D&D 4E messy's 4e newbie questions thread

mcmillan

Adventurer
61. is there a melee basic attack option that uses dexterity for attacks and damage?

The melee training feat used to work that way (or other stats), it was later changed with errata so it only applies to the attack bonus, and uses half the mod for damage bonus. Scout rangers and Thief rogues (both from essentials) both have class features that do that - which was probably the motivation for the errata to the feat. There might be other newer classes as well that I'm forgetting about.


62. does the movement associated with deft strike provoke opportunity attacks


Yes, if it didn't it would say shift, or move without provoking opportunity attacks. In general rules do exactly what it says and normal rules apply if not referenced.


63. is the shift associated with nimble strike any different than a typical shift?

No, other than it being part of the standard action of the attack, so you still have your move action to use for any other purpose.


64. concealment only applies to targets of melee or ranged attacks. what attacks does it not apply to?

Area attacks
 

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60. following up on #20, how does two-weapon fighting work for a non-ranger only using the phb1?

Not using powers, you occupy your off-hand with a light weapon and deal +1 damage with either weapon. You are almost always better off using a versatile weapon (+1 damage when holding it with both hands, no feat cost) although there's probably a time when you might want two weapons with different properties. Sorcerers can abuse that somehow with Rhythm Blade, but I don't think they need the feat.

61. is there a melee basic attack option that uses dexterity for attacks and damage?

Essentials thieves and skirmish rangers get this trait for free. There's a feat that lets you choose whatever ability score you want for attack bonuses of melee basic attacks, but you only get half the stat bonus for damage.

62. does the movement associated with deft strike provoke opportunity attacks?

Yes. Using it well requires advanced tactics, generally involving the Stealth rules. If you're a Charismatic rogue, especially a halfling, you're really hard to hit with opportunity attacks. And useful if you have the ability to punish opportunity attacks (some non-core rogue powers make you good at this).

You could also use it to move out of cover, shoot, and then move back into cover. Useful with Stealth too!

63. is the shift associated with nimble strike any different than a typical shift?

No, other than not taking an independent action. (You can use your move action for something else, like another shift.) Shift is both a specific action (the usual move action 1 square shift) and a type of movement. This can get a little confusing.

64. concealment only applies to targets of melee or ranged attacks. what attacks does it not apply to?

Area and close attacks, and auto-attacks such as the new Magic Missile (see errata/Essentials).
 

60. following up on #20, how does two-weapon fighting work for a non-ranger only using the phb1?

61. is there a melee basic attack option that uses dexterity for attacks and damage?
No, but note that an RBA with a light thrown weapon or a missile weapon (bow, sling, xbow) will. Some DEX classes get +DEX as a class feature.

62. does the movement associated with deft strike provoke opportunity attacks?

63. is the shift associated with nimble strike any different than a typical shift?
Movement is what it is. All normal rules apply. The only subtle difference is that the move part and the attack part of these things is ONE ACTION, so for instance you can step out of concealment if you were hidden and attack with SA using Deft Strike. Using a normal move action followed by a Standard attack won't get this benefit because you 'retain the advantages of being hidden until the end of the action'. Interestingly this means if you use Deft Strike to step 2 steps out of a hidden position then enemies cannot OA you because technically you're still getting the benefits of being hidden, and unseen is one of those. You cannot OA what you cannot see. So, as you can tell the interactions of the rules with 'combined' powers are a bit subtle but consistent.

64. concealment only applies to targets of melee or ranged attacks. what attacks does it not apply to?

much gratitude for all responses.[/QUOTE]

Both Close (burst and blast) and Area attacks (of any sort) are not affected by concealment. Note again some subtleties. Many powers are of the 'one target in a close blast N' variety. These don't suffer a penalty against concealed targets, though COVER will grant a bonus! Often the varieties are things like "one target which the attacker can see" Close blast N. That will exclude people in total darkness or other total concealment, or who are unseen (hidden, invisible). MANY other powers of this type don't roll attacks, they are things like Healing Word that target allies. Especially the early ones often don't mention a 'must see' requirement, which can now and then seem odd.

you're welcome.
 

