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Stunning slows the game

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1 Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:08 am

Ross

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Stun slows down the game too much, plus it frequently causes players to basically do nothing as they lose their turn, sometimes for several turns, right Mick?.

For my campaign I'm considering making monster Stuns = Prone/Immobilized/dazed. Anyone have any other ideas or dislike this proposal?


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

2 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:54 am

How does it slow down the game?

Yes, it's basically a do nothing turn, but at paragon and epic levels PCs will have access to Stun as well.

If the problem is Stun (save ends) and it becomes more common, then the PCs should invest in save boosting items/powers.

In the heroic and paragon tiers I don't believe there are many monsters that spam stuns. I think petrification is actually worse.

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3 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:13 am

Ross

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Anything that prevents a PC from doing damage slows the game down. I guess at Paragon and Epic levels Stun becomes more prevalent. Petrification is bad, but it's meant to be a scary KO Effect. Stun, the way it's designed, isn't scary, it's just irritating and can cause encounter times to be doubled or tripled. Really it adds no flavor, or fun, to encounters. I'm okay with PC's having it as it doesn't slow down the encounter, it actually quickens it.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

4 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:26 am

For better or for worse... I think we should leave it as is.

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5 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:50 am

As a player, I realize the impact of being stunned so I do invest (when my PC's are high enough level and have more cash) in items that give a bonus save to stun.

As a DM, I was already aware that anything that totally removes a particular PC from a battle is generally to be avoided (well at least not sought after) and this includes stunning. That said, if you're the DM, you can elect to not include monsters that stun as the bad guys and if you're a player, you can attempt to build up your defenses against the occasional monster that does stun. The rules should, however, stay as is.

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6 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:51 am

I believe it all depends on the make up of the party. In Brad's game Nevin is the leader and has the ability to hand out extra saves every time he heals someone. That really cuts down on the duration of save ends effects. The ones I really don't like to see are the no save effects; especially the at will ones.

Stuns and their like really slow down a game where there is less players. Taking out 1 of 3 PC's for a turn or two is devastating but if it is 1 of 6 not as much so. I will say that it does suck to be that one PC though no matter the size since it disengages you from the game.

I don't think I would mind if you replaced the stuns with another effect as it is still some sort of control.

As an aside parties could also look into what the char op forum calls "alpha strike". Basically the concept is a party of high damage potential characters that try to focus on ending encounters quickly by using lots of control and dishing out a ton of damage early in encounters. A character example of this is Killswitch.

http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/24994633/Killswitch:_A_We_Win_button_for_your_party.__ArtificerWarlordSpell_CommanderPlaneshaper.?pg=1

If the party optimizes around each other it can really help quicken encounters. Usually everyone creates their PC's in a vacuum which is slightly more realistic.

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7 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:21 am

Ross

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Keep in mind I'm going to implement this, or another alternative, into my campaigns. I'm no way forcing this campaign rule onto any other DM's adventures.

I'm also examining other things that slow down the game and may Campaign Rule those as well, to speed up the game. The main idea is to keep it fun and get in as many encounters as possible.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

8 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:45 am

I think the biggest culprit to slow encounters is players not having their actions ready when their turn comes up.

A two minute egg timer may come in handy and if they can't decide by then, then their PC delays and can take their turn after the next PC/NPC.

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9 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:50 am

Ross

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No, the slowest thing is damage not being inflicted every round by every player.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

10 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:18 am

Hmmm, not all PCs are meant to inflict a lot of damage each turn.

If a "strikerish" character isn't hitting its usually because:
1. bad rolls
2. the monsters have unusually high defenses
3. character not built to deal damage effectively

Monsters AC is usually Level+12 and NonAC defenses are around Level+10 (I believe that's correct...)

When PCs are matched up against higher level monsters then encounters will last longer and more PC resource will be expended.

According to the DMG an average distribution of 9 encounters should be
1-(Level-1)
3-(PC Level)
4-(Level+1)
1-(Level+3)

I think the adventures I've been on have tended to average Level+3

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11 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:28 am

Ross

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Not in mine. Mine are usually even or lower.

Yes, not all PC's do tons of damage, which makes Stun even worse when your heavy hitters are disabled. Thanks for totally making my point for me.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

12 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:21 am

In the BoM series, I'll admit, especially at the 3rd to 6th levels I tended to have more encounters toward at Level + 3 or + 4 resulting in fewer tougher encounters per adventure. Near the end of the series I moved toward more encounters but lower EL. I have stuck with that (in general) for the WAR! series. I think the last adventure was a prime example of that. The party got in 7 battles, w/o looking at my notes, the highest EL was 8 (for a 5th level party) the Angel and dismounted cavalry. The next highest was 6 (the undead). The remaining five encounters were all party level or lower. I really think the model I've moved to works better (at least for me). What did you guys think?

Yes, not all PC's are geared to do (massive) damage but most do (some) damage. As far as keeping the game moving, it is a combination of things; pacing by the DM, preparedness by the players before the game and when it is thier turn, the specific type of encounter(s), including the special powers of the monsters.

I don't know if it's so much every PC doing damage, but every PC contributing in the manner that they are suppose to. If the game slows down because the players are not making the absolute optimal team work move to defeat the monsters the quickest, well, that's just part of the game. A steak of bad rolls is just part of the game too. If the game slows down because the monsters are nearly unhittable and have a lot of hits, well that's a encounter design issue (think WoTC addressed this somewhat in eratta where elites don't get + 2 to defences).

If every battle, were lighting quick with the players using optimal tactics, well then those battles where the players do actually work well as a team and defeat tough monsters quickly would be less rewarding. Do there have to be some less fast battles so that the fast ones can be appreciated/ remembered fondly?


