Shaman/ Warlord Passive MBA Granting Guidance Counselor

45 posts / 0 new
Last post
I love this build. I have been playing it from about 14 up to 24. The idea is that he stays up on his Broom (wondrous item) and guides the field and hands out bonuses to pretty much everything. Big bonuses to defenses and lots of healing. Our big battles sometimes take us 12 hours to finish and I rarely ever run out of healing. The base of the build is the Shaman power Spirit Infusion Your standard action will be used for granting an attack to an ally with a +3 to hit and a +9  to damage. Also when your Spirit COmpanion disapprears you see a group of benefits detailed in the worksheet below. With Mighty Spirit Feat all bonuses relating to your spitit companion now apply  to all allies in 2 square burst. That means you can dish out lots of temp HP's and shifts and defense to everyone every round. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Show


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======


MBA granting, level 24


Genasi, Shaman/Warlord, White Raven, Reincarnate Champion


Companion Spirit (Hybrid) Option: Elemental Spirit (Hybrid)


Hybrid Shaman Option: Hybrid Shaman Will


Warlord Leadership Option: Battlefront Leader (Hybrid)


Hybrid Warlord Option: Hybrid Warlord Will


Hybrid Talent Option: Spirit Boon (Hybrid)


Epic Vitality Option: Epic Vitality Intelligence


Elemental Manifestation Option: Sandsoul


Past Spirit Option: Past Spirit (Shadar-kai)


Past Spirit Option: Past Spirit (Halfling)


Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)


Theme: Order Adept


 


FINAL ABILITY SCORES


STR 22, CON 13, DEX 12, INT 28, WIS 10, CHA 16


 


STARTING ABILITY SCORES


STR 14, CON 10, DEX 10, INT 17, WIS 8, CHA 14


 


 


AC: 41 Fort: 37 Ref: 37 Will: 40


HP: 155 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 38


 


TRAINED SKILLS


Athletics +23, Heal +19, Insight +19, Religion +28


 


UNTRAINED SKILLS


Acrobatics +13, Arcana +27, Bluff +17, Diplomacy +17, Dungeoneering +14, Endurance +15, History +23, Intimidate +17, Nature +16, Perception +14, Stealth +13, Streetwise +17, Thievery +13


 


POWERS


Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack


Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack


Order Adept Attack: Argent Rain


Sandsoul Genasi Racial Utility: Sandslide


Shaman Feature: Call Spirit Companion


Shaman Feature: Healing Spirit


Shaman Feature: Speak with Spirits


Warlord Feature: Inspiring Word


Warlord Feature: Battlefront Shift


Multiple Class Utility: Defender Aura


Paladin Attack: Righteous Radiance


Shadar-kai Racial Power: Shadow Jaunt


Halfling Racial Power: Second Chance


Shaman Attack 1: Spirit Infusion


Warlord Attack 1: Opening Shove


Shaman Attack 1: Great Watcher Spirit


Shaman Utility 2: Spirits of Battle


Warlord Utility 6: Rousing Words


Warlord Attack 7: Friendly Fire


Warlord Utility 10: Defensive Rally


White Raven Attack 11: Inspirational Assault


White Raven Utility 12: Order from Chaos


Warlord Attack 13: Blade Burst Trap


Warlord Attack 15: Call to Action


Shaman Utility 16: Faces of the Fallen


Warlord Attack 19: Exhorted Counterattack


White Raven Attack 20: White Raven's Gambit


Shaman Utility 22: Spirit of the World Healer


Shaman Attack 23: Spirit of the Ram


 


FEATS


Level 1: Hybrid Talent


Level 2: Spirit of Vigor


Level 4: Mark of Warding


Level 6: Tome Expertise


Level 8: Squire of Righteousness


Level 10: Superior Fortitude


Level 12: Spirit's Step


Level 14: Last Legion Officer


Level 16: Elemental Spirit Adept


Level 20: Superior Will


Level 21: Mighty Spirit


Level 21: Champion's Countenance


Level 22: Protective Leadership


Level 22: Ghostly Rejuvenation


Level 24: Devout Protector Expertise


 


