Banning things

56 posts / 0 new
Last post
As I recall, in the 3.5 Living campaigns, a number of feats/spells/etc were banned because they were considered too cheesy or overpowered.

I was wondering if any such bans will be, or are expected to be, made for 4E living Forgotten Realms? E.g. banning certain items from the Adventurers Vault that penalize saving throws, to prevent an orb wizard from giving out a -12 saving throw penalty.
The LFR campaign staff does not have the power to ban items. We will certainly point out rules that might be in need of errata, and hopefully any rules that are open to abuse will be changed at the very top (the core rules).

Thanks,

Shawn
LFR Global Admin
Well, Artifacts are already banned... and anything requiring DM Adjudication.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
I expect that the CCG will always be the go-to source for what's permitted/disallowed for the campaign.

As such, unless/until you see something forboden in there, as long as it comes from a player resource or you have campaign documentation to back it up - it's fair game.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

I for one am glad that I don't have to cross-reference pages of documentation when figuring out my character. D&D is what it is ... I like playing the game as written warts and all.

Allen.
As I recall, in the 3.5 Living campaigns, a number of feats/spells/etc were banned because they were considered too cheesy or overpowered.

I was wondering if any such bans will be, or are expected to be, made for 4E living Forgotten Realms? E.g. banning certain items from the Adventurers Vault that penalize saving throws, to prevent an orb wizard from giving out a -12 saving throw penalty.

Doesn't look like it. The Battlerager-Warforged-Reparation Apparatus is here to stay.
Doesn't look like it. The Battlerager-Warforged-Reparation Apparatus is here to stay.

Reparation Apparatus doesn't work with Battlerager Vigor temporary hit points. You only add the 2d6 if you use a power that grants temporary hit points. Temporary hit points gained by the Battlerager Vigor class feature are gained via a feature, not the use of a power.

However, the item does work nicely with various utility and encounter powers out there, as well as Invigorating powers. Although, it's benefits will trail off over time, as the 2d6 doesn't scale while your HP and damage taken do.
Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com
As I recall, in the 3.5 Living campaigns, a number of feats/spells/etc were banned because they were considered too cheesy or overpowered.

I was wondering if any such bans will be, or are expected to be, made for 4E living Forgotten Realms?

WOTC's philosophy appears to be that if a single rules item (i.e., power, feat, magic item, etc.) is unbalanced, or some rules system creates a subtle imbalance, those need to be corrected. However, if a combination of rules items cause a blatant imbalance, that's not really a problem, because DMs always have the power to make house rules and decide that, say, two powers don't synergize the way a player wants them to or a magic item isn't available to the player. The thinking appears to be that the more obvious the imbalance, the less the need to fix it, because no competent DM would allow such an obvious problem in their campaign.

This philosophy meshes poorly with a Living campaign, where the general assumption is that DMs will play by the RAW, even if they disagree with the end result.

Because of this, every successful Living campaign has made changes to the core rules, on the basis that the campaign staff were acting as DMs for the campaign and thus able to make house rules.

The LFR philosophy, which appears to have been forced by WOTC, is that campaign staff aren't the DMs of the campaign, but more facilitators for the actual DM, whoever happens to be running the module that day.

As a result, campaign staff is hamstrung, unable to do anything but mechanically tell you that the core rules are good, Dragon Magazine is good, everything that WOTC puts out is good and suitable for use in the campaign. At this point, the farthest that campaign staff appear able to go is to restrict things (like character backgrounds) for campaign flavor reasons. Inasmuch as a warforged who is a Battlelord of Kord is legal, however, that clearly doesn't extend very far.

Of course, the other implication of the newRPGA philosophy is that the DM at the table is actually a DM--as far as I can tell, if you as a DM decide that some combination of powers works better together than intended, you're free to declare by DM fiat that it just doesn't work that way at your table. For that matter, in discussions about Blade Cascade before errata came out, some campaign staff were implying that a DM could just house rule away the plain meaning of a single power if they thought the plain meaning was against the Rules as the DM thought were Intended.

So, the answer is: No, campaign staff are barred from ever implying that something that WOTC puts out is not suitable for use in the campaign. However, if you as DM personally and strongly don't like something, you can probably (either through inherent DM powers or DME) declare it anathema at your table.

-- Brian Gibbons.
Although so far I haven't seen anything that is blatantly overpowered. I have seen strong combos for sure, but they are usually good 1/day and/or are extremely situational. In such a case, I don't consider it overpowered. If they are able to doit every round on every attack (like the good ol' 3.X days) the I woudl considerit overpowered/unbalanced.

That's not to say that such a thing could crop up in future supplements, but I think the structure of 4e lends itself to keeping such combos from becoming overwhelming like they did in the previous edition.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
Dragon9 said
Although so far I haven't seen anything that is blatantly overpowered. I have seen strong combos for sure, but they are usually good 1/day and/or are extremely situational

While not providing the snarky response I'd like to this statement, I will nevertheless respond.

