A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    Default Question about the __ power books.

    Hello. I'm flirting with trying out 4e. As part of this, I'm investigating how the system works and what's considered essential or highly acclaimed from the vault of published content.

    In a buyer's guide, DravenSwiftbow (youtube) recommends against the power books. Stating they started to destabilize balance in the game with the range of options that maybe weren't play tested the best.

    It looks like they significantly increase options however. Fighter gets 21 additional subclass options from martial powers on top of the 4 from core. A 6x increase in options!

    The questions then. Are they really that unbalanced to avoid them? OR, are there curated lists around, from veterans, that explain which options to avoid and which can be cherry picked without issue?

    Thank you
    Last edited by TyGuy; 2021-09-05 at 12:53 PM. Reason: Autocorrect is terrible

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Dimers's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Question about the __ power books.

    If you use the errata/updates, there's very little unbalanced in all of 4e. I own all the ___Power books and my opinion is that their feats, subclasses and paragon paths are the same power level or a bit lower than the material in the PHBs.

    Paladins do get to play their stated role (defender) better with the addition of Divine Power, but certainly not to an unbalanced degree. Every choice comes with an opportunity cost -- if you're being a better defender, you're not as good at being a striker or leader.
    Avatar by Meltheim: Eveve, dwarven battlemind, 4e Dark Sun

    Current games list

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Keledrath's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    GMT -5
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Question about the __ power books.

    The X Power books are excellent, I would never play a paladin without Divine Power in play because their defending without divine sanction is literally hitting one guy with a wet noodle (with sanction you get to hit a bunch of guys with wet noodles, and it adds up)

    Quote Originally Posted by TyGuy View Post
    It looks like they significantly increase options however. Fighter gets 21 additional subclass options from martial powers on top of the 4 from core. A 6x increase in options!
    I'm...confused what this actually means. I usually work off of the compendium, not the books, so I'm a bit less clear on what came from what books, but Fighter has 6 total subclasses (Arena, Battlerager, Brawler, One-Handed Weapon Talent, Tempest, and Two-Handed Weapon Talent). I feel like I remember Arena being from Dark Sun, and I'm pretty sure the Weapon Talents were in PHB. Unless you meant Paragon Paths perhaps?
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

    Shadeblight by KennyPyro

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

    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    Default Re: Question about the __ power books.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    If you use the errata/updates, there's very little unbalanced in all of 4e. I own all the ___Power books and my opinion is that their feats, subclasses and paragon paths are the same power level or a bit lower than the material in the PHBs.

    Paladins do get to play their stated role (defender) better with the addition of Divine Power, but certainly not to an unbalanced degree. Every choice comes with an opportunity cost -- if you're being a better defender, you're not as good at being a striker or leader.
    Thank you for the clarification, I'll keep that in mind!

    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    I'm...confused what this actually means. I usually work off of the compendium, not the books, so I'm a bit less clear on what came from what books, but Fighter has 6 total subclasses (Arena, Battlerager, Brawler, One-Handed Weapon Talent, Tempest, and Two-Handed Weapon Talent). I feel like I remember Arena being from Dark Sun, and I'm pretty sure the Weapon Talents were in PHB. Unless you meant Paragon Paths perhaps?
    Could be incorrect, but I was looking at these notes:
    Iron Vanguard
    Kensei
    Pit Fighter
    Swordmaster
    MP
    Avenging Slayer
    Avernian Knight
    Dreadnought
    Dread Reaper
    Dwarven Defender
    Giantslayer
    Glorious Myrmidon
    Halfling Bounder
    Inner Dragon
    Ironstar Mauler
    Knight Protector
    Kulkor Arms Master
    Polearm Master
    Rakehell Duelist
    Rampaging Brute
    Ravager
    Shield Adept
    Shock Trooper
    Steel Vanguard Master
    Tiefling Warfiend
    Warhound of Bane

    Still figuring out the basics so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2016

    Default Re: Question about the __ power books.

    Quote Originally Posted by TyGuy View Post
    Could be incorrect, but I was looking at these notes:
    Iron Vanguard
    Kensei
    Pit Fighter
    Swordmaster
    MP
    Avenging Slayer
    Avernian Knight
    Dreadnought
    Dread Reaper
    Dwarven Defender
    Giantslayer
    Glorious Myrmidon
    Halfling Bounder
    Inner Dragon
    Ironstar Mauler
    Knight Protector
    Kulkor Arms Master
    Polearm Master
    Rakehell Duelist
    Rampaging Brute
    Ravager
    Shield Adept
    Shock Trooper
    Steel Vanguard Master
    Tiefling Warfiend
    Warhound of Bane

    Still figuring out the basics so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    Those are Paragon Paths, 4e's equivalent to 3e's Prestige Classes. You can't even take them until 11th level, so if you are just starting you have a while to figure them out.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Keledrath's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    GMT -5
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Question about the __ power books.

