Can I do anything about this?

41 posts / 0 new
Last post
I write this in full knowledge of what the official answer is, but am wondering what other people make of the situation. How would you deal with this problem? Indeed, do you think it's a problem at all?

Short version: Poorly playtested stuff in Dragon being allowed unrestricted into LFR ruins games.

Long version: I am running a mod later in the week. I read through it and it looks pretty good, with some interesting and potentially challenging fights. After tonight's game, the topic comes round to this mod, and people start discussing the characters they plan to bring. It turns out there will be two paragon wizards, and a swordmage m/c wizard.

You can see where this is going, right?

Both wizards have the stupidly broken Dragon mag power Grasp of the Grave (a burst 2 zone that auto-dazes enemies only for the whole encounter, no sustain). They have the enlarge spell feat and a plethora of +1 staffs of expansion so that whenever they cast Grasp it becomes burst 4 zone for the whole encounter. They both have Salves of Power to recycle Grasp once per milestone. The Swordmage also has Grasp via multiclassing and the enlarge spell feat.

Basically every encounter there will be at least one, possibly multiple huge zones that mean that virtually every enemy in the mod will be dazed the entire time. There is no way to turn this off, short of killing the wizards (and by paragon tier, actually killing a PC is hard enough, given monster damage, at the bestr of times). I'm forced to read down the stat blocks and re-evaluate every encounter in the light of this. Bye bye OAs and immediates. Sustain minor? As if. Basic conclusion is that every potentially challenging encounter is rendered trivial.

Oh, and both wizards have sleep, salves of power and the ability to tack -8 or so onto one monster's save per encounter.

Basically, the whole thing will be a broken mess. The encounters will pose no challenge, the non-wizard players will have naff-all to do combat wise, and I think the mod will be the poorer for it. Thing is, the characters are all perfectly LFR legal. The players all know perfectly well that the whole set-up is broken, but it doesn't stop them.

I don't know how to handle the situation. Do I shrug and say ok, in the hope that they'll eventually get bored of winning everything easily? Do I metagame viciously against the wizards and try to take them out (probably not)? Do I appeal to the players' sense of fair play and ask them to pick different dailies (I highly doubt they will)? I know some of the non-wizard players don't like this situation either, but it seems we have little choice but to put up with it.

Suggestions?
I think your situation is a bit in the extreme.  I am assuming this is a regular group?  I have at times sat with another wizard at a table (I play one, but don't have Grasp), but to regularly have two plus a MC?  That's a lot of Wizard and seems an unusual situation.

When you end up in this type of position, the overpowered-ness of something gets compounded.  If that's how they have fun, so be it.  Run the mod, let them walk it, make it a good time for them.  Maybe they will eventually get bored or ask you to bump up the challenge.  Intelligent enemies would probably decide the Wizards were prime targets because of this though.  So you don't necessarily have to meta-game it.
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
Do I shrug and say ok, in the hope that they'll eventually get bored of winning everything easily?

IMHO yes, that's exactly what you should do. The players obviously want their easy victories and if the archive them through legal means, let them have it. That's at least the solution if the whole group knows each other and they're all OK with this style of play.
I know some of the non-wizard players don't like this situation either, but it seems we have little choice but to put up with it.

Now that becomes a problem. The ideal solution would to simply not place players with these contradicting preferences at the same tables. If that is not possible, a compromise needs to be arranged. Note that such a compromise should indeed be at the middle-ground and not just completly give one crowd what they desire and leave the other crowd to either take it or leave it.

So if crowd A wants really easy fights and group B wants challenging fights, give them moderate fights. In itself the desire to have every fight become a stroll through the park is in no way inferior to the desire to be challenged, as long as it's accomplished while sticking to RAW

His situation is hardly extreme. In my area I have both played at and judged for several 2+ Grasp of the Grave character modules. The are three players in my regular group who are Grasp of the Grave addicts and take it whenever possible, even 13 int wardens (you know who you are).

We have adopted the saying, 'Tell us a pretty story', for encounters where playing out the combat is a waste of everyone's time. Instead people just mark off resources (usually a couple power salves/healing surges) and move the story along.
The most important thing to consider when deciding what to do is to remember that the entire point of playing D&D is for you and the players to have fun. This is a point you should also make to the players. If the players have fun walking through the encounters this way, then so be it. But it doesn't sound like everyone agrees and that is where the problem lies. The problem isn't with broken rules. No matter how perfect Wizards makes their products there will always be someone out there that can find a way of making a D&D game unfun. The problem is with some of your group having fun in a way that makes the game unfun for others and that is exactly how the problem should be approached.

