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Vortling
2008-06-27, 03:42 PM
"We see your encounter DM, and we nuke it from orbit. Cuz we're the FEDS!"

So I was paging through the PHB and came across the Cloud Chariot. By itself it's pretty nice. A flying chariot that holds 4 + 1 rider on the horse that pulls it and it sticks around most of the day. Basically it's overland flight for the group. However it has some startling combat application if you build your group right.

Enter the Flying Elven Death Squad

3 Elven Archery style Rangers + 2 Elven Laser Clerics. Every single one has longbow proficiency giving them 20/40 range. Every single one of them can have a good perception bonuses since both Ranger and Cleric need Wis. This means they can see the encounter coming and won't be surprised. The chariot grants cover and can't be attacked. All these fellows can have excellent Stealth bonuses to hide inside the chariot and prevent enemies from targeting them. One person does have to sit out in the open but focus the two clerics on healing and buffing and they should be plenty safe from being killed.

Result: Death rains from above where enemies can't fire back.

Make your battle cry "Look out, it's the FEDS!", stick a red flickering Holy Lantern on there, dress all your fat elven donut-eating characters in blue you're good to go!

The group also works well in the levels leading up to 22 for the same reasons they work well with the chariot.

Flickerdart
2008-06-27, 03:45 PM
That's incredibly awesome. Can someone optimize this?

Edea
2008-06-27, 03:51 PM
Hee hee, Vort and I were devising group tactics in IRC, and somehow this came up X3.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-06-27, 07:21 PM
I'd say go with one cleric (I'll call him Eldarad Ness :smalltongue:) since Lazor Clerics don't really have the range of longbow archers, so he'd just be up there for the occasional bluff (and to run the chariot).

Of course, if you have a squad of Epic characters flying over you, I think not being able to melee them might be the least of your problems. :smallwink:

Plus: what about flying mounts? Manticore Riders are nasty and wings of Gith on Red Dragons are no fun (and downright silly!)

kirbsys
2008-06-27, 10:09 PM
Meh, by that level there'll be flying opponents too. If your DM actually lets you get away with that with out you getting fried, there's something wrong.

Vortling
2008-06-27, 10:41 PM
Meh, by that level there'll be flying opponents too. If your DM actually lets you get away with that with out you getting fried, there's something wrong.

Yes, but how many of them are effective at range 40? Overall this group set up needs work but I think it's a solid start.

dwagiebard
2008-06-27, 10:47 PM
That might work the first time you pull that trick. The problem is that it only works aboveground when you have as much room as you want. If the adventure takes place underground, I can't see a flying chariot being much help. Even it it's in a dense enough forest, it'll be hard to attack from the air. Actually, the only place that would work is in open plains or desert, otherwise there's always cover, at least if the DM decrees it.

And, as has been mentioned, there are lots of ways that the DM could react to this. Flying creatures are just the most obvious. You should also consider that if the chariot gets hit, you're all (minus number of feather falling casters) taking a lot of falling damage.

Arbitrarity
2008-06-27, 10:49 PM
You should also consider that if the chariot gets hit, you're all taking a lot of falling damage.


The chariot grants cover and can't be attacked.
I love how I don't need to actually say anything, merely quote the appropriate passage.

dwagiebard
2008-06-27, 10:49 PM
o_0 Really? You can't attack a big, flying chariot? I admit I haven't read the rules, but this seems exceptionally weird.

This still only works if you have line-of-sight and 400 feet of room. Other than that, it'll work until next time the DM starts planning.

Arbitrarity
2008-06-27, 10:51 PM
It is made of clouds, thereby hard to destroy? I dunno, I just read what people write, and quote appropriate passages :smallbiggrin:

Heck, it may or may not be true. I can try look it up.

dwagiebard
2008-06-27, 10:54 PM
I suppose we'll have to wait until we can look it up.

I would think either

It's solid, and therefore can be hit
It's NOT solid, and therefore doesn't grant cover

But I suppose I might be missing something. Maybe it's not solid, but hard to see through?

Arbitrarity
2008-06-27, 10:57 PM
I don't even know what sort of cover it grants. It could be a force effect, like Forcecage. And we all know that those can't be broken. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0373.html)

Chronicled
2008-06-27, 10:57 PM
Make your battle cry "Look out, it's the FEDS!", stick a red flickering Holy Lantern on there, dress all your fat elven donut-eating characters in blue you're good to go!

I disagree. Your battle cry should be the theme song from COPS (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii6oDg_KYY8&feature=related). (I couldn't find the actual COPS intro after a few minutes, so you'll have to make due with just the song.)

