Page 677 - Wheel of Time

24th Nov 2015, 5:00 AM in The Last Roundup
<<First Latest>>
Wheel of Time
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
<<First Latest>>

Author Notes:

Newbiespud 24th Nov 2015, 5:00 AM edit delete
In the world of constantly making up game mechanics on the fly, it's nice to be able to find a way to add a natural timer/rising-tension mechanic to a situation, even a mundane one.

So I actually livestreamed a Phoenix Wright game the other night, and had a law student shouting in the chat about all the ways it has nothing to do with this country's legal system (and the handful of horrifying ways where it's spot-on). It was great.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



Guest 24th Nov 2015, 5:16 AM edit delete reply
Honestly Newbiespud, that makes sense. Ace Attorney is based on the Japanese Legal system, and even then it's cartoonishly detached from reality.
Nixitur 24th Nov 2015, 8:40 AM edit delete reply
What I found pretty horrifying was the fact that good prosecutors are, in fact, famous and generally liked while successful defense attorneys are, apparently, universally reviled.
Disloyal Subject 24th Nov 2015, 11:35 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
As I understand it, Japanese law generally doesn't prosecute unless victory is near-certain.
That would tend to favor prosecutors.
Dusk Raven 17th Dec 2015, 9:50 PM edit delete reply
Interesting. From what I've heard, though, victory is already near-certain in prosecution cases, because the jury is against the defendant for the impoliteness of PLEADING NOT GUILTY. From what I've heard, Japan has one of the highest rates of successful prosecution, and it's not entirely because they're always right...
penn writer 3rd Mar 2016, 2:25 PM edit delete reply
They usually win because most cases never even make it to court. Unless they are certain they can get a conviction they drop the case. Its an absurd amount last I checked like 75 - 90%
jdb1984 26th Nov 2015, 5:16 AM edit delete reply
Because the average person thinks that if someone goes to court as the defense, they did something wrong. And the Defense attorney is seen as someone that can have someone get off scot free and get away with it.
Nuclear Corvid 24th Nov 2015, 9:03 AM edit delete reply
Of course it's cartoonishly detached from reality! If it wasn't, law would be interesting and people would actually want to practice it.
Digo Dragon 24th Nov 2015, 3:01 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I don't remember seeing prosecutors bring whips into the courtroom though. :3
Anon 24th Nov 2015, 6:02 PM edit delete reply
I actually managed to wring a paper in one of my law classes on how detached from reality it was. Have no idea what the prof made of it, but it passed.
Jennifer 24th Nov 2015, 5:16 AM edit delete reply
When it comes to interrogations, I had a Plan (tm) for my campaign that would have had the party justifying its actions before the queen (specifically, they had accidentally burned down one of her villages while trying to save it). I had a coworker all prepped and ready to play the queen, with a flowchart of basic questions in response to likely answers from the PCs. For example, if they mentioned the orc warrior they'd captured, her go-to response would be, "Excellent! Give him to my guards so we can interrogate him!" which would have been awkward since they had let him escape and set the town on fire. In the event of them lying through their teeth and not being found out, a representative of the town would have burst into the throne room, accused the players of arson, and demanded justice from the queen. The end result would have been that they were "maneuvered" into doing a little job for her... In the event, I was sick that day, then my coworker was sick next week, and the campaign collapsed.
Zaranthan 24th Nov 2015, 7:26 AM edit delete reply
Out of ten, I rate this story "shoot the shaggy dog". What a shame, that probably would've been a good scene as somebody does something completely bizarre and throws off your entire script. :)
Nixitur 24th Nov 2015, 8:56 AM edit delete reply
Frankly, I find the solution of somebody bursting into the room out of nowhere to dash the party's plans to be a tad too Deus Ex Machina.
Jennifer 24th Nov 2015, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
True, but the party was moving at walking pace, and would have arrived about the same time as the town messenger anyway. So I thought it was reasonable. This was going to be in the queen's court with various petitioners waiting their turn, and the town's messenger would be present to ask the queen's help rebuilding the town, recognize the party, and want to bring attention to their lies. The party had actually offered to stay and help, but the mayor had basically asked them to go away before anything else went wrong. They had TRIED to help put out the fire and rescue people, but kept fumbling their rolls and either setting more buildings on fire or increasing the panic. (When you're aware the town has been set on fire by an orc and the party's half-orc literally breaks in to "help you," your first response will naturally be to scream at him to get away from your baby -- or so I felt at the time).
Jennifer 24th Nov 2015, 11:00 AM edit delete reply
If the party had told the truth, then when the townsperson protested the queen would have gently reassured him and pressured the party into helping her anyway. "You've been honest with me, so I'm not going to demand you rebuild the town; I'll just ask you to deal with my small problem," as opposed to, "I should have you all sold into slavery, but I have another use for you." I'm not sure if that counts as railroading - they would have ended up in the same adventure afterward, but with different motivation and reward.
Joe the Rat 24th Nov 2015, 11:44 AM edit delete reply
Technically, it's a Morton's Fork. You're given a choice, but the result is the same either way.

