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Thunderspire Labyrinth Session 5 (DnD 4e Session 16)


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#61 Tengu

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 09:25 AM

Maybe Ned can look into the Beastmaster archetype. I think I heard it was in the new Martial Power book, I thiiink.


Beastmaster is in the martial power book, but based on the few previews I've seen on it, it doesn't look that good. I think it's mainly there for flavor. You have to spend your actions to get your pet to do something. Unlike 3rd edition where a pet was almost a 2nd character, in 4e the pet and master are practically treated as one person in 2 bodies.

Here's a link to the preview article from WotC on it.

http://www.wizards.c...d/4ex/20081020a

Without seeing more details on the beastmaster specific powers and such it's looking like it'd be better sticking with ranged or two weapon types. Unless you really want a pet for RP reasons.

I think I saw something for a two-weapon fighter, if you don't want to be a ranger, but I forget where. Two of my RPing group are big fans of 4ed, so I'm exposed to all the new stuff coming out, without all those irritating cost factors to worry about.


Two Weapon Fighters are also in the Martial Power book (they're called Tempest Fighters) and they actually look decently balanced I think.
Here's the link to a small preview on them also (at the bottom of the article)

http://www.wizards.c.../dramp/20080905

(edit. forgot to actually paste the link to the beastmaster article. Fixed now)


I went over the martial power book with a fine tooth comb.. From what I have seen, they new options are a bit overpowered (fighter builds) to slightly underpowered (ranger) compared to the standard class presented in the player’s handbook.

In order to allow them within my campaign, I had to make a few core changes to some of the powers, and or feats. (I also had to remove the double weapons presented in the Adventurers Vault due to the tempest fighter).
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#62 Snappyapple

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 05:11 PM

In order to allow them within my campaign, I had to make a few core changes to some of the powers, and or feats. (I also had to remove the double weapons presented in the Adventurers Vault due to the tempest fighter).


Hmm, I don't really see the problem with double weapons, are there any other examples?

As for beast companions, 4e doesn't have any options for summoning creatures, so in a way it's unique to control another creature in play. And since movement actions can be shared, at least you get a flanking buddy all the time.

On the other hand, there's going to be very little uniqueness amongst beast companions of the same category. Since ability scores don't affect anything besides attack damage or skills, everyone's creatures will be leveled in pretty much the same way.
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#63 MadMac

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 10:26 PM

Double Weapons are pretty iffy. The Double Sword in particular is wonky, because rules lawyers will argue that it is considered both a light and heavy blade(So you can use it with sneak attack and rogues powers and get all the awesome feats and weapon enchanments for both) in addition to counting as two off-hand weapons that do good damage and basically being the best weapon in the game for a lot of character types.

I don't allow any of the double weapons, personally. I don't like them to begin with, and making them obselete more interesting weapons is going too far for me.

Superior weapons in general I'm a little ambivalent about. I'm not sure if I like them or not.

As for the Martial Power stuff, I think 90% of the book is balanced as is. Tempest Fighters are probably ok without double-weapons, and Battle Ragers are possibly managable if you make their armor/weapon requirements hard instead of soft. (Eg, no Plate wearing sword and sheild Battle Ragers)

I think Beastmaster Rangers are a bit weak, actually, but I haven't seen them in play so they might be a little better then they look. The thing with the Beast Companions is that their attack bonus scales extremely well, but their damage is pretty crummy at high levels.
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#64 Telemergion

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 11:38 PM

Double Weapons are pretty iffy. The Double Sword in particular is wonky, because rules lawyers will argue that it is considered both a light and heavy blade(So you can use it with sneak attack and rogues powers and get all the awesome feats and weapon enchanments for both) in addition to counting as two off-hand weapons that do good damage and basically being the best weapon in the game for a lot of character types.


Not just rules lawyers. They do count as both light and heavy, just like the halberd is an axe/polearm. The grey area revolves around just how that works for them mechanically. Otherwise, i totally agree that they are far and way the best weapon in the game. In fact, there are few classes that shouldn't consider them.

I don't allow any of the double weapons, personally. I don't like them to begin with, and making them obselete more interesting weapons is going too far for me.


My urgosh glowers at your dislike of him and your potentially broken sentence.
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#65 Snappyapple

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 11:50 PM

Ahh, yes, the point of whether the entire double sword counts as light & heavy blades is not clear. I mean, from the description of the urgosh, it's not possible that both ends are axes & spears, but the rules lawyers can argue that. Likewise, it says new properties or powers granted by enchantments only benefit the primary end, but it doesn't tell you how to determine which end that is, or how to enchant the other end.

