D&D 4E Another math crunch and how fix 4E

Bayuer

First Post
MONSTERS MATH
Code:
14+lv	12+lvl	5+lvl	3+lvl		
AC	DEF	vs.AC	vs.DEF		
15	13	_6	_4		
16	14	_7	_5		
17	15	_8	_6		
18	16	_9	_7		
19	17	10	_8		
20	18	11	_9		
21	19	12	10		
22	20	13	11		
23	21	14	12		
24	22	15	13		

25	23	16	14		
26	24	17	15		
27	25	18	16		
28	26	19	17		
29	27	20	18		
30	28	21	19		
31	29	22	20		
32	30	23	21		
33	31	24	22		
34	32	25	23		

35	33	26	24		
36	34	27	25		
37	35	28	26		
38	36	29	27		
39	37	30	28		
40	38	31	29		
41	39	32	30		
42	40	33	31		
43	41	34	32		
44	42	35	33

Statistics taken from DMG p.184 (Skirmisher).
Hitting DEF will be greater than the numbers showing. Lurker +1, Artilery, Soldier +2, only the Brute have -2 less to hit, than the numbers in table.

PCs MATH
Code:
+4S(+2 prof)		+3Dex+Hide	Plate	+3 ABL	+1 ABL
vs.AC	vs.DEF		AC(L)		AC(H)	DEF(M)	DEF(L)
_6	_4		16		18	13	11
_8	_6		18		20	15	13
_8	_6		18		20	15	13
_9	_7		19		21	16	14
_9	_7		19		21	16	14
10	_8		20		22	17	15
11	_9		21		24	18	16
13	11		23		25	20	17
13	11		23		25	20	17
14	12		24		26	21	18

14	12		24		26	21	18
16	14		26		29	23	20
16	14		26		29	23	20
18	16		28		30	25	21
18	16		28		31	25	21
19	17		29		32	26	22
20	18		30		34	27	23
21	19		31		35	28	24
21	19		31		35	28	24
22	20		32		36	29	25

23	21		33		36	30	26
25	23		36		39	32	28
25	23		36		39	32	28
26	24		37		40	33	29
26	24		37		40	33	29
27	25		38		41	34	30
28	26		39		42	35	31
30	28		41		43	37	32
30	28		41		43	37	32
31	29		42		44	38	33
AC(L) - Light Armor
AC(H)- Heavy Armor
DEF(M)- DEF Middle
DEF(L) - DEF Lowest

The key atribute is rainsing at 8,14,21,28 (full +1)
With DEF low it only rises on level 21, couse we rise primary and secondary stats.
Enchament bonus goes on level 2,7,12,17,22,27.
Hide Armor gives masterwork +1 on level 22.

What all this number gives to us?
HITTING THE MONSTERS AC
On heroic we have adventage of +1 to hit, that comes to +0 at the end of heroic tier.
On paragon the gap is showing making to hit at -1 to -2 at the end of tier.
On epic it comes from -2 to -3 at the end of tier.

HITTING THE MONSTER DEF
It's the same as above.

---
So the higher level we are, the harder time we have hitting the monsters. If we take max. stats that will make our hit at +1/+2 higer; +1 on DEF. But then our DEF will be drastically low.
---

HITTING THE PLAYERS AC (LIGHT ARMOR)
On heroic monster have adventage of +1 to +0, so it's fair.
On paragon it's from +2 to +3 at the end of tier.
On epic it goes to +3 at the end, with single boost at the beginnig of tier to +1.

HITTING THE PLAYERS AC (HEAVY ARMOR)
The monster has disadventage of -1 (sometimes even -2).
On paragon this continues in the same way.
On epic it jump from -1 to +1 at the end of tier.

---
So if we don't max our light armor AC we will be hit offten. We will probably start with 18 (+4) in our light armor stat and if we go for light armor or defensive weapon we will have the AC compared to high armor AC so that's not bad. Remeber that there's also Armor Specialization that is nice for Light Armor and not so needed for Heavy armor.
---

HITTING THE PLAYERS DEF
Our middle DEF is like this.
On heroic monster have adventage of +1 to +2 at the end of tier.
On paragon it jumps to +3 and it ends at +4.
On epic it then rise to +5 at the end of tier.

