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4E SRM Marking Marked and Other 4Eisms

glass

(he, him)
Ipissimus said:
1. I'd like clarification on Marking people at range. I hope that you actually have to threaten a target (borrowing the 3e term) in order for the Mark the be effective, excluding some tricks like the Paladin's divine abilities and the Swordmage's arcane marks.
Well, that would be on a power by power basis. I suspect a lot of fighter and paladin powers will be melee-only whether the mark the target or not (since ranged powers are more of a striker/controller thing), but probably a few won't be -whether any of those include marking remains to be seen.


glass.
 

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glass

(he, him)
One other thought

Do all of those who are complaining about having to distinguish between allies and enemies have trouble with the 3.x flanking rules?


glass.
 

Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
hong said:
D&D has historically been pretty easy on people who are outnumbered. Compare to other games like GURPS or even Exalted, where you can basically only defend from 1 or 2 enemies at a time, and the others get (almost) free hits on you.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is the best example for me. You get one Parry, and if you're lucky, one Dodge roll. Ganging up is deadly.

Shadowrun 3.0 and its combat pool made this pretty similar (except that a "maxed" Street Samurai could blow away your full combat pool in one shot, and use his second action to kill you...)
 

mxyzplk

First Post
hong said:
No, it's not. Suspension of disbelief for people _who think too hard about fantasy_ is aided by simulationist rules.

There's a difference between realism and versimilitude. Even with "fantasy" there's supposed to be in-world reasons for things, even if it's as simple as "calling on arcane powers to make a fireball!" So far even the WotC explanation of marking from an in-game perspective is very weak. It leans very very heavily to the gamist side, it has nothing to do with fantasy. Let's say each character got a free "-1 penalty" token they could put on any opponent in a round. It has no in-game-world explanation or effect. That's a board game, that's NOT fantasy.

I may be talking into the wind here, for folks like Hong the Overly Self Important are willing to do whatever's necessary to justify every jot and tittle that Wizards produces on this, but there are many people that consider a tenuous/no link between the rules and the in-game subjective experience to break dispelief and harm their enjoyment of a roleplaying game.

And whether they're expensive or cheap, the immense fiddliness of D&D 4e minis combat is way turning me off. Back "in the day" we did D&D combat without any minis or a tactical map and it was very enjoyable - I find it ironic that anyone who's into all that would lecture anyone on the nature of "fantasy".
 

hong

WotC's bitch
mxyzplk said:
There's a difference between realism and versimilitude. Even with "fantasy" there's supposed to be in-world reasons for things, even if it's as simple as "calling on arcane powers to make a fireball!" So far even the WotC explanation of marking from an in-game perspective is very weak. It leans very very heavily to the gamist side, it has nothing to do with fantasy.

Kinda like hit points, huh?

Let's say each character got a free "-1 penalty" token they could put on any opponent in a round. It has no in-game-world explanation or effect. That's a board game, that's NOT fantasy.

That's also the worst action point mechanic I've ever seen.

I may be talking into the wind here, for folks like Hong the Overly Self Important are willing to do whatever's necessary to justify every jot and tittle that Wizards produces on this, but there are many people that consider a tenuous/no link between the rules and the in-game subjective experience to break dispelief and harm their enjoyment of a roleplaying game.

The difference between us is that in the morning, I will be sober.

HAW HAW!
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
malraux said:
But then your defender is not spending his time marking or attacking the Arch Demon. And given that marks just encourage you to attack the person who gave it to you, getting rid of it won't exactly do much.

The other reason people won't do it is that marking is a minor action, and almost assuredly an at-will power. If the defender uses his level 1 mark to remove the level 30 mark from super demon-soldier, all he's done is lower his effectiveness against the monster's he's supposed to be holding off, and the demon will just re-mark his target on his next action anyway. The true balance, as seems to be the paradigm of 4e, is the economy of action.
 

Hussar

Legend
And whether they're expensive or cheap, the immense fiddliness of D&D 4e minis combat is way turning me off. Back "in the day" we did D&D combat without any minis or a tactical map and it was very enjoyable - I find it ironic that anyone who's into all that would lecture anyone on the nature of "fantasy".

See, "back in the day" lots of us used miniatures too. Weapon space requirements, shield rules, all those assorted goodies were pretty much only possible with minis.

Now, 2e, I'd agree can be done without minis quite easily. But, that's because 2e's combat rules were so abstract that all you did was stand there until someone ran out of hp's.

In 3e, I'm thinking that the number of players who use battlemaps and minis dwarfs the number who don't. So, should WOTC cater to those who are tiny minority of gamers?
 

hong

WotC's bitch
TwoSix said:
The other reason people won't do it is that marking is a minor action, and almost assuredly an at-will power. If the defender uses his level 1 mark to remove the level 30 mark from super demon-soldier, all he's done is lower his effectiveness against the monster's he's supposed to be holding off, and the demon will just re-mark his target on his next action anyway. The true balance, as seems to be the paradigm of 4e, is the economy of action.
"The economy of action" would be an awesome motto for a katana-wielding swordsaint. Terrible name for a rock band, though.
 