As for the stats, it's on the high end for superior type melee weapons, but I don't think that it breaks precedence by any means. There may be some misconception about how much the Defensive property is "worth" as only the parrying dagger and the double weapons have them so far, and comparing parrying dagger (superior) to a regular dagger (simple) is just misleading.
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#66 Dungnmaster001

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 01:25 AM

Likewise, it says new properties or powers granted by enchantments only benefit the primary end, but it doesn't tell you how to determine which end that is, or how to enchant the other end.


You don't enchant the other end. Both ends have the enhancement bonus (+3, or whatever) but only one end gets any special powers. The offhand end (the second die number after the / is considered the offhand side as mentioned on page 10 of AV) gets nothing except the plus.

Double Weapons are pretty iffy. The Double Sword in particular is wonky, because rules lawyers will argue that it is considered both a light and heavy blade(So you can use it with sneak attack and rogues powers and get all the awesome feats and weapon enchanments for both) in addition to counting as two off-hand weapons that do good damage and basically being the best weapon in the game for a lot of character types.


Yes they are considered light blades and heavy blades and can be used as such by any power/feat/ability that references those keywords.

I agree that having them count as 2 offhand weapons makes them problematic but I can only think of reasons why for the tempest fighter which gets better bonuses if both weapons are offhand. The archer ranger and beast master may get some use out of this feature (since they don't get the ability to use larger weapons in each hand) but I don't think it's overpowering enough to be the "best" weapon for them.

I handled the tempest part by having only one end be "off hand".
Unless a power specifically says which attack is primary/secondary then the first attack is considered the primary (and doesn't get the benefits of the offhand keyword). If a power only has one attack then it uses the primary end.

They still get a bit of bonus from the double weapons but it's not quite as big as they got before. (they lose +1 to hit with primary hand, and the damage bonus for the primary hand is only +1 instead of +2. The offhand attack is still +1 to hit and +2 to damage).

Most players decided it wasn't worth it to continue with double weapons though some stuck with them for flavor reasons..

As for the rest of Martial Powers. All I can say is I love the Battle Rager build for fighters. I initially thought it was broken but I've since seen it in play and he's just as viable as others with a competent DM. Those temp HP are a nice buffer but good tactics and planning by the apropriate mix of monsters is enough to keep them balanced.

I think I've rambled on long enough
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#67 Tengu

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 04:44 AM

In order to allow them within my campaign, I had to make a few core changes to some of the powers, and or feats. (I also had to remove the double weapons presented in the Adventurers Vault due to the tempest fighter).


Hmm, I don't really see the problem with double weapons, are there any other examples?

As for beast companions, 4e doesn't have any options for summoning creatures, so in a way it's unique to control another creature in play. And since movement actions can be shared, at least you get a flanking buddy all the time.

On the other hand, there's going to be very little uniqueness amongst beast companions of the same category. Since ability scores don't affect anything besides attack damage or skills, everyone's creatures will be leveled in pretty much the same way.


these are my new thoughts on double weapons, and how they should function.

1) Double Weapons. I'd just remove this, personally, but that might not be possible here. At the very least I'd remove the "light blade" keyword, and I'd probably remove the "off-hand" keyword as well, meaning he's trading a bit of damage for a bit of AC, which seems fair. (currently due to the fact that “off-hand” and “heavy blade, light blade” refer to the entire weapon, but they do chose which end is primary, and off-hand. but the property refers to the entire weapon. so at first level a tempest fight with chainmail will have a 18 AC and deal a bonus of 4 damage.)

2) Dual Strike. There's a lot in the of debate in the D&D community over this, and the general consensus seems to be that this power treads too much into ranger territory. The best suggestion I've heard is to reverse the target entry to the power. Instead of "one creature", make it "one or two creatures, one attack per creature". This drastically reduces their single target damage per round, while making them better at defending (maybe too good at it, but the build given won't have much con so he may decide to not mark on occasions to prevent from killing himself)

3) Martial Scourge (paragon feat). This feat is broken, and the easiest (and I think best) way to fix it is to make it apply only to attacks of opportunity, and attacks granted by Combat Challenge. Maybe make it a feat bonus as well. Also Two-Blade Warrior should be removed.
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#68 MadMac

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 07:14 AM

Not just rules lawyers. They do count as both light and heavy, just like the halberd is an axe/polearm. The grey area revolves around just how that works for them mechanically. Otherwise, i totally agree that they are far and way the best weapon in the game. In fact, there are few classes that shouldn't consider them.


