How do you play D&D4E?

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After This years playing 4E do you play 100% RAW? you discovered some house rules, or subtle modifications that you think suit your game style better? I was reading comments on Inherent bonuses and Rituals in the other thread and I got curious to know what major or minor tunning other people have made to D&D along the way. If you can explain why you did it and the result in you group it would be great.

Inherent bonuses and Rituals are 100% within the RAW, however I do run with several houserules in my game.  I actually play with a custom set of races / 3 new classes / different meanings for "Primal/Divine/Martial" as well as some other stuff.  Basically what I've found over ther years is to be upfront with changes you make, try to have a good idea of what it will mean for player balance and then just hold on and have fun.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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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 play pretty much Raw, the only house rules I have are a free feat (Heroic Bonus: +1/+2/+3 feat bonus to attacks and non AC defenses) and giving backgrounds a little more clout (backgrounds either give you training in another skill of your choice or give you a +3 bonus to a skill you already have trained).  I also generally don't allow psionics in my game and neccesitate the use of hard to find items in rituals like raise dead.  Aside from that most of my house rulings are fairly situational things, like if I want to change up the flying rules to fit a specific encounter better or something.

Also of course some changed world fluff but I don't consider most of Fluff RAW anyway, the expectation is that that stuff gets changed. 
Free expertise feat at level 1, free superior defenses at level 7.  No ravenant or monster races.
After This years playing 4E do you play 100% RAW?

For the most part, I play by RAW in terms of rules as written with one major exception: I do not use experience points for anything other than encounter design.

But I have added some table rules along the way.


  • To add a bit of comic book level heroism to the game, each player is given a chit each session to which s/he can add ten to any one die roll. My players use it at times to ensure a hit, to increase damage on an area-effect power, or reserve it for that guaranteed save.

  • I allow PCs to use more than one action point in an encounter, but not more than one in a round.

  • All rule disputes are handled by simple majority vote at the table, and then researched later.

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.
Mostly raw, but I have a few alterations. Like pretty much everybody.

1. Generally, I don't allow Essentials material. There are just too many books to keep track of and I'd rather not have to double check a dozen books to make sure a character is legit. Though I keep the option open that if the player can give me a reasonable argument for why I should allow something, I will allow it on a case by case basis. So far, nobody's felt the need to bother.
2. Since the campaign I'm running right now is in a setting that lacks all the races in D&D, I use homebrew races. Not that they're anything special.

Since the campaign is getting higher level, though, I've started to consider a few alterations, such as:
-Free Expertise feat for everybody.
-'Choose your own' backgrounds (basically, pick any two skills related to the character's bio, get +2 to each.)
-I've also started to consider the inherent bonus system. Since looting doesn't fit the tone of the campaign at all, it's becoming a very appealing option.
Gunmage, a homebrew arcane striker. (Heroic Tier playtest ready.) GDocs link. (More up to date.)

 I tend to throw out free feats (or even an extra power) every couple of levels or when something in the story warrants it - generally the feats are something story-appropriate but usually not in any way related to the character's primary combat schtick, while extra powers tend to be racial or skill powers, or something similarly interesting but not particularly powerful...
 For example, a character could earn the Linguist feat through roleplaying the effort to learn the new languages or a character with the Wizard's Apprentice or Order Adept theme could learn a cantrip or two if they wanted to...

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I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

 

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

 

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

 

There are reasons they call me Mad...

i have a blog with a lot of my ideas. this thread is interesting to me bc recent posts have coincidentally dealt with inherent bonuses and ritual use. i like to incorporate a lot of classic edition flavor and mechanics into 4e.

regarding inherent bonuses

frothsof4e.blogspot.com/2012/11/in-searc...

this is about encouraging ritual use

frothsof4e.blogspot.com/2012/11/encourag...


I try to keep any modifications on the DM's side of the screen. Mostly it's changes to the encounter design guidelines, traps, and monster math. So it sort of straddles home-brewing & house rules.