In terms of quest line, that is. It does have a BIG impact on the attitude of the Queen to the party, which could open or close different opportunities down the road."Making Amends" makes you seem heroic. "Staying out of jail" might attract a different type of quest-giver altogether.
you know that guy 24th Nov 2015, 5:39 PM edit delete reply
The key to Morton's Fork is disguising it well. If you can do that, you get to have all the respect of a prepared GM with half the work.
Digo Dragon 24th Nov 2015, 5:46 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I once created a situation where the players were on an airplane and both engines cut off. They were at a cruising altitude of around 20k feet and gliding down to the ground.

So we did actions in rounds. Each round they could go through checklists and try things to get the engines back on and each round that passes they were losing altitude. This meant that if they got too low they would have to land the plane without engines.

The mechanic managed to get one engine started and that was enough to get the plane down safely at an airport.
j-eagle12212012 24th Nov 2015, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
That stream was fun, I enjoyed partaking in Quiplash and went back and watched Quiplash with the Mawlers on Spuds youtube page. I learned the origin of the Protato joke lol
Specter 24th Nov 2015, 8:19 AM edit delete reply
Oh, Rarity did stop working. ... Plus Digo practically nailed Pinkie's line as well.

... Well, I can live with my day starting off awkward. Here's to hoping it at least doesn't end badly.
Digo Dragon 24th Nov 2015, 3:02 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I certainly hope your day didn't end badly! o.o

Specter 24th Nov 2015, 4:51 PM edit delete reply
Not yet, it's still going.
Wasen 24th Nov 2015, 8:45 AM edit delete reply
Seeing the title name did made me think you would make a reference to Robert Jordan's book series called Wheel of Time. Oh well, still enjoyed the page none the less :)
Brainstorm 24th Nov 2015, 9:59 AM edit delete reply
So who else actually went to the Cast page to check Pinkie's DEX score?
Disloyal Subject 24th Nov 2015, 11:41 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Digo, on Saturday.
Digo Dragon 24th Nov 2015, 3:03 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Yep. I cheated researched to find their stats. ;)
j-eagle12212012 25th Nov 2015, 5:44 AM edit delete reply
So from what little I understand of D&D (mostly from Fallout is Dragons) does this mean that when Pinkie Pie rolls a Dextarity check she has to roll 1D20 with no modifier or 1D10 with no modifier or 1D20+10 with no modifier?
I ask because her stats say her Dextarity is 10 with a 0 modifier so I don't know how that would roll...
Digo Dragon 25th Nov 2015, 7:03 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Pinkie would roll a d20 with a modifier of +0.
Disloyal Subject 26th Nov 2015, 4:54 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Her modifier is based off of the relevant score; for every two points above ten, a character's modifier increases by one. Conversely, scores below ten get a negative modifier that worsens for every two points less than ten the ability score is.
Checks, such as the ability score (Dexterity) checks they're making for the cherry line, or skill checks like Knowledge or Intimidate rolls, are made with a d20 plus modifiers, as are attack rolls. D&D is a d20 system, so most gameplay is done with a d20. Damage rolls and random tables like random encounters, the effects of certain spells, or the durations of some effects are the main times other polyhedra come into play.
venseyness 24th Nov 2015, 10:45 AM Pinkie Pie edit delete reply
How does pinkie not have good dex? I mean, she's the twitchiest pony ever. I'd think that only rainbow and maybe applejack would have her beat, (Though I think applejack would've spent more points on constitution than dex)
Disloyal Subject 24th Nov 2015, 11:40 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Had to get that +5 Cha mod.
Besides, her bouncing around isn't always precise.
Winged Cat 24th Nov 2015, 11:41 AM edit delete reply
Twitch, but not necessarily grace. As in, not entirely in conscious control of her body: she can set the overall course of action well enough, but for example when her Pinkie Sense sets her tail twitching, it doesn't matter if she was trying to hold her tail very still.
Joe the Rat 24th Nov 2015, 11:48 AM edit delete reply
Being twitchy would *not* be good for dex. Steady aim takes steady hands.

(Which would be an essential thing to have as a pastry chef...)
Random Guest 24th Nov 2015, 12:33 PM edit delete reply
Hey, Newbiespud, about that livestream. If there is any chance we can get a peek? Or is it gone into a limbo of unrecorded live translations?
Truly Mad Moves 24th Nov 2015, 12:42 PM edit delete reply
Truly Mad Moves
To open: I'm sorry I seldom actually comment on the comic or participate in story time or anything on-topic like that... there's seldom anything I can relate to, but I'm here every day of the week, you're all a big influence on me. I've been shown all the wonderful ways to make gaming great... I don't know if I've *learned* them, but I've *seen* them.

Anyway, when I comment it's because this is the best place I know to talk about my gaming habit, where I know there's knowledgeable people around who definitely won't gang up on me about anything... I'm after a bit of consultation.

I may have mentioned before, I'm a big 4E fan, but at the same time, I house-rule the heck out of it because, well, when you grew up accustomed to earlier editions, a few things grow on you. 4E's simplicity and balance is a godsend, but some things... irk me. Now, I've never made or been part of a campaign where the characters reached Level 2, or found any magic items, or... well, anything happened at all. Ever. (the soul-crushing campaign I spoke of previously... we were a group for nearly two years and none of the characters had more than 200 XP) So I'd like to run three of my house-rules by the folks here, and get your opinion on how it would shift the balance, as it were. Educated guesses on how well these things would go if put into practice.

First: in the real game, magic weapons activate on a critical hit. I learned D&D from Baldur's Gate, where if you had a weapon that did non-weapon damage, that happened on *every* hit... and I miss that (I assume it also happened in real 2nd and 3rd edition, but I can't remember). Plus, I invented a purely-cosmetic house rule: a critical hit results in a permanent scar that never, ever goes away. A mook crits you? Your smile is just a little bit wider from now on. An important villain crits you? You may lose a finger or an eye. Forever. Conversely, you crit a mook? There goes his forearm. I didn't want that rule to overlap with a lightning weapon's going off... so, combining the two reasons I didn't like the critical hit thing, I decided that a weapon's extra damage goes off on an attack roll of natural 5, 10, 15, or 20 (I believe it was 13th Age that inspired me to use specific natural rolls to determine results; you don't ever really see that in D&D). In theory, that's often enough to be fun, seldom enough to not be overpowered. Plus, it adds another cosmetic element: should the attack miss (pretty good chance of that happening with the aforementioned roll of 5) then the weapon flares to life, looks pretty, doesn't actually do anything.