MarkB

Legend
Both Close (burst and blast) and Area attacks (of any sort) are not affected by concealment. Note again some subtleties. Many powers are of the 'one target in a close blast N' variety. These don't suffer a penalty against concealed targets, though COVER will grant a bonus! Often the varieties are things like "one target which the attacker can see" Close blast N. That will exclude people in total darkness or other total concealment, or who are unseen (hidden, invisible). MANY other powers of this type don't roll attacks, they are things like Healing Word that target allies. Especially the early ones often don't mention a 'must see' requirement, which can now and then seem odd.

While we're on the subject, it's also worth noting that, concealment rules aside, a major reason why many such non-damaging single-target powers are set up as Close bursts is because Close powers, unlike Ranged or Area powers, don't provoke Opportunity Attacks.

It's effectively a way of keeping things simple rather than creating a lot of rules exceptions. Instead of saying "Ranged 15" and then having to specify "this power does not provoke Opportunity Attacks", they say "Close burst 15 - one target in burst", and achieve the same effect.
 

sabrinathecat

Explorer
Warlocks can take "Dual Implement Caster" feat, and multiclass into, say, swordmage, and then use a sword and dagger as two implements for their attack powers. They get to add the magic bonus of their off-hand implement (be it rod, dagger, or other enchanted weapon with the off-hand property) to their damage.
Two-weapon Fighters take powers that give them a big advantage to using two-weapons. Just look at the whole build--it would take a really long time to go into full detail.

Enjoy.
 

messy

Explorer
65. following up #42, is changing powers that do radiant damage to necrotic damage when used by evil creatures a reasonable houserule?

66. following up #56, since pcs and npcs are created differently, if an npc becomes an ally (or even a pc), would that character's stats need to be changed?

67. since fire burst seems to be inferior to fireball in every way, why is it higher level?

68. following up #24, is there a way to feint and attack in the same round?

thank you, thank you, thank you.
 

Balesir

Adventurer
65. following up #42, is changing powers that do radiant damage to necrotic damage when used by evil creatures a reasonable houserule?
Swapping damage types is generally pretty harmless, but try to understand why the damage was Radiant to begin with. Certain classes of creature have resistances and vulnerabilities - Radiant tends to be very good against undead, for example. Partly for this reason, there aren't many evil creatures that use Radiant damage; where they do so, it tends to be for a specific reason.

66. following up #56, since pcs and npcs are created differently, if an npc becomes an ally (or even a pc), would that character's stats need to be changed?
DMG2 actually has a methodology for making "Companion Characters" that is designed for NPCs who are allies rather than enemies. While you could make ally NPCs using the full PC rules, it's not something I would do. Something closer to a "monster" has several advantages: a simpler statblock, more HPs and fewer surges (so less "excitement" but more simplicity in battle) and fewer powers, riders, bonuses, exceptions and other stuff that makes a PC fun when you have only the one to worry about but NPCs a pain in the bum when you have many to run...

67. since fire burst seems to be inferior to fireball in every way, why is it higher level?
Fire Burst is an Encounter power, Fireball is a Daily power. Hence, in a fairly "normal" game, you can use Fire Burst around four times for every time you use Fireball.

In the paradigm of old editions, at 5th level you get your first 3rd level spell slot and get to use Fireball once per day. By 7th level you have a few 3rd level spell slots, so you get to use Fireball several times per day - but the monsters you use it on now tend to be tougher... Fire Burst is that "Fireball several times a day at 7th level+".

68. following up #24, is there a way to feint and attack in the same round?
Only by having powers that involve doing that.

Translate that to "are there ways to get Combat Advantage and attack in the same round?" and the answer is "yes, several".
 

65. following up #42, is changing powers that do radiant damage to necrotic damage when used by evil creatures a reasonable houserule?

Yes.

66. following up #56, since pcs and npcs are created differently, if an npc becomes an ally (or even a pc), would that character's stats need to be changed?

Yes. If they're just a friendly NPC, you don't need to change their stats. If they accompany PCs, use the companion rules. If they became a PC use the PC rules. Note that many monster types such as those whose powers aren't like a PC's, or are Large, aren't suitable. In fact, many monsters don't make good companions.

67. since fire burst seems to be inferior to fireball in every way, why is it higher level?

It's an encounter power. You can use it more times per day.

