4E/essentials rules FAQ

49 posts / 0 new
Last post

Essentials Rules FAQ


 


While not neccessarily connected to a rules question, many people are confused about what essentials is for and why it exists.  There is an excellent Escapist interview with Mike Mearls that discusses the design intent of D&D essentials in much greater detail than anything I've seen on the D&D homepage.  If you want to know why we have essentials, or what the developers intended it to do, then this is the place to look.


 


What is this?


It’s intended to be a repository of common rules-related questions people have about essentials, specifically how the essentials specific classes, paragon paths, and epic destinies, and rules interact with the pre-essentials rules and classes.


 


Why?


Because a lot of people seem to be confused by how some of the pre-essentials rules and classes work with the essentials products, and we are seeing many of the same questions over and over.


 


Is essentials compatible with 4E?  Which sourcebooks are compatible?


Essentials uses the same game mechanics system as 4E proper, so the short answer is “all of them.”


 


Have there been any rules updates to the 4E rules to bring them into line with the essentials products?


Yes, although this is an ongoing process.  A summary of the proposed changes can be found here:


www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...


And the second batch, released with Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms:


www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...


There is some confusion as to wether these documents, especially the second one, are supposed to be treated as updates.    The first one is described as a "preview," as is the second one, but the second "preview's" filename indicated it's the november rules update...even though it's called a rules preview and is not referenced from the updates page as of yet.  What seems to be happening is that the developers are working changes from these documents into the official updates slowly over time.



Are essential classes balanced against regular 4E classes and each other?  Can we play both essentials and non-essentials classes in the same game?

The consensus from Char-Op is that essentials classes are balanced against pre-essentials classes. In any event, several people seem to be running games with both essentials and regular 4E characters with few or no reported problems at this point.  I have done it myself, and while I think cetain essentials classes are easier to play then their pre-e counterparts, they all seem balanced as far as relative power.


 


Can essentials character classes take class powers from their pre-essentials 4E counterparts?  Can they retrain essentials class powers for regular 4E powers?


Yes (HoTFL, page 57), but you can only trade out powers that are equivalent in type, class, and level, and they can't be powers granted by class features.  So, for example, you can’t retrain or swap a fighter stance for a fighter at-will (not the same kind of power at all), but you could choose to take a fighter utility from martial power or elsewhere in place of a slayer utility of the same level.  Likewise, some essentials classes don't actually get encounter or daily attack powers from their class, so they can’t choose pre-essentials encounter or daily attack powers either.


 


Could an essentials slayer or knight retrain power attack for another fighter encounter power?


No.  Powers granted by class features cannot be retrained.  RC, page 87.


 


What about other class features?

Class features are no more swappable between essentials and non-essentials classes than they are between other classes.  Again, swapped powers have to be equivalent in class, type, and level, and cannot be granted by class features (HotFL, 57).


Can a Warpriest retrain his domain powers (including the at-wills) for cleric powers from any other books that are the same type and level?

No.  Your domain is a class feature, the powers it grants are part of that feature.  This also goes for your warlock pact, your cavalier virtue, etc.



What if you use power attack on a critical hit?  Are the power attack dice maximized?

Given that things like hunter's quarry and backstab dice are maximized on a hit, and you can decide to apply some of those features after you know the hit is a crit, board consensus on this is yes, they are.


Can essentials characters take paragon paths and epic destinies from other sourcebooks?


Yes, as long as they meet the prerequisites for the path or destiny (HotFL, page 79).  Note that essentials classes count as their “parent” class: for example, a slayer is a fighter, and a mage is a wizard.


 


Can non-essentials classes take essentials powers?


Again, we don’t have anything official on this, but board consensus is that this should be fine as long as you are replacing powers of the same class, type, and level.  It's worth noting that the character builder presents essentials powers right alongside non-essentials powers as if there is no difference.  So, for example, swapping a level two essentials mage utility for a level two wizard utility should be fine, swapping a stance for an at-will attack power is not.  Also note that many powers, such as wizard's fireball, are being updated such that the essentials version is the only version of that power.


