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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    Right, so what's the problem with applying BoR every time an ally is hit with the caveat of leniency when game elements that explicitly grant benefits from hitting allies (rather than 'creatures') feature, keeping in mind that BoR only features when a benefit is derived from attacking a target that poses no threat? Why is employing this caveat worse off than one that considers damage?
    The problem is, where is the benefit from the hit? Yes, there is a benefit when the damage is transferred, but that occurs after the hit is resolved.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by fallenwarrior View Post
    The problem is, where is the benefit from the hit? Yes, there is a benefit when the damage is transferred, but that occurs after the hit is resolved.
    The damage is a function/product/outcome of the hit, which in turn is addressed by BoR. It's easy to rule that you are effectively deriving a benefit from hitting an ally, even if the benefit comes from a specific sub-outcome of that hit.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Shatteredtower View Post
    It's interesting how often "essential" house rules change mechanics for the players, rather than adjusting encounters to fit what they've brought to the table.
    Yes, because not every PC will bring something to the table that needs adjustment to.

    Most players (tm) aren't going to be using corner cases in builds -- heck, most rangers I've played with haven't even worked hard at boosting their static damage bonus to the stratosphere, which was an obvious bit of charop that people spotted moments after 4e hit the shelves.

    Adjusting the parameters of the monsters to deal with players isn't ideal if such adjustments cause non-corner-case player builds to break. So scaling monster HP up so that high-op characters still take a reasonable amount of time to kill monsters just means that low-op characters are crappy.

    If, on the other hand, we address the high-op corner case (static damage stacking with multiple attacks, vulnerability exploitation, etc) such that the corner case is "less far" from the low-op case, and adjust monsters (or don't) so that they work with the low-op to the (strongest remaining) corner cases, we don't require that all players build high-op characters.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Updated the Ritual Casting houserules:

    • Added additional clarification.
    • Changed the floor for ritual cast times to 5 rounds. This allows for limited in-combat use of some rituals that can make for interesting situations: defending the party Wizard from waves of enemies as he conjures a portal to escape for example.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Here's one:

    Arrows and other ammunition do not need to be counted. Money has no weight. Specific coinage does not need to be kept track of.

    This is just to make the game smoother. Decreased needless number crunching. A player may choose to do otherwise, but when I'm DMing, I do not want to keep track of these things, so I don't care what the players do. If a ranger is using a ton of arrows, maybe by epic tier I'd assume they picked up a second quiver off a dead enemy at some point. *shrug*
    Avatar by me. It's Incendius Darkscale, a Good Dragonborn Dragon Sorcerer, Demonskin Adept, Prince of Hell, worshiper of the Platinum Dragon (Bahamut), specializing in Fire and Lightning, wielding a staff in each hand.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Surrealistik's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Added the following under "Less Essential Houserules":

    #1: PCs have a +1 innate enhancement bonus to all attack rolls, damage rolls, and defenses at level 5. This bonus increases by +1 every additional 5 levels thereafter. PCs further have bonus critical damage dice equal to +1d6 per enhancement bonus gained in this way. These bonuses overlap but do not stack with enhancement bonuses from magical gear.

    Why? Allows PCs to viably use a broader variety of gear in combat, notably increasing player options without penalizing and disincentivizing investments in primary gear overtly. Normally secondary gear sets far too fall behind to be useful at higher levels, which results in stagnant, fixed loadouts.


    #2: Basic, mundane ammo isn't tracked. Currency weight isn't tracked, nor are currency denominations except where necessary. Players are always assumed to have adequate food and water unless in situations where these essentials are scarce at which point it's up to the DM to decide what rations the PCs have unless they've undertaken especial efforts to stock sustenance.

    Why? Prevents the game from being bogged down in pointless, simulationist minutiae. Most games follow this rule in practice anyways.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Tegu8788's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Removing minutia is always good in my book.

    Besides the crit die addition, is there a reason you don't suggest just having inherent bonuses always on?

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    I find the inherit bonus system crude. It is obviously a patch replacing magic items.

    I'd rather fix the system math myself.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    1: Extended Rests take more than 8 hours. Normally a long lazy weekend and access to appropriate resources (a safe-ish environment to recover surges (friendly settlement or the like). Cuts any silliness and makes the story flow more neatly.

