Starter 4th edition questions

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Hello, a group of 3 friends and myself are starting to try out dungeons and dragons, so naturally we got the starter kit, but it seems like certain things are left unclear. We have each gone through the players book and are starting through the dungeon master's book with the encounters there, but death is not addressed at all in this book. I did some googling and it sounds like there is suppose to be ritual spells or something, I am completely unaware of these at this point in time, are they suppose to be avoided for beginners or something? If so how do players come back to life? Another question I have is when we were initially setting up our characters, our dwarf cleric ended up with 20 wisdom to start out, which seems weird to me because all other race/class combos have a max of 18 starting out. I think the wording in the player's book is just poor. When setting up the cleric it says you have 18 wisdom if you are a human, elf, or dwarf. But then when you get to skill selection in step 59, it says dwarves get either +2 wisdom or +2 strength, is this in addition to the 18 wisdom they have? Or is it 16 wisdom and then they can choose +2 wisdom or +2 strength? Thanks in advance, after our first sitting last night a bunch of questions arose so I'm sure I'll have more once I remember.

Ah, also, the clerics shield? In step 35 it says that the cleric has chainmail armor with AC of 16, and a heavy shield that adds +2 AC, but then once you get to equipment and items, it makes no note of this shield. Is there cleric suppose to start out with a heavy shield or not? And if so, is the shield need to be equipped (using a hand) for the AC bonus? Which would mean while wielding a mace the cleric has no free hands.
There's ways to come back to life, but they are higher level (level 5 i think is the earliest).  As a DM, you can make up stuff.  Perhaps they can make a deal with a devil or god, to be repayed later   .  You should generally try and avoid dying in the first place.

It can be 18+2 (20), or 16+2 (18), depending on how much he put's in his other stats.  20 is very focused, but leaves you lacking in other areas.  I don't know what the starter set recommends, but if say's only race X get 18 and the rest get 16, then it's likely already added in.

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.

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