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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rechan View Post
    In my experience (playing only heroic tier), it feels like monsters die far too fast. Unless they're brutes or elites they die in 3 rounds, tops--but fights with those brutes and elites get dull because quickly it's the brute or elite by itself. That doesn't stop them from dishing out the pain, as I typically have 1-2 PCs drop below 0 per fight, so it's not damage that's the trouble.

    The biggest source of slowdown at my tables are

    1) players keep rolling badly (not that the defenses are too high, but that they keep rolling 3s and 5s...)
    2) the extra seconds of going over your options/what your things do/doing the thing
    3) All the misc floating bonuses and penalties making you pause and go "so I have x to hit--wait, I'm standing on one foot so that gives me a -1 and Jeff's waffle iron of woe is giving me a +2" "But the effect from the monster's last attack doesn't end to the end of your next turn so you've got a -1, also you were supposed to take 5 damage from the ongoing..."
    4) Maybe having 5 PCs and 5 Monsters as the standard encounter, thus meaning 10 character turns per round, does inflate things a little.
    5) (specific to online gaming ala Roll20) interacting with the interface.


    If everyone took 30 seconds on their turn and boom it was over, combat would not be long.
    Heroic tier was never the problem in 4e. The speed problems started with Paragon tier.

    1) You can still trade X hp for X attack in order to avoid many bad rolls.
    2) If you know you have some good at-wills that will always hit (by trading X hp) or always deal lots of damage (by trading X hp again) I think that, hopefully, you won't lose a lot of time reading your options again and again. On the contrary, you would spam your at-wills again and again.
    3) I have another thread where I suggest a solution to this by having every feat giving only feat bonuses instead of untyped bonuses as well as all items giving item bonuses etc.
    4) All minions serve as cannon fodder for big encounters very well.
    5) I have mostly played games offline.

    Without optimization, combat at Paragon and Heroic can be long even with everyone taking just 30 secs on their turn.
    Post if you wish to ask about Ruins & Raiders. I do not answer to PMs anymore.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Keledrath's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by ARTHAN View Post
    2) If you know you have some good at-wills that will always hit (by trading X hp) or always deal lots of damage (by trading X hp again) I think that, hopefully, you won't lose a lot of time reading your options again and again. On the contrary, you would spam your at-wills again and again.
    You may have a different opinion on this, but as far as I'm concerned this is removing the single greatest strength of 4e: having options. If I wanted to spam full attack, I'd be playing 3.5 or 5e. Most fun 4e characters I've played and played with thrive on their encounter powers, those are the workhorses of the system. At-Wills tend to be what you use when you're not positioned to make good use of an encounter power, and Dailies are what you break out when you need the big guns, but your main powers come from your encounters.
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The goal is not to have the monsters surrender.

    Rather, the goal is to end the combat when its outcome is clear, because at that point it becomes boring to the players. You can do this in some cases by having monsters surrender, but you could just as easily say "ok, you guys kill the others with ease, next scene".

    Spending a long time on a foregone conclusion is not compelling gameplay.
    Having the BBEG down and making death saves for a couple or rounds while we polish off the minions, then get the 20 on a save and stand back up with over 100 hp was funny once
    I love playing in a party with a couple of power-gamers, it frees me up to be Elan!


  4. - Top - End - #34
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    You may have a different opinion on this, but as far as I'm concerned this is removing the single greatest strength of 4e: having options. If I wanted to spam full attack, I'd be playing 3.5 or 5e. Most fun 4e characters I've played and played with thrive on their encounter powers, those are the workhorses of the system. At-Wills tend to be what you use when you're not positioned to make good use of an encounter power, and Dailies are what you break out when you need the big guns, but your main powers come from your encounters.
    But having strong at-wills do not prevent you from using your encounters and your dailies if you want to. On the contrary, many "weak" encounter/daily powers can be more powerful if you play with the "trade X hp for X attack or X damage" rule. It is just that at-wills seem to be favored more from a rule like this...
    Post if you wish to ask about Ruins & Raiders. I do not answer to PMs anymore.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by ARTHAN View Post
    It is just that at-wills seem to be favored more from a rule like this...
    That doesn't really make sense. Encounter powers are (generally) stronger than at-wills, and consequently, making an encounter power autohit is stronger than making an at-will autohit.

    Paragon tier is not improved by having players ignore their encounter powers and instead spam their at-wills. In fact, players don't want to spam their at-wills, they want to use their encounter powers.

