D&D 4E: What Works, What Fails?

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Reposting, since the original thread was turned into an announcement, preventing people from replying to it....


Hey Folks;

It’s agonizing self-appraisal time in the D&D reeducation camp. Mike Mearls has asked for a list of issues that players see as problems with 4E. No group of people is better equipped to compile that list than all of you.


We’re only interested in the D&D rules right now—what’s broken, what’s underpowered? What change would get you to play an unloved class or race, or to pick a feat or power that no one uses? Whose damage is too low, whose basic attack is rubbish, which secondary effect doesn’t work as written? Let’s collect them all here, where they’ll be easy to find and compile.


Steve


This writing business. Pencils and what-not. Over-rated if you ask me. Silly stuff. Nothing in it. --Eeyore



I went through and tried to summarize the "What Works" replies
These are in order of popularity


  • AEDU.  A lot of people seemed to like the balance they provide, and the way they help create more interesting martial characters

  • Themes, Skill Powers.  Themes in particular had a huge amount of support.  Skill powers had a fair amount of support, but some detractors who didn't like the option bloat.

  • MM3+ Monster Design.  Big hit.

  • The Errata cycle.  A significant number of posters liked that you were continuing to update things, and most urged you to be more willing to update things in the future.  I know other forums have large numbers that are tired of the updates, so there may be selection bias here.  (I like errata, fwiw)

  • Interesting martial characters, especially Rangers and Fighters

  • Hybrids.  Everyone said they had issues, but several people liked the basic design.

  • Tactical Combat that inspires teamwork

  • Daily powers that mean something.  Given the context, I think these could be more accurately taken as gripes about daily powers that are "3[W], no relevant kickers" (or 9[W].  9[W] isn't usally enough damage).  Emergency button dailies (everyone heal a surge and X) or encounter long buff daily powers were both called out for being well done.

  • The essential mage, Wizards and Invokers as examples of solid useful controllers

  • The overall balance

  • DM Prep level

  • Race and Class feats that really change how bulids can work

  • Inherent Bonuses

  • Flavorful Epic Destinies (Thief of Legend and Radiant One were mentioned)

  • Paragon Path action point features that enhance the extra action, instead of replace it.


These all got mentions, but only one or two mentions, so I'm just listing them


  • Classes, as a concept.  Both AEDU and Essential.

  • PHB1 classes

  • Artificers, as a leader done differently and interestingly

  • Surges

  • Leaders healing with a minor

  • Marking

  • Skills, overall

  • The learning curve.  You can have a simple game, or a complex one.

  • Static HP and Stats.  No randomization during character creation, also ties into balance

  • The unification of the defense mechanic

  • Keywords, and the related unification of rules

  • Figurines of Wondrous Power

  • Unearthed Arcana

  • Giving most Epic Destinies stat bufs, as a way of reducing the math slip issues.

  • Adjustable Racial stats, to make it easier to marry flavor and effectiveness.


The elements below were mentioned several times in "what works", but are also mentioned by several as things that don't.


  • Half-Elf Dilettante.  Another composition issue; allows you to do cool things, and isn't as broken as many claim

  • Item rarity.  A good tool for DMs, just needs implementation (more commons/rares)

  • Charging.  The basic issue seems to be that low-end strikers have problems doing their job.  So this package really helps them.  If it needs nerfing to avoid "the charger hemogony", then the lower-end strikers really need more support at the same time.


I'd like to add a bit here.  The overwhelming amount of feedback is a sign that the game, as a whole, is working quite well.  If it didn't work, there simply wouldn't be people who cared.  So, IMHO, the collective effort that went into this thread is a sign that the overall game is working very well indeed, even though most of the effort was spent talking about things that didn't work as well.

Herid summarized the issues:
57832518 wrote:

I tried to go through the thread and summarize the negative points which came up frequently and didn't have any opposition. As such, this is a long post, and I've attempted to sblock it where possible. Here's what I have.


General Issues

Class Support

We could use more for classes and builds that have received less support.



  • Artificers

  • Assassins (executioner and non-executioner)

  • Strength-based clerics

  • Beastmaster rangers

  • Runepriests

  • Seekers

  • Swordmages (especially ensnaring and assault)

  • Constitution-based warlocks


Racial Support

We could use more support for races which have been overlooked thus far.



  • Changelings

  • Pretty much every race that wasn't in PHB1, PHB2, or the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide


Effective MBAs for melee classes
There should be more convenient ways of obtaining melee basic attacks for non-Strength-based melee characters. This is especially true for avengers, battleminds, monks, and swordmages (Power of Skill and Intelligent Blademaster are feat taxes)

Multiple vulnerabilities
We could use a better explanation of the interaction between an attack which does multiple damage types and a creature with multiple vulnerabilities (e.g. if an attack does 10 points of radiant and thunder damage against a creature with vulnerable 5 radiant and vulnerable 10 thunder, how much damage does the creature take?)

Scaling Bonuses
Scaling bonuses, such as Barbarian Agility, can break the game when they add onto a game element that doesn't require the bonus to be competitive (With Barbarian Agility, the Whirling Slayer has a much higher AC and Reflex than either of the other two builds). Similarly, powers and items which grant bonuses based on ability scores can be strong at heroic and overwhelming at epic

Initiative Variance
Initiative can vary widely at higher levels, which allows the initiative bonus to become much more important than the d20 roll. This results in large gaps between optimized and non-optimized PCs, and even more between optimized PCs and monsters.

Light Armor and Class Builds
Some class builds which do not use Dexterity or Intelligence as a primary or secondary ability and do not get heavy armor have very low AC scores. Examples include Con-based shamans, Str/Wis-based rangers, Con/Cha warlocks, and swarm druids.

Rapid Zone Re-entry
Multiple instances of damage from a zone (or aura) in a given turn based on entering or exiting the zone can result in extremely high damage. Reducing this damage to once per round limits this sort of abuse, and makes sense from an IC perspective (right now, you get hurt more from entering and exiting a Wall of Fire than you do for remaining there the whole time).

Untyped damage bonuses
Many of the biggest damage-per-round characters get their high damage from using multiple items and other game elements which give bonuses to damage that lack a type. Examples include dragonshards, Resplendent Gloves, Gloves of Ice, and charge-modifiers, such as Horned Helm and Vanguard Weapons. Recently, mellored posted an example of a 30th-level wizard wielding a gouge that could average over 100 damage each round by charging - this gives a fairly good example of how a very poor class for charging can still put out more damage than many unoptimized strikers.

Non-damage-roll damage boosters
Anything that deals extra damage, rather than giving a bonus to damage rolls, can be used with attacks that don't require an attack roll (such as Magic Missile) or attacks that explicitly lack a damage roll (such as Brutal Barrage). This includes things such as Headsman's Chop and the feature in the Radiant One epic destiny.

Definition of a bonus
What constitutes a "bonus" for saying that bonuses from the same game element don't stack? Does it need to use the word bonus? As an example, the Ring of Ramming says "Property: When you push a target, you can increase the distance pushed by 1 square." If a character wears two rings of this type, can he push the target 2 extra squares? Another example would be the Ring of Circling Fangs - does wearing two of them result in two auras, each of which deal 10 force damage?

End of next turn stronger than save ends
Effects which last "until the end of your next turn" can frequently be more powerful than save ends effects. A leader can grant saving throws against save ends effects, and monsters get a chance to save against effects at the end of their turns, while "end of your next turn" effects always last for a little over a round.

Repeated low-level augmentation
A non-monk psionic character frequently gets more benefit from being able to repeat low-level augmentable powers the entire encounter than using the high-level powers he or she would theoretically retrain into. This encourages keeping the same powers throughout an adventuring career and is boring.

Psionic at-will scaling at epic
Psionic characters (other than the monk) do not get a damage bump to their at-will attacks at epic. This means that they are weaker than other classes once their power points run out, and encourages them to keep low-level augmentables to avoid this problem (see above).

Money Sinks
Rituals and consumables generally cause a PC to "fall behind" on the expected wealth per level, which can result in sizable differences between PCs who expend resources on them and those that do not.

Mounts do not level with the PCs. This can either result in a PC falling behind each level to purchase level-appropriate mounts (which can often be more expensive than magic items of equal level) or weakening of any resources the PC invested in using the mount better. Some method of leveling a mount would be appreciated.


Math Tax feats
While the Essentials-style of Expertise feats are appreciated for not feeling like a strict "math tax" required to remain effective, some of them have weaker benefits (such as Heavy Blade Expertise), and there are still no Essentials-style Expertise feats for flails, picks, totems, and those who can use a weapon as an implement (primarily swordmages).

Similarly, Improved Defenses is nice, as are Superior Fortitude/Reflex/Will, but the scaling bonuses are a math tax, and the secondary benefits are good enough on their own for feats. It would be preferred to have the option to take the Superior feats without feeling compelled to do so.


Underwhelming hybrid features
Some hybrid classes don't get enough of their parent class to work without Hybrid Talent, or are essentially required to take Hybrid Talent to have an adequate AC because their AC is based off a class feature rather than armor proficiencies. The main offenders are:

  • Avenger - requires Armor of Faith to get effective AC

  • Druid - should get Balance of Nature to ensure beast form and "caster form" powers; guardian and swarm druids require Primal Guardian to get effective AC

  • Monk - should get Monk Unarmed Strike; requires Monk Unarmored Combatant to get effective AC

  • Seeker - Spiritbond build requires True Seeker's Bond to get effective AC

  • Swordmage - requires Swordmage Warding to get effective AC

  • Warden - requires Guardian Might to get effective AC

  • Warlord - should have a slightly better Commanding Presence; once per encounter means that at least half of the party won't benefit even if action points are spent evenly across all combat encounters. 


As a note, the Strength-based sorcerer gets the AC issue fixed effectively. It would be nice to do something similar with druids, seekers, and wardens.


Item rarity issues
The item rarity system does not have enough commons or rares to work effectively. Newly created magic items don't seem to follow the suggested guidelines for what constitutes common/uncommon/rare regarding the number and type of properties and powers.

Skill balance between classes
Skills (number of skills and class skills) are not balanced between classes. If there is a goal that all classes are equally effective in combat, then some classes should not be much better out-of-combat than others as a balancing factor. Fighters are the worst-case in both categories, but battleminds and barbarians also get few skills.