Second: I really hate the "minions have one hit point" thing. Now, I have no idea if minions, as designed, are actually just as challenging as one-fourth of a monster of their level, but it just seems unlikely. So here's my second possible house rule: a minion's hit points equal its level plus its Constitution modifier. So your average level 1 minion would have 2 hit points, your average level 2 minion would have 4, a negligible difference, but it gets interesting later. Take your level 11 legion devil hellguard: 18 hit points. Might still only need one hit to take down, or, might not. The ambiguity makes it more fun than always being killed instantly... I would assume. Then you have your lich vestige: at level 26, the most powerful minion in the core rules. It would have 41 HP. And that's where I start to get a little uncertain, 'cause that's kind of a lot. Kind of. I don't really know; again, I've never played past Level 1. So, would this new minion HP system make minions too difficult? Could I counterbalance it by removing the "a missed attack never damages a minion" rule and/or the "minions do a set amount of damage instead of rolling dice" rule? 'Cause I have every intention of eliminating those rules too. Would it work?

Third: (I ordered these by the potential I see for unbalancing, least to most) All status effects in 4E, positive or negative, last for exactly one round. Come on. Really? What's even the point? I'm considering changing it so effects - whether it's paralysis, blindness, the ability to fly, what have you - so that they last a number of rounds equal to the level of the creature/hazard/item that caused the effect (pondering exceptions: second wind for sure, maybe being marked, MAYBE all martial powers). What do you think? I can see this causing MASSIVE balance issues, but I figure it's a necessity, you know, if I want to make my game world more cinematic and perilous and less (forgive me, this word is probably a trigger phrase for 4E fans) videogamey. Lots of 4E mechanics have great success with the "one-half level" rule, would that work better? But then how would first-level effects work...?

I babble lots, I know, but... well, I have big plans for my campaign, I want it to be as awesome as possible... this time we're making it past Level 1. We're gonna make it all the way to the epic destinies, I swear it.

(side note: My first house-rule was to ditch the 4E alignment system and bring in the real one... because of course I did. Doesn't alter the gameplay any, it's just good sense. If I never read the phrase "evil and chaotic evil" again it'll be too soon, am I right? Er, no offense to our author, who clearly has no issues with 4E's five-alignment system. It's just not for me.)
Specter 24th Nov 2015, 2:08 PM edit delete reply

Well, despite actually owning the 4E core book, I didn't know magic weapons only activated on a crit. Other then that, I once had a DM who decided to make their own house rule for magic items to either activate randomly when the item is use, or a magic item of any kind had only a certain number of charges (like some staves). I would recommend something like that if you thought it would seem fair, as one of those is basically gambling while the other could be described as "getting what you paid for".

I have no idea what to say for the second one, maybe have every minion role a rogue's worth of HP? Maybe a wizard's worth? STR + CON? I actually don't know.

I actually like the third one. It actually does seem fair enough that no one can argue, yet just unbalanced enough that all parties can have fun with it.

... I would also offer you my last stick of gum as a 'good luck' present or something, but sadly the internet has yet to achieve such feats.
Truly Mad Moves 24th Nov 2015, 2:31 PM edit delete reply
Truly Mad Moves
Well, by the weapon activating I mean bonus damage. You know, how every weapon and implement has bonus damage - 1 die of some kind per plus - when you score a critical hit. With the damage untyped, that system is fair, but when it's fire or lightning or radiance... then I just think it would be more fun if it happened more often and wasn't related to critical hits per se. Calling that "activation" was a bit ambiguous, I apologize.

Do you mean the HP of a rogue or wizard of their level? Yikes, that's way too far in the other direction. I still want them to be ludicrously easy to defeat, just slightly less so. I like the principle they're built on, that you can face an army of them, I just don't like the way it's implemented... and I'm wondering if my alternative would make minions too powerful to continue filling their cannon fodder role.

Well, thanks very much for offering your input. ^^ It's a comfort to bounce these ideas around a bit. The DM life gets a bit lonely.
Disloyal Subject 25th Nov 2015, 12:41 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
"...we were a group for nearly two years and none of the characters had more than 200 XP..."!?
No wonder you weren't having fun. When it takes more than five sessions to complete what was expected to take one, I start to lose enthusiasm too.

