So I'm in the middle of a fight.

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Is it bad that their turns take so long that I can preroll all attack rolls, damage rolls, and still be able to post here?

Alternatively, is it unethical that I'm telling them that it's an e-mail to my boss?
Are they indecisive, or just like shaking the dice with dramatic anticipation?

Just give 'em a moderate time limit if it's too bad.  
"14+6... that's.... oh wait, wrong stat! Sorry! Oops! My bad! That's... 14+8.... that's.... 22! Wait! it WAS the right stat! 14+6... Is... 18? No, 20! Okay. I was... wait, I didn't roll ATTACK! 3+17 is.... 20. That's a miss."
"14+6... that's.... oh wait, wrong stat! Sorry! Oops! My bad! That's... 14+8.... that's.... 22! Wait! it WAS the right stat! 14+6... Is... 18? No, 20! Okay. I was... wait, I didn't roll ATTACK! 3+17 is.... 20. That's a miss."



Yeah they need to better document how their powers work. Let me guess, they all use the character builder?

Have them write their powers out on little index cards. Have them write it out with all the math already done, so "Attack: Str vs AC, Hit: 1[w] + Str" becomes "+10/AC; d8 + 5" 

"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

"14+6... that's.... oh wait, wrong stat! Sorry! Oops! My bad! That's... 14+8.... that's.... 22! Wait! it WAS the right stat! 14+6... Is... 18? No, 20! Okay. I was... wait, I didn't roll ATTACK! 3+17 is.... 20. That's a miss."



Ahaha. I've been rolling the hit or miss for my new players because I have their attack bonuses and whatnot. Everyone seems completely okay with that power being in my hands except for one player who found it "confusing" (I don't think he was paying attention). I've been getting everyone to repeat their stats until they've memorized them. 
"14+6... that's.... oh wait, wrong stat! Sorry! Oops! My bad! That's... 14+8.... that's.... 22! Wait! it WAS the right stat! 14+6... Is... 18? No, 20! Okay. I was... wait, I didn't roll ATTACK! 3+17 is.... 20. That's a miss."



Yeah they need to better document how their powers work. Let me guess, they all use the character builder?

Have them write their powers out on little index cards. Have them write it out with all the math already done, so "Attack: Str vs AC, Hit: 1[w] + Str" becomes "+10/AC; d8 + 5" 



This.  They should have all their math precomputed so, at most, they have to add three numbers (d20, attack bonus from power, any circumstancial bonuses like flanking).  Preparation counts.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Preparation counts.



To change one of my favorite quotes only slightly:

Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

(The original quote is about planning, but it still works.)

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
Is it bad that their turns take so long that I can preroll all attack rolls, damage rolls, and still be able to post here?

Alternatively, is it unethical that I'm telling them that it's an e-mail to my boss?

How long have the group been playing, are they complete newbs and what level are they?

Overall what your describing are pretty clueless players or very new ones to D&D that need to know their Powers better.

If they are clueless players who don't pay attention then a few words may be required (or you might need to find a new group-worst case scenario), such as "fella's you've been playing for X months\years and really ought to know your characters better by now, be paying attention to what is happening in the game and preparing what you are doing BEFORE your turn. The game is taking 3 sessions instead of 2(or 1) and it's pretty frustrating....can we agree to work on this?"

If however they are new then they may need the details above delivered in a gentler tone "guys, between you turns you need to watch what is happening and start planning what you are going to do...ok thing could change a bit as creatures react, other party members move etc but this will speed things up....you also need to make sure you know what power you are using then roll the dice and do the math....can we do that?"

It might be an idea for the players to print out their powers and cut them into cards( or glue them to playing cards) so they can choose the power they are using, drop used powers to one side, all of which may speed things up.
Iplay4e might solve this issue as far as math goes.
Is it bad that their turns take so long that I can preroll all attack rolls, damage rolls, and still be able to post here?

Yes. It is a side effect of 4e. However, as the DM you have the ability (nay, the obligation) to set their pace. Tips on how to do this (rather than working on the computer) can be provided if desired.

is it unethical that I'm telling them that it's an e-mail to my boss?

No, since the lie is unrelated to DM'ing. However, it is still a lie, and might still hinder trust if they found out.

Yes. It is a side effect of unprepared players in any edition.



Fixed that for you.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Fixed that for you.

Yes, your statement is true too. However, I hadn't encountered it prior to 4e, and I believe it is a side effect of (or at least exacerbated by) 4e providing so many options for all classes. Not saying that is necessarily a bad thing, just something to be conscious of. Indeed, in 4e some of my most prepared, attentive players take the longest.

It's the Peanut Butter Conundrum. Increased options lead to increased doubt and decreased satisfaction with choices made. While the author relates this to character creation, the same can be applied to analysis paralysis on someone's combat round.

Simply put, they're looking for the right or perfect choice. The number of options available to the player subconsciously indicates that there IS a perfect choice. Only that choice doesn't exist. And this is where it all goes wrong...

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

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Hey,

I can't remember where I heard this advice, but after a few moments of silence or confusion, I usually say 'would you like to delay', or 'you can always use an at-will power'. I also usually tell the player whose go it is, and the player whose go is after theirs: 'Tezel, then Hammar'.

An additional useful trick is to roll the damage dice right along with the attack D20, and if it is a multitarget attack, roll more than one D20 (helps to have a dice pot, however, or they go everywhere and its hard to keep track of more than one). The usual rule is then to assign attack dice to monster by closest position, or if there's a unique monster on the table (a particular big bad, then that might be a particular distinctive dice declared in advance.

Also, I usually do what you do, and roll the next Mob's attack during the player's go (if something changes, I can always keep the D20 roll and re-roll the damage if it is a different attack). That way the action is always with the players. 

JMH 
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