January rules update up

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www.wizards.com/dnd/files/UpdateJan2010....

Fairly minimal:
* Forced teleportation somewhere they could fall allows a save.
* Dominate no longer allows free actions
Fairly minimal, indeed. Still, it ends the second-most common debate on these forums (teledropping), so that's decent. It still doesn't end the most-common (weapliments) Tongue out
Sounds pretty reasonable.  Still some concern that a Paladin could Lay On Hands his dominator, but it does a nice job cleaning up Action Point expenditures.
What makes me sad - no more compiled magazines: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/27580349/Dungeon_and_Dragon_Magazine_PDFs&post_num=24#495423645
So apparently, we will have to deal with monsters being teleported into the air at the maximum height possible on every teleport out there now--they just get a save. That's a shame.

A save against the extra falling damage isn't even close to enough to balance 30 feet of falling damage for every enemy within 2 squares on splinter the formation or 15 extra feet of falling damage and prone for every enemy in twist of space, or 100 feet of falling damage for every victim of elemental maw.

Before the clarification, I would have been perfectly comfortable as a DM saying that it was an area that the designers had not thought of and arbitrarily disallowing such shenanigans. Now, it would appear that the designers have approved them. I doubt that was their intention, but the only thing I have to support that doubt is, "surely, they can't be that stupid."
So apparently, we will have to deal with monsters being teleported into the air at the maximum height possible on every teleport out there now--they just get a save. That's a shame.

Er, considering that before, you could do exactly that, but they didn't get a save, I'd have a hard time considering this update a problem.

If you were using a house rule before, then sure, this update does indicate that the way you were playing wasn't correct, but for those who were using RAW, this is a good change.

And, according to Greg Bilsland, who appears to be the lead on errata issues, we will apparently be getting some real answers to weapon/implement issues in March:
To clarify, we don't say you can't teleport into midair, therefore you can.

This update was fairly small because these were PH3 clarifications that weren't originally in the update pipeline. You can look forward to a much more comprehensive update in March (in addition to PH3 clarifications). Weapons as implements and implement as weapons, for example, couldn't be included in this update due to the programming time constraints for the CB.

... and there was much rejoicing.
So apparently, we will have to deal with monsters being teleported into the air at the maximum height possible on every teleport out there now--they just get a save. That's a shame.


Well, that's a flat 55% chance of negating the entire teleport, so that's quite a gamble for the player. At least pushing people off a cliff throws them prone if it fails.

Still, a guy with WOTC in his username made the explicit post that "we don't say you can't teleport into midair, therefore you can." And as we know, forum posts by guys with "WOTC" in their username are considered official rulings for the purposes of RPGA, so this clears up a lot of debate in one brilliant stroke. I'm sure there's some other rules debates that fall on the line of "the rules don't say I can't / the rules don't say I can, either" and this essentially answers all that, too.

Good. Less debate means more gameplay.

Er, considering that before, you could do exactly that, but they didn't get a save, I'd have a hard time considering this update a problem.


Perhaps you hadn't noticed, but yesterday about half the forum here disagreed with that particular interpretation; it got weekly and lengthy threads with both sides claiming their opinion is RAW and the other opinion is a houserule. We probably need a name for that particular fallacy, where are Stormwind and Oberoni when you need them?

Still some concern that a Paladin could Lay On Hands his dominator

That sounds like exactly the mean thing an evil monster should do when it has dominated a paladin who's adjacent to the monster. Thanks for the idea!

Still some concern that a Paladin could Lay On Hands his dominator

That sounds like exactly the mean thing an evil monster should do when it has dominated a paladin who's adjacent to the monster. Thanks for the idea!



Yeah, I know the idea behind the "At-Will" restriction, and it is reinforced by the "No Free Actions" ruling, is that when Dominated you are not supposed to lose any resources beyond your turn(s), but the Lay On Hands is totally RAW, still.

Maybe they are changing Lay on Hands to look more like Healing Word - ie, it will be a Daily, but with a "Special: You can use this power a number of times each day equal to your Wisdom modifier."
What makes me sad - no more compiled magazines: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/27580349/Dungeon_and_Dragon_Magazine_PDFs&post_num=24#495423645
So apparently, we will have to deal with monsters being teleported into the air at the maximum height possible on every teleport out there now--they just get a save. That's a shame.


