Trading powers for accuracy & damage

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A new player has joined my game. She's very into the RP side of the game and is a great addition to the group, but she's feeling overwhelmed by all of the combat powers available to her character. The party is level 7, and her PHB1 bow ranger just has too many options. (She's never played any edition of D&D before, and the fact that she's not starting at level 1 doesn't help.) Her turns run long as she debates her options, and she rarely seems satisfied with her eventual choices.

I hear that Essentials characters are more straightforward (true?), but my group doesn't have access to those materials.

I want to simplify her character mechanically, at least to start with. Seems like the simplest way to do this would be to take away most of her encounter and daily powers and just increase her attack bonus and damage.

How much of a bonus is fair? What's a level 1 daily worth? What about a level 5, etc?

Also, she seems more interested in not missing than in dealing lots of damage.  Is there a roughly balanced ratio between attack bonus and damage bonus that I could use (e.g. +1 to hit is worth +2 damage)?
Essentials Martial Characters are simpler, yes.  Typically, all they do is perform Basic Attacks as far as offense goes (with utility powers as well).
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I too would suggest Essentials... Its simple martial characters are just what you need.
They pick from a stance that mods thier basic attacks then just roll to hit each round... its fast and fun, if you are not into the "picking picking just the right power for just the right time" thing.

The Essentials books are only 20, and are just what she needs to have a lot more fun.
In the Nentir Vale, all injured creatures are required to wear a name tag!
So, we've looked at the Essentials, and they're still not as simple as what we'd like, which brings me back to my original question(s):


I want to simplify her character mechanically, at least to start with. Seems like the simplest way to do this would be to take away most of her encounter and daily powers and just increase her attack bonus and damage.

How much of a bonus is fair? What's a level 1 daily worth? What about a level 5, etc?

Also, she seems more interested in not missing than in dealing lots of damage.  Is there a roughly balanced ratio between attack bonus and damage bonus that I could use (e.g. +1 to hit is worth +2 damage)?



Any suggestions?

Is the drive for simplicity across your whole group or just in regards to this one player? If your whole group is looking for something simplistic, I can PM you an idea.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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Specifically, for this character. Bow Ranger. All she really needs to know to be effective is Twin Strike.

Turn 1
- Move into position
- Hunters' Quarry as minor
- Twin strike at quarry target (both attacks) - apply quarry damage.
 
Turn N
- Move into position if necessary
- is quarry target dead? Yes - Mark new quarry target; No - continue attacking quarry target.
- Twin strike at quarry target

Really, a bow ranger is about an easy a character to run as any Essentials character.
If she's confused about when to use an encounter power or daily, let her know that 99% of the time the correct choice will still be Twin Strike, and not worry about it. If most of the encounter/daily powers are immediates/stances it will help shorten her turn as they're not even available options.

Later on, once the mechanics of Combat have sunk in, you can work on the tactical concepts of WHO to pick as your quarry target and how to maneuver into place to be able to quarry the target you want (and to pick up Prime Shot bonuses).
If you want to make sure that she's hitting, make sure that the character has all the right math in place. 18 post racial bonuses starting in DEX (and increased at each available level), and the feats Bow Expertise, and Proficiency with the Greatbow. Make sure she keeps her greatbow optimized as she should be (at level 7) using a +2 weapon.

With the math in place, hitting should be pretty good. Maybe add in the feat Cunning Stalker to aid in getting Combat Advantage for an additional +2 to attack. With a bit of moving around they can also get the Prime Shot bonus of +1 for being the closest to the target. With the basics in place, they will be quite accurate and with Twin Strike the damage should be adding up.

I wouldn't bother with trading out dailies and encounters for bonuses. Instead talk with the player out of game about combat tactics and try to highlight when a particular daily or encounter power would be appropriate.

Remember, when it comes to rangers, Twin Strike is the answer to almost every question.
My suggestion would be for you and her to work together.  Choose a set of bonuses you feel is appropriate and go with it for a session.  My advice is to be a little conservative at first.  I guarantee it will not be perfect the first time around but over the next several sessions you will dial in and find a set of bonuses that you, she, and the rest of the group can live with.

As to ratio of accuracy to damage...

The concensus is that a +1 to hit on 1d20 is a 5% improvement in accuracy.

damage is a little trickier because different weapons use different dice.  but using the same math that derives the 5% on a 1d20:

1d4/25%
1d6/16.667%
1d8/12.5%
1d10/10%
1d12/8.333%

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
I don't think trading powers for damage and accuracy will work well. Call it a hunch.

Whatever class she goes with, just pick one main stance or power from that class and have it on every round. You really can't go too far wrong that way.

At the same time, do everything you can to validate player decisions in your game, and make it clear that it's not necessary to get every in-game decision right. What is she dissatisfied with, exactly? Or is it that she doesn't want to seem satisfied, lest the male gamers at the table decide (consciously or not) to take her down a peg. It's a sad fact that there is often a lot going on psychologically when there's a female at the table. Watch out for that, and if anyone is trying to "help" or is "correcting" her or, worse, outright criticizing her, bring it out in the open and talk about it as a group.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

I don't think trading powers for damage and accuracy will work well. Call it a hunch.

Whatever class she goes with, just pick one main stance or power from that class and have it on every round. You really can't go too far wrong that way.

At the same time, do everything you can to validate player decisions in your game, and make it clear that it's not necessary to get every in-game decision right. What is she dissatisfied with, exactly? Or is it that she doesn't want to seem satisfied, lest the male gamers at the table decide (consciously or not) to take her down a peg. It's a sad fact that there is often a lot going on psychologically when there's a female at the table. Watch out for that, and if anyone is trying to "help" or is "correcting" her or, worse, outright criticizing her, bring it out in the open and talk about it as a group.



I do  not think what you are implying is what is happening.

The in OP it is stated:

"but she's feeling overwhelmed by all of the combat powers available to her character....Her turns run long as she debates her options, and she rarely seems satisfied with her eventual choices.

In a later post the OP says, "we've looked at the Essentials, and they're still not as simple as what we'd like, which brings me back to my original question(s):..."

Ironically or not, one of the goals of D&Dnext to alleviate this - she could play a basic character with limited options and still be viable at a table with a bunch of very complex characters.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
The character would work well as a Slayer if you're willing to houserule in a few changes.

The only problems with a Slayer are:

-Power Strike only applies to Melee Basic Attacks (easy enough to fix, just make it apply to any basic attack).

-At levels 7 and 12 you gain Weapon Specialization and Greater Weapon Specialization, and there are currently no options for Bow users.

The last one is a littler trickier, since you'll need to houserule something in. I'd suggest Weapon Specialization lets her prone with PS and GWS lets her slide the target 1 square when she misses (the latter is an encounter power).

Slayers are very effective strikers, and this would establish basically all of the mechanics she wants, including the simplicity.

But, really, as others have said, you can run a bow ranger as just straight up twin-strike all day every day, and be perfectly fine. 

"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

I do  not think what you are implying is what is happening.

The in OP it is stated:

"but she's feeling overwhelmed by all of the combat powers available to her character....Her turns run long as she debates her options, and she rarely seems satisfied with her eventual choices.

I know, but why is she debating her options. It doesn't sound like she doesn't understand them. And why does she rarely seem satisfied with her eventual choices. There's almost certainly nothing wrong with them. Look to the group dynamic. If someone is taking a long time to decide something, they must feel that the future weighs heavily upon the outcome of the choice. If she's worried that her character will die, then either assure her that her character isn't going to die (since it probably isn't anyway, but also because the monsters should have better things to do with their time than kill the characters), or that if it does die it's easily raised or replaced. If she's worried about looking stupid to the rest of the group, that's a separate issue that also must be handled outside of the game.

Whatever it is, find the source of the debates and work with that, because even a simple character has options, such as where to stand and which enemy to attack, and my guess is she'll be debating those just as long as she has been debating her other options.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Don't adjust her to hit or dmg...instead, take away those options...simply remove those power from her sheet and give her the 2 basic at-wills. When she's ready, give her back the other powers...or give her 1 new power each gaming session...that way she can see how that 1 power can help her that session and decide if she wants to keep it or not....

introduce her slowly to them...she'll get it...