1. #226
    Happiness is a Warm Gun Exploder Wizard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ulrik View Post
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    You need some sense in using p42. Also, 4e is fungible like that - monster stats are only in relation to the PC.
    I know. Thats part of the reason its made of fail.
    Don't suck that. Its dead.

 

  • #227
    That's *Miss* Manners to you. Ranger Wickett's Avatar
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    If you want to kill them with the boulder, you need to catch them off guard. So first, Stealth check. Then Athletics check to shove it fast enough. Then an attack roll to see how precisely you aim it.

    If you succeed all three, splat, they're dead.

    Get two, it does high damage expression and knocks them prone as it shatters right beside them and maybe clips them on the way down.

    Get one, and it does average damage expression as they dive out of the way.

    Fail them all, and, well, they realized you were about to shove a boulder on them, so they moved out of the way.

    Creator of ZEITGEIST: The Gears of Revolution. Adventure eight, Diaspora, now available for Pathfinder and D&D 4th edition.

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  • #228
    Pony Up! Ovinomancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exploder Wizard View Post
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    If I were writing fiction I'd be right there with ya. Hell, we wouldn't need rules at all or dice for that matter.
    Hell, yeah! God forbid we ever reward players for good ideas outside the normal rules by allowing them to work well. I say, right on! Let's keep fucking them over because this ain't a book!


  • #229
    Fox Confessor jasin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger Wickett View Post
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    If you want to kill them with the boulder, you need to catch them off guard. So first, Stealth check. Then Athletics check to shove it fast enough. Then an attack roll to see how precisely you aim it.

    If you succeed all three, splat, they're dead.

    Get two, it does high damage expression and knocks them prone as it shatters right beside them and maybe clips them on the way down.

    Get one, and it does average damage expression as they dive out of the way.

    Fail them all, and, well, they realized you were about to shove a boulder on them, so they moved out of the way.
    Nice!

    Did you just make that up?
    Last edited by jasin; December 8th, 2011 at 01:06 PM.

  • #230
    Quote Originally Posted by Tabloid Believer View Post
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    I suppose the difference is that you'd be okay with overarching rules for stuff that is mostly non-combat related. But in combat, you want everything pretty much defined?
    Yes.

    Again: for the type of D&D game that I play, combat is 80% of what we do. Maybe 95% if people are in a killin' mood. Therefor, how to adjudicate combat needs well defined rules that cover the vast majority of what PCs typically do in combat.

    Stuff like pulling out a potion to quaff, opening a door, drawing a weapon, healing an ally -- those happen in almost every combat. Thus, I am not content with leaving them up to DM fiat.

    It also incredibly inefficient (there's that word again) for every single DM and group everywhere to have to negotiate these sorts of actions, in every game. Why not have a rule within D&D that says all the stuff I listed above is a minor action?

    Note: you can also have optional rules for people who want them. Maybe in the base game, you keep the 4e standard/move/minor action framework, but one of the optional rules is you only have standard/move and leave everything else up to the DM.

    I'm OK with the mearls/Monte idea that D&D is modular if and only if the baseline combat module is playable and doesn't revert back to the far inferior combat engines prior to 4e.

    Also, because this seems relevant, an analogy I sometimes use to explain D&D rules is the following. Remember how when you were little, and you played Cops & Robbers or Cowboys & Indians? Often you'd get into a situation of, "I shot you." "No you didn't." "Yes I did." -- and the game grinds to a halt. Wouldn't it be great if, in addition to the freeform imagination of Cops & Robbers, we had some kind of rules to determine who shot whom?

    Those rules are the D&D combat rules.

    Again, out of curiosity, how do you adjudicate stuff in 4e like when a PC wants to make a chandelier come crashing down on a group of bad guys?
    As everyone else said, Page 42 is a good start. (Incidentally, I don't think it's on page 42 in the Rules Compendium, which is a shame.)

    Personally I'm OK with the game scaling to PC level. So, that boulder you pushed at 1st level did two dice of damage, but at 30th level it does ten dice of damage (or whatever). The reason is that the threats you face at 1st level aren't the same threats you face at 30th level.