 


What if a human takes the extra at-will racial option, and their class does not have at-wills?


Nothing official on this either, but the board consensus is that they should be able to pick an at-will attack power from the same class.  So, for example, a human slayer could take a level one fighter at-will from the PHB or any other book.  No, you cannot take another stance or rogue trick, the racial feature specifies a level one at-will attack power, which those things are not.


 


Can non-essentials classes take essentials paragon paths and epic destinies?


Again, we don’t have anything official yet, but given that essentials classes can take nonessentials PPs and EDs, it seems reasonable to assume it would work in reverse as well, as long as the character qualifies for any prerequisites.  Note that almost all essentials PPs have restrictions such that they can only be taken by essentials builds, for example, the Stalwart Knight PP can only be taken by the Knight.


 


What about feats?


There is no rule against taking any feat from any source as long as you can satisfy any prerequisites the feat has.  Some feats have made others obsolete, while many have been updated, so you may want to check the updates page before you choose.  Again, note that essentials classes “count” as their parent class, so a mage should be able to take wizard feats.


 


Can we now take any feat at any level?

We have been told that the restriction on taking feats at paragon or epic tiers will be removed, but to date, no language has appeared in the updates saying so.

Weapon Focus has changed such that weapons that are also implements only get the bonus on weapon attacks.  But there are various feats, such as racial weapon feats, that offer bonuses to hit or damage that seem to apply to both weapon and implement attacks.  Have these feats changed too?

Unless there is language in the updates that changes a feat, it has not changed.


Dwarven Resilience is now an encounter power.  Is this change retroactive to all dwarves?

No update on this has been issued as of this writing, but there is every indication that it's meant to be.
 

Essentials Healing Word does not have the divine Keyword.  Is this change meant to transfer to the nonessentials healing word?

We have no idea.  There's nothing about it in the updates as of this writing.

Can Essentials characters multiclass?  How?


There is nothing stopping essentials characters from taking multiclass feats, however, since some essentials classes have no swappable daily attack powers or encounter powers, not all the power-swap feats will be useful to all the essentials classes.  We have no idea yet how PMC works with essentials classes, if in fact it does. 


Update: a collection of feats was recently released in dragon magazine that allow essentials characters to multiclass a bit better by allowing them to get dragular encounter powers from their parent class.  The article is here:


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


Can other characters multiclass into essentials classes?


Not currently.  We have no initial multiclass feats anywhere yet for the essentials classes, which we would need in order to take power-swap feats for those classes.


Update:  Rules have been Released in Dragon magazine for hybrid classing and multiclassing a few of the essentials character classes.  The article is here:

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

Can we hybrid-class essentials classes?


Only for a few of the classes at present (see above). 


 


Can Essentials classes use rituals?


There’s no game-mechanics reason why not, although currently no essentials class so far gets the ritual caster feat for free, so even the mage would have to spend a feat to pick up ritual caster.


 


Has the rule that limits magical item daily power usage been removed?


According to the "November update," yes, it has.  

 


How does this change impact things like the Artificier's ability to grant an extra magical item daily usage?


That is a very good question, one that does not currently have any official answer.  My suggested solution is to houserule the artificiers power to recharge a used daily power.  This accomplishes effectively the same thing: it allows players to use more magical item daily powers per day.
 




Can we still use the old Parcel System?


Yes, but now that the rule limiting the use of magical item daily powers has been repealed, there is no safeguard in place to prevent characters from stockpiling low-level magical items (or consumeables) with useful daily powers and spamming them all in a single combat encounter.  The easiest solution is to houserule the old limitation on daily power usage back into the game if you want to use the old treasure system.


 


Can we use existing 4E magical items with the new treasure system?


For now, technically no until the rules update that assigns rarity to pre-essentials magical items goes into effect.  If you want to, though, you can just use the information in the preview and houserule on it until the update hits: Check the essentials rules preview for details:www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...


 


Can we create rare and uncommon items with enchant magical item and brew potion?