Because Wizards has been (dare I say) months late with the updated errata, there are some blatant problems that seem to pop up every single module. One noticable one is people pulling out spare sets of Veteran's armor in order to cast a daily or more every combat. There are some items problematic in combination in Adventurer's Vault as well, but they don't really show up until late heroic, so we'll start hearing about them soon.

A couple of the paragon classes released recently have issues too, although nothing as bad as the items, really. If Wizards finishes up the errata soon, we may well see a situation were there is nothing blatently broken, but they seem to prefer to produce lots of subpar products rather than slightly fewer good products. A shame, really.

Brayden Glad
Dealing with WotC customer service is like milking an emu... You might get scratched, bitten or kicked, or might simply be ignored, but you won't be successful... and people will think you odd for trying.
Reparation Apparatus doesn't work with Battlerager Vigor temporary hit points. You only add the 2d6 if you use a power that grants temporary hit points. Temporary hit points gained by the Battlerager Vigor class feature are gained via a feature, not the use of a power.

However, the item does work nicely with various utility and encounter powers out there, as well as Invigorating powers. Although, it's benefits will trail off over time, as the 2d6 doesn't scale while your HP and damage taken do.

So the reparation apparatus does not work with the at-will attack Crushing Surge? Warforged Resolve gains +2d6 real healing and +2d6 temp hp.

Every item becomes obsolete over time. So not scaling is something that would not bother me. Broken at 6th level and not broken at 22nd level does not mean an item is not broken.
So the reparation apparatus does not work with the at-will attack Crushing Surge? Warforged Resolve gains +2d6 real healing and +2d6 temp hp.

Crushing Surge
Fighter Attack 1

The feel of your weapon crunching against the enemy puts your heart back in the fight.
At-Will
Invigorating, Martial, Weapon
Standard Action
Melee Weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: Strength vs. AC
Hit: 1[W] + Strength modifier damage.
Increase damage to 2[W] + Strength modifier at 21st level.

Reparation Apparatus

This gauntlet-like contraption enhances your ability repair constructs.

Level: 6
Price: 1800 gp
Item Slot: Hands

Property: When you use a healing power on a construct, that creature regains an additional 2d6 hit points. When you use a power to grant temporary hit points to a construct, that creature gains an additional 2d6 temporary hit points.

First published in Dragon Magazine 365.

From the quoted text, it won't work with Crushing Surge, since the temporary hit points do NOT come from the power itself.

As to it working with Warforged Resolve, I think that is open to discussion, but that is purely my personal interpretation of "use a healing power on a construct" as compared to an internal healing power. But also remember that the resolve power only adds real hit points when the warforged is already bloodied, so that extra healing is not going to be that significant, IMO.

After all it is 4 hit points + 2d6, so probably smaller than a normal Second Wind, much less a Cleric's Healing Word; the Healing Word could also get the benefit of the Reparation Apparatus, although it looks like the healer rather than the healed needs to be wearing the item at the time of using the power with healing on a construct.

On second thought, since that is likely to be the only benefit to the Warforged wearing the apparatus, I would allow it.
Of course, the other implication of the newRPGA philosophy is that the DM at the table is actually a DM--as far as I can tell, if you as a DM decide that some combination of powers works better together than intended, you're free to declare by DM fiat that it just doesn't work that way at your table. For that matter, in discussions about Blade Cascade before errata came out, some campaign staff were implying that a DM could just house rule away the plain meaning of a single power if they thought the plain meaning was against the Rules as the DM thought were Intended.

So, the answer is: No, campaign staff are barred from ever implying that something that WOTC puts out is not suitable for use in the campaign. However, if you as DM personally and strongly don't like something, you can probably (either through inherent DM powers or DME) declare it anathema at your table.

-- Brian Gibbons.

Yeah, from talking to guys like Tulach at all those personal appearances he made to tout LFR, it definitely seemed this was the way the staff and WotC were leaning. The almighty sacred cow of table experiences being nearly equal because the base rules were the same was most definitely slaughtered to make hamburger. In light of the staff not getting to ban things, DM empowerment definitely should take up the slack. I figure if a DM "house rules" things too far, you can complain, but a broken combo that WotC feels "no sane DM will allow" is open game for DME to keep out of an LFR game.
Yeah, from talking to guys like Tulach at all those personal appearances he made to tout LFR, it definitely seemed this was the way the staff and WotC were leaning. The almighty sacred cow of table experiences being nearly equal because the base rules were the same was most definitely slaughtered to make hamburger. In light of the staff not getting to ban things, DM empowerment definitely should take up the slack. I figure if a DM "house rules" things too far, you can complain, but a broken combo that WotC feels "no sane DM will allow" is open game for DME to keep out of an LFR game.

Does this mean that it is fair DM Empowerment game to say, "no, you can't play a warforged dhampyr at my table"?

