Compromise on Daily melee abilities?

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I'm pretty sure that everybody here agrees that even non-magical fighters should have several cool options to choose from

 

(as opposed to  

Show
Wizard: I force the enemy Blackguard 20 ft to the left to protect my Rogue while she recovers her weapon

Fighter: I deal 14 damage to the Blackguard

Wizard: I give the enemy Ranger a -2 penalty to his next 3 attack/damage rolls unless the enemy Cleric heals him instead of attacking me

Fighter: I deal 17 damage to the Ranger

Wizard: I deal 5-8 damage and 1 round of blindness to each of those 4 Summoned wolves

Fighter: I deal 16 damage to one of the wolves...

)

 

and that the most powerful options should be used the least frequently throughout the campaign

 

(otherwise there would once again only be one real option:

Show

Fighter: (Since Parrying is a lot less powerful than Simple Attacking for the same difficulty) I simple-attack

Fighter: (Since Feinting is a lot harder than Simple Attacking for only a little bit more power) I simple-attack

)

 

It's starting to sound like people want a single system to handle multiple ways of distunguishing between weaker/easier and stronger/harder maneuvers (as opposed to "People who like the 2e method play 2e, people who like the 3.5e method play 3.5e, people who like the 4e method play 4e"), so how about:

 

Each maneuver is rated from 1 to 10, where simple attack = 1.

 

(1) Tables using the all Direct gameplay, no Indirect gameplay approach ("players Act their characters directly without Authoring/Directing anything outside of that; abstract mechanics are a weakness that show the designers failed to describe the game world" ) could try something like

 

(a) "For an attempted maneuver to be successful, the PC's attack roll must overcome the target enemy's AC by an amount equal to the maneuver's rating."

 

or (b) "For an attempted maneuver to be successful, the PC must both succeed on both an attack roll [ (1d20 + all attack bonuses) vs. AC] and a maneuver roll [ (1d20 + BAB) vs (maneuver rating x2)]. Rolling a natural 1 on the maneuver roll does nothing special on it's own; rolling a natural 1 on the attack roll BUT succeeding at the maneuver roll results in a simple fumble (attack fails regardless of AC, nothing extra happens); rolling a natural 1 on the attack roll AND failing the maneuver roll results in a critical fumble (attack fails regardless of AC, something extra happens)."

 

This naturally reduces the number of times that the most powerful maneuvers can be used by reducing the probability that a particular attempt would work.

 

This way, players/characters can attempt stronger/harder maneuvers anytime they want, they just won't work as often as the weaker/easier ones unless the players/charcaters completely outmatch their opponents by ridiculous amounts.

 

(2) Tables using the some Direct gameplay, some Indirect gameplay approach ("players can Author/Direct in addition to just Acting; abstract mechanics are a strength that allow the DM/players describe their own game world") could try something like "Maneuvers rated 1-3 are classified as "At-will" Powers (can be used anytime), maneuver's rated 4-7 are "Encounter" Powers (can be used once, recharged with a short rest), and maneuvers rated 8-10 are "Daily" Powers (can be used once, recharged with an extended rest)."

 

This artificially reduces the number of times that the most powerful maneuvers can be used, even though the probability has not changed that a particular attempt would work before reaching that limit.

 

This way, a character's best powers work as reliably as the weaker powers when the players do decide to use them, but the player can't decide to use them very often. Players would save their character's best powers for when they are most dramatically appropriate, and can still role-play their characters as trying and failing a bunch of other times before and after.

 

If all of these options (1a, 1b, and 2) are provided at the beginning of the rule-book, then the description of each maneuver would only need to show a single (normally single-digit) number for the DM/players to then check against the option that they are using.

 

...

 

What does everybody think? Does this need more work before anybody can use it?

Founder - but not owner - of Just Say Yes!

Member of LGBT Gamers

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Why there should be the option to use alignment systems:
Show
If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

I think you posted this in the wrong forum. This is intended to talk about future products to be released, not the content of those books.

 

If you are talking about DnD Next, you should post this over in that forum. http://community.wizards.com/forums/106616

 

Are you sure? The menu said "Want to speculate about what's next for Dungeons & Dragons? Here's the place to discuss teasers and previews and your hopes for the future of the game." so I thought that the DND Next forum was where I would go to talk about a specific, existing edition.

