Consecrated Ground -- wtf?

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I suspected that this daily could be abused very nastily and tonight I had those suspicions confirmed. The 18 wis 14 cha cleric cast Beacon of Hope and then Consecrated Ground when the party got in a tight spot after pulling a second encounter after a boss fight. Worked great for the party--too great, because the entire party sat in the consecrated ground while the cleric hid. Monsters would do damage and knock party members unconscious, but the unconscious PCs would be healed on their turns for a whopping 12 hit points. Basically it was impossible to kill the party members short of a coup de grace which I'm not going to dare try. I've seen no errata and no discussion of this power on the board, so what gives? It clearly receives the bonuses from Healing Lore and Beacon of Hope because CG has the healing keyword, but it seems grossly overpowered when compared to other dailies. I am thinking of changing CG to bring a negative hp PC back to 0, and then continue its normal healing on the next round unless the character is harmed again. Thoughts?


"Consecrated Ground Cleric Attack 5

Daily ✦ Divine, Healing, Radiant, Zone
Standard Action Close burst 1
Effect: The burst creates a zone of sanctified ground that
lasts until the end of your next turn. You can move the origin
square of the zone 3 squares as a move action. Enemies
that start their turns within the zone take 1d6 + your Charisma
modifier radiant damage. You and any allies who are
bloodied and start their turns within the zone regain hit
points equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier.
Sustain Minor: The zone persists."
A nice find.
By the way, is it even necessary for the cleric to hide? When he stays in the zone he is also healed at the start of every turn. So even when he is reduced to 0 HP the cleric is healed at the start of his turn and ready again to sustain the zone.
Just things I would like to add:
-the cleric must sustain the power [need to check what happens if he is knocked unconscious]
-there might be problems if your PCs move out of the area [the radius isn't that big]
-in your combo [Beacon of Hope + Concecrated Grounds], you need to cast two Daily powers

...now when I think about it, CG seems to be pretty potent...

Coup de Grace all the way then... xD
Just things I would like to add:
-the cleric must sustain the power [need to check what happens if he is knocked unconscious]
-there might be problems if your PCs move out of the area [the radius isn't that big]
-in your combo [Beacon of Hope + Concecrated Grounds], you need to cast two Daily powers

...now when I think about it, CG seems to be pretty potent...

Coup de Grace all the way then... xD

1. When the cleric stays in the field he is healed at the start of his turn and can sustain. If he isn't then the zone would collapse after 1 round.

2. No, it isn't. But when you have an archery ranger that wouldn't be a problem. Either the enemies flee, get killed at range or come to the PCs. Also the field can be moved.

3. Yes, but it looks like it is worth it.

By the way, Coup de Grace isn't an automatic kill anymore. It only deals maximum damage like a critical hit. And with 4Es healing rules the amount of negative HP doesn't matter when the PCs are still alive as at the start of their turn they are healed which resets their HP to 0 and then heals them.
The only way to kill with CdG is to do damage = the PCs bloodied value in one hit and that is not a easy task, especially for monsters.
Our party cleric just got the spell last session and he got the opprotunity to use it only once in one 'boss' fight. We were fighting this fire-spellcaster and since our only opponent moved a lot, CG didn't seem that insane, although it was useful. [we had Beacon of Hope, too].

But after reading this thread, I'm convinced that CG can truly be powerful.

No fixes or something ?
It certainly is potent, but also fair for a level 5 daily. Emir is right, the cleric needs to spend a minor action to sustain the zone. If the cleric is knocked out and not brought around (healed) by the end of his next turn, the zone vanishes. The last time the group I play with used it, the bad guys concentrated their fire on the cleric (that's me). It took most of our resources to keep me from going down. The zone isn't that big (3x3).
I would also note that the healed number of hit points does not scale with upper levels. I'm wondering if there is another zone with a similar effect for upper levels...
Consecrated ground, in effect, keeps all PC's in the zone alive. If they go below zero, when they start their next turn, they're conscious again. This assumes that any ongoing damage is less than the healing that the zone provides. That comes in super handy. Our fighter was envoloped by a shambling mound the other night. Without line of site or effect, our normal healings (healing word and inspiring word) were useless. I had to use Consecrated Ground to keep him alive.
The last time the group I play with used it, the bad guys concentrated their fire on the cleric (that's me). It took most of our resources to keep me from going down.

