Combat improvisation and the 'boring' classes

More fights about caster supremacy! no, I'm just kidding (mostly... I hope).

I'm curious as to people's feedback on an idea, and one that I may be tempted to try as a house-rule. 

PROBLEM

One argument about caster supremacy is that the martial characters are "boring" to play.  Because their non-combat options are very limitted (no utility spells or fewer skills), and their combat options amount to 'attack and attack again.' 

One counter to this argument is that fighters are only as boring as the player playing them, and that fighters can do super fun things like tip tables over, rip down window curtains, throw dirt in the enemy's eyes, jump from a balcony and swing on a chandelier etc. etc. etc.

But, such improvisation presents serious balance issues - as the choices are either underpowered or overpowered depending on DM ruling (example: throwing dirt in the eyes of your enemy has a 50% chance of blinding him for one round vs. an 80% chance of blinding him for the rest of the encounter).  If it's underpowered it won't be used again, if it's overpowered, then it's used nearly everytime, and the boring "attack, attack, attack" endless pattern becomes "dirt, attack, dirt, attack, dirt, attack" pattern. 

The fact is that it's hard to balance improvisation in combat against and with other attack choices.  So improvisation is often relegated to pure fluff, by necessity, and we are back to square one. 

[this doesn't even address the fact that it's unclear why martial characters are any better at, or more suited to, combat improvisation than other classes]

SUGGESTION:

I suggest that fighters get extra actions which can only be used for non attack actions. 

This might allow fights to continue to have some combat dominance without a simple "attack, attack, attack" forced path.  You don't have to balance tipping over tables, or throwing dirt, or pulling a rug out from under enemies, because you are doing these things IN ADDITION to attacks. 

This may be extra demanding on DMs, but could add a lot of flavor to martial encounters.  There could also be many things that fighters could do without needing a specific environment (drink a potion, grab an item, enter defensive mode).

I think this kind of option could make the fighter's presence on the battlefield more significant, do it in a thematically interesting way, and do it withough just making the fighter the basic attack machine. 

Thoughts?
I suggest they not try to balance the classes so much.  And if they insist on balancing them, make the wizards weak as hell the first 6 levels.  Make the fighters much stronger than them.  Then have the roles reversed in the later levels.  This way it forces people to play as a group, not the "look at me and how great I am show."

I mean did you see the thread started on the new packet?  Apparently, every class is ruined or boring or needs to do everything every other class does plus more.  All skills and feats are pointless, overpowered, or underpowered.  And best of all, the (direct quote here) "magic items are like homework."  

Yell

 
I just had the image of the fighter grabbing the edge of a carpet and pulling it out from a group of goblins and knocking them all prone. But yeah, I could go for a free improv action awarded to Fighters.
  And best of all, the (direct quote here) "magic items are like homework."  

 


I think I'm going to cry...
My two copper.

I agree with your concerns, and yes, one of the things the fighter needs most is a way to both do damage and do other neat stunts.


While an extra action is a good choice. Now that they use martial damage die, I almost think it might be better to leverage that scaling, and just allow the fighter to add their martial damage die to any improvised stunt that they can think of. It's nice because it let's fighters be deadly even without their weapon, and builds in a way to determine how much damage those improvised maneuvers do.


For instance, how much damage is done by pulling the rug to trip some goblins, well if you're successful on the Str vs. Dex attack, you do martial damage die damage. When you swing on a chandelier into a foe, you do martial damage die damage if successful. Push the goblin down the stairs, martial damage die if successful...


It makes for a fast easy way to determine how damaging a stunt is, and you could even have a list of effects with relative cost in martial damage die. For instance blinding your foe for one round costs a martial damage die or you can spend a die to push them back that die's result in feet.


It seems to me like maneuvers might just be needlessly complicating this in an effort to codify pretty much the same thing. But if if you kept maneuvers as they are, you could just allow the classes with martial damage dice to use them improvised maneuvers such as pulling the rug or what not, and you  have an equally simple way of building level appropriate effects and damage for improvised stunts and maneuvers.


*Edited for spelling and grammer.*

I suggest they not try to balance the classes so much.  And if they insist on balancing them, make the wizards weak as hell the first 6 levels.  Make the fighters much stronger than them.  Then have the roles reversed in the later levels.  This way it forces people to play as a group, not the "look at me and how great I am show."

 



Why cant it be the other way around?  Magic users rock for the first 6 and after that they become overshadowed by the fighters?

