Reworking the Adventuring Day, OR Alternate Daily Resources - ideas appriciated

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The Problem
In my campaign style, I not not usually run more than a few encounters per adventure. In fact, I usually do not run adventures, per say. How it usually goes is:


1) Mission select
2) Go to place
3) Deal with RP and Skill challenges
4) Combat encounter
5) Go back to step 3 or 2, if necessary
6) Task resolution? (go back to step 3 if necessary)


And that is what an adventuring day looks like at my table. But that is because my campaigns usually involve a lot of over-land travel and RP, and very little dungeon exploration. So what happens is that usually characters have too many healing surges and daily powers per encounter. We sure do not have a 5-minute adventuring day, but we also almost never reach milestones.

The Fix
I realized that if I have too many daily combat resources, then the party needs to be able to expend those resources during the other parts of the adventuring day. Now, I have a few ideas for this, but I need some help populating ideas, and editing them. Here is what I have so far:


Daily Powers:
- Rituals: Expend a daily power to fuel a ritual of the power's level* or lower. You do not pay the ritual's component cost. This does not work for Creation rituals that produce permanent items.
- Calling a Favor: Expend a daily power; you instead channel your energy into calling a favor from a contact, and gain 2 expendable items of the power's level* or lower -- or another item/service of equivalent value. You do not regain the power until you use or sell the items/service, even if you take an extended rest. You must be within reasonable proximity of a reasonably connected contact to do this.
- Whip Something Up: Expend a daily power; you focus on crafting with what you have on-hand. Perform an alchemy recipe or creation ritual to produce a consumable item of the power's level* or lower. You do so twice, without paying the component cost (you may change rituals/recipie if you desire, so long as the items produced meet the level restriction.) You do not regain the power until you use or sell the items, even if you take an extended rest.
- Spontaneity: Expend all your daily powers; your luck completely changes. Draw a non-combat purple card** from the deck, and play it immediately. If you cannot play it immediately, keep it face down, show it to your DM, and shuffle it back in the deck; redraw until you find one that can be played. You cannot do this if you have already used any of your daily powers. For each daily power sacrificed after the fourth, draw an additional purple card; you choose between all the applicable purple cards drawn in this way.


* If the daily power with no indicated level, it counts as the level at which you obtained the feature.
** Or whatever kind of bonus cards you use at your table.


Healing Surges
- Rituals: You may pay 2 healing surge to reduce the component cost of the ritual you are casting by half. You may do this once per ritual.  
- Expedited Travel: You and yours travel overland faster - the overland traveling speed of the party becomes lowest traveling member's speed +2. When you arrive at your destination, you and all player characters traveling with you begin play with 1 fewer healing surges per day traveled.
- Push Yourself: When you make a skill or ability check, you may roll twice and take the better result. This costs 2 healing surges.
- Extra Exertion: When you make a skill or ability check and fail, you may add +2 to the roll and take the new result. This costs 1 healing surge. You may do this as many times as you like per check.  
- Empower Assault: When you hit with an attack, you may lose up to 3 healing surges. The damage dice are brutal X, where X is the number of surges you lost.
- Protective Prayer: When you are out of combat, you may pay 1 healing surge to reduce the number of healing surges drained from you by enemy attacks by 1 until the end of your next rest.


Item Powers
... I am conflicted if I want alternate means to spend item powers or not. I am leaning towards no.


And of course, I am open to criticism and other ideas! I think this ought to work pretty well for my own campaign, and I hope that we can all help make this work even better for all of us!

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Things I'm seeing right now:


  • Whip something up seems... overpowered. Two free magic items for a daily power, if I'm reading that right, and they're permanent, as long as you don't want your daily power back. I'd suggest having it allow you to create two alchemical items or other consumables of the power's level or lower, but no permanent magic items.

  • I'm not familiar with the purple cards, but from the ten seconds I just spent reading about them, four daily powers for one purple card is, again, a bit much. I suppose one could wait until they're down to one daily power and then use Spontaniety, but still... That should be a lower number of dailies.

  • The healing surges to rituals one must scale with level. The way it is now, you're trading one healing surge for a free ritual at level 1, and a healing surge for practically nothing by level 10 or so.

  • Push yourself is flat out better than extra exertion. Rolling twice is worth about +5 I believe, much better than +2. Just take out extra exertion.

  • Empower assault... Well, first off, there's a reason that there's no way in the current rules to get brutal 3 on a 2d4 weapon, or a 1d4 weapon for that matter. Imagine what would happen if one of your player's got a vorpal falchion and dropped empower assault. Secondly, brutal isn't actually worth all that much, it's almost strictly worse than a +1 to damage, and spending one healing surge, much less three, to get brutal on one attack, isn't anywhere near the power level of some of this other stuff. On top of that, I can't see an easy way to fix this one.

