Dragon 365 - Artificer Playtest


4th Edition

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The Exchange

vance wrote:
All there really needs to be is a cohesive and comprehensive mechanic which explains the capabilities of the character in terms both inside and out of combat. It's really not that complicated. The rules set must cover as many role-playing situations as possible.

So the original D&D is not a role playing game?

vance wrote:

Saying "I can role-play and don't need rules for it" is an absurd 'defense' of 4E, while tactily admitting that 4E really doesn't offer role-play options within the rules itself.

Define "role-play options".

The Exchange

There has to be a practical limit on what rules are officially included in a game, if only for those reasons that no one wants books that weigh 20lbs each at the table. If this is the Oberoni Fallacy again, well, it is a fallacy. There are an infinite number of possible things the rules could cover, and they obviously cannot cover all of them. Saying that it is a problem is not helpful, since no game can cover all eventualities, so there will inevitably be instances where a player and DM have to improvise. I don't see that as invalidating a particular game. The issue is more how much of it do you have to do and how much does it annoy you, but that is a question of style of play and personal taste more than anything else. Oberoni might be logical but it is also useless, and not a good way of judging a game or another person's way of dealing with the issues thrown up.

EDIT: Hey, CWM, you are at it again!

The Exchange

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
EDIT: Hey, CWM, you are at it again!

Nope. Just asking questions so that i can understand where vance is coming from.


crosswiredmind wrote:
So the original D&D is not a role playing game?

I would say that AD&D didn't come to be a role-playing game until 2nd edition. (There's a version of the D&D game that adds skills and NWP, but I forget which box set stats that...) Now, 1E had the 'excuse' in that it hadn't been done before, obviously, so it's given a pass most of the time (though, it's probably given too much of a pass).

vance wrote:
Define "role-play options".

In a game sense, it's a series of mechanics that allow for a GM to adjudicate, in some fashion, the full capabilities of a character. This doesn't require a compelx and detailed rules-set, mind you (and that would likely be a defeatist proposition anyway), but some SYSTEM which can describe how good person X is a task Y in most circumstances.

I explain this argument a bit more in http://tfvanguard.livejournal.com/ under 'Reducto Ad Asurdium'... in order to stem what will likely be another flame war here.

The Exchange

vance wrote:
crosswiredmind wrote:
So the original D&D is not a role playing game?
I would say that AD&D didn't come to be a role-playing game until 2nd edition. (There's a version of the D&D game that adds skills and NWP, but I forget which box set stats that...) Now, 1E had the 'excuse' in that it hadn't been done before, obviously, so it's given a pass most of the time (though, it's probably given too much of a pass).

Interesting. I completely disagree but at least I understand where you are coming from.

I define a role playing game as any game where you take on a persona (an alter ego) in order to experience a truly interactive story telling experience with other people.

I think a role playing game can have as few or as many rules as needed to facilitate the interaction.

To me the original D&D is as much a role playing game as GURPS, Traveller, Amber, or the Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

vance wrote:

In a game sense, it's a series of mechanics that allow for a GM to adjudicate, in some fashion, the full capabilities of a character. This doesn't require a compelx and detailed rules-set, mind you (and that would likely be a defeatist proposition anyway), but some SYSTEM which can describe how good person X is a task Y in most circumstances.

I explain this argument a bit more in http://tfvanguard.livejournal.com/ under 'Reducto Ad Asurdium'... in order to stem what will likely be another flame war here.

No flame war - just a disagreement. 4e has plenty of non-combat options. Encounter powers may be used outside of combat, the same is true for daily powers. Rituals take so long that they must be used outside of combat. Then there are skills and skill challenges. Even though the skill system has been trimmed down too far for my tastes it contains many non-combat applications - diplomacy and insight being the prime examples. I do agree that some skills are missing and some may need to be reintroduced, but even as written the skills system provides a great variety of non-combat uses.

So what do you see as being missing from 4e's non-combat options?

Scarab Sages

Honestly, I disagree with anyone saying 4E is "not a role-playing game". I'm no prophet of 4E, by no stretch of the imagination, but that's an accusation one cannot make against the game, or with the ultimate consequence of looking too foolish to know better, too passionate to be reasonable and/or very ignorant on the topic (did-you-read-the-core-books stupid, in other words).

