page 42 (guideline for improvised actions)

Page 42 gave guidelines for improvised actions.  Covering things like how much damage a chandler would fall for, or how much burning being shoved into a campfire would do.

5e needs one of these.  But it should come with even more.  Like partial action cost.

Opening a door cost 5' of movement.
Cutting a rope cost 1 martial damage die.
Flipping the table is 10' and a Str check.

What else should be on it?

Spell research?
Climbing/Riding a giant/dragon?

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.

How much minutia do the rules really need to cover? The concept of DC covers such a broad base that the DM can decide if something is easy or hard and apply a DC to the task. By trying to quantify every action you limit the scope of what the players will even attempt and encourage DMs to force rolls when they may not need to. Let the players cut the rope to drop the chandler, roll to see if the opponent was affected not to see if a Hero can cut a rope. Allow them to feel like their ideas are valid, not penalize their movement for a good idea.

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.

Page 42 gave guidelines for improvised actions.  Covering things like how much damage a chandler would fall for, or how much burning being shoved into a campfire would do.

5e needs one of these.  But it should come with even more.  Like partial action cost.

Opening a door cost 5' of movement.
Cutting a rope cost 1 martial damage die.
Flipping the table is 10' and a Str check.

What else should be on it?

Spell research?
Climbing/Riding a giant/dragon?


A D&D Next "page 42" would look very different.  Because there is no regular assumption of increases in difficulty, you don't need a DC by Level chart.  The DCs can stay constant.

What you need is advice on two things: improvised movement and improvised attacks.

Improvised movement is something that lets you move in unusual ways.  Swinging from a chandelier, using a shield to surf down a staricase. Sliding across a bar.  This movement usually serves to allow you to avoid obstacles or intervening enemies or to increase your total movement, with or without provoking opportunity attacks.  In essence, you are making a Strength or Dexterity check to avoid obstacles, enemies, or increasing your movement.

Improvised attacks are trickier.  The baseline is an unmodified weapon attack.  But with an improvised attack, you are trying to either increase your range (drop a chandelier on several enemies) or impose a condition on someone (sand in the eyes) or both (drop a hoop chandelier on the sheriffs' men so that it binds them up like a barrel ring).  This is trickier, because it's almost always better to inclift damage (and thus end the combat) than impose a condition that generally only prolongs the combat.  Also, you don't want the improvised actions to render your maneuvers and skill tricks superfluous.

The third aspect of page 42 is using it for encounter design.  But again, because of Bounded Accuracy, you can just use a basic guideline of DCs.  How hard is it to pick a lock?  Well, is it a common (DC 10), simple (DC 15), or complex (DC 20) lock?  Deactivating a catapult (DC 12).  What we would need are simple exampled so you can extrapolate the difficulty of any given task and assign consequences to failure and success.
It doesn't need minutia.  It needs guidelines.

I mean, if one DM say's flipping a table is free action, another may say it takes your whole action.  You want them to at least be close.

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.

A D&D Next "page 42" would look very different.  Because there is no regular assumption of increases in difficulty, you don't need a DC by Level chart.  The DCs can stay constant.

What you need is advice on two things: improvised movement and improvised attacks.

Improvised movement is something that lets you move in unusual ways.  Swinging from a chandelier, using a shield to surf down a staricase. Sliding across a bar.  This movement usually serves to allow you to avoid obstacles or intervening enemies or to increase your total movement, with or without provoking opportunity attacks.  In essence, you are making a Strength or Dexterity check to avoid obstacles, enemies, or increasing your movement.

Improvised attacks are trickier.  The baseline is an unmodified weapon attack.  But with an improvised attack, you are trying to either increase your range (drop a chandelier on several enemies) or impose a condition on someone (sand in the eyes) or both (drop a hoop chandelier on the sheriffs' men so that it binds them up like a barrel ring).  This is trickier, because it's almost always better to inclift damage (and thus end the combat) than impose a condition that generally only prolongs the combat.  Also, you don't want the improvised actions to render your maneuvers and skill tricks superfluous.

The third aspect of page 42 is using it for encounter design.  But again, because of Bounded Accuracy, you can just use a basic guideline of DCs.  How hard is it to pick a lock?  Well, is it a common (DC 10), simple (DC 15), or complex (DC 20) lock?  Deactivating a catapult (DC 12).  What we would need are simple exampled so you can extrapolate the difficulty of any given task and assign consequences to failure and success.

