Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 9:06 AM
4e doesnt give a "why" you can only use power X once per encounter or once per day. You can envision it how you want. But there isnt really even much of a suggestion... other than perhaps the narrative reason that its not cool if you do the same things all the time or may that some powers are subject to enemy actions and the player is given control over that... well Encounter powers can readily be presented without that vague narrative hand.
I like encounter abilities they are especially cool for martial characters. For me they represent a trick that once performed is revealed and is becomes prohibitively hard to repeat as the enemy is now aware of it, it relied on surprise before, A big bad can push you with his secondaries hoping you will reveal your tricks and thus undermine what you can bring to bear against him. The reason you can use the tricks again later even against the same adversary is because you have had time to think of a subtle variation on it especially true since you have that niggling feeling you may encounter the bad guy again.
Similarly in arcane spell casting reality adjusts itself and learns to resist ie it hardens against the warping you just subjected it to until the fabric has time to relax once more. (At wills are talents where you are able skirt around resistance by adusting underlying details each time you perform them).-- see flavor text that encourages describing your spell different every time what is not to love about that.
Divine powers as encouragement to press on... at some level I think all divine powers should be either encounter powers or milestone governed powers. The divine inspires and gives independent of mortal sleep cycles. The divine rewards for being heroic and not pausing to rest.
Narrative and Game agree about encounters being good.
Game wise they allow an intermediate ground between a really climactic ability and the at-will. -- >They break up and create variation in the potency texture within a given fight that merely having at-wills and dailies rather lack. They reduce the effective percieved "need" to stop when the climactic abilities are expended because they are going to be there and useful and allow some variance within the fight if you keep pressing on... As an unrepeatable (well atleast within a single situation), they become a reason to use something other than just the "best" one available over the course of a longer span and where you know more than one... face it game designers are bad at avoiding there being a best... there will always be a best.
[ 144 views ] Leave a Comment
Saturday, February 18, 2012, 12:02 PM
I am a serious fan of making the flavor your own taking skills and manipulating them to fit your character rather than the reverse. My Warlocks intimidate is most definitely a fear spell isnt yours?
Invocations of Mecha and Pyrexia
These are Arcane and Primal manipulations associated with Mechanical Devices... They are largely analogous to Thieving and can even be employed in some skill challengesKnock or the Admittance Spell, Following Hidden Mecha Pathways (make an Arcana Check vs the lock with +5 on the DC but you also add your Wis Mod to offset that (ie the perception attribute) you are sending your minds eye down through the mechanics of the mechanism)I paint runes on the surface of the lock and send my minds eye down the path ways of its mechanics make an arcana check it is difficult unless you are very perceptive however.
Warding the Baneful Device - a glowing rune appears on a complex mechanism such as a trap so long as the glow is active the trap may seem to fire but it is harmless ghostly visuals and hollow sounds without bite and moments later it appears to once more be in an un-triggered state. A successful religion or arcana check befoul this ward and make the trap active once more.
Conjuring of Gremlins - minor demonoids suround the mechanical device gnawing on its pieces, if you dont carefully prevent them they will simply destroy it but you might be able to repair the damage with a purification or some elbow grease and ingenuity after wards as most of the damage is actually cosmetic they arent actually that smart, this might make the device stick open or closed and istn always predictable.
PrimalBribing Appropriate Spirits - this is Charisma based, the household spirits are really the ones who allow or deny entrance in to a building locks are camouflage (a bowl of milk or similar inocuous thing when properly invoked with mystical forces is usually just the thing to allow entrance as nobody remembers to propiate them these days).
Binding Guardian Spirits - all things have spirits and humans invest mana in the devices they use to protect themselves, forcing one of these to manifest and binding it will disable the device associated with it at least for a time, its not actually that difficult to free such a bound spirit after all the original investor in it was able to manipulate or create this spirit unknowingly.
Conjuring a Spectral Seaman - this fellow is expert at fixing and repairing boats.
[ 329 views ] Leave a Comment
Friday, December 30, 2011, 8:40 PM
Warlocks have awesome flavor I mean "Channelling arcane might wrested from primeval entities" that just rocks and inspires even more.
Even the methods they exploit Constitution or Charisma for their power can be melded into very interesting flavor.