68. following up #24, is there a way to feint and attack in the same round?

Not in the PH1. Changelings from Eberron can feint as a minor action, and there are probably powers somewhere that let you do something similar. If you're playing a rogue, you have better ways of getting combat advantage. If you were a swashbuckler... well, there is no swashbuckler class.
 
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65. following up #42, is changing powers that do radiant damage to necrotic damage when used by evil creatures a reasonable houserule?

66. following up #56, since pcs and npcs are created differently, if an npc becomes an ally (or even a pc), would that character's stats need to be changed?

67. since fire burst seems to be inferior to fireball in every way, why is it higher level?

68. following up #24, is there a way to feint and attack in the same round?

thank you, thank you, thank you.

66- yes, it is even mentioned in the original PHB or DMG as something they assume you will allow with some care. Some damage types are straight up better than others, so basically if the DM is OK with it then its fine. You just might end up with a lot of people wanting Radiant or Cold damage, lol.

67- You are comparing an Encounter power with a Daily power. The truth is that Fireball is a rotten pathetic useless spell. Fire Burst gives you basically the same thing, but once an encounter, which makes it a lot more useful. It is 2 levels higher, the first time an Encounter power is available, so you can pick it instead of Fireball, though sadly you have to wait a couple levels. Its still probably not a GREAT power, but the damage is good for an Encounter power, so it has something going for it.

68- The only rules for feinting are from Skill Use in Combat, and those always take a Standard action. If you want to do this more often its more of a narrative thing than anything else. There are plenty of Encounter and even At Will powers which can be explained to function as a result of feinting. There are even a few that suggest this in their flavor text.
 

MarkB

Legend
67. Others have already covered the Encounter-vs-Daily answer to this question, but it's also worth pointing out that 4e spells are simply a specific type of Power, and 4e Powers don't scale anywhere near as much by level as previous-edition spells did.

Encounter and Daily powers do scale somewhat, but more by tier than by level, and whilst characters start getting the opportunity to swap out lower-level powers for higher-level ones once they reach Paragon tier, it's not uncommon for a player to hang onto a lower-level power right up into Epic simply because it synergises better with his character than the higher-level alternatives.
 

sabrinathecat

Explorer
... it's not uncommon for a player to hang onto a lower-level power right up into Epic simply because it synergises better with his character than the higher-level alternatives.

Indeed. I've seen a warlock hold onto lvl1 daily Crown of Stars all the way to lvl30, and my dwarf fighter didn't like the options for lvl27 powers, so took a second lvl23 instead.
 

Yeah, honestly I have to say that high level powers are really not that much better than low level ones. Sometimes they have some more debilitating effects, and there are a few standouts at most levels of most classes but to a large extent the lower level powers aren't that much weaker, and many of the best ones are worth keeping. Damage output is rarely much higher for the high level powers either. You do get some high damage dailies, but they don't really account for the vast majority of high damage character's output.

I think WotC missed the boat when they decided to have new powers that swap in at higher levels instead of doing some basic scaling of lower level powers. It would have reduced the amount of cruft in the game a LOT.
 

The Human Target

Adventurer
Yeah, honestly I have to say that high level powers are really not that much better than low level ones. Sometimes they have some more debilitating effects, and there are a few standouts at most levels of most classes but to a large extent the lower level powers aren't that much weaker, and many of the best ones are worth keeping. Damage output is rarely much higher for the high level powers either. You do get some high damage dailies, but they don't really account for the vast majority of high damage character's output.

I think WotC missed the boat when they decided to have new powers that swap in at higher levels instead of doing some basic scaling of lower level powers. It would have reduced the amount of cruft in the game a LOT.

Yup, its probably 4es biggest mistake.

Cut way down on powers and probably drop epic from the basic rules would have saved a huuuuuge amount of space.

That could have been used for flavor text and roleplaying suggestions.