The "november update" (and again, the only thing that even indicates that this *is* an update is it's file name) has changed Brew Potion so that it only creates "common potions."  Strangely, no such language has been attached to Enchant Magical Item, so it's still unclear as to what rarity items the ritual can make.


 


Characters created above level one are supposed to get three magical items of differing levels.  Are these items supposed to be common, uncommon, rare, or some variety of the three?


As of now, we have no offical word on this, so your guess is as good as ours. Since rare items are supposed to be, well, rare, it might be a good idea to at least rule that no more than one of the three items can be rare.


 

 Can we think of any other questions people have been asking?  We don't have official rules pronouncements on a lot of this stuff, so I've just summarized the board consensus I've seen in threads on the relevant topics so far.  If there are rules references that I've missed, please do point them out and I'll incorporate them.
Are the classes balanced?

Yes, Char-Op has been though the new classes and they are all balanced.

What about daily powers vs non daily powers?

The classes are balanced around 3-5 encounter per day across all levels.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

You might want to include rules changes that were left out of the errata documents: dwarf second wind as a minor action is now a power.  Healing Word no longer has the divine keyword.
Also.

Sticky!!!!

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.


Can we still use the old treasure parcel system?


Yes, but we have been told that the rule restricting the number of magical item daily uses has been removed.  The reference is here: www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/d...


Look near the end of the article.


This makes the old treasure system problematic because there’s no safeguard in place to prevent characters from stockpiling low-level magical items (or consumeables) with useful daily powers and spamming them all in a single combat encounter.  The easiest solution is to houserule the old limitation on daily power usage back into the game if you want to use the old treasure system.


Can we use existing 4E magical items with the new treasure system?


You can.  Most existing magical items have been declared uncommon according to the update document referenced above, but there are some exceptions.  Check the essentials rules update for details:www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...


 


 




Quoted from
www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...
"These changes will be incorporated into the rules update documents and the digital tools in the near future."

The fact is, the magic item rarity rules listed in that preview document were not incorporated into the rules update document in october. So either they decided against it, or forgot to place it and might do so at a future time. Until then, it can be assumed that such rules technically aren't in place for non-essentials games until they appear in an official update document. 

Can essentials character classes take class powers from their pre-essentials 4E counterparts?  Can they retrain essentials class powers for regular 4E powers?


We don’t have anything official on this, but board consensus is that this should be fine as long as you are choosing powers that are equivalent in type, class, and level, and so long as you don't trade out powers granted by class features.  So, for example, you can’t retrain or swap a fighter stance for a fighter at-will (not the same kind of power at all), but you could choose to take a fighter utility from martial power or elsewhere in place of a slayer utility of the same level.  Likewise, some essentials classes don't actually get encounter or daily attack powers from their class, so they can’t choose pre-essentials encounter or daily attack powers either.


I thought HotFL specifically had rules stating that they must be the same type, class and level?

Are the classes balanced?

Yes, Char-Op has been though the new classes and they are all balanced.

Lets not start adding opinions.
Are the classes balanced?

Yes, Char-Op has been though the new classes and they are all balanced.


Lets not start adding opinions.

Not an opinion.  The numbers have been chrunched, the tests have been played, both for "Char-Op" and "regular" play.  They all fall well into the normal bounds compaired to the other classes.  HoFL is more balanced then PHB1 and PHB3 classes, and arguably beats PHB2.

And opinion would be if they where fun.  Balance is more or less proveable.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

It's an opinion.  It should instead be phrased as:

Are the classes balanced?

Yes, Char-Op has been though the numbers for the new classes and in Char-Op's opinion they are all balanced.

You might want to include rules changes that were left out of the errata documents: dwarf second wind as a minor action is now a power.  Healing Word no longer has the divine keyword.



If they aren't in the updates, then I'm hesitant to call attention to them as rules changes per se.  What if I just put in a question about that stuff and said that as of yet, no update has been issued making those changes global, so their status is unclear?
I thought HotFL specifically had rules stating that they must be the same type, class and level?



I don't remember seeing anything like that, but I didn't read it cover to cover.  Can you find a page reference?  If there is one, I'll gladly update the question accordingly.




Are the classes balanced?