Vyvyan Basterd

First Post
mxyzplk said:
I may be talking into the wind here, for folks like Hong the Overly Self Important are willing to do whatever's necessary to justify every jot and tittle that Wizards produces on this

I call what Hong and others (myself included) do to "justify" every rule WoTC creates - imagination. We creatively come up with in-game reason for why the power a character has may work. Alot of people here should try it some time.
 

lutecius

First Post
I was pretty sure the possible abuses, from a purely tactical pov (like marking an ally or the paladin's mark-and-run) would have been taken into account. I believe this is the kind of things 4e will handle very well.

Moridin said:
Concern 4: What kind of in-world sense does "no overlapping marks" make?

Answer: Aside from the fact that sometimes a game rule has to happen for balance reasons and rationalization concerns come second, let's look at the two possible explanations:
SEE? gamist!!!

Moridin said:
Paladin overwrites fighter: The enemy has been keeping a wary eye on the fighter, not daring to give him an opening. When touched by a power flowing directly from the gods, that foe has bigger things to worry about; the power of the divine is not to be trifled with.

Fighter overwrites paladin: A divine challenge has been issued, and the gods have backed the paladin's challenge. With the fighter's intervention, the sanctity of the challenge is tainted, and the paladin must once again seek out an enemy to challenge directly without he fighter's intervention.

As an aside, overlapping marks is a tactical choice, and in practice not one made lightly. After all, if the fighter and paladin take turns marking the same target, there are likely other foes out there who *could* be being marked, but aren't, reducing the party's effectiveness as the defenders waste important resources.
FireLance said:
The fluff probably should involve the fighter backing off from a divinely sanctioned challenge (albeit one that he could disrupt if he chose to do so) since the enemy taking his attention off the fighter just screams "This is when the fighter takes advantage of the enemy's lack of focus" to me.

Fighter overwrites another fighter could be a problem, though. :p
Concern 4 was the one thing that really bothered me in the preview. And Answer 4 is the one justification I find insufficient from a "simulationist" pov.

Either the effects come from the marker's vigilance, in which case I don't see why they could not stack (after all, divided attention is a disadvantage)

OR it is all in the marked creature's head. In that case, should a focused warrior, an iron-willed outsider or a mindless construct be affected like an easily distracted beast? ie shouldn't there be a Will save against that?

I can see how the divine power of the paladin would work (magic can explain many things)
but I think this is the kind of things that should allow a save too.
 


Lizard

First Post
Moridin said:
Ninja WotC Employee Attack! 4th Edition Anime Thunder Dragon Tail Golden Wyvern Cut Slash Strike!

To address some concerns in a totally informal way:

Concern 1: Hey, can't the paladin just mark the target and just run away?

Answer 1: Gee, that does seem like the kind of thing the ability should take into consideration. Last I checked...it does. (Deletia)

Concern 2: Can't you just mark an ally to remove another mark?

Answer 2: Last I checked, you can. I have serious doubts you'll want to. (More deletia)

As I said...I didn't THINK the rules would be so lame as to have direct prohibitions against these things.

Rules balanced so that seeming 'exploits' bite the exploiters in the ass==good rules.
Rules "balanced" by declaring expoitable tactics just can't happen 'cause I said so==bad rules.

WOTC apparently writes good rules.
Some of WOTCs defenders, however, like to spend a lot of time justifying the possibility of bad rules.

Interesting.
 

Cadfan

First Post
JahellTheBard said:
"it is more of a combat minis game than role playing game!"

I have the same feeling :( !
There should be a name for this fallacy, in which one reasons that the more combat options a game has the less roleplaying options it must have as a result. Its similar to the "D&D Fallacy," (which I just named) where people apply D&D character balance rules to real world people: "He's strong, so he must not be agile." "She's attractive, so she's not smart." Just as not all real life people are created from a limited point buy that forces them to skimp on statistics in one category to excel in another, real life gaming systems do not have a finite amount of positive traits which must trade off against one another.

Once this fallacy is given a name, we can then vastly overuse the name, working ourselves to the point where both the name, and the argument it represents, are greeted with groans of annoyance. I will consider that a victory.
 

hong

WotC's bitch
Lizard said:
As I said...I didn't THINK the rules would be so lame as to have direct prohibitions against these things.

Rules balanced so that seeming 'exploits' bite the exploiters in the ass==good rules.
Rules "balanced" by declaring expoitable tactics just can't happen 'cause I said so==bad rules.

WOTC apparently writes good rules.
Some of WOTCs defenders, however, like to spend a lot of time justifying the possibility of bad rules.

Interesting.
Call it experience gained from the hit point wars.
 

Kraydak

First Post
Moridin said:
Ninja WotC Employee Attack! 4th Edition Anime Thunder Dragon Tail Golden Wyvern Cut Slash Strike!

To address some concerns in a totally informal way:

Concern 1: Hey, can't the paladin just mark the target and just run away?

Answer 1: Gee, that does seem like the kind of thing the ability should take into consideration. Last I checked...it does. If a paladin calls upon the power of his god to lay his divine vengeance upon any who are to cowardly to face him...he'd better be ready to face them.