You are right that bounded accuracy helps alot, but still not completely.

IMO, improvised actions should give a small benifit.  Enough to encurage them, but not enough to have people walking around with tables, tankards of beer, and hang up a chandelier's before every battle.

So there needs to be guidelines in order to balance.

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.

So there needs to be guidelines in order to balance.


We agree.
Forward Retreat and Quiet Riot make as much sense to me as Improv Rules, so sure.

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey

Forward Retreat and Quiet Riot make as much sense to me as Improv Rules, so sure.


That's why they're called "guidelines" and not rules.
 

 


Wotc should start by allowing base level maneuvers for every character with qualified ability scores. If they dont do that then improvisation is either hamstrung by playing second fiddle to even simple codified abilities which most of the maneuvers in Next are or its a sort of cheat to just give yourself a maneuver that some other character burned some character development on.


I would like those guidelines in the PHB, too.  Players should knot together Improv with the section on Ability Checks.

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey

It doesn't need minutia.  It needs guidelines.

I mean, if one DM say's flipping a table is free action, another may say it takes your whole action.  You want them to at least be close.

I would say your example is your action, at least a move action with an ability check. I think using ability checks could help you determine if its an action or not. Make a DC 15 STR check and you flip the table to provide cover and can still make an attack action, if not you just flip the table, roll a 1 and you fall over when flipping the table.

Also keep in mind Advantage is the DMs friend, when you are not sure of an appropriate reward for innovative actions, give Advantage on the following action. Players seem to really enjoy having Advantage. 

I agree with other posts on here about expanding ability descriptions to include more of what can be improvised, especially Charisma actions. Our party Rogue is forever tring to find new ways to use his Charisma, which is funny because it is only a 12. I encourage him by giving him exactly the outcome he wants when he rolls high enough, but put him in a bad spot when he rolls way to low. 

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.

It doesn't need minutia.  It needs guidelines.

I mean, if one DM say's flipping a table is free action, another may say it takes your whole action.  You want them to at least be close.



Why?

If one DM says it's a free action in HIS game, and another DM says it takes a full round in HIS game... what is wrong? 
It might be just fine on both acounts because the tone of the games is different. 
Try radiance RPG. A complete D20 game that supports fantasy and steampunk. Download the FREE PDF here: http://www.radiancerpg.com
Are guidelines even necessary?

You can add MDD to an improvised weapon attack, so damage scales fine. DCs don't scale and are easy to eyeball. And the game is balanced around ability checks and contests.

The biggest two points of contention would seem to be:

1. Does someone get advantage or disadvantage?
2. Does it count as an action or part of another action? (Remember, nothing is a move action in 5e except moving or standing up.)

And both of these seem ripe for DM discretion.
Are guidelines even necessary?


Guidelines are why we buy rulebooks.  If the answer is to just make it up ourselves, then why bother spending money on it?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Guidelines for how improvised actions work accomplish two things:

1) players can make tactical decisions on whether or not an improvised action is worth it without asking the DM.

2) DM's won't have to guess about what the baseline an improvised action needs to do to be worth it.

I've played under a lot of DM's who complain that everyone just uses their character's innate abilities in combat and never try to be innovative.  And then when a character does try to do something neat, the same DM makes it overly complicated, inaccurate, and less effective than just hitting it with a regular attack would be.
     
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
I would like those guidelines in the PHB, too.


I've been thinking there should be three core books for the Standard Game.
The DM Guide, which has the bestiary, terrain, traps, treasure, and guidance for building campaigns and encounters, as well as Advanced Rules that pertain to these issues.
 
The Players Handbook, which has races, backgrounds, classes, specialties, and spells, and sidebars for optional modulat add-ons (like rules for non-Vancian casting, encounter powers, and the like)

The Rulebook, which is probably only about 30 pages, and has the Standard rules for combat, exploration, interaction, ability checks, and guidelines for improvised actions.
It doesn't need minutia.  It needs guidelines.

I mean, if one DM say's flipping a table is free action, another may say it takes your whole action.  You want them to at least be close.

I would say your example is your action, at least a move action with an ability check. I think using ability checks could help you determine if its an action or not. Make a DC 15 STR check and you flip the table to provide cover and can still make an attack action, if not you just flip the table, roll a 1 and you fall over when flipping the table.