ITEMS


Bracers of Escape (heroic tier) x1


Boots of Free Movement x1


Demonskin Tattoo (heroic tier) x1


Backpack of Concealment


Exodus Knife


Adventurer's Kit


Climber's Kit


Disguise Kit


Identification Papers with Portrait


Inquisitive's Kit


Ghoul Candle


Delver's kit


Surveyor's gear


Broom of Flying


Avandra's Boon of Escape (level 13)


Chieftain's Trident +4 x1


Ring of Tactical Brilliance x1


Lesser Ring of Feather Fall x1


Cord of Divine Favor x1


Confusion Ray +4 x1


Shared Valor Ray Leather Armor +5 x1


Elven Chain Shirt (paragon tier)


Symbol of Gajz +5 x1


Foe Stone


Pouches of Shared Acquisition


Battle Standard of the Tides


Battle Standard of the Stalwart


Hag's Doorknob


Elixir of Invisibility (paragon tier)


Silver Sand (paragon tier)


Elixir of Water Breathing (paragon tier)


Potion of Cure Critical Wounds


Potion of Invulnerability (paragon tier)


Gloves of the Healer (epic tier) x1


Eye of Awareness x1


Elemental Ward Cloak +5 x1


====== End ======

 






I always make a worksheet to use during games for fast reference Below is that sheet. It is made for references and abbreviations that I understand. Hopefully you guys can decipher it easily.


Show



·        Shaman/warlord level 24

 


 


Heal stuff/Temp HP stuff



  • When call spirit companion 1 ally adjacent gains temp HP equal to int mod (9) (feat) Within 2 squares of SC now

  • When I use a healing power or grant temp HP’s Add +2 for every ally within 2 squares of ME (PP)

  • When grant temp HP I also gain half of those as temp HP’s (armor)

  • When allow surge ally can also shift 1 or gain +2 AC/Ref until start of their turn( Last Legion Officer feat)

  • When allow Healing surge, 1 creature gains additional 2d6 (Gloves)

  • When allow ally to regain HP add 4 (brooch)

  • When use healing keyword power, 1 ally who was healed gains insubstantial /end of it’s next turn (Ghostly Feat)

  • When use Healing power each ally affected gains +10 resist against either Acid, cold, fire, lightning, cold or poison until end of my next turn (Holy Symbol)

  •  

  • When allow ally to shift they also gain +2 to all defenses til end of their turn (Ring of tactical )

  • Allies who can see me gain +3 to Fort/Ref/Will when I am at max HP (Champions Countenance Feat)

  • Bloody allies who can see me gain +2 to all defenses (Protective leadership feat)

  • Allies gain +2 to AC because I use a shield (Devout protector Feat)

  •  

  • Resist 9 ongoing (Feat superior fortitude)

  • When grant attack ally get’s +1 bonus to hit (Trident)

  •  

  • When call spirit companion 1 ally adjacent gains temp HP equal to int mod (9) (feat) Within 2 squares of SC now

  • When SC disappears all allies in 2 squares shifts 1 free action (Spirit’s step feat)

  • When SC disappears me and allies gain +1 to hit against all enemies adjacent when it disappears (Elemental spirit Adept feat)

  •  

  • Enemies adjacent to Spirit companion grant combat advantage (Tome Expertise feat)

  • If start turn with 3 or more enemies adjacent can shift 3 squares as move action (item)

  • All bonus granted to allies adjacent to spirit apply to all allies w/in 2 of spirit (Mighty Spirit feat)

  • When grant bonus to defenses add +1 (Mark of Warding) Already applied on this sheet


 


 


 
So...Cazzeo's build.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Don't know who Cazzeo is, but I came up with this build some time ago. I guess other could have come up with it too, but I haven't seen it to my knowledge.
Yeah and his enables better too tbh
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Cazzeo is a contributor to both Dragon Mag. and the ChaOP boards. On the ChaOP boards, he created the current Invoker Guide, along with several fun (IMHO) builds (Headspin is one, along with Sir Slidesalot). Dragon Mag wise, he did a nice artificer related article, and the article that made the pure seekers good. So, he's someone who knows what he's doing.

The build that zelink's talking about is Flameswitch, which is a really fun build that I'm planning to try out in the future.

