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Thread: About charging?

  1. - Top - End - #61
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I agree with the theory. However, in practice, that doesn't work. To bull rush effectively, you need to have a class with a primary (or maybe secondary) in strength, and you need to get specific items or feats to keep the BR relevant, because its attack bonus doesn't scale. So it actually has more complex prereqs than merely picking a pushing at-will power.
    So, there's a few things here.

    First, I think you are undervaluing an unaugmented bull rush. A character with 8 str has a 35% chance of successfully pushing an average same-level monster at level 1. That's a bit over a 15% chance of instakilling a monster, should it be standing atop a sufficiently high cliff(lack of such cliffs is an issue of encounter design on the DM's part, rather than a failure on the part of bull rush). As you mention, the chance to bull rush does steadily drop, falling to 5% by level 13(for an 8 strength character). This is what you get for literally no cost. It's not a good power by any means, but at this price, it's a steal.

    Second, you seem to be conflating complexity with cost. In just the 3 PHBs, there are 22 classes. 8 of them have builds that use strength as a primary stat, and 4 have builds with it as a secondary. Meanwhile, 10 have an at-will push or slide at level 1, and none of them are leaders. Class selection is more restrictive for the at-will power, though admittedly not by as much as I'd suspected before counting. As for the other costs, over the course of their career, most characters will have fewer than 10 at-will powers(aside from the four everybody gets), but will have 18 feats and 10 magic item slots. Individual feats and items are much less valuable than at-will powers, so while selecting a few items and/or feats may be more complicated, it is not more expensive.

    Third, please note that obsolescence is an expected part of the game. This is most visible in the big three magic items, which need to be replaced every five levels in order to keep up, but it shows up in powers as well. I certainly wouldn't try to keep an average level 3 power in play at level 25 with feat and item augmentation. The fact that bull rush goes obsolete in a different manner than most things doesn't mean it is supposed to stay in use.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Grab is badly designed because of how weak it is (it's too easy to escape, was errata'ed to become even easier, and doesn't really hinder its victim). There is pretty much no reason, ever, to use the grab attack. Ranged and melee basic work mostly fine, because there are common situations where you can only use a basic attack and not an at-will (e.g. opportunity attacks and warlord granted attacks).
    Thanks for the info!

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by theNater View Post
    First, I think you are undervaluing an unaugmented bull rush.
    It's a matter of taste, but personally I don't like maneuvers that have only a 15% chance for success (and that do nothing on failure). More to the point, however, the rules for encounter building say you shouldn't have insta-kill pits. The real cost of Bull Rush is the action economy: it's a standard action that you could have used on something more effective.

    Second, you seem to be conflating complexity with cost. In just the 3 PHBs, there are 22 classes. 8 of them have builds that use strength as a primary stat, and 4 have builds with it as a secondary. Meanwhile, 10 have an at-will push or slide at level 1, and none of them are leaders.
    Sure. However, this picture is incomplete. First, forced movement powers tend to be very good, and if you have one you'll probably want to take it anyway. Second, given how rarely enemies are found right next to a cliff, it's fine to take moving encounter power. Third, I disagree that the average character's career goes all the way to level 30 (most campaigns end way earlier, and WOTC has stated that the vast majority of sessions are in heroic tier).

    In practice, if you're a leader and you want somebody pushed, you kindly ask (e.g.) the party wizard to hit it with Thunderwave, and do something else in your own turn. Bull Rush would be used much more often if it was better than it is now, and it's clearly possible to make it better without making it overpowered.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: About charging?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    It's a matter of taste, but personally I don't like maneuvers that have only a 15% chance for success (and that do nothing on failure). More to the point, however, the rules for encounter building say you shouldn't have insta-kill pits. The real cost of Bull Rush is the action economy: it's a standard action that you could have used on something more effective.
    15% is the chance for no investment; minimal investment(str 12) or incidental investing(being a class with good strength for other reasons) boosts it nonnegligibly. As to insta-kill pits, they make a easy example of how bull rush can be a low probability, high efficacy ability(which some players do like). A 15% chance of insta-kill is mathematically superior to a 50% chance to do damage equal to a quarter of the target's health. If you want to compare Bull Rush into specific level-appropriate environmental hazards vs. specific other powers, we certainly can look over as many of them you'd like.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Sure. However, this picture is incomplete. First, forced movement powers tend to be very good, and if you have one you'll probably want to take it anyway. Second, given how rarely enemies are found right next to a cliff, it's fine to take moving encounter power. Third, I disagree that the average character's career goes all the way to level 30 (most campaigns end way earlier, and WOTC has stated that the vast majority of sessions are in heroic tier).
    Because Bull Rush doesn't scale, it needs less investment to be competitive at lower levels. By the time it's obsolete enough to start costing significant numbers of feats and/or items, the PC will have plenty of feats and items. Of course, if they decide to replace the obsolete power(even if they replace it with an encounter power) instead of trying to keep it current, that's fine. It's not a design failure for old powers to be replaced by new ones.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    In practice, if you're a leader and you want somebody pushed, you kindly ask (e.g.) the party wizard to hit it with Thunderwave, and do something else in your own turn. Bull Rush would be used much more often if it was better than it is now, and it's clearly possible to make it better without making it overpowered.
    Making Bull Rush as good as class powers in moderately common situations devalues class powers; the leader and the wizard aren't any different when a best option for both of them is to Bull Rush.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theNater View Post
    If you want to compare Bull Rush into specific level-appropriate environmental hazards vs. specific other powers, we certainly can look over as many of them you'd like.
    Why is it that the level-appropriate environmental hazards mysteriously disappear when we start using specific other powers?
    "Okay, so I'm going to quick draw and dual wield these one-pound caltrops as improvised weapons..."
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    "Oh, hey, look! Blue Eyes Black Lotus!" "Wait what, do you sacrifice a mana to the... Does it like, summon a... What would that card even do!?" "Oh, it's got a four-energy attack. Completely unviable in actual play, so don't worry about it."

