D&D Next Q&A: Action Economy, Power Creep and Monster Immunities

Sorry about that all. I had some issues pushing the blog live this morning. I was tinkering with it to try to figure out what went wrong, and ended up replacing some of Rodney's text with a paste from a previous blog. It should be fixed now though. If you see any other problems let me know! Also going to remove the comments about that mistake (but leaving it immortalized here in this post so you can all laugh at me!) just so we can get the conversation focused back on the Q&A topics.

Trevor Kidd Community Manager

There was a question about the last bit.  I believe Jimbro was asking about the difference between having an immunity in the monster category and having it as a trait.  Here is my answer.  I hope it is clarifying and useful.


To answer you Jimbro, it's the difference between inheritance and an interface in programming.   In the past multiple creature types might have immunities that overlapped.  For example oozes and elementals might both be immune to being knocked prone.  Instead of burying all that in creature types, they are creating specific traits that mean things and assigning them to the monsters they apply to.  So you learn the traits and don't worry about what family or category the monster is in. 


I am actually quite pleased that OO design principles are coming into play in D&D.  It will definitely help us to use the various modules and to houserule more effectively.   This last question makes me far happier than it probably should but I can't help feeling really good about it. 

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The main thing to keep in mind with swifter actions is the power/cost ratio. And since the action cost is 0, you need to add a different cost (daily spell slot for example) to avoid division by 0 errors.


+1 for lateral options. Dual weapon attack is a great example of how this is done right.


+1 for oozes being immune to prone, and saying so in the ooze block.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Well, now number 3 makes more sense.  I do like this approach, since I agree that monster type shouldn't dictate a ton of things that result in the DM hunting around in the Monster Manual.  IMO the DM should NEVER have to open the book to another page to find out what the monster abilities do.
Well, now number 3 makes more sense.  I do like this approach, since I agree that monster type shouldn't dictate a ton of things that result in the DM hunting around in the Monster Manual.  IMO the DM should NEVER have to open the book to another page to find out what the monster abilities do.



I can agree with that.  I hated having to search the back of the MM to make sure of traits in 3e when the PCs faced certain monsters.
I like number 3 now but I fear how more complicated monsters will look. Or less complicated ones. The current zombie is only immune to frighten and charm. Will the finished one have has 5+ other traits for the other immunities.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Haiku Time!

Action 'conomy
and "when you take an action"?
Just keep things movin.

Mitigation or
prevention of power creep?
Advantage and math.

What will be the deal 
with monster immunities?
Big and obvious. 

I would like to see the combined actions allow for changing the action sequence whenever applicable.

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I would like to see the combined actions allow for changing the action sequence whenever applicable.



I'm not really sure what you mean.
I would like to see the combined actions allow for changing the action sequence whenever applicable.

I'm not really sure what you mean.

Well, "when you take an action..." implies your action must come first. What if I want to the "minor" action part BEFORE my action?

Magic Dual Color Test
I am White/Green
I am White/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I am both orderly and instinctive. I value community and group identity, defining myself by the social group I am a part of. At best, I'm selfless and strong-willed; at worst, I'm unoriginal and sheepish.
I am not sure what is worse - creating a set of clear defined actions for each turn, or making an action so obscure no one is sure how to use it. Then it starts to get used more often as the only mechanism to grant more actions per turn. 5E is quick in regards to combat, almost too simple, I don't think it is going to hurt to split up combat into more actions like move, standard, minor, free. Oh well.
Well, now number 3 makes more sense.  I do like this approach, since I agree that monster type shouldn't dictate a ton of things that result in the DM hunting around in the Monster Manual.  IMO the DM should NEVER have to open the book to another page to find out what the monster abilities do.



I can agree with that.  I hated having to search the back of the MM to make sure of traits in 3e when the PCs faced certain monsters.

Count me in for this as well. Having all the type immunities in the back of the MM was a pain in 3e, and forced you to include immunities that don't necessarily make sense for every single creature of a particular type. For example, I can certainly understand mindless undead being immune to mind-affecting spells, but was there a really compelling reason to apply that to vampires and liches?

