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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Reworking bonuses...

    It is true that DnD 4th edition is probably the most balanced edition. However, according to my experience, it still suffers from min-maxing and feat taxing. While the result is not as broken as other editions it is still annoying for many players who wish to choose Linguist instead of another plus-something feat and be as capable as the rest of the team in stressful situations like combat encounters. So, the solution I suggest is easy to understand, easy to use and quite effective (though you may sacrifice some of the game's balance in order to do so).
    So, here we go:

    - Every bonus granted by a Feat is always considered a feat bonus. Feats cannot grant untyped bonuses or bonuses other than feat bonuses.
    - Every bonus granted by a Power is always considered a power bonus. Powers cannot grant untyped bonuses or bonuses other than power bonuses.
    - Every bonus granted by a Race is always considered a racial bonus. Races cannot grant untyped bonuses or bonuses other than racial bonuses.
    - Every bonus granted by an Item is always considered an item bonus (Armor, Shield, Proficiency and Enhancement bonuses are excluded). Items cannot grant untyped bonuses or bonuses other than item bonuses (Armor, Shield, Proficiency and Enhancement bonuses are excluded).

    In general, the above rules prevent the builds that are based to the abuse of the untyped bonuses. However, many feats may become weak or even completely useless if turned from untyped bonus to a feat bonus (the same may be true to powers as well as items), so you may need to either be careful not to choose something really weak (player advice) or do some reworking, especially to the feats, in order to reduce the unfairness (DM advice).
    Post if you wish to ask about Ruins & Raiders. I do not answer to PMs anymore.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Jul 2013

    Default Re: Reworking bonuses...

    A couple of issues-

    1) While there are people who optimize, it's actually pretty rare for them to be doing so at a rate that's table breaking (and it's usually easy to spot).

    2) The bigger issue is the requirement for optimization- that is, the devs assumed a certain level of accuracy and damage and defenses in monster design. It does no good to limit optimizers when the thing that's causing long or annoying combat is the people who are under the curve.

    3) Many people build using the character builder, and doing so means that directly modifying feats/items/etc is frustrating or annoying.

    The easiest way to deal with this problem is:

    *Either make sure to hand out appropriate items or use Inherent Bonuses
    *Grant everyone Improved Defenses and Versatile Expertise (you can do this at level 5 or 7 or 11 instead of 1 if you prefer)
    *Grant everyone +1 to damage every 2 levels and eliminate feat and item bonuses to damage and all Dragonshards

    Rather than limiting players, you've just opened up the options to them that don't involve optimization- you've freed up 3 or so feats and whatever slot they would've used for item bonuses, usually arms. You've also just reduced the advantages of elemental damage, so players might choose more varied enchantments. Everyone will hit or be close to the damage/accuracy benchmarks the devs designed for, so combats won't be ridiculously drawn out, and they can generally choose "weak" options without dragging out combats.
    Last edited by masteraleph; 2020-10-23 at 09:44 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Reworking bonuses...

    Quote Originally Posted by masteraleph View Post
    A couple of issues-

    1) While there are people who optimize, it's actually pretty rare for them to be doing so at a rate that's table breaking (and it's usually easy to spot).

    2) The bigger issue is the requirement for optimization- that is, the devs assumed a certain level of accuracy and damage and defenses in monster design. It does no good to limit optimizers when the thing that's causing long or annoying combat is the people who are under the curve.

    3) Many people build using the character builder, and doing so means that directly modifying feats/items/etc is frustrating or annoying.

    The easiest way to deal with this problem is:

    *Either make sure to hand out appropriate items or use Inherent Bonuses
    *Grant everyone Improved Defenses and Versatile Expertise (you can do this at level 5 or 7 or 11 instead of 1 if you prefer)
    *Grant everyone +1 to damage every 2 levels and eliminate feat and item bonuses to damage and all Dragonshards

    Rather than limiting players, you've just opened up the options to them that don't involve optimization- you've freed up 3 or so feats and whatever slot they would've used for item bonuses, usually arms. You've also just reduced the advantages of elemental damage, so players might choose more varied enchantments. Everyone will hit or be close to the damage/accuracy benchmarks the devs designed for, so combats won't be ridiculously drawn out, and they can generally choose "weak" options without dragging out combats.
    1) Indeed, that is why I mentioned that 4th is the most balanced D&D edition. However, when a min-maxing abuse happens it is quite annoying, so here we go...

