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D&D 4E I would rather not have 4e combat "powers" in D&D Next

shadow

First Post
A lot of discussion has gone around regarding the playtest fighter. I've heard a lot of people say that because the fighter is too simple and boring, 4e style "powers" should be available to the fighter (and perhaps to all classes). I respectably disagree. Encounter powers are something that should be kept out of D&D next.

First of all, I never understood the concept of encounter powers. Why can a certain martial maneuver only be used once per encounter? Does the fighter simply forget how to do it? Is it related to a surge of adrenalin that is only available for the one maneuver? This also begs the question how is an encounter measured...If a party defeats a band of kobolds only to get ambushed by reinforcements less than a five minutes later is it the same encounter? Does the fighter get to use his encounter powers again against the reinforcements? (I'm not extremely familiar with 4e, so perhaps I'm missing something.)

Also, I prefer the martial classes to have more simplicity than the wizard and cleric. Having to pick from a list of encounter powers adds a lot more bookkeeping than I would like. That's not to say that fighters and other classes should just stand there and swing. I wouldn't mind fighters getting bonuses to certain maneuvers or weapon types. I just would rather not turn every battle into tactical combat.
 

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OnlineDM

Adventurer
Well, the game could have powers without having encounter powers. There are at-will and daily powers in 4e as well. Giving the fighter an option other than "melee basic attack" can be done without using encounter powers.
 




Ahnehnois

First Post
Giving the fighter an option other than "melee basic attack" can be done without using encounter powers.
That's true. But it can also be done without daily and at-will powers as well.

There isn't a dichotomy between having simple, easy-to-use characters and having powers. There are other options.

4e, and to a slightly lesser extent 3e and other editions often makes the mistake of putting things in class abilities that don't belong there. Power Attack is something everyone should be able to do. Competently. So is grappling. So is dodging. A well-built system of basic combat mechanics adds innumerable opportunities for the fighter to be slightly and eventually much better than anyone else at things. Maneuvers, stunts, called shots, wounds, stances, action points...there are so many mechanics that D&D hasn't taken full advantage of that allow nonmagic characters interesting and useful choices without giving them bookkeeping-intensive, unreasonably discretized powers with weird arbitrary limitations.
 

pemerton

Legend
I never understood the concept of encounter powers.
They are a balance and pacing technique.

The appropriate comparison is to turn-by-turn intitiative: I assume that, in your imagination, the world of 3E D&D is not a stop-motion one. But 3E combat is stop motion in its resolution.

In both cases - encounter powers and turn-by-turn inititiative - there is not a complete correspondence between the players' decisions and actions at the gaming table and the characters' decisions and actions within the imaginary world.

Why can a certain martial maneuver only be used once per encounter? Does the fighter simply forget how to do it?
Obviously not. Just as the fighter doesn't forget how to move on the orc's turn.

Is it related to a surge of adrenalin that is only available for the one maneuver?
It may be that some people play it that way. But in my view encounter powers are best played as metagame resources that the player may exercise. Just as turn-by-turn initiative is a metagame construction intended to ration the deployment of players' resources.

This also begs the question how is an encounter measured...If a party defeats a band of kobolds only to get ambushed by reinforcements less than a five minutes later is it the same encounter? Does the fighter get to use his encounter powers again against the reinforcements? (I'm not extremely familiar with 4e, so perhaps I'm missing something.)
I think you are missing the rule that an encounter is the period between short rests.
 

Tovec

Explorer
"I would rather not have 4e combat "powers" in D&D Next"

Yup. Don't use 'em then.

-YRUSirius

I'm not the OP so excuse me for barging in.

But if I had said, I don't like 4e's AEDU system, especially .. let's say Utility or At-Wills. Would your solution be "don't use Utility/At-Will"?

Mine would be don't play 4e if that is what you dislike. Ignoring the problem isn't going to make it better.

Now, since 5e has a chance to unno.. change things. And take feedback and use it in game design. Why NOT say you don't want powers to be part of the system? They could just as easily be tacked on like any "add it in a module" proponent seems to advocate. However, if they are part of the core design and it is something you don't like it is much harder to remove the aspect then to add it in.
 

YRUSirius

First Post
Why do you want to take 4E combat powers from me?

If you don't want to use them, then don't use them. Why do I have to do the same as you? Let me use 4E combat powers, you can use or not use what ever you want. Don't ruin my game.

-YRUSirius

(Btw: 4E combat power stuff will be in a module that you'll be able to add to the base game, so all this is a moot point.)
 
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Ahnehnois

First Post
If you don't want to use them, then don't use them. Why do I have to do the same as you? Let me use 4E combat powers, you can use or not use what ever you want. Don't ruin my game.
If you want to use 4e combat powers, I believe there is a game already on the market that has them.

(Btw: 4E combat power stuff will be in a module that you'll be able to add to the base game, so all this is a moot point.)
Or just do that.