    (actually, with your houserule, players can take 9 damage each round to get +9 to all their encounter or daily powers, and basically autohit the entire encounter. That adds up to 27 - 36 damage at paragon tier, which is a trivial amount and easily healed. Of course, auto-hitting negates a lot of tactics...)
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    That doesn't really make sense. Encounter powers are (generally) stronger than at-wills, and consequently, making an encounter power autohit is stronger than making an at-will autohit.

    Paragon tier is not improved by having players ignore their encounter powers and instead spam their at-wills. In fact, players don't want to spam their at-wills, they want to use their encounter powers.

    (actually, with your houserule, players can take 9 damage each round to get +9 to all their encounter or daily powers, and basically autohit the entire encounter. That adds up to 27 - 36 damage at paragon tier, which is a trivial amount and easily healed. Of course, auto-hitting negates a lot of tactics...)
    Yes, but keep in mind that at-wills deal double their damage dice at epic tier and also keep in mind that there are classes, like Ranger, out there with at-wills like Twin Strike. Also, encounters and dailies are one-use abilities while at-wills are permanent.

    Anyway, that is not what I try to say, the thing I try to say is that, having a permanent power like an at-will hitting automatically or dealing lots of damage is much more of a win-win and profitable condition rather than having a one-use ability doing the same. Think about it. How many times you are out of encounter and daily powers and you rely only to your at-wills? In original 4e, that's plenty of times.
    Post if you wish to ask about Ruins & Raiders. I do not answer to PMs anymore.

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by ARTHAN View Post
    Yes, but keep in mind that at-wills deal double their damage dice at epic tier and also keep in mind that there are classes, like Ranger, out there with at-wills like Twin Strike. Also, encounters and dailies are one-use abilities while at-wills are permanent.

    Anyway, that is not what I try to say, the thing I try to say is that, having a permanent power like an at-will hitting automatically or dealing lots of damage is much more of a win-win and profitable condition rather than having a one-use ability doing the same. Think about it. How many times you are out of encounter and daily powers and you rely only to your at-wills? In original 4e, that's plenty of times.
    It's not, really, outside of Heroic. The devs intended for combat to run ~4 rounds, maybe 5. If you're lasting significantly longer, your players are not optimizing to the extent the devs expected (help them out or weaken your monsters!), and/or you're using pre-MM3 monster math (which, again, get the hp/defenses to where they're supposed to be!)

    A level 15 PC which has mostly standard action encounters and dailies- rangers may be an exception here- will likely spend 3-4 turn dropping encounters and dailies, even with an action point, before resorting to at wills, and that doesn't include using a Power Jewel or Salve of Power or in Epic one of the options to regain an Encounter power.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by masteraleph View Post
    It's not, really, outside of Heroic. The devs intended for combat to run ~4 rounds, maybe 5. If you're lasting significantly longer, your players are not optimizing to the extent the devs expected (help them out or weaken your monsters!), and/or you're using pre-MM3 monster math (which, again, get the hp/defenses to where they're supposed to be!)

    A level 15 PC which has mostly standard action encounters and dailies- rangers may be an exception here- will likely spend 3-4 turn dropping encounters and dailies, even with an action point, before resorting to at wills, and that doesn't include using a Power Jewel or Salve of Power or in Epic one of the options to regain an Encounter power.
    Let me to politely disagree here. We can't know what the developers had in their minds and the result of the first books does not agree with the result of the later ones and I've mentioned "original 4e" and by "original 4e" I mostly meant the first 3 core rulebooks (PHB1, DMG1, MM1). According to the first 3 core rulebooks, the developers had somewhat longer encounters in their mind (though, as I said earlier, we can't know for sure). Moreover, people rarely play the way the developers want or imagined so we must include very long and very short encounters as well as encounters of normal length. Also, people may not use a lot of magic items in their campaigns, so they may not use Power Jewels or Salves of Power or whatever...

    So, if we include encounters with many minions, long encounters etc. the at-wills are more reliable overall.
    Post if you wish to ask about Ruins & Raiders. I do not answer to PMs anymore.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by ARTHAN View Post
    keep in mind that there are classes, like Ranger, out there with at-wills like Twin Strike.
    While twin strike is certainly great, it is still the case that Rangers want to use their encounter powers every encounter (if not, they need to pick better encounter powers).

    Also, encounters and dailies are one-use abilities while at-wills are permanent.
    Generally speaking, the best dailies (for any class) are stance, sustain, summon, or save-ends. So they are not one-use.

