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Mark Hall
2009-12-01, 10:39 AM
1) It was determined last night that my character is no longer Optimus Prime, but Awesomest Prime. I think my net damage (taken) in the 3-hour long combat was something like 20 points, and I was engaged in hand to hand for most of that.

2) Something is starting to annoy me about 4e. And that is, as the thread title mentions, Phat Lewts. It's not that we don't get treasure, it's the changed paradigm of weapons in the hands of intelligent opponents.

For example, last night we fought this "mystic" who teleported around, banished people to the occasional extra-dimensional space and dazed everyone. A real pain in the Belkar, especially when he's got foulspawn back-up. So, we put a beat-down upon him and, eventually, loot his corpse. He has some neat yet-to-be-announced gear that we looted, and we found some more hints to the creation of the warforged (gnomes ensouled them; it's speculated that drow did something similar, but he didn't have any details). But back to loot.

His staff, that dazed people every time it hit them was non-magical. All that at-will dazing was hisownself.

Now, never mind the number of PCs I would cheerfully murder to have a weapon that dazed on a per-hit basis.... I would be like the star of a stomp-fetish movie while the meatbags slept, and the eladrin sitting to meditate would just be my kicking tee for his head.... let's talk about the fact that bad guys don't have magic weapons you can steal. That flaming sword wielded by the efreet? It was normal... the efreet was flaming. It's a distinct paradigm change from previous editions, where if you killed someone and took their stuff, their stuff did more or less what they were doing to you.

Why are we killing these people if we don't get their toys to beat people up with?

Kurald Galain
2009-12-01, 10:43 AM
Why are we killing these people if we don't get their toys to beat people up with?
That's a very good question. There are several monster abilities that are called arcane magic, that my arcane caster character would love to learn.

I've also seen the opposite happen: frequently when monsters in a certain encounter drop a certain item as loot, they aren't using it.

Demonix
2009-12-01, 11:25 AM
this is what is killing 4th ed. for me. I like the system changes, I like the combat changes, I can design interesting tactical encounters (the party I was running actually ended up doing benny-hill style laps in the dungeon and triggered 5 encounters at once), the design guidelines are better than 3.5 (CR was broken).

but when it comes to assinging loot, its all very meh. Gone are the rods of lordly might with thier impressive ladder powers, or the bag of beans, the wands of wonder. Now, everything has a straight bonus to a stat or roll, and maybe a daily power...but unless you are high enough level you can only use ONE power from ONE item per day/extended rest.

In previous games, I had players planting beans in the middle of combat and hope for the best, parties being snuck behind enemy lines in a portable hole by an invisible gnome, and wands of wonder being fired desperately to produce beneficial and baneful, but always hilarious effects.

Now, its not so grand...all the power comes FROM the players, not thier equipment and while I can see why that was done (xmas tree effects) it would seem, for me at least, that a little part of what made D&D so great for me has died.

Even potions! there are what, 3 types of potions and they are all healing potions? what about chameleon? what about heroism? what about potion miscibility tables (oh the fun we had!)?

because there is little that is useful, it seems that choice is taken away, especially at low levels. ooo! +1 magic armor! +1 weapon! +1 to all defense amulet/cloak!

Bah.

Kylarra
2009-12-01, 11:28 AM
Why are we killing these people if we don't get their toys to beat people up with?
Other than amusement value, probably just because they happened to cross our paths...


Oh on topic, I agree completely, it's really frustrating to see awesomesauce stuff happening and then mundane gear drop.

Saph
2009-12-01, 11:32 AM
Other than amusement value, probably just because they happened to cross our paths...

Yeah, pretty much. Plus, XP.

Of course, gaining XP doesn't really get you much in 4e once you hit level 8-10 or so, either. You're always going to be fighting level-appropriate monsters no matter how long you adventure.

I think if I was an actual 4e adventurer I'd probably retire at or just before Paragon level. You've got most of the really good abilities by then anyway, so continuing to risk your life isn't really worth it. :)

Tiki Snakes
2009-12-01, 11:43 AM
If you want the hoopy magic item feeling, add them back in. Done.

Also, it's worth remembering; The assumption is that you do not need to equip monsters/npc's with magic items to make them function. They get level appropriate defences instead, but those defences are to model the creature having taken the various feats and items to increase their defences/attacks.

The only caveat relevant to this in the guidelines is that when you DO equip them with a magic item, you do NOT increase their stats further, (if I remember correctly).

I think a large part of what I'm reading here is coming from the assumption that if an opponant is doing cool stuff, It must be coming from equipment. That's simply not the case, and neither is it the case for the PC's.

The Swordmage doesn't need a Flaming Sword to do a fire-based burst attack, why assume that an item is behind the enemies version?

Think of it this way; When you killed the Vampire in the previous edition, what Vampire Abilities did his sword give you? Generally I'm guessing none, for the most part. There's nothing edition unique about creatures and foes having their own power, rather than exclusively relying on items for their tricks.

Isn't that the main reason why the 'Joker Monk' build gets so much stick?

Kurald Galain
2009-12-01, 11:44 AM
Now, its not so grand...all the power comes FROM the players, not thier equipment and while I can see why that was done (xmas tree effects) it would seem, for me at least, that a little part of what made D&D so great for me has died.
The ironic thing is that the Christmas Tree Effect still isn't gone: PCs have many item slots, can easily fill most of them by late heroic, and are expected to do so by the level-appropriate power meter (or to need extra features to compensate for the lack of items).

But yeah, I agree. I like quirky items that do weird things. Heck, I even like wild surges.

gman
2009-12-01, 11:48 AM
The DM can have bad guys drop magic items that they were using if they want. A staff with an at-will daze effect is almost certainly overpowered, so some of the dazing goodness must have been the bad guy's awesome power, but it would make sense and feel rewarding for the staff to be somehting like a Resounding staff, which can daze as it's daily power. Then you appropriately fluff it by saying the magic was partly the staff's and partly the bad guy's, or that the staff's magic was weakened at the end of the fight, or even that it's an intelligent item that resists being used for good as best it can and therefore only works occassionally.

