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


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69. following up #62, if the movement associated with deft strike provokes opportunity attacks then why is it mentioned in the power description?
Why IS it? or why isn't it? Its just movement, the whole point of the 4e rules is to avoid endless restating of things that are already defined. Its movement, and not shifting, so it just always follows all the normal movement rules, no statement is required.

70. can conjurations be involved in flanking?
No, conjurations aren't creatures, and most of them have no OA, nor any other form of action economy. In order for this to work the conjuration would have to specifically state that it allows flanking with it and/or it can itself benefit from flanking (IE the caster can, a Flaming Sphere could in theory be written this way).

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?
It is best to think of 4e skills as focused areas of interest rather than little individual specific niche areas of expertise. The guy with Athletics likes to use physical strength to deal with problems. He may or may not be strong in an absolute sense, but he's got a knack for doing 'Athletic' types of things. Note that pure feats of muscle power such as lifting heavy objects uses Strength, not Athletics, and things like your carrying capacity are determined by raw Strength. Likewise Arcana is a general area of knowledge and practice which includes, potentially, some familiarity with the more odd sorts of otherworldly beasties.

Its worth noting that nothing implies characters can't have other very specific things they know about. For instance it would be typical for a DM to give a +2 background bonus to say a character with the Farmer background when dealing with things related to farming. This could apply to nearly any skill or ability check in that context. Each character is allowed to have a background for each of up to five elements, so there is a lot of potential there for a PC to have some advantage in any particular story. There are also things like Martial Practices which can grant characters the ability to do certain specific things very well. Some powers can factor in as well.

The other part of this is that the 4e skill system isn't intended to exist in a vacuum of nothing but individual skill/ability checks. Anything significant to the plot is an encounter and thus a skill challenge if it isn't an actual combat. In this way a variety of factors can come into play, a strong but clumsy character might not fare as well as a guy that is modestly strong and also dexterous, especially if that character has a relevant skill. When you put the 4e skill system in its context it provides a lot of utility in a package that also delivers relevance and delivers a feeling of expertise, the wizard knows his stuff, he can use Arcana to deal with most magic-related stuff competently. If a given character concept should have some need to be an expert in an area not related to his main class, its easy enough for a fighter to have Religion or Arcana say without it being a big ongoing drain in skill points as it would be in 3.x for instance.

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

Adventurer's Vault has most of this sort of stuff, you might also find some in Mordenkainen's Magical Emporium, which re-presents a lot of AV stuff. MME is probably the better book overall, though AV1 does have some stuff in it that isn't in any other book (maybe things WotC thought weren't great ideas after the fact like double weapons).
 

Yeah for sure I guess some engineering checks would fall under Dungeoneering.

Yeah, underground you can make an argument for that, though some people see Dungeoneering as "underground Nature". Its a bit of a grey area. Personally I like to think of this sort of stuff as more background related. You have a background as a mason, carpenter, engineer, etc then you probably have some good story reasons to maybe just know certain things outright, or get a +2 on certain checks. Its a good motivation to pick a full suit of background elements! In general backgrounds are also ripe for home brewing, a player can easily make one up, DMs should be pleased to have players doing that.
 

sabrinathecat

Explorer
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 is part of the power. Just because a power provokes doesn't mean the monster will take the oppie. If it is dazed, stunned, or dominated, it won't. If it is under a condition that specifically says it cannot make attacks, it won't. If it is marked by a fighter, and knows it will take punishment for even attempting to take the oppie, it may not.

70. can conjurations be involved in flanking?
little phantasmal things, no. summoned allies usually can, however. Look at the power. Look at the creature.

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?
As has been mentioned, Dungeoneering will cover most likely possibilities. Some situations might allow for arcana, thievery, or nature rolls.

72. where can i find rules and prices for barding?
I wouldn't worry too much about that. Mounted combat in 4E is seriously nerfed. I consider it one of the biggest failings, outside of adding essentials and hybrids to the system. By now, someone has probably said where to find the prices, if they were ever made.
 

For knowledge-type of checks I don't find the perfect match, I would probably think about it similar as about a skill challenge - which skills might help - and ask the player for an idea what might do so.

I would even be willing to make a point and say Arcana, Dungeoneering, History and Nature can all work for Engineering.
 

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

A reminder. They wouldn't have bothered in later books.

70. can conjurations be involved in flanking?

Not unless they say otherwise. A flaming sphere can't flank any more than a bonfire can, for example. Summons on the other hand can.

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?

The big gap - there are half a dozen skills you can use for it, but I normally default to dungeoneering.

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

4e doesn't do much mounted combat.
 

4e doesn't do much mounted combat.

While it is true that 4e doesn't provide elaborate rules for mounted combat, it does cover the subject adequately for the vast majority of cases. You can ride a mount and the rules clearly provide for it. You can even ride things like flying mounts and the rules will handle the interaction with ground-based action adequately. There aren't really good rules for things like aerial dog fights, but no previous edition has had elaborate core rules for that sort of thing either. In most cases the existing rules will work well enough and the DM is encouraged to elaborate where needed.

