Antimagic and 4E

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     Just looking for ideas from fellow DM's...

   How do you (or how would you) handle anti-magic effects in 4E?   Dead-magic zones and the like?    At present I've been using the basic effects of a Beholder's central eye... ie no encounter or daily power use.  But I'm looking for other ideas.
Dark Sun Creature Catalog, p.135, offers Dead Magic terrain:  A character standing in such an area takes a -5 penalty to the attack roll of any arcane or primal power, and can't use the arcane defiling power.
Personally I'd start by asking why would you handle anti magic effects. Do you have such a big problem with magic users or do you just enjoy nerfing them?

If you want to create an anti-magic zone for the flavor I'd start by making ritual casting impossible, magic items not to function (and picking challenges appropriately, your players will have it rough) and maybe giving every creature in the zone a flat +5 bonus to saving throws as magic quickly peters out. You can even rule that creatures under a certain level can't use magic at all.

But don't disallow or grossly penalise one or two characters in your group and do nothing to the others for flavor, because that's generally very frustrating for them. Reinforce how special they are by letting their magic work to some extent in the zone where others can't do anything, don't just tell them "you, you and you are now useless, go sit in the corner for a few hours".
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I don't support anti-magic as an idea, but I'd rather support anti-supernatural.

For instance, you could have the beholder's central eye make a blast attack that gives you:
Cannot use item powers, encounter or daily powers (Save ends)

If you want to make it more powerful, just add something like:
Aftereffect: you take -2 to hit with item  powers and encounter or daily powers (Save ends).


Those effects are fair to most PC's (although, essentials martial characters are little less penalized).
It should also convey the feeling of the Beholder sapping the PC's out of supernatural things.

That is what I would do.

Such an aura would already be problematic, since all melee encounter and daily powers would be quite useless.
Personally I'd start by asking why would you handle anti magic effects. Do you have such a big problem with magic users or do you just enjoy nerfing them?

If you want to create an anti-magic zone for the flavor I'd start by making ritual casting impossible, magic items not to function (and picking challenges appropriately, your players will have it rough) and maybe giving every creature in the zone a flat +5 bonus to saving throws as magic quickly peters out. You can even rule that creatures under a certain level can't use magic at all.

But don't disallow or grossly penalise one or two characters in your group and do nothing to the others for flavor, because that's generally very frustrating for them. Reinforce how special they are by letting their magic work to some extent in the zone where others can't do anything, don't just tell them "you, you and you are now useless, go sit in the corner for a few hours".



Basically this. Anti-magic basically means you should just tell the spellcasters to not show up that night. They won't be needed.
Different monsters are more or less vulnerable to different character builds so there is nothing wrong with making things tougher for certain types of character in a particular encounter.  Just don't do it over the entire adventure and make sure that you don't favour or penalise particular power sources or characters too often compared to the others.

Possibilities could include damage resistance to arcane (or other) attacks, a bonus to saving throws against status effects from arcane (or other) powers (or possibly allowing creatures present to save at the start of their turn), a ban on ritual usage (possibly stripping away a healing surge if somebody tries), gaining temporary hp when hit by an arcane (or other) powers to simulate a lack of effectiveness, a ban on teleporting, only allowing usage on daily or encounter powers when spending an action point.

I wouldn't add an attack penalty though.  Even if damage is limited the players still want to feel like they are contributing something.

Plus I would say that if you want parity, why shouldn't trolls get bonuses to save against martial status effects on any round that they don't take acid or fire damage?
Yes, antimagic fields and such suck for some characters indeed.

But storywise and such, it is not totaly a bad idea... you can imagine fluffwise ideas for it, reasons full of logics.

An idea to play with, but I have no freaking idea how to pull it, is to take the idea of fluctuating magic 'fields' so more. From wild magic like FR had (or have? did the 4th ed settign book have them still?), to the lowered and uppered magic fields like Shadowrun... Or even, SR again, their Toxic zones...
Dark Sun Creature Catalog, p.135, offers Dead Magic terrain:  A character standing in such an area takes a -5 penalty to the attack roll of any arcane or primal power, and can't use the arcane defiling power.



One could have Nexus points to balance it out where the opposite occured...

