpower.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
How do you guys feel about everyone getting a free feat at level 1? I suppose, a human gains two.

I love 4e ‘themes’. It seems like Pathfinder2 now has something like this as well.

A themes are a substantial set of thematic abilities, in addition to class and race. These are great for rounding out a character, connecting the character to persons or places in the setting, or if teammates take related themes, connecting the team to each other.

Actually, 4e themes were non-core, showing up in Dragon Magazine issues, and in several spatbooks. Of course, 4e design philosophy made ‘everything core’. But the character advancement table itself allocates no place for themes. So the theme pretty much adds a substantial amount of power in addition to an already substantial level 1.

In the ‘Advancement’ section in the original post, the table allocates space for ‘skills’ − including skill related features. This is the place to pick and develop a ‘profession’ − to represent a 4e ‘theme’ − with a 5e ‘background’ in mind too.

I want this skill space to focus on noncombat capabilities. For example, Fighter is competent in skills outside of combat because the choice of profession is separate from the Fighter class. The profession grants skills and related skill features at ‘level zero’ along with race, and later at levels 2, 10, and 18. At level 10, the profession relates to being a head of an organization, such as a guild. At level 18, the profession relates to being the head of nation, or its equivalent. This helps invite old school involvement in noncombat politics at higher levels.

The thing is, a 4e theme can be almost anything. Even a place to say that one is a werewolf, or a member of an Eberron house, or so on. Some of these ‘professions’ have combat implications. ... But I prefer the profession to be an area for noncombat.

A solution is, everyone gets a free feat at level 1, and can use this feat in any way they wish − to boost an ability bonus, augment a race, augment a class − or choose a combat ability that bolsters a violent ‘profession’.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
I want ultra simple grappling. Is the following feasible enough?



Grappling

Grappling represents wrestling, grabbing, pulling, and pushing.

Always use Dexterity to make a grappling attack but always use Strength to keep hold.

For example.

To break out of a hold, you attack via your Dexterity versus your opponents Strength.

To climb onto a Dinosaur, you attack via your Dexterity to grab on around a neck or a horn, and an unwilling Dinosaur attacks via its Dexterity versus your Strength to shake you off.

Always use Strength to force a move. Thus a push without grabbing hold can eschew Dexterity.

Grappling attacks are natural unarmed attacks, with or without proficiency.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
How do you guys feel about everyone getting a free feat at level 1? I suppose, a human gains two.

I love 4e ‘themes’. It seems like Pathfinder2 now has something like this as well.

A themes are a substantial set of thematic abilities, in addition to class and race. These are great for rounding out a character, connecting the character to persons or places in the setting, or if teammates take related themes, connecting the team to each other.

Actually, 4e themes were non-core, showing up in Dragon Magazine issues, and in several spatbooks. Of course, 4e design philosophy made ‘everything core’. But the character advancement table itself allocates no place for themes. So the theme pretty much adds a substantial amount of power in addition to an already substantial level 1.
Many of a themes effects were just power swaps.... not power upgrades but they might be represented in 5e as a type of 5e feat.

Paragon paths might be a 5e feat as would Epic Destiny.

Not sure if the 5e feat will convey them well. But they might be built that way.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
Many of a themes effects were just power swaps.... not power upgrades but they might be represented in 5e as a type of 5e feat.
I am a big fan of swaps. They are awesome for customization and balance.

If everything is formatted as powers, then it is so easy swap one power for an other.



Paragon paths might be a 5e feat as would Epic Destiny.

Not sure if the 5e feat will convey them well. But they might be built that way.
If you look at the ‘Advancement’ table. The way the leveling sequence works out has levels 20 to 24 for Epic tier. This includes two ‘Epic’ feats at levels 20 and 24. It also includes an Epic race feature − great for concepts like Archfey. Levels 21 and 23 are for the Epic ‘destiny’ − here renamed ‘immortality’. These immortality features focus on a method of gaining immortality, and an epic legacy or portfolio relating to this concept.



I assume it will be 4E or Pathfinder levels of feats so a human would get a bonus feat.