Tovec said:
Now, since 5e has a chance to unno.. change things. And take feedback and use it in game design. Why NOT say you don't want powers to be part of the system? They could just as easily be tacked on like any "add it in a module" proponent seems to advocate. However, if they are part of the core design and it is something you don't like it is much harder to remove the aspect then to add it in.
Bears repeating.
 


n00bdragon

First Post
First of all, I never understood the concept of daily powers. Why can a certain magical spell only be used once per day? Does the wizard simply forget how to do it? Is it related to a surge of magical power that is only available for the one spell? This also begs the question how is a day measured...If a party defeats a band of kobolds only to get ambushed by reinforcements less than a 24 hours later is it the same day? Does the wizard get to use his daily powers again against the reinforcements?

All of the OP's arguments sound just as silly in reverse. Of course, I'm wrong and that's not my D&D because blah blah blah...

The point, as others have brought up, is that there are different ways to enjoy D&D and going "I sure hope no one is allowed to have fun with this game besides me." isn't really productive. (Hopefully) 5E will have abortions for some and miniature American flags for others so you will (theoretically) be able to avoid everything in the game you don't like.

Though I have to wonder, assuming they follow through with the promised modular approach, at what point are people playing such different games that it's "one big tent" in name only?
 

Kavon

Explorer
Now, since 5e has a chance to unno.. change things. And take feedback and use it in game design. Why NOT say you don't want powers to be part of the system? They could just as easily be tacked on like any "add it in a module" proponent seems to advocate. However, if they are part of the core design and it is something you don't like it is much harder to remove the aspect then to add it in.
Who said anything about these manouvers being "part of the core design"?

The whole point is that by what the OP said, he doesn't want them in D&D Next at all.
That's just not going to fly.
 


ren1999

First Post
A lot of discussion has gone around regarding the playtest fighter. I've heard a lot of people say that because the fighter is too simple and boring, 4e style "powers" should be available to the fighter (and perhaps to all classes). I respectably disagree. Encounter powers are something that should be kept out of D&D next.

I also think that we should do away with at-will, encounter and daily powers and make all feats, skills, prayers and spells at-will unless..

it is a burst power
it is a power that renders an opponent helpless

Those powers should not be mixed into burst render everyone helpless powers and they should be used only once per encounter.

Now you can play a fighter simply by swinging your warhammer every round but I don't believe you when you say that is all you want to do. You're going to play 5E for a long time and then you're going to want to stomp on your enemy's foot, bash him with a shield, or even body slam him into a ravine. And 5E is going to give you those options, and from what I've been told, they'll let you swing your sword and then body slam someone into a wall when you are higher level.

Or you can just swing that warhammer like John Henry on the railroad. It is up to you. It is your game.
 
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Essenti

Explorer
The playtest is not representative of the end-all-be-all rules for 5e. Just because the playtest did not include modularity does not mean modularity has been thrown out the window. Especially since it was testing out aspects of the core mechanic only. We just haven't yet seen the modularity WoTC was talking about in their 5e design philosophy.

We have the first iteration of the playtest, but we should not lose sight of the lofty goals of 5e. Gamers need to drop the "I want mine and you can go hang" mentality. It is stifling, trite, and opposite of the design goals of 5e.

I'm not a fan of 4e AEDU powers, for many of the same reasons that were stated by the OP. But... I wouldn't freak out if there were modules or options included in 5e that enable that kind of play. If the modularity of the final product allows me to easily use them or lose them, as I see fit, that's fine by me. I am not averse to having the game able to support multiple styles of play that differ from my own, so long as I can play the game the way I like to play.

For the record, I agree that something like AEDU should not be in the CORE. But I also believe that something similar (better yet, an improved and sensible version of AEDU) is included in a module enabling that kind of play.

:)
 

shadow

First Post
For the record, I am not saying that powers should never exist in D&D in any form. Or that any playstyle is "badwrongfun". I wouldn't mind that such rules existed as an optional expansion. I just don't want them part of the core.

It just seems like a focus on dozens of different powers really turns combat into a tactical wargame and requires a lot of bookkeeping. That is fine in a game if you want it . However, I don't really enjoy that type of playstyle as much. I find it is much easier to add elements to a game than to remove elements already deeply integrated. Therefore, 4e style powers should appear as an optional module rather than the core assumption.
 

n00bdragon

First Post
I think ideally a truly modular game should barely even HAVE a core. There are steep disagreements about how magic should work for example. So why not just make all magic a modular element. The game should not assume wizards even exist. It's probably reasonable to assume that some sort of spellcasting class DOES exist but the nature of that class and how it goes about doing it's magical whatever should not have a "default" option.

Here's an idea: Make the core rules a free pamphlet that covers things like "Here's six ability scores and how saving throws work, etc". With the pamphlet you can make a character who is essentially a 1e fighter. It levels up. It gets better at hitting things. Then you buy books based on the stuff you want in your game. Want ye olde tyme schoole Gygaxian fightdurrs and wizgods? You can buy the book for old school magic which has rules for the mage and cleric classes and full frontal vancian casting and 80% of the book is spells.

Hate that and need magic that fits within a strictly defined AEDU box? Buy the book for that. It would closely resemble the 4e PHB but slimmer containing a bunch of AEDU magic classes like wizard and... uh... how about "priest"? That's the other beauty. If you make everything a distinct class then you introduce the possibility of multiclassing between them.

