LFR stance on Rod Reaving/Corruption

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So im a dark pact warlock and after this weekend my eyes have been opened up to the possibly of using a rod of reaving/corruption combo/single rods.

However after reading numerous threads on this combo subject, many people say atm, wizards havent said no you cannot use this combo.

Many people have said they use house rules to say you cant do it. But with LFR you dont use house rules.

However while at a local rpga lfr event the local GMs said they dont allow it. But i dont think they can do stuff like that can they?

How is a issue like this handeled in a manerly way with out breakign rules and getting into yelling matches at people at the store.
DMs can make rules interpretations and make minor adaptions in adventures (aka 'DME'). They can't make houserules (at least none that go beyond the table), but when it comes on how some items or powers work, there is on occasion some flexibility in how to interpret a rule.
In the case of the rod of reaving/corruption, a DM can rule that it doesn't work, using their interpretation of the intention of the rules. Some DMs will, and some won't.
The way to handle this without shouting matches is to accept the ruling of the DM at the time.
Is that the combination that let's the character kill all the minions by just cursing them all at once?

I'm not sure if a DM can choose not to allow, but under "Important DM information" in every module, it states that you are entitled to make adjustments to the adventure and to be careful not to make the adventure to hard or to easy.

You could easily adjust the minions hipoints from 1 to 5, could you? It would still ensure certain minion-death from a hit but would not break the whole encounter.

As a DM, I'd probably talk to the player and ask him not to use the combo for the sake of everybody's fun.
As a player, I'd wish for the DM not to allow it. I've seen it once (CORE1-6, final encounter), and a potentially interessting encounter turned into something that wasn't challenging at all and just boring.
In case of a dark pact warlord it can have an even bigger impact on the fight since it not only kills it all the minions, it also creates an immensely powerful backlash to whatever creature first targets the warlock. Personally as a player I would avoid the combo unless I am playing with a group of players who love dominating the game through such combos and a DM who does not care about the fights either. Of course, I don't want any complaints afterward about how easy the adventure was or how boring the fights ;)

In any event, LFR does NOT take a campaign wide stance on any core rules except that we follow the rules as written.
An infinate hord orcs stands before you as far as the eye can see. In a deep gruff voice their leader barks a command and the hord begins to surge forward toward you.

Warlock: As a minor action I curse one and then, as a free action, I use my Rod of Reaving to deal 1 damage to it.
DM: It dies.
Warlock: Then, as a free action, I use my Rod of Corruption to transfer my curse to all enemies within 5 squares of it. Then, as a free action, I use my Rod of Reaving to deal 1 each of them.
DM: They all die.
Warlock: Then, as a free action, I use my Rod of Corruption to transfer my curse to all enemies within 5 squares of them. Then, as a free action, I use my Rod of Reaving to deal 1 each of them.
DM: You just killed an infinate amount of orc minions with a minor action. Welcome to level 30.
In case of a dark pact warlord it can have an even bigger impact on the fight since it not only kills it all the minions, it also creates an immensely powerful backlash to whatever creature first targets the warlock.

"Ahahaha! Hit me! Go on, I dare you! Hit me! Hey, where are you going? Wait! Wait, you can't run away! Come back!"





-karma
LFR Characters: Lady Tiana Elinden Kobori Silverwane - Drow Control Wizard Kro'tak Warscream - Orc Bard Fulcrum of Gond - Warforged Laser Cleric
To answer your question, you're right: DMs cannot choose to ignore a particular rule or implement a new rule. However, DMs can choose to interpret a particular rule in a particular way to get the desired result.

I have often seen DMs "interpret" the rod of reaving/rod of corruption combo in the following way:

Rod of reaving states "when you place your curse on..."

Rod of corruption states "Your curse spreads..."

Therefore, by a particularly persnickety interpretation, a DM could rule that the warlock is not placing his curse, it is spreading, therefore, the rod of reaving does not function for that particular situation. I sprang this interpretation on a player once and he wasn't thrilled. I have decided not to do it again. I know Teos is going to have a spasm when he reads this, but I personally hate this combo.
Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com
Therefore, by a particularly persnickety interpretation, a DM could rule that the warlock is not placing his curse, it is spreading, therefore, the rod of reaving does not function for that particular situation. I sprang this interpretation on a player once and he wasn't thrilled. I have decided not to do it again. I know Teos is going to have a spasm when he reads this, but I personally hate this combo.