Well, that's a flat 55% chance of negating the entire teleport, so that's quite a gamble for the player. At least pushing people off a cliff throws them prone if it fails.

Still, a guy with WOTC in his username made the explicit post that "we don't say you can't teleport into midair, therefore you can." And as we know, forum posts by guys with "WOTC" in their username are considered official rulings for the purposes of RPGA, so this clears up a lot of debate in one brilliant stroke. I'm sure there's some other rules debates that fall on the line of "the rules don't say I can't / the rules don't say I can, either" and this essentially answers all that, too.

Good. Less debate means more gameplay.



Maybe it will mean more gameplay. But it's a pretty dramatically unbalancing ruling, so the correspondent reduction in gameplay quality could well mean less gameplay instead. With some monsters having at-will 20 square teleports and a lot of PC powers having relatively long-range hostile teleport effects, this may actually threaten the playability of the game. The first of those monsters with a 20 square reaction teleport every time someone smacks them to appear in an outdoor environment is going to cause TPKs when judges decide that what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

IMO, the best that can be hoped for is a 3.5 style blasphemy truce. PCs could crank out the caster level 25 holy words and automatically kill all the monsters in an encounter pretty easily. Authors could max blasphemy earlier and easier and automatically TPK any party they wanted. Either way, the game stopped being fun when it was involved. Fortunately, at least in a lot of the Living Greyhawk community, everyone recognized this after a little bit and stopped using it even though the tools were readily at hand. However, blasphemy was a very common monster ability--I don't know if forced teleports are common enough monster abilities to make that kind of a truce stick in LFR.

Also, I'm not sure that "we all know" that forum posts by guys with WotC in their name are official rulings for RPGA. I don't see anything to that effect in the CCG.
RE: WotC names and rulings

While I suspect the comment was made tongue-in-cheek, for RPGA purposes it's Customer Service/CustHelp answers/rulings that we abide.

Greg's a standup guy, but he's not CustHelp. 

(And I still suspect that the CustHelp ruling will be modified in next week's CCG update)
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So is wormhole plunge instant death to any enemy in the zone now?

The attack creates a zone in the space that the target vacated. The zone lasts until the end of your next turn. Any creature that starts its turn within 3 squares of the zone is pulled 1 square toward it or into it. As a free action, you can teleport a creature within the zone 3 squares.

If you start your turn in the zone you can be teleported 3 squares up as a free action, falling and taking 1d10 damage, then as a free action you get teleported 3 squares up again, rinse and repeat till target is dead =)

I find that amusing.  Though the GM would just say "no more free actions for you" I'd hope lol.
Blah blah blah
So is wormhole plunge instant death to any enemy in the zone now?

The attack creates a zone in the space that the target vacated. The zone lasts until the end of your next turn. Any creature that starts its turn within 3 squares of the zone is pulled 1 square toward it or into it. As a free action, you can teleport a creature within the zone 3 squares.

If you start your turn in the zone you can be teleported 3 squares up as a free action, falling and taking 1d10 damage, then as a free action you get teleported 3 squares up again, rinse and repeat till target is dead =)

I find that amusing.  Though the GM would just say "no more free actions for you" I'd hope lol.

LOL, does make for a great visual. But the DM being the one legal arbitration source on how many, or even if at all, free actions you get. I would say your hope is a guarantee. Would be at my table anyway

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With some monsters having at-will 20 square teleport [...]

Couldn't find any of those, but did find a few monsters with teleport as an offensive option.

I did a DDI Compendium search on "teleport", restricted to published rulebooks only, levels 1-20.

Dimensional Marauder (lurker 4) - can teleport 1 target 3 sq
Eladrin Twilight Encanter (controller 8) - can teleport 1 target 3 sq, but not into an "unsafe space"
Portal Drake (controller 10) - can teleport 1 target 5 sq
Couatl Rogue Serpent (skirmisher 14) - can swap places with target up to 10 sq away, under certain conditions; also has fly (hover) so could conceivably teleport a target 10 sq into the air
Gray Slaad Havok (artillery 15) - can teleport 1 target anywhere within a close burst 10
Adult Wretch Dragon (elite brute 17) - close blast 5 can teleport targets 5 sq, but only onto "solid ground"
Green Slaad (controller 18) - can teleport 1 target 10 sq

Slaads scare me more now than they already did.