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

I suggest they not try to balance the classes so much.  And if they insist on balancing them, make the wizards weak as hell the first 6 levels.  Make the fighters much stronger than them.  Then have the roles reversed in the later levels.  This way it forces people to play as a group, not the "look at me and how great I am show."

I mean did you see the thread started on the new packet?  Apparently, every class is ruined or boring or needs to do everything every other class does plus more.  All skills and feats are pointless, overpowered, or underpowered.  And best of all, the (direct quote here) "magic items are like homework."  

Yell

 



I think relative class balance is important for the game (as in attracting and keeping players).  It is very frustrating as a DM to have player balance imbalance.  It makes it difficult to understand challenge difficulty and to keep the players having fun at the table. 

You don't want some players feeling bored and frustrated for 6 levels (especially because if that's the case the game won't last that long as people quit) - and the DM will struggle to create stories that keep people engaged even where there is huge imbalance.

Also, I can't imagine the nightmare of balancing challenge difficulty without some sembelance of character balance.  What's a challenging encounter for 5 10th level characters suddenly depends on class makeup, and that class makeup effect changes for each and every level. 
D&D Next can't be a game that's only playable by DMs with years and years of experience. 
I don't knw why they can't improvised actions into a simple check and just list effects that are appropriate for a check (Effects appropriate for improvised actions: knocked prone, pushed 5 ft, grabbed, blinded for 1 turn, deafened for 1 turn, 1d6 damage, etc...).

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!

I feel to much emphasis is put on class and feats and skills when more should be on abilities and what can be accomplished with them. Rouges taunt? Try Charisma taunt, and rouges get bonus do charisma. Fighters cleave? Strength cleaves and fighters get XD to strength maneuvers. Clerics aid? Wisdom can aid and clerics get bonus to wisdom maneuvers.

Also listing examples of direct ability challenges can accomplish.  CHA v INT (bluff). STR v WIS (intimidate). Simplified examples but instead of adding feats that have to be selected, add examples with possible penalties to accomplish so anyone can attempt but certain class can excel at them.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

I suggest they not try to balance the classes so much.  And if they insist on balancing them, make the wizards weak as hell the first 6 levels.  Make the fighters much stronger than them.  Then have the roles reversed in the later levels.  This way it forces people to play as a group, not the "look at me and how great I am show."

I mean did you see the thread started on the new packet?  Apparently, every class is ruined or boring or needs to do everything every other class does plus more.  All skills and feats are pointless, overpowered, or underpowered.  And best of all, the (direct quote here) "magic items are like homework."  

Yell

 



I think relative class balance is important for the game (as in attracting and keeping players).  It is very frustrating as a DM to have player balance imbalance.  It makes it difficult to understand challenge difficulty and to keep the players having fun at the table. 

You don't want some players feeling bored and frustrated for 6 levels (especially because if that's the case the game won't last that long as people quit) - and the DM will struggle to create stories that keep people engaged even where there is huge imbalance.

Also, I can't imagine the nightmare of balancing challenge difficulty without some sembelance of character balance.  What's a challenging encounter for 5 10th level characters suddenly depends on class makeup, and that class makeup effect changes for each and every level. 
D&D Next can't be a game that's only playable by DMs with years and years of experience. 



I would like to point out that 4e, which is probably the most class "balanced" out of all editions, has incredible disparity.  Have one player min/max a ranger or other striker, and then have another player try to play a concept druid.  Have you ever seen that?  I have, and it is not balanced.  Get them up to 8th level, then the gap grows as wide as a canyon.  But you know what?  It was still fun and both players enjoyed their characters.

I would be curious if others have had that experience or if all players at the table had to be balanced in order for the game to be fun. 
I suggest they not try to balance the classes so much.  And if they insist on balancing them, make the wizards weak as hell the first 6 levels.  Make the fighters much stronger than them.  Then have the roles reversed in the later levels.  This way it forces people to play as a group, not the "look at me and how great I am show."

I mean did you see the thread started on the new packet?  Apparently, every class is ruined or boring or needs to do everything every other class does plus more.  All skills and feats are pointless, overpowered, or underpowered.  And best of all, the (direct quote here) "magic items are like homework."  

Yell

 



I think relative class balance is important for the game (as in attracting and keeping players).  It is very frustrating as a DM to have player balance imbalance.  It makes it difficult to understand challenge difficulty and to keep the players having fun at the table. 

You don't want some players feeling bored and frustrated for 6 levels (especially because if that's the case the game won't last that long as people quit) - and the DM will struggle to create stories that keep people engaged even where there is huge imbalance.

