D&DN Short Rests on 4e... also, traps and perception, and level-scaling mounts.

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Well guys, 's the second session I have where our players spam healing surges during short rests, and they're becoming VERY nit-picky about it.
Every two- three encounters they have to take a rest because they're being mauled, by mobs their level or lower... I always use easy-normal encounter templates.  The group is Warden, Cleric, Barbarian, Rogue and Shaman. The warden just sucks... human warden, he draws aggro and defends the grup AOE, but eve with optimal equipment his AC is 23 and enemies have +14 to hits at those levels, which pretty much sucks. The cleric is revived every session because she takes too many risks, and the rogue... well... he's broken.

This had made me think maybe I should tweak a little bit the hort Rests, since it's become essential to them, and they run out of surges VERY quickly. I iked the rules shown on D&D Next playtest... dunno if I should apply.

 Then it comes to traps, insight, and perception. I know, I KNOW players can take a 20, but this echanic ruins most of traps. Let's say this happens.

ROGUE: I check the door for traps
*I roll the die behind my screen*
ME: Candy checks for traps on the door, but she can't find anything
ROGUE: Well then I take a 20
ME: ...You find an acid blaster trap
ROGUE: ^^ Ok

So I really don't know how to use traps ithous breaking the rules, or how to apply the "Take a 20" rule. They usually clear the rooms and have a tactic to let the enemies out, and when they notice enemies lure them or act intelligently, they usually have the shaman bomb them with spirit powers or ranged primal powers... Then they go and take a 20... or whenever I want to make a trap-only room, that's when I fail.

Ok, now, about level scaling mounts... I've checked the DMs guide and PH and I can't find anywhere about mounts gaining exp. The Barbarian has a mount, and the character and the drake have an intense partnership, like a human and his dog. I WOULD like to have rules to scale him... but I don't know how, if they exist where to find them, or which bases to follow.

Thanks
 
You can't "take 20" in 4e. You can "take 10" in a low stress situation (as the DM you get to determine if the situation is low-stress). The way to apply the "take 20" rule in 4e is that it doesn't exist and you should never do it.

Mounts don't scale in 4e. Which is code for: They suck and you shouldn't have a mount. But if you want it to, just level it up with the Barb and use monster math to scale it (can find that in the DMG).

As for Short Rests: it is perfectly normal to take a short rest after every encounter. It is expected, in fact. And you spend healing surges to get back up to full HP, also perfectly normal. Every encounter. Not every 2-3. PCs should start every encounter with (nearly, sometimes you're like 2 hp away from full you don't want to spend another surge) full health, all their encounter powers, etc.

+14 to hit means the monsters are level 9. A Warden should have level+18 AC, though since he is Human, he'll have level+17 without further optimization. 23-9 is 14. That is three points off of where he should be. So there is something very wrong with his build, or his interpretation of the rules, or both. And probably the builds of everyone else in the party, if they are being mauled by normal encounters.
There's always the "practical take 20" which is that any skill that allows repeated tries, with enough time, can be assumed to be successful to arbitrarily small percentages of error.

Most skills have some sort of failure clause that prevents abusive behavior of this sort, however.  But not all.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
You can't "take 20" in 4e. You can "take 10" in a low stress situation (as the DM you get to determine if the situation is low-stress). The way to apply the "take 20" rule in 4e is that it doesn't exist and you should never do it.

Mounts don't scale in 4e. Which is code for: They suck and you shouldn't have a mount. But if you want it to, just level it up with the Barb and use monster math to scale it (can find that in the DMG).

As for Short Rests: it is perfectly normal to take a short rest after every encounter. It is expected, in fact. And you spend healing surges to get back up to full HP, also perfectly normal. Every encounter. Not every 2-3. PCs should start every encounter with (nearly, sometimes you're like 2 hp away from full you don't want to spend another surge) full health, all their encounter powers, etc.

+14 to hit means the monsters are level 9. A Warden should have level+18 AC, though since he is Human, he'll have level+17 without further optimization. 23-9 is 14. That is three points off of where he should be. So there is something very wrong with his build, or his interpretation of the rules, or both. And probably the builds of everyone else in the party, if they are being mauled by normal encounters.



The party is Level 7 right now. The Warden is wearing Chainmail Magic Armor +2, has a Heavy Shield, and Improved defenses (not a bonus to AC but oh well); the chainmail is due a feat he got. He used the standard array of 16, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10 pre-ratial, and is a human. 

