"Target makes a basic attack". Who decides?

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At Encounters today, an enemy used a power that made one of my allies make a basic attack against another player's character.  And something occured to me that hadn't up until now.  Unlike Dominate, which is very clear about what you can force someone to do, powers like Hypnotism are somewhat ambiguous.

If I'm forced to make a basic attack, can I decide if it's melee or ranged?  Which weapon to use (including improvised weapons like a kick)?  If I have a power that counts as a basic attack, do I have to use it, or can I just make the generic "melee basic attack" (for example, could my Blackguard use the generic power instead of his Virtuous Strike)?

         
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
Normally the game element will give an indication of who gets to choose the creature targeted by the forced MBA. If nothing is said, i'd be inclined to favor the enemy forcing the creature to attack and give  the choice to her rather.

FYI Hypnotism is not ambiguous.

Hybnotism: The target uses a free action to make a melee basic attack against a creature of your choice, with a +4 power bonus to the attack roll. 
I think the creature using the "force a target to make a basic attack" power has to be the one to make these choices, rather than the target of that power, otherwise these sorts of powers become basically worthless.

"My flying carpet is full of elves."

I would like to add that some classes have a horrible MBA (non STR based builds), but have powers that can be used in place of a MBA.  In those cases the MBA substitute should be used.  Think of it in terms of "if the character were making the attack, which attack would he choose".
That's almost certainly what's intended, but the powers don't specify, and I have yet to stumble across any rules governing this sort of thing. 
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
Plague he isn't questioning who picks the target. He is questioning if the forced MBA has to be a good MBA. Like if you forced a Swordmage with Intelligent Blademaster to make an MBA... does he have to apply Intelligent Blademaster, or can he use his Str mod? Can he use his off-hand rather then his weapon, thus avoid prof bonus and reducing the damage die to 1d4? Obviously if you are attacking your ally you'd want to use the bad MBA.

RAW it would certainly seem as if the PC (and monsters) could choose to use its worst MBA even though you can pick the target.
Exactly - if my PoS Avenger is forced to make a MBA, does it have to be Overwhelming Strike with my Gouge, or can it be Improvised Melee Attack with unarmed strike?
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Oh wow i missed something here Wink

I say if the game element say you can* use then the enemy cannot choose this option since its an Option the PC has on a voluntary basis. But if one has a Power that count as a Basic Attack (ex. Magic Missile) then it can use the so called option (Ranged Basic Attack, for exemple) or an equivalent (Magic Missile)

Intelligent Blademaster for exemple says you can* use your Intelligence modifier instead of your Strength modifier when making a basic attack with a melee weapon.


I presume (though possibly not RAW), that it's intended for the forcer to choose which MBA the forcee uses.

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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.

The topic seems to come up alot. The previous concensus was that the person forcing you to take the action gets to decide (similar to forced movement of dominate), since otherwise it can start to get silly, and the effect becomes useless... i.e. pretty much every creature can make improvised attacks, so why wouldn't they? Also discussed here.
I think the easiest thing is to rule that the power user gets to choose the relevant details of the attack.
From a no abuse persective, I don't think the power user can use any encounter resources.  If the target has an encounter power that can be used as a basic attack, they can't be forced to use it.  I'd say that the same applies to any At-Will power that can only be used once a round, or even once a turn.  A monster can't stop you from using an At-Will Free Action attack on your opportunity attack by first making you spend that turn's Free Action Attack on your ally.
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Hm, that's something I hadn't even considered- I know of some builds that use the Half Elf's Dilletante to pick up Eldritch Strike for an MBA.  Up until Paragon, that's an Encounter power.  So if "forced attack" powers require you to use your most effective MBA, they could theoretically do something even Dominate cannot do, ie, force you to use an encounter power.

I'm thinking, for good or ill, that these powers do exactly what they say on the box.  You use your Basic Attack Power, ie, the At-Will every creature has (according to the RC) when forced to make an attack.  You don't get to force the victim to make any decisions, simply because the power doesn't state that you do (powers only do what they say they do, etc.).  So if you target a Warpriest and tell him to make an MBA, he'll do so, using his lackluster Strength..even if he has a Feat or some other ability that gives him a better MBA.

This leaves only the question of what weapon must be used- there's no RAW on this, but I think it's fair to say the controller can choose based on the information he or she has at hand.  If I see a guy equipped with a sword, I can say "you there, make an MBA with that sword".  I don't know how good he is with that sword, or if he even has a viable MBA, but them's the breaks.

The only issue I have with this is that players can make checks to know what a monster's basic attack is, while monsters don't, so the DM has to be careful to stick with what the enemies should know about the players.  Of course, once an enemy sees a player use Eldritch Strike at will, all bets should be off, I think.    
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
The most sensible answer, to me, is "the forcer gets to make the forcee use any BA that's an at-will resource."  

So at L3, my Half-Elf Chaladin can be forced to use Virtuous Strike, but not Eldritch Strike or Hold Fast. At L11 with Versatile Master, he can be forced to use Virtuous Strike or Eldritch Strike, but not Hold Fast. 

To decide otherwise just seems like the kind of stupid petty rules lawyering  for technicalities that makes things unfun. "Oh, I have to make a BA? Okay, I'm going to bash him with my shield as an improvised weapon with my +0 strength bonus, instead of using my rapier and Eldritch Strike." Use the Basic Attack the enemy would want you to make, as they are kind of forcing you to do it. 
RAW: If the power just says "target makes a basic attack", then all that's required is that the player satisfies the power's text (makes a basic attack). The player has multiple ways to satisfy this condition and any of them will apply, all that's required is that he uses one of them (so he can do any one of them). RAI, it's pretty obvious the devs intended you to use whatever MBA you would use normally in that situation against an enemy.

I was in a similar position with a Swordmage once. The DM at the time ruled that I could make a willpower check against a difficult DC to use a weaker MBA (my fist). The idea was that the attacker was forcing me to do it, and he'd already succeeded on the hit, so I had to make the attack regardless - but if my will was strong enough, I could defy him even in doing what he wanted. Kinda reminds me of Harry Potter under the Imperio curse, now that I mention it (yay HP references).
i usualy play make a basic atack powers as follows.

trough magic or obscured vision you precive the target to be enemy,
i let the player decide what atack to use and tell him that to him it totaly seems like he is attacking an enemy.

So far i have not had problems with players doing less damaging atacks they fully roleplay seeing the target as an enemy.
i usualy play make a basic atack powers as follows.

trough magic or obscured vision you precive the target to be enemy,
i let the player decide what atack to use and tell him that to him it totaly seems like he is attacking an enemy.

So far i have not had problems with players doing less damaging atacks they fully roleplay seeing the target as an enemy.

This. While RAW there is no requirement for your player to pick the most damaging basic, or even a basic that is capable of hitting them at the time (i.e. attempting to make a melee basic attack against a target 4 squares away), this is metagaming and ruins the spirit of D&D. The fun comes from roleplaying.

"The enemy has muddled your mind, invading it and painting your perceptions as he or she chooses. Even as you sense the intrustion, however, your mind fills with rage and you feel an overwhelming urge to hurt your ally. Obviously, your ally has turned on you! You have to strike first! There's no time to use a flashy power or a complicated spell; hit them now, while you have the chance, quickly!"

In my case with the Swordmage, he was a Guardian, and as for the target.. She was his bonded charge. My character sensed his charge was in danger, and instinctively realised he himself was the cause. Even as he went to attack, his instincts moved to defend his charge from himself.. Hence the willpower check to use a less damaging attack. It was a pretty cool thing. IMHO, that's where the magic of tabletop RPGs is at.

I can foresee a problem with the "you think that person is an enemy" explanation.  If I was playing a Slayer or a Knight, for example, and you hit me with Hypnotism, I'd have to seriously ask myself why I wouldn't also use a Power Strike along with the forced basic attack...

"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks

I can foresee a problem with the "you think that person is an enemy" explanation.  If I was playing a Slayer or a Knight, for example, and you hit me with Hypnotism, I'd have to seriously ask myself why I wouldn't also use a Power Strike along with the forced basic attack...



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I can foresee a problem with the "you think that person is an enemy" explanation.  If I was playing a Slayer or a Knight, for example, and you hit me with Hypnotism, I'd have to seriously ask myself why I wouldn't also use a Power Strike along with the forced basic attack...


See:

There's no time to use a flashy power or a complicated spell; hit them now, while you have the chance, quickly!



Can easily be modified to:

There's no time to use a flashy power or a complicated spell, or martial trickery; hit them now, while you have the chance, quickly!



The whole point is, tell a story, make it a good story, and make it fun. But mostly, make it make sense. The combat mechanics help it make sense without being completely unfun (i.e. Oh bummer, you took an arrow in the gut! Spend the next few minutes on the ground, bleeding out, before you die - there's nothing anyone can do for you now). They're designed to help you make sense of the combat, it's not hard to make something designed to make sense, make sense. You're a thinking, living human being capable of making intelligent decisions. Change it up a little. Do what you want.

That said, in terms of roleplaying.. you're completely right; why wouldn't you use a Power Strike? You want to hurt them! If you were truly dedicated to roleplay over gameplay, you'd use it (since mechanically, you can - free action, with a trigger of "you hit"...). If I were in that position, I might even consider it (just for the roleplay of it). As long as your friends don't mind eating the extra [W] in order to make the story seem more dramatic - don't ever use roleplay to ruin someone else's gameplay (or visa versa).
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