The new, shiny "Stuff I Have/Would Ban" thread!


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Turtlejay

First Post
slightly off the what's banned topic....just give him one. Sounds like a cool magic item for him to find from the really powerfull sorcerers of ages ago.

Yes!! Great idea. Homebrewing is generally off the menu for me, but when it comes to magic items I think approaches like this work well. Why not do it, if you really think it will fit your character. Kind of bland, but to each his own...

And on topic, just because something *can* be broken, doesn't mean it will. This was touched on upthread with the bit about lasting frost/wintertouched. Most of the banned rules are not overpowered unless used in specific ways. I'd agree mostly with the things like Iron Armbands of Power being banned, but only after having a player abuse it. A two weapon ranger gets perhaps too much mileage out of it, a Sword and Board fighter gets just the right amount.

Hybrids are silly to put on this list, there are hundreds of possibilities for hybrids (including multiclassing/hybrids) and a handful are cheese. The rest are just character options. I favor a case by case basis with things like this. Someone who wants to build a unique, fun character should not be penalized because you are afraid of a certain build.

Lastly, I have not seen anyone mention the two things that *should* be banned 100% of the time:
- Salves of power
- Half Elves taking Twin Strike as their racial power.

A good 50% of the garbage floating around out there using the stuff that you banned actually exploits these two things in uninteresting and powergamey ways. They are practically flavorless and certainly potential gamebusters.

Jay
 

Ryujin

Legend
slightly off the what's banned topic....just give him one. Sounds like a cool magic item for him to find from the really powerfull sorcerers of ages ago.

A Dragonshard Augment for a weapon that's used as an implement could fit the bill.
 

Regicide

Banned
Banned
The main thing I like about 4E is the focus on balance so that I, as a GM, don't have to deal with it and can get on with the game instead of slapping players hands for trying to do the natural thing of making their character better with options and synergy instead of waiting for XP. I also don't have to subject players to pages of exceptions and oddities house rules they need to go over any time they do anything, although thanks to the volumes of errata, that has been made unavoidable already. That said, Dragon material is right out, not everyone feels like paying an MMO subscription fee for it, and it's not worth it anyway, being the least balanced material they're putting out.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
That said, Dragon material is right out, not everyone feels like paying an MMO subscription fee for it, and it's not worth it anyway, being the least balanced material they're putting out.

I get the impression that most of the things people complain about being overpowering least balanced "must haves" are stuff that has indeed been printed people still talking about twin strike or magic items out of AV etc.

I find the subscription cost ok for a month every once in a while (you know I downloaded every back issue when subscribed for a month and that is a ton of gaming material). And character builder doesn't stop working.... just because you are no longer subscribed.
 

Istar

First Post
These two items would receive my vote; at the very least modified. Power (Daily) for the Grasping weapon and/or remove spear aspect and then include Power (Encounter) for the Badge.

The ability to negate anything between a party member and the BBEG becomes anti-climatic. Of course I don't DM so it is moot.

Whats over powered with the Badge ?
 

Istar

First Post
Yes!! Great idea. Homebrewing is generally off the menu for me, but when it comes to magic items I think approaches like this work well. Why not do it, if you really think it will fit your character. Kind of bland, but to each his own...

And on topic, just because something *can* be broken, doesn't mean it will. This was touched on upthread with the bit about lasting frost/wintertouched. Most of the banned rules are not overpowered unless used in specific ways. I'd agree mostly with the things like Iron Armbands of Power being banned, but only after having a player abuse it. A two weapon ranger gets perhaps too much mileage out of it, a Sword and Board fighter gets just the right amount.

Hybrids are silly to put on this list, there are hundreds of possibilities for hybrids (including multiclassing/hybrids) and a handful are cheese. The rest are just character options. I favor a case by case basis with things like this. Someone who wants to build a unique, fun character should not be penalized because you are afraid of a certain build.

Lastly, I have not seen anyone mention the two things that *should* be banned 100% of the time:
- Salves of power
- Half Elves taking Twin Strike as their racial power.

A good 50% of the garbage floating around out there using the stuff that you banned actually exploits these two things in uninteresting and powergamey ways. They are practically flavorless and certainly potential gamebusters.

Jay

Is a Half Elf Daggermaster Rogue with Twin Strike and 15 Wis to MC Avenger exploitation ????

Using Bloodiron and Crit Feats

At level 21 can oath up to 3 targets per Encounter, and use Strength (Brutal Scoundrel Dual Stat) Mellee dagger attack - 4 D20 Rolls - to get 48% chance to Crit.

Or flavour being a vengeful half elf who like to handle 2 sharp daggers well.
 

