Rules you didn't realize

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This message has been edited to include all of the rules that this thread have come up with. RED lines are unconfirmed rules. Please PM me if you can find a page reference for an unconfirmed rule. PLEASE include a page and book reference when adding a new rule and please help me by PMing me page references if I missed any.

Alright, I thought I'd toss this topic out after a couple months of somewhat average gameplay (Approximately one 6-8 hour gaming session a week). Tell me what you think...

While I'll read most of the PHB, I couldn't at all claim that I've read and absorbed it cover to cover. Likewise, I've skimmed the DMG, but have yet to really sit down and commit myself to reading the whole thing.

As such, I thought that it might be worthwhile to post rules or observations that I've come across that I didn't really get or notice the first time reading the rules that differ significantly from 3.5e and before or that are just plain new to 4e.

I'd love to see other post similar discoveries that maybe the rest of us may have missed. Let me get this started with two examples and please, by all means, add on to this...


"Didn't realize it rule" #1 -
The number of times that you can use a daily power granted by a magic item is limited by level.

I didn't realize this. On page 226 of the PHB it points out that from level 1-10 you can only use 1 magic item daily power pre day. Regardless of the item. If you are level 1-10 and use a daily power from a magic item, you cannot use any daily power from any other (Or the same) magic item until after an extended rest. From level 11-20 this increases to two such uses and from 21-30 this becomes 3 such uses. I guess you'd better really think about it when it comes to using a magic item's daily use.


"Didn't realize it rule" #2 -
The monster stat block reads that on a successful attack, the target is marked. Where the heck does it spell out how a monster "mark" works?

A fighter has Combat Challenge, a paladin has Divine Challenge, both of which indicate marking a target, but how does a generic monster mark work? This bugged me for about a week, so I faked it, because I could not for the life of me find what a generic mark was. Well, I'm pretty sure I figured it out, even though it seemed kind of backwards at first. While I can't find anywhere where it states the result of what a generic mark does, I did find what to expect if you are under the effect of a generic mark. In the end, I thought it was kind of funny. "It doesn't say what happens when a monster marks you, but the effect of a mark is listed.". Head to page 277 of the PHB to see the result of being marked. A -2 penalty to attack rolls for any attack that doesn't target the creature that marked you. Simple enough. In the end, I don't see what was so difficult about it to begin with.

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#1 - (PHB 266) The number of times that you can use any daily power granted by any magic item is limited by the PC level. You CAN use more than one magic item daily power per day at Heroic Tier. The catch? You have to reach a milestone first.

#2 - (PHB 277) The effect of a monster marking a target is not described in the books, but the condition is. –2 attack if the marked target attacks anyone other the the monster that marks it.

#3 - (PHB 59) Powers with a hit that also have an effect still get the benefit of their effect even if the power misses. As the DM I didn't give some of my players the benefit from their attacks.

#4 - (PHB 267) No Action points can be used during Surprise rounds.

#5 - (PHB 60, and in the first page description of each character class) The starting HP of a character is their Class HP + their CON score, not their CON modifier. This is the most common 'oversight' I saw in players who've played 3.x before.

#6 - (PHB 208) The class-specific multiclass feats qualify you to take paragon paths from that class only if you have the prerequisites necessary for that particular path.

#7 - (PHB 287-288) Charge is a standard action, so you can still take a move action in the same round. However, using a charge ends your turn, so you can only move before you charge.

#8 - (PHB 201) Toughness feat only gives +5 HP At each tier.

#9 - (PHB 263) You can only take an extended rest once every 18 hours (Or every 12 hours if you don’t add in the time spent during an extended rest, but let’s not bring that one up again). Seemed fishy after my parties third extended rest in the 5th room of a dungeon

#10 - There are no more Full Round Actions, get over it.

#11 - (PHB 58) There is no more minimum of 1 damage from an attack. You can hit and deal 0 damage.

#12 - (PHB 295) When you subject to a healing effect that requires you to spend a healing surge and you have none left, you are restored to 1 hit point, if you were dying.

#12 - This is not D&D 3.75.

#14 - (PHB 268) The limits on immediate actions and the difference between immediate and opportunity actions.

