Saturday, August 27, 2016

Skills and the Paying of Bills

The chart of recommended DCs by level in 4e has been done three times- once in the original DMG on the famous page 42, changed in the DMG2, and changed still further in the D&D Rules Compendium. Basically, the designers had a hard time nailing down the math for skills. And it’s easy to see why. We’ve seen how “to hit” bonuses in combat were basically kept uniform across various characters- the game assumes a +5 bonus at 1st level and increases from there through various means. However, the bonuses on individual skills can go all over the place- anywhere from -2 to +13. On top of all this, skill challenges, a noble attempt to provide some mechanical support to out of combat activities, were presented in an embryonic form and required some tweaking. There’s room for improvement, meaning the question is both how skills work in 4e and how they ought to work.

Friday, August 12, 2016

A Storm of Status Effects

Status effects are where a lot of the potential nightmare lies in retrocloning 4e. They make up most of what makes attack powers unique, there are a hell of a lot of them (16 in total), there’s no clear ranking of what’s more powerful and by how much, and pretty much none of them are identical to the named effects in the 3rd edition SRD. This means that you have to come up with the wording yourself and avoid replicating what’s in the rulebooks.