Dragon 426: The Return of the Diplomancer!

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Obligatory Link.

4 new themes;

The Inquisitive, a.k.a. Wild Elf Goes First Now, Deal With It.
The Courtier, because Diplomacy Does Everything. (With a reasonably useful U10 if fighting Dragons and so on with reaction attacks)
The Spy, for the Stealthy types.
The Vigilante, or Hybrid Fighters Get Their Mark Back. (And a vicious U6 for the init-opped out there)

-edit- Also nice to see the left-handed dwarf in the cover art. Not something you see often.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
Right... so apart from the hybrid fighter buff, it's weaksauce mostly?
Actually, all four themes have at least niche use. Not a lot that's spectacular, but there is at least one or two builds that will want them. More so in RP-heavy campaigns.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
Yeah, they're not the themes one typically wants in a combat heavy, mechanical-focused game, but they could be very useful in the right game.
When I wrote the Inquisitive theme I was going for something that had more open-ended, less combat-focused abilities and that would also encourage a bit of collaborative world-building with the DM.
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When I wrote the Inquisitive theme I was going for something that had more open-ended, less combat-focused abilities and that would also encourage a bit of collaborative world-building with the DM.



I think the problem with going for that has two basic issues:
Combat happens even in heavily intrigue games. At that point, thematic choices of a power are useful to build definition.
When combat doesn't happen, these themes tend to be a little too good. Inquisitive suffers the least of these because it is so focused on collaborating with the DM.

I think if it adds in an encounter power of some kind - say encounter, immediate interrupt, shift half speed when an enemy gets CA against you. If the opponent is then unable to attack the Inquisitive that turn, the Inquisitive can do stat damage to the target - that could be the interesting kind of encounter power that an Inquisitive might get. Hard to get the drop on and all that.

Also, the 5 and 10 options are on checks that often tend to be passive. I think bonuses tend to work with those two specifically a little better than rerolls for that reason. 
Anything crazy a vigilante could do by marking stuff at range? Aside from Warden's Grasp, I think all the generic mark punishments are melee 1. But maybe additional things that effect marked creatures?
Dex/Wis Ranged Slayer/Seeker with Marked Scourge and Primal Eye?
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
Elf Fighter's can punish at range, but you do need to be using a bow, so making melee attacks means wrist razor/gauntlet axe.

Or if you're Epic you can start as a kreen and hold your bow in the middle, and reincarnate into elf. So either Str/Dex or Str/Wis as a Seeker Hybrid (for the wis-based RBA). I personally like Fighter|Ranger for this because of Lone Wolf (though Pit Fighter or something else might be better since you can apply Shield Push)
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
Dex/Wis Ranged Slayer/Seeker with Marked Scourge and Primal Eye?



Doesn't Marked Scourge require you to have the Combat Challenge class feature?
*snip*

The Inquisitive, a.k.a. Wild Wood Elf Goes First Now, Deal With It.

*snip

Fixed that for ya.

Yeah, it looks like most of the fighter goodies require you to have CC. The elf thing could be fun though.
Might be interesting to make a Dragonborn Courtier with the Adamant Instructor PP to use Insight in place of diplomacy, and therefore bluff and streetwise. Or alternately Devoted Orator PP to have an INT based face character.

As far as the Vigilante, the stance can be of benefit to Avernian Knights or Tiefling Warfieds to mark and punish at range, as well as with Spellscarred Invigoration.

How does Elf punish at range though? Because opportunistic archer is dependant on CC's triggers, which only trigger on an adjacent enemy. 

Show
Opportunistic Archer
When you can make a melee basic attack against a target because of Combat Challenge, you can instead make a ranged basic attack with a bow against the target. The ranged basic attack does not provoke opportunity attacks.

Combat Challenge
Whenever an enemy marked by you is adjacent to you and shifts or makes an attack that does not include you as a target, you can make a melee basic attack against that enemy. 

Unless you are parsing CC as (is adjacent to you and shifts)or(makes an attack that does not include you as a target) instead of (is adjacent to you)and(shifts or makes an attack that does not include you as a target).
With Ocular Adept PP you can use a bow (floating) and a melee weapon (in hands) so you can punish at melee and range. Maybe it's a fun build
Sapphire - Swormage Dragon Guardian - Dont touch my allies build. Swordmage / Sigil Carver / Draconic incarnation The Holy Slayer - A Striker - Defender Fighter | Cleric / Barbarian - Paragon of Victory WEREBEAR BATTLEMIND: You wont go where you want. - A Battlemind (Druid) / Unbound Nomad / Topaz Crusader
I agree with Jay re: CC wording in that I think it's ambiguous.  Surely CharOp has discussed this before and come to a conclusion?  Opportunistic Archer seems pretty pointless if it only works in melee range.

Assuming that Opportunistic Archer really does let you punish at range, then surely we don't need anything more complicated than Elf Fighter|Ranger to abuse the heck out of this?
I agree with Jay re: CC wording in that I think it's ambiguous.  Surely CharOp has discussed this before and come to a conclusion?  Opportunistic Archer seems pretty pointless if it only works in melee range.



And WotC never releases any pointless feats? A Half-Elf Fighter with Twin Strike doesn't need this theme to abuse it in theory. But the ambiguity is the problem - and even to a certain extent changes the base class - if you have a polearm and a marked target 2 squares away from you attacks someone other than you, do you get to CC?
Opportunistic Archer is pointless from an optimisation standpoint because it doesn't do enough, not pointless because it does nothing. If you want to be able to inflict attack penalties at range (Mindiron Bow + Psychic Lock + Mark Penalty, or whatever else you can do to marked enemies) and punish in melee range, Dual Strike an enemy away from you and one close to you and move adjacent to the enemy that's close to you and still get combat challenge against the enemy you are now adjacent to without having to change your weapon.
I agree with Jay re: CC wording in that I think it's ambiguous.  Surely CharOp has discussed this before and come to a conclusion?  Opportunistic Archer seems pretty pointless if it only works in melee range.