    Think about it. How many times you are out of encounter and daily powers and you rely only to your at-wills?
    At level 7 and up? Pretty much never.
    Last edited by Kurald Galain; 2020-12-07 at 05:08 AM.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Can confirm on the lack of use of at-wills in paragon especially. It happens more often if you build for off-action (minor and immediate) encounters and dailies, but my wizard, my invoker, my paladin, my barbarian, and my warlord generally won't use an at-will until round 5-6, when we're doing cleanup and the major threats have been dealt with
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by ARTHAN View Post
    Let me to politely disagree here. We can't know what the developers had in their minds -snip-
    Actually, we can know. Because they told us. Repeatedly. I haven't had any luck looking for old discussions from the developers and I suspect they may not really exist outside of web archives, but a lot of us lived through the entire 4E experience, and one of the features of this edition was transparency. In the beginning we had new articles weekly on the WotC website talking about this or that aspect of the game and why things were done the way they were done. So yeah, when we say that the designers intended combats to average 4-5 rounds, we know that because they told us so.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by tiornys View Post
    Actually, we can know. Because they told us. Repeatedly. I haven't had any luck looking for old discussions from the developers and I suspect they may not really exist outside of web archives, but a lot of us lived through the entire 4E experience, and one of the features of this edition was transparency. In the beginning we had new articles weekly on the WotC website talking about this or that aspect of the game and why things were done the way they were done. So yeah, when we say that the designers intended combats to average 4-5 rounds, we know that because they told us so.
    I believe that, if we are honest, I doubt that transparency is a feature of ANY edition of ANY dnd game ever, but let's say that's just me and my strange way to view things and let's go to the other two facts.

    @Keledrath:
    I do not know what kind of edition you guys played, but seriously speaking, using MM1-era and PHB1-era features would left you without useful encounter powers and dailies that you are willing to use in this encounter pretty much always, making at-wills a common tool (according to my experience). Paragon suffers from this as well (actually, the problem of the long encounters seem to appear here for the first time).

    @Galain:
    - Many times rangers twin strike because it is better than an aoe-style encounter they may have but that doesn't make their aoe-style encounter bad. It just makes it non-suitable for the situation.
    - Okay. Let's see... stance, sustain, summon, or save-ends are all one-use because they can be used only in one encounter because (like we said) they are all dailies. If these powers repeat their attack, they will have to repeat their trade of their X hp for their X attack or X damage (always according to my rule) so they are still one-use.
    - Once again, we have really different gameplay experiences, you and I...

    Now, let me explain once again why I think at-wills are benefitted more from my rule as simply as I can. Let's say a level 5 character has an at-will that deals 5 damage averagely, an encounter that deals 10 damage averagely and a daily that deals 20 damage averagely. The character trades 5 hp to deal 5 more damage. If the character uses the at-will she deals 100% more damage, if she uses the encounter she deals 50% more damage and if she uses the daily she deals 25% more damage. The percentage is greater at the at-wills in general, so they are greater benefitted from this rule.

    Moreover, if a character wants to use his/her at-wills more often he/she will be more effective than before, for the same reason. That's at least the way I view it.
    Post if you wish to ask about Ruins & Raiders. I do not answer to PMs anymore.

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by ARTHAN View Post
    Now, let me explain once again why I think at-wills are benefitted more from my rule as simply as I can. Let's say a level 5 character has an at-will that deals 5 damage averagely, an encounter that deals 10 damage averagely and a daily that deals 20 damage averagely.
    You're looking at this from the wrong angle. The question is not "which power benefits most", but "what should I do in my turn?"; and even with the damage boost, the encounter or daily powers are still better (15 > 10, obviously). So players should still use their at-wills only after they run out of encounter powers.

    But why would you trade X hp for X more damage, if you could instead take+25% more chance to hit? Basically, your houserule lets people autohit whenever they want (except if they roll a one). And autohitting on a daily is simply better than autohitting on an at-will. Hence, your houserule benefits dailies more than at-will powers.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by ARTHAN View Post
    using MM1-era and PHB1-era features would left you without useful encounter powers and dailies that you are willing to use in this encounter pretty much always, making at-wills a common tool (according to my experience).
    Yes, using MM1 solos will make combat last much longer than four rounds.

    The catch is that players hated that. There was so much fan outcry over the MM1 solo design that WOTC changed it.

    Since your OP question is how to make combat faster, the first thing to do is not use MM1 solos.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Heinsoo, the lead designer for 4e, had a house rule that he took into the 13th Age game he designed called the Escalation Die. It starts at 0 and increases by 1 each round. Every combatant gains a bonus on their to-hit roll equal to the number on the die. Nice speed to to combat, but has a little more bookkeeping.

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