Why is this a problem? When you stand in the zone yourself then the enemies can concentrate as much as they want. Unless they kill you you are up again at the start of your turn.
And when all enemies are able to attack the cleric then the defender is doing something wrong.
I think some rules might help us out here.

"If a power allows you to move a zone, at least 1 square that the zone covers must remain within the power's range. If you move far enough away from a zone that it is no longer in range, its effects immediately end. PHB p.59"

Even if your cleric does not move the zone I would assume the rule for his distance from the zone still applies.

"If a zone's creator is slain, the zone immediately ends. PHB p.59"

This answers the cleric dieing question.
After watching the PCs stand up from unconsciousness multiple times, I would have started in with Coup de Graces. Honestly, I don't think my players would object either. It isn't something I do often or lightly, but the circumstances dictated the action.

-SYB
I think some rules might help us out here.

"If a power allows you to move a zone, at least 1 square that the zone covers must remain within the power's range. If you move far enough away from a zone that it is no longer in range, its effects immediately end. PHB p.59"

Even if your cleric does not move the zone I would assume the rule for his distance from the zone still applies.

"If a zone's creator is slain, the zone immediately ends. PHB p.59"

This answers the cleric dieing question.

slain isn't the same as being knocked unconscious.. again, unless the Cleric takes damage or drops below a value equal to her healing value from surge, she isn't dead. ie if she has 15 healing value she'd have to be reduced to -15 in order to be slain.
Sorry for my ignorance but I thought that when you were reduced to 0 HP you stopped being bloodied and started dying, thus 'when bloodied' powers don't work. That was certainly the impression I got from page 293, although it could be another case of badly written rules.

If you're still bloodied while you're dying then the Boundless Endurance fighter exploit is stupidly awesome for second level.

Also given the way the rules are worded the Cleric always gets healed even when not bloodied.
If you're still bloodied while you're dying then the Boundless Endurance fighter exploit is stupidly awesome for second level.

Doesn't work. Regeneration only activates if you have at least 1 hp at the beginning of your turn.
I believe follieslabour is correct!

You're probably not Bloodied if your Dying.

This solves the problem with CG?
[although I do find it hard to find an in-game reason why the magic doesn't work on the dying, but hey, 4e is about loose when in comes to in-game reason for various powers etc xD]
The only qualifier for bloodied is your hit points being at or under your bloodied value. Negative is under your bloodied value.
Sorry for my ignorance but I thought that when you were reduced to 0 HP you stopped being bloodied and started dying, thus 'when bloodied' powers don't work. That was certainly the impression I got from page 293, although it could be another case of badly written rules.

Bloodied means the HP < bloodied value. And I don't see how the HP < 1 changes that.
But if there is a problem with this combo then the Char Op board would probably find it better than us.
I agree, by my reading of Consecrated Ground, it doesn't work if you go down to 0 hp. You have to be bloodied, which is 1 to your bloodied value. At 0 you're dying, not bloodied.

I think my reading is RAI as well, personally, but I understand that's debatable.
The only qualifier for bloodied is your hit points being at or under your bloodied value. Negative is under your bloodied value.

I just looked it up to be sure and it looks like you're right. 0 or negative hp counts as bloodied as per the rules.
I was part of that game last night, and I think that a big part of why the power worked so well was that it was deployed in a 2 square wide hallway at the entrance to a room with monsters in it. Thus the GM had no way to flank the party and focus his fire on the cleric. Almost all of the party's dalies had been used in the previous half of the fight (no chance to rest in between), and the monsters were either at the other end of the large room or flying. I was playing said cleric due to another's absence, and under other circumstances we would not have holed up in a hall like that. As it was we had to make do with what little resources that we had. On other occasions where it has been deployed, we have never been able to take advantage of the floor layout like that and the issue over it being overpowered had not been brought up. I think that, like many powers, it is extremely powerful in very specific, but uncommon, situations, and just handy in most others.
The only qualifier for bloodied is your hit points being at or under your bloodied value. Negative is under your bloodied value.

