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[4E] House rule idea for PHB 2 defense feats

Crazy Jerome

Retired User
No math in this post, though I'm taking some of the math guys conclusions at face value. (Some of them.)

Propose that all Fortitude, Reflex, and Will boosting feats in PHB2 retain their current values, but apply only to conditions imposed by attacks, not damage. All such feats become untyped bonuses.

Analysis:

The assumptions are that these feats are "too good", because FRW defense fall behind. In particular, the +4 untyped bonus feats at Epic, stacking on the +2 Epic (all three) is too good to pass up. OTOH, the assumption is that this "feat tax" makes the requirement annoying. I'm not sure I agree, but let's say that this is all so.

But we aren't done. It is also claimed that getting stunned, dazed, etc. is distinctly unfun, and that monsters that do this are the main threats to do lasting harm, because the damage output is relatively pitiful. So the feats are causing the monsters to do less damage. The way to fix this is to let attacks that target FRW continue to do some damage, but minimize the conditions.

I don't have my books with me, but I understand this proposal would mean that characters coulld somewhat beat the +6 under the current rules (by Epic), due to stacking. Attacks would be rolled as normal, but the character would have an additional bonus against the condition.

As a bonus, this makes solos and elites (with similar abilities stacked on), a bit tougher to put down under the party gang attack.

On the negative side, the extra handling raises the annoying spectre of "Touch AC" again.
 

Scarik

You die as you live.
Validated User
I don't think I follow you.

What does this actually mean?
Propose that all Fortitude, Reflex, and Will boosting feats in PHB2 retain their current values, but apply only to conditions imposed by attacks, not damage. All such feats become untyped bonuses.
 

aservan

Standard Issue Nerd
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Yeah I don't understand where you are going.

I don't think the feats in question adjust damage at all. They just increase your NADs.

Having played Epic if you don't take at least some of these feats you will be hit nearly constantly when attacked on a Non AC Defense. Even then your lowest NAD should probably be written off as you are throwing good money after bad. For Example: Just assume as an Epic Paladin that you will be hit every time a monster attacks reflex. Even with the feats you will be hit most of the time so it is better not to bother and choose something else.
 

hong

Big glowy smiley-thing
I think this is what he means. Say a monster has an attack vs Fort that does 2d6 damage and stun (save ends). It rolls 25 to hit. Your base Fort is 24, and Great Fortitude makes that 26. The attack would count as a hit for the 2d6 damage, but you wouldn't be stunned.
 

Crazy Jerome

Retired User
I think this is what he means. Say a monster has an attack vs Fort that does 2d6 damage and stun (save ends). It rolls 25 to hit. Your base Fort is 24, and Great Fortitude makes that 26. The attack would count as a hit for the 2d6 damage, but you wouldn't be stunned.
Got it in one, hong. That is the kind of example I should have included. I blame it on no sleep in 24 hours. :)

aservan, the damage part is important to keep the monsters still somewhat of a threat. Basically, it seems to me that all the fuss over the feats, "too good!", "should have been free", etc. is fighting with the fact that monsters already do to little damage, but inflict conditions too easily. Having a bunch of monster attacks versus FRW that do damage and conditions makes this essentially unsolvable by simply adjusting defenses up or down. The way to fix it is to somehow separate the frequency of the damage hitting from the conditons hitting.

Of course, you could get some of the same effect by generally boosting FRW, increasing damage, and having all those attacks doing some damage on a miss. My way is just easier to apply without rewriting every such attack.
 

aservan

Standard Issue Nerd
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Ok but you just made mettle and evasion become really awesome feats then. Also while this might make sense for solos giving ordinary artillery monsters automatic damage is way harsh. PCs don't have that many hit points (monsters do but that's a separate problem).

I mean I see what you are getting at now, but I can't claim that I think this will fix the issues with high level fights. At best it sorta addresses one of them: The monsters don't do enough damage damage one.

It doesn't really address the: uber-status effects are boring and make the fight take too long. That's still there. The monster isn't trying to dominate the wizard with the Will attack. He goes after the ranger. Monster isn't trying to stun the two weapon ranger with the fortitude attack he picks on the wizard. See the problem?

The ranger is gonna get will smacked and the wizard get fort smacked regardless of how many feats he/she takes. In paragon when these effects only last a round or two, because they can't be repeated, this isn't a big deal. In Epic many monsters can repeatedly do this stuff.

Also if you make a broad rule like this it will negatively effect lower levels when monster damage output is fine.

Anyway I applaud the attempted fix, but I don't think this is the answer.
 

eepop

Retired User
There are lots of ways to implement what he is suggesting, I think at this point he's mostly just doing theorywork to see what other people think in concept.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For example, in addition to being implemented as the previous poster suggested, you could do it this way:

Or instead of dealing with defense at all they could be houseruled to give a bonus to any save from an effect originating from that source.

So paragon feats might give +2 to saves against anything that targeted that specific defense.
And epic feats might give +5 to saves against anything that targeted that specific defense.

Defenses stay the same so the damage stays the same, but you don't suffer from the annoying effects as much.
 

Juriel

New member
Banned
I think the OP is looking at this wrong. The defenses tend to stall behind the attack bonuses of the monsters - the PHB2 epic feats are meant to fix this gap.
 

Crazy Jerome

Retired User
I think the OP is not explaining it very well, because half of the replies are directed at something I did not advocate. :D

It doesn't really address the: uber-status effects are boring and make the fight take too long.
Yeah, it does. Because the improved defenses still apply to the status effects, and are even higher if you let them stack all the way. If you leave the damage part of NAD attacks alone, but have a way to get +5 to +8 against the status effects, then you have PCs suffering less status effects.

Assumptions (for sake of argument): NAD defenses lag behind, to the point that monsters hit mid-paragon and up characters, too often with NAD attacks. Status effects (stun, et al.) hitting that easily are not fun and slow down those fights too much. However, high level monsters also do too little damage.

So whatever fix(es) are suggested, they should address all of these points. Simply adding the feats does not do this. It makes the NAD attacks hit less often. Fine, you just caused the monsters to do less damage. Or you can leave the NADs lower with a fix. Fine, you are now doing more damage, but the status effects hit too often. The problem is in the linkage of the status effects to the expected damage. To really fix it, those must be delinked.

You can delink it the way I suggested--let the damage hit easily and give the status effects a much higher number to hit. Or you can go the improved save versus status effect route. I thought about that, but the disadvantage there is that you need to fool around with the way saves work. Otherwise, all those saves happening at the end of the turn will still be costing the PCs a lot of actions.

I suppose you could move all saving throws to the beginning of the turn, for monsters and PCs alike. Then give the PCs (via feats or whatever) a modest increase to saves as they level, probably topping out around +5, as eepop suggested. That makes the PCs act like solos. That would certainly simplify handling time (in several ways). It would make solos a lot harder to shut down by the gang attack. It interacts funny with the "saves as a duration mechanic" in the design--but that might be a decent sacrifice.
 
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