Lack of role-suitable paragon paths
Many classes do not get paragon paths which emphasize their main roles. This is especially true of strikers, who will often multiclass into fighter for more effective striking (Kensei, Kulkor Arms Master, pre-errata Pit Fighter). Avengers and sorcerers have a difficult time because they aren't Strength-based and lack paragon paths which improve their damage-dealing capabilities.

Racial penalties and class feature powers
Racial penalties (seen with the shade, vryloka, and Small creatures) and powers granted by class features (thus blocking out retraining or selecting older options) are not popular. Neither are racial features which overly encourage a specific playstyle (such as the minotaur's racial power or a half-orc's bonus to speed when charging).


Multiclass power-swapping
The number of feats required for paragon multiclassing or even extensive power-swapping is prohibitive. One possible suggestion is to have a single feat which allows 1 power of each type (encounter, daily, utility) to be swapped.
MM3 damage scaling consequences
The shaman's spirit companion is easily destroyed with the increase to monster damage as of MM3. Prior to MM3, there was a reasonable chance that a hit from a monster would not destroy the companion. After it, especially at higher levels, the spirit companion will almost definitely be destroyed. There is a possibility that this is not a probblem (because it still means the spirit companion is absorbing a hit), but it does represent a potentially unintended change.

The increase to damage also reduced the effectiveness of the shielding swordmage's aegis (which blocks a lower percentage of damage than it used to) and the pseudo-resistance of a swarm druid, which already needed help to be effective.


Non-implement/weapon attack bonuses
Many racial attacks and paragon path attacks which do not use implements or weapons still give attack bonuses of Ability+2/4/6 vs. non-AC defense (e.g. dragon breath). In order to stay in line with weapon and implement attacks, this bonus should be Ability+3/6/9 vs. non-AC defense or Ability+5/8/11 vs. AC. As a note, these powers also tend to have low damage due to the lack of enhancement bonus there, which should be compensated for in the future.


Dazing Rebuke Syndrome
There are several off-action powers, features and feats that inflict a status condition on an enemy lasting until the end of your next turn. The problem here is that your turn will come up before the enemy's in this case, so the enemy will never suffer the effects of the status condition on his turn, making it pointless. The Swordmage's Dazing Rebuke is the most readily cited example of a power with such a flaw, hence why this case is often referred to as Dazing Rebuke Syndrome.

Other things that still remain with such a design flaw include:

  • Price of Violence (Cleric encounter 7, DP)

  • Dragon Blast (Inner Dragon encounter 11, MP)

  • Shadowstride Rebuke (Gnome Nightcloak encounter 11, D384)

  • Stinging Rebuke (Steel Ego encounter 11, PHB3)

  • Thunderous Rebuke (Invoker encounter 13, DP)

  • Arcane Chastisement (Wizard encounter 13, D 382)

  • Eye for an Eye (Paladin encounter 13, DP)

  • Avenger's Shield (Avenger encounter 23, PHB2)

  • Collapsing Riposte (Rogue encounter 23, MP)

  • Word of Deterrence (Cleric encounter 23, DP)

  • Thunder Riposte (Swordmage encounter 23, FRPG)

  • Divine Vengeance (Paladin encounter 27, PHB)

  • Bitter Challenge (Paladin heroic tier feat, D 380)

  • Shield of Ill Fortune (Harbinger of Doom Lv. 21 feature, PHB2)

  • Fate's Frayed Thread (Warlock utility 6, D 382).

  • Grasping Ensnarement (Swordmage heroic tier feat, AP) (poor Ensnarement Swordmages)

  • Binding Ensnarement (Swordmage epic tier feat, AP)

  • Shroud of Adeptus (Entrancing Mystic 12, AP)

    This should not be considered a complete list. There are many similar effects in paragon paths and items which are not enumerated. The solution here is to make all these things' effects last until the end of the enemy's next turn.





Weapon|Implement Users
Some classes have powers with the weapon keyword and powers with the implement keyword. The existing feat support for these classes (primarily Versatile Expertise) scales later than newer versions of Expertise, and other feats have also been split between weapon and implement (such as Weapon Focus vs. Implement Focus). This gives an additional disadvantage (for non-swordmages) beyond having to keep a magic weapon and magic implement or choose a magic weapon which counts as an implement.

This also affects sorcerers, who have no option to use a newer Expertise with daggers. Light Blade Expertise only affects weapon attacks.





Thrown Weapons
There are not many choices for thrown weapons, and in general, the base weapons with light thrown or heavy thrown have small damage dice, low proficiency bonuses, and few other properties. The superior weapons with light thrown or heavy thrown are generally equivalent to military weapons that lack thrown.

This makes class builds which rely upon thrown weapons (some rangers, Spiritbond Seekers) much weaker than other weapon using classes, and generally requires them to choose magic weapons which can be used as heavy thrown weapons (farbond spellblades, hungry spears, and dwarven throwers).



Specific Issues

Kulkor Arms Master
Kulkor Arms Master's level 16 feature gives an extra attack for a fairly easy to satisfy condition. Extra attacks increase damage much faster than damage bonuses because they effectively double most existing damage bonuses. It would be better to provide a large bonus to damage rather than granting an extra attack.

Morninglord
Morninglord's vulnerability imposer is the largest vulnerability that can be given out in an at-will fashion. A possible fix would be to reduce it to vulnerable 5 radiant and increase any existing vulnerability to radiant by 5 (so that it still has an effect on the undead).

Spark Slippers
This relates to the "Rapid Zone Re-Entry" general issue, but Spark Slippers aren't technically a zone or aura. If zones and auras are limited, and Spark Slippers is re-templated as an aura, then this item can no longer be abused with excessive sliding. Another option would be changing them to willing movement.

Monk Unarmed Strike
Monks should get more use out of their unarmed strike, and hybrid monks should automatically gain proficiency with monk unarmed strike (it isn't worth the hybrid talent feat, which is needed to get better armor).

Religion using Int
Most of the classes which get Religion as a trained skill will still have lousy skill bonuses in it because it is based on Intelligence. Divine classes could use an option to use Wisdom to determine bonuses to Religion checks.

Star Pact Warlock
The Star Pact Warlock has a mixture of Constitution and Charisma attacks, but its associated at-will is Constitution. In general, the Star Pact warlock could use   "Charisma or Constitution" powers like the Sorcerer-Pact Warlock, but it's especially needed for the at-will.


Power Attack
Because of the relative value of to-hit bonuses and damage, the less likely you are to hit (i.e., the bigger and badder your weapon, the more barbarian-y you are, the more thematic Power Attack would be) the worse idea power attacking is. A scaling bonus per [W] or something like that would make Power Attack likely to provide a net increase in average damage.


Weapon Name vs. Weapon Group
The flail weapon group has a weapon in it called "flail" and the spear weapon group has a weapon in it called "spear". The same is true for the crossbow, sling, and mace weapon groups. When a feat, power, paragon path, epic destiny, or item refers to a "flail", for example, it usually means "a weapon from the flail weapon group". This can be unclear to many players and DMs, especially if it specifically means the weapon.

Rogues with shortbows
Sneak Attack was updated with Heroes of the Fallen Lands to work with shortbows, but none of the existing rogue powers or rogue paragon path powers had their requirements updated to allow for short bows to be used with them.



Joshua Randall compiled all the various Red listings in the handbooks into a single thread, and added some useful commentary:  Thread link

57832518 wrote:

I tried to go through the thread and summarize the negative points which came up frequently and didn't have any opposition. As such, this is a long post, and I've attempted to sblock it where possible. Here's what I have.


General Issues

Class Support

We could use more for classes and builds that have received less support.



  • Artificers

  • Assassins (executioner and non-executioner)

  • Strength-based clerics

  • Beastmaster rangers

  • Runepriests

  • Seekers

  • Swordmages (especially ensnaring and assault)

  • Constitution-based warlocks


Racial Support

We could use more support for races which have been overlooked thus far.



  • Changelings

  • Pretty much every race that wasn't in PHB1, PHB2, or the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide


Effective MBAs for melee classes
There should be more convenient ways of obtaining melee basic attacks for non-Strength-based melee characters. This is especially true for avengers, battleminds, monks, and swordmages (Power of Skill and Intelligent Blademaster are feat taxes)

Multiple vulnerabilities
We could use a better explanation of the interaction between an attack which does multiple damage types and a creature with multiple vulnerabilities (e.g. if an attack does 10 points of radiant and thunder damage against a creature with vulnerable 5 radiant and vulnerable 10 thunder, how much damage does the creature take?)

Scaling Bonuses
Scaling bonuses, such as Barbarian Agility, can break the game when they add onto a game element that doesn't require the bonus to be competitive (With Barbarian Agility, the Whirling Slayer has a much higher AC and Reflex than either of the other two builds). Similarly, powers and items which grant bonuses based on ability scores can be strong at heroic and overwhelming at epic

Initiative Variance
Initiative can vary widely at higher levels, which allows the initiative bonus to become much more important than the d20 roll. This results in large gaps between optimized and non-optimized PCs, and even more between optimized PCs and monsters.

Light Armor and Class Builds
Some class builds which do not use Dexterity or Intelligence as a primary or secondary ability and do not get heavy armor have very low AC scores. Examples include Con-based shamans, Str/Wis-based rangers, Con/Cha warlocks, and swarm druids.

Rapid Zone Re-entry
Multiple instances of damage from a zone (or aura) in a given turn based on entering or exiting the zone can result in extremely high damage. Reducing this damage to once per round limits this sort of abuse, and makes sense from an IC perspective (right now, you get hurt more from entering and exiting a Wall of Fire than you do for remaining there the whole time).

Untyped damage bonuses
Many of the biggest damage-per-round characters get their high damage from using multiple items and other game elements which give bonuses to damage that lack a type. Examples include dragonshards, Resplendent Gloves, Gloves of Ice, and charge-modifiers, such as Horned Helm and Vanguard Weapons. Recently, mellored posted an example of a 30th-level wizard wielding a gouge that could average over 100 damage each round by charging - this gives a fairly good example of how a very poor class for charging can still put out more damage than many unoptimized strikers.

Non-damage-roll damage boosters
Anything that deals extra damage, rather than giving a bonus to damage rolls, can be used with attacks that don't require an attack roll (such as Magic Missile) or attacks that explicitly lack a damage roll (such as Brutal Barrage). This includes things such as Headsman's Chop and the feature in the Radiant One epic destiny.

Definition of a bonus
What constitutes a "bonus" for saying that bonuses from the same game element don't stack? Does it need to use the word bonus? As an example, the Ring of Ramming says "Property: When you push a target, you can increase the distance pushed by 1 square." If a character wears two rings of this type, can he push the target 2 extra squares? Another example would be the Ring of Circling Fangs - does wearing two of them result in two auras, each of which deal 10 force damage?

