March 2010 D&D Rules Update

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Hey all,

March Update is out:

www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/u...

Just started browsing through it, but so far it appears that if I thought my lockdown wizard was feeling a little crippled by the last update, she's had her legs completely cut off by this one. I may have to rebuild her from the ground up with a different focus. Luckily I can do that now.

Interestingly, Dice of Auspicious Fortune were errata'd, but not in a way that actually adresses the real problem with the item. They now get used before you make the attack roll - use the stored result instead of making the attack roll. Okay, so you don't get to know beforehand whether you actually needed the Dice or not.

But that wasn't the real problem. It's still an Encounter power. Which means you could still buy multiple sets of the Dice and therefore keep using them multiple times per encounter.



-karma
LFR Characters: Lady Tiana Elinden Kobori Silverwane - Drow Control Wizard Kro'tak Warscream - Orc Bard Fulcrum of Gond - Warforged Laser Cleric
But that wasn't the real problem. It's still an Encounter power. Which means you could still buy multiple sets of the Dice and therefore keep using them multiple times per encounter.



Sure, at the cost of using up all your daily item powers uses. given the typical 4 encounter mod, you're talking 6 rolls total: 3 before the milestone, 3 after the milestone (from the second set).

math suggests only 3 will be > 10 (on average, though law of small numbers applies).  you won't be able to use 2 of them in an encounter until after the milestone, since you won't have 2 sets stored for use.  so yes: you could certainly make that last encounter into some guaranteed hits, but then, so does a taclord in your party, and he leaves you free to use some other item powers.




Interestingly, Dice of Auspicious Fortune were errata'd, but not in a way that actually adresses the real problem with the item. They now get used before you make the attack roll - use the stored result instead of making the attack roll. Okay, so you don't get to know beforehand whether you actually needed the Dice or not.



They're definitely still good, but losing the reroll really takes a big giant whack out of their effectiveness. There are definitely a lot of equally useful items out there...
You can also use the power salve to recharge any encounter attack power, so PP powers are fair game or if youve got a nice one you like (emmm... Cursegrind, etc) or your level 13 encounter stun, you can use it again.
Hey all,

March Update is out:

www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/u...

Just started browsing through it, but so far it appears that if I thought my lockdown wizard was feeling a little crippled by the last update, she's had her legs completely cut off by this one. I may have to rebuild her from the ground up with a different focus. Luckily I can do that now.



Yeah, they're doing a nice job of fixing problems. Several expected fixes which look good even if they affect my character. I knew Blood Pulse was too good when I got a set of three undead with it and then a cleric pushed them 7 squares to do a total 21d6 damage ... the fix to only damage on voluntary movement makes a lot of sense. Ditto for the Caiphon "just give me the radiant criticals, ma'am" power. 
My PMC Fighter/Cleric has a sad about Righteous Brand.  Been waiting for it for ten levels, get to play with it once, and *wham*.

Seems like they might have worked out all the PHB errata some time ago.  I guess people are just now realizing attribute bonuses can get pretty large, as we're getting into higher-tier play.
My PMC Fighter/Cleric has a sad about Righteous Brand.  Been waiting for it for ten levels, get to play with it once, and *wham*.



Try Insightful Strike instead(Warlord at-will from MP2). If anything, it is better than Righteous Brand. You hit, you add either Wis or Cha to +1 instead of +2 from CA for anyone in your party...

Not bad, if I was a warlord, I guess.  I don't much cotton to the "complete retrain", though.  I'll just take my +3 and be happy(ish).


 

My PMC Fighter/Cleric has a sad about Righteous Brand.  Been waiting for it for ten levels, get to play with it once, and *wham*.



Similar (but lesser) sad here - got my Str to 22 at 11, but haven't played yet.  Oh well.  Still better than a melee basic, and puts Priest's Shield on the radar.
Yeah, if we could just get a Dragon article assigning domains to the lesser deities (Clangeddin, Dumathoin, etc.), maybe I could get it as an MBA replacement.  THAT would happy me.
Let's hear it for the Gnolls finally getting that Claw Fighter fix oooh now the possibilities are endless Gnoll Sorcs, Gnoll Rangers, Gnoll Rogues, Gnoll Battleminds, ooooh a Gnoll Avenger with a Disrupting Weapon that's right CLAWS AS HIS HOLY SYMBOL.  
Interestingly, Dice of Auspicious Fortune were errata'd, but not in a way that actually adresses the real problem with the item. They now get used before you make the attack roll - use the stored result instead of making the attack roll. Okay, so you don't get to know beforehand whether you actually needed the Dice or not.