Fortunately, you seem to have a regular group and this allows you deal with the problem amoungst yourselves.  The best solution would be to sit everyone down before the game and discuss it. Have the people who aren't having fun with this much cheese (including the DM, you have a right to have fun too) explain this to the other players and negotiate some kind of happy medium. Above all, remember the main point: The game is about EVERYONE having fun.

Some important points to remember:

  • Do not use DM fiats to solve the problem, it will only create hostiliy from the players.

  • Don't be accusatory, demanding or beligerant towards the players who like the cheese. It is simply a different style of play, not a wrong way of playing.

Writing Director - Returned Abeir
Basically, the whole thing will be a broken mess. The encounters will pose no challenge, the non-wizard players will have naff-all to do combat wise, and I think the mod will be the poorer for it. Thing is, the characters are all perfectly LFR legal. The players all know perfectly well that the whole set-up is broken, but it doesn't stop them.



Honestly, if I'm senior DM and assuming travel time is involved, I'd say something the effect of:
"Look, if you 3 are just planning to break the mod with this power, I'm not going to the trouble of getting to the gaming spot in the first place."
I think your situation is a bit in the extreme.  I am assuming this is a regular group?  I have at times sat with another wizard at a table (I play one, but don't have Grasp), but to regularly have two plus a MC?  That's a lot of Wizard and seems an unusual situation.

When you end up in this type of position, the overpowered-ness of something gets compounded.  If that's how they have fun, so be it.  Run the mod, let them walk it, make it a good time for them.  Maybe they will eventually get bored or ask you to bump up the challenge.  Intelligent enemies would probably decide the Wizards were prime targets because of this though.  So you don't necessarily have to meta-game it.



It is a bit unusual, it just so happens we have a large number of paragon tier wizards. But not all wizards need to pick the same power.

Intelligent enemies should indeed attack the wizard (since the only way to get rid of the grasp is to kill them), but actually trying to kill a wizard with shield, wizard's escape and a shielding swordmage who can deny 18 points of damage per round also at the table is generally pretty futile.


So if crowd A wants really easy fights and group B wants challenging fights, give them moderate fights. In itself the desire to have every fight become a stroll through the park is in no way inferior to the desire to be challenged, as long as it's accomplished while sticking to RAW


I'd be quite happy to do that if I could. Unfortunately I can't think of a way to even moderately challenge the group under such extreme circumstances.

The problem is with some of your group having fun in a way that makes the game unfun for others and that is exactly how the problem should be approached.
Fortunately, you seem to have a regular group and this allows you deal with the problem amoungst yourselves.  The best solution would be to sit everyone down before the game and discuss it. Have the people who aren't having fun with this much cheese (including the DM, you have a right to have fun too) explain this to the other players and negotiate some kind of happy medium. Above all, remember the main point: The game is about EVERYONE having fun.


Well, I can but try.
In my experience talking with all the people involved is best. I would not start with talking about the powers, and how it breaks the fight, I would begin with a discussion about what the players want out of the fights. That way, you avoid making it personal. If people express a wish to have challenging fights, those using these combo's might realize people want different things out of the game and they are stepping on the fun of others. If on the other hand, those using the combo also want a challenge, I would steer the discussion in how they think you as a DM should deal with the powers. After all, running a fun game is not just the responsibility of the DM. If all this does not work, and you and the others at the table are not having fun, then stop doing it. D&D is a game. If you are not enjoying yourself you are doing yourself and the players a diservice and ultimately hurt LFR much more then by trying to cater to two or three players.

Personally, I am glad the gamers I play most often with have decided to avoid these combo's. They also do not use the reward cards. They play the game for the story and the challenge, although, I suspect some players would have a little bit more fun if they used some of the attack reroll cards considering the amount of bad luck they have Wink
Well, there's two sides to this coin and we are only seeing one side of it.

