problems with Martial Damage Dice... amongst other things

I have some severe problems with the martial damage dice as well as clerical Divine Wrath..... They do TOO MUCH DAMAGE. I have a party of 2nd and 3rd level characters who were doing amounts of damage that a 2nd or 3rd ed PC of 5th to 7th level would be envious of. They are taking out Ogres in a couple of rounds and rarely have ANY party members go unconcious.

In response, I have cut back on the damage for Divine Wrath and made it start as 1d4 and progressing slowly towards maximum damage at 20th level. Similar abilities will have the same adjustments made. I decided that I would use Martial Damage Dice to fuel special abilities and NOT be used to do extra damage.
It's completely broken. I think that either the MDD should scale as they are from 1 to 20 instead of 1 to 11, or they should return it to the expertise dice scale and only allow one die to be added to damage, ranging from 1d4 to 1d10 extra damage. Something needs to be done.
I agrre that it is broken. Even cutting it back to 1 die to be added throws the balance off. I think that the idea of expertise dice which allows special maneuavers, etc  to be used is a better way to go. Keep as a die though so that abilities such as Parry (I love the 12/17 version of it!) can be used. Just keep it from doing direct damage. I have no prblem with it fueling damage in a more indirect way like Whirlwind Attack currently does.
Some (most?) of that problem is deliberate.  Combat is supposed to be faster in DDN.  The reason why the PCs aren't getting knocked out is because the monsters/adventures are balanced to be a bit weak right now.  I guess they want you to test the mechanics and see if things are fun while you're on your feet.
Then on the flip side, what happens when the mobs/npc start using the same MDD(assuming they share the same rule set as players)?  Players would be dropping like flies as well.  Instead of winning a battle and then have that one halfing dragging the entire party to healers, you'd have players going into a permadeath left, right and center.  Also, my woodelf-assassin-skulker archer was already dropping mobs every 2-3 turns (spending one turn to hide, and assuming I don't miss) with assassinate at the low levels, even without the double damage proc at times.  I can't imagine how much further I'd pull ahead at the later levels.  A slower creep with more dice (thus higher min. damage) might be a better option.        
Then on the flip side, what happens when the mobs/npc start using the same MDD(assuming they share the same rule set as players)?



NPCs don't use the same rules as players.
Then the first part don't apply, guess my characters can kill NPCs easier in future then, especially that annoying bard in his sleep (my DM had a really annoying bard singing in the tavern).

But what about the power creep part?  I guess higher level mobs will have higher Con. checks, thus less double crits.  But it still packs a punch with a regular crit :s
Then the first part don't apply, guess my characters can kill NPCs easier in future then, especially that annoying bard in his sleep (my DM had a really annoying bard singing in the tavern).



Aren't they all annoying? Wink j/k

As to martial damage dice, they could probably be scaled back, but I don't see a problem with allowing them to cause direct damage.  Right now, the main "problem" I see is that the damage dice recharge every turn, not just the player's turn (as per the head developer's tweet, can't find the link atm).  So, a fighter can expend all their dice doing damage on his turn with one swing, and then when a monster's turn is up, gets to use all his dice for a parry when the monster attacks him/her.  The last I read, this was how it was done, but I could be wrong, and if I am I would like to know (don't want to spread misinformation =)).

I honestly preferred the idea that MDD recharge at the beginning of a fight and at the end of the player's turn.  This allowed players the ability to react as they saw fit when it wasn't their turn (such as Parry), and use whatever was left on their next turn.  I liked that idea - allowing the player to choose between defensive and offensive uses of the dice, but without forcing the players to be precognizant.

That's my 2 cents anyway =). 
Then the first part don't apply, guess my characters can kill NPCs easier in future then, especially that annoying bard in his sleep (my DM had a really annoying bard singing in the tavern).



Aren't they all annoying? Wink j/k

As to martial damage dice, they could probably be scaled back, but I don't see a problem with allowing them to cause direct damage.  Right now, the main "problem" I see is that the damage dice recharge every turn, not just the player's turn (as per the head developer's tweet, can't find the link atm).  So, a fighter can expend all their dice doing damage on his turn with one swing, and then when a monster's turn is up, gets to use all his dice for a parry when the monster attacks him/her.  The last I read, this was how it was done, but I could be wrong, and if I am I would like to know (don't want to spread misinformation =)).