On the player's side, I also give out an Expertise feat for free. Also, I tend to make improvised actions slightly more potent than you'd expect from DMG page 42 alone.
Lessee  here now ...
1. Inherent Bonuses in place.
2. PCs who can use rituals can use up to their level in ritual levels per day at no cost/no components -- variable cost rituals (specifically Enchant Magic Item) are exempt from this.  (e.g. A level 5 character can use 5 levels worth of rituals per day; a 3 and a 2, 5 1s, any combination).
2a. Enchanting magic items takes some effort.  If you wanna make something, expect some kind of quest to find cool stuff to make it with.
3. The only power sources are Martial, Arcane, and Psionic.
4. No tracking of ammo, food, money, or other minutia unless it becomes a plot point of some sort, at which point I will tell you in no uncertain terms that you need to start tracking.
5. There is no way to return from the dead.  When you're dead, you're gone, history, finito, yesterday's mashed potatoes.
5a. PCs only die when their HP reach their negative bloodied value.  When your HP reach zero, you're 'down'; still fully conscious, but unable to take actions.  When you fail three 'death saves', you're 'out'; completely unconscious, and unable to be healed during the combat.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Oh yes, i forgot the ritual rule.  Ritual caster have 1 free ritual every odd level of their level or lower.

It's kinda awesome if you have bardic ritualist (by being a bard or bardic ritualist mc feat), because of the free bard ritual per day thing.

Rituals are very often overlooked on 4th edition (Essentials completly ignore them), but i actually found them to be quite awesome, too bad the campaing i have sorcerer adept themed drow is on standby...can't wait for level 1 for shortening a ritual cast once per day to 1/10 of cast time (you could do some rituals as a standard action or spending an entire turn's actions on it depending on DM) 
I am enjoying reading other folks' houserules and will likely snarf a few of them for my own game after checking with my players. Especially Salla's ritual use approach!
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 don't allow Essentials material. There are just too many books to keep track of and I'd rather not have to double check a dozen books to make sure a character is legit.

I fnd this odd. Does this mean you don't trust your players?

In my game, I don't double-check anything. I ask them to let me have a copy of their character sheet only because I use it to tailor encounters to give PCs a chance to show off some of their more subtle items, powers, or abilities.
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.
Looks like our group has been far more extreme than most. We've gone through a couple of different resource management systems (mostly because we tend to only have one combat per adventuring day).

First we changed daily powers into a "you can only use one per encounter" and from there moved onto a system that has encounter uses of "attack" and "utility" powers with daily powers costing two uses of an encounter power.

The next step we're taking in this regard is adjusting the pool values so that your powers have different costs based on their level (right now a level 13 encounter power costs just as much to use as a level 3 encounter power which leads to a lot of spam of our most powerful attacks); we're playing with 1/tier for encounters and 2/tier for dailies (or perhaps 2/tier for encounter and 5/tier for daily).

The biggest issue in making these changes has been handling additional powers (ex. leader healing, theme powers, powers gained from multi-class feats) and the lack of powers on some classes (psionics and some of the E-classes). Right now we're actually thinking about just standardizing the "mana/endurance" value across the board (with class feature powers like healing word tracked seperately) and letting any additional powers gained via theme, feats and so forth provide a greater breadth of options rather than more uses.

* * * *

Practically tame by comparison is that we took the values from the expected feat tax, inherant/enhancement, item and masterwork armor bonuses to attack, damage and defenses and put them onto our own advancement table with the increases spread out a bit more evenly so that characters get closer to +1/level for their attacks and defenses (as opposed to getting +2 at some levels and +0 at others).

Since we all use homemade character sheets (based on the efficient layout of the 4e monster blocks; most paragon tier characters can easily fit onto a single page) we can design the characters in the character builder equipped with non-magical weapons and armor and then, when filling in our own sheets, just add the appropriate values to each attack, damage roll, and defense.

This has served to make magic items rare and special and the most treasured ones now tend to NOT be weapons or armor. Indeed, our paragon tier game has gone old school in that our characters have become lords and ladies. Our primary and most treasured magic items are actually a series of Pouches of Shared Acquisition, which we have used to set up an effective mail service between key points in our realm (one of each of the two pouch sets hangs on a wall in our keep where a hireling is tasked with sorting the correspondence out and putting it the appropriate destination pouch) and one pouch remains with the party so that we can be informed of and respond to any issues which may come up in running our kingdom.

* * * *

Beyond those two main changes its mostly been that we've used home-brew settings created via "Dawn of Worlds" (ours have ranged from fairly standard, to one where half-elves, half-orcs, and half-dwarves dominated and humans, elves, dwarves, and orcs were nearly extinct, to another which is practically a post-apocalyptic nightmare where civilization has literally been dragged back into the stone age and the few remaining gods/primordials now exist only as physical avatars because their true forms and their astral/elemental realms were utterly destroyed in the cataclysm) and the occassional home-brew race (most notably the... thing... we're calling Blight Pixies).
3. The only power sources are Martial, Arcane, and Psionic.


