What is an encounter in DDN?

So the 5 minute workday L&L got me thinking about encounters. The current structure of DDN has adventure XP budgets (as opposed to 4e's encounter XP budgets). We also know the R&D team has implied there will be something like AEDU or ToB style encounter powers. This is, admittedly, reading between the lines of "we want to support play styles from all editions." But it is hard to see how they could support the AEDU or ToB play style without an analog to encounter powers, which brings me to my question:

What is an encounter in DDN?

Mike And Friends have indicated that with the adventure budget design, all the XP could be in one big battle or a broken up into a bunch of little battles or something in between.  If we use the 4e definition of an encounter beginning when you roll initiative and ending when you are out of combat rounds, the encounter based player in DDN would have a very different experience depending on whether you have one big, several moderate, or a bunch of small battles.

I think the solution is divide the XP budget into chunks, and when you pass a certain threshold, you refresh encounter powers. So if you have a 2000 XP adventure budget, you could divide into 500 XP chunks. Each time you complete 500 XP worth of adventuring, your encounter powers refresh.

Does this make sense? Is there another way to work encounter mechanics into the DDN design?

I'm not sure that something in the spirit of AEDU necessarily requires an encounter to be formally defined. I don't find encounters to be an easy unit to work with; they impose gamist assumptions on my more-or-less narrativist/simulationist world. But I could readily accept an approximation that amounts to "some powers can be used several times a day, with a break between; certainly not every battle".

For instance, suppose we divide the day into eight three-hour watches. A group camping typically camps for three of those watches; I'd rule that all daily powers can be re-used by anyone who rests for two watches out of three consecutive ones, provided they didn't rest more recently than four watches beforehand. It would then be easy enough to say that an 'encounter' frequency power can be re-used the first time the user is out of combat in the watch after the watch they last used it in.

This is all proposed in relative ignorance of how AEDU has worked in practice for those who like it, and is purely an off-the-cuff suggestion.

Thoughts? AWDU suit people? :-)

Z.
I'm not understanding.
The Encounter-based player isn't playing 5e. She's playing 4e.
There aren't encounter powers in DDN so you can have 1 big fight or 5 little fights.
Viva La "what ever version of D&D you are playing right now!"
I'm not understanding.
The Encounter-based player isn't playing 5e. She's playing 4e.
There aren't encounter powers in DDN so you can have 1 big fight or 5 little fights.


I think (and the OP can correct me if I'm wrong) the question is "If you had a 5e class whose power usage was structured like 4e's AEDU model, how would you adjudicate the 'Encounter'-frequency powers, in the absence of a strictly defined encounter in the 5e rules?"

Hence my answer.

Z.
I'm not understanding.
The Encounter-based player isn't playing 5e. She's playing 4e.
There aren't encounter powers in DDN so you can have 1 big fight or 5 little fights.


I think (and the OP can correct me if I'm wrong) the question is "If you had a 5e class whose power usage was structured like 4e's AEDU model, how would you adjudicate the 'Encounter'-frequency powers, in the absence of a strictly defined encounter in the 5e rules?"

Hence my answer.

Z.



You have correctly comprehended the purpose of my post. Smile

oh, well in that case, my opinion would be to do it the same way as 4e.
Encounters are still going to be easily divided up. There are boss fights and a bunch of small battles in an average 4e adventure. I don't think it needs another mechanic. Somedays you'll use one encounter power. Some days you'll use them all.
Viva La "what ever version of D&D you are playing right now!"
oh, well in that case, my opinion would be to do it the same way as 4e.
Encounters are still going to be easily divided up. There are boss fights and a bunch of small battles in an average 4e adventure. I don't think it needs another mechanic. Somedays you'll use one encounter power. Some days you'll use them all.


This isn't so much about a mechanic. It's about the design principles that will be used by the R&D team to implement AEDU or ToB style characters. How will these characters balance against at-will or daily only classes? The L&L article today gave some insight as to how this balancing will be achieved between at-will and daily classes.

The terms "encounter" and "encounter power" may not exist in DDN, given the focus on the adventure as the main unit for constructing challenges. However, to deliver on the encounter style that many want, there will be an element that grants access to a power/spell/maneuver that does more than an at-will attack or cantrip, less than a daily spell, and can be used repeatedly (but not unlimitedly) and in which usage is not measured as X/day.

First, in 4e, an encounter was not "from initiative to the time the last enemy falls."  In 4e, an Encounter was the time between two short rests, or 5 minutes, whichever comes first.  There are still short rests, and there are still minutes--so it's pretty much directly translatable.

Secondly, Tome of Battle powers were not Encounter powers.  They regenerated as they got used via three different mechanics.  Crusaders were inspired randomly by their deity with a new maneuver every turn.  Warblades got maneuvers back when they took an action that wasn't a maneuver.  Swordsages spent actions to get their maneuvers back.  It had nothing to do with encounters, it was just to ensure power usage cycled.  They were really more like at-will powers that were designed to be unspammable.  

The real prototypical "Encounter" powers in 3rd were Binder abilities that were usable every 5 rounds, and well, that's a very easy to adjucate translation as there are still rounds.
I separated "encounters" in the playtest with the movement of the party from one location to another, provided that move wasn't during combat.

This was with the reasoning that any reinforcements coming from adjacent areas would have arrived during combat, or in the following round, if they were aware of the "encounter" and wanted to assist/intervene.
An encounter starts with an initiative roll and ends when either everything is dead, has escaped, or the party has fled.