One can criticize various points of the design, including a main focus that would ultimately not be role-playing, but saying it's therefore "not a role-playing game" is ... *sigh*. Really extreme.

The same way, claiming that games like OD&D and AD&D are not role-playing games... wow, you should go tell that to the cousin who introduced me to tabletop RPGs and has been playing First Ed exclusively as his main system with about two dozens of his friends in a T1-4 ToEE campaign that lasted for the past 25 YEARS and is still not over. And we're speaking playing henchmen, relatives, descendants of the original heroes, role-playing the every day life and evolution of the village of Hommlett. So AD&D, not a "role-playing game"... I just cannot get behind this by any stretch of the imagination, sorry.

4E/AD&D not being role-playing games pretty much defines reductio ad absurdum.


The Red Death wrote:
wow, you should go tell that to the cousin who introduced me to tabletop RPGs and has been playing First Ed exclusively...

Okay. Where is he? You honestly think I wouldn't stand by this assertion just because an 'old gamer calls it an RPG'. I've got news for you, I am an old gamer.

As I said just because you CAN role-play with a game doesn't inherently mean it's a role-playing game. If the only aspects of a character's actions that are defined are primarily combat (or combat-related, which nearly ALL of 4E's powers are), then it's again a skirmish game.

Whether or not it's good or you enjoy it isn't the issue.

Quote:
4E/AD&D not being role-playing games pretty much defines reductio ad absurdum.

Strictly speaking, 4E is a miniatures skirmish game with some RPG elements. It is not designed as, sold as, or marketed as, anything else but.


vance wrote:

Strictly speaking, 4E is a miniatures skirmish game with some RPG elements. It is not designed as, sold as, or marketed as, anything else but.

We can argue about how it was designed all day long, but I'm fairly confident that it is neither sold as nor marketed as a mini skirmish game with some RPG elements.

Just sayin. ;)


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Antioch wrote:

Are you using a full-blown character writeup or a class template statblock?

Given that 4E allows for more mutable descriptions and effects, I can see the artificer style varying from character to character (or even combining different styles within the same character).

My shielding cube looks high-tech, but creates a runic force field, and the wall of acid daily is performed how Al would do it in Full Metal Alchemist.

Bingo. In regards to flavor that is.

I am using the DMG Rules for creating an NPC. He will be my party's first encounter with the campaign's main baddies. He, Purjez, is an enormously fat man who relies on his myriad constructs and golems for most of his physical labor while he explores the science of fleshcrafting. He is currently lairing in a goblin cave (and none too happy about it) at the behest of his masters.

The goblins are none to happy with it either and have made a proposal to the PCs to eliminate him in. We shall see how this plays out.


crosswiredmind wrote:
Amelia wrote:
I think what Vance is trying to say is that you can't use RAW or any MM entry, to make a normal, everyday, person in 4E. And that's true, you can't.

Actually you can. You can take any entry in the MM and reduce its level. You could take the 3rd level human guard and reduce him down to zero.

DMG wrote:
Decreasing a monster’s level works like increasing it, but in reverse. For each level down, reduce the creature’s attack rolls, defenses, and AC by 1 and drop its hit points based on its role. For every two levels, also reduce its damage by 1.

So this:

Human Guard Level 3 Soldier

HP 47; Bloodied 23
AC 18; Fortitude 16, Reflex 15, Will 14

m Halberd (standard; at-will) Weapon
Reach 2; +10 vs. AC; 1d10 + 3 damage, and the target is marked
until the end of the human guard’s next turn.

M Powerful Strike (standard; recharge) Weapon
Requires halberd; reach 2; +10 vs. AC; 1d10 + 7 damage, and the
target is knocked prone.

R Crossbow (standard; at-will) Weapon
Ranged 15/30; +9 vs. AC; 1d8 + 2 damage.

Becomes this ...

Human Guard Level 0 Soldier

HP 23; Bloodied 11
AC 15; Fortitude 13, Reflex 12, Will 11

m Halberd (standard; at-will) Weapon
Reach 2; +6 vs. AC; 1d10 + 1 damage, and the target is marked
until the end of the human guard’s next turn.

M Powerful Strike (standard; recharge ) Weapon
Requires halberd; reach 2; +6 vs. AC; 1d10 + 5 damage, and the
target is knocked prone.