Or, homebrew something. Maybe the staff gains its dazing property for one encounter by spending a charge, and it only has a handful of charges left. Maybe it's infused with it's power temporarily through a ritual the bad guy used, so it's at-will dazing fun for now, but tomorrow it's just a standard resounding staff. That's a nice incentive for players to press on to the BBEG without stopping to rest.

Tiki Snakes
2009-12-01, 11:59 AM
Also reguarding the bag of beans, etc;

Wonderous Items. On a quick scan of what that list currently contains, it includes such oddities as a box, with a leaf in it that lets you become a tree, indefinately if you like, suspending all aging.
A feather that becomes a boat when placed in water,
A Barrel of Beer that refills each morning,
A Window that lets you safely jump out of it no matter how far you will fall,
Bag of Tricks,
Portable Hole,
Immovable Rod,
A piece of chalk that never runs out, or -
The Flagon of Ale Procurement, which lets you (daily) find water within 30 squares, and alcoholic beverages within 60 squares. If you are a dwarf, it lets you find ingredients for making alcoholic beverages within 60 also.
You also, as a property mind, always know the distance to the nearest alcoholic beverage. It's like a compas that always points to drunk!

Yeah, so, there's plenty of fun junk to be had. It's no hard task to add in further loopiness.

Artanis
2009-12-01, 12:07 PM
I dunno, it seems kinda out of whack if a powerful being of fire needs a magic item to make his sword attack you with fire when a low-level Swordmage can do just that.

Kurald Galain
2009-12-01, 12:09 PM
I dunno, it seems kinda out of whack if a powerful being of fire needs a magic item to make his sword attack you with fire when a low-level Swordmage can do just that.
Yeah, it doesn't apply to all enemies. If you meet an efreet or a vampire, it makes sense that they have all kinds of innate powers. On the other hand, if you meet an orc warrior or a tiefling warlock as an enemy, it makes sense that some of their power comes from their axe or rod, respectively.

Overall, the point is that humanoid enemies can do certain things innately, that humanoid player characters either require an item for, or cannot do period.

Artanis
2009-12-01, 12:15 PM
*facepalm* I totally misread his bit about the Efreets. :smallredface:


Let me try again...

Humanoid enemies don't have to be a guy with a sword. Humanoid PCs can do things like shoot a bow ten times in six seconds or put a half-dozen guys to sleep with a wave of their hands, all without the help of magic items. A PC Wizard can't use Twin Strike, so why do they have to be able to use all the abilities that every humanoid enemy has? Why do humanoid enemies have to have a magical crutch to use their own special abilities?

mikeejimbo
2009-12-01, 12:19 PM
Also reguarding the bag of beans, etc;

Wonderous Items. On a quick scan of what that list currently contains, it includes such oddities as a box, with a leaf in it that lets you become a tree, indefinately if you like, suspending all aging.
A feather that becomes a boat when placed in water,
A Barrel of Beer that refills each morning,
A Window that lets you safely jump out of it no matter how far you will fall,
Bag of Tricks,
Portable Hole,
Immovable Rod,
A piece of chalk that never runs out, or -
The Flagon of Ale Procurement, which lets you (daily) find water within 30 squares, and alcoholic beverages within 60 squares. If you are a dwarf, it lets you find ingredients for making alcoholic beverages within 60 also.
You also, as a property mind, always know the distance to the nearest alcoholic beverage. It's like a compas that always points to drunk!

Yeah, so, there's plenty of fun junk to be had. It's no hard task to add in further loopiness.

There is also a table that creates food, and then cleans it up for you.

jmbrown
2009-12-01, 12:19 PM
There's nothing stopping the DM from making monsters that utilize their magic items they just have to take into account that they shouldn't get any bonuses from it and it should be considered when calculating experience points. A +2 wand of firewall can let an orc sorcerer cast firewall as normal but he won't get the +2 bonus to attack or damage with it because that's figured into design already.

FoE
2009-12-01, 12:36 PM
So when you kill a red dragon, are you disappointed when you don't find a ring of fire-breathing on its corpse afterwards?

Basically, this is an argument against monsters having innate abilities. It's part of designing cool and unique monsters. As a DM, I'd be immensely disappointed that all anyone needed to gain the powers of, say, an illithid by taking the amulet he wears off his neck. PCs already get a ton of cool stuff and powers. I'm sorry you don't get to duplicate the abilities of any monster you want, but tough s***.

alchemyprime
2009-12-01, 12:46 PM
Sorry dude. I gotta side with the main peoples here.

When I throw one of my super evil Lightning Trolls at my players, they aren't surprised when, big surprise, his weapons aren't Lightning weapons, they are weapons he coated in lighting.

When I throw a human at them, they see a flaming sword (unless its green) they expect a flaming sword. They see the golden armor, they expect golden armor. They see a big flaming demon with a flaming sword, they don't expect to get that. He's made of fire, so is his sword. They expect a firebending sorta deal.

However... sometimes they will be thrown for a loop. And I actually have had a dragon have a ring of fire breathing, but to be fair, he was a black dragon I made specifically to mess with them (mutant drow blooded steampunk cyborg prismatic ancient black dragon with demonic heritor feats and good items and metabreath feats and spells. Oh acid breath fused with negative levels and searing light... such a fun breath...)

Guinea Anubis
2009-12-01, 12:54 PM
I know when I am DMing if the PCs want a neat magic weapon they have to take it from the cold dead hand of the guy the owned it if they did not want to pay to have it made.

But if they are fighting something like an angel they dont get a sword that can burst in to flames since its his power that did it.

