View Full Version : [4e] Elite and Solo PCs

2008-06-09, 05:29 PM
So I was thinking about the idea of elite and solo monsters, and about gestalt characters, and I had an idea. What is PCs could be elite or solo too? Maybe you only have 1 or 2 players, but you want to run a nomral difficulty game. Or maybe you have a normal party, but you want encounters to be rediculous.

Elire Character: An elite character is like a gestalt, but instead of getting the best of two classes, they get almost everything: hit points (including x2 Con modifier), class features, powers, trained skills, etc. They would get double the feats, double the ability score bonuses, and full power swaps for both classes. They would take the best of the healing surges per day (which would heal more due to the higherh it points). In addition, they would get many more action points, allowing them to take more actions. I'm not sure how many would be appropriate, but perhaps 5 times normal. Finally, they would get half XP from everything. This would allow for a party of 2-3 character to be about as capable as a party of 4 or 6 characters.

Solo characters: Solo characters are one-person parties. They can act alone and be perfectly capable, or in groups to bring down the most powerful of creatures. These characters could be build perhaps by combining four-five classes and adding special abilities for taking multiple actions. However, I think a better way would be to create special "solo classes." These classes would be amazingly powerful, and grant rediculous abilities of all kinds. A summoner that summons powerful monsters to take on party roles seems obvious, but anything that allows the character to act independantly of party roles works.

Elite solo monsters: These monsters would be twice as sifficult as solo monsters, and have even more actions. Appropriate for challenging full parties of elite characters.

Super solo monsters: These would be the most rediculous of all monsters. Twenty-five times as powerful as a normal enemy of their level, these monsters would challenge full parties of solo characters.


2008-06-09, 07:28 PM
Sadly, I think that this may go over the top. As an example, what happens when you have Druid + Wizard? You end up getting nearly every spell in the game, your hitpoints add up to slightly over that of a good Barbarian (Even without a good Con score) and worst of all, it halves spell usage. As an example...

Druid casts Barkskin on Druid
Wizard casts Haste on Wizard ]
Druid casts Barkskin on Wizard ] Four spells used.
Wizard casts Haste on Druid

Elite casts Barkskin on Elite
Elite casts Haste on Elite ] Just two spells - leaving two extras.

So just spell usage, an elite is better than two characters. This is without abusing the multiple feats to get certain trees very early, even without the neccessary doubling of, say, a human's racial feat that a FULL doubling entails. A Barbarian/Wizard would be better than a barbarian at everything before they even started casting, and without a need to take any comparable protection, also better than a wizard with JUST casting. Add in a familiar to fill in a few rogue scouting issues, and with so many hitpoints healing should be a minimal problem... Since, after all, your AC is the AC for your party.

Now to switch sides...
How does this work with, say, heavy armored barbarian who can't cast his beloved bardic spells now? I admit, this is more balancing, save that it's more of a penalty until you balance someone who goes all-out and decides to go Druid/Cleric and become Mr. Godzilla. To be fair, most players would not so abuse it, and more likely would be the coolness factor combinations, but simply leaving a hole that could be filled seems lacking.

As for elite, once you have 4-5 classes, you're more of a demigod who levels very slowly, in large bursts. Wizard/Cleric/Druid/Sorcerer and optionally, Bard (I like bards.) will run into the supposed problem of the Mystic Theurge - What to cast each round? - only until they realize that, indeed, there's no need to split that power when they can obliterate things just under 24/7 and take only 1/2 or so of the buffing time of a standard party (see above)

As an example of how this could work, become a rogue/sorcerer and take a few creative feat choices to form a Rock-and-Roll-and-Win Bard who can use a lute as a deadly weapon with sneak attacks before using a quick song and a wave to blow up a three-block-radius area. Also a hit at parties, but keep him away from mimes lest he get overenthusiastic and casts fireball at them.

Paladin/Cleric or Fighter/Cleric, etc. For a good Paladin.
Ranger/Druid, etc, etc.

The final example of how this coudl be good is to take it in stride. Send them into truly enormous challenges, make them the chosen one of a god - with all the plot that entails - or the recipient of an ancient civilization's power. The possibilities are endless, because all the story that might go to a whole PARTY goes into a single person.

As a truer suggestion: give them no EXP penalty, but treat them as so-many-levels higher and pretend they're 'splitting' it between classes (as I beleive the CR->XP tables are for parties). It will make EXP calculations so much easier. Example: Level 2 Class X/Class Y is treated as a level higher, and splits all party exp recieved between the two classes.

Also remember to double negative level penalties.

2008-06-09, 08:01 PM

Morbo says 4e does not work that way!

Moving on to the OP, even with all the buffs given it'd most likely be a very not fun game you're setting up there. Pointing off a few things that strike me immediately:

First, you will be required to take either warlord or cleric as part of your class combo. As you are the only target on the field for enemy monsters, you can expect to spend all your time giving enemies combat advantage, and taking copious amounts of damage per round. Since you may only use a single second wind per encounter to heal yourself (and that'd eat one of your precious few standard actions) you will need an additional way to heal yourself. Then you'd have classes that lose a great deal of effectiveness. Rogues will almost never be able to use sneak attack dice since gaining combat advantage will be difficult by your lonesome. Fighters and Paladins will never be able to make use of their classes' marking abilities.

Second, You'll have 1/2 or fewer the actions of a standard party. With enemies doing roughly equal damage as characters and having similar hit point totals to unmodified characters, you will be at a huge disadvantage, and even if you win, it'll take a very very very long time to finally get everything attacking you. Even with additional action points and ditching the rule that you can only use a single action point per encounter, you'll not be doing nearly as much as a full party.

Related to that, you will not be able to occupy more than one space at any time. With how mobile enemies are, any enemy that uses something resembling tactics will be neigh on impossible to beat. Enemies using a harry and run style engagement won't be catchable.

Everything in 4e has been redesigned from the ground up to prevent exactly the sort of game you're trying to run. I'm not trying to be mean or sound snarky, but the one man party is exactly what WotC is trying to make impossible with 4e. All the classes as they are will only be able to function if they're supported by a full party. Too many abilities rely on a teammate to either set up a particular situation or take advantage of a situation you've set up. A better solution to playing a duet game of D&D might be allowing what players you do have to run a full party.

If you're dead set on playing 4e with but a single player, you'll have to devise a new class specifically designed to be a one man party. Your new class would have to be able to destroy multiple equal level monsters in one blow, be extraordinarily mobile, and ludicrously hard to corner. All in all, you'd probably enjoy playing Exalted much more.

2008-06-09, 08:55 PM
Ilphros, this is for 4th Edition.

Anyways, like I said in the first post, you could conceivably combine like 5 classes into a solo character, but it'd be lame. Which is why I said the better option would be a more powerful class, that's specifically balanced to work on its own, like a summoner or something. Basically, the player is like the boss monster of PCs. It has special abilities designed specifically with the intent that it would have to fend for itself.

Elite characters would be two classes, but would be given a lot more action points to compensate for needing to do a lot of stuff. But perhaps making them simply gestalt would work better, with the best of both classes, and then you could assume they're better than a normal character, but not twice as powerful.