Also, I can't imagine the nightmare of balancing challenge difficulty without some sembelance of character balance.  What's a challenging encounter for 5 10th level characters suddenly depends on class makeup, and that class makeup effect changes for each and every level. 
D&D Next can't be a game that's only playable by DMs with years and years of experience. 



I would like to point out that 4e, which is probably the most class "balanced" out of all editions, has incredible disparity.  Have one player min/max a ranger or other striker, and then have another player try to play a concept druid.  Have you ever seen that?  I have, and it is not balanced.  Get them up to 8th level, then the gap grows as wide as a canyon.  But you know what?  It was still fun and both players enjoyed their characters.

I would be curious if others have had that experience or if all players at the table had to be balanced in order for the game to be fun. 



How are you saying the two characters are unbalanced? Based on their DPR? Like, of course the optimized striker us dealing more damaging and killing things better than the Druid; an unoptimized one would be doing the same. But put in a situation where control powers are needed (several monsters that outclass the party, massive about of minions, powerful ranged enemies) the Druid is going to shine, unless you outright nerfed the character.
Is a +8 difference to hit unbalanced.  I bet if the designers told everyone here that there was going to be a +8 difference between two classes at 8th level, people would say the sky is falling.  Is dealing three times the damage unbalanced.  Add on top of that movement capabilities during combat and you have a trifecta. 

Yes, you are right.  The concept druid does have controlling powers.  But, you don't have to purposefully nerf them.  Maybe the concept calls for having rabbits as your pet and not a bear.  Maybe you are a wall person, and simply love to create them.  Control things?  Sure.  Balanced?  Not even close.  At least according to the definition of balance I've read over the past 500 pages on this forum.
To get slightly back on topic:

My group doesn't generally allow actions that aren't codified by rules.  Houseruling in itself is an absolute no-go.  Therefore, playing mother may I with the DM for flavorful and interesting actions not presented in the rules is an an absolute impossibility.  Even if it were allowed in my group, effectiveness would be determined on how thorough the explanation of the surroundings is and how creative the player can be.  I feel it's not a good means of balancing characters.
I would be curious if others have had that experience or if all players at the table had to be balanced in order for the game to be fun. 



I think it is really only a sore spot for the stragy folks that don't realise min/maxing will always happen and will always make sure things aren't balanced in the end.

Well that and people that don't realise you play D&D as a team.
Except that in earlier editions you didn't need to min/max at all for a caster to outshine a figher or a rogue.  The Caster could do the fighter and the rogues jobs for them and still have the magical resources to do the more classically wizardly things without any sort of optimization.

What you seem to be forgetting is that we had to fight tooth and nail to get to the acceptable balance of 4e. 
I feel to much emphasis is put on class and feats and skills when more should be on abilities and what can be accomplished with them. Rouges taunt? Try Charisma taunt, and rouges get bonus do charisma. Fighters cleave? Strength cleaves and fighters get XD to strength maneuvers. Clerics aid? Wisdom can aid and clerics get bonus to wisdom maneuvers.

Also listing examples of direct ability challenges can accomplish.  CHA v INT (bluff). STR v WIS (intimidate). Simplified examples but instead of adding feats that have to be selected, add examples with possible penalties to accomplish so anyone can attempt but certain class can excel at them.



Can I use intellect or instinct (Int/Con) to sense the presence of magic.. the latter to better feel like Conan.
  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."

 

Actually, I think the extra actions for improv are a great idea.  Certainly I like it better than having to learn maneuvers to do anything interesting in combat, as that just brings us back to looking at our character sheets instead of our creativity and our minds' eye view of the battlefield.  I prefer the extra action that does not do damage to giving up your weapon damage but adding your MDD/B too, expalin to me how pulling a rug out from under the goblins does 41 points of damage, even if you're 20th level?  I think a table somewhere in the PHB (not the DMG, stupid page 42 being in the wrong book so nobody used it) that listed various effects you could accomplish with various ability checks, in a "guidelines/suggestions, you must come up with an in-world explanation for why this is working and may do other things if they make sense" sort of way, would really help the DM may I bit a lot of people complain about.  The hard part would be balancing out the monsters when the martials are throwing around so much control.  Opposed rolls are a joke, and if the fighter is constantly proning/blinding everything in sight while the rogue is constantly taunting/feinting/etc then the monsters are never going to get a chance to act.  Any ideas?  Maybe off-action improvs suffer disadvantage, so at least you'll only succeed like 60% of the time instead of 80?  Not enough...

