Githyanki Silver Weapon, Radiant Weapon, etc. can now convert the damage of implement powers.

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The Sorcerer Essentials articles contains the following snippet:


A couple of worthwhile exceptions provide light blade-wielding sorcerers with various advantages. For example, mordant weapon at 8th level (see King of the Trollhaunt Warrens) and radiant weapon at 15th have properties that allow you to turn all damage dealt with the item into acid, poison, or radiant damage.



I fear for what shall occur should they revoke their FAQ ruling that magic weapon powers do not apply when the weapon is being used as an implement. A Githyanki Silver Weapon or a Radiant Weapon, especially as quarterstaffs for staff-users, could be used to convert the damage from Implement keyword powers into psychic damage or radiant damage respectively. We certainly do not wish to see the Psychic Lock feat or the Student of Caiphon paragon path's level 11 feature applying on every single implement power, do we now?
I fear for what shall occur should they revoke their FAQ ruling that magic weapon powers do not apply when the weapon is being used as an implement. A Githyanki Silver Weapon or a Radiant Weapon, especially as quarterstaffs for staff-users, could be used to convert the damage from Implement keyword powers into psychic damage or radiant damage respectively. We certainly do not wish to see the Psychic Lock feat or the Student of Caiphon paragon path's level 11 feature applying on every single implement power, do we now?



You mean Implement users actually having a way around the Resistance and Immunities which can plague them, as well as taking advantage of the same tricks that Weapon Users quite often use themselves anyways?

I am quite HAPPY with this giving support to my side of allowing Radiant Weapon to work turning Implement Powers into Radiant Keyword and Radiant Damage powers.
Why was it fair that Implement Powers which even the specified Feat and Paragon Path were made for couldn't take advantage of them even a sliver as well as Weapon Users could with the ruling that "Radiant Weapons do not turn Implement Powers into Radiant Keyword Radiant Damage powers"?
The other option to balance the disparity with the ruling of "Weapon get these treats and Implements do not, Ha!" was to disallow Weapon powers from getting benefits from Psychic Lock feat or the Student of Caiphon paragon path's level 11 feature from applying, was by those types of weapons not giving the Keyword.  It was not bloody balanced that Weapon Users easily got access to any Keywords with a single enchantment while Implement users couldn't.
I hope that now that WotC is moving towards explicit support of "weapon powers work on implements", they'll also make explicit the "damage type = keyword" equation.

And it must be an equation, else how would powers like Elemental Maw (and the new Sorcerer at-will Energy Spike) ever gain any keyword at all? "Varies" is not a valid keyword, after all, and the powers never bother to provide keywords, only damage types.

The Sorcerer Essentials articles contains the following snippet:


A couple of worthwhile exceptions provide light blade-wielding sorcerers with various advantages. For example, mordant weapon at 8th level (see King of the Trollhaunt Warrens) and radiant weapon at 15th have properties that allow you to turn all damage dealt with the item into acid, poison, or radiant damage.



I fear for what shall occur should they revoke their FAQ ruling that magic weapon powers do not apply when the weapon is being used as an implement. A Githyanki Silver Weapon or a Radiant Weapon, especially as quarterstaffs for staff-users, could be used to convert the damage from Implement keyword powers into psychic damage or radiant damage respectively. We certainly do not wish to see the Psychic Lock feat or the Student of Caiphon paragon path's level 11 feature applying on every single implement power, do we now?



We certainly do (as in I), i consider this good news Wink.

I mean, it was ok to use a Sun Disk of Pelor to change all powers to radiant, but using weapons has so much more flavor. And Psychic Weapon + Sword Mage = Dak'kon...Cool

I fear for what shall occur should they revoke their FAQ ruling that magic weapon powers do not apply when the weapon is being used as an implement. A Githyanki Silver Weapon or a Radiant Weapon, especially as quarterstaffs for staff-users, could be used to convert the damage from Implement keyword powers into psychic damage or radiant damage respectively. We certainly do not wish to see the Psychic Lock feat or the Student of Caiphon paragon path's level 11 feature applying on every single implement power, do we now?



Just to be clear a Githyanki Silver weapon is a heavy blade only enchantment AFAIK so it would not work on staffs. However it would be deadly on the 5x5 arcane reach swordburst builds for swordmages.