Our lowest DEF.
Heroic from +3 to +5.
Paragon from +5 to +8.
Epic from +8 to +10 (monster miss only when he rolls 1 on die!)

But here's come the trick. Monster that usualy attack DEF are Artilleries whose hit is +2 more that I take for this calculation. What with our best DEF. It wil be +3/+4 higher than mid DEF (+2 class and 18 in atribute).
Heroic goes with monster disadventage from -2/-1.
Paragon from +0 to +1.
Epic will be +1 to +2.

---
So we can't max our PCs. That's not possible and I think it's ok, but the gaps are too large. Even our best DEF is easy to be hit, and on epic nasty effects like domination or stunn comes into play. Our lowest DEF is instant kill for us.
---

Solution?
Give players +1 to attacks and defenced (other than AC) on paragon tier, this bonus will incrase to +2 on epic tier. Only feat that will be banned will be Weapon/Implement Expertise. Epic DEF feats are needed if you want to make your lowest/middle def more optimal. Also players gain for free one Epic defense feat (Epic Wiil/Reflex/Fortitude). That will make your lowest DEF at +4 (of monster adventage) - he must roll 6 on die to hit. This also will give options to players which defense feats to take and none will be banned.

Another approch is to just give players feats for free. One Weapon/Implement Expertise on 5 lvl. Paragons Defenses at 11 level (or another paragon defense feat). Robust Defenses (or any other epic defense feat) and one Epic FRW feat at epic tier. That will make the math work as intended (well almost as intended) and will be easy to make with Character Builder.

So what do you think? Will it be the final solution for math problems?
 
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KarinsDad

Adventurer
So what you think? Will it be the last solution to math problems?

Your math ignores some things.

1) The delta between ability scores that gain every time and ones that gain only at levels 11 and 21 is huge at high level for defenses. This is compounded by the fact that defenses can have a delta as great as 7 to begin with at first level.

2) Armor needs no adjustments. Both light and heavy armor gain the same +27 by level 30. Light armor actually has a slight edge over heavy armor at some levels. Your chart has armor increasing by 28, but that is only with specialization which is not guaranteed. Your chart also starts Dex out at 16 with is not as common as an 18. Hide armor is typically 1 less than Plate at level 30, but it is also typically 1 less at level 1 as well.

Rationally, light armor should protect less than heavy and a delta of 1 at both low and high levels is not that large of a delta (and with Demigod, the delta can be zero, Demigod does not help Plate armor at all).

3) Encountered monsters at all levels are often higher level than the PCs. Hence, one cannot compare PC to hit with monster defenses of the same level and hope to achieve anything. One must compare PC to hit against the range of monster defenses that the PCs can expect to encounter at their level.


The best solution I have come up with is:

1) +1 at levels 5, 15, and 25 to PC to hit and PC defenses (except AC).
2) +1 to 3 ability scores instead of 2 ability scores at levels 4, 8, 14, 18, 24, and 28.
3) No PHB II expertise or +4 defense feats.
 

Elric

First Post
2) +1 to 3 ability scores instead of 2 ability scores at levels 4, 8, 14, 18, 24, and 28.

This solves the "decreasing weakest defense" problem, but could present a host of other issues. It makes qualifying for feats much easier and removes the tradeoff between boosting AC and a secondary attribute for some classes (melee rangers who stay in light armor).

However, some of this could be seen as features and not bugs- it makes it much less important to plan your character progression when taking initial ability scores. It also makes the "balanced Paladin/Cleric" a much more viable build.

3) No PHB II expertise or +4 defense feats.

I'd definitely ban Robust Defenses, the epic feat that gives +2 feat bonus to Fort/Reflex/Will, as well, if you made the other changes.
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
This solves the "decreasing weakest defense" problem, but could present a host of other issues. It makes qualifying for feats much easier and removes the tradeoff between boosting AC and a secondary attribute for some classes (melee rangers who stay in light armor).