Founder - but not owner - of Just Say Yes!

Member of LGBT Gamers

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Why there should be the option to use alignment systems:
Show
If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

I don't think the two systems are equal.  I do like the idea of a character getting options based on how badly the beat the enemies AC.

My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.

Emerikol wrote:
I don't think the two systems are equal.
I was worried about that too Any ideas?

Founder - but not owner - of Just Say Yes!

Member of LGBT Gamers

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Why there should be the option to use alignment systems:
Show
If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

Are you attempting to recreate the 4es at will, encounter and daily powers? If so then no. I don't think a fighter has to have the same amount of options as a wizard. This is what I disliked about 4e. It made the reliance on miniatures and maps pretty much a requirement. I would love for next to go back to gridless or at least have that an option. I would be okay if a system was in place for abilities like 3e/pathfinder has but I would be more happy with a more old school approach. Maybe give fighters stances and paths in that style of stance?

rboles82 wrote:
Are you attempting to recreate the 4es at will, encounter and daily powers? If so then no. I don't think a fighter has to have the same amount of options as a wizard. This is what I disliked about 4e. It made the reliance on miniatures and maps pretty much a requirement.
The use of maps and minis has nothing to do with giving fighters options.

 

rboles82 wrote:
I would love for next to go back to gridless or at least have that an option.
It is and always has been an option. I can do it, so can you.

 

As for the original post, I like the idea, but it would need refinement and balance.

 

Right now, dailies are often used as bunker-busters in major battles. I'm of the opinion that they should be used more liberally to keep fights from grinding, but the fact is that people like to lay them out on major targets. The major targets, though are the ones that are probably going to be harder to hit, and so harder to pull off the big hits on. If you have to call your attack and hit that margin over AC, then you're not only much less likely in general to want to try the bigger power, but you're much more likely to get it to happen when you really need it.

 

It would need something like: "If you hit but don't succeed on your target roll, you get the effect of a (basic/at-will) attack." This is often how I flavor powers: my fighter is trying to Brute Strike every time, but can generally only manage a Reaping Strike or Cleave. My wizard would always love to throw a Lightning Bolt, but dang all he can manage is Arc Lightning, or a puff of misfired magic that results in Beguiling Strands.

 

This reminds me of Dragon Age a little bit. From what I understand, you can roll a "Stunt" when you attack, which lets you make your basic attack better under certain random circumstances. The player chooses how to make it better, but that can also be the player-character finding a way to leverage a successful attack.

 

The problem here is that the idea behind powers and attacks of different strength is dramatic pacing, which isn't and can't be an in-character concern. Some people don't want dramatic pacing, they want pure logic. Surely I'm not the only person who watched Voltron get smacked around and screamed at it to draw its sword already, not realizing that I was asking them to end my show five minutes early just for the sake of a 12-year-old's idea of what would make sense.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Yes it pretty much does. With powers that shift or move allies or enemies maps and minis are pretty much required as not to make the game confusing. again see my above statement. 4e pretty much required maps and minis to run combat. The combat mechanics are too complex to run Iit in the theater of the mind. I'm not saying it's impossible just not effecient. If I wanted to play a tactical wargame I would just play a tactical wargame.

rboles82 wrote:
Yes it pretty much does. With powers that shift or move allies or enemies maps and minis are pretty much required as not to make the game confusing. again see my above statement. 4e pretty much required maps and minis to run combat. The combat mechanics are too complex to run Iit in the theater of the mind. I'm not saying it's impossible just not effecient. If I wanted to play a tactical wargame I would just play a tactical wargame.
Very fair points. Would you like to start your own thread on the subject?

Founder - but not owner - of Just Say Yes!

Member of LGBT Gamers

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Why there should be the option to use alignment systems:
Show
If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

Centauri wrote:
Right now, dailies are often used as bunker-busters in major battles. I'm of the opinion that they should be used more liberally to keep fights from grinding, but the fact is that people like to lay them out on major targets. The major targets, though are the ones that are probably going to be harder to hit, and so harder to pull off the big hits on. If you have to call your attack and hit that margin over AC, then you're not only much less likely in general to want to try the bigger power, but you're much more likely to get it to happen when you really need it.
That did strike me - just a few hours ago but it's the thought that counts, right? - as a major difference in when powerful abilities would be used under this system:

 

Under the "Daily" option, stronger powers have the same probability of working (offset by the artificial limits on using them), so players would save them for stronger opponents that they need to do more damage against.

