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New Source Material

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Registered: Jun 2009
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I don't know. Run Viktor's delve character and see. =)
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Dungeon Master - The Dark Campaign
Sir Muurak - Mul Cavalier 14, Scales of War
Demuriath - Revenant Assassin 5, Points of Light
Kurvilis - Gnome Mage 4, Eberron
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Wow! So much discussion on this update. I actually like the new aid another rules since the scaling difficulty makes sense and now you can get up to +8 bonus.

Enlarge Spell is still great for wizards who have lots of at-will/encounter powers that can benefit, but no burst 3 freezing cloud I guess.

Infernal Wrath is still great.

War of Attrition suffered from attrition and is now similar to magic weapon.

I also don't get the Wormhole Plunge change. The description of the update suggests that they wanted to prevent abuse of the power by teleporting an enemy 3 squares above the wormhole, it takes falling damage into the wormhole, then is teleported 3 above it, etc. etc. etc. They've certainly fixed that, but at the same time took away the ability to teleport more than 1 or 2 creatures. If Josh is okay with it, we could rule to allow multiple teleports but only one teleport per creature per it's turn. Otherwise I'll likely decide to train it away since it becomes tactically a lot less interesting.

No update on the Battlemind's Blurred Step, which I was hoping for.

Gary wrote
How many surgeless healing based cleric powers are there besides astral seal, though? I wouldn't think it'd be that many.


There's a bunch actually. Astral Seal, Beacon of Hope, Consecrated Ground, Stream of Life are the ones that Mika has that grant some surgeless healing. Now they won't benefit from healer's lore or healer's implement. It just means she'll grant 6 hp less surgeless healing though, so not too bad. It also balances astral seal a lot to keep in line with other healing/temp hp at-wills.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Registered: Sep 2009
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As others have said, there are a few other powers that grant non-surge healing. I'm not convinced that they were an issue as much as the at-will having crazy healing. I rather liked the crazy no damage build I saw.

I haven't read the aid another change closely, but I'm not certain I like it. Higher level characters should find some things much easier to help with. With it tracking with your inherent level bonus, that no longer happens. Maybe increase by 1/4 your level? In addition, the penalty aspect effectively means that they made aid-another much less attractive with nothing to balance that. Skill challenges, which were messed up at product launch, are going to get harder again. Maybe the real problem is with skill challenges being a hard mechanical substitute for storytelling?
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Sentinel - Warforged Shielding Swordmage (Eberron)
Allena Walmond - Human Paladin of Amaunator (Forgotten Realms)
Variel - Elf Beastmaster Ranger
Thaelan the Clanless - Dwarf Protector Spirit Shaman (Dungeon Delve 4)
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Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Indeed. Assuming a 10 stat and untrained (typical of a skill you'd aid in), you now have a 55% chance to give +2 and 45% chance to give -1, at any level. That's up to 60% good / 40% bad with our 24H bonus, still not great...
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
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Registered: Jun 2009
Posts: 3164
But the good outweighs the bad by 2:1. If it were a -2, I would agree more. I always felt like aid another checks were just a way for certain characters to hide in the background, since there was no penalty.
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Dungeon Master - The Dark Campaign
Sir Muurak - Mul Cavalier 14, Scales of War
Demuriath - Revenant Assassin 5, Points of Light
Kurvilis - Gnome Mage 4, Eberron
Moderator
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Yeah, but now there's really no way to avoid risking failure (if indirectly) if you don't have a skill that matches up with the challenge. That sorta sucks.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
I agree with Jon that it makes aiding more significant and since you can now get +8 max bonus (+9 with 24h), it makes it that much easier to succeed. It now will be a good idea to aid another PC in a skill you're actually trained in, but have a lower value. I actually tried using the negative on a failed roll idea in my last skill challenge, although I used -2.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
That's true about skill matching to the challenge. If your PC doesn't have a matching skill you are reduced to a second-class PC who can only make aid rolls and your rolls will all be untrained at essentially 50:50 odds. This is an inherent problem with the basic layout of skill challenges and makes them quite meta and boring in my opinion.

What I did with my last skill challenge is create a hidden list of primary and secondary skills that seemed appropriate and then left it up to the players to roll and role-play whatever they wanted. The primary list consisted of six skills. The secondary skill list was essentially everything that wasn't on the the primary list. Only successes or failures in the primary skills counted for or against the challenge, while successes/failures in the secondary skills conferred either +2 to the next roll or -2 to the next roll. In this way, everyone could have a chance to work at the challenge directly or be aiding/hindering indirectly. As long as there was some fun or plausible RPG involved, I would go along with it.

