Delay, Timing, and Power Attack

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I was going through the various KotS pre-made characters and looking at their abilities and it brought up a couple of thoughts.

Paladin and Divine Challenge

If you are not using the At-Will ability Holy Strike but instead are trying to encourage an opponent to come and attack you then it is best to use your Divine Challenge after you have taken your move and standard action for the turn.

Divine Challenge is a minor action and there is no rule that says what order you must do your action in (though Charge does say that you may not do any other actions after you use it). Thus, it is best to do your move action and standard action first for the turn and do the minor action of Divine Challenge last.

The opponent will then need to come and face you which could pull them away from say the fighter resulting in the opponet getting hit by an attack of opportunity or the fighter or their ability to attack a target that is shifting away.


Holding your Action

Further to this is the question of initiative order and holding your action.

In the rules, an example is given of monsters that delay their action which results in their iniative being one less then ally that they delayed their action to help.

Many things in 4e are based upon the rule that they last until the end of your next turn.

If we put these two rules together then what do we get?

If a Cleric and Rogue were on the same team and the Cleric had an iniative of say 12 and the Rogue had an iniative of say 10.

The Cleric casts Daunting Light on a target which the Cleric designates the Rogue as receiving the Combat Advantage benefit. This is on iniative 12.

The Rogue acts on their iniative of 10 to get Sneak Attack damage.

Next turn the Cleric chooses to delay their iniative to after the rogue goes.

The Rogue goes on iniative 10 in the new turn and gets a second chance to use combat advantage to give additional Sneak Attack damage on the target.

The cleric now take their new turn in the iniative order at 9 which will end the combat advantage at the end of their turn.

By having the cleric delaying initiative, the rules as written would allow the rogue to benefit twice from the combat advantage.

Another trick in delaying iniative is that many things like ongoing damage occur at the start of your turn. If your iniative order would come before someone that might be able to use the heal skill to help you break the effect or offer another benefit then delaying your initiative order allows you to delay the damage.

This can avoid a loss of a turn or being knocked unconsious before you can have one of your party members step in to help you.


Fighters and Power Attack

Many of the powers that a Fighter gets like the Daily power of Brute Strike is a Reliable Power. This means that if you miss then the power is not wasted.

Power Attack feat works by giving you a set -2 to hit for a +3 damage (at least those are the numbers for the Dwarf).

There is little incentive to not Power Attack when using Brute Strike.

Sure it changes the odds to hit by 10% with the -2 to hit but the power is reliable which means that if you miss then you still have the power to use next round. It is better to swing hard and miss a bit more to make the swing that hits that more effective.
Party optimization and using initiative wisely is a key part of 4e ... and this is precisely one reason why.
Party optimization and using initiative wisely is a key part of 4e ... and this is precisely one reason why.

signed, bumped, and quoted for truth. Clever manipulation of initiative can take you a long way.
If you put it that way, even At-Will Powers "recharge" after you use it. You may use Power Attack with them too...
It isn't like Brutal Strike multiplies PA bonus on damage x3, so it's not that different. But I'd rather not use PA with Brutal Strike, because I'd use Brutal Strike when in a dangerous situation or cornered, so I'd rather be seeing it strike true than seeing it miss and do some more damage a turn later.
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
By having the cleric delaying initiative, the rules as written would allow the rogue to benefit twice from the combat advantage.

Another trick in delaying iniative is that many things like ongoing damage occur at the start of your turn. If your iniative order would come before someone that might be able to use the heal skill to help you break the effect or offer another benefit then delaying your initiative order allows you to delay the damage.

This can avoid a loss of a turn or being knocked unconsious before you can have one of your party members step in to help you.

I'm having a hard time seeing this as anything but an exploit. It isn't cinematic, it isn't simulationist, and it doesn't benefit the game in a storytelling fashion. There isn't any reason to allow it.

I hope this only looks possible due to the fact that we have incomplete rules. If not, it is #1 on my house rule hit-list.
D&D rules were never meant to exist without the presence of a DM. RAW is a lie.
Why impose your own limits? (Beyond the gut reaction)

It surely IS cinematic - don't let the mechanics get in the way of your imagination.