Have you, as DM, seen these three characters get together in the same mod and use Grasp of the Grave each encounter?  Or are you just assuming that they will since they each do happen to have the power?  Also, while it might not seem fair, focus fire on the Wizards is a valid tactic if the monster realize the Wizards are the ones hurting them the most.  Now, it wouldn't be fair to single out the one Wizard with the spell going, but if you start pounding on *all* of the squishies, they will get the point. 

Also, is Grasp of the Grave a flat-out zone, conjuration power?  Some monsters (and some PC classes) can get a power to dispel zones and conjurations.  Sounds like that is what your monsters need to start specializing in.
Well, there's two sides to this coin and we are only seeing one side of it.

Have you, as DM, seen these three characters get together in the same mod and use Grasp of the Grave each encounter?  Or are you just assuming that they will since they each do happen to have the power?  Also, while it might not seem fair, focus fire on the Wizards is a valid tactic if the monster realize the Wizards are the ones hurting them the most.  Now, it wouldn't be fair to single out the one Wizard with the spell going, but if you start pounding on *all* of the squishies, they will get the point. 

Also, is Grasp of the Grave a flat-out zone, conjuration power?  Some monsters (and some PC classes) can get a power to dispel zones and conjurations.  Sounds like that is what your monsters need to start specializing in.



Yes. This is a regular play group, and I have seen these characters in action from level 1. I have seen them spam 9x9 grasps. Sometimes I've been a player on the same side as them, but I don't enjoy it much from that side of the table either. When they're not using salves to get back grasp, it's to get sleep, which with save penalties is also a problem.

It's got worse since hitting paragon, where salves are readily available, as are staves of expansion.

Perhaps my tactical skills are not up to par, but 'pound on the squishies' is fine in principle, but hard work in practice when there's a shielding swordmage and a sword-and-board fighter at the table.

In LFR, I have to work with what I'm given. If there are no monsters in a fight with 'dispel magic' or whatever, I can't retrofit in a counter.

If there are any monsters which are NPC Wizards, then you *can* retrofit them to have the Dispel Magic level 6 utility spell.  Also, you can retrofit them to have Grasp of the Grave.  Let the players see what it feels like to be locked down.  They might change their minds after a bit of a taste of it. 

Also, I noticed that the dazed condition is "til end of next turn" for entering or starting in the zone.  Another good suggestion would be the keep the enemies away from the area once they place it down.  It's not like it's an invisible zone or anything.  The monsters won't go near it once it's in place.  If they have powers which can easily move things around, then you start focusing on keeping those PCs from functioning properly. 

 Another good suggestion would be the keep the enemies away from the area once they place it down.  It's not like it's an invisible zone or anything.  The monsters won't go near it once it's in place. 



Burst 4 is pretty huge; that's a 9x9 space. Not so easily avoided.
As soon as the grasp hits the field, have everything run away to the next encounter.

Repeat the trick until they're either taking on the whole module in one battle (and low on resources since they're throwing out Grasps and lack access to multiple uses of encounter powers and ways to use healing surges) or until they don't use Grasp and actually try to make the battle interesting.

It'll either end in TPK and a lot of whining, or an interesting module. 
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
It's cheesy and I'd hate to feel a need to do it, but there's an awful lot of stupidness you can do in reaction with readied actions. For example, you can ready to do things (like charge out at the wizard) when they're no longer dazed or, if also being locked down by a fighter (which is when it _really_ gets egregious) ready to charge or move on his turn, when he can't OA or interrupt.  Potentially difficult to line up undazed and 'on the fighter's turn' though, so at a minimum if several creatures move at once he can only OA one cause it's only one OA per turn. They'll even end up able to do OAs and not grant combat advantage for a round that way. Though, yes, they're effectively granting part or all of a round to the opposition.

And, yes, this is distasteful so you should let the group know that if they feel a need to exploit the mechanics of grasp and salve to that extent, then you're going to exploit the mechanics in a similar way to avoid that. I'd particularly apologize to a fighter as you brazenly bypass his ability to OA or combat challenge.

The 'have everyone run away and regroup' option is potentially viable in some modules. In others less so. It may be the case that you'll want to make far far larger maps than indicated by the module, as one other possible method of addressing it. If you change a 12x12 battle into a 40x40 battle, that'll let you spread things out enough to avoid initial bombing. Boy would it suck to be melee though. And when all the monster melee gathers, it'll get smacked.

Or just shrug and handwave things. Or take a break from paragon LFR until things are fixed up.