I honestly preferred the idea that MDD recharge at the beginning of a fight and at the end of the player's turn.  This allowed players the ability to react as they saw fit when it wasn't their turn (such as Parry), and use whatever was left on their next turn.  I liked that idea - allowing the player to choose between defensive and offensive uses of the dice, but without forcing the players to be precognizant.

That's my 2 cents anyway =). 



hmmm, the clearest the rules get are "you must take an action to spend MDD, when you spend MDD you cannot spend it again on the same turn. turn being the full turn order is how i see that.

i don't think if they use MDD they can use it again for a parry.

Then on the flip side, what happens when the mobs/npc start using the same MDD(assuming they share the same rule set as players)?  Players would be dropping like flies as well.  Instead of winning a battle and then have that one halfing dragging the entire party to healers, you'd have players going into a permadeath left, right and center.  Also, my woodelf-assassin-skulker archer was already dropping mobs every 2-3 turns (spending one turn to hide, and assuming I don't miss) with assassinate at the low levels, even without the double damage proc at times.  I can't imagine how much further I'd pull ahead at the later levels.  A slower creep with more dice (thus higher min. damage) might be a better option.



I have an experimental encounter planned for the party in my current Isle of Dread Playtest I'm running.  I'm throwing a multi-acting monster (1 health pool, 3 distinct parts with different abilities) with a Martial Damage Dice (2d6) pool at a party of the appropriate level soon.  I'll let you know how it pans out.
hmmm, the clearest the rules get are "you must take an action to spend MDD, when you spend MDD you cannot spend it again on the same turn. turn being the full turn order is how i see that.

i don't think if they use MDD they can use it again for a parry.



Actually, the only place I've seen that refers to the use/recharge of MDD is in the "Combat Expertise" section of a class that has it (Cleric, Fighter, Monk, Rogue).

Document "Classes", page 12, Fighter Combat Expertise section 
You must be able to take actions to spend a martial damage die. When you spend a martial damage die, you cannot use it again on the same turn.



That first sentence just means that you must be able to take actions at all, as certain conditions like Paralyzed or Stunned revoke your ability to take actions until they are relieved.  It does not imply that you must use MDD as part of an action.  If Stunned, you could not take actions, which means you cannot use MDD, for example.  That said, I can't think of a situation where you can use MDD without using some kind of action (or reaction), but there it is.

Also, I found the post from the Wizards guy, Mike Mearls: twitter.com/mikemearls/status/2847537704...

The most important note on the wording is that it does not say "your turn", it just says you cannot use a spent die again on the "same turn".  Other players and monsters all take turns, so your MDD recharge on those turns as well.  So, as far as I can see, they are only trying to prevent using all your MDD for both a normal attack and a hasted attack (totalling 12d6 damage from MDD), as an example.

As I said, I have a small gripe about this, not the least of which is the somewhat strange wording of their use, but that's just me.
hmmm, the clearest the rules get are "you must take an action to spend MDD, when you spend MDD you cannot spend it again on the same turn. turn being the full turn order is how i see that.

i don't think if they use MDD they can use it again for a parry.




Nope.  That is purely and simply wrong.  They refresh every turn, so you can use them for actions on your turn and a reaction, like parry.

You misunderstand turn and round. 
hmmm, the clearest the rules get are "you must take an action to spend MDD, when you spend MDD you cannot spend it again on the same turn. turn being the full turn order is how i see that.

i don't think if they use MDD they can use it again for a parry.




Nope.  That is purely and simply wrong.  They refresh every turn, so you can use them for actions on your turn and a reaction, like parry.

