View Full Version : 4e without the 1/2 level bonus.

2012-06-24, 04:13 PM
The 1/2 level bonus that's added to a bunch of stuff always seemed like really pointless treadmill inflation to me. So I'd like to try getting rid of it.

PC's lose the +1/2 level to attacks and defenses
Monsters lose the +1 level to attacks and defenses
Magic weapons and armor no longer have enhancement bonuses

I would like monster defenses to increase somewhat, so maybe bumps at 8th, 14th, 21st and 28th level, in line with PC stat increases (assuming everyone starts with an even 18 in their primary stat).

That seems kinda slow, though.

Also drop 1/2 level from skills, alter DCs appropriately, etc.

So what does everyone think? Does this look good? Any math problems or disastrous unforeseen consequences? Is it even worth the effort? (Note: the campaign I'm planning on using this for wouldn't be using the Character Builder or pre-existing monsters anyways.)

2012-06-24, 06:22 PM
There is an issue, in that monsters will eventually be pointless to match against PCs.

The suggestion that came up on WotC's boards is this: Monsters use the 1/2-level bonus instead of their full level, and level isn't involved in PC maths at all. Strip out the Expertise feats and keep enhancement bonus, but make it inherent to the progression (+1 to-hit and damage at 2nd and every 5 levels after, +1 AC and NADs at 4th and every 5 after, d6 crit dice based on the attack enhancement). This makes it easier to skimp on teh phat lewtz without completely screwing over the maths.

Alternatively, you may want to look into Next or 13th Age, because 4e's rather resistant to changes in its assumed maths. :smalleek::smalleek:

2012-06-24, 07:16 PM
Weapon enhancement bonuses may still need to exist, but apply only to damage and crit dice. This makes using a higher level weapon better, but not enormously so, especially for special-effect weapons like Skyrender or Fey Slaughter that you carry to negate monster abilities rather than do damage. This bonus could be made inherent and/or mundane by way of masterwork weapons if you prefer.

Another option might be to buff the hell out of Weapon/Implement Focus and just bake it all into that. Putting an extra tax on PCs that use multiple weapons and implements is the downside to that one.

If I'm reading it right, the only boost to attack rolls and defences would be ability score increases. So you'd get a +4 bonus over your whole adventuring career. This would also need to be reproduced by masterwork or similar heavy armours so they don't fall behind on AC. I do like retaining some channel for upgrading items; rewards are still important and sometimes they need to be tangible.

2012-06-25, 06:59 PM
That fix seems more workable, but that's a lot of bookkeeping I'd like to avoid if possible. Also, I'm not really understanding why monsters would fall behind under the system I proposed.

I was thinking item improvement would primarily be defined by better properties and powers, rather than simple bonuses. I'm thinking bonuses might work better as inherent, but I'm not sure.

2012-06-25, 07:06 PM
Monsters use completely different maths from PCs. Those goblins you've been fighting at 1st level? They don't apply ability modifiers to ANYTHING; their attacks and defenses are determined solely by their level.

2012-06-25, 09:24 PM
Simply removing the bonus and chopping half the monster's level off of everything should suffice. Mathematically, it's pretty much the same.

Ironically for 4e, the logic of the half level bonus comes from verisimilitude. Making the advancement slope more gentle means that challenges above and below the party's level are less so than they'd otherwise be. It shouldn't be too much in the band of acceptable encounters (+/-2 at max for critters four levels above/below party level), but could lead to interesting combat hax.