There are limitations, by the way but it is possible at times to do just that.
Holding your Action

Further to this is the question of initiative order and holding your action.

In the rules, an example is given of monsters that delay their action which results in their iniative being one less then ally that they delayed their action to help.

Many things in 4e are based upon the rule that they last until the end of your next turn.

If we put these two rules together then what do we get?

If a Cleric and Rogue were on the same team and the Cleric had an iniative of say 12 and the Rogue had an iniative of say 10.

The Cleric casts Daunting Light on a target which the Cleric designates the Rogue as receiving the Combat Advantage benefit. This is on iniative 12.

The Rogue acts on their iniative of 10 to get Sneak Attack damage.

Next turn the Cleric chooses to delay their iniative to after the rogue goes.

The Rogue goes on iniative 10 in the new turn and gets a second chance to use combat advantage to give additional Sneak Attack damage on the target.

The cleric now take their new turn in the iniative order at 9 which will end the combat advantage at the end of their turn.

By having the cleric delaying initiative, the rules as written would allow the rogue to benefit twice from the combat advantage.

Somehow I don't think that delaying is something you can do on someone else's turn. In 3.5e, you choose to delay when it's your turn. This would still end any spell's effects on your old initiative, even if you're shifting your actions to later in that round.
Somehow I don't think that delaying is something you can do on someone else's turn. In 3.5e, you choose to delay when it's your turn. This would still end any spell's effects on your old initiative, even if you're shifting your actions to later in that round.

I agree - it smacks of munchkinism. I'm sorry, holding your breath for a bit does not somehow increase the duration of your power or increase the duration of the monsters "stun".

Then again this is the board where one tries to take every sentence as literally as possible without taking into the spirit of things. Then, by all means go nuts.

But munchkins beware- I have a feeling its a lot easier for a DM to munch back in this edition, if the Orc preview is anything close to what monster synergy will feel like. I'm sure a couple of Channel/Fireball combos can be found with a couple of monster manuals in hand.
Somehow I don't think that delaying is something you can do on someone else's turn. In 3.5e, you choose to delay when it's your turn. This would still end any spell's effects on your old initiative, even if you're shifting your actions to later in that round.

The wording though is the end of your next turn. If you delay your turn to later then that delaying is part of the 'Start of turn' and not the 'End of turn'.

Yes, it is an exploit of rules as written.

This though is the Character Optimization board which pretty much is based on how the rules can be exploited by reading and combining them as written.

Cinematically, the decision to delay your iniative to allow a cleric or another player to reach you and prevent you from taking an extra round of ongoing damage or to give them a chance to rescue you from say being petrified is cinematic. It should not be the fault of an initiative order of;

Monster, iniative 18, hits you with an ongoing effect.
Your initiative is 15, you take the ongoing effect.
Person who could have saved you has initiative 13.

Here, the choice to delay your initiative to 12 allows that person to step in and save your character. To insist that you must take the effect whatever your previous iniative might be is to return to the concept of Save or Die instead of allowing other players to come to your player's rescue.

Further to this is the idea of setting up a combo, which again, 4e is to promote.

Say on a turn you have the cleric and rogue again.

This time the Rogue has the higher iniative then the Cleric. The Cleric though anounces their intention to use the ability, Daunting Light on their turn.

Here, the Rogue is better delaying their action to wait till the Cleric has used their ability, Daunting Light, as a set up to their Rogue attack.

Then the Cleric delays their own initiative, restoring the order, to allow the rogue to maximize the effect.

This is a combo set up and maximized effect which is what good team play should involve instead of each person willy nilly doing their thing without maximizing the synergy of each character.

And that is kinda
4e is a much more tactical game. The specific rules matter ... and I dare say there's no reason the PCs opponents can't use the same mechanisms.

Derisions such as "munchkinism" don't help anything. Let's keep this on the facts with the specific rules. You can houserule anything you want, however.
And don't forget, with opponents easier to run there is a greater chance you'll have opponents in different initiative spots.
This will all depend on the exact specifics of delay.

