Dragon 384 - Channel Divinity: Favoured of Mielikki

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DnDi_Large.png       Dragon 384
Channel Divinity
Favoured of Mielikki

by Matthew Sernett


Mielikki touches all who feel wonder in the wild, but her favored domain is woodlands.  This article includes brief backgrounds for the major forests of the Realms with pointers for where to find more information about them, plus historical notes on the goddess and a new paragon path: Favored of Mielikki.


I rarely pray. I prefer to speak to my goddess through my daily actions, and through my honest emotions. I need not gloss over what has occurred with pretty words, twisting them to show myself most favorably. If Mielikki is with me, then she knows the truth, knows how I act and how I feel.


Talk about this article here.

384_cd_mielikki.jpg

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

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A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

The crunch of the article is crap. This ain't 3.5, Mr. Sernett. Stuff in 4e is at least supposed to have a working baseline.

This is an article I ‘m going to use in my LFR & home FR games.  The “Playing a Devotee of Mielikki” is good and will help a player of mine in certain “party vs. nature” situations.   The backgrounds section could have been better.   Instead of listing page numbers it could have actually expounded on what the faithful does in the area.  For example, the Aglarond would have benefited from this type of blurb.  “You became a member of the faith because *insert creative stuff* one day you hope to be a Yuirwood Ranger…etc..”  The feats, path, and powers appear to work well within the  Forgotten Realms setting.  They don’t look like something that was hammered to fit into the setting.  Only actually game play will demonstrate whether or not the "crunch" will work.


Hopefully they will offer more camapign specific CD articles in the future.

Remember, no matter where ever you go, there you are. --Shaundakul
The crunch of the article is crap. This ain't 3.5, Mr. Sernett. Stuff in 4e is at least supposed to have a working baseline.


Could you be more specific?  Aside from a couple of conditional abilities (the "outdoor" requirements mostly, but even then lots of encounter take place "outdoors"), the crunch looks fine to me.
I thought it was a great article. I love the Realms so im always happy so see more Realmslore, there doesnt seem to be enough these day. I also think its great that theyre focusing on the lesser gods.
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
i was fairly pleased and if you aren't even playing the realms, some of this could easily be adapted to give some fluff to Melora. Course, i'm running a homebrew that i allow players to select deities from Eberron or Forgotten Realms if they feel it is a better personification of their character's faith. So, i'd allow lore from either setting into my homebrew in terms of deities.
The crunch of the article is crap. This ain't 3.5, Mr. Sernett. Stuff in 4e is at least supposed to have a working baseline.


Could you be more specific?  Aside from a couple of conditional abilities (the "outdoor" requirements mostly, but even then lots of encounter take place "outdoors"), the crunch looks fine to me.


4e is based on the assumption that everything works to some extent all the time. The feat or ability in question can have a bonus in certain conditions, and that's perfectly fine, but the problem with these feats and the paragon path is that they ONLY work outdoors. The stuff in this article runs completely counter to 4e design philosophy, and is in fact, more compatible with the philosophy that turned off so many in 3.5.

The feats here are simply poorly designed. Good design would be for those feats to have some sort of benefit that can be used in all encounters, and then a little something extra for outdoor settings.

And that paragon path is a joke. Things that provide combat bonuses against one or two specific types of creatures should've died with the 3.5 Ranger. The entire paragon path is like that, too.

The feat or ability in question can have a bonus in certain conditions, and that's perfectly fine, but the problem with these feats and the paragon path is that they ONLY work outdoors.
The feats here are simply poorly designed. Good design would be for those feats to have some sort of benefit that can be used in all encounters, and then a little something extra for outdoor settings.



The first part of your statement is incorrect.  Wilderness Wariness gives the player who chooses this feat a bonus to perception that can be applied to any situation.  The Paragon Feat, Forest Walk, can be used creatively in underground forests, a large scale city park (Phlan or Waterdeep), inside an elven fortress, etc..


Also Wilderness Wariness fits the outline given in your second statement about good feat design.


And that paragon path is a joke. Things that provide combat bonuses against one or two specific types of creatures should've died with the 3.5 Ranger. The entire paragon path is like that, too.


These sentences are incorrect too.  Mielikki’s Generosity benefits everyone in the party and it doesn’t require any one to be ‘outdoors’.  Also, Mielikki’s Judgment works against three types of creatures in any combat setting.  This paragon path was made for followers of Mielikki with the following prerequisites being good and being a follower of the goddess in question.