Crossbow Caster + Mindiron Weapon perhaps?
______

Sorc + Daggermaster + Frost Dagger + Wintertouched + Lasting Frost just got a bit stronger.
Also means my Thunder and Lightning sorcerer is no longer stuck attacking fort almost exlusively, I can take some reflex attacking bursts and blasts and redo them into thunder for great justice... erm or something.
Blah blah blah
I don't put much faith in this.  The author also referred to Druids as Strikers.  Just sayin'...
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
Ohsurecomerainonmyparadedragon9

Wasn't the author someone in theory who is in the decision making area of 4th ed rules and not just one of the crowd of authors Dragon has?  I mean the items presented didn't make the charop boards break out in hives just thinking of the possibilities for abuse this time at least (or did I miss that already).
Blah blah blah
I don't put much faith in this.  The author also referred to Druids as Strikers.  Just sayin'...




Druids might actually be better strikers than controllers...Tongue out
I don't put much faith in this.  The author also referred to Druids as Strikers.  Just sayin'...




Druids might actually be better strikers than controllers...



Beast Form with Savage Rend/Grasping Claws, Staff of Serpent, Claw Gloves, and Ferocious Tiger Form in just Heroic Tier probably help with that.  If not, charger builds in Beast Form always works.
The druid I've got in development and planned was going to be a "striker" type, more so than some warlocks I've seen at least, less controllery than them too.
Blah blah blah
I don't put much faith in this.  The author also referred to Druids as Strikers.  Just sayin'...




Druids might actually be better strikers than controllers...



Beast Form with Savage Rend/Grasping Claws, Staff of Serpent, Claw Gloves, and Ferocious Tiger Form in just Heroic Tier probably help with that.  If not, charger builds in Beast Form always works.



If you're a Drow, you can add +2 to that, and then +5 at paragon vs. bloodied opponents (in addition to the +2 you could get normally).

I'm a fan of giving spell-casters more options but I'm not in favour of producing an easy catch-all fix by allowing these magic weapons to convert all spell damage (how long before swordmages or sorcerers carry four or five magical daggers on their belts...).  Using a weapon as an implement is an advantage in itself.

I think they need to explicitly only allow this to spells with the weapon keyword.  Letting arcane casters convert any attacks to radiant does rather steal  the thunder... I mean radiance... of clerics and paladins.

Or alternatively, change ALL the weapons so the energy conversion works only once per encounter until the end of your next turn and let everybody go wild!
I'm a fan of giving spell-casters more options but I'm not in favour of producing an easy catch-all fix by allowing these magic weapons to convert all spell damage (how long before swordmages or sorcerers carry four or five magical daggers on their belts...).  Using a weapon as an implement is an advantage in itself.

I think they need to explicitly only allow this to spells with the weapon keyword.  Letting arcane casters convert any attacks to radiant does rather steal  the thunder... I mean radiance... of clerics and paladins.

Or alternatively, change ALL the weapons so the energy conversion works only once per encounter until the end of your next turn and let everybody go wild!




Um... they already DO work with spells with the weapon keyword. The ENTIRE point here is that they evidently now support these working with IMPLEMENT powers.

And why shouldn't a swordmage be able to carry five daggers with different types- remember THE COST- five +5 frost/flaming/lightning/mordant/Force daggers is bloody expensive. But apparently it's perfectly okay for the weapon users to do it, but not for an implement/weapon user like a swordmage or a monk?

Pot, meet Kettle.
Oh Content, where art thou?


Um... they already DO work with spells with the weapon keyword. The ENTIRE point here is that they evidently now support these working with IMPLEMENT powers.

And why shouldn't a swordmage be able to carry five daggers with different types- remember THE COST- five +5 frost/flaming/lightning/mordant/Force daggers is bloody expensive. But apparently it's perfectly okay for the weapon users to do it, but not for an implement/weapon user like a swordmage or a monk?

Pot, meet Kettle.



Lol - I suppose the logic is that weapon wielding characters need to place themselves in harm's way more often to get the benefits of the converted weapon damage.  Plus, untyped weapon damage isn't prevented as often as energy-typed damage so many martial characters will be looking to use the conversion only when they can benefit from vulnerability or just to look cool, while many swordmage powers have the weapon keyword.  Spell casters seem to get more mileage because they will end up with the choice of several energy-types and will be using ranged, burst, and blast attacks.

I don't think it's perfectly ok for a weapon user to to hoard magic weapons for various at-will effects but it probably would be within the rules if you just let pcs buy magic at their local magic store.  My problem is that I prefer a low magic campaign so a single item that changes the way in which all attacks operate leaves me nervous.

Our group has a cleric, a paladin, a fighter, and a rogue.  The paladin has a flaming sword and a symbol of Pelor so that he can switch weapon damage a lot and the fighter has a radiant sword.  They absolutely slaughter undead like you wouldn't believe and I think that extending this kind of energy conversion too far might let these kinds of tactics spiral a bit more out of hand.

All joking aside, I really love the tactical nature of 4e and limiting the energy conversion to an encounter power in a fight would make it useful, more tactical, and more fun to my eyes (you can still use fluff to look cool after all).  The energy conversion is just about the only at-will power available to weapons. 
Lol - I suppose the logic is that weapon wielding characters need to place themselves in harm's way more often to get the benefits of the converted weapon damage.



Which is why you can't put any of the elemental weapons on a ranged weapon.

Oh, wait.

I don't think it's perfectly ok for a weapon user to to hoard magic weapons for various at-will effects but it probably would be within the rules if you just let pcs buy magic at their local magic store.  My problem is that I prefer a low magic campaign so a single item that changes the way in which all attacks operate leaves me nervous.



Which means you prefer a system that isn't 4E.  4E says you have certain amounts of gold at certain times, and that if you have certain amount of gold you can have an item.  (Assuming either a ritual caster or a DM that isn't a jack***.)  It also says and is balanced around any character starting at a level that's not 1 gets three magic items.
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I don't think it's perfectly ok for a weapon user to to hoard magic weapons for various at-will effects but it probably would be within the rules if you just let pcs buy magic at their local magic store.  My problem is that I prefer a low magic campaign so a single item that changes the way in which all attacks operate leaves me nervous.



Which means you prefer a system that isn't 4E.  4E says you have certain amounts of gold at certain times, and that if you have certain amount of gold you can have an item.  (Assuming either a ritual caster or a DM that isn't a jack***.)  It also says and is balanced around any character starting at a level that's not 1 gets three magic items.



This.
If you are going to play a low-magic campaign in 4e, you need an appropriate mechanic to balance out the missing items.  This is especially true for the vital implement/weapons, as the enhancement bonus is a part of the inherent game balance.  At bare minimum you need to compensate for the missing bonuses, but all missing items are important.  The easiest way is to reflavor the item abilities as character powers of some sort, but that would not resolve the mechanical issue that implements vs. weapons raises.  Indeed, it would likely enhance the need for greater equity between implement-users and weapon-users.
As a result of my recent discussions on here I've ticked the box for the inherent bonus system on the Builder.  It hasn't really changed anybody's stats much because we dished out comparable level-appropriate items when we converted from 3e but it might remove pressure to upgrade items as pcs level up and it means I can dish out treasure however I like rather than taking account of the cost of upgrading items.  I think I'll try it and see how we get on.

I might also think about letting pcs possess minor artifacts with multiple powers.  We've banned the Expertise feats so that might help make up for any deficiency in attack rolls (not that I've noticed any deficiency).  This would let me more accurately convert some of their items from 3e.  I think the Builder needs an artifact building section!

Restricting energy conversion damage to two rounds seems like a simple way to limit any potential power creep - there is an item from Trollhaunt Warrens that does excatly this, albeit that was two energy types.  Presumably, the level of the weapon would have to be reduced accordingly.  Radiant seems the biggest issue, although there are a fair few feats that would suddenly apply to a lot more attacks for fire, frost, thunder etc.
As a result of my recent discussions on here I've ticked the box for the inherent bonus system on the Builder.  It hasn't really changed anybody's stats much because we dished out comparable level-appropriate items when we converted from 3e but it might remove pressure to upgrade items as pcs level up and it means I can dish out treasure however I like rather than taking account of the cost of upgrading items.  I think I'll try it and see how we get on.

I might also think about letting pcs possess minor artifacts with multiple powers.  We've banned the Expertise feats so that might help make up for any deficiency in attack rolls (not that I've noticed any deficiency).  This would let me more accurately convert some of their items from 3e.  I think the Builder needs an artifact building section!