That would be a good example of a guideline.

Why?

If one DM says it's a free action in HIS game, and another DM says it takes a full round in HIS game... what is wrong? 
It might be just fine on both acounts because the tone of the games is different.

And no one will stop him. 

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.

It doesn't need minutia.  It needs guidelines.

I mean, if one DM say's flipping a table is free action, another may say it takes your whole action.  You want them to at least be close.



Why?

If one DM says it's a free action in HIS game, and another DM says it takes a full round in HIS game... what is wrong? 
It might be just fine on both acounts because the tone of the games is different. 

No end to the arguments for organized play.
OK, how about the following:

Flipping a table is a common occurance in the sort of stories that inspire D&D, to show how that can be used in your game, you must also consider what your player is trying to accomplish. For instance:

1) Player A wants his fighter to flip over the round table at the side of the room so that he can crouch behind it for cover and trade missle fire with the enemy.  You can let him do this by taking his movement and making an (easy?) Strength check. Then he is free to fire his missle weapon.

2) Player B, whose character is much more aggressive and melee oriented, wants to flip the long table running the length of the room over into the mass of enemies on the other side, disrupting their formation and perhaps incapacitating some. By making a (difficult?) Strength check, he may attack all enemies (characters?) in the target area with an improvised weapon attack.

Thoughts?
I think it'd be nice if improvised rules were stamped on all examples across all of the rules. A page or two of guidelines is great and they should give us that, but I think they could take that so much further by just dropping in examples of play that include improvised actions throughout the books and reference it a lot in the rules themselves. Stuff like "feel free to improvise and use another ability value, just be sure you describe how" would go a really long way to encouraging folks to consider their actions in game and improvise more.
How much minutia do the rules really need to cover? The concept of DC covers such a broad base that the DM can decide if something is easy or hard and apply a DC to the task. By trying to quantify every action you limit the scope of what the players will even attempt and encourage DMs to force rolls when they may not need to. Let the players cut the rope to drop the chandler, roll to see if the opponent was affected not to see if a Hero can cut a rope. Allow them to feel like their ideas are valid, not penalize their movement for a good idea.

The issue is not that you need to codify minutia, but that you need to make improvised actions balanced against basic attacks.  The problem is that with the current set up, the DM has very little to go on from a balance perspective, and will be tempted to make things take whole actions and do very little because that's what seems realistic.  Why should it take less time to swing your sword at the rope holding up the chandelier than at the guy standing under it, and why should a falling chandelier do as much damage as being stabbed by a sword?  But if it takes an action and it does less damage (or at least damage equivalent, and most status effects aren't worth much in Next), why would anyone ever do it?  Making improvised actions crap choices is much, much worse for improv than over codifying.

What we need is not a "cutting a rope costs 1MDD" rule, but a rule that says "an action and a DC X check/Y save is worth Z damage."  (Of course, rapid damage scaling and near zero DC scaling complicate this tremendously, but that's another story).  "Status effect P is worth Q damage at R level."  "Most non-codified actions that take less than 3 seconds to accomplish should be either free actions or cost movement, 1 square/second."  IME DMs are far more likely to make things more difficult and less effective than they should be if you actually want people to think outside the box, because in reality sticking them with the pointy end is almost certainly your most effective option (there's a reason you carry around the pointy object, after all).  But even if they make things too easy, it's problematic because then players will never use their actual melee skills, so clerics are as good as barbarians even without spells and weapon choice is irrelevant.
I don`t think we need a big "page 42" full of crunch at all, only a few simple tips. The more specific rules there are to cling to, the more restricted new players will feel. Simple rules that can be shaped, bent or used in any situation, that`s what I want. Sure, give us tips on narrative improvisation, but keep the crunch low please..
Give us more "page 28" instead! 

A D&D Next "page 42" would look very different.  Because there is no regular assumption of increases in difficulty, you don't need a DC by Level chart.  The DCs can stay constant.



Actually, flat math makes a page 42 substantially more difficult to make.  In order to remain balanced against basic attacks, the damage equivalent of improv actions needs to scale rapidly (granted, I expect damage scale to be reduced from its current level in the final game, but it still needs to be quite high since the devs have cut out all the other places they could put power scaling).  But because DCs are static and bonuses grow slowly if at all, you've got nothing to tie that increased damage to.  In a DC scaling world, you could put a larger, heavier chandelier in the room secured by a thicker rope, requiring a higher DC check to knock down but doing more damage to more people.  In a flat math world, you're dropping the same chandelier at 1st and 20th level but for some reason it does more damage at 20th, or it is now a wasted action.  


