Thursday, January 29, 2009

"to-hit" isn't quite what it used to be

Still yet, this post is a few weeks late from when it's events actually occurred...getting close to being current. B^]

As I noted in my first 4e D&D experience (a bunch of folks probably already know this but I am just now learning), the theory of "to hit" (or "Attack Bonus") being a focus point in 4e is something that other players (vets, included) have advised me of. It was something that I could see a lack of with that 1st level Dwarf Fighter, but I blame that more on the sucky dice rolls. I wonder if I mistakenly grabbed one of my old 0-9 (twice) d20s. I really don't seem to recall rolling anything above a 9. Hhmmnn.... Sadly, that was not the case. I guess my forgot to keep my pimp-hand... err... dice-hand strong that night.

Regardless, I also noticed the new weakened "to-hit", bonus-wise, when making a higher level character. I mean look at the Weapon Focus feat, for example. I was used to it enhancing my + to hit (limited 3.5 experience, mainly via D&D Online), but in 4e it enhances your + to damage. Same with some other gear, and such. I could be wrong, but that's how it looks to me, and that's how others who play a few times per week for the past 6 months see it.

Here's some more example: Look at this 8th level Elf Ranger of mine:

his basic ranged Attack Bonus ("to-hit"):
1/2 level = 4
ability (20dex) = +5
no + for Ranger as a class
Prof (a GreatBow is a +2 prof weap) = +2
no + for any feats
Enhancment (magical weapon: +2 Vicious Greatbow) = +2
no Misc +

So hit Basic Ranged Attack bonus at 8th level = +13

Honestly, that's not as high as I (a 4e newb) was expecting. Obviously one should try not be too quick to judge these things vs previous versions without looking at the other aspects of the characters abilities and the game features/rules. So, I will hold some judgment here on trying to directly compare this to OD&D or 3.5 D&D or anything in between. It's just weird when you are used to a certain named feature doing one thing, and then a new rev changes that feature, yet keeps the same name. /shrug

The cool thing, however, is the potential damage on some of these attacks that this Ranger has. Some cool attacks/powers that he (hopefully) will use are 2 attacks (2 arrows) per use (Two-Fanged Strike, Twin Strike, Split the Tree, etc).

This GreatBow, although it took a proficiency feat to use (Exotic weapons are now called "Superior"), is a 1d12 bow. Yikes! Plus it's Vicious. Double yikes!!

Anyway, I would love to go on and on, cuz this stuff gets me all giddy, but I am such a newb still with 4e, that I need the books in front of me to reference in order to not totally hose up anything else I'm blabbering about.

I will say that the "Adventurer's Vault" and the "Martial Power" books are very cool, and I highly recommend them. Again, this is with a whopping one whole play session and one whole planning session under my take it as you wish.

Still, real play experience aside: I like books. Books are cool. These two books are neat. I buy books. I am a book dork. ;>]


jslade said...

While looking for a good picture of orange Villians and Vigilantes dice, I found your site.

Since we're blogging our 4th Edition game, and are all old pre-1 gamers, we thought you might like the link.

yoyorobbo said...

@jslade: That's a wild way of finding this blog, but cool regardless.

I will be following your 4e blog religiously as I am now hooked with the new edition.

Don't get me wrong, the love for my first D&D ('81 Moldvay/Cook) is eternal. But I like 4e too, and am enjoying playing it these forst 4-5 sessions so far.

Looking forward to reading your blog.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, getting to-hit in 4e has become more difficult. That's due to the role-oriented nature of the game. Leaders are there to provide you tactical opportunities that raise your to-hit, as well as controllers (and strikers like the Warlock) who can daze or blind enemies and thus give you combat advantage for more to-hit. If these bonuses were easier to get, those characters would lose a bit of their great value in the team.

However, some of the previews and new stuff show that Wizard's may be letting a bit loose on that front. For example, there are quite a few feats now that grant some small attack bonus to undead. Presumably at some point you might be able to specialize to have higher to-hit against certain critters.

By the way, you can call me Wyatt. Usually I post with "Name/URL" in blogs, which this blog does not allow, so I'm having to use openID.

yoyorobbo said...

@ Wyatt (spiritsofeden):
Yep, the leaders can help a ton! Sadly in our group as it was, our leader was a Warlord who couldn't make it to any session past the first one. His character was played in the next 2 or 3 sessions by a very experienced player (who was also playing his main, a Fighter). So he did some setups with the Warlord, but they didn't help me as much, as I was ranging from afar, and most of the good buffs he gave were to adjacent allies. Ah well.

I am most likely playing the leader role (not group decision maker leader, as I suck at that..hehe... but 4e "leader" role), in a lower level group with these same guys, that we will play on some off-nights.

I have been torn between an Inspiring Warlord (Dragonborn or Hal-Elf) and a Cleric. I initially was gonna roll with the ranged "lazer" radiant Cleric (Elf), but I think I wanna get up in some baddies faces too, so I might go melee "hammer" Cleric (Dwarf).

For the Warlord (inspiring, at least), there's the "Furious Smash" (+CHA mod to an adjacent ally on their next attack roll "to hit" on that same foe).

For the Cleric, there's the "Righteous Brand" (+STR mod to an ally within 5 squares on melee attack rolls "to hit" on that same foe).

Both at-wills, both nice! I am leaning toward the Dwarf Battle Cleric. Maybe take Dwarven Weapon Training for that Mordenkrad (uber Maul). Could be fun.

We'll see...