It really does not make sense that you can delay to avoid taking an ongoing damage effect. It also would be odd if you could extend the duration of your buffs on others, simply by delaying. It doesn't make mechanical sense or simulational sense. I guess we will find out.

Also, there certainly IS a drawback to using power attack with your daily power. You are going to miss more often. Not sure why the whole "you get to try it again" would change the fact that you do NOT want to miss.
Holding your Action

Further to this is the question of initiative order and holding your action.

In the rules, an example is given of monsters that delay their action which results in their iniative being one less then ally that they delayed their action to help.

Many things in 4e are based upon the rule that they last until the end of your next turn.

If we put these two rules together then what do we get?

If a Cleric and Rogue were on the same team and the Cleric had an iniative of say 12 and the Rogue had an iniative of say 10.

The Cleric casts Daunting Light on a target which the Cleric designates the Rogue as receiving the Combat Advantage benefit. This is on iniative 12.

The Rogue acts on their iniative of 10 to get Sneak Attack damage.

Next turn the Cleric chooses to delay their iniative to after the rogue goes.

The Rogue goes on iniative 10 in the new turn and gets a second chance to use combat advantage to give additional Sneak Attack damage on the target.

The cleric now take their new turn in the iniative order at 9 which will end the combat advantage at the end of their turn.

By having the cleric delaying initiative, the rules as written would allow the rogue to benefit twice from the combat advantage.

Another trick in delaying iniative is that many things like ongoing damage occur at the start of your turn. If your iniative order would come before someone that might be able to use the heal skill to help you break the effect or offer another benefit then delaying your initiative order allows you to delay the damage.

This can avoid a loss of a turn or being knocked unconsious before you can have one of your party members step in to help you.

I don't think this works. I dont recall the exact thread, but over on ENWorld one of the folks from WOTC quoted a excerpt from the PHB which explicitly removed cheese exploits regarding delaying (IIRC correctly is was about circumventing saving throws but applied to all conditions...)

Edit: I believe a players turn was "stuff/conditions happen" and only *then* you could elect to delay.
I don't think this works. I dont recall the exact thread, but over on ENWorld one of the folks from WOTC quoted a excerpt from the PHB which explicitly removed cheese exploits regarding delaying (IIRC correctly is was about circumventing saving throws but applied to all conditions...)

Edit: I believe a players turn was "stuff/conditions happen" and only *then* you could elect to delay.

In theory, this could still allow a RAW reading to exploit the duration of a buff that lasts until the end of a character's next turn. We'll have to wait for the final text. Thank you for the news though. I find it encouraging.
D&D rules were never meant to exist without the presence of a DM. RAW is a lie.
the negative response to this is acting like this tactic can get spammed... which is ridiculus if we're talkig about encounter powers.. and even if tey are at will powers, it can only be done every 3rd round... because said cleric would have to get back in front of the rogue's initiatuve to do it.
hardly game breaking, since if init works like 3.x, the cleric would be bloing a round to move up in initiative again anyway.

second point regarding this:
I almost got carried away for a second... SO regarding conditions and ongoing damage, it would make sese in a very "magic th gathering" sort of way for these things to rgister at beginning of action.. which would be reasonable as before you decide to delay. It takes care of all the "ookkeeping" regarding "other peopole" before doing what YOU are going to do for the round. it's just good struture. After taking yer damage, or making yer save, or whatever, if you still function, then you can decide to let the roue benefit from yor buff a little it longer. THAT seems balanced.

In the above eample of pc1 with init 15 and pc2 with init 13; where pc1 will die without pc2's help... if npc1 caused pc1 to have a recurring damage effect, I thought the damage would occur again on npc1's turn. pc1 could otentially halt it during pc1's init. Am I right? because if that is the case, then pc2 would still have a chance to save pc1 before next round if pc1 doesn't make the save.
Or am I misunderstanding?
I see Power Attack being really vicious for Paladins with Valiant Strike. He'd use it against the non-minion(s) in the crowd when surrounded.

I suspect Power Attack gives you your STR modifier (again) to damage. So your net result is adding 2xSTR mod to damage instead of just 1xSTR.