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 My 4e Clone: Points of Light

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C4
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PostSubject: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:12 pm

Points of Light is the true-to-4e clone I've been working on since the start of the year, and this is the thread to talk about it. The purpose of this clone is to have a game which adheres to the 4e-isms that we all love, while addressing the problems that were never officially errataed. My goals include, but are not limited to:

1. Fix the math, and less math. No feat taxes, no enhancement bonuses, no stat boosts, just +1 per level. Easy to adjust the scale if you want flatter math.
2. Shorten combat length, and a 'trash fight' variant for DMs who want quick combat.
3. Better permanent items. PoL focuses on consumables as rewards, with fewer but more awesome permanent items.
4. Fewer feats and powers. Powers are grouped by power source, rather than class. I'm currently thinking about combining utility powers and rituals into one pool of options. Utility powers being rituals that you can use faster and for free, naturally.

I have many other goals, which you can read about on my blog if you're interested. I don't design by committee, but I occasionally ask for community input and I love talking game design and I'm happy to consider requests and answer questions. PoL will be a free resource for the game community.

Current progress: Google docs link


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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:16 pm

Today I'm requesting input on an idea that's recently occurred to me, as I've begun writing monsters and monster guidelines:

Would diceless damage for all monsters be an improvement for you, a fly in your pudding, or no big deal either way?

PoL won't have tons of canned monsters, but it'll have detailed guidelines for monster creation and conversion. Thing is, there's no good way to write damage guidelines other than 'Monsters should do 8 + level damage, modified by caste and riders. Split damage evenly between dice and a flat bonus. (For non-minions.) Here's a table of dice and average damage; have at it!'

That's probably how the 4e team does it, but I wonder if regular DMs who convert/invent monsters wouldn't rather leave out those last two sentences. I know I'm leaning that way; I've already made a standard 'Critical: x damage' line for every monster attack -- including minions -- and it's very tempting to write all monster damage as static values. (Crit damage = 1.5 x normal damage.)

And of course, diceless damage means less die-rolling for the DM, which means faster combats. So, opinions?
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:43 pm

I personally like playing with set damage. Though I've found that it can be bad at times. Especially where there is that one creature that hits like a truck. But most of the time it works just fine. I like the idea of crits just being x1.5, or, x2.

It would be really easy to do a Bite attack as follows:

Bite
Melee 1; Standard; At-will
+5 vs AC
Hit: 4 damage
Critical: 6 damage

Of course this is just an example but I think it would work fairly well and speed combat up. So overall... I like it.

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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:48 pm

I use flat average damage for monsters myself, with maximized damage and critical dice added in by role on critical hits. It works pretty well, as long as you build it towards PC HP growth.

As critical generally only affects damage, a critical line wouldn't be needed I wouldn't think. I just write the crit damage for my mon's in parentheses next to the normal damage expression. But that's just my opinion.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:16 pm

I say go the third route: do both, so DMs can choose!

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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:01 am

It would be easy to put in an optional rule that allows DMs to either roll or just go with a base number.

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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:38 am

Personally, I think you should use random damage. Fixed damage is just another difference with the base rules that might be the proverbial fly-in-the-ointment for some people.

That said, I sometimes use fixed damage and have done since 2E. If your maths doesn't completely suck it's easy enough to do in your head. However, I do like my brutes to be really swingy (I custom build all of my monsters - because I enjoy it and because I like things to be lower level than the 4E standard - and almost all of my brutes use d12s for their damage dice whereas soldiers are normally d6s or d8s. It's just a flavour thing with me but I am also aware of how dangeous that can be for the PCs - hence my occasional use of fixed damage. Smile )
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:37 am

Both it is, then. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:12 pm

Cool. Also I'm not sure if you've answered this anywhere yet but, will you give small monster descriptions and tactics?

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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:37 pm

I'm going to re-post the following from an rpg.net post I made because I think its worth thinking about in terms of design.

I've been mulling over the issue of 4E characters having too many options for a while now and I don't think the problem with options is that 4E characters have too many, its that they're silo'd in such a way that it tends towards option paralysis and this could greatly reduced simply by re-siloing them. Studies have shown that if you offer someone around three good choices at any one time people can decide what they want pretty quickly and are pretty confident in their decisions. But when you start offering more options, the time it takes for them to make a choice and be confident in that choice increases dramatically.