R Crossbow (standard; at-will) Weapon
Ranged 15/30; +5 vs. AC; 1d8 damage.

And he's still *not* normal. Level 0 does not make him normal. He can still mark, which a normal person can't do. He still has a non normal person special attack. I'd argue 23 HPs are a lot more than a normal person would have as well, but I couldn't prove that rules wise.

What we are missing in the 4E RAW is any example of what an average everyday townsperson of any race looks like in a stat way. We're told what makes level 1 adventurers different from the average person is that they are better than them - so the developers should have shown us what a normal person looks like.

Is that game breaking? No, not by any means. But it is relevant and something that would have been very easy to do, just give us an Average Person listing in each PH race entry in the MM, or stat up a couple normal NPCs in the sample town in the DMG. Heck, they could have done in the the first 4E Dungeon in which the adventure starts with some thugs attacking refugees - the thugs get stats, but the refugees don't.
And it makes sense to show us that since many PoL type scenarios could readily revolve around monsters attacking places where there are normal people - so a hint at how tough WotC feels the non adventuring world is would have been nice.

Liberty's Edge

vance wrote:


Okay. Where is he? You honestly think I wouldn't stand by this assertion just because an 'old gamer calls it an RPG'. I've got news for you, I am an old gamer.

As am I. I am pretty certain that OD&D, 1e, and 4e are all roleplaying games.

So which definition is right?

Presenting opinion as fact doesn't make it the only truth.

I am certain you feel, in your "professional" opinion, that the malarkey you are shoveling is the only way to look at the subject. In my opinion the idea that 1e wasn't a roleplaying game because it didn't present in-depth mechanics for roleplaying is a load of bull crap.

Since earlier editions of D&D didn't require the use of miniatures and yet didn't provide rules for roleplaying, what would you call them? They aren't a skirmish game, which is how you insist on labelling 4e. So what are they? How would you define them?

Liberty's Edge

vance wrote:


Strictly speaking, 4E is a miniatures skirmish game with some RPG elements. It is not designed as, sold as, or marketed as, anything else but.

Please point me to some sources for that thought. I would like to see the marketing material you are seeing. Without something solid that statement is nothing more than an exercise in ridiculousness.

Frankly everything I have seen presented on the DDI seems to contradict that. If this was nothing more than a skirmish game with some RPG elements we wouldn't need some the nearly pure fluff articles they have released.

Scarab Sages

vance wrote:

Okay. Where is he? You honestly think I wouldn't stand by this assertion just because an 'old gamer calls it an RPG'. I've got news for you, I am an old gamer.

As I said just because you CAN role-play with a game doesn't inherently mean it's a role-playing game. If the only aspects of a character's actions that are defined are primarily combat (or combat-related, which nearly ALL of 4E's powers are), then it's again a skirmish game.

Dude, I got that you are a grognard like me. That's not what I meant. I was taking this as an example of why AD&D was certainly a role-playing game. Heck, D&D came up with the actual term, "role-playing game".

I'm running AD&D primarily. You telling me it's not a role-playing game is a bit too much for me to bear, you see, so yeah, I have to say something about it. When I enjoy the game in question, and when I happen to know what I'm talking about (not implying you don't, here, but I certainly do) it does have some importance for me as far as the topic's concerned.

I would strongly recommend you take your 1st ed DMG and read through it to see that we are definitely not talking here of a "skirmish game".

The real issue, beyond that, is this notion that combat in an RPG is somehow the antithesis of role-playing, which in fact is completely wrong. I role-play my character during combat encounters. Don't you? I speak/yell like him, I throw deadly looks at the DM standing for the orc in front of me, et cetera.

Combat is not the antithesis of role-playing. What truly matters is how combat are played. If the meta-game thinking is on the forefront (where do I place my miniature, what spell to cast, do I hold my action etc), then it CAN become an issue, and it is a concern when meta-game actions and thinking are the point of the rules' design. That's what I reproach to 4E in this particular instance.

But just making shortcuts like "combat is not role-playing, therefore game X and Y aren't RPGs" is the kind of garbage that's been thrown around for decades by some vocal players of COC, World of Darkness games, and so on (which I happened to follow blindly at some point).

Repeating it over and over again does not make it truer, because the argument doesn't hold any water.

vance wrote:
Strictly speaking, 4E is a miniatures skirmish game with some RPG elements. It is not designed as, sold as, or marketed as, anything else but.

