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    Default 4.0 Cinematic Critical Hits and Hit Points

    So 4.0 uses action points for cinematic moments and really powerful ploys.

    But critical hits have lost their flavor.

    To avoid complication of the system but reincorporate special criticals, I've added this variant rule and need opinions on it:

    CRITICAL HITS
    Upon a critical hit (roll of 20 only) against a bloodied foe the character may spend an action point to cause an additional effect.
    Amputate: A part of the creature is amputated. This disables one of their at-will exploits or movement speeds until the creature regains their full hit points.
    Automaneuver: Creature is automatically grabbed, tripped, pushed/pulled, disarmed, or has one of their items sundered.
    Knock-out: Attack ability modifier vs. Fortitude, Success: Creature is knocked unconscious for the remainder of the encounter, Failure: Nothing.This only affects living creatures.
    Longterm: Damage and effects caused by your attack become permanent until the creature is magically healed of them.
    Vorpal: +1[w] damage (automaxed).


    Also, on a side note I noticed that healing is incredbily easy in 4.0. I mean, any one could battle to the brink of death but by tomorrow Critical Condition Carl will be back up and at 'em as if nothing had happened the day before.

    Does this hit point system not...somewhat disturb people? 3.5 had unrealistically high hit points but they weren't easily healed unless you had magic. Everybody and their mother gets at least three healing surges per day in 4.0.

    Any ideas as to how this can be...fixed?
    Last edited by arkanis; 2008-12-05 at 12:11 AM.
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    Default Re: 4.0 Cinematic Critical Hits and Hit Points

    Knock-out is... very powerful. Since you can keep (as long as you have action points) chaining together critical knockouts at the end of each "encounter" against a solo enemy. Alternately, your entire party chains together a bunch of critical knockouts.

    For example, assume a party of five adventurers: Paladin, Warlord, Two-Weapon Ranger, Rogue, Wizard.
    Elven Paladin of Tempus uses Righteous Rage of Tempus to critical Generic Solo Dragon #12. If he misses, Elven reroll with all the trimmings. He then spends an action point to knock-our Generic Solo Dragon #12.
    Brutal Rogue auto-crits the unconscious dragon, renewing its unconsciousness through the Rogue knock-out on critical feat.
    Two-Weapon Ranger auto-crits a full Blade Cascade on Generic Solo Dragon #12, spending an action point to put it back to sleep.
    Burly Warlord walks up and whacks it over the head with his Lullaby Mace. It takes crit damage then goes back to sleep.
    If Generic Solo Dragon #12 isn't dead at this point, it soon will be.
    Wizard walks up and Auto-crits Disintegrate, spending an action point to put the dragon back to sleep.
    Mr. Rogue Walks up and crits it back to sleep, this time with an action point.
    Mr. Warlord crangs it on the head with a Daily power.

    If anything, including Orcus, could survive this, I would be very, very surprised.
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    Default Re: 4.0 Cinematic Critical Hits and Hit Points

    Honestly, I would not call these effects "cinematic" as much as "realistic". Chop someone with a greatsword in real life and you'll see what I mean (or rather, don't).

    Running around with 30 hit points at "first level", that's cinematic.

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    Default Re: 4.0 Cinematic Critical Hits and Hit Points

    I would be too. But you'd have to be ridiculously lucky to have all of that fall on your lap that perfectly. These effects only work when the target is bloodied and only when you roll a 20 and you have to sacrifice an action point each time you do it.

    30 HP at level 1? Unheard of in 3.5 but common in 4.0. I made a level 1 dragonborn that started with 32 HP but he only did 1d10 + 5 with his sword. A critical hit upon himself twice in a row wouldn't even knock him out let alone kill him. What's up with that?
    Last edited by arkanis; 2008-12-05 at 12:14 AM.
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    Default Re: 4.0 Cinematic Critical Hits and Hit Points

    Quote Originally Posted by The Minx View Post
    Running around with 30 hit points at "first level", that's cinematic.
    I wasn't aware that being made of something sturdier than the paper they use to make brown paper bags with was cinematic.

    Being reliably one shotted or brought down to dangerous levels of HP from a mook orc swinging it's sword is in no way fun, or realistic. Unless you had the real life equivalent of a -2 Con mod.

    That aside, the cinematic critical hits are all rather...overpowered or underpowered. Vorpal is weak, Longterm is nigh useless, Knockout has a chance to be hilariously deadly for the enemy to a silly degree, Automaneuver and Amputate are generally unimpressive.

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    Default Re: 4.0 Cinematic Critical Hits and Hit Points

    Quote Originally Posted by KKL View Post
    I wasn't aware that being made of something sturdier than the paper they use to make brown paper bags with was cinematic.

    Being reliably one shotted or brought down to dangerous levels of HP from a mook orc swinging it's sword is in no way fun, or realistic. Unless you had the real life equivalent of a -2 Con mod.

    That aside, the cinematic critical hits are all rather...overpowered or underpowered. Vorpal is weak, Longterm is nigh useless, Knockout has a chance to be hilariously deadly for the enemy to a silly degree, Automaneuver and Amputate are generally unimpressive.
    Who said anything about "fun"? The question was whether it was realstic. And yes, potentially being in very serious trouble after being chopped once with a sword is realistic. People get maimed and killed in the real world from that sort of thing.

    As for whether you would want to play a game like that, that's a matter of taste.

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    Default Re: 4.0 Cinematic Critical Hits and Hit Points

    Quote Originally Posted by arkanis View Post
    Does this hit point system not...somewhat disturb people? 3.5 had unrealistically high hit points but they weren't easily healed unless you had magic. Everybody and their mother gets at least three healing surges per day in 4.0.

    Any ideas as to how this can be...fixed?
    Oh, for the love of Gods, please don't tell me another bewildered simulationist is trying to insert 'realism' into 4e. News flash: HP, great or small, are a moronic way to model real-world injury in the fist place, and there's a reason why save-or-die effects have been cut.

    4e has included comprehensive guides on how to homebrew for excellent reasons- so that you can avoid screwing up game balance in the process, because balance is 4e's single greatest strength. You can't interfere with one part of the game's mechanics without knock-on effects trickling outward in ways that you can't anticipate. Don't do this to yourself.
    Last edited by Samurai Jill; 2008-12-05 at 03:11 PM.
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    Default Re: 4.0 Cinematic Critical Hits and Hit Points

    As a thought, it might perhaps be better to say that a Critical Hit lays a "Critical Point" on the enemy. Upon causing a Critical, you could spend an Action Point to spend all the Critical Points on said target to create an effect, the power of which is determined by the number of Critical Points on the target at the time.

    That should keep the most powerful critical effects from being useable regularly, and should allow you to make them more dramatic, as they'll be most possible towards the end of the fight.
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    Default Re: 4.0 Cinematic Critical Hits and Hit Points

    Quote Originally Posted by The Minx View Post
    Who said anything about "fun"? The question was whether it was realstic. And yes, potentially being in very serious trouble after being chopped once with a sword is realistic. People get maimed and killed in the real world from that sort of thing.

    As for whether you would want to play a game like that, that's a matter of taste.
    You want Realistic? Play GURPS. D&D does not do realistic to any real degree. It makes attempts to, but ultimately falls flat.

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    Default Re: 4.0 Cinematic Critical Hits and Hit Points

    Quote Originally Posted by KKL View Post
    You want Realistic? Play GURPS. D&D does not do realistic to any real degree. It makes attempts to, but ultimately falls flat.
    I play GURPS as well as D&D. My post was in response to the OP's statement that the damage effects he described were "cinematic". I countered that, as described, it would be more accurate to describe them as realistic. It was not an expression of preference either way.

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    Default Re: 4.0 Cinematic Critical Hits and Hit Points

    Samurai Jill, don't be an ass. This is a homebrew area. This is what it's for.

    A game can be as fantastic or real as we want it to be. This was just a question of recovery.

    People HEAL too easily in 4.0 so you don't get the whole recovery roleplay scene or even the genuine concern for one's own health beyond merely "survive". I like the roleplay that comes from that. The question I presented was "Does anyone have any thoughts on this?"

    Besides, this critical hit thing was just to add some more effects from a critical hit rather than just HP loss the idea of some lasting effects seems somewhat fun. Just offer suggestions or alternatives. That's what homebrew threads are for.

    GURPS huh? Are there different versions of it that I should avoid? I've heard of it but can't find anything in stores and don't want to accidently buy an old outdated source book.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 4.0 Cinematic Critical Hits and Hit Points

    Quote Originally Posted by arkanis View Post
    GURPS huh? Are there different versions of it that I should avoid? I've heard of it but can't find anything in stores and don't want to accidently buy an old outdated source book.
    The current version is 4th Edition. It is more realistic than D&D and can cover any genre, though somewhat dry by comparison (you have to add the flavor yourself or use sourcebooks).

    There are ways to break it, such as pimping your HT (health) so as to be able to take huge damage as well as the infamous knife-through-eyeslits gimmick. As long as you are aware of these and prevent them during character build you'll be OK.

    EDIT: the GURPS lite version can be downloaded. This is essentially a quickstart version of the core rules.
    Last edited by The Minx; 2008-12-05 at 07:25 PM.

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    Default Re: 4.0 Cinematic Critical Hits and Hit Points

    Quote Originally Posted by arkanis View Post
    Samurai Jill, don't be an ass. This is a homebrew area. This is what it's for.
    Yeah. Getting critical feedback.
    People HEAL too easily in 4.0 so you don't get the whole recovery roleplay scene or even the genuine concern for one's own health beyond merely "survive". I like the roleplay that comes from that.
    Then you are playing the wrong game. 4e comes with a distinction between 'daily' and 'encounter' powers for a reason- they are balanced based on the assumption that you will be going through multiple encounters per day.

    You may well find that GURPS is much more to your taste, as Minx suggests.

    EDIT: Look, I'm sorry if I came off as heavy-handed, but real damage can result from houserules that give players 'mixed messages' about your priorities in play. In 4e, realist-simulation doesn't even crack the top 10, and a powergamer who latches onto simulationist patch rules is going to tear game balance a new one in short order.
    Last edited by Samurai Jill; 2008-12-05 at 10:14 PM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 4.0 Cinematic Critical Hits and Hit Points

    Samurai Jill, while making 4E realistic might be an exercise in futility when you are dealing with powerplayers (such as you might find in a gaming club), if arkanis was planning this for a more select group things would be very different. With some development it might be interesting to see to what extent this can be made to work.

    arkanis, the problem is that balance probably would have to be sacrificed without some significant re-writes of the capabilities of classes other than the Cleric, since he becomes so important again. Unless you want to eliminate or nerf magical healing too to the same extent that Second Wind and Healing Surges are eliminated or nerfed.

    If you want to make combat more deadly without risking abuses then a simpler method would be to reduce everyone's hit points, including monsters, while damage projection would be constant. Result: quicker combat and you can afford fewer mistakes. Even here potential abuses might crop up and would need to be nipped in the bud.

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