They're definitely still good, but losing the reroll really takes a big giant whack out of their effectiveness. There are definitely a lot of equally useful items out there...



Yes, the dice are still good, but the nerfing brought them back to earth.  Restricting them to only attacks is a big nerf too -- no more using 8s or 9s (with other bonuses) to make saves.

Daren
Righteous Brand.



Is anyone else amused by the Righteous Brand nerf?  Yes, Righteous Brand was awesome.  Yes, adding a stat to someone else's attack was really good. 

But look at warlords.  How many ways do warlords get to add their stats to people's attack/dmg/initiative/etc.?

It's like saying, hey that class shouldn't have a pistol, it's too good- while ignoring the class with the machine gun.

It seems to me that this change was based off of them noticing design flaws in 4e, and striking out at random examples of them while ignoring their presence across the system.  And nerfing strength clerics, which in my opinion really pale in comparison to decently built warlords, just seems silly to me.

Maybe Righteous Brand could be considered overpowered at say H1, or maybe even H2.  At higher levels though...

(For the record, I have both a paragon tier melee cleric and warlord in LFR, so if you're guessing at my biases...there they are.)

Is anyone else amused by the Righteous Brand nerf?  Yes, Righteous Brand was awesome.  Yes, adding a stat to someone else's attack was really good. 

But look at warlords.  How many ways do warlords get to add their stats to people's attack/dmg/initiative/etc.?



I think they must have been doing some high level playtesting and someone's Cleric made a nova happen consistently. I wouldn't be surprised if Warlord gets it next...
My PMC Fighter/Cleric has a sad about Righteous Brand.  Been waiting for it for ten levels, get to play with it once, and *wham*.



Similar (but lesser) sad here - got my Str to 22 at 11, but haven't played yet.  Oh well.  Still better than a melee basic, and puts Priest's Shield on the radar.



Hmm. I've played almost 4 levels with my str 22 cleric, and righteous brand was nice but since nothing ever came into melee range unless I made a save against immobilization, braved eight OAs, jumped across a chasm, and used snap out of it to avoid being dazed before I could attack, I think I used righteous brand for the bad guys (while dominated) as often as I used it to benefit my party.

And priest's shield is still garbage. At this point, I'm beginning to suspect that they're deliberately sabotaging older builds to make people buy the new books. After all, why else would bring out righteous brand for the whole party as a warlord power a couple weeks before you nerf the original righteous brand?
"Quick, kill off the battle clerics, the runepriests are almost here!"

Before the Righteous Brand nerf, I thought that WotC had forgotten that strength clerics even existed.
And priest's shield is still garbage. At this point, I'm beginning to suspect that they're deliberately sabotaging older builds to make people buy the new books. After all, why else would bring out righteous brand for the whole party as a warlord power a couple weeks before you nerf the original righteous brand?



Remember, Righteous Brand is usable as a melee basic with Power of Skill. There's probably some sort of Polearm build that made it look really scary.
Glaive + Polearm Gamble + HBO.  Take feats and items that increase your OA bonus and you'll have some great cheese. This allowed the possibility of more than one player having a STR bonus to their attack roll if a monster provoked.


Warlord at-wills would be difficult to nerf. Of their three best at-wills only two depend on someone else hitting and the third is a situational effect. Commander Strike gives a bonus to damage but the ally has to hit. Direct the Attack is based off an ally's basic attack and give no bonuses. Wolf Pack's effect allows an ally adjacent to you or the target to shift, but if their is difficult terrain or immobilized its not happening.

Lend Might + Golden Crown + Commanders Strike = +3 atk/+7 dmg at level 14 at-will, but that's not until P1/P2
I think they must have been doing some high level playtesting and someone's Cleric made a nova happen consistently.

You do get the feeling that the errata is directly linked to what characters are being played in the dev's home games.

Apparently, no one there is interested in playing a feycharger or a frostcheese ranger, but someone obviously irritated the hell out of the DM with a bard who uses Vigorous Cadence and a Flute of the Dancing Satyr.

Apparently, no one there is interested in playing a feycharger or a frostcheese ranger, but someone obviously irritated the hell out of the DM with a bard who uses Vigorous Cadence and a Flute of the Dancing Satyr.




I'm reasonably certain that I'm one of the people who when I post on CharOps on certain threads, I'll get the attention of the devs(who came out and admitted that they read specific CharOp threads for errata possibilities today)

And I complained about the Flute. One of those items that are super-cheap in Paragon and when it was an encounter, you could easily activate one per round with a Wizard or anyone else who can replace what's in their hand with a minor. 
Glaive + Polearm Gamble + HBO.  Take feats and items that increase your OA bonus and you'll have some great cheese. This allowed the possibility of more than one player having a STR bonus to their attack roll if a monster provoked.


Warlord at-wills would be difficult to nerf. Of their three best at-wills only two depend on someone else hitting and the third is a situational effect. Commander Strike gives a bonus to damage but the ally has to hit. Direct the Attack is based off an ally's basic attack and give no bonuses. Wolf Pack's effect allows an ally adjacent to you or the target to shift, but if their is difficult terrain or immobilized its not happening.

Lend Might + Golden Crown + Commanders Strike = +3 atk/+7 dmg at level 14 at-will, but that's not until P1/P2



You can nerf the golden crown to being an item bonus and commander's strike to being a power bonus. It limits extra bonuses that way. Intuitive Strike is the real problem, though. It needs to be nerfed to Stat mod/2 or an additional +3 or +4 with CA.
And I complained about the Flute. One of those items that are super-cheap in Paragon and when it was an encounter, you could easily activate one per round with a Wizard or anyone else who can replace what's in their hand with a minor.

We really need a new category, perhaps "daily, but not costing a daily magic item power use".  As a daily magic item power, the flute is almost completely worthless.

I think if every problem causing by allowing epic characters to have an infinite number of heroic magic items is solved by nerfing the heroic level magic items, we're going to end up with a very limited list of heroic level magic items worth taking.
We really need a new category, perhaps "daily, but not costing a daily magic item power use".  As a daily magic item power, the flute is almost completely worthless.

I think if every problem causing by allowing epic characters to have an infinite number of heroic magic items is solved by nerfing the heroic level magic items, we're going to end up with a very limited list of heroic level magic items worth taking.



This wasn't a epic level issue. This was a low to mid-paragon issue. Buy 5 of them when you sell a level 16 item.

It now isn't a bad 6th level item. It isn't a great 6th level item, but I'd happily carry one around for quite some time if I found it in a home game. There are times when you need the entire party to shift 1 square while using a free action. That lets you do it. Not every item in D&D needs to be worth a found item slot in LFR...
We really need a new category, perhaps "daily, but not costing a daily magic item power use".  As a daily magic item power, the flute is almost completely worthless.

I think if every problem causing by allowing epic characters to have an infinite number of heroic magic items is solved by nerfing the heroic level magic items, we're going to end up with a very limited list of heroic level magic items worth taking.



This wasn't a epic level issue. This was a low to mid-paragon issue. Buy 5 of them when you sell a level 16 item.

It now isn't a bad 6th level item. It isn't a great 6th level item, but I'd happily carry one around for quite some time if I found it in a home game. There are times when you need the entire party to shift 1 square while using a free action. That lets you do it. Not every item in D&D needs to be worth a found item slot in LFR...



Really? I would argue that, if it's not worth a found item slot in LFR, it's probably a weaksauce item. Think about it. In LFR, an item is worth a found item slot if it is worth passing up the opportunity to get another found item to obtain. Since your choice of found items is fairly limited, that is by no means equal to being a great item of its level. For example, one of my warlords who had lived for several levels on the +1 magic weapon he bought after his second adventure took a +2 strongheart weapon as a found item. Is strongheart a good item? Certainly not. But it's +2 and at this point (or earlier) in the character's career (level 5-6) any +2 weapon is worth a found item slot (since he doesn't have one already). Strongheart didn't have to be a good choice to merit that found item slot.

But now, we're considering an item that will never be worth a found item slot. In fact, it will never be worth owning. Not only is it worse than most of its competition similarly leveled competition (iron armbands of power or flute? Tough choice--not; boots of the fencing master or the flute? not a tough choice either; if it's worth having, it's better than the new flute), it eats up a magic item daily power--and that opportunity cost prevents it from being worthwhile at high levels when it would be affordable.

The bottom line is that this errata demonstrates the fundamental flaw in the economics of 4e: they make it difficult to have useful magic item powers except at epic levels. Even the most mundane level 15 item can become five level 5 items and the opportunity cost of making or buying one is 25 level 5 items. Thus if you make power-based level 5 items that are any good, the level 25 ones have to be REALLY  good before people think about them.
And I complained about the Flute. One of those items that are super-cheap in Paragon and when it was an encounter, you could easily activate one per round with a Wizard or anyone else who can replace what's in their hand with a minor.

We really need a new category, perhaps "daily, but not costing a daily magic item power use".  As a daily magic item power, the flute is almost completely worthless.



The new category wouldn't solve the fundamental problem. If it were a daily power that did not cost a daily use, the flute would be even worse for the game at the levels where people seem to think it became problematic. Only being able to use it once per day does nothing to dissuade the guy who has 25 of them. He won't use all 25 once per day anyway and five levels after it was a problem before, those 25 flutes are as affordable as the 5 flutes were at level 15.

What the game needs is a shallower wealth curve, not a new category of powers. (It would also help to go back to the elegant balancing mechanism of slotted items that only begin to function after 24 hours of continuous use--perhaps in combination with a generic rule that non-big three static effect items also only take effect after a similar time period).
But now, we're considering an item that will never be worth a found item slot. In fact, it will never be worth owning. Not only is it worse than most of its competition similarly leveled competition (iron armbands of power or flute? Tough choice--not; boots of the fencing master or the flute? not a tough choice either; if it's worth having, it's better than the new flute), it eats up a magic item daily power--and that opportunity cost prevents it from being worthwhile at high levels when it would be affordable.



Funny, my paragon tier Bard is likely to buy one. And keep it a lot longer than the other items that you're mentioning.

It is a nice tactical power and there are times where the party needs to shift as a free action. If I never use it, it is only 1800 gold and doesn't take up a slot. That not taking up a slot gives it a lot of long-term value.

I wouldn't likely take it as a found item, but I rarely take found items anyway, because I'm saving slots for paragon/epic. Then again, I wouldn't take iron armbands or boots of the fencing master as found items either. Armbands are easy to buy. Boots don't have much value outside heroic.
And I complained about the Flute. One of those items that are super-cheap in Paragon and when it was an encounter, you could easily activate one per round with a Wizard or anyone else who can replace what's in their hand with a minor.

We really need a new category, perhaps "daily, but not costing a daily magic item power use".  As a daily magic item power, the flute is almost completely worthless.

I think if every problem causing by allowing epic characters to have an infinite number of heroic magic items is solved by nerfing the heroic level magic items, we're going to end up with a very limited list of heroic level magic items worth taking.



This category already exists.  It is called "healing surge".  Of course, it has only been used once or twice ever in all magic items ever created, but it exists.

-SYB
My bard has the flute... I use it for doing bardic rituals. I also have thought about using it a couple times, and actually used it once. So, the errata didn't change much for me, but it still made me sad because it strikes me as fundamentally missing the point.

The problem is not that you could use the flute once per encounter.

The problem is with using multiple flutes. Just like multiple salves. Or swiftshot crossbows. Or...

I'd really like a limitation to one use of any particular item, instead.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
My bard has the flute... I use it for doing bardic rituals. I also have thought about using it a couple times, and actually used it once. So, the errata didn't change much for me, but it still made me sad because it strikes me as fundamentally missing the point.

The problem is not that you could use the flute once per encounter.

The problem is with using multiple flutes. Just like multiple salves. Or swiftshot crossbows. Or...

I'd really like a limitation to one use of any particular item, instead.



I've suggested that. Doesn't seem to be sticking yet. Maybe soon.

It really is the rational way to limit things, even in the future, without having to worry so much about the power of any one given item. As I've argued before, it isn't hard to read the rules in a way that the limit is already there.
Yeah, if we could just get a Dragon article assigning domains to the lesser deities (Clangeddin, Dumathoin, etc.), maybe I could get it as an MBA replacement.  THAT would happy me.



At the risk of sounding snarky (I promise, I'm not) - maybe you should pitch the concept to the D&D Insider team.  If you'd be willing to do the legwork (mapping out domains and deities) you could check out the submission guidelines here: www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/submis... and if they like the idea (and your subsequent work) YOU could get the list published.  

If writing isn't your thing, start beating up writing directors (metaphorically) and see if any of them are willing to take the bait.  Maybe collaborate with one of the James brothers even.   
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Ya know, I had a sneaking suspicion I might get a response right along those lines... 



Yeah, they're doing a nice job of fixing problems. Several expected fixes which look good even if they affect my character. I knew Blood Pulse was too good when I got a set of three undead with it and then a cleric pushed them 7 squares to do a total 21d6 damage ... the fix to only damage on voluntary movement makes a lot of sense. Ditto for the Caiphon "just give me the radiant criticals, ma'am" power. 



It is funny, but the "problems" seem to have a striking resemblence towards teamwork and working together. Teamwork doesn't stop at aid another. Blood pulse could have simply capped damage based on tier i.e. 3d6 at heroic, 5d6 at paragon, and 7d6 at epic with forced movement still triggering the damage.

Players working together is how the game is suppose to be.