As for feed back on the actually build, well, that's later.

AKA: William Imm on RPG Crossing and most other sites. All much better designed than the WotC forums.

Gathering intrest on a unofficial contuniation of 4e - PM me if intrested.

Flameswitch is interesting. it is a different take on a similar build. I focused more on different areas and things I could do at will every round instead of encounter single use powers. I don't like things that are single use because our combat usually lasts many many rounds because our GM believes that if we don't have the possibilty to die at each fight then it isn't worth fighting. So we always struggle with every fight for a long time. It's nice though because it stretches us really thin and we have to think  A LOT to get through a battle like that.
At-will stuff isn't thinking. It's...using at-wills.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
At-will stuff isn't thinking. It's...using at-wills.



Ahh, I see. I will have to remember that. At-will = stupid. Encounter Novas = smart. Wish I had known that earlier. I'm sorry but his build honestly was very conditional and can only really be effective if used on short battles because most of what he talked about was encounter powers and encounter item powers. Not saying it is a bad build but I would much rather use this build because none of my bonuses and increases are based on encounter stuff and it is HIGHLY effective. You were drooling all over yourself on his post but you just come off as rude on mine. I don't really care about status in the CharOp world, I just wanted to post my 2 current builds and see if anyone had suggestions or comments. And from what I have seen of you specifically you just dive bomb in and insult people with no basis and never have anything interesting or engaging to say unless they have some sort of status like Cazeo.

Liek I said I think my build is better for my play style .. long battles and creatures far higher level than us. if I was fighting even or +1 creatures then maybe Flameswitch would help me move to the next battle faster, but I want an aiding character who stays in the battle long term and is effective every round with multiple shifts/defense adds/temp HP's every round.

I mean his implement grants him a +2 bonus to perception? How is that well thought out. He has huge bonuses to initiative at the cost of several feats. I grant CA to all enemies adjacent to my Spirit companion for 1 feat. I'm honestly not trying to diss on his build, but I just find it funny how you fall all overyourself to let him know how much you love his build and want to play it and do nothing but diss mine and I think mine is better and more useful overall. I could go on with another 10-12 things on his build that make no sense and provide almost zero value. I can't find a single one on my build. perhaps you can.

Fighting higher level creatures makes the extreme power difference between Encounter and At-Will optimization even more important (given classes that don't just spam At-Wills by necessity)

You're claiming that you want suggestions or comments, and regardless of the percieved rudeness of zelink, your replies are constantly comming off as if you already think you are building the best characters for your particular games; the things you say indicate to me that you don't have very good system mastery, the fact you compare Party Initiative Optimization and At-Will CA as being even comparable is proof enough, and it's kinda irksome that you refuse to acknowledge that when confronted by multiple experts.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
He posted thrice on my topic here and not once did he say anything that could be used in any way. Group initiative is important of course, but each of our guys focuses on initiative to some degree and I think constant CA is a better use of a feat and it took him I think 3 feats to get this big initiative. I wasn't comparing CA with intitiative. I was simply comparing feat usage and payout for those feats.
You're right that zelink is being derisive, and wrong about everything else, which is why he's being derisive.

Until you stop responding to criticism with "No, my build is great" and can honestly question your own convictions, we can't help you. And if we can't help you, in order to help other people who might see your builds, we basically have to be outright dismissive to prevent them from making the same bad decisions as you. That's how critique on forums works, if you show up with something and claim it's great, but it isn't, and you refuse to accept that, you get mocked until you leave.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
"Experts" should explain things to people if they are truly trying to help or offer "advice". That routinely doesn't happen.

The OP is clearly explaining himself and what he thinks the merits of his build are compared to the other. If that demonstrates what you consider to be low system mastery, explain it to him.

Helpful posts are helpful.
The idea is that he stays up on his Broom (wondrous item) and guides the field and hands out bonuses to pretty much everything. Big bonuses to defenses and lots of healing. Our big battles sometimes take us 12 hours to finish and I rarely ever run out of healing. The base of the build is the Shaman power Spirit Infusion Your standard action will be used for granting an attack to an ally with a +3 to hit and a +9  to damage.