Will save vs condescending, balance misunderstanding, edition warring trolls: passed. 
This doesn't solve the problem of "dirt, attack, dirt, attack, dirt".  It just accelerates it.

Thats said...  i'm all for improv.

Improvise Maneuver (free to all martial classes):  At your DM's discretion  you can spend one or more martial damage die to pull a stunt, such as flipping a table over for cover, or pulling a rug out from beneath enemies, or cutting a rope that holds the chandler.  More complex or time consuming maneuvers may take more then 1 die.

Examples:

1 die:
Flip a small table over for cover.
Smash a window.
Cut a light rope.
Operate a large switch or lever.

2 die:
Pull a small carpet out from under someone.
Cut a heavy rope.
Flip a medium table over.
Operate a small switch or lever.

3 die:
Cut a light chain.
Flip a large table over.
Operate an intricate switch or lever.

4 die:
Cut a medium chain.

5 die:
Cut a heavy chain.

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.

I prefer the extra action that does not do damage to giving up your weapon damage but adding your MDD/B too, expalin to me how pulling a rug out from under the goblins does 41 points of damage, even if you're 20th level?


I guess the assumption for those using martial damage dice with a stunt, is that if successful you are doing more than just tripping a bunch of goblins by pulling a rug out from underneath them, like pulling the rug with one hand while attacking with your sword, or that 6d6 damage spread across 4 or 5 goblins is ony 1d6 or so per gobling, which isn't as ridiculous for the maximum of human potential.


But your concern does make a good case for making stunts an extra action or effect that you can perform in addition to a weapon attack. I like the idea of a weapon not being required (the swinging on a chandeliere trick), but it's not crazy at all to want a weapon or some other attack to be required to damage as well, and the chandeliere trick works equally well as an unarmed attack in addition to a stunt.


As for the imbalanced difficulty of opposed checks or saves, I agree, something needs to be done. But save DCs are one of my biggest complaints about the math of the game. A 20th level wizard will have a save DC of 20 as well, I don't think that's a good thing at all. But I guess if the wizard has a DC 20 save, it's not terrible to make it equally difficult to avoid being blinded for a round because the fighter has knocked your helm askew, or not fall when that 20th level kicks your feet out from under you after knocking you over the head with a mace. I hope feedback will highlight these issues to the designers, but who knows, perhaps most people don't care.

To my mind the the issue with high DCs (/opposed rolls) isn't that they can't make sense or aren't balanced against the wizard, but that they just put too much control on the player side of the screen.  4e had this problem with everyone grabbing powers with control riders: the monsters are always dazed/prone/immobilized/blinded, so they're never fighting at full strength, so you need twice as many of them to put any fear in your players.  When it's just the wizard throwing down single target control, maybe some multi-target on dailies or light multi-target on encounters, it's fine; when everyone is throwing down control, it's a problem.  

As to the dirt/attack/dirt/attack cycle, at least it's a marginal improvement over the attack/attack/attack/attack cycle, and no worse than the attack+dirt for MDD/repeat cycle.  I think it would be reasonable to put a restriction that you can't use the same trick twice, or at least that subsequent uses suffer a penalty to opposed rolls.   Once they've seen you throw some dirt, they're going to be on the lookout for you to try it again.  Stop standing under chandeliers, etc.  This would not only break the cycle but encourage people to look beyond the list in the "improv attacks" table and really engage with their environment.  My problem with trading damage for this stuff remains the same - until there's a dramatic change in monster HP, damage will be the better call 90% of the time.   
I suggest they not try to balance the classes so much.  And if they insist on balancing them, make the wizards weak as hell the first 6 levels.  Make the fighters much stronger than them.  Then have the roles reversed in the later levels.  This way it forces people to play as a group, not the "look at me and how great I am show."



 


Im kinda with you. The classes are a mess but they are more balanced on surface than previous editions and the power arc of the wizard was kinda cool. I just want to be sure the wizard is tough when they are weak and conservative when they are powerful.

Disagree about magic items. While Im not sold on auto charge magic items is the best thing about Next. Or should I say are the best thing about Next?
To get slightly back on topic:

My group doesn't generally allow actions that aren't codified by rules.  Houseruling in itself is an absolute no-go.  Therefore, playing mother may I with the DM for flavorful and interesting actions not presented in the rules is an an absolute impossibility.  Even if it were allowed in my group, effectiveness would be determined on how thorough the explanation of the surroundings is and how creative the player can be.  I feel it's not a good means of balancing characters.



