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Posts Tagged ‘Gaming’

So, as Morgoth, my little wizard, looked over our parties recent treasure haul from our last adventure, we had a Longsword +2, (common item) that nobody wanted. So I went to sell it. Well, common items sell for 20%, ergo it’s price of 1800gp was going to be cut down to 360gp which is sort of sad considering it’s a magic item. Then, a thought occured to me what if I disenchant the item for residuum? Well again it yeilds 20% since the item is common.

Then an epiphany!

Talk about an upgrade!

The Enchant Magic Item Ritual allows you to upgrade an existing item for the difference in cost. So the Longsword +2 it worth 1800gp. To create a Pact Sword +2 takes an 800GP investment. (Total cost of the new sword = 2600gp) The kicker is that a Pact Sword +2 is an Uncommon Item! So now you have an Uncommon item worth 2600gp. With the Disenchant Magic Item Ritual, you can turn a magic item to Residuum as I noted previously. Uncommon items are converted into 50% of their cost. So by disenchanting the Pact Sword +2, you yeild 1300GP worth of Residuum!!! Which can be used or sold for an equal amount of gold. You just made a 500GP profit for several hours work plus the cost of the disenchantment!

So, those uncommon plus weapons are now a good way to make some GP/Residuum in order to be used to craft items of greater power!!!

So crafters of the World rejoice!

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Death comes for us all!

Here’s a topic which has been floating around for a while with 4E, that has some people split. Is 4E lethal enough? Some people think that it’s near impossible to die in 4th edition due to the fact the old school -10 rule is now Negative Bloodied value, the numerous amounts of surges each class gets, and the fact that any healing while negative starts from zero!

First, I would like to say that I killed two characters in our last session, (A Scales of War campaign I am running) and I darn near killed a third. Darn you KRAKUS!!! (He made a death save, stood up and ran like hell). So with that in mind I took a hard look this last week at the lethality of 4E compared to other editions; and here’s what I’ve come up with.

First off, I believe that 4E is just as lethal as other editions. It’s been my observation from listening to talk, playing and DM’ing, that some DM’s are just reluctant to punch a number when it comes up. Secondly, 4E incorporates party KNOCKOUTS in a big way. Basically any character who has negative HP is unconscious. What better way to run a captured and tied up scenario? After all as a DM you have more than twice the wiggle room than other editions since negative Bloodied is easily greater than -10 after just a few levels. (more…)

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Hey there, this is the first in a category which I’ve titled “house rulez” since well, they are house rules we use to make 4E better. Or rather, what we believe to be better.

One small issue I have with 4E is that potions now seems to need to be “powered” by surges. While this plays mechanically, and prevents a certain amount of potion obsession among characters, it’s logically flawed. Particularly where healing is involved. While I am quite ok with someone drinking a potion and spending a surge to produce a Non-healing benefit, it makes no sense to spend a surge in order to produce a healing benefit. Or rather, why would I drink the healing potion if I have a healing surge? Duh…

Well mechanically your options are limited of course, since you can only second wind, once during an encounter, barring the fear third wind. And healing options have their limits. All of which I enjoy. But the level 5 Potion of Healing asks you to spend a healing surge to receive 10HP of healing. While at first level this may sound great, following levels get more and more gipped by this low return on investment.

Ergo, the following House Rule was born in my game. Subsequently the Id DM decided to use it as well.

Rule = When consuming a Potion of Healing, the user can receive the 10 HP of healing; Or use a Healing Surge to receive their full surge value.

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This weekend I had a two separate conversations regarding skill challenges. As it so happened I triggered one this weekend while playing with the ID DM and it also triggered a side conversation. The question(s) was asked, Do you tell players when they have triggered a skill challenge?
Well, this was an interesting question, and since the idea of the skill challenge is semi-new to RP. Sure they’ve been there before, but not in such the technical and literal sense. Here’s my take on the matter.

Skill Challenged!

First off, there are two types of skill “checks”. There’s the obstacle, and the challenge. The obstacle is what most of us are used too seeing. Pick the lock, climb the wall, jump over the table, search for traps. These are all obstacles which rely on a single die roll or check. An obstacle is a pass or fail type of check, where sometimes there is a partial level of success. A skill challenge is an obstacle which requires multiple checks to either pass or fail a larger goal. Such challenges can as simple as traveling over difficult terrain, or scouring the city for information on the evil den of thieves, to something as dangerous as shutting down a mystical portal which is pounding the party with evil energy each round. Which is what happened this weekend.

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Here’s on issue which came up while I was replying to the Id DM. It was the difference between skill versatility in 3.5 and 4E.

Honestly, I think one of the issues 4E succeeds in is the consolidation of skills. Previous editions required skills for every single little thing you wanted to do. Consolidation makes things so much easier and flexible for both the player and the DM. Diversity in skills is not always by how many skills there are, but within how many things you can do with a specific skill. 4E is much more diverse in this regard and you also don’t have to spend skill points in silly things like crafting or profession anymore, which detracts from skills you would really want.

Skill challenges are a great 4E concpet which also open more viable options for RPing through encounters instead of combat. It also

4E Swiss Army Knife!

directly rewards good RP. It’s quite possible to have an entire adventure filled with skill challenges and still gain XP. This is definately a boon for the really hard core RP folks. But I’ll talk more on skill challenges another time.

I think the largest issue people have with 4E is that DM’s have not learned how to use it properly yet; and players haven’t either for that matter. My first DM had me hating 4E big time. In fact I wrote a scathing review. But then I decided to give it a second try and once I began to DM it, and then played with another DM, I radically changed my stance on 4E.

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Enter the Maestro!

Well it’s been a long while comming, but I’ve decided to finally start blogging about all things DND 4E. I’ve been participatingin a friends blog, the ID DM, for a while now, and decided that I might as well contribute to all things 4E. So, since Morgoth, my tiefling wizard in the ID DM’s campaign made me do it, he’s going to be the mascot…. “MASCOT?!?!?….. /e Fireball!”… As you can see, he likes fireballs.

Anyway, a little about me. I’ve been playing D&D since basic edition, and have never stopped. I’ve played every boxed or booked world D&D has printed, and have finally ended up in 4th Edition, back in Forgotten Realms & another homebrew campaign. Currently I am running my group through the Scales of War which was printed in Dungeon Magazine. It’s a series of adventures which are connected and take characters from levels 1-30! So far it has been a great run, and we are having a great time.

At first I was turned off by 4E, but in retrospec it had more to do with the DM than the game itself. Over time I’ve become quite the advocate for 4E, and have learned the reasoning and seen the benefits of many of the changes. Now don’t get me wrong, I liked 3.5, 2nd, and even 1st editions just fine too. But 4E has done many things different that simply MAKE SENSE. As a DM it’s easier to run mechanically, and there are plenty of tools out there to even make it easier.

Most of what this blog will be about is about tips, tricks, hints, reasoning, tactics, and general knowledge about 4E, that hopefully will generate a better appreciation for the design. Of course there are always little things you don’t like (cough potion design) and I’ll discuss houserules and alternate ideas.

I surely hope you all enjoy and participate!

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