Why do your big battles sometimes take you 12 hours to finish? Why do you need that much healing?

You hand out +3 to hit, +9 damage for single basic attacks while encouraging your DM to be in the position of having to focus fire your other party members - there's no real reason for you to hang up in midair on a broom.

Epic Leaders who hand out attacks hand out attacks to the whole party at once. They set up massive encounter nova damage capabilities, handing out basic attacks to the entire party that have bonuses in the mid-twenties for damage bonus.

Chordswitch, in my sig, can easily put a party into a position where a target very well might be taking +10 to hit, +26 damage per attack roll, +41 if the PC spent an AP, do it twice a combat and have the party make a minimum of 10 attack rolls. That's the kind of damage where Solos die in less than a round even if the rest of the party is hopelessly suboptimal.

When the Elites and Solos die in the 1st round of combat or all the standards are off the field, the rest of the combat usually speeds up a lot...
Which is why winning initiative is important.  If you go before ALL OF THE THINGS, and you blow up 1 or 2 of the baddest things on the board, I call that 3 feats well spent.  There are enough trvial ways to get CA now that you shouldnt have to worry about spending your resources to get it for your party.
"Experts" should explain things to people if they are truly trying to help or offer "advice". That routinely doesn't happen.

The OP is clearly explaining himself and what he thinks the merits of his build are compared to the other. If that demonstrates what you consider to be low system mastery, explain it to him.

Helpful posts are helpful.



OMG this was so helpful!
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Ok, my Nova then. First of all I am not 27 so Exhilarating Strike woudln't do me much good. This is not a theoretical build at 30, it is just me posting the build I use every week at our game. So here is my nova.


Move Action: Order From Chaos: Every ally in 10 shifts his or her speed and gains combat advantage until EoNT

Minor Action: Spirit's of battle: Zone gives all allies +1 to hit until EoEnc.

Standard: Spirit of the Ram: All allies  in burst 2 can charge an enemy with +4 to hit and +5 dmg.

Action Point Standard: Great Watcher Spirit: 2 allies can make a melee basic attack

Immediate: Exhoted Counterattack: My ally is hit with an attack, they get healing surge value HP back and do 2 melee basic attacks, if hit creature is dazed.


So total of 9 attacks and some bonuses to damage and to hit. Not as good as yours, but I also hand out  lots of defense bonuses and shifts and combat advantage and whatnots.
Whereas he hands out +Int to attack and grants a ton of attacks, controls, then enables. Control > defense bonuses
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
If, by design, your DM creates combats intended to last dozens of rounds and 12 hours, then you're right - encounter and daily powers lose almost all relevancy and at-will optimization is king.

However, in such a case, the game you're playing is not 4e DnD in either structure or balance, so this board is a really weird place to discuss it.
Well, we often fight multiple Solo's and brutes, or large armies of non-minions and stuff. 
So do we, but combats don't last 12 rounds and become hellishly boring when we run out of cool powers.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
That's about the most useful thing you have said this whole time.
If, by design, your DM creates combats intended to last dozens of rounds and 12 hours, then you're right - encounter and daily powers lose almost all relevancy and at-will optimization is king. However, in such a case, the game you're playing is not 4e DnD in either structure or balance, so this board is a really weird place to discuss it.

This.  You really are playing a whole different game, so it's going to be hard to really judge the effectiveness of your build.  Personally, I think spamming at-wills for 12 hours wouldn't really be all that fun, and it's the kind of grind that 4e was explicitly made to avoid.  But if it works for your group, more power to you.
Ok, my Nova then. First of all I am not 27 so Exhilarating Strike woudln't do me much good. This is not a theoretical build at 30, it is just me posting the build I use every week at our game. So here is my nova.


Move Action: Order From Chaos: Every ally in 10 shifts his or her speed and gains combat advantage until EoNT

Minor Action: Spirit's of battle: Zone gives all allies +1 to hit until EoEnc.

Standard: Spirit of the Ram: All allies  in burst 2 can charge an enemy with +4 to hit and +5 dmg.

Action Point Standard: Great Watcher Spirit: 2 allies can make a melee basic attack

Immediate: Exhoted Counterattack: My ally is hit with an attack, they get healing surge value HP back and do 2 melee basic attacks, if hit creature is dazed.

