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 4e-ifying our game

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Admin
Admin


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Registration date : 2006-09-11

PostSubject: 4e-ifying our game   Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:46 am

I've been looking at 4e and liking a lot of the things that have been added, and even though I'm not going to switch editions for our game, I plan to steal some stuff from 4e and use it here (usually with modification, so it doesn't clash with the 3e system). We've already begun that with the new rules for dying, and I think more such additions will improve the game and make things easier for me as a DM (esp. at these levels).

So here are a few things I'm currently thinking of incorporating:

Quote :
* Charge as a standard action. Essentially the same as charging in 3e, but instead you move up to your speed and attack (and have a move action left over for the round).

* Minion (mook) rules. In short, enemies who automatically go down if they take a single hit but who can lay out some damage if they do land a blow.

* Using the 'bloodied' condition, i.e. when you're at half your normal hit pts, and having some monster and PC abilities trigger off that.

* Skill challenges. Too long to explain (short version - situations where PCs as a group use multiple skills to succeed).

* Rituals, i.e. magical, um, rituals, which cost time and money and let you do things just a spell can't do.

* Stealing a number of 4e monster powers and using them for my NPCs.

* Exception-based design in general, esp. when it comes to NPCs. Sometimes (often?) I'm not going to follow the 3e rules for how NPCs have to be built just like PCs do, but will instead assign them stats as needed and not do it on the basis of level and such. I've already been doing this sometimes, though mostly with non-combat NPCs, and it makes DM prep work much faster.

A few things I'm also considering but haven't yet decided whether to incorporate or not (and how) are as follows:

Quote :
* Criticals doing automatic max possible damage instead of double damage. So if you're doing 2d6+20+1d6 fire/19-20/x2 and you critical, instead of rolling 4d6+40+1d6 fire, you'll instead do a flat 38 damage.

* Automatic critical on a 20 (and only a 20), with no confirmation roll needed.

* Simplified grappling rules.

* Replacing full attacks with powers/maneuvers (mainly from Bo9S) instead. The multiple die-rolling and addition for full attacks is really bugging me and I'm thinking of giving each PC who can use full attacks (basically everyone other than Nameless) a few standard action or full-round action powers they can use instead.

Anyway, that's some stuff that I just thought of. Let me know what you think and if there's other stuff from 4e (for those of you looking at the books) which you think might be worthwhile eventually adding to the game.
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Nameless



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PostSubject: Re: 4e-ifying our game   Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:21 am

Quote :
* Charge as a standard action. Essentially the same as charging in 3e, but instead you move up to your speed and attack (and have a move action left over for the round).

Sounds fine.

Quote :
* Minion (mook) rules. In short, enemies who automatically go down if they take a single hit but who can lay out some damage if they do land a blow.

Isn't this pretty much just formalizing what's already the case for anyone who isn't a significant NPC of some sort? But I guess it will reduce the die rolling somewhat.

Quote :
* Using the 'bloodied' condition, i.e. when you're at half your normal hit pts, and having some monster and PC abilities trigger off that.

I'm all for "But I'm not left handed/Going super sayan", but it does seem like it would complicate things if you're talking about adding new abilities for everyone. If you're talking about just requiring it for stuff we've already got, it would just be an annoyance.

Quote :
* Skill challenges. Too long to explain (short version - situations where PCs as a group use multiple skills to succeed).

Not opposed, but it seems like if there were situations that could be resolved this way, you'd already be doing it. I guess the question is what sort of situations are you talking about resolving this way.

Quote :
* Rituals, i.e. magical, um, rituals, which cost time and money and let you do things just a spell can't do.

Sounds like epic magic, unless you're talking about the 4e "Make everything a ritual which isn't a combat spell". Which is kind of a pain.

Quote :
* Stealing a number of 4e monster powers and using them for my NPCs.

* Exception-based design in general, esp. when it comes to NPCs. Sometimes (often?) I'm not going to follow the 3e rules for how NPCs have to be built just like PCs do, but will instead assign them stats as needed and not do it on the basis of level and such. I've already been doing this sometimes, though mostly with non-combat NPCs, and it makes DM prep work much faster.

You mean you weren't doing that sort of thing before?

Quote :
* Criticals doing automatic max possible damage instead of double damage. So if you're doing 2d6+20+1d6 fire/19-20/x2 and you critical, instead of rolling 4d6+40+1d6 fire, you'll instead do a flat 38 damage.

Don't like this, the crits are a basic part of how 3e functions

Quote :
* Automatic critical on a 20 (and only a 20), with no confirmation roll needed.

Ditto.

Quote :
* Simplified grappling rules.