Dimensional Marauder (lurker 4) - can teleport 1 target 3 sq
Eladrin Twilight Encanter (controller 8) - can teleport 1 target 3 sq, but not into an "unsafe space"
Portal Drake (controller 10) - can teleport 1 target 5 sq
Couatl Rogue Serpent (skirmisher 14) - can swap places with target up to 10 sq away, under certain conditions; also has fly (hover) so could conceivably teleport a target 10 sq into the air
Gray Slaad Havok (artillery 15) - can teleport 1 target anywhere within a close burst 10
Adult Wretch Dragon (elite brute 17) - close blast 5 can teleport targets 5 sq, but only onto "solid ground"
Green Slaad (controller 18) - can teleport 1 target 10 sq



Looking at the details...



The Dimensional Marauder has to teleport to a square adjacent to the target, so that's a mutual destruction pact.



The Portal Drake's teleport is on a recharge.



The Couatl Rogue Serpent's teleport is on a recharge.



The Grey Slaad Havok is terrifying (and it's a move, not a standard, so even worse).



The Green Slaad's teleport is on a recharge.



Could be worse!




With some monsters having at-will 20 square teleport [...]

Couldn't find any of those, but did find a few monsters with teleport as an offensive option.

I did a DDI Compendium search on "teleport", restricted to published rulebooks only, levels 1-20.

Dimensional Marauder (lurker 4) - can teleport 1 target 3 sq
Eladrin Twilight Encanter (controller 8) - can teleport 1 target 3 sq, but not into an "unsafe space"
Portal Drake (controller 10) - can teleport 1 target 5 sq
Couatl Rogue Serpent (skirmisher 14) - can swap places with target up to 10 sq away, under certain conditions; also has fly (hover) so could conceivably teleport a target 10 sq into the air
Gray Slaad Havok (artillery 15) - can teleport 1 target anywhere within a close burst 10
Adult Wretch Dragon (elite brute 17) - close blast 5 can teleport targets 5 sq, but only onto "solid ground"
Green Slaad (controller 18) - can teleport 1 target 10 sq

Slaads scare me more now than they already did.


I may have been wrong about the 20. I remembered some fairly long-range teleports being used offensively against me, but it may have been 8 squares rather than 20. (Which is plenty bad enough).


We can also add to your list


exalted brain in a jar (controller 12) at will immediate reaction +16 vs will when hit with a melee attack, teleports the target 8 squares.



There's a solo in Shadow of Pyramids who has an immediate reaction like that, but he's unlikely to show up in an LFR adventure.
The new teleport rules actually have an influence on the 10 evermeet warlocks we have in the region as well.
The new teleport rules actually have an influence on the 10 evermeet warlocks we have in the region as well.

How?

Some people interpreted the start adjacent-teleport 1 to a still adjacent square as an auto break grab feature.


Some people interpreted the start adjacent-teleport 1 to a still adjacent square as an auto break grab feature.



If you're talking about Ethereal Sidestep and Feywild Wake, it does work, because you can't take OAs if you can't see your opponent, and thus you can't hold a grab on said opponent.

Some people interpreted the start adjacent-teleport 1 to a still adjacent square as an auto break grab feature.



If you're talking about Ethereal Sidestep and Feywild Wake, it does work, because you can't take OAs if you can't see your opponent, and thus you can't hold a grab on said opponent.



I think the monster needs to be affected by a condition that prevents it from taking OAs. Since invisible only affects you (and not the monster) it would still be able to keep a grab.

edit: Exact text is:
"Effects that end a grab: If you are affected by a condition that prevents you from taking opportunity actions (such as dazed, stunned, surprised, or unconscious), you immediately let go a grabbed enemy."

This seems like being able to apply a condition where the monster can't see (such as blinding it) would break a grab, but using a power with a range personal (such as ethereal sidestep) would not fall under the effects that end a grab. 
I like the teleport ruling. It gives us general guidance. Beyond that, individual powers/monsters/etc. can be erratad to be balanced. For example, the Wretch Dragon was and is overly weak. It simply can't be offensive with the teleport at all, while other creatures can. But, now they could consider changing that based on the overall rule.

For players, this should bring balance as well. Any powers bringing problems can be brought in line.

I am really eager for the Weapliments clarification. I'm sad to have to wait a month.

