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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default A little Paladin help?

    Thank you in advance for any help or attention. I appreciate it.

    Yesterday I was a player in a 4E game. We were to make 11th level PCs; I am the Paladin and the group's defender. I know and understand 4E (mostly) but had not played a 4E paladin before.

    I had a great time and did well, except for one thing: I got basically no use out of my divine challenge ability. I marked enemies, but if I could not get to them to engage them or be adjacent to them, the mark just ends at the end of my turn. When I did manage to do that, the GM simply obliged and always had those enemies just attack me, thus avoiding any punishment from divine challenge.

    I fully accept being attacked, as I am a defender class and am supposed to fill that role, and I had no problems staying alive, since I had great armor and defenses. However, I felt like divine challenge was mostly useless to me. To make matters worse, I had taken a feat (Mighty Challenge) to make my divine challenge punishment worse, and taken several powers that have triggers of "an enemy you marked with divine challenge attacks someone other than you" because I thought they would be useful; I ended up not using any of those powers or feat for the entire gaming session.

    So: Should I just retrain those powers and feat to something more useful, or am I making some large error and could be doing things differently? I don't want to have valuable feat and power slots taken up with something that I can almost never use.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Tankadin's Avatar

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    Default Re: A little Paladin help?

    If you mark an enemy and they attack you, congratulations, you've done your job. The assassin flanking the enemy that doesn't have your defenses thanks you. You basically want to deny Team Monster the option of ignoring you. You do that and get banana stickers by triggering punishment (and having it be meaningfully awful) or getting them to attack you.

    Let's say you retrain the feat and drop those punishment-stacking powers. Without those disincentives, what stops Team Monster from completely ignoring you? 6 radiant damage at level 11? This is why you need to make sure your punishments really leave the bad guys with no good choices.

    As for not engaging your mark--well, that's what a javelin or a Farbond Spellblade or the level 10 utility Winter's Arrival is for. Also, see if you can't get a Bradaman's weapon on your item wishlist, as it has an encounter power that lets you put Divine Challenge on two enemies until the end of the encounter.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    RTGoodman's Avatar

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    Default Re: A little Paladin help?

    This is also something you might want to talk to your DM about. I've been running a weekly game since back in July or August, and I try to let the Paladin's Divine Challenge come into play at least a few times per session or more.

    Humanoid opponents might be more intelligent and avoid the "burn," but less intelligent foes (or ones who really just want to kill something/someone squishy) are probably willing to soak up a little damage to do it.

    DMing for a Paladin (or any Defender, really) is all about finding that sweet spot where they get to soak up some damage but ALSO get to use Divine Challenge, Combat Challenge, etc., occasionally too.
    The Playgrounder Formerly Known as rtg0922

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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: A little Paladin help?

    The DM needs to change something about his style. Instead of playing all enemies as attack the Paladin he needs to have a few enemies smart or dumb enough not to respect the mark.

    Think of it this way:
    *Trolls - In most games they are dumb. Most likely they will ignore marks in favor of killing either the nearest guy or that guy in back who is doing damage to me.
    *Animals - a Wolf pack is smart enough to know that they are marked and will probably respect the mark more often
    *High Powered Villains - If the enemy knows it could take out the striker right next to him, he might take the Paladin's Divine Challenge to take the chance to kill the striker.
    *Undead - Probably just attack the nearest brain.
    *Silt Runners - These guys usually hate Fae so they will attack Fae without respecting the mark.
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    Banned
     
    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: A little Paladin help?

    That's what I don't like about the Paladin's mark - it's usage and maintenance requirements.

    Aside from that, I would dump any reactionary powers that are too reliant on rare occurrences.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Tankadin's Avatar

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    Default Re: A little Paladin help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cartigan View Post
    That's what I don't like about the Paladin's mark - it's usage and maintenance requirements.
    Really? It has been my experience that attacking or just getting next to my mark was relatively easy. Plus, giving the brute a -2 with Enfeebling Strike is a pretty good incentive to make that attack.

    That said, I love the Divine Sanction powers that are fire-and-forget affairs. But Divine Challenge is pretty smooth to use and works on enemies regardless of their intelligence.

    Aside from that, I would dump any reactionary powers that are too reliant on rare occurrences.
    While this may get back to the DM's playstyle, I have to disagree with you. Acting off of your turn is fantastic. An immediate interrupt might even mean putting the enemy down before they do damage. At 11, an encounter reaction power and your DC or DS triggering is something 2[W]+16 damage. That sounds like a great disincentive for Big Ugly.
    Last edited by Tankadin; 2011-03-21 at 12:38 PM.

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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: A little Paladin help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tankadin View Post
    While this may get back to the DM's playstyle, I have to disagree with you. Acting off of your turn is fantastic. An immediate interrupt might even mean putting the enemy down before they do damage. At 11, an encounter reaction power and your DC or DS triggering is something 2[W]+16 damage. That sounds like a great disincentive for Big Ugly.
    It is really useful - when it happens. Too many powers that are reactionary based on specific events and you might as well not have chosen anything besides at-wills.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: A little Paladin help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cartigan View Post
    It is really useful - when it happens. Too many powers that are reactionary based on specific events and you might as well not have chosen anything besides at-wills.
    I did suffer for that. I couldn't use all but one of my interrupt/reaction powers, because no one ever triggered the condition (breaking my mark) that lets me use them. If I had had other, more offensive and non-trigger powers, I could have defended the other characters more easily (by killing their attackers.)