Oracle_Hunter
2008-06-27, 11:01 PM
Effect: You conjure a chariot of cloudstuff that occupies a 2-by-2 space within range, and a winged horse of cloudstuff that occupies a 2-by-2 space adjacent to the chariot. The horse and chariot have a speed of fly 8. The chariot can carry up to four Small or Medium creatures, and the horse can hold one Small or Medium rider. The chariot grants cover to its occupants. The chariot and the horse canít attack or be separated, and they canít be attacked or damaged. They remain until you take an extended rest unless you dismiss them (a free action).

There're the rules. Work the fluff however you like.

That said, it's a good idea if you're dealing with aerial foes though you'll want to avoid ticking off gods (Angels of Vengeance [MM 17] can mark within line of sight and teleport to their marked target as a move action), the Gith (they'd probably be riding Young Adult Red Dragons), or Storm Titans.

It's nice, though, that this same situation isn't the result of a single wizard with Overland Flight anymore :smallbiggrin:

JaxGaret
2008-06-29, 03:42 PM
Dispel Magic pops the CC, because it's a Conjuration.

I don't see any rules for how to control the horse/chariot - I would rule that the cloudhorse acts as a Mount, so someone has to ride the cloudhorse to direct the whole thing. It doesn't actually explicitly state that the horse and chariot are under your control at all, only that it has Fly 8. Sounds like it needs errata.

Also, the character who conjured the CC has to remain within two squares of it at all times, or it goes away.

One more thing: this really leaves the party at mercy of things that fly and have Blast attacks. What flies and has Blast attacks? :smallsmile: I think you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup...

Edea
2008-06-29, 05:22 PM
Dispel Magic pops the CC, because it's a Conjuration.

Not a single monster in the MM has Dispel Magic. Not a one. You'll have to make a custom monster specifically to pop it (which, of course, indicates that there's a problem, here). Worse, Dispel Magic requires an attack roll and has an Attack entry; thus, it is an attack, and since the Cloud Chariot cannot be attacked, I'm pretty sure it's immune to Dispel Magic anyway.



I don't see any rules for how to control the horse/chariot - I would rule that the cloudhorse acts as a Mount, so someone has to ride the cloudhorse to direct the whole thing. It doesn't actually explicitly state that the horse and chariot are under your control at all, only that it has Fly 8. Sounds like it needs errata.


One of the characters takes the Mounted Combat feat. Done. Actually, they should ALL probably have it eariler anyway, so they can start riding around on more mundane flying mounts before Level 22. It's not like you have to make a Ride check anymore to stay on your mount, and it uses your Stealth checks to hide, not its own.



Also, the character who conjured the CC has to remain within two squares of it at all times, or it goes away.


Why would you ever want to leave it? Everlasting Provisions and a Handy Havesack. That's why these elves are so obese, they never get out of the freakin' car!



One more thing: this really leaves the party at mercy of things that fly and have Blast attacks. What flies and has Blast attacks? :smallsmile: I think you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup...

We already talked about the use of Stealth while riding it, because the chariot grants cover. Even dragons have -TERRIBLE- Perception for their level versus Stealth builds. That means a very, very large percentage of the time, the dragon/flying whatever doesn't know you're in there (YOU do, but the beast does not), and breath attacks, Area or not, still require an attack roll, meaning it's an attack, which means they can't target the chariot with one. It literally can't do anything to the chariot or its occupants until it beats an opposed Stealth check. Given that a lot of these guys were planned to be Deadly Tricksters? Not happening anytime soon. Once again, you'll have to customize a monster specifically to beat it. That's a Bad Thing (TM). As for the rider, there are plently of ways to activate concealment or cover on him if it's necessary (honestly they probably just switch around if one gets hit).

On top of that, breath weapons are a measly Blast 5; we're talking up to -40 feet- away from them. Even with a speed of 12 versus 8, that's 10 turns before the dragon catches up, and 8 turns before they're in blasting range, and that's assuming they don't get Slowed or Stunned first.

EDIT: In fact, even the Tarrasque is in trouble. Just take Far Shot and Distant Shot; your range is now 45 squares without penalty, meaning you're able to attack him outside of his gravity aura.

McMindflayer
2008-06-29, 05:50 PM
Sure, You have cover within the chariot. But the chariot is a cload that looks like a horse drawn chariot. It's rather noticable on uncloudy days. Thus, you are hidden, but your chariot isn't.