If you want to run a campaign that focuses heavily on mounted combat, then 4e might not be the most suitable system. OTOH I think you could pull it off. It would be helpful to have a few added feats, maybe a theme or two, and perhaps some more involved rules for mount abilities and training. It would have been nice if WotC had gotten around to at least writing up an article on this subject and a supplement or something would have been super nice its still easily in reach of a lot of DMs. If 4e is otherwise the system you'd want to use then it certainly makes sense to home brew a thing or two. I'm sure there are some systems out there with really elaborate mounted combat rules, but 4e is pretty solid all around.
 

IME, mounted combat works pretty well if you treat the mount as a companion of the PC's level (healing surges, and so forth) and (for non-combative mounts such as horses) gave them a "shared actions" trait. I am very opposed to the horses doing any independent fighting. Note that 1/encounter a mounted PC could make the horse trample, so it's a bit like having an extra encounter power, plus their speed goes up and their charge attacks do extra damage. It's a really good deal for 1 feat.

For NPCs, I do something similar. Horses are only worth half XP due to the shared actions (the speed and charge damage boosts mean they're still contributing somewhat), but if the bad guys were goblins riding worgs, the worgs are worth full XP because they're aggressive and do not have the shared actions trait.
 

IME, mounted combat works pretty well if you treat the mount as a companion of the PC's level (healing surges, and so forth) and (for non-combative mounts such as horses) gave them a "shared actions" trait. I am very opposed to the horses doing any independent fighting. Note that 1/encounter a mounted PC could make the horse trample, so it's a bit like having an extra encounter power, plus their speed goes up and their charge attacks do extra damage. It's a really good deal for 1 feat.

For NPCs, I do something similar. Horses are only worth half XP due to the shared actions (the speed and charge damage boosts mean they're still contributing somewhat), but if the bad guys were goblins riding worgs, the worgs are worth full XP because they're aggressive and do not have the shared actions trait.

Yeah, the 4e rules are a bit unclear about the best way to handle NPC mounts. The DMG basically said "if the mount is trivial like a horse just make it nothing but a mount, but if its a monster in its own right, then charge XP for it." So that follows with your 'goblins and worgs' comment (and is how I've handled that exact scenario myself too).

When it comes to PC mounts there isn't a hard and fast rule either. ALL mounts share actions with their riders, but obviously a companion which is also a mount is a bit different from a riding horse. One way to handle it is simply to give such companion mounts some good solid MOUNT properties that synergize well with their riders. Between that and the basic benefits of mounted fighting it should justify the added XP value of the party. I think basic animal mounts OTOH provide fairly minimal benefits overall. They CAN be pretty handy in some situations, but not usually enough to unbalance things a lot, and there are times when you will find being mounted is useless or your mount is an actual burden, so its not a critical issue.

Its safe to say that 4e wasn't built with the idea in mind that PCs would be extensively mounted, but I think its rules are solid enough to handle that case with a bit of DM attention.
 

pemerton

Legend
My group is at a level (24th) where they have flying Phantom Steeds effectively at will - which means that many combats start with the PCs mounted, until those steeds take their 1 hp of damage . . .
 

I still remember an adventure my group did in 3.x, when we needed to climb a mountain filled with giants. After nearly losing one encounter, the wizard insisted on using phantasmal steeds to carry us. They had less than 10 hit points and I complained about that.

Naturally the flying route involved air elementals... and lots of falling damage.
 

My group is at a level (24th) where they have flying Phantom Steeds effectively at will - which means that many combats start with the PCs mounted, until those steeds take their 1 hp of damage . . .

Yeah, after a few falls from 500' into a bad situation the players learned the value of research and teleport...
 

messy

Explorer
73. is there a word limit on magic mouth?

74. do certain class abilities (like the rogue's weapon talent giving a bonus with daggers and the ranger's combat styles and powers focused on two-weapon fighting and archery) discourage creativity or "force" a character into a particular role?

i'm indebted for all replies.
 

The Human Target

Adventurer
73. Nope. But it has to be a "message." So as a DM I'd limit it to 5 or 6 sentences max.

74. Yep. But D&D has always done that. Whether its good or bad I up to personal taste.
 

73. is there a word limit on magic mouth?

Only what the DM decides. Most such abilities have a listed limit, and IIRC they're usually the same, so maybe steal one of those figures.

74. do certain class abilities (like the rogue's weapon talent giving a bonus with daggers and the ranger's combat styles and powers focused on two-weapon fighting and archery) discourage creativity or "force" a character into a particular role?

i'm indebted for all replies.

It depends.

The rogue's weapon talent doesn't. I have an eladrin rogue in my game who took a feat to use a longsword. He loses a die of sneak attack but can use the sword with two hands (+1 damage) and took the Eladrin Soldier feat (+2 damage to longswords and spears). His [W] and static boosts are higher but he gets fewer sneak attack dice and no dagger talent (I think he might have traded that out for crossbow benefits anyway). It's working out. A typical rogue would have had more accuracy, smaller [W], smaller static boosts and more sneak attack dice. Actually it's not very different in terms of what your PC can do.