    2) Another thread of mine gives a suggestion to make combat faster by trading hp for attack bonuses and damage bonuses. Another option to speed up combat is the fair use of minions. In general, I don't think that the people who don't optimize are the reason the combat system "lags". A reason is the fact that non-optimizers have the right to play dnd as well as optimizers and to have about the same amount of fun. The other reason is that balance exists imho mostly in order to help the non-optimizers and not the optimizers.

    3) Indeed. However, using the character builder by both optimizers and non-optimizers helps to close the gap between them because it makes optimization really much easier for the non-optimizers. But I am here to help mostly people who do not have access to character builder or who prefer more traditional ways to build their character, like me.

    About your suggestion, it is good and I will not deny that, but I prefer mine because when you free Feat slots, without limiting the power of the Feats themselves, the extra free Feat slots are going to be used for more optimization, more min-maxing, more power building and not for e.g. Linguist. As for the items, I also prefer the Inherent bonuses, that you mentioned, of the DM's Guide 2 (iirc). The only thing I find a little bit strange in your advice is the elimination of feat and item bonuses to damage. Wouldn't that drag out the combat even longer?
    Still, I really thanks both for your reply and your advice. :)
    Post if you wish to ask about Ruins & Raiders. I do not answer to PMs anymore.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Jul 2013

    Default Re: Reworking bonuses...

    Quote Originally Posted by ARTHAN View Post
    The only thing I find a little bit strange in your advice is the elimination of feat and item bonuses to damage. Wouldn't that drag out the combat even longer?
    Still, I really thanks both for your reply and your advice. :)
    No, because you’re giving +1 damage per 2 levels. Heroic dragonshard + iron armbands of power + weapon/implement focus is +4 (5 if you’re using silvery glow instead). Paragon dragonshard + IAoP + elemental damage feat (Fiery Blood, etc) is +10. Epic shard + IAoP + elemental damage feat is +15. So you’re basically providing them with those optimized choices for free. Suddenly a controller who hits 2 enemies at level 30 is doing 15+ 6 enhancement + say 8 or 9 ability score + 2d6 or something for the power is doing 1/4 of a standard monster’s hp per turn, or a defender is likely doing 40 on a hit and then damage if their mark is violated, etc. Basically, it means a good chance of finishing combats in 4 rounds or so, which keeps combats from being dragged out.

    And it reduces the advantage of always focusing on one type of elemental damage, so there’s less pressure to always take a damage conversion weapon for optimization.
    Last edited by masteraleph; 2020-10-23 at 01:43 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Reworking bonuses...

    Quote Originally Posted by masteraleph View Post
    No, because youÂ’re giving +1 damage per 2 levels. Heroic dragonshard + iron armbands of power + weapon/implement focus is +4 (5 if youÂ’re using silvery glow instead). Paragon dragonshard + IAoP + elemental damage feat (Fiery Blood, etc) is +10. Epic shard + IAoP + elemental damage feat is +15. So youÂ’re basically providing them with those optimized choices for free. Suddenly a controller who hits 2 enemies at level 30 is doing 15+ 6 enhancement + say 8 or 9 ability score + 2d6 or something for the power is doing 1/4 of a standard monsterÂ’s hp per turn, or a defender is likely doing 40 on a hit and then damage if their mark is violated, etc. Basically, it means a good chance of finishing combats in 4 rounds or so, which keeps combats from being dragged out.

    And it reduces the advantage of always focusing on one type of elemental damage, so thereÂ’s less pressure to always take a damage conversion weapon for optimization.
    Now I see what you mean. In general I don't disagree. I actually have unintentionally used the +1 damage per 2 levels rule back when I thought that the 1/2 level bonus to attack rolls applied to damage rolls as well.

    But what about the monsters? They seem to deal low damage and not to be a real threat, especially if you consider that most people do not play a lot of combat encounters between extended rests. Because of this, I suggest my rule of trading hp for attack or damage (it appears in the other topic where you have replied) in combination with this rule of making all bonuses of the same sources the same (all bonuses from Feats to be feat bonuses etc.). That way, we will manage two things:

    1st: Monsters will be able to use their higher amount of hp to become more of a threat by trading their hp for attack and/or damage.
    2nd: Players will not be some kind of killing machines that slaughter anything in their path but they will have to cleverly trade their hp for attack and/or damage in order to win and to use their abilities and allies to their advantage in order to withstand a swarm of monsters.

    I think we can both imagine that nerfing the players a little bit by removing some of the min-maxing and adding a hp-attack/damage trading rule to both the players and the monsters can result in a more balanced power level between the PCs and the monsters. After all, another issue I have found in the game is that, at least in the earlier monster manuals, is that the monsters are weak in general.