Probably would have helped the game a lot with a large segment of the D&D audience.
 

sabrinathecat

Explorer
Well, that does open up a whole different can-o-worms
I like the idea of a heroic power that dazes, step up to a Paragon power that Stuns, then to an Epic power that Dominates. To me, the problem was that the game wasn't consistently doing that sort of thing.
Most later feat benefits scaled, where other original ones didn't. And some of the glitches read like they never play-tested the power/rule at all. (Radiant Servant power "Solar Wrath" was a close burst 7 in the printed PHB!!! Way more powerful than any other power of that level)
The lack of direction, combined with the back-pedaling because one vocal group or another was bitching about not liking the rules, and WotC trying to please everyone, turned a well designed game into a mess.
 

Jhaelen

First Post
65. following up #42, is changing powers that do radiant damage to necrotic damage when used by evil creatures a reasonable houserule?
No. Damage types are usually picked for a reason and they're _not_ all created equal. Radiant is one of the most powerful damage types while necrotic is one of the weakest. The reason for the difference in power is the availabilty of resistances against damage types. I wouldn't change damage types around for no good reason.

66. following up #56, since pcs and npcs are created differently, if an npc becomes an ally (or even a pc), would that character's stats need to be changed?
Depends, but usually no.
If you design an npc that has the potential of becoming an ally, you'll probably already have designed her in a way that allows her to be used as a companion character. NPCs that don't have that potential are simply monsters. You could still easily allow them to be played by players, unless they're Elite or Solo.
 
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Storminator

First Post
65. following up #42, is changing powers that do radiant damage to necrotic damage when used by evil creatures a reasonable houserule?

Radiant damage is from powers granted by the gods. And the Astral Sea book says souls power the Astral realms, but they fade away over time.

Radiant damage is people! It's people!

:D

PS
 

messy

Explorer
69. following up #62, if the movement associated with deft strike provokes opportunity attacks then why is it mentioned in the power description?

70. can conjurations be involved in flanking?

71. it seems that knowledge skills have been combined: arcana now includes arcana and the planes (with regard to the elemental chaos, the feywild, and the shadowfell); history now includes geography, history, local, and nobility; and religion now includes religion and the planes (with regard to the astral sea); but what happened to engineering?

72. where can i find rules and prices for barding?

much gratitude for all replies.
 
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The Human Target

Adventurer
69. I don't entirely get what the question is. But deft strike allows you to move 2 squares, not shift two squares. And moves always provoke, unless a power explicitly says it doesn't.

70. Nope, because only creatures can flank with each other and conjurations aren't creatures.

71. It wasn't considered useful enough to be a discrete skill so anything that would fall under the umbrella of engineering would be an ability check. Usually Intelligence.

72. Off the top of my head magic barding is in the Adventurers Vault. Not sure regular barring is ever priced.
 

MarkB

Legend
69. following up #62, if the movement associated with deft strike provokes opportunity attacks then why is it mentioned in the power description?

Because it's movement you can take as part of the standard action taken to use that power, separate from any other movement you might use that turn. That has several effects:

It means you can move further on your turn than you normally could when making an attack, by using both the movement associated with the power and the normal movement allowed by a Move action.

It means you could move as part of the attack, then use your Move action for some other purpose.

It means you'd still be able to both move and attack if you were Dazed and limited to a single action.

If you're a rogue who is currently Hidden, it means you can use that power to move into plain sight without provoking Opportunity Attacks and then still attack with Combat Advantage, because you retain the advantages of being Hidden until the end of the action that causes you to lose your Hidden status.
 

69. following up #62, if the movement associated with deft strike provokes opportunity attacks then why is it mentioned in the power description?

In case someone forgets, I assume. But I don't recall any such text in the power. It just lets you move 2 squares. Moving provokes unless specifically stated otherwise.

70. can conjurations be involved in flanking?

No, but summons can. Note that conjurations do not technically get opportunity attacks, but many shaman conjurations allow the shaman to get an OA when an opponent would have provoked an OA from a conjuration.

Conjurations are more like objects than creatures. Flaming Sphere is a good example; it has no mind of its own, cannot flank, does not give the wizard opportunity options, etc.

71. it seems that knowledge skills have been combined: arcana now includes arcana and the planes (with regard to the elemental chaos, the feywild, and the shadowfell); history now includes geography, history, local, and nobility; and religion now includes religion and the planes (with regard to the astral sea). but what happened to engineering?

Dungeoneering.

72. where can i find rules and prices for barding?

The Adventurer's Vault.
 

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