This week's D&D Next Q&A covers "When you take an action" actions, dealing with power creep, and monster immunities!

Good topics:

1) Seems like we're remaining consistent here. I've always thought this was one of 5e's better innovations.

2) Hmmmmm, power creep stems at least partly from deeper factors than stacking. I think replacing all stacking with advantage/disadvantage is a smart move, but just saying "options will only broaden your character, not make it better at one thing" isn't going to work of course. For one thing in a game where levels don't give bonuses clearly there are going to have to be a lot of options that DO add to your ability at one thing. Players want to make "the best axe fighter ever" and the rules are going to cater to that, and it is going to involve stacking several things. In any case as long as it is kept to the kind of scope it has in 4e power creep isn't a big deal.

3) All I can say here is "3e rogues and undead". IMHO it is wiser to eschew general bucket immunities and leave things to specific situations in most cases. This doesn't lead anywhere good. I'd point out that AD&D and 4e share a general lack of immunities (and AD&D in fact lacks any sort of mechanics for it at all, it is a special rule per creature that has it, and VERY few do).
That is not dead which may eternal lie
2) Hmmmmm, power creep stems at least partly from deeper factors than stacking. I think replacing all stacking with advantage/disadvantage is a smart move, but just saying "options will only broaden your character, not make it better at one thing" isn't going to work of course. For one thing in a game where levels don't give bonuses clearly there are going to have to be a lot of options that DO add to your ability at one thing. Players want to make "the best axe fighter ever" and the rules are going to cater to that, and it is going to involve stacking several things. In any case as long as it is kept to the kind of scope it has in 4e power creep isn't a big deal.

I agree with you, although I am impressed with how generally successful they've been so far at making specialties interesting without having them enhance existing abilities in any significant way, though outliers like Survivor and Healer show that it isn't perfect.
2) Hmmmmm, power creep stems at least partly from deeper factors than stacking. I think replacing all stacking with advantage/disadvantage is a smart move, but just saying "options will only broaden your character, not make it better at one thing" isn't going to work of course. For one thing in a game where levels don't give bonuses clearly there are going to have to be a lot of options that DO add to your ability at one thing. Players want to make "the best axe fighter ever" and the rules are going to cater to that, and it is going to involve stacking several things. In any case as long as it is kept to the kind of scope it has in 4e power creep isn't a big deal.

I agree with you, although I am impressed with how generally successful they've been so far at making specialties interesting without having them enhance existing abilities in any significant way, though outliers like Survivor and Healer show that it isn't perfect.

It will never be perfect of course. There's always some trade off between narrow powerful features and broader weaker more flexible ones. You'll always have some of each and thus power levels will always depend at least somewhat on the in-game situation. The whole concept of different areas of play (combat, exploration, interaction) practically guarantees you'll have this.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I would like to see the combined actions allow for changing the action sequence whenever applicable.

I'm not really sure what you mean.

Well, "when you take an action..." implies your action must come first. What if I want to the "minor" action part BEFORE my action?




Actually 'when you take an action' implies it happens at the same time and thus I'd allow it to happen at any time during the action.    Otherwise it would be 'after you take an action'

As a DM, I'd probably let you do it whenever you want during your action - but you'd have to commit to what the action was before doing it - at least in those cases where the Bonus action placed restrictions on what types of action qualified (e.g. Jab).

But the idea of being flexible about when things happen fits perfectly - in my mind - with 5N, just as we can now split move and attack.

Carl
1. I like the way they are going with this. There are still some issues to work out, such as specifying if the side action is before, after, during or up to the player in relation to the main action. I'm hoping a lot of these little rule mechanic issues will be cleared up when we have more of the rules.

2. I like that they realize that spell casters are big problem here. I'm curious how they intend to do this though, particularly once more spells are added.