Kylarra
2009-12-01, 01:06 PM
As Kurald said, it's mostly a call against humanoid enemies who don't actually have gear, but rather due to the way "monsters" are statted out, end up with inherent/etc abilities that are just given because they were built as monsters.

Granted, they do end up having loot piles in the back that they aren't using, but it's somewhat less satisfying to kill someone, find out he was wearing mundane chainmail, and then find that he's got +1 dwarven chainmail hiding in a chest in his room, rather than killing him and taking it off his dead body. :smallamused:

Artanis
2009-12-01, 01:13 PM
Granted, they do end up having loot piles in the back that they aren't using, but it's somewhat less satisfying to kill someone, find out he was wearing mundane chainmail, and then find that he's got +1 dwarven chainmail hiding in a chest in his room, rather than killing him and taking it off his dead body. :smallamused:

If the players are getting the +1 Dwarven Chainmail anyways, there's nothing saying that they can't get the loot off the chain-wearing enemy's body instead of from a chest.

The PCs kill an enemy. The PCs then get magic chainmail. The only reason to have a short walk between the two steps is if the GM absolutely wants them to.

Bagelz
2009-12-01, 01:45 PM
first off the designers did this for a reason. If you had potions that gave bonuses, and rods that you activate on every round (not once per day per teir) then you'd play the stacking game, and it'd be more about how many circumstances you can stack and less about the players.

also every +2 counts, and the game is balance around having a certain amount of bonus at each level, and some of the magic items that most of whiners are pining for would break that bonus.

lastly, its an open ended rpg, dm's make your own magic items. 3.x half the stuff you read on forums is homebrewed. 4e I think i've seen 2 homebrew magic items. WHY?
Your not limited by what is in the phb, your limited by your imagination (or the imagination of your dm)


the same problem existed in older editions. "you kill a goblin. he drops..." rolls dice.. "2 peices of artwork and a fullplate suit of armor" say what? that goblin obviously wasn't carrying a suit of fullplate. If your dms are dropping (or not dropping) stuff that doesn't make sense, that's not the system's fault

Giggling Ghast
2009-12-01, 02:08 PM
Here's my two cents: "phat lootz", as the OP put it, should come into play when an enemy is using abilities that normally they shouldn't have. The oft-used example in this thread is the orc chieftain with the flaming sword. There's no reason why the chieftain should have the flaming sword. In that instance, it's shouldn't be out of the PCs' realm of expectation to pick up said sword after the battle is over.

However, there's no reason why some abilities demonstrated by 'humanoid' opponents aren't innate. Apologies, OP, but the example you posted was a bad one. You were fighting a 'mystic' with a group of foulspawn allies in tow; that pretty well guarantees that the guy would have some unusual abilities, particularly of the psychic variety. I might expect the guy to have the goodies to supplement his powers that teleportation ability is suspect, considering that's more of a 'fey' thing but you didn't give any reason why he had to use some magicked-up beatstick.

Kurald suggested the example of a warlock with a magic rod, but that doesn't really apply either, since PC warlocks have innate abilities through their pacts. They don't need implements at all.

vartan
2009-12-01, 02:13 PM
Granted, they do end up having loot piles in the back that they aren't using, but it's somewhat less satisfying to kill someone, find out he was wearing mundane chainmail, and then find that he's got +1 dwarven chainmail hiding in a chest in his room, rather than killing him and taking it off his dead body. :smallamused:

Irontooth? Does 4e magic armor resize to fit a new wearer, because Dwarven Chain is for Medium guys right?

Mando Knight
2009-12-01, 02:15 PM
first off the designers did this for a reason. If you had potions that gave bonuses, and rods that you activate on every round (not once per day per teir) then you'd play the stacking game, and it'd be more about how many circumstances you can stack and less about the players.
I play the stacking game. I also play the "Holy Carp, the Avenger is Unhittable at Level 30 and Still Deals Strikery Damage, Even After the November Update" game. They tend to be the same game.

Irontooth? Does 4e magic armor resize to fit a new wearer, because Dwarven Chain is for Medium guys right?
Same-size armor doesn't care by RAW, since apparently the same armor will fit an elf or a starved dwarf as well as an overweight Goliath. Different-size armor can by RAW be resized for free with the Enchant Magic Item ritual, but is just as often conveniently ignored for the sake of bookkeeping.

valadil
2009-12-01, 02:21 PM
but when it comes to assinging loot, its all very meh. Gone are the rods of lordly might with thier impressive ladder powers, or the bag of beans, the wands of wonder. Now, everything has a straight bonus to a stat or roll, and maybe a daily power...but unless you are high enough level you can only use ONE power from ONE item per day/extended rest.


I think one of the things that makes 4e more balanced is that its less open to interpretation. A +1 sword is a straightforward item. A portable hole could have its own source book. In order to keep 4e homogenized and consistent, WotC went with the simpler items. IMO this was a deliberate trade off in order to get some balance into the game.

But it doesn't stop a creative GM from adding his own innovations to the game. Hell, he doesn't even have to be particularly imaginitive. Just have some leftover gear from 3.5 sitting around in an antique shop and your players can have that kind of creative gear again.

I agree that 4e is less gear centric. I still haven't decided if that's a good or bad thing yet. Coming from 3.5, winning less loot is kinda boring. Coming from every other system I've ever played, 4e isn't doing anything wrong. It'll just take some getting used to.

vartan
2009-12-01, 02:40 PM
Same-size armor doesn't care by RAW, since apparently the same armor will fit an elf or a starved dwarf as well as an overweight Goliath. Different-size armor can by RAW be resized for free with the Enchant Magic Item ritual, but is just as often conveniently ignored for the sake of bookkeeping.

Yeah that's what I was getting at. Irontooth was a Small Goblin. He couldn't have worn that chain without magic. It took me a while to get that too.

Gralamin
2009-12-01, 02:41 PM
I play the stacking game. I also play the "Holy Carp, the Avenger is Unhittable at Level 30 and Still Deals Strikery Damage, Even After the November Update" game. They tend to be the same game.


I'm going to assume you are crit fishing, but I'd like to see that build anyway.

Chaelos
2009-12-01, 03:05 PM
I have to say, the 1/day item usage seems rather lame to me relative to most of the stuff in 3.5's books. I appreciate the simplification they're attempting with 4E gear--it is really nice that most amulets/capes give a fort/ref/will bonus, or many of the head slots provide some sort of skill-sensory bonus--but there comes a point where there's just a sense of pizazz that's lacking in 4E gear.

Demonix
2009-12-01, 03:55 PM
I have to say, the 1/day item usage seems rather lame to me relative to most of the stuff in 3.5's books. I appreciate the simplification they're attempting with 4E gear--it is really nice that most amulets/capes give a fort/ref/will bonus, or many of the head slots provide some sort of skill-sensory bonus--but there comes a point where there's just a sense of pizazz that's lacking in 4E gear.

BINGO! That's exactly it. 4e magic items are just...blah.

As far as making my own; Yeah, i can do that, you just have to be careful to make sure it works within the frame of rules. Take a potion of heroism for example...should it give +1 to hit or hit/damage for an encounter? That sounds about right...superheroism can be +2 or even +3. Chameleon can give you concealment AC bonuses if you don't move during your combat turn, etc.

And its not that odd items dont exist...but the ones listed that make drink or food, or act as lightweight portable ladders just arent the same as things like luckstones, wands of wonder, ebony flies, or even the apparatus of kwalish. They are, in the end, useful if somewhat mundane; there arent many items that exist -because they can!-

I guess that's up to the DM, but still.

jmbrown
2009-12-01, 03:58 PM
I find artifacts to be the fun-and-varied magic items in 4E. They're like more managable intelligent items in previous editions and can definitely spice up an otherwise boring scenario.

tcrudisi
2009-12-01, 04:11 PM
...Now, everything has a straight bonus to a stat or roll, and maybe a daily power...but unless you are high enough level you can only use ONE power from ONE item per day/extended rest.

I wanted to address this statement as false. Under the Milestones section on pages 259-260, there is the following:


Each time you reach a milestone, you gain one additional use of a magic item daily power.

So, while at levels 1-10 you only start by being able to use one magic item daily, that can quickly increase.

Mando Knight
2009-12-01, 04:12 PM
I'm going to assume you are crit fishing, but I'd like to see that build anyway.

Crit fishing isn't the point of the build. A ridiculous static damage modifier combined with ultra-high defenses is. Double Scimitar is still used to add in the threat of High Crit, since it's the only weapon that combines Defensive with High-Crit in a single proficiency. I used Razorclaw Shifter for the race, to avoid over-dependence on Elven Accuracy and increase the defensive potential.

Here, it's got basic +6 magic items rather than a ridiculous load out of super-items, and the feats and powers weren't taken to optimize the level-by-level playability of the build. (Specifically, Melee Training should be taken before Two-Weapon Opening, preferably soon after Battle Awareness)

Invulnerable Killmaster, level 30
Razorclaw Shifter, Avenger, Pit Fighter, Demigod
Avenger's Censure: Censure of Pursuit
Divine Spark: Divine Spark Wisdom
Divine Spark: Divine Spark Dexterity

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 15, Con 12, Dex 28, Int 13, Wis 28, Cha 10.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 10, Dex 16, Int 11, Wis 16, Cha 8.


AC: 51 Fort: 40 Reflex: 44 Will: 43
HP: 200 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 50

TRAINED SKILLS
Religion +21, Endurance +21, Acrobatics +31, Stealth +31, Athletics +22

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +16, Bluff +15, Diplomacy +15, Dungeoneering +24, Heal +24, History +16, Insight +24, Intimidate +15, Nature +24, Perception +24, Streetwise +15, Thievery +24

FEATS
Level 1: Two-Weapon Fighting
Level 2: Two-Weapon Defense
Level 4: Weapon Proficiency (Double Scimitar)
Level 6: Battle Awareness
Level 8: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade)
Level 10: Improved Armor of Faith
Level 11: Focused Expertise (Double Scimitar)
Level 12: Two-Weapon Opening
Level 14: Blurring Claws
Level 16: Reaping Blade
Level 18: Melee Training (Wisdom)
Level 20: Two-Weapon Ambush
Level 21: Robust Defenses
Level 22: Epic Fortitude
Level 24: Enmity Shared
Level 26: Back to the Wall
Level 28: Fist of Heaven
Level 30: Censure's Grip

POWERS
Avenger at-will 1: Focused Fury
Avenger at-will 1: Bond of Pursuit
Avenger encounter 1: Speed and Stillness
Avenger daily 1: Thunder and Echo
Avenger utility 2: Righteous Pursuit
Avenger encounter 3: Sequestering Strike
Avenger daily 5: Executioner's Cloak
Avenger utility 6: Fortifying Chant
Avenger encounter 7: Chains of Censure
Avenger daily 9: Holy Ardor
Avenger utility 10: Wings of Vengeance
Avenger encounter 13: Weaving Blades (replaces Sequestering Strike)
Avenger daily 15: Oath of Divine Lightning (replaces Thunder and Echo)
Avenger utility 16: Temple of Seclusion
Avenger encounter 17: Lethal Intercession (replaces Speed and Stillness)
Avenger daily 19: Bonded by Blood (replaces Holy Ardor)
Avenger utility 22: Indomitable Resolve
Avenger encounter 23: Victory Hymn (replaces Chains of Censure)
Avenger daily 25: Aspect of Death (replaces Executioner's Cloak)
Avenger encounter 27: Death Stroke (replaces Lethal Intercession)
Avenger daily 29: Merciless Nemesis (replaces Bonded by Blood)

ITEMS
Magic Starweave Armor +6, Magic Double Scimitar +6, Amulet of Protection +613 base strength was taken to get Fighter multiclass before Paragon, to access Pit Fighter, which adds in an extra +1 AC and the character's Wis modifier (again) to damage rolls.