FWIW - my main is a warlock and I hate this combo. I love my Rod of Reaving, but I refuse to couple it with (or ever use) a rod of corruption. Even without the RoR.

It's quite enough for me to minor-death minions at will. Especially as a feylock who gets to TP each time he does it.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

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have often seen DMs "interpret" the rod of reaving/rod of corruption combo in the following way:

Rod of reaving states "when you place your curse on..."

Rod of corruption states "Your curse spreads..."

Therefore, by a particularly persnickety interpretation, a DM could rule that the warlock is not placing his curse, it is spreading, therefore, the rod of reaving does not function for that particular situation. I sprang this interpretation on a player once and he wasn't thrilled.

This is also the way I interpret it. I understand that it might irritate some players, but I have a strong "what makes the game fun" ethic in DMing, and autokilling all minions is not fun for anyone except possibly the player in question.

If you intend using this combo, I would strongly urge asking the GM for your game if he allows it. That will likely save bad feeling later. I have seen several players ask GMs this question, which is both courteous and helpful.
Or you can not allow more than one free action beyond using the rod.
DMs may decide hoe many free actions a PCs gets a round.

Gomez
I'm happy to give such players the option of either it works as Dave described (transfer!=place) -or- I DME the encounters such that they account for the presence of the rod (most likely by removing all minions, but possibly not)

Either way, it has no business working that way. The real shocker for me is that Andy Collins had no idea of the combination when it was presented to him at a recent con. I'd have thought if anything had a fervor of complaint funneled there way that would be one of the higher things on the list.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
Or you can not allow more than one free action beyond using the rod.
DMs may decide hoe many free actions a PCs gets a round.
In other words, don't start a rules-lawyering contest with your DM, because by definition you'll lose.

The primary duty for the DM is to make the game fun. If the DM considers it unfun for one player to kill 10 minions in one shot, he is well within his rights to prevent that.
Or you can not allow more than one free action beyond using the rod.
DMs may decide hoe many free actions a PCs gets a round.

One "problem" with that re: this combo -- neither effect requires an action, they are both properties of the rods in question, and neither mentions any actions required to enable the effects...

My personal wish would be for wording to the effect that only one implement can function at a time, similar to the wording for holy symbols:
[indent]Unlike other implements, you need only to wear
a holy symbol for its property or power to function.
If you are wearing or holding more than one holy
symbol, none of your symbols function.[/indent]
You could easily adjust the minions hipoints from 1 to 5, could you?

You can't. Minions are defined in the DMG as always having one HP and dying when they take any damage. DME does not allow you to change or disallow core rules. You must, in judging LFR games, use the core rules. This is for a good reason. Changing the core way minions works really messes with key 4E concepts.

Conversations with developers suggest that they are well aware of various problems with minions, but that the problem is the XP value of minions (1/4 of a normal monster of the same level). The idea of minions dying really easily is absolutely what developers intended (from everything I have seen and heard and from conversations with developers). Say this over and over as a DM: "My minions should die easily. My minions should die easily." That's a key 4E concept.

The Rod of Corruption and Rod of Reaving are worded very clearly. In discussions on Gleemax and on the Infinite Monkeys list we eventually reach the agreement that the rules and developers/support are pretty clearly doing the following:
  • Allowing the wielding of two rods
  • Allowing the properties of two rods you wield to function
  • Allowing the properties to work without limit (such as requiring a certain action type or some type of focusing)
  • Work without conflict with each other or with class or other rules


The sole question that could not be resolved on the boards was whether the use of the word "transfer" in the wording of the Rod of Corruption is meant to be different than the word "place" used in the description of the Warlock's Curse feature. An LFR DM can argue that the words "place" and "transfer" are both meant to be gaming keywords. In this case, the Rod of Reaving deals its damage to the initial minion, the minion dies, and then the Rod of Corruption 'transfers' the curse without further inflicting the damage since you did not 'place' the curse. This would be a legal ruling for an LFR judge to make.