However, some of this could be seen as features and not bugs- it makes it much less important to plan your character progression when taking initial ability scores. It also makes the "balanced Paladin/Cleric" a much more viable build.

It also incentivizes players to take skill training feats because they are not limited to 2 good ability scores at higher levels.

I'd definitely ban Robust Defenses, the epic feat that gives +2 feat bonus to Fort/Reflex/Will, as well, if you made the other changes.

Yes. All splat book feats are considered bannable. However, most are not that bad, just situational.
 

Elric

First Post
It also incentivizes players to take skill training feats because they are not limited to 2 good ability scores at higher levels.

Thinking about it some more, adding +1 to three ability scores has other nice effects: you can play a Con/Cha warlock who stays in light armor without having your AC scale terribly to higher levels, since you'll be able to boost Int as well. Likewise, the Con Shaman can stay in light armor; his AC won't be good, but it won't scale horribly.

The biggest downside I can foresee is characters qualifying for feats they weren't meant to take without significant sacrifice- e.g., a Battle Captain qualifying for Supreme Inspiration (MP).
 

Bayuer

First Post
Your math ignores some things.

1) The delta between ability scores that gain every time and ones that gain only at levels 11 and 21 is huge at high level for defenses. This is compounded by the fact that defenses can have a delta as great as 7 to begin with at first level.

No I inculeded it! I just forget to write about it.
The key atribute is rainsing at 8,14,21,28 (full +1)
With DEF low it only rises on level 21, couse we rise primary and secondary stats.
Enchament bonus goes on level 2,7,12,17,22,27.
Hide Armor gives masterwork +1 on level 22.

2) Armor needs no adjustments. Both light and heavy armor gain the same +27 by level 30. Light armor actually has a slight edge over heavy armor at some levels. Your chart has armor increasing by 28, but that is only with specialization which is not guaranteed. Your chart also starts Dex out at 16 with is not as common as an 18. Hide armor is typically 1 less than Plate at level 30, but it is also typically 1 less at level 1 as well.

Yes I started with that in calculations, but I know that mostly it will come from 18 or even 20. I just try to show things goes if you don't maximize you AC related stat. So the light armor is ok if you know how to max it.

3) Encountered monsters at all levels are often higher level than the PCs. Hence, one cannot compare PC to hit with monster defenses of the same level and hope to achieve anything. One must compare PC to hit against the range of monster defenses that the PCs can expect to encounter at their level.

The rules are for the same level monsters. If you fight against higher level moster fight should be harder. Thats how I see it. On the same level it should be equal.

The best solution I have come up with is:

2) +1 to 3 ability scores instead of 2 ability scores at levels 4, 8, 14, 18, 24, and 28.
That will prevent from low DEF lacking behind but I don't know if that not too much ingerence in math. I like simple and clear solutions that don't impact terribly on game, and rising third stat is one of them.
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
The rules are for the same level monsters. If you fight against higher level moster fight should be harder. Thats how I see it. On the same level it should be equal.

Yes, it should be harder to hit. The problem is one of degree. When one faces a level 5 monster at level 1, the PC has a 45% chance to hit. When one faces a level 33 monster at level 28, the PC has a 30% chance to hit.

So if the hit points were equally raised compared to the average damage as PCs gain levels, then it takes 50% longer to finish the encounter (45%/30% = 1.5 times as long). Unfortunately, the problem is even worse than this since the hit points increase significantly faster than average damage.

If one only looks at same level monsters, the problem is not as apparent.
When one faces a level 1 monster at level 1, the PC has a 65% chance to hit. When one faces a level 28 monster at level 28, the PC has a 50% chance to hit. So, the encounter number of rounds only increases by 30% (65/50), not 50 (45/30).

The higher the level of the opponents, the greater the math problem becomes because hitting the NPCs becomes rare and hitting the PCs becomes very common.

That will prevent from low DEF lacking behind but I don't know if that not too much ingerence in math. I like simple and clear solutions that don't impact terribly on game, and rising third stat is one of them.

You have no solution if you do not fix the delta between low defense and high defense problem. That is a math problem which cannot be fixed by adding a linear amount to all defenses.

Adding +1 to a third stat is a simple solution that works with Character Builder.

