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 Items daily restriction?...what about a surge cost instead.

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Garthanos
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PostSubject: Items daily restriction?...what about a surge cost instead.   Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:03 pm

I suppose I shouldn't even worry about it unless I have players mass producing / stock piling items with powers eh...

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

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PostSubject: Re: Items daily restriction?...what about a surge cost instead.   Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:55 am

I've often thought about this particular part of the rules.

I was one of the few individual that actually understood and liked the rules as first published. The idea of 1 daily item power usage per day per tier +1 per milestone reached was (in my opinion) a pretty good and balanced method. Not everyone could remember how to figure it out, but I think it worked well. At least on paper.

What I saw in actual game play was that most players all but ignored their magic item daily powers. If they were in a "big bad" fight, they might start scouring their character sheets for any additional tricks they might pull out of their hat instead of using their at-will again, but for the most part, daily item powers were almost always an after thought.

I also found that when players were looking for magic items, they tended to pick either items with "always on" properties or items with encounter powers. This reduced a lot of the bookkeeping from one game session to another. We often will run one "game day" over the course of several sessions (I think my record is 6 sessions for 2 hours of in game time). And when this happens, there is always the "did all of our powers reset yet?" when we get back together for the next session. So having an encounter power or "always on" property on the magic item avoided the added item to track.

Anyway, when the rules were changed to eliminate the daily item power uses per day (and replace it with magic item rarity) I didn't see any change in the player's behavior. They still just looked for encounter powers and properties in lieu of daily item powers.

Now, if one wanted to alter the daily usage restriction and instead make it "surge powered" instead, I think there might be an upswing in the usage. Healing surges are (in my thoughts) an underutilized resource in the game. Apart from regular healing (in combat and after short rests) and the occasional skill challenge that might cause the lost of a HS, they just seem to sit there. And I'd like to try to get my players to care about them a bit more. As it is now, they never seem to be in short supply and so the players just assume that they will be fine. But if they could activate a daily item power an extra time (or even multiple times) it might increase both their awareness of HS and also encourage them to "push" a bit more during adventures.

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PostSubject: Re: Items daily restriction?...what about a surge cost instead.   Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:01 am

I like it. Actually, I've considered such a change for daily powers, too - it bothers me that dailies are the only power type still attached to a "real" time value, not a thematic/story based timespan.

That said, healing surges are viewed very casually in our group - I don't recall ever having run out of them, or even being close. It may be too permissive to convert any type of daily usage into surge-based. Though, obviously this won't be true for some groups...

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PostSubject: Re: Items daily restriction?...what about a surge cost instead.   Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:26 am

Here's some things rolling in my brain right now in regards to the "real" time value.

4E moved many things further into the "abstraction" level of mechanics. And this is fine, I don't mind it. But it does ask for a bit more suspension of disbelief when it comes to story and setting immersion. And I think that daily powers are probably on the top of the list when one asks, "Why is the game mechanic like that?"

It made more sense with the Vancian style of magic. A spellcaster only had so much "magicalness" each day. And the cycle of the sun/planet/world/whatever was the basis for the "mystic recharging". But in 4E, with all power sources having this sort of "daily cycle" it made less sense as an "in game" reason why "person with sword" could only use their awesome power once per day. The question becomes "what is the character expending, in game, that prevents them from reusing that power until the following day?" Encounter powers have that feeling of limited usage just because combat is frantic, rushed, and over quickly (in game, not in real time). So only being able to do something once per encounter makes a sort of sense. But a daily power...

Allowing some sort of "recharge" using Healing Surges would put an "in game" cost that a character could point to and explain how they can do something that requires a lot of person exertion again. My first thought would be that a daily power can still only be used once per encounter. But, after a short rest, when the party has the option to spend healing surges to recover hit points, they could also spend healing surges to recover daily powers.