If I were DMing a home game, I would hit all of Dragon magazine with a blanket banhammer--check with me for a short list of things I would allow. (Given the choice, even the PHB and Adventurer's Vault would not be safe--I would also disallow warlocks, dragonborn, tieflings, Bloodclaw weapons, ritualists rings, Righteous Wrath of Tempus, Battle Awareness, Battlerager and Tempest fighters, all double weapons except the Urgrosh, and a host of other items).

My Living Greyhawk-derived-shared-table-experience sacred cow has thus far kept me from using DM Empowerment to any significant extent (beyond rewriting the execrable plot hook/Intro to Radiant Vessel of Thesk), but expecting DMs to fix problems with on the fly houserules opens the question of where DM Empowerment stops. No switching veteran's armors in between combats. Rain of blows only gives 1/2/3 attacks. Leave your furries (minotaurs, gnolls, etc), gothbait (tieflings and dhampyrs), and dragonmen at home if you want to play. There is obviously a dramatic continuum of DM empowerment, house rules, and similar table experience expressed in those statements, but I don't see a bright line that would clearly differentiate one kind of "DM empowerment to ban" from another kind as described above. One man's "no sane DM would allow it" is another man's standard operating proceedure. The goal of a shared table experience and rules used to (and to some extent still do, if only by force of habit) provide some basis for stopping well short of disallowing otherwise legal characters. But the more people push the DMEmpowerment envelope, the more reasonable it would seem to go to that seemingly hyperbolic end. I at least don't see a really big difference between a DM adopting the kind of "balance" centric house rules that, for instance, Titanium Dragon used in his evaluations of epic level play and asking players to "fix" otherwise legal characters. At the moment, I wouldn't do either, but if the campaign rules derived norm disappears, who knows what could happen?
Does this mean that it is fair DM Empowerment game to say, "no, you can't play a warforged dhampyr at my table"?

If I were DMing a home game, I would hit all of Dragon magazine with a blanket banhammer--check with me for a short list of things I would allow. (Given the choice, even the PHB and Adventurer's Vault would not be safe--I would also disallow warlocks, dragonborn, tieflings, Bloodclaw weapons, ritualists rings, Righteous Wrath of Tempus, Battle Awareness, Battlerager and Tempest fighters, all double weapons except the Urgrosh, and a host of other items).

My Living Greyhawk-derived-shared-table-experience sacred cow has thus far kept me from using DM Empowerment to any significant extent (beyond rewriting the execrable plot hook/Intro to Radiant Vessel of Thesk), but expecting DMs to fix problems with on the fly houserules opens the question of where DM Empowerment stops. No switching veteran's armors in between combats. Rain of blows only gives 1/2/3 attacks. Leave your furries (minotaurs, gnolls, etc), gothbait (tieflings and dhampyrs), and dragonmen at home if you want to play. There is obviously a dramatic continuum of DM empowerment, house rules, and similar table experience expressed in those statements, but I don't see a bright line that would clearly differentiate one kind of "DM empowerment to ban" from another kind as described above. One man's "no sane DM would allow it" is another man's standard operating proceedure. The goal of a shared table experience and rules used to (and to some extent still do, if only by force of habit) provide some basis for stopping well short of disallowing otherwise legal characters. But the more people push the DMEmpowerment envelope, the more reasonable it would seem to go to that seemingly hyperbolic end. I at least don't see a really big difference between a DM adopting the kind of "balance" centric house rules that, for instance, Titanium Dragon used in his evaluations of epic level play and asking players to "fix" otherwise legal characters. At the moment, I wouldn't do either, but if the campaign rules derived norm disappears, who knows what could happen?

I'd say yes to some extent. If the bottom line is the most people at the table having fun, with the strong desire that all people at the table have fun, then the DM having the banhammer in his bag of tricks is allowable. The old LG phrase of "Expect Table Variation" should apply to some of the RAW-but-barely things out there. The guy who has that "unbeatable, I win all combats and everyone else just sits around watching me be cool" combo should expect folks to say "No" if it really sucks the fun out of the table. But DME doesn't mean "here is my 147 pages of house rules" being stuffed down the throats of the players by the DM.
I would really like this not to get too silly. LFR needs to let this problem fix itself, and it will. If there is some ridiculous class/race/power/item combo the so be it. With the speed that you can gain levels do you really think that these players will want to play the came character with the same equipment over and over. If you want to be like someone else then that is your sad problem, "don't complain when it gets stale" is a really good response to players who want to clone each other.
Big deal, let some one have their 15 minutes of hard hittiness and they will be bored then move on. LC sucked towards the end because you had to buy a players handbook then practically download another one and constantly cross reference or ask permission for some ability or item. Then came Greyhawk, which I played beginning to end. Change the rules every year and cherry picking stuff from each and every book was the order of the day. that got old having to lose a feat you used for a year and a half because it was "overpowered".
Of course PCs make it easy. Play testers probably didn't have player reward cards while working out the kinks in 4e land. Now you not only get one use out of them but two with the re-roll. Why does no one complain about that "benefit"?
Contrary to that little rant's venom I would like to say that I just got home from a 6hr drive to play FLR all weekend and i did this because it is fun. That is just my perspective...............
/facepalm

Once again... the misunderstanding of DME rears its ugly head...
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
I had my personal worst weekend of LFR yesterday (I did have a little fun, but I was less than enamored of the experience). I identified three major contributors to my dissatisfaction: poor party composition (1st table: 2 defenders, controller, striker - 2nd table: 4 defenders, striker), poor editing/execution of the LFR materials (plot holes, lazy mod writing), and most pertinent to this thread, a negative DM.