Interesting. How do you handle divine and primal characters? And what's the reasoning behind this houserule? (just curious)
I don't allow Essentials material. There are just too many books to keep track of and I'd rather not have to double check a dozen books to make sure a character is legit.

I fnd this odd. Does this mean you don't trust your players?

In my game, I don't double-check anything. I ask them to let me have a copy of their character sheet only because I use it to tailor encounters to give PCs a chance to show off some of their more subtle items, powers, or abilities.


It's not that I don't trust my current players... There are a number of reasons.

First, if I include Essentials content, the game is too bloated. Some of my players prefer having fewer available options because it makes decisions easier. (Which I find strange, but understandable.)

Second, I don't have most of the Essentials books, so I can't double check anything. And my players have a tendency to misinterpret powers. Some of them, anyway. In fact, I have one player who insists that I stat her character for her, regardless of system. (She has low self esteem, so she always assumes she'll screw something up. Even though she's one of my better players.)

Third, while none of my current players cheat, I've been in a few games (and run one) where there were players that did, in fact, cheat. I was in a 4e campaign with a guy who got away with rolling his stats, getting numbers significantly higher than he should have, while everyone else was forced to use 22 point buy. (This man is also the reason I despise the Warden class on a personal level.*) This same player was also in a Mutants & Masterminds campaign I ran, where he made Charisma his dump stat and then proceeded to pressure me into never requiring him to roll any social skills, since he was hosting Gametable. (I love online gaming, since I type better than I talk, but it does have pitfalls...)

*In a party of seven or so, his character made half the group irrelevant. I recall one session where only he, the Sorcerer's player and I showed up. I was playing a very unoptimized Brawler Fighter. The Sorcerer spent the majority of the fight unconscious, my character managed to beat ONE enemy and the Warden easily killed everything else. At level 3~4. Of course, the DM also gave him an artifact axe that was better than anything the rest of the party had...
My opinion of the Warden was further lowered when a different player told me about an incredibly game breaking Warden build that uses a hammer, essentially doing more damage than most strikers pretty much every round of combat. And they kept telling me about this build every other day. It became very hard to tolerate the class. Though I still allow the class to be played, I am incredibly paranoid about it. And none of my current group have actually wanted to play it.

And I wouldn't have minded him replacing everyone in combat if he didn't also turn every non-combat scene into something about his character. In the 4e campaign (my first 4e campaign, in fact, and the first time I'd played any roleplaying game in years. Again, it was online. Not a great first impression) several of the other players, who were friends of mine, confided in me that they didn't want to play anymore pretty much solely because they felt irrelevant. Then came the M&M campaign I ran, where the warden's player did the same thing. In fact, past the first couple of sessions, nobody even got involved until initiative was rolled.

...Incidentally, my love of M&M 2e died with that campaign. It's a testiment to how much I enjoy 4e that it remains my system of choice.
Gunmage, a homebrew arcane striker. (Heroic Tier playtest ready.) GDocs link. (More up to date.)
I don't use XP. Instead, I level people up when I feel it appropriate storywise.  Otherwise, I stick to RAW.  (Except for my family game, where we use inherent bonuses.)
i have a blog with a lot of my ideas. this thread is interesting to me bc recent posts have coincidentally dealt with inherent bonuses and ritual use. i like to incorporate a lot of classic edition flavor and mechanics into 4e.

regarding inherent bonuses

frothsof4e.blogspot.com/2012/11/in-searc...

this is about encouraging ritual use

frothsof4e.blogspot.com/2012/11/encourag...




Hey Frothsoth, great work on the articles. The stronghold thing you discuss makes a lot of sense to me. As you said, high level expectations are different but it´s a valid option to have strongholds as options, fot that you have to change the basic economy of the game. I like the henchmen and hireling article as well, those are very nice ideas. I think your ideas are similar to the ones presented in Mordenkainen's Emporium where they tried to bring those things back to the game.  Those are very nice options, I´m starting to use a lot. ... maybe they are in the wrong book ... they should have done a whole new book covering this stuff to 4E, old school low magic settings, strongholds and henchman... The mordenkainen's magnificent emporium seem too much like magic items exclusive, and I guess lots of people didn't even look at it. magical items with stories is also covered in the MME, pretty much pointing to the direction DDN is going.

