View Full Version : 4e: Encounters should last 3-6 rounds

2008-07-22, 09:27 AM
Many people keep insisting that 4e combats, especially at high levels, takes too long. According to my estimates, combat should last 3-6 rounds, with maybe 2 rounds of mopup at worst. Solos and Elite are intentionally supposed to be exceptions, as Bosses, combat against them is supposed to take longer to give a more epic feel, which is why they are generally given more HP and abilities but less damage than their weight in standard monster would do.

At Low levels, At-Wills are much closer to Encounter Powers in strength, and thus using them for the bulk of combat is understandable.

At High levels, you eventually end up with 4 encounter powers, 4 daily powers, 8 utility powers, a slew of class/path/destiny features, stat modifier increases, item enhancement increases, and item powers, including 3-5 daily powers. Sure, the enemy may be getting more and more padding, but your attack also ramps way up.

Don't forget that you are also working together with other roles, who are significantly more effective when working together than when working separately, gaining numerous attack and damage bonuses as well as defensive boosts. Your attacks should be hitting 2/3s of the time at low levels, and 1/2 the time at high levels.

2008-07-22, 10:44 AM
This post was obviously crafted out of theory rather than experience.

The only combats we've run that were that short were the ones where we hit nearly all of our attack rolls.

2008-07-22, 12:09 PM
The encounters I ran took about 2 rounds of combat and 1 of mopping up, at low levels. 6 rounds of combat and 2 of mop up is a reasonable ceiling.

If you are using a Warlord and flanking properly, you SHOULD be landing most hits at low levels.

Rachel Lorelei
2008-07-22, 12:15 PM
I've found that 6 is pretty typical, and 10 is usually a ceiling. If it does go beyond 10, the rest is mop-up and goes by quickly.

2008-07-22, 12:40 PM
I've found that 6 is pretty typical, and 10 is usually a ceiling. If it does go beyond 10, the rest is mop-up and goes by quickly.

This is more in line with encounters I've played / DM'ed as well. On the other side of things though, the rounds themselves do tend to go by faster in 4e and outside of elites and solo's I have not really found drag to be a problem.

2008-07-22, 01:50 PM
Has anyone successfully played a high level non solo encounter with a party that has all 4 roles, and if so, how long did it take?

Rachel Lorelei
2008-07-22, 02:07 PM
Yes, at level 23; it took about fifteen rounds. Epic encounters tend to be somewhat longer.

2008-07-22, 02:08 PM
What enemies were you facing? What was your party composition?

2008-07-22, 02:57 PM
Of their pool of 4 daily attack, 3 daily item, and 2 AP/day, how many powers did your party use in your 15+ round fights?

2008-07-22, 02:59 PM
Our Combats the other night (lvl2) took about 6 rounds+1 or 2 mop-up. Longer if people had trouble hitting. But the rounds do pass by quicker.

2008-07-22, 03:02 PM
My group has been testing from level 1 up (we are at about six now) and depending on our luck, we usually take from 4-10 rounds with an additional 3-4 mop up rounds.

2008-07-22, 03:16 PM
A Party of 5 level 29 players, over the course of 5 encounters, will drop up to:
100 encounter powers
20 daily powers
25 item daily powers
40 utilities (assuming they are all daily)
20 Second Winds

In addition to using:
around 7 class/path/destiny features
+6 Equipment
+8 to +10 modifiers
1.5 dozen feats or more
Non-Daily Item powers