Said rogue has a feat that lets him use Fey Step to do Thievery checks at range. It ... almost worked out. He rolled a natural 4, otherwise he could have stolen some keys and been far away before the theft was discovered, and he even arranged for a "cover story". None of this is based on his "build" anyway.

The ranger's combat style is pretty limiting. The specific modifiers are less important than the stats and powers selected. If you're an archer ranger, you pick Dex primary, which means Strength gets neglected and your melee attacks will be weak anyway. Dual-wielding rangers are quite weak (low AC, Wisdom is neglected so your skills are poor). Many ranger powers can be used with both ranged or melee attacks (these usually give you two shots; Twin Strike is the classic one there) so despite your build you can still "switch hit".

I wouldn't say it's much worse than in 3.x.

In any event, a ranger's role is "striker" and both ends match what you're supposed to do.
 

Only what the DM decides. Most such abilities have a listed limit, and IIRC they're usually the same, so maybe steal one of those figures.



It depends.

The rogue's weapon talent doesn't. I have an eladrin rogue in my game who took a feat to use a longsword. He loses a die of sneak attack but can use the sword with two hands (+1 damage) and took the Eladrin Soldier feat (+2 damage to longswords and spears). His [W] and static boosts are higher but he gets fewer sneak attack dice and no dagger talent (I think he might have traded that out for crossbow benefits anyway). It's working out. A typical rogue would have had more accuracy, smaller [W], smaller static boosts and more sneak attack dice. Actually it's not very different in terms of what your PC can do.

Said rogue has a feat that lets him use Fey Step to do Thievery checks at range. It ... almost worked out. He rolled a natural 4, otherwise he could have stolen some keys and been far away before the theft was discovered, and he even arranged for a "cover story". None of this is based on his "build" anyway.

The ranger's combat style is pretty limiting. The specific modifiers are less important than the stats and powers selected. If you're an archer ranger, you pick Dex primary, which means Strength gets neglected and your melee attacks will be weak anyway. Dual-wielding rangers are quite weak (low AC, Wisdom is neglected so your skills are poor). Many ranger powers can be used with both ranged or melee attacks (these usually give you two shots; Twin Strike is the classic one there) so despite your build you can still "switch hit".

I wouldn't say it's much worse than in 3.x.

In any event, a ranger's role is "striker" and both ends match what you're supposed to do.

Yeah, I am not at all sure what would be for instance more flexible about an AD&D 2e Ranger. They had very specific features which pretty much meant you were going to dual wield an axe and a sword, period. In theory there was a bit less pigeonholing by mechanics, except you had to have magic weapons, put extra points into more proficiency, etc to really keep up, so in fact a 2e character would use basically 1 or 2 fixed attack routines 100% of the time. Its not like an AD&D Thief EVER elected to fight toe-to-toe with a monster, unless he had a death wish. You did exactly what was on your character's 'tin', you hid somewhere and tried to get in a 2x or whatever damage backstab. There was no other viable option.

The real ultimate problem with the reasoning behind question 73 is that it leads to reductio ad absurdum. EVERY rule in any RPG is crimping someone's idea about something. If you argue that rules should be removed to make the game better, then why have rules at all? Isn't the best game just make-believe story telling? Clearly this is a ridiculous answer. The upshot is you can't ask "don't the rules get in the way?" instead you really need to ask "what does this specific rule do for my game, should we keep it or not?"
 

sabrinathecat

Explorer
74. do certain class abilities (like the rogue's weapon talent giving a bonus with daggers and the ranger's combat styles and powers focused on two-weapon fighting and archery) discourage creativity or "force" a character into a particular role?

Absolutely not. The class sets a role all by itself, but new builds have been added since the classes first came out. "Warlock" is a ranged arcane striker, but with Eldrich Strike and the right feat builds, can be an impressive melee beast. I've seen three different builds of Ranger work extremely well. OK, the Dwarf Ranger with 2 craighammers was a bit strange, but still effective.

Paragon Paths, themes, and epic destinies work wonders for new and more interesting combinations.
And that's without getting into hybrids (yuck).
 

messy

Explorer
75. are there rules for creating new rituals?

76. are there rules for converting powers to rituals?

77. have the minor creation and major creation spells been described anywhere?

78. can a creature benefit from multiple commander's strikes by multiple warlords in the same round?

i greatly appreciate all replies.
 

75. are there rules for creating new rituals?

No, and if my experience with 3e is any judge, it's not possible to write good rules here.

76. are there rules for converting powers to rituals?

No, and there shouldn't be an overlap. If you want something to last a long time, it's a ritual. A power would last, at most, the duration of an encounter.

(5e does something like this, but 5e rituals aren't really rituals, just a way to save spell slots.)

There are some very fast rituals (eg Portal Jump, Hold Portal) that look very much like utility powers though. These are very few in number.

77. have the minor creation and major creation spells been described anywhere?

Certainly not under those names. I don't recall any Creation rituals that could do so. The Major/Minor Creation spells were too broad (much like polymorphing) to be balanced :(

78. can a creature benefit from multiple commander's strikes by multiple warlords in the same round?

There's a limit to free action attacks you can take. You can take one per turn. So you could only benefit from it once per turn.
 


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