In my recent discussions with Andy Collins, it was clear he was not aware of the issue. I do not make a big thing out of his response to me, since it wasn't the biggest thing on his mind, but he did not have a big issue with the combo. He understood how it worked when I explained it (he was familiar with both items and said something like "of course" or "oh, sure" when I explained the interaction). He did not see any issue with the word 'transfer', though I did not press him on whether it was intended as a keyword. I presented the current state, where some people feel it works just fine and others find it horribly broken and I asked him what he thought. He shrugged and asked me what I thought, clearly indicating that he (and I think WotC) would really prefer us to handle these situations. Later we spoke in more detail on RPGA issues and he and Rob understood that we need a little more clarity on hot-button issues because grayness degrades enjoyment at the table.

Regarding why Andy had not heard of the issue, the Customer Support teams have weekly meetings to discuss which issues should escalate and receive attention. Clearly, they have not sensed the need to escalate this issue. That tells us that they think the current wording, plus their various FAQ and CS responses are fine. In their minds, the combo works.

What all of this says to me is that, in the current environment, a DM is ok to rule that 'transfer' is a keyword, but they should realize they are likely on shaky ground doing so.

Thus, I have to ask, is a shaky stance like that ultimately the best for the game? The question comes down to the following:

Is it horribly broken? I would be curious to hear from other players or DMs who have consistently dealt with the issue. From my end, my Darklock has played some 15 adventures with the combo. I don't find it to be horribly broken at all. It can be darn strong, this seldom happens. Most combats where the combo can be used (those with several minions close together) are ones where the minions aren't critical or, if they are, have the capability to make a comeback anyway. In my actual experience across all these mods I have triggered the combo against more than one minion four times I can recall. Of those four, two combat were ones that were already easy for our party, one combat was one where it gave the party a decently strong advantage, and one combat was one where it gave the party a decent advantage but we still ended up in a TPK. So, out of 15 or so mods, it was broken in one combat? That just doesn't, to me, indicate something that needs fixing. What the combo does do is have the potential to unbalance some types of encounters. It is a really hit or miss combo. The biggest strength is the +1 DPR benefit, plus the ability to move your curse to several targets, increasing the chances that you can benefit from curse damage on priority targets. You still end up being a weak striker in most mods (out of 17 mods, my fairly optimal Darklock has been an excellent striker in 1-2 mods). The combo is affordable at 1,680 total gold, but there are much stronger two-rod combos out there (Vicious and Brutality, for example, make your curse deal 2-8 damage. Bloodcurse, Mindbending, Quickcurse, the Wand of Psychic Ravaging... you can build much stronger combos with more reliable benefits).

Is the combo destroying the game? Minions are already supposed to die easily. Very few encounters truly depend on minions for encounter difficulty. In the current state of the game, minions are best used in combats that are meant to be the easy ones (per the DMG, adventures should include easy fights). Periodically, we see some clever ways to use a small horde of minions to create a difficult threat (I know of two LFR mods that do this). In these cases, the encounters can still work if DMs introduce minions over time, which is a fine idea anyway.

Is the two-rod combo specifically a problem for Darklocks? Not in my 15 games. Darkspiral Aura, by its nature, is inherently 'spike-prone'. A Darklock will have many combats where they are unable to inflict any Darkspiral Aura damage at all regardless of how much they accumulate... a wasted class feature the striker could really use. Every blue moon, the Darklock will accumulate some strong-to-ridiculous level of aura and probably unleash it against something that was already near death or at a time when the combat is nearly finished. It has not, in my experience, been significant or broken. I've had fantastic Darkspiral aura twice. Once was with DM permission to retain my aura from the previous fight, which I know think should not be possible (giving up resting you still wait five minutes while the rest of the party rests, so your aura should really be gone). I took out the controller in the rear in one round with a combination of my daily and 5d6 aura. In my second combat I unleashed some amazingly poorly rolled 15d6 aura on a swarm, enough to kill it but we still died in a TPK.

Is there a better solution than ruling on keywords? Well, assuming you still think the combo is broken, and the encounter really depends on minions, you as a DM can still do many things that are great ideas anyway:
  • Space out minions if the room allows for it
  • Add minions over time instead of all at once. DME easily covers adding doors, trapdoors, windows, etc. by which the minions can enter. This makes combat more interesting, still lets PCs get AoE minion kills, but spaces out those effects
  • Don't make it so clear which monsters are minions. Use different types of minis and don't forget that minion is not a keyword that a knowledge check will uncover.
  • Add more minions, via DME, if the first waves fall too quickly. (This raises the XP value, which only matters if the players fail an encounter, possibly making up for some lost XP).