This is reductio ad absurdum. This is just flat-out wrong. You can piss and moan about it, that doesn't make it any more true.

I have been discussing on these very boards how I see various pieces of 4E's design pushing towards the tactical end of things. I totally see what you mean in that regard. But just going straight for "it's not a role-playing game" is going too far.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Without diving headfirst into the lengthy back and forth going on here, I did want to point out two situations that merit having a system for "regular" people (be that a 1st level commoner or a 5th level expert, 3rd level aristocrat, etc.)

1) The PCs are talking with the NPC, get upset with them and attack. I want to be able to run that combat for a round or two to see if they kill the NPC before the guards and/or the NPCs buddies come to see what's going on. Using the minion rules of one hit = one kill is too simplistic in my opinion - if you can roll a 1 on damage, that shouldn't necessarily kill the guy - while he might not be a challenge or important, whether he lives or dies can be important in terms of the consequences - assault vs. murder charges in this case.

2) The PCs rescue one or more NPC prisoners, but have to keep them alive on the way out of the dungeon (or are escorting a mechant and his family through dangerous terrain, etc.) Knowing their combat stats might be important if some of the real opponents can slip past the PCs and start fighting the soft yummie easy targets. An example of this type of scenario can be found in Paizo's very own Rise of the Runelords very first scene, when protecting the town from a goblin attack.


And, Red Death, at what point did I say "If it has combat in it, it's NOT a role-playing game?" Since I never said that, nearly your entire post is rather moot, isn't it?

Scarab Sages

vance wrote:
And, Red Death, at what point did I say "If it has combat in it, it's NOT a role-playing game?" Since I never said that, nearly your entire post is rather moot, isn't it?

From one of your posts just above: "If the only aspects of a character's actions that are defined are primarily combat (...), then it's again a skirmish game."

Please explain how this does not mean that a game focusing on combat is not a role-playing game.

"I would say that AD&D didn't come to be a role-playing game until 2nd edition."

Because it didn't have a skill system? Explain this statement to me, please.

The Exchange

The Red Death wrote:
vance wrote:
And, Red Death, at what point did I say "If it has combat in it, it's NOT a role-playing game?" Since I never said that, nearly your entire post is rather moot, isn't it?

From one of your posts just above: "If the only aspects of a character's actions that are defined are primarily combat (...), then it's again a skirmish game."

Please explain how this does not mean that a game focusing on combat is not a role-playing game.

"I would say that AD&D didn't come to be a role-playing game until 2nd edition."

Because it didn't have a skill system? Explain this statement to me, please.

Oh, the irony - minus the relish.


The Blue Fatality wrote:
Please explain how this does not mean that a game focusing on combat is not a role-playing game.

A game that ONLY focuses on combat. You're deliberately skipping a key word there. Try replying to things that I actually said, instead of re-parsing them to win an argument that isn't even being made.

The Red Death wrote:
Because it didn't have a skill system? Explain this statement to me, please.

Because the focus of the game, both in rules and associated material, was SOLELY combat. Indeed, the playstyle, in terms of scenarios, for OE is nearly indentical to 4E.

The Exchange

vance wrote:
Indeed, the playstyle, in terms of scenarios, for OE is nearly indentical to 4E.

So 4e is D&D after all.


crosswiredmind wrote:
vance wrote:
Indeed, the playstyle, in terms of scenarios, for OE is nearly indentical to 4E.
So 4e is D&D after all.

Indeed. But that wasn't vance's point (I think). He seems to be saying that DnD isn't really a role playing game, that it is more properly defined a mini-based skirmish game. :)


its like the circle of grognardism , where the effort to discredit 4th has gone so far the originator of those ideas is left with no dnd as rpg at all.

As far as all the reductio ad absurdum claims, all i see is

that 4th has a tactics heavy wargamey emphasis

and this is somehow contriditory to Role playing, and role playing games.

therefore it is not a rpg

first of all, formal fallacies and arguments are great and all that but theirs lots of places where they just plain fail. Not all proofs are geometric, not all geometric proofs are right.

besides that, lots of people don't seem to have a problem with a wargamey rpg ( like the dude that's sticking up for 1st ed). Regardless of whether it is only or mostly or whatever people ain't agreeing with your contridiction (and railing on about formal fallacies and being misinterpreted is only obfuscation of what seesm to be the only conclusion I can come up with. Your definition of RPG doesn't sync up with lots and lots of peoples definition and that is a genuine problem.