Might be interesting to make the rating un predictable ... make Chaos Nexi  where you roll one d6 to add and one to subtract ... heheh.

Personally I would be more inclined to modify damage dealt, less schwing bleh than modifying to hit. 
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At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
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"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Yes, antimagic fields and such suck for some characters indeed.

But storywise and such, it is not totaly a bad idea... you can imagine fluffwise ideas for it, reasons full of logics.

An idea to play with, but I have no freaking idea how to pull it, is to take the idea of fluctuating magic 'fields' so more. From wild magic like FR had (or have? did the 4th ed settign book have them still?), to the lowered and uppered magic fields like Shadowrun... Or even, SR again, their Toxic zones...


the main difference is that in a story written by one author, he/she has full narrative control to decide if the nerfed character lives or not.

in an RPG where the story is authored by several people simultaneously... not so much. if the GM states "this place shuts down all arcane magic, period" then you're telling one of the authors that he can't actively contribute to the story in a significant manner.

anti-magic is one of those things that i've never seen used properly. it shuts down "magic"... but what is magic? in this scenario, are only the arcane casters affected? all non-martial/psionics? are martial and psions also included since their feats are above and beyond what muggles do? does your +4 sword simply stop being a +4 sword since it's technically a magic item? what about your healing potions?

before adding things like "fields of suckage" think about the why you're doing it and what exactly you're trying to accomplish... then try to see if there's a way to do so without completely removing characters (and by extension, the player) from the game.
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A while back, I had an idea for an anti-magic thingy (though I only came up with fluff, not actual mechanics). It amounted to a sort of magic-eating rock. It would leech off of nearby sources of magic and deposit the energy in the surrounding ground, resulting in very fertile earth. 

So, people living in the area wouldn't be able to make use of very much magic, but would be able to grow lots of food. Any military in such an area would likely not have any arcane- (or maybe even divine- or shadow-) powered soldiers, nonmagical technology would be developed to do what other people would do with magic, etc. Invading armies, which would likely rely to a certain extent on the affected powersources, would have a hard time taking over (possibly). And, since the place would be able to grow so much food, it would likely be at least moderately wealthy.
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Anti-Magic Fields existed because magic was more powerful than martial, and the designers decided they needed a hoser.

In 4e, that is no longer the case, so anti-magic fields are unnecessary.
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If you just have to have anti-magic fields in 4E, I would recommend them working similar to auras. If the magic-user ends his turn inside the anti-magic aura, he must remove himself from it before being able to cast spells, or something to that degree. It would punish magic-users little more than melee users are punished who find themselves in a monster's aura. Perhaps a single square is radiating an Aura 1 effect somewhere on your map. If the magic-user should find himself in it, then he has put himself there, or has been foreably moved there by an anemy. Naturally, I recommend not using anti-magic at all, but if you're just determined to do so, try to make it as least crippling on those who chose to play spell-users as possible.

Anti-Magic Fields existed because magic was more powerful than martial, and the designers decided they needed a hoser.

In 4e, that is no longer the case, so anti-magic fields are unnecessary.



Hence why I suggest using nexus points as well

It could make for interesting game world specific flavor....

I would also suggest having them destabilize or move through etherial space or whatever
so making it hard to exploit them for a large amount of time.



  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I agree with what the other posters have said and like Rothe's idea.

If anything, 4e needs anti-martial zones since it is overall the most powerful power source.

If you just have to have anti-magic fields in 4E, I would recommend them working similar to auras. If the magic-user ends his turn inside the anti-magic aura, he must remove himself from it before being able to cast spells, or something to that degree. It would punish magic-users little more than melee users are punished who find themselves in a monster's aura.



Still a problem, as there are Arcane melee classes, noteably the Artificer and the Swordmage.

Rothe's idea is the fairest of them all.
How do you (or how would you) handle anti-magic effects in 4E?   Dead-magic zones and the like?    At present I've been using the basic effects of a Beholder's central eye... ie no encounter or daily power use.  But I'm looking for other ideas.