    D&D could do a better job of giving the DM (and players!) more freedom to acknowledge that and just say, "Yeah, your 30th level demigod pushes 100 boulders like they pebbles and you automatically kill the 1st-level goblin army." But, when your 30th level PC faces an army of ancient red dragons, then we're back to using the actual rules, because that's not a gimme any more.

    I also think D&D could do a better job of allowing skills to substitute for attack/damage (which is what page 42 boils down to). I think skill challenges were supposed to be the answer here, but they failed to be interesting at all, and thus are dreaded rather than enjoyed.

    But in my games I do sometimes have situations like the following. All skills, no page 42. DM fiat? Yes, but within a rules context that the players understand.

    Spoiler:

    Player: I sneak up on the cliff and push a boulder down on the goblin camp.
    DM (me): Sure, you'll need a stealth check to sneak and a Strength (or Athletics) check to push the boulder.
    Player: [rolls Stealth, makes it easily]
    DM: You're on the cliff with the goblins none the wiser.
    Player: [rolls Strength, can't budge the boulder, but only missed by 3] Dang it! Uh, I look around for a tree branch to use as a lever.
    DM: [thinks] Make a Nature check to find a sturdy enough branch.
    Player: [makes it]
    DM: [retroactively applies +4 to the PC's previous Strength check] With the sturdy branch, you lever the boulder out of the mud it's stuck in. It teeters on the edge of the cliff, then plummets down into the goblin camp. About a dozen goblins are instantly squished, and as the boulder rolls forward, another couple dozen are either killed or horribly maimed. The camp is in chaos.
    Player: Awesome! Now, I jump off the cliff and charge to the attack.
    DM: Roll for initiative, bucko.

  • #231
    Happiness is a Warm Gun Exploder Wizard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger Wickett View Post
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    If you want to kill them with the boulder, you need to catch them off guard. So first, Stealth check. Then Athletics check to shove it fast enough. Then an attack roll to see how precisely you aim it.

    If you succeed all three, splat, they're dead.

    Get two, it does high damage expression and knocks them prone as it shatters right beside them and maybe clips them on the way down.

    Get one, and it does average damage expression as they dive out of the way.

    Fail them all, and, well, they realized you were about to shove a boulder on them, so they moved out of the way.
    Nice.

    Off the top of your head comes a better treatment than page 42.
    Don't suck that. Its dead.

  • #232
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exploder Wizard View Post
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    Nice.

    Off the top of your head comes a better treatment than page 42.
    Fuck yeah! The suggestions on page 42 should have been as detailed as your years of experience and major AP writing credit example shows!

  • #233
    That's *Miss* Manners to you. Ranger Wickett's Avatar
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    Page 42 is 3 years old now. Since then we've learned a lot about what makes for fun and balanced rules in 4e. I think I first saw the "three-checks-to-dead" approach in a House Rules post over at EN World, from someone trying to make an assassination skill challenge.

    First you have to be in a position where a one-hit-kill is possible. This probably involves some initial skill checks as you research and scout your target (or the GM just puts a fight in a canyon, and agrees that there are handy boulders). Then possibly more skill checks and roleplaying to get inside and get into the room with the person. Then you still have to make two checks (Stealth and Bluff, probably) and an attack roll to finish the job.

    Creator of ZEITGEIST: The Gears of Revolution. Adventure eight, Diaspora, now available for Pathfinder and D&D 4th edition.

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  • #234
    Using the example already given, this is my problem:

    A 5 ton rock is a 5 ton rock... The nature of the rock (or physics) shouldnt change depending on the level of the character pushing it off the edge...

    Why would a thermonuclear device detonated by a L2 character do less damage than one set off by a L19 character... It is still a fucking nuclear bomb!