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    Quote Originally Posted by OracleofWuffing View Post
    Why is it that the level-appropriate environmental hazards mysteriously disappear when we start using specific other powers?
    They don't, but if the power is a push power it is unambiguously better than Bull Rush, so there's no need to compare them. If the power isn't a push power, it (probably) can't take advantage of the environmental hazard.

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    If you ask me, class powers could use a little devaluing. When you read through all the rules and options for a character during combat it's almost like the designers were scared of making anything but class powers a viable option, especially when you look at Standard Actions.

    I'm not advocating making class powers obsolete or making abilities which are identical to class powers though, I'm well aware of that risk and it's something you always have to keep in mind when your players want to do something different.

    A DM should not serve to actively cripple creative ideas into uselessness, it's alright for something to be terribly effective even if the rules originally state it shouldn't (for example, attacking an enemy from the high ground). What's most important when moving forward is that everyone understands and agrees to what's going on and if there are any changes to existing processes then they understand how those fit into the grand scheme of things.

    When presented with a cool option your PCs should not default to the "Well, it's safer and more effective just to spam my at-will" viewpoint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    If you ask me, class powers could use a little devaluing. When you read through all the rules and options for a character during combat it's almost like the designers were scared of making anything but class powers a viable option, especially when you look at Standard Actions.
    I completely agree.

    I find that too many DMs, when a PC suggest a cool option, come up with something like "ok, roll an attack roll at -2, then an athletics check, then your victim gets a saving throw". To which most players will (obviously) respond with "never mind".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    If you ask me, class powers could use a little devaluing. When you read through all the rules and options for a character during combat it's almost like the designers were scared of making anything but class powers a viable option, especially when you look at Standard Actions.

    I'm not advocating making class powers obsolete or making abilities which are identical to class powers though, I'm well aware of that risk and it's something you always have to keep in mind when your players want to do something different.

    A DM should not serve to actively cripple creative ideas into uselessness, it's alright for something to be terribly effective even if the rules originally state it shouldn't (for example, attacking an enemy from the high ground). What's most important when moving forward is that everyone understands and agrees to what's going on and if there are any changes to existing processes then they understand how those fit into the grand scheme of things.

    When presented with a cool option your PCs should not default to the "Well, it's safer and more effective just to spam my at-will" viewpoint.
    So, you've kind of moved the topic here from Bull Rush to cool options. Bull Rush is pretty uncool, and that's okay, because it's supposed to be uncool.

    When you start talking about cool options, you're really getting into nonstandard maneuvers, as covered by page 42 in the DMG. The guidelines there quite clearly state "If the action is essentially an attack, use an attack roll." It then provides a table of appropriate damages, with one set comparable to damage from at-will attacks and another comparable to encounter attacks. These guidelines make such options attractive in a number of reasonable cases(getting around a resistance, need encounter power damage but can't spend an encounter power, etc.)

    But in play, the guidelines don't often get used as written. As Kurald Galain points out:
    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I find that too many DMs, when a PC suggest a cool option, come up with something like "ok, roll an attack roll at -2, then an athletics check, then your victim gets a saving throw". To which most players will (obviously) respond with "never mind".
    I think a lot of the blame for this can be put at the feet of the terrible, terrible example provided on page 42. In it, the character wishes to make an attack, so makes an acrobatics check, then an attack roll, then pushes the target into the damage source. The target isn't given a saving throw, but it's quite understandable that most DMs would attach one, given the standard rules for pushing.

    So while I'm not sure it's technically a design failure, it is certainly a major failing in the game as published.

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    Just to break it a bit, in the previous session, there were a total of five bull rushes in one encounter, because the dominated Death Knight gave up his Soul weapon, and no one had the will to pick it up (since they get dazed) and the Death Knight was dazed as well and he couldn't move to reach it and pick it up the same round, so they were like running around, tossing the sword, standing on it, getting bull-rushed off it and falling on it to secure it with their bodies (!), both the Death Knight and the PCs and some mobs too. Was extraordinaire.

    That is all.

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    Neat Mandrake. :)

    theNater, ya, they failed to make sure that skill checks scaled with level like attack/defences.