#18 - (PHB 294) Temp hp don't make you conscious -- if you are at 0 (or less) and receive Temp hp, you are still unconscious. Came up during a game with a Warlock exactly on 0 and receiving 1 Temp hp from pact boon (GM ruled okay, but I looked it up later).

#19 - (PHB 295) When you reduce a monster to 0 hp you get to choose if you either knock it unconscious or kill it. (i.e. instead of nonlethal damage).

#20 - (PHB 291) Ready an action is an Immediate Reaction (occurs after, one immediate per turn), although your initiative is set to immediately before the creature that triggered. (Both Ready and Delay are largely similar to 3.x, however I played some games where the GM ran it diferently).

#21 - Two-handed weapon now probably means only the category, not how you wield it, e.g. for power attack. This is the reverse of 3.x, where how you wielded it was generally important. This comes into play when using a versatile weapon. If a power or condition requires a two-handed weapon it refers to the category of it, not how it's used.

#22 - (PHB 30) Defenses add 1/2 level, and so AC automatically goes up.

#22 - (PHB 62/90) clerics and pals don't need to wield their implements like wizards etc. They can just hang them round their neck. Cue the party cleric swapping quick draw for shield proficiency!

#23 - (PHB 195) expanded spellbook feat gives you an extra daily but not an extra utility per level. Cue disappointed wizard pc..never assume check

#24 - (PHB 214) When using a light shield, one is able to hold items,load a hand crossbow and even climb and still use it. Sounds like that sword arm may not be limited to only holding a torch or sunrod.

#25 - (PHB 285) You do not need to hold a weapon in order to obtain combat advantage through a flank. You can be armed or unarmed.

#25 - (PHB 56) You don't need an implement just to use a power with the Implement keyword, regardless of your class. Not having an implement has no ill effects, apart from Wizards losing the benefits of Arcane Implement Mastery.

#27 - (PHB 198) Int 13 is a pre-requisite for Linguist. If you don't have Int 13, there is no way (that I can see) to learn additional languages.

#28 - Most big creatures (including dragons and such) do *not* have threatening reach... meaning no AO's unless you are adjacent to them.

#29 - (PHB 285) You can flank, and even gain combat advantage for attacks, with a ranged weapon (or any attack). You still need to be adjacent to the target (so usually making the ranged or area attack would provoke), but still useful to know if there is something you really, really need CA for with a ranged or area attack.

#30 - (PHB 105) Did you know that Twin strike damage does not get modified by any abilities i.e. STR or DEX

#31 - (DMG 38) Like monsters can ready within their own turn in order to wait for another monster to get into a flanking position. This is relevant when you have something like 2 or more same monsters attacking using the same initiative.

#32 - (PHB 40/195/286) Did you know that an elf PC with Fast runner feat and using his Action point can Run 33 squares in one round. (Ok, it was determined that an elf can move even more then this, but you get the picture)

#33 - (PHB 294) Temporary hit points don't stack.

#34 - (PHB 268) You can only use an Immediate Interrupt or Reaction once per Round, not both.

#35 - (PHB 268) You can not use an Immediate Interrupt (A more accurate statement would be Immediate ACTION) on your own turn.

#36 - (PHB 61) You can only use one Channel Divinity power during an encounter, regardless of how many you know.

#37 - (PHB 198) The Human perservances also adds to death saving throws.

#38 - (DMG 44) You get a saving throw to avoid being forced movement into hindering terrain. This leaves the target prone at the edge of their current square.

#39 - (PHB 290) You don't move into your opponent's square when you grab. Even if you're a stirge. In fact, I don't think you ever share a square with an opponent any more for any reason. Gelatinous Cube and Shambling Mound is one exception to this.

#40 - (Not true, it only grants concealment, not total concealment needed for stealth) The Warlock's shadowstep concealment allows him to make a Stealth check.

#41 - (Not true see #40)If the warlock wants to use shadowstep concealment to make a Stealth check, it is automatically at -5 for having had to move 3 squares.

#42 - (PHB 291) Monsters can't take Second Wind unless the description says they can.

#43 - (PHB 210)Starting gold is 100g

#44 - (DMG page 143)Starting wealth rules for PCs above first level.

