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December 8th, 2011, 12:46 PM #226
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December 8th, 2011, 12:50 PM #227
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.
December 8th, 2011, 12:57 PM #228
December 8th, 2011, 01:01 PM #229
December 8th, 2011, 01:08 PM #230
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.
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.)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?
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.
December 8th, 2011, 01:35 PM #231
December 8th, 2011, 01:58 PM #232
December 8th, 2011, 02:01 PM #233
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.
December 8th, 2011, 02:01 PM #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
December 8th, 2011, 02:05 PM #235
December 8th, 2011, 02:09 PM #236
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.
December 8th, 2011, 02:10 PM #237
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You're not being abstract enough...
...except when you're being too abstract!
December 8th, 2011, 02:11 PM #238
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.
December 8th, 2011, 02:21 PM #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...
December 8th, 2011, 02:29 PM #240