3.01.2008

I'm trying to wrap my brain around it now...

So, I was checking out the very cool RPG Blog and came across this.

Yes, those are 4th Edition characters and yes, they pretty much kick ass.
While this is a neat gem to come across, it's also caused me no amount of frustration in trying to figure out how some things work.

I'll give some examples...
Numero Uno: How the hell are hit points calculated? One of the first things I did was check for familiar components...hit points, ability scores, skills, weapon attacks, etc.. All of these things seem to have their place, and in the case of ability scores, I was glad to see that the modifiers stay the same as 3.x, but uh...the hit point numbers just don't add up.
I'm going to assume that, like the new Star Wars system, they give you 3 starting hit die...I'm also going to assume that your Con bonus applies to all of them and that they are maxed out. How, then, does the character on image 1 have that total? I also went so far as to assume that Warlocks get a d6 hit die. Given my assumptions, Ms. Duskmeadow would have (3d6 hit die, maxed)18+(Con mod x 3)9=27 hit points. Where does the extra point come from?
Numero Duo: As mentioned by my fellow blogger, it appears that Eladrins/High Elves/whatever can teleport short distances, I would assume much akin to dimension door. Looking further, I find that the aforementioned Ms. Duskmeadow, being a Warlock with her powers tied to the fey, can also perform a short teleport action.
Now, normally, this would be very cool to me, and it is...as a player. As a DM, I'm picturing everyone in my games playing something that can teleport in some way and totally dispatching my attempts at NPC battlefield advantage, or popping in to flank and sneak attack their foes.
While true, it is once per encounter, I can see it becoming problematic easily, and it makes me wonder how you rule on those in out of combat situations. That would make a great escape tool from say...a dungeon cell.
It just seems...and it pains me to call anything such a thing...broken.
Numero Threeo: Heh, I was checking to see if you were paying attention to the lame numbering.
And onto this point... does changing how "saves" work to the current system really save anyone any trouble? I was under the impression that it would reduce rolling, but as almost every spell and power requires a roll against a specific Defense, then what's the point? You're still rolling a save, it's just backwards. Also, I don't see how it's easier to keep track of the defense bonus as opposed to save modifiers, because I'm assuming things will modify them, too.
Oh, and some effects have "(save ends)" notations. So there still are saves, they just happen in later rounds, not when you use the desired effect. These "saves" Are simple 10 or higher rolls..55% chance of success. I'll likely make it straight up 50-50 because according to the blurb on them, they can still be modified.
That's kinda frustrating and a little lame, to boot.
On the flip side of that, it does keep the rolling in the hands of the person whose turn it is (for the most part), and if there's anything a pen n paper rpger likes more than anything else in the whole freaking world, it's rolling dice. This could also free up the wearer of the Viking Hat on player's turns so that he's not bogged down with rolling for his guys AND deciding how to respond to everyone's actions.
Interesting stuff. I'll have to see it in action to give a yay or nay, though.
Numba fo: I noticed that the Halfling Paladin shown on picture 3 weilds a short sword that deals d6. I'm guessing they're taking away weapon sizes for some reason and giving a base "this does x" to weapons. I could be really wrong here, but I'm not seeing how this could benefit the game in any way if they did that.
Maybe they're going back to S and M characters having the same weapon damage. I'm pretty ok with that possibility, as I played earlier versions of the game in which it was standard and it's not going to shake me to go along with that.
Number 5: Action points as part of normal gameplay. Isn't it enough that your Eladrin can teleport, your halfling gets extra AC when close to larger people and you have At Will powers?
It's not that I hate the things, I really don't (though some of my players really hate that I don't allow them in most games I run). It's just that if everything is getting a power boost in 4E, why do you really need action points? Are there really gonna be that many times when you just need that one extra edge to pull through? With the way of things as I have read and understand them, I'm gonna have to go with "No."
I might be a total jerk and pull these from my game. I guess I really don't like action points, after all.
Digit 6: Insanely high damage. Now, I know it's supposed to be beefed up some and all, but should anything at first level really deal 3d8 damage? Maybe if it was a death throes type thing, but even as a once per day ability, that just seems...well, fucked.
That's exactly what it seems.
That almost kills, and most certainly bloodies and almost drops every PC I saw. I can't imagine how giving the PCs such powers is a good thing, even if the baddies have similar things. I really doubt they do.
Se7en: Wow...um. Yeah, alot of what makes characters powerful has been restricted greatly. In a way, I don't like that at all. My cleric used up Turn Undead early...sucks to be me. I wanna cast Sleep more than once...sucks to be me. Spells and powers like Turn Undead should be more readily available, I think.
Magic Missle is now an at will power that does 2d4+Int mod, from the looks of it. You also have to roll to hit with it. I don't so much like that, either...but I do like that they balanced the chance of miss with higher damage. Sucks if your foe is immune to force effects.
It is cool, though, that your cantrips seem to be persistent. I likey that stoof right there.

1 comment:

Jade said...

Wow..okay, for me, reading that entry was like..well, like listening to Russian being spoken by a Japanese dude...who didn't really know Russian!!!!

I don't really understand all the ins and outs of the game, therefore I don't get the venting much, but I really enjoyed your numeric system. It made me chuckle. I was paying attention. ;)