4E Changing the Combat Parameters of 4th Edition

Myrhdraak

Explorer
Have not been much playing lately, but this weekend I finally got some chance to run a larger 4.5 Edition battle. I thought I would take the opportunity to check the outcome of this battle vs. my own 4.5 Edition simulations. The group consist of 6 characters, all 9th level. They faced a 10th level encounter. The encounter was built in two waves. The first wave was 3 goblins (level 1 skirmisher), 3 worgs (level 3 brute), 1 troll (level 9 brute), and 8 goblins (level 2 minion). The second wave was 5 orcs (level 6 brute), 1 orc (level 8 controller), and 1 drake (level 3 artillery). In 4th Edition this would be an EL 5.7 (1398 XP) first wave + an EL 6.9 (1750 XP) second wave for a total challenge of EL 10.2 (3148 XP). Under my 4.5 Edition rules it is EL 7.8 (4996 XP) + EL 6.6 (3770 XP) = EL 10.2 (8766 XP). Please note the difference in which Wave is considered the hardest in the two editions - the second wave in 4th and the first wave in 4.5.

Based on this I can set certain expectations on the battle based on the 4.5 Edition Encounter Building guidelines (page 12). Three of these encounters should be a full adventuring day, and by the end of the day the party should have Full HP and only 80% of their total Healing Surges left. The battle should on average take 4.7 rounds to resolve. So what was the real outcome?

This is how the party resources looked like after the battle – [remaining (original)]:
Druid – HP 60 (60), HS 10 (10), Daily 2 (3), Healing Word 0 (2)
Ranger – HP 57 (57), HS 7 (7), Daily 2 (3), Healing 1 (1)
Wizard – HP 54 (54), HS 8 (8), Daily 1 (3), Healing 0 (0)
Fighter – HP 35 (66), HS 11 (14), Daily 0 (3), Healing 1 (1)
Rogue – HP 58 (58), HS 8 (8), Daily 1 (3), Healing 0 (1)
Barbarian – HP 6 (64), HS 5 (10), Daily 2 (3), Healing 0 (1)

Total – HP in HS value 28 (36), HS 49 (57), Daily 8 (18), Healing 2 (4), Healing Word 0 (2)

If we look at what the Encounter Building guidelines would indicate, it would be:
=> HS: Used healing surges during the battle would be 57 * 0,8 / 3 = 15.2 HS per encounter
=> Daily: 18 / 3 = 6 per encounter
=> Healing: 2 Healing Words + 4/3=1.33 Healing used per encounter
=> Time: 4.7 Rounds

So what was the actual outcome in comparison:
=> HS: 8 HS lost (in lowered HP) + HS 8 lost = 16 HS lost of 93 HS. This is well in line with the expected 15.2 HS per encounter in the guidelines
=> Daily: 10 was used, which is 4 more than the anticipated 6
=> Healing: All Healing Word used and 2 Healing used, which was 0.66 more than the anticipated 1.33.
=> The battle was resolved in 6 rounds, a little more than the expected 4.7 rounds, but this might be due to the "2 Waves" setup with a lost round for transportation for melee combatants.

Conclusion: At least for 9th level the Encounter Building and the XP system seems to be quite well tuned, and allows for good DM control when planning the encounters. The ability to be able to break up the adventuring day from 3 to up to 9 encounters is also a flexibility that helps when converting adventures or creating new ones.
 

MoutonRustique

Explorer
Thanks for the update - while, conceptually, your 4.5 isn't in the direction I would have chosen, I feel it really fills a significant play-space.

It's a very interesting addition.
 
Yeah, it shares some trends with HoML in the sense of wider applicability of encounter elements, though I've emphasized things outside of damage a bit more and changed the tactical thrust of the game slightly. HoML is also more likely to go LONGER but with quicker rounds vs shorter. Chances are you get about the same number of attacks though.
 

Myrhdraak

Explorer
EXTENDED REST

When building my own adventures I see the flexibility of being able to break up the adventuring day into 3 or up to 9 encounters with my 4.5 Edition changes. However, one thing that I still feel is quite inflexible is the definition of the Extended Rest. I think it would provide a lot more control to the DM and adventure designer if you had more rest options, or "levels" of rest to play with.

I have been thinking about breaking it up in 3 levels of Extended Rest:
1. Safe Haven: You rest for an uninterrupted 8 hours, with no percieved or imagined threats. This would be in the safety of an Inn with no guard duty, for anybody in the party as there is no percieved threat to be wary about.
2. Adventure Rest: You rest for 8 hours but with up to 2 hours of light activities, such a reading, standing watch, etc. This would be when travelling or trying to take rest in a dungeon environment.
3. Interrupted Rest: The rest is interrupted and you have to do stenous activity like fighting or travel for up to an hour to finda a new location, etc.

How would Healing Surge and Hit Point recovery work for these different levels of Rest? How should Power recovery work, and Exhaustion recovery work?
 

Zeromaru X

Explorer
I wonder were I could find these hacks. I'm interested in enhance my 4e games, specifically if those can shorten the fights duration.

The only modifications I have done to my 4e sessions is using a few houserules for feat allocation, the escalation dice from 13th age and an attempt of some theatre of the mind rules.
 

darkbard

Explorer
Forgot to quote or tag you in the previous post, [MENTION=65487]Zeromaru X[/MENTION]. Also, great to see you 'round these parts!
 

MoutonRustique

Explorer
When building my own adventures I see the flexibility of being able to break up the adventuring day into 3 or up to 9 encounters with my 4.5 Edition changes. However, one thing that I still feel is quite inflexible is the definition of the Extended Rest. I think it would provide a lot more control to the DM and adventure designer if you had more rest options, or "levels" of rest to play with.