This Advancement table allocates class features (including archetype and path) at each odd level, because that is when the spellcasters get their class spells. This table intentionally, allocates spells according to the 3e and 5e method, because it allows for players to pick and choose various kinds of spells. 4e itself was hyper rigid − assigning dailies, encounters, and at-wills at specific levels − thus made spells wonky and difficult to balance.

I feel all feats should use the same format as spells. Then it is easy to compare them to spells, and rank them according to their levels. Then allow players to pick any feat of the same level or lower.

A cool thing about 4e is, there are no ‘spell levels’. All levels refer to the same level in the Advancement table. So it is possible to rank all spells and feats from level 1 to level 20 and higher.



In 5e, the class determines whether a spell is cast per long rest or per short rest. For example, Wizard and Sorcerer can cast certain same spells differently. But for 4e, the spell itself is short or long. So, I think it is ok for a Wizard to pick a short-rest spell and for a Warlock to pick a long-rest spell, if they want it for their known spells.
 
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Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
I know you want it to be simple, but it just doesn't seem right to me not to be able to use Strength to break a grapple.
I would go with a choice of either—representing wither the strength to force of the grapple, or the dexterity to squim or twist out of the grapple.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
I know you want it to be simple, but it just doesn't seem right to me not to be able to use Strength to break a grapple.
I would go with a choice of either—representing wither the strength to force of the grapple, or the dexterity to squim or twist out of the grapple.
Yeah, I guess.

Maybe for the sake of simplicity, ANY grappling maneuver can attack or defend via whichever is higher, Dexterity or Strength.

So, Dexterity can ‘Push’ by means of a judo flip or so on, and ‘hold’ by grabbing a sensitive place like a finger.



I have in mind that there are only four abilities (or at least only four ‘active’ abilities). So, attack uses Strength or Dexterity +d20, and defense uses Strength or Dexterity +10.



It occurs to me, size should count as armor. Human Medium size and smaller normally relies on Dexterity augmented by armor, for defense. However, Huge and Gargantuan are difficult to hit because these puny little weaklings dont really matter relative to these larger sizes. Consider Giant and Dragon, finding sword attacks to be more a nuisance than an injury, like biting ants.

So, a character can defend against weapons using either defense: Dexterity (to dodge) or Strength (to shrug off), whichever is higher.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
@Azzy, [MENTION=6702445]jayoungr[/MENTION]

I updated the original post as follows. Any suggestions?



Grappling

Grappling represents wrestling, grabbing, pulling, and pushing.

To make a grappling attack, add d20 to whichever is highest, your Dexterity bonus (for agility and leverage) or your Strength bonus (for physical size and power).

To make a grappling defense, add 10 to whichever is highest, Dexterity or Strength.

However, always use Strength to keep a hold ongoing.

For example.

To break out of a hold, you attack via your Dexterity versus your opponents Strength.

To climb onto a Dinosaur, you attack via your Dexterity to grab on around a neck or a horn, and an unwilling Dinosaur attacks via its Dexterity versus your Strength to shake you off.

Grappling attacks are natural unarmed attacks, with or without proficiency.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
4e Power Sources

How do you guys feel about the 4e Power Sources table below?

The table develops from discussions that Wrecan and I had years ago.

Essentially, the sources are rows and columns that intersect each other. For example, ‘healing’ spells are both Divine and Primal, locating at the intersection of the two.

The columns describe the THEME of the spell: Elemental (Matter), Primal (Life), Psionic (Mind), plus Universal (Force).

Note:
• Primal (Life) is a special blend of Psionic (Mind) and Elemental (Matter).
• ‘Force’ always means mysterious ‘magical energy’, including telekinetic force and gravity.

The rows describe the PROCESS of magic: Divine (emanation), Arcane (alteration), Shadow (destruction), and Martial (action).

Note:
• Divine here tends to relate to the ‘Fifth Element’, that has been defined variously as ether, space, gravitational force, space-time fabric, consciousness, life energy, and immortality. These tropes interrelate, all being aspects of this transcendent level of ‘being’.
• Martial tropes tend to interrelate as nonmagical study and actions.
• Martial includes Detect Magic. Despite being mostly to fill in a grid, allocating Detect Magic and Arcana to Martial, corresponds to the tradition of Rogue Use Magic Device, and ‘scientific’ Artificer. But also, it is normal for a nonmagical creature to sense something ‘awesome’, ‘strange’, or ‘eerie’, hence detect magic.
• Shadow (destruction) is a distinctive application of Arcane (alteration) and an antithesis of Divine (emanation).