  • I can't see Protective Prayer coming up that often. Very few monsters drain surges.


That's all I got right now, but I'll take another look at this later. Maybe I'll come up with some more.
Thanks Sal (can I call you Sal?) for your thoughtful and specific commentary. Here are my counter-thoughts

- You are absolutely right about scaled healing surges/ritual casting and Whip Something Up. I corrected WSU - I intended it to be more or less identical to Call a Favor, but I simply did not include the word "consumable" where I should have. The new version should reflect this. I also guestimated values for healing surges to GP for higher tier characters. I am willing to take suggestions on the true GP worth.
- Having DMed with the Purple Card system, I assue you that a similar system is worth a Purple Card - though you may be right that ALL dailies (when one is over level 12) may be much. Suggestions? Maybe a "For each daily sacrificed after the 4th, draw one more turnabout, and choose between the ones drawn." (Noticed I said daily power, not daily attack power.)
- Extra Exertion and push yourself I want to be able to exist at the same time - one I want to be a concious choice to push for success, and one I want to be able to use when things SHOULD have gone right (like missing by 1 point). In an effort to remidy the disparity between the two, I have changed it so that Push Yourself can be used multiple times. I figure it is a start.
- I hate battles that take a long time, and so do my players. This is for the guys who just want to get it over with, and frankly I encourage that. By going ahead and expending endurance resources to spike damage in the present, I think that saves real time. Maybe not much, but it would surely make up the difference in excitement. Those are my thoughts, anyway. 
- I am aware that few monsters drain healing surges, and I thought of that when designing it. For one, when you can use your healing surge as a monotary system, and enemies can steal from you, investing in protection is good. I admit that it could be made more exciting by throwing tons of deathlocks out for fighting. Good thing my group loves undead! >:D
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Thanks Sal (can I call you Sal?) for your thoughtful and specific commentary. Here are my counter-thoughts

I'd prefer Sam, or Salmon. And no problem.

- You are absolutely right about scaled healing surges/ritual casting and Whip Something Up. I corrected WSU - I intended it to be more or less identical to Call a Favor, but I simply did not include the word "consumable" where I should have. The new version should reflect this. I also guestimated values for healing surges to GP for higher tier characters. I am willing to take suggestions on the true GP worth.

These look much better. Perhaps you could go with halving the component cost instead of having a surge equal a set value (Might need more than one surge for balance reasons). This is precedented, and it keeps this ability revelant, but not "woo-hoo free rituals!" for all rituals, at all levels.
- Having DMed with the Purple Card system, I assue you that a similar system is worth a Purple Card - though you may be right that ALL dailies (when one is over level 12) may be much. Suggestions? Maybe a "For each daily sacrificed after the 4th, draw one more turnabout, and choose between the ones drawn." (Noticed I said daily power, not daily attack power.)

I really don't know about this one. Again, not familiar with the purple cards. You're going to have to trust your own judgement, go try it, and then change it if it doesn't work.
- Extra Exertion and push yourself I want to be able to exist at the same time - one I want to be a concious choice to push for success, and one I want to be able to use when things SHOULD have gone right (like missing by 1 point). In an effort to remidy the disparity between the two, I have changed it so that Push Yourself can be used multiple times. I figure it is a start.

This looks good. If I understand correctly, Extra Exertion grants +2 per surge?
- I hate battles that take a long time, and so do my players. This is for the guys who just want to get it over with, and frankly I encourage that. By going ahead and expending endurance resources to spike damage in the present, I think that saves real time. Maybe not much, but it would surely make up the difference in excitement. Those are my thoughts, anyway.

I understand where you're coming from, but perhaps there's a better way to do this. Maybe something along the lines of +3 damage (Just making up numbers, no clue if this is balanced) per surge spent? Brutal 1 isn't really worth a surge IMO, and this keeps it from interacting wierdly with things like a vorpal weapon.
- I am aware that few monsters drain healing surges, and I thought of that when designing it. For one, when you can use your healing surge as a monotary system, and enemies can steal from you, investing in protection is good. I admit that it could be made more exciting by throwing tons of deathlocks out for fighting. Good thing my group loves undead! >:D

Fair enough.
You do know that Vorpal is an epic tier weapon, right? Wink Pretty much anything goes at epic tier.
Let your voice be heard! Tell WotC to Publish D&D 4e under the OGL!
You do know that Vorpal is an epic tier weapon, right?  Pretty much anything goes at epic tier.

I still wouldn't want my player's one-shotting Lolth or Vecna. Maybe your play style is okay with that, and if so by all means go ahead and allow it. But if these rules were in a WoTC published sourcebook, CharOp would have a field day. If your players like to optimize and you play in Epic, you're in for a wild ride.
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