Same as in every other edition.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

I'm not sure that something in the spirit of AEDU necessarily requires an encounter to be formally defined. I don't find encounters to be an easy unit to work with; they impose gamist assumptions on my more-or-less narrativist/simulationist world.  
 


To quote from the 2e Players handbook.

"Encounters are the heart of AD&D" 

No if ands or buts about it...  
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

An encounter is essentially a collection of dice rolls over a specific but  undefined period of time.
Combat is clearly the most obvious, but things such as "get this damn portcullis opened" or "convince the king to not execute us" or "let's go sell all this dungeon swag" or even item crafting are all encounters.
An encounter is essentially a collection of dice rolls over a specific but  undefined period of time.
Combat is clearly the most obvious, but things such as "get this damn portcullis opened" or "convince the king to not execute us" or "let's go sell all this dungeon swag" or even item crafting are all encounters.


Agreed!

My earlier post was referring to what I considered a "combat encounter". 
I'm not sure that something in the spirit of AEDU necessarily requires an encounter to be formally defined. I don't find encounters to be an easy unit to work with; they impose gamist assumptions on my more-or-less narrativist/simulationist world.  
 


To quote from the 2e Players handbook.

"Encounters are the heart of AD&D" 

No if ands or buts about it...  


Note, also, that it did not define an encounter as combat; but 4th Edition doesn't either. I don't know about 3rd Edition, but I doubt it did either.

So I created this thread at around midnight local time and as a result I don't think I expressed myself well. The question I was trying to ask is this:

For WotC to deliver on the promise of supporting playstyles from every edition, there will need to be characters that use a resource for efficacy (power, spell, exploit, etc.) that refresh at a greater rate than daily resources and is not measured in X number of uses per day. In 4e, the regulation and refresh rate of this resource is based on encounters. Much of the construction of 4e is based on encounters (e.g., encounter building guidelines). In DDN the focus of game design will now be on adventures instead of encounters. Given this change in design philosophy, how will the refresh rate of these style resources (non-at-will and non-daily) be regulated and how will these characters be balanced with those that rely primarily on at-will power or daily refreshing power?

I'm not sure that something in the spirit of AEDU necessarily requires an encounter to be formally defined. I don't find encounters to be an easy unit to work with; they impose gamist assumptions on my more-or-less narrativist/simulationist world.  
 


To quote from the 2e Players handbook.

"Encounters are the heart of AD&D" 

No if ands or buts about it...  


Quoting like that is all very well, but I didn't say I had a problem with encounters. I've been DMing for two decades, I'd better not.

I said I had a problem with encounters as units of time, and that's true. I'm not comfortable with a system which appears to treat surprising and massacring a few guards as an incident of the same weight (for power-renewal purposes) as something like the Battle of Barnet, which lasted from dawn until after lunchtime without significant breaks in the fighting. My proposal doesn't altogether fix that (characters caught up in protracted fighting are still in a disproportionate amount of trouble if they're relying on E/W-frequency powers), but it does mean that we get away from a power being reused very frequently if some encounters are very brief.

Z.
I'm not sure that something in the spirit of AEDU necessarily requires an encounter to be formally defined. I don't find encounters to be an easy unit to work with; they impose gamist assumptions on my more-or-less narrativist/simulationist world.  
 


To quote from the 2e Players handbook.

"Encounters are the heart of AD&D" 

No if ands or buts about it...  


They were also the heart of 1E.  Check out the City Encounters table and roll on it.  Odds are -quite- high you won't get a combat unless you just start rolling init against mercenaries in some schmuch's employ, wandering priestesses, and coppersmiths on their way home for dinner.

Encounters was never synonymous with combat.  It was synonymous with encountering someone or something in such a way that it was expressly noticed (as opposed to walking by a bucket in a well; however, if you were to approach the well, it would be an encounter). 

Always made me wonder if I could regain 'encounter powers' by murdering someone on the street then ducking into a bar for a minute, then pop back out and do it again endlessly.  Like the ever-murdering Energizer Bunny.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

Anjelika you do not understand encounter powers AT ALL. Seriously. Stop spouting nonsense. Their use is tiring. Encounter powers require a short rest to recover. You cannot just say look it is a new encounter all my powers are back. Please actually learn about 4e before you make comments bashing it.
Please actually learn about 4e before you make comments bashing it.


I'd have to agree with this.  The vast majority of your characterizations about 4e mechanics are superficial, half-true misinterpretations of how the system actually works.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Anjelika you do not understand encounter powers AT ALL. Seriously. Stop spouting nonsense. Their use is tiring. Encounter powers require a short rest to recover. You cannot just say look it is a new encounter all my powers are back. Please actually learn about 4e before you make comments bashing it.



Oh get over yourself, it was -obviously- meant in jest since 4E only regards combat as an 'encounter'.  I didn't 'bash' anything.

Quit being so friggin' touchy over someone giggling around with the names in your game.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

Anjelika you do not understand encounter powers AT ALL. Seriously. Stop spouting nonsense. Their use is tiring. Encounter powers require a short rest to recover. You cannot just say look it is a new encounter all my powers are back. Please actually learn about 4e before you make comments bashing it.


There's no need to be so personal. I made the same error myself. My suggestion still stands, but I accept that some of my other comments don't take this point into consideration.

Z.