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13 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:51 am

Ross wrote:Anything that prevents a PC from doing damage slows the game down.

You mean stuff like high AC & defenses, weakening, blinding, high monster mobility and/or stealth, good use of tactics/cover, monster combos that compliment each other, etc? My point is, except for rare vulnerabilities, most every monster ability/power/action prevents a PC from doing damage. I don't love or hate 'stun' as a PC or a GM, I just see it as one other nasty to watch out for. I'm not sure I understand your complaint with this power though...

Note: All Dragons have stunning ability and my campaign is Dragon heavy.

Dwarmaj wrote:I think the biggest culprit to slow encounters is players not having their actions ready when their turn comes up.

As a player & a GM, this is what I think eats up all of our game time.

Stun prevents PCs from damaging monsters only in terms of how many rounds it takes to win (assuming they do). In terms of real time play, it takes no time at all to say, "Miri's turn but she's stunned. Kaddim's next then Thia." DPS in terms of actual time should be pretty close to a wash.

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14 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:09 pm

Teramotos wrote:In the BoM series, I'll admit, especially at the 3rd to 6th levels I tended to have more encounters toward at Level + 3 or + 4 resulting in fewer tougher encounters per adventure. Near the end of the series I moved toward more encounters but lower EL.

Well my encounter ELs have been all over the map, from -5 to +10, but the really high ones a 'win' isn't killing the monster (which would be way too hard). At least half of my encounters are probably evenly split between +0, +1, & +2 though. With the outliers, I'm not sure where that puts my mean average, but modal & median averages are right around +1/+2.

Two encounters that stick out for me were the Fire Giants/Fire Elementals, which was like a +7 encounter the party actually defeated straight up without too much worry, and the flying Blue Dragon that you guys finally subdued & got to switch sides. The Blue Dragon was -1 EL, took forever, and except for Freeza's taunts and my getting anxious to get to the 'tough' encounter, I don't think the party could have won. Sometimes, you just never know...

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15 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:20 pm

Ross

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Yes, Stun is a feature in the game, but its a feature that causes monsters to stay alive significantly longer, and also is boring for the effected player. Mick can attest to the fact that he has gone almost entire encounters stunned and unable to do anything. Yes, his turn was very fast (roll your save), but the other effect is that he is unable to hit monsters/heal/buff etc, which makes the battle go longer.

Many WotC DM's and designers have actually taken Stun out of many of their personal Paragon/Epic games and downgraded them to Dazed.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

16 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:08 pm

Ross wrote:Yes, his turn was very fast (roll your save), but the other effect is that he is unable to hit monsters/heal/buff etc, which makes the battle go longer.

No, not in actual time. If Mick can't hit/heal/buff, during those same two minutes (or whatever), the next player is (or should be) hitting/healing/buffing. It does not significantly change how long an encounter takes to finish in real time. A whiffed daily or two probably has a greater affect, imo.

Ross wrote:...and also is boring for the effected player. Mick can attest to the fact that he has gone almost entire encounters stunned and unable to do anything.

Well, yes, this is very true! But same goes for dying, turning to stone (gold), and lots of other things. Are you referring to my adventure when my Ghosts couldn't miss a possession roll against Mick? I wouldn't blame that on stun, but on great rolls against him (I couldn't miss him, & couldn't hit anyone else). Sometimes S#!t happens. (Remember when Reptis missed something like 13/14 saves v. ongoing damage?) But I agree with Stu, the chance of this happening makes the other end more exciting.

Sonya couldn't do much for the last several rounds of the last battle, and that was simply from few hits and no surges.

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17 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:14 pm

Ross

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Not necessarily. I think Mick and a few others have been stunned for entire battles besides being neutralized in that adventure.

And yes it does effect the time, even though you can't see that. Each round an enemy is alive it extends the time because it's capable of running, inflicting damage, debuff, buffing, or hindering. This causes the party to burn actions to heal, maneuver, buff, debuff, etc. All of that causes the encounter to go longer.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

18 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:21 pm

Ross wrote:...Each round an enemy is alive it extends the time because it's capable of running, inflicting damage, debuff, buffing, or hindering. This causes the party to burn actions to heal, maneuver, buff, debuff, etc. All of that causes the encounter to go longer.

None of this is at all unique to stun though. When I said stun doesn't affect time, I meant as compared to every other ability/power monsters & NPCs use to stay alive & defeat the PCs.

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19 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:34 pm

Ross

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Stun takes away all actions. Yes, dying and Petrification are bad, but you normally won't be dying and petrified in one round. You can be stunned at the beginning of combat and it can be persistent through the entire combat.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

20 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:51 pm

Ross wrote:You can be stunned at the beginning of combat and it can be persistent through the entire combat.

Only with really crappy rolls though, and there are lots of feats, powers, items, etc that can lessen this to near impossible.

But I'm only arguing that stun has no or minimal affect on actual length of encounters. (Okay, and also that the stun rules seem fine to me as is.)

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21 Re: Stunning slows the game on Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:12 pm

Ross

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Apparently the people who designed the game think differently when they are house ruling Stun in their own games, specifically due to the extra time it seems to add to the encounter.

I think the stun rules are fine if you have unlimited time to play, but I want to get as many battles in as I can. Mine isn't about solo monsters, it's about several skirmishes.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

22 Re: Stunning slows the game on Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:01 am


Note, there is a Heroic Feat, Focused Mind, that gives a +4 bonus to saves vs. Dazing and Stunning effects.

Also, found a magic item that gives a +5 bonus to same, but it is a 21st level item.

Hmmm... a heroic feat is only slightly worse than a 21st level item?

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