Player Expectations A DM should realize that while the two-rod combo is not a cornerstone of any warlock's build, it does affect tactical play and it is a bit jarring to find someone ruling that it doesn't work. I have had two tables where this happened, in both cases for reasons that the core rules do not support. I understand this - no one is perfect. However, in both cases I learned of their rules interpretation in the middle of play in ways that pretty terribly nerfed the entire approach I had taken to the combat. The Rod of Corruption is a very tactical tool that allows a warlock greater latitude in choosing targets. Knowing how it works is pretty critical to the PC's/player's tactics in choosing where to move, what to target, when to concentrate fire, etc. If as a DM you hate the combo and want to rule a certain way, please let a warlock know up front when you see you have one at the table. Ideally, you rule along the lines of the keyword, which doesn't change a warlock's tactical approach to the combat.

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Or you can not allow more than one free action beyond using the rod.
DMs may decide hoe many free actions a PCs gets a round.

In other words, don't start a rules-lawyering contest with your DM, because by definition you'll lose.

The primary duty for the DM is to make the game fun. If the DM considers it unfun for one player to kill 10 minions in one shot, he is well within his rights to prevent that.

Well, an informed player can likely win the debate, but the table won't be a fun table. Properties are well defined as being always on and not requiring an action. But, educating your DM of this is not the recipe for fun. Instead, players should be respectful and DMs should communicate clearly.

It was interesting in the Q&A with Andy and Rob to see that they see 4E as a big sea change in terms of DM responsiveness and what needs rules. In 3.5, they were trying to recreate a fantasy world with rules. They felt this was very pro-player, since clever players always find an exploit and show it to the DM, who is then 'forced' to allow it. In 4E, they want to define as little as possible, but create a culture of saying "Yes, and this is how you do it". The DMG chart on difficulty by level is meant to replace books worth of rules with one quarter-panel. At the level of the rods, the DM is empowered to change these in a home campaign, of course, or simply to not have them show up. At the level of LFR, the DM can easily manipulate when minions show up, swap them for other non-minion monsters, etc.

Here are two ways of handling the issue:

1. Warlock curses something, it is a minion. DM makes a ruling such as that it uses up a free action at that point in time and the other property fails. Now the player gets frustrated... beyond not wiping out the minions, now his Rod of Corruption is useless for any purpose at all. The player swallows their pride and goes back to watching the much more straightforwardly strong ranger obliterate the monsters. (Or, the player makes a big deal out of it and the table grinds to a halt).

2. Warlock curses something, it is a minion. It explodes in a burst of dark energy, and trails of dark energy feed out to all nearby foes, claiming three more minions. The player feels great, the table is likely happy (*), and the battle seems at hand. The DM quietly adds another non-minion to the combat, essentially compensating for the ease with which the minions left the combat. (Or, the DM has some of the crates explode as more minions emerge, etc.)

In the second case, no one suffers. Everyone wins.

* = Of late I've played particular attention to whether my table dislikes minions dying quickly. I've said such things as "I'm happy to leave them up if that makes for a better game." Everyone has liked them being vaporized away.

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I dont know if you corrected this in your 2 posts or not didnt want to read all of them, I know lazy.

But Minions are killed if they are HIT not if they just take damage. Even a MISS that would do damage on a MISS will not kill a minion.
I dont know if you corrected this in your 2 posts or not didnt want to read all of them, I know lazy.

But Minions are killed if they are HIT not if they just take damage. Even a MISS that would do damage on a MISS will not kill a minion.

You'll note that a hallmark of minions is that they have 1 hit point.

While you're right that a MISS doesn't affect them, there are a handful of powers that can deal damage without being a "hit".

Cleave, for example, deals damage to a target other than who the fighter is swinging at. This damage still applies to a minion and is enough to slay them.

Food for thought.
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How is a issue like this handeled in a manerly way with out breakign rules and getting into yelling matches at people at the store.