 

Under the "DC" option, stronger powers have a lower probability of working (offset by the chance of getting them more times in total if you get lucky rolls), so players would save them for weaker opponents that they already outmatch.

 

It would need something like: "If you hit but don't succeed on your target roll, you get the effect of a (basic/at-will) attack." This is often how I flavor powers: my fighter is trying to Brute Strike every time, but can generally only manage a Reaping Strike or Cleave. My wizard would always love to throw a Lightning Bolt, but dang all he can manage is Arc Lightning, or a puff of misfired magic that results in Beguiling Strands.
I considered that, but a lot of people seem to have a problem with "hit even on a 'miss' type" abilities.

 

Maybe those could just be rated higher than "miss = 0" abilities?

 

This reminds me of Dragon Age a little bit. From what I understand, you can roll a "Stunt" when you attack, which lets you make your basic attack better under certain random circumstances. The player chooses how to make it better, but that can also be the player-character finding a way to leverage a successful attack.
I considered something like that too, but it sounded like another example of the player/character dissociation that a lot of people don't like, whereas the people who like it would probably already be using the simpler Daily/Encounter/At-will distinctions.

Founder - but not owner - of Just Say Yes!

Member of LGBT Gamers

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Why there should be the option to use alignment systems:
Show
If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

rboles82 wrote:
Yes it pretty much does. With powers that shift or move allies or enemies maps and minis are pretty much required as not to make the game confusing.
Only if precise positioning matters to you, which (since you don't want to play a tactical wargame) it doesn't. Even with a map, precise positioning hardly ever matters.

 

rboles82 wrote:
I'm not saying it's impossible just not effecient.
Not tracking everything, no. But it not necessary to track everything.

 

I expect the inevitable: "But if you're not going to use all the rules why even play the game?" The rules are there if you need them, which sometimes you will. The rules for all those cool powers, and the need for powers at all only arose because it was too difficult to rely on one's GM to enable players and characters to do cool stuff that's balanced from player to player. If you GM already allows it, then great. Most don't.

 

rboles82 wrote:
If I wanted to play a tactical wargame I would just play a tactical wargame.
Wow, it's been, what, 6 years, and that's still the rallying cry?

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Beldak_Serpenthelm wrote:

 

It would need something like: "If you hit but don't succeed on your target roll, you get the effect of a (basic/at-will) attack." This is often how I flavor powers: my fighter is trying to Brute Strike every time, but can generally only manage a Reaping Strike or Cleave. My wizard would always love to throw a Lightning Bolt, but dang all he can manage is Arc Lightning, or a puff of misfired magic that results in Beguiling Strands.

I considered that, but a lot of people seem to have a problem with "hit even on a 'miss' type" abilities.

 

Maybe those could just be rated higher than "miss = 0" abilities?

Right, but you're still hitting, you're just not hitting as hard.

 

I wonder if this couldn't all be resolved just by getting rid of the binary hit or miss and having the amount you hit by matter.

 

Beldak_Serpenthelm wrote:
This reminds me of Dragon Age a little bit. From what I understand, you can roll a "Stunt" when you attack, which lets you make your basic attack better under certain random circumstances. The player chooses how to make it better, but that can also be the player-character finding a way to leverage a successful attack.

I considered something like that too, but it sounded like another example of the player/character dissociation that a lot of people don't like, whereas the people who like it would probably already be using the simpler Daily/Encounter/At-will distinctions.

Well, that's certainly true for me. I didn't see that Dragon Age offered me anything new, except a setting.

 

Here's what I think would placate people: conditions that have to be met to use a power.

 

If you're a 4e player, the conditions you need to be present to use a daily power simply ARE present when you want to use the power. The upwelling of strength, the chink in the armor, the off balance foe. Bam, it all comes together.

 

In past editions, you could get more mileage out of an attack, just by explaining how you did it. The rules didn't offer much along these lines, so it was mostly just about getting a height advantage, or some kind of speed boost, but other people did it (or tried to do it) with called shots or a cool description of the attack. This idea, as much as I like it, is really just called shots.