    Had they done this, you could legitimately make an acrobatics vs reflex attack on someone, and it wouldn't fall apart at the corners.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theNater View Post
    Bull Rush is pretty uncool, and that's okay, because it's supposed to be uncool.
    Why is it supposed to be uncool? Why should it be uncool? If the game is to be cool, its core mechanics should not generally suck.

    Powers are a terrible way of dictating to players what they can attempt. They're counter-innovative, leading to stagnant combat.

    Bull rush already surrenders the ability to cause damage. It doesn't need to be restricted to a single square of movement, which makes it completely worthless against dwarves and a few other monsters. It doesn't even need to be restricted to pushing, though alternatives are more difficult. (I have allowed a player to ready a "reverse bull rush" to throw a charging enemy over his shoulder -- and the cliff at his back.)

    Grab is equally bad, as demonstrated by changes in monster design. Some of the early zombies had a grab attack that did no damage. Newer incarnations of the same creature now do damage with that attack, admitting how poor the original option was. Well, if it's poor for monsters, it's worse for you.

    At the very least, someone attempting a move or grab should have the option to invest a move action in redirecting their opponent to the lengths of the attacker's available movement (for a bull rush) or to another adjacent square by winning the appropriate opposed check (for a grab). The former could (should) grant opportunity attack against the attacker for any square beyond the first and you're still better off than with the core mechanic as written. It's enough that you're paying in actions.

    The controller's role is not jeopardized by improvements to these options. When you can either affecting multiple targets or throwing an additional effect or damage into the mix, if not doing all of this at once, you have a huge advantage over some guy that might be able to shove someone else across twenty feet of floor.

    As for the mechanics on pg. 42, they work much better when creativity always yields some reward, even if not the goal itself, as long as one check succeeds. A rogue may be perfectly happy to wind up prone next to the enemy he tried to vault if he still gains combat advantage, for example. Then again, I also have a general dislike against the savng throw mechanic as presented, so make of that what you will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shatteredtower View Post
    Why is it supposed to be uncool? Why should it be uncool? If the game is to be cool, its core mechanics should not generally suck.
    Bull Rush is supposed to be uncool because its job is to answer the question "Why can't I just shove this guy?", which is not a very cool question. It needs to be answered, because just shoving guys is something pretty much any creature can reasonably attempt, so the answer here is made simple and a bit boring.

    It should be uncool because it calls for no investment, and is ubiquitous. It can be done by any creature, and it doesn't even require the minimal investment of acquiring a weapon, so the damage it gives up is the damage of an unarmed melee basic attack. That is the level of investment it's competing with, so that's approximately the level of power it should have.

    Bull Rush is not a core mechanic of the game, in the sense that it is not something players are expected to do on a regular basis. (It is core in the sense that it's in the core rulebook, but so is the manner in which Hempen Rope is purchased, and I think we can agree that's not supposed to be cool). The core mechanics, in that sense, are the class powers. Those are supposed to be the cool stuff you do, and anyone spending a lot of time Bull Rushing instead of using class powers is playing contrary to design intent.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shatteredtower View Post
    Powers are a terrible way of dictating to players what they can attempt. They're counter-innovative, leading to stagnant combat.
    Given some of the "innovation" I have occasionally seen in earlier editions, I am quite pleased with the overall clarity and precision of powers. I find that the interactions between a relatively large number of powers are sufficient for me to keep combat from feeling stagnant, especially when the powers of the monsters are changing every few combats. Your mileage may vary, of course.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shatteredtower View Post
    Bull rush already surrenders the ability to cause damage. It doesn't need to be restricted to a single square of movement, which makes it completely worthless against dwarves and a few other monsters. It doesn't even need to be restricted to pushing, though alternatives are more difficult. (I have allowed a player to ready a "reverse bull rush" to throw a charging enemy over his shoulder -- and the cliff at his back.)

    Grab is equally bad, as demonstrated by changes in monster design. Some of the early zombies had a grab attack that did no damage. Newer incarnations of the same creature now do damage with that attack, admitting how poor the original option was. Well, if it's poor for monsters, it's worse for you.
    Again, it is okay for Bull Rush and Grab to be bad for players, because players shouldn't be using those powers a lot. Zombies should be grabbing a lot, so giving them a good grab attack is appropriate. A player who wishes to spend a lot of time pushing or immobilizing should seek out good powers for those things, not simply use the free powers everyone gets.