In prior eds, anti-magic was a tool ithe DM could use to reduce the overwhelming dominance of casters and magic items at higher levels.  Throw in an anti-magic effect of some kind and the character who's been acting as the hp/save platform for some Artifact gets to remember for a few rounds that he is in fact a fighter and can still hit things with a sword.  

4e has balanced classes and left sources /reasonably/ balanced ('caster' sources like arcane and divine are still a lot more /versatile/ than the martial source), so the need for anti-magic is substantially lessened.  It might be suitable for a skill challenge, to take rituals, items and utility spells out of the equation so unaugmented skill becomes important again.  It might be worthwhile in a combat encounter to keep a given caster from trivializing it with a potent daily or pounding on a monster vulnerability. 

The beholder idea is a good one.  You could soften it, by giving a consequence to using more powerful magic rather than just making it un-useable.  For instance, in a 'low-mana zone' the caster of an Encounter spell might be dazed until the end of his next turn, or even stunned (save ends) if he uses a daily - because the ambient magical energy is so low he must make up the deficit, himself Or, in a 'desecrated' temple full of undead, a cleric might find that his Radiant powers do only half damage, and that enemies gain a bonus to saving throws vs any effects they inflict. 

The other way to use such a zone is simply as a plot device to keep the players out of an area, or explain why some obvious (magical) way of solving a problem hasn't been used.  Again, that shouldn't come up as much in 4e, since magic is less omnipotent than it used to be.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

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Sounds like a fun idea, If used judiciously. I'd kill all magic in the zone, dailies, encounters and at-wills, including equipment. I'd tailor the encounter though, make sure that the casters and such had access to ranged weapons, lots of cover for them, tables and such, I'd go heavier on the minions that also have range and lighter on the heavy hitters.

Not sure why so many are negative about the idea, hardship builds character and stories. The magc users don't become useless, they become more dangerous because they'll be thinking outside the box and be desperate. They'll use oil flasks as molitovs, take hostages to use as shields, cut the floor away to escape in a sewer. The more I think about it, the more fun it sounds.
Because half the point of playing a RPG is the ability to do cool stuff ... and if you honestly think a wizard using a ranged weapon in place of at-wills is going to be remotely effective, you really have never played this game.

All anti-magic says is 'there's no reason for you to be here; go play Xbox for this encounter'.  It's grossly unfair.
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marching through a swamp is a hardship and according to some, builds "character". 

getting your legs cut off is reason for retirement.

having someone remove your legs (temporarily, so it's all good! trollface.jpg) so you can "build character" crawling through a swamp is what is commonly known as a **** move.

zones of "you can't do your stchick" is entirely not "hardship that builds character & stories" nor does it make casters "more dangerous because they think outside the box". a guy who can light fires with his mind is dangerous. a guy who can creatively apply the ability to light fires with his mind is extremely dangerous. a guy who lost his ability to light fires with his mind is now a normal guy who needs a lighter to light fires, which he doesn't have, because he never needed one to begin with

this means that thing you used to do to provide support for the party and carry your own weight? you can't do that anymore, have fun! honestly, i've never seen "antimagic" to mean anything but "antifun" in 3 editions play. 

i play magical robots, swordsmen with fantastic blades & powerful mages because those are fun archetypes to play in adventures.

i want to play "Slagheap, the warforged sorceror who burninates everything with his flamethrower arm". what i don't want to play is "Oxybe, that guy who works tech support in the cubicle across the row". without magic "Slagheap" is nothing more then a violent warforged with stump for an arm and a fancy-looking knife in the other, rather then highly mobile inferno he usually is.
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"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
Because half the point of playing a RPG is the ability to do cool stuff ... and if you honestly think a wizard using a ranged weapon in place of at-wills is going to be remotely effective, you really have never played this game.

All anti-magic says is 'there's no reason for you to be here; go play Xbox for this encounter'.  It's grossly unfair.





wow. No imagination. Maybe you've never played D&D?

A good story has convention turned on its head, having an encounter that changes the dynamics can be fun if done well and with imagination, I never realized that any player shooting Orcs with a crossbow wasn't cool. Also well done DMing involves being unfair once in awhile, not to the expense of the game because any reasonable person will rise to the occasion, rather then cry about life and D&D being unfair.