You need a new DM. Besides improv is in the rules. 
prp has good points - there are many dms who like martials to use improv and not use codified actions, and so for them, guidance on how to balance improv actions would be valuable. The infamous page 42 was a good start, but if the rug pulling should hit 3 goblins, prone them and slide them 2, what damage should that do? A simple guide that said: you can trade 20% damage for blinding one round or 100% for blinding 1d4 rounds. Do it in table form and it wouldn't be that big.
I don't agree with the op that it should be a fighter only thing - better to know how to translate from damage to effects so that the monk can also try to pull the rug out (and then hit them with it, because that's awesome).

As for pap2, I was on the 4e forums and heard plenty of complaining about binders being underpowered and rangers being overpowered. You're right that min/maxing can be done in any system. You're also right that 4e was the most balanced system, which means min/maxing mattered less ( which is to say, if 4e had a difference of 3x, previous systems had a difference of larger than 3x!) I understand balance isn't important to you, but the game needs to appeal to everyone, and so we need to appeal to those who like balance as well as those who don't.
This doesn't solve the problem of "dirt, attack, dirt, attack, dirt".  It just accelerates it.

Thats said...  i'm all for improv.

Improvise Maneuver (free to all martial classes):  At your DM's discretion  you can spend one or more martial damage die to pull a stunt, such as flipping a table over for cover, or pulling a rug out from beneath enemies, or cutting a rope that holds the chandler.  More complex or time consuming maneuvers may take more then 1 die.

Examples:

1 die:
Flip a small table over for cover.
Smash a window.
Cut a light rope.
Operate a large switch or lever.

2 die:
Pull a small carpet out from under someone.
Cut a heavy rope.
Flip a medium table over.
Operate a small switch or lever.

3 die:
Cut a light chain.
Flip a large table over.
Operate an intricate switch or lever.

4 die:
Cut a medium chain.

5 die:
Cut a heavy chain.




I LOVE THIS.  It gives mechanical function to improvisation, so that people who use maneuvers and like maneuvers aren't punished for not improvising (because their friends improvising are getting to do the maneuvers "for free" – i.e., can spend the MDD in a reaction later that round, because they didn't spend them on an improvised maneuver). 

It also suggests ways to build your own maneuvers that you don't need to take, because they're situational. 

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

prp has good points - there are many dms who like martials to use improv and not use codified actions, and so for them, guidance on how to balance improv actions would be valuable. The infamous page 42 was a good start, but if the rug pulling should hit 3 goblins, prone them and slide them 2, what damage should that do? A simple guide that said: you can trade 20% damage for blinding one round or 100% for blinding 1d4 rounds. Do it in table form and it wouldn't be that big. I don't agree with the op that it should be a fighter only thing - better to know how to translate from damage to effects so that the monk can also try to pull the rug out (and then hit them with it, because that's awesome). As for pap2, I was on the 4e forums and heard plenty of complaining about binders being underpowered and rangers being overpowered. You're right that min/maxing can be done in any system. You're also right that 4e was the most balanced system, which means min/maxing mattered less ( which is to say, if 4e had a difference of 3x, previous systems had a difference of larger than 3x!) I understand balance isn't important to you, but the game needs to appeal to everyone, and so we need to appeal to those who like balance as well as those who don't.



MeCorva,
Sorry I didn't mean to give the impression that I don't care about balance - I do.  I simply believe that it is impossible to balance a game like this due to different playstyles.  I've seen DM's run camapigns where wit and skills were needed as much as a AC and damage bonus, where I've seen other games played where all that mattered was your to hit and HP. 

I do not know how to solve the problem, and I do not think anyone here (including the devs) do either.  That's why I have always stated I wish they would come up with their vision (not anyone else's) and follow it.  In doing that, I think the devs would probably make a fantastic game.  Instead they make something that tries to appease everyone, then everyone screams saying they're never gonna spend a penny, then they change it, then the other side screams, and in the end, you get a mish-mash and probably a mere spark of what the designers actual fire could have been like. 
   That's why I have always stated I wish they would come up with their vision (not anyone else's) and follow it.  In doing that, I think the devs would probably make a fantastic game.  Instead they make something that tries to appease everyone, then everyone screams saying they're never gonna spend a penny, then they change it, then the other side screams, and in the end, you get a mish-mash and probably a mere spark of what the designers actual fire could have been like. 


Well I guess we occasionally agree.
  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."

 

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