Saying "no" is always worse than saying "yes". DME should be used to increase the difficulty of the mod if the players are sailing through it. It should not be used to limit teamwork or nerf items/powers. IMO, a good DM allows most player requests and even stretches a bit to make allowances that the rules might not for a particularly fun or daring idea. That is what makes a good experience: even if the mod sucks, the DM can fix stuff on the fly, adjusting challenges up or down to accommodate the players at his/her table.

The DM mentality I ran up against yesterday was discouraging, and I guess I just don't understand the whole concept of DM vs PCs. D&D is not about winning and losing; go play WoW if you want a definite victor. I play this game to have fun, either as a DM or player, and in either capacity, I usually play to the cinematic moments where players shine or villains momentarily triumph. The collaboration in making memorable stories is what I treasure most in D&D; when I see an inflexible DM cling to an blown aspect of story because the mod tells him to, I get turned off.

Moral of the story: DMs need to say "yes" more. Don't worry; allowing PCs to do crazy things only means that you get to ramp up the enemies to match.
From the quoted text, it won't work with Crushing Surge, since the temporary hit points do NOT come from the power itself.

As to it working with Warforged Resolve, I think that is open to discussion, but that is purely my personal interpretation of "use a healing power on a construct" as compared to an internal healing power. But also remember that the resolve power only adds real hit points when the warforged is already bloodied, so that extra healing is not going to be that significant, IMO.

After all it is 4 hit points + 2d6, so probably smaller than a normal Second Wind, much less a Cleric's Healing Word; the Healing Word could also get the benefit of the Reparation Apparatus, although it looks like the healer rather than the healed needs to be wearing the item at the time of using the power with healing on a construct.

On second thought, since that is likely to be the only benefit to the Warforged wearing the apparatus, I would allow it.

Well the invigorating powers are a gray area, The temp HP are granted through the use of a power so they meet that requirement, there is nothing that says the power has to have any odd keywords or anything. But the benefit of the gloves extends to Warforged resolve, any attack that has a healing keyword that grants you a surge back and several utilities etc. Also I plan with my warforged battlerager, named Broken Rulez who was created in like 5 minutes one day when I realized the mod we were about to play was one I had already played on all my characters of that level range, and who turned out to actually be a fun defender to play, to buy two pairs of the gloves, one for myself to wear and one to hand to any leader in the group who doesn't have a glove slot item already to borrow. I am quite content in games if a DM says "nope, those won't work on invigorating powers" to just use them on my powers that are very cut and dry yes it works type powers and the loaner pair to the cleric/warlord etc. And if the DM agrees it's silly but should work I'll play by the rules as written until someone higher up says that it doesn't work that way because of such and such a reason.

Of course they could just errata the warforged race to be "Living Constructs" keyword and not just "Construct" keyword, thus invalidating the item for them entirely.
Blah blah blah
From the quoted text, it won't work with Crushing Surge, since the temporary hit points do NOT come from the power itself.

As to it working with Warforged Resolve, I think that is open to discussion, but that is purely my personal interpretation of "use a healing power on a construct" as compared to an internal healing power. But also remember that the resolve power only adds real hit points when the warforged is already bloodied, so that extra healing is not going to be that significant, IMO.

After all it is 4 hit points + 2d6, so probably smaller than a normal Second Wind, much less a Cleric's Healing Word; the Healing Word could also get the benefit of the Reparation Apparatus, although it looks like the healer rather than the healed needs to be wearing the item at the time of using the power with healing on a construct.

On second thought, since that is likely to be the only benefit to the Warforged wearing the apparatus, I would allow it.

Actually, it DOES work with Crushing Surge. Invigorating powers grant temporary HP. What I said was that the temporary HP does not work with the temporary HP granted by the Battlerager Vigor class feature (you know, the one where you get temps when you take damage from a melee or close attack).
Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com
Of course they could just errata the warforged race to be "Living Constructs" keyword and not just "Construct" keyword, thus invalidating the item for them entirely.

Ummm... they already ARE Living Constructs. Not Constructs.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
They're both, actually.

Perhaps Ibixat meant that Warforged should ONLY have the Living Construct trait and not the Construct one?


-karma
LFR Characters: Lady Tiana Elinden Kobori Silverwane - Drow Control Wizard Kro'tak Warscream - Orc Bard Fulcrum of Gond - Warforged Laser Cleric
Does this mean that it is fair DM Empowerment game to say, "no, you can't play a warforged dhampyr at my table"?