And WotC never releases any pointless feats? A Half-Elf Fighter with Twin Strike doesn't need this theme to abuse it in theory. But the ambiguity is the problem - and even to a certain extent changes the base class - if you have a polearm and a marked target 2 squares away from you attacks someone other than you, do you get to CC?

I'd think the F16 of Polearm Master makes the answer to that question obvious.
That's what I get for reading the online Compendium instead of the PHB, slightly different wording makes it arguable in the compendium, but clear in the PHB. Hmm.

Tactical Warpriest works with a ranged attack that can be used as an OA, but that's useless for the purposes of both Opportunistic Archer and the Vigilante power since the ability to OA is independent of the mark.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
Also the Class Compendium update for the Fighter (Weapon Master) actually makes the wording even clearer.


"In addition, whenever an enemy marked by you is adjacent to you and shifts or

makes an attack that does not include you as a target, you can make a melee basic

attack against that enemy as an immediate interrupt."

The addition of "and" makes the adjacent thing a requirement for both, unambigiously.
I agree with Jay re: CC wording in that I think it's ambiguous.  Surely CharOp has discussed this before and come to a conclusion?  Opportunistic Archer seems pretty pointless if it only works in melee range.

Assuming that Opportunistic Archer really does let you punish at range, then surely we don't need anything more complicated than Elf Fighter|Ranger to abuse the heck out of this?



Indeed, especially when tacking on ways to slow/immobilize/prone melee only targets so they are hosed. Then again, if Opportunistic Archer does work that way, then that theme isn't even needed because of the existance of the Huntmaster PP which marks the enemy as long as they are your quarry and gives an attack bonus. So Elf Fighter|Ranger/Huntmaster with Opportunistic Archer could be a very effective ranged defender if Opportunistic Archer works that way. Of course if it does, then it also means that fighters can punish with reach by default (not for shifting, but for attacking at least), which would make part of the polearm master PP 16 feature redundant...

 
And WotC never releases any pointless feats?



Sure they do. Why is this posed as a counterargument to my post?
Also the Class Compendium update for the Fighter (Weapon Master) actually makes the wording even clearer.


"In addition, whenever an enemy marked by you is adjacent to you and shifts or

makes an attack that does not include you as a target, you can make a melee basic

attack against that enemy as an immediate interrupt."

The addition of "and" makes the adjacent thing a requirement for both, unambigiously.



It actually doesn't.  English doesn't have operator precedence, so we don't know if that's [(adjacent to you and shifts) or (makes an attack that does not include you as a target)] or [adjacent to you and (shifts or makes an attack that does not include you as a target)].  The latter reading is the one you using, but isn't unambiguously correct taken in isolation (i.e. without looking at other game elements like Polearm Master).

This is exactly the ambiguity pointed out by Jay.

edit: also, as noted by others in this thread, PM f16 would not be the first useless game element published by WotC ;) 
And WotC never releases any pointless feats?



Sure they do. Why is this posed as a counterargument to my post?



Because you mentioned it was pointless for it to not work at range... 
Which is true.  So what claim were you trying to refute?
It actually doesn't.  English doesn't have operator precedence, so we don't know if that's [(adjacent to you and shifts) or (makes an attack that does not include you as a target)] or [adjacent to you and (shifts or makes an attack that does not include you as a target)].  The latter reading is the one you using, but isn't unambiguously correct taken in isolation (i.e. without looking at other game elements like Polearm Master).

This is exactly the ambiguity pointed out by Jay. 

That would be because English isn't a programming language. It has commas though. And other ways of separating clauses. None of which are present. "And" is a Coordinating Conjunction linked to an either/or statement.
But "or" is also a coordinating conjuction (linked to an and statement).  Both readings are natural, and the sentence as written is ambiguous.  Also, the ambiguity was present both in the original PHB language and in the compendium update.  The only change seems to be adding "as a target"; "and" was present all along.
Also, a comma would be grammatically incorrect in either reading.
"In addition, whenever a marked enemy that is
adjacent to you shifts or makes an attack that does not
include you, you can make a melee basic attack against
that enemy as an immediate interrupt."

Really? Where is the "and"?



My mistake.  I was looking at the deluxe PHB, which apparently differs from the original.  The revised version is still ambiguous, though, and, ironically, the above quote is not ambiguous in the way that the revision is.

I don't think you can resolve the ambiguity in the revised version grammatically with commas alone, but going back to the original PHB language would help.  Something like: "In addition, whenever an enemy marked by you and adjacent to you shifts or makes an attack that does not include you as a target, you can make a melee basic attack against that enemy as an immediate interrupt."
Anyway, the Compendium version of Combat Challenge introduces an ambiguity that wasn't present in the original PHB language.
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DC on Call for Capitulation confirmed as Will+5: Link.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
Mark of the Vigilante + Riposte Strike on a Fighter|Rogue seems brutal at first glance.

I hit with RS and no matter who the target attacks on their turn i get to hit them again.

Is that going to play as well as I think?
Mark of the Vigilante + Riposte Strike on a Fighter|Rogue seems brutal at first glance.

I hit with RS and no matter who the target attacks on their turn i get to hit them again.

Is that going to play as well as I think?


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