End of next turn stronger than save ends
Effects which last "until the end of your next turn" can frequently be more powerful than save ends effects. A leader can grant saving throws against save ends effects, and monsters get a chance to save against effects at the end of their turns, while "end of your next turn" effects always last for a little over a round.

Repeated low-level augmentation
A non-monk psionic character frequently gets more benefit from being able to repeat low-level augmentable powers the entire encounter than using the high-level powers he or she would theoretically retrain into. This encourages keeping the same powers throughout an adventuring career and is boring.

Psionic at-will scaling at epic
Psionic characters (other than the monk) do not get a damage bump to their at-will attacks at epic. This means that they are weaker than other classes once their power points run out, and encourages them to keep low-level augmentables to avoid this problem (see above).

Money Sinks
Rituals and consumables generally cause a PC to "fall behind" on the expected wealth per level, which can result in sizable differences between PCs who expend resources on them and those that do not.

Mounts do not level with the PCs. This can either result in a PC falling behind each level to purchase level-appropriate mounts (which can often be more expensive than magic items of equal level) or weakening of any resources the PC invested in using the mount better. Some method of leveling a mount would be appreciated.


Math Tax feats
While the Essentials-style of Expertise feats are appreciated for not feeling like a strict "math tax" required to remain effective, some of them have weaker benefits (such as Heavy Blade Expertise), and there are still no Essentials-style Expertise feats for flails, picks, totems, and those who can use a weapon as an implement (primarily swordmages).

Similarly, Improved Defenses is nice, as are Superior Fortitude/Reflex/Will, but the scaling bonuses are a math tax, and the secondary benefits are good enough on their own for feats. It would be preferred to have the option to take the Superior feats without feeling compelled to do so.


Underwhelming hybrid features
Some hybrid classes don't get enough of their parent class to work without Hybrid Talent, or are essentially required to take Hybrid Talent to have an adequate AC because their AC is based off a class feature rather than armor proficiencies. The main offenders are:

  • Avenger - requires Armor of Faith to get effective AC

  • Druid - should get Balance of Nature to ensure beast form and "caster form" powers; guardian and swarm druids require Primal Guardian to get effective AC

  • Monk - should get Monk Unarmed Strike; requires Monk Unarmored Combatant to get effective AC

  • Seeker - Spiritbond build requires True Seeker's Bond to get effective AC

  • Swordmage - requires Swordmage Warding to get effective AC

  • Warden - requires Guardian Might to get effective AC

  • Warlord - should have a slightly better Commanding Presence; once per encounter means that at least half of the party won't benefit even if action points are spent evenly across all combat encounters. 


As a note, the Strength-based sorcerer gets the AC issue fixed effectively. It would be nice to do something similar with druids, seekers, and wardens.


Item rarity issues
The item rarity system does not have enough commons or rares to work effectively. Newly created magic items don't seem to follow the suggested guidelines for what constitutes common/uncommon/rare regarding the number and type of properties and powers.

Skill balance between classes
Skills (number of skills and class skills) are not balanced between classes. If there is a goal that all classes are equally effective in combat, then some classes should not be much better out-of-combat than others as a balancing factor. Fighters are the worst-case in both categories, but battleminds and barbarians also get few skills.

Lack of role-suitable paragon paths
Many classes do not get paragon paths which emphasize their main roles. This is especially true of strikers, who will often multiclass into fighter for more effective striking (Kensei, Kulkor Arms Master, pre-errata Pit Fighter). Avengers and sorcerers have a difficult time because they aren't Strength-based and lack paragon paths which improve their damage-dealing capabilities.

Racial penalties and class feature powers
Racial penalties (seen with the shade, vryloka, and Small creatures) and powers granted by class features (thus blocking out retraining or selecting older options) are not popular. Neither are racial features which overly encourage a specific playstyle (such as the minotaur's racial power or a half-orc's bonus to speed when charging).


Multiclass power-swapping
The number of feats required for paragon multiclassing or even extensive power-swapping is prohibitive. One possible suggestion is to have a single feat which allows 1 power of each type (encounter, daily, utility) to be swapped.
MM3 damage scaling consequences
The shaman's spirit companion is easily destroyed with the increase to monster damage as of MM3. Prior to MM3, there was a reasonable chance that a hit from a monster would not destroy the companion. After it, especially at higher levels, the spirit companion will almost definitely be destroyed. There is a possibility that this is not a probblem (because it still means the spirit companion is absorbing a hit), but it does represent a potentially unintended change.

The increase to damage also reduced the effectiveness of the shielding swordmage's aegis (which blocks a lower percentage of damage than it used to) and the pseudo-resistance of a swarm druid, which already needed help to be effective.


Non-implement/weapon attack bonuses
Many racial attacks and paragon path attacks which do not use implements or weapons still give attack bonuses of Ability+2/4/6 vs. non-AC defense (e.g. dragon breath). In order to stay in line with weapon and implement attacks, this bonus should be Ability+3/6/9 vs. non-AC defense or Ability+5/8/11 vs. AC. As a note, these powers also tend to have low damage due to the lack of enhancement bonus there, which should be compensated for in the future.


Dazing Rebuke Syndrome
There are several off-action powers, features and feats that inflict a status condition on an enemy lasting until the end of your next turn. The problem here is that your turn will come up before the enemy's in this case, so the enemy will never suffer the effects of the status condition on his turn, making it pointless. The Swordmage's Dazing Rebuke is the most readily cited example of a power with such a flaw, hence why this case is often referred to as Dazing Rebuke Syndrome.

Other things that still remain with such a design flaw include:

  • Price of Violence (Cleric encounter 7, DP)

  • Dragon Blast (Inner Dragon encounter 11, MP)

  • Shadowstride Rebuke (Gnome Nightcloak encounter 11, D384)

  • Stinging Rebuke (Steel Ego encounter 11, PHB3)

  • Thunderous Rebuke (Invoker encounter 13, DP)

  • Arcane Chastisement (Wizard encounter 13, D 382)

  • Eye for an Eye (Paladin encounter 13, DP)

  • Avenger's Shield (Avenger encounter 23, PHB2)

  • Collapsing Riposte (Rogue encounter 23, MP)

  • Word of Deterrence (Cleric encounter 23, DP)

  • Thunder Riposte (Swordmage encounter 23, FRPG)

  • Divine Vengeance (Paladin encounter 27, PHB)

  • Bitter Challenge (Paladin heroic tier feat, D 380)

  • Shield of Ill Fortune (Harbinger of Doom Lv. 21 feature, PHB2)

  • Fate's Frayed Thread (Warlock utility 6, D 382).

  • Grasping Ensnarement (Swordmage heroic tier feat, AP) (poor Ensnarement Swordmages)

  • Binding Ensnarement (Swordmage epic tier feat, AP)

  • Shroud of Adeptus (Entrancing Mystic 12, AP)

    This should not be considered a complete list. There are many similar effects in paragon paths and items which are not enumerated. The solution here is to make all these things' effects last until the end of the enemy's next turn.





Weapon|Implement Users
Some classes have powers with the weapon keyword and powers with the implement keyword. The existing feat support for these classes (primarily Versatile Expertise) scales later than newer versions of Expertise, and other feats have also been split between weapon and implement (such as Weapon Focus vs. Implement Focus). This gives an additional disadvantage (for non-swordmages) beyond having to keep a magic weapon and magic implement or choose a magic weapon which counts as an implement.

This also affects sorcerers, who have no option to use a newer Expertise with daggers. Light Blade Expertise only affects weapon attacks.





Thrown Weapons
There are not many choices for thrown weapons, and in general, the base weapons with light thrown or heavy thrown have small damage dice, low proficiency bonuses, and few other properties. The superior weapons with light thrown or heavy thrown are generally equivalent to military weapons that lack thrown.

This makes class builds which rely upon thrown weapons (some rangers, Spiritbond Seekers) much weaker than other weapon using classes, and generally requires them to choose magic weapons which can be used as heavy thrown weapons (farbond spellblades, hungry spears, and dwarven throwers).



Specific Issues

Kulkor Arms Master
Kulkor Arms Master's level 16 feature gives an extra attack for a fairly easy to satisfy condition. Extra attacks increase damage much faster than damage bonuses because they effectively double most existing damage bonuses. It would be better to provide a large bonus to damage rather than granting an extra attack.

Morninglord
Morninglord's vulnerability imposer is the largest vulnerability that can be given out in an at-will fashion. A possible fix would be to reduce it to vulnerable 5 radiant and increase any existing vulnerability to radiant by 5 (so that it still has an effect on the undead).

Spark Slippers
This relates to the "Rapid Zone Re-Entry" general issue, but Spark Slippers aren't technically a zone or aura. If zones and auras are limited, and Spark Slippers is re-templated as an aura, then this item can no longer be abused with excessive sliding. Another option would be changing them to willing movement.

Monk Unarmed Strike
Monks should get more use out of their unarmed strike, and hybrid monks should automatically gain proficiency with monk unarmed strike (it isn't worth the hybrid talent feat, which is needed to get better armor).

Religion using Int
Most of the classes which get Religion as a trained skill will still have lousy skill bonuses in it because it is based on Intelligence. Divine classes could use an option to use Wisdom to determine bonuses to Religion checks.

Star Pact Warlock
The Star Pact Warlock has a mixture of Constitution and Charisma attacks, but its associated at-will is Constitution. In general, the Star Pact warlock could use   "Charisma or Constitution" powers like the Sorcerer-Pact Warlock, but it's especially needed for the at-will.


Power Attack
Because of the relative value of to-hit bonuses and damage, the less likely you are to hit (i.e., the bigger and badder your weapon, the more barbarian-y you are, the more thematic Power Attack would be) the worse idea power attacking is. A scaling bonus per [W] or something like that would make Power Attack likely to provide a net increase in average damage.


Weapon Name vs. Weapon Group
The flail weapon group has a weapon in it called "flail" and the spear weapon group has a weapon in it called "spear". The same is true for the crossbow, sling, and mace weapon groups. When a feat, power, paragon path, epic destiny, or item refers to a "flail", for example, it usually means "a weapon from the flail weapon group". This can be unclear to many players and DMs, especially if it specifically means the weapon.