Constitution can be percieved as
I will also be compiling and presenting inspirational flavors and descriptions for specific powers
[ 343 views ] Leave a Comment
Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 5:09 AM
It occured to me that in previous editions of the game, some DMs tried to do some balancing of well the non-spell caster with the caster by giving the unempowered ones items that were both powerful and highly flavor defining for the character...King Arthur isnt himself without Excaliber. The problem was they were a bit overwhelmingly so the character didnt feel special except with this item and the acquisition of which was completely under the DMs jurisdiction.
The acceptabilitiy of these "character defining items" or even "character defining magics" for me is directly based on how player controlled they are.
Basically an item can be more important to a character both in terms of defining there abilites and acting as the basis of his power if the player has more say in its nature and certainty of its inclusion in the characters story.
The trend I have seen and heard in 4e is towards making items less defining by using inherent bonuses... without inherent bonuses item based power seems too great... Items with big themes and lots of powers and lots of impact on the characters power... are fine if they are literally a player resource.
Allow the same resource spent for personal awesome to be spent for magic item awesomeness.. You could do this by defining a theme or paragon path in terms of magic item awesomeness... Fated Weilder would make your character the bearer of insert Item of uberness X which they determine to be part of there characters story... its no longer an item that can be lost or stolen except temporarily its nature is something the player can design perhaps you could spend item specific feats on it...
Some people moan about players feeling entitled to there magic items.. I say they should be.
[ 420 views ] Leave a Comment
Saturday, August 13, 2011, 11:21 AM
I am writing this one both to Flesh out and Explore an Idea I have for a new character and as a response to a poster who was very adamant about saying no divine classes - belong in Dark Sun no matter how you flavor them... this is a hybrid between two divine classes who might fit well in Darksun as I understand it. (Mechanically it is a shifter/cleric-invoker ) But really this is Vampyre, Bloodwright.
Point of View : The world is a dark place and we stride as heros through it ... but for me it is a question of making up for my past.
My powers source is not something I flaunt outwardly in fact its basis is something of a secret though though at least one of my companions knows my nature and others may suspect... you see I am a Vampire. Most emotions I lock behind a veil of pure discepline I really dont think this is a choice
Guided by Scent: I strike the monster and the smell of his spilt blood fills the nostrils of my cohort who's eyes gleam his vehement attack will be guided by that scent lending insight in to our enemies next move (originally righteous brand)
".... they might not remember it clearly in part because the hunger is prone to leaving your mind a bit fuzzy but in a fight my allies manifest the needs of blood, and teeth which gleam sharp and to a degree the very infecton I carry almost as much as I do. "
Visions of Blood nightmares from her own experience fed in to the minds of enemies. (as per original invoker power)
Blood Hunt: Can you feel its fear my freind justice shall feed (wisdom vs will attack ) allies gain temporary hit points equal to my wisdom when they attack the target... and it takes additional damage of that amount when they hit (originally exacting utterance)
Blood Tears : I bleed tears of blood as they spout fountains of life on to the sands of this desert ... a shame really. (originally execretion)
Implement : The ankh symbolizes life and immortality and is a focus I have grown fond of . Alternately a Bloodstone in a necklace or embeded in a rod or staff (per invoker).
Communal Blood - we cut our palms and blood pumps betwen our bodies in a circle of unity you may have seen something like this used by mortals even to shore up social connections and establish emotional bonds ... when I do it blood actually flows.(originally Comrades Succor)
Appearance: She is thin and pale in spite of the supernatural strength in her veins, Shortly after her "genesis" she was almost entirely white skinned with a birthmark on her throat that looks like a moon crossed by twin blades... the birthmark... has grown since then and she now has what seems to be monotone tattoos including complex dragon forms which touch upon brow and wrap her breasts and thighs. In the heat of battle she finds it difficult to restrain the beast within and her teeth and nails grow longer her eyes become swirling gold and red. The life force which seems to flow in to her in her rage is it nature sympathetically feeding her? is she defiling? or is she giving in and drawing on dark power in her blood.
Serellia Fontaine, level 8 Vampire, Bloodwright ( Longtooth Shifter, Cleric|Invoker Hybrid )
Cleric: Battle Cleric's Lore (scale armor proficiency+)
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
HP: 21 Surges: 6 Surge Value: 5
Adventurer's Kit, Ankh (Holy Vampyric Symbol), Cloak of Resistance +2, Deathsteel Scorpion Scale Armor +2, Lifestealer Morningstar +2, Javelin of Speed +1(impaling fun), Warwing Drake (Servent Mount).