    As for your "reverse bull rush", that was a good example of the sort of situation the mechanics on page 42 are for. The player was attempting something cool(impromptu judo), and you decided he should have a reasonable chance of success, so he made a roll and the thing worked or didn't. Exactly how it should go.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shatteredtower View Post
    At the very least, someone attempting a move or grab should have the option to invest a move action in redirecting their opponent to the lengths of the attacker's available movement (for a bull rush) or to another adjacent square by winning the appropriate opposed check (for a grab). The former could (should) grant opportunity attack against the attacker for any square beyond the first and you're still better off than with the core mechanic as written. It's enough that you're paying in actions.
    One of the keys for these abilities is that they should be kept simple, because they aren't going to get used a lot. This was one of the problems with several of 3e's maneuvers; whenever someone wanted to use one, the rules had to be looked up, because they were too complicated and too infrequently used to remember. Adding extra complications to them in an attempt to improve them replaces ineffectiveness with inconvenience, which is a marginal improvement at best.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shatteredtower View Post
    The controller's role is not jeopardized by improvements to these options. When you can either affecting multiple targets or throwing an additional effect or damage into the mix, if not doing all of this at once, you have a huge advantage over some guy that might be able to shove someone else across twenty feet of floor.
    You'll have to remind me which controllers have at-will push 4 abilities that deal damage or hit multiple targets. I'm away from my books at the moment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shatteredtower View Post
    As for the mechanics on pg. 42, they work much better when creativity always yields some reward, even if not the goal itself, as long as one check succeeds. A rogue may be perfectly happy to wind up prone next to the enemy he tried to vault if he still gains combat advantage, for example. Then again, I also have a general dislike against the savng throw mechanic as presented, so make of that what you will.
    The mechanics on page 42 call for one check, so if they are used properly, the goal itself happens if one check succeeds. The example calls for two checks and is written in such a way that many DMs would call for a third, which is why it is such a terrible, terrible example.

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    I dunno, sticking too closely to RAW like that only serves to strengthen the stereotype of '4e is a video game, lolol'. Sticking a human component who (I hope) can make reasonable, thought out decisions, into a game as little more than a glorified computing system/referee is a horrible waste of potential.

    That said, your opinion is your opinion, and you can run your games how you like. I'm sure your players have plenty of fun but I've also never heard any player state that the game was absolutely ruined because the bullrush rules were altered a bit.

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    What's the matter with things like Vampire Slam, the lvl 1 Vampire At Will that targets Reflex, deals 1d10 dmg, and pushes a sq? Isn't that exactly the sort of answer to a bullrush that we're looking for?

    Its even on a Striker (Vampire) not a Controller.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    I dunno, sticking too closely to RAW like that only serves to strengthen the stereotype of '4e is a video game, lolol'. Sticking a human component who (I hope) can make reasonable, thought out decisions, into a game as little more than a glorified computing system/referee is a horrible waste of potential.

    That said, your opinion is your opinion, and you can run your games how you like. I'm sure your players have plenty of fun but I've also never heard any player state that the game was absolutely ruined because the bullrush rules were altered a bit.
    I'm all in favor of reasonable, thought out decisions. But the first step in making a decision on whether or not to change something is to understand why it is the way it is, which is what I'm trying to communicate about Bull Rush.

    And, really, I've never hear any player state that the game was absolutely ruined because the bullrush rules were used as written. It's not a big part of the game, so why waste effort changing it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by psiclone57 View Post
    What's the matter with things like Vampire Slam, the lvl 1 Vampire At Will that targets Reflex, deals 1d10 dmg, and pushes a sq? Isn't that exactly the sort of answer to a bullrush that we're looking for?

    Its even on a Striker (Vampire) not a Controller.
    Near as I can tell, some people feel that because Vampire Slam and Bull Rush are both at-will abilities using a standard action, there should be situations in which Bull Rush is better than Vampire Slam. I feel differently.

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    I think you're misunderstanding. I'm not advocating that you're wrong or that my way is right (okay, I am saying that, but not in the way that implies that to be right, someone else must be wrong).

    What I am aiming at here is letting everyone else reading the topic for ideas (especially aspiring DMs out there learning the trade, hello out there) know that changing the rules to make a better game should not be immediately rejected, can work and, more importantly, can greatly improve the overall experience when done well.

    As for why to change it? Well, I'm always in favour of anything which encourages players to think beyond simply looking at their powers to figure out which one (or combination of) they should use this round. I find it really helps to bring battles to life when players start considering the plethora of options ahead of them which aren't power based (or possibly not even written). I find this is best encouraged when the existing non-power options laid out for them don't completely suck.

    If a player can look at an option and say "Why would I ever waste an action on that?" then it really shouldn't even be an option in the first place. It really only serves to warn them that anything which isn't a power is probably going to suck and just end up using up an action which could've be used for a power.

    Four out of five dentists players agree, why bull rush when you could just tell the wizard to do it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    If a player can look at an option and say "Why would I ever waste an action on that?" then it really shouldn't even be an option in the first place. It really only serves to warn them that anything which isn't a power is probably going to suck and just end up using up an action which could've be used for a power.
    Precisely.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    If a player can look at an option and say "Why would I ever waste an action on that?" then it really shouldn't even be an option in the first place. It really only serves to warn them that anything which isn't a power is probably going to suck and just end up using up an action which could've be used for a power.

    Four out of five dentists players agree, why bull rush when you could just tell the wizard to do it?
    I feel like this argument can be used in favor of opposition as well, Sipex. Yes, it seems like a waste, just until the moment comes, when you have no Wizard, when you have no forced movement, when your at-wills won't do you any good through the this and the following round, when you can gain a lot by moving someone that one precious square.
    Of course, this all sounds really situational, and, to be clear, it most certainly is. But a game session is consisted only from those very same situations. If your DM and your players enjoy an (no other way to say it comes to mind) "interactive world", then moving someone can prove to be a much neater benefit.

    And to answer your question - why bull rush when you could just tell the Wizard to do it - because your Wizard is trying to hit them all with his blast in a few seconds, and he wants them there.

