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D&D 4E Anyone playing 4e at the moment?

Teemu

Adventurer
Ignoring a defender's mark isn't the DM playing suboptimally. A fighter can miss the immediate attack, or the enemy can have trouble hitting the fighter. I often have enemies trigger a defender's punish mechanic because a particular situation warrants it, and the result can be a squishier PC taking damage or a condition. Or not!
 

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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
And things only got more flexible over time. Brash Strike was relatively like becoming a striker in an at-will. Strength + 2 vs. AC and CA granted to enemies and a bonus damage based on a secondary attribute is like berserker for a round. And speaking of Berserker that was an interesting experiment showing hot swapping role specific class features could be possible another way. I think it could been done using stances too shrug.
 

My biggest issue with the original 4e fighter is that it wasn't a better "striker" (my issue with 5e one too). I don't a "tank" and no one at my table wants to play a tank. My 4e fighters were generally unhappy that the ranger did more damage.
It wasn't all that hard though to make a pretty much Striker fighter. Ironically it is actually, in most cases, a BETTER defender than ever! I mean, what's better than "punish the bad guys even harder", eh? Past a certain point they will, of course, simply never provoke, but that's some pretty awesome lockdown! I mean, there IS a point where your defense is neglected enough that you might go down too fast, but Rogues and Rangers cope with that too... At least you have defender hit points/surges! GW fighter, go for a low accuracy weapon, pump STR and WIS, dig up every multi-attack you can, or go crit fishing. Yes, a fully optimized Rogue/Ranger/Warlock will be ahead of you some, but you last longer and are STILL a really solid defender without even trying.

So, while I had a few people that made fighters early on that had somewhat odd builds, and there were obviously less feats to game, who seemed a bit unimpressed with their damage output, it all got figured out pretty fast. It is mostly just hitting that 'groove' where you're still tempting people to provoke, and then making sure you have all the "my CC will really hurt you!" feats, the one that adds WIS bonus damage being the most obvious candidate.
 

Cool is subjective. The ranger was objectively a better damage dealer, that is how it was designed.
Obviously, but then the Ranger basically does NOTHING else except spam TS, or one of its even better encounter/daily cognates, and then maybe take off-turn reaction/OA stuff. Its nothing but spamming as many arrows downrange as possible in the shortest time you can, while staying the heck out of reach. I remember we had a guy that would play about half the time in our 2nd campaign, IIRC. He was playing a BA, and it was just stupid how much damage he could do, but he clearly was bored to death of it, at least in combat. Outside of combat he was a lot of fun.

Honestly I liked the Beast Master better. It has just SLIGHTLY less optimized archery, and a nice class feature. More fun, and really just as deadly.
 

I think its boring to always honor the mark. I do not think one has constantly ignore it you might even use when they get bloodied it will highlight very nicely or letting some enemies realize quickly they arent hurting this guy (do they know he can respond to their shift attempt? well the DM does he could very well assume they do not)... and those ones over there are squishy looking is not 100 percent not optimal in character at least.
I just played tactically and in accordance with the monster's nature. There's times when they provoke, and times when they don't... Obviously a fighter that is clearly geared up to smack you super hard will get less provokes, but that's OK. I had a guy with that PC in a campaign, the monsters were all standing around going "holy crud! I gotta keep parrying this guy every second, he's got me pinned!" LOL. Then there was a dwarf that was a real tank. Monsters would sometimes figure out that they could try to go around him. OTOH if he got himself in a chokepoint then it was all over! Both were effective and fun.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I just played tactically and in accordance with the monster's nature. There's times when they provoke, and times when they don't...
The way I see it the fighters ability to hit someone when they shift away is not something the npc knows (the mark is what is affecting them so they know about that and lots of characters mark and npcs that mark are not generally a duplicate of any given defender power, and I consider it consistent an enemy doesn't magically know when they ignore the Swordmages mark he will be teleporting to smack them either). So you can expect if they would be frustrated by missing or simply want to kill those obviously deadly others or the guy who keeps healing others or whatever reason like they have a good charge they want to use, shifting then doing the charge is the order of the day. The defender of whatever stripe I would say gets at least one provoke possibly per enemy.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Honestly I liked the Beast Master better. It has just SLIGHTLY less optimized archery, and a nice class feature. More fun, and really just as deadly.
Beastmaster with a Warhorse for beast, and the Chevalier Theme ... or the Calladyr Dragoon Theme are some of the ingredients you could use to make the Ranger even more obviously fighter, the Assyrian Archer horseman work relatively well as a real world style too.
 

