The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed - Coming in December and available for pre-order now
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Break's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    California

    Default [4E] Avenger Rewrite - Humble Beginnings

    Fair warning - possible TL;DR material. And that'll be your only one.

    Hello, playground. This is my first serious shot at homebrew in general, much less for 4E. Be gentle.

    I'm planning to basically tweak the Avenger class chassis, then basically rewrite all the powers. I'm not doing this because I hate the Avenger - quite the opposite, really - but because I feel the Avenger as it stands doesn't really capture the feel of what the class should be like. Though homebrew in 4E trims things down quite a bit, homebrewing entire classes out of whole cloth is one of the things that was made more difficult in the edition transition.

    And, frankly, I'm not going to get this something this large done without a good deal of help. So, I turn to the playground for assistance.

    Here are the problems I feel should be fixed (and feel free to tell me if I'm off-base with any of this) -
    Spoiler
    Show

    * Censures are far too difficult to activate, and the powers don't actually synergize with them. This, on its own, wouldn't be so bad - in fact, it's pretty interesting that avengers would have to do more than a rogue in order for then to make the most of their damage potential. As it stands, though, they can't really set their censures up at all; in fact, Pursuit and Retribution avengers are basically at the mercy of the DM when it comes to getting their bonuses. Bottom line, other strikers don't have nearly as many problems doing their thing as Avengers do, and there's really no reason for that.

    * WotC over-valued Oath of Enmity, and left Avengers with a poor power selection as a result. Is it good? Certainly. Being able to roll two d20s against an isolated enemy then picking the result is a powerful ability. The problem comes in when you realize, that's really all they have going for them.

    To balance this out, WotC toned down their powers in order to balance out the increased accuracy and critical chance. Unfortunately for WotC, this doesn't work because multiclassing exists. Currently, the optimal thing to do with an avenger is to take what's good and discard the rest - you multiclass as soon as possible, replace as many of your avenger powers as you can, and abuse your new toys with Oath of Enmity, taking Eternal Seeker to throw out the last of your powers. Frankly, when the optimal thing to do for a class is to use as little of it as possible, there's a problem; the class should be able to stand on its own.

    * Their paragon paths bite. Pretty self-explanatory; probably for the same reason why the power selection does, as well.

    * They're supposed to be secondary controllers, but don't actually do much controlling. Also self-explanatory.

    * Damage is pretty low, especially for a striker. Take note of how long it takes for them to break 3[W] on dailies. Sure, it seems they go through a nice range because they have 7 and 9[W] dailies at level 29, but that's only because the [W] amount increases sharply at the last levels, instead of smoothly throughout.


    Here are my proposed (vague) solutions -
    Spoiler
    Show

    * For Censures, they're getting rewritten, and the powers will be mostly scrapped and rewritten to be more tactically interesting.
    - For Censure of Pursuit, the initial idea was to let the damage bonus apply for forced movement as well. However, it'd simply be better to leave the censure itself alone, and rewrite the powers so they work with it. Expect powers not unlike a reverse Come and Get It, Lion of Battle, powers that force or encourage the enemy to move (not forced movement!) by perhaps giving them a small benefit to doing so, and so on.
    - Retribution, I'm least sure of. The initial idea was to let it apply on misses, but only giving half of your Intelligence modifier as a damage bonus each time. The math didn't work out on this one, so I've got only one idea; the Avenger doesn't really have any controller abilities, but has abilities that are defender-like. Taking damage and and dealing more back as a result seems to be defendery enough, and taking it a step further could be interesting - thus, I was thinking of allowing their powers to mark, and letting them deal their extra damage based on how many marks are active that round.
    - Unity's mechanic is fine, but the problem is that you're rarely going to have more than two people sticking a non-solo enemy, including you. This means, early on, you're rarely going to get more than the bonus for one ally, which translates to a piddly +1 to damage in heroic. That's silly, and I don't really have an elegant solution for it, but my stopgap solution is merely to let yourself count as your own ally only for the purposes of the censure.

    * For powers, they're getting rewritten. Examples of the ideas I have so far are below, with a couple of tweaks to existing powers, along with a couple of original ones from others. Notable is the fact that they don't have many minor action, immediate action, or stance powers - these will be added.

    * For paragon paths, I have only two ideas, one for the Pursuitvenger, and one for the Retrivenger.
    - The Pursuit avenger's enemy movement powers seem perfect for fear effects, and some of their powers will indeed have that keyword; thus, this default Pursuit PP's flavor will revolve around fear and the void, with their level 16 path ability granting them the ability to ignore fear immunity.
    - The Retribution avenger would take the avenger-as-defender idea one step further, and their powers would supplement that by providing interrupts when someone attacks one of your allies, or even breaks the conditions that make your Oath function.