    NOTE: The fact I find some issues here and there in the game does not mean I think the 4th edition is bad, quite the opposite, 4th is my favorite edition and I find that the other editions of the game have many more issues to deal with. I also find the fun factor of the 4th edition to be a huge plus.
    Post if you wish to ask about Ruins & Raiders. I do not answer to PMs anymore.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Reworking bonuses...

    Monsters using MM3 damage expressions (I.e. anything printed after Dark Sun came out) should deal decent enough damage, unless you’re playing with a party of rebreathers or something. Certainly that should be true at Heroic or early Paragon; Epic tier is just highly dependent on optimization level, but the big tricks there require more tailoring to individual parties.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Reworking bonuses...

    Quote Originally Posted by masteraleph View Post
    2) The bigger issue is the requirement for optimization- that is, the devs assumed a certain level of accuracy and damage and defenses in monster design. It does no good to limit optimizers when the thing that's causing long or annoying combat is the people who are under the curve.

    3) Many people build using the character builder, and doing so means that directly modifying feats/items/etc is frustrating or annoying.
    These.
    Very These. 4th ed fights tend to go long enough anyway, reducing optimisation will make this worse* unless you're giving the party more easy fights than is usual.
    And it's not long before having the character generator do the math and describe the powers for you makes life a lot easier.
    Maybe instead of changing feats which give untyped bonuses in a way which makes them not work, ban them instead? Then your character generator will still work.


    If you want to go ahead with your plan to try and level out the builds and reduce the performance gap between optimised and unoptimised characters by reducing optimisation, I suggest you also dial back monster AC/HP.





    * Assuming you consider that to be a problem. If you like going at one (maybe 2) fight per session, you do you - there's no wrong way to play as long as it's fun for all at the table
    I love playing in a party with a couple of power-gamers, it frees me up to be Elan!


  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Reworking bonuses...

    @Duff:
    While it is true that many people use Character Builder, that is/was not the case with my group as well as many groups I try to get back to 4th (or to persuade to try the edition if they haven't before). Most people that I try to help do NOT use Character Builder, they build their character offline from scratch, they only have the first three core rulebooks of their edition and every edition, etc. These people select every feat and item by searching them in their books instead of using the Character Builder and, because of this, my fix is very easy to be used for them.
    As for the AC/HP issue, I suggest you to look to my other thread that talks about trading X hp for X attack or X damage.
    Post if you wish to ask about Ruins & Raiders. I do not answer to PMs anymore.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Reworking bonuses...

    Quote Originally Posted by ARTHAN View Post
    @Duff:
    While it is true that many people use Character Builder, that is/was not the case with my group as well as many groups I try to get back to 4th (or to persuade to try the edition if they haven't before). Most people that I try to help do NOT use Character Builder, they build their character offline from scratch, they only have the first three core rulebooks of their edition and every edition, etc. These people select every feat and item by searching them in their books instead of using the Character Builder and, because of this, my fix is very easy to be used for them.
    As for the AC/HP issue, I suggest you to look to my other thread that talks about trading X hp for X attack or X damage.

    Fair enough - The swap hp for damage would be interesting to see done. In the group I was in it might make battles shorter. OTOH, some of us weren't great at decision making and might have to spend more time deciding how much hp to spend.
    It'd certainly make for an interesting puzzle - presumably your defenders would almost always spend a lot of HP because they have so many and healing therefor gives them more.
    OTOH, when your AOE types go off, they can hit multiple foes with their spend of limited HP, so maybe they get tempted too
    I love playing in a party with a couple of power-gamers, it frees me up to be Elan!


  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Reworking bonuses...

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    Fair enough - The swap hp for damage would be interesting to see done. In the group I was in it might make battles shorter. OTOH, some of us weren't great at decision making and might have to spend more time deciding how much hp to spend.
    It'd certainly make for an interesting puzzle - presumably your defenders would almost always spend a lot of HP because they have so many and healing therefor gives them more.
    OTOH, when your AOE types go off, they can hit multiple foes with their spend of limited HP, so maybe they get tempted too
    Imho, if you are not great at decision making you just have to spend as much hp as you can each round (e.g. a lvl 5 character spends 5 hp each round for 5 extra damage or 5 extra attack). That way you have the highest possible effectiveness (for a hp cost of course) and make the combat the fastest possible. Of course, some cases, like attacks of opportunity, can be excluded.

    About hitting multiple foes, my rule allows to trade hp for damaging only a single foe each time. For example, if you wish to deal 2 extra damage to 4 out of 5 different foes you have managed to hit, you have to spend 8 hp.
    Post if you wish to ask about Ruins & Raiders. I do not answer to PMs anymore.

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