    2: Weapon breakage from Dark Sun. It's just fun.

    3: Don't bother tracking arrows.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Tegu8788 View Post
    Removing minutia is always good in my book.

    Besides the crit die addition, is there a reason you don't suggest just having inherent bonuses always on?
    The scaling is much more generous with inherent bonuses because they're meant to explicitly replace magical items, whereas my approach is more meant to allow greater diversification in terms of magical item use, so the incentive for upgrading magic items and using fully upgraded items in the latter case is more compelling by comparison, albeit not nearly obligatory (as is usually the case).

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    So, instead of inherent bonuses, I'm tempted by a presumed competence rule.

    Attack modifier: Level+2, plus proficiency and superior implement and class bonuses. Attributes no longer apply. Expertise feats grant a flat +1 to hit (they do not scale), and if you have a tier-appropriate magic tool (weapon or implement) you get another +1 to hit (the enhancement bonus does not apply).

    AC:

    MW armor that adds to AC is banned. Item bonuses to AC are banned.

    If you are wearing level-appropriate magic armor, you gain a +1 enhancement bonus to AC.

    Your AC in heavy armor you are proficient in is the base AC of the armor, plus your level. A feat bonus to AC can also apply. Enhancement bonuses to heavy armor grand a bonus to your resist all.

    Your AC in light armor you are proficient in is the base AC of the armor, plus 3/4 your level, plus the higher of your dex or int bonus. Enhancement bonuses on light armor can be used once per encounter as an free interrupt to boost your defense against 1 attack targeting AC.

    Magic Neck items: Magic necklaces grant temporary HP equal to twice their enhancement bonus every time you take a short rest or spend a healing surge.

    Magic Weapons and Implements: Only grant a scaling enhancement bonus to damage rolls.

    Fort, Reflex, Will:
    Other than the below, item and enhancement bonuses to Fort, Reflex and Will are banned. Feat bonuses to Fort, Reflex and Will never scale (they act as if you where level 1 for the purpose of bonuses to Fort, Reflex and Will), and Epic Fort, Reflex and Will feats are banned.

    You also gain modest bonuses from level-appropriate magical items. Neck items grant bonuses to Fort, Reflex and Will. Level-appropriate heavy armor grants a bonus to Fort, as does a belt level-appropriate belt. Level-appropriate helms grant a bonus to will, as does level-appropriate cloth armor. Level-appropriate boots grant a bonus to reflex, as does level-appropriate leather or hide. (note that this caps out at +3 from level-appropriate items, and gaining these bonuses at level 30 requires level 30+ items).

    MW armor can grant bonuses to NADs even if it is not level-appropriate. Similarly, some MW armor grants resist all.

    Your base Fort, Reflex and Will is equal to 10 plus the sum of the bonuses on the two stats plus 1/2 your level. On top of this, you gain a +3 bonus at level 10, 20 and 30 (note that these are the levels where magic items from the previous 10 levels stop giving their +2 bonus).

    Level-appropriate means "item with the same value in the 10s digit as your level". This means a level 30 character needs level 30+ items to get these bonuses.

    So a level 1 one-handed talent fighter with 18 str 18 con 10 int 8 dex 14 wis 10 cha wearing scale armor with a heavy shield, Axe Expertise:

    ATK: 1+3(base)+1(talent)+2(prof)+1(expert)=8
    AC: 20
    Fort: 10+2 (class)+8(attribute) = 20
    Reflex: 10-1+2 = 11
    Will: 10+2 = 12

    At level 30 wearing level 29 and under gear, plate spec feat, +2 feat bonuses to every NAD, and shield-to-Fort and shield-to-Will feats:

    28 str, 28 con, 12 int, 10 dex, 16 wis, 12 cha
    ATK: 30+3(base)+1(talent)+2(prof)+1(expert) = +37
    AC: 10+30+8(plate)+1(feat)+2(shield)=51
    Fort: 10+9(base)+18(stats)+2(class)+2(feat)+2(shield)+15 (level)=58
    Reflex: 10+9(base)+1(stats)+2(feat)+2(shield)+15(level)=39
    Will: 10+9(base)+4(stats)+2(feat)+2(shield)+15(level)=42

    Analysis:
    Heavy armor AC goes up by 1 per level naturally. Feats and items can grant another +2.

