This post this morning is going to focus on two areas. D&D 4th edition and the new monster errata’d damage chart. And some Elemental notes.
Firstly, Elemental. They’ve got a gigantic update to the game in version 4 that is going to come out tonight. And there is LOT coming out as a result. What’s cerebrally intriguing is that we’ll be getting some mod tools to begin making things for ourselves. And thus by proxy stuff for others. And you ALL know by now I’ll be recording a wave of videos to give you a real idea of what’s coming, and some of the things we’ll be able to do.
And with all the fixes that were placed within this new version, it’s going to be massive step up from 3C. Which while fun, and showed you a good idea of what to expect with the changes, this sheer specular intensity is going to be like walking in from the beshadowed night, into a radiant chamber of an angelic host. (And yet, there will be even more polish done that we’ll only see when the game goes live! Which is an awesome prospect.)
As always I’ll put up new videos once I get my hands on the new version! (Can you detect the excitement yet? What this engine represents … for our future gaming experiences.. unparalleled vista’s.)
Now for a quick switch. In July WotC released a new errata update – July Update. And within it’s confines was a new damage scheme for monsters. They stream lined the damage table with a specific baseline, and I did the math it’s based upon averages. For example the average damage of a level 5 opponent now is 2d6+6 (13). That is the normal damage of an every day non-minion opponent per attack. And here’s what the baseline for the previous version was. 1d10+4 (9). Seems like an average of 4 points across the board. Okay that’s good, and it gets better, and bigger as the levels go up of the opponent.
I spent a few hours the other night, building a chart with a lot of variable numbers, based upon the type of circumstance that would be the delivery method, of the attack. With the variables being Baseline, Brute or a limited/encounter +25% damage, Limited/Encounter 50% or Brute + Limited 25% damage, and Brute Encounter +50% damage.
And then used some variables.
And so last night I got to really give this damage a run through.. with my weekly “Tide of the Risen Nemesis Campaign.” – Consisting of players I’ve known for over 25 years.
And let me tell ya… Wow! This was the challenge type I love to give the players, and felt appropriate for a level +2. And what the heck am I talking about? Well.. glad you asked. See, they were going up against a bunch of fanatic militant cultists, and by the end of it. All the cultists lay dead, 3 daily attack powers of 6 had been used, the warlock was dropped to negatives twice, and at the very end, every single one of the six adventurers were bloodied.
My favorite quotes about that.. when I “Clipped” Airadan the elven avenger for 19 points of damage. And the phrase, “That’s not a clip, that’s a crush.” Or when it was over, “We got our asses handed to us.”
And for the first time, it felt like a real challenge to the players. See even after playing this version of the game for over 2 years. I always felt like they just didn’t pose enough of a threat to the players. And by threat I mean a real one, where they may die. It became rote. Easy to walk through with some minor stuff to push it up. But take the Scales of War campaign that is being run in my world. I’m assisting the DM, and also running a pair of characters. (Long story I’ll share one day). But using the materials presented in the books. In the 8 levels of fighting, we’ve had a small handfuls of real challenge. And in this last one that gave us a challenge, the encounter had to be several levels above our groups in order to give us this challenge, that in my “Tide of the Risen Nemesis Campaign” had in a single damage change.
I’ve been helping the other DM upgrade the monsters in the modules to do a bit more damage that corresponded to the actual numbers presented on the DMG page 184/185. Cause even by their own actions they’ve always been on the light side of damage. And that’s just BS. Seriously, so I’ve always been upping the damage of the monsters. But even then, it always felt just to damn light even when I did it. (Side note: They also updated the to hits of the Brute so now it’s +5 vs AC and +3 vs the other non-AC defenses, which is about Frakking time. While they also toned down the super fighter, to +5 vs AC and +3 vs non-AC defenses. Which is also about damn time.)
Overall.. these changes in damage are just outstanding. They give the fights teeth. And make the players actually have to pay attention to the enemies. They can’t sleep walk through the fights. And in my case I’m looking forward to the Scales of War Campaign getting it’s upgrade in damage. So each fight will be more interesting and dangerous.
With those things happening… it’s like the guys over at the WotC finally woke the frak up. And realized they had made a game that was too easy on the players. That the threat of death could happen but only so rarely. Well frak that. People don’t care or feel a sense of achievement unless they are challenged. (Now some people are challenged every day by simple things like craptacular dice rolls, Amy, Jason, Brian, John, Josh, Lenny, Joy, Adam, Mike, Nick, Ashley, Me, Frank, Matt, Roy.. yeah basically were all challenged by damn bad rolls.)
Anyway’s. The new damage? Great. The update to the Adventure Tools monster builder.. *rolls eyes in agitation*. The idea is great, their implementation of code is just FRAKKIN’ horrible. I swear some days, you wish they would pay attention to what f**king year it is and hire some competent coders and give them the money to make the tools work properly across the board, instead of breaking it or have it look or work like crap.
What am I talking/ranting about? The damn monster builder isn’t even using the new damage tables correctly. Their numbers are just off across the board, and the monsters saving formats, aren’t working properly in all cases, recharge power numbers are disappearing and the changes just aren’t working quite right. So it’s a case of making the powers, manually fixing the damage according to my own damn chart, saving the creature exporting it, making sure they still work in the combat manager and so on.
Since I’m not ranting, why the HELL hasn’t WotC made a digital combat manager program? Or grabbed the code/coder from the D&D 4E combat manager, and presented that program to the public as part of their Adventure Tools. Oh.. that’s right.. because we would LIKE that. (It makes me a bit angry that they don’t actually listen to the needs of their customer base. And the suits who focused on killing the .pdf market can go suck it. The watermarking method that allowed you *ockjugglers to find the people and prosecute them for their pirating/distributing the .pdfs meant THE DRM method WORKED, for Frak’s Sake! So get back into the business of listening to your customers, and give it to us in the method we want it delivered.. in my case .pdf.)
Alternate note: The Colony, season 2, started off great Tuesday night!! That was an outstanding show. And while it’s not 100% accurate of what would happen.. (Guns, being a realistic concern.) I have to say.. that was outstanding. And give me hope about how humanity will survive in the aftermath of an apocalypse, or massive devastating catastrophe, affecting the modern society.
And I like that they’ve got a completely useless guy who get’s sooooooo tired.. and what were they thinking keeping their supplies up in an unsecured building? If it’s critical, you bury it, hide it, cubby hole it. You don’t leave it out.. you get smart!
And another note… The Walking Dead coming out on AMC… *Zombiegasm*! w00t! Can’t wait for this. (Notice the theme of the page, Elemental: War of Magic, recovery after an apocalypse. The Colony, surviving an apocalypse. The Walking Dead, a Zombie Armageddon and surviving the zombie apocalypse.)
Okay.. must go.. get some sleep! (Dreams of the end of the world, and how we’ll survive it in the end… and my new tires on my car.. Yay! Real treads and traction.. driving in rain/snow over 4o mph no longer a scary prospect! And remember, I should have some kind of new video up tonight, depending on the release time of Beta 4!)
Music Listening to at this time: Thor by Therion.