Ahem. Moving on.
Disclaimer: I've never played 4e, and have at best a passing familiarity with it. That said:
1- That seems reasonable. Items being more effective makes them feel more special, and a 1/4 chance to trigger an effect is a lot more appealing than a 1/20 chance. I like it. The scar houserule is actually relatively common; the webcomic 'Goblins' is pretty graphic in depictions of the horrors it and other violent consequences of adventuring can lead to.

2- As I understand it, that defeats the purpose of minions. Beefing up their defenses can serve a similar purpose.
Still, it's a worthwhile idea - I just don't think they count as minions anymore then, just fragile enemies. Like so many things, I like the idea but I'm hung up on the terminology.

3- I believe 'one-half level' stuff usually rounds up. Again, I have to mention that I'm a rank novice when it comes to 4e, but this sounds cripplingly unbalancing; I believe some classes or builds focus on debuffing the enemy to give the party an edge in combat. If it works four you and your group, though, then it's good.

As for alignment, that's ultimately cosmetic as a roleplaying aid. Fiddling with the mechanics of it can get screwy, but whatever works best for a given group, including the GM, is the best approach for that group. I used to dislike 4e's linear scale, but I don't really mind it anymore. It's still pretty open to interpretation, while being as concrete as the 9-square chart for mechanical effects.
daftdeafdave 25th Nov 2015, 4:39 AM edit delete reply
Ok here's my thoughts:

1 - Sounds great. I might try something similar if I play 4e again.

2 - I like the minions with 1 hit point thing. Minion combat is meant to be kinda cinematic. If you're looking to implement something like this I'd go for something a little looser like minions that either take two "little" hits with cosmetic effects on the first one or one "big" hit.

3 - Two words: saving throws.

Alignment - ignore it entirely and focus on consistent roleplay.
Truly Mad Moves 25th Nov 2015, 8:07 AM edit delete reply
Truly Mad Moves
Thanks again, everybody, for the listening and the input. It's very reassuring.

We could never get together. I was always busy with work and so was one of the players, and every time we got a session together, the chances of it lasting more than thirty minutes before somebody had to rush off were slim. Eventually I just set up a chat room so somebody could just come in and take their turn whenever they had a chance, basically a play-by-post deal. Ugh, that was even more depressing. Yeah, this whole restarted-campaign thing is basically just me PRAYING that it doesn't go exactly the same as the first one.

1- All right, I'm calling this rule a pass. :)

2- Gotta be honest, not liking any of these alternate suggestions... my minions would still be exceedingly fragile under these rules, just not in a way that defies all logic. Beefing up their defenses isn't what I'm going for; I don't want them to be harder to hit, I want them to be more hittable. If anything, I might lower their defenses. There's a thought. Maybe I'll lower their defenses *more* at the higher tiers of play, to compensate for the higher HP... the two-hit rule is just way too loose, I like my rules strict and rigid, and the rule that any type of damage immediately kills a minion is just way outside the realm of every other rule in the whole system. I'll just try it out, and if they get their butts kicked by minions, well, I'll tweak it a bit more, but I'm not going back to the 1 HP thing... I find it the opposite of cinematic, really. But don't think I'm ungrateful, some perspective on the issue really helped.

3- Ending up with a fraction in 4E always rounds *down*, actually. ;) Not that you need to know that... so, saving throws? Yes... lots of 4E effects are also ended by saving throws instead of after one round. Hmm, but I don't want to make them ALL do that. But of course, previous edition saving throws worked differently - an initial save meant the effect was negated. Of course! That could work... then again, in previous editions spells hit automatically and the saving throw was the only variable. Now we'd have to hit the enemy AND hope they don't make their save... it would be disappointing, but it would improve the balance. Yesss, that's worth thinking about.

As for alignment... well, I'm pretty sure 4E has absolutely no alignment-related mechanics, so we're safe there. But ignoring it entirely? No, I couldn't, it's far too much fun. We've had such a good time discussing it. Since there are no mechanics involved, alignment is just something that's there, as a reminder of what the character believes, and is subject to change, which carries no penalty.