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If you're talking about Ethereal Sidestep and Feywild Wake, it does work, because you can't take OAs if you can't see your opponent, and thus you can't hold a grab on said opponent.

A grab ends if you are prevented from taking opportunity actions.  If you can't see a particular opponent, you can still take opportunity actions, you just might be unable to make an opportunity attack against him.

A blinded creature can continue to grab someone.


(And I still suspect that the CustHelp ruling will be modified in next week's CCG update)


Stop making me sad!

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The reason this ruling fails is mainly that, when something is being teleported, there is no pause time .. the teleport is immediate, so there's no time for them to try to grab onto something or whatever.  And that fact that it only kicks in if the teleport is to somewhere that's not solid ground smacks of metagaming.

It would have been far better for them to say something like "if the teleport would place the target into open space or hazardous terrain, make an attack of your level vs. the target's will and, if the attack misses, then they aren't teleported."  At least this would give us something in-game to explain why the teleport failed: their will was strong so they didn't move.  How they knew they were going to be teleported out into open air and needed to make the save is beyond me, but still.  It would at least put the control of whether it happens or not into the player's hand and not the DMs (who can easily fudge die rolls when they are behind the screen.)

I would have been happier with a save whose difficulty was relative to the number of spaces being teleported. It might have been interesting to have "you made your save by three, so you resist three squares of teleportation, you end up here instead".

The reason this ruling fails is mainly that, when something is being teleported, there is no pause time .. the teleport is immediate, so there's no time for them to try to grab onto something or whatever.  And that fact that it only kicks in if the teleport is to somewhere that's not solid ground smacks of metagaming.

It would have been far better for them to say something like "if the teleport would place the target into open space or hazardous terrain, make an attack of your level vs. the target's will and, if the attack misses, then they aren't teleported."  At least this would give us something in-game to explain why the teleport failed: their will was strong so they didn't move.  How they knew they were going to be teleported out into open air and needed to make the save is beyond me, but still.  It would at least put the control of whether it happens or not into the player's hand and not the DMs (who can easily fudge die rolls when they are behind the screen.)


Why is it that you can't grab onto the ground when being slid normally, but you can when being slid into a pit? It's a game mechanic meant for balance, which can be justified flavorfully. To be honest, if you think your DM is cheating...well, there are other problems there.
Which is why I always let players roll for recharge powers and saving throws in regards to hazerdous terrain. On occassion I even let players roll recharge dice even though the power does not recharge. It can add a level of excitement to the game, especially if they never roll that 6 ;)

Regardless,  D&D is a game and 4E always has been much more open about metagaming then previous editions. In many cases, the fights actually become more exciting with metagaming game mechanics. Adding a secondary attack roll ultimately costs more time because saving throws are simple afairs with no to little calculations.

Side note: the  reason most often used to explain the saving throw for pits and rivers is that the victim is actually flung into the terrain, but manages to grab the side and drags himself out of the pit, hence ending up prone next to it.
It would have been far better for them to say something like "if the teleport would place the target into open space or hazardous terrain, make an attack of your level vs. the target's will and, if the attack misses, then they aren't teleported."  At least this would give us something in-game to explain why the teleport failed: their will was strong so they didn't move.


Most forced teleportations are already attacks vs will, and there's no reason why a monster would object stronger to being placed in mid-air, than to being placed in a wall of fire or next to a big hulking barbarian.

The fact that the enemy probably doesn't want to move there (regardless of whether he's being pushed, slid or teleported) is why you make an attack roll in the first place.
Whether you agree with 4e's philosophies or not, creating some new style custom method for how you save against teleports that would create falls is sort of counter to how the new game works and is designed to be play. If it's going to be there, I prefer that it work in a manner consistent to other forced movement against falls. I'd actually prefer that it left you prone as well just to keep it identical to existing rules. Yes, the concept of how you'd make that save is hard to imagine but, call it "magic" and move on with a streamlined game.
When attempting to teleport a target, the caster needs perfect concentration and visualization to move a target seamlessly into the new location. With a willing target, this isn't too complex. With an unwilling target, this can be extremely difficult (requires an attack roll), especially (granting a save) if moving the target to a location where the target is unable to maintain state (ie, standing) or an environmental attack is in the way (hindering terrain).