One thing they didn't mention that needs to be fixed relative to 4e is giving more care to underpowered options. What often happens is that a selection of new options are presented, and the handful that are the most powerful are quickly identified. When another set of new options are added, they are compared to the best options from the previous set, so the average of the new options has to match the power level of the best options from the previous set. A lot that problem can be fixed by taking steps to tweak up the power of weak options so that everything is closer to average.

3. They are on the right track, as long as they have a fairly compact notation for listing monsters. I know the monster formats in the older editions where often hard to read because they had so many special notations and keywords that where explained in other parts of the rules However, 4e had the opposite problem, where the monster formats where so bulky that even a trivial monster might fill an entire page. The game needs something balanced, where a monster has all of it's rules in it's description but they format is small enough that a typical monster fills a short space.

3. They are on the right track, as long as they have a fairly compact notation for listing monsters. I know the monster formats in the older editions where often hard to read because they had so many special notations and keywords that where explained in other parts of the rules However, 4e had the opposite problem, where the monster formats where so bulky that even a trivial monster might fill an entire page. The game needs something balanced, where a monster has all of it's rules in it's description but they format is small enough that a typical monster fills a short space.



In my own notes I've taken to collapsing three to six lines of stat block down to:  SDCIWR: 14/15/11/7/10/8.

Do you really need more than that for the ability scores? 

(I use R for Charisma for the same reason many places uses R as an abreviation for Thursday... You could always go with SDCIWCh if you wanted).

Carl

3. They are on the right track, as long as they have a fairly compact notation for listing monsters. I know the monster formats in the older editions where often hard to read because they had so many special notations and keywords that where explained in other parts of the rules However, 4e had the opposite problem, where the monster formats where so bulky that even a trivial monster might fill an entire page. The game needs something balanced, where a monster has all of it's rules in it's description but they format is small enough that a typical monster fills a short space.



In my own notes I've taken to collapsing three to six lines of stat block down to:  SDCIWR: 14/15/11/7/10/8.

Do you really need more than that for the ability scores? 

(I use R for Charisma for the same reason many places uses R as an abreviation for Thursday... You could always go with SDCIWCh if you wanted).

Carl

Why even abbreviate the names of the scores, they always come in a standard order, surely we all remember STR, CON, DEX, INT, WIS, CHA. Even I can remember that and I've played all sorts of old editions where the order was quite different (I seem to recall OD&D was STR, INT, WIS, DEX, CON, CHA for instance).

Anyway, 'trivial monsters' stat blocks aren't even close to a page. They are barely a paragraph. I ran some worgs the other night, they have one trait and one power. The whole FULL stat block is about 10 lines. If I dropped all the misc stuff it would be probably 4 lines. OTOH printing the stat block on my laser printer on a page full of other stat blocks is not exactly onerous. For that matter I didn't even bother, I just linked to the monster's compendium entries from the xwiki page where the encounter was described. It listed the total XP of the encounter, the init roles, stealth roles, and perception roles to use for the worgs and the link to the stat block, which I just brought up in a tab on my netbook before we started play the other night. Saved a tree ;)
That is not dead which may eternal lie
That's one of the most interesting q and a I've read in a while.

1. I hope you design it well. It could be a bonus not having to abuse minor actions every round.

2. So far so good, I think we are all willing to help (see cry broken and raise our fists in protest Cool)

3. Yay for immunities!! Oozes will rule the world...
On a slightly more serious note, monster immunities are a great versatility weapon for dms. As with all weapons the everything in moderation rule applies. Dont be afraid to use it, but dont overuse it either. Check the parenthesis in 2 for a latter option.
1. Its a distinction without a difference. Instead of worrying about your minor action every turn, now you worry about your WYTAA action every turn. Way to pat yourself on the back for not doing anything.

2. Another statement of lack of understanding in design. Advantage sucks up a lot of bonuses, but now you need bonuses to stack with advantage. You already have the problem that multiple situations that grant advantage do nothing. All you're doing is making good tactics worthless. It doesnt matter how well you set up your fight, the best youre gonna get is "roll twice".

3. So you want 4e stat blocks...Just say that already. 
1. Its a distinction without a difference. Instead of worrying about your minor action every turn, now you worry about your WYTAA action every turn. Way to pat yourself on the back for not doing anything.

