Rules you didn't realize

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This message has been edited to include all of the rules that this thread have come up with. RED lines are unconfirmed rules. Please PM me if you can find a page reference for an unconfirmed rule. PLEASE include a page and book reference when adding a new rule and please help me by PMing me page references if I missed any.

Alright, I thought I'd toss this topic out after a couple months of somewhat average gameplay (Approximately one 6-8 hour gaming session a week). Tell me what you think...

While I'll read most of the PHB, I couldn't at all claim that I've read and absorbed it cover to cover. Likewise, I've skimmed the DMG, but have yet to really sit down and commit myself to reading the whole thing.

As such, I thought that it might be worthwhile to post rules or observations that I've come across that I didn't really get or notice the first time reading the rules that differ significantly from 3.5e and before or that are just plain new to 4e.

I'd love to see other post similar discoveries that maybe the rest of us may have missed. Let me get this started with two examples and please, by all means, add on to this...


"Didn't realize it rule" #1 -
The number of times that you can use a daily power granted by a magic item is limited by level.

I didn't realize this. On page 226 of the PHB it points out that from level 1-10 you can only use 1 magic item daily power pre day. Regardless of the item. If you are level 1-10 and use a daily power from a magic item, you cannot use any daily power from any other (Or the same) magic item until after an extended rest. From level 11-20 this increases to two such uses and from 21-30 this becomes 3 such uses. I guess you'd better really think about it when it comes to using a magic item's daily use.


"Didn't realize it rule" #2 -
The monster stat block reads that on a successful attack, the target is marked. Where the heck does it spell out how a monster "mark" works?

A fighter has Combat Challenge, a paladin has Divine Challenge, both of which indicate marking a target, but how does a generic monster mark work? This bugged me for about a week, so I faked it, because I could not for the life of me find what a generic mark was. Well, I'm pretty sure I figured it out, even though it seemed kind of backwards at first. While I can't find anywhere where it states the result of what a generic mark does, I did find what to expect if you are under the effect of a generic mark. In the end, I thought it was kind of funny. "It doesn't say what happens when a monster marks you, but the effect of a mark is listed.". Head to page 277 of the PHB to see the result of being marked. A -2 penalty to attack rolls for any attack that doesn't target the creature that marked you. Simple enough. In the end, I don't see what was so difficult about it to begin with.

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#1 - (PHB 266) The number of times that you can use any daily power granted by any magic item is limited by the PC level. You CAN use more than one magic item daily power per day at Heroic Tier. The catch? You have to reach a milestone first.

#2 - (PHB 277) The effect of a monster marking a target is not described in the books, but the condition is. –2 attack if the marked target attacks anyone other the the monster that marks it.

#3 - (PHB 59) Powers with a hit that also have an effect still get the benefit of their effect even if the power misses. As the DM I didn't give some of my players the benefit from their attacks.

#4 - (PHB 267) No Action points can be used during Surprise rounds.

#5 - (PHB 60, and in the first page description of each character class) The starting HP of a character is their Class HP + their CON score, not their CON modifier. This is the most common 'oversight' I saw in players who've played 3.x before.

#6 - (PHB 208) The class-specific multiclass feats qualify you to take paragon paths from that class only if you have the prerequisites necessary for that particular path.

#7 - (PHB 287-288) Charge is a standard action, so you can still take a move action in the same round. However, using a charge ends your turn, so you can only move before you charge.

#8 - (PHB 201) Toughness feat only gives +5 HP At each tier.

#9 - (PHB 263) You can only take an extended rest once every 18 hours (Or every 12 hours if you don’t add in the time spent during an extended rest, but let’s not bring that one up again). Seemed fishy after my parties third extended rest in the 5th room of a dungeon

#10 - There are no more Full Round Actions, get over it.

#11 - (PHB 58) There is no more minimum of 1 damage from an attack. You can hit and deal 0 damage.