Anyway your articles are pretty cool, keep it up.
In my online game we do the same, we level up between sessions (every character at the same time) if the characters have reached a suitable point.
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />On the player's side, I also give out an Expertise feat for free. Also, I tend to make improvised actions slightly more potent than you'd expect from DMG page 42 alone.



interested on that, can you give some examples?

Lessee  here now ...
1. Inherent Bonuses in place.
2. PCs who can use rituals can use up to their level in ritual levels per day at no cost/no components -- variable cost rituals (specifically Enchant Magic Item) are exempt from this.  (e.g. A level 5 character can use 5 levels worth of rituals per day; a 3 and a 2, 5 1s, any combination).
2a. Enchanting magic items takes some effort.  If you wanna make something, expect some kind of quest to find cool stuff to make it with.
3. The only power sources are Martial, Arcane, and Psionic.
4. No tracking of ammo, food, money, or other minutia unless it becomes a plot point of some sort, at which point I will tell you in no uncertain terms that you need to start tracking.
5. There is no way to return from the dead.  When you're dead, you're gone, history, finito, yesterday's mashed potatoes.
5a. PCs only die when their HP reach their negative bloodied value.  When your HP reach zero, you're 'down'; still fully conscious, but unable to take actions.  When you fail three 'death saves', you're 'out'; completely unconscious, and unable to be healed during the combat.



Those are nice ideas. The ritual ideas is pretty nice. In our group I allow ritual casters to produce, or gather their own ritual components in their spare time, as long as they are trained in the relevant skill.
So, no cost involved. I try to make the rituals more significant in the plot over all.

About the inherent bonus, I´m totally looking forward to it to my new campaign. I know you can enable it in the CB, but can you tell me which book the actual rules are?


No ravenant or monster races.



Surprised

Oww... that´s so cool... love revenant characters... LOL

I don't use XP. Instead, I level people up when I feel it appropriate storywise.



Same thing here.
i have a blog with a lot of my ideas. this thread is interesting to me bc recent posts have coincidentally dealt with inherent bonuses and ritual use. i like to incorporate a lot of classic edition flavor and mechanics into 4e.

regarding inherent bonuses

frothsof4e.blogspot.com/2012/11/in-searc...

this is about encouraging ritual use

frothsof4e.blogspot.com/2012/11/encourag...




Hey Frothsoth, great work on the articles. The stronghold thing you discuss makes a lot of sense to me. As you said, high level expectations are different but it´s a valid option to have strongholds as options, fot that you have to change the basic economy of the game. I like the henchmen and hireling article as well, those are very nice ideas. I think your ideas are similar to the ones presented in Mordenkainen's Emporium where they tried to bring those things back to the game.  Those are very nice options, I´m starting to use a lot. ... maybe they are in the wrong book ... they should have done a whole new book covering this stuff to 4E, old school low magic settings, strongholds and henchman... The mordenkainen's magnificent emporium seem too much like magic items exclusive, and I guess lots of people didn't even look at it. magical items with stories is also covered in the MME, pretty much pointing to the direction DDN is going.

Anyway your articles are pretty cool, keep it up.



Thanks for the feedback. I am actually working on a free 4e fanzine as well. I will post it up when its done.
I don't use XP. Instead, I level people up when I feel it appropriate storywise.



Same thing here.



Yeah, me too.  It make players less likely to initiate a conflict for the sake of experience points, wish doesn't make sense, some character will try to initiate conflict for other reasons, but reasons that make sense in-character
I have been making up all my own magic items for a while.  They are more potent than typical 4E magic items (I think they would count as Rares).

I make a lot of little changes to things here and there.  Some examples:

One player made a Dwarven Rogue.  I let him use a Handaxe for Sneak Attack.
Another player made a Swordmage.  I let him use a "Longhammer" (as he called it) for his implement (stats as a regular warhammer).

I make occasional big changes too.  For example, one player made a Warpriest of Avandra, and I made up all his features and powers.

Overall, I have found 4E great for making changes, both big and small.
I have been making up all my own magic items for a while.  They are more potent than typical 4E magic items (I think they would count as Rares).