Most of the powers allow the Avenger to move himself and the target where he wants, shove enemies away so he can gain the benefit of his Oath of Enmity, or force the target to choose between taking some kind of (save ends) damage or triggering the Censure of Pursuit... or otherwise increasing the Avenger's damage rolls or decreasing his damage intake. Some allow for superior movement (such as hovering flight (!) or massive amounts of shifting).

Most of the feats affect the two-weapon fighting style or combat advantage, with some consideration given to the Shifting racial power and class features. Four feats were spent that exclusively boost defenses, two of which are taken by nearly all defensive characters anyway (Robust and Epic defenses) and the other two being the basis for the defensive Avenger (TWD and Improved Armor of Faith).

His weapon attack bonus is +35, and without adding any extra items to further boost damage or any other conditions, his Avenger power/melee basic damage rolls are Xd6+28. This gains brutal 1 with CA, +2 damage with CA and using Shifting, and +1 attack and damage when adjacent to the wall. Activating Censure of Pursuit adds another 15 damage to the total. Victory Hymn adds another 9 points of damage for one attack, and Deadly Payback, the only power from the paragon path that's actually somewhat useful in this build (though the others might be useful if you rack up attack bonuses), adds another +2 to attack and damage for one turn.

Weapons of interest in this build include the Vorpal weapon (1/5 chance of getting an extra 1d6 brutal 1 die when attacking with CA, 1/6 for a 1d6 die otherwise), the Bloodfury weapon (Which allows you to activate Razorclaw Shifting ridiculously early, especially useful since you can ignore lots of attacks), and the crit-fisher's lovely Jagged weapon.


Although it lacks the large tackle box of the crit-fisher, the build still gains significant bonuses on a crit: +3d6 extra damage with the critical attack, and one bonus off-hand melee basic attack per turn. It's also likely to be able to use them, since it lasts for practically forever outside of some source of auto-damage, and the posted build does not include any items beyond standard +6 items.

Kurald Galain
2009-12-01, 07:18 PM
there comes a point where there's just a sense of pizazz that's lacking in 4E gear.
Precisely. At least 80% of the items listed in either the AV or the AV2 don't rise above the "meh" level, in that their powers or properties are neither flashy nor statistically relevant.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-12-01, 07:47 PM
the same problem existed in older editions. "you kill a goblin. he drops..." rolls dice.. "2 peices of artwork and a fullplate suit of armor" say what? that goblin obviously wasn't carrying a suit of fullplate.

The goblin attacked a knight with a warparty. The warparty got owned, but they won. The goblin proceeded to betray his teammates. He's going to refit the full plate to himself, but can't do that until he sells the artwork the knight was carrying. If you had encountered him a day later, the encounter would be more difficult.

Tiki Snakes
2009-12-01, 10:38 PM
And its not that odd items dont exist...but the ones listed that make drink or food, or act as lightweight portable ladders just arent the same as things like luckstones, wands of wonder, ebony flies, or even the apparatus of kwalish. They are, in the end, useful if somewhat mundane; there arent many items that exist -because they can!-

I guess that's up to the DM, but still.

Ebony Fly, level 4, AV.
Apparatus of Kwalish, 'sample vehicles' AV page 17
Portable Hole, level 19, PHB,

A Wand of Wonder would be simple to homebrew, frankly, and ties quite nicely with a lot of the chaos-sorcerer mechanics.
Don't really know much about luckstones, but reading up on them they don't really sound very flavourfull. Still, it's childs-play to brew them up as some kind of luck-reroll item, or even as a neck-slot item that also has some kind of lucky-daily or bonus to a couple of relevant skills.

Half of your examples actually exist, the other half are simple additions.

Thajocoth
2009-12-01, 11:31 PM
I always give the magic items to the enemies and let the PCs loot them. New +3 Executioner's Axe for the Barbarian? The statue wielding it crit twice with it that encounter, dealing 25+1d12(brutal 2)+3d6 damage on each crit. One of those against the Psion... The party earned that axe.

I also like to stick to the wishlists (the more powered up the PCs are, the bigger and more interesting the challenges I can throw at them.) I once had no items of a certain level on their list, but lots of that level + 1. Bracers of Bold Maneuvering. I subtracted a level from the item and made them deal 4 cold damage to the player whenever they rolled initiative. Bracers of Cold Maneuvering. Cost him 825gp to remove the cursed part of that... (Level difference + casting of Disenchant.)

I really want to add an artifact, but I have to go throw so many separate sources to look through them because the lists in the builder and compendium don't work right...

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I'm pretty sure I saw luckstones in the builder somewhere...

Gralamin
2009-12-02, 02:04 AM
Crit fishing isn't the point of the build. A ridiculous static damage modifier combined with ultra-high defenses is. Double Scimitar is still used to add in the threat of High Crit, since it's the only weapon that combines Defensive with High-Crit in a single proficiency. I used Razorclaw Shifter for the race, to avoid over-dependence on Elven Accuracy and increase the defensive potential.

Here, it's got basic +6 magic items rather than a ridiculous load out of super-items, and the feats and powers weren't taken to optimize the level-by-level playability of the build. (Specifically, Melee Training should be taken before Two-Weapon Opening, preferably soon after Battle Awareness)

Invulnerable Killmaster, level 30
Razorclaw Shifter, Avenger, Pit Fighter, Demigod
Avenger's Censure: Censure of Pursuit
Divine Spark: Divine Spark Wisdom
Divine Spark: Divine Spark Dexterity

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 15, Con 12, Dex 28, Int 13, Wis 28, Cha 10.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 10, Dex 16, Int 11, Wis 16, Cha 8.


