D&D 4E Things I really like about 4e (and how they could be better)


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Hasegawa Rayven

First Post
I once played around with this idea at my games:

When the PCs reach a milestone, they gain a +1 milestone bonus on all encounter and daily power attack rolls as well as attack rolls triggered by spending action points. This bonus increases by +1 for each additional milestone they reach that day.

This is a little different than the hero point idea being advanced because instead of restricting when you can and cannot use your daily powers, it instead rewards players for using them later in the day (because the bonus makes them more likely to succeed).

I ended up dropping the idea because it was just one more number to add to the bookkeeping (and the healing surge and daily power recharges I mentioned in my last post has been enough to encourage them to "keep going").... but if something like this were directly incorporated into the system in a way that made it easier to remember, I could see it working.

I see a problem with this, if only because of my own nature and how I'd react.

I already tend to not use my encounters/dailies on account of "Well, what if I use it on this guy, and something nastier shows up?"

With this in place I'd have another justification to NOT use my expendable powers. which would drag out the chances of me actually using them even more.

Just a personal Observation.

I just wanted to drop by and say that this is the way to have a discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of 4e: polite, civil comments backed-up with specific examples. :D

WHAT?! People being civil on the Intarwebz? We should all be locked up in the crazy bins! </sarcasm>
 

Quickleaf

Legend
That got me thinking...


What if we had another set of points, call them Hero Points or something, handed out the same way I hand out Action Points in my campaign (zero after an extended rest, gain one after each encounter) and which were needed for your daily powers to work? Say, you are only allowed to use a daily power you have available if you spend a Hero Point.

Is this a bad idea?
Not a bad idea!

I've been toting around with a similar concept: certain points in a fight "unlock" daily power access, like getting bloodied, downing an elite/solo, solving a skil challenge, etc. At the start of a fight the PCs can't use any daily powers, so they must "unlock" them during the encounter. Basically it would be a more tightly codified version of what you suggest, and it would refresh each encounter. This works for modeling a limit break/we fight better when the chips are down feel.

Another option is to use a trigger mechanic, which has more of a combo move feel, waiting for the right moment to strike. In this case PCs would ready daily powers by setting up a specific trigger to use the pose under. Orchestrating the fight to set up the trigger becomes the challenge of daily powers, not resource management.

Just two ideas, but overall I feel this (further incentivizing heroes pushing onward) would be a good move.
 

heretic888

Explorer
I see a problem with this, if only because of my own nature and how I'd react.

I already tend to not use my encounters/dailies on account of "Well, what if I use it on this guy, and something nastier shows up?"

With this in place I'd have another justification to NOT use my expendable powers. which would drag out the chances of me actually using them even more.

Just a personal Observation.

Yeah, I'm very similar myself --- I'm usually afraid of "wasting" a daily early in the day, so I often end up just not using them most of the time.

Like I said, I abandoned this particular idea for my healing surges and daily power recharges houserule. By making extended rests less enticing and milestones more appealing, I find this alone is enough to encourage PCs to keep going.

In addition, it was just one more number for me to keep track of --- and as a DM, I hate the accounting part of the job. :p

Not a bad idea!

I've been toting around with a similar concept: certain points in a fight "unlock" daily power access, like getting bloodied, downing an elite/solo, solving a skil challenge, etc. At the start of a fight the PCs can't use any daily powers, so they must "unlock" them during the encounter. Basically it would be a more tightly codified version of what you suggest, and it would refresh each encounter. This works for modeling a limit break/we fight better when the chips are down feel.

Another option is to use a trigger mechanic, which has more of a combo move feel, waiting for the right moment to strike. In this case PCs would ready daily powers by setting up a specific trigger to use the pose under. Orchestrating the fight to set up the trigger becomes the challenge of daily powers, not resource management.

Just two ideas, but overall I feel this (further incentivizing heroes pushing onward) would be a good move.

The problem with these sorts of ideas is that there are entire swaths of daily powers that are predicated upon using them early in the encounter --- specifically, daily stances, the barbarian's rages, and the warden's polymorphs, as well as the odd daily like the rogue's trick strike.