I make a lot of little changes to things here and there.  Some examples:

One player made a Dwarven Rogue.  I let him use a Handaxe for Sneak Attack.
Another player made a Swordmage.  I let him use a "Longhammer" (as he called it) for his implement (stats as a regular warhammer).

I make occasional big changes too.  For example, one player made a Warpriest of Avandra, and I made up all his features and powers.

Overall, I have found 4E great for making changes, both big and small.



Yes, I have tailored a few magic items, but not really a lot. It has more to do with tying an item to a story other than anything else. I´m curious to know about your magic items, can you show some examples?
3. The only power sources are Martial, Arcane, and Psionic.


Interesting. How do you handle divine and primal characters?



No such thing.  Divine and Primal power source classes are not an option.

And what's the reasoning behind this houserule? (just curious)



Just something I've always wanted to be able to do.  With previous editions practically requiring a cleric or druid for healing, I got tired of seeing them in every game, and all of my players were similarly sick of someone getting stuck playing one.  So, my game world has no gods and no primal spirits.

Oh, and I forgot ... like wrecan, I also do not use/award XP.  Also, there are no class skill lists or mandatory trained skills.  Instead of Arcana plus 3 off his list, a wizard is 'any 4', for example.

And there's no such thing as alignment, at all.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I encourage hybrid character cross-playability. For instance, if you play a rogue/ranger, you only have to take one feat to increase the damage die of their Sneak Attack/Quarry, you can also use them on 'off' powers. So a Sneak Attack on Twin Strike (a ranger power) is possible. I balance this by only allowing them to use one or the other for a given attack typically, unless they spend an extra action preparing (beyond the minor required for quarry).

I level when the story calls for a level, I only use XP to give them level appropriate encounters. 

I allow and encourage widespread use of alchemical and wonderous items but for magical equipment, I restrict it severely, giving out 1-2 per character. I also give each character an artifact of some kind at different points in the story though and each comes with a modified concordance system, personalities, goals, history, etc. which I've used to great success in guiding players to progress the story without having to pull too hard on the reigns. I also use inherent item bonuses, free expertise and defenses.

Thrown/Shot Weapons are must be retrieved manually, even if they are magic. The only exception is a boomerang.

Ammunition has a 50% chance of breakage, (100% chance if magical) and can be collected during or after combat as a minor action.  

I play in a modified Dark Sun setting and utilize updated rules from 2e, such as metal armour exhaustion, reckless breakage (not the kind given in 4e), severe dehydration = CE alignment for purpose of getting water, and the possibility to use arcane defiling for all arcane powers, albeit with different draw-backs from 4e. 

Added rules for more realistic carrying capacity. 

Added rules for Auto-Hypnotism and Concentration skills.

Added Blue Mage and Necromancer classes.

Used homebrew Thri-Kreen I had made before they published the DSCS 4e. 

Used homebrew Incunabula race. 

Have a race that switches from a pixie seeker to a minotaur (Yeti) warden when bloodied. 

Still can only use artifact daily powers 1/day/tier (counts against normal limit for magical items). 

Characters get a free feat per tier. 

Characters get as skills as makes sense for their character concept. 

Non-artifact magical item abilities may be applied across a number of items. So, for instance, the ranger/rogue of the party has 17 weapons, between which, he splits two magical weapon properties. His artifact is his Beast Companion. 

I created a system for Drugs in 4e, but never got it going really. The scaling math was too hard to balance effectively. I'm hoping to go back to the idea in 5e because the bounded accuracy will likely make my task MUCH easier. 

Oh, and I run a multi-party campaign, there are 13 PC's. The players gradually gain control of extra ones up to a max of 3 per player. This allows me to jump around with the narrative to keep things interesting but without just glossing over gap period in action. EX one group builds a stronghold, so while the nit an grit of that is being done, I jump to anothe group who are engaged in a quest. It works out well and keeps the style of play from stagnating. 

All this being said, I'm looking forward to the speed of combat in 5e and more narrative space than the encounter model allows. 



 
All this talk of refluffling makes me think of a character I enjoyed more than any other I've ever played.  He was a paladin named "Mani the Manhammer" and had reskinned his fists to work like a Mordenkraad.  I developed an obsession with keeping his hands clean and free (so I wouldn't be tempted to abuse the, I have my 2h weapon equipped and free hands) and then gave him a strong ukrainian accent.  It ended up being the most fun character I've ever played and a good part of it was the reskinning.  The character fought like the Pikey from Snatch (bit hard hits, not fast hits).  His abilities were things like "Jab", "Suckerpunch", "Tuesday" (Cause when they get hit they wake up on Tuesday... no not that one the other one) and "Brick on a String".