As for Dragons and Tarrasque's. Dragons don't wander around on the ground to search. They fly up in the air. And Cover doesn't work when the dragon is directly above your chariot.
The Tarrasque has a harder time of course. But all it has to do is either spot you, or charge around till it finds you. Once it charges into any nearby square... *pop*

JaxGaret
2008-06-29, 06:04 PM
Not a single monster in the MM has Dispel Magic. Not a one. You'll have to make a custom monster specifically to pop it (which, of course, indicates that there's a problem, here). Worse, Dispel Magic requires an attack roll and has an Attack entry; thus, it is an attack, and since the Cloud Chariot cannot be attacked, I'm pretty sure it's immune to Dispel Magic anyway.

Customizing monsters with the Wizard template isn't a problem, it's incorporated into the ruleset. But otherwise you make a good point. It seems that by RAW the CC would indeed be immune to Dispel. I would rule otherwise as a houserule, though.


One of the characters takes the Mounted Combat feat. Done. Actually, they should ALL probably have it eariler anyway, so they can start riding around on more mundane flying mounts before Level 22. It's not like you have to make a Ride check anymore to stay on your mount, and it uses your Stealth checks to hide, not its own.

I never said anything about that being a problem, my point was that there are no rules for moving it whatsoever.

By RAW, you can't move the CC at all.


Why would you ever want to leave it? Everlasting Provisions and a Handy Havesack. That's why these elves are so obese, they never get out of the freakin' car!

The point wasn't that you would leave it on purpose, the point was that one way to effectively pop a CC would be to use powers or abilities that Push, Pull, or Slide enemies off of it, or Grab them and pull them off.

Edea
2008-06-29, 06:04 PM
Sure, You have cover within the chariot. But the chariot is a cload that looks like a horse drawn chariot. It's rather noticable on uncloudy days. Thus, you are hidden, but your chariot isn't.

Yes, and you CANNOT. ATTACK. THE CHARIOT. This doesn't seem to be registering with people, and I'm not understanding why :o.



As for Dragons and Tarrasque's. Dragons don't wander around on the ground to search. They fly up in the air. And Cover doesn't work when the dragon is directly above your chariot.
The Tarrasque has a harder time of course. But all it has to do is either spot you, or charge around till it finds you. Once it charges into any nearby square... *pop*

It makes no mention whatsoever of cover directionality. For all you know the "chariot" actually looks like a normal cloud, and its occupants are sitting -inside- of it. Mechanically, the chariot 'grants cover.' Period.

As for the Tarrasque, how the hell is it going to spot you? Its Perception mod is +19, that's AWFUL!! A Paragon level character could easily hide from it, much less these guys. It'll spot the CC, yeah, but it CANNOT. ATTACK. THE CHARIOT. What does charging have to do with it? It can't charge upward, and its aura doesn't seem to change based on its movement, other than obviously where its center is located.

Edea
2008-06-29, 06:12 PM
I never said anything about that being a problem, my point was that there are no rules for moving it whatsoever.

By RAW, you can't move the CC at all.


It's probably treating it as a mount like you indicated, so it'd take the move action of the person riding the horse to move (which is why they didn't say "as a move action, you can move the horse and chariot up to 8 squares," as that would only allow the cleric casting it to move it, not the person riding it).
Hell, it conjures "a horse," which pretty much exists in 4e only to be a mount.



The point wasn't that you would leave it on purpose, the point was that one way to effectively pop a CC would be to use powers that Push or Slide enemies off of it, or Grab them and pull them off.

You'd have to spot them first (good luck on that one), THEN get in range, and most likely even if you did those things, the group would force a 1 on you. Dwarven Greaves would also help quite a bit here; most of the other items for the Foot slot stink anyway (though Winged Boots would be preferable).

Vortling
2008-06-29, 11:07 PM
Now I'm starting to wonder if there's any way to get concealment for the chariot itself. Probably not but I'm going to check for it anyways.

Grey Paladin
2008-06-30, 07:00 AM
Can't you target blank squares with AoE in 4E?

Antacid
2008-06-30, 07:13 AM
You'd have to spot them first (good luck on that one), THEN get in range, and most likely even if you did those things, the group would force a 1 on you. Dwarven Greaves would also help quite a bit here; most of the other items for the Foot slot stink anyway (though Winged Boots would be preferable).
I'd house rule this by saying that you can't use the cover of the cloud chariot to avoid being spotted. The Stealth rules say you fail automatically if you're carrying a light source; seems to me that a cloud shaped like a horse-drawn chariot ought to be as obvious a give-away as carrying a torch.

The rules exploit here is the idea that Stealth can be used when there is an obvious indicator as to the player's exact position. That's clearly not the spirit of the rules.