Rogues with shortbows
Sneak Attack was updated with Heroes of the Fallen Lands to work with shortbows, but none of the existing rogue powers or rogue paragon path powers had their requirements updated to allow for short bows to be used with them.



"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

I'd like to cast a third vote for the assassin. The Essentials version isn't bad, but it's more poison than shadow, and I liked the style of the original Assassin. Maybe offer an Essentials build that feels more like the original, in terms of style and powers (teleporting, implement powers, insubstantial, hiding), or just completely revisit Assassin's Shroud, and see if there's a viable way to fix it.


Either would make me happy.

"Not only are you wrong, but I even created an Excel spreadsheet to show you how wrong you are." --James Wyatt, May 2006

Dilige, et quod vis fac

Oh good, I was wondering how I was going to post my opinions.

There needs to be a better way for every class to have a decent melee basic, especially if they are a class designed around wielding a weapon. Avengers, for example, are trained to wield huge weapons, but have to be from a certain race or religion in order to have a decent melee basic. Melee training was a feat tax to fix that, but even that got reduced. Other examples are bards, battleminds, and monks.

I also agree with previous posters about the divine weapon/holy symbols split. I feel that holy symbols should function similar to ki focuses, in that you can apply them to weapon attacks as well.
Yes, I am a defender apologist. A Rock and a Hard Place: A Warden Handbook
Because it came up on the other thread:
Handbook of Broken: charop/wiki/Broken


  • Elemental issues

    • Does adding "2 extra cold damage" give the entire power the cold keyword?  (less confusion here these days.  It does, except for Fritz who thinks it doesnt)

    • Do 10 fire&radiant to someone with a 10 point fire vulnerability and a separate 10 point radiant vulnerability.  How much damage did they take?

    • Doing elemental damage types has better +DPRz support than most anything else.



  • Scaling issues

    • Stat-penalty-to-defenses, +Stat to hit

    • Adding lots of "conditional" modifiers that support each other.  My example: wearing 3 items of "+2 to AC until bloodied" pretty much means you won't ever be bloodied.

    • Epic Will on top of Superior Will, with some +Will items.

    • Scaling Boost to AC (Barbarians) on top of already scaling AC (Dex, armor, etc)



  • Timing Issues

    • Reacting to an attack that dazes

    • Free action to an interrupt of a reaction of an attack.

    • Differences between "trigger; ally is attacked" and "ally is hit or missed"

    • Wand Wizard using the reroll retroactively?

    • Should the DM announce numbers?



  • Random small over/under powered stuff

    • See the Wiki

    • Battleminds/Swordmages need an MBA as a class feature, IM(ns)HO

    • Monks/Avengers/Rogues/Bards/Ardents/etc could use an MBA (and the Monk's can't be a newly published at-will power, because of full-disciplin problems)

    • Monk's "crit on 19+ w/ your fists" feat just doens't work like the author thought it did.  An unarmed monk attacks with his Ki Focus, not his fists.

    • Str/Dex Barbarians have lovely ACs.  Shamans and Swarm Druids?  not so much.

    • Radiant Slides of death (spark slippers, tack on a vulnerability and Radiant One, slide lots/hit)

    • Bolaizards. (example of "attacks w/ Weapon" vs "weapon attacks")



"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

Generic Things That Are Undefined/Confusing


  • Concerted Effort (Bard 2 Utility) -- I've seen 3 different ways to read this power

  • Wielding/Using/Offhand -- These are undefined terms and lead to amusing things like people "only attacking with their offhand weapon" so that they can abuse the Harmony Blade and similar items..."Critical: +1d6 damage per plus, and you can make a melee basic attack with your off-hand weapon. Property: When you hit an enemy with both this weapon and your off-hand weapon during the same turn..."

  • Learning a New Power -- Does retraining count for this, or only when you hit a new level that grants powers (13, 23, 25, 29, etc.)?  Many people take it to mean retrain, which opens up options not normally present when combined with the Resourceful Magician PP..."Diverse Study (16th level): Anytime you would learn a new bard power, you can choose a new power of the same level from any arcane class for which you have a multiclass feat."

  • Bonus -- a recent errata says that untyped bonuses don't stack.  Does this require the word "bonus" to trigger?   What about Rings of the Ramming?  can I wear two and get +2 to push distance?   "Property: When you push a target, you can increase the distance pushed by 1 square."


Generic Things That Are Too Powerful


  • Charging -- When turning a class into a charger (even one not designed to be a charger) produces a character doing more damage than one who doesn't, something's wrong

  • Kulkor Arms Master -- When the best advice for numerous classes is to "go Kulkor" something's wrong (this also dovetails with the charging comment)

  • Morninglord -- Bring it down to 5vuln, in line with the Permafrost combo (Lasting Frost/Wintertouched).  5vuln doesn't balance with CA, since CA is so easy to get nowadays


Generic Things Which Need More Support (aka Crunch)


  • Runepriest

  • Artificer

  • Seeker

  • Weapons -- Ever play a pick build?  Neither has anyone else.  If you don't want to rush out support for these weapon types, at least errata Versatile Expertise to scale at 11/21 like the new feats, so they're not double punished (no bonus to offset the tax, and worse scaling)

  • Elemental Types -- There are more than Five elemental groups, give them some love, especially poor lonely Acid

  • Monk Unarmed Strikes -- Nice feature for a class that has no Weapon powers

  • Melee Basic Attacks (MBAs) -- With the nerf of Melee Training, some classes got left in the cold, and need some better support.  The battlemind is a melee class with a horrible MBA now.  If the Vampire can get an Implement MBA, why can't the melee classes get a Weapon one?

What Works:

Most Balanced Version Evar


AEDU worked great.  Fighters get nice stuff.

Themes, Skill Powers


Really increased "composibility", I want to be an X, but do Y.  And now I can.

Hybrids


Except for some AC issues, generally work rather well for multi-class concepts.

Large Sweet Spot


Works well from 3 to about 24 or so.  From 1 to 24 with themes.

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

I'll note a few of what I'd consider the high-level issues, before getting into nitpicky details.

Does not meet design expectations: Slow.  The slow condition is largely worthless, due to Monster Manual editors being too efficient.

For most creatures, being slowed is irrelevant by itself, since unless you impose this before their first turn or can combine it with forced movement, they're probably close enough to where they want to be anyway.

The creatures that would honestly care about being slowed, and which it makes the most thematic sense to slow, are skirmishers... who largely have powers written in terms of fixed amounts, rather than based on their speed.

Since a "attack once and fly 6 squares" or "shift 3 squares and attack every target you move past" kind of skirmisher power isn't based on the target's speed, being Slowed doesn't affect it, even though the design intent of the power obviously incorporates the target's speed.

Solution: Short of going back and updating all such creatures to refer to their speed rather than a fixed number of squares, the other answer would be to note that any creature powers dealing with movement are implicitly based on their speed, so a reduction to base speed affects those powers as well.

Does not meet design expectations: Until End of Next Turn. If given a choice between imposing a 'save ends' or 'until end of your next turn' effect, I'd rather impose the latter; if given a choice between receiving a 'save ends' or 'until end of a creature's next turn' effect, I'd often rather have the former.

Take, as an example, something like Satire of Evasion (Bard 15; lets you reroll an ally's attack roll on a miss, as long as the target is affected) under circumstances where the creature's turn comes up next.  On a hit, the effect is 'save ends', which means there's a 55% (normal creature) to 80% (solo) chance of the effect being negated before anyone can benefit from it, a 20-45% chance of the effect lasting a full round, and a 4-20% chance of it lasting longer than that.  On a miss, the effect is 'until the end of your next turn', which means a 100% chance of the effect lasting a full round, and 0% chance of it lasting longer than that.

I'd far rather miss.

On the flipside, if I'm dominated (save ends), the party's leader has a chance to do something.  For that matter, any party member can do something to help out, if they want to spend the standard action for a Heal check.  If I'm dominated (until end of creature's next turn), however, there's nothing anyone can do.

Solution: 'Until EOYNT' needs to be a subset of 'save ends', with one possible way being to change all effects so that they are removable by a save, and make 'until EOYNT' simply a ceiling, with the effect going away at that point if it hasn't been saved against.

Delay / Ready cheese.  Are you blinded (save ends), or worse, under some debilitating effect like 'you cannot attack (save ends)'?  Are you a melee character who is immobilized (save ends)?  No problem.  Just move and then ready an action to attack (or stay still and ready an action to charge, if immobilized), with the trigger being something that will happen on the next creature's turn.  Your turn ends, you make your save (or don't), and sometime during the next creature's turn, you'll make your attack.  Sure, there are ways you can get tripped up, but you're probably better off risking that than wasting your turn.

Have an 'until end of caster's next turn' effect on you that makes your turn pointless?  No problem.  Just delay until after the caster goes.

Is there a creature with an irritating immediate interrupt stopping you from hitting him?  No problem.  Just ready an action to attack him on his turn, stopping him from using any interrupts.

The ready and delay rules are full of too many loopholes, with the only thing keeping them in check is a sort of mutually assurred destruction, as DMs can abuse them just as much as players.  It would be far preferable to see the holes actually patched.

Forced movement into damaging zones.  It's been mentioned by others, but deserves as many mentions as it can get.

Timing issues.  While the timing of interrupts is something that a friendly group can just work out for themselves, the vagueness of these rules is problematic when moving from group to group, as with convention gaming or other official games.

When does a trigger like "You are attacked" or "You make an attack roll" need to be declared? (e.g., can you wait until after you're hit or missed, or you hit or miss, before using the power).

The fact that Cunning Escape (Thief 5) is an immediate reaction, and has made it through one round of errata unscathed, indicates that I fundamentally do not understand how reactions are to be timed, so further elucidation would be nice.

When you can take a free actions--a subject of the recent podcast--is also the sort of the thing that would be nice to see in print.

Action types of granted actions.  The change to free action attack limitations now means that it is very important to note what action type is required for a granted action.

This means that we see claims that, unless specified, any granted action requires no action, and that unless an ability specifically states that it is, for example, granting an opportunity attack as an opportunity action, that it is granting it without requiring an action.

(At the same time, you also have granted actions, like using your Second Wind while unconscious, that are clearly assumed to require no action without specifying that, no a blanket rule would need to be carefully worded.)
Monks, Swordmages and Battleminds need a MBA

Monks should have some actual use for their unarmed attack, right now there is no reason to ever play an unarmed monk. 

Hybrid monks should get the unarmed attack as a weapon profecincy, right now if you want to create a hybrid monk (presumably to create an unarmed version of another class) you can take it but then have only cloth armor with no bonuses to defenses making for a very quickly dead melee character.

