D&D 4E Making 4E "Survivable and Fun" for New Players

Retreater

Legend
In actuality, we're playing Gamma World 7E, but it's based off D&D 4E, so I think tips for either system will be pertinent.

Our first session was a "0.5" - we rolled up random characters and had two combat encounters. The players, mostly all new to 4E/Gamma World (and basically anything NOT 5e), had a lot of fun.

Last night's second session - the first fight was a TPK. We rolled up new characters. The second fight had 2 players unconscious, 1 permanently dead, and two barely scraping by at the end of the battle. Complaints were: it was too hard, we're missing too much, there's nothing we can do to heal, it takes too long to get around to my turn, etc.

I tried to encourage them to use At-Will powers instead of their Basic Attacks, but in many cases, the At-Will powers in Gamma World just aren't pertinent.

Any ideas?
 

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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
This doesn't sound a single thing like 4e, you may want to change the title.

4e characters are quite heroic from 1st level. Many have said that it is well above 1st level characters in some other editions.

4e At-Will powers are generally both pertinent and more powerful than Basic attacks. Rogues going against Reflex, they all have bonuses. If Gamma World doesn't have that, 4e advice won't help.

4e everyone has healing they can trigger on themselves every combat with the Second Wind action.

Now sure, 1st level is the least survivable in any edition of D&D, but 4e was likely the most survivable 1st of every edition published.

Nothing you wrote matches 4e, so I think you'd do better with a Gamma World specific thread.
 
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Retreater

Legend
This doesn't sound a single thing like 4e, you may want to change the title.
It's very pertinent. It's the same system, just with different trappings.
4e At-Will powers are generally both pertinent and more powerful than Basic attacks. Rogues going against Reflex, they all have bonuses. If Gamma World doesn't have that, 4e advice won't help.
In many cases, yes. But we're at situations where characters have At-Will powers that are only melee - and they can't attack flying targets unless they use Basic Ranged Attacks, etc.
4e everyone has healing they can trigger on themselves every combat with the Second Wind action.
Yes. They do in Gamma World as well. And it's a minor action. And the Healing Surge Value is the character's Bloodied score (so twice what it is in 4E). But there are no other healing powers - no clerics, etc. Once you use that one healing, that's all you get in an encounter.
Nothing you wrote matches 4e, so I think you'd do better with a Gamma World specific thread.
The odds of anyone having played 4e Gamma World are pretty slim. At least I can get some basic "4E ideas." (Changing monster HP, reducing XP by this amount, etc.)
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
In actuality, we're playing Gamma World 7E, but it's based off D&D 4E, so I think tips for either system will be pertinent.

I tried to encourage them to use At-Will powers instead of their Basic Attacks, but in many cases, the At-Will powers in Gamma World just aren't pertinent.

Any ideas?
So being both a 4e GM and a GW 7e GM I will say that GW tends to be deadlier than 4e across the board. The expectation is that you're going to have characters die, but character creation is so easy that you just roll up new ones, join the group and keep going forward. It's on the same engine as 4e but the knobs have been tuned on the monsters to be a little less forgiving for the players if you throw equal level challenges at them IME. (Especially if you're playing tactically and use a lot of minions). So if you're a much better tactical player than your players are, you might think about reducing the difficulty just a bit until you get a good feel for the deadliness.

Second I'm fairly certain - even though I can't find the errata now - that the core book has some misprints and some of the Novice powers that are listed as Encounter should actually be At-Will. As in all novice powers were supposed to be At-Will. The Novice powers marked Encounter are not appreciably more powerful than the other At-Will Novice powers, so if they were looking at their Novice powers and not using them because they thought they were Encounter powers they might be doing a bit less damage than expected.

Beyond that the usual things I see players do that the game assumes they won't is hoard their random mutant power cards and equipment cards instead of using them. They should be treating their card-based mutations like Encounter powers and using them every encounter most of the time - they get to draw another after the Encounter so it's not like they go away, but some players think of them as a once per day resource or at least treat them that way. And the GM should be handing out Omega Tech draws a bit like candy - the book IIRC recommends something like 2/3 of encounters should end up with every player drawing an Omega Tech card. That encourages the players to actually use their Omega Tech during every combat even though there's a chance that they'll lose it once they use it. I actually had to tell a few of my players who are normally very cautious about resources that they should be using their cards to survive because more tech was coming and they didn't need to keep it in reserve.
 

Voadam

Legend
I have played 4e but not GW.

No leader role is tough for the healing. Is there an equivalent to healing potions? Any expansions on the heal skill since second wind can be done with a minor action in GW?
 

Retreater

Legend
I have played 4e but not GW.

No leader role is tough for the healing. Is there an equivalent to healing potions? Any expansions on the heal skill since second wind can be done with a minor action in GW?
You can use Heal on another character as a standard action to let them spend their Second Wind (if it's still available). Or you can use it to stabilize a dying character.
At the end of every encounter, characters automatically recover to full HP (provided there's a 5 minute break).
I think there are some random Alpha Mutations and Omega Tech that might provide healing, but it's not something that can just be purchased in game.
Before the last fight in my OP, one of the characters got an Alpha Mutation that doubled her HP (I think it went from 28 to 56). It was still very close for her.

Beyond that the usual things I see players do that the game assumes they won't is hoard their random mutant power cards and equipment cards instead of using them. They should be treating their card-based mutations like Encounter powers and using them every encounter most of the time - they get to draw another after the Encounter so it's not like they go away, but some players think of them as a once per day resource or at least treat them that way. And the GM should be handing out Omega Tech draws a bit like candy - the book IIRC recommends something like 2/3 of encounters should end up with every player drawing an Omega Tech card. That encourages the players to actually use their Omega Tech during every combat even though there's a chance that they'll lose it once they use it. I actually had to tell a few of my players who are normally very cautious about resources that they should be using their cards to survive because more tech was coming and they didn't need to keep it in reserve.
Yeah. They are using Omega Tech and Alpha Mutations as often as they can. I think they have gotten Omega Tech after every encounter (we are playing the starter adventure in the first boxed set.)
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Yeah. They are using Omega Tech and Alpha Mutations as often as they can. I think they have gotten Omega Tech after every encounter (we are playing the starter adventure in the first boxed set.)
Honestly it doesn't break the game to hand out Omega Tech after every single encounter so I'd keep doing it regardless of what the book says. We moved to that after our second session because the equipment didn't seem so unbalancing that having extra caused any problems, only extra options. And since they eventually break after use, if there was anything in the deck that was unbalanced I figured it would be gone within at most a few sessions.
 

Voadam

Legend
You can use Heal on another character as a standard action to let them spend their Second Wind (if it's still available). Or you can use it to stabilize a dying character.
So basically unchanged from 4e, but the trade off is not as good because it takes only a minor to self activate a second wind in GW instead of the standard action of 4e.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
I just wanted to drop by and voice my support of this thread. Personally, I don't play 4E but I like knowing there are groups of people out there who still play it, still discuss it online, still recruit players and still share home-made content for it. The older editions of the game don't need a "renaissance" to be enjoyed by you and your friends. They're still just as fun and approachable as you remember.
 

Undrave

Legend
Is your party working as a team properly? I dunno if GW has flanking and combat advantage, but is your party making use of synergetic strategy? Dod they have complimentary characters? Good teamwork can multiply the strength of a part in 4e.
 

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