#45 - (PHB 292)Standing up from prone no longer provokes attacks of opportunity.

#46 - (PHB 289)Drinking a potion as a minor action.

#47 - (PHB 289)Also, it's a standard action to equip a shield

#48 (PHB 278) Sneak attack does not max on a crit.

#49 - (PHB 263) There is a penalty for not taking an extended rest. You need at least 6 hours of sleep every day to keep functioning at your best. If, at the end of an extended rest, you haven’t slept at least 6 hours in the last 24, you gain no benefit from that extended rest.

#50 - (PHB 285)If you’re affected by an effect that prevents you from taking opportunity actions, you don’t flank.

#51 - (PHB 290) Close Blast or Close Burst do not have the keyword "Ranged" or "Area" and as such do not provoke OA.

#52 - (PHB 290) You can make an OA once on each other creatures turn, but you can make any number during the round.

#53 - (PHB 212) You don't add your dexterity bonus to ac if you wear anything other than light armour, but you have a choice between DEX and INT for light armor AC bonus.

#54 - (PHB 209) You couldn't use a power-swap feat on a power from your Paragon Path or Epic Destiny.

#55 - (PHB 76) When a fighters Combat Challenge is trigged due to a marked, adjacent enemy shifting, the shift is not interrupted. It's just that the triggered action (melee basic attack by the fighter) occurs before the shift is completed.

#56 - (PHB 295) You can only fail 3 Death Saving Throws TOTAL between short (or extended) rests. So if you go down, fail 2, get back up, go down again, and fail 1, you are D-E-D, dead.

#57 - Healing affects you differently when you are "dying". If you are Healed while dying, your negative Hit Points are reset to 0 before you gain Hit Points form the Healing Effect. If the Healing Effect requires you to use a Healing Surge and you have none left, your Hit Points are instead set to 1 HP. Temporary hit points don't cause you to stop dying.

#58 - (PHB 287)(Number your rules, demmit) With a reach weapon, you can make a charge attack and do NOT have to end the move adjacent to the charged enemy. "You must move at least 2 squares from your starting position, and must move directly to the nearest square FROM WHICH YOU CAN ATTACK YOUR ENEMY. You can't charge if the nearest square is occupied. Moving over difficult terrain costs extra squares of movement as normal."

#59 - (PHB 217) Even with a reach weapon, enemies do no provoke opportunity attacks unless they are adjacent to you.

no page reference for #57. Please prove.
no page reference for #57. Please prove.

#57 - Healing affects you differently when you are "dying". If you are Healed while dying, your negative Hit Points are reset to 0 before you gain Hit Points form the Healing Effect. If the Healing Effect requires you to use a Healing Surge and you have none left, your Hit Points are instead set to 1 HP. Temporary hit points don't cause you to stop dying.

For everything but the bit about temp HP, PHB p. 295, Healing the Dying is very explicit. For temp HP, see the parenthetical comment at the top of p. 294.

t~
no page reference for #57. Please prove.

nm, ninjas are everywhere
Technically feasable though. It is possible to stack 5 people on top of each other if they're all lying down. I won't say it's a good idea and i fully expect the DM to impose some impressive penalties for pulling that stunt, but it is feasable IRL.

Actually, this sounds like a hysterical stunt for the DM to pull. Beware the Kobold Pyramid! :D
Actually, this sounds like a hysterical stunt for the DM to pull. Beware the Kobold Pyramid! :D

Of course, if the enemy moves up and surrounds the pile no one will be getting up. They will all have to fight prone from the square they are in. As the DM, the kobolds would do their best to surround the party lying down on the job.
It does remind me of a passage in the book, Fablehaven. The main character (an 11 year old kid) is being charged by a Satyr. He has never met a Satyr before and has used salt effectively on magical creatures in the past, so he throughs salt at the charging Satyr. The Satyr stops and says "What are doing?!"
#?+2 - Confusion between "move" and "walk" seems common. The action to move your speed is called Walk. There are many other actions that involve moving, including Crawl, Run, Shift, Squeeze and Charge. In particular Shift (move 1 square) is also movement.


