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D&D 4E Running player commentary on PCat's 4E Campaign - Heroic tier (finished)


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renau1g

First Post
So how has the party fared without a cleric? I am currently playing in a game (Spellgard from FR) where we have 2 defenders & 3 strikers. So far we've not lost anyone to unconsciousness, but last fight 3 of the 5 were brought to single digits, before some healing potions were used.
 

Aravis

First Post
So how has the party fared without a cleric? I am currently playing in a game (Spellgard from FR) where we have 2 defenders & 3 strikers. So far we've not lost anyone to unconsciousness, but last fight 3 of the 5 were brought to single digits, before some healing potions were used.

I think we are faring just fine. We are probably spending more on healing potions (and we might be finding more in treasure) than would otherwise be the case. And, we certainly feel wiped at the end of some of these encounters, but is that a bad thing?

The plain fact of the matter is that it is within the power of the GM to calibrate the game to the makeup of the party. Admittedly, if everyone were a rogue, then the sort of calibrations needed might tend to lead down a path of sameness, but we are a fairly diverse party. It is certainly possible that over time PC will find that the lack of a cleric in the party is forcing him away from some really cool and fun thing he could do with us if we had a cleric. However, there are more cool and fun things lurking in PC's mind than the universe will allow time for him to enact, so I am not really worried.

Aravis
 

Joshua Randall

Adventurer
I wonder if any of the PCs are planning to multiclass into anything that grants healing ability? Or grants temp hp for that matter. E.g. multiclass into cleric, or multiclass into warlord via the feat that grants temp hp when an ally spends an action point.

A little in-combat healing (or temp hp) can go a long way towards preventing that "wiped out" feeling and conserving potions.

There are also some magic items at high-heroic that help a lot. Healer's sash, I'm looking at you.

It'll be interesting to see what PH2 offers, too.
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
I wonder if any of the PCs are planning to multiclass into anything that grants healing ability? Or grants temp hp for that matter. E.g. multiclass into cleric, or multiclass into warlord via the feat that grants temp hp when an ally spends an action point.

A little in-combat healing (or temp hp) can go a long way towards preventing that "wiped out" feeling and conserving potions.

There are also some magic items at high-heroic that help a lot. Healer's sash, I'm looking at you.

It'll be interesting to see what PH2 offers, too.

Well they DO have a Paladin.

P.S. Also try Dwarven Armor.
 

Blackjack

First Post
I think we are faring just fine.

The plain fact of the matter is that it is within the power of the GM to calibrate the game to the makeup of the party.
Yeah, agreed -- I think we're doing fine, partially because of how Piratecat has been tailoring the adventures to the group. Healing potions, Paladin powers, and the house rules for the Heal skill have been covering for the time being. This is not to say there aren't times we miss not having a Cleric, but with 5 players, we were never going to have all of the classes anyway -- so there are also times I think we miss not having a Warlord, or a Warlock, etc.
 



WisdomLikeSilence

Community Supporter
Just dropping in to say how much I miss you all. I'm thoroughly enjoying Fajitas 4th ed campaign, but I still miss you.

It's also interesting how much difference the party composition makes. We're very deliberately balanced, with about 2 players per role. We don't do nearly the striker damage, but with two leaders (one of whom is a cleric focused on healing) we have plenty of healing. Several sessions in, I'd say about half the players still haven't used a second wind. Of course, we're also deliberately starting a bit slowly while we all get a feel for the system.
 


Piratecat

Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
Several sessions in, I'd say about half the players still haven't used a second wind. Of course, we're also deliberately starting a bit slowly while we all get a feel for the system.
That's okay, we use your share! It's uncommon for a fight to go by without at least a few people using their second wind.

And we miss you too. Want to come and play a leader? :D
 

WisdomLikeSilence

Community Supporter
And we miss you too. Want to come and play a leader? :D

Ahh, so tempting.

I actually find it quite satisfying to swoop in and heal another character just when they've gotten that "oh s*** I'm doomed" look on their face. It feels very heroic in it's own way.

Of course, I've also maxed out at about 9 points of damage, so....
 

Fajitas

Hold the Peppers
Fascinating to read. Glad to have gotten all caught up. I'm still feeling my way in the dark through 4th Ed myself, so it's nice to gather the additional data points.

Our first fight was a horrible, drawn out sloggish affair, but that had a lot to do with me using a bunch of swarms, and the party not having more than 3 total powers that were close or area (1 of which missed and 1 of which got used before the swarms were in range...)
 

Alomir

First Post
Ah, the wonder that is D&D 4e. By and large, I'm loving it so far... Combat has been fast-paced and exciting, and there's just as much opportunity for role-playing as before. So far, it seems that skills have had less impact, but that may be because I'm used to Agar's 23rd level absurdly high bonuses. (Ok, thinking about it a bit more, skills have definitely had a real impact. I need to dump the Agar mindset).

I think minions are one of the best additions in 4e. They add interesting tactics, interesting flavor, and allow scenarios that just couldn't be done before.

I am really struggling with one area, though - saving throws. The random factor is just too high. One example on the offensive side has been summarized well:

I guess it depends on the original power.

If it was one of those powers that simply said, "Hit: impose a status effect (save ends)", then I'm inclined to agree with Storminator.