A D&D Next "page 42" would look very different.  Because there is no regular assumption of increases in difficulty, you don't need a DC by Level chart.  The DCs can stay constant.

Actually, flat math makes a page 42 substantially more difficult to make.  In order to remain balanced against basic attacks, the damage equivalent of improv actions needs to scale rapidly (granted, I expect damage scale to be reduced from its current level in the final game, but it still needs to be quite high since the devs have cut out all the other places they could put power scaling).  But because DCs are static and bonuses grow slowly if at all, you've got nothing to tie that increased damage to.  In a DC scaling world, you could put a larger, heavier chandelier in the room secured by a thicker rope, requiring a higher DC check to knock down but doing more damage to more people.  In a flat math world, you're dropping the same chandelier at 1st and 20th level but for some reason it does more damage at 20th, or it is now a wasted action.  

I must be misunderstanding how improvised actions are supposed to go or people are drawing from a context I don't know, 'cause in my experience all you need to do to improvise is say what you want and the DM assigns a check and a DC. There's not a lot of need for anything else, is there? As far as damage goes... if it's an attack, why wouldn't it do damage like any other weapon? That's a thing I've never encountered so I'm sorry if I seem really ignorant for asking.

It basically boils down to this:

(Fighter): Ok it's my turn, I swing my...wait.

(DM): ?

(Fighter): Did you say that those barrels are filled with alchemical compounds?  I have a better idea, I pick up the barrel and throw it at the ogre!     

(DM): Hm.  Ok, I need a Strength check to lift the barrel, then make an attack roll at, say, -4.  You're not proficient with barrels, and they're unbalanced...that'll take your full round, by the way.

(Fighter): ...nevermind, I'll just hit it with my sword again.


This scenario is common, because while, yes, the DM assigns a check and a DC, the outcome is an unknown factor.  The DM has to make up everything on the fly, and the results are rarely as effective as the known factors- ie, the abilities the character has on their sheet.  

The ability to balance things that aren't in the rules is the mark of an experienced DM.  Not every DM has that level of experience, so they would find guidelines to be very useful, I would think.            
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
 ... if it's an attack, why wouldn't it do damage like any other weapon?  




How much damage does a pillar or roof do when you drop them on the enemy?
  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."

 


A D&D Next "page 42" would look very different.  Because there is no regular assumption of increases in difficulty, you don't need a DC by Level chart.  The DCs can stay constant.



Actually, flat math makes a page 42 substantially more difficult to make.  In order to remain balanced against basic attacks, the damage equivalent of improv actions needs to scale rapidly (granted, I expect damage scale to be reduced from its current level in the final game, but it still needs to be quite high since the devs have cut out all the other places they could put power scaling).  But because DCs are static and bonuses grow slowly if at all, you've got nothing to tie that increased damage to.  In a DC scaling world, you could put a larger, heavier chandelier in the room secured by a thicker rope, requiring a higher DC check to knock down but doing more damage to more people.  In a flat math world, you're dropping the same chandelier at 1st and 20th level but for some reason it does more damage at 20th, or it is now a wasted action.  



I feel like your trying to using encounter hazards (which should have its own rules) to argue a point about improvised action damage that isn't valid. Whether or not a bolder, lava, poor building construction exist in a given scene has nothing to do with guidelines for improvised actions.

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Dreaming the Impossible Dream
Imagine a world where the first-time D&D player rolls stats, picks a race, picks a class, picks an alignment, and buys gear to create a character. Imagine if an experienced player, maybe the person helping our theoretical player learn the ropes, could also make a character by rolling ability scores and picking a race, class, feat, skills, class features, spells or powers, and so on. Those two players used different paths to build characters, but the system design allows them to play at the same table. -Mearl

"It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare." - Edmund Burke
 ... if it's an attack, why wouldn't it do damage like any other weapon?  




How much damage does a pillar or roof do when you drop them on the enemy?

.... you're not seriously asking me this, are you? Make it up! I had to work out the damage of a volvo once. Nobody got angry about it or decided not to hit 'em with the volvo after they discovered what the damage would be.