Another solution would be to add +1 at levels 5, 15, and 25 to the weakest defense. That will solve the delta problem as well without impacting ability scores.

But, if you do not solve the delta problem, you are only solving part of the problem.
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
The biggest downside I can foresee is characters qualifying for feats they weren't meant to take without significant sacrifice- e.g., a Battle Captain qualifying for Supreme Inspiration (MP).

I don't really see that as a downside. WotC is not a perfect arbitrator of complete balance (as evidenced by the math problem). Prerequisites could just as easily been defined differently and nobody would be any wiser. I don't care if a PC qualifies for using a Shield at level 21 that the PC would never have been able to qualify for.

Most of these extra feat qualifications that you discuss will not become available until higher levels (mid-paragon or higher) anyway. At those points, having more abilities or options for the PCs is no big deal anyway.

There will always be power gamer options in the game. Adding in a few more doesn't really matter. What matters is when all of the PCs are getting screwed at high level because WotC screwed up the math. I'd rather fix the math problem and have a few feats sneak in than not fix the math problem and have my campaign disintegrate at high levels due to 30 round encounters.
 

Bayuer

First Post
Yes, it should be harder to hit. The problem is one of degree.
You have no solution if you do not fix the delta between low defense and high defense problem. That is a math problem which cannot be fixed by adding a linear amount to all defenses.

Adding +1 to a third stat is a simple solution that works with Character Builder.

Another solution would be to add +1 at levels 5, 15, and 25 to the weakest defense. That will solve the delta problem as well without impacting ability scores.

But, if you do not solve the delta problem, you are only solving part of the problem.

I don't even try to fix delta. I'm just trying to make the highest DEF to fit to the math (make it 50% hit rate as I showed above). The weak NADs still need to be fixed by feats and I think it's just fine as it is.
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
I don't even try to fix delta. I'm just trying to make the highest DEF to fit to the math (make it 50% hit rate as I showed above). The weak NADs still need to be fixed by feats and I think it's just fine as it is.

By 30th level, the weak defenses are down by 7 minimum, by 14 maximum, by 11 on average.

By 30th level, the strong defenses are down by 4 minimum, by 4 maximum, by 4 on average.

Your solution is to add 2 to all defenses (except AC).

That basically works ok with the strong defense, but does nothing for the weak defense.

If a PC's weak defense is down by 5 at level 1 (compared to his strong defense, -2 for class and -3 for 12 instead of 18 ability score, total level 1 defense 11) and down by 12 at level 30, your solution will only make it down by 10 at level 30. The same level "other defense level +4" 30th level monsters will still hit it on a 2. The PC will have to take for example Lightning Reflexes AND Epic Lightning Reflexes, just so that the same level monster still hits on a 7 (Weak Defense = +2 14 ability score, +6 magic, +15 level, +2 paragon feat, +4 epic feat, +2 your house rule = 41, 30th level monster is +34 to hit).

A Paragon feat and an Epic feat, just so that the same level monster hits 70% of the time instead of 95% of the time. Required. If the PC does not take the Epic feat, he will always get hit 95% of the time with that defense.

A higher level monster is back up to hitting 80% to 95% of the time, even with the two feats. Your solution does not resolve the problem and forces every player to take the two feats at least once (and possibly for a second semi-weak defense).

My solution puts this at the same 30th level monsters hits on a 5 without any feats (it is hits on a 6 at level 1, regardless of solution). It also incentivizes players to start 3 ability scores at 14 or higher to handle the defenses since they know that the weak ability score can gain +4 instead of +1. The weak ability score is useful for other things like skills and powers, even at high level, so the player might start the weak starting defense at 12 or higher.
 

malcolm_n

Adventurer
I have yet to run into a problem with PC's hitting monsters on average from level 1 to 30. When you get into those extra tiers, your leader, you, and probably others are getting abilities which grant at least a +1 to attacks.

There's also flanking to be considered, which is always a hefty +2 bonus.

As to (dis)allowing the feats from PH2, you're offering pretty much the same solution as the feats do without the cost. You want +1 to attack at first level, take Weapon Expertise. It balances your math at paragon and epic tier also with +2 and +3 respectively.