P.S. Hopefully they'll errata readied actions sometime, though I'd put them on the list well after Salves of Power, Grasp of the Grave, and save penalties. I do wonder if any DMs have run into people who avoid OAs by readying to do area/ranged/whatever during an adjacent creature's turn though, or ready charges for when not immobilized or dazed.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
If there are any monsters which are NPC Wizards, then you *can* retrofit them to have the Dispel Magic level 6 utility spell.  Also, you can retrofit them to have Grasp of the Grave.



Well, within the rules of LFR, and DM Empowerment...no, you can't.  You're not allowed to make those sorts of changes to monsters / NPCs.
"Of course [Richard] has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives. It's 1183, and we're barbarians!" - Eleanor of Aquitaine, "The Lion in Winter"
The timing of the daze is wierd for certain. Unfortunately the monsters can't ready actions while dazed, so they can't get out of it that way. So yeah, if the Grasp of the Grave covers the majority of the battlefield, it makes sense for the monsters to retreat to a safer area and lie in wait of the PCs.
Unfortunately the monsters can't ready actions while dazed, so they can't get out of it that way.

Rules citation?

You can't delay while dazed (per rules for delay), nor take immediate actions (per rules for daze), but you can take a standard action (ready) which has a trigger for your immediate reaction action after you're no longer dazed. The most reliable being to ready for when you're not dazed, since otherwise it can end up wasted. I myself believed you couldn't ready while dazed until about two weeks ago when I dazed some creatures and a DM readied in response.

But, really, flight out of an area is probably a vastly underused tactic for a variety of encounters.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
I write this in full knowledge of what the official answer is, but am wondering what other people make of the situation. How would you deal with this problem?



I dislike the idea of either mangling the rules to disallow what the players are doing or mangling the adventure to make the tactic ineffective.

If you're not having fun DMing, don't DM.  If you're not having fun DMing because of specific players, don't DM for those players.

Unless you are in some way contractually obligated to DM, you are completely free to decide the conditions under which you will run a table.  Just because someone's character is completely legal in LFR doesn't mean they have the right to require you to DM for them.

You are completely free to say "I'd like to run a hack-and-slash game", "I'd like to run a roleplaying-intensive game" or "I'd like to run a game for PCs of a particular power level".  If you have players that are interested in playing the type of game you want to run, DM for them.  If you have players that are interested in playing a different type of game, let them find their own DM.

That's not to say that you're right and they're wrong, it's merely saying that only wanting to DM a particular type of game has nothing to do with being right or wrong.
I do wonder if any DMs have run into people who avoid OAs by readying to do area/ranged/whatever during an adjacent creature's turn though, or ready charges for when not immobilized or dazed.



I don't have any problem with the second: it's a logical thing to do within the context of the game reality, and it might not work since the trigger isn't guaranteed to come up.

The first has an easy fix, though.  "According to the RAW, this works.  However, it's pure meta-gaming, and if you do it, I'll feel free to do so as well, and you should probably keep in mind that PCs rely on immediate actions a lot more than the average creature does."
I write this in full knowledge of what the official answer is, but am wondering what other people make of the situation. How would you deal with this problem?



I dislike the idea of either mangling the rules to disallow what the players are doing or mangling the adventure to make the tactic ineffective.

If you're not having fun DMing, don't DM.  If you're not having fun DMing because of specific players, don't DM for those players.

Unless you are in some way contractually obligated to DM, you are completely free to decide the conditions under which you will run a table.  Just because someone's character is completely legal in LFR doesn't mean they have the right to require you to DM for them.



I'll second this suggestion. If no-one is making you DM for them, don't DM for them. If that hurts the LFR player base in your region, they can eliminate the conditions that cause DMs not to want to DM (stop using grasp of the grave in that manner, convince WotC to have more sensible LFR rules that do not simply allow everything from Dragon into the game, or convince WotC to errata the eggregiously broken powers and items). If it doesn't hurt the LFR player base, it'll just mean you get to play more often (hopefully with a different group of players). If it does damage the LFR player base in the area and they neither they nor WotC decide to do anything about it... how big of a loss was it really? If you did not enjoy running the games and other people did not enjoy playing in the games with the broken wizards, why cry over losing the opportunity to spend 4 hours not having fun?

I just hope that nobody reads this thread and assumes that every table will have 2+ GoGers with power salves in every adventure, and writes adventures accordingly. 

