D&D4e and Arena Battles.

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I only played SWSaga and D&D3.5 as a player for a few times and despite liking the RPG I never had friends with interest in D&D to learn it better and I never played D&D4e but I'd like to do some Arena Battles between player characters over a forum to see who is the winner(more fighting less roleplaying).

In short, all PC were captured and forced to fight in the arena, the arena is a simple large hexagonal dirt arena with no traps(to simplify things).

- Players may be D&D4e veterans or they may never have played D&D4e ever.
- I will be using a generator to generate characters for them, only asking for their gender, race and class.
- All characters will be using point-buy stats and will all have the same level.

1) Does this seem a good idea? No? Why?

2) What level should I set them to be?

3) Are the classes in D&D4e more balanced than 3.5 in regards to battle?

4) Is 4e hard to learn? I am the only one who needs to really know the rules but should any participant know the rules better than me I don't want for my Arena Battles thread to become filled with indignations and ruling problems.

I dont really know anything about 3rd edition, but I thought I would point out that Dragon 368 has an article by Schwalb about running gladiatorial battles for 4e. The article was later reprinted in the Dragon Annual. It is actually a pretty good article and might help you out.



also check this out, a lot of people enjoy this


In short: the game isn't balanced around PvP and it won't work very well.

You CAN make an arena game work if it's Team Player vs Team(s) Monsters. This can involve a certain amount of non-combat material (the characters presumably have lives beyond the arena floor), but it doesn't have to if everyone would rather just go from one fight to the next.

You may want to reconsider the 'plain' arena format though: encounters are usually more interesting when there are things to interact with or that can alter the nature of the encounter. This doesn't have to be done every time, but an 'empty room' locale will get repetitive after a while.
Don't PvP in 4e, it simply doesn't work.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
What they're trying to say is that 4e PCs and monsters are designed assymetrically. PCs have less hit points, but have much more recovery and a lot more powers. Monsters have a lot more hit points but usually no recovery and usually only a few limited powers. The PCs powers are also designed with the best being daily recharge, which in a 'steel cage death match' they will just unleash (very front loaded). The upshot is if you pit 2 groups of PCs on each other generally what happens is whoever goes first alpha strikes and wipes the other side (because PC powers are scaled for hammering on monster's large piles of hit points). If you pit monsters vs other monsters they tend to have too many hit points and take a while to die.

You CAN make interesting fights using 4e rules, but my advice would be to build both sides like monsters, but then cut their hit points back somewhat (maybe try 50%). You can always make monsters that are things like fighters, wizards, etc, but they will be simpler to run and probably your fights will go quicker and easier. I'd also consider creating scenarios with more interesting dynamics. A fight or two now and then in a blank arena is OK, but traps, moving terrain, alternate goals, obstacles, more interesting places to fight, etc will probably make it a lot more interesting in the long run. 
That is not dead which may eternal lie
1) Does this seem a good idea? No? Why?

If you've got the people, why not just play a regular camapign?  But it could work.  PC vs PC fights won't give you a very good idea of how PC vs NPC fights work, but knock yourself out.

2) What level should I set them to be?

Level 1, because you're new and level 1 will give you less new stuff to learn off the bat.  Otherwise, whatever level sounds fun.  And throw some simple traps in for funsies.
3) Are the classes in D&D4e more balanced than 3.5 in regards to battle?

As a team working together toward a goal, including fighting NPCs, yes.  For pvp, still yes, but much less so than the previous answer.
4) Is 4e hard to learn? I am the only one who needs to really know the rules but should any participant know the rules better than me I don't want for my Arena Battles thread to become filled with indignations and ruling problems.

It's not that hard to learn, and the rules tend to be pretty clear, you shouldn't have many ruling problems.

Also, if you're doing this on a forum, absolutely make separate threads for out of character and in character.  Then you can have all the out of character chatter you want, and the IC stays fine.

Also, if you're getting into playing on forums, check the links in my signature for some groups. 
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
PvP in 4e can be fun but you have to understand and accept the problems when you use 4e this way. 4e PvP is extremely dependant on the skill of the players and the sophistication of their character builds. Even small differences in skill and build will result in lopsided victories. When skill and build are evenly matched, victory often depends on the roll of the dice, especially with regard to winning initiative (a huge factor in turn based PvP).

Your best bet is to simply play the game the way it was meant to be played (PC vs. monsters) but if you've got your heart set on PvP you can do a couple of things to make it work. One method is to forget about using PC builds and just use teams of monsters. Both sides get an XP budget to spend with a limit on the max number of monsters per team (6 or 7 is a good number). Agree on a battle map, set a victory condition (ex. capture the flag, destroy the HQ, etc) and start fighting. However, if you like playing this way you're much better off using the DDM Guild rules, print off a bunch of cards and use tokens to represent the monsters. The DDM guild rules are based on 4e rules but built from the ground up for PvP and are really fun.

If you are determined to use 4e PC PvP, you need to double or triple the number of HP if you want the battles to last more than 2 or 3 rounds.
Just like Frothsof linked, is FOURTHCORE TEAM DEATHMATCH. Without a doubt, I can say that PvP has been perfected here; not just for 4th Edition, but I would say for any RPG ever created. It's an absolute blast. Every argument against PvP not working or not being fun or whatever has been shot down with this system.

Don't believe it? Play in an online play-by-post match or try it out at the GenCon Tournament of Champions!

DMG p. 42: Actions the Rules Don't Cover http://dmg42.blogspot.com
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