In my mind it just goes to show you how far the idea of refluffing can take you. 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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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 have been making up all my own magic items for a while.  They are more potent than typical 4E magic items (I think they would count as Rares).

I make a lot of little changes to things here and there.  Some examples:

One player made a Dwarven Rogue.  I let him use a Handaxe for Sneak Attack.
Another player made a Swordmage.  I let him use a "Longhammer" (as he called it) for his implement (stats as a regular warhammer).

I make occasional big changes too.  For example, one player made a Warpriest of Avandra, and I made up all his features and powers.

Overall, I have found 4E great for making changes, both big and small.



Yes, I have tailored a few magic items, but not really a lot. It has more to do with tying an item to a story other than anything else. I´m curious to know about your magic items, can you show some examples?

Sure!

Rage Drake Scale Armor: Resist 1 all, make saving throws vs fear effects at the start of your turn (and at the end), Rage (when you kill something you can make an immediate charge, but then you grant combat advantage).

Stoneheart Belt: Resist 1 slashing/piercing/blunt, +2 to Endurance checks, carrying capacity as if your Strength is 4 points higher, Feat of Strength 1/day (can be anything you can think of, default is +5 to a melee damage roll).

Ring of Second Life: +5 bonus to death saving throws, +1 healing surge, resist 5 necrotic, Daily power (spend a surge to gain temp hp equal to your bloodied value, you are dazed when they are gone).

Elemental Bracers: +1d6 on a crit, +1d6 1/encounter, +1d6 and additional effect 1/day.  All damage is of the element appropriate to the bracers.  Additional Effect: Acid (1d6 acid damage to all enemies adjacent to the target), fire (ongoing 3 fire damage), lightning (1d6 lightning damage to another target within 10 squares), cold (target is restrained).

I

I allow and encourage widespread use of alchemical and wonderous items but for magical equipment, I restrict it severely, giving out 1-2 per character. I also give each character an artifact of some kind at different points in the story though and each comes with a modified concordance system, personalities, goals, history, etc. which I've used to great success in guiding players to progress the story without having to pull too hard on the reigns.



Very nice

I
I also use inherent item bonuses, free expertise and defenses.



You are the second person that gives free weapon expertise and superior defenses feats, interesting. I guess mexrage does the same thing. 
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I have been making up all my own magic items for a while.  They are more potent than typical 4E magic items (I think they would count as Rares).

I make a lot of little changes to things here and there.  Some examples:

One player made a Dwarven Rogue.  I let him use a Handaxe for Sneak Attack.
Another player made a Swordmage.  I let him use a "Longhammer" (as he called it) for his implement (stats as a regular warhammer).

I make occasional big changes too.  For example, one player made a Warpriest of Avandra, and I made up all his features and powers.

Overall, I have found 4E great for making changes, both big and small.



Yes, I have tailored a few magic items, but not really a lot. It has more to do with tying an item to a story other than anything else. I´m curious to know about your magic items, can you show some examples?

Sure!

Rage Drake Scale Armor: Resist 1 all, make saving throws vs fear effects at the start of your turn (and at the end), Rage (when you kill something you can make an immediate charge, but then you grant combat advantage).

Stoneheart Belt: Resist 1 slashing/piercing/blunt, +2 to Endurance checks, carrying capacity as if your Strength is 4 points higher, Feat of Strength 1/day (can be anything you can think of, default is +5 to a melee damage roll).

Ring of Second Life: +5 bonus to death saving throws, +1 healing surge, resist 5 necrotic, Daily power (spend a surge to gain temp hp equal to your bloodied value, you are dazed when they are gone).

Elemental Bracers: +1d6 on a crit, +1d6 1/encounter, +1d6 and additional effect 1/day.  All damage is of the element appropriate to the bracers.  Additional Effect: Acid (1d6 acid damage to all enemies adjacent to the target), fire (ongoing 3 fire damage), lightning (1d6 lightning damage to another target within 10 squares), cold (target is restrained).



Cool!

I notice one item is resist 1 slashing/piercing/bludgeoning. How do you use this damage types on your game? Its not in 4E as far as I´m aware, did I miss something? 