AC: 51 Fort: 40 Reflex: 44 Will: 43
HP: 200 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 50

TRAINED SKILLS
Religion +21, Endurance +21, Acrobatics +31, Stealth +31, Athletics +22

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +16, Bluff +15, Diplomacy +15, Dungeoneering +24, Heal +24, History +16, Insight +24, Intimidate +15, Nature +24, Perception +24, Streetwise +15, Thievery +24

FEATS
Level 1: Two-Weapon Fighting
Level 2: Two-Weapon Defense
Level 4: Weapon Proficiency (Double Scimitar)
Level 6: Battle Awareness
Level 8: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade)
Level 10: Improved Armor of Faith
Level 11: Focused Expertise (Double Scimitar)
Level 12: Two-Weapon Opening
Level 14: Blurring Claws
Level 16: Reaping Blade
Level 18: Melee Training (Wisdom)
Level 20: Two-Weapon Ambush
Level 21: Robust Defenses
Level 22: Epic Fortitude
Level 24: Enmity Shared
Level 26: Back to the Wall
Level 28: Fist of Heaven
Level 30: Censure's Grip

POWERS
Avenger at-will 1: Focused Fury
Avenger at-will 1: Bond of Pursuit
Avenger encounter 1: Speed and Stillness
Avenger daily 1: Thunder and Echo
Avenger utility 2: Righteous Pursuit
Avenger encounter 3: Sequestering Strike
Avenger daily 5: Executioner's Cloak
Avenger utility 6: Fortifying Chant
Avenger encounter 7: Chains of Censure
Avenger daily 9: Holy Ardor
Avenger utility 10: Wings of Vengeance
Avenger encounter 13: Weaving Blades (replaces Sequestering Strike)
Avenger daily 15: Oath of Divine Lightning (replaces Thunder and Echo)
Avenger utility 16: Temple of Seclusion
Avenger encounter 17: Lethal Intercession (replaces Speed and Stillness)
Avenger daily 19: Bonded by Blood (replaces Holy Ardor)
Avenger utility 22: Indomitable Resolve
Avenger encounter 23: Victory Hymn (replaces Chains of Censure)
Avenger daily 25: Aspect of Death (replaces Executioner's Cloak)
Avenger encounter 27: Death Stroke (replaces Lethal Intercession)
Avenger daily 29: Merciless Nemesis (replaces Bonded by Blood)

ITEMS
Magic Starweave Armor +6, Magic Double Scimitar +6, Amulet of Protection +613 base strength was taken to get Fighter multiclass before Paragon, to access Pit Fighter, which adds in an extra +1 AC and the character's Wis modifier (again) to damage rolls.

Most of the powers allow the Avenger to move himself and the target where he wants, shove enemies away so he can gain the benefit of his Oath of Enmity, or force the target to choose between taking some kind of (save ends) damage or triggering the Censure of Pursuit... or otherwise increasing the Avenger's damage rolls or decreasing his damage intake. Some allow for superior movement (such as hovering flight (!) or massive amounts of shifting).

Most of the feats affect the two-weapon fighting style or combat advantage, with some consideration given to the Shifting racial power and class features. Four feats were spent that exclusively boost defenses, two of which are taken by nearly all defensive characters anyway (Robust and Epic defenses) and the other two being the basis for the defensive Avenger (TWD and Improved Armor of Faith).

His weapon attack bonus is +35, and without adding any extra items to further boost damage or any other conditions, his Avenger power/melee basic damage rolls are Xd6+28. This gains brutal 1 with CA, +2 damage with CA and using Shifting, and +1 attack and damage when adjacent to the wall. Activating Censure of Pursuit adds another 15 damage to the total. Victory Hymn adds another 9 points of damage for one attack, and Deadly Payback, the only power from the paragon path that's actually somewhat useful in this build (though the others might be useful if you rack up attack bonuses), adds another +2 to attack and damage for one turn.

Weapons of interest in this build include the Vorpal weapon (1/5 chance of getting an extra 1d6 brutal 1 die when attacking with CA, 1/6 for a 1d6 die otherwise), the Bloodfury weapon (Which allows you to activate Razorclaw Shifting ridiculously early, especially useful since you can ignore lots of attacks), and the crit-fisher's lovely Jagged weapon.


Although it lacks the large tackle box of the crit-fisher, the build still gains significant bonuses on a crit: +3d6 extra damage with the critical attack, and one bonus off-hand melee basic attack per turn. It's also likely to be able to use them, since it lasts for practically forever outside of some source of auto-damage, and the posted build does not include any items beyond standard +6 items.

I really wouldn't call this Unhittable, or Striker damage.

To start with, Censure's Grip makes it even more unlikely your censure will activate. Bad usually, good if you want to keep someone still - In which case you should just immobilize them instead of causing trouble for yourself in other situations. Pursuit is already hard enough to activate.

Second, the defenses. You're looking at around +34.47 to hit your AC - Meaning most creatures have to hit a 17 - That is good. Fort though, needs a 7 to be hit, and the other defenses are relatively linear from that.

Third, I just can't see that doing damage on par with most other strikers. There may be something I'm missing though. Pit Fighter certainly helps though.

Grumman
2009-12-02, 02:19 AM
A Window that lets you safely jump out of it no matter how far you will fall,
Interesting. Is there a cursed version?

Kurald Galain
2009-12-02, 03:53 AM
Interesting. Is there a cursed version?
No; I haven't seen any cursed items in 4E.

That's also why WOTC won't print a Wand of Wonder the way it worked in earlier editions: it contains several effects that are detrimental to the user. Although houseruling one in is, of course, easy.

hamishspence
2009-12-02, 05:02 AM
Some of the artifacts in 4th ed, when sufficiently displeased, have effects that are detrimental to the user.

