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Players Roll Defense Check vs. DM Roll Enemy Attacks

So it looks like we have the 4e static damage system figured out that includes rules for "rerolling" (if/when it comes up) and optional rules for extra damage dice rolling and low static damage. Either with or without the optional rules, combat using the 4e static damage system will be faster and require less math than regular combat. It would also be less work for PbP games here, because their would be no need to include dice tags for damage. That effectively cuts down around half of the dice tags used for combat.

Regarding the static rolls issue, I don't like it for one main reason:

The average roll does not always correspond to the average damage.

This is true when the enemy has any way of reducing the damage taken, like DR. Consider a 1d6+2 attack against a monster with DR 5/-. The average roll (3.5+2-5) would do 0.5 damage. But the average hit will do 1.0 damage, because your hits never do negative damage.


@Kernal: Let me use your example:

Regular Combat
Enemy (+5) attacks player (AC 19). Tie goes to the attacker (the roller), so the enemy would need a 14+, which is a 35/65 hit/miss ratio.

Players Roll Defense Check
Player defends (AC 19 or +9) an enemy's attack (+5 or DC 17). Tie goes to the defender (the roller), so the player would need a 8+, which is a 65/35 success/failure ratio (or miss/hit ratio).

By just using the defense bonus (+9) instead of the actual defense (AC 19), you can reduce the defense check by 10 from +22 to +12 (not +21 or +11).

For the record, the players rolling defense check was not an idea I had that was supposed to speed up combat.

Static Damage
You bring up an interesting point about Damage Reduction (or Resist in 4E). However, can you provide some real examples of enemies that have Resist so we can compare the Resist value with the static damage for a character of an appropriate level.

Most enemies don't have a damage reduction against everything.. Really I don't think 4e has Damage Reduction at all, just resistances to certain types of damage.. Undead almost always resist necrotic damage, for example. Attacking a creature with damage resistance of 5 with an attack that does 1d6+2 means that at most you'd do 3 damage if you're rolling.. Half the time the damage reduction would make you do 0 (I believe damage reduction can reduce attacks to 0 damage)..

With static damage, you'd probably have to add in a caveat that says damage reduction (really we should say Resistances since we're talking 4e) cannot reduce damage below 1 unless the resistance is higher than the weapon critical damage. So your crit damage in the 1d6+2 case would be 8, a creature with Resistance 10, for example, should resist all of it all the time, barring additional buffs.

So let's say attacking a creature with Resist Necrotic 5 with a Necrotic attack doing 1d6+2 damage. Static damage would be 5.. So he does 1 damage per round he hits.. 4 damage over 4 hits using the above stated rule.. Depending on how you roll, you could end up doing more or less than 4 damage over 4 hits.. Sure if your dice dropped a bunch of sixes and you were having good luck, you could do more, but if you had bad luck and dropped a bunch of 1s, 2s, and 3s you'd do no damage.

I don't think the Resist issue makes much difference with static damage.

First, won't most 1st level At-Will attacks be dealing damage dice 1d6-1d12 with at least a +3 to +5 damage modifier. That means that the range of 1st level At-Will static damage is 6-11. So an enemy with Resist 5 would always be taking some damage, 1-6 in this case. Keep in mind that this is just the base static damage before any bonus modifiers from ally feature/power effects or feats.

Second, players also need to make smart choices with power selection and power use. They shouldn't be using an attack that deals necrotic damage on an enemy that has Resist necrotic. This is just as true in a game with damage rolled as it is in a game with static damage.

At this point, I'm not convinced that any changes need to be made to Resist when using the static damage system.


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