Well, we have this quote from the one of the Wotc designers.

Originally Posted by WotC_Logan
The double weapons originally had two different lines of text, like so:


Code:
Two-bladed sword +3 d10 — 40 gp 15 lb. Heavy blade
(Off hand) +3 d6 Light blade Off-hand
It's best to think of them that way, with each end having different traits. They're certainly not supposed to let you use a heavy blade with sneak attack on a technicality or anything like that.


So obviously the intention was to treat both ends as different weapon types. Apparently the damage got changed at some point in order to simplify things, which leads to all the problems with double weapons.

If I did allow double weapons, I'd treat them as two weapons as noted above.
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#69 Telemergion

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 10:15 AM

So obviously the intention was to treat both ends as different weapon types. Apparently the damage got changed at some point in order to simplify things, which leads to all the problems with double weapons.


The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I think that's a much clearer way of writing it, and wish they had. It clears up a lot of the argument they created with the simplified rules. I mean, anyone who's even pretended to use a double-ended weapon can feel the difference between their dominant and off hand.

That's why I like my urgosh. it's pretty clear which end is which and it's not nearly as broken. Plus it looks cool.
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#70 Merlin

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 01:12 PM

My players haven't thought about double weapons at all because they aren't "oooo! New and shiny stuff!" types. I personally don't like them, but i might allow them with some tweaking. I think Martial Power looks pretty balanced aside from double weapons, tho.

The beastmaster looks fine. There are a lot of cool things you can do with that path that are complementary to both ranger archtypes.

The only thing that really irks me is the uneven attention given to the class sections of the book. For the fighter, there's a little blurb about fighters of each race. For the ranger, there's quite a few blurbs about the more common ranger-races. For the rogue, there's a few blurbs, and for the warlord, whoever was writing blurbs checked out and went home. Not that those fluffy bits are necessary, but for character development they're nice to have around.

I chalked it up at first to the "fighter is the bread 'n' butter class of all races" sort of argument: all people-at-arms are fighters. But then the ranger and rogue get coverage but the warlord gets boned? Ah well.

I probably won't notice any broken feats or power combinations,though. My guys just don't powergame, so it isn't an issue.
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#71 Dungnmaster001

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 01:03 AM

The latest question on the WotC's weekly Q&A section deals with the double sword light blade/heavy blade issue if anyone's curious

Q: If a double sword counts as both a heavy blade and a light blade, does that mean a rogue could take proficiency with one and gain access to both his full Sneak Attack and powers, as well as feats such as Heavy Blade Opportunity… all for one feat?
--Kouk

A: Yes, a rogue with a double sword can use the weapon for a Sneak Attack because it does meet the requirement of being a light blade.


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#72 woojitsu

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 12:30 PM

That answer reads like whoever provided it didn't actually read the question.
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#73 Jazzlvraz

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 12:45 AM

I admit I don't have a clear idea of exactly where everyone physically was during the combat, but why was everyone unable to heal Nyess with a prayer, the skill, or even a healing potion? Was everyone too far away? I thought I heard "separate rooms", but I wasn't sure. Thanks.
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#74 BlackSheep

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 07:15 AM

I admit I don't have a clear idea of exactly where everyone physically was during the combat, but why was everyone unable to heal Nyess with a prayer, the skill, or even a healing potion? Was everyone too far away? I thought I heard "separate rooms", but I wasn't sure. Thanks.


They split up. Brea, Stendar the Betrayer and Giladril went north into a set of two rooms. Torrin and Nyess went west into a large mess hall. (And Splug had a wank in the storeroom)

The second room to the north led to the big room with Nyess and Torrin, but either Nyess had already died or the enlarged duergar blocked the way.

Splug learns his lesson, though, and tries very hard not to let any more party members bleed to death on the floor.
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#75 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 07:35 AM

They split up. Brea, Stendar the Betrayer and Giladril went north into a set of two rooms. Torrin and Nyess went west into a large mess hall. (And Splug had a wank in the storeroom)... Splug learns his lesson, though, and tries very hard not to let any more party members bleed to death on the floor.

Well, I'm not surprised! It must have been an enourmous storeroom - I'm sure he just got lost in there! But I'm sure he could handle it, just listen to the experts:

"It is possible for a fit person to reach the peak of the Wank without major difficulty."

:lol:
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#76 Hal

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 08:48 AM

The room for this fight was really pretty big. Additionally there were enemies in both the north and south rooms and the party were pretty much all engaged.