You can't ban a legal LFR character from your table. However, once he is within the module, you're free to use DME to shape the world of the adventure, so while you cannot technically tell someone they can't play a warforged dhampyr, you can tell them that, within the module, none of their dhampyr abilities work, they don't look in any way different from a normal warforged, and that no one in the module has ever heard of dhampyr.
One man's "no sane DM would allow it" is another man's standard operating proceedure.

Sure, a good example of this that I've mentioned before is that, in the early days of 3e, enough LC judges had problems with the way sneak attack worked that one of the listed rules clarifications was that, Yes, you could sneak attack with a greatsword and more than once per round. In the minds of a meaningful number of judges, sneak attacking should only be done from surprise with a dagger and anything else was taking advantage of loopholes in the rules.

Would it have been a better campaign if every judge was left to their own devices to determine how sneak attack worked? I'd find it hard to argue that, but it would certainly have been a more chaotic campaign.

-- Brian Gibbons.
Would it have been a better campaign if every judge was left to their own devices to determine how sneak attack worked? I'd find it hard to argue that, but it would certainly have been a more chaotic campaign.

-- Brian Gibbons.

Well, for one thing I'd argue it already is a little chaotic. I know a few LG hold overs who refuse to allow replayers at their tables. Don't let it slip out that you have already played this mod and all goes well. Let slip "yeah, the last time I played this one" and all hell breaks loose.

From my perspective, there is some difference in using DME to look at the player who enters combat saying "okay I use my UberPowerX to stun all the PCs so I'm the only studly one on the board, I then pound seven kinds of heck out of the NPC's. Now bask in my glory" or something to that effect* and the DM using DME to support his view that Dragonborn are stupid should have never been created or allowed in the Realms and the player will now use the stats of a halfling only consider themselves to have a genetic disorder that caused them to balloon to current weight and height and have scaly skin so there :P nyah.

The first is use is an attempt to ensure that everyone has fun at the table by not allowing one disruptive player to take control and shove everyone else into a subservient role. The second is the DM being a jerk and enforcing his house rules onto poor, unsuspecting con goers so he can prove he is the UberGM with the most power. Looking at someone and saying "really? I think not" if their actions are ruining the other players' fun is okay. Using DME as the main tool in a DM vs. Player thing or a "WotC are idiots and I can game design better here are my 1765 pages of errata" thing isn't covered by DME.

Now if the table doesn't care that Jon is laying the smack down every encounter and they are the pep squad in back, fine. The DM can suck it up that he's not having fun when his monsters being used as target practice. He should have fun too but if the rest of the table is having fun, go with it and enjoy that you're facilitating their fun.

*just exaggerating for effect as I don't know of any combo of equipment or powers that will let you make everyone else irrelevant in combat.
People are still using DME wrong...
You can't ban a legal LFR character from your table. However, once he is within the module, you're free to use DME to shape the world of the adventure, so while you cannot technically tell someone they can't play a warforged dhampyr, you can tell them that, within the module, none of their dhampyr abilities work, they don't look in any way different from a normal warforged, and that no one in the module has ever heard of dhampyr.

And how is that different from just banning them? It's like a DM saying "sorry, your weapon focus doesn't add any extra damage in this module" or "Sorry, but Tide of Iron doesn't push in this module".
They're both, actually.

No they aren't both. A Warforged is a Medium natural Humanoid (Living Construct). Construct and Living Construct are two different keywords with two vastly different sets of properties. For one, Living Constructs are living creatures and Constructs are not living... how can you be both? Also, Living Constructs are not immune to any effects and Constructs are immune to effects that specifically target living creatures and are quite often immune to poison and disease. If they were both then it would read: Medium Natural Humanoid (Construct, Living Construct), which would be a contradiction.

You can't ban a legal LFR character from your table. However, once he is within the module, you're free to use DME to shape the world of the adventure, so while you cannot technically tell someone they can't play a warforged dhampyr, you can tell them that, within the module, none of their dhampyr abilities work, they don't look in any way different from a normal warforged, and that no one in the module has ever heard of dhampyr.

No... please, really. As a DM in an RPGA campaign you cannot simply tell a player that their perfectly legal character option just doesn't work. That is overstepping your bounds as a DM. In a home game, whatever, the gloves are off and what the DM says goes. Such freedom as a DM DOES NOT exist in a living campaign. If there are DMs out there considering this, please, don't DM for the campaign.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
I have to agree completely with Mirtek, telling a player that has created a perfectly legal character that his character's abilities don't function in the way the rule sources say they do is not DM Empowerment. That's the DM screwing over a player because he doesn't like something.

If you come to play at an RPGA even with a legal character, then barring the table being full or being of the wrong level for the module, you should be able to have the expectation of playing your character as written. Not being allowed to do so is not DME, it's straight up shenanigans.
No they aren't both. A Warforged is a Medium natural Humanoid (Living Construct). Construct and Living Construct are two different keywords with two vastly different sets of properties. For one, Living Constructs are living creatures and Constructs are not living... how can you be both? Also, Living Constructs are not immune to any effects and Constructs are immune to effects that specifically target living creatures and are quite often immune to poison and disease. If they were both then it would read: Medium Natural Humanoid (Construct, Living Construct), which would be a contradiction.