Grappling at this point in the campaign is actually pretty simple. If it's a monster that has grappling as a feature and you don't have FoM, then you're grappled and can't possibly beat it. If not who ever uses it?

Quote :
* Replacing full attacks with powers/maneuvers (mainly from Bo9S) instead. The multiple die-rolling and addition for full attacks is really bugging me and I'm thinking of giving each PC who can use full attacks (basically everyone other than Nameless) a few standard action or full-round action powers they can use instead.

I don't have any objection, but it sounds like you'd have to really rework a lot of stuff and there's likely to be a lot of balance issues with stuff either being gimped or more powerful as you try to roll a bunch of attacks into one.

BTW don't you mean Nameless and Six. When was the last time he ever used a full attack?
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Rowan



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PostSubject: Re: 4e-ifying our game   Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:14 am

Admin wrote:
* Charge as a standard action. Essentially the same as charging in 3e, but instead you move up to your speed and attack (and have a move action left over for the round).
That sounds fine.

Quote :
* Minion (mook) rules. In short, enemies who automatically go down if they take a single hit but who can lay out some damage if they do land a blow.
Definitely a good idea.

Quote :
* Using the 'bloodied' condition, i.e. when you're at half your normal hit pts, and having some monster and PC abilities trigger off that.
Sounds fine, as long as it doesn't overcomplicate things, or make the PCs unable to do certain things they used to be able to do.

Quote :
* Skill challenges. Too long to explain (short version - situations where PCs as a group use multiple skills to succeed).
Sure.

Quote :
* Rituals, i.e. magical, um, rituals, which cost time and money and let you do things just a spell can't do.
Like John said, it really depends on what they are. I don't want our noncombat spells to be turned into rituals.

Quote :
* Stealing a number of 4e monster powers and using them for my NPCs.
Sure, as long as they're used to make encounters more interesting, rather than to create unbeatable killer combos (Uber-unbeatable-dragon-breath, I'm looking at you).

Quote :
* Exception-based design in general, esp. when it comes to NPCs. Sometimes (often?) I'm not going to follow the 3e rules for how NPCs have to be built just like PCs do, but will instead assign them stats as needed and not do it on the basis of level and such. I've already been doing this sometimes, though mostly with non-combat NPCs, and it makes DM prep work much faster.
No objection here.

Quote :
* Criticals doing automatic max possible damage instead of double damage. So if you're doing 2d6+20+1d6 fire/19-20/x2 and you critical, instead of rolling 4d6+40+1d6 fire, you'll instead do a flat 38 damage.

I don't like this. Besides, it's not an accurate reflection of what 4e does. The web article made it sound like everything's maximized, but all magic weapons and implements add dice of extra damage on crits equal to their enhancement bonus.

BTW, we talked a while ago about giving the PCs enhancement bonuses to attacks and AC, like we get all the other innate buffs. Would you consider doing that?

Quote :
* Automatic critical on a 20 (and only a 20), with no confirmation roll needed.
Definitely not. This works in 4e because combats are much longer, with many many more rounds in a given combat. Our combats typically last about 3 or 4 rounds, so it would make crits all but nonexistent.

Quote :
* Simplified grappling rules.
I agree with what John wrote.

Quote :
* Replacing full attacks with powers/maneuvers (mainly from Bo9S) instead. The multiple die-rolling and addition for full attacks is really bugging me and I'm thinking of giving each PC who can use full attacks (basically everyone other than Nameless) a few standard action or full-round action powers they can use instead.
I like this in principle, but in practice it could be hard to pull off. Simply giving the melee characters a few Bo9S attack powers would help, but would be tricky to balance.

One way to speed up iterative attacks would be to make iterative attack damages a constant, not rolled. Just take the average damage, and have all iterative attacks do that.

Quote :
Anyway, that's some stuff that I just thought of. Let me know what you think and if there's other stuff from 4e (for those of you looking at the books) which you think might be worthwhile eventually adding to the game.
Using fort/ref/will "defenses" instead of saving throws could make it more interesting for the spellcaster PCs.
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Leonis



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PostSubject: Re: 4e-ifying our game   Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:45 pm

Admin wrote:
Quote :
* Charge as a standard action. Essentially the same as charging in 3e, but instead you move up to your speed and attack (and have a move action left over for the round).

So basically if my normal movement is 40, i can move 40 to hit, then hit, then move another 40? Sort of like spring attack?

Admin wrote:
Quote :
* Minion (mook) rules. In short, enemies who automatically go down if they take a single hit but who can lay out some damage if they do land a blow.