You misunderstand turn and round. 




then it just does not make sense.

why not always use them? there is absolutely no reason to not be using all MDD in all turns. i'm looking at his tweet and i can hardly beleive such a blatent oversight from the developer. in my opinion the point of having parry cost MDD is to give fighters a reason to hold back, to force them to make the choice between damage and survival, otherwise why not just give them "defense dice" or something stupid like that and avoid all sense of confusion in the first place.
Yeah the wording sucks but I think the sensible intent is that you can't use your MDD for more than one thing as part of your action.  Any you don't use on your turn remain for you to use as part of your reaction.  It's a sensible damage limitation exercise.  Even if you spend all your MDD on your turn you can still parry with your skill die.  I certainly don't think the intent was for fighters every round to be able to spend full MDD to parry and then full MDD to attack.  How on Oerth does that relate to resource management?

Maybe the latest blog means that they are going to ditch MDD.  Unclear if that means they will have to sacrifice weapon dice to parry or not.
I certainly don't think the intent was for fighters every round to be able to spend full MDD to parry and then full MDD to attack.  How on Oerth does that relate to resource management?



Unfortunately that was exactly the intent, according to Mike Mearls (the link to his tweet above).  I am more in the camp of MDD being usable on a per round basis rather than per turn (refresh at the end of a player's turn).  I think that would help with some of the balance issues with monsters (note: help with, not solve =)).
Unfortunately that was exactly the intent, according to Mike Mearls (the link to his tweet above).  I am more in the camp of MDD being usable on a per round basis rather than per turn (refresh at the end of a player's turn).  I think that would help with some of the balance issues with monsters (note: help with, not solve =)).


Yup. Beyond the twitter quote, I think someone had an interview link or something from Mike that basically said he didn't want fighters to have to micromanage to that degree. That could be completly rumor though, I haven't seen the quote.

With that said, the Fighter STILL has resource management in the form of Reaction. You can certainly parry if you want, but lose the ability to perform an OA (although, granted, under the current rules that probably won't happen too often).
Hmm - interesting - but then basically they just need less of them.  Still, I believe that's on the cards anyway.
I just got an idea that pertains to this. What is all the current rules for MDD remain the same except for the following:

Any damage dice spent to deal damage remain spend until the end of the encounter.
I have some severe problems with the martial damage dice as well as clerical Divine Wrath..... They do TOO MUCH DAMAGE. I have a party of 2nd and 3rd level characters who were doing amounts of damage that a 2nd or 3rd ed PC of 5th to 7th level would be envious of. They are taking out Ogres in a couple of rounds and rarely have ANY party members go unconcious.

In response, I have cut back on the damage for Divine Wrath and made it start as 1d4 and progressing slowly towards maximum damage at 20th level. Similar abilities will have the same adjustments made. I decided that I would use Martial Damage Dice to fuel special abilities and NOT be used to do extra damage.

My method for dealing with the MDM is to say that the 1d6 is actually how many they have per encounter, not per round. That way, when a player is doing something special and wants to give it that extra oomph, they have a MDM to really sink it in.

When we were running the 1-10 this worked very well, and now that we're pushing into the 11-20 range, it's still performing rather well. When they read the 6d6, that means that each encounter they have six MDM that they can use. It gives them an extra boost, but not so much that they are going to be dominating everything I throw at them.
Some (most?) of that problem is deliberate.  Combat is supposed to be faster in DDN.



The thing is, there are different ways of making combat run faster. You could streamline the rules and thus make individual rounds of combat go more quickly, while still having several rounds of combat in a typical battle, or you can do what they've done in this packet and make damage scale to such a ridiculous degree that the game is effectively rocket tag and everything dies in one hit. The former is good game design, the latter is not.
Some (most?) of that problem is deliberate.  Combat is supposed to be faster in DDN.



The thing is, there are different ways of making combat run faster. You could streamline the rules and thus make individual rounds of combat go more quickly, while still having several rounds of combat in a typical battle, or you can do what they've done in this packet and make damage scale to such a ridiculous degree that the game is effectively rocket tag and everything dies in one hit. The former is good game design, the latter is not.




that is still a subjective argument. please explain in an objective mannor how "rocket tag" is bad
Some (most?) of that problem is deliberate.  Combat is supposed to be faster in DDN.