    It can be invaluable, as everything else. It's worse than an at-will, but it's free, and you don't look a gift horse in the mouth (except that, yeah, you do and you should, but I think this one can slide).

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    Default Re: About charging?

    So you think everyone should have a Vampire ? How about a 'let an ally make an mba as a free action' how about 'ally spends a surge'...

    think generic should be inferior to specific ones, so if you want a fighter to heal, he can pour a potion down an ally' s throat, but it is worse than the clerics healing, or even the paladin's lay on hands.

    The same should go for prone, grab, forced move, etc. Anyone can do these, but their generic options (bull rush) should be worse than specific ones (Vampire Slam).

    Change bull rush all you want, but keep it worse than Vampire Slam, so the power is still worth taking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by psiclone57 View Post
    Change bull rush all you want, but keep it worse than Vampire Slam, so the power is still worth taking.
    Considering the vampire is one of the worst classes in the game, this is not a fair comparison. Most classes, if given Vampire Slam as a free extra at-will, would never use it either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    What I am aiming at here is letting everyone else reading the topic for ideas (especially aspiring DMs out there learning the trade, hello out there) know that changing the rules to make a better game should not be immediately rejected, can work and, more importantly, can greatly improve the overall experience when done well.
    I'm entirely in favor of thought out, well done changes. The point I'm trying to make is that the first step in making such a change is to make an effort to understand why the rules are the way they are. Jumping straight from "this feels strange" to "what change should I make" is skipping several steps of a good change process.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    As for why to change it? Well, I'm always in favour of anything which encourages players to think beyond simply looking at their powers to figure out which one (or combination of) they should use this round. I find it really helps to bring battles to life when players start considering the plethora of options ahead of them which aren't power based (or possibly not even written). I find this is best encouraged when the existing non-power options laid out for them don't completely suck.
    A player who's stuck in list mode is going to tend to look at improvements to Bull Rush and say "oh, I should add Bull Rush to my list". Unless this is the desired result, it is probably better to approach this from a different direction. Having NPCs think outside the box or giving suggestive terrain descriptions are going to be much more efficient approaches to meet your goals.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    If a player can look at an option and say "Why would I ever waste an action on that?" then it really shouldn't even be an option in the first place. It really only serves to warn them that anything which isn't a power is probably going to suck and just end up using up an action which could've be used for a power.
    Players can look at anything and say "Why would I ever waste an action on that?" Changing everything your players have a negative initial reaction to makes you manipulable and will eventually break the game. Now, if they say that and you can't find an answer after giving it significant thought, and you believe it is something they should be using actions on, then it's time to start looking for a change.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    Four out of five dentists players agree, why bull rush when you could just tell the wizard to do it?
    Because the wizard isn't always available.

  23. - Top - End - #83
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    Default Re: About charging?

    I agree with almost everything TheNater is saying up there.

    To answer Kurald, Vampire Slam is not the reason the Vampire is a bad class; it is a really good At Will ability. If you feel better about it, use the Fighter ability that does the same thing. I think it is called Tide of Iron? It is a Melee At Will that pushes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by psiclone57 View Post
    To answer Kurald, Vampire Slam is not the reason the Vampire is a bad class; it is a really good At Will ability.
    Yes, but mainly for vampires. The reason is that it's a melee-range implement attack requiring dexterity. Most classes don't fit that mold, and for the same reason most classes can't effectively bull rush. This is precisely why many powers from feats, races, or paragon paths are "your highest ability modifier vs AC", so that they don't arbitrarily bar classes from using them.

    (edit) Also, don't forget that from a moderate level and upwards, most builds will only very rarely use their at-will powers any more (because combat lasts short enough that you can use an encounter or daily power almost every round).
    Last edited by Kurald Galain; 2012-11-22 at 10:23 AM.
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: About charging?

    Wow, productive discussion is productive. I'll try to reply per user, to keep things clumped together.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandrake
    I feel like this argument can be used in favor of opposition as well, Sipex. Yes, it seems like a waste, just until the moment comes, when you have no Wizard, when you have no forced movement, when your at-wills won't do you any good through the this and the following round, when you can gain a lot by moving someone that one precious square.
    Of course, this all sounds really situational, and, to be clear, it most certainly is. But a game session is consisted only from those very same situations. If your DM and your players enjoy an (no other way to say it comes to mind) "interactive world", then moving someone can prove to be a much neater benefit.

    And to answer your question - why bull rush when you could just tell the Wizard to do it - because your Wizard is trying to hit them all with his blast in a few seconds, and he wants them there.

    It can be invaluable, as everything else. It's worse than an at-will, but it's free, and you don't look a gift horse in the mouth (except that, yeah, you do and you should, but I think this one can slide).
    Oh yes, I understand that as it is, Bull Rush is written so it still fills a niche that isn't always invalidated (although it's a really small niche, let me tell you). In fact, I remember reading a campaign log where bull rush was used to great effect to finish the final battle at the end of Keep On the Shadowfell. The monk bull rushed the BBEG of the campaign straight into a portal, ending the battle at a crucial point. However, even in this situation the DM noted that some changes were made to make the bull rush work for this specific situation.

