"Dominate is more fun than Stun" - an informal poll!

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I'm looking for other people's opinions!

I feel that Dominate is more fun than Stun, because a Dominated character gets to do something on his turn, and gets the unusual experience of getting to stab his friends in the back completely guilt-free.

I, personally, find being Dominated *fun* as a PC, where I find being Stunned to be *annoying*.  Yes, Dominate is strictly worse for the party, but getting to shoot my friends is actually more fun than not getting to do anything at all, In My Humblest Person Ever Opinion.

There's a small balance concern - Dominate takes a powerful at-will and drops it against the PCs, instead of simply eliminating an attack - but that's negotiable.

What do you think?
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Dominate is more fun than Stun, yes, but should be used sparringly, where Stun is something you can throw at PCs in more regular intervals. If you always Dominate the party, it gains the same feel of repetition and annoyance that Stun has.

So yea, Dominate is more fun than Stunned, but Stunned is a better "severe" condition to use more regularly.
So yea, Dominate is more fun than Stunned, but Stunned is a better "severe" condition to use more regularly.



I'm not sure it is, though - a "boring" condition that is inherently less fun seems like an obvious candidate for elimination, with the increased damage from the more-fun Dominate being accounted for and balanced in the monster design of the Dominator.

Basically, I think that accounting for Dominate by reducing general to-hits and damage, and then replaceing *almost all* Stuns with Dominates, would make the game more fun - because Stun is boring, and Dominate is interesting.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Hard to argue with.  Stun is both dull and intensely annoying, especially EONT stuns that your save-granting friends can't even help with.  Dominate lets you vicariously punish your allies, like that snooty skill monkey who's always mocking you during skill challenges or that hog who took the best magic item the last three levels running. 

A possible homebrew solution might be to permit stunned models to take one action, which cannot be a standard action.  That makes it less of a power jump from daze.  You'd probably want to apply it selectively, though - some stunning powers and conditions will lose their flavor if you can still move or minor during them, and I'm not sure PC powers deserve to be degraded at all.  No one cares if the monsters are bored during their turn, after all - although the downgraded stun coupled with minor action attacks would leave solos some offense even if they aren't built with lockdown-breaking tricks.
Absolutely.  Dominate is both more powerful than stun, and more fun than stun.


You have to be very careful with it, though.  Especially if its duration is (save ends) or it is a non-encounter power (recharge or at-will).  There's a reason that at-will dominate is a power almost exclusively reserved for epic tier monsters, and even recharge dominates are rare until epic.



And if you slap enough of a penalty on the dominated attack, it makes it basically the same thing as stun anyway; you roll some dice, sure, but nothing important happens so who cares?
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Thanks to a quick dominate, I got critted by my party leader (who dresses up as a striker). 30 point to the grill. Ouch! I would have preferred he was stunned.
I'm not a huge fan of either (I prefer 'slide target, target makes MBA' powers to dominates), but I suppose I would agree that dominating is less unfun than stunning.

I've actually considered removing stunning from the game and replacing it with dazing, just because stunning sucks THAT hard.
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Absolutely. There are monsters in paragon tier even that can stun more than once per fight. Once gets the point across. Sitting out more than that is unnecessary.

I was hit once with a stun save ends. ug.
I'm not sure it is, though - a "boring" condition that is inherently less fun seems like an obvious candidate for elimination, with the increased damage from the more-fun Dominate being accounted for and balanced in the monster design of the Dominator.

Basically, I think that accounting for Dominate by reducing general to-hits and damage, and then replaceing *almost all* Stuns with Dominates, would make the game more fun - because Stun is boring, and Dominate is interesting.



In a mechanical sense, yes, but not in a flavor sense. If every monster that stunned instead dominated, it would take the flavor away from certain monsters, such as Succubi and several BBEG level controllers. Stun provides a similar level of punishment by nixing an opponents actions for a turn and is more likely to be used by several types of monsters in kind, promoting the flavor that Domination requires a degree of magic or mental power not often found in the common rank and file enemies, where as any old Troll with a club and a good swingin' arm could end up stunning you.
Actually, I wish Dominate was replaced completely with abilities like the Demon-Eye Gnoll and Gnoll Pack Lord from Monster Vault which daze a PC and trigger and MBA against an ally but do not require the PC to completely give up his turn. Other than that, yes I think you have a case Lord of Weasels.
Dominate is more fun than stun if for no other reason than the visceral reaction it gets from the players who don't want to be made into just another statistic by the low-Will, high damage swordswinger in the group. I don't actually like dominate or stun much though in general. That mostly comes from DMing for smaller groups and action denial becomes a real killer and needs to be handled with care.