And remember, catching up with something only takes a long time if pursuit is coming from just one direction. There's no reason two or more flying enemies couldn't attack from several directions at once as long as they have speed higher than 8.

Oslecamo
2008-06-30, 07:16 AM
Beware. Clericzilla still lives in 4e:smallbiggrin:

obliged_salmon
2008-06-30, 07:36 AM
DM: "yeah, so you make your way to the spot where the floating castle of the BBEG is supposed to be, but there's just a big sign there that says 'sorry, we moved to the underground catacombs due south of here'"

hrpatton
2008-06-30, 08:39 AM
Now I'm starting to wonder if there's any way to get concealment for the chariot itself. Probably not but I'm going to check for it anyways.

If it's physical, you could paint it. :smallsmile:

Lapak
2008-06-30, 09:05 AM
Not a single monster in the MM has Dispel Magic. Not a one. You'll have to make a custom monster specifically to pop it (which, of course, indicates that there's a problem, here). Worse, Dispel Magic requires an attack roll and has an Attack entry; thus, it is an attack, and since the Cloud Chariot cannot be attacked, I'm pretty sure it's immune to Dispel Magic anyway.I don't have the book in front of me and could easily be wrong here, but doesn't Dispel Magic target the caster? Does the Cloud Chariot give complete cover?

RebelRogue
2008-06-30, 09:17 AM
Cover != 3.5 total cover. You're still quite visible when having the benefit of cover.

skywalker
2008-06-30, 11:04 AM
Can't you target blank squares with AoE in 4E?Good question.


I'd house rule this by saying that you can't use the cover of the cloud chariot to avoid being spotted. The Stealth rules say you fail automatically if you're carrying a light source; seems to me that a cloud shaped like a horse-drawn chariot ought to be as obvious a give-away as carrying a torch. What if you're hiding in bright light? There is no reason why carrying a torch should mean you auto-fail stealth. Also, it's not as tho clouds generate light... I think it would be very easy to hide in clouds. I don't know about you, but where I live, clouds are a pretty common occurrence somewhere in the sky.

Xan
2008-06-30, 11:28 AM
For the elves to shoot out, there has to be gaps for the arrows, so a dragon sees the chariot, flies up and doesn't attack it, but uses its breath attack on the square the chariot is in. It doesn't attack it, just that area which conveniently holds all the pcs. Suddenly their impenetrable flying fortress because an impenetrable flying oven. Dragon can roast at its leisure. If the PC's want out of the flames they have to get out of the chariot.

MammonAzrael
2008-06-30, 11:34 AM
First, the CC won't disappear if it's conjurer is moved more than 2 spaces from it. It's Ranged 2, which means that it's initially summoned no more than 2 squares away from the cleric summoning it. But it only dissipates if the cleric takes an extended rest or dismisses it.

The bit of descriptive fluff states that it looks like a chariot pulled by a horse, made from solid cloudstuff, and that is why it grants cover instead of concealment.

You can certainly Stealth yourself to make it very hard to find you, but the logical thing for any DM to do, while sticking purely with RAW, is to have the enemies with any intelligence use the "Targeting what you can't see" blurb on page 281 of the PHB. Since the CC is clearly a horse and chariot, and not a random fluff of cloud, the enemies should have a pretty easy time guessing the appropriate squares to attack.

Yes, the FEDS will still have a huge advantage, but it's slightly manageable. Still, CC needs to be fixed somehow.

Xan
2008-06-30, 11:36 AM
Exactly they would be easy to spot and easy to roast regardless of attacking the chariot or not.

Kurald Galain
2008-06-30, 11:49 AM
For the elves to shoot out, there has to be gaps for the arrows, so a dragon sees the chariot, flies up and doesn't attack it, but uses its breath attack on the square the chariot is in.

Okay, so on the chariot owner's turn, the chariot flies four or five squares and is now out of range of the flame zone, and the PCs break out their barbecue meat.


Seriously, this thread reminds me of the Toon RPG - where the hiding skill works regardless of whether there's anything to hide behind, just like in real li - er, real toons.

AKA_Bait
2008-06-30, 12:19 PM
Not a single monster in the MM has Dispel Magic. Not a one. You'll have to make a custom monster specifically to pop it (which, of course, indicates that there's a problem, here). Worse, Dispel Magic requires an attack roll and has an Attack entry; thus, it is an attack, and since the Cloud Chariot cannot be attacked, I'm pretty sure it's immune to Dispel Magic anyway.

In which case it really, really does need eratta.


Why would you ever want to leave it? Everlasting Provisions and a Handy Havesack. That's why these elves are so obese, they never get out of the freakin' car!