Frankly, folks who use these tricks have officially won at D&D - they should be allowed to savour their victory. 

The rest of us can plug away just fine with our normal characters.  I have never seen a power salve used, by anyone, ever (I have 3 paragon characters of my own, so it's not like I'm a n00b).

If there are any monsters which are NPC Wizards, then you *can* retrofit them to have the Dispel Magic level 6 utility spell.  Also, you can retrofit them to have Grasp of the Grave.



Well, within the rules of LFR, and DM Empowerment...no, you can't.  You're not allowed to make those sorts of changes to monsters / NPCs.



According to the official RPGA Character Creation Guide v1.9:


The DM can make slight modifications to an encounter to make it the right challenge for the group.  Examples include adding another monster of the same type as one existing in an encounter (such as adding a 4th goblin sharpshooter to an encounter that normally has 3), removing a monster from an encounter, adjusting the level of a monster by +/- 1 level (and thereby adjusting hit points, defenses, and attacks), or changing the tactics present for a monster to something more/less optimal than listed.

You will notice that these are *examples* and one of these examples is adjusting the level of a monster.  I see nothing different from changing the level of a monster and changing the power line-up a monster has.  As long as the monster is already in the module, it's fair game to be included in any encounters the DM deems it might be necessary.

You might be thinking of this part:

The DM cannot add monsters or NPCs to encounters that are not present in the adventure.  The DM must use the monsters present in the adventure. For example, if an encounter includes an adult green dragon, the DM cannot change the dragon to an adult white dragon or an elder green dragon.

Which says that the DM cannot add new monsters to the module, but must use the monsters already in the module.  Notice that I said "if you are playing in a mod with an NPC wizard" earlier?  Yeah, I knew he couldn't add one in.  But, if there's one already there....

The next part makes this whole conversation moot, though:

The DM cannot specify what rules elements are or are not allowed for characters.  This Character Creation Guide determines the legality of player resources for characters, not the DM.

Which just means that if you are playing in a group who likes to use stuff from Dragon magazine, as long as the stuff they are using is legal in the CCG (ie, the rule(s) being used are from a compiled Dragon magazine, not an individual article during the current month) then they are allowed to use it and cannot be told by the DM that they cannot use it.  However, this doesn't stop the DM from making the monsters smart enough to work around whatever rules or powers are being used.  Especially if one "gets away" in the first encounter and can go tell the rest of the monsters in the encounter the tactics the group used on his friends.

You will notice that these are *examples* and one of these examples is adjusting the level of a monster.  I see nothing different from changing the level of a monster and changing the power line-up a monster has.



IMO, there's a significant difference between changing the monster's level (which just affects their likelihood of hitting and being hit, and their hit points), and tweaking their powers, particularly when said tweaking is specifically being done to combat a particular player tactic / power.

Note that I'm not saying I like what the players in bigfluffylemon's group are doing...I'm just saying that I don't believe that this proposed solution is sanctioned by LFR rules.
"Of course [Richard] has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives. It's 1183, and we're barbarians!" - Eleanor of Aquitaine, "The Lion in Winter"
I write this in full knowledge of what the official answer is, but am wondering what other people make of the situation. How would you deal with this problem?



I dislike the idea of either mangling the rules to disallow what the players are doing or mangling the adventure to make the tactic ineffective.

If you're not having fun DMing, don't DM.  If you're not having fun DMing because of specific players, don't DM for those players.

Unless you are in some way contractually obligated to DM, you are completely free to decide the conditions under which you will run a table.  Just because someone's character is completely legal in LFR doesn't mean they have the right to require you to DM for them.



I'll second this suggestion. If no-one is making you DM for them, don't DM for them.



This is probably the most constructive solution. As I said before, it's a regular play group. We essentially take it in turns to DM. While we've had players who never DM, most do, and it's considered only 'fair' to take your turn, since everyone would rather play than DM.

I'll request not to run any paragon mods in future, and stick to DMing heroic.

As for the forthcoming game, while we have established that running away is generally the best tactic for the monsters when a grasp hits the table, it's often not practical, or even possible. Remeber there are two wizards at the table with a plethora of other control powers (walls, immoblises, slows, etc. etc.) and there will also be a fighter pinning people down in the zone, and lots of forced moved (including a few teleports) that make getting out and staying out pretty hard, especially a 9x9 area on a standard sized map.