It's a game about being a hero, you don't hear the hero complaining about running out of ammo being unfair and walking away, he fortifies his testicles and grabs the nearest blunt object and makes a plan. I've taken all weapons, armor and equipment away from my players once, the mage was hugely over powered compared to a polearm fighter without a polearm. The fighter never cried and went to play with his XBox he grabbed a guy and beat him to death with his hands and it was badass.

I want my players to be bad ass...not conventional (make sure you drip conventional with as much derision as possible)
Having used epic level characters (level 30) in 3.5E who ended up in an anti-magic field - MARTIAL characters got hit the hardest.  Their items stopped functioning, and then bam, they sucked.  Magic users ran out of the field, used magic that did something outside of the field such that the magic ended instantly, but the effect of the magic was then felt inside the field (classic example: create a mountain on top of their head oustide the field's range.  magic is purely used to create it, now it is a mundance item, which gravity drops on the bad guys head).

That being said, in 4E, powers are far less versatile than in 3.5E, so nowadays an anti-arcane (or anti-arcane/divine) field would have far greater influence on only a few characters.

But as a note, someone like a swordmage, or a bladesinger, would probably still have basic attacks to fall back on and would not be completely useless.

My actual suggestion for anti-magic fields is:  Use them as skill challenges!  Not as part of combat.   The group encounters a dreaded anti-magic field, and suddenly teleports + arcane abilities don't work - woe is them!  All right, now we have to make an Arcane check DC x in order to find the flaw in the field where your abilities do work that let you get out.  Make the field life-sapping too, so that you lose a healing surge for each failed check, and make it so that it requires 5 checks to actually shut down the field long enough to leave it.  Add in an entrapment effect; if you have any magic on you (including magic items, or arcane/etc abilities), you can't leave the field.

Taking that one step further:  Skill challenge IN combat.  Beholder has an old-school anti-magic field central eye, it affects: Divine/Arcane/Psionic/Shadow/Elemental/Primal abilities + Magic Items that are directly in the field.  Don't worry, all those awesome martial characters can't attack either because they're missing their +6 frost weapon that grants +8 (or more) to hit when all their feats are included.  The catch?  If you succeed on an appropriate skill check (minor action), you find a chink in the field that allows you to use such abilities until the end of next turn.  If you succeed on a more difficult check (standard action), you determine how to shut down one entire piece of the field until the end of the encounter (allowing one type of ability, or magic items, to be used).

A PC shooting orcs with his crossbow might be cool ... if he weren't a 10 DEX Wizard without proficiency and with no enhancement bonuses because, hey, anti-magic.  "I miss.  I miss.  I miss."  Lots of fun, that.

There's a difference between 'hardship' and 'screwjob'.  You can make things more difficult without outright going 'you're hosed'.  What you are suggesting is definitely and unequivocably 'unfair at the expense of the game', and I certainly disagree that being a good DM EVER requires being unfair.
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A PC shooting orcs with his crossbow might be cool ... if he weren't a 10 DEX Wizard without proficiency and with no enhancement bonuses because, hey, anti-magic.  "I miss.  I miss.  I miss."  Lots of fun, that.

There's a difference between 'hardship' and 'screwjob'.  You can make things more difficult without outright going 'you're hosed'.  What you are suggesting is definitely and unequivocably 'unfair at the expense of the game', and I certainly disagree that being a good DM EVER requires being unfair.



that's called the "commoner in a funny hat".

it's what happened to previous edition wizards at level 1-3 after a few encounters and at high levels once the GM's brain stopped functioning since he's been having it jump through hoops trying to stop the casters from breaking the game using the tools the books provide them and simply decrying "NULL MAGIC ZONE! (AKA: I'M TAKING MY BALL AND GOING HOME)"

because nothing builds more character then losing all your wizardly magic and having to resort to a mundane crossbow+dagger VS angry colossal dragon.

yup. "fun".
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"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
Then adjust, you make it sound like it's a computer game and I'm making you play Mario with no jumping. It's DnD, that crossbow in the Wizards hand can do what ever the hell you want it to do so that it can be fun.