The monsters I use are from Monster Manual 3. A Yeti Skirmisher has +11 to his attacks, being that most of my party's AC is between 22-24. If he gets a 15, or even a 13, he can land quite the hit against my players.  
Er...your Warden is doing it wrong.

Wardens are supposed to use Hide, not Chain.  They get a class feature that gives them an armor bonus appropriate to their choice of Guardian Might, which should be paired with the appropriate secondary stat (either Con or Wis).

The standard array is generally suboptimal for Wardens, as they benefit very strongly from two high scores.  As a human with the standard array and assuming you put the bonus into Strength, you are in fact actually behind Chain in AC.  So, I suppose spending the feat isn't all that bad, but it's a fixable situation.

But the real issue is that you're using a monster higher level than the party.  Such monsters are always going to have inflated hit rates - it is the nature of the 4e system of scaling accuracy bonuses.  The same magnitude of difference is shown in the Yeti you mentioned - as a level 5, it's two levels below the party and going to have a terrible hit rate.

The game really does expect you to make full use of Point Buy when it's appropriate.  It works with the Standard Array, but only just barely and only if the DM doesn't throw any above-level monsters at the party.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Smack him, tell him to not waste feats.

Chainmail is a heavy armor. Heavy armor does not get +stat to AC. Cloth, Leather, and Hide are Light armors. In light armor, you get +Dex or +Int to AC (Whichever is higher). All Warden builds have a class feature that says "Instead of Dex or Int, you get Wis or Con to AC." His array is very bad for this build, he should have 16 Str+2 racial, and then either 16 Wis or Con, depending on his build. Boost Str and his secondary stat at every stat boost.

I'd encourage everyone in your group to read the PHB/RC rules and check out the class handbooks in the Character Optimization forum. Your group is really unaware of the rules and 4e is very rules centric. 
Smack him, tell him to not waste feats.

Chainmail is a heavy armor. Heavy armor does not get +stat to AC. Cloth, Leather, and Hide are Light armors. In light armor, you get +Dex or +Int to AC (Whichever is higher). All Warden builds have a class feature that says "Instead of Dex or Int, you get Wis or Con to AC." His array is very bad for this build, he should have 16 Str+2 racial, and then either 16 Wis or Con, depending on his build. Boost Str and his secondary stat at every stat boost.

I'd encourage everyone in your group to read the PHB/RC rules and check out the class handbooks in the Character Optimization forum. Your group is really unaware of the rules and 4e is very rules centric. 



Well... I'd have to take the Warden and the cleric apart then. The rogue is quite optimized, has AC 26, and getting ready for frostcheese. We have a Paladin who comes to play once in a while, and at our level she has more than 24 AC and is quite durable. I have their character sheets (in fact, I own the handbooks, sheets and materials), and well... I notice how many other pre-ratial Stats are 18, 14, 14, 13, 10, 8.

Back to mount scaling, how "broken" can it get? My barb LOVES mounting and being with his drake, but I don't want it to become a party popper for the others. 
> So I really don't know how to use traps ithous breaking the rules

Don't use them that way.

Traps work well as part of encounters, but they're almost never effective as standalone features unless they're so big, complicated, and obvious that they constitute a puzzle encounter rather than a trap.

The developers were pointing out the problems, both in the game world and in the real world, with 'gotcha' traps on doors/floors/cabinets/etc long before 4E came out. To paraphrase one, "They will develop elaborate procedures for for opening every door, and the pace of the game will slow to a crawl. How much of your limited gaming time do you really want to dedicate to door-opening?"

(I wish I had the link to the actual article handy, but I'm missing my old bookmarks...)
You can't "take 20" in 4e. You can "take 10" in a low stress situation (as the DM you get to determine if the situation is low-stress). The way to apply the "take 20" rule in 4e is that it doesn't exist and you should never do it.

DMG p.41 "Unless the characters are under a time constraint, assume that they’re going to roll a 20 eventually, and use the best possible Perception check result for the party. (Effectively, this result equals the best passive Perception check +10.) Assume the characters spend a minute or two searching, and move on to tell them what they find."

You can't "take 20" in 4e. You can "take 10" in a low stress situation (as the DM you get to determine if the situation is low-stress). The way to apply the "take 20" rule in 4e is that it doesn't exist and you should never do it.

DMG p.41 "Unless the characters are under a time constraint, assume that they’re going to roll a 20 eventually, and use the best possible Perception check result for the party. (Effectively, this result equals the best passive Perception check +10.) Assume the characters spend a minute or two searching, and move on to tell them what they find."


