Some Newbie questions

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Hi all!


Sorry for posting newbie questions - I'm new to D&D....well, after a 25-year break! Some things in 4th ed are still foxing me a bit and I wonder if you can help.

1. Do you get cover saves for magic spells?

2. When you add strength modifier to attacks, is it the Str mod + 1/2 level or just Str mod? Same with spells that are Int vs Ref or Wis vs Will - is it the characteristic modifier or modifier + 1/2 level?

3. A 2nd level rogue with a Short Sword with 18 Dex and 18 Cha can do 1d6 + 5 (Dex) + 5 (Cha) damage using Deft Flourish (assuming no combat superiority) but a 2nd level Fighter with a Great Axe with 18 Str does 1d12 + 5 (Str) via Reaping Strike or Cleave. It seems odd to me that a rogue could much better damage than a fighter as a standard attack. Am I getting something wrong?

Thanks in advance 
1.  No, you don't get saves for magic spells at all.  Spells are handled by the attack roll system in 4e.  The caster of a spell makes an attack roll, and this is compared to the target's defense.  The spell will tell you which defense you should check.  It's no different than making an attack against AC - 4e has unified the systems between weapon attacks and spells in this regard. 

You do get the benefit of cover against such attacks, however.  All attacks can be affected by cover, which causes a -2 penalty to the attack roll, -5 for superior cover.

Saving throws are a randomized duration mechanic in 4e.  They have absolutely no connection to saving throws of any kind in any previous edition.  They're the functional equivalent to prior edition things that had durations of "1d4 rounds" or similar.

2.  This is a nomenclature issue, and can be confusing.  In reality, 'str mod' means just the str mod.  So, +3 for a 16, as an example.  Completely separately from the str mod, attack rolls gain another bonus to the roll that is 1/2 level.  They're separate.  Some character sheets will tell you the mod+1/2 level number, and I really wish they wouldn't because it confuses people.  Anytime you see the words "str mod" it means only the mod.

3.  Not sure how you get 18 Dex = +5.  I suspect you're adding the half-level to the Dex mod, which is incorrect, for the reasons described above.  Dex mod is only the mod, half-level is not connected to the modifier in any way whatsoever.  Furthermore, damage rolls do not get the half-level bonus.  That is only attack rolls, skill and ability checks, and defenses.

Furthermore, it is intentional that a rogue does much better damage than a fighter with a typical attack.  The rogue is a striker, the fighter is not.  Strikers do the most damage.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition

1. Do you get cover saves for magic spells?



There is no such thing as a cover save. You get a -2 to your attack role if your target has cover (-5 for superior cover).

2. When you add strength modifier to attacks, is it the Str mod + 1/2 level or just Str mod? Same with spells that are Int vs Ref or Wis vs Will - is it the characteristic modifier or modifier + 1/2 level?



You always get +(half level) to your attack roll.

3. A 2nd level rogue with a Short Sword with 18 Dex and 18 Cha can do 1d6 + 5 (Dex) + 5 (Cha) damage using Sly deft Flourish (assuming no combat superiority advantage) but a 2nd level Fighter with a Great Axe with 18 Str does 1d12 + 5 (Str) via Reaping Strike or Cleave. It seems odd to me that a rogue could much better damage than a fighter as a standard attack. Am I getting something wrong?



Rogues are strikers, fighters are defenders. The rogue should do at least twice the damage of the fighter in any given turn.

However your rogue is doing too much damage. He only gets +4 for 18 in a stat, so it's 1d6+4[dex]+4[cha] for 1d6+8. 
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
The rogue should do at least twice the damage of the fighter in any given turn.


Twice is overstating things, particularly for new players and low-level characters.  More, but not twice.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Standard rogue = +9 to hit for 1d4+1d8+5+3 = 15

Standard fighter = +8 to hit for 1d8+4 = 8.5

That's really not far off twice.
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
SA is 2 dice ;)
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.
yup :D
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Thanks all for the swift replies - I've been playing Warhammer 40K for a few years now and some terms crept into my original posting. That and writing it at about 1am local time ......apologies for my ineptitude but many thanks for coming to the rescue.