But then this on p295 suggests that there is a bloodied/Dying cut off point;

Example: Anvil, a dwarf fighter, has a maximum hit point total of 53. He’s bloodied at 26 hit points, dying at 0 hit points, and dead at –26 hit points.

As I said, it's another case of badly written rules.
Unless the monsters were idiots, after it became obvious they couldn't beat this defensive bastion (when people keep getting up and falling down and getting up and ...) they should have retreated to lick their wounds, possibly to be encountered later.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Unless the monsters were idiots, after it became obvious they couldn't beat this defensive bastion (when people keep getting up and falling down and getting up and ...) they should have retreated to lick their wounds, possibly to be encountered later.

The hallway in question was the only way in or out, so it came down to a battle of attrition that was boring for all (and particularly frustrating for thr GM). The monsters were far too mobile (or too far away) for the tank to get close without getting slaughtered on the way (consecrated ground only heals when you are bloody) and the strikers were in really rough shape from the first part of the encounter. Add to that, the fact that the monsters were firing from behind cover about half of the time. It sucked for all.

It was a pre-generated encounter that will be this GM's last. The week prior, he had informed us that he would finish the quest that we were on, but from then on, he would be crafting his own. This particular encounter really showed us why he wants to do that, and I am quite excited to see what he comes up with, as we have a fairly eclectic mix of classes and playstyles in our group. Pre-generated encounters have gone from one extreme to the other for us. The all have seemed rediculously easy or crushingly hard.

I think that an adventure that is designed to both use our strengths and force us to creatively overcome our weeknesses will be far more fun.


Back on topic: In our group, when a character goes down, we have always played as though the effects that he has created go away. Like a Fighter's mark or a Warlock's curse. Could the same happen with this? I know that it would be contrary to the RAW, but it would seem to solve the problem.
Doesn't work. Regeneration only activates if you have at least 1 hp at the beginning of your turn.

A good point, though Consecrated Ground isn't formally regeneration, even though it has the same effect. That would be one way to remove this as an exploit (house rule or errata the power as granting regeneration), but as it stands it seems to be a legal use.
It's a legal use and it requires that you blow two daily powers to pull it off - it's hardly unreasonable to expect it to be effective, especially in what amount to perfect circumstances to use it.

And no, I would not suggest causing all effects to disappear if the person drops - that's going to create problems, especially since it makes the leaders an even bigger target. (Knock them down to dispel all of the buffs on the party? Great!)
And no, I would not suggest causing all effects to disappear if the person drops - that's going to create problems, especially since it makes the leaders an even bigger target. (Knock them down to dispel all of the buffs on the party? Great!)

I think by "goes down", he meant knocked unconscious/dying.

If such effects don't disappear when a character is dying, it invites coup de graces from the enemy. For instance, if a paladin uses Divine Challenge to mark someone and is then knocked below 0 health, is the enemy still marked on the next turn? Divine Challenge does radiant damage if the enemy attacks anyone besides the paladin, so it's basically begging the enemy to finish the paladin off.
I'm aware that that's what he meant, but the point still remains - it effectively allows enemies to "dispel" any powers simply by knocking someone to 0 - that's not how the rules handle it and that's going to weaken those powers consideraby, especially the party-bolstering ones which leaders typically grant.
A good point, though Consecrated Ground isn't formally regeneration, even though it has the same effect. That would be one way to remove this as an exploit (house rule or errata the power as granting regeneration), but as it stands it seems to be a legal use.

I was responding to the mention of Boundless Endurance, not commenting on whether or not the Consecrated Ground tactic works. That's why the quote block in my post was about Boundless Endurance.

Consecrated Ground does indeed pull you back up from below 0hp.
Quick question;

If you are dead when at your bloodied value under 0hp, does that mean the power still gives you hit points back when you are dead because your hp is under half maximum and thus you're still bloodied?

The rules don't state that when you're dead you are removed from the game or that you are no longer bloodied when you are dead, so technically you could be dead and at half hp after a few rounds of combat. Unless you come back to life that is.
I'm aware that that's what he meant, but the point still remains - it effectively allows enemies to "dispel" any powers simply by knocking someone to 0 - that's not how the rules handle it and that's going to weaken those powers consideraby, especially the party-bolstering ones which leaders typically grant.