If I want a dominate-esque effect, I just have the attack cause the PC to move up to his or her speed and make an at-will attack against the nearest ally (or something like that). That way, the PC can still act on his or her turn. The only reason I stick with traditional dominated effect is if I want the PCs to move for some reason or get them to jump into dung heaps or the like (basically do something other than attack). Also, it alleviates the one-square-away cheese that savvy players will use to avoid the wrath of their dominated compadres. For stun, I do a variation of things, but often it will cause the PC to grant CA, take a -2 to defenses, and get vulnerable 5/10/15 all.

Action denial also slows down combat and I'm agin' that.

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Dominate is more fun then Stun. It's also the great equalizer. Party is optimised through the roof with at-wills that unleash terrible things on the monsters turn after turn? Why thank you, I'll borrow that for a minute. You don't like it? Maybe you should ditch some of those damage boosters and get some Will boosters instead.

It's punishing people for overspecialising without going 'sorry, you are not allowed to participate in this battle'. Best of both worlds.
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Dominate is more fun then Stun. It's also the great equalizer. Party is optimised through the roof with at-wills that unleash terrible things on the monsters turn after turn? Why thank you, I'll borrow that for a minute. You don't like it? Maybe you should ditch some of those damage boosters and get some Will boosters instead.

It's punishing people for overspecialising without going 'sorry, you are not allowed to participate in this battle'. Best of both worlds.


This is one of those times I wish this forum had a like or thumbs up button

But to the original question: Dominate WAY more fun than stun. And in the group I DM we have 6 players so action denial isn't quite so devistating. 
Dominate is loads more fun than stun, especially if you let the player roll the dice (if they crit, they'll be talking about it for quite a while ;)). If you're feeling especially devious, you could choose two actions and make the player pick between them: "Okay, your turn. Do you want to Twin Strike your bloodied Artificer, or charge the Psion and provoke an opportunity attack from the Barbazu?".
my kids hate stun (me too)
More fun, but far more dangerous.  A Stunned striker can;t strike the party.  A Stunned leader can;t provoke off every single mob on the board.

But it is more interesting.
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Note that if you were to replace dominate that way you'd have to make sure of two things:

First:  As DM, you can't use dominate to simply run someone into a terrible position (like running the party wizard through all the soldiers (lots of OAs against the wizard), into the middle of all the lurkers that are behind the soldiers so that your defender can't help you.)
If you do play dominate as strong as it can be, then it WILL stop being fun for the players.

Second: As player, you have to agree not to do things like 'oh I'm dominated! free action: one of the 47 ways to make my basic attacks suck, like, closing my eyes, or dropping my weapon'  (Some of which may not be legal, but getting into a rules argument is strictly less fun that being stunned. Trust me.)  If the player doesn't agree to that, then whenever he is dominated, he is effectively just stunned anyway.  So you haven't actually changed anything, except forcing the players to stun themselves.


In the end, if you can make such a gentlemen's agreement then yes, Dominate is more Fun than Stun.

(Also: Be wary of dominating strikers who can one-shot other pc's with their melee basic attack.  Definitely NOT fun.)
Second: As player, you have to agree not to do things like 'oh I'm dominated! free action: one of the 47 ways to make my basic attacks suck, like, closing my eyes, or dropping my weapon'  (Some of which may not be legal, but getting into a rules argument is strictly less fun that being stunned. Trust me.)



That particular rules argument ends instantly:  People who are Dominated *cannot take any actions*, not even Free ones.  That's explicitly in the rules of the Dominated condition - so it doesn't matter if "Free Action:  I close my eyes and am Blinded!" is legal or not (it's not), because you can't take the Free Action required to even try.