Boom this is an odd and complicated bow, it would take a lot of INTELLIGENCE to use but would be highly accurate for someone who is INTELLIGENT....Is there ANYONE who would happen to be INTELLIGENT that could use this bow...oh wizard take it fiddle with the nobs +5 accuracy

You can think outside the box. Don't be conventional(<-----derision)
It's DnD, that crossbow in the Wizards hand can do what ever the hell you want it to do so that it can be fun.



But what he wants his crossbow to do is to shoot lightning bolts, fireballs and paralyzing beams of psychic energy since he thinks that is fun.  That is why he is playing a caster instead of a ranger.

And you aren't forcing the martial PCs to think outside the box by making him go into an antimartial zone that forces him to rely on prayers or spells.
For some reason i think Mac has never actually played 4th, or he would know that know amount of creativity is going help him hit with a crossbow. Then again it seems is subscribed to Insider. So I guess he is just delusional, or hates his players.
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As for unfair. Ive done or had done to me:
1. Wake up naked in a backalley, with assassins ready to kill me. Not fair, but fun.
2. Been in unwinnable encounters and woken up unarmed on my enemies altar. Not fair, but fun.
3. Had my players pick wonderous items, from a lot, they were all cursed. Not fair, best fun we ever had. They still talk about the bag of holding that ate them all and transported them to a evil pocket dimension.
4. Had all of them swap minds and have to play each others characters. Unfair, was fun, particularly funny when the rogue couldn't stop touching the female wizards chest, she got him back though when he got back into his body I made him roll a disease check for what she'd done with his body, he failed.


Being unfair and changing the orthodoxy or conventional (derision) way a game is played is unfair and it's fun if it's done well. If it's not working against them, then they aren't acheiving anything. They're just going into another room and clear it out and another room and clear it out. Having four players walk into a room that each of them is walking on a different surface, fighter on the roof and wizard on the floor, rogue on a wall and cleric on the opposite wall, it's not fair when you're fighting spiders that can be on any surface, but it is fun.

Be unfair, it's okay as long as you're not being a dick and providing heaps of fun. I don't get complaints from an unorthodox encounter, i get repeat players.
As for unfair. Ive done or had done to me: 1. Wake up naked in a backalley, with assassins ready to kill me. Not fair, but fun. 2. Been in unwinnable encounters and woken up unarmed on my enemies altar. Not fair, but fun. 3. Had my players pick wonderous items, from a lot, they were all cursed. Not fair, best fun we ever had. They still talk about the bag of holding that ate them all and transported them to a evil pocket dimension. 4. Had all of them swap minds and have to play each others characters. Unfair, was fun, particularly funny when the rogue couldn't stop touching the female wizards chest, she got him back though when he got back into his body I made him roll a disease check for what she'd done with his body, he failed. Being unfair and changing the orthodoxy or conventional (derision) way a game is played is unfair and it's fun if it's done well. If it's not working against them, then they aren't acheiving anything. They're just going into another room and clear it out and another room and clear it out. Having four players walk into a room that each of them is walking on a different surface, fighter on the roof and wizard on the floor, rogue on a wall and cleric on the opposite wall, it's not fair when you're fighting spiders that can be on any surface, but it is fun. Be unfair, it's okay as long as you're not being a dick and providing heaps of fun. I don't get complaints from an unorthodox encounter, i get repeat players.



Again, arbitrarily and utterly nerfing a character's abilities IS being a dick.
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For some reason i think Mac has never actually played 4th, or he would know that know amount of creativity is going help him hit with a crossbow. Then again it seems is subscribed to Insider. So I guess he is just delusional, or hates his players.





Magic Crossbow of always hits. It didn't take creativity or delusions.

We're not talking about breaking characters permanently, we're talking about changing "an" encounter. You'd be surprised about how much fun can be had by 5 players who don't see something coming.
MAGIC crossbow, so it wont work will it because the anti-magic field stops magic? right? Or is it use- different-attacks-than-you-normally-do-because-the-dm-is-lame-field? A UDATYNDBTDILF?(thats a mouth-full)
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Magic Crossbow of always hits.