Poof, some fluff BSing to back up the new rule.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
OK.  Let me see if I can get someone to understand this.

I am using a power which teleports a target.  I make an attack roll to see if the teleport goes off.  The attack hits, so the target is teleported.  If I choose to teleport the target to a space where it has nothing to stand on or where it will get attacked or take damage, the target gets to save to avoid the fall or the damage.  If it saves, it negates the teleport.

This should have been set up where if I made an attack roll to teleport the target, they get no save since that's their save.  If it's an automatic teleport (like the Swordmage Aegis of Ensnarement teleport) then they can make a save if I decide to put them somewhere unsafe.  That way, if I am moving them with a power that has the teleportation in the Hit: line (not the Effect: or Miss: line) then they only get to make the save if I missed (or if the teleport is part of the Effect: line.)

This makes more sense to me and makes it fair to the players (since Elite and Solo monsters get a bonus to saving throws) and to the monsters (since they still get to make a saving throw if the teleport required nothing on the part of the player to accomplish.)
We are past the point where they could really make this change but, I think a cleaner system would have been to have a blanket penalty of -2 or -5 to attacks that will move the target to a place that will cause it additional damage beyond the power and equipment used. Maybe something to add to the next edition.
Is the resistance to this update that it somehow allows enemies to be teleported vertically now? My reading suggests that teleports would still only move enemies horizontally.
If you consider teleports to be forced movement and since forced movement is still only horizontal ... yeah, you could make that case.
Of course, there's a way to make the new ruling not hurt ones sensibilities and let it have sensible outcomes in game:  Don't telelport things into the air.

Please resume. 
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
This new ruling rocks Elemental Maw even more.

Because if the target resists being teleported 20 squares up, they instead remain where they are: in the vortex. So now what? Still being in the vortex means they would have to take damage again and have to make another save vs. teleporting 100 feet into the air. Rinse repeat until they are either consumed by the vortex or fall 100 feet.

Eh, there'll be a dozen more rules updates before anybody is using Elemental Maw.  Plenty of time for them to get it right, or wrong in a completely new way.


In the meantime though, what does this mean for Voidcrystal Weapons?  You don't pick the destination square when you activate the power, but on the following turn when they reappear. And the power does not require the creature to come back on solid ground. So if you pick a destination 3 squares up in the air, does the creature get a save?  If it makes it, does it simply not reappear? (Hey, the teleportation failed!) Do they try again next turn, or just never make it back to this world?
I would let the creature return in its original square. (Or choose its destination.)

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LFR Calimshan Writing Director
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This new ruling rocks Elemental Maw even more.

Because if the target resists being teleported 20 squares up, they instead remain where they are: in the vortex. So now what? Still being in the vortex means they would have to take damage again and have to make another save vs. teleporting 100 feet into the air. Rinse repeat until they are either consumed by the vortex or fall 100 feet.


The elemental vortex (in the maw) is a single square that does damage and teleports creatures pulled into it - if you try to teleport them into the air or into hindering terrain, and they make their save, they're just left standing there. Where they can proceed to leave as they see fit. It's just a square.

But the real sucky part is that no other creatures in the area burst 4 can now be pulled into that vortex square, since it's occupied.

So, elemental maw is likely slightly worse now, since you can make a save against being teleported into hindering terrain.

Void crystal is interesting, though. If I had to make a ruling, I'd say that you got to pick a spot within 3 squares as normal, and if it made the save, it either appears in the closest legal square, or the target gets to pick a legal square (only if closest legal doesn't work for some reason)

Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
My reading suggests that teleports would still only move enemies horizontally.

Since you could teleport someone of a cliff without teleporting them vertically (so I understand your quandry). However, the prohibition against vertical movement is for forced movement only.... which teleportation is not (this is made more clear by the update... i.e. the teleportation rules are different than the forced movement rules, and the newly added teleport save does not require you to go prone).

Also, after two posters specifically asked (here) if you can teleport someone vertically, one of the game editors answered saying "you can".

Perhaps you hadn't noticed, but yesterday about half the forum here disagreed with that particular interpretation

I don't frequent this particular thread, but the matter had been previously resolved on the '4e Rules Q&A' forum, and the writers even corroborated that it wasn't forced movement and had no inherent save (hence the need for the fix)... but yeah, the topic came up constantly across the forums.