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Mark Hall
2010-04-19, 12:12 AM
So, I'm playing a Deva Avenger MC Paladin, and have hit 14th level. I'm trying to figure out which of two feats to take.

The options are

Painful Oath (where I do Wisdom modifier radiant and necrotic damage the first time I hit my Oath of Enmity Target each turn)

or

Pervasive Light (where enemies who are vulnerable to radiant take damage equal to their radiant vulnerability when I use non-radiant powers... which is most of mine).

Now, most of the time, Pervasive Light will do more damage when it works... I'm going to run into more Vulnerable Radiant 10s at 14th level than Vulnerable Radiant 5s. However, Painful oath will work on pretty much everyone but Devas. Which would you suggest?

Mando Knight
2010-04-19, 12:26 AM
I'd say Painful Oath. Since it adds radiant damage, it should also kill radiant-vulnerable creatures.

herrhauptmann
2010-04-19, 12:38 AM
So, I'm playing a Deva Avenger MC Paladin, and have hit 14th level. I'm trying to figure out which of two feats to take.

The options are

Painful Oath (where I do Wisdom modifier radiant and necrotic damage the first time I hit my Oath of Enmity Target each turn)

or

Pervasive Light (where enemies who are vulnerable to radiant take damage equal to their radiant vulnerability when I use non-radiant powers... which is most of mine).

Now, most of the time, Pervasive Light will do more damage when it works... I'm going to run into more Vulnerable Radiant 10s at 14th level than Vulnerable Radiant 5s. However, Painful oath will work on pretty much everyone but Devas. Which would you suggest?
If you're going to fight a lot of creatures which are radiant vulnerable, then pervasive light would be better.
Does it work for the secondary effects of your powers, like an aura that deals fire damage to someone who attacks you or starts turn next to you?

If no to both, then I suggest Painful Oath. (There are no creatures which get healed by radiant or necrotic damage, are there? The way 3.5 liches healed from lightning.)

Swiftest
2010-04-19, 01:41 AM
I would absolutely take Painful Oath. It will be more useful more often, which is the best you can hope for in a choice =).

tcrudisi
2010-04-19, 05:11 AM
I would absolutely take Painful Oath. It will be more useful more often, which is the best you can hope for in a choice =).

Unless he has a Morninglord in his party, then it's clearly the other way around.

DragonBaneDM
2010-04-19, 05:13 AM
Go Painful Oath, it's Wizards way of helping Avengers pick up enough static damage to keep up with other Strikers.

Yakk
2010-04-19, 09:35 AM
Under what circumstances does PO outdamage PL, and vice versa?

No really, look at it. If a target has radiant vun 10, how much extra damage will PO do? PL do?

I'm sure there are corner cases, but seriously...

Mark Hall
2010-04-19, 12:41 PM
Thanks, all. I was leaning towards Painful Oath anyway, and this more or less settles it. About the only time it isn't better is if I am attacking something with both a radiant vulnerability and a radiant resistance, or if I am making multiple attacks in a turn.

Yakk
2010-04-19, 01:47 PM
*nod*, and those are corner cases.

And it is worse in any situation where the creature doesn't have vulnerability.

DragonBaneDM
2010-04-19, 02:40 PM
I think you should get both eventually, however I'd opt for Paragon Defenses or Unarmored Agility first(If you don't have it that is.)

EDIT:
I know we're not supposed to care or anything but this post got me Orc in the Playground, which made me very happy. :smallsmile:

rayne_dragon
2010-04-19, 02:40 PM
Painful Oath unless you can find a way to reliably give enemies radiant vulnerability.

Mark Hall
2010-04-19, 02:44 PM
I think you should get both eventually, however I'd opt for Paragon Defenses or Unarmored Agility first(If you don't have it that is.)

EDIT:
I know we're not supposed to care or anything but this post got me Orc in the Playground, which made me very happy. :smallsmile:

Have to look for Unarmored Agility, but, as a house rule, we get a free Expertise (mine is in Greatsword) and a free Paragon-tier defense boosting feat for free (I chose great fortitude, since I've already got great Reflex and Will defenses).

DragonBaneDM
2010-04-19, 02:50 PM
Awesome! I have a similiar house rule for my dwarf fighter, with the expertise that is.

And you're gonna LOVE Unarmored Agility. PHB3, my friend. ENJOY!

Swordgleam
2010-04-19, 02:58 PM
Painful Oath unless you can find a way to reliably give enemies radiant vulnerability.

This reminds me. There's a reagent in AV called Brightleaf, which gives enemies radiant vulnerability whenever you use it on a radiant power. Seems like both feats would benefit from having some of it around, assuming anyone else in your party is doing radiant damage. And at your level, it should be relatively cheap.

DragonBaneDM
2010-04-19, 03:00 PM
EDIT: Aaah, it be a free action! Go for it!!!

Meta
2010-04-26, 02:04 AM
Generally speaking fortitude is the LAST defense you want to increase. A very high defense an average one and a low one is more useful than three average ones. Gives you more of a niche, which is useful in any party bigger than 2 people.

Mathematically speaking now, it is also useful to pick up reflex/will unless monsters can only crit those defenses, which is pretty unlikely. Lets say a monster hits your reflex on a 13 but ur fortitude on a 9. He has a 40% chance to hit REF, but with a +2 he drops to 30%. Thats a 25% reduction in his accuracy. (40-30)/40. Hitting on a 9 means the monster has a 60% of hitting. Increasing fortitude by 2 means the monster has a 50% hit rate (on an 11) The monsters drop in accuracy is less however (60-50)/60 = 16.66667%.
Oh and painful oath hands down.

Also shoutout to Dragonbane.

Hzurr
2010-04-26, 10:22 AM
Hi, I'm Mark Hall's DM.