So let's take, for example, a typical 10th level character. They're going to have two at-will attacks (possibly 3-4 if they have reasonable basic attacks that aren't replaced by one of their at-wills), three encounter attacks, three daily attacks, three utility powers and probably a racial, a theme and a class power of some type (mark retaliation, healing word, curse/quarry, cantrips, etc.) thrown in as well. That's around 15 powers.

So, let's take the typical 4E character... odds are that the at-wills, 2-3 of the encounters AND 2-3 of the daily attacks are all going to be standard actions... or around 6-9 of their 15 options fall under the standard action choice with remaining 6-9 choices spread out amongst triggered (immediate/opportunity), minor, move and on-turn free actions. In other words, you've got one choice with 6-9 options and then four other choices where you probably have zero to three choices at most.

Now, let's try re-siloing those choices. Let's say that, for your standard action choices you only have you two at-wills and a basic attack (three choices). Your free action choices consist of two of your encounter attacks and your racial power (three choices). Your minor action choices consist of two of your daily attacks and your extra class power (three choices). Your move action choices consist of two of your utility powers and your theme power (three choices). Finally, your off-turn choices consist of one encounter attack, one daily attack and one utility power (three choices). You've still got the exact same number of powers (15), but at any given point you only have to choose between three different options which, in theory, should reduce the option paralysis most people experience from too many choices.

Essentially, build the classes more like the HotFW Skald, where every power choice at a given level is the same action type (ex. at level one all the encounter attack choices are free actions, then at level three all the choices are minor actions) so that the choices are distributed amongst the different action types and the number of powers won't feel nearly so overwhelming.

And if you're seriously rebuilding the system, this is something you can take into account from the start and build into it from the ground up.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:15 pm

Felorn Gloryaxe wrote:
Cool. Also I'm not sure if you've answered this anywhere yet but, will you give small monster descriptions and tactics?
Hi Felorn! My answer is yes, though these details aren't at the top of my priority list right now. I'm still in the 'Get good stat blocks down for a few classic monsters' stage. cyclops 
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:43 pm

Chris24601 wrote:
I'm going to re-post the following from an rpg.net post I made because I think its worth thinking about in terms of design.

And if you're seriously rebuilding the system, this is something you can take into account from the start and build into it from the ground up.
Hi Chris, I've been thinking about your ideas since you posted them on rpgnet. I'm aware of the analysis paralysis that afflicts some players, and I'm designing the game basics to cut down on it. For example, there are no classes with spell books or minor little channel divinity powers. (There will be options for players who like lots more options, though.) Permanent magical items will be fewer, and more spectacular. And I'm pretty sure that utility powers will be strictly non-combat.

But I'm not sure that re-siloing powers will be a net positive. It reduces analysis paralysis in some ways, but if everyone has off-turn powers suddenly every player has to make a decision on every turn. If everyone has minor action attacks, everyone essentially becomes an alpha striker. And finally, on a power-design level, non-standard action powers are more limited in effect. (Unless we want to open a can of worms, and likely explode monster HPs.) Which means I and other DMs designing powers have to be painfully conservative in adding riders to non-standards.

Also, I recently finished writing a whole lot of 1st level encounter and daily powers, and I don't relish the thought of going back to rehash. pale
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:49 am

C4 wrote:
But I'm not sure that re-siloing powers will be a net positive. It reduces analysis paralysis in some ways, but if everyone has off-turn powers suddenly every player has to make a decision on every turn. If everyone has minor action attacks, everyone essentially becomes an alpha striker. And finally, on a power-design level, non-standard action powers are more limited in effect. (Unless we want to open a can of worms, and likely explode monster HPs.) Which means I and other DMs designing powers have to be painfully conservative in adding riders to non-standards.
My thinking on off-turn powers is that, unless the class specifically calls for them (ex. defenders and some leaders), they should be limited to personal defensive triggers ('you're hit' or 'you take damage') since you'll be paying attention to what's going on then anyway (even if only to record how much damage you've taken).