Nope. It's not a contradiction. In the warforged write-up, it says:

Construct: You have the construct keyword, so you are considered to be a construct for effects that relate to that keyword.

You are considered to be a construct for effects that relate to that keyword and that's it. If something does extra damage to a construct, it affects the warforged. If something gives healing to a construct, it affects a warforged. If a trap goes off only for constructs (or doesn't go off), then that happens for the warforged.

As a living construct a warforged is a living creature. Their type describes them as humanoid. They can therefore, take the vampiric heritage feat. It's that simple. You should have a good background story on how this happened, but that's up to the players. The rules are simple and until any changes are made, they will be legal*.

Most of the people arguing against this are doing so because they don't understand the rules completely, don't like the idea, or just don't like warforged. Get over it.

(*Of course, you can't play one yet, because it's not compiled. We'll need to wait and see if any changes get made.)
If that's the case, they need to erratta the MM then since int here they areonly listed as Living Constructs.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
You can't ban legal things. You can't house rule en mass.

You can "house rule" on the fly if it is for the betterment of the story. For example, the PCs misunderstand your description and blast a plot NPC. You can give him PC style death saving throws rather than just blam-dead.

The most important thing is, as a DM, you make the final decision on rule calls. For example, if the PC wants to smash someone with a door, you decide what attribute or skill is used and what defense is applicable. The PC can't just declare it is Str vs. Fort.

Also, in places where the rules are vague, you make the final decision. Does Rain of Blows potentially grant 2, 3, or 4 attacks? Your call. Can a warlock/daggermaster score criticals on an 18-20 on warlock powers with a pact dagger? Your decision. Can someone use the property of a Bloodclaw Spiked Gauntlet on their Greatsword attacks? Again, rules are vague enough that you get to decide. Are you one of the loonies who thinks that Commander's Strike doesn't require the Warlord to be in melee range? That is your call.

For all of those, I recommend informing the players at your table of your opinion on those rulings in advance (people get a lot more ****** when they are ambushed with unexpected rulings). Errata will probably come out and answer all those some day, but for now, they are open to DM interpretation. And a good DM listens to the arguments of players, then makes their interpretation and is CONSISTENT with it.

-SYB
As I see it, there are no powers that are currently in the game that DME can't handle well. If you're playing a warforged with the apparatus, anything with a modicum of intelligence is going to say "Ack, that thing is invincible!!! Kill his friends!!" and suddenly the warforged isn't all that interesting if the enemies are avoiding damaging him.

If a wizard is able to stunlock a foe, and I want the combat to be interesting, the final foe is either A) not the most dangerous badguy in the room, his rather normal looking bodyguad is or B) the final foe is actually two masterminds, and stunlocking one isn't enough to help out the party or even C) PC Cleric template for one of the badguys eventually can lance of faith the stunlock away.

I feel a crafty DM can always say yes, but still present a challenge to the players.

I will pretty much let anything in, but I'm also always tinkering with the cinematic battle so that the players have a suitable challenge in store.
Actually, it DOES work with Crushing Surge. Invigorating powers grant temporary HP. What I said was that the temporary HP does not work with the temporary HP granted by the Battlerager Vigor class feature (you know, the one where you get temps when you take damage from a melee or close attack).

Isn't it being trained in Endurance that grants the temporary hit points? Just having the Invigorating keyword on a power does NOT grant the temp hps.
Except that the initial post that I was responding to suggested that DM Empowerment is the answer to "no sane DM would allow that" combos.

I can easily thing of several which are either in the campaign right now or are soon to be coming to the campaign and which a lot of people on these boards think are in the "no sane DM would allow that" category and a lot of other people think that they fall under the "you can't ban legal things" category. (Off the top of my head, stacking Bolstering Blood damage on every instance of the secondary effect damage of blood pulse, using reckless and/or bloodclaw weapon properties to effect other non-reckless and non-bloodclaw weapons that you are wielding, teleporting opponents into unsupported space (to inflict falling damage, and to maximize blood pulse damage), warforged warlocks and battleragers with the reparation apparatus (which may or may not be legal, RAW (personally, I find the construct/living construct distinction to be informative, but then again I detest warforged), but you can find at least one poster on each side of that issue in this thread).

Of course, the problem is that banning legal things is EXACTLY what using DM Empowerment to fix "no sane DM would allow that" scenarios. For my part, I would like to know if the campaign management thinks that:

A. you can't ban legal things
or
B. you can ban legal things in order to fix "no sane DM would allow that" scenarios.
(If you can only ban illegal things then DM empowerment does not actually fix "the RAW allows it but no sane DM would permit it so it's OK" scenario).