The way to handle this without it turning into a yelling match is for the DM to adjudicate the decision in a reasonable manner with the goal of encouraging an enjoyable and fun experience, and for players to accept that decision. A player who invests in this combination should expect that it will not always work, and should plan accordingly.

There is a poll on this topic as part of the Community Resource Document project found here: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/LivingFR/surveys?id=12875367.

Of those who voted, it was about 2:1 against the effect propagating, although the rationale varies. While the question is directed at DMs (do you allow this?), the poll isn't controlled enough to reflect that reliably.

David
FOr anyone wondering why some of us are making such a big deal out of the balance issues, here is a good example of how the mass minion killing powers break the system a little. Some minor spoilers for AKAN1-2 follow.
Show
In the large final battle, the PCs are faced with a hoard of 10 minions. They are in an enclosed space where it is effectively impossible for any minion to not be within five squares of other minions. So, for a single minor action, all of them die. That represents 500 XP, or over 15% of the total XP budget for the module.

This makes it very hard, as a DM, to create any level of tension for the players. It also makes it very hard to create balanced modules with minions. After all, for the same XP budget the writer could have added a second elite monster to the final encounter and still had change left over.

Minions are balanced on the theory that it takes a roll of the dice to kill each one of them. Four minions equals the XP of one non-minion creature because, on average, four solid hits will kill the one creature that four minions replace. If minions become free XP, the math behind the system breaks down.
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To be honest, the Reaving/Corruption combo is about the only way to make up for issues with "broken" minions.

Not LFR, but an 8th level D&D Dungeon Delve, and the minions had defenses higher than the non-minions, there were 11 of them, one was set to set off a trap, and they both had nasty damage powers already, but were designed to do more damage when other minions were around them.

They were ugly. Minions with auras should be disallowed.
I like the idea of getting rid of minions. 4 minions = 1 non-minion, so you could easily increase the number of non-minions you have.

Although I'd only use it when the table is breezing through a game with no difficulty. So its also possible I'd use it if some other combo is killing minions with ease. Mods should be challenging IMO so anything that makes them challenging (outside of fudging dice rolls or magically giving them more HP half way through a fight) is good.
You can't. Minions are defined in the DMG as always having one HP and dying when they take any damage. DME does not allow you to change or disallow core rules. You must, in judging LFR games, use the core rules. This is for a good reason. Changing the core way minions works really messes with key 4E concepts.

Sure you can. One creature is a "Leader" and gives the minions level of monster/2 temp hit points through DME. They'll still always die on one hit, but they won't die from a Rod of Reaving. Unless DME was involved there is a mod that does something extremely similar to that.

He shrugged and asked me what I thought, clearly indicating that he (and I think WotC) would really prefer us to handle these situations. Later we spoke in more detail on RPGA issues and he and Rob understood that we need a little more clarity on hot-button issues because grayness degrades enjoyment at the table.

Well of course - at an actual home game, the DM will end up resolving this one way or the other. It becomes more of an issue in an RPGA game where each DM has to resolve it.

What all of this says to me is that, in the current environment, a DM is ok to rule that 'transfer' is a keyword, but they should realize they are likely on shaky ground doing so.

You don't need to make it a keyword to shoot this down "When you place your Warlock’s Curse on a target" is a specific minor action that Warlocks are capable of taking. Clearly, they're referring to that specific minor action - that the Rod of Corruption sounds similar makes a case that they could work together, but there's nothing especially shaky about ruling against it as they're not clearly the same action given the word 'transfer'

I'd also point out that the vast majority of serious abuses in 4e resolve around doing multiple properties from different weapons/implements onto one attack from one specific weapon/implement. A lot of DMs I know rule against such things - the CharOp board will even laugh at certain combos and ignore them. So it isn't especially targeted at Warlocks either...
Usually, I DME away all the minions if a player has this combo.

Most of the time I'm DME minions instead of monsters to make things faster and more intense, so it's the natural progression I guess.