Her genesis may have related to Defiling we can leave that a mystery to explore
The mace picture is just in case anyone actually thinks they are gentle weapons. And not blood nasty. For Darksun one made out of the skull of some creature with bone spikes coming out of it might be nice.
NOTE its possible to leave the draining as a life force manipulation rather than an actual blood thing but blood is so visceral that it feels like a flavor that fits the world.
More unusual character designs at the Creative Character Build Collection
[ 1046 views ] Leave a Comment
Sunday, May 15, 2011, 1:15 PM
One thing that annoyed me about the ranger class and still does is... well at some level when you are making one I feel stuck with Dritz (sp) the two weapon ranger... Now Strider wasnt a two weapon fighter - note carefully he pretty much used one healthy melee weapon.
I am not stuck on Arragorn son of Arrathorn the King to Be - being a ranger heck no he builds way too awesome and interestingly as a Warlord with a dabble of nature skills for that to be an actual issue (and Tolkeins rangers were actually considered a race akin to half-elves)
Martial strikers now have some substantial class choices as it stands we have the ranger (twf) we have the rogue(light weapons and daggers) and the Slayer (Great weapon fighters)
So who is left holding the bastards sword/long sword this is for the Versatile weapon striker, surely not just defenders.
The Flashing Blade Ranger
Like the Two-Blade Rangers you like to get up close but your fighting style relies on swift slashing movements of a single versatile weapon used in two hands. Naturally, you prefer melee attack powers, and that means Strength should be your highest ability score. For your second ability, Dexterity is a good choice because it improves your AC. Make Wisdom your third choice, since it adds to your Will defense and provides a bonus to many of your powers. Choose powers that reflect your versatile fighting skill.
Flashing Blade Fighting Style
This fighting style allows you to use a Versatile weapon as though it were a double weapon when used two handed (in place of the normal +1 bonus). In addition, you gain Toughness as a bonus feat.
Associated & Versatile Weapon Feats
Flashing-Steel Flair (Dex 13)
"You have learned to exploit the leverage and speed provided by versatile weaponry unusually well, your blade flashes in fast deadly arcs."
While wielding a versatile weapon two handed, you gain an additonal +1 bonus to the damage rolls of melee attacks with that weapon.
Flashing-Steel Defense (Dex 13, Flashing-Steel Flair)
"With your flashing fast blade you can make of it a barrier of purest metal. "
While wielding a versatile weapon two handed, you gain a +1 shield bonus to AC and Reflex.
Flashing Flurry (21st level, Dex 19, Flashing-Steel Flair)
"It isnt just one opening when your blade is lightning"
While wielding a versatile weapon two handed, if you make a successful opportunity attack, you can also attempt a second opportunity attack(but with a –5 penalty to the attack roll).
Lightning Blade Arena Fighting Style (Dex 13, Flashing-Steel Flair feat, any martial class)
You gain a benefit with any of the following exploits you possess.
Twin Strike (Ranger): If both attacks hit and you are wielding a versatile weapon with damage die under d10, you deal extra damage equal to your Dexterity modifier.
Flicker of Flashing-Steel (11th level, Flashing-Steel Flair)
"Exploiting openings left by a truly awesome attack your fast follow up demonstrates what a flexible combatant can accomplish. "
While wielding a versatile weapon two handed and score a critical hit, you can make a melee basic attack with it against the same target or to adjacent target with an unarmed melee basic attack as a free action.
Saturday, May 14, 2011, 11:31 AM
D&D has always been anti-deathspirol at its core - you didnt get gradually worse with innevitable death as an individual hit points acted as a buffer preventing it ...
However death spirols still exist in D&D how is that possible? Easy its the party Death spirol where a character death weakens the over all party and generates a cascade failure.
4th edition has increased intra-party synergy some and this is very cool in so many ways and appropriate however it does increase the likelihood that one players character going down can take ot the entire party because the whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts.
TPKs are generally not fun and for the most part they mess with everyones story DM and player alike... removing synergy and dependence isnt a good solution its like removing a layer of all the time fun trying to prevent an incident of un fun.
My solution involves a Trope called the Conservation of Ninjutsu = I wont link to tvtropes.org that is evil but I will employ plausibility deniability to let you do it to yourself.
Note In fiction this occurs amongst the heros not just the adversaries a group of - You see what happens when one hero goes down? they get flash backs of relationships and moments with that hero they become emotionallly inspired etc. They are enraged / or driven..