There should also be a monk multiclass feat to get unarmed and unarmored combatant. 


Hybrid classes that are meant to have high AC while in light armor should be looked at.  Right now a regular swordmage can have as much AC as a regular fighter but the hybrid loses both unless they spend thier talent instead of taking a more flavorful class feature.  Instead light hybrids should have thier class features correlated to armor types so you can choose.  Swordmage warding would be at the same level as scale and heavy shield say, while armor of faith would be at the level of chain, unarmored combatant at the level of leather.  Classes that add off stats to AC should have a similar look taken at them. 


Non Dex barbarians, Con shamans, and swarm druids all need their defences looked at. 
The monk unarmed strike is effectively a longsword or rapier with less feat support. Hybrid monks should get it by default. It's not remotely worth spending hybrid talent on from a balance perspective, and only serves to limit builds. The only conceivable reason I can see for having it not be an innate part of the hybrid is the interaction between it and the brawler fighter feature, which could easily be fixed with a line of clarification.



The Hunter's (HotFK) power Rapid Shot reads:

Effect: You make a ranged basic attack with a weapon against each creature in or adjacent to a square within the attack’s range. You take a -2 penalty to the attack rolls.


This currently parses to "Make an RBA with a weapon against each creature in or adjacent to any (ie: all) squares within the attack's range"- RAI is not immediately obvious to some.

It could do with some clarification- perhaps "Choose a square within your attack's range. Make that attack against each creature in or adjacent to the chosen square."



Furthermore, many powers say "Attacks with a weapon". Such a distinction is, given the vast amount of weapons as implements, effectively meaningless. This is exacebated by the presence of powers that specify "Weapon Attacks"


While "Attacks with a Weapon" opens up some interesting design space, I really think that if you (R&D) mean "Weapon Attack", then you need to say weapon attack.
Oh Content, where art thou?
Thanks everyone for keeping things constructive!

My vote is for the Strength-based cleric, which is quite undersupported.  My suggestion is to find some elegant way to combine the Strength-based cleric with the Runepriest, thus increasing both classes' options.

I'm rather confused by the request...

We’re only  interested in the D&D rules right now

As opposed to what, MtG rules? Or are they talking about rules bits that pertain to system core, looking for comments like Stun is too powerful, Slow is too weak, etc? The rest of the post does not jive with this interpretation.

—what’s broken, what’s  underpowered?

For underpowered, go to a class guide, see every power that's red or purple, there's your list of underpowered powers. Then make a list of feats and items in the class guides. Any feat or item not mentioned, likely underpowered. Anything that's gold is likely overpowered (or tax).

What change would get you to play an unloved class or  race, or to pick a feat or power that no one uses? Whose damage is too  low, whose basic attack is rubbish, which secondary effect doesn’t work  as written? Let’s collect them all here, where they’ll be easy to find  and compile.

Wouldn't it be wiser to make multiple threads for organization, and to not be overwhelmed? Feats, items, paragon paths, etc. could each use their own thread. Dedicate the first few posts as reserve space for a dedicated forum member to edit and compile relevant bits from other posters. Make a broken list, a weaksauce list, and a this doesn't work list. I suppose it could all be done in the same thread within a dozen or so reserved posts, but some organization might make this task a bit easier to make sense of.
The Runepriest needs actual feat support. It's features aren't good enough on their own to stand alone, and the rune feats are, much like the tribal feats, largely worthless.


The "One Free Attack/turn" limitatation was put in place to prevent infinite recursive attack loops- but that has resulted in some classes being unable to use their basic features- swift charge/rampage barbarians for instance.

As I suggested when the change was first made, the same functionality of preventing infinite recursive attack loops can be found using the wording "One free action attack per turn per source."
Oh Content, where art thou?
I'm rather confused by the request...

We’re only  interested in the D&D rules right now

As opposed to what, MtG rules? Or are they talking about rules bits that pertain to system core, like is Stun too powerful, is Slow too weak, etc? The rest of the post does not jive with this interpretation.

I believe he meant D&D rules, as opposed to D&D fluff.

—what’s broken, what’s  underpowered?

For underpowered, go to a class guide, see every power that's red or purple, there's your list of underpowered powers. Then make a list of feats and items in the class guides. Any feat or item not mentioned, likely underpowered. Anything that's gold is likely overpowered (or tax).

Some classes are so bad that nobody wants to write them a handbook.

We’re only  interested in the D&D rules right now


I think he means as opposed to Gamma World, or anything people don't like in D&D that isn't related to rules, like fixing settings, of the background for shardminds, or the saying that the rogue power "Murder of One" is really quite confusingly named, or complaining about how power blocks or fomatted, or anything that isn't a suggestions of specific mechanics that need to be changed, deleted, added, or clarified.


For underpowered, go to a class guide, see every power that's red or purple, there's your list of underpowered powers.


I'll second this.
Opportunity/Immediate Reaction/Immediate interrupt issues.

While I get it, they are rather confusing for many people.  And they are yet more short-term resource tracking.

If you only had one opportunity action per turn (including your own!), and every immediate reaction/interrupt was an opportunity action, things would be far cleaner.

There would be one required tweak: At-will immediate actions would have to be "per-turn" powers.  In addition, immediate reactions (that might defeat the attack) might have to be tweaked.

"No immediate or opportunity actions on your turn" is cludgy, and (as noted above) a source of exploits if taken seriously.

The marking mechanic "overwrite" clause is also cludgy.  The defender aura overlap rule works better.  (It would mean that a party with two defenders ends up being able to really lock down a solo with lots of threat if it ignores the defenders... but is that bad?)

Classes with "special marks with riders" are cludgy.  Giving classes special ways to respond to mark violation, and special ways to apply marks, works much better.

Ie: if swordmages had a burst 2, targets 1 enemy, mark until you use this power again "Aegis", then a build-specific "respond to mark violation"...  things work much better.

The concept of mark violation is pretty much the most reprinted rule ever.  (Makes an attack that does not include...)

HQ/Warlock's Curse/Assasin Shroud: the fact that the target is aware of the condition makes it a headache.  Without that rule, the PC could track who is their target "internally".  You'll note that there is an assassin feat that does exactly this: but it would be "better" design-wise if it wasn't a feat.

Warlocks have serious issues.  Many of their daily powers are non-reliable and have no miss effect, even single target ones.  They have a myraid of multi-target powers, and their curse only applies to one target.  Int-less warlocks have serious AC problems.

Wizards and Warlocks both have at-will powers that could be translated as "gain roughly the damage dealing ability that any str/dex class has with martial thrown/ranged knowledge".

Mundane implements are only methods to use feats.

Essentials support was designed overly narrowly, and followup support is lacking.  Ie, the fact that heavy blade expertise explicitly blocks swordmages ... for no good reason.  Simply saying "a +1 feat bonus to attacks when using a heavy blade to make the attack" would have supported past classes: the word "weapon" was unnessicary and problematic.

Meanwhile, weapliment issues continue to exist.  Generally weapon properties are often better than implement properties (especially around elemental-cheese).
I had a big post written up too when it got turned into an announcement... then it got eaten

Well, aside from what others have said...


  • Math Taxes: Please just build these bonuses into the level structure.  You can still have feats that provide feat bonuses to defenses and attacks, but then they only have to be +1 (really, really nice) instead of up to +3 (absolutely essential)

  • Melee Basic Attacks: There are a bunch of classes that need them, the Battlemind especially.  For a melee class, being able to hit things is important, as all the Essentials classes have figured out, though it still leaves the previous classes in the dust.  Battlemind is a class that can't have an optional MBA power due to the fact that you're expected to replace it when you level and get higher level at-wills (same for Ardent).  Monk, Rogue, Avenger, Melee Bard, Melee Artificer, Ardent, Warpriest and Assassin could all use the option.  I think it would be better if it weren't a feat tax, but it if it is and you want to keep them out of the hands of Essentials MBA classes, then make it gated by a feature that they can't pick up (like a bard feat that required Bardic Virtue).

  • Poor AC: The Constitution based Shaman, Charisma or Constitution based Barbarian, Swarm Druid, non-Int warlock and non-Dexterity-based Ranger all have light armor, but no good secondary stat for AC.  This means they're easy to hit, especially when the new Monster rules have upped the damage on attacks.  For the Shaman, just granting them the ability to use Constiutution while in light armor should work, since the other two shaman builds use light armor scores as secondary.  For the ranger, allowing them to either pick up scale armor easily or use Wisdom while in light armor should help.  For the Barbarian, it's easiest just to grant alternate class features that replace Barbarian Agility (which stacked for huge AC boosts), features that allow the barbarian to use Charisma or Constitution instead of Dexterity/Intelligence while in light armor.  Non-Int Warlock could use chainmail, same for the swarm druid?

  • Redundant Ability Scores: There are several classes whose primary and secondary ability scores bolster the same defense (Str/Con, Dex/Int, Wis/Cha), giving them two weak defenses instead of one.  Few are as bad as the Dexterity/Intelligence boost of the Cunning Rogue, since the rogue has no skills that rely on Intelligence.  Granting these classes the ability to use their redundant secondary ability score for a different defense might help a great deal (such as allowing the Cunning Rogue to use Int for Will, Perception and Insight).

  • Unarmed Attacks: There is one class with a good unarmed attack, but the monk never uses it outside of basic attacks.  If you'd make a multiclass monk feat that granted the monk's Unarmed Combatant feature (possibly with the rider that you could treat it as a member of a particular group for the purpose of class features and powers but not feats or enhancements, thus allowing rogues to sneak attack with punches), it would be much more fun for other classes.

  • Rituals and Consumables: I like the idea, but D&D has a fairly sturdy concept of wealth-by-level.  If you're supposed to have loot worth a certain amount, spending it for a one-shot effect means you've weakened yourself.  Thus people tend to hoard items and rituals, never using them when they could come in handy.  Making consumables and rituals use a renewable resource such as either healing surges or a "pool" of ingredients would make it much more interesting.  After all, no one really questions where the Executioner Assassin gets the stuff needed for poisons, it's just assumed that the assassin finds enough stuff to last day-to-day.

  • Skill Challenges: The idea is good, but it still needs work.  One big problem for me is the "three failure" limit.  I understand that it's supposed to increase tension by representing a last-chance moment, but it doesn't actually do that.  Once the party gets two failures, I've noticed that members tend to try to find excuses to either use their biggest skill bonuses or simply not roll, because no one player wants to be the source of the party's failure.  This is really bad for player engagement.  Switching it over to a "accumulate a certain number of successes in a certain amount of time" works much better for this.