    Thats what bothers me about pg. 42
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  • #235
    Polly, Demon Lord Voadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
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    Each skill entry has a "Improvising With..." sidebar with examples and their DCs. For instance:

    Acrobatics - Somersault over a creature of the same size (hard DC)
    Arcana - Change the visible or audible qualities of one's magical powers when using them (moderate DC)
    Athletics - Hang onto a wagon while being dragged behind it (hard DC)
    Bluff - Entertain a crowd with a tall tale (moderate DC)
    Diplomacy - Comfort a distraught person (moderate DC)
    Dungeoneering - Determine how to cause part of a tunnel to collapse (hard DC)
    Endurance - Quaff an entire stein of ale in one go (moderate DC)
    Heal - Deduce what kind of weapon caused an injury (moderate DC)
    History - Recite a canto from one of the epic poems of old (hard DC)
    Insight - Interpret enemies' hand signs (hard DC)
    Intimidate - Get an unruly crowd to move out of the way (hard DC)
    Nature - Camouflage a trap or other construction in a natural setting (opposed by Perception)
    Perception - Sense the true direction of an echoing sound (hard DC)
    Religion - Soothe grief-stricken or panicked peasants by chanting a hymn (hard DC)
    Stealth - Craft a hidden compartment or sheath (moderate DC)
    Streetwise - Deduce a person's profession by his or her dress (moderate DC)
    Thievery - Bind a creature with rope (check result sets the escape DC)
    Those are in the Heroes of the X essentials books as well. Each skill has about three examples of improvising.

  • #236
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourSwordisMine View Post
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    Using the example already given, this is my problem:

    A 5 ton rock is a 5 ton rock... The nature of the rock (or physics) shouldnt change depending on the level of the character pushing it off the edge...

    Why would a thermonuclear device detonated by a L2 character do less damage than one set off by a L19 character... It is still a fucking nuclear bomb!


    Thats what bothers me about pg. 42
    Because you're locked into the idea that hp represent physical damage soak ability and a 'hit' means physical contact.

    In both cases, the danger is the same to the monsters, percentage-wise, and their ability to avoid it is the same, percentage wise. Should a goblin be less adept at moving out of the way of a 5 ton boulder than a minotaur?

    A 'hit' with a 5 ton boulder doesn't mean it lands on them and the either die (enough damage done) or can take being turned into an unlucky cartoon character imitation panacake. It means they don't get out of the way (enough hp damage), or they barely get out of the way (damage not enough to kill them). Maybe it's a glancing blow and they get bloodied. However.

    But the key thing is that page 42 doesn't have rules for 5 ton boulders. It has suggestions for appropriate damage for attacks at given levels. If the DM wants to give players 5 ton boulders at 1st level, and again at 17th, he needs to make the shift believable. Personally, if I'm giving 1st level players 5 ton boulders to play with, I'm not even going to look at page 42.

  • #237
    Still Fat & Jolly COMMUNITY SUPPORTER Feanor's Avatar
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    You're not being abstract enough...


    ...except when you're being too abstract!

  • #238
    I don't FEEL wealthy. Ulrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourSwordisMine View Post
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    Using the example already given, this is my problem:

    A 5 ton rock is a 5 ton rock... The nature of the rock (or physics) shouldnt change depending on the level of the character pushing it off the edge...

    Why would a thermonuclear device detonated by a L2 character do less damage than one set off by a L19 character... It is still a fucking nuclear bomb!


    Thats what bothers me about pg. 42
    Because HP are abstract. Since a boulder will squish most persons regardless of level, the damage might as well scale with the target's level.

    So the GM then checks the table, finds appropriate damage *against the target* and rolls that.

    And if it's a really big boulder, use limited expression for level + 5. Or just say "splat", not that there should be much difference.

  • #239
    For me, it has nothing to do with abstract hit points... I dont care how abstract it is... What I do care about is internal consistancy in rules... Which honestly, 4e has very little...


    So, mabe its not consistancy in rules as more consistancy of logic...

    a rock is a rock...
    An articulate soul trapped in inarticulate shell

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  • #240
    Pony Up! Ovinomancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourSwordisMine View Post
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    For me, it has nothing to do with abstract hit points... I dont care how abstract it is... What I do care about is internal consistancy in rules... Which honestly, 4e has very little...


    So, mabe its not consistancy in rules as more consistancy of logic...

    a rock is a rock...
    You apparently didn't read to the end of my post.

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