    Light armor AC goes up by 26-27 over 29 levels, plus 1 from feats, but you get that free miss once per encounter.

    Heavy armor ends up being easier to keep up with your AC than light armor, which I'm also ok with: light armored defenders tend to overcompensate for their lower base AC anyhow.

    ATK goes up by 1 per level naturally. Feats and items can grant another +2, and accurate weapons a +3 instead of a +2, and accurate implements another +1.


    NADs go up by 24 over 29 levels from the per-level bonuses. Your stats go up by a total of +24 over 29 levels, which boost your NADs by an average of +4 each, so you hit +28 over 29 levels "naturally". Feats can grant another +2 to each.

    NAD can diverge due to double-dip stat increases, which makes you nearly immune to attacks against that NAD. The cost is that your other NADs suffer from this neglect. I'm ok with a character becoming effectively immune to attacks on one NAD at the cost of other NADs being vulnerable.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Surrealistik's Avatar

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Modified Mastering Rituals, added Transcribing Rituals:

    Mastering Rituals:

    Rituals require 8 hours to learn.

    When learning a ritual, a character makes a skill check against a Hard DC of that ritual's level against one of that ritual's key skills (the character's choice). For every 5 points he exceeds the DC by, the time required to learn the ritual decreases by 2 hours to a minimum of 1 hour. For every 5 points he fails the DC by, the time required to learn the ritual increases by 2 hours instead. Once this time has been determined, no subsequent attempts can be made to change it (except via Aid Another or Triviality rules as below).

    Aid Another: Rituals can be learned in half the normal time (to a minimum of 1 hour) if the person learning the ritual benefits from a successful Aid Another attempt on the skill check to master that ritual by another creature who has already learned it. On a failure, the ritual takes twice as long to learn as the student is mislead and confused. Only one creature can use Aid Another in this way.

    Triviality: Rituals half a character's level or less are considered trivial for that character and can be learned in the duration of a short rest without a check (5 minutes).


    Transcribing Rituals/Creating Ritual Books:

    Rituals require 8 hours to transcribe, including for scrolls.

    The time required to transcribe a ritual can be reduced as per the rules for learning them (this includes the rules pertaining to trivial rituals).

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Added anti-intimidamancy rules:

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    #6: Elites gain a +5 bonus to resist Intimidate checks and Solos gain a +20 bonus to resist Intimidate checks if their level is equal to or greater than the Intimidating creature's. Creatures gain a +1 bonus to resist Intimidate checks to force surrender for each level they're above the Intimidating creature, and for each of their allies that exceeds the number of enemy creatures in the encounter.

    Why? Helps reduce the impact of Intimidate optimization abuse.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Update to the 'less essential' section:

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    #4: Improved generic attacks:

    Spoiler
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    Bull Rush - Attack
    You hurl yourself at your foe and push it back.
    At-Will ✦
    Standard Action - Melee touch
    Target: One creature. You cannot target enemies with phasing if you don't have phasing.
    Attack: Strength +3/6/9 vs. Fortitude
    Hit: You push the target 1 square plus 1 square for every 2 points your attack roll beat the target's defense by. You shift 1 square into the space the target left each time you push the target 1 square in this way. If you cannot, you cannot push the target any further. If you exceed the target's defense by 5+, you can choose to knock the target prone. You cannot push the target more squares in this way than your speed.


    Grab - Attack
    You reach out and grasp your foe, preventing it from moving.
    At-Will ✦
    Standard Action - Melee touch
    Requirement: You must have a hand free.
    Target: One creature. You cannot target enemies with phasing if you don't have phasing.
    Attack: Strength +3/6/9 vs. Fortitude. The target gains a +5 bonus to its defense for each size category it is larger than you beyond the first. You automatically hit willing allies and targets that can't take actions.
    Hit: You grab the target until the end of your next turn, or until the target gains phasing while you don't have phasing. The target has a +5 bonus on all checks to escape this grab for each size category it is larger than you beyond the first. You can end the grab as a free action.
    Sustain Minor: The grab persists per the hit clause.