Addresses a specific situation. Also the players cannot take 20. The DM can allow them to take 20, at their perogative. Not the same thing.
How long does taking 10 or taking 20 take? And therefore, how likely is it for something to happen during this period?

"I'll check the door for traps, taking 20."

"okay, let me just roll on the wandering monster table..."

Taking 10 doesn't take any longer than making the check normally.

Under 3.5e rules, when it existed, taking 20 would take 20 times the amount of time as a single check - you were literally going over the same task twenty times until you were certain you'd done it to the best possible effect. 
In the Player's Handbook, page 186, the Perception Skill entry lists "Failure: You can't try again until circumstances change." (The only errata I've found for p186 Perception entry is a change from Standard to Minor)

Once they've checked a door with a Perception check, there's no reason for them to try again unless they found a clue of some kind. After all, not every door in the place is trapped, I presume, and just because the player rolled low on his Perception result doesn't mean his -character- knows that he didn't roll a 20. You're dealing with metaknowledge :P
You can't "take 20" in 4e. You can "take 10" in a low stress situation (as the DM you get to determine if the situation is low-stress). The way to apply the "take 20" rule in 4e is that it doesn't exist and you should never do it.

DMG p.41 "Unless the characters are under a time constraint, assume that they’re going to roll a 20 eventually, and use the best possible Perception check result for the party. (Effectively, this result equals the best passive Perception check +10.) Assume the characters spend a minute or two searching, and move on to tell them what they find."

Addresses a specific situation. Also the players cannot take 20. The DM can allow them to take 20, at their perogative. Not the same thing.

I did not indicate otherwise in my reply. However, your previous statement did indicate otherwise and thus warranted correcting.

As far as a scaling mount goes, there is one that your Barbarian might like:
Show


 
Jade HorseLevel 8 Uncommon

This small statuette of a horse summons a full-sized, obedient mount at your command.


Wondrous Item        3,400 gp


Power Daily (Standard Action)


A jade horse appears in an unoccupied space within 5 squares of you to obey your commands. The horse is an ally to you and your allies. While you are riding the horse, the normal rules for mounted combat apply (see the Rules Compendium).


The only actions that the horse can take while riderless are move actions and free actions. When the horse makes a check, you make the roll using your game statistics, not including any temporary bonuses or penalties.


The horse lasts until it drops to 0 hit points, at which point you lose a healing surge (or hit points equal to your surge value if you have no surges left). Otherwise, it lasts until you dismiss it as a minor action.


Jade Horse Large natural beast (construct, mount) Summoned Creature

HP your bloodied value; Healing Surges none, but you can spend a healing surge for the horse if an effect allows it to spend one Defenses your defenses, not including any temporary bonuses or penalties; Resist 5 all Speed 8


Nimble Charger (mount)


The jade horse and its rider do not provoke opportunity attacks when charging.


Kick At-Will


Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); your level + 5 vs. AC


Hit: 2d6 + 4 damage.


Trample Encounter


Effect: The jade horse moves up to its speed and can move through enemies’ spaces during the move. Each time the horse enters an enemy’s space for the first time during the move, it makes the following attack against that enemy.


Attack: Melee 0 (each enemy whose space the jade horse enters); your level + 3 vs. Reflex


Hit: 2d8 + 4 damage, and the enemy falls prone.

"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
I did not indicate otherwise in my reply. However, your previous statement did indicate otherwise and thus warranted correcting.


My statement is still true, is my point. Take 20 exists essentially by DM fiat and even as far as that goes, the mentions were removed in later advice/rules, to the point where it is pretty questionable if DMs are even supposed to think they have the option. Which is essentially the same as saying that, as far as players are concerned, "take 20" doesn't exist in 4e.
My statement is still true, is my point. Take 20 exists essentially by DM fiat

The OP is a DM, and your reply to her was "it doesn't exist and you should never do it". This merited me providing the DMG quote.

My statement is still true, is my point. Take 20 exists essentially by DM fiat

The OP is a DM, and your reply to her was "it doesn't exist and you should never do it". This merited me providing the DMG quote.


Whether it currently exists is debatable. And you should still never do it.
you should still never do it.

You evidently feel that you should never use that text from the DMG. That is possibly a matter for you to debate (but not me... I merely provided the text).

FYI Its in the latest DM ressource as well (DMK pg. 166)
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