I could fudge it and make the maps bigger, but the hoses the melee PCs, and also the vast majority of monsters lack a credible ranged threat (in the case of most minions, any ranged threat at all - I might be reduced to having them pick up rocks and throw them - improvised ranged weapons - that'll scare paragon PCs).

I certainly don't want to take a passive aggressive approach. This is after all my regular playgroup, and the vast majority of the time I have a lot of fun playing with them. Most other tiers we don't have much, if any broken-ness going on. Those players don't go out of their way to break all their PCs. They just made wizards as their first PCs back when LFR began, and as they levelled up, arcane power came out etc. the builds coalesced as they picked what seemed to be the most powerful options. And while we recognised pretty quickly that grasp is OP, it's taken several games to appreciate just how broken it is. I'm not as surprised WoTC missed it as many of the other things that have slipped through the cracks.
If that is the case, then why not talk about exchanging it on a voluntarily base? I know at least player around here who did so. Ultimately, talking is the best way to deal with this.

I think I'd have to go with, "An anvil rainstorm springs up."

Is that within DME?


I think I'd have to go with, "An anvil rainstorm springs up."

Is that within DME?




Only if there are already anvils in the module. Wink
"Of course [Richard] has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives. It's 1183, and we're barbarians!" - Eleanor of Aquitaine, "The Lion in Winter"
Actually I am happy this thread came up....

LFR Mod writers may now truly write a mod that has a real "HIGH" and "LOW".

And more importantly, players will have to make a real choice of going high or low instead of the smart-alec answer when a DM asks the question (Duh, we always go High response).

So if the players decide to go High, combats can be insanely challenging
Well, you can play DALE1-7...

*ducks*

I just hope that nobody reads this thread and assumes that every table will have 2+ GoGers with power salves in every adventure, and writes adventures accordingly. 

Frankly, folks who use these tricks have officially won at D&D - they should be allowed to savour their victory. 

The rest of us can plug away just fine with our normal characters.  I have never seen a power salve used, by anyone, ever (I have 3 paragon characters of my own, so it's not like I'm a n00b).




The ongoing arms race between power-gamers and mod writers in Living Greyhawk was not something I would say was good for the campaign. Elevating the difficulty, especially in a never ending cycle, creates an elitist environment that distances and eventually excludes newbies and casual players.

Writing Director - Returned Abeir
Yeah, we played a mod called "All the King's Men" last weekend.  It was terrible.  The last combat is *impossible* if you don't have any ranged attacks.  My Fighter picked up a Farbond Spellblade after we went through that mod and were forced to run away. 

Somewhere, some mod writing in the future is going to see that many people ran away from that last encounter and they are going to write an epic level mod with that thing coming back super powered and angry at your character for failing to destroy him in the first place. 

I just hope that nobody reads this thread and assumes that every table will have 2+ GoGers with power salves in every adventure, and writes adventures accordingly. 

Frankly, folks who use these tricks have officially won at D&D - they should be allowed to savour their victory. 

The rest of us can plug away just fine with our normal characters.  I have never seen a power salve used, by anyone, ever (I have 3 paragon characters of my own, so it's not like I'm a n00b).




The ongoing arms race between power-gamers and mod writers in Living Greyhawk was not something I would say was good for the campaign. Elevating the difficulty, especially in a never ending cycle, creates an elitist environment that distances and eventually excludes newbies and casual players.




Note that this was not an universal trend in Living Greyhawk and is thus not inevitable in LFR.

It is possible to write for the average (or perhaps PHB baseline) rather than the bleeding edge of power. I hope that LFR continues to make that its goal--and continues to more or less deliver it.
This isn't really an issue with Dragon. It's an issue with D&D in general. Last year at this time, the power was Rain of Blows. Pretty much every strength-based character that used a light blade, flail, or spear could unleash 100+ damage in one action, and drop solos in one round at level 4.

It's inevitable to happen. If there's a power worth using a Salve or Power Jewel for, or multiclassing to get, odds are it's overpowered and many characters at a table will be looking to exploit it.

