4E LEB Discussion Thread '10 Pt 2

KarinsDad

Visitor
Should we put this to vote for judges or I can use it (pending clarification from WoTC support if somethree or somefour would put the question to them)?
Well, the problem with WotC customer service clarification is that it is suspect. They rarely drill down into the text to actually see what is written there and tend to rule from a very high level (i.e. they look at the surface of the rules and do not take into account how rules interact with each other which is why battlerager did not work right out of the box).

Your best bet is to put it up for a vote here because at least that way, it becomes a solid rule here as opposed to assuming that your interpretation of ambiguous text is correct.

It doesn't seem people find this terribly important, there isn't much commenting and you KD is only one commenting and looking for rules.
It took 6 weeks for anyone to respond to you. This is mostly important to you. It'll become important to the judges if you ask for a clarification.
 
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WEContact

Visitor
The feat and the item both describe No Action events with the same trigger. They do not contradict and so you should be able to resolve them in whichever order you like. Dark Pact and Star Pact Warlocks can benefit from this combo more than other Warlocks can do to the nature of their Pact Boons. I don't think the rules are that ambiguous here.

When you use your Darkspiral Aura and deal more than 12 damage, you can't forego the weaken to keep all your aura points. You can weaken the triggering enemy, and also your Darkspiral Aura count goes down to 1.

The DM can force you to take a short rest the same way he forces everyone else to take a short rest, by damaging them until they need to spend healing surges and by challenging them enough that they need their encounter powers. This isn't broken, or even bent, or even overpowered. Dark Pact is still the worst pact, even.
 

KarinsDad

Visitor
The feat and the item both describe No Action events with the same trigger. They do not contradict and so you should be able to resolve them in whichever order you like. Dark Pact and Star Pact Warlocks can benefit from this combo more than other Warlocks can do to the nature of their Pact Boons. I don't think the rules are that ambiguous here.
Hmmm. If one merely reads the Darkspiral Aura "power" (which was not even in the original rules but added later on), they wrote the power ambiguously. It is an II power with an effect that occurs outside of the II. It also has a "hit" line that is not applicable.

If one reads the text (which I failed to do because I was reading the power in the Compendium), it's not ambiguous.

When you use your Darkspiral Aura and deal more than 12 damage, you can't forego the weaken to keep all your aura points. You can weaken the triggering enemy, and also your Darkspiral Aura count goes down to 1.
I stand corrected. I misread that in the power, but the textual part is clear. Good thing I'm not a DM around here. I hate getting old. :D

This isn't broken, or even bent, or even overpowered. Dark Pact is still the worst pact, even.
Perhaps, perhaps not. It still makes sense to sometimes forego a short rest and dish out some serious damage in later encounters. Upwards of 12D6 (or more) at heroic levels in encounter 2 is not exactly weak (without the boost of the feat and the rod, it would only be in the 5D6 range shy of fighting minions). That's often a kill or near kill on a standard foe for attacking the Warlock and the weaken doesn't hurt. The best control is death. If the Warlock kills or nearly kills a single foe once every other encounter without using any of his powers and outside of his turn, it's not exactly a weak pact. Course, there is the ambiguity of whether killing a foe with the pact resets the aura pool to 1 or 2 (is the +1 to the aura added before or after the pool is set back to 1 point?).
 

stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
Why didn't I respond? Two reasons: 1) I was going to, and a forgot. 2) The reasons I didn't immediately is because its a thorny interaction amongst something like 4-5 different books, and at the end of the day, I want to play the game, not deal with minutia when I get home and relax on ENW.

I've been a judge a while (2 different systems), and burn-out happens. Luckily for me, 5e will come out and introduce all new problems. :lol:

This isn't a knock at anyone, just my reasons.
 