Likewise, probably 95% of the standard action encounter/daily attacks are just 'basic attack plus' powers (i.e. plus extra dice of damage, plus a rider effect, plus forced movement, plus additional/secondary attacks, et cetera). Those type of powers could easily be re-written (with a bit of re-balancing if necessary) into free action triggers (ex. when you hit with an at-will attack the target also suffers X... where X is the difference between what an at-will would inflict and what the original power would have inflicted) or minor actions (your next at-will attack inflicts X when it hits) or move actions (your next at-will attack inflicts X and you can move Y before and/or after the attack).

Take a look at a few of the level 1 fighter encounter powers;

Bash and Pinion (basic attack + grab)
Bell Ringer (basic attack; trade damage for dazed)
Covering Attack (basic attack + extra damage and ally can shift)
Distracting Spate (basic attack + extra damage and grants advantage)
Funneling Fury (basic attack + basic attack and slides)
Goading Maneuver (basic attack + extra damage, shift and marks)

Indeed, with the exception of Shield Riposte (an Immediate action) every single level 1 fighter encounter attack power could pretty easily be changed to a free action trigger (most of them 'you hit' but a few might be 'you hit or miss') with just some minor toning down of the more potent ones (since trigger on a hit means there's no chance of wasting them... which reduces option paralysis itself, chancing of wasting something can lead to hording even if they will get it back next fight... I've seen this myself with the way some of my players hang onto regular fight encounter powers, but will let loose with their free action 'you hit' powers from themes and items immediately).

-----

Really, it just comes down like any design... the more work you put into making the ground floor solid, the stronger the structure is going to be in the end. Yes, it very likely IS extra work to have to sit down and figure out how sets of free and minor powers will interact with a class' set of at-will attacks instead of just slapping down extra standard attacks into a choice list that's already got 2-3 of them. But I think the improvement in game-play by reducing option paralysis for the players who never have their next turn planned out until their turn comes up would be well worth the effort.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:14 pm

Chris24601 wrote:
Likewise, probably 95% of the standard action encounter/daily attacks are just 'basic attack plus' powers...
lol, you're obviously a martial-lover, judging by the way you neglect implement users. Smile

Chris24601 wrote:
Those type of powers could easily be re-written (with a bit of re-balancing if necessary) into free action triggers (ex. when you hit with an at-will attack the target also suffers X... where X is the difference between what an at-will would inflict and what the original power would have inflicted)... which reduces option paralysis itself, chancing of wasting something can lead to hording even if they will get it back next fight... I've seen this myself with the way some of my players hang onto regular fight encounter powers, but will let loose with their free action 'you hit' powers from themes and items immediately).
I haven't seen much of this kind of analysis paralysis, but I can get behind your reasoning. Also, if limited powers are activated upon hitting, accurate at-wills become more valuable and dailies no longer need miss entries.

I still have concerns, such as 'How do I balance a 'when you hit' effect against a traditional attack?' (Like I mention below, some conditions really call for traditional immediate attacks, and the thought of at-will immediate attacks kinda makes me cringe.)

Also, there are corner cases like the Dominate condition, which no player would want to add on to an at-will attack because...well, zapping the slave you just made isn't very smart. (Maybe as an aftereffect, but that could get wordy...)

Chris24601 wrote:
My thinking on off-turn powers is that, unless the class specifically calls for them (ex. defenders and some leaders), they should be limited to personal defensive triggers ('you're hit' or 'you take damage') since you'll be paying attention to what's going on then anyway (even if only to record how much damage you've taken).
Fair enough, though still, with everyone potentially being involved on every turn...there's a potential for quite the headache. My experience with out-of-turn powers is that they slow combat down, so I don't want to actively encourage or make mandatory the use of these powers.

(I did write a couple of immediate attacks though, only because some conditions really demand either to be immediate or that players delay until right after a target monster's turn. Knocking enemies prone and inflicting defense penalties, for example.)
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:28 pm

C4 wrote:
I still have concerns, such as 'How do I balance a 'when you hit' effect against a traditional attack?' (Like I mention below, some conditions really call for traditional immediate attacks, and the thought of at-will immediate attacks kinda makes me cringe.)
Take a look at the Bladesinger for ideas towards this. The Bladespell powers were essentially "hit with X and get Y from separate power".
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:36 am

C4 wrote:
lol, you're obviously a martial-lover, judging by the way you neglect implement users. Smile
I'm a martial-lover in the sense that I love the martial classes to have the same level of options as other classes, but I actually play arcane classes (my current PC's are a mage, a bard, an artificer, a bladesinger and a scout) more often than I do martial ones.