Then if you can't stand mundane people being cool once a day but you still want them to pretend to be cool all the time you can buy the book which outlines lots of mundane classes like thieves and fighters that have abilities they can just do all the time.

One thing that would be a good thing to borrow from 3e though is the notion of class tiers, only they should be explicit about it and print it right there in big bold letters on the first page of every class entry "THIS CLASS IS TIER X". The DMG would tell DMs how to pick what tiers they allow in their games and how to manage those classes and make a fun game for everyone.
 

Gorgoroth

First Post
..

AEDU "powers", unless they're magic, need to die, at least semantically.

I'm fine with a warlock having a "power" to blast you to smithereens. I'm not okay with the rules explicitly writing down every millionth permutation of "I throw sand in their eyes" or "Knockout blow" or "Roll n stab" in a power card. For one, the combinatorial explosion is just mind-boggling, you'll need an infinite number of powers to accomodate all the neat-o-things that players can come up with.

Think of all the Three Stooges gags : Would you want every way they get laughs to have an explicit name? Maybe you do, if you're running a combo with someone else with forethought, like a football team with a coach, but that in itself implies the players themselves come up with the combo cards, then repeat them ad infinitum and NOT being all pre-written down by the rules people and if you can't think of it, you can't do it. Sure, 4e had this thing called Page 42, but in years of playing that edition I've never seen it used, once. People stuck to their powers, and the fact that I could attack three times in a row as a ranger in one round meant that I had to forget throwing a dagger "at one enemy and charging another". The problem with the martial "encounter" powers, narratively then becomes...why can't I remember how to throw sand in the ogre's eyes? Or try it again. Maybe the next ogre, who sees how you did it to his friend, will avert his eyes from you when he sees you reach for your sand-pouch, but that should just give disadvantage, not mean that you can't even attempt it.

I cannot express how much I detest the idea that there's all these "powers", some of which I could do last level, which I cannot chose from because hey it's like a spell now. That's what powers means to me : writing down improvisational combat maneuvers in an aliteration of mind-crushing boredom. Just freestyle it. Hey there's a lantern with oil over there, teetering over the enemy's battle plans, if I magic missile or throw a rock at the lantern, that shouldn't be prevented by the rules or even require looking up "do I have permission to do that?" Why can't I target things with my attacks? Some enemies are constructs, and thus are "things", but not in 4e. All enemies are creatures, that are alive or undead, or something. I can target a square but not an object? What use is this stupid power when I can't be allowed to do cool things with it?

The straight-jacketing of targetting, intended use, scope, and conditions to use things, which don't make sense at all and probably won't end up being balanced anyway, don't belong in a rules system where you are expected to wing it. That's the actual fun of the game. To have all the possible moves you can do pre-programmed or baked into the system, reminds me of chess. I don't want to play chess, I want to be able to improvise spitting in the enemy's eyes to distract him then knee him in the balls to cause him to lose his next action while I escape with the necronomicon. Kneeing someone in the balls would be a "power" in 4e. I'm pretty sure it is : Low slash. So why can't I just "do it" ? I saw some guy do it in a tavern, and here's a perfect opportunity to try it. I don't want "balance" to mean I need to get explicit training in every little thing, with a limit to the number of things I can learn.

Fighters getting "powers", especially if they're encounter or daily as opposed to "when you crit and cause more than 1/2 the HP in damage, you can instead knock the opponent out"-type things. I hope that's what maneuvers are like. Who knows. I just know if one guy learns a combat maneuver he should be able to teach it to the other fighter, and they should be able to trade tricks. None of this "but it won't fit in my limited memory slots for cool moves". When I did kung fu and other martial arts, I'd never forget the last form I learned because I learned a new one, and if a guest sifu from a northern shaolin style shows up for a week, we can all learn his special attack forms and not forget our main style.

The mind, well you can stuff a lot of things in there....I'd much prefer some kind of "combo" system, where you do a slash, kick the shin, elbow to the face, then head butt to knock the enemy back...so "opening move" (closing in, avoid their defense, trigger their expected riposte and feint to get through), then strike some vital targets as the main attack(s), then if everything lands well and you crit, you can do a helicopter kick "finishing move". That's WAY more interesting than just pushing the red button "finishing move". I'd rather have some contingencies to make combat more dynamic and fluid, if we're talking about a combat maneuver optional system.

Just so long as they don't call a kick to the nuts a "power", I'll be cool with that. It's not a "power", it's a bloody kick to the nads. Let's not get too semanticky up in here.
 

BobTheNob

First Post
Just so long as they don't call a kick to the nuts a "power", I'll be cool with that. It's not a "power", it's a bloody kick to the nads. Let's not get too semanticky up in here.

Are you sure, cause 4e is a solid enough system to allow us to create a power called "Kick to the nads". Then we could make it a level 3 fighter power you can use once per encounter. We could also have a level 5 rogue daily variant which causes his testies to pop out of his mouth just before he sais "Mother" and falls to the ground...

Oh, yea, right. I see where your coming from now.

Sometimes,you have to try new things. Not only to know what works, but also to know what doesnt work. Its good that 4e gave us AEDU, because now we know.
 

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