Must answer the call of nature sometime or that's going to be one dirty haversack... so much for modesty too.


We already talked about the use of Stealth while riding it, because the chariot grants cover. Even dragons have -TERRIBLE- Perception for their level versus Stealth builds. That means a very, very large percentage of the time, the dragon/flying whatever doesn't know you're in there (YOU do, but the beast does not), and breath attacks, Area or not, still require an attack roll, meaning it's an attack, which means they can't target the chariot with one.

Even more evidence of badly needed eratta. A dragon could, probably somewhat easily, recognize the chariot for what it is with the arcana skill and the chariot itself isn't making stealth rolls. If the dragon cannot then blast it, on the reasonable assumption something is inside, that's just... wonky.

Although, since it's a blast (i.e. no target need be specified), the dragon could blast the area of the chariot, just not target the chariot specifically with attacks. Any other reading would make those inside the chariot immune to any kind of area effect since the chariot would also be in the area effected.

Antacid
2008-06-30, 01:26 PM
Even more evidence of badly needed eratta. A dragon could, probably somewhat easily, recognize the chariot for what it is with the arcana skill and the chariot itself isn't making stealth rolls. If the dragon cannot then blast it, on the reasonable assumption something is inside, that's just... wonky.
No eratta required. The PHB says:



Melee Attacks and Ranged Attacks Only: Attack
penalties from concealment apply only to the targets
of melee or ranged attacks.

So even if the stealth elves inside count as invisible, a dragon can still target them with a close blast at just the -2 penalty for cover as long as they're in the four squares of the chariot.

And an arcana check for the dragon to recognise what the chariot is ought to be totally unnecessary if the elves are firing arrows from it every turn.

AKA_Bait
2008-06-30, 03:30 PM
No eratta required. The PHB says:

So even if the stealth elves inside count as invisible, a dragon can still target them with a close blast at just the -2 penalty for cover as long as they're in the four squares of the chariot.

And an arcana check for the dragon to recognise what the chariot is ought to be totally unnecessary if the elves are firing arrows from it every turn.

Fair nuff. I was mainly talking about the arcana check for the Dragon recognizing it before the elves start raining death upon it.

MammonAzrael
2008-06-30, 03:32 PM
No eratta required. The PHB says:

So even if the stealth elves inside count as invisible, a dragon can still target them with a close blast at just the -2 penalty for cover as long as they're in the four squares of the chariot.

And an arcana check for the dragon to recognise what the chariot is ought to be totally unnecessary if the elves are firing arrows from it every turn.

Except they don't have concealment, they have cover, which still applies against AOE attacks.

kc0bbq
2008-06-30, 03:46 PM
Except they don't have concealment, they have cover, which still applies against AOE attacks.
Which is what Bait said.

Dausuul
2008-06-30, 04:18 PM
Yes, but how many of them are effective at range 40?

Just about all of 'em. There are pretty much three types of monsters at Epic tier:

1. Monsters that can themselves fly (e.g., ancient dragons).
2. Monsters that you normally encounter indoors, where you can't fly away from them (e.g., abyssal ghoul myrmidons).
3. Monsters that have ranged powers to deal with flying foes (e.g., the tarrasque).

You'll notice the tarrasque's Earthbind power just so happens to have a range of 40, exactly enough to bring down a flying archer at extreme longbow range. Furthermore, it being an aura, it triggers the moment you enter it, so no shot-on-the-run sniping tactics.

I think it's pretty clear the designers took into account the tendency of high-level parties to nuke things from orbit.

JaxGaret
2008-06-30, 05:26 PM
First, the CC won't disappear if it's conjurer is moved more than 2 spaces from it. It's Ranged 2, which means that it's initially summoned no more than 2 squares away from the cleric summoning it. But it only dissipates if the cleric takes an extended rest or dismisses it.

Incorrect.


If you move far enough away from a conjuration that it is no longer in range, its effect immediately ends.


The bit of descriptive fluff states that it looks like a chariot pulled by a horse, made from solid cloudstuff, and that is why it grants cover instead of concealment.

You can certainly Stealth yourself to make it very hard to find you, but the logical thing for any DM to do, while sticking purely with RAW, is to have the enemies with any intelligence use the "Targeting what you can't see" blurb on page 281 of the PHB. Since the CC is clearly a horse and chariot, and not a random fluff of cloud, the enemies should have a pretty easy time guessing the appropriate squares to attack.

Yes, the FEDS will still have a huge advantage, but it's slightly manageable. Still, CC needs to be fixed somehow.

Agreed.