Whats this? I dont understand

Admin wrote:
Quote :
* Using the 'bloodied' condition, i.e. when you're at half your normal hit pts, and having some monster and PC abilities trigger off that.

What's the condition do? I have a feeling it will hurt PCs more then NPCs

Admin wrote:
Quote :
* Stealing a number of 4e monster powers and using them for my NPCs.

Can we get some new abilities to grab? If not then this is not that fair. I felt it was unfair you got to grab most if not all the cool stuff from draconomicon but we couldn't (e.g energy immunity)

Admin wrote:
Quote :
* Exception-based design in general, esp. when it comes to NPCs. Sometimes (often?) I'm not going to follow the 3e rules for how NPCs have to be built just like PCs do, but will instead assign them stats as needed and not do it on the basis of level and such. I've already been doing this sometimes, though mostly with non-combat NPCs, and it makes DM prep work much faster.

I don't mind this - we know you won't go buck wild crazy and even if you don't do this you tend to wreck us

Admin wrote:
Quote :
* Criticals doing automatic max possible damage instead of double damage. So if you're doing 2d6+20+1d6 fire/19-20/x2 and you critical, instead of rolling 4d6+40+1d6 fire, you'll instead do a flat 38 damage.

Nah I don't like this. It weakens my damage a lot. I really prefer the dice rolling method (even if it takes longer) but especially since the flat damage is less then the min damage if i crit. I mean 4d6 + 40 +1d6 = 45 damage at LEAST. This new method is only 38!! If you made it max dice dmg (the ones that are eligible for multipliers) and double the flat numbers then sure. So 2d6 +20 +1d6 fire would come out to 12 +40 + 6 = 58

[quote="Admin"]
Quote :
* Automatic critical on a 20 (and only a 20), with no confirmation roll needed./quote]

No, just hell no. You get too many 20's. HELL NO! The only thing that has managed to keep me alive (most times) is you failing your confirm

[quote="Admin"]
Quote :
* Simplified grappling rules.[/quote

I'm down for that

Admin wrote:
Quote :
* Replacing full attacks with powers/maneuvers (mainly from Bo9S) instead. The multiple die-rolling and addition for full attacks is really bugging me and I'm thinking of giving each PC who can use full attacks (basically everyone other than Nameless) a few standard action or full-round action powers they can use instead.

I'm down to hear more about this

BTW if I didn't comment on something then I have no questions/negative opinions.
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Nameless



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PostSubject: Re: 4e-ifying our game   Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:15 pm

Gareth wrote:
Admin wrote:
Quote :
* Minion (mook) rules. In short, enemies who automatically go down if they take a single hit but who can lay out some damage if they do land a blow.

Whats this? I dont understand

Essentially it's the Named Character rule. If they've got a name, you have to do the beat down. If they're a nameless mook then any "hit" will kill them. Hmm, that makes Magic Missile a lot more effective...
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PostSubject: Re: 4e-ifying our game   Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:40 pm

Responding to lots of stuff in one:

Re. Charge:
Gareth wrote:
So basically if my normal movement is 40, i can move 40 to hit, then hit, then move another 40? Sort of like spring attack?

Actually the idea was to have one able to do a move action before a charge, and mostly to make it easier to charge enemies (since you can move up to 40 ft, and then charge in a different direction). I don't want it to become like Spring Attack, so I'll rule that one can't move after the charge in the same round.

Re. Minions:
Nameless wrote:
Isn't this pretty much just formalizing what's already the case for anyone who isn't a significant NPC of some sort? But I guess it will reduce the die rolling somewhat.

Not really. Lots of insignificant NPCs still take a couple of attacks to go down, due to the way HD work in 3e, and can also eat a fireball and stay up.

Quote :
Essentially it's the Named Character rule. If they've got a name, you have to do the beat down. If they're a nameless mook then any "hit" will kill them. Hmm, that makes Magic Missile a lot more effective...

Yes, it does. And Fireball will clear out a lot of enemies, though I think I'll do something similar to 4e in that mooks who make the Ref save stay up.

Re. the Bloodied condition:

Nameless wrote:
I'm all for "But I'm not left handed/Going super sayan", but it does seem like it would complicate things if you're talking about adding new abilities for everyone. If you're talking about just requiring it for stuff we've already got, it would just be an annoyance.

Korm'akhan wrote:
Sounds fine, as long as it doesn't overcomplicate things, or make the PCs unable to do certain things they used to be able to do.

No, I'm not going to make it a prerequisite for things you can already do. Maybe just add abilities later which can (only?) be triggered when one is bloodied, and have some monsters have abilities which kick in when they're bloodied too.