Teamwork = Win = Sucess!
Teamwork = Nerf = Fail!




Blood Pulse still works with Cleric's Cause Fear.
Wow, lots to take in.

My battle cleric starts crying, but ultimately that's probably a change for the better. Too much enablement of ridiculous novas, and the brand is still plenty good.

Sorcerers took a whack. No cheesy combining of elemental properties now that they over-ride one another (does arcane admixture still work?), no off-hand staff of ruin, expertise is now a feat bonus so draconic spellcaster is much less useful.

A bunch of good common-sense updates including weapons-as-implements, no stacking bonuses from the same source, reduction in condition-tracking.

Orbizards finally got the castration they needed, not just from their class feature but from enablers like subtle weapons, salves of power and blood pulse. That said, you can still guarantee one failed save and when that failed save renders a target unconscious... I still expect orbizards to keep sleep until 30.

HAE is now borderline useless outside of heroic tier. My swarm druid's AC had gone down by 1 in heroic, which is no biggie, but he'll have lost 5 points of AC by epic, which is a bit crappy. 6-7 points of DR just don't make up for that. Looks like I'll have to take advantage of the new retraining rules to get that 13 Str required for chainmail by paragon *sigh*.
It is funny, but the "problems" seem to have a striking resemblence towards teamwork and working together. Teamwork doesn't stop at aid another. Blood pulse could have simply capped damage based on tier i.e. 3d6 at heroic, 5d6 at paragon, and 7d6 at epic with forced movement still triggering the damage.

Players working together is how the game is suppose to be.

Teamwork = Win = Sucess!
Teamwork = Nerf = Fail!



I fail to see how they nerfed teamwork with this.

To be real honest I have noted that the people who optimize to use stuff like Blood Pulse are more often than not the players who prefer doing the entire encounter solo. A player habit that needs no promotion. You average Blood Pulse monkey did not rely on others to provide the movement, in which case I could see your argument. No they MC'd or otherwise made sure to be able to do it all on their own. 

Of course if your beef is with the fact that Blood Pulse is now no longer even a teamwork option, I agree. I feel the addition of voluntary movement only may be overdone.

I dont blame WotC for that though. I blame the people that created the situation in which every other wizard at Paragon level was a one trick emo self cutting blood pulsing pony.. (ok I may be overstating the situation. I did see a lot of fun wizards, even Blood Mages that knew how to not overdo things..)


To DME, or not to DME: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous powergaming, Or to take arms against a sea of Munchkins, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;No more;
If writing isn't your thing, start beating up writing directors (metaphorically) and see if any of them are willing to take the bait.


Beating us up? Now if you had said that he should bribe us...
Anyway, while I'm willing to pick this up (preferably after  I get something else published), I think you would need something more substantial than just domains.

Gomez
I had been kicking around the idea of proposing an article like this.  Domains for the other Gods and CD feats.  Maybe even God Fragments.
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
HAE is now borderline useless *sigh*.



Yeah, my vestige-pact warlock lost 5 AC at level 8 (would have been only 4, but I retrained out proficiency in hide entirely).  At least I got 3 feats back...
HAE is now borderline useless outside of heroic tier.



Nah.  My STR/CON barbarian still loves the +2 AC he gets from it.  His AC is 20 now instead of 22, but since I won't be raising DEX on him ever, it's nice to get the +2 AC.

I took it knowing full well it would likely get nerfed seeing as I was rarely getting hit in mods.
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
Yeah, if we could just get a Dragon article assigning domains to the lesser deities (Clangeddin, Dumathoin, etc.), maybe I could get it as an MBA replacement.  THAT would happy me.



At the risk of sounding snarky (I promise, I'm not) - maybe you should pitch the concept to the D&D Insider team.  If you'd be willing to do the legwork (mapping out domains and deities) you could check out the submission guidelines here: www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/submis... and if they like the idea (and your subsequent work) YOU could get the list published.  

If writing isn't your thing, start beating up writing directors (metaphorically) and see if any of them are willing to take the bait.  Maybe collaborate with one of the James brothers even.   



Pfft. There are plenty of other authors to collaborate with. Besides, I totally called dibs for Matt's next one that isn't with his brother. :P


**is named James, but is not one of the James brothers.**



It's definitely true that WOTC could have obviated a lot of present and future errata by simply stating that having multiple copies of the same item does not allow you to use an "item daily" power more than once per day. That is, after all, precisely what the word "daily" means.

(this goes back at least as far as Veteran's Armor; and let's face it, carrying three suits of Veteran's Armor and swapping them around was a pretty cheesy move to begin with)