Similarly, you propose changing stats or adding to Defenses (not ac), but the feats you want to exclude handle that very problem.

I guess I fail to see the logic behind trying to fix what isn't broken.
 

Elric

First Post
As to (dis)allowing the feats from PH2, you're offering pretty much the same solution as the feats do without the cost. You want +1 to attack at first level, take Weapon Expertise. It balances your math at paragon and epic tier also with +2 and +3 respectively.

The Expertise feats are not a good method of giving players bonuses to hit. This has been gone over many times in other threads, but problems include: it doesn't apply to powers like a Dragonborn's Breath; characters with both an implement and weapon face a feat tax (and a character like a Swordmage-multiclass wizard-Wizard of the Spiral Tower faces an even larger tax, I believe), and characters who do not take these feats are much less powerful than those who do.

Similarly, you propose changing stats or adding to Defenses (not ac), but the feats you want to exclude handle that very problem.

I guess I fail to see the logic behind trying to fix what isn't broken.

The feats give too large of bonuses (Robust Defenses being the most egregious example; it has other adverse effects like not stacking with Shield Specialization, which noticeably lessens the power of that feat since most characters would take Robust Defenses in any case). Additionally, before you hit the epic tier almost nothing has changed based on PHII feats, so even if characters plan to max defenses come Epic, the gap is at its greatest at level 20 (your weakest FRW defense will already be down 5 points then).
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
I guess I fail to see the logic behind trying to fix what isn't broken.

Same level monsters hitting on a 2 is broken. Same level PCs missing on a 15 is broken.

WotC fixed it by adding feats that every PC will take.

I fixed it by just having the game mechanics work correctly.

Either fix works, I just do not like fixing the game by having must take feats.

But, the game is broken. If a given DM does not use PHB II and only PHB without adjustments, his game will start falling apart with 20+ round hard encounters and TPKs at mid-Paragon and even worse at Epic.

There just are not enough synergy bonuses in the game system to handle the weak defense, and the strong defense/PC to hit problems (or even the heavy armor AC sag in mid-paragon problem which WotC fixed with masterwork bonuses in AV and PHB II).
 

Bayuer

First Post
By 30th level, the weak defenses are down by 7 minimum, by 14 maximum, by 11 on average.

By 30th level, the strong defenses are down by 4 minimum, by 4 maximum, by 4 on average.

Your solution is to add 2 to all defenses (except AC).

That basically works ok with the strong defense, but does nothing for the weak defense.

If a PC's weak defense is down by 5 at level 1 (compared to his strong defense, -2 for class and -3 for 12 instead of 18 ability score, total level 1 defense 11) and down by 12 at level 30, your solution will only make it down by 10 at level 30. The same level "other defense level +4" 30th level monsters will still hit it on a 2. The PC will have to take for example Lightning Reflexes AND Epic Lightning Reflexes, just so that the same level monster still hits on a 7 (Weak Defense = +2 14 ability score, +6 magic, +15 level, +2 paragon feat, +4 epic feat, +2 your house rule = 41, 30th level monster is +34 to hit).

A Paragon feat and an Epic feat, just so that the same level monster hits 70% of the time instead of 95% of the time. Required. If the PC does not take the Epic feat, he will always get hit 95% of the time with that defense.

A higher level monster is back up to hitting 80% to 95% of the time, even with the two feats. Your solution does not resolve the problem and forces every player to take the two feats at least once (and possibly for a second semi-weak defense).

My solution puts this at the same 30th level monsters hits on a 5 without any feats (it is hits on a 6 at level 1, regardless of solution). It also incentivizes players to start 3 ability scores at 14 or higher to handle the defenses since they know that the weak ability score can gain +4 instead of +1. The weak ability score is useful for other things like skills and powers, even at high level, so the player might start the weak starting defense at 12 or higher.

Well without any adjustment to math, monster have +10 adventage. With +2 on epic it drops to +8. Now you can take Epic feat + paragn feat (+6 to DEF) and make it +2 adventage. But this situation will come only with primary stat max buff (20 on 1 lvl). And that the choice that player make. I think most builds will have 14/16 in teritary stat, becouse you don't need very strong primary stat now, couse we fixed the to hit math.