*read's thread*

Hmm....

*looks at number of undead the party is about to encounter*

Well crap.... This campaign just became much less frightening.

Draz74
2010-04-26, 10:38 AM
Mathematically speaking now, it is also useful to pick up reflex/will unless monsters can only crit those defenses, which is pretty unlikely. Lets say a monster hits your reflex on a 13 but ur fortitude on a 9. He has a 40% chance to hit REF, but with a +2 he drops to 30%. Thats a 25% reduction in his accuracy. (40-30)/40. Hitting on a 9 means the monster has a 60% of hitting. Increasing fortitude by 2 means the monster has a 50% hit rate (on an 11) The monsters drop in accuracy is less however (60-50)/60 = 16.66667%.

This part makes sense, but I would have thought it would be made up for by the following logic: "But, if I boost my Fortitude, I'm that much less likely to be targeted by a Fortitude attack. Either the monsters who attack Fortitude will attack my party instead of me, or they'll switch to a Reflex attack when they target me. Since I'd rather get hit by a Reflex attack than a Fortitude attack, boosting my lowest defense (Fortitude) seems like the way to go."

But that whole line of thought is pretty much the opposite of what you say here:


A very high defense an average one and a low one is more useful than three average ones. Gives you more of a niche, which is useful in any party bigger than 2 people.

... which I don't understand the logic of. Why is "more of a niche" useful in mathematical terms? Especially on the defensive end?

Meta
2010-04-26, 11:01 AM
A niche is useful because avengers specialize in eliminating monsters that don't target fortitude (especially pursuit). Theyre happiest chasing artillery around the back of the battlefield. Brutes have low defenses but high hp and often target fort for instance. Avengers have excellent accuracy, decent damage, and poor fort. Increasing it means they are slightly better at fighting something they shouldnt really be engaging anyways. But increasing ref/will means they can better handle the artillery/controllers that have more of an effect on the battle.

EDIT: and as for evening defenses so monsters target the other party members; the avenger is pretty tough and unless you happen to have a party full of defenders, its GOOD for the avenger to take a few hits, especially since avengers have great defenses and lots of mobility.

Draz74
2010-04-26, 11:57 AM
Ah, OK. I never thought before about the "Brute => Fortitude, Artillery => Reflex/Will" correlation. That makes sense.

So is your advice applicable to all characters, or just to characters who specialize in fighting either "front-line" monsters (e.g. Fighters) or "back-line" monsters (e.g. Avengers)? Does a Wizard, for example, want to shore up his weakest Defense?

Meta
2010-04-26, 01:02 PM
I can't claim in good conscience that my advice is true in every case because too much depends on party makeup and what sort of threats your DM uses. For instance my advice would be terribly unhelpful if Hzurr is very fond of poisons. Then fortitude would be a more important defense relative to the others.

As for your specific question, my answer would be "it depends," but ill break it down a bit more. Let us assume a rather typical 5 man/woman party. One leader, one defender, one controller (the wizard), two strikers. Now imagine two different but effective wizard builds. A high int, high con staff wizard and a high wis high int orb user.

The con wizard has a good number of surges and naturally very high AC, and solid fort reflex and will (will being the lowest) Thanks to the benefits of staff fighting and some defensive feat selection such as unarmored agility/leather armor prof, improved staff fighting, etc, the wizard has above average defenses across the board. But which should be favored above the rest? Heres where it gets tricky again. If the strikers are both tough melee types like an avenger and a barbarian the wizard is able to stay farther away from the melee opponents. The usefulness of fort is reduced. If the two strikers are a warlock and bow ranger, the wizard may end up closer to the action, so fort is more useful and i could say increasing it would be quite useful.

Now lets look at our orb wizard. He will have fairly high AC and Reflex and quite a high will but pretty terrible fortitude. However this wizard has a rather good counter for that. Thunderwave. The ability to shove those fort attacking monsters away means he doesnt really need it so much does he?
Combined with a utility like wizards escape, this wizard has virtually no need for fortitude. In this scenario i would suggest boosting Will because being stunned or dazed (most commonly attached to will attacks) means:
A) the monsters that most commonly target fort are going to have a much better chance to attack you
B) Orb wizards specialize in locking down opponents with status effects, so being locked down yourself (dominated orbizard thunderwaving the paladin into lava...) is a terrible thing


Apologies for the wall of text, but there a ton of variables that come into play. I play a pursuit avenger whose lowest defense is fort, but when the party got a diamond cincture, it went to me. The fact that I take a beating and making your avenger even more self sufficient is a party win abd that our minotaur fighter had a cincture of dragon spirit none of could use effectively overruled that fact that im 'averaging' my defenses so to speak.

Hope that helps! If you have any specific thoughts about one of your characters feel free to PM me

DragonBaneDM
2010-04-26, 01:29 PM
Also shoutout to Dragonbane.

YAY! Ha, he's why I suggested Unarmored Agility. Between that and Boots of the Fencing Master our DM has a hard time hitting him.

Mark Hall
2010-04-26, 01:58 PM
Hi, I'm Mark Hall's DM.

*read's thread*

Hmm....

*looks at number of undead the party is about to encounter*

Well crap.... This campaign just became much less frightening.

I am immortal. I have inside me blood of kings.

Hzurr
2010-04-26, 02:43 PM
I am immortal. I have inside me blood of kings.

And fuzzy tigers with backwards hands.

Mark Hall
2010-04-26, 03:04 PM
And fuzzy tigers with backwards hands.

If our dwarf hadn't decided that the solution to every problem was "kill EVERYTHING in a 90 mile radius", I would've had a quite nice conversation with my wayward brother; I am convinced that they can "return to the fold", as it were.