So far this is what I see about the design philosophy about CD. It is written for players who use a specific deity.  Everything in the article is constructed to be used with one specific deity.  Everything in the article is an option for that particular player. In this case a player chooses to follow a specific deity.   They then find a CD article about their deity.  The article up front tells the reader all they need to know about the deity in a small write up.   The player then has the choice to use any of the feats, powers, or paragon path in the said article.  The design philosophy for this Channel Divinity article seems to be addressed faithfully by this author.



Remember, no matter where ever you go, there you are. --Shaundakul
The first part of your statement is incorrect.  Wilderness Wariness gives the player who chooses this feat a bonus to perception that can be applied to any situation.


A very weak benefit. No one takes this feat just because of a Perception feat bonus. Hell, if that was all I was going for, I might as well just take Skill Focus (Perception).

My point stands. A feat that is weaksauce or useless in any setting except the one prescribed is a feat that is still garbage. This feat needed more of a baseline, and to balance it out, less of an outdoors benefit attached as an extra.

It is poor design. Period. End of story.

The Paragon Feat, Forest Walk, can be used creatively in underground forests, a large scale city park (Phlan or Waterdeep), inside an elven fortress, etc..


Again, irrelevant. Feats that are worthless except in the right environment are feats of bad design.


Also Wilderness Wariness fits the outline given in your second statement about good feat design.


See above. No, it does not.


These sentences are incorrect too.  Mielikki’s Generosity benefits everyone in the party and it doesn’t require any one to be ‘outdoors’.


Okay, that's ... one. But since when does an AP feature define a paragon path? And this one isn't anything special, either.


Also, Mielikki’s Judgment works against three types of creatures in any combat setting.


You obviously missed the part where dazing criticals only happen outdoors. So, if you're not outdoors and not fighting one of the three types of creatures, your feature is worthless. Which is the very definition of bad design.


It would've been much improved to have the dazing criticals on all the time, outdoors or not. Then at least it'd have some sort of useful application all the time regardless.


This paragon path was made for followers of Mielikki with the following prerequisites being good and being a follower of the goddess in question.


And that's fine. But it's also an irrelevant point. A red herring. Having the prerequisites it does does not excuse the paragon path from being useless 90% of the time.

Litigation, I agree with you, and respect your opinion as a general rule, but your tone and lack of clarifying points is unhelpful in this scenario.  I suggest you re-evaluate your outgoing communications.  Read your own post as if you were not yourself, and evaluate a) how persuasive and b) how helpful to a legitimate discussion it is.

That said, Litigation is correct in the assertation the crunch of the article is sub par, at best.  Any conditional feat (one useful only in certain circumstances) must by default be more powerful in said circumstances than one useful all the time.  The issue with that is this is a PnP RPG.  The DM controls the circumstances of nearly every encounter, to the extent that they lay down the plot hooks and control the overall direction of the campaign.  The players can camp out all year long in a forest if they want, but that's not been my experience of how campaigns generally work.  Thus, the usefulness of this feat/ power/ PP with a conditional requirement does not depend on the condition- it depends on the GM.  It is as over or under powered as the GM makes it, and that's just not a good thing.

If the GM caters to this poorly designed choice, it limits the variety of the campaign, and makes the choice overpowered.  In all situations where you can use this choice, the limitations may well have not existed, for the purpose of balance.  In which case, it's just overpowered, period.  If the GM does NOT cater to this poorly designed choice, it leads to all sorts of issues, in and out of game.  Great.

The point is that such conditional powers are disruptive to overall game design, and add unneeded complexity to the task of balancing any given encounter/ adventure/ campaign.  They cause problems and solve none.  For that reason, they were deliberately not included in 4e, and to see their reappearance is disturbing, at best.

Furthermore, in terms of the PP- follower of the diety, and good aligned?  GOOD ALIGNED??  What sort of requirement is that?  Follower of the diety fits for RP standpoint, but what's to stop someone from starting to follow (in lip service) the diety so they can get the PP (if it actually were worth taking, thankfully it's not)?  The alignment restriction is asinine- if someone is neutral (undecided) and a follower, this is not for them?  How so?  Furthermore, this is the first alignment restriction I'm aware of for a PP, and supports the idea of an alignment as a straightjacket, not a conceptualization of the morality of your character.  Again, destructive to the overall game experience.