Also, I've DME'd 2 hp minions for certain critter types (orcs usually, but pretty much anything that has a decent bloodied effect - doesn't have the right feel if some critters can't behave like suicidal savages if it really is suicidal)
I really don't understand what so broken about this combo when most class with acces to a thrown weapon can do the same with a Lightning Weapon. 2 of my players took it (Brutal Scoundrel with Rapier, using Dagger as thrown weapon and TWF Ranger using a Lightning Bow for the times he don't wanna melee). It's pretty much doing the same thing

Biggest problem about minions isn't really that they die too fast, it's that they are worth WAY to many XP for what they are actually worth
With the lightning weapon you still need to hit once and it is a daily power and not a property as with the rods. Alchemist fire would be worse, especially at higher levels were that low level flask still instantly kills epic minions.

Minions should die quickly, but minions should never be so weak that people ignore them. All the minions with auras and special abilities people have been seeing are being added on purpose. They give more oomph to minions. The designers said as much during the monster and encounter design seminars at DDXP.
Alchemist fire would be worse, especially at higher levels were that low level flask still instantly kills epic minions.

Except that using a low-level flask your to-hit chance is abysmal, since that doesn't improve with stats or levels.
FOr anyone wondering why some of us are making such a big deal out of the balance issues, here is a good example of how the mass minion killing powers break the system a little. Some minor spoilers for AKAN1-2 follow.
Show
In the large final battle, the PCs are faced with a hoard of 10 minions. They are in an enclosed space where it is effectively impossible for any minion to not be within five squares of other minions. So, for a single minor action, all of them die. That represents 500 XP, or over 15% of the total XP budget for the module.

To be fair about that specific example,
Show
They are also all in a nice circle around a boss with a close burst 4 attack that doesn't tell friend from foe, and who doesn't really give a crap about them. I've DMed that one twice, and played it 3 times, and all 5 times saw the boss monster kill far more of the minions than the PCs. lol
Warlock places the curse on one minion, the minion takes 1 point of damage and dies. The Rod of Corruption allows you to transfer the curse to surrounding creatures. Transfer and place are two different things and thus transferring does not cause 1 point of damage.

If people want to kill lots of minions get Cursebite, and use an action, that is what minions were designed for.
I think the main problem your running into here people isn't a warlock rod combo problem, but poorly written encounters made by people who don't understand how minions are supposed to work. Those writers are fueling what normally isn't that game breaking of a combination.

They're the fodder in the encounter, they're supposed to be easily killed out of hand. They're not the grunts, the foot soldiers or anything of the like, those are brutes and soldiers.

If you've got a room full of minions with nothing else to battle, that's an extremely poorly written encounter and it isn't the warlock's fault that whoever wrote it is just handing out free XP and gold and you shouldn't punish them for being creative.

There are plenty of zone spells in the game that could accomplish almost the same task in sheer numbers destruction without hurting the party too much.
Very few zones have a Doctor Device effect of spreading and amplifying - start at one point and it collides with those within 5, then those within 5 of those, then within 5 of those, and there are actually very few encounters you can't clear out all the minions.

A lot of encounters should have minions trickle in or get created during the fight, all the same, but any tactic that makes the two rods trick not work negates Shock Sphere hitting more than 1 minion, nevermind more mundane options like Scorching Burst, and what kind of fun is that?

Then again, I'm the guy who'd be happier if autodamage without an attack roll didn't kill minions at all, so I'm hardly the target audience.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
That represents 500 XP, or over 15% of the total XP budget for the module.
====
Minions are balanced on the theory that it takes a roll of the dice to kill each one of them. Four minions equals the XP of one non-minion creature because, on average, four solid hits will kill the one creature that four minions replace. If minions become free XP, the math behind the system breaks down.

I agree. The XP cost is the huge problem. I am hopeful DMG 2 will provide some alternatives to how you can build with minions and perhaps have various flavors of minions, such as some that are weak and designed to carry close to no XP cost, some that are medium XP cost and tougher, etc. Or, to have some bump for them at higher levels.

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Sure you can. One creature is a "Leader" and gives the minions level of monster/2 temp hit points through DME. They'll still always die on one hit, but they won't die from a Rod of Reaving. Unless DME was involved there is a mod that does something extremely similar to that.

That would be pretty major DME. You are either vastly modifying an elite or high level monster to contain this power (and hopefully switch out some major power) or vastly increasing the difficulty of the encounter. More importantly, you are abandoning the core role minions are supposed to play in combats... you sure you want to do that? Sure, there are a couple of monsters and powers that can let a minion hang around, temporarily delay death, or come back... but those are meant to use as cornerstones of almost-uniquely interesting encounters, not what PCs should encounter by default. The default is, per the DMG, for the PCs to go through them like "a knife through hot butter".