Personally, I'd rather creatures be encouraged to knock out a character and then be free to focus on other opponents, rather than encouraged to attack a character until he or she is dead.
Personally, I'd rather creatures be encouraged to knock out a character and then be free to focus on other opponents, rather than encouraged to attack a character until he or she is dead.

And that would make sense for the first time they knock a PC down. The second time, I would expect the monsters to go for the kill.

I played in an LG game where my Archer knocked a fiendish mantis (or at least that was the mini, whatever it was had fast healing) down on one turn, but I didn't realize what it was (other than something large sized that fell out of a tree when shot two times) so the turn after it fell down, it got back up.

When it got back up though, I may have overreacted and used my Bracers of Quick Strike to triple shot the nearly dead thing (yeah, it must've had like 3 hp). But that is what happens when an enemy apparently gets up without assistance (especially when it is larged sized, because larged sized = owns archers under 3.5's reach rules).
Y'know, I thought about CG and what it means in the campaign I play in. I imagine it's a HUGE "mark" the Cleric basically drops on the battlefield attracting almost every attack...at least against semi-intelligent creatures etc.

I'm gonna sit and wait to see how our GM deals with it...but he hinted that when my Pally gets Healing Font (paragon), the same will happen to her.

Fox
Quick question;

If you are dead when at your bloodied value under 0hp, does that mean the power still gives you hit points back when you are dead because your hp is under half maximum and thus you're still bloodied?

The rules don't state that when you're dead you are removed from the game or that you are no longer bloodied when you are dead, so technically you could be dead and at half hp after a few rounds of combat. Unless you come back to life that is.

Errr...

I see where you're going, but...

in the PHB it says that when you're dead [it's a special condition!], only by special means can you be revived.

So regular healing can't help you there.
I believe follieslabour is correct!

You're probably not Bloodied if your Dying.

This solves the problem with CG?
[although I do find it hard to find an in-game reason why the magic doesn't work on the dying, but hey, 4e is about loose when in comes to in-game reason for various powers etc xD]

According to CS - in relation to CG

Bloodied while dying? [Incident: 080902-000307]

When a character reaches zero HP are they still considered to be bloodied? This relates to Consecrate Ground (cleric 5 daily)...this is not a regeneration power.

Thank you for writing.

Yes, they are still considered bloodied. So if they start their turn in the zone, they will gain hit points equal to the clerics Charisma modifier plus 1 and no longer be dying.

Good Gaming!
Why is this a problem? When you stand in the zone yourself then the enemies can concentrate as much as they want. Unless they kill you you are up again at the start of your turn.

Sure, but if they're clever they'll have a readied action to down the Cleric again before he can sustain the zone.

Given that the alternative is for the DM to start using focus fire to kill unconscious PCs, that's certainly what I'd have them do.
Sure, but if they're clever they'll have a readied action to down the Cleric again before he can sustain the zone.

Given that the alternative is for the DM to start using focus fire to kill unconscious PCs, that's certainly what I'd have them do.

And the other characters are doing nothing? I expect that the fighter stands right in front of the cleric and the other characters next to him. So to get to the cleric the monsters must first kill some other character.
And the other characters are doing nothing? I expect that the fighter stands right in front of the cleric and the other characters next to him. So to get to the cleric the monsters must first kill some other character.

Or use ranged attacks.
Or knock out the Fighter and then move into his space.
Or use Grab and Move to drag him out of the way.

You're right that the other PCs will presumably be working to thwart the monsters. I'm just pointing out that they have options to try other than one-round kills.
The hallway in question was the only way in or out, so it came down to a battle of attrition that was boring for all (and particularly frustrating for thr GM). The monsters were far too mobile (or too far away) for the tank to get close without getting slaughtered on the way (consecrated ground only heals when you are bloody) and the strikers were in really rough shape from the first part of the encounter. Add to that, the fact that the monsters were firing from behind cover about half of the time. It sucked for all.

It was a pre-generated encounter that will be this GM's last. The week prior, he had informed us that he would finish the quest that we were on, but from then on, he would be crafting his own. This particular encounter really showed us why he wants to do that, and I am quite excited to see what he comes up with, as we have a fairly eclectic mix of classes and playstyles in our group. Pre-generated encounters have gone from one extreme to the other for us. The all have seemed rediculously easy or crushingly hard.