2. Another statement of lack of understanding in design. Advantage sucks up a lot of bonuses, but now you need bonuses to stack with advantage. You already have the problem that multiple situations that grant advantage do nothing. All you're doing is making good tactics worthless. It doesnt matter how well you set up your fight, the best youre gonna get is "roll twice".

3. So you want 4e stat blocks...Just say that already. 



I gotta agree with number 2. Maybe they need any extra instances of advantage to grant a +2 or something with the inverse for disadvantage. That way there is actually an incentive to get advantage when you already have it...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
1. Its a distinction without a difference. Instead of worrying about your minor action every turn, now you worry about your WYTAA action every turn. Way to pat yourself on the back for not doing anything.

2. Another statement of lack of understanding in design. Advantage sucks up a lot of bonuses, but now you need bonuses to stack with advantage. You already have the problem that multiple situations that grant advantage do nothing. All you're doing is making good tactics worthless. It doesnt matter how well you set up your fight, the best youre gonna get is "roll twice".

3. So you want 4e stat blocks...Just say that already. 

1) You underestimate the advantages of educating the DEVELOPERS of material for the game. There's no minor action, thus there's no big incentive to create things to constantly suck up the minor action and turn it into something. This kind of negative reinforcement of design goals is a very good idea.

2) Why does anyone need more than advantage? Honestly, once you've got your enemy on the ropes it doesn't make a real crapload of difference just how many different ways he's screwed. Basically he's going to be unable to counter whatever you're doing effectively, so he's going to grant advantage and that's it. If a situation arises where advantage doesn't adequately portray how hosed your opponent is, well that should be an automatic success or a CDG or something.

3) Amen! Lets have them
That is not dead which may eternal lie
1. Its a distinction without a difference. Instead of worrying about your minor action every turn, now you worry about your WYTAA action every turn. Way to pat yourself on the back for not doing anything.

2. Another statement of lack of understanding in design. Advantage sucks up a lot of bonuses, but now you need bonuses to stack with advantage. You already have the problem that multiple situations that grant advantage do nothing. All you're doing is making good tactics worthless. It doesnt matter how well you set up your fight, the best youre gonna get is "roll twice".

3. So you want 4e stat blocks...Just say that already. 

1) You underestimate the advantages of educating the DEVELOPERS of material for the game. There's no minor action, thus there's no big incentive to create things to constantly suck up the minor action and turn it into something. This kind of negative reinforcement of design goals is a very good idea.

2) Why does anyone need more than advantage? Honestly, once you've got your enemy on the ropes it doesn't make a real crapload of difference just how many different ways he's screwed. Basically he's going to be unable to counter whatever you're doing effectively, so he's going to grant advantage and that's it. If a situation arises where advantage doesn't adequately portray how hosed your opponent is, well that should be an automatic success or a CDG or something.

3) Amen! Lets have them



2) Because you can have 7 disadvantages and 1 advantage and you roll normally. That doesn't make sense...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />2) Because you can have 7 disadvantages and 1 advantage and you roll normally. That doesn't make sense...



Spherical Cow
That is not dead which may eternal lie
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />2) Because you can have 7 disadvantages and 1 advantage and you roll normally. That doesn't make sense...



Spherical Cow



Yeah I'm not really seeing how that applies. There is a significant difference between someone that is prone and someone that is prone, stunned, blinded, frightened, intoxicated, and restrained. Are you telling me you don't see a huge difference between the two lists there...?Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
1. Its a distinction without a difference. Instead of worrying about your minor action every turn, now you worry about your WYTAA action every turn. Way to pat yourself on the back for not doing anything.

2. Another statement of lack of understanding in design. Advantage sucks up a lot of bonuses, but now you need bonuses to stack with advantage. You already have the problem that multiple situations that grant advantage do nothing. All you're doing is making good tactics worthless. It doesnt matter how well you set up your fight, the best youre gonna get is "roll twice".