So total of 9 attacks and some bonuses to damage and to hit. Not as good as yours, but I also hand out  lots of defense bonuses and shifts and combat advantage and whatnots.



A lot of that is daily options, not every encounter repeatable without fail options. Revelatory Slash does a lot of what Exhilarating Strike does at 23rd. And most of the other Switch builds do something similar.

Spirit of the Ram isn't bad, but it is going to be a rare party where everyone wants to charge an opponent and has the capability of doing so successfully - +4 to hit/+5 damage isn't enough to make it worthwhile for the 8 Str character without an MBA who might be inclined to do it anyway.

The basic problem I see with your character(who mind you, isn't a horrible leader by any means) is that it feeds into the basic dysfunction that is happening in your group - you make long combats easier to survive, but you don't really speed them up a lot. So your group ends up with some really long combats as your DM tries to challenge your group.
We do split it up over about 3 weeks on those huge war style fights. It's about 4 hours a night and we play once a week. We don't get those long battles every time, but a lot of the time it is a 2 session fight when you count all the talking about TV Shows and everything. Also it is tough because no one tries to max their characters. I spend an entire week of evenings trying to pick one feat and 1 item when we level up. They spend about 15 minutes just before the game starts, so they don't really synchronize everything. I try to find a theme then look at all classes and see what is best for that theme and then see if I could fit that into my build. It's not perfect but everyone at the tableis pretty impressed with what he can do. I thought I was until I got dogged for 2 pages.

EDIT: whenI say theme I don't mean a Character Theme. I mean is it a healer that hands out saving throws, or a defender with mega defenses and crushing ignoring penalties etc... 
If the other players characters are severely unoptimized then focusing on granting them extra attacks is pretty much the worst thing you can do. However, if this is your team's level of optimization and you are all cool with that; then your build should be fine. Running a char opped DPR monster in a team of unoptimized characters isn't going to optimize anyones enjoyment of the game.

I thought I was until I got dogged for 2 pages.



You're describing a situation where ironically, the problems of your party are likely due to your optimization compared to everyone else - you up people's defenses to the point where even if they're not particularly optimized, now they are. Which allows the DM to up the level of the opponents so as to 'challenge' the party.

But because your party isn't actually optimized and you don't generally boost attack bonuses, now they can't consistently hit the opponents either.

So you end up with slogfests that aren't typical 4e.
Honestly what might be helpful is an example battle?

You are playing at level 24, so explain to us what these big style battles are like and maybe we can help you optimize for them.

Does the fight look like this:

1 Solo
2 Elites
4 Standards
10 Minions

Or This:

2 Solos
8 Standards

What levels are we working with?  If your DM is going to be throwing radically different combats than "normal 4e combat" (Where most people can use LFR modules as a very rough baseline for normal) then we need to know a bit more about the parameters before we can even try to help. 

The only issue I see here is that you seem to be asserting that there is no way to nova through the encounter and go from initiative to cleanup quickly.  From the experience of most of the boards that is generally only true if the players or the DM are doing something wrong.  I think, if we could look at what the numbers are, we could see if it is actually not possible or rather unlikely that you could nova through them and your DM is just making the encounters too crazy beefy.  Or, on the flip side, we might be able to help you get to a better middle ground where you don't have to slog away at things for 12 hours.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
Well, I would say your 2 solo's and 8 standards is about right with our 6 player group. Usually he has maybe 2 mid-high ranking enemies, 1 super boss and then some standard sized. So total there is usually about a total of 8-10. And sometimes he has an alarm being set-off and by the time we kill the first round the second round is coming in due to us tripping a sensor of some sort.
So this would be a typical "huge" encounter:

L26 Solo Artillery
L24 Solo Brute
4 x L24 Soldier
2x L24 Brute
2x L24 Skirmisher

That sound about right?
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
So total there is usually about a total of 8-10. And sometimes he has an alarm being set-off and by the time we kill the first round the second round is coming in due to us tripping a sensor of some sort.