I don't think you'd really start to notice the lack of expertise until late paragon and epic, when the gap between PCs and monsters becomes much more marked. 
As a result of my recent discussions on here I've ticked the box for the inherent bonus system on the Builder.  It hasn't really changed anybody's stats much because we dished out comparable level-appropriate items when we converted from 3e but it might remove pressure to upgrade items as pcs level up and it means I can dish out treasure however I like rather than taking account of the cost of upgrading items.  I think I'll try it and see how we get on.

I might also think about letting pcs possess minor artifacts with multiple powers.  We've banned the Expertise feats so that might help make up for any deficiency in attack rolls (not that I've noticed any deficiency).  This would let me more accurately convert some of their items from 3e.  I think the Builder needs an artifact building section!

Restricting energy conversion damage to two rounds seems like a simple way to limit any potential power creep - there is an item from Trollhaunt Warrens that does excatly this, albeit that was two energy types.  Presumably, the level of the weapon would have to be reduced accordingly.  Radiant seems the biggest issue, although there are a fair few feats that would suddenly apply to a lot more attacks for fire, frost, thunder etc.



Just wondring why you ban the expertise feat
I don't think it's perfectly ok for a weapon user to to hoard magic weapons for various at-will effects but it probably would be within the rules if you just let pcs buy magic at their local magic store.  My problem is that I prefer a low magic campaign so a single item that changes the way in which all attacks operate leaves me nervous.



Which means you prefer a system that isn't 4E.  4E says you have certain amounts of gold at certain times, and that if you have certain amount of gold you can have an item.  (Assuming either a ritual caster or a DM that isn't a jack***.)  It also says and is balanced around any character starting at a level that's not 1 gets three magic items.



Yeah!  How DARE some jerk DM run a different styled campaign!  All that stuff in the DMG/PHB about DM's determining how their campaign world works was just to fill up page space!  I don't care if he is running a world where magic is supposed to be rare, I better be able to buy any item I want at any backwater general store at base price or HE'S DOING IT WRONG!

(In other words, as long as the DM is keeping encounters balanced with any changes he's making, more power to him.  This also includes not liking the idea that a flaming sword can turn Icy Rays into some kind of fiery stream that somehow still "freezes" an opponent in place.)
Sure there's nothing wrong with it, but its definitely a different game than standard 4e.  I'd say that having tight control on magic as suggested changes, at a fundamental level, how the game works.
"Rule 0" has been an integral part of dungeon and dragons since 1e.  It's what makes D&D different (and much more exciting) than playing computer RPGs.

4e D&D has a base set of rules, meant to be molded and shaped by the DM.  The DMG certainly supports this line of thought, often stating that DM's should feel free to modify and change things once they get accustom to how the system works.  Sure, there are rules provided for treasure distribution, encounter building, et cetera... but the book also makes it clear that those rules are there as a guideline and NOT as a straightjacket.

4e D&D starts at what is explicitly laid out in the books, but that's hardly where it ends.  Otherwise, it really would be "World of Warcraft" in tabletop form.
Well, sure, but for the sake of public / general discussions, there's nothing wrong with anyone who assumes the "as written" state of the game...

Wait, whats the point again?
Well, sure, but for the sake of public / general discussions, there's nothing wrong with anyone who assumes the "as written" state of the game...

Wait, whats the point again?



Haha, somebody up in the thread was talking about the only jerk GMs didn't give out treasure according to the DMG charts, and dangit, I had to take a stand!

Also, something about mages with flaming swords taking over the multiverse...
This doesn't change anything, at least, when it comes to my personal builds.  My sorcerer is still going to dual-wield a Jagged Dagger and a Staff of Ruin, and my psion is still going to use an Orb of Inescapable Consequences.

That elemental enchantments now affect implement powers isn't game-breaking; there are clearly other more optimal choices.
I'm still new to this edition of the game, but doesn't this just make a few feats usable more often?  For example, psychic lock for gith weapon/implements, or wintertouched et al for frost weapon/implements?  I mean, the character still has to take the feats to exploit it, and the feats to use the weapon/implement.  I'm probably missing some uber combination that rules, but the abuses aren't as apparent to me as in previous editions.
Tee hee.  Our campaign was originally 1e.  We've converted pcs whenever new rules have come out so our pcs' items are not based on optimisation, they're based on history, and were tailor made under older rules to suit the characters.  I don't like the new magic items rules in that they are very cookie-cutter but this is why I might look at tweaking items to be more like minor artifacts.