    Grabbed: A grabbed creature is immobilized until the grab ends. The grabbing creature can perform the following actions against a creature it's grabbing:

    Drag - Attack
    You lurch your foe about.
    At-Will ✦
    Move Action - Melee touch
    Target: One creature you are grabbing. You cannot target enemies with phasing if you don't have phasing.
    Attack: Strength +3/6/9 vs. Fortitude. The target gains a +5 bonus to its defense for each size category it is larger than you beyond the first. You automatically hit willing allies and targets that can't take actions.
    Hit: You move up to half your speed and pull the target with you. You and the target don't provoke opportunity attacks against each other for moving in this way. If you hit by 5+, or succeed on a Strength check against an Easy DC of the target's level if you automatically hit, you can move your full speed instead.

    Pin - Attack
    You force your opponent to the ground.
    At-Will ✦
    Standard Action - Melee touch
    Target: One creature you are grabbing. You cannot target enemies with phasing if you don't have phasing.
    Attack: Strength +3/6/9 vs. Fortitude. The target gains a +5 bonus to its defense for each size category it is larger than you beyond the first. You automatically hit willing allies and targets that can't take actions.
    Hit: You and the target fall prone and neither of you can stand from prone until your grab on the target ends. You don't grant combat advantage to the target for being prone.


    A grabbed creature can perform the Escape action:

    Escape
    You pry free from your opponent's grasp or slip through its fingers.
    At-Will ✦
    Move Action - Personal
    Target: The creature or game element grabbing you
    Effect: Make an Athletics check against the target's Fortitude or an Acrobatics check (or the DC provided with the Grab if any) against the target's Reflex. On a success, the target's grab on you ends and you can shift 1 square.

    These rules replace Grab's 'move a grabbed target' option, replace the Escape option and redefine the Grabbed condition.


    Why? Makes the Grab and Bull Rush options less situational and more interesting to use. Improves verisimilitude by preventing grabs/bull rushes on targets with phasing while you don't have phasing.

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Both of those still lack the weapon and implement keywords, which makes them questionable.

    You will rarely, if ever, exceed a worthy target's defences by 10, and by epic a push of 1 or 2 is pretty sad.

    Here is an attempt at a Bull Rush that scales a tad better:

    Bull Rush
    Melee 1
    Target: One creature
    Attack: Athletics vs Fortitude
    Hit: You push the target your strength bonus squares. For each size category the target is larger than you, reduce the amount you push by 1 square. For each square you push the target, you may shift towards the target 1 square.

    Grab
    Requirement: You must have one hand free, or a weapon with the Grabbing property free.
    Target: One creature.
    Attack: Athletics vs higher of Reflex and Fortitude
    Hit: The target is grabbed until the end of your next turn, and you are grabbing the target. If the creature is a larger size category than you, you shift 1 into its space.
    Sustain: Minor.

    Grabbing:
    When grabbing, you can take the following actions:

    Release: As a free action, you may end the grab.

    Follow: As a free action, if the creature you have grabbed leaves a square, you may move 1 square, so long as you stay adjacent to the grabbed target. You may even do this if the movement require a movement mode you to not possess, such as flying or swimming. This movement does not provoke opportunity attacks from the grabbed target.

    Drag: As a move action, you may attempt to move the target. Make an athletics vs fortitude check -- if you fail, you waste your action. If you succeed, you can move. For each size category larger than you the target is, each square of movement costs 1 additional square. Each square you move, you can pull the target 1 square.

    Pin: As a standard action, you may attempt to pin the target. Make an athletics vs fortitude check. If you succeed, your effective size for the purpose of how much your grab reduces the targets movement increases by 1 category. If this increases your effective size to be greater than the target's size, you may choose to force both you and the target to become prone until the grab ends.

    You are only grabbing so long as the target is grabbed. The weapon or hand you used to grab the target cannot be used for other purposes so long as you are grabbing.

    Grabbed:
    When you are grabbed, if the grabbing creature is your size or larger, you are immobilized. If the grabbing creature is 1 size category smaller than you, you are slowed.

    You cannot be grabbed if the grabbing creature cannot take actions, or if you have phasing and the grabbing creature does not. You cannot be grabbed unless the grabber is adjacent to you, or if a smaller size category in your space. If any of these conditions hold at the end of any action, the grab cannot be established, or the grab ends.