Jack99

Adventurer
Banning things isn't being a bad DM - it's being responsible. Less is more.

Making Dms out to be "bad" because they ban things is just this irritating player entitlement that rears its ugly head where WotC want to wrestle away control over campaigns from DMs to arrive at a position maximized for profit: "go ahead and buy all our books; if your DM doesn't like it, tell him or her we said it was okay!"

So threads like this is very useful - chances are if enough DMs ban an item, it suggests it really IS broken.
This is just none-sense. WotC does no such thing. Do they want to sell books, yes, indeed. Duh. But aside from that, they tell us often enough that we do not need to use or allow everything in our campaigns. They say we can - which is a big difference. Anyway, if you do not believe me, you should try reading their books. DMG2 amongst others specifically tells the DM that he doesn't need to use all their books.

Yeah, that style really bothers me.
Which style would that be? Releasing errata for the broken stuff they mistakenly make? You crack me up dude.
 


Zinovia

Explorer
A DM's Soliloquy

To ban, or not to ban: that is the question:
Whether 'tis fairer in the game to suffer
The salves and bloodclaws of outrageous items,
Or to say no against the cheese of combos,
And by opposing end them? To ban: to stop;
No more; the winter-touched and lasting frost
The fey charge and the stacking damage mods
CharOp is prone to, 'tis a resolution
Devoutly to be wish'd. To stop, to ban;
To ban: to deny a choice: ay, there's the rub;
For in that ban of feats what options lost?
When we have written off the players' choice,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes us friends with lasting games;
Yet who would bear the breaking of balance,
One striker dealing twice the DPR,
The pangs of natural envy when dice are rolled,
And damage stacked upon damage again,
Other players notice of the combos take,
Then he himself might iron armbands make
With enchant item? who would deny the right,
'Til every melee character looks the same,
Armed with bloodclaw, armbands, and Righteous Rage,
Each wizard Staff of Ruin bears offhand,
While undiscover'd countries they explore,
And makes us rather bear those goods we have
Than pick up others that may be subpar?
Thus charop does make lemmings of us all;
And thus the wealth of diverse options,
Is whittled down to those which are the best.
Yet in adventures of great plot and action
'Tis not the items or the feats that are recalled;
Nay, it is the actions of the heroes
And the stories told 'round the gaming table
That will long be remember'd.
 
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Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
That's pretty epic Zinovia.

That said, we must have one of the rare groups where everyone is a powergamer (including me, the DM), so we all dig it when someone drops a huge pile of damage or auto-kills the 20 minions in 1 round through 2 feats, a daily, and a magic item daily in some odd synergy or locks the solo down for three rounds straight while everyone destroys it.

In our case, is seems to make the game more intense rather than less, since I can throw brutal level +5 or 6 encounters at them and they find some way to survive it. We rarely have a dull fight(especially since we had 5 characters die in the last 3 sessions).
 

Saeviomagy

Adventurer
That said, we must have one of the rare groups where everyone is a powergamer (including me, the DM), so we all dig it when someone drops a huge pile of damage or auto-kills the 20 minions in 1 round through 2 feats, a daily, and a magic item daily in some odd synergy or locks the solo down for three rounds straight while everyone destroys it.

The problem is that if you've got a group that are not all powergamers playing a game with the level of balance that 4e has ended up at. You're going to end up with one or more dissatisfied players. Which is a shame really: they started out doing pretty well, with most of the imbalanced created by dodgy readings of rules, and just seemed to throw more of that away with every increment since.
 

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
The problem is that if you've got a group that are not all powergamers playing a game with the level of balance that 4e has ended up at. You're going to end up with one or more dissatisfied players. Which is a shame really: they started out doing pretty well, with most of the imbalanced created by dodgy readings of rules, and just seemed to throw more of that away with every increment since.

Which is what happened in our last 3.5 game. We had one PC that could solo a Nightwalker and one that needed a 20 to even hit one. One PC got killed in one round by a hydra, another killed it with 1 spell.

I think the difference for us has been that in 4e it has more tools that make it easier to semi-optimize your character (namely the Character Builder), so you don't have to dig through 10 splat books cherry-picking feats, front-loaded classes to multi into, and the like. It's all in one place in conveniently sorted lists.
 