That said, I stand by my statement, most powers are "basic attack plus." The only difference with Implement users is that their dice-sizes are pre-determined in the power rather than by the weapon (which I think was a mistake... they could have easily applied base dice and properties to implements as well... wands might be +1 to hit but use d6's while staves get no bonus to hit and use d8's for example) and their ranges are a bit more variable. Still, you could cover most caster-style powers with boosts to a couple of at-wills (ex. a mage would need a ranged, an area burst and a close burst) modified by damage types and triggered/minor action effects.

C4 wrote:
I haven't seen much of this kind of analysis paralysis, but I can get behind your reasoning. Also, if limited powers are activated upon hitting, accurate at-wills become more valuable and dailies no longer need miss entries.
Analysis Paralysis has been a common problem in our games and is probably the number one thing that slows down a fight. The difference in players when their character has six options for standard actions versus two or three standard action choices and another two to three free action triggers is AMAZING.

And yes, accurate at-wills would become more valuable, which is why you'd need to build such changes into the system from the foundation. One of the reasons I brought it up was because your PoL ruleset is using a +1/level approach instead of the multiple bonus sources of traditional 4E. This would make applying such elements a bit easier to manage than they would with the traditional game.

C4 wrote:
I still have concerns, such as 'How do I balance a 'when you hit' effect against a traditional attack?' (Like I mention below, some conditions really call for traditional immediate attacks, and the thought of at-will immediate attacks kinda makes me cringe.)
Well, every time a fighter uses his mark punishment he's using an at-will immediate action attack. The way to balance "when you hit" free actions vs. a traditional standard action encounter/daily attack is pretty straight-forward if you know the expected hit rate for the system. If characters are expected to hit 60% of the time then a free action "when you hit" need only be 60% as strong as a standard action encounter attack since the power of the encounter attack includes the fact that it will miss and be wasted 40% of the time. If the hit rate is 65% then the free action "when you hit" should be 65% of a standard action encounter/daily power.

Its honestly harder to judge the effectiveness of a rider vs. extra damage than it is to re-balance a standard actions attack into a free action triggered attack.

C4 wrote:
Also, there are corner cases like the Dominate condition, which no player would want to add on to an at-will attack because...well, zapping the slave you just made isn't very smart. (Maybe as an aftereffect, but that could get wordy...)
Well, first off... since damage can be non-physical and monsters work at 100% power until they hit 0 hp there actually isn't a reason NOT to do damage to a foe you're eventually going to have to take out once the dominate wears off unless it kills them and thus wastes the dominate effect. But if the dominate is a free action that only takes effect after the damage is rolled then the dominate effect will only ever take effect on something that hasn't been dropped yet.

Still, its easy enough to take cues from various feats to make a trigger of "you hit the target with an attack that deals psychic damage" and the effect be "the target suffers no damage from the attack, but is instead dominated until the end of your next turn."

C4 wrote:
Fair enough, though still, with everyone potentially being involved on every turn...there's a potential for quite the headache. My experience with out-of-turn powers is that they slow combat down, so I don't want to actively encourage or make mandatory the use of these powers.
Except that, if you limit it to personal defensive immediate actions (i.e. triggers of "you are hit" or "you take damage" with effects that serve to cancel the hit or otherwise mitigate the damage) then everyone wouldn't be involved with every turn. They'd only be involved on a turn where they're being hit... and they'll be involved then anyway since they have to record the damage from the hit (and often let the DM know whether they've been hit or missed by a given attack as well).

C4 wrote:
(I did write a couple of immediate attacks though, only because some conditions really demand either to be immediate or that players delay until right after a target monster's turn. Knocking enemies prone and inflicting defense penalties, for example.)
Huh... I can honestly say I've NEVER had a case where players have used immediates or delays to prone a monster or inflict defense penalties on it. What's the logic on the delaying until after the monster's turn on those?

I can kind of see using an immediate prone as a way to kill a monster's movement before it gets to its target, but even if you use it on your turn, its still costing the monster a move action to right itself which limits its options if there aren't any targets within melee reach.

