Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Conditions look favorable

The Save My Game article from a few days ago had a few tidbits in it.

Bloodied. We've seen this term before, but I always assumed that it was something that, when a creature has at half of its hitpoints, it got some special ability like a rage, or a penalty like slower speed. It looks like there's a flipside, though, where some creatures get a bonus against you if you're bloodied. That's definitely interesting! I can see a character getting a particularly nasty beating, and then all-of-a-sudden it's the target for all of the foes -- some bloodscent that drives them crazy. The whole party scrambles to help defend that poor bloodied character!

Marked. This is also interesting. I can just picture a paladin, in all of her majestic shiny glory, pointing at the goblin chieftain in the middle of the battlefield, and the whole battle hushes, as both sides slowly back off to allow the two champions to fight it out, one-on-one. Or maybe I've seen too many movies. This is probably the first time that the roles have shown any value to me - apparently the ability to mark an opponent belongs to the "defender" role.

Combat Advantage. I like how they're streamlining some of the concepts into a single term, so the rogue's numerous conditions that allowed a sneak attack in 3rd edition are now summarized into one condition (though the various ways to reach that condition still need to be known).

One thing I didn't like, however, is how Radney-Macfarland uses tokens, markers and cards to help manage all of the conditions and powers of 4e. For a game that is intended to help simplify and streamline play, we're now requiring more and more aids to keep track of the simpler rules. What have we really gained?

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