    While Grabbed, you can take the following actions:

    Escape: As a move action, make an Athletics vs Fortitude or Acrobatics vs Reflex attack against the grabbing creature. On a success, the grab ends.

    ---

    This means you can Grab a huge creature at level 1, but you don't even slow them down: Instead, this is analogous to "jumping on the creature's back". You can then attempt to pin the target with multiple pin checks, each time slowing the target down, until eventually you could hold a much larger creature on the ground.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Actually, I agree that it needs scaling to compensate for the lack of a weapon or implement, but via the now standard +3/6/9 progression, not an Athletics check. Also agree that Bull Rush is still too weak to see any real use.

    I like the 'Follow' element (though not the out of turn decision making it requires which bogs games down), and I agree that Pinning/Dragging should be separated out in order for them to apply via alternate methods of grabbing.

    Beyond that though, there's some stuff I object to.

    Your version of the Bullrush is far too strong in my view for strength specced characters. It's closer to a mainstay so far as at-wills go than a niche option, particularly for zone/area abuse mafias.

    As for the Grab changes I have to admit personally liking, from a verisimilitude standpoint, the idea of universally making phasing creatures grab proof. From a mechanical perspective however, I have to object due to the havoc it would wreak with several prominent builds which are dependent on the grab status, and the effect it would have on alternate ways that circumvent normal limitations on the standard grab. This is to say nothing about all the various other grabbing elements, some of which probably should work on phasers (talons/traps of arcane force for example). I definitely don't like the way you reworked the impact of size differences, and the implementation of pinning.

    EDIT: Alright, my second iteration:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Bull Rush - Attack
    You hurl yourself at your foe and push it back.
    At-Will ✦
    Standard Action - Melee touch
    Target: One creature. You cannot target enemies with phasing if you don't have phasing.
    Attack: Strength +3/6/9 vs. Fortitude
    Hit: You push the target 1 square plus 1 square for every 2 points your attack roll beat the target's defense by. You shift 1 square into the space the target left each time you push the target 1 square in this way. If you cannot, you cannot push the target any further. If you exceed the target's defense by 5+, you can choose to knock the target prone. You cannot push the target more squares in this way than your speed.


    Grab - Attack
    You reach out and grasp your foe, preventing it from moving.
    At-Will ✦
    Standard Action - Melee touch
    Requirement: You must have a hand free.
    Target: One creature. You cannot target enemies with phasing if you don't have phasing.
    Attack: Strength +3/6/9 vs. Fortitude. The target gains a +5 bonus to its defense for each size category it is larger than you beyond the first. You automatically hit willing allies and targets that can't take actions.
    Hit: You grab the target until the end of your next turn, or until the target gains phasing while you don't have phasing. The target has a +5 bonus on all checks to escape this grab for each size category it is larger than you beyond the first. You can end the grab as a free action.
    Sustain Minor: The grab persists per the hit clause.


    Grabbed: A grabbed creature is immobilized until the grab ends. The grabbing creature can perform the following actions against a creature it's grabbing:

    Drag - Attack
    You lurch your foe about.
    At-Will ✦
    Move Action - Melee touch
    Target: One creature you are grabbing. You cannot target enemies with phasing if you don't have phasing.
    Attack: Strength +3/6/9 vs. Fortitude. The target gains a +5 bonus to its defense for each size category it is larger than you beyond the first. You automatically hit willing allies and targets that can't take actions.
    Hit: You move up to half your speed and pull the target with you. You and the target don't provoke opportunity attacks against each other for moving in this way. If you hit by 5+, or succeed on a Strength check against an Easy DC of the target's level if you automatically hit, you can move your full speed instead.

    Pin - Attack
    You force your opponent to the ground.
    At-Will ✦
    Standard Action - Melee touch
    Target: One creature you are grabbing. You cannot target enemies with phasing if you don't have phasing.
    Attack: Strength +3/6/9 vs. Fortitude. The target gains a +5 bonus to its defense for each size category it is larger than you beyond the first. You automatically hit willing allies and targets that can't take actions.
    Hit: You and the target fall prone and neither of you can stand from prone until your grab on the target ends. You don't grant combat advantage to the target for being prone.


