poll on Expertise...Forked Thread: Expertise justification?

What most sums up your thoughts on Expertise feats...

  • They are a math fix needed at heroic levels on up

    Votes: 18 18.0%
  • They are a math fix needed at Paragon levels and up, heroic is fine

    Votes: 38 38.0%
  • They are a math fix needed at Epic levels only, heroic and paragon are fine

    Votes: 5 5.0%
  • They are broken and just plain need to be undone

    Votes: 19 19.0%
  • They work well as is, or with minor tweeking...WOTC PLEASE DON'T ERRATA THE MATH

    Votes: 28 28.0%

  • Poll closed .

Thundershield

First Post
Yes, those strange, strange people who believe the game should get harder as you go up in levels instead of hitting Vecna on a 8.
Well, really now, if the game only gets harder because you need to roll higher on your dice, something's lost on the designers.

Vecna shouldn't be hard to beat because you need to roll high to even hit him, but because of what he can do. Otherwise he's just a nasty lich with 3 points more on his attacks and defenses.

It's not like you can't make a game harder or more challenging and keep the players enjoying it and succeeding on their actions frequently enough to keep them from getting frustrated or making back-up solutions for their emergency plans or start min/max'ing just to have a decent chance at hitting.

Any solo would be perfectly fine if the players could hit it on a, say, 10 and it'd have the attack and defense powers to last against them. Give it immunity to the worst disablers (maybe allowing for one of them to work so the players can discover that weakness and benefit from that discovery), some defensive powers like the ability to roll saves before effects kick in or the ability to treat some conditions differently (merely being immobilized and granting CA instead of being fully stunned, for instance), and some nasty offensive powers and the ability to get more actions in a turn.

It's always more fun to see your power have some effect against the BBEG (even if the BBEG recovers relatively quickly) than to hear that you missed again, despite rolling a 14...
 
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Bayuer

First Post
Well, really now, if the game only gets harder because you need to roll higher on your dice, something's lost on the designers.

Vecna shouldn't be hard to beat because you need to roll high to even hit him, but because of what he can do. Otherwise he's just a nasty lich with 3 points more on his attacks and defenses. (...)
+1. I completly agree with you.
 


Regicide

Banned
Banned
Vecna shouldn't be hard to beat because you need to roll high to even hit him, but because of what he can do. Otherwise he's just a nasty lich with 3 points more on his attacks and defenses.

He's a pretty uninteresting fight regardless of how hard he is to hit. Most of the big mobs are just sacks of HPs. Interesting fights really come about because of having several different types of mobs.
 

eriktheguy

First Post
Well, really now, if the game only gets harder because you need to roll higher on your dice, something's lost on the designers.

Vecna shouldn't be hard to beat because you need to roll high to even hit him, but because of what he can do. Otherwise he's just a nasty lich with 3 points more on his attacks and defenses.


It's always more fun to see your power have some effect against the BBEG (even if the BBEG recovers relatively quickly) than to hear that you missed again, despite rolling a 14...

Correct.
The game may or may not get harder as you go on. DnD doesn't need to have a difficulty curve because, unlike videogames, experienced players do not need time to get used to the mechanics every campaign.
You can make your campiagn harder as it progresses to add tension, but do this by making the combats and challenges harder, not by screwing with the math of the game so that designing encounters for different level players involves different mechanics.
If you want to make the game harder by giving the monster's higher defenses (which is okay to a certain degree) do it by using higher level monsters. It makes sense to throw a level 32 at some level 30 players to add a challenge, but to say "level 30s should have a harder time hitting equal level monsters than level 1s" is nonsensical.
 
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Thundershield

First Post
He's a pretty uninteresting fight regardless of how hard he is to hit. Most of the big mobs are just sacks of HPs. Interesting fights really come about because of having several different types of mobs.
Yeah, agreed. Is why I use the new MM2 philosophy of reducing solo and elite HP to 80%, and often I introduce a sort of phases in solo fights, so when the players have reduced the creature to a certain threshold the battle moves on and the circumstances change.

Examples include:
When the elder dragon is reduced to 75% of its HP, it slams its tail against the nearby tower ruin, causing it to collapse over the battlefield, forming areas of difficult terrain but killing what minion lackeys it had remaining. At 50%, its Bloodied Breath kicks in and it takes to its wings on its next turn, moving out of reach of the melee and calling in new lackeys (so the melee don't get bored), and at 25% its wings are wounded bad enough that it lands again, but now it's in a blood rage, gaining cumulative boni each round until either side is dead (potentially a flat +1 bonus to attack and an increasing bonus to damage).

A kruthik hive lord that can generate and spit out 2 (or more!) kruthik hatchlings as a minor action 1/round at the start of its turn.

A gargantuan ooze that splits into 2 once it's reduced to 75% of its HP, and again at 50%, and again at 25%, eventually starting to spawn minion globs every round to harass the players.

In each of the above examples, there's changes to the battle, keeping the players on their toes. Also, there's a sense of urgency: They need to kill the dragon before it gets so furious it will kill them off, and they need to kill the kruthik or ooze before they're swarmed. Both contribute to making the fights feel fast-paced and full of action. And yes, I know this sounds an awful lot like WoW, but I find that it's a great source of inspiration for mechanics to spice up solo and elite fights.

Never ever reduce a fight against a solo or multiple elites to a hack'n'slash. That'll get everybody bored.

But I digress...
 
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