But... why?  When the first round is done, that's the encounter.  You short rest, and then fight the second group.  That's how 4e was made to work.  I'm all for creative encounters, but this is just throwing so many intended mechanics of 4e out the window that it's not the same game anymore.  Why even have encounter powers at all if you can use them approximately once every three sessions?  Or is this just a case of a DM that thinks he needs to kill his players to Win the Game so he just throws more and more monsters at them?
He wants to challenge them, and doesn't know what that means other than "make them fight moar stuff"
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
By the way I want to thank you all for trying to help out with this. I had no idea the encounters weren't proper. I had some thoughts that it was too long, but nothing to reference it to.


So this would be a typical "huge" encounter, we are level 24:

L26 Solo Artillery
L24 Solo Brute
4 x L26 Soldier (changed)
2x L25 Brute (changed)
2x L24 Skirmisher

That sound about right? 
But... why?  When the first round is done, that's the encounter.  You short rest, and then fight the second group.



I wouldn't go that far - multiple encounters can happen in the context of a single encounter in 4e. But if you're going to do that as a DM, I'd make sure one of two things happen:
The PCs did something obviously stupid or at least not smart, such as running past one encounter, waking it up, and then went into a room with another encounter.
There is some mechanic for at least some of the elements of a short rest to happen, such as regaining encounter powers by succeeding at some in-combat skill challenge.

Or is this just a case of a DM that thinks he needs to kill his players to Win the Game so he just throws more and more monsters at them?



I don't think that's what is happening at all - ideally, from a lot of DM perspectives, the goal is not to ever TPK the PCs, but to give players the illusion that a TPK might happen if the dice were to just roll poorly for a couple of rounds. Get the players on the edge of their seats and holding their breath when they roll the dice.

This guy destroys a lot of those illusions - the PCs don't ever feel in danger in a normal encounter, even if it takes 7-8 rounds to wade through. So the DM is reacting by making bigger encounters that try to put the PCs into that danger zone. They're still not really truly threatened, but the combat takes forever.

One of the reasons offense is usually better than defense - it isn't hard to put an offense-oriented party into the danger zone and then watch them blast their way out of it. Everyone has fun.
By the way I want to thank you all for trying to help out with this. I had no idea the encounters weren't proper. I had some thoughts that it was too long, but nothing to reference it to.


So this would be a typical "huge" encounter, we are level 24:

L26 Solo Artillery
L24 Solo Brute
4 x L26 Soldier (changed)
2x L25 Brute (changed)
2x L24 Skirmisher

That sound about right? 



In a mostly suboptimal party with a leader who primarily boosts defenses? Sounds as if why you're getting the results that you are. In a more optimized for offense party, that could very well be appropriate.
By the way I want to thank you all for trying to help out with this. I had no idea the encounters weren't proper. I had some thoughts that it was too long, but nothing to reference it to.


So this would be a typical "huge" encounter, we are level 24:

L26 Solo Artillery
L24 Solo Brute
4 x L26 Soldier (changed)
2x L25 Brute (changed)
2x L24 Skirmisher

That sound about right? 

 

In a mostly suboptimal party with a leader who primarily boosts defenses? Sounds as if why you're getting the results that you are. In a more optimized for offense party, that could very well be appropriate.



THIS!

This right here is what I was getting at.  I feel like to a group who is not used to optimising for offense that is a massive encounter and one that will take 6 players forever and a day to get through.  For a well optimized offensive party that might be a tough encounter (as in you need to use your resources well and there may be / should be at least one character going down.) but it will be doable.


Lets get a break down of, offensively, how I think that fight should turn out:

Enemy lines at initiative:
L26 Solo Artillery
L24 Solo Brute
4 x L26 Soldier
2x L25 Brute 
2x L24 Skirmisher

Round 1
With 6 players the two skirmishers and one of the brutes should be dead on the first round of combat.  High Op parties could do better, but just for what I would consider medium OP 6 players should be able to kill 3 standards their level or their level+1 without breaking a sweat. 