The way I see it the fighters ability to hit someone when they shift away is not something the npc knows (the mark is what is affecting them so they know about that and lots of characters mark and npcs that mark are not generally a duplicate of any given defender power, and I consider it consistent an enemy doesn't magically know when they ignore the Swordmages mark he will be teleporting to smack them either). So you can expect if they would be frustrated by missing or simply want to kill those obviously deadly others or the guy who keeps healing others or whatever reason like they have a good charge they want to use, shifting then doing the charge is the order of the day. The defender of whatever stripe I would say gets at least one provoke possibly per enemy.
Eh, yeah, frankly I figure there's real world explanations for all the things that are going on, like being able to use CS and CC. While not every monster may know the details as if they were a player, they surely know they're under threat! However, a lot of monsters are dumb and hungry, and foolish enough not to figure out the best strategy. Or it may BE the best strategy in a given situation to put paid to that wizard, damn the consequences! So, yeah, I never saw the 'nothing ever provokes' problem. It always seemed like a bit of a spherical cow...
 



dave2008

Legend
It wasn't all that hard though to make a pretty much Striker fighter. Ironically it is actually, in most cases, a BETTER defender than ever! I mean, what's better than "punish the bad guys even harder", eh? Past a certain point they will, of course, simply never provoke, but that's some pretty awesome lockdown! I mean, there IS a point where your defense is neglected enough that you might go down too fast, but Rogues and Rangers cope with that too... At least you have defender hit points/surges! GW fighter, go for a low accuracy weapon, pump STR and WIS, dig up every multi-attack you can, or go crit fishing. Yes, a fully optimized Rogue/Ranger/Warlock will be ahead of you some, but you last longer and are STILL a really solid defender without even trying.

So, while I had a few people that made fighters early on that had somewhat odd builds, and there were obviously less feats to game, who seemed a bit unimpressed with their damage output, it all got figured out pretty fast. It is mostly just hitting that 'groove' where you're still tempting people to provoke, and then making sure you have all the "my CC will really hurt you!" feats, the one that adds WIS bonus damage being the most obvious candidate.
I just want to clarify that my players are not optimizers and had no interest in trying to "build" the most effective character. They are just not into that part of the game. If that is what is needed to make a character effective in a certain way - it is not likely to happen.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Speaking of Legendary Thief.... why not have other Legendaries with intangibles and impossibles.
And since thief is one who does the thieving skill (and its neighbor stealth) we could base them on skills groupings of skills, or professions tightly coupled to those. We might name them distinct from Legendary X for flavor of course.

Legendary Athlete, (legendary fits)
Akashic Historian,
Life Weaver
Natures Ruler/Lover.
Tireless Champion
 
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I used to do that all the time!

EDIT: It's actually quite associative: I (playing my NPC/creature) would be so worked up by what was going on over there that I'd try to do something about it, only to have my attention drawn back to my here-and-now by a quick thwack from the nearby fighter.
Yeah, the whole 'Dissociative Mechanics' thing was always a real head scratcher for me. 4e's QUITE 'associative'. Stuff generally happens RIGHT NOW and you can see exactly what it is related to! I mean, I don't think 5e (for example) really DOESN'T do that, but I don't really see a difference there in any edition. You declare the use of some ability you have, and something happens. The places where there are heavy abstractions in the process (IE healing hit points of damage) maybe obscures exactly WHAT is happening, fictionally, but there's no doubt about what is associated with what!
 

I just want to clarify that my players are not optimizers and had no interest in trying to "build" the most effective character. They are just not into that part of the game. If that is what is needed to make a character effect in a certain way - it is not likely to happen.
This speaks to my big complaint with 4e, the 'gardening of build'. For some players it is a feature, and for others it is a bug. I've had both types in my games. OTOH even the less 'hardcore' player who mostly just wanted an interesting character was pretty happy with the result. IIRC there was one woman who built an E-Paladin, and then did some MCing and whatnot with it. The character was stupid amazing tough, and had some pretty good "I'm a leader" on top of that. I remember once she locked down something like 6 skirmishers for a couple rounds. She managed to go through all her hitpoints, AND like 3 surges, lol. She finally did take one out, and then the rogue showed up and stabbied a couple from flanking. Good times! lol.
 

This speaks to my big complaint with 4e, the 'gardening of build'. For some players it is a feature, and for others it is a bug. I've had both types in my games. OTOH even the less 'hardcore' player who mostly just wanted an interesting character was pretty happy with the result. IIRC there was one woman who built an E-Paladin, and then did some MCing and whatnot with it. The character was stupid amazing tough, and had some pretty good "I'm a leader" on top of that. I remember once she locked down something like 6 skirmishers for a couple rounds. She managed to go through all her hitpoints, AND like 3 surges, lol. She finally did take one out, and then the rogue showed up and stabbied a couple from flanking. Good times! lol.
maybe I should give it a go.
 

Speaking of Legendary Thief.... why not have other Legendaries with intangibles and impossibles.
And since thief is one who does the thieving skill (and its neighbor stealth) we could base them on skills groupings of skills, or professions tightly coupled to those. We might name them distinct from Legendary X for flavor of course.