Thanks again, I feel quite encouraged and inspired. I know it looks like I was mostly defending my own position, but, well, it's good to know that I *can* do that. Finding I couldn't defend my position would have been equally helpful.

Anyway, I guess the only way to know for certain if these rules work is to actually put them into practice, so... armed with several perspectives and tweaks, I shall go do so. Thank you very much. :)
terrycloth 25th Nov 2015, 9:42 AM edit delete reply
(1) The extra damage you're talking about is specifically the crit damage? It's not the main effect of the magic weapon. You're just randomly giving people more damage.

(2) The point of minions is to die in one hit so that you don't have to track the hit points of 50 enemies, and so that you can have a combat against 50 enemies that doesn't take six hours. If you want a tougher minion, you can add DR or make them take two hits (for two hits you can just flip over the token). With crits or massive damage still killing them immediately. The ENTIRE POINT is not to have to track hit points though. If you don't mind tracking hit points, don't use minions.

(3) What? Most status effects last until save. Which is 1-2 rounds usually, sure, barring ridiculously unbalancing 'penalty on save' effects. One round per level might as well be 'until the end of the fight' -- and yeah, there are some 4e effects that last until the end of the fight. This is another change that was added to make combat easier to run.

Changing all 'until save' effects into effectively 'until the end of the fight' makes certain monsters ridiculously deadly. The PCs will die. To mooks.

The point of all the things you're trying to get rid of was to make combat more cinematic and easier to run by hand, instead of needing a computer to track everything for you.
Truly Mad Moves 25th Nov 2015, 11:29 AM edit delete reply
Truly Mad Moves
1) Yeahhhh, but if the crit damage is elemental... then I'd rather it was random. I don't want to wait for a critical hit for a flaming weapon to start flaming. It's the principle of the thing. Though I just remembered that most such weapons have a power that makes all their attacks do the elemental damage... huh, weird that that never occurred to me before. I might rethink this. Might. Random is still more fun than critical...

2) Actually, I'm fairly certain the point of minions is to be able to fight massive amounts of easy-to-kill mooks. I like that, that's why I want to use minions, but I think fighting an enemy without ANY hit points to track is just childish.

3) No no, I'm keeping "save ends" effects as they are. But the powers that last "until the end of your next turn" or some such? Those are rubbish. The exact opposite of cinematic. Those are the ones I'm changing. I get that it's all to make everything easier to track, I get that, but I draw the line in some places. What good is flying, for example, or invisibility, if you can only do it for one round? That's just lame.

I'm considering going ahead with the campaign WITHOUT any of these rules, see if playing by the rules is fun by itself, and then maybe testing them out with another campaign, but... this is supposed to be THE campaign, you know? The one and only. So if I'm gonna house-rule it, I intend to go all or nothing... and I'm really struggling at this point to decide which one it should be.
Desparil 25th Nov 2015, 2:42 PM edit delete reply
Hey Truly, veteran 4E DM here. Here's my take on your questions. I'm very wordy, so I'm going to split it into three posts, one per question.

1) The major elemental weapons all have either an at-will power or a property that converts their untyped damage to the appropriate type. For example, a Frost Weapon from the Player's Handbook (q.v.) has an at-will power that turns the cold damage on or off. The Flame Tongue Weapon from Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium (q.v.) simply has a property that changes all untyped damage from weapon attacks to fire damage. So the Flame Tongue is always on fire; when it does an extra 1d8 fire damage per plus on a critical hit, consider that to be an extra-large burst of flame unleashed at a critical moment. If you're dead-set on having bonus damage more often, though, I would do it for ALL magic weapons; otherwise, it makes the non-elemental ones kind of suck by comparison.
Desparil 25th Nov 2015, 2:43 PM edit delete reply
2) The point of minions is two-fold. Being able to have a lot of them on the board while still having level-appropriate attacks and defenses is the reason for having a "weak" class of creature. Not having to track hit points is the reason for specifically making them one-hit kills. You say it's childish, but I say having to constantly sort through 30 individual kobolds would be a huge pain in the ass. It's the same reason many of us use a single initiative roll for large groups of identical monsters (leaders and other stand-outs still have separate initiative, of course... and if the group is excessively large, I might split those 30 kobolds into three "battle groups" of 10 for initiative purposes).

