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A Paladin Problematic

Felon

First Post
I'm not currently DM'ing, but I'm seeing a lot of insanity from the paladin in our current group that is taking its toll on our DM. Just wanted to run some of the crazier tricks past you guys to see if it's all kosher. Well, not kosher--because it's insane--but legit at any rate.

First trick is Gift of Resistance. It's a stance that lets him give up his resistances to grant the party resist 20 of the same for the entire frickin' encounter. So, he gets himself 1 point of omni-resistance, and then gives everyone else resist 20. Only once per-day, but it's an encounter-buster.

Another much more vexing deal for the DM is the hospialer PP feature where he heals anyone that a challenged monster attacks. The attack doesn't even have to hit. No requirements on distance or uses per turn or surges getting burned or...well, anything. At 21 points a pop, he's healing more than many critters can deal (and remember, misses still heal 21 HP). This is a PHB ability, so it's built under the assumption that paladins are single-target challengers, which they don't seem to be anymore.

Of coruse, it's easy enough to jerk a knee and say "well, just have the monsters attack the paladin". But my pally pal has something like seven or eight lay-on-hands per day that heal him for 60 points or so, and that's just the tip of the healberg. He's even got some item that lets him heal above his maximum HP (by converting the healing into THP). And of course, he's got some kiting tricks to ensure he can maintain a challenge while maintaining his distance. He's never sweating, trust me. And as long as he's around, neither are we.

Understand, I play a sorcerer in this campaign, so I'm the biggest beneficiary of all this. Yet, I see the challenge dwindling away and the DM's frustration at said diminishment growing. More than once I've been sorely tempted to just reach out and pat him on the head when he crits and then sees it immediately undone by the hospitaler's blessing.
 

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Explorer
Gift of Resistance only works for characters within five squares of the Paladin (effectively aura: 5). If he's managing that while simultaneously kiting an encounter worth of critters and not getting mercilessly beaten down, I'd be impressed.

Hospitaler's Challenge: Keep in mind that Divine Sanction is not Divine Challenge, so creatures subject to his Divine Sanction wouldn't trigger this ability.
 

talarei07

First Post
not familiar with gift of resistance. but 21 hp from Hospitaler's Blessing? ok what level are the characters? 1/2 lvl+wis mod We will go with minimum on level of 11/2=5 + wis (23 at max) mod + 6=11 hp so to gain 10 more points from this he would have to be at minimum what 22st level (11) with a 30 wis (10). unless there are more factors not listed. sound about right. im by no means an expert in dnd, and please correct me if im wrong.
 

Felon

First Post
Gift of Resistance only works for characters within five squares of the Paladin (effectively aura: 5). If he's managing that while simultaneously kiting an encounter worth of critters and not getting mercilessly beaten down, I'd be impressed.
You know, I woulda thought so too, but as it turns out, being able to heal yourself for a gross amount of damage while converting any surplus into THP is a pretty sick thing. There's no cap on that conversion, so one surge can net him 50 or 60 THP easily.

not familiar with gift of resistance. but 21 hp from Hospitaler's Blessing? ok what level are the characters? 1/2 lvl+wis mod We will go with minimum on level of 11/2=5 + wis (23 at max) mod + 6=11 hp so to gain 10 more points from this he would have to be at minimum what 22st level (11) with a 30 wis (10). unless there are more factors not listed. sound about right. im by no means an expert in dnd, and please correct me if im wrong.
Well, the character's 23rd-leve, and he's got one of those items that add onto surgeless healing. Healer's Broach, IIRC.
 

Aegeri

First Post
My steps to success here:

1) Tell your DM to buy Monster Vault.

2) Go to the Dracolich.

3) Introduce Mr. Paladin to Dracolich.

4) What him cry tears of horror as the Dragon prevents him - and everyone else - in an aura 3 from regaining any HP or even temp HP.

5) Have Dragon beat Paladin senseless because he does an incredible amount of damage and cannot heal (this means the Paladin will have to disengage at some point or risk dying from the dragons ridiculous action economy). Throw in undead allies up to EL + 3 (EL 26 total) for further hilarity and to increase the delicious beatdown factor.