My campaign has always been low magic, I'm not going to change that because the new set of rules assumes high magic.  This is why I was troubled by the necessity within the rules to upgrade your items as you level up.  Their items have history; they're not just a bunch of numbers.

Optimised characters will find it easier to hit than non-optimised ones.  In my group, none of my pcs is having any trouble hitting monsters as far as I can tell (they're level 11).  Some have complained that they haven't felt overly challenged in some encounters.  In any event, I look at monster stats and compare them to pc attack rolls when I'm setting up a module to be sure things are balanced.

The Expertise feats are so good that if one pc was to take one, everybody else would have to follow to avoid falling behind.  I'd probably have to upgrade some of my monsters as a result, thus negating the benefits and still costing a feat.  What a waste of time!  It might benefit games where DMs just grab monsters out of the books without tailoring encounters but my entire group agreed that it was a waste of time for us.

The Expertise feats are so good that if one pc was to take one, everybody else would have to follow to avoid falling behind.  I'd probably have to upgrade some of my monsters as a result, thus negating the benefits and still costing a feat.  What a waste of time!  It might benefit games where DMs just grab monsters out of the books without tailoring encounters but my entire group agreed that it was a waste of time for us.




I'm going to have to contradict you here actually. While assuredly not noticed until mid paragon- after that point it becomes quite a necessity. Make no mistake, the expertise feats represent a mathematics 'fix' to a critical flaw in the game stats- that is, that at levels above 15, monster defenses outstrip player ability to hit- oh. you can still hit, but the drop in accuracy is sizable (you will be hitting less then 50% of the time without them IIRC). They're not an optional feat, they're a required feat. They look good because at heroic and early paragon they are- the math problem hasn't happened. It's like a computer program with a memory leak. When you start it up, it's fine. Run it for thirty minutes, and it's doing good- and anything that makes it run faster seems in excess.


But after that thirty minute mark when it starts guzzling system resources and things slowly grind to a halt? Then? Yeah, you could use the extra speed.

Expertise isn't a choice- the only reason it takes up a feat slot was because WotC didn't want to have to rewrite the global rules. So they did what they always do for minor inconsistancies and things like this- they wrote a spot-fix, a feat that solves the problem.

There's quite a lot of work analyzing the math if you want to go looking for it, but I'm not just blowing this out my exhaust shaft here.


Weapon focus? That's a choice. You can take that or not- I don't care. But expertise is a 4E necessity.

Banning it wholesale seems like a case of [DidNotDoTheResearch] more than anything.
Oh Content, where art thou?
Cool - thanks for the tip.  We'll review it when we get to mid paragon although most likely I'll just adjust the monster stats in the monster builder.
Cool - thanks for the tip.  We'll review it when we get to mid paragon although most likely I'll just adjust the monster stats in the monster builder.



Just wanted to point out, everyone is harping on this poor soul for having banned expertise but he's not casuing any sort of breakage.  Right here, what he just said, proves this.  He banned the feat, and made adjustments to his monsters, making the math fix himself to ensure the to hit ratios are correct. 

I applaud the approach, I personally just made Expertise free, but this way works just sa well. 

Also, weapons letting implement users swap the damage type is silly - do what you will with it, I'm not letting it fly   I'm not trivializing the Psychic Lock combos
I applaud the approach, I personally just made Expertise free, but this way works just sa well.


This is my preferred solution.  Indeed, I think making up for mechanical shortfalls makes for great plot hooks.  If you are getting less accurate as you get into late paragon, it isn't difficult to acknowledge that in the story as "your enemies are growing more powerful," necessitating a quest to acquire greater power...in the form of magically (or otherwise) bestowed bonuses.  Going to a distant land to study with a master of swordplay, for example, would be a good opportunity to grant an expertise bonus, and makes it more fun for the fighter.

edit: likewise, if I were to run a low-magic campaign, I would likely try to restyle items as training with masters and such.  If nothing else, it makes the story more of the larger than life variety...which is what most players seem to want. 
My main issue with the article is that he refers to those examples of weapon powers as properties, which they clearly aren't (last time i checked my books). Which means A) there is a change happening to those powers that he knows about that we don't. (ex. the powers become properties, or you can now benefit from all powers when wielding a weapon as an implement). B) He has no idea what he was talking about, blatantly ignoring the faq and similar interpretations.