#49 - (PHB 263) There is a penalty for not taking an extended rest. You need at least 6 hours of sleep every day to keep functioning at your best. If, at the end of an extended rest, you haven’t slept at least 6 hours in the last 24, you gain no benefit from that extended rest.

#50 - (PHB 285)If you’re affected by an effect that prevents you from taking opportunity actions, you don’t flank.

#51 - (PHB 290) Close Blast or Close Burst do not have the keyword "Ranged" or "Area" and as such do not provoke OA.

#52 - (PHB 290) You can make an OA once on each other creatures turn, but you can make any number during the round.

#53 - (PHB 212) You don't add your dexterity bonus to ac if you wear anything other than light armour, but you have a choice between DEX and INT for light armor AC bonus.

#54 - (PHB 209) You couldn't use a power-swap feat on a power from your Paragon Path or Epic Destiny.

#55 - (PHB 76) When a fighters Combat Challenge is trigged due to a marked, adjacent enemy shifting, the shift is not interrupted. It's just that the triggered action (melee basic attack by the fighter) occurs before the shift is completed.

#56 - (PHB 295) You can only fail 3 Death Saving Throws TOTAL between short (or extended) rests. So if you go down, fail 2, get back up, go down again, and fail 1, you are D-E-D, dead.

#57 - Healing affects you differently when you are "dying". If you are Healed while dying, your negative Hit Points are reset to 0 before you gain Hit Points form the Healing Effect. If the Healing Effect requires you to use a Healing Surge and you have none left, your Hit Points are instead set to 1 HP. Temporary hit points don't cause you to stop dying.

#58 - (PHB 287)(Number your rules, demmit) With a reach weapon, you can make a charge attack and do NOT have to end the move adjacent to the charged enemy. "You must move at least 2 squares from your starting position, and must move directly to the nearest square FROM WHICH YOU CAN ATTACK YOUR ENEMY. You can't charge if the nearest square is occupied. Moving over difficult terrain costs extra squares of movement as normal."

#59 - (PHB 217) Even with a reach weapon, enemies do no provoke opportunity attacks unless they are adjacent to you.

#60 - () Only three things draw an OA: A non-shift move out of a threatened square, using a Ranged or Area power in a threatened square, or when it specifically created by way of a power.
"Didn't realize it rule" #1 -
The number of times that you can use a daily power granted by a magic item is limited by level.

I didn't realize this. On page 226 of the PHB it points out that from level 1-10 you can only use 1 magic item daily power pre day. Regardless of the item. If you are level 1-10 and use a daily power from a magic item, you cannot use any daily power from any other (Or the same) magic item until after an extended rest. From level 11-20 this increases to two such uses and from 21-30 this becomes 3 such uses. I guess you'd better really think about it when it comes to using a magic item's daily use.

Just adding to this: you CAN use more than one magic item daily power at Heroic Tier. The catch? You have to reach a milestone first. Suddenly, extended rests don't seem like the best thing to do after each encounter.

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

"Didn't realize it rule" #3 -

Powers with a hit that also have an effect still get the benefit of their effect even if the power misses. As the DM I didn't give some of my players the benefit from their attacks.
hey # 3 guy

Point out where it states this please. Becouse im misunderstanding you.

So if i roll a nat 1 on my Attack that can stuns people. They still get Stuned? even when i miss?

Dosnt seem right or am i reading this wrong

#4
No Action points during Surprize rounds.
Says so under the Surprize round in PHB and such.
hey # 3 guy

Point out where it states this please. Becouse im misunderstanding you.

So if i roll a nat 1 on my Attack that can stuns people. They still get Stuned? even when i miss?

Dosnt seem right or am i reading this wrong

Any "Effect:" line in a power will happen whether or not you hit. Or, to quote page 59 in the PH: "Many powers produce effects that take place regardless of whether your attack roll succeeds, and other powers have effects that occur without an attack roll being required."
Any "Effect:" line in a power will happen whether or not you hit. Or, to quote page 59 in the PH: "Many powers produce effects that take place regardless of whether your attack roll succeeds, and other powers have effects that occur without an attack roll being required."