Splug was too far from Nyess to do anything when he went down, though I believe he did try to make the distance while shouting for help from the north room. Unfortunately the noth room were pinned down for a few rounds by duergar so when they finally managed to get through it an to the connecting door it was pretty much too late.

Torinn was far to busy holding off about 3 duergar and the leader on his own.

All told I think it was a bit of an anti climax of a death. Personally I would have had issues with Torinn stopping to give medical care to Nyess as he was being wailed on by 4 guys at the time, even though the rules say you can.

I don't like the idea of characters bleeding out. It seems unheroic and very arbitary to me. There is really not a lot they can do to prevent it if they decide to split up and go their own way.

The party were super careful from this point forward with regards to bleed outs. I guess it was something that just needed to happen to shake them up.

Cheers
Hal :hal:
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#77 Jazzlvraz

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 10:01 AM

Thanks, everyone. I was guessing that was what happened, but it's nice to know for sure. I can also see that 4E is *so* tactical that splitting the group is going to be hard to justify, simply because you'll end up leaving yourself too far from some part of the support you need, whether Defender, Controller, or whatever.

One of my favourite aspects of 4E over 3E is that the "typical" 3E behaviours of "everyone for himself" and "kill all you can, the largest share of treasure goes to the guy with the highest kill-count after the fight" have been wiped out. I've also noticed that the people who hate 4E the most seem to be the ones whose favourite parts of 3E were just that "independence". I love needing your friends and teammates to help you, and not compete with you; competition in non-real-life situations too often leads to asshole-ish behaviour :).
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#78 BlackSheep

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 02:25 PM

Yeah, the reliance on the different "roles" kind of demands that a small group remain together if they want to survive.

I'm not sure if it's a quote from some of the Wizards 4e material, but I've repeatedly seen the phrase "Never split the party" come up in reference to the system. It makes sense since each role is designed to cover a shortcoming of the other roles. Wizards are "squishy" and need to stay near the defender so the enemies don't close to melee, rendering the majority of their powers useless. Defenders can take hits, but need the damage of the strikers to take down the bad guys before running out of hitpoints. Strikers can deal astonishing amounts of damage in a round, but they can get tied up with the front line monsters while the shooters in the back rain attacks on the party. Leaders supply the healing needed to keep everyone in the fight.

It does restrict the opportunities for an individual to take over a fight, while still allowing them to do something really cool. I think it makes it easier for some really interesting coordination among party members. The difficulty is that unless you're very familiar with everything that your teammates can do, your ability to set up an impressive combination is limited. Also, mastery of how the initiative order can be manipulated becomes important since having monsters act between PCs can spoil the best of plans. It's a lot to keep in your head at once, but I think if you can manage it, almost every combat round can contain a really cool moment.
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#79 WCACameraman

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 04:24 PM

I agree with Blacksheep. I like the roles, they make fights so much more interesting and fun when the group gets a groove and starts working together. Like my group I played with Yesterday was me, Elf Druid, Ray, Human Sorcerer, Damon, Dragonborn Paladin, Andreas, Goliath Avenger, and Alex, Half-Elf Bard. As you can see, we got a balanced group, Controller, Leader, two strikers, and a defender, and we encountered a Wight, a belcher zombie, 2 wraiths and 6 minion ghosts as we fought a giant spider. This was a challenging difficulty battle, but we played smart and won without anyone going down and no one using their second wind even with all the bad rolls we had (Two bard heals, a potion, and my daily Cleric multiclass heal). We also have had some awesome moment like when the dragonborn takes the crit, turns it regular and then Martyr's blessings or the sorcerer using Chromatic Orb Daily on a canon in a ship that's about to open fire, Crits, rolls fire damage and blows up the ship......And got a +1 to AC.

I really like 4 ed because of the strategy and also because at higher levels you aren't spending the entire fight looking through books if your a spell caster. We had a 20th level game in 3.5 go for 12 hours, 10 of which was one fight.

In response to Hal's bleed out problem, you would do that in 3rd edition two when you went under 0 but hadn't hit -10. You'd take a point of damage every turn till you hit -10 and died. And there was nothing the player could do about it while each turn ticked away. At least in 4th edition you have the suspense of rolling death saves and the chance of getting back up if your save roll equals 20 or more. (As shown many times by Torrin) Yeah it's not heroic, but a lot of times death isn't heroic anyway. In 3.5 my friend Andreas' character Prince Big Boy(Yeah, I know) that he had for 5 years got hit with con poison for exactly his Con score and died even though he was winning the battle. There was nothing heroic about that too. Just my two cents.
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