6) Profit??!

Other than that, I do wonder how monsters are doing insufficient damage to make 21 HP regained not that great. Most epic monsters these days can hit pretty hard. With the gift of resistance and the temporary HP I can understand, but maintaining divine challenge on multiple monsters is extremely hard and that ability does *not* work with divine sanction.
 

Ainamacar

First Post
Assuming the rules are being applied correctly (i.e. Divine Sanction not tripping Hospitaler's Blessing as mentioned above) and reasonable steps are taken when designing encounters but the problem still persists, there is always the option of the DM requesting the player nerf one or more of his abilities/items for the sake of the game. The DM's fun counts too. Obviously some people will take this better than others, but if everyone at the table respects each other then this shouldn't ruffle any feathers. It's better than setting up a passive-aggressive situation at the gaming table, that's for sure.

In one campaign my friend DMed I came in at high level with a replacement character that was optimized enough to outshine the rest of the party, and destroy otherwise reasonable challenges for that party. Rather than start an arms race he asked me to nerf my character, which I did, and all was well.
 

Ryujin

Adventurer
You know, I woulda thought so too, but as it turns out, being able to heal yourself for a gross amount of damage while converting any surplus into THP is a pretty sick thing. There's no cap on that conversion, so one surge can net him 50 or 60 THP easily.

Well, the character's 23rd-leve, and he's got one of those items that add onto surgeless healing. Healer's Broach, IIRC.

Is that 50-60 THP from a one-shot, or the sum of multiple effects? Temp hits don't stack so the largest amount that he gets from a source is all that he'll get.
 

Dragonblade

Adventurer
At epic level, monsters should be doing some serious damage. Is the DM using the new damage guidelines?

If the DM is using pre MM3 monsters, than my rule of thumb is to add +5 damage per tier per monster attack. So epic monsters are doing +15 damage on every attack. I found this brings monster damage back in line with the power level, combos and synergy that epic characters have.
 

BobTheNob

First Post
Well, the character's 23rd-leve, and he's got one of those items that add onto surgeless healing. Healer's Broach, IIRC.

Which is why our group has a house rule saying no bonus's on healing unless its surged (which we have had in place since before the errata). That way surgless heals are controlled and you dont end up with situations like this because the player has an item which WOTC hasnt yet brought under the 'surge only' logic.

Assuming the rules are being applied correctly (i.e. Divine Sanction not tripping Hospitaler's Blessing as mentioned above) and reasonable steps are taken when designing encounters but the problem still persists, there is always the option of the DM requesting the player nerf one or more of his abilities/items for the sake of the game. The DM's fun counts too. Obviously some people will take this better than others, but if everyone at the table respects each other then this shouldn't ruffle any feathers. It's better than setting up a passive-aggressive situation at the gaming table, that's for sure.

Done this a couple of times, once was a significant nerf. Mind you, before I did it, I documented the logic behind the nerf (about 5 typed pages, incorporating arguments, comparissons and implications) and produced damage graphs to prove the breakage. Then I consulted fully with the player as to the reason and nature of the change and gave him the option of free retrains if he was unhappy.

Follow a pattern of diligence, and nerfs aren't that hard
 

Dragonblade

Adventurer
Also, remember that divine sanction is not divine challenge as was pointed out before, and in most cases a challenged monster should be focusing on the paladin. As long as the paladin is included in the attack, the allies don't get to heal.

Also, I would rule its one ally per attack that the paladin is not included that can benefit from the hospitaler ability. Not all allies.

The resistance power is nasty, but its epic so it should be nasty. Just bear in mind the 5 square range. If I was DM, I would do my best to slide or move PCs out of range before hammering them.
 

BobTheNob

First Post
Also, remember that divine sanction is not divine challenge as was pointed out before, and in most cases a challenged monster should be focusing on the paladin. As long as the paladin is included in the attack, the allies don't get to heal.