Zinovia

Explorer
Currently banned in my game are:
• Expertise feats - I give them Math Expertise for free, which is +1 to attack at 5/15/25
• Double weapons - not only are they a huge source of cheese (using the "light weapon" end for rogue attacks), but most of them are downright silly, even for a fantasy game.
• Monster races - almost always used for the sake of optimization rather than flavor, and the flavor itself can create issues when interacting with NPC's.
• Half Orcs - just for this game world
• Paragon Defenses (or whatever that was called)- instead I am allowing 3 stat raises on the 4/8 levels.
• White Lotus feats - kind of broken IMHO

Things I am considering banning include Iron Armbands of Power, and Bloodclaw weapons. Maybe a couple others, like Radiant weapons. The auto-damage weapons just are too good compared to any other choices, and hence they are boring because everyone will want them.

Bloodclaw has another issue, which is that powers and items that damage oneself annoy the party's leader (a TacLord) to no end. Our group is a tad short on healing, with the taclord and a fighter/mc cleric. They do just fine, but people causing additional damage to themselves all the time would further deplete the already limited healing resources. And believe me, given one of the players, it would be *all the time*. "More damage? Sign me up! So the warlord has to heal me sooner, or we use up another potion. It's more damage! Rawr!"

I have been choosing all of the magic items myself, rather than using wish lists. I only have a wish list from one of the five players, and I don't see that as changing. The players aren't all that interested in poring over the books or Compendium and picking out goodies for themselves. Limiting the choice of items is thus very easy for me.

Recently the group picked up the Enchant Magic Item ritual, so at some point they will be making their own items. Due to a ruling in my initial house rules document, a recipe is needed to make any given item. Some require rare ingredients (good adventure fodder), while others may simply be unobtainable. Most recipes they can simply look up in the library, others may be treasure in and of themselves. It gives me more control over what items they have.

I want the characters to get and make cool magic items, but as I anticipated a year ago when we started this thing, some of them are unbalanced and we are better off without them. I'd rather disallow questionable stuff in the first place than have to take something away from a character.

Oh, and thanks for the comments on my soliloquy - thanks especially to Will Shakespeare for the original
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Bloodclaw has another issue, which is that powers and items that damage oneself annoy the party's leader (a TacLord) to no end. Our group is a tad short on healing, with the taclord and a fighter/mc cleric. They do just fine, but people causing additional damage to themselves all the time would further deplete the already limited healing resources. And believe me, given one of the players, it would be *all the time*. "More damage? Sign me up! So the warlord has to heal me sooner, or we use up another potion. It's more damage! Rawr!"

The theory is the battles finish faster since the heros normally have an advantage ... and that usually means the party actually takes less damage (and so needs less healing) this way than letting the monsters have more rounds to take a shot at you. ... the Rawr is appropo ;-) and it seems extreme enough in combination with multi-attacking that it is unbalanced.

I'm working on presenting this bloodclaw magick multiple different ways... so that it fits my game world better .... because well I do like battles going faster... but dont think self flagellation or "cutting"... although having a symbiote that feed on you and boosts you is kind of interesting...its a lot more Heroic to be Heroes pushing themselves in extreme maneuvers (resulting in taxing there fatigue and luck and wrenching muscles etc) ...
 
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keterys

First Post
I have a sticky note I use when I play my character with bloodclaw 'I am using bloodclaw unless I say otherwise', and I pretty much only say otherwise for minions or if I'm in trouble.

And I play the healer. I'm more than happy to encourage people to use it - after combat I throw out a banner of healing, top everyone off while healing the primary target... it works crazily with temp hp, with incidental healing, etc.
 

infocynic

First Post
Surprised there's not more votes for versatile master. That made our list. And the avenger multiclass that gives you OoE until EoE. We also just flat-out banned the orb of imposition so we didn't have to worry about crazy things like the phrenic crown... you can still be a great wand, staff, or tome wizard. :) We banned expertise and gave it out for free; we also banned the 'expertise-like' feats in AP (draconic spellcaster, I think was one).

For grasping weapon, we required that it be used after you hit with a MELEE attack. Grasping javelins were a little sketchy. :)

I'm on the fence on white lotus... I've seen some of them in play and it's good but not (quite) insane. I'm more worried about sword burst + arcane reach + admixture:thunder + some feat to make thunder powers' radius go up by 1 = close burst 2 from 2 squares away that targets enemies only... at-will.
 

Jhaelen

First Post
• Monster races - almost always used for the sake of optimization rather than flavor, and the flavor itself can create issues when interacting with NPC's.
Are you referring to the races described in the Monster Manuals? If so, there's no need to ban them, because they're aren't intended for pcs, anyway. The stats are for npcs only.
 

Ryujin

Legend
Are you referring to the races described in the Monster Manuals? If so, there's no need to ban them, because they're aren't intended for pcs, anyway. The stats are for npcs only.

Except that there are a bunch of them listed in Character Builder as character race options.
 

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