WEContact

Visitor
I stand corrected. I misread that in the power, but the textual part is clear. Good thing I'm not a DM around here. I hate getting old. :D
Don't worry about, I'm just overjoyed that you aren't arguing that the Compendium is RAW, which people do on the CharOp boards all the time for some reason. o_0

Perhaps, perhaps not. It still makes sense to sometimes forego a short rest and dish out some serious damage in later encounters. Upwards of 12D6 (or more) at heroic levels in encounter 2 is not exactly weak (without the boost of the feat and the rod, it would only be in the 5D6 range shy of fighting minions). That's often a kill or near kill on a standard foe for attacking the Warlock and the weaken doesn't hurt. The best control is death. If the Warlock kills or nearly kills a single foe once every other encounter without using any of his powers and outside of his turn, it's not exactly a weak pact.
Okay let's take this point by point.
  • If you want to hit an important target with 2 encounters worth of saved aura points, you're gonna have to do it in encounter 3.
  • If one at-level MM3 standard attacks the Warlock once every round in a five round combat, the Warlock can expect to lose 75%-60% of their hitpoints. Obviously this is a gross generalization- I assume a 50% hit rate, and ignoring things like competent Defenders, enemy focus-fire, and the Warlock's inability to use Darkspiral to discourage attackers- but it gives us a ballpark idea of incoming damage per encounter.
  • Darkspiral Aura doesn't scale at all. By level 10, 12d6 is unlikely to even bloody a standard. Even then, at L10 a Dark Pact Warlock will need to spend an AP to finish off a bloodied standard.
  • A good Striker should be able to kill a standard monster alone in 3-4 rounds using only at-will powers, and be able to do the same in 1 round using encounter powers and/or an AP. In the very unlikely event that a Warlock managed to build up a 12d6 Aura every other encounter, what you'd have is a Striker which, every 2 or 3 encounters, can fulfill its role as a Striker. And even then it only works between levels 4 (when you can get the combo running) and 10 (when the damage stops being worth the effort).
 

KarinsDad

Visitor
Okay let's take this point by point.
  • If you want to hit an important target with 2 encounters worth of saved aura points, you're gonna have to do it in encounter 3.
Not quite getting what you are saying here.

In encounter one, the heroic Warlord manages to curse every foe (with the feats and items available) by throwing out two curses per round. If he does not bloody any of those foes, but does curse them before they get bloodied each and re-curses them before they die, then he gets exactly 10 aura points (5 foes, 2 points per foe, one for bloodied, one for dead).

I assume that the Warlock himself (being a ranged Striker who can attack any wounded but not bloodied foe on the board) will bloody two foes with his rod per encounter. So, a total of 12 aura points at the end of encounter one. This might be more, this might be less. It could be quite a few more if minions occur in encounter one or two.

It might be less than 12 aura points in encounter one, but then again, he gets to add more aura points in encounter two. The likelihood of him getting attacked so that he uses up all of his aura points in round one of encounter two is fairly slim. Even if he does get attacked, he might not use up the aura points right away, waiting to get a few more in the tank.

So, 12D6 or 15D6 or even 20D6 sometime during mid to late encounter two is not unheard of. Yes, it is one nova per two encounters, but that's still not that bad. This is without him using a single other ability or power and it occurs outside of his turn.

This does not require two encounters of not taking a short rest and doing it on encounter three, only one encounter without a short rest and doing it sometime during encounter two.

If a bloodied foe attacks him mid to late encounter one, he could most of the time outright kill the guy and totally negate the damage on himself (and possibly others) from one attack. Not exactly weaksauce. In this case, instead of the warlock being damaged, the foe is dead for attacking him. If nobody attacks him during mid to late encounter one, it could be a win win for the warlock since he can set up for encounter number two. Ditto for encounter three / four, encounter five / six, etc.