Yes, Char-Op has been though the new classes and they are all balanced.



How about this phraseology instead:

Are essential classes balanced against regular 4E classes and each other?

The consensus from Char-Op is that they are. In any event, several people seems to be running games with both essentials and regular 4E characters with few or no reported problems at this point.


What about daily powers vs non daily powers?

The classes are balanced around 3-5 encounter per day across all levels.



I actually don't understand this...can you explain what this is about a bit more?



Quoted from
www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...
"These changes will be incorporated into the rules update documents and the digital tools in the near future."

The fact is, the magic item rarity rules listed in that preview document were not incorporated into the rules update document in october. So either they decided against it, or forgot to place it and might do so at a future time. Until then, it can be assumed that such rules technically aren't in place for non-essentials games until they appear in an official update document. 



Good point, I'll rephrase those two points.

That is fine with me, it just needs to be somewhere.  It was just in the last day or so that everyone figured out the change to healing word and its implications. 

I am not sure the healing one made the character builder and am going to check tonight, but both changes I mentioned are in the compendium and the dwarf change is in the character builder for sure since I am currently playing a dwarf and it gets a power card for the minor action second wind.


What about daily powers vs non daily powers?

The classes are balanced around 3-5 encounter per day across all levels.



I actually don't understand this...can you explain what this is about a bit more?


How are Slayer/Thief/Knight balanced when they don't have Daily powers vs classes that have Daily powers?
The numbers have been chrunched, the tests have been played, both for "Char-Op" and "regular" play.  They all fall well into the normal bounds compaired to the other classes.  HoFL is more balanced then PHB1 and PHB3 classes, and arguably beats PHB2.

And opinion would be if they where fun.  Balance is more or less proveable.




Well, a lot of the answers to questions in there are consensus, which is more or less a collective opinion.  If most of Charop is convinced, I would say that's important information, but I would want to note it's board consensus, as I do for many of the other answers I've provided.  Fair enough?
but I would want to note it's board consensus

I don't know that it is.  Just say that it is CharOp consensus and leave it at that.  If we start trying for board consensus on class balance we'll be as bad as general in no time.  (Edit: Note I have no idea if it is actually CharOp consensus, but I definitely challenge the idea that its "board" consensus.)
How are Slayer/Thief/Knight balanced when they don't have Daily powers vs classes that have Daily powers?




That explains the question...now I need someone to explain the answer.
How are Slayer/Thief/Knight balanced when they don't have Daily powers vs classes that have Daily powers?




That explains the question...now I need someone to explain the answer.


Put in it's simplest form, the answer is this:

Slayer/Thief/Knight have at-wills that are "more useful overall" than other classes' at-wills on account of having more at-will options (later in the game) and having superior class features (slayer dex to damage, thief damage bonus on top of everything else, Knight's defender aura), and their encounter powers (power strike and backstab) are "more useful overall" than other classes' encounter powers on account of them never having to function at lower than ideal performance - (you cannot possibly miss with a power strike, nor should you ever miss with a use of backstab)

In exchange for that constant usefulness, they do not have Dailies - but other classes that have dailies can use them to keep there from being a gap in "overall usefullness" during a typical (~5 encounter) day.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.


Are essential classes balanced against regular 4E classes and each other?

The consensus from Char-Op is that they are. In any event, several people seems to be running games with both essentials and regular 4E characters with few or no reported problems at this point.

  It's always good to cite sources.

How are Slayer/Thief/Knight balanced when they don't have Daily powers vs classes that have Daily powers?

If you have few encounters per day (1-2), then the classes with daily powers are put out more damage/slides/effects/overall power then those without daily powers.  Simply because you can use the dailies more often.

If you have many enounter per day (6+) then those without dailies are the ones that are overall more powerfull since dailies can be used less.

It varies from build to build and what your compairing and at what level and what your measuring (usualy damage), but the overall power between non-daily classes and daily classes balance somewhere between 3-5 encounters per day.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Curious about class features for class features.  For instance, if you wanted a class feature geared to rogues that wasn't included with the thief...could you swap one for one, or what?
No.  At the moment, a Thief build cannot take a class feature from the Rogue class, nor can any other Rogue take a class feature from the Thief build.  Same for the other Essentials classes.

The only thing that's exchangable is powers of the same type, class and level.  (HotFL page 57.)

Edit: Actually that one was already there, sort of.  Just worded for powers.  And the page number reference is wrong.

Could an essentials slayer or knight retrain power attack for another fighter encounter power?

No.  Powers granted by class features cannot be retrained.  RC, page 87.




Edit2: Note you have to distinguish between Thief class features that come from being a Thief, and Thief class features and powers that come from being a Master Thief Paragon Path.  The latter you can *trade out* by selecting a different PP.
No.  At the moment, a Thief build cannot take a class feature from the Rogue class, nor can any other Rogue take a class feature from the Thief build.  Same for the other Essentials classes.

The only thing that's exchangable is powers of the same type, class and level.  (HotFL page 57.)

Edit: Actually that one was already there, sort of.  Just worded for powers.  And the page number reference is wrong.



Um...no it's not.  I rechecked, page 87 of the RC is what I meant to reference there, it contains the relevant rule on retraining class features.  I'm sure this is also in HotFL somewhere, but I already knew where it was in the RC.

I added something more definite about this in the FAQ.  Not sure how I can make it any clearer that you cant trade class features out.
Um...no it's not.  I rechecked, page 87 of the RC is what I meant to reference there, it contains the relevant rule on retraining class features.  I'm sure this is also in HotFL somewhere, but I already knw where it was in the RC.

Oops sorry, I turned to 87 in HotFL and saw nothing.  HotFL talks about it on page 57, so I figured it was a typo of 8 instead of 5. 
My question is regarding critical hits and encounter powers.

Is the intention that the bonus damage from the encounter power is also maximized by a critical (akin to crit with encounter power in non-essentials) or is the additional damage rolled to account for the fact that you KNOW you've hit before you commit to the encounter power?
My question is regarding critical hits and encounter powers.

Is the intention that the bonus damage from the encounter power is also maximized by a critical (akin to crit with encounter power in non-essentials) or is the additional damage rolled to account for the fact that you KNOW you've hit before you commit to the encounter power?



As I understand it, all dice that would've been rolled for the attack are maximized and that only bonus/extra/additional dice that were added by nature of it being a critical hit are rolled normally.

Does that mean something like the Slayer's Power Strike can be held onto until you score a critical hit? Yup. No different that applying your Quarry/Curse damage to that crit target as well.

Its not whether you know its a critical before, after, or during your attack, its whether the dice are added because its a critical result. 
"At a certain point, one simply has to accept that some folks will see what they want to see..." Dragon 387

Dwarven Resilience is now an encounter power.  Is this change retroactive to all dwarves?

No update on this has been issued as of this writing, but there is every indication that it's meant to be.  The character builder, for example, now generates a power card for it. 



On the other side of the coin, the "power card" for Second Wind has a note that says "You can use Second Wind as a minor action."

I don't trust CB to be a rules source...but even so, there is conflicting information. 
What about item rarity during character creation? You cannot purchase magic items that are uncommon or rare, but what about the three magic items that a higher level character gets during creation for free? Can they be rare or uncommon?

Edit: After a closer look, I don't think there is any OFFICIAL rule that would restrict the 3 magic items characters get during creation. Since they are not 'bought', the new rules simply do not apply.
I'm tempted to rule 'at most, one of the three may be rare, 1 of the three may be uncommon'. This is in line with the 'half of your items should be common, the rest uncommon, and one rare' sense that Wizards is going for. 
Updated with some of the recent questions, although many of the answers are still "we don't know for sure."
Can i just clarify the rules re Feats. In 4ed, since the release of essentials, can characters now take any feats at lvl including those previously listed as Paragon and Epic tier ?

For those of you with kids please check out the D&D Parents Group. http://community.wizards.com/dndparents

Can i just clarify the rules re Feats. In 4ed, since the release of essentials, can characters now take any feats at lvl including those previously listed as Paragon and Epic tier ?



No rules update stripped out the previous rules regarding feats labeled as Heroic, PAragon, or Epic, so nothing has changed about how you take them.

Essentials doesn't CONTAIN tiered feats, but thus far, it hasn't changed the previous rules regarding them either.
Can i just clarify the rules re Feats. In 4ed, since the release of essentials, can characters now take any feats at lvl including those previously listed as Paragon and Epic tier ?

I think a one or two feats have had there level restrictions removed (and where given a scaling bonus), but that's it.  They are all as was.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

One of the most useful threads to date!  Thanks for compiling this.

Here's another question...

Are powers from the cleric domains considered to be "...a power designated as a feature..." (Rules Compendium page 87); which cannot be retrained?

Rephrased... Can a Warpriest retrain his domain powers (including the at-wills) for cleric powers from any other books that are the same type and level?
Can i just clarify the rules re Feats. In 4ed, since the release of essentials, can characters now take any feats at lvl including those previously listed as Paragon and Epic tier ?



No rules update stripped out the previous rules regarding feats labeled as Heroic, PAragon, or Epic, so nothing has changed about how you take them.

Essentials doesn't CONTAIN tiered feats, but thus far, it hasn't changed the previous rules regarding them either.



Thanks for the info :-)

For those of you with kids please check out the D&D Parents Group. http://community.wizards.com/dndparents

One of the most useful threads to date!  Thanks for compiling this.

Here's another question...

Are powers from the cleric domains considered to be "...a power designated as a feature..." (Rules Compendium page 87); which cannot be retrained?

Rephrased... Can a Warpriest retrain his domain powers (including the at-wills) for cleric powers from any other books that are the same type and level?


sorry if I missed this being answered already:

If a power is only available to your character because of a class feature choice, such as all the powers granted by the choice of domain, then it cannot be retrained.

A good rule of thumb to use is this: If you didn't directly choose a power, it can't be retrained. (unless what you did directly choose can be retrained, at which point you can retrain that and the power will change indirectly.)

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

One of the most useful threads to date!  Thanks for compiling this.

Here's another question...

Are powers from the cleric domains considered to be "...a power designated as a feature..." (Rules Compendium page 87); which cannot be retrained?

Rephrased... Can a Warpriest retrain his domain powers (including the at-wills) for cleric powers from any other books that are the same type and level?


sorry if I missed this being answered already:

If a power is only available to your character because of a class feature choice, such as all the powers granted by the choice of domain, then it cannot be retrained.

A good rule of thumb to use is this: If you didn't directly choose a power, it can't be retrained. (unless what you did directly choose can be retrained, at which point you can retrain that and the power will change indirectly.)



Your reply made sense up until the part that reads "...unless what you did directly...".  You kind of lost me there.




Your reply made sense up until the part that reads "...unless what you did directly...".  You kind of lost me there.



You can safely ignore that part. I just included it to cover the hypothetical situations in which you can retrain class feature choices (example: your domain choice) which is currently not a possibility covered by the rules.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.



Your reply made sense up until the part that reads "...unless what you did directly...".  You kind of lost me there.



You can safely ignore that part. I just included it to cover the hypothetical situations in which you can retrain class feature choices (example: your domain choice) which is currently not a possibility covered by the rules.




The Living Forgotten Realms Campaign allows retraining of class features.

As such, a Warlock in LFR still can't retrain Hellish Rebuke to Eyebite, but could retrain his Infernal Pact class feature to the Fey Pact class feature, which would, indeed, swap the powers.
Updated again.
Are there any other related changes or clarifications related to core combat systems, such as conditions, or stealth?
(Yes I read the FAQ/thread...)
Are there any other related changes or clarifications related to core combat systems, such as conditions, or stealth?
(Yes I read the FAQ/thread...)



Stealth and such things were fixed quite a while back.  There is no update to them in the Essentials update doc.  The only SYSTEM changes are implement proficiencies and item proficiencies.

The update may be found here: www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...

It's not in the compiled update yet, so a lot of people refer to it as a draft or something similar.
Sign In to post comments