What I can't get at all is the bit about applying defense penalties. Every defense penalty I've ever seen from a power in 4E lasts until the end of YOUR next turn, not the target's next turn. Thus, everyone (even you) gets at least one turn to act while the penalty is place. The only reason to delay would be if, for some reason, the penalties ended at the end of the target's next turn... which just isn't the case as far as I know (there probably is an edge case somewhere, but I'm at a loss as to what it might be.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:49 pm

Chris24601 wrote:
... they could have easily applied base dice and properties to implements as well... wands might be +1 to hit but use d6's while staves get no bonus to hit and use d8's for example...
Actually I've already done this very thing for PoL. Smile

Chris24601 wrote:
Well, every time a fighter uses his mark punishment he's using an at-will immediate action attack.
Defender class features are necessary evils, as it were. (I made them all opportunity actions, btw.)

Chris24601 wrote:
C4 wrote:
Fair enough, though still, with everyone potentially being involved on every turn...there's a potential for quite the headache. My experience with out-of-turn powers is that they slow combat down, so I don't want to actively encourage or make mandatory the use of these powers.
Except that, if you limit it to personal defensive immediate actions (i.e. triggers of "you are hit" or "you take damage" with effects that serve to cancel the hit or otherwise mitigate the damage) then everyone wouldn't be involved with every turn. They'd only be involved on a turn where they're being hit... and they'll be involved then anyway since they have to record the damage from the hit (and often let the DM know whether they've been hit or missed by a given attack as well).
If everyone gets attacked on the monsters' turn, everyone is involved. Hence the potential headache.

Chris24601 wrote:
What I can't get at all is the bit about applying defense penalties. Every defense penalty I've ever seen from a power in 4E lasts until the end of YOUR next turn, not the target's next turn. Thus, everyone (even you) gets at least one turn to act while the penalty is place. The only reason to delay would be if, for some reason, the penalties ended at the end of the target's next turn... which just isn't the case as far as I know (there probably is an edge case somewhere, but I'm at a loss as to what it might be.
Bingo! Everything is (save ends) in PoL.

And in the case of knocking an enemy prone, it's best to delay before before doing so so that each of your allies get to swing while it's down.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:10 pm

Your bingo doesn't answer my question about the advantage of delaying until after the monster's turn though.

End of Next Turn isn't the end of the monster's next turn... its the end of YOUR (or whoever applied the effect's) next turn. It literally does not matter whether you go right before the monster or right after it, the effect still applies for one full cycle of initiatives regardless.

Likewise, you shouldn't be using prone for combat advantage because its only advantage for melee attacks while it makes it harder for your ranged allies to hit the target. There are plenty of powers (and even simple flanking) that can get you combat advantage that doesn't hurt your ranged allies.

The reason to prone a target is to limit its movement options because it has to spend an action to stand. If no one else is in melee range then its limited to a basic attack via charge instead of a better attack, if its also been dazed then its going to be attacking from the ground at a penalty or wasting an entire turn getting back to its feet.

I could see the logic of readying with a prone with a trigger of "an enemy enters a space adjacent to me" since that could stop a foe from reaching its desired target or inflicts a penalty on an attack its making against you. But I can't see the logic of delaying until after its turn at all unless your entire party is melee-focused and able to reach the target.

-----

Everything is save ends? I think that'd be even more of a pain to track since you'd have to roll for whether each effect ends at the end of every turn instead of just crossing it off after the character who inflicted the effect has their next turn. I'd much rather see the (save ends) be replaced myself since that would reduce the complexity of having to roll for every save ends effect on a target.

Perhaps you could clear up the effects by replacing "until the end of your next turn" with "for one full round" to make it clear that it doesn't end until everyone has had a turn to act since the effect came into play.

-----

I think it should also be pointed out that one of the reasons for interrupts/opportunities according to Heinsoo was so that the rest of the players WOULD stay involved when its not their turn. It was specifically to cut back on the play-style where the player only pays attention during their turn and then spends the rest of the time playing Angry Birds on their smartphone.

Yes, they can slow things up a bit, but speed in and of itself isn't a virtue if the whole thing isn't memorable in the first place. Personally, I'd rather have really memorable 45 minute battles than forgettable 15 minute battles.

Just my two cents.
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:21 pm

Chris24601 wrote:
Everything is save ends?
Yup, conditions that end on a save mean that nobody has to know who imposed which condition, and they add a fun element of randomness to combat.