  • If one at-level MM3 standard attacks the Warlock once every round in a five round combat, the Warlock can expect to lose 75%-60% of their hitpoints. Obviously this is a gross generalization- I assume a 50% hit rate, and ignoring things like competent Defenders, enemy focus-fire, and the Warlock's inability to use Darkspiral to discourage attackers- but it gives us a ballpark idea of incoming damage per encounter.
The Warlock is a PC like all other PCs. He will tend to stay in the back and get hit sometimes and not hit other times and that's why he has healing surges, concealment, ranged attacks, etc. I really do not understand the point of your comment here.

He does not need to take a short rest in order to get healed if he does get hit.

And if the DM refuses to attack him because of the aura, that typically means that the DM is attacking harder targets instead.

  • Darkspiral Aura doesn't scale at all. By level 10, 12d6 is unlikely to even bloody a standard. Even then, at L10 a Dark Pact Warlock will need to spend an AP to finish off a bloodied standard.
DA does scale, it just does not scale well. 1D6 at level 1 through 10, 1D8 at levels 11 through 20, 1D10 at levels 21 through 30.

And it will be fairly standard for a Dark Pact Warlock to take Improved Darkspiral Aura. So, 1D10 at levels 11 through 20, 1D12 at levels 21 through 30.

Sure, at higher levels, it's not great for damage. But, even at level 30, 12D12 is 78 points of damage. Not crushing when standard foes have 200 to 300 hit points role dependent and most cannot resist this damage, but still a solid outside of turn hit. Obviously not as strong as level 4, but still a solid hit, especially when one considers the weakened factor.

  • A good Striker should be able to kill a standard monster alone in 3-4 rounds using only at-will powers, and be able to do the same in 1 round using encounter powers and/or an AP. In the very unlikely event that a Warlock managed to build up a 12d6 Aura every other encounter, what you'd have is a Striker which, every 2 or 3 encounters, can fulfill its role as a Striker. And even then it only works between levels 4 (when you can get the combo running) and 10 (when the damage stops being worth the effort).
But, Warlocks are not good strikers. They are controllers with a little bit of striker (or maybe strikers with a little controller). Anymore, some Defenders can do more damage than a Warlock. For pure overall damage, they are the weakest striker out there. And actually, at level 11 with IDA, a striker could still do 12+D10 in encounter two. 66 points of auto-hit damage with a weaken component against same level foes at level 11 will typically bloody the foe or outright kill a bloodied standard attacker.

This isn't necessarily a great ability, but then again, here at LEB, no PCs have even gotten to mid-Paragon yet. It's not that terrible at mid-Heroic to mid-Paragon.
 
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WEContact

Visitor
I'm just arguing that DA isn't overpowered, even when combined with Bloodied Boon and Bloodcurse Rod.
[MENTION=87106]MetaVoid[/MENTION], what's the highest you got your DA in Velmont's adventure?
 

MetaVoid

Explorer
Highest ever was 5 in stonegods adventure with Five Winds (The Race of the Five somethings), but I never got to use it. In Velmonts it was 4. Raraly it gets that high since before now I didn't have ways of quickcursing and only got 1 aura per enemy. I got bloodcurse rod for that reason. And now bloodied boon. Hopefuly, I can get it in 4-6 range more reliably.

Usually I wouldn't use it at all unless it's at least 3 points. Exception was specifically when near the end of the encounter so I could kill the attacker or I have a choice between using it or wasting it.

If it's 3+ I'm going in melee to force triggering it (or move with impunity if DM decides he doesn't want to attack :) )
 

renau1g

Visitor
Well I won't pretend to be as understanding of the mechanics, rules stuff isn't my strong suit (especially after my break from gaming). In the PbP at least, there's typically only a couple fights per extended rest. I don't see the warlock as game-breaking. The biggest issues I've seen are Thief's/slayers, Daggermaster, Frost weapons, multi-attackers (like rangers), and some warlords.
 

stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
On a completely unrelated note: Had the judges received my character for approval? Just wondering. Marshal Hilkalas, Kalashtar evil Wizard|Warlord controller
I think I just missed a boat...
its in the email. I haven't checked characters in a long time, and our regular checkers are a bit slow. Remember, anyone can review a character (just needs 1 judge for approval), though I'd be up to other proposals of how to get through the backlog.
 