    Yeah, paragon paths are very different from subclasses. They can be available based on any number of things: class, race, deity, power source (arcane/divine/martial/primal/psionic), a few of the later ones just require training in certain skills. As noted, however, they don't actually matter until the second third of the game.
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

    Shadeblight by KennyPyro

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    Default Re: Question about the __ power books.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    Yeah, paragon paths are very different from subclasses. They can be available based on any number of things: class, race, deity, power source (arcane/divine/martial/primal/psionic), a few of the later ones just require training in certain skills. As noted, however, they don't actually matter until the second third of the game.
    Ooh, OK. I was thinking they were specializations akin to a subclass one chooses at later levels, but they're more of an icing-on-top aspect. Thanks for the clarification.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Question about the __ power books.

    My read on the game is that as long as you follow errata, stuff is fairly well balanced. The exceptions/problematic stuff is actually from the campaign-setting specific books?

    - Eberron Player's Guide: Introduced the "Mark" Feats. Mark of Warding, Mark of Healing, and Mark of Storm in particular are so insanely powerful for Defenders, Leaders, and Controllers (or Controllerish Defenders and Strikers) respectively as to sort of centralize gameplay if available (for instance the 4E game I'm hoping to join soon has three characters with Mark of Storm).

    - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide contains the Morninglord, which is so incredibly centralizing as to render a lot of other Striker and Leader options moot. It singlehandedly enables the "Radiant Mafia" and necessitates banning the paragon path or introducing a houserule that Vulnerability can only trigger once/turn or once/attack.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Keledrath's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    GMT -5
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Question about the __ power books.

    I will note that, in my opinion, Mark of Healing is taken because it is something that leaders should have had access to the entire time, and Mark of Storm is popular because it enables a wide variety of builds that just weren't possible before, as well as allowing everyone to play a little bit of chess with the battlefield (which is why I love it, forced movement is the most fun part of 4e for me).

    Morninglord is highly problematic, but honestly not even for the reason most people focus on. The Radiant Mafia that is so infamous comes at level 16 and is very late and, while it is strong, the really wild part of Morninglord is that its encounter attack power, Pure Glow, which comes at level 11, is hands down one of the strongest powers in 4e.

    However, as strong as it is, there are still plenty of reasons to take other paragon paths, so I would hardly say that it mandates being banned.
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

    Shadeblight by KennyPyro

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kurald Galain's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Question about the __ power books.

    In my experience, the Foo Power books are pretty good at filling in "gaps" in the PHB. For example, certain class levels have only one good option (or none!) in the PHB1, and the Power book fixes that. And certain builds just don't exist (like a summoner wizard, or a TWF fighter) or aren't viable (like the paladin!) in the PHB1, and the Power book fixes that too.

    I would sooner avoid the PHB3, HOFL, and HOFK books (which have some questionably designed classes) than the Power line. That said, fewer books do make the game easier to get into.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

    "I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums. I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that." -- ChubbyRain
    Crystal Shard Studios - Freeware games designed by Kurald and others!

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    Default Re: Question about the __ power books.

    Paladin is a good example- it’s written so that Str and Cha are almost different classes, and PHB1 doesn’t even have a daily for each stat at the appropriate level. Also, Divine Challenge is insufficient as a mark, so they added a whole extra mechanism. Playing a Paladin without DP is playing a totally different and inferior class.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Question about the __ power books.

    I cant recall anything particularly broken in the Power books but I do know they introduced my favourite 4e classes - Invoker, Warlord, Warden and Battlemind.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Borris's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Montreal QC, Canada
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Question about the __ power books.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corvus View Post
    I cant recall anything particularly broken in the Power books but I do know they introduced my favourite 4e classes - Invoker, Warlord, Warden and Battlemind.
    Warlord is from the original Player's Handbook. Invoker and Warden are from PHB2, and Battlemind is from PHB3.

    These classes, like most others, greatly benefit from the additional content in the Power books. Martial, Divine, Primal, and Psionic, respectively.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Question about the __ power books.

    My mistake - been a long time since I looked at the books. They introduced new builds for the classes.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Default Re: Question about the __ power books.

    I wouldn’t worry about the Power books, for the most part. The quality is generally on par with the PHBs, so you will certainly find a few really good powers and feats and a few really bad ones, but there isn’t a huge power creep effect. In particular, it’s really rare that anything in those books is of use to someone outside the classes on the label. Nobody is going to cheese anything from Divine Power if they aren’t at least multiclassing into a divine class.

    The Essentials books: Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms/Fallen Lands are trickier to mix, in part because of how the classes are structured and generally the feats are stronger and broadly applicable.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •