[4E] Essential House Rules - Myth-Weavers

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[4E] Essential House Rules

   
[4E] Essential House Rules

#1: Ritual mastery, and surge powered rituals:



#2: Feat Tax Fixes Each player gains one free expertise and one free defense bolstering feat of that player's choice. The defense feat chosen must permanently and unconditionally increase at least one defense. An expertise feat gained in this way may only be retrained into another expertise feat. A defense bolstering feat gained in this way may only be retrained into another defense bolstering feat as defined here.

Why? Both Expertise and defense boosting feats are required to keep pace with monster defense and attack roll progressions; these are universal feat taxes.

Further, these feats are so powerful relative to other feats of the same tier (particularly by Paragon) that they are de facto feat taxes.


#3: Defender Melee Training Each defender that has a primary ability other than Strength gains a free Melee Training or other feat that enables them to substitute their Strength with their primary ability score for the attack rolls of opportunity and/or melee basic attacks. This feat may only be retrained into another feat of the same type as defined here.

Why? Precludes non-strength defenders from suffering an unnecessary feat tax in the form of Melee Training and equivalents. These feats are required if the defender wants a strong opportunity attack, which is essential for the role.


#4: Anti-Forced Movement/'Ping-Pong' Cheese A creature can only take damage from entering or exiting a zone, square, space, aura or area once per turn.

Why? Prevents degenerate forced movement combos accumulating massive amounts of automatic damage (see Storm Pillar + readied forced movement as an example).


#5: Alternative Reward Limits PCs are only allowed one (1) slotless Alternative Reward item (boons, grandmaster training, etc...) per tier.

Why? Generally, these items are incredibly and disproportionately powerful for their cost and rarity. Coupled with the fact that they're slotless, they're far too strong to be permitted without any such limiter.


#6: Anti-Intimidomancy Cheese Elites gain a +5 bonus to resist Intimidate checks and Solos gain a +20 bonus to resist Intimidate checks to force surrender if their level is equal to or greater than an Intimidating creature's. A creature gains a +2 bonus to resist Intimidate checks to force surrender for each level they're above an Intimidating creature, and for each ally it is aware of (including the creature) that exceeds the total number of enemies it is aware of. These bonuses are cumulative.

Why? Helps reduce the impact of Intimidate optimization abuse in a way that conforms to verisimilitude. Without such rules, Intimidate optimization can easily and instantly eliminate bloodied threats en masse, including Solos and Elites.


#7: Hidden Rules Loophole Fix Hidden status and/or the benefits of Hidden status cannot be used to satisfy the requirements/prerequisites for becoming Hidden or remaining Hidden.

Why? Because letting Hidden status satisfy its own prerequisites is broken and recursive and yet this is entirely legal per the RAW. On a personal note, it's truly sad that the stealth rules are so poorly worded as to require this addition.


#8: Anti-Chargecheese Characters may only benefit from one beneficial item effect/property, feat, power and/or class feature per tier (Heroic/Paragon/Epic) per charge that enhances a charge attack specifically (such as the Horned Helm, Surprising Charge, Badge of the Berserker and the Lance mounted bonus), and/or is specifically triggered by one (such as Boots of Adept Charging, Iron Wolf Charge, etc).

Why? Helps address and curtail the massive, universal and centralizing optimization hegemony that charge optimization (known colloquially as 'chargecheese') permits.


#9: Anti-Frostcheese Lasting Frost is reworded as follows: Benefit: Each target you hit with a power that has the cold keyword gains vulnerable 5 cold after that power resolves. This vulnerability lasts until that target takes cold damage, or until the end of your next turn, whichever comes first. When a creature gains vulnerability in this way during a turn, it cannot do so again until the next start of that turn.

Why? Prevents cumulative abuse of the feat + cold damage type combo (known colloquially as 'Frostcheese'), particularly vs single targets, leaving it powerful, particularly when it comes to AoE attacks/attacks against multiple targets, but limited.


#10: Anti-Multihitcheese You can only apply positive damage modifiers, additions and bonuses to damage rolls and other instances of damage once per action or power, per target, per round (i.e. from the turn that action or power was used until the next start of that turn). This includes extra damage from vulnerabilities.

For example, if taking an action that features multiple attacks, you apply all positive damage modifiers once per attack (damage instance) against each target of that attack. If making multiple attacks against the same target with that action, only the first damage instance from that action benefits from positive modifiers.

Why? Prevents abusive synergies between damage bonuses and powers that hit multiple times such as Flame Spiral, Brutal Barrage and Twin Strike, which can normally apply those bonuses on each hit, resulting in excessive damage outputs.


If I'm missing any other high priority/important house rules, be sure to let me know.


Less Essential Houserules:

Though not as critical to an enjoyable 4e experience as the above changes, I find the game does work better with these additions:

Added the following under "Less Essential Houserules":


#1: PCs have a +1 innate enhancement bonus to all attack rolls and damage rolls for implement or weapon attacks and to all 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 other sources.

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 bolt and arrow ammo isn't tracked. Currency weight isn't tracked, nor are currency denominations except where necessary. Players are always assumed to have adequate basic ammo (bolts and arrows), 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.


#3: Super Minions

There is a new creature type called the Super Minion. It's worth twice as much XP as a Minion of its level. Whenever a Super Minion takes damage while unbloodied, unless that damage is equal to or greater than its Soak, it is bloodied instead of destroyed. Whenever a Super Minion spends a healing surge to regain hit points, or regains hit points equal to or greater than its Soak while bloodied it is no longer bloodied.

Soak is usually defined as the bloodied value of that creature if it were a Standard.

Why? Adds a 'happy medium' option between Standards and Minions which can exploit and interact with bloodied/unbloodied states/mechanics.

#4: Improved Generic Attacks:



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.


#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.


#6: Skill Save Ends and Skill Save Cures:

Skill Save Ends:

Skill Cures:

Why: Helps skills become more useful in combat and rewards their investment outside of Acrobatics and Athletics, and niche skill challenges.


#7: Melee Training & Generic Attacks:

Melee Training allows a character to substitute a Melee Training attribute of their choice for Strength or Dexterity when it comes to making Generic Attacks as detailed in 'Less Essential Houserule' #4.

Why? Allows PCs other than Strength specialized builds to effectively use the new Generic Attacks.


#8: Defense Save Ends:

Defense saves are triggered whenever a regular saving throw would be, including by abilities that grant additional saving throws, and are subject to the same bonuses and penalties and are otherwise identical to regular saving throws with the exception that the saving creature rolls a 1d20 and adds an indicated defense against a DC equal to attack roll of the attack or effect that inflicted the effect being saved against + 10. If a defense save ends effect was inflicted by an attack with multiple attack rolls, the DC is set by the attack roll against the defense featured by the saving throw, or the highest attack roll otherwise. If that effect did not feature an attack roll, the DC is instead equal to 23 + the level of the effect’s origin. This DC might be modified by other effects at the time the attack roll is made or the effect is inflicted, such as a bonus to attack rolls.

Example: Ferrum is subject to a Thin Man's toxic spit that inflicts 5 ongoing poison damage (Fort save ends). This hit him with an attack roll of 20, setting its DC at 30 (20 + 10). As normal, whenever Ferrum makes saving throws, typically at the end of each of his turns, he makes a saving throw against this effect, rolling 1d20 and adding his Fortitude defense of 15 to it, including whatever bonuses or penalties he may have to saving throws (or his Fortitude defense). If this amount equals or exceeds the DC of 30, the effect ends.

Why? Improved verisimilitude as it allows a character's nature to play a bigger role in determining its resistance to effects; a hulking, durable warrior is more likely to shrug off a physical affliction than a sickly wizard as an example.

Some indirect PEACH on these rules I thought would be useful to include in the thread for posterity and reference:


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 how much 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.

I'd be agreeable to most (if not all) of your suggestions. I'd need to look them over more carefully to give more specific feedback, but I'm generally in favor of the changes you suggest.

So, yeah. I'm not saying much more than "looks good to me."

#1 I think that DnD made a mistake by having +1 anything as a feat (the problem with feat tax). I think the +1 hit/+2dmg trade off for weapons is fine though.

A house rule we use (much like yours) is that all characters just get the +1 hit (weapons/implements). The existing expertise feats exist but you pick them up if you want that expertise benefit -- which sometimes are still worth it but it makes for more flexibility in builds.

Quote:
#2: Each player gains one free expertise and one free defense bolstering feat of that player's choice. The defense feat chosen must permanently and unconditionally increase at least one defense.
Replace "one free defense bolstering feat" with "Improved Defenses". Improved Defenses handles the disparity in NADs nicely without granting other secondary effects. Things like Superior Will should not be granted for free!

Quote:
#3: Each defender that has a primary ability other than strength gains a free Melee Training or other feat that enables them to substitute their strength with their primary ability score for the attack rolls of opportunity or melee basic attacks.
Why limit this to Defender classes? ANY primarily melee class that doesn't have Str as their primary ability (e.g., Rogue, Avenger) suffers this as well. In fact, Wizards has fixed this problem with newer classes. Swordmage, Bladesinger, Thief, etc. all have a class feature that allows them to substitute <<Primary Ability>> for Str when making Melee Basic Attacks.

Nothing sucks harder than the party's Warlord or Shaman granting an MBA to the rogue ... who then takes an effective -4 or -5 penalty to his attack because his Str mod is 0.

I suggest upgrading this to rule to conform with the newer class design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMorganes View Post
Replace "one free defense bolstering feat" with "Improved Defenses". Improved Defenses handles the disparity in NADs nicely without granting other secondary effects. Things like Superior Will should not be granted for free!
Additional options that achieve roughly the same goal are preferable, and this rule is more friendly to those builds looking to maximize their defenses with the specific stat boosters. TBH, even the 'best' of the Superior feats, Superior Will, is merely competitive with ID at Paragon and at Epic, ID edges out SW in my view by themselves.

Quote:
Why limit this to Defender classes? ANY primarily melee class that doesn't have Str as their primary ability (e.g., Rogue, Avenger) suffers this as well. In fact, Wizards has fixed this problem with newer classes. Swordmage, Bladesinger, Thief, etc. all have a class feature that allows them to substitute <<Primary Ability>> for Str when making Melee Basic Attacks.

Nothing sucks harder than the party's Warlord or Shaman granting an MBA to the rogue ... who then takes an effective -4 or -5 penalty to his attack because his Str mod is 0.

I suggest upgrading this to rule to conform with the newer class design.
Because decent OAs are essentially a requirement for Defenders, whereas they're simply nice to have for virtually every other role. I can maybe see giving Strikers such a feat, especially as there's precedence for it ala Essentials Strikers (though to be fair, those classes are keyed off of MBAs) but it's too hard to justify anything beyond that in my view.

Update to the 'less essential' section:

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

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 succeed by 5 or more, 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.

Second last sentence of 'Pin' should read "...until the grab ends"







 

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