Well, you solution is quite nice, but I don't want to change too much. I think it's ok for player to have the weak spot and then fix it with feats. I just don't like when you need take feats for things that should work from the beginning.
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
I think it's ok for player to have the weak spot and then fix it with feats. I just don't like when you need take feats for things that should work from the beginning.

Except every player is forced to fix the weak defense with the two feats every time. Not doing so results in a 95% chance to hit for same level high level monsters.

How exactly is it balanced to be forced to take two feats?

A PC with a relatively strong weakest ability score of 14 starts with Fort 12 (for example). Level +4 first level same level foes hit on a 7.

At level 30, his ability score is 16 and his Fort is 34. Level +4 30th level same level foes hit on a 2. With your house rule, they still hit on a 2. With your house rule and the paragon feat, they hit on a 4. Higher level monsters (which should be encountered) still hit on a 2. With your house rule and a feat, they still hit on a 2.

And this is for someone who pushed a bit and put a 14 into that tertiary score at level 1. What about someone with a 10?

You think it is ok for this player who pushed his ability score at first level fairly high and took two feats and still gets hit by some higher level foes on a 4 or a 5. With two feats that give +6.

I don't think this is ok. When a player goes out of his way to protect his weakest defense, he should not be hit on a 4. IMO.
 

Bayuer

First Post
At level 30, his ability score is 16 and his Fort is 34. Level +4 30th level same level foes hit on a 2. With your house rule, they still hit on a 2. With your house rule and the paragon feat, they hit on a 4. Higher level monsters (which should be encountered) still hit on a 2. With your house rule and a feat, they still hit on a 2.
Well with 14 on stat you have FORT34. Monster has adventage of +9. With my house rule it drops to +7. When he take paragon feat it makes it +5, and with epic feat it gives +1. I can say not bad. Only 2 feats needed now. The middle DEF will need only one feat to make monster adventage to +0 and the primary DEF is fine as it is.

I see your point and I think that this gap shoulden't be so large, but I realy can't say how to make it work ok without to many complications. Your solution is nice couse it gives another +6 to lowest DEF making monster adventage at +4... my makes it at +8. So you need feats to make things go right. Well, I don't like the idea of three atributes development. Thats just it.
 

Elric

First Post
Except every player is forced to fix the weak defense with the two feats every time. Not doing so results in a 95% chance to hit for same level high level monsters.

How exactly is it balanced to be forced to take two feats?

You seem to be forgetting that going by PHII, the Robust Defenses feat means that, at epic, characters only need 1 feat to get the benefit of the 3 PH feats. So if you give characters +2 to FRW by epic levels, as the original poster does, then taking Robust Defenses and one Epic [FRW] feat (for your weak defense) leaves you even on your stronger FRWs, and up 1 on your weak one.

I don't endorse this solution-the strong FRWs can end up too high based on just scaling and the PH II feats, it requires players to take these overpowered feats, and it relies on massive bonuses for hitting epic levels. However, it would fix all the scaling issues with little feat investment required.
 
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Bayuer

First Post
Well I think that the fair solution will be also (as addition to previev solution) to give just players for free one Epic defense feat (Epic Wiil/Reflex/Fortitude). That will make your lowest DEF at +4 (of monster adventage) - he must roll 6 on die to hit. This also will give options to players which defense feats to take and none will be banned.

Another approch is to just give players feats for free. One Weapon/Implement Expertise on 5 lvl. Paragons Defenses at 11 level (or another paragon defense feat). Robust Defenses (or any other epic defense feat) and one Epic FRW feat at epic tier. That will make the math work as intended (well almost as intende) and will be easy to make with Character Builder.
 


Bayuer

First Post
How did you derive the monster defences?

Did you use the DMG tables or actually derive the average defences from MM1?

14+lv 12+lvl 5+lvl 3+lvl
AC DEF vs.AC vs.DEF

This are skirmiher stats taken from DMG (chapter about creating monsters).
 

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