Legendary Athlete, (legendary fits)
Akashic Historian,
Life Weaver
Natures Ruler/Lover.
Tireless Champion
I think if you go through the EDs you will find that some of these exist, at least THEMATICALLY, though I agree that the descriptions are considerably less "over the Moon." So, you have for instance the 'Archspell'. The actual implementation on that one is fairly uninspiring, you get some bennies when you cast your Signature Spell, but thematically it seems like it is in keeping with being 'Legendary' or 'Mythic' as I would prefer to call it. Sage of Ages is of course the real classic here. While it is not described in quite the terms of Theif of Legend, it has a pretty similar feel, and the ED features are pretty awesome. The 21st Level 'Paragon of Learning' feature in particular is pretty thematic and open-ended.

I think the IDEA was always there with EDs, but it is true that WotC only really started to 'bust loose' with them a bit near the end. I think epic would benefit vastly from what you're proposing, building a series of 'fully gonzo' EDs. A Life Weaver could bring ANYONE 'back to life' (there might be some reasons NOT to do so in some cases...). A Beast Lord would become master of all beasts of a given type (the existing ED isn't bad, but it pretty much just jacks up the beast action economy in various ways and merges your hit points with your BC).
 

maybe I should give it a go.
Yeah, I think I got off the track of my thought on that post. She built the E-Paladin because it was simple, and it kinda was simple to build. It worked OK OOTB. OTOH 4e just always calls to you to get into the swamp. so she eventually summoned up the Build Guru (a player who had DDI and liked fiddling, he was also the one with the crazy halfling that always used Topple Over). They collectively sauced up the character with some MCing, I forget the exact details.

I think @Gilladian with her Axe Dwarf was pretty close to the only one that was pretty vanilla, and I seem to recall even that character needed a bit of specific feat 'sauce' to keep up with things (it was a different group from the paladin player). There is always a certain 'maintenance factor'. In that game, which started in 2008 with PHB1 as the only source, the STR cleric was predictably a bit hard put. I seem to recall giving out a couple good items that helped with that, and then DP and PHB2 also helped, along with the weapons in AV1. But that is the point, you had to keep finding these things. You can take "whatever cool feat" or "that power looks fun" or some oddball item now and then, but you better pay SOME attention to your build, or else you'll end up being what I called a 'baseline character'.

It seems like when WotC P/T 4e the testers must have pretty much started at level 1 and just taken the most logical thematic and obvious choices (like followed the PHB1 build options). So they had these PCs, and they were basically able to 'cut it' at the established baseline of early 4e monsters and whatnot. The millisecond we all got hold of the game we built MUCH MUCH more effective characters than that, so there went things like monster damage, it was completely inadequate except at low levels to challenge anyone that optimizes at the "equal level is a moderate challenge" standard of the DMG. Then they added better feats! I mean, PHB2 feats definitely amp up PCs by 10-20% if used right.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I think if you go through the EDs you will find that some of these exist, at least THEMATICALLY, though I agree that the descriptions are considerably less "over the Moon." So, you have for instance the 'Archspell'. The actual implementation on that one is fairly uninspiring, you get some bennies when you cast your Signature Spell, but thematically it seems like it is in keeping with being 'Legendary' or 'Mythic' as I would prefer to call it.
Yes one could make new or do a revamp so others provide better follow through.

Sage of Ages is of course the real classic here. While it is not described in quite the terms of Theif of Legend, it has a pretty similar feel, and the ED features are pretty awesome. The 21st Level 'Paragon of Learning' feature in particular is pretty thematic and open-ended.
There seem to be various powers with ranges of anything you can see or any object (like impossible theft), making sure more of that is in place seems an idea.

That Sage of Ages has a pretty vivid / roll back time to avoid death trick. I like the ones that are distinct.

But the Trick of Knowledge is pretty serious if you have a character optimized for Arcana (I have seen it done)
you are always getting full benefits.
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There are also combat things that could come in the picture for mythic a character who was able to launch a hurled weapon an indefinite distance against an enemy if he had a hair / blood sample or "true name" or similar things
 

There are also combat things that could come in the picture for mythic a character who was able to launch a hurled weapon an indefinite distance against an enemy if he had a hair / blood sample or "true name" or similar things
Yeah, I don't really think it would be THAT hard to create a set of say, 12 or so, really cool EDs. Thief of Legend and one or two others could be included, and then maybe just sauce up a few of the other really thematic ones. Archmage for instance is pretty cool, the 'Arcane Spirit' thing is nice, but otherwise it is just replicating the same thing mechanically several times (you get to pick a daily you can cast 2x/day, then you get "remember any one power" and then the capstone is just "cast one arcane daily as an encounter power". So maybe replace that last one with something more gonzo. You already have 2 ways to get back powers or use them extra times. Why not something more outrageous, like the ability to hit someone anywhere in the multiverse with a daily (maybe even a ritual) if you have their truename/blood/hair/whatever. That would make it REALLY GONZO EPIC.

I mean, we're talking level 30 stuff, it ain't going to break the game!
 

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