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Tankadin's Avatar

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    Default Re: A little Paladin help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alejandro View Post
    I did suffer for that. I couldn't use all but one of my interrupt/reaction powers, because no one ever triggered the condition (breaking my mark) that lets me use them. If I had had other, more offensive and non-trigger powers, I could have defended the other characters more easily (by killing their attackers.)
    Would you mind listing your encounter powers and if you're a strength- or charisma-based paladin? I'll agree that this shouldn't be the only thing in your bag of tools, but something like Knightly Intercession (if STR) or Price of Cowardice (CHA) should be something to have along for when it happens.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: A little Paladin help?

    I do have Knightly Intercession, and I used that extremely well. When our runepriest got a natural 20 dropped on her by the Big Bad, I used that immediately and took the critical hit myself, then walloped him for it, to Defend her. There were no problems there, because the Big Bad didn't have to be marked for me to do that, he only had to hit my ally with a melee blow.

    I plan to keep that power, because I can actually use it without relying on marks; rather relying on a trigger of "someone hits your buddy" because that will happen more.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Troll in the Playground
     
    OracleofWuffing's Avatar

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    Default Re: A little Paladin help?

    Don't forget that your challenge can go off... on allies' turns. And, that it goes off when the enemy attacks an ally, not when an enemy damages an ally.

    Quote Originally Posted by OracleofWuffing View Post
    Wait, Valorous Smite actually hit? Quick, someone provoke that whole line of enemies into Opportunity Attacks!
    Effectively, you can buy your group more mobility if your DM doesn't want to let his minions get smottened.

    Another possibility is to invest in some ranged/thrown weapons, and start challenging enemies so that they provoke an opportunity attack from the striker if they move to attack you.
    "Okay, so I'm going to quick draw and dual wield these one-pound caltrops as improvised weapons..."
    ---
    "Oh, hey, look! Blue Eyes Black Lotus!" "Wait what, do you sacrifice a mana to the... Does it like, summon a... What would that card even do!?" "Oh, it's got a four-energy attack. Completely unviable in actual play, so don't worry about it."

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: A little Paladin help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tankadin View Post
    Would you mind listing your encounter powers and if you're a strength- or charisma-based paladin? I'll agree that this shouldn't be the only thing in your bag of tools, but something like Knightly Intercession (if STR) or Price of Cowardice (CHA) should be something to have along for when it happens.
    My Strength is 18 and my Charisma is 20.

    Encounter powers:

    Valorous Smite
    Righteous Smite
    Price of Cowardice
    Debilitating Smite (Grey Guard)

    The powers I got very little use from were Ardent Strike (at will) and Price of Cowardice. I also took Mighty Challenge (feat) but got no use from it, because no one triggered the challenge.

    Edit: Also Valorous Smite, because none of the sanctioned enemies ever went after anyone else.
    Last edited by Alejandro; 2011-03-21 at 02:26 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    absolmorph's Avatar

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    Default Re: A little Paladin help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alejandro View Post
    My Strength is 18 and my Charisma is 20.

    Encounter powers:

    Valorous Smite
    Righteous Smite
    Price of Cowardice
    Debilitating Smite (Grey Guard)

    The powers I got very little use from were Ardent Strike (at will) and Price of Cowardice. I also took Mighty Challenge (feat) but got no use from it, because no one triggered the challenge.
    At first, I was disappointed that my challenge never got triggered.
    Then I realized that I, with my ability to fully heal myself multiple times (on my own), and a higher HP and defenses that the rest of the party, am a much better target (from a player perspective) than the rest of the party.
    I'm playing a Baladin, too, and picked up Mighty Challenge. My sanction damage, at the moment, is 17. It's only been triggered maybe a half dozen times.
    On the other hand, the party isn't dying.
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    You seem to be having trouble with the idea that a rulebook can contradict itself, because it shouldn't, but...WotC.

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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: A little Paladin help?

    True. But of the other four people at the table, one of them has more HP than me, two of them have exactly as many HP as me, and the last has about 5-10 less. Three of them have defenses comparable to mine. It didn't seem like anyone "needed" shielding.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    absolmorph's Avatar

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    Default Re: A little Paladin help?

    Hm... What's the rest of the party make up?
    Some men just want to watch the world shift uncomfortably in its seat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kylarra View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by absolmorph View Post
    I happen to like screwing around with Handle Animal.
    Red Mage, is that you?
    Quote Originally Posted by Rawhide View Post
    Now you're cranking it up to eleven.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dimonite View Post
    A week ago, I didn't know who you were. Now I know: you're the BEST PERSON EVER.
    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    You seem to be having trouble with the idea that a rulebook can contradict itself, because it shouldn't, but...WotC.

    If you're reading this for some reason, you can find me in a few places on the web as azoicennead.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: A little Paladin help?

    Bugbear ranger with lots of HP and defenses.
    Human runepriest, fairly good HP and defenses.
    Human druid, good HP and defenses.
    Halfling rogue, good HP, OK defenses.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: A little Paladin help?

    When I played a Paladin I did a couple of things:

    1. Encourage my allies to do things that provoke OAs. Especially if they have comparable defenses and HPs. If the enemy takes his OA, then you get the damage and any triggered abilities. If not, your fellow PCs have unprecedented mobility and can use ranged attacks with impunity.

    2. I used a reach weapon. This can cause hilarity with a good controller and/or difficult terrain. Alternatively, get a solid ranged weapon to keep your marks up and force enemies to come to you from far away. A Farbond Spellblade can help here, as can a Dynamic Weapon.

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