P.S. DivineDragoonXD, did you really have to quote the whole thing?
#?+2 - Confusion between "move" and "walk" seems common. The action to move your speed is called Walk. There are many other actions that involve moving, including Crawl, Run, Shift, Squeeze and Charge. In particular Shift (move 1 square) is also movement[/i]

Don't forget saunter, swagger, amble, plod, and mosey.
Reality is a reference point, not a limitation.
Don't forget saunter, swagger, amble, plod, and mosey.

don't forget meander
bull rush does not draw an Opportunity Attack.

In 3.x, it drew an AoO ...

(I haven't checked Disarms, Grapples, etc - but do they do the same?)
bull rush does not draw an Opportunity Attack.

In 3.x, it drew an AoO ...

(I haven't checked Disarms, Grapples, etc - but do they do the same?)

Only two things draw an OA:

1) A non-shift move out of a threatened square.
2) Using a Ranged or Area power in a threatened square.

Nothing else draws an OA. This is a BIG change from 3.5, and it's much simpler to keep track of.
bull rush does not draw an Opportunity Attack.

In 3.x, it drew an AoO ...

(I haven't checked Disarms, Grapples, etc - but do they do the same?)

Opportunity attacks are only granted from:
-Leaving a threatened square
-using a ranged or area type power while in a threatened square
-special circumstances created by the use of a power or special ability

And that is it - completely.

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

#58 - (PHB 287)(Number your rules, demmit) With a reach weapon, you can make a charge attack and do NOT have to end the move adjacent to the charged enemy. "You must move at least 2 squares from your starting position, and must move directly to the nearest square FROM WHICH YOU CAN ATTACK YOUR ENEMY. You can't charge if the nearest square is occupied. Moving over difficult terrain costs extra squares of movement as normal."

Interesting that someone with a reach 2 weapon can attack from 1 square away or adjacent. Does that mean I have to stop when I am able to attack at range, do I have a choice, or must I declare what kind of attack I will be making, ranged or close to determine the end square of a charge?

Also, noticed that charging is not required to be in a straight line. Anyway to get there works as long as you meet the preconditions.
Disarms and grapples don't provoke OAs because they don't exist. Those are no longer combat options, unless you A.) have a power for it, or B.) use the holy page 42 to do something cool which results in your opponent losing its weapon. Which, of course, remains under the DM's discretion.

Either way, those aren't ranged/area attacks nor movement, so they wouldn't provoke OAs.

So, next rule I didn't realize: When a power states 3[w] + strength or what have you, and you have a +2 sword, you only add the +2 once. Not thrice, as I would have guessed. If you read the rules verbatim, it's clear - but it's one of those things where it's easy to assume the other way if you just skim it.

- Johnny
Don't forget saunter, swagger, amble, plod, and mosey.

What about a Sashay?
PHB 290 has Grab rules, which isn't quite grapple, but close enough. No disarm though.
PHB 290 has Grab rules, which isn't quite grapple, but close enough. No disarm though.

Since objects can be attacked too (DMG p.65), one could theoretically grab someone's weapon (same as you could say, their arm). What happens after that is up to the DM, but I reckon it might involve an opposed ability check (Str) as a standard action next round to yank it free.
Probably be a better idea to just cut his damn hand off.
Probably be a better idea to just cut his damn hand off.

Unlike objects, body parts cannot be targeted in D&D.

Still, I typically allow the player to say exactly how they incapacitate their opponent after reducing them to 0 HP or less.
Unlike objects, body parts cannot be targeted in D&D.

They can if the DM says they can.

Especially in this sort of circumstance i see nothing wrong with allowing the players to target the hand holding the dagger.
Heh. Do it Fallout style.

NUTSHOT, MWAHAHA!
Resident Logic Cannon
Not sure if it's already been brought up or not, but I've seen a couple of people get confused about it before, so I'll bring it up:

You can use the Wand of Accuracy ability to add your DEX modifier to an attack roll AFTER you've already rolled it. ;)

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Heh. Do it Fallout style.

NUTSHOT, MWAHAHA!