The issue is that the time it takes to fix these powers is on the scale of months, not  days or weeks. It seems ironic to be having this conversation at the same time as the backlash from the November errata.
Well yeah, there needs to be some heavy rules errata esspecially for the Dragon Magazine stuff

I'd get along more with people if they didn't jump onto a hyberbole every single time you say something they don't understand.
The issue is that the time it takes to fix these powers is on the scale of months, not  days or weeks. It seems ironic to be having this conversation at the same time as the backlash from the November errata.



It's actually a little less ironic than you think. The items that have generated the most discussion from the November errata are not errata to powers or magic item powers but rather changes to more fundamental game mechanics that have cascade effects on particular characters. Most of the sound and fury (which I would argue does signify something in this case) is about the change to avengers' armor of faith class feature and the change to double weapons (mostly as they relate to tempest fighters, dwarves, and eladrin). The vast majority of changes will not have similar impact on a similar number of characters. (Sure, some swordmages and wardens who multiclassed wizard to get grasp of the grave would need a while to change out, but I'm guessing that there are far far fewer such characters than there were double weapon wielders or leather/hide armor wearing avengers).
It is possible to write for the average (or perhaps PHB baseline) rather than the bleeding edge of power. I hope that LFR continues to make that its goal--and continues to more or less deliver it.

As do I.  That certainly seems to be the intent of existing LFR mods.

The constant flow of new content does tend to cause power creep, though.  I would prefer that new content be playtested more thoroughly to avoid this, but I guess it's unrealistic to expect that this will always be the case.  Many players that I game with have a bit of self-control and avoid using content that they feel will spoil others' enjoyment of the game, but I guess it's unrealistic to expect this as well.

I suppose problems come up when you get different styles of players at the table.  I know many players who complain that LFR is "too easy" and want modules that are tailored to their min-maxed play style.  Frankly, I find it tedious to constantly remind them that LFR is designed to accessible to new and experienced players alike, and that they set the difficulty of the game for themselves based on their character choices.
Update:

Well, in the end it all worked out fine. One player had to drop out, so we only had one wizard, and after a good-natured discussion at the start of the game he prepared different dailies.

The mod was great, and we all had a blast.

Happily ever after.

Somewhere, some mod writing in the future is going to see that many people ran away from that last encounter and they are going to write an epic level mod with that thing coming back super powered and angry at your character for failing to destroy him in the first place. 



You have to admit that that idea is just ful of win :P

erdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:12px; margin:8px">
(Sure, some swordmages and wardens who multiclassed wizard to get grasp of the grave would need a while to change out, but I'm guessing that there are far far fewer such characters than there were double weapon wielders or leather/hide armor wearing avengers).



QFT.

There is also the possibility that a nerfed Grasp of the Grave may still be a very good daily, and may be worth keeping anyway...and you won't have to feel as dirty about using it.

It's cheesy and I'd hate to feel a need to do it, but there's an awful lot of stupidness you can do in reaction with readied actions. For example, you can ready to do things (like charge out at the wizard) when they're no longer dazed or, if also being locked down by a fighter (which is when it _really_ gets egregious) ready to charge or move on his turn, when he can't OA or interrupt. 

Or just shrug and handwave things. Or take a break from paragon LFR until things are fixed up.




Yeah sometimes its better to go home than go big.  Charging out may solve a problem after round 2 of the encounter, but there is a chance at Paragon levels that half of the enemies in the GotG have been beat down or severely crippled by then. Or something simple like a color spray is used on round 2 etc. By round 2 the PCs are usually up in that grasp of the grave causing major havoc-since its enemies only.

His situation is hardly extreme. In my area I have both played at and judged for several 2+ Grasp of the Grave character modules. The are three players in my regular group who are Grasp of the Grave addicts and take it whenever possible, even 13 int wardens (you know who you are).



Hey my grasp of the grave warden has a 16 int.

 
There are three players in my regular group who are Grasp of the Grave addicts and take it whenever possible


Hmm addicts...how about having 6 paragon level fighters? Laughing

Hmm addicts...how about having 6 paragon level fighters?



I'll have you know I only have three.
All I know is that when Greg Bilsland tweeted that he was working on the November Update I hit reply and asked him to fix Grasp of the Grave. Alas it didn't happen.

I play a Wizard, and yes I use the power - it is simply an amazing control power, but that doesn't stop me from realising that the stupid thing is all sorts of busted. Even when it was accidentaly "updated" by the Character Builder it was still strong, and then they put it back to OP *sigh*.
Sign In to post comments