If the answer to that is A, then we're fine and dandy. I can probably find a fig leaf of semi-plausible rules interpretation to justify most "no sane DM would allow that" scenarios. (Of course, this kind of fig-leaf justification is, in practice no different from house-ruling. If anyone thinks that the rules allow Commander's Strike to be used at range other than melee, no amount of errata and no possible clarity of rules writing will ever penetrate the "I don't see the rules that way" defense). On the other hand, if the answer is B, I am quite worried because there is a lot of space in "no sane DM would allow that" which is likely to put a serious damper on the portability of the campaign.

While you started your post saying A, the list of examples you gave is so close to B as to be practically indistinguishable. Other people on this thread are maintaining that the campaign staff is explicitly advocating B.

You can't ban legal things. You can't house rule en mass.

You can "house rule" on the fly if it is for the betterment of the story. For example, the PCs misunderstand your description and blast a plot NPC. You can give him PC style death saving throws rather than just blam-dead.

The most important thing is, as a DM, you make the final decision on rule calls. For example, if the PC wants to smash someone with a door, you decide what attribute or skill is used and what defense is applicable. The PC can't just declare it is Str vs. Fort.

Also, in places where the rules are vague, you make the final decision. Does Rain of Blows potentially grant 2, 3, or 4 attacks? Your call. Can a warlock/daggermaster score criticals on an 18-20 on warlock powers with a pact dagger? Your decision. Can someone use the property of a Bloodclaw Spiked Gauntlet on their Greatsword attacks? Again, rules are vague enough that you get to decide. Are you one of the loonies who thinks that Commander's Strike doesn't require the Warlord to be in melee range? That is your call.

For all of those, I recommend informing the players at your table of your opinion on those rulings in advance (people get a lot more ****** when they are ambushed with unexpected rulings). Errata will probably come out and answer all those some day, but for now, they are open to DM interpretation. And a good DM listens to the arguments of players, then makes their interpretation and is CONSISTENT with it.

-SYB

Isn't it being trained in Endurance that grants the temporary hit points? Just having the Invigorating keyword on a power does NOT grant the temp hps.

No, because otherwise one could gain temp HP without the keyword. Being trained in endurance is a requirment to gain temp hp from the keyword. The temp hp come from meeting the requirements of the keyword, and the keyword is part of the power, therefore the temp hp come from the power. Alternately, once could in place of crushing surge take cleave and the untamed beserker style arena feat, which modified cleave to grant con mod temp HP in place of dealing damage to a 2nd enemy. Keyword modifying a power, or feat modifying the power, either way, the temp HP are still coming from the power. The fact that the temp hp are conditional on a keyword or feat is irrelevant.
So... if you have a magic weapon and you attack with a power with the Weapon keyword... does that mean the enhancement bonus is actually from the power and not the weapon?

Except that the initial post that I was responding to suggested that DM Empowerment is the answer to "no sane DM would allow that" combos.

The campaign staff have chimed in a couple times on DME elsewhere. DME only enables you to stretch things and to alter things within the framework of the mod itself to allow for a more fun environment. It is meant to allow DMs to have the flexibility to let player's think outside the box instead of rigidly adhering to what is written. i.e. A skill challenge only lists Diplomacy, Streetwise, and Bluff and as relevant skills. Player A gives a great RP reason to use a different skill. DME makes it possible for you to allow them to roll it and have it apply instead of just saying : "Nope, it's not on the list. You have to roll one of those three." It's to allow for creativity and good storytelling.

What DME does not allow you to do is to change campaign rules, or core rules. You can't allow a character to start with more than 100 gp to buy startign equipment. You can't allow a PC to start with proficiency in a superior weapon without the appropriate feat. You can't allow a PC to play a race that isn't from an open player resource (for example a Gityanki). You can't allow a character to use a magic item that is more than 4 levels above their current level.

DME is nto for that or many other things. Unfortunately, since the inception of the campaign, many, many people have taken DME as carte blanche to house rule anything that they want. such as the aforementioned person saying they can just use DME to make it so someone's Dhampyr powers don't do anything. The other unfortunate thing, is that the campaign staff have been extremely lax in clamping down on such behavior. Some of tham have made some posts in response to such things to say that what was suggested is outside the scope of DME. My view is that, despite all the other things people complain about (lack of regional focus, magic item distribution, etc.), in my eyes DME has been an abject failure due to: 1) Its vague wording that hasn't been changed, 2) The # of people who fail to understand what DME is for. There seem to be as many people if notmore that don't understand DME as didn't understand access Item Slots... and those were removed from the campaign pretty quickly. They need to either update the language and be very explicit about what is and isn't allowed with DME or just drop it all together and start telling people to run the mods as written again.

We as DMs do not have the power to ban anything. Only the campaign administration can ban something.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
Again, rules are vague enough that you get to decide. Are you one of the loonies who thinks that Commander's Strike doesn't require the Warlord to be in melee range? That is your call.