I have been thinking about breaking it up in 3 levels of Extended Rest:
1. Safe Haven: You rest for an uninterrupted 8 hours, with no percieved or imagined threats. This would be in the safety of an Inn with no guard duty, for anybody in the party as there is no percieved threat to be wary about.
2. Adventure Rest: You rest for 8 hours but with up to 2 hours of light activities, such a reading, standing watch, etc. This would be when travelling or trying to take rest in a dungeon environment.
3. Interrupted Rest: The rest is interrupted and you have to do stenous activity like fighting or travel for up to an hour to finda a new location, etc.

How would Healing Surge and Hit Point recovery work for these different levels of Rest? How should Power recovery work, and Exhaustion recovery work?
My personal take would probably be :

Save Haven - everything recovers

Wary Rest (Adventure Rest) - recover half of 3d4 HS*, half you daily attack powers and all your utility powers
*I know it looks awkward, but I want a very high probably of a median result

Interrupted rest - recover 1d4 HS, one daily attack power, and one daily utility power

I'm not proficient enough in your system to comment on Exhaustion... (as of right now, but I'll get there!)
 
My personal take would probably be :

Save Haven - everything recovers

Wary Rest (Adventure Rest) - recover half of 3d4 HS*, half you daily attack powers and all your utility powers
*I know it looks awkward, but I want a very high probably of a median result

Interrupted rest - recover 1d4 HS, one daily attack power, and one daily utility power

I'm not proficient enough in your system to comment on Exhaustion... (as of right now, but I'll get there!)
I don't think it needs to be so formal. We have 2 points, short rest and long rest, which define what you can get in 5 minutes and what you can get in 8 hours of 'camping' or better. While the published rules don't carefully examine what could come in between, its not really hard to extrapolate. Resting under difficult circumstances is worth something like getting back half your expended surges and daily powers. Perhaps lesser amounts of rest can have some benefit, but again it really is just as well to leave it to the GM. Once you start making hard rules you're likely to start generating mechanical questions and getting answers that might be inconvenient.
 

Zeromaru X

Explorer
I'm reading the document I downloaded from the 1st post. It mentions a lot of converted products. Were can I find them?

Also, as a personal opinion, I don't see the need to change 4e alignments to match the Gygaxian ones. But I'm not thrilled with the Gygaxian alignments, so is just a personal thing.
 
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Myrhdraak

Explorer
My personal take would probably be :

Save Haven - everything recovers

Wary Rest (Adventure Rest) - recover half of 3d4 HS*, half you daily attack powers and all your utility powers
*I know it looks awkward, but I want a very high probably of a median result

Interrupted rest - recover 1d4 HS, one daily attack power, and one daily utility power

I'm not proficient enough in your system to comment on Exhaustion... (as of right now, but I'll get there!)
I like your proposal to have some randomness attached to the Wary and Interrupted Rest. I was initially thinking to have it as a percentage of the whole, but some randomness would make sense considering that you might have had a bad or good sleep in these dangerous environments.

/Myrhdraak
 

Myrhdraak

Explorer
I don't think it needs to be so formal. We have 2 points, short rest and long rest, which define what you can get in 5 minutes and what you can get in 8 hours of 'camping' or better. While the published rules don't carefully examine what could come in between, its not really hard to extrapolate. Resting under difficult circumstances is worth something like getting back half your expended surges and daily powers. Perhaps lesser amounts of rest can have some benefit, but again it really is just as well to leave it to the GM. Once you start making hard rules you're likely to start generating mechanical questions and getting answers that might be inconvenient.
However, if you want to achieve certain behaviours in the party, it is important that the players know the rest rules you are using so that they can make decisions based on the consequences they will be expecting. Thats why I want to have some clear rules to my own party at least. If they know they will hardly recover anything while travelling through the wilderness, a single random encounter during the adventuring day in the wilderness will matter, if they expect to travel for 7 days before reaching civilization. If they know they will not be able to recover much resources in the dungeon unless they find a really safe area, with no chances for random monsters - I can plan my dungeon adventures in a much better way, to increase that likelihood of finding the adventure sweet sport (low on resources, but manage to pull off the final fight).

/Myrhdraak
 

Greenjeff

Villager
Wow. just discovered this thread. Really awesome work Myrhdraak! Would love to see how this project turned out. Also hope to be able to contribute somehow. Is there anything I can do?
 

Myrhdraak

Explorer
Wow. just discovered this thread. Really awesome work Myrhdraak! Would love to see how this project turned out. Also hope to be able to contribute somehow. Is there anything I can do?
I will send you some material. There have been some contributions from others over the years so please add to the work.
 

Myrhdraak

Explorer
We are not playing that often these days, so I do not get the chance to see the rule changes in action that often. However, I had a nice two days session using the rules a week or two ago. So far the rule changes and the combat simulations have played out quite well. The number of rounds needed to face the enemies are so far very predictable, allowing me to really plan the adventure ahead and predict the number of encounters I will be able to manage in a session. The challenge level has also been quite valuable. I can predict quite well when I am stretching the PC resources to that sweat spot when it becomes a challenge.
As the PCs just levelled up to 10th level I am working with incorporating the old D&D Birthright rules to see how it can be used for managing the country they are now influencing using the domain rules. Seems to be adding some interesting roleplaying depth to the game so far.

/Myrhdraak
 

Ran2

Villager
Could a computer interface for the RPG 4.5 be of any use... bringing it closer to the player... making less bookkeeping = playing faster... ? Greetings...
 

Myrhdraak

Explorer
Could a computer interface for the RPG 4.5 be of any use... bringing it closer to the player... making less bookkeeping = playing faster... ? Greetings...
Most likely yes. Currently I use Word for class compendium with all their powers and PowerPoint for character sheets. Having it in word make it quite easy to edit, copy and paste.
/Myrhdraak
 

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