  • Want to hear a funny joke?  Changeling Feat Support: The newest Essentials books seem to have an intentional lack of feat support for various races, but the feats involved in supporting races beforehand are a big part in determining their viability.  Changelings are the worst in this regard, but the newer races could also use more love.  Also, changelings are supposed to be masters of disguise, but only speak Common.  Whoooops.

  • Runepriest: The runepriest has this weird bug that makes it hard to support.  New Runic States have absolutely no effect on your powers unless they're written in, while new powers need to decide how to support different rune states.  Plus, the class could probably use a build focused on mental stuff (like the Truenamer).  In fact, I'd go one step farther and consider folding the runepriest into the cleric class- by sacrificing Channel Divinity, the cleric could gain Rune Master stuff, which opens up Runic builds for the Invoker, Avenger and Paladin while fixing the Strength cleric.

  • Strength Cleric: Just doesn't cut it.  Maybe you could allow it to exchange Healer's Lore for light shield proficiency and a choice between heavy shield proficiency or scale proficiency.  That would make it equivalent to the warpriest and runeprienst in terms of AC, though the powers themselves could still use some work.

  • Augmentable Powers: As others have mentioned, right now the high level augmentable powers just can't keep up with taking low level augments and spamming them at full power with your high-level pool of power points.

  • Under-supported Classes: Yeah, some people aren't playing some classes and you guys thus don't feel the need to support them as much, but it's kind of a cause and effect scenario.  Some classes really could use the support.

  • Heroes of Shadow Races: As discussed, the Shade is really not good.  Racial penalties are a legacy we don't need to bring back since they just encouraged people to pick areas where the penalty didn't matter, plus the at-will isn't that helpful.  While the Vrylokka's racial penalty isn't that bad, it's still a penalty, and the same effect could be achieved by simply reversing it, so that it gains a bonus to surge value when not bloodied.  Same minimal effect, but it doesn't feel like a penalty.  That said, Racial Utilities are nice, and I hope we can see more of them for prior races.

  • Implement Defender: The Weapon/Implement problem is bad, as others have mentioned, but one possible fix I'd like to see is for a defender build like the Paladin to actually be able to go all-in on implement powers, including implement at-wills (especially one that can be used as an MBA).  That would make Holy Symbol Expertise an interesting selection for the paladin.

Biggest issue (IMO) is all the math fix/feat tax feats out there.

For instance, every single character takes expertise and at least one defense buffer.

When you're filling your character with feats simply so it can do its "job" and have no room to go for anything else, there are very few ways to customize your character.
________

Paragon multiclassing / multiclassing in general is a great weakness of the system, and has been since it was rolled out.  It's like someone took a look at the last edition and decided that the biggest problem of the game was that you could build a modular-type character with several classes and THAT was the problem with the most draconian solution.
________

It's probably a good idea that casters were taken down a notch in power vs. everone else, and I'm not sure how that could have been accomplished except by how the powers got blander and less terrain-effecting (as they did), but they now simultaneously take less skill to play and aren't as fun on the gameboard as they once were.
There's a long thread about what items/rules elements people think are the most broken for LFR at least here.

Most notable offenders include Dice of Auspicious Fortune (still), Wintertouched/Lasting Frost, Charging (Horned Helm, Vanguard Weapon, Surprising Charge feat), Morninglord radiant vulnerability, Spark Slippers.

Look at the errata boards.  There are many issues brought up there that were never adressed that are still very relevent.  Look at both the most recent threads and the longest unresolved threads for issues that need attention.
Clarification of what 'bonus to damage rolls' entails. There are a lot of people who believe that if you can give a non-damaging power or a power with static damage (ie: magic missile) a 'damage roll' via extra damage (like sneak attack) then you can apply all your damage roll conditional modifiers to it.


EDIT: Oh golly, WotC actually reading the errata boards? I think you ask too much, friend.
Oh Content, where art thou?
I'd like to see Changelings get some love. Nothing says irrelevant like a racial at-will that is outclassed by a level 10 hat or level 12 paragon path utility (for Dragonborns, no less; apparently they are better Changelings than Changelings) or a racial encounter power that allows you to gain combat advantage, which almost any build can get 24/7. Some feat support, espeically for the charisma-based classes, would be very welcomed. And at the very least, Changelings need to start with at least one additional language (two would be ideal).

Also, I'm not sure how possible it is to build a decent Hexblade without relying on the Charging Package. I imagine that is another class that would need a look over on the powerscale chart, not to mention all of the ambiguity that weapliments, light/heavy blade weapon types, and the pact weapon trigger.
It’s agonizing self-appraisal time in the D&D reeducation camp. Mike Mearls has asked for a list of issues that players see as problems with 4E. No group of people is better equipped to compile that list than all of you.

We’re only interested in the D&D rules right now—what’s broken, what’s underpowered? What change would get you to play an unloved class or race, or to pick a feat or power that no one uses? Whose damage is too low, whose basic attack is rubbish, which secondary effect doesn’t work as written? Let’s collect them all here, where they’ll be easy to find and compile.



What I like:
*There should be generic Themes, like the ones in Dark Sun, that work for any campaign.
*There should be a reason why I would want to use Melee Basic aside from Charge attacks. I use at-wills a lot even if their affect cannot be applied by that monster.

What Fails:
*Humans have become a lesser race. It used to be that other races had 2 attributes, when humans could choose whichever one they wanted. Now each race has one static Attribute and are able to switch between two other attributes. I don't want to choose human now, because of it. The Racial bonuses arent even worth it any more.
*There needs to be more unarmed builds out there for different characters. Monk is good, but if I want to play a Defender you can't really do Unarmed.
Ant Farm

  • Runepriest: The runepriest has this weird bug that makes it hard to support.  New Runic States have absolutely no effect on your powers unless they're written in, while new powers need to decide how to support different rune states.




This is actually an extremely common misconception. Runepriest powers that have the 'rune of protection/destruction' entry- THOSE ARE NOT RIDERS. If you read the class, it tells you that when you use a power, you pick which of those you use.

Then you use it.


Then/AFTER, you enter your new runestate.


I'll quote the relevant text.



Some of your powers have the runic keyword. When you are going to use a runic power, you first choose one of the runes noted in the power—either the rune of destruction or the rune of protection—and then use the power, applying the chosen rune’s effects. The moment you choose the rune, you enter its rune state.



Now I'll quote one of those PP's you're concerned about.



Guardian Shield (11th level): Whenever you enter a new rune state, you can enter the rune state of the iron shield instead.




When you use a rune power, you pick destruction or protection, use that as part of the power. THEN you enter either that rune state, or a rune state that has been given to you by your PP/item.
Oh Content, where art thou?
Another thing I forgot to mention.

Shuriken.  These superior weapons are a complete joke.  Two classes are proficient with them (monk and rogue), and both would rather use a dagger instead.  Rogue could at least be salvaged by making the Rogue Weapon Talent bonus to hit with daggers also apply to attacks with shuriken, making it an actually interesting ranged option instead of inferior to the dagger in every way save for range (which isn't much).

For that matter, I'm sure there are several other superior weapons out there who aren't really worth the feat.
Druids:

Wildshape in genral:

1. Confusing wording and for a class feature it works as a debuff, causing the character to lose shield, hafted defense, etc, which for the rest of the characters work fine.

Proposed Fix: Make wildshape no longer change the statistics and game mechanics (you keep whatever you equiped in wildshape, and are still considered to be equiping them), even just for convenience's sake.

2. As a polymorph effect it is too easy for the rest of the PCs/NPCs/Monsters to see through. Cha for Druids are almost a dumb stat and disguise is based on CHA.

Proposed Fix: Make druids able to use Nature instead of Bluff to disguise as an animal, and gives them a +5 bonus if possible.

3. Besides Grasping Tide and Fire hawk, the rest of the humanoid at wills are too weak to attract any interest, especially after so many other controllers are published after druid and their power levels seem to indicate a Buff in the controlling aspect (seeker excluded).

Proposed Fix: Further support, more.


Swarm Druids and Con Shamans:
None Scaling AC, and in order to get chain one is set to have at least a STR of 13 in the beginning, which eats three ability scores just like old 3R Paladin. For swarm it's even worse since the damage reducing mechanic does not function in chainmail.

Proposed Fix: Give all shaman and swarm chainmail proficiency, make Primal Swarm work in Chainmail but not other heavy armor.

Seekers:
As a controller it lacks powers that are able to target multiple targets.

Proposed Fix: Further support , more.


Hybrid:

Hybrid Warden: Without Guardian Might AND Font of Life, a warden is less attractive than even a hybrid fighter (who at least got proficiency in scale thus don't need multipple ability scores to function).

Proposed Fix: Give Font of Life Hybrid back to hybrid wardens, which could be used 2/3/4 per encounter.

Hybrid Druids: It's like strip the class to toes, leaving nothing to them. For other hybrid controllers they keep their most effective class features (like invoker) or can easily get them back with just one hybrid talent feat (wizard), for a hybrid druid wildshape is less effective than most of these features and they get what? Heavy secondary ability score depenency again?

Proposed Fix: At least give hybrid druids back Balance of Nature

Hybrid Warlord: Inspiring Presence once per encounter at the cost of one feat is not a very good idea. At least it should be stronger than a simple MC class feat.

Proposed Fix: Make it work 2/3/4 per encounter.

Ability Score Modifier Bonus/Penalty
Happens too much, one of the reason why anyone with MULTIATTACK powers could easily be more overpowered than other classes, strikers included.

Proposed Fix: Make them all once per round/to the next attack/damage rol.

Vulnerability
Cold Mafia, Radiant Mafia, too large a bonus so easy a way to get it.

Proposed Fix: Make one character able to do vulnerability damage once per round



@Hybrid warlords and inspiring presence: Or just make it like the bard: ie no restriction. They're already losing the other hybrid options.
Oh Content, where art thou?
Daily Armor Enchantments: Back in D381; there were daily powers released for the Artificer that were "Armor Buffs". These buffs are not competitive with daily powers, because the ability to do an at-will attack as a standard action was not significantly more powerful than the Artificer's other At-Will attacks and because the passive bonus(es) were often a situational "Resist 5 damage type" that was difficult to use. This effectively turned them into "trap options".
Advice for Errata: Make them compareable to Warden Polymorph Forms used on another person; with a passive bonus that is useful for any reasonable encounter. I'd suggest making the added effect into an a strong attack used once, like warden forms; or make the effect as strong or a little bit less strong than an at-will power, but used as a minor action 1/round.