Logos


JoelF847 wrote:
1) The PCs are talking with the NPC, get upset with them and attack. I want to be able to run that combat for a round or two to see if they kill the NPC before the guards and/or the NPCs buddies come to see what's going on. Using the minion rules of one hit = one kill is too simplistic in my opinion - if you can roll a 1 on damage, that shouldn't necessarily kill the guy - while he might not be a challenge or important, whether he lives or dies can be important in terms of the consequences - assault vs. murder charges in this case.

If you think the PCs are gonna get upset with a NPC, to the point where they are going to try and kill him, then you should determine the NPCs combat effectiveness ahead of time. You can easily do this by figuring out his level (do you want him to be easy, challenging, or perhaps overpowering) and stat him out from there. A king might be a soldier, especially if a war veteran, or perhaps he is a skirmisher that has practiced dueling techniques. Is he a wizard (controller)?

If they just decided to jump a merchant that is also an "average" person, I'd definitely use minion rules and give him just a basic attack (+4 vs. AC; 2 damage). His Defenses would likely be, 11 to 12. Its not really important.

The thing is, I can easily use an existing monster's stats and just add King Suchandsuch to the title if for some reason the NPCs just decide to slaughter a random NPC for a likewise random reason. Its not hard.

JoelF847 wrote:
2) The PCs rescue one or more NPC prisoners, but have to keep them alive on the way out of the dungeon (or are escorting a mechant and his family through dangerous terrain, etc.) Knowing their combat stats might be important if some of the real opponents can slip past the PCs and start fighting the soft yummie easy targets. An example of this type of scenario can be found in Paizo's very own Rise of the Runelords very first scene, when protecting the town from a goblin attack.

Again, pretty much the same as above. How tough do I want the NPCs? A couple adventures that I've kicked around include both battle hardened allies as well as defenseless peasants. I'm just using stat blocks for dwarves for the dwarves, and for the peasants I'll just make them minions that can pathetically fight back with a weak basic attack. What if some of them are a notch above the rest? Well, I'll figure that out ahead of time if I want a NPC to have merit. Otherwise, no, they arent. If I change my mind mid-session, its not gonna be hard to give them a meaningful attack, Defenses, and hit points.


David Marks wrote:
crosswiredmind wrote:
vance wrote:
Indeed, the playstyle, in terms of scenarios, for OE is nearly indentical to 4E.
So 4e is D&D after all.
Indeed. But that wasn't vance's point (I think). He seems to be saying that DnD isn't really a role playing game, that it is more properly defined a mini-based skirmish game. :)

The problem with that is defining what makes or breaks the role-playing game genre. According to the actual definition, most games can qualify as RPGs in some aspect. A game like, say, God of War could be defined as a RPG since you "adopt the role of a character that differs in appearance or personality from your own."

The term RPG, when applied to digital games however, seems to be any game that uses levels for advancement.

However, I consider D&D in all its incarnations to be a RPG. Just because there are no rules for talking, playing "in character", or whatever, doesnt make it any less so.

EDIT: There are rules for aspects of social interaction (Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and a good old-fashioned Charisma check). Whoops.


JoelF847 wrote:

Without diving headfirst into the lengthy back and forth going on here, I did want to point out two situations that merit having a system for "regular" people (be that a 1st level commoner or a 5th level expert, 3rd level aristocrat, etc.)

1) The PCs are talking with the NPC, get upset with them and attack. I want to be able to run that combat for a round or two to see if they kill the NPC before the guards and/or the NPCs buddies come to see what's going on. Using the minion rules of one hit = one kill is too simplistic in my opinion - if you can roll a 1 on damage, that shouldn't necessarily kill the guy - while he might not be a challenge or important, whether he lives or dies can be important in terms of the consequences - assault vs. murder charges in this case.

2) The PCs rescue one or more NPC prisoners, but have to keep them alive on the way out of the dungeon (or are escorting a mechant and his family through dangerous terrain, etc.) Knowing their combat stats might be important if some of the real opponents can slip past the PCs and start fighting the soft yummie easy targets. An example of this type of scenario can be found in Paizo's very own Rise of the Runelords very first scene, when protecting the town from a goblin attack.