Which just means you made a successful Gamemastery check, and your players were happy about it.  But like I said before, being able to make a spot ruling for things like "what do I roll to hit someone with a cart and how much damage does it do?" is hard for the less experienced.  A guideline could allow every DM to get it right the first time.
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
In a flat math world, you're dropping the same chandelier at 1st and 20th level but for some reason it does more damage at 20th, or it is now a wasted action.  


In a flat math world, at some point you personal abilities are better than the chandelier and I have no issue with that.  In fact, the idea that chandeliers you encounter grow in mass as you level is one of the oddities bounded accuracy does away with.

The only reason a high-level character would drop a chandelier on someone is because it uses a melee attack to affect people at range and it imposes a useful condition (like prone or restrained).
 ... if it's an attack, why wouldn't it do damage like any other weapon?  




How much damage does a pillar or roof do when you drop them on the enemy?

.... you're not seriously asking me this, are you?


Nope the game system, which just failed to provide any guidelines. 
 
  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, flat math makes a page 42 substantially more difficult to make.  In order to remain balanced against basic attacks, the damage equivalent of improv actions needs to scale rapidly.

Which is why i suggest taking some MDD to do it.

Give up 1d6 damage from your swing.  Get 1d10 damage from a chandaler.
Give up 2d6 damage from your swing.  Get 2d6 damage in a line by pushing over a statue.
Give up 3d6 damage from your swing.  Get 2d6 damage and prone on everyone standing on the carpet.


It's just as good at level 1 as it is at level 20.

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.

In a flat math world, you're dropping the same chandelier at 1st and 20th level but for some reason it does more damage at 20th, or it is now a wasted action.  


In a flat math world, at some point you personal abilities are better than the chandelier and I have no issue with that.  In fact, the idea that chandeliers you encounter grow in mass as you level is one of the oddities bounded accuracy does away with. 



Improved damage dealing using things comes with improved timing and skill and luck.

What does level mean?
  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."

 

Why should it take less time to swing your sword at the rope holding up the chandelier than at the guy standing under it 



Because the rope isnt defending itself and an attack is rarely ever one weapon swing but rather a sequence which includes feints and beats and various tricks to get past the adversaries defenses.
 
  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."

 

Which just means you made a successful Gamemastery check, and your players were happy about it.  But like I said before, being able to make a spot ruling for things like "what do I roll to hit someone with a cart and how much damage does it do?" is hard for the less experienced.  A guideline could allow every DM to get it right the first time.

I'm all for guidelines, I just find that there's a fine line between helpful and proscriptive.

It's obviously something to be shoved into a sidebar and called "Optional", but it should be there, regardless.  And yes, while MDD makes this less of an issue for melee combatants, I'm looking at other classes here too.  "Should I try to throw my torch at the pool of oil, or just spam Ray of Frost?"
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
In a flat math world, you're dropping the same chandelier at 1st and 20th level but for some reason it does more damage at 20th, or it is now a wasted action.  


In a flat math world, at some point you personal abilities are better than the chandelier and I have no issue with that.  In fact, the idea that chandeliers you encounter grow in mass as you level is one of the oddities bounded accuracy does away with.

The only reason a high-level character would drop a chandelier on someone is because it uses a melee attack to affect people at range and it imposes a useful condition (like prone or restrained).

My point is actually quite the contrary.  I suppose if you're willing to say that improvised actions are phased out of the game entirely as a viable option by level 5 or so, that works, but assuming you want improvised actions to be viable across the length of your career?   Effectiveness has to scale.  In a flat math world, the chandelier has to grow in mass, which I agree is problematic.  In a non-flat math world, the heavier chandelier (or the big marble statue, or 20' banquet table, or what have you) has always been there, but up to now you weren't strong enough to use it.  It's actually flat math that pushes you into this problem, it doesn't extricate you from it.  You can mitigate it in other ways, like giving up on improvised actions in all but the rarest corner cases (like when you need to make a melee attack at range instead of just taking out your bow for some reason), or at least giving up on improv actions that do anything besides impose a status effect (and most Next status effects are pretty useless), but it's much easier to allow non-contrived scaling when the range of activities you can succeed at has increased instead of increases in the effectiveness with which you do the things you could do from the start.
Why should it take less time to swing your sword at the rope holding up the chandelier than at the guy standing under it 