Great idea, except for that whole 'anti-magic field' thing.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
As for unfair. Ive done or had done to me: 1. Wake up naked in a backalley, with assassins ready to kill me. Not fair, but fun. 2. Been in unwinnable encounters and woken up unarmed on my enemies altar. Not fair, but fun. 3. Had my players pick wonderous items, from a lot, they were all cursed. Not fair, best fun we ever had. They still talk about the bag of holding that ate them all and transported them to a evil pocket dimension. 4. Had all of them swap minds and have to play each others characters. Unfair, was fun, particularly funny when the rogue couldn't stop touching the female wizards chest, she got him back though when he got back into his body I made him roll a disease check for what she'd done with his body, he failed. Being unfair and changing the orthodoxy or conventional (derision) way a game is played is unfair and it's fun if it's done well. If it's not working against them, then they aren't acheiving anything. They're just going into another room and clear it out and another room and clear it out. Having four players walk into a room that each of them is walking on a different surface, fighter on the roof and wizard on the floor, rogue on a wall and cleric on the opposite wall, it's not fair when you're fighting spiders that can be on any surface, but it is fun. Be unfair, it's okay as long as you're not being a dick and providing heaps of fun. I don't get complaints from an unorthodox encounter, i get repeat players.



Again, arbitrarily and utterly nerfing a character's abilities IS being a dick.





Okay so dazed, stun, slowed, sleep, those are being dicks when you use them.

There is nothing arbitrary about changing an encounter, about having an adventure. Once in a while fighting hand to hand to get back to your equipment after going to jail in an enemy prison is fun. I am talking about spicing up something not the meat of the game.

I once had 4 players in 4 cages fighting 4 opponents. What I would do is let player 1 go and then NPC 1 go, it took the players a few rounds to realize they were fighting mirror images of themselves. It's unfair, they were hurting each other and they didn't know it but they laughed like maniacs when they realized the healer had knocked the controller unconscious.

I've never had an encounter that couldn't be gotten out of or through, any of the things I've described above never had anyone die. Heaven forbid an encounter shouldn't be what you expect, the best movies and stories about nothing going against the heroes are piled to the Heavens, I remember Casa Blanca, it was great when nothing unexpected happen or Raiders of the Lost Arc, nothing worked against the hero in that movie.

I want my players to feel like Rock Stars and clearing out rooms and nothing bad happening to them is boring.

As for hating my players, I love them so much I work hard to give them something to achieve.


Magic Crossbow of always hits.



Great idea, except for that whole 'anti-magic field' thing.





My apology, mechanical crossbow of always hits or living arrows of always hits.

It saddens me, that you'd pounce on someones idea and presume to know how his or my players would react to it.

It's easy to be deconstructive and pessimistic, it's hard to be constructive and optimisitic. I choose the hard way.
Better idea: zones of mind-fogging whatever that stop people from using anything encounter/daily while in them.



I'd still think there should be some way to circumvent it.  Saving throw, skill check, make the zone a hazard/trap that has to attack or something.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Better idea: zones of mind-fogging whatever that stop people from using anything encounter/daily while in them.





I like that idea too. I saw a game once that had fields that would rotate around the map like a propeller and when you were in the field you could attack out but not be damaged but if you left the field you couldn't attack and you took damage, the field would move how ever many spaces dependant on how many people were in the field, was a neat mechanic, but it dragged out the combat he needed to reduce the enemies life by half to speed it up and not out last the novelty.
+1 for "anti-magic isn't fun".  But even setting that aside, it's an extraordinarily difficult concept to implement in 4e.

What counts as magic?  Off the top of my head, the power sources that could justifiably be called magic include arcane, divine, primal, psionic, and shadow--in other words, everything except martial.  But what do you do when your barbarian objects to the idea that he's no longer any good at swinging his axe?

The problem gets even thornier when you come to the Essentials classes.  The scout is martial and primal; if he's in an anti-magic field, does he get to use Attack Finesse, or does he have to start using Strength for attack and damage rolls?  Can he use his Beast Empathy knack, which is a plausibly "primal" effect with no power source?
Again, I say you're better off forgetting it to begin with, but if you MUST use it, you'd be better off defining it by power-source type. It wouldn't be an "anti-magic" zone. It would be an "anti-arcane", or "anti-divine" zone. Anti-magic zones render magic items useless (nerfing the entire party), rituals wouldn't work, so on and so forth. If you're just out to screw over the true "magic users", you'd better be specific about it. Wizards would only be affected by anti-arcane zones. Clerics = anti-divine. Paladin = divine. Warlock = arcane. Avengers = divine. Sentinel Druid = primal. You get the point.