I think one hit to kill a merchant or commoner is fine. If someone stuck a sword (or hell, a dagger) in me I'd definitely be down and out.

I think the real defense of helpless people isn't going to be their own toughness ... its going to be the monster's realization that they aren't a threat, but all those dangerous looking PCs are.

That said, I think a minion IS a good representation of a common person. Human Rabble is even in the MM, and would make a fine "generic guy".

What this has to do with Artificery though, I have no clue. :P


David Marks wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:

Without diving headfirst into the lengthy back and forth going on here, I did want to point out two situations that merit having a system for "regular" people (be that a 1st level commoner or a 5th level expert, 3rd level aristocrat, etc.)

1) The PCs are talking with the NPC, get upset with them and attack. I want to be able to run that combat for a round or two to see if they kill the NPC before the guards and/or the NPCs buddies come to see what's going on. Using the minion rules of one hit = one kill is too simplistic in my opinion - if you can roll a 1 on damage, that shouldn't necessarily kill the guy - while he might not be a challenge or important, whether he lives or dies can be important in terms of the consequences - assault vs. murder charges in this case.

2) The PCs rescue one or more NPC prisoners, but have to keep them alive on the way out of the dungeon (or are escorting a mechant and his family through dangerous terrain, etc.) Knowing their combat stats might be important if some of the real opponents can slip past the PCs and start fighting the soft yummie easy targets. An example of this type of scenario can be found in Paizo's very own Rise of the Runelords very first scene, when protecting the town from a goblin attack.

I think one hit to kill a merchant or commoner is fine. If someone stuck a sword (or hell, a dagger) in me I'd definitely be down and out.

I think the real defense of helpless people isn't going to be their own toughness ... its going to be the monster's realization that they aren't a threat, but all those dangerous looking PCs are.

That said, I think a minion IS a good representation of a common person. Human Rabble is even in the MM, and would make a fine "generic guy".

What this has to do with Artificery though, I have no clue. :P

Ideally I'd like to keep talking about the artificer, but this thread seems to have been reduced to people disagreeing with vance's particularly narrow definition of the RPG genre.


Antioch wrote:


Ideally I'd like to keep talking about the artificer...

Have you played with your Artificer anymore? Any plans to level him up some and test him at higher levels?

I think the biggest problem is the system is so new, its hard to really know what a higher level Cleric/Warlord should play like, much less an Artificer.

Scarab Sages

vance wrote:
Because the focus of the game, both in rules and associated material, was SOLELY combat. Indeed, the playstyle, in terms of scenarios, for OE is nearly indentical to 4E.

Okay.

This is factually wrong. I can only guess you haven't read your 1E rule books (associated material? As in, "modules"? Like Dragonlance, ToEE or I6?) for some time, here.

crosswiredmind wrote:
Oh, the irony - minus the relish.

LOL. This fact did NOT escape me.


David Marks wrote:
Antioch wrote:


Ideally I'd like to keep talking about the artificer...

Have you played with your Artificer anymore? Any plans to level him up some and test him at higher levels?

I think the biggest problem is the system is so new, its hard to really know what a higher level Cleric/Warlord should play like, much less an Artificer.

Okay, I've played all three leader classes, mostly because none of the other players want to. Thankfully, 4th Edition makes formerly "healer" classes a lot of fun to play. All of the leader classes get a power that triggers a healing surge with a boost, twice per encounter, so what really does it for me is the other powers.

The artificer thus far feels like the best class for keeping the gang alive. One at-will attack grants an ally an AC bonus while also attacking an adjacent bad guy (great for lumping on the defender in melee). You can basically do this every round, all the time, potentially boosting his AC by 1 while still helping out in the offensive category.

What I also like is the other healing ability: everyone gets temporary hit points, but it costs a healing surge. This is a pretty nifty opener for me, especially during a potentially difficult battle to give everyone a buffer. The downside is thats its keyed to YOUR Constitution score, but since Con is a key stat I have the ability to roll out 5 temporary hit points to anyone who wants them. Generally, I prefer to do that once and save the other one for a free healing surge.
Otherwise, shielding cube is another great way to help keep another character's AC up (which always includes you, so between this an thundering armor three people can get a +1 AC boost).