    * For the secondary controller problem, they'll be made secondary defenders instead. Retribution Avengers may go as far as to be equal parts striker and defender - allowing the role system to dictate what does what and create expectations of what a class is supposed to do was something that I was never much of a fan of.


    Here's what I feel does things right -
    Spoiler
    Show

    * The Oath itself. It captures the flavor of a class that's supposed to drag a target into a dark corner, shank their screaming form repeatedly until they stop moving, discard the corpse, and move on to their next victim perfectly.

    * Certain powers that isolate the enemy, opening them up for the Oath. Powers like Phase Duel, Splinter the Formation, and Sequestering Strike perform this function well, and Avengers certainly need them.

    * The idea that Avengers should create "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situations. Although avengers can't really do this well as written, the idea inherent in the Censure of Pursuit is sound - make a hard choice. Is running away really worth the risk of what'll happen if I catch up?

    * The utility powers. They're fine as is.


    And here are my design goals (which are probably as vague as my solutions) -
    Spoiler
    Show

    * The class should be able to stand on its own. Multiclassing out should not be mandatory.
    * Being mechanically viable is not enough. The powers should be interesting in flavor as well as interesting to use.
    * Powers should synergize. Forks should be possible. Tactics should open up with intelligent power use.
    * There should actually be a choice as to which power you should pick at each level. 4E is rife with examples of the illusion of choice - why would any level 13 barbarian pick Blade Whirlwind when you've got the awesomeness that is Storm of Blades? There's always two paths to take - simply pick the power that matches your secondary or chosen class feature. Minimize these easy decisions as much as possible. The decision of which power to add to your suite should not only be meaningful - it should actually be a choice to begin with.


    And, a couple of concerns -
    Spoiler
    Show

    * What about implements? I never really liked the idea of classes using both weapons and implements, as these classes get unnecessarily screwed by 4E's wealth-by-level system. I found the swordmage's weapon-as-implement to be an elegant solution; there's also the possibility of dropping implements altogether. Either way, a solution has to be reached before we can begin writing many powers.

    * For all this talk about buffing the Avenger, what should its weaknesses be? Its main current ones are fine - the avenger has to be careful when engaging the oath target, because you're out there alone without support most of the time - the oath target needs to be isolated, after all. There's also the problem that avengers have difficulty qualifying for weapon feats, due to their main and secondary stats not matching up with that of the usual weapon-user, which I think is a fair trade for their increased accuracy. However, I feel that these weaknesses aren't enough. Any ideas?


    Here's a few example powers to demonstrate what I've got so far -

    Spoiler
    Show

    Level 1 Encounter Prayers

    Angelic Alacrity Avenger Attack 1
    You focus divine energy through your body to gain uncanny speed as you make your attack.
    Encounter - Divine, Weapon
    Standard Action, Melee weapon
    Effect: Before the primary and secondary attacks, you shift 2 squares.
    Censure of Pursuit: The number of squares you shift before one of the attacks is equal to 1 + your Dexterity modifier, with the other being 2 squares.
    Target: One creature
    Attack: Wisdom vs. AC
    Hit: 1[W] + Wisdom modifier damage. Make a secondary attack.
    Secondary Target: The same target or a different one
    Secondary Attack: Wisdom vs. AC
    Hit: 1[W] + Wisdom modifier damage.

    Level 1 Daily Prayers

    Shared Madness Avenger Attack 1
    The wrath of your god sears the mind of one foe and echoes to assault another enemy as well.
    Encounter - Divine, Implement, Psychic
    Standard Action, Ranged 10
    Target: One creature
    Attack: Wisdom vs. Will
    Hit: 1d10 + Wisdom modifier psychic damage.
    Effect: Until the end of your next turn, a different target within line of sight takes half of the damage you deal to the initial target as psychic damage.


    Level 5 Daily Prayers

    Face Your Judgment Avenger Attack 5 (Thanks to Starsinger for writing this one up.)
    flavor text here
    Daily - Divine, Implement
    Standard Action, Close Burst 10
    Target: Your Oath of enmity target.
    Attack: Wisdom vs. Will
    Hit: The target takes 3d6 damage at the end of its turn if it does not end adjacent to you.
    Sustain Minor: The effect persists.
    Centure of Retribution: The damage is of a type the target has the largest vulnerability to.