To elaborate on this, if a power says something like:
Attack: Int vs. Fort
Hit: 2d6 + Int modifier damage and the target is stunned (save ends).

the stun effect happens only if you hit. If a power says something like:
Attack: Int vs. Fort
Hit: 2d6 + Int modifier damage.
Effect: The target is stunned (save ends).

then the stun effect happens regardless of whether you hit or miss (and this power I made up as an example is probably too powerful).

t~
hey # 3 guy

Point out where it states this please. Becouse im misunderstanding you.

So if i roll a nat 1 on my Attack that can stuns people. They still get Stuned? even when i miss?

Dosnt seem right or am i reading this wrong

You're reading it wrong. He didn't say 'powers that inflict a status'; he said powers with an effect, by which he meant powers that have an Effect: entry in their text. For example, Cloud of Daggers has the following text:

"Effect: The power’s area is filled with sharp daggers of force. Any creature that enters the area or starts its turn there takes force damage equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). The cloud remains in place until the end of your next turn. You can dispel it earlier as a minor action."

This effect takes place regardless of whether you hit the target or not.
#5.
The starting HP of a character is their Class HP + their CON score, not their CON modifier. This is the most common 'oversight' I saw in players who've played 3.x before.
Powers with a hit that also have an effect still get the benefit of their effect even if the power misses. As the DM I didn't give some of my players the benefit from their attacks.

This one. I actually rebuked a player over this issue, and now I owe him a cookie.

Also, #6: the class-specific multiclass feats qualify you to take paragon paths from that class. Missed that one on my first and second read-throughs, and was awfully confused by a lot of CO board posts.
#7: Charge is a standard action, so you can still take a move action in the same round.
To elaborate on this, if a power says something like:
Attack: Int vs. Fort
Hit: 2d6 + Int modifier damage and the target is stunned (save ends).

the stun effect happens only if you hit. If a power says something like:
Attack: Int vs. Fort
Hit: 2d6 + Int modifier damage.
Effect: The target is stunned (save ends).

then the stun effect happens regardless of whether you hit or miss (and this power I made up as an example is probably too powerful).

t~

ok so basicly i was reading it wrong

thanks for the Clear up.

thought the guy meant first example meant yes and i was about to go "wtf?"
#8
Toughness feat only gives +5 HP At each tier.

Not +5 hp + Mod, like i first thought it did though my first glace however my second time of looking at it cleared this.
thouhg that was 2 days later.

still a good feat however (Acts like a whole level ... or 3 of hp worth allright)
#9: You can only take an extended rest once every 16 hours. Seemed fishy after my parties third extended rest in the 5th room of a dungeon.....

#10: There are no more Full Round Actions, get over it.
Starting gold is 100g, as posted on page 210. Still don't know where the starting wealth rules for a PC above first level are though...
#7: Charge is a standard action, so you can still take a move action in the same round.

However, using a charge ends your turn, so you can only move before you charge.
Starting gold is 100g, as posted on page 210. Still don't know where the starting wealth rules for a PC above first level are though...

DMG page 143. Basically, one magic item of level + 1, one of level, and one of level -1. Gold equal to magic item level -1:

"Choose Equipment and Magic Items. Mundane equipment is much less important for higher-level characters than it is when you’re starting out. Choose whatever standard adventuring gear you want from the tables in the Player’s Handbook. For magic items, choose one item of your level + 1, one item of your level, and one item of your level – 1. In addition, you have gold pieces equal to the value of one magic item of your level – 1. You can spend this money on rituals, potions, or other magic items, or save it for later."

TBP
Starting gold is 100g, as posted on page 210. Still don't know where the starting wealth rules for a PC above first level are though...