We are currently running sporadic semi-connected episodic games between people who want to run. This allows people to experiment, try out DMing, and broadly learn the system from both sides of the screen. Its a new experience for me, being the healer, and everyone appears to be having the most fun we've ever had before. Completely new DMs are doing an excellent job entertaining, and I plan to get my gnome artificer all the way up to 30, shooting Wizards feedback as time allows.

Otherwise, the cleric comes in second for me. My 3rd level human cleric (Antioch) is likewise a lot of fun, but for a different reason: I get to actually enter the combat, blasting and bolstering at the same time. It feels more like a leader with some striker-qualities, while the artificer feels like a leader with some controller sprinkled on.
Both work GREAT at keeping the party on their feet, since they grant a lot of kicker effects to the rest of the players.

The Exchange

The Red Death wrote:
crosswiredmind wrote:
Oh, the irony - minus the relish.
LOL. This fact did NOT escape me.

Yes, I think you can now feel my pain.

Liberty's Edge

crosswiredmind wrote:
The Red Death wrote:
crosswiredmind wrote:
Oh, the irony - minus the relish.
LOL. This fact did NOT escape me.
Yes, I think you can now feel my pain.

At least you guys get to feel pain. I think he is just ignoring me entirely. :)


alleynbard wrote:
crosswiredmind wrote:
The Red Death wrote:
crosswiredmind wrote:
Oh, the irony - minus the relish.
LOL. This fact did NOT escape me.
Yes, I think you can now feel my pain.
At least you guys get to feel pain. I think he is just ignoring me entirely. :)

He wasnt ignoring me, but with all the dodging and deflecting, I kind of wish he did. :-(

Liberty's Edge

Antioch wrote:
alleynbard wrote:
crosswiredmind wrote:
The Red Death wrote:
crosswiredmind wrote:
Oh, the irony - minus the relish.
LOL. This fact did NOT escape me.
Yes, I think you can now feel my pain.
At least you guys get to feel pain. I think he is just ignoring me entirely. :)
He wasnt ignoring me, but with all the dodging and deflecting, I kind of wish he did. :-(

<grin> Okay....I'll count my blessings.


Antioch, you've compared the artificer and the cleric, but how about the warlord?


I only got the warlord to 2nd level, and I feel its got more defender elements built-in. It didnt play like a cleric in the sense that I wasnt using divine power or rolling out lots of defensive buffs, but more like I was directing people around and granting attack bonuses: emphasis on placement, mobility, and offense. A cleric feels more like a mix, while an artificer feels more like defense.

All in all my experience is that the warlord is a bit lower on the healing totem than the cleric, but still capable of doing its job.

They're all great classes, but have their own style, which is exemplary of the fact that even with the 4th Edition power system that classes of the same role still feel and act differently than their relatives.


Antioch wrote:

I only got the warlord to 2nd level, and I feel its got more defender elements built-in. It didnt play like a cleric in the sense that I wasnt using divine power or rolling out lots of defensive buffs, but more like I was directing people around and granting attack bonuses: emphasis on placement, mobility, and offense. A cleric feels more like a mix, while an artificer feels more like defense.

All in all my experience is that the warlord is a bit lower on the healing totem than the cleric, but still capable of doing its job.

They're all great classes, but have their own style, which is exemplary of the fact that even with the 4th Edition power system that classes of the same role still feel and act differently than their relatives.

I've played a Warlord (who unfortunately fell :() in my weekly 4E game so far, and he did, indeed, seem to play very differently than the Cleric in the party. Much more focused on moving about, setting up opporunities for the other party members.

The Cleric meanwhile was tossing off prayers, granting buffs and generally playing things further back, more defensively. He definitely could heal a better, but it wasn't completely overblown (and at higher levels, is probably less apparent, I think)


Its a lot like what you said about how the paladin feels like a defender with some leader added, and the fighter feels like a defender with some striker. Same role, same source, different feel and style.
Since the bard is also an arcane leader, I'm wondering how it'll play out.

The Exchange

Antioch wrote:

Its a lot like what you said about how the paladin feels like a defender with some leader added, and the fighter feels like a defender with some striker. Same role, same source, different feel and style.

Since the bard is also an arcane leader, I'm wondering how it'll play out.

It seems to me that the bard may actually make a better controller.

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