The fluff is fine.  I've had no complaints about it and have heard none.  Very well done article in that sense.  The crunch is not so great.  Many elements Literally DETRACT from the overall game experience, if allowed to be in a campaign.   They are no good, from a player or DM standpoint, and it is a very valid point that they need to be SERIOUSLY evaluated and reworked to prevent their undermining some key concepts behind the entire play experience and design of 4e.
Shadow of the Wild needs to be reworked, I'll agree--it's a potentially busted feat that only works in some situations the the GM controls entirely.  Litigation is right about that one.

As for the rest, though, it's fine.  Forestwalk may seem situational, but remember that there are lots of ways to create difficult terrain underbrush--see the PP in this article!--and so it can be taken to make a PCs own powers more effective.  The +2 perception bonus from Wilderness Wariness is always useful, and the feat itself is flavorful and cool on the rare occasions it comes up.  The Paragon Path is on the low end of the power curve, yes, but it's by no means useless. Even inside, it's AP power has a lot of utility, and it's encounter is generic but fine.  The utility power is situational, but it's daily; safe bet there will be one fight a day where there will be a plant somewhere.  And the level 16 feature is really two features. Though they are both situational, the odds are that at least one of them will come into play in a given adventure is pretty high.
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I thought it was a great article. I love the Realms so im always happy so see more Realmslore, there doesnt seem to be enough these day. I also think its great that theyre focusing on the lesser gods.



I was not so impressed with the regional lore. No real info (i.e temples, known clerics, groups) on Mielikki worship in the Dalelands or Myth Drannoor, for instance, which is a pity.

Otoh, I looked at the paragon path and I think it looks pretty great.
I might convert my wizard to worship Mielikki so she can take it.

Gomez
The only good thing that can be said about the feats and paragon path in this article is that you can a) ignore or b) houserule them. (Houserule as in the DM decides to ignore all Wilderness restrictions on the feats and PP because he planned a campaign arc in the Abyss and he's not willing to replan or listen to the constant whining of his druid.)

But then, one of the basic reasons to play 4th edition was to provide rules that you don't need to create ignore-lists or houserules for.

ERRATA. NOW. 
The feat Alertness from PHB1 may as well be any of the conditional feats in this article.  As a matter of fact, you may very well have more difficult terrain outside in your campaign than being surprised.

Are these feats much different than Light Step or Back to the Wall?  What about feats like Sweeping Flail?  

Very conditional corner feats have existed since the day this game came out.  Nobody really loved them then either, but I do not see some change in design philosophy.   
You can be surprised anywhere (just most DM's don't use it), you can only be outside when your outside. Sure, surprise doesn't happen very often, but atleast you don't go into an adventure knowing feats are auto-useless.

Light Step is arguably bad, but Back to the Wall and Sweeping Flail are usable in just about any encounter.

And just because they existed in PHBI, does not mean they need to be continued to be made. There are alot of bad things in PHBI (overpowered PP's and Demigod, which continue to be keystones of optimization to this day, math that doesn't scale correctly, and  races who have design issues) that didn't fit design philosophy and have mostly not been repeated (except for Chosen).

Because there are some bad feats  doesn't mean they need to make more bad feats.


Light Step is arguably bad, but Back to the Wall and Sweeping Flail are usable in just about any encounter.

Because there are some bad feats  doesn't mean they need to make more bad feats.



Enemies with shields have to be less frequent than fighting outside. 

I'm not saying that I desire more of these feats.  I do think they have their place.  I'm just saying they have always been there, and always will be.  They are part of the 4e design unlike what some people are saying. 

Some people liked this article.  For those that didn't, a wall of power blocks was released today for Warlords that may be more to their taste.
Hyperrestricted feats have been FAR RARER with the improved content quality of PHB2 and later power books.  It's the sudden display of a whole article of content restriction that has made this situtation so heinous.  They don't need to exist if people don't make them, and people won't make them if we make it clear they are not desired- the likeability people had for this article had nothing to do with the restrictions, but the flavor.
What's hyper-restrictive?

As I said earlier, the only hyper-restrictive feat is Shadow of the Wild.  That one needs fixing.  The first of the other two feats provides a permanent bonus to go with its situational ability; the second is one that you can turn on every encounter with proper selection of Primal powers.

The Paragon Path has one-and-a-half features that only work outside. It's AP feature, Encounter, Daily, and half of it's 16th level ability will all work in any setting.  It's on the low end of the power spectrum IMO, but that's due to the lack of keywords making it impossible to deal meaningful damage with the classes powers, and due to the non-situational weakness of the 11th level power (seriously, even if it ALWAYS ignored cover and concealment it would be lackluster).

There is one feat that violates 4e DnD design constraints.  That's it. 
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