Tropes combine both a theme and a process. This combo systematically identifies EVERY 4e POWER with meaningful precision. To say, ‘Arcane Psionic’ for the Charm trope, or ‘Martial Primal’ for the Athletic skill trope, sketches what these powers are about.

These sources are keywords only, intended to be useful descriptions. A Paladin for example, will tend to have tropes from various combos. Whatever makes sense for a character concept.




4e Sources.png
 
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jayoungr

Adventurer
To make a grappling attack, add d20 to whichever is highest, your Dexterity bonus (for agility and leverage) or your Strength bonus (for physical size and power).

To make a grappling defense, add 10 to whichever is highest, Dexterity or Strength.

However, always use Strength to keep a hold ongoing.
I like this much better!
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
My ideal power format looks something like this.

Power Fireball.png



The title line has the power name (in this case the Fireball spell), the purpose, and the character level.

Next line, sources.
Then type of action, and frequency.

Target, including any area and range.
Versus defense ability.
Damage, including average, damage type, and randomized equivalent.
Damage even if missing defense.

Finally, a prose description of the effect of the power.



Many classes (and maybe races) can choose this power: so the format lacks a specific class, specific attack ability, and specific spell components.



[Edit]

The color coding of the title line symbolizes the purpose.

Attack: red
Defense: green
Mobility or Barrier: blue
Detection or Stealth: purple
Assistance (multipurpose, summoning, conjuration, fabrication, pet): gold



[Edit]

The prose description risks baking a specific flavor into the mechanics. Either make the prose as diplomatic and as inclusive as possible. Or else separate the specific flavor into an italicized ‘Flavor Text Box’.
 
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Yaarel

Adventurer
The Power Sources table above lists ‘healing’ as Primal and Divine.

However, this refers to actual spontaneous healing following a catastrophic injury when reach zero hit points.

Warlord healing is more like ‘morale’ (Martial Psionic), inspiring others to press on, despite being battered an bruised.

For my tastes, the Warlord is an effective healer − unless the ally reaches zero hit points. So the focus of Warlord healing is while fresh or bloodied, plus ‘vigor’ temporary healing. For zero hit points, the modest Medicine skill with bandages and smelling salts applies.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
I tweaked the power sources grid. Note, ‘Morale’ with ‘Second Wind’, thus by extension Warlord hit-point restoration in the sense of rallying morale.

Morale organizes as nonmagical ‘Martial’ and mental ‘Psionic’.



[edit]

Now that I know how to make a table, I am doing the 4e Power Sources Grid as one to make it easier to tweak. See below.
 
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Yaarel

Adventurer
Power Format

Power Name // Purpose Level
Sources, Trope // Action Type • Frequency
Target: target type in range
Versus: ability defense
Effect:
Duration:
Description.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
Here is my first pass at Warlord powers. They are intended to balance with 5e, so compare these powers to 5e spells.

When a class gives the player the choice of a power, the player can choose any power, whether it is at-will, per rest (short or long), or per long rest. (I am tempted to refer to the At-Wills as ‘Fighter cantrips’.)

In 5e, several classes can share the same powers (including the same spells), so in the following powers, class names are absent.



