Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Baker's does'n' disappoint

I just finished reading Rich Baker's latest blog (to which I don't think I'm ready to link, for fear of alienating readers of this blog with the putrescent green of Gleemax), and while it doesn't give any facts, it does let us wonder about a few things.

Baker mentions that he considers moving his 3.5 character to a fighter instead of a warlord, because the fighter is a "defender", as his old 3.5 warblade would be. Again with the roles. What was the role of a warlord? I don't remember, but roles still get my hackles up.

It's good to see that heavy armor still affects the usefulness of Dexterity. Not that we had heard anything to the contrary, but this is a new version, and who knows what will change. I always liked this balance of AC-from-armor and AC-from-Dexterity, because it helped define the type of character you were creating, whether a tank, a sneak... hrm. These sound like roles.

The Toughness feat has changed. That's good, because while my first 3rd edition character had taken it, it was never taken again unless required by another feat or a prestige class. Dungeons & Dragons Online have made it useful, both with progressive benefits as well as from their enhancement system. Perhaps 4th edition is doing something similar?

Warlords are healers? Oh, right, there we go - warlords are "leaders", and I vaguely remember writing about that, and what we know of that role. It sounds like the powers from which you choose (the talent-trees or whatever we end up with) have a good range to let you customize your class, as he mentions he went with "mostly offensive powers" because their party had a cleric.

This Warlord also multiclasses as a Wizard. Wait, doesn't he wear heavy armor? Does that mean that arcane spell failure is gone? Is different? Or perhaps he chooses spells that don't have semantic components, to avoid the problem?

Okay, I'm wrong, there is an actual here-is-something-concrete-from-4e tidbit of information, about one of the Warlord powers, this Hammer and Anvil. I'm not sure I see the "logic" behind such a power; it grants an ally an immediate attack against the same target, but... why? Is it basically providing an attack of opportunity (if that still exists in 4e), by putting the foe off-guard? Is this something that the ally has to know the Warlord can do, to be ready for the sucker-punch? Being a "power", is it a spell-like/supernatural effect that "possesses" the ally and allows/forces them to attack, or at least magically lets them know that now is the time to attack? There was a feat in a splat book that I can't recall, that if TWO characters had the feat, they could use them in combination to do whatever-it-is the feat did, but that made sense, because both had that training, and knew how to work together on that maneuver. I just hope there's a game mechanic that explains how one character's power enables another character like this, such as the attack of opportunity explanation.

At the end of the post, he muses about whether he should have multiclassed the Wizard first, instead of the Warlord. 3rd edition has this dilemma when talking about the first level, since you get that extra boost of skill points -- and thus any multiclassed Rogue is remiss to not take their first level as Rogue -- but other than that, the order in which you take a level really just affects the character level to level, but not in the end (when you're a 5th-level X/5th-level Y). Since this playtest character of Baker's is 10th level, I wonder if he's saying that the end result would have worked out (noticeably) different if he had reversed the order, or if it was just the playability that might have been affected on the way to 10th level.

Lots of questions, but this is one of the few blog posts in a while that gave us something to think about, apart from how to filter out miniature blog posts automatically. Oh, and I guess I'll apologize for the blog's title.

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