Talking about resistance, seeing in Mordenkainen´s book, and they tried to add a few properties to armor like durable and tough, they where scratching the surface of DR with this options, have any of you guys ever tried to go further with this idea? I mean it´s nice to have durable 2 or 3, but it´s not really making a big difference in high levels. on the other hand, the game math wasn't made to support higher levels of DR... So in my mind DR is already represented by your high armor class score, every time you don´t get hit, you are receiving damage reduction... So I decided, just leave it alone, but curious to know if anybody has ever used it or somewhat tweaked it. 
I give the normal Expertise Feat for free [Weapon Expertise (Spear) instead of Spear Expertise], Improved Defenses for free. 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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I play mostly RAW but have made a few changes along the way :

1) Rituals are only usable by spellcasters and depending on the key skill of each ritual not usable by all spellcasters.
2) Raising from the dead can only be performed in the sacred grounds of a temple by an NPC (PC don't have acces to this ritual). It is not automatic. The mecanic varies depending on the deity of the temple and the deity the character to be raised worshiped in life.
3) I use a houserule for non-lethal damage (In my campaign you do not have a choice when droping a creature to 0 hit points whether to let live or not - some keyword and some weapons cannot be used to inflict non-lethal damage so it's a kill if you use them to reduce a creature to 0 hit points...so players have to make serious choices when they want to capture enemies).
4) I use classes/races restrictions (even "builds" restrictions) depending on the region of the campagin setting my group plays in.
5) I designed additional powers for clerics depending on the deity worshiped to make them more specialized. This results in clerics having access to more powers than other classes but this seems coherent for characters who are infused by the seemingly most powerful beings in the cosmos.
Yes, I have tailored a few magic items, but not really a lot. It has more to do with tying an item to a story other than anything else. I´m curious to know about your magic items, can you show some examples?

Sure!

Rage Drake Scale Armor: Resist 1 all, make saving throws vs fear effects at the start of your turn (and at the end), Rage (when you kill something you can make an immediate charge, but then you grant combat advantage).

Stoneheart Belt: Resist 1 slashing/piercing/blunt, +2 to Endurance checks, carrying capacity as if your Strength is 4 points higher, Feat of Strength 1/day (can be anything you can think of, default is +5 to a melee damage roll).

Ring of Second Life: +5 bonus to death saving throws, +1 healing surge, resist 5 necrotic, Daily power (spend a surge to gain temp hp equal to your bloodied value, you are dazed when they are gone).

Elemental Bracers: +1d6 on a crit, +1d6 1/encounter, +1d6 and additional effect 1/day.  All damage is of the element appropriate to the bracers.  Additional Effect: Acid (1d6 acid damage to all enemies adjacent to the target), fire (ongoing 3 fire damage), lightning (1d6 lightning damage to another target within 10 squares), cold (target is restrained).



Cool!

I notice one item is resist 1 slashing/piercing/bludgeoning. How do you use this damage types on your game? Its not in 4E as far as I´m aware, did I miss something? 

Oops, I forgot to mention that before: I brought back damage types for non-magical attacks.  Really it is for flavor more than anything, but occasionally it gives a benefit (like skeletons taking extra damage from blunt attacks, or zombies taking extra damage from slashing) or hindrance (skeletons taking less damage from piercing).

Yes, I have tailored a few magic items, but not really a lot. It has more to do with tying an item to a story other than anything else. I´m curious to know about your magic items, can you show some examples?

Sure!

Rage Drake Scale Armor: Resist 1 all, make saving throws vs fear effects at the start of your turn (and at the end), Rage (when you kill something you can make an immediate charge, but then you grant combat advantage).

Stoneheart Belt: Resist 1 slashing/piercing/blunt, +2 to Endurance checks, carrying capacity as if your Strength is 4 points higher, Feat of Strength 1/day (can be anything you can think of, default is +5 to a melee damage roll).

Ring of Second Life: +5 bonus to death saving throws, +1 healing surge, resist 5 necrotic, Daily power (spend a surge to gain temp hp equal to your bloodied value, you are dazed when they are gone).

Elemental Bracers: +1d6 on a crit, +1d6 1/encounter, +1d6 and additional effect 1/day.  All damage is of the element appropriate to the bracers.  Additional Effect: Acid (1d6 acid damage to all enemies adjacent to the target), fire (ongoing 3 fire damage), lightning (1d6 lightning damage to another target within 10 squares), cold (target is restrained).