 

So, what you might be able to do, for every class, is still have powers but call them "training" or "discipline." They're moves/spells/prayers that you were taught, that you can pull off with the right set up. The more powerful, the harder the set up.

 

For an at-will power, it might be "You're adjacent to a target you can see, and you're able to make attacks," "You can see a target withing 100 feet and you're holding an implement." Wording you don't even really need, it's so simple and obvious.

 

For slightly more powerful attacks, the prerequisites would be tougher: "Adjacent; can attack; target is uninjured or just injured an ally." "Target is within 100 feet; you're holding an implement; you hit a target last turn."

 

Very powerful spells would have tricky prerequisites, but maybe several sets. "Can attack, are above target, or riding target; or ally just died; or you are fighting this specific target for the second time." "Target is within 100 feet, and target is standing on a ley line (burned out after this attack); or target is wearing metal armor or is standing in water." Etc.

 

These conditions could be overridden or added to by the GM, if they thought your character had a good reason for getting to use the power. Then, once you'd used it, the GM could say that the special case no longer applied. And of course, the GM could make it more or less likely for the prerequisites to arise.

 

Because at the end of the day a lot of this is about the GM losing control over what characters are and aren't allowed to do.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

The idea of beating the AC by greater amounts for greater effects is interesting. It is offset enough by difficulty without artificial limits like daily. If we have a set of abilities where some are just more powerful than others, I don't think the more powerful options need to be less used; they could just be harder to pull off. Leaving our beat-AC system at that, however, likely the powerful maneuvers would be used most often on easier-to-hit (likely weaker) opponents, and less powerful attacks against more difficult ones, so the idea for caveats for when the maneuver can be used (I would say instead of having to beat AC) has merit, but if those caveats are too limiting or long-winded, players will tire of them.

 

Personally, I don't think a set of abilities has to have different power levels to have variety; you could have a tons of varying effects of about the same amount of influence on the game world, and they could even have effects that more powerful abilities do not. I assume you want to work with power tiers in your maneuver sets like 4e classes and wizards, though, but I wanted to point out that you can go outside this box if you wanted.

I just added a third possibility to the OP: a new "maneuver roll" in addition to attack/damage. I got the idea from YagamiFire's blog (and it sounds like he got the general concept from Pathfinder but improved the specific mechanics), and I think I've found a way to combine his idea with my own concern for abilities with different power levels.

 

I haven't had practice adding new mechanics on this level before, so I would appreciate feedback on whether the specific execution needs to be improved, but what I have so far works out to:

 

Level 1 abilities require 1d20 + BAB to add up to at least 3

Level 5 abilities require 1d20 + BAB to add up to at least 11

Level 10 abilities require 1d20 + BAB to add up to at least 21

 

If you have a BAB of 0, then

*rolling at least a 3 (90%) lets you use abilities leveled at 1

*abilities leveled at 9 require rolling at least a 19 (10%)

*abilities leveled at 10 are impossible (would require rolling at least a 21)

 

If you have a BAB of 1, then

*rolling at least a 2 (95%) lets you use abilities leveled at 1

*abilities leveled at 10 require rolling a 20 (5%)

 

If you have a BAB of 2, then

*rolling even a 1 lets you use abilities leveled at 1

*rolling at least a 3 (90%) lets you use abilities leveled at 2

*abilities leveled at 10 require rolling at least a 19 (10%)

 

If you have a BAB of 5, then

*even rolling a 1 lets you use abilities leveled at 1 or 2

*rolling at least a 2 (95%) lets you use abilities leveled at 3

*abilities leveled at 10 require rolling at least a 16 (25%)

 

If you have a BAB of 10, then

*rolling even a 1 lets you use abilities leveled at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

*rolling at least a 3 (90%) lets you use abilities leveled at 6

*abilities leveled at 10 require rolling at least an 11 (50%)

 

If you have a BAB of 15, then

*even rolling a 1 lets you use abilities leveled at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

*rolling at least a 2 (95%) lets you use abilities leveled at 8

*abilities leveled at 10 require rolling at least a 6 (75%)

Founder - but not owner - of Just Say Yes!

Member of LGBT Gamers

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Why there should be the option to use alignment systems:
Show
If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

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