You don't need to make it a keyword to shoot this down "When you place your Warlock’s Curse on a target" is a specific minor action that Warlocks are capable of taking. Clearly, they're referring to that specific minor action - that the Rod of Corruption sounds similar makes a case that they could work together, but there's nothing especially shaky about ruling against it as they're not clearly the same action given the word 'transfer'

The specific item overrides the general class feature. The item is very clear on what it is doing. Look at quickcurse rod for a comparison. This has been discussed and shot down on the pages I linked to in my first post.

As discussed previously, the ruling that "transfer" is a keyword is the only arguable point the community has found. It contradicts multiple Customer Service replies, but those are only guidance for LFR.

I'd also point out that the vast majority of serious abuses in 4e resolve around doing multiple properties from different weapons/implements onto one attack from one specific weapon/implement. A lot of DMs I know rule against such things - the CharOp board will even laugh at certain combos and ignore them. So it isn't especially targeted at Warlocks either...

Again, you can't violate core rules. You may not like the Battlerager, but you don't get to make up limits in LFR. You may not like how properties work, but you can't choose to deny the rules or to dissalow the new two-implement-wielding feat in Arcane Power. These are clearly supported by the rules and intentional. The linked discussions go through this as well. (I'm not trying to come off as a !@*&, but there has been a lot of energy devoted to clearing up these issues).

I am happy to see more DMs understanding that 4E works in very different ways and allows for these heroic moves by the PCs. Again, from the field experience I hear, I often hear a singular case causing disbelief and a negative reaction. It seems ungodly. Viewed over the many encounters played, the two-rod combo is one of the least things we should worry about.

More importantly, there are plenty of good ways to deal with the issue of minions.

I'll give a parallel. There is a lot of discussion about how easy or hard LFR may be. As a DM, do you understand how to increase the level of a monster by 1 (once you read the rules and run an example, this becomes a 10-second activity) and the correlation between doing that and when the encounter becomes as hard as the next tier of play? The core rules are surprisingly good at providing us specific core rules with addressing game issues.

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Very few zones have a Doctor Device effect of spreading and amplifying - start at one point and it collides with those within 5, then those within 5 of those, then within 5 of those

I agree on this point. This is something that I don't feel plays well as written. The continual cascading, allowed by the way properties are worded, is not a good factor in the game. As a player, I self-limit this. I only apply the effect once, without then further expanding to within 5 of each new minion that is killed. It just plays better that way, though the rules don't have this stipulation. (Nice use of Doctor Device, by the way!)

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That would be pretty major DME. You are either vastly modifying an elite or high level monster to contain this power (and hopefully switch out some major power) or vastly increasing the difficulty of the encounter. More importantly, you are abandoning the core role minions are supposed to play in combats...

It isn't a major power. It doesn't change the role minions play - they die on one hit regardless. The only thing it does is stop some auto-hit, extremely low damage routines from killing all the minions.

Which I think 4e would regard as a good thing, not bad. The point is the party is supposed to go through minions like they were butter. All the members of the party are supposed to feel like they're heroes because they killed the minions. Not one specific character and most certainly not on every single encounter.

The specific item overrides the general class feature. The item is very clear on what it is doing. Look at quickcurse rod for a comparison. This has been discussed and shot down on the pages I linked to in my first post.

As discussed previously, the ruling that "transfer" is a keyword is the only arguable point the community has found. It contradicts multiple Customer Service replies, but those are only guidance for LFR.

Sorry, exactly how does that mean anything? Quickcurse uses the word place. A community I know thinks that Warlocks are all really Fighters and the word "Fighter" being a keyword is the only arguable point the community has found.

You don't agree with me? Think my logic is full of holes? Don't think any good rulings on actual grey areas have come from the community I mentioned? Sorry, that's what my community has said and you're on shaky ground if you play otherwise...

(I'm not trying to come off as a !@*&, but there has been a lot of energy devoted to clearing up these issues)...the two-rod combo is one of the least things we should worry about.

The two-rod combo is not one of the least things. It represents one of the worst rulings on 4e - that you can use multiple implements/weapons on the same exact attack and benefit from the properties of both because at no point does it say you can't. 3.5ism at its best...