Also, I would rule its one ally per attack that the paladin is not included that can benefit from the hospitaler ability. Not all allies.
Actual wording from last errata

"When an enemy that you currently challenge makes an attack against one of your allies that does not include you, whether the attack hits or misses, that ally regains hit points equal to one-half your level + your Wisdom modifier"


The use of the wording "one of you allies" as opposed to "an ally" might suggest one (in the case of an area attack), but its splitting hairs a little. Im not actually certain which way this goes. If it was to heal EVERY target of a power, then yea, its pretty powerful surge-less healing (best I have heard of really).

However, here is the text explaining the reason for the nerf

"...and it doesn’t give a monster a good way to use close or area attacks without healing its enemies."

The thing about this is they are saying that a close or area attack will result in healing enemies...plural. So, as much as I dont like it personally, I think the designers intention was that everyone other than paladin targeted by an attacked from a challenged creature is healed, surgeless healed.

Otherwise, its a house rule

The resistance power is nasty, but its epic so it should be nasty. Just bear in mind the 5 square range. If I was DM, I would do my best to slide or move PCs out of range before hammering them.
Yep. Also like the Dracolich idea. There are many ways that this power can fail. I would even try having the Paladin hit with a teleport power, putting him out of range of the party.

There is all sorts of ways to turn this little nugget into a barrel of laughs.
 

Felon

First Post
However, here is the text explaining the reason for the nerf

"...and it doesn’t give a monster a good way to use close or area attacks without healing its enemies."

The thing about this is they are saying that a close or area attack will result in healing enemies...plural. So, as much as I dont like it personally, I think the designers intention was that everyone other than paladin targeted by an attacked from a challenged creature is healed, surgeless healed.

Otherwise, its a house rule
It seems a little beyond the bounds of RAW to decide how a power works based on what is not the power's actual text, but rather some notes explaining why the power's text was changed.

It's likely that the sentence just sounds better to the guy who wrote it using the plurarl instead of the singular. Since it's just a notation and not a rule, it isn't beholden to the same exacting degree of literalism. Even if it was held to such standards, the writer is referring to attacks (plural) against enemies (also plural), which could simply refer to the monster's attacks against enemies over the course of the encounter, not one round.

Yep. Also like the Dracolich idea. There are many ways that this power can fail. I would even try having the Paladin hit with a teleport power, putting him out of range of the party.

There is all sorts of ways to turn this little nugget into a barrel of laughs.
It's fun to sit around thinking of all sorts of ways to thwart some screwy ability, but at the end of the day if encounters are being designed around one power, that's an indicator that it is exerting way too much influence on the game.

I tell ya, if there's two things that oughta be banned from a campaign it's Dragon Mag artciles...and the PHB :)
 
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Felon

First Post
Is that 50-60 THP from a one-shot, or the sum of multiple effects? Temp hits don't stack so the largest amount that he gets from a source is all that he'll get.

Well, his lay on hands starts with his surge value, which is at least in the upper forties, and then he adds in more bonuses from other stuff, like that broach (+5 I think) and let's not forget that hospitaler's add their Cha to their lay on hands (+8 for him), and then there's gotta be at least one feat helping him add an ability score again. So yeah, it's like 60 points. Maybe even more.

This is a Cincture of Vivacity that lets him do this, btw. I nade a note of it because I want one too. Good cheap waist-slotter.

At epic level, monsters should be doing some serious damage. Is the DM using the new damage guidelines?
Yes, the DM is quite knowledgable. I used to be a rules lawyer extraordinaire, but 4e's inelegance has kind of taken the fight out of me, so he's now the go-to guy for the state of the current rules.

But enhanced damage doesn't matter when misses heal. Last battle, a volcanic dragon attacked the rogue twice. Missed once and then critted for 41. Net effect? Thanks to the hospitaler, the dragon healed the rogue for 1 HP.
 
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Davachido

First Post
Couldn't the DM just have only one of the enemies (challenged one) attack the paladin and the rest ignore the paladin to kill everyone else. I mean if the paladin kiting the challenged one how much attention is he paying to the other monsters?

Other thing the DM could easily do is have powerful artillery monsters that negate people getting healed when they hit. So the paladin will have to run all the way over there to engage them or only focus on one.