Inspiring Presence // Defense 1
Martial Psionic, Morale // Reaction • Rest
Target: 1 ally in close
Heal: hit points = your level + your Charisma
Your presence boosts the morale of an embattled comrade in your combat unit. One ally in close range who can see or hear you, and who is less than full hit points but not dying, can restore a number of lost hit points up to your level plus your Charisma bonus. Any scrapes and bruises remain but are ignorable
Inspiring Word // Defense 1
Martial Psionic, Morale // Bonus Action • Rest
Target: 1 ally in close
Heal: hit points = hit dice spent by ally
Your timely support inspires a member of your team to find inner strength. One ally in close range, who can see or hear you, who is less that full hit points but not dying, can spend any hit dice remaining to that ally to restore hit points as if completing a short rest. Any scrapes and bruises remain but become ignorable.
Tactical Presence // Attack 1
Martial Psionic, Tactics // Reaction • Rest
Target: 1 ally in close, 1 foe within range of allys attack
Trigger: when ally attacks foe
Attack: expertise to attack = your Intelligence
Your coaching heightens the effectiveness of your combat unit. One ally in close range, who can see or hear you, when making an attack against a hostile of your choice, can add an expertise bonus to one attack roll equal to your Intelligence bonus. Your ally resolves this attack.
Commanders Strike // Attack 1
Martial Psionic, Tactics // Action • Maneuver
Target: 1 ally in far, 1 foe within range of allys attack
Attack: allys weapon or cantrip
Your surveyal of the battle in progress heightens the responsiveness of your combat unit. An ally in far range, who can see or hear you, can make one weapon attack or cantrip attack against a hostile of your choice. Your ally resolves this attack.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The prose description risks baking a specific flavor into the mechanics. Either make the prose as diplomatic and as inclusive as possible. Or else separate the specific flavor into an italicized ‘Flavor Text Box’.
Very much this
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
Power Source Grid

Here is the 4e Power Source Grid as a table, to make it easier to tweak if necessary. When it seems stable enough to handle most of the corner cases, we can move it into the Original Post.



Power
Sources
ELEMENTAL
(matter)
PRIMAL
(life)
PSIONIC
(mind)
UNIVERSAL
(force)
DIVINE
(emanation)

Ether
• Light
• Radiance
Space
• Darkness
• Teleportation
• Extradimensional
Healing
• Life Energy
• Immortality
• Resurrection
• Renewal
• Close Wounds
Consciousness
• Awaken
• Sanity/Enlightenment
Outofbody/Projection
• Scry/Clairvoyance
• Detect Mind
Prescience
• Fate
• Luck
• Ascertain Knowledge
Force
• Force Damage
• Magic Energy
• Telekinesis
• Fly
• Gravity
Planes
Wish
• The Weave
SHADOW
(destruction)
DisintegrationDeath
• Necrotic Damage
• Disease
Undead
Oblivion
Insanity
Antimagic
ARCANE
(alteration)


Air-Water
• Wind
• Weather
• Cold Damage
• Lightning Damage
• Thunder Damage
Earth-Fire
• Fire Damage
• Acid Damage
• Stone/Metal
Shapeshift
Plant
Beast
Humanoid
Ki
• Bodily Aura
• Lifeforce
• Soul
Telepathy
• Psychic Damage
• Domination
Fear
Charm
• Sleep
Phantasm
• Suggestion
• Hallucination
• Dream
• Psionic Invisibility
Force Construct
• Summon
• Conjuration
• Illusion
MARTIAL
(action)













Equipment
• Weapons
• Armor
• Tools
Alchemy
• Proto-Chemistry
• Metalsmithing
• Jewelry
Crafting
• Technical Skill
• Technology
• Replica/Forgery
• Disguise










Athletics
• Move/Speed
• Jump/Climb
• Balance/Fall
• Swim/Wing
• Stamina
Grappling
Sense
• Seeing
• Hearing
• Smell/Taste
Stealth
Sleight of Hand

• pick pocket
• pick lock
• disarm trap
Medicine
• Longevity
• Immune System
• Anatomy
• Therapy
• Poison Damage
Nature
• Animal
• Plant
• Animal Handling
• Tracking
Survival
• Travel
• Navigation
• Sailing
• Foraging

Morale
• Willpower
• Rally
• Second Wind
Persuasion
• Influence
• Convince
• Art/Performance
Intimidation

• Force Surrender
• Rage
• Confuse
• Create Diversion
Empathy
• Cold Reading
• Communicate Emotion
• Intention/Motive
• Streetsmarts
• Mysticism/Conscious
Intuition/Wisdom
• Extrasensory/Hunch
• Symbolism
Tactics
• Teamwork
• Military History
Language
• Discern Gist
• Learn Language
History
• Culture
• Customs
• Religions
• Famous Persons
• Legends
Arcana
• Detect Magic
• Identify Spell
• Extraplanar
 
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