It also allowed improvisational use of the skills. It seemed to work quite well overall. The premise of the challenge was to chase an NPC in hot pursuit. Apart from obvious skill rolls by trained characters (acrobatics, endurance, athletics, nature) there were some fun uses of other skills by some of the players (stealth, diplomacy, perception).
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Registered: Sep 2009
Posts: 1238
Viktor, your method is excellent. Sadly, WoTC isn't going to rewrite all of their published adventure skill challenges, not put that much work into future ones. I've had mixed feelings about the entire skill challenge idea since I first learned about them. It's a great way to reward having a character trained in the proper skill. It just feels a bit to mechanical and sanitary for D&D roleplaying. It's putting more rollplay into the mix, though that argument is for another day. I guess I'd like to see a lot more flexibility and examples/guidance in that section of the DMG. As a play by post system, 4e is generally great. I know some people that have reverted to pathfinder for face to face sessions though.
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Sentinel - Warforged Shielding Swordmage (Eberron)
Allena Walmond - Human Paladin of Amaunator (Forgotten Realms)
Variel - Elf Beastmaster Ranger
Thaelan the Clanless - Dwarf Protector Spirit Shaman (Dungeon Delve 4)
Moderator
Registered: Jul 2008
Posts: 5245
It just seems like this recent release had too many big changes. At least in Scales, we've been playing one way for quite a while now, and big changes to character powers now will be frustrating. Part of me wants to trust the Wizards game designers, that they are professionals and know what they're doing, and part of me wants to say screw it, and just keep playing the way we have from the beginning.

I like the new skill challenge rules. In Scales, I had already capped the number of aids to two max, but now with the possible penalty from a failed aid, four is reasonable. I'm still digesting the other stuff. I think for any power that is affected or nerfed by the new rules change, it is only fair to let characters swap it out.

BTW - I think the verb 'nerf' is bizarre.
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Dungeon Master - Scales of War
Edeya - Githzerai Seeker - Points of Light
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Registered: Oct 2008
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Today's dndinsider "paladin basics" has some interesting new feats. I especially like these heroic tier ones. Looks like some good new stuff for Gary's paladin in PoL and Nathan's paladin in FR.

Commanding Vow: slide 1 any enemy you place under divine sanction
In Shining Armor: when using plate armor and shield, adjacent allies get +1 AC
Mercy's Reward: when you CRIT, choose not to crit and an adjacent ally can use a surge plus get 10 extra hp
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
Moderator
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
The second two seem a bit too situational for me, but I have so many ways to get Divine Sanction that Commanding Vow looks very tempting.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
As DM in PoL, I would prefer fewer "+1 this when this or this" scenarios, such was with the second one. I also like the first one the best. Nice to add some regular controlling ability to the paladin and would be great for getting flanking more easily.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
Moderator
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Mike, the Wizard's Escape Utility 6 was changed from Encounter to Daily. That's another nerf...
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
LOL! Grrrrr! I had no idea Spinning Leopard Maneuver was overpowered since we've only ever used it twice. I guess we won't break the 200+damage-in-one-power ceiling just yet. ;)

It's still a great daily for it's multi-target and shifting.

That's too bad about Wizard's Escape.

Emily, what are your rules on retraining powers at level-up when they get nerfed? Still just one retrain per level limit?
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
Moderator
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Blurred Step for the Battlemind was also revised. But I haven't agonized over it like you, Viktor, so I can't tell if it's good or bad.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Gary wrote
Blurred Step for the Battlemind was also revised. But I haven't agonized over it like you, Viktor, so I can't tell if it's good or bad.


I haven't updated yet. Blurred Step had some conflicts with being defenderish. If you blurred step, then you couldn't make an opportunity attack anymore so the enemy could just walk calmly away or use a ranged attack without fear of retribution. I'll have to check it out.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
Moderator
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Blurred Step looks to be changed from an OA to a once/turn free action. So that seems... good?
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Gary wrote
Blurred Step looks to be changed from an OA to a once/turn free action. So that seems... good?


OOC: Very good. They fixed it 100%. Now a battlemind can follow it's mark and still discourage it from running away, charging away, or using a ranged attack on allies. The once/turn is an interesting choice, since I expected it to be once per round. Once per turn as a free action means the battlemind can essentially use it multiple times in a round, although only once per combatant's turn. Good against pesky kobolds that like shifting when you move adjacent or goblins that shift when you miss them. If the kobold shifts when you move adjacent during YOUR turn, the battlemind blurred step follows and then, during the kobolds turn, if it shifts as a move action, it sounds like you could again blurred step follow. Of course, enemies that use double move actions to shift twice get away, but then the defender's job was done by preventing the enemy from attacking.

Bottom line, the battlemind's mark is now sticky (it wasn't before).

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
« Last edit by Viktor on Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:59 pm. »
Moderator
Registered: Jul 2008
Posts: 5245
Viktor wrote
Emily, what are your rules on retraining powers at level-up when they get nerfed? Still just one retrain per level limit?


I'll allow one retrain for every nerfed power in addition to the regular retrain. I don't think you should be stuck with a power that totally changes.
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Dungeon Master - Scales of War
Edeya - Githzerai Seeker - Points of Light
Moderator
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
I have received Dark Sun and Psionic Power today. Lots of interesting stuff to digest.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Psionic Powers looks very good and I like how they wrote about four pages of extra "playing as a..." fluff for each of the classes and the new heritage feats. I've mostly looked at the battlemind for now, but at a glance the new ardent and monk powers looks great.

The new feats for heroic tier look like a mixed bag as usual, although the new "Psionic ***" feats for augmentation classes only look interesting in that they confer a feat bonus that can be augmented with power points. Of course, power points are a rare commodity so might not be best used on feats. Although I do like the Psionic Toughness feat (grants 3 extra hp per tier and if you use one power point while using your second wind, you gain an additional 5 hp in healing per tier).

For Ardent's the Martyr's Surge feat looks good (when the ardent is bloodied, allies/self regain an additional 1d6 hp with healing from ardent surge).

Skipping Stone Flurry feat looks good for monks (if you have a sling in hand, you can target an enemy up to 10 spaces away with you flurry of blows and this doesn't provoke OA attacks).

Gary, what is the Dark Sun book like? I don't know anything about the Dark Sun setting. Are there new races and classes? Are the new powers and feats usable of for PC's that are not in the Dark Sun setting?
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
Moderator
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
The Dark Sun book combines the player's info and DM info in one book (as opposed to separate books as were done for Forgotten Realms and Eberron).

New stuff for players:

* Two new races.
- Muls, half-human/half-dwarf. Tough but flexible, looks good. Stat bonus are +2 Con and choice of +2 Con or Wis.
- Thri-Kreen, humanoid insects. Interesting alien feel. Stat bonus are +2 Dex and choice of +2 Str or Wis.
- There are descriptions of how existing races fit into the Dark Sun campaign and new backgrounds. Also new racial paragon paths for mul, thri-kreen, and goliath.

* New mechanical feature called themes.
- Themes give a character a free encounter power at level 1. They also allow them to take theme-powers at levels you'd normally take class powers (or skill utility powers).
- Each theme also has two paragon paths.
- There are also feats that have theme pre-reqs.
- Themes include ones like gladiator, dune trader, and wasteland nomad.
- I've heard generic non-Dark Sun themes will be introduced in the Essentials line.

* Four new class features/builds for existing classes.
- Battlemind - Wild battlemind. Seems to feature forced movement as a theme. Con/Cha build.
- Fighter - Arena fighter. Good with light armor and a variety of weapons. Str/Dex build.
- Shaman - Animist shaman. Seems to play tricks by causing their spirit companion to disappear and grant an ally some benefit. Wis/Int build.
- Warlock - sorcerer-king pact. Seems like a leader-y build. Can choose to attack with Con or Cha, and Int is secondary.
- No completely brand new class like the swordmage or artificer in FR and Eberron.

* New epic destinies.

* New feats (many of which tie to the new races, class builds, weapons, or themes).

* New base weapon types.

* New magic items.

* New rituals.

It's got plenty of stuff usable for non-DS characters, especially for classes that got new builds in here. It's similar to how FR has lots of support for the swordmage, drow, genasi, and dark pact warlock, and Eberron had lots of stuff for artificers, warforged, kalashtar, and changeling, but each had cool stuff for other races/classes. It's also similar to the Eberron book in having some trickier things to incorporate, like Dragonmarks and House paragon paths, into a non-setting specific game.

All in all, it looks really good after perusing it for a bit.

Oh, and a short summary of the world itself: Blasted, post-apocalyptic desert world, where arcane magic destroys the world (there's a mechanic for this, too, actually), psionic power is common, nature spirits are common, and the gods (and thus divine classes) don't exist (although they have some suggestions for how to include a divine character if you really want to). Scattered city-states are ruled by powerful Sorcerer-Kings, slavery is common, life is hard, and the desert is lethal. Dark Sun was originally created for 2e.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Sounds like a lot of interesting new options. I have a feeling Essentials will mix things up quite a bit too.

The setting sounds unique. Sorceror-Kings ruling things, maybe Salazar can dimension travel over there and take over.

Thanks for sharing.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)

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