In the end, if you can make such a gentlemen's agreement then yes, Dominate is more Fun than Stun.



Our group's gentleman's agreement basically covers "we will not make each other throw our weapons because that is just annoying", but otherwise lets it go, with an emphasis on fun things ("You!  Stab your friend!") and a de-emphasis on boring things ("You!  Run past those guys, into that lava.").  Like, the boring things will only be picked if they're the ONLY remotely effective thing available.

(Also: Be wary of dominating strikers who can one-shot other pc's with their melee basic attack.  Definitely NOT fun.)



... what kind of Striker can do that?  I can't even see that being possible beyond level 1, and what L1 monster uses Dominate?
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.

... what kind of Striker can do that?  I can't even see that being possible beyond level 1, and what L1 monster uses Dominate?



From full health on a noncrit, it's extremely rare; offhand I can only think of the Murderous Mind that's capable of doing that (though they're not using MBA, they're still capable of one-shotting another PC with an at-will attack).

On an injured party member, though, and if they crit, it can be very common.
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... what kind of Striker can do that?  I can't even see that being possible beyond level 1, and what L1 monster uses Dominate?



From full health on a noncrit, it's extremely rare; offhand I can only think of the Murderous Mind that's capable of doing that (though they're not using MBA, they're still capable of one-shotting another PC with an at-will attack).

On an injured party member, though, and if they crit, it can be very common.



I wouldn't normally call going after a wounded target "one-shotting".  But okay.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Being a crit-fisher myself (big numbers are fun), there are a few builds I've posted that do around 80 damage in one hit, but crit for over 200 average (at level 30).  Obviously, it requires a crit; but these same guys can be critting as often as 40% of the time.

It's harder in paragon, but you can still have that kind of major swingy-build (probably no more than 20% crit rate though), and you don't really see it much in heroic.

Then there's something like my One Stroke to Kill them All; at level 30, he averages over 110 damage per hit with his MBA, and it stays around that high throughout his career; which is enough to drop any bloodied PC, and many wounded-but-not-bloodied PCs.

Additionally, if you manage to say grab an alpha-striker on the turn after his alpha-strike, when all his buffs are still up, there are people that can be dealing 250+ damage per hit (and they don't have to be melee either) at level 30.  Dominating lurkers + alpha-strikers = bad bad.

Luckily you don't have the 3.x issues of being able to use what would now be an encounter power.  That would just be ugly.
I think you should focus on letting your stunned PC do something during combat. You could ask him for an insight check to see how much the stun power exhausted the monster (aka at-will/encounter/recharge), nature to find out weaknesses of the monster, etc.

Stun is, indeed, boring, if you don't let your PC do something while stunned. 
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Our group's gentleman's agreement basically covers "we will not make each other throw our weapons because that is just annoying", but otherwise lets it go, with an emphasis on fun things ("You!  Stab your friend!") and a de-emphasis on boring things ("You!  Run past those guys, into that lava.").  Like, the boring things will only be picked if they're the ONLY remotely effective thing available.



"You! Throw your buddy into the lava!"


Also if your party is full of overkill strikers and glass cannons, as I mentioned, that's an incentive for them to work on their Domination resistance. It's not that hard to become highly resistant to it as far as I know.
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This thread is well timed for me because I'm working on a statistical analysis of the Monster Manuals (specifically MM1 and how it compares to Monster Vault's heroic/paragon monsters, and MM3's epic tier monsters). I've found there's a marked shift from Stun (very prevalent in MM1) to Dominate, especially in epic tier, and I definitely agree with the premise. The premise was, basically, monsters in MM1 sucked. What is Stunned? Stunned is "can take no actions, period" (and IIRC combat advantage to all creatures). Dominate is that, too, but it's also "and you hit your friends". It's more powerful than Stunned (check point 1: improves monster difficulty) and more interesting than Stunned (check point 2: improves interest in combat encounters).
Also if your party is full of overkill strikers and glass cannons, as I mentioned, that's an incentive for them to work on their Domination resistance. It's not that hard to become highly resistant to it as far as I know.

I have a build I'm working on that takes the opposite approach. He isn't all that hard to Dominate, but it *hurts*, and he throws off the effect rather easily.
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