Weapon Artificers:Many players enjoy melee leaders; Artificer's have all the necessary content for a Melee Leader except Melee Daily Powers (only 2 melee daily powers are in a paragon path and at level 29). Along these lines; Magic Weapon is the only decent weapon power at-will (for Ranged or Melee); because Aggravating Force is far too similar and Magic Weapon can do the same thing, but better, in all but the most uncooperative parties.
Advice for Errata/Content: Make Aggravating Force have an effect that doesn't deal with attack/damage buffs. Add Melee Weapon Daily Powers (I would suggest making them usuable Melee or Ranged Weapon, if at all possible with fluff).

Items and Healing: Artificers are unable to add things like Gloves of the Healer to their main healing power (Healing Infusion: Curative Admixture) and Paladins are unable to use it on Lay on Hands. This issue affects any class that is able to grant surgeless (or misdirected surges, in the case of Paladin/Artificer) healing that is based on Healing Surge Value.
Advice for Errata: Make the wording of these magic items more like Lend Health in D388; so that way these classes can use the items on large scale limited resources.

Sigils: Among Non-Optimized Parties, Artificer Daily Sigils can be rather weak because the party doesn't use many ways of multi-attacking.
Advice for Errata: Make the effect when you expend the bonus more, so that way it's more competetive as a daily power.

Temporary Hitpoints At-Will Powers/Encounter Powers: Powers need to scale better. A secondary modifier of temporary hitpoints can be useful at low levels, but doesn't really do anything good beyond level 6. This issue was worsened by the update to monsters around MM3. I think Virtue of Valor also should be boosted a little bit; as the MM3 monsters beat it up a little. Encounter powers have a different problem; many don't scale, which is fine, but don't give out enough temporary hitpoints to begin with, which makes them really poor choices.
Advice for Errata: Take a look at each power; I would expect Leader powers to get a better scaling boost than Defender/Striker powers; but often it's a case by case basis. For your convenience, I've assembled a short list of offenders; and I'll add more to the list later (other people might see ones I missed).



  • Static Shock, EPG 49

  • War Song Strike, PHB2 69

  • Recuperating Strike, PHB2 51

  • Protecting Strike, PHB2 121

  • Thunder Bear's Warning, PHB2 122

  • Strength of Stone, PHB2 154

  • Bolstering Strike, PHB1, 92

  • Resilence of Life, PP, 92

Item bonus to damage: Staff of Ruin, Iron Armbands, Bracers of Archery, Radiant Weapon, Goblin Totem weapon, etc. are taking over item slots unnecessarily. At this point in the game, it would be simply better to assume characters will have +1 item bonus to damage per half tier. There are various solutions to accomplish this, make every arm slot item add an item bonus to damage, or make every weapon add an item bonus to damage, etc.

Feat Tax (mainly expertise): We know it's there. Just build these, at least expertise, into the class features (like Hunter). This may also lessen the issue with weapon and implement wielding builds, such as paladin.

Basic attacks: This is something every adventurer needs to be able to do. Use your highest stat when making a melee or ranged basic attack with a weapon you are proficient with. If you have any ranged implement at-will powers, you may make a ranged basic attack with an implement you are proficient with, ranged 10, 1d6 base damage. If you have any melee implement at-will powers, you may make a melee basic attack with an implement you are proficient with, melee 1, 1d8 base damage.
Items and Healing: Artificers are unable to add things like Gloves of the Healer to their main healing power (Healing Infusion: Curative Admixture) and Paladins are unable to use it on Lay on Hands. This issue affects any class that is able to grant surgeless (or misdirected surges, in the case of Paladin/Artificer) healing that is based on Healing Surge Value.



Actually according to the cs answer like one year ago you indeed never get the bonus to surgeless healings that are worded "as if one spend an HS" because it's not actually "spending an HS".

But I guess it would be good to get a more official update.
Items and Healing: Artificers are unable to add things like Gloves of the Healer to their main healing power (Healing Infusion: Curative Admixture) and Paladins are unable to use it on Lay on Hands. This issue affects any class that is able to grant surgeless (or misdirected surges, in the case of Paladin/Artificer) healing that is based on Healing Surge Value.



Actually according to the cs answer like one year ago you indeed never get the bonus to surgeless healings that are worded "as if one spend an HS" because it's not actually "spending an HS".


That's the point. It shouldn't be that way; and needs errataed.

Item bonus to damage: Staff of Ruin, Iron Armbands, Bracers of Archery, Radiant Weapon, Goblin Totem weapon, etc. are taking over item slots unnecessarily. At this point in the game, it would be simply better to assume characters will have +1 item bonus to damage per half tier. There are various solutions to accomplish this, make every arm slot item add an item bonus to damage, or make every weapon add an item bonus to damage, etc.

My personal suggestion there is a combination of a lot of things


  • Add a "hit it with a stick" dragonshard. (+1/3/5 to damage rolls from weapon attacks)

  • Turn all the shards into Item bonuses

  • Create a common weapon that's Radiant, minus the radiance.  3/8/... sounds about right fo the level

  • Go through and turn every popular item that gives bonus damage to an item bonus.  Use 2/4/6 for those that are based off conditions the PCs can control, or 3/6/9 for those based off conditions the PCs can not.  1/3/5 for those that don't take a normal slot.  For example, make the gauntlets of bonus-damgae-when-enemy-bloodied something like "You get a +1/3/5 item bonus to melee damage rolls.  That bonus increases by two if the target is bloodied"


So then, you can use a weapon.  Or a shard.  Or Ice Gloves and your frost weapon.  Or gauntlets, or Iron Armbands.

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

The feat taxes: Expertise and Improved Defenses really are annoying because they remove two slots that we'd like to use for flavor feats.  We can't really afford to drop them or else at Paragon+ we're being hit on a 3+.

I would suggest implementing the popular solution and either giving it to PCs for free as a "level 5 expertise feature (or some such)" or by giving PCs the inherit bonus and stripping the Expertise feats of their +tohit.

Also, Net Training, Bola Training, and Polearm Momentum probably need to be clarified if they're intended to be purely weapon attacks, because right now we have wizards and bards with holy nets/bolas/glaives using their powers with things like Vicious Mockery and Thunderwave.
My Char-Op Contribution: The Bard Taxi / Little Red Corvette
Dragon Shard provides item bonus sounds like a good idea :3

Elemental issues     

  • Does adding "2 extra cold damage" give the entire power the cold keyword?  (less confusion here these days.  It does, except for Fritz who thinks it doesnt)



Speaking of which, the CS answer I recently got indicates it does not...
Bards and Rapiers: Bards are only proficient in certain melee weapons.  The rapier has long been an iconic bard weapon.  The rapier was a superior weapon when the bard was designed, but then the rapier became a military melee weapon.  The bard already has proficiency with the longsword, so it should get proficiency with the rapier.

For a brief period Mand12 had a thread about unclear questions. It hasn't been kept up to date but credit where credit is due, I'm poaching things from it.


community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...


Very Powerful


Iterative damage from zones. A Wizard with Charm of False Glory, Time Stop, and Quickened Spellcasting can one shot any solo in the game by hitting once. But it would be far to harsh a nerf to zone damage to limit it one/round.


Rule: Any damage triggered by movement can only be triggered once per turn per effect.


This solve all zones, spark slippers, walls, and etc, and doesn't create issues with the fact that many, many zones have both "move into" and "start turn in" triggers. Both can still apply easily. The other way to cover this is clunky "Once per source per trigger per turn."


Nothing else even really comes close to this as an issue. Multi-attacking is the next largest issue and would require a complete system revamp to truly address so it didn't break any of the relative balance.


Unclear



  • Do feats that modify things that happen in powers become part of that power for rules purposes? For instance Mark of Storm slides 1 on a hit with a power. Does that slide come from the power, and therefore work with Polearm Momentum? Or does the slide come from the feat somehow? The community largely says MoS works with PM, but a simple rule like "If a feat has an effect based on a power's action, the effect is considered to come from the power." This addresses rather a lot of issues, actually.



  • When precisely is a power "used"? When you pick the power? It has timing issues, the new OA rule says when a ranged power is used. We don't know when that occurs.



  • Vulnerable All, Resist All, multiple Vulnerabilities, Combined Damage Types. Is "All" synonymous with having "Resist Fire, Poison, Thunder, etc" mechanically? Ditto Vulnerability. If a power does 5 Fire and Radiant damage is that "two types" or "one type" Does it double trigger Vuln if something is Vuln 5 Fire and Vuln 5 Radiant? If you add 2 cold damage does the Power now do "5 Fire+Radiant and 2 Cold damage"? These rules could really use a complete rewrite, they have never been clear.



  • Timing of non-triggered free actions. The recent podcast addressed this, but their answer means you literally cannot interrupt a person speaking (or walk) without a triggered power that allows you to do so. The RC rule for triggered free actions is very good and could be extended to include non-triggered free actions. "Non-triggered Free Actions can happen at any time, but cannot mechanically function as Interrupts, their effects resolve as reactions and cannot invalidate or change the outcome of an action."



  • The Free Action Attack change, while it killed Giggantor just fine, presents issues. The rule should be "One Free or No Action Attack Per Source Per turn." This prevents you from having to errata the couple dozen No Action attack sources and people don't need to worry if something is an "attack power" all the time or not.



  • Define "Off-hand" (saying you have to declare your off-hand is fine, but needs to address if you can have a shield in your MH and the weapon in the off-hand). "Wield" and "Hold." "Wield" if I may suggest "when you are proficient with a weapon and are holding it in the appropriate number of hands, you are wielding it."



  • Triggered Action Timing. The new Paladin DC triggers off of "targeting." Targeting is step 2 in the attack process, so if it resolves as a Reaction "immediately after its trigger" it should happen before the attack roll. This auto-kills minions. I am personally OK with it, but it has caused numerous arguments. The meaning of "immediately after its trigger" needs to clarified, as it is a completely new sentence in the RC vs the PHB.



  • Does movement of any type require a destination square? If no... things get odd. If yes, then Shifts can be invalidated by force moving a creature such that he cannot shift into his declared destination square. Which is perfectly fine, but a recent thread of the very finest rules lawyers couldn't come to a consensus that solved all cases. If movement "targets" a square, one square at a time, then all cases could be resolved easily with no other rules needed.