Chris24601 wrote:
Your bingo doesn't answer my question about the advantage of delaying until after the monster's turn though.
Imagine your character can inflict a defense penalty on an enemy that ends when the enemy makes a save. Everyone rolls initiative, and your turn comes up immediately before the enemy you want to use this power on. You have two choices:

1. You take your turn, and impose the defense penalty...which results in a 55% chance that nobody gets to take advantage of it because the enemy takes its turn immediately afterward, and rolls a save at the end of its turn.

2. You delay until just after the enemy takes its turn, and impose the defense penalty. Everyone gets to take advantage of the defense penalty at least once, because a whole round goes by before the enemy rolls its first save.

Chris24601 wrote:
I think it should also be pointed out that one of the reasons for interrupts/opportunities according to Heinsoo was so that the rest of the players WOULD stay involved when its not their turn. It was specifically to cut back on the play-style where the player only pays attention during their turn and then spends the rest of the time playing Angry Birds on their smartphone.
Didn't know about this; I don't suppose you have a link?
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:14 am

C4 wrote:
Imagine your character can inflict a defense penalty on an enemy that ends when the enemy makes a save. Everyone rolls initiative, and your turn comes up immediately before the enemy you want to use this power on.
Okay, in the context of your rules set it makes sense to delay. I thought we were discussing general 4E where most such effects are "end of your next turn" where delaying would make no difference what-so-ever.

That said, I'm not a huge fan of save ends. Our group is constantly forgetting to make their saves at the end of their turns and often ends up making the saves for the last turn at the start of their following turn only because they intended to do something they could only do if the effect were over. For us it'd be a LOT easier to have conditions that end at set times (ex. "the target is slowed for two full turns") with powers that grant saves allowing the possibility of ending ANY condition early.

Even better if rebuilding from the ground up would be reworking the conditions/effects so you COULD end them at the end of the target's turn more easily (ex. if dazed and stunned didn't also grant combat advantage you could end them right after the monster only got its single action or could take no actions on its turn... you could already do this for slowed/immobilized unless the monster has triggered actions that allow it to move).

The easiest way to do this would be to change any penalty effects on a target into bonuses for your allies that end after their turns are over. For example, instead of "the targets takes a -4 penalty to AC until the end of your next turn" you have "your allies gain a +4 bonus to attack rolls against the target on their next turn." Same mechanical effect, but the tracking can be checked off by each player at the end of THEIR turn instead of having to track when the caster's turn comes up again to remove the penalty from the monster.

C4 wrote:
Didn't know about this; I don't suppose you have a link?
I'm trying to track it down now. I thought it was in the "Races & Classes" preview book, but it looks like it may have been one of the early 4E preview articles on the WotC website (2007-2008ish). There's also the possibility that wasn't Heinsoo, but Andy Collins or one of the other 4E devs.

There's also the non-trivial chance that its just something I'm remembering wrong from one of countless internet forum discussions and my mind is just attributing it to Heinsoo. I've reached the point in my life where this is not out of the realm of possibility (the process of replacing specific words with more general ones that eventually afflicts all men has begun... "you know, the GUY! With the THING!" when what you mean is "the pope and his hat" Very Happy ).

I'll definitely let you know as soon as I actually find it (mainly because its going to drive me crazy until I track it down).
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:09 am

Chris24601 wrote:
C4 wrote:
Imagine your character can inflict a defense penalty on an enemy that ends when the enemy makes a save. Everyone rolls initiative, and your turn comes up immediately before the enemy you want to use this power on.
Okay, in the context of your rules set it makes sense to delay. I thought we were discussing general 4E where most such effects are "end of your next turn" where delaying would make no difference what-so-ever.
Gotcha.

The same logic holds for knocking an enemy prone in 4e -- at least when you do so to debuff the enemy. (Ranged allies can shoot something else for a turn.) Using prone as a debuff obviously works best in melee-heavy parties.

Chris24601 wrote:
That said, I'm not a huge fan of save ends. Our group is constantly forgetting to make their saves at the end of their turns and often ends up making the saves for the last turn at the start of their following turn only because they intended to do something they could only do if the effect were over.
I guess every group is different. Mine is always forgetting to remove those 'until next turn' conditions at the right time, and so at the beginning of some unfortunate monster or PC's turn, we end up with "Is this guy still immobilized? Who imposed the daze on him? Is it 'save ends,' or 'until next turn'?" discussions fairly frequently.