I think part of the solution is that instead of introducing a new mechanical subsystem that involves more number accounting on character sheets, is to take a good hard look at how powers are designed in the first place. I know that I and many other players are afraid of "wasting" dailies, so perhaps these powers should be designed in such a way that it is obvious as to the situations they should be used in (i.e., they have not-too-often-but-often-enough triggers, such as an enemy bloodying or dropping an ally).
 

Hasegawa Rayven

First Post
The problem with these sorts of ideas is that there are entire swaths of daily powers that are predicated upon using them early in the encounter --- specifically, daily stances, the barbarian's rages, and the warden's polymorphs, as well as the odd daily like the rogue's trick strike.

I think part of the solution is that instead of introducing a new mechanical subsystem that involves more number accounting on character sheets, is to take a good hard look at how powers are designed in the first place. I know that I and many other players are afraid of "wasting" dailies, so perhaps these powers should be designed in such a way that it is obvious as to the situations they should be used in (i.e., they have not-too-often-but-often-enough triggers, such as an enemy bloodying or dropping an ally).

My problem is not "using them early in the encounter", but "Using them in the first given battle of the day." or the second, or third/fourth/fifth, when I do manage to get my fellow party members to forge ahead instead of single encounter days.

I realize that there are dailies that last whole encounters, and I love using them, When I can bring myself to "waste" them.
 

Gort

Explorer
I have a bit of an issue with milestones and daily powers that recharge only after you've had a fight - my adventures often only have one or two combat encounters in them! My players wouldn't get to use dailies very often.

I'd like to see an edition of D&D where it didn't really matter how many encounters you had in a day, it'd be balanced if you mowed through all 40 encounters in Keep on the Shadowfell, or just had one big fight per adventure.

As it is, my players can blow all their dailies on the first fight, as well as blow as many healing-surge-using powers as they have (quite a few now they're epic) and not really suffer for their poor resource management, because I rarely have big five-encounter adventures. Not sure I'd really want to GM that much combat anyway.

So yeah, I'd like to see dailies gone - perhaps they could be replaced by powers that require a certain amount of setup, or maybe they recharge on certain dice rolls. I'd like to see healing surges go, also, replaced rather by some form of limit on the number of heals you can get in an encounter. Heck, maybe your "tough" classes could be healed four times (so they can effectively be healed from zero to full once) while weaker classes can be healed three or only two times.

Of course, you'd have to overhaul the entire powers system especially where it refers to healing, but it's a thought.
 

Gort

Explorer
Oh, and I wish they'd release TRAP VAULT - 150 pages of nothing but traps. I want to see traps you can use as part of an encounter, traps that ARE an encounter, traps with lots of ways of solving them, all sorts of traps!

The 20 or so there are in the game now are a bit thin for such an iconic part of D&D.
 

Oldtimer

Great Old One
Publisher
I have a bit of an issue with milestones and daily powers that recharge only after you've had a fight - my adventures often only have one or two combat encounters in them! My players wouldn't get to use dailies very often.
Well, with only one combat encounter per day you don't really need anything to counter the 15-minute adventure day. Heck, you could almost turn those dailies into encounter powers and not notice the difference.

So I suppose this recharge/Hero Point mechanic is only useful for those campaigns aiming for multiple combats per day. That's fair.
 

One idea I've had but never delved into to figure out if it was balanced/a good idea/fair is the following:

"When you spend your last remaining healing surge, make a saving throw with no bonuses. If you succeed, regain a healing surge."


The idea is to reduce the number of times a single character's limit of surges --usually a melee striker-- calls for an extended rest. It can extend the adventuring day of the people who 'run out', but the random nature of the roll means it can't always been relied on. So rather than having x healing surges, you have x + 0, or x + 1, or x + 2, or x + n, where n is how lucky you are on your saving throw.

It also mechanically showcases the, "How can she keep going with those wounds?" trope.
 

C4

Explorer
How it Could be Better: Give an action point every encounter, to be used in that encounter only (that is, with every short rest you reset to 1 AP). This has a couple of benefits. Firstly, it gives more opportunities for characters to do cool things, which is always good. Secondly, it improves encounter balancing - an encounter where everyone uses all their dailies and action points is much easier than the same encounter without those resources. And it saves tracking of milestones.
I wrote this rule into my 4e clone. I also took away everyone's start-of-day AP, which helps with the 15 MWD issue.

So...agreed!
 

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