The thing is, there are different ways of making combat run faster. You could streamline the rules and thus make individual rounds of combat go more quickly, while still having several rounds of combat in a typical battle, or you can do what they've done in this packet and make damage scale to such a ridiculous degree that the game is effectively rocket tag and everything dies in one hit. The former is good game design, the latter is not.




that is still a subjective argument. please explain in an objective mannor how "rocket tag" is bad


Also, in order to not be making a subject argument you are going to have to show a point at which a character fighting monsters of roughly the same level actually results in anything dying in [u]one[/u] hit.

Hyperbole is most certainly not objective.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

I don't think that "dying in one hit" should be the defining measure.   A solo monster getting killed during a surprise round after 4 party members hit it is just as silly as a monster dying in a single hit.

Generally, I don't think an equal level average+ encounter should ever be over in a single round, even if that round included more than one hit.
I don't think that "dying in one hit" should be the defining measure.

I'm not saying that it is necessary to prove one-hit-kills per se, but that any statement being made about "rocket tag" or any other perceive problem needs to be back up with factual evidence that doesn't only represent a perfect storm of conditions - such a perfect storm as entire party surprising the only monster in the encounter and all managing to hit so hard in the surprise round as to kill the sole enemy.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

I have some severe problems with the martial damage dice as well as clerical Divine Wrath..... They do TOO MUCH DAMAGE. I have a party of 2nd and 3rd level characters who were doing amounts of damage that a 2nd or 3rd ed PC of 5th to 7th level would be envious of. They are taking out Ogres in a couple of rounds and rarely have ANY party members go unconcious.

In response, I have cut back on the damage for Divine Wrath and made it start as 1d4 and progressing slowly towards maximum damage at 20th level. Similar abilities will have the same adjustments made. I decided that I would use Martial Damage Dice to fuel special abilities and NOT be used to do extra damage.

It is the flipside of the 2e to 3e transition problem, wherein low level parties healing potential went up dramatically and changed low level play.

Either way same effect. People want a game with training wheels now. They want massive damage with little risk. This is the modern definition of "Balanced"
I totally agree! The monsters have lower AC, makes less damage, the players will have an easy job. A fifth level thief sneak attack using martial damage does more damage than a dragon. It has to be changed!
that is still a subjective argument. please explain in an objective mannor how "rocket tag" is bad



There's a reason not every monster in 4e was a minion (which had 1 hp, and thus, were designed to die from a single hit). There's a reason why monsters and characters even have HP at all, rather than just being knocked out when they're hit. Being able to reliably kill most monsters in one or two hits trivializes combat and takes away alot of strategic elements from battle. A monster that dies that quickly, as opposed to one that takes several solid blows to bring down, can't try to heal itself when it's injured, go into a berserk rage when "bloodied", attempt to reatreat when it's finally been worn down, etc.

Obiously, some monsters are meant to be tougher than others. It's okay for some weaker creatures to be able to be defeated with a couple hits or lucky crit. It's okay for very weak monsters to die in one hit. But the fighters in this playtest packet can easily slay creatures that most people would expect to pose a much greater challenge. I would expect a dracolich, for example, to be able to survive more than 3 hits on average from a fighter of the same level!

Also, in order to not be making a subject argument you are going to have to show a point at which a character fighting monsters of roughly the same level actually results in anything dying in [u]one[/u] hit.

Hyperbole is most certainly not objective.



It's not hyperbole. It's math.

Let's take a 5th level fighter, for example. He deals [W] + Str mod. + 3d6 damage. Assuming a longsword and an 18 Str, that's 1d8 + 4 + 3d6, which is 8-30 damage, average of 19. That's enough to reliably kill a 5th level Ankheg in two hits. Now make the fighter 7th level, just two levels higher, and his average damage is now 27.5. When an ankheg has 29 hp, it's now very likely that the fighter can kill it in one hit. He only has to do 1.5 more than his average damage to do so. I can understand a figher that is several levels higher than a monster being able to defeat it with releative ease, but just two levels higher? The rate of scaling of martial dice and damage bonuses is far too extreme in this packet and needs some serious adjustments.
NPCs don't use the same rules as players.



Isn't that a matter left to the DM?  NPCs are often ran by players when I feel that game play would benifit from doing so.   In effect NPC follow the same rules as players in my opinion.