I think that an adventure that is designed to both use our strengths and force us to creatively overcome our weeknesses will be far more fun.


Back on topic: In our group, when a character goes down, we have always played as though the effects that he has created go away. Like a Fighter's mark or a Warlock's curse. Could the same happen with this? I know that it would be contrary to the RAW, but it would seem to solve the problem.

Tactical options for the monsters:

1 - Wait until the Consecrated Ground fades. Let the adventurers enjoy their hallway for several hours. Sooner or later the cleric will have to drop the Consecrated Ground, go after him then.

2 - Area effect improvised weapons. Rolling logs set on fire. Catapults or ballistae. If the party is fixed in position, make all the preparations you need to.
It sounds like I'm pretty much alone here, but personally I think that the OP's experience made for a great cinematic fight. A fight were PCs are getting dropped only to be lured back to consciousness by the Cleric's Holy presense to fight on? Yes, please.

To me, the fact that these got used in a post boss fight when the party wasn't able to rest afterwards and had just spent a good deal of their resources, is ideal. It was the perfect power for the situation. It added dramatic tension to the encounter while letting them come out of it alive.

As others have posted it's not invulnerable to tactical counters or truly massive damage, and it costs both of the Cleric's Daily powers--It's a defensive Nova. :D

In a well designed boss fight, the boss should have plenty of options to deal with it, and in non-boss fights big deal they were gonna win anyway this way they blew thru major resources (the 2 dailies, plus the surges after the fact to get back to full if they were getting dropped).

Now like offensive Nova'ing (totally a word :P) if the PCs get cheesy and start pulling off the combo then immediately taking an extended rest, and repeating then of course as a DM you need to put your foot down and let them know that that isn't gonna fly. But in a typical 4-6 encounter day, let 'em feel immortal for 5 minutes.

Hope that helps,
Malk
Or use ranged attacks.
Or knock out the Fighter and then move into his space.
Or use Grab and Move to drag him out of the way.

All of those things are certainly possible, but very hard to do. Unless when faced with a lot of artillery the PCs can mostly deal more ranged damage than the monsters, meaning that in a archery match the PCs will win automatically when they also have the zone up.
Stepping at the fighters square has the problem that the fighter will stand up the next round and what then? Is it even possible the move into a square someone else occupies?
Grab is doable, but requires 2 rounds in which the PCs can push the monster away or kill it otherwise (the zone damages enemies, too). And when the cleric is a dwarf this becomes even harder.

Tactical options for the monsters:

1 - Wait until the Consecrated Ground fades. Let the adventurers enjoy their hallway for several hours. Sooner or later the cleric will have to drop the Consecrated Ground, go after him then.

2 - Area effect improvised weapons. Rolling logs set on fire. Catapults or ballistae. If the party is fixed in position, make all the preparations you need to.

1. Yes, that is certainly a idea, but it will take 5 minutes (50 rounds). in that time the cleric can move 150 squares. Yes, the zone can be moved.

2. See above, the zone is not completely static. Also this needs a fixed defence emplacment which is rather uncommon for most monsters to have and is a fireball magnet.
Something worth noting here...a lot of people are mentioning that it takes the use of two dailies to make this happen. However, since you get healed TO the amount of healing you take when you are unconscious, Beacon of Hope is a nice bonus but hardly necessary for CG to do it's thing. Characters will keep getting up over and over again whether they are healed for 10 or for 1.
Get an NPC with dispell magic...

Or push, slide or pull the PCs out of the zone before dropping them.

However, I really think that the biggest problem is that the zone can be moved so easily.

Ceterum censeo capsum rubeum esse delendam

If the goal is to kill all the PCs then CG may well be overpowered. If the goal is for the Cleric to keep the party alive while they defeat the enemy, then it is working as intended. DM could always focus fire on the Cleric. I don't see how the effect would be reasonably expected to continue after the Cleric is knocked out. (Personally, as a lvl 3 Cleric, I am very much looking forward to casting Sanctuary on myself and using it in exactly this sort of situation.)
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