Re. Skill challenges:

Nameless wrote:
Not opposed, but it seems like if there were situations that could be resolved this way, you'd already be doing it. I guess the question is what sort of situations are you talking about resolving this way.

I'm mostly thinking of formalizing things here, rather than adding anything major rules-wise. And trying to find ways for everyone to contribute with their skills, rather than just one or two people.

Re. Rituals:

Nameless wrote:
Sounds like epic magic, unless you're talking about the 4e "Make everything a ritual which isn't a combat spell". Which is kind of a pain.

Korm'akhan wrote:
Like John said, it really depends on what they are. I don't want our noncombat spells to be turned into rituals.

No, I'm definitely not about to retcon your non-combat spells into rituals. I'm mostly just thinking of rituals as a catch-all category for things not really covered by existing spells and also, as John noted, epic (or near-epic) magic, such as stuff to do with the dimensional seals, dragonshards, etc. For example, the sort of stuff Xagygyrag can do which falls well outside what an average black dragon of the same age category could do would fall well within ritual magic.

Re. Using 4e monster powers:

Korm'akhan wrote:
Sure, as long as they're used to make encounters more interesting, rather than to create unbeatable killer combos (Uber-unbeatable-dragon-breath, I'm looking at you).

Very Happy

And no worries there.

Gareth wrote:
Can we get some new abilities to grab? If not then this is not that fair. I felt it was unfair you got to grab most if not all the cool stuff from draconomicon but we couldn't (e.g energy immunity)

I may add some 4e stuff for PCs too. And even if I don't, there's no real fair/unfair here. PCs (esp. you guys) get tons of stuff that NPCs and monsters don't. One of the things 4e emphasizes is the idea that PCs and NPCs are built using different rules, and I plan to emphasize that even more than I've already done.

Re. Exception-based design:

Nameless wrote:
You mean you weren't doing that sort of thing before?

Not really, or at least not to the degree that I'm thinking of. Everything you guys ran into thus far in the campaign can be back-calculated to be accurate by the 3e mechanics, even if I didn't always work out all the details. I'm just planning to play it a little faster and looser where that's concerned. For example, if I want you to run into a dolgaunt which has 100 hp, two attacks at +15 each doing 1d8+10/19-20 damage, and saves of +12 each, I may just do that without working out the rest of its stats, and will eyeball them as needed.

Re. Criticals:

Lots of good points about why I shouldn't change them, so I won't. Note, however, that less 'swingy' (i.e. less variation in results) criticals does help the PCs more than the NPCs, since a PC will eat a lot more criticals than any NPC does, by virtue of being in every fight.

Re. Grapples:

Quote :
Grappling at this point in the campaign is actually pretty simple. If it's a monster that has grappling as a feature and you don't have FoM, then you're grappled and can't possibly beat it. If not who ever uses it?

That's what I don't like. It's an all-or-nothing deal most of the time, whenever a creature focused on grappling attacks a PC or Luna tries to grapple an NPC. I'll see if I can do anything about it, but that's not a big priority.

Re. Full Attacks:

Nameless wrote:
I don't have any objection, but it sounds like you'd have to really rework a lot of stuff and there's likely to be a lot of balance issues with stuff either being gimped or more powerful as you try to roll a bunch of attacks into one.

Korm'akhan wrote:
I like this in principle, but in practice it could be hard to pull off. Simply giving the melee characters a few Bo9S attack powers would help, but would be tricky to balance.

True. I think I'll toss out a few Bo9S powers for each PC and see how that goes.

Quote :
One way to speed up iterative attacks would be to make iterative attack damages a constant, not rolled. Just take the average damage, and have all iterative attacks do that.

This I like!

Nameless wrote:
BTW don't you mean Nameless and Six. When was the last time he ever used a full attack?

True Smile

And something Mike mentioned:

Quote :
BTW, we talked a while ago about giving the PCs enhancement bonuses to attacks and AC, like we get all the other innate buffs. Would you consider doing that?

Yes, I would. I completely forgot about it. Off the top of my head, I think I'll just make it that PCs get an enhancement bonus to hit/damage with any weapons they use and to AC, each equal to +1 per 4 levels (rounded down). So at 16th they'd treat any weapon as +4 and get a +4 to AC as well.

What do you think?
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Rowan



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PostSubject: Re: 4e-ifying our game   Sun Jun 22, 2008 11:24 am

Nameless wrote:
Essentially it's the Named Character rule. If they've got a name, you have to do the beat down. If they're a nameless mook then any "hit" will kill them. Hmm, that makes Magic Missile a lot more effective...
It does make magic missile quite awesome. Perhaps a bit too awesome. Virtually all 4e attacks require attack rolls (or, in 3e terms, either attack rolls or saving throws), so there are few effects that instant-kill minions.