    Level 25 Daily Prayers

    Blindside Stance Avenger Attack 25 (Thanks to Gralamin for writing this one up.)
    Just as the opponent's blade touches your robe, you reappear behind them with blade in hand.
    Daily - Divine, Stance, Weapon
    Minor Action Personal
    Effect: You enter into the Blindside Stance. When hit by a melee attack made by your Oath of Enmity target while in this stance, you may, as an immediate interrupt, teleport to a square adjacent to them and make a secondary attack. The attack that triggers this attack is considered to have missed.
    Secondary Target: Oath of Enmity Target
    Secondary Attack: Wisdom vs AC
    Hit: 1[W] + Wisdom modifier damage.

    Powers With No Final Levels Assigned to Them Yet

    Lion's Charge Avenger Attack X (low level. Probably 1)
    You run your target through with your weapon, and push him into a more favorable position. Even the thick of battle cannot stop your assault; this is the price he pays for not coming willingly.
    Encounter - Divine, Weapon
    Standard Action, Melee Weapon
    Target: One creature
    Attack: Wisdom vs. AC
    Hit: You move a number of squares equal to your Wisdom modifier while pushing your target the same distance. You must remain adjacent to the target. Your movement provokes opportunity attacks. The enemy takes 2[W] + Wisdom modifier damage at the end of the charge. For every opportunity attack your movement provoked, the target takes 2 extra damage. If the target's forced movement is stopped by a solid object, it is also dazed until the end of your next turn.

    Encircling Strike Avenger Attack X (probably 7)
    As you quickly whirl around your opponent to find his weaknesses, you deliver a quick strike to his back.
    Encounter - Divine, Weapon
    Standard Action, Melee weapon
    Target: One creature
    Attack: Wisdom vs. AC
    Special: Every other space adjacent to the target besides the one you occupy must be free. You have combat advantage for this attack.
    Hit: 3[W] + Wisdom modifier damage, and your attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 17-20 until the end of your next turn.


    With this, I humbly submit my request for assistance to the Playground. I can place this up on Google Docs for ease of editing, and can give out my AIM, MSN, or usual IRC haunt if collaboration would be easier that way. Many thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Break; 2009-07-23 at 04:54 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Gralamin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Default Re: [4E] Avenger Rewrite - Humble Beginnings

    Looks like a good start. As has been kinda implied, I've been working with Break a bit on this. I'm still looking through Divine Power, but I've been throughly disappointed by their powers for much of the same reasons Break mentions. The Class gives interesting options through their features, but the powers at times seem contradictory to their censure. A Pursuit Avenger should not be immobilizing its target!

    I'll keep this thread bookmarked for easy collaboration.
    Join the IRC
    Current: AlfredAmeoba-atar
    Second: Simiusatar
    First: Ceikatar
    Spoiler
    Show


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    "We always run the games we want to play in."

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: [4E] Avenger Rewrite - Humble Beginnings

    ...Actually, the only thing you really need to fix is benefits for Chasers. The "obvious choice" powers all cater to Martyrs, with the occasional Unity avenger thrown in. So far, the only promising items Chasers have, period, is the Favored Soul paragon path, and the few prayers that give them phasing.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Break's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    California

    Default Re: [4E] Avenger Rewrite - Humble Beginnings

    A couple of extra powers, with some help from an off-site friend. They've been added to the first post under its own section in the example powers spoiler block.

    Lion's Charge Avenger Attack X (low level. Probably 1)
    You run your target through with your weapon, and push him into a more favorable position. Even the thick of battle cannot stop your assault; this is the price he pays for not coming willingly.
    Encounter - Divine, Weapon
    Standard Action, Melee Weapon
    Target: One creature
    Attack: Wisdom vs. AC
    Hit: You move a number of squares equal to your Wisdom modifier while pushing your target the same distance. You must remain adjacent to the target. Your movement provokes opportunity attacks. The enemy takes 2[W] + Wisdom modifier damage at the end of the charge. For every opportunity attack your movement provoked, the target takes 2 extra damage. If the target's forced movement is stopped by a solid object, it is also dazed until the end of your next turn.

    The wording on that one needs work, but hopefully the intent comes across well enough.

    Encircling Strike Avenger Attack X (probably 7)
    As you quickly whirl around your opponent to find his weaknesses, you deliver a quick strike to his back.
    Encounter - Divine, Weapon
    Standard Action, Melee weapon
    Target: One creature
    Attack: Wisdom vs. AC
    Special: Every other space adjacent to the target besides the one you occupy must be free. You have combat advantage for this attack.
    Hit: 3[W] + Wisdom modifier damage, and your attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 17-20 until the end of your next turn.
    Last edited by Break; 2009-07-23 at 04:53 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Gralamin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Default Re: [4E] Avenger Rewrite - Humble Beginnings

    Quote Originally Posted by vasharanpaladin View Post
    ...Actually, the only thing you really need to fix is benefits for Chasers. The "obvious choice" powers all cater to Martyrs, with the occasional Unity avenger thrown in. So far, the only promising items Chasers have, period, is the Favored Soul paragon path, and the few prayers that give them phasing.
    Actually your incorrect. What you want people to do is activate your censure for bonus damage, since your own powers suck for damage. None of the Avenger powers helps you do this, so they need a power rewrite. Chaser Avengers should have people running from them. Martyr should have people attacking them. Unity alone is really placed in the player's hands.