Oh really? How, pray tell? Paladins aren't going to have striker mobility, and the suggested marks we have heard about do not reduce the target's mobility. This means that the mark *needs* to be able to work at range, and *needs* to not need a frequent melee refresh.

Concern 2: Can't you just mark an ally to remove another mark?

Answer 2: Last I checked, you can. I have serious doubts you'll want to. Lets see, I can damage my ally with my attack and impose a penalty on attack rolls...or let the monster impose the exact same penalty on attack rolls. Also, I've wasted a precious action in doing so. Possibly a standard action. Also, I'm no longer actually defending my allies, and the monsters are now in no danger of being targeted by any of my powers that deal with marked foes. Yep. That was a good decision.
Marking a friend will probably usually not come up. But slow moving melee specialists are the group *most* likely to have spare actions. Several suggested marks (AoO triggering, for example) have *no* penalty for having a friend's on you. If you cannot inflict a mark with an unarmed strike, prison break and noble's party scenarios are going to be all kinds of interesting. While people will probably rarely bother overwriting marks, if marks are strong enough to dissuade certain actions, they are enough to warrant possible dispels.

Concern 3: What kind of in-world sense does marking make?

Fighter marks someone: The fighter's stance and attacks keep an opponent's attention focused on him; that foe knows that if he wavers his attention for just a second, it might give the fighter the chance to strike, and strike hard. Even when attacking someone other than the fighter, that foe keeps looking out of the corner of its eye at the fighter, wary of another incoming attack.

Paladin: A surge of divine energy flows from the paladin to the enemy, giving the weight of the gods to the words of his challenge. As a sanctified agent of that god, the paladin acts as a representation of that deity's power, and when the paladin has given his word that he will challenge that foe his god makes sure all know that his word is law.

Concern 4: What kind of in-world sense does "no overlapping marks" make?

Answer: Aside from the fact that sometimes a game rule has to happen for balance reasons and rationalization concerns come second, let's look at the two possible explanations:

Paladin overwrites fighter: The enemy has been keeping a wary eye on the fighter, not daring to give him an opening. When touched by a power flowing directly from the gods, that foe has bigger things to worry about; the power of the divine is not to be trifled with.
But stopping paying extra attention to the fighter doesn't overwrite the fighter's mark. It *triggers* it. Unless you are saying that your god is protecting your foe from your ally.

Fighter overwrites paladin: A divine challenge has been issued, and the gods have backed the paladin's challenge. With the fighter's intervention, the sanctity of the challenge is tainted, and the paladin must once again seek out an enemy to challenge directly without he fighter's intervention.
By that argument, the paladin's mark should drop if *anyone* does *anything* unkind to his mark. How does a fighter paying extra attention to the target taint the sanctity of the challenge more than, say, a rogue's sneak attack?

Sure, everything makes sense if you are allowed to say "because the gods make it so, even if it makes no sense given the tactical situation or the god's personalities". But, then, if an explanation could cover any situation, it is worthless.
 

Lizard

First Post
Primal said:
Seems like they've reduced the *rolls* in combat but introduced whole new layers of tactical complexity at the same time. :\ .

It's a lot easier to keep track of booleans than numbers. It seems that many 4e mechanics are gated or triggered.

"This gives me +1, that gives me -3, this is +4, but only with my sword, unless it's a Tuesday" is more complex for most people than "If A is true, I can use attack Y. If B is true, I can use attack Z. Both A and B are true; I will pick an attack."

Or maybe it's just because I've been a programmer for 30 years. I'd rather have my options be dictated by tactics then try to juggle ever-changing numerical modifiers, and if that's the path 4e took, it will succeed in 'simplfiying' combat without removing tactical depth.
 

Lizard

First Post
hong said:
Well, heavens above, it's not like we want to reduce it to a noob's game, now do we?

No, and I'm pleased it looks like they haven't. Even if have to learn a whole bunch more silly immersion breaking rules to replace the old silly immersion breaking rules we finally got used to. (Hey, WOTC apologists! Wanna explain to me how 'muscular action closes the hole'?)
 

jtrowell

First Post
Mort said:
While it's certainly not "the rules" - the phrase from the article is "a creature can be marked by only one opponent at a time and new marks supersede old marks" - which certainly seems to imply 1) you can mark an already marked creature 2) It replaces the existing mark.


Note the *opponent* part ...
 

hong

WotC's bitch
Kraydak said:
Sure, everything makes sense if you are allowed to say "because the gods make it so, even if it makes no sense given the tactical situation or the god's personalities". But, then, if an explanation could cover any situation, it is worthless.

No, it makes it very useful.

(Empirical falsifiability? What's that?)
 

Lizard

First Post
glass said:
Do all of those who are complaining about having to distinguish between allies and enemies have trouble with the 3.x flanking rules?


glass.

Hmm?

If I end up in a situation where I and an 'enemy' are flanking a PC, and I decide I want to play 'find Fred's spleen' (mebbe he cheated at cards), I would expect to get the +2 flank bonus on him. Hell, Fred should be flat-footed against me, since he wasn't expecting it...
 

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