Because the rope isnt defending itself and an attack is rarely ever one weapon swing but rather a sequence which includes feints and beats and various tricks to get past the adversaries defenses.
 

the point is not that there isn't a reason, the point is that it's so easy for an inexperienced DM to say "that sounds like it should take an action, because it's just like a normal sword swing," without thinking to himself "well if I make it an action, and I make it not very effective, I've just invalidated my player's creativity and encouraged him to fall back on swinging his sword every round of every combat until the end of the campaign."  That's why guidelines are necessary to inform the DM that the level of effectiveness he would find realistic should not require an action, and then he can explain this greater rapidity as you described or he can start using heavier chandeliers (or at least tell his players not to bother with chandelier dropping, without discouraging them from using more believably effective improvisations).
I suppose if you're willing to say that improvised actions are phased out of the game entirely as a viable option by level 5 or so, that works, but assuming you want improvised actions to be viable across the length of your career?   Effectiveness has to scale.


First of all, to be clear, we're discussing improvised attacks, as opposed to improvised move.  Movement doesn't really scale with level, so the ability to slide down a banister to avoid opportunity attacks is still valuable even at 10th level. At a minimum it saves you the need for receiving a fly, jump, or feather fall spell.

In a flat math world, the chandelier has to grow in mass, which I agree is problematic.  In a non-flat math world, the heavier chandelier (or the big marble statue, or 20' banquet table, or what have you) has always been there, but up to now you weren't strong enough to use it.


That makes no sense.  It takes no strength to use a chandelier as an attack.  You cut the rope holding it up and it drops on the folks below.  Period.

A world in which heavier chandeliers are harder to use?  That's weird and counterintuitive.  

Now it sounds like what you're discussing are terrain powers.  I.e., props in the encounter that people can use to generate effects.  Those could scale by level.  A regular table can offer cover.  But at 10th level, maybe you're in a bar brawl in the City of Dis, flipping over tables made of soulstone that unleash vengeful spirits against those who do damage to it.  Those scale by level because you're unlikely to encounter a table of soulstone at level 3.

What I would recommend instead of scaling is shifting some attacks from an action to costing movement.  So an attack that imposes an average of 5 hp damage might require an action from characters 1st to 6th level, but cost movement for characters 7th to 12th level, and may only cost half-movement from characters 13th to 20th level.  This does mess with the action economy a little bit, but I think that may be acceptabel at high levels.  

Alternatively, now that they're bringing back multiple melee attacks, maybe an improvised attack can replace one of your weapon attacks.  So a 17th level fighter who attacks 3 times a round can attack wice with his weapon and take advantage of an improvised attack.
The idea was that the heavier chandelier was held up by a thicker rope that's harder to cut, but ultimately it's a bad example that I was using merely because it's classic and because someone in a previous post used it, and the conversation is less confusing if we stick with given examples even if they're imperfect than if we're constantly shifting them.  But let's use your example of the soulstone table.  That's exactly the sort of problem you were complaining about in terms of heavier chandeliers - the table's materials are changing precisely because you're a higher level and you need a more effective terrain power to keep up.  You hit level 12, and all of a sudden you need to go to a completely different local where the furniture is more dangerous in order to continue to have interesting bar brawls.  High level characters can no longer take meaningful advantage of their terrain when they return to their home town.  In a world without flat math, you could have more and less effective terrain powers everywhere, but higher DCs deny low-level characters the ability to use them reliably.  While the low level characters are flipping the tables for cover, the mid level characters are hurling them across the room and crushing their foes while they're at it, and the high level characters are ripping out support pillars and letting the upper stories collapse on their foes.  All in the same tavern.

I'll grant you that reducing the action cost (both by shifting from actions to ever decreasing movements and by giving up 1 of 3 attacks/round instead of 1 of 1) also works pretty well.  But I'm not seeing how that's better or more logical than what happens in a non-flat math world.  You've just replaced a DC by level chart with an action cost by level chart, and replaced leveling as increased ability with leveling as increased speed.  Neither seem to me to be an improvement.  YMMV.

As to terrain powers vs. improv attacks, I don't really see what you get by treating them as different things.  Feel free to enlighten me.  Why should one scale with level and the other not?  Maybe using terrain should provide a bonus of some sort due to limited use, but I don't see why the fundamental mechanics should be any different. 
a little side note on page 42.

I just love it being page 42 becouse it is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything