This seems broken or is it just me?

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So one of my players approached me with this build of his new character (See below). 


According to how it appears to be built, he can put up a stance, and then charge someone for:



  • 2d6 (weapon)

  • 2d6 (Surprising Charge (Bonus 1W with CA, Streak of light gives all charges CA))

  • 2d6 (Power Strike (Twice per encounter))

  • 6 (Dex, heroic strike

  • 4 (Unfettered Fury)

  • 4 (1/2 level)

  • 3 (1/2 DEX) Melee Training

  • 2 (Weapon Enhancement) 

  • 2 (Goblin Totem (Most enemies are larger than tiny)) 

  • 1 (Spear Expertise - Charge)


for a grand total of:


6d6+22 damage at level 8, at twice per encounter, and 4d6+22 damage at will.

This seems broken to me, what am I missing?

-Hawke      


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Pinecone The Shincleaver,
level 8 Pixie,
Fighter (Slayer) Slayer
Weapon Specialization Option: Brutal Axe  

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 14,
CON 13,
DEX 22,
INT 8,
WIS 10,
CHA 12  

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 14,
CON 11,
DEX 18,
INT 8,
WIS 10,
CHA 10    

AC: 24 Fort: 20 Ref: 22 Will: 17 HP: 70 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 17  
TRAINED SKILLS Athletics +10, Endurance +9, Intimidate +10   UNTRAINED SKILLS Acrobatics +9, Arcana +3, Bluff +5, Diplomacy +5, Dungeoneering +4, Heal +4, History +3, Insight +4, Nature +6, Perception +4, Religion +3, Stealth +11, Streetwise +5, Thievery +9  

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Pixie Utility: Pixie Dust Pixie
Utility: Shrink Multiple
Class Attack: Power Strike
Fighter Utility: Berserker's Charge
Fighter Utility: Duelist's Assault
Fighter Utility: Unfettered Fury Endurance
Utility 2: Inspiring Fortitude
Fighter Utility 6: Settling the Score  

FEATS Level 1: Streak of Light
Level 2: Melee Training (Dexterity)
Level 4: Weapon Proficiency (Gouge)
Level 6: Spear Expertise
Level 8: Surprising Charge  

ITEMS Goblin Totem Gouge +2
Bestial Hide Armor +1 x1
Amulet of Protection +2 x1
Helm of Seven Deaths x1 
====== End ======

-Hawke
Well for one thing a pixie can't wield a gouge. They follow the same rules as small races, so no two handed weapons unless they have the Small property.

Aside from that he is missing a few pieces of the classic charge package, no horned helm for an additional 1d6 and he'd probably do better with a Vanguard weapon for another 1d8.

Charging is absurdly oversupported and is pretty much the goto path for almost any class to do striker level damage. 
Amulet of Protection instead of Badge of the Berserker?

If it's a limit on items, Lesser Badge of the Berserker would still be better.

He should drop Gouge for Nimble Blade and Spear Expertise for Light Blade Expertise, then get a Vanguard Rapier.
Yeah your player built a charging one-trick pony. If you wanna counter this either throw monsters who can immobilize, or just surround him because he doesn't have a badge of the berserker. Just make sure you don't limit him too much, because that's what his build is made to do. This sometimes won't be a problem in a high power group, due to the fact that you can just throw higher level monsters at him.

In conclusion, yes, it's broken if he is in a low to mid tier optimized group, but this build is fairly easy to shut down. 
Also of note, there isn't any reason he should be facotring 1/2 level into his damage.
Also of note, there isn't any reason he should be facotring 1/2 level into his damage.



OK, missed that one. 
Sadly, that's not even the worst of possibilities.

Halfling (or pixie) riding a fey beast tamer owlbear with horned helm and vanguard lance are throwing out a base of 3d10+d8+d6+2, all without a class, ability mods, or anything else.
After that, you can throw on warlock for +d6, upgradeable up to +2d8; blackguard for a static +7 or more; and executioner for +d8 which can be combined with either other class via hybrid.

Full size races get the gouge instead for a classless 5d6+d8. They can't use a hybrid executioner, but all other options are still there.
I was actually trying to decide a couple weeks ago what the best class was for a mounted lance charger. 
Depends. The lockutioner option has more dpr potential (+2d8 for 9 vs flat 7), an arcane attack (white lotus tree), and a free slide (helps open space up for charging since a lot of the basic charge tricks are wasted when mounted). But it is also insanely feat starved, squishier, its bonus dmg might not always be there for the guy you want to splode(still gotta curse), and a lot of your warlock powers will probably be wasted power slots.

A blackutioner doesn't have nearly as many as nice tricked out options, but it is also more elagant. Its bonus dmg is auto (more or less), can get plate and shield, and nearly all of your power slots will be useful to a charge only build.
Another note about Pixie chargers and the choice of themes:

If your class doesn't rely on stances, then Purple Dragon of Comyr is a good option. +1 to attack on what you're doing is a good thing to have, alternatively, shift after the charge is a good thing to have, but you can get that from boots AND have the stance up.

I also suggest remaining 1 square up as it usually negates proning, except for when you need to flank, of course.

 Pixies don't necessarily need to rely on a BotB as much as other chargers since their ability to charge vertically and diagonally helps them avoid OAs...

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I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

 

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

 

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

 

There are reasons they call me Mad...

The main purpose of BotB is when moving away from your target on round 2 to charge again.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
The Gouge:  The player has like 50d6 that he owns and wants to roll as many as possible at once.  What prevents the pixie from using Shrink on the Gouge and using that?  

As for magic items, this is a prelim build, I hadn't actually looked at all the magic items to drop on him.

The other players are low optimized so I can't see a way to allow this character into the campaign without it unbalancing things.

Immobilize, huh?  Sounds like the way to go.      
-Hawke
The Gouge:  The player has like 50d6 that he owns and wants to roll as many as possible at once.  What prevents the pixie from using Shrink on the Gouge and using that?  

As for magic items, this is a prelim build, I hadn't actually looked at all the magic items to drop on him.

The other players are low optimized so I can't see a way to allow this character into the campaign without it unbalancing things.

Immobilize, huh?  Sounds like the way to go.      


The only two-handed weapons that Pixies can use are ones that have the small property. So he can certainly use Shrink on a gouge... And have a tiny gouge that still does him no good.
The Gouge:  The player has like 50d6 that he owns and wants to roll as many as possible at once.  What prevents the pixie from using Shrink on the Gouge and using that?  

As for magic items, this is a prelim build, I hadn't actually looked at all the magic items to drop on him.

The other players are low optimized so I can't see a way to allow this character into the campaign without it unbalancing things.

Immobilize, huh?  Sounds like the way to go.      




for info and rules on pixies and there powers.

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758... 
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Thanks for your replies.  I appreciate it. 


 

-Hawke
I'm of the opinion now that the whole game is broken. I used to like 4e, but I'm done with it. If I play D&D again it's going to be first or second edition. Yeah, you can argue those are broken too, but at least I don't have to worry about 5 billion powers and feats and 3 billion magic items. Give me simple any day. These new editions are way too oversaturated with stuff.
My LFR Modules:
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EAST1-3 Unbidden (H3) EAST2-3 Nightmares (P1) NETH3-1 Secrets and Shadows (Paragon Tier) (Author) ELTU3-6 True Blue (Heroic Tier) (Author) EPIC3-3 The Tangled Skein of Destiny (Co-Author) ABER4-3 A Little Rebellion (Paragon Tier) (Author) WATE4-1 Paying the Piper (Heroic Tier) (Co-Author)
I'm of the opinion now that the whole game is broken. I used to like 4e, but I'm done with it. If I play D&D again it's going to be first or second edition. Yeah, you can argue those are broken too, but at least I don't have to worry about 5 billion powers and feats and 3 billion magic items. Give me simple any day. These new editions are way too oversaturated with stuff.

...? First and second have a ton of splat books.

...? First and second have a ton of splat books.




First Edition is my edition of choice at this point. with that you have the following books:

DM's Guide
Player's Handbook 
Monster Manual 1 & 2
Fiend Folio 
Unearthed Arcana

Except for Deities and Demigods and Oriental Adventures, which are completely optional, I can't recall anything else. Am I missing something that every player just had to have and would bloat the game as much as 4e?
My LFR Modules:
Show
EAST1-3 Unbidden (H3) EAST2-3 Nightmares (P1) NETH3-1 Secrets and Shadows (Paragon Tier) (Author) ELTU3-6 True Blue (Heroic Tier) (Author) EPIC3-3 The Tangled Skein of Destiny (Co-Author) ABER4-3 A Little Rebellion (Paragon Tier) (Author) WATE4-1 Paying the Piper (Heroic Tier) (Co-Author)
Don't even bother replying, guys. Call the ORCs and have them do their job for once for blatant hijacking. I think it's healthier than turning this forum into an edition warfront. Look tomjscott old buddy, we don't do edition warring here. This is the 4e forum, for 4e mechanical details. It isn't for venting about how the game sucks, especially when your complaint is literally 'I don't like having options'. Sorry bro, but this isn't the place to clog up with this ****. Go to the D&D Next boards.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Don't even bother replying, guys. Call the ORCs and have them do their job for once for blatant hijacking. I think it's healthier than turning this forum into an edition warfront. Look tomjscott old buddy, we don't do edition warring here. This is the 4e forum, for 4e mechanical details. It isn't for venting about how the game sucks, especially when your complaint is literally 'I don't like having options'. Sorry bro, but this isn't the place to clog up with this ****. Go to the D&D Next boards.