They're in the DMG under the section conveniently labeled "Starting at higher level". Which is about page 145 to 150, if I recall correctly.

Characters starting at higher than 1st level get:

One magic item of one level higher than they are.
One magic item of their level.
One magic item that is one level lower than they are/
Gold equal to the value of a magic item one level lower than the PC.
All the mundane equipment they can eat... well, all the mundane equipment they desire.
However, using a charge ends your turn, so you can only move before you charge.

Source for this? I didn't know that. We had a dragonborn fighter who would move, charge, then breath.

"Not only are you wrong, but I even created an Excel spreadsheet to show you how wrong you are." --James Wyatt, May 2006

Dilige, et quod vis fac

#9: You can only take an extended rest once every 16 hours. Seemed fishy after my parties third extended rest in the 5th room of a dungeon.

It's acctually once every 12 hours, isn't it ?

Slightly related, I havent found any rules on sleep depravity other than there must be 6 hours of sleep in a cycle of 24 hours, otherwise the next extended rest has no effect.

So basicly PC's can stay awake forever
Doesnt seem right..
I am White/Green
Source for this? I didn't know that. We had a dragonborn fighter who would move, charge, then breath.

PHB, page 287-288. Under "charge". And I quote:

* No further actions: After you resolve a charge attack, you can't take any further actions this turn, unless you spend an action point to take an extra action.
Going back to the effects that happen regardless of hitting or not...

I am DMing this all wrong then...

That paragraph of text there doesn't really clarify it for me...

Any "Effect:" line in a power will happen whether or not you hit. Or, to quote page 59 in the PH: "Many powers produce effects that take place regardless of whether your attack roll succeeds, and other powers have effects that occur without an attack roll being required."

"Many powers..." is too generic for me... Where is the rule that says that EVERY effect happens on a miss? I can't find it... This should be on a power by power basis I think, not a blanket "Every Effect", where is the specific rule that says that?

This just threw me for a loop...




I would think that the effect itself should say whether or not it happens on a miss on the Attack Roll... some do.
"Miss:xxxx"
You're trying to hard to interpret it. "Many powers" refers to those powers that have an "Effect:" line. "Effect:" lines always happen, whether or not you hit or miss. "Miss:" lines are different because they only happen on a miss.

Basically:

Hit: happens on a hit
Miss: happens on a miss
Effect: happens on a hit or miss
Going back to the effects that happen regardless of hitting or not...

I am DMing this all wrong then...

That paragraph of text there doesn't really clarify it for me...

Any "Effect:" line in a power will happen whether or not you hit. Or, to quote page 59 in the PH: "Many powers produce effects that take place regardless of whether your attack roll succeeds, and other powers have effects that occur without an attack roll being required."

"Many powers..." is too generic for me... Where is the rule that says that EVERY effect happens on a miss? I can't find it... This should be on a power by power basis I think, not a blanket "Every Effect", where is the specific rule that says that?

This just threw me for a loop...




I would think that the effect itself should say whether or not it happens on a miss on the Attack Roll... some do.
"Miss:xxxx"

You're thinking too hard. It says "many powers produce effects that take place regardless of whether you hit or miss," they say "many powers," because the fact is that many powers do NOT have this type of effect, in fact MOST don't. An "Effect" is still an "Effect" no matter what power it's attached to, so you should always treat them the same, and they always take effect when a player uses a power with one. It's simply any and all text under that's affect the bolded word "Effect" in the powers damage line.
That paragraph of text there doesn't really clarify it for me...

Any "Effect:" line in a power will happen whether or not you hit. Or, to quote page 59 in the PH: "Many powers produce effects that take place regardless of whether your attack roll succeeds, and other powers have effects that occur without an attack roll being required."

"Many powers..." is too generic for me... Where is the rule that says that EVERY effect happens on a miss? I can't find it... This should be on a power by power basis I think, not a blanket "Every Effect", where is the specific rule that says that?