Cool!

I notice one item is resist 1 slashing/piercing/bludgeoning. How do you use this damage types on your game? Its not in 4E as far as I´m aware, did I miss something? 

Oops, I forgot to mention that before: I brought back damage types for non-magical attacks.  Really it is for flavor more than anything, but occasionally it gives a benefit (like skeletons taking extra damage from blunt attacks, or zombies taking extra damage from slashing) or hindrance (skeletons taking less damage from piercing).



Exactly, it´s pretty nice... I was very inclined to do it too, but didn't out of pure laziness...and you use it against armor types too?
Were I running a home game instead of LFR:

1: Inherent bonuses.

2: Free expertise/improved defences.

3: All Arms slot items provide a +1/2/3 item bonus to damage rolls.  Now, you actually have a meaningful choice between IAoP and everything else, and non-melee/ranged/staff users have a chance to get on the IBD train.

4: No XP.  Levelling done when appropriate, usually once every 3 sessions.

5: No skill lists.

6: Proper scaling for all non-weapon/implement powers.  That means +3/6/9 vs NAD, or +4/8/12 (I think that's the right maths) vs AC.

Plus a whole mess of other redesign stuff too detailed to go into here - but those are the key points.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I'm about to start up a new campaign and I'm definitely modifying the rules.
For the most part, I'm following what thespaceinvader is doing with free expertise and improved defenses.
For early levels, I'm giving the players an extra encounter power and 2 uses of encounter attack powers.  That way they can use either attack twice or both in the sameenocunter, to avoid some of the at-will grind of early levels.  This will likely go away mid-late heroic.

Even though we're palying in Eberron, where magic is all over, the real powerful stuff is rare.  I dislike the magic item arms race, so I'm working it so the weapons and items they do have will get more powerful as they level up, increasing the bonus and the ability to stack properties or powers, much like how Artifacts get more powerful at higher concordance.

I'm also goign to disallow Immediate Interrupt attacks, except those that are used as part of a Defender's mark mechanic.  However, Immediate Reactions are fine.  However, if the palyers groan or complain, I'll keep them in.  I just don't care for off-turn attacks all that much, I think it really slows down combat.

I'm all about giving out extra flavor feats, like ones that would rearly get picked, but are otherwise good to help flesh out the character concept.  I'm re-doing Dragonmarks a little- The only people who can learn the rituals listed in the feat are those with the Mark, or part of the House.  I'll also add on to the feats to give them more oomph as they level up.
Otherwise, Rituals get the free treatment much like others have listed.  Martial versiosn of Rituals are available for everyone to use, and free or surge based.

We're having Session Zero this Sunday, and I'm offering some homebrew feats and classes- like finishing up the Sentinel Seasons, with different Animal Companions, and maybe even swapping animal companions.  Beastmaster Rangers companions follow the rules for Fey Beast and Sentinel Companion.  Introducing a Shardgun (hand crossbow with a d8 damage really), and letting Swordmages use any type of weapon, not just blades.

4e is pretty easy to pick up and learn, but there's a lot of changes that can be made to make it flow better, but it works out of the box pretty dang well too. 
Oops, I forgot to mention that before: I brought back damage types for non-magical attacks.  Really it is for flavor more than anything, but occasionally it gives a benefit (like skeletons taking extra damage from blunt attacks, or zombies taking extra damage from slashing) or hindrance (skeletons taking less damage from piercing).

Exactly, it´s pretty nice... I was very inclined to do it too, but didn't out of pure laziness...and you use it against armor types too?

Nah, I don't get that fancy.  But certainly you could do it if you wanted.

Also, is it just me or have things on this forum gotten a lot more civil lately?  Much more honest and open trading back and forth of ideas between people.  I like it.
Oops, I forgot to mention that before: I brought back damage types for non-magical attacks.  Really it is for flavor more than anything, but occasionally it gives a benefit (like skeletons taking extra damage from blunt attacks, or zombies taking extra damage from slashing) or hindrance (skeletons taking less damage from piercing).

Exactly, it´s pretty nice... I was very inclined to do it too, but didn't out of pure laziness...and you use it against armor types too?

Nah, I don't get that fancy.  But certainly you could do it if you wanted.

Also, is it just me or have things on this forum gotten a lot more civil lately?  Much more honest and open trading back and forth of ideas between people.  I like it.



I pin it on a number of people who have finally left.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
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