Enemy Lines at start of Round 2:
L26 Solo Artillery
L24 Solo Brute
4 x L26 Soldier
L25 Brute

Round 2
Now the players should have a decent grasp of what the feild is looking like vague ideas of what the threats are and how to try and handle things.  Now, for Med Op groups, is action point kick-out-the-jams time.  Hopefully your controller will lock down those soldiers and clear a path to that solo in the back.  Your leader(s) should help enable the striking power to get to the back where that Solo Artillery is and kick their head in.  Your defender is likely going to be dealing with the melee of Solo Brute, Brute and Soldiers (with controller Help) but you should be able to easily bloody that artillery in the back.

Enemy Lines at start of Round 3: 
L26 Solo Artillery [Bloodied]
L24 Solo Brute [Primary Defender target]
4 x L26 Soldier (1-4 Heavily Controlled by the controller, the rest being threatened by the defender)
L25 Brute (Hard-controlled with the soldiers/caught by the defender)

Round 3:
Lines should be getting hectic now, people everywhere doing different things, but if your controller is doing a good job of locking down the mobs this should be the round that the artillery goes down.  Depending on the creature your leader might need to help the defender get over there to make sure it can't distance itself, but most Artillery solos should get eaten this round by the Strikers and they should be able to turn to finish off or at minimum bloody the non-solo Brute.

Enemy Lines at the start of Round 4:
L24 Solo Brute [Primary Defender lock down]
4 x L26 Soldier [Locked down by controller/defender.]
L25 Brute [Bloodied, if good positioning/lucky rolls it may be dead]

Round 4:
We aren't in mop up yet, but its now time to turn to that Brute and wall of baddies that is probably taking a heavy toll on whomever it can get to (the defender, possibly the controller/a leader if one of them got out of the smack down laid down by the controller).  During this round it should be a non-issue to finish off that Brute if it wasn't killed last round and start working on the other Solo.  The soldiers may be shaking off a little of the control (we don't want the controller having to blow all their dailies here) but by now the annoyance of them marking/sliding/proning/having high defenses should be a minor annoyance and not cripple your ability to focus fire.  This round you are going to Bloody one of the Soldiers and start hacking at the Solo.

Enemy Lines at the start of Round 5/6:
L24 Solo Brute [Hurting and Locked Down]
3 x L26 Soldier [Keep it going controller/defender]
1 x L26 Soldier [Bloodied.  Control is rarely perfect]

Round 5-6:
Now its just a matter of killing that big bad brute.  With most of the party nova going into taking out the other solo it may take a round or two (possibly even three depending on how much the soldiers get in the way) to take him down but he should no longer be truly threatening the party.  The group should stabilize here and not need to burn anything more than encounter survivability to keep themselves up and keep slogging away at enemies.

Enemy Lines at the start of Round 6/7:

2 x L26 Soldier [Bloodied]
2 x L26 Soldier [Controlled]

Round 6/7+:

Its mop up time.  The soldiers have high defenses and annoying things to prevent some classes from FFing, but they also aren't a threat at all to the group.  Now that you have taken out the solo you should be good to carry on about your business, walking around the battlefield eating apples and stabbing the wounded Allah 300.

If this sounds like madness to you that all this happened like this, then your group needs to grow some teeth.  This is a reasonable assessment of what a medium OP group should be able to do to that encounter you mentioned.  Now, if 7 rounds of combat takes 3 sessions then it takes 3 sessions and you all are enjoying the social event that is DnD (Monty Python at times feels like more a part of DnD night than initiative.)  Also, if you notice above the fight is really decided at R3.  After R3 TPK shouldn't be something thats possible the only thing you should be trying to do from that point on is decide how many resources you can keep from using to still finish the encounter safely.


Let me know what you think about this and I hope it helps .
 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
That is a great breakdown Matyr.

But one question I have. What constitues a medium OP group to the char op boards? Is it group that takes all the math fixes? Also takes a few minor action, immediate, or multi attacks? Is it a group that each character is optimized but has little synergy?

I am just trying to find what the baseline for the classification of optimization is.


That is a great breakdown Matyr.

But one question I have. What constitues a medium OP group to the char op boards? Is it group that takes all the math fixes? Also takes a few minor action, immediate, or multi attacks? Is it a group that each character is optimized but has little synergy?

I am just trying to find what the baseline for the classification of optimization is.