It's under the section "Effects" in the "How to Read a Power" part of the book. Contextually, the only thing it should be referring to is the "Effect:" line of a power.

I would think that the effect itself should say whether or not it happens on a miss on the Attack Roll... some do.
"Miss:xxxx"

No, that's not an "Effect:" line. That's a "Miss:" line. "Miss:" only happens on a miss, "Hit:" only happens on a hit, and "Effect:" takes place regardless of whether you hit or miss.

EDIT: An example. Check out the Redirected Death power on page 127. It has a "Hit:" line, a "Miss:" line, and an "Effect:" line. Whether you hit and redirect the attack, or miss and just deal damage, you still get to shift one square after resolving the attack.

#11: There is no more minimum of 1 damage from an attack. You can hit and deal 0 damage.
"Didn't realize it rule" #2 -
The monster stat block reads that on a successful attack, the target is marked. Where the heck does it spell out how a monster "mark" works?

A fighter has Combat Challenge, a paladin has Divine Challenge, both of which indicate marking a target, but how does a generic monster mark work? This bugged me for about a week, so I faked it, because I could not for the life of me find what a generic mark was. Well, I'm pretty sure I figured it out, even though it seemed kind of backwards at first. While I can't find anywhere where it states the result of what a generic mark does, I did find what to expect if you are under the effect of a generic mark. In the end, I thought it was kind of funny. "It doesn't say what happens when a monster marks you, but the effect of a mark is listed.". Head to page 277 of the PHB to see the result of being marked. A -2 penalty to attack rolls for any attack that doesn't target the creature that marked you. Simple enough. In the end, I don't see what was so difficult about it to begin with.

Under the "Conditions" section of the PHB Pg. 227:

MARKED
✦ You take a –2 penalty to attack rolls for any attack
that doesn’t target the creature that marked you.

Yup we missed that too. Heh.

I also missed the magical item daily use too, until I read through the entire thing. The other members in my party were not very happy with me the next game session...
Rule #12. When you subject to a healing effect that requires you to spend a healing surge and you have none left, you are restored to 1 hit point, if you were dying. --> pg. 295, right column, in the "Healing a Dying Character" box

I always thought that a dying character that was out of healing surges required a heal skill check until I noticed this.

-SYB
Rule #12. When you subject to a healing effect that requires you to spend a healing surge and you have none left, you are restored to 1 hit point, if you were dying. --> pg. 295, right column, in the "Healing a Dying Character" box

I always thought that a dying character that was out of healing surges required a heal skill check until I noticed this.

-SYB

But if there are not healing powers available, you must resort to a heal check. Skills are there for when you don't have the right powers for the job. Not as easily done as with a power, but still able to "fill in the gap," so to speak.

TBP
#12: This is not D&D 3.75.

The vast majority of people who have not understood why a rules is, or how it works, is because they come at it with a "[This] is how it was in 3.5, so why should it have changed?" New edition = new rules.

TBP
It's acctually once every 12 hours, isn't it ?

Per PHB p.263:
"An extended rest is at least 6 hours long."
"After you finish an extended rest, you have to wait 12 hours before you can begin another one."


This basically means max once every 18 hrs.
This basically means max once every 18 hrs.

This statement is correct, but may be misleading, depending on your time frame of reference. This statement makes assumptions regarding when you start counting. I can take two extended rests in 12 hours and two minutes. I finished one rest a minute ago, and I can start another one in 12 hours. That's two in 12 hours.

I would suggest that the safest statement is:
You may not start an extended rest until at least 12 hours after your last one has ended.

From this, all of these seemingly contradictory statements are true:
  • You may take no more than one every 18 hours.
  • You may take up to two in a single day.
  • You may take second one after only 12 hours.
Where you stand depends on where you sit. :D
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
I would suggest that the safest statement is:
You may not start an extended rest until at least 12 hours after your last one has ended.

