Archive for June, 2009

Damn you, Dave! You and your… logic…

sarekThanks to Dave of Critical Hits, I have found some holes in my “no more ability checks” idea.

Making Bull Rush an Athletics check steps on the toes of at-will forced movement powers like “Tide of Iron”.  A Fighter trained in Athletics would actually find it slightly easier to Bull Rush than use “Tide of Iron”.  The only disadvantages would be the lack of damage and the lack of marking.

But this is not the kicker.  This can be accepted and dealt with, especially for powers like the Warlord’s “Opening Shove”, which allows an ally to shift or make an attack.

Rule 42.  Actions the rules don’t cover.  Ability checks come in during some of these, as attacks without weapons are essentially ability checks.

Trip: Strength attack vs Reflex

Throw sand in their eyes: Dex vs Fort


So, unfortunately, ability checks can not be completely done away with.

(But the little boxes on the character sheet that people keep confusing with their damage bonus, or vice versa?  Yeah, that can probably be removed.  Or at least moved away from the ability scores box.)

Strength checks? We don’t need no stinkin’ strength checks!

house-rules-lNote:  Holes in this idea have been found.  Read the next post for more.

So, we’ve been playing 4e regularly since September 2008, and like most groups have found some things that work for us, and others that don’t.

In 4e, however, there are a lot fewer things that we don’t use as written thus far.  Up until now, I’ve only found need to house rule three things.

  1. Daily Magic Item Uses – As suggested by Wyatt:

    Unlimited Item Power:  You can use any item’s daily power once per day but have no restrictions on your own uses, so you can have 10 different items and use all of their powers. Once an item’s daily power is used once it is spent – you can’t give it to another character for a go, for example.

    And if anyone decides to abuse the system by hoarding multiple cheap items, you smack them with the rulebook and take the privilege away.  They don’t get nice things.

  2. Skill Challenges – I haven’t quite figured out what to do with these, but had my first really good one at the MM2 Game Day.  They are not run by the book, however, and are affected by #3.
  3. Skill Check DCs – The errata’d DCs are too low, and make Skill Challenges a cakewalk.  The original ones (with the +5 for being skill checks) were too high, and made Skill Challenges too hard.  I use the new Skill Challenge system (X/3), as the old one didn’t scale properly, and the original DCs (sans the +5 for being skill checks).  It seems to give the difficulty I want.

And of course the minor per-character house rules, such as reflavouring powers or making a Wizard into a Druid.

But recently, I’ve been thinking over another house rule, which I want to present to you here (and to the players on Sunday).

Let me start with a question.

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