But now, it has me pondering what potential "fallout" this would have in "power breakage". I am far from being the one who knows most of the powers in the game (maybe myself as a teen playing D&D 1e could have done this, but not now, I'm old). So nothing is leaping to mind on this. But I would imagine that there might be some cases where being able to recharge a daily power could cause issues. I'm also wondering if giving this blanket ability to recharge daily powers would "lessen" the value of some daily powers that are out there now.

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PostSubject: Re: Items daily restriction?...what about a surge cost instead.   Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:14 am

It depends on your group, I'm sure. If you frequently do long dungeon crawls that test your resources, and/or go into a single digits of healing surges each day, then you'd certainly have to think about whether or not was worth it. But for my group, that's definitely not what 4e is like.

As a quick overview, my paragon-tier paladin (technically blackguard, but the blackguard is tremendously clumsy in flavour, so no) currently has two 4[W] daily attacks and like fourteen healing surges. Our battlemind is a very aggressive defender who soaks an absolute mountain of damage, so I've never used more than three or four surges in a day. There's zero chance I wouldn't be spending the surges to basically make my dailies into encounter powers.

Granted, the battlemind would have to think twice about it (since he has to SPEND a bunch of his surges), BUT - a striker with not one but two 4d12 brutal+high-crit encounter attacks does lessen your incoming damage somewhat. Death is the most reliable control :p

For that matter, I'd also be treating Bless Weapon as a daily, so I'd pretty much live at 18-20 crit range - which is normally very difficult to do in 4e! That's something I would want to be extremely careful about, and I'm sure it's not the only power of its ilk.

So, from my point of view, while it's not game-breaking, but it absolutely ratchets up the power level for PCs. That's a bit too much of an increase for me. Personally, I think the power level in 4e is pretty spot-on; I'm not looking to bring that up or down, just to simplify things I don't like the feel of.

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PostSubject: Re: Items daily restriction?...what about a surge cost instead.   Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:28 am

Fox Lee wrote:
It depends on your group, I'm sure. If you frequently do long dungeon crawls that test your resources, and/or go into a single digits of healing surges each day, then you'd certainly have to think about whether or not was worth it. But for my group, that's definitely not what 4e is like.

As a quick overview, my paragon-tier paladin (technically blackguard, but the blackguard is tremendously clumsy in flavour, so no) currently has two 4[W] daily attacks and like fourteen healing surges. Our battlemind is a very aggressive defender who soaks an absolute mountain of damage, so I've never used more than three or four surges in a day. There's zero chance I wouldn't be spending the surges to basically make my dailies into encounter powers.

Granted, the battlemind would have to think twice about it (since he has to SPEND a bunch of his surges), BUT - a striker with not one but two 4d12 brutal+high-crit encounter attacks does lessen your incoming damage somewhat. Death is the most reliable control :p

For that matter, I'd also be treating Bless Weapon as a daily, so I'd pretty much live at 18-20 crit range - which is normally very difficult to do in 4e! That's something I would want to be extremely careful about, and I'm sure it's not the only power of its ilk.

So, from my point of view, while it's not game-breaking, but it absolutely ratchets up the power level for PCs. That's a bit too much of an increase for me. Personally, I think the power level in 4e is pretty spot-on; I'm not looking to bring that up or down, just to simplify things I don't like the feel of.

Yeah, I think these are good points to show that this kind of house-rule is definitely a case-by-case determination. I ran one game where I had a party of 5 PCs, two of which were Defenders (a Warden and a Swordmage). It was nigh impossible to hit anyone else in the party. And in a case like this, the Striker in that group (a Barbarian) would have had, as you said, Daily powers as Encounters.

In my current campaign, there are 4 PCs (Leader, Striker, Striker, Defender). One of the Strikers is the Slayer, and so they are up in the mix and I typically get several attacks on that character. Surge use of this party is higher and so they may think twice before throwing their HS out for a daily power.

I wonder if a limit of only 1 HS per encounter can be used in this way would allow this to be a more "universal" mechanic....

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