How is that different than RAW:
"After you finish an extended rest, you have to wait 12 hours before you can begin another one."
When I first started playing 4e, I made a point to tell my players "Don't assume that a rule exists just because it did in 3e." Yet, I fell into that exact trap on a rule.

I did NOT realize that standing up from prone no longer provokes attacks of opportunity. Wow! Many a foe in my games was felled by the deadliest of conditions - prone. It was often favorable in my larger-group games to take the -4 penalty and fight prone than to take the 8+ attacks from standing up. But now, no more! Only moving and ranged attacks. Simple. I like it!

Also - drink a potion as a MINOR? Totally sweet.

- Johnny
"Didn't realize it rule" #1 -
The number of times that you can use a daily power granted by a magic item is limited by level.

I didn't realize this. On page 226 of the PHB it points out that from level 1-10 you can only use 1 magic item daily power pre day. Regardless of the item. If you are level 1-10 and use a daily power from a magic item, you cannot use any daily power from any other (Or the same) magic item until after an extended rest. From level 11-20 this increases to two such uses and from 21-30 this becomes 3 such uses. I guess you'd better really think about it when it comes to using a magic item's daily use.

Also please remember:
A daily power from an item can only be used once (then you need an extended rest to 'recharge' the item).
Even if a character is paragon or epic tier, or makes one (or more) milestones, an item with a single daily power can only have that daily power used once (between extended rests).

What being paragon or epic tier or making a milestone allows is the use of daily powers from more than one item.

Deth Braedon
#11: There is no more minimum of 1 damage from an attack. You can hit and deal 0 damage.

How would this happen? Are you referring to hitting someone with a resist damage level? If I don't do enough damage to overcome the resistance, he doesn't take any damage. Other than that, how would I deal 0 damage? Weakened? I don't have my PHB here and I don't remember the effect of weakened.
How would this happen? Are you referring to hitting someone with a resist damage level? If I don't do enough damage to overcome the resistance, he doesn't take any damage. Other than that, how would I deal 0 damage? Weakened? I don't have my PHB here and I don't remember the effect of weakened.

1/2 damage. And yes, 1/2 of 1 is 0. So that weakened fighter who used careful attack (don't ask why) and rolled a 1 did 0 damage.

Yet another reason careful attack isn't worth it.../sigh

TBP
#14: The limits on immediate actions and the difference between immediate and opportunity actions.

Kobold Dragonshields and Combat Challenge were incredibly deadly until I realized they could only do their trick once per round (and that you didn't add Wis to the MBA), and not every turn.
Come to think of it, another rule I didn't realize was that you get to max out sneak attack damage on a crit. I had no idea.

- Johnny
I did NOT realize that standing up from prone no longer provokes attacks of opportunity.

Yeah, prone now costs a move action and grants Combat Advantage, not free attacks.
Also - drink a potion as a MINOR? Totally sweet.

Ayup. Potions in combat are now viable from an action economy perspective (as they should be).

For my part, it took me a little while to sort out the cover rules. Superior cover is actually really easy to get in a forest: if you're at least one square in, you have superior cover.

It also took me a while to realise the difference between "concealment" and "obscurement". Obscurement is a terrain property, which maps to different levels of concealment.
How would this happen?

Low stat (like 8 str)?
How is that different than RAW:
"After you finish an extended rest, you have to wait 12 hours before you can begin another one."

The words I used are not "quoting RAW". In paraphrasing with only little deviation from the RAW, I avoid the potential for misinterpretation. When you used different words than RAW, you presented an interpretation that can be misconstrued as meaning "you have to wait 18 hours to take another extended rest."

Interpreting RAW rather than quoting RAW is where most of us and up causing disagreements.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Also - drink a potion as a MINOR? Totally sweet.

PHB lists Drink a potion as a minor action, but our DM makes us ready the potion with a minor action and then drink it with another minor. This means taking two turns or having to swap a move or a standard for a minor to do it in one turn. Is that how it is supposed to work?