However, if it was one of those powers that originally read, "Hit: impose a status effect (save ends); Miss: impose a status effect until the end of your next turn", then the power really needs some kind of fix in place so that hitting isn't worse than missing 55% of the time.

I find that I'm shying away from any power like that for Logan; they are just too unreliable (I find that it's a real bummer when I'd rather have a good power *miss*). I've seen some interesting house rule proposals for this, but I wonder if the easiest thing wouldn't just be to add a "minimum one round" (or, I guess it would be "until end of your next turn") clause to the hit case; that would not increase the target's chances to have it last *longer* than one round.

On the defensive side, having witnessed another player being stunned *for an entire combat*, and having now been blinded *for an entire combat* (granted, it was two applications for me), I'm finding myself wanting to go well out of my way to work around this mechanic however possible. I'm probably going to drop my alchemy feat (sadly, as this is a character concept piece) to pick up human perseverance. I'm going to have to wait to be higher level to find some magic items to help, but I'll be keeping my eyes peeled.

How's the saving throw mechanic working out for others?
 
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renau1g

First Post
So far, I find that I tend to value the saving throw effects lower than others as they tend to be thrown off fairly easily. On the other side, I've not had any cases of failing many times in a row, but if that's the case having a cleric around always helps (I forget their at-will that lets you make a saving throw, Lance of Faith maybe?). So far it seems that effects last for a round-ish so that needs to be taken into account.
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
In my campaign, as a DM I notice the randomness of it. One PC was slept by 'friendly fire' and spent the next 4 rounds of combat asleep. On the other hand the three trogs all saved at the end of their next turn, thus enduring only one round of being slowed!

I've seen 2 PCs 'bleed out' by failing 3 death saves, and a rogue died to a poison needle trap after failing about 6 death saves in a row (despite the healing surges expended to try to keep him alive).

Two current party members (a human and a half-elf) have both taken the human feat for +1 to saves, but it hasn't actually come into play yet.

From the point of view of a DM (and as a player in the game I play in) I'd be at least as happy with having durations of 1d4 rounds or something I suppose technically the average duration of a save ends effect tends towards 2 rounds). I 'get' that it doesn't give people the excitement of rolling that d20 for saves each turn... but it isn't that much excitement! If it was changed though, what would I do for humans, for hobgoblins, for orb wizards, for elites and solos etc. etc.

As a wizard player in a game, I'll rate 'sustains' powers at the top since *I* get to choose how long they last. 'save ends' powers might work out really well, but it is basically just a crap shoot unless you are a paragon level specialised orb mage or something.

Cheers
 

Aravis

First Post
On the defensive side, having witnessed another player being stunned *for an entire combat*, and having now been blinded *for an entire combat* (granted, it was two applications for me), I'm finding myself wanting to go well out of my way to work around this mechanic however possible. I'm probably going to drop my alchemy feat (sadly, as this is a character concept piece) to pick up human perserverance. I'm going to have to wait to be higher level to find some magic items to help, but I'll be keeping my eyes peeled.

We do have a once per encounter roll a save with a +4 bonus (Divine Mettle), thanks to Toiva. I used this on Logan in the combat where he was blinded. I may have waited too long to use it that combat...

On a related note, I have a question for the assembled masses. If a power targets a Creature, can that Creature be the wielder of the power themself?

Aravis
 

Alomir

First Post
We do have a once per encounter roll a save with a +4 bonus (Divine Mettle), thanks to Toiva. I used this on Logan in the combat where he was blinded. I may have waited too long to use it that combat...

Perhaps earlier would have been better :) Of course, there were several rolls where +4 would not have been enough...

However, I'd happily dump the whole mechanic for something more deterministic. Not *completely* deterministic, mind you - but some help here would smooth things out in play, and make many powers more attractive (ones that *should* be more attractive, IMO). Interesting point (from Plane Sailing), though, about using something like a 1d4 for number of rounds - completely removing the saving throw mechanic wouldn't work, as too much of the game interacts with it. Maybe a hard cap at, say, three rounds? Eh, that's not ideal, certainly.
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
We do have a once per encounter roll a save with a +4 bonus (Divine Mettle), thanks to Toiva. I used this on Logan in the combat where he was blinded. I may have waited too long to use it that combat...

On a related note, I have a question for the assembled masses. If a power targets a Creature, can that Creature be the wielder of the power themself?

Aravis

PHB 57, when defining 'Target' says:

"Creature" or "creatures" means allies and enemies both, as well as you - so wizards can catch themselves in their own bursts.
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
However, I'd happily dump the whole mechanic for something more deterministic. Not *completely* deterministic, mind you - but some help here would smooth things out in play, and make many powers more attractive (ones that *should* be more attractive, IMO). Interesting point (from Plane Sailing), though, about using something like a 1d4 for number of rounds - completely removing the saving throw mechanic wouldn't work, as too much of the game interacts with it. Maybe a hard cap at, say, three rounds? Eh, that's not ideal, certainly.

A half-way house might be to give an increasing bonus to the save, of (say) +1 each turn after the first. A string of bad luck could still keep you under, but at least the chance of throwing the condition off would be increasing each round.

Of course, then you have the difficulty of keeping enemy creatures under a condition for any length of time...
 

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