- Jan 2009 -
22412 Posts

Encounter Powers, Tricks and beyond the narrative device.

4e doesnt give a "why" you can only use power X once per encounter or once per day. You can envision it how you want. But there isnt really even much of a suggestion... other than perhaps the narrative reason that its not cool if you do the same things all the time or may that some powers are subject to enemy actions and the player is given control over that... well Encounter powers can readily be presented without that vague narrative hand.

I like encounter abilities they are especially cool for martial characters. For me they represent a trick that once performed is revealed and is becomes prohibitively hard to repeat as the enemy is now aware of it, it relied on surprise before, A big bad can push you with his secondaries hoping you will reveal your tricks and thus undermine what you can bring to bear against him. The reason you can use the tricks again later even against the same adversary is because you have had time to think of a subtle variation on it especially true since you have that niggling feeling you may encounter the bad guy again.

Similarly in arcane spell casting reality adjusts itself and learns to resist ie it hardens against the warping you just subjected it to until the fabric has time to relax once more. (At wills are talents where you are able skirt around resistance by adusting underlying details each time you perform them).-- see flavor text that encourages describing your spell different every time what is not to love about that.

Divine powers as encouragement to press on... at some level I think all divine powers should be either encounter powers or milestone governed powers. The divine inspires and gives independent of mortal sleep cycles. The divine rewards for being heroic and not pausing to rest.

Narrative and Game agree about encounters being good.
Game wise they allow an intermediate ground between a really climactic ability and the at-will. -- >They break up and create variation in the potency texture within a given fight that merely having at-wills and dailies rather lack. They reduce the effective percieved "need" to stop when the climactic abilities are expended because they are going to be there and useful and allow some variance within the fight if you keep pressing on...  As an unrepeatable (well atleast within a single situation), they become a reason to use something other than just the "best" one available over the course of a longer span and where you know more than one... face it game designers are bad at avoiding there being a best... there will always be a best.
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