But the article was written by Rob Heinoso, one of the developers for the phb so... maybe the change is coming? Or perhaps this how it was supposed to be all along?
Just wanted to point out, everyone is harping on this poor soul for having banned expertise but he's not casuing any sort of breakage.  Right here, what he just said, proves this.  He banned the feat, and made adjustments to his monsters, making the math fix himself to ensure the to hit ratios are correct.

Cool. Seems like a good idea.

Are we sure it's a math fix, though? Heroic Tier (where it's claimed unnecessary) is not the same as epic tier. By epic you have way more encounter and daily powers, from magic items and from your class(es). You have paragon and epic features, and the game assumes you have the cogency as a party to craft a semi-effective team dynamic that doesn't involve dueling foes in isolation. Perhaps the fact that at epic your wizard is dropping penalty bombs and your cleric is granting strong bonuses is the "math fix" for epic destiny. Just puttin' it out there.

That being said, I don't like the feat either. The problem with the feat is that it eclipses other feats in such a way that everyone has it ('cause most people will look at a feat with a +1 or +2 conditional bonus to attack and instead pick the one that gives a scaling bonus -- who wouldn't?). This sort of homogenizes the playing field, and I really don't support that. I'm not quite sure which side of the fence I'm on about the math fix thing (since there are arguments on either side -- as I said, that to-hit isn't all that changes with each tier), but I do know that I don't like what the feat does to character building.


In regards to weapons-as-implements, I suppose the Seeker is the reason that the rules are changing. The biggest argument for keeping weapon powers restrained to weapon attacks was that an implement power can do burst or blasts that affect multiple targets, and that can lead to the abuse of a power or feat that was initially envisioned -- and balanced -- to function mainly for single-target attacks. However, as I said, the Seeker is a weapon user that can do bursts or blasts, so that defenestrates the argument (yay for obscure, funny-sounding words). So now it should be a free-for-all, since the Seeker may not have been balanced around this advantage in magic weapon selection over other characters.

I support the choice. Perhaps it will also see the fixing of those two-keyword damage focus feats that were sorta used to reign in implement users. Make an Implement Focus feat, I guess, and up the damage of all the keyword-based feats by 1. That should make it all hunky-dory.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
Yes, I certainly think that we're at the stage where there are enough weapon-based damage-dealing feats that boosting the keyword based focus feats by one is a good idea.  Swordmage and wizard damage is already low, warlocks are considered a slightly sub-par striker, sorcerers are strikers etc.  Plus as a feat bonus it wont stack with weapon focus but the cross-pollination of weapon keyword and energy keyword powers could mean that some people might take both focus feat for different occasions.

I'm still not convinced that energy conversion weapons should have free action at-will conversion though.  Minor action at-will or free action encounter power would still be very useful.  Otherwise you'd be handing out free melee damage to anybody with a flaming sword who picked the boosted feat.
Yeah, I'm not keen on weapons tacking on keywords.  I'm not a fan of it for actual weapon powers, though, so its more of a universal dislike of Item Keyword + Feat builds than a specific weapon vs. implement problem. I'm sure various people will say I'm clearly Doing it Wrong. Yay for home games, I suppose.

(I also don't allow Expertise, and I don't modify the monsters. Gasp.  Odd how the characters still hit just fine, considering the massive bonuses they're all handing each other.)
(I also don't allow Expertise, and I don't modify the monsters. Gasp.  Odd how the characters still hit just fine, considering the massive bonuses they're all handing each other.)


...if you've got Leaders, sure. I've seen maybe 1 Leader per Party I've been in since 4E began, and there shouldn't be an entire Role dedicated to fixing a Math Error in the System, so in the Epic Playtests I've done where there wasn't a Warlord or Cleric to spam Righteous Brand/Furious Assault, it takes waaay too long sometimes because everyone just keeps rolling below 10 and subsequently missing. :S
Resident Logic Cannon

...if you've got Leaders, sure. I've seen maybe 1 Leader per Party I've been in since 4E began,