I'm not really sure how he is doing it so well as last time I played a hospitaler I was useful in the healing but loads of enemies just needed to stop paying attention to me. Or the bigger ones just use powerful blasts with me in there. Or even better yet just stun/daze (with non-save end effects) me then move away from me, no more divine challenge. Then just go to town on my friends. Also aura damage can't be healed by the hospitaler's mark either. Also trap damage, falling damage, terrain damage. Or just have a monster swallow an ally and burrow. Yes I know that is being slightly cheap but remember the DM can dish out far more than the players if he's smart about it.
 

Wait a second. Why was the only divinely challenged monster on the battlefield (the Volcanic Dragon) attacking the rogue twice and not as part of an area attack and ignoring the person who'd Divine Challenged him?
 

Felon

First Post
Couldn't the DM just have only one of the enemies (challenged one) attack the paladin and the rest ignore the paladin to kill everyone else. I mean if the paladin kiting the challenged one how much attention is he paying to the other monsters?
The pally seems to have ways to challenge multiple creatures. He's got some feat that lets him challenge everyone in the area of his breath weapon, for instance (didn't mention he was a dragonborn, did I?).

Wait a second. Why was the only divinely challenged monster on the battlefield (the Volcanic Dragon) attacking the rogue twice and not as part of an area attack and ignoring the person who'd Divine Challenged him?
Not familiar with the critter, but from what I saw, the VD tosses out an area attack and has some sort of poison damage aura that it can expand into a close burst attack. I guess neither are at-will, so the claws are what's left over. And the paladin's a lot harder to hit.
 

Bold or Stupid

First Post
I'm willing to bet that the breath weapon thing only sanctions the targets which DOES NOT trigger the Hospitilar stuff.

Edit -
DDi said:
Draconic Challenge

Heroic Tier
Prerequisite: Dragonborn, paladin
Benefit: When you use your dragon breath racial power, you subject each enemy targeted by that power to your divine sanction. This divine sanction lasts until the start of your next turn.

Published in Divine Power, page(s) 134.

Bold for effect.
 
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The pally seems to have ways to challenge multiple creatures. He's got some feat that lets him challenge everyone in the area of his breath weapon, for instance (didn't mention he was a dragonborn, did I?).

I doubt that very much. I can't think of a time when you have more than one foe under the effect of a Divine Challenge. Marked and Divine Sanctioned, hell yes. But the power in question specifically works with Divine Challenge - and that's only one target at at time.

Which means that he's using a feature intended to force one foe (the one he challenges) to attack him or else with features intended to make him slightly obnoxious to a lot of foes (Divine Sanction) and incorrectly thinking that they apply to these minor foes as well as the guy he's Challenged.

The one monster he has Challenged should be attacking him or be nerfed through the floor. The ones he only Sanctioned are just (!) taking -2 to hit everyone else and a little damage for attacking other people rather than getting nerfed through the floor.
 

Joshua Randall

Adventurer
Yes, it's very difficult to get an actual Divine Challenge onto more than one monster at a time. (Even the poorly named feat Contagious Challenge actually imposes Divine Sanction on enemies adjacent to the DC's target.)

Bradaman's weapon can do it -- it lets you challenge two targets at a time.

= = =

Monsters that don't allow you to heal or gain temp hp are good to use, and scary for the players. I remember fighting some oblivion wraiths and being sure we were all going to die. (We all didn't, but the party's paladin did. Heh!)

= = =

Paladins are also somewhat weak against strong, mobile ranged attackers. (Although I suppose at epic tier, the mobility issues are mitigated by everyone flying and teleporting.)
 

bert1000

First Post
The pally seems to have ways to challenge multiple creatures. He's got some feat that lets him challenge everyone in the area of his breath weapon, for instance (didn't mention he was a dragonborn, did I?).

I think we just found the culprit. Applying divine challenge riders (including hospitaler benefits) to multiple divine sanction creatures would lead to lots of frustrating situations. Correcting this alone should clear a lot up, if the DM just attacks the paladin with monster that is divine challenged (not sanctioned).
 

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