    However, if you widened that niche, and let's get this absolutely straight, I'm not advocating making bull rush a better option than existing at-will powers, then it could be used quite a bit more to a much greater effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by psiclone57
    So you think everyone should have a Vampire ? How about a 'let an ally make an mba as a free action' how about 'ally spends a surge'...

    think generic should be inferior to specific ones, so if you want a fighter to heal, he can pour a potion down an ally' s throat, but it is worse than the clerics healing, or even the paladin's lay on hands.

    The same should go for prone, grab, forced move, etc. Anyone can do these, but their generic options (bull rush) should be worse than specific ones (Vampire Slam).

    Change bull rush all you want, but keep it worse than Vampire Slam, so the power is still worth taking.
    I think we're on the same page here, since, as stated above, I don't want to invalidate current options.

    However, I will take this time to say that if you DO end up making a change to the system which invalidates an existing option, do not immediately assume the only way is to roll back. Maybe your changes invalidate the power because it's a weak power and at that point, it would be time to discuss with your players possibilities in fixing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by theNater
    I'm entirely in favor of thought out, well done changes. The point I'm trying to make is that the first step in making such a change is to make an effort to understand why the rules are the way they are. Jumping straight from "this feels strange" to "what change should I make" is skipping several steps of a good change process.
    Ah, we have a misunderstanding then. I don't advocate changing the system before understanding it either. In fact, if you go back about 6 months you'll probably see posts of me arguing with Kurald about something incredibly similar to this...except I'm the one in favour of changing nothing.

    This is something I've been learning over time and several games. Through making small changes to the existing system and realizing the game balance didn't completely implode on itself (as I was originally paranoid it might) once these changes were put into play.

    Quote Originally Posted by theNater
    A player who's stuck in list mode is going to tend to look at improvements to Bull Rush and say "oh, I should add Bull Rush to my list". Unless this is the desired result, it is probably better to approach this from a different direction. Having NPCs think outside the box or giving suggestive terrain descriptions are going to be much more efficient approaches to meet your goals.
    Oh jeez, don't get me started. Once a player gets into 'list mode' it takes quite a bit of effort to get them out of it. That's why, when you do anything like this, it needs to be readily communicated to your players not only WHAT the change is, but WHY you made it.

    Another key point is, if possible, make sure these changes are suggested, cemented and communicated near the start of the game, before players get into the swing of things. I find things go much smoother the earlier you start with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by theNater
    Players can look at anything and say "Why would I ever waste an action on that?" Changing everything your players have a negative initial reaction to makes you manipulable and will eventually break the game. Now, if they say that and you can't find an answer after giving it significant thought, and you believe it is something they should be using actions on, then it's time to start looking for a change.
    This was...confusing at first...it seemed you were taking my words too close to face value, only looking at what is written and not what is implied (almost like a metaphor for the whole discussion involving RAW). However, the latter half of this point seems to convey exactly what should've been assumed from the start, use common sense and look into the issue yourself. If you're unsure, you even have this great community to pose your situations to and get some outside opinions.

    Whenever I make a change to the system, I find myself asking a few crucial questions:
    1) Will this change invalidate another option?
    2) Will this change break the game?
    Note, this isn't "Will my change make a difference?" because any change should always make a difference. If it doesn't, then why are you changing anything?
    Spoiler: Example
    Show
    Leaving Bull Rush exactly as is except for adding the size rules, would never break the game. With all of Bull Rush's other requirements (good STR mod, within charging distance of your target, a situation which actually calls for it, no magic bonuses and no damage) something else would need to change before it would even match up to at-will power level.

    3) Will my change accomplish my end goal?
    (In this case, the end goal would be to get players to use Bull Rush more often)

    Hope that clears up a bit of confusion.
    Last edited by Sipex; 2012-11-22 at 12:48 PM.

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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: About charging?

    If you wanted to try and make a "practical" change to bull rush, you could combine it with a charge. On a successful charge attack, you can bullrush the opponent as a free action.

    Granted, this just makes charge even better (and charge doesn't really need to be better), but it "solves" a number of bull rush's problems, particularly the lack of damage and the improper attack roll scaling.

    Another alternative could be the above, allowing the player to reduce the damage they deal in increments of five damage. They can then push the target one square for each 5 damage they give up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theNater View Post
    Bull Rush is supposed to be uncool because its job is to answer the question "Why can't I just shove this guy?", which is not a very cool question.
    Wait, what? How, exactly, are you determining that, "Why can't I shove this guy?" is not a cool question?

    Why can't I hurl this guy across the room? Why can't I knock him over the fence? Why can't I send him flying down the bar? They're all the same question, and the only building you should have to do to achieve any of these things reliably should involve skill and strength.

    The option to push someone up to three squares on a particularly good bull rush result is cooler than using an encounter power that automatically does the same thing for the same reason rolling maximum damage on an attack (with or without a critical hit) is cooler than an average damage roll. The extraordinary result, luck-based or not, makes players happy -- the best kind of cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by theNater View Post
    It needs to be answered, because just shoving guys is something pretty much any creature can reasonably attempt, so the answer here is made simple and a bit boring.
    Anyone can attempt to jump, but not everyone can do it well. Notice that you do not require a feat or power to perform impressive jumps. Using powers and feats to improve your chances of doing something extraordinary is fine. Making them a requirement for such is bad design.