3. So you want 4e stat blocks...Just say that already. 

1) You underestimate the advantages of educating the DEVELOPERS of material for the game. There's no minor action, thus there's no big incentive to create things to constantly suck up the minor action and turn it into something. This kind of negative reinforcement of design goals is a very good idea.



...and this doesnt accomplish that. You still have minor actions, you're just calling them WYTAA actions. Now your Devs, and your players, are looking for ways to use that action type. Just leave it as a minor action and use the accumulated knowledge of the previous two editions to not $#!@ it up.


2) Why does anyone need more than advantage? Honestly, once you've got your enemy on the ropes it doesn't make a real crapload of difference just how many different ways he's screwed. Basically he's going to be unable to counter whatever you're doing effectively, so he's going to grant advantage and that's it. If a situation arises where advantage doesn't adequately portray how hosed your opponent is, well that should be an automatic success or a CDG or something.



Because the Cleric might buff you, the Wiz might debuff the target and the Fighter might set up the Rogue for a big hit...but all that can do is grant advantage. Design Fail.


3) Amen! Lets have them



I dont see why the devs are SooOOoo scared of 4e.
I'm curious about what sort of bizarre understanding of history would lead someone to believe that swift actions were intended to be something you did every round. They didn't even exist for the foundational years of the system they're a part of. They were patched into the system precisely because the developers made the exact same mistake that the developers of Next are gleefully marching into now.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />2) Because you can have 7 disadvantages and 1 advantage and you roll normally. That doesn't make sense...



Spherical Cow



Yeah I'm not really seeing how that applies. There is a significant difference between someone that is prone and someone that is prone, stunned, blinded, frightened, intoxicated, and restrained. Are you telling me you don't see a huge difference between the two lists there...?

You are fixated on a corner case to the exclusion of paying attention to what actually works best overall. The advantage/disadvantage system IS a Spherical Cow, but what they don't tell you about those cows is that they work. They may be very simple but 99% of the time simple is exactly what you want.

The point is make a list of the number of times you've had a PC under more than 2-3 significant constraints. It will happen once or twice in a whole campaign. You're wanting to throw out a very good rule that has many positive features because once a year you don't find it convenient. It is just not smart game design.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
1. Its a distinction without a difference. Instead of worrying about your minor action every turn, now you worry about your WYTAA action every turn. Way to pat yourself on the back for not doing anything.

2. Another statement of lack of understanding in design. Advantage sucks up a lot of bonuses, but now you need bonuses to stack with advantage. You already have the problem that multiple situations that grant advantage do nothing. All you're doing is making good tactics worthless. It doesnt matter how well you set up your fight, the best youre gonna get is "roll twice".

3. So you want 4e stat blocks...Just say that already. 

1) You underestimate the advantages of educating the DEVELOPERS of material for the game. There's no minor action, thus there's no big incentive to create things to constantly suck up the minor action and turn it into something. This kind of negative reinforcement of design goals is a very good idea.



...and this doesnt accomplish that. You still have minor actions, you're just calling them WYTAA actions. Now your Devs, and your players, are looking for ways to use that action type. Just leave it as a minor action and use the accumulated knowledge of the previous two editions to not $#!@ it up.


2) Why does anyone need more than advantage? Honestly, once you've got your enemy on the ropes it doesn't make a real crapload of difference just how many different ways he's screwed. Basically he's going to be unable to counter whatever you're doing effectively, so he's going to grant advantage and that's it. If a situation arises where advantage doesn't adequately portray how hosed your opponent is, well that should be an automatic success or a CDG or something.



Because the Cleric might buff you, the Wiz might debuff the target and the Fighter might set up the Rogue for a big hit...but all that can do is grant advantage. Design Fail.


3) Amen! Lets have them



I dont see why the devs are SooOOoo scared of 4e.

I think eliminating minor actions DOES accomplish that. There is now no STANDARD way to have these actions, they're no longer expected to exist. Most classes will not have even one of them. This may in some sense be basically a matter of presentation, but presentation MATTERS. Trust me, eliminating minor actions WILL simplify the game.