    A grabbed creature can perform the Escape action:

    Escape
    You pry free from your opponent's grasp or slip through its fingers.
    At-Will ✦
    Move Action - Personal
    Target: The creature or game element grabbing you
    Effect: Make an Athletics check against the target's Fortitude or an Acrobatics check (or the DC provided with the Grab if any) against the target's Reflex. On a success, the target's grab on you ends and you can shift 1 square.


    These rules replace Grab's 'move a grabbed target' option, replace the Escape option and redefine the Grabbed condition.

    Why? Makes the Grab and Bull Rush options less situational and more interesting to use. Improves verisimilitude by preventing grabs on targets with phasing while you don't have phasing.

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    +5 per size category makes it impossible to grab onto a creature non-trivially larger than you.

    Hence the idea that "grabbing" something way larger than you actually consists of "holding onto" them.

    Instead of a veto-like bonus to defences from being larger, I simply made grabbing only immobalize if they are your size or smaller.

    Follow could be made automatic -- the goal is that you, as a fighter, can grab ahold of a dragon, and then that dragon can take off, and you continue being on the dragon, even though you haven't stopped the dragon from moving.

    You can then attack it with your other weapon, or attempt to restrict its movement and force it to the ground through further wrestling ("Pin").

    The trope of "climbing on a larger foe" should be moved out of special powers, and into a general subsystem. And Grab being both "grapple" and "hold on to" makes sense.

    As a side benefit, getting out of a grab is harder -- as I wrote it, Follow works when the grabbed target is slid, pulled or pushed. It even works if the target is teleported, but you don't get to teleport (so you probably cannot move to where they arrive, unless they teleport 1 square, and you *must* end up in a valid grab location for your follow to work).

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    I wouldn't be so sure about your observation on the +5 bonus being impossible to surmount. CA and a common +2 bonus to attack rolls alone compensate for one category of difference beyond the first.

    Is it damned hard for a Medium creature to grab and manipulate via grab options a Gargantuan enemy? Sure, but it better be! On the otherhand, it's certainly not impossible. I prefer to give the player an option to utilize the grab mechanics effectively against bigger creatures, even if it requires some tactics, teamwork and attack pumping.

    Anyways, I really want to work 'Follow' in. TBH the sheer cinematic awesome of being carried aloft by an enemy you're latched onto is probably worth the added bog down.

    That aside, I'm extremely leery about allowing Follow to circumvent forced movement methods of breaking a grab. It's not too bad in the sense that forced movement still works to break them if applied to the grabber, but all the same, it's a bit of a sea change in terms of established interactions, and I'd prefer to keep those to a minimum.


    Hold On Tight!
    Caught in your grasp, the dragon seeks to become airborne in order to shake you loose; you decide to come along for the ride.
    At-Will ✦
    Free Action - Melee touch
    Trigger: A creature you are grabbing that is larger than you attempts to move willingly without teleporting
    Target: The triggering creature
    Effect: You can waive the immobilized effect of your grab on the target for the triggering movement, if you do, you move with the target (including vertically if it flies) and can take an opportunity attack against the target as normal. If you don't, the target can make an escape attempt if it spent a Standard or Move action to attempt the triggering movement.

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    That doesn't let a medium fighter grab a hold of a gargantuan dragon and fly aloft with any reliability.

    It isn't hard to hold onto a gargantuan dragon. The hard part is immobilizing/pinning/slowing that dragon.

    It isn't the first -5 penalty (which probably already brings it into the "not worth it") that makes it impossible. It is the 2nd and 3rd one (-15 to hit? Anything you can hit with a -15 to hit is not a challenge).

    I'm arguing that "grab" means "place your hand or other limb on, and hold fast". For things your size, this prevents them from getting away by immobalizing them. For things larger, it possibly slows them, and it prevents them from getting away by forcing them to take you with them.

    Ideally grab might even count as a basic melee attack, or be used in place of same on a charge, so you can jump on something and grab it. Because that is too awesome to be isolated to strange powers and stunts. :)

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Grabbing as far as it is defined in 4e is not only to latch onto something, but to meaningfully impede its movement with that grab. It really insinuates more of an effective grapple and is an abstraction of such.

    Yes, there could be a two step process by which you first make a Dex attack to 'hit' with and establish a grab, then a Strength check to determine how effective that grab actually is at impeding the target (or worse yet, in each instance it tries to move), but that obviously involves that much more bog down.