If you really must have hit points for them, I would suggest giving them 1 + one-half level. It keeps with the flavor of the rules, using one-half level, it tops out at a reasonable 16 hit points, and it keeps all Heroic Tier monsters killable with the secondary damage from a Cleave or other "minion clear" power (P.S. if minions can survive powers like Cleave that do minimal damage to a second target, it severely weakens those powers compared to the alternatives)
Desparil 25th Nov 2015, 2:44 PM edit delete reply
3) On the topic of "until end of next turn" effects, increasing the duration will severely affect game balance. Powers that inflict weakened, dazed, stunned, or dominated until end of next turn are already among the most powerful choices in the game, let alone if they lasted even longer. If you want to judiciously experiment with this, I would start off by only allowing the extended duration for the slowed and immobilized conditions and work your way up from there. One other thing you could use is aftereffects - for example, immobilized until end of next turn with an aftereffect of being slowed until the end of the turn after that. Without inventing any new rules at all, you can jury-rig a two-turn duration simply by having an aftereffect that imposes the exact same condition as the hit or effect line did in the first place.

If you want to apply it to monster attacks - for example, to make basilisks and medusae highly-feared as they used to be - I do have an idea for that. Let them do their thing - petrifying gaze, paralysis, dominating gaze, whatever - with no saving throw whenever they hit with an attack vs. Reflex, Fortitude, or Will. However - and this is big - allow the Remove Affliction ritual to be cast as a standard action rather than taking 10 minutes - and let it remove things like dominate and paralysis in addition to what it already does. That significantly increases the utility of the Ritual Caster feat, as well as giving the players a way to get their comrade back in action ASAP - a way that they always had in previous editions, I might add, so it's definitely in keeping with the history of the game. Remember to make them purchase and track ritual components, though!
Desparil 25th Nov 2015, 2:45 PM edit delete reply
As an aside, if you want to replicate paralysis from old editions, use stunned... or if you want it to be REALLY deadly, then go with a combination of stunned and incapacitated, making it almost as bad as being unconscious.
Truly Mad Moves 26th Nov 2015, 12:43 AM edit delete reply
Truly Mad Moves
Ooooh, thank you. This was MOST informative. And not too wordy. Less wordy than me, most days. XD Lots of tough decisions here, but I'm working through the pros and cons, if you'll indulge me...

1) All right, yes, a bit earlier I'd remembered that flame/frost/lightning weapons have that property... for some reason it never occurred to me that that meant you could keep them "on" all the time. So, yeah, I think this first house rule is worth scrapping. (and yes, for fairness sake, I did want to do that rule for ALL weapons... I found that a bit illogical, one of the reasons I was so on the fence...) But then I wonder about weapons that DON'T have the "switch all damage" property - like most necrotic weapons - and I wondered at how that crosses over with my scar rule, that only a scar-inducing injury causes the power to activate, and that only that energy can cause scars? Eventually I worked out that... it does make sense that a weapon's magic WOULD activate at an intense moment like that, and it would indeed make the scar worse. Plus, with my 5/10/15/20 rule, all the scars would have been energy-related anyway. The lone straggler here is the Vicious weapon, whose ONLY power is that its crit damage uses a d12. It would be more interesting if that happened more often. Ultimately, I'm not implementing a house-rule just to pay a service to ONE weapon. So, rule #1: scrapped.

2) You make a lot of good points here. A 16-HP max works out. It WOULD be a letdown if a Cleave couldn't kill two minions... yet it would also be a letdown if a fireball DID get them all. ...Which, of course, it wouldn't because it would miss some of them. Heck, that's it right there - what I needed to remember is that a "missed attack" doesn't have to mean a literal "swing and a miss", it could mean anything if I just use my imagination. Could mean locked blades, bouncing off of armor, a blow being shrugged off - minion combat doesn't have to LOOK like we're killing them off with paper cuts. It can seem as epic as I choose. All right, rule #2 is also scrapped.

3) Heh... no, that's okay, I don't need to un-nerf basilisks and medusae, I like that you get two chances to save before being stoned, that's plenty scary as it is. And yes, it did occur to me that if I wanted to extend the duration, I'd also need to come up with a way to dispel these things. At this point... I don't want to mess with the rules that much, I want to play the game as packaged, they've balanced it meticulously. But... there comes a point where I don't care about combat balance anymore and I'm more concerned about drama. Where's the big emotional payoff to a party member being dominated for one round? Where's the sense of wonder in being able to fly for 6 squares then having to land? To a certain extent, this is also half-true of "save ends" effects. It's not cinematic, it's videogamey. Then again, maybe I can embrace that. Video games, after all, have cinematics, and in such scenes the characters use powers that they don't have during gameplay, and that's where all the emotional impact is. It's tacky, but it might work. After all, I've already given every NPC two stat blocks - one "monster" and one "companion" - to reflect how in video games characters are stronger when they're against you than when they're with you. Yeah, this last one I'll have to give a little more thought.

The final solution that I'm leaning toward goes as follows: negative status effects last one round/until save as normal, positive status effects last for... let's say half-level number of rounds... and then "cutscene power to the max", as the tropers say. I'm not 100% satisfied with this, but there's time to tweak it. What do you think?

Thanks very much, Desparil. This has smoothed over a lot of the wrinkles. :)
Desparil 26th Nov 2015, 4:51 PM edit delete reply
No problem! And for what it's worth on the second idea, I actually did implement something sort of like what you wanted to do, though for different reasons. I squeezed in another category of monsters between minions and standards because I wanted, for example, a battle with orcs, ogres, and hill giants at the same time, and I wanted the ogres to be stronger than the orcs but still significantly weaker than the hill giants. I was dissatisfied with the idea of making them ogres 4 or 5 levels lower because then they'd just be sacks of hit points who pose no real threat, on account of attack bonuses being intertwined with level. What I ended up doing was inverting the principle of elite monsters - I give half normal hit points, reduce their damage, and strip down their combat options to only two or three things.

As for persistent effects, there are a lot of good ones that either last until the end of the encounter or have a Sustain option. For example, Invisibility is Sustain: Standard, Greater Invisibility is Sustain: Minor, Fly is Sustain: Minor, Bless lasts until the end of the encounter, etc. Some of the stuff that only lasts until the end of the next turn can be pretty cinematic - like when the rogue turns invisible for just a few seconds, then reappears behind villain for a sneak attack. The ones that get into a real contradiction between fluff and crunch - IMO, anyway - are things like Sunder Armor (Warlord 7). For the vast majority, though, I don't find "save ends" or "until end of next turn" to be any more or less arbitrary than the old school "3 rounds + 1 round/level" durations. Different, but equally arbitrary.
Raxon 24th Nov 2015, 1:10 PM edit delete reply
Anyone else half expect Pinkie to say that she eats all the evidence of her failing dex rolls?
Digo Dragon 24th Nov 2015, 3:04 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I've been trying to think of how that part goes, but can't decide on a joke.
Raxon 24th Nov 2015, 5:17 PM edit delete reply
"You fail your dex roll."

"Wait! I can use my tongue!"


"Yeah! Earth ponies use their mouths to do careful work, right? So I should get a bonus if I use my tongue!"
Anon 24th Nov 2015, 10:18 PM edit delete reply
not just that,rax, but about a quarter of the non-mistakes too! XD
Mettking 25th Nov 2015, 4:41 AM Continue it.... edit delete reply
The Wheel of Time turns, and ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legends fade to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the fourth age by some, an Age yet to come, an age long past, a wind rose in the city of Canterlot. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings or endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.
BackSet 13th Jul 2019, 5:08 PM edit delete reply
I am from the future to ask: why has nobody linked the aa cross examination music in the comments?