Why do you need more than 1 (unless your party is larger than normal)? A single TacLord hands out a LOT of boni, some of them by merely /standing/ there. Also a variety of other classes and powers will offer their own boni (to themselves or others) or target debuffs. The default setup works pretty well if your group plays as a team - and I'm fairly sure thats a key premise of 4E.  It certainly ends up very combo-heavy at epic, but honestly a big combo of awesome encounter/daily usage is more interesting to me than 'I can do OMG THIS MUCH DPR with twin strike against a tofu block!'

and there shouldn't be an entire Role dedicated to fixing a Math Error in the System, so in the Epic Playtests I've done where there wasn't a Warlord or Cleric to spam Righteous Brand/Furious Assault, it takes waaay too long sometimes because everyone just keeps rolling below 10 and subsequently missing. :S



I understand the 'math error' of the two different scaling rates (level vs .5*level + gear + feats) just fine, I've just never seen a game so troubled by it that it seems like the PCs suddenly need a to-hit hand out. Its true that the math is screwy, but it cuts both ways:  If a non-expertise game gives you a choice between a synergetistic party that hits well (good) and a non-synergistic party that misses a lot (bad), the expertise game gives you a choice between a non-synergistic party that hits well (good) and a synergistic party that basically can't miss (bad, at least imo). To me, it ends up a choice between one kind of broken and another kind of broken, not between broken and fixed.  And because my players optimize and group-play pretty well, I lean toward a ruleset that works with that.

Also, it -hardly- comes down to at-will spamming. A taclord can build such that nearly every power he has is handing out hit bonuses (or, say, letting multiple party members roll twice for every attack for an entire encounter). The other leaders aren't as extreme, which goes back to the problem above (of too much hit or too little), but there's still a good selection of +hit buffs or equivalent among high level powers for most of the classes. Enforced Surrender, Satire of Leadership, and Hunter in the Sky/Warthane Ally come to mind as high-epic accuracy powers on Cleric, Bard, and Shaman. Further, as I've mentioned before, its not only the leaders providing the synergy - what TWF ranger -doesn't- take Armor Splinter?

I've seen plenty of builds and setups on charop that start by demonstrating how they hit on 2s before they actually get into their real function. If its that easy, its not really a huge problem.  I realize casual, non-synergized, non-optimized games might have need of it, which is fine, it just seems unniversally excessive to me every time I think about it in one of my games.

(Also, as something of a side comment, its worth noting that all the people talking about the hit math apparently mostly mean AC, or mean hit rates vs theoretical rather than actual defense values. There is a tendency on almost all monsters, all the way through epic, to have a single defense (and sometimes 2) that is so pitifully low it completely skews back the hit math in the party's favor if they can attack it. Granted not all characters can pick and choose defenses, but these discussions rarely seem to mention this reality of practical vs theoretical play. I did spreadsheet on MM defenses early on, so this has always stuck with me.)

Ultimately, I'm not rabidly against Expertise, esp if a particular table feels their hit odds are so poor and lack a synergistic party make up, although if people really feel they need it my preference is for it as inherent -/+1/+2 rather than the feat as it is.  However, I've simply never found it necessary in my games, so... meh?
I ran an encounter with a level 12 warlord/cleric and a level 11 fighter warlord plus a bunch of low level npcs (highest was level 5) vs an old black dragon.  The dragon was there to thin out the npcs - it was never meant to be a fight they could win but I have to give credit, with Villains Menace, Commander's Strike, and a single npc using Aid Another, they knocked off half that sucker's hit points before it parlayed with them.

I'll keep any eye on things when we get to mid paragon but I'm not wholly convinced the feats are needed if you set up your characters properly.  There were threads on how to take down Orcus even before we had expertise.

I think everyone would agree that (a) the math doesn't scale properly, messing up some of the mathematical assumptions inherent in the game; and that (b) the poor scaling doesn't neutralize a well-built character, much less a well-built party.

That said, I'm in favor of just fixing the math via free expertise feats.  That's what we do in both of my games, one as a player and one as DM.  It's not game-breaking, not by any stretch of the imagination.  But it's not vital.  We did find that one character really needed the help, though, being a warlord whose str is lower than his cha for character reasons, and who picks character options that fit his character concept rather than optimization.  He's either 2 or 3 behind the other characters in terms of attack, and that makes a HUGE difference.  Without Expertise, it would be worse still.

[20:53] [SadisticFish] yeah Llamas convinced me