    The other problem I have with your argument is that it's circular. Mechanics for shoving are kept a bit boring to discourage players from attempting it because shoving people around in a fight is boring. How about letting players decide that for themselves, rather than trying to force it into that mold whether you want it or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by theNater View Post
    It should be uncool because it calls for no investment, and is ubiquitous.
    I suspect you are using that last word incorrectly; bull rush isn't widely used, running contrary to that words meaning. As for investment, you are making the only one that matters all the time: the investment of action.

    Quote Originally Posted by theNater View Post
    It can be done by any creature...
    It isn't, and that's the bird in hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by theNater View Post
    ...and it doesn't even require the minimal investment of acquiring a weapon, so the damage it gives up is the damage of an unarmed melee basic attack.
    What you're saying is that it's perfectly balanced for player characters forced to get by without powers or weapons. Unarmed or not, there are very few at-will powers that aren't preferable to bull rush. Even if your character is a wizard somehow barred from using spells, it's nearly always better to make an unarmed strike than attempt a bull rush.

    Meanwhile, for monsters, bull rush is nearly always a worse option than a basic melee attack would be. That would not change if the monster was able to shove you more than four squares instead of one.

    Quote Originally Posted by theNater View Post
    The core mechanics, in that sense, are the class powers. Those are supposed to be the cool stuff you do, and anyone spending a lot of time Bull Rushing instead of using class powers is playing contrary to design intent.
    What is "design intent"? I assumed it was to enable players to have fun playing creatively, rather than to force people into little niches of specialization.

    Your argument is that the player who enjoys throwing his character's weight around is having fun wrong. My argument is that the rule set that punishes people for wanting to enjoy that from time to time without having to invest powers, feats, and items (as well as extra cash in some cases) is flawed.

    Quote Originally Posted by theNater View Post
    Given some of the "innovation" I have occasionally seen in earlier editions, I am quite pleased with the overall clarity and precision of powers.
    You see clarity where I've seen restriction, just as happened in 3E. A player would suggest a reasonable course of action, a DM would come up with a mechanic for attempting it, and it worked... right up until new official content came along to restrict the option to a specific class/level combination once per encounter. Suddenly, "I' want to try something," gets sacrificed on the altar of, "You can't do that."

    A number of innovations I've seen at at 4E tables around here have not been to my tastes. If they're more to the taste of the players than the official ruling, that table is playing the game correctly, even if that table is not for me. (And some of them are really not for me, such as the one that uppped skill check DCs to ensure that untrained characters couldn't even attempt skill checks at their level.)

    Quote Originally Posted by theNater View Post
    Again, it is okay for Bull Rush and Grab to be bad for players, because players shouldn't be using those powers a lot.
    Says who? The rules? These are the same rules that let any non-minion creature survive at least eight minutes of holding its breath underwater, and even a sickly child is okay until at least the four minute mark. This is okay because creatures shouldn't be drowning a lot?

    Options that receive their own mechanics should not be bad because it should be up to the players to decide how often they'd like to use them, not a game designer looking to sell you another list of powers.

    Quote Originally Posted by theNater View Post
    As for your "reverse bull rush", that was a good example of the sort of situation the mechanics on page 42 are for. The player was attempting something cool(impromptu judo), and you decided he should have a reasonable chance of success, so he made a roll and the thing worked or didn't. Exactly how it should go.
    This is exactly the reason the mechanics for bull rush should be more flexible. It enables more cool stuff, without replacing other cool stuff you could be doing instead. The option to push one target more than one square on a good roll is better than the option to push one target one square, and still not good enough that most players will prefer the option to what they can achieve with powers.

    We're still not addressing options for the "pusher robot" to push multiple targets or to move safely through multiple squares. Perhaps that's the place where other mechanics should be focused.

    Quote Originally Posted by theNater View Post
    You'll have to remind me which controllers have at-will push 4 abilities that deal damage or hit multiple targets. I'm away from my books at the moment.
    That seems a lot to ask compared to a non-damaging, single-target attack that might be able to push an enemy the same distance. Still, a wizard can hit every last one of those marks with thunderwave. Without feat or item support, you might not get that full distance before level 14, but it's easy enough to surpass by level 2 if you focus on it. Beguiling strands may have a distance advantage at lower levels in exchange for less damage (but it covers a larger area and targets Will) and howling wall does no damage at all but has the advantage of attacking opponents at range. Hypnosis affects a single target, but it gives you the choice between a respectable slide or making it attack some other creature. Freezing burst can get the distance you require, but it takes a lot of work. Then again, it's a damaging area burst spell.

    The druid has chill wind, which is an area burst. It takes some doing to get 4 squares of movement out of it (hardly worth increasing it to 2, really), but it's multi-target, damaging, and slides targets instead of pushing them.