This effect doesnt necessarily happen all at once after all everybody gets there turn for a spot light... and it is often a reflection of the hero how he affects his allies.
Solution in Simplest Form : The player can when there character is down / disabled operate in a fashion like a defacto LazyLord creating various support effects and maintaining the action economy of the fight. It keeps the player involved in the tactics of the fight.
The idea is just because your character is out of the fight you the player are not.
More than One Bird with a Single Stone.
Players don't like characters being disabled for long durations make sense as it takes them out of the play - deprives them of choices removes there vehicle of influence.
However with all the deadly tools being employed sometimes it also makes sense within the narative for this to happen... by finding ways to allow the player to influence play even while ther hero/avatar is disabled. We solve multiple goals.
This concept improves the acceptability of longer term character disabling effects whatever there flavor...
One element of implementation might involve giving characters powers which require they be disabled or down to varying degrees.
Heck you might establish a special relationship with another hero so your two characters could use powers that are normally restricted to a downed hero could target one who is just disabled.
May your story never be ruined by a tpk.
Sunday, January 9, 2011, 6:11 AM
A Warlords Control.
My Players handbook only mentions Leader under the Warlords roles...But sometimes in legend and fiction we have arguably Warlords like Ulysses the archetypal archer warlord who are very much manipulators who bend their enemies to there ends (and its not about using the bow or for that matter caltrops and smoke bombs for control either - see a rogue about that). And that is the point this idea takes off from a theme its not about filling a grid slot, though what it accomplishes may well be adding some serious control to the Warlord
The idea is to keep the divergence in to the realm of control a little under control I might need a build and split up the new Control oriented powers in to something onlly slighly controller oriented unless you get the build rider.
A couple of potential class features
"I am your worst nightmare"
Your manipluations leave enemies off balance, robbing them of there certainty or over-agressive and over-confident. It could be fear of you - or the opposite they Underestimate you and your allies. Sometimes loosing track of there own positions when an attack doesnt turn out like they expect ...
Once per round, when an enemy attack misses an ally within 5 + int modifier squares of you, you can slide that enemy 1 square as a free action.
Prereq : Domineering Leader
Domineering Presence ..
The Implements of Nobility
A Warlords Mark of Authority is an identifying Coat of Arms or Family Crest etc... often scribed on and carried on various things including rings, tabbards, banners and even painted on to shields and similar devices that can be seen from a distance... for some like King Arthur there weapon itself is there symbol of authority.
Warlords by default dont have implements we kind of have to change that. I am not thinking any of these would be weapon based attacks and many should be Lazy Moves that dont involve an attack.
As this is largely about using enemy mistakes against them, so the enemy misses self or an ally can be seen as a primary trigger. This is not so viable as an at-will ability so we will see it more in encounter powers and a class feature - see Cunning Manipulator (based on the Virtue of Cunning from the Bard).
The Area/Range of Effect
The manipulating of enemies are easier when they are allies near to contribute, effects may involve moving an ally and mirroring it in your enemies movements.
An Existing Option : The Warlords Power -
Freindly Fire Level 7 encounter power (could technically be adjusted to any level really). One idea is to actually allow it to be taken it as a lower level encounter power if they wish.
An Accidental Target - Warlord Level 1
Your tricks and manipulations connive an enemy into just the right place at just the wrong time.
At-Will ♦ Martial, Implement
Standard Action - Close Burst 5
Target: One Enemy in blast
Attack: Intelligence, Charisma or Wisdom vs. Will
Hit: You slide the target 3 squares. One creature of your choice that the target is adjacent to during the slide makes a opportunity attack against the target.
Domineering Prescence: If the attacking creature is lower than the
Special: It the target is adjacent to you - you may use Strength for this powers attack
Regroup AKA Tactical Repositioning - Warlord Level 1
At your command, your allies move into position, forcing their opponents to back off and regroup.
At-Will ♦ Martial, Implement, Fear
Standard Action - Close Blast 5 Target: Each Enemy in blast
Effect: Each ally in the blast can shift 1, either before or after you resolve the attack.
Attack: Intelligence vs. Will
Hit: Psychic damage equal to your CHA mod, and you push the target 2 squares. Level 21: 3+CHA mod damage
The above was derived partially from Beguilling Strands
The Perfect Plan
Encounter ♦ Martial, Implement
Standard Action - Close Burst 5
A coordinated Attack "Everybody now"
Enemies adjacent to your allies within the burst each take damage equal to your int mod.
The above is a real minion clearer.