"I kick the Hobgoblin in the groin!"
"Roll Strength vs. Reflex."
"26!"
"Your heavy platemail boot slams into the Hobgoblin's groin, it's eyes cross in pain and it slowly keels over to crash into the ground with a clattering thud. Hobgoblin is now stunned and prone."
"Yesss!"


Actually that would make a neat Rogue power "Cheap Shot" or something, low damage, stunned (save ends) and prone, with Aftereffect Dazed (save ends). Tee hee.
So, next rule I didn't realize: When a power states 3[w] + strength or what have you, and you have a +2 sword, you only add the +2 once. Not thrice, as I would have guessed. If you read the rules verbatim, it's clear - but it's one of those things where it's easy to assume the other way if you just skim it.

- Johnny

What is the page reference for this?

Edit: Nm, found this at the bottom of pg. 219. Thanks.
No worries, gmguy. I DO get it, I just don't %100 agree with it. I understand the realism that you're trying to get me to understand, but with a Second Wind and a couple Warlord (Read "Martial") powers, someone who has been beaten down by sword, axe, club and arrow can be completely healed. This isn't magic, it's "real".

I know this is from awhile back, but I just wanted to bring it up as, not so much a "rule we didn't know" but a "concept we didn't know": In 4e, Hit Points are not the only measure of how injured your character is.

People tend to stick to the concept from previous editions, that hit points represent the totality of how wounded a character is, and that causes a lot of conceptual problems when it comes to 4e healing.

A far better way to look at it is that hit points represent nothing more than how much physical punishment your character can take before he falls over. His total state of health is represented by his hit points plus how many healing surges he has left.

In the quoted example, a character who is injured to the point of death, and is then healed back to full hit points, consuming two or three healing surges in the process, is not uninjured - he's actually significantly more injured than he was when he entered the fight. It's just that a combination of his own adrenaline rush and some healing (magical or not) has bound up those injuries so that they're no longer immediately life-threatening and he can continue fighting without worrying about them. He will continue to carry those injuries throughout the rest of his adventuring day, until he can finally get them properly treated over the course of an extended rest, regaining all his healing surges.

Likewise with death saves - each failed save represents a severe injury bleeding out and threatening to become fatal. No amount of in-combat healing will remove that injury - it will merely stave off its immediate effect. Taking enough damage to fall over again will re-open the wound, leaving the character once more on the brink of death. Only during a rest (short or extended) can he treat the wound properly.

Basically, don't think of spending healing surges as curing injuries - think of it as simply performing first aid, staving off the short-term threat to your health until it can be dealt with properly through rest and healing.
So let me get this straight.

Upon reaching a milestone, you gain:
- An action point
- An additional daily item use

When you take an extended rest, your action point is reset to 1, but your milestone remains? The amount of milestones you have never resets?

So you get 1 daily item use for heroic, 2 for paragon, 3 for epic + the amount of milestones you have?

Or do the milestones just vanish after you took an extended rest...
Basically, don't think of spending healing surges as curing injuries - think of it as simply performing first aid, staving off the short-term threat to your health until it can be dealt with properly through rest and healing.

Sorry for the double post here.

Yes, I agree. I was always quite confused about the crap loads of HP you got in 3.5; are these hero's so inhuman?

Than a player told me I just wasn't thinking straight. The amount of HP you have isn't a measurement for how many wounds you have, just how many blows you took.

So a fighter with 100 HP vs a fighter with 13 HP isn't inhuman, he just knows how to catch blows with his body. If you want to know the amount of injuries he has, look at the percentage, but just because 23 kills the second fighter, doesn't mean 23 damage is a fatal wound, it just means the fighter couldn't block the blow well...

I never really thought of how that'd work with 4th and healing surges... although I did consider adrenaline, that doesn't always makes sense, but the way you describe it sounds like it makes enough sense alright: Spending a standard action, call it 3 seconds, to regain battle awareness, to deal with your pains can easily have the advantage a healing surge has.

Sorry for the rant, I just liked your comment x)
The milestone daily item uses vanish after an extended rest.

This may not actually be in the rules, but it's clearly RAI. Daily item uses are awarded along with Action Points, Action Points reset, so Daily item uses will too.
So let me get this straight.