Rat Bastard DM wrote:
Actually the idea was to have one able to do a move action before a charge, and mostly to make it easier to charge enemies (since you can move up to 40 ft, and then charge in a different direction). I don't want it to become like Spring Attack, so I'll rule that one can't move after the charge in the same round.
That's how it works in 4e, I think.

Quote :
No, I'm not going to make it a prerequisite for things you can already do. Maybe just add abilities later which can (only?) be triggered when one is bloodied, and have some monsters have abilities which kick in when they're bloodied too.
That works for me. Whether a monster is Bloodied is also in-character knowledge, and it would be helpful to know when a monster goes below 1/2 its HP.

Quote :
No, I'm definitely not about to retcon your non-combat spells into rituals. I'm mostly just thinking of rituals as a catch-all category for things not really covered by existing spells and also, as John noted, epic (or near-epic) magic, such as stuff to do with the dimensional seals, dragonshards, etc. For example, the sort of stuff Xagygyrag can do which falls well outside what an average black dragon of the same age category could do would fall well within ritual magic.
Since that's basically what you were doing anyway, that works for me. Would you be willing to do the 4e thing and replace magic item creation feats with rituals? With all the magical power in this group, it feels a bit silly to have to run back to the magical greengrocers every time we want a new or upgraded magic item.

Quote :
Not really, or at least not to the degree that I'm thinking of. Everything you guys ran into thus far in the campaign can be back-calculated to be accurate by the 3e mechanics, even if I didn't always work out all the details. I'm just planning to play it a little faster and looser where that's concerned. For example, if I want you to run into a dolgaunt which has 100 hp, two attacks at +15 each doing 1d8+10/19-20 damage, and saves of +12 each, I may just do that without working out the rest of its stats, and will eyeball them as needed.
I have no objection at all to that, since it's basically what I did with M&M most of the time.

Quote :
Note, however, that less 'swingy' (i.e. less variation in results) criticals does help the PCs more than the NPCs, since a PC will eat a lot more criticals than any NPC does, by virtue of being in every fight.
That's only true if you're comparing individual monsters to individual PCs. If you compare "the PCs" to "all the monsters they fight" it becomes much more even, especially since we tend to be outnumbered most of the time.

Quote :
That's what I don't like. It's an all-or-nothing deal most of the time, whenever a creature focused on grappling attacks a PC or Luna tries to grapple an NPC. I'll see if I can do anything about it, but that's not a big priority.
If you can think of a way to fix it, more power to you. I'm drawing a blank. And considering how often we can cast freedom of movement, I don't think it's a priority.

Quote :
True. I think I'll toss out a few Bo9S powers for each PC and see how that goes.
Sure.


Quote :
Quote :
One way to speed up iterative attacks would be to make iterative attack damages a constant, not rolled. Just take the average damage, and have all iterative attacks do that.

This I like!
Rolling the damage dice and adding all the modifiers does seem to be the most time consuming part of iterative attacks. If we didn't have computer die rollers, I might also be doing the same with boom spells.

Quote :
Yes, I would. I completely forgot about it. Off the top of my head, I think I'll just make it that PCs get an enhancement bonus to hit/damage with any weapons they use and to AC, each equal to +1 per 4 levels (rounded down). So at 16th they'd treat any weapon as +4 and get a +4 to AC as well.
That works. It's basically the same as us casting a few GMW's every day, only without the bookkeeping and dispelling. I think only Six and Gareth benefit from the enhancement to armor though, since Nameless, Korm, and Luna all tend to use mage armor.
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Six of Six



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PostSubject: Re: 4e-ifying our game   Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:39 pm

About the charging.
This would allow the Texas Two step and the Cylon Pinwheel. You could use your move to backup then charge forward. I take it a scout's skirmish along with whatever charge/movement abilities would activate also. The Cylon Pinwheel, where a group of barbarian/scouts with longspears, can move to a hemispherical posiion and charge the same round is something you might not want to face.

Ritual Magic
Unless the players can operate it, it is a background device the DM uses. Shil you can exhaust yourself tinkering with the ritual rules, but if the only point of interaction we are going to have with it is the dragon's DC is 45 instead of 35, you can save yourself the trouble. If you are going to bring in a system for us to work with, I suggest combing the Epic Handbook instead of 4e. If you need the handbook I give it to you.

Grapple
To have impermanence with grapple in 3.5 just have the modifiers halve each round after the first. The mods reset the round after the grapple is broken or a new figure joins the grapple. Don't look to hard at the drop off or the resetting if someone new joins in.
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