Thursday, July 1, 2010

These are the Games of Our Lives - Part One

It’s been a while since I updated; but I was reminded today that a couple of people take a look at what’s here so I suppose I should update my current roleplaying goings on:

Playing: D&D 4e

As you may recall this D&D 4e game was set in the ruined city sealed by magic, and overrun by demons. We currently seem likely headed for another TPK after a two session combat. In short, to earn our keep in the ‘good’ human faction we were asked to clear a tower which was overrun by froglockes (bullywugs). We were told that there were around thirty of so of the enemy, although they spawned rapidly. Scouting we ambushed a party of around 20 or so young ones (almost all minions). Then we attacked the tower itself (it’s more of a complex multi-level fortress) doing battle on an outer courtyard wall. We battled several giant dire toads guarding the door, and then entered a melee with 30 or so froglockes (all brutes).

Late in the fight a froglocke that was part human, and part water elemental , joined in and did some big hits, before teleporting away. We won the combat, but found ourselves defeated by the stout, barred doors of the fortress, so hurried to a garden which seemed strangely free of froglocke corruption. We encountered ghostly soldiers who offered to escort us to the ‘mess’ to rest. This was a door into the tower, which when opened was a large chamber entirely filled with froglockes and a huge giant dire toad. Queue a huge fight. We have so far dispatched 50 of the froglockes (most of them) and bloodied the toad, but are still grappling with the remaining elite guard and have expended pretty much all our resources.

At this point 3 of the water-elemental, part frogs arrive and put the hurt on my character (200 hit points worth of damage in 3 rounds – the only way I’ve survived to date is by virtue of Andrew’s specialist healing cleric who is now in a bad way as well). So I suspect it’ll be new character time shortly. Overall, it seems a little frustrating that we faced such a tough ask as an initial mission, and that the ‘friendly’ npc intelligence was so far out. Both of these gripes can be explained in story terms, but I feel would be a hard ask in game terms.

I must face some blame, because I was the catalyst of pressing on into the tower without a full rest, when I think one or two of the others had level-ups pending and needed to restore daily powers. I stand by my decision, because it was driven by roleplaying elements, rather than tactical considerations, but then that’s what happened the last time we were TPK’d…


  1. For your next PC play a Warforged. They can't fail Death Saving Throws, so they can only die by going to negative bloodied. Wardens are probably the toughest PC, though any Defender works. Take a multiclass feat into a Leader class for a healing daily power for extra back up.

    That's assuming your DM doesn't attack PCs who are on the deck :)

  2. Alas, our GM has banned Eberron material from the game. I played a Defender before and found it extremely dull - Strikers are by far the most fun to play - but now I understand the system better perhaps a controller might be in order.

    As for not attacking downed PC's - alas no again. My characters last three rounds have consisted of death saves, being pumped full of healing, then smashed by the bad guys, who use a 'bully' tactic, adding extra damage to downed foes.

  3. Interesting. Defenders are my favourite role by far (and FWIW score highest on most Role polls). However, Jon holds a similar view and much prefers the Striker.

    Attacking downed PCs is pretty low IMO. Its not even realistic or tactically sound.

  4. BTW if you find Defenders dull, try a Swordmage. I dare you to be bored :)

  5. We already have a Genasi Swordmage unfortunately, and he's pretty cool, if a little cheesy! I don't know about 'role polls' but isn't it true there are more than 3 times more Striker classes than any other type?

  6. There are currently 7 Leaders, 7 Strikers, 5 Defenders and 5 Controllers (not including the Assassin, which is a Striker).

    BTW I am totally cool with your preference for Strikers. I think its awesome that there are these different flavours based on play style. Just commenting that Defenders are my favourite.

  7. I can't say it's a preference as I've only played Striker and a Defender thus far. I'm keen to try the others at some point. Both my previous defenders were killed easily - no amount of extra 'defence' or marking seemed to stop hits that were double my AC and 20-30 points a pop at 2nd level. The better strategy seemed to be to 'race' enemies to the kill, rather than withstand them.

  8. "Double your AC?" Given that the base line is "Level + 5" v AC to hit, the hardest monsters up against a level 2 PC should be striking with no greater bonus that +10 or so. A 2nd level Defender can easily have an AC in excess of 20. Average damage should be around 13 under the new increased damage rules for monsters.

    I think this may be in the area of "What game are you playing?" territory again :)

    On saying that Defenders should be taking a beating. They often go to zero back to almost full and back to zero again before a fight is out :) If you think a Defender would hurt from an attack, a Striker would likely be floored by it.

    As for the better strategy, Strikers can only be doing high damage if Leaders, Defenders and Controllers are doing their job properly. Though Strikers are the most common class, they are also the least essential niche.

  9. Wha? A monster has "Level + 5" v AC. A level 2 PC should be coming up against no more than +10 or so to hit. A level 2 Defender should have AC around or in excess of 20. Also, even under the new higher damage rules, the damage should be ranging between 9 to 19.

    I think this is another "what game are you actually playing?" moments.

    On saying that a Defender often goes from full to zero HP twice in a combat if the Leaders are pulling their weight, so they can take a beating. Just think though, if the attack would hurt a Defender, it would floor a Striker.

    As to what's the better strategy, Strikers can only do high damage if the Defenders, Leaders and Controllers are doing their jobs. Though Strikers are the most common, they are also the least necessary in terms of their niche.

  10. Dammit. Your LJ ate my post, only to regurgitate it after I rewrote it :D

  11. Just like the Giant Toad! Don't provoke another attack of opportunity!