Upon reaching a milestone, you gain:
- An action point
- An additional daily item use

When you take an extended rest, your action point is reset to 1, but your milestone remains? The amount of milestones you have never resets?

So you get 1 daily item use for heroic, 2 for paragon, 3 for epic + the amount of milestones you have?

Or do the milestones just vanish after you took an extended rest...

PHB pg 226

After you take an extended rest, all of your magic item daily powers are renewed, and you start fresh with regard to the number of magic item daily powers you can use per day.
"I kick the Hobgoblin in the groin!"
"Roll Strength vs. Reflex."
"26!"
"Your heavy platemail boot slams into the Hobgoblin's groin, it's eyes cross in pain and it slowly keels over to crash into the ground with a clattering thud. Hobgoblin is now stunned and prone."
"Yesss!"


Actually that would make a neat Rogue power "Cheap Shot" or something, low damage, stunned (save ends) and prone, with Aftereffect Dazed (save ends). Tee hee.

Not all monsters are male...
Not all monsters are male...

Believe it or not, the groin is a very sensitive spot on *both* sexes; there are a *lot* of nerve-endings in that location on males and females alike.
Not all monsters are male...

I hate to break this to you, but groinshots work on females as well.

In fact there's fairly good evidence that 'at certain times of the month' it would hurt more for a female than for a male.
Hehe...someone needs to play the original Fallout. The commentary when you used Called Shots was PRICELESS. :D
Resident Logic Cannon
Burst and Blast attacks are NOT melee attacks. This means they are not affected by things like a character being prone (Combat Advantage to melee attacks).

A good example would be the fighter attack "Sweeping Blow" which is described as "a single mighty swing that hits many enemies at once". This attack that uses a weapon isn't a melee attack!

Pg. 270 of the PHB (under targeting) - Melee attacks don't create areas of effect
Nevermind.
Sebby
"I'm a bonster. Rawr!"
Interesting that someone with a reach 2 weapon can attack from 1 square away or adjacent. Does that mean I have to stop when I am able to attack at range, do I have a choice, or must I declare what kind of attack I will be making, ranged or close to determine the end square of a charge?

A Charge has to end with a melee basic attack or bull rush, so no ranged attacks as part of a charge.

-Lefty
Jim Crocker, Managing Partner Modern Myths, LLC Northampton, MA www.modern-myths.com
A Charge has to end with a melee basic attack or bull rush, so no ranged attacks as part of a charge.

-Lefty

Smyrin is asking about Charge using a melee weapon that has reach. He can attack an enemy 2 squares away and he is asking if, on a charge, he has to or if he can close to one square (adjacent). By a strict reading, it looks to me like you would make the attack 2 squares since that would be "the nearest square from which you can attack the enemy."
Smyrin is asking about Charge using a melee weapon that has reach. He can attack an enemy 2 squares away and he is asking if, on a charge, he has to or if he can close to one square (adjacent). By a strict reading, it looks to me like you would make the attack 2 squares since that would be "the nearest square from which you can attack the enemy."

He referred to 'ranged' attacks in the post, so I read it as asking if you could use a ranged attack as part of your charge (Eldritch Blast or whatever).

If he actually meant to say meant 'melee attack with reach', then yes, by RAW, you need to take the attack at 1 square out, because that's the nearest square you can attack from.

-Lefty
Jim Crocker, Managing Partner Modern Myths, LLC Northampton, MA www.modern-myths.com
Not sure if it's already been brought up or not, but I've seen a couple of people get confused about it before, so I'll bring it up:

You can use the Wand of Accuracy ability to add your DEX modifier to an attack roll AFTER you've already rolled it. ;)

Do you have any rules text to back this up? It would certainly make Wand of Accuracy more appealing but I see nothing that suggests this is the case.
Do you have any rules text to back this up?

Not directly, no, but there doesn't need to be. The text says:
"Once per encounter as a Free Action, you gain a bonus to a single attack roll equal to your Dexterity modifier."
I see nothing that suggests this is the case.

I see nothing at all suggesting the bonus must be declared before the roll. You can even compare it to other free action abilities and power that modify rolls, such as Elven Accuracy.

For more information, check out this thread.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!