  • The RC introduced a very odd issue that is probably a personal peeve of mine more then anything. For a very long time I told people that extra damage does not add a damage roll to a power. The problem is that rule doesn't exist (there is one line justifying that interpretation in the PHB, and it is in the magic item section). "Extra damage is never considered a damage roll" it all it takes.



  • Similarly "extra damage is always part of the power, not its own roll" would settle the (very few) discussions about if extra damage adds keywords.



  • "What is a basic attack?" Specifically Power of Skill changes Divine Bolts to a "Basic Attack." There is a Staff that allows you to make DB as a melee attack. Is it now a "Basic Attack: Melee"? Short of errata'd Power of Skill to specifically say "RBA, MBA, RBA, MBA" something like "If a power is converted to a Basic Attack, the type is determined by the power's native range type."


Support

There are more Arcane then Martial classes (depending on if you count the Slayer/Thief etc as its own class). There are more Martial Powers then Arcane Powers. And Arcane is the best supported keyword after Martial. Divine and Primal are really getting the shaft. Stop all support of Martial classes for a while and focus on supporting Primal, Divine, and Arcane, hopefully the least supported classes in each case (Sorcerer, Seeker, Runepriest, etc). Sorcerer's inparticular do not have a lot of unique tricks outside of Dragon Sorcerers that really support their shtick of "blow things up a large area."
Dragon Shard provides item bonus sounds like a good idea :3

Elemental issues     

  • Does adding "2 extra cold damage" give the entire power the cold keyword?  (less confusion here these days.  It does, except for Fritz who thinks it doesnt)



Speaking of which, the CS answer I recently got indicates it does not...

File under further evidence that CS doesn't know how to open the Rules Compendium and look these things up.
Item bonus to damage: Staff of Ruin, Iron Armbands, Bracers of Archery, Radiant Weapon, Goblin Totem weapon, etc. are taking over item slots unnecessarily. At this point in the game, it would be simply better to assume characters will have +1 item bonus to damage per half tier. There are various solutions to accomplish this, make every arm slot item add an item bonus to damage, or make every weapon add an item bonus to damage, etc.

My personal suggestion there is a combination of a lot of things


  • Add a "hit it with a stick" dragonshard. (+1/3/5 to damage rolls from weapon attacks)

  • Turn all the shards into Item bonuses

  • Create a common weapon that's Radiant, minus the radiance.  3/8/... sounds about right fo the level

  • Go through and turn every popular item that gives bonus damage to an item bonus.  Use 2/4/6 for those that are based off conditions the PCs can control, or 3/6/9 for those based off conditions the PCs can not.  1/3/5 for those that don't take a normal slot.  For example, make the gauntlets of bonus-damgae-when-enemy-bloodied something like "You get a +1/3/5 item bonus to melee damage rolls.  That bonus increases by two if the target is bloodied"


So then, you can use a weapon.  Or a shard.  Or Ice Gloves and your frost weapon.  Or gauntlets, or Iron Armbands.

Agreed.  Just item type most of the stuff, and you get options as well as reduce maximum power.  Killing 2 stirges with one chaos bolt.

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.

Steve, you already know some of the things I would like to see, but I'll outline them below.



  • More support for Runepriest/Seeker/O-Assassin - This has been touched on, quite a lot. But I feel like putting my two cents in would just serve to reinforce it. The runepriest is one of my favorite classes flavor-wise, but it has some flaws. Not-necessarily design flaws, but issues nonetheless. I think simplifying them or (as suggested before) an Unearthed Arcana article explaining them would go a long way. I know you think that supporting the runepriest is throwing good money after bad, but I still believe that a third (hopefully Int-based) build would be appropriate. To give more options to all builds, introduce some swappable things, like getting Ritual Caster or Channel Divinity by sacrificing something. They could also use new at-wills, to give the semblance of choice; there are two Con and two Wis and you're pretty much locked into those based on the build. A generic one, and two more at least if there's antoher build would be nice.
    Seekers have never really been good. They're cool, but like some other classes have design issues. First off, they just about have to have an 18 in their secondary stat, because all they have is leather armor and they can't hold up in the AC department without the +4. They're also piss-poor controllers. That wouldn't be easy to fix, but adding better powers (ones not just based on hitting one person, ones that do more hard control, and ones that don't just give enemies a tiny debuff or damage threatened).
    O-assassins are just sub-par strikers. As Mike Mearls discussed, their striking ability is limited because of assassin's shroud's limits, but I don't think that needs to be changed too greatly. They work well as mobile, stealthy, controlling strikers, just not alpha-strikers.But they would do all jobs better if they got more power or build support, as opposed to just rhowing a boatload of feats at the class.

  • Essentials - Please, don't just gloss over this thinking I'm an Essentials-hater. I'm somewhere in-between to be honest, but that is neither here nor there. I think it would be nice to see more options for going between Olde and Essentials classes; I was thinking at one point of playing a Sentinel, multiclassed into Shaman, and he'd be really cool. But the classes don't mesh or interact: you can't power-swap, he chose most of his powers from his original parent class, and I nearly pulled out my hair over the lack of options because of the build I chose. I get that Essentials is to simplify stuff; that's cool. But allow people to use it as an addition to the Olde classes, where they can, in theory, work as well, as fun and as creatively. Another example is that my first 4e character ever was a Star-Pact gnome warlock. When I saw the binder class, I wanted to remake him, but the fact that I neither got to choose my at-wills (admittedly, this is a warlock issue in general) OR encounter powers (which are a controller's bread-and-butter) bother me greatly.
    I also think that cool Essentials classe sliek the Vampire (I con't believe I just said that) should be given full-class support. Choosing encoutner powers, choosing dailies, choosing builds should all be a part of a flavorful, full class that isn't just a subset of another one. I don't mind the pre-chosen at-wills, but more flexibility would be nice.
    In addition, there's only that shiny new Essentials support for Essentials classes: there's no Dagger Expertise for sorcerers or Totem Expertise for shaman. Just saying. 

  • Hybrids - as others have said before, there are issues here. Here are proposed suggestions:

  • Hybrid Druid - Give another at-will at 1st level; it must be another druid one, and one must be beat-form and the other normal.

  • Hybrid Seeker - Give the Str bonus to AC for Spiritbond seekers; it allows it to mesh much better with other classes, and, as evidenced by the sorcerer, isn't exactly broken.

  • Hybrid Warlord - While you don't want people running around as powerful as normal warlords when they're hybrids, make the Hybrid Talents a little more enticing. They kind of suck as they stand.

  • Secret Math Fixes - First off, I used that term because it sounds hilarious. Second, I firmly believe these should be remedied somehow. The new feats, like Superior Will and Staff expertise provide good alternatives to the math fixes; on their own they are solid feats, that also happen to be part of the math fix. Just remove their bonus part, and put the bonuses in as part of the game.

  • Controlling - Certain effects are not as good as you think they are. Slow is a prime example. After 1 round of combat, anything you want to slow is in melee, and there's no point in doing it to ranged attackers. Now, when you tie to damage-threats for not moving,t hat's more interesting. Other effects, as addressed, like stun are almost too good. In addition, (save ends) is terrible; most things you apply it to have a +2 or +5 to saves, and you can at most, without being an Imposer or using silly amounts of stacking penalties, have something down for 1-3 rounds. That's pitiful. I get that you don't want bosses dazed/stunned/unconscious the whole fight, but there needs to be a fix for this.

  • Additions - 

  • Generic themes - I know you want to put these in, and I think we all want it too. Enough said. 

  • Human options for ability scores - maybe lose the NAD bonuses and skill, get another +2 to something else? 

  • Monster races added - I am variably in favor of this; I like to see more support for races, but too many and it becomes just silly. And some monsters should stay monsters.

  • More at-wills, or varied at-wills for some classes - Artificer, swordmage, runepriest-all suffer from a lack of decentat-wills, or at-will options for each build. Other classes, like psion and wizard, have clear amazing winners that just about anyone will have. I don't know how to fix the last one, because adding new things to compete with them is power-creep.


Just my little additions.
I would also say that they should just make an epic feat that is:

Blah Blah Blah
You're always charging your lazur!
You can score a critical hit on a 19-20

Many classes have feats like this. But with the popularity of hybriding, multiclassing, and classes that don't have feats like this, it's rather lopsided in who gets it and who doesn't get it. I think that it would be easier to release a feat like this that way everyone could be able to do it on any power that they use.
Everyone else is pointing out the numbers problems, so I'll skip repeating those.

Rituals and Consumables: I like the idea, but D&D has a fairly sturdy concept of wealth-by-level.  If you're supposed to have loot worth a certain amount, spending it for a one-shot effect means you've weakened yourself.  Thus people tend to hoard items and rituals, never using them when they could come in handy.  Making consumables and rituals use a renewable resource such as either healing surges or a "pool" of ingredients would make it much more interesting.  After all, no one really questions where the Executioner Assassin gets the stuff needed for poisons, it's just assumed that the assassin finds enough stuff to last day-to-day.



This is one of my biggest problems with the system.  Rituals end up being overpowered in one-shots or similar things, but using them in an ongoing campaign without any compensation from the DM is robbing Peter to pay Paul.  A renewable resource powering them (even if it required more feat investment, or perhaps magic items so it could be a one-time payment that could be budgeted into level advancement) would be a great change, in my opinion.  (Yes, I love the Vistani [Ritualist] line of feats, but they're really quite underpowered.  I'm right now playing a wizard with five Vistani feats.)


Also, more content for runepriest/o-sassin/seeker/artificer.  Feel free to delete some fighter material for it.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.

This is one of my biggest problems with the system.  Rituals end up being overpowered in one-shots or similar things, but using them in an ongoing campaign without any compensation from the DM is robbing Peter to pay Paul. 



Agreed. Its also a double whamey, because the ritual caster loses money buing the ritual in the first place (even if he never has occasion to use it) and then looses more money every time he casts it. In most games, money is a finite resource so everyone just ignores rituals altogether (like consumables, generally) because that money is better spent on items that increase your characters power that can be used more than once.

In one ongoing campaign I am in, the DM has even put some work into putting a system in place to "reimburse" PCs for ritual use, and half the time we STILL decide it isn't worth it for us to pick up any given ritual in the first place.

I'm a big fan of what I have seen of some of the martial practices that use surges as a cost - but they are all significantly worse than most rituals. I'm not sure how well the system would translate.
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