I'm not trying to start an edition war. I just remarked that I felt the whole 4e game is broken. No need to jump on me. I just expressed my interest in returning to an older version. Why so hostile?

But just to keep on topic, yes I agree that the example shown is broken.
My LFR Modules:
Show
EAST1-3 Unbidden (H3) EAST2-3 Nightmares (P1) NETH3-1 Secrets and Shadows (Paragon Tier) (Author) ELTU3-6 True Blue (Heroic Tier) (Author) EPIC3-3 The Tangled Skein of Destiny (Co-Author) ABER4-3 A Little Rebellion (Paragon Tier) (Author) WATE4-1 Paying the Piper (Heroic Tier) (Co-Author)
Don't even bother replying, guys. Call the ORCs and have them do their job for once for blatant hijacking. I think it's healthier than turning this forum into an edition warfront. Look tomjscott old buddy, we don't do edition warring here. This is the 4e forum, for 4e mechanical details. It isn't for venting about how the game sucks, especially when your complaint is literally 'I don't like having options'. Sorry bro, but this isn't the place to clog up with this ****. Go to the D&D Next boards.



I'm not trying to start an edition war. I just remarked that I felt the whole 4e game is broken. No need to jump on me. I just expressed my interest in returning to an older version. Why so hostile?

But just to keep on topic, yes I agree that the example shown is broken.



Because seemingly innocent **** like this starts edition wars. And I really would rather keep that out of CharOp, which is one of the few sane boards we have. We're already ****s, we don't need to be stupid edition warriors on top of that.

PS: And the example isn't broken. This charger build crumbles when compared to a nova burster who dishes out 300 in a single turn.

PPS: Wanna know the secret to fixing the 'millions of powers and feats' issue? Ignore them. They don't exist. Building characters is as easy as memorizing the Key Feats that are omnipresent and every character wants to take, checking the class and multiclass section, and occasionally cherrypicking a coupla general feats based on your weapon or implement/attack method. That's seriously it. A big number of powers is irrelevant because you can read three dozen powers in five minutes, and don't need massive system mastery to tell what sucks and what doesn't. All it takes is five minutes of effort to be completely done with the books. You won't need them afterward in play.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Well lets look at it:
And even though Pixies can't use a Gouge, I'll go through the calculation as if they could, because that is the build posted.

at-will math
Hit Rate:  +17 =  +6 (ability) +4(half level) +2(proficiency) +2(enhancement) +2 (combat advantage) +1(charge) +1(weapon talent) +1(expertise) -2(unfettered fury stance)
Vs an even leveled block of tofu (AC = level +14 = 22) this will hit on a 5 (and crit only on a 20) so 75% hit chance with 5% crit chance.
4d6+18 (as half level is not added to damage rolls as someone previously stated) is an average of 34 damage (brutal 1, so (4d5+4)+18). 75% of the time.  Or 25.5 added to the DPR.
Crit for 24(4d6) +18 +8(2d6 brutal 1 crit dice) average of 50. 5% of the time. Or 2.5 added.


power strike math
Power Strike is a little more tricky to calculate, but lets assume you use it on the first 2 hits, and don't delay using it to see if one of the later attacks is a crit.  Also going to assume 5 rounds, without action point, as this seems what the DPR kings 3.0 thread seems to be doing.
Power Strike would add 8 damage on a non-crit and 12 damage on a crit.
So:  Chance of only hitting on 1 attack in 5 (so we only use 1 power attack) would be .20^4*.80= 0.00128.  Or ~=13% of 1%  Pretty much negligible IMO.
So on any given hit, the chance of it being a crit is 5%/80% or 6.25%
So the added damage equation should look something like: .0625*.0625*(24)(crit/crit) + .0625*.9375*(20)(crit/hit) +.9375* .0625*(20)(hit/crit) +.9375*.9375*(16)(hit/hit) =  0.09375+1.171875+1.171875+14.0625 = 16.5 for both power strikes.


TLDR: 
28 DPR for 5 rounds = 140 damage + 2 powerstrikes for a (total) of 16.5
or 156.5 damage in 5 rounds.
A normalized standard monster will have 88 hp at level 8.  So this is a 156.5/88 or a 1.778 kills in 5 rounds Striker.

Which according to the DPR kings thread is less then a "fair striker".  Highly optimized Strikers are killing about twice that (at level 6).  (Or about 22! times that at level 30! For their level equivilent monsters of course)
Ours is a world where people don't know what they want, and are willing to go through hell to get it. -Don Marquis
Thanks for breaking it down.

My real question I think belongs in another forum, which is how do I balance an encounter for a party that has 4 unoptimized players and 1 optimized. 

I think I'll ask in "What's a DM to do", but your math simplifies my querry.  Domo arigatou to everyone who responded (Except the hijackers)  =P

-Hawke
-Hawke