When the CharOps board in general doesn't think it is fair to do something because of how completely unintendedly broken it is and your community thinks we have to do it, do you realize just how far out of the norm your community is on this one?

(aka wield a big weapon and have a Spiked Bloodclaw gauntlet on one hand and a Spiked Reckless gauntlet on the other)
I am happy to see more DMs understanding that 4E works in very different ways and allows for these heroic moves by the PCs.

Sorry, but using the two-rod combo is NOT a heroic move.
It is an abuse of a maze in the rules. There is nothing heroic about it.

Gomes
You don't agree with me? Think my logic is full of holes? Don't think any good rulings on actual grey areas have come from the community I mentioned? Sorry, that's what my community has said and you're on shaky ground if you play otherwise...

I'm glad to take this up again on Infinite Monkeys. You can find the thread and just repost after reading what was discussed. I'm not claiming that any community is better than other, but it does make sense to learn from past discussions.

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Except that using a low-level flask your to-hit chance is abysmal, since that doesn't improve with stats or levels.

I was misremembering things (note to self: check rules compendium). Thought the splash damage of alchemist fire did not require an attack roll.
Consider the following:

Horde Ghoul (G) Level 13 Minion
Medium natural humanoid (undead) XP 200
Initiative +11 Senses Perception +7; darkvision
HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion.
AC 25; Fortitude 22, Reflex 24, Will 20
Immune disease, poison; Resist 10 necrotic
Speed 8, climb 4
M Claws (standard; at-will)
+16 vs. AC; 6 damage, and the target is immobilized (save ends).
Alignment Chaotic evil Languages Common
Skills Stealth +16
Str 17 (+8) Dex 22 (+11) Wis 14 (+7)
Con 18 (+9) Int 13 (+6) Cha 15 (+7)

For the above minions, the rod combo isn't needed.

Now, consider the following:
Legion Devil Hellguard (L) Level 11 Minion
Medium immortal humanoid (devil) XP 150
Initiative +6 Senses Perception +6; darkvision
HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion.
AC 27; Fortitude 23, Reflex 22, Will 22; see also squad defense
Resist 10 fire
Speed 6, teleport 3
m Longsword (standard; at-will) ✦ Weapon
+16 vs. AC; 6 damage.
Squad Defense
The legion devil hellguard gains a +2 bonus to its defenses
when adjacent to at least one other legion devil.
Alignment Evil Languages Supernal
Str 14 (+7) Dex 12 (+6) Wis 12 (+6)
Con 14 (+7) Int 10 (+5) Cha 12 (+6)
Equipment plate armor, heavy shield, longsword

Two levels lower, and, in the game I ran with them, the Rogue, with First Strike, still had to roll above a 10 to hit. And the rogue is going to have one of the best to-hits around.

And he would have missed if they were in a phalanx formation, since they get a boost to an already ridiculous AC in that situation.

Against them, I wouldn't rule against the rod combo, since that is the best way to make them act like they are supposed to, as something that is a minion, not a serious threat.
MInions are not there to be ignored. they are there to be a legitimate enough threat to waste actions on. The devil's strength as a minion is he is fairly hard to hit. He otherwise does average damage.
Note that Samantha, my bard, can hit them on an 8, probably 7, once she gets to level 10 (or 10, probably 9, when they are in phalanx format). (targets Wis, +5 level, +6 stat, +1 feat (implement expertise), +2 or maybe +3 songblade bonus = +14 or +15 to hit). AC will be a bit tougher (+16 or +17 to hit, as I probably won't take a weapon-expertise feat).
Legion Hellguards are not that hard to kill... and they're not that threatening at all. The ghoul at least does something threatening (immobilize).

Minions are supposed to be about as easy to hit as anything else.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
I'm glad to take this up again on Infinite Monkeys. You can find the thread and just repost after reading what was discussed. I'm not claiming that any community is better than other, but it does make sense to learn from past discussions.

I'm not - I don't think Infinite Monkeys is a particularly valuable resource - because they generally view the rules within the prism of RAW - which is not how designers view the rules.

Andy Collins being surprised by this reflects that he likely hasn't seen someone try to use two implements at the same time in one of his games.