You pretty much said it all.  A Medium Op party is a group of players with no particular synergy taking smart stuff (Mostly Sky Blue) things for their character and taking math fixes.  Medium OP knows basically how to play, but not how to truly tweak the character to the limits.  Medium OP knows vaguely what the other classes do, but mostly only considers their own actions when they take their turns and not the collective actions of the entire party.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
That is a great breakdown Matyr.

But one question I have. What constitues a medium OP group to the char op boards? Is it group that takes all the math fixes? Also takes a few minor action, immediate, or multi attacks? Is it a group that each character is optimized but has little synergy?

I am just trying to find what the baseline for the classification of optimization is.



I'd basically agree with all of that. There are only three effective ways of keeping up with striker benchmarks. Multi-attacks (so double/triple/quadruple taps, Minor or otherwise not-Standard attacks), Charging+Charge Kit, and crit fishing (and doing that competently nearly always involves at-will access to OoE, at this point). So first basic question, is your striker doing any of those things? No? He is below medium OP. There are some fiddling exceptions to this, but they involve truly arcane mastery of the system so we'll ignore that.

With some few exceptions defenders should be at level+18 AC at a minimum, have a method of dealing with shift+Charge, and be able to make a monster pick between staying next to them, taking an OA, or taking damage. At least one downside to attacking the defender himself should exist, in addition to slightly higher defenses then the average.

Controllers should be able to do something useful (prone/immobilize/etc) in Heroic, Daze in Paragon, and Stun in Epic. Or the equivalent in terms of action denial, at least two creatures that are within ~3-5 squares of each other.

Leaders should grant bonuses to attack and/or damage, grant extra attacks, increase in it, and enable movement. Ideally they'd be able to do each of those things, at least one/encounter, but not everyone has the same toolbox. If they can't do any of them, they are a bad Leader. Note I didn't mention healing or increasing defenses. Every Leader can heal, but that isn't what Leaders do.

Ideally one other person in a party should be able to heal at least once a day, preferably one/encounter, just in case the Leader goes down.
That is a great breakdown Matyr.

But one question I have. What constitues a medium OP group to the char op boards? Is it group that takes all the math fixes? Also takes a few minor action, immediate, or multi attacks? Is it a group that each character is optimized but has little synergy?

I am just trying to find what the baseline for the classification of optimization is.





You pretty much said it all.  A Medium Op party is a group of players with no particular synergy taking smart stuff (Mostly Sky Blue) things for their character and taking math fixes.  Medium OP knows basically how to play, but not how to truly tweak the character to the limits.  Medium OP knows vaguely what the other classes do, but mostly only considers their own actions when they take their turns and not the collective actions of the entire party.

See, I play with folks that do this, but they are far from taking out three level+0/1 standards in one round as you indicated above.  That requires some serious focus fire, nova capability, and teamwork beyond what you're describing.  At the least, the leader is doing some higher op, beause a leader who's not considering the collective actions of the party is going to be nearly worthless. What we consider medium op here is probably what most people outside of these forums would consider pretty crazy-high op, since our upper bound is basically theory-op that most people wouldn't really consider taking to the table.
Medium OP is talking about the characters and not the players. 

I assume all players know to focus fire.
I assume a medium OP striker / leader can do .5 to .75KPR.
I assume all leaders pay attention to the party to some degree.
I assume Medium OP knows that leader = Enabler
I assume Medium OP knows that initiative is worth the feat-space/power choices
Now they may only be able to take out the 2 skirmishers and bloody one of the brutes, but I did make that up completely on the fly so give me a little slack.  Do you think that 5 players wouldn't be able to take out 3 NPCS in the first round?

As far as what we consider med Op is what others consider high-op that part I agree with.  Medium Op is, in my opinion, the highest you can expect from any player who doesn't enjoy the act of perfecting the mechanics of a character.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
i feel like we often ignore missing here on charOp. in a party of 5 medOp, at least one of them is going to miss every round on average. So yeah, i think killing 3 in the first round is hugely unrealistic unless everyone hits and most use action points.

one of the most common (but dumbest) dm tricks to "challenge" players is to boost monster defenses. my rl dm gives minions +3. i have tried many, many times to explain why thats irritating rather than challenging, to no avail.

 
Sign In to post comments