    Further, -10 is the maximum penalty that would be levied as there is no size category beyond Gargantuan.

    As previously detailed -5 isn't a huge deal given two common bonuses enable the penalty to be mostly surmounted.

    Ultimately, your change comes down to a fundamental redefinition of the grabbed status. I'm not looking to do this so much as I'm trying to improve the consistency of the basic grab's viability and usefulness, as well as those of grabbed's peripheral options. I feel my tweaks have succeeded in doing this while making minimal redefinitions of basic game mechanics, and interactions.


    At best, I'm willing to afford this compromise, adding this to the Grab at-will hit clause:

    For each size category beyond the first the target is larger than you, your attack roll must have exceeded its defense by +5, or the creature isn't immobilized by your grab, though you may still use the Hold On Tight! power when it moves willingly.

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Grab has been updated.

    Grab - Attack
    You reach out and grasp your foe, preventing it from moving.
    At-Will ✦
    Standard Action - Melee touch
    Requirement: You must have a hand free.
    Target: One creature. You cannot target enemies with phasing if you don't have phasing.
    Attack: Strength +3/6/9 vs. highest of the target's Reflex and Fortitude. You automatically hit willing allies and creatures that can't take actions.
    Special: For each size category beyond the first the target is larger than you, your attack roll must have exceeded its defense by 5+, or the creature isn't immobilized by your grab, though you may still use the Hold On Tight! power as though you waived your grab's immobilization.
    Hit: You grab the target until the end of your next turn, or until the target gains phasing while you don't have phasing. The target has a +5 bonus on all checks to escape this grab for each size category it is larger than you beyond the first. You can end the grab as a free action.
    Sustain Minor: The grab persists per the hit clause.

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Added #5 to 'Less Essential House Rules:'

    #5: Attack rolls of attacks that use neither weapons or implements and have a scaling attack bonus that's less than +3 per tier (+3/+6/+9) according to their power description now have an attack bonus that scales at a rate of +3 per tier (+3/+6/+9).

    Why? This scaling is more proportionate/commensurate to the real attack bonus advancement enjoyed by weapon and implement attacks over the tiers and has been adopted by new WotC material as a new standard for implement & weapon free attacks. Unfortunately this new standard has not been applied retroactively hence the need for this rule.

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Updated Bullrush wording so that the size of the shift component is undefined, but limited to your speed. This makes it viable to use in areas of difficult terrain (before you could only shift 1 square). Also added auto-hit conditionality.

    Bull Rush - Attack
    You hurl yourself at your foe and push it back.
    At-Will ✦
    Standard Action - Melee touch
    Target: One creature. You cannot target enemies with phasing if you don't have phasing.
    Attack: Strength +3/6/9 vs. highest of Reflex and Fortitude; If this attack was made as part of a charge, increase the attack bonus from charging by +2. You automatically hit willing allies and creatures that can't take actions (make an attack roll to determine how far you push the target).
    Hit: You push the target 1 square plus 1 square for every 2 points your attack roll beat the target's defense by. You shift into the space the target left by the most direct route each time you push the target 1 square in this way. If you cannot, you cannot push the target any further. If you exceed the target's defense by 5+, you can then choose to knock the target prone. You cannot shift or push the target more squares in this way than your speed.
    Special: You can use this power in place of a melee basic attack during a charge.

  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Errataed Less Essential Houserules #1 so that the enhancement bonus applies to only to implement or weapon attacks.

    This is because attacks that lack these keywords are typically compensated with a scaling attack bonus, especially per Less Essential Houserules #5.

  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    A while back I drew up a set of rules designed at bringing the Beast Master ranger up to par. I consider it fairly essential to running a beast master, at least one that uses his beast for making attacks, and not just as a mount or a flying spotter.

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Re: ritual casting

    Combat encounters in my game rarely last a full 5 rounds*. Per this rule, rituals would still not be used in combat unless I made an encounter that specifically required them. Would you suggest lowering the minimum cast time of rituals for my group? Perhaps to the average number of rounds (It hovers in the 3 to 4 range) of combat -1?

    Or is the intent to keep in combat use very rare?

  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Even with one character removed from the combat they don't last 5 rounds?

    If so that would be quite unusual, given that 4-6 rounds is presumably the average combat duration WotC was aiming for.

