Struggling with Swordmage //Questions about monster

The reason we do it the way we do is simply that that seemed the smoothest reading of the rules. As a matter of gameplay I don't think it has anything special to recommend it - it produces more focus-fire on the defender, which introduces a certain dynamic into the game but I don't have any argument that it's a better dynamic than the alternative.

Well, there are some points at which it can matter. You can for instance create some Paladin builds (Hospitaler IIRC) that are devastating when you use the strict "every damage roll is an attack" definition because they can apply huge 'ignore me at your peril' punishment. That was one motive for the loose interpretation.

As for the RAW arguments, it got long and complicated and is surely not worth rehashing in these later days, but certain feats and such don't make sense unless you use the narrow definition of an attack, Explosive Wizardry comes to mind IIRC.
 

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pemerton

Legend
I think it's one of those things where the rules aren't completely clear, the designers don't seem to have fully thought it through or stuck to a consistent usage, and each table has to sort it out for themselves.

Another one like this is Dazed. If you become dazed during your turn (eg by being hit by an enemy's oppy) do you lose the rest of your actions or not? If you become undazed during your turn (eg by performing an action that gives you a free save) do you get to use the rest of your actions? At my table we used to rule "no" to both questions, but then something came up (can't remember what) that suggested things would play better if we rules "yes" to both questions. So we had a quick discussion as a group (with me, as GM, in the chair) and changed our table ruling.
 

I think it's one of those things where the rules aren't completely clear, the designers don't seem to have fully thought it through or stuck to a consistent usage, and each table has to sort it out for themselves.

Another one like this is Dazed. If you become dazed during your turn (eg by being hit by an enemy's oppy) do you lose the rest of your actions or not? If you become undazed during your turn (eg by performing an action that gives you a free save) do you get to use the rest of your actions? At my table we used to rule "no" to both questions, but then something came up (can't remember what) that suggested things would play better if we rules "yes" to both questions. So we had a quick discussion as a group (with me, as GM, in the chair) and changed our table ruling.

Yeah, well, IME the rules are written from a perspective that all transitions are instantaneous and immediate, and their effects are applied immediately. I know that still allows for different interpretations in the cases you gave (and a number of their analogs), but as you've noted, issues arise because you can't run ALL effects/conditions as "effects later on" consistently, and then things start to get ugly. Plainly whomever was editing the rules initially assumed that something like a daze would be processed immediately (this is rather more than hinted at in the step 5 of attack procedure in PHB1 as well). Likewise a character just IS dying when he/she its 0 or less hit points, there's no process of transitioning to dying, you just ARE dying at that point, its a consequence not a process. I've found these are the best interpretations in general.

There are other weirdnesses, try literally applying the letter of the rules for Hunter's Quarry, the results are quite strange...
 


Lord Zardoz

Explorer
Some meta-type questions about the way your constructing encounters.

1) Do you skew towards hordes of Minions or towards smaller numbers of beefy attackers (ie, 2 or 3 monsters a few levels above the PC's for better durability)?

2) Are you primarily using monsters that only have single target melee attacks? Or do you also use a decent mix of melee, ranged, blast and burst attacks?

Your best option may be to simply experiment with various ways of interrupting line of sight. If the Swordmage cannot see the attacker, then the power probably cannot be used.

Hopefully you can resolve the attack without having to resort to building the entire encounter to deal with the ability set of a single character.

END COMMUNICATION
 


Wednesday Boy

The Nerd WhoFell to Earth
You could also include enemies with attacks that target something other than AC. My GM does occasionally to challenge our Swordmage who also has sky high AC.
 

Phototoxin

Explorer
Yeah I tend to send the Atk vs Ref or Fort against him if possible. Still they've decided to make a bit of an alteration (pillage a village of orks) so that lets me make a custom encounter...
 

sigfile

Explorer
Multiple Attacks - it's actually well-defined. http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compendium/glossary.aspx?id=121 A melee attack against multiple opponents counts as multiple attacks.

Swordmages - yeah, they're a pain for DMs. They have high defenses and provide significant battlefield control. Dimensional Vortex is only a part of the equation. I had a DM disallow pretty much the entire controller role in his campaign (they frustrated him, and he preferred to modify encounters from his side such that they weren't necessary), and he opted to roll swordmages up in to that bundle.

What level is the group, and what are the other party members? It's possible that the swordmage is just the most obvious part of the frustration encountered.
 

Obryn

Hero
At my tables, we usually end up defining as one attack any one thing that is tied to one damage roll. Under this rubric, twin shot and monster attacks that allow them to make multiple basic attacks are separate attacks, while a fireball is one big attack.
I agree this is likely RAW. However...

We tend to play it that all of the attack rolls that are the result of a single action constitute one attack
...this is how we run it at my table. If it's one action, it's one "attack" for marking purposes.

-O
 

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