    The invoker is weak in this regard, as sure strike only hits a single target and only slides that target a square. Again, there are ways to increase that distance, but they're rarely worth it. Still, ranged 10, slide vs. push, and radiant damage with a ranged basic attack is still better than you're getting from a single target four square push.

    The psion gets force punch, which can meet the target distance with two feats and a specific item, not including what you can do with a 1 point psionic augmentation. It only damages one target, but can push several if you hit that one. Its drawback is that it's a melee attack, so you pretty much have to dedicate at least a feat to making it worth your trouble. On the plus side, a number of your other power options can also benefit from the same assortment of feats and items.

    Quote Originally Posted by theNater View Post
    The mechanics on page 42 call for one check, so if they are used properly, the goal itself happens if one check succeeds. The example calls for two checks and is written in such a way that many DMs would call for a third, which is why it is such a terrible, terrible example.
    Again, it wouldn't be if partial success still ensured some reward. Most players don't mind rolling multiple dice when they're not faced with all-or-nothing results on each one.

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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: About charging?

    Sipex, I think you and I are pretty much on the same page. The one thing that confuses me is this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    (In this case, the end goal would be to get players to use Bull Rush more often)
    That seems like a strange end goal to me. If that is actually the end goal, then I heartily endorse improving Bull Rush. But if the end goal is to see more pushing, or to see less reliance on ability lists, then there are better ways to address those than through Bull Rush.

  29. - Top - End - #89
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    Default Re: About charging?

    Okay, I think I see the disconnect, and it's visible in these two questions:
    Quote Originally Posted by Shatteredtower View Post
    Why can't I knock him over the fence? Why can't I send him flying down the bar?
    These aren't simple shoves, and so Bull Rush is not the most appropriate answer for them. These are exactly the sort of situation DMG pg. 42 is for. Let's go over them one at a time.

    Knock him over the fence: Say it's a 3-foot high white picket fence. We're just trying to whap him hard enough to knock him over, so str. vs. fort. is appropriate. We can use the flat of our blade, so add weapon modifiers to the attack roll(making a melee basic attack roll, so we don't need to do any calculations, it's right there on our character sheet). The top of the fence is pointy, so he should take some damage as he tumbles over it. Because it's reproducible, we should use a normal damage expression, and since the fence isn't exactly sharp I'm inclined to use the medium version(1d10+4 for mid-heroic tier). Naturally, he should be falling over the fence, leaving him in a different square than he started and knocking him prone.

    So the answer is "make a melee basic attack vs. fort: on hit, deal 1d10+4 damage, knock him prone, and slide him to an adjacent square on the other side of the fence. Note that the two of you will have cover from each other afterwards, 'cause there's a fence in the way now."

    Send him flying down the bar: Again, melee basic attack vs. fort seems reasonable enough. Since this is a smooth enough bar to think sliding across it is workable, lets give it a slide 3, but he has to slide along the bar. He'll also wind up prone on top of the bar(unless he falls off the other end). All of these incidentals, and the fact that a bar toss isn't generally depicted as a high-damage maneuver, suggest we should use low damages, and probably a limited one if the bar has bottles and glasses all over it, or a normal one if all he's going to collide with are decorations in the bar's woodwork.

    So our answer here is "make a melee basic attack vs. fort; on hit, deal 3d6+4 damage, knock him prone, and slide him 3 squares down the bar." If the next question is "can I do it again", the answer becomes "yes, but it'll only do 1d6+4 damage now that the bar is mostly clear."

    This is page 42 doing its thing. While you can modify Bull Rush into these answers, it seems like the long way around. Also, one of the handy advantages to the page 42 approach is that it can be easily modified; if the wizard wants to use Thunderwave to launch a chair into the guy and slide him across the bar that way, the only change is to make it an int(and implement) vs. fort attack, and maybe point out that he only gets bar-slide damage on the guy, as the Thunderwave damage is being applied to the chair.

    I think this should at least clear up where I'm coming from with my comments on the coolness of Bull Rush. If it doesn't, or if there are any other specific points from your previous post you'd like me to address, please let me know and I'll get to them.
    Last edited by theNater; 2012-11-22 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Grammar

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    Default Re: About charging?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godrednu View Post
    I can't figure out how to roll a situation in which a gargantuan creature physically runs into a medium creature. In Bull Rush you only move the target one square. Surely a gargantuan creature would send the target flying more than one square?? What am I missing here? Picture a car hitting a person in real life and you'll know what I mean.
    There are several factors to consider here. If you're a big giant nasty who's charging a dude who's awesome with his weapon, are you just going to barrel into him and push him back with your stomach so that he can then stab your stomach as you bull-rush him, or are you going to use your arms, weapons, or whatever, to keep him safely away from your belly? And is he going to be nice and jolly, allowing you to push him as far as you want to? Even if you have the advantage in mass and size, he's a person, and can move to the side. Changing your velocity, on the other hand, is more difficult due to your raw mass.

    That's also justifying, but why would you want the gargantuan monster to push them further? We're talking about heroes, here, not just some farmer with a pitch fork. Heroes figure ways out, mass aside. 4E is not realistic, and has embraced it to allow PCs to be cool and have fun instead of attempting to deny it in the attempt to be realistic. **** realism, let the action roll.

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