Eh, since you bring up the abomination that is Commander's Strike, here's a fun one:

Commander's Strike has the Weapon keyword. Commander's Strike should not have the Weapon keyword, and when running, I ignore the Weapon keyword.

Why? Because the power has the Weapon keyword and an Attack and Damage line (as opposed to an Effect line), that means that you should add both your weapon proficiency bonus and weapon enhancement bonus to the power's attack roll (your ally's normal melee basic attack roll), and add your weapon enhancement bonus to the power's damage roll (your ally's basic attack damage + your Intelligence bonus).

When playing a Warlord, I ignore the fact that it has the Weapon keyword. When running a module with a Warlord PC, if someone tried to argue for these bonuses, I would laugh at him.

Strictly speaking, I am making a house rule at my table that Commander's Strike does not have the Weapon keyword. This is not a vague rule; I am ignoring the plain and clear text of the rule, because I find the result absurd.

Are you arguing that I am unable to make this ruling?
We as DMs do not have the power to ban anything. Only the campaign administration can ban something.

No, campaign staff don't have that power; that's the problem.

The paradigm of OldRPGA was that campaign staff were the DMs of the campaign, and judges were merely the voices and hands of the campaign staff, running modules at their direction.

The paradigm of NewRPGA is that campaign staff are facilitators and providers, assisting DMs at tables to enable them to create fun play experiences for players.

The answer to "Can a LFR DM change the rules of the game?" is, as far as I can tell from the current RPGA paradigm, "Yes, DMG p. 189 explicitly says that a DM can, and the only limits the RPGA puts on the DM is that the PCs have to be legal RPGA characters before, during and after the module."

Now, if the question is "Should a LFR DM change the rules of the game?", then the answer is, as far as I'm concerned, "No, that's a horrible, horrible idea that should be taken out, shot and then burned. However, if LFR campaign staff are going to completely abdicate their responsibility to make rulings and modifications to the D&D rules, then inevitably it's going to happen, and in the long run, it won't be pretty."

Then again, I still tend to refer to RPGA DMs as judges and like the idea of uniform play experiences, so my mindset is clearly not the current one.

-- Brian Gibbons.
No, campaign staff don't have that power; that's the problem.

Note: I didn't say campaign staff. I said campaign administration which, at the top, includes WotC. I suppose I could have just said WotC to make it easier, but... meh. They wield the banhammer, not the DMs/Judges.

Now, if the question is "Should a LFR DM change the rules of the game?", then the answer is, as far as I'm concerned, "No, that's a horrible, horrible idea that should be taken out, shot and then burned. However, if LFR campaign staff are going to completely abdicate their responsibility to make rulings and modifications to the D&D rules, then inevitably it's going to happen, and in the long run, it won't be pretty."

Agreed. And it already isn't pretty. :P
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
disregard.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

No they aren't both. A Warforged is a Medium natural Humanoid (Living Construct). Construct and Living Construct are two different keywords with two vastly different sets of properties. For one, Living Constructs are living creatures and Constructs are not living... how can you be both? Also, Living Constructs are not immune to any effects and Constructs are immune to effects that specifically target living creatures and are quite often immune to poison and disease. If they were both then it would read: Medium Natural Humanoid (Construct, Living Construct), which would be a contradiction.

They won't errata the MM. Dragon magazine compiled edition #370, the legal source for the warforged race in LFR is where players of warforged go, we are not monsters =P

Originally posted by dragon magazine 370
Construct: You have the construct keyword, so you are considered to be a construct for effects that relate to that keyword.
Living Construct: As a living construct, you have the following traits.

As it stands warforged have the construct keyword, it's debatable if they have a living construct keyword at all since nothing explicitly states they do, it only says that AS a living construct they have the following traits (it goes on to list them below in the article)
Blah blah blah
Note: I didn't say campaign staff. I said campaign administration which, at the top, includes WotC. I suppose I could have just said WotC to make it easier, but... meh. They wield the banhammer, not the DMs/Judges.

I have tried to differentiate this way: LFR campaign staff/administration consists of the global admins and the regional admins. RPGA staff equals Chris Tulach and no one else. WotC includes Chris Tulach, as well as the rest of the staff of WotC, who have a much bigger say in LFR than they have had in previous RPGA offerings.

LFR rules are solely the responsibility of WotC. The campaign staff can suggest additions or changes to the rules, but we have been given no power (even if we want it) to make the rules. Hence, while we have certainly wanted to make rulings regarding what DM empowerment means, we have not had the power to do so.

That said, I am happy to say that the discussions the campaign staff has had with WotC are going to result in them issuing guidelines on what DM empowerment entails. Since I am not WotC, I do not know what those rules will say. However, I have a pretty good idea on some of the things they are going to disallow: no completely changing an adventure to something you wrote and calling it LFR, no taking a regional adventure and setting it in another region, no messing about with core rules, etc. I offer this information to give people the opportunity to prepare for these guidelines when they are released.

Thanks,

Shawn
LFR Global Admin
Sign In to post comments