    I suppose you could always allow that player to expend up to 2 additional healing surges per the surge casting rules to further reduce the ritual cast time further by 1 round per surge spent. Given that it's impossible to regain surges spent for Surge Casting except by way of an Extended Rest, that may be an idea.

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    Even with one character removed from the combat they don't last 5 rounds?
    That's a really good point. Since they don't use rituals, it hasn't come up. If the druid was ritual casting, combat probably would last 5 or more rounds. (Or I could create encounters to last longer, but the players stop having an optimal level of fun once the encounter powers run out - I usually stop encounters at this point if they are clearly going to win.)

    I was thinking about letting ritual casters use up their move action or their standard action to keep a ritual going, possibly requiring a skill check. Their remaining move or standard action could be used to speed up the ritual or affect combat more directly (this way, interesting choices remain for the player once the ritual casting has started.)

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    Playtested these a bit, considering adding them to Less Essential Houserules; thoughts?


    Skill Save Ends: The DM may assign certain effects (normally monster effects) a Skill Save Ends duration. Skill Save Ends durations are identical to a (save ends) duration for all purposes and in all ways with the exception that a skill check is made against a DC in place of a simple 1d20 against a target number of 10. If this skill check is a success, the associated effect ends. These can be substituted for (save ends) durations as desired; a Skill Save Ends duration requires the following parameters: one or more skills to be checked, the action cost to use that skill (No Action by default), and the target DC for each of those skills; I recommend consulting the DC table on Page 126 of the Rules Compendium for an appropriate DC. If multiple skills can be checked to end a Skill Save Ends effect, the creature making the check chooses only one to make a skill check for. In order to make a skill check with an action cost other than No Action, a creature must be able to satisfy that cost with any actions he has remaining and available for use at the end of his turn.

    While subject to a Skill Save Ends duration, whenever a creature would normally make a saving throw against an effect, including from powers and effects, that creature can make a Skill Save check as above. Checks made in this way are subject to all applicable bonuses and penalties to both saving throws and skill checks. As with (save ends), effects with a Skill Save Ends duration may have alternate ways of ending them (such as with a Skill Cure as below).

    Example: Lotharos has taken ongoing 5 force damage (skill check ends, Arcana DC 21 Free Action, Endurance DC 26). When the end of his turn comes up Lotharos would normally decide to use Arcana, but he is unfortunately stunned, and so cannot expend the Free Action required. He makes an Endurance check instead, and succeeds with an Endurance check of 27 thereby ending the effect.


    Skill Cures: The DM may assign certain effects (normally monster effects) a Skill Cure Ends duration. Though Skill Cures effects may have other termination conditions/methods (such as save ends, or Skill Save Ends), they normally last until the end of the encounter or until ended via a successful Skill Cure. A Skill Cure Ends duration requires the following parameters: one or more skill to be checked, an action cost for each of these skills (Minor, Move, Standard, etc...), and the target DC for each of those skills; I recommend consulting the DC table on Page 126 of the Rules Compendium for an appropriate DC. If multiple skills can be checked to end a Skill Cure Ends effect, the creature making the Skill Cure check chooses one of them to make a skill check for.

    By default Skill Cures require a Standard action, and that the user be within reach of the target, but as above, other parameters may be specified.

    Example: Tombak has taken ongoing 10 necrotic and poison damage (Skill Cure Ends, Heal DC 21 Minor Action, Religion DC 26 Standard Action within close burst 5). His ally Melhved is 3 squares from him; too far away to make the Heal check, so she makes a Religion check instead, ending the effect with a roll of 30.

  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Default Re: [4E] Essential House Rules

    You could take the argument about defenders and MBA a step further and apply it to things like strikers too y'know: It's not the defining issue in why some of these builds are crummy but it's certainly frustrating to, for instance, be playing a rogue and essentially be presented with the choice of going brutal scoundrel or not having an MBA. Ditto for things like the Power of Skill feat tax for avengers... or assassins simply not having an MBA at all. Etc.

    Secondly how are you deciding what's the primary stat for that case? Is it what's written on the card or how the player is playing the character? If someone shows you their character sheet and they want to make a tiefling chaknight would they still have to take wrath of the crimson legion in your mind?

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