Kurald Galain
2009-12-02, 05:05 AM
Some of the artifacts in 4th ed, when sufficiently displeased, have effects that are detrimental to the user.
Yes, but those are pretty minor, and it is nigh-impossible to displease an artifact to actually get its concordance low enough to see those effects.

Grumman
2009-12-02, 05:07 AM
No; I haven't seen any cursed items in 4E.
Pity. Installing a Window of Defenestration in your throne room would send a rather particular message to visitors.

hamishspence
2009-12-02, 05:08 AM
Some artifacts do have pretty antisocial requirements- something along the lines of "murder one person every day"

And then of course there are the Hand and Eye of Vecna, which, when moving on, kill the user, no save, and even if the user is resurrected, they are permanently without a hand (or eye).

hamishspence
2009-12-02, 05:12 AM
Pity. Installing a Window of Defenestration in your throne room would send a rather particular message to visitors.

Just making it a trap would be fairly simple- Trap- slides person out of window if they come within range (it extends to the floor)

They'd get a save to avoid falling, but it would be a possible way of handling it.

Kurald Galain
2009-12-02, 05:23 AM
Some artifacts do have pretty antisocial requirements- something along the lines of "murder one person every day"
That would be hard if you weren't an adventurer who, you know, murders evil people for a living :smallbiggrin:

Please tell me where to find an artifact that really has negative effects on the user. For instance, the hand and eye of Vecna can in theory kill the user, but in practice this requires extremely convoluted circumstances (i.e. that the user fights lots and lots of undead without actually gaining levels). The drawbacks are rather like "Roll 1d8. On a 9 or more, you die."

hamishspence
2009-12-02, 05:25 AM
Moving on, can occur whether the artifact is pleased or displeased- it's entirely up to the DM.

The main point of adventurers of good (and possibly Neutral) alignment, is that they don't murder people- they kill them in self defence, or under other justifying circumstances.

Such as being authorized to put a stop to banditry.

Murder, is when the usual justifying circumstances do not apply.

Kurald Galain
2009-12-02, 05:46 AM
Moving on, can occur whether the artifact is pleased or displeased- it's entirely up to the DM.
So what you're saying is that the artifact itself is never seriously detrimental to the players, but that the DM can kill player characters by fiat. That underlines my earlier statement that 4E contains no items (or, for that matter, powers) that are seriously detrimental to the user. RFED is not an item.



The main point of adventurers of good (and possibly Neutral) alignment, is that they don't murder people- they kill them in self defence, or under other justifying circumstances.
Yes. So are there any artifacts in the official rulebooks that have a concordance dependent on the difference between killing and murdering, or would that be homebrew?

hamishspence
2009-12-02, 05:50 AM
Hmm- which ones use the term "murder" and which "kill"?

I think some of the Open Grave ones (the more Evil artifacts) might use the term "murder" but I'm not sure.

hamishspence
2009-12-02, 05:56 AM
A -5 on all Diplomacy checks is a bit more than mild, when your character is the "face" of the party.

Kurald Galain
2009-12-02, 06:05 AM
A -5 on all Diplomacy checks is a bit more than mild, when your character is the "face" of the party.

And irrelevant if he's not.

hamishspence
2009-12-02, 06:20 AM
True- but the statement was "no artifact is seriously detrimental to the players" and, as I have said, the right artifact on the right player, can be.

Mando Knight
2009-12-02, 08:41 AM
To start with, Censure's Grip makes it even more unlikely your censure will activate. Bad usually, good if you want to keep someone still - In which case you should just immobilize them instead of causing trouble for yourself in other situations. Pursuit is already hard enough to activate.
I know that. Several of the daily powers were chosen to reflect that. The idea behind it is to force the enemy to use actions to get away to attack someone else rather than wasting their time on someone they can't even hit.

Second, the defenses. You're looking at around +34.47 to hit your AC - Meaning most creatures have to hit a 17 - That is good. Fort though, needs a 7 to be hit, and the other defenses are relatively linear from that.
Fortitude is on par with the rest of the party's "low" defense, even without a Belt of Vim to boost it. However, since most attacks are against AC anyway, nearly everything is looking at that stat. AC spikes even more with Razorclaw Shifting, and then there's the chance that your foe will be marked...

Also, these are the defenses without extra magic items to pump them up. Belt of Vim, Boots of Quickness, etc. can be used to raise each defense by several points.

Third, I just can't see that doing damage on par with most other strikers. There may be something I'm missing though. Pit Fighter certainly helps though.
It's not Ranger level damage, but it's still dealing guaranteed 30 damage, and with Combat Advantage, it deals at least 32. Several of the powers allow for temporary damage spikes or cause autodamage after the initial hit. It's roughly Sorcerer damage, and is higher than any non-Striker except for possibly a Super-Damage-Fighter (which this build steals some tricks from... and makes better use of in the case of Pit Fighter).

Tiki Snakes
2009-12-02, 10:23 AM
Alright, vaguely harmful items and/or artifacts, eh?

Well, the one that springs to mind first is a normal magical weapon, actually. I believe that whenever you miss with it, it hurts the weilder instead, as, hey, got to get it's sustainance somehow. Forget the name, but it's in AV2. It gives good benefits of course, but it DOES have that cursed yet maybe worth-it feel.

There are, i suspect, a whole suite of Artifacts in H2 (thunderspire) that, if worn or weilded by a non-minotaur, inflict frenzied-berserker style rage, attacking enemy and ally alike. Being themed after Baphomet explains this somewhat.

Helm of the Madman's Blood, Dragon 368. Haven't even looked up the concordance stuff. On a daily basis, it 'tests' it's wearer. By attacking them. If it succeeds, they are dominated for a turn, which the helm uses to, and I quote, 'Sow Chaos as Creatively as it can'. It's noted that the Helm tends to do this when it has plenty of options. Also, if it doesn't succeed on it's attack, it's concordance drops by 1. The thing notes that the wearer can choose to allow it to hit instead, to avoid that.