Whereas mostly we remember to roll saves, because it benefits our own monster or PC, and it happens on our own turns.

Chris24601 wrote:
C4 wrote:
Didn't know about this; I don't suppose you have a link?
I'm trying to track it down now. I thought it was in the "Races & Classes" preview book, but it looks like it may have been one of the early 4E preview articles on the WotC website (2007-2008ish). There's also the possibility that wasn't Heinsoo, but Andy Collins or one of the other 4E devs.

There's also the non-trivial chance that its just something I'm remembering wrong from one of countless internet forum discussions and my mind is just attributing it to Heinsoo. I've reached the point in my life where this is not out of the realm of possibility (the process of replacing specific words with more general ones that eventually afflicts all men has begun... "you know, the GUY! With the THING!" when what you mean is "the pope and his hat" Very Happy ).

I'll definitely let you know as soon as I actually find it (mainly because its going to drive me crazy until I track it down).
No worries; I understand completely. Yesterday I had give my address to someone, and I started with the zip, somehow thinking it was the street address. Neutral
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:50 pm

I just wrapped up the write-ups for PoL's first monsters: the beholders! And when I use the plural, I mean many -- there are six beholders, with 3-5 stat blocks each for different castes. (Minion, standard, solo, etc.)

As promised, each attack power comes with both random and static damage expressions.

One thing to keep in mind if you check out the pdf I'm about to link is that recharge powers don't require tracking in PoL: Monsters don't begin encounters with charged powers, and they can't save charged powers for later turns. They're strictly use-or-lose. Also, DMs don't roll a d6 for every recharge power; they roll a single d10 and consults the recharge table, which is located right in the monster's stat block!

There are probably other details I'm forgetting, but without further ado: Aberrants.


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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:31 pm

Looks pretty solid, but might I suggest slight change to how you sorted the recharge table?

Instead of low rolls providing the recharge, make it high rolls cause a recharge so it matches everything else in the system (i.e. high roll always equals good in 4E). By the same token, sort the results so that the best result is highest.

So for example, instead of...

1 Terrible Central Eye
2-5 Terrible Central Eye and Oppressive Central Eye
6 Oppressive Central Eye
7-10 Nothing

Try this...

1-4 Nothing
5 Terrible Central Eye
6 Oppressive Central Eye
7-10 Terrible Central Eye and Oppressive Central Eye

Same probabilities, but its more intuitive with the rest of the system.

As a side-note, for clarity's sake... is the intention of letting both powers, which are both standard actions, recharge on the best result simply to give the monster more options on that turn (since the other one can't be saved for the following turn)?

Finally, unless you have a specific reason for using the d10 beyond the fact that its provides more results than a d6, I think it would at least be worth considering changing the recharge check to a d20 since that will keep the DM from having to fiddle with so many dice (i.e. d20 to see what recharges and then roll the d20 again to see what it hits). So for the example above it would be...

Recharge (d20)
1-8 Nothing
9-10 Terrible Central Eye
11-12 Oppressive Central Eye
13-20 Terrible Central Eye AND Oppressive Central Eye
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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:35 pm

Looks great overall!

Chris24601 wrote:
As a side-note, for clarity's sake... is the intention of letting both powers, which are both standard actions, recharge on the best result simply to give the monster more options on that turn (since the other one can't be saved for the following turn)?
Yeah, the tables imply that a high-level beholder should be able to use multiple powers per turn...but they're all standard actions.

Another minor nitpick: Why no 31+ level beholders? (Not that many of us get to epic levels...)

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PostSubject: Re: My 4e Clone: Points of Light   Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:48 pm

Chris24601 wrote:
Recharge (d20)
1-8 Nothing
9-10 Terrible Central Eye
11-12 Oppressive Central Eye
13-20 Terrible Central Eye AND Oppressive Central Eye
Looks good to me.

Chris24601 wrote:

As a side-note, for clarity's sake... is the intention of letting both powers, which are both standard actions, recharge on the best result simply to give the monster more options on that turn (since the other one can't be saved for the following turn)?
Yes. I'll throw some 'ors' in there to make it clear.
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