    Quote Originally Posted by Break View Post
    A couple of extra powers, with some help from an off-site friend. They've been added to the first post under its own section in the example powers spoiler block.

    Lion's Charge Avenger Attack X (low level. Probably 1)
    You run your target through with your weapon, and push him into a more favorable position. Even the thick of battle cannot stop your assault; this is the price he pays for not coming willingly.
    Encounter - Divine, Weapon
    Standard Action, Melee Weapon
    Target: One creature
    Attack: Wisdom vs. AC
    Hit: You move a number of squares equal to your Wisdom modifier while pushing your target the same distance. You must remain adjacent to the target. Your movement provokes opportunity attacks. The enemy takes 2[W] + Wisdom modifier damage at the end of the charge. For every opportunity attack your movement provoked, the target takes 2 extra damage. If the target's forced movement is stopped by a solid object, it is also dazed until the end of your next turn.
    Sounds good to me, though it may have too many conditional effects. It is a rather "busy" power.

    Encircling Strike Avenger Attack X (probably 7)
    As you quickly whirl around your opponent to find his weaknesses, you deliver a quick strike to his back.
    Encounter - Divine, Weapon
    Standard Action, Melee weapon
    Target: One creature
    Attack: Wisdom vs. AC
    Special: Every other space adjacent to the target besides the one you occupy must be free. You have combat advantage for this attack.
    Hit: 3[W] + Wisdom modifier damage, and your attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 17-20 until the end of your next turn.
    Steep requirement, and difficult to achieve, but nice end results.
    Join the IRC
    Current: AlfredAmeoba-atar
    Second: Simiusatar
    First: Ceikatar
    Spoiler
    Show


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    "We always run the games we want to play in."

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Break's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    California

    Default Re: [4E] Avenger Rewrite - Humble Beginnings

    A little bit of progress had been made. The reason there haven't been many powers written is because the effects of some of the new censures hadn't been set yet. With some help from Starsinger and Gralamin, though, we're closer to finalizing the censures themselves.

    Instead of writing ways to activate the censures outright throught many of the powers, Star suggested that it'd be easier to have each of the censures grant a "judgement" power with an effect that encourages the use of the censure. Thus, we have:

    Censure of Pursuit: You gain the power judgement of the coward. Otherwise, the censure is unchanged from the book.

    Judgement of the Coward is an at-will usable as a free action, with the requirement that your enemy ends your turn adjacent to you - the actual effect isn't set yet, as we have ideas running from making you gain concealment to inflicting a saving throw penalty - but the point is, the enemy must make a decision. What's worse: taking the extra damage from the censure by running, or taking the penalty by staying near the avenger? There's also an idea for a stance power that provides a harsher penalty for staying near the avenger, and scales the longer you do so - thus, eventually, moving becomes the better decision. Either way, it's a more interesting cat-and-mouse game.

    Censure of Retribution: You gain the power judgement of the wicked. You gain a bonus to damage rolls against your oath of enmity target equal to your Intelligence modifier for every one of your marks that are currently active.

    Judgement of the Wicked Avenger Feature
    flavor text here
    Encounter - Divine
    Minor Action, Personal
    Effect: Until the end of your next turn, the first enemy that hits or misses you is marked until the end of your next turn. If (condition), you regain the use of this power.

    We're still unsure of the recharge condition, as it's a bit too wiry to be usable at-will. Some retribution powers will place marks in order to up the damage a bit further, as well as solidify the Retrivenger as the defender build.

    Censure of Unity: As for Unity, that's the one that we're least sure about. Even the stopgap method of allowing yourself to count as an ally for the damage bonus results in low bonus damage. However, we know that making the Unityvenger the "indirect striker" is a good route, and we're considering allowing them to get a small damage bonus that also applies to the allies that are adjacent to the oath target, with their Judgment of the Foolish pumping up the bonus even more.

    As for the implement problem, we've decided to shelve implement powers for now and simply work on weapon powers - an entirely new censure for implement powers may be in the cards, though.
    Last edited by Break; 2009-07-25 at 09:45 PM.

Posting Permissions

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