KarinsDad

Visitor
its in the email. I haven't checked characters in a long time, and our regular checkers are a bit slow. Remember, anyone can review a character (just needs 1 judge for approval), though I'd be up to other proposals of how to get through the backlog.
Well, I should be able to get through a few PCs now that I'm established in my new job. Once I get Tryn finished, I can move on to this.

However, a different issue has come up. Many PCs are now high heroic or low paragon and as such, they have a lot more abilities and items. So, it takes longer to review these established PCs than it did to review a fourth level PC.

We have discussed a variety of methods to help with this, like getting a PDF of the CB PC, or getting the CB exported file (obviously, this only works for people who use the online CB). But, even doing this can result in some minor discrepencies where CB doesn't allow some things (like shards) or CB just has an error.
 

Voda Vosa

Visitor
Well, I should be able to get through a few PCs now that I'm established in my new job. Once I get Tryn finished, I can move on to this.

However, a different issue has come up. Many PCs are now high heroic or low paragon and as such, they have a lot more abilities and items. So, it takes longer to review these established PCs than it did to review a fourth level PC.

We have discussed a variety of methods to help with this, like getting a PDF of the CB PC, or getting the CB exported file (obviously, this only works for people who use the online CB). But, even doing this can result in some minor discrepencies where CB doesn't allow some things (like shards) or CB just has an error.
Doesn't seem to be one way to deal with that, yes. I once suggested the spreadsheet + summary page for character sheets. It does make math easier to check if you know your way around spreadsheets, but then again not most people do. A PDF of the CB sheet could help, it rarely fails, but not being able to incorporate things such as shards does complicate things; however, if the sheet is 100% ok save for the shard its easier to check for it than to check the entire sheet.
 

renau1g

Visitor
I generally find the CB to be mostly accurate, probably more accurate than us ;)

That said, as people level, unless it's an entirely new PC, such as Tryn or Amarande, one way people could help expedite is by noting what changed. That way if I've reviewed Rumbum at 5th, and he gets a New Axe, some gold, and turns 6th level, I know I just have to check that the level bonus went up, that his axe is correct, and all the attacks flow from that new math.

That said, it is very difficult to review, so not sure if there's a better way. I know spreadsheets should be better, and even though I work with them everyday I find it very difficult to review the handful that are done with them in L4W. Maybe it's Google Docs as I'm used to Excel, and it's a painful transition as all my shortcuts are gone.... who knows.
 

Voda Vosa

Visitor
I generally find the CB to be mostly accurate, probably more accurate than us ;)

That said, as people level, unless it's an entirely new PC, such as Tryn or Amarande, one way people could help expedite is by noting what changed. That way if I've reviewed Rumbum at 5th, and he gets a New Axe, some gold, and turns 6th level, I know I just have to check that the level bonus went up, that his axe is correct, and all the attacks flow from that new math.

That said, it is very difficult to review, so not sure if there's a better way. I know spreadsheets should be better, and even though I work with them everyday I find it very difficult to review the handful that are done with them in L4W. Maybe it's Google Docs as I'm used to Excel, and it's a painful transition as all my shortcuts are gone.... who knows.
It just takes some time to get used to it. Guess I can't sneak into your adventure right? I feel lonely in the tavern =P
 

renau1g

Visitor
Hi all, I will be attending a conference from Sunday to Wednesday and be unavailable to post in all likelihood.

Please NPC me if needed.

My apologies to my players, this last few weeks I've been quite slow posting in the games. Traditionally the Oct-Dec period is very busy at work, and then we lost two people out of six in the last 3 months, so now we're doing more with less (which means lots of unpaid overtime). I've not had the time to keep up as I normally do. It's probably going to be somewhat slow for at least the next couple months (until Christmas), but I am going to try and be better in the games.
 

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