Another sticky point is how this anti-magic field came to exist to begin with. Was it put there by a spell-user? Sounds questionable, at best. Is it a natural phenomena? More likely than man-made, I would say. Just like regular traps, these fields would need to serve a purpose to have inclusion. If you think about it hard enough, and the only thing you can come up with as an intended purpose for an anti-magic field amounts to no more than a way to screw over a particular class (or range of classes), then it's not a great idea to include it. YMMV, of course. There are plenty of ways to single out specific PCs without having to be so obvious about it. The anti-magic field just screams "Screw you, magic-users! Ha! I'm the DM, and I'm playing one of my trump cards on your candy-arses!"
+1 for "anti-magic isn't fun".

Agreed. 
 But even setting that aside, it's an extraordinarily difficult concept to implement in 4e.

What counts as magic?  Off the top of my head, the power sources that could justifiably be called magic include arcane, divine, primal, psionic, and shadow--in other words, everything except martial. 

'Everything except martial' would be one extreme.  An 'anti-magic' effect could also presumably target a single source.  With the sources being keywords, that'd make determining what is affected quite simple. 

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

'Everything except martial' would be one extreme.  An 'anti-magic' effect could also presumably target a single source.  With the sources being keywords, that'd make determining what is affected quite simple.  



Except for the whole "the Barbarian can no longer swing his Axe" thing. To what extent is a Barbarian axe-swing primal magic, and that to what extent is it an axe swung by a very large and well trained figure?

It's easy to be deconstructive and pessimistic, it's hard to be constructive and optimisitic. I choose the hard way.



It's even harder to be constructive and come up with things that make sense. Seriously; a non-magical crossbow that always hits? And they give it to the wizard? Why the hell not to the Ranger who can then proceed to singlehandedly murder the entire encounter and every encounter after?

(Wait, I bet you have a non-sensical argument to push them exactly in the direction you, the DM, have set out for them, right?)

Your ideas might make mechanical sense (and it's great if your players even enjoy them) but none of them can be used in the books for sure and I'm pretty sure not a lot of players would enjoy them either. Personally, I play a character because I enjoy his skill-set. It might be fun to go without it for a few units when everyone else is (ie being in prison) but being forced to run an entire encounter without any of my skills while other people are unhampered and being force-fed the only solution by the DM, and that being one that made no sense? Why not just hand my character over to the DM and let him play, after all he already knows exactly what he wants me to do (it involves making basic attacks that never miss from a non-sensical crossbow, apparently)

As for the other ideas; your world makes no sense at all if a STR 10 Wizard can use anything as a living shield that the opposition will care about. All the enemies are way too strong for him and why would an Orc care if you hold a human in front of you? That's just two for the price of one. Likewise; if he can throw an oil-molotov and actually reliably hit anything (ie; deal damage on less then a 20) then alchemists over the world are going out of business because their Alchemist's Fire is utterly useless.

It's great if your players like it, but I doubt it'll find preference with most other people.
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Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
Except for the whole "the Barbarian can no longer swing his Axe" thing. To what extent is a Barbarian axe-swing primal magic, and that to what extent is it an axe swung by a very large and well trained figure?


Depends on the setting. In my setting, for example, exertions, whether physical or magical, require an expenditure of soul energy ("mana"), and through repeated use, the strength of one's soul becomes greater, allowing them to expend greater amounts of mana (use higher-level abilities), and have a great total pool of mana (access to more abilities). In such a setting, an effect could feasibly restrict the amount of mana a soul is able to expend at once, thus restricting someone from using more powerful abilities.

The effect could be specific to the nature of mana being used. Creative problem solved.
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I wonder how that would work for characters with their own flavor. My Monk is a Wizard and most of his attacks are martial in nature, while some are arcane, but technically they're all psionic. Powersource based rules would really lock down a lot of that flavor, I fear.
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.