Inspired by Greywulf’s first post on “things 4e got right”
Rather than limiting the Abilities to At-will, per Encounter or Daily, key them to Triggers which say when (or if) an Ability can be used. A Trigger might well be “At-Will” or “Daily”, but it might also be “when an enemy hits you”, “when bloodied”, “once before the next full moon” or even “when down to 0 hit points and about to be eaten”.
Oh, and no per Encounter Abilities. Triggers should affect usage frequency, not some meta-game condition. As with D&D Essentials, make the Abilities match the class first and foremost rather than striving for symmetry in all things. If a Class would work best with only At-Will abilities, that’s how you make it.
I’ve always found it kind of constraining that encounter and daily powers go away. If you know how to do something, there should be a different limitation than “the system says no.” But how to control throughput? So, I had this idea…
- Each character picks their most relevant stat (almost certainly their most common attack stat) and gain “Fatigue” equal to the mod for that stat plus one*.
- Characters gain 4 fatigue at the paragon tier and an additional 4 at epic.
- Encounter attack powers cost 1 fatigue.
- Daily attack powers cost 3.
- Every time you spend a healing surge to regain hit points, you also regain 1 fatigue (This includes surges spent between encounters).
- You regain all your fatigue at the end of an extended rest.
- Everyone gains the following power:
Obviously, this is a huge off the cuff systems change and is almost certainly going to require a lot of tweaking.
- This system feels very cinematic to me. It also opens up a lot of opportunities for narrative effect.
- Depending on how you set the numbers, at-will attacks can be more or less valuable.
- It has the benefit of demonstrating which powers might need to be adjusted.
- Action starved characters will become even more so.
What do you think?
* – I made a very simple Excel sheet to allow you to play with the numbers until you get them how you like them. Start value is what the average player at your table has as an attack stat at level 1. Boost is just that.