Again, you're overstressing unusual situations that don't come up much. The whole IDEA is to streamline, so there's VERY rarely be a situation where there are multiple advantages and disadvantages. Again, realistically past a certain point it is just irrelevant anyway. Use different tactics.

And yeah, I'm getting real tired of the 4e phobia over at WotC. It gives me a real belly ache.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />2) Because you can have 7 disadvantages and 1 advantage and you roll normally. That doesn't make sense...



Spherical Cow



Yeah I'm not really seeing how that applies. There is a significant difference between someone that is prone and someone that is prone, stunned, blinded, frightened, intoxicated, and restrained. Are you telling me you don't see a huge difference between the two lists there...?

You are fixated on a corner case to the exclusion of paying attention to what actually works best overall. The advantage/disadvantage system IS a Spherical Cow, but what they don't tell you about those cows is that they work. They may be very simple but 99% of the time simple is exactly what you want.

The point is make a list of the number of times you've had a PC under more than 2-3 significant constraints. It will happen once or twice in a whole campaign. You're wanting to throw out a very good rule that has many positive features because once a year you don't find it convenient. It is just not smart game design.



Actually in the three play test sessions I've run so far I've ran into having advantage and disadvantage multiple times and the players didn't really like it when their 2+ advantages didn't stack and their one disadvantage negated their many advantages. Its a lot more common than you think.
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.

Actually in the three play test sessions I've run so far I've ran into having advantage and disadvantage multiple times and the players didn't really like it when their 2+ advantages didn't stack and their one disadvantage negated their many advantages. Its a lot more common than you think.



I think a common houserule that might appear is to give advantage if your advantages exceed your disadvantages.  Also disadvantage in the opposite situation.   The key balance wise would be to never allow more than advantage or disadvantage.   So it only stacks when comparing it against disadvantages.   The result is never more than advantage or less than disadvantage.

My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.


Actually in the three play test sessions I've run so far I've ran into having advantage and disadvantage multiple times and the players didn't really like it when their 2+ advantages didn't stack and their one disadvantage negated their many advantages. Its a lot more common than you think.



I think a common houserule that might appear is to give advantage if your advantages exceed your disadvantages.  Also disadvantage in the opposite situation.   The key balance wise would be to never allow more than advantage or disadvantage.   So it only stacks when comparing it against disadvantages.   The result is never more than advantage or less than disadvantage.


Right, the whole point is to avoid stacking. This is why advantage/disadvantage is so brilliant. Instead of trying to continue the failed concepts of bonus types, which invariably failed to even slow down stacking problems, build the anti-stacking into the resolution rules themselves. Now it will NEVER be an issue. If the DM feels that a given situation is so terribly egregious he can always grant a bonus or a penalty on top of stacking.

Again, this is unlikely to come up in actual play. Having 2 advantages IMHO just isn't enough to matter. The cases where you have 3 advantages are very small in number, and beyond that happens almost never.
That is not dead which may eternal lie

Right, the whole point is to avoid stacking. This is why advantage/disadvantage is so brilliant. Instead of trying to continue the failed concepts of bonus types, which invariably failed to even slow down stacking problems, build the anti-stacking into the resolution rules themselves. Now it will NEVER be an issue. If the DM feels that a given situation is so terribly egregious he can always grant a bonus or a penalty on top of stacking.

Again, this is unlikely to come up in actual play. Having 2 advantages IMHO just isn't enough to matter. The cases where you have 3 advantages are very small in number, and beyond that happens almost never.



So you agree with me? I'm not allowing stacking but I am suggesting 2 advantages and 1 disadvantage works out to advantage.  The official rules would be it equates to nothing.

My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.


Right, the whole point is to avoid stacking. This is why advantage/disadvantage is so brilliant. Instead of trying to continue the failed concepts of bonus types, which invariably failed to even slow down stacking problems, build the anti-stacking into the resolution rules themselves. Now it will NEVER be an issue. If the DM feels that a given situation is so terribly egregious he can always grant a bonus or a penalty on top of stacking.

Again, this is unlikely to come up in actual play. Having 2 advantages IMHO just isn't enough to matter. The cases where you have 3 advantages are very small in number, and beyond that happens almost never.



So you agree with me? I'm not allowing stacking but I am suggesting 2 advantages and 1 disadvantage works out to advantage.  The official rules would be it equates to nothing.

Maybe. I think it could be like that, but I'd leave it up to the DM. I mean some things just probably don't sensibly cancel out. It also depends on exactly how and why you can get advantage and disadvantage.
That is not dead which may eternal lie

Actually in the three play test sessions I've run so far I've ran into having advantage and disadvantage multiple times and the players didn't really like it when their 2+ advantages didn't stack and their one disadvantage negated their many advantages. Its a lot more common than you think.



I think a common houserule that might appear is to give advantage if your advantages exceed your disadvantages.  Also disadvantage in the opposite situation.   The key balance wise would be to never allow more than advantage or disadvantage.   So it only stacks when comparing it against disadvantages.   The result is never more than advantage or less than disadvantage.




Yeah, that's how it should work, but instead you can have 6 disadvantages and 1 advantage and you roll normally... doesn't make sense...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Just to agree with Abdul on one more thing....

Having just one game action mechanic that occasionally allows for more than one event to occur will reduce decision paralysis.  If I'm a fighter and I do a normal attack, I'm not looking around for ways to use my minor action.  Whereas if I'm a cleric and want to attack and heal in one turn, I just do that as my action because I have a special manuever that allows it.

The only danger here as I see it is if DMs are savvy enough to know that implied in the action is the idea of a minor action.   If a fighter wants to charge across the room while drawing his sword you should allow it.  In the past that would have required that extra minor action.  But if you have a DM that understands this approach you are fine.


My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.

Just to agree with Abdul on one more thing....

Having just one game action mechanic that occasionally allows for more than one event to occur will reduce decision paralysis.  If I'm a fighter and I do a normal attack, I'm not looking around for ways to use my minor action.  Whereas if I'm a cleric and want to attack and heal in one turn, I just do that as my action because I have a special manuever that allows it.

The only danger here as I see it is if DMs are savvy enough to know that implied in the action is the idea of a minor action.   If a fighter wants to charge across the room while drawing his sword you should allow it.  In the past that would have required that extra minor action.  But if you have a DM that understands this approach you are fine.



I suspect that's codified into "things that don't take an action".
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Just to agree with Abdul on one more thing....

Having just one game action mechanic that occasionally allows for more than one event to occur will reduce decision paralysis.  If I'm a fighter and I do a normal attack, I'm not looking around for ways to use my minor action.  Whereas if I'm a cleric and want to attack and heal in one turn, I just do that as my action because I have a special manuever that allows it.

The only danger here as I see it is if DMs are savvy enough to know that implied in the action is the idea of a minor action.   If a fighter wants to charge across the room while drawing his sword you should allow it.  In the past that would have required that extra minor action.  But if you have a DM that understands this approach you are fine.



I suspect that's codified into "things that don't take an action".



It is; but one of the reasons given in 4e for the minor action was because some DMs adjudicated extra actions too harshly.  So I'm just saying be aware why the minor action arose and continue to point out what is appropriate to allow without requiring an action.  

My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.

Just to agree with Abdul on one more thing....

Having just one game action mechanic that occasionally allows for more than one event to occur will reduce decision paralysis.  If I'm a fighter and I do a normal attack, I'm not looking around for ways to use my minor action.  Whereas if I'm a cleric and want to attack and heal in one turn, I just do that as my action because I have a special manuever that allows it.

The only danger here as I see it is if DMs are savvy enough to know that implied in the action is the idea of a minor action.   If a fighter wants to charge across the room while drawing his sword you should allow it.  In the past that would have required that extra minor action.  But if you have a DM that understands this approach you are fine.





The abuse comes in when the cleric gets 3 spells they can use 'with an action' and decide to use all three of them in the same round...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
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