Oooh, a borderline but nice case; The Sword of Kas deals 2d10 extra damage to allies (and former allies). Couple with a campaign heavy with dominating monsters, or so on, and that's pretty cursed if you ask me.

then there's the Von Zarovich family sword; You gain vulnerable radiant 10, lose your reflection, and once per day when you have used it to help defeat a living enemy, you are stunned for a turn as the blade feeds
Oh, and heaven help you if you try to attack a Von Zarovich with it. It'll be dealing 30 fire damage a round against you.

all of these, I suspect, are at the starting concordance.

Mando Knight
2009-12-02, 11:21 AM
Alright, vaguely harmful items and/or artifacts, eh?

Bonegrim Armor (AV1) requires use of Remove Affliction to take off of a living creature... making it harder to sneak around, and increasing the cost of switching magic items.

Artanis
2009-12-02, 11:34 AM
*looks up Helm of Madman's Blood*

It looks like it does indeed make its attack at its starting concordance. Also, its list of goals reminds me a little bit of Belkar :smalltongue:


AV2 also has a group item set called the Rings of the Akarot. Its full-set bonus is that everybody wearing one of the set items gets a power that:
1) Targets enemies in a close burst 5. On a hit, the target can't attack (save ends)
2) Hit or miss, dazes anybody wearing one of the set items until EoNT

Kurald Galain
2009-12-03, 05:45 AM
Alright, vaguely harmful items and/or artifacts, eh?
Okay, those are some good examples, but all of them are artifacts. I note the Bonegrim is overall a very good item except that it's hard to remove, and that the character would be aware that before putting it on.

Tiki Snakes
2009-12-03, 11:51 AM
Okay, those are some good examples, but all of them are artifacts. I note the Bonegrim is overall a very good item except that it's hard to remove, and that the character would be aware that before putting it on.

The Blood Drinker is the non-artifact weapon I was thinking of. It's like a really good, but painful version of Bloodclaw. If you dare to miss, it takes 5 damage from you, but on account of having been fed, does something like 2d6 on the next hit.

Yeah, there aren't many suitable 'cursed' normal items, but on reflection, the Artifact system is probably best for dealing with cursed items anyway, because it already covers the idea of 'item you can't get rid of yourself, perhaps'. The concordance thing is a nice way to track efforts to remove the thing, but also allows for the possibility of getting some decent use out of the item reguardless.


Still, I'd be interested in seeing some more mundanely cursed items, though frankly they're simple enough to homebrew, and of such limited use that I'm not suprised that they haven't been done yet. (4e tends to avoid things that do nothing but annoy the player, so either an item should be useful despite being cursed, or there's not really any point, because they'll just throw it away/not ever use it/disenchant it.)

Here's an idea though, what with all the talk of the Wheel of Time of late; for the whole 'sinister item that you become obsessed with to your detriment' thing, the Disease tracker might work quite nicely, actually. Meanwhile the item can be an otherwise normal magic item, that essentially inflicts the 'disease' on anyone who touches/weilds it. The Curse could offer penalties or mutate the weilder or, well, anything you want to do to them really.
Might have to do something with that idea, actually...

Kurald Galain
2009-12-03, 12:15 PM
Hm, come to think of it, there's those claw items from the AV2. You stab yourself with them, and while you remain stabbed you get certain bonuses and take a substantial amount of damage each turn. Actually, those items are pretty bad because of the low bonus:damage ratio.

What I think would be nice is actual hazardous items, like a wand of fireballs that explodes in your face if you roll a 1. They're still useful, but they pose a risk; they only screw players over if they consciously take that risk.

Tiki Snakes
2009-12-03, 12:22 PM
'Cursed Wand of Fireballs'

As a 'Masters Wand of Scorching Burst, or something like that. But after you pick a target, you roll 1d12 to determine the range. (so you have a chance of blowing yourself up, and a high chance of missing, but with careful aim and playing of the odds, it's still useful in potential. Perhaps make it 2d6 but burst 2 instead of the burst1 of Scorching Burst?)

FoE
2009-12-03, 12:22 PM
For instance, the hand and eye of Vecna can in theory kill the user, but in practice this requires extremely convoluted circumstances (i.e. that the user fights lots and lots of undead without actually gaining levels)

Best re-read the DMG, Kurald. The Hand of Vecna and Eye of Vecna disintegrate their owner when they move on, regardless of whether they are displeased or satisfied. The only difference is that they screw with you if it's the former.

AmusingSN
2009-12-03, 12:28 PM
Why are we killing these people if we don't get their toys to beat people up with?

The fact that the paradigm of "Kill stuff for their loot, so we can kill bigger stuff for their better loot" has been, perhaps, slightly deemphasized isn't necessarily a bad thing by my judgement.

If your DM wanted to run a game like that, however, he has all the tools to do so, its just not presented as standard anymore.

Kurald Galain
2009-12-03, 12:31 PM
The Hand of Vecna and Eye of Vecna disintegrate their owner when they move on, regardless of whether they are displeased or satisfied.
However, this effect is based entirely on DM fiat. "The DM can kill your character whenever he feels like it" doesn't say anything about cursed items.

FoE
2009-12-03, 12:36 PM
But there are guidelines on how artifacts are to be used and when they move on. And it's not exactly the DM randomly choosing to kill a player when the DMG expressly states that's what the Hand of Vecna and Eye of Vecna do when they move on.

Mando Knight
2009-12-03, 12:42 PM
Best re-read the DMG, Kurald. The Hand of Vecna and Eye of Vecna disintegrate their owner when they move on, regardless of whether they are displeased or satisfied. The only difference is that they screw with you if it's the former.

The Hand and Eye always screw with you. It's how screwed up your position is when they're done with you that depends on your concordance. :smallamused: